Century fails to meet expectations
Celebrity Century Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Sail Date: April 09, 2006
Ship: Celebrity Century
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 12 years ago
My overall impression of the ship is that she's seen better days. However, the chipping paint, mold in my shower, waterstains in my sink, and old furniture are NOT the reasons that this reviewer is offering a grade of "poor." After all, I knew that I was traveling on Century's last Carribean voyage before heading into drydock for updates and repairs. So these were expected, albeit definitely noticeable. The reasons that I did not enjoy my cruise have more to do with issues that I would have expected Celebrity's famous service to have managed a lot better.
1) Uncontrolled smoking of cigarettes and cigars. Theoretically, one ENTIRE SIDE of the ship is designated as "smoking" and the other is "nonsmoking", both indoors and out. However, in a ship of this size and with its level of indoor ventilation, this policy (which wasn't at all enforced, especially outdoors) renders nearly ALL of the indoor lounges unusable by a nonsmoker. Seriously. Any attempts which my husband and I made to use the martini bar, the Hemispheres lounge, the Crystal lounge, the Rendezvous lounge, and the Cova Cafe were hindered (or we had to leave) because of the dense malodorous smoke. Outdoors, I observed a pool butler BRINGING an ashtray for the use of a guest seated on the nonsmoking side!
2) Guest decorum: I recognize that the cruiseline is not responsible for the behaviour of individuals. However, I do hold it responsible for educating patrons and enforcing its own policies. Without a doubt, this was the greatest source of consternation the entire week onboard the Century. Approximately HALF of the in-room guest information book explains the Century's policies and how each should be enforced. And yet, I never observed a single infraction's being addressed. (So either they are incredibly subtle, or, as I would contend, they just do nothing about it) I was faced with HUNDREDS of unsupervised children running on wet decks, screaming through hallways at midnight, even three teenagers SEATED ON THE FLOOR OF AN ELEVATOR for over an hour just riding up and down (and near-totally obstructing the elevator's use, including their forcing an elderly lady in a wheelchair to wait for another elevator). Additionally, policies about poolside chair and table use were never addressed (on one at-sea day, over 80% (yes, I was so annoyed that I actually counted them) of chairs on deck were being "saved" even though this is a practice that the cruiseline forbids) leaving none for use by those who actually wanted to sit in one. (And politely asking nearby folks if we could use their unused-for-several-hours table nearly got me assaulted). Pushing, shoving, swearing, rude behaviour was tolerated in every crowd. At any time when I asked for assistance from a member of Century's staff (e.g. asking for help procuring a chair or stopping inappropriate smoking or trying to get the three teens out of the elevator or preventing the pushing and shoving in line) I ALWAYS got the same response, "There really is nothing we can do, Madame."
3) Foul cuisine: Again, I was not expecting five-star food here. I recognize that the staff is cooking for thousands of people all day long and that they are working very hard. However, there is much gelatine and mayonnaise used at every meal (e.g. cold salads and meats and no-bake pies and cakes)! Food was often devoid of flavor or dramatically oversalted. Staff members don't seem to know what they are serving (I was once told that a filled popver was "vegetarian" and then bit into it to find chunks of bacon and ham within), and menu descriptions are often just plain wrong (missing sides, altered sauces, etc).
4) Amatuer night, every night: Entertainment was so bad, we actually walked out on the show, twice. Song-and-dance shows were laughable less-than-highschool quality. Bad taste prevailed with magician.
In all, I felt a bit hassled and exhausted at the end of my cruise, mostly for preventable reasons.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Ports of Call
Don't Miss: snorkel
Don't Miss: empty pool onboard the ship!
Don't Miss: Stingray city and reef snorkel or diving
Pros: port excursions very well managed, in general service quality was excellent
Cons: ship showing its age, no enforcement of smoking restrictions, crowded, disgusting food, and amateurish entertainment, pool area overcrowded with "greedy" patrons ("holding" a chair all day with a zillion-year-old paperback while never using the chair, etc)