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Old December 19th, 2008, 04:02 PM
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Default Some of the first negative comments on Solstice coming in

All of us who have been on Solstice agree that it is a beautiful ship. I really enjoyed the cruise a great deal and I was never bored as can happen on smaller ships with me.

It is beautiful, the itinerary was very nice, and the onboard offerings are varied enough that there are things to do day and night that will keep you amused.

We have already documented all of the great/nice things about the ship,
However, we are getting some cruise reviews and even emails about some of the perceived "problems" if anyone is interested.

1. No thelassotherapy pool. The other Celebrity ships generally have a heated pool with bubble jets in the solarium. These are great pools, even if they charge for them (which they have sometimes done in the past but usually don't). Solstice has a beautiful Solarium, but from what I hear the water in the pool is freezing cold. I didn't try it.

The Solarium itself was chilly whenever I walked through, and I was looking forward to a sun-warmed room from the glass greenhouse effect. It seems they have the AC running overtime in there - so you might as well be inside plus it makes the water seem very cold.

2. The shows - most people like the production shows. I thought they were good, but there was one show with a xylophone player. I didn't see it, but I heard it was quite boring. After all, how interesting can watching a guy strike pieces of steel will little hammers be? It doesn't matter how many sound effects he has connected to it - thats all just computers. NBD.

3. The spas on the Millie-class ships are quite varied, but on Solstice I was disappointed that the persian Garden is not open tothe general public - only to AquaClass suite guests. That is a small number of guests to limit the facilities to. If you beek a massage you also get an hour in there free.

I was given a chance to try it, and I found the ceramic beds to be too cold, the steam room was barely working, the mist showers had one temperature - ice cold. There was a hot sauna but still, a warm mist shower would be nice.

4. Blu - also for the AquaClass suites. I heard it was not all it was hyped up to be. The food was good, but nothing special. Basically the same menu as the dining room, but perhaps cooked a little more a la minute.

5. Concierge class cabins - we did not get any VIP invitations to Captain's parties or the like. The cabins are basically the same as other verandah cabins but cost a lot more. The extras - champagne on arrival, fresh fruit & flowers, a pillow menu, bathrobes, a pillow-top mattress - basically, none of these things are worth the extra money, at least for me. The pillows & mattress were nice, but my wife dsliked her pillow, but we were never asked if we wanted a different one, and if there was an actual "pillow menu" we never saw it.

The hors d' oeuvres are unpalatable to me. They are usually pates on bread circlets so old they are chewy. How about a simplr cracker? seriously, all of them had that "been in the fridge a few days too long" taste.

The flowers were nice - but generally just in the way in the cramped cabin. The fresh fruit could have been procured ourselves in the buffet. You don't need it refreshed. We spent a lot of bottled water - over $40 for a 7-day cruise just to have good drinking water in the cabin. The ice in the bucket was melted within a few hours every day.

6. Tips - OK, this is a Celebrity-wide policy, but we did not see a note we supposedly got saying we had to OK putting our tips on our ship account. I am used to this just happening automatically. On the last day I was informed I was "too late" to put them on my ship account (why?) and I had to get cash from the ATM ( a $5.50 fee), stuff envelopes and hand them out. Celebrity, it would be better for both of us just to make it automatic if I don't object. You could have just charged me and I would be happy. As it was I had to spend extra money and go to trouble I didn't care to go to.

7. Room Service - we had a few glitches, as did others, where service was very slow. In one case they were trying to deliver my sick wife's dinner to the worng room. You would think that would be easy to fix, right? just get the right room number. No, for some reason it took 90 minutes to rectify the problem. Another time it took us 45 minutes to get coffee.

8. Internet access. When it was up it was excellent - very fast. But there were two days when it was down almost all day long - generally while we were in port in San Juan and St Martin.

That's it - if you have comments let me know.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Some of the first negative comments on Solstice coming i

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
All of us who have been on Solstice agree that it is a beautiful ship. I really enjoyed the cruise a great deal and I was never bored as can happen on smaller ships with me.

It is beautiful, the itinerary was very nice, and the onboard offerings are varied enough that there are things to do day and night that will keep you amused.

We have already documented all of the great/nice things about the ship,
However, we are getting some cruise reviews and even emails about some of the perceived "problems" if anyone is interested.

1. No thelassotherapy pool. The other Celebrity ships generally have a heated pool with bubble jets in the solarium. These are great pools, even if they charge for them (which they have sometimes done in the past but usually don't). Solstice has a beautiful Solarium, but from what I hear the water in the pool is freezing cold. I didn't try it.

The Solarium itself was chilly whenever I walked through, and I was looking forward to a sun-warmed room from the glass greenhouse effect. It seems they have the AC running overtime in there - so you might as well be inside plus it makes the water seem very cold.

2. The shows - most people like the production shows. I thought they were good, but there was one show with a xylophone player. I didn't see it, but I heard it was quite boring. After all, how interesting can watching a guy strike pieces of steel will little hammers be? It doesn't matter how many sound effects he has connected to it - thats all just computers. NBD.

3. The spas on the Millie-class ships are quite varied, but on Solstice I was disappointed that the persian Garden is not open tothe general public - only to AquaClass suite guests. That is a small number of guests to limit the facilities to. If you beek a massage you also get an hour in there free.

I was given a chance to try it, and I found the ceramic beds to be too cold, the steam room was barely working, the mist showers had one temperature - ice cold. There was a hot sauna but still, a warm mist shower would be nice.

4. Blu - also for the AquaClass suites. I heard it was not all it was hyped up to be. The food was good, but nothing special. Basically the same menu as the dining room, but perhaps cooked a little more a la minute.

5. Concierge class cabins - we did not get any VIP invitations to Captain's parties or the like. The cabins are basically the same as other verandah cabins but cost a lot more. The extras - champagne on arrival, fresh fruit & flowers, a pillow menu, bathrobes, a pillow-top mattress - basically, none of these things are worth the extra money, at least for me. The pillows & mattress were nice, but my wife dsliked her pillow, but we were never asked if we wanted a different one, and if there was an actual "pillow menu" we never saw it.

The hors d' oeuvres are unpalatable to me. They are usually pates on bread circlets so old they are chewy. How about a simplr cracker? seriously, all of them had that "been in the fridge a few days too long" taste.

The flowers were nice - but generally just in the way in the cramped cabin. The fresh fruit could have been procured ourselves in the buffet. You don't need it refreshed. We spent a lot of bottled water - over $40 for a 7-day cruise just to have good drinking water in the cabin. The ice in the bucket was melted within a few hours every day.

6. Tips - OK, this is a Celebrity-wide policy, but we did not see a note we supposedly got saying we had to OK putting our tips on our ship account. I am used to this just happening automatically. On the last day I was informed I was "too late" to put them on my ship account (why?) and I had to get cash from the ATM ( a $5.50 fee), stuff envelopes and hand them out. Celebrity, it would be better for both of us just to make it automatic if I don't object. You could have just charged me and I would be happy. As it was I had to spend extra money and go to trouble I didn't care to go to.

7. Room Service - we had a few glitches, as did others, where service was very slow. In one case they were trying to deliver my sick wife's dinner to the worng room. You would think that would be easy to fix, right? just get the right room number. No, for some reason it took 90 minutes to rectify the problem. Another time it took us 45 minutes to get coffee.

8. Internet access. When it was up it was excellent - very fast. But there were two days when it was down almost all day long - generally while we were in port in San Juan and St Martin.

That's it - if you have comments let me know.
The things that alarm me about your post:

1: Somewhere in the back of my subconcious a little bell is ringing - one that signals that the upper mid-range cabins are a bit of a rip off. (Concierge, Aquaspa on Celebrity, Mini-suites on Princess) I heard on my last cruise and I've read on several messageboards that many times the extras promised with these staterooms don't materialize. I cannot speak to that as an expert though.

2: We got burned by the tips policy on Celebrity as well. I'll grant they did pass out a flyer on the subject but I was totally bummed I couldn't put the tips on my SeaPass because I was too late. I cannot imagine the reason for such a policy.

3: I'm having a really tough time getting worked up over the idea of grass on a cruiseship. Am I the only one that views that as a waste of valuable space? I'd rather see some small foutains, flower beds, park benches and a free gelatto stand. I'm totally befuddled by the desire to see a lawn -- maybe this midwesterner has a hard time understanding it since he was to mow one all summer long?

Anyways, I'm just talkin'.
I've not been on Solstice, but I don't see a reason to go on it either.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 05:53 PM
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I think the lawn was a great idea. Though there are parts that could have been used for something else to give a park like atmosphere it still great. Many people keep complaining that they wasted space that is usually used for deck chairs and other things but they did not. The space that a majority of the lawn club sits on is usually used by the ships funnel. By opting for the two smaller ones not having the huge "X" on the top of the ship, they used the space for the lawn. On the new Emerald Princess they did not opt for the two funnels and instead they do not even have that space to work with. So look at the lawn as an extra bonus.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 12:47 PM
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I also have a reason to complain about the Solstice. I have to wait untill april to cruise on her.

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Old December 20th, 2008, 05:34 PM
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A couple of months ago, I started a thread under "All things cruisin'" titled An Alarmig Trend and Pauls comments on the Solstice confirm what I believe-that all cruise lines, not just Celebrity, are leaning more and more to a class system. The new ships have spas, restaurants, even sun decks that are only for the use of those in a mini-suite, CC cabin, Aqua class- whatever. It seems fair that those who book a more expensive cabin should get a few perks but ALL the venues should be open to all passengers, even if it involves a charge. And I agree with jgthelen-why a lawn on a cruise ship? We go on a cruise to go to sea don't we? A total waste of space. I think we'll stick to the older ships where we can have access to the whole ship, even if it involves a surcharge.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 07:38 PM
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Interesting points, Paul. I would expect some of the negatives can be chalked up to wotking the kinks out.

I agree with others that the lawn is a "who cares?" for me. Aqua class has no interest to me. The lack of a T pool is a real minus; free or otherwise. I do recall when Celebrity tried to charge for the T pools on the M class ships. It created such an uproar that they backed off on that. They do charge for the T pool on Mercury & Galaxy, except for suite passengers & Elite CC members, but those pools are worth the extra$ because they are invigorating, while the pools on M calss ships are pretty lame in comparison.

I've always thought that Concierge cabins are a waste, particularly on the C class ships, with them being no larger that standard balcony rooms. Just my opinion.

I guess the bottom line is that I wiil, at some point book Solstice, but won't be going out of my way to do so. Newer & bigger does not necessarily mean better.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 04:11 AM
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Our last two cruises have been with Celebrity and we've had Concierge class both times (in both cases because it seemed a great offer from the company we booked through); the first time we went for Concierge because the Berlitz guide said it was well worth the extra money. I have to agree with every single thing you've said about it - it's just not worth it for the paltry few things you've described. And the canapes are just horrid - we usually received them at about 3.30pm, way too early for them to be palatable with our 'getting ready to go out in the evening drink' and we ended up never touching them.

We've decided that on future Celebrity cruises we'll check out the price difference between balcony and Concierge and spend the money on nice things that we actually want!
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 11:40 AM
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Every once in awhile, we get the Conceirge Class if the price is right. We always have late seating. We tell them to bring our canapes at 6:00 & bring 2 plates. That way they are fresher. Also, if there is something we don't like, we have more of some of the other things. It's never a problem.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 01:21 PM
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Just to be clear, I find the canapes to be unappealing on every ship I have ever been on. It is like they are all made by the same company and they send them to the ship frozen. (I know that is very unlikely but if someone told me it was true I would belive then based on the tase).

As for the lawn - I have to say that I have been thinking "um, that's nice, but what else have you got for me..." ever since they first announced it. I never ubderstood those big "first real grass lawns at sea!" newspaper articles.

Having been there, I think it would have been very cool IF they had just not mentioned and kept it a surprise for people. It is different and interesting to go up there, especially when people are playing bocce ball and such. But still, to make a big deal out having a real grass lawn just doesn't quite work. Try telling one of your non-cruisier friends about it and watch their reaction, "and what is the lawn for, again?"

One the other hand, the "floating tree" is really cool and people like it alot, even if you only see it and do not use it.

The grass area, Central Park, on Oasis will be much more like what a park area on a ship should be like. It will have grass, real trees, winding sidewalks with niches, and things to see and interact with.

I'm sure they have their reasons for that tip policy, and I am also sure I personally missed whatever announcement they made for a deadline, but still, why have the deadline? It was true hassle to get the cash and also hand it out.

Anyway - this is still a BEAUTIFUL SHIP and one most people enjoy cruising on a great deal. But it is OK to mention the minuses just so future passengers have the right expectations.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Some of the first negative comments on Solstice coming i

I was on the same cruise as Paul. Here is my take:

1. I did try the Solarium pool and can state that it was definitely frigid. I was told by a passenger on board that the pool is heated. If this is true, the heater must not have been on. Speaking of water temperature, the hot tubs were more like warm tubs, I heard several people comment on this.

2. In my opinion, the electronic xylophone player (David Meyer) was the low point of the entertainment on our cruise. I would assume that he won't be a regular on the ship. While he was OK, I would not have recommended anyone go out of their way to see his show. On the bright side, the three production shows and comedian (Louis Johnson) were all excellent in my opinion.

3. I was in Aquaclass. The Persian gardens are in my opinion too small to allow access to the whole ship. If I remember correctly, there were 5 loungers. The area could use some work. As you pointed out, on our cruise the steam room did not seem to be functional and the loungers were not particularly warm. On the bright side, the relaxation area included with Aquaclass was quite nice: multiple padded loungers with beautiful ocean view (it is located directly above the ship's bridge). The relaxation room is available to anyone making use of the spa before or after their treatment.

4. Perhaps my biggest disagreement here. We ate in Blu every night and loved it. We compared menus with the main dining room several times and never saw even a single dish that the two restaurants had in common. Ingredients might have been similar on occasion but preparation was wildly different. The food in Blu was in our opinion equal in quality to that we have had on our previous Crystal and Regent cruises. If this is also true of the main dining room (which we did not try), then Celebrity has a lot to be proud of. The only complaint I heard about Blu was the soupspoon size: too large to actually fit comfortably in the soup bowel although very pretty to look at ( a triumph of form over function).


5. This applies to our Aquaclass room. There was a pillow menu by the side of our bed and the pillows were definitely available on request. I am not sure if we got the same canapes as you, but we enjoyed ours. They made for a nice bite between lunch and our late dinner seating. We had cold tea refreshed daily in our room's decanter and the same was true for bottled water (which I can only assume is included for Aquaclass because we did not pay for it). Our ice melted as well ( ) but was refreshed by cabin steward on request.

6. We did receive tip form on our bed along with the next days daily schedule. It was small though so easily missed.

7. Didn't use room service, can't comment.

8. Internet quite quick for a ship. Quite pleased. I don't know that I have ever been on a cruise that didn't have at least temporary access issues.

One large plus that I have not seen too many comments on: the hot glass show was fascinating. There were several people who went to almost every show (a big time commitment at two two hour shows per day). We ourselves spent somewhere around 8-10 hours there. They make some beautiful large scale pieces. As the Corning Museum of glass is a not for profit organization, the gave away (by free raffle) several pieces at nearly every show. We were lucky enough to win the last (and in our opinion nicest) piece that they gave away during our cruise. First thing I have one in about thirty years! To top it all off, we made it back with the piece intact.

In summary, we tried the Solstice because of what we felt was great pricing. I wasn't sure if the Solstice might be too large for our tastes but after being on it, I would recommend it without rerservation to any of my friends. I would happily sail on her again.

John
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Old December 24th, 2008, 04:26 AM
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Friscrays.. great comments. I did not try Blu so I can only go by what I heard. I am happy to hear it is better than expected.

We were in concierge class. I am SURE the pilow menu was available to us, probably just had to ask. I know my DW would have if she had known, but you can't expect room stewards to know everything on the first few cruises. She needed better pillows and better bedding (having caught a debilitating cold that put her down for the three port days).

Service was good, but not pro-active. That is what we review. It is nice to sell concierge service with an attitude that makes it known to the passenger "here are you choices." - My opinion is that if a guest has to ask "how does this or that work?" the whole experience of having a special cabin is defeated. Is is like a restaurant expecting you to memorize he special dinners before you get onboard - NO, the idea is I have paid for certain cabin and I expect to be told what my options are...

"Pillow menu; canape options, etc..." We spent some $35 in bottled drinking water, which our steward brought to us when we drabk what was available and slipped the mini-bar charge under our nose a few days later without telling us the price up front.

Bottled drinking water, $6.00/bottle just because that is what the ship charges. It is hard to imagine a concierge cabin where palable water costs $6/liter. Yes, they brought us regular ice buckets once/day but it was ice water melted by sundown and the water was unsealed in a large carafe. We did not feel comfortable drinking it.

For a concierge cabin = bring us unlimited bottled spring water for a low price/ $3.00/liter we would be happy. Instead we faced mystery charges on our cabin account "water - $13.50" every 2 days that was a little too scary for us. Total water charges: over $40 for one week, just for bottled spring water. please make it easy to feel good about the water we are drinking without paying mini-bar prices.

Everything else you say, I agree with.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 04:44 AM
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Paul makes an excellent point - our experience of Concierge was that many of the 'extras' we were told were part of the class were either not offered, or we had to 'dig' for them. For example: our toiletries were not replaced after the first day. When I rang housekeeping, I was told I could use the dispensers on the wall and had to point out that in Concierge we were supposed to get special toiletries. These were then supplied.

As Paul says, we should not be having to insist on these things - we've paid for them.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 02:52 PM
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Something not mentioned anywhere here, but was something that I found unusual on a ship, the lack of public washrooms on every deck. I am not the type of person that requires one all the time but found it difficult when the need was there. (I overheard many people with the same complaint).
I also found the balcony rooms a bit small, never try to get more than two people in one!! The bathrooms in the staterooms were very well laid out, the other cruiselines could learn alot from these.
I also feel the grass is strange, different for sure, but why?? I would have preferred they had made it a beach instead!!!
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Old January 24th, 2009, 09:07 AM
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We just returned from the Soltice Jan 11-18.
It was a great ship. the biggest and most luxurious we have ever experienced.
Our cabin was very nice and clean.
The room service was always on time and correct.
We hung out mostly by the main pool, with our family. I think the extra price for concierge class is over rated.
The only problems was the canap├ęs were bland,stale and terrible. Also the pastries were poor quality. I hated the cafe, having to fight for a table, lines around the islands, people stopping to talk while I'm trying to fill my plate. I much prefer to eat in the main dining room, but the times were only 7-9 am. much to early if you were up late at the shows.
The grass was ok. I got to watch bocce . but, the greatest show was the live glass blowing from Corning glass works. WOW!
the entertainment was fantiatic! Groove,Pulse,and all other live bands were great!! I didn't care for David Meyer.
I didn't care for the
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Old January 25th, 2009, 11:31 PM
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I have a question about the lawn. How easy was it to get a croquet set and set up a course on the lawn? I am afraid that with so many people on the ship, it would be impossible to reserve the lawn for a croquet match.

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Old January 27th, 2009, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: Some of the first negative comments on Solstice coming i

Hi Paul,

I just got back off of her two days ago and although I found her quite beautiful and a great cruise I found a few negatives to add to your list, can't believe you missed these;

1. No dinner trays in the Oceanview Cafe, I mean really what gives with this. I complained and was told I wasn't the first and this may be changed. Here was my typical morning breakfast, my rolled up napkin and silverware under my arm, breakfast plate in one hand and coffee or juice in the other, I mean really, this is ridiculous!

2. How could Celebrity build such a beautiful magnificent ship and put in only 2 elevator banks in the front and middle of the ship. Most ships I have been on have three elevator banks fore, aft, and center and this one had 2. We stayed on deck 3 (oceanview) and nearly everytime we used the elevator to go to the pool deck or the Oceanview Cafe we stopped on every floor! Ridiculous design and now can't be changed!

3. Those ridiculous shades around the main pool along with the water jets there as well. People were litterally jockying for position in the sun as those shades constantly shaded too much of the deck and the water jets/fountain took up too much space. The solarium is there if you want out of the shade so take the shades down as it shades the sun too much from a much too small area already.

4. The lawn was a waste, most was blocked off while we were there, take it out and put another pool in so folks can have some much needed sunny area for enjoyment.

As I said all in all a great cruise and a great ship but these things were negative and my views were shared by many others besides me!

Bill
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Old January 28th, 2009, 04:35 PM
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I have not been on Solstice yet and do not plan to book her unless we get a steal of a deal.

I cannot believe they do not provide drinking water in a pitcher in all cabins as they do on all the other Celebrity ships. We've sailed 9 times on Celebrity and every one of our cruises we've had water and ice replenished twice daily in our cabin. Same to be said for trays in the buffet area. Why would Celebrity do away with this? I will be very upset if this spreads to their other ships.

We've always loved Celebrity but find that they are cutting corners and not doing the little things as well as they use to.

Don't even get me started on the quality of the food in the Main Dining Room.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruisingChick
I have not been on Solstice yet and do not plan to book her unless we get a steal of a deal.

I cannot believe they do not provide drinking water in a pitcher in all cabins as they do on all the other Celebrity ships. We've sailed 9 times on Celebrity and every one of our cruises we've had water and ice replenished twice daily in our cabin. Same to be said for trays in the buffet area. Why would Celebrity do away with this? I will be very upset if this spreads to their other ships.

We've always loved Celebrity but find that they are cutting corners and not doing the little things as well as they use to.

Don't even get me started on the quality of the food in the Main Dining Room.
I heard the tray deal is so Celebrity can save money by cutting down on waste but it makes an absolutely horrible experience in trying to get your food in a civilized manner and make it to a table!
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Old January 28th, 2009, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
I have a question about the lawn. How easy was it to get a croquet set and set up a course on the lawn? I am afraid that with so many people on the ship, it would be impossible to reserve the lawn for a croquet match.

thanks,
I hardly ever saw the lawn used when I was up there, in fact Celebrity had half of it closed off the entire cruise, what a waste of good space!
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Old January 30th, 2009, 08:14 PM
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There was an article about the 2 local architects of this ship, in the Boston Globe. The focus picture was a shot of the main pool area. I thought the idea of those bed style lounges was great, but those sun towere just looked very strange.

I absolutley hate the idea of no trays....trying to juggle what you need, just to get to the table is poor customer service, imho....

I think the one upsmanship of the building new ships, especially in this economy seems so wasteful....to give over valuabale real estates just to be able to say your ship has a lawn is nonsense..better to put something, everybody can enjoy. To have it partially blocked off, seems a waste.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: Some of the first negative comments on Solstice coming i

I was on the same cruise as nvabill, and would agree with everything he has posted. Overall I was disappointed with both Celebrity and the Solstice. Celebrity is marketed as an upper scale cruise line, but I found little that would indicate this with my interaction experience with the crew. The crew, including my cabin steward, was the equal with my experience with Carnival and Princess, and below that of Royal and NCL.

Our first night in the Dining Room, we found old coffee containers and water jugs stashed under the table. These were most likely from the previous cruise, since we were first seating. The food overall in the Dining room was very good, but the buffet was poor, with the same selections every lunch and dinner.
Please bring back the trays, I would put my silverware in my back pocket, grab a drink, then try and find a table. Hopefully by the time you went back to get your meal, the stewards would not have taken your drink and silverware so you would not have to start over.

Elevators - I agree with Bill that the ship requires more elevators, but two banks can work, as I have seen on the FOS. The problem is they do not have enough elevators in each bank. There are only four in the front bank, when they should have a minimum of six and ideally eight.

The lawn is a waste of space. Part of it was roped off the entire cruise, while the remainder was seldom used. A better use of the space would be to put the basketball court there, since it is useless in the front of the ship, where it is constantly in the wind from the ship cruising.

The ship itself is nice, but is very "lively". I was suprised with the amount of roll/motion the ship has. It was the liveliest ship I have been on since the 18,000 ton Skyward, which didn't have stabilizers. Don't get me wrong I LOVED IT. I like a ship that moves, but it did suprise me. The only other comment I have is the air conditioning. I don't know if it was turned up, so the ship stayed hot, or if there is a problem, but my cabin and a couple of the lounges were hot. Usually they are too cold.
The shows could also use some work. The first show, "Solstice - the show" was ok, nothing special. The "Spirt of Broadway" was terrible. We actually left. On the plus side, the Comedy show with Dennis Blair was excellent.

The other big turn-off's for me were that the pools were shutdown at 8pm. This is a joke - 8pm, come on we are adults.

The ice container in the cabins. Useless - the ice melts almost immediately and will only fill a couple of drinks. Even the cabin stewards hate them, he warned me the first day that they were not adequate. The cabins themselves were gorgeous, but could use more closet space.

And they ran out of both Canadian Club and Coors light on the ship....shocking!! I have never been on a ship that ran out of booze!

Looking back I think that Celebrity is not a good fit for me. I am in my mid-40's and like a more active experience. I had three names for the ship:

The Slowstice - because it is a slower paced experience. If this is what you are looking for in a cruise, then you will enjoy this ship. The deck chairs are the best I have seen on a ship and would be great for relaxing the day away.

The No-stice - because there was no pools after 8 pm, and there was no booze left on the second and last night.

The Oldstice, because it is an older crowd, and the ship caters to this group. Celebrity knows it's market and how to cater the ships experience to it, but it does not work for an active 40 year old.

It is very unlikely I will ever cruise Celebrity again, but will go back to it's parent company's Royal Caribbean. I enjoy a more active line, but if you are out to relax, but all means try Celebrity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nvabill
Hi Paul,

I just got back off of her two days ago and although I found her quite beautiful and a great cruise I found a few negatives to add to your list, can't believe you missed these;

1. No dinner trays in the Oceanview Cafe, I mean really what gives with this. I complained and was told I wasn't the first and this may be changed. Here was my typical morning breakfast, my rolled up napkin and silverware under my arm, breakfast plate in one hand and coffee or juice in the other, I mean really, this is ridiculous!

2. How could Celebrity build such a beautiful magnificent ship and put in only 2 elevator banks in the front and middle of the ship. Most ships I have been on have three elevator banks fore, aft, and center and this one had 2. We stayed on deck 3 (oceanview) and nearly everytime we used the elevator to go to the pool deck or the Oceanview Cafe we stopped on every floor! Ridiculous design and now can't be changed!

3. Those ridiculous shades around the main pool along with the water jets there as well. People were litterally jockying for position in the sun as those shades constantly shaded too much of the deck and the water jets/fountain took up too much space. The solarium is there if you want out of the shade so take the shades down as it shades the sun too much from a much too small area already.

4. The lawn was a waste, most was blocked off while we were there, take it out and put another pool in so folks can have some much needed sunny area for enjoyment.

As I said all in all a great cruise and a great ship but these things were negative and my views were shared by many others besides me!

Bill
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Old February 8th, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Considering we are booked in the Equinox (CC c abin at opening price). I am alarmed by the major comment about NO TRAYS..Parrot Pop walks with a cane and sadly this time with a walker.. it just doesnt make sense. Glad to hear I'm not the only one thinking the lawn is a over the top. When we first were sold Celebrity we were "talked" into CC at a travel show and all the little extras were worthwhile. Two years ago we went for a regular cabin and by coincidence.. it just wasn't the same..In Sept. we booked a CC cabin and thought the little extras and touches by our Steward made our cruise.. At the Boston Globe Travel show I'm going to see if I can change over to another t/a ship, but our p rice was so terrific that I doubt it will happen. As it turns out we are booked on our first Princess from Manus to Ft. Lauderdale in April..and snob that I maybe the posters are definetely not as friendly and welcoming as the people who cruise Celebrity
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Old February 8th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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We have just returned from a trip on the Solstice and have found much to be pleased with. Some not so great but it seems to be a general malady of an evolving cruise industry. They are trying to please everyone and not keeping focused on their particular market. Any way. . .I have pictures at my blog and some commentary as I posted each day of the cruise. http://karenrobbins.blogspot.com
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Old March 8th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Some of the first negative comments on Solstice coming i

I (Dannyboy) was on the same cruise with Paul, even if we only met just once, I used blue & red script, see all commets after A).

"Paul Motter"]All of us who have been on Solstice agree that it is a beautiful ship. I really enjoyed the cruise a great deal and I was never bored as can happen on smaller ships with me.

It is beautiful, the itinerary was very nice, and the onboard offerings are varied enough that there are things to do day and night that will keep you amused.

We have already documented all of the great/nice things about the ship,
However, we are getting some cruise reviews and even emails about some of the perceived "problems" if anyone is interested.

1. No thelassotherapy pool. The other Celebrity ships generally have a heated pool with bubble jets in the solarium. These are great pools, even if they charge for them (which they have sometimes done in the past but usually don't). Solstice has a beautiful Solarium, but from what I hear the water in the pool is freezing cold. I didn't try it.
A) The thelassotherapy pool were perks that Platinum members enjoyed in the past, big disappointment.

The Solarium itself was chilly whenever I walked through, and I was looking forward to a sun-warmed room from the glass greenhouse effect. It seems they have the AC running overtime in there - so you might as well be inside plus it makes the water seem very cold.

2. The shows - most people like the production shows. I thought they were good, but there was one show with a xylophone player. I didn't see it, but I heard it was quite boring. After all, how interesting can watching a guy strike pieces of steel will little hammers be? It doesn't matter how many sound effects he has connected to it - thats all just computers. NBD.
A) I saw the show, at least 15-minutes of it. They needed a bubble machine.

3. The spas on the Millie-class ships are quite varied, but on Solstice I was disappointed that the persian Garden is not open tothe general public - only to AquaClass suite guests. That is a small number of guests to limit the facilities to. If you beek a massage you also get an hour in there free.
A) I stayed in the AQ Class, the cabins are the same size as all the others outside cabins in all Categories, big mistake.
I would rather have a larger cabin, Booking a suite is a better value, rather then booking in AQ or CC Class.
I think I went into the persian garden twice on the entire 7-day trip. it was relaxing........no crowds. if you like reading, thats the location.


I was given a chance to try it, and I found the ceramic beds to be too cold, the steam room was barely working, the mist showers had one temperature - ice cold. There was a hot sauna but still, a warm mist shower would be nice.

4. Blu - also for the AquaClass suites. I heard it was not all it was hyped up to be. The food was good, but nothing special. Basically the same menu as the dining room, but perhaps cooked a little more a la minute.
A) The Blu - The old days of Celebrity are gone forever, the food is good, but I have noticed, sense Royal Caribbean purchased Celebrity, the menu has changed alot, there are far more comfort foods and the much perferred cuts of beef and fish are limited. I did eat in the main dining room, if you really want the grand experiance, the main dinning room is second to none. it is spactactular, Great job Celebrity.

5. Concierge class cabins - we did not get any VIP invitations to Captain's parties or the like. The cabins are basically the same as other verandah cabins but cost a lot more. The extras - champagne on arrival, fresh fruit & flowers, a pillow menu, bathrobes, a pillow-top mattress - basically, none of these things are worth the extra money, at least for me. The pillows & mattress were nice, but my wife dsliked her pillow, but we were never asked if we wanted a different one, and if there was an actual "pillow menu" we never saw it.
A) Both Concierge and AQ class cabins are the same size, so getting an outside cabin in lower category has greater appeal to the majority.
AQ Class allows access to the Blu and Persion Garden, it's nice but I would rather had a 50% discount for the specialty restaurants every night, this would allow the Blu for the entire ship and generate more profit for Celebrity.
Hint, Hint.

The hors d' oeuvres are unpalatable to me. They are usually pates on bread circlets so old they are chewy. How about a simplr cracker? seriously, all of them had that "been in the fridge a few days too long" taste.
A) About the hors d' oeuvres, just what I needed, more food, anyway, the room service munu took care of that issue .

The flowers were nice - but generally just in the way in the cramped cabin. The fresh fruit could have been procured ourselves in the buffet. You don't need it refreshed. We spent a lot of bottled water - over $40 for a 7-day cruise just to have good drinking water in the cabin. The ice in the bucket was melted within a few hours every day.
A) The fresh flowers were wonderful, that really is a wonderful touch, and they lasted the entire cruise, good job Celebrity.

6. Tips - OK, this is a Celebrity-wide policy, but we did not see a note we supposedly got saying we had to OK putting our tips on our ship account. I am used to this just happening automatically. On the last day I was informed I was "too late" to put them on my ship account (why?) and I had to get cash from the ATM ( a $5.50 fee), stuff envelopes and hand them out. Celebrity, it would be better for both of us just to make it automatic if I don't object. You could have just charged me and I would be happy. As it was I had to spend extra money and go to trouble I didn't care to go to.

7. Room Service - we had a few glitches, as did others, where service was very slow. In one case they were trying to deliver my sick wife's dinner to the worng room. You would think that would be easy to fix, right? just get the right room number. No, for some reason it took 90 minutes to rectify the problem. Another time it took us 45 minutes to get coffee.
A) The interactive TV was fantastic, when it was operational, The interactive room service only worked about 50% of the time,
easy fix.
I was totally impressed with the new music system, they had every type artise and music under the stars, it's about time the cruise lines are thinking 20th Century, totally awsume.


8. Internet access. When it was up it was excellent - very fast. But there were two days when it was down almost all day long - generally while we were in port in San Juan and St Martin.

A) About the grass, I spoke to the head grounds keeper, he informed me that Celebrity was changing the type grass for a more durable type turf, that was last December 2008.
The grounds keeper informed me that the traffic is so heavy in specific locations, that the areas required barriers to stop the traffic.
Sounds like astro-turf in the future.


A) If one of you Celebrity employees reads this post, Please cut and paste and forward to Corporate, You really need to upgrade your Captains club program, Celebrity is at a disadvantage, not designing self serve laundry with irons on there new ships. Just on the safty point of view, there would be no need for passengers to smuggle irons onboard.
Second, Elite members with Princess receive inclusive dry-cleaning and laundry, for that reason alone, I have taken 8-Princess cruises in the past four years, 7-more to go.
P.S. I am Platinum on Celebrity, so paying for AQ Class was not in my best interest, same would go for Concierge.


That's it - if you have comments let me know.[/quote]
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Old March 20th, 2009, 08:59 PM
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this thread has been helpful...in pointing us AWAY from this class of ship.....

hmm...maybe princess???
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Old March 21st, 2009, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisermeg
this thread has been helpful...in pointing us AWAY from this class of ship.....

hmm...maybe princess???
It's your choice witch line to cruise on.
I would not rely on the previous posts to make my decision. I have allways rnjoyed my Celebrity cruises and I trust my opinion rather than that of others. It's not that other people are wrong, it's just that we all have different things that we like.

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Old March 21st, 2009, 08:52 PM
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All I can say is, it's hard to please everyone. I don't think one ship is going to be perfect for everyone. It's sad for me to see so much negativity, rather than balancing with positive reviews.

We LOVE Thallossotherapy. I had no idea she didn't have this pool...maybe we'll stick to the Millennium class ships.

Celebrity is our line of choice and we've always stayed in Concierge Class. We have not been on the Solstice class yet, so cannot speak towards others negative comments.

We haven't had one cruise (yet) that was perfect in every way...but it's part of the experience. I guess we're not expecting it. We try to keep our glass half full.
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Old March 24th, 2009, 12:32 AM
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I think the comments about the trays going away are ridiculous. It is one of the best decisions that they made. By removing the trays people move faster through the line also it is more eco friendly. They are not wasting water to wash all of the trays. And the napkin rolls with silverware are on the tables so you do not have to carry them. If you get a big plate and a drink you can carry those and there are also people to help you too. And if you have to make a second trip for a drink or more food its good. You probably need to burn some extra calories from all the food you are eating. And sitting at a table covered in trays is not a pretty experience. Instead looking at a nice table and elegant plates is much better.
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Old March 24th, 2009, 08:38 PM
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Even though I really liked the Solstice itself, I probably wouldn't choose to sail on it again. There wasn't anything really bad about it, it was just a tad too boring for me.

The music seemed geared toward a much older crowd (I'm 55 and like top 40). In fact, I heard lots of people talking about the music choices. Best music was at the Oceanview Bar.

The shows weren't exciting enough to keep me awake. I thought the Solstice show was one of the worst I've ever seen. Everything was moving in slow motion, so slow it lost my attention after about 20 minutes. That barbershop quartet was good for about 1 song then I had enough. The rest of the entertainers were forgettable.

I still can't quite get what all the hype is about the "Celebrity Experience". I didn't see anything that "wowed" me about Celebrity. Not the food, the shows, the music, nothing. It was just a nice cruise. But, nothing to get excited about.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 11:44 PM
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you can post negative comments about any ship, any subject, any time with a subject listed as "negative comments about the Solstice". So people are going to list their negative comments. If you want to start a thread (I am sure there is one on here) about the postive attributes the Solstice has to offer - the thread would be huge because she is a gorgeous ship!!!! I was on the Solstice in the winter and LOVED it and everything about it and I am doing an Eastern Med next week on her and I can't wait .. green grass and all ... Don't let this thread steer you away from this ship ............
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