“Solstice Pros and Cons - Mixed Bag Experience”
Cruise review of Celebrity Solstice

unforgettable Celebrity Solstice 4 Solstice Pros and Cons - Mixed Bag Experience
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We just returned from a 7-night Eastern Caribbean sailing on Celebrity Solstice during the busy Spring Break period. While we are seasoned cruise passengers, this was our first cruise with Celebrity. Our experience was a bit of a mixed bag with the following pros and cons:

PROs

The Solstice is a beautiful, new ship - we really enjoyed the comfortable public spaces, lovely interiors and distinctive appointments Celebrity also really deserves kudos for their food and entertainment. We mostly ate in the MDR, less frequently in Oceanview Cafe and once in Bistro on Five (a wonderful spot) and, honestly, we enjoyed everything that was served. There were a few dishes we didn't care for but, overall, we thought that the food was great to excellent (order the sea bass and Momma's pork chop and you WON'T be disappointed). The entertainment was also topnotch - from the ship's performers to the special guest performers to the live musicians (some of the best we've ever heard at sea - especially Cheek-to-Cheek and party band Headliners). We also loved the Corning Museum Glass Blowing exhibitions - so educational and fascinating to watch.

CONS

Embarkation and disembarkation were both quite unpleasant - super long lines and inefficient procedures. This was a surprise to us b/c we always make it a rule to embark and disembark as late as possible to avoid any lines or delays. Despite our plan, it still took us 45 mins. to check-in/arrive on-board and 1 hour to disembark and clear customs on this sailing. Once we received our complimentary glass of champagne and boarded the Solstice, we were a bit put off that there was absolutely no one to greet us or direct us to our cabin. As first-time Celebrity pax, this would have been greatly appreciated. Almost immediately, however, we were accosted by a crew member to purchase the specialty dining package. We managed to escape the strong oversell, find the elevators and locate our cabin, which was long and narrow, but well-appointed. We ran upstairs to the buffet (an absolute zoo - always overcrowded, poor layout, no wait service for beverages, etc.) for a quick bite before muster. We were supposed to set sail at 4:30 p.m. but we left much later than this - not sure why. Our biggest complaint is regarding the ship's crew - aside from our waiter and asst. waiter - we found them to be polite but unfriendly and, in some cases, downright unaccommodating. We'd heard so much about Celebrity's friendly and customer-focused crew in advance of our cruise that we were shocked and disappointed to find that this wasn't our experience. We tried to reason that maybe this was due to the overwhelming number of children on-board this sailing (the crew seemed a bit frazzled by them at times) but their customer-service training should prepare them for any type of situation.

Celebrity Solstice Cruises to the Eastern Caribbean
Overall Ratings
  • Cabin
  • Dining
  • Embarkation
  • Enrichment Activities
  • Entertainment
  • Family & Children
  • Fitness & Recreation
  • Onboard Experience
  • Public Rooms
  • Rates
  • Service
  • Shore Excursions
  • Value for Money

Cabin review: Deluxe Veranda

Port and Shore Excursions

Port
We toured Old San Juan on our own and had a great time. We took in some sights, did some shopping and enjoyed a pina colada at Barrachina.

Read 2,276 San Juan Reviews
We booked a private island tour of St. Maarten with Joyce Prince. She's absolutely fabulous and we'd highly recommend her to anyone visiting this beautiful island.

Read 3,325 St. Maarten Reviews
Port
We booked a St. John Beach and Snorkel excursion thru the ship. The only reason we did this was b/c we were one of six ships docked in St. Thomas on our day in this port and we were afraid to take the ferry on our own to St. John with so many cruise pax in-town at the same time. The excursion stated that we would have approx. 90 mins. for beach/snorkel time - in reality, we only had 45 mins. While St. John is lovely, we were disappointed that we didn't have as much time as was promoted in the excursion. Most of the 4.5 hrs. was spent on the ferry or being shuttled to/from the National Park by local transportation providers.

Read 3,414 St. Thomas Reviews
Published 03/25/11
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Celebrity Solstice Cruises to the Eastern Caribbean
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