2 Seattle Spa Cruise Reviews

I really wanted to write a rave review, but can't even come close. I will be honest about my personal bias in some matters for which Celebrity has little or no responsibility, so that readers can sort out what's relevant to them. ... Read More
I really wanted to write a rave review, but can't even come close. I will be honest about my personal bias in some matters for which Celebrity has little or no responsibility, so that readers can sort out what's relevant to them. We arrived the day before departure, and stayed at the Inn at the Market in Seattle. Lovely inn with helpful staff, across the street from the Pike Place Market, and within easy walking distance of several restaurants and shops. Took a cab to the pier at about 1PM, where the Very Long Check In began. Got in the first line to have our bags scanned and dropped off (15 minutes), got in the next line to go up the escalator (about 30 minutes), got in another line to go through security (10 minutes), and were sorted into yet another line to be checked into our cabin. Fortunately for us, the concierge class had a very short line and we had to wait just a few minutes to see an agent for our cabin. The non-concierge passengers were herded into a zig-zagging queue that had to be several-hundred-persons long, and reminded me of Ellis Island. Even the Captains Club line had several dozen people I felt profoundly lucky. Once checked in, we ordered into another line to get our picture taken, which we quickly dodged, to get into another line to the gangway to get on the ship. The ship had a nice layout, with several unique places to enjoy a drink, hot beverage, ice cream, or just a book or a nap. It seemed well-maintained and clean. We rarely saw the officers, but didn't look for them, either. Our cabin was on the 11th floor, aft, and overlooked the bar and restaurant on the 10th deck. The balcony was not as quiet as I would have preferred, but it wasn't noisy. Smoke odor was not a problem. The problem for me was 195 SF, the room was too small. The closet and bathroom doors could not be open at the same time. Space between the foot of the bed and the mirror was about 18 inches. My DH and I couldn't dress by the closet at the same time, and since that's where the bathroom is, this required a strategic plan if one needed to shower and dress for dinner. I am fussy about hotel rooms on vacation. I originally wanted a Celebrity Suite, but when the Aqua Class staterooms were priced less than a regular balcony cabin, it seemed like a great deal. We saved money, but at the expense of enjoying our cabin. The room was attractively decorated and well appointed. Our cabin steward truly understood customer service, and intuited our preferences with incredible speed. The best cabin steward we had ever had. FTR, we left him a nice extra tip. The other problem with the cabin was our neighbors, who were traveling with friends and considered every cruise a booze cruise. The more drunk they got the louder they got, and they were loud to begin with. At one point, somebody was yodeling. I wish I was making this up, and I know it's not the cruise line's fault. By the time the cruise had come to an end, I wanted to toss live crabs on their balcony. Dining became an ordeal that I didn't look forward to. We were assigned to Blu, and appeared as scheduled the first night. We waited about 15 minutes to be seated when about half of the space was empty. Once seated, water was promptly poured, and we waited for a waiter. Our food came out in good time, but I had to ask for wine and my husband for iced tea after our food was served. This required the sommelier. My wine came, and my husband ate his meal without his tea. I asked for a wine refill, which the waiter brought, and nobody asked my husband if he would like another beverage. Our waiter was looking around the dining room while serving us, to see what was going on, I suppose. This entire scene repeated itself the next night, and at the main dining room days later. The buffet was, well, a buffet. Nothing to write home about. Plenty of food, not a lot of flavor. Again, beverages created bafflement; a coke or an iced tea apparently had to be delivered by tugboat from a cache on a nearby island. Dinner needed a Benny Hill soundtrack to make it complete. The SS United States was the exception to our dinnertime debacles. It was the fine dining experience in food and service that we expected (and paid extra for) from beginning to end. We loved it. My DH doesn't drink at all, but I do. I purchased the premium non-alcoholic beverage package for him, and the premium alcohol package for me. He didn't mind accompanying me to check out a couple of the lounges. We went to the Constellation lounge in the front of the ship, which is a good place to nap in the daytime. He accompanied me for an after-dinner drink at Michael's Club. We both enjoyed the bartenders' acrobatics at the Martini Bar. I enjoyed the Sunset Martini, and wish we would have gone to the Martini Bar earlier in the trip. We both enjoyed the Naturalist, Brent Nixon, and his discussions about Alaskan wildlife and sea life were packed for good reason. He had plentiful information presented in a funny and memorable style. After the first lecture we attended, we would plan around his talks! DH and I looked forward to the spa. We have had outstanding spa experiences on another cruise line, had heard good things about the Infinity, and were hoping for a similar experience. This was not going to happen. The spa was understaffed and ill-equipped. The Infinity has a nice Persian garden facility with multiple steam rooms and showers located behind the desk, but you need to figure it out for yourself. Tours were not offered. No spa shoes. Water not available for spa patrons. Robes checked in and out at the front desk with the locker key. The desk staff was not friendly, and insisted on booking the least desirable appointment times first. There was a locker room attendant, but she read her magazine and did not offer help. The locker room offered the same shampoo, conditioner, and lotion that was in the stateroom, but that was it. I asked for a hairdryer at the front desk, and the attendant told me that they don't have them "because electricity and water don't mix." Better not tell her about the electric Azipod propulsion units submerged as we speak. The cherry on top of this cruise of disappointment was the offensive treatment that we received at Guest Relations. I do not use "offensive" lightly. I recognize mistakes, I expect inexperience and a certain amount of incompetence. All of this is manageable and forgivable if addressed. You allow your employees to deliberately offend me and you've lost me as a customer for life. The first sea day, I checked our account on the television service, and found that drinks were incorrectly charged to us. I went to Guest Relations, explained the mistake, and was told that it would be taken care of. A few days later, I looked, and the charges were still there. I went back down to Guest Relations and was again told that the charges would be removed. After receiving our invoice the night before departure, we reviewed the charges, and the incorrect drink charges will still there. Now, I was irritated. I waited in yet another Celebrity line at Guest Relations (last night on the cruise). When I got to the desk, I asked to see a manager. The desk agent asked if she could help me, and for the third time, I explained the problem. She said she would take care of it. I said that I was not leaving until I had received a credit or spoken to a manager. I asked for her manager's name. She refused to give it to me. The Guest Relations agent then accused me of lying, buying drinks for friends and trying to get out of the bill, and argued and argued with me. In front of employees and customers. I was beyond livid at this point, but was so insulted, that I was not going to leave until justice was served. I don't even like writing about this; it makes me upset. Lesson learned. I don't ever want to be a "Celebrity" again. When people ask about our cruise, I tell them about Alaska. Alaska was beautiful, Alaskans were friendly, there was so much to see and do! It was a great experience, and I want to go back. But I don't tell them about the cruise. I don't care to remember it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
The purpose of this cruise was to celebrate my husband's 50th. birthday. It was why we paid to upgrade to the Deluxe Verandah Suites, and it was wise that we did. That was the only place the service even remotely met the expectations ... Read More
The purpose of this cruise was to celebrate my husband's 50th. birthday. It was why we paid to upgrade to the Deluxe Verandah Suites, and it was wise that we did. That was the only place the service even remotely met the expectations we had been led to believe were the standard that HAL claims to set.Embarkation went very smoothly compared to the two other cruises we have done. Check in was a breeze! We were immediately directed to the LaFontaine dining room for a liesurely lunch awaiting our cabin to be ready. When we entered our cabin, we did find it to be lovely and roomy, beautiful verandah. Our bags were waiting on the bed. We quickly unpacked and set about to explore the ship. We visited the Sea View & Crow's Nest bars,the Spa & workout facilities as my husband wanted to keep exercising on the cruise. I wanted to check out the hands-on culinary opportunities. The party planner greeting people interested in learning more about that was cold and unfriendly. I opted NOT to sign up for any of those events, and I had really looked forward to them! We opted for room service for coffee and juice for the following morning.A grilled dinner was served on the Lido deck as we set sail. Food was fair, Lido area very crowded. (We never did try the Lido pool or hot tubs. Always full of noisy jumping splashing kids and babies) .We caught the end of the comic's show and off to bed.First day was ok. The only day my husband worked out as he was unimpressed with the workout facilities. Lines for the treadmills and elipticals was discouraging.The next night was the first formal night, and the only one we participated in. They were very accomodating in getting my husband fitted and delivered of a tuxedo the same day! We hoped for & expected great things,but it was not forthcoming. We had opted for open seating, & waited some time with a pager. Once seated, we  had to wait to place our order. One of the guests at our table had to ask for the wine steward twice, and I think he was the only one taking care of 500+ diners, and not very good at it. Once the food was served, it was disappointing, and we waited 20 to 30 minutes between courses, and that was once we had finished eating them. We witnessed a 10 minute tantrum by a mad & unhappy drunk  passenger who was unaware it was formal night and mad he did not meet dress code and could not eat. He never should have been allowed in the dining room. Most people at our table ordered the Alaskan King Crab, which took forever!!! Our server said they "ran out of crab". It arrived in and inch of lukewarm water, no drawn butter or lemon!! Three people sent their's back & got something else, which took forever as well.One of the perks was having personal concierge service on our floor, and we took advantage to book our Juneau & other excursions. Whale watching was fun. Not many whales, but lots of bald eagles and sea lions, and our naturalist was friendly and informative. Our next stop was the Mendenhall glacier, the perfect warmup for the Hubbard glacier. Juneau was beautiful. We picked the Lido buffet for dinner & were not impressed. For health reasons, you could not serve yourself most things, and the staff was slow slow slow!!! Soup had "skin" on top!The next day was my husband's birthday. We had a good roomservice breakfast. He played in the Casino and I relaxed. He again opted for the buffet for lunch, limited selection, bland & uninspired. We ran into the two couples we met at first day lunch, and invited them to join us for champagne on our verandah to witness the spectacular Hubbard glacier. They were all full of stories already of lackluster service & argumentative staff. One couple shared that their bags were not put in their room, but sitting in the hallway. They had just that morning met their steward for the first time!! This was day 3!! Our assistant steward was apparently their dining room waiter one evening, and while pleasant & trying, was obviously inexperienced and inept at serving. It became apparent that the staff are expected to wear too many hats, are not effectively trained. We heard of several people who when they needed something or had an issue, were argued with by staff!! But I digress!! I had arranged a celebration package a few weeks before, which included dinner at the Pinnacle Grill. Our server was congenial and tried, but was obviously inexperienced at what was supposed to be fine dining service. The food was good, but not superior. We then went to the Crow's Nest, where we had been very well taken care of by Gani and Leo. As we walked in the door, Gani immediately began to prepare our favorite cocktails. THIS was the service we heard was standard on HAL, but it was the only place we ever really got it! The next day my husband had booked fishing in Sitka, which he really enjoyed. I opted to pamper myself with a spa day.I chose a massage and facial. The massage was good, but expensive, and their opportunity to push expensive spa products. The facial was ok. Relaxing. But the facial product line was hugely expensive, and one I have never heard of. My esthetician was obviously disappointed that I did not want to spend her recommended $300.00 on my face, after the cost of the facial!! I had a coupon they had delivered to our cabin for 30% off any spa treatment. The manager seemed aloof and none too happy that I wanted to apply it to my most expensive service. We opted for room service for dinner, the salmon. Adequate but I expected better being in Alaska.Ketchikan was our best port day by far. We booked the Rainforest Canopy Zipline, and I highly recommend it. Stunning views, the adrenalin rush, fun people. We found it the best for souvenir shopping. We also had to do some drugstore shopping as the shipboard sundries store was tiny, cramped, and poorly stocked. Our dining experiences ranged from awful to good. Silverware was usually hard to come by, no matter where you ate. My husband waited 30 minutes for oil & vinegar for his salad at lunch, (yes the buffet again.) We would ask for simple things like toothpicks, or silverware, and the person we asked would just disappear.The Terrace Grill was horrible. Soupy & or dried out taco fillings, unfresh toppings, soggy shells & chips. Turkey burger looked like mystery meat, & was chewy & cold.  Breakfast room service was good, snacks not so much. Got our orders wrong twice in one night. No crackers with the cheese & cracker plate. Ordered 2 apple tarts, got 2 chocolate cakes instead.My husband and many others we talked to were not happy with the casino. He saw many people spend a lot of money early on, but no one won much at all. By the last half of the cruise, it was virtually empty. We had issues with our toilet for one day, but that "funky" smell lingered thru the rest of the cruise. We did not go into Victoria. It was a very short port call, and my husband was tired and not feeling well. I convinced him to eat in the dining room, and it was the best dining room experience we had. We realxed in our room, packed, and chilled on the verandah for our last night aboard ship.As Verandah Suite passengers, we were told we could disembark anytime between 8 and 9:30am. We ordered room service breakfast for 8am. At 8:30 we got the bum's rush from our steward saying we needed to get off the ship sooner! We hurried through breakfast, grabbed our carryons and got off the ship. We loved seeing Alaska & Seattle. And we chose cruising for the opportunity to see several places, and for the most popular reasons, service, pampering, and stellar food. Our HAL experience was sketchy at best. Inconsistent and haphazard. When it was good, it was very good, but when it was bad, it was awful!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2009

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