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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
Having previously cruised on celebrity solstice , I expected - wrongly - that the Millenium would be of similar standard. The embarkation in Ensanda was a fiasco. The activities staff - other than a guy named Michael , were frankly lazy ... Read More
Having previously cruised on celebrity solstice , I expected - wrongly - that the Millenium would be of similar standard. The embarkation in Ensanda was a fiasco. The activities staff - other than a guy named Michael , were frankly lazy compared to the Solstice crew. The whole ship was less than impressive and despite a goodly number of Australian and European guests, overtly geared to just the American guests. The continual 'hyping ' up of people is tedious. I can only take so many " are you having fun !! " comments The formal nights were a joke - a joke that is if you expected that the majority of guests would be dressed in evening attire , my estimate is that about 5% were in tuxedos . Now I don't have a problem with that, just don't list a Formal evening if it isn't in reality going to be one. I'm happy with smart casual. I thought the staff, were like. Corporate clones, just followed the course instructions without using their brain or personality. I witnessed an I firmeder lady, who had been sent to pillar and post getting quite rightly very cross with an officer , who in turn instead of resolving the issue and showing a bit of empathy and initiative, inflamed the situation by saying, " I am not prepared to listen to you if you raise your voice """ The poor lady was rightly very cross at being given false information - twice and therefore had a right to be dealt with in an understanding manner and not having it made worse. I raised an issue with the cruise director, the every smiling ' Rich ' and he appeared disinterested and in fact - and I quote " Perhaps this product doesn't suit you " that is arrogant and not conducive to engendering a happy guest I am on the next leg to Australia but based on the last cruise I will not reccommend anyone to use this ship. It's sloppy any lazy. This cruise was not fun - at all The cabin staff and stewards however as usual are hardworking and very pleasant people. Celebrity will not be getting my business again for sometime   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
We are HAL cruisers and are currently giving Celebrity a try for a few cruises. Millenium is a very pretty ship. No issues with maintenance, everything functioned and there was attention to detail. Meals were all very enjoyable. Martini ... Read More
We are HAL cruisers and are currently giving Celebrity a try for a few cruises. Millenium is a very pretty ship. No issues with maintenance, everything functioned and there was attention to detail. Meals were all very enjoyable. Martini Bar is very fun, live music was plentiful and professional with something for everyone. Showroom entertainment was typical but fun and worth the time. We had nice weather so the pool was busy and again, well attended to by the staff. We're poker players and this was the worst poker we've had on a cruise. The electronic table had a very old version of software and the play was very slow. That slow play kills the tournaments as the amount of hands between blind increases is so few, it is not really a valuable game. The live games start so late, usually 10:30 (advertised as 10PM starts) that not many people played. We felt there was not as much to do during the days as we are used to on HAL but we still had a great time. Planning to try Solstice class for next two cruises and looking forward to those ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
With all the competition from cruise lines, Celebrity should be ashamed for the way they treated guests on the Oct. 22 cruise from Ensenada to Hawaii on the Celebrity Millenium. In fact, think twice before you cruise on the Millenium. Not ... Read More
With all the competition from cruise lines, Celebrity should be ashamed for the way they treated guests on the Oct. 22 cruise from Ensenada to Hawaii on the Celebrity Millenium. In fact, think twice before you cruise on the Millenium. Not only were there very few activities, but embarkation was a disaster, entertainment was awful, the stabilizers didn't seem to keep the ship from constantly rolling and making many guests seasick, and the facilities, especially the gym, was unacceptable. 1. Embarkation: I’m sure Celebrity has been inundated with complaints about how disorganized and awful the embarkation was for the cruise from San Diego to Hawaii on October 22. When we registered for the cruise, we were not told until we had completed our purchase in full, that there would be a 3.5 hour bus ride from San Diego to Ensenada to board the ship. In fact, we were led to believe that we were to be picked up at the airport and taken to the San Diego pier to board the ship. Many of the guests had been traveling since 5 am in the morning, and were made to wait at the airport for pick-up by Celebrity for two hours. Since most flights no longer serve food, hungry and tired guests who had waited for hours at the airport for pick-up were only given a dry croissant with one slice of turkey and one slice of cheese when they arrived at the San Diego pier. Passengers were then forced to wait in San Diego for hours with no real food or entertainment (a movie would have been nice) at the pier or even a movie on the 3.5 hour bus ride to the ship. Decent food and beer or wine would have put the tired, disgruntled passengers in a better frame of mind. Instead we were bundled on buses and when we arrived at the pier in Ensenada, there was no ship. We waited another 45 minutes on the bus until we could get into our cabins. Our luggage was not brought to our cabin until midnight which on EST time was then 3 am. The lack of coordination and consideration for the passengers left 2000 people with an enormous distaste for Celebrity. Lack of activities: For the 11 day cruise to the Hawaiian islands, there was very little to do...no ballroom dancing classes, art classes, bridge classes, or anything else for that matter. There were no movies to watch, especially from the gym and very few, if any, lectures. In fact, I complained about this on the second or third day and eventually towards the last day of the 11 day cruise, more activities were offered. Terrible equipment in the gym: Of the six elliptical machines in the gym, only three were working at any one time. One or two had no tv’s and the others had no resistance. Even with the tv's, the only channels accessible was FOX news and the ship's channels. Stabilizers on ship not working correctly: We have been on over 20 cruises and never had we had to experience the rocking that we had on the Millenium. The ship is old and rusty and the stabilizers apparently are not working properly. Shore excursions: In Bora Bora our shore excursion was cancelled one hour before we were to leave. No substitutions were offered. Throughout the shore excursion process, we were subjected to warnings that if we didn’t sign up for the ship’s shore excursions, there would be no private tours, public transportation or taxis available, This of course was not the case and there were many private tours available at each port. The shore excursion desk knew this and wouldn’t share this information with the passengers. If they had to cancel the shore excursion, they could have at least let us know that there were private tours available and good customer service would have found alternatives instead of just leaving us without anything to do for the day. I could go on and on about the rudeness we experienced, especially when we were denied service for lunch in the Metropolitan dining room because the maitre d did not like my husband's attire of long pants and a polo shirt. While denying us entrance, many gentlemen wearing bathing suits with a shirt over it and flip flops were allowed in, dressed considerably less formal than my husband. The amazing thing was, my husband had worn the same outfit for the previous two weeks at lunch and no one objected. This arbitrariness as well as the boredom on the Millenium made us realize that Celebrity doesn't really care about its customers.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
We were told to be at port at 10am in San Diago,to catch a connecting coach to Mexico to start the cruise. We had booked out of our hotel to follow this instruction. I can only describe the experience as terrible. We're told to pull ... Read More
We were told to be at port at 10am in San Diago,to catch a connecting coach to Mexico to start the cruise. We had booked out of our hotel to follow this instruction. I can only describe the experience as terrible. We're told to pull our own cases from one pier to another, then shouted at , and told to pull them back . Instructions were given to get a pedicab to take them back at our own expense. No one from the company knew what was happening and whoever was responsible failed to take charge all blaming one another. We were allocated a coach that left hours later at gone 5pm. Everyone was held in a large departure hall with few facilities, the toilets soon ran out of paper it was horrible. We finally boarded the ship gone 9pm, lifeboat drill was instructed at 945pm . This didn't t occur until 10pm, we didn't t have the opportunity to eat. My suitcase didn't t arrive until after 11pm. This episode was the talk of the ship, never once did anyone take responsibility or apologise We have also cruised with this line before,but would have to think hard before we do so again. I agree with comments re formal night. Celebrity you have let yourselves down. However, our cabin steward was great and his understudy plus all the lower grade staff including waiters and dinner maître ,d were good. Pity Celebrity had to rely on it's many staff to save the day, what about leadership and responsibility from the top.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
We sailed on a repositioning cruise on 'Millie' for our anniversary. It was a wonderful trip and one of the best cruises that we have taken. Overall, the ship was great. It seemed like every day got more and more incredible. We ... Read More
We sailed on a repositioning cruise on 'Millie' for our anniversary. It was a wonderful trip and one of the best cruises that we have taken. Overall, the ship was great. It seemed like every day got more and more incredible. We had 5 amazing days at sea and then toured the islands. Each shore excursion was memorable. We met so many wonderful people on this trip. We do have to say that all things associated with the trip to Ensenada from San Diego was not what one would hope to go through, but we just kept reminding ourselves that we had the cruise to look forward to, so it was tolerable. As I mentioned everything about the cruise was fantastic with one exception. Having sailed on many cruises with various cruise lines, I would have to say that we were somewhat disappointed in the quality of food served in the main dining rooms on several nights. We had heard so many great things about Celebrity that maybe our expectations were to high. Maybe this had to do with the fact that this was a repositioning cruise for the ship. But, for whatever reason, we were not impressed. Numerous other passengers with a vast history of cruising were also disappointed with this aspect of the cruise. That being said, every things else about our first cruise with Celebrity was wonderful. Our cabin was excellent. The service was very good. We were very impressed. One thing that impressed us was that this ship never seemed to be crowded even though the ship was close to capacity. We also enjoyed how quiet our hallway always seemed to be. The ship is well organized to allow you to move from one location to another. We did not have one complaint about our cabin. All other things probably exceeded our expectations. Although this was our first cruise with Celebrity, we would recommend this cruise line to anyone. We do have to admit that the atmosphere is different than you would experience with another cruise line such as RCL or Carnival (There were much fewer kids, perhaps due to the time of the year, and much more of a laid back atmosphere although there was plenty of fun things to experience on the ship. The entertainment was first class). We are already trying to plan our next cruise but may be spoiled now that we have experienced a trip to Hawaii! Overall, our cruise and additional days at Waikiki Beach were magical. We cannot wait to do this again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
Celebrity Millennium Hawaii Cruise Review October 22 – November 2, 2013 Wow! What a great cruise. I cruise a lot and this has to be one of my best cruises ever. I am 50 and traveled with my elderly, disabled mother. We have cruised ... Read More
Celebrity Millennium Hawaii Cruise Review October 22 – November 2, 2013 Wow! What a great cruise. I cruise a lot and this has to be one of my best cruises ever. I am 50 and traveled with my elderly, disabled mother. We have cruised many times before on NCL, HAL, Princess, and Carnival. Gone are our Carnival days. We prefer to travel with adults with polite mature behavior. No seat saving in the show room, no wall to wall kids with no parents in sight, no drunks making scenes. Celebrity is it! This was our second time on this cruise. So we were prepared for the San Diego/Ensenada transfer. It is just a necessary evil with this cruise. However, the cruise is so wonderful it makes the difficult transfer worth it. We flew to San Diego on the day of the cruise. We arrived around 11am. We had to wait around 30 minutes for the bus to the pier. The pier area was a zoo. There was one very long line. The check in area was just not large enough. It took us nearly an hour to get thru the check in procedure. We were given boarding number 27. We then had 6 hours to kill before our transfer would leave. Celebrity had a lovely lunch station set up with water, lemonade, and sandwiches. We were going to go out for lunch but this was free and delicious. After lunch we went for a walk down to Seaport Village, and looked around in the shops etc. It was quite a walk but we had nothing better to do. Finally we had nothing else to look at so we went back to the pier. The pier area was mass confusion and it was so crowded you could hardly move. The cruise pax had no idea what was going on and nether did the employees. We just sat and waited. There was no PA system and employees would walk around yelling out the bus numbers. Finally our bus was called and we were boarded. No one asked to see our boarding number and later I heard many people just boarded whenever they wanted even tho they had a later number. Dishonest people chap my hide. My mom and I were very excited to be on our way. We were having fun and on vacation. We tried to joke with the bus driver but he was not in a good mood at all. There were a few people around us who also were in a good mood but the majority of the bus were full of sour people. Come on people you are on vacation and heading to your cruise to Hawaii! What could be better? The border crossing was quite fast, however the drive was long. After around 2 hours we finally made it to our ship. You should have heard the collective groan as we arrived to find a line of around 20 buses ahead of us. We had to wait another 1 ½ sitting on the bus. Only one bus was allowed at the ship at a time. It took around 10 minutes for each bus to unload. Finally a Celebrity rep came on our bus and told us what was going on. Me and mom were joking with him, however the rest of the bus was ready to string him up. Poor guy. Finally it was our turn to get off the bus. We went thru security and finally boarded the ship. We were given free champagne. Then we had an ½ hour wait for the elevator to take us to our cabin. We found our cabin no problem. We had a lovely outside cabin on deck 6. We were exhausted. We knew it was going to be grueling. I think we arrived around 9pm. We then had to go to the muster drill. The dining room had open seating however we were too tired. We ordered room service to our room (which was very good) and relaxed in our cabin. We slept late the next morning. We then had a lovely 5 days at sea to rest up. Our room steward was from India and was wonderful. He always said God Bless you, which we appreciated. He kept our cabin clean , our beds made and never bothered us. Whenever he saw us coming down the hall way he would run and open our cabin door for us. Dinner was the highlight of our day. We had the most wonderful dinner companions and we looked forward to visiting with them every night. The food was exceptional. Our head waiter was Manny and asst was Andres. They were excellent. If you didn't like something he encouraged us to order something else. If we didn't know what to get. Manny would always have a suggestion. Many times I would just tell Manny to bring me what was good and he would. His suggestions were spot on. Soon the asst waiter knew what we wanted after diner and we wouldn't have to ask. He would just bring it. My mom loves dessert and she would order 2 or 3 every night. This was no problem at all. They tried to push the extra pay restaurants but we never went. We thought why pay extra when the dining room food was so exceptional. We never had a bad meal. I ordered two lobster dinners thinking the lobsters would be tiny. Imagine my surprise when our lobster came and the one tail filled the plate. And we had ordered two. To say we were stuffed is a under statement. One night we had fillet minion which was the best steak I think I have every had in my life. The shrimp cocktails were to die for and we ordered them every night. Mom and I would always order room service for breakfast. We only ordered toast. But you could get eggs, bacon etc. It always arrived on time and was never incorrect once. We would usually skip lunch and then go to dinner. There was just too much food. We couldn't eat non stop like everyone else seemed to. The ship sparkled and was so clean. At night I would see the crew washing the walls! I purchased an Internet plan. It was quite expensive as it is on all ships. I had some trouble getting hooked up at first but got some help from the Internet office and then had no trouble. It was slow (as usual) but I never had trouble getting service. I could use my lap top anywhere on the ship. In the theater, in my cabin or on deck. They had some special speakers on this cruise. One man had climbed all these tall mountains and spoke of his experiences. They had Hawaiian Island talks, however, this gentleman had such a heavy accent I had trouble understanding anything he said. Entertainment was excellent. We didn't make it to the welcome aboard show on the first night but made it to every show after that. Some shows were better than others but they were all good and entertaining. My favorite were the production shows, and the Hawaiian show we had one evening. Rich was the cruise director. We really liked him. He was the cruise director on this cruise last year too. Every night after the shows he would be at the exit of the showroom if you wanted to talk to him. Lots of people seemed to want to complain to him. Not us. We made a point to tell him what a wonderful time we were having and how everything on the cruise was wonderful. We had a nice meeting for cruise critic. I was embarrassed as everyone was still complaining about the transfer from San Diego. It was 4 days ago, get over it. The cruise director all the senior officers and the captain attended. I was able to talk to the dining room senior officer and arrange large print menus for my mom. I had told special needs of my request but they didn't get it done. One word to the proper person and my mom had large print menus that night and every night after that. Funny thing was we all wanted large print menus at our table as the printing in the regular menus were small but it could have been the very dim lighting. So mom's large print menus got a lot of use at our table. All the staff on this ship were so nice. Not fake nice but they seemed genuinely eager to please. Just walking down the halls, all the room steward even if they weren't your room stewards were so friendly. I did a stupid thing in Kona. I left my cell phone in my rental car and didn't realize it until I was back on the ship. The ship was leaving in 30 minutes. Security wouldn't let me tender back as no ships were going back to shore so late. The port agent tried to get my phone as the rental agency was right across the street from the pier but the car key was already put into a lock box and they couldn't retrieve my phone. The concierge on the ship were excellent. They let me call the rental agency on the phone several times and didn't charge me a cent. They didn't have to do this as this whole thing was my own fault. Thanks to them letting me call the rental agency I was able to get my phone back. The rental agency mailed it home to me. It made it home before I did. We rented cars in all the ports except Honolulu. It was inexpensive and it gave us the freedom to go where we wanted when we wanted. We would hit the beach, snorkel around, sightsee, drive down the road hit another beach etc. We were free to go to Hilo Hatties or K-Mart for some quick shopping sprees and not have to wait on their busy free shuttles. My watch broke in San Diego so I bought a cheap $10 watch on board. I had to return the watch twice because they kept quit working. I finally got a refund with no problem. Such is the nature of cheap watches. I finally bought a watch at K-Mart. We talked to the cruise director and he said they will not longer be doing this cruise from Ensenada as San Diego and Ensenada are not able to meet Celebrity's needs. Next year this cruise will be from Vancouver. No transfer will be involved and Canada Place is a huge and very nice pier to depart from. We are already booked on this cruise. :-) Perhaps we had such a wonderful cruise because we are so easy to please. Feed us, make our beds and at the same time take us to wonderful tropical ports of call and we are happy people. Celebrity is a class act and I can't wait to cruise on them again.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
We are pretty new to cruising, our first and only other cruise was 2 years ago in the southern Caribbean with Carnival. Booked this trip to Hawaii with Celebrity for our 25th anniversary, along with friends. All we kept hearing from people ... Read More
We are pretty new to cruising, our first and only other cruise was 2 years ago in the southern Caribbean with Carnival. Booked this trip to Hawaii with Celebrity for our 25th anniversary, along with friends. All we kept hearing from people was how upscale Celebrity was, and that it would be much more luxurious than Carnival. Really? We had a great trip to Hawaii and a lot of fun while there, but that had more to do with Hawaii itself and the friends we were traveling with. To be honest we didn't find Celebrity to be better than Carnival in any way, certainly would not consider it a luxury line. Embarkation in San Diego/Ensenada was crazy. All passengers have to go thru the Pier in San Diego, they had limited sandwiches and water/lemonade available while we waited. No secure place to leave your carry on luggage, so unless you want to drag it around with you you're stuck there until the buses start to leave. We were just lucky to have been given the wrong bus number (the girl asked me if I was in a suite and not knowing any better I said yes - we were giving bus 6, our friends were given bus 30, but we managed to switch them to bus 6 when we noticed the difference) so arrived in San Diego 12:30 pm, on a bus at 4:00, boarding the ship at 8:00 and able to have a full dinner. Looking at the people getting off the last bus at 10:30 - 11:00 I recognized a few people that had been at the San Diego pier when we were there and heard lots of grumbling that there was no dinner provided for these people once they were on board. Found the food to be pretty average overall. Very little variety in the buffet, pretty much the same thing every day. Found I had to be careful with the omelets and fried eggs, staff tended to rush when there was a line up and you needed to make sure that the eggs were actually cooked. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants, don't see spending an extra $49 per person when I have already paid for my dinner. Formal nights? We made a conscious decision ahead of time not to bother with the formal nights - guys didn't want to carry suits just for 2 dinners. Sitting having a drink in Rendezvous we were very surprised to see what was passing as formal wear for some of the other guests - Hawaaiin shirt and jeans? golf shirt, khakis and running shoes? Didn't see any of these people turned away. Formal night on Carnival was more formal. Attended a couple of seminars while we were at sea. "Suffer from Back Pain" or "Want to Improve your Posture" - that is Celebrity code for Buy this Orthotic Insert ($179). "Learn How to Make Crepes" - Celebrity code for Come and Buy Crepe's for lunch or dessert ($5) or Come and Eat in Our Fancy Olympic Dining Room ($49 each) Accosted every time you passed thru the lobby on Deck 10 on the way to the pool by staff trying to sell you on the specialty restaurants. One thing we did appreciate is that we weren't forced to have our photo taken every time we turned around. Average age on our cruise was 60+, and we were told by one of the staff that it was much better than the previous cruise where it was 70+. Entertainment was very bland with 2 exceptions - Glenn Smith was very entertaining and native Hawaaiin entertainment from Honolulu was excellent. Ran into a few issues with the tipping. Our friend booked some training sessions at the gym and noticed afterward that they had added the 15% gratuity to the cost of the sessions. When he went to Customer Relations they wouldn't take it off. Sorry but if you are paying $120 for a personal trainer why do you need to tip them too? Also on our final night, we had a drink at the pool bar before going to get ready for dinner. My husband noticed the bartender look for the extra tip amount when he picked up our bill, and scowl when he saw it was empty. Not sure what he thought he did that warranted more than a 15% tip. We found the stewards and wait staff all very friendly and helpful. The final issue we had was the fact that you have to be off the boat by 9:30am on the final day - doesn't matter what time your flight is. With Carnival we were bused to the airport, but this time around we were on our own. It was suggested that we try to book an excursion that would drop us off at the airport - but that still would have had us at the airport about 6 hrs early. We decided to go to the airport and rent a car for the day since our flight wasn't until 9:30 pm. Looked into the shuttle provided by the boat but they wanted $25 per person to get us to the airport, checked with the taxis outside and it was < $30 to get all 4 of us to the airport. Despite spending a lot of money for our luxury cruise, I feel like Celebrity had their hand out for more, more, more every where you looked. Recommendation: Baked goods in the Cafe are much better than those in the Oceanview buffet, worth the trip downstairs to grab a muffin, croissant or sticky bun in the morning.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
We were a group of 8 and we all enjoyed the cruise very much! The waiting in the terminal and bus ride to Ensenada was exactly what we expected. A long wait in a cruise terminal and a bus ride. Ran into a few people on the cruise who were ... Read More
We were a group of 8 and we all enjoyed the cruise very much! The waiting in the terminal and bus ride to Ensenada was exactly what we expected. A long wait in a cruise terminal and a bus ride. Ran into a few people on the cruise who were still bitching about it 4 days into the cruise. I made a mental note to avoid these "Debbie Downers". Celebrity did a great job- texts, phone call and email to let us know what to expect. We made it safely onto the ship before 10pm and we were one of the last busses to leave San Diego. The 5 Sea days went much too quickly! We were concerned that we might get bored, but it was just the opposite. Days and nights went by much too fast. The seas were very calm and by late the 2nd day the sun was out and the decks chairs were full. We went to the top forward deck and never had a problem finding a chair. The tendering experience in Maui was not good, as the harbor master who was controlling the tenders/ship movements was not allowing more than 2 boats to dock at the dock at the same time. Took a long time to get off ship get on shore. All other tenders and port calls went smoothly. Loved that we got to see both coasts of the big island. Only disappointment was the volcano/lava flow/mother nature did not cooperate the night we were cruising by. Food and service was above average in main dining room and we really enjoyed our Qsine experience. Ship was clean and overall in good shape. All staff we encountered from officers, excursion desk, photographers, room service, entertainers, room stewards were friendly and helpful. I find treating people like you would like to be treated goes a long way. Biggest negative was the walls between the cabin (we were aft port corner so only 1 one neighbor) were really thin. We could hear them when they talked loudly and when the TV was on. Opening the door and letting the sound of the ships wake in helped muffle the noise. We would definitely cruise on the Millennium again and with Celebrity Cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2012
Where do I start? This was supposed to be the best holiday us a family where ever going to have!My financial situation won't allow me to save that money again my eldest daughter said she would never do that trip again.Schools will ... Read More
Where do I start? This was supposed to be the best holiday us a family where ever going to have!My financial situation won't allow me to save that money again my eldest daughter said she would never do that trip again.Schools will only allow term holidays now or your fined.And the most important point, my Husband is disabled and has a degenerative spine condition he will never be able to travel that distance ever again!! This was a surprise holiday for my Husbands 50th Birthday to his ultimate destination Hawaii.My father in-law was a merchant seaman and had recently passed away,my husband sat with his dying father and he reminisced about the time he spent at sea in Hawaii and how his Son should visit this beautiful part of the World.So know I knew what to do for his 50th. It took me a year to save for this trip it was a surprise, I couldn't get any financial help from Hubby he didn't Know! Firstly we travelled from Liverpool 4hrs drive to London Heathrow.Then 11&1/2hrs flight to San Diego.In San Diego Airport was our first queue 1&1/2 hrs in a small room, packed with people to get through customs and then our First US Customs Form.We got outside to pandemonium trying to find our hotel transfer so we could use our Celebrity's Transfer Voucher USELESS!Nobody wanted to take it,instead we used the Sheraton's bus transfer. The Sheraton was our Pre cruise hotel which was lovely,room,Staff,food (of which we paid for.)Stayed overnight.We were being picked up 12pm in the Afternoon.Got on the coach our understanding was we were visiting San Diego's Street Pier B then going straight on to Ensenada where we would board the Celebrity Millennium's 5* ship Pfft!Anyway back to horror that was Street Pier B.The coach literally drove round the corner (could have walked). As we pulled in, the Millennium was in Dock.We immediately thought we were boarding here.Some passengers Said no that can't happen,others said we must be,because it would take way too long for the ship to get to Ensenada. It only took 2-3hrs depending on the Border by coach, so we would be there before the ship!This confusion carried on for the next 4&1/2hrs most of this was spent in another QUEUE, FILLING IN MORE FORMS (so that's 4 forms x four people=16 forms to fill in whilst queueing with nothing to lean on) WITH CHILDREN, WITH NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK!at the end of the queue we got seapass cards and a piece of paper with the No 49 on it.When I enquired what was it for? The lady said look on the clip board for your number.I informed her the numbers stopped at 46, which stated the time 6:30pm. She then informed me we would be there long after 6:30 then!There where very uncomfortable metal seats in this room toilets where a mess, some not working,no food or drink left that celebrity had put on.This was Horrific and I had paid for this!Finally the coaches started boarding about 4:30pm so that's 12:15-4:30!!!!Got on the Coach set off thank god,well so you would have thought. The coach had no Toilet or A/C and we were on it for 5hrs stuck between approx 50 coaches at the Border no sorry, this bit was the Horrific part.We finally arrived at Ensenada and other people must have suffered the same toiletry denial, because I am not exaggerating the toilets in this port had excrement on the floor where I think some of the older passengers had not been able to hold on any longer. Sorry, this bit was the most Horrific Part. Then we crawled to the ship,to be greeted by staff who wanted us to have 'Welcome aboard Photos, Please! You should have seen the state of us. Other staff trying to force their restaurant vouchers or spa deals.I couldn't believe they where doing this, they must have known what we had just been through! There where four of us in our party 3adults 1child, I booked a Family Deluxe Stateroom with Veranda, sound big enough for 4?It did to me.I have seen bigger bathrooms!We couldn't all unpack there just was not the room.It was tiny could not swing a cat!The trundle bed my daughter had to sleep on was broken we reported it,it never got changed.I asked for a larger room but was denied they said nothing was available. I didn't believe that I think they thought I wanted it free!I would have gladly used my spends so we could have been comfortable.We were met with no empathy at all! We were as sick as dogs for 2 days I was told you couldn't feel the ship moving, rubbish! when we did get on deck my son wanted to get in the pool every person in the pool glared at us as we got in shaking their heads one person then pointed at the pool sign, at the 'No Children' part.We made a hasty retreat before they drowned us and went to the other pools. Every single one had 'No Children' On the signs.Some people had a real moan about children being on the ship and they shouldn't be in the pool.I tried to think of a clever comeback,only SHUT IT,came out!Oops.I was concerned about insurance if something had happened in the pool would we not have been covered because it says no children? But nobody tells you this when booking.The food I thought was very bland and repetitive, staff couldn't be bothered.We where told by other passengers if you made complaints about specifics the staff would lose their jobs so I did not want my husband who was now at teeth baring frothing mouth ,angry looking pitbull dog stage, to go and complain.I had to constantly calm him down.Stress-less travelling not on your Nelly. Entertainment, One word actually there`s three OUT OF TUNE!In the Theatre singers out of breath dancers falling over had to leave before we where thrown out for laughing! Then after 5days at sea we had arrived at port in Hawaii yay.Got a letter in the room to tell us to meet at Deck 6 at 7:30am guess what, another queue with more forms!We queued and slowly made our way up to deck 11 where 1 US border official was trying to process 2000 passengers unreal!We had an Excursion to get to at 9am, more Stress! Eventually 4 more US officials arrived, nobody could get off until it was done. The Excursion I just mentioned was purchased through the ship and it included a visit to Pan'e'wea Zoo where we would see a rare white Bengal Tiger couldn't wait, so after Akaka falls (lovely)and a Macadamia nut factory visit(could have done without.)We then where on our way to the Zoo.We arrived I and the kids ran to Namaste's(tigers name)enclosure,to find it was Namaste's day off he was'nt there!(I know... close your Mouth) Then the days the ship tendered was a queueing nightmare as well.They would tell you to be at a certain point at a certain time but nothing was ever ready the staff would say it's not worth waiting here, because the backlog of people was huge.They advised, to go to a public place so you could here the announcement of when it was ok to disembark. So we did as was asked and went to the pool area to wait for announcements and low and behold the tannoy system didn't work!When we did finally get to leave it was scary getting children and yourselves on lifeboats banging against the ship on a very rough Ocean. Nobody ever apologised ,no announcements or apologises for the San Diego/Ensenada horror no apology for US Customs Hold up no apologies for hold ups trying to disembark.We even sailed through a Tsunami we where thrown around our cabin had to put my son in bed with us before he flew out of the bunk bed.We found this out of other passengers what had happened through the night,again no announcements saftey warnings or apologies from the Captain to see if every one was OK.My husband found screws and metal sheets in the pool which could have caused damage to somebody.He called a member of staff to show him what he had just fished out of the water,Staff member just shrugged his shoulders and walked off.Hubby did get pictures before staff member took it. The final straw for me was the first day in Honolulu. We got up a the crack of dawn we where heading to Waikiki beach(It is Gorgeous!)We were starting our journey back home the next day so we had a couple of hours on the beach then had to make our way back to the ship to check in for our flight using the ships computer,it was going to be busy, a lot of people where departing the next day.So I'm told to go the ilounge Deck11 when I get there are people visibly distressed they said the computers Internet kept disconnecting but they where still being charged.Being Charged? That's news to me. Now I had organised an Excursion for the whole Family to a Hawaiian Luau traditional Hawaiian dances,food,craft making in Paradise Cove couldn't wait great photos for us to remember for years to come. Got into the ilounge approx 1:30 told the others to start getting ready for Luau at 3:30-3:45. The Internet kept cutting off but carried on charging me.The printer broke down somebody went down to guest services to tell them we needed help.Nobody came!When I finally got on to the Airline site there where only preferred seating left which meant I had to pay, my oldest child had to sit miles away from us and I had to pay for our 3 seats $49 each. I didn't have my credit card with me, luckily my daughter came in to see why I was taking so long.I got her to run back to our CUPBOARD Sorry Cabin to get my Credit Card.Then my Husband came up to see why I needed my Card, when I told him why he started to get agitated because as far as he and I was concerned I'd already paid for my seats. It was now 3:35 I gave up trying to print boarding passes phoned guest services to ask if they could let the Ships Excursion staff know we were on our way She Said 'No i can't the phone lines are down' and proceeded to put the phone down on me. The tears just started rolling down my face, I could not hold them back any longer!I was trying not to show the family how upset I was, but this usually care free,happy woman had finally broken down!And then when they see the Woman who holds them all together break down they break down!We ran crying all the way through the ship up the gangway down three flights of stairs into the port to meet our Excursion for the Luau and they had gone!!!It was just after 3:45.We made our way back to the ship absolutely gutted so upset.We arrived at security which was just in front of guest relations the security guard was shocked to see us back so soon and crying.I headed straight for reception and let rip then a member of staff came with a walkie talkie and said 'you want to go on excursion' in broken English we all shouted yes!She said follow me.Which we did all wiping tears away and the excitement at going to the Luau was back.We again ran up the gangway down the stairs and there was the Excursion staff, we thanked the guest relation lady she ran back to the ship we then looked at the excursion lady and said 'we're so happy thought we missed you''You can't go on the Luau' she said 'they are 20 mins down the road Our jaws hit the floor!She tried to put us on another one but we had done them all, I had spent $1328.00 on excursions.I demanded our money back she said she would try.I glared at her and said you make sure you try very hard or else.We did get a refund for the Luau. It cost me $45 to use the Internet, disgusted! We spent our last night wondering the shops in Honolulu nice but not what we had dreamt of! Our suitcases where picked up at 11pm that night and we were told to meet on Deck3 at 7:15am to leave the ship. So another early rise 5am get ready, queue for breakfast, get to rendezvous. We where kept waiting again they said it was US customs holding us up not the baggage because that had been done last night the staff had worked all through the night, he said. So we could leave efficiently but by now I didn't believe a word the Celebrity staff said. When we were finally told we could leave, which was after 9am.We got down to the pier to find not one suitcase or bag ready to go...Liars!!! There was no Celebrity Staff to direct us to transfer coaches it was a complete mess again. Most passengers said I can't queue anymore I can't argue anymore, I'm getting my own taxi to the Airport which was 20-25 mins away. WE WILL NEVER CRUISE AGAIN EVER!!I think I wasted £10,500 the rest I spent was excursions and costs and I'm glad I spent that, as we would not have seen some of Hawaii. Hawaii was the only positive thing about the Cruise in my opinion. It feels like we need to go back it is as though the bad things that happened have overshadowed what should have been an amazing Journey. When sitting on the transfer coach we heard this tale,A Lady on the cruise celebrated her 60th birthday on the ship and her wrapped birthday presents and cards where stolen out of her cabin. One elderly couple we met at LA airport said he'd been on Celebrity Solstice and was told by the medical officer he was having a heart attack, because he was light headed and the doctor noticed a small bruise on his arm and rushed him to hospital. When he got there they dismissed the heart attack straight away but the ship had sailed without them so he and 83 year old wife had to organise their own flights home not one member of Celebrity helped them get there.CELEBRITY SORT YOURSELVES OUT!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2012
This was my eight cruise, my third visit to Hawaii and also my second with Celebrity. This was also Celebrity's second chance at getting my vacation right after the awful cruise I had with them in 2010. I'm sad to say that ... Read More
This was my eight cruise, my third visit to Hawaii and also my second with Celebrity. This was also Celebrity's second chance at getting my vacation right after the awful cruise I had with them in 2010. I'm sad to say that Celebrity screwed up their chances within hours of me setting foot on the ship in Ensenada. This review isn't going to be very complimentary as a lot of things went wrong (although I will concede that some problems were not of Celebrity's making) and in my conversations with Tony (KangarooCruiser) on the ship, I have promised him that I will be very fair and I will include the good bits of the cruise (but there weren't many of them). I am going to put the review in catergories starting with.... Landing at USA airports. Despite the fact that several people on the Roll Call said that there were going to be Celebrity staff to "meet & greet", I didn't see one member of Celebrity staff anywhere at San Diego (SD) airport. We were left to fend for ourselves (I had to fend for myself in 2010 too) and the vouchers supplied by Celebrity were useless. I used the free Sheraton shuttle to get to the hotel. Embarkation. We were all taken to the (B) Street Pier in SD to check in. This was a very large building with lots of chairs/benches etc. and on one side all of Celebrity staff waiting to check everybody in. The ship was already there (and it had been since around midnight the same day) but we were not allowed to board it because of something called the Jones Act. This is a 19th. century maritime law which boils down to this...if a ship comes from an American port to another American port without visiting a foreign port in between, then all 50 US states can come and collect taxes from you. So you have around 2,000 people milling around doing nothing as we were not allowed to board the coaches to Mexico. Celebrity did supply refreshments but they were soon gone and people starting to complain that there was nothing to eat/drink. I was told that my coach was number 43 and would be leaving around 5.20 with an approx 2 1/2 hour drive to Ensenada. I was told that I could go out of the terminal to explore SD on my own-this I did but where we were there wasn't a lot to see. I have been informed on a Roll Call (on this site) that the ladies toilets were only three stalls, one of which was broken. This was for around 1,000 women. The "VIP" area was exactly the same as the rest of us. We eventually started to board the coaches around 3.00pm with my coach leaving at 4.05pm. This meant that there were around 55 coaches leaving within minutes of each other going to the San Ysidro USA/Mexico border crossing-THE busiest border crossing. We ended up at the border in one lane as we were in coaches and all of the coaches had to do this. My own coach took over two hours to travel less than 400 yards. Which idiot at Celebrity decided to send 55 coaches to the border at one go? why didn't Celebrity send a coach as and when it was filled by guests that had already checked in? I was also told that some of the drivers got lost in Mexico and didn't get to the ship until very late-I heard of coaches arriving around 11pm. My own journey took five hours and not the 2 1/2 hours predicted. On board. The sail-away was going to be midnight and I decided to video the event. We did sail around 12.30am and I went back to my cabin. I still didn't have my suitcase and I found a letter from Celebrity that they were holding my suitcase on deck 1. I went to deck 1 and found a room with a small fenced off area with several bags (I estimate around 30) in it. There was also an American woman who was clearly very distressed and crying. She was wearing a bathrobe (out of her cabin) and she said that Celebrity wouldn't give her her cases as they wanted to examine them for "contraband". I asked why my case was being kept and I was told that I "was smuggling alcohol on the ship". At this stage I let rip. I am not a patient man at the best of times and this guy got both barrels. I can't write what I said in this review, but I used several words beginning with F, C and whatever else I could think of. He also accused me of bringing a clothes iron with me. Why would I bring such a heavy item with me when I am restricted to 50 pounds in my checked-in bag on a plane? The guy wanted to examine the contents of my case and asked me to open it. This I refused. I also told him that if I didn't get my case back, I would leave it there and walk around the ship completely naked with just a bathrobe and a pair of sandals. All of my toiletries were also in my case so I would not have been able to use any deodorant-and it wouldn't take long for me to start smelling. After a lot of shouting and screaming, he eventually gave me my case. I do not know what happened to the woman, but I seem to recall that she was threatening to sue Celebrity for all the distress. By this time it was very late (I was still unpacking at 2.00am), I was very tired and extremely angry that I was accused of smuggling. Food. This was excellent. The main dining room was very well attended and the food on offer was top notch. The buffet was a also quite good. Breakfasts were in the American taste-VERY crispy bacon (almost cremated), hash browns, corned beef hash, several styles of eggs (scrambled, coddled, Benedict to name a few) a wide selection of fruits, cakes, danish, yogurts etc.....Lunchtimes were nearly all the same with a varied selection of sandwiches, hot and cold food/snacks etc. and the evening meals didn't change a bit (as was the case in 2010 on the Infinity). there were "Chefs Specials", a pizza bar, pasta station, a varied sushi bar and the usual currys/meats/vegetables. What really spoilt the buffet was the people who were behind the counters. The buffet was not self-service and you had to ask the staff several times for the foods that you wanted. Celebrity needs to sort this out. Make the buffet self-service or don't put morons behind the counters. The staff either didn't want to know, didn't care or were half asleep all the time. There are two speciality restaurants on the ship. One was the SS Olympic and the other was Qsine (this is the correct spelling!). A group of us did Qsine. I must say that the style of Qsine is very different. We were given small tastes of everything instead on three or four courses like a normal restaurant. The menu was very good and I thoroughly enjoyed the meal. I didn't go to the Olympic but I was told that the fare was very good indeed. There is a small cover charge for these restaurants but I would recommend doing one or both. Entertainment. I cannot comment on the shows as I didn't see any. I was told that the productions were very good and there was an American comedian on board who was very good indeed (if second-hand reports were true-and I have no reason not to believe them). There were two guest speakers. A Dr. Michelle Thaller who is a NASA scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Centre (along with her husband). She gave lectures of our place in the universe. I really enjoyed these lectures and Dr. Thaller is a very approachable woman who is willing to speak (at length) and to respond to any questions that were asked of her. I was on the same coach (on disembarkation) and thanked her personally for the lectures. There was a Mr. Hall (I forget his first name) who gave lectures on the history of Hawaii which were also very interesting. The Chefs on board also did a cooking demonstration and had an "Iron Chef" competition in the main theatre. Both shows were very entertaining and very amusing. There was also the usual Guest versus Staff shows such as "Dancing with the Stripes" and a Karaoke/Talent competition which (I have been told) were very good. Disabled persons/access. I am not discriminating against disabled persons (my own father is disabled), but Celebrity needs to look at this. The disabled people on the ship seemed to think that they owned it. If you didn't get out of the way of an electric scooter, they just drove at you anyway. Anybody that didn't get out of the way were "bigots". I had first-hand reports of disabled persons knocking people over because they didn't get out of the way. I am all for access for all people, but what about my rights as a fare paying passenger? Don't I get some respect? An example I personally experienced...At breakfast in the buffet, there were a group of Americans (three couples) one of whom was disabled. Do you think that they took the first accessible table available? NO. They had to have the furthest table away from the entrance to the buffet and that meant that everybody had to stop with their breakfast and move chairs out of the way to accommodate this woman's scooter. Not only was this disruptive, when they got sat down, they started to steal other chairs from tables without asking and snatching condiments from other peoples tables as they didn't have enough. There is a word for this-IGNORANT! I would suggest to =X= that the buffet needs to be split up to give disabled persons their own part of the restaurant and not disturb the rest of us. Customs/Immigration at Hawaii. After five days at sea, we had to go through US Customs (again). This was because we has sailed from Mexico and not SD. Do US Customs think some of us had swam back to Mexico? Had we visited another country? NO. The customs inspection was in the Cosmos Lounge. I was told to report at 0745 and when I got there, there was around 500 (maybe more) people waiting to have their passports checked. This included US citizens. After an hour, there was very long line and there was only TWO US Customs officers doing the checking! Eventually, four more officers turned up and they received a round of applause from all of the guests in the lounge. I was in there for one hour forty-three minutes and only just got to my bus for my excursion. There was absolutely no organisation from Celebrity, no apologies and it was a complete mess from start to finish. Excursions. I booked mine online before the cruise and they were very good. I did Mount Kilauea (big island of Hawaii), a Luau in Lahaina, a tour of coffee/chocolate plantations and a general sightseeing tour. These were very good although a little pricey. Several people did independent tours from locals on the piers at each port. If you do these independent tours, they are NOT obliged to get you back to the ship on time. If you miss the ship, you will have to get to the next port at your own expense. Commendations. This cruise wasn't a complete mess. I would like to commend several staff who went above and beyond their duties-Kian and Vince in the Sunset Bar and Shaun in the Rendezvous lounge were very friendly and got to know all of the guests preferences. The rest of the staff were very attentive and nothing was too much trouble. My cabin was very clean all of the time (if a little threadbare) and the ship was kept neat and tidy all of the time. Decor in the general public areas of the ship wasn't to my taste but was in keeping with other cruise ships I have travelled on. On a personal note...my evening meals were spoilt by one of the people on my dinner table. This person was a thirty something US citizen by the name of Jeff. I am certain that he didn't change his shirt for the entire cruise. He was completely naive and didn't have a clue about any other part of the world. He kept saying that the wanted to visit the UK and would be based in London. He didn't seem to understand that we in the UK do not drive on the same side of the road as he does. He also didn't accept that the price of petrol in the UK was at least 2 1/2 times as much as the US. He also wanted 110 volts so that he could bring all of his gadgets with him-we use 240 volts. I could go on about this guy but I eventually snapped and told him in no uncertain terms about which side of the road we drive. I also told him he couldn't drive to Scotland and back in one day (as he said he wanted to do) and that I lived 240 miles north of London and Edinburgh is a six hour drive from my location. I left my dinner table early that night so I didn't say anything I might have regretted later. Two of my fellow diners-a British couple Helen & Karl-were of the same opinion as me and I apologised to them the next night for storming off. Disembarkation. Another mess. We were each given luggage tags so that we got off the ship in time for our respective travel arrangements. My time was 0730 in the Rendez-vous lounge. We were told that all of our luggage had been off-loaded the night before. This was a lie. All you had to do was look over the side of the ship to see shore staff still unloading luggage! When I eventually got to the exit (over half an hour later than scheduled), I was prevented getting off and was told to report to Guest Relations for a message. This I did only to find one person behind the counter. After a few minutes with still only one staff helping and around twenty people behind me, I walked up to the counter a shouted at the top of my voice "..is there anybody here? I have a plane to catch..". With that, three or four staff members suddenly appeared. I said that there was a message for me. Firstly, the staff asked me to stop shouting at them-this I refused to do. I was told that there was no message and that I could leave the ship immediately. This I did still shouting (with lots words not printable in this review) included. When off the ship, Celebrity staff had absolutely no idea which coach we were supposed to be on and I was nearly put on a coach that was going on a tour before dropping people off at the airport. I eventually got on the correct coach only to be confronted by yet another "Jobsworth" (as in '..it's more than my jobs worth..') who insisted on seeing all of my documentation. Were does he think I've been for 11 days? Honolulu airport. I must say that US Customs Officers seem to have been on a charm offensive since the last time I travelled through the USA. Instead of being constantly shouted at and intimidated, I was pleasantly surprised to find very nice people who were very courteous and polite. Finally, if any US citizens are reading this, can I ask you to write to your Congressman/Woman to get the Jones Act repealed. I will not be doing this transfer again! Conclusions. 1. If you are going on a cruise that involves being transferred from a US port to Mexico-make your own travel arrangements. Do not rely on Celebrity to get you there in comfort. 2.Celebrity does not provide "Meet & Greet" staff at airports-you will have to fend for yourself. 3. Don't expect any proper organisation from Celebrity. Everybody I spoke to (including US citizens) was disgusted with the treatment that they received. 4. No explanations. 5. No apologies. 6. And finally....DO NOT book a cruise with Celebrity! This was Celebrity's second chance. I will not be booking a cruise with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
We sailed on the Millenium on 10-22-2012 from Ensenada to Hawaii. I will start off with the bad part of the trip-Day one. In order to take this itinerary you must check in at the San Diego airport, be bused to the San Diego port, wait for ... Read More
We sailed on the Millenium on 10-22-2012 from Ensenada to Hawaii. I will start off with the bad part of the trip-Day one. In order to take this itinerary you must check in at the San Diego airport, be bused to the San Diego port, wait for hours at the San Diego port and take a bus to Ensenada(about a 3 hour adventure).We arrived early for check-in at the airport and found only one Celebrity employee at the kiosk handling the check-in. We were about 20th in line and by the time we got to the front of the line there were about 75-100 people in line. A second employee arrived to help but it was mass confusion. After getting to the port in San Diego we saw the ship leaving to go to Ensenada and were told that no buses would be leaving San Diego for at least 3 hours so that the ship could get to Ensenada ahead of the hordes of travellers. Of course when you travel to Mexico you must first pass though Mexican customs and it took over an hour to get through that mess. My spouse and I kind of shrugged off the bad day knowing that a magnificent cruise was in store for us, however, I cannot even count the number of people that said they would never sail on Celebrity again because of the chaos surrounding getting to the ship. Once we managed to get on board(about 7 pm) our luggage had already been delivered (one piece was severely damaged somewhere between San Diego and Ensenada). We had booked an Aqua class sunset veranda on the 11th floor at the back of the ship and it was amazing! The view throughout the cruise was spectacular although our room was directly above the rear lounge/smoking area. The amenities that come with the Aqua class package are well worth the few extra bucks you pay. Dinners and breakfast in the Blu restaurant were impressive and the Aqua spa offered a great relaxing respite while on board. My spouse and I are cruise veterans and the shows on this trip were without a doubt the best we have ever seen on a ship(except for one Hawaiian dancing show). The Millenium itself is in excellent shape after its recent makeover and the crew is friendly and professional. We felt that some of the windows could have used a little more cleaning than they got but all in all the ship was great. Once we got to the islands we did our own thing and did not book any excursions through the ship. In Hilo we hired a local van to take us around the various tourist spots and it cost about half what the cruise line was charging. In Kona and Maui we took local transportation to the beautiful beaches and shopping areas. My favorite beach in the whole world is Kanapali Beach in Maui and we spent two days renting a little beach cabana on the beach. The final day was in Honolulu and again we did our own thing shopping and sightseeing. On the final day we used the ship's shuttle service to the airport ($25 person) and would have been better off just taking a local taxi service. All in all I give this cruise a B+ and plan on sailing with Celebrity in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
It always amazes me how you can take a group of vacationers, put them all on the same ship, same itinerary, at the same dates and yet the experiences can be so different. I can only speak of our experience and how we chose to handle ... Read More
It always amazes me how you can take a group of vacationers, put them all on the same ship, same itinerary, at the same dates and yet the experiences can be so different. I can only speak of our experience and how we chose to handle certain inconveniences. This review will focus more on the items I know we were searching for information on before we sailed but found little on: Hump cabins, Ensenda Embarkation, Halloween on a ship, Fitness Center and All Inclusive Premium Drink Package. We were lucky to secure a Hump Cabin within Aqua Class meaning we had a slightly larger balcony in a room that sat directly below the Aqua Spa cafe / Solarium. It was a great room with no noise disturbances. Having sailed on both the Equinox and Solstice we were interested to see how comparable the retro-fit ships were to the actual Solstice builds. We are pleased to report that the cabins look virtually the same with the exception of the missing overhead storage typically above the bed however; there was no lack of storage space without it (with 6 suitcases packed I put the storage space to the test!). So let's talk about the Ensenada embarkation which is such a hot topic with this particular sailing. Having cruised often and as we are usually flying in from a winter wonderland, we typically fly in a day or two early to limit the stress of having to "catch a ship". Therefore we just caught a $9.00 cab from the car rental drop off rather then take the shuttle back to the airport to then have to take the Celebrity shuttle to the pier. Best $9.00 spent of the entire cruise! Staff at the pier were very friendly and accommodating considering they were under vast amounts of pressure due to the ship being parked right behind the check in counter and then seeing it sail away. Kinda funny when you think about it... For those that were shocked and panicked all I have to say is your cruise tickets clearly stated we were sailing from Ensenada Mexico not San Diego. When we checked in we were given bus ticket #6 and were told to come back before 3:00 pm to board. I appreciate that they told us to go out and enjoy San Diego pier as opposed to waiting in the terminal and I was even more impressed that they took care of our carry on luggage while we did this. We went for a lovely lunch on the pier and even managed to get some shopping in. Armed with my Starbucks Latte in hand we headed back to the terminal at about 2:45 where we spent about half an hour chatting with the people sitting next to us and by 3:30pm we were boarding our bus. Were we delayed a little due to a couple of people requiring scooters and oxygen tanks to be loaded. Ultimately we ended up being about bus #11 to pull out at around 4:00 pm. Border wait time was 60 minutes (not bad considering I have waited longer at airports to clear customs and at least here I was seated in a comfortable air-conditioned bus). Personally I enjoyed the bus ride along the coast, it was beautiful and we got to see the sunset. To expedite the process we were given declaration forms to fill out on the bus to be handed in once we arrive at Ensenada. Unfortunately we ended up on a bus that got lost in Ensenada and ended up going the wrong way down a one way street and then thought that he was rear-ended so stopped in the middle of another intersection to check things out (Luckily he wasn't hit). This all added about 30 extra minutes to our journey but with every U-Turn this driver performed with this motor-coach the bus cheered to show how impressed we all were with how well he maneuvered it. Eventually after 3 passes by the ship we made it to the dock overall time from San Diego to Ensenada was approx 3.5 hours. This was the first cruise we decided to experiment with the drink package so once we were a little settled in, we headed up to Blu for dinner and a drink. We definitely utilized our purchase with everything from: smoothies over breakfast, vitamin waters after a workout, fruity frozen drinks by the pool, lattes in the afternoon, pre-dinner drinks, cocktails and wine with dinner, after dinner drinks in Michael's lounge and a Martini at the Ice Bar. Now it sounds like we are lushes and that we should have been drunk for the entire cruise but that is not the case. Truly we used it to sample drinks that we normally would not. My husband is a beer snob so each night he sampled a different beer at Michael's and for myself, I do not like wine so I took this opportunity to utilize the the sommelier in Blu and tried to find wines I could enjoy...Success!!! To order the drink package again though I'm not so sure I would. We looked at the $1400.00 drink package expense as if it was a tour package or upgraded room. (only way I could justify it in my mind). Yes we drank our monies worth but in the end it was only empty calories that we didn't need and although the sampling was fun, we've done it once and don't feel the need to do it again. At least I know for certain that I do not like Cognac. To counter balance the consumption of food and drink we did utilize the gym frequently an participated in a spin class. Great experience and would do it again (I do think Celebrity should drop the $10.00 class fee though). But...the spin class led to a discussion with Daniel (Celebrity Fitness Instructor)about private training sessions and from that I enrolled in a 3 session personal training package complete with body composition analysis and a 17 page customized workout regiment to take home. The document covered everything from nutrition to an analysis specific to my body type and current fitness level. I was very impressed and have continued using the program Daniel built for me. Only downside was after the first session I had difficulty moving and was very sore the next day so I had to remind Daniel that I was on vacation and did need to be able to move about without pain. Once again... Money well spent. Halloween: We were sailing out of Maui the day of Halloween which was neat because Maui shuts down their main street in Lahaina for a children's parade right where we tender to the ship. Very fun and entertaining to see both children and parents dressed up following behind a fantastic marching band. Back on the ship we were one of the couples that brought costumes (remember the 6 suitcases)so we had fun dressing up that night. There were actually many passengers that dressed up as well as the crew and it was an electric atmosphere that night. They had a costume contest and we spent the night having people stop and ask if they could take photos of us. If you are sailing on Halloween we suggest that you join in the fun even if only with something simple. Kudo's to Rockin Ron the DJ for his incredible Rolling Stones Routine dressed up as Batman. He also showed an interesting and informative lecture on Marilyn Monroe which we thoroughly enjoyed. We weren't impressed with the Party Band "Kenosis" but stilled enjoyed dancing most nights. Those are my detailed comments on the items I thought are not usually reported on. Here are some remaining shorter comments and thoughts: Aqua Spa Cafe for breakfast was our favorite, Persian Gardens were terribly disappointing (no windows or private beds and was very dark and dingy), Bistro on Five was O.K., Olympic Restaurant was outstanding! We really enjoyed the progressive trivia (met some great people) and the shows were fantastic especially the backstage tour! We stayed away in general from the buffet (many grumpy pushy people up there) but the pizza was a favorite to grab and take away. Staff was ALWAYS friendly and outstanding especially the "washy, washy" guy by the elevators outside the buffet. The seas were generally smooth (relative to a pacific cruise)and the officer's pool volleyball game is always a pleasure! ***TIP*** We exercised the option to walk off the ship carrying our own luggage for disembarkation. We have done this several times and highly recommend it. We didn't have to send our suitcases away the night before or wait for them to be unloaded only to have to sift through the rows of black suitcases to find our own. We were off the ship with absolutely no crowds to fight through by 7:00 am, in our rental car and on our way to Pearl Harbor. Easy, simple and efficient. Clearing customs - There is no reason to bad mouth Celebrity regarding having to clear customs in San Diego (if arriving out of Country), then to have to do it in Mexico, and then one last time in Hilo... These are not "Customer Service" line-ups designed for your comfort but rather arrival and departures into and out of COUNTRIES!!! Celebrity has no control, nor should they, over being given "special treatment" for getting their 2400 passengers across. Additionally common sense should tell you that you have booked KNOWINGLY that you have to enter and exit out of Mexico along with 2400 fellow cruisers and the rest of travellers crossing that border at that same time. 2400 passengers do not clear customs all in under an hour whether or not you are entering or exiting a country by tender or bus, this is why this specific cruise cost less than the other ones sailing in and out of San Diego. Kudos to Celebrity for staggering the buses and allowing passengers to explore San Diego longer that day for their comfort. To complain about it is like being upset because you don't get the free blanket and pillow flying in coach as do the people paying double in first class. Overall this was a fantastic holiday especially for the price paid. Was everything perfect - NO but we chose to choose our attitude and as such it attracted the same attitude back. Honestly the most un-enjoyable part of the vacation was having to listen to others complain in the elevators, on the buses and in the line-ups. There was so much to do and enjoy on the ship that 5 days at sea truly wasn't enough. It's vacation, pull up your big panties and enjoy! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2012
I have cruised many times before on many cruise lines. This was our first Celebrity cruise and I had heard it was a step above Princess and HAL. I am 49 and was traveling with my 75 year old disabled mom. We had cruised to Hawaii before ... Read More
I have cruised many times before on many cruise lines. This was our first Celebrity cruise and I had heard it was a step above Princess and HAL. I am 49 and was traveling with my 75 year old disabled mom. We had cruised to Hawaii before on the Carnival Spirit from Vancouver several years ago. My mom had a stroke 10 years ago and is unable to walk unaided due to her balance issues. She depends on her electric scooter for mobility. She can walk short distances, with difficulty, with her walker. This was to be our last mother/daughter cruise as her physical and mental disabilities are getting too difficult to allow her to travel. I put a lot of time, money and homework into this vacation. You have to do your homework when you cruise or vacation with someone who is disabled. You always have to expect the unexpected. I had been in contact with Celebrity Special needs many times before this cruise. They were aware my mom would require a bus with a lift for her scooter for the transfer from the airport to the pier and from the pier to the ship. Celebrity Special needs advised me many times all was taken care of. I booked an accessible cabin with a balcony on deck 6. My mom just loves having a balcony on a cruise. She will sit out on the balcony for hours. She would sleep out on the balcony if I let her. Not on this cruise. More on that later. We arrived at the San Diego airport at 8:45am. It was a much too early a flight but we didn't know that then. We collected our luggage and found the celebrity reps. They quickly took our luggage and told us transfers to the pier would not begin until 11am. They told us they had no accessible transfers and we would have to pay $15pp for an independent accessible transfer to the pier. I couldn't understand this when celebrity told us that an accessible transfer would be available and complimentary. I had even given Celebrity my flight information. I still don't know what happened to the accessible transfer we were promised. The rep at the airport advised us if mom could get up the steps onto the bus they could put the scooter under the bus in the luggage compartment and they would be able to transfer us for free. We agreed. We went and had a bite to eat in the airport and began our 2 hour wait for the transfer. We were finally called to the transfer bus. The rep was insistent that mom get the front seat as she was disabled. As mom struggled to get up the steps into the bus, I watched as the men tried to get mom's scooter under the bus. It would not go right side up so they put it on it's side and slid it into the luggage compartment very roughly. I could only hope it wasn't hurt or damaged. Upon arrival to the pier the Celebrity Millennium was there and we wished so much we could board her there. Unfortunately, we were not allowed due to a law called the Jones act. Thankfully the scooter worked when taken out of the bus but with a few more scratches by it's rough handling. The pier was basically a warehouse. We checked in and then began the 4 hour wait for the bus to Ensenada. Celebrity did provide us with a light lunch of small sandwiches, potato salad and water or lemonade. Finally at 3pm the buses started to arrive and people began boarding the buses. Mom and I continued to wait until 4pm. We were then told that a lift bus would take several more hours wait. They said we could leave immediately if mom walked the few steps up into a regular bus and the scooter was put into the luggage compartment. We agreed. They made sure they boarded us onto an empty bus so mom could have the front seat. Several nice men helped mom up the bus steps. The scooter was put under the bus and we waited as people were loaded onto the bus. At 5pm we started on our journey to the border. At first our bus driver got lost and couldn't find I-5. He had to go around the block twice. Thankfully he found the freeway after that. We had to wait 2 hours at the border as all 50 buses were put in one line at the border. In the two hours the only excitement was a drug dog inspecting the luggage compartment of the bus and even entered the bus and walked up and down the aisle. Of course the dog found nothing. I thought this was useless as I don't think drugs are going into Mexico. This should be done on the other side in Mexico where drugs are coming into the US. We finally got through the border and began our two hour drive to Ensenada. We had a Mexican bus driver who did not speak or understand English. The bus driver drove very fast and we had to hang on for dear life so we were not dumped into the aisle of the bus at every turn. The views from the bus would have been beautiful if we would have been able to see them in the light, however it was already dark by that time. We were never so glad to see the lights of Ensenada. We finally arrived at the pier in Ensenada where the men broke my mom's scooter getting it out of the bus. We arrived into our cabin which I though had to be a joke. It was TINY. I have been on many, many cruises and I have never seen such a small accessible cabin. However I had no time to think of the small cabin as the broken scooter was of the utmost importance. It would not run and it's charge indicator was broken out of the dashboard of the scooter. I went down to guest relations and told them that my mom's scooter had been broken. The guest relations worker quickly told me that Celebrity did not break my mom's scooter but the bus company had. This confused me. Wasn't the bus hired by Celebrity? I asked if a maintenance man could please come look at the scooter. They said under no circumstance would they touch my mom's scooter. They explained they might break it worse and then would be responsible. I was beside myself. My mom's cruise would be ruined with out the use of her scooter. Not only the cruise but our 10 day post cruise vacation booked in Honolulu. Our room steward saw how upset were we about the scooter. Somehow, a maintenance man did come up and look at the scooter. His English was very poor and he refused to touch the scooter. I asked to use his screwdriver and as he watched I unscrewed the dashboard of my mom's scooter. I tried to put the indicator back in place but it was cracked. I then noticed the wire that went down to the battery compartment in the scooter was unplugged. It could not be plugged back in because the prongs were all bent. I used the screwdriver as best I could to re bend the prongs. I was then able to plug it in and low and behold it worked!!!! I was relieved beyond explanation. I was so proud of myself and my husband would have been too. The cord and plug must have been pulled out and damaged as the men pulled the scooter out of the luggage compartment. I thanked the maintenance man for lending me his screwdriver.. Later guest relations would call me and leave a message on my phone saying how glad they were that their maintenance man was able to repair my mom's scooter!!!!! What? I didn't care about this at all as all is well that ends well. For the first two days the lights in our cabin did not work. On the first night we really didn't care as we were so tired we just wanted sleep. They tried to fix them that evening but right after the electrician left they went out again. The next day the electrician had to return two more times. This finally fixed the problem and we didn't have a problem with the cabin lights again. We couldn't move in our cabin it was so crowded, with us the furniture, the beds and the scooter and walker. I removed the little table and chair that was in the cabin and put it on the balcony. This still didn't give us any room. There was no room beside the bed to get the walker or scooter near it so my mom would be able to transfer. We discovered the bed was too close to the mounted desk against the wall to allow mom access to the balcony. We were so disappointed. Here I had gone to all the extra expense of getting a balcony accessible cabin and the balcony was not accessible to my mom. What is the use of offering a handicapped balcony cabin when the balcony is not able accessible??? The balcony even had a lovely ramp but due to the smallness of the cabin the bed was on it. So, mom was not able to use the balcony at all on the entire cruise. The bathroom in the cabin was accessible. It had grab bars and a shower with a seat. Thankfully, our cabin was right next to the open area near the stairs. We stored our scooter out in that area. Mom used the walker in the cabin. This made it difficult to constantly get to her scooter but we survived. There was no place to charge the scooter out there so periodically we would have to have it in the cabin. Needless to say we were exhausted after the day we had. I went to the muster drill but mom was too sick and tired to go. We were so tired we didn't even go to dinner. We ordered a little room service and ate it in the dark as the lights weren't working. We slept late the next morning. Mom was still exhausted from the day before. So she stayed in the cabin for the most part. That is the reason I got a balcony cabin. I knew she would stay in the cabin quite a bit. Whenever, I think of this I still get upset. I explored the ship. I really liked the layout of the ship. It was not one of those mega ships. It was not too small and not too big. The ship was gorgeous. All shiny and clean. I really liked the clear elevators. I had brought my lap top and bought Internet with the ship. It was quite expensive. I think I spent $200. I was able to use my lap top from my room or anywhere on the ship. I was glad I had brought my lap top as the Internet lounge sometimes was very busy with a line of people waiting to use a computer. The next 5 days were sea days and after that nightmare of a embarkation we needed the relaxation. I went to our cruise critic meeting to meet all the people I had been chatting with before our cruise. Celebrity had champagne, orange juice and snacks for us. The cruise director came too. It was nice meeting and talking with some people but the group was so large it was overwhelming. During the sea days Celebrity offered many things to do. Hair seminars, space lectures, trivia and computer classes to name just a few.. The food was great on this ship and the dining room was very nice and the waiters were exceptional. We had 6pm fixed seating. One thing Celebrity did right was at dinner they seated mom at a table right near the entrance so she didn't have to do an obstacle course in order to get to her table.. Our table was also right next to a window. Mom would drive her scooter up to the table. The waiter would help mom transfer to her seat and then the waiter would drive the scooter away to park it out of the way. After dinner he would go get the scooter for mom and help her transfer back. I had asked Celebrity Special needs for large print menus but we never did get them. There are obviously some serious communication problems between Celebrity Special needs and their ships. The waiters learned our names and learned our likes and dislikes. The waiter wanted to make sure we enjoyed dinner. If we ever didn't like something we ordered he would encourage us to order something else. Our assistant waiter was also good but his English was not as good as our waiter and got confused or didn't understand some things . My mom just loves desserts and she would order two. She would eat both of them too. My mom is very skinny so doesn't need to worry about her weight. Our waiter encouraged us to do this. The lava cake, cheesecake and souffle's were the best. Lobster night was great. Nice big lobsters that were very tender. I ordered two. Then some nights nothing really looked good. Those nights we would just order two or more appetizers skip the entree and order dessert. The waiter allowed us the freedom to do anything we wanted. We were seated at a table of six and we loved our table mates. We would always get room service breakfast. We would order it the night before on a card and hang it on the door. It was always right on time. It was not always accurate. There was usually always something missing. One morning the coffee was missing. Another morning the toast. No butter on another morning etc. I would call them and they would bring whatever was forgotten. We couldn't imagine going to breakfast in the dining room when we could eat in our cabin in our pajamas. Twice we did go to the buffet to get waffles in the morning. They were so yummy. For the most part all the crew were very kind and helpful. I must say the only time we saw a bad attitude once or twice was at the guest relations counter. Our cabin steward was so nice and did her job so well. We would often sleep in and then just leave the cabin for 15 minutes before we would return again. I don't know how but we would come back to a clean, made up cabin. She must have been watching for us to leave. We loved going to the shows in the showroom. The productions shows were our favorites. There were 3 and they were so good. We also had a fiddler, magician, pianist, a singer and a comedian. Some shows were better than others but we never missed a show. One night we had a Polynesian show. We thought it would be a professional show but found out it was just a hula school that brought their students to the ship to do a show. One group that we really enjoyed were the acapella quartet. They were such nice young men and very personable. Also very talented. They had a large number and variety of songs. We always searched the daily paper to see where and when they were performing. We loved the reserved handicapped seating in the showroom. Usually it is at the very back of the theater in the nose bleed section, however, they had front row seats that were also handicapped accessible. My mom loved this as she can't see very well. The cruise also had the usual newlywed game, Liar, liar and dancing with the stars. I love these shows. The cruise director was always at these late night shows and he was so much fun. I really enjoyed our cruise director. What a busy guy, but so nice. Mom and I always had to go by his office to get into the showroom. There was a very heavy door we had to open to enter. If he was there, which he usually was, he would run ahead to open and hold the door for us. He was always out and about. Always very open to talk to anyone. After he had closed the show he would sprint up a deck so he could greet the guests as they came out of the main entrance of the showroom. I don't know when the man slept. He was up very late doing shows. Then was up at the crack of dawn. He said he lived on 6 hours sleep a night. Upon arrival into Hilo we had to go to customs on the ship before we were able to leave the ship. We all headed to a showroom. It started out with one customs agent trying to check out 400 people. This did not go over well. People were afraid of missing their excursions. Finally, 3 more agents came in and the line began to move. It was a crowded, confusing mess. Especially when mom is disabled and there is not any space for her to maneuver. But after an hour we got through it and were soon off the ship. We rented a car here and headed to Walmart where we really needed to get some additional medical supplies for mom. We also hit Hilo Hattie's for some shopping. We drove around and checked out some sea views. We had been to Hilo many times before. It is usually raining here but not today. Our weather on this whole trip was exceptional. Also the seas were never, ever rough. It was the calmest seas we had ever experienced. We couldn't believe people complaining about the movement and rocking of the ship. Mom and I would look at each other in amazement and say. What movement? Next stop was Kona. This was a tender port. We had quite a wait for a tender as they started with only one tender going back and forth. Finally they got more tenders going. Many disabled people were very, very upset as they were not allowed off the ship if they were not able to transfer onto the tender without their electric chair/scooters.. There were around 10 steps we would have to climb down and then had to step onto a swaying tender boat. The crew were very, very helpful. They would carry my mom's walker and helped her onto the tender. Some people who were confined to wheelchairs/scooters did not know of this requirement. Imagine going all the way to Hawaii and not be able to get off the ship. Thankfully, we were aware of this rule as we had cruised so many times before. In Kona we again rented a car and went to the place of refuge to snorkel. Mom didn't snorkel of course, she just waited on the beach. Some of the best snorkeling is here. We enjoyed the hour drive out here along the ocean with incredible views. We were in Lahaina, Maui for two days. We again rented a car. We just loved the freedom of driving and stopping where we wanted and when we wanted. I went snorkeling many places. Black rock had horrible snorkeling. However, we did have fun using the Sheraton's pool here. We stopped on a beach at the side of the road once and we were the only ones there. We were able to swim and snorkel and have the entire beach to ourselves. We loved it. Since we were here two days we required some place to park our rental car. We found a place close to the ship behind Burger King. It cost $25. This may be expensive but it was worth the ease of getting to the car. Lahaina was again a tender port. I had to wait over an hour for a tender back to the ship one afternoon. There were only two tenders going at the time. Not that I really cared as I was on vacation and had nothing to rush to. The line of people waiting was snaked all around town. Next stop was Honolulu. Our favorite. We arrived in the morning and stayed overnight until the next morning. We know Honolulu like the back of our hands since we have been here so many times before. Since we were post touring here for an additional 10 days we made this a ship day. It was wonderful to have the ship and pools to ourselves. We didn't have to fight over lounge chairs as hardly anyone was on board. We lounged by the pool, swam, sunned and ate at the near by buffet. Also there were the lovely views of Diamond head from the ship. The ship had wonderful soft Hawaiian music playing in the pool area. It was so peaceful and relaxing. We had the best day until around 2pm. This is when the crowds were making their way back to the ship. Loungers were getting full, and you could no longer hear the nice music over the shouting and laughter of all the people. Oh well, it was wonderful while it lasted. We got off the ship the next morning with no trouble at all. I had arranged a private transfer with a lift from Roberts to take us to our hotel. There were some bumps along the way but no cruise is perfect. I was ashamed by some of the behavior of the people on this cruise. Having fits, yelling and making scenes because they had to wait to get a tender or wait on a customs official, etc. Come on people, you're on vacation. I guess Mom and I are pretty easy to please. Feed us, entertain us, make our beds and at the same time take us to tropical ports of call and we are happy. I hope to cruise Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
We checked in at the port in San Diego for our bus trip to Ensenada.There was a delay.no big deal,But Celebrity provided lunch. Our bus trip to Ensenada had the normal delays at the boarder shockingly a few seemed overly irratated by ... Read More
We checked in at the port in San Diego for our bus trip to Ensenada.There was a delay.no big deal,But Celebrity provided lunch. Our bus trip to Ensenada had the normal delays at the boarder shockingly a few seemed overly irratated by this butI'm not going to let a couple of whinners ruin my day. When we boarded and were handed a glass of bubbly we knew we were in for a delightful trip and we were not wrong. We went to our stateroom and were greeted by Marco a man who loves his job and does it well.The cabin was a cozy 170 sq feet but with plenty of storage for mmy wifes things. The first night we ate at the buffet and were delighted with the choices.We both had the stir fry and it was great. The next night we went to the main dining and were served by Sasha and Anna who were at the top of their game. The beef and lamb were very good and we had escargot most nights.Great desserts and the rum raison ice cream was to die for. The 5 sea days were enjoyable.The seas seemed exceptionbly smooth for for the Pacific.Lots of activities to keep yourself busy but I managed to go to the gym for some cardio everyday . Enjoyed the bars .The Ice bar served great Martini's and Micheals had a very good section of beers.Enjoyed the live music. Went through imagration when we arrived in Hilo and it went smoothly. Sea were a little choppy in the tendering ports but Celebrity made sure we boarded safely.A couple of people not surprsinly thought that Celebrity has control of the seas(eyes rolling). Overall a fantastic trip thanks to a Great Crew and a Great Ship Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
This was our 3rd experience with Celebrity. Our first 2 were excellent. Our connection from the San Diego airport to Celebrity's SD terminal was quick. It went downhill from there. The terminal was chaotic and dirty. We finally ... Read More
This was our 3rd experience with Celebrity. Our first 2 were excellent. Our connection from the San Diego airport to Celebrity's SD terminal was quick. It went downhill from there. The terminal was chaotic and dirty. We finally boarded a bus to Ensenada at around 4PM. The bus proceeded to the border, where we were delayed about 1 hour by Mexican border security (not too bad, others were much worse). As night fell, the passengers enjoyed the darkness, as there was no light in the restroom. ( I leave this to your imagination). We reached the dock at 8 PM. Incredibly, we sat on the dock, waiting to board, until 9:05. After 5 hours, I thought it was reasonable to get an explanation from an officer. I was told that no officer was available, but someone from Guest Relations would contact me. We finally made it to our cabin at 9:20, just in time for the mandatory safety muster. We informed the officer at the muster station that there were still hundreds on guests on the dock, waiting to board. We also mentioned that we hadn't eaten since early that morning. We were told that the Captain had ordered the restaurant to stay open until 10:30 PM. After the safety meeting, we tried to get to a restaurant, only to find that only part of the buffet was open. We also had the pleasure of walking up from Deck 4 to Deck 10, because the elevators were being used for luggage. The next day, when I received no call from Guest Relations, a I decided to pay them a visit. Their response was that they had received similar complaints from many passengers (surprise!), that they were very sorry, and that 'corporate' had been notified. My reply was that this was disgraceful and unacceptable, which prompted another 'sorry'. (As a postscript to this, we followed up in writing in the ship's survey. Finally, after no callback we called corporate to repeat our complaint. This generated another 'sorry'). Here is my (hopefully) objective review of the balance of the cruise: Cabin - small, but modern and clean Housekeeping - excellent General ship condition - good to very good Entertainment - very good to excellent Dining - In general, not as good as prior Celebrity cruises. - Buffet - good - Metropolitan - quality good, presentation fair, deserts poor - Qzine - very good - Excursions - pricey but very good To summarize, under no circumstances should you consider embarking in Ensenada. Celebrity quality and service, on which the company prides itself, has slid significantly. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
I'll skip an in-depth discussion of the Embarkation Procedures that involved busing to Ensenada to board the ship, though quite honestly, in my opinion, it wasn't bad at all. However, I am sure many would disagree with that ... Read More
I'll skip an in-depth discussion of the Embarkation Procedures that involved busing to Ensenada to board the ship, though quite honestly, in my opinion, it wasn't bad at all. However, I am sure many would disagree with that assessment, and I know many issues have been directed to Celebrity Management. Once we boarded the ship, almost immediately the "Celebrity Experience" (think relaxation, service, food, drink, smiles) took hold, and continued throughout the 11 nights. Staff were pleasant, helpful, accommodating, kind, professional and unfailingly full of smiles and genuine warmth. I typically get up around 4 am to wander the ship (even with the many time changes) and spoke to every level of crew member I encountered...and every exchange was "excellent" (typical Celebrity response) !! The ship was in very good/excellent overall condition, and staff are seen at all hours cleaning, polishing, washing, etc to make sure it stays that way. Cabins (C1 Aft) were comfortable and the bathroom, carpets, fixtures etc all in good condition; bedding was good, storage is adequate (much prefer the M Class bedside tables to those on the S Class). We are aft/stern lovers, and the size of those balconies is wonderfully large, with 2 lounge chairs, 2 regular chairs and a small table. Though pads were not initially provided for the lounge chairs, they were quickly obtained when I asked my Stateroom Attendant. We were on deck 9, and were a bit worried of noise from the deck above, but for the most part, it was a total non-issue...yes, you could, at times, hear the scraping of chairs, but not to the point of "disturbing". We could also sometimes hear talking/music from the deck above, but only if we had the balcony door open. Friends on decks 7 and 8 had absolutely no noise issues. One item of note, that I think I recall being mentioned on CC...at night on several nights, we could hear a thumping sound...almost like the sound of a loud bass from a car radio that you hear while sitting in traffic next to someone with the radio turned excessively loud...At first I thought it was just that...music from somewhere...but it was 3am. Other nights we never heard it...so I never was able to determine what it was/where it was coming from ?? There was a group of 6 of us traveling together, and we were assigned late seating in the MDR (chose this because of the number of sea days, and because we typically indulge in the offerings of the Sushi Bar at 5;30-6pm...so a later dinner works well for us. Our Head waiter (Ali from Turkey) and Assistant (Ernest from the Philippines) were super fantastic, and in fact probably rate as the 2 best I have had on any cruise. Ali in particular was one of the kindest, most sincere, and friendly individuals I have met in my life...and I look forward to staying in touch with him. Trying to recall, I think during the entire cruise, our table (6 of us) returned/were not satisfied with a total of 3 dishes....that's impressive, since we ate in the MDR for 10 of the 11 nights....one night was on-shore at Old Lahaina Luau. Food quality, quantity, portion size, temperatures, served as ordered, etc...were routinely excellent. We had planned to eat at the Specialty Restaurants a couple of times during this cruise, but were so satisfied with the MDR, that we never did. Cafe al Bacio was my morning ritual (several times each morning), and I am happy to report that service, quality and consistency of coffee drinks was excellent. I am a coffee addict, and although I know Celebrity has improved the quality of their coffee in the machines in the OceanView Cafe...it still is not the least bit appealing to my taste buds....and yes, since Cafe al Bacio didn't open til 6:30am (better than 7am as on previous cruises) I had to partake of the machine coffee each early morning...not good !! T-Pool was wonderful. Gym was in good shape, with all but 1 or 2 machines in working order. Just a note, although the Gym opening hour is listed as 6am, the doors are never locked, and I was often done my workout by 6am. We are not big show folks, so I can't give a detailed account of the quality/noise levels/crowds etc. We did attend a Comedian...very good, and a Pianist...also, very good. Theater seats and condition overall appeared excellent. On a related note, CC recently had long threads discussing music noise levels on Celebrity ships lately...I never noticed loud music in any venue during this entire cruise. Tendering went well, with no overly long waits on-board or on shore (except the first morning in Kailua-Kona and the evening after the Luau's were over at Lahaina, and buses of folks were returning at the same time). Martini Bar was popular...Thanks to Wid from Indonesia !! Casino seemed popular...I make it a point to never lose in excess of $10...that took all of 5 minutes, and I was done in the casino for the next 10 nights !! Photographers did not seem as intrusive on this cruise as in the past...in fact, we found it a bit strange that the Photo Shop was closed upon our initial arrival in Honolulu (it was an overnite), and we saved money, as we were not able to purchase pics on our last days !! Never fear, between the 6 of us, we probably took a few thousand pictures combined ! Several activities were offered that were fun/educational and well attended. Specifically, we very much enjoyed the Hula Lessons, and lei making. Very popular and great fun !! One area of the ship that I think is wasted space is the aft/stern area of deck 12...above the new Aqua Class Cabins. There are lounge chairs up there...but nothing else. Seems kind of unappealing in my eyes...Appears like it would have been a perfect spot to install a couple of Hot Tubs/Endless Pools, and some tables with umbrellas or something. Rarely saw anyone up there at any time, except sail-aways. We did 2 ship sponsored excursions...snorkeling in Lahaina on the first morning (excellent); and on debarkation day...Pearl Harbor/City Tour with Airport drop-off (excellent). Overall, this was a Great cruise, with Great service from Great Staff, on a Great itinerary, spent with Great friends ! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
- Background Information We were a group of 4 adults, 3 had cruised before, one was a new cruiser. The cruise was booked partly as a celebration -- my niece graduated from university with a Masters in Geology, and my brother and his wife ... Read More
- Background Information We were a group of 4 adults, 3 had cruised before, one was a new cruiser. The cruise was booked partly as a celebration -- my niece graduated from university with a Masters in Geology, and my brother and his wife are both retiring next year. I just went along for the ride, having wanted to visit Hawaii for the past 40 years! As a disabled traveller, I'd had considerable contact with both the Shore Excursions department and the Special Needs department, and both seemed efficient and reassuring -- I felt I'd covered all possible issues, and made sure that the holiday would go smoothly. - Hotel Info (if any) We flew into LA, and expected a flight to San Diego, though as it turned out that flight was cancelled, so we were transferred by bus. No sign of any Celebrity representatives at San Diego airport, so in spite of having vouchers for transfers, we had to find our own way to the Sheraton hotel -- we used the hotel shuttle. This was the first sign that things might not go as smoothly as it should -- the room booked for me and my niece was not wheelchair accessible, despite assurances I'd received from Celebrity's Special Needs department that everything had been arranged. We were able to transfer to an accessible room, so we put it down to 'one of those things', and prepared to enjoy ourselves as the holiday developed. - Travel To Port of Embarkation Transfers from San Diego to Ensenada were a nightmare. We were transferred from the hotel at mid-day, and waited in what can only be described as a warehouse, with little in the way of facilities. Catering was joke, as were restroom facilities. In spite of contact with Celebrity, no-one at the pier seemed aware that I needed a bus with a wheelchair lift. Eventually we boarded a coach, and had to sit for over an hour while other buses were filled, and they started to put people on ours. Then came the long, slow journey to Ensenada -- the whole transfer took over nine hours from the time we were collected from the hotel. Surely it's not beyond Celebrity's capability to allow those staying in hotels to remain there until there's a realistic chance of them being able to leave the port? We eventually arrived at 9.20pm, just in time for the muster -- no refreshments and no chance to use the restrooms. - Ship Info We'd seen the ship in San Diego, and thought that, in spite of the refit, she was looking a bit 'scruffy'. However, on boarding our first impressions were good -- everything was clean, bright and polished. I wasn't keen on the glass lifts, but that's a personal thing, and I soon found enclosed lifts I felt more comfortable with. - Stateroom This is where things started to fall apart. We'd booked an accessible balcony cabin, but it was anything but accessible. There was no room to get the wheelchair next to the bed for transfers, and even after the stateroom attendant moved the furniture, I couldn't get onto the balcony with the wheelchair. There was barely enough turning space for the wheelchair, and no seating for my niece, apart from the desk chair. It was difficult all through the cruise to move around the stateroom. My niece kept turning the main light on during the night, since her bed was right next to the wall where the switch was located, and she knocked it when she turned over or moved at night. The bathroom was huge, and easy to use. The balcony is overlooked from the lifts, since for some reason Celebrity have put a transparent panel at the end of the balcony, unlike on other decks where there is a solid panel. - Dining Meals in all venues were fantastic -- I think the only places I didn't eat were Blu and Cafe al Bacio, although I had several coffees at the Cafe -- great place to wait for dinner, and listen to the piano player. The Metropolitan was great, and our waiters were just attentive enough without being annoying. The sommelier was fantastic, we never had to ask for a refill. We also ate in the Olympic and at Qsine, where we found the staff very friendly and informative, and a great laugh! Most lunchtimes found us in Aqua Spa Cafe -- fantastic food -- and occasionally at the Pool Grill, where I had the best cheeseburgers and fries I've ever tasted! Oceanview Cafe was a bit difficult to negotiate, as the servers didn't seem to see me sitting low down, and it was difficult to attract their attention. I would just like to give extra points to the ice-cream station, which not only served great ice-cream, they seemed to be more on the ball than the rest of the cafe -- maybe because they weren't so busy. - Activities We didn't take part in a lot of organised activities, although I did go to talks on Astronomy given by Michelle Thaller -- great lecturer, made difficult concepts easy to get a grip on, even if I didn't understand them all as well as she did! We did the quizzes in Rendezvous, and didn't disgrace ourselves, at least! My niece was involved in some volleyball sessions, which she enjoyed greatly. Mostly on sea days we sat by one or other of the pools, taking the occasional dip or soak in the Jacuzzi -- although the jigsaw in the Library saw a lot of activity when it was too hot to sit out. We all found other passengers very friendly and helpful, and had some great conversations with people we met at various venues. - Service On the whole, service was great -- there was one major exception, a Guest Services representative who dismissed my concerns about the stateroom being unsuitable, and kept telling me to phone the travel agent! Completely uninterested and offhand. In contrast, when I broke the footrest on my wheelchair, another Guest Services representative went out of her way to make sure I got a temporary repair -- so many thanks to her, and to Greg the maintenance man who carried out the repair. - Entertainment The entertainment was good, though we missed some of the late night shows -- it would have been nice if they could have been on a little earlier. I particularly enjoyed the 'casual' entertainment -- the piano player, the string quartet, and the a cappella singers. - Port & Shore Excursions I can't comment on these -- in spite of informing Celebrity at several points about my capabilities and needs, they sold me excursions at tendered ports, which they knew I would not be able to take. A cruise to Hawaii became 'a cruise to near Hawaii'. I was never so disappointed in anything in my life -- I'd spent almost £3000 on a cruise that was not, and never could have been, what I'd planned. All Celebrity had to do was to tell me there was no roll-on capability, and that 8 steps would be involved in tendering, and I wouldn't have booked the cruise. Right up until the morning in Kailua-Kona, I believed that I would be able to tender, and that was confirmed by the Shore Excursions rep, who gave us instructions about where to go for transfer to the tender. It was only after waiting for an hour, and asking several times what was going on, that we discovered that I wouldn't be able to tender -- and by that time the tour had left from a different gangway, so my family couldn't go on it either. They enjoyed the rest of their excursions, while I spent time on the pool deck or exploring the ship. - Disembarkation Disembarkation went fairly smoothly, though again, the staff didn't seem to be aware that I need a bus with a wheelchair lift for transfer to the airport. We flew from Honolulu to Los Angeles, and again in spite of vouchers, there was no transport to our overnight hotel arranged, and no sign of Celebrity anywhere. - Summary This cruise was very disappointing for me, since I was unable to visit the place I had booked the holiday to see. The cruise itself was good, with the exception of the unsuitable cabin. For my family, their experience was good, although they didn't feel Celebrity's standards matched those of the MSC Splendida, which they'd travelled on earlier this year. None of us have any wish to travel with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
This was ninth cruise,5th with Celebrity,2nd Embarkation from Ensenada. We arrived at the San Diego Cruise Terminal at 1015 and were on our own taking our luggage into the terminal until finally Porters showed up. We checked in and ... Read More
This was ninth cruise,5th with Celebrity,2nd Embarkation from Ensenada. We arrived at the San Diego Cruise Terminal at 1015 and were on our own taking our luggage into the terminal until finally Porters showed up. We checked in and were given Group 2 which they said would leave 2-3 hours after the ship departed for Ensenada which was suppose to be 1000 . For what ever reason the ship did not leave until 1215 and we were told to be they would start boarding buses 230-300p.To their credit they did serve sandwiches,patato salads and light beverages at the terminal. We left the terminal for part of the wait to have some drinks at a nearby bar.They had a place to check your carryons if you left the terminal. We boarded our bus around 3pm for our journey to Ensenada.The trip was normal until we stopped at the Mexican Boarder.I expected a delay but what I did not expect was the bus driver openning the door to allow a young man to board playing a guitar and singing and of course collecting tips.Why would they open doors for anyone but authorities? After an hour delay we proceeded to the ship arriving around 6:30 and things went smoothly from there. We were welcomed with sparkling wine then went to our Cabin 6048 where we met our Attendent Andi.Cabin was 170 sq feet but had an oversized balcony. Andi was excellent bringing us extra towells,pillows,ice bucket always had ice and wine gasses were always clean. Dinner in the MDR was open seating the first night and we had a very good meal,though I heard some late arrivers had their meal disrupted by the lifeboat drill. The next night we met our regular Wait staff Alesandre and Maryanna who were excellent.The meals and desserts were very good to excellent. Had dinner one night in Qsine and really enjoyed.Was disappointed with Bistro on Five.Lots of choices at the buffet and never had a problem finding something good to eat. Really enjoyed the Martini Bar and the show by Bartenders Wid and Alin.I also overall enjoyed the music in the venues throughout the ship. Used the Gym and it was clean and equipment in good working order and the trainers were there to help if you needed it.Enjoyed the Solarium Pool also. The Islands,Hawaii(Big Island) Maui,and Oahu were all great. Fellow passengers were the BEST of any cruise I have been on. Disembarkation went better than average. Overall a Great Cruise despite the Embarkation process Read Less
Celebrity Millennium Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 3.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.5 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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