We are long time cruisers and Celebrity Elite Captains Club members That have been looking forward to the arrival on the west coast of a Solstice class ship. Lets not delay this experience was a huge disappointment. They let us know ahead of time that the dreaded Novo virus had broken out on the previous cruise from Australia. The consequence of this was an advisory to not come to the dock prior to 2:00PM. Not a problem with us since our flight from San Diego did not get to Honolulu til 1:25PM. Not a problem until we got to the dock and found a morass of humanity entangled in a
disorganized boarding that approached being a disaster. We were being exposed to poor management and leadership that became the hallmark of the whole cruise. What a way to be introduced to a beautiful ship in many ways !
The Cruise over all was marred by having 9 out of 11 days being put under quarantine with no self service in the buffet. No salt and pepper on the tables. Resulting in long long lines in the buffet . This even affected the Morning Elite breakfast where no food was served during the quarantine. In your cabin there were no amenities , eg., glasses ,ice buckets etc--BUT THE CASINO WAS OPEN .
I have been a victim of the Novo on Holland and was quarantined for only 2 days and have nothing but praise for the efficient and caring way I was handled
Once on board we were delayed til 6:00pm from going to our cabin and were shuttled to the Buffet which was a mad house. Finally to our the concierge verandah cabin we booked. Nice room and verandah with a very nice bathroom. The bedding was very comfortable The only downside was the lack of storage . Much less than even the Century.
The Food in the MDR was spotty a best. The big problem was wondering if they really knew how to cook meat which usually came way overcooked from the way you ordered it. They absolutely ruined our beautiful veal chop. We had soups that were at best watery for the most part. One night we ordered escargot and snail portion were very small and suggested they were at least halved. I ordered a steak one night and after three tries they still did not get it right. The food overall was mediocre in the MDR.
We did try the Tuscan grill and it was superb--perhaps the best filet mignon ever. Well worth the money.
The buffet was so poorly organized that we avoided it as much as we could
NOW for SERVICE which is an area Celebrity has always excelled. Last November we had a 15 day cruise to Hawaii on the Century which I lauded the CAPTAIN for being very visible daily and showing his concern for customer satisfaction. This concern actually radiated to the whole crew including Officers and they provided the best service and in fact the best cruise we ever took. The opposite was true on the Solstice. Not once during the cruise did any crew member address us by name-- even the room steward. We went to talk to the Captains Club Host (who did a good job). He was not there and spoke to a female staff member who had to be the rudest person ever. I remember the days when a staff member would get your plate in the buffet and carry it to the table (I am handicapped so this was important to me). The table people in the buffet were so lackadaisical that getting any service was at best problematic. I BLAME THE CAPTAIN
FOR THE POOR ATTITUDE OF HIS PEOPLE. With a ship this size you need better than average leadership and organization. And most of all COMMUNICATION
Entertainment was fair . The production shows were ok and the individual performers were for the most part mediocre in the main show room
MOVIES Were not first run . ON the port days in the islands they usually had movies in the AM and PM This was very good HOWEVER announcements on the PA system for the tenders blasted away in the movie. The Captains club host fixed this after the second day. On non port days there were no movies during the day and were scheduled at the same time as the evening show or later
The Cruise director was unimpressive.
Sure would be nice during activities like trivia if the host spoke unaccented English so we could understand them. Patricia from Portugal had problems but she had a great personality and had a guest read the info for us
Suffice it to say we will stick to the Century and the Millenium class ships.