The Solstice is a dream ship. We cruised Aqua Class out of Seattle June 14, 2013 and embarkation was a breeze with the aqua class perks. We had our verandas opened for all three rooms and made for such a nice visit and viewing. Our room attendant "Del" was fabulous and kept me in ice the whole trip. I felt the perks for Aqua class were well worth the additional price and eating in the restaurant Blu was a delight all 7 nights. We never felt we needed to go to any of the specialty restaurants. The food was fantastic and our servers were so efficient and friendly. We managed to get the same table for 6 each night, even though we ate at different times. They do share servers, but we mostly scored with Bertrand and Mariana taking care of us most of the time. The ship is very easy to navigate and had no trouble finding our way around. We had a blast at the Casino Royale our first night and won lots of treasures from the raffle. Boys not so lucky at Blackjack that night. Although another night, one of the guys won $500 playing Blackjack. The rest of us loved hanging out at the Molecular Bar with Jalena and Serge. Drinks were fantastic and Junior Merino sure invented some very special drinks! The Martini bar was fun as well and loved seeing the martini flight being served....wow!! We didn't do too many of the shows, but enjoyed the circ type show on our last night. So many activities that you never felt bored.
Our excursions were booked through Celebrity and for the most part they were good. The boys' fly out fly fishing trip was a bust with way too many people for one guide and didn't try to go to other spots when they were not catching any fish. Lots of time spent waiting on the bus, or waiting for other fishermen. Two fish caught for $440, plus tip, seems a little high. The other guys (2) didn't catch any!!
I was disappointed with the little time we got to spend at Butchart Gardens in Victoria. Such a beautiful place and had only 55 mins there. The Empress Hotel afternoon tea was lovely and enjoyed by all 6 of us, but could have taken 15 mins of tea time and spent at the gardens.
The Misty Fjord Explorer excursion was really good and felt like we saw lots of wildlife besides such beautiful scenery.
Did the White Pass Railway to the Yukon at Skagway and was a real highlight of our trip. Breathtaking views and lunch of bison chili and yeast roll was delicious. We even saw a caribou on this trip. Skagway was a fun town, just needed more shopping time!!
Our Juneau rafting was cancelled right before we were to board our rafts because of unusual high winds, lightening and rain. We were so disappointed, but understood they had no control of the weather. Sad thing was it had been 83 degrees and sunny earlier that same day! Oh yes, Tracy's Crab Shack was phenomenal in Juneau. Maybe crab legs were not as big as your arm, but pretty darn big!
The trip on the Solstice through Tracy Arm was unbelievable. We were just in awe of such beauty. Lots of icebergs and the Sawyer Glacier. Wish we would have booked a small ship to go there and get a little closer to the glacier.
We did Express Pass for our disembarkation since we all had early flights home (11:15, 11:20 & 11:55 am)
Reserved a limo to the airport and we were out of the port by 8:20 am.
This was my first Celebrity cruise and I definitely will return. The amenities on the ship are just wonderful. My sister and brother-in-law had cruised on the Equinox before and they said the Solstice was just as enjoyable. I do understand now, how people return to multiple Alaska cruises. The scenery in Alaska just can not be beat. Looking forward to another Celebrity cruise.