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Old January 19th, 2006, 04:19 PM
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Default Recent reports on Galaxy

Would be very interested in hearing from those who may have travelled on the Galaxy in the last few months. Particularly like to hear about condition of the ship, comfort of beds, and comments on the quality of the food. WE are travelling to Med in Sept 2006 (11 nights - Greek ports) and keep hearing negative reviews on food and ship condition.
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Old January 19th, 2006, 10:50 PM
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Mikey,

Would be very interested in hearing from those who may have travelled on the Galaxy in the last few months. Particularly like to hear about condition of the ship, comfort of beds, and comments on the quality of the food. WE are travelling to Med in Sept 2006 (11 nights - Greek ports) and keep hearing negative reviews on food and ship condition.

I was aboard MV Galaxy on 17-31 October 2005 for the transatlantic cruise from Civitavecchia to Galveston.

>> The ship was generally in an excellent state of repair. Sure, there's a wear spot here or there, but nothing of any consequence.

>> My bed was quite comfortable.

>> The food was very good throughout the ship.

>> The entertainment was very good throughout the cruise.

I don't know from whom you are hearing negative reports, but I saw nothing that would support what you claim to keep hearing.

Note, also, that MV Galaxy was one of the seven Selebrity vessels that Cnnde-Nast ranked included in its list of the best ten cruise ships.

Norm.
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Old January 19th, 2006, 11:37 PM
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Default Galaxy

Norm. Many thanks. I know that you can never make some people happy but if you read the ship reviews, there are probably as many poor reviews as there are good. I appreciate your help...I am sure everything will be fine. Mike
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Old January 21st, 2006, 12:35 AM
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Mike,

Many thanks.I

You are most welcome! Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old January 27th, 2006, 05:27 PM
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Default Just returned from GALAXY 1/21/06

Here is my review of GALAXY. I am an avowed Celebrity fan, but also a very honest reviewer. Hope this is some use to you!

Celebrity GALAXY
1/9/06 - 1/21/06 12 night Panama Canal cruise

CABIN
This was a spur-of-the-moment adventure, and the inside cabin a bargain. I don’t spend any time in my cabin, so I decided to give it a try. Cabin 4041 (Continental Deck) was very clean, and a few feet in length shorter than the balcony cabins and probably the same size as the oceanview cabins I have had on other Celebrity ships, and larger than the oceanview cabins on Costa, MSC, and NCL. A carafe of water and bucket of ice on a tray with two glasses were already in place when I arrived at 12:45 p.m. The bedspread was a coral and blue print, with the bedskirt a complementary print in warm blue tones. Two chairs upholstered in coral fabric and a small glass topped table as well as two nightstands complete the cabin. The upholstery fabric was slightly worn at stress points such as corners, but overall that did not detract from a cozy interior scheme. It didn’t take me long to assess that the mattresses on GALAXY are in dire need of replacement: There is little in the way of cushioning or comfort in them, and I immediately called my cabin steward to request an egg crate mattress pad and two feather/down pillows. Carla arrived fifteen minutes later, introducing herself as my steward, with the requested pillows in hand. She promised to have the mattress pad for me later that afternoon.

The closet corridor is spacious: There is plenty of storage, with 10 drawers, two large open bin spaces, 30? of shirt hanging area, and approximately 7’ of full length hanging space. My two 28? extra thick suitcases stowed under the bed with ease. Additional storage and a safe were conveniently placed behind the mirror at the desk. It’s a great place for evening bags, cameras, binoculars, and other smallish items you want to access quickly.

In the bathroom, there were several deep shelves behind doors beneath the sink, as well as a built-in tip-out wastecan. The shower was as large as you would find in a tub shower, not tiny and square as on some other lines. I loved the shower hardware with the hand held sprayhead, which was also adjustable on the wall either up or down for height. Wish I had the same at home!
Everything was spotlessly clean, and there were two sets of towels hung for me, which was a nice touch, since I was traveling alone.

By the time I had finished unpacking, it was close to 2:30 p.m., and I was more than ready for lunch and exploring the rest of the ship. Score A-


EXPLORING THE SHIP

Oasis Café
Deck 11. Soothing tones of blue-green dominated the scheme. Again, there are some signs of wear in the soft goods and chair frames, but nothing that was distracting or tacky. Everything is very clean and well maintained. Hand sanitizing stations are placed at the head of every serving line, and most guests were religious about using them. Traffic flow was good, never seeming to get jammed up. Score: A-

Aft Oasis Pool and Solarium
Deck 11. Behind the Café is a lovely small solarium and a small pool with table seating flanking two sides, which I immediately decided would be the ideal place for breakfast most mornings. There is a bar on the port side, and a small servery on the starboard side which serves made-to-order pancakes and waffles in the morning, pasta and pizza at noon and beyond. It is completely glass enclosed, leading to a wonderful and relaxing outdoor space in the fantail of the ship. Score: A

Fantail Deck Area
Deck 11. This is the most relaxing place on the ship to view and photograph sunsets. There are dozens of tables and chairs scattered across its width, where you may take in the panoramic view and hear the mesmerizing wake of the ship. It’s a great place for cards or board games, connecting with friends, or to read and relax. Finding a spot to sit was never a problem. Although it was popular, it was never overcrowded, and I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of chair-savers here and at either of the pools. Waitstaff circulated regularly, offering drinks from the bar in the solarium. Score: A+

Midship Pool Area
Deck 11. Two saltwater pools and six hot tubs highlight the area, which are flanked on either side with comfortable padded loungers. The age of the ship was evident in the condition of the pools, but nothing to detract from the overall ambience. This was the first cruise I had ever taken where even during peak times I could find a lounger without any problem. For once, the chair hogs must have stayed home! Pool butlers vigilantly patrolled the area for litter, used towels, and empty glasses, so it was a pleasure to enjoy time here. Score: A-

AquaSpa
Deck 11, forward. This is tucked away from the noise and traffic of the rest of the ship. There’s a well-equipped gym, and the spa suite was quiet and soothing, making for a relaxing massage or hydrotherapy. Madalaina is an excellent massage therapist; I highly recommend her. The thalassotherapy pool area is wonderful; don’t miss out! Unlike the M class Celebrity ships, there is a fee for use, which cuts down on high traffic and noise, adding to the tranquil experience it is meant to impart. Score: A

Stratosphere Lounge
Deck 12, forward. The official sailaway party took place in this area, but it was disappointingly underattended, and most people drifted out a few minutes after we had left the pier. The widely reported foggy windows are indeed a distraction to what would be a fabulous place to spend time on sea days. Most daytime hours it was used by the activities staff for board game and trivia events. I went up a couple of evenings after the late seating dinner, but it was usually empty and forlorn. Celebrity needs to do something about making this wonderful space a happening place. Score: B-

Celebrity Theater
Deck 7. A wonderful theater space, with balcony seating more like traditional opera boxes. It is the nicest theatre I’ve seen, with an intimate feel to it. Done in tones of cream and gold, the banked seating makes every seat in the house a good one. Score: A

Cova Café/Tastings
Deck 7, midship. I love the Cova Cafes, but this one was small, cramped, and not as inviting as on other ships. Also, it’s in the direct flow of traffic from the shops and theater to the casino. Still, the cappuccinos are great with the free pastries offered. Good place to take a short break between activities. Score: B

Savoy Nightclub
Deck 7. A beautiful understatedly elegant space, decorated in rich ivory cream and black. Unfortunately, there is a wide screen large format TV installed here, so it becomes the unlikeliest sports bar on the planet. On this cruise, Monday night football was broadcast here. During the day, there were several cooking demonstrations held here, as well as an occasional trivia game. Although a band would play a few of the evenings for pre-dinner cocktails, this lovely space was not used to it’s potential either, which is a huge pity. Score: A-

Rendez-Vous Square
Deck 6. The most popular meeting place for pre-dinner cocktails on the ship. Unfortunately, the band Black and White Trio usually provided the music. They were the worst band I’ve heard on a ship, but were the only band offering pre and post dinner dancing, so I tuned them out and enjoyed myself anyway. The space lends itself easily as a gathering place, and with its large-ish dance floor, it was a natural gathering spot near the entrance to the Orian Restaurant. Score A; the band gets an F!

Orian Restaurant
This lovely formal restaurant has a beautiful sweeping double staircase opening out to a dramatic top to bottom bank of windows at the rearmost part of the ship. Tables were not crowded into the space, and the dining experience was always a gracious one, whether at the open seating at lunch or the traditional seating at dinner. Hand sanitizing stations are also by each of the entry doors here as well. Score: A

DINING EXPERIENCE
After an initial favorable impression on embarkation day in the Oasis Café, I found the food there not as good or as varied as expected, which was a little disconcerting. The traditional American full breakfast items were offered every day, which is too heavy for me. Early on, I decided to skip breakfast (except for a couple of times having waffles made to order at the servery area in the solarium: they were EXCELLENT), and after a couple of disappointing lunchtime forays, I made it a point to go to the Orian Restaurant for the open seating lunch, which was very good. Hot food arrived hot and cold dishes cold. The iced tea here is the best on the ship, and always delicious. A lot of desserts offered here at lunch are not offered anywhere else or at any other time on ship, too. Sitting with a different group of people each day proved fascinating, fun, and was invaluable for meeting new people that otherwise I may not have met. Add in the gracious waitstaff to pamper us, and it was too hard to resist.

Casual afternoon tea in the Oasis Café is one of the best events on the ship, especially on port days. After a full day of sightseeing, it’s great to come back to a wide assortment of lovely tea sandwiches, fresh pastries, cookies, fresh fruit, and ice cream (not to mention tea!) from 4 to 5 p.m. Perfect for anyone with late seating dinner, which is hours off.

Formal tea was offered once on this cruise. It was an elegant repast in the Orian Restaurant, where most everyone in attendance dressed up and put on their best manners. Don’t miss the little ham mousse cornucopias; they are delicious as are the blue cheese bites, fruit tarts, and shortbread.

Dinner in the Orian Restaurant was a highlight each evening, and we had a lively table of six: a California couple traveling with their 21 year old daughter, a honeymooning couple from southern Indiana, and me. We were usually the last to clear the room! Our waitstaff, Quintas and Isik, were wonderful and accommodating. We had only to ask for something once, and they remembered it perfectly every evening afterward. The quality of meat was very good, especially the rack of lamb. I ordered everything medium rare, and it arrived exactly as ordered. The only disappointment was the lobster on the last formal night. The tail I received was mushy; Quintas rapidly replaced it with another, which was firm and meaty, but tasteless. It wasn’t enough of a disappointment to mar all the other wonderful evenings or dishes, though. Vegetables were delicious, well prepared, and interesting. I especially loved the rutabaga timbale, a great surprise. We were a table of dessert lovers, and Quintas always set additional desserts in the middle of the table for us to try. Favorites were the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Cream, and crème brulee. Most diners complied with the dress codes suggested, and on formal nights, about 40% of the men wore tuxes and about 55% wore the alternative dark suit and tie; 85% of the women wore long elegant dresses at the late seating. I didn’t see shorts or inappropriate casual wear in the dining room in the evening as others have reported. Overall Score: A-

ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT
There are the usual cruise activities: bingo, shuffleboard, art auctions, shopping talks, bridge and the like, as well as a higher than average number of trivia and board games, ballroom dancing lessons, cooking demonstrations, and wine/food pair tastings. Enrichment Series lecturer was Dick Underwood, space photographer for NASA, whose photos provided sobering evidence over the past 40 years of the effects of global warming, as well as a peek into what it takes to make pictures from outer space. Chef Marc Cummings presented cooking demonstrations on sea days. Cruise Director Shawn Cavanaugh was everywhere and clearly enjoys his job. The Captains Club cocktail party was elegant with all the ships officers in attendance in a reception line to meet and greet past Celebrity guests, which was a nice touch. It was the loveliest, most cordial Captains Club party I’ve attended, held in the Savoy Nightclub, the perfect venue for it. Movies were offered four or five times daily in the Cinema, and there were alternative medicine/wellness/acupuncture lectures, floral arranging classes, craft activities, and informal card game groups. Beauty seminars were offered in the Aquaspa. For the sports-minded, there were golf, basketball, and volleyball events, and an informal jogging/walking group that met every morning. Additionally, there were two Big Band evenings on the ship after theater events, and five karaoke nights for aspiring and/or tipsy closet entertainers at heart. The Grand Buffet at midnight was the last formal night, but I wondered who could eat another bite after the wonderful dinner only an hour and a half earlier. It was beautiful to behold, though. Score: B+

As I noted before, the Black and White Trio were sorely lacking as musical entertainment, but fortunately, the Celebrity Orchestra playing Big Band nights and the Allegro String Quartet at dinner and early evenings more than made up for them. Celebrity provided Dance Hosts for women who needed a dance partner, which was nice. No one need sit out, and the Hosts are adept conversationalists as well. There was also a party band, Fusion, who played short, occasional sets by the pool. I was surprised by a lack of live music overall; recorded music was used extensively, which doesn’t make sense, given as many musicians as there were aboard. Score: B+; Black and White Trio: F

Evening shows in the theater were the typical cruise variety: A pianist two evenings, a comedian, vocal artists another evening, aerialists, and an odd marionette show. The remaining shows featured the Celebrity Singers and Dancers: Dance they could. Singing is another matter. Overall score: B-

SUMMARY
The age demographic aboard this cruise tended mainly to couples in their 60s, though there were a fair amount of those in their 50s, a few multigeneration families, and several groups of women friends traveling together. About 15% were couples in their 70s and beyond. I recommend this for anyone traveling solo, and in fact, I met about a dozen women like myself doing just that. You will never feel as though you are alone, and will meet a lot of interesting people and have a great deal of fun both on and off the ship. Don’t be shy! Just introduce yourself around and you’re off to a great vacation. I was a little worried about the condition of GALAXY from a few reports, but she is well maintained with a warm, wonderful, thoroughly professional crew whose few blemishes will not mar your experience in any way. The crew is constantly cleaning, painting and grooming her. Take the plunge and sail on this lovely, more intimately scaled ship. You won’t be disappointed. Happy Sailing!
Overall Cruise Score: A-
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Costa Atlantica 3/03
Celebrity Century 11/03
HAL Oosterdam 3/04
Celebrity Century 11/04
MSC Opera 2/05
Celebrity Constellation 11/05
Celebrity GALAXY 1/06
NCL Norwegian Dream 2/06
Celebrity CENTURY 4/06
Celebrity Summit 9/06
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Old January 28th, 2006, 01:11 AM
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It's been almost a year since we sailed Galaxy to the Panama Canal, but it was our best cruise ever. The ship is the smallest (and oldest) we've sailed, but it was beautiful, food was great, entertainment was the best we've seen and the Activities Staff, except for one younger woman, was fabulous. We did a lot more on-board activities--trivia and other games (I won prizes 3 times!) and I got brave and played bridge several times--usually kind of scary with strangers since I don't play much any more, but it was fun and I discovered 3 very nice ladies who were looking for a fourth and played only for fun.
The excursions were really great, especially the Cozumel catamaran beach/snorkel with the free beer and margaritas for 4 1/2 hours and the Jungle Pontoon ride through the rain forest of Costa Rica. The canal is, well what can I say, mind boggling. We could almost touch the sides as we went through.
It was amazing how we laughed so much every day. Very therapeutic for us Ohioans who suffer through so many cold, depressing, gray days back home.
I'm doing OK this year without a winter cruise, but only because I can close my eyes and picture myself on our summer cruise. June can't come fast enough. Another thing that helps is the computer screen wallpaper I've been using since last spring--a gorgeous pic of Montego Bay from that cruise. We got switched to there from Grand Cayman due to bad weather.
Happy cruising on the Galaxy--you will love it. We are thinking ahead to summer of '07 and want to sail her again--to the Med.

1/12/02 Explorer E. Carib
1/18/03 Explorer W. Carib.
8/3/03 Summit Alaska cruise/tour
1/8/04 Adventure S. Carib.
2/3/05 Galaxy Panama Canal
6/19/06 Jewel Brit. Isles/Nor. Fjords
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Old January 28th, 2006, 01:01 PM
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kmm,

I hear you .... I have been using a picture I shot while on St. John's from my CONSTELLATION cruise last November for my desktop wallpaper, too. Sure keeps my spirits up!

Cheers,
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Nicki

Costa Atlantica 3/03
Celebrity Century 11/03
HAL Oosterdam 3/04
Celebrity Century 11/04
MSC Opera 2/05
Celebrity Constellation 11/05
Celebrity GALAXY 1/06
NCL Norwegian Dream 2/06
Celebrity CENTURY 4/06
Celebrity Summit 9/06
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Old January 28th, 2006, 06:06 PM
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Whoa! Poetic License--Who needs much in the way of keeping spirits up when you've got that many cruises booked?? Now I'm green with envy--not good for my spirits. lol
BTW--do you remember Neil from the Comstellatiion Activities Staff? He was transferring from Galaxy to Constellation last spring. Just wondering if he is there--such a hoot!
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Old January 28th, 2006, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Recent reports on Galaxy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey2611
Would be very interested in hearing from those who may have travelled on the Galaxy in the last few months. Particularly like to hear about condition of the ship, comfort of beds, and comments on the quality of the food. WE are travelling to Med in Sept 2006 (11 nights - Greek ports) and keep hearing negative reviews on food and ship condition.
Apart from an ongoing issue with the busted seals in the windows in the foward observation lounge (Stratosphere) which cause many of them to have become opaque with sea salt deposits, the overall condition of public areas is quite good. I've heard complaints about the beds (recently) but certainly had no complaint with ours. Food was excellent except for the lamb steak. I knew better than to order it this time, but couldn't convince someone else at our table that it might not be a good idea

Point of reference: disembarkation 12/17/05
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Old January 28th, 2006, 06:23 PM
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Many thanks to everyone. I am sure we will have a great time. A few scuffs wont spoil the cruise for me and visiting Italy Greece and Turkey will be a delight I am sure. Anyone want to add to this string is welcome.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 01:40 AM
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kmm,

I didn't see Neil on GALAXY, but that isn't to say he wasn't there; there were more activities on GALAXY than on CONSTELLATION, if you can believe it. I kept myself pretty darn busy morning till night.

Hope you'll be cruising soon!
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Costa Atlantica 3/03
Celebrity Century 11/03
HAL Oosterdam 3/04
Celebrity Century 11/04
MSC Opera 2/05
Celebrity Constellation 11/05
Celebrity GALAXY 1/06
NCL Norwegian Dream 2/06
Celebrity CENTURY 4/06
Celebrity Summit 9/06
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