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The Century That Lasted Two Decades

What do Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Celebrity Century have in common?

They all say good-bye with a one-year victory lap.

The classiest of New York Yankees are Rivera and Jeter, and some would say the same about the Century. 

Rivera walked away from an illustrious career after making the rounds to almost all Mariano RiveraDerek Jeterof his old stomping grounds last season, and he celebrated by spending time with the faceless opponents in cities he visited…the groundskeepers and unsung employees of the teams he beat over 19 years.

Jeter will do the same thing this season, his 20th. Presumably, his ex-teammate set the standard he is likely to follow.

The Century's career as a "Celebrity" will almost make it to two decades as well, and unlike the ballplayers she hasn't had much in the way of time off. She was Century-Riley HuntleyCelebrity's first "class" ship in 1995. In the Century Class, Galaxy and Mercury came after her and left before she did, giving the grand old dame a chance to say good-bye to her fans.

She'll do that between now and April of next year. Her victory lap will take her to 77 ports in 32 countries, more than any ship in the Celebrity fleet that will then be 10. Between now and the end of April, passengers booking passage on the Century will be eligible for up to $200 per stateroom in onboard credit.

The President himself, Michael Bayley (okay, not THE President), is going to join her guests on a Celebration of the Century cruise in Asia. Her final cruise will be a link between two of the world's great cities, Dubai and Rome. In other words, she's going out in style.

Just like Rivera and Jeter.

– ship photo by Riley Huntley

Celebrity Infinity
13 nights
April 29, 2014
MiamiNew YorkHalifaxCorkLondon
Inside: $499
Cost per day: $38
www.celebritycruises.com

L.A. — More than a Celebrity Stop

They say it's hard to believe that a city the size of greater Los Angeles (12-plus million) doesn't have an NFL team that calls it home.

It's also hard to believe that a cruise line called "Celebrity" has never had a major presencein the City of Angels and movie stars until now. 

As people who spend a lot of time in California, we sometimes thinks Los Angeles gets a bad rap…or at least a bad break.

There's the "self-imposed" smog. There's the Dodgers, the only team baseball fans love to hate almost as much as the Yankees. There's the traffic congestion of freeways stacked like bunk beds. There's the absence of a pro football team for almost two decades, and counting. There's the presence of too many movie stars who make too much money occupying too much time on our TV screens.

And when the cruise business along the Mexican Riviera dried up, so did much of the traffic using the cruise ports in San Pedro (Long Beach, above) and Los Angeles. But even before that, Celebrity never had any of its ships that did more than stop in as they passed by.

That's about to change.

Celebrity  is dispatching the Century to operate seven cruises next year (even though USA Today reports it's eight) with Los Angeles as the home port. There are six round-trip cruises, not one-offs involving ships that are being re-positioned. They will operate north, as opposed to Mexico (south), turning around in San Francisco, and three of them will cater to beer and wine connoisseurs.

The seventh cruise is to Vancouver, as the Century heads for next summer in Alaska and the following winter in Australia.

Admittedly, it's a temporary home, but isn't that what "celebrities" do?

Holland America Eurodam
10 nights
September 22, 2013
Quebec CityCharlottetownSydneyHalifaxBar HarborBostonNewportNew York
Inside: $699
Cost per day: $69
www.hollandamerica.com

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