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7 Celebrity Solstice Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Just arrived back from an amazing Holy Land cruise aboard the Silhouette Solstice, the ship itself is lovely and the way it is set out doesn't make it feel as big as it is, feels like still room to move about in public areas. The ... Read More
Just arrived back from an amazing Holy Land cruise aboard the Silhouette Solstice, the ship itself is lovely and the way it is set out doesn't make it feel as big as it is, feels like still room to move about in public areas. The staff in all grades are fantastic, the food in the main dining room excellent, didn't feel a need to go in speciality restaurants, ant thought the extra cost is a little bit steep anyway. The drinks package is still way over priced - we were told last year on Eclipse that it was being reviewed .. well yes it has been - it's gone up again. Wine at ridiculous prices.We went on some amazing trips, and due to the nature of places visited felt the need to book through the ship ... some were worth the expense, some were clearly not, felt ripped off on a couple. If we were to visit the area again would book independently, even with a guide apparently worked out cheaper.The entertainment was excellent, the Ships own company of singers and dancers were one of the best we have seen.Why are cruise ship photo's so expensive and why do they not take heed of passengers comments, bring down the price - sell more. How many are thrown away - what waste.Hope that Celebrity keep standards up to 5*as there are enough casual ships on the high sea's now,were told there was 3 formal nights only got 2, one other being described as Cocktail...what a strange one that was, in the dining room we were sat in evening dress, sat next to someone in a polo shirt and even on formal nights men not in a tux which is fine but let in to dine with open shirts on and one woman seen in jeans .... Come on Celebrity this is not what we expect. Ashdod not on list. Typical busy port in fact was told one of the busiest in the world. Lots of cars stored there as it's cheaper to ship them from there. Even though very busy it was clean and felt safe. This was our port for two night for our visit to Jaffa, Tel- a -Viv, Jerusalem and Bethlehem Overall our 12 days spent on this wonderful ship will be one to remember. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Solstice well its first class from the moment you join to you depart. Cabin 9223 was perfectly proportioned for our need from the LCD to shower room which has more storage places than you can use. The Balcony is more that ... Read More
Solstice well its first class from the moment you join to you depart. Cabin 9223 was perfectly proportioned for our need from the LCD to shower room which has more storage places than you can use. The Balcony is more that adequate for sitting having a drink before dining or sunbathing .As for our stateroom attendant Marcellino he was Simply the best nothing was to much to trouble for him. The bars are numerous from the laid back ensemble lounge to the very popular Martini bar.[watch out for the lemon drop Martinis they are lethal] Entertainment something for every taste as for the entertainment director he was an act in himself. Dinning from the Ocean view Cafe which had every for all dietary needs.  The MDR was just class its self nothing was to much for the waiting staff. The mast bar was very popular during the day for snacks etc.  Also watch out for the specials on sea days wine /champagne reduced as well as beer and the sail away cocktails just divine. If you have any problems speak to Guest relations right away don't leave it to last day or late on , deal within when it happens because Celebrity will resolve it on ship. Also may I add that as our first cruise the social side of cruising alone was worth the trip and made many friends from around the world. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This is my first review, so please be gentle. However, before my cruise I was reading the reviews, hungry for info, so felt it my duty. Our hotel kicking- out time was 12 noon, so we asked them to call us a taxi to ... Read More
This is my first review, so please be gentle. However, before my cruise I was reading the reviews, hungry for info, so felt it my duty. Our hotel kicking- out time was 12 noon, so we asked them to call us a taxi to the port, knowing it was early for embarkation, but not wanting to wander the streets with luggage. On arrival, our luggage was taken and we were shown where to check in. I couldn't believe how quickly we were checked in, there was no line at all for our deck. There was a slight delay at security but we were on board with champagne in hand by 12.40pm. Well done Celebrity. First impressions, WOW, what a gorgeous ship, we weren't disappointed. Loved the glass elevators and never had long to wait for one, even on shore days. Of all the ships we've been on this was definately the nicest and easiest to find your way around. We went to the Oceanview Cafe on deck 14 aft for lunch. I have to say that I usually steer clear of buffet type restaurants, I like to have my food served to me. However, the buffet here is really very good. Well set out with clear signage. Whenever we used the cafe, we didn't encounter long lines at all and always managed to find a clean table. There is waiter service for drinks. Tea and coffee and juice are served at your table at breakfast. The variety and quality of food was very good. Our stateroom was ready at 2pm and again, we were happy with it. We found the bed comfortable and liked the sliding door which meant we could leave it open a little at night for fresh air and to listen to the sea. The storage was ample. There was a vanity unit with 2 American style sockets and 1 European style. After muster (which was tedious) we went to meet with other cruise critic members for the sail away party. We had late dining in the MDR and had requested a table for 2, because, at the end of a long day, we enjoy, just to unwind and have a quiet meal together without having to make polite conversation with people we don't know very well. We were very disappointed overall with the main dining room. The tables were jammed far too close together so that you couldn't help being drawn in to conversations without being rude. We really liked our table neighbours, but, it wasn't what we wanted. I have to say though, that our waiters were very attentive, but we found the food to be often too cool to eat (with the exception of the onion soup which was scalding hot) and the whole thing just wasn't really to our taste. Out of the 12 nights we dined elsewhere 5 times. Murano's is fantastic, not to be missed. We had 2 nights there together, then a further night with CC friends. All brilliant and well worth the supplement. Wouldn't it be nice if the MDR was like Murano's? Tuscan Grill had a lovely friendly ambience, we were given a window table at the rear of the ship and it was lovely. The food however, though nice, isn't a patch on authentic Italian, it just lacks that garlic, basil fresh herbs thing that Italian food has. Nontheless, we liked the restaurant and the service was very attentive. Breakfasts. Well, what we enjoy most of all on a cruise is to enjoy a leisurely breakfast on our balcony, while wearing our bath robes and watching the world go by. We have to say that we were disappointed with the service and the quality of the room service breakfasts for our class of stateroom. I understand that if you pay more for a better "class" you have a bigger choice. The cooked food was terrible and barely warm. Cold croissants! We stopped asking for cooked food and just asked for cereal and danish. The danish were good. However, then they forgot to put water in the tea pot, or they forgot the cups. I say that if you can't do it well, don't offer to do it at all. They could learn from HAL, where even at a lowly level of stateroom, the balcony breakfasts were first class. We started to go to the buffet restaurant and if you got there early it was fine. One morning we went to The Bistro on 5. The service was very good, nice hot tea and coffee and we liked the fresh fruit, however, we found the scrambled egg, bacon and mushroom crepe very dry. Entertainment. This is where people's priorities come into play, because we don't bother much with entertainment, although we did enjoy one band who played by the pool and sang Eagles songs and others like that. Some of our MDR table mates were rushing off to get a good seat for the show, we wandered in to a couple and watched for a few minutes, they were good, but it's not really our thing. We don't play the casinos either. We loved the martini bar for a pre dinner drink and enjoyed the company of others here. It's a great place and the Celebrity champagne is very good. We liked to go to the rear of the ship at 4pm for afternoon tea, an excellent selection of sweet and savoury and take it outside to join in the trivia quiz. Another gripe, and I don't mean this to sound like continuous moaning because we had a great time overall, however, we hated the way there were too few sun loungers to go round on sea days and that they were so cramped together it was ridiculous. We witnessed sunbed wars on several occasions and even a fight. We tended to sunbathe early then go for a late lunch (removing our towels). After lunch if we wanted more sun we headed to the lawn deck where there was always space on the grass. Often we were happy just to go back to our balcony and read and relax. The weather was very hot and we got some wonderful sunsets. I realise this is turning into a novel and I haven't yet touched on the wonderful ports we visited. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Our Solstice experience was perhaps a bit different than indicated in the reviews of "homesweethome" and "SeattleKroozer", as follows: We are seniors from California, USA, who sailed the Solstice 10/9/09 on the ... Read More
Our Solstice experience was perhaps a bit different than indicated in the reviews of "homesweethome" and "SeattleKroozer", as follows: We are seniors from California, USA, who sailed the Solstice 10/9/09 on the Eastern Mediterranean itinerary, spending 4 days in Rome pre-cruise thus fully relaxed. This was my first trip to Europe, not so for my lady. We opted for transfer from our hotel directly to the port with two (new) friends we discovered on Cruise Critic via the Roll Call. With Rome Cabs (highly recommended) the cost was one half the total of 150 Euro and provided relaxing door-to-door service, luggage handling and zero walking, viewed by us as a great value. (Philosophically, in this case, I define "great value" as not having to schlep luggage to the Rome Termini, on to the train, off the train at Civitavecchia, up and down the stairs there and then to the port entrance to hopefully find a bus to the ship all to save about 40 Euro total... and a potential heart attack!) Arriving at the ship at 12:30 our luggage was accommodated and we proceeded to check-in where there was zero queue. We boarded the ship, received a glass of bubbly, were ushered to a waiting elevator and then selected lunch before 12:45. Given 2,850 people booked on this cruise we found that remarkable and a stellar start to our Solstice experience. Shortly after lunch our cabin (6169) was ready on Continental Deck 6. Though listed as obstructed, Class 2C, the balcony is above the lifeboat which only affected the view straight down, a non-issue. Being located between the elevators made access either way convenient and only a deck above the smoking deck made my walk for that habit a short one. We found the cabin spacious for our needs with plenty of storage space, room for our luggage under the bed, the best bathroom yet, wonderful shower, very quiet and complete with other amenities as promised. The bed was heaven! Having designed interior spaces I found this design to be excellent save for one minor gripe. The closet at the end of the couch leaves little room for maneuvering, thus is clumsy to use. We booked early (6:15) seating in the Main Dining Room (MDR) and found that time perfect. We were seated with a terrific couple from Florida (within our age bracket and with similar interests) at a quiet rectangular table next to a window on Deck 4. Adjoining our table were two more couples also of similar age. We all became fast friends. The seating area was spacious, not at all crowded as others have observed. Our servers, Stan Lopuchov and Alan Peros, were beyond skilled and very personable. There was never a need to ask for anything. Every course was preceded with a rearrangement of the proper flatware, a minor point perhaps but it was that good. Juris provided excellent wine service, and wine not consumed was corked and found on the table as we arrived the next night. The cocktail server provided service in a like manner. Yes, I know the meaning of long-winded, but this is worth saying. Almost every night Alan (from Croatia) walked my lady out of the dining room on his arm. It was classy, professional and gentlemanly; adding further to our Solstice experience. The nightly menus provided plenty of options (we are a bit picky), the food was served promptly and always warm or cold as appropriate. Were all of the meals spectacular? No. There were one or two meals rated average at best, with the rest very good to excellent. That is a rating of 36 meals for the four of us. The other four meals were consumed at Murano with our same dinner companions, worth the price and top notch in every respect. Worthy of mention is Bistro on 5, a good value, tried only once for lunch. The Oceanview Cafe (buffet) was excellent in our view, though we only eat a common breakfast and salads for lunch, thus less than picky in this case. We found the service there adequate, not spectacular, and actually enjoyed not having trays (Trays defining a "buffet" perhaps? A common negative comment it seems). We did not try other dining opportunities as the MDR, buffet and those mentioned fully served our needs. The service referenced above and that found throughout the entire ship deserves mention. We found all staff to be professional and very friendly. Another example in Cafe al Bacio was having an afternoon drink and upon returning the following afternoon being greeted with: "Good to see you again. Will you be having the same beverage?" (and she did remember) Only through top-down excellence in management does that occur, thus I complemented management for their effort more than once. Sure, they almost seemed surprised, but that is my nature. Give credit when due, you reap what you sow, etc. It all pays dividends. To be very brief, the entertainment was just fine (some excellent!) depending on your taste, the grass is just peachy if you like it, the Martini Bar is a complete giggle, Sarah (from Wales) gives a great man's haircut if needed, we don't do gym workouts, the internet connection works okay (if you must!) and so on. It's all good. Enjoy what you want and let the rest go. A minor gripe was the lack of ballroom dancing opportunities. When offered in the Sky Lounge it was excellent but not offered to the extent found on our last HAL cruise in June. Perception or truth? Not sure. Miscellanea: We found the two days at sea to be a welcome respite, both of which are formal nights, thus not having a rush for the gals to get gorgeous. Those who served us on a regular basis (Cabin and MDR attendants) easily earned generous tips above the fixed amounts. In these times of significant competition we found Celebrity and the Solstice up to the game. Disembarkation was a breeze. We arranged Celebrity bus transfer to FCO for an 11:20 AM flight to Washington, DC. Leaving the ship at 6:30, preceded by breakfast, allowed plenty of time and the process at FCO was benign. The Italians treated us well. Arriving late in Washington from Rome, having half of the customs stations closed, being treated like cattle in what was a veritable zoo, missing our connection to LAX and all other flights that night, thus having to spend the night in DC is another story. Hundreds of people, citizens or not, suffered the same. I was actually a tad embarrassed by the process on behalf of our country. Welcome to America it was not... Notwithstanding the end game; the overall cruise experience on the Solstice simply exceeded our every expectation. Isn't that fun to say? I can't guarantee our luck with dinner companions, or the table location or the service we received but this ship deserves your serious consideration. Where they put 2,850 people onboard is beyond me, but they were never in our face. Remarkable! Ports Visited: Rome, Italy, 10/5/09 to 10/9/09 As stated, we spent 4 days in Rome pre-cruise, thus not an excursion per se. I found the city's pace and traffic intolerable after those 4 days. It all drove me crazy and diminished my pleasure understanding the incredible history and enjoyment of remarkable art and architecture. An excursion from the ship may correctly be viewed differently. Okay, I am an old (grumpy?) guy from a quiet California beach town. History, art and architecture are good, chaos is not. I will leave it at that! Messina, Sicily, 10/10/09 Through Celebrity we booked the Taormina excursion. A female guide provided excellent information with considerable wit. Well organized and fairly priced at 57 USD each. We lunched at Billy & Billy in the first square (hungry!). Don't expect great English, just point at what you want and enjoy an excellent Greek salad and a cold beer at very modest prices. An adequate WC is available. The village is most interesting, worth the time, and don't miss the local pottery. Not due to the recent weather and horrid mud slides (God bless them) we found the route through Messina from the ship to be filthy. Sorry, but true. The local leadership needs to get those streets cleaned up, at least along the tour bus routes. (My old Chamber of Commerce roots are showing here) Mykonos, Greece, 10/12/09 Ah, Mykonos! The tender ashore was a breeze. As said before, queues were nearly non-existent. How Celebrity does that remains remarkable. We had no excursion, electing to walk about with our dinner companions mentioned previously. The history is worth investigating, the people beyond friendly, English is spoken freely, it is CLEAN, it is beautiful, and the shops are fabulous. One caveat, bring money! Having said that, I did manage to find a nice locally-made necklace for my lady at the neatest shop I have ever seen! WC's are plentiful. On the curious side is that the beaches are claimed to be spectacular. The water was, no doubt. The beaches we saw are darker course sand or gravel unlike where I live. Still, Mykonos was wonderful. Athens, Greece, 10/13/09 We canceled a Celebrity excursion to do a private all-day tour with our new Cruise Critic friends with Athens Cabs for 230 Euro, total price for four, plus 20 more for extending the day. Paul of Athens Cabs arranged to have Tom (his Nephew?) drive us in a (ubiquitous) Mercedes. Fabulous! He suggested an early start at 7:30 from the ship to beat the crowds. Brilliant! We were nearly alone at all the spots, starting with the Acropolis where, when we left, it was a zoo on the way in. This tour was very inclusive and completely flexible. Following a glorious inexpensive lunch suggested by Tom we drove southeast toward Cape Sounion along the interesting coast, finally stopping for coffee and yummy deserts at a beach-side restaurant. Two benefits accrued here. Tom had lived in America for 10 years thus he spoke perfect English and had a huge sense of humor. Second was that he knows the history as would a professor. This was a very special day! Ephesus, Turkey, 10/14/09 Through Celebrity we booked the Ephesian Modus Vivandi excursion, including the Terrace Houses, a must see. A female guide provided excellent information with, once again, considerable wit. Well organized and just a bit pricey at 119 USD. The entrance was a complete zoo only to moderate slightly throughout the tour. The walk is quite long, over very uneven terrain, but all downhill. The WC is at the end of the long walk. Be prepared. The lunch was interesting and adequate in flavor and quantity, though not great (as you might expect). Wine was served gratis. The ubiquitous end-of-tour carpet show (sales pitch!) turned out to be very interesting. If in the market for a beautifully made carpet I believe good values can be had, shipped free (FedEx) without tax to your home (so they claim). To my surprise the port city of Kusadasi was by far the most beautiful (and clean!) city we encountered, together with the drive to Ephesus made for a pleasant trip. As promised, the vendors were very aggressive but we never felt threatened, in all a good time save for the huge crowds (of which we were a part of course!). Rhodes, Greece, 10/15/09 Through Celebrity we booked a last minute excursion. A female guide provided average information without wit. Not well organized and priced at 59 USD each as I recall. The ruins were of moderate interest (I was about ruined-out at this point) after a long bus ride and without a convenient WC. Remarkably, the tour guide suggested we take the long bus ride back to old town Rhodes before hitting a WC. The ladies were stressed! The bus driver fixed that by driving immediately to the coast (just a half mile) where there was a very nice restaurant for a break and refreshments. He saved the day! Back in Rhodes we found the old town and its history of great interest and had a fabulous lunch at Filippos Restaurant. Well, okay, it was Greek Salad and a very cold Mythos beer. We were stuck on that stuff. Be sure to ask for more olives. Yummy! Santorini, Greece, 10/16/09 We had booked an excursion, but canceled and elected to walk about with our two friends. The tender ashore was again a breeze. The queue at the cable car was very moderate and the ride up exhilarating (well, that's one way to put it) (our male friend was scared silly). The town itself is so-so interesting and very pricey. Others who did tours, I believe, had a more fulfilling day. We did a short day, ending near the cable car on a beautiful terrace overlooking the town and bay drinking a cold bottle of guess what and using the convenient WC. Naples, Italy, 10/18/09 Through Celebrity we booked the Exploration of Pompeii excursion. A male guide provided good information with little wit and was a bit hard to understand. Not well organized and priced at 69 USD each. The excursion participants were asked to meet on shore. There was a large crowd with several buses waiting. A Celebrity staffer simply kept shouting "go with the flow, go with the flow." There were no signs and no meaningful communication, thus a bit of chaos. After asking at each bus we found our way. This was the only example of a Celebrity failure. Having said that, and after driving through the ugliest city we saw, Pompeii was simply incredible. Do not miss this opportunity! Other than a fairly rigorous walk at the entrance and many steps leaving, the balance of the site is easy to see. Fascinating! The WC is only at the entrance to the site so be prepared. BTW, a WC can cost half a Euro, everywhere as it did here, so pack some change. Our up-front stop at the Cameo "factory" was interesting (to be kind). Our mandatory "shopping time" at the end of the tour was a waste of time. Not tipping the tour guide provoked a very angry stare. Oh well... Read Less
Sail Date October 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
We are just back from an amazing cruise!!  This was a "ladies" getaway for us without our husbands but we are all going on a cruise together in the Fall.  We are two ladies in our early 60's.  I had been on the Norwegian ... Read More
We are just back from an amazing cruise!!  This was a "ladies" getaway for us without our husbands but we are all going on a cruise together in the Fall.  We are two ladies in our early 60's.  I had been on the Norwegian Gem (didn't compare) with my husband last Fall and this was my friend's first cruise.We flew in from Philadelphia on US Air (which was packed and tight).  I hired Romecabs (Stefano) to pick us up as I had used them before on our last trip.  They were there waiting and I would recommend them highly.  We arrived at 8:45 AM and went directly to the port about an hour ride.We had about a 20 minute wait after we arrived before we were allowed on the ship which was great!  We were told to go right to the buffet which was very good and not too crowded- no problem finding a seat.  As rooms were not ready, we enjoyed sitting outside and relaxing with a cold drink.After an hour, we took a walk to locate our room and it was ready (Cabin 1275 midship in Concierge Class).  Our attendants were wonderful and actually went for our luggage right away so we could unpack.  Throughout the trip, they were great and on the 3rd day, I wrote a letter to guest relations about them (this is noted on their record and they will receive extra time off, etc, I was told).Our cabin was very nice with a normal size balcony with 2 chairs, ottomans, and a table.  Our beds were near the front of the cabin which worked fine althought it was tight getting into the closet.  Since we had the bed split into twins with a table in between, it probably took up more room than if the bed was left queen size.  The bathroom wasn't large but new and shiny clean.We had no complaints about the food at all.  In concierge class, you can order a full brakfast which we did on port days if we were leaving early.  Otherwise we had coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice delivered at 6:30 each morning as we are early risers.  The breakfast buffet was great and we never went to the main dining room for breakfast as we enjoyed the selection.The food was always good - especially the creme brulee and cheesecake!  Formal night was lovely and we really enjoyed the lobster!We thought the ship was beautiful and offered so much for everyone.  We attended one shopping lecture (we are shoppers and spent much time in every port shopping) plus a lecture on perfumes.  We only went to one show, a female vocalist and celebrity impersonator, who was wonderful.  We gambled a little in the slots each night and wound up even at the end of the cruise.  The bars and lounges were all nice although I found that the pomegrande martini's were not as good as I get at home- even at the martini bar.  We did not eat in the specialty restaurants but did eat at LeBistro for crepes 3 times which has a $5 cover charge- delicious!!  The only negativity we experience were with the shore excursions in Turkey.  Each tour manages to sneak in a carpet demonstration.  This is fine if you are interested but it should be an option.  In Kadashi, we  took the tour of the Turkish Towns and Villages- Sirince was amazing and you felt you were back a hundred years or so in time.  Tire was just okay.  We stopped at a charming restaurant on the way back.  Afterwards, we had an hour stop at another carpet company for another demonstration.  Several of us were very upset about this and after a half hour, they sent us back by a private van  to the ship.  After several letters back and forth to the shore excursion manager, we received 40% of the money back for the tour as we felt it wasted limited time and it was not noted correctly on the tour description.  However, they listened to our complains and resolved the issue nicely.We went to Santorini, Mykonos, and Sorrento (by ferry from Naples) on our own as we just wanted to stroll the streets and browse the shops.  In Istanbul and Athens, we booked tours.Disembartion was very organized.  Be sure to go to the lecture about it as the cruise director, Dru, made it fun!!  We left at 6 AM as we had an 11:15 AM flight.   We assembled in the MDR, and were free to leave after about 5 minutes.  Our luggage was waiting in the terminal. Once again, Romecabs was right there waiting.  This was a wonderful experience.  I spoke to several seasoned cruisers and they all agreed other ships would have a hard time to beat the Solstice!!  I did hear some complaints but they were so silly, it was ridiculous.  I hope to take a cruise again on it with my husband!!!  I loved it!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
Why do so many cruises start from Rome? Directect air access from Manchester is only available on Jet2 and they start back from Rome in the a.m. which combined with the trek from Civitavecchia to Da Vinci Airport means the check-in time ... Read More
Why do so many cruises start from Rome? Directect air access from Manchester is only available on Jet2 and they start back from Rome in the a.m. which combined with the trek from Civitavecchia to Da Vinci Airport means the check-in time would be hard to guarantee. British Airways don't have direct flights to most of Europe from the North - and we don't want to suffer Heathrow any more so despite a fairly unhappy experience with K.L.M. last year we accepted Celebritys' suggestion of Lufthansa via Munich which turned out fine - all four flights were on time and the luggage was on the carousel. Celebity started well by not only greeting us at Rome but providing trolleys for the luggage - only the most meticulous holiday planner would have brought a Euro for the trolley. As others have reported check-in was astonishingly rapid and our first impression of the ship ---- we were impressed! Our Concierge Class Cabin was not as large as its title implied but was perfectly adequate and well designed. The balcony (because of this cabins' location) seemed larger than most and was well protected from the breeze when at sea. The safety drill was shambolic because of problems with the P.A. system - but for the first time ever we didn't have to wear the Life Jackets. Tables for two are not as rare on Solstice as on most other ships - but 6.15 is too early for dinner, and 8.30 (actually nearer 9.0 p.m.) doesn't leave much time before bed so we look forward to the new open sitting policy (which we enjoyed on Princess). However the Dining Room is the best looking of any ship we have sailed on. We ate here every night except for one visit to the Murano Restaurant - don't know why it has an Italian name because it aims to be French -and it was really good. The steak in the Surf & Turf was incredible, and the lobster was far above the usual cruise ship tasteless offering. We had some excellent meals in the M.D.R.,and the service was first-class. the only downside was the wine - we don't mind paying the ripoff wine markups (much) but it would be nice if the wine was in the same upmarket region as the prices- most of the bottles we tried were of a very poor standard. The Oceanview Cafeteria was well planned,the food was good,and we never had a problem finding a table -top marks to Celebrity again. Entertainment :- the Solo acts - two singers & a violinist were topnotch,the "Broadway"show was O.K. but we have seen better. Where was the mandatory cruise ship comedian? In Michaels Club the Dan Hodge show was well worth a visit - we made several. We have cruised over 25 times and we both rate this as one of the very best - particularly as we got a super deal on the cabin! Read Less
Sail Date January 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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