In fifteen nights it was all over and we were on our way home. It was a great cruise on a great ship, the Century by Celebrity. I wish to touch on the ship in a general manner before continuing on.
The Century started life on December 20, 1995, and it has been rebuilt once in 2005. She is looking a bit worn and is due for a re-fit in the near future. She is 815 feet long, almost 106 feet across, draws 25 feet of water, weighs 71545 tons and carries carries 1814 guests aboard. She can cruise at 21.5 kts. MPH is approximately 1.15 times that or 24.7 MPH. The top speed is likely 10% higher again.
When I decided to write this piece, I came to the conclusion that I really needed to start with the ending, and then work start again at the beginning.
This was arguably one of the best cruises we have ever undertaken! Every cruise ship has a cabin attendant or steward, and an assistant. Our Cabin Attendant, Irfan, was working long hours to make sure we had a great cruise experience. His assistant Douglas, from St. Vincent was equally adept at looking after our needs, be it dry cleaning or making sure our cabin was neat, clean and tidy at all times. Douglas was excited at the prospect of leaving the ship in San Diego, to go home to his wife and 2 kids. He, like all the other people who work on cruise ships are under contract for 6 months.
Our dining room waiter, his assistant, and even the Maitre D was evident as he kept an eye on things. Brian from the Phillipines, was our waiter, and was ably assisted by Gabriella from Peru. Brian offered the menus and his recommendations for the dinner, and Gabriella kept the water filled, the buns coming, and the plates cleared. Brian will be going home later in the year and will be getting married in December. Unlike previous cruises we have been on, the Maitre D was around most nights during dinner speaking with the diners. Incidentally, he was on the Celebrity Infinity during her maiden voyage, as were we! Small world!
We have sailed often enough with Celebrity to have attained a status in the Captains Club that sees us on the receiving end of some great perks! One of these was a Happy Hour for Elite Status guests to enjoy a quiet area and enjoy cocktails, beer or wine, along with other Elite members. It is complimentary along with the canapés that go with it. We enjoyed particularly our waiter, Sunawir from Indonesia. He was able to keep us amused with his smile and the welcome each evening. He also explained some of life in Indonesia for our enlightenment. Sunawir made a big difference to us in the Captains Club Lounge.
The last person I wish to recognize is Lise who seems to manage the Guest Relations Desk on deck five. We had a minor issue with water having damaged some wood in the bathroom cabinets, where it had left behind mould. There was also some mould in the shower. One of our pillow slips had been around since who knows when, but it would rip at the slightest touch. Joan, my wife felt that this was way below Celebrity standards and she complained about the shortfall to Lisa. Joan took a picture to the desk so that she could explain the problem. Within 5 minutes Lise was there in our cabin with the floor manager for that deck, and she took over and had the whole thing organised right now. Some items such as the wood repair had to wait until the next day, but they were all completed, all to our satisfaction. Lise followed up personally to make sure the work was done, and the site kept clean. During all this a vase of roses appeared in our cabin, followed by a bottle of wine from the Guest Relations Desk, and that was followed by an invitation to attend the specialty dinner in the Murano Dining room! This is Guest Relations at it’s best!
Like all cruise lines, there is a questionnaire the guests are asked to fill out regarding the level of service etc. This one didn’t have a space for our favourite person on board who contributed the most, and I was grateful for that since I would be leaving out some people who made it a great vacation. The people mentioned above all made a big difference to us in creating a great cruise. They are ALL Number One in my estimation.
One last comment before leaving, The Century in spite of her age and in competition with much newer ships, is rated by guests as the “Best Ship in the Celebrity, Royal Caribbean fleet”! This may be due to them having a ratio of one staff member on board to two guests. It might be, but I think it stems rom the fact that everybody on the ship one meets in any capacity was happy and helpful. They are all part of a team. We have sailed on several other Celebrity ships, and I too put it at Number One, due entirely to the staff! Bravo Century Crew!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Mark Twain