Celebrity Cruise Lines' Mercury

Celebrity cruises offers premium cruise vacations

This was, after over 20 years in the travel business, my first time on a cruise ship. (My dark secret!) I have had certain reservations about sailing on a big ship over the years, (claustrophobia being the biggest one), and found that most were put to rest - and that was a very nice discovery to come away with. This Celebrity cruise was a short 3-night cruise out of Seattle; ports of call were Victoria and Nanaimo. The ship was sold out - and it seems that most passengers were from the Northwest - enjoying this 3 night closer to home cruise opportunity.

There were families with kids, young couples, groups of women, retired people, quite a mix - with something for everyone on board. We were confirmed in the lowest ocean view stateroom category - the room was very adequate. There was plenty of closet space, a couple of chairs, a vanity, TV, and bathroom with shower. The ships public areas were plentiful and clean - and some areas I would say were stunning. Artwork on the ship was remarkable, [something Celebrity is noted for] and you could get a self-guided headset tour - which was great.

There seemed to be countless bars,  with nightclubs, kid's rooms, and of course, a large pool area. The best view was the Navigator Club - with 2-deck-high windows -- a perfect spot for viewing sunsets. There was also a martini/champagne bar which was always lively. I enjoyed a cocktail reception in Michael’s Club -- a piano lounge, with high backed leather chairs, dark woods and more remarkable art.

The main pool area had two pools, a kids wading pool, three Jacuzzi's, and a lot of sunning space. On this same deck, aft of the ship, was another small pool with a retractable roof for bad weather. There was also a kids pool and Fun Factory on the Vista deck / and right next door was a video game room for teens.

The nice sized gym is complimentary for guests. The AquaSpa was also spacious - and features a thalassotherapy pool - which is complimentary if you book a package of treatments. Otherwise, you can purchase a day pass, or a pass for the entire cruise.

For meals, on Celebrity’s Mercury, breakfast and dinner were served in the Manhattan Restaurant -- a two- story elegant dining room with two-story windows. For dinner, they also had a ‘casual dining' option - which did require reservations. Casual dining was served in a small area of the buffet restaurant -- an area where Celebrity Cruises covered tables with white linens, and you were able to order off the menu -- which was nice, as it was very quiet, and you actually were served food that was freshly cooked. The Buffet restaurant served breakfast and lunch: A sushi bar had self-serve sushi from 5pm-8pm, a pizza/pasta station near the pool with the retractable roof, and a buffet station near the pool area as well. The food was endless, and was very satisfactory -- I wouldn't say terrific -- it was great to have so many options -- but somewhat average in taste and quality. Service was terrific everywhere we went.

There was a terrific array of activities daily - with something for everyone - the range of entertainment was great. It was a wonderful ship, excellent service - all in all a great experience.