by Dave A.
May 7, 2005
This was an outstanding cruise on a line and ship that aims to please. The ship itself is of an older (early 1990s) vintage, but is kept in remarkably good shape with constant attention to cleanliness. Particularly notable were the service and food, which were both extremely fine. We strongly encourage Celebrity's Concierge Class, which provides priority in embarkation and debarkation. That, in and of itself, is worth the price. Terrific cabin service added to the experience.
All food offerings were terrific. Main dining room seatings were in the traditional mode, with early and late formal seatings and assigned tables. This seems to work fine for a mid-sized ships, and diners can opt out for very good casual dining options elsewhere on the ship.
Entertainment was generally good. The production shows were of a good quality and kept everyone's attention. The female lead in those productions had an outstanding voice. (Anyone who can nail Wicked's "Defying Gravity" gets my vote.) Comedian Joe Mulligan, who appeared twice during the 7-day cruise, was very funny, as was a ventriloquist earlier in the cruise. Far less entertaining were the Los Amigos Trio; the resident party band (Equinox), whose only decent style was "island music"; DJ Greg, who constantly played the same dance music night after night; and "international recording star" David MacLean -- really!!
Recreational facilities were good. While the spa and its staff were very good, the staff incessantly attempted to push beauty products to those that had just purchased services. The health club itself was okay, although the equipment was in need of maintenance. (It should be noted that the spa is provided under contract with a separate provider, which may explain the product push.)
My only final "nit" was the lack of a cigar bar, despite the fact that it had been heavily promoted in Celebrity's ads. As it turns out, Celebrity recently did away with the cigar bar, but failed to keep up with the change in its promotional material. A disappointment for cigar aficionados, although hardly the end of the world.
In all, an outstanding cruise experience on an outstanding line. I'd welcome an opportunity to cruise again on Zenith, or any of Celebrity's larger liners.