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4 Celebrity Solstice Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean from Barcelona

We recently completed a 12 day cruise to/from Barcelona. We were disappointed in: a. The number of children on board ... from various cruise reviews I expected a older group of passengers and a more ... Read More
We recently completed a 12 day cruise to/from Barcelona. We were disappointed in: a. The number of children on board ... from various cruise reviews I expected a older group of passengers and a more peaceful atmosphere. The ship was so large that we seemed to be waiting in line for everything. Getting a table and eating in the Ocean Cafe (the buffet) required a good deal of patience b. There were 3 ports which required tenders... which were so disorganized that it was torture to go ashore. c. Several ports (Venice, Rome, Florence) were far from the cities and no shuttles were provided. You had to pay additional for the excursions or shuttles, both of which involved a good deal of lining up and waiting. d. Although the advertised stop was Nice, we were tendered into Villefranche and had to arrange transportation to either Nice or Monaco. Same problem for Rome, Florence, etc. e. The ship advertised the latest time to return to the ship which I think discouraged people from making their own transportation arrangements .. the threat that if you missed the sailing, you would have to catch up with the ship at your own expenses. So people took the ship's shore excursions... and these excursion regularly got back to the ship after the posted deadline! f. We paid extra for Concierge class. Two of our group did not. We are of the opinion that the difference was not worth the extra cost. g. We had 3 days at sea. Two of them were in a row at the end of the cruise. It would have been preferable to space them out to allow passengers some rest in between ports..not on the way home. h. On the plus side, the cabins were roomy and comfortable. The food was good. We didn't try the specialty restaurants. i. The drink packages were ridiculously high. A bottle of liquor for the room is double other cruise lines. On the other hand, individual drinks were reasonably priced. j. Gratuities were charged on our account and added to individual drink orders, etc. However, it was clear that more was expected. Either leave the tipping to the discretion of the passengers or instruct staff that additional gratuities should not be accepted. k. It was a good thing that the cruise was only 12 days because we felt constantly bombarded with methods to extract more money from the passenger.. casino, spa, specialty drinks, shopping "sales", shore excursion pitches, bingo, etc.etc. l. Dinner seatings were 6:15 or 8:45 and neither were convenient. m. The entertainment in the evening was mediocre. The enrichment lectures were good but poorly advertised. n. Room service was great and a break from the "mob" scene o. There was a bridge room..but no one to organize, advertise or supervise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Solstice well its first class from the moment you join to you depart. Cabin 9223 was perfectly proportioned for our need from the LCD to shower room which has more storage places than you can use. The Balcony is more that ... Read More
Solstice well its first class from the moment you join to you depart. Cabin 9223 was perfectly proportioned for our need from the LCD to shower room which has more storage places than you can use. The Balcony is more that adequate for sitting having a drink before dining or sunbathing .As for our stateroom attendant Marcellino he was Simply the best nothing was to much to trouble for him. The bars are numerous from the laid back ensemble lounge to the very popular Martini bar.[watch out for the lemon drop Martinis they are lethal] Entertainment something for every taste as for the entertainment director he was an act in himself. Dinning from the Ocean view Cafe which had every for all dietary needs.  The MDR was just class its self nothing was to much for the waiting staff. The mast bar was very popular during the day for snacks etc.  Also watch out for the specials on sea days wine /champagne reduced as well as beer and the sail away cocktails just divine. If you have any problems speak to Guest relations right away don't leave it to last day or late on , deal within when it happens because Celebrity will resolve it on ship. Also may I add that as our first cruise the social side of cruising alone was worth the trip and made many friends from around the world. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This is my first review, so please be gentle. However, before my cruise I was reading the reviews, hungry for info, so felt it my duty. Our hotel kicking- out time was 12 noon, so we asked them to call us a taxi to ... Read More
This is my first review, so please be gentle. However, before my cruise I was reading the reviews, hungry for info, so felt it my duty. Our hotel kicking- out time was 12 noon, so we asked them to call us a taxi to the port, knowing it was early for embarkation, but not wanting to wander the streets with luggage. On arrival, our luggage was taken and we were shown where to check in. I couldn't believe how quickly we were checked in, there was no line at all for our deck. There was a slight delay at security but we were on board with champagne in hand by 12.40pm. Well done Celebrity. First impressions, WOW, what a gorgeous ship, we weren't disappointed. Loved the glass elevators and never had long to wait for one, even on shore days. Of all the ships we've been on this was definately the nicest and easiest to find your way around. We went to the Oceanview Cafe on deck 14 aft for lunch. I have to say that I usually steer clear of buffet type restaurants, I like to have my food served to me. However, the buffet here is really very good. Well set out with clear signage. Whenever we used the cafe, we didn't encounter long lines at all and always managed to find a clean table. There is waiter service for drinks. Tea and coffee and juice are served at your table at breakfast. The variety and quality of food was very good. Our stateroom was ready at 2pm and again, we were happy with it. We found the bed comfortable and liked the sliding door which meant we could leave it open a little at night for fresh air and to listen to the sea. The storage was ample. There was a vanity unit with 2 American style sockets and 1 European style. After muster (which was tedious) we went to meet with other cruise critic members for the sail away party. We had late dining in the MDR and had requested a table for 2, because, at the end of a long day, we enjoy, just to unwind and have a quiet meal together without having to make polite conversation with people we don't know very well. We were very disappointed overall with the main dining room. The tables were jammed far too close together so that you couldn't help being drawn in to conversations without being rude. We really liked our table neighbours, but, it wasn't what we wanted. I have to say though, that our waiters were very attentive, but we found the food to be often too cool to eat (with the exception of the onion soup which was scalding hot) and the whole thing just wasn't really to our taste. Out of the 12 nights we dined elsewhere 5 times. Murano's is fantastic, not to be missed. We had 2 nights there together, then a further night with CC friends. All brilliant and well worth the supplement. Wouldn't it be nice if the MDR was like Murano's? Tuscan Grill had a lovely friendly ambience, we were given a window table at the rear of the ship and it was lovely. The food however, though nice, isn't a patch on authentic Italian, it just lacks that garlic, basil fresh herbs thing that Italian food has. Nontheless, we liked the restaurant and the service was very attentive. Breakfasts. Well, what we enjoy most of all on a cruise is to enjoy a leisurely breakfast on our balcony, while wearing our bath robes and watching the world go by. We have to say that we were disappointed with the service and the quality of the room service breakfasts for our class of stateroom. I understand that if you pay more for a better "class" you have a bigger choice. The cooked food was terrible and barely warm. Cold croissants! We stopped asking for cooked food and just asked for cereal and danish. The danish were good. However, then they forgot to put water in the tea pot, or they forgot the cups. I say that if you can't do it well, don't offer to do it at all. They could learn from HAL, where even at a lowly level of stateroom, the balcony breakfasts were first class. We started to go to the buffet restaurant and if you got there early it was fine. One morning we went to The Bistro on 5. The service was very good, nice hot tea and coffee and we liked the fresh fruit, however, we found the scrambled egg, bacon and mushroom crepe very dry. Entertainment. This is where people's priorities come into play, because we don't bother much with entertainment, although we did enjoy one band who played by the pool and sang Eagles songs and others like that. Some of our MDR table mates were rushing off to get a good seat for the show, we wandered in to a couple and watched for a few minutes, they were good, but it's not really our thing. We don't play the casinos either. We loved the martini bar for a pre dinner drink and enjoyed the company of others here. It's a great place and the Celebrity champagne is very good. We liked to go to the rear of the ship at 4pm for afternoon tea, an excellent selection of sweet and savoury and take it outside to join in the trivia quiz. Another gripe, and I don't mean this to sound like continuous moaning because we had a great time overall, however, we hated the way there were too few sun loungers to go round on sea days and that they were so cramped together it was ridiculous. We witnessed sunbed wars on several occasions and even a fight. We tended to sunbathe early then go for a late lunch (removing our towels). After lunch if we wanted more sun we headed to the lawn deck where there was always space on the grass. Often we were happy just to go back to our balcony and read and relax. The weather was very hot and we got some wonderful sunsets. I realise this is turning into a novel and I haven't yet touched on the wonderful ports we visited. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
My wife and I have traveled on several cruise lines and looked forward to traveling on Celebrity Solstice. We were excited to be going on a 12-day cruise in the Mediterranean departing from Barcelona. We made our arrangements using the ... Read More
My wife and I have traveled on several cruise lines and looked forward to traveling on Celebrity Solstice. We were excited to be going on a 12-day cruise in the Mediterranean departing from Barcelona. We made our arrangements using the Celebrity Cruise Line web site. Easy site to navigate. Having never been to the Mediterranean, we decided to spend a couple of extra days before the cruise in Barcelona. Recommended by Celebrity Cruise Lines, we used Choice Air for our flight arrangements. The initial flight itinerary they sent us was incomplete and it took two calls to Choice Air before we got a flight itinerary we could use. We stayed at the Hotel Barcelona Catedral in Barcelona. It was close to Las Ramblas and the Gothic District. Modern hotel with nice location, very acceptable accommodations, and helpful staff. Unfortunately, the breakfast buffet was very expensive (17 Euros per person).Embarkation/Debarkation and Shore Excursions on the Celebrity Solstice were the most efficient of all of the cruise lines we have been on. We had a room in Concierge Class with a balcony off the stern of the ship. Room was slightly smaller than similar class rooms on other cruise lines, but did have lots of storage and a nice bath room with shower. Ship staff were always available to answer any questions you had. Daily Newsletters kept you up to date. While the ship did have several specialty restaurants, we chose to use the informal buffet (Oceanview Cafe) the majority of our time. It had a good selection of food. We weren't lacking for food. The main dining room was very well appointed with friendly wait staff. The premium drink package had too many limitations and was not worth the money.Since relaxing on the ship was our main interest, we did not attend any of the shows. No matter where we were on the ship, ship staff were always ready to help with information. We attended the glass blowing demonstration, which is a special feature of Celebrity Solstice. It was very interesting and informative. We also attended several of the cooking demonstrations by the ship chefs. These were fun to watch. Overall, very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Celebrity Solstice Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.5 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 5.0 3.8
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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