We had the pleasure of taking our fourth cruise on the Celebrity Solstice in Dec 2019; on this occasion Syd-Syd via Noumea and Vanuatu for 9 nights. Sea conditions were superb, didn’t feel like we were at sea. Good for most, some might have preferred some ‘rock-n-roll’!
Without doubt we would recommend this ship to any friend without children, thank God.
My comments are however novel more than serious:
1. Breakfast: One should NEVER go to a buffet breakfast on your own. I have experienced this before, but this was ridiculous. My wife wisely loves to have breakfast served to her on our veranda, whilst watching the water ripple past. Just beautiful.
My favoured table is up-top, outside in the shade watching the wake disappear over the horizon as I tuck into an American breakfast, magnificent. No forgotten salt or pepper, or hot milk or anything ~ just go and help yourself.
On this occasion, I was a wake up to the old tricks, so on my way through to the rear, I picked up my cutlery wrap serviette, cereals, milk, toppings and juice but I couldn’t manage carrying my coffee (I didn’t get an offer to help from any waiter). I found a table in the shade and put it all down together with my baseball cap for ‘protection’ against someone claiming the table as their own. Coffee service is no longer available as all is self-serve, so off I went to get coffee.
On my return, the only thing left on my table was my hat! I hadn’t even touched my food or opened the cutlery wrap (who would have thought). I looked around for the attendant without being able to ID the culprit. I asked “what happened” to a bunch of waiters in the galley area, and all I got was blank looks. So, I put my coffee down beside my hat and off I went to renew my cereal choices and a new cutlery wrap.
When I returned, you guessed it, all I found was my hat, AGAIN! This time I really blew my lid and people were wondering what on earth was going on. I complained to the group of waiters, looking for the offender, but all I got was a sheepish lady waiter trying to pacify me, asking me to calm down. She tried to explain that their supervisor liked them to be right on top of clearing unused tables. Are you kidding? So, I asked her “what do I have to do to get my food together in one piece, so I can eat it”. I suggested putting the chair up on the table with my food on top and the shirt off my back covering same, but she was not amused. I then told her that I will try again, and NO ONE is to clear this table until I SAY SO! I must have made an impression for that’s how it happened.
Later, other helpful travellers with whom I shared this comedy suggested putting my cap over the food, or leaning the chair across the table, but this doesn’t work on floor boards as it slides off, or someone will surely trip over the foot of the chair.
Nope, I suggest common sense training that says if a table contains untouched food, cutlery and a hat besides, it STRONGLY suggests that the owner of same WILL return, or he’s jumped overboard in FRUSTRATION.
2. Noise: Apart from your own cabin, it is virtually impossible on this ship to sit anywhere in quiet peace to read or think. The “library” is ludicrously in the central atrium that booms up all sorts of entertainment noise from the lowest deck to the top deck. Once I hid in the Sky Lounge well away from the atrium, where there are comfortable chairs and a lovely view forward, high up and majestic. With 30 mins, a group came to set up for a dance lesson. That was the end of that. Disappointing. Is there a cigar lounge anywhere that may suit?
3. Talking about smoking cigars, there is a location on deck 15 rear, where one can enjoy a quiet smoke. It is Port side, rear with its own bar. I always go there after the show to puff on a cigar (when wind direction allows, otherwise it’s simply a waste of a good cigar), in quiet contemplation of the sky drifting past, and solving the crisis of the world.
BUT the recorded music is rap or bee-bop or rock knows what. Not at all conducive to a quiet puff of anything. It should be peaceful, soft, ‘go to sleep’ music for goodness sake, can’t anyone tune in such music to an isolated specific speaker? I cant think of anyone that smokes a cigar at a rock-n-roll venue.
Some well-meaning soul pointed out what a filthy habit it was, to which I agreed, but something will kill us all one day, and reminded them that they had 99.8% of the ship, whereas we just wanted this tiny corner for our private indulgence.
Happy sailing everyone.
Adequately spacious in all respects. Would take it again. Somewhat tired, Understand ship is going into dry dock in 2021 for a complete make-over. Due.
Spent an hour of a 3hr excursion in a coffee shoppe. What a waste of time.
Relaxed on board, felt like we had the ship to ourselves
Two small 12 man vans in poor condition, with inexperienced local guide who was there for the money. No passion at all. Driver and guide went walk-about at last stop, so guide from second van had to rouse them up by phone. Vila was exactly of the same standard as Honiara where I lived for 3 years in 1977!!! Pathetic, sad, having made no progress in over 40 years.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Relaxed on board