Subscribe today
Get Cruise Critic in your inbox
Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by 1totravel: Nice to get away, nice ship, not what I was expecting


1totravel
1 Review
Member Since 2012
0 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 4.0
Dining 5.5
Embarkation 4.0
Enrichment Activities 4.0
Entertainment 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation Not Rated
Public Rooms 5.5
Rates 4.0
Service 5.5
Shore Excursions 3.0
Value for Money 4.0

Compare Prices on Celebrity Solstice Eastern Caribbean Cruises

Nice to get away, nice ship, not what I was expecting

Sail Date: January 2012
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

The purpose of this trip was to decompress and spend time together. It didn't matter where we were going; I just wanted to be pampered and fed. Overall, the Solstice accomplished the mission. The ship was beautiful and clean. This was our second trip with Celebrity and our preferred line over Royal Caribbean and Carnival.

We spent the night before in town to avoid airport madness the same day as embarkation, always advised. Unfortunately, we followed the instructions in our Celebrity guest booklet that said to arrive for check-in at 1:30. We arrived about 1, and upon check-in we were told to join the AQ reception, oh wait, that just ended...at 1:30. I would have thought that would have been in our booklet. Oh well, now we know. It was nice that we had our check-in own line, almost; it merged with the handicap line. Still, faster than the other line. Luggage took a bit longer to arrive than in the past.

The Aqua Class perks aren't really as I hoped. We More still love Celebrity, but were a little disappointed with some of the AQ advertised amenities.

Here's my experience with each "perk":

Blu Restaurant - Only available for AQ. You do not make reservations, but we were always seated promptly; however, we are early eaters (6 ish). The food was great. I have simple tastes, give me a quality pizza (not the kind you find on a buffet) or a real hamburger and fries and I'm perfectly fine. I was not sure how I'd do with this upscale healthy menu - I loved it. Each day I tried things I normally wouldn't. The bread assortment was great and my favorite was the cheese soufflE. I could have had that as an appetizer every night; sadly, it was only available the first night. The entrees were well prepared and tasty, too. It was just the right amount of food; we never left feeling terrible like you can after a meal in the MDR or the buffet. We also ate breakfast here a couple times. The food just seemed fresher, but you need to have the time for the wait. Blu would be my reason for picking AQ again if the price and room location are right compared to concierge class.

Aromatherapy selection. It was sandalwood - I hate that smell. When I inquired about the "selection" I was told there were no other choices, so we had them remove the fragrance. No benefit.

A pillow menu - um, no. There was no menu in the room and upon first inquiry I was told there wasn't anything else. After two nights of sleeping on terrible, flat pillows, I called the desk. They sent the supervisor. He had to do some digging, but about 30 minutes later he returned with a wonderful memory foam pillow and also a big body pillow. Finally, a good nights sleep. Not sure this is really specific to AQ. I suspect if you asked early enough for a different pillow in any class, and spoke to the right person, you could get one.

Daily delivery of bottled water and teas -Their policy, apparently, is two bottles of water per room per day. When we asked if they could do more, they did step up and provide a few more. The daily delivery of tea was also a bit odd. There was no flavor choice, but they left a carafe of fruit flavored tea in the room. It was only refreshed when it was empty. For us, this meant a couple days with the same carafe in our room. When there was a flavor we didn't like, we emptied it in the sink in the morning. No real benefit, I can just as easily bring on my own bottled water and live without tea.

Personal Spa Concierge - one person tucked away for AC guests to use, still had a line. Regular booking area just as easily available if you go there early. No real benefit.

Plush robes and slippers. Robes were nice. Slippers were handy, not plush. Still a plus.

Enhanced personal care products. Okay, sure, they were lovely.

Unlimited access to the Persian Garden and Relaxation room - Enjoyed the warm benches in the garden, but it wasn't relaxing with the sound of the doors opening and closing all the time. The relaxation room was less than; some people couldn't help themselves and were chatting, the lemon water was empty, and the room was dirty/sandy? No real benefit.

Itinerary is in port reviews.

We enjoyed our at sea days tremendously. No real agenda, just relaxation.

Education/talks:
The shopping talk - It is always the same. They're pushing their stores for their profit. I don't think any port store should be "trusted." I just don't like this part of the process. Sure, buy a t-shirt and maybe a local trinket, but stay away from the expensive stuff unless you really now exactly what it is you're looking for/at and the value.

There were a couple of history talks that my husband enjoyed, being a history buff. I found them okay considering I'm not a history buff.

The glass blowing is just amazing, although the bench seating is somewhat uncomfortable. We missed the first and last shows, but made it a priority to get to the others. We also went to the meet the artist time, which we never do - they were that good.

The evening theater shows. They were an entertaining way to spend the evening. The theater definitely fills up though, so if you have more than two, arrive early.

Debarkation: terrible. It isn't all their fault, people get so pushy, don't follow their times, and curtsey goes out the window. We seriously almost saw a fist fight over cutting in line. Sadly, second time with Celebrity, and for the second time, they ruined a suitcase/broke the wheel when taking it off the ship. Less


Read more Celebrity Solstice cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic's Celebrity Solstice Review >>

Cabin review: Celebrity Solstice 1635

Room 1635 was nice and the cons were all things I could live with. We rarely saw our attendant and sometimes his cleaning timing was off. He did tell us that it was his first time working Aqua Class, it showed. The bathroom overall was great, nice layout and roomy even for my 6'1 guy. The shower was a bit testy, "massage" feature didn't work, well, it did if you wanted to hear a high pitched noise. One of the closet doors also didn't slide well. I'm sure we could have reported it, but the purpose of the trip, avoid drama. We found our room easy to get to and generally quiet. It was also easy to walk up to the buffet, but preferred the elevator to go to Blu.

Port and Shore Excursions


(3p-11p)- We didn't want to be out after dark, so we only opted to walk to the old fort and back to the ship. We got a map from the Visitor Center which is located at the end of the block from the CVS. With your back to the water that would be to the left of the CVS. Sorry, I don't remember the exact street corner. The walk wasn't too bad, only a couple steep spots. It was nice to walk along the water route, but town was a little sketchy a couple times. Luckily, I'm with the big guy, so I usually feel pretty safe. Perfect amount of time to be back by sunset.
Read 1367 San Juan Reviews

Could probably rate higher if we'd done something different. Booked the see and sea tour via Celebrity. The sea portion was cancelled due to the rough seas. The see portion was not great. Our bus was about 20 minutes late. The tour of the island was depressing. There is a lot of post hurricane devastation even years later and poverty. The French capital of Marigot was crazy. Traffic was terrible and the market was a scam. They take you here first and they know they have first hack at you on pricing. When you return to port youíll find the same things for much less. There is a really good French Patisserie here, but not really worth the overall experience. I wish we would have just stayed at the port/beach.

Island Tour

(4)
St. Thomas -- Had a little hiccup with our prearranged local tour. The company was on local time and we were on ships time, so we missed our pick up. Fortunately, we were able to join another group and get a similar tour for the same price. It was an island tour followed by a couple hours at Megan's Beach. We enjoyed this overall, but again, I think I would skip the island tour next time and just stick with the beach.

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.