AS we first boarded the Solstice (Feb 13),I, along with the other 2,000 passengers were awe struck by the ships beauty-the soaring 16 story atrium with the floating tree, the library and reading floating in air, the lucite washbasins and ceramic glass walls in the restrooms,the granite floors, the sweeping staircase, I could go on and on. Surely this would be the first SIX star liner in the mid priceclass. How could it not be? Then I slowly realized why this ship, with all its magnificence (I will surely vote that the architect win a Nobel Prize),falls short in two of the more important categories in cruising ,cuisine and entertainment.
While eating in the oceanview cafe and its specialty restaurants was truly wonderful, the main dining room fell short in every category;portions were miniscule (my wife got a mousse the size of a quarter), lacking in quality (instead of the much anticipated lobster tail and filet mignon, we were served a seafood melange with ONE small Rock Lobster Tail the size of my thumb, you know the kind served by Red Lobster, and taste (almost every poultry dish was dry and on the last night we were served a "petit four" tray.with five small balls that tasted like pebbles)This is such a pity because Celebrity was always known for having the best food in the industry, year after year.I have a feeling Conde Nast is going to have a thing or two to say about it. I later talked to the restaurant manager who did admit that the menu is in transition( again why you shouldn't sail an inaugural year), but with the Roux legacy, surely they must have realized what they were doing. He INSISTED this is not the fault of Royal Caribbean corporate, but I am not convinced)I did let the manager know that when people chose to dine in the BUFFET areas instead of the main room, he has a serious problem. I do hope he will listen.
Now, as to the entertainment, the three production shows were truly magnificent and talent abounded, but wait what happened to the other four nights? Well, the first night was a review of what was to come, the last night was a review of what came, one night did not have a show at all, and one nighthere it goes folks- a man played an electric xylophone. What is this a Branson or Catskills country hotel?
How terrible and how the mighty have fallen. Now mind you, the ship was still a marvel, the service impeccable, the staterooms, comfortable, the spa a delight, so you will still have a great time here(Like I did). However, my fond memories of what Celebrity was and might have been with the Solstice were dashed this week I do hope they listen to this.