Celebrity Cruise Lines - Cruisemates Reader's Cruise Reviews
Celebrity Cruises

by The Ward family
Panama Canal
December 17, 2005

This was our eight cruise total, first with Celebrity and previous cruises with Carnival, NCL and RCI. Out of all the cruises I have done this one exceeded my expectations the most.

The ship: The ship is GEORGOUS! It was easy to get around on. In some lounges there is stains and fogged windows, but who worries about a stain on the carpet on a cruise? the carpet on a cruise? The only negative thing was how unstable the ship was. We did have some rough seas this cruise, but nothing that I have never been in before. I honestly think that the smoothest ships are Carnival. Earlier this year we did a Carnival Elation cruise, which was also the same time Hurricane Dennis decided to cruise. I was very surprised on how smooth the ship was in those waves!

The Service: TOP NOTCH! The crew on this ship was the best I have ever seen on ANY cruise I have been on! They always had a smile, and where ready to help you in any circumstance!

State Rooms: I was a little disappointed on the first sight of our room. We where originally supposed to have an ocean view with a big picture window. Instead we had a porthole. After the cruise started we realized that we didn’t use the room as much as we thought!

Dining room: We ate during early seating starting a 6:00. Our waiters where Sergiu from Romania and Sugi from Indonesia. The where the best waiters in the dining room! They always bent over backwards to help my youngest daughter (5).

Oasis: Wonderful! Especially entering the café during breakfast or lunch! The great “Huzeini”(or Tex as we called him) was always there to great us. This guy was SO full of energy! Also we met Fancy from Indonesia, Renato (Portugal as we called him) from Portugal, and Robert from Romania. They where all very nice and always stopped and had a conversation with us during our delicious meal!

Overall food: On a scale of 1-10 I would rate it 9.5! They’re where few things that didn’t quite meet my expectations but overall WOW!

Entertainment: I would have to say that the singers and dancers on this ship where EXTREAMILY talented! All the shows where very much enjoyable! My Dh really doesn’t care for the shows, but on this cruise every night he would ask, “When is the next show?” They also had many activities for the kids! Santa came and everything! It was real nice!

Ports of calls: We are not the kind of people who do all the travel excursions. We just like to explore the towns’ close by the ship.

Cozumel: This was our seventh time for this port, but there is always something new that we encounter when we get there. Since Cozumel was very badly hit by Hurricane Wilma, our ship had to use tenders. The town really hasn’t changed that much except the prices are a little higher, and they don’t deal as much. Overall we really enjoyed our stop here!

Costa Maya: This was our second time for this port and its really pretty! It isn’t the best port of call though. The prices are a little high and there really isn’t that much to do. Overall we still had a wonderful time in Costa Maya!

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica: This was our first time here and it was just BEAUTIFUL there!! There are mountains in the distance from the ship and little islands all around. But when you get in port is when things change. At first I felt a little rushed in town since there was so many people walking around! Things seemed just to be going too fast! After awhile it got better though. The people where very helpful there as well. But just to keep you informed, you might run into children that will show you all around Costa Rica. Make sure you bring extra $1’s because they will be expecting it!! Overall we where very much pleased with this port!

Panama Canal: What a great adventure! It was very neat to actually see the Gatun locks from the other side of the web cam! We woke up around 3:45 am to get a good spot at the front of the ship and indeed we did! We where the first ones up there! It was really interesting!

Cristobal Pier, Panama: This was a great port as well! We really enjoyed stopping here! There where little shops and stores just right off by the ship that where very quaint. Also they have live dances from an Indian tribe, and dancers! It was anther wonderful experience!

Spots Bay: We where originally scheduled for George Town, but in spite of large swells we went to Spots bay. Really Spots bay isn’t anything but a pier! If you ever get in this situation it is $5.00 per person for a taxi ride into town there and back. Since this was our second time here we just took a ride around the town. It was quite an exciting activity!

Overall this cruise was one of the BEST I have ever taken! I always thought that Celebrity was too upscale for us. The kids seemed to really love it. It all turns out that maybe it will be our favorite cruise line one day! I just need a couple more under my belt to compare.

Lastly I would like to state that when the crew says, be back on board by a certain time they really mean it! In Costa Rica we actually left about a group of seven people running on the pier to catch up with us! If it wasn’t for the tugboat that helped them back on board, they could have been having a REAL Kodak moment!

If you have any questions feel free to send me an email and I will be more then happy to answer you question!