Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by Clubbyman: Modern 'Tired' Luxury + An Offensive Cruise Director
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Modern 'Tired' Luxury + An Offensive Cruise Director
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Embarkation: Sydney (Australia)
Having been on the Millennium & Silhouette previously we had great expectations. We were in for a surprise........
The first problem was the state of the ship. We celebrated its 5th birthday on our cruise and its likely that the greater part of the ship has not seen any maintenance throughout most of that time. The handrails on our balcony were nearly bare of varnish, the curtains in our suite were ripped. We complained about both. They came and painted the rail, but didn't do anyone else's, even though most of the ship was in a similar state. The furniture in some of the lounges, Sky in particular, were well worn. The top of the Martini Bar had not seen ice for three months and they anticipated that it would be at least another three before it would be fixed.
We paid for the Classic drinks package. However, towards the end of the cruise we were just pleased to be able to drink anything alcoholic as they had run out of most of the published brands. I can tell you More that drinking Fiji Gold lager is not for the feint hearted. Zuk! We enquired as to why this was, apparently, helped by copious Australians, we had drunk FOUR times the amount of beer they had estimated and were buying up any spare stock in each port.
The same problem arose with the food. It was alleged that we eat SIX times the amount they had budgeted for. Hence a lot of items were non-existent, including no fresh orange juice for breakfast on the last few days.
We should have done our homework better on the Fijian islands as, apart from the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia, most were not the white sand and palm trees we imagined. However, our biggest complaint was with regard to the cruise director, an Australian. I can only assume that he got carried away with having so many fellow Australians on board that he 'played' to the crowd.
On Halloween Night many were in fancy dress. Some had panicked bought on Fiji and were in Davali costumes. The cruise director (CD), staff (with one exception) hardly made any effort at all. In fact the CD turned up as a can of Red Bull. He judged the best dressed Halloween competition in the Sky Lounge and awarded first and second places to Batman & Darth Vador............. . Yes, that's what we thought.
If that wasn't bad enough, he made racists comments about the British, which of course some of the Aussies loved. However, many didn't and were embarrassed. This was not an isolated incident, as we heard from Americans who had witnessed similar racist comments in the theatre and were unhappy too.
Immediately after the incident in the Sky lounge an incensed member of our party took the CD to task. We could see from afar that he was shocked, but we heard that denied that he could remember saying anything offensive.
Sadly, in some respects, we have already booked our next cruise with Celebrity. Since returning we have also heard from passengers on the Infinity who say that the ship is in an appalling state of repair. Whilst Celebrity are our preferred line, if there is not an improvement in the standard of maintenance, we will have to reconsider.
Celebrity are by no means 'discounters' and they need to realise that their customer base demand better than they are giving at the moment. Otherwise their tag.........'Modern Luxury' will become a joke, if it isn't already. Less
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