Warning - Mercury



Abort! Jump off! Do anything but get aboard the Mercury! My fiance and I just returned from a 10 day hell at sea to the Mexican Riviera on the Mercury from March 17th- March 27th, 2006. Minus the fact that the norovirus is rampant on this boat and we were quarantined near the end of our trip there are so many other issues at hand: The boat is aged and weathered, there is no glamour at sea on the Mercury. Because the sickness has affected the staff as well, many of the services are limited. On our cruise the Sushi Cafe was non-existant, their flagship Midnight Buffet was cancelled, different tastings were cancelled because the staff told us, "There is too much bleach in the air to serve food." The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has explained the cleaning standards but the Celebrity staff has not been trained. The boat resembles the inside of washing machine, all mirrors, windows, surfaces, and elevator doors are doused with bleach to the point that the numbers in the elevator are sticky and unreadable. The doors and door handles to our stateroom were sprayed continuously throughout every day and night to the point that they looked like a gallon of spoiled milk had exploded on them. No matter what the signs say, never use the handrails, they are constantly dripping with a bleach-like substance that ruins your clothing and cracks your skin. Cafeful where you sit, whether pool-side or at dinner, even the chairs and tables are dripping with bleach. You would think that this would contain the problem but on our cruise several quarantined passengers who refused to stay in their room were kicked off the boat. Others refused medical attention in hopes of not being quarantined so they could enjoy the remainder of their 'vacation'. Some were concerned that if they went to the doctor they would end up with huge medical fees onboard so there was no real containmnet of the virus. In the staff's futile attempts to contain the norovirus, restaurants (like the Manhattan Dining Room), the Casual Dining Boulevard, ice and beverage dispensers near the buffet lines, including some buffet lines and gift shops were randomly closed to be sanitized. The guest relations staff was overwhelemed and responded with script-like answers and provided no real resolutions or assistance. Avoid the Mercury like the plague. Upon landing back home, finally, in San Diego we broke this news story to KUSI Channel 9 news correspondent Vivian Tamayo. Please see the video on their website at KUSI.com. Just enter key words 'celebrity cruise' into their search engine and the story and associated video will pop up. All the still pictures within the story, which also ran as their lead story on the 6 o'clock news in San Diego, were taken by me and sent electronically to the news station. The pictures I sent were of open buckets of bleach in the restaurants and of their staff wearing masks and gloves spraying bleach all over the ship. I beg you to flood their phone lines with questions about money back guarantees, insurance, and the sickness onboard and if you can't get any answers from the first operator keep calling back asking to speak to someone else. The only thing Celebrity is adept at is avoiding the situation and those seeking information and/or compensation. In reading past reviews a lot of people have been questioning whether or not it is OK to drink the water on board. It seemed filtered to us but most of the glassware were soiled with lipsitick and fingerprints. Seems like the necessary detergents to cut grease are not being used onboard. And if you have any doubts that you may be allergic to heavy chemical spraying or abrasive cleaning products rest assured you will onboard this ship. If you are not affected with the norovirus (leading to extreme vomitting, diahrea and stomach cramps) you will experience severe migraines, congestion, and chronic tearing of the eyes from the chemical solutions sprayed courtesy of the untrained Celebrity Mercury staff. We beg you not to board this ship. Go to the website now: KUSI.com keywords 'celebrity cruise'.

Also, if you happen to already be on board or choose to not heed our warning, at least do not pay the astronomical costs Celebrity charges to use the internet on their computers. They charge $0.50-$0.75/minute depending on the program you purchase. At every port there are numerous internet cafes that charge only $1.50/hr!! That is what Celebrity is charging for 2 minutes of use!! These internet cafes are easy to find, just ask any local or look for the signs in English, they are clean, air conditioned, and you can sit for an hour drinking $0.40 diet cokes and $1.00 beers (instead of $2 and $6 onboard) for what it would cost you to sit for 2 minutes on board.

These problems, we have recently found out, were onboard the two preivious Mercury crusies to ours. We were not warned of the probable health risks associated with getting on board nor of the severe bleaching going on. If we had known we would have never gotten onboard. Now you have been warned. It's up to you now to cancel your cruise on the Mercury.