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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I booked this particular ship due to the itinerary as it related to the time in port in the three Alaska ports. The hours in port were longer and or better to my liking than the other cruise lines I explored when planning this trip. Out of ... Read More
I booked this particular ship due to the itinerary as it related to the time in port in the three Alaska ports. The hours in port were longer and or better to my liking than the other cruise lines I explored when planning this trip. Out of the 5 cruises I have been on (3 Carnival, 1 Royal Caribbean, and this one on Celebrity.) This was the overall worst of the 5 cruises. The only highlights was the food inside the Blu Restaurant and our server Orlando. He was so great I wanted to adopt him and even told him as such. The food in the buffet was dreadful. It was either exceptionally old as if it was sitting there all day or was cold. The food in the buffet on the rarity we went there, even made my girlfriend very sick, sick to the point of staying in the cabin near a bathroom for the last full day of the cruise which made us miss touring Victoria until the next day when we left the ship. Thankfully we didn't have too far of drive to return home. The cabin steward we had was also excellent, and one of the shop workers onboard by the name of Alson was beyond helpful and very much appreciated. Also the spa was a nice experience. I had a pedicure and my girlfriend had a manicure. The staff in the spa were great to interact with. They knew what they were doing and were very personable. The rest of the onboard experience was very hit or miss. The entertainment was very spotty as well. They had some great moments here and there, but nothing to really be thrilled by. Every show we went to, the theater was half empty or more. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I selected this cruise for my annual summer vacation with my two grandchildren (both 6 years old). My grandson has Autism and I was searching for a vacation that would be appropriate for us all. I read that Celebrity Cruise had a Autism ... Read More
I selected this cruise for my annual summer vacation with my two grandchildren (both 6 years old). My grandson has Autism and I was searching for a vacation that would be appropriate for us all. I read that Celebrity Cruise had a Autism friendly program. I was excited to find out the details, so I contacted Celebrity direct and got the details. I was impressed that they were including a much ignored traveler and I booked the cruise the same day. I paid for two cabins and my grandchild were billed at the same rate as an adult. I won’t go into everything that was so “not” friendly about this cruise. But it started at boarding. It continued through the Muster drill and meal times were pathetic. Not only is this ship not Autism friendly. It really isn’t kid friendly. I went to guest relations to try to find a solution to standing in line for 30 minutes or more to feed two hungry six year olds. I was told that I could take my meals back to my stateroom. That wasn’t exactly true. The specialty restaurants will not accommodate you in any way. You have to eat the meal in the restaurant (with the exception of Sushi on Five).So we ended up eating in the buffet or room service for all 7 Days. We were able to order non- hot food from Sushi on Five ( most of their food was hot!) I refused to eat in a fancy restaurant and my grandchildren’s only options were hot dogs, pizza and an occasional hamburger. So we all ate the same foods. This was their vacation and it should have been special for them. We attempt to use their kids club. And after questioning the staff I learned that they have a “general” knowledge of Autism. The staff member complained that the parents with children afflicted Autism expected their children to have one on one supervision. That certainly wasn’t the case for me. I was looking for a safe place that the children could interact with their fellow shipmates. Not feeling comfortable with the staffs lack of training, we passed on that amenity. So to sum it up, I spent over $8,000 to eat hamburgers, pizza and hot dogs mainly in my cabin. But the highlight was the Alaskan scenery. I can best sum up this vacation as upscale camping. Nothing luxurious or special. I wouldn’t have been disappointed had they not misled me about their Autism program. There was no Autism program. This is pure marketing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We thought we would enjoy it because we had taken an Alaskan cruise 17 years ago on Princess - it was a wonderful experience. The ports/locations were almost the same as our ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We thought we would enjoy it because we had taken an Alaskan cruise 17 years ago on Princess - it was a wonderful experience. The ports/locations were almost the same as our previous cruise so we were confident that we would enjoy that part of the cruise. So our only "unknowns" had to do with sailing with Celebrity to Alaska. This was our 8th cruise and our second on Celebrity. Our first cruise on Celebrity was 20 years ago on a much smaller ship - The Galaxy. The ship is old and showing its age in some areas. The carpet, furnishings, and furniture needs to be upgraded and replaced. The worst are the seats in the Solstice theater. They are so worn that they are uncomfortable- especially those closest to the stage. It is my understanding that Solstice is scheduled for an refurbishment soon. It is time. Cabin: We had the Deluxe Veranda. Plenty of storage and space for the two of us. We were impressed with the size of the bathroom- it is the largest bathroom we have ever had in a ship cabin (even larger than on Disney). The veranda was large with two chairs and a table. We had breakfast (room service) on our veranda most mornings. Our only complaint is the lack of electrical outlets and no USB ports. I'm sure that will be addressed in a refurb. Dining: Let me first be clear - we are not picky eaters or food snobs. We have always used the MDR and buffets for cruises and most of the time have been happy and often impressed. We usually do not use the specialty restaurants because of the quality of the free options. However, we were gifted 3 visits to specialty restaurants on this cruise, so we ate at Murano twice and Silk Harvest once. Murano is superb! Silk Harvest was good but not any better than the MDR. We did not eat at Tuscan, so I cannot review it. MDR was excellent. Now for the buffet - IT WAS AWEFUL! The food was pretty good, but the design leads to such chaos I couldn't stand to eat there. We ate at the buffet three times, and all three experiences were terrible due to having to hunt for a table, stand in numerous lines, and then navigate through the crowds to locate foods. We quickly came to the conclusion that we would have room service for breakfast (on our veranda) and do lunch somewhere other than the buffet. Entertainment and Activities: Celebrity needs to let the singers and dancers go- they were mediocre at best. I've seen better at highschool talent shows. The best entertainment were the guest entertainers. The comedian and magician were excellent. Service: AMAZING! Everyone from our room attendant (Charley) to our waiter (Dipo) were wonderful and attentive. Embarkation and Debarkation: Easy and efficient! I had read on these reviews that it was a nightmare and embarkation could take as long as an hour. We arrived at the pier and 15 minutes later we were sitting on the deck having our first cocktail! No joke - 15 minutes! Debarkation was just as easy and smooth. And now..... the reason we are now Celebrity Loyal - We purchase our flights through Celebrity. It was easy and the cost was the same as us doing it on our own. I thought it was the best way to ensure we wouldn't be bumped off a flight and would be rebooked quickly if our flights were cancelled on our way to the start the cruise (a fear I have always had). I really didn't think it would be an advantage for our flights home - BOY, WAS I WRONG! We arrived in Seattle and debarked around 7:30 AM (self-assist walk off). Our flight was scheduled to leave Seattle that night at 10:00 PM so we scheduled a private day tour to Mt. Rainer. At 4:45 PM I got a text from American Airlines that our flight had been cancelled and we were rebooked for a flight on Sunday morning - that was 48 hours later! At that point I called the Celebrity to see if they could help me - WOW! They were awesome! I talked to a man named Aaron. He thought is was ridiculous that we had been rebooked for a flight leaving two days later. His words were "that is unacceptable, I am going to see how to change that". Aaron was then able to book us on a flight for the next morning on Delta. Next, he made a reservation for us at an excellent hotel near the airport and told me to be sure to keep any receipts for taxi/transportation to the airport so he could reimburse us for that expense. I WAS BLOWN AWAY! Aaron (Celebrity) took care of everything in about 30 minutes over the phone! Given that we were still on our tour of Mt. Rainier, we were able to finish our tour, our driver simply dropped us at our hotel, we had an easy check in, were given 2 coupons for the hotel breakfast, and spent the evening relaxing! We didn't have to spend hours on the phone arguing with the airline or stand in line at the airport hoping for a voucher for a hotel stay. With that experience, we became Celebrity Loyal! We are already looking at Celebrity itenararies for 2020. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
After reading reviews of all the lines serving Alaska, I chose Celebrity because I thought it would offer great service and dining, along with enough activities to keep my 10 year old grandson engaged. I also did not want a megaship ... Read More
After reading reviews of all the lines serving Alaska, I chose Celebrity because I thought it would offer great service and dining, along with enough activities to keep my 10 year old grandson engaged. I also did not want a megaship offering too many on-board activities as I wanted him to be interested in the excursions of the port cities and not want to stay on board. I also wanted to fly in/out of Seattle and wanted four ports. Embarkation and disembarkation were both smooth. Crew members were helpful. We booked Concierge class. It would have been helpful to receive a list of perks. We did not have robes or binoculars in the room when we arrived although our wonderful steward brought them to us when asked. We also had a welcome lunch on embarkation, a concierge dedicated to just this class and a couple of special events we were invited to. When we booked, our fare was not much different than a regular balcony room but I'm not sure how much this class was actually worth. My grandson enjoyed the Fun Factory. There were many children on board as this was summer and Alaska. He particularly liked being able to check in and out on his own. He made friends to pal around with and there were many activities that engaged the tweeners. The entertainment was great. We went to both musicals as well as the magician and comedian. The only one lacking was the impressionist. We also attended talks by the naturalist and historian that were quite interesting. We also enjoyed the live music which was in many locations on the ship. As for activities, we participated in many of the nightly games. My husband loved the gym and yoga classes. I did daily line dancing and meditation. We also took a swing dance class. We did excursions in all ports. The Skagway mushers' camp was a real highlight. We also enjoyed the White Pass train, the Wildlife Safari and Beach Bonfire, and the Lumberjack Show. We were a bit disappointed with the Mendenhall Glacier and Salmon Bake as you only see the glacier at a distance. In retrospect I wish we had explored Victoria on our own. The O Canada bus tour wasn't that great and was pricey for what it was. All these tours were booked on the website or on the ship. Note that the prices increase the closer to embarkation date. We did the Mt. Roberts Tram on our own. We usually had room service breakfast as the buffet gets quite crowded. We ate at both the buffet and main dining room for dinners, preferring the main dining room. Both venues offered a lot of choices. We had one meal in the Tuscan Grille that was excellent. My grandson loved the trip and did not want to come home. We all wished we had more days. I am already planning another trip. Interesting note--Capt. Tasos announced on our last day that it was his last day on the Solstice and that he would be moving to the Equinox. He is a captain who gets involved with the passengers, playing sports and games, and making the rounds. He has a great sense of humor and added to the enjoyment of this cruise. If this cruise is representative of Celebrity I cannot recommend it enough! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Always wanted to see Alaska and decided on Celebrity Solstice. This was our first time cruising with Celebrity and we were not disappointed. All Staff was wonderful and accommodating and very friendly. Dining was always a pleasure ... Read More
Always wanted to see Alaska and decided on Celebrity Solstice. This was our first time cruising with Celebrity and we were not disappointed. All Staff was wonderful and accommodating and very friendly. Dining was always a pleasure whether in the main dining, buffet and especially in the specialty restaurants. Murano was my particular favorite although the others were also outstanding. Cafe Biaco was also very very good for lattes and cafe mochas and of course their delightful desserts. Entertainment was top notch on the ship. All the musicians were fabulous. Don't miss Rock City! Although the ship could use some renovations, we found our balcony cabin to be perfect for storage and very comfortable. The ship was very clean throughout. The only thing we would have changed is to be forward rather than aft on our next cruise. For excursions, we did not book anything in Ketchikan but did go see the Lumberjack Show which was very fun! Skagway, we booked the Best of Skagway tour which included a visit to Liarsville with Salmon Bake Lunch (We loved it!) and train ride on the yukon/white pass railway. In Juneau we booked a whale watch cruise which was AWESOME!! All were booked through Celebrity. Our favorite was cruising through Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier. The views were breathtaking and although everyone was out on their balconies to enjoy it, you couldn't hear a sound. People were in awe. We definitely will be cruising with Celebrity again! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Great itinerary, visiting great Alaska areas. Weather in July was beautiful. We were in the pool on the first sea day! Sunny and warm. We opted for a suite, as you get expedited embarkation, disembarkation, a butler, access to ... Read More
Great itinerary, visiting great Alaska areas. Weather in July was beautiful. We were in the pool on the first sea day! Sunny and warm. We opted for a suite, as you get expedited embarkation, disembarkation, a butler, access to Luminae, and Michael’s Club. The ship is showing signs of age, but is due for refurbishment in 2020. Common areas are clean though. Staff are (for the most part) well trained, professional and personable. Our butler, Glenn, was OUTSTANDING. My friend traveled with us and was a tad demanding (ordering drinks, coffee, desserts at will), but Glenn responded quickly and with a smile. We ate breakfast in the cabin almost every day, and he delivered it hot and ACCURATE. Also enjoyed occasional wine, cheese and fruit. Luminae had a hiccup, but Sam, the Maitre D, quickly resolved the issue. Jules was a good waiter and Lewelyn was an excellent sommelier. Food was quite good on board, especially at Murano (Ricky was an excellent waiter there). LOVED the Dawes Glacier experience on the helipad with a mimosa. Got some fabulous photos getting that close, and saw harbor seals lounging on the icebergs. Captain Tasos was funny in both his announcements and his participation in the Liars Club. Funny show!! The captain was also very gracious and VISIBLE throughout the cruise, something we appreciated, given his personality. The SkySuites (S2, Cabin 2124) are a good size and comfortable for 3. Again, the perks and nice size verandah justify the extra cost. The naturalist provided us with some great education on what we were seeing (including orcas and humpback whales, 150-200 yards from the boat! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We were asked to join another couple on an Alaskan cruise and after looking at all the cruise lines, we selected Celebrity because it was not as large as Royal Caribbean and not as expensive as smaller ships such as Viking. We spent one ... Read More
We were asked to join another couple on an Alaskan cruise and after looking at all the cruise lines, we selected Celebrity because it was not as large as Royal Caribbean and not as expensive as smaller ships such as Viking. We spent one night in Seattle and had plenty of time to check out Pike Place Market and walk around a bit. We waited to board till around 3 pm and it went very smoothly and quickly. We used the Valet service for our luggage at disembarkation and that went smoothly also. It was nice to not have to schlep around our luggage at the end of the cruise. The Solstice is a well maintained ship. It's not as new as some other ships, but it is beautifully appointed. The staff is always seen to be cleaning everything. We had a Sunset Veranda cabin and it was very nice. Roomy with a gorgeous view off the back of the ship. Note that it is very long walk to the elevator. Our cabin steward was excellent and always greeted us by name and asked about our day. The only downside was that we were sandwiched between two cabins that had parents in one room and their kids in another....We heard a lot of slamming doors and running back and forth at all times of the day/night. The food in the Cafe was always good because there is so much variety. We did get a little tired of seeing the exact same offerings at breakfast everyday. The food in the main dining room was average. Some meals were good and some were just so-do. We ate one time at the Tuscan Grille but decided it was too expensive ($30 per person) for just another version of the main dining room. We attended one of the wine tastings and it was pretty disappointing... plenty of wine but it was just kind of a "free for all". We were each given a glass and told we could drink as much as we wanted for 1 hour. I would have liked to have an explanation about each wine as we slowly enjoyed each one. We were so exhausted every day that we never made it to any of the evening shows. The wait staff was pretty good. There were a few surly people here and there but overall they were polite. We did feel like there were not enough servers in the public areas (such as the pool) for taking drink orders. We always had to walk up to the bar to get a drink. Our ports included Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. In Ketchikan we booked (on our own) a salmon fishing trip. We caught a total of 10 salmon and had a great time! In Juneau, we booked the canoe trip to the Mendenhall glacier. This ended up being beautiful but a LOT of work. I thought it would be a leisurely canoe trip but it was a large canoe that held 14 people and we paddled about 2 miles across the lake at a very fast pace. We spent about 10 minutes at the glacier and then went to the waterfall. After a short rest, we paddled all the way back. My arms were quivering and I was sore the next day. In Skagway, we splurged and did the "Luxury Rail Car " train ride. This was worth every penny! We were picked up by golf cart at the shipped and taken right to the rail car. Only 14 people were in the car that was beautifully appointed with leather swivel seats and big glass windows. It also had a nice restroom onboard. A wonderful breakfast buffet was set out and all the beverages (non alcoholic as well as beer and wine) you could drink. Our guide was amazing and kept us entertained with many stories and local history. We only had a few hours in Victoria, so we took the shuttle bus to town and walked around and had a nice dinner out on the harbour. We did not travel with children however we saw a lot of children on the ship and they appeared to have a good time. This is our third alaskan cruise but everytime we go, we see new sights and try new excursions. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose Celebrity because our travel agent recommended it for fewer children travelling and a slightly more upscale experience. We upgraded to the premium drink package for an additional $10 per day which turned out to be a good ... Read More
We chose Celebrity because our travel agent recommended it for fewer children travelling and a slightly more upscale experience. We upgraded to the premium drink package for an additional $10 per day which turned out to be a good investment since it included all of the specialty coffees and premium drinks at no additional cost. We sampled only one specialty meal (Tuscan) which turned out be be good not great. The embarkation and disembarkation were suprisingly easy and smooth. We were eager to start our cruise and got to the terminal about 1/2 hour before the official start time for embarkation. Fortunately they were already processing people in and we were on board in under 15 minutes. Disembark was almost as easy although customs lines were a little slower. We planned/scheduled our own excursions and all turned out to be great. In Ketchikan we used Islands Wings Service and flew with Michelle to the Misty Fjords. Beautiful flight and all of the passengers wear headsets so the entire flight is narrated by Michelle. We landed on a fjord lake and coasted up onto a beach. We had time to take pictures and explore a little before heading back. Michelle is a very experienced pilot and I would highly recommend this trip with Island Wings. In Juneau we went out whale watching (~2 hrs) and the visited the Mendenhall glacier/Nugget falls (~1.5 hrs). We used Juneau Tours and were very happy with the experience. We got lots of video of humpback whales and were somewhat rushed at Mendehall since the last visitor bus left at 7 pm but we had enough time to make it to Nugget falls and take the pictures we wanted before catching the last bus of the day. I was probably most surprised by how much we enjoyed our excursion in Skagway. We signed up for the Yukon Dog Sledding Adventure with Skagway Day Trips and Skagway Scooter. Our driver/guide Mikey was enthusiastic and a pure pleasure as a guide. I don't recall any guide previously making us feel as if our enjoyment on this trip was the most important thing in his day. Our dog sledding excursion involved a comfortable van ride to the Yukon (~ 2 hrs) with stops along the way for waterfalls, glacier pictures and finally to the Tagish Lake Kennel where we got to hold husky puppies, play with older husky puppies, have a Q&A with Michelle Phillips an Iditarod musher before taking a husky pulled cart (think Polaris 4 wheeler) ride. You find out that these cart rides are part of the husky pairing process, conditioning, and evaluating which dogs work best together. If you take this excursion and have Mikey as your guide and you like dogs I guarantee you'll have a good time. Pros: - Room was larger than expected. - Service was 1st rate everywhere on the ship. - Nightly theater entertainment was good. We saw a comedy show and a couple of musical/dance shows and all were good. - Gym was good. I saw several whales jump while walking on the treadmill. - We are coffee drinkers and the 5th floor coffee shop is Celebrity's version of Starbucks (with alcohol drinks too). On sailing days this was a great place to hang out and read your book or surf the internet. Our package came with 1 device unlimited internet and most of the cruise I had good service on my Galaxy S10. My wife's Apple iPhone for some reason didn't seem to connect as well to the internet. When you are in port service wasn't as good but we have Verizon phone service and we could use Verizon in all of the ports. - Martini bar was fun each evening before dinner - Breakfast buffet was probably the best meal of the day for us. Omlettes and fresh squeezed OJ (premium drink package) were good. Good selection of fruit too. - Room service Turkey BLT & fries with a salad was lunch most days. Cons: Dinner meals were just OK. We always found the starters preferable so we would order 2 or 3 starters for most of our meal and then typically salmon. I tried the steak in the dining room a couple times and at the Tuscan and all were just average at best. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We were three generations of our family (Grandparents, Parents and Toddler in tow) looking to make memories, and decided to go on a cruise to Alaska. We chose Celebrity just because it was the best deal our Travel Agent could get us. With ... Read More
We were three generations of our family (Grandparents, Parents and Toddler in tow) looking to make memories, and decided to go on a cruise to Alaska. We chose Celebrity just because it was the best deal our Travel Agent could get us. With a grand total of one cruise (on Carnival) behind us, we had nothing to compare with, really - but all I can say is - the Celebrity experience was fabulous and future cruises for us will have a high bar to live up to! We are local to Seattle so getting to the ship was the easiest thing - we drove up to the Pier. Parking at the Pier for a week is pretty expensive, but still, an Uber XL would cost almost the same, so it was an easy choice to make - at least we wouldn't have to carry our toddler's car seat along! Our embarkation experience was sadly, not the best. We unfortunately arrived at the peak rush period, and so the lines to check in were serpentine and endless, and the check in hall was stifling hot. The person at the counter also was very slow, and took ages to check us in and get us our SeaPass cards. We were still at the counter after people behind us had been checked in and gotten onboard! He took my credit card to put it on record, but that never happened, and I had to go to Guest Relations onboard to get it corrected. Once we got on the ship - well, it was a totally different world! The Solstice is amazingly luxurious, even if it is an "old" ship. The crew is hospitable, and very attentive to the passengers' comfort. My mother suffers from bad knees, and the attendants at the embarkation gangway guided her to an armchair so she could recover her breath, brought her some orange juice and generally took care of her till she felt rested. Our cabins were fantastic - we had booked Deluxe Verandahs on the mid ships "hump", and they were totally worth the price. Ours probably had the biggest balcony around - big enough to fit four deck chairs and a table. The cabins were neat, clean, well appointed with lots of storage areas and hidden cabinets. The bathroom was cramped, but adequate. Our cabins were close to the mid ship elevators, and the Team Earth lobby, but we never heard any outside noises ever. The food.. ahh, the food!! We ate most of our meals in the Ocean View Cafe buffet, and hardly ever felt we missed anything. This place served every kind of cuisine possible- including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. They also had "theme" meals - like a Taste of America, Taste of Mediterranean themed lunch, and a Taste of India, Taste of China, Taste of Eastern Europe themed dinners - where in addition to the regular stations, they had additional stations dedicated to the advertised cuisine. On the last night, they had a "Best of the Cruise" buffet, with the most popular items from the entire cruise, and to make things fun - a chocolate fountain with fruits and bits to dip into it. Absolute treat! We had a couple of meals in the MDR which were lovely - my family prefers Indian food, and the MDr had an excelltn Indian menu to choose from. They also adapted the menu items to cater to my father's dietary needs, and when requested for something that was not on the dining room menu, they went and fetched it from the Buffet! The entire Catering and Serving staff We didn't really indulge in any shows, etc on board the ship - preferred to spend our time enjoying the glorious views outside. the talks by the naturalist (and the running commentary during the fjord visit) and the destination highlight sessions were wonderful, though. And so was the Q&A session with Captain Tasos - I admire the way this man can talk, Greek accent and all, and the tongue in cheek manner he has! We did visit the Silent Disco (hilarious) and the dueling violins and band performances in the Atrium which were enjoyable. It might have been better to have them a bit further away from the Guest Relations desk though, since it made conversation harder. There were also quite a few good free movies on TV, on Demand, that we were able to catch up on. We avoided booking any excursions via the Cruise line, instead preferring to do our own thing in each port we visited. The Daily planners provided each ay were helpful though, in planning out what we could get done when in port. Overall, we had a fabulous family trip, and experienced something we can relive over and over again for the rest of our lives. Our kid enjoyed his time aboard the ship and was sad to say good bye to the Solstice. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Ship: over the top great. I’ve cruised on 3 other lines, 6 other ships, none compare to the Solstice for design style or functionality. It’s like staying at an Intercontinental Hotel, only as sea. Atrium and elevator designs are ... Read More
Ship: over the top great. I’ve cruised on 3 other lines, 6 other ships, none compare to the Solstice for design style or functionality. It’s like staying at an Intercontinental Hotel, only as sea. Atrium and elevator designs are beautiful. Elevators came quickly on most occasions. Fellow passengers were friendly. There were two formal nights, branded “evening chic”. Everyone dressed up in their own way and posed for photos. Not many suits or tuxedos like the old days, but people made an effort and looked good. Had some nice elevator discussions on what everyone chose to wear. On more traditional cruise lines where they still call it “formal night”, I’ve seen passengers “protest” by showing up in jeans or a T shirt and a ball cap. Didn’t see anything like that on Celebrity. Main Dining Room (MDR): fantastic, well prepared and presented food and outstanding service. Knowledgeable sommeliers took good care of us. Beautiful venue; we were told it was designed to look like you are inside a glass of champagne. We had anytime dining and never had to wait for a table for two, aside from a maximum five minutes in the hostess line. They always gave us table 444 or 445, which are on the 2nd level, overlooking the lower, assigned time dining section. Great people watching. Buffet was good quality with a wide variety of choices. Sometimes hard to find a table, but we managed. More challenging to find ketchup and mayo – be sure to ask someone. On embarkation day, we avoided the buffet crowd and got burgers at the Mast Grill. Decent burger, good fries, good service and a great view leaving port. Wine lover? This is the ship for you. Great wine selection and they serve it in Reidel glasses at every venue except the pool bar, where they use plastic glasses for safety. No problem taking your drink with you if you need to be somewhere else. Not every venue has all the wines. Frequent Cellar Masters, MDR and the specialty restaurants for the best stuff. Say hi to Dimytro in Cellar Masters if you see him. A couple small tips ($2 - $5) early in the week and Dimytro will be your friend for life. If you like martinis, check out the martini bar, across from Cellar Masters on Deck 4. If whiskey is your thing, the World Class Bar is your place. Deal: by paying a larger, nonrefundable deposit, Celebrity comped us the premium beverage package, internet, gratuities and $300 on board spending credit. Wow! That made for a great cruise. We wanted for nothing the whole time. Beverage package includes much more than booze: fresh squeezed juice and brewed coffee at breakfast, fancy coffee drinks at Café Al Bacio, bottled water, tea – you name it. Once the servers know you have the premium package, they really take care of everything. Had fun spending the OBC at the shops and Sushi on Five. You can also use OBC for shore excursions or in the casino. Internet was sometimes slow and dropped out altogether on the first night. Specialty restaurants: expensive compared to other cruise lines. Enjoyed Sushi on Five twice. The Kobe beef slider is the best burger I’ve had. Also loved the sushi rolls and seafood stuffed wontons. Did not visit the other pay restaurants. Had room service breakfast once. They showed up right on time with everything we ordered. We also went off menu, requesting lox and cream cheese for our bagels. They brought the same spread that you get if you have breakfast in the MDR: smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, onion, lemon and tomato. Bravo! Lots of good music throughout the ship. Almost always someone performing in the Grand Foyer. Danny Smart was our favorite. They had trivia every afternoon in the Sky Lounge, which has some of the best views on the ship, a good bar, and plenty of comfy places to sit and relax. Watched Captain Tasos do a slide show and Q&A on the construction of Solstice in the main theater. The Captain is informative and has great comedic timing. His PA announcements throughout the cruise are a hoot. Conclusion: Alaska was stunningly beautiful and the Celebrity Solstice ship, crew, food, drink and fellow passengers were first class. We have a new favorite cruise line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Overheard: "Oh great... another line to stand in." Pros: Clean. Nice staterooms with good layout. Cabin steward/staff excellent. Nice balcony. Nice connecting rooms for those with kids. Nice, clean ... Read More
Overheard: "Oh great... another line to stand in." Pros: Clean. Nice staterooms with good layout. Cabin steward/staff excellent. Nice balcony. Nice connecting rooms for those with kids. Nice, clean bathrooms. Naturalist Brent Nixon... while he may be a bit dramatic, he knows his audience. Lectures were informative and entertaining. Captain Tasos was entertaining as well, although who was sailing when he was playing water volleyball??? It's hard to argue with Alaska as a wonderful sailing destination. Cons Embarkation painful. Lines were massive and moved fairly slowly. Deck 7 port side midship to aft. There's a smell of grease/fried food from the stateroom balcony beginning with lunch until after dark. Food meh. Regarding both the buffet and main dining, the food wasn't bad. And it wasn't good either. It's rough not having a satisfying meal three times per day for a week. The buffet is absolute chaos. We routinely were not able to find a place to sit. I've never seen a cruise buffet staff not try to clear plates/glasses within minutes of finishing. Tables are usually cleaned within 5 minutes on other boats. Not so here. The layout leads to lots of people colliding constantly. The food was fine, but not great. The highlight was the salmon and halibut freshly prepared on the last lunch meal service. The main dining room fare was pretty mediocre. I'm not certain if they have a lower staff ratio than other boats, but service was quite slow. I'd routinely wait 15-25 minutes with an empty water glass for a refill. The assistant waiter was often missing in action. Debarkation was fine until the Seattle cruise terminal. The line for customs there is a scrum with several hundred people heading towards 4 CPB officers. Why not have a line management system???? All in all, having sailed on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney, and Cunard, I'll not sail with Celebrity again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Wowww... just returned from an Alaskan cruise aboard the Celebrity Solstice. The ports of call were breathtaking but the highlight was Captain Tasos and his team that made the trip an unforgettable experience! You can see that the cruise ... Read More
Wowww... just returned from an Alaskan cruise aboard the Celebrity Solstice. The ports of call were breathtaking but the highlight was Captain Tasos and his team that made the trip an unforgettable experience! You can see that the cruise team truly care and want to offer an amazing experience. We have been fortunate to have cruised before with a number of cruise lines before but this definitely set the standard of how cruising is meant to be! Ship was perfect size, cabins were very comfortable and had great cupboard space for a family of 4, food of an extremely high standard and service was amazing where the staff went out of their way to accommodate our every wish and desire and to top it all the entertainment was outstanding. We travelled with kids and they loved attending the kids club. I would highly recommend Celebrity Solstice and look forward to cruising again with Celebrity. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise because I wanted a roundtrip cruise to Alaska from a US port. This cruise checked the boxes. This ship was recommended by a travel agent friend who frequently cruises. This was a second cruise for my companion and me. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted a roundtrip cruise to Alaska from a US port. This cruise checked the boxes. This ship was recommended by a travel agent friend who frequently cruises. This was a second cruise for my companion and me. My stateroom was spotless. The ship was beautiful. My companion and I LOVED Captain Tazos. We were obsessed and we wanted to talk with him every time we saw him, but the gaggle of ladies would objectify him and gossip over their obsession as they parted from him. He’s quite a funny guy with an agreeable philosophy and we would like to go in another cruise with him. The shopping area of the ship was typical and mall-like. I would’ve liked to be able to find trash cans. The staff was helpful and ensured a fun environment. The shows were entertaining but didn’t have much of a plot. The dancers were impressive and I had a good time watching the audience squirm and squeal with excitement as dancers flew over the audience in a surprising aerial routine. There were 2 silent discos and a pride party. My favorite entertainment host was Tiago at trivia and putting. I really liked the availability of hand sanitizer. Dining was good in the main dining room and at Murano. I’m unsure of whether the additional cost was merited, (my companion was a little drunk and unsure of whether the calculations were adding up as offers of dining packages were presented) but we enjoyed our time. The wait staff was definitely attentive and remembered my drinks of choice. Kennedy joked with us. Constantyn made sure we were stuffed with delicious food and also packed leftovers for us to nosh on in the middle of the night. We dined at Murano 3 times. The other restaurants didn’t appeal to me. The main dining hall’s offerings rotated nightly and dished repeated towards the end of the trip. I love dessert and there were plenty of god desserts to choose from. There were some very dry cakes at the buffet—like a tres leches cake with no leche. Some of the pastries could have used more butter, as they were missing crispness and flakiness. The buffet was mostly the same for breakfast. The lunchtime rotation of Indian curries and Filipino adobo was surprisingly good. I was pleased with the availability of melon. Upon boarding there was a child running around, but that subsided after departing from port. One day at the Sky Lounge bar, excessive people were waiting for service. As I waited patiently, older men cut in front of me. My thought was, typical old men, blinded by privilege, cutting in front of a younger person, but I was determined to not let it ruin my vacation. I intended to avoid kids on this vacation but forgot about adults behaving poorly. There was no enforcement rules except in the fitness center. Zumba, cycling, and HIIT classes were $17.70 each. The exercise bikes weren’t very sturdy. It would have been helpful to find more sanitizing wipes around. We booked an excursion to go dog-sledding on a glacier. The tickets showed Mendenhall Glacier, but the trip was on Denver glacier. The puppies were cute. We did not go very fast, but it was still great. The cost was quite high $800pp, but we enjoyed ourselves. Glacier viewing from the ship was better than expected. We got very close to the Dawes glacier and Capt. Tazos turned the ship 360+180 degrees. During disembarkation, we had a little trouble finding a place to sit. When our turn came, we quickly walked out and found a nicely organized luggage retrieval set-up at bag claim, but the rows were off by a few numbers. Overall, I would go again, but now I feel better prepared for what to expect. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to try Celebrity and we wanted to go to Alaska, so this seemed to check all the boxes for us. So many of our friends have told us we had to see Alaska. They couldn't adequately describe it, we just had to go. So we thought ... Read More
We wanted to try Celebrity and we wanted to go to Alaska, so this seemed to check all the boxes for us. So many of our friends have told us we had to see Alaska. They couldn't adequately describe it, we just had to go. So we thought we would take our once in a lifetime trip. But now we want to go back. It’s worth it for the scenery alone...it’s just incredible. We had Celebrity Select dining, which let us make reservations in advance online for each day. This worked out really well. There was a chef's special every night, which was usually the thing to get. The 2nd night was halibut, which is my favorite. The service as generally very good. If there was one thing I would do differently, it would be to eat breakfast on Monday at 5:30 when the buffet opens. The shop enters the Endicott Arm at 6:00 AM, and I just couldn't get away from the views after that. Finally abut 8:30 I reluctantly wolfed down some breakfast, but I felt bad about the views I was missing. The naturalist, Brent Nixon, had several entertaining and informative shows which were popular. We loved the house band, but overall I am used to more and a greater variety of entertainment. Doesn't every cruise ship have a piano player? We did the Misty Fjords excursion in Ketchikan. I think this one is hit or miss depending on the weather and if the Orcas and Harbor Seals show up. In our case, it was a grand slam! Saw a pod of Orcas, several seals, great waterfalls since it had been raining for several days, etc. Fantastic! In Juneau we did a whale watching tour with Juneau tours through Trip Advisor. I'll review this on their site, but it was great and much less than Celebrity charges. We took the White Pass railroad in Skagway up into Canada and the bus back. The train goes up the south side of the Skagway River Gorge and the bus goes down the north side, so you get two different views. I would do this again tomorrow! I was taking pictures all the way up. If I ever do it again I'll just sit there and take it all in. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I have been on several cruise lines and this was my first Celebrity cruise. I was told by many people that this would be the best cruise I have taken so far and that Celebrity is the best cruise line. Maybe I was expecting too much but I ... Read More
I have been on several cruise lines and this was my first Celebrity cruise. I was told by many people that this would be the best cruise I have taken so far and that Celebrity is the best cruise line. Maybe I was expecting too much but I didn't feel that it lived up to its reputation. There was really nothing special about it compared to other cruise lines - in fact there were a few areas that were lacking: Facilities - little to no public trash cans in common areas, veranda railings varnish are worn and flaking. Other areas were always clean and well maintained. Information - daily schedule not posted in any public locations, temp on TV always displayed 140F/60C, Celebrity App doesn't include the Solstice even though the entertainment director said it was, daily schedule listed Monday for three different days. The muster drill was the worst I have ever experienced. We were group C1 and we were stuffed standing in a packed hot lounge only to be shown a childish video about washing our hands and then an uninformative theatrical video about the lifeboat and life jackets; this was not a good way to start a cruise. Technology - "high" speed Internet was not high speed - video streaming was not possible and general surfing and access was very slow - especially for the exorbitant price, TV in the room was unreliable - it kept turning off and on, channels offered were sometimes not displayed, TV turned on by itself between 4A and 5A two nights - we finally unplugged it, the music channels were not titled correctly unless Bach and Mozart are now considered "Classic Rock." Accommodations - our cabin was 7277, just above lifeboat 20. On Deck 5 below us there was a kitchen for one of the specialty/private dining rooms. The first few days of the cruise, the door to the kitchen was left open and pop music was being played which ruined the quiet and peaceful atmosphere of sitting in the on the balcony early in the morning and late at night. Sales - like most cruises, they are sponsored by Diamonds International etc. Celebrity was no different, it was like living on a one big sales pitch vessel. The first day we were constantly being hounded to buy drink packages. Following days were were being pitched specialty restaurants, overpriced photos, and drinks. Activities constantly included money making schemes for jewelry and art purchases. Activities and Entertainment - We purchased the ship tour and enjoyed it although the wireless earpieces we were given cut in and out a lot so we couldn't really hear much of the presentation. For the price, I expected a bit more organization. At the end, were were given a piece of rope as a "gift." The other entertainment was top notch! We greatly enjoyed all of the shows we attended and thought that the talent and production value was excellent. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I choose this cruise to go to Alaska. I wanted the convenience of leaving and returning to one port which was Seattle. I did a ton of research and this was my number one choice. So, things I could not find on line. 1. From Seattle, ... Read More
I choose this cruise to go to Alaska. I wanted the convenience of leaving and returning to one port which was Seattle. I did a ton of research and this was my number one choice. So, things I could not find on line. 1. From Seattle, they have a very easy Uber/Lyft location at the airport. We were picked up within about 8 minutes. The ride was about $43.00. They do have a drop off pick up site at Pier 91 which is then about 2 block walk to where you drop off your luggage. Not a big deal if you have roller bags which everyone has. Upon leaving the ship, we went to the same place and pick up was about the same wait. Very easy and hassle free. 2. There were NO outlets by the beds. So, if you want your cell phone on your night stand, you need to bring a 16 feet interior extension cord. $6-$8 bucks at ACE hardware. Some people brought some plastic tape to place on carpet so they did not trip over cord. 3. Layers is the name of the game. I had a vest with a waterproof fleece coat. You do not need your winter Parka 4. Skip the specialty dining (Sorry Celebrity). We ate at Murano, Tuscan Grill and Silk Harvest. Of the 3, Murano was the best but I still did not feel it was that spectacular of a meal to warrant the extra money. 5. If you can at all swing it, upgrade to a suite. We did through an upgrade program offered right before the start of the cruise. It was well worth the extra money with a private dining room. They have a private club, Michaels which which was too stuffy for our taste.The concierge there, Alexandra was awesome. You get a butler for your room and he made the trip. Thanks, Dominic. The Luminae is a private dining room for the suite class. The food was great. Kavi was our waiter and would remember all of our preferences. 6. The shore excursions were just OK. I booked a Yukon 1/2 day tour through Trip Advisor in Skagway. That was a good tour. When you go to Victoria, they have a shuttle bus into town. It is $15.00 per person round trip even though town is not that far away. They say it is $15.00 Canadian dollars or $15.00 American. Do NOT pay cash, use your credit card. The exchange rate is $1:00 US to 1:38 Can. Your credit card will adjust automatically and you will save a bunch. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We absolutely loved this cruise. We thought we would do this cruise for our 50th anniversary but we just couldn’t wait. Embarkation went very smoothly and quickly. The ship was beautiful and never seemed crowded except for the buffet of ... Read More
We absolutely loved this cruise. We thought we would do this cruise for our 50th anniversary but we just couldn’t wait. Embarkation went very smoothly and quickly. The ship was beautiful and never seemed crowded except for the buffet of course. We sailed aqua class and are so glad we did. Our favorite restaurant on the ship was Blu. Such mouthwatering food and so many choices. We ate breakfast there everyday and dinner almost everyday. The service was unbelievable, someone there to take care of every need practically before you needed something. We learned a lot from the different speakers and the entertainment was great. We did all our excursions through the ship, the trolley in Ketchikan was the only thing that was less than stellar. We all enjoyed the lumberjack show although the line to get in was very long. Juneau was the second stop.The whale watch excursion was so exciting, we saw 5 whales one of them was just a baby. The Mendenhall glacier, was a sight to behold. It is sad how much the glaciers are melting. Next part was Skagway, we took the vintage rail to the White Pass Summit. It was great to hear about the gold rush. We learned amazing new things about it. Well, at least it was new to me. Our major disappointment was the helicopter to the glacier and the dogsled excursion, we got all dressed in our warm clothing and boots, went up in the helicopter, saw a smaller glacier on the way up, but we encountered dense fog and had to go back down. It was nothing that was anybody’s fault but it was to be the highlight of our trip. We were refunded in full, so I guess we can look at it as a free helicopter ride. We traveled with our best friends and we loved this cruise. It may be harsh, but I left off one star because the drinks did not measure up to other cruises we have been on. For example the Bloody Mary’s had no celery nothing but the mix and the alcohol. I tried margaritas at two different bars and they were both terrible. All in all the cruise was worth every penny and I would definitely go again! Our room Stewart “Devin” was great! He kept our room stocked and clean throughout our cruise. All of the crew would bend over backwards to help all cruisers. They always were smiling and had kind words for everyone. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I had not been interested in seeing Alaska since I live in the Seattle area. I believed the climate and scenery would be similar, so I typically travel away from the rain and cold toward sunshine and warmth. However, our friends (two ... Read More
I had not been interested in seeing Alaska since I live in the Seattle area. I believed the climate and scenery would be similar, so I typically travel away from the rain and cold toward sunshine and warmth. However, our friends (two couples we had traveled with previously) invited us to join them on this cruise, and I am so happy we did. I would happily go on another Alaskan cruise, and I hope I get to one day. The scenery is so beautiful, and must be experienced in person. Words and pictures do not capture it. I have only been on one other cruise ship, RCI Symphony of the Seas, so in comparison the Solstice is much smaller. I definitely felt the ship movement more on this ship, but it did not affect me. I did, however, wear sea bands as a preventative measure. The ship is very clean and very pretty. We had an Aqua Class cabin on deck 11 and enjoyed the privileges of unlimited Persian Garden use in the Spa, and eating in the Blu restaurant. The captain was very engaged with the passengers, and his sense of humor was a delight. We were very lucky to have a gorgeous sunrise over Mendenhall Glacier, and the captain spun the ship 540 degrees so all could view the majestic glacier up close. The crew were all very friendly, work very hard, and are all eager to provide a great experience to every guest. We thoroughly enjoyed the educational talks offered on the ship about the wildlife, history of the port towns, and gold rush history. And the captain's powerpoint of the building of Solstice. If you can take time to hear these talks you won't be disappointed. We went to one show called Broken Strings. They did a great job dancing, but it was not easy to follow the story line through the songs. I could not hear the lyrics of the songs at all. I only knew what was going on by the dancing and acting (in love, cheating, breakup, make up). We saw both comedians, and they were just ok. I'd pass next time. My friends did the glass blowing, and enjoyed it. A bit pricey, but ended up with cool souvenirs. Canyon Ranch Spa: I had a deep tissue massage and also a paraffin wax treatment, and both were great. Beware of the emphasis by all the spa staff to upsell everything. They were very insistent that I buy a small tube of hand lotion for $33 (I declined). As aqua class, we were allowed to use the Persian Garden anytime. It has heated tile loungers with a floor to ceiling widow view of the ocean. I used this frequently, and it really warmed me up after the Juneau tour in the rain. DINING: We ate at Blu most of the time, which was the best option for Aqua Class. It is not crowded, you do not need reservations, they remember your name, and there is a great view from most tables. Blu is open for breakfast and dinner, which was fine since we were off the ship on port days. I ate at Grand Epernay (main dining room) three times. The dining room is very pretty, but the food was just ok. Nothing spectacular. The service was friendly and fast. The Oceanview Cafe is the buffet, and typically very crowded at meal times. Some dishes were very good, and others were very cafeteria bland. I did like that the cafe attendants were very attentive and offered to bring drinks from the bar to your table (if you could find a table!) Specialty Restaurants: We ate at Murano and at Silk Harvest. Murano was just ok. I had the lasagna that was oddly all meat and noodles, with very little cheese; not my favorite. Silk Harvest was the best experience. We had family style meal with all 3 couples and tried most of the menu items. I did not care for the shrimp pad tai but all the rest was really good. Drinks package: We had the premium package, and while it was nice to have the option to drink anything, we did not drink enough to make it worth the cost. It came with our package on this cruise, but I would not pay for it as an add on. Our friends had the classic package. Initially, it was not explained that there is a charge for drinks that cost over $9, and figuring out what drinks were part of their plan was confusing. I really liked getting specialty coffee or tea at Cafe al Bacio. It was comfortable seating with a view and treats. KETCHIKAN: We toured the town and Creek Street on our own, and went to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack show. It was cheesy show - but was also entertaining and showed off the amazing skills of the lumberjacks. In town, my husband ate a reindeer chili dog. Not my thing, but he liked it. JUNEAU: Mt Roberts Tramway: We docked at 1:30 and went on the tram before our 3:00 pm excursion. There were many cruisers in line for the tram, with long lines both ways. Be sure to allow enough time to do this if you have an excursion. The view would have been amazing, but was obstructed by fog. I did not think it was worth the price of $29 each. We did not plan to do a hike at the top, the resident eagle was not there, and we only spent about 20 minutes at the top because we had to return to the dock for our excursion tour at 3:00. Photo Safari Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier: This is a misnomer. No one on the tour was interested in photography, and the focus of the tour guide's information was on glacier conservation efforts, not cameras or photo opportunities. The nature trail to the glacier was through a dense forest, and it rained the entire time. The guide stopped frequently to talk about plants and glaciers, and the scenery lacked any real photo ops and only one viewpoint. Just before we finally got to the glacier visitor center and view, he told us that he had run out of time and we had to run to the bus to make it to the whale watching part of the tour. We basically missed the main destination! We were not allowed to go into the glacier visitor center. I snapped two pictures and ran to the bus. The next part of the tour was on a small boat guaranteed to see whales or we get $100 back. We did see whales, and photo ops were in abundance on the boat, but we were so cold from walking in the rain for two hours, the wind chill on the boat ride added more discomfort to our cold and wet bodies. They really should do the tour in the opposite direction. Boat tour first, then glacier visitor center, and then nature walk for those interested while allowing others to roam free in the glacier area. SKAGWAY: White Pass Summit and Beyond: (booked off cruise - Frontier Excursions and Adventures). This was a bus tour to White Pass and the Yukon Suspension Bridge. The tour guide, Brooke, was very funny and knowledgeable, and she stopped the bus frequently for photo ops when wildlife was spotted. She even backed up the bus and did u turns to allow us to view the animals, which would not be possible if we had taken the more popular White Pass train ride. We stopped to observe three different bears, and a mama moose and her calf. This was the best tour of the trip, and I got some spectacular photos. The scenery of the tundra-like arctic landscape and majestic mountains and glacial lakes was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Going to the Yukon is a must do for sure! VICTORIA: Buchart Gardens tour. We docked at 5:30, and took a bus to Buchart Gardens. This was barely enough time to see the garden. It is an amazingly beautiful place, and to really enjoy it you need time to just sit and experience the beauty. This tour was expensive and way too fast. I am glad I live in Seattle and can go again at a more leisurely pace. The tour guide on the bus talked non-stop about uninteresting random things. I would have preferred a quiet ride to his personal jabber, "beyond those trees is a lake, and I have memories of taking the children there when they were small", which did not add to my experience. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
About me: Solo traveler, experienced cruiser (stopped counting around 20), second time on the Alaska cruise itinerary, first time on Celebrity. This was by far one of the best cruise experiences I have had in a very long time. The ... Read More
About me: Solo traveler, experienced cruiser (stopped counting around 20), second time on the Alaska cruise itinerary, first time on Celebrity. This was by far one of the best cruise experiences I have had in a very long time. The staff and crew were all very friendly and accommodating, the officers were accessible, and Captain Tasos was one of the most entertaining captains I've sailed with - ever. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were docked next to the Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas. Looking over at the enormously long lines on that side as opposed to the Celebrity side, I was grateful to be on a smaller ship. The ship itself is a bit weathered but I would still call it well maintained considering its age. It did not take long to get acclimated to the locations of various venues throughout the ship, and although there were long wait times for elevators on port days, getting around was not difficult. Cabin: I sailed in Aqua Class and the only drawback was that there was some sort of overhang over my balcony that I did not know was going to be there. Although it did distract from an overhead view of the sky a bit, it did not deter from the majestic views of the glaciers and scenery. More in the cabin review section. Dining: Since I was in Aqua Class I dined mostly in Blu. The food there was very good, although advertised as "California Cuisine" or "a healthier alternative", I did not notice a difference in quality. For specialty dining, my favorite was by far Murano. Not only did they have a tasting menu that included wine pairings, the service and food were exceptionally outstanding. I also tried Sushi on Five, which for me was not so impressive since I have access to good sushi where I live. Although everything I had was tasty,the service was a bit lack-luster. I dined in the main dining room once for dinner, and found it to be above par compared to other cruise lines in this category. The buffet, well, it's a buffet. The food on the buffet was good compared to other cruise lines, however the typical difficulties finding a seat during peak times was not unusual. If I could have had all my meals in either Murano or Blu, that would have been fine by me. Entertainment and Activities (and More Dining): I did not make it to any of the big production shows, but that's just me - sometimes they work with my schedule and sometimes they don't. This cruise, none of the showtimes were convenient to my personal schedule, yet I did not feel I missed out on anything. Silent disco - that was definitely fun to watch, especially when everyone started singing along. My absolute favorite activities - wine tastings, cooking class, and chef's table special dinner. What an experience! Again, this is just me, but I do love a good wine tasting/food pairing, and this cruise did NOT disappoint. There were the run of the mill wine/food pairing classes, a wine tour around the world (progressive wine tasting sampling multiple countries), a special Riedel wine glass class where you received a voucher for 4 glasses to be shipped to your home (mine have already arrived), and also scotch/whiskey tastings. I think I did all of them with the exception of the whiskey since scheduling did not permit. The sommeliers really know their stuff, and the cellar has an excellent variety of wines. Ah-mazing! There was a cooking class offered in Murano, where we put together our own appetizer in the galley and then were treated to a chef led demonstration of cooking sea bass and steak Dianne. It ended with us eating our appetizer and feasting on what the chef prepared with, of course, more wine pairings. The best experience was the chef's table. It is an add-on where you are part of a group of 10 or so people that receive a private galley tour, seeing the various galleys in operation during dinner service, and then ending up at a private table in Murano with a very extensive tasting menu with perfectly paired wines, and the chef joins you for the main course. It was definitely worth every penny! Service: The service I received on this cruise was by far some of the best I've experienced in quite some time. Staff knew my name and I had no idea if I'd ever seen them before. I began to wonder if I'd done something to stand out, but I suspected they kept a pool behind the scenes to see how many of them could remember the most passenger's names. That extra little personal touch made it so much more enjoyable. My room steward was exceptional, all the wait staff was great, and I have to call out the sommeliers and cellar master as being phenomenal. Overall, service for me was top notch on this journey. Ports and Shore Excursions: Ketchikan: I took the Deadliest Catch tour, and it did not disappoint. The boat picks you up right next to the ship and the crew of that vessel was not only knowledgeable but also very entertaining. They took us on a little cruise to pull up some bait lines, pull a crab pot, and also had red king crab available for purchase to snack on during the tour. Overall it was an amazing time and I'd definitely do it again. Endicott Arm: No excursions, just stayed on the ship as we sailed through the glacier area and took in the amazing scenery. They even circled around a few times so everyone could get the most breathtaking views. It is truly a thing of beauty to see this scenery. Juneau: I opted to not take an excursion but instead go eat king crab at Tracy's Crab Shack by the port. It's something to partake in for the whole king crab eating experience. Not only are the legs huge, but they have a great bisque and some pretty tasty crab cakes if you can fit it all in. It's a LOT of food. Skagway: Opted for the "Big Nugget" tour which included going to the dredgery for a tour, panning for gold, learning about mushers, meeting husky puppies, bottling our own root beer, and BBQ. Since our group turned out to be very small (I think may 6 or 7 total), it was almost like a personal tour. Our guide was great and the overall experience learning about the history was definitely worthwhile. Victoria: No excursions there, just went into town and hung out a bit. The town has a lot of history and there were many options that I felt I needed to explore but just did not have the time. Overall Impressions: I'm ready to go again! Same itinerary (same crew if I could have them), and same ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband cruised on the Celebrity Solstice ship, May 24-31, round trip from Seattle to Alaska. On our cruise, we visited Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, Alaska, as well as visited Victoria, BC, Canada. We were supposed to visit Tracy Arm ... Read More
My husband cruised on the Celebrity Solstice ship, May 24-31, round trip from Seattle to Alaska. On our cruise, we visited Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, Alaska, as well as visited Victoria, BC, Canada. We were supposed to visit Tracy Arm Fjord as well, but unfortunately, there was no safe way to do so, according to our captain. Our stateroom attendant said such a departure from itinerary had only happened once before in his time working with Celebrity; we just happened to be unlucky in that regard. However, the other ports were excellent and we had a great time overall in each port. The highlight was taking the short walk (it's not really a hike) to the Nugget Falls near Mendenhall Glacier. Those falls were GORGEOUS, and in the unexpectedly hot weather (it was 70-75 degrees in our Alaskan ports), the cool mist from the falls was very much appreciated. The relatively low point of the excursion portion of our vacation was the Zodiac whale watching tour. We saw whales, which was great, but it took 4 hours to do so, in extremely cold and windy conditions; the waves were so bad heading back to the ship, that our ship captain had to ride in another boat's wake for calmer waters. Additionally, there was a scary period of time where our Zodiac boat completely stopped running. We were just floating in the sea. Our boat operator literally said, "it's no big deal" but he never explained the full situation to us - we were all left to wonder/panic, until thankfully, his peer came on the radio and offered assistance. We spent about 30 minutes pulling up to another boat, then waiting for our ship operator's peer to steer her boat full of guests over to us, before she (the other Zodiac operator) could help our boat operator fix our boat's issue. It was a stressful experience. Now, on to the ship: it was beautiful! I thought it was the perfect size: roomy enough to not ever really feel crowded, small enough to not feel like a floating mall. It was well maintained as well. My favorite area of the ship was the Solarium. It was so beautifully done and very peaceful. The attendants did a great job of enforcing the age limit rule when the 16+ age limit was in effect. My husband and I also enjoyed the Sky Lounge/Observatory for the most part - it was a great place to have a drink with beautiful views, but some of the guests at the bar were loud and obnoxious; you could hear them throughout the very large observatory. Not only that, at one point, the kids' clubs were hosted in the observatory, and they played on the piano and use microphones, all the while the captain was announcing where to spot wildlife. Many guests, myself included, were pretty annoyed at missing all the announcements due to the loudness of this area. We had a lot of other issues on this cruise as well, including a professionally trained singer SINGING at all times of day and night in the stateroom next to ours. We called guest relations several times to address this issue, but unfortunately, the guest relations employee stated that she had no real power to do anything beyond advise the woman to sing when we were out to dinner from 8:30 - 10:00. Of course our neighbor did not stick to this schedule, and we would have to endure her singing at all times of day still. It was infuriating. That leads me to another quirk: the soundproofing on the ship is just awful. We could hear our neighbors on the other side of us talking in their room at times, and we could tell that they were not speaking loudly. I'm sure they could hear my husband and I laughing as well. I have never been on a cruise ship where I could hear my neighbors talking at a normal voice level; ever. I also did not love the limited, included dining options on board. The menus in the main dining room each night were often uninspired and it would have been nice to have had another seated option for no additional fee. The soda package was a waste of money as well. I had no idea that the soda would be served warm each time we ordered. I could've bought cans of soda in my suitcase if I had known that was going to be the case. It would've been nice to at least have the option of getting cold soda from a machine, but of course, Celebrity couldn't collect a 18-20% service charge on that. The activities and entertainment on board were also pretty uninspired and not really geared toward active cruisers; the entertainment and activities were definitely for a more mature crowd. Embarkation was a bit of a mess, but I could write another book on that. Disembarkation was great on the other hand. I was very impressed. Overall, we will definitely be cruising to Alaska again soon, but not with Celebrity. I think I'm one and done with the Celebrity Cruise Line. My husband cruised on the Celebrity Solstice ship, May 24-31, round trip from Seattle to Alaska. On our cruise, we visited Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, Alaska, as well as visited Victoria, BC, Canada. We were supposed to visit Tracy Arm Fjord as well, but unfortunately, there was no safe way to do so, according to our captain. Our stateroom attendant said such a departure from itinerary had only happened once before in his time working with Celebrity; we just happened to be unlucky in that regard. However, the other ports were excellent and we had a great time overall in each port. Here are my overall thoughts: Cruise Port/Embarkation - 3/5 stars The cruise port is a little ways away from the airport, which is typical for cruising, but it was easy enough to take a Lyft to and from the airport and the cruise terminal. I didn’t love the unnecessarily aggressive driving of the other drivers - reminded me of driving in NYC, but what you can do? The port employees were definitely the friendliest port employees I’ve ever had the pleasure of interacting with. That was a lovely experience. They were happy, smiling, and conversational even in the cold and ugly, morning weather, with all the chaos of a typical embarkation day. The one negative - which is kind of a major negative - was that the employee handing out bag tags was terribly inefficient. He literally spent over 10 minutes talking to a man looking for a bag tag, about jewelry. He kept saying, “I LOVE jewelry” to this man, who happened to own a jewelry store. The cruise passenger finally took the hint and gave the bag tag employee a card for his store. Unfortunately by that point, the line had gotten pretty unruly - we had to stop some very frustrated cruise passengers from jumping ahead of us. Additionally, the luggage employees had NO clue what they were doing. There were other, senior cruise port employees yelling at several luggage employees, telling them how and where to take bags. Many of the luggage employees took bags too early, some weren’t checking for tags which were marked orange or blue to differentiate between the 2 ships at the port, etc. We only left our bags with a luggage employee that had a senior cruise port employee directly in front of him, telling him what to do. Our bags made it to us fine, so we think we made the right call there. Inside the cruise terminal, the line moved extremely slow for about 20 minutes, but then picked up considerably as the line extended impossibly far down into the lower level of the terminal, and it drew closer to 2:30 PM, which was the cut off for check in. I’m sure some upper level manager realized they’d never make it if the original pace kept up. I was extremely grateful for the change in pace. Ports: We had never been to Seattle, so we explored Seattle on our own after leaving our bags at the cruise terminal. It was an okay city. The pros are that downtown is a very walkable area and there’s LOTS to explore and see for a reasonable amount of money. I was kind of shocked at the amount of construction going on downtown, the awful traffic with very rude drivers, and the lack of skyline. Ketchikan was a very cute city and the downtown area was super close to the cruise port. We did the Unlimited Crab Feast excursion, booked directly with the lodge, and we LOVED it. We plan to go back. Our guide who drove us to the lodge took us on a short tour around downtown Ketchikan and even stopped at a beautiful waterfall for us to take pictures, on the way back to our ship. The crab at the lodge was amazing, of course, as was the cheesecake. The entire experience was great, with the exception of the time limit at the Lodge. They ended up rushing everyone out not even 5 minutes after handing out the cheesecake, stating that we HAD to leave because our ships were leaving soon. That was obviously not the case, but they were literally taking plates and rushing around the room to clean, so everyone cleared out. I scarfed down about 1/2 of my cheesecake and was the last to leave. It would’ve been nice to know in advance when we would need to clear out. I think we, as a crowd, would’ve paced ourselves, so we could all enjoy the delicious and creamy cheesecake they served at the end. We were not able to visit Tracy Arm Fjord safely, unfortunately, so our ship captain made the executive decision to head to Juneau - we got to Juneau 2 hours early. Juneau: Juneau was absolutely stunning. It was definitely the most beautiful place I’ve been to date. The weather was perfect too - actually too hot for what my husband and I packed, but I just stripped off a few layers and I was fine. We went to Mendenhall Glacier, on a narrated bus tour, and then walked to Nugget Falls, which were stunning. We hung out there for quite awhile, enjoying the misty breeze from the falls. Victoria, BC, Canada: We did very little here due to the short time in port. We did the Zodiac whale watching tour, which was mostly successful in that we saw a majestic humpback whale, and few Orcas. However, our boat stopped working at one point, and our boat operator was pretty unprofessional about the whole thing. Thankfully, his partner and another ship captain were able to help us out, and after about 30 minutes, we were back to whale watching. The entire tour was 4 hours long, which was way too long. The boat ride back was long, wet, dark, windy, and completely torturous. The ride was so uncharerstically bumpy, that our ship operator got in another larger ship’s wake so the ride was a little more smooth and we wouldn’t have to stop as often due to large waves. Ship service: Excellent. Not a bad server in the bunch. Everyone was very responsive and friendly. Disembarkation: This was an excellent experience. They were well prepared by this point. We waited in a bit of a long time that didn’t move for about 10 minutes, but when it started moving, we were off the ship in about 10 minutes. I was very impressed. Overall ship experience: The food in the buffet was excellent, as far as buffet food goes. The main dining room food was prepared well, but the menus were just not good. The lunch menu was so bad the first day at sea, my husband refused to go back, so we ate at the buffet for lunch for the rest of the cruise. The dinner menus were only marginally better - everything was prepared well, but the options were just so uninspired. I didn’t love anything except the last night’s menu option of lobster tail and rice pilaf. Additionally, the activities offered onboard were just not suitable for younger, more active people. My husband and I had nothing to do. We weren’t interested in seeing comedians night after night, or drinking at all hours of the day. The activities and entertainment seemed geared toward a more mature crowd/inactive people. That was a real downer of sea days. The positive was that the Solarium, which was an adult only pool area most of the time, was a wonderful retreat and beautifully done. Our stateroom cabin was nicely laid out, but Celebrity NEEDS to improve the soundproofing in their rooms - at least in the balcony rooms on deck 8. Additionally, Celebrity needs to do a better job policing their guests. One of our neighbors was a professionally trained singer who sang all times of day. Guest services could not do a thing about it, apparently, except try to get her to sing when we were at dinner for 1 1/2 hours, and the neighbor refused to do that. This made our experience overall pretty miserable, honestly. We had little to do on the other decks, besides eat and swim, but then couldn’t stay in our room because our neighbor was loud and inconsiderate. It was a terrible issue that I begged guest services to resolve by moving my husband and I, or by moving the neighbor. No one we spoke to had the power to do so, or so they claimed. The observatory was a beautiful, but rarely peaceful place, due to over served patrons in the bar area and the kids clubs coming in and using microphones while the ship captain announced where to spot wildlife. That was super frustrating too. The soda package was a waste of money as well. I had no idea that the soda would be served warm each time we ordered. I could've bought cans of soda in my suitcase if I had known that was going to be the case. It would've been nice to at least have the option of getting cold soda from a machine, but of course, Celebrity couldn't collect a 18-20% service charge on that. Overall, we will definitely be cruising to Alaska again soon, but not with Celebrity. I think I'm one and done with Celebrity Cruise Line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Started cruising in the 70's when Carnival had only one ship before all these mega ships,all they care about now is milking as much money as they can.In my over 3 dozens cruises,i finally will give it up or cruise with the smaller ... Read More
Started cruising in the 70's when Carnival had only one ship before all these mega ships,all they care about now is milking as much money as they can.In my over 3 dozens cruises,i finally will give it up or cruise with the smaller more refined cruise lines.I always heard Celebrity was above the rest,but came to realize maybe they were,but not anymore.Their food is not for experienced cruisers and foodies like myself.I ate one night in the main dining room and that was it !Ate the rest of my meals at restaurants while in port and at the ship buffet and room service for breakfast.The cabin attendants expect double or triple their recommended tips.There is not even a room for the guest to use to iron their clothes,you have to pay for that service.The aft cabin on the 10th floor Concierge class Elite was a nice package with the balcony a big plus.Inexperience passengers will thinks it's great because they never knew what it was like back in the days. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Weather in Alaska was incredibly warm for this time of year. Seeing all that sunshine on ice was a memorable sight. Embarkation Day went better than expected. A crew member spotted my mother in line walking with her cain and kindly ... Read More
Weather in Alaska was incredibly warm for this time of year. Seeing all that sunshine on ice was a memorable sight. Embarkation Day went better than expected. A crew member spotted my mother in line walking with her cain and kindly directed us to the easy quick route. Later Iin the cruise mom needed a wheelchair which Celebrity promptly supplied and allowed us to take off the ship at each port so she could get around and see more of Alaska. In Kitchikan there was a taxi company named Sourdogh that accompanied wheelchairs. Since our last cruise to Alaska on the Solstice we noticed great improvements on providing plant based menu items for dinner with a seperate vegan dinner menu and a vegan station added to the dinner buffet. We enjoyed both the food and dinning service the entire cruise. We had a fantastic. Maitre D' Anthony who did everything to accommodate our requests in the most professional and kind manner. Celebrity had our backs when it came to the excursion we booked through them. We booked the Endicott adventure excursion. However, after we boarded the tour boat we were informed by the operator that the tour would be modified and we would not see the glacier due to ice conditions caused by glacier calving. A day after the tour, we received a call from the shore excursions desk letting us know Celebrity Solstice gave us a full refund. Enjoyed seeing Captain Tasos participate in sporting events like pool volleyball. The crew and staff at always were excellent. They promptly took care of any requests or issues that came up. We will certainly cruise again with Celebrity. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The ship is very elegant but aging. Our cabin had broken furniture and for Aqua class not very spa like. Our can attentant keep everything very tidy. But we did not receive all perks of our booking. And when there was an issue Guest ... Read More
The ship is very elegant but aging. Our cabin had broken furniture and for Aqua class not very spa like. Our can attentant keep everything very tidy. But we did not receive all perks of our booking. And when there was an issue Guest Services had no desire to help. Blu, the dining room for Aqua class, was awlful. We went to the main dining room most nights. The buffet was very poorly laid out and the same thing every day. And all they do is try to up sell Everything. We could not walk through any common area that we did get harrissed to upgrade drink packages, book speciality fining, or purchase something. Communication is very poor about major things like disembarking. We where never given any directions. When I went to guest services I was received an attitude. This was my first Celebrity cruise and it will be my last. The overall experience was under whelming. I can not recommend Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I had sailed on Celebrity Summit to Alaska several years ago and it was excellent. This time, on the aging Solstice, while most of the service was top notch, there were disappointments. First, our luggage was lost on boarding until the ... Read More
I had sailed on Celebrity Summit to Alaska several years ago and it was excellent. This time, on the aging Solstice, while most of the service was top notch, there were disappointments. First, our luggage was lost on boarding until the next morning. After a few conversations with guest relations the first night, all initiated by us, not once did they call us back with updates, but sent up kits containing 2 tee shirts, and one toothbrush. (More were sent after another request) The next morning after a personal visit to guest relations, it seems unclaimed bags had been reported the night before as sitting outside another cabin. One bag was also misplaced on disembarkation. I was fortunate to have spotted it amid thousands of bags a few rows away. Otherwise, help from the staff was minimal. Our cabin was very nice and exceptionally clean. However, it was showing it's age with small holes in the draperies (allowing the sun to shine through) and wearing on the upholstery. Our cabin was always meticulously cleaned. The food was probably the biggest disappointment. When I sailed previously, there were no dining choices, only the main dining room. We chose not to spend an additional $50-100/day to upgrade and so stayed with the main dining room. While the food was always good, the choices were limiting. Previously, prime rib, filet, lobster, crab, etc. choices were offered almost every night. Not so now. Prime rib one night. Lobster one night. The other steak choices were NY Strip - not so good. Same with dessert choices. They were good, but little variance from night to night. Additionally, we purchased a drink package (excellent choice!) and were able to order most any wine. However, the wine choices on the dinner menu never changed with the entree choices, I just thought that was odd. Food offerings at the buffet were plentiful but most offerings looked better than they tasted. It wasn't terrible, just OK. But, the area was ALWAYS extremely crowded! It was difficult to get close to come offerings (i.e. omelet station) and it was usually difficult to find seating. We did not feel "hounded" for up-sales as I had read others complaints. They were offered but a simple no thanks was always sufficient. We only purchased one shore excursion from the ship (Misty fjords cruise) and it was excellent. All other shore excursions we purchased on our own. So there it is. I don't mean to insinuate the cruise was bad, just not the previous standard I experienced from Celebrity. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my second cruise to Alaska, both on the Solstice, both Inside passage. Traveling into and out of Seattle is always a plus for me. I like the itinerary for the trip. Although I've visited before there is always so much to ... Read More
This was my second cruise to Alaska, both on the Solstice, both Inside passage. Traveling into and out of Seattle is always a plus for me. I like the itinerary for the trip. Although I've visited before there is always so much to do. Alaska deserves a balcony room, where you can enjoy the scenery without crowds and looking for a place to sit. There were 6 of us, ages from 25 to 71, and we all found shore excursions to excite and challenge us. I, 71, took the easier excursions Saxman Village, Glacier tender boat and White Pass RR in Skagway. All were very enjoyable and easy for me. The others did canoeing, hiking and whale watching, which from the pictures were real adventures. I enjoy cruising because it does give everyone an opportunity to do "their own thing". We would come together at dinner time talking about our daily adventures. The cabin was on floor 9 concierge level. Plenty of room for 2 people, 3 would still have been comfortable. Our cabin server, Isamia, was pleasant and always available to help. He kept the room clean and tidy. We ate in the main dining room almost every night except one. Our first night on ship, we dined at Murano. The food was delicious. The ambiance was impressionable. Well worth the price but the food in the main dining room was just as good. Our waiter, Anthony, was on top of things always making sure everything was exactly as we wanted. Elizabeth, the wine steward, was excellent. Our glasses were never empty. I drank a Zinfeldal, while the rest of the table drink a red. Upon our arrival the wine was on the table ready to be poured. All the meals in the dining room were well planned and delicious. There was a lot to do on the ship but not enough time to do it all. We did make a couple of the shows, which were very funny. Silent Disco was a favorite. Karaoke left an unforgettable scare on a couple of us. Trivia. How to Demonstrations. And do forget the daily talks, casino and shopping. With only 2 sea days we had a lot to do. Two of our favorite places were the Martini bar and the Sunset bar. The guys at the Martini bar put on a real show. You can tell they enjoy pleasing the audience, people come just to watch their performance. The guys at the Sunset bar hung with us even when the temps were below zero, it felt like that. Always with a smile on their face and joke or two. I did the glassblowing class on board. Everyone should do this. On my last cruise, I watched the demonstration. They made it look easy; it's not. But the young lady who holds the glass is a good teacher. I wish I would have booked 2 classes instead of 1. But there is always a next time. I would do this cruise again. Read Less
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