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Clockwise, from top right:

A standard, Category 6, outside cabin. Beds are arranged parallel to each other instead of in an “L” pattern which would be consistent with the size of the cabin, and provide additional “move around” space. The upper bunks are located on the walls, above the beds, taking valuable space away from the cabin when the beds are joined together forming a queen sized. The lamp in the end table is actually twin lamps, permanently glued to the tables The glass shades rattle!

The bureau, instead of being placed flush, against the wall, is cate-cornered, again, taking up valuable floor space. There is NO couch, just a small chair. A 19 inch TV is provided, larger than is normal in a standard cabin. A refrigerator is located below the TV, but, it is not there to benefit passengers! It was installed in an attempt to provide the line an additional source of income…the pay bar! Closet space is voluminous! Enough for a cruise length of months! However, the ship only sails 7 day Caribbean cruises! The space would have been much better utilized for walk around space rather than storage! Celebrity acknowledged the situation in subsequent ships, offering more floor space, less storage space, in accommodations dubbed, and marketed as “Deluxe”. Standard Ocean View cabins on Mercury and Galaxy retain the original Century design. (Both cabins are the same size, but the deluxe has better utilization of space, much in the style of the new Royal Caribbean Ships, in fact, virtually identical to them).

The introduction to Century: the Grand Foyer! We walked on board without even noticing! It just doesn’t make much of a statement! Note the marble floor. Shiny, and without carpeted thorough fares. The elderly and those with less then agile mobility are provided with no alternate means of traversing this slippery area! Seniors not wishing to risk hip injury should avoid this ship!!

The Grand Foyer. Looking down from the upper lever, the white wall is actually made up of projection Television Screens. Although less than a year old at the time, many images were already indelibly “burned” into the screens, ruining the effect! It is surely worse now! The wall is also fronted by three story waterfall. Don’t expect to see it operating much, it tends to be messy on a moving ship!

The Grand Foyer, showplace of the Century! The white lights on the ceiling change color during the day…white, simulating daylight, red: dusk, and blue: evening. If the designers had opened the space up by adding windows, simulations wouldn’t have been necessary! Overall, this is one of the poorest executions of an atrium ever placed on a ship. It serves no purpose, and is neither a crossroads, nor a place of meeting. The Boulevard Shops, surrounding the Foyer, are excellent though. But, don’t expect to find a liquor shop! Any liquor bought on board is only delivered the last day of the cruise, and is not available for in cabin consumption!! Why do you think they included the stocked refrigerator in all cabins?? For your own beverages?? NOT ON YOUR LIFE!



Clockwise, from upper right:

In a move illustrative of the exact attitude of the Cruise Line, Century sells Feminine hygiene products in the Grand Foyer!! Note the arrows! This is not in a shop!! It’s right in the Foyer! Class at it’s lowest!!

The famous Celebrity Rendez-Vous Lounge. This room was so dark and claustrophobic, eventually I refused to even sit in it while waiting for dinner. Probably the most uncomfortable room, in which, I have been, anywhere! For art, there is a ladder leading to the ceiling. It wasn’t until the last day that my wife realized it to be art, and not a remnant of another careless Century workman.

The Grand Restaurant. This is actually a beautiful room! However, the apparent spaciousness is deceiving. Unlike chairs on other ships, here, there are no armrests! Fill the dining room with passengers, and you get a crowded space. So crowded, in fact, that diners, unlucky enough to be situated along the path of passing waiters, are constantly jostled in their seats. Despite claims to the contrary, there is NO formal training of waiters here: dishes are constantly presented and removed improperly, even to the extent of waiters reaching across one diner to reach the adjacent diners place setting. Food, although not bad, is far from being superior to that available on other lines. There is no OFF MENU ordering, and even minor requests such as “omitting onions” are next to impossible to achieve; the waiters often simply scraping the offending items off of foods instead of preparing the foods properly in the first place! Much has been said about Celebrity’s spending twice the amount on food versus other, competing lines; the inference being that because it costs more, it must be better! Not true! Celebrity utilizes an outside food service. On a cost accounting basis, of course food prepared by an outside caterer costs more than if it was prepared in house! If Celebrity had the funds to take the food preparation in house, they would have! They didn’t so had no choice but to contract it out! With Royal Caribbean now in the picture, and funds now available to “do it right” let’s see what the future holds. Due to Celebrity's choice of an archaic propulsion/power system, the diesel engines cause severe vibrations throughout the entire rear area of the dining room; vibrations that only cease when the ship is in port. The forward, balcony, portion is vibration free but suffers from the unrelenting tunes of a player piano played at a volume not conducive to conversation. Once again, an "upscale" line would provide the talents of a pianist, not a computer programmer, to provide background dinner music!

Fortunes Casino. Unremarkable except for what is missing: Chairs at the slot machines! There are a few, on heavy bases. But for the most part, it is standing room only! Sure it looks spacious, but just as in the dining room, and the line in general….it’s a false impression!

This is an open carpet seam, shown relative to a shoe, located along the heavily trafficked corridor leading past the photo display to the Rendez-Vous Lounge and Dining Room. Everyone passes through this corridor. This seam was ignored for 4 days of our cruise, despite being an obvious “trip” hazard, particularly for ladies in high heels. It was only repaired AFTER I was seen taking this photograph! TOO late!! Such sloppy maintenance was typical aboard this ship with numerous broken mirrors and such everywhere!

Copyright © 1998 Mel Litzenberger. All Rights Reserved.


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