What should have been!!
David Hodgson | September 11, 2017 | Celebrity Cruises | Celebrity Eclipse
Having cruised with Celebrity previously on the Equinox, with an excellent experience, we had no reason to suspect that this cruise would be any different.
The ports of call, weather and stateroom were fine as were a select number of the crew we came into contact with on a regular basis. But that is where the similarity ended. As with previous cruises we have taken it came as a package including flights so what follows is, in bullet point fashion, issues that tainted this cruise.
1. Flight to Miami – Cabin staff failed to control a group of passengers who during the flight drank the bar dry. In an attempt to have some semblance of order the BA Captain had to put the ‘fasten seat belt’ signs on.
1a. The video screen for Mrs Hodgson did not work meaning she had to endure a 9hr flight without any entertainment.
1b. As a result of the continual noise from (1) above she was unable to sleep.
2. Flight back to London – We paid extra for seats with extra legroom. On boarding we found this was not the case. Apparently BA use a generic seating plan on their website that does not necessarily reflect the cabin layout on the actual plane used. So, be warned do not be conned into paying extra for seats. Discussions are ongoing with BA but they are currently seeking to hide behind flowery emails that mean nothing.
3. Arrival at Miami – The transfer from the Airport to the hotel was chaotic. No bus waiting on arrival, delays on boarding the bus, a driver who confused all the passengers by inferring that there was more than one Marriott Hotel and they were in different locations when they were actual in the same place just different buildings.
4. Embarkation in Miami – due to a reported lapse in Celebrity security which enabled stowaways onboard the previous cruise embarkation was seriously delayed. So, can you imagine approx 3000 passengers queueing in 28C because of this and no explanation at the time as to the reason for the delay. Stowaways onboard did not entirely fill us with confidence about the ship’s security.
5. Onboard – Consistently cold food in the main restaurant with long delays in service, on occasions and no real explanation given. In fact we found out later that we had been fed an excuse!
5a. Cold food in and full order in the Tuscan Grill.
5b. Dishes in the main dining room not reflecting the description on the menu. Many conversations were had with the dining room attendant to try and explain our dissatisfaction. The feeling we got was that he and his colleagues were not getting support from the kitchen.
5c. Food over cooked.
5d. Food under cooked.
5e. Our table was located next to two serving stations resulting in a lot of noise which I had to complain about.
5f. New clothes ruined by the laundry and Celebrity would not accept they should fully reimburse the cost. This happened at the outset of the cruise and started to consume the holiday so be aware and think not twice but three times before entrusting good clothes to the laundry service.
5g. A friend we cruised with suffered blistering to her ankle after a pedicure leaving her foot feeling very sore. Celebrity did eventually reimburse her so at least they admitted liability for something.
6. Wifi – We have three young grandchildren who missed us as much as we missed them so keeping in touch via say FaceTime would have been nice. The cost of wifi packages onboard were prohibitively expensive. This year we felt the value for money aspect was not there.
Overall, we felt the standards had dropped substantially with the biggest impact for us being in the catering department. It left us wondering if by Celebrity offering onboard credits and seemingly attractive drinks packages was the trade off for them. Each year cruises significantly increase in cost notwithstanding a global recession and significant reductions in fuel costs. If customers are still expected to pay the increased costs then they should not be subjected to poor quality service and food during the cruise. Sometimes we got the feeling, particularly in the main dining room, that it was out of control.
We also understand that passengers taking anytime dining were seated on the upper level which is far nicer. This seems the wrong way round. Surely those passengers wishing to dine at the same time each evening should have the better tables with those seeking to have freedom being seated where there is space.
This may seem overly critical but passengers work hard to pay for their holidays and operators like Celebrity need to remember this.
Finally, we have cruised with P & O, Princess and Celebrity and by far this was the least satisfying experience.
Please provide me with the full contact details of the Celebrity CEO so that I can write formally to her.
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