Our pre-cruise we stayed at the "Outrigger on the Beach" in Waikiki beach we were able to purchase an upgrade to the Diamond Suite, which was a great room overlooking the ocean and Diamond Head. The hotel was directly on the beach. We had lunch at Dukes and dinner at Chuck's both were good. It was a great place to start our vacation.
Now for the Solstice, it was our 4th cruise on the Solstice class but our 1st on the "Solstice" Cons are: Embarkation was the strangest we have ever had in the 15 cruises we have done. It took us almost an hour to get to where we got our keys. Elemis Spa is no longer, the new company is Canyon Ranch Spa Club. The prices for treatments are much higher; the upkeep of the Persian Gardens is not being addressed. Steam room not very hot, the benches are sometimes too hot, some days music, some days not music and some days the music is too loud and they appear to be understaffed and not very friendly.
The changes to the Aqua Spa Cafe were not for the better. Very very small portions with even smaller selection and half of the menu items cost extra.
The Sommeliers in the "Blu" restaurant were the worst we ever had.
Silk restaurant was a disappointment food was not as good and the service was rushed not like the first time we ate there on the Equinox.
Also lunch menu in the Ocean View Cafe was a big disappointment compared to our last March 2013 cruise on the Eclipse which had a great lunch menu.
One last thing this was our 4th Solstice Class ship that we cruised on so far and this ship, Solstice, needs a face lift.
For Captain's Club members - the Captains Club social hour on this cruise was in the Sky Lounge which it normally is except for our last cruise which they gave us vouchers to be used at any bar on the ship and we could actually take our drinks to dinner and it was a much better system. Celebrity should really just bag the upstairs and go with this system not just when there are too many Captain Club members on board.
If you want to see Hawaii I don't really recommend this cruise because of the limited amount of time you are in the ports and when they weather is bad like it was in 2 of our 4 ports our helicopter ride to the volcano was cancelled and our 6 1/2 hour bus ride to the crater was a bust because of no visibility. We came to the conclusion that it would have been better to have come over to Hawaii and spend 4 or 5 nights in a couple of different islands, especially since this was our very first trip to Hawaii.
Pros are: "Blu" restaurant was excellent in both food and service.
Our cabin attendants were excellent.
In every other aspect the ship was great as the other 3 Solstice Class ships we were on.
One thing we really liked was Celebrity's extension of the choice of 3 benefits for booking new sailings while on the ship. So now we have a booking on the Solstice to Alaska and a cruise to the Caribbean on the Reflection.
We ended our vacation with 2 nights in San Francisco which was great!!