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14 San Diego to U.S.A. Cruise Reviews

This was just a weekend "cruise to nowhere," but still we got a pretty good idea of what the Wonder is like. Embarkation was not fun: baggage handlers outside the terminal asking for tips; the hot and stuffy building; the ... Read More
This was just a weekend "cruise to nowhere," but still we got a pretty good idea of what the Wonder is like. Embarkation was not fun: baggage handlers outside the terminal asking for tips; the hot and stuffy building; the check-in process not allowing you to board the ship when completed, but you are assigned a group number and have to wait until that number is called (resulted in not many people boarding but most sitting in the building); then the computers broke and nobody could board for a time. Being greeted in the entry lobby was nice and the pools and buffet was open. The entertainment was outstanding, from the 2 nighttime stage shows, the outside sailaway party on deck the first night, with fireworks, to the events in the main atrium. The entire ship was decorated for Halloween. We had been notified about bringing costumes for a trick-or-treating event, but not, as seemingly most of the passengers, about wearing pirate costumes the first evening. Disney characters were readily available for photos many times, with minimal waiting times. Ate at the buffet one lunch, one late-night snack following fireworks, and one breakfast. The food was okay to good and service excellent. The assigned dining room meals were fair to very good, the waitstaff very friendly. Meals are staggered so everyone can attend one of the two main evening shows. At the Promenade lounge you can order special coffee drinks- they match Starbuck's beverages. Diversions turns into an adults-only sportsbar at night, we ducked in there to check on baseball playoff games. Hint--at late hours when other eateries are closed, they have a counter with hot dogs, chips and dip, etc. There are pools for all age levels and our grandson, and hundreds of other kids, had a great time. On that deck are free soda and coffee dispensers plus pizza, sandwiches, fruit, soft serve, etc. The two Disney shops got very crowded around show time as they are near the main showroom, but not too crowded at other hours. We didn't use them, but complimentary portable phones were on the desk, so you can keep in touch with others in your party. Disembarkation was also pretty bad. Disney assigns breakfast times to a couple of dining rooms on Deck 3, so hundreds of suitcases lined the hallways from people planning to eat then walk off the ship. Deck 3 is also where the gangway is located so everyone had to walk through this crowded space. The main atrium and Guest Services desk are also located in the middle of Deck 3, so we all had to maneuver past many people and obstacles to leave. Basically, everyone onboard was in the same place at the same time-poor planning. In conclusion, this was a wonderful family cruise. Knowing what to expect, with hundreds of noisy children onboard, we had a great time. All the staff was exceptionally helpful and friendly. We wouldn't take Disney alone though, without children. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We were so looking forward to this cruise. We had to cancel the last one on the same ship because of illness. We booked a mini-suite, which was fine, except when we turned down the bed the sheets were old and gray and the bottom sheet had ... Read More
We were so looking forward to this cruise. We had to cancel the last one on the same ship because of illness. We booked a mini-suite, which was fine, except when we turned down the bed the sheets were old and gray and the bottom sheet had a hole in it. I say the bottom sheet but it was the only sheet. You had the comfort or nothing. The bath towels were like sandpaper. Now to the food ! What was supposed to be hot was ALWAYS luke warm or cold and you have never tasted ice cream until you have it served melted in a warm bowl. This is after a very long wait after we ordered our food in the main dining room. The best thing we had was a hamburger from room service! The ice cream shop had 2 flavors of ice cream and ran out of cones. We have been on several Holland cruises and they would never serve food like this ! The entertainment was OK. But where was a card room or cooking class or computer class or a craft class ? We had read about how happy the crew was. Not the crew we had. Hardly even looked at us when meeting in the hall. Wish we had our money back !!!!! We could never recommend this cruise for anyone.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
The Century's design is at least 20 years old, and it is the oldest and smallest of the Celebrity Fleet; with the exception of the Expedition. In spite of that, we found the public areas in near perfect state. The cabin, while ... Read More
The Century's design is at least 20 years old, and it is the oldest and smallest of the Celebrity Fleet; with the exception of the Expedition. In spite of that, we found the public areas in near perfect state. The cabin, while rather small for a Concierge level was adequate; and in fact had far more storage space than the Solstice class. The bathroom, could do with an make-over. The size of the ship seems adequate, with a nice theater and many venues for dancing. We parked near the pier in San Diego to facilitate self-disembarkation. The terminal itself is a disgrace; dark, dingy with one small elevator and long flights of steps to climb with carry-ons. We were allowed into our cabin at about 1PM, yet it had not been properly cleaned. The sub-standard cabin steward was the only negative of the trip. Entertainment was outstanding; whether in the production shows; the mini-shows or the dance bands. The food was quite good. we ate in the Murano and the food and service was excellent. We had select dining and the service also was excellent. Breakfast we took in the special lounge established for elite members; it was a"Continental" breakfast but unhurried with plenty of seats. We walkded quite a bit in Santa Barbara and San Francisco (the ship docks next to the pier for Alcatraz). The only tour we took was awful, the "Bufadora" in Ensenada. It was a total waste, and we had to walk several blocks through vendors. Being "elites:" had numerous advantages for us on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We just returned from a wonderful five night Pacific Coastal cruise aboard the Celebrity Century. We originally booked this cruise several months ago on a promotion through our TA and decided at the time to "keep it cheap" and ... Read More
We just returned from a wonderful five night Pacific Coastal cruise aboard the Celebrity Century. We originally booked this cruise several months ago on a promotion through our TA and decided at the time to "keep it cheap" and book an interior room. As the months crawled by, the prices fell and we were able to upgrade at no charge to an Oceanview room. Three days prior to our cruise, I thought to check prices one final time...and was stunned to see a 2A Veranda being offered at only $80 more than what we originally paid for our interior. I couldn't call the TA fast enough and he made the change for us. It was the start of a perfect vacation! Minutes after the change, the balcony price shot up to $400 more than what we paid, per person! I have no idea how we snagged this deal of a lifetime, but I wasn't going to question it too much!! We were sailing in celebration of our 15th wedding anniversary, and decided that RELAXATION was the name of the game. And did we ever get it!! EMBARKATION: We arrived at the pier at 12:00 and within 35 minutes we were on board. Embarkation was very easy and very efficient. I was planning to surprise my husband with the balcony upgrade - he still thought we were in the oceanview - but when I put my card into our door for the big reveal...nothing happened. And nothing happened when I tried his card. So...off we went down to Guest Services to stand in line to remedy our key issue. Apparently our keys were still coded to our "old" room number, and they were fixed within minutes. As you can guess...this sort of ruined my big reveal to surprise him...but oh well. ROOM 8154: We were very pleased with our room on the starboard side of the ship, near the rear portion of the "mid-ship" area. While it was certainly the smallest room we've ever sailed in, the amount of storage was more than ample and we found the room very comfortable. The balcony had two chairs and a nice table, which would be used OFTEN in the coming week! My husband was thrilled with the balcony surprise and kept commenting on his shock!! It was so great! The one bad thing, was that the bed was about six inches too short for my husband - who is 6'3" - and his feet literally hung off the end of the bed, but it wasn't a deal breaker for him. The room was very quiet and in a perfect location to the rear elevators so that we could zip right up to the buffet and the Sunset Bar. Most days we made use of the prompt room service and enjoyed fruit and cheese plates and glasses of wine on our balcony in the evenings. We made good use (sort of abused) Celebrity's wine policy and brought on two boxes of Fish Eye Pinot Grigio and the refrigerator in the room was icy cold and held the two boxes with room to spare. Each box was equal to three 1.5L bottles (so we had equal to SIX 1.5L bottles!!), and while Fish Eye isn't my favorite wine...it certainly was plenty enjoyable and better yet...FREE!! Our ship board account was literally gratuities and a soda package - $140. We usually average a $500 bar tab alone, but with being allowed to bring wine aboard...it saved us a small fortune in alcohol. I purchased two Vino2Go plastic wine tumblers off Amazon and we would fill up our glasses before heading out to enjoy the view on deck or to grab a bite at the buffet. STAFF: All in all, we felt the staff was efficient and friendly. They went out of their way to smile and say hello when passing, asking how our day was going. Our room steward was very polite, but very quiet. His response to our requests was always immediate, and he had a knack of making the room up the moment we vacated it, without ever being seen! Once we left the room for less than ten minutes before heading out for the day, but decided to come back for a light jacket...and Poof! The room was made up. Being that this was our first Celebrity cruise, we were anxious to experience the "Celebrity difference" from Royal...but we honestly saw no real differences, no real "posh" feeling. This isn't to say it was lacking, but the service certainly was no clear step up from Royal. The ship had a very casual feel, and I'm sure that is in part to it's age and the style of cruise we were taking. SHIP: The Century is the oldest ship in the fleet, and we knew this going in. We did not have unrealistic expectations of new and flashy...so the "old school" feel that the ship has was charming and quaint to us. It never felt "old"...I would have to say classic is the correct term to describe Century. This was also our first time on a small ship, and while we noticed a lack of things to do and the quality of entertainment seemed less than what we were used to...it really didn't even phase us because we weren't on this cruise to be entertained. We were here to relax and just enjoy being together - with NO kids. :-) FOOD: We decided ahead of time that we weren't going to partake in the formal night of the cruise and decided to keep things strictly smart casual. We ended up eating in the buffet or via room service on the balcony for every meal. The made fresh wok dishes and pasta dishes were our favorites at dinner, very fresh and very tasty. For breakfast, hard boiled eggs were a nice sight - I'm used to strictly powdered scrambled gross watery "eggs" on RCI cruises...so REAL eggs were thrilling for me. Another favorite of mine were the delicious raisin scones with real whipped cream that were set out in the afternoons. What a treat. The several flavors of ice cream was also a nice change from the standard chocolate and vanilla soft serve we were used to on RCI. All in all, the food was very good. We never had a "bad" meal...even room service came piping hot and fresh and always arrived in far less time than we were told it would take. PORTS: Fantastic. What isn't there to love about Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and even Ensenada? For Santa Barbara we had no plan. We came ashore off the tender boat and walked along the ocean walkway and made our way down the pier towards some restaurants and some shops. We came upon a fantastic second floor wine store that had tastings on their roof top patio. For only $10 a person, you get a flight of five wines and the sunshine and views are thrown in for free. We spent a wonderful couple of hours up on that patio, just talking and watching the yachts and smaller boats come into the harbor. Oh, and we both got a cup of ice cream from a little sweet shoppe! Back on board time was 3:30, but I could have spent DAYS in Santa Barbara. San Francisco started off with a bang when we sailed under the Golden Gate on our way into the harbor. We made our way to the very front of the ship and were treated so such amazing sights. We had amazing views of Alcatraz, Sausalito, Ghirardelli Square, Pier 39, Fishermans Wharf, downtown, etc. I had purchased tickets to an Alcatraz tour on line and as soon as we walked off the Century, we made our way next door to get in line our our tour. The pre-purchase/will call line was empty...but the line to purchase tickets was at least 75 people long. We were so glad we purchased the tickets in advance as it saved us a good 45 minutes waiting in line. Alcatraz was amazing...if you've never gone I highly advise you go and for sure get the audio tour. It is totally free to get the audio tour and it is narrated by former prison guards and prisoners, themselves. Simply amazing. We spent a good three hours wandering around The Rock before we made our way back to shore. We decided to walk back onto the ship for a late lunch at the buffet (why pay for something we already paid for?), and then came back ashore to walk along Pier 39. We came upon a glorious little fire pit on the patio of a bar called Wipeout and we were lucky enough that it was vacated just as we were walking up. We enjoyed a few drinks around the fire pit and passed a couple of hours talking to a nice man who was in town visiting Giant stadium and watching a baseball game. He was from Boston and his "bucket list" is to watch a ballgame in every major stadium around the country. He was such a fun guy to sit and talk to. We didn't have to be back on board until 10:45 PM, but we decided to head back around 9:30. The sail back under the Golden Gate at night was simply amazing...what a gorgeous view we had from our balcony. For Ensenada we had purchased the winery tour offered through Celebrity. For the amazingly low price of $30 a person, we were taken to two wineries and given full tastings along with some of the most amazing heavy snacks that truthfully felt more like a lunch. Homemade breads, olive oil, fresh olives, organic cheeses, stone-ground crust pizzas with organic veggies and homemade creamy cheeses....it was truly an amazing day. The countryside was simply gorgeous and nothing like what I expected the Baja area to look like. Miles and miles of rolling hills and we passed one vineyard after the other. It was something we both really enjoyed. My husband has been to Baja before for the SCORE Baja races, so he was anxious so show me how beautiful the area was. L.A. Cetto winery was fantastic and we only brought back three bottles of their amazing Viognier...and sadly it's already gone!! We should have brought back as many cases as was allowed. Simply delicious wine. Dona Luna winery was rustic and organic...the wines were a bit sweet for our taste, but they were fun to taste and the real star of this place was that pizza they had for us all and their homemade jams and dressings. Delicious! After our return, we dropped our goodies off on the ship and took the $3 round trip shuttle back to downtown where we sat at a street-side bar and enjoyed ice cold Tecate and fresh guacamole and chips. Our day at sea was spent almost totally in our room and on our balcony, save for a couple of hours on deck at the Sunset Bar. The sunshine was blazing and the wind was totally calm and we saw dozens of dolphins, seals, even whales. SEAS AND WEATHER: The seas were the calmest I've ever sailed, save for the Inside Passage. The ocean was an almost earie flat, glassy surface the entire cruise. The ship barely moved an inch the entire time! The weather was beautiful...foggy mornings what would burn off after a few hours and gave way to cloudless skies and warm sun. San Francisco was a bit on the windy side, but with a windbreaker jacket we were more than comfortable. OVERALL: Loved every second of this cruise. We came home wishing we were still on board. Yes the Century is older, yes the carpet is a tad warn, but the ship is immaculately clean. The staff is gracious and friendly. The food is fantastic. What could you possibly have to complain about? If a few rust spots or faded fabrics ruin your cruise...well, I truly feel sorry for you. You're missing out on quite a lot. :-) Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
About us- I'm mid 40s, spouse early 50s. We have cruised 15 times, nearly all major cruise lines (HAL, Carnival, Oceania, RCL,NCL, MSC, Costa). We had a wonderful experience on the Century in 1999 for a 5 nighter. We felt very ... Read More
About us- I'm mid 40s, spouse early 50s. We have cruised 15 times, nearly all major cruise lines (HAL, Carnival, Oceania, RCL,NCL, MSC, Costa). We had a wonderful experience on the Century in 1999 for a 5 nighter. We felt very pampered and the food was excellent. After the last 2 cruises being Carnival -not out favorite line, but perfectly acceptable, and now in comparison, better-we were looking forward to better food. Let me say this was a huge disappointment. The food was actually worse than the last 2 cruises we took on Carnival and every other cruise line except MSC. The service was also bad. There were a few pluses. The formal night dinner was excellent and much better quality than the other nights. I noted the menu items we selected-the duck and the lamb chops, were on the specialty dining menu. I admit I am a fan of escargot and lobster an neither appeared any night (even the Carnival 4 night whipped these out) . I only mention this because I know people expect it! Otherwise the beef was tough and overcooked in the dining room and buffet. Other examples of shockingly low quality: precooked grey, dry meats on the stir fry station (comically they had a chef there"why?), our "concierge" menu for room service an asparagus scrambled egg dish. There was not one single head of a single spear. It was all woody pieces mixed in with powered eggs. The room service dinner we had one night was atrocious. It was something you might get at a nursing home. I ordered a chicken and ham/prosciutto dish marked as gluten free and it came, along with the side dish, also "gluten free" covered in bread crumbs. It was horridly dry as well-and cold-and we got no napkins"only one fork and spoon for both of us. What we had hoped to be a nice dinner our balcony required us to get dressed and head up to the buffet (the fish curry was excellent-it showed up a couple times and was the only good thing on the buffet, and nearly the whole ship) . Our room was made up at the evening service only twice, and after morning room service dishes sitting in our room for 8 hours, we gave up and put them outside. The room steward made a big show of not seeming to know when we would be out of our cabin, even though we ate at the same time every night. There was standing scummy water on our balcony all but one half day of the whole trip. Sometimes it was as much as a 1/4 inch deep. Other Service: with the exception of the main dining room; which was prompt and reasonably courteous but nothing more-service was disappointing. We made no special requests in the dining room and did not expect nor receive small talk so I am not sure how any of that would have gone had we needed anything during our meal or asked for anything more than to have our order taken and plates picked up. We had to ask our room steward for everything. We did not have the promised robe (supposed to be standard amenity in our cabin) until well into the second day and only after asking 4 times. There is a so called pillow menu which never materialized so I had to ask again 2x (more than anything, because I really wanted to know what a pillow menu entailed) The daily program did not show up until about 10 each night"so didn't have info about port the next day let alone the evening before disembarkation day. The staff seemed absolutely miserable and put upon. On at least 4 occasions we saw staff publically berating and demeaning another staff. My husband said it reminded him of the saying "the beatings will continue until morale improves" . Obviously the way they treat one another comes from the top down and I am disgusted they treat their employees and one another like this. I know the staff is very overworked and under a lot of stress but I have never witnessed this on other ships. It poisoned the whole atmosphere. Another weird dynamic had to yield all the time for management staff. I always happily yield to staff carrying food or other load, but I don't expect to have to stop and press myself against the wall so 2 staff walking and talking 2 astride down the hall can maintain this pattern or get slammed into. Another bad service example- I lost my wedding ring on board and checked guest services twice a day from the time it happened. After the 4th time, I asked if they had a lost and found log so I would not have to wait so long to check the status. Staff sighed deeply and retrieved the lost and found log. Of course they could have told me about this log after several stops but chose not to. You had to ask for EVERYTHING on this ship which would normally be a common courtesy. .And it would have been so bad if I did not have to wait in long lines of the most irate people I had ever seen or heard on any ship. I remember more than once the buffet having no plates. Since some of the food stations had them, after some wait, we would proceed to the food area"only to be scolded by the staff telling us we should have a plate. Then they would go to the back , get more plates and loudly slam them down. Another thing about "concierge class", never again ( although we probably won't be on X again)".not sure of what the advantages are (remember the asparagus stem powered egg dish was supposed to be an exclusive benefit? That's one of them! ) The room was poorly designed and small. I ended up with far more bangs and bruises that the typical trip. My 5'11" husband's feet hung off the bed and left only a few more inches of clearance between the wall cabinet. The itinerary was nice. Being from San Diego, taking this trip was a huge plus because we did not have to travel to get to port. Santa Barbara was great. We did the Urban Wine Trail -on our own, you get maps with 2 for 1 coupons from the volunteers when you get off the tender. Very nice people! All the wine tasting rooms we tried were affordable and interesting. We had a great cheese and cured meat plate at Metropulos Fine Foods Merchant. We then got an outstanding Chinese acupressure massage at the "Relaxing Station" on State St. I think it was around $35 for an hour! Catalina is great too. We brought our full wet suits and snorkel gear and snorkeled independently off Casinio Point and Lovers Beach. The visibility was not as good as it has been but still a great time. For the first time ever, we did not disembark at a port. I guess that does not say much for Ensenada. We have been twice before and other than the tour of wine country (which is must, otherwise we did not care for the aggressive panhandling and hassling that goes on in Ensenada) . We would have done Celebrity's wine tour, but we had visited the same 2 wineries less than a year ago with Carnival. I highly recommend touring the wine country in this area-it was a great experience. Other things: Embarkation and Debarkation fine. Embarkation was delayed due to infection outbreak on prior cruise and extra cleaning was needed. The gym had good equipment variety in very good condition. Without a doubt this was the worst value we have ever experienced in 15 cruises. We have had food and service as bad, but then the itinerary and price was amazing so in the end it was fine. I am ashamed we wasted what we paid for this trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
My husband and I have been going on cruises almost yearly for the past 15 years. We have been all over the Caribbean, Mexico/Pacific Coast and Alaska. After hearing nothing but greatness about Celebrity, we decided to give it a try with ... Read More
My husband and I have been going on cruises almost yearly for the past 15 years. We have been all over the Caribbean, Mexico/Pacific Coast and Alaska. After hearing nothing but greatness about Celebrity, we decided to give it a try with a 4 night Pacific Coastal cruise on the Century - economical and convenient for us since we live in Arizona. It turned out to be a big mistake. We had an extremely disappointing experience due to very bad service in nearly every area of the ship - from the top down. We feel that we are experienced cruisers and know what to expect. There are always minor mishaps and inconveniences that come up when traveling. However, we were not prepared for the complete disorganization and rudeness that seemed to be "the norm" on this ship. Here are a few examples: We were delayed boarding and getting to our cabins due to extra cleaning because of Norovirus on the prior sailing. That would be fine if our room was actually CLEAN. The first thing we noticed when we entered the room is that the bedspread was dirty. The bed was not set up properly. There was nasty food filth all over our verandah. There were pills lying on the floor that were left by a past passenger. We never met the cabin steward the entire trip - tried, but no luck. We never got a card for our door to request privacy or room clean up - despite asking for this by phone. We had to BEG for trash can liners and ice for our bucket. The napkins on the tray had obviously been used by past passengers. The sheets had holes in them and were never changed once during the voyage. The pillows were terrible and smelled old and funny. The TV did not work properly. Room service never brought the required silverware or condiments with anything. It was a disaster. The dining room service was good - not great. We like assigned late seating and got that. We were sat at too small of a table that was set for 10 with no space between chairs. Only four people showed every night, but waiters would not take away settings so we could sit without banging elbows the entire meal. There were tons of empty tables around us set for no-shows every night. They were so close together that the staff could not provide service without constantly banging in to you. We were placed at the far back of the dining room - and there was no aisle set up to get there from the entry. It was generally very loud and uncomfortable. The food was mediocre - had to send back inedible steak that was supposed to be a "medium rare rib-eye" but was less than 1/2 inch thick, well done and mostly fat. A few dishes were quite good, but I was often so frustrated and crowded we could not enjoy them. Wine service was also lacking. It seems the waiters are not allowed to handle wine on this ship. We never got wine until mid-meal and had a hard time getting our glass refilled. Forget about suggestions on choice - there was not time for that. The buffet was also a very disorganized mess. We did not get good service, even when it wasn't crowded. They were always out of plates, many dishes sat empty without attention. I attempted to get a "breakfast sandwich" cooked to order - as advertised at the buffet. It took me over 10 minutes to get anyone to notice me and to agree make it. I should have given up. Then, the cook threw an English muffin on the toaster and walked off. When it was done, the threw it aside and did something else until it was cold and rock-hard. Then, he dumped a scoop of cold eggs and a pinch of dried up cheese on it and practically threw it at me. He was not wearing a name-tag so I did not report him. There was little to no drink service at any time - unless you were paying for alcohol. Bar service was not great- drinks were always watered down and not high quality. The frosting on the entire experience was our total lack of disembarkation instruction. We turned in the required form to inform the ship of our plans the second day of the cruise. By 8 PM the evening prior to disembarking, we still had no instructions. At 6 PM we had asked a cabin steward (one that worked in our hallway, but not ours since he could not be found) for help. He said he would follow-up, but there was no response. We went to the guest relations desk at 8 PM and stood in a long line. We explained the problem and were told repeatedly that "the instructions were in our room". We had been through our room very thoroughly, and we assured the clerk they were not there. The Chief Environmental Officer happened to be behind the desk and he got involved. We told him that were very unhappy about so many aspects of service on the ship and this was only one example. He gave us nothing but blank looks. We ended up getting placed as a "walk-off" which was fine. We then had to request a copy of our account statement. It did not include standard gratuities and I could not get any response as to whether they would be added or when. The morning of disembarkation, we grabbed a quick breakfast and headed to the place that we were told to wait to be called (floor 6 at the Cinema/Card room). When we arrived (20 minutes early), the entire hallway was filled with passengers and luggage. The Cinema and Card room were full of staff having a meeting. They told us we were in the wrong place and did not believe us until we showed them the instructions in writing. They then told us that we could just get off the ship now. The gangplank was set up on level 3. We had to haul our bags down 3 level of stairs because there were hundreds of people in the "wrong place" waiting for non-reserved elevators. We would like to be able to point out some good things about the trip. There were a few. The itinerary was great - Catalina and Santa Barbara are fantastic ports. The tendering was not handled great. There were no staff below to help people to seats and a lot of elderly people were falling all over the place. Getting off the tender took forever because they only had ONE key card slot for an entire returning boat. Ensenada was the required "non-US" stop as usual, but we had a great tour "Wine Country and Tasting", then some fun shopping in town. We wish that we had done this cruise with any other ship than the Century. Celebrity has lost our business - and I'm young (forties) with many years of cruises ahead of us. Too bad for them... Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We did a back to back out of San Diego to earn enough points to achieve Elite status. Overall it was a great cruise on a lovely "older" ship. The demographics between the 2 cruises shifted quite a bit on the second cruise to a ... Read More
We did a back to back out of San Diego to earn enough points to achieve Elite status. Overall it was a great cruise on a lovely "older" ship. The demographics between the 2 cruises shifted quite a bit on the second cruise to a more "mature" profile. So I read with interest "TucsonMoms" review and wondered if she was on the same ship we were? This most recent cruise just proves to me that the experience is completely personal and subjective. Everything about our 2 cabins (first Concierge and then Inside/Steerage) was perfectly fine-clean, great cabin stewards, everything stocked--repeatedly asked if we needed anything, etc. The ports we did tender were perfectly safe and assistance was (and in my experience always is provided)given getting on and off the tender--I didn't see anyone fall. We did the Select Dining since we love going when we want and are happy to share a table--we met some nice people one night and also had fun connecting with our Cruise Critic friends that showed up for the sail away after the muster drill. Anyway, we had Mario/Jumer in the Select Dining area and they were GREAT--service was excellent. One night we didn't like the fish and we were brought the lamb and it was perfect--the food quality was good to very good in our opinion including the buffet area--given that it's an older ship it did have some lines during peak times but the staff was responsive and food was good-particularly enjoyed the asian themed food-great spice. The ports speak for themselves but we enjoyed zip line on Catalina and the urban wine trail (did it ourselves) in Santa Barbara. Also did Alcatraz in San Francisco--great experience. The ship was older, yes but they were doing constant work painting and keeping it up. If you want a newer ship then you might not find it to your liking--but we liked the smaller size and the crew was super friendly. So again not sure what happened to the previous reviewer. We did see a few examples of outrageous passenger behavior--a lady had a total meltdown in the buffet area about "cream cheese" not being where she expected it...yes I am not kidding. And another guy making a scene at guest relations trying to get out of paying the daily gratuity by saying he wasn't eating in the dining areas...please. We love Celebrity and can't wait for our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
My wife and I had the most beautiful time on this cruise. The suite: This suite was a bit small, and the balcony was very small. None the less, it was nice and worked well for us. The negatives are few. The jacuzzi jets didn't ... Read More
My wife and I had the most beautiful time on this cruise. The suite: This suite was a bit small, and the balcony was very small. None the less, it was nice and worked well for us. The negatives are few. The jacuzzi jets didn't work, the restroom was pretty small and the couch was very worn. Other than that, we really, really enjoyed the suite. This was a cold weather cruise, and we spent a lot of time there. Service: Service was fantastic. Our butler, Ryan, was just the best. Other than dinner at the captain's table one night, we dined in our suite every night, sometimes on the balcony. He was extremely attentive and friendly. He helped make our vacation wonderful. The ship: The Century was older, but fantastic. They kept her very clean, and everything is very easy to get to. The food: The buffet, was, well, a buffet. The food on the dining room menu was very good. We tried Murano's and it was a bit disappointing. The Spa: My wife has sciatica, and went for accupuncture. The lady, Tanya, was a freak. She loved to talk about herself and actually talked to my wife about the guy she was "hooking up with" on the ship. She didn't go back. We had a fantastic time on the Century, and would sail her again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We're in our mid-40's and have been on 30 cruises on 6 different cruise lines ranging from 4 to 15 days. This was our third time on the Century, we already know we love the ship, and were super excited for this itinerary, as all ... Read More
We're in our mid-40's and have been on 30 cruises on 6 different cruise lines ranging from 4 to 15 days. This was our third time on the Century, we already know we love the ship, and were super excited for this itinerary, as all the ports were new for us. We flew to San Diego Thursday May 3rd on United from Minneapolis via Chicago. We've been flying Delta mostly since they devoured NWA, but I have been increasingly unsatisfied with their service. When my airfare watchdog search turned up a good price on United I decided to give them a try. We had a quick flight on a smaller plane to Chicago O'Hare, then an Airbus 320 from Chicago to San Diego. Since the flight from Chicago to San Diego was 4 hours, I decided to buy us a cheap upgrade to their enhanced economy which offers 5 additional inches of leg room, well worth the comfort for a longer flight. I enjoyed the service on United, they provide headphones to watch the movie free of charge, while Delta sells them for $2-$3. At O'Hare I was initially disappointed that there wasn't a sit down restaurant to have breakfast at in our concourse. We stopped at the little Goose Island bar and ordered a breakfast sandwich that was surprisingly tasty. We arrived in San Diego about 2:30, it was sunny and 70, and we collected our bags and called the hotel to pick us up. We are staying at the Holiday Inn Downtown, booked for less than $100 a night on Hotwire. We were given a room on the 15th floor overlooking the city. The room was clean, a bit small, but fine for our two night stay. After settling in, we decided to walk down by the water; it was about a 4-5 block walk. The Sapphire Princess was docked there; we walked a bit further and saw the Midway. It was almost time to meet friends at Old Town for dinner; we deciphered the San Diego light rail system and caught a train from downtown to Old Town. We explored a bit before heading to the Old Town Mexican Cafe to meet friends. The food was good and conversation better. After dinner we went back down by the water and the patio at the pub of the Holiday Inn On The Bay, before heading back to our hotel. Friday we decided to ride the hop on hop off bus to check out the area. Our first stop was the Gas Lamp District and found Petco Park, where we will return later for a baseball game. Next was Coronado, we explored Hotel Del Coronado and stopped in at McP's. Today started out cloudy, but all the clouds burned off while we were in Coronado and we had another sunny day. Then we went back up to Old Town, which was gearing up for a big Cinco de Mayo celebration. We had yummy margaritas and nachos, before heading back to Gas Lamp and the baseball game. We like visiting ballparks, but find the game more interesting when one of our favorite teams is playing. I had a very yummy pretzel at the game; it wasn't a typical pretzel but more like a cheesy, garlicy breadstick in the shape of a pretzel. Saturday, it was finally time to board the ship. The hotel shuttle brought us to the ship about 10:00AM. Check in was easy, dropped our bags first then right up to the desk to get our key card, then I think we waited less than an hour and were on board before noon. After lunch we went to the Sunset Bar to meet up with folks from our roll call. We had an active roll call and a good turnout for our informal meet and greet on embarkation day. Muster drill was pretty easy; our muster station was in the casino. After muster we went back to the Sunset Bar for sail away. After sail away we unpacked and changed for dinner. I wasn't going to go back to Murano, but when I got the 20% off for the first night offer I decided to try it again. I had prepaid for a reservation for 8:00. We stopped at the martini bar for the first of many before dinner martinis throughout the week. I honestly don't remember much from dinner, when we finally got our entrees three hours after arriving I was so bored and tired I took a couple bites of my steak and left to go to bed. I should have stuck with my first instinct. Then it took a couple trips to guest services to get my 20% credited to my on board account. We were in an inside room on deck 12. We had stayed in this area on this ship before and enjoyed the convenience to the buffet, pool area and sunset bar. These rooms are designed very efficiently, the rooms aren't very big but have plenty of room to move about and plenty of storage, we only used maybe half the available storage. The showers on the ship are some of the biggest I have seen, with very good water pressure, although sometimes hard to get the desired temperature, sometimes it was too cold other times too hot. Our first stop was Catalina Island. We had reserved a four person golf cart for 11:00 to 2:00 and split the cost with another couple from our roll call. The golf cart place gave us a map to use to drive back to the botanical gardens and around the hills behind the casino building. There were some great vistas along our route. I think you could normally explore roads out the other side of town too, but the folks at the cart rental place said there was a rock slide blocking the road. We stopped at a place by the water and had pizza and tacos for lunch before returning the golf cart. After returning the golf cart we explored town on foot for a bit before stopping for margaritas and happened to catch the end of the race. Why do I seem to always book a cruise during the Talladega race? Back on the ship we spent some time in the comfy chairs by the Mast Bar, the weather was fantastic, sunny and 70's. Later we got ready for our first night in the dining room, after a visit to the martini bar of course. We booked Select Dining so that we didn't have to adhere to any schedule. We were seated at table 65 in Constantine's section and really enjoyed his service, so we requested his section for the rest of the trip when going to dinner. Monday was our first sea day; I started with a visit to the fitness center, which was busy, but not too busy to find an available ellipse machine right away. Then to breakfast in the buffet where I found the eggs benedict bar and for the rest of the cruise enjoyed one traditional and one hash benedict freshly prepared for me each morning. My first stop after breakfast was to book future cruises. Today we had a busy day ahead of us, first the Cruise Critic Celebrity Connections party, then a bridge tour, then the Captains Club reception. On a Caribbean itinerary I might have elected to skip these activities in favor for pool time, but I'm glad I attended this time. Our Connections party was at 11:00AM in the Hemisphere Lounge, it was well attended by senior officers and the cruise director. They provided pastries and coffee, but I was still full from breakfast. After visiting with the roll call folks it was time to go get our ID's for our bridge tour. I had never been invited for a bridge tour before and was very excited to check it out. We were given a very detailed review of the procedures and instruments on the bridge. It was amazing! After the bridge tour it was time or the Captains Club party. They were offering several different kinds of complementary drinks, I chose sangria. There was also sushi, fruit with chocolate and a carving station, entertainment by a couple of the groups on board and a toast with the captain. We got ready for formal night kind of early, we took some pictures, but they didn't turn out good, so we didn't buy any. We went to the martini bar but couldn't stay because there was a private party there. This is the first time I've been on a cruise with so many private parties that affected my plans, perhaps since it was a small ship. Since we couldn't spend time at the martini bar, we went to dinner early and were able to sit at our favorite table. I was able to have a dessert martini after dinner, but I didn't stay up late since I wanted to be up early to be on deck when we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge on the way into San Francisco. Tuesday morning we were up shortly after 6:00AM, we were scheduled to pass under the Golden Gate Bridge about 6:45AM. It was cool and foggy this morning, but I was determined to be on deck when we passed under the bridge. With the fog horn blowing we passed a couple ships on their way out, and then we didn't see the bridge until we were almost under it. The bridge stayed shrouded in fog much of the morning, but the air was clear and sunny at pier 35. Before we left the ship this morning, we noticed a crew working to replace some of the windows in the Hemisphere Lounge. We had booked a full day independent wine country tour through Terrific Tours. Since everyone booked on today's tour was from the ship, they moved our meeting place to the pier we were docked at so we didn't have to leave the ship early to find the meeting place. There were only seven of us on the tour and everyone was from the roll call so we had been chatting for a while. The first stop on the tour was the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge to take some pictures. Then due to a mix up we had an unscheduled stop at Muir Woods. After our driver/guide apologized, for the mix up we proceeded to the first winery. Buena Vista was the first winery in California. We had time to look around. The tasting room was in one of the original buildings, the new owner is restoring all the buildings. We sampled several wines, all were very good. After the first winery we went to Sonoma Square for lunch. Most of us had lunch at Maya Restaurant, I had yummy fish tacos and keeping with our wine theme for the day, had sangria. After lunch there was a place across the street with free wine sampling, so we made sure to have time to stop there before it was time to meet back at the van. After lunch we went to three more wineries. By this time it was getting very warm in Sonoma, sunny and into the 80's, it was a beautiful day. Our first stop after lunch was Larson Family Winery. This winery had three labs as their mascots and namesakes of some of their wines. Again some good samples, we also had time to go out back and our guide showed us some of their vines, they had the beginnings of grapes on them already. Our next stop was Meadowcroft Winery. More good samples, I thought I couldn't have wine sent home, because of local laws, but found that I could, so I bought a couple bottles to have shipped home. The wine arrived safe and intact two days after I returned home. Our last stop was at Jacuzzi Wineries, where we learned that the Jacuzzi family has been making wine much longer than they have been making hot tubs, beginning first in Italy then in California. Many of the wines they produce in California are from grapes they import from their own vineyards in Italy. At the conclusion of the tour we were dropped off at our pier between 5:00 and 6:00. We walked over to Pier 39 to see what was there. San Francisco, day two, we had tickets for the double decker hop on hop off (HOHO) bus. About 6-8 weeks before the cruise Travelzoo had a half price deal for the HOHO bus, we got tickets for only $15 each. After my usual breakfast of fresh made eggs benedict, we hopped on the bus at the Fisherman's Wharf stop. Our first stop was the Golden Gate Bridge, it was a cold ride there, and there was a lot of construction and we had to wait a long time for the next bus, but we got a good view. Back on the bus, we rode through Golden Gate Park, fortunately as we traveled away from the bridge the weather warmed and the sun came out. Then past Haight Ashbury and decided to get off and explore at Union Square. We took the bus driver's advice and stopped at Lefty O'Doul's for a drink, the food looked good too, but we weren't hungry yet. Then we walked through Union Square and Chinatown to the next bus stop. We rode the bus around to where we had gotten on, then walked a few blocked to the bottom of Lombard Street, then walked through Fisherman's Wharf on our way back to the ship. We were scheduled to sail at 5:00PM; I was excited to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge again. I was back up on deck to take pictures and it was so windy I could barely keep my eyes open. Then it turned out I got the best pictures after we had already passed under the bridge and were looking back, so next time I will wait at the Sunset Bar and avoid all that wind. Our second sea day was one wild ride. We were battling a 45 mile per hour wind and the ship was moving. It was still sunny, but very windy and chilly. We walked around the ship checking out the waves. I talked to several crew and they all said today was rougher than any day to Hawaii. I also stopped by the guest services desk for the second time to request my 20% OBC for Murano the first night. Today we dabbled in the casino, it seemed like I couldn't lose. I didn't win big, but I always took more money out that I put in. We also stopped at the shore excursion desk to book a tour for Victoria. At some point during the day I stopped at Cova Cafe looking for a bit more than coffee and discovered the Aspen, it is heaven in a cup! Baily's, Kalua, Frangelico and a bit of coffee and foam, yum. I thought tonight would have been our second formal night, but that's not until tomorrow. Our next stop was Astoria Oregon. We dock at the edge of town which is 12 miles up the Columbia River. It was another gloriously sunny day. They were loading logs onto a cargo ship next to us; I thought it was fun to watch. We didn't book a tour, but planned to visit the local brew pubs. We paid $7 each for unlimited rides on the shuttle between the ship and downtown, the trolley and the bus up to the column. We decide to start with the furthest bar and headed to Rogue first. We took the shuttle to the Maritime Museum and waited for the trolley for awhile, but then decided to walk. It was a little more than a mile and the weather was great for the walk. There is a nice walking path along the water near the trolley tracks. I guess the trolley finally made it down there a while after we had already made it to Rogue. We probably spent too much time at Rogue, but I felt like sitting for awhile after the walk. We had a couple different beers here. When we decided it was time to go to the next bar we didn't bother waiting for the trolley again. For a while I didn't really believe there was a trolley, and then we finally saw it back at the Maritime Museum. Our next stop was Fort George Brew Pub. We had a beer and oyster shooters there. It was starting to get late, so we made the decision to skip the next brew pub to go up to the column to check out the view. We caught the last shuttle up to the column and took a bunch of pictures, and then it was time to head back to the ship. Tonight was our second formal night. They had an ice luge for martinis in the martini bar. After dinner they had the dessert extravaganza throughout the ship. I didn't wander around since I was full from lobster at dinner, but I know they had cotton candy at the martini bar. As you can tell we aren't much for shows on the cruise, but we do like to check out the comedians onboard. Tonight the comedian was scheduled for an adult only show in the Crystal Lounge. So we decided to go, we got there about 20 minutes early and I really loved the band that was playing and wished I had found them sooner. I'm glad the band was good, because the comedian was not funny at all and was totally PG, definitely not adult only. Our last stop was Victoria, BC. At this port we booked a ship shore excursion to wineries and a distillery called, Great Fermentations! Wine and Distillery Tour. The tour started with a drive along the coast to our first winery. At Muse Winery we sampled several different wines along with locally produced cheese, fruit and chocolate truffles. We had a small world moment at the Muse Winery, because of a t-shirt one of us was wearing. We discovered the owner grew up in Door County Wisconsin; we spent a week camping there last summer. Our next stop was De Vine Winery; it was up on a hill with a beautiful view of Mt. Baker. We had several tastes here and spent some time in the sun out on the new deck at the winery. Our distillery stop was at Victoria Spirits. We learned how the still worked before we got to sample the gin and vodka. I was surprised at how small of a space in which this business as able to operate. They distributed throughout Canada and were looking to begin distribution to the US. We drove back to the ship through town and were offered a drop off; since it was getting late we decided to go back to the ship and save exploring Victoria for our next visit. Again the weather was fabulous and clear, I spent time sitting in the comfy chairs by the Mast Bar and stared at the Olympic Mountains, while others spent time in the hot tub. After sail away we had a great view of Mt. Baker. Tonight after dinner we spent some time at the Martini Bar then we went up to the Hemisphere Lounge for the 70's music trivia and party. We disembarked the ship Sunday morning. I had purchased a couple seats on the Quick Shuttle to downtown Seattle. Getting off the ship and through customs and immigration was a breeze, finding the bus wasn't so easy. I ask three different people and got three different answers. After standing in the wrong line for awhile, we finally found the quick shuttle on our own. To find the Quick Shuttle you have to bypass all the lines and go out by the buses, and then you will see their desk. The bus ride was really nice. We did have to get off the bus for customs at the border with our carryon luggage, but we didn't have to pull out any of the luggage below. We were staying at the Sheraton downtown Seattle, the bus dropped us off at the Best Western about a mile away. Since we were dropped off at a hotel, I thought it would be easy to get a cab, but the hotel wanted everyone to use their unmetered car service. We got a room on the 28th floor of the Sheraton; we had a great view of the city and an NCL ship in port that day. After getting settled in the room we decided to head out and find something to eat. We found some happy hour margaritas and nachos. After eating we decided to go back to the hotel and sit in the hot tub for awhile. The pool and fitness center are on the 35th floor and have another great view of the city. We weren't very hungry after the nachos so we just went to a grocery store a couple blocks from the hotel and got some cheese and bread to snack on that night. The beds at this Sheraton Hotel are very comfortable, we had a good nights sleep Sunday night. We were finally getting used to the West Coast time zone and slept kind of late, oh well, its vacation. We started our day with breakfast at Lowell's at the Pike Place Market. I had eggs benedict with crab, yum. After breakfast we explored the market some more then took a walk down to Pioneer Square. This is where the underground tour is, we did this last time we were in Seattle in 2009. I found it very interesting and recommend it. We stopped at the Central Cafe for a drink. Then we went back to the market and stopped back at Lowell's for a drink. In the early afternoon we stopped at Elliot's. We sat at the raw bar and had some wine, oysters and a fish taco. We walked down by the water for awhile. Then on our way back toward the hotel we stopped at The Brooklyn for martinis and oysters. We had an early flight back home at 6:30; there is an available flat rate from downtown hotels to the airport for $34. There was no traffic, that early in the morning. We connected flights in Denver; our lay over time was extended about another hour due to the plane arriving from Las Vegas late. We knew that we would love the ship since we had already sailed on the Century twice. We still love the ship and look forward to sailing the Century again. Although I love to try bigger and newer ships, I come back to oldies but goodies. The size of the Century makes it really easy to get around on the ship. The staff is very happy and compares themselves to a family; this translates into some of the best service we have experienced. The senior staff is very visible and personable. I saw the captain all over the ship and he would stop and shake your hand and chat. I was looking for something different than our usual Caribbean cruise and found it. All of our ports were new for us, great adventures exploring new places. We were very lucky to have great weather. I had packed a rain coat and umbrella thinking especially as we travel north it would get colder and wetter, but we never needed them. We have decided that we aren't done exploring the West Coast. While on board we booked a week on the Century in spring 2014 for the Los Angeles round trip itinerary. On that cruise we will visit even more new ports! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We arrived in San Diego night before our cruise, stayed at the Best Western Hacienda in Old Town. Perfect timing since it was Cinco De Mayo, and our hotel was right in the middle of the action. Hotel was very sprawling, comfortable and ... Read More
We arrived in San Diego night before our cruise, stayed at the Best Western Hacienda in Old Town. Perfect timing since it was Cinco De Mayo, and our hotel was right in the middle of the action. Hotel was very sprawling, comfortable and friendly staff. They provided us transport to the port the next morning. Embarkation: we arrived early around 11a, quickly went through check in with no lines. Process was very simple and organized. We were fortunate because they started boarding around 1145. On board quickly with our room was ready to go. Very nice. Room: our sky suite was on towards the aft on port side. very spacious for a mini suite, comfortable, and a very large balcony. We are hooked! We have always had a balcony room on cruises, but the extra space and comfort is addictive. We also got a great rate with a "senior" 55+ discount. Worth the hunting I did before booking. Dining: To begin, we both decided no formal wear for this cruise, we wanted to be casual. So we had already planned on doing formal night dining in our room. That was great! In our nights we eat in the dining room we found plentiful selections, and the food was very good. We did Select dining, and found the service to be good, but mostly hurried and not always attentive. We also asked for table for 2, and my only real complaint on the cruise was that they crunched 2 tops together, almost making it comparable to a table for 8, it was that close to the tables next to us. We also tried the buffet for dinner a few times and it was good Indian food, so for us it was fine. Breakfast and lunches we mostly buffet and it was fine for us, plenty of choices. We tried to do lunch in the different ports anyway. Staff/Service: Now that we have had a butler, and having read so many suggestions on the boards, we knew to just ask for whatever you want. And we did, and our butler Albino was awesome. Very attentive, loved the dinner service- did that on 3 nights. The staff on board was the most friendly and helpful of any cruise we have been on. The Century really lived up to its reputation of providing great service. We were very impressed. Ship Condition: well its an older ship, however...the staff painstakingly keeps everything clean and shining. There is wear and tear, and our suite had some areas that could use some rehab- water stains around the balcony doors. But overall we were impressed by how well they kept everything maintained. Ports: Without going into great detail, we were really looking forward to all of the stops- Catalina island, San Francisco, Astoria, Victoria, and then staying an extra 3 nights in Vancouver. Enjoyed them all. Once again got some great ideas from CC and rented ahead of time a golf cart in Catalina and that was a blast. Really got around and was fun. San Francisco was great, being able to get on and off the ship for 2 days made it easy to do many things. Loved the cable cars, did one day passes and got around the city quite easily. Invited to the bow of the ship when leaving, and while it was tropical storm wind, it was a blast going under the Golden Gate. Got some great pictures. Victoria did Butchart Garden, and that was really worth the visit. Fell in love with Vancouver! Worth mentioning- we stayed 3 nights at the Fairmont Pacific Rim (got a great breakfast plan rate) and it was fantastic. Highly recommend. If you like Indian food- ViJ's over the Granville bridge lived up to its hype!! Entertainment: it was ok. shows were ok. comedian ventriloquist was very good. since this was not something important for us, not a big deal. I have to say the celebrity dancers worked very hard to please. We did not stop by many of the lounges, so cant comment on that. We did go to Cova Cafe quite a bit, had the drink card- and Dean the bartender- was fantastic. Disembarkation: very simple and easy. first time I did not see any pushing, and the process was very organized. since we were going to be staying in Vancouver we were not in a hurry anyway, but by 9a we were off the ship and walking across the street to our hotel. Overall Experience: Very grateful to CC for all of the previous cruisers who made so many great suggestions, that we really benefited from. We really enjoyed the Century and will probably look for her first when we plan our next cruise. The smaller size, great quality of service and food, is rare on most of the major lines. Other than 1 day of very high seas (our second sea day) this cruise was a perfect cruise vacation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Left Over cruising means you get a great deal because you are joining in on the last sector or more than one sector of a continuation of a cruise. 800 passengers left the Zuiderdam in San Diego on May 8th. Those that boarded there, I ... Read More
Left Over cruising means you get a great deal because you are joining in on the last sector or more than one sector of a continuation of a cruise. 800 passengers left the Zuiderdam in San Diego on May 8th. Those that boarded there, I felt like, we intruded on their last leg of their cruise. Many Canadians and British were on board and settled into their daily routine of onboard life when in comes 800 beginner cruisers, burly "so what" cruisers and those that like to get away to revisit their great times on board previous cruises. My biggest disappointment is that the cruise line did not emphasis the dress code on board. Fat guts hanging out, shorts, unkept beards, loud and unsophisticated unsavvy "deal finders. Well, we found the deal too, but knew what to do when we boarded! When we got to the dinner table on "formal" night, we were the only ones dressed in formal and white dinner jacket. Others in sleeveless shell shirts, t shirts and a puzzled look of "we didn't know it was formal night" duhhhh read the daily program! We take any chance we can to cruise, but to find the likes of Carnival cruise types instead of the usual savvy cruise types normally on Holland America ships did put us off. the Zuiderdam was a great ship in that the cabin stewards, dining stewards, lounge waiters were all attentive and cheerful. Beautiful views from the Crows Nest, cocktails in the evenings, piano, violins and guitar music wafting through the lounges in the evening all made our short get away worthwhile. Cabin was worthwhile with a lot of space. The shows were weak. Again last of the cruise, didn't allow for normal mariner status perks, but also meant the last of the entertainment before going on to Alaska with new performers. We love the spectacular dance shows and only had singers this sector San Diego to Vancouver. MY SUGGESTION: Steer clear of left over bargains and beginner cruisers by beginning the cruise where you get the full feel of the experience. And disembark when you see the refilling of the ship with last minute cruisers. It does change the complete dynamic of the full cruise experience. I'd sail Holland America again, but NOT when we would encounter left over cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
This was a short getaway to relax after a family visit in California.   I was not unhappy with the change from Ensenada to Catalina - I've been to both before and either one was fine with me.  I didn't plan to do an excursion ... Read More
This was a short getaway to relax after a family visit in California.   I was not unhappy with the change from Ensenada to Catalina - I've been to both before and either one was fine with me.  I didn't plan to do an excursion in either place.  I had a spacious 1A cabin - it was perfect for one person.   Never met my cabin steward, but he did a great job.  I haven't had an inside cabin for a while, but it was fine for a short cruise.   Room service every morning was a nice way to wake up.  I had late dining and was assigned to a table for 8.    We were only 3 for dinner but my dining companions were very pleasant and we had a great time.  Our waiter and assistant were terrific.  I also ate in the dining room for breakfast and lunch on the sea day - all very good.   At the buffet, I prefer the grills and pizza to the other offerings.  I didn't do much as far as activities went, preferring to spend most of the days on the adults only serenity deck.   I saw a couple of shows, which were good and visited a couple of the lounges for karaoke and other music.   I spent just enough time in the casino to make a small deposit - rare for me since I usually win.  Embarkation and debarkation were quick and easy.  I carried my one small roll-on on and off myself. Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
We are just off the Elation.  Here are my impressions.Typically, we cruise Holland America.  No, we are not old.  We just enjoy the elegance and service.  We'd sailed the Elation before, and the first time we sailed her, we ... Read More
We are just off the Elation.  Here are my impressions.Typically, we cruise Holland America.  No, we are not old.  We just enjoy the elegance and service.  We'd sailed the Elation before, and the first time we sailed her, we experienced some culture shock.  Carnival simply does not have the same elegance that Holland America has.  It is a very different cruiseline.  It is more of a college-party-like atmosphere.   In fact, our first time aboard her, we got stuck with loud, falling down, obnoxious drunks for dinner.   I remember that I was about to deck a guy at dinner after he tried to stick his tongue in my wife's ear.We thought that we'd never sail Carnival again.  However, we got a gonga of a deal.   That was how we came to sail the Elation a second time.This time, we got room E126, a window room, right by the elevators, and very close to the atrium bar.   This was a great location.   The room was much like I remembered: orange and gray.  I think that that has to be the oddest color combination very obnoxious.  It also has this large box that holds the life-jackets in the corner by the bed.   It is a bit awkward because whoever sleeps by the window has to climb over it in the middle of the night when nature calls.  But, since we'd been on the ship before, all this was no surprise.My wife and I have a tradition of drinking champagne for sail-away.  We grabbed a bottle and two glasses and headed for the new, adults only, Serenity Deck.  There we found a couple of deck chairs overlooking the back of the ship, and opened the bottle, and watched San Diego harbor go by and eventually disappear.   One thing that I should note, however, is that the Serenity Deck is supposed to be adults only no kids.   However, as we sailed away, there were plenty of kids there.   I am not sure how well this in enforced. The atrium bar is one of my favorite places on the ship.  It was good that it was so close to our room.   The bar sits at the bottom of a six story atrium, with a piano straddled by two curved staircases, between two glass elevators.   After sail away, and before dinner, we spent some time there.We were crossing our fingers at dinner the first night.  Please no obnoxious drunks.  Please no obnoxious drunks.  To our pleasant surprise, our tables mates were quite nice.  There were two younger couples, 20-somethings, and an older retired couple.   And, thank God, none of them tried to stick their tongue in my wife's ear.Dinner was quite like I remembered.  No, it was not as good as Holland America, but it was not bad by any means.   For instance, I remember having prime rib on board our last Holland America cruise aboard the Oosterdam.  I remember thinking, this is so incredible!  The Elation also had prime rib one night, too.  It was good, but not incredible.   I'm not sure what made it different.   Was it the quality of meat, the marbling perhaps? Maybe, it was the was it was prepared.  I simply do not know.   The one thing that Carnival has over Holland America, however, is the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake.   That is awesome.  I had it for dessert every night.  I was told that if you ask for the recipe, they will give it to you.  I tried twice throughout the trip, however, without any luck.The day after sail-away, we went to Catalina.  We took the tender into Avalon.  Upon arriving, we made our way to a booth where we could rent golf carts.  After renting the cart we took all over the hills surrounding Avalon.  It was quite nice, and there were some incredible views. The next day, we arrived at Ensenada.  Of course, we could not get off the ship because of swine flu.  That day, my wife and I went out on deck, on the second level, found some lounge chairs, and caught some rays.  In fact, it was nice to see the sun.  Most of the trip, the weather was quite hazy and gray. That night, we saw the blues band on board.  Really, in many ways, this was the highlight of the trip.  It was a packed house in the Romeo and Juliet lounge standing room only.   I guess that this is where Carnival and Holland America really differ.  I mean, who would of thought that you could see a New Orleans style show on a ship.   On Holland America, there are soft Jazz standards played for ballroom dancing.  Here it was dark, smoky, and horns blaring, guitar and bass jamming, all character night and day, really.  They did say, however, that the blues show was unique to the Elation, that no other Carnival ships have it.   Too bad, because it really was something. The last day aboard, we befriended a nice couple from California.  We hung out with them all day, spending some time at the Drama Bar, and the Serenity Deck, in the hot tub.   At night, we decided that we would like to have dinner with them rather than our regular table mates (not that we had anything against our regular table mates).  The dining room staff was more than accommodating, finding us a table for four, even though we all had fixed dining at other tables.Debarkation was easy.  They had called our group before we even left our cabin.  We did not even have breakfast.  We just got right off the ship.In the end, I have to say that this trip was much better than our first one aboard the Elation.  We knew what to expect no surprises.  Not to mention, we had much better table mates.  All it all, it was a good time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
1st cruise for a family of 4, including 2 daughters (aged 17 & 12). This appears to be a budget cruise. The ship is generally clean, but decor is dated. We chose the least expensive cabins and they were adequate in size and ... Read More
1st cruise for a family of 4, including 2 daughters (aged 17 & 12). This appears to be a budget cruise. The ship is generally clean, but decor is dated. We chose the least expensive cabins and they were adequate in size and accomodations. The only real complaint I would have with the cabins is that there is no hair dryer. The bathroom/hallways smell slightly and while not overpowering, also not pleasant. The food was mediocre. Even on lobster/seafood night, I expected more. the lobster was overcooked and dry. However, the flatiron steak, which I got twice, was great both times. Service in the Imagination dining room was usually good. The pool was under maintenance the day we boarded and not availble until the 2nd day which was a disappointment for the kids. The entertainment was mildly entertaining. A moment doesn't go by with Carnival looking for ways to get more money out of your pocket via pictures, bingo, shopping, extra charges for internet, tipping, overpriced drinks. If you don't drink, smoke, gamble, and eat excessively, cruising may not be your thing. Because we had only one port (Catalina Island - Ensenada was pulled due to swine flu) we were bored. Cruising us just too slow a pace for us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009

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