Well, to begin with my wife and I bi-annual cruisers. We live in Phoenix, AZ and seem to leave during our best weather - kind of ironic? Our cruise destination of choice is the Caribbean in April and November. That is due to 2 reasons: weather and pricing. So why do my wife and I choose Celebrity? #1. Generally there are very few children at best, and if there is, they seem to go unnoticed. #2. Celebrity seem to run a very professional operation that offer near luxury at a bargain price. #3. Fellow cruisers on Celebrity seem to be more of our type of country club professional crowd with people from the 30's to 70's.
So why should you choose Celebrity? If you see eye to eye with my previous points, I think you will enjoy Celebrity. Remember, you get what you pay for! However, Celebrity is very inexpensive. This is not a ship for families with young children (thank god). However, if your children are young adults they will do just fine.
The rooms are small compared to the usual hotel room. However, if you compare them to other cruise ships they are a bit larger and better appointed. My wife can see the motion of the sea, so we always get an interior cabin. If you spend time in your cabin to sleep and shower, the interior cabin should be fine. If you like spending time in you cabin relaxing, eating, and sitting on a balcony. Get the verandah room.
Dinner dining was excellent. My wife and I did the select dining (prepaid tips). I still tip my server, sommelier, and maitra d' on the first night to insure preferred treatment. 50 bucks well spent. Some of you reading this are saying to yourself "I thought you tip at the end" Yes, you can, but if you grease the wheels early, they work very well for you. If you enjoy wearing a suit to a formal dinner and going to a show afterwards, this is for you. Smart casual is your usual country club dinner duds, nice slacks, button down or polo with an optional jacket. Formal night is a nice suit and tie, personally I hate to wear a tuxedo, but nice dark suit will due.
Entertainment on the ship is above average. No, it is not Las Vegas. But for the price - free - it can't be beat. I am not overly critical. I have no theatrical or musical talent, so I can appreciate their talent.
If you enjoy drinking alcohol as I do, Celebrity has an unbeatable premium liquor package that's a complete steal. You are able to have all the premium drinks and glasses of wine up to $12. It include beer, frozen, martinis, after dinner, soft, coffee fufu drinks. At less than $50 a day, you have do a cost vs. benefit.
The Martini Bar is awesome. Definitely a great bar to hang out at before and after dinner. We there every night to meet up with new friends. It has a great atmosphere and drinks. Quasar, the neighboring night club plays good music and small crowd. The main night club Sky Lounge on the Lido deck get moving only if there is a good 30's to 40's crowd. If not, it is a ghost town.
The buffet line is just not for me. I just can't handle the beefy beffers gording themselves like cattle before they're slaughtered. However the food is generally very good. The omelet, pasta, sushi, and waffle areas are great. Just don't hit them during the busy times.
On Solstice you should take advantage of Bistro on 5. It's only five dollars and the food is excellent and somewhat healthy. It's a crepe restaurant with appetizers, main courses, and desserts. It is open in the morning for breakfast and doesn't close till late night. My wife I went there everyday for breakfast and lunch. It was simply awesome! Don't be bashful to ask for sometime different. I told the chef what I wanted and he made, by the way none of the ingredients were on the menu.
The other restaurants: Blu, Murano, Silk Harvest, Tuscan Grill. I feel the food and the formal Grand Epernay is well beyond adequate. Would I spend the money? At $70 a couple it's a little $$$. When the formal dining is free, it's kind of hard to justify the price. I'd rather spend my money on a massage or an excursion.
The pools are generally a complete zoo, or should I say a farm. The cattle, horses, and swines are out in force. The indoor pool is very quiet and relaxing place to read a book. If you really want to catch a tan, go up to the front deck. It is very quiet with no obstructions. The best place to relax is the Lawn Club. There is a bar at the rear and plenty of personal space on this deck.
Like in life, you get what you put into it. So go on your trip with a good attitude. Treat the staff with respect and some friendly banter and you will be in heaven. My wife and I always have a great time on cruises, and they are always with Celebrity. Problems do arise as they always do in life, so be patient and you will be rewarded. If are that typical turd that expect people to wait on you hard and foot while treating them with complete disrespect, I wish you wouldn't cruise. Even these disrespectful idiots have a great time on Solstice.