Don’t believe all you read in cruise reviews! Marmite, soaps and the gym!

Whenever someone says they have seen a bad review on cruise critic I always tell them to take it with a pinch of salt as what one person loves another may hate.

Some of us like marmite some of us don’t – I am firmly in the don’t category on this one. Some like watching soaps I certainly don’t. Some like going to the gym and I definitely don’t.

Having looked through the reviews on our website I have found a 2* review and a 5* review for exactly the same ship on the same date. I have deleted the passengers names but they are real reviews. Check it out yourself and see how subjective reviews can be:

2* Review

Celebrity No More.

We moved to Celebrity years ago when their strap line product branding was to treat all paying guests as “Celebrities”, which they did then, albeit at an increased price compared to P&O etc. Gained Elite+ Captains Club points over the years over lots of cruises with some experience now of what we like and what we don’t. Sadly, we’ve seen Celebrity’s product and CC benefits downgraded year on year to our most recent experience:

Check in: Very good.

Aqua Stateroom: Attendant only did the basics. Very shoddy, worn furniture, bed valance surrounds badly stained. Old bathrobes, stained, no belts. Afternoon canapés delivered far too early, stale by the time we arrived back for afternoon tea. No daily water, Flowers left to rot. Insufficient teabags and milk. Not good.

Blu dining: Maître D’ and waiters very good, food OK, fancy menu. Need to be up to enjoy breakfast cos we paid extra, oh wait, they stop serving at 9am!

Tuscan Grill: Waiters OK. nice setting, used to be very good, now food awful, avoid.

Murano: Maître D’, waiters and food excellent. 1st class. Worth the extra money.

Qsine: 20 different tapas tastings by country, very nice, setting, waiters and food good. Maître D’ invisible to guests until some crew member officers arrived, then he was all over them.

Oceanview Cafe: busy, very good, attentive staff, generally good food. Reliable. Various Maître D’s very good.

Cafe Al Bacio: So so, very cramped, long wait for service, very busy, too many (men) waiters behind the counter, too few (lady) waiters in front actually serving tables. they ran out of English tea and pastries mid-morning! Due to its popularity, this should be better placed taking up the space the high priced, less used franchises of deck 5 currently utilise.

Beveridge Packages: far too much alcohol too readily available 24/7. Wonder if we’re all paying for “free” packages in the cruise price whether we take them or not, the “free” cost must come from somewhere to be profitable. Never heard of a cruise ship running out of some drinks 2 days into the trip, and on the last night. Does each bar have a cruise allowance? Once it’s gone, it’s gone until the next cruise?

Captains Club: 3 x daily drinks of inferior quality to the packages, other fringe benefits slightly useful, laundry etc.

Prices: all on board franchised shops and excursions ridiculously overpriced. +18% on cost prohibitive. How many watches goes anyone need! Shop for small essential items now only sells crisps and sweets. Pricy internet useless at sea.

Gratuities: ridiculous practice, pay employees a decent living wage instead and let guests decided on tips based on quality of service delivered.

Security: Necessary, some uniformed operators were downright bad mannered. A polite “please” and “thank you” would go a long way.

Other Staff: Generally friendly and pleasant.

Senior Officers Cocktail party: Total waste of time, inferior drinks, never seen a ship’s Captain not giving a personal welcome speech before. Senior staff didn’t circulate, grouped at the back of the room waiting for guests to approach them, before being summoned and hyped up for presentation to guests to applaud and thank them for doing their job. Guess they must be the Celebrities now.

Entertainment: same old same old with one or two exceptions.

Check out: Good, very busy.

Conclusion: We enjoyed ourselves without totally rely on the ships offerings other than food and accommodation. Sadly, however we saw some unfortunate human characteristics from time to time, so perhaps people displaying discourteous manners, impatience, less tolerance and understanding of elderly and wheelchair users etc. I told off a waiter who continually ignored a wheelchair user who was trying to order a drink. How things have changed. In our opinion, Celebrity is now a grossly overpriced product with reduced standards, we’ve decided not to use them again.

Final thought: Eaveway coaches are worth a special mention, absolutely 1st class, comfy seats, very friendly and professional drivers.

My family and I on Celebrity Silhouette

5* Review

Celebrity Silhouette Baltic Cruise.

Embarkation began shortly after 10am and we were onboard the ship by 1040 which was tremendous. Had a leisurely lunch in MDR and then rooms were ready. Very little to fault on the cruise, ship was clean and tidy and staff in general were friendly.

Food in buffet and MDR was of a decent standard with a good range of food. The staff were excellent and keen to interact. Did not eat in any of the other speciality restaurants as they seemed overpriced. The number of times you are approached to eat in these restaurants is an issue however. You are sitting eating in the buffet and staff are approaching you. Perhaps if you dropped the price from $45 there would be plenty of takers and no need to hard sell.

Entertainment on board was good but a special shout out to Dom and Scarlett, she has the most amazing voice I have heard in a long time and was a pleasure to listen to. Quizzes were good but why do certain individuals feel they have to cheat by using an iPad then smirk smugly when they win

The ship charges $20 pp for the shuttle bus into Copenhagen which can best be described as a rip off but obviously another money-making scheme that they are employing. In addition, certain wines offered on premium drinks package were not available but still advertised on wine lists etc.

The weather on the trip was outstanding and the ports of call especially Tallinn and St Petersburg were very good. Immigration at St Petersburg was a bit slow, but everyone got through and onto their tours in a reasonable time.

Only complaints we had were the ignorant people who enter the lift and stand at the doors preventing other people from entering and who then take objection when you ask them to move. Two stand out who were very reluctant to allow a wheelchair user to enter. Great human beings who should be proud of themselves. Probably the same ones who hog the seats all day in the coffee bar and who treat the staff like they are vermin demanding this and that in the most arrogant of ways. I am sure all readers will have met them or similar.

Anyway, overall a very good cruise with great weather, interesting ports and thee majority of passenger’s good company.

Have a look through our reviews section as sometimes I find it hard to believe the people have travelled on the same ship: Reviews

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About Me

Some people are shopaholics, some are chocaholics and some like me are cruiseaholics! Okay you got me I am also a slight chocoholic as well. I guess my love affair for cruises began in the late 1970's when I used to watch "The Love Boat", which was an American TV…

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