Not a great time on the Solstice

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review to Europe - Mediterranean

Experience: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Vote: 1

Overall Rating:

2 out of 5
Verified Review
12 Night Mediterranean (Barcelona Roundtrip)
Sail Date: May 26, 2011
Ship: Celebrity Solstice
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 6 years ago

If you expect a great Celebrity experience do not book on this ship and I will never buy another vacation from Cruises. The Solstice is a beautiful ship, very clean and has a very nice front line staff but that is about it. The Concierge Class staterooms are nice and spacious but the beds and bedding is below average. Concierge Class is also considered lower class and you have no options unless you are willing to pay for them. If you do not book Aqua Class (this would have been our upgrade but the ship was sold out) or above prepare for mediocre to poor food quality, limited access to the Spa areas and being treated like a member of the herd by management. The ship closes many venues early, the pool decks were being power washed 2 hours before the pool closed at 10pm, the buffet puts out very limited food after 9:30pm until 1am, room service is awful and Casual dining options on level 5 which are open until midnight are an extra charge. Even the casino and the disco closed early if there were not enough bodies in the room. If you are under 30 or like to have fun at night this is not the cruise for you. The words Up Charge is all you will know by the end of this cruise if you want anything that resembles the quality of the Celebrity of the past.
The ports were interesting but many were so far from the areas of interest that you had to be adventurous by risking a do it yourself or pay outrageous prices for their tours. The shore excursions were a total joke. They were very over-priced and always trying to sell you something, literally holding you hostage in shopping areas, rug demonstrations, or leaving you off far from the ship so you had to make your own way back. I expected them to try to sell me a timeshare at any moment. Do yourself a favor and book your tours or arrange a car service for the day on your own.
We finally logged a complaint on day 4. The Restaurant Manager insulted me when we asked to change venues but assured me our problems would be fixed. They were not and the bad experiences continued. The Guest Services Manager finally contacted me on day 11 only to listen to me at the last minute. If the Captains Club Manager, had not stepped in 4 days before the cruise ended we would have been absolutely miserable.
We were not the only passengers with complaints. The majority of the people we met had similar or worse problems but some guests were happy. We met some great people on the Solstice. The staff was one of the best I have every seen, but Management team (other than the Captains Club) and Corporate policies need vast improvement. Having cruised on Celebrity and other cruise lines before I would have to say this is the worst experience I have had or maybe we have just been very lucky in the past.
As for CRUISES, they do not honor their price match promise, they will manipulate your reservation so they do not have to (Hint: get a Class Type Guarantee, which we did, BUT do not allow them to book you into a cabin) and they do not correct their own mistakes. At the time of booking they informed us we had 7 free hotel nights. They send you the voucher 3 weeks before your trip and then
with only an apology gave us 3 nights worth of credit instead of the 7 nights we were promised, to bid blindly on a hotel. This left us to scramble at the last minute to pay for 4 nights on our own.

Food and Dining

1 out of 5
If you want the quality food Celebrity was known for you have to pay for in the "Specialty Dining" or book into Aqua class or above. The Main dining room had wonderful service but the food was either under-done, over-cooked, or just fair. This is not 5 star cruise line quality food. We bought a premium non-alcoholic beverage package which would have been great if each bar had served what we wanted (smoothies only at breakfast time or "go to the bar on level 4, we don't serve that here") and it is not valid for room service. It became such an ordeal to get what we had paid an Up Charge for the whole experience became a bad joke.


1 out of 5
Poor quality, have to huntdown activities, everything closes way too early

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Front line staff was excellent but mamagement not so much

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Very nice

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Nice but beds and bedding should be a better quality.
3 out of 5
The lines for the tram up and back were nuts.
Don't Miss: "Ellis Restaurant"
3 out of 5
Hire your own taxi for the day and avoid excursions
Don't Miss: Ephesus
3 out of 5
Hire your own taxi for the day and avoid excursions
5 out of 5
Take the hop on/off bus to the South
5 out of 5
Hire your own taxi for the day and avoid excursions. Take a hydrofoil to Capri or Sorrento.
5 out of 5
Hire your own taxi for the day and avoid excursions
1 out of 5
Athens is a mess. Hire your own taxi for the day and avoid excursions

Pros: Beautiful ship and a wonderful staff

Cons: Poor food, poor management, poor entertainment

Recommends Celebrity Solstice? No.

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