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

Zenith
by robpelli
Western Caribbean
April 10, 2005

Having been on 2 other cruises with Celebrity (both on Galaxy) we were looking forward to another one. The one thing I do have to say is that Zenith is an older ship (Inaugural sailing in 1992). As such it does seem a little worn. Our bathroom's sink was very chipped and the carpet and furnishings well used. The dinner service was great. We had a little longer wait between courses than I would have liked but other than that the food was spectacular as well. Housekeeping was a little lacking. There was dust on the vanity and on the bathroom shelves. I also don't think they changed the sheets.

Sun, Apr 10
Embarkation: Opening was at 11:30. We got to the dock at 12:00 ish and were on by 12:30. We were not able to go to our rooms because the previous cruise had gotten back a little late so we went and had lunch. After about half an hour there was an announcement that said we could go to our room, the usual outside cabin. It was forward enough that you only get a porthole. We love forward because of the ship motion. After an afternoon snooze we strolled down to dinner. We had early seating. We had requested a small (4-6) person table but instead got a large table (10 people), no sweat we said to ourselves just more peoples names to remember. We had an older couple, a couple with a young teen son, and two brothers. Dinner was good, though we found out that the brothers get sea sick, one even had to leave the table.

Wed, Apr 13 Labadee, Hispaniola: Tendered
This was Royal Caribbean's (sister company to Celebrity) private paradise beach. Having said this it was small resort area with several beaches on a peninsula. Having a smaller ship helped because we walked around the coast line for a few minutes and found a beach that only had 5 people at most. Though there were some unsupervised obnoxious children near it. It was very nice except for the long line at the Beach Buffet. There was only one station (two lines) to accommodate hundreds of people. (I learned that this was the first time that this particular crew was here so I could somewhat understand) It would have been quaint but even here you have people trying to sell you everything (one beach band even tried to sell their instruments).

Thu, Apr 14 Ocho Rios, Jamaica Docked
We had booked a shore excursion called the Sinara Trimaran Snorkeling /Dunn River Falls. We got off the ship and almost immediately were at the dock to get on the trimaran. We didn't even need to walk the entire pier length. Having never snorkeled I was a bit anxious but the capital of the trimaran, who was also the snorkel guide gave all the hints and explained what to do if something happened. He also guided us to the reef and pointed out different coral species, spiny sea urchin, and sea cucumber. After about 45 minutes we got back on the trimaran and sailed to Dunn River Falls. The captain pointed out several landmarks along the coast. We docked right at the Falls, where we were to hold hands and follow our guides. Being younger folks were didn't. The rocks were slippery but again being younger we didn't mind. **I would not recommend the Falls to anyone who is not in very good physical condition!! We then sailed back to the pier.

Fri, Apr 15 George Town, Grand Cayman Tendered
The tendering process was a little rough here. We had a later excursion so were didn't have to rush to get a tender ticket. We had booked a shore excursion called Stingray City/ Island Highlights. We were driven to a dock to get on a flat bottom boat, which drove us out to a submersed observatory. A diver enticed the stingrays over bringing them even up to the windows. Having a camera that you can turn off the flash is a must. The pictures came out a little darker blue than I remember but you can still see everything. Then we got back in the van and stopped at a place called Hell. It was another one of the touristy places I've been to. I would not recommend booking a tour just for this. It was only a store near a deck were you can see some coral rock that the island is made up of. We then went to the Turtle Farm were we saw turtles being raised. They do raise some of them to be eaten, which some people were not told and I wasn't about to. We were able to pick up and touch the smaller ones. We then were driven back to the pier and being tired went back to the ship. I word to future cruisers **Never wait for the last tender.

Sun, Apr 17 Roatan, Honduras Docked
We did not book any shore excursion. We also did not leave the ship.

Mon, Apr 18 Costa Maya, Mexico Docked
A little advice, always read the highlights of the Ship activity guide the night before. We almost missed our 8:00 excursion because we did not hear any all clear to leave the ship. In the guide it told us that there would not be an announcement so that people would not be awakened. I saw people going down the stairways and asked if it was all right to leave and they said yes. We grabbed our stuff and ran down to the pier. The pier is very long and has only on trolley. So be prepared to walk. We were able to make it to our excursion, which was the Biking/Sea Kayaking. We biked to what they all called the "Fishing Village". It was a leisurely bike ride without any hills and took about 20 minutes. They used thick rope as speed bumps so be prepared. We then got in our kayak (had our picture taken) and rowed for what seemed like a lifetime. We then went back to the beach and bought the usual picture. I must say it came out very well. We had been told on the ship excursion video that there would have been some time for the beach but this was not so. Oh well. We biked back to the ship. The Costa Maya village itself was built for the cruise ships. There are the little open front stores to look through, an amphitheater to watch folk shows and a beach with hammocks. That's it, if you want to see anything else then you need to take a taxi ride or tour because at this time it is isolated. We did see a lot of construction on the way to the Fishing village, we assume in 5 years it will look exactly like Cozumel.

Thu, Apr 21 Jacksonville, Florida Arrival
Disembarkation: We were able to stay in our rooms because they did not have any other passengers getting on in Jacksonville. This was great because we were the last color to be called. We were able to watch a little TV and didn't have to fight for seats at the public lounges. They had several lines so the immigration process went very quickly. We grabbed a porter and got our bags, though one of my friend's ended up in the No Tag area. I would recommend that if you are going to the airport to buy a transfer from the ship. The buses are waiting right there and take you directly to the airport.