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Aside from a few hiccups this was a really nice cruise. Embarkation was a breeze. Great excursions. Our cabin was clean and comfortable. Our room steward (Chris) was very nice, personable. The ship is showing its wear in places. Numerous broken chairs in two theaters, chairs in the main dining room were in need of a good cleaning. Note to Celebrity, 409 is very inexpensive. Bar service was slow in all areas of the ship. Minuscule portion sizes in all restaurants. I understand the need to control costs but in the speciality restaurants where you are paying a cover fee this should not be happening. Food quality was very good. Buffet - Cakes and desserts in the buffet were all basically the same - sponge cake soaked in simple syrup with different fillings daily. Is it really asking THAT much to put out real cake? We noticed some of the desserts from other restaurants/coffee bar around the ship would cycle into the buffet on the days after they “premiered” in the original area. Good selection of quality ice cream/frozen yogurt. Cheese “sauce” on the Mexican part of the buffet was as thin as water and had NO flavor. I would say 90% of the buffet food was very good. We took the galley tour, the one kitchen we got to see was spotless. The fitness center had everything you could hope for and more than enough machines to go around. Again we have a wear issue as 4 of the ellipticals I used were all making a grinding/rubbing sound. Not the end of the world, they functioned fine but again it shows a lack of maintenance and upkeep. Now for the areas of concern. On one night the buffet was featuring fresh fish. Salmon and halibut were placed on ice on the buffet line to help advertise this offering. At one point one of the salmon slid off the ice and was laying on the side of the buffet un-chilled for 30 minutes. This happening despite no less than 20 buffet staff walking past it and doing nothing. I even told the “chef” cooking on this station. He simply looked at me and smiled. Finally after about 30 minutes the “head chef” came and pointed this out, said salmon was put back on ice. One would think this would be left for display only right? No no no. We watched as the “chef” filleted, cooked, and served it. No properly trained let alone self respecting chef would do this as it’s a MAJOR food handling breach. You are just asking for a case of FOOD POISONING. If this is going on in the front of the house, what is going on in the back of the house? We attended a demonstration on how to cook the perfect steak. For this, the “chef” had on display several cuts of raw meat - a standing rib roast, pork loin, and a beef strip loin. The rib roast resting on the pork, the pork was resting on the strip loin above it. The same display also contained raw lamb as well as several other cuts of raw meat all touching one another. If that was not enough the “chef” had no problem picking up the various cuts one right after the other. Again no self respecting properly trained chef would do this as you are just begging to cross contaminate. Again, If this is going on in the front of the house, what is going on in the back of the house? And on a demonstration no less! All in all it was a good cruise, a good value. I question their food handeling practices though.

Celebrity - A Good Value, Questionable Food Handling

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by R_hinkforth

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
Aside from a few hiccups this was a really nice cruise. Embarkation was a breeze. Great excursions. Our cabin was clean and comfortable. Our room steward (Chris) was very nice, personable. The ship is showing its wear in places. Numerous broken chairs in two theaters, chairs in the main dining room were in need of a good cleaning. Note to Celebrity, 409 is very inexpensive. Bar service was slow in all areas of the ship. Minuscule portion sizes in all restaurants. I understand the need to control costs but in the speciality restaurants where you are paying a cover fee this should not be happening. Food quality was very good. Buffet - Cakes and desserts in the buffet were all basically the same - sponge cake soaked in simple syrup with different fillings daily. Is it really asking THAT much to put out real cake? We noticed some of the desserts from other restaurants/coffee bar around the ship would cycle into the buffet on the days after they “premiered” in the original area. Good selection of quality ice cream/frozen yogurt. Cheese “sauce” on the Mexican part of the buffet was as thin as water and had NO flavor. I would say 90% of the buffet food was very good. We took the galley tour, the one kitchen we got to see was spotless.

The fitness center had everything you could hope for and more than enough machines to go around. Again we have a wear issue as 4 of the ellipticals I used were all making a grinding/rubbing sound. Not the end of the world, they functioned fine but again it shows a lack of maintenance and upkeep.

Now for the areas of concern. On one night the buffet was featuring fresh fish. Salmon and halibut were placed on ice on the buffet line to help advertise this offering. At one point one of the salmon slid off the ice and was laying on the side of the buffet un-chilled for 30 minutes. This happening despite no less than 20 buffet staff walking past it and doing nothing. I even told the “chef” cooking on this station. He simply looked at me and smiled. Finally after about 30 minutes the “head chef” came and pointed this out, said salmon was put back on ice. One would think this would be left for display only right? No no no. We watched as the “chef” filleted, cooked, and served it. No properly trained let alone self respecting chef would do this as it’s a MAJOR food handling breach. You are just asking for a case of FOOD POISONING. If this is going on in the front of the house, what is going on in the back of the house?

We attended a demonstration on how to cook the perfect steak. For this, the “chef” had on display several cuts of raw meat - a standing rib roast, pork loin, and a beef strip loin. The rib roast resting on the pork, the pork was resting on the strip loin above it. The same display also contained raw lamb as well as several other cuts of raw meat all touching one another. If that was not enough the “chef” had no problem picking up the various cuts one right after the other. Again no self respecting properly trained chef would do this as you are just begging to cross contaminate. Again, If this is going on in the front of the house, what is going on in the back of the house? And on a demonstration no less!

All in all it was a good cruise, a good value. I question their food handeling practices though.
R_hinkforth’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 6181
Clean, comfortable, tastefully decorated. Bathroom was nice, and not cramped.
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