Celebrity Century Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Deck Hand

1 cruise (first)


Helpful Votes

2 out of 5

Century fails to meet expectations

Sail Date: April 09, 2006

Reviewed: 10 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Oceanview

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.

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)

Cabin / Stateroom
Excellent stateroom attendant, cramped room made tidy twice daily. Carpet, bedding, and chair visibly worn, bathroom moldy as noted above.
Service and Staff
Some were terrific. some were rude, most were very good. Service as a whole is at a very high level, but a few outstandingly bad interactions with staff left a poor impression.
Just don't go to the shows. My local high school does better.
Food and Dining
Food was disgusting and often misrepresented (see above also). For example, "lobster tail with tarragon foam" was actually an oversalted overcooked and PLAIN lobster tail. Midnight buffet was beautiful to look at (ice sculpting, fruit and vegetable carvings, and a pirate ship made of bread!) but most everything tasted bland at best and downright nasty at worst. Lots of gelatinous no-bake style cakes and pies and slimy mayonnaise-y salads and terrines. Even fruit often was bland, soups lacked content (Asian vegetable consomme tasted like beef boullion in water with two slivers of chopped scallion on top), salads were just iceberg blends with shreds of carrot, and even chocolate desserts weren't flavourful! I was served a chocolate mousse that wasn't set properly (looked pretty but had an inch of water in the bottom, sent it back, got the same thing again, just asked for some fruit instead, prompting lots of snide excuses blaming *me* from waiter!). Blech.
Ship Quality
Midsize ship meant a lot of movement. All-night banging, vibrations, and rattling yielded poor sleep. Public areas have seen better days (see overall review above). Lots of mildew in bathroom. On the positive side, however, cleanliness was generally excellent and decor is attractive. Terrific art collection lead me to stop and enjoy many times.
George Town, Grand Cayman
Clean port with easy access to many activities, terrifically clear water, and we had a great expereince on the excursion which we booked through the cruiseline.
Don't Miss: Stingray city and reef snorkel or diving
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Seemed crowded and made me feel nervous. Locals are very insistant, practically forcing people into their shops (shouting and following you down the road!) Because of the long distance from popular excursion spots like Dunn's River and the Appleton factory, Mobay lacks appeal as a launching point for a day of exploration. I disliked this city and will not return.
Don't Miss: empty pool onboard the ship!
Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico
almost nothing to do except small outdoor shopping mall with outrageously high prices and outdoor pool (free but filthy). Basically a microport built solely as a cruiseship stop. I suggest bringing reef shoes so you could walk around the WALL to the right of the port to the beach (whose land entrance is otherwise three miles away!).
Cozumel, Mexico
Very clean and convenient port, easy to walk around, friendly locals. Great snorkelling. Our excursion was cancelled, but we took a taxi to nearby Playa Uvas which was a relaxing spot, with many nice amenities.
Don't Miss: snorkel

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