Subject: Re: Celebrity Cruises - The Mercury

The Mercury is a good ship. It has 14 floors and holds about 2200 at its maximum, but we had about 1800 on board and a crew of 855. I'm told it's one of the better ships in the line - built in Germany about 7 years ago. The newer ships in the fleet are experiencing propeller problems and take on water so they have to be brought into drydock fairly often.

The amenities are fine. The casino is large enough, the spa is great (though pricey), the main restaurant is very good. There are plenty of casual dining opportunities as well so you can have a buffet if you don't want to get dressed for dinner in the Manhattan restaurant. There are two pools (not counting the thessalotherapy pool in the spa) and three whirlpools on the pool deck.

Service was excellent - just remember to bring U.S. dollars to tip your cabin steward, waiter, etc. etc. It works out to about $150 per person for the tips.

Cabins are fine - very clean, with a safe, a television and enough room (we booked a smaller cabin on the premise that we don't spend time there except to sleep) to be comfortable. The workout gym is well equipped and there is a jogging track on board above the pool level. There are also plenty of bars, entertainment, shopping, a library and a cinema (though the movies are inoffensive U.S. entertainment for all so it included Spiderman and Austin Powers).

We were fortunate because the weather was excellent. The two weeks before we cruised, the weather was cool and the water choppy so the ship couldn't get passengers to Grand Cayman on the tenders.

If you have any specific questions, reply to me directly.