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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
For the first time ever, we were extremely disappointed in our Celebrity cruise. We are long time Celebrity customers and for the last six years have sailed at least once a year in their aqua class cabins. It seems that each year, there ... Read More
For the first time ever, we were extremely disappointed in our Celebrity cruise. We are long time Celebrity customers and for the last six years have sailed at least once a year in their aqua class cabins. It seems that each year, there is another benefit missing from the aqua cabins .... we no longer get welcome champagne, the bottled water is now limited to 2 small bottles on the first day of the cruise (this was cut a couple of years ago), no pillow menu, no additional room service offerings, etc. We continued to book aqua class because we really enjoy Blu and also I love the Persian Garden. On this cruise, the Blu experience was really frustrating, due to the Maitre'D and hostess. We would constantly be given pagers and told there was a 15-20 minute wait, despite seeing lots of empty tables. It seemed like they were trying to seat all the guests at the same time, like in the dining room. We noticed that the window tables were saved for the same guests, instead of alternating among the diners. Celebrity is also selling Persian Garden passes, so it is more difficult for the aqua class guests to gain access and with one of the beds broken, it was inconvenient. The entertainment was excellent on our cruise, both the Solstice production cast, as well as the guest entertainers. We also want to give accolades to the service personnel, who continue to be the reason we have supported Celebrity for so many years. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I took this particular cruise because travel agency it was too of the line. The staff was excellent as were the cabins. My biggest complaint was the food. I would rate it cafeteria quality at best. My friend who cruised with me was very ... Read More
I took this particular cruise because travel agency it was too of the line. The staff was excellent as were the cabins. My biggest complaint was the food. I would rate it cafeteria quality at best. My friend who cruised with me was very disappointed as well but didn't say anything until the cruise was over. Although they did have many stations in the dining room to choose from I went one day to the Mexican food bar and wanted some refried beans and they were like liquid. The desserts look absolutely gorgeous but they tasted like sponges. I love my food what was so very very disappointed in the quality. It also would have been nice to have coffee stations on the floors instead of having to go all the way up to the 12th floor to get a cup of coffee in the morning. The travel agency I went through to book the cruise said this was her favorite Cruise because of the food maybe I got on a different ship LOL but the food was anything but outstanding. Don't get me wrong it was edible but there wasn't anything I went back for seconds or thirds that's for sure. Also I felt on this particular cruise ship there wasn't really night clubs per se where you can dance and sit and listen to the music without being in the public areas. I thought that was kind of strange so I have been on many cruises before and by far right now my favorite is the star princess. I don't think I'll go celebrity ever again cuz I paid a lot of money for us to cruise and the ship really needed some updating. I hope this helps some just don't go on this particular cruise ship and expect outstanding food cuz you won't find it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We took this cruise because our friends really wanted to. Wasn't on our bucket list but we were game. In the end we enjoyed ourselves but it wasn't what I would call the cruise of a lifetime. Our overall take back is the ... Read More
We took this cruise because our friends really wanted to. Wasn't on our bucket list but we were game. In the end we enjoyed ourselves but it wasn't what I would call the cruise of a lifetime. Our overall take back is the cruise companies have over extended how many people these ports can take. We were going into ports where there were up to 6 mega ships parked that could triple the size of the population. Crowds were unbelievable and it certainly wasn't a nature trip. I guess it is an easy trip for Americans to do but they need to find a way to cap off the crowds. Worse yet, we hear that there are plans to add even larger ships in the near future for these ports. Now to Celebrity Solstice. Start with the good. We loved the suite level perks. Private lounge and dining room were worth the extra money. Cocktail time and dinner felt like a small ship experience with great service. But not really sure what the butler did or was suppose to do. Seemed to be an unneeded position. The specialty restaurants were very good. Never went to the main dining room. The buffet was fine. Good selection but often overcrowded to the point where it was difficult to get a seat. This was our first trip on Celebrity. It wasn't quite what we expected. There were times when it felt more like we were on a Carnival party cruise. We were hoping for a quieter more peaceful cruise but that wasn't the case. Nothing like sitting on your balcony trying to enjoy the views and having drunks yelling and swearing two decks down. The only place any kind of dress code was enforced was in the private dining room. Actually saw I guy who showed up for dinner in shorts told he needed to go back and put on pants. Just getting off and walking around any of the ports (other than Victoria) weren't a good experience. The crowds on the street were worse than Manhattan. You need to book a shore excursion that gets you away from the port as quickly as possible. We enjoyed ours especially the jeep/canoe ride, Alaska golf and dog sledding. Forget the shopping. It is the same "junk" in every port. I can't really recommend an Alaskan cruise unless you desperately want to do it. Would likely be a better experience to just fly there and see Alaska away from the cruise ports. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I was really excited about going on the Celebrity Solstice but once I got on board I was bored. The daily activities are really a joke unless you want to be sold something. The bars were really all the same with no real flare to any of ... Read More
I was really excited about going on the Celebrity Solstice but once I got on board I was bored. The daily activities are really a joke unless you want to be sold something. The bars were really all the same with no real flare to any of them. The staff was nice at them but had no imagination when asked to make a surprised drink. One of the things that bothered my was the Captain and the Entertainment Director. Both had very heavy accents and could only understand about every 5th word they were saying. If you wanted to hear the announcements you had to step into the hallway from your room and was still very hard to understand. I was definitely not the only one that felt this way on the cruise. Never did the sit down dinner but always ate at the burger bar or buffet. Both were okay. The soft serve was very popular as well as the cookies. I did 2 excursions and both were duds. I did a whale watching one and afterwards you get a ticket to eat at Tracy's crab place. We saw more whales on the Solstice than were did on the excursion and Tracy's place was a joke. With 4 cruise ships in port it was way overally busy where we had to eat standing. Eating crab leg standing is not the easiest thing to do. Then the other excursions was going to play with the sled dogs. Again 4 boats in port and the excursion was way too crowded. One nice thing about Solstice was the band. They were very good and did enjoy the shows. Also, the historian on board gave some good lectures. Alaska was awesome just wish I did it on another boat. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Background: I’ve traveled several times on DCL without kids and then with kids. I’ve been on the Wonder and the Dream. I recently sailed on the Celebrity Solstice to Alaska with a 6 and 3 yr old. Here are my thoughts on some ... Read More
Background: I’ve traveled several times on DCL without kids and then with kids. I’ve been on the Wonder and the Dream. I recently sailed on the Celebrity Solstice to Alaska with a 6 and 3 yr old. Here are my thoughts on some of the differences. Summary: I feel that both DCL and Celebrity offer luxurious cruises with good food. I’ve enjoyed each cruise I’ve taken. Celebrity has a much lower price tag than DCL. If you have kids, DCL seems to me to be clearly worth the price difference. If you don’t have kids, I still think the whole DCL experience is better, but the price difference might not be worth it. Adult food: I’m not a foodie. Very expensive food or wine is wasted on me. In general, I would say the food on Celebrity and DCL was routinely excellent. On the whole I would say I had a general preference for the Disney menu, because I think Disney tended to have a bigger selection of “boring” items which I tend to prefer more than “adventurous” menu items. Celebrity did have a number of “boring” items, though, to keep me happy. :-) Twice on Celebrity I ordered the salmon, and they asked me how I wanted it cooked. Both times, I answered “medium-rare”. The first time the fish was opaque for the outer 1 mm or so, and translucent/raw for the entire middle. It was delicious. The second time, the fish was completely cooked throughout even though the server presented it as “medium-rare” when handing it to me. It was delicious. Why am I writing a paragraph about how I enjoyed the delicious fish? Well, when you order the exact same thing and the result is so different, even if it’s good either way, I have to wonder about Celebrity’s quality control measures. Regardless, the food on either cruise line is good. I don’t eat at the upcharge specialty restaurants. I have kids and the food quality in the main restaurants exceeds my requirements, so I don’t see the need. Kid food: DCL was always great. Kids could always find something they wanted. Chocolate milk is a standard option. Kids’ drinks always come with a lid on them and a straw. Entrees, Veggies, and desserts are kid-friendly. The cruise line explicitly plans to make things work for kids. Celebrity was not great. No chicken nuggets the whole week we were on the boat? The Mac&Cheese wasn’t sufficiently cheesy for my 6 yr old. Each dinner choice came with fries and no vegetables. So we always asked for vegetables, and they brought us broccoli and carrots. But the carrots were long cuts with pretty parsley flakes on them. Good if you’re a grown up. If you’re 3 and there’s something green on your carrots, your carrots are ruined. My 6 yr old really enjoyed my prime rib one night, and there was a filet mignon on the kids’ menu, so we asked for that the next night. The filet came covered in black pepper. Fine for an adult, but my daughter was crying, unable to get her tongue to calm down after biting into a peppercorn. On DCL, we’d often ask for fruit with the kids’ meals, and they could bring fresh sweet blueberries or strawberries. The Celebrity berries were tart. My 3 yr old subsisted on bread and fries for the week. She was happy about this until she needed to poop. Maybe hire an American Mom as a consultant for the kids’ menu? Service: DCL servers are friendly, but they sometimes seem a bit overworked. One time on DCL, we had 15 at our table, some with food allergies. DCL adhered to a strict division of labor, where the assistant server did drinks while the main server did food. This took a long time for our table of 15, and it would have been far better to have two people taking drink orders when we sat down and two people taking food orders after we had read the menu. For smaller tables, however, the division seems to work pretty well. Celebrity had a server and assistant server, and they were not constrained by the specific DCL roles, which I thought was good. The Celebrity servers were more overworked than Disney's. They were nice enough, but the DCL ones seemed nicer. But the real problem was the alcoholic drinks, which the server and assistant server don’t do. One day we got to our 6:00 seating at 6:10. The bartender got to our table at 6:45, and the sommelier arrived at 6:50, and that’s after I had asked our waiter and then the maître d’ for help. I can’t even blame the sommelier, though. She was literally running from table to table and to the rack of wine bottles. Another day we arrived at 5:55, and the bartender and sommelier were there as soon as we sat down, and before we had menus. And that could be fine if you’re not trying to see if you want the drink of the day, or trying to match your wine to your dinner. Anyway, I would have preferred service from people that weren’t as overworked. Restaurant Rotation: I like DCL’s rotation of going to a different restaurant each night. Dress: Disney has one “Pirate Night”. This is neat in that the kids enjoy watching people dressed up as pirates. It can be a little annoying to take a set of pirate themed clothes with you. Celebrity has a couple dressier-than-normal nights. I like that idea. Tips: DCL is more explicit on tips: You get automatically charged near the end of your trip, and cards and envelopes are printed where you can present folks with the card plus extra cash if you want. Frankly, presenting the envelope is a little awkward, but you feel like you’re doing something for someone that’s been working hard for you. The sudden $300 bill is a bit jarring. Celebrity is more hidden on tips. Each day, we were charged $15 per person, and Celebrity charged my credit card every day. I don’t know where that money went. Who got what? On the plus side, the quiet $45 per day makes it easier to ignore than Disney’s. On the whole, I prefer the DCL system, but I can see how many would prefer the more subtle Celebrity system. I also wonder if the DCL system is partly responsible for me perceiving the staff as more “friendly”. On DCL, I regularly tip some people more than the “standard” amount. On Celebrity, I didn’t think of doing this, and I wouldn’t have, anyway, even given an opportunity. Smartphone App: I thought the DCL app was mediocre. Passenger to passenger texts were sometimes flaky. The onboard “Wave phone” was more reliable, if more difficult to use. Celebrity didn’t even have an app, as far as I could tell. Well, they have one for some ships, but not the Solstice. And it’s not clear what their app does. The DCL app lets you see the daily schedule, deck plans, and text your family. That seems like a straightforward thing to do, so do it. No Wave phone, and no app, so we wound up communicating with each other via email. And for seeing what my personal itinerary was? Paper only, I think. On the first day I was able to login to my Celebrity account and see what was planned, but by the 2nd day, it was a past cruise, and I could no longer see it. Pool: The DCL pools have long lines for any water slides, and the pools are crowded. They’re heated as much as you might expect a pool to be heated (low 80s). The Disney Dream’s sprayground is pretty fun for toddlers. Solstice has no waterslides, and the sprayground was closed our whole trip. But the pools are very much not crowded, and one pool was heated to a heavenly temperature (90°?) This had a huge positive impact on our trip as my girls loved playing in the warm, uncrowded pool. Celebrity has an indoor pool, but it’s usually reserved for adults, so we never used it. Anyway, even without the waterslides or sprayground, Celebrity was a huge win here due to water temperature and lack of crowds. Both ships used desalinized water. Kids’ Club: The kids’ club is a highlight for my kids on DCL. 3-12 yr olds can all be in the same room. They have independent imaginative play areas, they have Disney movies playing, they have computer games, and they have activities led by a staff member. My girls love it. The Celebrity Solstice kids club disappointed my kids. Much of this is their own fault, I think. My 6 yr old looks at the lack of toys and claims, “this area is no fun”, without even giving the staff members a chance to help her have fun. The Solstice had board games and Xbox games, but my kids aren’t into that. The other issue for my kids is that there’s a 3-5 age group, a 6-9 age group, and a 10-12 age group. My 6 yr old was not allowed to join the 3-5 kids, so there were times where my two girls were not allowed to be together and they refused to enter the kids club. There were other times where 3-9 were all together. Unsurprisingly, Disney is a big win here. Shows: DCL has full on nightly Disney stage productions with large casts. The theater is huge, and you need to get there early to get a number of adjacent seats with a reasonable view. DCL starts their shows at the same times as the dinner seatings. If you have the first dinner seating, you need to see the second show, and vice versa. The Celebrity Solstice had some good shows with generally smaller casts. I really don’t know how someone can do a one armed handstand, nevermind various acrobatic poses on one arm on a rocking ship. Of course, this defiance of physics is somewhat lost on kids, and we skipped the show over half the time. The sound system on the Solstice was very good. We could show up after the show started and find 5 seats together with a good view of the stage. Celebrity starts their shows 1 hour after the dinner seating times. That allowed us on several occasions to rush through our 6 pm dinner and still get to the 7 pm show. On the other hand, we never had a leisurely dinner to attend the 9 pm show. If you like Rock’n’Roll and acrobatics, the Solstice shows are better, while if you prefer seeing Disney characters act like Disney characters, DCL is better. In other words, adults should prefer the Celebrity shows while kids should prefer the Disney shows. Ship Elegance: Both cruise lines have beautiful ships. All DCL ships feel luxurious. The Celebrity Solstice feels luxurious, too. Its glass elevators looking out over a living tree in the middle of the boat is pretty darned cool. Ship Repair: Both cruise lines seemed to keep the ship in good repair. One time on DCL, there was a drawer in our stateroom that wasn’t working well, and it was quickly fixed. This time on Celebrity, there was a drawer in our stateroom that was broken (same drawer manufacturer as DCL?), and it was quickly fixed. Some dinner napkins were noticeably worn. Several of our bedsheets had tiny holes in them. Things felt clean, but that they could spend more time inspecting and discarding worn out fabrics. Staterooms: The DCL staterooms are bigger, and there are more drawers and cabinets. Celebrity has some storage over the bed which is quite welcome, but otherwise lacking in space to put stuff. I like that they hid the life jackets under the bed instead of in the closet. DCL separates the toilet from the bath/shower, which is nice. The Solstice doesn’t have a bathtub. On both ships, the cabin steward can open a balcony partition to connect adjacent rooms via balcony. Safety Drill: Both cruise lines have a mandatory muster drill that doesn’t take long. Intriguingly, DCL opens crew staircases for the drill, while Celebrity reserves those for only real emergencies. Celebrity gave our kids plastic bracelets labeled “A2” to wear the whole trip so that they could bring my kids to station “A2” in case of an emergency. DCL gives kids RFID bracelets while in the kids’ club, but you can take them off after you leave the club. Celebrity took the opportunity to show a handwashing video and a ship safety video. Both were very well done and entertaining for the whole family. TV: DCL shows Disney movies and Disney stations (including ESPN and ABC) in the stateroom. Celebrity’s TV lineup is quite anemic. Without anything better on, my kids literally kept watching the above hand washing video over and freakin over again. Stuff to do: DCL has mini golf on the Dream. Midship Detective Agency on the Dream. Disney’s jogging track is on a middle deck (e.g., deck 5), and is 1/3rd of a mile long. The gym is lovely, but requires a fee. Celebrity has a casino, which I guess is good if that’s what you like. It’s not something I used. The Solstice’s jogging track is at the top (Deck 14), is 1/8th of a mile long, and gets too crowded to use after about 7 am. The gym is lovely, and is free. The Solstice has living grass on the top deck, and glass art that you can watch or participate in. The stuff to do situation on DCL is clearly better if you have kids. Without kids, Solstice is probably slightly better. Pier: Celebrity consistently had the worst pier at every location. I don’t know how piers are assigned, but Celebrity should look into fixing this. In several locations (e.g., Juneau), the “good” piers allow you to walk right from your ship to downtown, while the Solstice’s pier required you to pay $5 for a 1-mile shuttle bus ride. This sounds like a stupid thing to whine about, but it makes a big difference to the vacation experience when you can walk 5 minutes to get back on the boat for lunch vs. walking 20 minutes in the rain each way to get lunch. Deck Food: I thought DCL did better with their pool deck options (self-serve cones) They also have more pool deck seating, and I don’t remember smokers on DCL. The Solstice has a grill on the port side with limited seating. The starboard side is for smokers. Horn: DCL’s “When You Wish Upon a Star” tune when sailing away is pretty cool, but it’s a single pitch at a time. Celebrity’s horn doesn’t play a tune, but it’s two pitches at once, an A5 chord, I believe. Nicer listening to that as a foghorn than a single pitch foghorn. Either way, cooler than just a single pitch. Debarkation: DCL in San Diego has been a bit of a disaster for me. Breakfast is over before they let people anyone off the boat, and there’s a 1000 person long line to get off the boat, many people carrying luggage. There aren’t any queuing guides and people are cutting the line everywhere because it’s unclear how the line works. DCL in Port Canaveral is better, but the line to get off the ship is still too long and too poorly managed. The Celebrity experience wasn’t great, but it was much better. People were getting off the ship long before breakfast ended. They had over 20 groups that they were calling one by one to try to avoid having a 200 person group suddenly get into a long line. Unfortunately, the port of Seattle was a mess after we got out of the cruise ship terminal. The taxi line was about an hour long. Taxis were queued up to come in, but due to a crosswalk struggled to get to the passengers. The Uber waiting area was a 15 minute walk away, where you had to walk across the roadway the taxis were using (thereby causing the taxi line to get unreasonably long, causing more people to use Uber, …). And then there were 200 people at the small Uber waiting area, making that its own disaster. Concierge: The concierge level rooms on DCL are a huge upcharge. They have multiple concierges nearby, so you can walk out your stateroom and ask for help within seconds. If one concierge is on break, another is there to help you. It’s a large fee for something that’s modestly helpful. The concierge level rooms on Celebrity are a small upcharge. There is one concierge, and he might be nowhere near your room. If he’s busy or out at the moment, there’s nobody to cover for him. That makes his position somewhat useless. It’s a small fee for something that’s hardly helpful. In either case, the concierge level is only for those not pinching pennies. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Traveled with two other couples, all wanted to see Alaska and Celebrity offered a good package that included beverages for the same cost as Royal, where we have done most travel. As others have noted, the Celebrity website is terrible. ... Read More
Traveled with two other couples, all wanted to see Alaska and Celebrity offered a good package that included beverages for the same cost as Royal, where we have done most travel. As others have noted, the Celebrity website is terrible. I can get more information more easily on Carnival, for heaven's sake. Make sure you print everything out and be prepared to carefully review at check-in. Embarkation was relatively easy. The port is north of downtown Seattle while the airport is south. So you're going to have some transportation costs. Downtown hotel, figure about $300 per night. We stayed by the Seattle Center. The Solstice is kept very clean. Prepare to be greeted by attendants in almost every public restroom. What a great job to have. It looked like these poor people spend their entire shift confined inside a restroom. Kept it clean and all but... We had a category 1C balcony cabin on Deck 8 toward the rear of the ship. Good location as we take stairs and it was a few flights straight up. Rarely saw our cabin attendant but he kept things clean. Little things like mishanging cabinet doors and loose wall hooks, nothing major. Plenty of closet space. Not a lot of drawer space but we managed. We had heard positive things about food on Celebrity, but while some of the foods were very good, we found ourselves ordering the everyday regular choices too often, Steak, chicken, salmon. We had an entertaining waiter and wine sommelier which made dinners fun. Dress code is inconsistently enforced. Some men wore shorts, others turned away. T shirts aplenty. At lunch time, there wasn't much variety. If you eat in the Oceanview Cafe, if one person in your party just wants a burger, you have to go to a completely separate bar to get it - same level but at the other end of the pool area. Really a lousy set-up. Mercifully they offer soft serve ice cream but you can't dispense it yourself. This cuts down on the children gunking it up and we saw no down times for it, unlike on other cruises. In the evenings the stage shows in the main theater were okay or better. The regular singers and dancers (no "stars"), and two comedians. One very good (Carl Banks), the other, well, I caught a good nap, thanks. The most entertaining person you will encounter on the ship is Captain Tasos, whose morning announcements were both informative and hilarious. I didn't realize that virtually every word had greek origins. Including "pismire". By comparison, the cruise director, Alphonso, well, he had nice shoes. The "cultural" speakers were dreary, particularly "Miss Amanda" who sounded sedated at times and frequently told us how privileged we were to be able to witness these miracles of nature. It was my "privilege" to sink about 6 grand for this trip including air fare, hotels,excursions, etc. I didn't appreciate her preachy tone. We did not book excursions through the ship due to both their high prices and the terrible Celebrity website. I would recommend using reviews from T-A and going with high rated vendors. Ketchikan only has tourist shops. Travel to Alaska to visit Diamonds International and Del Sol! We booked a fishing trip online and it was fine. There's also a Wal-Mart that you can get to either by city bus ($2 each way) or a free shuttle that it packed with cruise ship staff. The Tracy Arm Fjord was beautiful; the ship gets close to the Dawes Glacier, and the captain did a "donut" (his turn) to turn us around an head out. Juneau is more built up (it's an actual town) and we did a bus trip to Mendenhall and a whale watching boat. Very much enjoyed the whales. Alaska Tales; check their reviews. Skagway is a nice town with a whole lot of tourist shops. The main attraction is a train up to White Pass. We went with a bus trip that went on to the Yukon Suspension Bridge which we enjoyed. We had heard that the train passengers get pretty pushy to sit on the right hand side where the view is much better, but in the van it wan't an issue. Used Rainbow Glacier tours. Finally Victoria. What a disappointment. A major city with a downtown overrun with tourist shops. And high prices. If you choose to stay on the ship while in port, there is virtually nothing to do. Television channels are poor. Activities are scarce. Between 11 am and 4 pm there is little or nothing else to do. After 10 pm, similar, Bars are open. Either karaoke or silent disco. That's really about it. And please - most people don't want to see your 9 year old butchering Katy Perry at 10:30 at night. Children have no place in the bar that late and family karaoke is offered on specific nights. I think two nights had a game show - Battle of the Sexes and Liars Club, that drew large crowds, probably due to the novelty of finally having something to do. Poolside was pretty dead. We had nice weather with temps above 75 in the afternoon. Hot tubs weren't overcrowded. Solarium for mornings. We had a good time overall due to the excursions we took and our evening table servers. I felt like we were on our own for being entertained - not a knock on the performers, who were talented, but more is needed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this Alaska Cruise to celebrate a birthday, 10 adults. The itinerary was really good. My complaints about this ship is mainly 2 things. 1. Compared to other cruises, there was always up-selling. Everyone from the ship that we ... Read More
We chose this Alaska Cruise to celebrate a birthday, 10 adults. The itinerary was really good. My complaints about this ship is mainly 2 things. 1. Compared to other cruises, there was always up-selling. Everyone from the ship that we came into contact with during the first 2 days were asking us if we wanted a drink package or to make a reservation at a specialty restaurant. This was really annoying and unwanted. We were made completely aware of our options before we even got on the ship and knew how to get these services if we wanted them. 2. We seeked out the unlimited spa option (Persian Garden) because on other cruise lines we had really enjoyed them. When we took the tour, we were told many times, and it was on the sign up sheet that it was limited to 40 people. WELL, what they didn't tell us was that many other people on the ship had access to the Persian Garden because of their cruise status. We were only able to use this subscription benefit only once during the week because it was always full. Also, there is a sign that you are limited to 20 minutes on a heated lounge, but most people fall asleep and just stay there for an hour or more. The staff doesn't enforce this unless you complain to them and point out a particular person. We would not purchase this option again on ANY Celebrity cruise. Excursions: In Ketchikan, we Zip lined with Alaskan Canopy Tours. They don't discount children's admission, so there were no children on the tour. We enjoyed that. Our group was able to stay together and it was an awesome experience. Half of us hadn't zip lined before. The 2 men that were our guides were wonderful, patient, and encouraging teachers.Would highly recommend this excursion. In Skagway, we signed up for the $139 White Pass Railway. We rode on the train up and back. Very scenic. The car we rode on had only 6 other people, so we were able to sit wherever we wanted both ways. The staff were very knowledgeable. A bit difficult to hear the announcements if you are hard of hearing. The gentleman that was selling merch was very friendly and gave us additional information. Would highly recommend this excursion. Our cruise was overbooked by 275 people, so it was not always to get a table at the buffet without waiting. The food was excellent. We ate at out assigned table each night. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We don't do much cruising but not much choice in seeing Alaskan ports so had to do a cruise. Have never repeated a cruise line. Over our many travel years, have done four cruises with various lines like Princess, Carnival, Seven ... Read More
We don't do much cruising but not much choice in seeing Alaskan ports so had to do a cruise. Have never repeated a cruise line. Over our many travel years, have done four cruises with various lines like Princess, Carnival, Seven Seas, and now Celebrity. Seven Seas by far the best but also reflected in pricing. Celebrity is probably second. Service was excellent. Enrichment presentations were educational, thoughtful, and humorous. Wish they had more of those. Food was mediocre at best. Very disappointing really. Didn't appreciate all the up-selling during the cruise too. Wished they would just charge a fair amount and stop with the selling. Then I guess it would be Seven Seas and those lines. Was surprised how easy to disembark at the ports. Maybe this is how it is now on cruise ships since we haven't cruised for awhile. Overall, cruise was good enough and good value. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Alaska was never a destination I wanted to cruise however my family wanted to. so away we go. This cruise left from Seattle, which was a let down as a city, lots of homeless on the streets, didn't feel safe and very expensive, hotel ... Read More
Alaska was never a destination I wanted to cruise however my family wanted to. so away we go. This cruise left from Seattle, which was a let down as a city, lots of homeless on the streets, didn't feel safe and very expensive, hotel over $300 a night and we stayed near airport, city hotels much more expensive. embarkation was pretty much a breeze easy on ship. We enjoyed Elite status because of our points with Royal Caribbean which transfer to Celebrity, we also had a concierge room so we walked through embarkation easily. The Solstice is a nice ship with typical Celebrity modern touches. we got into our stateroom at about 1:30. It was a nice room, plenty of storage, slightly larger bathroom than usual. But generally a typical balcony cabin. We stayed in cabin 9563. We had pre selected my time dining and had also pre reserved times. Dining staff had us at the same table nightly which we appreciated. Great service as always from dining and cabin staff. We thought entertainment was a real let down on this cruise. The entertainers were talented but the arrangments/productions themselves seemed poorly thought out. We were not the only ones who thought this, several we talked to had the same remarks. Not the talents problem. Comedian average at best, Musical talent around the ship very good however. Being an Alaska cruise we didn't use the pool, however the hot tubs and spa were used by us daily. Nothing bad to say here, but nothing extraordinary. No mens steam room without paying a fee. Changing rooms very small. Gym well equipped. I thought the food in the main dining room was a little sub-par. We didn't go to any specialty restaurants. The ports were all very clean and nice. Docking went well. Captain and ship officers all very visible and really nice. My biggest reason for average instead of good cruise was the guest services staff, they seemed very incompetent, as did the Concierge. Cruise directors staff seemed overwhelmed a lot of the time. One example: Bingo was held in a room that was never large enough, each session they had to bring in folding chairs, there was no bar staff at bingo and only one helper for the caller. They also were very slow at selling tickets often only having one person selling cards, and often the room was occupied so after you bought cards you had to stand outside and wait before you could enter. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My family and I were invited on this cruise by my cousin who wanted to celebrate her retirement later on this year. I was a part of the younger group of my family so of course we had different experience than the older part. Embarkation ... Read More
My family and I were invited on this cruise by my cousin who wanted to celebrate her retirement later on this year. I was a part of the younger group of my family so of course we had different experience than the older part. Embarkation was a breeze and everyone we encountered from the airport to the ship were super friendly. The ship is very, very large yet the cabins are the complete opposite. One of the comedians on board joked that you could touch your bed from the bathroom and he was not kidding. A majority of the cruise staff was very knowledgable and helpful, always smiling, and eager to help. However the security staff that was in charge of getting passengers on and off the boat are a little incompetent and at times it seemed like they did not know what they were doing. My cousin purchased a couple of pocket knives, a fake bullet, and a slingshot at one of the ports of call. When we got back onto the ship, they confiscated the bullet and the slingshot, but not the pocket knives? I'm pretty sure a knife is much more dangerous than a slingshot or a fake bullet, but she complied and received her things at the end of the cruise. Antonio, our stateroom attendant was wonderful, and took the job of tidying our room up very seriously. The dining on board was great. The Oceanview Cafe has a buffet that is open everyday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and they had great options. The only thing, is that they close off certain parts of the buffet during busy times when a lot of people are coming in to eat. Obviously they have to put out new food during the day, but why rope certain areas off? It was like a maze trying to find what little food they had put out during those times. The Grand Epernay restaurant was great for traditional dining, and every night there was a pre fixe menu. Some of the food could have been cooked a little better and there could have been larger portions as well. Breakfast in the Grand Epernay restaurant is outstanding, and I recommend eating there every morning if you can/want to. The shows they put on in the Solstice Theatre were amazing! The dancing and singing cast put on a show maybe 4 nights out of the cruise and they were awesome. Also the comedians, Phil Tag and Ralph Harris were also amazing and hilarious. The ports of call were another story for me. Almost all of them were boring and insanely repetitive. Unless you are willing to drop $100+ for a shore excursion, you will be bored at every port of call. The only interesting one was Victoria which is a beautiful town with a lot of shops and great scenery. Tracy Arm Fjord was GORGEOUS and you should definitely wake up early to see the glacier. The other ports however all had jewelry stores and gift shops and were on average 10+ minutes away from where the ship was docked. You could tell that the main source of income for these towns was mostly from the cruise ship passengers. The cruise ship itself is very, very clean and there are always staff around making sure its stays that way. The Celebrity Life staff, I believed they were called, did a great job making sure there was always something going on around the ship. The nightly dance parties and shows on Deck 3 were great and hilarious and everyone should go at least once. The live music bands were also amazing. The only thing I really, really did not like about the cruise were the prices for the different packages on board. $245 for wi-fi???? Nearly an extra $500 for soda and wine?? $75 to purchase three photos?? I hope Celebrity didn't forget how much the passengers ALREADY paid for the cruise, flights, etc. I know its a vacation and you should splurge a bit, but jeez! You splurge on things like clothes, not things you can get for free at home. Overall, the cruise was great, I might, might sail with Celebrity again, but it will definitely not be to Alaska. Read Less
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