Each year since 2000 we have taken a cruise with my husband's brother and his wife. While we cruised on Princess line once and Carnival once all our other cruises have been on Royal Caribbean. All have been to warm weather ports except two others besides Alaska. We thought we needed a change of ships and weather this year and had heard great things about Royal Caribbean's sister line Celebrity. We heard it was a step up in service and amenities. Both couples opted for a Veranda Stateroom with an unobstructed view for our staterooms. The rooms and view were excellent and the extra length in the bathrooms were like being in heaven.
The pool deck had towels at your disposal without having to stand in line and sign for them. The deck chairs were padded and very comfortable with elegant secluded spaces with flowing curtains and two to three person swinging seats. We were able to enjoy the pool area outside about two days and of course the inside solarium we could enjoy at all times. There were hardly any young people on the ship. I would say 95% of everyone was 45+ in age.
The ports were as expected with Diamond International every few blocks and Effy's Jeweler, but when you got outside the shopping area the scenery was absolutely fantastic. Don't miss the White Pass Railroad in Skagway. The bus trip up to the train was also very beautiful and enjoyable. The glacier excursion onboard a smaller boat in Tracey Arm was also something not to be missed. The glaciers will take your breath away.
However, we found the ship's crew to be somewhat elusive and rude at times. We were given the status of "Elite" members because of our 10+ trips on Royal Caribbean and if we were given any benefits on Celebrity I did not see them. We chose the "anytime dining". That was a big mistake. We had done that on the Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas our last cruise and it was wonderful. This cruise on Celebrity's Solstice the waiters all except for two, Charlie and Jesus who were wonderful, were stuffy and almost to the point of being rude. They made us feel rushed and unwelcome. I would think we were hard to please except we were seated at a table of at least 8 people most nights and heard the same comments from our table mates who we had never met before. Also the ladies in the shops had the attitude of superiority and because of their attitude especially in the shop that sold clothing, shoes, and Guess bags, we did not make a purchase. I would have purchased a pair of $90 shoes, but the girl was so rude when I asked about sizes that I put them up and left.
I will give credit to the coffee bar and the gelato area. The crew in those areas always had smiles and were eager to please. We enjoyed the lattes and pastries each day and the gelato was very good. The Martini Bar was the best spot on the ship for watching the crew twirl and juggle the mixers. Service there was good, but it was always quite crowded with not quite enough personnel to keep up with the demand.
The shows were mediocre at best except for the last evening when they did some Cirque style performances. Each night the shows were put on by the same cast except for one night they had an outside performer come in who played a xzylophone type instrument. He was very good at what he did. The comedy show that was presented in another area of the ship was absolutely an adult show. It was to the point of vulgar. We are not prudes by any means, but this guy was just short of disgusting.
We will not sail with Celebrity again. We will go back to her sister line, Royal Caribbean, where the deck chairs are not as padded, we have to sign for towels, but the crew is always smiling and ready to please. I am not sure we will ever do the "anytime dining" again anywhere. We will have a set time and if we can't make it we will eat at the buffet.
The Alaska Cruise was great, but we won't pick that route again. Glad we did, but back to the deep blue Caribbean and warm weather for us next time.