…Catch up on Part 1: Murano and Santa Barbara, California and Part 2: Catalina Island, California and The Grand Restaurant of our Live Cruise Review.
We’re pleased to conclude our Celebrity Century Live Cruise Review – formerly known as a Live Voyage Review – with excitement for the cruise ship and anticipation to return onboard very soon. One thing that is certain: four days is not enough time to take in a ship entirely, and as a result, this Post Cruise Review will be briefer than usual. Overall, Celebrity Cruises‘ Modern Luxury brand is well represented on the Celebrity Century, thanks mostly to her newest features such as the excellent Murano specialty restaurant and refined decor.
There were indeed hiccups at the beginning and end of our cruise with resolving our stateroom configuration on the first day – our original cabin was not outfitted as described in the brochure – and posting due statement credits on the last day – it took four visits to guest relations to finalize, but the time in between was very enjoyable, although much too short. Still, Celebrity Century is one cruise ship not to be missed, especially since she has some expected Solsticization in store next February. Read on to learn more…
For the longest time I couldn’t understand why Celebrity Cruises would spin off its youngest Century-class ships – the former Galaxy and Mercury – to TUI Cruises and hold on to the oldest and smallest of the three classmates – the Celebrity Century. It seemed to me like a curious choice, but during our interview, Christopher Scaliotis, Celebrity Century Hotel Director, helped to provide an explanation. One version he had heard was that the Century, as the first in her class, was a bit of a “good luck charm for the company.”
He went on to describe the ship as being more akin to a boutique hotel than some of the mega-ships in service today, and I completely agree with his assessment. In fact, the ship reminded me in many ways of the smaller vessels sailing for Azamara Club Cruises as a favorite among seasoned cruisers with a focus more on destinations, and our itinerary was definitely that: everyday we were at a new port-of-call.
As with all smaller ships, the cabins too will be smaller than on newer, larger vessels, but all in all, those onboard Celebrity Century are very comfortable. Celebrity was very helpful at relocating us from our original cabin that was missing an expected sofa-sleeper to an upgraded family veranda stateroom. Not only did this room have a sofa-sleeper, it was a larger one in a living space separate from the main bedroom with a convenient sliding partition. The aft-facing veranda looking over the ship’s wake was another treat.
The bathroom even sported an ace feature that I previously recommended for improving the tiny showers onboard the Azamara Quest, corporate cousin to Celebrity Century. These showers have done away with the old straight curtain track in favor of a bar that bows away from the shower compartment – like you might find at a shoreside hotel – to help draw the curtain away and make the bathing area roomier. Now I only wish there was more than a single 110V electrical outlet outside the bathroom to charge from.
Culinary excellence has always been a hallmark of Celebrity Cruises, and that remains true onboard the Century. Murano shines as the only specialty restaurant onboard with tasty dishes comparable to those usually reserved for luxury cruise lines. This added dining venue has been expertly incorporated into the existing layout of the ship and features superb interior design. Service is equally polished in Murano as in the ship’s main dining room.
In fact, we were pleasantly surprised by just how wonderful the service was in The Grand Restaurant. There has been a noticeable improvement in attentiveness since our last Celebrity cruise, and for banquet-prepared food, this premium line is still very hard to beat. Even deck-food – as James Lay, my cohost at CruizeCast, would call it – is yummy with juicy hamburgers and savory pizza pies. The casual Islands Cafe rounds out the culinary offerings with a wide selection of buffet choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I was usually writing my Live Cruise Reviews after a day in port when the production shows were going on during this cruise, so I can’t say what those were like, but entertainment standouts we did enjoy were a full live band and an a cappella group heard throughout the ship. As two performer categories becoming less and less present on cruise ships, I was most pleased to see Celebrity Cruises committed to maintaining them.
Also, we did make it to the Celebrity Theatre to see ventriloquist, comedian and America’s Got Talent finalist, Michael Harrison. I’ve been a fan of puppetry since I can remember with a passion in particular for The Muppets, whom this performer has worked with. The show was quite amusing despite featuring some old cruise jokes and a tennis ball puppet that I’ve seen in an act before. However, he very cleverly took it further with an antagonist made from a tennis racket.
The Future: A Solsticized Celebrity Century
I certainly intend to sail onboard Celebrity Century again to get a fuller appreciation for what she offers, and it just so happens that her future looks to be quite spectacular. I learned from the hotel director that she is scheduled for drydock in February of 2014, and while nothing is set in stone yet, it is expected that she will follow the Millennium-class vessels with her own Solsticization makeover during this time to more closely resemble the rest of the fleet including the titular Solstice-class.
New features that are being discussed include AquaClass cabins, Blu, a Molecular Bar, the conversion of Cova Cafe into Cafe al Bacio, and probably Qsine, and while no mention has been made of the addition of a Bistro on Five and an iLounge, it would stand for reason that these might be on the docket as well. Hotel Director, Christopher Scaliotis also anticipates an improved flow throughout the venues on the ship and expresses excitement for the future of Celebrity Cruises, considering new President and CEO, Michael Bayley, an “out-of-the-box thinker.”
Whatever the specific future of the Celebrity Century, Popular Cruising will be there to report on and experience it to convey to all of our readers. So stay tuned! Also, watch our extensive Celebrity Century Ship Review Video here. For more information on the Celebrity Century, visit Celebrity Cruises‘ website here. Join the Popular Cruising community and discuss your thoughts about the Celebrity Century in the comments section below…