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193 Celebrity Holiday Cruise Reviews

Listed below is the good, the bad, and the ugly. Perhaps due to the number of cruises we have taken, it has made us more critical. We are not looking for perfection in a cruise, but we also don't look the other way when things go ... Read More
Listed below is the good, the bad, and the ugly. Perhaps due to the number of cruises we have taken, it has made us more critical. We are not looking for perfection in a cruise, but we also don't look the other way when things go wrong. We enjoyed our cruise, but the below is for the benefit of future cruisers and Celebrity. Sorry, we don't sugar coat our review. Room There was quite a bit of dirt in the corners of the bathroom. There was no cold water. Not enough hangers. Had to argue with steward to remove items from refrigerator. He finally did. HVAC thermostat -â€" The wall thermostat needs to have fan and better temperature controls. The HVAC output vent was right above our bed and many people complained that the constant dry air caused dry mouth and sore neck. It was necessary to turn the thermostat way down to avoid this condition. There needs to be some sort of way to deflect the air. Plug outlets -â€" I'm sure you have heard this before, but there needs to be more plug outlets in the room. Pool Went to outdoor pool towel cabana. Asked clerk inside for a towel as there were none on the window. She said there was some on the other side of her cabana. She didn't want to get up to walk two steps to the other window to give us a towel? We would also like to see longer hours for the hot tub and pool. Even if this meant only leaving open one hot tub or one pool.A midnight swim is very enjoyable for some. Clocks Often the clocks in the pool area and other places on the ship were off by hours. A clock in each room would be a nice touch. Our advice, wear a watch. Dining Room Our table mates told us that their steak was tough one evening. My wife's steak was also tough. They mentioned it to our waiter and even commented that their jaw is sore from chewing and they are having difficulty cutting the meat. Our waiter came back with a sharper knife and said that this should solve the problem. From the dirty look our tablemate gave the waiter, the matre de came over to check and was also shocked that our waiters solution to a tough steak was a sharper knife. He immediately brought a much better steak. Likewise, the Ahi Tuna steak was over cooked and he brought another one that was cooked seared and rare, cooked perfectly. On another night, the key lime dessert was so bad that it could not be eaten. Overall, the food was about equal to 'Golden Corral' restaurants, that being about a 2 to 2.5 star restaurant out of 5. We did not find any of the food spectacular. Perhaps if the head Chef Paskal was not out doing so many cooking demonstrations, the food might have been better? Dress Code -â€" Whereas we did hear many complaints of people who were turned away from the dining room due to improper attire, overall, all agreed that there had to be a line of decorum. That if they allowed one person in not dressed correctly, that it would cause a chain reaction for others. It seems that they were just 'testing the waters' in the restaurant to see if they would really turn them away. Good job MDR!! Staff In wanting to disembark the ship, the TV stated that disembarkment will start at 11AM. Signs around the ship also stated 11AM on deck 1. We went to deck 1 at 11AM and Lindy rudely told us that we are not disembarking at 11AM and to return to our room. We believed her and got back on the elevator and returned to our room. As soon as we got to our room 11:08, they announced on the loud speaker that everyone can now go to deck 1 and disembark. By the time we fought the crowd, we did not get off the ship until almost 11:25. We were only at this port for a short time and had many errands to run. She did not need to send us back to our room and she did not need to be rude about it. All the other staff was exceptionally friendly with smiles from ear to ear. Celebrity Life Activities -â€" The activity leaders (Mike Gibbons and Leuisa Cortez) were both personable and friendly with what they did! Unfortunately, there were not enough activities. For such a long cruise, there should have been continual activities. There should really have been twice as many activities. With as many old people on the ship, where were the talks on various medicines, diabetes, vitamins, exercise, etc. Casino -â€" The slots were too tight. Many casino's advertise that their slots pay out 95%. Every person I spoke with lost lots of money on the slots. We had a group slot pull, putting over $400 in one slot machine. My wife is a CPA and a numbers person and calculated that this machines pay out was closer to 60%. Likewise, many of the old people could not understand all the various slot machines. I would recommend that the casino set up 3 or 4 practice slot machines so that people can learn what it means to play various lines and such. Also, Texas Holdum is a game played with a deck of cards and a dealer, not computers. People who played the computer Texas Holdem and lost were suspicious of the computer being 'fixed'. Many people who normally played Texas Holdem did not play at all, including myself. Room Stewards Our room stewards was always very polite, quick and thorough. They were great. What happened to the towel animals we use to get? Once I returned to my room and my shirts magically were folded and stacked on the bed. Wow! Waiters and staff in MDR (Main Dining Room) Waiters and staff were very polite and remembered the drink we ordered and had it ready for us right after we sat down. Kudos! On the other hand service was slow in bringing us our food and removing our dishes from the table. It was so slow that a few times it caused us to be late for other scheduled ship activities. SHIP APPEARANCE Elevators -â€" either they were not large enough, not fast enough, or not enough elevators. Too often the elevators were full and we had to wait for another one. During disembarking we had to wait for 8 elevators before we could get on. A ship of this size with this many people should have more or faster elevators. 10th Floor Buffet -â€" I could not understand why some salad bars on one end of the buffet were different than the other salad bar. It became necessary to walk around the WHOLE buffet to see exactly what was served and what differences there were in the buffet. The buffet was not explained when we got on the boat. The Sushi buffet was great, except the hours. Opening the Sushi buffet from 5:30 PM to 9PM creates a big problem if you have early dinner. How can you enjoy dinner at 6PM if you just filled up on Sushi at 5:30? We switched to late dinner (9PM) so that we could enjoy the sushi. Signs -â€" There needs to be better signs for when people get off the elevators. Instead of FORWARD and AFT, better would be like what hotels have. Rooms 7501 and greater LEFT. Rooms 7500 and less RIGHT. Or something similar. Even after 17 days in the same ship, the older people were still wondering around looking for their room. RECOMMENDATIONS There needs to be (on the TV) the various bars, grills, buffets, small sandwich shops, and other places to eat. It should also include the daily menu for the MDR so that it is not necessary to go to deck 4 to check to see what is being served each day. It should not really be difficult to add a food channel to the current list of TV channels that would only be for the various food issues around the boat. FOOD -â€" The food (on the average) was only mediocre. Some nights were very good and some nights were very bad. There was not enough variety of foods. Why was there no Trout, Halibut, Sea Bass, Orange Roughy, and others. Many of the menu items were just simply repeated over and over again. SHOWERS -â€" There needs to be cold water and better water temperature regulation in the shower and sink. Most hotels are going to a circular shower curtain rod. This would be a great idea for these small bathrooms as they would give more elbow room and would also prevent the shower curtain from blowing inward into the shower and sticking to you. It would be a cheap update and should give the shower about 4 cubic feet of more space. CAPTAIN & STAFF It would be nice if tables had the option of having a guest staff person join their table for a night. INTERNET The Internet is too expensive on the boat. We purchased 2 hours on the first day for $99. The ship should be encouraging people to bring their lap tops and doing work and other things. Perhaps even arranging multi player on line games. Not only would people (and especially children) specifically want to cruise with a line that has this, but it would cause people to stay in their rooms more and this can cut down on staff requirements. Second problem is that on this cruise, the average age per person had to be around 65 years old or older. This range of people are usually not computer literate. I had numerous people tell me that when they were not able to connect their laptop, the Internet store wanted $75 per hour to diagnosis and hook them back up. I suggested to one person to find any teenager and they should be able to easily get you back on line. That person took my advice and got back on line and bought the kid some Cokes for 5 minutes of work. Requiring a special 'log out' when done surfing the net is also ridiculous. If you don't use their special log out, the minutes that you bought kept ticking away. One time I quickly shut down forgetting to use their special log out and lost a half hour of minutes. CELL PHONES It's known that cruise ships have their own cell towers on the boats. Either free cell phone usage should be given or a MUCH reduced rate. The first cruise line who does this will quickly grab a larger cruiser audience. In this world of communications, cell phones are a necessity, not a luxerry. There needs to be a cheaper alternative. Once more: The wife and I waited 2 years for this cruise. We DID enjoy it. We DID have a good time. We DID come back 7 pounds overweight. We DID meet many new friends. We WILL return to Celebrity again to take another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Excellent start to cruise, no problems with embarkation & stateroom as expected. (Sailed on Eclipse to the Baltic last year). The food and service in the main dining room was of the previous high standard - this time we chose to ... Read More
Excellent start to cruise, no problems with embarkation & stateroom as expected. (Sailed on Eclipse to the Baltic last year). The food and service in the main dining room was of the previous high standard - this time we chose to have select dining to give us more flexibility which we found worked well for us. We ate in two of the speciality restaurants which, although expensive was a nice treat and most enjoyable. The quality of the entertainment varied, with some shows better than other, or perhaps not to our taste. More time in ports would have been appreciated, especially Venice and Dubrovnik. In Venice we noticed how long the queue was waiting for the shuttle boats back to the ship and cut short our sightseeing to make sure that we were not late back on board. More information regarding the closure of some sites on certain days would have been helpful. All service on board was very good - special thanks to our stateroom attendant. The end of the cruise was not so good!! We were due to leave the ship at 9.00 but did not reach our car until shortly before 11.00. ( Last year we had left the ship, collected our luggage and walked to our car within 15-20 min.) Utter chaos would best describe this years disembarkation, collection of luggage and transfer to the car parks. We hope that in future Celebrity will take action to improve the disembarkation process, because unfortunately this is the last thing that we remember of what otherwise was an excellent holiday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We are a family of 4 and we have sailed with Royal Caribbean and with Norwegian in the past. This was our first Celebrity Cruise on the lovely Silhouette. We had originally booked it because it was scheduled to go to Egypt, we stuck with ... Read More
We are a family of 4 and we have sailed with Royal Caribbean and with Norwegian in the past. This was our first Celebrity Cruise on the lovely Silhouette. We had originally booked it because it was scheduled to go to Egypt, we stuck with it because our travel agent said we would love it! We checked in after a 5 day stay in Rome. Civitavecchia was a 45 minute train ride to the port. Very easy and cost effective. What was not so pleasant was the shuttle system from the pier entrance. It was poorly organized and there was no defined place to stand and wait for the shuttle to check-in. We basically had to read the sign on the shuttles arriving to make sure it was going to our ship and make a run for it. After 3 attempts we finally got our luggage stored under the bus and got some seats. A big free for all with a me first attitude. Not so fun with kids in towe. Once we arrived to the check-in tents, yes, tents....the luggage porters motioned for passengers to load their own luggage onto the carts which was a first time experience for us on a cruise. The benefits of a concierge class booking made no difference upon check in. Actually, people who took the train with us from Rome who had standard rooms made it through their line faster than us. Our daughter's luggage arrived to the stateroom damaged and an item was missing. After all this was done and forgotten we did begin to enjoy this beautiful ship. The ship is very elegant and stylish. I loved it but the kids found it boring compared to the Allure which we sailed on last March. We, my husband and I, thought it was a great size and had everything a couple could want. Adult activities were plentiful and we certainly enjoyed the wine tasting events. The sommeliers were informative and pleasant and it made for lovely and pleasant afternoons on sea days. Our 16 and 9 year old children enjoyed the Fun Factory and the X-club however the amenities for children on a ship like the Silhouette were for the most part non-existent compared to what they have experienced on RCCL and Norwegian. The biggest disappointment was the small pool on the pool deck and the fact that only half of it was made available to the 400 children on board during our sailing. There was no kids pool area. The service level we experienced was fabulous throughout the cruise. It was exceptional at Bistro on 5, Murano, Tuscan Grill and Qsine. The specialty restaurants were delectable! Where the service was mediocre was at the ilounge and at the buffet. There were a few people that worked in the ilounge but the guy who seemed to oversee the lounge was arrogant and easily flustered which led him to speak without a fliter in a very unprofessional manner. We tried to avoid the buffet the most part but on the days where we had to go there we found that it was a little less polished and the wait staff was generally more aloof. It might have had something to do with the "Me first attitude" of many of the guests on board and the general pushiness of the guests in crowded areas and on the elevators. This brings us to the culture of the guests on board. This European cruise was a first for us so I'm not sure if this is just the way it is or if this was unique to the dynamic of the guests on the cruise for this particular sailing. One thing Celebrity must resolve is the inability of the pool butlers to execute Celebrity's no reservation policy of chairs on the pool deck. The amount of reserved chairs not being used for several hours at a time was ridiculous and even more ridiculous was that people were saving 2 sets of chairs. One set in sunspots and the other in shaded areas. The ports were fabulous and I can't really comment on the shore excursions because we booked all our ours independently through local tour guides. If I had a magic want though, we would have had a full day in Santorini, the 6 hours were just too short once you factored in tender time to get on and off the ship. I would have easily traded the 3rd day in Israel for and extra day in Greece. Do not walk up or down those steps in Santorini. Big mistake unless you like navigating donkey poop on marble steps. Our Stateroom was very clean, new, elegant and would have been perfect for the 2 of us. It was a little crammed for 4 people and I found the storage area above the beds hard to reach. The bathroom was nice and spacious and the storage there was plentiful. We did not really order canapes so I am not sure I would book Concierge class again. The 4th bed was a trundle and I do not like the set up. It makes the balcony near impossible to get to after turn down service. We much prefer the pullman system. The shows were good and our cruise director was very entertaining but we only saw him on stage. As a family we agreed that we preferred the shows we saw on the Allure though. We found the ones on this sailing got repetitive after 3-4 nights. What we did love was the live entertainment on the pool deck, in the lounges and throughout the ship. There was a fabulous a Capella group from Michigan and a lovey Jazz band that accompanied our new favorite jazz singer Azure McCall. She was simply sensational! What a voice! The Captain was adorable! Being of Greek descent I guess he couldn't help it! His daily updates were witty and charming. Disembarkation was quite easy but again when it came to the shuttles, directions to the shuttles were non-existent and getting on was another free for all reminiscent of embarkation. Party was over!!! Loud and clear!!! In summary, my husband and I would love to cruise with Celebrity again once we are empty nesters. We know we will enjoy elegant and refined surroundings with delectable food and wine with excellent service. If and when we do, will will go out of our way to avoid boarding any ship in Chivitavecchia. Until then, we will likely stick with RCCL. Same company more suited to families. I will miss Murano until then that's for sure! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We flew into London then bus to Southampton and stayed at the Dolphin Hotel for 2 nights. Embarkation went smooth, the room was well appointed. 1st problem came with the people smoking on their balcony. I called management and they dealt ... Read More
We flew into London then bus to Southampton and stayed at the Dolphin Hotel for 2 nights. Embarkation went smooth, the room was well appointed. 1st problem came with the people smoking on their balcony. I called management and they dealt with it right away. I am very allergic to Smoke Ship Info: Daily schedules were delivered the night before and were well done. Dining: Breakfast - buffet was good. Served Breakfast in Dining room - food arrived cool. Didn't return to served breakfast. Lunch - good. Tried several areas for lunch. Dinner: meals were good (not excellent) except for 2 that had to be sent back. We were not the only ones who had returned their meals. We eat at 2 of the specialty restaurants at 35.00 each and both were excellent. Activities: We sat in the lounges, shopped on board, swam, exercise room, walked the decks. All were enjoyable. Staff Service: Room service - excellent, Dining service was excellent, Specialty Wine tasting room service - excellent, Bar servers - very good, Breakfast and lunch servers- very good. Service Desk - one lady was very abrupt.(more on that under Entertainment) Entertainment: So so but missed the demographics of those on board. We got to meet many others on board who were also disappointed of the type and quality. I must say this was the lowest rated entertainment compared to all other cruises we have taken. Next - we went to the upper deck to hear the musicians and looked forward to Dancing only to experience a large portion of this room was for smokers. We had to leave and never went back. The Main Atrium - there was always live music and when part of the Big Band played the tiled floorarea was filled with couples dancing. We did as well and really enjoyed it. That was one day then the rest of the time there was a Jazz group, however the music they played - nice to listen to but not the beat to dance to. Couples just stood around hoping for a number they could dance to. After the 3rd day of this I went to Customer Service - located in plain sight of the Atrium floor area, and mentioned to the young lady could she get a message to the entertainment manager regarding a change to the music. She was abrupt and told me that the Jazz group was requested??? Well my request fell on deaf ears because this same group continued day after day with no one able to enjoy a dance. I have been on so many other ships where dancing in the atrium is enjoyed by so many. Shore excursions: Brugees- great time there. Had the best Belgium ever at a restaurant in the town square. Berlin: 3 hr bus ride each way. The bag lunch was not only unhealthy but whatever that 1/2 sandwich was - was uneatable. Ever the Apple was bruised. Guide was good except we spent more than an hour driving in circles in the city then rushed to look at some sights - too rushed. Sharon and I broke away to go through the Jewish memorial - one other couple from our bus joined us. Best part of OUR tour. ON bus ride back to ship - given another bag snack - the other 1/2 uneatable sandwich. If ever again I will get the ship to make us a bagged lunch. Helsinki: Great time there St. Petersburg - 2 days - go go go but overall - rushed through palaces, etc, it still was worth seeing. The arranged lunch was OK. Tallinn: Great city to tour - forget the other tours. We went to the Farm - OK then to visit a home (this was a set up by the home owner) waste of time. Stockholm - we loved seeing the City. Problem was our tour guide had an appointment for another tour a 4pm and rushed us through the Ship museum. She actually got off the bus early and the bus driver took over. He knew more history and points of interest than the guide. Copenhagen: After that tour in Stockholm I decided we would do our own walking tour. We got to see so much more than others on board that took Cruise Tours. We took river boat tour - few on board and had plenty of one on one with the guide. We would go back. We went off the tourist beat to where locals shopped and eat and had a great lunch at a sidewalk cafe. Disembarkation: This went smooth. We took a bus to a Heathrow Hotel, spent a night then flew home. This Cruise cost us approx 1000.00US each more than we could have paid for a similar cruise on another cruise line. Unfortunately we have had better consistent meals, service and entertainment on many others. Since this cruise we and 9 other siblings took a 7 day Alaska Cruise in mid September on Carnival. It was better in so many ways- surprise! Best Regards Dwayne Jacobson Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We arrived in Santiago de Chile 5 days before our cruise. After spending very nice days in the Valley del Maipo and in Vina del Mar we boarded the Celebrity Infinity in Valparaiso. Boarding was smooth, well organised and quick. Once on ... Read More
We arrived in Santiago de Chile 5 days before our cruise. After spending very nice days in the Valley del Maipo and in Vina del Mar we boarded the Celebrity Infinity in Valparaiso. Boarding was smooth, well organised and quick. Once on the ship we went to see our room. We were happy to see that it had a good size and we did not felt claustrophobic despite being an inside room. The bathroom was smaller than in other ships and it had an unpleasant smell. In general, we thought that the room itself had somehow not very good ventilation despite the air conditioning. As a matter of fact each time we spent some time on the room we started to have a sore throat. We realised that our neighbors were probably having similar problems because they always tried to keep their door open while inside their room. Although we have cruised already a couple of times on an inside cabin, this was the first time where we had the feeling something was wrong with the air of the cabin. The rest of the ship, we found it to be very nice. Celebrity Infinity has already several years of life, but it is a nice, elegant ship. We have liked it very much and it was a pleasure to be on board of this lovely ship. We took this cruise because of the itinerary. We were very excited about sailing around Cape Horn and about being in the most southern inhabited places of South America. Sailing was most of the time smooth. Cruising the Cape Horn, the Strait of Magallanes and the Beagle Channel was absolutely great. We were extremely lucky with the weather. Of course it was cold and windy, but in overall the cruising experience was lovely. We did avoid one port because of possible weather difficulties. That port was Punta Arenas. I guess the captain and co. took the right decision in not going to that Port. Other ports were Ushuaia, Puerto Madryn, Punta del Este, Montevideo and Buenos Aires. All of them interesting and different. We have enjoyed travelling to Punta Tombo from Puerto Madryn to be among the Penguins. It was so lovely!! Although it takes more than 2 hours each way to go there, it was really worthed! We have also liked very much Punta del Este although it seems a very expensive place to spend some time. For example, the real state was advertising apartments with a rent of about US 30000 per month (yes thirty thousand dollars)!! Local people told us that there are several celebrities which come to Punta del Este over Christmas and apparently are able to pay those rents. Montevideo was also interesting. However, we had a not so nice surprise there. We were there on December 31st and it happen to be that on that day in Montevideo, the people have the custom of playing with water and color sprays. To our surprise we have received full buckets of water while walking on the street. We were not amused at all. If we would have known this was a custom, we would have been prepared for it and maybe we would have even played with the locals. But we were not informed at all. It would have been good that the ship employers, which in several languages provided port information and safety tips, could also include this information in their programs. Food at the Celebrity infinity was very good. So many options! We have enjoyed sampling from the nice variety in the buffet restaurant and also in the main dining room. Wine was expensive though. We both love to have a good wine with our dinner and we found that the imported wine selection was not worthed for the price being charged. However the wines from Chile (Carmenere)and Argentina (Malbec)were to our opinion better value for money. It is a pity that wines are always so expensive on cruise ships!! For us a wine with dinner is not a luxus. It is a quite normal part of the meal. It is a pity that Celebrity does not offer good quality wines at reasonable prices like the Italian style cruise liners do.... Service was friendly and accommodating. The shows magnificent, specially the Gaucho Show "Diablos de la Pampa". One thing, that I particularly have enjoyed was having the movies with subtitles. I am hard of hearing, so I mainly read the subtitles. This was great on this cruise. I wonder why others do not do it although every CD nowadays provides the opportunity of having subtitles. There is however one more issue, which we found it has room for improvement at the Celebrity Infinity. This was the health providers at the ship. For the first time in one cruise we had to go to the Doctors office. The reason was, my husband had a thrombosis 10 days before the cruise, so he was taken anticoagulants. They had to be monitored. Our house doctor was always in touch with us per telephone and he recommended for my husband to have a blood test every second day. We knew the range in which the values of the test had to be. So my husband went to the health office at the ship and found out that for this simple blood test, he had to pay almost US 100 because he had to see the ships doctor (US 70) otherwise he could not have the test done. I mean, if you are being monitored by another doctor, and everybody who has had a thrombosis knows what the blood test should look like, why this unnecessary cost? It was disappointing but fortunately my husband could have this test done in the ports of call. Results provided on the same day, very efficient, they could even send the results to us per email if we wanted so. How about the cost? US 10 per test. What a difference right? In any case, we have enjoyed this cruise. We felt safe with Captain Margaritis. We have also liked Cruise Director Alan and the enrichment lecturer, who was very well informed and provided excellent insights in the wildlife of the region. As I have written above we liked the Celebrity Infinity. We will be looking for another opportunities to cruise with this lovely ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
This is my first review so I will try to be as succinct as possible. I have cruised before and mainly on Royal Caribbean. I was a bit concerned as the reviews I read on Celebrity were mixed. Positives: Service- Above and Beyond in ... Read More
This is my first review so I will try to be as succinct as possible. I have cruised before and mainly on Royal Caribbean. I was a bit concerned as the reviews I read on Celebrity were mixed. Positives: Service- Above and Beyond in all aspects, First Rate table service at dinner, Attendant in the room was fantastic and all in all it was well above what I have experienced on Royal Caribbean. The deck on the family Suite was fantastic. we had 3 full loungers a table and 2 chairs we ate breakfast on the deck some mornings and always sat out as we were leaving port. Amazing!!!! Negatives: The rooms need to be refurbished as they are showing the wear and tear of an 8 year old ship. It wasn't bad but it's was worse than Royal caribbean and not at the standard i expected. Nothing was dirty it was just worn out. Will I travel on Celebrity again? Probably not and my main reason was the size of the ship. It was smaller than the one's I have been on and I like Royal C. layout as you feel like your in a small city. Now I if you like an intimate ship this is it, but I will say this, we went through a storm the last night and the next morning many were talking about it as quite a few were sea sick and it's the most movement (without the storm) that I have ever felt on a boat. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Vessel: Celebrity Eclipse Dates: Holiday Cruise: Dec. 26, 2010- Jan 2, 2010 2 Adult Passengers, Balcony Stateroom, Eight Floor Ports of Call: Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Roatan, Costa Maya Our expectations were high ... Read More
Vessel: Celebrity Eclipse Dates: Holiday Cruise: Dec. 26, 2010- Jan 2, 2010 2 Adult Passengers, Balcony Stateroom, Eight Floor Ports of Call: Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Roatan, Costa Maya Our expectations were high prior to boarding the Eclipse. I had looked into different cruise options for more than 20 hours online and the Eclipse met the bill for a sleek, sophisticated vessel. Boarding: The process went fairly smoothly. Initial Impression: A large, very good looking vessel that shows upscale lines. Champagne was provided on initial boarding. Drink Package: We decided to purchase the beverage packages, which was a good decision, as soon as we boarded. After deliberating for a couple of weeks prior to the departure as to whether the price was worth it ($50.00 a day for the premium alcohol package and $40.00 for the classic alcohol package for my girlfriend), we determined it was indeed. These are rates per person. Classic included all wines and mixed drinks to $8.00 and the premium up to $12.00. Beer is up to $5.00 in the classic and unlimited in premium. Good selection of imported beer, including Guinness. Bottom line here: If you plan on buying alcohol onboard, get the package. I suggest the premium package as it allows the 10.00 martinis in the martini bar and the $12.00 martini creations in the Molecular Bar (featuring organic martinis, including those with liquid nitrogen). All bottled water, soda, coffees, wine, champagne, after diner drinks are included in the alcohol packages. A 15% surcharge is applied at the front so no tipping is required, although the better staff bartenders deserve more. We tipped the sommelier quite a bit more because he was professional, knowledgeable, and was quick with refills at dinner. It also eliminated needing to sign every time one wanted a drink. Very cost effective and flexible, especially on New Year' Eve. However, we were not able to get a bottle of water from 0230am-0700am. My girlfriend was told at 0630 by a waiter in the Oceanview cafe that she could purchase a bottle at 0700am at the bar; and this was after he consulted his supervisor. I feel that guests that purchase beverage packages should have access to water 24 hours a day. There is water in each room available for an additional fee. Dinner: We had the assigned 6PM time. Dinner was prompt and professional with 2 sides of the menu. One listed classic dishes available every night; the other side provided a Chef's selection which changed daily. One may mix and match and ordering multiple courses is not a problem. After dinner Remy Martin Cognac, either at dinner or in Michael's Lounge was relaxing. We liked the bartender Mila in Michael's because she was personable and knowledgeable. Jesus in the Ensemble lounge kept the drinks coming and was a blast. The music varies in each of the lounges. Dinner varied and the formal night included lobster. Impeccable service in the dining room. We could not get a reservation so late in the process for the specialty restaurants, although others raved about them. Nightly room service was quick and excellent. The pool bar is great for chicken and burgers. The 14th floor has the Oceanside grille which has great variety if one chooses a casual option. The sushi was disappointing as there were 3 options and they were not very tasty. Celebrity select dining seemed to be unnecessary for the extra cost as seating was flexible by 15-20 minutes or goes casual. Caffe Bacci- great international coffees and drinks. Gelato bar- costs $3.00 a serving which was surprising as everything else was included. Some of the guests were rude to staff and complained about minor issues, such as the size of the chicken pieces in the pasta! To the women who were acting as nannies for two children during breakfast on Deck 14, PLEASE change the kids soiled diapers in the restroom and NOT at the dining room table. Entertainment: Saw the magic show and variety shows. Both good. Martini Bar has its own show on the cold, ice bar with one enthusiastic staff member who was going wild on NY Eve. There was only one DJ available on NY Eve and was removed from the club that we were in and reassigned to the top deck where many young guests were partying. The activities director did not offer us another option and stated it was not her fault. Additionally, she added it was her boss decision and we need to voice our concerns. Balcony Stateroom- Well apportioned and excellent design. Beautiful bathroom and spacious balcony. In room entertainment is awesome and the bed was relaxing. We had an outstanding attendant, Eric, who was there as soon we departed the room and had it reassembled immediately thereafter. Bravo! Ports: Grand Cayman- We almost missed this port of call as we were one of 2 ships to make it because of the weather. No jewelry deals in ANY of the ports. It is all hype. As a matter of fact, some of the items are pricier than in the USA. Roatan: Filthy port with little to offer. This is a place for shore excursions sponsored by the trip. We took a private taxi tour and after $40.00 and 1 ½ hour later, were ready to get back to the ship. Cozumel: Good port but be safe. Many opportunities for foolish tourist to drink too much tequila and wind up in jail with high bail. We went to an all inclusive at Uvas and it was a blast. Just know the area is a tourist trap. Costa Maya: Do not leave the sheltered shopping district without a cruise sponsored tour. Care to pet the dolphins for 100 bucks a person for 10 minutes in a small cage about 30 feet long. We passed on it. Best part of the trip? Horseback riding on the beach and in the ocean at Pampered Ponies in Caymans. Good price and a good staff. They cater to all styles. My girlfriend and I noticed an eclectic combination of personas. The cruise ship is luxury and upscale. Providing an ice cold towel on return from each of the ships ports distinguished the ship amongst others in port. If you want to be treated like royalty in a new ship, which crew is still getting used to the intricacies of the vessel, sail the Eclipse. Only gripe here is that some of the staff's limited English proficiency resulted in confused orders in some bars... something easy to overlook. The bartenders in the Molecular bar were distant and disengaged. The male bartender handed us a drink menu and did not offer us any suggestions. A female bartender spoke only to the male bartender in perfect English. Again, no suggestions were made to help guide us on our drink selection. One of the other guests guided us. The drinks were fresh and spectacular. The Molecular bar was something we looked forward to and my girlfriend refused to go and be treated poorly by the bartenders. The male bartender did interact with a specific group of male guests. Both failed to make us feel comfortable. Awesome cruise lines, decent price, first class service. GREAT job and we will return. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Our family had a wonderful vacation over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend aboard the Celebrity Summit. We did get an upgrade to our room from the 3rd level to the 8th level with a wonderful back deck looking out the back of the ship. All ... Read More
Our family had a wonderful vacation over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend aboard the Celebrity Summit. We did get an upgrade to our room from the 3rd level to the 8th level with a wonderful back deck looking out the back of the ship. All the staff we dealt with were wonderful and tried helping with any needs we had, from the Guest Relations to Stateroom attendants to the waiters/chefs in the dining hall to the Cruise Director and his staff. We didn't gamble or buy extra drinks/coffee but the food was "out of this world" wonderful and different every night and the 10th level buffets. I did notice there wasn't any great deals (even on Black Friday) for the jewelry on board but better buying jewelry in St. Thomas or St. Marten with Simon's discount coupons/VIP cards. The weather in the Caribbean was a little rough with 6-9 foot waves so many people had patches or medicines, but I fell a sleep to the rocking waves. Our room attendants were delightful and helpful if you asked them a question. Level 8 off the back of the ship, #8183 was second from the back side so we could look around onto the bigger balcony next door, #8181, and see the island as we came into and leaving the port. The room had a glass/wood divider wall so the bedroom was separated from the other living/bedroom/couch area. The huge back porch about 12 feet long was wonderful. We didn't hear any noise from other cabins or the back bar on the 10th floor or even the huge flag that was flying off the back (popping sound when the wind was blowing). The head of the bed faced (side to side) so the rocking of the ship (due to weather) was wonderful. So I don't know if our heads if turned (front to stern) would make a difference. The bathroom was good size and shower was good size for being 5'10" tall. The attendants were wonderful and they came in to keep the room looking wonderful, fresh water/ice, fresh towels, turned down the bed with candy, etc. You can bring DVD or VHS tapes for movies but I didn't know this. Limited viewing selection on TVs unless you wanted to pay for movies. I am sure level 6th with the private suites with huge balconies are great (cost is much higher) but level 7th, 8th and 9th floors having cabins that open to the back was wonderful...even people looking out along the rails would talk to each other (6 to 7 cabins across the back). Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
About us: DH[61] and I[59] are teachers and this was our 23rd cruise. We have cruised with Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Hal, Princess, RCCL. We drove from south, central Georgia on Saturday 20th, to Port St. Lucie, about one hour north ... Read More
About us: DH[61] and I[59] are teachers and this was our 23rd cruise. We have cruised with Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Hal, Princess, RCCL. We drove from south, central Georgia on Saturday 20th, to Port St. Lucie, about one hour north of Fort Lauderdale which made for an easy drive the morning of embarkation. I had booked the Marriott Residence Inn online and got a really attractive suite with full kitchen and at a great rate which always make DH happy. We arrived at Port Everglades, dropped off the luggage, parked in the Midport Garage, and were onboard with mimosa in hand all in less than an hour. Muster drill -without life-vests- was held in venues throughout the ship. We were in Blu which did look nice. As has been said many times, the Solstice is a beautiful ship. We really enjoyed the dEcor both the contemporary [MDR, Sky Lounge etc] and the traditional [Michael's Club, Wine Cellar - which became two of our favorite places to sit with a drink before of after dinner]. Our stateroom was 8343, port side balcony - the last one which does give a slightly larger balcony. However, be aware that you look down onto a large blue metal area of roof and walkways. Not the best view. The bathroom was clean, bright and the shower a good size. The sofa was awkwardly placed for accessing the closet and there is definitely a shortage of drawers. DH and I really felt that not having large pull out drawers below the sofa was a missed opportunity for storage. We find those very useful on Carnival ships. We liked the dEcor of the room and the flat screen TV but were disappointed to see quite a lot of rust on the balcony walls and the railings really needed refinishing and re-varnishing. Lucas was our steward and was efficient and friendly. We ate in the Ocean View cafe twice for lunch; the Aqua Spa Cafe for breakfast several times, and apart from room service for breakfast one morning [which was exactly what we ordered and delivered on time], we ate mainly in the MDR. We had select [anytime] dining which worked well for us. We like to be able to decide what to do and when to do it. While the wait staff was in general competent, only one pair seemed to go above and beyond and make the extra effort. I know it is more difficult to build a rapport with the waiters when you have anytime dining, but we have managed it on other cruises. Food overall was good if somewhat uninspired, but our main criticism was that we often felt the choices were lacking in the MDR. It is the first time on a cruse that I never felt torn between several items, in fact I ended up selecting items which were available every day. The weather was a little rough to start with and according to the navigator when we went to his talk, the seas were "moderate" with 12 foot swells. We really enjoyed his talk and also the one done by the environmental officer, but DH went to the engineer's talk and said it was disappointing. I went to the first scrap-booking class but as everything we wanted to do seemed to be at the same time, never made it to another one. We always enjoy the dance classes, but the two dancers teaching it were probably the worst we have ever come across [more about the dancers later]. There was some good entertainment onboard. Metro West, the a cappella group was excellent; the Adagio Strings were good; and several other solo musicians were good, but we did not care for the show band. They seemed to think very loud equals very good. Now to the shows. Having taught theatre in both the UK and USA I can honestly say the singers were second rate and the dancers were poor at best. I really enjoy going to the shows onboard any cruise line and love to sit behind the techie working the sound/light boards. With the exception of Solstice the show, which was worth seeing, I cringed while watching the other two productions shows. Paul Baya, the CD and entertainment director [he said] should really suggest a great deal more rehearsal time for the dancers, perhaps then they could perform a cohesive and in step routine. Even DH who freely admits he has two left feet, remarked how out of time the dancers were. The ventriloquist and impressionist were reasonably good. We did really enjoy the hot glass show, and the Captain's Club reception. I am glad that we got to sail with and meet the most amusing captain with which we have ever come across, as this was his last cruise before going on vacation. His sense of humor and timing were outstanding. The whole point of this cruise for us was rest and relaxation and we managed that with no problem. As we have spent time in all the ports of call, except for wandering round the fort in San Juan, we stayed on board, read and relaxed. We enjoyed the Solstice and the cruise and will be happy to sail with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Our group of 3 couples had great expectations for this 7 night Thanksgiving cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean and Princess previously, but this was our first time on Celebrity. Based on the mostly awesome reviews and feedback ... Read More
Our group of 3 couples had great expectations for this 7 night Thanksgiving cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean and Princess previously, but this was our first time on Celebrity. Based on the mostly awesome reviews and feedback from friends we were expecting to be bowled over. All reports seemed to point to Celebrity being a class above the other lines. After this cruise experience, I would have to say - different, and better in some areas, but not all. We had an outside cabin with a verandah and I must say that the rooms and especially the bathrooms are the best I've seen so far. The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was especially nice with a good sized shower and lots of storage space. Our room attendant kept it neat and quickly responded to our request for wine glasses and ice. Food: We ate dinner in the main dining room and in my opinion, the service and the food were disappointing. The portions were so small that some of the men in our group were talking about the buffet pizza even before dinner was finished. Some of us ordered a glass of wine each night, so we had to wait for the sommelier to take our wine order. He seemed insulted when we asked to look at the wine list instead of ordering the one he recommended. One evening I debated about having my husband walk across the hall to Winemasters because our guy was apparently too busy to take care of us. Our waiter didn't bother asking the rest of the group if they wanted a beverage other than wine so anyone who wanted a coke was out of luck. This was very disappointing to me. On our last RCL cruise the waiters knew our names and our preferences (including the one in our party who always ordered a diet coke) after the first night. Also disappointing was the fact that there were no decorations anywhere on the ship to recognize the Thanksgiving holiday. No cornucopias, no fall flowers, no pumpkins carved with images of pilgrims...nothing! The buffet was just ok. The waffles were a high point but you never knew quite where to stand if you wanted an omelet or cooked to order eggs so we went to the dining room for breakfast if we wanted something special. We only ate dinner there one night and most of the food in the buffet was dry and lukewarm. My husband does not drink tea or coffee so it was nice that they had lemonade & juice in the dispensers. Activities: The glass blowing was fun to watch...once. We went to one dance class - possibly the worst dance instructors we've ever seen. We left halfway through. We went to the Cirque type show and enjoyed that and also enjoyed the various musicians, especially the acapella group. It seems though that some of the areas on the ship are under utilized. The Sky Lounge is huge and should have been the venue for the 60's party instead of the Main Lobby area. Overall, I would have liked more interactive activities. Sometimes we found ourselves wandering around with nothing to do. If you happen to be up past 10:00 most of the lounges are dead. Overall: We love cruising and any day on a cruise is better than being at work. Maybe our expectations were too high, but I feel that having had the Celebrity experience, I'll probably go back to Princess or RCL before I try Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Ship was beautiful, staff very friendly & accommodating. I use a walker & found it difficult to open & keep door open to enter cabin over the sill. Inside the cabin I had to fold the walker (3 wheels) & store it behind the ... Read More
Ship was beautiful, staff very friendly & accommodating. I use a walker & found it difficult to open & keep door open to enter cabin over the sill. Inside the cabin I had to fold the walker (3 wheels) & store it behind the drapes as the passageway was very narrow. Purposely taking late dining to relax after going ashore, we found that most shows were changed to have the late sitting passengers see the show while the early seating passengers ate. Therefore, we missed most of the shows. Another reminder for all- If you have booked to take a cruise on a new ship that is coming into port for the first time, as was the Equinox (this year it will be the Silhouette), don't rush to get to the ship early as we had to hang around until 2:00 PM in order to board as the Coast Guard had to do its thorough inspection of the Ship. The food & elegant of service was not up to par as it had been on the Millennium in 2006, nor Azamara Journey in 2009. However, I love Celebrity & am taking the October 10th, 12 Day Holy Land Cruise on The Silhouette and remaining on Board for the Transatlantic Cruise into Port Liberty, NJ Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Our family traveled together for Thanksgiving - 13 of us - all very experienced cruisers. 3 older teenagers, everyone else from 45 years of age to a very young 79. The Eclipse is, quite simply, a beautiful ship. We were all ... Read More
Our family traveled together for Thanksgiving - 13 of us - all very experienced cruisers. 3 older teenagers, everyone else from 45 years of age to a very young 79. The Eclipse is, quite simply, a beautiful ship. We were all blown-away by lovely decor and attention to design detail in both our staterooms and all public areas. Such a clean ship. Even the sinks in the public restrooms were amazing! Staterooms: Positive: Very comfy beds, fabulous bathrooms including showers with very hot water and great water pressure, good toiletry storage, and outrageously thick and fluffy towels. Our staterooms were all adjacent so we slid back each balcony divider and therefore had one long veranda which allowed us to enjoy time together watching sunsets, port entries, etc. Great tv with good reception and the teenagers loved the on-demand movies. Negative: Lacking adequate storage for clothes. Steward did not keep the room as clean as it should have been. Food: Beautiful dining room, with VERY slow service. After we expressed concern the service improved (additional waitstaff was added) but each dinner still took 2+ hours. Many times the food was cold or tasteless. We appreciated the nice try with the Thanksgiving dinner, but the turkey, dressing, etc. was really not good. The Buffet area was huge with a great assortment of food and very minimal wait time. Good cookies. Entertainment: Theatre is beautiful. Saw a fantastic "Cirque du Soleil" type show. Casino: Machines did not pay...lol. Teen Entertainment: None. Non-Existent. Our three kids(16, 17, and 19) are low maintenance, experienced cruisers and so they found what to do to amuse themselves but there were not planned activities or specific teen areas (as there are on Royal Caribbean) for them. I do not recommend taking your kids on this ship. Ports: St. Marten - One adult and two teens went zip-lining - it was fun but strenuous for the adult. On a previous cruise we raced an America's Cup sailboat and I certainly recommend that excursion. St. Kitts - Heaven on earth. Such a beautiful island worth many more visits. Take the tour offered by Rosevelt Taylor - velt28_21@hotmail.com. www.stkittsislandparadisetours.com. This was the best tour we've ever taken on a cruise vacation. Rosevelt is professional, knowledgeable, and his van was clean and comfortable. We drove right through the area that the recent armed robbery occured in and saw police patrolling the area in an attempt to make the tourists feel more comfortable. Spa: Wonderful spa and gym areas. Great variety of brand new work-out equipment. Took the stretch and ab classes each morning - good instructors. Summary: Beautiful ship for adults wanting to just relax and enjoy the view. However, next time we'll cruise on one of the new big Royal Caribbean ships instead. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Had been on Millennium about eight years ago. On Mercury for the millenium cruise ten years ago. Also on Constellation two times and the Infinity. Have cruised with other lines as well. The Celebrity Line used to be quite special. Because ... Read More
Had been on Millennium about eight years ago. On Mercury for the millenium cruise ten years ago. Also on Constellation two times and the Infinity. Have cruised with other lines as well. The Celebrity Line used to be quite special. Because other lines have gone crazy with entertainment, ice rinks etc. poor Celebrity has to try some new things. I understand from fellow cruisers that their newest ship is extraordinary. The entertainment on this ship is average at best. It is not the fault of the entertainers who give it their all. Fellow cruisers it is the economy and they have had to cut somewhere. The wow factor all around has been diminished. Contrary to some of the reviews the food for the most part is still pretty good but not what it was. We have been on about seventeen cruises all over the world. Three of them this year on three different lines and although rates are often fabulous there have been cost cutting. The appeal of this Millennium cruise was that it covered Christmas and New Years and included ports such as Guadeloupe and Tobago. The service is still very good to excellent. I think the crew tries very hard. A wonderful brunch was presented on Christmas and New Years day. A new Captains Club for all select and elite members was presented on New Years Day and included a sushi bar and crepes and a carvery. This was only an hour or so after brunch. If you do research now on the internet you will find if you were to go to a resort in the Caribbean at this time of year for a decent hotel you would be paying more for the room then you would pay for a cruise like this that includes food and entertainment. No I am not a travel agent but you would pay from three to five hundred a day for a room alone while if you went on the Millennium for about two thousand per person you could have it all for fifteen days. We are talking a balcony room and maybe even a concierge class one at that. Please keep that in mind. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
My wife and I just returned from a 15 night cruise aboard the Celebrity Millennium and I have to say the cruise, ship, and staff we first class the only disappointment was the food. I couldn't believe that the menus were so poorly put ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a 15 night cruise aboard the Celebrity Millennium and I have to say the cruise, ship, and staff we first class the only disappointment was the food. I couldn't believe that the menus were so poorly put together and that so many of the items served didn't match the description on the menu. For instance on 2 occasions I ordered soups the first was a cream of potato soup with sauteed frogs legs that came with no frog legs. The next was a seafood soup garnished with shrimp, scallops and muscles that came out with no seafood in it (the base of the soup was also used for the lobster bisque and a number of seafood sauces, by the way I have been a chef for over 20 years so in this case I know what I'm talking about). On both occasions when I brought this up to our waiter (Okaysaya) whom I thought was very good at his job he had no idea why this was happening and the head waiter would come over and tell me he would go to the kitchen to take care of this, the first time he came back after I finished my entree with another bowl of soup that had frog legs on it. Again the second time he did the same even though I told him I didn't want another bowl I just wanted him to know that items were coming out wrong. The next night he brought everyone at the table another bowl of the seafood soup loaded with seafood even though I was the only person that ordered it originally, too little too late. These are just a couple instances but there were more. I can say that no one left the table hungry and there were some bright spots on the menus as well but by far the biggest issue in talking to other guests were complaints about the food. My opinion they need to consider hiring a new chef and maybe replace others on the kitchen staff as well. The ship was recently in dry dock and for a 10 year old ship the Milli was in really nice shape, very clean and well maintained. The activity staff were a great group of folks led by Artie Anderson (cruise director). The entertainment was not really to my liking, I can't say it was not good but I've enjoyed many great shows at sea however not on this particular cruise and the ship entertainment was amateurish at best. During this cruise we actually visited 11 ports of call - St Croix, St Martin, St Kitts, Guadalupe, St Lucia, Dominica, Barbados, Tobago, Grenada, Curacao and Aruba. We really enjoyed all but Guadalupe, we found the port to be dirty and people to be much less friendly than all of the other ports. The other big issue there was everything is priced in Euro's and most people had no idea how to deal with American dollars or even want to take dollars. This was our first time to many of these islands and I can say I wouldn't mind living in St Lucia, Tobago or Curacao people are great, countries are all beautiful and being as it's seriously winter where I live the weather can't be beat! The last issue I want to mention is that this was our first cruise on Celebrity, we've been on many Royal Caribbean cruises and we were told that being as RC is a 4 star line that we would see a big difference in service etc. on Celebrity and I have to say that statement couldn't be farther from the truth. As I've stated the staff were all great but I saw absolutely no difference between Celebrity and Royal Caribbean as a matter of fact there were many things I preferred on RC such as wine packages/choices. All in all I don't mean to sound negative, we had another great vacation but then again I can walk down the street by myself and be a one man parade, I have a good time where ever I am. Food was not up to par with other ships/lines and needs to be looked at, will I cruise on Celebrity again I can't say no BUT I would look at other options first. ScottNKimmy Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Just a little review of our Christmas and New Year's cruise on the Connie. We had a great time! I must admit that embarkation was not particularly pleasant -very disorganized and Celebrity's employees were little or no help. ... Read More
Just a little review of our Christmas and New Year's cruise on the Connie. We had a great time! I must admit that embarkation was not particularly pleasant -very disorganized and Celebrity's employees were little or no help. However, once we boarded the ship we had a wonderful time. We were greeted with the standard glass of champagne. We went immediately to our cabin to drop off our carry on and then proceeded up to Lido deck to partake in the buffet. We were early so it wasn't very crowded. The food was the standard buffet fare. We were in our cabin by 1:00. We had an outside cabin on Continental deck. The location was great and very quiet. Our cabin was showing little signs of wear but it was clean and our bed was very comfortable. Our cabin stewards were very attentive and responded to every request we made. After putting a few things away we set off to explore the ship. The public rooms are in very good condition. The ship was extremely clean and we saw staff cleaning the public areas constantly. We ate in the MDR every night except one. We had great tablemates and enjoyed their company every night. I am not a big food person so I am not going to say a lot about the food. I will say that I was able to order any of my food the way I wanted it including asking for certain things on my salad and small portions of meat and big portions of vegetables. The sautEed spinach (which is not on the menu but I had it every night) was delicious. There were also two grand buffets in the dining room - Christmas Day and New Year's Day. They were very nice with a mix of breakfast and lunch foods. We ate breakfast on Lido deck every morning - they have the most delicious waffles. I was a little disappointed in the desserts in the MDR. However, the ice cream - all of which is made on the ship (except the sugar free) was great and the sorbets were among the best I have ever had. They were actually sorbet - not sherbet! Very nice! People dressed the same as they do on Holland America or Princess - some people were dressed every night, some people weren't. Some people didn't even get their luggage until four or five days into the cruise (I think some people never got their luggage). I would give you a more detailed fashion report but, truthfully, we don't really worry about what other people wear, we are only concerned about we wear - we stick with the recommended dress of the day! And, no one, no matter how they were dressed, ruined our evening. In fact, there was one man who never had shoes on - I don't know if he never got his luggage or his feet hurt or what, but no matter where we saw him he didn't have on shoes. We thought it was pretty funny! On sea days we spent a lot of time on the pool deck. We were happy to see that the pool attendants actually monitored the "chair hogs" and removed towels from the chairs that hadn't been occupied for a couple of hours. One couple - and they were "chair hogs" actually attached their luggage straps to the chairs supposedly to hold their towels in place. It was very relaxing and most afternoons the pool attendants came by with either sorbet or fresh fruit in little cups. The entertainment was good - we had a couple of comedians/singers. Some of the production shows were good some were just okay. The string quartet was excellent as was the a cappella group. We enjoyed them the most. We did get to see Perry and he was "himself!" One of the reasons we went on this cruise was the itinerary and we weren't disappointed. We booked only one shore excursion through the ship. We had never been the Curacao so we took a little tour with a taxi driver we found outside the gates at the port. It was beautiful. We had been to all the other ports many times so we just went to the beach on our own except in Antigua. We booked a catamaran tour on the Excellence with the ship. We tried to book it independently but they contract with the ship and will not allow independent bookings. It was excellent - I highly recommend. Unlike some catamaran tours except for about an hour and half stop to snorkel and eat lunch we were sailing around Antigua. We loved it! For us, the ship had a reasonable amount of Christmas decorations and entertainment. They had a very nice Roman Catholic midnight mass in the theater and Santa visited on Christmas morning. There were quite a few Christmas trees around the ship and the atrium was decorated. There was Christmas caroling and also a Christmas stage show. The New Year's Eve party was on Lido deck - it was a great time with champagne, hats and noise makers. The one thing that I didn't like was that it was formal night and it was too hot and sticky to be comfortable since we were dressed up. We danced a lot anyway and took cold showers when we got back to the room. For some reason, we got invited for a tour of the bridge. It was extremely interesting and we enjoyed it and hope we get invited to tour it again sometime. Something that really stood out for us on this cruise was that the officers were out and about continually. We saw the captain many times and he always stopped to say hello - and, his wife did also! It was a very friendly staff! Our cruise on the Connie was a great way to usher in the New Year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
My family and I along with several of our relatives took the Dec. 20 cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on the Solstice. While we had a pretty good time, I think the general consensus was that in a number of different areas, Celebrity could ... Read More
My family and I along with several of our relatives took the Dec. 20 cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on the Solstice. While we had a pretty good time, I think the general consensus was that in a number of different areas, Celebrity could have done a better job. Let me first state that the ship was absolutely beautiful-the public rooms such as the various dining rooms and bars were contemporary. We stayed in the Concierge Class-the rooms while somewhat small were stylish and the bathroom was functional. I am not sure if it really was worth the money to stay in Concierge class - I believe the rooms on the floor below us were just as nice and were less money. As far as the food, I would say that it was pretty good but not great. Some members of our family were quite disappointed with the quality and variety of the food in the Grand Epernay dining room for dinner. I think that we all liked the Oceanview Cafe on the 14th floor. There were a number of problems however. I found it surprising that the Oceanview Cafe closed at 12AM on Christmas Eve. We were not the only ones who were looking for a late night snack and thought that this dining option should have been open, especially for a holiday. The main issue that we had was the fiasco that happened on Christmas day in Labadee, Haiti. We arrived 1 hour late and the captain announced that because of this delay, we would not be having the holiday barbecue on the island but on the ship. That is fine, but neither he nor anyone else announced that ALL of the dining options were closed on the island. On the map that they give out, there were a variety of cafes and restaurants listed. As anyone can imagine, we along with more than half of the ship disembarked to enjoy a day in the sun and discovered that there was no food to be had-no hotdogs, no hamburgers, no sandwiches. All they brought from the ship were some cookies and sweetrolls for us to eat. It is unbelievable to me that we paid all this money and the Celebrity staff could not do something more for us on Christmas day. I don't understand why they were unable to make sandwiches and bring it out to the island. We ended going back to the ship at 4 PM because we were starving. And what happens once on board? The Mast Grill, which serves hotdogs and hamburgers, has 40 people in line and The Oceanview cafe is not serving any food either except for pizza and salads and has similar lines. Celebrity really failed to address this problem and there were many people upset about the lack of food options for that day. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Ship: We were quite happy with the condition of the ship and the cabins were very nice and well presented with the cabin staff excellent and very attentive. Dinning: Trellis Restaurant was excellent and I found the food good and ... Read More
Ship: We were quite happy with the condition of the ship and the cabins were very nice and well presented with the cabin staff excellent and very attentive. Dinning: Trellis Restaurant was excellent and I found the food good and varied even for 28 days. Grill for breakfast good and the selection the day with Sushi, Asian. Italian very nice ... loved the pizza that was always just made (and I do not like pizza as a norm). 14 days Ft Lauderdale to Santiago Everything on the ship was 'fantastic' and fun. Used the Thalassotherapy daily which was nice and relaxing. The ship was a pleasure to be on. Except for problems on deck 7 - water was pouring in to the walkway and getting in to some cabins. It was a mess but they cleaned it up .. my only gripe they never mentioned it or said the were sorry for any inconvenience. In fact I happened to come along and see the water and call emergency to tell them. got a stupid girl on the line who had no idea what I was telling her. They did come but never a thank you for the call .. that water was flooding the gangway which would have been nice. That apart it was a great 14 days .. well worth the trip. 14 days Santiago to Buenos Aires Things changed and the passengers just seemed to take over ... Thalassotherapy pool no more, as full of screaming children (the sign quiet under 18 years with adult meant nothing and the staff did nothing about it). Dinner with times set .. people took no notice and just arrived as they wished .. dinner was 8.45 in main dining room but people would stroll in at any time. Dress NO JEANS that was a joke .... nothing was said or done by the ships staff and never any mention in the daily paper. The state of the ship for this 14 days went down hill .. with coke cans etc, left on the carpets in hallways. Lots of pushing and shoving. Tender was a disaster with no control from the ships staff when ashore to get back on .. one would get in line but people would just push in. The staff (officers included) just stood and watched. Apart from the destination Christmas and New Year was a reason to book the cruise: Christmas Day .. Great start for the kids and fun to see .. but then nothing that was it. New Year Eve .. Nothing in the day then in the evening when going in to dinner they did not have the dinning room ready with New Year Hats etc on the tables. it was just nothing and second rate and one had to ask for things. Seeing in the New Year was in three different places so not get together of the people on ship and though we had fun it was very poor effort. Crew in general very good but some needed a bit of prompting and at times bar service very slow. Main Dinning Room Wine Waiters should give it away. Lost one bottle of wine and on New Year Eve took 45 minutes to find and bring it to the table .. had to get the restaurant manager to get it then. That all apart the cruise port and things we saw were just fantastic and made the trip worth the cost. I have not shown a cabin or deck number as we moved cabins for the second 14 days .. but that is for another reason .. best forgotten. Would I go on Celebrity and Infinity again - yes Would I go on Celebrity for Christmas and New Year - no Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
This was our 4th Celebrity holiday cruise and probably our last. We sailed from Fort Lauderdale on the Solstice on the Dec 28th,, 2008. Having cruised on two other Celebrity holiday cruises, both 14 nights, I was familiar with the long ... Read More
This was our 4th Celebrity holiday cruise and probably our last. We sailed from Fort Lauderdale on the Solstice on the Dec 28th,, 2008. Having cruised on two other Celebrity holiday cruises, both 14 nights, I was familiar with the long standing quality of the line. On this particular holiday cruise, I saw a much different side of Celebrity. First, there is no getting around the fact that Solstice is a real beauty. Modern in every way, she is clearly the most breathtaking lady on the high seas. Solstice could evolve into a remarkable ship, if and when she grows up and becomes a proper lady. She is fresh from the shipyard with a crew still attempting to gel and get their act together. The Celebrity management team seems to be in the middle of a paradigm shift, searching for a way to stay profitable in a very tough economy. And that seems to be the root of all that is not so wonderful about Solstice. Clearly, Celebrity, like other travel companies, is struggling to maintain its core repeat customers and targeting mainstream first time cruisers with respectable incomes. In a way, Solstice is an experiment at sea as management attempts to redefine cruising while staying profitable in a challenging economy. I'm guessing some of their innovations are just not going to cut it. STATEROOM: The cabins, nearly all with verandas, are spacious and loaded with easy to use technology. We loved this about the ship. With flat screen TVs and an interactive entertainment system complete with pay and FREE movies on demand, the intentions are right on target. Our Concierge Class cabin included a remarkably comfortable bed with luxurious linens, towels and an ultra modern bathroom. Make sure you take advantage of the "pillow menu". I loved the full body pillow! We had a cabin on Deck 12. All Concierge and Verandah cabins have adequate closet and drawer space and an ample size veranda. We were situated very close to the pool mid-ship, so we enjoyed an exceptionally smooth sailing. Service from our stateroom attendant was good but the benefits of upgrading to a Concierge cabin are becoming increasingly questionable. Gone are the days of feeling "special" when booking a Concierge Class cabin. The upgraded linens and bathroom amenities were nice, but didn't justify the $1,000 additional expenditure for the upgrade. We could care less about the nasty tasting canopies and the complimentary bottle of champagne. The reality is that all veranda cabins are the same size. It's the extra touches and the location that separate a Concierge Class cabin from a standard veranda. If you want to spend extra dollars on this ship, upgrade to a suite and enjoy the larger cabin and butler service. We wished we had a butler on this cruise, because when it came to dinner reservations, trying to make arrangements on our own was challenging. DINING: - The ship offers five alternative dining options, all which charge an additional fee ranging from $5.00 - $25.00 per person. We dined at Blu, Silk Harvest, Tuscan Grille and Bistro on Five. Each was enjoyable and offered a quality dining experience. We especially enjoyed the Asian fare at Silk Harvest and the excellent fillets and Italian dishes at Tuscan Grille. We couldn't say the same for the main dining room. In fact, we found our one night at Grand Epernay was far from acceptable. It was the classic "we smelled the fish coming" and when we tasted it, even the tartar sauce couldn't hide the strong fishy taste of our Mahi. - To enjoy a good meal on Solstice, plan to pay extra because the main dining room misses its target. It was nowhere close to the high quality of food and outstanding selections we'd grown to expect on a Celebrity. Clearly food quality has taken a hit as the company trims expenses and monetizes every part of the cruise experience. The main dining room attempts to present an image of a fine dining experience. From the stories I heard from other passengers, they are failing miserably. Perhaps stepping back to the basics would give this beautiful dining area justice. Why not good old chicken, steak, Mexican and Italian dishes done right, rather than fancy entrees that just don't sound appetizing and miss their mark when it comes to tasting good? - The buffet on deck 12 is adequate but far from memorable. Many items are still not marked leaving guests wondering which mystery meat or salad they are about to select. Worst of all, the offerings seemed to never change, making for a buffet experience that is both boring and disappointing. It doesn't take long to surmise that if you want to experience truly good food, you are going to have to pay extra for it...plain and simple. - Solstice is NOT prepared for capacity sailings. On embarkation day, hundreds of passengers were angry because either they were booked at the wrong seating or they were unhappy with their table assignments. At one point, security had to be called to calm an angry customer. And breakfast and lunch buffets during our holiday cruise were always crowded and plagued with lines. (If Celebrity can't please customers with designated seating times, perhaps they should take a chapter from the NCL playbook and consider moving to Free Style Dining. EMBARKATION & DISEMBARKATION: - Smooth and amazingly brisk. No problems here. We were on the ship and in our cabin in less than 20 minutes. Unlike other sailings we've been on, leaving the ship was equally painless and well organized. High marks for getting on and off the ship. Too bad we were anxious to get off? POOL & OUTSIDE DECKS: - During peak vacation periods on Solstice, plan on jumping out of bed by eight AM if you want a remote chance of securing deck chairs. Towels had to be replenished by 9:30. It appeared all 2850 passengers on board, pale and determined sun seekers, marked their spots on decks 12 & 14. This reminded us of a pack of dogs marking their territory then guarding their spot in the sunshine. On our first sea day, we made the mistake of sleeping until 10AM. My wife resorted to paying a pool butler to secure two chairs in the sun. (Silly us- thinking we could actually sleep- in on our vacation). - While the hoards scouted hard to find spots to tan, half a football field of green grass was empty on the top deck, aft. The only live lawn at sea was an interesting "out of the box" idea in some boardroom, but in reality it is a terrible waste of space. It was used by only a few who bothered to play Bocce or Crochet, truly two of America's most popular past times....NOT. - There is an interesting display of glass blowing next to the struggling grass. Again, an innovative idea but underutilized. If even 50% of this space was used as an alternative sunning spot, the need to hoard deck chairs forward and mid-ship might disappear. - We were disappointed that Solstice did not include a deck where we could walk completely around the ship like many other vessels. Instead, walking was confined to a very small walking track around the pool. With the hoards of passengers at the pool, navigating around others just wasn't worth the effort. PUBLIC SPACES: Aside from the pool and deck areas, public spaces on Solstice are magnificent and well planned. We seldom felt crowded or claustrophobic in most of the inside spaces. They give the appearance of a contemporary yet luxurious ship. Only the buffet on Deck 12 and the sundecks made us want to jump overboard and swim to an unpopulated island getaway where thousands of bodies of all sizes and proportions were not lined up like bacon ready to be fried. ENTERTAINMENT: Overall, Solstice provided above average entertainment in the main showroom. The typical Broadway reviews had a fresh new spin and a clone of Cirque de Ole was a fresh and innovative departure from the normal cruise ship fare. The showroom features state of the art production tools that make the shows vibrant and contemporary. Plenty of seats in the main showroom too, which tells me many passengers missed some good shows. The ship also features a smaller venue called Solstice Central, featuring comedy. After being annoyed every day from the masses on the decks, we would have loved to have found some levity from a good comedian. But again, in what can only be an attempt to keep passengers up late drinking and gambling, the comedian never performed before 11PM and some nights, as late at 12:45. Hate to be a party pooper, but we don't care to hang out in the lounges and drink all nights, so we and others were just out of luck. As I said earlier, it's all about monetizing every minute of the day to increase revenues. Keeping passengers up an extra hour or two can't hurt bar sales, the shops and of course, the Casino. We walked through the Casino and it seemed modern, clean and very adequate. - Kudos for the LIVE MUSIC! Unlike many other cruise lines which rely on prerecorded music in their showrooms, Celebrity DOES spend money on talented live orchestras. Whether it was providing live music for the singers & dancers during a show in the main theatre, or entertaining around the pool on New Year's Eve, the Celebrity Orchestra was fantastic THE PORTS: We choose the Solstice for the shipboard experience rather than the ports. - San Juan: How many more times must we waste a day in San Juan? Am I missing something here? We find the beaches in San Juan among the ugliest in the Caribbean. Surely Celebrity can find a more innovative port than San Juan. I recommend staying on the ship in San Juan and taking advantage of actually having your own deck chair and some personal space. - St. Kitts: Absolutely beautiful. If you're a beach person, hire a taxi and spend the day at a beautiful and sparsely populated beach. We NEVER book tours on the ship as we find them significantly more expensive and always crowded. The last thing we wanted was to more "herding us around like cattle". No thank you. - St. Marten: Another nice stop. We shared a taxi with some other passengers and spent the day at Orient Beach. The beach chairs were inexpensive, there were plenty of places to grab a drink or have some lunch and of course, lots of naked sunbathers. THE VERDICT: A beautiful ship with a friendly crew, however: We will NOT book another 7 day cruise on Solstice during high season, especially not over the holidays. Remember, we have taken several 14 day cruises on Celebrity and loved them. I think the shorter cruises and lower price tags turn the ship into a more mass market product which is not for us. Who wants to get up early just to throw a towel on a deck chair? No thank you. We sincerely hope Celebrity takes some actions to prevent overcrowding. It's just not relaxing when you feel like you are part of a herd of cattle. They will also need to make their main dining room offerings more attractive and enhance the quality of the food. Get back to basics. Celebrity is driving us and many other past customers, to their more upscale product, Azamara Cruises. And frankly, I think that just might be their strategy: Making Celebrity a more mass product by cutting expenses, and sailing at over capacity whenever possible. For those of us who still look forward to the relaxation of being on the high seas, be prepared to pay more in search of an upgraded product. Perhaps we will meet you on Azamara, OR on a different cruise line that values its repeat customers with a loyalty program that actually has rewards and perks that mean something. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
We chose the Reflection since we have been on other Celebrity Cruises and this ship did not disappoint! Celebrity Cruises is our niche. It was beautifully decorated for the holidays and the staff was ready for the first night of ... Read More
We chose the Reflection since we have been on other Celebrity Cruises and this ship did not disappoint! Celebrity Cruises is our niche. It was beautifully decorated for the holidays and the staff was ready for the first night of festivities for New Years. Embarkation was really nice. We had a Concierge level cabin and were greeted and placed in a separate lounge at the pier. Then we were escorted onboard before the regular class cabins New Years Eve was great. There were several parties going on before midnight and we were able to hop from one to another ending up at the pool for the midnight finale. They dropped the 2016 ice block into the pool and placed the 2017 up in its place. The rest of the cruise went without a hitch. Some of the highlights were the Lawn Club Grill, a must do participative dinner. Also the Silent disco was a huge hit. We had so much fun. We like Celebrity due to its classier style and dressy/casual evenings . Also seems to attract an experienced, diverse and well to do traveler. Wish they had 21 and older sailings. THIS IS FOR CELEBRITY TOUR STAFF Jamaica - We went on the Dunns River Falls and river tubing tour with the ship - this is the only time we felt uncomfortable on the trip. At the end of the tour they make you walk through the marketplace. There is no option. There were sellers trying to put items in our hands, when we refused they stated " Are you afraid of us " . Strange comment. There should be an exit option without the marketplace. We were also asked in a survey if the guides asked for a tip. We said they did not ask but then at the busses they had followed us and started asking and pointing to the people who did not tip after we had already taken the survey. So the guides figured out how to go around the survey and harass some of the people on our bus. Glad we had tipped ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We went on the 12 night South Pacific cruise from Sydney on 23 December. It was our 7th Celebrity cruise but first from Australia (all the others were from US/Caribbean ports). We have also been on Silversea, Oceania, Royal ... Read More
We went on the 12 night South Pacific cruise from Sydney on 23 December. It was our 7th Celebrity cruise but first from Australia (all the others were from US/Caribbean ports). We have also been on Silversea, Oceania, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Carnival. We are Celebrity Elite level members. Here is the good and the not so good. Cabin Attendant – Excellent – Our cabin attendant (Gabriel) was superb. He was always efficient, smiling and helpful. Our departures were noted and our cabin made up immediately. Tenders – Excellent – Tenders were used at Isle de Pines and Mystery Island. On previous Celebrity cruises tenders have been a problem. On this cruise there were only short waits and even long queues moved quickly. The reason was simple – whoever was in charge used up to 7 lifeboats to provide a high frequency service from two boarding platforms. This was a problem from past cruises fixed – let us hope the same approach is adopted on other ships. Photo Shop – Poor – Bring your own camera and take your own photos. Avoid the photo packages. On previous Celebrity cruises the photo packages were good value by skilled photographers. On this cruise we felt there was no skill or art involved and the resulting photos were poor quality camera work such as parts of heads cuts off. Delays and stresses even getting the package USB on the last night suggested incompetence. Shuttle Bus – Excellent – Noumea – Often a problem on other cruises this, like the tender issue, was solved by whoever was in charge by having plenty of buses in Noumea running a high frequency service so there were no waits. Main dining room (Epernay) – Very Good – We had recently been on much higher priced Silversea and Oceania cruises. The food in the main dining room on Solstice was better than the main dining room on each of those cruise lines although not up to the standard of the speciality restaurants on those lines. Celebrity remains the best food in the mega ship market. Service in Main Dining – Excellent – Our waiters (Valentin and Iryna) were excellent and helpful. Seating in Main Dining – Poor – We are Elite Celebrity members but for some reason got about the worst table in the middle of the bottom level of the dining room. We used to get much better tables before we reached the Elite level. At no stage were we aware of the presence of a maitre d’. Coffee – Poor – The coffee throughout the ship is terrible. Café Bacio does not live up to the hype with poor service, attitude and coffee. Coffee was bitter and too hot. Children – Being an Australian school holiday cruise the ship had over 3000 passengers with lots of children (and prams). Most were well behaved but a few insisted upon pushing all the buttons in the lifts and gangs playing chasing games around the corridors on treasure hunts posed a hazard. Smoking – As non-smokers we were pleased that overall the smoking on board was only a minor inconvenience. Walking/Jogging Track – A design flaw of the Solstice is that the jogging track runs around a deck used for sun lounges and often during the day is hard to use because people put their sun lounges across the track. Whilst not as bad as on other cruises this was still an issue and the staff did not move sun lounges off the track. Sun Lounges – Most of the passengers being Australian it was shade rather than sun that was in demand. There were plenty of lounges available in the sun and sometimes in the shade. Unfortunately there was a lot of saving of lounges by passengers who rarely used them or who put belongings on adjoining lounges to stop them being used and give themselves extra space. This did not appear to be policed by the staff. Ocean View Buffet – Excellent – Huge and at times overcrowded it is usually possible to find something to eat from the wide range. The effort made for Christmas and New Year was spectacular and greatly appreciated. Sushi – Not Good – On previous Celebrity cruises Ocean View Café had reasonable sushi in the evening. Now that is gone. Instead there is only a Sushi café on level 5 which costs extra. Embarkation – Good - Surprisingly quick and efficient. On board 25 minutes after arriving at pier at 12.30pm. Unfortunately we were not then allowed off again that afternoon to spend any more time in Sydney and had not been warned this would be the case. Disembarkation – Good - At 6.40am there was a huge line for walk offs which commenced at 6.50am and went so quickly we were at Sydney airport at 7.20am. Itinerary – OK – Australia is a long way from anywhere which means too many days at sea. There were 6 days at sea and only 5 ports on this cruise. Cabin – Clean and functional the cabins are good for the price. Hygiene – Problem – Whilst there is hand washing lotion everywhere the system for obtaining beverages (sodas, water or alcoholic) seemed likely to be very efficient at spreading disease. You have to hand your seapass to a waiter who swipes it and hands it back and then does the same with someone else’s seapass and on it goes. The system needs to be contactless with the passenger simply waving their seapass. Beverage Packages – Poor – Even if the beverage package you purchase includes the type of drink available in your minibar you get charged again if you take it from the minibar. If your package includes Coke you cannot take the can of Coke from your minibar. Your package only allows you to get one drink at a time from a bar even if that drink is water or soft drink (and each time your seaspass is handled by a staff member who is handling lots of other seapasses and bottles and glasses handled by other passengers). At times the brand of bottled water sold was undrinkable. Internet – OK – Internet costs extra still unless some minutes are included in a deal or because of your status. Speed was fair. Security – As an Australian holiday period cruise there were a lot more passengers in the 20-40 age group than on other cruises, many of them appearing to consume vast amounts of alcohol. Given the amount of alcohol consumed security did a very good job of keeping it a safe cruise. It is certainly far safer than going out in an Australian capital city at night. Entertainment – Disappointing – Apart from Aussie Boys the acts and Celebrity in house entertainers were below the standard expected out of US ports. Movies – Some nights recent release movies were shown in Celebrity Central which is a comfortable cinema. Overall we were impressed. Christmas and New Year were made special which they have not been on some other cruises we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We travelled with three couples who are all good friends. We were booked in Aqua class and there were various comments among us regarding the value. We absolutely loved Blu, the diningroom designated to be used by Aqua cabin ... Read More
We travelled with three couples who are all good friends. We were booked in Aqua class and there were various comments among us regarding the value. We absolutely loved Blu, the diningroom designated to be used by Aqua cabin passengers. The room is smaller than the main dining room, service top notch and I think the food is prepared in a different kitchen. We generally had breakfast there as well, fresh orange juice, yum..and Nice and quiet. I used the Persian Gardens almost daily, nice heated beds, steam and sauna looking out over the ocean, and the other perk is the shower in our cabin that had jets of water for the body and overhead. We did have lunch in the buffet. Because Blu was so good, we did not feel like we needed go to any of the private, extra charge dining rooms. Our friends, on the other hand, did not see the value. They said they are not foodies, don't care where they eat as "food is food" and there is plenty everywhere. They used the Persian Garden only once. And the third couple loved Blu and never used the Persian Garden. So, everyone is different. The ship itself was kept very clean. We were in the casino a few evenings and it was quite busy. The shows were hit and miss. The entertainment we enjoyed were In the Skydeck at 10 p.m. Almost nightly. Live Music, a bit of a show by the dancers, and the guests joining in, or just watching. The gym is large and very busy in the morning. More equipment available later. New Years Eve was magical, dancing and singing out on the deck with at least 1200 people on a warm Caribbean night under the stars. The band played for all age groups. Only minor issues were: Disembarkation was very, very slow getting through customs. I think it was because it was New Year's Day and they were short staffed. Chairs on the deck at the pool was a challenge ...people 'saved' seats by putting down towels and books, then left,..and lots of times those spots were vacant for hours. Not a great system. All in all, we complained that we had nothing to complain about. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Having read the reviews of this cruise/ship I was a little nervous about our cruise, but I need not have worried. This was our first Celebrity cruise (Princess and P & O are our favourites) and I was pleasantly surprised. Embarkation ... Read More
Having read the reviews of this cruise/ship I was a little nervous about our cruise, but I need not have worried. This was our first Celebrity cruise (Princess and P & O are our favourites) and I was pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was a breeze and our cabin was ready for us, again, having read that the ship was tired and in need of updating i wondered what our cabin would be like. It was lovely, very modern and the furnishings were nice. The balcony could have done with a little renovation but there was nothing that stopped us enjoying the room facilities. Our cabin steward, Rufina, was amazing and nothing was too much trouble. We ate in Blu, which we thoroughly enjoyed, the food was of a high standard and the staff always friendly and obliging to any requests for something different. On a couple of sea days, we ate in the Metropolitan at lunchtime and that also was of a good standard. The service wasn't always quick but we were in no rush and where else could we go on a sea day? We did use the Oceanview cafe on a couple of occasions and from what we could see the choice and quality was excellent. Unfortunately, because of bad weather we were unable to stop in Danang but these things happen and you have to make the most of them. The other ports were great and the overnight stays were brilliant, allowing you to experience the nightlife of these places. We did some ship's tours and then used the port guides for wandering on our own. I have to say I thought the port guides were poor, and lacked information and decent maps. The ship's tours we did were good value for money and just right for us. We have a couple of moans, the drinks prices are extortionate. We like a drink when we are away but i refuse to pay stupid prices and whilst we enjoyed wine with dinner etc and cocktails I did feel like Celebrity were taking the Mickey! We enjoy the ambiance of formal nights but felt that there was no sense of occasion on this ship. I don't know if it was just this ship or Celebrity in general. When you make an effort to dress up I feel slightly annoyed when people are still permitted to enter the main dining rooms in shorts and trainers. On other cruises we have always felt pulled to the atrium which is where things always seem to be going on and it is a great place to people watch but on this ship the atrium was nearly always empty, it was beautfiully decorated but there was nothing going on there. Some of the entertainment was poor, especially in the Rendez Vous lounge. The singer playing the piano was great but the band with the male singer were dire. The music was so loud that you couldn't hold a conversation but thankfully it drowned out his terrible voice. We tried the Cosmos lounge a few times but always felt it lacked atmosphere. I don't think I ever saw the Captain, we heard from him every morning at 10am but the senior crew were not often seen around the ship. Hygiene was excellent and they were always dishing out hand gel and wiping bannisters in public areas. Our disembarkation in Hong Kong was quick but it was hard to get away from the terminal. In fairness, Celebrity did warn us about lack of taxis and we could have booked a shuttle but we decided not to and paid the price. The taxi queue was huge so we ended up taking the free shuttle to the Hollywood Plaza mall and then picked up a taxi from there. All in all, we had a fantastic holiday and I would quite happily cruise Celebrity again, especially if they reduce their drink prices!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We did back to back weeks during Christmas/New Year's 2014-2015 in the Caribbean out of San Juan. We had been on the Summit before. Somehow, the ship's infrastructure has declined considerably. The plumbing was malfunctioning ... Read More
We did back to back weeks during Christmas/New Year's 2014-2015 in the Caribbean out of San Juan. We had been on the Summit before. Somehow, the ship's infrastructure has declined considerably. The plumbing was malfunctioning continually, creating a pervasive odor on many decks. While we had a good time and enjoyed ourselves, we have to remark that this ship needs extensive refurbishment. The staff was usually great. However, the wait staff in the main dining room needs polish and additional training. Rarely did we have a complete set of flatware and glassware. Although they were eager to please, it seemed that setting a table is beyond their training. Other than a dinner fork or salad fork, we rarely got the correct implement on the first try: example- no cocktail forks for the shrimp cocktail without delays until they could find one upon request. And while that may seem trifling, not getting a teaspoon for the coffee without asking is irritating. Getting a paper cup of espresso from the coffee bar at dinner because the coffee bar would not let its china cups into the dining room was hilarious. Nor could the waiter envision taking a dining room cup to be filled at the coffee bar. Having to ask for a steak knife for steak was a chore. Reaching across a table to refill a water glass rather than walking around to fill it was interesting table etiquette. Having to get up and ask for coffee refills or raising one's hand because the staff will not check if you want a refill ...every single meal ....was not understandable. Not the end of the world, but...Sorry, that is not fine dining. We did an African safari in tented camps where the Masai managed to set the table correctly and served beautifully. So why not a cruise ship?   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I was a cruise virgin until I spent 14 nights on the Solstice sailing from Sydney to Auckland and loved it! As a Brit, I loved the British entertainment crew - they made it for me. Seeing Santa in the Solstice theatre on Christmas ... Read More
I was a cruise virgin until I spent 14 nights on the Solstice sailing from Sydney to Auckland and loved it! As a Brit, I loved the British entertainment crew - they made it for me. Seeing Santa in the Solstice theatre on Christmas morning giving gifts to all the kids up the age of 17 was such a treat and made me feel so Christmassy even though I don't have kids myself. Had a wonderful dinner in the Epernay main dining room in the evening and the turkey and stuffing were cooked to perfection as always. New Years Eve was so lively with plenty going on that we didn't get to bed until around 4am! All of the staff were awesome and so attentive we were made to feel special All in all a great first cruise that I would definitely do again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our 16th cruise and 2nd Celebrity cruise. After trying 8 different cruise lines we have decided that Celebrity suits us best. We stayed at the Hampton Inn, Plantation FL through stay123. Front desk personnel were very friendly ... Read More
This was our 16th cruise and 2nd Celebrity cruise. After trying 8 different cruise lines we have decided that Celebrity suits us best. We stayed at the Hampton Inn, Plantation FL through stay123. Front desk personnel were very friendly and helpful. There are shopping malls on both sides with numerous retail stores and restaurants. The stay123 pre-cruise package includes a one night stay, free breakfast buffet with hot items and great coffee, free shuttle to the cruise pier, 7 days free on-site parking and a free shuttle back to the hotel. We sailed on the Eclipse last year and since they have identical deck plans, we found it super easy to get around. We had an oceanview room on deck 3, which allowed us to pick the free classic drink package on their Go123 program. Deck 3 is on the same floor as the Silhouette dining room & Passport Bar and only 1 flight of stairs up to the theater. We found the embarkation and disembarkation to be very efficient and on time. The doors opened for embarkation at 10:45 AM, we sailed through security, got our sea passes and we were onboard with our free glass of champagne by 11:05 AM. Cabins opened at 1:30 PM and our luggage arrived at 2:30 PM. We did the self disembarkation which was easy, as long as you were willing to stand in line and talk to people you somehow never met during the 10 night cruise! Our OV room was kept clean by Inacio & Nadine, plenty of storage, loved the circular shower doors. Cruise Director Paul was the best! We always saw staff cleaning or vacuuming; painting or washing the exterior while in port; public bathrooms were immaculate and all personnel were super friendly. A special thank you to Solarium attendant Mayo! We had Celebrity Select Dining and the 1st night we were seated in Sergio's area. We asked for Sergio & the same table every night of our cruise. Food was plated beautifully, served at the correct temperature & excellent quality! Recently, we have noticed, that other cruise lines have downgraded the quality, but Celebrity just cut back on the quantity. Which I am OK with - I have never gone hungry while cruising! My spouse had a draft beer at the new Gastrobar ($9.78 and not on the free drink package) Activities: played Bingo once ($39 for 3 cards, $49 for 6 cards and $59 for 9 cards) watched the cupcake demo, participated in the Reindeer Games, watched the Corning Glass show,, watched the Top Chef challenge and generally spent a lot of time at the Solarium pool relaxing! The best part of this cruise was the Christmas decorations. Especially in the Grand Foyer, where they built a whole gingerbread village between the two elevator. Then on the last night of the cruise they had Holiday Caroling lead by Cruise Director Paul (who has an excellent voice!) with faux snowflakes floating down into the foyer and several floors of passengers joining in. It was a true goose-bump moment!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
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