Year Started: 1988
Ships in Fleet: 10
Summary: This premium cruise line features beautiful ships on itineraries world-wide. Excellent cuisine, great service, roomy staterooms. Modern Luxury at value prices.
Regions:Caribbean Western, Inland Waterways, Mediterranean Eastern
Good for: Overall Service. Foodies. Seniors.
Regions:Caribbean Southern, Inland Waterways, Mediterranean Western
Good for: Seniors. Foodies. Overall Service.
Regions:Caribbean Southern, Mediterranean Western, Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Foodies. Value for Money.
Regions:Alaska, Australia, Hawaii, Inland Waterways
Good for: Seniors. Singles. Families.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Mediterranean Eastern, Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western, Mediterranean Eastern
Good for: Foodies. Overall Service. Value for Money.
Regions:Alaska, Australia, Hawaii
Good for: Foodies. Seniors. Group.
Regions:Caribbean, Panama Canal, Europe
Good for: Seniors. Families. Luxury Travelers.
Regions:Bermuda, Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Southern
Good for: Foodies. Seniors. Group.
Good for: Group. Singles. First-time Cruisers.
Celebrity Solstice Class
My wife and I have made 10 cruises with Celebrity Cruise Lines, The latest was in Celebrity Solstice. We have sailed in 5 different Celebrity ships including the Century, Millennium and Solstice classes. While the technical and engineering advances are indisputable, if you have cruised in a Millennium class ship, the passenger amenities in the Solstice class are a classic example of progress being change, but change not necessarily being progress. In comparison to the Century and Millennium classes Solstice was too crowded and all chrome and glitz. Although cabin locker and drawer space the Millennium and Solstice classes MAY be the same, storage space is much better laid out and more accessible in the Century and Millennium classes. Celebrity is currently "Solsticing" the Millennium class; I hope they don't go too far because in my opinion they have definitely "Carnivalized" Solstice.
For openers, there are only two banks of elevators, forward and midships. The 8 midships elevators are glass; your elevator choices are between acrophobia or claustrophobia. If you are acrophobic there are three ways to get to Oceanview Cafe aft on deck 14. In all three you would haveto use the forward elevators. On deck 11, you would have go aft and up several flights of stairs; on deck 12 or 14, you would have to cross a weather deck. Not a pleasant task in bad weather. The only way get to the main or specialty dining rooms without using the midships elevators or stairs is use the forward elevators and walk aft. The Library, Card Room and other public spaces overlooking the Grand Foyer also are unusable by passengers who have a problem with heights.
Additionally, the pool in the Solarium in the Solstice class in not a therapy pool as in the Millennium class, nor is it heated; you usually find more people around it than in it. You could hardly call the hot tubs heated either. The sign for the spa says to limit use to 15 minutes; good advice, any longer could result in a severe case of frost bite.
Trays are not used in the Oceanview Cafe. Bring one with you; we sure wished we had. There also are no food service lines; just food service stations, about 10. Consequently there is no traffic flow, resulting in a lot of people milling about. One group is checking out what's available at the food stations while the other is trying to get back to their table while balancing plates or bowls of food.
Here is how you would have to manage a breakfast of juice, coffee, milk and/or yogurt, and a plate of hot food. You put your silverware in your pocket, get your coffee and juice, then find a table; put those items there. Go get your plate of hot items and milk; if you also want yogurt you put either the milk or yogurt in your pocket. Then go back to your table and hope it hasn't been cleared or usurped by another passenger; by this time your coffee is cold. Your could reverse the fetching order; your choice is cold coffee and hot food or hot coffee and cold food. Unlike revenge, meals are not better served cold. You can be of good cheer though in the knowledge that the ship doesn't have to be bothered with policing or washing the trays.
After many attempts I finally decided the definition of insanity was, indeed, repeating the same behavior and expecting a different result. Alas, I eventually gave up on the 400 yard poached eggs. I call them 400 yard poached eggs because that is the distance I estimate the average golfer could drive one off the tee. You can get them either hardened or case hardened. If you want a drink before the show in the Solstice Theatre, take it to your seat with you and hope the other passengers do likewise because the leg room between rows of seating is restricted making drink service a challenge. Also sitting any length of time if you have leg issues can be painful. The Ensemble Lounge, Michael's Club and the specialty restaurants on the 5th deck are the only spaces in the ship up to Celebrity's past standard of elegance.
With the exception of the poached eggs, the food in Solstice was on a par with other Celebrity ships we have sailed in; and the service provided by the crew was up to Celebrity Cruise Lines' high standards. It is not my objective to discourage people from cruising in Celebrity, far from it. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise, just hated the ship. We even booked our next two cruises onboard... in Celebrity Infinity. Celebrity will continue to be our first choice; however, we will NEVER cruise in another Solstice class ship. If the only choices were between a Solstice class ship and another cruise line we would not go or seriously consider the other cruise line!
We were disappointed in some of the changes made on the Reflection. We have thoroughly enjoyed Aqua Class and Blu dining on Eclipse,Solstice and Equinox.
Reflection had many more Aqua guests and squeezed the tables together,but should have been made larger. Also,there were children and a baby for dinner, completely inappropriate. We love children and babies,but dinner should be for adults.That is why we pay exrea for Aqua Class.
We enjoy dining in Blu. Breakfast time was a fiasco. Yhere were not enough waiters. The little sofas in the cabins were not sofas,but slabs of wood with hard pieces of foam on top. The quality of the food at dinner was just fair. I guess we cannot expext gourmet.
Our cabin attendant was superb. His Name was Ozy Fortado and he was the best we have ever had in 24 cruises. We are going again in April on the Equinox and hope everything will be as wonderful as it was when we were on there in January of this year. Happy Sailing.
Very nice ship, well layed-out balcony cabin (9178)and seemed clean. Cabin air was very dry so left balcony door open at night to get some moisture.
Over 1/2 the daily activities were fee only, many casino related. There are at least 4 fee only restaurants (some $40 per person), the usual art auction characters hawking dubious "collectibles" and the broadway type revue shows that are exceedingly bad with lip synching.
The comedians on board were excellant, 1 from the US, 1 from Wales and 1 from Ireland.
Food was passable, buffet on deck 14 was good altho every carved meat selection was extremely overcooked.
Breads and pastry were not good, french bread tasted stale and the morning croissants were harder than my head. Very poor pastry chef.
All in all, for a cheap cruise, not a bad deal, wouldn't rush back tho.
Just got back today (Sept 14/12) from a Celebrity Cruise on Millenium and it was the worst cruise I have ever been on, and have been on several. The food was so so, the varity of the food was poor, our cabin with a deck was tiny, the room was dirty, and the ship was plain. The entertainment was ok, but not great, and the debarkation was a disaster, with 3 ships getting out at the same time in Vancouver in a small area it was crazy. Many people missed flight the line up to get a cab was 500 people long.
Talked to one gal who worked there for 20 years said she never saw it so crazy. The could not get the luggage off the boat, they were backed up for hours. Will never book with this cruise line again. Also spent $150 for a photo package that had 10 photos, they gave me the CD but only let me look at the photos they already printed of us, and if I wanted them also it would cost even more then the $150. They said they wouldrather shred the photos then give them to me as part of a package, all I get is the CD.
About the critic
I am 51 years old, married, a Navy Captain, this was our 6th cruise, 3rd with celebrity.
There is no doubt upon arriving at the terminal, seeing the beautiful Equinox you can expect great things. She is three and a half years old and looks magnificent. The best way to offer meaningful commentary is to address each element separately.
as many other passengers have commented, this process was outstanding. We were aqua class room 1650, 11th deck starboard side aft. From the time of arrival to the terminal at 11:20 to being on board was 15 minutes. That said, our next objective should have been to make a bee line for the Oceanview cafe. The stateroom hallways were sealed off so roaming the ship or beginning the inevitable weight gain process at Oceanview were the only options. By the time we elected to get a bite to eat at 1230, there was absolutely NO place to sit. We were with another couple and eventually found separate seating. The rooms were available at 1:15.
Family of 6, ages 12 to 73. Cruised on RCCL, Carnival, NCL, Princess. We heard good things about Celebrity and wanted to try the newer Silhouette ship. We stayed on Deck 11, Aqua Class.
Embarkation/Debarkation: Very smooth and speedy. Grade: A
Ship's Appearance: Other than some odd artwork, ship looked very nice. Grade: A-
Food: Blu restaurant was quite good. Buffets were ample and tasty. One day they served an excellent brunch. Room service the best we've ever seen. Grade: A
Fitness Center: Machines were being used longer than the suggested 20 minutes, causing wait times. For 3100 passengers they need more machines. Grade: B-
Nightly Entertainment: First two shows were subpar. Acrobat show was very entertaining. Illusionist from Ireland rather annoying. Headline singer excellent. RCCL seems to have better overall entertainment. Grade: B
Ports: Cocoa Cay was fun. Been to St. Thomas and St. Martin so many times. Would rather see new islands like St Barts, etc. Grade: B
Cruise Director: Stuart was just okay, kids thought he was a dork. Grade: C
Ship Activities: For families, there isn't a lot of structured games, karaoke, or contests. Celebrity falls way short in this area vs. other lines.There were no pool contests. Kids activities rather weak. Basketball hoop in front of ship, forcing the kids to play in gale-force winds. The Family Feud game had 15 people show up. At times we became bored and just wandered to the buffet. Grade: C-
Cabin: Aqua Class cabin was fantastic, lots of space, great bathroom and shower. We opened the balconies to our three adjacent rooms. Outstanding. Grade: A
Staff: Overall, the staff was courteous and helpful, but I wouldn't say they made any impression like some staff on prior RCCL journeys. They needed to smile more and be friendlier. Some were indifferent and seemed like they didn't care for their job. Grade: B-
Casino: Typically tight slots, staff indifferent, poorly-executed tournaments. One Texas Hold Em table that was full with the same people every night. Grade: C
Ship Vibe: This is the area that would probably cause our family not to return to Celebrity. After 10 PM the ship basically shut down. The cruise director didn't inspire. Celebrity is definitely “stuffier” than other lines, even though this was a Christmas cruise. Grade: C-
Overall: The ship's layout was very easy to navigate. The lawn on the top deck is ill conceived. Most of the space is wasted. Why not build a putting course or movies under the stars? We liked the food quite a bit more than other lines. The cabin was perfect. Entertainment decent. Staff okay. Activities disappointing. Ship vibe less than stellar.
OVERALL GRADE FOR CRUISE EXPERIENCE ON SILHOUETTE: B
11 night cruise in balcony cabin on level 6. Nice cabin and large deck. Bathroom is one of the best we have had with a decent shower size. The ship was beautiful and roomy with lots to do on sea days. But, the food was nothing compared to what we experienced several years ago on Celebrity or other cruise lines since. Connecting to the internet was very complicated for many, especially trying to use your own devices. Because of the quality of the food we would not wish to take this ship again.
We love the new Celebrity Summit since it has now been "Solsticized" and we are Thrilled that Celebrity Cruise lines No LONGER serves Foie Gras due to the torture invloved in creating this liver dish. Now my family and friends can finally enjoy dinig at Normandie and The Murano restaurants! We did celebrate by partaking in the "Five Senses" wine pairing dinner at the Normandie.
The ship has a Hip and Modern feel mainly in the new venues including: BLU Restaurant, Bistro on 5 cafe, Cafe al Bacio, and Martini/Crush Bar. We LOVE Blu and we think the outdoor pool area is actually nicer than on the solstice class ships. It has a better flowing design and the 2nd pool is deeper. The Solarium on the Summit is not as Stunning as on the solstice ships, however, the pool is much, much, nicer: thallsotherapy pool and 4 large spigets that will massage your neck and shoulders.
The theatre is not noticably smaller and has comfortable bench seating and better shows that we saw on the 12 day Silhouette. The Main Dining room is Gorgeous and we think much prettier than the Solstice "HollywoodGlam" style.
We love this ship and we enjoyed the 5 stops on this cruise. Also, We discovered that you can fly Business/First on American and Delta for a tad more than coach when flying into san Juan. What a treat that was!
We will continue to travel on Celebrity for many reasons, mainly the great service, outstanding food, fun Martini Bar and Beer tastings at Michaels Club.
And now that Foie Gras is no longer available we feel good that we are not condoning animal torture by spending our vaction cash on this cruise line.
We were a party of six cruising the Panama Canal on the Infinity. All of us had been on Holland America last year (Eurodam), most of us had been with either Carnival, or other Celebrity cruises before.
I'd say the food was good to great. The soups were consistently disappointing (other than the French Onion Soup, which was ordered at least once every evening). Buffets were good, but not outstanding. Specialty restaurants ... we tried both and Qsine was absolutely off-the-charts great and a worthwhile experience. But on the whole, the food left us feeling like Holland America was a touch better.
Service (Jaya/Emilio) in the dining room was superior and staffing in general made for a great time. Be aware that you can get special deals on the Specialty restaurants (sometimes, even 2-4-1) later on in the cruise.
The itinerary certainly was enjoyable. If you take this cruise, definitely wait to do the zip line in Puerto Vallarta. One consideration ... for some people, 15 days is a long, long time to be at sea. Especially so if you have to consider time before and after cruising.
All said and done, it was agood cruise but not especially a great one. I believe Celebrity charges a premium price and at least on the Infinity are failing to provide the extra value that price commands. I considered long and hard while on the ship whether to take advantage of some deals to re-book ... and in the end declined. I think my vacation dollars will go back to Holland America or try Princess before I come back to Celebrity.
My wife and I took our first cruise on a Celebrity ship (Infinity) because it was part of a church group. We have been on several Royal Caribbean cruises. This last frontier trip to Alaska was a hit and miss for our group.
We had great weather at all ports. August 17. A few couples had morning excursions cancelled because of fog. They were unable to fly out. Ketchikan is a quaint town to walk through. Creek Street is fun with it's shops and river filled with salmon. Juneau provided my best memory. I took a float plane to a remote river and fly fished for pink salmon and dolly varden. I caught close to 40. the salmon on streamers, the dolly's on plastic eggs. Be prepared to wait for an hour or two to get off the ship. The tender process is horrible.
The Tracy Arm passage was beautiful and the glacier view pretty good. In Skagway, another cute town, we took the bus instead of the train up white pass. This way we were able to make many stops to take photos and also travel far beyond where thetrain turns around. Into the Yukon we went. it is a visual delight. The next stop in Victoria is a big miss. You don't port until 6pm. They need to make a change here. Overall the excursions are expensive.
The food was only fair. We had to return steak many times, not cooked how we ordered. The wine selection was very good. There should have been more salmon and fish options. The burgers by the pool were good.
The onboard entertainment was good, the naturalist, Brent Nixon was funny and informative.
We saw 1 bear, a few whales, and 1 eagle, all from such a long distance away that we were unable to photograph them. I suggest you research well before you book this alaska trip.