Embarkation was a nightmare. You would think they had never done this before. We had received advance notice via e-mail saying that the boarding time was delayed until 2 pm as a result of a norovirus issue. However, we arrived at the Fort Lauderdale port at 2 pm and stood in a line, outside, in the sun for 3 hours. It's clear from prior cruise reviews that this was not a new issue. They had experience with cleaning the ship due to the virus before, and should have had a contingency plan to make those waiting more comfortable - even rent folding chairs. There were many passengers with health issues and obvious ambulation challenges (using walkers and canes), but no one seemed to notice. They passed out water, but were insensitive to the extreme discomfort of the passengers waiting to board. I found this unacceptable.
We had a confirmed reservation for early dining, confirmed by our travel agent, but when we boarded, we were told we had late dining. The guest services More
staff were unable to resolve this issue, despite our visiting the guest services desk in person four times. They said each time they would contact the dining staff, but never got back to us with a resolution. On day 3 of the cruise, I tried again, and finally was connected to someone in the dining room who did change our dining seating.
Probably due to the embarkation problems we were never oriented to the cabin, (working the TV, lights) etc by the cabin steward, as has been our experience with other cruise lines.
Despite these issues, the cruise line did not offer any perks, or amenities to offset the problems. Despite an earlier positive experience with an Alaska Celebrity cruise, we would think twice about choosing them again.
On the positive side, The room was nice, veranda was spacious and the ship was gorgeous and well laid out. Service was good, but not exceptional. The Ocean View Cafe offered a wide variety of choices and was well designed to avoid waiting in line.
We recommend both the Tuscan Grill and the Silk Harvest Specialty restaurants. Both the service and the food were excellent in both.
Probably due to the norovirus problem, the ship's library was empty... imagine that, a library with no books!
The Hot Glass show was wonderful! Less
Celebrity Solstice Cruises to the Western Caribbean