Dirty and smelly cabin, ship (infinity) well past its use by date, do not go on it.
They are really not bothered when you complain.We have cruised 16 times with various other companies and this is the first time that we have had cause ... Read More
Dirty and smelly cabin, ship (infinity) well past its use by date, do not go on it.
They are really not bothered when you complain.We have cruised 16 times with various other companies and this is the first time that we have had cause to complain. Celebrity complaints department have still not replied to us.This was a very expensive trip of a life time, cruise Alaska then the Rocky Mountaineer, while Alaska was great coming back to a tired old ship with a shocking concierge level stateroom spoiled the whole trip.The food was mostly bland, in the maim dining room it was ok but never more than that. As with all the cruises we have been on, the crew were very good, it must be hard for them working on a ship that is so bad. This was the last season for Infinity in Alaska, perhaps we should have waited.
Embarkation was terrible due to US Customs.
Cabin score is 1 star because it wont allow zero. Read Less
This is a long review.
The itinerary and weather on my cruise were great and we enjoyed vacation. Always start an Alaska cruise in Vancouver. The port was a breeze to get on and off the ship and Vancouver is a great city with an easy ... Read More
This is a long review.
The itinerary and weather on my cruise were great and we enjoyed vacation. Always start an Alaska cruise in Vancouver. The port was a breeze to get on and off the ship and Vancouver is a great city with an easy airport to navigate. But as to the ship, and Celebrity, I will not repeat on the Infinity and am now hesitant about Celebrity for food and beverage defects which are probably across the line. The crew (waiters, stewards) were all very nice except one lady in Guest Services.
Also, after three Alaska cruises, Princess’ Alaska cruises still have much better timing as for as ports, e.g. much longer hours in port. The Infinity is the perfect size, by today’s standards a 2,500 passenger ship is medium/small. To me, I never felt crowded, plenty of empty space to be alone, not pushed, can relax, and easy to get on and off the ship. This cruise did not seem near capacity, maybe 2,000 passengers on this trip; I have no idea but it was not crowded.
Nothing was every busy except the top of the ship when we were at Hubbard Glacier. We spent a lot of quality time at the Hubbard and the weather was perfect. They also had a brilliant scientist on board, Milo, who was fun to listen to. From what I could tell the kids club was very good and fun for the kids.
My Cabin: The cabin is large and the built in drawers, deck, closet were great. I had a balcony Concierge class on deck 8 midship which was very convenient. The cabins are a nice size, closet big, cabinet space ample. The beds are very narrow. The wall opposite the bed was floor to ceiling mirrors which may be fun for certain people ;) The balcony was very nice and well maintained. It also had two clean chairs and a table. The bathroom had a handheld shower which was nice, but the bathroom also had a strong mildew odor. I saw the vinyl flooring in the shower and by the sink had two rips in it and the water was flowing under. I told the cabin steward but it was never fixed. I did not like that the only electrical plug is on the desk near the balcony window and no plug in the bathroom for the hair dryer. The drape on the sliding balcony door was NOT black out and we saw the light clearly shining through the drape. That was a first as other ships are pitch black when the drape is closed.
Ship Aesthetics/Artwork: The ships artwork on Infinity are a joke. Tiny 3D Printed figurines from 15 years ago. The ships colors are brown, brown, black, brown and brown. Aesthetically the Infinity is standard old fashioned boring (similar to Holland America). Nothing exciting like Carnival or modern Zen chic like the Celebrity Reflection which is my favorite ship of all time.
The Food/Beverages Very Disappointing: Celebrity food is no longer spectacular; it is now average. The food in the main dining room is basic, cruise food. Nothing stood out as artfully placed on the plate, the same breadsticks and plain French bread, a couple times a brown bread. Everyday they made a big deal about whipped butter and some other bread topping like hummus or something else. The bread spreads they can skip, improve the bread and improve the other parts of the meal.
The fish entrees and appetizers were dull. I was mostly irked that the waiter said we had real Alaskan salmon, which I thought meant wild, but I’m 98% sure the fish served was farm raised (light pink in color). Also, the entire ship does not seem to care about cocktails. The cocktail menus are difficult to find even in the bars. And, it’s the same menu everywhere except the martini bar which does not accept the Classic Beverage Package $12 limit. More frustrating, the bartender said I don’t pay the difference between the $12 package and the $15 martini drink. I must pay for the entire $15! Also, the “cocktail of the day” while only $5, is also NOT included in the Classic Beverage Package!
The Cocktail menu is essentially one page listing some basic cocktails and except for the martini bar. Also, none of the bartenders (except in the martini bar) made decent mixed drinks. Example, only the martini bar guys muddled the mint in a min mojito! If you are a cocktail drinker, go on Princess, Carnival or some other cruise line. They also have very few bartenders and cocktail waitresses. In the large bars often the only persons working, even at 9:00 pm, were two bartenders who also had to deliver the drinks!
More on the Food: The food was meh. 5 years ago on Reflection the cuisine was the best I ever had in over 30 years of cruising. It was particularly disappointing that they used farm raised salmon in Alaska and not wild caught salmon. However, the filet mignon and similar beef cuts were perfect. We mostly ate in the main dining room, and the presentation was nothing special, the choices pretty boring.
The buffet food was almost always cold and not appealing and the pizza blah. Again, look at the Princess pizza parlor which is excellent. The ice cream in the buffet area was usually icy not creamy. They do offer many no sugar ice creams if you need that. The “gelato” bar was better, but not worth $4 per serving.
The coffee bar scores a 3 compared to the choices on Princess or Holland America coffee bars which are a 9. For a basic coffee or cappuccino fine. But they offer nothing unique and the execution was almost always sloppy.
I liked the spa cafe on the pool deck except they charged $6 for a small smoothie!
The Cake Deserts are too sweet: Celebrity needs some new desert recipes that are not 95% sugar. All of the cakes except for the chocolate sacher torte, tasted of biting into a sugar cube. They looked nice, but tasted like raw sugar. However, the cookies and macaroons were very good.
Hints: The QSine Petit Chef is fun worth the extra $45 (first night discount) to pay for a specialty restaurant. Note, they pass out a flyer to save 20% the first night, but everyone pays the same $45 so that coupon was misleading. ☹
The gym equipment is excellent. I particularly liked the treadmills with a large tv, Bluetooth, etc. I was surprised they never had a trainer or gym person try to sell a package of classes because I and my athletic kids, would have signed up.
Ship photos: They took very few photos of passengers which seems strange as thy are a good profit center at $25 a photo. We made it a point to pose for photos, but I felt it strange they were not pushing them nor pushing a package photo deal like most cruise lines.
Spa: Very few people took advantage of the spa. They had a lot of specials, and I think if you asked for a $109 for 50 minute massage "special" even if not advertised they would give it to you. The Persian garden on this boat is NOT worth it, even if free.
Internet: If needed, buy your Internet mid-way to two days before the end of your cruise for a discount. You don't need internet because the ports have good coverage. Also, the Infinity’s internet was spotty and often went out. It completely went out for everyone, including the Concierge guy, the day before the end of the cruise so we could not check in early with the airline.
Premium drink upgrade $14 is worth it for the last 3-4 days of the cruise. The classic drink package included as a perk is OK but is irritating because you only get simple mixed drinks and beers. The classic drink package does NOT include martinis at the martini bar and the martini bar is the ONLY bar with professional bartenders who know how to mix a drink. And as stated above, you cannot pay the $3 for an upgrade per drink.
Walking the deck: It was odd that there was NO promenade deck which allows you to walk the perimeter of the ship with a covered ceiling above. In Alaska, if it rained or was windy it would be nice to walk outside while semi covered. Also the top deck (above pool level) has a small walking/jogging track but it just goes around the pool area which is small. The outdoor large screen video played movies all day if you wanted to sit and freeze a little.
Guest Services: We had an interior cabin across the hall from our balcony cabin. On every other ship when I had a similar set up we were able to encode our key cards for both rooms. Celebrity said they recently changed their computer system so could no longer do that or issue two keys. That was false. I went back and asked for another key and they gave me one and that key opened the door without cancelling the first key. It was also irritating that the ship did not sell post card postage.
Crew: all crew were nice, most excellent. My friend in another cabin was upset when she asked for a hair dryer the first night and was told "I'm on break now when I'm done". But they need more bartenders and wait staff.
Shore Excursions: Take advantage of the pre-cruise package prices. Book the online 3 excursion tour special at least 4 days before the ship sails to get some good discounts. No excursion discounts are offered on board. On shore excursions except for Icy Point book at the pier and save money. For Icy Point just do the whale watch tour with the ship which was excellent. You can also use a web site like https://www.shoreexcursionsgroup.com/v/a/costco/
Example, at the dock I paid $300/per person (Celebrity charges $449) for the Juneau Helicopter Herbert Glacier tour the dock company was http://www.panhandleexcursions.com/ . where you land on the glacier and walk around for 30-40 minutes for $300 each. Just so you know, this company on the pier books with the helicopter company https://www.coastalhelicopters.com/ which you can also directly book with. As it turned out, we went to Herbert glacier and the weather was perfectly clear, the cruise people went to Mendenhall because they use another company and it was foggy so they had their trips cancelled!
Always bargain with the people on the dock selling excursions. The lovely girl who booked our helicopter tour also gave us (4 persons) a private free ride to the Mendenhall glacier, she hung out for 1.5 hours so we could walk around and explore for free! I tipped her a $100 which still saved us $100.
In Ketchikan don't be afraid to walk down the dock to the excursion shacks down the road. The vendors raise their prices for the tourists just off the boat. If you go to a dock where the prior ship arrived a couple hours earlier you can get a better deal. Also, the guys selling walk in their private property wooden elevated board walk and see bears are jerks.
I had a very good time, but I always enjoy cruises no matter what happens and realize no cruise is perfect. I have taken three Alaskan cruises, two with Princess and this one with Celebrity. Princess has by far the best itineraries for Alaska; "best" is based upon the length of time in port and the hours spent in port (e.g. afternoon hours in Alaska are drier and sunnier than the first half of the day.)
I choose Celebrity because 5 years ago on the Celebrity Reflection I experienced the best cruising of my life. But I won’t go on the Infinity again, and probably not with Celebrity because the food/cocktail issues are likely systemwide. Read Less
Excellent Ship and Staff all who were so helpful and friendly. Our waiter in the evenings David and assistant waiter Fauzi went over and beyond their duties to make our stay that more enjoyable. Our cabin attendant Hafiluddin was also ... Read More
Excellent Ship and Staff all who were so helpful and friendly. Our waiter in the evenings David and assistant waiter Fauzi went over and beyond their duties to make our stay that more enjoyable. Our cabin attendant Hafiluddin was also friendly. Lots of short excursions offered, which I suggest you book early as we missed out on the first lot of whale watching tours, but did manage to book one at the next stop. We were also very lucky to have been offered a galley tour which we found very interesting. All the restaurant that we eat out the food for excellent and so much to choose from. If you went away hungry you only had yourself to blame. The theatre shows were great but we only managed to get to three. We chose this cruise for its distinction to Alaska and also it was not the biggest cruise ship. I preferred the one a little smaller the most which were bigger. We were not disappointed and would sell with Celebrity again. Read Less
Next stateroom smokers filling our room with smoke. No coffee or tea included with dinner at our restaurant Blu. I had to pay almost 6$ for a cup of coffee! In the cafeteria coffee quality was quite bad as well. In room breakfast was bad ... Read More
Next stateroom smokers filling our room with smoke. No coffee or tea included with dinner at our restaurant Blu. I had to pay almost 6$ for a cup of coffee! In the cafeteria coffee quality was quite bad as well. In room breakfast was bad and they NEVER got it right ( no cheese in omelet) underlined was always with cheese. I gave up. Toast like cardboard.
In Blu we had to ask SEVERAL times to refill our glasses before it was done. Health food cafe had the SAME options all the time. Every pie had a disgusting, almost plastic crust you couldn’t cut let alone eat!!
Selling, pushing, selling, pushing. Even lectures about the icebergs had messages to buy Tiffany blue diamonds( so like the color of the icebergs! Give me a break!....)
Totally inappropriate and unscientific, no serious lecturer would push buying diamonds resembling the icebergs....ridiculous. He also pushed Alchool in your coffee, etc. Annoying!
Singers, players around the ship totally out of tune, horrible.
Shows in theatre were very good. Staff was nice and Polite. Our stateroom attendant was very good.
Wifi prices were beyond ridiculous!
Overall impression: we paid over 6k for two people, we felt it should have been 2k, to be fair. Bad food, no coffee included with dinner at our restaurant Blu, so so food, fake pie crusts, wrong breakfasts consistently, selling and pushing non stop, lectures mixed with selling merchandise...only a totally dumb traveler would fall for such tactics. Wait, did I mention the smoking in the next balcony/ cabin, over and over again, filling our cabin with THEIR smoke? Total waste of money and vacation time. Read Less
I chose this cruise because the medical centre has dialysis machines and my wife has kidney failure. However at the last minute she was unable to travel. Celebrity Cruises insisted that I pay the fare for a single person travelling in the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because the medical centre has dialysis machines and my wife has kidney failure. However at the last minute she was unable to travel. Celebrity Cruises insisted that I pay the fare for a single person travelling in the cabin although the dialysis company did refund some of the cost of dialysis and a small portion of the additional cost that dialysis patients and their partners are forced to pay by Celebrity. The cost is very high as Celebrity charges a premium for dialysis patients and their accompanying partners in adding to the cost of dialysis. In the traumatic circumstances I had hoped that Celebrity would only charge the cost for the cabin but they insisted on the cost for a single person travelling in this cabin class.
This is a huge ship with some thousands of people on board. I had a premium cabin which I thought entitled me to priority but it certainly didn't work out like that. The designated restaurant was poor with second rate food. I normally ate in the restaurant of other classes which had a much better selection of dishes and better service. There was nothing particularly attractive or special about the so-called "special" class for which I paid and many of the advertised benefits did not materialise.
Most of the passengers seemed intent on sitting at the numerous bars or in the casino or shopping in the many, many overpriced shops onboard. If that is your idea of a holiday then this will suit you.
The elevators are constantly packed and it takes forever to get between decks on the ship.
There are children everywhere, the pool facilities are overwhelmed with children, and the other facilities are taken up by groups traveling together.
I found this cruise a most unpleasant experience, extremely highly priced for what you receive and I certainly would not recommend it to anyone who was interested in the sights of Alaska. The priority seemed to be ship board partying rather than Alaska as a destination.
Others on board who made comments to me similarly decided they would not cruise again.
I would not choose such a cruise again nor have I found Celebrity Cruises at all responsive to my needs, concerns, or particular situation. Read Less
We spent a lot of money on this cruise. We were not treated very well by the staff. They were rude and condesending. They gave away our dinner reservations that were made months in advance. They didn't have enough food in the buffet. ... Read More
We spent a lot of money on this cruise. We were not treated very well by the staff. They were rude and condesending. They gave away our dinner reservations that were made months in advance. They didn't have enough food in the buffet. Lines for food and drinks on the decks were very long. It's like the didn't plan on the ship being sold out. Marterdi was rude. Waiters were rude. Shows were fun but staff was rude. If I had a choice I would not give them an 18% per day, per person tip. We did have a nice room with deck however while we were in port they decided to scrape the paint from the deck. When we returned from shore there were paint chips all over the deck, the chairs, everywhere. When I complained, their response was we will have in cleaned in Seattle. That's where the cruise ended. I used a travel agent. I complained to them. The ships corporate response. They offered a $50 on board credit for my next trip. Lol. Really. Bad customer service.
The ports were fun. The food was good. Other than that I won't waste my money with them. Read Less
We took this cruise because our friends really wanted to. Wasn't on our bucket list but we were game. In the end we enjoyed ourselves but it wasn't what I would call the cruise of a lifetime. Our overall take back is the ... Read More
We took this cruise because our friends really wanted to. Wasn't on our bucket list but we were game. In the end we enjoyed ourselves but it wasn't what I would call the cruise of a lifetime. Our overall take back is the cruise companies have over extended how many people these ports can take. We were going into ports where there were up to 6 mega ships parked that could triple the size of the population. Crowds were unbelievable and it certainly wasn't a nature trip. I guess it is an easy trip for Americans to do but they need to find a way to cap off the crowds. Worse yet, we hear that there are plans to add even larger ships in the near future for these ports.
Now to Celebrity Solstice. Start with the good. We loved the suite level perks. Private lounge and dining room were worth the extra money. Cocktail time and dinner felt like a small ship experience with great service. But not really sure what the butler did or was suppose to do. Seemed to be an unneeded position.
The specialty restaurants were very good. Never went to the main dining room. The buffet was fine. Good selection but often overcrowded to the point where it was difficult to get a seat.
This was our first trip on Celebrity. It wasn't quite what we expected. There were times when it felt more like we were on a Carnival party cruise. We were hoping for a quieter more peaceful cruise but that wasn't the case. Nothing like sitting on your balcony trying to enjoy the views and having drunks yelling and swearing two decks down. The only place any kind of dress code was enforced was in the private dining room. Actually saw I guy who showed up for dinner in shorts told he needed to go back and put on pants.
Just getting off and walking around any of the ports (other than Victoria) weren't a good experience. The crowds on the street were worse than Manhattan. You need to book a shore excursion that gets you away from the port as quickly as possible. We enjoyed ours especially the jeep/canoe ride, Alaska golf and dog sledding. Forget the shopping. It is the same "junk" in every port.
I can't really recommend an Alaskan cruise unless you desperately want to do it. Would likely be a better experience to just fly there and see Alaska away from the cruise ports. Read Less
Review of Celebrity Solstise
Seattle/Ketchikan AK/Juneau AK/Skagway AK/Victoria BC/Seattle
August 24, 2018
Day One – Seattle. Arrived on the dock at 9:45 and we were sipping bubbly onboard by 10:15. Very efficient. As we were in ... Read More
Review of Celebrity Solstise
Seattle/Ketchikan AK/Juneau AK/Skagway AK/Victoria BC/Seattle
August 24, 2018
Day One – Seattle. Arrived on the dock at 9:45 and we were sipping bubbly onboard by 10:15. Very efficient. As we were in a Concierge Class cabin, we had lunch in the Main Dining Room, the Grand Epernay. The menu was limited, but quite varied considering how few selections there were. Got to our cabin at about 1:15. As others have commented, we were quite disappointed with the storage. The closet is no more than two feet from the bed which means only one person at a time can be in it. The nice wide drawers of the M class are replaced by much smaller drawers in the dresser. The storage over the bed might be fine for six+ footers, but we are not tall enough to effectively use it. We met Davian, our Cabin Steward and he did a marvelous job all week long. I found one of our ‘amenities’, the foot rests to be in the way on such a small balcony. Canapes were nice and delivered each afternoon. We had seen the comedian, Fred, Klett, about two years earlier on the Infinity and we anticipated his show. He did not disappoint. The audience was in stitches and not a hint of profanity. Yes, it can be done. We had late fixed seating and we could not have been happier than we were with Romeo, Elvin and the Sommelier Jelena. They were all fabulous the entire week. A stop at the Martini Bar where they bent over backwards to find my favorite Scotch then off to bed.
Day Two – at sea. We ordered coffee and toast from room service. We got the coffee, butter and jam but no toast. Where they expected us to put the butter and jelly – who knows. The delivery person had our order form with him and the toast was, in fact, listed on the form. It arrived about ten minutes later. At breakfast ran into a Brother Mason and we and our wives had a great time talking. We went down to Guest Services to order a robe to replace my wife’s, which had worn out over the years. This never got delivered until we went back down again on the last full day where nobody seemed to know it had been ordered. We picked it up then. ‘Celebrity Chic’ night brought out most women dressed up and very few men following. I wore my full formal kilt and got many comments and every photographer wanting to take our pictures. The first large show was, as were all three of them, a disappointment for us and many others we spoke with. The choreography seemed contrived and virtually all the singing was screamed to us. Very nice meal in the MDR, my Scotch from the Martini Bar and off to bed.
Day Three – Ketchikan, AK. I had a fabulous day visiting a cousin I had not seen in over 30 years under sunny skies and low 70’s. An all around perfect day. The show was a ‘Journey’ tribute band. Not our style, but extremely well done. With their lead, they could have easily also done the Stones.
Day Four – Tracy Arm Fjord to see the glacier, then off to Juneau, AK. The trip up the fjord was fabulous, dodging small bergs as we went. About ½ mile from the glacier, the Captain did the ‘cruise ship pirouette’ and we went to Juneau. We had a tour to the Mendenhall Glacier, which we really could not see due to fog and rain. We only had one hour which left us barely time to walk to the view, take pictures of the fog, walk back to the Visitor’s Center for a bathroom break and back onto the bus for whale watching. These people really know what they are doing and we saw several. I was lucky enough to get some really good pictures. Back to the ship just in time for the ‘singers and dancers’ and our late seating. Due to many late tour arrivals, the MDR staff was not really set up until people actually arrived, then everything went as smoothly and pleasantly as ever.
Day Five – Skagway, AK. Ugly weather. We had (of course) a walking tour of Skagway which included a tour of the former brothel upstairs in the Red Onion Saloon. Very enjoyable and would have been better had we not gotten soaked in spite of umbrellas. Pleasant – and not too expensive(!) – lunch in the Red Onion, a little shopping, then the shuttle back to the ship. The best show of the cruise was a former member of the Lettermen, Mark Preston. He had the audience in the palm of his hand within 30 seconds of hitting the stage and we were all on our feet screaming at the end.
Day Six – At sea and ‘Celebrity Chic’. We spent a bit of time in the Casino playing Video Poker and actually quit while ahead a bit. Absolutely LOVE the smoke-free casino! Booked a future cruise for Fall, 2019. Another production number, ‘Rock City’. Loud and louder with screaming vocals.
Day Seven – Victoria, BC with 5:30 arrival. We stayed on the ship rather than spending $13.00 (!) for the shuttle to/from the city. Afternoon show with a pretty good comedian. MDR was open seating due to people off the ship. Got seated with our Assistant Waiter, Elvin in charge. Our Chief Waiter was in town. Elvin just as good as Romeo but really missed our Sommelier, Jelena.
Friday Morning – We got kicked off the ship. Really though, the disembark was the smoothest we have ever encountered. Again, being Concierge Class, we got to sit in the ‘Silk’ café where we had coffee, tea, juice, sweet rolls, etc. All in all, a great cruise with horrid weather for much of it and too short for us. Our next one will be 14 nights. Please do something, anything with those production numbers. They were, in our opinion and all we spoke with, the worst we have encountered in seven cruises. Read Less
Had a wonderful time. Our servers st dinner Gilmar and Dan were out of this world. They were always there to get us what we needed, they were nice and helpful in every way. Mari our cabin attendant on 6 was marvelous . So attentive to ... Read More
Had a wonderful time. Our servers st dinner Gilmar and Dan were out of this world. They were always there to get us what we needed, they were nice and helpful in every way. Mari our cabin attendant on 6 was marvelous . So attentive to us. My husband and I. All of the waiters at Martini bar s d others were good . Great cruise directors. All of the staff were very accommodating . The food and dining were great. Enjoyed meeting the captain and the other crew members . Of course photographers. Were always there to make photos. Great photographer on the 15 floor . We bought the good pictures . I cannot day enough good things snout out dinner servrrs Gilmar and Dan on 3 floor dining. . They were superb. I only wished for my family members. I would have liked for my grandchildren to have gone on this cruise to Alaska. Read Less
I was really excited about going on the Celebrity Solstice but once I got on board I was bored. The daily activities are really a joke unless you want to be sold something. The bars were really all the same with no real flare to any of ... Read More
I was really excited about going on the Celebrity Solstice but once I got on board I was bored. The daily activities are really a joke unless you want to be sold something. The bars were really all the same with no real flare to any of them. The staff was nice at them but had no imagination when asked to make a surprised drink. One of the things that bothered my was the Captain and the Entertainment Director. Both had very heavy accents and could only understand about every 5th word they were saying. If you wanted to hear the announcements you had to step into the hallway from your room and was still very hard to understand. I was definitely not the only one that felt this way on the cruise. Never did the sit down dinner but always ate at the burger bar or buffet. Both were okay. The soft serve was very popular as well as the cookies. I did 2 excursions and both were duds. I did a whale watching one and afterwards you get a ticket to eat at Tracy's crab place. We saw more whales on the Solstice than were did on the excursion and Tracy's place was a joke. With 4 cruise ships in port it was way overally busy where we had to eat standing. Eating crab leg standing is not the easiest thing to do. Then the other excursions was going to play with the sled dogs. Again 4 boats in port and the excursion was way too crowded. One nice thing about Solstice was the band. They were very good and did enjoy the shows. Also, the historian on board gave some good lectures. Alaska was awesome just wish I did it on another boat. Read Less
This cruise was to celebrate my partners special birthday, and would be our first cruise together.
Firstly, before i get into the issues and some aspects that were not up to exceptions, we had a fantastic time cruising the Tracy Arm ... Read More
This cruise was to celebrate my partners special birthday, and would be our first cruise together.
Firstly, before i get into the issues and some aspects that were not up to exceptions, we had a fantastic time cruising the Tracy Arm inside passage and the scenery was second to non. the weather was also on our side during our severn days.
We chose Celebrity for a more mature cruising experience with fewer children and think we made the correct choice, with some exceptions.
There was no excitement and the promoting of a "sail away" cocktail. We had to ask for one, but it seemed a chore and we had to choose a cocktail.
Anyhow, we enjoyed sailing away from Seattle, glass in hand in glorious sunshine.
After sail away, we navigated to some of the "open" bars to sample some onboard beverages. Prior to the cruise, we had upgraded to the Premium drinks package. There were some attempts to up sell drinks package as we walked around, but not as hard sell as expected. A simple show of sea pass and they left you alone.
We ate in Blu restaurant each evening and were not disappointed. The food was excellent. Feel free to order more than one dish! As we did.
It is a more intimate restaurant and you recieve personal service and build a rapport with your waiting staff and sommelier. (Budi, Mimi and Angga). They were genuinely pleased to see us each evening, and us them.
Had breakfast in the MDR on one occasion but generally used the buffet, which was chaotic, and difficult to find a seat.
Buffet had a good choice for lunch, but all that was on offer after dinner, was pizza and pasta. The pizza was very poor and tasteless!
One of things that surprised us most, was how the dress code wasn't upheld.
We travelled from the UK, with suits, shirts and dresses, but i feel we were the minority.
Most folk chose to dress in sweat pants and hoodies for the duration of the cruise, even for dinner.
This was rather disappointing, as we like to make an effort for dinner, not to be sat next to folk wearing their comfies!
The dress code needs to be enforced.
Not once did i see a Tuxedo being worn on board, let alone a bow tie. Only a smattering of ties could be counted, and these were on the more seasoned cruiser, but which i expected as the norm.
For us, one of the main issues was the sky bar being closed most of the time for private parties. This was the largest bar on board and became infuriating.
We walked in one night, to find around 30 people with large name tags around their neck on lanyards stood around talking! The bar appeared to be closed!
Some nights we had to walk the full length of the ship to find a bar that was open for a nightcap!
The bars en route to the speciality dining rooms were all closed we dinner had finished!
One bar midships was always open, with fairly good service, but the martini bar was taken over by the silent disco one evening, so the bar could barely be accessed, and we had already attended the silent disco earlier in the week.
It appears Celebrity do not like you drinking, or certainly make it difficult to use what you have pre paid for! Maybe Americans, which were the majority of passengers, do not drink the same as us Europeans.
This caused us to complain at guest services the following day, but we were given a stock answer that certain bars were open as described in your daily newsletter.
When we mentioned the dress code not being enforced, we were told that we should cruise with Cunard if thats what we wanted! Unbelievable from guest services. Surely they should be promoting their product?
There was a piano onboard that was never played. Just sat gathering dust. Was told there was no pianist on board! There was a full orchestra. Surely the ivories should be tinkled occasionally?
Any how, we did have a good time, but maybe our expectations were set a little too high! Read Less
My husband and I traveled with our mid-20 year old sons and it was the first major cruise for all of us. Quick background if it helps (I scoured this site prior to leaving so it did help to have some basis for a review)): we are all in ... Read More
My husband and I traveled with our mid-20 year old sons and it was the first major cruise for all of us. Quick background if it helps (I scoured this site prior to leaving so it did help to have some basis for a review)): we are all in the hospitality industry and have really high standards in all areas of the business. In addition we are lifelong boaters and currently own 3 boats. For those reasons I was very nervous trying a cruise because we all felt the claustrophobic nature would be too much for what we like. But we all wanted to see Alaska and this seemed like the best way to go.
A negative was the embarkation process. It almost had an Ellis Island feeling to it-one long line snaking around the room, like waiting for Space Mountain. It made us all a little nervous because we worried that it was the way the whole week would be. We were in balcony cabins so there was only one boarding area for non-upgraded passengers. We felt that it could be remedied with staggered times/alphabetical lines/refreshments etc.
But once we got on the ship, our luggage had already arrived to our room and we headed to the top deck to watch us leave Seattle. I expected a Love Boat confetti parade but none occurred. We just left deftly from the shore and were on our way.
ROOMS were spacious and our stewards were wonderful-very stealth in their care. There was plenty of room under the bed for our luggage and over for any items. The closet had a safe and there was a fridge with space for extra food/water. The bathroom was fine-you may want to bring your own shampoo/conditioner but it was provided. The balcony was lovely to sit outside when it was warm or bundle up and go out when it was cool. The room was not luxury really but was always very clean and comfortable. Frankly you shouldn't spend much time there because there is so much going on.
FOOD/BEVERAGE were great. We did take the Classic Bev package as one of our two perks (the other being a $150 ship credit but we should have taken the pre-paid gratuities as it worked out to be more). They did ask a few times if we wanted the package but it wasn't too intrusive. It was worth every cent as it included all boxed waters, most liquor/wine/beer and incredible frozen drinks. It definitely paid for itself and was a great perk. We paid for a few martini upgrades but that was it. The servers and bartenders were always so attentive and polite. What a great staff. We opted to only dine in the main areas and were normally very pleased although we did start to refer to the top floor as the Zombie Cafe. The staff did a stellar job in replenishing and cleaning. But the passengers rarely looked out for each other and were only concerned at making sure they filled their plates. Very odd and scary thinking that we could potentially "share" lifeboats with these people. We tried to avoid it by using the main dining room and the burger bar by the pool. When we did go it was at "off" times as best as we could but it was always busy.
EXCURSIONS: There were many options, we pre-booked 3 but one was cancelled and they rebooked us in a different one. It wasn't of interest so they switched us with no trouble. We ended up doing a sea plane in Ketchikan, the dog sledding in Juneau and glacier helicopter in Skagway.
ENTERTAINMENT: We went to three shows: The Beatles salute, The Journey cover band and the regular current hits show. The times could be adjusted as they either felt too early or too late to do dinner properly but it felt sad that these performers often had many empty seats. It was great to just go and grab whatever seat you wanted and bring a drink in with you. Really nice theater.
CASINO: We aren't gamblers per se but went to the blackjack table once and played a slot machine. We lost a total of $10 so not too bad. It didn't seem very busy for the most part so there was always room to play.
RETAIL: Don't assume you'll find much in the way of anything you'll want to buy. The less expensive shops were mainly kitschy Alaska shirts/gear which are also everywhere at the ports. The pricier shops had very high end jewelry and not much else. The Tiffany's was fun to look through but do many people really want a $17K bracelet unless they've done well in the casino? There was no sundries type shop for forgotten items either that I could find. The spa shop was normally locked.
SPA: The masseuses who did the massages were wonderful. The experience left a lot of opportunity. The location is at the front of the ship and is beautiful. There is a lounge there to wait but the reception team didn't do the "normal" arrival. We were shown the lounge but I had to ask my masseuse for a robe once I was in the service room. I wanted to take a shower afterwards. It was very clean but the only products in the bathroom were a combo shampoo/conditioner and shower gel. There was one hair dryer in the whole ladies room and no product, hair spray, etc. This surprised me as the prices were equivalent or more to an upscale spa.
DISEMBARKING: At ports it went very quickly (we didn't even need our passport to get in and out of Canada). Final day a lot of people left early. We chose to carry our own bags and had breakfast in the main (non-zombie) dining room prior to leaving. It took only a few minutes. There are a lot of taxis available. We had ordered an Uber but didn't see the shuttle to the uber area so it was a fairly long walk with luggage. The cost for a large uber to the airport was $70. Would be worth finding out how much a cab would've been.
Overall the entire cruise is one we would do all over again. Anyone who complains about it probably complains on all of their vacations. Celebrity isn't perfect but their team does their best to make sure that you have a great trip! Read Less
We have never been on a cruise before, and it wasn't necessarily our desired vacation, but we wanted to see Alaska, and we live close enough to Vancouver to avoid the costs of flights. We are now converts after such an amazing ... Read More
We have never been on a cruise before, and it wasn't necessarily our desired vacation, but we wanted to see Alaska, and we live close enough to Vancouver to avoid the costs of flights. We are now converts after such an amazing experience with Celebrity.
I had been reading reviews of this ship, and reading comments such as 'the ship is dated'. Let me tell you, if anyone can say one negative about this ship, the customer service, the food, the facilities, or anything, then they are just miserable bags who likely are not happy in anything in life. Granted I have never been on another cruise before, but this is 5 Star across the board.
The dining options are plentiful and exceptional. Just eating at the buffet is satisfying enough, variety from around the world, so much choice, and daily chef specials.
The entertainment is non stop, several options every hour of he day. This strikes me as a serious party ship which met our satisfaction. The ship was probably 40% families with children, so not the stereotype of all seniors that everyone told me to expect. There was a teens club (one negative, we didn't see our son half the trip because he loved the teens club so much and met so many friends), fabulous kids club. So, for those with families, this cruise in the summer should be appealing.
Shawna the cruise director, is top notch, she has a bright future. What a talented young woman, witty, confident, personable, amazing qualities that will propel her to big things ahead.
The dress was casual, during the day it seemed anything goes, and the evening you saw everything from a golf shirt to suit and tie. So for those worried about rolling in ball gowns and tuxes, don't sweat that. Mind you people who dressed up looked so fantastic.
I tried to understand how much motion you feel on the ship, and rarely read a review that mentioned this, and most people I spoke to said you would never even know you are on water. Trust me, they are liars. I have been off the ship for 30 hours now and still feel like I am on it. One night I was awoken to major movement that the captain acknowledged in the morning announcement, which he said are rare 11 foot swells. However there are times that I felt like I couldn't walk straight. My 13 year old was also struggling with it, but it settles down for the majority of the time. But there is no doubt you feel it at times. Perhaps others didn't feel it?
I didn't pack correctly for summer in Alaska, again an area I felt like I didn't get useful information prior. I would suggest you need 4 seasons worth of clothes. Definitely cold, wet and windy at Hubbard Glacier, to swimsuits and sunscreen and pool days on 2 days. I am from cold, wet Canada so for those coming from warm climates, something to be mindful of. Hoodies for the day, warmer jacket, and t-shirts are also needed for the poo, deck, the gym.
Rooms are a little cramped for a family of 4. But it is a cruise ship and that was to be expected, so we spent very little time in the room.
So much food variety, everyone should be happy, exceptional entertainment, and fun throughout the day. Customer service is exceptional, you can get a drink pretty much any ware.
Apple Store on board that did training such as 'how to get the most out of your IPhone camera. Except they charge for all of their training. A trillion dollar company knows how to create enemies. So needless to say I didn't attend their offerings.
The gym is as good as you can expect, the treadmills are the best quality I have used. Classes through the day.
They could perhaps have a basketball available for the basketball court. Just sayin.
The smoking sections could have had better forethought, next to the family pool and beside the running track. Hello, who thought of that??
They have a casino, gym, outdoor movie theatre, cafe x2, beatiful theatre for entertainment, several dining restaurants (mostly for additional cost), shops, duty free, many bars mostly with different themes, adult pool with spa, family pools, kids and teen clubs, library, so many outdoor options.
Shore excursions were mostly outrageous in cost, no exaggeration. It appears that very few did them because of the cost. Perhaps promoting more affordable options would be a consideration.
Alaska is beautiful, Milos was amazing source of expertise on the area and a comedian to boot. Do your research on the ports of call to check out this beautiful part of the world.
Our family night recommends this cruise on the Celebrity Infinity. Read Less
My wife and I just finished a Alaskan cruise on Celebrity Millennium on August 17th, 2018. Here are our detailed comments:
An Alaskan cruise, inside passage, was a bucket list item for us. We chose the Millennium because rated good ... Read More
My wife and I just finished a Alaskan cruise on Celebrity Millennium on August 17th, 2018. Here are our detailed comments:
An Alaskan cruise, inside passage, was a bucket list item for us. We chose the Millennium because rated good (not exceptional), and it's not so huge it could not get close to the glaciers.
The boat is pretty worn. Completely functional, but worn. We had a sky suite (cabin 8127). Suite size was good, bed and couch was good, but the entry level suite on Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas April 27th 2017 was much larger, cheaper and much nicer. According to the crew, the ship will undergo a complete retrofit in Jan-Mar 2019 in Singapore, and will be spectacular.
Because we were in suite, there was a private lounge (Michaels) with free cocktails, and a great private concierge (Josue). He was amazing, and made everything happen, including a tour of the bridge, a reception with the Captain and ship's officers, and special "helipad/bow of ship" viewing experience of the Hubbard glacier. He has an incredible personality, and really is fantastic. Our suite butler (Ramir) was also great, he was available on-call, and arranged evening show reserved seating and other details. Also, suite guests had use of a private dining room - Luminea. We regularly ate there (in addition to other dining areas), and they served Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. No reservations needed, and it was nothing short of exceptional - unlike the main dining room and buffet.
A quick comment on dining - we were not on the boat to gorge ourselves - we eat normal portions and expect good service and tasty food. The main dining room (deck 4) where we ate exactly two meals (two too many) was a disappointment. Service attitude was indifferent and sometimes rude, and food tasted like it was prepared in bulk. Portions were not normal restaurant size, they were mini sized. We ate a number of times at the buffet restaurant (Oceanview, on deck 10) for convenience. Some of the food was good, never great, and some was marginal. Mostly it tasted like bulk prepared food. They routinely ran out of food. The buffet lines appeared to be designed for staff to dish your plates, but was operated as self serve, and it was really hard to reach under the glass to put food on a serving spoon, because the distance was so deep. Staff in the buffet was sometimes rude, and when they transitioned from lunch to dinner (or breakfast to lunch), the buffet would have no food from time to time, so you had to wait, or plan your meal times. When you came to eat at normal meal periods (breakfast, lunch, dinner), it was very crowded and you had to wait for a clear table. In contrast, Royal Caribbean's standard main dining room and buffet areas food and service was exceptional, tasty and polite. On Royal Caribbean you would be very happy without any restaurant upgrades.
The staff is clearly incentivized to sell the "specialty restaurants". Having had a great experience with upgrading to specialty restaurants on Royal Caribbean, we ate in the Sushi and Italian specialty restaurants on Millennium. Sushi was better than average, the Italian was exceptional. Great wine, service and menu.
As part of the Alaskan cruise experience, we booked two separate helicopter/dog sledding experiences through Celebrity. Both times they were cancelled due to weather, and they would only cancel 30 minutes prior, so when they cancelled, you did not have time to book alternative experiences. We recommend if you are booking anything with a flight or that can be affected by weather, you book for as early as possible, since you cannot cancel and get a refund, and if it cancels, you have time to book alternatives. We also found that the tour operators in each Alaskan port are selling the same experiences, for lower cost, sometimes substantially lower.
The evening shows were great, and worth attending. The acts were Broadway level, and the comedian was great as well. On par with Royal Caribbean.
Drink packages were horrendously complex and expensive - it was impossible to determine if you should buy one, or just pay by the drink. Other cruise lines make it easier, and don't gouge. Internet service packages were also way overpriced, and connection speed was unusable.
As suite guests, we had perks that made a big difference in the overall experience. Royal Caribbean did not have such perks when we got a suite with them. If we did not upgrade to the suite on the Millennium, we would have been pretty disgruntled with the experience.
I doubt we would book another Celebrity cruise, while many of the crew and officers were great, I think they really need to improve their service level, facilities and quality. It's worth noting that Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Silversea are all owned by the same corporate parent. Hopefully they manage these brands and operations separately, and don't allow them to all come down to the level of Celebrity. Read Less
Really wanted to take an Alaska cruise and this fit with our schedule. It was ok, overall. The staff were genuinely friendly. Most of the shows were decent enough. Very little trivia, which was a surprise. Also, no piano player. How ... Read More
Really wanted to take an Alaska cruise and this fit with our schedule. It was ok, overall. The staff were genuinely friendly. Most of the shows were decent enough. Very little trivia, which was a surprise. Also, no piano player. How hard is that, really?
The ports of call were uneven, with Icy Passage being totally overpriced for the few options that did exist. Skip this port. Skagway was marginally better, but still more of a "Disney destination". Hubbard Glacier was outstanding. Juneau and Ketchikan were really great.
This was our second Celebrity cruise and we are frequent cruisers. The food was totally average. The ship is older and shows it. Unlike other reviewers, I like it when the cruise line requires a collared shirt and long pants in the dining room. Too bad they didn't stick to it. Also, families with small children took it upon themselves to sit up front in the theater, even when they were expressly asked not to. The result was one terrible show for the 300 adults who were there. Go ahead and enforce your rules, or don't bother with them.
Solid enough, but you might want to look at other Alaska cruise options. Read Less
Our first cruise (20 something yrs ago) was out of Boston to Bermuda and I can say this cruise was so much more smooth. We had heard that the best way to see Alaska (Glaciers) was to take a cruise. We decided to do the land portion the ... Read More
Our first cruise (20 something yrs ago) was out of Boston to Bermuda and I can say this cruise was so much more smooth. We had heard that the best way to see Alaska (Glaciers) was to take a cruise. We decided to do the land portion the week before cruising because we knew there was more to Alaska than the Glaciers and I'm so glad we did it in that order. We were pretty tired at the end of the cruise and not sure the land portion would have been as enjoyable. The land portion has you up and going each morning to go to a specific place and then travel to the next destination so it was busy. The Cruise - To start with the cons, which are just a few. Upon arriving and not having a clear understanding of the beverage system we opened the Evian water and figured we would have to pay for it (and we did).
My suggestion to Celebrity is to offer a couple of free bottles of the regular water in the rooms upon arrival , we just wanted to collapse for a bit before exploring the ship. I know by now I'm getting people shaking their heads at our naivete thus my title for the review. LOL Our room was comfortable - but just note - the type of blowdryer which I'm assuming was in all rooms has a button that you must hold down while you use it. My thumb got a workout. I have thick hair and so holding that button was a workout and was probably the only truly aggravating thing my whole trip. My husbands most aggravating moment was when he paid $50.00 for a one time internet service. It was not worth it - he was trying to download and could not get a good connection. When he called about it, he was told to go to a more public area, which he did but didn't make much of a difference.
So having said all that we truly enjoyed the cruise both land and sea. We tried the Tuscan Grill the first night - they have a discount on the first night - the food was fine but I don't think worth the $60.00 cover charge. So once again - first time cruisers - they charge for the specialty restaurants. You eat whatever you want from the menu for that cover charge. We ate at the Main Dining Room on the first Chic Night (when you get dressed up) and it was good. We stood in line and were given a pager - no big deal. We ate there one other night (we were Any time Dining on the 4th deck) and ate with some people who said that they were placed at the same table most of the time so the waiter knew them and was so personable.. The rest of the time we just ate at the buffet. We aren't very picky and we always found something we liked. My husband went to the fitness center and thought it was very good. Free weights and all the machines. There is a jogging track on deck 11 and people were using it. I'm trying to run a 5K in every state so thought this would be my opportunity for checking off my State of Alaska 5K. When we went to Icy Strait there is a paved walkway that everyone is using to walk to Hoonah so I jogged on that and it was really perfect. Great views of the water and the weather was perfect. I think it would be very safe to run in any of the ports. On the first day there is a presentation of all the ports and I'm glad we went - just kind of gave us an overview of what was going on for the week. Excursions I found the ones online 20-50 dollars less than what is offered with Celebrity - Juneau we had booked the helicopter ride and sled dogs online through a tour company, but were disappointed because the weather was bad and it was cancelled. I was determined to see Mendenhall Glacier so we walked into town and took a bus $45.00 per person Round trip. There is a trail that gets you to Nugget Falls and the Glacier is beside it, there is Visitor Center to walk through and explain Glaciers. You are not walking on the glacier when you take the bus, just viewing it. Plenty of shopping in Juneau and we went back to the ship. Because we didn't have internet service we ended up booking through the Ships Shore Excursions but there are Tour Companies at each port as you walk off the ship. Only problem is the popular tours get booked fast so we didn't want to take our chances and booked on the ship. Skagway - we booked a helicopter ride to a glacier (I just wanted to say I walked on a glacier) and once again it was cancelled due to high winds. We were able to catch the last Mushers camp tour through the Ships Shore Excursions. It was cool seeing the dogs and having them pull us for a mile. Just a note - these are Alaskan huskies that are a mixed breed and who LOVE to run. Don't think you will be seeing fluffy Malamute, or Siberian Huskies. We got to hold the puppies and spoke with an Iditarod musher. Hubbard Glacier was amazing from the ship. Captain Alex turned the ship around so all sides could get a great view. We had a balcony - if you can afford it, I would get it. We used ours a lot. We are from Massachusetts so the 60 degree weather didn't seem cold and I wrapped up in a blanket to enjoy the fresh air and great scenery with a cup of coffee in the mornings. Icy Strait - we did the Zip Line - an hour up the mountain (stops for picture taking) and 90 seconds down. So much fun. It's the longest zip line but so smooth. Really anyone can do it. This is where I ran my 5K into Hoonah. Ketchikan - we booked a fishing trip online with someone who was recommended on the Alaska Cruisers FB page. He met us (my husband and I) at the port and off we went for the day. My husband caught two Halibut but no salmon. We had it shipped home - you get off the fishing boat at the Processing place and they take care of it.. The last day was cruising and I went to the Naturalist Talk about Eagles and wish I had gone to all her talks - she had 3 or 4 other talks during the week and was so informative . We went to the show the first night - a comedian who was good, we didn't go to any other shows - the shows run twice each night 7PM and 9 PM. We had borrowed my daughters camera and they offered a class in the photography area and it actually really helped us have a clue about how to get some good shots.
As far a packing, I overpack - but then I do when we go to the Caribbean. My husband brought a sports jacket (because I wanted a good picture of us - we were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary) and I brought a black dress. Very few were REALLY dressed up with long gowns but there were a few. For women it was mostly dresses and black pants with a pretty top. Most men wore buttoned down shirts, some wore jackets and ties. The second chic night not many dressed up and the people who went to the buffet didn't dress up at all. It's very casual - if you eat in the buffet - jeans. I had brought black pants but didn't need to wear them in the buffet. We brought our hiking boots but didn't need them - sneakers with good rubber soles are fine. I suppose if you are doing an excursion that says it is more strenuous you would need them but even at Denali National Park (land portion)we walked on a very smooth path. YES bring a rain jacket/wind breaker. I wore mine a lot with a t shirt and long sleeved t-shirt. I wasn't cold ever. I bought a sweatshirt there because I wanted one from Alaska and thinking I would need it but didn't. The coldest weather was at Hubbard Glacier, I wore a hat and the light stretchy cotton type gloves - cheap ones from Walmart. Overall the trip was a great way to see Alaska - doing both the land and the sea part. Read Less
I boarded the ship with a great deal of trepidation in view of the many previous negative reviews. I would advise fellow travelers to ignore the whiners and chronic complainers. One reviewer even commented that it was disappointing that ... Read More
I boarded the ship with a great deal of trepidation in view of the many previous negative reviews. I would advise fellow travelers to ignore the whiners and chronic complainers. One reviewer even commented that it was disappointing that it was a small ship! Any internet research would reveal that the ship carries about 2100 passengers - those wanting a bigger ship should book one!
Embarkation took all of ten minutes from the time we arrived at the dock until we were on the ship. Received a glass of champagne before heading to the stateroom. Pretty typical veranda room - the shower is a little larger than most. Yes, there were a few minor rust spots on the veranda, and there were a couple of scratches on the walls, but I would have guessed the ship were seven or eight years old rather than eighteen. A little wear and tear is expected. Room was immediately next to the elevators, but never had a problem with excess noise. Closet provided a good amount of storage so we could completely unpack.
Shower was excellent, good water pressure. The towels are just fine, despite one writer's complaint that they were thin and threadbare. I've never had better on any other ship.
Food was generally excellent - pretty standard breakfast fare, muffins lacked variety, but otherwise no complaints. Lunch was quite good, on some days really excellent - very nice variety - only complaint is that there is no burger/hot dog station and no station with deli meats and cheeses to make sandwiches, as exist on the Solstice class ships. Oceanview Cafe is a bit undersized for the number of passengers - it occasionally took some doing to get a table. One day there were four people at a table playing Scrabble at the height of the lunch hour!! Celebrity needs to take steps to encourage people to show more courtesy to fellow passengers.
Went to the main dining room only once - food was fairly good and the service excellent, but I dislike having the adjacent table only three or four inches away. Ate dinner two nights in the Oceanview Cafe - really nice selection of excellent food. Only real complaint, and heard this from numerous passengers, is that the desserts looked far better than they tasted. Celebrity can and should do better. Thank goodness for the ice cream station! Had two nights in Qsine and two nights in the Tuscan Grill. If one buys a package of multiple nights, the cost comes down quite a bit. I thought the specialty nights were a bargain - the food was fantastic as was the service all four nights. Highly recommended.
Entertainment in the theater ranged from good to outstanding, most of it outstanding. The singer one night was excellent, the two comedians OK but not wonderful, the three nights of productions by the ship's singers and dancers were really well done.
As for onboard activities, there are the usual casino and shopping venues, art auctions, wine tastings, etc. Had no interest in these.
In Juneau we rented a car to drive around so we could be independent - Avis is a fifteen minute hike from the ship. In Skagway, we took the train up into the mountains, then a small bus on to the Yukon. In Ketchikan, we did the Crab Fisherman's Tour. We booked everything independently, which provides a small savings. It's Alaska, they have only four months a year to make their money, so things are generally priced about 100% more than they would be elsewhere. We did enjoy the tours. Icy Strait Point is essentially a waste of time except to connect to the internet inexpensively and catch up on one's emails.
The cruise by Hubbard Glacier was fantastic - we had great weather and were able to get within a mile, the legal limit. Able to see and hear the calving process. Cruise of the Inside Passage was OK, saw a few whales.
We had a standard drink package with our cruise fare and spent the money to upgrade to the premium drink package. If you drink alcohol and have a few drinks every day, it's a good deal, because you get fresh-squeezed OJ at breakfast with the package as well as bottled water when you leave the ship, in addition to virtually any cocktail or glass of wine you care to order. It eliminates the constant signing of tickets if you have a package. Some reviewers have complained about poor service at the bars, but we had no problem, in fact service from Avanish in the Rendezvous Lounge was exceptional!! After one day, he knew what drinks we wanted when we sat down at the bar. Only complaint was that at 3 pm one day when we returned to the ship, we could find no open bar for a drink other than the Sunset bar which, of course, was outdoors and it was cold! Made no sense!
I always get off the ship at 7:30 and manage my own luggage - saves an immense amount of time and hassle. Canadian customs took all of ten seconds. We used the train to the airport, but I would caution you that it is a very long hike with stairs, escalators, and elevators to negotiate. The fare for two was less than $9 Canadian, but if I had it to do over again, I would have used a taxi. Uber not yet in business due to British Columbia politics, apparently. Read Less
We just got back from a seven-night Inside Passage Alaskan cruise on the Solstice and, in general, it was very nice.
Background: My wife (37) and I (43) took this cruise with my parents as a celebration of their 50th anniversary. ... Read More
We just got back from a seven-night Inside Passage Alaskan cruise on the Solstice and, in general, it was very nice.
Background: My wife (37) and I (43) took this cruise with my parents as a celebration of their 50th anniversary. They had booked it and wanted us (as cruise experts/excursion planners/luggage porters) to join them, which we did “last minute” by cruise standards (two months out). This was our 9th cruise, (7 on Celebrity, 2 on Princess), going back to 2007 and all our cruises have reviews on Cruise Critic. In my last review (January 2017 Caribbean Princess), I did a comparison of X vs. Princess and rereading it now, I can say my comments actually stand the test of time. Here it is: https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=563757
Though our seventh X cruise, this was our first on X in over five years as well as our first on a Solstice-class ship (now almost 10 years old). Definitely feel the increased size a when getting on/off the ship, but not usually too many other times, with perhaps the exception of the buffet, which at times seemed rather crowded. This was our second cruise to Alaska (first on Infinity back in 2008) and we were very much looking forward to returning. Cruise had more children than I expected (would guess at least 400 or so), but generally not an issue in terms of behavior, and I am certainly not one who seeks opportunities to spend time with children. Many baby boomers in their 60s or early 70s, not as many 75+ as I expected. My parents (in their mid-70s/early-80s) had contemporaries, but not as many as those 10 years younger.
Pre-Cruise: We flew United from Washington IAD to SEA the night before. Available hotel rooms in downtown Seattle were basically nonexistent that night, and really expensive if available (e.g., $500 for Best Western), so we stayed near SeaTac, seemingly along with everyone else going on a cruise. Still $275 for one night at a Hampton Inn a mile from the airport. We walked to Safeway early the next morning to get water, diet soda, and tonic and a lime to bring aboard. Taking an Uber back, the driver told us about a friend who could take all four of us (in a black Suburban) to the pier for $70. Considering the other option seemed to be a $25/person shuttle or taking two taxis, we took the opportunity and he showed up on-time.
Embarkation: Though it didn’t seem to say on any of our cruise documents, the ship was at Pier 91, not Pier 66; fortunately, our driver knew where to go when we took him to Pier 66 and no ships were there. Dropoff was a bit chaotic (RCL Adventurer of Seas was at the port too), but easier than Pier 66 ten years ago because there’s more space to load/unload as it’s not in the middle of downtown. Dock workers were helpful once you could get one. We tipped $10 and he helped my parents a lot. Check in wasn’t too bad: went through security, then lines to check in. Regular line was long (for my parents), Elite was a two minute wait, which is what we had. Boarding was very fast with no issues. Luggage came in the afternoon, though our last bag (containing only sodas, water, etc.) took a little while to arrive. We brought in our usual two bottles of wine per cabin with no issues.
Cabin: We had a regular balcony room (2B), which seemed pretty good on Solstice, but the large sofa made drawer and closet space smaller than would like. Our cabin steward, Peter, was excellent and eager to please. BTW, my parents were down the hall with a massive handicap accessible room (though they are not mobility impaired—just was what was available as we booked only two months out). Their room was like a hotel room in size, but with annoyances to deal with if you are not in fact handicapped (e.g., a door that only opened by pushing a button, emergency alarms that seemed to malfunction at times).
Main Dining Room: Had “select” (anytime) dining for the first time on X, and that went well. The first night, the four of us got a table by ourselves and we locked in an 8:15 time for four at the same table for the rest of the cruise after hitting it off with the waiters. Not a big fan of “starters” and “entrees” as only options, rather than listed as courses (though of course, can do so—we usually had four courses including dessert). Our waiters, Widana and Suryati (both from Indonesia) were kind, thoughtful, and by the end of trip, sad to say goodbye to. They had good recommendations and were accommodating of my parents who are getting up there in age. We tipped them extra of course. We skipped dinner the final night (like many) as we were in Victoria, BC during dinner. We do miss the “formal” nights to some degree, but many people were still dressed up during the “elegant chic” nights (us included) in dresses, sports jackets/suits, etc. And the food is better those nights too, of course.
Murano: We ate one night at Murano (while my parents ate in the MDR). I suspect this is the only specialty restaurant on Solstice that’s actually worth it. Based on how they hard-sell the upcharge restaurants other than Murano, I suspect that’s a common opinion. It’s a little pricey for $50/person, but it’s worth it one night a cruise for us, as it’s a slower pace, quieter and a more refined menu and experience.
Buffet: I generally avoid the buffet when I can (limited to maybe 3 lunches on this cruise), and I found this to be generally disappointing. The pizza is much worse than I remember (I think recipe has changed) from old X cruises (Princess’s is definitely better). It was more crowded than the Millennium class ships too, and was often hard to get a seat. I found the sanitation practices to be as lax as I have ever seen on any cruise. People using tongs in ways that would spread germs easily and no one was serving you food. Didn’t have any issues in that regard, but was mildly turned off by it.
Due our “Elite” status, we could make use of the Elite breakfast, which was a major highlight. Located in the Tuscan Grille, we had a choice of many coffees/morning cocktails with interesting (though limited) breakfast options. Great attentive service, and the Captain’s Club (CC) hostess (Paulina from Mexico) was great. She was a constant presence, very helpful, made sure you knew about all the events, never tried to sell you anything, and always asked if you wanted something else. The Elite breakfast was quiet, uncrowded, and very civilized. The CC Cocktail hour (really two hours) in the Sky Lounge was similarly a nice treat. Their one-day only “elegant tea”, however, was a dud and far less impressive than Princess’s, which is available most days and open to everyone, not just Elite loyalty members.
As I detailed in my most recent Princess review (again, link posted above), there are places where X and Princess do better than the other. I won’t repeat them here but after this trip, I felt like Princess might have a small edge, though our Elite status on X is worth quite a bit (free bag of laundry, aforementioned breakfast and cocktails, 90 minutes of internet) so our eggs are somewhat in one basket. If you care most about sleek ship styling, elegant spaces, staterooms with nicer touches, uncrowded public rooms (especially the theatre) and interesting MDR food (especially starters and entrees), X has the edge. If you care more about affordable drinks/wine (as well as water/soda packages), better value alternative restaurants, dining on your balcony, better desserts (if slightly less interesting entrees and starters), more dining options for lunch, elegant afternoon tea, self-serve laundry, functional—if less glamorous and slightly worn—staterooms, then Princess clearly has the edge.
As for Solstice’s main downside, we thought there was LOTS of space for shops, and to a lesser extent, specialty restaurants. I don’t mind the latter, but the former makes it often feel more like a casino/shopping mall than ship. As many have mentioned, and more so than what I recall from prior X cruises, there was hard selling of drink packages and specialty restaurants, which leads me to believe that the product offerings are overpriced; and thus they must resort to hard selling. Other than Murano, the upcharge restaurants seemed, empty which I think means the menus can’t justify their prices. We were “greeted” many times throughout the ship when it was clear that the waiter/sommelier, etc. was only doing so as an entrée for a sales pitch (often a crab lunch that we had no interest in). I don’t mind extra charges, but I do mind hard selling on my vacation. The prices for drinks, drink packages and specialty restaurants seem very high, and the fact that on Princess it’s pushed much less and is even hard to get a reservation at their specialty restaurants is probably an indication that X is failing in this regard. Basic arithmetic would say that you would need around 10 drinks/day to break even on the drink packages—and sporty amount for anyone, especially considering you’re often in port, drinks are not available in your room, you can’t order two at a time, etc. It’s clear X knows this; even when I was ordering drinks (and paying for them normally), the waiters asked if I wanted a drink package—sometimes, two or three “no thanks” were required. Frustrating.
Entertainment: the evening shows were generally pretty good. The singers, dancers and acrobats were impressive, and both comedians (Rich Aronovitch in particular) were very solid and even a bit edgy. I was initially skeptical of our cruise director, Alejandro from Argentina, but he was in fact very charming, funny and very likeable. Like Princess, there could be more enrichment activities, but we were delighted that Brent Nixon, the naturalist who was aboard on our prior Alaskan cruise 10 years ago, was aboard once again. He’s definitely not everyone’s (including my father’s) cup of tea, as his shows are very much performances and he engages at times in histrionics, but he’s also very well-informed about all things related to Alaskan wildlife. Even if the style is not to everyone’s liking, X (and Princess) needs more of these types of people on board to give talks, not fewer. Fortunately, these talks were well-attended so I hope the message is getting out. Mercifully, there was no a capella quartet on this cruise (unlike previous X cruises we’ve been on). Sadly, that did not seem to translate into more musicians—there were just two classical musicians aboard for my parents to enjoy.
Ketchikan: took a taxi ($30 each way) on our own to Perseverance trail (near Ward Lake). Good hike (about 5.5 miles r/t and a 500 feet climb), but it’s just a lake (though nice one) at the top. Great weather helped, though it was more good exercise than great views. Cabbie came back to meet us on time. Based on my experience, it seems likely your driver will be a talkative, helpful Alaskan cabby with interesting life stories. Afterwards, we headed to dive bar, Sourdough, right near the port for a couple of beers before heading back to the ship.
Juneau was a bit of a washout weather wise. We went to Mendenhall Glacier with my parents. Similar nice cabbie (talked about his life growing up in a tiny SE Alaskan town). $35 + $12/person (since we had an annual pass for National Parks). Very crowded with lots of (Chinese) tourists, and less good views of the glacier than Dawes glacier in Tracy Fjord earlier in the day—so a bit of a disappointment, but still a decent walk and some exercise, and we saw up close a bear and her two cubs. We planned to do Mt. Roberts Tramway afterwards with a longer hike, but it was rainy and fogged in, so it wouldn’t have been worth it, so we skipped. We instead went to the Alaska Bar, somewhat divey, and less overtly touristy than some others. Unlikely everything else in Alaska, drinks at bars are actually rather cheap (drafts like $5-$6 for Alaska beer, cheap macros were like $3-$4).
Skagway: A much smaller town where cabs are not necessary. My wife and I hiked to Lower Dewey Lake and around most of it. Steep, but not too long to get there (about a mile each way). Good exercise and not as muggy as the hike in Ketchikan. Like many, did the White Pass and Yukon Railway trip. Very crowded with four cruise ships in town that day (Ruby Princess, Star Princess, Nieuw Amsterdam and us). But worth the trip for the unbelievable scenery, helped by generally very good weather. The main street in town, Broadway, was a little prettier, even if filled with tourists and gift/jewelry shops, than equivalents in Ketchikan and Juneau. We went down to the end of the street to have a Sitka Spruce Tips Blonde at Skagway Brewing company, continuing the theme of a local bar visit after a day of excursions/hiking. Though slightly pricier than the bars in Ketchikan and Skagway, still cheap compared to D.C. prices and especially since everything else in Alaska is expensive.
Victoria: nice town, but of course, a short stop. We went downtown. Note: r/t tickets from pier were $13/person on shuttle bus, so we instead took a taxi (four of us) for fixed $10 plus tip each way, which was obviously much cheaper. We had a few beers and a light dinner at a pub (Bard and Banker, I think it’s called) on Government Street and walked around for a few hours.
Disembarkation was fine, though there seemed to be waits for taxis. We had the driver who took us to the port come and pick us up (he was early, which was great). Stayed post-cruise at Westin Downtown. Perfectly fine, if you can stand Seattle prices. Flight home the following day was blissfully uneventful. Used the same driver who drove us to the pier to drive us to the airport for $70. Note that a taxi from downtown is fixed at $40, but we would have had to take two with my parents and our luggage, so still a decent value.
Final Thoughts: No one in his right might can complain about a pleasant, event-free Alaskan cruise with his wife and parents celebrating their 50th anniversary. Celebrity continues to excel in MDR and cabin service, very good MDR food at dinners, evening entertainment, nice décor and generally upscale atmosphere. We were impressed enough to put a deposit on another cruise at some point in the future, but I think it’s safe to say that to a large extent our decision for what cruise line to use in the future will be based on itinerary, amenities, and price. Read Less
This was a great cruise and Captain Tasos was fantastic! He was personable, entertaining, and informative. We would take another cruise with Celebrity just to sail with him again. The ship is just the right size for us. Smaller ships ... Read More
This was a great cruise and Captain Tasos was fantastic! He was personable, entertaining, and informative. We would take another cruise with Celebrity just to sail with him again. The ship is just the right size for us. Smaller ships can get into smaller ports and waterways, but they lack the selection of entertainment and food. The mega ships are just too large and impersonal. We choose this cruise because it was an inside passage cruise and it left from and retuned to Seattle. This was our first cruise in many years and we were very happy with the experience. We had a balcony cabin on the port side that was in great condition and we were well taken care of by our room stewards. If we do this cruise again I'll book a starboard cabin because I found the view to be better on the starboard side. The food was great in the main dining room and the buffet. We never tried any of the specialty restaurants because the food and service was so good in the buffet and main dining room. The entertainment was very good and the activity lectures were outstanding. Brent Nixon, who gave the wildlife lectures, was the best I've ever seen, and Mary Amanda who gave the port historical presentations was also outstanding. We enjoyed this trip so much my wife wanted to go back as soon as we got home! Read Less
We read reviews prior to booking in January for trip to Alaska on Celebrity and were expecting more. Our trip was average at best and food was not as good as our previous cruise on Royal Caribbean.
Weather was not good except for our ... Read More
We read reviews prior to booking in January for trip to Alaska on Celebrity and were expecting more. Our trip was average at best and food was not as good as our previous cruise on Royal Caribbean.
Weather was not good except for our day in Ketchikan on this trip but nothing we do about that. We booked all of our excursions ourselves instead of through cruise line which worked our well and was less expensive than utilizing cruise line. Research via trip advisor for things to do. We we did wildlife and whale watching as well as Misty Fjords on a float plane. The plane excursion was great. Trip to mindenhall glacier and national park was very good.
Food was disappointing except for the Ocean Blue Cafe. Best bets is to get food to order at the cafe. You can do this at breakfast and lunch. Trellis dining room was okay but nothing to write home about. Our best meal was at Tuscan but 90 dollar upcharge.
Entertainment was okay. One good comedian, good Elton John Tribute and decent cast shows. The waiters and servers were very personable and good. Jorge was very good at the Trellis.
Trip to Hubbard glacier was great even in wet weather.
Rooms were okay, decent shower, uncomfortable bed and pillows and limited closet space. Furnishings were dated.
Would I cruise Celebrity again? Very doubtful, it was less than expected. Read Less
This cruise was recommended by our travel agent. We paid over $3500 Au for Concierge class and whilst the cabin was reasonably comfortable it certainly wasn’t luxurious.
Embarkation took over an hour as we had to wait whilst 2 ships ... Read More
This cruise was recommended by our travel agent. We paid over $3500 Au for Concierge class and whilst the cabin was reasonably comfortable it certainly wasn’t luxurious.
Embarkation took over an hour as we had to wait whilst 2 ships passengers passed slowly through US Customs.
The ship is old and dated. The main dining area was overcrowded (sometimes nowhere to sit), the food was mediocre and pretty tasteless, the activities were boring, the service was substandard from most of the staff, though a few people stood out with their friendliness and helped us a lot.
When we asked about our booked excursions re clothing we needed to take etc, they just dismissed us. When an activity was cancelled, there was no interest in offering an alternative-just, you’ll get a refund.
We went to the entertainment once and walked out after 20 minutes. I’ve seen better high school productions.
If you’re an Aussie, you’ll get this. It was like a giant floating RSL Club-average food, average entertainment, pokies everywhere, lots of old people (I’m over 60 and even I felt young). People would go to the coffee shop where you had to pay extra or have a drinks package, and just curl up and sleep in the arm chairs by the windows! When we asked the staff to ask them to move they just shrugged their shoulders and walked off.
Regarding the staff-our cabin attendant said they work a 7 month contract and never get a day off. I can see why they all look overwhelmed.
The one good thing was the excursions. We did kayaking in Sitka, a helicopter/airboat/glacier excursion in Juneau and ziplining in Ketchikan. The kayaking was good but the guide basically forgot we were there and kept leaving us behind (must be that over 50 invisible thing). The helicopter tour was booked on the wharf in Juneau as our other tour was cancelled due to weather. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Look out for the Taku Glacier excursion. The ziplining in Ketchikan was amazing and took my 66 year old sister and me to the extreme but I would do it again in a heartbeat. The staff were brilliant and treated us with great respect as did the helicopter tour staff.
Having done a Hawaiian Cruise last year, Celebrity compared poorly.
We decided that the only benefit of the cruise was to get us from one excursion to the other. Be warned. Read Less
A family member organized an Alaska cruise from Vancouver through the Inside Passage, August 3-12, 2018. The boarding experience was fairly smooth and we waited in the Oceanview Cafe until our rooms were ready. That's when I found out ... Read More
A family member organized an Alaska cruise from Vancouver through the Inside Passage, August 3-12, 2018. The boarding experience was fairly smooth and we waited in the Oceanview Cafe until our rooms were ready. That's when I found out that CocaCola was $3 per can, plus tip.
The mandatory safety briefing in the theater was a multimedia presentation in multiple languages, explaining how to put on a life jacket and where to go to board a lifeboat if necessary.. The glaring omission was an explanation of what action to take, what alarm button to push, and/or who to report an emergency such as "man overboard." I constantly looked for placards or ship's crew to get some clarification about this, and was unable to find anyone except one 4-striper with a cell phone glued to his ear. So, I'm still looking for an answer to that one.
Our stateroom attendant was excellent, but a little overeager, so we quickly learned to hang the "do not disturb" sign outside the door whenever we were in the room - and sometimes when we were out of the room, too.
The Trellis Restaurant is way overrated: big plates, small portions and generally overcooked. Service was mostly friendly and efficient, though.
The buffet in the Oceanview Cafe was much better: wide selection and fresh. Well, the pizza could be better.
The live floor shows in the theater were of generally high caliber and quite professionally executed, particularly the Saturday night finale. We saw it twice and would have gone again if there'd been a third performance.
Disembarking was orderly and the sooner the better, Luggage retrieval is well organized, as it has to be. For that matter, everything is well organized, since the ship is on a strict itinerary. However, if you lose anything, it's gone, as the only lost and found is on the ship, so by the time you realize something is missing, the ship has sailed. Bon voyage! Read Less
We went on the Celebrity Infinity for a round trip Alaska cruise departing from Vancouver, BC on August 5th, 2018. We went on the trip with me, my wife, our 16 month old son, and extended family. It was a family reunion trip, which seems ... Read More
We went on the Celebrity Infinity for a round trip Alaska cruise departing from Vancouver, BC on August 5th, 2018. We went on the trip with me, my wife, our 16 month old son, and extended family. It was a family reunion trip, which seems to work well on cruises since there's something to do for everyone and it's easy to find space to get together as a family.
First off I need to say that the crew went above and beyond to make it a memorable and enjoyable trip. As many of you already know from other cruises, the crew work so hard to make us happy and that’s what really makes the difference. Our stateroom attendant (Aldrin) was always so pleasant and cheerful and helped make out room more comfortable for my wife and me and our one year old son. He learned my son's name right away and always greeted him with a smile whenever we passed him in the halls. You can read more about our room experience in the room section below.
For dinner we had a large group and got one of the larger tables (table 153) and our server Irfan hustled like crazy to honor all of the requests of my large extended family. We had 3 young kids and he honored our request to bring out the food ASAP so that the kids wouldn't get fussy while waiting for their food. He quickly learned our preferences and he always had the high chairs ready, extra bread sticks for the kids, etc. The Trellis Restaurant main dining room was able to accommodate our special food requests (allergies for the kids) and even specially prepared single ingredient puréed for my 16th month old son. Mealtimes are always a struggle with my son but Irfan helped make our meals enjoyable! He deserves extra recognition for how hard he had to work to accommodate us all.
I had some issues with my prepaid internet package and I also wanted to commend Olivia at the guest relations desks. I was having some issues with my prepaid internet package and she helped me get it all sorted out. Not only that, she followed up with me a few times to make sure everything was working and really took the time to make sure I was having an enjoyable cruise experience. She is definitely a valuable asset to the guest relations team and went above and beyond what I would have expected.
In terms of the internet package, I prepaid for 2 devices and it seemed to be the same price on the ship as my prepaid price (maybe I saw the price wrong but it didn't seem to be a discount for pre-paying). Also they discount the price of the unlimited internet packages starting on Wednesday (day 4 of the cruise). Next time, I would probably just buy internet half way through the trip. The first day is when you get on in Vancouver so you can use your cell phone fine. Day 2 is at sea so no internet. Day 3 is Sitka most of the day and there's a few places to get free Wifi in Sitka. There is a crab tent with free Wifi right when you dock. You can also get free Wifi at the public library and also the bus terminal.
We did have some choppy waters, especially on the two sea days at the start and end of the cruise and on the Hubbard Glacier day. My wife got terribly sea sick on those sea days and we were able to get some sea sickness medication from guest relations. From what I’ve read online, Alaska may have more choppy waters than other cruise locations. My wife had no sea sickness on our Caribbean cruise a few years ago and I also don’t remember as much rocking of the boat for the Western Mediterranean. So this may be something to consider if you get sea sick easily.
There’s not much activities or planned events for kids under 3 but we were still able to enjoy the cruise. My son especially enjoyed the live music at various times throughout the ship. We didn’t try out the in cabin babysitting but they do offer it for a fee. The toddler time drop in play sessions were quite limited in time slots and honestly didn’t have much. It was only a small play area and not that many toys (a number of which did not work because they were out of batteries). The under 3 year old offerings could definitely be improved. (But you sort of know going into it that they don’t do much for young kids...)
For embarkation we got to the cruise terminal around 1pm and it went smoothly for us. You can pull your car in underneath the cruise terminal and porters take your luggage directly from the car onto the ship. Make sure you have your luggage tags ready to go. We brought bottled water for my son's formula and put some luggage tags on it. They took it directly from the car and delivered it outside our room. Some other family members checked in around 11am and they had to wait almost an hour for the check-in line whereas the wait was maybe 10 minutes by the time we got there. You do clear US customs before boarding the ship.
For disembarkation we opted to carry the luggage off the ship ourselves so that we could make it off the ship as early as possible to get home for my son's first nap. Read Less
For our 5th trip to Alaska (and 30th cruise overall) we chose Celebrity Infinity with a Vancouver R/T. Boarding at Canada Place (with one other ship in port) could not have been smoother. These people know what they are doing! The ship ... Read More
For our 5th trip to Alaska (and 30th cruise overall) we chose Celebrity Infinity with a Vancouver R/T. Boarding at Canada Place (with one other ship in port) could not have been smoother. These people know what they are doing! The ship looks amazing. Clean and spiffy, new (or VERY) clean carpeting throughout, soft comfortable bedding, and a marvelous staff. We were very impressed with the friendliness and helpfulness of this crew. From our lost/delayed luggage that our cabin steward found, to the unbelievably gracious staff in BLU, to the vibrant evening shows, and the fun-loving cruise staff - a wonderful trip in every way. This was our first time in Aqua Class, but it won't be our last. (Already booked our next trip!) The cabins are premium balcony cabins with a wonderful shower system, and attentive service. Dining in BLU for breakfast and dinner was a delicious experience. Fresh food served without fussy sauces and unparalleled service. The wine steward, Fernando, was a hoot!! A special shout out to Eduardo, Crispin, and Jenny too. The onboard naturalist was fascinating. He had some really wonderful experiences to share and was knowledgeable about so many topics. His commentary during our Hubbard Glacier visit was spot-on. Entertainment throughout the ship was impressive. The evening shows were very good, the comedians were hilarious, and the musical guests were terrific ~ piano player, guitar player, and an electric violin duo ~ all really lovely. We did not favor the spa experience this time however. We have used the Parisian Garden many times previously and found the spa staff onboard Celebrity to be quite unimpressive. There were several mix-ups at check-in with locker keys, sandals, and robes; the area was not monitored for heat/warmth/aroma; and the employees were just not that friendly or attentive. We ported in Sitka (lovely little city, nice city shuttle, friendly too!!); Juneau (FABULOUS shore excursion to Tracy Arm Fjord); and Skagway (walked ourselves out to the Totem Park). All in all - a very nice itinerary with three gorgeous sea days - saw a few humpbacks and one orca along the way. Disembarkation was as easy as you can possibly imagine and we were out walking around in downtown Vancouver by 9am. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this ship, this sailing, and this itinerary. Cheers!! Read Less
Perhaps the significant thing is that there is something for everyone young or old. No-one needs to suffer boredom. There were outside activities on the top with food available for those who did not want to stir and there were games on the ... Read More
Perhaps the significant thing is that there is something for everyone young or old. No-one needs to suffer boredom. There were outside activities on the top with food available for those who did not want to stir and there were games on the side decks. Seating or lounging was available everywhere and although the ship was extremely busy we were never stuck for room. We used the Trellis Dining Room for our evening meals much to the delight of the children who are not used to waiter service. My wife and I being the grandparents and a little elderly did not make use of the gym facilities but the children and their mother did along with the spa and swimming pool. One of the young girls used the running track as well she felt she had been putting on excessive weight with all the sumptuous food.
As we are all nature lovers the highlight for us however was actually ashore in Juneau where we came across a family of black bears fishing for sockeye salmon in a creek.
Marvellous! Read Less