Last year had a wonderful cruise on Solstice to Venice, so this year it was to be the Greek Islands and Malta. Easy flight from Heathrow to Barcelona and another very good stay at the Hotel Pere IV. Embarkation was as last year, smooth and hassle free. Celebrity certainly have this nailed and I am still truly impressed that they manage it so seamlessly!
Once on board we headed to Cafe Al Bacio for a celebratory Latte - they make superb ones - but this year no complementary pastries - the one thing my husband loved and constantly raved about.
We soon headed to our Stateroom - no surprises - it was the same one as last year (our choice)! A super Stateroom, very quiet, spacious enough and I just love that bathroom - its a joy to have proper shower doors instead of the awful plastic curtains. Another little "slip" - no slippers this year!
First hiccup came at dinner - we requested a table for 2 as my husband has a hearing problem and finds it embarrassing to More
constantly ask people to repeat what they say - last year it was no problem at all as the table of 2 next to us were a great young couple on their honeymoon and we soon bonded! To my husband's horror, we were shown to a table of 10! In fairness to Celebrity, it was soon corrected the following evening and we had our table for 2. Sadly no-one ever took the table next to us apart from 2 evenings, so it was a bit lonely!!!!The biggest moan for me was the pool. Last year the Pool Butlers were quite strict in removing towels from beds "reserved" - this year this was not the case. On sea days, when beds are always at a premium, some were reserved from 8.30 am until lunchtime before the occupants took up residence. I also saw three ladies reserve 3 beds in the sun and 3 in the shade! No effort was made to remove towels and this is sad because if they would be stricter, then people would not do it - as it is - they don't bother because they know no-one will remove their belongings.
Secondly there were many children using the Adults Only pool and one lady had to constantly politely ask them to use the family pool as they blocked the steps and some of the more elderly guests found it difficult to enter the pool. Despite it being against regulations, toddlers were using the jacuzzi as a paddling pool and not being toilet trained, I leave it to your imagination. Again no effort was made to ask them politely to not do this.
I know that other guests were complaining about this but for some reason, the pool staff seemed reluctant to enforce any sort of rules or regulations - shame really.
Perhaps this was just a one off - I hope so.All in all though, it was another great cruise apart from the minor slippages above. I do hope Celebrity aren't taking "cut backs" too far and that they are moving from being a premium product.
But would I recommend them - certainly and we'll do it all again next year if I can be sure that they will rectify the little niggles above. Less
Celebrity Solstice Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean
Unless you are going on a shore excursion and unless you don't mind being constantly hassled, I recommend staying put! I certainly will never go there again - the hassle was good natured but eventually became a real pain. I witnessed the most awful cruelty of a local beating his dog which left me in tears. So nope, this is one place I would recommend definitely giving a miss, unless you have nerves of steel!
A wonderful place but we were lucky as there were only 2 ships in, the Solstice and another. Even then it was crowded so what it would be like if there were more ships in, I dread to think. We went up to the town on the cable car and walked back down the steps. Not difficult, if a bit smelly with all the mule manure!!!! A gorgeous place - don't miss it.