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Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by din_wah

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Celebrity Solstice
Celebrity Solstice
Member Name: din_wah
Cruise Date: December 2011
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Western Caribbean
Cabin Category: 1B
Cabin Number: 9176
Booking Method: Internet Agency
See More About: Celebrity Solstice Cruise Reviews | Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews | Celebrity Cruise Deals
Member Rating   2.0 out of 5+
Dining 5.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 4.0
Entertainment 2.0
Spa & Fitness 1.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 2.0
Embarkation 1.0
Service 1.0
Value-for-Money 1.0
Rates Not Rated
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Ship Facts: Celebrity Solstice Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Celebrity Solstice Deck Plans
Celebrity falls down
We have cruised more than twenty times on three different cruise lines, and this cruise was the worst one we have ever been on.

We arrived at the pier via Taxi from our hotel before noon. A sign at the terminal said "return at 2:00pm". We couldn't leave and return because we didn't have a car and we had no place to go. Apparently we need to check our email more than once a week because others said they received an email from Celebrity about the late boarding. We sat on a bench in the shade near the Holland America terminal for a while, then walked over to the Celebrity terminal and got in line. The line went nowhere fast and we ended up standing until about 3:00pm in both sunshine and rain showers. After waiting for more than 3 hours to check-in, we boarded the ship and then waited in the public areas while the rooms were "sanitized". We were told that the cabins would open at 5:00pm, but that was delayed until 6:00pm. Finally, more than 6 hours after we arrived at the pier we were in our cabin. The same could not be said for our luggage. They waived the dress code for dinner and moved both seatings back a half an hour. We waited in line to enter the main dining room because they were squirting Purell hand sanitizer on everyone that entered, causing quite a traffic jam. To say the least, it was a miserable first day.

We understood the boarding delay, and assumed that once we were underway we would have the same cruise experience we have come to expect from Celebrity. We were wrong!

Every day on the ship followed the same pattern. Enter the cafe for breakfast. Be assaulted by the Purell Guards, walk to the bacon and eggs station and stand in line, move to the bread station and stand in line again, move to the fruit station and stand in line again, move to the coffee station and stand in line again, circle the cafe 3 time searching for a place to sit, then eat cold bacon and eggs. They wouldn't allow the passengers to touch anything, so every part of every meal had to be handed to each passenger one at a time. Plates, utensils, food, condiments, drinks, etc.

Go to the onboard shops, enter the first store, be assaulted by the Purell guard. Leave, enter the second store, be assaulted by the Purell guard, go to the third store, see the Purell guard, turn around and never return the remainder of the cruise.

Enter the cafe for Lunch. Be assaulted by the Purell Guards, walk to the Salad station and stand in line, move to the hot food station and stand in line again, move to the drink station and stand in line again, circle the cafe 3 time searching for a place to sit, then eat cold food again. Go to the desert station, stand in line again.

Enter the cafe for an afternoon ice cream. Be assaulted by the Purell Guards, and stand in line again.

Go to the main dining room for dinner, and stand in line for the opportunity to be assaulted by the Purell guards again.

Go to the theater, and you guessed it, stand in line and wait for your mega dose of Purell before you see the show.

Day, after day, after day.

It became apparent very early in the cruise that passenger service was not a priority. Ensuring that you had a memorable vacation was not a priority. Celebrity was only concerned with the virus and how it was effecting them as a company. Of course they said they were concerned for the health of their passengers, but they failed to remember that we had all paid for a vacation and expected a certain level of service during that vacation. We certainly didn't get the vacation we had come to expect from Celebrity.

Housekeeping seemed to be overwhelmed or short staffed. We had to continually ask for towels, we had to take our own toilet paper off the carts in the hallway, and apparently no one was allowed to have an ice bucket in the room. Our mini fridge wasn't restocked once during the entire cruise.

The guest entertainers were very good, but ships own singers and dancers were just a little better than the local High School talent show.

One high spot, and the only reason I gave a rating of "2" instead of the "1" this cruise deserved was the food. The dinners were excellent.

To top it all off, we were one of several passengers complaining at Guest relations that our onboard credits were not showing up on our accounts. Celebrity's first reply to my request for the missing onboard credits was "Do you have any proof that you were entitled to onboard credits?" I had the paperwork with me and presented the proof. The reply was "OK, the may take 48 hours to correct". Forty-eight hours later, I was told I'd have to contact my travel agent about the credit. I did. I've been home for a week and my agent is still trying to get me the credit I was due.

Celebrity has fallen well short of our expectations. We are Elite members of the Captain's Club and we are looking at the other cruise lines for our next cruise. That is a shame and something that Celebrity should be concerned about.

Publication Date: 12/27/11
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