This was our first cruise on the Solstice although we have done other Celebrity cruises and are now in "Elite" status which turned out to be very nice. We stayed overnight as usual at the Embassy Suites where we always enjoy the pool, managers' nightly snacks and drinks and the ease of taking their $7 shuttle to the pier. although we both use canes for distance we made the mistake of not requesting a wheelchair for my spouse.
Check in went very smoothly but here was a 3 ramp climb up to the ship. If you are at all impaired get a wheelchair went to check in!!! Also get one for disembarkation. It took us 1/2 to get off the bait ;porters were not allowed to jump the line!Sine the boat i large it is a good idea ,if impaired, to print our deck plans before you go; the little map you get at check in is not adequate. There are only 2 sets of elevators but once you use them it is easier to get to aft or forward with less walking. Our room ws ready at 1pm when we arrived. We like the back of the boat( yes it is a hike) and had concierge service. The chilled champagne and fruit were waiting for us. Lunch in the Mast cafe was very good with many stations and choices. Coffee as usual on cruises was awful. "Elite " status came with many nice perks. Free Internet minutes, continental breakfast in Michael's Club every morning and free drinks in the Sky Lounge every evening, a very nice Captain;s lunch and entertainment, free laundry service and discounts at the spa.
This is not really a boat for kids although they did have the 15th front Deck for them. The family pool is small as is the adult pool next to it. Both were usually mobbed. The Aqua Spa pool lacks the usual bars with bubbles and the overhead showers. It was also cold . The Persian Garden was crowded and not a pretty as on Summit. The dining room is lovely , all silver and white and anytime dining was fine. We did eat most eves. in the buffet and also tried the Bistro which is Oriental decor and serves crepes which was a nice change. The sofa in the cabin is leather and not very comfortable. The beds have frette linens and lots of comfy pillows.The shower in the bathroom has curved doors which made it easy to use.The wash basin is too small to rinse things out so plan to send out laundry or pack a lot. Our stewards were very hard working and managed our requests efficiently.
The production shows were good especially the "cirque du Soleil "type. The entertainment has improved over the years. There is a very funny entertainer named Adam who is part of the production shows as well as the gymnasts who are truly amazing. The jazz band ,Itones pianist and guitar player were also very good. The ship is very sophisticated with a 15 floor atrium showcasing the grand stairway.library and a beautiful mangrove tree growing out of a red floral container. There are easy toreade diagrams at each floor to indicate the attractions on that floor. This boat also has the most shopping on a cruise ship but don't try to find a magazine! The library is beautiful but had a very poor selection of books-disappointing. The celebrity life program offered 4-5 programs each sea day on a variety of topics. It is a beautiful boat and a definite change. For those of us wobbly seniors a Millenium class boat is probably a better cjoic but as always Celebrity is good value and a great cruising experience