We spent the previous night in Seattle. Beautiful city. Need a restaurant near SeaTac? Try 13 Coins Restaurant. Very good selection, prepared properly and it is open 24 hours.
Arrived dockside at 11:30 a.m. via Seattle Express (on time and reasonable. Boarding was about as fast as we could walk. No lines with plenty of friendly Celebrity employees to help out.
After boarding we went to the Ocean View Cafe, which was in full operation for a bite to eat. We knew we were in trouble weight wise after looking at all the spectacular looking food..(more to follow). We then started our tour of the Solstice.
We went to our room around 1:30 p.m. and were thrilled at what we booked. Ninth level, starboard side about mid ship with a balcony. Our attendant greeted us within a minute or so. The entire trip she along with her helper kept the room spotless, with linens and towels twice a day, and took care of whatever needs we had that were in their job description. The room itself was outstanding. Excellent viewing through the floor to ceiling sliding glass door. Plenty of room for the two of us and our gear. Bathroom was well laid out and even though I am 6'1' there was never a problem moving around to do whatever needed to be done. The shower space is reasonable with an excellent shower head. The king size bed was firm..just the way we like it. Linen quality was also high. The large couch made for comfortable viewing of the scenery (when cool outside) as well as for watching the 32" flat screen TV. Good channels and the ships information channels were very helpful. The desk had room for our laptop, iPad, cell phones, binoculars, charging cords etc. with the chair being comfortable. The ice bucket, although small was kept full throughout the trip. The balcony offered privacy from our neighbors and did a reasonable job shielding us from the wind. Our luggage was delivered before 4:00 p.m.
After checking out the room, we continued our tour if the Solstice. With every turn we were impressed with the amenities, decor, design and how it seemed to swallow so many people, allowing for the feeling that the ship did not have as many people on it as it did.
Main dining room is EXCELLENT as are Tuscan and Murano. We preferred late(8:30 p.m.) main dining room seating. Didn't miss any shows or really anything.... also gave time for previous meals to digest.. LOL. If you like ice tea, IMO water package not necessary. Ocean View Buffet was good. Too many choices IMO. I would rather they cut down on the options and make more memorable offerings (Breakfast bread!) Overall quality is good. Only area of ship that can seem taxed at peak (choose time wisely) Bistro 5 is worth the five bucks for quality, quiet meals. The Mast does hot dogs, hamburgers and fries the right way and included in cruise) Coffee and gelato shops were reasonable and very good (gelato Buy 1 Get 1 Free some afternoons) Room service very good with great selection, delivery time as well as reasonably hot food.
Nightly entertainment was very good. Variety of acts. Activities that were available all day were also good. There was so much more that you could do, but had no time to do them.
We could not go to Tracy Arm because of ice flows. Went to Endicott Arm and the Dawes Glacier instead. Spectacular is all I can say. Tracy is supposed to be much better (more waterfalls, less steep shoreline so more wildlife) but we were not disappointed in what we experienced.
Rather then describe our entire trip, I will end in writing that this ship/cruise is highly recommended. There are many activities to do while cruising. The evening entertainment was good. The casino played fair. The array of restaurants, cafe's and specialty food shops are enough to please any palate, and bust any buttons off your clothes.
The staff genuinely seemed intent on making the cruise one to remember. All things considered, the ship, locations, food, room and service.. one can't dream for much more than what this trip provided.
Hatchery tour was interesting. Thousands and thousands of salmon trying to swim up the fish ladder. Saw hatchery personnel getting eggs and milt for new salmon. Juneau has plenty of excursions to accommodate most interests and budgets.
Wonderful time. Weather was beautiful, salmon were spawning, Mendenhall Glacier was majestic.
Interesting. Guide was knowledgeable on Native Alaskan history and traditions. City tour was brief. Saw salmon and eagles, but no bears. Ketchikan is a interesting little town. Can spend a few hours walking around. Again enough time and excursions for most budgets. As with all excursions check out reviews from multiple sources and even look for similar but less expensive trips not through the cruise line.
Touristy, but what can you expect? They work hard but overpriced.
Had a great time. Great vistas. A tad pricey but fun. The train is a worthwhile trip as are the helicopter trips. Skagway is a cruise ship town/stores. The farther away from the ships, the more local owned shops. Red Onion Saloon and Skagway Brewing are fun. Red nmion has good food as well. Alaskan Fudge Company has great fudge. Look to visit the nearby town of Haines by ferry if you have been to Skagway before. Also check small stream if you walk into town. You will be surprised at the large salmon in such a small stream. Also humpbacks were in the harbor when we were there.
Beautiful city. City shuttle is the bomb. Inexpensive with multiple drop off and pick up spots. Got off in the center of town and walked around (been to Butchart Gardens on a previous trip) Enough fun shops, restaurants and beautiful flower displays to please most. Ended up at the colorful marina. It was food truck night! Time is short, not only time wise but because so many shops close what I consider to be early.