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Old April 7th, 2001, 12:26 AM
Doc
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Default Just returned from the 3/30 sailing of Mercury--no

Greetings from the Bayou State of Louisiana in the USA!

I've just completed my very first cruise--it was on the good ship Mercury. I'm proud to say that I'm very, very much sold on cruising. I called my parents from Nassau and told them to get ready--I'm booking the Penthouse on the Infinity for them.

Thanks to some good advice from the FAQ section on the Celebrity web site and the excellent advice given to first-time cruisers here at cruisemates.com, our experience was wonderful. I'll add my two cents worth:

1. DO arrive the night before at your embarkation city if possible. This allows for delayed flights and missing bags.
2. I shamefacedly admit to not knowing how to correctly operate the hot water controls in the tub and shower--I thought the water wasn't quite hot enough. The hot water knob contains a button with a red button. It turns out that this is some sort of child-protection device. To make the water hotter than 38 degrees Celsius (body temperature), you must hold the red button and continue turning the knob to achieve the increased temperature you might desire! I swear I felt donkey ears growing from my head!

To paraphrase John Cleese from a British TV series, the Mercury would have a great ship if it weren't for the passengers. (That's pretty funny if you think about it.) I've never experienced that many whining adults in my life.

The cruise was simply wonderful--one of the best travel experiences I've enjoyed. I am already making plans to book the Penthouse on the Infinity for an Alaska voyage with my parents.

If anyone has any questions or comments, please feel free to post them.

Doc
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old April 7th, 2001, 07:47 AM
Mary Lou
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Default Re: Just returned from the 3/30 sailing of Mercury

I am so happy that you had a great experience!!! You have obvsiously joined the ranks of the addicted cruiser! I am also happy that CruiseMates was such a help to you.
I encountered the same problem with the hot water on the Celebrtiy ships....don't feel silly. I'm a firm believer that any "childproof device" is easier for the child to figure out than the adult...lol.
My first cruise on on Galaxy and I feel in love. Moved onto Mercury....fell a little deeper and then just sailed Milliennium this part January....WOW, what a ship.
So I know you will LOVE Infinity. And what lucky parents you have!!
Enjoy and have a wonderful time in Alaska. Join us in the chatroom weeknights at 9 p.m. and we can share your love of cruising! Thanks for writing about your experience...it is nice to hear positive things too.
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Old April 7th, 2001, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Just returned from the 3/30 sailing of Mercury

Hi doc, we too were on Mercury with you. Sorry we didn't get a chance to meet you and your friends, met several other internet buddies.
Glad you had a great time we did too, but were probably some of the people you heard "wining" because although the service on Mercury was "good" it was not "exceptional" as it has been in the past. I think the itinerary change- cancelling 2 islands was upsetting to many. One of our table mates booked the cruise to visit his daughter in Tortola and when he asked to cancel after the itinerary change, they were unresponsive and had nothing to accomodate him. We had a waiter in the dining room that even the maitre"d (who was wonderful) said was worthless, but they needed the bodies. Fortunately, we got a new table and had great service.
Anyway, many of us we comparing to previous outstanding trips, and this was not one. The selection and quality of food in the Palm Springs Cafe is not what it was a year ago, we were disappointed in that, but the selection at the grill was better. We had other friends stuck in one of the wet rooms and were told there was nothing they could do.
As you said, many wonderful things on board and overall great service, they need to get their new staff up to par with the rest. We were lucky enough to have the same cabin steward we had last trip and he was once again great. We booked our air with the cruise and didn't have a flight out till 3:15, which was not a problem, except for the fact that we were responsible for our luggage till then (unless you booked a shore excursion), we weren't able to check it in on the ship like we previously had done. Another unexpected hassle.
Needless to say, we enjoyed Mercury, but don't hold her in the exalted state we previously did. On the positive side, now we are more open to other ships, they don't have to live up to the "perfect" Mercury.
Once again, glad you enjoyed it, if you were at Kareoke, my husband was the fool singing Wasted away in Marguerita ville, and I was a dancing fool at the 50's night. My see you on future cruises.
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Old April 8th, 2001, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Just returned from the 3/30 sailing of Mercury

We were also on this cruise which started off bad right from the port. The check in was half ***, u didn't know if u should sit and wait or get in a line like a herd of people. We were booked in a Cat 7 on Deck 4. We had 2 adjoining cabins and my co worker was 2 rooms down. We found the food was cafeteria style, the shrimp and seafood overcooked and salty. The room was so noisy that everyone on our floor was complaining. We couldn't wait to get off to get some sleep. Yes the boat was clean, but did anyone ever mention the smell and waking up to see deodorizer splinkled on most of the floors because of the numerous complaints. Sitting at the blackjack tables , 90 percent of the passengers that we had spoken to had the same feelings that we did. We heard pipes banging, and the noise level horrible. The Itinerary change was awful also, 50 dollars per person did not make my cruise any better. We did the Kon TIki boat cruise in St Thomas to the ugliest beach I've ever seen. Again, full of complaints from everyone on the tour. We actually cancelled our trip to Blue Lagoon in Bahamas as St Thomas was so bad. I could go on and on, I guess u have never tried HAL to compare cruises. THis was my mother in Law's first cruise and said she would also never go back. THe food was so restrictive, if u did not make dinner in the main dining room, the alternative dining room was only opened a few nights and that was with reservations only. THe Midnight buffets, very few and Gourmet BItes on the other nights consisted of a small piece of bread with a small piece of lunch meat and a pickle. Traveling with a 2 year old makes it very difficult to be on a schedule to eat especially with naps during the day (If we were lucky due to the noise) and felt very confined to their eating schedules. I'm glad the rest of u had a good cruise, Cause U will never see me post on this board waiting to go back on Celebrity. I was probably one of the most excited to try this line and see my self the most disappointed.
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Old April 8th, 2001, 03:15 PM
Hobbsey
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Default Re: Just returned from the 3/30 sailing of Mercury

Hi Doc, Hi Kathi, Hi everyone else.

Well, Doc, I'm glad that you enjoyed your first cruise experience and I am sure that you will continue to enjoy cruising again and again.

I am really very sorry that you and your frreinds didn't make it up to our little sail away gathering, it would have been great to meet you.

As for the cruise....I found it to be, over all, less than excellent but certainly very good. No one can fault the cruise line or the ship for the change in itinerary. The ship was short one of four engines and just couldn't make the time up for the planned trip. I too was dissappopinted by that for a number of reasons but it did not get in the way of enjoying the wonderful weather and the great food and services on the ship.

I also truly enjoyed meeting all the great folks on board, especially Kathi and Gary and Marci and Jim. We had the best table mates in the dining room, our wait staff was fantastic and we had the best cabin service of any cruise so far. The ship is kept in very good condition with cleaning and polishing nearly 24 hours a day. Special note to Diane, the granulated substance sprinkled on the carpets (especially in the stairwells and landings) is carpet cleaner not deoderizer.

I do have some gripes and complaints about the ship and the cruiseline in general but I'll save that for my review which should be posted in a week or so.
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Old April 9th, 2001, 01:18 AM
David Lee
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Default Re: Just returned from the 3/30 sailing of Mercury

Hi Doc ; we too were on the Mercury with you. We too had a great time. We enjoyed the Mercury, but don't think high of her. I read Mary Lou, Kathi, Diane and Hobbsey's reply and agreee with all. This was our 1st time on Celebrity, and still think the newer Carnvial ships are #1 because the food ,services and entaintment is #1 (we are 49 & 36 years old) you will have fun on board Carnvial (games all day long inside and outside , shows ,shows,shows, and more shows, sing alongs and fun all night) . If you were at Kareoke I sing the song "Summer Wind". Maybe we will try Princess next , hooked on cruising you know.
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Old April 9th, 2001, 02:11 PM
hct
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Default Re: Just returned from the 3/30 sailing of Mercury

why were the two ports changed? we were on the week before & all went smoothly except for the storm on the last night....did that cause the problems in changing ports.. Tortola was great! What were the substituted ports?
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Old April 9th, 2001, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: Just returned from the 3/30 sailing of Mercury

HCT,

Yes, the storm knocked out an engine so the ship couldn't make all the ports. We went to St. Thomas and missed Tortola and Catalina Island.
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Old April 10th, 2001, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: Just returned from the 3/30 sailing of Mercury

They substituted St Thomas for Tortola, guess you were close enough for a water taxi, so not sure why the ship couldn't get there. Said they had engine down and couldn't go that far. The other day they stayed at sea. Some felt to increase revenues on board. We sure missed Tortola. I enjoy days at sea, but others were bored. We also were planning on the beach day at Catalina to do the private island stuff.
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Old April 10th, 2001, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: Just returned from the 3/30 sailing of Mercury

Well, admitedly I am among those who believe that on board revenue generation was a motivating factor for the some of the changes in the itinerary. It was nice of them to give back $50 per person on the port charges. I spent that pretty quickly in the spa and at the bars on that extra day at sea.
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Old April 10th, 2001, 10:30 PM
LovetheSea
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Default Re: Just returned from the 3/30 sailing of Mercury

I too wish we had made Tortola, but I think the reason we couldn't go to Tortola was because we would have been there on a different day. NOT the day that we were scheduled to dock. Either we could not get a space in Tortola, or a space was available in St. Thomas. You can't just dock a 866 foot ship just anywhere!
Remember , they lost a lot of money when we were all at sea an extra day EATING !!!! I am sure passengers go through a lot less food while they are in port.I know I sure do
I would have prefered to go to Catalina than Nassau or San Juan.But then again, it could have been for the same reason. Since it took two days to get there instead of one, there might have been another ship full of passengers at Catalina Island. Costa shares Catalina Island as well. But, we had a great time anyway. I would still cruise on the Mercury and/or Celebrity any time! One of our tablemates has already booked a South America cruise in December on the Mercury.
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Old April 13th, 2001, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Just returned from the 3/30 sailing of Mercury

Again, glad u all had a great cruise, after cruising HAL and even RCL, This ship was like Night of the living dead in the lounges and discos. HAL had more excitement. I wrote to Celebrity a week ago now and still have not rec'd a response.
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