Cruise fine; embarkation a mess; disembarkation a disaster: Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by retiredearly

Celebrity Solstice 1
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Cruise fine; embarkation a mess; disembarkation a disaster

Sail Date: April 2013
Destination: Hawaii
Embarkation: Honolulu
Good news first: cruise was fine; the tour past the active volcano at night was breathtaking. It was a hassle to have the crew serve everything, but if it kept the ship healthy, then people should get over the inconvenience.

Bad news: embarkation was a mess. No communication, no clear direction, check-in staff who were at best untrained, at worst totally incompetent. And the fundamental flaw? Few if any Celebrity people visible -- those that were, were IT types, trying to just keep the computers up.

Atrocious news: Celebrity provided transport to the airport in San Diego on dirty, ill maintained buses. Ours got stuck in the Mexican desert. The transmission was bad, apparently, since the driver couldn't shift into first gear without turning the engine OFF. As we wound our halting way up the steep hills from Ensenada, the journey became more dangerous by the minute. After more than 20 stops by the side of the road to re-start the engine, a mechanic arrived -- More WITH A SCREWDRIVER. He was going to fix the bus; instead, he took over as driver. Problem not solved. Finally, after 4 hours, (with no water, bathrooms, explanation of what was happening, etc.) a replacement bus arrived and the passengers moved the luggage from one bus to the other and the journey began (again) for the 2 hour trip to San Diego. We then had to change to a 3rd bus at the border since the replacement bus was not allowed to cross the border. In total, a 7 hour journey from Ensenada, Mexico to the San Diego airport. Of course, people missed flights, but Celebrity assured us that the airlines had been notified -- by the time we realized that they hadn't, we were on our own to negotiate with the airlines about changed reservations. The end of this cruise has soured us -- and others that we have talked with since returning home -- on EVER cruising with Celebrity again. Less

Published 05/28/13

Cabin review: C2 Concierge Class

fine rooms; weird closet location; awkward safe location

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