Overall, this was a great cruise... 10 night Southern Caribbean.
Embarkation: Almost effortless! We had rented a minivan to drive to Port Everglades from Tampa Intertnational Airport. We dropped of half the group at the ship, while 2 of us returned the car to FLL airport. We were on the ship within 15 minutes. Wonderful to have a champagne reception! Our last cruise was on Carvnival (only because it was a special charter; would NEVER sail on Carnival again unless I had to!). We headed to the buffet area ... what a mess! Everyone was there and no one was willing to give up their space to let anyone eat. Within 30 minutes, we were able to access our cabin.
We head read online how great the Solstice cabins were. Yes ... very pretty, but not that efficient. We packed more efficiently for this cruise than ever before ...thank God! We found the storage much less than on all other cruises. The bathroom was great .. no concerns. We didn't care for the closet with sliding doors. Very difficult to get access to the closet at the same time! The few drawers were quickly filled. We were fortunate that everything else fit in the 2 bins above the bed.
While we don't watch much TV in the cabin, the choice of channels was pretty limited. Great if you were into politics; if you wanted entertainment, you better like E!
We were surprised at the photo galary on the TV monitor! Within hours of boarding, we had a photo of the 2 couples from our boarding. How did they know where we "live" just by taking a photo?? The couple we traveled with even received copies of our photos that had nothing to do with them. Not impressed with this "technology"
Loved the behind the scene tour associated with Captains Club. The tour was great!
Also enjoyed the Aqua Spa for relaxation and quiet and for their great lunches. Wish they played different music ... the trance music got to be annoying.
I forgot all my books at home ... had great choices from the library!
We weren't impressed with the entertainment. 4 vocalists; the others were dancers and fluff. The key singers weren't great, but it was entertaining.
What we really hated was the fact that people showed up in the theater 2 days early to save seats! We tried Select Dining and had a 630pm reserved table every night. We felt like we had to rush thru dinner to get to the theater on time to make sure we got a seat. What time did the others get there??? We never had an opportunity to sit with all 6 of us together.
Dining... Good food, Pretty good service. Definately better food and service than our last cruise (Carnival ... only because it was a special charter). Sometimes the servers disappeard for 15-20 minutes ... not sure what they were doing.
One night we had dinner in the buffet area .. great pasta and we then enjoyed the peace and quiet of the Aqua Spa and hot tub to ourselves.
Overall food was good. Loved the AM omelets and fresh fruit. (Last cruise: canned fruit on Carvinal). Only complaint was HORRIBLE coffee in the buffet area. When we added hot water and lots of milk, it was tolerable. Ice cream buffet was pretty good; some servers had major attitude.... not sure why they were so nasty.
Gay/Lesbian get togethers were published but never attended.
Attended the speaker program related to making coffee books of photos. The speaker had great ideas, but didn't know how to present. As a professional presentor, I don't let any "helpers" leave the room until I know the AV equipment works. She excused the techs and then complained day after day that she didn't have full access to technology.
There was a daily happy hour offering 2-4-1 in the Passport Bar. You can't imagine how many people showed up! Seems to me that they could make a fortune if they frequently offered 2-4-1 drinks! The music was so loud during these 2-4-1 events ... you could not talk to your neighbors.
Debarkation: Fabulous! We were off the ship within 10 minutes of calling our number (2). Housekeeping: good. No complaints. Nothing special.
Did not do any tours sponsored by the ship. Thought the stop at Roseau, Dominica was a waste. The city is poor and we were uncomfortable walking abound town. We were constantaly hassled by locals.
Great day at Orient Beach in St. Martin.
St. Kitts: Aggressive locals trying to get you to take tours and taxis. Won't get off the boat next time!
Love cruising, love Celebrity. Wish they wouldn't nickle and dime you like the other cruise companies ...
Couldn't believe the number of people who didn't pay attention to the emergency briefling. So many folks talked through the briefing. Considering that a Costa cruise was drifting in the water due to a fire, people should have had the deccency to shut up and pay attention (or at least pretend).