Having never cruised with Celebrity before, we availed ourselves of the Concierge Class facility offered. This was to allow us priority embarkation and disembarkation. All very well, when it works. A very good feature to have combined with dedicated concierge, umbrella and binoculars for use in port, fruit and canapes delivered to the cabin every day and a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival.
We chose Celebrity because of the itinerary on a convenient date. Century was the ship for this route and time of year. I believe that next year they will not be using the Century in favour of the Celebrity Solstice. This may be a better ship. The itinerary certainly seemed to be a very popular one with all nationalities, including many New Zealanders.
The embarkation process was reasonably good. Though the priority boarding was not perhaps as efficient as it could have been due to the fact that there were only really two people to handle priority embarkation and many many more for the other people boarding. Once aboard, everything was very well organised.
We found the cabins, in particular for the class of cabin selected, rather small, compared to other ships we have been on. They certainly were not uncomfortable. The bathrooms however, were very bland and spartan, again by the standards of other ships/lines we have cruised with. There was plenty of storage space in the cabin. The verandah sadly needed some maintenance as water had accumulated under the floor surface and when walked on, water that had collected would bubble and squelch over the surface and over the feet. It was quite a wet weather cruise on some occasions.
As ever, the staff on board were amazing and nothing was too much for any of them. Celebrity has a very good team, especially in regard to the cabins and in the dining and refreshment areas.
Due to bad weather, one port was cancelled, but this could not be avoided as the tender could not get in to land. The sea was very rough and it was also foggy. With the remaining ports, of which there were ten in total, there were no problems.
The Celebrity food and dining experience was very good. Some of the waiters, in particular the sommeliers, were absolutely excellent. The shows were good for the most part. We were not enamoured of the resident troupe of singers and dancers, but the guest acts were truly excellent and very entertaining. There were a good but repetitive array of movies to watch, both in the cabin and at the theatre. The gym was nearly always full at any time we surveyed it.
Speakers on various subjects, invited on board were most interesting and very informative. They knew how to deliver information and keep it interesting.
Disembarkation was satisfactory. Shore Excursions seemed somewhat overpriced. On the whole it was a very enjoyable cruise and a great itinerary.
Pleas note that not all port options are available in the drop-down menus here. Only those that are are rated. Bay of Islands, Tauranga, Napier, Akaroa, Milford Sound, are missing.