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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Last cruise on Celebrity Century fantastic. Stayed in the Penthouse, was spacious, luxurious, kitchen, dressing room, very large bathroom, large balcony with furniture & jacuzzi great fun and nice and cool! So it was last sailing ... Read More
Last cruise on Celebrity Century fantastic. Stayed in the Penthouse, was spacious, luxurious, kitchen, dressing room, very large bathroom, large balcony with furniture & jacuzzi great fun and nice and cool! So it was last sailing before being sold, shop closed yes and bars ran out of some drinks, but plenty more to choose from. You can shop anytime!!! Lots to do every day couldn't keep up! Lots of space to sunbathe away from pool if that is what you like, which I do. Food absolutely amazing !!! Maurano restaurant delicious. Service & staff throughout the ship exceptional. Couldn't do enough, very clean. Captain George a cheeky Greek we loved, captains table amazing, made us feel very special indeed. John & Jane entertainment organisers did a great job! Theatre shows something for everyone... It was Century's last cruise, cannot believe guests didn't know this before boarding!!! But it made it more special ! After reading some of these reviews of guests who were on the same cruise, you should be ashamed of yourselves.. Can't keep everyone happy though! Always get moaners! They explained why shop had to close, but plenty enough shopping at ports! Celebrity it was our first cruise we will definitely be booking again, just need to earn the pennies.... Penthouse worth every penny, Thank you butler Nelson & housekeeper Frazer fir looking after us, you spoilt us! Also Sylvia Smidt concierge Michael's lounge, professional through & through who couldn't do enough for everyone . Good luck to all the staff on Century hopefully meet again one day x Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
My sister and I travelled on the 14 day final cruise on Celebrity Century from Dubai to Singapore. What a disappointment. The shops closed down a week before we arrived in Singapore. Bars ran out of alcohol. The last meals in the ... Read More
My sister and I travelled on the 14 day final cruise on Celebrity Century from Dubai to Singapore. What a disappointment. The shops closed down a week before we arrived in Singapore. Bars ran out of alcohol. The last meals in the dining room seemed to be made up of leftovers from the previous lunch. The pool was in darkness from 9pm every night. The only nights it was lit up was when we left Dubai and when we arrived in Singapore. Practically no activities. If not for the casino and bingo, we would have had nothing to do. There were three shows which were very good; the shows featuring the ship's dancers were amateurish. Casino was closed and stripped out the day before we arrived in Singapore. The lifts were being used to move furniture around, so was very difficult for elderly or disabled people. This bad review is purely aimed at the company; the crew were exceptional. The crew were friendly, polite, cheerful. I have no complaint with them at all. We were not told it would be the final cruise when we booked. If we were told that we would only have half a cruise we could have decided then whether to go or not. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We were on Century, sailing from Singapore to Dubai on March 22nd. This was originally part of the Century's farewell cruise to Europe but changed when the ship was sold to China meaning the final cruise was a return from Dubai to ... Read More
We were on Century, sailing from Singapore to Dubai on March 22nd. This was originally part of the Century's farewell cruise to Europe but changed when the ship was sold to China meaning the final cruise was a return from Dubai to Singapore after we left the ship. We were somewhat apprehensive after reading some of the negative comments about the state of the ship, however we always keep in mind that for every negative comment there is usually significantly more positive experiences because people are quick to criticise and slow to praise an enjoyable experience. Also some people appear to spend more time looking for faults than having an enjoyable holiday! Embarkation in Singapore was fast and efficient, we were on board with a glass of champagne in hand with very little delay. The ship may be the oldest in the Celebrity fleet but it has been very well maintained, certainly there was no evidence of undue wear and tear. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 8, it was smaller than we're used to but adequate and comfortable. Food in both the Main Dining Room and the Buffet Restaurant was of the expected standard with little room for complaint, the service was generally very good, it was especially noticeable that wine arrived very quickly, unlike what we've experienced on other cruise lines where, the worst example was when our wine arrived with our desserts. We had dinner in Murano one night and the food and service was excellent, in particular the wait staff were friendly and helpful but never intrusive as can sometimes happen. We only went to a few shows and they ranged from an Italian tenor who was excellent to a stage show which was ordinary at best, overall in our experience pretty much standard for cruise ship entertainment. We went on shore excursions in Cochin and Mumbai which we enjoyed even in spite of an Indian Immigration system which conspired to turn every one off visiting the country, it was petty Indian bureaucracy at it's finest! Firstly we required a visa which isn't unusual, then on the second day out we all had to spend about an hour in the Hemisphere Lounge filling out Departure and Arrival cards plus a port card for each of the four Indian ports. Then on arrival in Cochin we had to queue for at least an hour for a face to face interview with an Indian Immigration official before leaving the ship. This process was so tedious that the queue became a conga line that stretched over two or three decks at it's worst and saw crew moving along the queue with water and juice as they made regular announcements to try and keep us informed. We never went ashore in Goa or New Mangalore but we did in Mumbai where being the last Indian port the process was similar to Cochin but handled in a slightly more efficient fashion. Our only comment and also that of many we spoke to was that if India wants to increase tourism, they need to lift their game to a whole new level! Our excursion in Cochin was pretty much the usual ho hum excursion apart from the Chinese fishing nets which were interesting but could also be seen from the comfort of the ship as we sailed in. Our guide was an Indian woman who smiled a lot and knew the date of everything that ever happened in Cochin but was pretty mediocre as a guide. In contrast, our excursion in Mumbai was fascinating with an excellent female guide who told us only historical facts that were relevant but also had a sense of humour and made the tour extremely interesting, having a more conversational way of delivery instead of sounding like she'd swallowed a history text book The highlights were the architecture, the Gateway to India and the Taj Mahal hotel, the Lunch Boxes and the open air laundry, Ghandis house was also an interesting insight into the past. The next stop was Muscat in Oman which was such a contrast with India, we simply walked off the ship and onto our tour bus, the highlight of this tour was undoubtedly the Mosque which is huge and fascinating and the Souk. The guide was a young man who was very knowledgeable and interesting to listen to. One of the really nice things we found with Celebrity was that when you arrived back at the ship all hot and tired after an excursion we were met with drinks and iced towels before boarding the ship! On the subject of shore excursions generally it looks like cruise lines pick a tour company and select from their brochure without actually sending staff on excursions to assess them. Too may excursions see us trawl through endless churches, temples and museums etc which most regular travellers have seen enough of to last a lifetime. One of the really nice things about Century was the lack of queuing on the ship, there were always tables available in the buffet restaurant, even at peak times, we had My Time dining for dinner and were always able to get a table for two with little or no delay. The crew were outstanding, always friendly and helpful, our Cabin Steward, Antonio from Goa looked after our every need, the lady allocating tables in the main dining room was a delight, however the highlight by far was "Ferrari Man" in the buffet restaurant, he went around with tea and coffee on his wheeled round table all decorated with Ferrari merchandise, he was always happy and never failed to make the day of anyone he came into contact with. This was our first cruise on Celebrity with previous cruises being on either Royal Caribbean or Carnival but we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and wouldn't hesitate to cruise with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
After seeing the advert on TV (Planet cruise channel #22 freeview), we were impressed on the 5* trip from Singapore to Mid-East via India.From flight to transfer, from the Hotel to the cruise itself there were just mishaps, problems, ... Read More
After seeing the advert on TV (Planet cruise channel #22 freeview), we were impressed on the 5* trip from Singapore to Mid-East via India.From flight to transfer, from the Hotel to the cruise itself there were just mishaps, problems, issues and more of the same. The issues started form the flight to Dubai, stewardess were very rude, short of food choices, offered lamb was given chicken instead, the excuse given was; too many people on the plane. What kind of excuse is that? At Singapore airport there was no taxi booked for us, we had to make our way to Hotel and cost us $25.00, contrary to other guest we met on the way, they had the sign with their name on it, and the driver waiting at the airport. At the Hotel, they couldn't find our reservation, as time was getting on, I got a bit irate and demanded to move hotel because we were far too tired. They offered me a smoking room which stunk and later somehow they manage to find a room suitable. On board, I experienced a catalogue of mishaps, -starting with cabin toilet blocked in 3 occasion, -coffee machine in buffet areas not working properly, -coffee served coldish, -Shortages of mugs, -At all occasion when I asked for a stronger coffee in sachet, it took nearly 15 minutes to locate the key of cupboard to enable waiter to get them, -asked for a bottle of still water, was given room temperature bottle with no glasses or ice, -in the restaurant we chose a 3 courses meal, was served 2 courses at the same time. Got so stressed out that I resulted to have a 1 course only at dinner time to avoid arguments with catering staff. -The gluten free bread was a disgrace, -Portions in restaurant were very mean rather on the smaller side of it, -Portion on buffet extremely poor, constantly asking servers to add more and more, -Asked for a single espresso was given in numerous times the double shot, in two occasion the cup had a sharp chip which I remind the bar person to discard before it will cut the lips of some guests. -Asked for non alcoholic cocktails, was given 2 Mojito and charged 4 cocktails. -Asked for sparkling water, was given perrier water and charged accordingly for it; contrary to the explanation given when I bought the soft drink package which later on I found out it was not included, just the still water. -On buffet style we found a row fish amongst the fish & chip offered on the day, complained to manager & chef, which they apologised but personally it's not good enough. -Found in two occasion members of buffet team server using toilets and not washing their hands, contrary to international Health & Safety rule for food server. Yet there were waiting staff distributing fluid jell at main entrance, what a waste of manpower. -All machine distributing the hand jell were not working, I gather someone ordered the wrong size for the distributor. Got in touch with "Marco" the restaurant manager, Daniele Bar Manager, Dimitri, Buffet Manager, Kostas, Breakfast supervisor, and told them all to take actions, which I hope they did, but couldn't guarantee the end was satisfactorily. -Arrival in Dubai, waiting for the transfer to airport, again my name not on the list, and in fact there must have being at least another 20 couple who they were arguing with the representative of the taxi firm, which he advised me to take a taxi because he had no notification of my name. Again $25.00 paid by me. How would you say all these problems can arise to one individuals alone? I wasn't even looking for problems, even though I work in 5 Stars establishments in London I know what to look for when it came to standards. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Our trip across south Asia took place from 11 March until 6 April 2015. Last September/October we had toured Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the British Isles, coming very close to the Arctic Circle. Our south Asia trip started in Singapore ... Read More
Our trip across south Asia took place from 11 March until 6 April 2015. Last September/October we had toured Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the British Isles, coming very close to the Arctic Circle. Our south Asia trip started in Singapore which is less than two degrees of latitude from the Equator. Ironic that the coolest place we visited outside of our stopover in Paris was Dubai. Still, we managed the heat with copious amounts of water. Air France (France is in the air) was our airline, which had the best price to take us to the other side of the world and return. We have found that airline to be one of our favorites and we still receive Delta Skymiles. The meals were about as good as you get in coach and the wine flows. Guess what, it is French wine. Our trip started 11 March with a stopover in Paris the night of the 12th giving us a day and a half there. We did not want to do a transatlantic flight back to back with a 12 ½ hour flight to Singapore. I booked a hotel room at IBIS Paris CDG Airport, which is located right outside the doors of the Roissypole RER station, accessible via the internal CDG airport rail network. The price was good at 95euros. We checked in a few hours early and paid a modest rate for that. Versailles I had been to Versailles years ago, but Ginny had not, so we planned to go there. We took the RER after checking in the hotel. It seemed to take us forever since it was during rush hour. Also, most of the area between CDG and the city center was not the best part of town. We saw much graffiti, slums, and poor areas until we reached the Sacré Cœur in Montmartre. The second half of the RER trip from the city to Versailles went through a much better area. It took us about three hours to get to Versailles, but we had a 30 minute wait catching the train to Versailles. The RER station was walking distance to the Chateau and we joined the large crowd headed in that direction. Walking up to the Chateau, we could see the magnificent structure as massive as it is, with all the sparkling gold leaf. We used an audio guide that didn’t function in some rooms, but found that the tour was a large improvement from when I visited in 1983. There were many displays, some video that showed the history of the structure and the improvements added over the years. Louis XIII was the first French monarch to live there, but Louis XIV turned it into what it is today. Louis XIV lived and held court there, since we was not fond of Paris. We spend at least three hours there and were starting to tire at the end with our jet lag. We skipped touring the gardens, since the weather turned chilly and very windy. We took a warm coat each, just for our day in Paris (didn’t need coats near the equator) but the wind seemed to chill us a bit. We made our way back to the hotel, had dinner there and slept for 12 hours. That helped us to recover for the next long flight. Our flight departed at 7:55PM, so after checking out we found our way via the internal rail (and what appeared to be a bomb threat) to our terminal, checked in and had a few hours in the terminal prior to travel. We were on a Boeing 777, which has most seats with three or four together, so I booked an aisle seat and Ginny a window. Air France or its computer assumed Ginny and I would sit next to each other and moved me to the middle seat next to her. The attendant on the plane managed to move people around so I got my aisle seat. When checking in at Dubai, we discovered that AF had done the same thing, but the attendant found us seats together at the rear of the airplane with no middle seat, we were happy. Just be aware if you book with a vacant middle seat that AF may move you. Singapore We arrived in Singapore a little before 4PM and took a taxi to our hotel. The cost was modest as we learned that taxis are very inexpensive in that City. Apparently, the government heavily taxes private automobiles. The fees to bring a car into Singapore are $100,000 and you have to buy the car as well. There must be a tax break for taxis? Our hotel was The Royal Plaza on Scotts, a 4.5 star hotel priced at $175 US per night. The hotel was in the Orchard Road (big shopping area) two or three miles from the city center. The same quality hotel would have cost about $100 more per night downtown. Since we took taxis (cost to city center less than $10 Singapore dollars ($7.5US), if we wanted to go downtown being on Orchard Road was not a problem. Also, all our tours but one had a bus to pick us up at the hotel. The hotel had a new appearance with generally spacious rooms. We had free coffee and tea in the room, as well as a mini-bar. The room came with a “free mini-bar” but we discovered that no alcoholic drinks were included in the mini-bar, just sodas, orange juice, water and cookies. The hotel staff was very friendly and we would definitely stay there again if we return to Singapore. There was a nice computer center that was free as well. We did not eat in the hotel restaurant, since the cost (buffet) for dinner was $71 Singapore dollars ($53 US). There were many good restaurants in the neighborhood. We had some meals in the lower level of the Shaw Center, where a food court had good local fare as well as other Asian food for about $5US per meal. After dining on Asian food for four days, we did find a very good restaurant near the hotel called “The Ship,” which is a chain restaurant in the area. It was located at 1 Scotts Road in the Shaw Center (local food in the basement of the same building). I had booked four local tours on viator, which we have used in the past, as well as the tour to Malaysia. All the tours turned out very well. The local tour company that provided the tours was Tour East. Singapore City Bike Tour (with Druthers Singapore) was our first tour the next day after our arrival. We slept 12 hours to recover from the jet lag. We had the advantage of this biking tour on Sunday, when traffic was light. Also, our tour started at 9:30am when traffic is even lighter. Traffic did pick up by the time the tour ended at 12:30pm. We found biking around the city to be a great way to see the city. We covered a lot of the downtown area as well as Chinatown, the scenic harbor and Gardens by the Bay. The tour included the following: Bicycle tour of Singapore city streets with a local guide See sights from the ultra-modern Marina Bay Sands to traditional neighborhoods like Chinatown and Kampong Glam Explore narrow alleyways with hidden architectural gems and amazing shops Bike along easy routes past the Singapore Flyer, the Esplanade Theater, and Gardens by the Bay Safety equipment and beverages provided Small-group tour with a max of eight people gives you a more personalized experience We had a group of six and we managed quite well getting around the city. It was hot, but while biking you have a breeze from the movement. While we visited Gardens by the Bay, we didn’t have time to visit the domed indoor gardens. Also, we did not pay to go up to the top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel/Casino, which is built like a ship held up by three very tall buildings. After the ride, we walked back to the Singapore river area, which has a lot of restaurants. We had a great meal at a Vietnamese restaurant. On the way back to the hotel, we found the famous Raffles Hotel. First opened in 1887, the hotel has been a landmark since then. We settled into the long bar and had our $36S dollars Singapore sling cocktail, which was invented there. The drink was good, but I would have preferred a beer. Still, we checked off that experience. We walked back to the hotel, down Orchard road past a lot of shoppers, malls and shops. It was a good day and we were done after all the walking and biking. Singapore Jurong Bird Park Tour was our first tour on the next day. The tour was described as follows: Take a ride on the air-conditioned Panorail for a panoramic view of Singapore's Jurong Bird Park, also referred to as Wings of Color, and into a tropical world of jungle mists at the Waterfall Aviary. With this 4-hour tour you'll also enjoy the spectacular Penguin Exhibit with an underwater viewing gallery and do not miss the Birds & Buddies Show, reputed as world-class. Highlights Jurong Bird Park, with a collection of 9,000 birds from 600 species it's the largest in Asia Pacific Explore the world's largest walk-in aviary with the tallest man-made waterfall Ride on the air-conditioned Panorail for a panoramic view of Singapore's Jurong Bird Park English-speaking guide Hotel pickup and drop off The bird park was great. Our guide first took us on a tram around the park. We could see some of the birds from the tram, but stopped twice to see the waterfall (inside an aviary) as well as the wonderful lorry loft (an aviary with many of the beautiful birds). In the lorry loft many of the birds come up very close to you. We saw Antarctic penguins, a lake full of colorful flamingos and another with pelicans. We saw two bird shows. The first show was a birds of prey show with eagles, vultures, hawks and owls. The handlers ably showed off the talents of the birds. The second show was even better with a variety of colorful birds performing for us. You can visit the park without a guide, but the park is some distance from the city, having transport and a guide was a plus. Singapore's Chinatown Trishaw Night Tour was our next tour, that same evening. We were picked up at our hotel at 6pm and taken to Chinatown. We had a Chinese meal first, which was good, not exceptional. We then had about an hour for shopping in Chinatown, which was way too long for most of us. We then were picked up by Trishaw’s, which are partially motorized with our driver providing additional locomotion via pedaling. We rode around Chinatown and then over to the Singapore river where we were loaded onto a bumboat for an evening river/harbor cruise, with a guide pointing out key landmarks. It turned out to be great fun and we happened to catch part of the light show over the Gardens by the Bay during the cruise. Singapore Round-Island Tour with Changi Prison, Kranji War Memorial and Gardens by the Bay was our final tour in Singapore, the next day. The tour was a full day and described, as follows: Retrace Singapore's WWII history with this round-island tour that will take you to Changi Chapel and Museum and Kranji War Memorial. Explore both sites with your guide to discover the small details of the lives of POWs that were imprisoned in Changi and the countless men and women who bravely defended Singapore against the Japanese invasion. Admire the intricate architecture of the structures of Bright Hill Temple and the modern developments of Gardens by the Bay. Your tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off and lunch at a local restaurant. Highlights Round-island tour of Singapore with expert guide Insights provided by a knowledgeable licensed guide Pay respects to the brave WWII heroes at Kranji War Memorial Explore Changi Chapel and Museum to learn about the lives of POWs imprisoned in Changi Enjoy lunch at a local Singaporean restaurant View over 250,000 species of rare plants in Gardens by the Bay Hotel pickup and drop-off and scenic drive by air-conditioned vehicle The tour took us over quite a bit of the island, focusing on World War II history. We saw where the Japanese invaded the NW shore of Singapore, an allied cemetery and the Changi museum of how the allied prisoners and Singaporeans were treated during the war. Also, we visited a large Buddhist temple known as Bright Hill Temple. The tour ended at Gardens by the Bay, were you could leave the bus to see the two domed gardens. We had seen the outdoor gardens on the Bike tour. After a full day, we elected to go back to the hotel, since we had plans to visit the Singapore Botanical Gardens the next day. Singapore Botanical Gardens we did on our own the next day. The gardens were about a mile and a half from our hotel, so we walked there. We spent about five hours at the gardens, with one hour having lunch in an air-conditioned restaurant. The gardens were fantastic, probably the best botanical gardens that I have ever seen. There were many exhibits of various plants, but the highlight was the Orchid exhibit. The gardens were free, but there was a fee for the Orchid exhibit. It was only one Singapore dollar for us (seniors). The orchid exhibit was great. We very much enjoyed all the beautiful flowers and took several photos. Also, the gardens had an interesting evolution garden where they traced the evolution of plants through the ages. 2-day tour from Singapore to Malacca and Kuala Lumpur with a knowledgeable guide We arranged to leave our large suitcases at the hotel and packed carry-ons for our two night/three day trip to Malaysia. I found the tour on Viator and we were not disappointed. The tour cost $ 262.60 per person and the highlights were as follows: Relax on a train ride from Singapore through the countryside to the state of Johor Discover Malacca’s history, culture and heritage on a walking tour of Malacca City Visit main sites such as St Paul’s Hill, Porta De Santiago, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and Jonkers Street Venture to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, to visit the National Palace, the National Museum, the National Monument and more See the Petronas Twin Towers, the two second-tallest buildings in the world! Coach transport and overnight accommodation in a 4-star hotel included The tour details were, as follows: Day 1: Singapore – Malacca (L) After pickup from your Singapore hotel in the morning, enjoy a relaxing train ride across the causeway and into the state of Johor, passing through the rural countryside and fruit and vegetable plantations along the way. Disembark in the city of Kluang and continue the rest of your journey to the state of Malacca by coach. You’ll arrive in time for lunch followed by a historical walking tour of Malacca City, whose city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover Malacca’s history, culture, heritage and Dutch influences as you visit sites such as St Paul’s Hill, Porta De Santiago, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and Jonkers Street, also known as Antique Street. Your knowledgeable guide will provide interesting information about the sites you visit. For dinner, your guide will provide great recommendations on places to enjoy an authentic meal. Overnight: 4-Star Hotel Equatorial or similar in Malacca Day 2: Malacca -- Kuala Lumpur (B,L) After breakfast, you’ll drive 2 hours north to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Your tour of this city will cover sites such as the National Palace, the National Museum, the National Monument (sculptured by the creator of the Iwo Jima monument in Washington, DC), the National Mosque, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and the Royal Selangor Club. You’ll also pass the Petronas Twin Towers, the two second-tallest buildings in the world! You’ll be served an authentic Malaysian lunch at midday. At the end of the day, relax on the drive back to your Kuala Lumpur hotel, where your 2-day Malaysian experience will conclude. We expected to be part of a large group, but were the only persons on the tour. In effect, we had a private guide. Our guide was excellent. The tour bus dropped us off at the Woodland’s train station, which also acts as the immigration clearance for exiting and entering Singapore from Malaysia. It is a busy place. Our initial guide provided us with rail tickets and after processing through immigration, we took the train to the Malaysian city of Kluang. The train was not a typical European train, it was well worn and noisy, but comfortable enough. We were on the train for almost two hours, then transferring to our small bus, with our driver and guide. On the way to Malacca (on the southwestern shore of Malaysia) our guide pointed out various trees and explained the industry associated with the trees. There were many palm trees, since palm oil is a major industry in Malaysia. We stopped once on the trip to see rubber trees. Out guide pointed out how the rubber was harvested from cuts into the trees. We learned that cars are manufactured in Malaysia and saw many. The highway system was fairly good, especially the toll road from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (like an interstate). The driving was relatively normal, unlike what we found later in India. We arrived in Malacca and had an excellent lunch at our modern hotel, The Hotel Equatorial. In fact, the food that we had in Malaysia was superb. It shows Indian, Chinese and Thai influences. After lunch we did a walking tour of Malacca, which was a key Portuguese port dating back to 1511. In the 15th and the 16th century, Malacca was the capital of the Malaccan Sultanate after the Malays moved over from Sumatra. However it was colonized by the Portuguese and later by the Dutch and British. We saw the old fort at Bandar Hill, colonial building, and the site where Malaysia declared its independence in 1956. We saw Cheng Hoon Teng temple, a Chinese temple practicing the Three Doctrinal Systems of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. Nearby was a mosque as well as walking down Jonkers Street with all its shops. After a good breakfast at our hotel, we checked out and proceeded to Kuala Lumpur, the country’s capital. We stopped at the national palace where the Sultan lives. The position more or less rotates among the nine Sultans in the country. We visited the national museum, national mosque (not inside), as well saw the Royal Selangor Club and the colonial building known as Sultan Abdul Samad Building. We saw the twin towers of the Petronas Twin Tower, which are the tallest twin tower in the World. While on the tour in Kuala Lumpur, we had another wonderful lunch at a very nice restaurant. The restaurant was Songket, located at No. 29, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Kuala Lumpur 50450. The tour ended when we were dropped off at the hotel that I had booked. The hotel was the five star HOTEL ISTANA KUALA LUMPUR. It was a fabulous hotel with free breakfast, all for $95 per night. Malaysia is inexpensive to visit. The hotel upgraded us to a suite that overlooked the city and a wonderful view of the Petronas Towers. The hotel was great, people there great, but we found the bed to be harder than we prefer. If it had a sleep number from 1-100, it would have been 95. Still, we slept well and prepared to head back to Singapore. This portion of the trip did not go as I expected. I had researched taking the train back to Singapore, as well as a bus. There were many private bus companies and I found one that departed from a nearby bus terminal at 9:45am, with a 4 ½ hour transit time. We arrived at the terminal early and went upstairs to the directed ticket booth to find no one in attendance. A note was provided that our bus to Singapore departed from gate 13. The bus company was known as StarQistna Express. I had a voucher from our tickets and looked all over the station for a bus with StarQistna Express painted on the bus, without finding one. Finally, at 10:15, someone runs up to gate 13 (down in the hot, non-air-conditioned area) asking for someone going to Singapore. Ginny was standing there while I was looking for our bus. Fortunately, that was our bus. We hopped on, not happy, but relieved. Then the fun began, our bus spent over an hour going to another bus terminal to then fill up the bus, finally getting on the toll road to Singapore. I asked when the bus arrived in Singapore and was told 3:30pm. NOT, we stopped again at a bus terminal just over the border from Singapore and entered Malaysian immigration at about 3:30. Then, we proceeded to Singapore immigration, catching a taxi about 5:15PM. We got to our hotel in about 20 minutes. We were wiped out after our 7.5 hours of travel. My advice, if you need to go from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, take an airplane. Not arriving at 5pm was a little bit of a problem, since I had arranged for a pre-cruise greeting at nearby wine bar. When we arrived in Singapore, we found that the wine bar was closed for renovation. I tried to arrange an alternate location, even with the help of the hotel concierge, but had to cancel the greeting. I had put the cancellation notice on the cruise critic roll call a few days before, but wanted to be there and explain, in the event someone showed up. As it turned out Patti and Dennis from Wisconsin, who we cruised with on the Black Sea cruise showed up and found the closed bar, but then found us checking in to our hotel (they booked the same hotel). The hotel made up to some degree for our terrible day. We were upgraded to the “club,” on floors 14 and 15. There was a club that provided free drinks (alcoholic) as well as food that qualified for dinner. Also, we had a free breakfast there the next day. Patti and Dennis had been upgraded as well, so we got together that evening. Comparing Singapore with Malaysia Singapore is a thriving city-state that is prosperous. It has made full use of its assets, such as it location as a key port. It is more expensive to live there, but the standard of living is clearly near first world levels. It was once a part of Malaysia and went its own way. Malaysia a more agricultural country with some industry, and but it is not at Singapore’s level. Still, Malaysia seems to be moving in the right direction. Both countries are multi-ethnic, but Singapore has a majority of Chinese ancestry, while Malaysia is predominately Malay. Also, Singapore’s population only has about 13% Muslim population and Malaysia has a majority of Muslims. In Singapore few headscarves are evident, while they are common in Malaysia. The people in both countries are friendly and the food is excellent in both, especially in Malaysia. The infrastructure in both countries is far better than in India. CELEBRITY CENTURY Our taxi to the cruise port was $15S tip included. We were processed quickly and found a good seat in the Rendezvous Lounge while we waited for our cabin to be ready. Heather, our roll call manager had posted photos of many of us and I recognized Frank and Norm, so I went over to meet them. Our cruise critic meet and greet took place in the Crystal Lounge the next day. We were able to meet those who had signed up for tours. Since I had organized tour for each of the four Indian ports, I wanted to let everyone know what I looked like. Back to day cruise day one. Our cabins were ready and we proceeded to our Sunset Veranda cabin, which was an aft cabin on deck 12 overlooking the Sunset Bar and a large tarp on deck 11. We were in cabin 1246, which had an extra-large balcony. The cabin was great, but I did not anticipate the heat in late March. The balcony was too hot to use for most of the cruise. I think an aft balcony would be better for an Alaska cruise, with chilly weather, since you don’t have much wind at all there. We would have appreciated more wind and more shade as well. There were a couple of issues that were irritants. First, our bed was curved at the corners (first time we have had this kind of bed) and at 6’1” I could not stretch out my right leg out completely. Therefore, I had to sleep at an angle or undo the covers that were tucked under the bed. Also, from time to time we seemed to have only lukewarm water for our shower. This was particularly true if we wanted to shower in the late afternoon after a hot day of touring. Others complained about the same problem. Before I selected Cabin 1246 for this cruise, I read about a dozen reviews on cruise critic from people that had stayed in the cabin. Most had a positive evaluation, however one reviewer complained about the bird poo on the tarp above the sunset bar. Ginny thought this was funny and every day we examined the tarp for bird poo. We never saw any on the tarp, but one day, late in the cruise, there was a huge splat of bird poo on our balcony, close to the sliding glass door. Ginny took a photo to show others and we had a laugh about that. Our first night dining in early dining found us a table for eight, no problem, but it was in a noisy area. Our tablemates complained about this and moved. They called us later to explain and invite us to their new table, but we had already moved to select dining (anytime dining). When we arrived for our meal the second day, all new people had taken over. It was a family with small children as well. We would have been the only others at the table and asked to be moved to select. This is the second cruise were our early dining table failed. We will probably go with select dining in the future. We found the 20 year old Century to be in pretty fair ship, however the longer we were on the ship; we noticed items that needed repair. Still, the Century was in pretty good shape considering her age. This was the next to last cruise of the Century, which was sold to be a gambling ship out of Shanghai. Food and Service We found the food and service to be similar to our other Celebrity cruises. Both were consistently good. One exception, our favorite dessert, the crepe suzette was not up to par. Entertainment We didn’t see every show, but what we did see was very good to excellent. Opening night was very good, we saw the Celebrity Singers and Dancers, Aerialists Alex and Vlada as well as Charlie Butler and Tammy Rafferty. The show was not flashy, but entertaining. We enjoyed the production show with its singers and dancers. There was A Touch of Broadway, Century Rocks and Dance Around the World. It was all well performed; however, the Century Rocks (British 60s music) had poor song selection. It seemed to include every second rate song. Still, it was well performed. Dance Around the World was similar to other World shows we have seen on Celebrity and we enjoyed the show. We saw Greg Scott, the world’s tallest violinist, twice and his shows were excellent, while poorly attended. Marco Romano, an Italian vocalist performed a range of show music as well as some opera. He was excellent. Getting off the Ship We had quite a time getting off the ship in Cochin (first port in India) as well as the second port, Mangalore. In Cochin, we waited in line for an hour and twenty minutes, largely because of the Indian immigration authorities. In Mangalore, Celebrity was poorly organized in arranging for all the passes to be set up by deck delaying us for about 45 minutes. I will say that the Century learned from its mistakes, because in the next two Indian ports, Goa and Mumbai, everything went very smoothly. There were four sea days between Singapore and Cochin, so we had time to explore the ship, visit the fitness center and socialize with friends, many we met on cruise critic. Heather was the key organizer. Ginny participated in an earring exchange where one would draw lots for earrings. I didn’t participate. I did organize a Cabin Crawl with about 25 persons participating. We visited 8 cabins, including suites, balconies, concierges, an aft balcony, an inside and an ocean view. After that we crawled to a bar for a drink. Cochin Cochin was our first port in India, and we were excited to be there. After the tedious immigration process, we met our private tour guide with Cochin Day Tours-Muziris Heritage. Lijo Jose was my point of contact and may have been the owner of the company. We met Lijo while on this tour. Our tour was the Cochin Backwater Tour that included a peaceful two hour ride on a houseboat. We had a nice Indian lunch on the houseboat. We cruised the waters of Alapuzha, and then drove back to Ft. Cochin. Back in Cochin, we had an opportunity to shop and visit the Paradesi Synagogue. It is the oldest active synagogue in the British Commonwealth of Nations. It was constructed in 1567. The tour was seven hours and cost $75 per person. http://www.daytoursincochin.com/cochin-backwater-tour/ The two hour road trip out to Alapuzha introduced us to the Indian highways and white knuckle travel. Driving in India was very suspenseful. Many times our small bus would be passing a motor scooter (lots of them) and find ourselves in the middle of the two lane highway. Another vehicle would be approaching us, almost like we were playing “chicken.” At the last second either our bus or the other would slip back from the middle of the road, averting a collision. Not sure how the drivers seem to read each other’s intentions, but we saw no collisions. Still, the drive was a bit stressful. However, just going through the countryside, we were able to observe the state of the area. The road infrastructure in India was very poor and with 1.2 Billion people in the country, the roads always seem full. However, our two hour houseboat cruise was very peaceful and refreshing. All on our tour very much enjoyed this experience. Mangalore Our next port was Mangalore. The tour was with the same company of Lijo Jose. Our guide was excellent on this tour. His name was Anup D’Almeida. This tour included a lot more to see, but we were out in the Indian heat for six hours. The cost was $85 per person. The tour is described in this link. It included: http://www.mangaloredaytours.com/mangalore-tours/a-day-in-the-life-of-mangalore-tour/ 1. Pick up from the cruise terminal 2. Cashew factory visit 3. Kadri and Gogarnatha temple visit 4. Visit Central market 5. St. Aloysius Chapel visit 6. Orientation tour of Mangalore city 7. Drop you at the cruise terminal according to your schedule. Anup took us to two Hindu temples and provided some background on the faith. Our guide in Cochin had provided us with some information as well. We were told that the Hindu faith has three main gods (a trinity) as well as many other gods. However, they all go back to god the creator. In this way the Hindu faith is not like the ancient Greek and Roman religions. First, we visited a cashew factory (and purchased some cashews). It was interesting to follow how cashews are processed. The process seems tedious, since there are several stages before you arrive at the edible nut. Our first Hindu temple was the Gogarnatha temple. The temple was about 100 years old, but very elaborate and impressive. The second, temple, Kadri Manjunatha dates back to 1068 A.D. Both temples required us to take off our shoes. At the end of the day, the soles of our socks were black. Still, it was instructive to see the various shrines and understand their significance. We visited the St. Aloysius Chapel at the site of a Catholic compound that included a large Catholic school. Our guide had graduated from that school and was familiar with the people there. The art work on the interior of the chapel was amazing. The Central market was one of several markets that we visited in India. Warning, the fish market will overcome your olfactory senses. We saw a huge fish market with row after row of fish, first the dried fish, then the fresh fish. Apparently, fish is dried out if not eaten soon after the fish is caught, since proper refrigeration is not always available. This tour exceeded our expectations for Mangalore, since I had assumed that this port would be the least interesting. However, we were out in the heat most of the tour and wiped out when we returned from the ship. GOA Our next port was a former Portuguese colony until annexed by India in 1961. There are a higher percentage of Catholics in the state than in the rest of India. Our tour in Goa was provided by Lijo Jose’s company, as in Cochin and Mangalore. The tour was described as follows: We start the day to a visit to the former capital of Goa “Old Goa where we visit Churches built by the Portuguese. Visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus where the relics of St Francis Xavier been kept, later visit the Se Cathedral this church is the second biggest in Asia. The Shri Mangueshi Temple is set atop a hill at Priol, northwest of Ponda leading to Old Goa. The temple has a seven-story lamp tower (which is a unique trait of Hindu temples in Goa), a Nandi bull (Lord Shiva's conveyance), as well as shrines to Parvati and Lord Ganesha. During the festival of Mangesh Jatra, the rath (temple chariot) is pulled by several devotees. The Mahalsa Narayani Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu's consort Laxmi, though some people believe it is the Lord Vishnu's female form Mohini. A lamp tower, which is seven floors high, can also be found here. Garuda, the great bird that was Lord Vishnu's conveyance sits atop a pillar, which rests on the back of a turtle. There are intricately carved columns and painting of the 10 avatars or incarnations of Vishnu. From here we drive to the spice plantation. Tour guide will then take you on a tour of the plantation which will last about one hour, the guide will explain about all the spices and plants you discover and tell you about their medicinal properties. Black pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, chillies, coriander and all spice are just some of the spice plants you will find in the plantation. Varieties of Cashew trees, betelnut palm trees and some tropical fruits like Star fruit, Custard apples, Papaya, Bananas, Pineapples and the Citrus fruits are also found in the grounds. After you turn round the plantation, you will be served lunch. The lunch is a very tasty local meal served on a banana leaf plates, accompanied by a sweet dish and a tipple of cashew feni (Goan specialty). Then proceed to Margao City , which was once considered the Capital of Goa during its early centuries, left the job of capital to the river port of Chandrapur or now presently called as Chandor. Our tour was $70 and included a wonderful lunch at the Spice Plantation. We visited the Churches described above, but only passed the temples mentioned. Also, we visited another market. It was very colorful, especially since some of our group saw three or four dead rats in the streets. The inside of the markets were clean. We would see more markets in Mumbai, but no rats. The highlight of this tour was the spice plantation. It was shaded there and cooler. Our guide at the plantation pointed out many species of spice plants. There was an elephant in the creek on the plantation and some young people were riding the elephant. After the Goa tour four of our party that were scheduled to go on my Mumbai Magic tour the next day indicated that after three days of touring in the heat, they were opting out for the Mumbai tour. I was able to find additional persons to replace them. Mumbai This city was the one that I had most anticipated visiting. The tour was with a company known as Mumbai Magic. It was a seven our tour of the city and markets at the cost of 3000 Indian Rupees (about $52US per person (lunch not included). It was two tours combined. The tour was described as follows: Mumbai By Day This tour tells the story of the transformation of Mumbai from a mono-cultural sleepy fishing hamlet into a melting pot that is today the commercial capital of India. The tour will showcase all aspects of Mumbai – the narrow geographical layout, the coastline, the daily commuting, the various communities that make up the city, the old heritage district, the old commercial and residential districts and the upcoming districts. The tour includes a short walk through the Heritage District and the Kala Ghoda Art Precinct. The tour covers all the must-see places on any traveler's itinerary: • The Gateway of India, and the area around it • Regal Circle and the heritage buildings there, including the Prince of Wales Museum, NGMA, Police Headquarters, etc. • The Kala Ghoda Art Precinct • Bombay University and cricket at the Oval Maidan • Flora Fountain • Town Hall • Victoria Terminus and the Municipal Building • Crawford Market • Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach • Mani Bhavan, home of Gandhi • Malabar Hill • The popular Dhobi Ghat Mumbai Bazaar Walk The tour covers Crawford Market, Jama Masjid (meet India’s oldest Muslim community, who came here in the 6th Century), Mirchi Galli (spices market), Mangaldas Cloth Market, Zaveri Bazaar (where everyone’s crazy about gold), Phool Galli (Flower Street), Mumbadevi Temple (where the city gets its name from), and the quaint Madhav Baug. You’ll also get an inside look at the Jain community, visit a Panjra Pole (animal shelter) – and you’ll finally figure out what this ‘sacred cow’ thing is all about! Sancia was our guide. She was intelligent and articulate and provided much information about the city. Our tour required the bus to travel a lot in heavy traffic, but we saw everything on the city tour and did visit markets, however, by the time we visited the markets, it was late in the day and we were tired and time was short. Still, the tour was excellent. Our first stop was at the famous Gateway of India arch. The landmark Taj Mahal Hotel is nearby and we went through security to go inside the hotel. Ginny found an Indian cookbook at the hotel bookstore. The hotel appeared to be the model of luxury. We stopped at the Victoria Terminus rail station for a photo opportunity, but were unable to go inside the terminal. We drove on Marine Drive and saw Chowpatty Beach, then on to Malabar Hill and had time to walk around the hanging gardens park and take photos of the city. We had a brief visit at a Hare Krishna temple. It was elaborate and one lady there was trying to convert me. Sancia took us to a nearby restaurant, which was very nice and we had a light lunch with a tasty yogurt drink and thin flat bread with a kind of potato spread. It was just what we wanted and only cost us 500 rupees for two. After lunch, we visited Gandhi’s home (in Mumbai- he was from another city in Southern India. The home was interesting, but crowded. It did provide some history of the man’s life with photos and a nice diorama. At some point we went back to Victoria Terminus to see the men that deliver home cooked meals on their bicycles. They bring the food from homes and then transfer the containers (many on the bikes) to the assigned person for delivery, via bike. Dhobi Ghat was our next stop, where we saw a large area with many concrete pools where laundry was hand washed and you could see many places were the laundry was drying in the sun. Apparently, about five thousand persons from outside the city come temporarily to launder for many clients, including some of the local hospitals and hotels. A shanty town has grown up in and around the area as well. There were hawkers selling other items as well in the area. It was a very interesting visual for us. The market part of the trip took about an hour and our guide took us through different markets. Then on to the ship, which was to sail to Muscat, Oman that afternoon. Sancia told us that the population of India is 55% male and 45% female. She explained an interesting policy instituted when Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister some years ago. In an effort to limit population growth and educate women more, the policy stated that if a family was limited to three children that the women were provided free education, including college. I cannot find this policy on an internet search, but I did find policies that reserved 30% of spaces for women. India was fascinating, but I would advise not to go in March. Go in November-February, when it is cooler. Also, the rich culture, history and friendly people are worth the visit, but the country is generally poor (we were told that half the people in Mumbai live in slums and largely unemployed). The highways are not for the faint of heart. The food is fantastic and I wish we had an Indian restaurant in our community. Muscat, Oman Oman is a country with about 4.5 million people on the southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula. It has been a stable country lacking in internal conflict and terrorism. The country is largely Sunni, Muslim and moderate in nature. We were now in a largely desert country with a dry climate, but the high temperature during our visit reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, we found the heat less oppressive than the heavy humidity nearer the equator in India. Ginny and I took a Celebrity excursion (cost $99 pp). It was called Fabulous Forts. It was described, as follows: Overview: Venture into Oman's mountainous interior to visit historic forts in Nizwa and Jabrin. At Nizwa, the country's historic capital and longtime religious center, you'll explore the fortress with its massive tower offering spectacular views, and stroll the new souk complex where artisans sell their wares. The nearby town of Jabrin is home to Omani fort, whose 17th century structures retain a medieval atmosphere and decor. Relax over lunch at a hotel before returning to port. Highlights: Nizwa Fort: This impressive fortification's massive tower offers expansive views of the mosque, this ancient city and surrounding landscape. Nizwa Souk: Stroll past stalls selling everything from fruits and spices to local artisans' fine handmade leather and silver goods. Jabrin Castle: Admire the exquisite decor as you wander through rooms and courtyards of this spectacular 17th century fortification. What to Bring: SeaPass card and photo identification Camera Cash/credit cards Sun protection Our tour guide was Achmed, he was an excellent guide with a good sense of humor. We visited the two forts after a two hour ride past some scenery that reminded us of Arizona. The forts were in the interior of the country. The forts had ingenious ways of keeping the interior of the buildings cool in the intense heat. One method was an interior courtyard shielded from the sun with massive walls kept the heat from permeating the interior of the structure. Another method, which we saw as well in Dubai, was a venting system that diverted wind down into the building. We had an excellent lunch at a nice hotel. The food was Arabic and everyone specifically raved about the Arabic dessert that was some type of custard or pudding. It had cinnamon, raisons and more, with no calories. On the way back to the ship, Achmed stopped at the Muscat Grand Mosque for us to take photos of the outside. Since it was prayer time, we could not go inside the mosque. The mosque was massive, but in a couple of days we saw the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, which surpassed this mosque. Dubai Our final port was Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, which includes seven emirates, each with an Emir. The Emir of Abu Dhabi is the elected head of state. Ginny and I signed on to a marathon private tour with Fiona, from NSW, Australia. The tour was named the '7 Emirates in a Day' tour. The tour was advertised as 12 hours in length, but turned out to be over 16 hours. We departed at 8am and returned after midnight. The ship was still there, since our disembarkation was later that day. The tour was $65, an amazing value for a tour that took us over about 600 miles to all the emirates. There were 21 of us on the tour, most were from Australia. Aussies are always fun, so we enjoyed the group. The tour was great, but exhausting. In some emirates, our tour was largely a windshield tour, but we stopped at important sites and very much enjoyed the trip. Our tour began at the old Dubai fort, which is also a museum. The museum was interesting and we only had about 30 minutes there. From there, we proceeded to the famous creek and took a boat ride across. Then, we had a walk through the gold suk. , We then proceeded toward the emirate of Sharjah, which is the next one east of Dubai (Dubai is the second largest emirate, Sharjah is the third). Each emirate is like a state and has its own laws. Dubai is more relaxed and cosmopolitan while Sharjah is traditional and conservative (like Saudi Arabia). Sharjah has sharia law and punishes for crimes like kissing in public. Many live in Sharjah and commute to Dubai, since real estate prices are lower. The Ajman emirate was next and we could see the beach from our bus. We then drove on to Umm Al Quqain emirate. We stopped about noon at the rak-al hamra mall in Ras Al Khaimah emirate. The mall was modern with two floors and a large open area. There was a Johnny Rocket’s restaurant in the mall, as well as other restaurants. We bought takeout from Nando’s restaurant (which all our Australian friends were familiar with). The food was good, but we had to eat while the bus was moving and avoid spilling sauce on or clothes. After lunch, we drove off into a more remote area (there was a new road being constructed in the area). To see the RAK Queen’s Palace, reputed to be 3000 years old and the Queen of Sheba’s palace. The small building remaining was at the top of a hill that required some effort to climb. There were steps part of the way, but at some point using hands and feet was required. Still, it was worth the effort. Not sure is it was the Queen of Sheba’s palace, but was probably 3000 years old. There were great vistas of the landscape. Moving on to Fujairah emirate, our sixth, we first saw the oldest mosque in the UAE, the Bidya Mosque. We were told it goes back to the 15th century. It was small, but we were able to go inside briefly, until prayer time began. This emirate faces the Arabian Sea, not the Persian Gulf and we learned that there is a pipeline underground from Abu Dhabi to this location (avoiding a potential cut off of shipments out of the straits of Hormuz. Our last stop in Fujairah was at the massive Fujairah Fort. The fort is the oldest in the UAW, over 200 years old. Our last emirate was over two hours away and it was late afternoon. We were tiring, but told by our guides that the grand mosque in Abu Dhabi was worth the time. About half of our group, including some children opted to head back to Dubai without going to Abu Dhabi. Our guide Kafir, arranged for another bus to meet our bus, off the freeway and our group of 21 was down to 11. We were all tired, but pushed on. Upon arriving at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, it was discovered that our reservation was lost, so Kafir had to make another. Further, Ginny and I, as well as Patrick and Sandra did not meet the conservative standard for clothing. Our guide knew how to go around that, by calling taxi that would take us to the other side of the mosque, so we could walk underground to pick up the proper apparel. We managed this and entered the mosque with a little over ten minutes until it closed. The mosque was virtually empty and we made the most of that with our several photos. The mosque was huge and cost 2 billion dollars. The mosque is the largest in the UAE and can hold 40,000 persons. From the carpet to the chandeliers, the place was awesome. There was fantastic air work all around. The chandeliers were from Germany and carpet from Iran. The carpet is considered the largest in the world. There three large domes on the mosque inspired by Persian, Mughal and Moorish mosque architecture. Leaving the Mosque, we proceeded back to Dubai and arrived after midnight. It was an amazing day with all that we had seen, but we were very tired and had to finish packing our large bags to put outside our room for the luggage handlers later that morning. We only had a few hours of sleep when the wakeup call rang. I had booked a city tour of Dubai that ended at the airport. The tour description was not detailed by Celebrity, so we were not too happy when we discovered that about half the tour duplicated yesterday’s tour. Once at the airport we took a taxi to the Holiday Inn Express, Dubai Airport, where we checked in for about 8 hours. We were able to sleep a couple of hours, relax and take a shower in preparation for our 26 hour trip back home. We were on Air France to Paris, then a five hour layover in CDG airport (fortunately same terminal), then on to Atlanta. Atlanta It was great to be back in our home state and country. I can remember when the airplane would erupt in clapping when the plane landed. Upon entering the immigration room in Atlanta (we have been there many times), it became apparent that there was gridlock somewhere. Non-citizens were directed to line up in front of booths with real persons checking their passports. US citizens were confronted with a mass of idle machines. The machines appeared to be non-functional. After about 20 minutes, some of the machines were working and the line moved slowly. People were angry and worried about missing their connecting flights. Fortunately, the computers started working and we were processed through the system and made our way to our Jacksonville flight. We made it home before 8pm to find our cat Simon waiting for us. He wanted immediate love and affection. Our trip was great, but I am convinced that Ginny and I need to complete our long distance flights while we can still handle the brutality of back to back 9 or 12 hour flights. . Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We recently had the privilege of cruising on the penultimate sailing of the “Grand Old Lady” of the Celebrity fleet, the Century, from Singapore to Dubai via India. As the title of the review may suggest it was pretty much a mixed bag ... Read More
We recently had the privilege of cruising on the penultimate sailing of the “Grand Old Lady” of the Celebrity fleet, the Century, from Singapore to Dubai via India. As the title of the review may suggest it was pretty much a mixed bag experience with many positives yet some notable negatives as we elaborate on further below. It was also a fascinating emotional roller coaster ride being exposed to a range of mind opening experiences in the space of a few short weeks. Witnessing the poverty, squalor yet authenticity of India was indeed humbling, an experience that contrasted so vividly with the sheer opulence, architectural majesty, but somehow artificial engineering marvel that is Dubai. The Good Notwithstanding some serious misgivings we had about certain aspects of the cruise discussed later in the review, we thoroughly enjoyed our adventure to the sub-continent. The good stuff quite definitively out-weighed any perceived shortcomings. The crew: We thought the crew from senior officers through to pool butlers, stateroom attendants, wine stewards, waiters etc., to be outstanding and one of the best crews we have experienced on any of our previous cruises. The Master of the ship Captain George Iatrou and his highly visible officers clearly lead by example. Virtually all the crew we encountered were invariably polite, cheerful, accommodating and efficient always being prepared to “go the extra mile” with a smile. The ship: We were pleasantly surprised at the overall condition of the Century. From reports we had perused we had expected her to be somewhat rundown and dilapidated. However, while she obviously showed signs of her age we found her to be pretty well maintained, scrupulously clean and possessing of a refined ambience that one seldom finds on the more modern, glitzy cruise ships. Food: Quality, variety and presentation of food in all the restaurants on board was more than satisfactory. We had only two relatively poor dining experiences throughout the two week cruise and generally found the standard of fare on offer to be good to very good with some exceptional meals. Fellow passengers: We met and enjoyed the company of many wonderful people on board from a number of countries including Canada, Britain, Australia, Germany and the USA, especially during the nightly Elite member “happy hour”. The mix of passengers both in terms of ethnicity and age was broader and more diverse than we have experienced in most of our cruises. The weather: Not one bad day during the entire two week cruise! Generally flat seas, long warm to hot days and virtually no precipitation. The heat and humidity was oppressive at times especially in Goa and Oman but who’s complaining! Embarkation/disembarkation: Both embarkation and disembarkation procedures were smooth and efficient. We arrived at the cruise terminal in Singapore shortly after 11h00 and were on board quaffing a welcoming glass of champagne twenty minutes later. We disembarked quite late in the process so did not experience any congestion at the arrivals terminal at all. The Bad Indian immigration system: The mindless bureaucracy of the Indian immigration authorities and the complex, repetitive, paper driven immigration system were mind boggling. Apart from already having to acquire a costly visa, the authorities also required each passenger to complete documentation for individual shore passes for each of the four ports on the Indian itinerary – an irritatingly laborious, time-consuming and shambolic procedure. A copy of the passport had to be affixed to each individual shore pass and on two occasions, passengers had to line up for a face to face inspection by the immigration authorities before being allowed on shore. This in addition to having to produce the Celebrity SeaPass which is accepted by immigration authorities in virtually all other places we have visited worldwide! Then, to compound matters, all documentation had to be checked again at the port entry/exit point. In Mangalore this incredibly entailed a uniformed immigration officer actually manually writing down each person’s passport details which presumably had to be reconciled manually on return to the ship. Who designed this process? And what earthly purpose can it possibly hope to achieve? India is one of the most technologically savvy nations on earth and, even if the authorities could see some value in the complex system they have installed, one would have thought in this technological age, that a simple software programme could be devised and installed to at least remove the endless paperwork from the system. In the private sector companies have been forced to question the purpose and validity of all their systems and to re-engineer and simplify those that are deemed to be essential in order to remain relevant and competitive. This is the antithesis of the Indian immigration process. We had been previously informed that India had inherited bureaucracy from their previous colonial masters the British. Given the pointless stupidity of the immigration system that passengers had to endure on this trip, it is clear India has taken bureaucratic complexity to a new level! The convoluted immigration process is a major inconvenience and disincentive to visitors to India which should be doing everything it can to encourage more tourists to its shores. India has until only recently become a cruising destination and quite frankly we feel the cruise companies should advise the Indian authorities that unless they are willing to simplify and make their immigration process less onerous on the cruising tourist, they will seriously reconsider retaining India as a cruise ship destination of choice. Ports information: Information on the ports visited was minimal and in some cases inaccurate. Ship shore excursions were, to our mind, pushed far too aggressively with virtually no alternative information being offered to help passengers to tour on their own. The docking location in many of the ports visited also necessitated taking a shuttle or taxi to get to the downtown areas. It appeared that Celebrity made no effort to lay on appropriate shuttle facilities notwithstanding the remote location of the docking pier to the actual port of call in most instances. If India is to remain a cruise destination, cruise ship companies need to seriously investigate alternative, more accessible cruise ports to visit. Indian ports: Apart from Mumbai which we thought was an impressive city, we were disappointed in the other ports visited on the Indian leg of the cruise. We did a ship excursion in Cochin that included a ferry ride to the unique fishing nets as the highlight but was largely a waste of time as we had better views of the nets on the sail in to the port earlier that morning! In Mangalore we opted to do our own thing as none of the ship’s excursions seemed that appealing. We took a taxi to downtown Mangalore – absolutely disgusting and filthy. Damaged and overgrown sidewalks with stinking litter and garbage strewn about everywhere. Amazingly, one of the ship’s excursions was “Downtown Mangalore on your own”! We frankly question whether anyone from Celebrity’s management had actually taken the time to visit downtown Mangalore. Had they done so they surely could not have marketed this as a recommended shore excursion? The highlight of our Mangalore experience was a hair raising, white knuckle tuk-tuk ride back to the ship where our driver literally raced another tuk-tuk through the congested, pothole ridden street at high speed. Although potentially dangerous we somehow felt relatively safe throughout the journey. Quite an exhilarating experience! We shared a taxi with a delightful Australian couple for a private tour of Goa which included visits to a couple of churches (that we could not visit internally as Palm Sunday services were underway during the time of our visit), plus a ride through the relatively bland countryside to visit some of Goa’s amazing beaches. We were impressed with the potential of Goa – with a bit of entrepreneurial vision and of course a large cash investment, Goa could, in our view, easily become a tropical paradise that could compete with Mauritius, the Seychelles and the Caribbean. Mumbai was really impressive and interesting. The ship’s excursion, where we had an exceptionally knowledgeable tour guide, gave us a good insight into the city, its history and customs. Visits to the Gandhi museum, and exposure to the incredible “lunchbox” delivery service (that amazingly achieves six sigma status) and the unique laundry facility were notable highlights. The Ugly Although admittedly, we only had a snapshot of India, nothing prepared us for the squalor, filth, litter, poverty and environmental degradation in the ports and cities we visited, with the possible exception of the city of Mumbai. Downtown areas of the ports included in this itinerary (apart from Mumbai) had very little to offer making it almost mandatory to take a costly ship excursion or private tour to see the sights in the immediate hinterland and even then, if our taxi tour of the Goa area is anything to go by, is equally depressing from an environmental sustainability perspective Overall experience Overall, we enjoyed the cruise immensely. The cruise days were relaxing especially the four days at the commencement of the cruise that allowed us to unwind before taking on the rigours of India! While we were appalled at the abject poverty and squalor of many places in India, we were nonetheless humbled by the experience of visiting this vast, culturally diverse land and amazed by the resolve, fortitude and spirit of its people despite the conditions under which many of them live. Post cruise After the cruise we spent a further four days in Dubai experiencing this wonder of the modern world. Initial impressions of the city are breath-taking. It is hard to imagine that Dubai itself was an underdevelopment minor settlement in the barren desert until oil was discovered in the region less than fifty years ago. Since then the development of Dubai has been rapid and massive. We were overawed by the splendour and architectural diversity of the massive skyscrapers that adorn its impressive skyline and by the engineering ingenuity of many of its manmade marvels such as the Palm Jumeirah, the Marina and the towering Burj Khalifa. Development seems to have no bounds and shortly before we left Dubai the Prime Minister announced a further AED 14 billion was to be injected into new developments in the next five years. The sheer over the top opulence of the city was indeed something of a culture shock after the poverty we were exposed to in India. Yet, despite the magnificence of its architecture and structures we were left with the impression that the monument to capitalist excesses modern Dubai represents somehow lacked soul. We much preferred the old part of the city where our hotel was situated overlooking the Deira Creek. Getting around Dubai is easy with their extensive system of buses, taxis, subways, monorails and water taxis. However, as this was our first time in Dubai we opted for one of the two Hop-on, Hop-off buses to get a feel for the city. Our two day ticket gave us access to all four routes the system offers enabling us to visit most of the major highlights of both the old city and newer Dubai such as the gold, spice and textile souks, many of their huge malls (Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates), the Dubai fountain and Burj Khalifa precinct, the magic Garden, Marina and Palm Jumeirah areas and the Dubai Museum. We also did the obligatory cruise of the Deira Creek and a desert safari that included an exciting dune bashing experience followed by a traditional dinner in a canned so-called Bedouin camp. Interesting but a bit too commercialised to our liking. Summary observations All in all a great vacation. We had always had India and Dubai on our bucket list so we can now tick off a few more boxes. As Dubai is a convenient transport hub for us South Africans, we will probably visit Dubai again. We may not be so enthusiastic to revisit India but it was an experience we are glad we have been able to undertake. It has certainly given us a new perspective on some of the similar issues we face in southern Africa. A final note. We were saddened to learn that the Chinese consortium that has bought the Century apparently intends to convert this beautiful ship into a floating casino. This is a travesty. The Century frankly deserves a more dignified retirement! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We set sail from Singapore on the President's cruise visiting Vietnam, Hong Kong, Philippines and Sabah. The cruise itself was wonderful with the usual great service from Celebrity staff on board. We certainly enjoyed the ... Read More
We set sail from Singapore on the President's cruise visiting Vietnam, Hong Kong, Philippines and Sabah. The cruise itself was wonderful with the usual great service from Celebrity staff on board. We certainly enjoyed the 'extra's provided for this special cruise inlcuding the special dinner within the Imperial Citadel in Hue. We appreciated all the work that went into the evening and it was unfortunate it was rainined out half way through the evening. A big applause to Captain's Club for all the extras provided. We knew that the Century was an older ship at the end of her time with Celebrity but still found the cruise to be enjoyable. The only complaints were: **** We had been advised by Celebrity Australia to obtain visa's for Vietnam prior to leaving home. These were obtained at the Consulate in Sydney at a cost of $90 per person. We were most annoyed to find these were offered onboard for $6 per person. Exact information should be provided prior to embarkation. **** The rudeness of some of the other cruisers especially to staff. We consider ourselves to be seasoned cruisers but would say this is the worst we have ever encountered. It would seem that some people dont know the difference between servers and servants. Many times we witnessed an appalling absence of basic please and thank you, The pushing and shoving to get food at the buffet was disgraceful....dont forget to pack your manners folks. No excuse for rude behaviour. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We are not novice cruisers, having sailed with Celebrity before, as well as with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Holland America. Never before have we had cause to complain about anything but this was a new and different experience...... ... Read More
We are not novice cruisers, having sailed with Celebrity before, as well as with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Holland America. Never before have we had cause to complain about anything but this was a new and different experience...... First, the good news: Considering the age of the Century she is in very nice condition. (We learned that this was the last cruise as a Celebrity ship; she was being sold to the Chinese.) The style is a little more traditional compared to the more modern vessels, but it has its charms. The staff were very courteous and attentive, especially the wait-staff in the Grand Dining Room; exemplary and well deserving of praise. The entertainment was good. The food was mostly excellent and the variety available in the "Islands" restaurant was quite impressive. Top marks to all the food staff in all dining rooms! NOW THE BAD NEWS: All in all, the cruise might have been an enjoyable experience. Or it would have been had we not been assigned Stateroom 8229 which was at the very aft end of the ship in close proximity to the propellers and associated mechanical functions. We learned soon enough that this was a poor location - while under way the noise level and vibrations were bad enough to keep us awake at night; articles placed on the small tables next to the bed would vibrate off the tables and crash onto the floor! Two weeks of sleep deprivation can really color your opinion..... Of course, we complained to Guest Services in short order; they were sympathetic but were "unable to do anything; no alternate availability....". After about ten days of sleepless nights I again confronted Guest Services and let it be known that the situation was intolerable. Again, a "sympathetic" response and an offer of small compensation. Not good enough. I let it be known that I would take this to the highest levels of Celebrity corporate management. Shortly thereafter I was contacted by a "supervisor" with whom I was able to negotiate a more realistic compensation. And I learned that this was not the first such complaint that they had dealt with. I do believe that they were doing their best to help, BUT.... I learned that on the next segment of the cruise (following our departure) they had booked someone into the same stateroom. The bottom line here is that Celebrity has no business inflicting such a stateroom on paying customers.... But then again, this was to be the last cruise, so who cares? Apparently not Celebrity. Yes indeed, two weeks of sleepless nights can color your opinion - to the extent that we shall be a little more careful about whom we cruise with in future..... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
We have recently returned from a 2 week cruise to Asia and sadly we were disappointed . We knew that the century was being sold very soon and had read on cc that she was becoming a bit tired but we were not expecting to have maintenance ... Read More
We have recently returned from a 2 week cruise to Asia and sadly we were disappointed . We knew that the century was being sold very soon and had read on cc that she was becoming a bit tired but we were not expecting to have maintenance taking place all around. Obviously some degree of care has to be done but the amount taking place daily was extreme to say the least, if it doesn't move paint it or varnish it seemed the order of the day in fact on several occasions my husband had to warn people that handrails etc were wet as there was no warning signs. Apparently for our comfort and convenience is was thought ok to close half of the island restaurant so that they could lay new carpet why couldn't they have done that during the night or at least while in one of the ports. The worst incident was when they closed half of the sun deck adjoining the island restaurant putting all the smoking and non smoking tables together and then proceeded to with a very big machine to sand the deck at LUNCH TIME it took 4 complaints from my husband before it was finally stopped. We understand that all this work was being done because the CEO was boarding the ship for one of her last cruises, we hope he has a lovely time at the expense of our holiday and not a cheap one either. It has to be said that all the bar, restaurant , butlers (than you Kimberley) and housekeeping were all wonderful and were always very helpful and pleasant its a pity this cant be said for the officers who seemed to have a don't care attitude. The food in the restaurant was without exception very good at both breakfast and lunch . We have for the last 3 years cruised with Azamara there is no comparison Azamara are streets ahead its a shame we didn't choose there cruise instead but the celebrity dates suited us better . We had a sky suite which was fine it had a lovely large balcony with a table 2 chairs and 2 loungers a shame that the cushions were filthy as were most of the windows on the ship in fact our neighbour said the windows in the gym you couldn't see out appalling. When we returned from the cruise I emailed Celebrity with our comments as yet I have had no reply very poor customer service. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We sailed on the 2/7 cruise out of Singapore--started with an overnight in port. We had previously sailed with Century on a back to back in 2013 out of San Diego and enjoyed the ship and ports very much. Most people know that the ship is ... Read More
We sailed on the 2/7 cruise out of Singapore--started with an overnight in port. We had previously sailed with Century on a back to back in 2013 out of San Diego and enjoyed the ship and ports very much. Most people know that the ship is completing its final cruises before transitioning to a new ownership with a Chinese cruise company. We found the cruise to be excellent in many ways with only a few shortcomings--nothing major. First the bad part--I had not looked at the cabin position (4105) and it turned out we were underneath the kitchen area of Murano--so late at night there was a lot of bumping/grinding/noise level that woke us up. Ear plugs solved the problem for the remainder of the cruise but during sea days it could be a little annoying. The Guest Relations folks were very attentive but I didn't think they could keep the crew from doing their work so I only complained 1x. Food: We loved it and there was a lot of variety at the buffet and the dining room service and food were excellent. If there was a main dish we didn't like they removed it, brought what you wanted and the captain of the section came over to understand what was not to your liking--we thought the meat and fish were of good quality, temperature and taste. Beverages: We had the classic package and it worked out fine--no complaints or concerns about what was available. Didn't see a need to upgrade on this cruise- Ports: This cruise was on the list because of Myanmar which was wonderful. We did independent tours in all ports so can't comment about the ship's offerings. Crew: In a word--fantastic--everyone was so friendly, including the officers, the cruise director was probably the best we have ever had and the activities, room attendants, wait staff, etc were all great. Hope to see them on a future Celebrity cruise-- Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We left central Canada in the dead cold of winter for our first adventure into south east Asia. We are a group of four adults who have travelled to a lot of destinations in this world but this was our first to Asia. We have cruised with ... Read More
We left central Canada in the dead cold of winter for our first adventure into south east Asia. We are a group of four adults who have travelled to a lot of destinations in this world but this was our first to Asia. We have cruised with Celebrity three times in the past and with another major cruise line twice. On January 21, 2015 we flew from our home to Vancouver and then 13 and 1/2 hours later landed in Hong Kong. We stayed for three nights at the BP International while there. The hotel is centrally located in Kowloon. It is near to the subway station and numerous markets and restuarants. We booked a private tour with J3 tours. Jaime met us at our hotel and took us around Hong Kong for a day. The tour was great! His knowledge and experience from living in Hong Kong for 30 years definitely showed. Jamie left us with the ability to ride the subway and do some more touring on our own for another day before we got ready to fly to Singapore to meet up with Century and her staff. On January 25, 2015 we flew into Singapore. We took a taxi from the airport to the new Marina Bay Sands Cruise Terminal. The taxi fair, for four adults and our luggage cost us $30 Singapore dollars per couple. Once we arrived at the cruise terminal, we were quickly checked in, photos taken and sipping on a cold glass of champagne. The process took no more than about 10 minutes from arrival to sipping on champagne. We then went to check out our room for the next 14 nights. We had Conceirge Class cabins 1096 and 1098. OUr room attendant "Eddy" and his assistant "Suman" greeted us upon our arrival. They were so very friendly and accomadating to our every need. Our luggage was brought up to our rooms within 15 minutes of our arrival. There was chilled champagne in our room, a plate of fruit and an order form for afternoon canapes. The room was plenty spacious enough with lots of hangers and storage areas. Our suitcases fit under the bed once emptied with no problem at all. The veranda had a table and two chairs on it and was lovely to sit out on in the morning and for afternoon canapes. Although the furniture in the room was a bit dated with respect to upholstery, it was still in good repair. The bed was comfortable with no need for egg crate mattress covers. We then set out to do a litte exploring of Centruy. Overall the ship is in very nice condition for its age. That is not to say that there are no signs of aging but we always so maintenance being completed. The pool deck had two smaller cold pools and four lovely whirlpool tubs which we frequented a lot on sea days. The pool bars were always open and busy. We wandered into the buffet area and found a varied selection of food. The hot food were hot and the cold foods were cold. The buffet changed each day. We never found a reason to complain about the quality or quantity of the food served there. The pizza was absolutely delicious, cheesey and hot. We ate breakfast in the buffet most every morning, lunches and a couple of dinners in the evening when we were too tired from our day of port adventures to get changed for the dining room. Our group had select dining which suited our needs very well. We never had a wait when we went to the dining room. We ate several times with other people and many times just with the four of us. We found the sommelier to be very helpful with wine suggestons for dinners. We had the "classic" beverage package which we found to meet all our needs very adequately. Dinners in the dining room included prime rib, coq au vin, chicken, veal, lamb, seafood, pasta, lobster, escargot, and many other treats. The desserts were wonderful and varied. It was nice to see a reduced sugar/calorie option always available for dessert and the main course as well. we also enjoyed many speciality coffees at Cova cafe as well as their sugar donuts and almond croisants. We did not partake in Murano's which was the only specialty restaurant on Century. During our sea days we enjoyed many activities including the port enrichment and biologist presnetations. We went to the three production numbers done by the Celebrity performers. We found them to be vibrant and exciting. We also enjoyed a violinst, pianist/vocalist and hypnotist. we took part in other activities including golf, water volleyball and bean bag toss. The activities staff were always engaged with the passengers and encouraged our participation. We also enjoyed the dance classes and the poolside late evening party. Service on Celebrity was as we woudl have expected....excellant. There is not one staff member from our room attendants, bar staff, dinning room staff, guest relations...the list goes on that does not try their best to make your holiday the most memorable that it can be. We especially enjoyed the towel animal competition between us and our room attendant. Each day was a surprise as to what would be in our room and what we could do to modify it to give our room attendant and his assistant a good laugh. By the end our of curise, I think we had acquired nearly three times the normal number of room towels! We did a mix of private excursions and Celebrity excursions. At each port we were off the ship to see as much as we could cram into the day with the time we had. The Celebrity excursions were well organized and delivered what they advertised. The meals that were provided were very good as well. We never went hungry that is for sure. Our private excursions were excellant. Our guides were fluent in English and strove to provide us with the best tour and sites for us to see that they could. I made most of the arrangements through advice that I found on tours both on the Cruise Critic forums and Trip Advisor. Debarkation was a sad day. We had enjoyed our cruise so much. Like everything it was seemless and accomplished with no issues. We were assigned a number and asked to wait in the public areas. As we were not immediately flying home, we chose a later debarkation that would allow us to go directly to our hotel in Singapore. Our number was called pretty much when the information sheet told us it would be. We walked through security for the last time and left Century in good shape for the next cruisers that would be enjoying everything that she has to offer. In summary, this cruise was the trip of a lifetime to an area of this world that is rich in culture and ancient civilization. For us, it was a grueling time to get there and get home as we crossed 14 time zones and felt the effects of jet lag for nearly a week after finally returning home but we would not hesitate to recommend the trip to anyone. Celebrity cruise lines ensured that our holiday was everything that we could have hoped for and more. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
I have just been on a cruise with Celebrity century . After two cruises with Royal Caribean I was led to believe that this line was definitely five star. Well it was not. Firstly the ship is being sent to Asia as a casino ship . There are ... Read More
I have just been on a cruise with Celebrity century . After two cruises with Royal Caribean I was led to believe that this line was definitely five star. Well it was not. Firstly the ship is being sent to Asia as a casino ship . There are no adult only areas. The walking deck is small. There were 500 kids on board and I managed to swim only when we were in port as the kids were unsupervised in the pools they even took children under 18 to risqué comedy shows which did not impress the entertainer. The food was ordinary, the staff aloof and bored. Only one restaurant alternative which was fully booked half way through the cruise. I was also annoyed that people had paid half of what I had paid through booking early and they ended up with balcony through a sale. Surely they could upgrade people who had paid full price and give those cabins to sales. There was just no wow factor. Had to pay for sauna and steam rooms. Overall Royal Caribean were far better and I was so disappointed. It was windy most of the time but there were no areas to sit on deck out of the wind like on the Voyager or the Rhapsody. So although the liner was being sold there was no excuse for the surly attitude of staff. The restaurant food was ordinary, and the cafe food was dull. Not even a good cheeseboard. I also had to tell the cabin staff how to make beds as they were simply throwing back the covers.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Oh for the enthusiasm of the Marketing Dept calling this ship "Luxury" Next thing they will calling Afghanistan "exotic" Yes, we know that this ship is getting on a bit in age as cruise liners go, and that it is ... Read More
Oh for the enthusiasm of the Marketing Dept calling this ship "Luxury" Next thing they will calling Afghanistan "exotic" Yes, we know that this ship is getting on a bit in age as cruise liners go, and that it is shortly departing the fleet, but at best the ship is mediocre.However we booked this cruise purely for the itinerary, and in view of the age of the ship, did not have huge expectations. Sadly on this ship, there is little evidence of attention to detail, the crew will do what they have to do, but with odd exceptions , supervision and management of staff appears to be lacking . That ashtrays in the smoking area were left overflowing for the best part of the day , also that table waiters cleared crockery , but left bottles and glasses for the bar stewards to attend, are cases in point. Beer was often served "bottle only", one occasion I requested a glass and was presented with a cocktail glass. Brandy sometimes appeared in tumblers. All these points are "attention to detail". One exception is Dmitri, the Maitre D' in the Islands Cafe, who works his socks off, chivvies the staff, and will go far in his chosen career. Overall the food was satisfactory, typical cruise fodder, nothing wrong with it , nothing to get excited about. Service in the Main Restaurant was as expected, attentive, and professional. Well done Sheena! The cabin was O.K, just as well we are not of the larger species, because the towels are minimum size, but the room attendant was good, and attentive. Bar service in the Rendezvous Square was a bit hit and miss , sometimes the service was there as you were sitting down, sometimes it was a long wait. Not much in the way of activities on sea days, a few speakers, and a regular session of Bingo, such joys! But I expect that it was "Luxury" Bingo !! Pool area was spoil by the constant smell from the cooking area, rather like having a Burger Van parked nearby. It was also quite noisy at times although, as the schools have mostly gone back, few children to add to the noise. We have cruised on many different companies this trip was at the lower end of V.F.M Overall, we were not paying 5* prices, did not expect 5*, this one is probably three star. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Celebrity Century 25 Jan 2015 This was one of the last voyages of the Century before she sailed off into a new life under Chinese ownership in April 2015, and in many ways she is a product of the last century. She feels solid, has a decor ... Read More
Celebrity Century 25 Jan 2015 This was one of the last voyages of the Century before she sailed off into a new life under Chinese ownership in April 2015, and in many ways she is a product of the last century. She feels solid, has a decor with lots of wood (much of it actual wood!) and does not lower herself to some of the bling that is hard to avoid in more modern ships. This voyage almost had the feel of being back in the grand days of cruising. Embarkation at Singapore's Marina Bay Cruise Terminal was very efficient, and mercifully involved a minimum of standing. We were having a welcoming drink within an hour, and shortly thereafter enjoying a very good lunch at the Islands Cafe. We shared table with some seasoned sailors on other other cruise lines, and they were very impressed with the quality of food - we were too. By 1.15pm our cabins were ready for us. Ours, a balcony (or as Celebrity term it a veranda) was generously proportioned with cavernous storage space, a flat screen TV with ample selection of channels, a comfortable bed - all you need. However, this being a ship of the last century, you do not get the options available in the bigger ships of her stablemate Royal Caribbean - no ice skating or surfing, no street in the middle of the ship, no modern enhancements. In fact the ship is too old to meet modern standards. Some of the actual wood mentioned above is cracking after 20 years service, the stabilisers do not match current models - something that was obvious in the transit from Hong King to the Philippines - and there is an air of tiredness about the boat. Small annoyances that build up; light bulbs not replaced in the lifts so there is no indication of what deck you have reached - compounded on one floor by the sign indicating which deck having fallen off - moody ice making machines and the like. That being said there is much to like. Entertainment on the first night was outstanding - an Australian popera group called Fusion. They were so good we gave up the more formal dining option to eat casually and catch the second show (which was even better) - and the casual dining impressed as well to the extent it was our default eating option. Other entertainment included the usual Broadway song and dance routines, and a great selection of the unusual - a hypnotist, pianist, violin player, Motown revivalists, comedian and a rope twirler (!). No complaints about the variety, and all excelled in their own way. Food, mostly from the casual Islands Bar, was generally of good quality. Some fair, for example the minute steaks, did not work, but mostly the food was well cooked and presented. The one time we had a more formal meal in the grand dining room met expectations. However the most memorable quality of the Century will be the crew - from the approachable and affable Captain George all the way to the cabin staff; all were outstanding, especially the cruise director John Grantham, who was entertaining, informative and never annoying. And the hallmark of the Century was efficiency - never in our experience have shore excursions been so well organised. Other tasks such as passport pickup were similarly efficient and, by comparison with other cruises, relatively painless. Take that crew and their processes and put them in a modern ship and you would have a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
After a few recent cruises with P & O we had become disenchanted with cruising, though we weren’t sure if it was cruising or P & O that was the problem, so we booked with a different cruise line and as the date of our Celebrity ... Read More
After a few recent cruises with P & O we had become disenchanted with cruising, though we weren’t sure if it was cruising or P & O that was the problem, so we booked with a different cruise line and as the date of our Celebrity Century cruise approached we experienced a mixture of excitement and trepidation. It didn’t take long however for us to learn it was clearly P & O we were disenchanted with and to fall in love again with the cruising experience. Perhaps it would be fair to point out some of the things which had driven us to hesitate about booking another cruise after 4 recent P & O experiences. The first of these cruises had been fine – we went on the Pearl to the South Pacific for 9 days in an interior cabin and enjoyed it enough to book for a trip back there on the Jewel a few months later. Of the 4 P & O trips we have taken, this second one was clearly the best. We had taken an obstructed view cabin and had a very pleasant trip, with a great cruise director which made the entertainment even better. On the first cruise we had had a revolting English guy who’s attempts to be humourous and relaxed were instead patronising about Aussies and embarrassing to witness, but on the Jewel our American director was genuinely funny and offended no one. The success of our second cruise inspired us to book our third, on the Pacific Dawn sailing out of Brisbane, but this proved to be the beginning of the downward spiral. Despite our booking a higher grade cabin with an unobstructed view, there were so many shortfalls in the service one way and another and a distinct feeling that, in P & O’s eyes, the passengers were there to be fleeced at every possible occasion. Photographer’s cameras were forced in our faces everywhere we went, there was a charge to be photographed with the captain, even with your own camera. A couple of times we saw buckets of prawns wheeled through the free restaurants on trolleys and sold to unsuspecting diners and there were many more examples of tacky money grabbing taking place. At every turn, the crew were there to sell something else to the passengers as they tried to enjoy their holiday. Despite that experience, we booked again, assuming THAT cruise had been a one off, but we were wrong. Our final P & O experience, back on the Pearl, proved to be even more a money extraction exercise than any of the others and given that P & O’s ONLY real advantage is a price point (made even greater due to their lack of insistence on the payment of gratuities), their money grabbing schemes were all the more unpleasant. For us the worst came about after they had explained in detail that the complimentary tour of the vessel could not include the bridge or engine room for “security” reasons and of course everyone accepted that. However, two days later we were advised in the daily events brochure that for the sum of a ‘mere $90’, anyone could get an all areas pass around the ship including access to the bridge and engine room!!! Apparently P & O must have believed anyone willing to throw $90 in their direction was NOT the sort of person to be a security risk, or perhaps they felt that after chucking the $90 at them they wouldn’t have enough money left to buy anything that might threaten the security of the engine room or bridge!!!! No, clearly they had thought up ANOTHER sneaky way to part their passengers from a little more of their holiday money mid cruise! So, we swore we would never again book with P & O which we now realised did not mean Pacific and Orient, but Pathetic and Ordinary!!! It would not surprise us if they came up with a way of recording how many times each passenger went to the toilet on the cruise and at the end of the cruise, invoicing them for each visit, changing their brand very slightly from P and O to Pee and OWE!!! With that in mind, the next cruise we booked was on the Celebrity Century. Virtually the moment we arrived at the terminal at Circular Quay we KNEW this was different. We stepped out of the car that had delivered us to the dock and a friendly, uniformed young man offered to take our bags for us. WHAT?? No long walk to the other end of the building to drop off bags followed by a hike back to check in??? I had to cross examine the poor guy to ensure he wasn’t part of some elaborate Romanian con gang stealing bags from overseas travellers!!!! Leaving the suitcases behind, we walked into the terminal next to our suspect bag thief and despite being over an hour and a half early for check in, were given the health form and immigration cards to fill in and directed to the next section, where we were IMMEDIATELY directed to an available counter to show our documents and be given our cruise cards. WHAT?? NO queue through a meandering cattle grid?? What was going on here??? It was so fast we had not filled in our health forms, but did so while the delightful lady behind the counter processed the rest of our documents allowing us to hand the health form straight to her before being directed to the NEXT section. Here there were PLENTY of free tables for us to use to fill in the immigration forms. No standing perched on one leg while writing on the form and trying to hold our passport open on the correct page with the form sliding around on the knee and the pen leaving little holes where it goes right through the paper. No need to lean on each other’s back to scrawl the responses on the form - just a nice chair and plenty of table space….and then through the security section, the passport section and up onto the ship, where we were allowed to EASILY avoid the non-demanding photographer before stepping inside the ship and being offered a complimentary champagne or juice to welcome us aboard. At this point I was expecting my bedside alarm to go off at any moment to wake me up and let me know I had been dreaming, but no bells rang to advise I still had to head to the dock and go through the exasperating and slow check in process we had become used to with P & O. It was done and we headed for the lifts and our cabin wondering what other astounding differences we would experience between Celebrity and P & O! On reaching the lift we were informed our cabin was not quite ready – hardly surprising given we were still around an hour and a half early – and were invited to have some lunch by which time there would be an announcement to advise that all cabins could now be accessed. VERY impressive and indeed the announcement took place 30 minutes later. The cabin was fine. The attendant was fine – we don’t like to have anyone fawning over us every time we enter or leave our deck and our attendant was always available if he was needed and never intrusive when he wasn’t. Everything in the cabin worked as it should. When we asked for an extra pillow, it arrived before the bed was turned down. The obligatory safety drill was also better than the P & O version with no need for every passenger to go to their cabins to grab their buoyancy vests, you just had to turn up at your assembly point at 4.30 and they demonstrated the vests use and then we all went up to celebrate the sale away. From that point on the trip was as good as it could be. The cruise director, a delightful, friendly and sociable American lady called Patty proved to be the perfect lynchpin between guests and entertainment. It is clear she LOVES her job and does it brilliantly well. Nothing is too much trouble and she makes it clear she enjoys interaction with her passengers. The captain and his crew were also very available to the passengers making themselves quite visible should anyone want to talk to them and all in all across the board, the crew were friendly, efficient and at no point gave the impression their first priority was obtaining more of the passengers money. It is possible that because we prepaid the gratuities our treatment may have varied from some others, but I didn’t hear one word of complaint throughout the trip from any other passengers about the crew or a feeling of being ‘tapped’ for extra dollars. YES there were shops, YES the shops had sales to promote turnover. YES there were optional charged excursions – though I have to say that unlike our experiences on P & O these were not heftily overpriced and actually offered good value for money. YES there were offers of bonuses for anyone booking a future cruise, but here again there were some pretty big differences with the same activity on P & O. On Celebrity the Future Cruise desk was staffed all day every day and offered genuine savings and benefits to anyone wanting to book another cruise on any of their line, including on board credits on the current cruise equal to the amount of deposit placed on the future cruise, free drinks package AND free gratuities AND another amount of on board credits equal to the deposit paid – but more of that shortly. The entertainment on cruise liners differs marginally from cruise line to cruise line and is usually of a very high standard, as was the case on this cruise. In the main theatre there were professional entertainers every night performing slick well produced shows. Around the rest of the ship a variety of musicians offered an equal variety of music for guests to enjoy. On P & O they also offered a similar range of entertainment however, in one bar area or another every night there was karaoke. Now I KNOW there are people out there who enjoy karaoke, but in preference to paid performers? I believe the only amateur performances on Celebrity were those done in the showers of each individual cabin. For us the lack of karaoke was a plus. Also on P & O, every few nights they had a “theme” night where the passengers were encouraged to dress up in a specific themed costume (pirate, south sea island or cowboy) and the stage show for that evening would follow that theme involving the audience with a series of interactive, almost pantomime concepts of sing along or worse. We found these evenings tacky and VERY “Butlins” – a low class British concept of holiday camp that all but died out after the 60’s, but still lingers rather pathetically on a much smaller scale. Beyond the entertainment, there are two other factors that can make or break a cruise…..the ports of call and ….the FOOD! We had selected our Ports as well as we could. If I have ANY criticism of Celebrity in Australia, it would be they don’t run any cruises from Australia to New Zealand return. You can cruise one way or the other, but either cruise requires a flight one way or the other. For us, this removes one of the benefits of the cruising experience. We travel to the dock by car or train with minimal contact with our luggage and NO weight restrictions, get on board the ship, unpack - and that is it till the end of the cruise when we repack and reverse the procedure - again with NO weight restrictions and minimal baggage involvement. To require air travel to or from the ship, completely changes the dynamics of it and adds restrictions I really prefer to avoid, so Sydney to the South Pacific is the only trip open to me on Celebrity which is a pity. With interesting places to visit, the only remaining asset or liability is the food and of course it’s brilliant. Not everything on board is to our taste. There are certain foods that are cooked with far too much flavour or have a thick sauce or topping, but everyone’s taste is different and the things we don’t particularly like others will adore. There are so many “included” food options that you are bound to find several that appeal at each meal and restaurant. We discovered we didn’t like the main restaurant lunch menu particularly – but between the different food stations of the buffet there were more choices than we could get through in a fortnight. Pizzas, Pastas, Roasts, Asian dishes, Sushi…. the list was endless and then of course there was the pool side grill and the free ice cream bar with the NICEST ice cream we have had in years. For breakfast too we found ourselves happily using the buffet where the alternatives are simply amazing. I prefer the English style breakfasts, so one day it was pork sausages and bacon and the next kippers. But there were American style, Asian style and of course the usual fresh fruits and cold dishes to choose from. Dinnertime was ALWAYS best for us in the Grand dining room. We had what they call anytime dining, which literally meant we were not restricted to one table at the same time each night, but could rock up any time we wanted in the evening and be placed on a table with strangers who in many cases became friends very quickly. So, comparing the P & O experience with that of the Celebrity isn’t as simple as comparing apples with apples, or even chalk and cheese. P & O are SO far below the standard of Celebrity as to make it more like comparing a Rolls Royce with a bongo van and while I am sure there will be a LOT of people who would argue that P & O are not Pathetic and Ordinary, I am equally certain that few of those arguing will have travelled with P & O in the past 12 months as well as having cruised with Celebrity and therefore they are not really in a position to defend todays P & O in a comparison of the two. Perhaps the most surprising thing for us was discovering that in reality P&O aren’t even cheaper when you compare cabin with like cabin. On our Celebrity cruise we had a balcony and had purchased the cruise through Cruise Republic when they offered a drinks package AND free gratuities for around $2100 each for 14 days. If you bear in mind that the drinks package meant we saved over $700 each on beverages including juice water and coffee as well as alcohol, then you realise the cruise worked out at $100 each per day for a balcony cabin!!! On P & O occasionally you can find a super special for as little as $80 a night, but that would be an inside cabin with no on board credits and certainly all your drinks still to be paid for. With that in mind, P & O don’t even have a price advantage. Having had such a great time on The Century, we took advantage of the future cruise offer mentioned earlier and booked our next cruise on The Solstice, where we will have a Concierge class cabin with a larger balcony, all gratuities paid, the drinks package, $300 US dollars of on-board credits AND we received the $300 in credits for the cruise we were on. All that for a touch over $5000 for the two of us for a 12 night cruise. Again, if you do the maths on the drinks and credits, that equates to more than $2000 off the starting price and therefore a daily price of $130 for a top class cabin on a top class ship. Stunning value! On the plus side for P & O they had some menu choices in the main restaurant that we preferred over those offered by Celebrity, but as already stated that was just our personal opinion and there were many people who were absolutely blown away by the menu on the Century every day, so it is clearly a case of individual preference and with so many dining venues, for those who didn’t like the main restaurant meal options there were considerably more alternatives on Celebrity than there is on P & O. The ship we travelled on this time, The Century, is being sold off as it has reached an age where Celebrity considers it past its prime. Despite that, it was in far better condition than any of the P & O ships we sailed on. We had the impression with P & O that they use Australia as a home for the older members of their fleet and that in itself shows contempt for the Australian cruising public. New ships in their fleet are launched and run in the USA or Europe and only get transferred to Australia when they are no longer acceptable for use in those markets. Apparently P & O believe Australians aren’t worthy or classy enough for up to date vessels. Celebrity on the other hand used the Century in the USA for half the year and Australia the other half and therefore the quality of the ship and its general décor is bound to be that much higher. Interestingly, if you check out the price of cruises in Europe and the USA on P & O, despite Australia having the dregs of their fleet, the prices offered for cruises in this region are actually higher. Another sign of the contempt the Carnival head office has for Australians. At this point I will add a quick note about children on cruises. Whilst there are activities specially set aside for teens, younger children are evidently NOT catered for on Celebrity. While P & O have the special play areas and staff to look after the young ones, Celebrity do not, so if you have young kids, I urge you to slum it on P & O till they are older enough to leave behind and THEN book Celebrity, which has the extra bonus of NOT having hordes of babies and infants running around screaming and generally doing what babies and young children do that can affect fellow passengers adversely. For us, the lack of children was yet another bonus and one we hadn’t anticipated. Another comment I feel I should make is in regard to the smoothness of the cruise. It is possible that this particular cruise coincidentally had constantly flat seas where each of the P & O ones had periods (some quite extended) where we were rocked and rolled more by the ships motion than by the on-board band, but if this cruise was typical, Celebrities ships have far better stabilisers than P & O and/or captains. I will however withhold final judgement on that till after our next cruise – but for two weeks, including through a thunder storm, this ship never once rolled sideways or back and forth enough to even affect walking along the corridors despite our cabin being located very close to the stern. On a similar issue, the boarding and disembarking for the ports of call were substantially slicker and easier on Celebrity. I have no idea why it would be the case, but on P & O each tender port created massive delays in getting ashore – in some cases literally hours waiting for our tender ticket number to be called. On Celebrity, we collected our tender ticket and before we even managed to leave the collection point, that ticket was called so we could go straight to the gang plank and step straight onto the launch. In ports where we docked, again there were no delays getting ashore. I cannot work out what Celebrity did differently, but their system worked brilliantly and P & O’s was a farce on EVERY one of the cruises we did with them. All in all, there is an evident “class” difference between the cruise brands with Celebrity attracting a ‘better’ type of person. Having once owned a catering company, we noticed when we travelled P & O that in the buffet area, it was not uncommon for passengers to overload their plates with food and then find a large amount of left overs remaining on their plates as they walked away from the meal. On Celebrity I can honestly say we didn’t see an example of that kind of pointless greed on any occasion, which actually surprised us. We also failed to come across ANYONE who had drunk themselves into a stupor or sitting in a bar sculling cocktails one after the other as the volume of their social group grew louder. People acted with more restraint and decorum, though they still enjoyed themselves throughout the trip – possibly more so as they were able to remember every evening’s entertainment and social get together more clearly!!!! So, my advice to anyone who has taken the time to plough through this critique is to sail with Celebrity Cruises or one of their sister line ships rather than P & O, or Princess, or even Carnival, because you are treated with far more respect on Celebrity and hassled far less and let’s be honest, you will be far more proud to have a lanyard with Celebrity, or Caribbean, or Holland America around your neck as you walk around on shore, than one that advertises P & O.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Despite just a few people was travelling in their own in this cruise, I have fantastic time. I am the middle 40's my fellow dinner people were around my age and some of them solo travellers, which make fantastic opportunities to ... Read More
Despite just a few people was travelling in their own in this cruise, I have fantastic time. I am the middle 40's my fellow dinner people were around my age and some of them solo travellers, which make fantastic opportunities to build friendships and share time together onshore. That is a nice touch from Celebrity. Highly recommend to take 123 Go offer; great value in total I pay $180/day including drinks and balcony. Staff in the Grand restaurant are very special and they try to build a joy atmosphere, food was great in general. Noumea Port did have the only critic - don't get of the ship with only AU cash, you will need credit card. I have almost 7 hours in the area and couldn't buy any souvenir, drink or food ... lucky I keep an apple and took a bottle of water with me. Even in very tourist places in Noumea, they ask for local money or credit card. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
My husband and I went on The Celebrity Century for Christmas and New Year, it was an amazing cruise. We met some great people, the food everywhere was fantastic. The crew and staff in all areas were the most helpful and friendly people I ... Read More
My husband and I went on The Celebrity Century for Christmas and New Year, it was an amazing cruise. We met some great people, the food everywhere was fantastic. The crew and staff in all areas were the most helpful and friendly people I have ever met. You couldn't go to the bathroom without someone asking how you were. We only had an inside stateroom but it was awesome and our cabin man was great. The only thing I could criticize was there were no adults only areas. The 250 kids were not a problem but it would of been nice to go to a quiet area where there were no kids. You couldn't fault the embarkation or disembarkation process, quick and easy, The size of the ship was just right, no lining up for anything and could usually get a seat at any event. It was an unforgettable experience and one of many more cruises to come. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
My husband and I had a Royal Suite, and it was worth it. Although the ship itself was showing it's age, the cruise was amazing. I could make a few minor criticisms, but the crew we're the best. We loved Iles of Pines and the ... Read More
My husband and I had a Royal Suite, and it was worth it. Although the ship itself was showing it's age, the cruise was amazing. I could make a few minor criticisms, but the crew we're the best. We loved Iles of Pines and the snorkelling there was a standout event. Our suite was lovely, it was made up 3 times a day. And our butler and room assistant were fabulous. Any situation is what you make of it, and we had lots of fantastic times with fellow passengers. As the pool was always very packed, we stayed away. The friendliness of the crew was awesome, every time someone passed you they always spoke to you, and made you feel liked you mattered. I loved the sea days, sitting on our balcony and watching the waves. We had dinner at the Captains and the Chefs table, had a tour of the galley and had a "Sailaway" greeting with champagne watching the ship leave Sydney with the bridge and the opera house as backdrops. The food at Murano restaurant was incredible. Would definitely sail with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
after 57 cruises (11 with celebrity) I feel I may have to start moving further afield for my cruise company arrived back from the pacific on dec 15th we are usually very happy with celebrity but this time I feel the company let us down the ... Read More
after 57 cruises (11 with celebrity) I feel I may have to start moving further afield for my cruise company arrived back from the pacific on dec 15th we are usually very happy with celebrity but this time I feel the company let us down the cabin was sky suite with butler etc(who I must say was excellent) we arrived to find light fittings not working the safe not working even after someone came to fix it still no good, she just said call me every time you want it open!!!!we just left it un locked, the sink was cracked and he toilet only flushed if it was in the mood!!!!! hot water was at a premium we had one hot shower in 14 days not just our cabin but throughout the ship people were complaining .Everything was overpriced from drinks to pretzels and chips(one bag of pretzels and some pringles came to $13 US) had people in our cabin for cards and ordered the cheese plate for $19 came missing crackers, fruit bread etc I could have gone to the buffet and made the same plate for nothing. casino had machines that would not let you play off your last few credits, I know it's only cents here and there but adding all up makes another nice profit for the ship. there were no sail away parties or chocolate buffet and if you are not into sports or port talks activities are very limited to trivia and the occasional bingo. our dinner companions were in the cabin next to the royal suite and two days into the cruise the suite was won at bingo by 4 teenage boys (need I say more!!!) they had to make a complaint about the noise and activities going on after all cabins are not cheap and you don't expect all night parties next door. all in all I feel celebrity are letting themselves down I know the ship is being sold next year but we paid for 100% service not 50% our next cruise is in february on Azamara Quest which is part of the celebrity group I hope they don't let us down Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I had a great time on the cruise and went with my family. This is my first time on the cruise and overall the experience was great. The entertainment was good. I didn't get a questionnaire email. Overall the dining experience was ... Read More
I had a great time on the cruise and went with my family. This is my first time on the cruise and overall the experience was great. The entertainment was good. I didn't get a questionnaire email. Overall the dining experience was great. The service was good. The waiter and the assistant waiter were great. The food was good and there were a few times the food I ordered was not good in my personal opinion. The food itself was fine and eatable. The desserts was wonderful and looked great. I attend the shows and the shows I preferred were magic and hypnotist show. I didn't really believe a person as their reaction was over the top. The other people I kind of believed. The cruise majority of the audience were older so is more geared towards them but there were other things to do on the ship. The excursions were good. The Isle of Pines the beach was great as the sand was nice and fine. The disembarkation was good and ran smoothly. I got out quickly and caught a taxis then went home. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Just returned from a 12 night S Pacific on Century and as you will know, the ship is into its last few months with Celebrity. Century has been kept in good overall condition but is in need of some attention. I had a Sky Suite on the 12th ... Read More
Just returned from a 12 night S Pacific on Century and as you will know, the ship is into its last few months with Celebrity. Century has been kept in good overall condition but is in need of some attention. I had a Sky Suite on the 12th floor with Butler service provided by Elmer, a real professional and genuinely nice person. Check in at Sydney could not have been easier, 10 minutes from curb side to boarding the ship. There were 4 separate channels depending on your cabin type for check in and all were empty at 1130am. Staterooms were ready at 1pm and the bags arrived shortly thereafter. The Sky Suite was excellent with a large room and a huge balcony and a bathroom with a Jacuzzi. The main dining room food was up to Celebrities normal high standards and delivered by the fabulous group of waiters that perform at the highest levels 3 times a day. People have commented about the cost of drinks but I would suggest that the vast majority of passengers on this ship, myself included were on a drinks package where it no longer matters. I didn't see value in paying more for a premium drinks package and found the wines/beers/cocktails available to be perfectly adequate. I particularly enjoyed a latte and pastries for breakfast at the Cove Café and found the staff here to be superbly attentive and helpful as everywhere else on this ship. The entertainment was of a high standard and the cruise director did a fine job, not overpowering that I have found on other ships and lines. The shows were of a good standard and a couple were really excellent. High marks for the bar staff throughout the ship and some great conversations with many of them. The educational sessions were excellent and I enjoyed Don Enright's talks about marine life in the area. I found the itinerary, Isle of Pines, 2 stops in Fiji, Mystery Island and Noumea to be relaxing, there isn't much to do so read 2 good books and came back relaxed. My 1 gripe was the early arrival in Sydney when we had been assured we would pass the Opera House around 6am was very disappointed to find us already docked at 515am. Disembarkation was as easy as the embarkation and off the ship and on my way in 15 minutes.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Well just got back from a wonderful cruise on the Century and i am so glad I didn't pay too much attention to the negative critics because we had an absolute ball. The embarkation went quikly and smoothly with a warm and friendly ... Read More
Well just got back from a wonderful cruise on the Century and i am so glad I didn't pay too much attention to the negative critics because we had an absolute ball. The embarkation went quikly and smoothly with a warm and friendly welcome both on land (Sydney) and on Ship with a refreshing drink. The crew cannot be faulted in any way always there and ready to attend to all our needs. Food to die for fresh and must go to grand restaurant you will feel like a king/queen. Our cabin was an inside quad (two bunks and a double, just ask for the two beds to be joined) on deck 8 midship (room 8067), perfect location close to restaurants, theatre and other lounges, we never heard a sound and slept like babies. The house band rocks as all entertainers.. the pool area is kept clean and there is always a spot in the sun or shade without having to fight for it. The port stops (Neumea, Mystery Island, Suva, Loutoka and Isle of Pines) were great the weather only turned on one stop but still managed to get off for a wonder, Neumea is not that exciting on sundays and holiday everything shuts. We never book excursions with the cruise as it is dear and there are local tours as soon as you get off the ship you can bargain for and are the same exoerience. The islands do take AUD but bring small change for Isle of Pines, Fiji and Mystery Island as they tend to not always have change. Celebrity only deals in USD so be prepared .. they do take AUD but when you cash in your credit at the end of the cruise (if dealing with cash) you might be left with a couple of USD in your poket. Teens club was great, my teen boys had a ball and have made great friendships.... All in all the best cruise we have been on and all thanks to the high standard of service and friendliness of crew. Thank you Century Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Comprehensive Guide on board the “Celebrity Century” Joined the Ship in Sydney Circular Quay for a 12 nights South Pacific Cruise, the embarkation was straightforward, register the credit card at the terminal and received a Celebrity ... Read More
Comprehensive Guide on board the “Celebrity Century” Joined the Ship in Sydney Circular Quay for a 12 nights South Pacific Cruise, the embarkation was straightforward, register the credit card at the terminal and received a Celebrity Sea Pass Account for the onboard expenses then cleared the customs and you are on board. My cabin was on the sport deck level 12 and nothing to complain about, the cabin is good for 2 people but would be crowded with 4. The room service is done twice daily and the cabin crew will leave you with the “Celebrity Today” for the next day schedule activities” and other events like Art Auction time, wine tasting, hands on cooking class, seminars, line dancing class, general trivia’s etc. The daily activities are full on and you can choose your favourite interest such as playing the ping-pong, golf putting or swimming pool volleyball participate along with the ship’s crew or with other guests or just watching the band playing your favourite tunes. Your meals would be probably included in your fare and you can dine at the “Grand Restaurant” with a la carte menu or you may eat all you can at the Buffet Restaurant on the 11th floor. I personally prefer the Buffet as you have lots of variety of dishes Indian, Chinese, cakes & ice cream. The Grand Restaurant would be popular if you want to mingle with other guests on large tables or you can have a romantic dinner for two, your choice. I had a galley tour with the ship’s officers and was amazed to see the amount of people preparing the food for the full ship’s complements. We (20 selected guests) also did a Bridge Tour, as a Deck Officer myself I was disappointed with this one as the security went a bit overboard with their checks and metal detectors and we were told that it would be possible to visit the bridge with the condition of staying to the portside only to avoid interfering with the ship’s equipments as the Security staffs watched on; therefore it was not a proper Bridge Tour as such. On boarding the ship there were photographers requesting if we want our picture taken with the large Ship’s background as souvenirs. They would not let us use our own cameras with the ship’s background and this is how they make their profit, for US25 a photograph, you are the judge. These photographers were also present at dinning tables and also at the beaches {Isle of Pines & Mystery Island} and ashore on the wharfs, I guess you must be prepared to say “No Thank You”; it’s your choice. It was the South Pacific trip and all the islands and ports were interesting, well organised by the cruise company and I would give a 9+. If you want to swim don’t forget your snorkel gears, drinking water and suntan lotion, as the sun can be ferocious at the beaches. On your cabin TV, the cruise director shall keep you posted with the daily activities; inform guests with the cruise update, watch the cable news /movies, even requesting cabin service and also most important you can keep a tab with your onboard expenses, if any discrepancies found, the front desk is available 24/7. There is a Casino on board “Fortunes” with lots of poker machines and table games, the dealers were not so friendly looking serious at all times, they don’t say much to guests and my tip quite frankly, stay away; again your choice. There is a fitness centre with all sorts of equipments & fitness classes are available. There are also some health & wellbeing salons with quite expensive treatments. There has been 3 formal dress nights on this trip and to my observation at such times the guests seems to socialise and drink a little bit more around the ship and also showing off their best attire of the evening and it’s also an opportunity for the photographers taking care of business looking for their souvenir photos taken. On arrival date the disembarkation was smooth and again well organised by the ship’s crew, and don’t forget to have your last meal {breakfast} before leaving. Bon Voyage   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Comprehensive Guide on board the “Celebrity Century” Joined the Ship in Sydney Circular Quay for a 12 nights South Pacific Cruise, the embarkation was straightforward, register the credit card at the terminal and received a Celebrity ... Read More
Comprehensive Guide on board the “Celebrity Century” Joined the Ship in Sydney Circular Quay for a 12 nights South Pacific Cruise, the embarkation was straightforward, register the credit card at the terminal and received a Celebrity Sea Pass Account for the onboard expenses then cleared the customs and you are on board. My cabin was on the sport deck level 12 and nothing to complain about, the cabin is good for 2 people but would be crowded with 4. The room service is done twice daily and the cabin crew will leave you with the “Celebrity Today” for the next day schedule activities” and other events like Art Auction time, wine tasting, hands on cooking class, seminars, line dancing class, general trivia’s etc. The daily activities are full on and you can choose your favourite interest such as playing the ping-pong, golf putting or swimming pool volleyball participate along with the ship’s crew or with other guests or just watching the band playing your favourite tunes. Your meals would be probably included in your fare and you can dine at the “Grand Restaurant” with a la carte menu or you may eat all you can at the Buffet Restaurant on the 11th floor. I personally prefer the Buffet as you have lots of variety of dishes Indian, Chinese, cakes & ice cream. The Grand Restaurant would be popular if you want to mingle with other guests on large tables or you can have a romantic dinner (no fancy food) for two, your choice. I had a galley tour with the ship’s officers and was amazed to see the amount of people preparing the food for the full ship’s complements. We (20 selected guests) also did a Bridge Tour, as a Deck Officer myself I was disappointed with this one as the security went a bit overboard with their checks and metal detectors and we were told that it would be possible to visit the bridge with the condition of staying to the portside only to avoid interfering with the ship’s equipments as the Security staffs watched on; therefore it was not a proper Bridge Tour as such. On boarding the ship there were photographers requesting if we want our picture taken with the large Ship’s background as souvenirs. They would not let us use our own cameras with the ship’s background and this is how they make their profit, for US25 a photograph, you are the judge. These photographers were also present at dinning tables and also at the beaches {Isle of Pines & Mystery Island} and ashore on the wharfs, I guess you must be prepared to say “No Thank You”; it’s your choice. It was the South Pacific trip and all the islands and ports were interesting, well organised by the cruise company and I would give a 9+. If you want to swim don’t forget your snorkel gears, drinking water and suntan lotion, as the sun can be ferocious at the beaches. On your cabin TV, the cruise director shall keep you posted with the daily activities; inform guests with the cruise update, watch the cable news /movies, even requesting cabin service and also most important you can keep a tab with your onboard expenses, if any discrepancies found, the front desk is available 24/7. There is a Casino on board “Fortunes” with lots of poker machines and table games, the dealers were not so friendly looking serious at all times, they don’t say much to guests and my tip quite frankly, stay away; again your choice. There is a fitness centre with all sorts of equipments & fitness classes are available. There are also some health & wellbeing salons with quite expensive treatments. There has been 3 formal dress nights on this trip and to my observation at such times the guests seems to socialise and drink a little bit more around the ship and also showing off their best attire of the evening and it’s also an opportunity for the photographers taking care of business looking for their souvenir photos taken. On arrival date the disembarkation was smooth and again well organised by the ship’s crew, and don’t forget to have your last meal {breakfast} before leaving. Bon Voyage   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Hi We have just returned from 12 nights 19/11-1/12 2014 Prior to the holiday I found it very difficult to find information on cost of alcoholic drinks on the boat My friend and I had previously cruised on the Celebrity Silhouette through ... Read More
Hi We have just returned from 12 nights 19/11-1/12 2014 Prior to the holiday I found it very difficult to find information on cost of alcoholic drinks on the boat My friend and I had previously cruised on the Celebrity Silhouette through the Mediterranean Sept/Oct 2013 and were very impressed with the cruise line compared with other options out of Sydney. I mainly drink Prosecco and on the European cruise this drink was $7 US a glass although it was of little consequence as I had the premium drink package. On this cruise the same drink was $10.50 US almost $13 AUD. I purchased the classic drink package however we met many people who had the package gratuities and $300 credit on board included in the fare. Also be aware if you book early as we purchased our holiday in June 2014 and Celebrity took the total cost of the cruise of $4500 overdrawing my friends account . When I demanded that they should reverse the transaction they agreed but it did not happen despite several emails of demand. In general the food and staff were excellent although the ship was a little tired Can't help but wonder whether for the ship's last voyages Australian's have been taken advantage of. Morel Read Less
Celebrity Century Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 3.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.7
Service 2.0 4.5
Value For Money 3.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.2

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