It does rain in Spain. Our pre-cruise 3 days of Barcelona was very wet. Stayed in Eric Voelkel suites which was great for our group of 4.
We reached the ship by blue bus (2 Euros). The ship was cleaned over and over again because of all the previous illnesses. We were able to get into our cabin by 2PM. We were in concierge and the cabin was very nice and roomy. Lots of Storage space. Large shower.
We met with cruise critic folks on embarkation on deck 14. Nice to meet and greet. However the connections party that we signed up for did not happen. We were told that that was on embarkation. I did contact the cruise director asking if this was a change in policy. To my surprise we found an invitation in our cabin for a cruise critic get together the next morning. It was however not well attended by the staff. Too bad!!!
Our first stop Villefranche was cancelled because of the port beeing damaged but we were never informed. Many passengers got emails and advanced information.
Our ports of Cannes, Livorno, Civitavechia, Neaples, Dubrovnick, Venice and Kotor were wonderful. We never do ships tours and were able to secure private
Taxis or local transportation in most ports for the 4 of us.
The ship is still nice but getting older. The library was a huge disappointment because the shelves were bare and not what we were used to
from other celebrity cruises.The staff of the Solstice were without exceptions outstanding as was the food. All our meals were served nicely and tasted wonderful. We had early seating which makes it difficult to see a show if you are an early riser. My next cruise we will take select dining and try to see more shows. The ones we saw were very good.
Unfortunately the 4 of us got respiratory illnesses but that was far better than all the viruses on board. Half through the cruise the self service buffet on deck 14 was changed to staff serving. I had to go to the doctors office but was told that the consultation was $125. I ended up purchasing Sudafed at .60 cents a pill at the coast of $15. Everywhere we went guests were sick. While the staff dispensed sanitizer and cleaned the ship endlessly.In Barcelona all B2B had to get off the ship for further cleaning.Please go prepared.
All in all we enjoyed our cruise and enjoyed the ages and nationalities of the guests on board. The ship never felt crowded even though it was sold out. Disembarkation was the fastest we have ever seen and done very well.
We even added on a day in Barcelona before returning and this time the sun shined on us. Now we look forward to our next adventure.