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This was our first ever cruise and we were told it was the very best. The price was high but as it was our 40th Wedding anniversary it was to be something special. Never done before. everyone said we would love it! The ship itself was magnificent at first sight. Breathtaking. The rooms: It was not what we expected for the price, clean but small, there was no light on the balcony so you couldn't sit and read after dark. On one change of bedding our sheets were ripped. Flowers in the room and bathroom were not changed and had died after a couple of days and got smelly. Cabin steward very good but didn't seems to notice flowers. The ship itself was magnificent in size but far too few sun beds for everyone to lay on whilst dodging the walkers racing around the deck. Sunbeds touched each other on the upper decks. But the cost of the drinks (which our travel agent told us were free if they were local drinks,we now know that she obviously meant tea,coffee and fruit juice) were very expensive, plus we didn't know that a 15% service charge was added EVERY TIME you ordered. In the restaurant the wine waiter recommended a wine but omitted to tell us it was $50 a bottle, plus the 15% of course, until we got the bill afterwards. A bit late then. Entertainment was mediocre. I would have thought that with a ship this big and the cost to passengers, that someone more well known could have been booked instead of the singers that kept trying to justify why they were there. The magician/illusionist was excellent as was the different points that some of the other entertainers played at in the different bars and walkways but they finished too early. Dancers were OK but nothing special. not in the same class as the ship portrays. Theatre comfortable and view was excellent. Restaurants. Top deck was just like any other "all in" hotel. Some of the waiters were on the whole sloppy and not very personable. Piles of empty plates seem not to cleared away as they stood talking together. Again not the standard expected. We bought the video. My advice is DONT BOTHER its a rip off. Ours even has people walking backwards and then speeds up to double speed. It didn't show the beautiful ship just a bit on how it was built not much on the interiors and they just added the few karaoke faces that had been on the ship that week. what a waste of money and very disappointing when we played it to our friends. shame on Celebrity, this wont sell your ship to others. We were also sold chips for our camera which didn't work..another $25 !! Being such a huge ship, why does it visit places like Santorini. With other ships already there plus our 3,000 passengers, we had to que up in the hot sun for well over an hour just to get on the chairlift or go against advice and get on the back of a dangerous and very smelly donkey. Many did and had rather nasty injuries afterwards being rammed against walls and one had a donkey fall on her. In Istanbul the ship wanted to charge $12 to get a coach to the main blue Mosque. We walked five minutes up the road and got on the brilliant new tram and paid $2.5 Take your time to check things like this out. The City was in Ramadan but the essence of the place was wonderful. Places to visit were all round the Blue Mosque area. We felt extremely safe walking around. You do have to pay to get into places of interest but they are all well worth the visit, especially the Harem. Athens: Argue and play the taxi drivers against each other for the cost for the day. Don't pay them till you have finished the day. Ours took us all around Athens telling us about the history and stopping at all the sights. Brilliant day. On our arrival back in Rome "Celebrity" had booked us into a hotel called The Empire Palace for some extra nights. Looking at some of the hotels that they had booked other guests into I think we got the best deal. One looked like it was a prison and was so far out of the town. I later heard that they had cold food, the place was dirty and smelly. Our hotel was not like the brochure. The wonderful looking terrace where we could dine had dirty plastic chairs and tables. The staff and in particular the head receptionist was arrogant and rude. Only the barman made any effort to make the group welcome. The rep disappeared pretty quickly as well and didn't come back. We had a room that we couldn't get into over 6 times! we had go go back to Reception each time and get some help. In the end they gave us a key! The room was good, although the food was extremely expensive and if you like decorated plates but no substance, this is the hotel for you. We have been to some of the best hotels in the world but this was dire. The waiting staff didn't know how to lay a basic table and we had to ask for cutlery and plates at breakfast. Restaurant was dull and dark. Why does celebrity use such second rate hotels where there are modern multi-chain ones that have a higher standard nearby? Overall we were extremely disappointed and feel totally let down by the Celebrity experience. Ask us if we would cruise with Celebrity again.... I doubt it. We heard so many complaining and saying other lines were better, not only for value but standards. It all ended up as "A disappointed dream."

First time cruise, maybe the last!

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by Linda Bellingham

Trip Details
This was our first ever cruise and we were told it was the very best. The price was high but as it was our 40th Wedding anniversary it was to be something special. Never done before. everyone said we would love it!
The ship itself was magnificent at first sight. Breathtaking.
The rooms: It was not what we expected for the price, clean but small, there was no light on the balcony so you couldn't sit and read after dark. On one change of bedding our sheets were ripped. Flowers in the room and bathroom were not changed and had died after a couple of days and got smelly. Cabin steward very good but didn't seems to notice flowers.
The ship itself was magnificent in size but far too few sun beds for everyone to lay on whilst dodging the walkers racing around the deck. Sunbeds touched each other on the upper decks.
But the cost of the drinks (which our travel agent told us were free if they were local drinks,we now know that she obviously meant tea,coffee and fruit juice) were very expensive, plus we didn't know that a 15% service charge was added EVERY TIME you ordered. In the restaurant the wine waiter recommended a wine but omitted to tell us it was $50 a bottle, plus the 15% of course, until we got the bill afterwards. A bit late then.
Entertainment was mediocre. I would have thought that with a ship this big and the cost to passengers, that someone more well known could have been booked instead of the singers that kept trying to justify why they were there. The magician/illusionist was excellent as was the different points that some of the other entertainers played at in the different bars and walkways but they finished too early. Dancers were OK but nothing special. not in the same class as the ship portrays. Theatre comfortable and view was excellent.
Restaurants. Top deck was just like any other "all in" hotel. Some of the waiters were on the whole sloppy and not very personable. Piles of empty plates seem not to cleared away as they stood talking together. Again not the standard expected.
We bought the video. My advice is DONT BOTHER its a rip off. Ours even has people walking backwards and then speeds up to double speed. It didn't show the beautiful ship just a bit on how it was built not much on the interiors and they just added the few karaoke faces that had been on the ship that week. what a waste of money and very disappointing when we played it to our friends. shame on Celebrity, this wont sell your ship to others.
We were also sold chips for our camera which didn't work..another $25 !!
Being such a huge ship, why does it visit places like Santorini. With other ships already there plus our 3,000 passengers, we had to que up in the hot sun for well over an hour just to get on the chairlift or go against advice and get on the back of a dangerous and very smelly donkey. Many did and had rather nasty injuries afterwards being rammed against walls and one had a donkey fall on her.
In Istanbul the ship wanted to charge $12 to get a coach to the main blue Mosque. We walked five minutes up the road and got on the brilliant new tram and paid $2.5 Take your time to check things like this out.
The City was in Ramadan but the essence of the place was wonderful. Places to visit were all round the Blue Mosque area. We felt extremely safe walking around. You do have to pay to get into places of interest but they are all well worth the visit, especially the Harem.
Athens: Argue and play the taxi drivers against each other for the cost for the day. Don't pay them till you have finished the day. Ours took us all around Athens telling us about the history and stopping at all the sights. Brilliant day.
On our arrival back in Rome "Celebrity" had booked us into a hotel called The Empire Palace for some extra nights. Looking at some of the hotels that they had booked other guests into I think we got the best deal. One looked like it was a prison and was so far out of the town. I later heard that they had cold food, the place was dirty and smelly.
Our hotel was not like the brochure. The wonderful looking terrace where we could dine had dirty plastic chairs and tables. The staff and in particular the head receptionist was arrogant and rude. Only the barman made any effort to make the group welcome. The rep disappeared pretty quickly as well and didn't come back. We had a room that we couldn't get into over 6 times! we had go go back to Reception each time and get some help. In the end they gave us a key! The room was good, although the food was extremely expensive and if you like decorated plates but no substance, this is the hotel for you. We have been to some of the best hotels in the world but this was dire. The waiting staff didn't know how to lay a basic table and we had to ask for cutlery and plates at breakfast. Restaurant was dull and dark.
Why does celebrity use such second rate hotels where there are modern multi-chain ones that have a higher standard nearby?
Overall we were extremely disappointed and feel totally let down by the Celebrity experience.
Ask us if we would cruise with Celebrity again.... I doubt it. We heard so many complaining and saying other lines were better, not only for value but standards. It all ended up as "A disappointed dream."
Linda Bellingham’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 1086
Good location. Balcony cramped and no light. could have done with more coat hangers and a hook for long dresses for formal nights.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Santorini
    Being such a huge ship, why does it visit places like Santorini. with other ships already there plus our 3,000 passagers, we had to que up in the hot sun for well over an hour to get on the chairlift or go against advice and get on the back of the dangerous and very smelly donkey. Many did and had rather nasty injuries afterwards being rammed against walls and one had a donkey even fall on her.
    View All 976 Santorini Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Santorini Cruise Port Review