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Sail Date: January 2018
I heard that Solstice was a nice ship and as it was our 52nd wedding anniversary I thought it would be a great way to celebrate. Couldn't fault the service and food and Errol in the Ensemble Lounge was fantastic. We had the best ... Read More
I heard that Solstice was a nice ship and as it was our 52nd wedding anniversary I thought it would be a great way to celebrate. Couldn't fault the service and food and Errol in the Ensemble Lounge was fantastic. We had the best cocktails we've tasted in a long time. Sorry that he is retiring as he was a great asset and will be missed. The Captain kept us very entertained. Would have liked to have a film every now and then that wasn't on the top deck and a kid's film. I had heard they showed movies in the Ensemble Central but didn't see any on the day's activities list. My husband is not very active and so there was not a lot for him to do except sit and read. Won't go in the pool or spa or the sun. Disappointed to miss Dunedin and Milford Sound due to weather but better to be safe and I accepted the Captain's decision to head for Australia. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My wife and I found most things about this cruise very poor and we were glad when it ended. With the exception of cabin staff, visiting entertainment, and the Ocean View buffet, everything about this cruise from the food down to the ... Read More
My wife and I found most things about this cruise very poor and we were glad when it ended. With the exception of cabin staff, visiting entertainment, and the Ocean View buffet, everything about this cruise from the food down to the quality of the toilet paper was 2 Star. From the moment of embarkation we were pestered to purchase a drinks package on numerous occasions which we did not want. However, we did drink a lot less wine on this cruise compared to our 10 or so previous cruises because, when we did wish to purchase a drink wine menus were not available in most bars and to order a drink was a time consuming ordeal in itself. On several occasions at dinner we were half through our main course before we could even get a bottle of wine. When we complained to one of the senior wine waiters, he informed me that they have difficulty in recruiting staff. However we, together with others on the cruise, got the impression that having sold a lot of drink packages, it was not in their interest to have too many wine waiters around as people who had purchased the drinks package would be taking advantage of the free drinks they were entitled to. A lot of the time in the onboard bars the barmen had to double up as wine waiters, but the 18% service charge on all drinks was still duly added. Considering that there was a mark up of almost 1000% on some wines, the quality was very poor. The cheapest bottle of wine was around $32 which by the time you added an 18% service charge amounted to close to $40. Compared to our last Celebrity cruise a few years ago, the reduction in staffing in the main dining room was palpable. On at least 3 occasions we had to wait more than half an hour before we received our main course causing us to miss most of the main show in the theatre. The food was tasteless and often served up cold. The tables for 2 ,which we occasionally asked for, were a farce with only inches between the tables. There was no promenade deck, no games room and only a very small sports bar in the Casino, which was closed when the Casino was closed rendering it impossible to watch UK sporting events. The entertainment around the ship after 8 pm was virtually non-existent. The last Celebrity cruise we went on had a pianist playing requests in what is now Michael's bar and it was always difficult to get a seat as it was always packed to the rafters. Now it is a private room for suite guests and I only ever saw 4 people at most using it - I suppose they don't want too many people drinking in the evening as they might take advantage of their drinks package! You were made to feel second class as you were constantly being asked to upgrade to the speciality restaurants which were generally empty whenever I looked in. Everything came at a price and whilst I appreciate they are running a business, profit seems to be the driving force and not the well being of the passengers. If you were ill and confined to your cabin the movies on offer were pay per view. We came away with the view that if you wanted any semblance of quality you would have to pay a premium for it. If you need to constantly pay extra for quality you might as well book with a premier cruise line first as last. To the both of us it all seemed like highway robbery!! At least the notorious English highway robber Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask when he robbed people!! Perhaps some celebrity staff should follow his example. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
The itinerary was just what we were looking for and we were not disappointed. However the Millennium is a little tired looking and as it was our first cruise with Celebrity we were a little underwhelmed with the experience. Cruise staff ... Read More
The itinerary was just what we were looking for and we were not disappointed. However the Millennium is a little tired looking and as it was our first cruise with Celebrity we were a little underwhelmed with the experience. Cruise staff were excellent but the drinks and drinks packages were extortionate, and we didn't appreciate the hard sell by several members of staff as we were trying to board. Speciality restaurants cover charges, photographs and the excursions were all expensive (we sourced our own excursions and from what we heard they were cheaper and more comprehensive). Food served in the main restaurant was never hot, due to the distance from the kitchens I believe. Little touches we had experienced with other cruise lines were missing, e.g. tea/coffee making facilities in cabin. Overall we enjoyed the cruise for its ports of call, the lovely people we met, but not sure we would choose Celebrity again unless it was one of the Solstice range that included a drinks package. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Having thought about the overall experience, the company claims credit for its upcoming much needed refurbishment program, but surely this is a management failure of not doing this on an ongoing basis. The cabin was tired, damaged and ... Read More
Having thought about the overall experience, the company claims credit for its upcoming much needed refurbishment program, but surely this is a management failure of not doing this on an ongoing basis. The cabin was tired, damaged and needed cleaning. In parts, this comment could also be applied to the rest of the ship. Down to the bar for a pre dinner mojito - but there were no mint leaves - so no (proper) mojito. Oats on the breakfast bar were also out of fashion from time to time. A booked hair appointment was muddled and confused by the spa staff, so a spoiled experience. The communal dining room had the window blinds removed but the wall plugs had been left in - it was so scruffy. And so on .... Celebrity probably spend millions of dollars on marketing but have failed to realise that delighting and getting existing customers to return is a more cost effective strategy than the continual spend on recruiting new ones. My sympathy goes to the staff who were expected to provide a 1st class service with 2nd rate pay scales and 3rd rate tools. It’s also noticeable that the accountants have taken over at Celebrity as they dock at cheaper moorings, further away than other cruise lines, from main cities. On shore excursions take so long to get from moorings to the main city that there is so little time to do the tour. Tour guides were very good. And (unlimited) WiFi access was US$320 for 14 days seems excessive, but it did work well. On the plus side; the staff were warm and friendly, the food and service was excellent (for us anyway, but others had different tales to tell) and the activity and entertainment programme was terrific with some amazing live music. Based on this experience, I would hesitate to return on a Celebrity cruise. Shame on Celebrity. Having said all of the above, if you still feel the need to go on one of these older ships, live with problems but just make sure that you get your cruise at a very good price and you’ll be fine. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
This cruise was booked for us as a family holiday, including our two teenagers. After reading reviews I had prepared myself and my immediate family for an older, tired ship with not so much to do and average food...we were thrilled to ... Read More
This cruise was booked for us as a family holiday, including our two teenagers. After reading reviews I had prepared myself and my immediate family for an older, tired ship with not so much to do and average food...we were thrilled to have realised we were wrong. THE SHIP The ship is 18 years old and lives on the sea, so of course there is going to be rust, some worn out places and paint touch ups. It appears well cared for, there were outdoor maintenance crew tidying up paint chips etc often and inside was constantly being cleaned and polished. It was clean, neat and tidy...the furnishings were just fine and some areas were more updated than others but overall we found it comfortable with a great variety of places to go to for entertainment, eating, drinking, sunbathing, quiet time or socialising. Our main disappointment was with the pool, it was small and the whole sundeck area was cramped, but we’ve never done a cruise before so we’re just a bit taken aback with the people lying side-by-side in a confined space. Quite a few spa pools though, and it was quiet first thing in the morning or on port days if you got back earlier. I liked the music around the pool area in the afternoon and if you went to the top deck it wasn’t always as crowded, especially on the windy days...but you did have to hold onto your hat! THE FOOD The food was great! Some days fantastic! The chefs were incredibly accommodating with food intolerances, the staff were friendly and helpful. We mainly ate in the Ocean View Cafe/the buffet, we tried to time it in the quieter times, before half twelve/half six and for early morning port stops we got room service breakfast...as tables could be limited, especially on cold days. We also ate at the Metropolitan, where you can order however many starters/entrees/desserts as you like. The staff are amazing considering how busy it is and how demanding some people can be. Some of our family ate in the specialty restaurants and loved them. BARS Bar staff seemed stressed sometimes, combining stocking up and serving guests. We used the poolside bar on deck 11, not always as busy. Some staff were fabulous cocktail/mocktail makers...Rodica :) we did get a drinks package...organised once on board after we signed for our first two beers and realised how much we would be paying if we were to be drinking like we enjoy to do on holiday. I’d organise it on board again so deals can be arranged so your money goes further. It is expensive but was well worth it for our family. We drink lots of water, one of our girls enjoys soy chai lattes, the other mocktails and us beers and cocktails and our package included all this. Cosmos was quieter during the day...not serving drinks some afternoons, but you can carry your drinks around the boat, so we would get one at the pool bar and sit in cosmos looking out to sea...lovely! ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment was better than I thought it would be, muscians, bands, shows...something for everyone. The woman Jamaican singer of a variety of songs, fun and energy, four men singers of a variety of broadway style songs and the three men singers of Motown, disco tunes (sorry cannot remember the names) and Ged the Irish singer were my favourites. Also the acoustic duo, who visited the teens club, which they liked. The dancers were good too...the magic show wasn’t really our thing. There were two shows 7 and 9pm, great for working around dinner times. There was some entertaining game show/trivia also. And the silent disco is fun for all ages! There were some interesting talks one of our girls enjoyed. And Ken talked on the ports coming up which was great to hear tips and places to visit. These are also on the tv in the cabin. CABIN The cabin was bigger than what I thought, smaller than a motel room, but pop the suitcases under the bed after unpacking and there is plenty of storage so not too cluttered. We took a camping clothesline and washing liquid to hand wash our clothes, the washing is expensive on board, and febreeze was a great handy tip I read. Perfect for deodorising the room, shoes etc. I also wiped everything down with antibacterial wipes, for peace of mind. We didn’t get ill, some did with cough/head cold...fresh air, water and washing hands before putting them to your mouth is basic but invaluable. TEENAGERS The teens enjoyed the XClub, a few activities organised, there were only a small group of them so they enjoyed just hanging out all together. They made some lovely friendships and we hardly saw them. I soon realised they were very safe on board, there’s security cameras and security people around the ship, and it was actually a good holiday for kids and parents without being in each other’s space all the time. PORTS OF CALL Some of the ports were hours away from the advertised destination. We didn’t go into Bangkok, as we had been there before. We went to Pattaya for the day, hoping to go to an island off it but the weather didn’t play the game so we shopped and strolled instead. I wasn’t too taken with the town, the beach was busy with boats and parasailing etc. Quite smelly and dirty. The next day we walked out of the port gates and took a private taxi to Harbour Mall. 4km’s (approx) from the port. We got some cheap shopping done here over a few hours. We then enjoyed a quiet time on the boat as most others were away. We did a scooter tour with XO Tours, organised before we left, in Ho Chi Minh. It was fantastic! They took us to the museum, burning Buddha, Chinatown amongst other places. They had great knowledge on the places we went to. Hoi An was lovely, we did an ‘on your own’ so was only a few hours in the town. Hanoi was a four hour trip in, but worth it for us. We organised our own transport for this, which was cheaper. We did a tour in Halong Bay once returning from Hanoi, so packed a lot in, which was tiring. Singapore and Hong Kong we did all on our own, taxis are easy to use and we did the hoho bus in both places which we found really worthwhile to get our bearings and learn about the cities. Gardens by the Bay has a great light show in Singapore, Satay Street is fun place to eat at. Eaton Hotel in Kowloon in Hong Kong was great for location, service, good breakfast and clean. STAFF Most of the staff are amazing, always happy to help, friendly and they have interesting backgrounds to hear about. Maybe the occasional surly one had had an encounter with the guest that will never be happy....some people are just that way. Shout out to Chef Shwyam, Chef Joseph, Chef on the pasta station, Rodica, Wilmex, Meicho, Angelica,Marites and Captain Alex for getting us to our destinations safely and for his entertaining and motivating announcements. SUMMARY Overall a great trip, came home exhausted but that’s because we were up late most nights, listening to the entertainment, up early most mornings, watching as we came into port, making the most of the places we stopped at. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth, efficient and relatively quick. We will cruise again and would go happily on Celebrtiy Millenium if she was going to destinations on our list. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise so we could get a taste of Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. We saw some great places and had a fabulous time. The only downside was the ports are quite far from the destinations we wanted to see, so we ... Read More
We chose this cruise so we could get a taste of Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. We saw some great places and had a fabulous time. The only downside was the ports are quite far from the destinations we wanted to see, so we spent a huge amount of time on port days driving. Fortunately, twice we had overnight port days so we were able to stay in a hotel at our destinations, which allowed us more time there, and we returned to the ship the following day. The ship is getting tired, but it is spotless, the crew is extremely friendly and professional, the food great, all in all a fabulous experience. Would highly recommend this cruise and ship. Aqua class allows you to dine in Blu, which has great service and delicious, healthy food, highly recommend it! Embarkation and disembarkation were easy and everything was done efficiently. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed our first proper cruise. We chose this cruise for the intinerary & because it coincided with my husbands 50th Birthday. We thought Millenium was a great ship, she’s looking a little tired in places & ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our first proper cruise. We chose this cruise for the intinerary & because it coincided with my husbands 50th Birthday. We thought Millenium was a great ship, she’s looking a little tired in places & if you really scrutinise her darkest corners I’m sure you’ll find much more wear & tear...but who wants to do that when you’re on holiday? We were happy to take her at face value . The staff were very attentive, nothing was too much trouble. We mostly ate in the main dining room...there was a bit of pot luck about the service in there. We had the best service on the left hand side at the bottom where Mint was the sommelier.. in any other part of the restaurant the service was much slower & we struggled to get a drink on occasion..something that was a little irritating given how much we’d paid for our drinks package. The food ; whilst it could have done with being a little warmer was always very tasty & there was plenty of choice every time. We ate in Quine a couple of time & that was a whole new experience. It was phenomenal. Delicious food , fantastic service ...mainly from the lovely Gordana.... I can’t recommend highly enough. We had a fantastic night both times we ate their but much of the credit for that must go to the company...thank you Lisa & James!! We used the casino more than the onboard entertainment. The staff in there were great & we had great fun whenever we were in there. I wish I could remember the name of the bar tender..he deserves a special mention..he was great. As I said earlier, we chose the cruise for the ininerary & for the most part we weren’t disappointed . I’d have like to have known in advance how far away the ports were from the locations...Bangkok was around 3 hours as was Hanoi, ho chi min was about 21/2 hours away. This maybe down to my lack of research , as a rookie cruiser I have learnt to research next time! The ship organised excursions that we did ( hoi an on our own, Hong king highlights & the Pattaya sanctuary of truth & floating market) were all very slick in their organisation but I’d probably always book my tours independently from now on. Over all we had an amazing trip, met some brilliant people & have happily booked another cruise with celebrity. Captain Alex (who’s daily updates were a particular highlight) & his team did a fantastic job of looking after us. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We wanted to see Antarctica and some ports of call in South America and Mulvenas Is. This was offered by the cruise on CC Infinity. Just before we left Celebrity cancelled Pt Madryn because the vessel was under-powered. What CC did not ... Read More
We wanted to see Antarctica and some ports of call in South America and Mulvenas Is. This was offered by the cruise on CC Infinity. Just before we left Celebrity cancelled Pt Madryn because the vessel was under-powered. What CC did not tell us was that Infinity had been operating for some time under-powered. The whole cruise ran late from the start and Celebrity knew that it would. it reached Ushuai late makiing it impossible to explore the town. It reached Paradise Bay on the Antarctic archipelego, but then continued to run late including into some bad weather. Port Stanley was cancelled. Infinity just made it back to Buenos Aires just in time t\for its next cruise. we estimate we lost at least 2.5days due to an under-powered boat. Celebrity refuses to acknowledge this or reimburse commensurately passengers for this loss. While the staff and crew on-board were excellent, the company stinks and we would not recommend it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I would like to describe our (my wife and me) cruise experience in some details. I hope it helps people to select, or not, this specific cruise itinerary, cruise ship and even the cruise line for future trips. Just a trip overview, we ... Read More
I would like to describe our (my wife and me) cruise experience in some details. I hope it helps people to select, or not, this specific cruise itinerary, cruise ship and even the cruise line for future trips. Just a trip overview, we booked a veranda cabin, deck 8, in the Celebrity Infinity, for the Buenos Aires > Puerto Madryn > Ushuaia > Antartica (Paradise Bay and Elephant Island) > Falkland Island > Montevideo > Buenos Aires itinerary. It was a somewhat expensive itinerary if compared to other cruises in the region, so our expectations were high. We planned this trip for almost a year. The cruise left Buenos Aires on 21th Jan 2018. About a week before the departure date we received an email from Celebrity Cruises informing the Puerto Madryn stop was canceled. Copy and pasting their own email message: "Due to a technical issue with the ship’s propulsion system, as a precaution, we will have to reduce our maximum speed by a few knots. We assure you, there is no safety issue with the vessel; however, due to the speed reduction, we have to modify our itinerary. Some ports of call will have shortened visit times, while some will have more time. We also had to remove our visit to Puerto Madryn, Argentina from the itinerary. Due to the cancellation of this port of call, we are issuing each guest a refund in the amount equal to one day of your vacation." My wife and I planned to dive in Puerto Madryn with the sea lions. All our scuba gear was already packed to go and the dive package reserved at a local PADI agent. You can imagine our frustration... We embarked on the 21th as planned. About Celebrity Infinity, despite some review we read, it is not falling apart. It is indeed an old ship, somewhat worn out. Stained carpets, peeling paint, scratches here and there are visible, but we consider those minor things. I noticed, however, some other not so minor problems, like leaking plumbing in several places (that left wet spots on the carpets), air conditioning failures (that left some friends in internal rooms overheating), external doors hard to open/close, and massive temperature changes in the hot/cold water supplies. There were also some smaller annoyances in our stateroom, like loose tiles in the bathroom floor and leaks in the shower hoses. We usually ignore these small things, but as you see ahead, events stack up. About the food, it was nice and plentiful. All restaurants we went to were nice. Particularly I would say that some dish on the main dining room, Trelis, was somewhat small (especially the ones with expensive ingredients) and with unexpected component mixes, but this is a matter of taste. The buffet on Deck 11 always had food for any taste. About the entertaining, it was ok. Some shows were really nice while some other were somewhere below passable. The daily activities were plenty, somewhat focused on luxury activities (like art auctions, jewelry sales, Fabergé egg showcase and sales, liquor tastings, and so one). It perhaps makes sense for the overall target audience, mostly senior guests. One of the highlights of this cruise was the presentations from the destination experts. The presentations were really interesting and made de experience must more enjoyable and immersive. The presentation themes included wildlife identification and behavior, destination highlights, geographic features, historical events and even a recent rescue mission to Antartica from the Argentinian navy. There was much effort to provide the same presentations in English and Spanish, so most people would benefit and enjoy all given information. It is also important to note the crew was always friendly and eager to help. Our stateroom attendant and some other personnel we had more contact with during the cruise were very professional and cordial. After few days on the sea, we reached Ushuaia. We visited Escondido/Fasano lake and the experience was really memorable. Since we did not stop at Puerto Madryn we were able to stay in Ushuaia for a few more hours. We headed to Antartica, our main and most anticipated destination. The weather was really good during our stay and the visibility was great. We had the luck to get some snow while entering Paradise Bay. It was quite a spectacle. It is really difficult to describe in words the beauty we saw. While it looks a desolated region, it is full of life. We could see whales, penguins, many different types of birds. The icebergs are also a show apart, featuring beautiful shapes, textures, and colors. We also stopped at Elephant Island, the second sightseeing place. After Elephant Island, when heading back to Falkland Island, a major storm formed in our way and the captain had to deviate our corse, missing Falkland port of call. His decision was the correct one due to the bad weather, however, no one was able to explain why the next port of call wasn't changed to Puerto Madryn. Apparently, the route would be even safer than going straight to Montevideo and, we had the time since Falkland stop was completely skipped. It was really strange and until now I got no answer from Celebrity guest relations about this. On the memo we received in our stateroom: "We would like to inform you that our call to Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, has been canceled, due to adverse weather and high winds. (...) Tomorrow, January 31th, the Celebrity Infinity will be at sea, since weather conditions and distance to alternative ports will not allow us to call an alternative port. In an effort to avoid the rough seas, we are traveling directly to Montevideo through an alternative route, as your safety is our top priority. We will be arriving in Montevideo at 6:00 am on February 3rd" We understood the situation and weather changes are a risk involved in all Cruises, however, this port miss and strange deviation from Puerto Madryn just stacked up on our frustration pile. We then faced many days at sea, finally arriving at Montevideo. It was a nice stop, however, I (and many other guests I spoke with) would rather stop in other ports then in Montevideo. Montevideo is really close to Buenos Aires and you can easily go by car, bus or even boat in a couple hours. Puerto Madryn and Falkland Island, on another hand, are much harder and expensive to get to. In the end, the trip left really good memories about Antartica sightseeing experience and a bitter taste for itinerary changes and other smaller annoyances. We felt only half of the trip was actually delivered since we could not stop at Puerto Madryn and Falkland Island. Looking in retrospect, if we could changes things, we would rather flight straight to Ushuaia and book a cruise on a smaller ship just to experience Antartica. Read Less
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