Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by Cruise Junky: Stunning Ship & Awesome Cruise
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Stunning Ship & Awesome Cruise
This was our second Celebrity cruise but first time on an S Class. WOW…Absolutely Loved it!
We arrived in Honolulu 4 days early and stayed at the Ilikai which we’ve stayed at several times in the past. Quick cab ride to the port. Check in was very easy at 11:30. Lots of lines open and we made it onboard pretty quick. Thanks to Cruise Critic I knew to head to Bistro on Five for lunch... Fantastic option! Thanks for that advice. Well worth the $5 each. It also gave us an early opportunity to check out the Premium Drink Package…More on that later! Rooms were ready by 1:30 and we made our way to deck 8. We had 8256, third cabin on the hump.
Couldn’t have asked for a more central location. Cabin was great, especially the bathroom. So nice to not have to deal with a shower curtain. Lots of storage everywhere in the cabin. Balcony was nice and large. Cabin steward was nice, but very quiet so we didn’t get a chance to interact More that much but she seemed efficient enough.
10 night cruise, we dined in the MDR 3x, Oceanview Café 2x, Tuscan Grille 2x, Murano 1x, Bistro on Five 1x, Room Service 1x. Our first venture into the MDR was the second night of the cruise, the first formal night. To be honest, we weren’t that impressed. It seemed very rushed service and the food was ok. I’m putting that down to perhaps we just ordered wrong as the other two trips to the MDR were very good. We had Select Dining and didn’t have an issue getting a table for two. The last night of the cruise we had about a 20 minute wait for a table which we spent in the martini bar (shocker) and they came to get us.
We ate here twice, once the first night of the cruise and the second time on my Birthday. Both were outstanding and well worth the upcharge. Service was fantastic as well as the food. Wine/Drink service was very prompt.
Another WOW...perhaps more so than Tuscan. We had a dinner and a lunch at Murano and both times rolled out stuffed. Again, nothing but impeccable food and service. Lunch at $25 is a bargain in Murano.
Surprisingly good. I only say surprisingly as my last cruise was on Millennium and the evening offerings were pretty sparse. Never had a problem getting a seat.
In a word…Stunning…simply stunning. So modern and light. Absolutely loved the atrium and how open it is. There were no issues with loud music in any venue. Quick elevators and being by the hump is so convenient.
Martini Bar: Our second home apparently. Had a blast in the martini bar. The staff were beyond fantastic. We were there every day…thank you Premium Package
Molecular Bar: So Cool! We missed it the first couple of days but once we found it we took full advantage. Imagine a couple of nutty professors mixing your drinks. We tried A LOT and they were all good. Personal favourite of mine was the Dragonfly.
Beautiful and a great place to hang out. We had 5 port days followed by 5 sea days. I’d say sea day 4 & 5 were very busy in there but it was pretty easy to get seats in there any other day. Lovely and tranquil with very comfortable lounge chairs.
Needs a paint job, badly. This was the only area I noticed that felt a bit run down. Lots of chairs available, chair hogs didn’t seem too bad. Bar service was hit and miss but really, it’s not that far of a walk.
Good burgers & fries. Not much of a wait.
We walked through lots of bars/lounges but never really stopped, Cellar Masters looked empty all the time so I think it’s great they’re converting it to a gastro pub. The observation lounge looked great but we only strolled through there when they were closed on embarkation day. We had a tendency to stick to the M Bars...Molecular and Martini
Didn’t go to any – sorry. We did attend a Sushi Demo in Silk Harvest which was pretty good.
Hot and cold - it was good to me on the first sea day ($380 playing 25 cents) but then went very cold for the rest of the trip. I was able to save some of my winnings and not donate it all back. Drink service in the casino seemed non-existent but the bar is right there if you want something. Casino was never that busy and boy is the no smoking great.
I’d laugh every day. The captain had a strong Greek(?) accent and he’d be followed by the CD who had a strong (Mexican?) accent and because there were a lot of Germans on the cruise there’d be a 3rd announcement in German. For 15 minutes every day we couldn’t understand a word that was being said J
We visit Hawaii quite a bit so forgive me in that we didn’t do too much exciting.
Honolulu – we were there 4 days ahead of time and go sometimes twice a year (and we’re back in December) so we just hung out on the beach or by the pool relaxing. From the ship I walked down to Ward Centre for a bit of retail therapy. If it’s your first trip to Honolulu please take in some of the sites.
Maui (Tender) – we were married on Maui so it’s always lovely to return. This trip we just hung out in Lahaini, walked up and down Front Street. We’d debated taking the bus to Whalers Village but decided to pass. We had a fantastic lunch at Kimos on the main drag. Very good food! Try the coconut shrimp.
Hilo – we originally had a car reserved for Hilo as we wanted to take in some of the waterfalls but close to sail date we found out that because we’d booked with an AMEX agent, this was a Mariner cruise and they would have a rep onboard and would be hosting a shore excursion to the waterfalls. Deal! We cancelled the car. OMG did it ever rain. We’re from Vancouver, we know rain…this was crazy. And of course to see waterfalls usually involves a hike. Some people didn’t want to get off the bus but what the heck. The area of Akara falls was beautiful (when the rain slowed to see it) and I would definitely recommend heading out there if you’ve already been to VNP. Boy we were wet! We then headed to Big Island Candies which was a great surprise. Didn’t even know this place existed. Great chocolate, nuts, shortbread etc. Brought lots home.
Kona (Tender) – Dolphin Alert! We had to cut the motor on the tender because we were surrounded by Dolphins. Very Cool! Nice little town – very laid back. We tendered and then just hung out. We walked to the right on the main drag and on the left hand side there’s a little swap meet. Then if you cross the road there’s a nice little shopping area. We spent the morning in that area then made our way back to the main area, went up the hill and went to Kona Brewing Company for a great lunch.
Was that really the Pacific? I’m not sure the Pacific is supposed to be that calm. We were soooo lucky. Calm seas and pretty good weather for the entire voyage.
WILDLIFE: (not referring to my DH after a night at the martini bar)
For those that will repeat this cruise, keep your eyes peeled for whales in Maui, Dolphins in Kona and then the last sea day heading into Vancouver we had whales, dolphins and seals.
PREMIUM DRINK PACKAGE:
Is the bomb! Man we loved this and it’s going to be really hard cruising without one…let’s hope that day doesn’t come. It was so nice to be able to just hand your card and get what you want as often as you like. Silly things that we wouldn’t normally do you do because you have the drink package..like mimosa’s with breakfast. Dinners; champagne to start, white wine with my appetizer please and then a lovely cab followed by a port and cappuccino. Stop trying to do the math to see if it’s worth upgrading, the premium package changes how you cruise and you can’t factor that into any equation.
I don’t have many, we had a really good time and found the staff overall to be excellent and very friendly. I was annoyed one day sitting on our balcony reading and a torrent of water came down. The cabin steward above decided to take a hose to the glass above us…absolutely soaked the last two feet of our deck and missed me by mere inches. We really missed the laundry rooms on Princess. We didn’t need any laundry done but DH sent two shirts out to be pressed as soon as we boarded. They didn’t come back in time for formal night the next day so he ended up wearing a black golf shirt under his jacket. It’s so much easier to run down the hall and iron the bumps out yourself.
That’s about it. We now have a new favourite ship and we booked onboard to enjoy one of her sisters next year. Any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. Less
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