The Solstice Theater, the ship's main show lounge is a well-designed room with semicircular rows of comfortable theater seats, all with good views of the stage. There are no tables, but armrests have drink holders. Normally several big-production stage shows take place on a seven-night cruise; one is a stadium style concert featuring iconic rock anthems while the other two are different production shows. Other main show performances included a magician and several featured singers. comedian, juggler and welcome aboard and farewell shows.
The smaller Celebrity Connections theater is a great spot for game shows, lectures and other events. If you think it's going to be popular, get there early, as seating is limited.
On our Alaska sailing, we had naturalist lectures four times during the weeklong sailing by the inimitable Celia Garland. (She's normally on Celebrity Millennium during the Alaska season). We recommend taking advantage of these free lectures as often as you can, as they do help you get the most out of an Alaska cruise.
There's no shortage of things to do on Celebrity Solstice; in fact, the hardest thing is trying to fit everything in.
An experience unique to this class of ship is the "Hot Glass Show," where passengers sit surrounded by the grass of the Lawn Club and watch a glass master practice his or her art. You can sign up for lessons and a chance to make your own art, but these slots go fast: If you're interested, book as soon as you board.
Then there are the standbys all cruisers expect: bingo, trivia, dance lessons and the like as well as digital camera and computer seminars at the iLounge on Deck 6. Deck 10 has a pleasant, relaxing and open library with a fairly typical cruise-ship book selection. The card room on Deck 9 sees quite a bit of action, although it's not much more than a vestibule between elevator bays. Deck 7's Team Earth is essentially an advertisement for Celebrity's nonprofit partner, Conservation International. The interactive displays are slick, and there's quite a bit of information on offer for those interested.
Up on the Lawn Club, you'll find options to play bocce, cornhole and other lawn games. Musical performances -- on deck, in lounges or in the main showroom -- cover a variety of musical styles from a classical string quartet to a jazz combo and big band stylings from the main show band.
The Celebrity app is fairly intuitive, and you can create an electronic calendar of the events that you're interested in. An old-fashioned paper program is also left in your room nightly.
Most nights, you'll find live music in several spots throughout the ship -- guitars and vocals or jazz in the Ensemble Lounge midship, as well as a DJ spinning dance music poolside.
Passengers can dance the night away at Quasar, the futuristic-themed nightclub on Deck 4, or at the Sky Lounge bar, which has a large dance floor. Both venues are restricted to passengers aged over 18 after 11 p.m. The Grand Foyer also hosts a live band each evening, with a rotating selection of musical styles so everyone is catered for.
Don't miss the Silent Disco which takes place once or twice each cruise. Chairs and tables surrounding in the Grand Foyer become the dance floor. Get there early to score a pair of glowing headphones with a switch so you can swap between three different music channels: old-time favorites like ABBA, contemporary pop and a live mix from the ship's DJ. Don't worry if you have two left feet; no one knows if you aren't in time with the music. Even if you don't feel like dancing, this unique disco is a lot of fun to watch.
Movie buffs can catch feature films most nights in Celebrity Central. Films tend to be of the new-to-DVD variety. Celebrity Central also hosts events like game shows and bingo.
Solstice uses its Lawn Club to host daily movies on the outdoor movie screen on Deck 15. On some sailings, the food and film experience, A Taste of Film is held in this attractive outdoor space a number of times during each cruise for an additional fee.
On Deck 4 there is also the non-smoking Fortune's Casino, which offers games such as slots, blackjack and video poker. Free table gaming lessons are offered in the casino on sea days.
There is no shortage of spots to raise a glass on Celebrity Solstice with a choice of almost a dozen bars ranging from cozy, clubby spaces to light-filled lounges with ocean views. The drinks are creative and can vary from venue to venue, although if you have a drink package, you'll want to look carefully at the pricing. Several popular venues, such as the Martini Bar and the World Class Bar, have drinks that cost more than the minimum even in a Premium Drink Package; if you still want to try it, you'll only pay the difference.
For People (and Cocktail) Watching: The Martini Bar, with its ice-covered surface and charismatic bartenders, is popular from early evening until late at night, with the vibe changing from quiet sophistication to party time, depending on the mood of the crowd. It's one of the most popular onboard drinking venues. Order a couple of "flights" and you might see a spectacular show involving bottle-flipping, glass-stacking and the pouring of a dozen drinks at once.
For Great Views: Whether the bar is open or closed, the Sky Lounge on Deck 14 is the place to be, with floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic ocean views. During the day it is a blissfully quiet spot to curl up in a comfy seat and read; after the bar opens it takes on a livelier vibe, especially after 10 p.m. when the dance floor attracts a good crowd.
For Sunset Views: With its prime aft location, the Sunset Bar on Deck 15 is a favorite at night, when you can settle in for some cocktails and an unparalleled view of the sun setting over the sea. You'll also fight for a seat there during sail-aways.
Two good-sized pools and an interactive water feature made up of numerous dancing fountains make up the Deck 12 pool deck's well-designed outside space. The two-pool layout, with raised hot tubs and showers on deck in tucked-away spots make for a cozy but adequate setup for swimmers and sunworshippers, although it can get busy on sea days. The walkways of the deck above provide shaded spots underneath to relax. On sea days, you will often find live music or a DJ spinning tunes here in the afternoon. Passengers vs. ship officers water polo competitions also liven up the atmosphere occasionally. However, this area is predominantly a place to relax, soak up the sun and chat with fellow passengers.
The adults-only Solarium on Deck 12 houses within its blissfully quiet enclosure two hot tubs and a lovely pool bookended by a living wall of ferns and flowers, as well as a soothing water and light display. If you have a late seating in the main dining room, the early evening hours are a fantastic time for a swim. You'll likely have the place to yourself.
Around the pool, you will find the two-person poolside beds that are a signature of all Solstice-class ships as well as loungers spaced around the same area. These cannot be reserved so you need to grab one early. For additional sunbathing space, the sun deck at the front of Deck 16 rarely gets crowded, even on sea days. You can also grab a towel and relax on the Lawn Club's lawn although it can feel like you have an audience if people are in the alcoves.
The guest relations and shore excursions desks are located on Deck 3, with Future Cruise Sales located one level up in the Entertainment Court. Most of the action takes place on decks 4 and 5, where you'll find the main dining room, a number of bars and alternative restaurants, the theater, casino, shops, art gallery, photo gallery, coffee shop and gelateria.
Solstice's iLounge, where passengers can access the internet, take classes and purchase shiny new Apple products, is located on Deck 6. It acts as an internet cafe, but you can also log in to personal devices via Wi-Fi.
Internet packages are available in various packages, depending on how many days and devices you want. Celebrity Solstice has Starlink, and we found the Wi-Fi reliable for email, the web and even a Teams meeting (audio only).
There is a card room on Deck 9, although it is rather small, and a library on Deck 10 with a selection of romance novels, action thrillers and other cruise-ship favorites. Solstice doesn't offer a self-service laundry facility, but you can pay to have ship crew do laundry for you.
Services in the SpaClub include a dizzying array of treatments, including a variety of massage offerings from sports to New Age and everything in between, as well as facials, wraps and other treatments. Expect prices that are a little higher than what you'd find on land, although savvy spa shoppers know to look for port specials. The spa also offers teeth whitening and acupuncture.
Teens aged from 13 to 15 have their own "Bliss" menu with hair treatments such as "new you" "set the tone" spray tans and "clean and clear" facials. Spa prices do not include a mandatory 18 percent service charge.
The Persian Garde thermal area has an aromatic steam room, herbal sauna, traditional Finnish sauna and various therapeutic showers. Heated tile loungers facing a wall of windows provide scenic views and are a pleasant place to read or relax. There is also a relaxation lounge with padded loungers and complimentary refreshments such as lemon-infused water and herbal tea. Aqua Class stateroom passengers automatically receive access to the Persian Garden. Others may purchase a Persian Garden pass at the spa, by the day or by the voyage, availability permitting.
Solstice's fitness center occupies the forward section of Deck 12, and the rooms have great sea views. The fitness center features modern equipment, including the standard treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical trainers, as well as resistance equipment and a solid selection of dumbbells. Classes, which include yoga, Zumba, boot camp, and spin, cost $12 a piece or you can buy a pass.
Celebrity has a program with Peloton and it's free to use the bikes. You are asked to sign up for a slot at the spa desk but with four available at any time, we never saw a wait.
Solstice's serpentine jogging track is on Deck 14; eight laps equal 1 mile.
Three spaces on Deck 15 are dedicated exclusively to children onboard Celebrity Solstice. While it is true there are no water slides, climbing walls or ropes courses, that doesn't mean children won't enjoy cruising on this family-friendly ship. In fact, your biggest problem could be enticing the kids to leave their newfound friends and hang out with you for a while.
In-room babysitting for children 12 months and older is available for an hourly fee, anytime of day (but one parent needs to stay on the ship). Book at least 24 hours in advance if you would like to use this service.
Celebrity Cruises has achieved Autism Friendly Cruise Line status, having completed Autism Friendly Certification with nonprofit Autism on the Seas. Solstice offers movies, games and activities that are suitable for kids with autism, as well as toys that can be borrowed for in-cabin use.
ShipMates is designed for the youngest set, ages 3 to 5. Kids can participate in theme parties, treasure hunts, T-shirt-decorating, talent shows, arts and crafts, dancing, musical games, imagination play and interactive challenges, cartoon trivia, and ice cream and pizza parties. Children need to be toilet trained to participate in organized activities.
The Fun Factory is for those ages 6 to 11. Staff members divide the kids by age and encourage participation in age-appropriate activities. For children ages 6 to 8, activities include theme parties, relay races, arts and crafts, gaming, movies, ice cream and pizza parties, and interactive team-building games.
Children ages 9 to 11 can participate in scavenger hunts, karaoke, talent shows, theme parties, T-shirt-decorating, sports activities, team challenges, movies, gaming and late-night pizza parties. Children aged 9 and over can sign themselves in and out of the program with parental permission.
Lunch and dinner babysitting is available for an hourly, per child fee for kids aged 3 to 11 (dinner is free on port days or when the ship is sailing prior to 2 p.m). Children are taken to lunch or dinner by youth staff and then continue with the afternoon or evening program. Late-night group babysitting for the same age group is offered from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., also for an hourly fee.
Babies and toddlers (aged 6 months to 3 years old) are permitted in the Fun Factory only with parental supervision. They do not need to be toilet trained to enjoy the facilities with their parents.
Teens have the XClub, which includes a dance club and coffee lounge for those aged 12 to 17. Teen activities include theme parties, scavenger hunts, pool Olympics, sports tournaments, team trivia, karaoke, gaming and fitness activities.
* May require additional fees