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  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 20th, 2003, 08:00 PM
Norman
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Default Terrible Cruise on Century

Just got off the Century's December 13th cruise. It was one of the worst ever taken and I have been on many. Celebrity is known for service, ambiance and food, but all were lacking on this trip..

Ship was late getting into ports, we missed San Juan and had very little time in Nassau,
Food was poor, service in the restaurants was average, not what is expected of this company. The excuse was: To many Americans" we usually have only 50% of you and 50% Europeans, but your groups took over 90% of the cabins, Getting off the ship in Ft Lauderdale was a disaster. We waited for over 2 hours to go thru Immigration, lines were the full length of the vessel. Absolutely no organization on Celebrity's side.

When filling out the comment form at the end of the cruise, we were told in no uncertain words, to make sure we placed an excellent mark for everyone. No, we did not do that and told what we thought. With more than 900 people from our clubs on board, almost none will go back to this ship again or any Celebrity vessel.
Any one else on this trip with similar experiences?
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Old December 20th, 2003, 08:08 PM
hcat
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

Not quite sure I follow all of this. Why was San Jaun missed & the ship late to Nassau? Was the ship having problems mechanically? What is the difference between having Americans & Europeans as a reason for poor service? And what are the 900 club members , members of? Please be more specific. Sorry you had a bad time. Century is uually known for top notch service & food.
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Old December 20th, 2003, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

That's so discouraging, since we'll be first time cruisers on that ship departing 1/10/04.

Would like to hear from others who have been on the Century.
Thanks!
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Old December 20th, 2003, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

Norman, I see this isn't the first time you complained. Quoted from a thread last month:


"Had a similar problem as yours but not as bad.

Contacted their main office in Miami but had little or no satisfaction. However, I live close by to Miami and made it my business to visit their office unannounced.

I told them I was not leaving without a satisfactory response. Celebrity finally gave me a 50% discount on the next cruise and a $250.00 on board credit."

Do you just like to complain? I would like to know also why they skipped ports; was it weather? Was it anyone in your group of 900 that didn't report to immigration that caused the delay?



Post Edited (12-20-03 20:23)
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Old December 20th, 2003, 09:26 PM
Jeanne&Ellis
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

I have to agree with you Marc, as we all know you can't please everyone all of the time. There has to be more to this tale. Luvkauai, don't worry about having a bad time, Celebrity is a great cruise line, and I personally have been on Century twice, and both times it has been wonderful. Life is what you make of it. We have seen many people that just complain about everything.

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Old December 20th, 2003, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

I agree it's pretty much like anything else... It's what you make of it... I've sailed Century six times, twice this year. I've already booked a back to back for June. I love the Century and I love Celebrity. I've sailed others and just don't find them to be for me. Yes, there have been problems with the Century but none that have ruined my vacation or made me not want to sail with them again.

Maybe they were changing staff around, maybe you happened to have pretty much a new crew on your sailing? Who was the captain during this cruise.
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Old December 21st, 2003, 03:05 PM
LH33
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

We sailed on the Century on 15th November this year. We had the best cruise ever, treated like royalty. I find it hard to believe that standards could have fallen so much in such a short time. We were late getting into San Juan but that certainly didn't spoil our enjoyment in fact it gives us an excuse to return on another Celebrity cruise next year!
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Old December 21st, 2003, 06:08 PM
Dr Bob
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

I have also had the oppurtunity to cruise on the Century three times. Our last cruise was in July 2003. It remains my familys favorite cruise ship. We have been on 12 Celebrity Cruises. We would not keep going back if the service was not a cut above the other cruise lines and we have tried most of them. Century has a refined elegance and has always been exceptional maintained. The staff on board have often commented to me it is there favorite Celebrity Ship. The food and service would be hard to match anywhere. I only hope Norman can get jolly for the Hoildays or maybe he should try the Carnival Holiday.
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 11:41 AM
MeganS
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

My family sailed the Century on Nov 22, and had a fabulous time. We sailed the Western Carribean route and were always in port on time, a few times we were even early. We even spent an overnight in Cozumel - they were repairing a part of the ship - but it gave us an oppurtunity to check out the night life there which was fun. There were one or two staff people that we encountered that were not very nice, but we chalked it up to bad days because the rest of the staff were very courteous, friendly and helpful always. We waited in an immigration line too, and needed to wait to disembark in Key West until every passenger had checked in with the officials - but that was not the cruise line's fault.
We found the food to be very good, though maybe not quite as spectacular as we remembered from our first cruise with Celebrity ten years ago. And the staff bent over backwards to accomodate our two young sons with their finicky appetites.
I'm sorry that Norman had such a bad time, but it is good to share all kinds of experiences on these sites. Hopefully his next cruise will be better.
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 06:03 PM
melania
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

I have sailed the Century four times. My last cruise was October 25th of this year. It has been my favorite ship, I have never had a bad time on this ship!
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 06:37 PM
Babette
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

I was on the 11/29 Century sailing.. the first sailing with the food cutbacks. For long time Celebrity pax.. it was very evident!!

The normal Caribbean pax complement is 90% North American.. and 10% other.. so I don't know what they are talking about.

I had an email from another long time Celebrity cruiser.. who was on this very same sailing as Norman. She said it was the worst they've sailed with Celebrity and that they shan't be booking Celebrity any time soon.

I receive another email from someone who was on the 12/8 Mercury sailing. She is so bummed about getting flack online after she posts any negatives about her experiences on board her numerous sailings.. she will no longer post any reviews. SInce she was on Captain's Club reunion sailing which should have been about as close to perfection as possible...negative experiences.. should be reported. If the Miami beancounters are counting so close to the bone.. and it is degrading the product delivery.. even on a CC cruise.. it should be publicly noted.

What I have seen over the past 12 months... and 6 cruises on Celebrity....(Dec was my 29th with the line) are budget cutbacks (entertainment and food... and cabin amenities).
While a newcomer to the line may be impressed with the STYLE of the ships.. the STYLE of service.. and the STYLE of the menus.......it's all STYLE..... and not substance.
It's just another mass market cruiseline. And longtime cruisers with the line are NOTICING! As I continually write on my comment card.. "STOP CUTTING BUDGETS>>RAISE RATES. May not make me popular with my fellow cruisers... but it's the right thing to do.. and the only way to improve onboard product.

BTW.. new menus are due out for 2004.. reflecting more budget cuts. So.. stay tuned.

Oh.. Captain is Terry Constantinides... a regular. All seasoned regulars on Century now.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old December 22nd, 2003, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

babette:

Did your riend explain why they skipped ports? Do you know the weather? Do you know what types of groups were aboard?

You know I haven't sailed a Celebrity ship since Britannis. Also, that I have no advantage in touting Celebrity as it is unlikely I will sail them in the near future. However, the original post sounded an awful lot like a cruise with bad weather which usually seems to generate other complaints.

thanks,

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Old December 22nd, 2003, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

Babette... No question you've got LOTS of experience with Celebrity (and cruising in general), and for at least the last while, I've seen you posting about the downward slide of Celebrity.

Understand my question is not meant to be facitious at all, rather honest curiosity. I have to ask.... Why do you keep sailing with them (6 times in the past 12 months)?

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  #14 (permalink)  
Old December 23rd, 2003, 05:59 AM
Maryk
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

We sailed the Century, back to back, in September. Everything was great.

I'm worried though about the budget cutbacks in food. Can someone give me an idea what you mean by cutbacks? Are they going to serve hot dogs in the dining room for example?
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Old December 23rd, 2003, 08:42 AM
Jeanne&Ellis
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

I guess we will just have to wait and see what 2004 brings. If Celebrity does start cutting back, they will lose many Celebrity faithful. We have the next one in March, and so we will wait and see before we book another cruise.

Jeanne

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Old December 24th, 2003, 08:44 AM
Cann
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Default Re: Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

Hi, we are going on our cruise of the Celebrity on 1/24. Did u happen to save the "newsletters" that are given each day? If so, is it possible to receive copies of them - it sure would be nice to dream about our days........sometimes people are hard to please. We are going on Celebrity Century and soooo looking forward to it. Thanks so much and hope to hear from u or anyone that can make copies for us soon! 32 Days!
C Ann
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old December 24th, 2003, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

We cruised on board Century November 2003 and had a great cruise. One thing that does concern us about Celebrity - we had booked two cruises for 2004. One was an Eastern sailing on board Millie in November 2004. I was booked in August of 2003.

We now have found out it is now a two week transatlantic sailing. Celebrity didn't even bother to contact our Travel Agent to advise this had been. We had to cancel that cruise
because we cannot take two vacation weeks together.

Pammie & Joe
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old December 24th, 2003, 09:50 AM
Jeanne&Ellis
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

it should not have been up to you to find this out, that is what the TA gets paid to do. The cruise lines send out mailings to all TAs letting them know of changes.

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  #19 (permalink)  
Old December 24th, 2003, 12:02 PM
Babette
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

Hi Kuki:

A couple of the sailings had the lowest prices in the market and I needed to get away to decompress.. You KNOW how that is! Another was the first Adults Only cruise. I liked that cruise so much.. I booked the next one which wasn't so great. Then had a friend who wanted to cruise in Jan.. I said okay... but I did not want to zzzzz away on HAL.. so I suggested Horizon out of Tampa which is close to where my friend lives. Then in Feb... it was the Captain's Club reunion cruise.. which was just terrific. April was a new itinerary.. California Coastal.. and of course, the chance to revisit with friends onboard.
That is where I first saw what the F&B manager described to me as "experiments"
(aka food budget cuts). I couldn't believe I was on the same ship (Mercury) as February.

My Nov decompression cruise was supposed to be on Silversea. Then I had all sorts of problems with my FF miles... etc.. and scheduling at work. So.. I cxl'd that.. and waited. Friends were supposed to be visiting with me in Dec for the holidays.. but their contracts were extended... so..... I booked their ship.. so we could celebrate a little early.

The cutbacks in the food area were SO EVIDENT to long time Celebrity pax is wasn't funny. My waiter kept apologizing everytime he set the plate in front of me. In speaking with several LT pax from the Mercury Captain's Club reunion cruise which went out on 12/8... they experienced the same food cutbacks. As one pax asked..... How many times can you serve mashed potatos??? I had an email from a couple who cruised Century 3 weeks after I. Again... long time pax of the line. They said it will be a very long time before they sail with Celebrity again.

While many cruisers take advantage of the very low per diems currently being charged by Celebrity.. there are some of us who do book the upper categories.. for quite alot more money. The current product delivery does not warrant more than a $75 per diem per person.

"sparkling wine"... "sorbet by the pool"... and "frosty towels".... do not impress me. It's fluff... not substance.

Decent service... nice ships.... that's about what's left now. Entertainment hasn't changed much....food has been downgraded... Steiner is still Steiner.......Miami just can't seem to get the product delivery to match the "premium" moniker.

Now here's a loop for you.........I'm booked on the Carnival Legend for 1/8/04. My per diem for an ROS guarantee is more than I paid on Celebrity... for a Cat 3. But hey... I get a waterslide. (Don't laugh.. I LOVE the Wet & WIld Water parks... )

Celebrity provides a different style of cruise.. not a better product than the other mass market lines... and at very low rates (for most cruisers). You can't be a premium cruiseline at the rates they charge now.. and with operating expenses increasing... you have to have to but budgets. That's just the way of the world.

I do believe that Celebrity is interested is attracting the "new" guest to the line.. rather than holding on to the LT guests. They don't have to put as much effort and expense into the product in doing so.
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Old December 24th, 2003, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

I was on The Century in June 1997 the same week RCI bought the company.
I was impressed by the ship then. I cruised on her again May 2003 I liked her more in 2003 then in 1997. The Service was better and dining was better. Each time we did the Eastern Caribbean. We did not miss any ports. I have also cruised on the Summit Nov 10, 2003 and the Mille on Dec 2002. I can say this that all of my cruises were better then I expeced. I like to go on a ship to have FUN and relax. And you know...I do just that.
The Mille cruise our waiter and asst. Waiter were the PITS...they did not get along. Now did this break my cruise for me. NO but I can tell you this...I looked at the BIG Picture and I liked my cruise. And will do Celebrity again and again. AS long as I am able. You know I have been on over 30 cruises from Radisson, Crystal, Princess, Celebrity, Costa, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, NCL, Disney, and I cant say there was a cruise I hated. And would give me a reason to not cruise with them again. Now one was better then the others..but I would have my bags packed in a sec if I could cruise them agian.
Just my thoughts
Happy Holidays!!

Michael Sinn
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old December 24th, 2003, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

Booked on Summit in March & Constellation in Sept. The ships look great-- Was the recent food quality & presentation any worse than the basic meat & potatoes on Royal? We enjoy both lines but Celebrity has always been much more special in the dining room! We shall see!
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Old December 24th, 2003, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

>I do believe that Celebrity is interested is attracting the "new" guest to the line.. rather than holding on to the LT guests. They don't have to put as much effort and expense into the product in doing so.<

I find this to be disturbing and unfathomable. Any marketing person knows that it takes ten times the money to get a new client than it does to retain an existing customer. Didn't Celebrity hire someone from Crystal to improve their position in their category? Although most of my cruises have been on Princess, I was very impressed with all the added touches on Celebrity that I'm trying them again next May. But if they have done as has been indicated, it may be a long time before I try them again. It's bad enough that they don't have enough itineraries that I like and haven't done before but that would break the camel's back. Especially since I've convinced 5 other couples to join us on this cruise.
Frank-in-CA
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Old December 24th, 2003, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

Frank:

Yes, I agree with you about marketing. However, the cruise industry is price driven.. not product/service driven. Cruiselines do not need to advertise pricing. They leave that up to the individual ta's. I spoke with three group leaders on my Century cruise who said the only reason why they picked this particular cruise was because it was cheaper than the 5-day on RCL!! And for the standard accommodations combined with group pricing... it was a bargain for those groups. The 11/29 cruise.. as it appears was the same with Norm's cruise... was primarily large groups.

Yes.. they hired Dietmar Wertanzel from Crystal. Oh big deal.. they've hired a lot of other expensive "talent" as well... and all there is to show for it are frosty towels, sorbets, etc.
Fluff.. and nothing but fluff.

I had to change tables in the dining room since the dining coordinators office in Miami had seated me amid a group of 16 who did not speak English. Too bad as this waiter was terrific. My new waiter was a dud....and he's been with the line 6 years. Our orders were always late... and several times we never did get the desserts we ordered.

Rebranding is a lot of whooey.......as one agent put it to me.. they need to get back to the basics.. and do them better than anyone else afloat. However, at current pricing levels.. that is impossible.

Before I booked my Century cruise, I took a look at Horizon's New Year's sailing.. 11 nights.... I could have booked a Cat 4 single.. for $800 (includes port charges) plus tax.
Fares can only go so low before there is product erosion.... and it IS happening now.
When I posted my comments on the "other board".. of course, I received the.. "well, I was on the week before you... last month.. last year.... yadda yadda". The industry is constantly changing to improve the bottomline..... because as far as they are concerned.. that's what it's all about... the bottomline.

Oh.. there are behind the scenes staffing changes to occur in 2004 too. We may see evidence of them.. we may not.
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Old December 25th, 2003, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

Adam:

You answered your own question. Because you, and I'm sure many others, think of Celebrity as a "mass market" cruiseline, Celebrity felt the need to rebrand themselves. Popular opinion has been that Celebrity, HAL, Oceania, and Princess are "premium" cruise lines. This is different than mass market of Carnival, NCL, RCI,. etc. If Celebrity can't differentiate itself from the mass market, it can never get the higher per diems that they could in the past.

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Old December 25th, 2003, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

Though I know Babette is knowledgeable, and has taken many cruises, I think it's not wise to take anyone's opinions from a post on a message board as gospel.

I recently cruised on the Costa Mediterranea, and reported on the problems I saw in their food and beverage operations, and their service.

I've since noticed a reviewer for another site talking about how wonderful the food and service was on their cruise, the following week. For example I saw weak uninspired buffet offerings, they rave about the great food at the buffet.

Could everything have changed that dramtically in just a week? I doubt it!

I cruised on Radisson Seven Seas Voyager in Sept., and I commented regarding what I felt was lack of quality in some of the beef served. Others, on the same sailing, raved about the beef dishes.

The difference is in how two different people view their experiences, and pass on those opinions.

While it's informative to read the message boards, and reviews, to hear other people's opinions and experiences, I certainly wouldn't take anyone's opinions as the final word, OTHER THAN YOUR OWN!

And to worry about "what you've heard" so much that you consider not booking a cruise with a particular line because of it is just plain silly... because in most cases, for every negative you hear, if you look a little, you'll find an offsetting postive. Take it all under advisement, but decide for yourself when you experience it.

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  #26 (permalink)  
Old December 25th, 2003, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

Kuki,

Great post Kuki!
I hope many cruisemates readers look your post.

Michael

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Old December 25th, 2003, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

Adam:

Your points are well made. Is it the four Millie class ships that lead to the death of Celebrity?

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Old December 25th, 2003, 08:44 PM
Babette
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

Kuki:

Effective with the 11/29 sailing, they started cutting the number of the more expensive meat items they load per cruise. As an example....veal chops. The waitstaff was told before the late seating to try to dissuade diners from ordering the veal chops.. as most had been served at early seating... and there were no longer sufficient numbers ordered as in the past to accommodate the usual ordering patterns during late seating.

The plating of the entrees has changed. Remember those cute little potato baskets?
Gone. The haricot verts tied with scallion? Gone. The potato Lyonnaise... Gone...replaced with mashed. The rack of lamb... three quarter sized bits of meat with bone fragments attached. Three quarter sized florets of broccoli.....and mashed potato.
At dinner with the hotel manager, I could not eat the prime rib I ordered. It couldn't be cut.
The size of the shrimp (for cocktails) has been reduced. (More shrimp to the pount). Even at the hosted table where you normally received 4 shrimp.... it has been reduced to three.

The filets are being cut much smaller.. I know how much you like BEEF!! Thinner too.

The cheese selection at lunch time on the buffet was not available 4 out of the 7 days.
It was available every day in April. Fewer dessert selections on the buffet as well.

Some of the canned soda in the minifridge wasn't 12 oz!! They were 11 and a fraction. But still the same price.

The rest is yet to come.. with the new menus.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

JMHO:

It is obvious that any time there is a critical observation of Celebrity on this board, certain predictable cheerleaders emerge with the "party line". This certainly has a tendency to quell criticism and legitimate concerns.

Things are not the same on Celebrity, notwithstanding the alibis that are being fowarded by some.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: Re: Terrible Cruise on Century

>It is obvious that any time there is a critical observation of Celebrity on this board, certain predictable cheerleaders emerge with the "party line". This certainly has a tendency to quell criticism and legitimate concerns.<

I've noticed that too and it makes one wonder if we have shills on line whose job is to promote the party line? I don't know if there are any cut backs or if those cut backs will be noticable. I rarely have seconds of any entree and have never walked away hungry from any table on any cruise. In my case, time will tell when I take my next Celebrity cruise this May and if I am dissapointed enough, it won't be my fingers that do the walking. That being said, I've always taken every cruise except one, with low expectations and because of that I am usually pleased. The only one that I embarked with high expectations was Crystal and they met those expectations. Not like Carnival that exceeded my low expectations and was even worse than I'd ever expected.
Frank-in-CA
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