Celebrity Century Cruise Review by Desm
- Sail Date: March 2015
- Destination: Middle East
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View with Veranda
We were somewhat apprehensive after reading some of the negative comments about the state of the ship, however we always keep in mind that for every negative comment there is usually significantly more positive experiences because people are quick to criticise and slow to praise an enjoyable experience. Also some people appear to spend more time looking for faults than having an enjoyable holiday!
Embarkation in Singapore was fast and efficient, we were on board with a glass of champagne in hand with very little delay.
The ship may be the oldest in the Celebrity fleet but it has been very well maintained, certainly there was no evidence of undue wear and tear.
We had a balcony cabin on Deck 8, it was smaller than we're used to but adequate and comfortable.
Food in both the Main Dining Room and the Buffet Restaurant was of the expected standard with little room for complaint, the service was generally very good, it was especially noticeable that wine arrived very quickly, unlike what we've experienced on other cruise lines where, the worst example was when our wine arrived with our desserts.
We had dinner in Murano one night and the food and service was excellent, in particular the wait staff were friendly and helpful but never intrusive as can sometimes happen.
We only went to a few shows and they ranged from an Italian tenor who was excellent to a stage show which was ordinary at best, overall in our experience pretty much standard for cruise ship entertainment.
We went on shore excursions in Cochin and Mumbai which we enjoyed even in spite of an Indian Immigration system which conspired to turn every one off visiting the country, it was petty Indian bureaucracy at it's finest!
Firstly we required a visa which isn't unusual, then on the second day out we all had to spend about an hour in the Hemisphere Lounge filling out Departure and Arrival cards plus a port card for each of the four Indian ports.
Then on arrival in Cochin we had to queue for at least an hour for a face to face interview with an Indian Immigration official before leaving the ship. This process was so tedious that the queue became a conga line that stretched over two or three decks at it's worst and saw crew moving along the queue with water and juice as they made regular announcements to try and keep us informed.
We never went ashore in Goa or New Mangalore but we did in Mumbai where being the last Indian port the process was similar to Cochin but handled in a slightly more efficient fashion.
Our only comment and also that of many we spoke to was that if India wants to increase tourism, they need to lift their game to a whole new level!
Our excursion in Cochin was pretty much the usual ho hum excursion apart from the Chinese fishing nets which were interesting but could also be seen from the comfort of the ship as we sailed in. Our guide was an Indian woman who smiled a lot and knew the date of everything that ever happened in Cochin but was pretty mediocre as a guide.
In contrast, our excursion in Mumbai was fascinating with an excellent female guide who told us only historical facts that were relevant but also had a sense of humour and made the tour extremely interesting, having a more conversational way of delivery instead of sounding like she'd swallowed a history text book
The highlights were the architecture, the Gateway to India and the Taj Mahal hotel, the Lunch Boxes and the open air laundry, Ghandis house was also an interesting insight into the past.
The next stop was Muscat in Oman which was such a contrast with India, we simply walked off the ship and onto our tour bus, the highlight of this tour was undoubtedly the Mosque which is huge and fascinating and the Souk. The guide was a young man who was very knowledgeable and interesting to listen to. One of the really nice things we found with Celebrity was that when you arrived back at the ship all hot and tired after an excursion we were met with drinks and iced towels before boarding the ship!
On the subject of shore excursions generally it looks like cruise lines pick a tour company and select from their brochure without actually sending staff on excursions to assess them. Too may excursions see us trawl through endless churches, temples and museums etc which most regular travellers have seen enough of to last a lifetime.
One of the really nice things about Century was the lack of queuing on the ship, there were always tables available in the buffet restaurant, even at peak times, we had My Time dining for dinner and were always able to get a table for two with little or no delay.
The crew were outstanding, always friendly and helpful, our Cabin Steward, Antonio from Goa looked after our every need, the lady allocating tables in the main dining room was a delight, however the highlight by far was "Ferrari Man" in the buffet restaurant, he went around with tea and coffee on his wheeled round table all decorated with Ferrari merchandise, he was always happy and never failed to make the day of anyone he came into contact with.
This was our first cruise on Celebrity with previous cruises being on either Royal Caribbean or Carnival but we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and wouldn't hesitate to cruise with them again.
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Regardless of those criticisms it was in good condition, had great storage and was very comfortable. The balcony was pretty much typical wirh teak table and two chairs.
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