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7 Celebrity Solstice Holiday Cruise Reviews

The cruise was a popular one for young families and there were many children of all ages on board enjoying the pools, whirlpools and decks. Although, this meant that the pool deck was almost unusable during the day, it did add to the ... Read More
The cruise was a popular one for young families and there were many children of all ages on board enjoying the pools, whirlpools and decks. Although, this meant that the pool deck was almost unusable during the day, it did add to the Christmas spirit for what is Christmas without children. Part of the fun was watching them enjoy themselves with their parents, particularly at the shows. On the whole, they were very well behaved. There were also a lot of families with adult children reuniting from different parts of the world to celebrate the holidays together. The ship, already beautifully designed was stunningly decorated from top to bottom. Services were also held to celebrate Hanakah. It was very inspiring. We loved the understated elegance of the ship although we found the layout confusing and we kept having to consult the ship guide to orient ourselves. A great deal of effort was put into the smallest design detail and the artwork throughout the ship is impressive. The quality is evident. Our balcony cabin was nicely laid out and efficient although a bit of a letdown since our view was obstructed by the lifeboats attached to the deck below (we were not aware of this when we booked the room). There was also a utility door for the crew beneath us that would slam shut several times an hour until it was adjusted when we reported it to the guest relations staff. They offered us dinner at the specialty restaurant of our choice as a recompense for the inconvenience. A gesture we did not expect and we enjoyed a lovely meal at the Tuscany Grill on Christmas evening (the onion soup is to die for). In the main diningroom, the table we were first assigned was on deck 3, completely in the back next to a busing station. We asked to be reassigned to a table for two the following night and we got a lovely table next to a window which we enjoyed for the rest of the cruise. The food was a bit of a disappointment and hit and miss. The salads and soups were not very good but the steaks and lobsters were perfectly done. The quality of the desserts were also uneven. The Baked Alaska served on Christmas Eve was the most disappointing. The buffet was a cut above others we have experienced with quite a few stations offering made-to-order dishes. The choices were excellent and would please health-conscious eaters to gourmands. We participated in several wine-tasting events and enjoyed them immensely. The quality of the wines was quite good and the fees for the events reasonable. The Riedel wine-tasting was the best of the ones we attended but we were very upset by the fact that Canadian passengers were not warned that they would not have the same benefits as other participants if they wished to buy the glasses. The literature says that the cost of the course can be applied to the cost of the glasses and we had read from other reviews that it was worth it. However, on this cruise, they did not have the glasses on board and would have to ship them which would cost Canadians custom fees of $30 negating any benefits. The seas were rough and we experienced a good deal of motion and vibration on the ship. I never did get my sea-legs. Many frequent cruisers commented that it was one of their roughest cruises. This was a bit surprising and we would have expected a ship of this size to ride more smoothly. We arrived late in San Juan, our first port of call due to the high seas and since it was already dark all excursions were cancelled. We did not venture far from the ship since it was raining and we were not familiar with the town. Our second port was St. Thomas which we enjoyed and after rapidly touring the area on board a safari bus we spent a couple of hours at Megan Beach. Unfortunately, we did not make several stops because there were so many other tour buses that there was not parking available. The excursion was very disappointing and not worth the money. We should have just paid a taxi to take us to the beach. That night, my husband had the misfortune of contracting what the medical staff judged to be the Norovirus and was quarantined to our cabin for two days. It took him another 2-3 days to fully recover from the experience so this really dampened our enjoyment of a portion of the cruise. He missed the next two ports of St. Maarten and St. Kitts. Of course I could not leave him alone for long so we did not visit those two ports. We did not eat or drink anything off of the ship so he contracted the virus on board. I have read the reviews of the Transatlantic crossing cruise and the previous pre-Christmas cruise and it seems that this virus was a serious problem on the Solstice. The support we received from the staff during the illness was inadequate and we were left more or less to fend for ourselves. Even the cleaning of the cabin was only done after repeated requests. We have yet to see how Celebrity will compensate us for this portion of our cruise. We found the entertainment on board to be very professional and enjoyed every show and activity we were able to attend. The crew were wonderful in participating in various activies and it was amazing how involved they became. All in all, we have a very positive memory of our cruise on board the ship and would do it again in a heartbeat. The shore excursions do need to be improved.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We recently returned from a 12 night cruise in the eastern Mediterranean where we visited a total of 8 ports. two of which where at best "marginal". Kotor and Dubrovnik where the the two. Shore excursions had obviously never ... Read More
We recently returned from a 12 night cruise in the eastern Mediterranean where we visited a total of 8 ports. two of which where at best "marginal". Kotor and Dubrovnik where the the two. Shore excursions had obviously never been on either of the two tours or they would have undoubtedly canceled them both and re-vamped them. Kotor was a long bus ride up a mountain side with no room for anyone to pass in either direction. The hairpin turns and hundreds of feet drop offs made the trip exteremly dangerous. certainly we would not recoomend it. We would recommend that someone re-look at this excursion. Dubrovnik. A really nice old town taht we would have liked to have spent more time in. but shore Excursions struck again and took everyone for a long bus ride to a quaint restaurant that served us a stale piece of bread topped with a piece of cheese and another piece of the same bread with something they called Ham but it was more like tongue to us. Hardly anybody (out of two bus loads) ate any of it. Upon returning to Dubrovnik, many people left the bus and told the driver they would take a taxi back to the ship as the bus tour left us with very little time in the town. Another tour that needs re-assessing. Arriving in Rome on All Saints Day, a Memorial Day Holiday and an annual Marathon Run that began and ended at St Peter's Square was perhaps the biggest faux pas. We couldn't get close to the Square nor the basilica. Everything else including The Vatican was closed. Finally Marseilles. Another long ride in a bus. Someone in Shore excursions must have at one time worked for greyhound or Trailways as just about every ship tour involved a long bus ride to the highest point to take a few pictures while everyone wanted to be on the ground in the city buying souvenirs. No more ship excursions for us. the Private Tours (of which we took four) we far better. Far better. Those we highly recommend. All in all the cruise was disappointing. the schedule was heavy, very little time to rest. A day or two at sea would have been very welcome. we did have two days at sea for the very beginning, but they were really need somewhere in the middle, to give folks a chance to catch their breath. celebrity themselves were perfect as usual the dining was excellent and cabin service very good. one comment for them. you could have done without the Glass blowing on the aft section of the ship and put the grill there out of the wind and gained more room. putting the grill on the Port side in the direct wind was not all that great. we didn't see a lot of people using it. Sincerely Terry Hensey. Soltice Oct 23rd. Venice and the Med. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Just recently returned from a 12-day Eastern Mediterranean trip, over all we had a great time. The Solstice staff were engaging and happy to make the stay on the ship as enjoyable as they can. We did not partake in the specialty ... Read More
Just recently returned from a 12-day Eastern Mediterranean trip, over all we had a great time. The Solstice staff were engaging and happy to make the stay on the ship as enjoyable as they can. We did not partake in the specialty restaurants but we heard that food there was great. We thoroughly enjoyed the food at the Grand - our dinner seating was at 6:15 pm, we were the fortunate ones as some people that were at the late seating were not happy at all. The staff at the restaurant was attentive and interested in how the food was - they were happy to get you a new entree if we were not satisfied with the dinner. The maitre de was great as we had to move tables third day in as we not satisfied with the location. There are plenty to do if you so chose, I loved the 'Glass Show' - gives you a better appreciation for glass making. The staff there was to demonstrate and educate - they had a lot of adversity to overcome - wind, rain, and since it was electric heating system they were frequently putting the glass they were making into the ovens in order to keep the glass at a steady temperature. The entertainment was first class; the live music was great especially Top Notch. The DJ; however, had a bit of a problem as he mixed up his British Invasion with his 80's. Our suite had a bit of a problem regulating its room temperature, found that the temperature dipped to cold in the middle of the night (the housekeeping staff was nice enough to bring me two blankets - really helped). Also, credo goes to the steward for coming to the room when I couldn't open the safe in the middle of the night and the purser, Nadine for her due diligence for getting us our onboard credit. We took advantage of express debarkation: it was a bit disorganized at first because everyone that wanted to leave early was all gathered in one area just outside the elevators where the theatre was located (front of the ship). The staff did not know what deck we were supposed to leave - until he had word from the captain. There was about a 15 minute wait and then we had to lug our luggage to the back end of the ship. That was the only glitch. Loads of taxis waiting at Barcelona, Spain. A nice gesture: whenever arriving from outing there was staff from Solsitce greeting you on the dock area and a place to sit if you wanted as well as beverages like hot chocolate, water, and juice were offered before going back onto the ship. Recommendations for this trip: I would like to have all informations regarding shore excursions including shuttles be on the website. Also, how far the dock yard is from the place of visit. All tour guides on excursions should have their patrons write their names and suite down, this helps identify who is missing. There were a couple times where there was a miscount and people that won't supposed to be on the excursion were counted thus accidentally leaving the people that were on that particular excursion out without a paddle so to speak. Overall, the cruise was great. I know it would have been nice to have had two days at sea at the end to rest up before heading home but one always have to keep in mind, learning to pace one self is a good thing. I didn't mind being exhausted as we had a 14 hour plane trip home - gave me plenty of time to catch up on my sleep. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
About us: DH[61] and I[59] are teachers and this was our 23rd cruise. We have cruised with Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Hal, Princess, RCCL. We drove from south, central Georgia on Saturday 20th, to Port St. Lucie, about one hour north ... Read More
About us: DH[61] and I[59] are teachers and this was our 23rd cruise. We have cruised with Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Hal, Princess, RCCL. We drove from south, central Georgia on Saturday 20th, to Port St. Lucie, about one hour north of Fort Lauderdale which made for an easy drive the morning of embarkation. I had booked the Marriott Residence Inn online and got a really attractive suite with full kitchen and at a great rate which always make DH happy. We arrived at Port Everglades, dropped off the luggage, parked in the Midport Garage, and were onboard with mimosa in hand all in less than an hour. Muster drill -without life-vests- was held in venues throughout the ship. We were in Blu which did look nice. As has been said many times, the Solstice is a beautiful ship. We really enjoyed the dEcor both the contemporary [MDR, Sky Lounge etc] and the traditional [Michael's Club, Wine Cellar - which became two of our favorite places to sit with a drink before of after dinner]. Our stateroom was 8343, port side balcony - the last one which does give a slightly larger balcony. However, be aware that you look down onto a large blue metal area of roof and walkways. Not the best view. The bathroom was clean, bright and the shower a good size. The sofa was awkwardly placed for accessing the closet and there is definitely a shortage of drawers. DH and I really felt that not having large pull out drawers below the sofa was a missed opportunity for storage. We find those very useful on Carnival ships. We liked the dEcor of the room and the flat screen TV but were disappointed to see quite a lot of rust on the balcony walls and the railings really needed refinishing and re-varnishing. Lucas was our steward and was efficient and friendly. We ate in the Ocean View cafe twice for lunch; the Aqua Spa Cafe for breakfast several times, and apart from room service for breakfast one morning [which was exactly what we ordered and delivered on time], we ate mainly in the MDR. We had select [anytime] dining which worked well for us. We like to be able to decide what to do and when to do it. While the wait staff was in general competent, only one pair seemed to go above and beyond and make the extra effort. I know it is more difficult to build a rapport with the waiters when you have anytime dining, but we have managed it on other cruises. Food overall was good if somewhat uninspired, but our main criticism was that we often felt the choices were lacking in the MDR. It is the first time on a cruse that I never felt torn between several items, in fact I ended up selecting items which were available every day. The weather was a little rough to start with and according to the navigator when we went to his talk, the seas were "moderate" with 12 foot swells. We really enjoyed his talk and also the one done by the environmental officer, but DH went to the engineer's talk and said it was disappointing. I went to the first scrap-booking class but as everything we wanted to do seemed to be at the same time, never made it to another one. We always enjoy the dance classes, but the two dancers teaching it were probably the worst we have ever come across [more about the dancers later]. There was some good entertainment onboard. Metro West, the a cappella group was excellent; the Adagio Strings were good; and several other solo musicians were good, but we did not care for the show band. They seemed to think very loud equals very good. Now to the shows. Having taught theatre in both the UK and USA I can honestly say the singers were second rate and the dancers were poor at best. I really enjoy going to the shows onboard any cruise line and love to sit behind the techie working the sound/light boards. With the exception of Solstice the show, which was worth seeing, I cringed while watching the other two productions shows. Paul Baya, the CD and entertainment director [he said] should really suggest a great deal more rehearsal time for the dancers, perhaps then they could perform a cohesive and in step routine. Even DH who freely admits he has two left feet, remarked how out of time the dancers were. The ventriloquist and impressionist were reasonably good. We did really enjoy the hot glass show, and the Captain's Club reception. I am glad that we got to sail with and meet the most amusing captain with which we have ever come across, as this was his last cruise before going on vacation. His sense of humor and timing were outstanding. The whole point of this cruise for us was rest and relaxation and we managed that with no problem. As we have spent time in all the ports of call, except for wandering round the fort in San Juan, we stayed on board, read and relaxed. We enjoyed the Solstice and the cruise and will be happy to sail with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Our group of 3 couples had great expectations for this 7 night Thanksgiving cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean and Princess previously, but this was our first time on Celebrity. Based on the mostly awesome reviews and feedback ... Read More
Our group of 3 couples had great expectations for this 7 night Thanksgiving cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean and Princess previously, but this was our first time on Celebrity. Based on the mostly awesome reviews and feedback from friends we were expecting to be bowled over. All reports seemed to point to Celebrity being a class above the other lines. After this cruise experience, I would have to say - different, and better in some areas, but not all. We had an outside cabin with a verandah and I must say that the rooms and especially the bathrooms are the best I've seen so far. The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was especially nice with a good sized shower and lots of storage space. Our room attendant kept it neat and quickly responded to our request for wine glasses and ice. Food: We ate dinner in the main dining room and in my opinion, the service and the food were disappointing. The portions were so small that some of the men in our group were talking about the buffet pizza even before dinner was finished. Some of us ordered a glass of wine each night, so we had to wait for the sommelier to take our wine order. He seemed insulted when we asked to look at the wine list instead of ordering the one he recommended. One evening I debated about having my husband walk across the hall to Winemasters because our guy was apparently too busy to take care of us. Our waiter didn't bother asking the rest of the group if they wanted a beverage other than wine so anyone who wanted a coke was out of luck. This was very disappointing to me. On our last RCL cruise the waiters knew our names and our preferences (including the one in our party who always ordered a diet coke) after the first night. Also disappointing was the fact that there were no decorations anywhere on the ship to recognize the Thanksgiving holiday. No cornucopias, no fall flowers, no pumpkins carved with images of pilgrims...nothing! The buffet was just ok. The waffles were a high point but you never knew quite where to stand if you wanted an omelet or cooked to order eggs so we went to the dining room for breakfast if we wanted something special. We only ate dinner there one night and most of the food in the buffet was dry and lukewarm. My husband does not drink tea or coffee so it was nice that they had lemonade & juice in the dispensers. Activities: The glass blowing was fun to watch...once. We went to one dance class - possibly the worst dance instructors we've ever seen. We left halfway through. We went to the Cirque type show and enjoyed that and also enjoyed the various musicians, especially the acapella group. It seems though that some of the areas on the ship are under utilized. The Sky Lounge is huge and should have been the venue for the 60's party instead of the Main Lobby area. Overall, I would have liked more interactive activities. Sometimes we found ourselves wandering around with nothing to do. If you happen to be up past 10:00 most of the lounges are dead. Overall: We love cruising and any day on a cruise is better than being at work. Maybe our expectations were too high, but I feel that having had the Celebrity experience, I'll probably go back to Princess or RCL before I try Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
My family and I along with several of our relatives took the Dec. 20 cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on the Solstice. While we had a pretty good time, I think the general consensus was that in a number of different areas, Celebrity could ... Read More
My family and I along with several of our relatives took the Dec. 20 cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on the Solstice. While we had a pretty good time, I think the general consensus was that in a number of different areas, Celebrity could have done a better job. Let me first state that the ship was absolutely beautiful-the public rooms such as the various dining rooms and bars were contemporary. We stayed in the Concierge Class-the rooms while somewhat small were stylish and the bathroom was functional. I am not sure if it really was worth the money to stay in Concierge class - I believe the rooms on the floor below us were just as nice and were less money. As far as the food, I would say that it was pretty good but not great. Some members of our family were quite disappointed with the quality and variety of the food in the Grand Epernay dining room for dinner. I think that we all liked the Oceanview Cafe on the 14th floor. There were a number of problems however. I found it surprising that the Oceanview Cafe closed at 12AM on Christmas Eve. We were not the only ones who were looking for a late night snack and thought that this dining option should have been open, especially for a holiday. The main issue that we had was the fiasco that happened on Christmas day in Labadee, Haiti. We arrived 1 hour late and the captain announced that because of this delay, we would not be having the holiday barbecue on the island but on the ship. That is fine, but neither he nor anyone else announced that ALL of the dining options were closed on the island. On the map that they give out, there were a variety of cafes and restaurants listed. As anyone can imagine, we along with more than half of the ship disembarked to enjoy a day in the sun and discovered that there was no food to be had-no hotdogs, no hamburgers, no sandwiches. All they brought from the ship were some cookies and sweetrolls for us to eat. It is unbelievable to me that we paid all this money and the Celebrity staff could not do something more for us on Christmas day. I don't understand why they were unable to make sandwiches and bring it out to the island. We ended going back to the ship at 4 PM because we were starving. And what happens once on board? The Mast Grill, which serves hotdogs and hamburgers, has 40 people in line and The Oceanview cafe is not serving any food either except for pizza and salads and has similar lines. Celebrity really failed to address this problem and there were many people upset about the lack of food options for that day. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
This was our 4th Celebrity holiday cruise and probably our last. We sailed from Fort Lauderdale on the Solstice on the Dec 28th,, 2008. Having cruised on two other Celebrity holiday cruises, both 14 nights, I was familiar with the long ... Read More
This was our 4th Celebrity holiday cruise and probably our last. We sailed from Fort Lauderdale on the Solstice on the Dec 28th,, 2008. Having cruised on two other Celebrity holiday cruises, both 14 nights, I was familiar with the long standing quality of the line. On this particular holiday cruise, I saw a much different side of Celebrity. First, there is no getting around the fact that Solstice is a real beauty. Modern in every way, she is clearly the most breathtaking lady on the high seas. Solstice could evolve into a remarkable ship, if and when she grows up and becomes a proper lady. She is fresh from the shipyard with a crew still attempting to gel and get their act together. The Celebrity management team seems to be in the middle of a paradigm shift, searching for a way to stay profitable in a very tough economy. And that seems to be the root of all that is not so wonderful about Solstice. Clearly, Celebrity, like other travel companies, is struggling to maintain its core repeat customers and targeting mainstream first time cruisers with respectable incomes. In a way, Solstice is an experiment at sea as management attempts to redefine cruising while staying profitable in a challenging economy. I'm guessing some of their innovations are just not going to cut it. STATEROOM: The cabins, nearly all with verandas, are spacious and loaded with easy to use technology. We loved this about the ship. With flat screen TVs and an interactive entertainment system complete with pay and FREE movies on demand, the intentions are right on target. Our Concierge Class cabin included a remarkably comfortable bed with luxurious linens, towels and an ultra modern bathroom. Make sure you take advantage of the "pillow menu". I loved the full body pillow! We had a cabin on Deck 12. All Concierge and Verandah cabins have adequate closet and drawer space and an ample size veranda. We were situated very close to the pool mid-ship, so we enjoyed an exceptionally smooth sailing. Service from our stateroom attendant was good but the benefits of upgrading to a Concierge cabin are becoming increasingly questionable. Gone are the days of feeling "special" when booking a Concierge Class cabin. The upgraded linens and bathroom amenities were nice, but didn't justify the $1,000 additional expenditure for the upgrade. We could care less about the nasty tasting canopies and the complimentary bottle of champagne. The reality is that all veranda cabins are the same size. It's the extra touches and the location that separate a Concierge Class cabin from a standard veranda. If you want to spend extra dollars on this ship, upgrade to a suite and enjoy the larger cabin and butler service. We wished we had a butler on this cruise, because when it came to dinner reservations, trying to make arrangements on our own was challenging. DINING: - The ship offers five alternative dining options, all which charge an additional fee ranging from $5.00 - $25.00 per person. We dined at Blu, Silk Harvest, Tuscan Grille and Bistro on Five. Each was enjoyable and offered a quality dining experience. We especially enjoyed the Asian fare at Silk Harvest and the excellent fillets and Italian dishes at Tuscan Grille. We couldn't say the same for the main dining room. In fact, we found our one night at Grand Epernay was far from acceptable. It was the classic "we smelled the fish coming" and when we tasted it, even the tartar sauce couldn't hide the strong fishy taste of our Mahi. - To enjoy a good meal on Solstice, plan to pay extra because the main dining room misses its target. It was nowhere close to the high quality of food and outstanding selections we'd grown to expect on a Celebrity. Clearly food quality has taken a hit as the company trims expenses and monetizes every part of the cruise experience. The main dining room attempts to present an image of a fine dining experience. From the stories I heard from other passengers, they are failing miserably. Perhaps stepping back to the basics would give this beautiful dining area justice. Why not good old chicken, steak, Mexican and Italian dishes done right, rather than fancy entrees that just don't sound appetizing and miss their mark when it comes to tasting good? - The buffet on deck 12 is adequate but far from memorable. Many items are still not marked leaving guests wondering which mystery meat or salad they are about to select. Worst of all, the offerings seemed to never change, making for a buffet experience that is both boring and disappointing. It doesn't take long to surmise that if you want to experience truly good food, you are going to have to pay extra for it...plain and simple. - Solstice is NOT prepared for capacity sailings. On embarkation day, hundreds of passengers were angry because either they were booked at the wrong seating or they were unhappy with their table assignments. At one point, security had to be called to calm an angry customer. And breakfast and lunch buffets during our holiday cruise were always crowded and plagued with lines. (If Celebrity can't please customers with designated seating times, perhaps they should take a chapter from the NCL playbook and consider moving to Free Style Dining. EMBARKATION & DISEMBARKATION: - Smooth and amazingly brisk. No problems here. We were on the ship and in our cabin in less than 20 minutes. Unlike other sailings we've been on, leaving the ship was equally painless and well organized. High marks for getting on and off the ship. Too bad we were anxious to get off? POOL & OUTSIDE DECKS: - During peak vacation periods on Solstice, plan on jumping out of bed by eight AM if you want a remote chance of securing deck chairs. Towels had to be replenished by 9:30. It appeared all 2850 passengers on board, pale and determined sun seekers, marked their spots on decks 12 & 14. This reminded us of a pack of dogs marking their territory then guarding their spot in the sunshine. On our first sea day, we made the mistake of sleeping until 10AM. My wife resorted to paying a pool butler to secure two chairs in the sun. (Silly us- thinking we could actually sleep- in on our vacation). - While the hoards scouted hard to find spots to tan, half a football field of green grass was empty on the top deck, aft. The only live lawn at sea was an interesting "out of the box" idea in some boardroom, but in reality it is a terrible waste of space. It was used by only a few who bothered to play Bocce or Crochet, truly two of America's most popular past times....NOT. - There is an interesting display of glass blowing next to the struggling grass. Again, an innovative idea but underutilized. If even 50% of this space was used as an alternative sunning spot, the need to hoard deck chairs forward and mid-ship might disappear. - We were disappointed that Solstice did not include a deck where we could walk completely around the ship like many other vessels. Instead, walking was confined to a very small walking track around the pool. With the hoards of passengers at the pool, navigating around others just wasn't worth the effort. PUBLIC SPACES: Aside from the pool and deck areas, public spaces on Solstice are magnificent and well planned. We seldom felt crowded or claustrophobic in most of the inside spaces. They give the appearance of a contemporary yet luxurious ship. Only the buffet on Deck 12 and the sundecks made us want to jump overboard and swim to an unpopulated island getaway where thousands of bodies of all sizes and proportions were not lined up like bacon ready to be fried. ENTERTAINMENT: Overall, Solstice provided above average entertainment in the main showroom. The typical Broadway reviews had a fresh new spin and a clone of Cirque de Ole was a fresh and innovative departure from the normal cruise ship fare. The showroom features state of the art production tools that make the shows vibrant and contemporary. Plenty of seats in the main showroom too, which tells me many passengers missed some good shows. The ship also features a smaller venue called Solstice Central, featuring comedy. After being annoyed every day from the masses on the decks, we would have loved to have found some levity from a good comedian. But again, in what can only be an attempt to keep passengers up late drinking and gambling, the comedian never performed before 11PM and some nights, as late at 12:45. Hate to be a party pooper, but we don't care to hang out in the lounges and drink all nights, so we and others were just out of luck. As I said earlier, it's all about monetizing every minute of the day to increase revenues. Keeping passengers up an extra hour or two can't hurt bar sales, the shops and of course, the Casino. We walked through the Casino and it seemed modern, clean and very adequate. - Kudos for the LIVE MUSIC! Unlike many other cruise lines which rely on prerecorded music in their showrooms, Celebrity DOES spend money on talented live orchestras. Whether it was providing live music for the singers & dancers during a show in the main theatre, or entertaining around the pool on New Year's Eve, the Celebrity Orchestra was fantastic THE PORTS: We choose the Solstice for the shipboard experience rather than the ports. - San Juan: How many more times must we waste a day in San Juan? Am I missing something here? We find the beaches in San Juan among the ugliest in the Caribbean. Surely Celebrity can find a more innovative port than San Juan. I recommend staying on the ship in San Juan and taking advantage of actually having your own deck chair and some personal space. - St. Kitts: Absolutely beautiful. If you're a beach person, hire a taxi and spend the day at a beautiful and sparsely populated beach. We NEVER book tours on the ship as we find them significantly more expensive and always crowded. The last thing we wanted was to more "herding us around like cattle". No thank you. - St. Marten: Another nice stop. We shared a taxi with some other passengers and spent the day at Orient Beach. The beach chairs were inexpensive, there were plenty of places to grab a drink or have some lunch and of course, lots of naked sunbathers. THE VERDICT: A beautiful ship with a friendly crew, however: We will NOT book another 7 day cruise on Solstice during high season, especially not over the holidays. Remember, we have taken several 14 day cruises on Celebrity and loved them. I think the shorter cruises and lower price tags turn the ship into a more mass market product which is not for us. Who wants to get up early just to throw a towel on a deck chair? No thank you. We sincerely hope Celebrity takes some actions to prevent overcrowding. It's just not relaxing when you feel like you are part of a herd of cattle. They will also need to make their main dining room offerings more attractive and enhance the quality of the food. Get back to basics. Celebrity is driving us and many other past customers, to their more upscale product, Azamara Cruises. And frankly, I think that just might be their strategy: Making Celebrity a more mass product by cutting expenses, and sailing at over capacity whenever possible. For those of us who still look forward to the relaxation of being on the high seas, be prepared to pay more in search of an upgraded product. Perhaps we will meet you on Azamara, OR on a different cruise line that values its repeat customers with a loyalty program that actually has rewards and perks that mean something. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
Celebrity Solstice Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.5 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 5.0 3.8
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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