Cruising Mexico on Celebrity's Mercury
Jeannine & Dick Cantin

This itinerary is great if you want to "take a peek" at the ports on the West Coast of Mexico - then you can decide which ones to return to for a longer vacation.

How were the accommodations:
Rooms are 172 sq. ft. with twins that convert to a king. the very large window and the use of mirrors on one whole wall make the room seem much more spacious. three closets, 2 full length and one with shelves and drawers and more drawers in 2 night stands and desk were adequate for all that we brought for the 11 night cruise. The bathroom was well designed space wise, the shower quite large and the sink are had a full wength countertop, corner shelves and cabinets for storage. The shampoo and lotion were in dispensers and the hair dryer very wimpy.

A DVD player, TV, minibar and safe were in a corner cabinet and a small sofa and high table were comfortable enough for in room dining or reading. The lower category oceanview rooms have smaller windows and the interior cabins seem spacious because of the placement of the bed.

How were the fitness and recreational facilities:
The spa has a Thallasso therapy pool available for $20/day or a package for $80 that covers the entire cruise. The setting is relaxing and pleasant. The gym area has weight machines and treadmills overlooking the bow of the ship.

A beauty salon and treatment rooms advertise all sorts of specials – better discount on port days. For treatments on days at sea make sure you book early – the spots fill up quickly.

Short seminars on beauty, makeup, cellulite, weight loss, body toning and even acupuncture for pain or relaxation are held throughout the week.

How was the dining experience:
Dining The Mercury does not yet offer open dining. The 2 story main restaurant has a 6:00PM or 8:30PM sitting with assigned tables. On most days there is casual dining on the casual dining Boulevard (the buffet restaurant during the day) from 6PM –10PM. This at night becomes an a la carte restaurant with a $2.00 surcharge – but you need reservations. There are three limited menus that rotate during the cruise - nothing gourmet. They do set the tables with cloths and flowers and there is full table service with bar.

Breakfast and lunch is of better quality in the dining room but it is very leisurely and a dress code is enforced. For more casual dining the 11th deck has a variety of options. With 4 buffet stations in the main area, you’ll certainly find too many choices – omelets, waffles, salads, soups, pastas, stews, cold and hot vegetables, carved meats and lots of desserts.

These stations close by 2:30PM or so, but two other venues serve until 6PM. The grill by the pool has burgers, hotdogs, pizza and pasta and there is also a sandwich bar with specials each day.

The room service menu is limited, but during mealtimes (lunch and dinner) you can order from the full menu. Service is prompt and it’s the only place that we found a tuna sandwich and potato chips available. French fries arrived very hot. A good choice when you come in from port too late for the buffet.

How was the entertainment, bars, and lounges:
Unfortunately for us, this seemed to be the downfall – the bars, lounges and entertainment were quite good…but unpredictable and fractured…by that I mean that usually after a few days on board you have found your favorite spots to hang out depending on the vocalist, piano player, musicians etc. but on this ship, you have to pay close attention to the daily newspaper and the times.

Some days the show is before dinner (we had late sitting) and some days after – we missed two because we weren’t “on top of it”. Other times we’d go to a lounge for a combo and find that they were elsewhere or on a break only to be replaced by different entertainment. So hint....keep that newspaper with you.

Same with the disco – It’s a beautiful room with bar and separate sitting area overlooking the ocean for those who prefer not to dance but still can enjoy the music. Each night had a different theme – 70’s, Rap, Hip-hop, rock and Roll, Beatles – So if it doesn’t happen to be your style……you’ll leave. Seems a mix would be better to appeal to all.

Since entertainers change so often, it’s difficult to tell you who not to miss….we especially enjoyed the comedian, classical pianist and the acrobatic performer who reminded us of the Cirque de Soleil.

Highlights (i.e. best things to do, memorable moments, etc.):
Waffles with fresh fruit, syrup and whipped cream whil sitting on the outside deck.

Quiet deck aft on 8 and 10

Jacuzzi in the Spa with aromatherapy

Martinis in the Martini bar before dinner (only bar with these special glasses - and you can’t take them with you to dinner)

Capuccino in the "Tastings" bar. The sweet temptations are free but they charge for teas and coffees.

How were the family activities:
There were few families on board, but they did have family karaoke, games on stage and a talent show – these were in late afternoon or early evening. There is a separate pool and play area for children and a game room with game machines for older kids. During school vacation, the children are divided into four age groups from 3 – 17. Children must be toilet trained to use the pools and enroll in the children’s program. The librarian was very helpful to the children on board by offering reading suggestions.

Activities are planned all day with snack time both morning and afternoon. Meals are taken with parents. Evening activities are planned until 10PM and sometimes include the evening show. From 10PM until 1AM there is group sitting available called “Slumber Party” for $6 per child per hour.

Backstage tours, crafts, dancing, scavenger hunts and sports keep everyone well entertained. Teen have their own hang out room and are at liberty to come and go. Kid