This cruise is a Pacific Coast Itinerary. This is the repositioning of the Solstice from Australia to Alaska. We started out in San Diego by heading to the Sheridan Marina to check in for our bus trip down to Ensenada Mexico which is about 90 miles.to start our cruise. We got there around 2:00pm. At first I noticed a very long line for check in , however as everyone in my party had booked suites, our line was empty and the 8 of us managed to check in immediately. After check in we were told to walk outside to the buses and all of us got onto the waiting bus. It took all of 15 minutes to check in and get on the bus. We were given box lunches which were at best, fair and proceeded down to Ensenada via I-5. It took us 35 minutes to reach the US-Mexico border and going into Mexico uneventful. While in Mexico, our driver was going pretty fast towards Ensenada and the Mexican Police actually stopped us. Don"t think he got a ticket as we were on our way pretty fast (maybe a bribe?). At least he slowed down. Our trip took about 2 hours. Went aboard the Solstice and were able to go immediately to our cabins. Able to watch all the dogs sniff through our luggage section by section when it arrived at the dock.
Th Solstice is gorgeous. Our cabin was on the 11th floor, beautiful and large. We had a 1/2 bath when you enter and a dining area with a bar , wine rack , refrigerator and a dining table that seats 6.. On the bar was 2 bottles of liquor and canned sodas for us. Very nice. The master bath is beautiful. With separate shower, whirlpool bath and double sinks with plenty of room for our toiletries. Bedroom is large with very comfortable bedding and pillows. There is a small makeup table with great lighting ( hairdryer is in the closet if needed) and a large flat screen TV. Really loved the Royal Suite. Will definitely reserve this room again. Centrally located, right by the elevators.My friends had the Penthouse suite, another Royal Suite and a Celebrity Suite. We even had our own hallway. Hardly ever saw anyone in the halls
We ate in Blu the first night. Unfortunately we did not like. I actually had to send my food back. The chicken was bone dry and not eatable. Found out later that all the food trucks were not allowed over the border and the ship had to use the food left from the previous cruise (Hawaii) We ended up eating mostly specialty restaurants. Loved them all. I think my favorite was Silk Harvest. We ordered almost everything on the menu (no sushi). Very good. Tuscan Grill and Murano's were excellent. We traveled the Pacific Coast. I found the weather to be colder and rainier than expected. Had to purchase a warmer jacket. As I had had a part time residence in Southern California, I took our friends to the tourist haunts The San Diego Zoo in San Diego, . In Los Angles we went to Hollywood walk of fame, the "Hollywood" sign and went to the "Farmers Market/Grove" Managed to catch a taping of Extra" and were even part of the show. Lots of fun. Our next day at sea, I was invited by the captain to the Bridge. That was a highlight and fascinating. Security is very tight and we were frisked with the hand wand. before going in.That was definitely on my bucket list. Next we went to San Francisco and I must say my favorite. Took the trolley to Union Square and walked thru Chinatown, Little Italy back to the Embarcadero. Did everything on my list for that city. Another day at sea, then we were in Astoria Oregon. Very rainy, very cold. Felt bad for the vendors, they don"t get too many ships into their port. Did not stay on shore very long. Our last day was in Victoria BC, a lovely town and a beautiful day. Went to the Empress Hotel for afternoon tea. pretty expensive $59.95 per person for tea and crumpets .
To go home, we decided to use Celebrity's Luggage Valet Service You need to sign up for this the first few days of the cruise. The cruise line does not tell you if they accept you until 24 to 48 hours before you leave. We were accepted and it is the best $20.00 per person spent.. They give you your boarding passes, luggage tags and instructions. We put our luggage out the night before. Got off ship and straight thru Customs and out the door at our leisure. No waiting around and no looking for our luggage. . Went to the airport, (where we happened to miss our connection), but our luggage still traveled with us. First ones off the baggage ramp after we landed. Highly recommend. This was truly one of the best trips for me.