1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Celebrity Cruises
  4. Celebrity Solstice Review
  5. Celebrity Solstice Cruise Reviews

91 Celebrity Solstice Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

This was the easiest embarkation procedure that I have ever experienced. It took no time at all. My first view of the interior of the ship was dazzling. My companion who had never sailed before was equally impressed. The cabin we had ... Read More
This was the easiest embarkation procedure that I have ever experienced. It took no time at all. My first view of the interior of the ship was dazzling. My companion who had never sailed before was equally impressed. The cabin we had was quite comfortable but could have used a few more drawers. We found ourselves leaving clothes on the sofa. The food was very good in the dining room and the buffet. We had select seating and I was very impressed with the smoothness of the operation and the service we received in the dining room. We did not partake in the specialty restaurants by choice. We did however enjoy lunch at Bistro on 5. To bad we didn't find it sooner, we would have eaten there more often. The entertainment was disappointing. I am not sure if it was the scheduling of the show or perhaps the early morning departures for tours that made it inconvenient to see a number of them. What I did see was only so-so. My experience with the shore excursions was to say the least bad. The excursion to Florence and the one in Rome left a lot to be desired. Prior excursions on the same cruise were better. A complaint to the shore excursion desk resulted in a credit to my account. I would have been better off arranging private tours as many other people did. I spoke to a number of people who felt the same way I did and also complained. The activities were sufficient. I have no idea why everything is done in the morning though. There are many people who like to sleep in and miss some morning activities as well as those who are having dinner and can't be at the 8:00 pm drawings in the jewelry shop. I was not at all impressed with the merchandise for sale on the ship. Leaving the ship on the last day was almost as smooth as getting on. The fact that no announcements were made as to which group was to disembark made it a little difficult, but once off we retrieved our luggage and were whisked away by bus to the airport. In closing let me say that having taken this trip on the Millennium 10 years ago this one was better. Even with the complaints it really didn't discourage me from sailing Celebrity again and again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Cabin 2137 Sky suite excellent space both inside and outside. Storage enough for 4 let alone a couple Bathroom full size with both rain shower and ordinary shower. including luxury toiletries. Little or no noise from Ocean View cafe ... Read More
Cabin 2137 Sky suite excellent space both inside and outside. Storage enough for 4 let alone a couple Bathroom full size with both rain shower and ordinary shower. including luxury toiletries. Little or no noise from Ocean View cafe above. Our butler was excellent nothing was to much bother from breakfast to afternoon tea to canapes in evening. Dinning Tuscan Grille food was excellent only one thing waiting staff were a little over powering. Silk Harvest on the other hand now there was an experience not to be missed,and the staff knew to let you enjoy the delights. Blu well that again first class. Bistro on five excellent for lunch. and the MDR well the staff was superb , food to a very high standard we sat at a table of 10 and made a lot of new friends. Persian Gardens a total experience not to be missed from the body scrub to the rain shower and hot beds relaxation personified. Drinks the Martini bar is the heart of the ship early evening and the Sky lounge for late night drinks. Entertainment some of the shows let the ship down but others were right up there with the best. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We loved our family Mediterranean cruise on the Equinox in August 2011 so much, that we did it again this year! This time, a 12 night cruise out of Barcelona on the Solstice, with an overnight in Venice. There are five of us - my husband ... Read More
We loved our family Mediterranean cruise on the Equinox in August 2011 so much, that we did it again this year! This time, a 12 night cruise out of Barcelona on the Solstice, with an overnight in Venice. There are five of us - my husband and I and our three technically adult children, ages 22, 20 and 18. Our daughter has a physical disability, cerebral palsy, and although getting around Europe with a walker or wheelchair is not the easiest thing to do, the staff of Celebrity make the journey very easy. The Solstice Class of ships in particular, are extremely handicapped accessible. Her stateroom this cruise, and last summer on the Equinox, was expertly outfitted with mobility/usage aids, including an automatic door opener - all she had to do was insert her SeaPass card and the cabin door automatically opened - super convenient and promoted her independence. All public doors, including the public bathrooms, on the Solstice Class ships open automatically or have a button to push - NO heavy doors to pull open, none. The Millennium Class ships, however, cannot make that same claim - most of the public doors do not open automatically, none of the bathroom doors do, and some of the doors which go out onto the outside decks are not only extraordinarily heavy, but are quite narrow. This is important information, I believe, if you are traveling with an assistive mobility device - the Solstice Class ships are definitely fully accessible, in our experience, but not so the Millennium Class. We arrived in Barcelona 2 days before embarkation, allowing for one afternoon/evening of independent exploration and one full day of touring with Barcelona Day Tours. We stayed 2 nights at the Hotel Casa Camper, which we absolutely loved. It is in a fantastic vibrant central location of the city. Please refer to my TripAdvisor review for more extensive details. We booked a full day tour with Barcelona Day Tours, months in advance of our arrival. We were thrilled with their knowledge and expertise. We did a full day tour of Barcelona including a drive to Montserrat where we saw the Black Madonna at the basilica. From home, we reserved timed admission to La Sagrada Familia. Again, for more extensive details on our tour with Barcelona Day Tours, please refer to my TripAdvisor review, but the bottom line is that we had a fantastic all inclusive super informative fun day! We boarded the ship on August 3 and had several sea days before our first port of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Having sailed on the Equinox last year, the Solstice, although older, did not show it - she is a beautiful ship, super clean, extremely elegant, all up to Celebrity standards. Throughout the voyage, we engaged in lots of trivia games; my husband again became very familiar with all of the poker dealers; our boys frequented the gym and engaged in the ship's version of the Olympics games, the official version of which was being held concurrently in London; and we enjoyed the onboard professional entertainment thoroughly. I don't know where Celebrity finds the talent in their shows - the dancers, several in particular, are always exceptional, Dancing with the Stars calibre. The Cirque-du-Soleil-style show, the various musicals including Doug Cameron and funny men Paul Boland and Steve Rawlings, for which I would pay big money to see, the dance parties, the acappella group and the flamenco guitarist, the party band - there seems to be a standard formula that Celebrity has for it's entertainment - all acts are exceptional and entertaining. We loved our cruise director, Alejandro, who as all cruise directors on Celebrity do, had boundless energy and addressed all pursuits with ultimate enthusiasm. The food ranged from excellent to very good. We had the 2nd seating in the Grand Epernay dining room and were very pleased with our serving staff. Since there were five of us, we had two cabins, 7139 which is accessible for our daughter, and 7137. Our stateroom attendant was notably fantastic - responsive, friendly, efficient, effective - not to mention quite adept at towel art! We discovered on our last cruise that on shore excursion days, it is difficult to mobilize a family of 5 and have them totally ready to go by 8 or 8:30 am. We came up with the idea that we would be able to maintain our sanity much easier if we had breakfast in our cabins - to not attempt to go to the dining room or buffet. This allows us to have more time in the bathrooms, time to dress, etc, while eating at the same time - one of the kids could be in the bathroom at the same time one of them was eating, etc. So on most shore excursion days, we ordered in-cabin breakfast service, and found that our stateroom attendant was our food server! He did everything for us, our in-cabin food as well as our laundry! Once when we had to call him to come and lock the stocked-for-purchase refrigerator in the cabin that our kids had, he was actually in the laundry room at that moment, doing our laundry! Apparently, the attendants carry phones with them so that calls from their guests go directly to them - very efficient and excellent for the guests, continuity of care, so to speak. (We did not find that to be the case on the Summit, however.) One of the absolute highlights of a cruise on a Solstice Class ship is the wine and cheese party on the lawn, in the Lawn Club. There was only one on this cruise, I was hoping for two, but at least there was one. It was held during the sail away from Naples. There you are, on a blanket on the lawn - ACTUAL REAL GRASS - with pillows, and a small stool used as a table to hold your wine of choice as well as a gratis cheese and fruit tray - relaxing as the classical guitarist plays in the background, as the sun is setting over Naples, looking out at Mt. Vesuvius - and you wonder how can such a magical perfect experience be happening to you? And then there is the Sunset Bar, which is also on Deck 15, my favorite place on the ship, when there is no wine and cheese party on the lawn, that is. It is situated aft, with the ocean around you on 3 sides. The Lawn Club is just behind you, port and starboard. The fresh air envelops you, the sun shines or sets on you (unless you want to sit under the tent top), all as your friendly server who knows you after the first day, serves you your favorite libation. Heavenly! Sadly, the Millennium Class ships don't have a Lawn Club, and their Sunset Bar is really the Oceanview Bar, so it isn't quite the same. I wanted to mention that the Captain's Club event is very nice - the Captain and top officers are there to greet you, wine and cosmopolitan cocktails are served gratis, lovely food stations, as well as an award presentation to the person/couple with the highest number of Captain's Club points on that sailing. We were very lucky to have been playing trivia with this couple, from Belgium, the whole cruise, so we felt almost like part of their family when they were presented with their award. The higher the number of points you accumulate through frequent cruising with Celebrity, the more of these events that are available. On this cruise, we were still a "Classic" member, but the party, though technically the most basic, was anything but that. Celebrity rewards their loyal customers, and I have "Elite" in my sites! Our first port of call was Dubrovnik, Croatia, on August 6, 2012. We booked the shore excursion DU10 Highlights of Dubrovnik Riviera. The stop at the Konavoski Dvori Restaurant was a bit of a throwaway as we spent nearly all of our allotted time there waiting in a very long line for the bathroom. We managed to snap a few photos and eat a quick snack of local ham, cheese, bread, wine, which was very nice, but hurried. I do wish the bathroom situation there had been better, as it was a picturesque spot - an old mill next to the Ljuta River. Cavtat was a beautiful seaside village, very lovely, scenic, although for us, frankly the highlight of this excursion came after our children took the bus back to the ship, leaving my husband and I to explore Dubrovnik on our own. We discovered the most charming local jeweler inside the old city, inside the wall; here is their information - BENI, vi Toma Barisa, Od Puca 25. It was a family run store, the son, his wife, and the 'old man'. I found a pair of traditional Dubrovnik Puca/Kolarin earrings - round silver balls, fairly ornate but also simple at the same time. I wasn't happy with the length of the hook, so the 'old man' in his broken English with the help of his daughter-in-law, completely replaced the hooks, put in a chain - all very nice, and extremely reasonably priced. My husband and I then walked the entire wall of the old city, up and down, in blistering heat, but loved every minute, finding the views unparalleled. He and I then grabbed the Celebrity shuttle outside of the walls and returned to the ship on our own. That is something crucial to know about nearly all of the Celebrity excursions - usually, you don't need to return to the ship with your actual guide/bus - the ship nearly always runs shuttles to the key destinations and you can leave your shore excursion and return to the ship on your own - very handy! Our next stop was Venice, the city of cities! The sail into Venice was spectacular - the ship really played this up, as they should have, as there is nothing like it - to slowly sail in on the Grand Canal with St. Mark's Square RIGHT THERE, a stone's throw from the decks, really amazing! For over an hour on the dramatic approach to the city, theme music was broadcast throughout the ship and on the public outer decks, by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Boccelli to name a few, setting the mood very effectively. On Day 1 of our stay in Venice, we booked the shore excursion VE02, Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Cathedral & Glass Showroom. This was an excellent excursion, covering key highlights of the city. Our guide was very good. I would enjoy returning in order to spend more time in St. Mark's Cathedral. It is definitely a spot where you just want to sit, stay quiet, and simply take it in. The tour of the Doge's Palace was excellent. The glass showroom, eh, was ok - there was a quick demonstration then time to shop, and given the world renown reputation of Murano glass, something to see for sure, but not really our style. After the tour, we were free to return to the ship on our own. We used this opportunity to take a gondola ride. This, we recommend strongly, you must do on your own - do not do this as a shore excursion. We are a family of five, and the ship shore excursion price for a gondola ride for the 5 of us was approximately $100 per person!!! However, doing it on our own, that is how much we paid IN TOTAL for the 5 of us - a tremendous and overwhelming savings!! To get a gondola ride is very very easy. There are reputable stands all over. We went to one of the ubiquitous Paul & Shark Yachting stands - they operate nearly all of the gondolas in Venice! - and had a wonderful tour, approximately 45 minutes in length, very memorable. Someday, my husband and I will return and take a romantic gondola ride at night, just the two of us, with the sun setting, but this ride was a wonderful family experience, for sure! On Day 2 in Venice, our 3 kids stayed on board, according to plan, and my husband and I went on shore excursion VE06, Secret Venice Walking Tour. WOW, we loved this excursion!! Our tour guide was super engaging, very informed, and to see the sights of Venice on foot, venues that are far away from the fray of Piazza San Marco - definitely a highlight of our cruise! We HIGHLY recommend this excursion!! Everything that we saw was as detailed in the description, but after the walking tour, instead of returning immediately to the ship, we spent several hours on our own in the city. We feel so lucky to have been able to have had this magical experience of exploring Venice completely on our own (with a map!), truly an opportunity of a lifetime, at least the lifetime of yours truly. Based upon a port exploration talk given on board, we took the gondola "bus" across the Grand Canal from the San Marco District to explore the Artistic District or Dorsoduro, and simply fell in love with the area - few people, secluded, lovely. We loved discovering the gondola workshop, Squero san Trovaso (as seen by us on CBS Sunday Morning several years ago!) as well as enjoying some delicious gelato at Bar Laguna. We walked back to the San Marco District on the Academia Bridge, spanning the Grand Canal, and returned to the Solstice on the Celebrity water shuttle. Split, Croatia, was our next port of call, and we booked shore excursion AT06, Dalmatian Coastline & Village Life. The Solstice docked at sea and the ship's lifeboats acted as tenders - this was handled efficiently and effectively. We met our tour guide at the dock in Split, where he ultimately brought us through Split as well as Trogir. The palace of Emperor Diocletian now essentially encapsulates the modern city of 'old' Split, the old and the new seamlessly meshing together. We especially enjoyed the smaller town of Trogir, a World Unesco Heritate Site. The Cathedral of St. Lawrence, with the klapa singers in the square, was very memorable. I had 'visions of Rick Steves' with the klapa singers - very enjoyable! Our guide then took us to Jurlinovi Dvori in Draga-Primosten for a full lunch - amazing! Authentic, delicious, very local! The pork chops there were the best ever! All of the dishes were served family style by the 'lady of the house'. Very lovely. Naples was our next port of call. Since we had docked in Naples last year, August 2011, on the Equinox, and had seen SO VERY much on our shore excursion NP08, Exclusive Amalfi Coast, Positano, Sorrento & Pompeii, we decided to do Naples on our own this year. We decided to divide our family of 5 into 2 groups, my 20 year old son and I, and my husband with the other 2 kids. Since my daughter has a physical disability, my husband and she and our 18 year old son, decided to go into Naples with the wheelchair and do the Rick Steves self-guided walking tour of Naples which focuses on the Centro Storico/Spaccanapoli. As it turned out, from an accessible perspective, the whole area was frought with hazards - lots of construction was going on at the time, so many walkways were hard to pass. They took a cab from the port directly to the start of Spaccanapoli - the cab driver ignored all red lights and made the drive particularly exciting/terrifying for my 18 year old son, who would go to Naples again any time if he could have the same cab ride experience! The city itself, other than parts of the Centro Storico, was heavily graffiti-ed and in general, ill kept, full of loose garbage, dirty - very sad considering the historic nature of the area. They happily stumbled upon Scaturchio, patisserie and gelateria. The sfogliatelle, the clam shell-esque pastry, was warm, with a delicious lemon filling - exquisite! My 20 yr old son and I, in the divide and conquer plan of attack on Naples, went to Capri. Since Capri demands a higher level of physical agility, I knew that my daughter who needs a walker/wheelchair, would be far less able to negotiate many of the aspects of the island. My son and I took the 8:05am SNAV Hydrofoil from the dock at Naples to Capri, arriving in Capri at approximately 9am. Our plan was to go directly to the Blue Grotto but we learned that the chop was too high that day, as well as the next, and so the Blue Grotto was 'closed', much to our disappointment. So, we took the funicular to Capri Town and then the bus to Anacapri. We then directly accessed the Ski Lift to the top of Anacapri Mountain. This is a single seat chair lift with no lock or bar over your lap - something that here in the USA would never be approved, for obvious safety reasons! We were a bit freaked out with no locking mechanisms on the lap bar, as the chair lift goes on and on, a 12 minute ride, very very high, with the land well below your dangling feet, ending at the top awarding the hearty traveler with amazingly spectacular views of the entire island but particularly of the Faraglioni rocks, the iconic rock formations that are the symbol of Capri. We took the ski lift back down to Anacapri, explored Anacapri for some time enjoying the fresh granitas, then the bus back to Capri. The sights and scenes that are viewed from the bus themselves and from every vantage point on the island are spectacular, beautiful, not to be missed. In Capri Town, as I had mentioned earlier, we had wanted to go to the Blue Grotto, but since it was 'closed' due to high chop, we wandered around the dock area, not sure what to do but not willing to give up on our quest, looking a bit forlorn and disappointed, when we were approached by a hearty soul, a local fisherman who's t-shirt advertised himself as the Pizza Man, "Rent a Boat with the Pizza Man" - is what his shirt said. He looked super local, authentic, and he seemed to know everyone around (thus, I though, hmmm, he must be safe!). He asked us if we wanted to take a cruise in his fishing boat around the island and the long sublimated adventurer in me said, "YES! WHY NOT!!??" We negotiated a price, which actually means that I accepted without question the price that he quoted, and off my son and I went. I am so glad that we did! Though the Blue Grotto was off the list, we still saw fantastic scenic water sites, rock formations that were breathtaking, other less famous but stunningly beautiful grottos that he negotiated his boat into, plus, he took us through the Faraglioni rock formations! He even opened a bottle of white wine which the 3 of us shared, on our 80 minute journey. We have fantastic photos that Pizza Man took of us going through the rocks! He was a skilled tour guide, broken English but still able to get across his points, such an adventure, in his smallish fishing boat, just my son and I, an adventure never to be forgotten! I know I am using the word 'adventure' often, but truly, that's what it was! Our next port of call was Civitavecchia, the gateway to Rome. Since we spent nearly three days touring Rome last summer and enjoying it thoroughly, we decided to take an alternate non-Rome shore excursion, deciding on CV25 Olive Oil Tasting & Scenic Drive. We enjoyed this very much. We saw a good deal of Tuscany/Tarquinia/Piansano, and got a fantastic narrative from the tour guide as we proceeded along. We enjoyed the historical village of Tuscania but the highlight was the lunch at the Cerrosughero Estate, which is a working olive oil plantation, as well as an Inn, where many varieties of olive oil are produced on site. We were served a lovely lunch of several varieties of their olive oil, their own jams and honey, several hams, artichokes, salads, breads - very rustic, authentic, delicious. We sat on the outdoor grape-vine-enwrapped patio overlooking the estate, quite picturesque. We were there for a bit over an hour, and were given an opportunity to purchase the olive oil, but at no time was any pressure put on us to do so. We did buy some to take home with us, as the oil was outstanding, and also very reasonably priced. On the drive back to the ship, we saw several Roman aqueducts still in place along the roadside dating back to Emperor Trajan, very neat to see. Our next port of call was Florence. This was our first time in Florence, and we were rather devastated after we booked the cruise, to learn that we would be there on a Monday - the one day of the week when the two most notable major museums in Florence are closed, the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia. (WHY do these museums close once a week??? GRRRR!!!) What this meant is that we would not be able to see the actual "David" by Michelangelo nor Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" - two of the most iconic works of art anywhere, ever. I was seriously ready to cancel our plans for the cruise, but, luckily, sanity prevailed and though it is true that we did not get to go to these two museums, Florence is a huge gorgeous uber historical city unto itself, and along with Pisa, there was no shortage of things to do. Not to mention that though we didn't see the ORIGINAL "David", we saw umpteen life-size copies, including the one in Piazza della Signoria which is where the original stood for centuries, where Michelangelo intended it to be. The ship docks in Livorno, about 12 miles from Pisa. We did not book a ship shore excursion as we knew that we wanted to not only see as much of Florence as possible, but also to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa - myself and my 2 sons - and there was no shore excursion that combined both, for obvious reasons of time constraints. Therefore, months earlier, we booked a private excursion for the five of us through Tuscany Car Tours "www.tuscanycartours.com", and we are so thrilled that we did. Our driver/guide, Paolo Rigacci, picked us up at the Solstice at 8am for a 9 hour private tour. Paolo was very friendly, and very informative. He took us directly to Pisa (we had pre-booked our timed tickets to climb the tower); he parked very close. We spent probably two hours in Pisa, climbing, exploring, taking lots of the kitschy photos of us trying to prop up the tower. On our ride to Florence, Paolo continued his informative talk about the area - Tuscany - focusing in on wine production and classifications, knowing our interest in wine. In Florence, he took us first to Michelangelo Square which offers a breathtaking panorama of the city, including the famous Ponte Vecchio. Paolo made sure that we saw all of the major sites in the city, parking very close to them. Though we weren't able to go into many, as there is so much to see, we had time to walk around on our own and ultimately we were glad that the two major museums were closed. We got a fantastic thorough overview of the city itself, and next time we visit, as Florence will surely be an overlapping port of call on a future Celebrity cruise for us, we will visit specific museums. Paolo recommended a local authentic cafe for lunch which we absolutely loved - La Grotta Guelfa (please refer to my TripAdvisor review for more specifics.) We had a fantastic day in Florence and Pisa! Our next port of call was Toulon, France, where we decided to book the shore excursion TU03 Aix-en-Provence. Such a beautiful picture perfect postcard of a town! Our guide gave us an informative guided walking tour, leaving us plenty of time at the end to explore on our own. We happened to be in town while two markets were going on, a big clothing market and a farmer's and flower market. At the farmer's market, we purchased fresh peaches and fresh apple-pear cider. The cider was delicious but the peaches were extraordinary, ranking in our minds as the best peaches we have ever had along with the peaches from last summer's cruise on the Equinox, the peaches from the village of Sirince in Turkey. We definitely recommend this shore excursion as it provided an excellent trip into the countryside and a lovely visit to Aix. We had no interest in seeing Marseille, from our research, and we were very happy with our choice. An excellent cruise, and in our opinion, for our family, a Celebrity cruise is the best way to see Europe. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We set off from Barcelona on Friday 3rd August, of course I like Barcelona I live here so no problems for me. We boarded about 11.30 12.00, no problems maybe we waited ten minutes. We went straight to the top deck to have a look around ... Read More
We set off from Barcelona on Friday 3rd August, of course I like Barcelona I live here so no problems for me. We boarded about 11.30 12.00, no problems maybe we waited ten minutes. We went straight to the top deck to have a look around and have a couple of beers and just chill out. We waited until the call came saying the rooms were ready and then we went to have a look at our cabins.. Our impression was good but the balcony was a bit smaller than our other two cruises but for the two of us it was big enough. First impressions of the boat were good, nothing negative there was plenty of room to move around the boat. The first two days were at sea days so it was time to relax. Of course it wasn't easy to get a lounger but I expected that problem. I made use of the gym, going to some spinning classes too, normally even if the gym was full you didn't have to wait long to get a machine. We were on select dinning and we were very happy with the meals, we didn't try the other Specialty Dining restaurants. I thought the main restaurant was good and the staff worked very hard but maybe the place was a little "cold" because of the decor but everyone has different tastes. We tried breakfast there one morning but we weren't impressed, too slow. We had breakfast in the cabin a couple of times, no problems and the Oceanview Cafe was good, we ate twice there in the evening for a change. The people we met were great, without a doubt they helped to make the cruise a fun time. Now the ports of call. Dubrovnik, very hot and a lot of people, try to get there early to avoid the queues and the crowds, a small tip there is less of a wait to walk the walls if you go in the entrance near the port. We also took a taxi for a private tour which cost us 50 Euro, try to find someone to share the cost, the driver was very good and he explained some history of the town. We didn't eat there we just had a beer, most places would take Euros or Dollars. Venice, we arrived early afternoon great views while the ship is going through Venice. We went into Venice with the ships shuttle, we went after 5 so it wasn't as hot and fewer people, we stayed for a few hours, a beautiful place but very very expensive. The following day we went back again and took in a museum and walked the streets, very crowed and hot. Try to go early to avoid the crowds and the heat. Split was next and a nice surprise when we got off the boat we took the tour bus (about 20 Euro) it took us around Split which isn't very big and that lasted about 45 minutes and then we had a guide to walk us through the ruins which was very good, we enjoyed it there, not too many people. Some people went to the beach, there are a couple of beaches within walking distance. Naples; here we did a private tour with APT tours, it was very good we went to Herculeum, Positano and Sorrento the guide was very good and I would have no problems working with this company again. A couple of negative points traffic but no one can control that and we were unable to catch the ferry back so that meant we had only a short time in Sorrento. We all had lunch there and maybe that was a mistake because we could have just bought a sandwich and saw more of Sorrento but no one was to blame for that it was our choice. Civtaveccia (Rome). We took the express train to Rome, it is run by smartcruisetours.com. No problems, the train station is about a ten minute walk from the shuttle drop off. In Rome we took an open tour bus run by the same company. We had lunch near the Spanish steps The Restaurant is called Life Via della Vite 28 a good restaurant. Livorno (Florence) here we just stayed on ship, we were very tired after Rome and we had already visited Florence before, it was good just to relax and of course the boat was very quiet. Toulon (France) here we had another tour booked this time with http://www.ssk.fr. Very good, not stressful like in Italy, we only did 6 hours because I felt this would be enough for the last day.This is what we did Aix en provence. Marseille Lunch to the Cassis. Here we didn't have a guide but the drivers were very helpful and explained things as we were in the van. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
This was our first cruise on one of the new Solstice class ships and we were really looking forward to it. The Solstice is certainly a great looking ship and even though it is 4 years old, I cannot say that I noticed its age anywhere ... Read More
This was our first cruise on one of the new Solstice class ships and we were really looking forward to it. The Solstice is certainly a great looking ship and even though it is 4 years old, I cannot say that I noticed its age anywhere that we came across. We were in an Aqua Class room, but as we were travelling with family we did not get a chance to experience the Blu dining room, we are back with Celebrity in October so we will get chance to try it then. The other 'benefit' of being Aqua Class was the use of the Persian Garden - this was a huge disappointment, very limited facilities, a sauna, steam, showers and some hot beds - no water or refreshments on other places to cool off, I would advise that Celebrity look at what NCL offer, a much better offering. We used the other speciality restaurants and enjoyed them all, it is very easy to overeat in them, we escpecially enjoyed Murano & Silk Harvest. The main dining room was very good and we would have been quite happy to eat there each night. We chose the other restaurants to avoid the formal nights in the main restaurant, although we saw plenty of people with just a smart shirt etc, so perhaps Celebrity are at last relaxing the rules! The Ocean View Cafe was a bit busy at times and probably not as good at other ships we have been on, but there was always plenty of food. The queue for the ice cream was always long, so it made it easier for me to resist the temptation! The gym was good, although some machines were past their best and the sauna in the changing room was next to useless, again no water etc. We were told that we would get vouchers for the staff tips at the end of the cruise, but when we queried it, we were told that they haven't issued them for 5 years! Fine, but please update your literature. The pre-dinner shows (we ate at the 2nd sitting) were badly timed and we went to very few, why have they changed this, after dinner shows are much better. the production shows we went to were very good, the guest entertainers were not worth rushing to see. Saling from Barcelona, there were a lot od Spanish onboard, and so they made over one of the lounges to Spanish music etc, one thing lacking was the evening entertainment, what they do have is centered around the centrum and the music is so loud you struggle to hold a conversation. Trying to get a sunbed on a sea day is a challenge, we gave up most days, people abuse it and the system they have struggles to work. Overall a nice cruise, despite my comments above, I will see if there is a difference on our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
This was my second time cruising the Mediterranean and my first time aboard Celebrity. The pricing seems too good to be true considering this cruise line was rated pretty highly. I have cruised on a good variety of cruise lines, even ... Read More
This was my second time cruising the Mediterranean and my first time aboard Celebrity. The pricing seems too good to be true considering this cruise line was rated pretty highly. I have cruised on a good variety of cruise lines, even including 3 luxury class cruises as well as more family oriented low end cruises, so I had a pretty good idea what of what I was looking for. This Celebrity cruise met and exceeded pretty much all of those expectations. The ship is pretty big with plenty of ammenitis, but the public areas never felt overly crowded. The ship itself was beautiful, clean and very well maintained. We lucked out on our cabin assignment by getting a wheelchair accessible room which is bigger then a normal room. Service on board was spectacular and I loved the dinners in the main dining room. Lunch and breakfast buffets were pretty good. We did dine in the Asian style specialty restaurant (Silk Harvest) and I found the food to be mediocre. Entertainment on board was typical cruise fare and I found it to be a mixed bag. The ports of call were excellent, although we had already visited about half of them. In the summer these ports are all very crowded and hot. After about half a day! we were always ready to head back to the ship. Overall, our cruise experience with Celebrity was fantastic. I fully expect to cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We've just arrived home after a 2 month journey through Europe hence the delay in posting a review of our cruising experience! The last time Mr A found himself cruising its was as a travel agent in the mid 90's on a ... Read More
We've just arrived home after a 2 month journey through Europe hence the delay in posting a review of our cruising experience! The last time Mr A found himself cruising its was as a travel agent in the mid 90's on a 'famil' (a free trip) on board a dodgy ship between DRW and SIN. For Mrs R it was even earlier - migrating with family to the States as a three year old in the late 60's. Fair to say memories of what to expect were somewhat hazy! Add to the mix we were travelling with Miss J, a three and half year old who had just been stimulated with 5 days at Disneyland Paris. After considerable research on these and other forums we selected a Celebrity cruise out of BCN over others based on the premium experience it offered. However there was apprehension about what the cruise might offer a 3.5 y.o. as the forums were generally silent on the experience of families travelling with young children, particularly through the Mediterranean. Would the kids club meet expectations? On a cruise that geared towards the 40-60 y.o. empty nesters would there be enough kids on board for Miss J to befriend? What a surprise. Whilst there were less than 100 kids onboard Miss J had a ball. Shy and very reluctant at first, a visit the kids club became a firm favourite. This was helped by the warm friendly greetings of the youth counsellors and the small number in her age group. The waiting staff in the grand dining room treated Miss J like a princess, engaging with her and bringing her out of her shell. The many, many friendly interactions with a host of the ship's staff made a firm impression on Miss J and she would excitedly recount the people she had engaged with during the day. Speaking to another parent, an seasoned cruiser travelling with an 8 year old, we were surprised to learn their child enjoyed and preferred the Celebrity Solstice over the Disney cruises. The 8 year old like the Celebrity Solstice because there was less children on board, an uncrowded kids club and it was easier for the young one to make friends. For us the dining experience, the pool, after dinner shows, a well appointed stateroom cleaned and serviced twice a day and the kids club all exceeded expectations. On the issue of shore excursions a travel agent reminded me of the power of the internet. A little research before departure saw us book private tours (e.g bike tour through Rome, guide with car in Naples). These memorable tours better suited what we wanted to experience rather than large group generic offerings of the cruise company. Post holiday we play this little game with Miss J, asking her 'from the following three travel experiences which one was your favourite?' The Celebrity Cruise is at the top narrowly pipping other highlights such as Disneyland Paris, climbing the Eiffel Tower, Legoland Germany, and sledding on snow in Switzerland. That says something about how much she really enjoyed her cruising experience! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Well...I looked forward to a vacation like this for years....this was our 30th cruise...but never been to europe before...mostly carribbean, puerto rico, st. john, etc...did an alaskan and a panama canal one...and mexican riveria...we our ... Read More
Well...I looked forward to a vacation like this for years....this was our 30th cruise...but never been to europe before...mostly carribbean, puerto rico, st. john, etc...did an alaskan and a panama canal one...and mexican riveria...we our vip on carnival....a few rcc....a few ncl....one holland american....one princess...first time on celebrity...We booked everything including airfare with celebrity...we chose our excursions ahead of time. We are from the Tampa Bay area....so we flew from Tampa to Atlanta and then on to Barcelona...we left Tampa about 1:30 and arrived in Spain around 8:30 am...day of cruise...my one regret is that we didn't get to see much of Barcelona...the airport...and the port....If I were to do it again...i would probably stay a few days later and enjoy this city as well. embarkation went very smootly..we had transfers from airport to the ship...got into line and on ship right away...rooms were not ready till 1:30...so we went on deck and ate lunch. CABIN:...remarkable..we had a balcony room....the bathroom was the largest we have ever had...more compartments to fill then any other ship....huge shower....it was great...I was a bit concerned with closets at first....there were only two..and we are use to 3 to 4....after deciding where to put things....we also discovered that the room had 5 drawers near the desk....and also above the bed was more storage...so....putting everything away for a 12 night trip was no problem. The room had a very large safe and easy to operate...Beds were comfortable and soft..and our room steward, Duvor was excellent. FOOD: we had late seating...and on this boat that was 8:45...if I had to do this again, I would have chose earlier. When we got back from long excursions.....we just wanted to shower, eat and go to bed!...so earlier would have been better....When we did eat in the main dining hall...it was lovely...great steaks! Service was fantastic....we ate once in the Tuscany...they offered a 20% discount and we took them up on it.....It was Fabulous..had a filet mignon....My friends went to Silk Harvest...and I ordered room service that night....they said they enjoyed it....Room service had a wide menu...i got some chicken wings and quesodias....we also ordered breakfast a few times in the room. The one disappointing food item would be the cafeteria...buffet...at first...it was fantastic...until you found out that it really didn't change the 12 days we were at sea. Some nights we were tired from the excursions..that we would eat in here...and they had the same food..day in...day out....we are use to the buffet changing....matter of fact..the Allure...has the same menu in the buffet as it does in the Restaurant.....we loved that! Don't miss the pasta bar...it was the best....they do offer several sorbet's and ice cream....desserts were abundant and some of the best.... Casino....one word...SMALL...we enjoy going to the casino after dinner and play the penny slots....not much of a variety here...only good thing..NO SMOKING....it was nice Shops are a little strange in the fact that they are on both floors 4 and 5....we didn't frequent much of floor 5...so we missed those shops most of the time...they did have a 75% sale off of there logo merchandise.... SHOWS:....ummmm...how do i say this....BORING!...this is where it really fell down...singers that can't really sing...the only night I enjoyed was a 70's party..were they got dressed up and played songs from that era...other than that.....we entertained ourselves playing cards, casino, reading...etc.... EXCUrSIONS:...one word...WOW...being that this was a first time for all of us..there were 2 couples...we were in awe of everything..... SPLIT croatia...lovely...very clean...went to see a sculptures house, museum and shopping district....very clean and lovely.... Venice:...one word...BREATHTAKING...I kept saying to myself..am I really here?....just a beautiful city with lovely people...lots of bakeries...and gelato on every corner. KOTOR, montenegro....I have to admit I never heard of this place before..its a country that was formed from the breakup of Yugoslavia....well...this was a lovely surprise...I loved it soooo much, I wouldn't mind living there...very friendly....clean...old city...one of the best Naples:....we took a tour of a vineyard here...it was lovely...had pizza and enjoyed the bakery...beautiful monuments...statues...etc. ROME:...busy city....but lovely old world culture abounds.....trevi fountain...vatican...st peters basilica....just breathtaking FLorence:....lovely....went on a ten hour tour and it was just great Toulon...we opted for a tour of Marsielle...this was a little disappointing...we went to the famous churn onto of the mountain.....the guide did not go in with us...so we had to guess at what we were looking at...In Italy...all the guides went in and described everything to us...then there was sooooo much traffic....they gave us an hour in the city to shop...really..an hour?.....much more time was needed on this excursion.... Disebarkation went as smoothly as the beginning..... all in all this was a lovely vacation.....Not sure if I would Immediately book on Celebrity again.....our favorite is still Carnival , with RCCL ALLure in second place Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We have just completed a 12-night cruise of the Mediterranean on the Celebrity Solstice. We enjoyed it enough to sign up for another Celebrity cruise on-board. The Celebrity Solstice is not the absolute top of the line in cruise ships, ... Read More
We have just completed a 12-night cruise of the Mediterranean on the Celebrity Solstice. We enjoyed it enough to sign up for another Celebrity cruise on-board. The Celebrity Solstice is not the absolute top of the line in cruise ships, but it does provide value for money. We had a Concierge veranda stateroom. The stateroom was functional, the bathroom was a reasonable size, and the balcony provided room for the two of us to stretch out watch the waves go by. Our attendants were pleasant and helpful, although we didn't require much beyond the standard things. The only criticism I would have is that Celebrity has chosen an Apple network to drive the stateroom TV communications and I am not sure it is up to the task. The signal would tend to freeze up. Not a big deal for us -- we didn't watch it much anyway. We chose the fixed time dinner option. For us the early sitting suited us well -- we had a number of early start shore excursions and were not interested in partying all night. We were fortunate in our dinner companions, and having dinner with them became a fun part of the cruise. The food in the main dining room was good. The dinner menu had two sides to it. The left side never changed and provided some basic standbys such as NY Strip Steak. The right side was different every evening. I like to try things I have not eaten before, so I almost always ended up choosing from the right side. Things were not always perfect, some folks at our table had trouble getting a steak the way they wanted it and the fish on one occasion was dry. However, the wait staff fell over themselves in getting the problems corrected. We didn't eat at any of the specialty restaurants because we were happy dining in the main dining room. Breakfast and lunch we took in the cafeteria style Ocean View Cafe. Plenty of good choices to pick from. We never had a problem finding a table either, which can sometimes be a problem in those environments. We had signed up for Celebrity shore excursions for five of the seven ports we visited. We were happy with all of them. Generally the shore excursions were well organized; you checked in at the main theatre, they gave you a numbered batch and called each excursion by number. The tour guide and the bus displayed the number prominently so even in the mad crush of the Acropolis it was easy to follow. There was a different show every night. A resident production cast put on three different production shows. There were five guest artists and the remaining four shows were variety shows featuring the production cast and guest artists. The quality was good -- not great -- but certainly enjoyable. The humor would sometimes get a bit edgy. This didn't worry me, but there were some folks at our dinner table that didn't care for it. In addition to the shows there were various musical acts that would perform in different parts of the ship at different times. Most passengers seemed to have at least one they would make a point of listening to -- depending more on style than ability. There were enough other activities that we never got bored. We only paid extra for one -- a wine tasting. Well, if you discount drinking and gambling. One of the families at our dinner table had a 10 -- year old son. They purposefully chose a cruise with a more limited kids program because they thought that would suit him better. He certainly seemed to enjoy himself. Formal nights were not super-formal. I had rented a tux because I didn't want to be lugging a tux or suit to Europe with me. Probably about half of the men wore tuxes, close to half wore a suit, and there was a smattering of guys that couldn't be bothered to do either. For our next cruise I will probably take a suit. I don't know how full the cruise was -- they always seemed to be space, we never felt crowded. All in all, a good experience and we are ready to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
My husband, my 25 year old son and myself thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Celebrity Solstice. Upon check-in we were upgraded to a Royal Suite which was like a nice one bedroom apartment. The Master bedroom and bathroom were spacious ... Read More
My husband, my 25 year old son and myself thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Celebrity Solstice. Upon check-in we were upgraded to a Royal Suite which was like a nice one bedroom apartment. The Master bedroom and bathroom were spacious and extremely comfortable and always clean. The suite included a full master bath with two sinks, a hot tub and a large separate shower. There was a second half bath near the kitchen and dining area. The large living room included a sofa bed and a shorter sofa with tables and a 52 inch t.v. The master bedroom had a 42 inch t.v. (unfortunately the Apple interface didn't work...couldn't access the Navigation and the Internet was extremely slow. This may be to being at sea...we didn't really watch t.v as there was so much to do on the ship and on the excursions. But faster Internet is needed as it was our only way to communicate with our friends and family in the U.S.) Our suite came with a large balcony which included another hot tub, chaise lounge, two chairs and a table. It was wonderful...some days we didn't want to leave our suite. Please see the photos on the celebrity website for details...very accurate photos. The Royal suite entitles you to Butler service and Jonathan our butler was excellent; always helpful and attentive but careful not to disturb us. Theresa our housekeeper was equally competent and seemed genuinely happy to serve us. All of the facilities on board were clean, sanitized and shined. The food was excellent as were the servers in the Grand Dining Room; Dragon and Annya were the best. I liked being waited on without feeling awkward and they knew how to make us comfortable. We also ate at the Tuscan and the Murano; two of their specialty restaurants. The lobster flam beau, cooked at your table was the best lobster that I've ever had...my son and husband loved their petite filet mignon. There was always plenty of food, actually I think the entrees could be half the size, but I doubt if many would agree with me as people like their meals. The chef did visit our table and asked for suggestions and explained to us that the menu is International cuisine...yes, but with a definite French influence...no complaints there. The chocolate souffle and the goat cheese souffle were superb.(Not significant, but some passengers wondered where the popcorn was...I wanted a grilled cheese sand which and chicken noodle soup and never saw either one. Maybe you can order them but I didn't try.)I've cruised before and by far Celebrity does it best. Their service is unbeatable for a cruise ship...the staff doesn't seem tired or annoyed with all the passengers as I've experienced on other cruise ships. They are all friendly and respectful...just amazing in terms of their training and attitude. My son commented that he wished we had that kind of service in our home town. The cleanliness is also impressive given that there are almost 3,000 passengers on board; much cleaner than any hotel I've ever frequented. I truly wish I was still on board...I miss my Royal Suite and meals. Now back to reality. P.S. The ship excursions were very informative and worth the money. All of the tour guides were knowledgeable and kind. Thank you Celebrity for the best trip my family has ever experienced. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Our cruise on the Celebrity Solstice was by far the best cruise my husband and I have taken. The ship is gorgeous. Our suite was large with more than enough room to store the ridiculous amount of items we brought. Even though the ship ... Read More
Our cruise on the Celebrity Solstice was by far the best cruise my husband and I have taken. The ship is gorgeous. Our suite was large with more than enough room to store the ridiculous amount of items we brought. Even though the ship had upwards of 2,000 passengers, I never felt crowded. There were more than enough chaises around the pool, seats at the shows, tables at the largest casino I have ever seen at sea and never a long wait for an elevator. The staff made us feel special. Any time we were in need of a staff member, they were there in a NY minute. Having breakfast served every morning on the veranda by our butler, Dominick, was a fantasy come true. We always had a bowl of fresh fruit and fresh flowers in our room. Every day at 4:30 Dominick would deliver hor doerves, sandwiches, desserts to our room. This was wonderful as we chose the late dinner. The food was excellent. The regular dining was special. I cannot think of one meal or item that was disappointing. It was all great. We also dined at 2 specialty restaurants Murano's and Tuscan Grill. Those dinners were special and the service was spectacular. The only thing I did not care for was the entertainment. When I first heard the performers who played the lounges and around the pool, I thought they were wonderful...but after Day 5, I was bored with the same acts over and over again. Also, I am not a Cirque de Soleil fan, and many of the shows featured that type of entertainment. The best performer on the ship was Mario (I cannot remember his last name, sorry Mario). Mario plays a mean guitar and has a wonderfully entertaining way with the audience. I could have watched him every night without getting bored. He performed at 2 of the shows. I loved all the ports except Naples. This was my second time there and the second time I was robbed. Be aware. I was texting and my phone was ripped out of my hands by a thief who was sitting on the back of a scooter. He was able to make a quick get-away.To sum it up, the next time I book a cruise, it will be on Celebrity. I am their #1 Fan. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We have just completed our first-ever cruise. We chose a Greek Isles vacation with Celebrity Cruises and sailed on the Solstice from Barcelona. Service was impeccable from embarkation to disembarkation. Guest Services was responsive and ... Read More
We have just completed our first-ever cruise. We chose a Greek Isles vacation with Celebrity Cruises and sailed on the Solstice from Barcelona. Service was impeccable from embarkation to disembarkation. Guest Services was responsive and handled any issues quickly and efficiently. Our room steward was so responsive to our needs that we hardly saw him, but definitely knew when he had serviced the room - from ice always being available to turn-down each evening. The ocean-view cabin had more than enough room for two, especially with the luggage fitting under the bed and in the overhead storage. Our MDR waiters were very attentive and provided some of the most excellent service we have experienced anywhere. Once officers and crew got to know us, they would engage us by name and ask how things were, even when we saw them in port! The food was wonderful and the MDR menus exciting. I have a severe allergy to all seafood, and once our maitre d' in the MDR was informed, he and the food service staff took very good care of me, letting me choose from the next evening's menu ahead of time and letting me know if any item had any hidden seafood ingredients (i.e. a soup I ordered the night before was actually made with fish stock - I was told at dinner the next evening and given the opportunity to choose another item BEFORE it came to the table). The selection in the Oceanview Cafe was varied and well-prepared, ranging from made-to-order omelets to specialties such as blood sausage, jerk chicken and a curried food station. We were so pleased with the quality of the food in the MDR and Cafe that we didn't feel the need to dine in any of the specialty restaurants. The evening entertainment in the main theater wasn't really what we preferred, but we did like the cirque-type show called "Solstice." The theme parties were fun, and we thoroughly enjoyed the string trio and ship orchestra (we're classical musicians). There was PLENTY to do on the ship in the evening and on sea days, including the Corning glass-blowing show, various classes and the optional "behind the scenes" ship tours. There was plenty of time to visit the ports of call and still enjoy some time on the ship before setting sail each evening. I'm sure there may have been something I missed in this cruise review. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have about our itinerary, the ship or the Solstice Greek Isles cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
12 Night MedCruise on Solstice May 2012 Perspective: We are both 50ish ;). We have cruised 25 or so times mainly on main stream cruises, and did cruise once on Crystal. We favor value for the buck and cruising off season away from ... Read More
12 Night MedCruise on Solstice May 2012 Perspective: We are both 50ish ;). We have cruised 25 or so times mainly on main stream cruises, and did cruise once on Crystal. We favor value for the buck and cruising off season away from school holidays. Usually we cruise just to be on a ship and enjoy a relaxing vacation. This cruise it was about the ports. Pre-Cruise: We purchased a roundtrip ticket on AA to Barcelona. AA did just fine. We arrived 3 days early for sightseeing in Barcelona. We used the Aeroport bus service because one of the drops in Barcelona was only a few hundred yards from our hotel. This works great and saves money if your hotel is close by; otherwise a taxi may be the best bet. The first day of arrival was mainly used to adjust to the time and to revisit many of the sites that we have toured before in Barcelona. The full day of sight seeing was for Plau Guell and Parc de Ciutat. We used the T10 Metro ticket. Embarkation: Our hotel had an 11:00 am checkout time. Checked out then and pulled luggage to taxi stand. Taxi was quick and easy to port. We paid €25 for service from Plaza Catalouana to the port with 5 bags, this may have been a bit high but close enough. Porter met us at taxi for checked bags; he provided luggage tags. We went straight in to port security which was a breeze, no mention of the bottles of wine that we had in our checked luggage. No lines anywhere. We then did the Celebrity check in. Since we are Select there were no lines. We got a letter informing us that the ship was doing extra cleaning for norovirus and that we would be a bit delayed getting to rooms but the sailing would not be delayed. We were called shortly after 1 to board. Cabin: We had an inside cabin. We booked a guarantee inside. We were assigned aft on deck 8. The room was large, probably one of the 200 square foot ones and layed out very well. Very nice for the times we order room service. Loved the decorating scheme and the bathroom layout. There were two easy chairs and one desk chair, no loveseat. Bed was comfortable with pillowtop and duvet. Hanging closet was small but adequate. One of the best inside cabins we have ever enjoyed. Safe was large and worked fine. Our AC dial was labled with red and blue arrows to show temperature adjustment. We adjusted it quite often since our weather varied from hot to cold and rainy. Cabin was serviced twice daily. It was very clean with very little wear noticeable. Three cute towel animals. Our attendants were very efficient and friendly; small communication problem but all was worked out. Overall Service: Excellent. Food: Beverages - We carried on bottled water both at embarcation and from port visits. We carried on wine. There is a corkage fee of $25. After late days in port we had room service one night and enjoyed our carried on wine with no corkage fee. Since Celebrity allows ordering from the MDR at night this was a delightful experinece. The food from the nightly menu including the always available New York strip steak. It was excellent. Wine list was varied and offered at good price points. Celebrity still has sommeliers. Our sommelier was good and added to our dining experience. For Breakfast, we did room service three days. There was the call telling us they were on their way and then the delivery. All breakfast items were as ordered. We ordered before the hot breakfast started at 6:30am on early port days from the contintenal breakfast menu and the always available menu. The Oceanview Cafe was the best buffet we have experienced on mass market lines. Large selections. Most stations were nice and hot, a few not so much. For breakfast, they prepare eggs and omelettes to order. Lots of meat, potatoes, fruit, and cereals. For lunch, there is a good variety, a hot service line, salads, pasta, pizza, curries and stirfries. There are tea type foods in the PM followed by sushi in the late afternoon. All presented nicely. Handmade ice cream was excellent. Aqua Spa Cafe ( no extra charge for food) was excellent as well. We only had lunch there. We ordered the salmon or tuna several times. We also had the salads. We ordered a carafe (355 ml) of wine for our lunch at around $11.00. Seating is limited. We could normally get a seat and sometimes shared a table which is a great way to meet others. For dinner, we had the late seating in the Grand Epernay Dining Room. We thought the room was beatiful and took time to look at the wine tower. We were seated at a table for two. Service was excellent and professional. Waiter always shared the chef's recommendation as well as his own. Everything that was the waiter's recommendation was indeed excellent. Celebrity shines in their traditional approach to dinner. They still have formal nights and dinner served by courses. Most nights we had an appetizer, soup or salad (sometimes both), entrees and desserts with coffee. Many times added extra items such as an extra appetizer or entree and the waiter served it seamlessly into the flow of our meal. One advantage of being at a table for two. Some stand outs in the dining room were -- Escargots returned to the always available menu, the beef dishes especially the New York Strip steak were very good (on most lines we avoid steak), the duck a la orange, lamb chops, lobster, and risottos. We enjoyed the salads and the handmade dressings. They are better than any other lines. We did not try the specialty restaurants. No need; the dining room was excellent. Entertainment: We enjoyed the different small ensemble musicians throughout the ship. On sea days they play in many places several times of day. For example, we enjoyed the flamenco guitarist at the Sunset Bar next to the lawn on afternoon. There was also a jazz ensemble and classical trio. In addition they have a great cover band, Intenze. There is a DJ that plays various kinds of dance music including ballroom maybe for the European market. Several nights they have special parties that feature the band and the dancers from the showroom. Some of the parties are held in the Sky Lounge and some in the Atrium. Our favorite was the 60s party held in the atrium, the showroom staff had great costumes and choreography. Totally unique and enjoyble, people watched from many levels all around the atrium. There were several parties of this magnitude. There are many bars with very good and varied atmospheres. Happy hours are offered daily. There are events called Celebrity life. Some include interaction with the ship's officers and staff. These events were a great success. The lectures were also well attended. Sometimes the venues were too small for the number of participants. There was a nightly show in the showroom each night at two times for the two dining times. Sometimes the early show was for late dining and others the show was after dinner. The shows were similar to the ones on other major lines. We enjoyed them. The main pool area and the solarium are very beautiful areas. Nicer than most ships. But they do get very crowded on sea days. Every seat will be saved or have a body in them around 10 in the morning on a sea day. Staff did not remove items obviously saving chairs, but some passengers did. The running track is a nightmare on sea days. It is on the level above the main pool. Anytime from 7AM to 7PM it is crowded with wanderers and even loungers who have no concept that others are trying to use it for exercise. The gym is nice. Good variety of equipment. Occasionally crowded on sea days, but that always happens when everyone wants to exercise at the same time. Wait awhile and it's almost empty. Did not use the for-pay services in the spa area. The locker/changing room, showers, and sauna are very nice and don't get crowded. The Lawn Club and Glass Blowing area is a unique feature of the Solstice. We enjoyed this area very much. There was laid back entertainment like the glass blowing shows, putting contest, bocchi ball, and music. Plus the aft views were fantastic. We vote for leaving the area as is and not upgrading to revenue generating venues like on Solstice's sister ships. The internet room and staff were very nice. Very patient explaining that the onboard service is not broadband and slower than what most of us are used to. They even warned us the one day that the service was not working right because of bad weather which saved us sitting down and experiencing it ourselves. We used it to check email and to get an airline boarding pass. The Casino is attractive; but was not very busy on this port intensive cruise. They have the usual arcade games plus a real blackjack table where they deal about 6 decks deep into an 8 deck shoe, $6 minimum bet. They have some of the popular slots. They did a few promotions including playing blackjack with the Celebrity staff. Ports of Call: Started in Barcelona which makes a good embarcation port. The airport is not far from the city and there are several transportation options depending on your budget -- trains, buses, and taxis. The pros and cons of each are discussed on the ports of calls page. Each time we visit Barcelona we visit a Gaudi site, this time it was Plau Guell which had been closed for restoration on our previous visits. Great way to spend a half day. Naples -- Port area is run down. We visited Pompeii on our own following the advice given here on Cruise Critic in the ports of call boards. Very easy, affordable, and worthwhile. Venice -- We overnighted in Venice. The first day had great weather and the second had very bad. We purchased the 24hr valporetto pass for €20 each which made it one of the more expensive DIY ports that we visited. Definitely enjoyed cruising the grand canal. St. Mark's square gets very crowded. Recommend a short visit there and spend more time at some of the other sites in Venice or just walking, browzing, and riding the valporetto. Dubrovnik -- We did a city walk inside the walls which we enjoyed. We walked in the morning then ate on the ship and rested a bit. Then went back out for the afternoon. Celebrity offered a shuttle pass for $12 each which worked great with no waits. Rome -- Again using the advice from the Cruise Critic boards, we toured on our own. Took the train (BIRG ticket) for €9 each that provided train, metro, and bus transportation for the day. We focused on the Coliseum, Palatine, Forum, a few churches (beaurtiful art and no entry charge), Piazza Navona and Piazza Venizia. La Spezia - This port is sometimes listed as Florence but it is about 1 and ½ drive from Florence with no direct train service. We hired a private tour for Lucca and Florence. Since we had lots of rain, having a private tour allowed for us to enjoy the sites and stay relatively dry by adjusting the day to fit the elements. Ajaccio, Corisa -- Another day of just walking inside the city. Saw the statues of Napoleon who was born here. Rained most of the afternoon. Toulon -- Similar to La Spezia, this port is a bit hard to get to many sites from. Takes awhile to even get to mass transport like trains and not a lot of direct cities are served. We opted for a Celebrity tour to Marseille, Sanary Sur Mar, and Cassis. Weather did not cooperate in the morning with pouring rain, the afternoon was very nice. Tour was a good value. Disembarkation: We had a fairly early flight at 11:20 am. We booked the Celebrity transfer. It was well organized and went as scheduled. We were to leave the theater at 7:45 which we did, collected luggage, dropped luggage on a truck for transferring, boarded a separate bus for transport, and we checked in for our flight a little under 2 hours early. Turns out there were plenty of taxis and a taxi would have been as easy and quicker. Summary: This was a very port intensive cruise and we tried to pace ourselves. We saw as much as our poor feet would allow but still could visit each port several more times. Visiting the ports was the highlight of the trip. The cruise experience itself was also one of the best we have had in 25 or so curises. Celebrity has a winner in the Solstice class ships. They offer the newer features of cruising plus the traditional features. We currently will look at the Solstice class first for our next cruise which says it all ?. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We flew into rainy Barcelona the day of the cruise and started off by having our debit card "eaten" by the ATM machine in the airport. Luckily, we were able to use a credit card to take a taxi to the ship, but were unable to ... Read More
We flew into rainy Barcelona the day of the cruise and started off by having our debit card "eaten" by the ATM machine in the airport. Luckily, we were able to use a credit card to take a taxi to the ship, but were unable to board due to the previous cruise having a massive outbreak of norovirus. We availed ourselves of the free Celebrity shuttle to Las Ramblas in order to try to figure out our money issues. Long story short, I couldn't buy a phone card with dollars or a credit card (they only take euros) and I couldn't make a toll-free call to the bank to find out what the problem was without a phone card. After spending two hours in the pouring rain trying different pay phones and ATM's we finally found an ATM that would accept another card I happened to have with me, even though we hadn't called them to preauthorize a foreign transaction. Whew, that was stressful. We went back to the place where the shuttle dropped us off (and where they told us to go) for a ride back to the ship, only to see every other shuttle but Celebrity there. After another 20 minutes in a downpour, we noticed a Celebrity bus driving on the other side of the parking lot and chased it to the far corner in order to grab a ride. The fun continued once onboard the ship,as we were told it would be another couple of hours before we would be allowed into our rooms, since the crew needed to sanitize the rooms thoroughly because of the norovirus. All the public spaces were packed, and we finally found seats in the casino where we slept on the blackjack tables until about 6:00 pm when we finally were let into the rooms. We used the next (rainy) day at sea to recover from our jet lag and that night we had quite a storm. The boat was really rocking and rolling, and we were mid-ship! The thunder and lightning went on for hours. The next day in Florence our guide told us that they had torrential flooding in Genoa and three people had died. Florence was overcast but we never really had rain again for the rest of the cruise. We had a brisk, cloudy day in Athens, but the rest of the ports had temperate, mostly sunny weather. The first four or five days of the cruise the crew had to serve us everything, to prevent any further outbreak of norovirus. It's a huge pain, for the crew and passengers alike. You can't even put your cream in your coffee or grab a napkin, they have to do EVERYTHING for you. It diminishes the eating experience, to be sure, but is a necessary evil. After five days they went back to self-service in the Ocean view and it must have worked. I didn't hear of anyone getting sick. Overall the cruise was wonderful. A very nice mix of port days and sea days. We did seven ports last year on a 10 (as opposed to a 12) day cruise and it wasn't nearly as relaxing. We booked all our shore excursions in small groups through Cruise critic roll call and it all went very well. We used Rome in Limo in Florence and Naples and they delivered a great experience in both places. We did Chania, Crete and Valetta, Malta on our own, definitely the way to go. We had been to Kusadasi (Ephesus) and Athens before so we did the Turkish bath in Kusadasi (awesome experience) and a countryside tour to Corinth, Mycenae and Napfplion with Jordan Daioglou who met us at the port in Pireaus. We really enjoyed that too. We ended up staying on board in Rome, since they told us there would be a public transport strike and we had planned to use the train (as we had been there before too). Turns out the strike was limited to the buses and only for a few hours. The Celebrity service, as always, was top-notch. Granted, the first five days were a bit trying and I did observe the occasional crew member snapping at a passenger who tried to help themselves to a spoon or a piece of food. As I said, it was stressful for all of us. We chose select dining and it worked beautifully. Some nights we ate alone, others we joined a group, but we never had to wait for more than a couple minutes to be seated. The waiters were all so friendly. Even though we were given different sections to sit in, our previous waiters would stop by and say hello. The food was definitely good, but not outstanding. The quality is fine, but most of it is predictable and bland. It is meant to cater to older, perhaps less sophisticated diners. Very few dishes had the intensity or variety of flavor that I expect from decent restaurants in the U.S. I would love to see more ethnic food and food that features the regional specialties of the areas we are visiting. One other thing I noticed is that the coffee on board has really improved. They use actual ground coffee now (I assume they used liquid coffee syrup before) and I could really tell the difference. We went to a couple of shows and two port lectures and they were fine, but nothing exceptional. In general, we found our fellow passengers to be friendly, interesting and well-travelled. There was a nice mix of nationalities and we always enjoyed our mealtime conversations. Oceanview was often crowded (everyone seemed to be on the same schedule) and tablesharing was usually a necessity, but as I said, it was fun to meet and talk with other passengers. We met several couples that we hit it off with and met up with them throughout the cruise for drinks or meals etc... We didn't spend much time on the balcony as it was a little chilly, but did enjoy using the hot tubs in the pool area almost every day. Others commented that they hadn't thought to bring a bathingsuit in November, but we were really glad we did. I noticed that the ship security didn't object when passengers brought on a bottle of local wine or limoncello on port days. I really appreciated that. They were much stricter on our last Med cruise on the Equinox, not sure why. Also, the port of Barcelona has a duty free shop after security, and I was able to bring on several bottles of cava with no problem. Disembarkation was smooth, as always, and we spent three days post-cruise in Barcelona. What a fabulous city. We had a wonderful time there and can't wait to visit more of Spain in the future. We stayed in a cute Bed and Breakfast (Casa de Marcelo) in the Borne district. It was a wonderful location and very interesting neighborhood with lots of fabulous restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We flew into Barcelona on Nov. 14th after a 7 hr. layover in JFK. We started at 6:45 am from West Palm Beach, FL on JetBlue which was a great flight and then transferred to American for Barcelona. We used the train outside the JFK ... Read More
We flew into Barcelona on Nov. 14th after a 7 hr. layover in JFK. We started at 6:45 am from West Palm Beach, FL on JetBlue which was a great flight and then transferred to American for Barcelona. We used the train outside the JFK airport to go from terminal 5 to terminal 8 and had to go back through secruity but were at our gate within 1 1/2. We landed in Barcelona at 7:10 am went through Customs, got a cab at went to the W Barcelona immediately. We were immediately upgraded to an oceanview on floor 5 and allowed to check in. We were very happy with our stay at the W Barcelona and we got a great price on Priceline.com for $180.00 when I bid for it. I really did not expect to get it. It was raining in Barcelona so we decided to sleep for a few hrs. and see how the weather was. We awoke about 1:00PM and it was raining hard so decided to just stay at the hotel and eat in the bar. It was $62.00 for two hamburgers and 4 diet cokes. But it was good and convenient. We went back to sleep and then checked out the next morning, got a cab to the port for 30 euros and checked in and was on board by 11:00 am. We went to the buffet and ate and started exploring the Solstice. We had taken a cruise the previous year on the Solstice so looked around a bit and at 1:30 PM went to our cabin. About an hr. later we got all of our luggage and proceeded to hang up and put away all of our clothes and store the empty luggage under the bed. We had the lifeboat drill at 4:30 PM and then at 5:00 PM sailed out of Barcelona harbor. We had Celebrity Select Dining so every night we were at the doors at 6:00 PM to request a table for two by the window when possible. They accomodated us almost every night. The food was very good and the service was excellent also. I could not find anything to complain about on the cruise. We are very happy with Celebrity and they are now our #1 cruiseline. We arrived at every port on time but we did have to change the first port from Nice, France to Cannes, France because of damage to the docks from two weeks previous. We did three private tours in Florence, Rome and Naples with RomeinLimo and they were all excellent. We always got back on time. We just walked around Cannes, France and had sunny weather, private excursion in Florence, Rome and Naples, in Dubrovnik we took the ships tour of the family cablecar ride to the top and it is well worth it with a short walk through the walled city. This was the only port that it rained, other than Barcelona. In Venice we took the public water transportation (can't remember the name)to St. Mark's Square and walked around a little and then went back to the ship. The next morning we walked around for a couple of hours and then prepared for the sailaway in Venice which is spectacular. Took alot of pictures sailing in and out of the Grand Canal in Venice. We then went to Kotor Montenegro and the sail in through the fjords was spectacular. Get your cameras ready for that one. We had sunny weather in all ports except Dubrovnik. It was great. We took the ship's excursion of the Montenegro hightlights with cuisine and was not that happy with it. It was too much riding in the bus to get a few pictures of the ship in the fjord down below and then it was all back country and nothing to see. We did have a great lunch of veal prepared by a local restaurant and that proved to be the highlight of this excursion. By the time we got back it was already dark so we just went back to the ship. We met alot of nice people and did the private excursions with fellow cruise critic members which really made the cruise great. All in all this has to be one of our best cruises ever with Rome being our favorite stop of all. The Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Collesium, Trevi Fountain were great. In Florience the Leaning Tower of Piza was great and in Naples the private tour that we had of Pompeii was outstanding and the Amalfi Coast was beautiful. Thanks to Celebrity for another great cruise. We will be back. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We have just arrived home from the Celebrity Solstice after 12 days in the Med from the 4th November 2011. Embarkation: Due to the fact that they had about 100 cases of Noravirus on the previous cruise Celebrity decided to have a deep ... Read More
We have just arrived home from the Celebrity Solstice after 12 days in the Med from the 4th November 2011. Embarkation: Due to the fact that they had about 100 cases of Noravirus on the previous cruise Celebrity decided to have a deep clean of the ship which meant that they could not let us on the until 3pm and we could not get into our stateroom until 5.30pm, in fact we were so late that muster drill was left until 10 o'clock the following morning (god knows what would have happened if they had a problem that night) The deep clean worked because we had no problems during the whole 12 days. Stateroom: I still think that the Solstice class ships have the best rooms and the Stateroom attendant and his assistant were fantastic. Main Restaurant: We were a party of four and had a two other people with us on the table we all got on very well and had a good time. The food was top quality and the service was also excellent Sanjay and his assistant very efficient and attentive but not overpowering. We heard some people complaining that the food was cold but we never had that problem in fact one of our party burned their mouth on the soup. Murano's: We had dinner in Murano's one night and found the quality of the food and service to be excellent but not sure it was worth the extra cost when the main dinning room food was so good but it is nice to have a change of venue for one night. Ocean View Restaurant: Due to the problems of Noravirus on the previous Cruise the staff had to serve you for the first 3 days but after that everything went back to normal, if I had a problem it was that the ship did not give us reasons for their actions or how long it would go on for I had to ask on two occasion how long the the loss of self service would continue. First day at sea was wet ALL day but we spent the day in the indoor pool and had a good time. Second day: We were in Livorno and decided not to go to Florence as we had been there a few times before and got the shuttle bus ($8each) into the town and had a look around not much there but we enjoyed the day. Third day: Civitavecchia, we had been to Rome a few times and again decided to get the shuttle bus (free)into the town we found a great open air Market and the town has a great beach promenade I would recommend a visit to this town. Fourth Day: Naples, We did Pompeii and had a good day, it helps if you have a good guide which we did. day five: Crete, We had a taxi to show us round some of the island again a good day and we liked the island. day six: Turkey, we did shopping and looked round the town checked out the carpet shop we love the Turkish people very friendly. Day seven: Day at sea weather was good. day eight: Athens, very cold windy and a bad guide on our tour of the city, best forgotten. Day nine: Day at sea weather average. Day ten: Malta, got a taxi round part of Malta, it was well worth a visit In fact we have decided to to visit the island some time in the near future. Day eleven: Day at sea day twelve: Disembarkation: As our flight was early we decided to carry off our own luggage, we got a 6.30am slot but left the ship at 7.20 with no problems at all, very smooth. We had a great cruise weather was very average but it was November. Complaints... The brunch was moved from the main Restaurant to the Ocean view cafe BIG mistake it lost it's whole class and hope it doesn't happen again. CD and her whole staff were first class Zac had a great sense of humour (CD had a great voice) I hope Celebrity never get rid of the Orchestra's on their ships they add something special to the entertainment. Entertainers were OK I will leave it at that. Overall I would recommend this ship. by the way Errol in the passport bar was great. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
This was our second cruise on Celebrity but my husband's and my 10th and 12th cruises, respectively. We have always cruised with friends and/or family in groups ranging from 6 to 18; this time it was just us and another couple. ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Celebrity but my husband's and my 10th and 12th cruises, respectively. We have always cruised with friends and/or family in groups ranging from 6 to 18; this time it was just us and another couple. Were were pleased with our Concierge Class stateroom, which had a spacious bathroom with an excellent shower, and plenty of room for our toiletries. One minor quibble with the flat feather pillows, but that was rectified after requesting a foam pillow from our stateroom attendant--in fact, he brought me TWO pillows, which was perfect and allowed me to sleep comfortably for the rest of the cruise. We had an excellent experience at the early seating in the main dining room, with a really wonderful waiter (Pacheco), assistant waiter (Joseph), and sommelier (Milan). They were attentive, friendly, and welcoming every night. I noted that another passenger on this cruise said that the service for dinner was too slow for that reviewer's taste, and our waiter did ask us early in the cruise how we liked the pacing of our meal...was it too slow, or did we prefer a leisurely pace? We responded that we were fine with a leisurely dining experience and indeed, we were frequently among the last to leave the dining room (which was fine with us). We enjoyed all our meals and my husband was pleased as the food is an important part of the cruise experience for him! As mentioned in another review, the itinerary was reversed some months before our cruise, but we actually preferred that because the two sea days at the start gave us time to recover from our jet lag traveling from the West Coast to Barcelona and boarding the ship just hours after our arrival.We did all shore excursions through Celebrity and overall found them to be a good value. The walking tour of the city wall in Old Dubrovnik was very interesting if a bit strenuous (but we knew that ahead of time). Even in late October with 65 degree weather we were a bit tired at the end; I can't imagine what it would be like to do that in 90+ degree weather in the summer. We found Kotor to be...underwhelming. Perhaps because we had just seen the historic old town of Dubrovnik, this seemed to be much of the same but not as picturesque. The sail in through the Bay of Kotor was pretty, though. I wish we had had a longer stop in Venice...2 pm on Sunday through 1 pm Monday was not quite long enough to enjoy the city. We will definitely go back. We did a tour on Sunday but Monday took ourselves back via the People Mover from the dock, then the ferry/bus to the Rialto Bridge. A great way to see how the locals travel to and from work in Venice and offered great views of the Grand Canal. The wine tasting excursion from Livorno was a bit disappointing. We have done a LOT of wine tasting in California, and the experience was very different on this tour. There was no discussion of explanation of the wines we were tasting, and no tasting notes provided--just a list of the wines and their prices to purchase. The setting was lovely, though, and the scenery on the drive was colorful as the grapevines were turning gold and red.The tour of Pompeii was awesome--very interesting, quite amazing how much is preserved--although you should be aware that the artifacts (pots, jars, bones, etc.) are all in a museum in Naples and NOT at the actual architectural site in Pompeii. So try to visit the museum in Pompeii if you want to see that. We missed our all-day excursion to Rome as I caught a cold and was miserable; a 10-hour day (with 2-hour bus ride) would have finished me for the rest of the cruise. We were able to get a refund on our shore excursion tickets by visiting the ship's infirmary and seeing the doctor, who gave me a "note" saying I was unable to take the excursion that day. The shore excursion desk promptly refunded our $$ which was great. There was a charge to see the doctor which I have submitted to health insurance and hopefully will be refunded. We stayed one extra day in Barcelona which, unfortunately, was rainy all day. We stayed at the Gran Havana Hotel (through Celebrity) and had a spacious, contemporary room with a great view and a good location. We walked to Sagrada Familia in the rain and spent several hours touring it with the individual recorded self-guided tour (highly recommended). That evening we had paella at a family-owned restaurant recommended by the concierge and just a few blocks walking distance from the hotel. It was a great meal and very reasonably priced: Ca La Nuri (www.calanuri.es). We felt that all the crew was friendly, attentive, and helpful throughout the cruise. Overall, an excellent experience and one of our best cruises yet. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We arrived in Barcelona a day before we boarded the Solstice, staying at the Silken Havana Hotel just a few blocks from Las Ramblas. The town is beautiful, clean & vibrant. We took the bus tour which was good but a bit pricey. It ... Read More
We arrived in Barcelona a day before we boarded the Solstice, staying at the Silken Havana Hotel just a few blocks from Las Ramblas. The town is beautiful, clean & vibrant. We took the bus tour which was good but a bit pricey. It gave us a view of most of the top sites in town including Gaudi's Sagradi Familia, a must see. The hotel, recommended by Celebrity was well appointed & clean but the room very, very tiny. We stayed at the Renassiance near the airport our last day & could not have been happier. The room was large, clean & it had all the bells & whistles. Their restuarants were great & a bit pricey, but worth it. I's recommend it to all. Our ship was clean, organized and the staff helpful. Ports of call were exciting & diverse but excursions less than we expected. Croatia & Montenegro were surprisingly beautiful, quaint & clean & locals were warm & charming. The highlight of the ship was the delicious meals, especially the dinners. Our wait staff were excellent & the menu selections were varied & delicious. Our cabin was large enough, the balcony large & the shower sooo good. The entertainment was good, with the variety shows our favorite. Our Cruise Director, Lisa, was cordial & maybe the best entertainer on board. She interacted with everyone on the ship. The Captain was very professional & pleasantly invisible. His daily updates were precise & brief & all ended with 'OUT'. Our cabin attendants were efficient & cordial. All staff personnel were helpful & courteous. Our only negative was our concerige, Raphael, who was non-existent for most of the cruise & totally useless when we asked for assistence once & was rudely told he could not do anything for us. Being in Concerige Class, we foolishly thought he would be somewhat helpful, but were we wrong. We did not allow this one incident to spoil our cruise & just ignored him after that. There was a health issue about 2/3 of the way through that sent the entire staff into clean-down mode, preventing anyone in the 14th deck food area to serve themselves. Not a big problem except the serving staff was not adequately staffed to handle this crisis efficiently. But, just a small bump in the seas. We ate at 2 spectacular restaurants. In Venice Tratorria Modonna off the Rialto Bridge, & in Florence, Tratorria Bortolo, just minutes from Ponte Vecchio. Both were true Italian classics off the beaten track & both inexpensive. They were recommended to us by a native who lives & works in the USA & brings his clients to these places always. Our tour guides were good & experienced. We used Celebrity for all excursion except in Rome where we used Port Promotions, a hugh mistake. They did a poor job & did not follow the itenery they had published & we intend to lodge a complaint with them. Another dissapointment was a world renowned (?) bar in Venice, Harry's Bar, famous for their Bellinis. It was small, crowded, & the wait staff rude, discouteous & loud. The drinks were good but very expensive. We'll never return there & I suggest no one else go there in support of appropriate behavior. They refused to allow a woman who had ordered a drink at the bar & was in obvious back pain, to sit on a chair at a table for four with only two people sitting there after asking & receiving permission to sit there from those at the table. The woman, after being berated loudly by one of the waiters,quietly placed her unfinished drink on the bar & left. Shame on you, world reowned (?) Harry's Bar! This is our second cruise on Celebrity & both have been great. They certainly know how to provide the ingredients for a wonderful vacation & we will use them again. They handled the 'bumps' in the sea with professionlism & efficency. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Celebrity Solstice We sailed on the Solstice Oct. 11 out of Barcelona. She is a lovely ship. Having sailed on the Millenium this past January, we were looking forward to the same high quality Celebrity is known for. In most ways, the ... Read More
Celebrity Solstice We sailed on the Solstice Oct. 11 out of Barcelona. She is a lovely ship. Having sailed on the Millenium this past January, we were looking forward to the same high quality Celebrity is known for. In most ways, the Solstice stood up to our consequently high expectations. Boarding was smooth and efficient in spite of the fact that half the passengers seemed to be boarding at this time. From the moment we handed over our luggage until we were on the ship, it only took about 20 minutes. We boarded around 12:30 and took the advice of another Cruise Critic member, and we proceeded to the 'Bistro on Five' for lunch. This way we avoided the craziness at the buffet upstairs, where everyone was trying to gather food from the various stations with their wheeled carryons, etc. (Note: when packing, put a smaller bag inside your carry-on bag so you can take your breakables like cameras on board in it and check your carry-on with your regular bag at the embarkation point.) The Bistro On Five is great and only $5 per person. This includes a salad, sandwich or crepe, and dessert. Our rooms were available at 1:30 so we were able to finish lunch and go immediately to our stateroom. We had a balcony stateroom and it was great. Narrow, of course, but very spacious and lots of places to stow stuff. The bathroom was terrific; large and a great shower. We didn't even use all the drawers in the bathroom. The only thing that was strange was the closet; it runs parallel to the bed and it's a tight fit if two of you are trying to get clothes out of there at once. However it allows more space for the bathroom, I believe, so it's worth the inconvenience. We brought a bunch of thin wire hangers in our suitcase, and there was plenty of room for our clothes for a 12-night cruise. The bed was plenty large and my husband and I both found it really comfortable. It was quiet except when the doors to the staterooms on either side of us slammed shut, and you could hear someone below when they coughed really loudly, but luckily that didn't happen too much! On deck 8 the staterooms are all on one side of the hallway, so you don't have to deal with other passengers across the hall from you. There are two big shelves over the bed, but it's hard to reach the parts of them furthest from the edge of the bed without standing on the bed (I am 5'5" tall). The covers for these compartments are hinged from the top so you have to hold it up with one hand and fish out your clothing item with the other. The balcony was more spacious than I thought it would be and you can recline the chairs to make them into 'chaise lounges'. We really enjoyed several sunsets as we sailed out of port, from our balcony. (We were on the port side, deck 8). We ate breakfast in the main dining room twice. Both times we were led to a table with several people already there. The service was extremely slow. The second time, the others at our table ordered 'courses' of fruit etc. and then the main meal, so even though we just ordered the eggs & sausage, we had to wait and wait until others at the table were served the 'preliminaries'. On days in port, the Ocean Cafe upstairs is very crowded for breakfast and lunch. Fortunately everyone was very social and friendly on this cruise (you must be to join 2800 others on your vacation!) and no one minded sharing their breakfast and lunch tables. We had a wonderful conversation with a couple from Columbia one morning. The number of items available at breakfast is truly staggering. I am glad we were on a 12-night cruise because it takes at least 7 days/nights to figure out all the offerings in the Ocean Cafe. The coffee stations are very congested, and they definitely need a few more of them. I thought the various offerings of things to do on board were good and varied. We never got time to do the 'ipad' tour of the art. You get an ipad at the desk and use it to take a tour of all the art works on the ship. Speaker Linda Seidel was very good. She lectured about Caravaggio and Gaudi/Picasso on two separate lectures. Glenn Olsen, a professor, also lectured. His style is very 'old school' with old art slides and a slow delivery of information. If you attend his lectures sit in front. After a few minutes a lot of people rudely left, causing others to have to stand up so they could pass down the aisle. I did a Reidel glass activity ($15) that was really fun. The idea is, you taste wines in the glasses designed to complement the type of wine, then taste it out of a 'regular' wine glass. There really was a difference. I also did the tour of the kitchen and that was fun too. The other entertainment was o.k. The magician was good; Claire Maiden was a piano player/country western-style singer from England (!) with a beautiful voice. The violinist was probably good too, but the sound system was SO LOUD I had to keep my fingers in my ears the entire performance. I loved the next-to-last night 'Circ de'Soliel' style performance and thought it was excellent. The internet on Solstice is faster than on the Millenium. However the Solstice uses Apple laptops which, if you are a P.C. user, causes some challenges because the format is somewhat different. It's very expensive. Everyone should have one martini at the martini bar. Go when Sheldon and Petar are there. They put on quite a show for us; if four people order martinis they will do a fancy juggling/pouring act that was as fun and entertaining as anything we saw on the main stage in the theater onboard. The itinerary was great. We loved all the ports of call except Athens. When we were in Athens, the workers were on strike so we couldn't visit the Acropolis or the National Museum. (Also it was raining pretty hard). However, we did walk all the way around the bottom of the Acropolis, and spent two hours fascinated by the new Acropolis museum. I highly recommend it. We did a couple ship tours, did Rome, Athens, and Santorini on our own, and Turkey with an independent tour company. They are pretty efficient getting everyone off the ship and onto their tour busses, but it is a much larger crowd to manage than aboard the Millenium. If you take a ship shore excursion, get to the theater a few minutes early so you can get on a bus sooner. We were amazed at how crowded the Mediterranean is in October. In Santorini to take the funicular back to the tender we had to wait in line 45 minutes. Others waited over an hour. Overall it is a good cruise product but we didn't feel it was quite as great as the Millenium. I think the cabin attendants have too many cabins to clean. On other cruise ships, the room would be clean by the time you got back from breakfast. Sometimes ours wasn't cleaned until early afternoon. Also on the Millenium the cabin attendants were often in the hallways and would stop and talk to you if they saw you coming down the hall. The specialty restaurant aboard the Millenium, the Olympic Restaurant, was fabulous. We ate in the Tuscan Grill aboard the Solstice, and it was good, but not $80-for-two better than the regular menu.The Tuscan Grill lacks the atmosphere and ambiance of the Olympic aboard the Millenium, and I felt the service in the Tuscan Grill was rushed. If I had it to do over I'd eat all dinners in the main dining room but eat several times at Bistro on Five for lunch. The food in the main dining rooms was terrific. My husband had one piece of very dry fish, and over 400 people complained about the lobster on the last night, (I bet they change vendors or the way they cook it in the future) but other than that, everything tasted terrific. The dining room service was fast if you were at a table for two, and much slower at a large table, but still very good. The Solstice is the smoothest-sailing and quietest ship I have ever been on, though. You had to look outside to see that you were moving. We had one night with some bouncy waves (I don't get seasick so I thought it was fun). Overall I think Celebrity has an excellent product and it is a good value. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
This was our first Meditereanean cruise and we chose Celebrity and the Solstice. We got a real good deal for Aqua Class (AQ) so we decided to go for it mostly because of what we read about Blu, the Aqua Class only dining room. We were not ... Read More
This was our first Meditereanean cruise and we chose Celebrity and the Solstice. We got a real good deal for Aqua Class (AQ) so we decided to go for it mostly because of what we read about Blu, the Aqua Class only dining room. We were not disappointed. The food quality, variety, service and ambiance was better than expected. The protions, while not large, there is plenty since it seems you get 3 or 4 courses for each meal. Our dinners took 1.5 to 2 hours each night because we enjoyed the food and conversation with the people other guests around us or with other cruisers we met on board. We never ate anywhere else. Why spend the extra dollars, the food and service could not have been better. The maitre d and waiters got to know us and took very good care of us. We were in room 1584 and it was very nice. The shower in AQ is good size and the upgraded shower head while might not seem like much makes taking a shower on a ship a good experience. The bathroom itself is a good size. In AQ you get finger food each night to enjoy. We brought our own wine to enjoy with this extra before dinner. Our cabin steward was very accomodating and brought us all the water we needed before touring at each port. Before the cruise we noticed some comments about AQ cabins being able to hear noise from above. If there was any noise it was not disturbing to us. The entertainmnet on the ship is what you make of it. The glass blowing show was interesting, we won at BINGO, watched a couple shows, gambled, played trivia, yard games, used the fitness center, took a class and met with people we met on the ship. A couple of our haunts on the ship were the espresso cafe and martini bar. Espresso was good and so were the free goodies with it. The martini bar provided some nice entertainment. Flair bar tenders poured us a flight of 12 martinis. Quit the show and the martinis were good. Each port we visited we did our own tour. We took a train to Rome and toured the colisieum with a tour we booked online before our cruise, rode the subway to Athens, booked our own tour ahead of time in Kusadasi. We hired our own guide, own car and had a fantastic private tour of the ruins that lasted nearly 4 hours for cheap. We booked our own ferry to Capri, walked all over Santorini and took a taxi to the beach in Mykanos. We took the red on off bus in Malta. We flew into Barcelona a couple days ahead of time and stayed one day after the cruise. A fantastic city, the best of the cruise. We took a train and subway from the airport...watch your wallets. The port area, gothic area, and Gaudi buildings are a must. A fantastic vacation. I would recommend it to anyone. We booked a Carribean crise on Celebrity/Eclipse/Aqua Class for next year. Can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
CELEBRITY SOLSTICE SEPT 29 2011 BARCELONA TO VENICE WE LOVED THE ADVENTURE!! Captain Yannis Berdos, Master of the Vessel I flew in to Barcelona from Florida. The departure from the airport to the ship was not complicated at ... Read More
CELEBRITY SOLSTICE SEPT 29 2011 BARCELONA TO VENICE WE LOVED THE ADVENTURE!! Captain Yannis Berdos, Master of the Vessel I flew in to Barcelona from Florida. The departure from the airport to the ship was not complicated at all. . If you paid Celebrity to collect your luggage, they will wait until they fill a bus, and then transport you to the ship. If you are an independent traveler, You get your luggage, and hail a cab. I prefer not to wait. You can also team up with other shipmates you may meet in the terminal building and split the price of a van or cab. The cabs are lined up out front; ready to whisk you away to either downtown or straight to the ship, and the trip takes approximately 20 minutes. I came the day before to relax from the international trip, staying at the Hilton del Mar Diagnonal, close to the water, and to be more accustomed to the time zone of our ship. It was well worth the extra day, as I was not exhausted, fully rested, and ready to start a well anticipated adventure of a lifetime. At 11:15, I checked in, receiving my Sea Pass card, and at 11:45, I had been through Duty Free for wine and pictures (predeparture). I am Elite on Celebrity, which means there are plenty of add on activities complimentary from Celebrity that will keep even the easily bored occupied! But the true BONUS was that we booked through Costco Travel, and were on a wine cruise as well, so we had plenty of wine tastings, wine tours ashore, and culinary experiences as part of our package. Shortly after setting sail, we had a private wine tasting from Chateau St. Michelle, private delicious wines, and then off to a Senior Officers party for the suites. We bought tickets early for the shore excursions to Venice, and then went immediately to a Cruise Critic's party in Michael's club, where about 70 of us gathered. We met Princess, the events coordinator and also Giorgio De Pietro, who was very funny. He was the Food and Beverage Manager aboard from Napoli, Italy. We organized a room crawl for later on that week with the cruise critic group, after our initial Meet and Greet in Michaels Club, arranged by the ship. Our trip went from Barcelona, to Nice, Florence/Pisa Rome, Naples, Dubrovnik, Venice, Kotor, and back to Barcelona. Old town Dubrovnik was beautiful and we had a guided walk through Old Town, including a walk from Ploce Gate to the Market Place. You can walk the city wall up above, if you are feeling adventurous. Nice: We took the train to Nice, which is easy from the ship and takes about 10 minutes on the train. We bought beautiful flowers at the flower market, only open until noon, so you need to hurry a little in the morning. The market is down by the water, and about a 10 minute walk through town to the water's edge. Livorno: Went wine tasting at Varramista Winery (owners of Fiat). Then on to a beautiful dinner for formal night hosted by the master of the vessel, Captain Berdos. He is lots of fun, and entertained all the guests. It is so nice to have a personable captain who really takes such an interest in all the passengers and makes us feel so comfortable. He speaks very good English, and is a Greek captain. The Solarium Pool: A beautiful swimming pool which is indoors, and heated, yet offers peeks of sunlight thru the glass ceiling and rafters. They have Wii bowling on board which was really fun to play, and line dancing in the afternoon. Naples Italy: A must to get off the ship, and I took the tour to Pompeii, one of the most remarkable experiences of my life, and to see the ancient city, just imagining how life must have been before the volcano erupted at Mount Vesuvius. On board the ship, the Oceanview Cafe has a fabulous Mediterrean stir fry. Captains Club was at the sky Observation Lounge and Dinner in the specialty restaurant of Morano's Murano's Restaurant Maitre d' Hotel: Angei Dimitrov. Both very friendly and attentive to the needs of all the guests. Their goat cheese soufflé is not to be missed, nor the Hazelnut Rack of lamb, scallops wellington, Murano lobster and chocolate soufflé. Murano's menu is incredible. The chef de rang will also do tableside cooking and includes filleting the Dover Sole, or making a fabulous cognac flambéed warm lobster tail dish made with a fabulous Dijon-cream. At sea day: Had our wine tasting at Tuscan Grill paired with cheese and prosciutto. We participated in a cruise critic room crawl in where we visited other cruise critics rooms, and saw inside rooms, outside rooms, family veranda suites, sky suites, concierge, and handicapped rooms. I found this to be one of the most information adventures with cruise critic, because for future cruises, we knew exactly what type of room we really wanted to book. Croatia: A wonderful country to explore. We took the bus and went up into the mountains of Croatia to go wine tasting, and have first hand tastes of homemade cheeses and prosciutto, followed by incredible homemade wines. The wines of Croatia are excellent! Our maitre'd is Czaka, and Asst is Emil. The sommelier was named Serjan in the Tuscan grill that is very knowledgeable and friendly. Dubrovnik: A world Heritage site preserved by Unisco. After the 1991 war which Serbia bombed the ancient town, much restoration had to occur. We found the city fascinating, and were able to do some nice shopping as well as getting involved in the history of the town. Venice, Italy: We took a ferry shuttle at 2:00 pm, shortly after docking. Venice was very hot (85F). You could buy Murano glass, jewelry made from the same, have fabulous gelatos, shop to your heart's content, or simple ride the gondola. We found the town to be less crowded in the evening, as many shipmates return in the late afternoon. I believe really the time to see Venice is in the evening, without the crowds of people. Next time I will know more. The ship had hosted a fabulous party on the heliport, featuring music of Andréa Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. It was awesome. The food in Blu restaurant if you are in Aqua class or a suite is simply the best. I highly recommend booking this class on the solstice ships for the most rewarding experience while cruising. Kotor, Montenegro: Took a tour by bus over large mountains to a beautiful home with homemade wines and food. An incredible experience. Many homes were damaged or abandoned from recent earthquakes, and there was a lot of remodeling and building taking place. Since we were tendered at port, it was nice to take the small boats back to the ship. We saw a large clipper ship in a small cove while we were there. Captains Club was great as usual. Our internet café was run by officer randy Palamis. I was impressed with his complete and total interest in each and every passenger. Tuscan Grille: Maitre de' Hotel: Marius Borcila. On the menu is slow braised ground beef veal, Kobe meatballs, pan friend veal cutlet, Colorado lamb chops, veal chops, fietto Mignon, rib eye, salmon and other dishes. Yummy! Each of the ports was special, but it was really the crew that made our trip so memorable. We were really impressed with the service on board, from guest relations to the Ocean View Cafe, to the spa. A special friendly crew. My thanks for all their hard work, as it will last in my memories for years to come. By Tikigal: Check out my slide show of the Solstice coming up soon of Crew and Passengers for Sept 2011. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Just arrived back from an amazing Holy Land cruise aboard the Silhouette Solstice, the ship itself is lovely and the way it is set out doesn't make it feel as big as it is, feels like still room to move about in public areas. The ... Read More
Just arrived back from an amazing Holy Land cruise aboard the Silhouette Solstice, the ship itself is lovely and the way it is set out doesn't make it feel as big as it is, feels like still room to move about in public areas. The staff in all grades are fantastic, the food in the main dining room excellent, didn't feel a need to go in speciality restaurants, ant thought the extra cost is a little bit steep anyway. The drinks package is still way over priced - we were told last year on Eclipse that it was being reviewed .. well yes it has been - it's gone up again. Wine at ridiculous prices.We went on some amazing trips, and due to the nature of places visited felt the need to book through the ship ... some were worth the expense, some were clearly not, felt ripped off on a couple. If we were to visit the area again would book independently, even with a guide apparently worked out cheaper.The entertainment was excellent, the Ships own company of singers and dancers were one of the best we have seen.Why are cruise ship photo's so expensive and why do they not take heed of passengers comments, bring down the price - sell more. How many are thrown away - what waste.Hope that Celebrity keep standards up to 5*as there are enough casual ships on the high sea's now,were told there was 3 formal nights only got 2, one other being described as Cocktail...what a strange one that was, in the dining room we were sat in evening dress, sat next to someone in a polo shirt and even on formal nights men not in a tux which is fine but let in to dine with open shirts on and one woman seen in jeans .... Come on Celebrity this is not what we expect. Ashdod not on list. Typical busy port in fact was told one of the busiest in the world. Lots of cars stored there as it's cheaper to ship them from there. Even though very busy it was clean and felt safe. This was our port for two night for our visit to Jaffa, Tel- a -Viv, Jerusalem and Bethlehem Overall our 12 days spent on this wonderful ship will be one to remember. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Having sailed on the Solstice for a 7 day getaway cruise back in January 2011, I thought it would be interesting to re-visit the same ship later in the year on a different route and compare the voyage. I could sum it up by saying 7 nights ... Read More
Having sailed on the Solstice for a 7 day getaway cruise back in January 2011, I thought it would be interesting to re-visit the same ship later in the year on a different route and compare the voyage. I could sum it up by saying 7 nights in the Caribbean was superb, 12 nights in Europe was spectacular. We started out at an excellent hotel in Barcelona I read about on cruise critic. The Hotel Jazz was centrally located; medium in the price scheme, and attention to detail was excellent. Smallish in size (8 floors), but with a sharp rooftop pool, super helpful staff, and because of its central location, easily could navigate Barcelona. Embarkation was one of the easiest I've been through. I had forgotten my luggage tags, guys outside the terminal gladly took care of that in an instant and a smile. Lines moved quickly outside, with less than 10 minutes before was inside the terminal, and less than 45 minutes before I was checked in and boarding the ship. The logistics of moving 2800 passengers and their luggage in a relatively short period always amazes me. One thing I really admire is Celebrity doesn't shortchange its staff for embarkation. Probably 8-10 people outside the terminal ready to take your bags. Another 30-40 inside the terminal available to check you in scan your credit card details/passport and get you your sea pass to board the Solstice. Having been a fan of the Millennium class, and especially the Constellation, still surprised how much I enjoy the Solstice class. It's about a third bigger passenger wise, but still has a way of feeling intimate. You still get the feeling of being a guest rather than a passenger, just by the extra courtesies the staff always provides. Two suggestions I strongly recommend is trying some of the specialty restaurants onboard. My two favorite are Murano and Tuscan Grill. Both excel but for different reasons. Tuscan Grill resonates with the sounds and smells of Italy. We had a group of about 10 dining together and the staff was more than accommodating to let us savor each other dishes as well as allowing us to get a few extra dishes so all could try. In Murano, we reserved the wine room, for the 7 of us, and so it was our own private dining room inside the Murano restaurant itself. Service was terrific although I think our waiter must have been new, as he tried his best to describe the way things were cooked kind of generically rather than knowing the specifics on how they were prepared. Luckily the Maitre D kind of helped in this regard, and kept it up to the quality of a Michelin type service. The main dining room was excellent, can't think of a bad meal I had there. The buffet was good any time of day breakfast, lunch or just a snack (they make the greatest ice cream in the world on Celebrity). I never eat ice cream at home but ate it every day of the cruise. One thing I absolutely adore is the warmth you get from the staff after you travel a few cruises with Celebrity. Last time I had been on Solstice, we had the same Hotel Director onboard as this voyage, and saw her the first day and she greeted me warmly remembering all my details. The second day of the cruise I found a 12 pack of bottled Pepsi in my cabin compliments of the Hotel Director, as she had remembered that I had mentioned last cruise that I didn't drink alcohol, and preferred Pepsi and the ship only carried Coke. When I saw her the next day I thanked her for the gesture (and the Pepsi), and she said she just felt bad she couldn't of had it onboard the first day instead of the second, but they had trouble finding it in Barcelona. Now how's that for attention to detail? Over the past few years I think they have done a very good job with the excursions in regard to quality/value. I think I did 6 excursions off the ship and only found one (Florence/Pisa) to be choppy and kind of lacking structure or a theme. Florence was essentially wasted time where you really didn't have time to do more than walk by things rather than visit them, while the Pisa portion was quite a nice afternoon. Rooms on the Solstice are a nice step up from most lines. A good amount of storage, bathrooms like an upscale hotel. I picked a cabin immediately next to the bridge. It was cool to be able to see the bridge from my balcony, but noise can be a problem at that location during the day as you hear quite a bit of door slamming. At night though it was peaceful, so no complaints. Downside to being next to the bridge is you are not near an elevator, but you take the good with the minor things like that. Two small complaints I had that seemed to be a common theme with other passengers in the room were the television and the telephone. The telephone is backlit so even when its not in use it has a tendency to be rather bright (like a bright night light), that can't be turned off. My remedy was to lay my sea pass card across the face of the illuminated panel to dim it down to negligible. The other small complaint was the remotes for the televisions aren't very food. Last cruise had the same problem and found it rather common complaint at our dinner table, that no ones seemed to work really well. Maybe batteries need to be changed out more? Its funny I had a suite last voyage on Solstice and that remote was also taped up and not working real well. Funny thing is those two minor annoyances were the only complaints I could think of, so gives you an idea on how great the ship and staff really are. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We had an overnight stay in the Hotel Regina situated in the heart of Barcelona just to the left of Las Ramblas. Just perfect and great value. Embarkation was a breeze and we were soon greeted by our daughter who has been working on ... Read More
We had an overnight stay in the Hotel Regina situated in the heart of Barcelona just to the left of Las Ramblas. Just perfect and great value. Embarkation was a breeze and we were soon greeted by our daughter who has been working on board for some 4 months. It was great to see her again. She gave us a whistle stop tour of the ship before we stopped for lunch on the outside area of the Ocean view cafe. A glass of wine was immediately ordered as I was on a mission to max' out the premium alcohol package I had preordered a week earlier. This set the tone of the whole cruise! We had visited all the ports before except Villefrance so it was a very pleasant surprise. It was great to return to Kotor again after a 40 year gap. I was last there as a 12 year old with my parents so it was nice to relive my time there. However I went a step further whilst there! Overlooking the pretty town was a fortress with a small church half way up. I only got as far as this church 40 years ago so I was determined to climb further. In all 1355 steps were taken in the mid day sun (temp' 88F). The view from the top was spectacular and pictures of the ship lying below look anasing. Another highlight was in Dubrovnik where we kayaked 7 kms around an island past a nudist beach before returning to the beautiful walled town. We had sailed on Constellation 8 months earlier and liked the "solsticised" interior but we were unprepared for what a proper Solstice ship looked like. It is probably the best looking both inside and out of any cruise ship we've been on. The attention to detail and the flow of the interior features and public areas was incredible. My favourite haunts were the Molecular bar where Brian (the bartender) prepared for me all the coctails on his list. I also spent a lot of daytime in either the Sunset bar or the Mast bar enjoying a Peroni or three!! The bartenders soon know you have the drinks package and never let your bottle become empty before a refill is opened. The main pool area was very busy in the daytime so we found a nice quiet spot on the Solstice deck just above the glass covered pool. This became our daily spot and was just perfect for the outside grill/bar. I was a little disappointed though with the burgers they served. They weren't cooked to order like those on Princess so were not fresh and certainly not hot enough for me. The Ocean view cafe had a great atmosphere and seats were never too difficult to find. Food was OK but never hot enough for me unless you have pasta which they dip into hot water just before serving individual portions. Food in the MDR was very good (particularly the steaks) but the desserts were a little disappointing (no soufflettes either). Wine was copious however followed by a Zambia. We were on Select dining which was ideal as our daughter had duties to attend so we timed our dining around her. It was great to eat as a family again. We even had diner with her boyfriend in Silk Harvest and what a feast we had there. We left it to our daughter to select the dishes and she didn't let us down. We also tried the Tuscan Grill and the view from the back watching Civitavecchia disappear into the distance was excellent. Well worth the supplement. We saw most of the shows and enjoyed them all, particularly the finale show. Seeing captain Gerry perform was a surprise but he was great. One of the best captains I've had. Always visible around the ship and a great sport for joining in the water volleyball competition which was hilarious. If I had to say one bad thing about the cruise it was the lack of ballroom/Latin dancing. The floor at the bottom of the main staircase was just too small. There were a few opportunities in the Sky lounge to dance but the floor soon got consumed by what appeared to be mostly Spanish kids once they had surfaced from the MDR sometime after 11 pm. That aside it was a great cruise for me and my wife although our 20 year old son could have done with more company of his age. The night club didn't have the same energy compared with Princess. Celebrity just doesn't seem to attract the numbers in his age group like Princess do. Needless to say the staff were all excellent particularly the Activities team, with special mention to Kirsten, Jason and Valentina. Any one unsure about purchasing the drinks package should just give it a go. I can assure you, you wont be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Celebrity Solstice Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.5 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 5.0 3.8
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

Find a Celebrity Solstice Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click