it's been a while so glad I'm able to cruise again.
I'll be on the Solstice going on a Western Med cruise in July. We got upgraded because of a price drop to an AFT cabin (sunset verandas). I asked my TA at the time about possible soot problems and he said no, not on these new ships. I didn't know so I decided to go ahead and accept the upgrade.
I recently came across some info on a forum that I frequent, and from cruisers that just came back from the same ship on AFT cabins, the more I realized that soot IS a problem. I'm express my concerns to my TA and have post questions to Celebrity site about the problem and both say there shouldn't be any issues and if there were, it will be do "unfavorable" wind conditions. My family suffers from allergies and would have a fit if there is a large amount of soot present. I can't have this.
I went back to my TA and ask about moving but there isn't any more fair room to move to, no refund if I decide to select inside cabin, and there are only a few inside cabins which doesn't seem fair. We obviously can't get our old cabins back.
So what do I do? I'm disappointed. What can I do? I didn't have a chance to look up this soot issues at that time and most of my past cruises had been balcony in the mid-ship and this never even came up.
The best thing I can think of is NOT open the balcony the entire cruise and have an Ocean view (this sucks) or move into an inside cabin which seems unfair. errr. What do I do?
I think too many people overstate what they perceive as problems and then it causes others (like you) to worry. Yes, wind direction can cause soot to collect on aft balconies. But it isn't a constant problem. Soot happens when the ship blows out the exhaust stacks and that is only done when needed which may be once a day, and at night. They certainly don't do it during peak balcony hours. And then the other question...how much time do you really expect to spend on the balcony?
I've done at least a dozen cruises with balcony cabins overlooking the stern of the ship. In all cases, we'd sometimes wake up to find a light coating of soot on the balcony furniture. Maybe twice on a 7 night cruise. We'd go to breakfast and when we returned the steward had cleaned it up.
In other words...don't worry about it and look forward to enjoying the cruise. The Solstice is a fantastic ship. Stunning.
Thanks Dave. I hate to complaint before experiencing the problem. Most of the time, I hear complaints and find out otherwise when I'm there at the port. I've read reviews take all in consideration, and most time, it was due to someone having a bad day.
This is different because it has to do with healt; my family health. I would rather not upgrade had I knew the risk. It's too late now. We'll probably have the balcony closed during our 12 nights cruise. :(.
I didn't know they only blowing the soot out at night. It doesnt make sense how they can selectively do that. If they can, why would they just collect them and get rid of it a different way, in say a barrow? One of my buddies said that the soot are the bi-product of dessel exhaust and are blow out with the smokes. What collects on your balcony are the result of the wind blowing those fine particles around and eventually collect on the "aft" balconies. The amount depends on how hard they run those engines. Oh well things I shouldn't be learning but did for a different reason.
Most of the soot is a byproduct of the "heavy bunker C" fuel cruise ships burn when legally allowed. This is not diesel. Ships have to use diesel in certain territorial waters and in ports. But when out in international waters they switch to the heavy bunker C fuel, which is also called #6 fuel oil. It is cheaper. But it is the dregs from a barrel of crude oil. It has to be heated in order be fluidic so it can get to the engines and flow through the injectors. You can see how this causes build-up in the exhaust stacks as well as the carry-over your buddy refers to.