by Pete Wohlken
March 15, 2003
My wife Elaine and I were first-time cruisers on the Mar 15 sailing of Mercury. This was a round-trip cruise out of San Francisco with stops in Monterey, Catalina, and Cabo San Lucas.
We are in our early 50s. Our shipmates were mostly in their 30s and older. There were also quite a few children up to the age of early teen. There were few older teens or adults in their twenties. Think of a Mercury cruise as being about adult rest and relaxation.
There were many things that impressed us. For the purpose of brevity, I will list the outstanding highlights:
I was more or less in awe of the Mercury. There appears to be no feature of this ship that isn't well-designed and crafted. Experienced cruisers told us that the staterooms- and especially the bathrooms- are larger and better-designed than those on a typical cruise ship. The public space that most impressed me was the Celebrity Theater, where live shows were staged nightly. It is large, elegant, very comfortable and there are no obstructed views.
The crew and staff of Mercury were far beyond courteous- they were genuinely friendly at all times. It was a revelation to me that cruise ship staff typically come from all over the world. Mercury's staff included people from 57 different nations. In these troubling times of war and terrorism, it was very soothing to me- quite an
The food was simply the best eating of our lives. I enjoyed several entrees at the evening meal that I'd never had before. The daily breakfast and lunch buffets are incredible as well: There wasn't a thing I wanted that they didn't have in the buffet.
We enjoyed the opportunity to play dress-up. There were two formal evenings and two semi-formal evenings. I wore a tuxedo on the formal evenings and a blazer and tie on the semi-formal ones.
Last but certainly not least, there is a troupe of Celebrity singers and dancers aboard Mercury. I believe there are six young men and six young women in this troupe. They performed three different hourlong Broadway-style revues in the big theater. We were extremely impressed and entertained with these performances. The dance routines were
There were a few things that detracted from our cruise experience. Most are beyond Celebrity's control:
First, if you've never been at sea, you just don't know how the motion will affect you. Elaine was
Second, and somewhat related, is that the weather in March in the eastern Pacific can evidently be pretty dicey. So apart from the motion of the ocean was the fact that the daytime weather was a little chilly on our cruise for most of the trip. There were two good days around the pool, I'd say.
Last, an experienced cruiser told me that the West Coast just doesn't offer the kinds of quality itineraries that the East Coast offers. That fact really shows on this cruise. Monterey is nice
But all in all, we had a wonderful life experience that we will always remember. We have actually