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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
The boat is a bit older but had some really nice unique things,like in the blu dining room you could see out from every seat,the bar kept curtains open later and the ocean view cafe was spread out so flowed better. They also left salad bar ... Read More
The boat is a bit older but had some really nice unique things,like in the blu dining room you could see out from every seat,the bar kept curtains open later and the ocean view cafe was spread out so flowed better. They also left salad bar open longer which is great if you got back later in the day. The need to reconfigure the spa and Persian gardens.spa rooms were too bright the Persian garden too dark. Flip them!!I missed the fresh fruit that we got daily in aqua class. Also if you are cruising in europe pre book and pre pay for excursions to avoid added vat charge. Also Tuscan and qsine were not as good as on solstice. I loved that the pool areas were larger in both the solarium and the open one,but I hated that the canyon spa,breakfast,lunch area was dark,hidden and didn't have ice. We had an issue with a cancelled due to conditions excusion,we had to get the group together and argue to be reimbursed. Thanks to Norbert it was resolved but was alot of wasted time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
After reading reviews of all the lines serving Alaska, I chose Celebrity because I thought it would offer great service and dining, along with enough activities to keep my 10 year old grandson engaged. I also did not want a megaship ... Read More
After reading reviews of all the lines serving Alaska, I chose Celebrity because I thought it would offer great service and dining, along with enough activities to keep my 10 year old grandson engaged. I also did not want a megaship offering too many on-board activities as I wanted him to be interested in the excursions of the port cities and not want to stay on board. I also wanted to fly in/out of Seattle and wanted four ports. Embarkation and disembarkation were both smooth. Crew members were helpful. We booked Concierge class. It would have been helpful to receive a list of perks. We did not have robes or binoculars in the room when we arrived although our wonderful steward brought them to us when asked. We also had a welcome lunch on embarkation, a concierge dedicated to just this class and a couple of special events we were invited to. When we booked, our fare was not much different than a regular balcony room but I'm not sure how much this class was actually worth. My grandson enjoyed the Fun Factory. There were many children on board as this was summer and Alaska. He particularly liked being able to check in and out on his own. He made friends to pal around with and there were many activities that engaged the tweeners. The entertainment was great. We went to both musicals as well as the magician and comedian. The only one lacking was the impressionist. We also attended talks by the naturalist and historian that were quite interesting. We also enjoyed the live music which was in many locations on the ship. As for activities, we participated in many of the nightly games. My husband loved the gym and yoga classes. I did daily line dancing and meditation. We also took a swing dance class. We did excursions in all ports. The Skagway mushers' camp was a real highlight. We also enjoyed the White Pass train, the Wildlife Safari and Beach Bonfire, and the Lumberjack Show. We were a bit disappointed with the Mendenhall Glacier and Salmon Bake as you only see the glacier at a distance. In retrospect I wish we had explored Victoria on our own. The O Canada bus tour wasn't that great and was pricey for what it was. All these tours were booked on the website or on the ship. Note that the prices increase the closer to embarkation date. We did the Mt. Roberts Tram on our own. We usually had room service breakfast as the buffet gets quite crowded. We ate at both the buffet and main dining room for dinners, preferring the main dining room. Both venues offered a lot of choices. We had one meal in the Tuscan Grille that was excellent. My grandson loved the trip and did not want to come home. We all wished we had more days. I am already planning another trip. Interesting note--Capt. Tasos announced on our last day that it was his last day on the Solstice and that he would be moving to the Equinox. He is a captain who gets involved with the passengers, playing sports and games, and making the rounds. He has a great sense of humor and added to the enjoyment of this cruise. If this cruise is representative of Celebrity I cannot recommend it enough! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I had not been interested in seeing Alaska since I live in the Seattle area. I believed the climate and scenery would be similar, so I typically travel away from the rain and cold toward sunshine and warmth. However, our friends (two ... Read More
I had not been interested in seeing Alaska since I live in the Seattle area. I believed the climate and scenery would be similar, so I typically travel away from the rain and cold toward sunshine and warmth. However, our friends (two couples we had traveled with previously) invited us to join them on this cruise, and I am so happy we did. I would happily go on another Alaskan cruise, and I hope I get to one day. The scenery is so beautiful, and must be experienced in person. Words and pictures do not capture it. I have only been on one other cruise ship, RCI Symphony of the Seas, so in comparison the Solstice is much smaller. I definitely felt the ship movement more on this ship, but it did not affect me. I did, however, wear sea bands as a preventative measure. The ship is very clean and very pretty. We had an Aqua Class cabin on deck 11 and enjoyed the privileges of unlimited Persian Garden use in the Spa, and eating in the Blu restaurant. The captain was very engaged with the passengers, and his sense of humor was a delight. We were very lucky to have a gorgeous sunrise over Mendenhall Glacier, and the captain spun the ship 540 degrees so all could view the majestic glacier up close. The crew were all very friendly, work very hard, and are all eager to provide a great experience to every guest. We thoroughly enjoyed the educational talks offered on the ship about the wildlife, history of the port towns, and gold rush history. And the captain's powerpoint of the building of Solstice. If you can take time to hear these talks you won't be disappointed. We went to one show called Broken Strings. They did a great job dancing, but it was not easy to follow the story line through the songs. I could not hear the lyrics of the songs at all. I only knew what was going on by the dancing and acting (in love, cheating, breakup, make up). We saw both comedians, and they were just ok. I'd pass next time. My friends did the glass blowing, and enjoyed it. A bit pricey, but ended up with cool souvenirs. Canyon Ranch Spa: I had a deep tissue massage and also a paraffin wax treatment, and both were great. Beware of the emphasis by all the spa staff to upsell everything. They were very insistent that I buy a small tube of hand lotion for $33 (I declined). As aqua class, we were allowed to use the Persian Garden anytime. It has heated tile loungers with a floor to ceiling widow view of the ocean. I used this frequently, and it really warmed me up after the Juneau tour in the rain. DINING: We ate at Blu most of the time, which was the best option for Aqua Class. It is not crowded, you do not need reservations, they remember your name, and there is a great view from most tables. Blu is open for breakfast and dinner, which was fine since we were off the ship on port days. I ate at Grand Epernay (main dining room) three times. The dining room is very pretty, but the food was just ok. Nothing spectacular. The service was friendly and fast. The Oceanview Cafe is the buffet, and typically very crowded at meal times. Some dishes were very good, and others were very cafeteria bland. I did like that the cafe attendants were very attentive and offered to bring drinks from the bar to your table (if you could find a table!) Specialty Restaurants: We ate at Murano and at Silk Harvest. Murano was just ok. I had the lasagna that was oddly all meat and noodles, with very little cheese; not my favorite. Silk Harvest was the best experience. We had family style meal with all 3 couples and tried most of the menu items. I did not care for the shrimp pad tai but all the rest was really good. Drinks package: We had the premium package, and while it was nice to have the option to drink anything, we did not drink enough to make it worth the cost. It came with our package on this cruise, but I would not pay for it as an add on. Our friends had the classic package. Initially, it was not explained that there is a charge for drinks that cost over $9, and figuring out what drinks were part of their plan was confusing. I really liked getting specialty coffee or tea at Cafe al Bacio. It was comfortable seating with a view and treats. KETCHIKAN: We toured the town and Creek Street on our own, and went to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack show. It was cheesy show - but was also entertaining and showed off the amazing skills of the lumberjacks. In town, my husband ate a reindeer chili dog. Not my thing, but he liked it. JUNEAU: Mt Roberts Tramway: We docked at 1:30 and went on the tram before our 3:00 pm excursion. There were many cruisers in line for the tram, with long lines both ways. Be sure to allow enough time to do this if you have an excursion. The view would have been amazing, but was obstructed by fog. I did not think it was worth the price of $29 each. We did not plan to do a hike at the top, the resident eagle was not there, and we only spent about 20 minutes at the top because we had to return to the dock for our excursion tour at 3:00. Photo Safari Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier: This is a misnomer. No one on the tour was interested in photography, and the focus of the tour guide's information was on glacier conservation efforts, not cameras or photo opportunities. The nature trail to the glacier was through a dense forest, and it rained the entire time. The guide stopped frequently to talk about plants and glaciers, and the scenery lacked any real photo ops and only one viewpoint. Just before we finally got to the glacier visitor center and view, he told us that he had run out of time and we had to run to the bus to make it to the whale watching part of the tour. We basically missed the main destination! We were not allowed to go into the glacier visitor center. I snapped two pictures and ran to the bus. The next part of the tour was on a small boat guaranteed to see whales or we get $100 back. We did see whales, and photo ops were in abundance on the boat, but we were so cold from walking in the rain for two hours, the wind chill on the boat ride added more discomfort to our cold and wet bodies. They really should do the tour in the opposite direction. Boat tour first, then glacier visitor center, and then nature walk for those interested while allowing others to roam free in the glacier area. SKAGWAY: White Pass Summit and Beyond: (booked off cruise - Frontier Excursions and Adventures). This was a bus tour to White Pass and the Yukon Suspension Bridge. The tour guide, Brooke, was very funny and knowledgeable, and she stopped the bus frequently for photo ops when wildlife was spotted. She even backed up the bus and did u turns to allow us to view the animals, which would not be possible if we had taken the more popular White Pass train ride. We stopped to observe three different bears, and a mama moose and her calf. This was the best tour of the trip, and I got some spectacular photos. The scenery of the tundra-like arctic landscape and majestic mountains and glacial lakes was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Going to the Yukon is a must do for sure! VICTORIA: Buchart Gardens tour. We docked at 5:30, and took a bus to Buchart Gardens. This was barely enough time to see the garden. It is an amazingly beautiful place, and to really enjoy it you need time to just sit and experience the beauty. This tour was expensive and way too fast. I am glad I live in Seattle and can go again at a more leisurely pace. The tour guide on the bus talked non-stop about uninteresting random things. I would have preferred a quiet ride to his personal jabber, "beyond those trees is a lake, and I have memories of taking the children there when they were small", which did not add to my experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had such a relaxing, wonderful cruise. Everyone was so great from check in to departure. The food, and staff in Blu, and at specialty dining(Murano and Tuscan Grille) were amazing. We loved our bartenders! Thank you Jede Astawa, Jose ... Read More
We had such a relaxing, wonderful cruise. Everyone was so great from check in to departure. The food, and staff in Blu, and at specialty dining(Murano and Tuscan Grille) were amazing. We loved our bartenders! Thank you Jede Astawa, Jose and Pedro. Hope to see you next time! We loved the gym, Persian gardens and sauna. The solarium is beautiful as well. We spent quite a few days at the pool. The sunset bar was great too. The staff at celebrity did everything to make the cruise so special. We celebrated our 34th anniversary. There was champagne waiting in our room. Every afternoon there was a delicious surprise waiting for us from cheeses and fruit to shrimp or different meats. The guest entertainers were wonderful. Ashlie Amber was sensational. The comics were very funny. We love to dance and there were so many opportunities to do just that.(especially “silent disco”) the pool party was fun and the dancers from the show did a little something to entertain. The band was wonderful! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Reading the reviews about the Infinity made me a little concerned about the age of the ship being we were doing a transatlantic trip 8 days at sea and ending up in Portugal and Spain.I cannot understand how some people can complain about ... Read More
Reading the reviews about the Infinity made me a little concerned about the age of the ship being we were doing a transatlantic trip 8 days at sea and ending up in Portugal and Spain.I cannot understand how some people can complain about this ship. The trip over seas was exceptional the ride smooth and the staff wonderful. I cannot begin to say how wonderful the experience was. I think if your looking for problems you could find problems on any ship but if you go to enjoy yourself and the company your with then you can enjoy whatever ship you are on. Our room was spotless and our room stewart, Sergio, was the best, always willing to do anything we wanted and always doing it with a smile. We have done many cruises and we don't go on ships looking for things to complain about, but look for the good things..Our day consisted of Sergio greeting us in the morning then we would go up to the 10th floor for the breakfast buffet or down to 4th for a sit down breakfast. Each day we would play cards or join what ever activity offered for entertainment for the day. Lunch was always at the buffet which they had plenty to god food to offer for any appetite you felt like having. Then onto dinner WOW we never had a bad meal all 14 days. Marteo and Mart were great waiters on the 5th floor. My husband loves to eat and whatever he wanted it was given to him with a smile. Then onto the entertainment at night, the shows were outstanding we went to all of them. Then onto the casino which I have to say I won and came home with money..overall if your hellbent on finding problems you will, but really try hard to enjoy a wonderful trip on a great ship the infinity still has a lot of life in her even though she is old..we love it from beginning to the end , fantastic. The excursions were not the best..we had six stops and I would say out of six we four that were halfway desent..Hop on Hop off buses were not so good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We enjoyed everything about this cruise. The staff were amazing, ports were fun and the ship was beautiful. We had wonderful weather and we found all the ports very easy to navigate. We opted to do beach trips on our own and even ... Read More
We enjoyed everything about this cruise. The staff were amazing, ports were fun and the ship was beautiful. We had wonderful weather and we found all the ports very easy to navigate. We opted to do beach trips on our own and even though our son is in a wheelchair we found the taxis in each destination very easy to use. Our accessible cabin was very roomy and our stateroom attendant Nike was so efficient and accommodating. He made lots of fun towel animals for our son and left us beach towels each night on port days which was so helpful. The food on the ship was superb - for the entire cruise we chose to have a meal in the main dining room Opus and then the next night we would go to a speciality dining restaurant. In Opus our waiters Agus and Charles were fabulous, so quick, kind and smiley. All the speciality restaurants were great too - Qsine was a lot of fun, food in Tuscan was very good and Murano was up to scratch too but our favourite was the lawn club (thank you Goran). Ocean view was always clean with lots of choice. Buddi at breakfast time was such a delight and so kind to our son. We found the classic drinks package more than adequate and there wasn’t any problem getting a drink around the pool in the afternoon. We participated in some of the family activities hosted by the kids club and my son really enjoyed them. Patti and her team were so lovely and friendly. Noah loved meeting the Easter bunny at the Easter carnival and water games were a lot of fun, Entertainment was geared more to the adults than the children but we loved the production shows - Elysium was just amazing! We also had a lot of fun going to game shows hosted by Stephen (great tache) and Peter and we enjoyed listening to live music around the pool. My son really enjoyed the silent disco which was a new experience for me too! The staff in the shops were lovely. The ladies in Tiffany & Co were very helpful and Sergio in the art gallery was so sweet. The only negatives I can think of is that they could have done with cranking the air con up in the gym and we had problems initially with getting the Californian Chardonnay in Opus on our first night but other than that it was perfect. We met lots of lovely, kind people on the ship and we would love to go on another celebrity cruise in the future. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 27th cruise, 1st-time Celebrity Cruise. We couldn't have been happier. My husband and I are 52 years old, we have no kids. I love to have options when we travel. On a cruise there is always the option to do nothing, ... Read More
This was our 27th cruise, 1st-time Celebrity Cruise. We couldn't have been happier. My husband and I are 52 years old, we have no kids. I love to have options when we travel. On a cruise there is always the option to do nothing, however, there is not always the option to do everything (except for now!). The Celebrity Edge, aside from the fact that it's absolutely modern and gorgeous, it was so much fun! We were worried about the fun. We had the preconceived notion that this was a company for retirees, people who like it "quiet". This ship had more fun going on than do I dare say it...The Fun ships??!! It did. But there are plenty of quiet spaces as well. Newest movies every night are played at the Rooftop Garden around 10-10:30pm. Multiple Trivia thru-out every single day. Loads of entertainments everywhere, from live singers & bands to the shows in the evening. But my absolute favorite...Silent Disco. Fun for all ages, it's hysterical to watch and a blast to participate in. There is so much going on, it was actually hard to fit it all in. The food was excellent. The 4 main dining rooms were beautiful, try to eat each one if you can, the menus vary slightly per dining room. Le Petite Chef was fun, and delicious, and did I mention fun?? Service was above and beyond, and I'm picky. We had an oceanview room at 200sq ft. and it was very comfortable. 50-55" interactive flat panel TVs on the wall. The beds and pillows were very comfortable. Bottom line we loved it and we booked 2 more future cruises while on board. Hopefully, you'll love it too. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was a bucket list item for me and my friend. I wanted to see what Darwin saw in 1835, and he wanted to see the Galapagos tortoises, since he has two "normal size" tortoises as pets. Our wives had no interest in going, so we ... Read More
This was a bucket list item for me and my friend. I wanted to see what Darwin saw in 1835, and he wanted to see the Galapagos tortoises, since he has two "normal size" tortoises as pets. Our wives had no interest in going, so we shared a room together. We wanted to spend time in Quito, Ecuador, so opted for the time in Quito before and after the islands. We flew into Quito from our departure airport, and almost immediately I felt the altitude. I told my friend to slow down, as we walked off the plane, as I felt hot, and out of breath. This only lasted for a day, however he would react far worse than me on the return to Quito. Upon exiting Customs, were met by Anna, who corralled us all together. We then had about a 45 minute bus ride to the JW Marriott in Quito. As you will see, I cannot say anything negative at all about the hotel, as the hotel itself is impressive, the staff was responsive to our needs, and the food we ate there was quite good. The next day, we went on a city tour with Joanna, our very knowledgeable and pleasant tour guide. Lunch was at a very nice restaurant. All during the tour we were also accompanied by a security person. I was told by a policeman to mind my expensive camera, as motorcyclists were known to snatch and grab items from tourists. Our group was bused to a very nice restaurant for dinner that night, quite good. As the bus was waiting for the last few people, some kids came to the bus door and tried to sell us candy and other items. The next day, we all got up early for a breakfast buffet followed by the 45 minute bus ride back to the Quito airport for the about 2 plus hour flight to the Galapagos, about 868 air miles. We landed in at the Baltra Island Airport, and were assailed immediately by the heat and humidity. We took rigid inflatable Zodiacs to the ship, 16 people to a Zodiac, the only was on and off the ship. We would find out that there were wet landings (beach shoes), and dry ones (walking shoes). Our cabin was 316, on deck 3, third cabin from the bow. If I had it to do over, We would have gotten a cabin on decks 4 or 5. Our cabin was always warm, despite the efforts of the crew to make it cooler, plus we had to be close to the anchor locker, as every time we did anchor, it sounded like the chain was coming thru the wall. It was a small cabin, but did have plenty of storage for our clothes and gear. Each day, we went to a different island, under the knowledgeable care of a naturalist. Bettina was the Cruise Director, and her staff of naturalists (Martha, William, Diego, Manuel, David and Victoria) were quite good. They were all pleasant and answered every question thrown at them. We would have a hike in the morning and afternoon, with several days followed by snorkeling. My fitbit showed me walking anywhere from 5 to 8 miles per day. This was either on sandy beaches, rocky or volcanic trails. At the end of a day, when we returned in the Zodiacs, mostly everyone was quite tired. There were also cold drinks for everyone when we arrived back each day. Being tired did not stop us from talking amongst ourselves as to what we saw. It was quite distressing to see, even there, the amount of plastic washed up on the beaches. We also observed a sea lion with netting stuck around its body. The second day, I opted to not use a walking stick on a rocky trail, and ended up sustaining some deep cuts to mostly my left shin. Martha, our assigned naturalist, with the advice and assistance of several doctors on our hike, managed to apply a lot of gauze and bandages. I was checked out by the ships doctor upon arrival on the ship. Unfortunately, that curtailed my snorkeling. I used a walking stick after that! I have to say that all the activities were correctly characterized, as to difficult and distance by Bettina before dinner preceding each day. Pictures and maps during her talk explained the following day. We did see what we came to the Galapagos to see. There were plenty of Marine and Land Iguanas, Nazca, Blue and Red Boobies, plenty of Sea Lions and a handful of Penguins. Of course, we saw many of the two, distinctly different Galapagos Tortoises. The main difference is in the shells, to allow one sort to reach the high bushes. Those folks that snorkeled saw lots of sea turtles, and many kinds and sizes of fish. You did have to be careful, as on my cruise, I scraped my shin, a woman fell and hit her head, another landed on a cactus with her hand, and there were a number of wasp stings. I would be difficult to med-evac someone in a timely fashion if they were really sick/hurt. But, as I said above, the cruise staff took care of the guests quite well. Meals on the ship were not gourmet like on the big cruise ships, but they were good. I especially liked the lunches. They had four lunches in which they highlighted certain cultures. The four the head Chef Roger highlighted were: Chinese, Amazonian, Ecuadorian and Asian. I ate mostly fish for my dinner entree, and especially liked the red scorpion fish, native to the Galapagos waters. Towards the end of the cruise, there was a BBQ, very nice. And, as with the big ships, an exhibition of the musical talents of the crew. All of the guests were invited to a ships party on deck 6 to meet and talk with the senior staff. The Master, Captaincies Pacheco, and his hotel counterpart, Hotel Director John Flynn, were the hosts. I got to see the ships Doctor who asked me how my leg was doing. We also had a crossing-the-equator party. We also went to a private farm for a lunch after a reforestation effort by most of us. Native dances in costumes followed a good lunch. On the whole, except for my fall, it was a great trip. We had a good time on the ship, and saw what we came so far to see. I especially liked when we were leaving the ship, that the Captain and Hotel Director shook each person's hand as we left. They waved goodby as we left for our last Zodiac trip. As someone who has been on several Celebrity ships, this continued the classy aspects of the trips my wife and I have had on Celebrity. My friend also enjoyed himself on the ship. We then flew back to Quito and checked into the JW Marriott again. My friend then started having a very bad reaction to the altitude, and with a half hour of his request, there was an oxygen machine in our room. The next morning, were were supposed to go on a tour, but he was still hurting. The hotel arranged for us to go to a local pharmacy to get some medication, as well as providing for for us to eat on the excursion bus. We went to a number of location, all at lower altitudes, which helped my friend. During the excursion the concierge called our guide and arranged for us to go back in our same room upon return, to give him another 4 hors of oxygen until our ride back to the airport that night. That to me was a very nice thing to do, and shows that the Marriott staff there takes care of their guests. All in all, this was a great trip, with Celebrity and the Marriott doing an outstanding job. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I did the Western loop of the Galapagos on the Xpedition. The cruise was wonderful, meeting or exceeding all of our expectations. A detailed review follows. My wife and I generally look for values when we cruise. We try ... Read More
My wife and I did the Western loop of the Galapagos on the Xpedition. The cruise was wonderful, meeting or exceeding all of our expectations. A detailed review follows. My wife and I generally look for values when we cruise. We try to book mainline cruise trips for $100 or less per person per day. Needless to say, there is no such option in the Galapagos. The best “deal” we could find in relative comfort was on Celebrity’s 100 passenger Xpedition. In an effort to save some money, we booked the least expensive cabin we could find at the least expensive time of the year. And we avoided the expensive mainland add-ons (to Quito and elsewhere) that Celebrity sells, booking only the seven day cruise and making all of our flight arrangements to and from the Galapagos ourselves. OK, after all of that, our cruise price per person (including taxes and fees) was still about $560 per person per day, making this the most expensive cruise we have ever done. Was it worth it? Absolutely! One thing that mitigates the cost is that this cruise is truly all inclusive. For example, no tipping is expected, and all types of alcohol are included. The only additional things my wife and I paid for on board was a $30 bag of laundry and a $23 bottle of sunblock. Yeah, not a typo, bring a lot of sunblock so you don’t have to buy any on board. We arrived two nights early and stayed in the small town of Puerto Ayora. There is a $20 visa fee tourists have to pay, and a $100 national park fee at the airport. Now Celebrity pays this as part of your cruise package, but when we arrived the officials at the airport did not yet have the “list” of Celebrity passengers, so we had to pay the fee. On the day our cruise began, however, Celebrity immediately refunded our payment, so that was no problem. OK, some details about the cruise. Embarkation was a breeze. We made our way back to the airport on the morning of the cruise and met with a Celebrity rep there. After a pleasant one-hour wait in the terminal, they put us on a short bus ride to the Baltra marina, and an Xpedition zodiac met us at the marina and took us out to the Xpedition. We were then shown immediately to our cabin. Our oceanview cabin was not particularly remarkable. In terms of size and layout it was very similar to oceanview cabins we have had on larger cruise ships. The shower was a bit bigger, and nicer, than some we have had on other ships. There was plenty of hot water, good water pressure, and the in room hair dryer worked well. The water that comes out of the taps in your cabin is, of course, potable, but it also tastes of chlorine, so the ship also has drinking water dispensers on each deck that have no chlorine taste. The food served in the main dining room was also similar in quality to what we have had on other cruise ships, but was more limited in variety and, not surprisingly, heavy on fish and seafood dishes. The food was not the best we have had, but it easily met our expectations, given the difficulty of resupply that the Xpedition faces. We were told that about 50% of the food is sourced locally, but many products that we westerners are used to (like beef) have to be flown in by Celebrity or otherwise sourced over long distances. And some of the food has to be specially treated before being allowed in the Galapagos. Ok, and now the superlatives. The ratio of crew to passengers on the Xpedition is very high, with 62 crew members vs 100 passengers. And that meant a level of service we have not experienced on any cruise. For example, our room was serviced multiple times a day, seemingly every time we left it (OK, maybe not quite that often). When we were in the bar or restaurant the waiters were constantly circulating and asking if they could get you something. And when we would return from a shore excursion the staff was always right there waiting with cold beverages and snacks. One thing that surprised me, but I guess shouldn’t have, is that the crew was almost entirely Ecuadoran. In fact, 61 out of 62, including the Captain, were Ecuadoran. What a competent, energetic, and pleasant group of people. Hey, but accommodations, food, and ship board service are not really why you come to the Galapagos. It is for the wildlife! And Celebrity shines in getting you to the action. Each day of the cruise you have at least two activities, morning and afternoon. There were three basic types of activities: a walk ashore, a snorkel, or a lengthy zodiac ride (without landing or snorkeling). With regard to the walks, there was always the option of a longer or shorter walk. The snorkel trips were sometimes shore snorkels (right off the beach) or deepwater snorkels. My advice: always do the deepwater snorkels when offered because the water clarity and sea life variety is better than the shore snorkels. And Celebrity plans the deepwater snorkels very well. There was virtually no current on any of our snorkels, and what current there was was always pushing the way we wanted to go. On one snorkel we went three quarters of the way around a small island, for a total distance of 1.5 miles, and it was so easy that we virtually never used our arms, only our flippers, with the wetsuits providing plenty of buoyancy. As for signing up for what you wanted to do on a given day, you got a briefing the night before and right after that briefing chose what you wanted to do. There was no rush or pressure to be “first in line” to sign up for anything, as the Xpedition can accommodate everyone on every desired option. Group size ashore was usually 14 to 16 persons with one naturalist, which was about as many folks as one zodiac could comfortably carry. The naturalists were great -- well informed with a pretty good command of English. As for the wildlife, we saw pretty much all the biggies: Tortoises, boobies (Blue Foot and Nazca), land iguanas, marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, penguins, flamingos, crabs, rays, and sharks. We even saw three albatrosses very close up, although we were well past the season when the albatrosses have normally departed the islands. And we saw many other species of birds, including, of course, multiple species of Darwin finches. Many of these animals have incredible coloration. And since there are no large land-based predators in the Galapagos almost all of these animals are completely unafraid of humans and you could get very close to them. A true photographer’s dream. Some offbeat highlights: (1) One day we were momentarily stuck on some rough rocks in a zodiac because of an extremely low tide, and the crews of two other zodiacs worked quickly to free us. A bit much excitement that. (2) One morning a lava gull landed next to me on the ship, and I remarked what a beautiful bird it was to a naturalist sitting nearby. She then told me the lava gull was the rarest gull in the world, and there it was five feet away eyeing my croissant!! I asked if I could feed it (just joking). (3) There were an incredible number of baby sea lions. OMG, so cute. And so curious. The naturalists warned us that for the protection of the babies we should not touch them. But sometimes it was difficult, as they would come right up to you in their curiosity. (4) Probably the highlight of the trip for me was watching sea lions while snorkeling. They would swim like torpedos all around you, and then groups of them would play with each other, and then one might come up and eyeball you before swimming away. Wow. Debarkation was also a breeze. Settle up you bill, if you have one. Put your suitcases outside your room by 5:30 AM, and they are then delivered directly to the airport. Exit your room by 8:30 AM, wait in the lounge, and they call your cabin number for boarding a zodiac back to the short bus ride from dock to airport. Let me close with two more tips. When going ashore for a walk, the footing varied wildly from place to place. Sometimes the landing would be wet (meaning you had to wade a few feet up onto a beach) or dry (directly on to a dock, or jetty, or on some rocks). Then your hike could be on sand, or compact dirt, or broken rocks, or slippery rocks (algae and/or guano), or broken lava, or even some small boulder scrambling. My wife and I brought Tevas (for the wet landings) and lightweight hiking shoes, but on some hikes it would have been nice to have had actual hiking boots for more ankle support. Several times some of the older folks fell -- even on the short, so-called “easier” walks. Another clothing tip is to bring a very broad brimmed hat of some sort, and perhaps some neck covering like a scarf or other neck protector. The sun is brutal on the equator, and unexposed skin burns fast even in cloudy weather. One thing you don’t really need is your own snorkeling equipment. Celebrity provides all that, including wetsuits. As a final note, they told us that the composition of the Celebrity Galapagos fleet will change soon. Currently there are three Celebrity ships, the Xpedition (100 passengers), the Xperience (48 passengers), and the Xploration (16 passengers). The Celebrity Flora, a new, hyper-modern 100 passenger ship, joins the Galapagos fleet later in May. And sometime after that the Xpedition will be refurbished, with its capacity reduced to 64 passengers. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
After reading the other reviews I undestand if the ship doesnt appeal to older generations. The ship is modern and very much following the latest trends meaning that there is no Argentinian tango show in theatre and the design is chic. ... Read More
After reading the other reviews I undestand if the ship doesnt appeal to older generations. The ship is modern and very much following the latest trends meaning that there is no Argentinian tango show in theatre and the design is chic. We were group of ten and these were the highlights - Eden restaurant, funky cool place to chill and have brekkie/lunch/dinner. - Shows, all production shows were super cool. Like what other ship has a shower on the stage? - Food, food was food everywhere. Even better than on Solstice. Only tried buffet twice and wished there were more days so I could had sampled it properly. - Hot spa, overlooking the lido deck and big enough to host a lot of people - Service, not angry chaps on this ship. - Ship design. - Launches, the most coolest tender boats I have been on. - Iphone app. - Fll cruise terminal, just stunning. Time to check in, less than 5 mins. - Gym and gym classes, cannot be more pleased with the selection. There are rooms for improvement, like restaurant reservations using the app when there are multiple staterooms and the speed of the tender operations. Overall, very excellent ship. We’ll be back! And sorry for the people who do not find Edge a nice ship. I’m sure there are more traditional cruise liners out there to please you. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We are first time cruisers and selected this cruise upon the advice of our travel agent, McCabe Travel in Mclean, VA. The ship itself was well maintained — clean, efficient, well-organized, friendly and helpful staff. However, the focus ... Read More
We are first time cruisers and selected this cruise upon the advice of our travel agent, McCabe Travel in Mclean, VA. The ship itself was well maintained — clean, efficient, well-organized, friendly and helpful staff. However, the focus on efficiency came at the expense of quality- in the food, entertainment and off-shore excursions. We booked two Aqua Class rooms - one for us and one for our two children, ages 20 and 16 and sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale, FLA from December 28, 2018 to January 4, 2018. The first night, we ate at the main dining room - Opus - and the food was good given the size of the crowd. It wasn’t cuisine level but it was flavorful, on-time, well-cooked and the servers were very friendly — acknowledging everyone in our party by name. The second night we ate at the Porch Grille and had a similar experience. Third night - Sushi on 5 — good food and polite, attentive servers. We never got to really know anyone or connect with them - a loss in my view - but we had a positive experience none-the-less. After that, we ate at the OceanView Cafe and the Blu restaurant. Same experience — food that was good enough and servers that were polite and friendly - just about what expected for a ship of this size. There was a wide variety of food options — from traditional English/European fare (bangers and mash), to Indian dinner to Asian to gluten-free. Plenty of different American options as well. The biggest disappointment was the desserts. All the sugar from the sweets must have been used for the drinks which seemed entirely devoid of any alcohol whatsoever. If you are a sweet-lover, just go for the ice cream. Believe it or not, as delicious as all the pastries looked, they was utterly, completely, entirely without any taste whatsoever. On the upside, the ship attempts to create unique and fun experiences at all of its restaurants and all different types of clients. It doesn’t fail in achieving this goal. If you enjoy dressing up, you can have a wonderful time in the Opus dining room, Ensemble lounge, martini bar, etc. If you want to relax and enjoy a more Caribbean vibe, you can go to the Porch, Lawn Grille or the OceanView Cafe and have a more relaxed, low-key experience. If you like game shows, concerts and comedy acts - they have those too but don’t expect anything marvelous. Adequate is what you are more likely to get. The cocktails are quite sugary and weak (we had a Classic drinks package) as were the entertainment and shore excursions. If you enjoy a nice cocktail in the evening, your best bet is to go to the martini lounge. The poolside and restaurant cocktails are quite poor quality. We booked several excursions and I would strongly suggest people book their own off-shore experiences. If you go through Celebrity, you will pay a premium for a very mediocre experience. We were very disappointed by Costa Maya - a faux Mayan village created in the jungle especially for cruise ship patrons. The beach had been overtaken by seaweed, and, because of the high wind that day, all water actitivies had been cancelled. You got one ticket for a watery drink when it would have been more enjoyable to stay onboard and the ship to yourselves. The shops were nice but the prices were twice what you would pay anywhere else. We enjoyed the ATV rides in Cozumel, but it didn’t last very long and we were back at the ship by noon. In Grand Cayman, the 7-mile beach excursion had been oversold and a lot of people were upset about it. The staff on site were not expecting such a large group and they did not have enough chairs + umbrellas for all guests. Plus, the “transportation” - a 1950’s era school bus that everyone nicknamed the “prison bus” - got stuck in the parking lot on the way out which added 30 minutes to an already bad day, Still, we enjoyed cruising and would do it again but perhaps would consider a different cruise line than Celebrity. We would book our own excursions and would consider looking into bringing our own wine/alcohol on board. The Classic drink package and the execursions really weren’t worth the price. The entertainment, other than ABBA Night, was pretty mediocre as well. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
5th time on Celebrity and again we had a great time. We used all the fitness facilities and the Persian Garden- highly recommend. We ate mostly in the Opus dining room for bfast and dinner and absolutely have no complaints. We ate in the ... Read More
5th time on Celebrity and again we had a great time. We used all the fitness facilities and the Persian Garden- highly recommend. We ate mostly in the Opus dining room for bfast and dinner and absolutely have no complaints. We ate in the Spa Cafe for a light lunch and it was perfect. We tried the Petit Chef (specialty-$110 a couple) experience and found it to be the worst of our dinners on ship. The animation was cute but the quality of food fell below average. We loved the silent disco and danced for 2 hrs each time they had it! What a great workout that was! Disclaimer: we are not your average cruiser, we cruise once a year only in Nov and Dec to check out the ports so that if we like them we can come back properly by air. Ports: St. Martin- did a 6 hr excursion with Sualiga Destinations- would not recommend. Stuck up- rude Captain- Anthony, ride from hell, nothing to see. Lied to a friend of ours who is 65 years old with bad back. Her back was absolutely bruised!!! Dishonest and most overpriced boat ride I have ever been on and that is coming from someone who visited 60 countries and owns a boat! San Juan- absolutely beautiful, vibrant old town. Walked to the La Factoria- where Despasito was filmed and then to Taberna De Lupulo. Joined a street salsa party- no tourists only Latin people. Had a blast and will definately come back via air and rent a car for 2 weeks. Antigua- took a snorkeling excursion through the ship with Wadadli Cats (3 hrs)- this was just awesome! Fun crew, friendly, hospitable and just normal people!!! Paradise reef was great for snorkeling- just go away from the crowd and follow the reef, if you are a strong swimmer you will be able to see a lot! Stopped by a pristine beach, too. Drinks and sandwiches were provided. I highly recommend this one!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. The ship is a little shabby but this will be resolved in January when the ship goes into dry dock to be refurbished. The ship was immaculately clean and well maintained despite its age. We ate in ... Read More
We have thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. The ship is a little shabby but this will be resolved in January when the ship goes into dry dock to be refurbished. The ship was immaculately clean and well maintained despite its age. We ate in the Blu restaurant and the food was excellent, and there was always a good selection. The crew in the restaurant were amazing and always made us feel very special, and their service was exceptional. The food in the buffet was always good with lots of choice. Although it was usually very busy and sometimes difficult to locate a table. Celebrity can also not be blamed for the rude people who did not know how to queue and thought it ok to push their way around. We were a little disappointed with the entertainment in the theatre, and thought it quite poor. There were exceptions though and we always enjoyed performances by Bryan James (guitarist/singer) and sought out the venues where he was playing. We also enjoyed the quizzes and late evening entertainment in the Cosmos lounge. We particularly enjoyed the silent discos and the live band. We have already booked another cruise on Millennium and look forward to seeing the improvements made. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was along awaited trip to the far east and inparticular first time visits to Hong Kong and Singapore, where my parents lived for 20 years The ship moored ocernight in both Hong Kong and Singapore which along with a few days in ... Read More
This was along awaited trip to the far east and inparticular first time visits to Hong Kong and Singapore, where my parents lived for 20 years The ship moored ocernight in both Hong Kong and Singapore which along with a few days in hotels gave us time to explore Singapore is the most beatiful city and so accessible by road, river and train Whilst the Millenium is clearly in need of a refit, the crew make up for this with service in every are being top class My wife has food allergies and the restaurant staff were brilliant at getting this right each night, this coupled with a very attentive wine waiter and some great company each night made for memorable dining We haven't been on many cruises (5) but the entertainment on this ship was the best! A superb ships company gave stunning shows in the main theater and the cosmos lounge. The guest artist were all top qaulity and very varied West end eat your heart out, where else can you be served a gin and tonic in your seat. Our captain (nicolaos was the ,most visible w ehave seen attending losts of the vents and being available for chats / feedback and I'm sure that helped with the overall culture onboard The only negative is the need to charge so much for wifi on board, nearly $30 a day for access is ridiculous, todays traveller expects to be connected 24/7 - even on holiday Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Here is my review of the Celebrity Edge. TERMINAL & BOARDING - Terminal 25, is the brand new, flashy, Celebrity Edge gateway to all things new. Since we were on the inaugural cruise, the ship was only about half full, so boarding ... Read More
Here is my review of the Celebrity Edge. TERMINAL & BOARDING - Terminal 25, is the brand new, flashy, Celebrity Edge gateway to all things new. Since we were on the inaugural cruise, the ship was only about half full, so boarding was super simple. We had pre-registered for everything, we showed our documents, passports and were quickly boarded. Speaking of which, disembarkation was simple. They have an eye reader, and you look at the screen, it identifies you and voila, you are off. It was very effective for embarkation and disembarkation. This was impressive. Initial thoughts…..This ship is truly amazing and beautiful and technologically advanced! ONBOARD - Once we boarded Celebrity Edge, we were handed some wine or champagne, and then had to return the glass, and could meander around the various venues and to our cabin. We went to our cabin to see what the new design was all about. CABIN – The cabin is elegant, well laid out and simply beautiful. The large window showing the outdoors is quite amazing. Instead of seeing a small half view as you normally would, you get an entire window of outdoors. There are doors where the actual balcony would normally be. You can keep those closed or open them up. There is a window shade you can open or close. The window is electronic and can be opened with the push of a button. Once the window is open, it seemed that the air conditioning would shut off, which made it quite stuffy. As such, we honestly didn’t use the balcony much, however, this was such a short trip, we were trying to pack in as much as we could. It was a neat feature, but that is the one downfall to me. I prefer go outside and sit on my actual balcony. Some people may love it, but a big balcony has always been a preference of mine. I did see a panoramic oceanview room, and personally, to save money, I would go with that cabin because I’m not sure how often I would open the window. The suite level categories do offer an actual balcony as you would normally see onboard. If you can afford the suite levels, the Villas and the sky suites were really nice, and then you have the extra options of the relaxation areas with loungers and bar not accessible to everyone. The iconic suites and other suite options were absolutely outstanding. We were fortunate to be able to see them, and they would be amazing and you wouldn’t even need to leave your cabin! Celebrity designers did a nice job with closet space, drawer space, and the electronics box to charge up electronics We had a large screen TV, sofa and bed. In addition, you have a big bathroom, nice glass enclosed shower, and the shower has a bar for the ladies to shave, which was a nice touch. Since we were in an aqua suite, all the shampoo, conditioner, soap and moisturizer were included. The rooms are technology at its best. It uses a smartphone app to control everything from the room temperature to the blackout curtain that can be raised or lowered. There is also a Eurpean plug. The aqua cabins are “spa” category cabins for other lines, so that provides you with the extra amenities of going to the spa and lounging on the heated chairs, you get a slight discount on cost of spa treatments, you also have access to many of the spa areas. VENUES – Magic Carpet. This was a really cool concept, but it does not move while you are inside it. It moves and then they open it up so you can go inside. It allows private events, or when they want to allow more space at venues, and also helps with disembarkation at ports. SHOPPING – They offer many of the nicest shopping venues onboard. You have Coach stores, Bulova, Gucci, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Cartier, among many others. BARS – There is a Martini bar to meet up with others or to watch people. There was a nice Sunset bar on the aft that we also enjoyed. There was also a bar near the pool area which made some delicious drinks! COFFEE shop – there is a coffee shop and a bistro that overlook the atrium. DINING - The Oceanview Café is a very lovely place to enjoy your food. I should mention that before you enter, they now have a wash station to clean your hands, which is a very nice touch. The buffet is located on deck 14 and has a nice open feel and it offers an airy feeling. There are multiple food stations with varying options for different tastes. We mainly used this area for breakfast, and there was everything from pastries and breads to eggs, omelettes, bacon, sausage, waffles (which Steve raved about), fruits and anything else you could possibly imagine. The food was very good, and the wait staff would bring you drinks if needed, and were very quick to clean up messes. We didn’t get to try many of the restaurants, however, there are many! We ate in the Cosmopolitan dining room, and the food was delicious and the staff were imepeccable and we really enjoyed interacting with them. They also have: Normandie for French fare, Cyprus for Mediterranean dishes, Cosmopolitan is “global-inspired,” The Tuscan serves up Italian selections. All of the venues, as well as Eden Cafe and Mast Grill – are complimentary. The Mast grill seemed to offer any of the hot dogs and hamburger options many like to grab while onboard. Specialty dining for a fee was also an option: Le Grand Bistro, French $25/person; Raw seafood; Rooftop Garden Grill (American BBQ $45/person); Fine cut steakhouse ($55/person) and Eden ($65/person) at night. The La Petit Bistro also offers $45/person with a 3D animation. Blu and Lumininae are available to Aquaclass and suite guests. EDEN – During the daytime, this is a jungle themed venue and it is really beautiful. At night, it is the most bizarre experience I’ve encountered. I am honestly not sure what they were trying to do, and I tried to keep an open mind, but it was just weird. They dance around and try to get the audience to participate as well. They look a bit sadistic and evil. As I was sitting in the chair watching, one came up from behind and whispered in my ear which I wasn’t expecting. Another one of the dancers kept trying to get me up to dance. As much as I love to dance, I was NOT getting near him. Lol It was just creepy to me. I’ll be anxious to hear what others think about this venue. It isn’t my cup of tea. ENTERTAINMENT – We saw the show Hype which is a musical journey, and we thoroughly enjoyed this. The entertainment team did a great job. We missed the Jewelry Box, but it was a technology and acrobatics show that many indicated was impressive. SPACE ONBOARD If you want to relax, you will find a myriad of spaces onboard the Celebrity Edge. There are multiple areas with chairs and loungers where you can just rest and relax. Most of these are found on decks 3, 4, 5. The Rooftop Garden area was one of my favorite places to escape. It provides beautiful views, and the space doesn’t even feel like you are on a ship. It also has music periodically, and they have a large screen television. POOL The Edge pool was innovative and had loungers you could lay in, which was very nice. There are also some hanging chairs and two hot tubs that look like champagne glasses. The techno music played seemed a bit odd for the crowd that I believe they are trying to entice, but those things may change with time. Spa We took the tour of the spa, and they have an amazing gym, with all sorts of treadmills, stairclimbers, bikes, and anything you could desire. They also offer all sorts of classes with different types of workouts from a bungee workout to others. That was a neat idea. They also offer various massages that I hadn’t seen on other lines, such as one you lay on a sheet with warm sand while the massage therapist provides your massage. They also had a zero gravity chair for a massage. In summary, my take is that this ship is for those who enjoy technology, want a more adult experience without the skating rinks, waterslides, and kid activities. Anyone wanting to have a wonderful time and get away from it all would likely enjoy the Edge. I was thoroughly impressed, and I believe anyone who experiences it will enjoy. In my opinion, those you enjoy Royal Caribbean and NCL would be most likely to enjoy this ship. If you have enjoyed Princess ships and want to try something a bit more techno, then this is the ship for you! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We booked essentially the same cruise on Holland a year ago but changed as our agent found us a better deal with Celebrity. $ca 1000 savings for one more day On sea days not enough plates were around in the buffet. The buffet isn’t ... Read More
We booked essentially the same cruise on Holland a year ago but changed as our agent found us a better deal with Celebrity. $ca 1000 savings for one more day On sea days not enough plates were around in the buffet. The buffet isn’t designed as well as Holland’s. Food is essentially good on both lines. Staff are nice and friendly. We missed the chamber music that Holland has. Computer lessons free on Holland cost $$ on Celebrity. The continuous hounding to go to speciality restaurants was NOT appreciated. We had enough hounding in port Trying to get served wine in the buffet was a trying experience. My sister has always been super impressed with Celebrity but she was never on Holland. I found Holland more professional but it was little things so when we take an ocean cruise, the price between the two will decide which line we will cruise on. Don’t buy any electronics in the Caribbean unless you know what the prices are at home. I checked and the Bulchand (whatever) place is a real rip-off. Hmmm perhaps a river cruise next? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
About Us: Canadian couple, mid-60’s, smart, active. Enjoy people, culture, history, food, dance, entertainment. Priority: comfort at reasonable cost. Experience: cruising rivers and oceans, guided and self-vacationing and all-inclusive ... Read More
About Us: Canadian couple, mid-60’s, smart, active. Enjoy people, culture, history, food, dance, entertainment. Priority: comfort at reasonable cost. Experience: cruising rivers and oceans, guided and self-vacationing and all-inclusive resorts, around the world. Travel, eat, relax, and learn geology, history, geography, engineering (optional for some, enjoyable for me). This trip was the 10-day South Caribbean cruise, from Miami, to: Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao (ABC), Key West. We specifically appreciated … pretty well everything. But be warned: I’m easy to please: give me sparkling clean accommodation, super service, food to feast, enjoyable entertainment, interesting sights and shore excursions – I’m good to go. I note the favourable quality of the passengers; polite, educated and genteel. (In this group, I include myself and my pretty partner.) This leads to very pleasant and thought-provoking conversations (in various accents) at meals and social functions. So a highlight of the journey is the interesting people we meet. Superb variety of gustatory delights exciting for the palate are presented at supper. We tried the light breakfast in the Solarium; occasionally the more relaxed service in the dining room; most often enjoyed the full breakfast buffet. We rise early so buffet lines are short; otherwise I might waste a minute of my holiday, and could be resting my gaze on the azure horizon. I enjoyed the galley (kitchen) tour, not having to slave over the stove or the dishwasher. Imagine the technology of feeding over 2,800 critical mouths 3 meals a day. The cruise program includes daily presentations and nightly variety show entertainment. The shows were excellent: Broadway singing and dancing in great costumes, comedians of two seasonings – sweet and spicy, violinist. I rated the quality as high, but I concede not everyone has my taste! Not your thing? Head for the casino, or hang out at the bar like many do (indoors or poolside). I am repeatedly amazed by volume of money spilled for drinks. But then much of it is complimentary (perks) for these guests who already spent the money on suites. Well, it’s only money, and they worked for it. [Editor: quit grousing and get on with the review.] My partner and I are dancers, we love to prance to the sound of music and we love to show off ... modest? No? You don't dance? Not your thing? Head for gym, or peer out your porthole. Don’t forget the reason why you chose the trip. The south ABC islands include significant history and engineering. These include refineries, desalination, salt production and aloe-vera manufacture. Not your thing? Head for the sun deck, or a dip in the pool or hot-tub. Quality observations: is it perfect? Mostly, the cruise lines have learned from passengers and try very hard. Now there’s shopping as a palliative for those with room in their suitcases and on-board-credits. A nice feature of this schedule is the stop in Key West; this permits a timely US customs inspection on board, expediting the disembarkation in Miami. Did I mention we had a fantastic trip? Always do! It’s a matter of attitude. Bon Voyage anyway! See you around. The world. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Me and my partner chose to cruise with celebrity after enjoying a fantastic cruise on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 2 years prior. We thought since the two are related and celebrity is more expensive that the experience ... Read More
Me and my partner chose to cruise with celebrity after enjoying a fantastic cruise on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 2 years prior. We thought since the two are related and celebrity is more expensive that the experience should be even more fantastic. I have to say, we had a better time on the Explorer. Not sure whether this is because of the people on the ship... we are 25 but we don't drink and aren't party animals - But wow, this is a very sloooow crowd and the daily planner reflects that. There is literally nothing to do during the day other than go to talks where they try to sell you things. Other than that the daily features are bingo, glass blowing, spa talks on how to reduce lines and ease back pain + more activities that lets just say, I'd rather watch paint dry. if we hadnt booked such a great Shore activities I'm not sure how much we would have enjoyed this cruise... Cabins - we just had a regular interior cabin on level 8. We were unfortunate enough to have probably one of only three babies on board 4 cabins down and this one was definitely a screamer. I have to say I think every single time we were in the cabin, that baby was crying... including multiple nights. However I have to admit that's obviously not celebrities fault but it did impact the trip. also, the cabins on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas are much nicer than the solstice cabins except for a smaller bed. There is way more storage on the Explorer and the rooms are just laid out a lot better. Another little thing that is sort of silly but it's one of the things makes a cruise, we didn't get any towel animals except for the first night. That was one of the most exciting things on the Explorer! Seeing which new one we got every day! A weird damp smell also lingered the whole time... Dining in the buffet - we only ate in the buffet and included restaurant the entire trip because we usually find that that's all you need... Again, the food at the buffet on the Explorer was much superior to the food on the solstice. The breakfast did not change literally every single day. Lunch varied somewhat but barely. Most of the dinner was also the same, except for a few theme nights where they basically just had maybe 10 more dishes added. Dining in the no fee restaurant - firstly I want to say that our waitress Taisiia was amazing. She was extremely prompt, friendly and informed about the food. We also found this on the Explorer with our waiter. but once again, the Explorer had much better dinner food than the solstice. we found that the menu on the solstice was very bizarre and somewhat pretentious. The entrees were pretty much just soups and salads for the entire duration of the cruise which I guess you can mass make and not really stuff up. The mains were really hit and miss...some of the steaks were really overcooked even though we ordered them all medium rare. But then again some of the food was fantastic. it's really hard to say but it's really just a game of luck every night with the menu. But I have to say it was a process of elimination of things we didn't like most of the time... another small thing to know is that the bread options are really limited on the solstice. At dinner on the Explorer we were given about 6 to 8 different options of bread but on this cruise we only had three different types of bread to choose from one of which was bread sticks. Dessert was great but honestly it's pretty hard to stuff up dessert. Shows in the theatre- the one thing that celebrity did mirror with Royal Caribbean Explorer was the fantastic shoes on board. But I have to admit that the entertainment was only really great when it was with the solstice theatre performers. All the other extra performers were pretty rubbish other than one comedian. Most nights there were plenty of seats left in the theatre when it wasn't the solstice group performing. Pools - pool areas were nice and tidy and they did have plenty of chairs for everyone in the main pool. This was not k's in the adults only area. You'd go literally at 9 a.m. and all the chairs would have towels and things on them from people dumping them on the way to the buffet. They really should have some sort of system in place to avoid this happening as we saw chairs with no one in them for hours on end... Gym and spa - we did go to the gym a couple of days and I have to say it was pretty fantastic. Loads of equipment and weights. Plenty of cold towels for anyone and a really great Fitness classroom. we also did take advantage of the Persian room for our stay. It was expensive but we really enjoyed it. The steam room was awesome and the hot pads were really relaxing. We also did have one couples massage that was pretty good but in hindsight we probably wouldn't do it again how much money it cost. that was another thing, throughout the entire ship there were the massage ladies sitting you in chairs giving you a random shoulder rub and running you through the price list. It was a bit full on and I was really over it by the end of the trip. Shore excursions - we did 3 excursions, quad biking in the sand dunes in Newcastle, Australia Zoo and also a Great Barrier Reef snorkeling Discovery. Quad biking was definitely the highlight. this was due to the fact that there was only about 10 of us considering the general demographic on the cruise wouldn't be able to physically quad bike, plus the dunes were fantastic and the guys were amazing. Australia Zoo was ok, I mean it's just a zoo and it may have been more exciting for someone who isn't an Australian but we still did have fun and we don't regret going but wouldn't do it again. we have mix feelings about the great barrier reef discovery . Unfortunately it was the best day for it it was a really rough seas - the boat the incredibly rocky the entire time and multiple people were being sick. This gets pretty full-on since it's over an hour and a half trip to the reef. I got sick too. The reef itself was ok I have to say I don't think we were taken to a particularly beautiful part. I've done snorkeling a lot of times and there are much better spots all around Australia in Thailand and as well in New Caledonia. I was happy we went but again we wouldn't do it again. The rest of the staff were ok. The guest relations staff were pretty average an abrupt but all of the buffet and public room staff were very kind and accommodating. all in all, it was a bit disappointing and I wouldn't be cruising with celebrity again. I think I'll stick to Royal Caribbean. To give you some feedback also, my partner has cruised with multiple lines and he said that celebrity is pretty hand in hand in terms of food with P&O. Save your money, go with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My 8 days on the Celebrity Equinox was the best cruise I have yet experienced. The quality of service, the beauty of the ship, the entertainment, and the food were top notch. We chose this cruise first for the itinerary and timing, and ... Read More
My 8 days on the Celebrity Equinox was the best cruise I have yet experienced. The quality of service, the beauty of the ship, the entertainment, and the food were top notch. We chose this cruise first for the itinerary and timing, and secondly because we enjoyed the last cruise on Celebrity Summit in January, 2018. The three ABC island ports were sandwiched between two sea days, which turned out to be very relaxing. With 2850 passengers, it is not small, yet there is a contemporary grandeur to the Equinox. I was awestruck by how stunning the ship was! It is filled with contemporary art in all of the public areas, including interesting little touches like quotes in the men’s restrooms throughout the ship. The shopping areas are like an upscale mall; the lounges are clean and luxurious, and there are plenty of little nooks to find a private space to read or gaze at the views. Service was fantastic—a five star service experience almost everywhere. There were very few lines, generally a few people waiting for coffee at Cafe al Bacio in the morning, and only once did we wait for 10 minutes for a table in Blu. However, when we were called with the pager, we were seated at prime location at the window. The only nit about service would have to be focused around the staffing at the pool bars on pool days or coming back from port. There could be a bit of a wait to order a drink then, but it was never more than 5 minutes. There were just a few strolling waiters around the main pool. We never saw a waiter in the solarium. I noted that the Slush Bar for custom blended cocktails open generally from noon until 5 was minimally staffed. However, the attitude of the staff was universally professional, accommodating, and just great to be around. Dining in Blu was exceptional. Maitre d' Anitsa and her colleague Linda were amazing and friendly. Our waiter Suliana with his assistant Dwight was right on the spot for service and remembering our names, food, and water preferences. Even the sommelier Alexander never made us wait for his recommendations for our choices. The food variety and quality were great in Blu from breakfast and dinner. Nothing was ever bland and meats were cooked perfectly to temperature. We ventured on night one to Murano and were once again blown away by the service and ambiance, especially by our waiter Ljubchek. In Murano, they offer tableside preparation for the lobster, chateaubriand, Dover sole, and strawberry crepe balloons. We liked it so much, we went back again to try different items. We also tried Sushi on 5 for lunch twice. Service again was amazing. While the nigiri and maki selections were not exotic, the taste across everything we had was delicious. I also liked the special beer and sake options available there. For the first time ever, we tried freshly made wasabi as a little splurge and did not find it much different from the standard stuff taste-wise. We ate in Asian fusion restaurant Silk Harvest on the last day. The ambiance in Silk Harvest is modern and urban, a different vibe from the rest of the ship. The food was completely memorable. The menu descriptions seemed like traditional Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, or Japanese items, but they were prepared to fuse the flavors across regions. For example, the miso soup looked ordinary, but had the taste of Vietnamese pho. It was like no other Asian restaurant I have ever eaten in. We tried the Horizon Cafe a couple of times for lunch and once for breakfast. The layout was easy to negotiate; the food quality was surprising and very fresh. There were little surprises among the choices like freshly made guacamole and mini red velvet churros for the Mexican theme, omelets and pasta dishes made to order with minimal wait, and even a delicious full English breakfast station due to roughly 30% of the cruisers among us hailing from the UK. We would often order room service for an early breakfast of coffee, tea or toast. It was always on time. We tried a ‘la carte breakfast once on a port day to avoid rushing and were very pleased with the steak and eggs as well as the smoked salmon omelet with caviar. I have a couple of notes about the bars. The World Class Bar had interesting craft cocktails, but exclusively makes cocktails from the menu at the bar plus an occasional Sazerac since they hold absinthe tastings there in the in late afternoons. This confused and frustrated many cruisers who would wait for the one or two bartenders to take their order only to be told they do not serve beer, wine, or regular drinks. The Gastropub has the best beer selection of any bar I have ever seen at sea. It is no joke if you if you are a beer connoisseur. The place was a lively sports bar in the afternoons for football games, and it was also the place we had the Cruise Critic officer’s party on the morning of day two where we got to meet all of the senior officers including Captain Kate. The bartenders at the Sunset bar on the back of the ship were excellent, and definitely superior to those who worked the Pool and Mast bars. We noted that the clientele on the ship were a bit older than previous cruises we have been on. While I am in my mid-fifties, I would say that the average age of person on the ship was probably 65. That is not a big difference, but younger couples aged 20-40 were few and far between. Also, there were practically no children on this cruise. I counted less than 10 the whole week. Perhaps it was the season or the length of the cruise, but this manifest included many Brits, which was surprising. We spotted quite a few kilts on the men for Evening Chic nights. Entertainment was much better than on the Summit from January. We had excellent singers, including one finalist from the Voice and the weird, psychedelic show Topper. They had to cancel the final show on the last night Elysium due to technical difficulties. We enjoyed the late-night Marriage Show and the Frisky Feud. The Marriage Show, however, had no contestants participating younger than 70. We participated in multiple trivia contests and won few. You collect tickets to be redeemed on the final day of the cruise which we traded in for 2 t-shirts and a Celebrity branded towel. We had a blast at the first silent disco in the Sky Lounge. It was really fun! Cruise Director Dan France was on point, but we truly enjoyed getting to know Rachel who ran most trivia contests. She was genuinely nice. With so many sea days, it is important to note that finding a lounger around the outdoor pool or in the solarium could be a challenge. There was A LOT of chair saving, plenty of clips holding towels on the loungers, and certainly no one there for hours in the mornings. There were no roving pool butlers which I could see to help someone find a place, either. Both times I found loungers, we had to get to the solarium by 9AM and the outdoor pool by 7:30AM to snag a prime spot. We would leave for up to thirty minutes to get a bite to eat or get a drink, but this is something to keep in mind if you want to spend your day in a prime lounger around those pools. Nevertheless, everything just worked. It was the most relaxing cruise I have ever been on. The crew is amazing. The ship is utterly gorgeous. I want to go again! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Because we wanted to see Aruba but in fact we found that Key West was even more nice. It was nice with 5 stops during the journey but I had appreciated even 2 more stops while we were 10 nights at the ship. Some islands like Aruba could ... Read More
Because we wanted to see Aruba but in fact we found that Key West was even more nice. It was nice with 5 stops during the journey but I had appreciated even 2 more stops while we were 10 nights at the ship. Some islands like Aruba could have a longer stay. The breakfasts and lunches on board were excellent. We had drinks included in our stay and it saved some time for us. However it was very crowdy and busy in the restaurants during the dinner times. The night shows were nice but not so good as on Oasis of the Seas in March 2016. They had the water show and the ice show which both were impressive. The events in the shops were to poor organized and many customers became unfriendly: especially in the shops with lady fashions. But finally we are very satisfied and we talked to many nice people on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
First of all I would like to thank captain Kate also all the crew and staff for a fantastic cruise the waiter in the silhouette restaurant whose name was Omar was nothing but first class service he was brilliant and a fantastic ambassador ... Read More
First of all I would like to thank captain Kate also all the crew and staff for a fantastic cruise the waiter in the silhouette restaurant whose name was Omar was nothing but first class service he was brilliant and a fantastic ambassador the standard of food in the restaurant and Buffy was brilliant also I would like to praise our waiter who served the wine he was excellent the bar staff on deck 14 gave a fantastic service and I would like to thank Jose who had a smile for every person he served all the bar staff on deck 14 are credit to the equinox and gave a great service I could not have wished for a better ship to experience our first cruise my only gripe was with bar staff who served cocktails they tended to show boat to much and I found it hard to get served the tended to show off and forgot customers needed serving I avoided this bar but overall a fantastic ship and nothing but 5 star service from the person who serviced your room right up to the top staff highly recommend a ship not to be missed if you are after a fantastic holiday thank you for making my first cruise unforgettable the entertainment host did a brilliant job but he should stick to present ing but dismiss the dancing great singer well done Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Due to unforeseen circumstances we had to cancel an earlier cruise, so when I saw a tremendous deal offered for this one, my wife Rosy and I jumped at the chance, although it was on a much larger ship than we have become used to. We ... Read More
Due to unforeseen circumstances we had to cancel an earlier cruise, so when I saw a tremendous deal offered for this one, my wife Rosy and I jumped at the chance, although it was on a much larger ship than we have become used to. We were quoted around £2900 each for a Sky suite, including premium beverage package, wifi, gratuities and $300 OBC, virtually an all-inclusive cruise, but Celebrity had other ideas, - more later! We booked flights, with Alitalia from London-Rome, with two nights at the Hotel Morgana, situated very close to Termini station, very convenient for arrival and departure. They had offered a ‘birthday’ upgrade, but on arrival they sprung a nice surprise. We were allocated a private apartment about 50m away, with private entrance and balcony overlooking some nice gardens. The soft drinks in the fridge were free and tea / coffee making things were also provided. A comprehensive buffet breakfast was served in the hotel and on my birthday, they served us Prosecco and a nice chocolate cake. We toured Rome using a 48-hour ticket for all local transport, but some buses / routes were cancelled, and this caused us a few problems. We should have stuck to the more reliable, if boring, metro service. We used the airport express to Rome and if booked in advance useful discounts are available. For the journey to the port at Civitavecchia, we took the train, which was packed, then the port bus, then the port shuttle. In future we’ll book a shuttle or taxi, as our option was very tiring. Check-in was a breeze, once we realised we had to drop the bags then get in the check-in line. Others made the same mistake, but the Rome Port Authority don’t make life too easy. We were soon onboard, drinking our welcome bubbly and eagerly anticipating our cruise. We decided to have a pre-lunch cocktail outside as the weather was good, having experienced rain on the way. However, it was quite windy, and the sea was choppy outside the shelter of the harbour. We ate a healthy lunch in the Ocean View Café, sitting outside, but bar service was slow, an unfortunate feature of this location. They need to move some of the upselling staff to jobs serving people what they had already paid for! After lunch we went to our suite 2111, which was a welcome sight with chilling champagne, a large bed, sofa and picture windows. The balcony was huge, but being under the overhang, we got very little sunshine. The bath tub was a jacuzzi and the rain shower was nice but lacked power. Our butler, Bojan, seemed keener to discuss English soccer than anything else, but did say that as were on a Premium package, all the contents of the mini-bar were included, not that we used any apart from the water. Our steward, Raj, was excellent, until the final morning when he rang the doorbell and walked right in, at 07.45. We were not amused. I feel that once the staff have had their gratuities, they are no longer interested, thinking only of their next victims (guests)! Each evening we enjoyed dinner in Luminae, the suite restaurant, which was an enjoyable experience, but the menu was limited. The Sommelier was very good as was the wine. We at breakfast mostly in the Aqua Café, with cereal from the OVC. This was a nice peaceful experience, contrasting starkly with the buffet. We also had lunch in the OVC, which offered a grand selection of dishes ENTERTAINMENT We found the guest entertainers were generally very good but didn’t much care for the shows by the ship’s singers and dancers. There were a few game shows which were good and bad. One aspect we hated was the constant attempts at upselling, restaurants, packages, art, bingo, photos, etc. We even received restaurant reservations, which we hadn’t booked. Unusually, we didn’t receive any recognition as members of the Captain’s club, until we pointed this out, nor any notification of our OBC. The internet was decent, which went well with our ability to use our home phone packages, as were in Europe. The weather was pretty good, but the mornings were dark, which we didn’t like. Overall an enjoyable cruise, but many venues were too noisy and we concluded that we prefer the smaller lines, like Seabourn, Regent, Crystal and Azamara. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was a wonderful cruise and the perfect way for a coeliac to travel safely around Japan. The cruise was interrupted by two typhoons and the departure was delayed by a day and some ports were cancelled and replaced with new ports ... Read More
This was a wonderful cruise and the perfect way for a coeliac to travel safely around Japan. The cruise was interrupted by two typhoons and the departure was delayed by a day and some ports were cancelled and replaced with new ports visited. Celebrity refunded the first day of the cruise and alcohol package and paid for the extra nights accomadation in Yokohama due to the delay. The cruise began in Yokohama and it is a very pretty port and loads to do and see if arriving the day before the cruise. The Millennium was built in 2000 and compared to the Soltice you can see where celebrity has developed their fleet over the years. The reason for the 4 star is simply that the bar outside the Ocean View restaurant simply wasn’t big enough compared to the Soltice and the walking track on the 11 floor wasn’t as pleasant as the Soltice but these are minor issues. We had a wonderful time on the ship and enjoyed every minute. It was a very busy cruise with only three sea days and every other day we were in port. The highlights for me was Kobe with a day trip to Kyoto via bullet train then the golden pagoda. Nagasaki was a delightful small port and very easy to navigate as a solo visitor. Shimizu was also well worth the shore excursion, sadly didn’t see Mount Fuji due to cloud cover. Two stand out performances were the Japenese Drummers and Geisha performance. I was very appreciative that Celebrity offered these performances. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Embarkation was quick and hassle free. Lunch was provided while we waited for our rooms to be available. Captain Kate ran a really wonderful ship with her great personality filtering down to all the staff on the ship which in turn was to ... Read More
Embarkation was quick and hassle free. Lunch was provided while we waited for our rooms to be available. Captain Kate ran a really wonderful ship with her great personality filtering down to all the staff on the ship which in turn was to the benefiat of the guests. All services were exceptional from the delicious food, happy helpful staff, great entertainment and overall quality service. Couple of gripes which didnt spoil our cruise at all but room for improvement, 1.buffet resaurant at night where the food was barely warm and a bit repetetive but at lunch and breakfast was fantastic. Resaurant food was first class. 2. The excursions were far overpriced. 3. Disembarkation was a bit on the slow side but werent in any rush thankfully. Overall it was an excellent cruise. Everyone was so friendly and loved having a funny, visable captain and felt informed and safe at all times. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because it was sailing to the destination we desired and because of the raving reviews. We can fault NOTHING and praise EVERYTHING. From the luxurious and stylish design of the ship, to the amazing, warm and sweet ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was sailing to the destination we desired and because of the raving reviews. We can fault NOTHING and praise EVERYTHING. From the luxurious and stylish design of the ship, to the amazing, warm and sweet service we received, to the food, oh my God the food was amazing. To the room, cleaned twice daily. To the itinerary, the entertainment (thank you Eddy!) To the bedroom and bars. We had awesome servers in the MDR- Jerry kept filling my husband's glass with wine, Myo and Rajni were so attentive to us! Filip in the Sunset Bar was great, Gina, our room attendant, was the best. Eddy, the cruise director and Jayne Curry with her wonderful voice and amazing personality. We loved every second of it and although it has been a few days since we returned home, we miss it. My husband opted for the Standard Alcohol Package which offered him quite a variety of house wines, beers and spirits. I had the standard non alcoholic package and enjoyed treating myself to lush teas and premium coffees. The food both in the Ocean View Cafe and MDR was amazing. We did not try any speciality restaurants because we were super impressed with the MDR food. All in all, this was one of the best holidays of our life. We are in our mid 30s so we have def changed our view that a cruise is for the older generation! It was full of young and young at heart 40, 50 and 60 year old holiday makers. Read Less
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