1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Celebrity Cruises
  4. Celebrity Solstice Review
  5. Celebrity Solstice Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: October 2011
Just recently returned from a 12-day Eastern Mediterranean trip, over all we had a great time. The Solstice staff were engaging and happy to make the stay on the ship as enjoyable as they can. We did not partake in the specialty ... Read More
Just recently returned from a 12-day Eastern Mediterranean trip, over all we had a great time. The Solstice staff were engaging and happy to make the stay on the ship as enjoyable as they can. We did not partake in the specialty restaurants but we heard that food there was great. We thoroughly enjoyed the food at the Grand - our dinner seating was at 6:15 pm, we were the fortunate ones as some people that were at the late seating were not happy at all. The staff at the restaurant was attentive and interested in how the food was - they were happy to get you a new entree if we were not satisfied with the dinner. The maitre de was great as we had to move tables third day in as we not satisfied with the location. There are plenty to do if you so chose, I loved the 'Glass Show' - gives you a better appreciation for glass making. The staff there was to demonstrate and educate - they had a lot of adversity to overcome - wind, rain, and since it was electric heating system they were frequently putting the glass they were making into the ovens in order to keep the glass at a steady temperature. The entertainment was first class; the live music was great especially Top Notch. The DJ; however, had a bit of a problem as he mixed up his British Invasion with his 80's. Our suite had a bit of a problem regulating its room temperature, found that the temperature dipped to cold in the middle of the night (the housekeeping staff was nice enough to bring me two blankets - really helped). Also, credo goes to the steward for coming to the room when I couldn't open the safe in the middle of the night and the purser, Nadine for her due diligence for getting us our onboard credit. We took advantage of express debarkation: it was a bit disorganized at first because everyone that wanted to leave early was all gathered in one area just outside the elevators where the theatre was located (front of the ship). The staff did not know what deck we were supposed to leave - until he had word from the captain. There was about a 15 minute wait and then we had to lug our luggage to the back end of the ship. That was the only glitch. Loads of taxis waiting at Barcelona, Spain. A nice gesture: whenever arriving from outing there was staff from Solsitce greeting you on the dock area and a place to sit if you wanted as well as beverages like hot chocolate, water, and juice were offered before going back onto the ship. Recommendations for this trip: I would like to have all informations regarding shore excursions including shuttles be on the website. Also, how far the dock yard is from the place of visit. All tour guides on excursions should have their patrons write their names and suite down, this helps identify who is missing. There were a couple times where there was a miscount and people that won't supposed to be on the excursion were counted thus accidentally leaving the people that were on that particular excursion out without a paddle so to speak. Overall, the cruise was great. I know it would have been nice to have had two days at sea at the end to rest up before heading home but one always have to keep in mind, learning to pace one self is a good thing. I didn't mind being exhausted as we had a 14 hour plane trip home - gave me plenty of time to catch up on my sleep. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
The cabin was comfortable, clean and well serviced. The C2 cabin "concierge" amenities only amounted to a bottle of champagne on arrival, and canapes to order in the afternoon. We had them a few times, but then got some bad ... Read More
The cabin was comfortable, clean and well serviced. The C2 cabin "concierge" amenities only amounted to a bottle of champagne on arrival, and canapes to order in the afternoon. We had them a few times, but then got some bad shrimp on one tray and never ordered them again. We never received a robe, or had any priority in embarkation or disembarkation. We were surprised that though all ages were represented in the guests on the cruise, that a very high majority were in the very senior age group, and seemed to remain very confused during most day to day activities. Being hit with food while navigating the buffet, waiting several minutes while people tried to figure out the drink dispenser,etc. was a common occurrence. True to form, many of the European guests did not observe what we are comfortable with as far as personal space and waiting in line- and there were many lines to wait in. We really enjoyed the Tuscan Grille both the good food and great service. The main dining room was too crowded, and the service was inconsistent ( for our "select" dining option)we don't enjoy taking 1.5 to 2 hours for dinner as a rule.. We got some good Martinis at the Martini Bar,and some too old gelato at the gelato bar. Room service breakfast orders were incorrect, and the food was always room temperature. We found that an order for beer or wine from room service might come from any bar on the ship, might be the correct temperature or not, and might come with glasses or not, despite specific request made during the order. Overall, a good experience for us that we will treasure was somewhat marred by the poorly conducted disembarkation. We had the earliest departing flight, and were put in group one, and assembled in the main dining room to await port clearance. When given the O.K. to proceed, we were behind all the other passengers who were exiting from the extreme forward Port side gangway- so we had literally hundreds of people who might have been in groups as high as 12- with flights in the afternoon, leaving the ship ahead of those of us who were in jeopardy of missing our airport transfer and flight. We made it, thank goodness- but it was in no way because of the positive actions of any Celebrity staff. Good ship, the Solstice- but the company needs to go a little further in insuring a problem free experience for the premium fares that are charged for a cruise like this. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
This was our second Celebrity cruise - we sailed on Eclipse last year. Initial impressions of Solstice were very good. Although a few years older than Eclipse she is in good shape and communal areas and cabins were clean and well ... Read More
This was our second Celebrity cruise - we sailed on Eclipse last year. Initial impressions of Solstice were very good. Although a few years older than Eclipse she is in good shape and communal areas and cabins were clean and well looked after. Boarding was relatively quick. We got the Celebrity transfer from the airport but the lady on the check in desk was less than helpful and was more concerned with moving onto the next customer than answering our questions. She was also hard to understand. Once on board it felt like coming home! Because the layout of the ship is the same as Eclipse we knew our way round and were some of the first in the Sunset bar for the long-awaited CC sail-away party. Cabins: We had adjoining cabins at the stern and they were amazing. We asked the steward to open up the entrance so we had one front door and also to swing back the balcony divider. This took him a day (and a few reminders) to arrange. Same with emptying the mini-bars and hosing the soot off the balconies. He did the ones either side but not ours until we asked.. No complaints with cabin cleanliness or layout and I spent a lot of time on the balcony sunbathing, reading or just watching the wake. Food: Buffet was very similar to the Eclipse last year - plenty of choice albeit the same food every day. The ice cream was fantastic. Loved the coffee, pastries, sandwiches and cakes from Cafe Al Bacio. MDR - Food better than Eclipse and on the whole very good. Only one occasion of 'pink' cooked pork which I gave up on when it came back the same second time. Our service here was exceptional and our waiter, Cyrel and sommelier Ivan were just great. They gave the best service we have ever had. Although we were on select dining we booked a table at the time we wanted in advance each day so that we could go to their area. Murano - service way OTT and uncomfortable. Husband felt very unwell after the lobster. Wouldn't go back Tuscan Grill - again service a bit too attentive but food excellent - our favourite speciality restaurant. Silk Harvest - food and service good but experience spoilt for us by being next to a table of very young children who ran amok. We were offered a free booking a few days later but the menu is very limited and our experience of the MDR was so good that we preferred to be there. Leisure faciitities and entertainment: Pool deck way too small for the number of passengers and we avoided it at all costs preferring the privacy of the balcony. Lawn - a great facility and location but unfortunately the vast majority of it was 'resting' and not open for use most of the cruise!! What a waste. Also the lawn games weren't left out for use most of the time which again was a shame as there is little else for families to do together, Maybe they should look at artificial grass if they can't maintain it in the heat? Hot Glass Show was awesome. Very entertaining and informative. Three great guys who are passionate about their craft and were actually interested in meeting and talking to the passengers. The shows were variable in quality. We really enjoyed the Illusionist, the Cirque de Soleil type show and the final show where Captain Gerry sang and played the guitar (rather well!). One-man show was dire. Shops were the usual range and we bought a few watches. Service was average and they succeeded in charging us twice for something. This meant a trip to Guest Relations to rectify. Bars: Service overall very good with the exception of the Sunset Bar where the bar staff looked really miserable. This was the same on the Eclipse last year! My husband was dismayed to find no decent bottled English beers (apparently the Spanish don't like them!). They were plentiful on Eclipse. Martini bar was fun and the place to be! Shore Excursions: We only did two Celebrity excursions. The gelato trip from Civi which was hilarious, although it wasn't meant to be and the family cable car tour in Dubrovnik which was good as it included a brief walking tour. Beware if you have very young children though as there are a lot of steep stone steps to climb down. Go inside the museum at the fortress at the top cable car station - it is very interesting. It does annoy me how Celebrity seem to be deliberately evasive about the alternatives to their own shuttles and tours. More information about the public transport options would be appreciated - we got most of our info in advance from the CC forums and our fellow roll-callers. At La Spezia the Guest Relations lady was very unhelpful but the Concierge was the opposite and printed me off a map to show how we could easily walk to the train station. Tender arrangements need looking at - huge delays in Kotor both getting off and getting on. Standing in a long queue in the blazing sun to get back to the ship not much fun. Long queues also for tender getting off at Villefranche. This meant that we missed the train we wanted to get to Monte Carlo and had to get the later 'train from hell' which was absolutely packed. Overall: A great cruise. It must have been because we have booked another one for next year! We met some lovely people (old friends and new) and the Solstice didn't disappoint. It is very easy to criticise and there were things that could undoubtedly be improved but overall a fantastic time. I must mention here the ship's Captain Gerry Larsson-Fedde whose announcements ('Hello, it's me again') amused us at 12 noon each day. A great sport he participated in guest/officer events, was available for photos on formal nights and performed on stage during the final show. The staff said what a great guy he is and I'm sure that under his leadership Solstice will only get better. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
This was our first European cruise. Let me start with on board embarkment. How easy was that? We had the concierge class balcony room and were assured first on. We arrived at noon and were escorted directly to champagne and access to ... Read More
This was our first European cruise. Let me start with on board embarkment. How easy was that? We had the concierge class balcony room and were assured first on. We arrived at noon and were escorted directly to champagne and access to the ship wherever we wanted to go. We walked along many of the common area decks to the "buffet" area. This is no ordinary "buffet" There were many stations with many different types of food. Indian, Mexican, Italian, English, paninni sandwiches and more. Fancy desserts, ice cream (not ice milk). All of which were equally very good. We then toured on our own to see the specialty restaurants, took pictures while no one was there and went to see the ship stores. From regular everyday ship stores to fancy boutiques. Something for everyone. Onto our room for a wonderful surprise. Roomy, big bathroom, large deck with lounge chairs, big table, champagne and fruit. Bed was comfortable, room stewards were great!!! Solarium for 18 and over was great! small pool for just wading or small dips, nice fresh organic food(even though we are not very organic, it was good! Places to lay down, covered secluded areas and hot tubs. Soft music. RESTFUL. Standard pool area for everyone. Not loud. Only draw back was not enough seating for everyone. No kiddie pool which was needed. Days at sea consisted of kids at the pool. Dining room was very elegant and food was good, not great as we expected. Smaller portions were okay but needed to be hotter. Wait staff accommodating. The only specialty restaurant we ate at was the Tuscan Grille, You have to go. The food was out of this world!!Especially the steak(filet mignon) Service was second to none!! andy the view was outstanding. Even the Captains crew were very helpful and smiling. The coffee bar was great. Cappucinos everyday with free pastries was a nice place to sit and relax. The waiters were not pushy for drinks. If you wanted one, they would help you. No drink of the day, no sell, sell, sell. The drink package is worth it. We chose the premium package and did not over do it, it was worth not worrying about a bar bill at the end. We do have many comments about the ports of call but will have to complete another section for that. Disembarkement was slow even though we were suppose to be first off but we were able to get to our plane in plenty of time. We can only say that our expectations of this Celebrity ship were met and have decided this is now our the Solstice class of Celebrity is our cruise line of choice Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
This was the 3rd cruise for my partner and I having previously travelled with RCI, NCL and Disney. From the outset I would place Solstice in third place behind RCI and Disney (with Disney outclassing the other ships). My partner ... Read More
This was the 3rd cruise for my partner and I having previously travelled with RCI, NCL and Disney. From the outset I would place Solstice in third place behind RCI and Disney (with Disney outclassing the other ships). My partner and I are in our late 30's / early 40's and enjoy travelling, good food, a few drinks, shows and a good variety of entertainment. Travel to the port of Barcelona was easy as we live in the area, so a train and a taxi ride got us there by midday. Check in was superb. I think we were on board just 20 minutes after getting out of the cab! The entrance to the ship was by gangway on deck 4 by the Martini bar. When boarding other vessels there has been an immediate "Wow" factor. We did not feel this as the entry felt rather enclosed. The sparkling wine on boarding was a nice touch but we did have to battle through sales people for alternative dining, drinks packages and wine packages. We actually got caught with these people for 20 minutes and could have done without the hard sell so quickly. We had a walk round and first impressions were that Solstice is a beautiful ship with some stunning spaces and nicely presented artworks. Next stop was the Ocean View for a buffet lunch. Again the first impression was great with stations for Mexican, curries, BBQ, roasts, Chinese, pizza, pasta, salads and lots of desserts. We tried the curries and they were delicious. The staterooms were available when we finished lunch and we made our way to deck 8. The room was large and well laid out and spotlessly clean. There was loads of storage and the shower was unexpectedly large. After another walk around and Muster we made our way to the Sunset Bar for the CC first meet and greet. This was fun and it was satisfying to put some faces to some names. Subsequent to this we watched sail away and then got changed for dinner and popped in to the official CC meeting in Michael's club. We had second seating for dinner. Although we had requested a table for 6 we got a table for 2 at the back of the restaurant. What was odd was that there were 4 tables for 2 in a line with only about 2 inches between each table. The effect was of having a table for 8 where people were less inclined to chat and where we were all eating different courses at different times. The food in the MDR was ok. There were no dishes that stick in my memory and there was LOTS of red meat. It wasn't bad but just not great. We also had dinners in the 3 main alternative venues. Morano (stuffy, dark a bit pretentious and the lobster made me ill), Tuscan Grill (best views on the ship and the best food. Loved it all and left stuffed!) and Silk Harvest (asian inspired and ok). Tried Cafe Bacchio one day but thought the coffee was a bare pass and definitely not worth the $6 for the one I tried. Buffet was always reliable for breakfast and lunch, but the variety never changed. It was the same food every day and by day 6 I was bored of it. The Mast Grill had the burgers etc.., but these were not grilled to order as advertised and as with most things on the ship I would grade as ok. Also the service here was awful. Food was thrown on a plate and thrust at you. Every time I visited I had to give the plate back and ask for fires, or cheese etc..., it was never offered. Entertainment was the second biggest disappointment on the ship. It was truly awful and the worst I have experienced in cruising. Each night the same bands played (an acapella quartet, a jazz band, a pop band and a lounge singer). Same songs with each band moving round the ship periodically. It became very tedious very fast. Unfortunately the show lounge was equally uninspired. Just passable shows most of which I walked out of. Even the big Solstice show (meant to be Cirque style) was a let down. Some great performers but it felt like I was watching a 1980's seaside variety show. I had higher expectations. Service ship wide was good but very superficial. Lots of "hi, how are you today?" "Have you had a good day?" "did you enjoy......?" however nobody really wanted to hear an answer and in a lot of cases walked off before you could engage. Bars were generally good with a special word to the Martini bar where most nights were spent. The sundeck on sea days was absolutely brutal! Not enough space for the overcrowded ship (built for 2850 with over 3100 on our cruise). It was so bad on the first sea day that I did not sit out for the rest of the cruise on the open deck. It was also too loud as the deafening bands always seemed to be there, too many screaming kids and too many very rude people hogging sunbeds and pushing each other. Kids in general were not well controlled with large packs roaming the halls, especially on sea days. The highpoint of the ship for me was the Hot Glass Show. I can't praise these 3 men enough. Funny and very talented I went to at least 5 shows. Lawn club itself felt like wasted space and the lawn was resting for most of the trip so that further cut down on sun bathing space. We did not use shore excursions except for one question in Venice where they were quite rude. Guest relations managed to answer my question however and every time I needed to speak to them were professional and helpful. Ports were all interesting and we self toured. Kotor and Dubrovnik were the high points. As expected the Med in the summer is very crowded. Disembarkation was smooth and efficient. Overall the ship was so near to great and then kept missing the mark. Entertainment and food needed more variety. I am sure on a 7 day Caribbean trip you don't have time to tire of the same music and menu, but on a 12 day trip you need more. The main theatre also needs an overhaul. Please Celebrity look at your competition and put some effort into this area. Sundeck space was lovely to look at when empty but was like a war zone when full. MDR was tasty but not memorable. Finally a word about fellow cruisers. With the exception of the CC people we met (all of whom were lovely of course), the people on board were some of the rudest I have ever encountered (and I live in Spain where rudeness is almost a sport). They pushed and shoved, hogged sun beds, were very dismissive of staff that were always trying to help and completely unappreciative of the fact that apart from themselves 3099 other people had also paid to be on vacation and wanted to destress. I was so looking forward to this trip and had heard such fantastic things about Solstice. Maybe my expectations were too high. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
I cruised with Celebrity Century many years ago and can remember the amazing food and service and sitting at the back of the ship looking out towards the past. The tranquility of the sound of the water going around the big propelers still ... Read More
I cruised with Celebrity Century many years ago and can remember the amazing food and service and sitting at the back of the ship looking out towards the past. The tranquility of the sound of the water going around the big propelers still lives with me. Therefore we booked a Sunset veranda and we got plenty of the propeler sound which we loved, often sleeping with the door open. Breafast every morning on the veranda. Very nice whilst on the go to Rome, Florens, Venice, Dubrovnik and so on. We loved many things with the Soltice. At first it came across very cold with the atrium, almost naked greating us. When we got over that we where on a floating luxury hotel instead of a ship we did like it and most of all the SPA area with it's Solarium, SPA cafe and gym with classes. A bonus if you do want to get away and try to get in a slightly better shape. Food was excellent in the Main Restaurant and we never felt that we needed to book in anywhere else. It is a smart large restaurant and it does feel a bit special and not just like the cruise ship is feeding the hungry crowds. Chef Eddie is amazing and showed me and my husband the most memorable character of all the staff. He worked his socks of with his gentle homour and making everything look very easy. Cruise Director was also working overtime and I can just imagine what he looks like when he finally gets to his cabin. Or he might work 24/7?? Shows are pretty good and better standard that I expected. The 4 guys walking around singing A capella we could have done with out. Great idea but would have prefered if they could sing in tune and reach the notes. Tired voices I expect. Jazz trio was very good. It is such an well oiled machine that it leaves you with a feel that you are not special at all. Strange to write that really but there is nothing charming about Celebrity Solstice just very pro with Chef Eddie making up for everyones perfect smiles. I'm sure there are lot of nice people working on the ship and it shines through how grinding it is and that the company do slip when the staff texting friends and family at home. Especially the poor sods that works in the toilets can't hide there phones quick enough and a small thing like that just cracks the perfect fasad a bit and show that we are all human. What I didn't like about this cruise was to get an amazing massage and what I liked less was that before you have a change to open your eyes, the nice massage lady turns into Executive Sales Lady on a mission to clinch the deal. She held up different options to me 'which one do you want?' which one...this one or that one...? I felt I had no choice in saying no. I didn't book another massage when it left me stone cold on the hard sell. AND IF YOU ARE FROM ENGLANG THINKING ABOUT BUYING THE ELEMIS ALGE DETOX CAPSULES AND GET ASSURANCES OF HOW CHEAP THEY ARE ON BOARD. DON'T BUY THEM!!!! They are £230 cheaper in England!!!!! We did all the ports on our own steam and paid a fraction of the prices that Celebrity charges and it's nicer if you are so inclined. From what we heard other people was saying about the speciality restaurants, they served the same thing more or less than the main restaurant but just in a more intimate environment. Well we all have to get our kicks from somewhere. And as almost everyone else says, it gets VERY crowded in the pool area on sail days with no space at all to jump in and out of your sun beds so you better be friendly with your neighbours so they move an inch so you can get out if you didn't do all that gym classes you promised yourself to get the stamina to navigate safely out of some very tight spots! Have a great holiday! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
My wife, three kids (ages 14, 11 and 9) just returned from a fabulous trip to Europe which highlighted a 12 day cruise on the Solstice.In addition to several cruises with the wife, it was our fourth cruise with our three kids (Princess, ... Read More
My wife, three kids (ages 14, 11 and 9) just returned from a fabulous trip to Europe which highlighted a 12 day cruise on the Solstice.In addition to several cruises with the wife, it was our fourth cruise with our three kids (Princess, NCL, 2 x Royal Caribbena). Without a doubt, regardless the line or ship, cruising is the most convenient way to travel with kids in Europe.As for the Solstice, it had some very good things and not so good.The good:- Best staterooms we have seen. Clean, spacious & well decorated. The in-cabin entertainment (TV) powered by Apple was tremendous. From ordering the next morning's breakfast (arrived like clockwork) to the wide selection of free movies you could watch at will. - Excellent food. Dining room was great, but was surprised by the variety at the more casual Ocean View Cafe. In addition to the typical buffet fare, different stations for pizza, pasta, Asian, Mexican, Indian food, sandwiches, salads & BBQ. - Kid's Club. My kids (especially the 9 and ll year old) couldn't get enough of the "Fun Factory". They'd rush thru dinner and skip desert to not miss a minute. - Service. Waiters, bar tenders and cabin crew were all extremely good. Not so good:- The pool area: extremely cramped and rather boring. With three "At Sea" days, much time was spent here and we were disappointed. So much of the ship's outdoor deck is used for the underutilized lawn; all pool lounge chairs (which there are not enough of) are crammed together, making it uncomfortably close (hard to get in to and you're sitting arm to arm with strangers next to you). There was absolutely no background music.- Lack of other outdoor fun. Once again, the ship's "Lawn Club" takes up so much space (and is hardly used), that there are none of the fun outdoor amenities that we have seen on similarly sized ships; no rock climbing, outdoor movies, pool slide, miniature golf, full-court basketball court, etc.Despite all the very good, I doubt I will take another cruise on the Solstice... especially with the kids. While they had a blast in the kid's club, the ships lack of funner outdoor amenities present on other ships of similar size would sway us away. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
My wife and I have traveled on several cruise lines and looked forward to traveling on Celebrity Solstice. We were excited to be going on a 12-day cruise in the Mediterranean departing from Barcelona. We made our arrangements using the ... Read More
My wife and I have traveled on several cruise lines and looked forward to traveling on Celebrity Solstice. We were excited to be going on a 12-day cruise in the Mediterranean departing from Barcelona. We made our arrangements using the Celebrity Cruise Line web site. Easy site to navigate. Having never been to the Mediterranean, we decided to spend a couple of extra days before the cruise in Barcelona. Recommended by Celebrity Cruise Lines, we used Choice Air for our flight arrangements. The initial flight itinerary they sent us was incomplete and it took two calls to Choice Air before we got a flight itinerary we could use. We stayed at the Hotel Barcelona Catedral in Barcelona. It was close to Las Ramblas and the Gothic District. Modern hotel with nice location, very acceptable accommodations, and helpful staff. Unfortunately, the breakfast buffet was very expensive (17 Euros per person).Embarkation/Debarkation and Shore Excursions on the Celebrity Solstice were the most efficient of all of the cruise lines we have been on. We had a room in Concierge Class with a balcony off the stern of the ship. Room was slightly smaller than similar class rooms on other cruise lines, but did have lots of storage and a nice bath room with shower. Ship staff were always available to answer any questions you had. Daily Newsletters kept you up to date. While the ship did have several specialty restaurants, we chose to use the informal buffet (Oceanview Cafe) the majority of our time. It had a good selection of food. We weren't lacking for food. The main dining room was very well appointed with friendly wait staff. The premium drink package had too many limitations and was not worth the money.Since relaxing on the ship was our main interest, we did not attend any of the shows. No matter where we were on the ship, ship staff were always ready to help with information. We attended the glass blowing demonstration, which is a special feature of Celebrity Solstice. It was very interesting and informative. We also attended several of the cooking demonstrations by the ship chefs. These were fun to watch. Overall, very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2010
Embarkation This was very smooth and we wer eon the ship within 30 minutes of arriving. The ship I found it a departure from the norm. We had just travelled on Eurodam around the Caribbean and found it to be an excellent ship and its ... Read More
Embarkation This was very smooth and we wer eon the ship within 30 minutes of arriving. The ship I found it a departure from the norm. We had just travelled on Eurodam around the Caribbean and found it to be an excellent ship and its nautical heritage was obvious, you really felt like you were on a ship. Solstice is very contemporary and you feel like you are in a building that is a cross between a modern office block and a shopping mall. I think the central location of the elevators and the open plan environment gave me that feeling. I loved it. We had one of four family cabins on the ship. When we booked the fine detail of the cabin layout was not available as the ship was still being built. The second bedroom has no natural light and this made us nickname it "the cave". Although this was disappointing it gave my father in law his own separate and private space, which is a rare commodity on a ship unless you book a really expensive suite. The TV was so much more than a TV and we were impressed with the many things you could do on it. The room was large and very spacious, were were not crowded at all. I suppose this results from the cabin being on a corner of the ship. The furnishings and surface finishes were not very upmarket and looked quite cheap. Having just got off Eurodam the day before we embarked on Solstice gave us a good comparison. Eurodam furnishings and surface finishes were rich and inviting. Storage space was very inadequate and there were a number of walls that could have been used to mount wardrobes or other storage space. The balcony was rarely used as the wind was far too strong when the ship was underway. The two front facing windows were great as you could see where you were going and they gave lots of natural light. The roll away bed for my daughter was poor quality. The bathroom was excellent, plenty of space given it was on a ship. The cabin attendant was very helpful, no complaints. I did not like our location in the main dining room, it was on the upper level next to a window but on rectangular tables that were too close together. We did not feel like we were in the main dining room as we could not see the lower level and lost the ambiance of the magnificent ceiling displays. The ice bar was a popular meeting point but I felt it was too crowded. The alternative restaurants are all located at the rear of the ship and I felt you lost some feeling of exclusivity due to them being so close together, I preferred the spread out restaurant locations on Eurodam. The Bistro on Five is a good alternative restaurant and well priced at $5 a head and I was surprise it was not well patronised. I did not like the coffee shop coffee. The baristas need more training and there should be a choice of milks. Australians like 4% fat milk as it makes a better latte. The enclosed indoor pool area is fantastic for relaxing but I was annoyed at the selfish people who leave books on a seat to reserve it then walk away. The staff did not police this very well. I loved the sea days and would have liked more of them. As much as I enjoy the port visits, the sea days are very relaxing. I also enjoyed the evening entertainment, both the shows and also the musicians playing around the various bars. Very professional. The library was poor, very few books and over two levels it was difficult to go up and down. The library looks like it was designed as a pretty show piece for guests to see as they went up and down the lift. The library on the Eurodam is perfect, Celebrity should copy what HAL do. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
We travel often and rely on Cruise Critic for advice and suggestions so I want to provide as much information I can to assist others. We arrived in Rome a couple of days early and stayed at the Atlante Star Hotel. It was a nice hotel ... Read More
We travel often and rely on Cruise Critic for advice and suggestions so I want to provide as much information I can to assist others. We arrived in Rome a couple of days early and stayed at the Atlante Star Hotel. It was a nice hotel with free shuttle from the airport. Neither of us ever sleep on the plane so it was nice to be picked up by the hotel. The only problem was we had to wait about an hour for the shuttle bus. Hotel was nice, close to the Vatican and the breakfast buffet was excellent. We travel often and always carry on so we walked on cruise day across St. Peters Square and took the train from Roma St. Pietro Station to the port. It was probably a mile or so walk from the hotel to the train station. We followed the instructions from CC and after leaving the Civit. Station walked about ¾ mile to the Port. (Thank you to all the CC contributors for directions) It was a very easy journey and the cost of the train trip was about 8 euros each. A bus picks you up at the port entrance and transfers you to the ship. We arrived at the port at 1:15 boarded about 1:30 and upon entering the ship they announced the cabins were ready. Nice surprise! Our cabin was 1603 (Aqua Spa) and had a bump out cabin that was nice. It made the deck a little larger because of the angle and we could see forward all the way to the bridge. It was a nice view looking forward as we had breakfast in the morning. We ate breakfast every day on our veranda, which was nice. You can also order off the main dining room menu at night if you ask your room attendant for a copy of the evening's menu. They bring it to your room when it is available and then after 6:30 pm we called Room Service and placed the order. The meal usually arrived about 7:30 pm brought to you by the room steward. Other nights we ate in BLU. This is the Aqua Spa level dining room. It probably holds about 120 people; on most nights there were more empty seats than full ones. It was pleasant and had good food in slightly smaller portions. Also, there was not the meat and potatoes kind of meals and not extravagant desserts. On a couple of occasions the waiters dropped off an extra entrEe for us to share. For example, one night I had a steak, my wife a pasta dinner and they came by and dropped off lamb chops for us to share. We never asked for this, but we saw them do it quite a bit at other tables as well. It was a nice touch and gave us the chance to sample more kinds of meals. They also surprised us with a nice Happy Honeymoon Chocolate Cake which was a pleasant surprise. The 10-day Eastern Med. Cruise is port intensive and gives you plenty of opportunity to see many fine ports. We especially loved Santorini, Pompeii and Ephesus. We had been to Mykonos and Athens before but walked different directions to see different things. The ports included: Messina, Ephesus, Naples/Pompeii, Mykonos, Athens, Rhodes, and Santorini. The ship is beautiful; the service was great for us. We enjoyed the meals, did not stay for long at the shows, and played a long time in the casino for about $20 each. We never won any big slot machine jackpots, but were able to play for a long time on a little money when the mood hit us. The machines kept us playing even if we did not win anything major. We also really enjoyed the glass show and won a beautiful bowl in their raffle. After the cruise we went back to the port and took the train. Departing at Roma St. Pietro we were able to miss all the chaos at the Termini Station. We stayed at the Starhotels Michelangelo, which is only about 500 yards from the station. This was a good location for us because we wanted to focus our visit at the Vatican and the hotel is only a couple of blocks away. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
This was actually two cruises, back-to-back. First, 10 days in the Greek Isles, Italy and Turkey, then 13 days Civitavecchia to Ft. Lauderdale.So,lots of sightseeing on first leg, lots of sea days on the last. The ship itself is beautiful ... Read More
This was actually two cruises, back-to-back. First, 10 days in the Greek Isles, Italy and Turkey, then 13 days Civitavecchia to Ft. Lauderdale.So,lots of sightseeing on first leg, lots of sea days on the last. The ship itself is beautiful and well laid out. The Lawn Club and glass blowing seem at first to be wasteful, but they were actually well used and make a unique addition. The cabin seemed a bit small, but there was ample storage, even for a long voyage. The lighting scheme is not good, not geared for reading either on the sofa or in bed, and no way to separate the bed from the rest of the cabin so that one person can read while the other sleeps. On the other hand, we liked the night light in the bathroom, the larger shower, and the rain shower head. Flatscreen TV was also a welcome feature. The food in the main restaurant,Grand Epernay, as well as the buffet, Oceanview Cafe, was quite good. We weren't overwhelmed by the quality of waiters in Epernay, but that could have been luck of the draw.We did dine at the specialty restaurant ,Tuscan Grille, but the food and service really weren't much better than that in Grand Epernay, and surely not worth an extra $50.So,we made it a one time event. Like almost everyone we talked with, we think 6:00 PM is too early for dinner, and 8:30 is too late. We look forward to "My Time" dining on future Celebrity Cruises. The new Elite Captain's Club privileges were truly enjoyed and appreciated. The cocktail hour, with new friends we made there, became one of each day's highlights.The extras like free internet and laundry were also great added attractions. Thanks to Celebrity Cruises for them. The entertainment and "enrichment" were the low points of the ship. The singers and dancers were the weakest we have come across on a cruise ship, and the choreography and songs were "odd". Most of the individual performers were OK, but not great. The most enjoyable entertainment for us was Dave,the piano player in Michael's Lounge. Service was very good all around, with lots of smiles and greetings. Good crew! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2009
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. All our Celebrity Solstice employees went over and above to make our trip a good one without exception. We were on the 7th floor with a balcony room which was very comfortable. We did not book any ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. All our Celebrity Solstice employees went over and above to make our trip a good one without exception. We were on the 7th floor with a balcony room which was very comfortable. We did not book any excursions with the ship which turned out just fine. In Messina, we walked past all of the taxi drivers and thought we might want to take the open double decker bus for a look at Messina. While walking through the square, we met Mario Astone, who turned out to be our favorite guide on the whole cruise. He had a van for six (the number in our group) and drove us up to Taormina in 30-40 minutes. We loved Taormina and our trip there with Mario who was so much fun. He dropped us off at the gates and askedus when we wanted him to take us back to Messina. We walked a few streets of Taormina and then went to the ancient ampi-theatre, which was cool and had great views. On the way back, Mario took us to a few "Wow spots" for cool pictures. We had a great day. In Mykonos and Rhodes, we walked through town and headed to the beach (via local bus in Mykonos). In Rhodes we walked (20 mins or so) and had a good time. In Athens, we took the local train to the Acropolis which was easy and clean (and cheap. Ephesus was the only spot in which you need a private guide or to sign up for the ship excursion (if you don't mind big groups). The cost for a private guide for six was about the same as the ship excursion cost. On Santorini, we loved Oia. After looking around the town, we found a cool pool bar where we spent the afternoon. All we had to do was pay for food or drinks and the swimming and shade umbrellas were free. This was a super spot on east side with a beautiful sea view. The local bus to Oia and back to Fira was crowded. Leave enough time to get back and down the hill without taking the trail down. Getting to and from Rome to the port, we didn't have that much luggage (2 roller bags each) and opted to take the local train. We have traveled in Italy before and find the local trains interesting,and much less expensive. From Rome to the port, it costs 4.50 Euro apiece. A money belt or secure place for valuables is a good ideas whenever on a local train in Rome or Naples. Getting to the airport on the morning of disembarkation was easy. We bought tickets at 8 Am at Civitavecchia train station after walking off the ship around 7:40. We were checked in at the airport and already to the gate by 10:30 Am (which included a 20-min transfer in Trastevere .. 1 stop after St Peters and 2 stops before the Termini in Rome). Good Cruise!! Celbrity Solstice manages everything carefully to ensure great service and efficient getting on and off the ship. They also have plenty of hand sanitizer thus making it a healthier cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2009
A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum, oops wrong story. Well, we actually started our trip in Rome at a beautiful hotel called the Hotel Majestic. The hotel was wonderful and included an "American breakfast". Not ... Read More
A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum, oops wrong story. Well, we actually started our trip in Rome at a beautiful hotel called the Hotel Majestic. The hotel was wonderful and included an "American breakfast". Not really. European all the way with prociutto, baked cressants, sweet breads, eggs, fruit, yogurt and a choice of American or Italian coffee. You're kidding. Who would in their right mind would choose American coffee? Yuk I would highly recommend the Hotel Majestic and sitting  outside to enjoy breakfast! Rome was hot but still beautiful! We walked all over the city enjoying the various fountains, coffee, gelato, pizza and of course the sights. We were picked up the second day by Pepe, a fabulous driver from Limoinrome who gave us a quick tour of Rome before heading out to Civitavecchia Port. Wow, we really enjoyed our time with Pepe. He showed something we will never forget: "The Keyhole to Rome". Incredible. You'll have to meet him and ask to see it. The Celebrity Solstice was beautiful. Extremely artsey ship. Our room was nice but I feel that after traveling on various cruise lines, the company scrimped on the ship's insulation between floors and rooms. We heard  a lot of noise above and next door to us. We even heard the phone ringing next door and loud Italian voices coming from next door daily.The food was good in the main dining room but not anything to write home about. The specialty restaurants, especially The Murano were outstanding. It was so outstanding, 5 star all the way, that we ate their twice. The ship's shows were spectacular, best I ever saw on cruise ships.  The Greek Islands were nice but we enjoyed Turkey and the Amalfi Coast even more.We rented ATV's in Santorini and were advised to head to Oui. This is the most picturesque spot of Santorini. Well worth driving ATV's to see. It is true that the best time to photograph the Greek Islands are in the late afternoon. The sun reflects off the islands giving it a beautiful hue. Interesting, but Greek men in Santorini, Mykonos and Athens were quite grumpy and irritable (especially those in uniform). We didn't find this to be true about our Greek staff on the ship. As a matter of fact, the ship's captain was very funny. We took Cruisecritic member's suggestions about Ekoltravel tours in Turkey and they were fabulous. I would highly recommend this company. The tour guides we had in Istanbul and Ephesus were great and so full of knowledge, patience and character.Ayzsequl Argaboglu showed us the sights in Istanbul for 2 days and we enjoyed her company and vast knowledge of her country and city. We highly recommend that you see the Dolmabace Palace which was more beautiful than the Topkaki Palace. Shopping in the Grand Bazaar was fun but not the highlight and yes, I love to shop. Going with a guide help matters as she was able to help negotiate. We took the ship's Turkish night club/dinner/show excursion. The food was unedible but the bellydancing made up for it. Be prepared to spend a lot of money on water and soda. The Turkish Baklava that our guide bought us was amazing! It made it all the way home and eaten a week later! We were fortunate enough to see Ephesus, the showplace of Aegean archaeology with an archaeologist who Ekol gave us a tour guide. Bulent (Bill to us) Soysal was fabulous. What a way to see the ruins! I highly recommend paying alittle more to see the Terrace House. We had a authentic Turkish lunch in Selchuk followed by our very own fashion show in a Turkish Leather Factory/showroom. Turkish leather is gorgeous and 5 out of 6 of us came home with some treasures!We followed that us with a trip to see how silk is spun and more carpet demos. I suggest trying Turkish coffee for those coffee enthusiasts but I warn you, it doesn't taste like coffee...it's more like swallowing chewing tobacco. The Turkish apple tea offered was delightful! We spent the rest of the time at the Kusadasi Port which was beautiful. Our guide warned us to be aware of fakes in the bazaar. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the Acropolis...yes, I broke my toe on the ship simply catching my toe on a lounge chair on the pool deck. I still managed to climb the Acropolis though. I wasn't going to miss that. Be careful climbing as it is slippery in certain areas. But this was the highlight of our trip! Even with a broken toe. Wow! Breathtaking. The rest of Athens was interesting to see but just ok. Our driver was very negative about his city and the economics of their country. We enjoyed the best Greek lunch, Musaka, in the Platka area in a little Mom and Pop shop that we found on our own. I couldn't walk anymore after lunch but my friends told me the Platka was fun to shop and see. The absolute highlight of this trip was the Amalfi Coast. We got picked up by Mario Giafalli, a true gentleman from Italylimouisine who delighted and entertained us as we drove the Amalfi Coast. We took his suggestion and drove the coast line first before we did Pompeii. Excellent idea as we had more time to enjoy the magnificent scenery and shop alittle in Positano, stop in Amalfi and lunch in Ravello. We then headed to Pompeii to enjoy the ruins there with a private guide. Our friends suggested not wasting time in Naples with our day and I'm glad to listen to their advise. All in all, the trip was fabulous. The ship was beautiful with a few building flaws. The ship's spa was lovely. I enjoyed a Tai Pumice Message. My husband enjoyed his Sweedish messages.  The staff was lovely too. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2009
Background: This would be my fourth cruise but first with Celebrity. Both my parents have been on 10 or more cruises and have sailed Celebrity before.We flew into Rome on July 5 to catch up on sleep before riding to Civitavecchia on July 6 ... Read More
Background: This would be my fourth cruise but first with Celebrity. Both my parents have been on 10 or more cruises and have sailed Celebrity before.We flew into Rome on July 5 to catch up on sleep before riding to Civitavecchia on July 6 to board the Solstice. We took a train from Termini Station to Civitavecchia and it was alot cheaper than taking a cab. However, the air conditioning was minimal, but there were many people on the train that were boarding the ship like us- so it was easy to make some friends!Embarkation: We arrived around 2:30 and it was like a zoo! It was quick and only took about 30 minutes to get your cards and start embarking the ship- make sure all your paper work is filled out and credit cards are verified for your sea pass acount- makes it so much quicker when in the line. Our bags were even at our door when we arrived at the cabin! very fast service!Ship Info: The ship is BEAUTIFUL and HUGE. It makes all the other cruise ships look sooo little. We stayed on the 8th floor in the aft and it was the smoothest ride I have ever felt on a ship. There was only one day I felt a little nauseous and that was because of a storm that was off the coast. Otherwise, you can not even tell your moving. The public spaces are well lit and very clean. There are a lot of bars on the ship. The Lawn Club was interesting- personally not as exciting as it was made out to be- but none the less..very different than what could be found on any other ship. The Martini Bar was ALWAYS busy but it was so much fun to watch the bartenders make drinks. TJ is the best and is absolutely hysterical. I would reccoment the Martini Flight for about 18 dollars- you can sample 6 different martinis. The Casino was always busy at the late hours. There is only one 6 dollar minimum blackjack table- which was normally always crowded. However, it was the most fun to play. Be careful about who you are playing with though. Being that you can be 18 to get into the Casino, some of the players had NO idea how to play the game how you are supposed to and in essence can really mess up a hand or two. The slot machines never seemed to pay out well- at least for me- so I stuck with Blackjack and actually did pretty well! :)The Shows- Celebrity has never been known for its shows and I can somewhat see why. The shows were not awful by any means but not that appealing to me. There was a broadway style show- the talent is amazing! However, most of the broadway songs, I did not know. The comedian was funny and there is a Cirq Du Solei Show which was a lot of fun too. It really just depends what you like in a show. Some of them are a little cheesy but the preformers are well trained and very talented! Dining- My family and I mostly ate in the main dining room at the 6:15 seating. Alot of the seats are open because most people eat in the late seating. There were alot of Europeans and alot of people from South America so they always ate later. You could tell the Americans/families were the ones that went to the early dinner- haha but overall, it was usually always busy. The food was ok- not fantastic but still had some really good entrees. I ate steak alot because the menu was not very diverse but it was still good. The food was never hot but I never had to bring it back to the kitchen to heat it back up. The wine list was really extensive and had some good choices and the sommielier was a help. The cafe' up on deck on 14 was good. There was the same food there during lunch and all, but there is sushi offered during dinner times, which was very good!We never went to any specialty restaraunts but from what I heard- you should make reservations ahead of time because it can be hard to get a table once you are on the ship. Nightlife: There was a lot of younger kids on the ship- which really suprised me. The Kids Club was usually busy- you would see them all walking around together at various times during the day. The Kids Club is closed while in port however- so sometimes the kids could be a little out of hand. The 18 and up crowd usually partied at Quasar, which was the resident club on the ship. It usually didnt get busy until about 12 and would stay open until the wee hours. Also the Martini bar is a hangout for younger adults to mid 30s and the Sky Lounge was so much fun. I really reccomend the Karaoke nights and the bands are SENSATIONAL. Disembarkation: We were literally the 2nd family off the ship and were fortunate enough to grab a taxi. All the luggage is stored according to the tags you are given at departure so it was not too hard finding them. There are only about 20 cabs in all of Civitavecchia so you need to get a hold of one as soon as you get off the ship or try and find someone to share rides with. Celebrity charges 90 a person for an airport transfer-which is RIDICULOUS..we got lucky and only payed around 180 euros to get to the airport and Rome- and that was for four people. So if you are with a family- def recomment a cab. if you are just 1 or 2 people- id suck it up and pay the transport fee because its the same price as the taxi- and at least your guaranteed Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2009
My wife and I have been regular cruisers with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean.  We typically like their ships, the itineraries, concierge class and the service.We recently took a 10 day cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean which started in ... Read More
My wife and I have been regular cruisers with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean.  We typically like their ships, the itineraries, concierge class and the service.We recently took a 10 day cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean which started in Rome.  It was the outset of this trip that caused us the most grief and I hope we can save others from the same predicament.  We purchased the transfers from Celebrity to/from the pier in Civitavecchia, Italy.  Celebrity personnel met us at the airport and we were going to carry on small bags onto the bus when a Celebrity rep told us there was no storage for small bags on the bus.  Therefore, we had to put cabin tags on the small bags and Celebrity transported them directly to the ship and then to our cabin.  We checked our bags with Celebrity around 9:30AM.At 3PM all but one of our bags was delivered to our cabin.  The last bag ended up showing up 30 minutes later.  When my wife opened it she could tell it was ransacked.  Items were opened (but not stolen), but we found that our camera had been stolen.  They left the camera bag and instruction booklet.  My wife immediately went down to Guest Relations who made her fill out a "Personal Property Report".  When she was leaving the Guest Relations desk she ran into some people we met on the same bus from the Rome airport.  They were standing in line to also file a theft report.  Seems they had a laptop computer and other items stolen.In retrospect, I wish we would have arranged transportation to/from the pier other than what was offered by Celebrity.  Transportation where our bags would not have left our sight.  Looking back on it I have to say it was a little odd that the Celebrity rep at the airport told us there was no room on the bus for small carry on bags.  The buses had storage underneath and we could have very easily stored them there, but the rep did not tell us this.  Perhaps the Celebrity reps were in on the whole theft scheme?Our suggestion to you is to arrange your own transportation that is NOT through Celebrity.  Make sure you have control of your bags.  If you choose to take Celebrity transportation to/from the airport make sure you refuse for them to take your smaller carry on bags.  Tell them that you want it stored under the bus.  This might save you the same aggravation that we went through.  Consequently, we have no photos of this wonderful cruise. And, it seemed as if Guest Relations on the ship could give a shxt about the theft.  We had to ask for a signed copy of the Personal Property Report four times before we received one.  This whole situation caused my wife and I to decide that we will no longer sail Celebrity or Royal Caribbean Cruises.  We like the product, but we don't like the way they treated frequent customers, therefore, we'll take our business elsewhere.The Solstice was a very nice ship.  It was carrying more than 3000 passengers on our trip, but you could never tell it.  The only time you knew it was crowded was on "at sea" days and it was very difficult to get a lounge chair outside.I have to agree with other reviews that the food was not as good as previous Celebrity cruises that we've taken, but it was certainly acceptable.  The menus are the things that have become strange like serving meat loaf and spaghetti & meatballs.  But there are all kinds of other options if you don't want to eat in the dining room.  For example, you can have the same menu as the dining room delivered to your cabin if you want to eat there.  Just give them enough notice on what you want and the time you want it delivered.  You can eat in the Oceanview Cafe on deck 14 which offers a good variety of food choices.  Or, you can pay extra money to eat at one of the 4 "cover charge" restaurants that are onboard.  Trust me, you won't go hungry.Our concierge class cabin (2107) was on deck 12 and it was in a great location.  Our cabin attendant was outstanding as usual, we always had fresh fruit in our cabin and snacks prior to dinner each night.  I think they've upgraded the mattresses in concierge class along with the bath towels.  We had a very large veranda and the cabin was plenty large. They did a great job in sound proofing the cabins, too.We found the entertainment to be good, but realize that Celebrity was never known for outstanding entertainment.  I read some other reviews about the entertainment being poor, but we found it to be good.  There are lots of things going on throughout the day if you want to take advantage of it ... or ... you can just kick back and relax.The Lawn Club on the top deck was fascinating.  You're able to play Bocchi ball, ring toss or practice your putting skills.  The glass blowing show is up there, as well, and that proved to be one of the most popular things onboard.All in all, it's a gorgeous ship and lots of places for you to explore once you're onboard. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2009
Embarkation.All went perfectly from arriving at Rome airport to being in our stateroom.Ports.All very nice but very tiresome when you get the same old shops selling the same old things in nearly every port, We did the Turkish Towns and ... Read More
Embarkation.All went perfectly from arriving at Rome airport to being in our stateroom.Ports.All very nice but very tiresome when you get the same old shops selling the same old things in nearly every port, We did the Turkish Towns and Villiages which was a very nice excursion and also the Corinthian Canal trip which was again very good, Mykanos was a nightmare with 3 ships in port and about 5000 people milling around such small streets but a lovely place all the same as was Santoirini which was again busy with only 2 ships in god knows what it's like when more ships are in port, at least one hour queing for cable car to top.Scicily, Peraus,Naples, all very dirty and graffiti everywhere but most cities these days are like this.Dining Experience.Although the food in the Epernay was in the most good quality we found it was constantly cold or at best warm, we as a table of 8 repeatedly told the waiters who did take meals away and return them when hot but often other table mates had finished there course and then had to wait for others to finish before next course was brought, compred to previous cruises on RCI our waiters were too quiet had no interaction with them apart from taking our order and putting it on the table, no recommendations re menu items on any nights from either waiter or his assistant, we saw the maitre d once on first night and once night before we left, just in time for her to be in our minds for her tips is my guess or am i a sinic, We ate in the Murano twice and it was very good and the food was hot which was a nice bonus, the goats cheese suffle was amazing and the surf and turf excellent, we didn't try the others but were told Tuscan grille was very good also.Seaview Cafe was also ok with something for everyone, you won,t starve.Cabin;This was on deck 7 with a balcony and was very good, i like the interactive tv.Our maid was called Maria from the Phillipines and was the best we have ever had, cabin was immaculate everyday and nothing too much trouble.The ship;Although i do prefer the classic style of RCI ships compared to the very contemorary style of solstice she was still a very beutifull ship.On sea days the usual towels on sunbeds was abundant all over the top decks from 7am onwards so nothing new here.I personaly think the Lawns on the top deck are a complete waste and just a gimmick, i never saw anyone using it and more sunbeds or another pool in it's place to alleviate the sunbed issue would be better use of the space but it's not a great issue.Entertainment.Well what can i say, absoloutely appauling shows in the Solstice theater, the singers and dancers came nowhere near any shows on the 4 RCI ships and considering they are part of the same company i was very supprised, other entertainment throughout the ship was in my opinion better and we really enjoyed most of them, had some good nights in the Martini and passport bars and a special mention should go to Paul [Bob Marley]Blackwood and Antinio in the Passport bar for making our evenings very special.Overview;After 4 previous cruises on Brilliance,Jewel,Explorer & Navigator of the Seas and speaking to seasoned cruisers maybe i was expecting too much, we were told Celebrity was a notch up from RCI and the food was out this world, sevice etc outstanding, well in my opinion it didn't come close to the Brilliance which was my fav ship and i,m going on her again in march from Dubai.Maybe the credit crunch has meant a cutback in quality, i.e 4 courses instead of 5 at meal times, poor entertainment, will i sail celebrity again, maybe but probaly on a millenium class and not solstice.This was a pesonal view and i,m sure others had a fantastic service from all onboard and i was unlucky but we still had a fantastic cruise and look fwd to the next one.Out, Dave,Not Greek[those who have sailed will understand this. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2009
We sailed 26 June on an Eastern Mediterranean cruise.  I did a load of research, and this was my 5th cruise.  I have sailed Princess, Carnival (twice), Disney, and now Celebrity.  The website promised a sublime experience peace, ... Read More
We sailed 26 June on an Eastern Mediterranean cruise.  I did a load of research, and this was my 5th cruise.  I have sailed Princess, Carnival (twice), Disney, and now Celebrity.  The website promised a sublime experience peace, relaxation, and luxury at fair prices.We started off on the wrong foot when our party of 8 was broken up into two tables.  My friend and her parents who I haven't seen in ages were forced to sit at a separate table.  I barely got a chance to see them at all during the cruise.  We weren't the only ones there was a line a mile long on the first day with people complaining about the same thing.  We also learned that Celebrity had opened up it's last cabins at ridiculous prices and therefore there were a lot of folks on board who didn't really fit the demographic that I believe Celebrity is trying to pursue.In reality, it was difficult to tell Celebrity apart from Carnival. The public spaces and design of the ship are stunning, but our cruise was simply overrun with children of all ages.  Kids ran wild in the pool area crowding the spas, jumping off of pool lounge chairs, and running.  At one time I witnessed a toddler eating his lunch while sitting in the pool-the tortilla chips falling to the bottom of the water.  When I complained to guest services I was told that no one really patrols the area and that it is the guest's responsibility to call in any bothersome activity (!).The food was good, not great.  The did a terrific job of cooking my steaks absolutely perfectly each time, but because the menu was so dull I ended up eating steak at least 5 times out of 10.  Some of the entrees were very tasty but nothing remarkable.  The dining room service was spotty at best.  Some tables were served efficiently, some not.  In general the dining room was not run wellour poor waiters looked like they were running a marathon during the entire service it made me nervous just to watch them.  Again, not the relaxing vacation I had dreamed of.And finally, the music in the public areas was excruciatingly loud live bands and club music, particularly on 'sea days' that you could not get away from unless you retreated to your cabin.  Thank goodness I had a balcony which was lovely.  But even in the evenings where you'd expect maybe some jazz or more mellow music, you were subjected to the "thump thump thump" of the club music.  There are 4 restaurants on board which charge a supplement (anywhere from $5 per person to $35 per person).  I personally despise this.  I would rather pay the extra $350 per person over the 10 days than have to wonder what I am missing obviously the food in the main dining room isn't as good as the restaurant cuisine.  With a 3 year old it would have been tough to do and on principle I refused to visit.  I was told that the food was excellent my question was then, "why can't the food in the dining room be like that?"  Or, if the quality of the food depends on serving lower volumes (which I suspect it does), then offer me the opportunity to visit these restaurants a couple of times during the cruise, and charge me for it. In general there was a nickle and dime atmosphere everything from the spa trying to upsell me or get me to buy their products, to the tacky display of gold necklaces sold by the inch poolside, the day we were at sea.Some staff were friendly and jovial, others looked quite unhappy.  Very spotty service. Instructions on any number of things (embarking, disembarking, luggage, etc).  We often didn't know what to do.The Oceanside buffet was fantastic.  I have to say that they did a wonderful job with variety and freshness.  The entertainment was also top notch.The final blow was dealt shortly after disembarking when we discovered that one of our bags were missing.  I was particularly upset because it was a smaller pullman which we could have easily taken ourselves and had seen others doing.  This was not made clear to us, and now we are without our bag (still).In closing, the cruise was OK but I can't help but feel that Celebrity has a long way to please folks like me who expect serenity, luxury, and service and who are willing to pay for it.  I thought that my search for the perfect cruise would be over with this vacation, but now I know I still have a long way to search. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
I read the reviews about Solstice religiously before we left.  Also, my parents who are Elite members on Celebrity sailed the Solstice in December and were extremely disappointed.  So my husband and I boarded the ship with great ... Read More
I read the reviews about Solstice religiously before we left.  Also, my parents who are Elite members on Celebrity sailed the Solstice in December and were extremely disappointed.  So my husband and I boarded the ship with great anticipation-would we be disappointed as well?The answer is NO!  We absolutely loved the ship.  Yes, it has a more modern flair to it than other Celebrity ships but we didn't mind.  We loved the layout of the ship, it was so easy to get around.  We could tell that Celebrity is definitely attempting to attract a younger passenger demographic and it looks like it is working.  Also, even though the ship was full (we overheard when we checked in), we rarely if ever founded crowded places.  The Martini bar was very busy and we do wish they'd open the martini bar earlier in the day as it is a fun stop when walking around the ship.The Martini Bar and Quasar lounge were new and different and very enjoyable.  We loved the lawn and spent a lot of time there after we'd return to the ship from port.  It was a very relaxing place to be.  We were concerned about a little Italian bird that seemed to have found its way to the grass.  It kept looking for worms but it wasn't that kind of lawn!  We think the bird found its way off the ship in Greece and found real food.We also watched the glass blowing show which was very interesting.  They truly have professionals blowing and crafting the glass.  One of the guys used to work for Waterford in Ireland!  Great talent abound at this show and it's not to be missed!Our cabin was bigger than Millennium class ships by about 3 ft and boy, the 3 ft made the room seem so much bigger!  Our cabin was 7161 and our balcony was at an angle and maybe a tad larger than others because of the angle.  Our bed was closer to the balcony instead of closer to the door which I didn't think I'd like but both my husband and I loved it.  It was wonderful to be able to just turn our heads and see the ocean.  There was plenty of storage space for a 10 day cruise and I mean it when I say that.  No matter how hard we try, we always seem to pack too much but we found a place for everything.  Don't forget about the storage above the bed!  Our only complaint about our cabin was the safe.  Only a 2 year old would find it at the right height.  It was very low to the ground and we had to get on our hands and knees and really stick our heads in the safe to find what we needed.  I did forward this feedback to Celebrity that they should really raise the safe height to accommodate that of an average size adult on future Solstice class ships.The shows were very modern in the Solstice Theater and we enjoyed all of them.  Forgive me as I already forgot her name, but the female impersonator was excellent in her impersonations and the comedian (first name Troy) was absolutely hilarious and clean.  Our main complaint and we echo the sentiment of many others is the food.   In the Grand Epernay, the food was just pathetic and so unlike the other Celebrity ships we've sailed.  Dining on other Celebrity ships was an event that we always looked forward to every evening and it was not to be missed.  We opted out of eating in the MDR several nights and had no regrets.  We checked the menu and there wasn't anything on it what we wanted so missing dinner in the MDR was not a problem.  New menu options:  meatloaf and spaghetti.  PLEASE!  We are cruising to try new and different food that is a luxury to eat; NOT something we can easily make at home.  Our waiter did tell us that due to the larger size of Solstice, it just wouldn't be possible to have the same process in the galley.  I understand his point but the waiters are still delivering some sort of food and the quality in the MDR on the Solstice really, really needs to improve.  Being CC members, we toured the galley and it is definitely the biggest galley we've toured.  I think if Solstice makes it a priority, they can improve the quality of their food options with just a little effort.Speaking of food, the buffet food was delicious.  We ate there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at various times during our cruise.  We always felt there were enough options that we didn't even repeat our choices.  Maybe our expectations were less for the buffet but we were always satisfied with the food we chose.  It was tasty and the right temperature.  We also fell in love with their sushi which they begin to serve at 6 p.m. every night.  If you love sushi, don't miss it!We also ate at the burger/nacho/taco bar near by the pool deck and their food was also good.We tried all 3 of the specialty restaurants and here are our thoughts:Silk Harvest-every bite was delicious.  We misunderstood our sushi order though.  We chose 2 different kinds of sushi and our waiter asked if we wanted 4, 6, or 8.  We chose 8 because we thought that meant we'd get 4 of each kind but we received 8 of each kind.  We also ordered 3 large entrees but a smaller portion.  Our waiter kept saying he could bring us more but the portions were so big, we couldn't possibly finish any of them.  The food there was decadent and the "Asian fusion" Solstice is attempting works well.  My only complaint are the ants painted on the floor as you walk towards all of the specialty restaurants.  It always gave me the willies as I despise bugs and it wasn't appetizing to walk through EVER.  Please get rid of those ants Solstice.  Tuscan Grille-exceptional steaks.  I had the filet mignon, my husband had a ribeye.  Every bite was mouth watering and we savored every moment of our meal there.  From salad to dessert, each morsel was perfectly prepared.  If we sail a Solstice ship again, we will make sure we have reservations here!Murano-things didn't start off great here.  I called CC to make reservations here before we boarded.  They said due to system issues, look for confirmation in our cabin once we board.  We received that confirmation for an 8 p.m. dinner time.  The night before our dinner in Murano, we received a confirmation card for 7:30 p.m.  We really wanted to see the comedian Troy whom I mentioned earlier and thought we could catch most of his act beginning at 7:15.  So I called to see why our reservation changed and there wasn't an explanation and the 8 p.m. time was full.  So we went at 7:30 and asked our waiter to rush the service because we wanted to catch Troy at 9 p.m. then.  Our waiter did his best to serve us quickly and I imagine we would have enjoyed our experience more if we gave the experience the time it deserved.  However, since they messed up our reservation, we didn't have much choice.  Every menu item in Murano is very rich.  We both enjoyed a salad and then a Cappucino Mushroom soup which really was to die for.  They say have a soup or salad because of how rich every course is but the choices looked so good, we had both.  We ordered filet mignon and it was prepared table side.  However, the gravy/sauce they used gave the filet a beef stew flavor and texture.  Don't mess with filet mignon Murano, it's the best piece of beef one can have all on its own.  I personally preferred the filet mignon in Tuscan Grille much more.  I think our waiter overhead me making the same comment to my husband and he offered me another entree but time was of the essence and I couldn't possibly have eaten another entree.  The service and attentiveness of the staff in all of the specialty restaurants was outstanding.  Our waiter in MDR was extraordinary as well.  He didn't prepare food, just delivered it.Shore excursions:  they have a new process to have you meet in a common area, usually the Solstice theater.  You are given a number for your bus that you are to wear and you wait for the staff to call the number and then proceed off the ship to meet your bus.  We really liked this process as it seems less congested then getting off the ship and they trying to find your shore excursion guide.Lastly, I want to add a note about embarkation and disembarkation.  Embarkation was chaotic.  We were on one of several buses that came directly from the airport to Solstice.  We were told we had to sit down and not stand anywhere (who wants to sit after being on a plane for 9 + hours?) and wait for our number to be called.  Meanwhile, the staff that checks you in would hold up all sorts of numbers that meant they were available not that they could help the number you were given and told to wait for.  It also didn't matter if you were CC or AQ, you had to sit and wait for your number.  It was a really irritating experience.  Let folks just stand in line, at least we know we're on our way. Disembarkation went perfectly.  We were again told where to meet on the ship and what time.  We were then ushered off the ship and luggage was easy to find. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
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: September 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 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: 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
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: 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
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
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise