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193 Celebrity Holiday Cruise Reviews

We flew into Miami a day early and stayed at the Sheraton Hotel, we ended up heading to South Beach for a little night life which I would recommend, what was really nice about the Sheraton besides the fact that it seems to be a fresh ... Read More
We flew into Miami a day early and stayed at the Sheraton Hotel, we ended up heading to South Beach for a little night life which I would recommend, what was really nice about the Sheraton besides the fact that it seems to be a fresh remodeled hotel is that they let us stay until 1:00pm which gave us the much needed rest after being out late and getting ready for our cruise. Embarkation - A+: We chose to book concierge class which gave us priority embarkation, since we were out late we chose to show up at the 1:30 pm recommended time and were on the ship in less than 5 minutes, with the priority embarkation we had no line and were able to walk to the counter and get checked in. Concierge Class Room - A: Our stateroom was more than adequate, the balcony was fantastic, the bathroom was twice as large as our previous cruise ships bathroom and the room looked perfect, we also had a complimentary bottle of champagne and fruit bowl which was a nice add on to the concierge class, the only thing which was a little lacking was the drawer space and the closet, there is plenty of additional storage through out the room to compensate though. Ocean View Cafe - A+: We found the Ocean View Cafe to be a much better set up than the windjammer on RCCL, the food selection was great, the drink selection was also much better than in the windjammer. The atmosphere of the Ocean View cafe was very vibrant and fun, yet very luxurious. Side Note: We decided to add one premium beverage package to our room, we made this worth it though I do have to say if you don't plan on drinking more than 8 drinks a day then look at a different package or no package at all. Adding the package definetly gives you the ability to have no restrictions but after several days of drinking we started to wonder if we could have done with out it. Bars & Lounges - A: The bars on the ship are awesome, especially the ice bars, I have no complaints about the bars, we did run into an issue with a bar tender mouthing off about us ordering a drink and not wanting to cover it under our premium package, if it was not for this I would rate it an A+. Moonlight Sonata - A+: We chose the 8:30 seating but ended up changing midway through the cruise to a my time dining scenario due to a large group of children being seated next to us initially, this was nice because we were able to see different dining room areas and different staff (we had prepaid gratuities which is required to do my time dining). The food was the most consistent and great tasting I have seem considering we ate there 7 nights in a row. This comes from a standard of eating regularly at high end restaurants. The other nice option was customization, on RCCL ships you get what the menu says and that is it, on Celebrity your meal is made for you, because of the quality and daily menu changes we felt no need to try any of the specialty venues. Nightlife - A: For a cruise ship the nightlife was a good scene, I am not sure if the holiday cruise helped evolve this though it typically did not get going until after 12:30am, not the cruise ships fault at all, just I believe they may be able to do something to help get the night life going a little earlier. Casino - A-: After the shows let out the casino was always full yet they didn't have all the table games open, it is a very nice casino with plenty of slot machines and was open the rest of the ship so it did not feel confined or separate from the cruise ship, I just wish they had all the table games open so we were able to play a little more. Entertainment - A+: The entertainment on this ship was fantastic, after spending thousands of dollars at shows in Las Vegas the entertainment was almost worth the the cost of the cruise alone. The evening shows were some of the best we have seen, the comedian was one of the funniest we had ever seen and the singers were some of the best we had seen live. The cruise director was very involved and really made things spectacular! Public Areas - A+: There is so many nice spaces on this ship, we were able to do different things everyday, the ship looks brand new and is always being maintained. The pool area is very spacious and there is enough going on to keep the area active but also large enough to have peace as well. Service - A+: We were very happy with the service on the ship, we ran into a couple little issues, but nothing that would not be expected when the amount of service is being provided to you by so many people on a daily basis. Celebrity Cruises really does have a good staff running their ship! Enrichment: There was so many different options for enrichment including specials on the tv in regards to the ship, from all the options and the things that we had noticed going it did seem there were a lot of things the be involved in, we just chose to not. Fitness & Recreation: We did not partake in any of these options though there were plenty available. Cruise Overall - A+: Celebrity Cruises has really set the bar here, I don't know how it can be topped but they have definetly earned a repeat customer! We will be recommending this cruise ship & cruise line to everyone we know. We booked this fantastic cruise through cruise.com which prepaid our gratuities and gave us an onboard credit, they were great to work with and made our booking experience fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This was our 40th cruise. We were looking for a New Year experience and we got more than we paid for. This ship and crew were outstanding. It was a typical soltice, celebrity expereience. The new ships are beautiful, easy to get around and ... Read More
This was our 40th cruise. We were looking for a New Year experience and we got more than we paid for. This ship and crew were outstanding. It was a typical soltice, celebrity expereience. The new ships are beautiful, easy to get around and do not seem as big as they are. This particular cruise the dining in the main dining room was the best we have ever been on. Celebrity has made some minor changes in their menus and it was all for the better. We have always thought it has been good. We did the Tuscan speciality restaurant the first night and that was great. Then we went to regular dining but chose select for the first time. We were so happy with that we did not go back to another speciality restaurant. We will try the new restaurant on our next cruise. Since we have elite status on Celebrity we do get to meet many crew staff and all are very helpful and friendly. We also go to Micheals everyday for the free cocktail party where we meet many experienced cruisers. We also have thins status with Princess but the do not have this perk. The perks with Celebrity and RCCL are the best in the industry. We also frequented the Martini bar and other bars that have entertainment in the evening between shows. This is what separates Celebrity from HA and Princess. The entertainment on this cruise was spectacular. There were two groups that played party music, guitar player, barber shop quartet, and strings group. All were great. The shows were very good and comparable to other celebrity cruises. The did have one new show with some new music which was great. They also had a special Christmas show done at two in the afternoon which was exceptional. The cruise director and all star singers and groups played. We really enjoyed this show. We cannot say enough about how good everything was on this cruise. There is usually something to complain about but not on this ship. One last thing, the disembarkation experience was so good. We signed up to walk off at 745 am and did just that. We were in our car leaving for home at 803am. What a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My husband and I have sailed with Celebrity since it's inception from the late 80's inaugural voyage on the Horizon as well as the other Chandris ships. Celebrity at that time had a fine reputation for luxury as well as fine ... Read More
My husband and I have sailed with Celebrity since it's inception from the late 80's inaugural voyage on the Horizon as well as the other Chandris ships. Celebrity at that time had a fine reputation for luxury as well as fine dining. Also, the convenience of leaving from New York as we live on Long Island was a plus. However, as newer luxury lines came into play such as Crystal, Silversea and Seabourn, we veered away from Celebrity.Being that this was a new ship and being homeported in Bayonne made it an attractive offer. The feedback from other reviews regarding embarkation and disembarkation were totally correct, so I won't go into detail here. As we were able to drive to the port made it a little easier, although I feel Celebrity should really step up their procedures as ships with the same amount of passengers as well as luggage do much better. The ship itself looks very pleasing to the eye but overall service and quality throughout has greatly deteriorated. All their new additions such as cabanas, lawn club area and specialty restaurants take up so much valuable space that could be better utilized for passenger enjoyment. I for one do not need to sit on real grass on a cruise ship as I can do that at home for nothing. As for specialty dining, Celebrity has caved into the competitive market and not for the better. All food in those venues has recently disappeared from the main dining which used to set itself apart from other cruise lines for quality, type and preparation as well as presentation. All of those things are gone from Celebrity. The Terrace Cafe needs a complete overhaul regarding staffing, availability of tables as well as cleanliness. We observed many children as well as adults picking up food with their hands and nothing was done to address this. As a result, my husband and I never forward to any meals that we had there. Main dining room was a little bit better as we had fixed seating and the same wait staff every time. Quality of food was minimal at best and foods such as lobster tail and the usual luxury fare was almost non existent. Other venues such as The Bistro and The Porch offered not much better and for an additional charge. Celebrity needs to upgrade it's offerings without additional charges if they expect to retain the same guests coming back. We had quite a bit of feedback from repeaters and not for the better. As for the cabin accommodations they were pretty much standard for each category. The room sizes were much smaller and more contour so you felt somewhat crowded when you shouldn't have. Whomever designed storage space needs to have their examined as storage over a bed was totally ridiculous not to mention dangerous when there was ship movement. Entertainment was a valiant attempt to put on a good show but somehow lacked substance. Celebrity is down in this category as well. I give a 5+ to Captain Nicholas Pagonis as he was the only positive in an otherwise negative experience. He was most visible and personable each and every time he spoke. I would would love to sail with him again. A job well done. The staff in general was accommodating and always with a smile on their face. I think Celebrity is ahead in this category. The most disappointing feature was the fact that this was a Christmas and New Years sailing with 600 children on board. Needless to say they were not well behaved or supervised by their parents and as a result were left to ride the elevators and also running down the hallways at all hours of the day and night. Totally unsupervised and not at all called for. I feel that Celebrity did not enforce rules and as a result many cruise passengers had a totally disappointing cruise. In summary I will say that this was one of the most disappointing cruises with Celebrity and in all truthfulness would rather sail on other luxury ships where the focus is on the passenger rather than a child. I did neglect to mention that the rules regarding the adult pool were not enforced as well as the main pool was not always clean and sanitary the way it should have been. Many days we observed toddlers in the water with diapers falling off. Needless to say we did not utilize the pools. Enough said. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
I do not know how to begin to review this cruise other than it was very un-expected and changed the whole tone and mood of the cruisers on this trip. First, lets take care of business and let you know that this ship is about 9 months ... Read More
I do not know how to begin to review this cruise other than it was very un-expected and changed the whole tone and mood of the cruisers on this trip. First, lets take care of business and let you know that this ship is about 9 months old, so mostly everything works and it is of high quality, and the crew and captain have been hand picked from the best of other vessels. The cabin is spacious, well distributed, many have balconies, with decent size and good furniture. Flat screen TV's, plenty of hot water, toiletries, minibar ... etc as expected. The cabin attendant was always smiling, provided us with information, attention and care. Plenty of food venues, from the plentiful buffet, great burgers on sun deck, specialty restaurants galore and many other options. The main traditional dining was excellent too, no need to go to specialty, unless you are dying for superb sushi or other exceptional food experiences. In most port of calls we were the envy of other cruisers, since Silhouette had always out a welcome and departure service point with cold drinks, ice towels and even sofas to rest if you needed it. For the un-usual cruise experience, this trip departed 12/24/11 thru 1/5/12, and the almost 3000 passenger capacity was booked solid. We expected mostly US travelers and this was not the case, there were plenty of Brits, Mexicans, Russians, US, Germans, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Latin Americans. In addition, it seems that a lot of people had the same idea at the same time, so there were plenty of families with children. The Ship carried between 600 and 700 children of all ages and they had plenty of opportunity to socialize or follow the activities designed for them, and you could review on your TV screen if you wanted to! In addition, we traveled with our son 23, the cabin phone kept on ringing from new friends, when he decided to take a break from the activities and rest in the cabin for a while, asking him to come out and join the fun! I have never seen so many passengers running thru the halls at the same time (other than in a sinking ship!), when the announcements from the PA system let them know that Santa had arrived on the ship and was making his rounds on all decks starting on deck 14. We also even enjoyed two new year's eve, since the ship crossed the time zone at 12:15am and rolled the clocks to 11:15pm and had another new year's eve for 2012. We run into friends on Amadea bound for Lima, Peru in St. Martin and out of the 1460 cruisers there was not a single child on board. They could not understand how we could cope with 600+ children on our ship without going nuts, it must be miserable to travel like that and we disagreed completely. Actually I never knew how much more pleasant our trip could be, having all these mini-cruisers having a blast on board of a superb ship catering to all their needs. Great Going Silhouette, if anybody can do babysitting in style you can! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Arrived a day early and stayed at Hotel Borge del mare In Civi. which I recommend. Room is adequate for the one night and the food and service good. They have free shuttle service directly to the ship. Embarkation was quick after an ... Read More
Arrived a day early and stayed at Hotel Borge del mare In Civi. which I recommend. Room is adequate for the one night and the food and service good. They have free shuttle service directly to the ship. Embarkation was quick after an 11:30 arrival. Rooms were ready atv1 PM so we toured the ship and had lunch in the Ocean View Cafe. Room with balcony was very nice, storage was adequate, suitcases fit under the bed. Bathroom was best at sea in my experience. Nice flat screen TV. Steward was excellent and professional. Shined my shoes. Above average compared to other ships. Select dining stress free. Had reservation at 8 PM each night. No waiting and most of the time had same table and waiter/assistant so they knew our preferences. Wine steward was also same. Had Premium drink pkg and suggest it. With coffees/lattes, fresh orange juice, wine at lunch dinner, and cocktails in evening it more than pays for itself. Bottled water at gangway for shore excursions great. Food was very good, nothing is perfect but overall very satisfied. Ocean View Buffet was best I have encountered so far. Serving stations free up the cafeteria wait on other lines. Food was very good and wide variety. In Istanbul they had a large variety of Turkish dishes. Service was good. Getting custom omlettes was hard at times with long wait. Only one cook. Fresh juice was great, extra charge. Somewhat slow for picking up finished plates. Crowded on port days AM. Pick up you items and take them to your room, much nicer or order room service. Only did RS once, fast, hot, and quite good. Used TV to order, challenging but got used to it. Entertainment throughout the ship was very good. Main shows in theater were quite bad. I never finished an entire show. This is definitely a weak area. The Martin Bar and staff were great. They put on their own shows. Cruise Director Que was okay. I liked that there were few announcements throughout the day. Tuscan Grill great service and steak excellent. Recommend it. Silk Harvest not so good. Service was overbearing, rushed, and made us feel uncomfortable. Sashimi was terrible and we lost our appetite after that. Left early, no desert. Replace it with Quisine! Cancelled Murano we were too full. We heard great reviews from others. Will try next time. Ports were excellent. Athens to see the Acropolis was nice but city is dirty and taxi drivers try to cheat you each time, lookout for the switcheroo when you give them a 20 bill and they immediately have a 5 in their hand and say you only gave them a 5 note. Istanbul was great. Ephesus is a must see site. Sicily great and Amalfi Coast beautiful. Did private tours in all ports. Great service, small groups-6 to 10, and half the ship tour cost. Suggest Ephesus Shuttle for Istanbul and Ephesus. Taxi Taormina in Sicily. Aldo's limos in Naples. All were on time, vehicles spotless, and guides very professional. I find Celebrity a cut above Princess overall. The ships are sophisticated, well designed. Equinox is beautiful. If they can only improve on the Equinox Theater offerings it would help. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
we embarked on our cruise on 30th October 2011 from Southampton, the embarkation procedure took quite a long time but I guess we just arrived at a busy time, we had flown down to Gatwick and were met by a rep who showed us to a mini bus ... Read More
we embarked on our cruise on 30th October 2011 from Southampton, the embarkation procedure took quite a long time but I guess we just arrived at a busy time, we had flown down to Gatwick and were met by a rep who showed us to a mini bus and taken to the ship, our luggage was taken to the cabin. Once on board we found our way to the cabin, excellent, could not fault anything our cabin boy was Martin who quickly found us and explained who he was and if we needed anything he was there. The ship is absolutely first class, spotless in all areas, cannot find fault with anything even the glass lifts (elevators) not a finger print anywhere. You could always find a comfortable place to sit. The weather was not so good and the captain had to change course, we were kept informed at all times. we did not get to the Azores but better to be safe than sorry, we did however visit Gijon in Northern Spain a very pretty town and La Coruna which was within walking distance off the ship.We did not do any organised trips just made our own way to the towns and wandered around. We opted for first sitting in the Moonlight Sonata restauant and shared our table with 4 very nice friendly Americans, the ship was 90% American people who we found to be extremely nice. The food was always excellent a good choice avaliable and if you wanted something not on the menu (as one by us did) they were always accomodated. The waiters were great very friendly and efficient at all times. The wine waiter very good and kept the glasses filled up, we were on the premium package which made a big difference to us in that we could have almost any priced wines. The entertainment was first class and we always managed to find suitable seats with a good view in the theatre. The daytime activities were plentiful, my husband attende the lectures and thouroughly enjoyed them very interesting and informative. I attended the cookery demonstrations they were great fun especially the chef from Hungary, hilarious, you could not be bored on this ship. As we went further west the weather improved and we were able to sit outside on the decks, again spotless and plenty of space. The range of food available was tremendous the mast grill doing burgers and hot dogs was busy but really good. The Ocean view cafe was always busy and the only trouble was finding a space and keeping it so we usually went up for our food seperatly a bind at times but ok. The ice cream counter was usually 15 deep but worth waitng for ( the Americans really loved the ice cream. When we came to disembark we had to place our luggage outside the room the night before and we were given a time and place to go to our time was 9.00am, but as we were going to America I think the port authorities obviously do more checks as the crew had to go though a drill and this then held up our disembarkation, we were lucky in that we gor called off at 10.15am our luggage was waiting for us and we sailed through the US checks, outside the port we were shown to the bus and more or less taken to our hotel and arrived by 11.15am. I cannot recommend Celebrity X highly enough especially Eclipse Crew and Officers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
About Us: We are married, in our early 40's and have cruised 4 times previously (RCI twice, HAL once, NCL once). As this was our first Celebrity Cruise I will be comparing some of the aspects of the ship against the other lines ... Read More
About Us: We are married, in our early 40's and have cruised 4 times previously (RCI twice, HAL once, NCL once). As this was our first Celebrity Cruise I will be comparing some of the aspects of the ship against the other lines we've cruised. Embarkation was fairly smooth, we were on the ship 45 minutes after arriving at the pier. An announcement was made about 1:15 that all the cabins were ready, and soon after most passengers discovered their room keys didn't work. Celebrity set up many make shift passenger services tables around the ship for everyone to turn in their original key card for a new key card (with lines of 20 plus passengers at each table). We overheard many people complaining about this for a few days. Ship: The ship is 4 months old, modern, well designed and sparkling clean. Although the Silhouette doesn't offer a promenade deck (where you could walk the entire perimeter of the ship outside) like other lines offer, I was impressed with the large variety of shady places to sit outside (on high quality, wooden deck chairs). Unlike RCI and NCL, there were also many places to sit outside where it was quiet. There are two banks of elevators, fore and aft. With the larger number of elderly passengers on board these would often time be full and we'd end up taking the stairs which was fine by us. Fellow Passengers: As the ship departed from Bayonne, NJ a large number of passengers were from the NYC area. I'd guess about 15 to 20% of the passengers were European, and well over 2/3 of the passengers were over 60. I recall previous Silhouette reviews had noted a large numbers of passengers on scooters with a penchant for running over other guests' feet and I was a bit leery of that possibility. On our cruise there were only a few scooters and I'm glad to report they all were driven responsibly and with respect for the other passengers. We met many great people of all ages. Interestingly several of them had been loyal (long time) HAL fans who had switched to Celebrity in the past few years for the better service they report Celebrity delivers. Staff: Fabulous, Celebrity really shines in this department. Our room attendant, Ozzy, kept our room spic and span, and was always available if we needed anything. All of our requests (extra towels, foot stool for our balcony) were taken care of immediately and with a smile. I can't say enough about him. Best room attendant we've encountered on our 5 cruises. Every staff member we encountered always made eye contact and asked us if there was anything else we needed. We also noted that there were always officers walking around the ship mingling with passengers, I don't recall seeing this on other lines. Room: We booked room 8226 (Category 1A), on the hump, for the sole reason the balcony is over twice the size of a standard balcony (book early, they sell out quickly). Ample storage space, great water pressure in the shower and more than enough room for the two of us. Each room has 2 bathrobes, a small bag and an umbrella (all of which are for sale but available for your use during the cruise). They also provide you with very large, high quality beach towels on port days. Bring a power strip as there are only two outlets (both located at the desk) to plug in your various items. Nice flat screen (27" or 32", I forget) TV where you could check your onboard account, order room service or look at photographs the staff had taken of you. Food: We ate in the main dining room 6 nights out of the 12 and found the food and service to be top notch. After missing a few nights (having gone to specialty restaurants) our waiter greeted us like long lost family and appeared somewhat nervous we had skipped the last few dinners due to something he had done wrong (it wasn't). I'm not a fan of the waiters parading around the dining room on the last formal night but I guess I'm in the minority on that one and it seems that all the mainstream cruise lines seem to be doing that. We were pleased with the food and service in the MDR. We tried 3 speciality restaurants: Murano, Qsine and The Lawn Club Grill (our favorite of the 3). We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet which provided a large selection of food (including fresh vegetables for salads). Sometimes it was difficult to find an open table at breakfast or lunch. We ordered room service once and our food was in our room within 20 minutes. Drinks: My husband and I both opted for the soda drink package (about $90 per person for the 12 night cruise) and were very pleased that we were given cans of soda with a glass of ice each time. I recall that RCL and NCL's soda packages require you take your plastic soda cup (that they give to you the first day) to the bar to be refilled (from the tap) - not only does this mean you must have that cup on hand any time you wanted a Coke but you had to clean the cup yourself. Not exactly the most sanitary route (but I'm sure RCL and NCL save money with this routine). Celebrity's soda package was a very good value (and includes Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Diet Sprite). Silhouette's Martini Bar was located right off of the Atrium and those bartenders were entertaining (check them out on You Tube) but also made great drinks (most martinis here were $10 plus 15% gratuity). A nice alternative was the Molecular Bar (on deck 5), they made some great martinis as well (very unique, these were $12 each plus the 15% gratuity). If you're a wine drinker you really have to check out the Cellar Masters (deck 4) where they have samples of all sorts of wine available to try out before you commit to an entire glass. We've not found this on any other cruise line; two more stars to Celebrity for this idea. Entertainment: We didn't go to any shows so I can't comment on those. The music onboard the Silhouette was very, very good. Unlike NCL (who follow the 'This is Spinal Tap' School of Music in that everything is played at 11 on a scale of 1 to 10), all the music on Celebrity was played at a reasonable level where you could actually speak to your neighbor at a normal tone of voice and hear what they said to you in response. There were also many movies available to view in your room (and one daily in the theatre) at no cost. Gym: Stocked with 'Life Fitness' brand treadmills and eliptical machines, weight machines and free weights. Other than the first full day there were always machines available. There is a smaller aerobics room that was being used the majority of the time for classes or seminars so I found I had to do my stretches and sit ups on the perimeter of the main room. The mens and womens locker rooms off of the gym each have a sauna (no add'l cost), but if you're looking to use a steam room you need to either book an Aqua Spa cabin or pay extra to have access to the Persian Gardens (we didn't do either). Spa: Neither of us used the spa so we can't comment on the quality of services. The prices of the services seemed a bit steep to us (on the second to last day they were running a special for a 100 minute massage for $200 plus a standard 15% gratuity). Kids Program: our daughter didn't join us on the cruise, so we have no firsthand knowledge of the program (we also found there were less than 25 kids on board for our cruise). We spoke to many families on board, all of whom reported their kids absolutely loved Celebrity's Kids Program (one young lady, who I'd estimate to be about 10, told us she liked Celebrity's Kids Program better than RCL, HAL, Carnival and NCL). We toured the kids area with a staff member who told us that 600 kids are booked for Silhouette's Christmas Cruise and they had about 400 kids for the Thanksgiving Cruise. I assumed Celebrity to be more of an adult line but based on everything we heard from other passengers they have a very well run kids program and we have no hesitation including our 7 year old daughter on our next Celebrity cruise. Summary: Based upon this cruise I'm sold on Celebrity as their customer service was great. The majority of passengers we spoke with are seasoned cruisers who are loyal Celebrity fans. There were not as many sales pitches as on the other lines (but there were still some). A huge plus is that there is only one announcement per day (so you don't have to listen to multiple announcements about useless art auctions, gold necklaces being sold by the foot, bingo, etc) and that is only broadcast in the public areas (not staterooms). As non smokers we liked that there was little smoking going on (and were told that as of 1/1/2012 smoking will be further limited to a small section in the pool area - two 'snaps up' to Celebrity on this move). We look forward to sailing with Celebrity in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
This was our 4th Celebrity Cruise and we had previously sailed on the Consteallation pre 'Solcitization'. We were therefore interested to see the changes. I had seen a blog before we left home that there was sickness on the ... Read More
This was our 4th Celebrity Cruise and we had previously sailed on the Consteallation pre 'Solcitization'. We were therefore interested to see the changes. I had seen a blog before we left home that there was sickness on the Connie but I was hoping that by the time we arrived the situation would be resolved. On arrival at the terminal it was obvious that sadly this was not the case. We were given a number for embarkation and there were notices everywhere saying that staterooms would not be ready until 5pm. Nevertheless we were eventually allowed on board for some lunch, although without the usual welcome drink. As we had arrived relatively early we were part of the first group on board and were able to get our lunch fairly easily although everything, including teas and coffees, had to be served by the crew. We were eventually allowed to our cabins and were very soon greeted by our lovely cabin attendant Lalaine. She did a great job looking after us. So then we were able to enjoy our sparkling wine whilst we unpacked. After an overnight stay in Istanbul we departed for Kusadasi in the afternoon. This was when we had our Cruise Critic party so we missed sailing through all the shipping that anchors in the Marmara Sea. The get together was good and it was clear to see that Celebrity do take notice of the CC boards. As we had made private arrangements for all the ports of call we cannot comment on the ship's excursions. But we were very pleased with the arrangements we had made. In Rhodes we hired a car and drove ourselves to Lindos and back with a lunch stop at the lovely Seven Springs taverna which is in the middle of the island. By this time the high level sanitization procedures had been lifted. The next day was the sea day as we sailed to Israel. This was the best day of the sea days for weather and we enjoyed sitting around the pool. As we were retiring that night at 11:15 the Captain came on the public address system to tell us that Ashdod port had been closed to passenger traffic following an attack by the Israeli army on the Gaza strip. We subsequently found out from our tour guide that Hamas had targeted missiles on the south of Israel. The ship therefore diverted to Haifa for 4 days instead of 2 in Ashdod and 2 in Haifa. This threw everybody's arrangements into disarray and it wasn't until we were on our way to Bethlehem that we found out all the facts from our guide. We ended up on a bus in a group of 37 all of us having arranged private tours in smaller groups with Guided Tours Israel(GTI). The problem was that the tours arranged from Haifa were using local guides and drivers who were unable to get out of the south of the country. Although everyone was very disappointed we had to give credit to GTI for making the alternative arrangements at such short notice. Our guide, who did an excellent job, told us that he had been called by GTI at 2 in the morning! Our second day was to Masada and the Dead Sea and because of the journey being from Haifa instead of Ashdod we had the opportunity to see some of the Jordan Valley. These were two very long days as the journeys from Haifa were that much longer than from Ashdod. On the third day the small private tours resumed as they had originally been planned from Haifa. Unfortunately we did not make our trip as my wife was suffering from the dreaded bug. It came on very suddenly at the end of one day and the next day we visited the medical facility. My wife received very good attention, an injection and some medication all without charge. After 24 hours she had recovered other than not being able to eat as much as usual! So one day in the cabin. The last day in Haifa we looked arounfd the City and went up to the top of Mount Carmel and viewed the Bahai Temple -â€" quite spectacular. Then another sea day as we sailed back to Athens. Unfortunately it was quite a windy day and just a tad too cool to stay out on deck. In Athens there were no strikes and we made our own way to the New Acropolis Museum followed by lunch in the Plaka. This was followed by a final sea day and again as it was now November and we were sailing North to Istanbul not an outdoor day. We sampled both the Tuscan Grill and Ocean Liners. The latter was as excellent as we remembered it and the Tusacn Grill is a very good addition and worth the fee for one night of the cruise. We also used Bistro on Five on sea days to avoid the crush of the buffet. Excellent Service and good value. Towards the end of the cruise I asked Guest Relations for a form to make extra gratuities. I was told that this was not possible as the Finance Team controlled whether or not this facility was available and in this case it was not. I had met the Finance Controller as he was a Brit and had quite a conversation with him. He even sent some truffles to our cabin. I do think however that this was a little unfair on the crew. With an itinerary like this, visiting numerous countries using different currencies, it is not always possible to have a suitable currency to pass to the staff members you wish to thank. Nevertheless we received nothing but excellent service from all the crew we dealt with. The entertainment was a bit mixed. The cast shows were excellent but the music in the various lounges of an evening was sometimes lacking. Indeed on the night after leaving Athens there was a scarcity of music in the bars. Thank goodness for Perry Grant! I had read about Perry before we left and was not sure as to whether he would appeal to us. Well, he did! We went the first night with an open mind and returned every night! So a good cruise, good food, good service an interesting but amended itinerary. All the downsides were way beyond Celebrity's control and they handled them excellently. We are even going to receive an onboard credit for the day my wife lost in quarantine. So although disappointments absolutely no complaints from us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
My wife and I joined Constellation in Istanbul and sailed the Eastern Mediterranean itinerary. If flying from the UK you usually arrive at the ship late evening so we travelled the day before and stayed overnight in a hotel in Istanbul. ... Read More
My wife and I joined Constellation in Istanbul and sailed the Eastern Mediterranean itinerary. If flying from the UK you usually arrive at the ship late evening so we travelled the day before and stayed overnight in a hotel in Istanbul. This is a great way to start your holiday as it not only gives you an extra day in Istanbul but you are fresh and ready to join the ship at lunchtime the next day. Istanbul airport passport control is very busy. You should be aware you need to queue to buy a Visa with payment in cash only, before you can go to passport control. It's £10 British citizens, all nationalities have a different price in their own currency. The traffic can be can be very bad and we heard of passengers taking four hours from leaving the plane to arriving at the ship. As we arrived at the ship early afternoon embarkation was really efficient, virtually walking straight on to the ship. First impressions of Constellation where excellent. Our stateroom was available within a couple of hours of boarding and it was great. Quite big, very comfortable with a balcony on Panorama deck 8. The only drawback was a connecting door to the next cabin and occasionally we could hear voices of our neighbours but it was not a big problem. This cabin would be ideal for a family to have adjoining cabins. On all our previous cruises we have taken the later seating option in the restaurant. For the first time we chose Select anytime dining. It has benefits as you can go for dinner at different times each evening although occasionally you may have to wait briefly for a table. If you choose a large table you can meet different people each evening. The drawback is that you do not get to know other guests very well and form good friendships as we have done on previous cruises. You cannot get to know the table waiter well as you will usually be on a different table each night. My wife prefers open seating but I prefer fixed later seating! A previous reviewer gave the Dining a one star rating. Just what rating system and standards are they judging the food on? This is clearly a ridiculous rating and it's a shame as it then makes their whole review pointless and not worth reading. Surely a rating must be taken in context of the circumstances you are eating i.e. on board ship at sea with 2000 people being served and of course the price you pay. What would this reviewer expect for five stars and what price would they have to pay? Don't let their rating put you off Constellation! My view on Dining: The restaurant food and service is first class. The table waiters do everything they possibly can to satisfy your requests. If you are at all unhappy with any item they will replace it immediately. The lunchtime buffet is superb. The choice is so wide it's hard to choose. There is a huge choice of salads, hot meals, specialty meat of the day, and separate pizza, Asian delights and traditional English serveries. Choice of fish is poor, only limited and should be improved. The gourmet sandwich bar offers a wide variety of breads and fillings - if you want to add some different meat to your salad then this is the place to go. The poolside grill offers the usual burgers and fries type snacks. Very good too! One of my favourites for lunch was the healthy option by the spa pool. Several choices including delicious chicken or tuna cooked to order. Breakfast? Well, so much to choose. Everything you would expect. My personal favourite was eggs benedict, although the waffles were close seconds! Afternoon tea and cakes is available at 4pm in the buffet restaurant. We visited both specialty restaurants - Ocean Liners and Tuscan Grille - an extra £20 and £18 per person respectively. Ocean Liners service was exceptional. The food was great, although the fine wines are rather expensive. Tuscan Grille was our favourite. A little more relaxed with fantastic Italian style dishes. I would definitely visit both restaurants again as they make a pleasant change from the main restaurant option. I think they offer good value for the additional charge. The entertainment provided overall was good. There were some star singers (Jane, the English lady was superb), the entertainment team put on some good shows and Perry the piano entertainer in Michael's bar was in a league of his own -â€" really entertaining! All the public rooms have their own 'character' and we found them all very comfortable and enjoyable. Although the ship was full we never really felt it was crowded anywhere other than the most popular theatre shows. All the rooms were kept very clean. The gym was well equipped and although well used was never too busy. The spa pool area was very relaxing and our favourite spot. The ship was affected by norovirus for the last few days but you could certainly not fault Constellation for that. The captain implemented a sanitisation programme - staff were everywhere sanitising everything! They certainly did everything that you could expect to eradicate it. It never ceases to amaze me that some passengers just walk into the restaurants without sanitising their hands, they seem to object to this for some reason - they are probably the first to complain about illness on the ship. Once the sanitisation programme was in place the staff ensured all passengers observed the correct procedure. Disembarkation was very organised - just arrive in your allocated meeting point at the correct time (dont' go too early!) and we left in an orderly manner. After collecting our cases there was a slight delay in boarding coaches but again considering all the circumstances with 2000 people disembarking it could hardly be better. Overall, we had a fantastic cruise and would certainly sail on Constellation again. I must also mention that all the staff, without exception, provided excellent service and were really keen to assist at all times. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
One more wonderful cruise vacation came to its end, so nice to know that there will be more.... This was our seventh cruise with Celebrity and the second Mediterranean one. When in port, we always do our own thing because of the two ... Read More
One more wonderful cruise vacation came to its end, so nice to know that there will be more.... This was our seventh cruise with Celebrity and the second Mediterranean one. When in port, we always do our own thing because of the two obvious reasons: Cost and itinerary, we pay less, usually half the ship land tour cost and we see and learn more, much more. One have to spend a lot of time looking at the options and for the pitfalls ... Thanks heavens for the internet and cruisecritic.com. Those who do not have the time or the inclination to organize such tours, those who do not mind sharing a tour bus with a crowd of 45 fellow passengers, those who do not want to spend time looking through the long list of land tours, Celebrity offers two packages of 6 shore excursions each, one for half day tours at each port and the other is for a full day tours, cost was $371.50 and $732.50 respectively. For those who do want to do their own thing, we describe what we added a day by day description and added some website addresses that can help. Here and there we expressed our opinion about the Solstice. On this cruise we used one of our Celebrity Open Passages, a voucher we purchased on our last cruise. The Open passage is a $100 voucher you buy aboard a Celebrity cruise ship to be used when making the next reservation. The $100 voucher is used as a down payment for the next cruise and entitles you and two more couples for an on board credit of $100 to $300 per Cabin depending on the length of the cruise. This time we and our friends got $200 On board credit per cabin. The concept was applied first only for the US and Canada but became available for other countries last January. Guess this is why my travel agent did not know what to do with the vouchers and we had to ask Celebrity customer relations to sort things out for us. Read more about the Open Passage: http://creative.rccl.com/Sales/Celebrity/General_Info/Flyers/11022582_CEL_Passages.pdf One thing before we begin: The Crew members on the Solstice are fantastic in every respect. May I tell you a story: We met few hotel directors onboard Celebrity cruise ships, the hotel director are in charge of most of the Celebrity employs aboard the ship. The hotel managers we met were kind people, not at all the army commander's type I expected. So, I asked one of them how do the run such an operation with out being tough on the crew, and the reply was: The secret is in recruiting the right people, people who are geared to give others good service with a smile, Well, it works! Tue Oct 11th 2011- We left the Barcelona International airport terminal at noon, no need to take the cruise ship transportation as there is always a long line of yellow and black taxis waiting out side the terminal. The drivers speak only Spanish, but they understand "Cruise Ship" and "Celebrity". In twenty minutes and for 30-35Eu the taxi will take up to 4 passengers and will take you all the way to the port and up to the terminal doors. Look at: http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/transport/barcelona-cruise-port.html In the terminal there were no lines and many reps were waiting for passengers, we got our Sea Cards and went right away to our Cabin. As this was our fourth time in Barcelona we decided to stay on the ship. On past cruises we took the bus from the terminal to La Rambla Ave. for a quick stroll. We had a nice Tuna Steak lunch at the Spa Coffee and had some rest before the unavoidable drill. Dinner, early seating, had table for four as we asked to be sited with our friends. Marlin and Ali were our attentive waiters. After dinner: A show. Bits and pieces of what one can expect on next evenings shows. The theater on the Solstice is nice but we prefer the theaters on the Celebrity Millennium class ships, as they have more legroom and little tables for each couple. Few words about our Cabin: We were lucky as the two of us got one of the four family cabins measured 600sq feet, with two bedrooms, large living room and large balcony (8108). Our friends got similar cabin but it was on the same level as the Helipad and got a smaller balcony (7107). For the best cabins on the Solstice look at: http://cruiseadvice.org/celebrity-cruises/celebrity-solstice/cabin-selection Wed. Oct 12th -â€" Sea day: 06:00am: As always I went to the Gym early. I go there almost every day during the cruise while my love takes a walk along the 1000ft long track on deck 14. 10:00am: A get together party for the Cruise Critic members. It was also time to meet the 12 guys who will go with us on the self organized day tour in Malta. And help a second group to find a four more people to share the cost of the tour. 17:00: The Elite Captains Club daily happy hour (Actually two hours), Cocktails, beers and soft drinks for free and a chance to meet people who love cruising and prefer to cruise with the specific company. Gabriela, the lady responsible for the Captain Club activities was always there making sure all is working fine. A word about the Elite Captains Club goodies: It is a good idea to join the club right after the first cruise. You get credits for every cruise you go on; number of credits is a function of cruise length and type of cabin. Once you have enough credits, I think nine credits is the magic number, Celebrity gives you a lot of goodies: The happy hour with free drinks in the Sky Lounge, Light breakfast with real coffee in Michael's Club, three hours free internet per cabin worth hundred dollars and 60 items of laundry, 4 items for ironing, couple dry cleaning items and more. Because of the free laundry we bring fewer items from home and save luggage weight, which means more room for presents for the grandchildren. A sea day is a good opportunity to look at the culinary options they got on board the Solstice: A ward of advice, if you find it hard to control the amount of food you put on your plate at the buffet style Sea Side Cafe, go for breakfast at the Grand Epernay. Here you are being served by waiters and what you ask for is what you get... You can also have lunch here on sea days. In the Solstice ships they have the buffet style food served on "Islands" and they do not have trays, people are wondering back and forth to their table as they can carry so many plates and drinks on one trip. And the restaurant looks busy and crowded. I do not like that. Thursday Oct. 13th: Rome. Took the 07:30 train from Civitavecchia to Rome. You first take the free shuttle bus to the port gate and than follow the signs to the train station. Train station is less than 10 minutes walk from the port's gate, just follow the signs. By the way, they opened a ticket booth right next to the port gate, save you some time. Buy 9Eu return BIRG ticket that allow you free all day ride on all public transport in Rome, Do not forget to validate your ticket before going on board the train. This ticket is good only for the Regionale train company. Our friends had tickets for the Vatican tour and got off the train near the Vatican while we went all the way to Termini station and took the underground line A to the Piazza Di Spagnia. There we took the 11:00 o'clock Free Tour to the Vatican City. Purchase tickets ahead of time on the internet for the main sights in Rome; Lines are unbelievably long, even when it is out of season. The free tour we took was just OK. We had couple of tours with them a year ago and the guides were very good. This time the guide seemed to be in a hurry. We arrived exhausted to the Vatican City. Here we met our friends and leisurely walked back going through Vittorio Emanuel Bridge, Campo de Fiorri, Piazza Navona, Trevi's fountain and back to the Piazza Spagnia. We took the 15:39 train back from Termini. It was a good idea to return to Termini and take the train from there as the train gets very crowded on next stations. It can be a very long 80 minutes ride standing up after all the walking one does in Rome. Find a train from Civitavecchia to Rome: http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=ad1ce14114bc9110VgnVCM10000080a3e90aRCRD Tickets for the Coliseum and the Vatican: http://www.italy-museum.com/ Tickets for the Borghese museum: http://www.galleriaborghese.it/info-en.htm The free walking tours: http://www.romefreetour.com/free%20tour.html Friday Oct. 14th: Naples. Last time we rented a car and drove along the Amalfi coast. This time we took the Hydrofoil to Capri. It was a 30 minutes, 17 EU each way very bumpy ride. Crew members were ready with plastic bags handing them to those passengers who felt sick. Hydrofoil terminal in Naples is few minutes walk from the ship. We decided to buy our return ticket when in Capri and not to restrict ourselves to specific company or time of return by buying a return ticket (the cost is the same) Weather was cloudy and cool, the Chair lift from Ana Capri to Monte Solare did not work that day due to weather condition, so we decided to go along with an advice we got from a local guy and took the bus from Marina Grande up the hill to Capri's city center and walked from there through the beautiful streets to the Arco Naturale, the natural rock arch and than took 500 stairs down to the trail that follows the shore and led us back into Capri. Beautiful and very quiet hike, no tourists on this trail. A note: The Blue grotto was closed too. But we did not plan on going there any how. We believe the 30 seconds visit inside the grotto does not worth it. Had a pizza in one of the Marina Grande restaurants and a very good hot chocolate. The Hydrofoil ride back was not too rough. No need for plastic bags.... Tomorrow, another day at sea. Hydrofoil to Capri time table: http://www.capri.net/en/ferry-schedule?path_id=11 Saturday Oct 17th: Sea day: Time to rest, read a good book from the ship library, relax on the balcony or next to the pool, or better yet, at one of the many romantic secluded places aboard the ship. We always wondered how is it possible that there are 3000 passengers aboard the ship and still one can find so many quite places like the Sky lounge, Michael's club, the higher decks, the library and the game room, the cinema etc. Problem was, Sea was rough. My wife stayed in bed feeling awful while I enjoyed every minute of the rollercoaster???? ride. Yes, it is a big ship, yes they got computer controlled stabilizers, but still, and the ship went up and down with those huge waves. A note: According to the ship first officer, best cabins for stormy weather will be the cabins located mid ship lower decks. Thought you should know before going on your next cruise. Sunday, Oct 16th: Athens. There is always some one on strike here in Greece, This time, the museums' guards. That is why the Acropolis was closed to public. Last time we took the train from Piraeus to Athens. Was very easy and cheap ride. This time we arrived to Athens using the HoHo bus. It is a 22EU all day ride with commentary in 11 languages. Busses are located right next to the port terminal. We decided on going to the Acropolis new museum. Very good and informative visit, every thing here is both in Greek and English (5Eu pp). Then we went on the 90 minutes ride with the HoHo bus, plus a little self guided tour of the city, and than, as it started to rain we took the HoHo bus back to Piraeus and the ship. The Hop on Hop off bus: http://www.citysightseeing.gr/blue-and-red-route/ The Acropolis new Museum: http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr Strikes in Athens: http://livingingreece.gr/strikes/ Monday, Oct 17th: Mykonos. If you are interested in Archeology, than a boat trip to the near by Delos Island is something for you. Just keep in mind that the whole island of Delos is considered a museum, and it is closed on Mondays, The only way to visit the island on Monday is with an expensive ship tour as they open the Island especially for ship tours. We took the 10$ (Return) shuttle into town. This was our second time in Mykonos and we just followed the same walking tour rout we did last time, using our IPod. It was windy and rather cold, so we went back to the ship for a Jacuzzi and a Sauna. (We like the Sauna on the Millennium class ships better as they have a huge window facing the open sea) Self guided walking tours: http://www.ricksteves.com/news/travelnews/0602/podcast-faq.htm Tuesday, Oct 18th: Kusadasi Turkey. We did not go ashore, so, had the whole ship to our self.... a spoiling experience.... Friday, Oct 19th: Santorini. What a beautiful sunny day! Three options to go from the port to Fira: You can climb 600 stairs; you can ride a mule for 5Eu or do as we did: We took the 4Eu Cable car up to Fira, and from there we took the bus to Oia. There is a bus every 20 minutes, you get in, find a seat and a conductor gets on the bus somewhere on the way to collect the few cents this 25 minutes ride costs. Oia is the place all those postcards pictures are taken. There is no need for a guide, just walk around the town and enjoy the view. After returning to Fira and walking along the streets that were so crowded with tourists from the four cruise ships that were in the port, we found out that waiting in the line for the Cable car that goes down to the port will take about an hour and a half, so we went down the 600 stairs, it took us around 20 minutes including avoiding the mules and their manure on the way down. Santorini bus from Fira to Oia: http://www.ktel-santorini.gr/ Friday Oct 21st: Valletta, Malta The guides, Vince De-Bono and Louise were already there, waiting for us, when we left the boat. It was 07:00 am, still dark but there was a long day ahead, full with interesting sites: The old town of Mdina, an artisan village, a Neolithic temple, a boat ride to the Blue Grotto, Marssa Xlokk fishermen's Village, Valletta with the impressive St John Cathedral and so more. Vince is very knowledgeable guide and a very kind and eager to please person, very enthusiastic when the knights' period is discussed. Both groups had a wonderful day in Malta. The tour was organized using the thread on Cruise Critic web site. It was a 400Eu for 12p plus the cost of the boat ride (7 Eu, and the ticket for St John Cathedral ($4.60Eu) and the tip. In short, very well spent $70 per person. Thank you Vince! (Hope you liked the wine we brought you from our home country) Touring Malta with a guide: http://www.guideinmalta.com/ HoHo Bus in Malta: http://www.maltasightseeing.com/ Scenic Flights over Malta (But read the cancelation policy before making reservations): http://www.harbourairmalta.com/harbourair/content.aspx?id=45136 Walking tour of Valletta: http://www.geovative.com/GeoTours/tourView.asp?6174Vq=JEHH Saturday Oct. 22nd: Day at sea. Had time to make 500 pictures PowerPoint Show of the whole trip, even added music to the show and made copies for those couples who went on the Malta day trip with us. Had fun working on my laptop, seating in the balcony with the sea right there. Wish I had my office in such a location. Sunday, Oct 23rd: Arriving to Barcelona. Got off the ship around 08:00am. Again, no need for ship expensive transportation to the airport as there is always long line of taxis waiting for you right there at the port terminal. What next? While on board, we purchased four (4!) Celebrity Open Passages as we plan to go on Back to Back cruises either to South America and/or to New Zealand and Australia with as many as 5 more couples and we want them all to enjoy the $600 on board credit for the two long B to B cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Please excuse if following is boring but was a real chill out cruise. My wife and I have just returned from a smashing 10 nighter on the Celeb Equinox which we thoroughly enjoyed and went too quickly. Everything went well with no ... Read More
Please excuse if following is boring but was a real chill out cruise. My wife and I have just returned from a smashing 10 nighter on the Celeb Equinox which we thoroughly enjoyed and went too quickly. Everything went well with no complaints (except Wales rugby result against France when docked in Athens !!!!). The ship was outstanding, all the crew (no exceptions) were so helpful and first class and the food... YUM !!!. The shows in the evenings were very good, energetic and good variation (unlike some previous cruises we have been on). Plenty to keep you occupied throughout the day and when we had some bad weather (rain) whilst at Santorini, the entertainment was re-arranged that morning to provide even more events. This was a great example of how 'on the ball' and pro-active the whole crew were. First class. Our room attendant Dennis and our waiters Muriano and Joey were excellent at all times and social. All deserve star gradings. The ship was close to capacity but still felt had plenty of room and good to see that some passengers (mainly Spanish) told clearly not to 'reserve' their beds/chairs by the pool or elsewhere on the decks by clearing off somewhere else and returning later. Their belongings were put to one side and when returned (as in some cases 4 hours later) instructed would happen again. They soon stopped. Fortunate to have met several lovely fellow passengers for chin wags and our table companions were great fun. One issue we would like to comment on was the increase in cover charge for the speciality restaurants which now cost $30 a head. This may appear trivial but we noticed that there were free spaces on each evening.... unlike previous cruises we have been on where it was between $15 to $20 each. May not sound much but it put off other guests in booking an evening after meeting a few over the cruise days. Anyway, once sampled the food at dinner in the evening why go speciality. Top quality. One of the best cruises we have been on. Great time and hope to go again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We cruised from Southampton on the Celebrity Eclipse on the 14th October 2011. Very similar to the Equinox. Staff excellent from the Captain to the Cabin staff, ship usual Celebrity quality, well organised Embarkation and Arrival home, ... Read More
We cruised from Southampton on the Celebrity Eclipse on the 14th October 2011. Very similar to the Equinox. Staff excellent from the Captain to the Cabin staff, ship usual Celebrity quality, well organised Embarkation and Arrival home, Food in all areas was of the normal high quality.Weather very good for October, everyone happy? Yes BUT someone in Celebrity Head Office probably an Accountant (only looking at the bottom line), obviously had no idea about how the passengers would react to outrageous drink prices throughout the ship and being charged for visits to The Bridge, The Kitchen, The Engine Room and other on board activities. $4.50 for 1 litre of water. Wine in the Moonlight Sonata dining room at a 400% mark up on UK prices.We felt sorry for the Somelier who were very helpful and trying to please. We all expect to pay corkage in a restaurant or bar but where we find unreasonable prices we can obviously go elsewhere, this of course is not possible on board. Two years ago on the Equinox drink prices were not cheap but were much more reasonable. It was very noticeable that on the Eclipse in the theatre, restaurants and cafes many of the staff who normally sold drinks were walking around trying to sell drinks unsuccessfully. By the last four days the price of Trips to the Galley, the Bridge and the Engine Room were greatly reduced. This may sound like a whinge, but hopefully Celebrity will take this as a friendly report and all future cruisers will be aware of the situation. On the entertainment front, just a gentle hint. The majority of passengers on our cruise were 'mature' but a couple of the entertainers seemed to be unaware of this and their content was often extremely offensive and crude and was making fun of the very age group they were entertaining. On the last night approximately 15% of the audience walked out before the end of the show. The last night was particularly bad when the ventriloquist attempted comedy of a crude nature, much to the embarrassment of the some of the ladies in the audience. He should have stuck to what he is good at. Comments like 'wouldn't you like a bit of Yorkshire in you' are unacceptable unless you are in a working mans club not directed at an 80 year old lady. Dru we love you but please 'GET a GRIP' In spite of this we will sail with you again, if you will have us? !! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We decided to travel to Southampton by coach from Liverpool, glad we did as the traffic congestion on arrival in Southampton was horrendous and I think we may have panicked if we had been on our own in the car. Check in was easy although ... Read More
We decided to travel to Southampton by coach from Liverpool, glad we did as the traffic congestion on arrival in Southampton was horrendous and I think we may have panicked if we had been on our own in the car. Check in was easy although there was a delay of about 20 minutes at security which was not a problem to us. The ship was absolutely sensational, clean, bright and modern, our stateroom and attendant were excellent. We ate in the Moonlight Sonata on the late sitting (we'll go select dining next time)and because the quality of the food was so good decided not to pay the excessive supplement to eat in one of the speciality restaurants, even though people we spoke who had visited them gave a glowing report (but not worth the supplement) We thought the entertainment was first class as did most of the people we spoke to, the comedian from Wales was particularly good as was the ships dancers and musicians. A special mention for Dru the cruise director, he is so enthusiastic and obviously enjoys his job (buy a new joke book Dru). The bad bit!...The drinks are so very expensive, I have never seen so many tables in a restaurant without a bottle of wine at dinner, the sommeliers were almost redundant. All in all though, this was a great holiday on a fantastic ship with first class staff providing excellent service,and met some lovely people, well done Celebrity, see you soon... Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Celebrity Eclipse 16 night Med cruise, October 2011 As usual, we travelled down to Southampton the day before our cruise, its 195 miles and takes on average 4.5 to 5 hours, worst trip was 7 hours plus. We have stayed at the Holiday Inn ... Read More
Celebrity Eclipse 16 night Med cruise, October 2011 As usual, we travelled down to Southampton the day before our cruise, its 195 miles and takes on average 4.5 to 5 hours, worst trip was 7 hours plus. We have stayed at the Holiday Inn Express at Nursling, a few times, so just a short journey to the docks. Since our last visit in May, they had become a recommeded hotel for a local childrens theme park, and it was a little noisy. We have decided to stay elsewhere in future. We had been very lucky in getting an invite to visit the QM2 on the 14th October, the same day as we sailed on Eclipse. Having had a good meal at the local Beafeater the night before, we skipped breakfast, packed the car and proceeded to the QE2 terminal. We had a very interesting tour of QM2, in a group of ten with a good guide, followed by an excellent leisurely lunch with wine. We knew it would be tight to get to Eclipse, and it was 2.20pm when we left the dining room! We disembarked, fortunately the car was close, and drove to the City terminal, quickly unoaded our cases, parked the car, and checked in. We were one of the last to check in, we boarded (no photographers!), drank the 'welcome' drink, and went to our Aqua class cabin, where we arrived at 3.05pm! The difference between the two ships was a stark contrast, the traditional decor of the QM2 to the modern light decor of Eclipse. We popped down to Blu, our restaurant, as we had heard that our favourite waiter was on board, when we got there he was on the maitre d's desk, and we got a wonderfull greeting. When we got back our steward introduced himself, and went on a case hunt, as only one of our cases had arrived. This was our 5th cruise on Eclipse, all in the same cabin on the 'hump', so might know that we are very happy with the ship, it was like coming home. We had also reached 'Elite' status, the top tier in their 'rewards' scheme, which intitled us to several perks. First two days were sea days, and again the Bay of Biscay was kind to us, in these 2 days they held the 'Senior Oficers' cocktail party in the Sky lounge, where the only problem was getting an non alcoholic drink for my wife! I also did the Elite bridge visit, it was a fairly large group and a fairly short visit would not bother again! First port was Cadiz where we just walked into town and explored its many narrow streets, returning to the ship for lunch, which consisted of a drink and a few rolls from Cafe Bacio. We attended several shows with 'guest' artists, some good,some not so good. We did not attend any production shows, as we had seen them before. many pax were unhappy having to go early to get a seat in the theatre, seams to be the same on most ships! The next day was a sea day, which we spent drinking coffee, doing crosswords, and failing miserably in answering the quizz questions. We always went for the wonderful Blu breakfasts, which was always a lovely unhurried event. In the evenings we always dined early, so we got our waiter, several other couples were doing the same, and the 5 tables for 2 were nearly always occupied by the same couples, often in seated in a different order, so we all became friendly. The food and service were sublime, and nothing was to much trouble for our waiters. Items from the MDR were obtainable, but we never felt the need. There were 2 'secret' sweets, never on the menu, but available if you asked (Creme Brulee and Apple Pie). Next port was Cagliara, which we have visited before. We have cruised the Med many times, and have done the tours that interest us,so we did not do any of the ships tours on this cruise, so again, we just had a walk round the town, we normally find somewhere to explore. One of the perks of Elite is the 'happy' hours between 5pm and 7pm where you are provided with drinks and nibbles, we really enjoyed ourselves there, meeting a couple we had met before, and another couple we got to know. The next day was Palermo, we had seen all sorts of dire warnings about the port, but frankly, we thought it was not as scarey as Naples! Another sea day spent at leisure, enjoying the ship. We had prepaid our tips, and purchased a Premium non alcoholic package each, which we found excellent value, as latte's were $5.25 each and Tea $4.75 we also had sparkling water in Blu every night, at a rough guess, the average drink priced worked at around $3, we loved the no signing, no tickets involved. Then it was Venice, the favourite port of the cruise for us, it was $20 for the boat ticket, and I noticed a sign saying one way trips were 7euro's, so not ripped off too much! We walked as far as the market, and were very suprised to see vegetables for sale from our home town in Lincolnshire! We returned to the ship with heavy parcels and a lighter wallet! We had an invite to an Elite sailaway on the helipad, the crew had put some chairs out on the helipad, trust us to choose two in front of an almighty loud speaker, which deafened us when they turned the music on! It was very cold, so much so they had to fetch some blankets for us, it was a wonderful experience, but it was so cold! Next it was Dubrovnic, and as usual, people had not read the paper, or listened to the announcments, and had failed to take goverment ID's with them, and were turned off the bus at the dock gates by the border guards. Again, we explored this intriuging town, making purchases on our way round! We were then over halfway through the cruise, at sea heading toward home, but with a couple of stops on the way. The Captains Club celebration was held on a sea day, usual speeches and jokes, and a selection of food available, they had some great beef being carved, in which I indulged. That evening in Blu i had a wonderfull steak, but the next day i decided I had eaten to much beef the previous day! We noticed in the evening that many of the officers were 'on patrol' mid evening, we had several chats, in particular with the Guest Relations Manager And so to Cartegena, another port where you can walk off the ship into the town centre, so off we set to explore the place. Down one off the side streets we saw a set of 3 escalators outdoors, quite unusual we thought, so up we went. it turned out to be some roman ruins on a hill overlooking the town. We were somewhat surprised to see one of our dinner companians, who uses a buggy, at the top! That evening, the captain warned us it would be rough the next day, which was a sea day. As forecast, it was rough with 9 metre waves and 40/50 knot headwind, and in the morning the captain announced he was slowing down for passenger and crew safety. We took some pills and retired to our stateroom for a few hours. We felt fine later in the afternoon, so went o the Elite event and dinner in Blu. After dinner we were walking past the shops with some of our dinner companions when the captain again made an announcement. He explained that as we had slowed down so much, we would arrive in La Coruna in the late afternoon rather than mid morning, and we were due to leave at 9pm. He then annouced that we would not be going to La Coruna, and our reaction was that we would be going home somewhat slowly. He the said that with the co-operation of the Miami headquarters, and the port of Vigo, we would be docking in Vigo mid morning, and leaving early evening. We were delighted, as were many as they had not been to Vigo. Others, of course complained, but we did not fancy La Coruna in the dark with lots of places closed. Full marks to Celebrity for organising this at such short notice, other lines were cancelling ports completely. Docked as scheduled in Vigo, on a bright sunny day. Despite some moans, many seemed to enjoy our last port, the shops and restaurants must have welcomed this surprise visit by 3000 passengers, including around 35 children and 235 Americans. Once again, the Bay of Biscay was fairly kind to us, as we packed our cases and enjoyed our last chat with friends in the Sky Lounge, then our final meal in Blu and the farewells. I occasionally bought a glass of wine at dinner, and was paying around $9.25 for a glass of wine (which was a generous freepour) which is around £5.81, a similar price charged in many better hotels and restaurants in the UK. Cheapest bottle of wine in a Hilton recently was £20.00 equalling around $32.00, not sure why many were complaning about the prices of drinks on the ship When we awoke at 6am, we were back in Southampton, down to breakfast in Blu at 6.30am as it opened, when we finished we found out we could disembark, so returned to our cabin, picked up our carry off's, and walked off the seemingly deserted ship, quickly found our cases, surprisingly the customs hall was not manned, and off to the car which was parked close by. We were in the car and ready to go by 7.30am, the best disembark ever, and as it was a Sunday, a quick exit from Southampton, and home by 11.30am! In all, a wonderful cruise, perhaps our best ever, with the crew and food the best we have ever had. This not to say it was perfect, we had a few issues during the cruise.With the cabin being under the pool deck, around 7am we often got 'wake up' call around 7am, when the pool butlers started putting the sunbeds out. As mentioned previously, my wife often had a problem getting a soft drink at the Captains Club events, the waiters bring round a tray of alcoholic drinks, we ask for a non alcoholic drink, and off the waiter goes, often forgetting the drink, or another passenger highjacking it before they returned. After our visit to Vigo I went to guest Relations to pay some excess euro's off our account. There were 3 staff on duty, but it turned out only one of them was able to handle the transaction, and he was serving one passenger, with another waiting. Each transaction took several minutes, and I left the queue as it was time to get ready for dinner. When I left, there were 7 passengers waiting to do cash transactions! Looking at my account on the TV next day, I noticed that I had been charged for some drinks in a bar, and had not recieved the Internet credit due, so another trip to guest Relations, when I was able to pay in my Euro's, and sort out the overcharges. Never saw the Guest Relations Manager again, so could not hassle him about the service! Did not recieve a final account, but fortunately I had noted the ammount due as we went to bed on the last night. Just before we left for our cruise, Celebrity announced that Constellation would be coming to Southampton in 2012, to do a series of 'food and wine' cruises. We had already booked an Azores cruise on Eclipse, but this new cruise really appealed. so we enquired if we could change our cruise. Our Personal Cruise Specialist was really helpful, and changed our booking without charge, unlike other cruise lines we have used. We lost our free carking, that offer was not available for the new cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
After staying 4 days in Rome, we used Rome cabs for our transportation to the port. Embarkation was a breeze and we were on the ship in about 10 minutes. DINING- We signed up for select dining and we made reservations on line prior to ... Read More
After staying 4 days in Rome, we used Rome cabs for our transportation to the port. Embarkation was a breeze and we were on the ship in about 10 minutes. DINING- We signed up for select dining and we made reservations on line prior to the cruise. The reservation system worked great and we never had to wait for a table. All of the meals we had in the dining room were fantastic. There was ample variety on the menu and every dish was prepared as ordered. The service was great and they would always ask us if everything was fine or if we would like other entrees or additional desserts. We also ate at the buffet on deck 14, and the layout allowed for free movement between stations. The food was also very good with a great variety of dishes to choose from. CABIN- Our cabin (concierge class) was very nice, and I liked the interactive television feature. My wife felt the room was too small and the drawer space didn't meet our needs. I thought the bed was very comfortable and the shower was larger than most on other ships. ACTIVITIES-We enjoyed the trivia and sudoku competition, however there was only 1 mah jongg set on the ship and it was never to be found. My wife received spa services(massage and hot rocks), and she said that it was the best treatment she has had on any ship. I went to the gym daily, and it had all new equipment and plenty of space. There is also a jogging track above the gym. It was fine in the morning, however in the afternoon it is not usable due to the lounge chairs that are moved onto the track and people just standing on the track. The casino had a variety of games and I liked the no smoking feature. PORTS-We used private tours for each port and hooked up with cruise critic members to join us for the excursions. Without going into detail, we hit the major highlights in Israel, Capri, and Palermo. In Mykonos, we walked into town and hung out for a few hours. In my opinion, Mykonos was a wasted stop. DISEMBARKATION-took only about 5 minutes. Rome cabs was there on time for our trip to the airport. Also we met many cruise critic members and enjoyed their company. I want to thank Al & Donna, Mel & Sharon, Jack & Shelley, and Fran & Scott for making the cruise most memorable. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We have just returned from a 12 day Eastern Med cruise on the Celebrity Constellation. We had a wonderful time and gladly recommend Celebrity to any cruisers. The embarkation process in Istanbul was fast, well organized and efficient. ... Read More
We have just returned from a 12 day Eastern Med cruise on the Celebrity Constellation. We had a wonderful time and gladly recommend Celebrity to any cruisers. The embarkation process in Istanbul was fast, well organized and efficient. Upon boarding, we went straight to the Spa to make reservations for massages. When we returned to our cabin, our luggage was there. The staff were all very friendly and accommodating. I did not hear any staff talking about the Hotel Manager and received excellent service from the cabin steward and staff. I had requested some special items in our cabin because of a medical device I travel with and it was delivered promptly, as promised. The food in the MDR was very good and the wait staff and servers were attentive and very nice. The menu choices were varied on every evening and were well received by all of the guests sharing our table. I do believe that the food was not quite as good as we experienced on the Summit two years ago. However, the differences were not that significant. Also, I must point out that chefs are different from one another. That difference does not necessarily correspond to "worse" or "better", just different. The food in the buffet on Deck 10 was quite good. We experienced the Pasta Station, the Stir-fry station, the Mexican Station, and others. We had no complaints with the service. I frequently saw servers carrying trays and getting drinks for guests, and not just alcoholic ones.The entertainment was adequate, though I must admit that this is an area that is not a high priority for us on a cruise. Perry Grant was quite different, but had a huge following. I admit that after just a couple of visits, I became a fan. The casino was well appointed and had a good variety of games. The casino staff were very friendly and helpful. Sadly, there were not many guests who chose to participate on this cruise. The ship sponsored excursions were well organized and, for the most part, very informative and interesting. As with most cruises, it seems that there is always one excursion where the guide is less that satisfactory; but I have to admit that that is a very subjective and personal point of view. Debarkation was a snap! We did early exit because of an early return flight. We were off the ship at 7AM with plenty of time to make our flight. In conclusion, we plan to sail with Celebrity again for our next cruise. I will admit that we do not take three or four cruises per year and we are not at the top tier of the Captain's Club. Perhaps that is a good thing because it seems that we can still clearly see the great things that Celebrity does without expectations of "special" treatment. I believe that all of the guests on the Constellation had the opportunity to experience the special treatment from a staff that was welcoming, efficient and attentive. Thank you Celebrity! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Have been back over a month now and thought it high time I put in my review. Here goes ; Solstice Med cruise 12 nights starting 5th Sept All travel arrangements were made via Celebrity and although more expensive there is the ... Read More
Have been back over a month now and thought it high time I put in my review. Here goes ; Solstice Med cruise 12 nights starting 5th Sept All travel arrangements were made via Celebrity and although more expensive there is the comfort factor of Celebrity making sure you get to the ship and the coach waiting for you when you arrive. Flew from Glasgow to Amsterdam then on to Barcelona and then the coach to pick us up. Absolutely no problems with this and luggage arrived the same time as we did. We had booked a Celebrity suite but a couple of weeks before the cruise we had been upgraded to a Royal Suite and it was fab. Big lounge and dining area plus an additional guest bathroom which my sister commandeered and the best bathroom at sea we have had so far. Double sinks, walk in Shower and Jacuzzi bath. The Balcony also had a Jacuzzi on it and this was put to really good use especially after a long day off the ship when we could just relax with a glass of bubbly. Very nice indeed. We did not experience any overt noise from the resort deck apart from some music during the day which in no way spoiled our cruise or enjoyment of the balcony . George was our butler and he was most courteous and professional in his manner. We did not ask too much of him only that we got those little fruit tartlets with afternoon tea (even left them on the days we were not in the cabin).He also arranged our speciality dining requests but other than that we did not have any other little jobs for him to do apart from a couple of early morning breakfasts in the suite. Dining in general ranged from good to very good in the MDR although I did find the wine service a bit hit and miss as we all had the premium drinks package we had to flag down the waiter to get a refill. As we were on select dining we could not sort this out for the rest of cruise as we dined in different parts of the dining room .My one real complaint is the very poor cheeseboard in the evening (same stuff as you get in the buffet in the morning ) . I have suggested that they offer the cheeseboard that you can get in Murano for an additional supplement for those that wish to have this but still have the standard cheese plate for those that do not wish to select their cheese .I know that some people will not like this but if it means getting a better quality selection then so be it. The speciality restaurants were as good as ever and I would always go back to Murano and Tuscan grille at the drop of a hat. We dined in Tuscan Grill when leaving Villefranche and because of the picture windows it was lovely to see all the twinkling lights (and thats before the wine had kicked in! ). We ate breakfast in Blu as we were allowed this due to being in a suite . And by the way we had no difficulties in arranging this whatsoever . We did not dine in Blu in the evening as my sister is a very plain eater and the menu did not appeal to her. But we were asked if we wanted to dine in the evening by the head waiter so cannot understand why some people have had difficulties on this score. Entertainment is I feel the one area that Celebrity needs to work on. Some of the shows in the theatre are dated and there was not one comedian on board for the cruise. The majority of the passengers were English speaking so I do not think this was anything to do with language barriers etc. Some of the other groups were fine but if you have been on a Celebrity cruise before you will get the feeling that you have seen them all before. Premium drinks package worked really well for us. It was great not to have a bar bill at the end and as we enjoyed the Martini bar it was nice to try different drinks and if you did not like them well try something else then! Will definitely do this again on our next cruise. The overall cruise was one of our better ones due to the company that we met and also the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
The Celebrity Equinox is a beautiful ship meticulously cleaned and maintained. The Eastern Mediterranean ports-of-call would make up a perfect itinerary except that each stay is too short by at least half. Even at that, first time ... Read More
The Celebrity Equinox is a beautiful ship meticulously cleaned and maintained. The Eastern Mediterranean ports-of-call would make up a perfect itinerary except that each stay is too short by at least half. Even at that, first time visitors to these ports-of-call (like ourselves) have to visit so many unskippable sites in so few days that it really is an exhausting trip. Aquaspa class offers nice accommodations (the showers are fantastic), better dining, and closer proximity to the pool and spa decks. The other advertised in-room amenities were just marketing hype: the "floral arrangements" were a single bud in a tiny vase, the afternoon canapes were marginal when they weren't irrelevant because of being ashore, the aroma stuff was nonexistent as was the "pillow menu" (though I have no doubt you can get as many pillows as you want with a quick phone call or word with the cabin stewarts). We loved the ports-of-call and the ship was spectacular. However, leaving Santorini before 10PM is immoral (especially when the ship simply holds station most of the night in front of the next port-of-call at Mykonos). Giving Celebrity the benefit of the doubt, I suspect that huge cruise ships in port beyond closing time for the souvenir shops would screw up the evening ambiance on the Greek islands. If we consider a repeat of the Eastern Med cruise, we'll give careful consideration to the smaller cruise lines with ships that can stay in port later or, alternately, the bare bones cruises that have you forfeit comfy cabins, good food and on-board entertainment for rock bottom prices and much longer port stays. It just might be better to spend the money saved on restaurants and entertainment in the ports and just use the ships for clothing storage and a place to sleep. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We enjoyed a 10 night cruise on this beautiful ship. We have sailed Celebrity before, once on Century and twice on Millenium. We wondered how Millenium could be over-shadowed, but we found out on Equinox! Although she is a massive ship, ... Read More
We enjoyed a 10 night cruise on this beautiful ship. We have sailed Celebrity before, once on Century and twice on Millenium. We wondered how Millenium could be over-shadowed, but we found out on Equinox! Although she is a massive ship, she never seemed overcrowded. We also found it relatively easy to find our way around, as there is a similarity in the layout of Celebrity ships. This ship is immaculate, we found no fault. Our cabin was spacious and the bathroom larger than we have found on cruise ships, with a good sized shower (with proper door, no flimsy curtain!)and plenty of storage for all our bits and pieces. Slight problem with the wardrobe in the cabin being close to the bed, made it a little awkward, but a very minor point. The balcony was a good size, with comfortable furniture. We made good use of it, as the weather was wonderful! Our cabin stewardess (Odeta from Lithuania) and her assistant to be really attentive. Every need was met and more! We chose second sitting for dinner, and found no complaints. We found the wait-staff, Arslan and his assistant Paulo to be polite and efficient, as well as entertaining! We had most agreeable table companions in Peter and Julie, Reg and Joy,and really enjoyed their company! None of us felt the need to use the speciality restaurants, as we were all well satisfied with what was served to us in the main dining room, the quality of the food was outstanding. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Ocean View Restaurant, and were impressed with how well organised it was. The absence of trays made for less of a "canteen" feel, and for anyone who needed assistance to get their food to the table, there was always someone around to help. The choice of food was amazing, and from plain eaters to those with a more sophisticated palate, everyone was catered for. The entertainment on board was more or less what we had experienced before with Celebity. West-end type shows, cirq-de-soleil type acts, the usual A Capello group, a very talented latin singer and guitarist, etc. The Celebity resident orchestra were outstanding. We enjoyed most of it. The only thing I would say was that the theatre performance for the second-seating dining was before dinner at 7 pm and we found this a bit awkward. If I recall correctly, on the other ships it was after dinner, and we felt we would have been happier with that. Small point only. We like to dance, and found the music excellent around the ship. The ports of call were interesting. New to us were Sicily, Turkey and the greek island of Myknos. We tend to do our sightseeing independently, but there were plently of organised trips to be had, both from the ship and to be organised at the port. One small piece of advice, if you take the local bus from Kusadasi to Ephesus, be aware that you will be dropped off 4 km from the top of the site. We found this out to our cost, but happily shared a horse and trap to the top of the site with a young spanish couple. The walk back to the bus stop from the bottom of the site was downhill, and only 1 km, so it worked out fine! Taxi will take you to the top then wait for you at the bottom. The site is breathtaking. We found the other ports interesting, and if you have not been in this area before, well worth the trouble. We would not hesitate to recommend this beautiful ship to you. You will be looked after to the highest standard from the moment you board until the moment you disembark. Nothing is too much trouble, and as we kept being told, anything you want, you only have to ask! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Embarkation was the usual slow laborious process but, with patience and good will, we were processed, received our cruise cards and made our way onboard. Disembarkation went very smoothly and we found our luggage very quickly. First ... Read More
Embarkation was the usual slow laborious process but, with patience and good will, we were processed, received our cruise cards and made our way onboard. Disembarkation went very smoothly and we found our luggage very quickly. First impressions. Magnificent ship. The ship still has the "new" smell, the carpets are all springy underfoot. Everything exudes superb build quality. The public areas are all beautiful, ship extremely well laid out. Our concierge stateroom on deck 10 was ready and waiting for us. Everything worked perfectly. Our steward introduced herself to us and we received perfect service from her and her team throughout our cruise. Sun loungers - plenty of availability around the ship. Loved the fact that they all had cushions. Food - we dined every night in the main dining room. I've seen various negative reviews about this, but, in our opinion the food and service were first class. We never felt any need to visit any of the specialist restaurants. Very nice to see properly prepared kippers and smoked haddock in the MDR at breakfast. The Ocean View Cafe had a good assortment of food at breakfast and lunch but evening? Oh dear very disappointing it just closed up. After the evening show we would make our way there expecting to find coffee and pastries. Were they there? no they were not, but, plenty of other disappointed people who, obviously, were there with the same intension. The ship needs a proper pastry chef. It pains me to say it, but, I have experienced much better deserts and evening catering on Princess and RCL. Oh yes, and please can the bar staff be instructed in the art of making an Irish Coffee. The one I received was AWFUL. It seemed like it was just a latte with a shot of whisky and SQUIRTY cream from an aerosol on the top. Ships crew - unfailingly superb. Watching them manoeuvre such a large ship in and out of port, I was full of admiration for the skills of the captain and the bridge crew. On board entertainment - all musicians and the singers and dancers were superb but seemed to be let down by the content of the shows. Big production shows, oh dear, after such a build up from the cruise director we were disappointed. Shows seemed badly put together and throughout the 12 nights were very repetitive. Cruise Director - its probably me, but the guy just irritated me every time he came on stage and opened his mouth. We just couldn't warm to him. Michaels Club - What a disappointment. I was expecting so much. A small depressing place with no atmosphere. The connections party was held there and there were just too many people for such a small venue. It's a shame that they could not use it as a cigar bar. That would liven it up. Fellow guests - we found everyone polite and courteous. Ideal travelling companions and good company at dinner. Ports of call - all these were exactly as expected and did not disappoint. On balance, we had a wonderful cruise. The positives greatly outweighed the negatives. This was our first Celebrity cruise. Would we cruise with Celebrity again? Most certainly. Minor niggles aside, the overall quality of the experience was superb. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We arrived at Rome airport and were greeted by Celebrity staff and when we had retrieved our bags they were taken by Celebrity to be transported to the ship we were then taken to our coach for the 65 minute transfer to the port the whole ... Read More
We arrived at Rome airport and were greeted by Celebrity staff and when we had retrieved our bags they were taken by Celebrity to be transported to the ship we were then taken to our coach for the 65 minute transfer to the port the whole procedure was so smooth and efficient On arrival at the port we had no waiting time and were on the ship very quickly we then went to have lunch in the Ocean view which was excellent before going to our stateroom our bags arrived within an hour The ship is beautiful our stateroom on the starboard side was very comfortable and we relaxed before the ship sailed for our first port Santorini The itinerary was excellent and we had overnight in Istanbul where we had 2 tours booked we also booked a tour in Santorini which was well worth the trip as we saw the island the only drawback was the very long wait at the cable car at the end of the tour (we were told there are long queues) but very exhausting in the heat! The ship was spotless the staff attentive and friendly the entertainment very good We had the 9pm sitting for dinner in Britannia and the staff there were excellent as was the food We were celebrating my daughters birthday and there was a song performed by the staff much to the amusement of the guests ! We have used celebrity before on the Eclipse and the standard on Equinox was equally high we have already booked on Eclipse for a cruise next year The itinerary was excellent I would have liked longer at the beach at Mykanos on a tour which was 4 hours duration and would have prefered to just use a beach closer to the ship and then see more of the town Istanbul is a huge city Kusadasi a crazy shopping area with mega fake goods ! We did not go to Ephesus (too hot) and Salerno was interesting as we had already "done" Amalfi Naples and Sorrento previously To sum up Celebrity is our favourite cruise line as the standards are very good I hope they will keep it up Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Having cruised with the same compay 6 times around the Caribben and Hawaii we decided to cruise closer to home so having heard how good Celebrity Equinox was we thought we'd try a Solstice Class ship! We flew from Leeds and the ... Read More
Having cruised with the same compay 6 times around the Caribben and Hawaii we decided to cruise closer to home so having heard how good Celebrity Equinox was we thought we'd try a Solstice Class ship! We flew from Leeds and the flights/transfers were booked through Celebrity and although it all worked out fine on departure day and disembarkation that was the only 'downside' to our trip......not as organised as it should have been for a premium line. We hit the check-in at peek time so had a 45 minute wait in a queue which we've never experienced before but one of those things! Once onbaord it was a treat to be met with a glass of bubbly then we went to find our cabin, no maps to follow but we found it quite easily and were impressed as it was slightly larger than the balcony staterooms we'd had before, a nice seating area and all laid out well with good decor. The bathroom was the best yet experienced on a ship (and many hotels!) plenty of space for our toiletries and a glass door and a mirror which didn't steam up! Off to explore, the ship is lovley and classy decor not in the traditional dark colours of many, lots of spaces to sit and take in the atmosphere and it didn't feel like a large ship at all. We had 'select dining' as we like to dine when the fancy takes us rather than a set time, we made a reservation a couple of times but always got a table and never had to wait whatever time we decided to dine. We dined in 'Tuscan Grille' one of the speciality restaurants and had a fantastic meal, but the meals in the MD were good and always hot and served with a smile and great service. We were impressed with the buffet for breakfast and lunch, lots of choices but the same each day, a slight variation or theme day would have been nice but this is not a complaint just an observation. The staff were some of the most pleasant I have ever encounterd and always willing to chat when you were out and about. The entertainment was good, a variety of shows but I feel this is the hardest area to please people, but I go if it's soemthing I enjoy and do something else if it's not to my taste. The daily programme of events wasn't thrust down your throat which is a bonus and we particularly enjoyed our evening of 'Celestial Navigation' under the stars. A thoroughly enjoyable cruise made so by such a great choice of ship and we will be cruising with Celebrity again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We love cruising and cruise twice or more a year. We arrived early at 11am to avoid lengthy queuing in our car as previously and waited in the foyer for half an hour or so until allowed up to the boarding lounge. Quite a large number of ... Read More
We love cruising and cruise twice or more a year. We arrived early at 11am to avoid lengthy queuing in our car as previously and waited in the foyer for half an hour or so until allowed up to the boarding lounge. Quite a large number of crew were also arriving so all credit to them for the seamless changeover. As noted by an earlier reviewer there were a lot, such a lot, of very elderly and disabled people on board. It once took us an hour from the scheduled meeting time for a trip to get ashore to the coach. The crew were trying to lift very many disabled people in wheel chairs and scooters down a steep plank in a general free for all disembarcation. I was wondering if there is not some maximum number that can be coped with on a ship before it represents a safety issue in the event of an evacuation. The Oceanview gets very crowded and it helps if people act with consideration for their fellow diners. I was astonished when an elderly lady without a dish or cup in hand sat down next to me one day to wait for her husband and proceeded to sweep the uncleared items from her table on to the cleared place of my husband who had gone for desert. The staff were clearing quite quickly but she did not wish to wait. An elderly man in a singlet at luchtime was very offputting. As noted in a previous review the number of people with tattoos, male and female, is increasing. When we first started cruising with Celebrity there were mostly American guests on board and many more international guests, with more UK guests standards of cruise dress and etiquette are slipping. Very many people said it was their first cruise and a lot of moaning went on. The staff do an excellent job in difficult circumstances. We dined on second sitting and although the doors were opened at 08.30 for 08.45 our waiter was often still 'meeting and greeting' at the door until 09.00. We had generally good service although a beef dish that was recommended to my husband did not turn out to be worth it so we tended to ignore recommendations and assumed it meant 'we've got a lot'. Fairplay we have never been told something is unavailable, amazing. The vegetables are often little more than a garnish on a long menu so rather than ask for a plate of steamed vegetables, which they are happy to provide, I always looked for a good helping of vegetables at lunchtime. Some lunchtime meals were so outstanding I was happy with a lighter meal at dinner. The smoking policy on Celebrity is that guests can smoke in the Sky Lounge, port side. As the air conditioning cannot cope with this, by late evening it has built up and so we did not spend much time there. We did go up one evening for a publicised special dance event but the party had not started and we retreated to the Disco. This is an underused facility, mainly because even when hordes are passing it after the show it never has floor filling music to tempt anyone in. We made a request and the floor soon filled but then it became obscure music again after 20 minutes and people drifted away. Actually we spent less time than usual dancing on this cruise and more time watching movies in our cabin. We dance a lot when we are on Cunard because it has a great Disco/nightclub and floor filling DJ also Grand ballroom for a twirl. The Ballroom floor on Eclipse adjoins the grand staircase which was part roped off one night with a big yellow hazard sign on the ballroom floor so photos could be taken. This kinda kills the romance. As noted in a previous review, the audience participation event 'Masquerade' was dulled down by about 16 seated elderly and disabled guests taking over the whole area surrounding the ballroom floor expecting a 'floorshow' which it isn't. Most of the Rocky Horror music type 'show' is on the staircase which is not viewable from the sofas. Perhaps the organisers could explain that this is a participation event and that the best view is from above. Cunard doesn't allow smoking in the Skylounge equivalent (however they do allow it in the cabins although I haven't yet had a problem tainted cabin). Evidence has recently been published that even one exposure to second hand smoke can cause a cardiac event so Celebrity should address this in the design of their new ships with a dedicated smoker's room like Cunard. Apparently 'third hand' smoke impregnated on drapes and chairs is carcinogenic according to a report in our our Local Authority magazine. In Provence we took a trip to 'Sanary and Castellet' two excellent stops for strolling with camera. The scenery on route is very pretty. In Pisa we viewed the Baptistry and the Cathedral interiors and admired the Leaning Tower exterior. If you wanted to climb it you would need to rush to the ticket office immediately on arriving at the 'Field of Miracles' to get a timed ticket which would allow you to do so before the scheduled departure. Unlikely at peak times. I was glad I took an umbrella as the walk to the Field was about 15 mins in very hot sun. In Civitavecchia we took the free bus into town and went first to the little archeological museum. We then strolled up the main street, looked at the market, finally we strolled along the promenade and read about the history of the Spa Resort it had been before the war. The Promenade is being restored and there are several pleasant cafe bars in this area. In Cagliari we went to the small archeological museum which has been excavated under a church revealing the ancient town walls and streets. We then enjoyed the views from the Bastion and walked up to the Cathedral. The Governor's Palace is worth a visit. We took the Cadiz walking tour and had a glimpse into the Arabic style courtyard interior of a private Club. The Cathedral, Covered Market and old Town walls were very interesting. Cadiz is more or less a grid system so you could do this tour using a guide from the Tourist Office. From Lisbon we took a trip to 'Medieval Obidos'. There were two beautiful museum/art galleries (free) to enjoy in our free time. A beautiful 17c church, a castle and many little shops are to be found inside the tiny walled citadel. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We took an eight day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Summit, and we had a great vacation. We booked the cruise, though we were initially concerned due to mixed reviews on the ship, and we were very pleasantly surprised. For anyone ... Read More
We took an eight day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Summit, and we had a great vacation. We booked the cruise, though we were initially concerned due to mixed reviews on the ship, and we were very pleasantly surprised. For anyone considering the Summit and reading the reviews saying that she is badly worn and in need of refurbishing, I have this to say. We saw signs of wear and aging in just a few places, and it was minor. Our cabin was in good condition, as was the ship in general. Yes, she is due for dry dock this next year, and probably due to this the cruise was somewhat less expensive than the shorter cruise on Royal Caribbean for the same week. We would do it again in a heartbeat. We thought the service was top-notch -- can't say enough about the professionalism and quality of the crew. Overall, the food was exceedingly good, often outstanding. The one exception would be the steaks in the main dining room, which I would rate as fair to good. Everything else we ate was great. We loved our tablemates, and found our dining room staff top-notch. We did not dine in the Normandie -- one of the couples at our table did, and said the service was great but the food was not really any better than in the main dining room. The entertainment was also outstanding. We did have rain -- so much so that we had to stay on the ship in St. Lucia :-(, and a good bit of rain in both Grenada and Barbados. I took a Southern Caribbean cruise with Royal Caribbean in January 2010, and the weather was better. The rainy season is supposed to end in November, but I guess this year it dragged on longer. One of our favorite stops was Antigua (again) where we booked a snorkeling and lobster lunch with Creole Cruises (amazing). Overall, we loved the Summit and were very impressed with Celebrity. I'm already looking at cruises again. I will say the one thing we missed is that there were no towel animals -- but since my daughter did not come with us this time, it was not an issue. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Another great Celebrity cruise with specialty restaurant providing the wow factor..........The veranda cabin was 2 feet shallower than the concierge cabins. The only downside was the smaller vanity and as such it was less used. The option ... Read More
Another great Celebrity cruise with specialty restaurant providing the wow factor..........The veranda cabin was 2 feet shallower than the concierge cabins. The only downside was the smaller vanity and as such it was less used. The option to upgrade to concierge of $700 pp was not worth the extra. The ship was full because of the time of year (over Christmas and New Years)The Constellation was Solsticized, which was a nice improvement from Summit. The addition of Tuscany as a 2nd specialty restaurant was great, as was Cellar masters and Cafe @ 5. Although I am a wine lover, Cellar Masters took up too many square feet and was under-utilized, as was the specialty wines by the glass automatic dispensers. I suspect that section will be re-configured.The wine choices, including 5 Champagnes by the glass was wonderful.Michael's was great with a wonderful pianist/singer. Staff was very friendly and helpful.We dined in Ocean Liners (3), Tuscany (3) and MDR 7 and it was well worth the $390 extra. We were regulars and treated incredibly well.Zip lining in CR was fun but my wife had to pay full price even though she did not zip line.3 formal nights were fun but many passengers dressed down and would not have been admitted to a private club on such an occasionDebarkation in San Diego was very slow and annoying but we were forewarned that it would be slow.This was our 2nd Celebrity cruise in 2010 and very favourable. We will likely sail Celebrity again, however, we would like to try upscale in order to avoid some of the less attractive aspects, being their emphasis on junk food, sloppy dressing passengers and fewer of the buffet crowd. I recognize that this might sound a bit snobbish, but we do enjoy healthy alternatives, fine dining and dressing up on special occasions.I suspect that a large percentage of Celebrity passengers are more "mainstream" than "premium" passengers, but because of the more subtle approach to cruising, the more mature passengers prefer what Celebrity has to offer. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
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