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Susan Maher

Age: 56


Number of Cruises: 9

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Sailing Date: 2009-12-23

Itinerary: Carribbean

A beautiful ship, well kept and very clean. We were in the Aqua class which afforded us certain amenities included in the pricing but were generally disappointed with this decision as I will explain.

As we were in Aqua class, we had our main dining in the Blu restaurant. This restaurant seats approximately 150 people and it had table set ups for reserved tables of two, which we prefer. The tables, however, were close enough to the next 2-table so that you could engage in conversation if you wanted to. We were lucky to have met two other couples with whom we connected very well and had a great time at dinner. The food, however, we found lacking-in fact, we would review the menu during the day and found ourselves eating in the Oceanview Cafe 3 nights out of 7. The menu in Blue lacked variety. The best thing I ate was the scallop appetizer. I asked for fillet mignon on the last night as the NY strip was like leather. The wait staff was very accommodating though. The Oceanview Cafe food was really good though. There was lots to choose from, food that had a taste to it and of course many dessert choices. The coffee was also good on this ship. But I expected more from Blu as we paid for the "better class" food. We were disappointed w/ Blu. Also, on the last night, the maitre'd advised us that they were changing the Blu restaurant to "open seating" which will take away the relationship building that guests make with their servers as well as with other guests. Blu and the Aqua Spa really left a "bad taste" in our mouths...

The stateroom was nice, however it was on the small size. We had a decent sized balcony with nice chairs. The bathroom was good-clean with a really nice shower head system. Lots of storage space above the bed and a small-ish closet. Our stateroom attendants were good; the room was always made up and clean. The bed was very comfortable and the TV was really nice. They had many free movies as well as pay-per-view. In contrast to some other reviews I read prior to taking this cruise, we did NOT hear our neighbors snoring or conversations! Perhaps that was an amenity on deck 3.

The hot glass show was interesting but be prepared to stand. Many people like this. The grass area was nice but I really didn't see the "wow" factor in it after 5 minutes. However, they did have Bingo which we like to play. But I did not like the fact that they kept selling cards even after the games had started! (We had to catch up and didn't appreciate it). And, of course, the machine broke once. But they don't over-do Bingo which I liked. They played one set of games per day till the end when the pot had to go. Also, we were not constantly reminded of ship activities over the PA system - they had faith that we could actually read the daily ship briefs! The captain was wonderful! He was so entertaining he should have his own "show"!

We took excursions in San Juan and St Kitts visiting the forts and walking the streets. In St Maarten we stayed on-board as we have been there many times before and had a spa day taking massages and relaxing.

If I take this cruise again, I would NOT take the Aqua Class. It is not worth the extra expense. Originally, I was told this class had exclusive entrance to the Persian Gardens, which has great heated lounge chairs and a steam and sauna. Anyone NOT in Aqua class had to pay to use it so they said. This, they say, is $100 for the week extra. Well, the staff in the Aqua Spa allowed EVERYONE IN and needless to say I have already complained about this. When we asked the spa manager, she said "Well, the doors are broken so anyone can get in". Well, why didn't they card people at the door? We feel ripped off for $200 on something which really made a difference in our cruise. Aqua Class with it's Blu restaurant with tasteless food and the exclusivity of the Persian Garden "for everyone" is not worth the money.
Get a standard cabin with a balcony and bring some of your own scented soap and oils and save your money.

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