by Bob K.
January 13, 2002
We were very pleasantly surprised by the quality of this cruise. The cabin (outside, midship, Deck 6) was amply-sized with the most drawer/storage space we have ever seen (we have cruised previously on Premier, Princess, Holland America, and Royal Caribbean). It was very comfortable and maintaine well during the week by our cabin steward, Christopher.
The food was better than recent reviewers had led us to believe -- we all felt it was superior to most other cruise food we have experienced. The service provided by our waiter in the Caravelle Restaurant, Arman, was excellent. A real surprise was the afternoon tea -- not the elegant tea held one day/week, but the regular tea which offered great sandwiches, pizza (served at the same time as was the tea), and the best pastries/cookies we have ever sampled on a cruise ship. In fact, the pastries served on this ship the entire week were the best we've tasted on a ship. We also thoght the soups were consistently good all week and much superior to those served on other ships. The entrees were good and some were superior -- the veal cordon bleu being one of them. For lobster lovers, however, the tails we were served were rubbery and not very flavorful. Overall we all felt the food on this Celebrity vessel was as good or, usually, better than the food served on other lines.
What made this cruise so good in our opinion was the quality of the cruise staffers. Unfortunately for future cruisers on the Zenith, several of the staffers will be moving on in the very near future. The typical cruise activities (e.g., trivia games, bingo, game shows)were made more entertaining by the talents of the cruise staff -- they were just very personable and the type of people who make you feel comfortable. In particular, Heather was a sweetie, and Derek had a lot of fun calling Bingo.
The entertainment in the Celebrity Show Lounge was of the typical crise ship variety, and that's not all bad depending upon your taste. I felt that the Celebrity Dancers were among the best I've seen perform on the various cruiselines.
Overall, this was one of the most enjoyable cruises we've ever had. This was not what we were expecting since we usually prefer the megaships for their broad range of entertailnment possibilities. I guess attitude can be changed when you win a share of the bingo jackpot, but we honestly felt very positively about this Zenith cruise prior to the last evening. My spouse had previously stated that this was probably the most relaxing cruise we have ever taken, and I have to agree.