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12 Celebrity Solstice Cruise Reviews for Holiday Cruises to Caribbean - Eastern

My son and I have cruised 20+ times in the past and Celebrity has always been our favourite. WE are Elite members and have sailed on Solstice two years ago. At that time we had enjoyed our cruise very much and we were looking forward to ... Read More
My son and I have cruised 20+ times in the past and Celebrity has always been our favourite. WE are Elite members and have sailed on Solstice two years ago. At that time we had enjoyed our cruise very much and we were looking forward to have the same experience. Unfortunately this time the cruise did not turn out to be up to Celebrity standard. It seemed like I was on a totally different ship. Starting from below average food quality (both in the main dining room and upstairs buffet) and continuing with very poor entertainment. I can't believe that Solstice cruise director Stewart has worked for Celebrity for over 10 years and nobody fired him yet!!!! Overall, entertainment crew appeared to be not motivated, and often they looked like they didn't want to "be there". I saw the same shows two years ago and what a difference! As Elite members we took the backstage tour once again. I invited one of the ladies from our dining room table to join as as she was an artist. I bragged to her prior to the tour how exciting it was going to be and how much she is going to learn about show productions. And you have no idea how embarrassed I was after we took the tour! For first half hour we listened to cruise director Stewart how fabulous he was (and he wasn't even supposed to be there!) and after they just walked us through the back (it took literary 1 min) and sent us on our way... This brings me to the subject of consistency... Consistency with previous quality of food and service on Solstice as well as consistency of food and service on the current cruise. Every drink, every cup of coffee I ordered tasted different from each other. I really can't understand why. There was also a problem with consistency of information received from the crew. I had an issue with shore excursion stuff in relation with my extended stay excursion in Ft Lauderdale after disembarkation. When I went to shore excursion desk to inquire what exactly is involved in the excursion one lady told me that we get dropped off "somewhere in the city and it was my responsibility to take a taxi if I wanted to go to the beach". She became very argumentative to the point of being rude when I asked her to double check this info as the description of the excursion in the paper was totally different from what she was telling me. She also stated that the manager was unavailable to answer my questions. I then spoke to another shore excursion officer who told me that we in fact get dropped off at the beach (totally opposite from what the first officers told me). She was even be able to get the manager on the phone to confirm this information. And last but for sure not list.... My BIGGEST issue with this cruise. If I only read the reviews of past passengers that sailed on Solstice earlier the same month.... I would have known that the ship had to be thoroughly cleaned several times (in fact, there was a huge delay with embarkation early December) due to noro (or Norwalk) virus. NOBODY from the crew bothered to tell us that this problem existed. I actually remember that once when I sailed with another cruise line they sent out a letter prior to the sailing day notifying passengers about the virus. NOT THIS TIME. If you read this and you are about to sail on Solstice please, please, take the precautions!!!!! they for sure would not care! I always wash my hands, so does my son. We have not been sick in years. ON Christmas night, the night before disembarkation, my son fell very ill (I will spare you from the details, but I can tell you it was awful). I followed in the early morning hours as I obviously was in close contact taking care of him. In the morning both of us could not even move. And as you all know on the morning of disembarkation all they wanna do is to get rid of the passengers as soon as possible so they can start with the new ones. It is very hard to explain in words how you would feel if you had this virus, but all I can say that you just wanna die. Of course, you would not be able to think straight and the fever does not help at all. I knew we had to get out of the cabin, my son wasn't even moving though. All I could think was to go to the guest relations desk for help, and also it was the closest place to our cabin (I had difficulty walking at that time). When I told the officer from the Guest Relations desk that my son and I are very ill SHE SAID "so what??" I could not believe this response. I further told her that I thought they wanna know as other passengers may get sick as well. She did not seem to care. She did say that she will get a nurse to call my cabin. At no time did she ask if we needed any assistance to disembark or anything else for that matter. Unfortunately by the time I returned to the cabin the nurse already called and spoke to my son. Not sure what she was able to get out of him as he was half unconscious.. As the room attendants were already knocking on our door asking when we were leaving (to give them credit they had no idea how we were feeling and they were just doing their job) I had to get my son up, grab our bags and crawl out of the room. For me it appears that nobody on board really cared. Needless to say that the rest of the day was pure hell... Upon arriving home we received emails from several other passengers that we met on this cruise who fell ill as well. I immediately contacted Celebrity to notify them that they might have a problem. The operator didn't seem to care and quickly tried to judge the steps that I made and blame me for not going straight to the nurse. It is probably very difficult to understand the state of mind I was in without experiencing it. I did state to the operator that the reason for my call was not to get anything out of this but to alert the cruiseline of the potential problem on board Solstice. I hope those of you who are planning a cruise on Solstice will find this information helpful. We may be considering another trip with Celebrity but for sure not on Solstice and most likely not on "S" class ships Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This was our fifth consecutive Holiday cruise. We enjoy traveling as a family during the holidays, and booked two balcony cabins on deck 8, one for my wife and I, and one for our 19 and 21 year old sons enjoying a break from college. We ... Read More
This was our fifth consecutive Holiday cruise. We enjoy traveling as a family during the holidays, and booked two balcony cabins on deck 8, one for my wife and I, and one for our 19 and 21 year old sons enjoying a break from college. We have had many very positive experiences with Celebrity, both as a couple and a family and previously found Celebrity a step above similarly priced lines. We've enjoyed not being inundated with announcements all day, found the quality of the food quite good, and the service generally excellent. And while we loved our vacation because it gave us time to spend together, Celebrity disappointed in several areas. And while we'll probably cruise with Celebrity again, I hope they address some of the truly disappointing aspects of our trip. Our embarkation process was extremely easy, from taxi to ship in less than 15 minutes. This is consistent with our past Celebrity experience and so much more civilized than other embarkation processes we've experienced. We did stop for a quick lunch at the Oceanview cafe, and found the quality, selection, and layout to be generally very well done. The service of the waiters, however, was very weak, with plates stacked on empty tables for too long. Additionally, all the ice machines were down at one point, and some of the drink machines never worked for the entire cruise. We found the coffee much improved. After lunch we walked around the ship, and were in our staterooms when called by 1:45 or so. Our luggage arrived shortly thereafter and we found the space available well-designed. We enjoyed our room and found it well designed. The beds were comfortable and the deck furniture was nice. This was the first time we did not sail in Concierge class and while we missed the better towels, we agreed that our staterooms were fine and would not consider Concierge class unless it was a nominal upcharge of $50 or less. While the design of the room was outstanding, the service was the worst we ever experienced on a ship. For example, on several occasions, we were left with no soap or shampoo and had to request it. One day we had no toilet paper, but had 3 extra boxes of tissues! What we really didn't like was the number of different people in the room and the time it took them to do the service. On every other cruise, the attendants were friendly, hard working, and efficient. On this cruise, the quality was terrible, with them taking two hours to service the room in the morning and evening. They would do the towels, then return and do the ice bucket, then return and leave information packets... We never received our disembarkation information, nor our daily calendar consistently. While we appreciate the fact that the cabin stewards have a difficult job, Celebrity needs to provide the training so they can manage their jobs effectively and at least meet guest expectations. And the worst offense? leaving dirty cleaning microfiber cloths in our son's room. Given previous noro issues on this ship...this is the kind of thing that can certainly spread viruses and should be a basic expectation of hygiene. The entertainment was both outstanding at times and horrible at times. The English juggler was terrific, one of the best acts we've ever seen on a ship. And the production shows were professionally done. But the so called impressionist singer, Sean O'Shea was the worst act we've ever seen. And we don't understand why the sole comedienne only performed a single show and only at midnight? But, all shows were detracted by the horrible cruise director and his inane banter. This was also the worst cruise director we've encountered. He lacked engagement and failed to create a positive vibe on the ship. And Stuart, please stop singing! We did enjoy some of the activities. But we also enjoyed our time together playing a cruise-long card tournament that ended up leaving our sons $10 richer. The highlights of the activities included trivia and the glass show. We met a lovely couple from Palm Beach and thoroughly enjoyed meeting them for various trivia contests. We won 3 of the contests together, but seemed to have as much fun on the one's we lost as the one's we won! The glass show was a nice surprise. We found the commentary, especially by the young lady to be simply fascinating. The layout of the ship was terrific. We never really felt crowded and could always find a quiet spot to lay in the sun, or play cards. Well, perhaps not too quiet. While most of the children on this holiday cruise were very well behaved and pleasant, there were far too many who ran amok, with no supervision, and no manners. Parents, you know who you are, and you should be ashamed of yourselves. There were also a number of people who didn't seem to have "please" or "thank you" in their vocabularies. These folks work hard for us, and a smile or word of appreciation is always in order. We also believe Celebrity needs to either enforce "rules" or not have them. For example, many people smoked on balconies and in non-smoking areas. Children screamed in the Atrium pool all day, yet it was supposedly an adult-only area. And dress codes? Either have them and enforce them, or don't have them. We enjoyed open seating in the main dining room and found the service to be outstanding! The food was generally excellent, with only a few misses, but always nicely presented. We had three different waiter/assistant teams and all were excellent. However, the team of Rajesh and Roxana with whom we dined on the last 4 nights were simply outstanding, and reminded us that the old Celebrity service that brought us back to Celebrity still exists. Thanks to you both for such outstanding service. Note that we made reservations for dinner in advance of the cruise, and the reservations were honored immediately every time. We didn't sample the specialty restaurants. The ports were fine and we had a nice time in all of them. Due to heavy winds (35mph+) and high seas, we were about 3 hours late to San Juan, arriving just at sunset. An announcement was made, and an apology made, both by the captain in his announcement, and with a card in our staterooms. We found that a sincere gesture. We also found the captain to be very engaging and charismatic, with a great sense of humor...just what Stuart the cruise director needs! We spent a nice day at the beach and shopping in St. Thomas, a bit of the same in St. Maarten, and took a brief walk in St. Kitts, not our favorite island from previous visits. Disembarkation was easy as well. Overall, we had a great family vacation and enjoyed being together in such beautiful weather in a wonderful location. Celebrity enhanced that experience in many ways, and detracted in others, as mentioned above. So, will we return to Celebrity? Before this trip, I would have answered affirmatively. Now, I'm not that sure. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Our 3rd Celebrity Cruise and 2nd time on the Solstice. Flew in the night before. Boarding was on time, rapid and painless. Excellent cabin on the hump with a very large balcony. Great, efficient service by our room steward throughout the ... Read More
Our 3rd Celebrity Cruise and 2nd time on the Solstice. Flew in the night before. Boarding was on time, rapid and painless. Excellent cabin on the hump with a very large balcony. Great, efficient service by our room steward throughout the cruise. Ate in the MDR on all nights in the late seating. Again, great service by our waiter and assistant waiter with professional and efficient service. Food quality varied with some great dishes and some just average. Many more young children on board, almost certainly because it was a holiday cruise. The cruise line never enforced the adults only rule for one of the outdoor pools so we generally stayed in the covered pool area which was quiet. Got to meet the new ship's master, Captain Gerry, during a sail away bridge tour offered during this cruise for $75.00. Captain Gerry had joined the ship this cruise, but has been Master of several other S class ships. For the bridge tour about 20 of us came on the bridge before sail away from St. Maarten, got to watch the Master brief the officers and then got to watch the Staff Captain maneuver the ship out of port. The ship's master spent 45 minutes with us answering questions about the ship and Celebrity. A great experience. The on board musical groups, including the ship's orchestra, were generally excellent. The specialty acts ranged from a great juggler, to a really terrible singer/mimic. The only comedian on board was there for one night at 12 MN. During the "liar's club" ship activity the Staff Captain revealed himself as an excellent "straight man" comedian. The ship's Master played his guitar and sang during the last night show and had a great voice. We were late getting into San Juan and arrived a dusk due to high winds. We toured on our own in San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Martin and had a great time. We took the ship sponsored Zip Line tour in St. Kitts and I highly recommend it. The Solstice has had problems with gastroenteritis/noro virus outbreaks this year. During the cruise immediately preceding ours, the ship was on "lock down" and guests could not touch utensils in the Buffet. We had no such restrictions on our cruise. Unfortunately during the last night of the cruise (Christmas Day), one of my family members developed severe GI distress. I was informed by the responding nurse practitioner that there had been an outbreak of many cases of GI distress that night, and that 3 separate medical teams were responding throughout the ship. Needless to say this made disembarkation particularly difficult. I wonder if the latest GI outbreak was due to noro virus or food poisoning. In any case this seems to be a recurring problem on the ship and needs to be dealt with. Read Less
Sail Date December 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 new husband and I (we got married in St. Thomas on this cruise!) sailed on the Solstice at the beginning of May. It was a wonderful trip. We travelled with my parents who are normally Carnival cruisers and I've sailed with various ... Read More
My new husband and I (we got married in St. Thomas on this cruise!) sailed on the Solstice at the beginning of May. It was a wonderful trip. We travelled with my parents who are normally Carnival cruisers and I've sailed with various cruise lines prior to this trip. We stayed at the Il Lugano hotel in Fort Lauderdale pre cruise - about 30USD taxi fare from the airport. Beautiful hotel with wonderful staff! In order to get to the ship we used the free shuttle within 5 miles to meet my parents at the Best Western Oakland Park just a few mins away and got a shuttle for 20USD along with them. The Best Western came with free shuttle service from the airport and back to the ship for guests and full breakfast! We did see the pool and it was quite large! Definitely a great value for pre-cruisers. Embarkation at the dock was smooth and easy. Our cabin on deck 10 was beautiful as far as staterooms go with the balcony having a couple of chairs with foot stools and a table big enough to eat breakfast on! The added touch of fresh flowers and plusher towels that came with the concierge class was quite nice. PS. Don't stay on deck 3 - my parents had an oceanview room complimented by lots of machinery and other noise from below.... The food was great! We ate...alot - everywhere from the spa cafe to the buffet to room service to the Tuscan Grill and the Harvest Silk restaurant. The Oceanview Cafe allowed for great people flow and tons of selection! For me gluten free is important and there was always gluten free bread to be found along with many options that were gluten free + there were lots of crew around to ask questions about ingredients. I was told there was gluten free pasta available although I didn't look for it. Gluten free dining in the main dining room and specialty restaurants was quite easy. I pre-ordered the night before for all the dining options and at the Harvest Silk restaurant they judged as we placed the order. The waiters in all the restaurants we dined at were great! I enjoyed the musicians in the various bars and lounges throughout the ship but the theatre shows were just ok. I haven't seen anything that compares to a trip on the Norwegian Sun in 2001. The ship is very large and even with all the staterooms sold out it didn't seem crowded. Seemed like there was always lots of crew around keeping things in tip top shape. They all seemed happy and always willing to help. What a bunch of comedians too! My mom and I had hair and makeup done at the spa for my wedding - did have to bring my own makeup - but we were pretty happy :) My mom had several spa treatments and loved them all - she's an avid spa go-er and was quite pleased. Our only real complaint was the lack of good strong filtered coffee. There is a coffee bar on board for purchasing espresso drinks but their regular supposed filtered coffee/mixture really was pretty awful most days! Overall the cruise was wonderful. We all loved it and the ports we visited. We didn't take in any ship sold tours and only wandered San Juan and St. Maarten. St. Thomas we had arranged for transportation to Magens Bay for our wedding and enjoyed the beach afterward. Can't wait to sail again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
Having completed 6 previous cruises mostly with Cunard, we chose the Celebrity Solstice on recommendation. Embarkation Embarkation at Fort Lauderdale was long and tiresome as we had to wait 2 hours after being herded in a seating area ... Read More
Having completed 6 previous cruises mostly with Cunard, we chose the Celebrity Solstice on recommendation. Embarkation Embarkation at Fort Lauderdale was long and tiresome as we had to wait 2 hours after being herded in a seating area before being allowed to board. This was in order for US customs to check the ship and crew which we were told was routine for ships coming into America after months sailing Europe. Just a shame we were not forewarned. Pre-Cruise Hotel The overnight stay in the pre cruise Hilton Hotel was exceptional, the room was clean and recently refurbished with a large flat screen interaction TV and great balcony views of the yachts. First Impressions First impressions were promising, the Solstice being a clean nearly new ship with impressive modern features. Ship Experience It was only after getting settled that you realised that the impressive modern look of the ship masked serious fundamental flaws. The modern bars and casual lounges were poorly designed with seating that looked impressive but gave a less than comfortable feel. We got the feeling of always being on show in the bars and lounges as there were few nooks and niches to relax. The bar servers looked sullen and table service took longer than you would have expected. There weren't the usual relaxation areas inside the ship to sit which led us to stay in our cabin over prolonged periods. The Bingo Experience I'm not a bingo player but when in Rome... The ticket pack for the 2 of us was very expensive, $60! The prize money was relatively low. Poor value and best avoided in my opinion. We paid the extra and booked the speciality restaurants throughout the cruise after reading poor reviews about the main dining restaurant. The Buffet Area There was a good variety of foods served here from salads to burgers and something for everyone. However we and others found the English style breakfast items cold and only cold plates were available to use. Poor Buffet Opening Times One major complaint was the buffet closing after 1am. If your hungry for a late night snack it's not easy ordering from the only available food source, your room service, especially when your wife is asleep in bed! Tuscan Grill Food quality was inconsistent, we pre-booked Tuscan on 4 nights. You would have thought the Tuscan staff would remember us but not a bit of it, after tipping well throughout, on the last night we were shown the worst table in the restaurant, in a corner next to the kitchen door which kept opening and closing. To make matters worse this was the last formal night with my wife dressed up to the nines facing the wall as if she were some naughty school girl. Afternoon Tea This was held during the afternoon in the Tuscan Grill and was a complete and utter shambles. The staff clearly had no idea how to serve afternoon tea which is a predominantly English affair. Even though there were more staff than guests, we and other guests were constantly ignored. We only managed to get one small cake and sandwich throughout the experience while staff walked round with full platters of which they seemed to have no inclination to empty. Murano Our impression was of an overrated pretentious service. When we asked the sommelier to help choose a wine for us he took it upon himself to open a £150 dollar bottle of wine without first checking, presumably to maximise his 15% beverage gratuity on our bill. We only learnt the true cost of the wine when it came to pay the bill which we paid reluctantly to avoid embarrassment. This ruined our cruise experience Silk Harvest Reasonable Asian cuisine but with poor overbearing table service. Bistro on 5 This was by far the best experience for us at the least extra cost (an extra $5 dollars per person). The food was fresh and exciting with a good menu with plenty of salads and crepes. Service was exceptionally friendly throughout. I would wholly recommend this restaurant. Deck Grill Serves burgers, hot dogs and chips. These were of good quality. Try the onion rings in beer batter which were exceptional State Room The Stateroom was a good size, well thought out bathroom and private glass/perspex balcony. Good large flat screen TV with swivel arm allowing bedtime viewing. The interactive service was exceptional allowing up to date viewing of our on board costs. There were a host of free newly released films to watch as well as videos of the bookable excursions. In Cabin Breakfast Service We liked our breakfast food delivered so we could eat first thing on our balcony. Food was always delivered hot and then followed by a phone call an hour or so later from the kitchen to check everything was all right, top marks for this service 10/10. Disembarking Took over an hour, quite tiresome and not well directed. On Board Advice, Tips & Excursions If you don't want to pay the daily $12 dollars a head automatic cabin gratuity, ask guest services to remove this from your bill. Many seasoned cruise travellers do this to focus on those providing exceptional service. In my experience, paying your cabin steward a little in advance with the rest at the end will ensure attentive service throughout. Our cabin steward was exceptional. Try ordering breakfast in bed from the breakfast menu in your cabin and then sit eating it on your balcony. You can order as many breakfast items as you wish but spare a thought for the poor steward who has to carry the tray down. Those Virgin Trans Atlantic flights are tiresome especially if your economy seating, I'm no bulky person but the seats are extremely narrow with little leg room for tall persons. Extra leg room is worth the extra cost or better still, premium economy provide more comfortable seating. You can save money by just getting off ship and doing your own thing. This proved easy for us to do, we were soon walking around the more interesting parts of the port town of Porto Rico. By asking which were the safest taxis to use, for a few dollars, we were relaxing on the best and quietest beaches on St Kitts and St Martin.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
My family and I along with several of our relatives took the Dec. 20 cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on the Solstice. While we had a pretty good time, I think the general consensus was that in a number of different areas, Celebrity could ... Read More
My family and I along with several of our relatives took the Dec. 20 cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on the Solstice. While we had a pretty good time, I think the general consensus was that in a number of different areas, Celebrity could have done a better job. Let me first state that the ship was absolutely beautiful-the public rooms such as the various dining rooms and bars were contemporary. We stayed in the Concierge Class-the rooms while somewhat small were stylish and the bathroom was functional. I am not sure if it really was worth the money to stay in Concierge class - I believe the rooms on the floor below us were just as nice and were less money. As far as the food, I would say that it was pretty good but not great. Some members of our family were quite disappointed with the quality and variety of the food in the Grand Epernay dining room for dinner. I think that we all liked the Oceanview Cafe on the 14th floor. There were a number of problems however. I found it surprising that the Oceanview Cafe closed at 12AM on Christmas Eve. We were not the only ones who were looking for a late night snack and thought that this dining option should have been open, especially for a holiday. The main issue that we had was the fiasco that happened on Christmas day in Labadee, Haiti. We arrived 1 hour late and the captain announced that because of this delay, we would not be having the holiday barbecue on the island but on the ship. That is fine, but neither he nor anyone else announced that ALL of the dining options were closed on the island. On the map that they give out, there were a variety of cafes and restaurants listed. As anyone can imagine, we along with more than half of the ship disembarked to enjoy a day in the sun and discovered that there was no food to be had-no hotdogs, no hamburgers, no sandwiches. All they brought from the ship were some cookies and sweetrolls for us to eat. It is unbelievable to me that we paid all this money and the Celebrity staff could not do something more for us on Christmas day. I don't understand why they were unable to make sandwiches and bring it out to the island. We ended going back to the ship at 4 PM because we were starving. And what happens once on board? The Mast Grill, which serves hotdogs and hamburgers, has 40 people in line and The Oceanview cafe is not serving any food either except for pizza and salads and has similar lines. Celebrity really failed to address this problem and there were many people upset about the lack of food options for that day. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
We sailed on the Celebrity Solstice for the second year in a row for New Years. We traveled with 3 other couples who have done the same. Overall it was a good cruise, but compared to last year, last year was better. Why? too many kids on ... Read More
We sailed on the Celebrity Solstice for the second year in a row for New Years. We traveled with 3 other couples who have done the same. Overall it was a good cruise, but compared to last year, last year was better. Why? too many kids on the ship and no parents at all to watch or control them. The security staff on the ship no way enforced the rules of "Adults Only" in the solarium pool area as well as the late night comedian and the bars. I would recommend the rules being enforced and changed to 18 years or older only. Individuals in the suites and Aqua Class such as ourselves should have priority for tables and sitting on New Years Eve around the outside pool and deck area where the New Years party was held. And again NO ONE UNDER 18. There should be more security concerning out of control teenagers and there should be NO GLASS of any kind used upon the deck during the New Years Eve party. Other than these few issues, our stateroom attendant was excellent as always, room service very good and on time, the ladies in the Aqua Spa were great, and the Blu Restaurant and Waiter were outstanding. The food and service excellent overall. Need to consider adding a sports bar where there is room to sit and watch the ball games. Too many people crowded into the Casino to watch the games and not enough room to accommodate. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
The ship was beautiful! Elegant! But the most boring cruise we have ever had!!! I am 57 but not dead!!! The staff was pleasant but I found myself longing for the waiters who called you by name and who seemed happy and made serving you ... Read More
The ship was beautiful! Elegant! But the most boring cruise we have ever had!!! I am 57 but not dead!!! The staff was pleasant but I found myself longing for the waiters who called you by name and who seemed happy and made serving you fun!! This group appeared as bored as the ship was boring! Our experience started off bad when I had preordered and paid for wine and flowers for our traveling partners anniversary..to be in their cabin on arrival. Flowers no wine...after checking several times no one seemed to know anything about the problem and no one offered to find out or help. I finally talked with guest services and cancelled the order and was told they would see if a refund could be arranged??? After two days, I was told it would take 7-10 business days for a refund...Only took 2 minutes to bill me! It took til Thursday for Celebrity to send a complimentary bottle of wine to my friends No apology! The cabins were fine...nothing special..the flat screen tv was a nice touch. Our cabin steward did not restock our frig for days and finally left me a note on a napkin telling me what I needed to do to get our frig restocked. Strange! She was adequate...nothing special. Just did her job. Clean beds and towels everyday. Room service was a definite plus!! Each morning a call saying my breakfast was on the way and at the exact time I requested. Unfortunately our dining room experience was terrible. We had a very nice table but our waiter and assistant waiter were personality VOID!!! This last summer on a RCCL cruise to Italy our waiter and assistant waiter were wonderful...fun and delightful! Our waiter only took our order, no suggestions...I never even knew his name!!! Our assistant waiter had not bathed in days...we were glad he only stayed a few moments!!! The food was horrible! I think they are forcing you to go to the specialty restaurants. Which we did and Morano was good definitely not worth the extra money. Silk Harvest was very good and the waiters there did have a personality! We requested late seating but were told 700 people were forced to take early at 6PM...However the dining room allowed people to come in late, really late...over an hour late and were seated and served. Of course our waiter seemed to rush us in anticipation of the large groups coming in late every night! The head waiter told us cruising is changing! Obviously! We truly only found two waiters on the whole ship that had any life in them! One in the Martini bar, she was wonderful! The Ice bar is a treat and a beautiful area! The grass!!! What a waste...it is always resting and you can't get on it for more than a quick step across it. And when you have to get up at 7:30 am on vacation to get a deck chair I say remove the grass!!!! Again people were saving chairs...large family groups that by 7:45am there were no chairs around the pool or upper area available. No pool attendants enforcing the no saving policy. When I complained in a shop I was told by an employee that not everyone wants to sit by the pool!!! But I saw many many people searching and complaining about not having a chair when you are at sea for two days!!! We were on Carnival Pride out of LA and there was never a problem with chairs...Carnival obviously does a better job...didn't even take the chairs down til 10am. Hopefully this is just a holiday cruise problem. The glass blowing was very interesting and a must see! The Casino was nice. I found $700 on the floor in the casino and turned it in..I hope the person who lost it claimed it. The casino did not even take my name... The ports were the same as always in the Caribbean. Beware of Orient beach if you are not accustom to nudity! I'm not!!! New Year's Eve was so blah!!! This is our 4th NYE cruise and this was by far the least fun! But that was the feel of the ship all week long! I hate to be so negative but we had so looked forward to this cruise, paying more than most cruises and were so disappointed in the value. I have had much better times on Carnival, RCCL, Holland America for a lot less money. We were not in the suite and Aquaclass so maybe we missed out on all the "perks". But as a regular cruising person it was a definite disappointment. I missed the fun, the island music, the waiters who knew your name! I will probably not cruise Celebrity again. Maybe I'm toooooo young for them! HA! Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
This was our 4th Celebrity holiday cruise and probably our last. We sailed from Fort Lauderdale on the Solstice on the Dec 28th,, 2008. Having cruised on two other Celebrity holiday cruises, both 14 nights, I was familiar with the long ... Read More
This was our 4th Celebrity holiday cruise and probably our last. We sailed from Fort Lauderdale on the Solstice on the Dec 28th,, 2008. Having cruised on two other Celebrity holiday cruises, both 14 nights, I was familiar with the long standing quality of the line. On this particular holiday cruise, I saw a much different side of Celebrity. First, there is no getting around the fact that Solstice is a real beauty. Modern in every way, she is clearly the most breathtaking lady on the high seas. Solstice could evolve into a remarkable ship, if and when she grows up and becomes a proper lady. She is fresh from the shipyard with a crew still attempting to gel and get their act together. The Celebrity management team seems to be in the middle of a paradigm shift, searching for a way to stay profitable in a very tough economy. And that seems to be the root of all that is not so wonderful about Solstice. Clearly, Celebrity, like other travel companies, is struggling to maintain its core repeat customers and targeting mainstream first time cruisers with respectable incomes. In a way, Solstice is an experiment at sea as management attempts to redefine cruising while staying profitable in a challenging economy. I'm guessing some of their innovations are just not going to cut it. STATEROOM: The cabins, nearly all with verandas, are spacious and loaded with easy to use technology. We loved this about the ship. With flat screen TVs and an interactive entertainment system complete with pay and FREE movies on demand, the intentions are right on target. Our Concierge Class cabin included a remarkably comfortable bed with luxurious linens, towels and an ultra modern bathroom. Make sure you take advantage of the "pillow menu". I loved the full body pillow! We had a cabin on Deck 12. All Concierge and Verandah cabins have adequate closet and drawer space and an ample size veranda. We were situated very close to the pool mid-ship, so we enjoyed an exceptionally smooth sailing. Service from our stateroom attendant was good but the benefits of upgrading to a Concierge cabin are becoming increasingly questionable. Gone are the days of feeling "special" when booking a Concierge Class cabin. The upgraded linens and bathroom amenities were nice, but didn't justify the $1,000 additional expenditure for the upgrade. We could care less about the nasty tasting canopies and the complimentary bottle of champagne. The reality is that all veranda cabins are the same size. It's the extra touches and the location that separate a Concierge Class cabin from a standard veranda. If you want to spend extra dollars on this ship, upgrade to a suite and enjoy the larger cabin and butler service. We wished we had a butler on this cruise, because when it came to dinner reservations, trying to make arrangements on our own was challenging. DINING: - The ship offers five alternative dining options, all which charge an additional fee ranging from $5.00 - $25.00 per person. We dined at Blu, Silk Harvest, Tuscan Grille and Bistro on Five. Each was enjoyable and offered a quality dining experience. We especially enjoyed the Asian fare at Silk Harvest and the excellent fillets and Italian dishes at Tuscan Grille. We couldn't say the same for the main dining room. In fact, we found our one night at Grand Epernay was far from acceptable. It was the classic "we smelled the fish coming" and when we tasted it, even the tartar sauce couldn't hide the strong fishy taste of our Mahi. - To enjoy a good meal on Solstice, plan to pay extra because the main dining room misses its target. It was nowhere close to the high quality of food and outstanding selections we'd grown to expect on a Celebrity. Clearly food quality has taken a hit as the company trims expenses and monetizes every part of the cruise experience. The main dining room attempts to present an image of a fine dining experience. From the stories I heard from other passengers, they are failing miserably. Perhaps stepping back to the basics would give this beautiful dining area justice. Why not good old chicken, steak, Mexican and Italian dishes done right, rather than fancy entrees that just don't sound appetizing and miss their mark when it comes to tasting good? - The buffet on deck 12 is adequate but far from memorable. Many items are still not marked leaving guests wondering which mystery meat or salad they are about to select. Worst of all, the offerings seemed to never change, making for a buffet experience that is both boring and disappointing. It doesn't take long to surmise that if you want to experience truly good food, you are going to have to pay extra for it...plain and simple. - Solstice is NOT prepared for capacity sailings. On embarkation day, hundreds of passengers were angry because either they were booked at the wrong seating or they were unhappy with their table assignments. At one point, security had to be called to calm an angry customer. And breakfast and lunch buffets during our holiday cruise were always crowded and plagued with lines. (If Celebrity can't please customers with designated seating times, perhaps they should take a chapter from the NCL playbook and consider moving to Free Style Dining. EMBARKATION & DISEMBARKATION: - Smooth and amazingly brisk. No problems here. We were on the ship and in our cabin in less than 20 minutes. Unlike other sailings we've been on, leaving the ship was equally painless and well organized. High marks for getting on and off the ship. Too bad we were anxious to get off? POOL & OUTSIDE DECKS: - During peak vacation periods on Solstice, plan on jumping out of bed by eight AM if you want a remote chance of securing deck chairs. Towels had to be replenished by 9:30. It appeared all 2850 passengers on board, pale and determined sun seekers, marked their spots on decks 12 & 14. This reminded us of a pack of dogs marking their territory then guarding their spot in the sunshine. On our first sea day, we made the mistake of sleeping until 10AM. My wife resorted to paying a pool butler to secure two chairs in the sun. (Silly us- thinking we could actually sleep- in on our vacation). - While the hoards scouted hard to find spots to tan, half a football field of green grass was empty on the top deck, aft. The only live lawn at sea was an interesting "out of the box" idea in some boardroom, but in reality it is a terrible waste of space. It was used by only a few who bothered to play Bocce or Crochet, truly two of America's most popular past times....NOT. - There is an interesting display of glass blowing next to the struggling grass. Again, an innovative idea but underutilized. If even 50% of this space was used as an alternative sunning spot, the need to hoard deck chairs forward and mid-ship might disappear. - We were disappointed that Solstice did not include a deck where we could walk completely around the ship like many other vessels. Instead, walking was confined to a very small walking track around the pool. With the hoards of passengers at the pool, navigating around others just wasn't worth the effort. PUBLIC SPACES: Aside from the pool and deck areas, public spaces on Solstice are magnificent and well planned. We seldom felt crowded or claustrophobic in most of the inside spaces. They give the appearance of a contemporary yet luxurious ship. Only the buffet on Deck 12 and the sundecks made us want to jump overboard and swim to an unpopulated island getaway where thousands of bodies of all sizes and proportions were not lined up like bacon ready to be fried. ENTERTAINMENT: Overall, Solstice provided above average entertainment in the main showroom. The typical Broadway reviews had a fresh new spin and a clone of Cirque de Ole was a fresh and innovative departure from the normal cruise ship fare. The showroom features state of the art production tools that make the shows vibrant and contemporary. Plenty of seats in the main showroom too, which tells me many passengers missed some good shows. The ship also features a smaller venue called Solstice Central, featuring comedy. After being annoyed every day from the masses on the decks, we would have loved to have found some levity from a good comedian. But again, in what can only be an attempt to keep passengers up late drinking and gambling, the comedian never performed before 11PM and some nights, as late at 12:45. Hate to be a party pooper, but we don't care to hang out in the lounges and drink all nights, so we and others were just out of luck. As I said earlier, it's all about monetizing every minute of the day to increase revenues. Keeping passengers up an extra hour or two can't hurt bar sales, the shops and of course, the Casino. We walked through the Casino and it seemed modern, clean and very adequate. - Kudos for the LIVE MUSIC! Unlike many other cruise lines which rely on prerecorded music in their showrooms, Celebrity DOES spend money on talented live orchestras. Whether it was providing live music for the singers & dancers during a show in the main theatre, or entertaining around the pool on New Year's Eve, the Celebrity Orchestra was fantastic THE PORTS: We choose the Solstice for the shipboard experience rather than the ports. - San Juan: How many more times must we waste a day in San Juan? Am I missing something here? We find the beaches in San Juan among the ugliest in the Caribbean. Surely Celebrity can find a more innovative port than San Juan. I recommend staying on the ship in San Juan and taking advantage of actually having your own deck chair and some personal space. - St. Kitts: Absolutely beautiful. If you're a beach person, hire a taxi and spend the day at a beautiful and sparsely populated beach. We NEVER book tours on the ship as we find them significantly more expensive and always crowded. The last thing we wanted was to more "herding us around like cattle". No thank you. - St. Marten: Another nice stop. We shared a taxi with some other passengers and spent the day at Orient Beach. The beach chairs were inexpensive, there were plenty of places to grab a drink or have some lunch and of course, lots of naked sunbathers. THE VERDICT: A beautiful ship with a friendly crew, however: We will NOT book another 7 day cruise on Solstice during high season, especially not over the holidays. Remember, we have taken several 14 day cruises on Celebrity and loved them. I think the shorter cruises and lower price tags turn the ship into a more mass market product which is not for us. Who wants to get up early just to throw a towel on a deck chair? No thank you. We sincerely hope Celebrity takes some actions to prevent overcrowding. It's just not relaxing when you feel like you are part of a herd of cattle. They will also need to make their main dining room offerings more attractive and enhance the quality of the food. Get back to basics. Celebrity is driving us and many other past customers, to their more upscale product, Azamara Cruises. And frankly, I think that just might be their strategy: Making Celebrity a more mass product by cutting expenses, and sailing at over capacity whenever possible. For those of us who still look forward to the relaxation of being on the high seas, be prepared to pay more in search of an upgraded product. Perhaps we will meet you on Azamara, OR on a different cruise line that values its repeat customers with a loyalty program that actually has rewards and perks that mean something. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
After 18 months of anticipation, we finally boarded Solstice! Info - We are DINK's in our 40s. Ok, one of us, the other one is lying. This was our 13th cruise - we cruise X and RCCL exclusively. Pre Cruise - We spent 2 ... Read More
After 18 months of anticipation, we finally boarded Solstice! Info - We are DINK's in our 40s. Ok, one of us, the other one is lying. This was our 13th cruise - we cruise X and RCCL exclusively. Pre Cruise - We spent 2 nights at the Hyatt Pier 66. Nice property with excellent service. We enjoyed sunset drinks at Pelican Bar. The pool was pretty crowded but this was the Saturday before NYE so that is to be expected. The workout room is quite small for a resort of this size but equipment was fine. I had a manicure for $50 (sigh, I can get one at home for $15 but it wouldn't have lasted the cruise) and had a shampoo/blowout for over $100 - way too much and she took over an hour and a half. I can get a shampoo/cut and dry for about an hour - I was climbing the walls towards the end and finally told her I HAD to leave. She was very nice but it just took too long! Gratuity is automatically added there. We were fortunate to have a Tower Room that faced the port so we could watch the ships leave and watch them come in - yep, we got up early enough to see several arrive although JUST missed Solstice. Checked out and took a cab (actually a nice SUV, lucky us) and arrived at the port around 11 am. EMBARKATION: Very smooth. We arrived early on purpose so had to wait for about 30 minutes. Once they opened it up, we were checked in quite quickly. Definitely among the first onboard around 11:30. THE SHIP: Visually stunning. I can really find nothing to complain about regarding the ship. The decor is tasteful, varied and soothing. It will be hard to find a way to fully experience the ship in 7 days. We didn't so darn it, we'll have to go back. POOLS: Aquaspa is my favorite lounging place for sea days and quiet mornings. This was no different. From the various loungers, cabanas etc to the placement of the whirlpools to the pool (ideal temperature - never fear, it is NOT cold), it is a lovely place. Chair hogs ruled on this sailing (New Years, whattaya expect?) but we found chairs before 9 am quite easily. After 10 am, good luck. Being a ghost, the pool is not my scene although I like going in the afternoon to listen to the band and enjoy the sun. This was the most crowded pool deck I have ever seen - not a chair to be had. However, again, holiday sailing and a large percentage of passengers who were sungods and goddesses as well as MANY children. I was pleased to see that security was vigilant about enforcing the no children policy in the Aquaspa. DINING: I found the Grand Epernay to be stunning. We had a lovely table (#241 - great location). Service was a bit slow the first 2 nights but they rallied later. The food was fine - not fine dining cuisine but very nice. Not a bad meal. We requested escargot and our maitre'd made sure we had it beginning Wednesday and again on Friday and Saturday. We ate in Tuscan Grille and Muranos. Both are very nice but I would return to Tuscan Grille over Muranos. I enjoyed the service in Tuscan provided by Slobadan and Luciana - if they are your servers, you are in for a treat. Muranos had a mistake on our charge - we had prepaid for specialty and he brought us the bill, not only for us but also for our tablemates who were in a suite so they were also supposed to be free. It took him 15 minutes to bring back the corrected ticket. Not the end of the world, but evidence that they are still working out some kinks. We had brunch at Bistro "For" 5 and had an excellent meal. It was virtually empty and our wait was brief - they do cook to order so our waiter told us it would take about 15 minutes. That was acceptable. Other cruisers we spoke with had mixed experiences - some had great service and food, others waited an hour for their food and finally left. Again, I think as the crew gets in sync things will be fine. LOUNGES: Michael's seemed too sedate and boring for us but others enjoyed it. Ensemble Lounge - we tried twice. The first time it was busy and it took an hour to get a drink. The second time we went in around 11:30 and there were only 2 people at the bar. The bartender never came over to us so we left. I think it is a nice venue for pre dinner drinks when dining in the Specialty Restaurants but didn't feel compelled to seek it out. On the flip side, it was the favorite lounge of others we met. Martini Bar was usually hopping and great fun. It is centrally located and between the main dining room and the casino so it is easily crowded. There was a quite large Latin passenger base on our cruise and the Sky Lounge was mainly the Latin lounge most evenings so we did not venture there except for Captains Club and Cruise Critic functions. It is nice, your standard lounge similar to the ones on M class ships. Quasar was small and we just popped in to look at it - I think it was really packed late night but with a huge amount of young people on the sailing, we didn't have it on the To Do list. LAWN CLUB AREA: We liked it. It's a lovely area with seating. This is where the cigar smokers went but with the wind it was never much of an issue. We liked to go grab a mid/late afternoon drink at the Sunset Bar and enjoyed it very much. We watched a small part of the Hot Glass show - it was interesting but 20 minutes was plenty for us. The complete show is listed as 2 hours. SPA: Glad I was onboard early - I still stood in line for 40 minutes to make an appointment. I really wish X would provide Captains Club members the option to pre-book spa appts - even if its just Elite members. It is silly to stand in line and it's also so hard on the spa personnel since people can be so rude. It shouldn't be hard to make this easier. The spa is lovely - the Relaxation Room is nice and since I had a Captains Club coupon, I could access the Persian Garden once. It was peaceful since I was the only one in there but not worth paying for and I think the PG on M class is much nicer. CONCIERGE CLASS ROOM: The room is efficient. The bathroom is greatness. My husband is 6'5 and could maneuver in there quite well and was very pleased with the shower. The shampoo conditioner body wash lotion are of good quality and lemongrass (mmhm) We found closet space to be fine but I'm an efficient packer. Our safe froze up twice but they fixed it in a timely manner. The interactive tv was great and got the seal of approval from the IT professional husband. It was great to access the photos and keep track of our account - the music channels were great and we enjoyed the bridge cam. Husband prefers M class CC rooms because they are more square and it was a tight fit for him to walk around the bed. Our balcony was quite deep (probably 15 feet) since we were on the hump - with the couch by the window so it was harder to see the actual ocean from the bed than we are used to. We had room service breakfast one day and it was pretty blah. CASUAL DINING: Food at the Pool Bar was always good. Aquaspa food was good. The sushi in Oceanview was excellent both times we tried it. Pizza was good. We eat breakfast early to avoid the crowd and never had problems. Waffles, omelettes fresh! Silverware is now at all the stations so no issues there. We never had table issues. The only flaw I saw was in the afternoon after the lunch is closed and before tea is open, the pizza/pasta station is combined in one line and it was long. We came back onboard one day and stood in line for well over 30 minutes. If you wanted pizza, you still had to stand behind all the pasta people. If you wanted pasta, vice versa. They should separate it and make it 2 lines. SERVICE: With very few exceptions, we had outstanding service. Most of the staff was friendly and eager to please. Our cabin attendant and assistant were mainly invisible but appeared whenever we needed them and did a great job. CAPTAINS CLUB: Our Elite party was a bit of a bust. It was at 11 am pre arrival in san Juan. Due to a medical emergency, we got into San Juan at 11:30 instead of 2 pm so all the senior officers were on the bridge. Perfectly understandable. Our disappointment was that since we did not know we would be arriving so early, we completely missed the approach and watching from the deck as we approach the Fort had been something we looked forward to. We missed it since we were in the lounge and unaware of how early we would be arriving. The regular party was fine, albeit a bit stuffy and too long. GALA BRUNCH: No more midnight buffet which to me is not a bad thing. They had a brunch which was outstanding. We enjoyed it very much - look for the chicken pot pies, they were fresh and hot. ENTERTAINMENT: I very much enjoyed Solstice. I have seen several Cirque du Soleil shows and this was quite on par. I recognized many of the "acts" but felt the performers were very strong. I should also admit that I work in entertainment so I am pretty hard to please. We also saw the late night comedy show of Louis Johnson and I enjoyed his act very much. CASINO: This was our only real "disappointment" and had nothing to do with Celebrity. There were 2 gambling groups on board, as well as a large group of passengers who apparently did not go to dinner. We could never get a table past 7 pm to play AT ALL EVER. The slot machines were the tightest I have ever seen on 13 cruises - I don't always ask to win (ok that's a lie) but I would like to at least play for a while on my donation. I would put $100 in and never hit a thing. No thanks - I prefer to donate more slowly than that! :) Had I been able to play at the tables, I might have recouped some slot money but it was impossible. DISEMBARKATION: We were at 8:45 and were off within 5 minutes. The easiest I've seen. SOLSTICE IN GENERAL: Will we cruise Solstice again? Yes. Will we choose her OVER M class? Not really. We will probably forgo holiday cruises again. Although we had a great time, there were issues with unruly children and out of control partying by the 16-25 age group. Since there were so many large family groups on board, it seemed like security was challenged by many things but overall did as well as they could. There was a diversity of cultures onboard and sometimes it appeared to negatively impact others enjoyment. I heard more passengers complaining than ever before - while some may have been warranted, sometimes it seemed to be nitpicking. 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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