We began with a day to recover by staying the first night in "The Hotel Diagonal" Barcelona. Arrangements made by Celebrity, unfortunately this is a new name for the former Hotel Silken and none of the taxis at the airport ever heard of it. Our driver found it by dumb luck so take an address. Boarding near noon on day 1 was crowded but lines move quickly and we were on by 1 PM in our room by 2. Luggage arrived by 5 PM but most others had theirs earlier. Day 2 in Cannes: Tendered in to a small port in the midst of a major film festival. It was fun to see all the excitement but not much else to see. Day 3 in Florence/Pisa we took the ships tour for the transportation and our guide made it worth the expense. Do your shopping in Florence and don't hesitate to negotiate prices.Day 4 Civitavecchia (Rome), again, the ships tour w/bus transport made this worthwhile. We had an excellent guide who took us to the Colosseum then let us off at the Vatican. We spent so much time in the Vatican More
including a 45 minute wait to get in that we didn't do anything else but we loved what we saw. Day 5 Naples: The city isn't much with a garbage strike and long walks to stores, instead we hired a Taxi w/driver when we got off the ship and had a great time. He charged 50 Eu. per person min. 3 couples and took us to the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Pompeii and all spots in between. He entertained us throughout and on return some who took tours decided that we had a better experience. Make sure you deal with the white taxis and get one of the large ones.Day 7 Kotor, best part is the trip in and out, watch from the high decks. Tender in to downtown and walk the old city. Do this on your own and don't expect much. Day 8 and 9 Venice, the ships info was limited. We bought local water taxi tickets just off the ship but found we had a long walk to get to the first stop. Recommend you utilize the ships shuttle but do Venice on your own, no need for a tour. Day 10 Dubrovnik, nice little town to walk around in, no tour necessary have lunch in a cafe. Then enjoy 2 days at sea returning to Barcelona.
Aboard Ship: It is hard to criticize Celebrity, they do a wonderful job but the world is not perfect. We hate to be nickeled and dimed for drinks but we are not wine snobs. We found the 2nd tier beverage package to be perfect. Top shelf liqours and adequate selections of wines. Just check your account often to make sure there are no mischarges. The Casino bar tended to charge us for more expensive wines and for water all of which should have been in our package, customer relations quickly credited our account but we had to ask. The dining experience was not optimal. We wondered if they have stepped down in the dining room to encourage guests to pay extra in the extra charge restaurants. We found the beef meals to be somewhat tough and the offerings a bit limited compared to other cruise ship experiences. Lobster was only offered on one night and was rather small. The service however was exceptional. Our cabin and veranda were wonderful. Plenty of room if you utilize the over bed cabinets and put your bags and shoes under the bed. We did all of the bars and Michael's Club on deck 5 was our favorite, the Martini Bar was a close 2nd. The Molecular wasn't worth a return trip. Breakfast in the dining room was excellent, most people went to the Ocean Cafe buffet and didn't know what they missed. Lunch at the Mast Bar restaurant for burgers and fries was also good but tended to crowd up quickly. The outdoor bars ie Sunset were vey good. We only went to 2 shows and they were acceptible, we missed the Comic and were told that was the best show all week. We enjoyed the bands and singers at the pool and on Deck 3 each evening and the glass blowing show was worth an hour but not more. All in all, we had a great time. Perhaps I'm nit picking but I'm trying to be honest. It's a good ship and all aboard seemed to enjoy themselves. Less
Celebrity Solstice Cruises to the Western Mediterranean