There are already some reviews of this cruise. Some with so many glittering stars, some with a few stars only, if any. At times it seems conflicting, so I hope my review will not add into the confusion. I hope!
Well, for us a cruise is what you make of it. We have enjoyed this cruise, happily. However, I will mention just three points with the hope that somebody from Celebrity will read it, and will consider to improve the situation, if they think it is necessary.
The three points are :
1. Vegetarians in the MDR
We are both vegetarians, so we asked if Celebrity has a separate vegetarian menu. Our waiter said no. We asked the Assist. Maitre d' and his reply is : "No, no separate menu. There are codes in the menu for vegetarian items. That's the way we worked around here."
So be it, if that's the way they work, what else can we say. We have a look on the menu. Sure enough there are codes. For vegetarian there are one or two appetizers, but only one choice of salad, one soup item, and one entree. Not much of a choice, really. It is like "take it or leave it".
The assistant Maitre d' did come back and said, "your waiter will show you the menu for tomorrow and see if you like it. If not, we'll make something else for you."
After we finish our dinner, our waiter shows us the menu for tomorrow. We don't like it so he said, "ok. We'll make another entree for you."
Nobody have any idea of what the alternative entree will be tomorrow. So again, we just have to "take it or leave it".
We end up eating in the OceanView Cafe six nights of out 12 nights. At least at the buffet we can choose what we want to eat.
No complaint here. We don't go hungry. However we don't cruise to be fed. On a cruise we want to enjoy our meal. IT'S A MATTER OF CHOICE.
2. Staff attitude
The officers up to the captain are nice and friendly. We really appreciate their effort to make the cruise enjoyable. Rachel with her activity teams are great. Ian the CD is very good and always encouraging passengers to be in good spirit. It must be difficult to crack the same jokes twice per night and still be heard spontaneous!
We also meet a few service staff who really think that Solstice is their home and we are their guests. Their smiles are genuine, and we feel we are welcome.
unfortunately, the attitude is not shared evenly. Some of the service staff just do their job without passion. It is apparent they are doing it just for the end of the cruise envelope.
We have enjoyed the evenings, the music, the shows. FullTilt acapela group is exceptional but they lack repertoire. One thing they can improve is by widening into "unfamiliar" songs, perhaps some ethnic songs from the Far East (more and more Chinese passengers is the trend), or from other exotic places like Africa and India.
All headliners are good. We did not go to see the juggler and comedian, though.
We also do not feel like going to see what they call "the encore performance" (sic?) by the magician. What? Is it a 2nd night or you just need a stunt to fill in for an empty night?
For the Solstice singers and dancers, bravo!
A note here is for the chair hogs in the Solstice Theatre. Please. I hope Celebrity could do something about this.
Don't get me wrong. We are grateful. We had a wonderful cruise. We had a good laugh, meet nice friends, enjoy new experiences.
We have enjoyed the cruise, as we have enjoyed other cruise and will enjoy other cruise.
We just don't feel that there is enough 'magic' in Solstice to make us to board her again, as beautiful as she is.