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Sail Date: February 2018
OK, we are Royal Caribbean Diamond Plus members with 24 consecutive cruises on the parent line. This time we wanted to try something different. Although not totally removed from RCCL (they own Celebrity). We felt it was worth a try in that ... Read More
OK, we are Royal Caribbean Diamond Plus members with 24 consecutive cruises on the parent line. This time we wanted to try something different. Although not totally removed from RCCL (they own Celebrity). We felt it was worth a try in that we could keep our loyalty program from RCCL and transfer to Celebrity with the same amenities. I guess we are getting old but we hate the thought of sailing from Miami. The traffic is terrible and confusing getting to the port. Once that was behind us and we were parked and ready to board, we began to see the differences in the cruise lines. We took no more than ten minutes to get checked in and have our documents processed. Everything seemed streamlined and being Elite members of Celebrity got us into check-in without a line. To be fair, the last RCCL ship we were on was the Allure of the Seas and had 5,000 passengers while the Equinox had only 2,850. Again it took less than ten minutes to process us in! The next thing that we noticed was as we entered the ship, there was a crew member there handing us a glass of welcoming champagne! Really classy. Since our stateroom would not be available until 1 PM we headed for the Oceanview Cafe (buffet) to wait and have lunch. We were surprised at the roominess of the cafe as well as the layout and availability of food. The selection was superb. Soon we headed for our Veranda room and found that it was a bit larger than the same room on RCCL. If I remember correctly Celebrity claims their bed is Queen size but we certainly thought it was a King. On deck 8 we had a beautiful view. Our luggage arrived around 2.00 PM. This too was impressive. We found this cruise to be for older folks and enjoyed the lack of children running in the hallways and screaming out near the pool...sorry for that folks but RCCL is more of a family type line which we have learned from past cruises while Celebrity seems to be (after one cruise) a bit upper class with more mature cruisers. Returning to the Oceanview Cafe...we have found that we enjoy the buffet and did not sample the Main Dining Room so we cannot rate that. The Oceanview was something to look forward to every meal. It was great! there was a dedicated station (large) just for breads. A pasta station, pizza, Mexican, Indian, American, salads....wow what a selection! The food was definitely a step up from what we are use to. We did sample the Specialty dining and had one meal at the Tuscan Grille. Located in the back of the ship with a beautiful view it was a great selection for a night. The meals were $45 each and we certainly got our monies worth. The ship itself did not have a flow rider, rock climbing wall etc but the amenities it did have seemed to be perfect for our life style. One very obvious thing we noticed was that the crew was more than happy and just could not seem to do enough for us. Everyone had smiles on their faces and great attitudes. Our room steward was great and did more than we would ever expect. One highlight of the cruise was having a drink in the Martini Bar on deck 4. If you decide to try this cruise please go there and watch the show. If you ever watched Tom Cruise in "Cocktail", these bar tenders made him look like a rank amateur! It was fun to see them mix and pour...please do not miss it. In the same area as this bar, each night they had a dance band and after a while a great DJ took over the music. By the way, one half of the bar is frozen. Yes the bar has a coating of ice on it..novel idea. On our arrival back in Miami we chose the "self assist" program and were off the ship by 7.00 am. Well organized... NOTE: NOTE: NOTE: IF YOU PURCHASE SOMETHING ON THE SHIP LIKE JEWELRY WATCHES AND PRICEY ITEMS PLEASE BE AWARE THAT CELEBRITY NOTIFIES U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION OF YOUR PURCHASE!!! DECLARE EVERYTHING AND YOU WILL BE GOOD. Well that's about it for this cruise. Celebrity has gained a couple of new customs. Really impressed the heck out of us. Great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We love the Solstice class ships. They are sleek and lovely inside and out. Looking forward to cruising on the new Edge in January. It is a new class and we hope it is as nice as the Solstice class. Food was good on the ship. MDR was ... Read More
We love the Solstice class ships. They are sleek and lovely inside and out. Looking forward to cruising on the new Edge in January. It is a new class and we hope it is as nice as the Solstice class. Food was good on the ship. MDR was satisfactory most evenings and Murano was superb. The Oceanview Cafe is certainly acceptable. The thing we liked best about the cruise was the entertainment. With the exception of one of the men, the ship's singers were very good and the dancers did a fine job. Ross was the band director (third time we have cruised with him) , and as usual he and his band was excellent. Our favorite act, though, was the Emotions Duo (our second time with them). They are two women from Russia who make great music with a violin and a cello. One of them attended the Moscow Conservatory and the other went to the St. Petersburg Conservatory. They play popular, broadway, and classical music including a mean "Billie Jean". Our favorite is their rendition of "Music of the Night". Weather was rough the first three days of the cruise and we had to skip our first scheduled stop in Antigua. I like rough weather - makes me feel like I'm really at sea. Did not get off the ship the entire cruise and just relaxed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
the 12 day length and destination were the reason I chose this cruise. The food was excellent and the service is good. There did seem to be over spraying hallways to the point that it triggered my husbands allergies. The musicians and dj ... Read More
the 12 day length and destination were the reason I chose this cruise. The food was excellent and the service is good. There did seem to be over spraying hallways to the point that it triggered my husbands allergies. The musicians and dj did not target their audience and did not care to play music that the majority of people would enjoy. There was very little quality cover songs for slow dancing or music that people 50 and older would have enjoyed. The entertainment in the theatre was sub par 8 nights out of 12. There was a beautiful Sky lounge that was not fully used for live music. The singers seemed to be force to sing out of their range to the point of having to scream. Of the 18 cruises I have been on this was the worst music experience. St. Lucia and St. Kitt were very lovely and I would return back their again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Excellent Ship Celebrity Issues Bookings As we have found in the past, the Celebrity web site is not user friendly. In fact, we found it particularly difficult with booking anything on-line, even just trying to open the reservation. ... Read More
Excellent Ship Celebrity Issues Bookings As we have found in the past, the Celebrity web site is not user friendly. In fact, we found it particularly difficult with booking anything on-line, even just trying to open the reservation. On the other hand, we did appreciate the fact that you can book specialty dining, spa and other activities prior to the cruise which is much better than what some other cruise lines offer. Regrettably, you cannot book a limited amount of Internet usage before sailing; it can only be done on board. Electronic Bookings and web site Once you have a booking number you can perform most administration and bookings online. Baggage tags come with the Guest Ticket Booklet but can also be ordered ahead of time but only after you receive eDocs. There is no notification that your eDocs are ready; you must find that out by searching the booking electronic file or have your travel again do that for you. Because of Hurricane damages to Sint Maarten itineraries were altered to use St Kitts instead. On the web page it showed our trip going to St Kitts but on another page going to Sint Maarten. Confusing to say the least. This was our fourth cruise with Celebrity and the fourth time we report the unfriendliness of the web site. That is a shame because everything else was so outstanding or well above average in our rating of this cruise. It sets a bad tone even before you get to the ship! On the other hand, 45 days before cruising after signing-in to the web site and opening our cruise the eDocs were available. This included the 17 page Guest Ticket Booklet. It is an excellent document that includes baggage tags. In the booklet we found pier instructions, confirmation of our traditional dinner seating selection and other important information to make cruising easy and enjoyable. The baggage tags can be printed off the pdf file and folded according to the instructions. To attach them to the bags you require a stapler or strong tape. We use clear plastic cruise luggage tags that are easy to attach to the bags and comfortably hold the tags given by Celebrity. Baggage tags with adhesive can be ordered on-line from Celebrity and are delivered before departure. Membership Benefits The membership is called Captain’s Club and offers very minimal benefits until you have accumulated a large amount of ``points``. In comparison with Princess Cruises, Celebrity is stingy on free internet for repeat cruisers. It is obvious that they wish you to select pre-paid beverages, internet and gratuities at the time of booking. Embarkation Embarkation is divided into three groups: Suites and Zenith, Concierge, General passengers. We were Concierge class and the check-in and embarkation was very fast and efficient. You board before the staterooms are ready but for us there was also a welcome lunch in the Main Dining room that was very nice while waiting for access to our room. Baggage arrived shortly thereafter. Cabin/Stewart & Amenities Cabin 1068 was excellent. We knew what to expect as we had cruise on a Solstice class ship the year before. Our Stewart, Helmi, was excellent. In no time he knew what our preferences were and looked after us very well. Well done and a great ambassador for Celebrity Cruises. The cabin layout is first class with lots of room and storage space including the space above the bed. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom well appointed. The shower is larger than what we have had in most of our previous cruises. It has a glass door rather than a butt-clinging curtain. Soap bars, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion etc. were all available and renewed as required. It is far better than wall-mounted gel dispensers as we had in another major cruise line. A flat screen TV offers a wide selection of programming including your ship account and services being offered. In Concierge class we had a bottle of sparkling wine available to us in our cabin and got afternoon canapé as well as fresh fruits daily. The balcony is roomy with two reclining chairs, foot stools and a small table. Restaurant/Food/Service It is difficult to offer anything but praise for the quality and presentation of the food. The daily menu offers a wide selection at each meal and the wait staff members are well above the norm expected in a high-end restaurant. Our waiter, his assistant, and the sommelier were quite efficient and friendly. We had asked for traditional dining and a table for 6 but Celebrity failed us. We did not get a table assignment even though we had booked almost 18 months prior to the sailing. The Maitre D flatly stated that there was no room for us on embarkation dinner and to see him the next day.. I met him at 9 am the next day and after making representation he accepted that we should get a seat that night. Later in the afternoon we received a note with a table assignment. That is not an acceptable practice for Celebrity. There is no formal night on this cruise but two ‘chic’ nights where people wear what they want. We saw long dresses and short ones, shirt and ties as well as polo shirts. The ships have relaxed the codes for better or for worse depending on your point of view. We also appreciate the buffet that is the best lay-out for handling a large number of passengers as well as offering a variety of food stations. We have not found a better buffet on other ships than what the Solstice Class ships offer. The only issue is that the food is often not as warm as we like it. The Main Dining Room also offers breakfast and lunch at specified times. The food is excellent there too as one would expect. We had the classic beverage package which served all our needs well. It is best value for money unless you seek high-end products. Of note, water bottles in the stateroom are expensive and not covered by this package BUT you can obtain small bottles of water for free at any bar on board. Public Facilities All the public facilities were the best of class. We could not offer any suggestion for improvement to them. We love to walk about and ships that have a wrap-around promenade deck. Regrettably Silhouette does not have one and the little bits of promenade decks available seemed to be a smoking area... A word about the Internet on board. First, it is far too expensive albeit it is faster than in the past. On embarkation I started the process to obtain internet service. They offered a selection of options at different prices. I selected a 100 minute option but as I strolled down the page to accept the terms and price, my selection followed to the unlimited internet at $250 which was not my intent. Too late! Celebrity need to review its sharp business practices selling an internet package. Itinerary We had been to the Caribbean often before thus we sought just a pleasant cruise with sea days that we love. After the first 3 days of very rough seas the Captain found calm seas but we missed Antigua. There were lectures on local history and anthropology as well as shopping guides that were of some interest. The Captain’s daily briefings at 10 am were informative but he was not the best communicator we have met on Celebrity ships. Shore Excursions We did not book excursions. Disembarkation Concierge passengers could wait for their disembarkation call in one of the specialty dining room where a continental breakfast was being offered. We proceeded ashore promptly when called and our bags were readily available. US Immigration and Customs went smoothly then we boarded a taxi for our hotel. Communications The evening newsletter was useful. The navigation channel on the television in the room is very limited in information and the map is way too large for anybody to know the position of the ship. The competition shows the detailed position of the ship, the heading, speed, temperature, sea state etc. The weather forecast for the next port was often not accurate and on one occasion it was not changed for four days... Recommendation Overall, we would recommend Celebrity Silhouette to anyone wishing to sail on a great ship with an excellent crew and superb culinary delights. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We had done the same cruise in 2013 and a Reflection in the Mediterranean in 2014 and as both were super I booked Solstice again.As our agent knew our preferences I stayed with her and the process was stress free. Starting with the ... Read More
We had done the same cruise in 2013 and a Reflection in the Mediterranean in 2014 and as both were super I booked Solstice again.As our agent knew our preferences I stayed with her and the process was stress free. Starting with the negative aspects so I can finish with a plus. Some of the daytime talks were just about selling their products. One on looking more youthful as we age was actually selling Botox treatment and another on reducing weight was also selling.There was also a persistent campaign to sell restaurant deals and drinks packages. Those trying to sell the WiFi deals would have a hard time as the cost was over the top. Pluses... The cleanliness, service and friendliness was 100% in all areas of the ship. The entertainment around the ship and the nightly shows were amazing and catered to a wide variety of tastes but, as the clients were mostly over 50, they were the target audience.Absolutely perfect for me! The lawn and swimming areas are a joy and the enthusiasm of the activity staff is endless. Suggestions... If you want newspapers ask for a daily highlights copy in Guest Relations and if you like large servings of food in the dining room just ask. The portions have been reduced due to previous wastage. I also preferred to eat breakfast and lunch in the dining room whenever possible. I didn’t do any of the ship’s excursions as I had found them to be expensive.The big plus was, for those who did, a full refund was given when we had to miss a port due to inclement weather. Although the ship is a little tired the overall experience makes it excellent value. I plan to cruise Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
I heard that Solstice was a nice ship and as it was our 52nd wedding anniversary I thought it would be a great way to celebrate. Couldn't fault the service and food and Errol in the Ensemble Lounge was fantastic. We had the best ... Read More
I heard that Solstice was a nice ship and as it was our 52nd wedding anniversary I thought it would be a great way to celebrate. Couldn't fault the service and food and Errol in the Ensemble Lounge was fantastic. We had the best cocktails we've tasted in a long time. Sorry that he is retiring as he was a great asset and will be missed. The Captain kept us very entertained. Would have liked to have a film every now and then that wasn't on the top deck and a kid's film. I had heard they showed movies in the Ensemble Central but didn't see any on the day's activities list. My husband is not very active and so there was not a lot for him to do except sit and read. Won't go in the pool or spa or the sun. Disappointed to miss Dunedin and Milford Sound due to weather but better to be safe and I accepted the Captain's decision to head for Australia. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We love being on the ship for 14 days and there are very few itineraries that go for 14 days! The ports are interesting and there's a good variety of shore excursions though we don't take many since we have visited these islands many ... Read More
We love being on the ship for 14 days and there are very few itineraries that go for 14 days! The ports are interesting and there's a good variety of shore excursions though we don't take many since we have visited these islands many times. The Eclipse is a great ship but is beginning to show some wear and tear. The crew is very friendly; the entertainment is quite good; and there are lots of places to kick back and relax! Captain Leo is the best captain we've encountered! His announcements are clear and fun to listen to. He and his officers are always out and about and are very approachable. Eddy Jenkins did a good job as cruise director and was also out and about during the cruise. Bar service is slow if you are not a regular at the bar. And, waiters/bartenders are hard to find on the aft deck by the Ocean View Cafe. Food in the dining room is good but several of the menu items were repeated during the 14 days. Also, the sommeliers in the dining room were not always looking to serve those who only had an occasional drink. The service in the dining room was usually okay but also was disorganized at times. It seems that they could use more staff in the dining room. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We bought our tickets in November but most of the other passengers bought theirs far earlier than us. However Celebrity failed to let us know the ship was only sailing with one propeller which slowed down its performance so much that we ... Read More
We bought our tickets in November but most of the other passengers bought theirs far earlier than us. However Celebrity failed to let us know the ship was only sailing with one propeller which slowed down its performance so much that we arrived in Ushuaia seven hours after the scheduled time. All tours were rushed and by the time we finished the tour all shops and museums were closed for the day. It was our intention to visit this far away place thoroughly and experience the life here. Then we were supposed to circle Cape Horn, but the ship just went a little north then turned around. When we got to Elephant Bay the ship was not able to get close to the shore because it did not have enough force. We did not stop in Port Stanley because of the weather and our next stop, Port Madryn, was canceled. We were on board for 12 days out of the 14-day cruise. This ship was working with only one propeller for a long time. Celebrity was well aware of this problem yet it chose not to disclose it so as not give the passengers the right to cancel the trip without penalties. It is still sailing north and back to Antartica without any plans to stop to fix the problem. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We really liked the itinerary...exotic southern Caribbean. Good choice of excursions and it was great to have total of 5 days at sea...2 at start and end and one in the middle. Food in MDR was good ...we had opted for flexible ... Read More
We really liked the itinerary...exotic southern Caribbean. Good choice of excursions and it was great to have total of 5 days at sea...2 at start and end and one in the middle. Food in MDR was good ...we had opted for flexible dining...usually were able to get a table for 2 within 15 mins while we sipped our cocktail at the Martini Bar. Waiter Desiderio and assistant Kevin were friendly and helpful and sommelier Dino was also good. We enjoyed 1 night at Qsine..a really fun experience and spent our first evening at the Tuscan Grille which was ok but not as good as Murano..which we visited on an earlier cruise. Did not really enjoy Oceanview Cafe at lunch..usually ate Indian...but breakfast was good..However Celebrity seems to be cutting back on staff...hard to get tables cleared. Overall much too busy and noisy...do we really need loud music on top of the din? The entertainment wasnt great ..it was much better on our Southampton cruise last fall. The ship band was really awful....loud cacophonous music...and microphone level near the pool was DEAFENING! Most people on this 14 day cruise were retirees and i heard a lot of complaints about the loud music. I did speak to a couple of staff but nothing was done ...and i understand several others also complained. Most retiree cruisers want to read..not be bombarded with a wall of wailing noise. Our cabin staff Mario and Elsa did a great job ...they were so diligent in making sure everything was sparkling. The enrichment lectures were interesting and informative We really enjoyed the cruise and we are sailing with Celebrity again very soon..However we do have concerns about the apparent cutback in staff...oceanview cafe needs more wait staff and the sommeliers in the MDR were run off their feet. Also the general noise level...the awful choice of loud music...is our biggest concern and if we encounter that same level of noise on the next Eclipse cruise we will think seriously of sticking to Oceania. Finally stop people reserving deckchairs for hours before they show up.... And conside converting Wine Cellar to a bar with craft beers. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
My wife and I found most things about this cruise very poor and we were glad when it ended. With the exception of cabin staff, visiting entertainment, and the Ocean View buffet, everything about this cruise from the food down to the ... Read More
My wife and I found most things about this cruise very poor and we were glad when it ended. With the exception of cabin staff, visiting entertainment, and the Ocean View buffet, everything about this cruise from the food down to the quality of the toilet paper was 2 Star. From the moment of embarkation we were pestered to purchase a drinks package on numerous occasions which we did not want. However, we did drink a lot less wine on this cruise compared to our 10 or so previous cruises because, when we did wish to purchase a drink wine menus were not available in most bars and to order a drink was a time consuming ordeal in itself. On several occasions at dinner we were half through our main course before we could even get a bottle of wine. When we complained to one of the senior wine waiters, he informed me that they have difficulty in recruiting staff. However we, together with others on the cruise, got the impression that having sold a lot of drink packages, it was not in their interest to have too many wine waiters around as people who had purchased the drinks package would be taking advantage of the free drinks they were entitled to. A lot of the time in the onboard bars the barmen had to double up as wine waiters, but the 18% service charge on all drinks was still duly added. Considering that there was a mark up of almost 1000% on some wines, the quality was very poor. The cheapest bottle of wine was around $32 which by the time you added an 18% service charge amounted to close to $40. Compared to our last Celebrity cruise a few years ago, the reduction in staffing in the main dining room was palpable. On at least 3 occasions we had to wait more than half an hour before we received our main course causing us to miss most of the main show in the theatre. The food was tasteless and often served up cold. The tables for 2 ,which we occasionally asked for, were a farce with only inches between the tables. There was no promenade deck, no games room and only a very small sports bar in the Casino, which was closed when the Casino was closed rendering it impossible to watch UK sporting events. The entertainment around the ship after 8 pm was virtually non-existent. The last Celebrity cruise we went on had a pianist playing requests in what is now Michael's bar and it was always difficult to get a seat as it was always packed to the rafters. Now it is a private room for suite guests and I only ever saw 4 people at most using it - I suppose they don't want too many people drinking in the evening as they might take advantage of their drinks package! You were made to feel second class as you were constantly being asked to upgrade to the speciality restaurants which were generally empty whenever I looked in. Everything came at a price and whilst I appreciate they are running a business, profit seems to be the driving force and not the well being of the passengers. If you were ill and confined to your cabin the movies on offer were pay per view. We came away with the view that if you wanted any semblance of quality you would have to pay a premium for it. If you need to constantly pay extra for quality you might as well book with a premier cruise line first as last. To the both of us it all seemed like highway robbery!! At least the notorious English highway robber Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask when he robbed people!! Perhaps some celebrity staff should follow his example. Read Less
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