Celebrity Solstice Postcard #4 – Singapore & Embarking

Last night, I had the best night’s sleep since leaving the UK, I still woke up early but this time managed to get back off again very quickly.

Our morning started with a notification from Celebrity via the app recommending we should check our email for a message. The text below is the message they wanted to pass on.

Due to port congestion, our embarkation this morning has been delayed. Please arrive to the terminal an hour later than your selected arrival time. Embarkation will begin at 12:00 PM (noon). To ensure all guests are checked-in and onboard by 5:00 PM, please arrive no later than 4:00 PM.

Both drivers from the transfer company that our TA uses here have both introduced themselves via WhatsApp so I was able to relay the message and organise our pickup to be 30 minutes later than scheduled. I am very impressed with their efficiency.
When we arrived at the terminal, we discovered the reason for the congestion, not only was Celebrity Solstice in port, Spectrum of the Seas was there too.

A throwback to pre Covid embarkation

It was very busy and we were unaware that Elite priority boarding no longer exists so had to queue up with the masses. This process took far longer than I expected. It felt like every single passenger had turned up an hour earlier instead of an hour later. We were all herded into pens, yes pens which had seats either side of it then and just to test whether we really wanted to go on cruise or not, made to wait 45 minutes for a visa check (which as UK citizens we didn’t need). In fairness, as soon as we approached the lady doing the checks, she took one look at our passports and said “Ah UK passport carry on through”. Check in was slick and we were eventually kerb to ship in 1 hour and 15 minutes. One thing that had changed was the collection of our seapass cards from the cabin which was ready when we got there.
We had the same cabin for 36 nights in 2017 and Celebrity made a big song and dance about ‘Revolutionising’ the Solstice Class. Well, the cabin looks exactly the same as it did when we last saw it 7 years ago. ???? It’s probably even the same mattress!!!

After registration at the muster station we made our way to the buffet for lunch which is something we always like to do on Celebrity. Our favourite spot to sit being the open air area at the aft of ship where today we had a great view of Singapore and the approaching rain which made our seat selection easy, outside but undercover.

So, afterwards it was off to tour the ship and see what differences there were from our last cruise on her. I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised to find our favourite open deck (Solstice Deck) is still available and all that is different are the beds.

It was at this point I started to drop out of Jim Bellomo mode. He writes a great live blog which I subscribe to and I find his warts all rants very amusing, he is a keen photographer and takes some amazing pictures accompanied with some great narrative.

So, I had anticipated that all the Solstice Class ships had been transformed but it appears not. ???? Celebrity Solstice seems to have slipped through the net.

Working our way down from the upper decks, the only noticeable difference is the artwork. Nothing else seems to have changed which is good thing for us.

We are going the traditional route with regards to the MDR and have opted for second sitting which is at 8:30. As much as I like the idea of flexible dining times, we enjoy getting to know a table of strangers plus it’s good for Nicole to have the same service team.
Also, we have already spotted a separate vegan counter in the buffet so that is a real positive.

We had a slightly disappointing first visit to the MDR, we are on table 278 which is a table for 8 ????. But for the first night we had 6 no shows.☹️ There is a vegan menu but not on the first night, really? How does that work?

Nicole has viewed the menu choosing for tomorrow night and for this evening they had to send someone up to the buffet and get her a selection from the vegan area there. It wasn’t volunteered and we had to suggest it so we called the Maitre D over and it was only then they showed us the vegan menu for tomorrow night. Look, we have this large vegan menu with all those nice things to eat but you have to have something from the buffet tonight. ????

Great first impression if you are new to cruising

Tomorrow is a sea day so hopefully it will stay dry and we can get outside.

2 thoughts on “Celebrity Solstice Postcard #4 – Singapore & Embarking”

  1. Sounds very much like our Solstice embarcation. I would have thought Solstice should have been upgraded by now, it wasn’t a patch on Eclipse, especially the food and MDR service. A lot of us opted out of the MDR & went to the buffet. We got phone calls asking us why we weren’t eating there! I’m not a vegan I just don’t eat meat and my husband isn’t a great meat eater, plus their fish was cooked really badly. The buffet fish was cooked to order & was really good so it was the best option for us. There’s much more choice in the buffet and I just couldn’t stand the overcrowding and waiting staff racing about in the MDR.
    Hope the standards in the MDR have improved for you.

  2. I am honored that you mentioned me…and linked to my blog. Thank you very much. I feel very famous. Sounds like a great beginning to your cruise. I haven’t been keeping up on the Celebrity stuff anymore. I wasn’t surprised to hear that there was no longer an Elite boarding area. On our last X cruise ( Millie San Diego to Vancouver) the ONLY perk we had was our bag of laundry and even that came a day late. We did get our 240 minutes of internet but everyone had it included so it meant nothing. Same with Elite Happy Hour. Everyone has a package included so nothing special again.
    But for you, this should be a great cruise now that you are onboard and your hour and 15 minutes is nothing compared to our boarding that HAL cruise last year when it took 3 hours and 45 minutes once we got in line.

Leave a Reply