Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 363 out of 500
Accommodation: 157 out of 200
Food: 278 out of 400
Service: 293 out of 400
Entertainment: 72 out of 100
Cruise: 285 out of 400
Overall Score: 1448 out of 2000
Celebrity Century Statistics
Size: Mid-size Ship
Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises
Former Names: Century
IMO Number: 9072446
Builder: Meyer Werft (Germany)
Original Cost: $320 million
Entered Service: Dec 1995
Length (ft/m): 807.1/246.0
Beam (ft/m): 105.6/32.2
Draft (ft/m): 24.6/7.5
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (29,250kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 10
Total Crew: 858
Passengers (lower beds): 1,814
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 39.4
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.0
Cabins (total): 907
Size Range (sq ft/m): 168.9-1,514.5/15.7-140.7
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 386
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 8
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 2
Hot Tubs (on deck): 4
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: Yes/190
Onboard currency: US$
A stylish modern ship with understated decor and good food
Overview. Celebrity Century suits well-traveled baby-boomer couples, solo travelers, and families with children seeking a mid-size ship with reasonable quality, style, and character. It is a decent, but dated vessel for a big-ship cruise vacation. Sloppy maintenance can be found in some areas, although general cleanliness is excellent. Gratifyingly, there are few annoying announcements.
The Ship. The exterior profile is well balanced despite a squared-off stern. It carries the distinctive brand ‘X’ funnel (X being the Greek letter C - for Chandris, the former owning company, before it was purchased by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.). With a high passenger/space ratio, there is no sense of crowding anywhere, the passenger flow throughout the ship is efficient, and the high crew number provides a sound basis for attentive passenger service.
There is a good amount of open deck space, a three-quarter, two-level teakwood promenade deck, and a walking/jogging track atop the ship. The interior decor is elegant, but contemporary and understated. A small, dedicated cinema doubles as a conference and meeting center with the latest audio-visual technology. The atrium lobby is calm and refreshing, due to its high ceiling, and not at all glitzy.
Michael’s Club, a former cigar smoking lounge/bar is now a piano/jazz lounge, and features fine whiskies, cognacs, bourbons, and Scotches. This triangular room, a favorite watering hole, has large and really comfortable chairs, and the feel of a real gentlemen’s club. Anyone who likes gambling will find a large casino tightly packed with slot machines and gaming tables.
Outstanding are the 500 pieces of art that adorn the ship - a $3.8 million art collection and some fascinating contemporary sculptures (look for the colored violins on Deck 7). The collection includes a comprehensive survey of the most important artists and trends since the 1960s, and embraces Abstract Expressionism, Pop, Conceptualism, Minimalism, and neo-Expressionism.
Gratuities are charged to your account daily, and a 15 percent gratuity is added to all bar and wine accounts.
Niggles include the fact that the interactive TV system is frustrating to use, and the larger suites have three remotes for TV/audio equipment (one would be better).
In 2006, Celebrity Century had a $55 million makeover that added 314 balconies, 14 new ‘Sky Suites’ and 10 other cabins. The self-serve buffet area was expanded; an Acupuncture at Sea facility was added, as was Murano - a specialty extra-charge restaurant - more shop space, an art gallery for art auctions, more Internet-connect computers plus ship-wide Wi-Fi (for a fee), and a neat ice-walled bar that is part of the Martini Bar. In short, the refit made the ship more like the larger Millennium-class ships.
In 2014, another refit is planned to make the ship more in line with the Solstice-class ships, with additional specialty restaurants like QSine, Tuscan Grille and other features, plus Aqua-class cabins. Celebrity Century will leave the Celebrity Cruises fleet in April 2015 to go to a new home.
Families. Children and teens are well catered to. X-Treme, which exists within the Kid’s Fun Factory area, is a neat hangout for teens. Children’s counselors are aboard for every cruise.
Accommodation. There are numerous different grades. The price depends on the grade, size, and location. The wide variety of cabin types includes 18 family cabins, each with two lower beds, two foldaway beds, and one upper berth. In the 2006 refit, new minimalist washbasins were installed in cabin bathrooms; however, they are not user-friendly as water splashes everywhere.
All cabins have wood cabinetry and accenting, personal safe, minibar/refrigerator, and interactive flat-screen TVs and entertainment systems that enable you to shop, book shore excursions, or play casino games interactively in English, German, French, Italian, or Spanish. Bathrooms have hairdryers, 100 percent cotton towels, and large shower enclosures. However, the standard 24-hour cabin menu is disappointing and limited.
The cabins are nicely equipped and decorated, with warm wood-finish furniture, and none of the boxy feel of cabins in many ships, due to the angled placement of vanity and audio-video consoles. In addition, all suites on Deck 10 (and the Sky Deck Suites on Deck 12) have butler service and in-cabin dining facilities. Suites with private balconies have floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors; a few have outward opening doors.
For the largest space, choose one of two nicely decorated Presidential Suites, each 1,173 sq ft (109 sq m). These are amidships in a desirable position; each can be combined with an adjacent mini-suite via an interconnecting door to provide a living space of 1,515 sq ft (140.7 sq m). Each suite has a marble-floored foyer, a living room with mahogany wood floor, and hand-woven rug. A separate dining area has a six-seat dining table, and there’s a butler’s pantry with wet bar, a wine bar, refrigerator, and microwave.
A large private balcony has a dining table for two, chaises longues with cushioned pads, hot tub, and dimmer-controlled lighting; master bedroom with king-size bed, dressed with fine fabrics and draperies; and walk-in closet with abundant storage space. The all-marble bathroom has a jet-spray shower and whirlpool bath.
All accommodation grades feature European duvets, fresh flowers, and DVD player, with butler service for suite-grade accommodation only. Electrically operated blinds and other goodies are also standard in some suites.
Dining. A grand staircase connects the upper and lower levels of the two-level Grand Dining Room. Huge windows overlook the stern. Each of the two levels has a separate finishing galley. There are two seatings for dinner (open seating for breakfast and lunch), at tables for two, four, six, eight, or 10. The design of the two galleys is good, so food that’s meant to be hot arrives hot at the table.
All meals, including full dinners, can be served, course-by-course, in all suites and cabins, no matter what grade you choose. Freshly baked boxed pizzas, for anyone who can’t live without them, can be delivered to your cabin. However, the food delivered for room service is below the standard of food featured in the dining room.
Other dining options. Murano, a reservations-only specialty restaurant off the main lobby, is a fine-dining experience that takes about three hours, in a small, intimate setting - ideal for celebrating a birthday or anniversary, with refined service and an extensive wine list.
For casual meals, Islands is a large indoor/outdoor, tray-less self-serve buffet venue; there are four self-service lines, plus two grill-serving stations located adjacent to the swimming pools outdoors.
A café/coffee house is situated to one side of the main lobby, and is an excellent place to meet for coffees, cakes, and pastry items.
Entertainment. The Celebrity Theater is the ship’s two-level, 1,000-seat showlounge/theatre, with balcony alcoves on two sides. It has a large stage and a split orchestra pit (hydraulic). However, the continuous bar service during shows can be irritating. The ship has a number of bands, although there is very little music for social dancing, other than disco and Latin music.
Spa/Fitness. The Canyon Ranch SpaClub at Sea has 9,040 sq ft (840 sq m) of space dedicated to wellbeing and body treatments, all set in a calming environment. It includes a large fitness/exercise area, complete with all the latest high-tech muscle machines, thalassotherapy pool, and 10 treatment rooms. The spa includes an ‘Acupuncture at Sea’ clinic, and a Rasul - a mud and gentle steam bathing room (an excellent facility for couples).
The spa is operated by specialist concession Canyon Ranch, whose staff provide a wide range of treatments. Some fitness classes are free, while others cost extra.