We wake to see a gorgeous morning just right for sailing away. Our window view of the Harbour Bridge, The Opera House and right in the centre the Celebrity Solstice. The majesty of the ship sitting in the harbour was breathtaking. From the moment of boarding we were treated as celebrities ourselves. Upon arrival we are greeted by staff offering us champagne or mimosas and we are ushered to have our photo taken (the first of many opportunities). We spent some time wandering around the ship and then straight up to the Oceanview Cafe - a plethora of food awaiting us. Of course for the first few days you simply gorge yourself until you settle in. Despite our select dining in the Grand Epernay, most of our meals were had up here as it had a very relaxed feel and a wonderful view.
On our first night we decided to dine in the Tuscan Grille for my birthday. We were not disappointed. Bread and pate and a wonderful main meal followed by Creme Brulee. The crispy top like popping candy and below a velvety dessert that has rivaled my previous favourite. A knowledgeable waiter speaks to us in Italian and then explains again in English throughout our meal and we have all the makings of a perfect dining experience, digging into our main meal as the ship leaves the harbour with us in the centre window table at the back, the bridge in the background.
Our two formal nights were spent in the Grand Epernay Dining Room where we were again treated like celebrities. Truly an experience to be waited upon like this. It was also a novelty to make an effort and get dressed for dinner every evening.
Up at the lawn club (with real lawn)our barman Amar was truly charming and was not only generous in his service but also his manner. Always pleasant and making us comfortable.
Our room attendant Anthony was a true professional and always said hello to us in the hall and had time to speak with us and fix any issue. We were treated with towel origami in our room and this was a real novelty - just those extra touches make such a difference. Anthony we are truly grateful for your kind service.
At each port we chose not to have excursions but simply to wander around and find our own fun. Although the first disembarkation was not altogether organised, this was certainly made up for on the second port. Upon arriving back to the tender boats we were given ice cold flannels and chilled water before hopping on board. Perfect.
Having 2850 people on board one ship may sound crowded but most of the time it doesn't feel that way. Although at times the music on the pool deck got quite loud, it was mostly relaxing and quiet with just the right vibe. Enough activities for those who wanted to participate and at the same time enough chairs and sun lounges for those who didn't. The ship was clean and tidy at all times and all staff very professional and helpful.
It was an experience I will not forget, just talking to people you never would have met and forming friendships throughout the cruise. It was sad to go home but we are so grateful for the new friendships made - KN,BB,VB,Mr&Mrs W,PL amongst many others.
All in all the most relaxing holiday I have ever had and the most valuable. Thank you.