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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was my first time cruising with Celebrity, but I had sailed with other lines previously. The demographic was what I expected, mostly 30 or 40-somethings and up. The staff onboard worked extremely hard to ensure I had everything I ... Read More
This was my first time cruising with Celebrity, but I had sailed with other lines previously. The demographic was what I expected, mostly 30 or 40-somethings and up. The staff onboard worked extremely hard to ensure I had everything I needed and that my experience was a positive one. The captain always had a good sense of humor, and I enjoyed his commentary during daily announcements. The area I enjoyed most was the solarium--super relaxing. For entertainment, I loved going to see the string duo, Lighthouse. They were so fun and such great performers. The only criticisms I could think of are regarding the thermal suite and the wifi. The thermal suite is fairly small for the ship size and the amount of money you pay to get access. It could use a refurb. The wifi was just not good. I realize most like to disconnect while on vacation (I understand this), but unfortunately I have to keep up with my house/dog sitter at home. The connection was just very poor for most of the cruise, and I did not like paying that much for something boasting access to all streaming apps, surfing, etc. Overall, the experience was a very positive trip. I would consider Celebrity again, and I do believe the solstice class ship could be a lot of fun in the caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We took this particular cross pacific cruise from Hawaii to Vancouver for the route it was sailing and also, the price was very attractive. We sailed in Concierge Class and we enjoyed the little extras it gave us, like priority boarding, ... Read More
We took this particular cross pacific cruise from Hawaii to Vancouver for the route it was sailing and also, the price was very attractive. We sailed in Concierge Class and we enjoyed the little extras it gave us, like priority boarding, tender service, sparkling wine and snacks every day. Our cabin was located on deck 10 in the forward part of the ship, it was very quiet, hardly any noise at all, we could hardly even hear the engines. Our first of five sea days threw us into a scale 11 storm with 55 knot winds and 25 feet waves. The ship handled it VERY well. Yes, there was movemnet, lots of people were sea sick, but there was nothing failing of the tables or anything like that. Luckily, none of us were prone to sea sickness. The ship itself is very beautiful, lots or artwork and spotlessly clean! It is ten years old and in the cabins the age is beginning to show just here and there. Nothing to be concerned about, and I understand that all cabins will be replaced during her major refit in 2021. The ship has plenty to do, you can do it all or nothing at all. The choice is yours. The service onboard is impeccable and the food is of a very high standard. Even the buffet and room service was excellent, ask for crispy bacon and you will have just that.. Personally, I did find some of the tastes to be a bit bland, but that is purely a matter of personal taste. The wines were excellent and all cocktails equally delicious. We had a few ports with tender service and that can be a bit of challenge, but sail in a Concierge cabin and you will not experience any of that. There were a few flaws here and there. For instance, the music in the lounges and bars is simply too loud. It discourages conversation and it fails to meet its purporse of adding to the ambiance. Furthermore, there were no change in the music during the day, why have Madonna blasting from the speakers on the aft deck outside the buffet, where people were having breakfast at 8 am?? Why not play some lovely classical music or piano, even some soft jazz would have done better. The bands on board and shows were very good as well. There was always plenty of seating to be found, both in and outdoors, no shortage of nice sun loungers either. We did not take any of the organized tours as we preferred to arrange it ourselves. Travelling as LGBTs we were greated with a social hour each evening, that was a nice touch! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We started off the trip a few days early by arriving in Honolulu by arriving on Saturday to board on Monday. The day we arrived the weather pretty great with a little cloud coverage. That afternoon/evening we checked the street fair and ... Read More
We started off the trip a few days early by arriving in Honolulu by arriving on Saturday to board on Monday. The day we arrived the weather pretty great with a little cloud coverage. That afternoon/evening we checked the street fair and Jeff Goldblum and his jazz band. Sunday we did Pearl Harbor (a.m.) and a Luau (p.m.) that evening. Monday we boarded the ship which turned into a two day headache; please note that the boarding process and the Maître D’ rudeness were the only minor gripes I had during the entire trip. The issue with regards to the boarding process was that once we got through the lineup, which was not bad at all, the person who assisted us managed to jumble our seapass cards to the point where my charge account and photo were assigned to my friends card and vice versa. This did take some time to correct even after the assistance of a manager during the checkin process. Upon our arrival to our concierge class cabin, it was apparent that the special requests that were made through Celebrity directly was not passed along to the ship; this includes the request to separate the bed, emptying the mini fridge, sharps disposable container, which is fine as I was able to request these items once on board. During the trip our waitress, assistant waitress, sommelier and cabin attendant were all amazing and provided great service as they always went above and beyond in keeping us happy! We did do one shore excursion which was over Hilo’s volcano which was neat. Disembarkation was relatively easy and quick. All in all, it was a great trip after sorting out annoyances. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
After 2 sailings on the Edge, it was such a treat returning to a Solstice class ship. Until experiencing “The Future” it wasn’t clear just how great “The Past” really is. So many little things like the convenience of ... Read More
After 2 sailings on the Edge, it was such a treat returning to a Solstice class ship. Until experiencing “The Future” it wasn’t clear just how great “The Past” really is. So many little things like the convenience of pivoting TV’s in your room, a real balcony, shower jets that are actually useful rather than decorative, no cheap pump bottles in the shower for soap and shampoo, never really waiting for an elevator and often finding it empty(exact opposite to Edge), roughly double the number of bars for the same number of passengers (no overcrowding), able to access the Sky Lounge even if not in a suite, fast efficient service everywhere, quiet areas like card rooms and libraries and hideaways, outside bars with actual shade that don’t force you inside after 10 minutes of baking sun, no more hallways of dull grey not to mention furniture that is actually comfortable to sit in. Yes the Eclipse is showing signs of age/wear but a good design it still is. Having just completed 22 days on the Vancouver - Hawaii - Vancouver my biggest complaint is they ran out of many provisions and beverages with 3 days to go on the first leg. In any case I would still choose a Solstice or Millennium class ship over The Edge any day. Hopefully the refurbs will not try to “Edgeify” the older ships but instead just perk them up. If not, a lot of faithful Celebrity cruisers will start investigating other lines rather than automatically returning. Especially with the latest promo of “Kids Sail Free”. (REALLY??) With a host of new Edge class ships on the horizon the future for the existing Celebrity ship lovers is looking iffy. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Hawaii Celebrity Solstice review April 29 - May 11, 2018 We had a enjoyable cruise despite some bumps along the road. We embarked in Honolulu. The lines were short but the woman we had checking us in just couldn't get it ... Read More
Hawaii Celebrity Solstice review April 29 - May 11, 2018 We had a enjoyable cruise despite some bumps along the road. We embarked in Honolulu. The lines were short but the woman we had checking us in just couldn't get it together. We stood waiting for her to check us in. It took 30 minutes. We were not happy with that but couldn't do anything about it. Finally, we got on board. They were giving out Champagne and mimosas as we boarded. The ship looked great. It shined and sparkled. The rooms were not ready yet. So we found some lunch and then found a comfortable place to wait. We had the Classic beverage package and enjoyed some drinks while waiting. We booked a handicapped accessible cabin on deck 11 Aqua class. I use a scooter to get around as I have muscular dystrophy. The cabin was barren as usual for handicapped cabins but did not have enough storage. We had only one closet and only 4 small drawers. The balcony had a lovely built in ramp to get out to the balcony. We had two chairs and loved having matching foot stools for each. We spent may hours out on that balcony. The door to our room was automatic which was wonderful for me. It is so hard to drive my scooter and open the door at the same time. I found the whole ship to be wonderfully accessible. All the doors were automatic all around the ship. I was able to get everywhere. Waiting on elevators after shows were awful. I would wait for my turn however able bodied people wouldn't let me get in the elevator. By the time I was able to get to elevator door it was full of able bodied people. I would have to wait and wait. Most of the time I would have to travel to the back of the ship just to find an elevator. Then had to travel back to the front of the ship where our cabin was. I would have loved to travel the stairs but my disability makes it impossible. We booked no excursions thru the ship. We booked them on shore. Much cheaper and just as good as ship excursions. Since we were in Aqua class we were able to eat in the Blu restaurant. It was open for breakfast and dinner each day. We went to breakfast there a few times, however, I like waffles and Blu didn't serve waffles at breakfast. The buffet did serve waffles so we preferred to eat there. The buffet was quicker too. The buffet food was delicious. Two lunches in the buffet they had fish and chips which were wonderful. We ate all our dinners in Blu. The food was good. The waiters were very nice and knowledgable about the menu and food. I liked having a cosmopolitan at dinner. After 3 days the wine waitress in Blu would recognize me and would always bring me my cosmopolitan with out me even having to ask. This made me feel so special. I went to all the shows. I was always entertained. My favorite shows are usually production shows but I found these productions shows to be lacking. I enjoyed all the game shows. The newly wed game and liar liar were hilarious. All the comedians were funny and clean. We experienced an earthquake in Hilo. We were on the ship at the time. The whole ship shook while we were at the pier. It was quite the adventure. Not for one man. I went down to guest relations to find a man yelling at the poor guest relations attendant. Earlier in the day he went on a ship excursion to the Volcano. He wanted a full refund. He couldn't understand how Celebrity would take passengers to a place that had earthquakes and that Celebrity should have known a earthquake was going to happen. I had to laugh. I don't even think all those specialists with all their expensive equipment knew that an earthquake was going to happen. I don't know if he got a refund or not. Getting a bar drink during the day was next to impossible. We would go to the pool bar to find one bartender trying to get drinks for 10 people in line. This was a daily thing. However, at the show room at night it was super easy to get a drink. The bar waiters were abundant. We had the classic drink package and liked it. The only drinks I couldn't get were at the martini bar. It worked for wine, beer and drinks of the day. I spent most of my money at the spa. I do not get the popularity of the Persian Garden. It was included in our Aqua class cabin. Lovely view but those tile chairs are hard and uncomfortable. I got two massages which were wonderful but expensive. I also got a facial. I was not told to buy this cream and that cream. No hard sell. Actually no sell at all. I really liked that. I also got my teeth whitened. It worked really well. I went 7 shades lighter. I was happy at the time but it sure doesn't last very long. I am now home and my teeth look the same as they did before the whitening. Next is the horrible problem we had in our cabin. Bugs. We found 7 in total. 3 we found in our bed. They were not bed bugs. I was told they got in thru our balcony. We did not leave our balcony doors open. Only when we went in and out. This really was a problem. I have been on over 27 cruises and I have never had bugs in my cabin before. Despite the bugs, and the earthquake we really enjoyed our Celebrity cruise and still believe that there is no such thing as a bad cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We really enjoyed this cruise. Be ready for smaller portions than the usual American size that I have come to know. There is plenty of more portions, all you have to do is ask. The buffet was not portions, so make your picture. I did ... Read More
We really enjoyed this cruise. Be ready for smaller portions than the usual American size that I have come to know. There is plenty of more portions, all you have to do is ask. The buffet was not portions, so make your picture. I did not like the 5 specialty restaurants. We did eat at the Asian Silk Harvest one time. They advertised king crab legs. They should have said ONE king crab leg. Same smaller portions. Ok, I get that. I ordered the unlimited photo package, it is two days post cruise and we are still waiting to get the so called easy download. I emailed twice, and they said that I should have downloaded them on the ship, but if you don't have the wifi package, then how can you download them from the Celebrity wifi. 250 dollars cost? Hawaii, well worth visiting, I was very impressed with ALL the onboard activities and the talks From Beyond the Podium! Hey were all great as well as the shows. Equal to or better than Las Vegas. You won't be disappointed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first time cruising with Celebrity and first time in Hawaii! Overall we really loved the cruise! We had five days at sea and loved the relaxing, slow paced days! We could be as busy or as not busy as we wanted... it was ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with Celebrity and first time in Hawaii! Overall we really loved the cruise! We had five days at sea and loved the relaxing, slow paced days! We could be as busy or as not busy as we wanted... it was wonderful! We loved exploring Hawaii and we thought doing that via a cruise was awesome! It was nice being able to spend at least a day or two in each place and take the time to see all we could. Each evening after exploring the islands we were excited to go back on the ship as it just felt like home! We loved that! We heard the food would be absolutely amazing on this ship and we didn't necessarily be the case. The food in the dining room was good, but not jaw dropping. We did love the buffet and thought the breakfast was amazing... fresh waffles with whipped cream? Yes, please! We missed having more "typical" foods in the buffet and dining room.. perhaps thats the point with a higher class ship, but we missed some of those comfort foods. Don't forget to try the free pastries and treats at Cafe El Bacio- they were amazing and I didn't learn about them until our cruise was almost complete. You cannot get those same pastries and tarts anywhere else on the ship. YUM! Don't miss out! Overall our service was amazing.. people were ready and willing to help whenever and wherever they could! The only place we had a bit spotty service was in the dining room. We had a different server every evening and some were great and some were not so great or friendly. I think they were just busy, but there was definitely a noticeable difference. We would definitely cruise on Celebrity again and had an AMAZING cruise, but don't think we will make Celebrity our go-to cruise line. Norwegian felt to be on a similar scale to use with more restaurant options! But we really did love this cruise! Hawaii was incredibly beautiful and we loved visiting many islands! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Choose this cruise to return to Hawaii after 33 years. We are from the east coast, so we thought it would be a good way to get accustomed to the time change to Hawaii (it was). With five plus sea days to start out, it was relaxing, but ... Read More
Choose this cruise to return to Hawaii after 33 years. We are from the east coast, so we thought it would be a good way to get accustomed to the time change to Hawaii (it was). With five plus sea days to start out, it was relaxing, but everyone was getting a bit stir crazy. Since it was late in the season for Vancouver, the first few days were cloudy and cool. The remaining sea days were sunny and progressively warmer. With so many sea days up front, one had to rely on Celebrity to keep you entertained. The speakers talking about Hawaii were very good. On Board sporting events (one/two per day) were very spotty and very poor (there was not one ping pong tournament which is a first in any of our cruises!). Other entertainment were typical cruise activities, Evening entertainment was normally very good with several acts from Vegas. The Celebrity singers and dancers were average at best. This is the first cruise that we used anytime dining. Our last few cruises at the late seating for dinner were frustrating as we typically dined by ourselves. This cruise, we ate with different people every night and met several other couples at different tables. We thought this was very enjoyable. As typical for Celebrity, the food was excellent and the specialty restaurants were very good as well (Murano twice and Tuscan). The shore excursions in Hawaii were expensive, but were very enjoyable (Snorkeling in Kona, lava flows in Hilo, and waterfall hike in Maui). None of that compared to seeing the lava flow hit the ocean at midnight as the ship passed within a half mile. Make sure you book the excursions you want before you board the ship or you may be on a waiting list. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our second cruise on the Celebrity Solstice and we enjoyed it very much. We stayed in Aqua Class cabin 1538 which was very large and well maintained. Our ports of call were excellent. We had most of our breakfasts and dinners ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Celebrity Solstice and we enjoyed it very much. We stayed in Aqua Class cabin 1538 which was very large and well maintained. Our ports of call were excellent. We had most of our breakfasts and dinners in Blu which was outstanding. We had several lunches in the main dining room which was very good. I thought the Ocean View Cafe, the buffet, quality of food and service had dropped substantially from our previous cruise on the Solstice 10 years ago. The pools were great and the hot tubs were wonderful. Both the entertainment and the ship's activities were very good. We attended every evening show and enjoyed them very much. We visited Honolulu, Maui, Kona and Hilo which were beautiful. We booked private excursions for each port with friends we met on cruisecritic. I highly recommend both the Celebrity Solstice and the Honolulu to Vancouver cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
The captain of the Solstice made this journey very memorable. He was very personable, and approachable. He genuinely wanted to do what he could to ensure the passengers had a good time. He did a 360 as we passed the lava flows on Kona ... Read More
The captain of the Solstice made this journey very memorable. He was very personable, and approachable. He genuinely wanted to do what he could to ensure the passengers had a good time. He did a 360 as we passed the lava flows on Kona so everyone got a good chance to see it as it hit the ocean. I'd like to see this cruise hit another island -- maybe Kaui. Maui, Hawaii, and Oahu are getting fairly commercialized. However, the big Island never fails to give a good show and we enjoyed both our days there. We had a private jeep tour in Maui that was an excellent introduction to Maui and it's history. The only ding/con for this cruise (and it's minor) was the breakfast. The scrambled eggs out on the buffet were so soupy that if you wanted eggs, you generally lined up for omelettes or eggs benedict to order. It's always nice to have your eggs made to order, but sometimes you'd like to just grab and go. I could never seem to get cheese on my omelette that I ordered -- I ordered cheese each time, but when I got it, there was never cheese on the omelette. As I said, it's a very minor ding. The rest of the cruise was wonderful. The crew members went out of their way to provide lots of entertainment and relaxation. All 5 days at sea ended up being cloudy, windy, and cold, so the crew had their work cut out for them. Our cabin steward kept the room spotless even though we were constantly heading back to the room (we both caught a bit of a cold and needed to get extra sleep). Our dining staff were very attentive. Our waiter and his assistant learned our tastes early and kept our water filled (something important to me). We enjoyed our dinner mates and learned a lot from them. The sommelier was always prompt getting our wine and suggesting alternatives so we could try everything available on the drink package we had. We tried a specialty restaurant for our anniversary, but weren't really impressed. There was way too much food. And for the extra money, we would have been just as happy eating in the main dining room. Embarkation and Disembarkation were handled efficiently with little waiting. The ship notified us that there would be 3 ships in Vancouver on the day we were there and offered additional chances to get a direct transfer to the airport which worked out well. The crew of the Solstice made the journey and we thank them for a job well done! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We love Hawaii and wanted to do a cruise around the islands, and we thought it would be good to cruise to Vancouver to have a longer cruise and be back close to home. We picked the Solstice because we love the Hot Glass Show they have on ... Read More
We love Hawaii and wanted to do a cruise around the islands, and we thought it would be good to cruise to Vancouver to have a longer cruise and be back close to home. We picked the Solstice because we love the Hot Glass Show they have on board. Embarkation went very smoothly. We arrived around 4pm and went right on. Disembarkation was a big mess. We were told that we should have the transfer shuttle to the airport as there were going to be 3 ships in port at once and it could be 3 hrs to wait for a taxi. So we paid the $30 each and went to get our bags. We were told to go in and go out the same place to get our luggage. That was not very smooth. Then we were in a crowd and there were no signs to tell you were to go for the shuttle. We found out there were 2 ships in at that time, and finally found the line for the shuttle. We waited at least 1 & 1/2 hrs to get on a shuttle! Some people missed there flight. We made it, but no time to get lunch. We should have had a few hrs to spare. The ship is very nice. The cabin was good. We were in Aqua with a balcony. We got to dine in Blu , the specialty restaurant for Aqua class. It was very nice. Smaller and more intimate than the MDR. It was smaller portions, but still plenty and you can always order more. The did have a lot of sea food and lamb... that we don't like, but there was always steak. Deserts were really good, especially the chocolate cake and the cheese cake! Entertainment was disappointing. It was very loud, everything, and not many good guests. However we loved the Hot Glass Shows and went to all of them! Service is great! We had really great servers in Blu, we got them most nights. Also our room attendant was so friendly and helpful! We enjoyed the Ports. You can't go wrong with Hawaii. We did a ship excursion in Maui, Lahaina , the Dolphin and Snorkel tour to Lanai. It was good. They took us to a bay in Lanai. We saw 3 bottle nose dolphins on the way. The snorkel spot was kinda deep, so it was hard to see a lot, but we saw some turtles and fish. If I go again, I think I want to spend more time in Maui or Kona...so probably not a cruise. It was hot the first day at sea, but it got colder after that . I would go on the Solstice again . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
What a great cruise. I am an experienced cruiser. I have been on Carnival,, NCL Princess, HAL and Celebrity. Celebrity being my favorite cruise line right now. Embarkation was the usual lines and waiting but nothing out of the ... Read More
What a great cruise. I am an experienced cruiser. I have been on Carnival,, NCL Princess, HAL and Celebrity. Celebrity being my favorite cruise line right now. Embarkation was the usual lines and waiting but nothing out of the ordinary. We stayed at the Pan Pacific hotel in Vancouver which takes your luggage down to the ship for you. Lovely hotel for a pre cruise stay. The ship was lovely and was so clean everything sparkled. We were offered champagne or orange juice upon boarding. Out cabins were not ready until 1pm so we headed to the Lido for a buffet lunch. After lunch we changed into our suits which we had packed in out carry ons and hung out at the hot tub until our room was ready. We had a handicapped cabin on deck 6 as I am disabled. The ship was totally accessible for me with automatic doors everywhere. All the public bathrooms were handicapped accessible with automatic doors. The only problem I had was finding a place to sit in the buffet. It was packed with people and there was no where to sit. Here I am with my food on my lap and no where to sit and eat. I think some tables should be reserved for handicapped people like they do on NCL. We cruised from Vancouver to Kona, Hawaii on very smooth seas. No rough weather at all. .However, we don't get seasick even with heavy seas. I even missed being rocked to sleep at night. It was a wonderful itinerary. What can beat Hawaii but I missed going to Kauai which is my favorite island. We went to Kona, Hilo, and two days in Lahaina and ended the cruise in Honolulu. We had to tender in Kona and Lahaina and it was a major pain. Had to go stand in line for a tender ticket. We got tender number 19 and had to wait 2 hours for our number to be called. It was horrible. I wish they would dock on the other side of Maui. We booked the go best program which included premium drink package, unlimited internet, and gratuities. We are not big drinkers but it was nice to order any kind of drink we wanted including martinis, wine, pop and bottle water. Internet was strong and we always had a signal. Had a wonderful room steward by the name of Berri from St Vincent. He was great. He cleaned our cabin when we wanted it cleaned and when we didn't want to be bothered he left us alone. I had two massages at the spa. I had a hot stone massage with Andrea and a regular massage with Ru. Both were great therapists. There was no hard sell.for their products. I said one no and that was it. There is a 18% gratuity that they add on to all services. We dined a few times in the dining room but we found the service to be very slow. Once we ordered drinks and didn't get them for 47 minutes, by that time we were already on our main course. Sometimes it was quicker and easier to go to the Lido buffet. I think a lot of people had the drink package as the bar and wine service was slow everywhere.. I talked to many people who complained about the food in the dining room. Not me. I thought all my meals were excellent, however, I am not picky. If someone else makes it I'll eat it. My husband ordered rooms service many times and loved it. Entertainment was hit and miss. I usually love the production shows but not on this ship. I found them way too loud. I couldn't wait to get out of the show room as I felt like I had been yelled at for an hour. Other shows I found boring. I enjoyed the juggler and really enjoyed the enrichment talks during the day. There was handicapped seating in the show room but I found you had to get there early to get any of it. Either there was a lot of disabled people on this cruise or there is not enough handicapped seating in the show room. We did no excursions as we had been to Hawaii so many times before. We always rent a car and have favorite places we like to go. Besides trying to get handicapped accessible excursions are close to impossible. I like Celebrity so well that I booked another cruise in 2018. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to cruise to and around Hawaii. We had a beautiful five days at sea. Ship was very nice and crew were extremely friendly and helpful. Ate one night at Murano and the food was delicious. We felt like ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to cruise to and around Hawaii. We had a beautiful five days at sea. Ship was very nice and crew were extremely friendly and helpful. Ate one night at Murano and the food was delicious. We felt like we were the only table that our server had. She was very knowledgable and prepared our lobster tails at our table. The Vancouver terminal was not very well laid out and seemed a lot of unnecessary going up and down escalators just to check in. They need to rethink their check in process. But once we boarded it was all good experiences. Two ports had tenders and that was a little rough. We don't really dock anywhere that is a high tourist area so not a lot of Hawaii experience. That was kind of a let down. As long as we were on the ship itself it was great. 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
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
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 ... 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Fifth cruise - first with Celebrity. Excellent ship and repositioning cruise. Good facilities aboard. Smooth embarkation and disembarkation. Plenty of space and never felt too crowded. Excellent passenger flow. I am always ready ... Read More
Fifth cruise - first with Celebrity. Excellent ship and repositioning cruise. Good facilities aboard. Smooth embarkation and disembarkation. Plenty of space and never felt too crowded. Excellent passenger flow. I am always ready to get off a cruise after 7 days, but I managed 10 days on this one with no troube. Ports visited were OK except for Hilo. Not a lot to see there and the showers didn't help. Excellent buffet selection and well laid out, especially the English Breakfast (who would ever expect bangers, black pudding and English bacon on a Pacific cruise!) and Indian sections. Cabin (and balcony) very good (9141). Cabin staff excellent. We are not generally attracted to cruise entertainment and the only show we saw was disappointing. Our main criticism was the MDR. Portions were small, especially the appetizers, and we found several main courses served warm, not hot, and lacked flavour, especially sauces and gravies. Lobster was overcooked and chewy. The cheese board was a joke compared to what HA offers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Booked this cruise for my 20th anniversary. Just me and my wife on this journey across the Pacific...... Traveled up to Vancouver as we live in Seattle. Would certainly say we waited in line longer to get on this ship than most. Lots ... Read More
Booked this cruise for my 20th anniversary. Just me and my wife on this journey across the Pacific...... Traveled up to Vancouver as we live in Seattle. Would certainly say we waited in line longer to get on this ship than most. Lots of confusion by staff which contributed to the lengthy boarding process. Ship was nice, nothing to complain about. Our room was very big for an inside cabin, however when things got rough at sea, it creaked and squeaked very loud which made sleeping fairly tough. Dining was probably average. Better service on Princess and the food was better in my opinion. We did the early seating, nice company at our table, but again, everything else was average. Ports were great, just enough time in each to give us an idea as to what and where we may want to go in the future. Tenders were the typical mass movement of people trying to get in front of each other....organization of this part of the cruise was the WORST part of our experience. Comedians were really pretty darn good. Other shows were the average sort of cruise ship stuff, but the dancers on the ship were excellent. Here is the thing about this cruise. For day two, three, and part of four--this cruise was ROUGH. I do not normally get sick, but I think close to every one else on the ship was sick--including the staff. I went to the buffet for lunch and saw a total of 9 people. The enclosed pool looked like an infirmary. When warm, finding a chair by the pool was very tough. Our favorite part of the cruise was the martini bar. Friendly people great drinks. We sat there every night before bed and enjoyed it every time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Prior to this cruise we had sailed only on Royal Caribbean. We have always heard that Celebrity was a great cruise line and being under the umbrella of RC we thought we would choose it for our special anniversary. Royal had a couple of ... Read More
Prior to this cruise we had sailed only on Royal Caribbean. We have always heard that Celebrity was a great cruise line and being under the umbrella of RC we thought we would choose it for our special anniversary. Royal had a couple of ships sailing during that time but the itinerary that Solstice was offering was the selling feature and the price quoted for a Verandah cabin was also a reason for our selection. When we arrived in Honolulu we had some challenges finding transportation to the pier. I guess we should not have assumed that there would be a vast array of taxis and shuttles for us to choose from, but we did manage to find a shuttle to drop us off at the pier on the way to various hotels in the area. Embarkation was great. We arrived after the rush and we were able to get on board with ease. Our cabin was mid-ship on deck 7 and was lovely. Prior to sailing we had been given an upgrade so our balcony was larger than normal. This was wonderful because we like to get coffee from room service early in the morning and sit out to enjoy it. Every day the room service was very prompt and they always called to see if everything was OK. My only disappointment with room service was some of the items offered compared to other ships we had been on with RC. We would normally get a fruit plate with our coffee that would have a selection of fresh fruits but this ship only provided a small plate with three slices of either cantaloupe or honey dew. It was OK but we didn't order the fruit again. We did find our bathroom much more spacious than RC ships. The shower especially gave more room to move around which was great. The bed was comfortable as we like a firm bed and extra pillows were provided at our request. Linens were top quality. Lots of storage and the housecoats provided were a bonus. We also enjoyed the chocolates left for us each evening. Meals were excellent, whether in the Main Dining Room or the Ocean View Café. We also tried the Mast Grill (great hamburgers) and the Spa Café which was a really nice healthy alternative for breakfast. Service was always great and they did all they could to accommodate requests. We were reasonably happy with excursions booked through the ship however they seemed pricier than we thought they should be. One in particular, we didn't think we got our money's worth. I appreciated the fact that we had to meet in the theatre to wait for our excursion to be called which reduced the congestion getting off the ship. One thing I did not think was well planned was the fact that everyone had to go to the front of the stage to show their tickets for the excursion and receive the appropriate sticker for their shirt and then sit down to wait for the number to be called. There were so many senior people who would have benefited from showing their tickets when entering the theatre rather than making the trip all the way to the front and then back again. There were a couple of days, one being Lahaina, where we just walked to a beach and enjoyed the day rather than spending 70$ each for a shuttle to a beach for 5 hours and a chair and drink. Entertainment was mediocre. For the first three days I was beginning to think that the entertainment in the theatre would not get any better. Fortunately it did and we did enjoy several of the singers, acts, etc. that were featured. During the five days travel back to Vancouver, there was a vast selection of activities for us to be involved with. The band director formed a choir, my husband joined a putting challenge, seminars, trivia, etc. We made use of the fitness centre daily, along with the saunas. We did not find those days long at all. There was always something to do. Granted there were not many children on the ship and most passengers were 45+ age range so some younger travellers may not find it exciting enough but we enjoyed the time and activities. The ship as a whole was easy to get around and we appreciated the fact that we did not see a lot of people smoking or smell the smoke. The casino, in fact was open to some shopping areas and there was no smoking there...a plus for us. I must admit to readers that we are not drinkers and did not frequent the lounges but everyone we talked to did appreciate those areas...beverages, music. The lawn area on the top deck was unique and a lovely feature on the ship. Pool areas were kept well and we appreciated that fresh towels were placed on the chairs for use. When we arrived in Vancouver the disembarkation was delayed due to customs and two other ships being in port as well. However once we got off the ship and got our luggage, the lines moved along reasonably well. I can safely say we would sail on the ship again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We boarderd in Sydney , and thanks to the Concierge class , we had a shorter line to embark. Found the ship to be luxurious , beds super comfortable and the staff most attentive. The stateroom with a balcony was a great assett. Food ... Read More
We boarderd in Sydney , and thanks to the Concierge class , we had a shorter line to embark. Found the ship to be luxurious , beds super comfortable and the staff most attentive. The stateroom with a balcony was a great assett. Food on the ship was of an excellent quality and the specialty restaurants Murano,Silk Harvets and Tuscan were well worth paying the additional $us 99.00 per person for all 3. Nightly entertainment in the theatre we on the whole excellent . The crusie line pushes the drinks packages very hard , but we didint buy into it . You have to buy the package for the whole voyage , and when you consider how many days you will be off shore - not worth it for us ( and we're not big drinkers) . You can always get softdrinks and water/ tea and coffee from the self serve restaurant on deck 14 . Wish the cruise line would do something about the people who have breakfast/lunch in the Ocean View Cafe and linger long after they have finished , despite seeing people wandering around looking for tables to have breakfast / lunch .Thoughtless people . Found its better to book tours off the ship. 1/2 the price and less crowded.There are tour operators waiting in all the ports Bay of Islands, Auckland,Mooreau, Papeete,Bora bora and Lahaina. For example Bay of Island 5 hour sailing tour on the Phampton Yacht cost NZ $110..as opposed to US $ 174.00 through the cruise line.Papeete Circel island tour booked on the pier was US$ 50.00,which was also airconditioned. Shops Island Circle tour in a non airconditioned "Le Truck" was over us$100.00. If you want the glass bottom boat tour in Bora Bora , you have to book through the ship , as the crusie line hires the only boat doing this for the whole day . The Celebrity Solstice had an older crowd with the average age being 70. No more than a dozen kids under 18 were in the cruise with us .We are in our early 50's . While the cruise was great , 18 nights got to be a little tedious . We thought when we got off in Honolulu , we would jus get a taxi to the hotel on Waikiki Beach.Disembarking was a horrendous episode. Huge lines for the Taxis with over an hour wait . Best off pre booking Roberts Hawaii Tours transport to get into town. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Well this was our first cruise on Celebrity (first two on RCL) and our longest cruise. It also had by far the most amount of sea days, so we were curious on how this would play-out. Unfortunately the friends who put us onto the trip ... Read More
Well this was our first cruise on Celebrity (first two on RCL) and our longest cruise. It also had by far the most amount of sea days, so we were curious on how this would play-out. Unfortunately the friends who put us onto the trip cancelled prior to departure, so it could have been a long, long trip. Starting at the beginning, the embarkation was reasonably painless, we were aware that you can really embark whenever you wanted, so we dropped the bags off at the collection area and went for a stroll. Once the lines were down a bit (and this was early afternoon) we boarded. Quickly got our all important seapass, cleared customs, checked through security and were onboard - 20 mins tops. We then proceeded to check out a couple of bars and waited for the rooms to be ready, which was also quite quick, and we were ready to go (well the bags showed up by about 4ish). Food - this is all important. Now I could say that when I got home I had actually lost a kilo (and no that wasn't from the gym) and you'd think the food was poor, but on the contrary, there was plenty of food and generally very good. We ate at all the restaurants, Tuscans was our favourite, a bit more of the style of food we eat out on in Australia and the service was top notch. Muranos service was excellent, but the food was a little rich, and Silk Harvest was good, we enjoyed the food, but missed the mark a little - maybe we had expectations of a full on Japanese style, while it was a bit of a mixture. The MDR - well we only ate there about six nights, we picked the select dining times and pre-booked our times online before departure - a good idea. Unfortunately we did not get the dining experience we had had previously as we did not get the same waiters nor were we able to chat with the same people each night - something we liked from previous cruises. The dining room looks good, but it is a bit cramped and the décor a little 'too white and shiny'. Couldn't complain about the standard of food. There was a reasonable selection, it all tasted pretty good and the staff were very attentive to my wife's dietary needs that we had alerted the company to prior to departure. Bistro on Five was also pretty good, but only if you like crepes and baguettes. We did go a couple of times as it was a bit of a change, and they were open to alternative suggestions on the menu. A good location if everywhere else is busy. The Oceanview café was actually quite good, there was plenty of selection, and we found the quality of the food to be of a good to very good standard. It was busy at times (2800 people do get hungry at breakfast and lunch), but there was always a seat available. Dinner there was actually quite good, a good selection, they'd cook steak, chicken and fish to your requirements, and you could eat at your own pace - and not too busy. If you are a tea person - bring your own tea bags, and the freebie juice would make the best athlete a diabetic overnight, dilute it with some water (we were diluting it 50/50 or better). Lastly was Café al Bacio - we must have lived there. The staff were very friendly (I know its their job, but...) great cups of coffee and tea, cakes and gelato (thanks Jayne). It could be quite crowded though, so pick your times. At all eateries you were expected to clean your hands, some people complained about this, but for an 18 day cruise, and no norovirus outbreak - it is a precaution we should all adhere to! Overall, food wise, we had no complaints, except for there was too much, and too rich....oh and what's with the American bacon - we prefer ours the 'English way' please. Ok that's the important part over. There were number of downsides, drinks at the bars were expensive (compared to RCL and the real world). This saved us some money as we didn't drink much at all (we had the non-alcoholic premium package - fantastic value), but we were not paying $A20 for a premium cocktail, $A12 for a martini, $A12 for a mid range beer and anywhere from $A12 - 22 for a glass wine. We also thought the shops were also a little pricey and lacked variety over the 18 days, but that's what they are there for. We did organise a 'cultural walk' of the bars for a group of people, and the Events Co-ordinator and the Food and Beverage managed were very supportive. (This was actually a very good thing). Another area that let the ship down was the medical centre - unfortunately their bedside manner leaves a little to be desired when we needed their assistance one mid afternoon, the nurse was more concerned about making sure the bill was paid rather than assisting my wife who was in extreme amounts of pain. Make sure your travel insurance covers this (because of the pain the bill brings). The Doctor was quite good though, and we were sorted fairly quickly. Internet - don't get me started, this was a rort, I know we were in some remote areas, but the they still kept flogging the package even though they new the data rate was very low - 13mins to check a bank balance! On the issue of money, the onboard tours seemed quite expensive, and we found cheaper ones on the wharf. Overall Celebrity did seem to be more expensive onboard than RCL had been in the past (even allowing for the exchange rates). And I wont even mention the Spa prices! Back to the good things. The Cruise Director, his offsider (Ben and Pete - or should that be Benno and Peteski) and their teams did go to a lot of trouble to organise events on the long days at sea. There was plenty of variety (including the standard bingo etc.) and the presentations by Mike (general info) and Ann (locations) were quite interesting (and varied), there were also several matinee shows during the trip. We had a crossing the International Dateline Party, a crossing the equator ceremony, Polynesian dancing show and other events to fill in the time. There was live music at times around the pool, in the atrium and on the lawn area during the day, and more live music in the evenings in several of the bars. They did try to vary the style, but it was 18 days long! The Corning Glass show was great to watch, and the evening shows were, overall, quite good and entertaining. The cruise company show team put on some really good performances in the theatre but also upstairs in the Sky Lounge. The afternoon talent show was great with several outstanding performances by three of the crew members. We spent a lot of our time though just sitting around the pool, our room or a quiet area of the ship (and there was plenty of them) reading, listening to music or having a doze. We even had the chance to watch the crew conduct a SAR for two yachties, this delayed us by 16 hours, but the crew (probably with permission from head office) turned up the 'steam' and we were only two hours late to Maui - thanks skipper. The cabin we had (veranda deck 8) was neat and tidy, and well maintained by our cabin attendant (thanks Santanu) and his offsider. Minimal noise, room service was reasonable, but not as good as Oceanview, and a good selection of movies to watch when relaxing in the room. It was really good to relax, read a book, listen to music watching the endless ocean float past! Service - the service from all the crew members we encountered was very good. They were always with a smile on their face, and a 'how are you' on their lips. At some time we spoke to, or were greeted by, all the senior staff, and they were open to questions and comments. This was definitely a highlight, the low part of this was the way some of the passengers treated the staff - some people are so rude and selfish. Only negative here was there needed to be more bar staff during the peak hours to cater for the demand, and everyone should wait their turn when it is busy! Again the rudest people on the ship were some of the passengers. Disembarkation - this did not always run smoothly. We were tendered out in a number (most) of locations, and getting off the Ship by tender is a drawn out process. Sometimes there was a number system, a couple of times there were not. We got over this by not having any tours booked (we expected delays) and just waited out the rush by having a late breakfast etc. Customs and Immigration in Maui took a long time, and we were amongst the last to be processed (again we expected it and weren't to phased), but there are better ways, and the final disembarkation in Honolulu also took some time, but again we hadn't planned anything that required us to rush off, but we were in the final third and still off by 9am. Would we do it again, YES - we had a very relaxing time, the service was great, the food of a high standard and the room met our requirements. We beat the crowds by not joining in the rush, and generally had a laid back time of it all. We reduced our onboard expenses by opting for the non-alcoholic premium pack, and not going to the Spa, and only having a few drinks (if you are going to have more that five - six drinks a day look at the alcohol packages - you can buy them onboard after you sale, a great idea by Celebrity). The ship was in good knick, clean and tidy, and there were plenty of places to relax, and heaps of good food. Yes the average age of the passengers was 50-60 (with some older, but still some in their 30s), there were a number if kids and teenagers (what to do to keep them busy for 18 days?), but they seemed to be well catered for, but that's what the solarium is for if you want to escape, but they all seemed to have a good time as well. And, yes there was some downsides, but most of that revolved around money, rude passengers and queues to get off the boat; overcome by some prior planning and patience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
This trip was over a year in planning and it was the first time we were on a Celebrity Cruise. We are in our mid 50's and were traveling with another couple. Embarkation was very easy and smooth as we were in a Sky Suite (2125), ... Read More
This trip was over a year in planning and it was the first time we were on a Celebrity Cruise. We are in our mid 50's and were traveling with another couple. Embarkation was very easy and smooth as we were in a Sky Suite (2125), however there were no lines at all for any room type when we boarded. We went to the Ocean View Cafe for lunch and were able to find a seat. Shortly after they announced that the rooms were ready. Our Suite was very nice and spacious with a lot of storage. Most importantly, there was a bathtub!! Our only room complaint was that our room was under the buffet and was very noisy especially late at night when we were trying to sleep. You could hear a lot of banging and carts rolling across the floor. After getting settled, our "Butler" Ryan appeared to introduce himself. It was a good thing because after that we barely saw him. The only time he was around was when he was delivering afternoon snacks which we rarely wanted. Our room attendant, Luz and her Assistant, Mulyo were great!! The room was always clean and if Luz saw us coming down the hall, she called us by name and opened the door. She needs a promotion! The first morning we went to the dining room for breakfast but it was very unorganized and slow. After we ordered we waited at least 30 minutes and then they came to say they didn't have the right cheese for the omelet (which was one of the items on the menu that day). We almost had to leave without eating because of our excursion. So after that we just went to the buffet everyday. The buffet was good once you could snag a seat. That part was an adventure each day! We had Select Dining for dinner but went at the same time each night so we always had the same table for the four of us with the same Waiters (Charlie and Charlie) They were awesome as were the drink specialists who would automatically bring us our drinks. We loved the food in the Dining room but we did manage to eat in the Specialty Restaurants 3 nights. The only time I did not enjoy my dinner was in the Tuscan Grille. I ordered the sea bass but I don't think that was the fish I got. It was just not good. We ate twice at Murano and all I can say is that it was spectacular!! The quality of the food and the service were amazing. If you go to just one specialty restaurant, go to Murano! The entertainment was very good and aimed at the older crowd on board. The Cruise Director, Alejandro, was funny and quick witted. The only complaint I have it that with the Suite, our "Butler" was supposed to reserve seating for us on the formal nights. Ryan did this on the first formal night, but not on the second. Although seats were roped off upstairs in the balcony, no one from Celebrity was there to seat anyone. After a few minutes, people just took the rope down and seated themselves, whether they were supposed to be there or not. Again, our Butler was very disappointing during this cruise. The other disappointment was the shore excursions. In Maui, the men were golfing and my friend and I signed up to see the crater and the advertised "panoramic views". We endured a 2.5 hour bus ride around hairpins turns up the volcano and when we finally reached the top there were NO VIEWS at all. Complete fog. According to an employee in the small shop, the views are only visible less than 50% of the time. Really Celebrity?? No mention of this in your description of this excursion. Also no mention that neither of the stops sell food except for beef jerky and macadamia nuts. A heads up on that would have been great since we did not stop for lunch on the way back until almost 2pm. A total waste of $110 not to mention of entire port day ruined. Five hours on a bus is just too long, even if we had been able to see the crater. When we went to the excursion desk to complain, they were not interested and could have cared less. The next day in Hilo, we were supposed to go on a helicopter tour of the volcanoes and waterfalls but do to bad weather it was cancelled. This was not their fault, it happens,and we received a refund to our account without a problem. I did use the spa one day because they advertised a special that day for an 80 minute massage for $106. Sounded like a good deal so I called for myself and my girlfriend. We showed up, got settled in the robes (the slippers were so uncomfortable they actually hurt and we had to walk around barefoot) and then I was called into the room where the massage therapist confirmed my "50 minute" massage. I said, no, the flyer clearly said 80 minute. I was told it was a "typo" and I should have been told that when I made the appointment. Well I wasn't and they would not make good on it. What could I do at that point? We were looking forward to it so we went ahead and had the 50 minute massage but we felt like it was a bait and switch. Not only that but the spa is operated by Canyon Ranch and they add an 18% service charge. This would be fine if it was the tip, but it is not. It is the fee that Canyon Ranch must pay to Celebrity. So we had to pay that and THEN the tip. Again, if I had received the advertised special, I don't think I would have felt so ripped off. The only other glitch was disembarkation. We were supposed to exit at 8:15am but weren't called until an hour later. After we were called we proceeded to deck 5 to exit and got in the long line. As we got closer to the exit point, we saw that many people were coming up a stairway from the 4th floor that was close to the exit and cutting in the line that everyone had been waiting in. There should have been someone from Celebrity at the entrance to the stairway on the 4th floor to redirect them to the midship in order to get in the back of the line. Once off the ship, we found our luggage with no problem and there were plenty of carts to use. We had a great time despite the bad weather in each port. The seas were smooth enroute to Vancouver and we enjoyed relaxing and not being at work. I will most likely never book another excursion through the ship because of the lack of honesty in advertising, but the food and entertainment onboard were very enjoyable.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
My wife and I are experienced cruisers (about 18-19 thus far, and include all the mainstream cruise lines). We were looking forward to this trip, as we had never been to Hawaii, and are getting older, making the long flight from the east ... Read More
My wife and I are experienced cruisers (about 18-19 thus far, and include all the mainstream cruise lines). We were looking forward to this trip, as we had never been to Hawaii, and are getting older, making the long flight from the east coast more taxing. Overall, we certainly had a very good time. The ship is elegant, in an understated way; lots of chrome, glass, and neutral colors. The Solstice was immaculate, and staff were busy cleaning glass, etc., everywhere. There were some disappointments, however, and while each was rather small as an issue, they did add up. First, the staff person registering us upon embarkation did not know what she was doing, unable to run my wife's passport through, (though we had done the pre-embarcation weeks before, on-line)-requiring additional help to process us, and even then my wife's name was inverted, with her middle name being on the cruise pass-which caused us delays later as her ID then did not match the name on the pass. We both observed that used plates at the upstairs buffet were not cleared in a timely manner, and wait staff in the dining room did not serve with the expected aplomb-i.e.- water glasses not refilled, mistakes made as to who ordered what, and at one point, an assistant waiter had each of three persons at our table check our tea bags, as he did not know which type of tea was given to whom. Again, not a big deal, but not what we had come to expect from Celebrity. The food was good-some main courses in the dining room were excellent, which some others had lovely presentation but were short of content-3 brussel sprouts halves, serving as the vegetable. The lunch buffet had many choices, from Oriental, to a pasta station, carved meat, etc. We were considering ordering one of the photos taken of us on the first formal night, but the photo taken by the ship photographer captured a woman in the corner, essentially ruining this as something we would want as a keepsake. When I asked the photo staff about whether she could be cropped out, he said, "yes", but there would be an additional charge for this service. I said this is surprising, given that their photographer was responsible for the picture, but he essentially said, then don't purchase it. Entertainment was very good. The production shows showed much imagination, and the Cruise Director, Alejandro, was great-a charming guy, not at all obnoxious as some others have been. Our cabin steward was spot-on. She changed the ice in our ice bucket twice daily, alerted us about time changes, and seemed interested in us having a good cruise experience. I suspect that Celebrity, while initially having upscale aspirations, has slipped back to the pack-the Royal Caribbean pack. I do not rule out future cruises with the line but will take a harder look at the price before selecting them. Finally, Hawaii was absolutely beautiful. While the cruise gave us a limited time to see the islands, a big plus for us was not having to take inter-island flights, or pack and then unpack.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
Everything you have read about the San Diego to Ensenada transfer on Cruise Critic is true, but probably understated. It was the main topic of conversation at the Cruise Critic RollCall get-together, when the cruise director asked for ... Read More
Everything you have read about the San Diego to Ensenada transfer on Cruise Critic is true, but probably understated. It was the main topic of conversation at the Cruise Critic RollCall get-together, when the cruise director asked for comments or questions. Try to imagine being in a giant warehouse with 2,000 other people, with one set of bathrooms, no signs telling people where to check in, no public address system to inform passengers of procedures or bus departures. There were free shuttles to Balboa Park, in an attempt to placate passengers who were stuck there for hours. When the buses were ready to depart, port employees were literally screaming out bus numbers to passengers who, for the most part, were talking among themselves and not paying attention or were outside sitting by the water. Once you got to the buses, nobody checked numbers, so the number system is basically meaningless. My advice is just get on a bus as soon as you can and get the hell out of there. That's what we did (we used our Celebrity Select status to get an earlier departure). The trip to Ensenada is just under 2 hours. Then we waited in a line of buses to get to the ship. There went another hour, as we sat in the bus, within sight of the ship, but unable to get to it. One of those "so close, yet so far" situations. Since we had flown in that day from the East Coast, our day started at 4:30am when we got up, and we got on the ship at 8:30pm. The word "grueling" doesn't quite capture it. The cruise was fine. Five days at sea were relaxing and a very gracious way to travel to Hawaii. We enjoyed all the ports, although Maui was moderately stressful, since passengers have to go through US customs (not a big deal) and it is a tender port. They only allowed TWO tenders at a time to make the trip, so you can imagine what it was like trying to get all the people ashore who wanted to go. Returning to the ship was much better. The onboard experience is about what we have come to expect from Celebrity: good food and service, a relentlessly cheerful and helpful crew, a few generally well-behaved children among the passengers. The passenger median age seemed to be older than on previous cruises. We did not think that the entertainment was up to the standards of the other ships, but the shows were well attended. Just a matter of taste, I suppose. We would like to see more than one night of comedy. They did offer a series of hula lessons, which were fun and informative. Fitness program was fine, with Zumba offered twice daily, pool exercise, and other fitness classes. We did not enjoy the speakers, and so did not attend as many as we usually do. We missed the park ranger speaking about the National Parks, which we probably would have liked. One recurring lecturer was a pretty monotonous speaker whose lecture on the History of Hawaii contained mostly geology. The history part was read off a Power Point display screen. The other seemed to be a "look at what I did" guy who was plugging his book. A big disappointment. Disembarkation in Honolulu was not too bad, although there seemed to be lots of buses competing for too few spaces at the port. All things considered, it was a really nice cruise, but I would NEVER cruise from San Diego again.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Embarkation Getting on board was fine for my wife and me. We followed advice from previous reviews to try to show up early and be on one of the early buses from the San Diego cruise terminal to Ensenada. Calling the Celebrity phone line, ... Read More
Embarkation Getting on board was fine for my wife and me. We followed advice from previous reviews to try to show up early and be on one of the early buses from the San Diego cruise terminal to Ensenada. Calling the Celebrity phone line, the call center agent said check-in would start 12 noon. We showed up a little after 10:30 am and check-in had started already. We eventually boarded the ship by 2:30. Waiting on the bus in the Ensenada parking lot took 30 minutes since they were queuing buses and only loading people onto the ship 2 buses at a time. From talking with other passengers, some people did not board until after dinner. Food Generally, food was okay to very good. Regarding the main dining room, dishes like the home style pork chop on the first night was about Marie Calendar's level and later on the week, the rib eye was almost Ruth Chris' level. Consistency is probably an issue depending when your order gets picked up on the queue line. For example the Chocolate Lava dessert was served twice in the week with the first time being excellent, and the second time being a little dry and cold. And the fish is, of course, hit or miss with it being perfectly cooked or overcooked. Portion sizes can be un-expectantly on the large size. Beware if you order any lamb shank because a Flintstones-sized leg will be dropped in front of you. My main criticism on the Main Dining Room is that it doesn't seem that much bigger than the main dining rooms of the Millennium class vessels, despite the Solstice class having a larger passenger capacity. As consequence, most of the Table for Two’s are only an inch away from each other which make them seem like six person table tops. I feel that couples may as well as opt for the larger tables because the person who is inches away from you is more likely to carry on a conversation, rather than Table for Two person who is trying to avoid eye contact. About the canapés for Concierge Class, it seemed like there were some budget cuts from when we last sailed on the Infinity. The canapés consisted mostly of tortilla chips, humus, and seasoned olives. Shows The three main productions were pretty standard for Celebrity: the Broadway revue show, the eclectic song/dance show, and the Cirque du Solei type show. The Broadway one was called Ghost Light and the plot device used to bring together such varied songs as We Want to Live in America and Defying Gravity is that the cast and crew of a closing theater are reminiscing their favorite acts. Because of the large attendance we couldn't get to see the eclectic song/dance show but I did catch the beginning where the homage to Stomp led into the Bugle Boy from Company B. As far as Solstice: The Show, which is the Cirque du Solei type show...you can either feel that this is an incredible show of sights, sounds, and celebration of the human body...or you can say that I've already seen the real show in Vegas. Public Areas The ship is clean and from the Kohler-like fixtures in the restrooms to the bright paneling on the walls, you really do get the sensation of Modern Luxury. There are also plenty of places to plant yourself for reading, playing cards, or sunbathing. The pools had enough deck chairs that I didn't notice any towel reserving chair hogs. Activities I have to give kudos to the Activity Staff here because I ran out of space on my comment card. Thank you to Michael, Von, Chris and Tanika for being excellent hosts. You encouraged guest to participate with your welcoming (but unobtrusive) personalities. As far as actual activities, the ship had a very good mix of Trivia, Xbox Kinect, Table Tennis, Egg Drop/Paper airplane/Karaoke Contests, and Scrapbooking. On this trip, there was no Pictionary or Water Coloring. On top of the usual luggage tag, lanyard, and pen prizes, Billboard magazine sponsored some of the music trivia, so guests were able to win music download cards. Disembarkation Because we had to leave early, we carried our own luggage and left the ship before the regular 8:30 am disembarkation. It was a direct walk-off for us with the only thing for us to do was the final swipe of our Seapass card. Overall I feel if you read the message boards and reviews ahead of time, you can make the most out of your cruise vacation. There are some noteworthy things about cruising or Celebrity cruising, but I'm not going to be the spoiler. :)   Read Less
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