So I took a trip on Celebrity's Solstice which is truly a massive hotel on the water. 14 stories and every floor unique. It was a delightful ship with great service and smiling attendants and luxurious service.
We left Ft. Lauderdale in the late afternoon under cloudy skies and sailed off towards Cuba. I was laughing at how high the ship was as we passed out of the harbour by the condo towers which I was looking down on. Lots of champagne as I wandered the decks looking to see whom I might bump into. A good cross section of ages on the ship from people in their 20s through to older folks.
This was my first sort of luxury cruise as previously I had cruised on Princess to Alaska and the ship was old and still rather maritime in its configuration as opposed to a luxury hotel suite like Solstice. Anyway, I managed to spend some time chatting with a dermatologist in the scotch bar and don't remember much of the rest of the night other than the balcony room was superb and standing on the balcony at night in the Caribbean in the humid August air was such a delight after the insufferable rains of British Columbia.
The next day was all ship and exploring and my god there is a lot to explore on this boat, if you can call it a boat...it does rock a bit when the wind is blowing though. I met some friends and swam and drank and ate throughout the day, and danced the night away with a girl I met from Paris Texas. Her yall's just killed me. And she liked Corona's. So far so good.
The shore excursion in Grand Cayman was an eye opener. the water was the ultimate turquoise. While I didn't do a ship excursion I did mange to get on a local bus to Hell and do the picture taking by the weird rocks. But the best part was the barefoot beach and the swimming in that unbelievable water. The beach could have used some change rooms as my Texan friend found it a pain to change in the bathroom. Carly was not amused, but then she realized it was all about relaxation and she and I enjoyed each other's company in the water never wanting to get out. You could see forty feet down is was so clear.
I was thinking this was a pretty good part of this cruise to meet a woman also travelling alone..kind of like Celebrity planned it that way, thinking of everything as usual.
Our next stop was not quite so good. The Mexican port of Costa Maya was really only a cruise ship dock and a dive of a town and it was a tourist trap. Wandered around a bit,quite disappointed in that stop until we hit the beach and that was actually again, pretty fantastic. Long hot sunny days.
Cozumel was fun and we got hit upon a thousand times to go into various shops and all the men were looking at my blond companion. A bit of a pain,
but all in all not a bad place. Bought some cigars from a guy on the street saying they were Cuban , but probably fake, not bad though.
Back on the ship and avoiding the hurricane but feeling the ship moving in powerful winds. Getting a bit drunk and wandering the decks with a lady and the ship moving was an experience for sure. Never mind losing a bit in the casino. But the entertainment was a specular with a cruise director who could actually sing.. wonderful. Always music happening in this ship...love love love the jazz bar.
Roatan...spent the day. Monkey jungle zoo, swimming in Sandy Beach, driving through old town, having lunch from this look out tower where you could see the whole humid steaming jungle vista...just superb. We had so much fun.
I totally want to go back.
The two days back were quite romantic and I won't get into that but to say this trip was just wonderful all round. The only thing was the disembarkation process too such a long time. It was a pain, but it's not Celebrity's fault but US Customs. Oh well. On another note my companion Carly has asked me to go on a small ship cruising adventure with Travcoa in the Mediterranean as a completely different and somewhat more luxurious experience. So I will have to update you on that one when we do that later this fall.