First time to Hawaii and first cruise with celebrity. Overall it was great. If we had to do it over again, we would have flown to Kauai a day or two before embarkation. (Kauai wasn't on itinerary). It was really hard for myself and DW to adjust for the time difference. We were met at the airport by gorabbitgo tours and got leid. They are part of Roberts tours and a lot cheaper to get to the pier. Being in AQ, it was a breeze to get onboard. Once onboard, we went to Bistro on 5 for lunch. DW and I are gluten free eaters and were told that they could make us GF crepes, just not on the first day. DW ordered a chicken Caesar salad, (sans the croutons),and I a regular cowboy crepe. (I can cheat a little and not pay for it like DW).
Her salad was a dissapointment. Not adequately dressed, light on the chicken, and all on a bed of plain Jane iceberg. Modern luxury? Yeah right. My crepe was delicious. Later in the cruise, the GF crepes were excellent. I have t say that X does a great job catering to those with special dietary needs.
We have previously been on HAL, Princess, and yes the "fun ships." We were excited to finally be on a Celebrity cruise. We were imediately impressed with the Solstice. Even though she is almost 6 years old, she is no worse for wear. Classy all the way. Our AQ stateroom was the best balcony we have had. All the features and extras are worth the price of admission. (Especially BLU).
Or first night in BLU was just OK. One of our neghbors had a challenge with his steak being overdone. (Twice)! He even got a lecture about what is medium rare. I'm here to tell you that his steaks were medium well both times. Steak #3 was an improvement to medium. We later realized that our table neighbors were our CC roll call hosts. All in all, not the best start. All remaining nights and breakfasts in Blu were very good to excellent. Service is outstanding in Blu. They even remembered our GF bread. We had most lunches in Oceanview cafe and all were pretty good. (Breakfast just ok, Blu much better). We tried Tuscan grill for lunch and it was good with excellent service. We tried the main dining room for lunch one day and it was the worst food we ever ate at sea. The best mahi mahi we ever had was on shore earlier on this cruise. The worst mahi mahi in our life was in the mdr aboard the Solstice. (Sad to say). The best is at Pacific O in Maui. You must go there! You won't regret it.
We did three excursions with X. AZ memorial, biking through Volcanoes NP, and snorkeling in Kona. All were excellent. We booked some tours through shoreexcursions.com, surfing in Maui and city tour in Vancouver. (Both were excellent as well). I want to thank Celebrity for changing the final port to Vancouver. (Instead of ensenada). We spent two days there and absolutely loved it!
Entertainment aboard Celebrity was the best we have experienced. Stuff like bingo, dance lessons, triva were all well done. Shopping was a cut above other lines as well. I have to say the staff onoard this ship is the best I've encounted. The molecular and martini ice bars are a real treat.
All in all I think Celebrity has the best mass market cruise experience I have had to date. With the exception of Blu and Bistro on 5, the food aboard the solstice is not any better than other lines. (IMHO).
Noise in our stateroom at night was a nuisance at times. Thumping bass was making its way to our ears on some nights. Is it really necessary Celebrity? I am not impressed. You might lose more pax than you gain. Why risk sullying your reputation by adopting this practice? There are suits in corporate that are really screwing up what got Celebrity its high reputation in the first place.
Thanks to the CC roll call members for organizing the events onboard. Met some very nice people!
Hope this review is helpful.