Some reader comments from the original cruise story posting

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 08:03 AM
Thanks so much, Mr. X!!!
I have been one of your VERY loyal followers for the entire 3 weeks. I have absolutely loved your review series. Each installment, I felt like I was reliving my Galaxy Eastern Caribbean cruise from last spring while learning much about the Western Caribbean cruise experience that my husband and I will be enjoying this fall.

It is with great sadness that I see your series come to an end (although I’ll be sure to reread the series again) — not only because I have enjoyed reading it so much and the series has come to an end but also because your last installment made me relive the sadness of departing on our last day on the Galaxy spring (1st for us) cruise.


May you have lots of happy sailing in the future!

And once again THANKS SO MUCH!

(Enjoyed the departing picture of the x on your forehead! X for Galaxy no doubt!)

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 08:32 AM
A wonderful time was had by all….

We were with you all the way. Thanks for the review and the pix. Re-lived much of our own Eastern Caribbean trip just before yours. Especially enjoyed the video clip of the bridges (I have stills — will get them on my website someday) and wish we had anything of the bay bridge/tunnel passage, very impressive, middle of the night though it was.

You’ll have to let us all know your plans for your next cruise. Clearly, you’ll have a crowd with you, either actually or virtually.



8-19 July 2002 Celebrity Galaxy
Dec 1990 Royal Caribbean Nordic Empress

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 08:53 AM
Cruising with Mr. X
****A 10 Tee Shirt Review*****

Reading this review while enjoying coffee at my computer….all of a sudden I am transported to a balcony at sea….enjoying the rocking, the smell of salt water and all the wonders and pleasures of cruising. Thank you Chesterh for a wonderful trip!

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 09:11 AM
The absolute BEST review I have ever read!!!

This is a must-read for cruise newbies, experienced cruisers, well, anyone who can read or has someone to read it to them!!!!

Please, Chesterh, take another cruise quickly so you can write another review!!!!

Many, Many Thanks for a wonderful experience…….


Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 09:35 AM
Galaxy Installment Reviews
chesterh (aka Mister X),

Thank you so much for your writings about your wonderful cruise experience. The work that you have done surely took hundreds and hundreds of hours. Just the work keeping the journal surely took some of the precious time away from your cruise.

Thank you for giving up your valuable time to do this, and last but not least, please thank Kris for supporting your efforts that brought so much enjoyment to so many Cruise Critic readers. You both are special human beings and we hope that some day we will have the pleasure of thanking you personally.

Your devoted fans,
Cindy and Don (CINDON)

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 09:59 AM
A Sad Thank You!

Thank you so much for all the hours of reading pleasure you have provided to my husband, daughter and myself. We will be embarking on our own 10-day Galaxy journey in less than 4 weeks. Reading your travelogue has heightened our anticipation immeasurably!

To the editors of Cruise of the Week:

GIVE THIS MAN HIS T-SHIRT!!!!! No one has ever deserved it more -

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 10:18 AM
a 10 tee shirt review!
Cruise Critic: This man deserves the reward for the best review (really travelogue) of the decade, not just the month.

Chester: Just think. You will have your “x” as a permanent reminder of your first cruise. And we will all have our memories of your terrific review.

As we get ready to board the Galaxy on Friday for our sky suite, Jim and I are so grateful to have had your story to heighten the anticipation.

All our best to you and Kris……


Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 10:38 AM
Put on Your SeaBands
Poor a Gin and Tonic and put on your SeaBands. Chester’s tenderly written installment series is to cruise travelers what Janet Sebold’s novel The Lovely Bones is to those who have lost a loved one. Celebrity should hang a plaque on the door of the Sky Suite so future passengers can have the butler take their picture.
Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 11:08 AM
Mr X
You put it in print and I’ll buy it!

How can I and everyone else thank you enough for your marvelous and well written documentary of your trip. Again I say, or emphatically state, that this should be required reading for all cruisers. Even us experienced ones have a lot to learn about living life in general from your prose. I for one am going to try a wave runner in February, grand-kids be darned!

The offer stands, join us, pleaseeeeee! Look at it this way, you already have $12 saved for another cruise.

My suggestion for all who have not read all the chapters, DO SO NOW! Put aside whatever you are doing and fall in love all over again with what cruising is all about and with Mr X and his beautiful bride Kris.

My sincerest thanks for the lesson I’ve learned from your disembarkation day. Never again will I become one of the hoard of miserable anxious to get of the ship folks. I’m going to savor it up to the last moment.



Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 11:21 AM
I can only imagine how much of your time you spent writing this review….First and foremost, thank you! Each and every installment has been wonderful. I think your review has been the next best thing to actually being on a cruise. Even though your review was your experience, I honestly felt like I could have been there ….or I soon will be there.


Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 11:43 AM
Thanks, Chester!
Sure has been fun……and sure beats all the bashing threads! THIS is what I come to CrusieCritic for!
Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 12:55 PM
We can’t believe its over!
The only thing that is keeping us from going into a serious case of depression is knowing that we will be leaving on our own cruise (Summit, 4 Oct, Panama Canal) in just a little over a month. We found ourselves checking the computer FIRST thing in the morning to see if a new installment had been posted. It was also the LAST thing we did at night. If you don’t win the review of the month, its ‘fixed!’ They should give you at least two tee-shirts, Kris deserves one too!

Let us know if you hear from someone at Celebrity about your “Great Installments.”

We promise to think of you (and wish you were with us) when we have our first G&T in October. We’ll try and get some pix and post them with our travelog.

Dave and Elaine razz

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 12:58 PM
Thanks for the Memories….

This was the most enjoyable thread I’ve
read in a long time, if ever.
Thanks again for all the effort and care
you put in to make it read so well.
If you don’t win a T-shirt, I’ll buy you one.
smile Jimmy Sweetman. wink

big grin big grin X marks the spot.

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 01:08 PM
You’re the BEST!!
Your review has made the time for our trip just fly by. I can’t believe we leave this Friday. Thank you for making it seem as if we’re taking 2 cruises this year instead of one. So what if it’s the same itinerary? :-)

Lourdes :-)

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 01:19 PM
A master storyteller!!!
chesterh, I have enjoyed every episode of your saga. For those who have never cruised, this will convince you to make that reservation. For those of us who have cruised, what a great way to refresh all those precious memories until we are again on board and sailing out of the harbor.

I sincerely hope you win more than a T-shirt, and that Kris is rewarded too, for sharing you with us.

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 01:32 PM
A T-Shirt for Chester
First of all, let me confirm a supposition contained in Part XVI–I was indeed reading your series at work. Since I am a lawyer whose time is billed out at the usual ludicrous hourly rate, I figure that your review cost my law firm well over $1000 in lost revenue. I promise, I WONT send you a bill. In fact, I figure that I owe you. I actually bought my lunch and sat at my desk in the office reading your reviews. Since the lunch I brought was lower in calories than the junk I would have eaten ‘out’, I figure I have lost a couple of pounds. Now that I am in the habit of bringing lunch, I have a great start on a new diet and might actually be able to bill more since I will be at my desk more. Somewhat convoluted logic, but hey–it’s what I do for a living.

Chester, thank you for sharing your wonderful trip. We are heading off on Celebrity’s Infinity for Alaska on 9/20 and your reviews have made the waiting more bearable. Be sure to post the date of your next cruise. I suspect that there are a good number of us who would love to travel along and meet you and your lovely wife in person, though you already feel like old friends. As an earlier poster suggested, we should start a chesterh cruise fund so we can put together a group cruise. As for Cruise Critics, they better give you AND the dog a t-shirt for all of your hard work and for all of the enjoyment you brought to your regular readers.

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 02:02 PM

My offer still stands to organize and oversee any and all donations (my suggestion was $5.00 apiece) from all who read and LOVED your reviews. This way, you and Kris will cruise again sooner and we, your loyal and devoted readers, will get to enjoy another of your wonderful and detailed reviews.

I wish you and Kris joy, love, happiness and peace. May your marriage be blessed by every word you wrote and may Kris’s parents be supported in their struggles with that dreadful disease.

Many thanks for countless hours of enjoyment. wink


Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 03:43 PM
I was so sad that your review is over that I didn’t follow instructions and posted at the end of installment XVI instead of here. Thank you Chesterh for a wonderful trip! CruiseCritic – give Mr. X his shirt, and much much more!

Infinity 2002
Sovereign of the Seas 2001
Zenith 1998
Century 1997
Zenith 1992
Meridian 1991

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 04:33 PM
An ENORMOUS thank you
Hey Mr X:
I just wanted to thank you for the most incredible review I have ever read. I have been so miserable at my job and so many nights I would come home mumbling that “even a cruise isn’t worth going back to that MISERABLE place”…but then, like a beacon of light, I would find another installment of your cruise. Every night, I would be with you and Kris, experiencing a vacation and enjoying the sites. WOW, you have been such a stress-relief. BTW, my SO, David says thank you, too. He says that after I read your reviews I was much less bear-like which lead to a lot more pre-cruise cuddling…

razz**To anyone who hasn’t read these yet… you are in for a real treat*** wink

Thank you again…AND IF YOU DON’T GET A T-SHIRT, cruise critic will be HEARING FROM ME PERSONALLY!!!
big grin


“You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat animals, children, and the waitress”

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 05:02 PM
Thank You
BravoBravoBravo….and Thank You ChesterH
Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 08:00 PM
Thank you again for taking us along with you and Kris on your cruise. I guess I feel a little let down that our cruise with you is over!! I really looked forward to each installment. I hope you will still post periodically so we can still enjoy your insight into cruising. Perhaps you have found a neat retirement
niche – writing for a cruise travel magazine??


Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 08:13 PM

All I can say is Thank you ! Your review was wonderful … My husband and I looked forward to each installment … Your writing will be missed by us all …


Majesty of the Seas 05/01
Enchantment of the Seas 04/02
Grandeur of the Seas 04/03

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 08:14 PM
Thanks for sharing your cruise with us!
I thoroughly enjoyed your review! Cruise Critic should give you much more than a t-shirt, and if they don’t send you one, let me know – I’ll buy you one! That’s the least I could do for the enjoyment I received in reading your posts and viewing your videos (loved the Men At Work music – perfect with the video)! I have a feeling your review will be like a good book that I’ll want to go back a read over and over again!

Also – Celebrity Cruises – if you’re reading this, how about a complimentary cruise for Chester & Kris? Chester has been an exemplary spokesman and promoter of Celebrity Cruises!!! big grin big grin big grin

Vision of the Seas 8/2003

Cool Cruiser
08-25-02, 11:26 PM
Chesterh, as per your request… I am posting my comments again on this thread.

Your “review” is wonderful… And it is not a “review” at all I don’t think… No… “Travelogue” would be the correct term.

If this could fill up a 250 page book as you have said… Why don’t you start contacting publishers smile ?

No, really, it is excellent… Gives a new meaning to a LONG review!

I for one am looking forward to the next time you cruise… Please make it soon!

You could help to offset the cost, by charging for your reviews… I certainly would pay a fee for one razz !

Or see my book idea above smile !

And for “Fred” above… This is NOT a forum for advertising purposes mad !

This posting, if anything, would convince me NOT to buy one of your tours, however good!

Horizon 1993, 1995
Nordic Empress 1994, 1998
Seaward 1996
Sky Princess 1998
Grand Princess 2000
Majesty of the Seas 2000
Voyager of the Seas 2002
Zuiderdam 2003

Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 04:39 AM
Thank you for a great review, Mr. X
Feel challenged by Roman numerals? Learn to love them with Chesterh!

Good luck with the T-shirts,

Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 06:39 AM
A new star is born
To those who read and admire Bill Bryson as a travelogue writer, a new star is born.

Chesterh is THE business!!

Wit, humour, information; no sex or violence and every sentence riveting.

By the way; it’s free!

Give the man a T-shirt.

Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 08:01 AM
This review has it all, travel tips, sentimental moments, action, gripping suspense, hilarity (hysteria??), sad goodbyes, unlikely plot turns, foreshaddowing, and pronunciation guide.

I’m sure cruisecritic must have noticed by now the increase in hit rates on the celebrity board.

Give Chester, Kris, Ryan (even though he was late), and the dog a t-shirt.

until my first cruise

Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 08:55 AM
The Best!
Chester has provided hours and hours of enjoyment to many many people on this board. He deserves a t-shirt. More than that, he deserves a free cruise from Celebrity for the publicity! smile

Give him 100 t-shirts!

RCCL Grandeur–1997
RCCL Grandeur–1998
Carnival Triumph–1999
RCCL Voyager–2000
Celebrity Galaxy–2002

Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 10:05 AM
Mr X….what can I say? I have absolutely enjoyed every installment and was left anxiously awaiting the next. I will miss reading them every morning. As other posters have said, I feel like I just got off the ship and was on the ship with you and Kris. April 6 cannot come fast enough for me now.

God Bless you both, and please, go on another cruise soon so we can all benefit from another ‘Review’ as this one.

CruiseCritic, give this man a case of T-Shirts!
Celebrity, give these wonderful people something for having been a spokesman for the cruise line.

Thank you again Chesterh!!!!!


Zenith 10/92
Horizon 07/94
Horizon 11/94
Century 01/97
Galaxy 03/98
Zenith 06/99
Century 03/00
Century 03/01
Zenith 06/02

Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 11:20 AM
First-Time Cruiser
In addition to what everyone else has said about your “review”, with which I whole-heartedly agree, I want to thank you for writing as a first-time cruiser. I had been searching the net for any information about cruising as I will be taking my first. Nothing seemed to be what I was looking for until I began to read your “review”. As luck would have it, the “review” was even on the cruise I will be taking. I can only hope my luck on the cruise experience is as good as finding your “review”. Many thanks for taking the time for thinking and writing about the 10 things you might do differently. I appreciate your time and thoughts. All the best in the future to both you and Kris.
Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 11:40 AM
Bravo! This is a masterpiece! You are the “Birnbaum ” for the Celebrity Cruise line! I am a first time cruiser departing Sept 20 for W. Carribean on the Celebrity. I had no idea what to expect! Now I don’t feel so much like a rookie anymore! Thanks for letting us first-timers experience it ahead of time.
Maybe I won’t act like such a un-informed DORK after reading this. I read from beginning to end! Your are the BEST!!!
p.s. The “X” scar is kinda sexy….
26 days til I cruise!!!!
Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 11:41 AM
Bravo! This is a masterpiece! You are the “Birnbaum ” for the Celebrity Cruise line! I am a first time cruiser departing Sept 20 for W. Carribean on the Celebrity. I had no idea what to expect! Now I don’t feel so much like a rookie anymore! Thanks for letting us first-timers experience it ahead of time.
Maybe I won’t act like such a un-informed DORK after reading this. I read from beginning to end! Your are the BEST!!!
p.s. The “X” scar is kinda sexy….
26 days til I cruise!!!!
Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 11:54 AM
Thank You!
Your review was wonderful. We were on the same cruise with you and reading your review brought back many wonderful memories and one not so wonderful. I, too, had an experience with one of those sliding glass doors up by the Stratosphere lounge red face.So cruisers beware of those clean sliding doors! You certainly deserve a tee shirt! smile
Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 12:21 PM
Host Walt and Host Anne, where are you?
Please send these kind people some tshirts. Not only did they take us into their vacation, they took us into their lives.

A really splendid effort, thank you Chester and Kris. I am (almost) as sad as you that the cruise is over. This was so much fun.

Just a cautionary note to first time travelers: don’t expect Raj or the huge balcony. Other than that, this fine vacation could be yours too!

Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 01:48 PM


Originally posted by MLevine:
Just a cautionary note to first time travelers: don’t expect Raj or the huge balcony. Other than that, this fine vacation could be yours too!

Well, if you book a suite on Celebrity, you’ll get something like Raj… If it’s a Sky Suite, you’ll get that huge balcony too!

Horizon 1993, 1995
Nordic Empress 1994, 1998
Seaward 1996
Sky Princess 1998
Grand Princess 2000
Majesty of the Seas 2000
Voyager of the Seas 2002
Zuiderdam 2003

Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 02:16 PM
FIRST TIMERS MUST READ!!! Inspirational and Informative!!!
This is getting repetitive but… I can’t thank you enough for your time and effort.

I have re-read this tome so many times I feel that I should qualify for the Elite Level Captain’s Club membership and I haven’t set foot on a cruise yet.

Here’s a thought. If Celebrity really wants a catchy new logo, I think that picture is money in the bank for them. They should be upgrading your Captain’s Club to “Elite+” A new category for those dedicated few who bear the “Mark”.

Once again Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.


Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 03:15 PM
thanks for the shared memories
thanks for the great ride along, we enjoyed every moment of it. my hubby & I were to be on the 7/29
eastern carrib in a SS but had to cancel due to a mean kidney stone (thank heaven for ins). we’ll go next summer for sure. it was great to have yr words to enjoy. wishing you and your family all good things.

regards, rita

ps – when’s yr next vacation?????????????

Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 03:59 PM
The perfect Celebrity Spokesperson
Really Mr. X, that is you!
Thanks so much for the interesting, fun, and comprehensive review. I think you may have missed your calling. This is a better read than lots of books I have enjoyed.

Glad that you and Kris had such a good time and I hope we find you on a ship with us sometime.

I think you should not only get the T-shirt, but Celebrity needs to find you some discounts for additional cruises.


Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 05:28 PM
Just finished reading the last installment, I did not want it to end! We have been on 10 cruises and believe me, the feeling you portrayed is what we feel on every cruise. Thanks so much for putting those feelings in writing for us!
Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 06:13 PM

As “your publicist” (lol … thanks for the comment),
we hope you will post this “Master Table of Contents” on the Cruise Review Board.

Thank you for taking the time to post on The Ports of Call Board which we always urge others to support. (Interested Others: Check under Bahamas, Belize, and Cozumel on the Port-of-Call Board. cool)

Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 07:06 PM
Spectacular !!!!!!
BRAVO !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best review ever , A MUST READ !!!!!

Cool Cruiser
08-26-02, 08:58 PM
Best Review
Best Rview of the Year, not the week! Well deserving of Cruise Critic T-shirts. You are are very enjoyable, readable writer. Did you ever think of a career in travel writing? You have the knack. Thanks.

Azure Seas 1/92
Polynesia 1/93
SS Norway 5/95
Sun Princess 11/99
Grand Princess 10/01
SS Norway 4/02

Cool Cruiser
08-27-02, 10:02 AM
This is too great a “book” for anyone to miss. Everyone should read this, especially first time cruisers. It helps to answer many questions. Bumping to the top.


Century 01/03
Century 02/02
Century 01/01
Mercury 11/99
Century 11/97
Majestic 11/89

Cool Cruiser
08-27-02, 10:11 AM
Chesterh …half the fun of taking a cruise is to begin planning the next one. If you had the money and time, where would you plan to go?
Lyn Mc
Cool Cruiser
08-27-02, 10:22 AM
I would like to second all the above. This ‘review’ should be published as ‘A Must Read Before/ After/During Your Cruise!’ paperback. Each instalment was eagerly awaited and always made me laugh (not too loudly -I was of course, like many of you, at work!).

To ‘Mr X, the Tuxedo and Sparkly Eyes’ thank you for sharing your wonderful memories with us all.

Lyn Mc

Cool Cruiser
08-27-02, 09:25 PM
Bump the Review!
Best Review Ever! Great writing. Great Story. Great experiences. Glad you had such a great time and thanks for writing about it!

Azure Seas 1/92
Polynesia 1/93
SS Norway 5/95
Sun Princess 11/99
Grand Princess 10/01
SS Norway 4/02

Cool Cruiser
08-28-02, 02:19 PM
Chester’s Cruise Review
As I’ve stated before, it’s terrible reading this “novel” as it makes me want to start the cruise and I have to wait until April 18, 03 to board ship. I have reqd others reviews of other trips but this is by far the best, most articulate and above all the most vivid of any. If you do not get a Tee Shirt, then there is no GOD
Kim D.
Cool Cruiser
08-28-02, 02:41 PM
Thanks for the wonderful review! I’ve been following your review from the beginning and have no regrets for all the hours of sleep lost reading it…I just couldn’t stop readind it. You truly have a gift for writing that should not go unnoticed. Go ahead…take a chance on a career change. By all means, atleast put this review in paperback. You won’t reget it. Meanwhile, CC, please give this man his T-shirt…and whatever else he wants. Until your next review, Take care Mr. X

Kim D.

Cool Cruiser
08-28-02, 04:38 PM
How come out of over 1000 views, there are less than 50 replies? Give Chesterh some support! We all enjoyed his review immensely. Post a reply, even if you have to join – it doesn’t cost anything, and no one will e-mail you or spam you or anything else. It’s a safe board.

Infinity 2002
Sovereign of the Seas 2001
Zenith 1998
Century 1997
Zenith 1992
Meridian 1991

Cool Cruiser
08-28-02, 05:40 PM
Sorry it’s over…
Your review is destined to become a bestseller for all cruisers! Having sailed the Galaxy in 2001 and again this past February, I found myself right back on the ship with you as though I had never left. I’m sure you’ll be back with more great reviews from future trips. Keep us all posted so we don’t miss it. Thanks again for the memories.
Cool Cruiser
08-28-02, 07:52 PM
Great Review
Cruise Critic T-Shirts for Chesterh and Sparkly Eyes!

Azure Seas 1/92
Polynesia 1/93
SS Norway 5/95
Sun Princess 11/99
Grand Princess 10/01
SS Norway 4/02

Cool Cruiser
08-28-02, 10:09 PM
Pour yourself a cocktail…
Whether you prefer G+T, like Chesterh, or Champange, like Kris you will definately want to kick back and read this awesome review. I am a repeat cruiser and had more fun than I can say! Now I must get back to the thriller I had to ignore! eek Thanks Mr X cool
Cool Cruiser
08-28-02, 11:38 PM
Whatta review….

I was directed from a link over on the Royal Caribbean board to your review. I, too, will be cruising for my 25th anniversary on Celebrity’s sister line and I hope they can manage to do half the job Celebrity did for you and Kris. I spent well over an hour reading all of the installments. Cruise Critic should not only send the two of you t-shirts–pronto–as far as I am concerned they should post your picture on the home page! I really felt like I knew you by the end of this wonderfully crafted review. Many thanks for sharing your adventure!


Explorer of the Seas 12/7/02

Cool Cruiser
08-29-02, 09:10 AM
Can’t imagine a better review
or, from the sound of it, a better cruise. You deserve XVI t-shirts, a super discount on your next cruise, and a commission on all Celebrity bookings attributable to your review!

Thanks for all the effort you put into your cruise memoir. I enjoyed every word, picture, and video (I’m taking my video camera next time). Just don’t tell my boss.

Sun Princess 04/98
Explorer of the Seas 6/02
Monarch of the Seas!! 9/02

Nancy O
Cool Cruiser
08-29-02, 10:56 AM
Great Review!
My employer might be upset if it was known how much time I spent reading your review! But as the others have already stated it was very hard to put down. Even all the things you added on the side where extremely interesting. You really should continue writing, and soon.
You deserve more more than a t-shirt. I am considering cruising on Celebrity because of your review. But first I have some money to save up!
Keep writing and I will keep saving!



Voyager 2/03
Grand 2/02

Cool Cruiser
08-29-02, 04:38 PM
A visitor from the Princess boards…
and from England smile Chester – you are brilliant. Your travelogue had me with you every minute…I relived all of our cruises and I am now counting minutes to our next one. I laughed out loud so often a neighbour looked over the wall to see what was happening (sat in the garden with my G & T reading your epic big grin).

Thank you for a wonderful read…Cruise Critic – give the man his T shirt he deserves it.


Sea Princess

Cool Cruiser
08-29-02, 05:18 PM
Amazing review!
Have been following all your installments and looking forward to each of them.
I agree that it is a “10 T-shirt” review, not to mention the good PR for Celebrity. They should take notice…
Cool Cruiser
08-30-02, 12:51 AM
BEST Review Ever Written!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was invited over here by a friend from another Cruise Board! This is the BEST review I’ve EVER read! I’ve had 2 nights of very little sleep reading this. I’ve cruised on Celebrity 4 times, and you gave me the opportunity to relive my cruises!

Thanks for the Bay Bridge video. I live an hour from Baltimore, and was wondering how the ship got under that bridge!! THANK YOU for sharing!!

CRUISE CRITIC………The man should get a T-Shirt for each installment! We’re coming from other boards to read this. C’mon…give ‘em up!!

Thanks Again Mr. X for the WONDERFUL Review!!

Cool Cruiser
08-30-02, 02:37 AM
Well, I wondered what I was going to do with my three day weekend. Saturday morning I am making myself a nice breakfast and planting myself right here till I finish reading your review. Maybe I should make lunch early and have it ready as well. LOL

Mariposa from the HAL board big grin

Cool Cruiser
08-30-02, 08:11 AM
Well Done!!
What a great review. You really have a talent for writing. I felt like I was on the cruise too, and I had a fantastic time. I can’t wait for the next cruise!


Cool Cruiser
08-30-02, 08:59 AM
Thank you for such a wonderful review. I have booked my first cruise for 2003 and cannot read enough about the cruise experience. This was awesome.


Cool Cruiser
08-30-02, 09:03 AM
This is terrific!
Word of this review has spread far and wide. It’s terrific and makes me wish my cruise were here right now instead of a year from now.
Cool Cruiser
08-30-02, 02:39 PM
Since we just changed our cruise in November from NCL to Celebrity, I have just stumbled on your wonderful (what a weak word) review. I read it all in one morning, and feel as if I’ve been on a ten day cruise. (without the pain – physical and emotional – of disembarkation) Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Royal Caribbean Sov. of the Seas 11/96
Carnival Elation 6/2000
Carnival Sensation 5/2002
Celebrity Century 11/2002

Cool Cruiser
08-30-02, 02:49 PM
A brilliant review of epic proportions, each installment full of emotion….
Chesterh – amazing, fantastic, stunning, superb, what more can I say……maybe elegant prose, outstanding detail, such care and attention…you deserve more than a t-shirt. I am sure I am not the only one now considering Celebrity because of your review.
Cool Cruiser
08-30-02, 03:02 PM
Great Job Chester, Your review had me back on my veranda on the Galaxy (a most wonderful ship) Hope to be there again, your wonderful review should motivate me to get there sooner. Thanks again
Cool Cruiser
08-30-02, 03:41 PM
Awesome Review/Travelogue
Your review/travelogue is, in a word, awesome — it boggles the mind to come up with appropriate adjectives to describe it.

As you’ve probably surmised, your experience was not unique; it anything, it was what most cruisers experience — it certainly echoes my cruising experience. But it was incredible to see it put into words the way you did.

My wife will probably be using Celebrity’s Internet access. I didn’t know how Celebrity managed this, so it was very useful to find out that she should get a ‘free’ e-mail account before sailing. (For myself, when I go on vacation I cut myself off from the rest of the world as much as I can — so no e-mail, phone, etc.)

Also, your descriptions of Cozumel and Nassau brought back fond memories from our ‘00 Western Caribbean cruise.

Thank you for you labor of love (?)


Song of America -1997
Zenith -1998
Zenith -1998
Mercury (back-to-back) -1999
Enchantment of the Seas (back-to-back) -2000
Infinity -2001
Summit (back-to-back) -2002

Cool Cruiser
08-31-02, 10:18 AM
Your review made me get out all our cruise things and relive the trip all ove again. So how about the 11 day next year our of Baltimore Pam smile smile smile smile smile
Cool Cruiser
08-31-02, 02:00 PM
Chesterh, I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful travelog! Just when I was really feeling sorry for myself because we can’t afford a cruise this year, there was your “novel”! I laughed, I cried, but mostly just enjoyed the cruise with you and Kris. Believe it or not, it was so satisfying, I don’t feel quite as sad about not going this year.
I put off as long as I could stand it, reading the last installment. When I finally did, I made a real occasion of it. Made a Cosmopolitan (using the receipe from the bartender in the Martini bar on the Millineum last Feb.) in my Celebrity martini shaker, and settled down to read of your last day. Enjoyed every minute of your cruise – thank you.
I hope there will be an epilog – looking forward to that as well!
T-shirts for you and Kris aren’t nearly enough – there ought to be a bigger prize!
Cool Cruiser
08-31-02, 10:34 PM
Absolutely great review!!
This review does not deserve “Review of the Week”……it deserves “Best Review of All Cruise Boards”!!! I’ve never sailed Celebrity so I don’t usually visit these boards, but a fellow reader on the RCCL boards encouraged readers to come on over and I’ve been hooked. I’ve even devoted hours to downloading video clips on my slow internet connection because I don’t want to miss one iota of this review.

Chesterh, I hope you can cruise again soon and not have to wait for your 50th anniversary. Thanks so much for your time and effort on these boards.

Cool Cruiser
09-01-02, 02:11 AM
Thank you so much for your wonderful review, I’m looking forward to your next cruise as well as mine.
Cool Cruiser
09-01-02, 02:15 AM
Bravo, thank you so much for your review, I’m looking forward to your next cruise as much as mine.
Cool Cruiser
09-01-02, 12:35 PM
T-shirts, cruises, Ian Fleming and literary agent
In a word, your review is “exemplary.” It’s a great read for all travel enthusiasts, not just folks interested in the Celebrity Galaxy.

Cruise Critic should be falling all over themselves not only to award you Best Review Ever and gift you with t-shirts, hats and CC logo stuff galore, but also to get you on board any ship they can in return for your promise to be CC’s celebrated Secret Agent Cruise Critic (those 007 fantasies become reality!). Celebrity should be falling all over themselves to get you on board every ship in their fleet in return for your promise to be Celebrity’s “ordinary pax” reviewer. (Of course, there’s nothing ordinary about you; I use that term only to distinguish you from a member of the trade.) And you need to (1) create a clever title for this Galaxy epic ala Ian Fleming, and (2) engage a literary agent!

Kudos, Chester, on your writing skill and for unabashedly yielding to the romantic within you–that earned you the expected female vote *and* the secure, “he’s a man’s man” vote, too! And kudos to Kris for agreeing to your candid, blow-by-blow revelations. No question, your tale would not be the runaway hit it has become if you hadn’t shared all of the intimate details…or if you and Kris weren’t so damned charming!

NCL Sea – Holidays 99
RCI Explorer – Holidays 00
RCI Rhapsody – Holidays 01/02
NCL Star – Hawaii 6/02
Dawn Princess – Alaska 7/02
TBA – Holidays 02

Cool Cruiser
09-02-02, 09:16 AM
Master TOC
I just finished reading the entire series, and I loved it! Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience! I am looking forward to your next tale!
Cool Cruiser
09-02-02, 09:54 AM
ChesterH’s Review
I have been reading these boards for the past year or so but had no inclination to register and add my own voice – that is until I read your wonderful review. I have to add my thanks for all your efforts and generosity in sharing. I joined in about half-way through the initial postings – went back and read the ones I had missed and then eagerly kept up with the installments as posted. As someone else mentioned – your style and humor definitely reminded me of Bill Bryson – another wonderful travel writer (who also lives in NH I believe).

My family and I had a wonderful Celebrity cruise last September and my 12 year old son had his own James Bond moment when he managed a smooth negotiation of a Coke around the milling waiters and passengers at the Welcome cocktail party. It’s one of his favorite memories of the cruise.

Thanks again! I also look forward to your future travels.

Disney Wonder June 2000
Celebrity Infinity September 2001
HAL Zuiderdam June 2003

Cool Cruiser
09-02-02, 02:11 PM
Great review series. You truly captured the spirit of the cruise. Your time and effort are greatly appreciated.
Cool Cruiser
09-02-02, 08:25 PM
Ok, ChesterX or Cruise Critic Board Hosts….

Did the man get his t-shirts or not??

Your readers really want to know! Understand there may be a mass revolt if not and we are getting anxious. So PLEASE LET US KNOW.

Cool Cruiser
09-02-02, 10:03 PM
Thanks for the great review–it took all night, but I read every word. Couldn’t wait to get from one day to the next. So now, how can I possibly wait 363 days and 18 hours until I return to the wonderful Galaxy again? I’ll just have to keep rereading your review over and over until it’s time to go.

You deserve a whole case of T-shirts for this one!


Galaxy 9/2003!
Sun Princess 8/2002
Millenium 3/2002
Summit 11/2001
Galaxy 6/2001
Sea Princess 11/2000
Splendor of the Seas 5/2000
Ryndam 1/2000
Zenith 12/1997
Crown Odyssey 8/1996
Dreamward 8/1994
Sun Princess 1/1988
Costa Riviera 1986
Carnival Mardi Gras 1984
Sunward II 1979

Cool Cruiser
09-02-02, 10:31 PM
The N.Y. Times should pick this up!
I just discovered this “review” this morning and had time to read only a few installments before I had to leave to meet friends for some Labor Day fun. I didn’t really want to leave my computer and couldn’t wait to get home to read the rest of it. I was sorry when it was over!

Your review should be picked as review of the decade! Someone in another post compared your writing to Bill Bryson. I, too, had the same thought since I am currently reading one of his books (A Walk in the Woods). However, I enjoyed your “book” even more! I also would compare you more than favorably to Tracy Kidder (who you mentioned, and who is one of my favorite authors). You should seriously consider finding a publisher.

I enjoyed this on two different levels, one as an about-to-be first time cruiser, and one as just someone who loves to read, especially things that broaden my education and horizons. I could give numerous examples of questions you answered for me, but the one that stands out most in my mind was the description of the docking process in Key West. This is the sort of thing few people think to write about and yet when I was in Key West a few weeks ago (sadly a land based trip) I looked up at the ship that was docked and couldn’t imagine how those huge ropes ever got from the ship to the dock. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity!

You should get more than a few T-shirts from Cruise Critic: Celebrity should also recognize your contribution to their reputation. I am going on a Radisson cruise for my first one and thought I would not consider any other line based on all the research I’ve done. I will now be checking out Celebrity (although as a single cruiser I don’t think my budget will allow me to experience a Sky Suite!…lol). smile


Cool Cruiser
09-03-02, 01:00 PM
Very Nice Review
I found the info of your review on a different website.The review was great reading and took myself and my wife 3 days to complete.I also downloaded all the videos,and your description of the river tour was right on.Your review truly does make you want to book the same to have the same experiences.This is the second review I’ve read which makes me feel this way.Thanks again for the review and the pictures.
Cool Cruiser
09-04-02, 12:23 AM
“Master” X…. not Mister X!! Thank you for the Galaxy Experience

I can not thank you enough for such a phenomenal piece of literature!!! As other posters mentioned, this should be required reading for anyone thinking of going on a cruise.

I just happen to stumble upon this review and am so very glad I did! It took me right back to my voyage on the Galaxy a few years ago. Thank you for allowing me to relive one of the most enjoyable experiences in my life. Reading this is well worth getting only 4 hours of sleep tonight. (Tomorrow’s going to be a very long day at work!!)

May your review remain at the top of the list where it belongs!!

“Master” X …. a legend in the making.


Time spent at sea is time well spent!

Cool Cruiser
09-04-02, 04:28 PM
Thank you, Chesterh, for your humorous look at cruising today. I, too, love cruising and share the same outlook.

Thanks again and I look forward to reading about your next cruise!

Mom from NC

PS Give this man a T-shirt!!!!! cool

Cool Cruiser
09-04-02, 06:04 PM
Thanks Chester…. from another Chester
chesterh, thanks for this great review. Sally and I will be on the 11/22 cruise in SS 1206 and this confirms I made the right decision. You’ve made our cruise enjoyable from the start and posted some great hints. Thanks again. Chester F.
crew mom
Cool Cruiser
09-07-02, 04:25 AM
Thanks for taking all of us readers on a wonderful vicarious journey. I had a great time! big grin

S/S Norway 1-01
S/S Norway 8-01
M/S Norwegian Sky 2-02

Cool Cruiser
09-09-02, 09:00 AM
Celebrity Spokesperson
chesterh – you should be designated as a spokesperson for Celebrity – they won’t find a better one. My husband and I are confirmed Celebrity fans – will be on the Mercury in Dec – and we loved our review of the Galaxy! Wonderful prose – must reading whether a first-timer or experienced cruiser – hope to see you and Kris on board some day!

Caribe 87
Starward 88
Nordic Prince 89
Song of America 90
Carla Costa 91
Meridian 92
Romantica & Ryndam 98
Sea Breeze & Paradise 99
Century & Victoria 00
Norway, Zenith, Zenith, &Century 01
Millenium Grand Princess Mercury 02

Cool Cruiser
09-09-02, 03:23 PM
Just left the Galaxy this morning
Jim and I departed Sky Suite 1221 this morning after our wonderful 10 day cruise to the Western Caribean. As expected, your thorough and delightful travelogue prepared us for all the wonderful things we enjoyed. There is no way I can expand upon your words – you’ve just about said it all…..

Just wanted you to know that, when we embarked on 8/30, we were met by “Liz” and we mentioned your review and how you had made her famous on the internet! She hadn’t heard…and was delighted to know that you and Kris thought so much of your trip and her help that you wrote about it. I gave her the internet link to your review and she promised to read it and let her colleagues know all about your wonderful review.

I spoke with her yesterday and she reported that she had been stopped by about a half dozen passengers this past week all of whom reported on your review…..She and the rest of the staff were thrilled with all you had written, and the fact that you have become such a wonderful advocate for Celebrity and Galaxy in particular.

As for our trip, Jim and I had a terrific trip. Our only criticism was the poor quality of the furniture in our suite – both uncomfortable and frayed. Not the best image for the cruiseline – especially since the ship in general was so beautiful and wonderfully maintained. Our huge balcony more than made up for the frayed sofa………Jim lived out there whenever we were at sea. And I am trying to figure out how I can build a thalossotherapy pool in our back yard!

Thanks again, Chester, for adding to the enjoyment of our trip. You should know that YOU have hundreds of fans not only on the internet, but now on board the Galaxy!


P.s. We were unable to get a photo of your butler. We never could find him….Sorry for that!

Cool Cruiser
09-12-02, 08:04 PM
Thanks Chesterh,

Because of the great review you wrote and a couple of other factors my wife are going on a cruise on the Galaxy. We will be going on the Eastern Caribbean cruise leaving June 9, 2003. I just booked it this afternoon. This will be our 30th anniversary. I hope we can have half as much fun as you and Kris seemed to have had.

Thanks again,


Cool Cruiser
09-14-02, 05:06 AM
Fantastic Review!
I just finished the last installment, after weeks of snipping bits of time out of my sleep reserve (like now!). I enjoyed every bit of your review. Thank you for taking the time to give so many of us a fantastic voyage through your words. I do indeed feel that you and Kris should be rewarded with CC T-shirts, at the very least. I would also be happy to donate to the “make chesterh sail again” fund, if someone out there knows how to organize it legitimately. I am also interested in seeing your final video cut. The snippets were wonderful, and made me teary-eyed as I again mourned the loss of my own cruise footage (someone stole our video camera, disc included!). I found your review via a link on the Princess board. When you finally make your video available, please post on all boards so I don’t miss it. Thanks again! Oh, and as it is now the second week of September, I believe we are due an update from you. Have you heard yet from anyone (Cruise Critic, Celebrity, etc.)? Best of luck to you! smile

10/6/02 Pacific Princess

Victory-Carnival, February 2002

Cool Cruiser
09-14-02, 05:31 PM
Thanks so much!
Chester and Kris, I cannot thank you enough for such an entertaining and informative review of your cruise. So much brought back memories of our cruise just two years ago on the Century to the Western Caribbean. It was wonderful. I laughed and cried just reading your daily escapades. Yes, they were escapades. They sounded like such fun. I know you will always cherish the memories you had on this cruise. Many will thank you for a long time to come for sharing so vividly and with such detail your entire trip. Thanks so much!

Janet Stehl
10/21 Galaxy Cruise

Me & Him
Cool Cruiser
09-15-02, 08:43 PM
Mr. X
You have captured the essence of the first cruise and enspired those who have cruised before to think back and hope their next cruise is sooner. I known from your writing that we will see you again at sea, a most fascinating place that lures you back. Your insight has been refreshing to us all.

Thanks you,

Me & Him

Fair Winds and Following Seas

Me & him

American Hawaii Constitution 1983
Carnival Fascination 1999
Holland America Maasdam 2000

Cool Cruiser
09-16-02, 01:34 PM
Excellent work
Your review was excellent!!!! I go on my fourth cruise next Februrary. It will be my first cruise on Princess but the experiences you described so vividly are sure to be shared by me and my wife when wh go.

I can’t wait until the next cruise you write about.

Cool Cruiser
09-16-02, 03:20 PM
I love a good non-fiction!
Hi Chester,

I just completed printing your tome and can’t wait to dig in. I originally did it for a friend I convinced to take the Western Galaxy out of Baltimore next July. They have never cruised before and I thougt this would be a great introduction.

I did look at all your pictures while printing as well as your too brief videos. I must say I loved the Celebrity Dressing; probably because I love Celebrity Dressing! In fact I dragged my husband in from his office to listen with me. Just looking at the bridges brought it all back to me. Watching and listening to the laughing is making me rethink the small table we always take. Looks like you had a blast!

We had a fabulous 11 nights back in April and will have a fabulous 10 night cruise next May. We have wonderful pictures of the water escaping the pool while we were crossing Cape Hatteras on the way out. We were eating dinner on the way back and watched the ship roll from side to side. It didn’t bother anyone that I could tell; did hear a few crashes in the dining room.

I was originally giving the print to our friend as a bon voyage gift, but I’m keeping it now. They can copy it if they wish to.

I may save this to read when we return from Turks and Caicos in November; it will be a rush knowing that 6 months later we will be off again.

Thanks in advance for taking all the many hours to write, in detail, about your cruise. She’s a great ship and we look forward to our 3rd time on board.


Homeric 07/68
Greek Lines 07/69
Radisson Diamond 04/97
Century 10/98
Paradise 05/99
Galaxy 10/00
Millennium 10/01
Galaxy 04/02
Galaxy 05/03

Cool Cruiser
10-02-02, 09:42 PM
I’m bumping this up so that all of the newcomers to the board will have a chance to cruise vicariously through Chesterh’s well written review.

Infinity 2002
Sovereign of the Seas 2001
Zenith 1998
Century 1997
Zenith 1992
Meridian 1991

Cool Cruiser
11-04-02, 09:52 PM
What A Review!!!
I stumbled upon this review late last week and just finished the final chapter. I feel the same way as when I finish a great novel—happy and sad at the same time! I feel as though Chester and Kris are my friends!!
What a wealth of information for first-time cruisers and wonderful reading for those of us who are already addicted.
Thank you soooo much, Mr. X
Cool Cruiser
11-05-02, 02:55 PM
Pulitzer Prize?
I had read portions of your review but just now went back to finish ALL of it. What a wonderful job! I’m not one that picks up a book and if it is good, just can’t put it down…..except for this. Thanks again for all the wonderful words.


Enchantment of the Seas 11/01
Mercury 12/02

Cool Cruiser
11-05-02, 06:34 PM
Thank you. We are sailing in Feb on the galaxy in a sky suite. Your narrative was so entertaining. I want to leave today, but realize anticipation is all part of the experiance.
Cool Cruiser
11-12-02, 10:38 AM
Doing My Part
I just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading all chapters, except chapter XIII. Thank you for spending the time to write and organize this review.
Cool Cruiser
11-15-02, 03:11 PM
Dreaming about Galaxy
Chesterh, thank you for taking me along for the ride! I enjoyed reading every single segment and hope to savor every moment of my upcoming Galaxy cruise. My husband tells me that you are writing a new series, which I am eager to read!
Cool Cruiser
11-17-02, 04:30 AM
big grin Bravo big grin

Soverign of the Seas 06/90
Monarch of the Seas 05/92
Grandeur of the Seas 12/99
Grandeur of the Seas 12/01
Monarch of the Seas 01/02
Celebration 11/02
Pride 12/02
Legend 12/03

Carnival Pride

Cool Cruiser
11-17-02, 12:58 PM
I am convinced that Chester’s review is the next best thing to being there. I can almost smell the salt air.

I sail one week from today. I have spent the better part of Friday at work and Saturday reading your review. It is simply not enough to say that this review has added to my anticipation and excitement of the upcoming cruise.

Chester, you deserve all the praise and accolades you have received. I hope you got the free t-shirts – it is the least they could do!

Thank you Again!! big grin big grin big grin


Time until I cruise on the Millennium.

Cool Cruiser
12-05-02, 10:38 AM
Good Mahnin Mon
Stayed up all night reading the incredible story. Heard about it on somebody’s website (so long ago I dont remember which one)
Sue and I will be taking our first cruise for our 25th in March. Can be sure it will be “Awesome” with all the preparation you have givin us.
Thanx mon you are the best.

Dave and Sue

Radiance Southern Carribean 3/22/03

Cool Cruiser
04-15-03, 10:15 AM
Must read for those doing a Galaxy cruise out of Baltimore. Enjoy, and thanks Chester!
Cool Cruiser
04-15-03, 11:04 AM
I have just finished reading both the Galaxy and the Mercury reviews. FANTASTIC reading. I printed out one segment per night and enjoyed all thirty as well as the pictures and video clips. Chesterh you truly are a legend. Thank you so very much. Hope to hear good news about Kris soon.
Cool Cruiser
04-17-03, 10:52 AM
Bump – I am out of printer paper – We leave tomorrow on this cruise and this is fabulous. I am in process of printing this out and need more paper.


QE2 7/99

Cool Cruiser
04-17-03, 01:01 PM

Grandeur of the Seas(1)
Rotterdam (2)
Horizon (1)
Galexy 4/28/03

Cool Cruiser
04-17-03, 03:11 PM
What an absolutely fantastical awesome review. It took me the better part of two computer sessions to read this.

Chester, thanks for the cheapest cruise I ever took. It was that good.

Two questions.

1) Did you get the Pulitzer?

2) And much, much more important. Did you get the Cruise Critic shirt?

Millenium with Friends 11/16/03
Zenith 1993
Windward 1994
Zenith 1995
Statendam 1996
Costa Victoria 1997 Eastern
Costa Victoria 1997 Western
Mercury 1998 GGC
Norwegian Sky 2000 GGC2000
Volendam 2001 GGC2001
Paradise 2001
Sensation 2002 GGC2002
Norway 2003 (Sep 21)
Millenium 2003 (Nov 16)

Cool Cruiser
05-20-03, 08:08 PM

I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed your review….and yes, I did print it out to read to my “future” spouse.. He is gonna love it.

Thanks for all the effort you put into such wonderful reading.

Cool Cruiser
05-20-03, 09:20 PM
I can’t believe that this old thing is still hanging around. I re-read it recently and I’m extremely glad I took the time to write it. I was surprised at every turn — how soon we forget.

Pootersmom, you tell that guy of yours that this better be your story 25 years hence. That is what I told Kris. Can you see us on the waverunner at age 75? I can…


Cool Cruiser
05-31-03, 08:18 PM
I really loved reading this, will take first cruise on Carnival Pride Jan 11, 2004. I am very excited already and this just made it ten times worse. THANKS AGAIN FOR A GREAT STORY
Mrs Seabird
Cool Cruiser
06-05-03, 08:11 PM
Thank you to whoever brought this “to the top’. My housework is undone, my work report languishes in aheap, my butt is numb, and my eyes are red but oh what a “feast” this travelogue became.
You are very gifted as well as hard working, sir. It makes me proud to be a fellow New Hampshiite. I do believe there must be something in the NH air. My favorite travelogue until this one is posted here:
So now I have really “seen” two places I’ve not been in the real world! But soon, very soon….

(One burning question – Did you win “Review of the Month?”.

Cool Cruiser
06-06-03, 01:52 PM
Every time I read this review I find things I didn’t remember reading the previous time! Not only should this be the Reveiw of the Month, but the review of the year!

I am forwarding this to all of my cruise friends as the BEST review I have EVER read!

It made me feel like I was there with you during this week. I hope you cruise again, and I CANNOT WAIT until you post reviews of that cruse as well.

My hat’s off to you (and your doggie!)
Jen Big Grin

Paradise 9/23/2000 #U161
Holiday 3/5/2001 #M32
RCCL Explorer 9/1/2001 #7298
Ecstasy 12/7/2001 #R171
Pride 3/2/2002 #6194
RCCL Vision 10/11/02 #4521
Ecstasy 12/27/2002 #E135
Ecstasy 1/20/2003 #U197

To Naren, my betrothed – I love you so much!:

Happy 4th of July

Cool Cruiser
06-07-03, 06:36 PM
Chestah –
Where do I begin? I guess while you were ‘clipping & pruning’ I was absorbed in your eloquent illustrations of life aboard (and not onbaord) ship.
Couldn’t sleep this AM so got up about 1AM PDT & went to read replies & stuff on CC to pass the time. Somehow (no idea how it was so long ago now) I came across your Galaxy review & so it began. I’ve just ended with all the vid clips & both reviews – Mercury & Galaxy – plus your Garden Railway et al. I’ve not moved from this ‘puter (except potty breaks + the odd snack) and it’s now 2:45PM! Luckily my Hub went away on a golf weekend or I could never have had so much uninterrupted pleasure without actually being on a cruise! You have that dry sense of humor I love and caused me many laughs out loud!! Q & Slo Joe was just tooo funny! LOL!! I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed myself so thoroughly in all the many days & weeks I’ve spent on the computer. (However I can barely keep my eyes open to write this. Big Grin )

The notation in your site guest book is quite sincere. You would honor me by bringing Kris & allowing me to show you Vancouver should you two decide to “Do Alaska”.

MY PLAN is to do 10 Day MexRiv on Mercury Feb20/Mar1 – maybe that could work for you & Kris and/or any of you other terribly fun sounding folks????

Thank you Chestah for sharing as hugely as you have. It’s been a phenomenal trip. Celebrity is lucky –> read VERY lucky –> to have you as an unbiased ambassador for their cruise line. Previously I did not have a positive impression of Celebrity in my head and only even began considering Celebrity because they were the only line that had the itinerary I wanted, at the time I wanted, from the departure point I wanted. (I’m trying to co-ordinate with a convention). Had it not been for your terrific reviews, frankly I’d have thot twice or more. Now I’m thinking – Yes – we can do this!
Like you, I certainly hope Mr. M (??) — Celeb aka Marketing Persona — is still actively employed as, it appears to me, thru his efforts he’s gained more than one future Celeb cruiser – even those from The Competition I’m sure. Any Celeb TA (no – not Travel Agent) should be smacked upside and get a grip IMHO. Also wish they’d ‘found a way’ to upgrade you to a SS on the Mercury as I’d like to see some ‘real pictures’ of one. Know from your Cat 2 pics, that would be just a little cramped for moi!
Won’t babble on longer as I likely don’t know what I’m saying and may be embarrassed to read same tomorrow!
Thanks again for sharing all that you have – it’s a treasure for SURE!
Blessings to you and your family,

Edited for OOps – waaaay too much time at ‘puter!

Cool Cruiser
06-10-03, 10:48 AM
Mr. X

apparently this review is timeless. Here I sit,10 months later, enjoying your review as though I were on the ship with you and Kris.

Any chance for some information update? Did you ever hear from Celebrity? Did Cruise Critic award you the Lifetime Achievement T-shirt?

If this bump allows others to enjoy your comments and observations all over again, then my job here is done.

Thanks for a wonderful time.

Grandeur of the Seas 02/98
Rhapsody of the Seas 07/98
Legend of the Seas 12/98
Vision of the Seas 12/99
Carnival Victory 10/00
Grandeur of the Seas 12/01
Celebrity Millenium 10/02
Brilliance of the Seas 12/02

Cool Cruiser
06-13-03, 10:25 PM
I laughed, I cried, I called my travel agent …


waiting … and waiting …

Cool Cruiser
06-20-03, 06:48 PM
Terrific! Thanks to whoever bumped this up.Chester, tell your wife she’s a lucky woman!
Cool Cruiser
07-10-03, 11:52 PM
I just stumbled upon this review – one year later, and just spent and enjoyable evening reading it. This will be one for the cruise critic history book…indeed quite a masterpiece! Did you take another vacation yet???? Thank you. Razz
Cool Cruiser
07-12-03, 01:03 AM
Qudo’s to Chesterh !!,
I read your wonderful review for the first time as you posted each of it’s sections last summer. I looked forward to each chapter with great anticipation as I looked ahead to our trip on the Galaxy coming up now in August 03. I have been rereading sections again and feel like I am already familiar with the ship and it’s layout. I am enjoying your writing just as much the second time around. Thanks for the time and effort it took to write this greatly informative review!!
Dave Smile

Elation 4/99
Grand Princess 7/2001
Triumph 7/8/2002
Galaxy 8/11/2003

Cool Cruiser
07-19-03, 11:53 PM
The first anniversary of the 25th anniversary cruise…

One year ago today, Kris and I first set foot aboard the Galaxy. As first-time cruisers, we did so with a fair amount of uncertainty and trepidation. After months of anticipation we were fairly sure that we had set our expectations to a level that could not possibly be met, let alone exceeded. So often, the build-up makes the real event pale in comparison. Boy, were we in for a surprise…

Suffice it to say that I am glad we took the chance and invested the time and our childrens’ inheritance to take this trip. It was truly a life-changing experience. Even now, it is a frequent subject in our conversations and dreams.

Thanks to the many who have come along on the journey. We’ll never forget…

Kris ‘n’ Chester H

Cool Cruiser
10-11-03, 05:15 PM
THANK YOU!!!!! The book was fantastic and I would have been willing to pay $6 to read it. You are a fantastic story teller. I am leaving Monday on the Galaxy and am now even more excited. Again, my thanks to a Master Storyteller.
Cool Cruiser
10-12-03, 12:48 PM
Had to bump this up as it a fantastic read!
Cool Cruiser
10-12-03, 03:04 PM

I was just thinking of you and Kris this morning, and lo and behold, the post of your wonderful trip had been bumped up for all to see. I hope all is well with you and yours, and thank you again for the fabulous tales of your trips.


Cool Cruiser
10-12-03, 04:20 PM
Hi Judy (and booper101, blindone and everyone else),

It is always a pleasant surprise when I get an email notification that this story has bubbled up again. I am giving serious thought to putting it out as a ‘self-published’ book. Just what I need — another project…

All is well here. It is a perfect day to be indoors – chilly and rainy. The pot roast is cooking, and the smell is driving me nuts. Everyone else is watching football. A Patriots game is one of the few things that can motivate Kris to put away the school work for a couple of hours.

I decided to finish up a video of the stingray swim (from the Mercury trip) rather than play couch potato. I’ll have it done before dinner and post it as Part XXXa. May have to rate it PG, as it might be a little scary for some.

There seems to be a lot of new ‘faces’ around here. That’s good. It’ll keep the cruiselines in business so they’ll still be around for our next trip…

Best to all,


Cruise stories, pictures and videos at

Next cruise, aboard something to somewhere (but who’s counting?)

Cool Cruiser
10-14-03, 01:34 PM
We were just talking about you! Over on the Celebrity Connections board, we have a great group sailing on 3/26/04 on the Galaxy and your name and review/pictures/videos have been highly recommended to the gang. I was a devoted fan the first time your reviews ran and I am planning on re-reading them again this winter when the snow is flying and I want to dream about the upcoming cruise. Thanks again!

Galaxy W. Caribbean 3/26/04

Cool Cruiser
10-20-03, 07:39 PM

Thank you for such a wonderful cruise report, I plan on referring people to your messageboard epic when they ask me why I’ve become addicted to this form of travel.


Ecstasy 12/15/03
Fascination 4/19/04

Cool Cruiser
11-10-03, 02:37 AM
Amazing review of the Galaxy. Should be “required reading” for anyone taking a Celebrity Cruise. Once I starting reading it, I had to finish the whole thing.

And, now I’ll have to spend another couple of hours reading your Mercury review. You are an amazing writer. Celebrity should give you a full time public relations job.

Still never saw the answer to the BIG QUESTION: Did you ever get T-shirts? (If so, where are the pictures of your dog in a t-shirt?)

Hope we hear more from you. We’re leaving December 6 for back-to-back Caribbean cruises on the Century. Your review just made me want to leave right now.

Thank you so much.


Cool Cruiser
11-10-03, 09:32 PM

Thanks — glad you enjoyed the trip.

The t-shirt question has been asked and answered before, regrettably without change. The answer is quite simply, “No”.

Now, I personally will get by without yet another t-shirt. However, I do feel badly for the dog (Trevor). He had his heart set on it, and he refuses to wear his new hat without a suitable accompaniment.

We felt bad for him, so in an attempt to make up for the sartorial slight, we bought him something practical:

As you may know, as good as the intent may be, gifts like this do little to displace disappointment. Another lesson learned. Trevor now has the equipment to go along with the confidence and lack of sense necessary to take a flying leap from the Sky Deck — but as another winter approaches, he remains ‘Naked in New Hampshire’.

All the best,


Cruise stories, pictures and videos at

Next cruise, aboard something to somewhere (but who’s counting?)

Cool Cruiser
11-10-03, 09:48 PM
Re: Last Post

Who says dogs aren’t human?

Cruise stories, pictures and videos at

Next cruise, aboard something to somewhere (but who’s counting?)

Cruise Cat
Cool Cruiser
11-24-03, 11:26 PM

Vision of the Seas – 8/24/03
Rhapsody of the Seas – 9/1/02
Inspiration – 9/16/01
Jubilee – 9/12/99

Cool Cruiser
11-25-03, 11:41 AM
Chesterh, Thank you for everyone of your reviews. Wonderful reading, especially while waiting for the next cruise. I have to say though, that dog is freaky. For some reason he reminds me of Billy Bob Thornton. Smile

Zenith from Jacksonville

Cool Cruiser
11-25-03, 04:14 PM
Hi Chester- Greetings from the seacoast of NH. Read your “book” last year and loved it. Will be on the Summit in April and really looking forward to it. We sailed on the Century back in 1998. Great ship. Enjoy our winter!!!
Cool Cruiser
11-25-03, 10:14 PM
Thank you for the heroic rescue efforts, Cap’n Cruise Cat. It is an honor to sail with you. I didn’t realize the extent of the ‘damage’ until you bumped up what was left of the Galaxy story. In addition to parts 2, 3, 4 and 5, I see that parts 11 and 15 are also gone.

I just re-read part 7 (Key West). It was the most fun to write, with the possible exception of the jet ski ride in part 11. So long ago…

I still have the text for the missing parts, and will post them on my web site (but not until the football video is finished). I’ll never get the pictures back into place though, and the reader’s posts – an integral part of the journey — are gone forever.

Brigitte, thank you. I agree, the dog is freaky and may well be a close relative of Billy Bob. I love Photoshop…

Blindone, I’ll be heading out to Durham for T-Day. It’s supposed to be in the 50’s Thursday. Practically beach weather. I know what’s coming though – I can feel it in my bones. How can you go on a cruise in April? You’ll miss mud season!

As long as I’m here, I suppose an update to the Master TOC is in order. Since the last update, 2 new videos have been released (Parts 30 A&B)…

Parts I – XVI – The Galaxy Trip <<— YOU ARE HERE
Note: Parts 2-5, 11 and 15 are no longer available on CruiseCritic, but may be found at from 12/15/03 forward.

Part XVII – Epilogue, Cruise Withdrawal
Part XVIII – Epilogue Part 2, Prelude to the Mercury

Part XIX – Mercury, The Trip Begins
Part XX – Mercury, To The Ship
Part XXI – Day 1 Onboard the Mercury
Part XXII – Night 1, Day 2
Part XXIII – Day 3, Grand Cayman
Part XXIV – Sail Away to Day 4
Part XXV – Cozumel and Passion Island
Part XXVI – Progreso and Chichen Itza
Part XXVII – At Sea, En Route to Key West
Part XXVIII – Video Edition
Part XXIX – Part XXIX – Installment Travelogue: Mercury 10/25/02 – Halloween in Key West
Part XXX – Installment Travelogue: Mercury 10/25/02 – The Final Chapter and Epilogue

Part XXX – Subpart A – Installment Travelogue: Mercury 10/25/02 – Video, Swimming with the Stingrays
Part XXX – Subpart B – Installment Travelogue: Galaxy 7/19/02 – Video, The Complete Lamanai Trip

Happy Thanksgiving to all,


Cruise stories, pictures and videos at

Next cruise, aboard something to somewhere (but who’s counting?)

Cool Cruiser
11-25-03, 11:16 PM
Chesterh, You have read the many replies and the very appreciative responses. Don’t change course. I have responded in the past to your wonderful reviews so I kept mine short this time. Everyone on CC is telling you that they enjoy the wonderful reading. You can’t deprive us now. Frown Don’t stop writing for us.

Zenith from Jacksonville

[This message was edited by brigittetom on 11-25-03 at 11:32 PM.]

Cool Cruiser
11-26-03, 10:28 AM
Hi Chesterh- I will never MISS mud season. When we left on our cruise last April 21st there was still snow on the ground here! Have a good day tomorrow.
Cool Cruiser
12-02-03, 10:43 PM
I have restored the missing parts and linked them to the story index on the cruise page at my website.

Please see below for a link to the site — and happy cruisin’.


Cruise stories, pictures and videos at

Next cruise, aboard something to somewhere (but who’s counting?)

Cool Cruiser
01-31-04, 10:47 AM
Sharp eyes may detect a change in the countdown clock status below.

Installment 31 (Part XXXI) is in the works. The theme is Cruising With Teenagers on the Millennium.

All the best,


Cruise stories, pictures and videos at

Next cruise, aboard something to somewhere (but who’s counting?)

Cool Cruiser
01-31-04, 04:34 PM
Cool! We get to read another ChesterH review!!!!!! I’m so glad you’re going on another cruise! I knew you couldn’t wait 5 years…….

Carnival Jubilee – 4/96
Carnival Ecstacy – 4/97
RCCL Sovereign of the Seas – 9/03
Celebrity Galaxy – 3/04
Carnival Miracle – 9/04
Carnival Miracle – 2/05

Cool Cruiser
02-08-04, 10:03 AM
We just signed up for the party which brings the total to 63. Could someone please send me a thread to go to for a comprehensive review of the Millenium. We have never sailed on Celebrity. Thanks
Sailing Sally
Cool Cruiser
02-08-04, 11:49 AM
Hey Resler5-we are on the same sailing; welcome! There is a great review by Harrick on this site. Go to the very top of the page under the cruise critic heading,under reviews. Select the Millenium topic and it will bring you there. There are also a couple of other reviews in cruisemates and cruiseaddicts as well. See you in 2 weeks!
Cool Cruiser
02-08-04, 11:59 AM
Love the Mille……..just dont get cabin 9151!!!
Cool Cruiser
02-27-04, 02:37 PM
WOW is all I can say, except maybe THANKS SO MUCH for all the info & opinions. Your reviews are so thorough & I’ve enjoyed them very much. I live in GALVESTON, TX & we’re getting the GALAXY later this year, so we’ll have to give it a try. We’re so lucky to have such a booming cruise business coming to Galveston, so all these reviews should really spark interest in our beautiful Island. We’ll be taking the Carnival ELATION 4/18, so your reviews of Belize & Cozumel have been very helpful. I really appreciate all the time & trouble you’ve taken to help others make their cruises more enjoyable. Thanks again & happy cruising!

CCL-Elation 4/18/04
CCL-Celebration 12/03
RCCL-Rhapsody 7/03
RCCL-Voyager 5/02
RCCL-Splendor 5/01
CCL-Elation 5/99
Pricess-Dawn 11/97
CCL-Fascination 11/95

Cool Cruiser
03-15-04, 08:46 PM
Resler5 and Sailing Sally — Did we meet on board? The CC party was over too quickly, and I can’t remember so many names…

katcruiser, thanks. I strongly recommend the Galaxy — you are indeed lucky to have her. I may just have to visit Galveston.

All the best,


p.s. For the record, the story of the third cruise is underway, and a TOC will be added to this thred when it is finished.

Cruise stories, pictures and videos at

Last cruise, aboard the Millennium, E. Caribbean (but who’s counting?)

Cool Cruiser
03-22-04, 01:44 PM
Hey Chester, By all means, you need to visit Galveston. We will have 7 ships sailing from here next year, including the Princess GRAND from 11/04-4/05, which is her largest ship.

We travel to New England every fall & I LOVE New Hampshire,it’s our FAV NE state. We’ve been coming up there in the fall the last 16 years. Have to get our color fix since we only have 2 seasons in TX…brown & green!

Please keep all your reviews coming…they are inspiring and informative and we all appreciate your time & effort!

Sailing SOON!!!

Till we sail the ELATION from beautiful Galveston Island

CCL-Elation 4/18/04
CCL-Celebration 12/03
RCCL-Rhapsody 7/03
RCCL-Voyager 5/02
RCCL-Splendor 5/01
CCL-Elation 5/99
Princess-Dawn 11/97
CCL-Fascination 11/95

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