Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by cbuneo531: Celebrity Solstice 7 Night Cruise to Alaska
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Celebrity Solstice 7 Night Cruise to Alaska
This cruise was the best cruise I've been on, hands down. It sailed out of Seattle, so my family decided to travel there a day in advance so we could experience the city. If you're going on this cruise, or any cruise out of Seattle for that matter, I highly suggest doing this. With the exception of New York City, Seattle is the best city that I've been to. There was so much to do that we have already planned a trip back there to experience the rest of what there is to offer. Pike's Place Market is a must-do, there is a lot of great stores, and fantastic seafood there, as well as the original Starbucks coffee shop (although the line is generally very long). The Space Needle was definitely the highlight of our experience in Seattle. If you're going to go to the Space Needle, go at night, it's an infinitely better experience. The gift shop at the end has a lot of traditional gift shop items, however everything is very low priced. I got a Seattle Sounders tee shirt for only $20 for More
example. The Marriott Residence Inn Lake Union was a very nice hotel. Complimentary breakfast buffet, pool with jacuzzi, sauna room, and separate room for children to play in. Stay here if you go to Seattle. We flew with United Airlines from Newark, and we didn't experience any hassles with our flight, we actually got in to Denver, a stopover, 15 minutes early, putting us in Seattle 25 minutes early. However, 4 of our other family members flew from Phoenix with Alaska Airlines, and their flight, scheduled for 8:05am, took off at 10:15pm because of an engine problem.
Now on to the cruise. I've only been on two cruises in my life, both Celebrity, and this was definitely the superior of the two. On both cruises I traveled with a large group of family members, there were 10 of us, and the staff and passengers on both cruises knew us as "the life of the party". The first cruise we went on was a 7 Night Bermuda Cruise on Celebrity Summit. Don't get me wrong here, it was nice, but the beauty of Alaska combined with the amazing Celebrity Solstice brought this cruise far above the other one. Allow me to elaborate. Embarkation in Seattle was relatively quick and easy. We arrived at the port at approximately 12:00pm. Although the line looked very long the staff at the port moved the line along very quickly, as we were in and out in approximately 20 minutes. The staff was very friendly, no problems with them. After the check in process we then boarded the Solstice. The ship from the outside was a "WOW" factor in itself, its truly a gorgeous vessel. However, once we went inside, we were floored by how beautiful and magnificent the interior of the ship was. The atrium was flawless and, as always, we were greeted by staff members handing out glasses of Champagne and Mimosa. We were allowed to go to our room immediately as we boarded the ship, so we did and it was very nice. I'm writing a separate review about the room so readers can see the details. Our luggage got to the room at around 5:30 which was surprisingly quick, and it worked out so we could all change for dinner. Our stateroom Custodio was a great guy, he definitely cared about us having a great experience, and made up our room impeccably. As a plus, he also made fantastic towel animals! Embarkation day went great, which put only good thoughts in our heads for the rest of the cruise.
The second day was a day at sea, so we could really experience the ship for a day. The ship is truly a work of art. It really is amazing in every way, it is virtually flawless. Every one of the bars was filled with people looking like they're having a great time enjoying fantastic drinks. The pool was a little bit crowded with children, but looking past that they were two fairly large sized pools with four jacuzzis and it was fun when the air wasn't cold. One complaint I have about the ship is that because it was cold out, for two one-hour slots of time throughout the day (10-11 and 4-5), the staff decided to open the adults-only solarium to passengers of all ages. While I do see the good intentions in this, the pool was so crowded at points that you couldn't even see the water. Plus, because its indoors, the children yelling was amplified because of the echo, to a point where I had to leave because it was deafening. However at the ends of these hours the staff was very strict about returning the solarium to its adults-only environment which was nice. All of the childrens/teen clubs and their events looked enjoyable and all the kids looked like they were having a great time.
The food at the Oceanview café was surprisingly good for a buffet, and the selection changed very often so it was expansive. The main dining room also had surprisingly good food, considering most of the reviews I looked at said that it was not up to par with other cruise lines. The menu had two sides, on the first side were appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, and desserts that stayed the same the whole cruise. The other side was the same thing but every night the appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, and desserts changed to bring more of a selection. Select Dining is a great option to choose, because you can eat whenever you want, but if there is a waiter you particularly like, you can request a reservation at one of their tables and they'll get you one. This was the case with us. On the first night our waiter was Shashi, and every night after that we requested him because his service was phenomenal. He was the only waiter in the restaurant that explained every new menu choice to us every night (our sommelier told us this). He also had a great personality, and could talk to us and joke around with us like he was part of the family. After the first night he also knew all 10 of our names which added to a great dining room experience.
The bands that played on deck and indoors were all clearly highly skilled at their instruments/voice, however there was loud live music playing into the late hours of the night which might have made it hard for passengers on lower decks or in mid ship cabins to sleep. The theater shows were absolutely amazing. Ghostlight was a musical that showcased the highlights of broadway, as the cast performed famous musical numbers from well-known musicals such as Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Jersey Boys, etc. Solstice: The Show was a Cirqué type show with the same cast from Ghostlight performing acrobatic feats similar in skill to Cirqué du Soliel. It was truly fantastic, and it showed the versatility of the actors. The magician/illusionist they had, Jason Bishop, was incredible, his illusions were unbelievable, he was hilarious, and he connected with the crowd really well. Brent Nixon's nature talks were educational and fun, and before and after the show he walked around the audience greeting people and answering questions. Sin City comedy is one to skip in my opinion. The material was really dry and the headlining performer was a "dirty dancer" who basically did a strip-tease and I could see it was making a lot of people very uncomfortable, including myself considering I attended this show with my mother and grandmother. All of the Ports and excursions are in separate posts. Overall a fantastic cruise. Less
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Cabin review: Celebrity Solstice 8333
Great room, very spacious, lots of storage space, large veranda (opening the dividers between my families 3 rooms made it even bigger) bathroom had a lot of space, aesthetically pleasurable.
Port and Shore Excursions
Amazing experience, played with puppies, and got a great lesson about the historical, and modern aspects of dog sledding. The only reason it got 4 stars was because the actual sledding part wasn't on snow, and it was a little short. Didn't take away from the experience too much, though.
Rainforest Canopy Zip-Line Adventure is a must-do. It was a whole lot of fun for the whole family, and going 35mph while 135 feet above a rainforest filled with wildlife was an unparalleled experience. If you go, request Mack and Becca as your guides. They were serious when they needed to be, and the rest of the time they were having just as much fun as us, it was like they're part of the family.
White Pass Scenic Railway
Scenic, however the hour and half ride back is very boring because no announcements are being made and everyone has already seen everything.
Whale watching trip was a bust. The people from the ship told us that this company was very good and that the people on the excursion always see at least 5 whale sightings, humpback and orca. We saw two humpback whales, only one of which showed its tail. The group didn't go looking for the orca because it was getting darker out, but they had time to stop in front of a light house for 13 minutes and talk about it. All of this plus choppy seas contributed to a terrible experience. Not worth the money.