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Celebrity Cruises

Zenith
by Jerry GaMarsh
Bermuda
May 6, 2006

Iíve finally resolved the question I have been asking myself for the last 20 years: small ship or large ship. This was the result of a cruise on the Celebrity Zenith out of Bayonne departing 5/6/06. I will summarize my thoughts at the end.

Embarkation:
A snap. To be able to drive up to the dock, unload your bags, and park your car in under 20 minutes makes me wish every cruise in the world could start off in Bayonne. After going thru the express pass line (print your own pass from the web site) we were on board in 15 minutes.

The Zenith:
My wife and I had taken the same cruise to Bermuda ten years ago and had been impressed with the service. Altho the Zenith just came out of dry dock a few months ago it is starting to show its age. That said, it is still a fine ship with many attributes. After years of sailing on the megaships, it was a peculiar feeling to be able to take a few steps in any direction and be where you want to go. The cabin was an inside which had more than adequate room and storage. Our cabin stewards, Derrick and Probash (both from India) were marvelous.

Food:
On our first cruise we found the food on the Zenith to be nicely presented but rather bland. This time the food was very good (one exception- the lobster tails were over done and chewy) and the selection excellent. This comment refers only to the dining room. The buffets were just average. Our waiters Zvonimir from Croatia and Valentin from Romania were top drawer.

Entertainment:
We didnít do the lounges but the main theater presentations were very good-especially a great comedian from Boston and a singer from Australia who drew a couple of standing ovations. The Celebrity singers and dancers put on a couple of high energy broadway reviews which brought down the house.

Bermuda:
Bermuda is, well , Bermuda. Having been there several times, all I can say is that it is a great place to relax. And considering the fact that hotel rooms there are going for $250 to $400 per night (no meals) a cruise there is a great bargain.

Disembarkation:
Just as quick and easy as getting on.

Big ship or small ship? For years I was convinced that the smaller ship was warmer with more personal contacts but after this cruise I was forced to make the comparison with our cruise last fall to Alaska on the Diamond Princess. Bigger is better. The more venues for dining the better. The more opportunities for attending life enhancement seminars and lectures the better. Just a personal opinion, but my wife and I agree that this is the last cruise we will ever take on a ship this small.