March 23, 2001
This is my review of the Celebrity Zenith 11-day cruise of 3/23/01. I booked this cruise, airfare, and ground transportation through Celebrity. My wife and I choose to use the flight deviation, so that we could choose our own flights.
Itinerary: Ft. Lauderdale / 2 days at sea / St. Maarten / St. Lucia / Barbados / Antigua / St. Thomas / 2 days at sea / Ft. Lauderdale
Embarkation: We arrived at the pier at 12:30 and embarkation had already begun. We started in one room and in one line and then moved somewhat quickly to another room and to another line. This is I happen to hear a gentleman say to a passenger that they could not go downstairs until someone checked their papers and then only then could they go to the next step. I quickly got his attention and had him check our papers to make sure they were in order and then we were on our way to the next step. At this point we had to go through the second metal detector and then we had joyous pleasure of getting into yet another line. We felt we were getting closer since this was where you got your Celebrity Signature Card and your boarding pass. Now it came to the time everyone waits for we were able to broad the ship. We were greeted and escorted to our cabin #9049 were we found a bottle of wine that was sent by our TA.
Cabin (9049): This was as inside cabin and we were very surprised at the amount of space we had compared to the other cruise lines that we have been on. There was two twin beds (that we had then room attendant put together to make a Queen size bed), two closets with a room safe, a desk with TV, a round table and two chairs, and pretty nice bathroom. They provide you with shampoo, soap, lotion, and a hair dryer. Don't count on the hair dryer, my wife had to start two hours earlier then dinner to have her hair dried in time.
Departure and first formal night: We left port on time and the cruise had begun. There was a little rocking back and further in the begin but it wasn't bad enough to make us feel sick or even uncomfortable. The formal night was on the second evening at sea (Saturday). The biggest problem we had with the formal night was that no one told us or even hinted to where they were taking pictures for the evening. We wanted the first formal night to be very romantic and memorable.
The ship: The Zenith is a very nice ship and is kept spotless at all times. You could always see someone cleaning something or polishing something. Everyone (and I do mean everyone) who worked on ship were the most friendly group of people. The waiters in the Windsurf Cafe were the greatest I have ever seen. Also for you ladies, they will take your tray and accompany you to the table of your choice. If you are a Sun Baby, then I will give you a hint. Get yourself a pool lounge as soon as you start to think about going to the pool (the good ones go FAST).
The Caravelle Restaurant: There are only one word that can express the way my wife and I feel about the restaurant "OUTSTANDING". Everything from the first moment you sit down to the last sip of your coffee, everything is great. If you have like the luck to have Ovidio (from Turkey) and Matthew (from India) as your waiter and assistant waiter you will have everything the way you want it every night. Mathew remembered what you had to drink and made sure you had it every night. Orvido made sure that if you had a taste for something it was fulfilled. We have been on Royal Caribbean and we think the food on Celebrity is a lot better.
Entertainment: There is only one thing to say about the entertainment "WOW". The singers are great and the Matrix Dancers are out of this world. They had a several different acts on our trip and out of them all we thought the shows with the Matrix Dancers were the best.
Island thoughts: When we were at St. Maarten we did the Everything Cool Excursion. You are at a near by restaurant and get the use of the showers, rest rooms, a locker w/ lock, a float, one free drink, and lunch. If you get there early you can get the best spot.
When we were at St. Lucia we found this island to be unpleasant. With this said I'm sure you can fill in the blanks.
When we were at Barbados we did not purchase any of the tours. We spoke with a taxi driver and worked a deal to take were we wanted to go and at a price we liked. This was a lot better then the excursion the cruise lines afford.
When we were at Antigua, well there is only one thing to say here "BEACH". We again talked with the local taxi driver and were taken to Runaway Bay. This is a great beach, now keep in mind you have 365 beaches to choose from and this is just one. The water here is absolutely "GREAT".
When we were at St. Thomas, well let's say this is where you want to buy your jewelry. We also again talked with a taxi driver and got a deal for an island tour for half of what it would cost us if we went through the cruise line.
Disembarkation: This went smoother then I thought it would. We arrived in Florida earlier then we were scheduled. They started to let me people off at 0830 and everyone was off by 1000. This was a lot better then we have ever seen.
Summary: We have been on several cruises in the past five years. We feel
that if you are looking for an older group and a feeling of old time
cruising, then Celebrity is the line for you. We had a very good time on this
trip and in the future we may sail again on Celebrity and drift back in time.