by C. Sheppard
August 22, 2003
How did I end up on Celebrity's Galaxy for ten days? Well, this was my first cruise and I knew nothing about selecting the best cruise line, ship, stateroom, etc. I live in the Baltimore area and found out this ship sails from here, so that is how I ended up on the Galaxy. My time on the Galaxy was simply incredible.
I will review each part of the cruise as broken down below.
The ship was also very clean. Someone was always cleaning it seemed. The décor on the ship was interesting, but I kind of liked it. It was different and I like things that are visually unique. Our sail was smooth the entire cruise. I can only remember two or three times it seemed slightly rough, but it lasted no more than 30 minutes. On most days, I enjoyed the sky and promenade deck to relax and take my afternoon nap. The promenade deck provided shade with the lifeboats hanging above. I could also watch people play shuffleboard. My husband took most of his naps in the room. We also enjoyed just going up to one of the top decks and just looking out at the sea, feeling the breeze. The ship was HUGE. On the last day we still did not navigate ourselves directly to some places we wanted to go. Two places I thought were really cool to hang out were the Savoy and Rendez-Vous Square lounges. We only hung out there briefly, but I wish I had spent a little more time there.
We found the shows in the Celebrity Theater to be entertaining. We went to most of them. The Celebrity dancers/singers are really good singers but the dancing was not crisp or all in step. But for entertainment on a cruise, it was good. The juggling act was corny at times but very entertaining. The comedian (Bennie Long) was funny and Jeff Harnar, the singing entertainment had a very nice voice. It was easy to listen to him. Overall, the theater entertainment was good.
The movie theater was nice in size, but the screen did not complement the size of the room. The sound system also sucked. I may be biased when speaking about these things being that my background is in visual media. I do think everyone thought the screen was too small; it was complemented with two more monitors toward the back of the room. Not everyone may have realized the sound was not proper for that room or maybe some did since home theater systems definitely sound better. None of these things, however, stopped us from watching three movies, one really long one during our voyage.
We did not really participate in any of the other activities but it seemed like everyone was having fun when we reviewed a tape of our cruise the last night. We did see the Newly Wed, not so Newly Wed game and that was a lot of fun to watch.
Next stop, Cozumel, Mexico. I loved the excursion we did in this port; The Catch the Wave Snorkel Safari and BOND Adventure. The glass bottom boat and an authentic Mexican lunch were included with this as well. The lunch was pretty good too. Snorkeling allowed us to see many exotic fish and the BOND was awesome-the best part of the trip for me. The BOND is like an underwater moped. This was an excellent excursion. The clear water and fish made this a fantastic place to snorkel or do any underwater activity. After our excursion we walked around the town for a short while. This was your typical scene with shops and people egging you to buy from them. The looks of the town were not that great, but there was so much more to see here that one visit would not allow. This port is one among my two favorites. I would love to visit there again.
Next stop was Belize City, Belize. This was a port we had to tender to the mainland. Although the city is not really developed we enjoyed our time here. We did the Cave Tubing/Jungle Walk excursion. The ride to the resort was longer than the brochure stated, but we did get to see a lot of the area. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and gave us plenty of info about the city. The tubing was very relaxing with the river flowing in and out of the caves -very cool. The meal provided was tasty as well. We did a little shopping in the small area of shops right where the tenders port. The area past these shops was very rural with not much to do or see. Since the area is not that developed this is one of the ports that you must do an excursion to enjoy the city. There were so many different interesting tours you could take. I heard nothing but good things from people that did a different excursion than we did. With all good comments I heard about other tours this port warrants a few more visits that I would be glad to make.
Next stop Coco Cay, Bahamas. This is Royal Caribbean's private island. We had to take a short tender to the island. This was a long process. First we had to wait an hour before we could disembark or get tickets to disembark. This was because the crew had to get all the equipment, food, etc off the ship for the beach party that was thrown on the island. I noticed there were four tenders for the first few runs, but I guess after all the crew made its way to the island the amount of time it took the rest of us did not matter as much. I only saw two tenders making trips back and forth after the first couple of runs. At this port, more than half the people on the cruise disembarked. More tenders were definitely needed. Once we finally made it to the island we immediately had lunch. This was not the best experience. The flies were all over some of the food and the rest of the food did not taste good. Should have taken a hint from the flies. After the bad lunch it was time for our excursion. Here we went parasailing and snorkeling. The parasailing was awesome and allowed us to see the whole island from a bird's eye view. The island is very small (1 mile x 1/4 mile). Next, we went snorkeling. We had not planned to snorkel, but anything you wanted to do was available at a booth or shack on this island, so we went for it. I actually enjoyed the snorkeling, but my husband quit soon after he saw all the jellyfish. We heard jellyfish stung tons of people that ventured into the water. Neither my husband nor I was stung. I did not venture out as far as the people that were stung, although I did see a few jellyfish. My husband went out further than I did and he was practically swimming at Olympic speeds to get away from what he called an approaching attack of jellyfish. He called it quits after that. Soon after, I wrapped up my snorkeling and we lined up to head back to the ship. I must also mention that it was quite hot here, but I love hot weather. Hot weather does not bother me as much as it may other people. Despite all of the negatives of this port it is the second of my two favorites. I guess I just found this to be a place you could truly relax by the sea or join in on some activities if you like. No one was hounding you to buy their products, although there were shops on this island. I did hear the hair braiders calling out to people a few times though. There were hammocks and lounge chairs everywhere along the sea. I saw several people under the coconut trees taking a snooze. The atmosphere of this just being a plain island was refreshing for me.
Last stop Nassau, Bahamas. This was another port I enjoyed. Here we did the Sea & See tour. Both parts of the tour were great, but I enjoyed the sea portion of it better. On this part of the tour we boarded a semi-submersible boat that allowed us to sit underwater about ten feet without ever getting wet. The glass bottom boat has nothing on this. We saw all kinds of coral and fish, including a shark! The tour guide gave us many facts about that portion of the sea and its inhabitants. The land part of the tour took us sightseeing over a portion of Nassau. We saw plenty of historical places and learned a lot about the city from our driver/tour guide. We also stopped at some of the places and walked around. We ended our time at Nassau with shopping and just strolling around seeing more of the sites. Nassau was a lot different than what I thought it would be. It was nicer and cleaner than what I expected. Overall, my time here was enjoyable. I would like to visit hear again to see Paradise Island and the Atlantis. Our tour did not take us to that part of the island.
Internet - we used the computers a few times during our voyage. They were not in high demand. I thought the cost was a little pricey at 50 cents per minute. I tried to do my business as fast as possible, but the connection speed was on the slow side. If you use this luxury more than once try to use the same computer, as it has been to the sites you are trying to access, which aids in connecting faster.
Pool/Spa/Gym - From the looks of it everyone was having fun in the pools.
However, we did not get in any of the pools or hot tubs. The only pool I used
was the Spa's Thelosotherapy Pool or T-pool, which is really, really soothing
to your body. I also indulged in a facial and massage, which were quite soothing
as well. If you get a facial be prepared to buy or refuse when they try to sell
you their products. The Aqua Spa services I used were well worth it, especially
since I did one of the specials they were offering.
Here is a link to view some photos of the cruise: http://www.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=67b0de21b32f63c60552