For whatever reason, Celebrity's staff view the Century as the ultimate Celebrity ship. Before I went on Century I sailed on the Galaxy and the crew said wait to you see the Century. She's the great ship of the fleet.
Now, the funny thing about it is, while we find the Century to be a marvelous ship, we actually like the Galaxy the best of Celebrity's fleet. We were on the Mercury, and like her too, but a bit less than Galaxy and Century--but there's something about the Mercury as well, she grows on you.
The thing is, the food and service may be usually at such a high level due to the feeling many of the crew have about the Century. I think the crew changes and rotates from ship to ship, and I thought the food on the Galaxy, at least when I sailed her, was a tad better than what I got on the Century, but, a standard and a feeling of well being is part of the Century's culture. The crews are proud of her and love her. There's no good feeling like that about the Millennium ships. The crews don't like them, at least the ones I talked to. The Horizon and Zenith are also liked by crews.
The problem with asking people about ships is that we like different things. I like the lounges and the dining room. I truly could care less about balconies, I'm not that interested in staterooms at all. I like public areas including public deck spaces. And before I get into descriptions I must say that people say "beautiful ship" much too much. Doesn't describe what sets one ship apart from another. You get the feeling reading comments that most, if not all, ships are "beautiful".
For me, the Normandie-inspired dining room is majestic, rich, opulent without being ostentatious, and just one of the most impressive dining rooms of ships built within the last 10 years. And it is just on Century. Not on Galaxy. Not on Mercury. Not on anything else. I also love the Crystal Room, a 1920's, 1930's, New York City jazz club re-creation that is done in a way that it sections people off into areas and you feel like you are in a club, not some large lounge in a large ship. The details were sweated and are clever, the quality of everything is quite high, and the room has ambiance before anything happens in there. At night, it transported me somewhere else.
I'd fix a few things on Century. The library/card room is rather undistinguished. I also find the Rendezvous kind of dark, and here is where I think the Galaxy beats out the Century. There's also the Sky Bar area, OK but not on the level of the rest of the ship.
Still in all, there's a lineage about it, a feeling of a modern day cruise liner, a feeling that they meant to make something special, not just a commodity that will be the first in a series. That's why the Century is a ship that has so many admirers. It was built to a standard and to be exceptional. And I truly hope Celebrity builds no new ships until they bring back the standard that they did building the Century and Century class ships. The new Millennium ships pale in comparison to the standards set in these ships.