24 Day South Pacific - San Francisco to Sydney Australia
Celebrity Century
September 16 - October 10 2014.

Celebrity Century

 

Tuesday September 16

Today I got up to depart for San Francisco and I thought all was in order.

I loaded the car and off I went to my daughters to pick her so she could drive my car home. Just before arriving at my daughters I realized that I had left my passport at home.

This would be cutting things close at the airport as I have to clear US Customs prior to boarding the flight. There is a cutoff of 60 minutes prior to the flight.

I arrived at the Air Canada counter to find I had 59 minutes till the flight left. I was told I would likely not make the flight and I said I have to make it. I explained I have Global Entry and that would help. The agent let me go but warned me. I arrived at the gate and 2 minutes later we started boarding.

I arrived in San Francisco early and was to meet two friends but that wasn’t going to happen because I arrived at international arrivals and they were arriving at domestic. I caught Super Shuttle for $17 to the pier. I arrived shortly after 10 am and boarding was scheduled for 10:30. I dropped my luggage off right away and lined up to check-in and that moved rather quickly. The whole process took about 20 minutes or so. The biggest problem was having to provide your visa to check-in. The problem with this is it an electronic visa. There was no indication from Celebrity to print the receipt and bring it with you. I had done this so it was much easier.

Once I registered I left the pier to meet a friend for lunch. The line-up to drop luggage off pretty much was the length of the building on the sidewalk.

I was soon picked up and off we went towards Fisherman’s wharf to find lunch. We found a great little place and sat outside. It was great to see my friend.

Seals Pier 39
Seals Pier 39

I arrived back at the pier at about 2:30 and walked straight onto the ship. I was able to go right to my cabin 8208 on Deck starboard aft and drop my carry-on off. I was off to see if I could find my friends. I soon found one of them. We sat and talked for a bit then it was time for lifeboat drill. Lifeboat drill is held in various lounges.
I should have added the weather in San Francisco was clear and sunny and about 23C.

After lifeboat drill I met with my friends at the Mast bar who also signed up for the Cruise Critic get together, as we socialized we had a plane towing a banner doing a flyby towing a banner saying Celebrity Cruises. Nice touch we all thought. The ship was to sail at 4:00 but that was delayed till 4:45 when we set sail for Hawaii..We backed out of the pier and past Alcatraz Island and soon sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge. The wind was pretty strong and we had a Coast Guard boat beside us keeping away sail boarders and kite surfers.

Banner

Coast Guard

Click on thumbnail to see larger version of photo

Century Pools

I was up in the Island Cafe with a friend having our standard nightly Sushi and looking out the window I noticed some blows from a few whales. We started watching and soon there was full breaches and this lasted about 20 minutes.

I returned to my cabin briefly just prior to dinner to unpack. As I was unpacking I noticed these small flies though out the cabin.

Tonight I went to dinner late seating table for eight but there were only two others at the table. This was fine.

I had the Escargot and the Caesar Salad followed by the Prime Rib.

I had a walk around the ship after dinner and retired early because it was a long day.

When I returned to my cabin it was time to do battle with some flies. I killed many prior to bed.

September 17 – At Sea

I woke up through the night because the ship was really starting to rock and roll. This morning was no different.

I went up to the Island Cafe for breakfast just before 9 and there was not many people there. On the way up in the elevator I noticed barf bags in the elevators.

I can say this the pitching up and down was very noticeable at the stern of the Island Cafe, in fact the deck outside was very wet.

I returned to my cabin to find my cabin steward to deal with my fly problem as I noticed several bites on my arms overnight.

This morning was the Cruise Critic meet and greet. I should explain for those that don't understand. There is a site called Cruise Critic where one can find information about different cruise lines as well as join in on what is called a Meet and Mingle for your particular cruise. Fellow cruisers discuss in forums things like what to do in port ask questions about ports you may not have been too before and get information from those that have. Things like private tours can be arranged and what is called a cabin crawl where you see fellow passengers' cabins to give you an idea of different cabin categories. There is normally a slot pull as well where people sign up put in $20 each and have 4 pulls of the machine and the winnings are divided up amongst those that played.

In order to attend the Cruise Critic meet and greet one must sign up prior to the cruise through a special link on the website.

On our cruise there is a fellow cruiser Fred who has offered to do 7 lectures on Astronomy. We will also have a gathering with a few Aussies to discuss Sydney and things to do.

This afternoon was spent just sitting around talking as there was still a major amount of pitching and high seas.

I returned to the cabin just before 6:00 as tonight was our first of four Formal Nights. Tonight’s show was a Broadway star by the name of Reva Rice. I have to say her show was fantastic despite the pitching of the ship and watching her try and stand on stage.

After the show was over I went to dinner to find that my table for 8 had two less guests and two new guests.

After dinner I went for my nightly walk and returned to my cabin as the ship was pitching badly.

I had to set my clock back an hour and will have to do so the next two nights. I watched some TV before turning the light out and be rocked to sleep.

September 18 – At Sea

I have to say today is a much better day as the motion of the ocean appears to have subsided.

I got up and found a few flies again around the cabin. As I left the cabin I mentioned it to my cabin steward and he would try and deal with it some more.

As I arrived at breakfast I found one of my friends to have breakfast with. We sat around after breakfast for a bit talking before starting a tour of the ship.

Then at 11:00 it was of to Murano Restaurant for a cooking demonstration. I have to say while the demonstration was okay it was not very good in the aspect you could not see what they were doing. The samples of the beef were so small it would be hard to tell what you were trying. Lets say the sample just fit on the toothpick.

It was then off to lunch after this, in the Island Cafe.

After lunch it was time to enjoy some time by the pool with another friend before going to the card room to play Mexican train.

Shortly after 4:00 we departed and I headed for an afternoon nap.

I woke and passed up the production show of Broadway hits as I have never been much of a fan of production shows on any ship.
Tonight there would be eight of us for dinner.

Tonight I started with the Capreses Salad and then the wedge salad. The main course tonight was a cooked Lamb Shank that had been deboned then wrapped in pastry and served. I have to say it was very good.

In fact tonight was much better than the last two nights.

September 19 – At Sea

Today appeared to be another great day and I headed up to breakfast in the Island Cafe to try Eggs Benedict. I ordered a pair of them to only get back to my table to cut one open to find it was not even close to being cooked. Egg whites were still raw for the most part as well as the yolk. I showed the Maitrè D' as he came by and off he went to find the Chef. The Maitrè D' soon returned with a replacement pair. Much better this time.

Today is much more humid than the last two days.

It is partly cloudy today and a temp of about 22C.

I have been sitting up at the pool this morning trying to get caught up on this blog. It is interesting watching people go by dressed in who knows what. Many wearing t-shirts from “other” cruise lines. Ahh yes and many speedo's being worn.
As 10:45 came by the ship headed into a short rain shower. It did not take long to clear the pool deck. The pool attendants came out to clean up the towels. The shower was short lived by about 15 minutes. The attendants were then trying to get the water off the decks but their boss came by and wanted the deck chairs reset. It would seem more important to get the water cleaned off than the chairs reset so one doesn't fall.

Tonight was our first Captains Club party in the Crystal Room. It was well attended.
I met the Hotel Manager and discussed my fly problem with him. He assures me it will be dealt with.

The Party ended at 8:30 and it was time for dinner.

Arriving at the table we found 2 more people at our table for 10. Interesting that this couple were from Burma. It was an interesting conversation at the table tonight.
I started with the Caesar Salad and had the Short Ribs which were very good.

We finished up just after 10 and went our separate ways.

September 20 – At Sea

Well waking up this morning there was no motion in the cabin. It was like we were tied up to a dock. We had another turn the clock back 1 hour putting us on Hawaii time now.

I got up and got dressed and while doing so killed a few more flies.

I went upstairs and the ocean was so calm it was unbelievable. I saw flying fish and several shark like fish about 2-3 feet long. The ocean is a incredible dark blue.

Calm as can be
Sure doesn't look like the middle of the Pacific Ocean

There was a Cruise Critic luncheon today in the Island Cafe which I attended and we sat there till about 1:30 and then headed off before Harald and I met for Mexican train at 2 and finished about 3:30.

It was time to head to the cabin to get changed into a bathing suit but arriving there I sat on the bed and it didn't take long before an afternoon nap took place.

September 21 – Honolulu Hawaii

Land Ho!!!!!
Honolulu coming into view

We sailed into Honolulu harbour around 1:30 and it was a great day to do so. It was not long after this we were tied up alongside. I met with Claudia at 1:45  in the Martini Bar where we got together last minute details.

We got off the ship just after 2 and decide to take a cab to the Car rental down towards Waikiki and had the car within a few minutes of arrival. We then left and headed up island to Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area to get the first cache in Hawaii or the 23rd in the world to be placed. As we walked down the trail we came across another cache and did it first. The GPS indicated that the cache I wanted/needed to do was a mere 250 meters away but this was as the crow flies. This is where geocaching can lie to you as it was more like 1.5 km away through the rainforest and down trails better suited for a donkey. The trail zigzagged back and forth as we first headed down hill then the same up hill. We got to within 30 meters of the cache but it was about 45° uphill. I told Claudia that we had to loop around and we did that. About 10 minutes later we managed to do just that and Claudia sat while I looked. I found the cache but Claudia was off sitting and I signed it arriving back to where she was sitting to find her on the phone. After the call she wanted to see it and what was inside. I took her to the cache and then we could see the trail below. She opened it and explored it (the cache that is). We closed it and put it back and we could see the trail below. We decided downhill was the way to go. I managed to get down more or less on my feet while Claudia slid on her butt. We hiked back downhill and then uphill to the car. It took us about 2 hours round-trip.

A Brief History of GeocachingHiking through the rain forest

From here we headed north up the island to do a Virtual cache at Kukaniloko Birthstones State Historic Site arriving there to find many cars parked on the side of the road. We walked down a bright red dirt road with sugar cane on both sides. Arriving at what appeared to be a burial site with rocks on top were many offerings made today by the local Hawaiian people. Turning back towards the area where the virtual cache was we saw many local Hawaiian people standing around the rocks. There was a church service going on due to the upcoming Equinox. There was discussion about the birth announcements from this location and how drums would be sounded and the sound travelled up the valley.
This is why I like to do virtual caches because you never know what you will get. I can tell you no one from the ship saw this other than us

We then headed off to do a few more caches while pointing the car back towards Honolulu. We arrived back just before 8 dropping the car in a very full lot. We flagged a taxi and back at the ship about 8:10.

I went back to the room showered and dressed and then down to the Grand Dinning room for dinner where I had the Shrimp Cocktail, Caesar Salad and Prime Rib with sugar free vanilla ice cream. Damn if Harald doesn't fall asleep during dinner.

It was then straight to bed as I had a early morning the next day.

September 22 – Lahaina Hawaii – Tender service

We anchored off Lahaina Maui.

My alarm went off at 6:15 and I was not ready to get up. I got up showered and dressed and then went to the lido for some food.

Claudia and I met at 6:45 at the Martini bar again then went to the Crystal room to get our tender tickets. We got tender 2 tickets which would put us on the first tender.

From here things went south quickly as we were delayed till 8:50 when we were finally cleared and soon after we boarded a tender for shore. We were told there was an accident ashore and shore side security was delayed.

Once ashore we called the rental car company for the shuttle and had to wait about 10 minutes. It was during this time I found that I had forgotten to load my GPS of caches for Maui. I could not find a cord. I thought of a work around as I had my Netbook with me but it would mean buying a micro SD card reader for $6 and finding a Starbucks to get the information I needed.

That was done and off to Haleakalā National Park and the Volcano. While distance wise it was not far it was time wise because of single lane roads and all the switch backs going to the top.

View on drive up to the top

HaleakalāHaleakalāHaleakalāHaleakalā

We finally made it to the top where we were 10,100 above sea level. We could not stay long about 30 minutes due to having to get the car back at 4:00 and catching the shuttle to the ship and the last tender at 4:45.

Banyan Tree, Lahaina


We made it after doing a couple of more caches.

I then arrived back on board ship and dropped my stuff and headed topside to get Sushi as I had not eaten since breakfast.

I went off to dinner where only four of my table-mates showed up with Fred, Claudia and Harald dining some where else. What's with this?

I had the Lobster Ravioli appetizer followed by the French Onion soup ( that would come back and haunt me at 4 am) followed by salad then the Strip Loin Steak (med-rare) and finishing with sugar free ice cream again. During dinner I decided to have 2 Blue Moon beer, something I have not done during this cruise so far.

It was off to bed after dinner because it was a long day.

September 23 – At sea - First Day of Fall

Here I sit and the ship is really rocking and rolling as we are pointed south. There are barf bags in the elevators but people appear to be out and about so far.

I had a sheet dropped at my door this morning for a scavenger hunt to be completed by tomorrow. I have 5 questions to answer as I type this.

It would appear the war with the flies is over and so far this morning I have seen none of those pesky critters.

I went to lunch about 12:30  where I ate Mexican again, does not get old because they have a Mexican chef on board that looks after this station.

I went to music trivia where I read the Canadian Newspaper waiting for Claudia so we could get the last 5 questions answered.

I then came down to the room and typed some more before heading to the card room at 2 to play dominoes but Harald didn't show along with Fred. Man you give them 2 days off and they forget the schedule. Damn this CRS......

I should have added that at about 2:30 this morning we passed into fall. It sure didn't feel like fall. That is okay though because on the 26th we cross the Equator and it will be spring and the days will be getting longer again.

I went off to finish my 3 questions from the scavenger hunt that still needed doing which I did. I then went outside for a bit by the pool but 1 of the pools had been drained due to the motion of the ocean. It was very windy out there but I found a nice spot to sit and enjoy a cup of tea and people watch.

From here it was down to the room to relax for a bit before having a shower and getting ready for dinner but not before going to the 7:00 show. It was a guy who does shows in Las Vegas called Stephen Sorrentino. Parts of his show were good but parts I could not care for. I would give it a pass. I would say it was a even split from those that I have talked to on what they thought.

Tonight brought only 6 of us to the table.

I started with the Seafood Salad appetizer then the chilled Strawberry Soup followed by the Greek Salad then the Lamb shank, I love Asparagus and noticed one of the other dishes came with it so I asked for a side plate of this. Others at the table heard me do this and said to me you can do this? I guess so much for experienced cruisers? They all wanted in on this then and I said just bring a large plate for the table.

The Strawberry soup was very tasty. The Greek Salad was good, but I would not say great as all Greek salads I have had have had Olive Oil. The meat on the Lamb Shank literately feel off the bone.

I had a sugar free cake that was flavourless.

It was off to the room where I played a game on my tablet for an hour or so because the ship was still very much rocking and rolling.

September 24 – At Sea

The ship is still rocking and rolling very well. We are now about 600 miles south of Hawaii.

I woke up this morning and turned the TV on to see what was going on outside. It appeared very overcast. I switched the channel and watched the movie Mandela. It finished just before I had to be out of the cabin to the Martini Bar to find out where we placed in the Scavenger hunt. It turns out we missed two questions. I still got a prize.

From here I went upstairs to eat breakfast where I had scrambled eggs, sausage and fried tomato. From there it then progressed to a plate and I do mean plate of watermelon.

Fred turned up and we ended up talking about flying for over an hour.

I left there to come down to the cabin to keep up with this report.

I didn't do much before more before it was time to get ready for Formal Night. I went up to get something to snack on and ran into the group except Harald and time flew by and the next thing I remember is oh crap I forgot about dominoes.
I can say this Formal night isn't what it used to be.

The show tonight which was a singer named Jack Walker. I thought he was very good.

It was then off to dinner where it was time to sample the menu. I started with the Escargot then moved to the chilled Pear and Honey soup followed by a watermelon and tomato salad. For the main event it was Rack of Lamb (mrare) followed up by Beef Tenderloin (rare). Then it was sugar free ice cream.

Chilled Pear and Honey SoupCedar Planked Grilled Cobia Black SalmonBeef TenderloinColorado Rack of Lamb

Our table didn't depart the dining room till 10:30 so I went back to the cabin to relax for a bit before turning in.

September 25 – At Sea

This morning I woke around 7 and turned the TV on to see what was going on outside. I slept much better last night because I put ear plugs in. There sounds like there are marbles in my ceiling when the ship is rocking.

Things have calmed down sea wise.

This morning it is 28C and some clouds. I did go up on deck and sure enough it started to rain, okay it was a warm rain...

I then ate breakfast of a Ham and Cheese Omelet with salsa on top. I have yet to see any others.

The Captain says we will cross the Equator at 9:45  tonight. So I have had 2 days of Fall and now move into Spring where the days are now getting longer. There are no time changes on this leg so I am still 3 hours behind the west coast. So we officially enter the South Pacific today

Speaking of Equator the BIG event for today is King Neptune will make his appearance with Davey Jones and Tad poles will be presented to him to be blessed and then made into shellbacks. I am already a shellback so no need to kiss a fish or be coated in fish guts and whatever else they have.

I returned from sitting up on the upper deck by the pool. Sun was nicely out and listened to music and did some tanning with two others from the group. We then watched Pool Volleyball between the ships cast and passengers then Deck Officers against Hotel Staff.
In the following photos there is one that shows shows some should not wear a Speedo but who am I to judge.

PoolSpeedo

After this King Neptune made his appearance with his Royal Court.

King Neptune and Davy Jones
King Neptune and Davey Jones


Getting "christened" with water from the north and the south.

There there was a huge line of tadpoles getting the blessing from King Neptune and then into the pool. This lasted for some time.

It must be noted I missed a meal because of this......

Right at the end the heavens opened up, and it started to rain.

I am now off to have a shower and get changed so I can go find some food.

I went upstairs and the Aussies on board (Geocachers) were playing Dominoes so I sat around and watched and talked.

I just had a brain wave that I am supposed to be at a Cocktail party. I just went and checked and it is tomorrow. The problem is I missed a backstage tour two days ago.

I also have a Bridge Tour on Saturday.

I will explain my cabin. As you walk in the door the bed is straight ahead . The two twins are pushed together to make a King Bed. The inside cabins have a square king where the outsides have a rounded end for the king. Weird that the inside beds are bigger.
The bathroom is to the right. The interesting part is that it has a large shower so two could shower together if they wanted. No pneumatic tube like many ships today. Great water pressure. I can’t believe the storage space, the most I have seen in some time.

Cabin 8208Cabin 8208

The show tonight was a guy from Vancouver called  Sean O'Shea. I missed the first 25 minutes and saw the last part where he did Elvis. I am not a big Elvis fan and thus took my time to get to the show. What I did see was very good. I was told by others it was good I missed the first part.

I checked my blood sugar before dinner as I am diabetic and it went through the roof. I had to cut back on some things at dinner like no bread and no after dinner treat.

I had the artichoke dip that is usually pretty good on board Celebrity but this one was dried right out. I then went for the Wild Mushroom and Barley Soup followed by Caesar Salad. The main course was T-Bone Steak. It was very tough.

Wild Mushroom and Barley SoupT-Bone Steak

I excused myself from the table as I didn't want to be tempted by what might be after dinner.

I went topside outside the Island Cafe with my GPS as we were to pass the Equator at 9:45, but this didn't happen till 10:09. The ships horn was sounded many times as we crossed the “line”. At that time we moved into Spring time.

We sat around and talked for a bit and I headed back to the cabin to get ready for bed.

September 26 – At Sea – Spring Time

I woke this morning around 6 because the ship was really rocking and rolling again.

The news this morning from the Captain is because of the weather we are running 2 hours behind schedule. Not expected to dock till 10:00 on Sunday now.

I managed to get back to sleep for another hour or so. I got up and went upstairs and passed on breakfast and just had tea.

I had to turn my passport in today because it needs to be checked in Papeete and then Australian Immigration gets on to do checks at some point.
There was a guy who was at the front office the other day telling the front office they had to get him a Visa for Australia and they told him he had to go online and do it and he said I don’t do the internet. He said give him the papers and he will do it by hand. They once again explained it is all done online now. The guy said you have a problem and they explained no he has a problem as they will deport him.

This afternoon was the Captains Club Party. It was well attended.

Phil and Harald
Captains Club Party - Yes free drinks....

Harald called Captain George over and we are delayed further till noon in Tahiti. Hey crap happens, oh well.

I didn't go to the show tonight as I saw it was a Guy called Randy Cabral who has worked for Disney for the past 15 years. Okay this to me means his show is geared more for kids.
I decided to stand for 15 minutes of his show and lets say for 15 minutes he showed us what he can do with one those paddles with elastic and ball attached to it. That was 14 minutes too long for me.

I made an exit and headed for one of the other  bars and sat and listened to the live music.

Well it was time for dinner and I had the Shrimp Cocktail, Smoked Ham and Pea Soup, followed by the Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad. The main dish was Moroccan Spiced Lamb Kebob.
The Lamb Kebob was so good I had to have a second one.

I passed on dessert.

It was a walk after dinner then back to the cabin to lie in bed and play a game or two on my tablet.

Tonights Sunset
Tonight's Sunset

September 27 – At Sea

I woke this morning and the ship was rocking and rolling again.

I attended the Bridge tour at 10:15 and that lasted about half an hour. No photos allowed

I went and found some breakfast and a cup of tea. I then went and found the daily Canadian Newspaper and sat and read it with my tea in the Cova Cafe.

This afternoon I attended a special show at 2:00 of two entertainers so it is my plan to see that. Not sure what happened to Dominoes but I have to find Harald and ask him

Well I went to the show and it featured Jack Walker, Sean O`Shea and the Cruise Director John. This was a hastily put together show and the theatre was full. The theatre rocked with Sean doing impersonations of people like Tina Turner, Elvis (much better this time) to Pavarotti and everything in-between.

The show lasted about 1:15 and in the end it got an immediate standing ovation. I have to say I loved this show, one of the best I have seen in years.

Tonight is the second production show and I likely won't go as I am not a fan of these.

Dinner tonight was Shrimp Cocktail followed by New England Clam Chowder, Caesar Salad, Kobe Meat Loaf.

September 28 – Papeete Tahiti

Well today we were so supposed to arrive at 8:00 but we were delayed till 10:00 because of our late departure from Maui then rough seas and finally the overhaul of the number 3 engine. It was not till today we found out that the number 3 engine had been undergoing a overhaul since we left on this cruise. The original time of our late arrival was to be to be 12:00 but the engine overhaul was completed and the engine brought back online thus increasing our speed enough to make up some time.

Arriving Papeete
Arriving in Papeete

While backing into the port the there was a group of Tahitian drummers on the entrance to the pier thus making for a great arrival.

Tahitian Drummers

There was a sailboat called the Drumbeat that had a mask that was taller than our ship.

Drumbeat


There were 4 of us that went ashore and headed to the market shortly after being cleared. We arrived at the local market to find the majority of it closed. There were a few shops open including a Cafe shop that had free Wi-Fi. It soon was packed and speed was zero.

The other two in the party split off and headed off. Myself and another in the group headed off for walk along the waterfront to a park where I was trying to get my first Geocaches in Tahiti

We were walking and passed by a restaurant where we ran into another of our group. We chatted for a bit before heading on our way.

Along the way there was a Tahitian craft market that had great deals on Black Pearls and many other items.

While there the heavens opened up and we had to take shelter under one of the tents.

While waiting we had Harald from the Restaurant turn up looking like a drowned rat

Once the rain stopped we headed across the street to the park to look for my first Geocache in Tahiti. We arrived at the location and you think 3 of us could find this. Not on your life. We spent about 15 minutes looking for it. There was only so many places we could look and they turned up nothing. I talked to two other cachers on the cruise and they could not find it either.

It was then onto the next cache along the waterfront pier. Along the way we saw many fish swimming in the clear water below us.

We soon arrived at the next cache and presto I was able to locate it right away. Nicely tucked into the rocks and I have my first cache in Tahiti.

From here we continued farther down the beach but decided rather than do another cache some 700 m farther down we went up a few streets from the beach and continued back to the market.

On the way back we stopped at the Pearl Museum and they had black pearls in there for 80,000 euros. After spending some time there we headed out.

The one thing to be noted here is there is almost nothing open in Papeete on a Sunday. The museum was supposed to be closed but because of the ship being port they opened.

Arriving back at the market we found it closed. Herald tried the Wi-Fi we had early as we sat outside the market and was able to connect. The Police paid us a visit to warn us it wasn’t a great place to be. We headed off to McDonalds as it has free Wi-Fi, except in Tahiti here there is no Wi-Fi. Okay you want a Cheeseburger and fries is like $6 US here, there is no dollar menu here.

Interesting to find chickens running around outside. Hmmm your next chicken nuggets????

From here we went back to the ship because there was really nothing else to do because of everything being closed. People told us back on board the Coffee shop owner said it is 12 noon and I am closing even though he was packed.

Back on board it was time to have a shower and cleaned up from the day. I managed to walk 9.6 km for the day.

Back up to the pool deck to rehydrate and just enjoy the view.

Many were annoyed that Celebrity would dock here on a Sunday when things are closed. The problem was the ship was also taking on supplies and fuel.

There was no show for me tonight as I just wanted to relax.

During dinner I discussed with my table mates what they did and they picked up a tour on shore that was $45 per person compared to $160 on board the ship.

September 29 – Bora Bora

I had the luck of booking a tour a few days back for this port. It was called Le Truck and about $70. This tour went around the whole island making many stops along the way. It also allowed me to be on the first tender of the day.

Le Truck
Le Truck

The port area has many stores there as well as an internet cafe but they charge $5 or free with food. The problem was the service was very slow

Arriving on shore went to this covered area where we boarded our Le Truck. Let me say this sure doesn't meet Canadian Safety codes. Lets see plastic seats to start with would not stand a sudden stop I am sure. Mind you the road around the island is like 1.5 of 2 lane roads in North America so one doesn't get up to high speed here.

There is no crime on Bora Bora.

Our first stop was where we stopped to see some native traditional clothing and how it is made and worn. Very interesting process.

Going around the island is amazing. I can not due it justice in trying to describe it. The lush mountains are incredible. We stopped at the beach and stepped out and it is like nothing I have ever seen before. The Caribbean doesn't even come close to this. The colours you see likely can not be captured with a camera.

I looked at my GPS and noticed I was a mere 35 m away from a Geocache. A quick dash across the street had me sign this cache and back to Matira Beach

Matira BeachMatira BeachMatira Beach

 We soon were off and the next stop which was Bloody Mary's. This is a famous bar that has a sand floor and a traditional Tahitian structure. One checks their shoes at the show check on the way in. You don't have to worry about spilling a drink on the floor here.

Bloody MarysBloody MarysBloody MarysFlowers at Bloody Marys

There was also a Geocache here which I managed to find and sign in the shoe check area.

From here it was back to where we started.

I left here and went and walked around what there is of the town and found one more cache that shows online that it has no finder but has a name in the cache from December yet only published a few weeks back.

I then went back to the ship on the tender and changed my shirt and grabbed a quick bite and came back to shore about an hour later and went and found a palm tree to sit under and just enjoy the view.

view from where I sat
View from where I was sitting and Celebrity Century

I returned to the ship around 4:30 and went up on deck to just sit with friends and enjoy the view till we sailed.

Talking to Harald he talked about a shore excursion ($180) where they boarded 4 boats holding about 8-10 people in small groups and went around the island stopping and swimming at various stops. Harald said it was incredible swimming with black tip sharks 6 -8 feet long and the variety of fish.

We have started to repeat menus for dinner now so no nee d to give you a over view of what there was.

Tonight when I returned to the room it was time to set the clocks back another hour. I think tomorrow we will be 4 hours from the west coast if my math is right.

All I can say is Bora Bora is a must do.

September 30 – At Sea

Well the ship is pointed west now headed for Fiji. There are 4 sea days now. The weather is perfect, 28C and sunny

I didn't get out of bed today till 10:00, mind you I was around 5:30 AM for an hour because I couldn't sleep.

I got up and got my laundry together and sent a bag off for $20. They did this offer last week for non-Captains Club members and it was $45.

I literally spent the day by the pool in the shade doing this blog and talking to Harald and Claudia. I got to see Harald's Video he took yesterday with his Go-Pro camera. I can say incredible.

I am soon headed back to the cabin and look at my photos from yesterday.

Tonight's show is is Comedian/Magician Nick Lewin from the UK. This show was more about the comic part and the magic was secondary. Many found it great but I found it middle of the road.

Tonight's dinner was another repeat and I did something I rarely do on the cruise and that is have chicken. I mean how many ways can you cook chicken, it still tastes like chicken.

I stopped by Claudia’s table on the way out. Now who would have thought the topic would be which way the water spins in the toilet or sink. Can't use the toilet as an example as it is vacuum.

Okay in the northern hemisphere it spins clockwise. So back to cabin to check and sure enough it spins counter clockwise.

I was sitting at the dinner table tonight and watched a couple of girls trying to leave the dining room. They looked like they were in extreme pain trying to walk then ascend the stairs. They were badly burnt on the backside of their bodies. I assume they were snorkeling yesterday in Bora Bora and failed to keep applying sun screen.
It looked very painful.

Tonight was another turn your clocks back 1 hour.

It was a walk around the ship before retiring for the night.

October 01 – At Sea

This morning I woke around 7:30 and got dressed and headed up for breakfast. There were not many upstairs yet. Talking to a few they appear to be a bit screwed up with all the time changes.

The weather is warm at 26C with a few clouds. Humidity is a bit higher today.

The Island cafe is a Buffet type venue. It offers many different choices for breakfast. You can go to the eggs station to get fried eggs or an omelet made any way you want.

There is a separate station for poached or eggs Benedict something I talked about earlier.

There is a English Breakfast where you can get Scrambled Eggs, Bangers, Potatoes, English Bacon and Fried Tomato. There is also American breakfast. There are many types of bread for Toast and a collection of Bagels. There are several types of juices, coffees and tea available. The day of fresh squeezed Orange Juice is long gone and only available if you want to pay for it.

Lunch at the Island Cafe offers a great choice. One of the most popular is the Indian Cuisine. The Mexican choice is also very good.
There are many choices of fruit for all meals as well as cheeses.
We appear to have run out of Bananas and Kiwi's at this point. Also Strawberries are only available at dinner.
I have noticed we are now starting to see brown lettuce.
The word is not all supplies made it on-board in Papeete as the containers didn't make it to the ship. You would think that all containers would have travelled together but who knows.

Every afternoon one can have Tea here complete with little snacks.

One can eat dinner in the Island Cafe as well with the same choices as in the main dining room. One will see many family’s eating here with smaller kids.

It is surprising to see as many kids on here as there are because ne would think they should all be in school.

There are many classes everyday from Lectures, to Zumba to cooking demonstrations. There has been Hawaiian Dance classes and Ukulele as well.

Tonight brings a New Years Celebration, sort of. We cross the international Dateline tonight. So at midnight we move our clocks 24 hours forward. So we go from October 1 to October 3

Well dinner has been pretty much a non event for the most part except for a couple of Guys called Mel and Dave. Let's say Dave has really ingratiated himself at our table. Dave from day 1 has called me Dude, even tough he knows my name, he has not made friends with others at the table because the bread-sticks are his he says then says just kidding. Dave says things to riel things up then says just kidding. There were 3 others from my group that started to sit at the table and by about day 5 of the cruise they moved tables because of him.

Two nights ago he came to dinner from the Elite before dinner drinks half plastered and very loud. Most nights he is very loud and mellows during dinner. Dave and Mel love to refer to this as the “snocker locker” because they can get plastered here before dinner.
Dave was complaining about Fred who was trying to give Astronomy classes that he had arranged through Cruise Critic. You see Celebrity is under no obligation to find space for this. While Celebrity in the past has been very accommodating John the Cruise Director made it very clear to Fred, Harald, Claudia and myself it would be very hard to schedule this because the ship had so many activities.

Dave
See Dave RUN!!!,

John finally gave Fred one date and it was very well attended with well over 100 people from Cruise Critic attending along with a few others that were invited including Dave and Mel.
Well the Events Coordinator was very surprised at the turnout and managed to schedule 6 more classes yesterday but that changed in the late afternoon yesterday. There would only be one more class and that would be at 11:45 today.

When word got out what happened and Dave found out at the Elite Party he came to dinner with a bee up his ass.
The group of us that have sailed with Fred on prior cruises understood all this and wanted to keep a low profile. If one stirs the pot too much then Celebrity could just do away with things for Cruise Critic. That would truly be a shame.

When Dave came to the table he was trying to rally the troops and said we have to get the word out. I told him not to do this as there could be repercussions to this.

I suggested he back off and just leave it alone. He didn't want to hear this and soon moved down the table. He said he was doing this because Mel didn't like Broccoli to which I replied well I plan on having the Broccoli Soup as well.
Mel then pipes in and says if you do I am going to puke in your lap.

All I have to say is great manners Mel.

I let it go at that point.

Well tonight I briefed the others before dinner at the table what I would do if Dave started in with Hey Dude and being obnoxious again. Mel and Dave came to dinner and sure enough before Dave sat down he said to me hey Dude what's going on. I replied my name is Phil and NOT dude please use that. He then came back and said woo Dude what brought that on. I then said I just finished telling you that my name is not Dude it is Phil, what part of this don't you understand.

Dave then started to spout off some more how he had this shirt on that was a sporting shirt that was black and no collar and black pants and how he could wear it on Formal Night and get away with it.

I then piped up and said ask yourself why 3 others are no longer at this table? I told him he was obnoxious and his antics last night left a lot to be desired.
He asked me to tell him all that has gone on. I replied you have a brain I am sure you can use it and figure it out. He then got more obnoxious and I said now you are doing a great job at being the Ugly American and I would suggest that he and Mel find some manners.
I further explained that that I may leave the table as well for better tables mates.

Dave moved down beside Mel to cry on his shoulder.

All I can say It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow night.

There was a big deck party starting at 10:00 with free Champagne and music. The ships horn was sounded at 11:00 to signify an artificial crossing of the date line

I was up till past 1:00  October 3 before I headed to bed.

October 3 – At Sea

I didn't even wake up at all last night that I remember and woke up and looked at the clock to see it was about 815.
My knees really hurt from dancing last night at the party. Okay I don't dance, I move around is a better way to explain it.

I went up on deck to have breakfast and ran into Fred. We sat and talked while I ate.
We then got up to go for a walk around the pool deck but Fred excused himself to go talk to some Astronomy people.

Getting on deck it became very apparent that it was HOT today. While it was only 30C out there the sun's ray's were incredible. I sat there for a bit and my legs felt like they were being slow cooked after ten minutes.

I then went and found a cup of tea and headed to Deck 5 for the Canadian newspaper. I also wanted to look at the map to see exactly where the Dateline was for this area. I found it is a 172 degrees not 180 as it is suppose to be because there have been some changes to it over time.
I then came back topside to find some shade up on Deck 12 by the funnel. I was sitting there reading and looking out every so often and saw a few whales a couple of miles away doing full breaches.

I stayed here for an hour and enjoyed this.

I also had my GPS and checked the latitude and Longitude and found we should cross 172 degrees about 1:00 PM this afternoon making it official now.

October 5 - Lautoka, Fiji

We arrived early in port today and most left before 7:30.

I went ashore around 9:00  and took the free shuttle to town. Arriving downtown we arrived in front of a store that was open and doing a brisk business. I am guessing that they may have paid for this shuttle service.

About 95% of the stores were closed because it was Sunday.

I walked around downtown and down many streets. I walked down streets that I really didn't feel safe but was pleasantly surprised when they greeted me with hello.
The people are very friendly in Fiji I found.

While I didn't do a shore excursion many did on the ship. I ran into Claudia and she said they rented a taxi for the day and went to the Temple, then to the Mud Bath, had a massage and then to the Botanical Gardens and did this for about $80 per person, those that did the shipboard tour to just the mud baths paid about $150 plus $20 for the massage.

I did try and rent a car before I left near the port but was told that all is closed because it was Sunday. There was a tent on the pier for Budget that was there because the ship was in port.
There was also many tour groups on the pier as well.

I held a Geocaching Event here just outside the security gates of the port. There were 5 of us there. This way one can get credit for a geocache in another country. While some think this is cheap it is within the rules.

The reason I did this was because the nearest other cache was about 11 km away and being Sunday it would be very hard to get there.

After this we headed back to the ship because it was sailing at 3:00.

The caching group

I sat at the Sunset Bar and had a couple of drinks with two other cachers as we departed the port.

Looking below us there was a "towel animal" on the balcony below. Lets say that if one woke up to this when they opened the drapes to go outside they just might take a double look.

Human

I have said nothing about towel animals till now. It is interesting that I have only had 3 so far while others have had many. Maybe because I am a single male on this cruise that has something to do with it?
I have seen photos and heard stories of people coming back to their cabin after dinner and finding a "guy" stuck on their bed. It was a towel animal that was dressed in clothes and shoes etc sticking out from under the bed. There was one of these sitting on the toilet with his pants around his knees complete with shoes. I saw a photo of one that was in bed dressed in a ladies night gown.

Just prior to departure the Captain made an announcement that the seas would soon get rough. We would have seas to 3 meters and increasing to 4 meters tomorrow.

Another 24+ hours of rocking and rolling.

I switched dinner table tonight due to Dave.

October 6 – At Sea

Last night we set the clocks back an hour. It was also Daylight savings in Australia so we are now on Sydney time. The ship was once again rocking and rolling this morning.

I went up on deck by the pool and this was the first day that there was a coolness in the air. It was overcast as well. Later on the ship passed though some rain showers clearing the pool area pretty quickly. They were short lived for the most part.

Tonight's show was Van-Anh Nguyen a concert pianist. I didn't go but those that went said she was very good.

The internet has been down for much of the last 24 hours as well. Lots of very unhappy people over this.

Tonight just before dinner we had a medical emergency where they were looking for a blood donor again.
During dinner an announcement was made for a cabin to report to the front office.

October 7 - Noumea, New Caledonia

Well be docked at around 10:00 but it was not at the cruise ship dock but at the container port. This makes it hard because they have to put on shuttle buses to the cruise ship dock. This would mean long lines once off the ship.
During this time I found that the lady that needed the blood last night passed away. She was the Rabbi's Wife.

Long line

While this port is French, it is interesting in a few ways. They take Francs, Australian and US Dollars but no Euros.

There was free Wi-Fi at the cruise ship dock and it was overwhelmed all day and no one could get on. I found there were several other parks nearby that provided free Wi-Fi and that was where I went. Along the way I stopped to get my token Geocache at the local Supermarket/Casino. I soon had it signed and was on my way.

casino
cache to the right side of the entrance

Around a few more blocks and then I found the park. I was able to log on and look at a couple of email accounts I have not looked at since I left.
This is where being away for a long time things happen. It turns out a friend of mine passed away and his memorial service was a few days ago.

Noumea was cool (about 21C) for the most part and cloudy. Those that went snorkeling said the water was cool. It tried to rain on and off through the day.

The ship was to sail at 4 but was delayed slightly when a bus came up at last minute and a lady wrapped in blankets and in a wheel chair was off loaded and onto the ship.
It turns out she was pulled from the water while snorkeling.

After we sailed I headed to the cabin. I have to admit the walking did me in and I really needed a nap.

I woke just before 8 and headed to the Martini Bar where I had a drink with my new table-mates. It was then down to the dining room and tonight's menu was one I did not like the first time it came around.

Table Mates

I ordered off the “other” menu tonight.

I didn't eat much as I just didn't feel like eating.

After dinner I retired back to the room.

October 8 – At Sea

Well I woke around 5 AM and got up to find a Advil for my neck. Upon getting up I saw a note that had been slid under my door to report to Australian Immigration at 10:10. Well this is good, but what if I had not woken up and had an earlier time?

The interesting part of the immigration card we had to fill out is they wanted us to date it for October 10 the day we get off. Okay that’s fine but right beside it it says all information on this card is correct etc.

Well it isn't correct because if I put October 10 on it like the directions they gave me then I lied.

I went for immigration at 10:10 where I was given my passport back and saw immigration and they stamped my passport.

The Captain gave his daily report and there is a lunar eclipse tonight. The big problem is the cloud we have. We will have to wait and see.

I then went outside to lay on a deck chair to get some more sun and talk to friends.

I then went to see what was on sale when they had an event they needed to be at.

We met up for lunch where the big special was fish and chips. It wasn't that bad.

From lunch it was down to the room for some more Advil due to a headache. I then went back upstairs to sit some more in the sun

Tonight’s show is the Diamonds an all girl Australian group.

October 9 – At Sea

Today is the last day of the cruise. Tomorrow we will be in Sydney thus marking the end of another cruise.

The last day in many ways is a bitter sweet end. It is the end of having a great holiday with friends and family and new friends you have met along the way. There are many farewells and last drinks with friends.
There is packing for the end and then putting your cases out in front of your cabin by midnight.
There is a joke that is told on the disembarkation talk that says don't forget to leave clothes out for tomorrow. In as much as it would appear common sense, on my last cruise I saw a guy at the front office in his house coat asking that they locate his case his wife put out because he forgot to take clothes out.

I have been travelling with 3 other people who I met on my last Transatlantic cruise. I met them first through Cruise Critic which I talked about earlier. Below is the happy group.

The Cruise Crtic Group
Harald, Phil, Claudia and Fred

This afternoon I had a wine party to attend in a Suite where we were gathering up any unused Wine and Champagne and having snacks and great conversation on the Balcony.

October 10 - Sydney Australia

I was up on deck as the ship was docking in Sydney. I have to say the view was incredible.

Opera House
Sydney Opera House at sunrise.

Sydney Bridge

Claudia and Phil
Claudia and Myself


Pardon the lip.....

I then went in and had some breakfast.

From here I went back outside and then headed for the cabin to grab my stuff and head to the Theatre for what was suppose to be a 8:45 disembarkation. This soon became apparent we were running late. I didn't get off till about 9:30.

From here I took a taxi to my hotel a mere 2.5 km from the terminal. The cost was $22.00 AUD or about $22.00 CDN.

Conclusion:

I have to say this was a great cruise all in all. Celebrity did a great job with the entertainment and onboard activities. I did not go wanting.
The only problem I could comment on was the lack of internet but that didn't really bother me.

We did have surveyors onboard doing a survey of the ship for the new owners on the way to Hawaii. They were noticeable but didn't bother anyone that I know of.

The cruise is about meeting new people and seeing new places. I did that and more.
My friends from my last cruise were some of the best people I have cruised with, add in the new friends and this was a special voyage.

Celebrity does so many things right. When you are in port they have frozen face clothes on a tray that are handed to you when you return to the ship. I have not seen this done on any other cruise line. The frozen face clothes are also handed out around the pool during the day.

Food is also a step up from other lines. While all lines are cutting back on food to save money, Celebrity appears to have found a balance for this. During the whole cruise there was only one real miss at dinner and that was the T-Bone Steak. The steak was suppose to appear again on the last night but was pulled simply because it was too tuff.
The interesting thing is it appears I lost 2lbs on this cruise. Not sure how, but I did.

Announcements were limited to twice a day, but they were done in English and German.

The Century is a 20+ old ship and has been sold to the Chinese and depart the fleet in April 2015. The ship is still being maintained and the crew was simply fantastic. The ship is well designed and flows nicely. The cabins as I pointed out are well laid out and have a great use of space. It  is really too bad that designers of today have not kept up with this. 
I have seen the Century compared to the new S Class of Celebrity and this is a unfair comparison as a lot has happened in 20 years. I have been on the Silhouette and yes it is a nicer ship because it is larger by a long shot so it has more things on board. The Century needs to be looked at what she offers for this size of ship.

Thanks for reading this review, Phil