For our honeymoon hubby and I decided to splurge and have a decadent Mediterranean cruising experience and the Solstice delivered on almost every promise.
Incredibly smooth and efficient. We organised a Celebrity Suite so we had priority check-in which was smoothly handled. Once we boarded we were handed a glass of bubbly and decided to take advantage of the 20% embarkation day discount at the Speciality Restaurants and booked the Tuscan Grill for that evening. Not 5 minutes after we confirmed our booking did we hear the announcement that our rooms were ready.
Through careful research on Cruise Critic, I booked a Celebrity Suite on the hump and we had an extra wide balcony. It was absolutely perfect as was everything in the room. We loved that we had two closets so that we could each have our own and the big lounge area to escape to when the crowds became too much. I also loved that we could store our suitcases under the bed.
Our wonderful Butler, Jonathan, came and introduced himself shortly after our arrival. He was fantastic in every way, from delivering our breakfast on-time every morning to organising a picnic on the lawn.
Food & Service:
Our dinner at the Tuscan Grill was amazing. Great service, fantastic wine and a wonderful atmosphere. We were definitely spoiled.
The next evening when we dined at the main dining room we were soo disappointed that we only ate there one more time during the trip. The service was appalling, the wine selection limited and the food selection boring.
We ate a Murano and it was soo amazing that we booked in several times for dinner and their special high tea. Our waiter at Murano, and I'm embarrassed that I can't remember his name, was so lovely that we made sure to sit in his section each time we dined.
We dined one evening at Blu which was lovely. I'm disappointed that we didn't make time to eat there again but we had a jam packed trip.
We ate several times at Bistro on 5 which was cute and clever with great crepes. The Oceanview cafe was like a feeding trough and I was not inspired to eat there at all during the trip.
We lunched at the Aquaspa cafe which was great, healthy and quick and the Grill which was good too.
All the bars were fantastic but we LOVED the Sunset bar at the back of the ship. Ernesto our bartender really made our trip. He came up with amazing cocktails and was always friendly and happy.
Woeful, absolutley woeful. The comedians were average at best. The Broadway review show and the Acrobat show was good. The musicians in the main lounge that you could here from the elevators sounded like bad karoke. The music in the ensemble lounge was always great. Quasar was a total washout. I don't think I could have ever been drunk enough to enjoy it and the Sky lounge had the same appalling bad that were in the main lounge.
We did Celebrity excursions in almost every port except Cannes. And for the most part they were great. I guess my only complaint which is something that Celebrity can't help are the other passengers. Some were woeful and complained about everything. It's the Mediterranean in summer so of course it's going to be hot. If you don't like the heat, then don't book the trip.
Quick note that the guides for all our trips were utterly amazing.
My only complaints about the trip were (1) the harassment of the photographers, No thanks means leave me alone! I had to tell one of the photographers to actually leave me alone after his repeated attempts to coerce me to take a photo.
And my other complaint (2) was the constant upsell, get a manicure, and then be harassed to purchase the lotion. Have a massage, and then be harassed to purchase the oils. Eat dinner at Blu, and then be "invited" to try the 5 course degustation dinner at Tuscan Grill. It was never ending and really annoying. The trip to begin with was already a hefty sum of money and with the beverage package (premium well worth the expense), excursions and specialty restaurants you were shelling out a lot of cash. It's not necessary or appreciated to try to upsell at every turn.
The cruise was wonderful, and we really enjoyed ourselves. Would we cruise Celebrity again, maybe. We found a lot of the other passengers really hard to take. We are an interracial couple from Australia and experienced racism from other passengers. We are planning our next cruising holiday but I think we will try one of the luxury cruising lines next time so that we can mingle with more worldly passengers.