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Celebrity Solstice
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Celebrity Solstice
Reviewed by susan campolo
A cruise review of Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Solstice in Eastern Caribbean
 
 
 
Celebrity Cruises Review  
Aqua Class Solstice Nightmare  

 
by susan campolo
February 2011
 
How I Rate This Review Rate Now!
 
 
   
First I want to say that this trip on Celebrity Solstice was one of the worst cruises out of 140 that I have taken.  Celebrity Cruise Lines has treated me unfairly by selling me a trip advertised as ;spa at sea; on AQ Aqua class.  I did not sleep for the seven nights that I was on the ship.  Still suffering several weeks later from sleep deprivation. I'm going to give a shorter review because I'm just tired and over it now. 
 
I'm in my 40s, married, take care of my elderly father full time who is very ill, (my husband stayed home to care for him.) Traveled with my 23-year-old daughter who lives overseas now.

Booked Aqua class cabin 1507 at an online travel site a month in advance.  The cabin was sold to me as being in the bow of the ship near to the spa and relaxation areas.  Included added amenities such as a robe and slippers, fruit, flowers, unlimited access to the Persian Gardens and dinner at Blu.  When booking the cabin, I checked what was above me on Celebrity's website and the space was "Blank" so I figured it was office space or something.  This was an AQ veranda cabin.  Also limit of two passengers per cabin in this area.  Peace..quiet..zen?  Keep reading.


We get on the ship and it's very nice, beautiful cabin, bathroom was ingenious for a ship.  Nice, though not great, public areas left something to be desired for me but all I had planned for the week was rest, reading, eating and napping..maybe a show or two, and the spa, of course.  Living in NYC, it's easy to get overwhelmed by people all over the place and crowds everywhere as well as burnout.  So rest was high on my list.  Wasn't even going to get off in ports.


First night was great; we went to dinner in Blu and walked around, used the spa facility which, by the way, I rate a 5 on a 1-10 rating due to the fact that all it was were eight heated tile beds and a shower, a steam room and sauna.  Not much else. I'm going to compare this to Princess cruises because it's similar except for the fact that Princess is much, much, much better, in general. 

Here is where the problems start.  Went to bed around 2 am, was watching a movie on the nice 32" TV in the room. Figured I would sleep 'til 10.  Would have been nice since I don't get much sleep at home.  So I'm out like a light and the beds are very cozy, and all of a sudden there is this banging from overhead.  Sounded like someone was throwing weights on the floor above.  Figured it would stop.  Then music blasting ..figured it would stop.  Put the pillow over my head and ear plugs in, hoping that there would be no ship emergency with ear plugs.  But then the whole cabin was shaking.  So...I put on the robe and walked to the Purser's desk asking them what the heck was going on here.  They said they would find out and, sure enough, they called later to say it was coming from the gym and the music would stop.  Which it did.  However, at 7 am, they were doing aerobics directly above my cabin, with weights.  Every day this went on.  All cabins were full with the ship at 100% that week.  By day 4 I could not take it anymore and really just wanted to leave but couldn't.  Went back down to complain for the fifth time and got assistant hotel director, Christian.  He investigated it and, yes, after coming down and hearing it for himself, knew there was a problem.  More like a flaw in the design of the ship I'd say.  Nothing anyone could do, my week ruined basically.  No napping or sleeping past 7 any day.
 
Other then that, Blu was okay.  Pretty basic food. Great breads and bread sticks. Fresh, nice service, if not a bit too fussy. I liked the nursing home purees that were served on everything and I guess since the average age on this ship is between 70-90, they are on the right track. 

We ate one time at the crepe place and had okay paninis but the crepes lacked much flavor at all. 

The buffet upstairs was quite good.  Had Indian food that was some of the tastiest food on the ship.  Also, the ice cream was all homemade and awesome.  Too bad you couldn't get anything to eat after 9:30 but room service.  I did not eat in the MDR (main dining room).  However, on our last night we ate at the French restaurant, "Murano," and that was exceptional in every way.  The foie gras was out of this world and the service ..wow.  Was the highlight of the trip or shall I say the saving grace.  If this place was in NYC, it would have at least 1 Michelin star.  That being said, the rest of the cruise consisted of walking around like a zombie and sleeping in the Cellar Masters wine bar since no one was in there most of the time. 
 
The shows were not very interesting.  The cirque one was the better of them and the comedian was spot-on funny but the rest were just blah.  The theater group was worked to death by Celebrity in every show.  Costumes and props not up-to-par with any cruise line but maybe Costa.  But, hey, I didn't come here for the show.  I came here to relax at the spa and rest, remember? 
 
Getting back to Aqua Class.  If you book it you will be wasting your money, pure and simple. Not worth the money.  Aqua class, to me, was more like steerage class after the way I was treated by this staff. 

What did Celebrity offer me for the banging all week?  $100.  Yep.  For that I will say you will lose all future business of myself and my family and friends. ..and we do take a lot of cruises.  Also, the cabin walls themselves are like paper. Someone farts in the next room and you can hear it.  But the slamming of the drawers and flushing of toilets you hear all the time.  Not nice.  If you did want to rest, forget it here. 
 
Well, that's all I have to say, take it or leave it.  My impression of Celebrity is that it's boring, very old crowds (which I don't mind because they are quiet.)  Everything closes at 9:30, bars are empty most times, staff tired and overworked. 

I've got several posts up on you tube if you're interested.  My user there is campo84748 and you can hear for yourself the noise in the cabin and you decide if you want to risk this type of noise in your one week of supposed peace.  Also, if I can I will post it here under member videos.  Look for it under scampy1. 

I've been on RCCL, NCL, Princess, Costa, Carnival, Windjammer, and others.  No matter what, I've always found ways to have fun even though everything might not be great all the time.  But when I tell you that the audacity and rudeness of this cruise line was something that none of the other cruise lines (well maybe Carnival..) had.

I won't be coming back and all who are reading this, do yourself a big favor and book Princess.  It's the same price and far superior in every way, shape and form.
 

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22 Comments
PEGGY SORRENTO
For the bell dump noise , do not go to complain but action. Go to the gym and take the weight bells to some where else. I think they can use other equipment instead of. For the music noise, a glass of water will stop it for to the end of the cruise,they will replace a new one.
Friday, September 05, 2014 11:29 PM  
GABRIELE
Have to join the writer of this review on the below average locations of Aqua Cabins. We took a 14 night cruise Med Cruise last year on the Equinox with another couple. All burned out and looking forward to time out.....well, the elephants started stomping from 6am on the Treadmills.....yes, our Cabins were located right under these. It was impossible to spent time in the cabin during gym operating hours. It took 5 days for something to be done ( Treadmills were moved and rubber put underneath to lessen the impact of Elephants. Do not think that Celebrity cares one bit...Stupid stupid me booked another cruise with them in an Aqua class. We redeemed a voucher with Dollar value that was given to us ......... got our cabin number and SURPRISE, WE HIT THE JACKPOT, RIGHT UNDER THE SPAS AND THE BIG OVERHANG Celebrity does not care. It is beyond me why as ananisation you locate your premium cabins in Steerage class location?????? Asked agent to change to just a balcony-ship full
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 3:11 AM  
ANN
We just got back from an Alaskan cruise on Solstice. It was wonderful! We had a quiet balcony room on the 7th floor. No complaints there. The buffet was okay but the meals in the main dining room were very good. The bars were awesome and entertaining. I have recommended Celebrity to all my friends as our experience was outstanding!
Friday, May 30, 2014 8:16 PM  
SHARI
We recently cruised on The Celebrity Solstice in Aqua Class room 1506.. Also below the gym. You can definatley hear the weights thumping on the floor. We could also hear the woman next door coughing excessively all week long. We really enjoyed the food choices in Blu. the service and food in the crepe restaurant was nothing special...but I make great crepes at home. We ate nice in the OceanView Cafe, I'm not a fan but then again I really dislike buffets. We thought the staff were wonderful and all seemed happy and very grateful to have such great jobs. As for the evening shows...wow....very impressive! I would highly recommend booking with Celebrity and the Aqua Class....just insist on NOT being under the gym. Placing rooms beneath the gym was an unfortunate oversight on the designers.
Sunday, May 18, 2014 12:35 AM  
D STEW FL
We have taken 3 solstice class cruises with 2 of them in Aqua Class and never experienced excessive noise from above. The sensible cuisine and excellent service in Blu was a highlight. Currently have a transatlantic booked on Eclipse next month in AC. After approx 35 cruises in everything from Carnival to overpriced luxury ships, we seem to return to Celebrity. The overall experience seems to be good value, attentive service, and we'll maintained ships.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 7:42 PM  
MARTHA
sailed with celebrity FIRST AND LAST TIME never again
Friday, January 24, 2014 4:44 PM  
LISA THOMPSON
Just back last night from 14 nights on solstice with my husband ,it was outstanding.we booked 1653 aqua class,lovely cabin.food was great especially in blu,service also outstanding.we booked already for next feb and same room again,cant wait.couldnt say enough good things,we are in our 40s.we will go round aus/bali next.
Friday, January 17, 2014 10:01 PM  
JEAN
Thank you for your comments. Once inside my cabin I expect it to be clean, comfortable and quiet. Extraneous noise is totally unacceptable. Full stop.
Thursday, November 28, 2013 4:06 PM  
CARLOS
We just came back from Alaska on the Celebrity Solstice and had opposite reactions. We had two regular verandah rooms and we all commented on how quiet the rooms were (we were on level 6, so maybe the rooms are quieter there). We also noted that the employees on this ship seemed happier and better rested than employees on previous cruises and cruise lines. We even mentioned this to several employees and they said that Celebrity treats them better than other cruise lines. Most of the passengers on our ship seemed to be in their 30s and 40s. One thing we loved about this ship was that seats were always available in common areas, bars, the coffee shop and the shows. We used to travel exclusively on Princess, but the food on our last trip was terrible. The food at the Princess buffet upstairs literally looked like a refrigerator cleanout. We would stand there and say: "I remember that from lunch yesterday" or "That's the chicken dish we had for dinner last night."
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 7:59 PM  
RONNIEB ONTARIO
Agree Just back from Baltic on Constellation.....Food average at Best...(taste and variety) Other Glitches that compounded to equal our worst cruise ever...and the first on ( porbably last too ) on Celebrity....The post cruise Customer Service is non existent
Monday, July 01, 2013 6:29 PM  
SHILARA
amusing read, the thing is the people who dont like things yell the loudest and you can find this stuff about any cruise line, airline, travel company if you look, myself, i prefer to make up my own mind about things, and keep an open mind, has served me well so far compared to what i have read
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 12:56 AM  
GUY DE SAINT-PREUX
Bevor ich eine Kabine Buche, schaue ich mir doch erst einmal die Lage auf dem Deckplan an. Dann kann man Überraschungen dieser Art vermeiden. Dass man einen Monat vor Abfahrt nur noch die ungünstig gelegenen Kabinen bekommt, liegt auf der Hand. Dafür zählt man meistens auch erheblich weniger. Die Dame war wohl etwas arglos und unerfahren bei der Buchung. Wenn man dann eine ungünstige Kabine erwischt hat, wirkt sich das natürlich auf die gesamte Reise aus und man ist mit nichts mehr zufrieden. Es wird alle nur noch negativ gesehen. Das ist keine Fall für die Beschwerdeabteilung von Celebrity. Derartige Probleme sollte man besser mit seinem Arzt besprechen.
Monday, May 06, 2013 4:08 PM  
W. J. ANDERSON
My wife an I Celebrity Captain Club Elite members we have cruised in 5 different Celebrity ships including the Century, Millennium and Solstice classes. The Solstice class is a perfect example of progress being change but change not necessarily being progress. They in no represent Celebrity's past standard of elegance. Although we will continue to cruise with Celebrity, we will NEVER cruise in another Solstice class ship. If the only choices were a Solstice class or another cruise line we would choose the other cruise line. The saddest part about this is that cruise line upper management all live in ivory towers surrounded by toadies who only hear what the toadies want them to hear. No CEO will ever hear our complaints.
Sunday, May 05, 2013 4:25 PM  
DANMAN
I find this review funny as there are several contradictions. You like the peace and quiet but do not like the early close time of bars and restaurants? You like the food yet still find ways to insert little jabs (puree served with every dish, e.g.). It is awfully terrible that you received such a poor quality room given it's Aqua Class status - at the very least they should warn people of the noise from the above gym. However, if the ship is full, the staff's hands are kinda tied. I agree more money should have been refunded but if the room placement was your primary complaint, I can hardly see this merited as a "nightmare" cruise. Hell, it's not like you were on a Carnival ship that broke down!
Monday, March 18, 2013 1:56 PM  
STUART
Been on 3 cruises with celebrity and booked to go again on July with them, have had a great time on all cruises, it does get quiet at nights after 10pm but its such a relaxing holiday
Saturday, February 16, 2013 8:43 AM  
SPENCER LECHEIN
so if it was an elderly crowd, who was doing aerobics and working out all night?
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:30 PM  
BLACKERS666
Just off the 1 night Sydney cruise - sadly left waiting (with a few hundred other industry staff who had hoped for a pleasant staff xmas function on board) for bar staff to turn up only to queue for 40 minutes for a single drink to be served down below !!! Obviously the hundreds of negative comments have been removed from corporate sites but the reviews will crop up elsewhere to ensure Celebrity Cruises cant delete them !!! Lovely ship, CRAP service !!!! And not the fault of the overworked staff - they were under resourced, and no manager in site to resolve the problems all night !!!
Thursday, December 13, 2012 5:35 AM  
JEAN CHENG
we cruise over 30+ times among many lines and cruise with celebrity over 10 times. we love it, the embarkation at Vancouver 9/12 was a bit nightmarish but its had to do with the cruise terminal over booking. I told the guest service manager, they made good. excellent service, good food. lovely ship, incredible laundry service ..Going on Reflection in 10/12, can't wait.....Celebrity offers best quality for the price, others don't even come close.
Monday, October 01, 2012 2:48 PM  
KEN
Sept 2011 my wife and I took an eleven-day eastern Mediterranean cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette with a cabin in Aqua Class. It was easily one of the best travel experiences we've ever had. We are now completely sold on Celebrity because of this cruise and would never think of doing it any other way. The cabin was very comfortable, the cabin crew exceptionally attentive, the atmosphere quiet and relaxing, the meals in Blu very good (we also ate in the main dining room and some of the other specialty restaurants, but Blu was our base). We are now planning an Alaskan cruise on a Solstice class ship.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012 6:56 PM  
EVA
I have just come back from Celebrity Soltice mediterranean trip. I really agree with the comment! I had a nightmare also. I am going to post my own detail experience very soon. In one words, the rudeness is true and I will not choose celebrity again!
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 11:23 AM  
NICOLE
We just came back from a transatlantic cruise on the Solstice. We a the greatest cruise ever and we did not mind the many days at sea .We had 60-70F everyday on deck in April. Our cabin ocean-view was on the third flood and very quiet and confortable. Food was great at the regular dinning rooms and since we qualified as elite for taking many cruises we got champagne every day before dinner .Sorry you had a bad time
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 9:21 AM  
DAVID AND LORRAINE
Both my wife and I agree with the comments in this post and we will never sail with celebrity again either. If you are thinking of booking a celebrity cruise, do yourself a favour and book with someone else.
Sunday, October 02, 2011 10:11 AM  
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