This was our second cruise with Celebrity, our first on Solstice and our first Alaska. We went with friends, and had a great time. Imagine our surprise when we checked in and found the upgrade fairy had blessed us with a veranda balcony cabin on the hump. We were expecting oceanview. Since a large part of this trip was scenery, the balcony was welcome. We were so lucky with the weather! Most of the time it was cool, but beautiful. Brochure weather for sure.
Solstice is beautiful and easy to navigate. Our friends were in aqua class, but opted to eat with us in the MDR after the first night. We had the best server, Steluta, who was one of only two female servers in the MDR. Her sunny personality and recommendations were spot on. She really enhanced the cruise experience. Food was great, and we had nice selections that were lower calorie each night. Nice to have that option. We did not try the specialty restaurants, except we went to champagne high tea in Murano. It was so fun, delicious and different for us. The buffet had plenty of variety and quality was good. It was a little crazy hectic at times. We tried the MDR for breakfast and lunch a few times just to avoid the crowds at the buffet, and to be waited on.
For ships activities, we liked the whirlpools, the hot glass show, and the naturalist lectures. Brent Nixon and his wife "Miss Amanda" gave us interesting information about the ports, wildlife and scenery. We also spent a good amount of time at the martini bar, and were glad we got prepaid drinks! The only show we went to was the Sin City comedy, which was very entertaining.
The ports were all great, we walked around Ketchikan, went whale watching in Juneau (I recommend Orca Adventures with capt Larry. He took us out and found several whales for us when most other excursions were cancelled due to windy conditions). Took the train in Skagway. Skagway was my favorite town. I really enjoyed learning about the history of the area from the park service rangers and exhibits. In Victoria, we took a walk along the water to town and then back to the ship through a beautiful park. Flowers were spectacular, and the roses will all be out by now.
We really had nothing much to complain about. The tender situation in Juneau was chaotic, and they could have made more announcements to inform folks on their status. However part of the problem was caused by the beautiful weather in Tracy Arm fjord, which influenced the captain to stay a little longer there than planned for some publicity photos.
Disembarkation could not have been easier. There was a shortage of taxis since they are still getting used to a ship of Solstice size disembarking at pier 91. The taxi driver said they were used to smaller ships there.
All in all a great trip, and we are still talking about it and reliving it every day.