Bayonne, NJ: Getting on and Getting off were very easy. I was pleased we didn't have the problems others had or Celebrity got their act together. We left out of Bayonne a few years earlier and it was a madhouse with people getting off ship at the same time. It pays to wait your turn. Bayonne parking was a ripoff for $228.00. They could have washed the car for that.
But we were happy that Celebrity chose and will hopefully continue to use a port for our northern states. It was so much better than flying even though we had a 6 hour drive. The extra sea days were nice to have! The twelve days went too fast.
Our room was great and our cabin was always in order and quickly done. No complaints. Bathroom was great and so was the shower water pressure. Plenty of storage there. The big screen was nice, but the internet was hard to navigate on it. Brought my own laptop but didn't use up the minutes, but it was nice to be able to use it in your room. We did bring a short clothes line for our bathing suit to dry on the balcony. You couldn't leave it there long, as they cleaned the decks above and your balcony got wet.
Even though Celebrity heard it enough, there was not enough storage and I was living out of my suitcase, which fortunately fit under the bed. I'm wondering if all the Solstice ships have the same limited amount. If so, they should listen. It was hard to hang two tiers of clothes too. Yes, I brought too much but 12 days is a long time. They took our clothes iron from us. You can have curling iron, steamer but no small clothes iron. So we stayed wrinkled but that was freeing too.
I think carpet colors in hallways and bedrooms stayed the same on the last few ships, and they should have changed that too....boring. Service was great everywhere. Too bad our politicians don't work on tips.
Food was good and consistent in the cafeteria. The layout was good so there were no lines. But who needs Mexican and Indian everyday? While drinks were very expensive (red wine - $10 w tip, beer about $6), we had no desire to spend more in the restaurants that charge. There were too many, in my opinion. We did, however, eat most of our meals at Blu which was very good. They were not large portions but plenty. I didn't see any grand buffet or special midnight buffets on this trip, although you could get pizza & salad until midnight. I only gained 2-1/2 lbs. on this trip. I tried to stay away from the breads, which was hard to do. Their bakery items were very good. Desserts were small but that was good too.
Casinos were not hitting. It is frustrating to lose all your money quickly, so it doesn't take long to say, no more nightly deposits. They could let you play a bit before they zing you. They tell you they pay out each day but I think the receipts used over and over as people move from machine to machine.
Shows were good for most people, but we were not impressed. But that is us, so no complaints. It was nice to have some good movies on the tv in our rooms, but the same movies played in the theater. I wasn't crazy about the bands or singers on board. They were okay but nothing we wanted to make sure we stayed and listened. Celebrity had better groups in the past.
We are sun people and liked to sit out. I think Celebrity should have two more towel stations on each deck. I think people would use them for their old towels when they were done. We always thought lounge chairs were saved by leaving a towel, and we never had a close seat near the pools. Pool butlers were there but they didn't pick up old towels either.
The captain was great, and we enjoyed his talk about the ship as we pleasantly answered our questions. He was funny and his staff loved him.
We loved the balcony, the food, the rest, and the entire ship. I guess we have to complain a little bit, but it was so minor. Each day, I was grateful for being on the ship and enjoying the sea. How mesmerizing the velvet waves can be! It's easy to find fault, but seriously, it was an awesome cruise!
There were few announcements on this ship which is nice, but unless you carried your daily calendar of events, you didn't know how much was there. We probably could have use some more things to do after dinner. If you didn't want to drink, gamble to see a show, it was bedtime. (funny..you could get bored) Occasionally, they offered 2 for 1 drinks, but even bartenders didn't know the schedule. I guess they play that by ear. We did like to dress up for dinner and walk the ship. Sometimes the ship sold affordable items to take home like watches, jewelry, t shirts, which was good.
They used to say how many pound of beef, chicken, flour that they used in the last newsletter. We didn't see one. The claim to fame for Celebrity was chefs cooking from scratch. I wonder how much a food service is used these days. I worry about salt and MSG and prepared foods, and would like to know that answer.
Thanks to Celebrity and its crew! Another fine cruise at sea!!