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The Demise of the Solstice Deck


Wansbrough
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8 hours ago, NMTraveller said:

 

The Edge has the least public views of any cruise ship I have been on.  I can't imagine them running it through the Panama Canal.  The removal of the Sky Lounge was a huge minus.  The Edge removed most of the quiet places on the ship.  Now suites may be better for views, but I prefer inside views vs outside views.  I am looking at other premium lines...  Edgeification is a downgrade unless you are in a suite.

 

 

 

Absolutely.  A perfect summary

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12 hours ago, DrKoob said:

 

I totally agree with you. Celebrity has gone more and more towards this "caste system" in recent years. We don't have 50 cruises but we do have almost 30 and after we do Flora next summer, we are done and moving on. I know in those 50 you have done the canal at least once. Remember getting up and going to the bow on those top decks or in the Sky Lounge to view the lock crossings? Well in 2021 Edge is going to do an in-and-out on the canal (not a full crossing) and unless you are in a suite, you have NO front-facing view. That is nuts. Not only did they take away the Solstice Deck, they took away the Sky Lounge...a VERY used place by everyone.

 

We are gone to Viking Ocean. So many other great things they don't have and so many they do. A little more expensive but less than most suites on X. No kids, no casino, no photographers, no art auctions, no smoking, no upselling in the spa, casual dress, free shore excursion in every port, larger staterooms, all balconies, a nice size ship (960 guests—big enough to be able to move around but small enough to get into some ports that the big ships can't).

 

Best thing is that once you are on board, there is NO difference between being in the cheapest stateroom and the most expensive suite. Well, maybe but they are things that don't restrict others (like having an extra FREE reservation for the specialty restaurants or getting their FREE minibar updated daily instead of every other day or being able to book shore excursions a few days before others) but that's it. You can go wherever you want on the ship and eat in any dining room (although you may need a reservation to eat in the FREE specialty restaurants). 

 

Jim

 

Maybe I'll need to start reading some of the e-mails that Viking has been sending me.  We'll take a look.

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DrKoob, beyond well said regarding the "caste system" instituted by Celebrity and the loss of the public forward viewing area - points I also made in my last post.

 

These are the 2 key reasons Celebrity lost our patronage, amongst other reasons.

 

My household, our best friends and other travel companions, all have left Celebrity for these reasons - and moved to the premium and luxury lines. Even Cunard who historically and routinely gets criticized for the class system can not compete with the "caste system" on Celebrity and other "havens".

 

One is on a ship, logically one wishes to see where one is going - seeing islands rise from the ocean, seeing the progression into Venice, entering Kotor - this is denied the public on many and all future Celebrity ships - beyond disgusting.

 

ipeeinthepool - do examine other cruise offerings - there is a world of choice out there and it is obvious do not be loyal as it gets the consumer no where.

 

Paying Celebrity suite prices facilitates bookings on the premium lines ie being on a real ship with access for all.

 

 

 

 

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On 9/22/2020 at 9:07 AM, George C said:

We always book suites and really looking forward to our first edge cruise in April, but not looking forward to any of the added retreats that don’t have a pool , not interested in a area two decks above the pool.

I love EDGE and can't wait to sail on the refurbished Summit.  I felt the retreat area was fantastic.

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1 hour ago, LGW59 said:

I love EDGE and can't wait to sail on the refurbished Summit.  I felt the retreat area was fantastic.


we enjoyed it even without the pool, I need shade and we found some on Starboard side. One other thing is getter no to it, there is an elevated if you ou walk past the stairs. Had a very nice lunch.

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On 9/21/2020 at 6:24 PM, DrKoob said:

 

I totally agree with you. Celebrity has gone more and more towards this "caste system" in recent years. We don't have 50 cruises but we do have almost 30 and after we do Flora next summer, we are done and moving on. I know in those 50 you have done the canal at least once. Remember getting up and going to the bow on those top decks or in the Sky Lounge to view the lock crossings? Well in 2021 Edge is going to do an in-and-out on the canal (not a full crossing) and unless you are in a suite, you have NO front-facing view. That is nuts. Not only did they take away the Solstice Deck, they took away the Sky Lounge...a VERY used place by everyone.

 

We are gone to Viking Ocean. So many other great things they don't have and so many they do. A little more expensive but less than most suites on X. No kids, no casino, no photographers, no art auctions, no smoking, no upselling in the spa, casual dress, free shore excursion in every port, larger staterooms, all balconies, a nice size ship (960 guests—big enough to be able to move around but small enough to get into some ports that the big ships can't).

 

Best thing is that once you are on board, there is NO difference between being in the cheapest stateroom and the most expensive suite. Well, maybe but they are things that don't restrict others (like having an extra FREE reservation for the specialty restaurants or getting their FREE minibar updated daily instead of every other day or being able to book shore excursions a few days before others) but that's it. You can go wherever you want on the ship and eat in any dining room (although you may need a reservation to eat in the FREE specialty restaurants). 

 

Jim

You get what you pay for with Viking and Oceania- Celebrity however is so much cheaper if you take a basic oceanview or balcony cabin.  Inside- if they still allow them in the future,  to be sold are a real bargain.

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5 hours ago, Cruise a holic said:

You get what you pay for with Viking and Oceania- Celebrity however is so much cheaper if you take a basic oceanview or balcony cabin.  Inside- if they still allow them in the future,  to be sold are a real bargain.

 

Never been in an inside. Had friends that can do that but we sailed in an outside once (on ship with no balconies) and didn't like that at all.

 

When we started seriously cruising we became VERY close friends with two other couples. Out of the six of us, two have now passed. When we lost our last friend we decided to just take the trips we want to take in the cabins we want and on the cruise lines that make us happy. X no longer makes us that happy (although we are still booked on Flora July 21).

 

We will always go with the best cabin we can get up to where we think it's a waste—like suites. Only had one once (on the old Century) and for the slight bit of extra room, it just wasn't worth it even though we got it at a bargain price. Have had friends we were sailing with have the penthouse. They hosted our entire group for a reception. That was nice but they were paying more than I paid for my first house. :classic_biggrin:

 

We have worked long and hard for our retirement and it's almost here, so we are going to spend a little more on travel (if this damn year would just end). Our new goal is for our last check to bounce.

 

Jim

 

BTW: We added up what we usually spend extra on (shore excursions, beverage packages, specialty restaurants, Internet access, etc.) and since Viking includes all those, we will just about break even. 

 

 

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We did a back to back on the Equinox just before the zombie apocalypse ended the world (March).  I honestly didn't notice any difference after the remodel. Yea I know the Equinox only got a partial but it still seemed the same to me. The pool was still busy, so was the sunset bar and the martini bar.  The world class was still dead, so was sushi on 5. Like most people I don't usually use the solstice deck, because it's too far from a bar!   Plus I've seen some stuff up there that I am still trying to unsee.  I guess I'm still a fan of Celebrity but there prices even for us plebs are getting a bit hard to deal with.  I started cruising because it was a better value than land vacations. Not sure that's the case any more

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3 hours ago, DrKoob said:

 

Never been in an inside. Had friends that can do that but we sailed in an outside once (on ship with no balconies) and didn't like that at all.

 

When we started seriously cruising we became VERY close friends with two other couples. Out of the six of us, two have now passed. When we lost our last friend we decided to just take the trips we want to take in the cabins we want and on the cruise lines that make us happy. X no longer makes us that happy (although we are still booked on Flora July 21).

 

We will always go with the best cabin we can get up to where we think it's a waste—like suites. Only had one once (on the old Century) and for the slight bit of extra room, it just wasn't worth it even though we got it at a bargain price. Have had friends we were sailing with have the penthouse. They hosted our entire group for a reception. That was nice but they were paying more than I paid for my first house. :classic_biggrin:

 

We have worked long and hard for our retirement and it's almost here, so we are going to spend a little more on travel (if this damn year would just end). Our new goal is for our last check to bounce.

 

Jim

 

BTW: We added up what we usually spend extra on (shore excursions, beverage packages, specialty restaurants, Internet access, etc.) and since Viking includes all those, we will just about break even. 

 

 

You are truly missing the suite experience on Celebrity- not a waste at all!  Like you remarked two of the couples you used to sail with passed away- we are  also young seniors- but who knows how many more cruises we will take. Now we are in our early sixties and well-that is today.  Have seen many people putting things off and they never live to experience the finer things.

 Important to allow yourself the experience of a special cruise- It is so worth it to take a suite.  The experience, especially on the S class and Edge class is a wonderful experience! 

Edited by Cruise a holic
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On 9/20/2020 at 2:32 PM, Wansbrough said:

We consider ourselves very fortunate to have been on all of the S-class ships at least once and it's a design that has always ticked our boxes ever since we sailed on Equinox back in 2010. The Celebrity product has in most cases been the go-to brand because of our enjoyment of the ships and onboard environment.
I was initially pleased to hear after the launch of Edge that the S-class were to get refits to bring them into line with the newer brand image, what I hadn't realised until recently was that one of our favourite places on the ship was going to be off-limits after the refit. I'm talking about the Solstice Deck which under the Hoppenisation will become The Retreat Sundeck and only be available to passengers from the Retreat Suite Experience.
I for one will be very sorry to see this place removed from the Muggle areas of the ship and we will definitely miss it. I know nothing is perfect and I can't actually say I am a big fan of the sponge beds and mattresses because its the space for me that has been the attraction. It's away from the poolside noise, there is an element of privacy as you don't get loads of other passengers walking past, it's protected from the headwind and you can pretty much have a full 360-degree view outside the ship. Yes, it can get busy on sea days when the weather is good but we have always felt an affinity with the area, we have even found ourselves up there reading our books on windy days while all the beds all roped down.
There are no other external areas for us around the ship that offer this kind of environment and I fully understand why it's being revamped, its ideal for what they are wanting to do, sadly it means someone else's gain is our loss. I wouldn't dismiss the S-class as a never-again thing, it's just that the attraction for something we have enjoyed in the past is slowly being ebbed away, this being one example.
We don't have a bottomless pot of money to be able to afford a suite so I think in the future when cruising resumes we will end up looking elsewhere first. We have sailed on bigger ships and enjoyed the experience but for us, the S-class was a perfect size.

We still have one Celebrity cruise booked in 2022 which is on Solstice and I have read that the planned refits have been postponed so with a bit of luck we will get a Solstice Deck Swansong.

Glad to have got that off my chest!

2010-01-11 Celebrity Equinox Cruise (3).jpg

 

2012 Celebrity Silhouette Cruise(608).JPG

 

2012 Celebrity Silhouette Cruise(609).JPG

 

2014 Celebrity Reflection Cruise (119).JPG

 

Celebrity Solstice Cruise 2017 (304).JPG

 

Celebrity Solstice Cruise 2017 (1725).JPG

 

2016 Celebrity Eclipse Caribbean Cruise 2016 (296).JPG

The "Hoppenisation" thing is ridiculous.  Celebrity hired her with THEIR vision in mind. She went and planned a design from her client, Celebrity, which they clearly approved, as do I LOVE it.  You don't have to love or like it, but don't make her the scapegoat, she gave her client the product they wanted.  Good on both Hppen and Celebrity for a game changer from the 80's.  Those days are gone, time changes as do tastes and styles, I am 60 YO and I LOVE it.  

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32 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

The "Hoppenisation" thing is ridiculous.  Celebrity hired her with THEIR vision in mind. She went and planned a design from her client, Celebrity, which they clearly approved, as do I LOVE it.  You don't have to love or like it, but don't make her the scapegoat, she gave her client the product they wanted.  Good on both Hppen and Celebrity for a game changer from the 80's.  Those days are gone, time changes as do tastes and styles, I am 60 YO and I LOVE it.  

 

Glad to hear somebody loves the Hoppenization of Celebrity.  Not all of us do.  Enjoy!

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I’m just curious “Happy Cruiser”. Have you even sailed since the Hoppenization of Celebrity?  My recollection is that you were supposed to do so in that glorious Penthouse Suite on Summit but then did a “lift and shift” due to Covid.  I have “happily” shared my first hand experiences of the revolution.  Do you have any that you would care to share since everything seems so horrible.

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28 minutes ago, goldsmip115 said:

I’m just curious “Happy Cruiser”. Have you even sailed since the Hoppenization of Celebrity?  My recollection is that you were supposed to do so in that glorious Penthouse Suite on Summit but then did a “lift and shift” due to Covid.  I have “happily” shared my first hand experiences of the revolution.  Do you have any that you would care to share since everything seems so horrible.

Hoppenization, love it!  Have not been on refurbed Summit since she worked her magic, hope to be in Jan 2021, and if anythng like the Edge...woot woot woot!!!!

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10 hours ago, LGW59 said:

The "Hoppenisation" thing is ridiculous.  Celebrity hired her with THEIR vision in mind. She went and planned a design from her client, Celebrity, which they clearly approved, as do I LOVE it.  You don't have to love or like it, but don't make her the scapegoat, she gave her client the product they wanted.  Good on both Hppen and Celebrity for a game changer from the 80's.  Those days are gone, time changes as do tastes and styles, I am 60 YO and I LOVE it.  

I think you will find that Kelly Hoppen is just an interior designer, not someone who would oversee the total transformation of areas of the ship. I have no issues with the new decor, just Celebrity's decision to remove public areas.

Hoppenisation is a tongue in cheek term I have preferred to use other than the Celebrity Revolution thing which does now seem much more appropriate.

Revolution - a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favour of a new system.

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On 9/22/2020 at 9:07 AM, George C said:

We always book suites and really looking forward to our first edge cruise in April, but not looking forward to any of the added retreats that don’t have a pool , not interested in a area two decks above the pool.

The Edge suite deck is wonderful!  It has a small pool- a full service bar and lunch is also available.  It is a limited lunch but you have good choices.   The deck has comfortable chairs and lounge beds- and shade and sun.  Wish it had more shade, but we typically found comfortable spots in the shade.  Enjoy  Unfortunately, the Equinox had a mini edgeification so it really was a waste and we never stayed up their after walking around it once.  Hot, no bar- no water option.

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23 hours ago, Cruise a holic said:

You are truly missing the suite experience on Celebrity- not a waste at all!  Like you remarked two of the couples you used to sail with passed away- we are  also young seniors- but who knows how many more cruises we will take. Now we are in our early sixties and well-that is today.  Have seen many people putting things off and they never live to experience the finer things.

 Important to allow yourself the experience of a special cruise- It is so worth it to take a suite.  The experience, especially on the S class and Edge class is a wonderful experience! 

 

With X, even in a suite, I am buying into the caste system they have created. Plus, I still have to put up with all the things on the ship that Viking has done away with, kids (no one under 18), smoking, casino, art auction, ship photographers. All those things I really have never liked about X. 

 

If I want to take a special cruise, after 30 X cruises, I will move up to a much more special cruise line. 

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21 hours ago, goldsmip115 said:

I’m just curious “Happy Cruiser”. Have you even sailed since the Hoppenization of Celebrity?  My recollection is that you were supposed to do so in that glorious Penthouse Suite on Summit but then did a “lift and shift” due to Covid.  I have “happily” shared my first hand experiences of the revolution.  Do you have any that you would care to share since everything seems so horrible.

 

I have not sailed since the Hoppenization.  I had 52 nights cancelled this year, all on Summit.  Yes, I was scheduled for 28 nights in the PH.  I did not lift and shift as the PH was not available for the 2021 cruises.  One must book the PH far in advance.

 

One can form opinions based on pictures, videos, and comments from other cruisers.  You are welcome to believe the Hoppenization was glorious.  Some share your opinion.  Others do not.  I did not book the PH because of the Hoppenization.  I booked it in spite of it.  We had many friends booked on those cruises and were planning to entertain quite a bit.  Actually, I think it was booked before Hoppenization was a thing.

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12 hours ago, Wansbrough said:

I think you will find that Kelly Hoppen is just an interior designer, not someone who would oversee the total transformation of areas of the ship. I have no issues with the new decor, just Celebrity's decision to remove public areas.

Hoppenisation is a tongue in cheek term I have preferred to use other than the Celebrity Revolution thing which does now seem much more appropriate.

Revolution - a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favour of a new system.

and the second definition: an instance of revolving...

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As someone who cruises with a variety of lines, I have to say that Celebrity is doing a good job of instituting many things that actively steer me elsewhere. Not a big fan of the whole caste system, suite perks, "ship within a ship" phenomenon.

 

As for Celebrity hoping to capture the Milennials, good luck with that. As mom to one, I will just say that a) a large number of them have just paid off student loans and are now embarking on mortgages, and b) cruises do not usually top the list of preferred vacation types for this group, at least not from my experience.

 

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