by Michael Price
November 16, 2001
Executive Summary: Excellent cruise for those who want something low key and relaxing but enjoy the formal elements of cruising. About me: Married male, age 32, travelling with spouse. This was my 5th cruise, 1st on Celebrity. Previous cruises on Carnival, Princess, and Royal Olympic.
Pro's & Con's:
+ The production broadway style shows were excellent. Not as flashy as Carnival but the dancers were great and they picked some wonderfully different numbers. Costumes were the best I've seen.
+ The ship was well maintained and clean. It had a very contemporary and subdued color scheme. Nothing flashy or outrageous. Easy on your eyes.
+ The crew was excellent across the board. I never encountered any crew member that was rude or obnoxious. Most crew members would go out of their way to engage you in friendly talk or just say hi. Special kudo's to the dining room and housekeeping staff.
+ The ship is not that big so it's very easy to find your way around.
+ Embarkation was excellent. 15 minutes from bus to boat.
+ We had a category 4 outside cabin. We found it very nicely furnished with plenty of space. The cabin steward combined the 2 beds into one for us at our request.
+ While the ship only has one pool there's always space and plenty of deck chairs throughout the ship. The little covered cabana style benches on the back of the ship were very romantic.
+ The wine stewards really seemed to know their stuff and made many excellent recommendations.
+/- Our waiter Dervis was super friendly and always bringing us extra food even without asking. Unfortunately his command of english could use some work. Everyone at the table agreed that he was hard to understand. We thought he might bring us extra food in case he didnt understand us.
+/- Cabin steward Annie was wonderfully nice and did excellent work. She did not make any animals out of towels though like I've seen stewards on other lines do. (a very minor complaint)
+/- Debarkation was quick but when we got off the ship we had to sit for an hour waiting for the shuttle to arrive to take us to the post-cruise hotel. Since we purchased the hotel through the cruise line we thought the shuttle should have been waiting at the port when we arrived. The hotel they arranged was excellent though (Hilton Fountainbleu in Miami Beach).
+/- The comedian on board wasn't very funny but they had a concert pianist who was excellent and also told jokes in between songs.
+/- They also had a very unique marionette show for entertainment one night. I thought it was very different and creative but after 20 minutes it got old.
+/- Pictures taken by the ships photographer were very well done and usually turned out good but were very expensive. An 8x11 pic could cost $25.
- During sea days there wasn't a whole lot of activities. Other ships I've been on had a lot more going on during sea days if you wanted to keep busy.
- The guest talent show just stunk. No talent and the staff running it didnt even announce what people would be performing.
- The Coral Sea restaurant, where they serve the buffet, was not well layed out so it's crowded around the buffet line. All the tables surrounding the buffet fill up fast.
- The water in the cabin was hard to adjust. The sink water never got colder than room temp. The shower water was touchy and it was hard to keep the water adjusted to a comfortable temperature, sometimes too hot and sometimes too cold.
- I thought they closed the pool and hot-tub too early every day (usually 5pm). I dont see why they couldnt be left open until Midnight. The water in the hot-tub wasn't that hot and the hot-tub cycles on and off every 5 minutes so it could be a bit annoying.
- They had both formal nights on days in port. This meant you had to rush back from port and spend a lot of time getting ready for dinner when you were usually tired. We wish they had placed the 2 formal nights on the 2 days at sea so it would have been easier to prepare for them.
> If you want a very relaxing and pleasurable cruise definately consider Celebrity and the Horizon. Since it's one of their oldest ships it doesnt have all the features and size of their new ships. The 1st rate crew more than makes up for the lack of features and makes the cruise just perfect.
> All the cruise shore excursions we tried were excellent although some were pricey. Definately budget some serious money for shore excursions if you buy theirs.
> We did the Research Sub 800' deep dive in Grand Cayman and recommend it to anyone who wants a once in a lifetime experience. It's just 2 people and the sub driver on a very unique underwater tour. The ship only has 2 tickets for this and they cost $350 each so if your interested go to the Shore desk 1st thing on arrival and ask if their available.
> We also tried the Xcaret Eco Park at Cozumel. If you like water, snorkeling, beaches, dolphins, scuba/snuba, cultural shows, or animals then try this place out. It was fantastic, especially the snorkeling in the 2 underground rivers. At this one park they offer many of the same activities that the cruise ship sells as several different excursions. Don't miss this one.
> In Progresso we did the Chicen Itza excursion. We had 2 wonderful guides, Manuel and Hugo, who had endless stuff to tell us all along the trip. If you want to see some amazing ruins then you'll be overwhelmed by this place. My wife has been to Machu Pichu in Peru and she thought this was just as interesting. We also heard the ruins in Uxmal were nice but we couldn't do that trip so we cant compare.
> The majority of passengers seemed to be in the 40-50's age range. There were about 200 kids on our cruise and thankfully Celebrity seated most of the families with children in one wing of the dining room so not as to disturb others. There were a number of 30 somethings and of course plenty of older folks. I wouldn't recommend this line for people in the 20's crowd or anyone looking for a "party" atmosphere.
> We found this ship to be much more classy than some of the larger lines (ie. RCCL and Carnival). Most people dressed up for dinner nightly and many men wore tuxes on formal nights. We highly enjoyed this but if your looking to go to dinner in shorts or jeans every night then you may not like this line. If you enjoy the opportunity to dress up you'll be very pleased.