February 15, 2004
This was our first Celebrity cruise and we had a great time. The Zenith left out of Jacksonville. We stayed at the Jacksonville Airport Wingate and they were wonderful. Bina, the manager, was helpful and friendly. She personally drove us to the dock. They have a great cruise package including room, breakfast, transportation to port, pick up after the cruise, and free parking for the length of the cruise.
Embarkation was smooth and effortless. Everyone was friendly. Our cabin steward, Jose, was the best. Cabins are a little smaller than Carnival and Holland America ships but still had plenty of closet space. The bathroom was also smaller but was fine for us. The hot water was an off and on thing - sometimes the shower was too hot and sometimes it was down right chilly. We had an outside cabin, the last one at the back of the ship, Bahamas deck, on port side. The only problem was, we were located directly over the speaker in the disco. We complained many times to no real satisfaction. After our return I e-mailed Celebrity and never received a response.
Otherwise, the ship was great. Always clean and tidy. The food, for the most part, was excellent. Our tablemates had to send back the lamb one night because it was too tough to cut with a knife. Our waiter, Hector, and the assistant waiter, Gorge, were always happy to please us. We never had a problem with our meals and if anyone went hungry it was his or her fault! We were constantly eating! We used the little deck at the back of the ship as our verandah. In the evenings before dinner we called room service and got something to drink and a plate of fruit and cheese with crackers. Wonderful way to relax before dinner and talk about our day with our friends.
The islands we went to were fabulous. We arranged our own excursions. I highly recommend Mandoo in Grenada and Rose & Jim's taxi service in St. Kitts. We wish we were in St. Kitts longer (only there half the day) and for some reason the time was cut short in St. Martin with no explanation. We were to be there from early a.m. until 11:00 p.m. but we left at 5:30 or 6. This rushed our day since we took a ferry to Anguilla but we still had a great time.
Before we sailed, we read many reviews that mentioned champagne and cold towels upon returning from an island - we never received the champagne but did get a cold towel once at poolside. Entertainment was ok - nothing special but not bad.
All in all, I would give the cruise an A-.