Sometimes the the over-inflated reviews of past guest cause you go into an experience with too high of expectations. Our cruise aboard the Celebrity Solstice was one of those.
The ship itself is simply beautiful and glides through the water so smooth you barely know you're moving but it seems that the hotel management operation is where the short-comings were for us. While you didn't hear about it in the news the ship was infected with the Noroviruse in the previous cruise therefore there were lots of leftover affects during our cruise that affected what was in our cabin, all dining operations, etc.
I think the greatest shortcoming of this cruise were in the areas of dining and entertainment. In these areas this ship was far from the 5-Star experience I expected and did little to make this a fun and enjoyable experience. The food was boring, over-thought, limited and did nothing to compliment our Hawaiian cruise theme. The entertainment was brilliant in the More
big shows but did little to encourage nightlife in the lounges and casino. Perhaps that was because the median passenger age on board was around 65-70 years of age. This cruise was essentially a floating retirement home. I'm no partier but I do still have a pulse and the Solstice did little to increase it's rate! Boring! Less
Cabin 8212 was a Veranda Balcony cabin on the 8th deck mid-ship and had little to no motion during this cruise. Our room steward was excellent and left us wanting for nothing. The room is a little small requiring the deb to be rounded off at the end to fit into the space but it was otherwise very nice.
If you've never hiked down into, across and up out of a volcanic crater this is an excellent adventure. I will point out that it is listed as strenous and they mean it! So, before you book this get to the gym and get in shape so you can fully appreciate the magnitude of where you are and what you're doing.
On this tour we were picked up at the pier and driven by van up to just over 3000 feet up and put on a bicycle that was adjusted specifically for us. Given a helment and instructions and then began one of the most exhilerating bike experiences of my life. The scenery was beautiful, air clear and the speed and experience indescribable. Our tour guide was on a bike at the front of the group and trail van was behind us to alert us to any upcoming dangers. We stopped occassionally to regroup and take on fluids. With just a few exceptions there was no need to peddle. The downhill speed carried us downward naturally. The ride ended at a beautiful rocky beach with waves crashing in on the rocks. One word of warning: The only bathroom facility is at the end of the ride.
We elected to use this stop to just stretch our legs and take advantage of the countless shops along Front Street in Lahaina, watch the surfers, eat at the Cool Cat Cafe, etc. What a great way to spend your last day on dry land before 5 days at sea.
This tour began and ended with a 1 hour boat ride over to Lanai. Along the way we saw whale and pods of dolphins. The water was a little cool but the snorkeling excellent. The crew of the boat were excellent and supplied a steady stream of buckets for those who found the motion of the ocean a little too much. Great experience!