Superb Cruise, except for Immigration Lines in San Diego: Celebrity Century Cruise Review by Tazzycat

Celebrity Century 5
Member Since 2008
139 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Superb Cruise, except for Immigration Lines in San Diego

Sail Date: October 2011
Destination: Hawaii
Embarkation: San Diego
We are a married couple that celebrated our thirteenth wedding anniversary aboard the Hawaiian sailing of 2 October 11. I use a wheelchair, so I can tell you of my experiences as a disabled guest. On this cruise, there were several people besides me using wheelchairs, scooters and canes; I hope they all write reviews also.
We stayed pre-cruise at the Beach Hut B&B in San Diego, and I highly recommend it, although the property is NOT wheelchair accessible, there are a few steps, which I can do without much pain. The property is listed on a Trip Advising website, where you can read more about it.
For me, a wheelchair user, the embarkation was smooth and fast. My husband and I got separated because he had to go return the rental car while someone from the Century whisked me up the ramp and onto the ship. My husband got stuck in the long line when he showed up, stuck in the hot sun that was cooking everyone like a greenhouse, on the up ramp, while the machine at the top of More the ramp that checks in people's seapass cards was being repaired. My husband thought that some of the older guests would faint in the heat.
I got a nice beverage and waited at the hot tub for my husband to get there. Our cabin was wonderful, large (wheelchair accessible of course) and very clean. We didn't meet our room stewards until the following morning. Our first dinner included prime rib and was delicious.
The onboard activities were plentiful and geared toward Hawaiian arts, crafts and music. We made orchid leis, ribbon leis, kukui nut leis and bracelets, learned to hula dance and hula exercise, and learned to play the ukulele.There was also daily stretching in the fitness area, trivia at least once a day if not three times per day, liquor tastings, cooking demos, and more. Plenty to keep oneself busy if you wanted to be busy.
We had exceptional service from all the staff with a small exception of the breakfast and lunch service in the Grand main dining room, which was just awful. Servers who did not know us from dinner took orders out of turn, gave people the wrong plates of food, and were generally slow and unfocussed. Perhaps they were tired from the night before because I know how many hours they work and how many miles they walk per day with those heavy trays on their shoulders. After two tries at the Grand restaurant for breakfast and lunch failed, we just ate at the buffet for the rest of the cruise, with great results. Especially superior was the service at Murano's restaurant, where we dined for dinner three times in our 15 day cruise. I can't say enough nice and appreciative comments about Murano's staff. The food was exceptional too; I had lobster in some way all three times, and my husband had Chateaubriand, filet mignon, and more filet mignon.
As far as the buffet goes, we enjoyed the food and even special requests for things not on the menu were happily honored if the ship had it in stock. I did not go through the buffet in my wheelchair; I decided to walk a few steps to save time, but I did see other people who used wheelchairs, walkers and electric scooters try to go through the buffet line by themselves. The great majority of the time, I saw Century employees offering to help or helping those guests by holding the tray while the guest made selections from the buffet. I hope that others on this cruise who use wheelchairs, etc, will post a review of their personal comments.We went on 2 ship-purchased excursions in Kawai, one excursion in Hilo on the Big Island and one excursion we bought ourselves in Honolulu. The ship-purchased excursions were not over priced and were of high quality. All of our excursions, even the ones we made by ourselves, were top notch. We snorkled and did off-roading by a four wheel drive van.
We had to skip the port in Maui because our ship had to rescue three men on a 48-ft. sailboat, one of whom had been injured in a fall, breaking five vertebrae and cracking a rib. The newspaper article describing the details of the rescue was in the Hilo newspaper, and you can do a search online to read all about it. I am certainly proud that my cruise ship saved three lives.
There were only five children on my cruise, for which I am very happy. I can't comment on the children's programs, but the kids were all well-behaved little angels.
The entertainment was wonderful; we had a great magician, a pianist, musicians who played throughout the ship daily and nightly, acrobats and even a segment from our cruise director on his life as a stuntman in movies and television shows.
The last morning in San Diego we had to be at the customs desk between 6:15am and 6:45 am. We, all 1800 of us, had to be there at the same time, so as you can imagine it was a messy, unorganized and infuriating line all the way from the Celebrity Theatre, to the back of the ship and to the front of the ship again, with all those wheelchairs, scooters and canes, walkers and people who can't stand up or walk very far, all in line for more than an hour. We all were angry.
Disembarkation was delayed because a small handful of people did not go through customs, and none of us could disembark until everyone had been through customs. We were all angry again.
Overall, this was my favorite cruise, even with the problems. Less

Published 10/21/11

Cabin review: 115048 Inside Stateroom

5048 Wheelchair accessible, very quiet except for the shutting of doors which happened regularly. Nothing could be done about this noise because it came from the employees crew areas, but we got used to it and after a few days we forgot it was there. Cabin was close to the elevators, so it was easy to get around the ship.

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Port and Shore Excursions

The Garden Isle lives up to its name. We went snorkling and then rode on private land in a 4x4 van in two excursions that will be always in our memories. We can't wait to return.
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