This was my second sailing with Celebrity and it was also the longest sail that I had participated on. it was a total of 18 nights with a total of 11 full days at sea as we crossed the Pacific. Any doubts I had about such a long voyage were quickly erased by the sheer volume of activities to do and the luxury of the Solstice itself. From the embarkation procedures in Sydney to the debarking procedures in Honolulu the crew aboard the ship addressed all my needs and concerns promptly and efficiently. To be clear, I had very little to pick at during my cruise. The few things, an incorrect charge to my bill, laundry not delivered within the 24 hour period and a mix up with my specialty dinner reservations were all quickly and easily resolved with a trip to guest relations. Considering there were approximately 2,500 guests on the ship it is amazing there were not other issues and the fact that the customer service personnel handled each issue with grace and a smile and solved each within a few minutes added credibility to the level of service and their dedication to making this trip a real joy.
If I were to be critical about any one thing on the ship it was the variety and quality of the food in the main dining room and the ocean view cafe. For example, I am a fan of vegetables and I found the selection to be limited. I would have liked to have more green leafy vegetables included in the daily selections (Kale, spinach, etc.) Salad was available daily and the salad greens were always fresh and plentiful; however, I am not a big salad eater! The quality of the food in the main dining room and ocean view cafe was what I would consider "High Buffet" quality. It was fresh and good; however, I am a bit of a food snob and found the food in the Specialty restaurants, (Murano, Tuscan Grill and Silk Harvest) to be of a much higher quality in terms of taste. My objection here is that I think Celebrity can do a better job with the seasoning have more choices of soups available over the 18 nights than they did on this cruise. About half way through the cruise the menu selections began to repeat themselves.
The Solstice is a luxury experience. The crew did an amazing job of keeping all aspects of the ship clean, both public and private areas. The first three days of the sail the crew served the guests in the Ocean view cafe to help eliminate the possibility of spreading disease and it appeared to work. I did not hear of any major problems with guest becoming ill and of course that is a concern when you are all lumped together for an extended voyage. Additionally, I though the crew did a good job in keeping the pubic areas, bathrooms, lounges and railings cleaned and disinfected. My one area of improvement, and it is a small concern is that the staff in the Ocean view cafe was slow at clearing tables after guests had eaten. So at times it was difficult to find a cleared and cleaned table to sit at. I compare this level of service to what I experienced on the Millennium in the Spring of 2013. They were crack shot at clearing the tables and making sure space was quickly available once it had been vacated. All in all thought I would not let this deter me from a future cruise on the Solstice.
I used the hot tub once and pleasant as it was I though there was a bit too much chlorine in the water but I suppose you need to do that with the sheer number of people who are in and out of the tub each day. Additionally, Celebrity introduced Canyon Ranch Spa on the ship. This new service got off to a ruff start in my opinion. The staff there was not completely certain as to the services being offer and there was some confusion. I had a gentleman's manicure and was underwhelmed with the results and went back to my cabin and refiled my nails and buffed them myself. I heard some other grumbling but since I did not utilize any other services offered by the spa I can't comment on them.
The entertainment on the ship was good! It's not Broadway and guests shouldn't expect to get Broadway or even Las Vegas level entertainment on a cruise ship. The entertainers were professional, it was clear they took a great deal of pride in their individual crafts and they did a good job entertaining us and providing delightful evenings. I saw no problems with the variety and quality overall of this aspect of the cruise.
Value for Money: I was a solo traveler and therefore paid the price for two. I didn't get any extra points for the captains club or additional snacks or perks above what they gave per person. I think Celebrity can do better by it solo travelers in terms of value for the dollar they have paid.