Note - this page contains multiple reviews.
Name: C. McGowan
Occupation: Self Employed
SailingDate: Jan 31st, 1999
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Submit: Submit Review
Date: 05 May 1999
Remote Name: spider-pa054.proxy.aol.com
Hello, Cruisers! Finally back from a stay-cation in Palm Beach immediately following our Feb. cruise so ... sorry so belated!
Last year Mom, sister Susan & myself sailed another cruiseline so we did have something to measure our Mercury cruise to.
(I won't even use the word "compare" here!) But it would be the first cruise for Brother-in-law (Joe) and two of Mom's friends
(late 30's-early 40's). For starters, we booked our own air with USAirways and our arrival at Ft. Lauderdale Terminal proved
quite eventful, as my sister had her carryon snatched from right under her as we waited at the carousel to retrieve our
baggage. A multi-person on-foot pursuit ensued through the terminal & up an escalator until the little punk was tackled by a
nice, BIG guy right at the exit doors! Meanwhile, simultaneously, we were being paged and here Joe's duffel bag had
somehow gotten caught in a conveyor or what have you and that thing was TOTALED! I'm talking one of those big red
Marlborough bags here. Incredible. So while Mom & Sister are filling out forms for the police, Joe & I are at USAir's office and
we could not BELIEVE the gorgeous, still-in-the-wrapper, HUGE yellow duffel bag the folks at USAir presented to Joe. Matter
of fact, Joe merely took the mess, shambles & contents of his bag & plopped it right into the new one -- with room to spare!!
(If any of you have ever seen those big red 'Marlborough' bags, you can probably get the idea here. Once onboard the
Mercury, Joe instructed their room steward to just chuck it, as it wouldn't fit into the trashcan and on the 5th night, that thing
was actually returned sewn and in flawless condition!!! Even CLEAN & SPOTLESS! He could not BELIEVE it!! While Mom &
Sue were filling out the forms to press charges or what have you, the policemen came down several times to update Joe & I,
also asking us what arrangements we had to get to the ship. We stated that we just intended to hop a cab, easy enough, as
we booked our own air. Here comes a Celebrity representative anyway and, after excusing himself for a few brief moments,
returning not to leave our sides for one second until we were all in cabs and HE HAD PAID AND TIPPED THEM!!! We didn't
even HAVE Celeb's transfers, for crying out loud!! How Celebrity, USAirways and the fine Policemen at FLL Terminal
simultaneously collaborated to turn a PAIR of potential sure fire discouraging downers into the most incredible display of
wonderfulness (for lack of a better word here) had us feeling even better, probably, than had those freak occurrences not
even taken place!! 'Incredibly impressed before not even leaving the terminal' is more like it! My mom's two friends (who,
incidentally missed all the fun at the airport) were so thrilled with every aspect of this cruise experience that I actually had
delivered to my cabin a bag full of gifts and a thank-you card from them. From our Cruise Professional Lisa's bottles of wine
waiting for us in our cabins from the get-go to our exceptionally awesome dinner seating location...the cabins
themselves...the professionalism and cordial attention of the crew...the food...you name it. I didn't think anything could
compare to Disney 'atmosphere' (you know, 'good feeling' wise) and throughout our previous cruise, I only wished I was back
at Disney World. But Celebrity DID Exceed Expectations in every aspect. I appreciate places such as the Fontainebleau in
Miami, Four Seasons, and, of coarse, the Breakers (was just there :>)for nice evenings out and can honestly say that the
ambiance, atmosphere, fellow cruisers, etc., certainly parallel. Gentlemen (I mean this literally) actually stepped aside in
aisles for ladies to pass! This was regular occurrence. This cruiseline and the Mercury are, indeed, a class act if that's what
you are looking for in a cruise. Although we saw a nice array of ages onboard, I'd lean towards labelling our sailing as
'mature'. We did see a bunch of youngsters in a neat little line making their way across the pool area on the 6th day. Would
never know they were onboard. All six of us within the 32-60 age range felt more than comfortable everywhere on this ship.
We were heavily encouraged, not only by our waiter, but by our wonderful room stewardess as well for compliments on
comment cards! (I had to assure her repeatedly that I was already in the process of writing a lengthly letter of praise to the
hotel manager - which was the truth). I have a feeling that a Hotel manager on, say, for example, a Mercury, may have
higher, stricter standards than his contemporaries on other ships - whether it be that line or others'. I found the crew/staff to
be 'seriously professional', if you will. My waiter did confirm some of my assumptions by stating that Celebrity was, indeed, a
very tightly run ship (no pun:>) and it couldn't compare to Carnival as far as 'a nice place to work'. We noticed on the formal
nights (being early seating) the urgency for extreme efficiency in our waiter's mannerisms. Understandably so, most cruisers
are oblivious to the fact that, in 2 hours' time from the moment they sit down, all these people have to eat 4 courses, the
rooms have to be cleared and all reset for the 1000+ coming in at 8:00! I wouldn't like to say that we were exactly 'rushed'
because our staff was so attentive & personable. But if you are one who likes to really take your time ordering & pausing
through coarses, I'd encourage late seating. These people take great care to assure that everything is perfect. Not the case
on our first cruise. Yes, they certainly work their fannies off - BUT- seem genuinely happy to do so. You'd think there were
higher-higher-ups onboard for our sailing observing and rating!! Talking to our crew, I related the Powers To Be on this
particular ship to that really tough teacher in school (who you'd learned more from than anyone), as opposed to the really
cool guy you worked for when you were a teen... Just my perspective. We had a balcony on the Penthouse deck and, if you
can spring a few more $$$ for one, do it!! Or, at least an extra $100.00 for an ocean view window cabin. It makes all the
difference in the world, believe me. I will say that we had no problem buying drinkage in the gift shop (such affable staff in
the shops as well, especially Daniel) and enjoying pre-dinner cocktails in cabins. Likewise in Mexico. Got bottles of Kahluah
(forgive spelling) for $10.00 right at the dock before reboarding. Heck, I even went to Stiener's of London & got my hair cut. I
was quite happy!! (And I'm so picky about that that I've always cut my own hair regularly!!) The first 3 ports out of 4 were
thoroughly enjoyable. Key West, Calica (where you can hop a bus for a very short ride to XCaret Park (we did & thoroughly
enjoyed our day there), Cozumel & Grand :>( Cayman. Last cruise, we opted to skip Carlos & Charlies in Cozumel because
1) assumed it was for loud, crazy people to get smashed & dance on tables 2) didn't think our cruise could get any suckier
(for lack of a better word) anyways. 3) I was just plain stupid. I can state now that NOTHING, and I include Disney here, came
close to this wonderfully incredible, um, experience. And I LOVE Disney (going again next year due to family pressure & 4
certain kiddies:>)! 'Disney on New Years' Eve' is the only way I could describe this place. I wish I could! I STILL feel good at
the very thought of that day! (And we didn't need wheelchairs, either). I can say that you'll be in heaven with the variety of
songs the VERY entertaining Dj plays. (Not 100% club 'broken-record' stuff that lasts 1/2 hour with 3 notes, you know)? If
you do anything on this itinary - GO!!! Call me crazy but the Stingrays paled in comparison!!! And, believe me, they were the
one thing I anticipated most about the cruise. (See my old posts on boards on the net for proof:>) Oh, next cruise, we won't
even bother getting of the ship @ Grand Cayman even for Stingrays (although I do recommend them as a not- miss for new
cruisers. It's an awesome experience and they're so gentle and friendly. Just book the earliest trip through the ship; they're
hungriest then:>). Those shopkeepers/staff in those stores by the dock have to be the most arrogant, snotty people we had
ever encountered - anywhere. And walking down a street we felt like Lepers or something!! What's with that anyways??
Anyone know?? We were quite surprised, especially having had already encountered the warm, friendly people in the other
countries. What a contrast!! Did the cruiselines DO something to them, or what?! What's the story there? Grand Cayman
was the only thing close to a disappointment on this cruise and that was solely due to the stinky attitudes there. If you have
any questions, please don't hesitate. I know I'm leaving out a lot here. I hope all your cruises are as wonderful as ours was.
Name: Paul Brushwood
Occupation: Commercial Real Estate
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Submit: Submit Review
Date: 11 May 1999
Remote Name: ppp-207-193-14-65.hstntx.swbell.net
Our trip on Celebrity Mercury was outstanding. I should acknowledge that our views are very positively affected by
the fact that we were upgraded at embarkation from Vista Deck to Sky Suites. The service was so outstanding that I
will never be able to cruise on any line except Celebrity and I probably will have to wait until I can afford a suite so
that I can repeat the high level of service.
Because the suites are served by a butler you rarely see the room attendant, but we could always tell that he had
done his job well. The butler addressed our every need with breakfast to order every morning, tea at 4:00 PM and
canapé at 6:00 PM. The complimentary bottle of champagne that was placed in our suite before our arrival was not
a cheap token, but was very good quality. The butler provided an additional complimentary bottle and flowers in our
suite for our last evening when he learned we would be renewing wedding vows. He was very attentive to our
personal comfort. There are many additional benefits to booking a suite. All the suites are very convenient to the
pool and dining facilities. Suite guests are given priority for tender service and for embarkation and disembarkation.
Excursion bookings also were not a problem for us. If you truly want to make a cruise a special experience you
should consider paying the significant additional cost.
Excursions. The visit to Key West satisfied my curiosity about this place. The 1 hour Conch Train tour was a good
way to get acquainted. Key West seemed to be focused on either shopping or drinking. Half of a day there was
plenty. In Cozumel we started with the 3 hour snorkel tour. It was good, not great, but I definitely recommend it. We
spend the afternoon shopping. It was typical of Mexico, but a reasonable way to spend the afternoon. At Calica we
spent the entire day at Xcaret. It far exceeded our expectations and is definitely the best thing to do there. In Grand
Cayman we rented a car and made our own tour because our traveling companions had visited Cayman 6 months
earlier. We spend about 3 hours at Rum Point and enjoyed every minute. We also visited the oldest house on the
island which has been recently restored and enjoyed that. We would have been willing to spend another day or
more in Grand Cayman, but learned that cruise ships are not allowed to anchor for longer than 10 hours.
Food. Both quantity and quality met expectations. There was always more than enough to eat at all times. Some of
the food was excellent. All of it was very good. Our waiter was terrific. Late seating was definitely preferable for us.
Exercise facilities. I hoped that I could maintain my exercise routine and was pleased with the facilities. There is a
walking/running deck that is 1/12th of a mile around the pool. Crowded during the day, but plenty of room in the
morning before breakfast. The gym is well equipped. I worked out 4 times and gained only 2 pounds on the trip.
Spa. I didn't expect to use this facility, but submitted to a massage when my wife offered it as a birthday present. It
was outstanding. Suite guests can enjoy the massage on their private balcony. My wife enjoyed a manicure and
pedicure. The service was excellent. Definitely worth the money.
Entertainment. We enjoyed it all. We saw most of the shows in the theatre. All of the feature guests were very good.
The staff dancers and singers were also high quality and seemed to do a lot more than perform at the theatre.
Sometimes they greeted us as we departed the ship for an excursion. Regularly, they gave dance lessons at an
evening party. The Cruise Director was always upbeat and not too corny. We appreciated the fact that the shows
lasted about an hour. Any more would have been too long. The poolside band added a lot to the atmosphere,
particularly on the 2 days at sea.
Other comments. I rented a tux for the formal evenings and was glad that I did. A suit would have been adequate,
but the tux added to evening. The tux rental offered through Celebrity was very convenient. I wore a sport coat on
the first informal night, but found that many men dressed the same as on casual night (slacks and shirt). The
second "informal" night was the Tropical theme night and I left the tie behind and wore a tropical shirt. Very few
people wore ties that night. The photographer will be taking pictures of you all week and will have them displayed for
sale the following day. We didn't buy any pictures until the last evening. They will be glad to hold your pictures until
the end so that you can choose which ones you like best. We left our teenagers at home with grandparents, but it
was clear that the teenage crowd on board was having fun. Each evening one of the lounges was dedicated after
about 10:30 to the teen crowd. I know my teenagers would have enjoyed the trip and will in the future.
Negatives are few, but here they are: Our wine steward seemed put out that we did not order a bottle on the first
evening. Because only 3 of the 6 people seated at our table were wine drinkers we didn't think we could enjoy a full
bottle and we ordered the wine by the glass from the bar waiter. The selections available by the glass were excellent
and the bar waiter was very gracious and consistent, but the wine steward seemed to assume that we weren't worth
wasting his time. I noticed later that some guests had purchased bottles and the portion they did not drink one
evening was waiting for them the next evening. I probably would have done that if the steward had suggested that
he was willing to store the bottle for us. On the second evening he rudely took the wine menu from my dining partner
as he was reading it. We never saw him again the rest of the trip. A few problems are created by the fact that some
of the crew does not speak English. At lunch time on both days we were at sea, the ice machine at the pool deck
grill ran out of ice. My wife told the bus boy in attendance, but he clearly did not understand what she was saying
and no steps were taken to correct the problem. On another occasion the same bus boy failed to clear a table in an
area where empty tables were scarce because he didn't understand when he was told the guests were leaving. One
bartender seemed like he really resented serving us. Probably because we arrived at 6:05 PM and wanted a drink
to take to our room. I think he felt like he was coming to the end of his day, but his attitude was unacceptable. The
air/sea program worked well for us, but we were disappointed that we were routed through Miami instead of Ft.
Lauderdale. We live in Houston and Continental serves Ft. Lauderdale non-stop from Houston, but we were routed
on American to Miami. Small item, but a little disappointing. The bus service to and from the Miami airport was very
convenient and only took about 35 minutes.
Name: Dindi and David Osterhaus
Age: 32 and 38
Itinerary: Key West, Calica, Cozumel, Grand Caymen
Submit: Submit Review
Date: 11 May 1999
Remote Name: 126.96.36.199
This was a clebration for our 15th anniversary and our first cruise. It was everything we had hoped for and more.
We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale a little late in the afternoon and caught our bus to the pier. We had no waiting at all.
This was great. NO hassels. It seemed to take a while to get our luggage, we wanted to dive right in the pool of
course, but soon enough we had everything. The view from the ship as we left port was incredible. Looking at the
shorline of Ft Lauderdale. People were partying and waving to us. It was a bit annoying to do the muster drill but it
was all done with ease and no confusion, so it went by really fast.
The first thing I want to comment on was the way we were treated. Like royalty. The women were treated like
queens, especially in the dining area. They grabbed my tray the first day and I was really surprised, took us right to
a table. The dining in the evenings is so wonderful. We had the late seating. This was a good thing becuase we
were never rushed. I would like to comment on our waiter, Bernard, I hope that you will be as fortunate as we were to
have him serve us every night. He is so gracious and is full of information. A little hard to understand at times but it
is ok. He always greeted me as Mrs. Osterhaus, with a big smile, I won't ever forget him. Willie was our busboy and
he is also very gracious. The food was wonderful, my husband had two entrees most every night and it was no
problem. There was never a mistake at our table of four, we traveled with some friends from Dallas. We ate
breakfast in there one morning and it was good with Bernard being right there. I don't know when he slept.
The cabin we had was fine, being one of the cheaper ones, we were quite happy with everything. Plenty of space
and a great shower. We slept great. There was some motion at times but nothing too bad. We were awakened one
morning, I think by the ship being tied in to the port. NO big deal.
The excursions were good. Our favorite being the Stingray City tour at Grand Caymen. We took the 7:45 tour, I did
most of my research on this sight and it was most helpful on the little details. The stingrays were such an
experience. It is a bit frightening at first but not to worry, they are gentle. You can feed them squid, but keep your
thumb tucked in, they will such it right up. Please don't miss Seven Mile Beach at Caymen. The most beautiful
beach, I could have spent days here. The view was spectacular. Don't shop too long here. Bye Bye is the best place
to by your last minute t shirts, good quality and prices. Get the Rum Cakes to bring home, they are so good. Take
the taxi down to Seven Mile Beach, it is too hot and too long of a walk from the pier. Just have them take you down
to where the nice hotels start.
Calica was great, Xcaret is a must, we should have spent more time here, don't miss a thing. The snorkeling is good
and you can swim with dolphins here, we did not. They have a nice beach relaxing area here, and a place to eat
and have some drinks, pretty reasonable. We asked for guacamole and they made it fresh, not normally even
Key West was a nice little visit. Just walked around, took it all in. Bought some wine and beer here, expensive but
not as expensive as on the ship. Buy your rum, for 6.00 at Calica, right by the boat, buy your coke at Key West or
bring it. The drinks are expensive on the boat and they really push you to buy them.
Cozumel, was fun. We rented mopeds here and drove around. Only 25.00, not a bad deal. Went to Chaknab Bay
area, it was just ok, snorkeled here. But did better just across from some motel along the road. Shopped some and
then went to Carlos and Charlie's, it is quite an experience. Party animals only. We had fun, and felt bad the next
day for a while, but you can relax on your day at sea. There is a nice bar right by the boat when you get back, relax
there for a nice quiet time and you can also see the really crazy ones comming in from Carlos and Charlie's.
The ship is beautiful and I have only a couple of complaints, take your mugs with you and fill them when the drink
fountains are open. They shut the fountains down after the food has been served and the glasses are very small
when the fountain is open. The drinks are very expensive, and they get you right when you get on, with the drink of
the day, they are 6.50 I think. They about plowed us down trying to sell us one. We also thought the spa was very
expensive and didn't get a massage, but got a lesson on how to do one from a class they offered. The exercise
equipment was very nice and state of the art. The entertainment was fine, with the evening show of the ladder guy
being our favorite.
There is so much to say about this cruise, I hope that if anyone has any questions about specifics they will email me.
I would be glad to answer any questions.
We had a fabulous time and the ship is wonderful, I would sail Celebrity again, they are simply the best.
Name: Lynn and Bill Russell
Age: 46 and 52
Occupation: Higher Education
Itinerary: Western Carribean
Submit: Submit Review
Date: 12 May 1999
Remote Name: 171.memphis-08-09rs16rt.tn.dial-access.att.net
We have sailed on both the Royal Carribean and Norweigan Cruise Lines; however agree that Celebrity is our
favorite. The ship was sparkling clean and the staff attentive to all of our needs.
After arriving in Fort Lauderdale, a Celebrity representative met us at the gate and provided clear and accurate
instructions about boarding the bus which would transport us to the pier. Traffic was slow due to construction near
the pier and this was somewhat frustrating -- but not the fault of Celebrity. Embarkation had never been easier. We
walked directly to a Celebrity representative, presented our documents and were on the ship in a matter of minutes.
Once on board, we were shown promptly to our stateroom which was very adequate.
The food was excellent and plentiful and the service in the dining room and the Palm Springs Cafe was always
outstanding. Although we only attended a couple of midnight buffets, both were artistic food displays which
demanded lots of photographs.
We enjoyed all of the entertainment. Although we had seen 'the ladder guy' perform on a Royal Carribean ship, we
still enjoyed his performance the second time around. Everyone on the ship seemed to enjoy his comedy routine.
The singers and dancers did a good job. The week we sailed was the group's premier performance. We did not
know this, however, until the end of the week and would have never suspected that to be the case. They were very
talented and entertaining. The entertainment director, Paul, did an outstanding job and seemed to be everywhere
on the ship at all times of the day and night. The Celebrity staff worked very hard to make our cruise enjoyable.
Shore excursions were only 'average' in our opinion. We only purchased one. In Calica we visited Xcaret. We
enjoyed the day, but were somewhat disappointed with the park itself. Floating down the underground river was fun
and a highlight of our trip. The park's brochures are much more attractive than the actual park. But there is little to
do in Calica, so if you find yourself there, go to Xcaret! Our favorite port was Grand Cayman. The shops were clean,
attractive, friendly and we plan to go back. Since we do not snorkel, we shopped in Cozumel. It was hot and the
store owners were pushy. Passengers that did snorkel said it was great. Guess we should take up snorkeling!
We met some great people during the cruise and were very pleased with the compatibility of our table mates in the
dining room. We plan to keep in touch.
Other things we liked about the ship were the cigar lounge, infrequent announcements over the loud speaker
system, bingo, the comfort of the Celebrity theater, and plenty of deck room. The art auctions were not appealing to
us, however, several passengers enjoyed this feature of the cruise.
Disembarkation was somewhat unpleasant, but once again this was not the fault of Celebrity. After arriving in Fort
Lauderdale, the ship was not allowed to dock in its usual location due to an ammonia spill. This delayed
disembarkation by about two hours. It was obvious the Celebrity folks were as frustrated as the passengers about
this situation. We had joined the Captain's Club during the cruise and as a result were in the second group to leave
the ship. Therefore, we still managed to make our flight. I imagine several passengers were not as fortunate. The
unforseen ammonia spill resulted in mass confusion as we disembarked the Mercury.
In summary, we had a great week on the Mercury. We plan to cruise with Celebrity again in the future.
Name: Timothy Fletcher
SailingDate: June 18, 1999
Itinerary: Southbound Glacier
Submit: Submit Review
Date: 27 Jun 1999
Remote Name: 46.dallas-15-20rs.tx.dial-access.att.net
Southbound Glacier Cruise Aboard the MV MERCURY June 18 June 25, 1999
DAY DATE PORT ARR DEP Thu 17 Anchorage PRE-CRUISE Fri 18 Seward -- 8:00p Sat 19 Hubbard
Glacier 2:00p 6:00p Sun 20 Juneau 8:00a 10:00p Mon 21 Skagway 7:00a 5:00p Tue 22 Sitka 8:00a 4:00p
Wed 23 Ketchikan 8:00a 7:00p Thu 24 Inside Passage -- -- Fri 25 Vancouver 7:00a
This cruise had been in the making since August during last years Alaska season, so we were more than
ready when June 17th rolled around. We booked so early because we had a narrow window of opportunity
for the trip as our four sons and one of their friends were also going on the trip. The reason we chose a
southbound cruise was because we wanted to get the longer flight and transfer via bus out of the way
before the cruise when it would be easier to handle. When planning the cruise, we had it narrowed down
to the Sea Princess or the Mercury from the beginning. Having previously sailed on the Sun Princess and
the Galaxy, it was a tossup. We knew that both lines have great service and food, so our main decision to
choose the Mercury was based on cabin size. The Sea Princess has very small rooms, (despite being
smartly designed) while the Mercury offers much larger accommodations at similar prices. We also
considered the fact that Princess has a better itinerary, as they have more permits to view the more
impressive glacier areas such as Glacier Bay and College Fjord. However, having already been to Alaska
on our very first cruise in 1991 (Sky Princess roundtrip from San Francisco), this advantage was thrown
on the backburner. We considered booking Mini-Suites on the Sea, but found this to be too expensive. It
doesnt make sense that you have to book in the top three categories to get a room larger than 150
square feet. Princess Mini-Suites are huge compared to Celebritys Suites. After this debate, we finally
chose the Mercury.
We booked three category 2 cabins, as we wanted verandas to view the scenery of Alaska. Since we
booked so early, we were able to choose virtually any of the cabins we wanted. Therefore, we chose
cabins 1200, 1201, and 1241, because they were on Sky deck and had much larger balconies than
normal category 2 cabins. Choosing these cabins meant giving up some privacy as they were mostly open
to the deck above. Fortunately this deck (Sunrise deck) was hardly ever used.
Our travel agent let us select which flights we wanted and he booked them through the cruise line.
Basically we got around paying the fee for selecting your own flights. We chose Delta on the way out and
American for the return home.
Our flight left Dallas / Ft. Worth at 8:35 am on Thursday the 17th. We had an hour layover in Salt Lake
City before continuing on to Anchorage. Upon landing in Anchorage the trouble began. There was no
Celebrity agent to meet us so we called the hotel and a Princess agent sent a shuttle for us. On our last
Celebrity Cruise, we had a similar problem and were directed also by the Princess representatives. We
arrived at the hotel and after a slight problem checking in we were in our rooms by 3:30. We stayed at the
Sheraton Anchorage which is nice, but think that the Captain Cook would have been a better choice for
two reasons which will be told later. When we got to our rooms we found that we had a message and were
told to go to the front desk. There we received a fax from our travel agent informing us that he had
upgraded us to a suite and moved two of our sons into our previous cabin (1201) from 1241.
The sun doesnt set until very late in Anchorage during the summer so we had until midnight to see the
city. Even at two in the morning it is like dusk. We ate at the hotel that night and woke up the next morning
to catch a bus from the hotel at 10:30. We thought we were going to the ship, however, we were
transferred to the Captain Cook Hotel and after waiting in line for about ten minutes we were given tickets
for a 1:30 transfer to the Mercury. If we had stayed at the Captain Cook we could have left on one of the
earliest busses and been on the ship much earlier, but no such luck. Plus, the Captain Cook seemed like
a much nicer hotel. Princess has service desks in both the Sheraton and the Captain Cook that were
staffed for most of the day (much, much better organized than Celebrity). We finally got on a very old bus
that could barely make it over even the smallest incline, while Princess had a fleet of the newest busses.
Despite this problem, we had an excellent guide / busdriver who pointed out everything and even sang to
us a song she created about Alaska. She was 24 years old and majored in dance, so we have no idea
how she got into driving.
We arrived in Seward around five oclock but were told to drive around for a while as their was a backup at
the pier. After ten minutes or driving through Seward we pulled onto the pier and were third in a line of
busses. A Celebrity Representative boarded our bus, told us what we needed, and soon we were checking
in. The social hostess (Rebecca De Spirito) met us and she invited us to sit with the captain with
compliments of our travel agent (we have the best agent). After checking in we waited in a short line, had
our photo taken, and boarded the ship via the Promenade Deck, where we were taken to our cabin by an
Having a suite was something totally different for us. First of all, a butler was part of the package. For us,
having a butler was not necessary, as we never had him do anything. All we need is the steward to make
up the room and thats about it. Having a suite however was very nice. The suite has a queen size bed (or
two doubles, whichever you prefer), a good-sized sofa, two chairs, a 20 inch TV and VCR, large veranda,
refrigerator, safe, and marble-tiled bathroom with Jacuzzi tub. Also, there is a second phone in the
bathroom. The room was very well thought out and had plenty of closet and storage space. Unlike the
category 2 staterooms, our room had a sliding veranda door that could be left open. Category 2 rooms
have doors that automatically close after you. All in all, the room was superior in design and very nice.
Rooms 1200 and 1201
The category 2 staterooms were also very nice. They had the same bed options as well as a small sitting
area with a small loveseat and chair. These rooms have the same features as the suite just not as much
room. However, they only had showers and the storage was a little tight in these rooms. The balconies on
these staterooms are very large, and have two chaise lounge chairs, plus a table, chair, and footrest.
Also, all the rooms have very good phones that even display the room numbers of incoming calls.
Overview of the Mercury
The Mercury is a fantastic ship. It did not feel like we were on a megaship, and rarely did we experience
crowds. We could always find a place to sit in the Palm Springs Café and our table in the Manhattan
Dining Room was great. We were situated on the lower level and the only two tables around us were
empty the whole cruise. My favorite rooms on the ship were the Navigator Club, the Grand Foyer,
Tastings, and the Manhattan Foyer and Dining Room. The Navigator Club was a great place for watching
Alaska, however I prefer the design of the area on the Galaxy. The Grand Foyer is very classy, even
sedate compared to the atriums of Royal Caribbean and Princess. Tastings is located on deck 6 around
the atrium, and was a marvelous area for drinks and watching the world go by. The Manhattan Foyer is a
nice place to sit before dinner, as it is located just by the Dining Room, and it has a Martini bar as well as a
The Dining Room was excellent. When we cruised on the Galaxy, (New Years 97-98) the dining room was
packed to the gills, and service was incredibly S..L ..O .W. We understand that this was due to the
fact that it was a New Years cruise, but we didnt expect our table to be enlarged with a wooden top to
make room for us, but just push us even closer to the other tables. However on the Mercury, the service
was quick and responsive, and we were out with plenty of time to make it to the shows. Simon, our waiter,
was very good but did seem leery to make special orders, as if he would get in trouble. Overall the dining
experience on the Mercury was very, very good.
The elevators were superior and it took no more than 30 seconds for one to arrive. On the Sun Princess,
the elevator service was terrible. The pools and hot tubs were closed every night at 7, which we dont like
(Princess keeps them open 24 hours a day).
Ports and Destinations
Anchorage, Alaska We didnt do much here but seems like a nice little city.
Seward, Alaska This port really isnt for tourists as it is used just for a convenient place to begin cruises
as going around to Anchorage adds an extra day.
Hubbard Glacier On the day we went, it was cloudy, rainy, misty, and foggy. On top of that, we couldnt
get very close. Im sure it is spectacular, but it wasnt a highlight of our trip.
Juneau, Alaska This was our favorite port. I would recommend paying the $20 charge and taking the
Mount Roberts Tram, it is well worth it. The view at the top is incredible, plus the nature trails are excellent.
We climbed much farther up than the tram went and encountered some very snowy and slippery hikes. It
was great. Plus the town of Juneau is great for both shopping and eating. Mendenhall Glacier is worth the
short bus ride to see.
Skagway, Alaska This was in our opinion, the worst port. We felt it was not worth getting off the ship,
however, we took no tours so we dont know about the areas around Skagway, they might be spectacular.
Sitka, Alaska The ship anchors off of the town, as there is no pier for large ships. The tender takes
about 5 to 10 minutes but it is well worth the hassle as Sitka is a nice town. The main attraction is the
Ketchikan, Alaska Ketchikan was our second favorite port. It is a nice town with a lot of shops to browse
through. Creek Street is also a nice spot to check out.
Vancouver, B.C. We docked at Canada Place and were shortly whisked off to the airport, but from a
previous visit (Sky Princess 1991) we can say that Vancouver is a great city. There is so much to do and
see here, it is definitely worth a post-cruise extension.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
? Dining room service and food ? Staterooms and steward service ? Guest relations ? Public rooms ? The
staff ? Cleanliness of the Mercury ? Design of the Mercury ? The Mercury itself ? Juneau, Ketchikan, and
? Production shows ? Skagway
? Transfer from airport to hotel in Anchorage ? Transfer to the ship from Anchorage to Seward
One thing we thought was worth mentioning was the medical evacuation that took place onboard during
the first full day. During the Muster Drill, a helicopter could be heard. When the drill was over and were
went back to our cabin we saw a Coast Guard helicopter hovering above the aft end of the ship. They
lowered a rescuer who secured a man and his wife aboard stretchers and raised them to the helicopter. It
was very windy and the weather was not the best, but they flew away successfully. It turns out that he had
indigestion, but they were afraid it was a heart attack. It seems like on every cruise we take something bad
happens. When we were on the Star Princess in 1992 one of the propellers got tangled up in a fishing net
and the ship had to be dry-docked! We missed the last few days of the trip but Princess put us up in a
very nice hotel in Venice. Our next cruise on the Royal Princess in 1993 was even worse when a waiter
jumped overboard! The ship turned around and everybody was asked to stay on deck and look for the
man. Helicopters flew overhead for hours but he never turned up. They said that he had been depressed.
What made the situation even worse was that the waiter had the same name as ours. Plus, someone else
took his place at dinner that night saying that he was sick. My wife felt terrible because the night before
she had politely complained about the entrée and he looked very sad. Fortunately, and much to my wifes
relief, it wasnt our waiter.
We would definitely sail with Celebrity again, but we feel that Princess is the best line. We had a great
experience and loved almost every moment of it. Celebrity really makes for a great cruising experience. If
you have any questions feel free to e-mail me.
Timothy Fletcher email@example.com
Name: Terry and Polly Gilg
Occupation: Director of Production
Itinerary: Western carribbean
Submit: Submit Review
Date: 13 Jul 1999
Remote Name: ppp07-11.ght.iadfw.net
My wife and I just returned celebrating our 5th anniversary on The Mercurys voyage to the Western Caribbean. Overall, we
thought it was an outstanding cruise, and were most impressed with the overall quality and cleanliness of the ship, and the
excellent service. We were traveling over the spring break, and we chose Celebrity because it was recommended as more
of an upscale line that would not have as many kids on it (compared to Carnival or RCCL). Most of what I have to say has
already been posted, so Ill try to be brief...
Embarkation - Fantastic. We took our travel agents advice and did not
purchase the transfers at the airport. We grabbed our bags, ran past the large line of Mercury passengers waiting for the
bus, caught a $5.00 cab ride to the ship, and breezed through. We were sitting in our cabin 25 minutes after grabbing our
bags at the airport. Ive sailed on RCCL out of San Juan before, and Id say this was 15 times quicker. Our travel agent gave
us a ton of little hints like this that made the trip really enjoyable.
Cabin: The stateroom was very well designed with an huge number of drawers and very ample closet space. We liked the
in-stateroom combination safe. The cabin service was excellent, and the interactive TV was helpful and enjoyable. An ice
bucket and ice water was refreshed in our stateroom frequently, as were the towels and other amenities. Our room steward,
Peter, was rarely seen, yet somehow would have clean towels hanging just minutes after leaving the room. Our travel agent
recommended that we bring extra clothes hangers, and an extension cord(thanks again Chris!). These both came in handy.
Food: Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. I cant say enough about it. Because we were sailing during spring break week(we left
the kids at home), we chose late seating, and enjoyed the extra 1-1/2 hours each night watching the sunset before dinner.
The pizza bar was our favorite afternoon snack! Our waiter, Mario, was the best.
Service: I had heard a lot of people complain about the staff in other posts, so I was a bit worried when we boarded. Luckily,
we had great service, and everyone was very friendly. We had very bad weather leaving Key West (the crew said we had
gusts of wind up to 40 MPH, and 17-22 foot seas). Id say 3/4 of the ship was absent from dinner, and ordered from their
rooms. The meals came quickly, and even had sea sick pills for those who needed them. Overall, the service was fantastic.
Excursions: Key west - The weather was too rough for any water excursions, so we just ate Key Lime Pie, had a margarita
at Jimmy Buffets bar, and shopped!
Calica- My wife swam with the dolphins at Xcaret. The trick here is to get off the ship first, get your ticket from the tour
guide, then run past the awaiting bus to a taxi. IF YOU WAIT AND TAKE THE BUS IT WILL BE TOO LATE! So, as our
travel agent suggested, we got our tickets, ran and took a taxi to Xcaret, and got in line ahead of everyone else.
REMEMBER TO BRING CASH. they dont take credit cards.
Cozumel - we shopped, then had a great Cuban cigar and a few drinks in a 2nd story bar overlooking the ocean... I wish I
was still there. Oh, then we shopped some more.
Grand Cayman We went on the Stingray City tour. Absolutely fabulous. The we went into town and shopped!
Our cruise director was very visible, and even sang a song in the final show. He was at every event, and kept everything
upbeat and moving along. The staff was fabulous.
Our travel agent suggested that I use Celebritys tux rental- and everything fit great. No Hassles, and it was waiting for me
when I got to our room. I highly recommend this. I even rented a 2nd color tie / cumberbun for the 2nd formal night.
we invested the $35.00 for the Captains Club and this greatly improved the dis-embarkation process for us. We were given
priority baggage tickets and were the first group to leave the ship.
To sum it up... I cant wait to go back.
Name: Susan Ramer
Itinerary: Vancouver to Seward
Submit: Submit Review
Date: 15 Jul 1999
Remote Name: annex1-13.ecsis.net
We found the northbound itinerary to be just beautiful. We had done an Alaskan cruise before that turned around at Haines
and went back to Vancouver. Going just that much further north was really more breathtaking.
The ship was designed beautifully for Alaska with lots of glass for viewing glaciers, mountains, etc. The lounges were really
spacious and you never felt crowded.
We did a variety of tours. We kayaked at Ketchican; rode the train at Skagway; took the floatplane to Taku Lodge at
Juneau. Our favorite was the floatplane trip. The ride was smooth and spectacular. The visit to the lodge was very well done
also. We even got to find out about the State Bird, the mosquito! The only port we thought was a little boring was Valdez. It
is situated in a beautiful setting, however. Our friends did the whitewater rafting and really loved it.
The room had everything we need, but was really the narrowest room we think we have ever had. You really had to plan
your moves if you were dressing at the same time.
A really nice surprise was the bus ride from Seward to the airport at Anchorage. It was really a gorgeous and well narrated
drive. We even saw a mother moose and 2 babies on the highway!
We really had a great cruise. The one thing we wish we had done was visited the Navigator Lounge at sunset earlier in the
week. We discovered that on the last 2 nights and it was really beautiful.
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