Our Solstice June 28 cruise was more of a last minute decision since my husband Allan and I were visiting relatives in Canada and decided " why not fly to Seattle and cruise? It was a great decision.
The boarding process was fast and so easy compared to Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. As Elite Captain’s Club members, we were on the ship in less than 15 minutes " walking took the greater portion of those minutes. We joined other Cruise Critic members at the Sail Away and began a wonderful week journey.
The Solstice was beautiful and the crew always seemed to smile and offered a "good day” as we passed them. Our cabin stewards took good care of us without being intrusive. This is the first Celebrity cruise we have had the towel critters and they added a bit of whimsy to the room. My favorite was the gator in the bathroom! We had Select Dining and usually ate at the same table. Food was very good as was the service.
Chandru, the Captain’s Club Host, made our trip very special in many ways. In my opinion, he is the epitome of what a host should be. He always greeted us by name, introduced us to other passengers, took time to share cruising experiences, offered insights as what to do on our B2B South American cruise booked next year, and in general always made us feel special " and so glad we were on Celebrity.
We enjoyed the buffet breakfast in Silk Harvest - delicious beverages (champagne, mimosas, etc. plus wonderful coffees) - and an assortment of cheeses, meats, fruits, breads, pastries. Allan did have to go to the regular buffet a few times to get his eggs. The cocktail hour was great....so enjoyed meeting a lot of peole while sipping on a cocktail.
There were two highlights of the trip. The first was cruising Tracy Arm Fjord. My husband and I got up around 4:30am and made our way upstairs to get some hot coffee. It was cold and raining on deck so we divided our time between our balcony and the covered Oceanview Bar. What an experience! At times, it seemed we were so close to the cliffs that with a little strain, you could almost reach out and touch them. Allan, a retired US Naval officer of 23 years, was in awe of the fjord and the manner in which the captain maneuvered the ship. He truly appreciated the skill of the Bridge crew and had the opportunity to tell the Captain when we joined him at the Captain’s Dinner Table, the second highlight of the trip. Our table was very affable and the Captain seemed to be enjoying himself as much as we did " we all didn’t leave the table until well after 10:30pm. It was so interesting learning of his maritime experiences and his life with Celebrity. We hope we have the pleasure of cruising with him again.
We dined at the Tuscan Grill one night and dinner was okay " not great. I lived in Bologna, Italy so my dining expectations were a bit high. Our dinner at Murano started very well but when we were served our entrees, they left a bit to be desired. The chateaubriand was more medium-medium well than on the rarer side which we requested. The lobster tail was good but not memorable. Staff and food preparation will vary from cruise to cruise as do individuals’ palates. I truly realize that what pleases one person will probably not another.
We are partial to Celebrity but we also have cruised with Princess many times as well as Holland America, Lindblad and our least favorite Carnival. We have booked another Celebrity on the Reflection in January 2014 and a Royal Caribbean in a week. As some have noted, when you live in Florida there are so many opportunities to enjoy an easy life style. I hope you all will enjoy the Solstice class - they are great ships.