Dining was always an 'iffy' experience but worst of all was 'Silk Harvest' - if you know anything about Pan Asian cuisine, DON'T DO IT! The menu is pathetic, honestly and not all what it could or should be; Ridiculous service steps might give the impression to a less seasoned diner that something fabulous is happening here, but don't be naive, the food is just not good. The sushi offerings are less than those offered in your local supermarket's deli section - and the two Thai dishes offered are not even close to traditional recipes. The menu too is pitifully small and inadequate, enough, let's move on.
The Grand Epernay tries to imply that there is a formality to it's service - that's ok if you want to train your staff correctly in that kind of execution to validate that implication - not so on the Solstice - please somebody train these poor people and for God's sake show them how to polish glassware, which was consistently dirty, spotted or chipped. I gave up returning glassware by the fourth day. Our Maitre D' too was weak and solicitous with his guarded table side visits - I gave him feedback on my first dining experience but little if anything went better from there - truly I think he was clueless - his visits were only provided to give you the 'impression' that there was genuine concern that your dining experience was of some consequence to the cruise line - we were not fooled.
The beverage package options are great if properly executed by all concerned - by this I am referring to the ability for staff to screw up your charges via their POS system - and then there is the Guest Service Department (another story entirely)who are wont to bill you for everything and anything you never had! Good luck trying to get anything corrected - the same $11.44 charge I saw another blogger write about appeared on my account for a souvenir mug I assure you I did not purchase, and took three conversations by phone and finally one irate visit in person on my behalf to Guest Service to have removed - only to find that Guest Services could not remove the charge because the "bar manager had to do it" - she was not available...........the story went on from there - long story short they charged a $14.80 Transport Exc Charge (no idea either) to my account following my complaints but then removed it twice, essentially netting me a positive payback of $3.36 if I subtracted the erroneous 11.44, which was still on my account. But then I noticed that they had double charged me for a tip of $2 I had left for one drink at the Martini Bar on my last night, so that left me in the black to the tune of $1.36 - I decided to call that a nuisance tax to Celebrity Cruise Line and said no more. Truly Celebrity is awful when it comes to handling the beverage packages - and that does not include the stories my partner experienced with her beverage package too - I think you get the picture - 'caveat emptor' - just look at your account charges each night before turning in to bed. The one good thing is that you can access it via your TV in your stateroom. But the nickel and diming effect of the whole experience, when we had deliberately signed up for a program to avoid this, left us feeling flat about our experience overall. Just think if they can cheat you out of $11.44 each time you buy a package or screw up your tipping generosities (you already pay a gratuity on each drink you are served on your beverage package anyway)and times that by up to 2800 people that becomes a vast revenue source that is not in their business plan.......or is it?
Happy sailing landlubbers, but not us!