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18 Celebrity Solstice Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

This was the easiest embarkation procedure that I have ever experienced. It took no time at all. My first view of the interior of the ship was dazzling. My companion who had never sailed before was equally impressed. The cabin we had ... Read More
This was the easiest embarkation procedure that I have ever experienced. It took no time at all. My first view of the interior of the ship was dazzling. My companion who had never sailed before was equally impressed. The cabin we had was quite comfortable but could have used a few more drawers. We found ourselves leaving clothes on the sofa. The food was very good in the dining room and the buffet. We had select seating and I was very impressed with the smoothness of the operation and the service we received in the dining room. We did not partake in the specialty restaurants by choice. We did however enjoy lunch at Bistro on 5. To bad we didn't find it sooner, we would have eaten there more often. The entertainment was disappointing. I am not sure if it was the scheduling of the show or perhaps the early morning departures for tours that made it inconvenient to see a number of them. What I did see was only so-so. My experience with the shore excursions was to say the least bad. The excursion to Florence and the one in Rome left a lot to be desired. Prior excursions on the same cruise were better. A complaint to the shore excursion desk resulted in a credit to my account. I would have been better off arranging private tours as many other people did. I spoke to a number of people who felt the same way I did and also complained. The activities were sufficient. I have no idea why everything is done in the morning though. There are many people who like to sleep in and miss some morning activities as well as those who are having dinner and can't be at the 8:00 pm drawings in the jewelry shop. I was not at all impressed with the merchandise for sale on the ship. Leaving the ship on the last day was almost as smooth as getting on. The fact that no announcements were made as to which group was to disembark made it a little difficult, but once off we retrieved our luggage and were whisked away by bus to the airport. In closing let me say that having taken this trip on the Millennium 10 years ago this one was better. Even with the complaints it really didn't discourage me from sailing Celebrity again and again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We had a wonderful cruise experience and the vacation of a lifetime on Celebrity Solstice. We traveled to Barcelona 3 days prior to departure and were very glad for the opportunity to overcome jet lag. I would strongly recommend against ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise experience and the vacation of a lifetime on Celebrity Solstice. We traveled to Barcelona 3 days prior to departure and were very glad for the opportunity to overcome jet lag. I would strongly recommend against flying in on the day of the departure- especially traveling East across 7 time zones. In Barcelona, we stayed at Casa de Marcelo, a very small, quaint hotel (probably off the books, considering the cash only requirement) where we had a large room by European standards, but had to share a bathroom. The location in the Barri Gotic, the breakfast and service and the price all made it a good value. I rented a road bike+ GPS from TerraDiversions and rode up the mountain to Tibidabo- a short, tough climb which was vey much worth the work. We were shown around Barcelona by our friends who live there (and came on the cruise with us), also visiting the beautiful beach town of Sitges. The superlatives: Embarkation and disembarkation were both quick and painless. Solstice is a beautiful boat. the food was outstanding- a true banquet every night in the main dining room meant that we never tried the specialty dining. Our waiter and his assistant, Shubert and Branson, were exceptionally friendly, quick, and helpful. There was a wide variety of good food available for breakfast and lunch- all hours, at the Ocaeanview Cafe. Our room was spacious and very well planned. Our room service was thorough but unobtrusive. The exercise area was large and complete- plenty of treadmills, cycles, machines and free weights. The few negatives: The coffee was atrocious, unless you want to pay $5 a cup for it. Amazing that an otherwise outstanding product could get something as easy as coffee so wrong! If not for the coffee, I would have rated the dining 5+. The entertainment was mediocre- except for the comedian-magician Rawlings, and the acrobats, both very good. The singers couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. We thoroughly enjoyed all our excursions, which we booked privately. All our guides were prompt, waiting for us when we left the boat in the morning, and returning in plenty of time in the afternoon. In Rome and Naples we used RomeInLimo, which lived up to the superlative reviews of other travelers. Alberto was our driver in Rome, and Carmine in Naples. Mauro was our extraordinary guide for the Vatican Museum. In Kusadasi, we were met by Sedat from Melitours- the agency recommended by Rick Steves. In Santorini, we took a catamaran cruise with Santorini sailing, which was very good. In Athens, Nikos Loukas was a driver-guide for a very good city tour. Guzi took us on a great tour of Malta. Maybe the most memorable evening was sitting on the lawn listening to 70's music and singing along with our friends. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Our cruise on the Celebrity Solstice was by far the best cruise my husband and I have taken. The ship is gorgeous. Our suite was large with more than enough room to store the ridiculous amount of items we brought. Even though the ship ... Read More
Our cruise on the Celebrity Solstice was by far the best cruise my husband and I have taken. The ship is gorgeous. Our suite was large with more than enough room to store the ridiculous amount of items we brought. Even though the ship had upwards of 2,000 passengers, I never felt crowded. There were more than enough chaises around the pool, seats at the shows, tables at the largest casino I have ever seen at sea and never a long wait for an elevator. The staff made us feel special. Any time we were in need of a staff member, they were there in a NY minute. Having breakfast served every morning on the veranda by our butler, Dominick, was a fantasy come true. We always had a bowl of fresh fruit and fresh flowers in our room. Every day at 4:30 Dominick would deliver hor doerves, sandwiches, desserts to our room. This was wonderful as we chose the late dinner. The food was excellent. The regular dining was special. I cannot think of one meal or item that was disappointing. It was all great. We also dined at 2 specialty restaurants Murano's and Tuscan Grill. Those dinners were special and the service was spectacular. The only thing I did not care for was the entertainment. When I first heard the performers who played the lounges and around the pool, I thought they were wonderful...but after Day 5, I was bored with the same acts over and over again. Also, I am not a Cirque de Soleil fan, and many of the shows featured that type of entertainment. The best performer on the ship was Mario (I cannot remember his last name, sorry Mario). Mario plays a mean guitar and has a wonderfully entertaining way with the audience. I could have watched him every night without getting bored. He performed at 2 of the shows. I loved all the ports except Naples. This was my second time there and the second time I was robbed. Be aware. I was texting and my phone was ripped out of my hands by a thief who was sitting on the back of a scooter. He was able to make a quick get-away.To sum it up, the next time I book a cruise, it will be on Celebrity. I am their #1 Fan. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
It does rain in Spain. Our pre-cruise 3 days of Barcelona was very wet. Stayed in Eric Voelkel suites which was great for our group of 4. We reached the ship by blue bus (2 Euros). The ship was cleaned over and over again because of all ... Read More
It does rain in Spain. Our pre-cruise 3 days of Barcelona was very wet. Stayed in Eric Voelkel suites which was great for our group of 4. We reached the ship by blue bus (2 Euros). The ship was cleaned over and over again because of all the previous illnesses. We were able to get into our cabin by 2PM. We were in concierge and the cabin was very nice and roomy. Lots of Storage space. Large shower. We met with cruise critic folks on embarkation on deck 14. Nice to meet and greet. However the connections party that we signed up for did not happen. We were told that that was on embarkation. I did contact the cruise director asking if this was a change in policy. To my surprise we found an invitation in our cabin for a cruise critic get together the next morning. It was however not well attended by the staff. Too bad!!! Our first stop Villefranche was cancelled because of the port beeing damaged but we were never informed. Many passengers got emails and advanced information. Our ports of Cannes, Livorno, Civitavechia, Neaples, Dubrovnick, Venice and Kotor were wonderful. We never do ships tours and were able to secure private Taxis or local transportation in most ports for the 4 of us. The ship is still nice but getting older. The library was a huge disappointment because the shelves were bare and not what we were used to from other celebrity cruises.The staff of the Solstice were without exceptions outstanding as was the food. All our meals were served nicely and tasted wonderful. We had early seating which makes it difficult to see a show if you are an early riser. My next cruise we will take select dining and try to see more shows. The ones we saw were very good. Unfortunately the 4 of us got respiratory illnesses but that was far better than all the viruses on board. Half through the cruise the self service buffet on deck 14 was changed to staff serving. I had to go to the doctors office but was told that the consultation was $125. I ended up purchasing Sudafed at .60 cents a pill at the coast of $15. Everywhere we went guests were sick. While the staff dispensed sanitizer and cleaned the ship endlessly.In Barcelona all B2B had to get off the ship for further cleaning.Please go prepared. All in all we enjoyed our cruise and enjoyed the ages and nationalities of the guests on board. The ship never felt crowded even though it was sold out. Disembarkation was the fastest we have ever seen and done very well. We even added on a day in Barcelona before returning and this time the sun shined on us. Now we look forward to our next adventure. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
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 July 2011
We arrived in Barcelona on the day of our sailing, and headed straight from the airport to the pier. There we were greeted by porters, who quickly made luggage tags for us, seeing how Celebrity doesn't ship them to our country. ... Read More
We arrived in Barcelona on the day of our sailing, and headed straight from the airport to the pier. There we were greeted by porters, who quickly made luggage tags for us, seeing how Celebrity doesn't ship them to our country. Check-in was quick and easy, and we only had a short wait before they let us on board early. We headed up to the Ocean View buffet and had lunch, seeing how we had been up since 4.am and had nothing to eat on the way. The buffet was not too crowded, and the selection of food types was excellent! We used the buffet for lunch several times, and although the selection never really changed much, the quality of the food was way superior to my experiences with other cruise lines. The pizza was a huge hit with hubby and myself, and some of the free ice cream selection (there were new flavour every day) was delicious. We're not talking Italian gelato-delicious, but absolutely the best free ice cream I've had on a ship so far. The assortment of candy was also appreciated, and we often picked up a bowl on the way to one of the shows. The ship itself is marvelous, with beautifully designed public areas. The Sky Lounge was stunning, and could have been used for more activities than it did on our cruise. The various bars also looked good, from the chilly martini bar to the space-age-crazy Quazar. I know some people prefer the promenade type of midship design like RCI tends to use for its ships, but personally I find this kind of ship prettier. Less shopping mall-like and better use of the space. It also makes each area seem more private and less noisy - it was never too crowded anywhere. The lawn club was an interesting touch, very strange to come across a proper lawn at sea. That being said, the Mediterranean climate must be very harsh for the grass, as it was very dry and didn't feel like the soft, squishy grass I have in my garden. However, it seemed like a great area for sunbathing (for those who enjoy such things) and for families to play the various lawn games. The pool area was extremely crowded on most days, but sailing at max capacity and with 400 children on board I'm not surprised. I don't care much for laying in the sun, but the pool was too busy at times for me. The Solarium pool was less crowded, and such a lovely, relaxing area the Solarium is! I loved the water feature and spent several hours just relaxing and watching it. But the pool was a bit too shallow, and all the pools were too cold to my taste. If I were someone who feels bothered with children and crowds, however, I would have booked the cruise at a different time. Summer holiday + great fares = busy, busy, busy. The entertainment on board was a mixed experience. The one thing that really stands out is the Hot Glass Show, which hubby and I would go see every time after the first one. The three glassblowers on board, Aric, Tom and Bob, did an amazing job both at narrating and communicating with the audience, as well as make stunning pieces of glass. We absolutely loved it! Celebrity would do good to provide some better seats for the show, though, as the benches were rough on those of us who would watch the entire show, sometimes twice a day. We also loved one of the destination speakers, the archaeologist Chris Gregg, who had five talks on various port-related themes, including Pompeii, Rome and Gaudi's Barcelona. The talks were both educating and entertaining, and we felt very lucky to be on that one cruise this summer that he was doing port talks for. We also watched the three production shows in the main theatre, with singers, dancers and acrobats. The latter were extremely impressive, but the singers weren't that spectacular. The dancers mainly did a great job, but I cringed and wanted to hide when they attempted to do Riverdance. Both hubby and I adored the clown Andrew, who did a hilarious excursion skit with one poor audience member. There were other shows, with singers (Claire Maidlin and a Scottish guy) and a flutist doing pop music, none of which were to our taste. In addition there was a jazz band, a woman playing the guitar and singing (Jana Steele, I think, she was very good) and a house band. All in all there was activity all day, but more subdued than the semi-crazy Quest games of other cruise lines. Regarding dinner on board, it was a very, very pleasant surprise. We were in an Aqua Class stateroom, and dined in the AQ-dining room, Blu. Celebrity claims Blu serves a lighter fare, but there was no feel of "diet" or "low fat" to be felt. A four course meal every night, with entree choices always including pasta, fish, fowl, meat or vegetarian. We usually skipped salad/soup, and the two times we didn't, we ended up feeling too full. However, some portions can be very small, like one pasta dish which literally had three pieces of normal sized ravioli. The waiters seem to be aware of this, and asked if we wanted "another one". All in all the waiters were very attentive and friendly, and even if we didn't have an assigned table, we saw familiar faces every day. In fact, we loved Blu so much that we never got around to trying the other speciality restaurants... And we would definitively book Aqua Class again, just because of the restaurant. Blu was also the only place, apart from room service (which is great, by the way! Do try breakfast on the balcony one day,) where you could get an acceptable cup of coffee. The buffet coffee was downright awful, and the Cafe al Bacchio needs to either switch their coffee brand or send the staff on some barista summer school, as it has a very icky aftertaste and was definitively not worth paying extra money for. But apart from that minor detail (however, when it comes to coffee nothing is minor with this lady), we had a great time on the Solstice. The ship was beautiful, the crew friendly and attentive, and apart from the pool on sea days, it never felt crowded. The cabin was clean and had a well designed bathroom, and the balcony was great. The food was overall surprisingly good, and best of all, the itinerary was absolutely amazing. We would do it again tomorrow if we could! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
First time on a cruise wasn't too sure what to expect buT OMG we were absolutley blown away. If you can appreciate the finer things in life and you adopt the whole ethos of what cruising is then this is the holiday for you. everything ... Read More
First time on a cruise wasn't too sure what to expect buT OMG we were absolutley blown away. If you can appreciate the finer things in life and you adopt the whole ethos of what cruising is then this is the holiday for you. everything about this cruise was fantastic, the ship was absolutley spotless, the food was out of this world and so was the service from all on board who were charged with making your holiday special. My husband and I travelled with two more couples, we all had a fantastic holiday each of us getting something different out of this cruise, but all of us were of the same opinion excellent. We went ashore in every port, and we booked a trip to Rome, that was very interesting if you are in to culture, but it's just nice to go and see it even if your not. The formal evenings were brilliant, you have to do this it's part of the experience, (for all you i'm not too sure it might be a bit too posh for me people) it's not it's what you make it for yourselves, it's very nice, we had a blast. We had an inside stateroom, I was a bit unsure about being in an inside cabin, but all that changed when we saw it, it was so comfortable they have thought of everything, and to be honest we did'nt spend a lot of time in the room other than to sleep and get ready to go off ship or out at night. We booked a drinks package to suit us and we found that it was the best thing to do for us, you have to weigh up what you think you might drink for the duration of your trip, don't forget this is five star so you will have five star prices. Celebrity were great with our party, one of whom became ill on the trip and could not drink alcohol, having seen the ship's doctor they allowed us to change one of the packages, and re-imbursed the difference for a soft drinks package with no fuss and bother. There is so much to do on the ship, you will never be bored, you can even walk on real grass, watch some beautiful sunsets, just chill, out and thats the name of the game here, chill,chill,chill and enjoy everything that cruising has to offer, can't wait for my next one, I could do this med cruise half a dozen times and see something different every time, it's amazing i'm a definate convert, maybe the Carribean will be next who knows. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Celebrity Solstice 5/14-5/26/11We just returned from the 5/14/11 Celebrity Solstice 12-night Mediterranean cruise, from Barcelona-Barcelona.First - overall we had a wonderful time!Details:Ship Transfer - we chose to use Celebrity's ... Read More
Celebrity Solstice 5/14-5/26/11We just returned from the 5/14/11 Celebrity Solstice 12-night Mediterranean cruise, from Barcelona-Barcelona.First - overall we had a wonderful time!Details:Ship Transfer - we chose to use Celebrity's transfer service from BCN to the port. Very easy, when you exit customs, go right and the Celebrity staff are there to check you in. They'll take your luggage and when they have enough people, you board the bus for the port, drive-time is about 20 minutes. Luggage was delivered to our staterooms by 3pm.Embarkation - Once we got to the port, check-in was about 5 minutes. No lines to speak of, and very well organized. We had already done our express pass & entered our credit card information online. She handed us our Seapass cards and we went on.We got to the ship about 11:15, and boarding did not begin until 11:30. However, in the terminal they had tables set up for specialty dining, drink packages, and shore excursions. We signed up for the 3 restaurant plan and booked our times for formal nights. They give you you a card with the dates/times, but you also get a reminder at your stateroom the morning of your reservation. We had pre-paid the drink packages, so that was printed on our card (it says PALL). The woman we were traveling with bought hers at the terminal, and they put a sticker on hers.Once the ship was open, we boarded (maybe 10 minutes), and they were offering champagne or mimosas as you entered. There were boarding photo opportunities if you wanted, but very easy to walk past if you did not. We headed immediately to Bistro on 5 and had some lunch. I would HIGHLY recommend this, as the folks I spoke with who went to the buffet advised it was crowded and hard to find a seat. The food at Bistro was wonderful, we were the first people there, and the service was superb.StateroomStaterooms were open at 1:15pm. We were in room 1601 (Aquaclass, port side, hump cabin with large balcony) and the room was also very nice. Plenty of storage if you areorganized, and lots of room under the bed for luggage. Our stateroom attendant was Cyril, and he was always pleasant and helpful - he also got us priority tender tickets for our tender ports, we just had to ask. The balcony was fantastic and we loved hanging out there for sailaways and docking. LOVED the shower with body sprays, and access to the Persian Gardens was a huge bonus. Because our cruise was so port-intensive, and tours involved a LOT of walking, being able to lay on the stone beds and relax muscles was welcome.Muster drill was easy - we went to the dining room and watched a video, no lugging vests, no standing outside.The Celebrity/Cruise Critic party was at 8:30pm on the first day - no way we were going to make that, we were at dinner. We did have a group get-together at the Sunset Bar that was set up through our meet & greet, and that was fun.DiningBlu - Everyone says Blu is 'love it or hate it'. For us? We loved it. The food was wonderful, presentation was beautiful, and they were extremely accommodating. My husband has some severe food allergies, and is a bit picky, but we never heard the word 'no'. There was little he could eat or liked on the appetizer menu, but every night they got him a Caeser salad. Same for desserts - too many things with nuts. But after the first night they always had chocolate chip cookies for him. Unfortunately, I did not getmenu copies, and I'm sorry for that. Standouts for me were a summer roll appetizer we had one night and the filet mignon. I can't remember our waiter's name, but the assistant was Jorielee from the Phillipines, and the team was wonderful. The bottle of sparkling wine left in our room at embarkation was worth $28 against another bottle in Blu.Bistro on 5 - We ate here several times, and enjoyed it every time. Breakfast crepes were delicious!Buffet - Hit or miss. Some things were good, some were ok. Some vegetable dishes were bland and under-seasoned, which was a shame. But it's the buffet, and for what it was, it served. Lots of choices for ice creams and desserts. Seating, especially at breakfast and on sea days, was horrible. The big complaint here was the plates. They were always burning hot when you picked them up - no trays to help carry them.Gelato/Cafe Al Bacio - We were here pretty much every day. Traveling buddy loved the coffees, and I loved the teas (Vienna Cinnamon was my favorite). Great spot to hang out. The Gelato stand there has an upcharge, but the girl running it (Roberta) was without a doubt one of the highlights of our cruise. Always pleasant, very happy to help. She does push the Rum Raisin gelato pretty hard, though. It's her favorite.Mast Grill - Excellent burgers & hot dogs, good fries, and fantastic onion rings. You have to push for onion rings, though - every time we went, they wanted to limit you to a very small portion (like 5 or 6) unless you asked for more. Someone on a review I read complained of unmelted cheese, but asking them to melt it was absolutely no problem.Murano - This was our least favorite of the spcialties. The service was just ok, but the atmosphere was stuffy, which isn't us. Saving grace for me was the venison, which was perfect, and perfectly cooked. We wouldn't go again.Silk Harvest - Better atmosphere, food was very good - the ribs were great, I enjoyed the Pad Thai after I put lots of chili paste in it, it needed heat. I don't eat sushi, but the person we were with said it was very good (she had eel, spicy tuna, and something else I don't remember.) I didn't care for the wok beef, which tasted like it had been curried. Chicken fried rice was ok, but nothing special.Tuscan Grill - By far the best of the restaurants, and we would go again without question. The steaks were very good, as was everything else on the menu. The atmosphere was fun and the staff was very accommodating. Not a bad thing on the menu!Breads throughout the ship were uniformly delicious. Desserts were almost as uniformly disappointing and forgettable. We had a few good ones in Blu (I liked the Grand Marnier and chocolate dessert they had one night) but it was the exception.Shore Excursions/Leaving the shipWe did one Celebrity excursion, in Cannes. We went to Grasse (a perfume factory) and St-Paul-De-Vence, a medieval village. I had wanted to get away from Cannes due to it being the opening weekend of the film festival, and things were very crowded. The excursion staff was very nice, the Grasse factory was a big sales pitch. St-Paul-de-Vence was beautiful, and we spent a lot of time walking around the city.In Italy, we did all our tours with Rome In Limo, and I would HIGHLY recommend them.Getting on & off the ship, whether tendering or walk-off, was a breeze. Announcements of where to go and when to meet were clear, staff was on hand to make things go smoothly, and we never had any issues. Reboarding after being ashore was quick, there was always water, fruit punch, and cold towels available as you were waiting to get back in, as well as a small sitting area if needed, and a canopy if someone had to get out of the sun. I was very impressed with Celebrity in this area (and in almost all service areas).Bars/Lounges/etc.Celler Masters was wonderful, and the sommolier we saw most often (Stevan) was spot on for recommendations. We stopped there just about every night before dinner to pick up a glass to take with us.Martini Bar - We liked this area, and the Almond Joy martinis were often substituted for dessert. The waiters here got to know us, and knew what we wanted as soon as we sat down.Molecular Bar - Pretentious bartender made this area a dud, in our opinion. He was so full of himself (no idea what his name was - I believe he was from Australia or New Zealand), but he clearly thought he was the best thing since sliced bread. I overheard him at one point explaining to a group of passengers that HIS bar was like Bobby Flay's burgers - unique and wonderful - while every other bar on the ship was McDonald's. We were unimpressed with him and the drinks he was making.The biggest complaint I have about the cruise was trying to get a drink. Unless you walked up to the bar, finding a waiter circulating anywhere was a challenge - whether it was the buffet area, the pool area, or in a lounge area. They just didn't seem interested or motivated - and it didn't matter whether you were on a package or buying individually. I never once saw a waiter in the Solarium.EntertainmentWe did not do any shows, but we did watch the Hot Glass show one night. Very interesting and impressive to watch! We did a wine tasting on the lawn that was supposed to be at Sailaway in Venice, but we got held up and so just had to drink wine with no sailaway. It was horrible. The bands on deck were ok, but VERY loud. The captain's daily announcement was ALSO very loud, almost painfully so. We would be playing a game in the card room or trying to read in the library, and the band 9 decks down in the Atrium was so loud it was sometimes impossible to hear yourself think.Someone on our sailing decided to 'borrow' the 2 Scrabble sets for the entirety of the cruise, which I found incredibly rude. Someone else left a note in the card room one day asking them to please call so it could be shared, but my guess is that never happened. People, do NOT remove games from the game room - if you feel you need a certain game all to yourself for the length of your vacation, buy a travel version and bring it with you.Debarkation - Almost as easy as embarkation. Luggage tags & instructions were left in your room the 2nd to the last day, and on the last night, luggage had to be out in the hallway by 11pm. They were collecting constantly, and I know that our luggage was gone within 10 minutes of our putting it out. Before debarkation, we met in the dining room at 7:10am, and waited for them to call our number. We were in Group 11, and we were off the ship by 7:20.Again, no lines, no cattle call, very organized and calm. Our luggage was on the carousel in the terminal, and we were on a taxi to our hotel by 7:35am.There were 3 formal nights on our sailing. The first was on Night 2 - Cannes, the 2nd was on the first at-sea day, Night 6, and the 3rd was on the 2nd at-sea day, Night 11. There were plenty of dark suits & sport jackets, some tuxes, and cocktail dresses to gowns for the ladies.We did decide that 12 days is too long for us on a cruise, we were well ready to come home by the end. We also decided that if we ever want to cruise again, Celebrity is going to be the line of choice. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
For our first Mediterranean cruise (and our honeymoon!), we could not have asked for anything to be better. The food all across Europe was amazing. The wine was fabulous. Celebrity does a fabulous job, from the service we received in our ... Read More
For our first Mediterranean cruise (and our honeymoon!), we could not have asked for anything to be better. The food all across Europe was amazing. The wine was fabulous. Celebrity does a fabulous job, from the service we received in our suite to the welcoming atmosphere we felt by the captain and senior staff. As a ship the Solstice is beautiful. We found it to be clean, warm, elegant and well-laid out. We had booked this cruise early (at least 9 months in advance). I don't know that we got a very good rate then, but since it was our honeymoon we were ok with it. One month before the cruise, I happened to see a Celebrity sale offering a Guarantee Suite for about $250 more/pp. Our travel agent thought this would be a good value for us and a nice touch. She couldn't have been more right!!! Our room was gorgeous. Service was first-rate. We even had a doorbell! The last night of the cruise, we invited some friends up to share some wine and our butler hooked us up with a platter of shrimp cocktail and another of meat/cheese/crackers. We had breakfast each day in our cabin, the food was great. The itinerary was perfect, as we had a nice blend of ports and things to do, but also a few days at sea to enjoy the ship. Am I gushing yet?? :)So there were a couple things I would do to improve. First, we had Select dining. Love the option of eating when we want to. And we made some great friends by sitting with other people on a couple nights and the others by ourselves. However, the service was somewhat lacking or slow. It simply looked like too many people dining and not enough staff, as it took almost 15 minutes for us to even see the Somelier most nights. Everyone was friendly, just wasn't prompt or attentive as it could have been. Also was disappointed to see that shrimp, crab & lobster were hardly ever served and a sirloin steak was a regular entree rather than a NY Strip or Ribeye, something with a little flavor. This is not the cruise to take if you are looking for significant nightlife. We didn't stay out most nights, but the few we did we found bars closing down at 11:30pm with tons of people still there and bands stopping when people were just starting going. The venues were all very nice, just the programming schedule was a little off. They certainly would have made a lot more money had they stayed open, so I'm not sure why they would close up that early.That's it for the improvements needed - back to the good stuff. Having a suite afforded us Elite level Captain's Club benefits. What a great way to celebrate your honeymoon. I'm sure we looked out of place, in our mid 30s, walking into the daily happy hour with everyone 60+ that had most likely cruised their way into that level. We enjoyed free cappucinos in Michael's Club several mornings and took full advantage of free laundry, etc. The biggest perk though - an invitation to the Captain's table one night for dinner. We ate with the Staff Captain and Chief Safety Officer, along with 3 other couples. What a fine evening, finished off with a nice photo of our table and group. Later in the week we were priveleged to visit the bridge as well.Other things we like - the gym was well appointed and not overly crowded. My wife enjoyed the solarium area, though the hot tubs need to be hotter than 96 degrees. The casino was nice and big, never too crowded, and the staff were great. As this is my first review, I will leave it at that. We had never cruised with Celebrity before (Carnival, Norwegian & Holland America) and they have made two new fans for life. I can't say we'll never cruise another line again, but overall we were very impressed with the ship and the cruise line and will certainly be on it again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We arrived in Barcelona on May 12 and stayed at the Hilton Diagonal. I will go onto the port review sections and post more detailed port review there. We took a cab to the cruise dock around 11 on May 14 and check in was very easy and ... Read More
We arrived in Barcelona on May 12 and stayed at the Hilton Diagonal. I will go onto the port review sections and post more detailed port review there. We took a cab to the cruise dock around 11 on May 14 and check in was very easy and quick. Because we were booked into Aqua Class, we planned to eat most meals in Blu, but I booked the three meal package for variety. We had also prepurchased the premium alcohol beverage packages. We ate lunch at the grill and started enjoying the beverage package while we waiting for the room to be ready! We found the ship very clean and elegant. Our cabin was very nice, functional but not elaborate. We had regular size, a little to the back of mid ship. It was quiet except for occasionally hearing some chair movement above us. We enjoyed the balcony the most when docking and just on sea days. We ate breakfast there on early port days too. Bathroom of the cabin was fine and the shower was great. We had plenty of storage, requested more hangers and got them easily. Pretty much anything we asked for was provided by our excellent cabin steward, Cyril. We ate at each restaurant on the ship and Blu was our hands down favorite. Jesse was our waiter and he was great. Erlich the sommelier was also very good at recommending wines. My only complaint about Blu was that one night we asked to be seated away from the windows because of some sun glare and we were in no mans land for a good while with no food or water or service. The food at Blu was SO good. I love trying different things and this was the place to do it. The portions were just the right size to be able to eat something from each course without being stuffed. My favorite things there were a lamb dish with lamb done 2 ways on the plate, the lobster, the coconut creme brulee, and the rum cake with caramel ice cream. Silk Harvest was our second favorite place. We didn't hate but didn't love Murano or Tuscan Grille. We almost never ate at the buffet except to get a snack or gelato. My husband ate at the Mast Grill and really enjoyed the bar and cigar smoking up top. For drinks, we frequented the Martini Bar. We liked the location and the crowd. The Molecular Bar had some great drinks--the Coming up Roses was fantastic. We also spent lots of time at the Cafe Bacio with frappes every day. I didn't care for the regular coffee on the ship and was very happy to find that with the Premium Beverage package we could get the specialty coffees at the Cafe Bacio or even at the bar as you go into the buffet area. We did not attend shows every night, but did enjoy the ones we saw. I attended the cooking shows and learned a lot and had fun there! The casino was fun--we did Cruise Critic slot pull and broke even. My husband fared better than me and enjoyed a couple of the tournaments. We made minimal use of the spa and Persian Gardens. We did have room service breakfast and it was quite good, but we liked eating in Blu when we had time. We only asked for the afternoon Aqua Cabin snacks a few days and they were fine. We thought the cruise was great and would go again in a minute. Celebrity is our favorite line due to the smoking policy (no smoke smelled on our balcony and no smoke in the casino!) and now the Aqua Class because of Blu. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
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
When debating what to do for our honeymoon, my wife (DW) and I had different ideas. She wanted to relax and I wanted to see Europe. The original plan was to tour Italy or Europe for 2 weeks traveling from city to city by train. We received ... Read More
When debating what to do for our honeymoon, my wife (DW) and I had different ideas. She wanted to relax and I wanted to see Europe. The original plan was to tour Italy or Europe for 2 weeks traveling from city to city by train. We received a cruise postcard in the mail randomly and began researching a cruise. This piqued our interest and we chose Celebrity Solstice based on its itinerary, amenities, and good reviews on Cruise Critic. The cruise departed 2 days after our wedding which allowed us to arrive in Rome on the morning of the cruise, take a Celebrity panoramic tour around the city, and arrive at the ship with time to spare. Getting to Civitavecchia can be a hassle or expensive after a long flight. We decided that the panoramic tour was the best value even though we were worn out after the flight. An espresso upon arrival helped to perk us up. Aqua Class and Concierge Class have separate check-in desks at the port which made checking in very easy. We were very impressed at how spacious and pleasant the cabin was. Though we don't have any other cabin experience, the room was new, the veranda was especially spacious for two people, closet and storage space was more than sufficient, and the bathroom was larger than the one in my first studio apartment. I am a fan of the Hansgrohe bath fixtures and the shower in Aqua Class is refreshing with a rainfall showerhead and 6 jets on a shower panel. The water can be sprayed in different combinations and the shower head can also be adjusted for height. After the cruise we stayed at the Rome InterContinental and I immediately missed the shower on the Solstice. What we liked about the cruise ship: 1. Molecule Bar and its friendly, talented bartenders Liljiana and Daniel. This bar is located on deck 5 in front of the art gallery area. We visted this bar for pre-dinner drinks nightly. They specialize in specialty, balanced, cocktails using freshly squeezed juices and modern techniques. There are 12 cocktails on the menu and I tried every one of them. My favorite was the Tanned Russian and a close second was the Melon Felon. DW enjoyed the Coming up Roses and the Dragonfly (topped with liquid nitrogen for both drama and chilling). This bar was quiet as other passengers seemed either slow to discover it or reluctant to spend $12/drink. Towards the end of the cruise, I switched to Grolsch as one can only handle so much fruitiness. 2. Blu, dining room for Aqua Class passengers only, and our servers Mildred and Myo Ko. Service was exceptionally prompt and more courteous than can be found in most fine restaurants. Simply prepared entrees were much better than when the kitchen attemped adventure. The biggest miss was the lobster with some sort of orange sauce. The lamb and the steak options were always tasty. 3. Eric the Port and Shopping Director. We started watching his presentations on channel 4 and then realized we could view them in person. He was very enthusiastic about the ports and the goods that could be purchased. Eric said that everyone on the cruise would buy a Turkish carpet. I thought this could not be true. We surprised ourselves by buying one at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and 2 in a store in Kusadesi. They really are well made and at prices much better than what could be found in the U.S. I also enjoyed the negotiating game that the rug dealers encourage. 4. The fitness room on deck 12. This room does not seem to get much coverage on any sites, but it is more than sufficient to continue a fitness routine on vacation. There was a good amount of cardio equipment and I never had to wait to use a piece of equipment. The cardio equipment also offers a great view. At the front of the fitness room there is a deck above the of the ship that is barely used. This a great place to be for enjoying the passing scenery and serenity at sea. 5. Our stateroom attendants, Yolanda and Mohammed, were fantastic and always friendly and speedy. Celebrity does a great job of training its people in hospitality or hiring well-suited people. What we did not enjoy about the cruise: 1. Fellow passengers who forget or never knew manners. The Oceanview Cafe on deck 14 is a prime location for rudeness and animal-like behavior. Meals in this room should be avoided. A woman pushed me away from the pastry area with a forearm to the mid-back and no mention of the words pardon or excuse me. The food is prepared for thousands of overeaters. I cannot understand why people load up mountains of average-at-best food onto their plates. As a positive, at the back of the dining room there is a nice outside area with table at the aft of the ship. If you can, stay out of there or visit early in the morning for coffee and cereal. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
My husband and I booked the cruise with Celebrity after several referrals from friends who have sailed with them before, one of whom sailed almost the same itinerary on a different ship last year. We booked the cruise for our honeymoon! ... Read More
My husband and I booked the cruise with Celebrity after several referrals from friends who have sailed with them before, one of whom sailed almost the same itinerary on a different ship last year. We booked the cruise for our honeymoon! This was only my 2nd cruise and my husband's 1st and he advised me that I had set the bar high by taking him on the Solstice! We are both 29 years old, and I would say two of what seemed like 20 people on the ship that were under 30 and weren't traveling with their parents ;) I thought this was great though, as I was certainly not looking for a party cruise and we met a lot of very nice people with a wealth of knowledge on the subject of marriage! We flew into Rome a few days before the cruise and checked into the Best Western Art Deco hotel on via Palestro close to the Roma Termini. This hotel was recommended to me by my travel agent and was quite excellent. Clean, safe, in a great location to see the sights, it had towel warmers, free wi-fi and included breakfast. Rome is a beautiful city and we saw as many sights as possible in the two days we had. A small suggestion: if you are buying souvenirs (as I did outside the Colosseum), HAGGLE with the guy or you'll end up paying 36 Euros for a medium-sized plaster statue of Venus like I did :) Ah well, we learn as we go, yes? We decided to take the train from the airport to the Termini (the train station is inside the airport), and also from the Termini to the port of Civitavecchia (CHEE-VEE-TA-VEK-EEE-AH). It was very inexpensive - I think it cost 9.10 Euros total for both of us to get to Civitavecchia, which was about an hour away from the Termini. Once at the pier, the embarkation process was very fast; we arrived at about 4pm and the ship was scheduled to sail at 6 and we were the only people embarking at that moment and I'd be surprised if it took more than 5 minutes before we were walking up the gangway! The Solstice is a beautiful ship; it is very clean and the decor is visually stimulating. The Lawn Club on the top deck was very nice; for someone like myself who is still trying to get accustomed to not seeing any land for lengthy periods of time, it is helpful to walk barefoot in some grass to get you through the sea days :) I did not watch the glass blowing show, as I have seen similar shows before in life in Venice as well as crystal blowing in Halifax. My husband watched one and said it was very interesting. I thought the service was excellent on the Solstice; everyone was always very willing to help and we always felt welcome wherever we went. I must say I was a little put off by some of the reviews I had read before leaving. I had already booked the cruise and so you can imagine my concern when I read about how Celebrity's service has gone downhill, and how some people would never sail with them again blah blah...well perhaps these people should sail exclusively with Cunard from now on, because I'm not sure what all the fuss was about! The only thing that we had a "problem" with, was that I had pre-booked a romance day package, which was to include special breakfast in the stateroom, a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, special robes and slippers and a reservation at one of the specialty restaurants as well as rose petals on the bed at turn-down (hee hee). The only thing they do not mention, is that you need to specify to your stateroom attendant if you want the breakfast ON the romance package day, or the following morning as you have to fill out a special breakfast card the night before. I can tell you, that little detail did not ruin my cruise :) It just seemed as though many of the older passengers had nothing good to say about anything, and as a result, the cruise line's reputation suffered. Most of the people on board were happy though! We ate in the Grand Eparnay dining room every night except for three nights where we had reservations for specialty restaurants. I am a very picky eater and I must say that I was very happy with the meal choices. They have what I like to call the "Safety Menu" available every night, with items like Caesar salad, french onion soup, NY strip steak, glazed herb chicken & mashed, creme brulEe and NY cheesecake etc. for the nights where you weren't feeling adventurous. Otherwise one could expect to see oysters, lamb, frog's legs, filet mignon, lobster ravioli, veal, venison etc etc...the right side of the menu was different every night. Other restaurants and bars we frequented, were the sunset bar at the back of the boat - great views! Bistro on Five was totally worth the 5 dollar a person cover charge (drinks extra of course) as their crepes were AMAZING! I couldn't get past the "Italian", it's the only one I tried as it was so good! Crepe filled with bananas and topped with a squeezed pattern of nutella and crushed green pistachios with whipped cream and raspberry sauce on the side...to die for! We tried the Martini Bar once and I really wish we went more often as the flair-bartending was amazing and the martinis were excellent (I had the French, it's my favourite :)), but there is SO MUCH to do and see on the ship I feel like we will have to sail on the Solstice again, perhaps for our two year anniversary as it will be in the Caribbean as of this spring for 3 or 4 years one of the crew members was telling me. We also went to the Sky bar a couple of times for events that were occurring there (late night dessert buffet etc.) and it was very nice, right at the front of the ship. We spent many late mornings/early afternoons in Cafe al Bacio, as my husband is a coffee person and he really loved their cappuccinos. I would have caffe lattes or darjeeling tea and chocolate chip cookies (I may have a sweet tooth). We also had drinks in the Ensemble lounge while waiting for dinner reservations. The Oceanview Cafe (buffet) was excellent. They had your usual pizza etc. but you could also make your own fajitas and there was an "Indian Curries" section. I can't speak for their dinner selection as we were always in the Grand Eparnay or a specialty restaurant. We went to the Mast Bar once for lunch and had burgers and hot dogs with onion rings and fries as it was nice and sunny outside that day. We tried two of the specialty restaurants, the Tuscan Grill and Murano. We went to Murano twice it was so good! I found the specialty restaurants pricey ($55 per person extra for Tuscan and $65 per person extra for Murano) compared to other cruises (as advised by my parents), but they were very nice and QUIET and relaxing. If you end up with a bottle of wine, as we did often, you could end up spending over $200 extra with tip for your meal. The food at Murano is considered "French Contemporary", and the meat was a much better quality than what you get in the Grand Eparnay...not that you notice at all until you can compare! I had filet mignon as well as lobster, and considering I don't eat seafood (I was trying to be adventurous) it was very tasty! You also get sorbet to cleanse your pallet before your entree, so if you are more accustomed to fine dining, then Murano will find you in familiar territory. Tuscan Grill was also excellent, again the meat was much more tender and that night was after the martini bar if I recall, and I couldn't decide between steak or spaghetti and so I got both :| (yes, you can order more than one entree if you like)...I have actually never been that full in my life and learned my lesson! They also had an excellent dark chocolate fondue for dessert with fruits and marshmallows etc. Other services/activities we participated in: my husband played in a couple of Hold 'Em tournaments (video poker though) and won one of them. I shopped a little bit; the boutiques are pricey and the shops were more mainstream. They often had "sidewalk sales" with various things, watches, pashminas etc. I had my first hot stone massage in the Aqua Spa - FANTASTIC! I think I've formed a new habit with that one. We did not attend any of the nightly shows unfortunately...as it was our honeymoon we really treasured spending time outside on the decks with cocktails during the evenings, or even playing cribbage in the card room. We heard from people who sat around us at dinner that the shows were quite good. Our stateroom was lovely, WAY bigger than the one I stayed in on the Pride of Aloha on NCL back in 2007 (which is more of what you expect on a cruise ship - tiny rooms). Plenty of space, with a nice couch and flat screen TV, the veranda was just lovely with a constant view of the sapphire waters of the Mediterranean and prime views of coming into and leaving ports. The bathroom was great as well, lots of drawers and it was always warm. The beds were very comfortable - I slept like a log. I found I spent a reasonable amount of time in the stateroom as I did not feel cramped at all (doing my nails, watching the History Channel etc.). There was only one half-day from Athens to Naples where it was rough and I found myself in bed for 5 or 6 hours during the day as I was quite ill (even after taking gravol and buying sea bands), but luckily by dinner I was okay. All in all a fantastic trip of a lifetime! I would definitely recommend it to anyone; the Mediterranean is a beautiful area full of ancient history and rich culture and Celebrity made it a most memorable honeymoon for us :) Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
We were so incredibly impressed with everything about our recent Solstice experience. Although there were close to 3,000 people aboard, we never felt like things were crowded and we found the staff to be incredibly friendly, helpful and ... Read More
We were so incredibly impressed with everything about our recent Solstice experience. Although there were close to 3,000 people aboard, we never felt like things were crowded and we found the staff to be incredibly friendly, helpful and professional. The ship was absolutely spotless, with the crew constantly cleaning ,polishing and administering hand sanitizer to guests at key spots aboard the ship. The ship was gorgeous and decorated in a very clsssy style. It was not over the top glitz, which is not my taste. Everything was done in a very elegant, warm, extremely beautiful way.The cabins were lovely and very comfortable, with a surprisingly functional and roomy bathroom. We had opted for Aquas Class, and it was well worth the extra money! We loved eating in Blu. The food,ambiance, service and friendliness of the staff was incredible. Kudos to the entire staff of Blu. I did see people lined up in the stairway to go to eat in the very large main dining room, and we were very happy that we had chosen AQ so that we could eat each evening in the intimate venue of Blu. The ports were all great and I was very impressed with how organized the ship was dispatching people to the proper excursion buses. We took all excursions through the ship and were delighted with all of them. My only complaint was in Istanbul, where much time (almost an hour) was wasted while a carpet demonstration turned into a long sales pitch. I know there was a separate shopping excursion and would recommend the visit to the rug showrooms should be saved for that excursion. The rest of our day was rushed because of this. My only other complaint is that I know in past cruises Rhodes was included as a port, and I would have liked to go there instead of a third day at sea. Overall, I would rate my experience as excellent and would cruise with Celebrity X class ships again. I hope they come up with some new itineraries in the future, with more stops to the Cote d'Azur and southern France in general or maybe even some western French ports near Britanny or Bordeaux? It seems all of the cruise lines do almost the same itineraries, and we have been to most of the existing ports on numerous occasions. I would heartily recommend Celebrity and look forward to cruising with them again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
THE TRAVELLING TO THE BOAT.. It started with an apporxamite 4 hour flight to Italy-Rome. Now don't be fooled by your itinery. If your taking a fly cruise, whatever your first destination is, you probably wont get to see any of it. We ... Read More
THE TRAVELLING TO THE BOAT.. It started with an apporxamite 4 hour flight to Italy-Rome. Now don't be fooled by your itinery. If your taking a fly cruise, whatever your first destination is, you probably wont get to see any of it. We didn't get to see any of rome. Besides the motorway of the coach transfer!.. (TIP* perhaps book flights seperately, go a day before, explore rome, then get a taxi transfer to port- perhaps?) THE BOAT ITSELF.. So you arrive at the port. First reaction "WOW". It's beautiful! It's alot of hassle with paperwork, and they take your photo..and they take your photo again, whilst boarding the ship for security purposes. You get a complimentary glass of champagne as your board, and then the next time you see your luggage is in your room. Finding your room is really exciting. Walking in, seeing everything for the first time. It's beautiful. ofcourse the first day there are drills, and talks going through life boat procedures and what not. I found the ship quite 'snooty' at times. Alot of people seemed to enjoy asking the question 'What deck are you on?'- ofcourse in realisation that, evidently, the higher deck you were on, the more you'd payed for your room.. Besides this, there were some lovely people on board! The decor is flawless. Waiters all friendly. Food delicious. Not crowded. There are two pools. If your teenager is around the age of 15, he/she is too old to swim with the young kiddies in the main pool, and too young to swim in the adult pool. So this ship may not be ideal for teens, but my two daughters (13 and 15) enjoyed it and found it amazing despite this. We avoided the formal nights- a big regret! It seemed very 'ball gown' orientated, and we found that this wasn't really, our thing. What we regret, is not eating more in the grand epernay. Outstanding food. We only ate there towards the end, as we got highly bored of the ocean view cafe- you have the same personal waiter to your table everytime. EXCURSIONS: i didn't rate the excursions very highly, they seemed very educational orientated, as opposed to fun. Mt Etna got a tad' boring, as was pompeii, as soon as we walked into the ruins, we came straight back out, and got a pizza. Istanbul in the grand bazaar- what an experience. My daughter got hassled alot though, old men wanting to buy her for 'x' amount of camels.. we even got locked in the shop,on the plus side, since my daughter had grey eyes, they said she was allowed anything in the shop for free. - unfortunatly we did not take advantage of that offer... I recommend just exploring the towns yourself! Shuttle buses are very organised and easy to use, tender boats are simple, and not along wait. TIPS: *i would take your name off the tip giving list. a family of 4 could be paying up to £1000 in tips, and not even come into contact with half the staff there!- just tip individual people if you want to! *Don't go on this ship if your looking for entertainment- it's not that good. *DO go on this ship, if you want a relaxing, luxurious, high-class holiday. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
This was my 13th cruise ship so I'd say I'm a veteran cruiser now. My wife and I started cruising with Carnival first and then branched off to try Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess, and finally decided to stick with Royal ... Read More
This was my 13th cruise ship so I'd say I'm a veteran cruiser now. My wife and I started cruising with Carnival first and then branched off to try Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess, and finally decided to stick with Royal Caribbean for the majority of our cruises until trying this new Celebrity ship. We're glad we did and now we're big fans! The Celebrity Solstice is an amazing ship and I'd have to rate it as well above any we've tried before. I typically pick either very large (over 100K ton) or very new ships and this one fit both bills. I'm glad they're building more Solstice-class because I'll be looking to cruise on one of her sister vessels in coming years. It's a very clean, bright, and airy ship. The use of glass throughout, the different types of seating (hammocks?!) on the decks, the lawn, and just the general design made it feel very open, inviting, modern (not too trendy) and relaxing. The staff was friendly and I can't say enough about the food - excellent! We decided to try their new Aqua Class staterooms (AQ). Essentially, it's a balcony room but you get some added perks to make your experience feel a bit higher-class (it worked too). In our stateroom when we arrived at the ship there was a bottle of Champagne on ice, fresh fruit and bottles of water (not sure if these were for AQ passengers only?). Each day our stateroom was restocked with a couple more bottles of water which my wife and I took with us on excursions each day. There had nice robes and hemp slippers that my size 12 feet had no chance of fitting (must be European sized?!). We were also given a gift during the cruise - a Celebrity shopping bag. The website mentioned the Hansgrohe shower head but other than the novelty of it, we played with it once and then turned off the 4 body-jets and just used it like any other shower. One of the exclusive perks for AQ class passengers was that you eat in a smaller, quaint restaurant called "Blu". The restaurant is next door to two extra-cost specialty restaurants. Our table was near the concierge's desk and we saw several people request entry and even offer to pay an extra fee but they were all politely turned away. The ship is pretty serious about maintaining the exclusivity of the restaurant. As noted earlier I think I'm a seasoned cruiser and one factor was usually consistent - I've typically gained anywhere from 7-10 lbs. I'm happy to report that this was the very first cruise I've ever taken where I didn't gain any weight! The gourmet portions were right-sized (not served on a platter) and even though it was available (and often encouraged) I didn't order second (or third) servings of any entrEes as I've done in the past and I never went hungry. With the healthy, lean foods, exercising in their great gym, and the active excursions, it all added up to a net gain of zero pounds - THAT was amazing to me! I wasn't starving myself or even trying to do anything special (except not eat myself into a coma) and I came out the same way I went in. In addition to the restaurant, there was a special glass-enclosed Spa relaxation lounge at the front of the ship available to AQ passengers. There was always soft meditation music, fresh ice water w/ fruit, and it's well off the beaten path. The times my wife and I went in there I only saw one other person so it truly was a relaxing location for those times when you wanted to avoid the masses. We (and lots onboard) loved the Martini Bar. There is also a nightclub onboard but it seemed to attract the younger 18+ crowd on our cruise and the karaoke lounge was a hit-or-miss. The 35-55 crowd congregated at the Martini Bar. We met a lot of interesting people but thanks to the "sampler" I kept ordering I don't quite remember any of them ;-) The drinks were good but the watching the skilled bartenders was just as much fun (ever seen Tom Cruise in the movie "Cocktail"?). So if you ever get a chance to sail the Celebrity Solstice or the Equinox then you've got to give it a shot - they're truly beautiful, unique ships. Read Less
Sail Date June 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 May 2009
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

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