Our embarkation commenced with taking a taxi on Saturday morning, 2/19/2005 from the Sheraton FLL Airport Hotel to Port Everglades at about 11:30 a.m. Our bags were taken by porters, and we went through the Celebrity process, which took about 5 minutes, and after boarding and receiving our glass of champagne, we immediately went to our cabin which was RS1028, which was ready for us. The chilled bottle of champagne was on the dining room table with two flutes, and there was a beautiful array of flowers on the coffee table by the two sofas.
Because of prior comments here, I immediately inspected our suite, and even looked under the bed for dust bunnys, and there were none. It was immaculate, the rugs in the bedroom as well as in the living dining area appeared to be new. The only thing that I could complain about was in the large bathroom with whirlpool tub, two sinks, separate toilet and separate shower, was that there was several discolored spots on the marble floor. After a little inquiry, those spots were caused by either nail polish remover or perfume which had fallen on the marble.
During our cruise, we carefully inspected all of the public areas, and found them again to be immaculate. We were struck during our cruise by the number of personnel who were constantly cleaning the public areas, and polishing the "brightwork", whether it be at the elevators, the staircases, etc. We did see one carpet which was frayed directly adjacent to a metal strip in a very heavy traffic area. All in all, we were very impressed with how this 10 year old lady looked.
Now, to the important stuff. The boat drill on this occasion was much better organized than our last cruise on the Century. It was a brief 20 minutes, and was conducted almost like a ballet - with a crew member explaining each of the steps of the drill, leading us to our boat, and once everyone was there, it was over.
We can only discuss our personal impressions - but they were very good. We read on this Forum about one particular butler - Lawrence! When we initially entered our suite, I noticed that our butler was Lawrence! Well, every good thing stated on this Forum about Lawrence is true, and more. He was absolutely wonderful, and because we steamed for 48 hours at 20 knots or more in 9 foot swells from Fort Lauderdale to San Juan, Puerto Rico, my dear Nedra was getting somewhat green about the gills. He was always there for her, tending to her as well as to both of us.
Our room stewardess was Il Diko, and while she was like a "ghost", our suite was maintained in an immaculate manner. Her assistant Manuel was just as great, always with a wonderful smile. There is nothing that he would not do for us, including washing our windows, always cleaning the salt spray off the railings of our veranda, etc. Between the three of them, were we pampered? You bet we were. On debarkation, Lawrence told us to wait in our suite, and he would take us out, which he did. That was great, because the horde of pax had left, and we were able to find our luggage very easily.
We found the food in the dining room to be very good, with an excellent selection. Because Nedra was not feeling that great, we did have several breakfasts and dinners in our suite. They were ordered off of the dining room menu, and presented and served by Lawrence in the same manner as if we were eating in the dining room. While I will not talk much about the "table from hell" our first night at a table for eight, Nedra and I during the dinner took a smoke break, and Matri'd arranged thereafter a table for two for us. Our waiter was Gani, and he was absolutely excellent, and asceded to all of our wishes, and was very very gracious. [I tried to give a nice tip to the Matri'd and he refused it.]
Sorry that this is getting so long - but in our prior cruises on Celebrity, we had never taken any of their shore excursions. This time, we took a tour of St. Thomas and a tour of St. Maartin/St. Martin. We found the organization of each of these tours by Celebrity to be very remarkable, particularly because of the large number of pax taking shore excursions and the large selection.
Finally, some comments about the staff on Century. There were always smiles for us, "good morning", "good afternoon", they all seemed to be cheerful and happy with what they were doing. Each evening before dinner, the two of us and several other couples would have a drink at the Rondevous Square Bar before dinner. Our bar tender was Erol Gray from Jamaica. Erol after the first evening would spy us coming in, and would start mixing our drink. He was a wonderful host, and we enjoyed his services so much that I encouraged the other couples to give him a nice tip on our last night. Erol did make one request of me - to say hi for him to Lois R.
Sadly, a really wonderful experience is at an end - but, then there is Galaxy in October. Was it a great experience - yes. Now, there is one complaint that we had - the toilet paper holder is awful, when you raise the metal part over roll of toilet paper, the toilet paper falls out onto the deck. Nedra solved that by putting the roll of toilet paper on the metal handle of the "johnny mop" adjacent to the toilet.
U.S.S Westchester County, LST 1167 1958-1960
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