My friend and I are cruising 1/30/04 Galaxy class ship on the Southern Carribean itnerary. My friend was on some web-site (don't know the name) that said that Celebrity doesn't use their stabalizers and that if you have a room in the aft of the ship, you will be shaken awake in the morning while pulling into port. He's concerned that our room that is mid-ship (but towards the back) on deck 12 will be uncomfortable.
Can anyone provide any feedback on their experiences on the galaxy class ships, the stabalizers, and/or motor/rotor vibration?
Second, we sailed last year on Royal Carribean Radiance of the Seas. Can anyone provide a comparison of the food between the two cruise lines? Specifically, the lunch buffet. (We found the Royal Carribean lunch buffets to be somewhat uninspired. (They were okay, but nothing to write home about.))
Finally, we are looking into Shore Excursions for our itnerary. Our ports of call are St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Kitts, Marguerita Island, and Aruba. Any recommendations for shore excursions?
St. Thomas - we were thinking about the St. John island tour because we've been to St. Thomas. - What do you think?
Barbados - the 4x4 or island tour
St. Kitts - the railroad tour
Aruba - the powerboat ride and the general tour
Any feedback on these ideas?
Where do these stories come from? Celebrity doesn't use it's stabilizers? Does someone think that Celebrity, one of the premier cruise lines, is looking to give it's passengers as uncomfortable a ride as possible? Where does this junk come from?
Second, what does the use of stabilizers have to do with docking?
The delicate manuevers necessary to dock a large ship are accomplished with the careful use of propellers and on most modern ships the side thrusters. There may in fact be a minor amount of noise from these manuevers, but certainly not enough to worry about room choice over.
Food. I've spent 42 days at sea with Celebrity and never had better food , land or sea.
Lunch buffets offer a large choice of hot and cold foods, pizza, specialty pasta, often
themed foods, salads, burgers, hot dogs , chicken and sweets . Celebrity makes the best cookies on any ships afloat (personal issue).
I'll let a few others deal with your other questions.
Galaxy is a beautiful ship. Please listen to what PapaBill has said. We always get a room mid ships towards the back, and have slept great. The lunch buffets are usually themes, one day italian, one day mexican, etc but they also have just regular lunch things to eat and their desserts are out of this world. I As for youe choices in tours, sounds like you have read up on the different tours and have chosen some really good ones. We will be going to Aruba for the first time in March and the general tour is what we plan because my husband is disabled and can't do the climbing, long walking. Enjoy and don't worry about it. There is always going to be someone who will complain about something, and what is bad for them, you might enjoy.
I will try and explain the noise and what actually occurs as I had one of those cabins on the Century. The Galaxy is the second of the Century class ships. You will be awakened when the ship is docking while the thrusters are put on. It will take five to ten minutes while docking and leaving port. Leaving port you are very often somewhere else. This has absolutely nothing to do with not using stabilizers. All this being said, the aft rooms on the Century class ships are great rooms with lots of storage area and a seperate sleeping area. Best room I ever had on a cruise ship including one time having a suite.
If this is your first trip to Aruba, forget the boat ride and do a jeep tour into the cunucu (countryside). It's a different country on the north side of the island. Maybe you'll even get to drive one.
I've only taken one cruise on Celebrity (the Infinity in 10/01). It was a great cruise. We did the Southern Carribean. Personally, I don't care too much for shore excursions, at least "big group" ones. But, I would highly recommend an excursion to St. John. The Trunk Bay snorkeling excursion is good. It's a great boat ride to St. John. The tram to the bay has breathtaking panoramic views. It may well be the most beautiful area I have ever seen.
You won't feel much of the thruster motion or noise on the Sky Deck. You are too high up.
It is true that stabilizer usage is minimal. One... it makes the ship less fuel efficient.. and two.... it slows the ship down. Stabilizers do nothing to counteract pitch (forward and back motion)... or the side to side motion caused by strong winds buffeting the ship.
The itinerary is a fairly easy one for the ship.. and unless there are adverse weather conditions.. the southern itineraries typically experience the best weather in the Caribbean.
Last summer in Alaska on the Mercury we hit some rough seas and many people were sick, including the shop and bar staff. We were told by a clerk in a shop that the Captain didn't like to use the stabalizers and that's one reason so many were ill. She said this had happened many times over the summer. We took this with a grain of salt however. She may have just been a disgruntled (and sick) employee. Or maybe it was true.
The Galaxy is a Century class ship that went into service in 1996. She is going to be different than the RCI ship which has more in common with the Millennium Celebrity ships (though still distinctly different).
She doesn't have the RCI's centrum but a much more intimate foyer, so this center hub of activity doesn't exist on Celebrity. Ship style is different, less tropical, more understated, more period look to her. She doesn't look like an RCI ship inside. She's not only my favorite Celebrity ship but one of my favorite ships built in the 1990s.
Food service and style are different, more professional than friendly though there are bar servers with the banter of RCI's bar servers. Mostly service is more subdued. There are less activities. There are more "dress up" nights. Lunch buffet is average but I found it better than what I found on one RCI cruise (on a Voyager class ship). Dining food? Who knows? Sometimes it is very nicely presented and prepared on Celebrity, other times it isn't that distinguishable from any other line. Hope it is good but I do think Celebrity fans overstate the quality of it. Don't go in with high expectations, expect it to be like other lines and you won't set yourself up with unrealistic expectations. On my Galaxy cruise it was exceptional, but that was in 1999. I got very inconsistent food on my Constellation cruise in 2001, and some of it I'd rate as poor. Overall, it was mediocre (actually the whole cruise was that way).
Stabilizer use has to do with the captain and schedules and severity of the weather. It isn't a this company doesn't use them vs. that company that uses them issue.
There are very pronounced vibrations, especially felt in the aft area of the ship, when the Century class ships, all of them, go backwards and dock, and there is a low level vibration one always feels in the aft of the ship.
I was recently a passenger on the Celebrity Summit. The newer ships are all designed to minimize any movement. For over 10 days the only time I noticed any movement was
a couple of times during dinner -- the formal dining room is located at the extreme rear of the ships on decks 4 and 5.
Barbados is an incredible place. I took the shore excursion "Natural Wonders". This takes you across the island to the Atlantic side. You get to stop at Andromeda Gardens, and a brief (ten minutes) stop at a sheep farm. This is the shore encursion that gives you the most bang for your buck.
I also suggest that you take some time and visit the public markets which are located near the cruise port. The government has set up several different markets -- one for locally made crafts, one for produce, one for fish, etc.. they are all located about three blocks from the cruise port. This is an excellent way to meet some local people and to see things which are actually made on the island.
I went to a supermarket downtown near the Legislature building. I was able to buy some packages of spices -- nutmeg, cloves, currys, for less than a dollar a packet. These made really wonderful litle presents to bring back to friends and co workers.
SO that your cruise experience is nit runied, I strongly sugggest that you review the posting I made a bit earlier today.
If you have any mroe specific questions about cruise ports, please write to me. I lvoe talking about cruising. (I am not a travel agent... just a cruise junkie.)
I agree with Benjamin Smith regarding the use of stabalizers.
While I haven't been on all of Celebrity's ships, I've been on NCL, RCCL, Carnival (4 ships) and Horizon and Galaxy (twice). There is no doubt in my mind that while the food and service on all major cruise lines is good, of those that I have been on, Celebrity is a step above the others.
It doesn't matter where your cabin is on the ship. If you really want to enjoy yourself, you will.
Hope to see some of you on the Galaxy (third time) 4/5/04.