Standards have slipped this year
Caroline French | February 12, 2019 | Celebrity Cruises | Celebrity Silhouette
We have just returned from our fifth cruise with Celebrity. This trip went to the Baltic. The ports were all interesting although Helsinki could not be visited due to bad weather.
This time Celebrity seemed to do little though except promote the hard sell all during the cruise. The push to visit a speciality restaurant was particularly unremitting; even when we were actually having dinner. We did visit Qsine which we enjoyed – I negotiated a $30 pp rate. Presumably this hard sell ine is coming out of Miami. Many people were commenting on it.
Port information was sparse – talks were at 20.00 when many people were having dinner. Shuttle tickets were sold but no mention was made of the fact that hop on hop off buses would also be available at most ports.
There was little in the way of “cultural enrichment” unless you include art auctions, bingo, spa sessions and the evening shows. We didn’t want to be saturated by information but it’s nice to have film shows or guest speakers occasionally. What was good was the attempt to inject some local culture by music at the ports.
The ship does look as though it needs refurbishing in places. We had the same cabin as the year before and it has seen hard wear in that year. Upholstery was clean but stained in places in the main dining room and in the main cafe.
The biggest downside for us was the sheer rudeness of many guests. There was no attempt to let people who had been waiting patiently for a lift into them first – indeed we were often barged past. Excursions were the same. The mix of passengers was American, Australian, Mexican etc. Some of the worst culprits for sheer discourtesy were the Americans – even some of their own countrymen commented on this.
Music has always been middle of the road with a jazz style but we found it particularly unpleasant this year so we kept away from the main areas as much as possible just to avoid it.
The question and answer session with senior staff was good but was not particualrly transparent. One guest asked who received the gratuities and that was very much fudged by the HR officer. He cited confidentiality but I think the guest was only asking who actually received them, not how much each person received. He also told us he knew nothing about the British TV programme which was somewhat negative about the way staff were treated on the Eclipse. As he has worked for RCI for a long time that seemed perhaps strange?
The ships look very impressive and the majority of the staff are lovely. If we do book another cruise we think we will try a different operator next time just so we have something to compare it with.
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