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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
embarkation a nightmare. There were 2 ships at the same terminal for checkin. confusion and unorganized. After dragging luggage thru terminal for 200 yards we thought we final reach the end of line. But no, a luggage handler said leave ... Read More
embarkation a nightmare. There were 2 ships at the same terminal for checkin. confusion and unorganized. After dragging luggage thru terminal for 200 yards we thought we final reach the end of line. But no, a luggage handler said leave luggage by this door leading to garage and ship. He pointed and said go to elevator by a green door about 150 feet away thru 100s of other passengers. We went to 2nd floor and now total confusion, lines did not really exist. About 1/3 of passengers still had their luggage. Checkin had no way to handle luggage so after checking in they had to go down stairs to get rid of luggage. We people upstairs followed signs to 3 more check points. Customs , carry on luggage check and board ship. It took over 1 hour , on previous 4 cruises total terminal time 70 minutes. I can not blame Celebrity for all of this. First cruise with 5 days cruising no ports. Plenty to do, we are over 65 yrs old. Purchased 2 specialty dining pkg. Had lunch in Murano , the Ocean View buffet had a island with a different countries food every night. Solstice select dining wasn't run as nicely as Silhouette. On Silhouette the 4th floor starboard side was just for select diners. On Solstice mixed diners and waiting. Ports were Ok, 2 required tending. Weather on 5 day Pacific were warm, 75 degrees or warmer except 1st day 68 degrees. Water had a slight chop. Partly clouds and clear. Did have fog one night, ship used horn. Hardly heard it. Rented a car on Maui, Driving was relaxed, no speeding , parking lots in cities. Entertainment had 3 bands all 4 star. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our first cruise on Celebrity, our other cruises were on Royal Caribbean. We arrived in Vancouver 2 days early to allow us some free time before the cruise. We went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and the Fly Over Canada. ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Celebrity, our other cruises were on Royal Caribbean. We arrived in Vancouver 2 days early to allow us some free time before the cruise. We went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and the Fly Over Canada. Both well worth the money. We stayed at the Days Inn, a couple of blocks from Canada Place. It was a very easy walk even with our luggage (one large roller, three smaller roller suitcases). The hotel has some age on it, and the rooms were small, but we saved a hundred or so per night compared to other hotels. The embarkation was a little tricky. You had to drop off your luggage on one floor, go up to the next floor to check in, then back down to the previous floor to board the ship. Canada Place should send some personnel to the Port of Baltimore, they have embarkation down to perfection. The ship was nice, could not tell she needed to go in for a referb. We had a Concierge class stateroom (2103), on the port side. It was well situated. We were on the pool deck one room away from the doors to the pool area. We were also just below the Oceanview Cafe. We could here some noise, but that was because we had the door to the balcony slightly open. We went to the Martini Bar every night as a group of us would use this location to meet up after dinner. The bartenders were quite good and very entertaining. It was a pleasure to watch them mix and pour the martinis. The food in the main dining room was very good. We ate there almost every night. The service was very nice as well. The servers always made you feel as though you were the only ones they were waiting on that night. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. The five days at sea went by fast as there was always something to do on the ship. We were treated to a special event, as we were able to watch the lava flow into the ocean the night we left Hilo. The Capt was nice enough to stop the ship off the coast, then do a 360 so everyone that wanted to view the lava flow had a chance. We would welcome another chance to sail on the Solstice. We hope Celebrity keeps her on the same schedule as now because we have two cruises on our bucket list (Alaska, and cruise to Australia) that would mean sailing on her again. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Apologies for the length but hopefully you will think it a worthwhile read. This was our fifteenth cruise and having sailed previously with Princess, P&O, Royal Carribean and Celebrity we became firm fans of Celebrity. Sadly in view of ... Read More
Apologies for the length but hopefully you will think it a worthwhile read. This was our fifteenth cruise and having sailed previously with Princess, P&O, Royal Carribean and Celebrity we became firm fans of Celebrity. Sadly in view of this particular experience we are not sure we would regard them as our top choice anymore or that they are superior to other cruise lines. They are certainly no worse than other lines but they have dropped in our estimation at the moment. We have booked our next cruise for next May and have decided to go back to Royal Carribean who we liked but not as much as Celebrity. Such a shame as on their day Celebrity are streaks ahead of the rest, in our view. Overall the trip was very good but whilst the below were very poor experiences that just shouldn't be happening on a holiday of this cost, we all know that you can still have a good holiday overall even with incidences like these. So we would definitely say to book Celebrity but just be cognisant of the potential for the below.. The Solstice ship is amazing, and that is before the upcoming refurb, as were the ports of call, excursions etc but a ship is only as good as the crew and we found all too many examples of pretty appalling service levels with this one. Unfortunately we had to deal with a number of them when in reality the crew should be seemless to the customers. Just remember most staff on these ships are really lovely but the poor ones unfortunately are the ones that tend to stick in the memory and impact the remembrance of the holiday. Embarkation was an ab shambles but tbf the oficers were well aware of all the issues and said it was a blip, They said the captain had ordered an enquiry into all that had gone wrong and to ensure all lessons learned were implemented immediately. We were supposed to be priority boarding yet we got served after most of the general queue. Created a bit of embarrassment for us with our friends on their first cruise and they were boarded long before us. They thought it was hilarious but we did not. No one was there to direct the boarding passengers sufficiently, very rude indeed staff just ignorantly waving us to " go there" and not even looking at us. We ended up heading for the wrong ship. Communication was nil. At the port we were constantly harassed by Celebrity staff to buy drinks packages and this continued at an unbelievable and unacceptable rate once we were actually on the ship and throughout the eleven days. We counted twenty such approaches in all before we were free to wander round the ship upon boarding and it was nigh on incessant after that. It was our twentieth wedding anniversary and my wife's fiftieth birthday so I had ordered flowers and champagne to be in our cabin but sadly it was not there. Went to their customer disservice desk, or guest relations to give them their title, where the staff were rude and told me they didn't need to deliver this order until 6pm and then said it would be with us in an hour. It wasn't delivered four hours later so back to customer disservice desk where I got more rudeness and a bovine excrement excuse that the ship had no champagne on board until 3.30pm that day but it would now be with me in five mins. It wasn't so I called and told them to forget it and refund my money as the surprise was now lost. Half an hour later a stewardess arrived and delivered a warm bottle of champagne, no glasses. no ice bucket etc so I told her to go away as I had now cancelled the order. Obv the depts. don't talk to each other. TBF I did report it to and was immediately contacted by Deborah, their wonderful Guest Relations Manager, who generously offered us a meal in the Tuscan Grill speciality restaurant as an apology for their omission. What a lovely gesture but I would rather have seen my wife's face when the surprise was waiting for her and for us to romantically consume said surprise on our balcony to start our holiday off on the right footing. How the hell Deborah puts up with some of those staff god only knows and why they are in such positions with such poor attitudes. She had to become involved in an issue that could so easily have been avoided if even one of the staff had taken ownership, had been sympathetic and helpful with me rather than being rude, offhand and obstructive. I am sure she has more to do with her valuable time than mop up behind her can't do won't do mentality staff. We spoke to long experienced Celebrity cruisers of this and found they also had failed to receive their purchased surprises. They said they were amazed how much the service and atmosphere had changed and gone downhill. They said the change in atmosphere aboard was tangible. On to the muster drill where the level of rude staff went up a few notches. They ignorantly waved us on with a " THERE " as they pointed to where we should stand. One guy in particular had a really bad attitude and physically and rudely pushed a lady to the wall as he said she was blocking the passage for others. Why the woman's husband didn't do something to him I really don't know as I would never tolerate anyone treating my wife like that. He was also rude to a ;lady pushing a gentleman in a wheelchair that was obv encroaching his valuable space. He then walked around with an almost militaristic strut, staring at all the passengers as he did so. The organisation during excursions was at times similarly lacking and we chatted to a couple who we had seen remonstrating with the staff after having being told in a less than friendly tones to stand at four different locations. He was another cruise customer who had been on many Celebrity cruises and he said the difference in overall culture on this trip was tangible and that he would not be coming back. One of the excursions we went on i.e. a wine tasting tour, bore ab no resemblance to the gushing description and picture in the shore excursion info on Celebrity's website. She went to complain but the tours desk was closed. There was a notice to say in the event that the desk was closed then guest relations would be glad to help. They weren't and did a Pontius Pilate act on her. I said to my wife it just wasn't worth the hassle dealing with such people so no point introducing that sort of pain into our holiday. The food and service in the main dining restaurant was first class. The breakfast restaurant, burger bar and other food areas were top class and def value for the cost of the cruise. Some people moaned about the choice and quality of the food but I honestly don't know what the basis for their moans was. The buffet restaurant offers a great choice of great foods throughout the day. The bars, particularly the passport bar with Randy, were also unbelievably great fun with great service but again we were hassled almost every drinks order to get us to take a drinks package. One waiter actually produced a chart based on our known spend to show why a package would be good. aghhhh. The live band were out of this world the and the decades music nights by the resident theatre troupe were simply fantastic. I have never seen a cruise where almost everybody of all ages got up and danced the night away. The decades shows as I say were particularly fantastic and ab spot on for the age group of the passengers so well done Celebrity for all of the above. We used two speciality restaurants ie the Tuscan Grill which is absolutely out of this world, everyone raved about this place, and the staff were superb albeit they canvassed for a big tip at the end, the cheeky monkeys lol. The food, portions far too much lol, was really top class and the selection mesmerising. The other was two nights at the Murano which we had fantastic experience of on a previous cruise on the Equinox. The first night there was sensational, you will never taste chateaubriand like this mmmm, and we rewarded the young lady accordingly with a sizeable tip for her service and friendliness. The second night, same lady was appalling. She was too busy with four Americans and almost ignored us entirely. As soon as we had just finished one course the next one was dumped on us. They even brought the speciality coffees and liqueurs before our dessert had even been served. The meal was over in an hour and we hadn't finished our wine??? Thankfully we knew the manager, i.e. Nenad lovely man, from the last cruise and he tactfully addressed the issues with the young lady who in turn sought us out on the ship to apologise for the way she had treated us and assured us she had learned from it. Apparently Americans like to have their courses rapid fire, she thought without actually asking that we would prefer the same, even though they were in the restaurant long before us and were just being served their main course as we were getting our dessert dumped on us. So another night that could have been a big,big win for Celebrity was turned into a major negative by total disregard for the paying customer. Again another manager had to become involved due to poor service from their staff. We may have been unlucky on this trip but too many other people, mostly devoted Celebrity cruisers, were echoing our experiences and views and I am sorry but it does colour your view of your experience, The " GIve me big tips, irrespective of service level ", with not even a thanks when we did, culture was very prevalent. Celebrity are a commercial organisation and quite rightly they have to look totally to the bottom line at all times. that is why they exist, but I am sure they are clever enough to achieve this seamlessly to their customers instead of naked aggression type hard sell techniques like this. We applaud staff being incentivised to sell the main product lines and services but perhaps some training and guidance is needed to avoid alienating the customer as they do so. We were so looking forward to going on Celebrity again as our experience on the Equinox was the best we have had in fifteen cruises. The above incidents are hopefully seen as opportunities to improve on areas that are not working in our view, rather than being viewed as just criticism. That is the last thing we want to spend time doing on our valued holiday time or indeed on sites like this. We do hope that this was a one off bad experience in a few but vitality important areas to us and that we have a better time should we use Celebrity again in the future. As I said at the start please don't be put off Celebrity as they are a truly wonderful line but hopefully take heed of some experiences we have had. Do let the staff know what you want ie if you want a leisurely meal. Do ensure any orders you have made will be there. Double check trips on trip adviser to ensure the marketing material is a true reflection of what you think you are buying. Do not get involved with negative staff.If they are rude and unhelpful go straight to their managers as they are very capable people. Do make up a badge before you board " I don't want a f*&%cking drinbks package " lol Happy cruising Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
My husband and I always wanted to go to Hawaii but we don't like long flights. The cruise was round trip to from and to San Diego. We were able to spend several days in San Diego prior to the cruise. We rented a car and drove up the ... Read More
My husband and I always wanted to go to Hawaii but we don't like long flights. The cruise was round trip to from and to San Diego. We were able to spend several days in San Diego prior to the cruise. We rented a car and drove up the coastline of California stopping in several towns. Entertainment and service on the ship was exceptional. The ship did a night time cruise around the big island to see lava flowing into the ocean. We loved the variety of the shore excursions offered, We took a tour in a helicopter and flew over the volcanoes and the calderas on the big island. The helicopter crew were very entertaining and pointed out many highlights on the island. The best excursion was snorkeling/snuba at the Molokini Crater. I snorkeled and my husband did the snuba. The water was crystal clear and there many beautiful fish and coral reefs. Staff on the snorkeling boat were very friendly and knowledgeable. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise because of the value, ports, length of the cruise, cruise line reputation and cruise ship rating. We were very pleased with our selection and our cruise. The service was excellent, the food was excellent. You have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the value, ports, length of the cruise, cruise line reputation and cruise ship rating. We were very pleased with our selection and our cruise. The service was excellent, the food was excellent. You have to go to Murano, the specialty restaurant. It was amazing. The entertainment was great as well. The room layout is the best we have had on a larger ship. I do wish they had a Promenade Deck as other cruise line do but they have a track on the top of the ship. It is just smaller and congested if you go anytime other than early in the morning. The fitness area is excellent. There were always machines available if you wanted to go that route. I was disappointed that there were no self service laundry facilities. That would probably keep me from doing a real long cruise with them. We ate most of our meals in the main dining room, anytime dining, and we had excellent service and quite a selection to choose from each day. The time we were in port was good and the ports were good as well. The on board shopping was expensive and the selection OK. I actually did not purchase anything on board and I usually do. Some of the activities were more expensive as well, Bingo for example. This ship is rated 5 star so I guess that is why the additional costs were higher. One thing that was very clever was that when the ship photographers took pictures of us they would show up on our television as a rotation. That was very inventive of them and I am sure helps with the photo sales. The activities were fun, Trivia, Galley Tour, Apple classes. We also had a naturalist on board who was very enthusiastic and informative. I would cruise with Celebrity again in a heartbeat. The officers and wait staff were outstanding. One other note, there is no smoking in the casino. It was so nice to be able to walk through there without having to hold your breath. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We had a fabulous time on this cruise. We are a couple late 40's & early 50's. This was our 4th cruise, first on Celebrity. Embarkation was a breeze. We had received an email telling us to arrive between 1 and 5pm, but with ... Read More
We had a fabulous time on this cruise. We are a couple late 40's & early 50's. This was our 4th cruise, first on Celebrity. Embarkation was a breeze. We had received an email telling us to arrive between 1 and 5pm, but with having to be out of our hotel by 11am, we headed to the port. We thought we could at least drop off our luggage, but there were some others waiting to board so we joined the line. They started boarding people just after 11am and we were on deck with drink in hand by 11:30am (it was 5 o'clock somewhere) We booked with the 123 Go promotion, and the included beverage package made things very easy. We found no need to upgrade to the premium package, the basic was just fine for us. Muster drill was a bit of a joke, but they usually are. They had a 50% discount on the specialty restaurants the first evening so we dined in Tuscan Grille. It was amazing, had a window seat with great view. The food in the main dining room was great. We at there most nights with the exception of one evening where nothing appealed to us and another when my hubby got too much sun and was in bed most of the day. The buffet had great options and there was always something to eat. The mast grill was great also. Our stateroom was awesome. We were on the back side of the hump in 9241 and the balcony was huge. We would watch the sunset of our balcony each day at sea back to Vancouver. We didn't do any excursions on shore, however we did do the behind the scenes tour. While it was ok, the one we did on Holland America Zuiderdam was way more organized and interesting. The one plus is we had lunch in Silk Harvest as part of the tour. The entertainment on board was good and varied. Always something different. The hot glass show was great, but you could only watch so much, especially the last couple of days at sea when it was quite cold. We bought a beautiful piece in the auction they have at the end of the cruise. Service was very good, never had an issue with our stateroom or in any venues. Actually asked to be moved in the main dining room one night due to a very rude passenger near us and were accommodated very quickly. The poor wait staff still had to deal with the guy though Disembarkation was good off the ship, but finding our luggage on land and getting out of the area was a challenge. The cruise line couldn't help anything with this - there were 3 cruise ships in that day. All in all it was a great cruise, will we sail Celebrity again? Maybe one day Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Background: We're a late 50's Calgary couple who wanted a nice leisurely cruise, to do the Hawaii sampler and to get off in Vancouver so we had a short plane trip home. This was our 4th cruise, 2nd with Celebrity. A lot of our ... Read More
Background: We're a late 50's Calgary couple who wanted a nice leisurely cruise, to do the Hawaii sampler and to get off in Vancouver so we had a short plane trip home. This was our 4th cruise, 2nd with Celebrity. A lot of our expectations were set when we sailed on the Reflection in December and the Solstice didn't quite live up to her sister ship. Newer is better I guess. Room: We had a balcony for the first time. Absolutely wonderful and we wouldn't book another cruise without going balcony again. Well worth the extra money IMHO. We spent a lot of hours sitting outside, when the weather was good, sipping wine or coffee and watching the world go by. That being said... The maintenance has been neglected. Our room on Reflection was newer and better even tho it wasn't a balcony. Dining: Dinner: The main dining room was hit and miss on this trip. Some really nice offerings and some really bad ones. I had to send my tough Prime rib back and the replacement was only marginally better. The 'Baked Alaska' and the 'Key Lime Pie' were sad to say the least and didn't reflect their namesakes in any way. I'd suggest staying away from the steak. Stick to the daily side of the menu. We splurged on the Tuscan grill and weren't disappointed! Excellent steak. Excellent service. Excellent table right at the back of the ship watching the sunset. I can highly recommend it. Lunch: The buffet was as good as it was on the Reflection. Take the time to walk around and find everything before you get your plate then pick up the hot items last and you won't be disappointed. Pretty hard to find a seat on sea days, but that's just par for the course when you're cruising. The Mast Grill has lineups for a reason folks. It's got tasty food and you don't have to leave the comfort of your deck chair for very long. Pick up a cold bevvy on your way back and you're going to have a good time. We tried the MDR for lunch once on a sea day. Gotta say, I wouldn't try it again. Food wasn't as good as the buffet and it took a while to get it. Breakfast: Buffet is always good for breakfast. Pick up your cold items then go to the egg station and have them prepare your eggs fresh. Don't make the mistake of setting for the eggs that are sitting in the hot dishes. We tried the MDR for breakfast once and it's just OK. Personally, I'd rather just do the buffet. Cafe Bacio - Great coffee. Grab one before breakfast and take it with you or do like we did and get a sampling of the morning bunnage and take it back to your balcony and have a quiet before breakfast breakfast. Included in the standard drinks package and a great place to have a late afternoon snack before getting ready for dinner. Solstice's food was hit and miss. Reflection's food was consistently better. Entertainment/Activities: Nothing bad here, but Reflection wins this one too. Reflection has some live entertainment around the pool. Solstice relies on canned music. Reflection has live entertainment in the main area before dinner. Solstice had some live and some DJ's. I liked the house band on Reflection better than the one on Solstice. I also found that there wasn't enough live entertainment during the days on the 5 sea days we had. Ports/Excursions: What's not to like about Hawaii? Lots to see and do. Great food. Great beaches. Our seasick snorkeling adventure wasn't Celebrity's fault. Only downside is that you don't get to stay long enough in Kona and Hilo. I can highly recommend a day at Kaanapali beach and you can get there cheap on public transport, just $4 for a daily pass. A couple of beach chairs and a big umbrella so you don't fry on your first day... $50. Great lunch with great drinks, not cheap, but well worth every penny. Lahaina's a great beach town with nice shops and galleries. When folks didn't have what we were looking for they gave us suggestions of who else in town might have it, which is a real nice vibe. Kona's just as nice. Check out Splashers upstairs for the best burger I've had in a long time and strong, I mean really strong, double Mai Tai's. The Kona coffee shop just below not only has great coffee, it also has sweet free wifi which came in really handy. Hilo was disorganized. After waiting for over an hour for the 'hoppa on hoppa off' bus to downtown, we gave up and went back to the ship. At least they gave us our money back. BTW: It's $15 online and $20 in person and you get on based on the number they give you. 3 busses went by and we still weren't going to get on the next one and they gave multiple folks the same numbers which of course caused problems. Overall: Trips are what you make of them. We had a great time and will go again. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. They busted their butts to make our experience the best it could be. Sure, some things could have been better, but who cares? Put a smile on your face. Have another drink and thank your lucky stars that you get a few days in paradise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Nothing good to say about the ship, food, entertainment, service or staff ! Would give a negative rating if I could. Had to literally wipe out my drawer to put my clothes in on day one, full of dirt and hair. Service was poor, food was ... Read More
Nothing good to say about the ship, food, entertainment, service or staff ! Would give a negative rating if I could. Had to literally wipe out my drawer to put my clothes in on day one, full of dirt and hair. Service was poor, food was lousy, staff unfriendly. Had previously been on a Royal Carribean cruise in the past and the ship was beautiful, the service was wonderful and the food was great, so when we got on this ship it was a huge disappointment! Spent 5 days at sea, while it was quite cold outside so we were trapped inside this ship and the majority of the entertainment was quite costly! Spent $100 to play lousy bingo! Wish I had read the reviews prior to taking this cruise as many that I have seen have been negative. Also wish I had some pros to add to the cons of this cruise ship, but sadly and honestly can't think of one! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise on internet reports that Celebrity Solstice is an upmarket experience in cruising. The cabin was good. The crew were good. The shipboard experience was a let-down. No coin laundry; a debacle in tendering at Bay of ... Read More
We chose this cruise on internet reports that Celebrity Solstice is an upmarket experience in cruising. The cabin was good. The crew were good. The shipboard experience was a let-down. No coin laundry; a debacle in tendering at Bay of Islands where it took us over 3 hours to get on a tender. (Improved in later ports); main Dining Room food was a huge disappointment. Overcooked meals. Many dishes tasteless. We purchased a 5 night specialty Restaurants package. Murano and Tuscan Grille were excellent in menu, food, and service. Silk Harvest Asian Restaurant was a disaster - dried out whole fish, long overcooked duck breast. Drink prices on board were over the top!! Repeat Celebrity Solstice cruise guests reported that the standard of the ship was way below previous cruises. Another huge annoyance to a lot of cruisers was the expulsion from the only seaview lounge on the ship at 5pm to allow private access to a "higher paying" class of guest. No more Celebrity!! Read Less
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