Ladies and Gentlemen
I was really looking forward to sailing with Celebrity and better yet, aboard their new vessel Solstice. I have to say that the vessel is extremely elegant. A very high end South Beach type of decor ... and basically that's the good news (besides being 99 % non smoking ship).
The bad news is that the vessel has no flow, very chopped up and not inviting. The crew seems un happy and their command of the english language wasn't that great.
As mentioned, we have sailed with Royal Caribbean for the last 15 years and have almost 40 cruises with them. I figured as the kids are now older, we can step up to a more mature cruise ... what a huge mistake.
The best way to describe this ship is like the Edsel, must have been good on paper but in reality, a terrible idea.
1 - The ship is BORING ... extremely boring. There is no buzz or atmosphere around the ship .. no excitement what so ever.
2 - We were in cabin 7362 considered Ocean View "O8". The Cabins claim to be designed by women ... I think the only idea they used was the foot rest in the shower to shave their legs. The cabins are SMALL ... very Small .. again nicely appointed but no drawer space. The shower is larger but there is no hand held shower head and pressure is poor so you don't feel like you got all the soap off of you. The toilet paper holder is impossible to use and we had to take it off the roller ... perhaps too much info !
The balconies are equally small. We had 3 adjoining cabins in the stern (which is a LONG walk from the nearest elevator) and the only good news was that you can create a larger balcony which came in handy as when we couldn't get a lounge chair which was often. The Plasma TV had very limited stations but lots of decent free on demand movies. As to the Poop Smell ... my inlaws cabin were in the Concierge Class Deck 10, Room 1093 ... and it stunk like Elephant Poop! There were several areas on the ship that had this smell.
3 - The Entertainment was the worst ever. The Solstice show was a cheap version of Cirque Du Soleil. The next night was a lecture about Spain by a Dr Brodman. Then there were 3 production show with 4 singers who were just ok. Then the guest entertainer was David Meyers who played the Xylophone. I couldn't even tell you who the cruise director was ... he was that absent and unimpressive.
4 - The food and service was much better than RCCL and most people did get dressed up for formal night. However they failed to tell us prior to the cruise that they changed it from 2 to 3 formal nights... nice surprise !
5 - This cruise went to St Maarten and did not depart until 11:00 pm ... what a waste. It would have been nice if they advised us that the casino was open.
6 - for you RCCL folks ... we played Family Quest and only 3 teams showed up ! This cruise had over 600 kids onboard.
7 - The Gym for 3000 guests had a a total of 15 treadmills and 9 cross trainers ( 2 were broken) and 5 bikes. Needless to say you always had to wait for a machine and there was no one there to enforce the 20 minute rule. 8 - We had 3 1/2 Sea Days .... there were no deck chairs to be had if you arrived later than 9:00 am ... they were all taken ... once again no enforcement by the pool butlers about saving chairs. By the way .. the lawn is a complete waste ... as we couldn't find a chair, we went to lie on the grass but we were kicked off by the lawn patrol. In fact you cant stand on the grass .. you must keep moving as they are afraid it will die if you stand to long in one place.
9 - I mentioned that the food and service were better than average... we also ate at the Tuscan Grille, an Italian Steakhouse and the Silk Harvest which was a Euro Asian cuisine. You gotta wonder about the freshness of their Sushi on the 6 day of a 7 night cruise. Is it worth the extra $ 25-30 per person ... depends. The Buffet in the Oceanview Cafe had a great selection for lunch. We did the Crepe restaurant called Bistro on 5 which for $ 5 per person was terrible from the food to the service.
10 - As mentioned we went with our boys who are in their early 20's who reported the clubs were equally as boring with limited attendance.
11 - on a positive note ... the no smoking policy, especially in the casino was great. I am not going to bother about the Port Reviews as we've been to these Islands many times and just do the beaches or shopping ... St Kitts was a new port but frankly just like the others ....