Not Our Best Cruise: Celebrity Century Cruise Review by wooduser43

Celebrity Century 3
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

Not Our Best Cruise

Sail Date: January 2013
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
...we have taken enough cruises on various ships and lines to have done a better job of picking out a good stateroom location on this Celebrity Century liner.

We were impressed with the embarkation procedures and efficiency as we left Ft. Lauderdale for our 15-day cruise through the Panama Canal, with stops in Columbia, Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico and eventual docking at San Diego. Our stateroom, while comfortable, modernized, spacious for our needs and spotlessly clean, was picked for its location aft and lower level in order to minimize any discomfort from the usual ship's rocking and rolling. Unfortunately, stateroom 4098 proved to be the "room from hell"! Beginning the first night, we were awakened after midnight by frequent and intermittent loud noises from above. At first we assumed we had some lively cruise mates above and the noise would eventually cease. Not so. The loud shuffling, rolling, bouncing, banging and running water noises persisted every morning More between midnight and 5:00 AM - for the duration of the cruise. Some nights were better than others, but the end result was chronic sleep-deprivation and no satisfaction after three respectful complaints to Guest Services.

Even though we had checked the floor layout diagrams in the ship's literature before booking, we had no indication that the blank space shown directly above 4098 on the 5th. deck was the ship's galley. Obviously, the tile floor, metal workstations and early morning food prep by the galley crew would keep passengers directly below awake. Our complaints to Guest Services were acknowledged and recorded. The young folks were appropriately kind and concerned about our discomfort, but unable to do anything but ask the galley chief to have his crew work quieter. They claimed there were no other staterooms available to which we could be moved, but did make an insulting offer to give us earplugs. No one in higher levels of authority made any effort to apologize for the unpleasant experience or indicate they were looking at ways to resolve the excessive noise for future passengers in that block of rooms.

Aside from that "big" issue, the only other faults with the cruise were:
- Terribly uncomfortable pillows in stateroom.
- Cold food from Island Cafe, due to length of food service area & distance back to table.
- Requested table for 6 for formal dining, assigned to larger table. Request for reassignment landed us at a table for 2 with only each other to talk to the entire cruise! Our fault for not asking for a second change.
- Only one of six shore excursions did not live up to its brochure description. Most were reasonably priced and offered real value and unique cultural experiences in each country. The Puerto Vallarta city tour and shopping experience indicated a brief stop for light refreshments, but turned out to be an hour-long stop at an expensive restaurant, with no safe area for walking or exploring the beach for those not interested in paying the high restaurant prices.
- Long lines and delay at disembarkation -- not fault of Celebrity -- but due to unusual, on-board customs/homeland security procedures.
- Although, in general, the food in all restaurants was above average in quality, the desserts in the Island Cafe seemed to be more appearance than quality. Too much gelatinized, pudding and mousse filling. The bread pudding tasted more like custard. There was an abundance of white breads and rolls, but a rare showing of dark, whole wheat and healthier breads. The daily appearance of fresh fruits could have been improved by the occasional rotation of papaya and mango into the mix.

The positives about this cruise experience outnumbered the negatives, and would have convinced us to cruise with Celebrity again, were it not for the lack of any serious, professional response to our complaints about the stateroom noises. We would have been more impressed if we had been moved to another room, someone in real authority had offered a sincere apology for the sleep deprivation or if we had been offered even minor compensation or credit on our next Celebrity cruise. Which, regrettably, will not happen due to the ready availability of other attractive cruise line options with similar itineraries and prices.

In all fairness, however, my wife and I agree to being impressed with the following:
- The ship's crew, especially Activity Director, John, were exemplary.
- Entertainment was on par with our experience on other ships and generally enjoyable.
- The Captain's and Celebrity attention to sanitation and cleanliness were commendable.
- There appeared to be a genuine concern for the health and safety of all passengers shown by the ship's crew.
- Our headwaiter, Mandy, and his assistant, Allen, were exceptionally attentive to the two lonely passengers seated at the two-top in their area!
- We were blown away by the two on-board experts who conducted daily seminars and Q&A sessions on the Panama Canal and NASA's space shuttle and station program. Kudos to Uncle Marty and Larry Kusnitz for their knowledge, visual aids, communication skills and sensitivity in dealing with all of us who hung on every word.
- Century cruisers with a hearing impairment, will be pleased to know Guest Services will coordinate with the main theatre AV staff to loan hearing assist devises for the duration of the cruise. This service greatly improved my wife's ability to hear performers and guest lecturers in the theatre.

In summary, we were not thoroughly dissatisfied with our Century cruise. Perhaps our negative views were heightened by our sleep deprivation and frustration at feeling our complaints were not being taken seriously. This is, at least in our minds, a serious breach of a cruise line's responsibility to it's paying customers and bad public relations. Accordingly, we will refrain from using Celebrity cruise lines for future cruises. Less

Published 02/21/13

Cabin review: 044098 Ocean View

As indicated in our review of the cruise, cabin number 4098 should be avoided at all costs, unless one is totally deaf. While we are careful to avoid cabins too near the engine room or adjacent to elevators, we didn't dream the cruise line would position passenger cabins directly below galley work areas that would be in use after midnight. A review of deck plans always reveals elevator locations, engine areas are always to the rear and below and late night entertainment areas can be easily identified by even cursory review of deck plans. However, we have now learned to avoid rooms directly below what appears as undesignated, white space on the above deck floor plans. Galley prep areas should be clearly identified. Their tile floors and metal workstations make resonating noise below inevitable.

Read All Ocean View (04) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Cabo is beautiful. The area services are similar to many resort areas in the US. We enjoyed our side trip by bus into the old town area east of the main port. There is a nice mix of old Mexico and the tourist attracting ocean side, modernized Mexico. Really enjoyed our brief stop at the resort hotel overlooking the harbor and our last stop at the glass blowing factory in town. Female tour guide seemed bored with her bus announcement routine.

This was Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. Not listed in options here, so I picked a name that may be it only to open this box for comment.. Two hour bus ride to mountain lake. Boat ride to opposite shore and lunch at a resort hotel. Time to explore authentic native Mayan village behind hotel was wonderful experience of true native culture. Excellent deals on native crafts if you can withstand the constant barrage of vendors. A kindly, Gracias, no was usually enough to get them to leave you alone. Bus ride exposed us to the beauty of the Guatemala countryside and the poverty induced living conditions of the native and Mayan citizens. Our guide on this trip spoke fairly understandable english, but what stood out most was his incredible love for his country and its people. He genuinely wished all of us to return for longer stays to truly appreciate Guatemala and its culture.

City Tour

The literature for this one was deceptive. Described a brief stop at a local restaurant for light refreshments at our cost. The brief stop was actually a one-hour lunch break at an expensive, celebrity restaurant. Its location was along a cliff-side,narrow beach overlook road with no room to safely walk and no way to get down to the beautiful beach below. We felt trapped. We could have eliminated that stop and been back to the ship in time for a late lunch instead of hanging around an overpriced restaurant waiting for those who wanted to eat a full lunch.
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