Length: 866 ft
Mercury left Celebrity in 2011, going to German sister company TUI Cruises. Reviews here are for historic reference onlyBest For People Who Want
A quality cruise at a bargain price; good food; adult-oriented atmosphere; polite service; quiet timesShould Be Avoided By People Who Prefer
Lots of children's & sports facilities; many alternative dining venues.Onboard Experience
The 1,870-passenger Mercury is a second sister ship of Century. The atmosphere is warm, and friendly, while the decor is cool and classy. Mercury was once in the mega-liner category, but at 77,000 tons she is now considered small. Therefore, she is easy to navigate and you are not likely to get lost. The food and service are very good, especially in this price range of ships, the cabin amenities are extensive, and the spas are scrumptious! One little problem, however, is the vibration problems in the aft end, where the main restaurants are located. At times the sound of glasses knocking together sounds like a handbell chorus.Decor
There is plenty of modern art, hand-picked throughout Europe by John Chandris' own wife back when the couple still owned the cruise line. Some of is striking, while some of it, "what was the artist thinking?" The rooms are classy with marble floors and columns, dark glass panels and smoky chandeliers in some places, with full-lengths windows to the sea and chrome and glass accents in other places. Whatever it is you like, you will eventually find it.Public Rooms
Up on Sports Deck the spectacular Stratosphere forward-looking observation lounge features yellow maple-paneled walls and plush aqua bucket seats, with windows to the sea in the front and mirrored walls on the rear, it is one of the most striking rooms at sea.
The beautiful, indoor Oasis Pool (under a magrodome) is a warm and peaceful spot where the sunshine filters in but your book doesn't blow away. This is one of the most zen-like spots on the ship. Words is the library, hidden away amongst the cabins on Panorama deck. It is a gorgeous two-level room with plenty of books and movies to check out.
Entertainment Deck starts with Fortunes casino, an old style gambling parlor with red and gold brocade trim and plenty of ornate, old style slot machines. In the Martini bar, crystal chandeliers illuminate a colorful mural behind the piano player. People here get their voice boxes sufficiently lubricated every night for hours of sing along fun. Just don't look down and the carpet, it might make you dizzy. For a more classy atmosphere, head to the Savoy Nightclub where grouped banquettes make conversation more conducive.The Mercury Shops and Internet Cafe round out the Entertainment Deck, for those who don't feel like drinking but want to spend money.
On Promenade deck, the Cova Cafe, with its cool silver columns and teal carpet, is own of the most tastefully decorated rooms anywhere. The Celebrity Theater (showroom) offers the proverbial "Las Vegas-style" production show, the seats are muted tones of beige and gold. Get a cappuccino and settle in for people watching over the rails of the atrium. Or try Michael's Club, formerly a smoking room, now just a nice lounge for spending time. Or take in a movie at the Cinema, shown twice daily.Cuisine
Celebrity Cruises' just ended its 15 year relationship with renowned Michelin-starred French Master Chef Michel Roux, who had hands-on involvement from designing the ship's galleys to creating menus and even sailing aboard the vessels for spot inspections. For now, the menus remain unchanged and Celebrity has not announced a replacement, however it could happen soon. In any case, outstanding cuisine has always been a part of the Celebrity legacy and one would expect the line not to tinker with a good. If a replacement is named, expect it to be someone with a good deal of panache.
Room service offers a fairly large selection of both hot and cold items, and is open 24-hours/day. It is possible to order off of the dining room menu if one does it during the times the dining room is open.
Hamburgers and grilled chicken sandwiches are available from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the pool-side grill, with fries and cole slaw on the side. Late night snacks are available in the lounges; on one night during the cruise there is an elaborate gala of a midnight buffet.Restaurants
Century's dramatic, two-level "Manhattan Restaurant" has a sweeping staircase at one end and two-deck-high glass windows for natural light and sea views at the stern. This room, decorated with wide classic columns and cherry wood finishes, offers a more intimate feel than one would expect of a dining room this size.
While at the Palm Springs Cafe on the Resort Deck, located next to the pool, two buffet lines means very little waiting, and waiters frequently take your tray to the table. Be sure to try dining on the back deck, where the only sounds are the sea below.Service
Cabin service is provided by a multinational crew, and dining room staffers are professional yet friendly. A nice Celebrity touch at the buffet is the friendly staff person waiting at the end of the service line to carry your tray to an open table. Throughout the ship, from cabin attendants to bar servers to guest relations desk, service is professional and efficient.Tipping
Celebrity suggests a per person per day gratuity of $3.50 for the waiter, butler (Suites only) and stateroom attendant; $4.00 for stateroom attendant in Concierge Class; $2.00 for the Assistant Waiter; $.75 for the Assistant Maitre d'and the Assistant Chief Housekeeper.Children under 12 years tip "half price." Passengers have the option of billing gratuities to their onboard "Sea Pass" account and receiving vouchers to put in the gratuity envelopes at the end of the cruise.
A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to all beverage tabs. Gratuities for room service, spa, casino and other staff are at your discretion.Entertainment
The Celebrity Theater offers the standard cruise ship production show by producer Jean Ann Ryan. It is the usual array of medleys, dance steps, costume changes and an adagio couple doing graceful dance moves. Pleasant enough, but not exactly original. Fortunes Casino is normally quite full at night, and has the major games of chance and plenty of slot machines. There is nightly entertainment in Rendezvous Square, where people often meet to dance. Michael's Club, the piano bar, was generally quite full in the evenings as well, of a cigar bar, it is now a no-smoking room. The much larger Crystal Lounge, aft on Deck 7, had a quartet playing most evenings. There is also a dedicated movie theater for near first-run feature films. This is also the spot for enrichment lectures and computer classes. Shipmates Fun Factory is the generous playroom for the kids with ball rooms, tunnels, toys and games, and climby things everywhere.Cabins
Mercury cabins offer wonderful amenities including TV with close circuit movies, CNN and pay-per-view first run movies; radio, direct dial phone, bathrobes, mini-refrigerator plus large bathrooms with showers, vanity and hair dryers. One may dine in-cabin at night and order from the dinner menu and massages may also be scheduled in staterooms. Standard inside and outside staterooms are 171 and 172 sq. feet, with good storage space. Mercury has lovely cabins with private verandah at 214 square feet. There are 50 suites with private veranda in four categories: standard (316 sq. feet); sky suites (425 sq. feet); royal suites (631 sq. feet) and penthouse suites (1,219 sq.ft.), all with large private balcony, butlers, marble bathrooms and additional perks.Fitness/Spa
AquaSpa is operated by Steiner's of London, and it has been recently upgraded to include Spa Meals and larger facilities for massage, facials and even thelassotherapy (water under pressure) treatments. The separate fitness are has new machines, all with a sea view, with aerobics and stretching classes scheduled during the day.Attire
Two formal nights on a seven-night cruise and three on 10-day or longer cruises; most men opted for suits instead of a tux, while women wear pantsuits, or short dresses. Two nights are designated informal; jackets for the men.
I wish to elaborate on the 5-11-07 review.This was our first Celebrity ship.Vancouver is a lovely looking city,but we will not return due to the rude people we incountered there.The first problem was the port in Vancouver had been chossen to perform extra security screening,it took several hours for all to board Mercury.The rooms were still not ready so we spent a couple more hours waiting to enter our stateroom.All our bags were not brought to us untill late into the night.My son 11yrs old at the time,came with my wife Susana and myself.We ate in the main dinning area in the clothes we were wearing upon boarded .They are futunate nothing was said or I would have blown my top right there.
The food on this cruise was very dissappointing.This was the first cruise I had ever sent back a medium steak that was as tough as a boot.The dishes were uninteresting and even cold at times.Our head waiter we did not meet untill the fourth night,never seen that before. It was explained as to a group of dinners that were running all the staff ragged(around fifty people in thatgroup).This group was rude and smelled bad even. The entertainment on this ship was even worse than the food.It was campy and the performers were the worst we had ever seen on any ship - even Carnival ships were better.
We walked out of every show we went to.The only good part of the presentations was the naturalist Brent Dixon.By the third talk he had the theater packed.He was the best part of this entire cruise. The ports of call were Juneau,Ketchikan and Skagway.In Skagway we took a sub ride,it was really bad,do not waste your money.The canoe ride in Ketchikan was pretty good but book it on shore it was a half the rate as onboard Mercury. Sadly we saw no whales at all(upclose) and few passengers did.I did see an Orca breech three times but it was from miles away.Saw a pod of 40 porpoises in front of the ship one time.To see more wildlife go in July and August.Atlast the cruise was over,but the problems were not.The debarkation was as bad as the embarkation...badly organized and the baggage handlers were really awful.
They had all the different color tagged bags in all different order in different rooms so it took hours to find all your bags.This lead hundreds passengers to miss their flights out of Vancouver. We had a late flight or we would have missed our flight also. We will never take another trip to Vancouver and certainly never take another cruise out of this port.What a disaster!There are 71 different nationalities in Vancouver and a couple were the worst groups of passengers I have ever witnessed onboard any of the 12 cruises we have sailed.Sad but very true!!!
This was our ninth cruise but first with Celebrity. The Mercury ship had 3 back to back cruises with Norovirus outbreaks when we were notified that our cruise would be delayed 2 days for thorough cleaning. It would have cost us quite a bit to cancel flights & hotel, and thinking the ship would be the cleanest ship on the seas, went ahead with the trip.
The majority of the daily staff displayed such negative attitudes it seemed they didn't want to be there. There were very few smiles or eye contact and the service was slow and inefficient.
The food, entertainment & ports of call were fine, but the overall poor attitudes and below standard service created a very unpleasant environment on board.
We're willing to give Celebrity another try on a different ship, but not on the Mercury. After all, it's the officers who are responsible for crew & staff training and morale.
Embarkation: This was our 13th cruise, our 6th on Celebrity and our first departure from Baltimore. The terminal is a good example of function over form-not a lot of bells and whistles but good passenger flow. The only glitch was a problem with Mercury's computers which wouldn't allow Sea Passes to be issued at check-in, which resulted in delayed boarding. We were among the first to board at 1 p.m., had lunch, then waited until almost 3 before the cabins were ready. Our luggage was waiting and our cabin attendant delivered our Sea Passes before dinner. No big deal.
Cabin: #1201 on Sky deck. First time CC and our first balcony. Very nicely appointed but the standard 172 sq.ft. The balcony was huge, the width of the cabin but very deep like the Sky Suites. The cabin location was good-close to the stairs, elevator and door to outside. It was also one of the quietest cabins we've ever had. Our cabin attendant Victor was excellent. A1 service.
Dining: We were assigned a table for 8 on the upper level overlooking the lower level, a very nice location with super dinner mates. Onthe first 2 evenings, service was a little erratic but then smoothed out. Our waiter was very entertaining and after the first couple of nights he became very adept at remembering individual likes and dislikes. The food in the main dining room was very good and sometimes exceptional. Only once was I disappointed-and that may have been my personal taste. The desserts have improved greatly since our last Celebrity cruise. We had one breakfast and a couple of lunches in the buffet and I thought the food and variety were very good. We would have used it more but the older we get the more we like being waited on. There was one brunch held in the main dining room which we thoroughly enjoyed with numerous stations doing cooked to order, a selection of hot foods, a carving station, salads, seafood and decadent desserts. The downside to setting up a buffet in a 2 story dining room is that everyone wants to sit downstairs. People were wandering in without being assigned a seat, loading up their plates and then complaining that they had no where to sit. This was probably more the fault of the staff than the guests. We ate dinner once in the alternative dining venue in the buffet which would have been excellent if it weren't for the temperature.
Common areas: Best described as elegantly understated. Mercury has been refurbished since we were on her in 2005 and it shows. I made a point of looking out for stained carpeting, worn furniture or burnt out lights etc. and could find none. The Navigator Club on deck 12 forward is a beautiful lounge and the perfect spot for that sail-away cocktail with its floor to ceiling wrap around windows. The Celebrity Theatre is very comfortable with very few obstructed views. The Cova Café, located in the 4 story atrium, was a popular spot anytime of day for pastries, people watching, the string quartet or just reading. Michaels Club is really too small to be used for entertainment and now serves as a private lounge for Elite members or as a card room. The Rendezvous Lounge is a nice spot and was packed every evening before dinner for drinks and dancing. The pool areas are well laid out and well maintained. The Spa was the only area where I noticed any wear and tear-there's a lot of wood that needs refinishing. We enjoyed the Thalassotherapy Pool-it was worth the extra money. The casino was packed every night-the non-smoking policy seems to have had no negative effect.
Entertainment: We've never been "wowed" by Celebrity entertainment and this cruise was no exception. The in-house entertainment was pretty good-the string quartet, a great guitar/singer, a pianist/singer, a good band and singer at the pool and the Rendezvous Lounge, and a first rate group of singers and dancers. With one exception, the guest entertainers were pretty lame- a British singer, a harmonica player, a so-called impersonator. There was a very talented Chinese dulcimer player but it was too much of a good thing. The exception was a young couple who performed acrobatics hanging from fabric streamers. They were outstanding. In my opinion, they were Cirque de Soleil caliber.
Ports of Call- St Thomas-our 7th visit and we finally made it to Megans Bay. Beautiful beach and not crowded as there were only 3 ships in port. St.Croix-we'd had one previous visit in 1988 and it is just as wonderful as we remembered. We docked in Fredrikstaad and took a bus to Christianstaad.
St. Kitts-not one of our favourite islands but since we were there last they have established Port Zandt (?), a large area of duty free shopping and cafes directly opposite the pier.Nice improvement.
Antigua- This was where we had booked our only shore excursion-a 6 hour cruise on a catamaran which included snorkeling, the beach and lunch. It was first rate. We've done a few of these but this was by far the best.
St. Maarten- Our all time favorite island.-much more tourist friendly than St. Thomas. Once again, only 3 ships in port so strolling Philipsburg was a pleasure, followed by a dip in the Caribbean and lunch on the beach.
We chose this cruise for 4 reasons-the price for CC, the departure city (half as close to Ontario as Florida), the cruise line but primarily for the itinerary. We enjoy sea days and we got 6, 3 in a row to start and 3 more to end. In between, 5 ports in a row. We also like this ship. For us, it's the perfect size and I find it hard to believe that it's now 13 years old. Inside and out, it is in excellent condition. The service and friendliness of the crew was outstanding.
On the downside, other than the entertainment, the temperature in the Buffet prevented us and others from enjoying it. Even when we were close to Baltimore and the temperature was in the 50's, the air conditioning was on full blast. We attempted to have coffee one afternoon but after moving 3 times we left. The other problem is accessing the dining room. The lower level entrance can only be used if you arrive by elevator-you cannot walk from midship to aft on Plaza deck because of the galley. Guests are requested to approach on the upper level, then those seated on the lower level have to use the stairs by the martini bar. I assume this is to keep the elevators free for the guests in wheelchairs. This was not a problem for us as we were on the upper level. And speaking of elevators, they are small and only 3 forward and midship but 4 aft. There was a huge contingent of disabled passengers on this particular cruise who were waiting up to 30 minutes for an elevator. I'm sure they would not rate this cruise as high as I have.
Unfortunately, I'm sure the Mercury's days are numbered. I, for one, will be sorry to see her retired.