We took advantage of Celebrity's 3 night sailing from Sydney to take younger relatives on their first cruise. While the three children aged 7, 9 and 10 had a great time, the same could not be said for the adults. This was our fourth Celebrity cruise, having previously sailed on Solstice, Equinox and Century and we found that much to our dismay this cruise did not live up to our previous positive experiences.
Solstice is still a beautiful ship and oce again we found her to be immaculately clean. Our interactions with crew members was mixed, from exceptionally good (Linda, the maître d in the main dining room) to slapdash (some attendants in the buffet) to harassed and harried (room attendants).
We had booked interconnecting balcony staterooms however when we boarded the ship we found they weren't connected. We joined the long line at Guest Relations with three children in tow only to be told the rooms could not be connected. We showed our documentation which clearly stated interconnecting rooms and drew their attention to the deck plan which indicated our cabins to be connected to no avail. It took some persistence and a call to our travel agent before staff eventually decided the staterooms could in fact be connected. We returned to our rooms and in less than 2 minutes a staff member had connected them. It was not the start we envisaged, and frankly Celebrity's customer service was lacking.
On the whole we found the food (particularly in the buffet) was not to the standard we've come to expect from Celebrity. Unsure if this was due to this being a short cruise, or if it is a sign of an overall decline in standards.
Perhaps again due to the length of the cruise but we found the passenger profile differed from our previous cruises where passengers have been in the 40-50+ age group. Passengers on this cruise appeared to be younger, and the number of children onboard far exceeded our previous sailings. For the first time on a Celebrity ship we encountered unsupervised children running shouting and screaming, around the ship. Ditto being able to hear some of our fellow passengers still loudly partying on at 3am and 4am while we tried in vain to get some sleep. We really felt that the whole experience was more akin to P&O than Celebrity. Our takeaway - don't book another short Celebrity cruise, particularly one in the school holidays. Lesson learned.