First, the good news. Shashi and Charlie, our waiters for the majority of our evening meals, and Roberta, our sommelier, were wonderful. They are very friendly, helpful, accommodating, and have provided excellent service. In addition, ... Read More
First, the good news. Shashi and Charlie, our waiters for the majority of our evening meals, and Roberta, our sommelier, were wonderful. They are very friendly, helpful, accommodating, and have provided excellent service. In addition, Bernardo, our room steward, provided excellent service. These people are to be commended and have represented Celebrity very well.
Now, the bad news. We booked our tickets because of the 1-2-3 Go promotion. According to the offer, the “Savings Offer is combinable with one other offer including 123Go offer”. We booked our cruise on March 1st and had wanted the on-board credit. However, when we boarded the ship, we found that we did not have the on-board credit. The explanation from Guest Relations was that we had another discount (a so-called “Resident Discount”), and that the 1-2-3- Go promotion did not apply. When we booked the cruise, the web site never clearly stated that the 1-2-3- Go promotion did not apply contrary to what the promotional e-mail had stated. This felt like the classic “bait and switch” to us and has given us the impression that Celebrity Cruise Lines is not a reputable company.
The lock on our door to the cabin was broken. Despite notifying both the cabin steward and Guest Relations on the first day of the cruise, these was no attempt to fix it. To us, this represents a lack of concern to maintain the ship in first rate operating order.
Celebrity touts itself as providing luxury, yet other cruise lines are providing superior service at a similar or cheaper cost. Perhaps this is clearer to us because we took a Princess cruise in January and the differences are fresh in our minds. Please note that the differences stated below were not due to differences in various perks. Both cruises were our third cruise with the respective cruise lines. Some examples include:
1. In the Ocean View Café (the buffet), we had to get our own drinks. On Princess, the waiters asked us what we would like to drink and got our drinks for us.
2. On Princess, our stateroom was provided with fresh fruit each day (without additional expense).
3. On Princess, we were able to reserve the same table for dinner for the entire cruise and did not have to make reservations every day.
4. On Princess, the shore excursion staff was very helpful and knowledgeable. In contrast, the shore excursion staff on the Solstice did not seem to be very knowledgeable and seemed to be somewhat annoyed that we were asking for information.
5. On Princess, Zumba classes were provided free for the entire cruise (10 days) versus the Solstice where there was a charge after one or two free classes.
The food on Princess was very good. In contrast, the food on the Solstice was only fair (sub-par for a "luxury cruise ship"). Some specific examples include:
1. The steak on the Classic menu was somewhat tough and was over cooked. We have had much better sirloin steaks at Applebee’s, which is by no means a high class restaurant.
2. Most of the fish was over cooked and was dry.
3. The prime rib and the Osso Bucco (which was also over cooked) were rather tasteless.
4. The chilled soups were unimaginative. We have had much better chilled soups on both Norwegian and Princess Cruise Lines.
Finally, this is the first trip (out of 9 cruises) where we have gotten sick. We lost a day in Maui and the day in Kona because of “gastronomic issues” (diarrhea). We are very careful to wash our hands, use the sanitizer, etc. We believe we may have gotten sick from the food, but this cannot be proven without testing the food.
This was our second cruise on the Solstice. We went on an Alaskan cruise two years ago and enjoyed that trip very much. However, something has changed in the interim. The food, service, and value is not as good as it once was. There are other cruise lines that provide better value for the money. This was our last cruise on a Celebrity ship.
Note: We responded to the on-line survey in early May and waited to post this review to see if Celebrity Cruises would respond to our concerns. In the eight weeks that have passed, we have received nothing from the cruise line (except more promotional offers); perhaps, this is just another indication that Celebrity is not the best! Read Less