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We are Elite Status Cruisers who have always raved to friends about our Celebrity experiences: good food, friendly and helpful staff, responsive Cruise Directors who provided good ballroom dancing venues. Unfortunately, we had a very different experience on this cruise regarding the dancing. For the first time in our experience, ballroom dancing was only available in the Grand Foyer, a tiny floor at the center of activity where other passengers walk through the dance floor from five different directions to get to Guest Relations or the bar. In addition, non-dancing passengers stood on the dance floor conversing, watching the band or pushing toddlers in diapers onto the floor, encouraging them to dance. Christmas decorations further limited the small space. From the third night on, a photographer took over a small piece of real estate next to the grand staircase to photograph people in front of all the ginger bread houses (whose frosting crumbs kept falling onto the dance floor). It was an unsafe and frustrating environment for dancers and others. On past cruises, the cruise directors offered other appropriate venues for ballroom dancing, such as a DJ or trio in the Sky or Quasar Lounges. After our third contact with the cruise director, JC, we were informed of a new corporate policy to not support ballroom dancing; this was confirmed by one of the ship's officers. The CD did label a couple of sets as being for ballroom dancing late in the week, but in the Grand Foyer, which was inadequate to support the 15 couples who attended. The “ship's bands” did not understand how to mix tempos: one played four sambas in a row (exhausting); another, four fox trots (boring); but they were cooperative when asked to mix in some latin. The only group who understood ballroom dancing was The Les DeMerle Trio, but I would expect that from someone who drummed 13 years for Harry James. There was also a programming disconnect: 5 ballroom dance classes were offered in the Grand Foyer, (attended by over 50 passengers), but no opportunity was provided for students to practice their new steps. And irony: at the end of the cruise, at least a dozen passengers stopped us to say they followed our dancing while they had their pre-dinner drinks, and to ask if we'd been paid by Celebrity to dance, as we were the best entertainment on ship. We had a wonderful dance experience on Celebrity in June 2015. We understand that businesses regularly reassess their target audience, and as we plan to cruise more frequently, we are sad to learn that we are no longer Celebrity's market. We have informed our cruising dance friends of the new policy. As a result of this experience, this was the first time we did not book a new cruise, and we have canceled a future cruise for this summer and rescheduled it with a more dance friendly line. On the positive side, the dining room staff at dinner were proactively solicitous and very attentive to requests for more seafood menu choices. The cabin staff did an outstanding job of cleaning all private and public areas to minimize the spread of onboard illnesses.  

Dancers Beware: New Celebrity Policy Discourages Ballroom

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by bs&bs

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are Elite Status Cruisers who have always raved to friends about our Celebrity experiences: good food, friendly and helpful staff, responsive Cruise Directors who provided good ballroom dancing venues. Unfortunately, we had a very different experience on this cruise regarding the dancing.
For the first time in our experience, ballroom dancing was only available in the Grand Foyer, a tiny floor at the center of activity where other passengers walk through the dance floor from five different directions to get to Guest Relations or the bar. In addition, non-dancing passengers stood on the dance floor conversing, watching the band or pushing toddlers in diapers onto the floor, encouraging them to dance. Christmas decorations further limited the small space. From the third night on, a photographer took over a small piece of real estate next to the grand staircase to photograph people in front of all the ginger bread houses (whose frosting crumbs kept falling onto the dance floor). It was an unsafe and frustrating environment for dancers and others.
On past cruises, the cruise directors offered other appropriate venues for ballroom dancing, such as a DJ or trio in the Sky or Quasar Lounges. After our third contact with the cruise director, JC, we were informed of a new corporate policy to not support ballroom dancing; this was confirmed by one of the ship's officers. The CD did label a couple of sets as being for ballroom dancing late in the week, but in the Grand Foyer, which was inadequate to support the 15 couples who attended. The “ship's bands” did not understand how to mix tempos: one played four sambas in a row (exhausting); another, four fox trots (boring); but they were cooperative when asked to mix in some latin. The only group who understood ballroom dancing was The Les DeMerle Trio, but I would expect that from someone who drummed 13 years for Harry James.
There was also a programming disconnect: 5 ballroom dance classes were offered in the Grand Foyer, (attended by over 50 passengers), but no opportunity was provided for students to practice their new steps. And irony: at the end of the cruise, at least a dozen passengers stopped us to say they followed our dancing while they had their pre-dinner drinks, and to ask if we'd been paid by Celebrity to dance, as we were the best entertainment on ship.
We had a wonderful dance experience on Celebrity in June 2015. We understand that businesses regularly reassess their target audience, and as we plan to cruise more frequently, we are sad to learn that we are no longer Celebrity's market. We have informed our cruising dance friends of the new policy. As a result of this experience, this was the first time we did not book a new cruise, and we have canceled a future cruise for this summer and rescheduled it with a more dance friendly line.
On the positive side, the dining room staff at dinner were proactively solicitous and very attentive to requests for more seafood menu choices. The cabin staff did an outstanding job of cleaning all private and public areas to minimize the spread of onboard illnesses.
 
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 08
Nice small room with a very convenient location.
Plaza Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins