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13 Celebrity Solstice Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Caribbean - Western from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

When booking a cruise, especially Celebrity Solstice, be sure it is not coming off a reposition cruise. The experience we had resulted from the required coast guard review in Ft. Lauderdale on 12/11/2011, the day of sailing. Further we ... Read More
When booking a cruise, especially Celebrity Solstice, be sure it is not coming off a reposition cruise. The experience we had resulted from the required coast guard review in Ft. Lauderdale on 12/11/2011, the day of sailing. Further we encountered an issue - virus outbreak on the previous cruise which resulted in a delay for boarding since they had to disinfect the ship. That was most appropriate. However, Celebrity dropped the ball big time when managing the boarding process. Elderly people stood, yes stood for 2 to 3 hours in line waiting to board and some were outside the terminal. All the announcements were "thank you for your understanding". Well what about providing seating for these people and some additional consideration. Further once aboard we were not allowed into our rooms until 6PM. Those who made it up to the buffet had no where to go - so they sat. The result was that the new arrivals who were waiting on line before had no place to sit and eat.The staff should have requested that people who have completed eating to move to other open areas to wait for the rooms to be available. Since this was not done the buffet area was like a scene in a crowded subway car during rush hour in NY. We finally got into our rooms at a little after 6PM. The next day we went to the library - NO BOOKS and there were none for the entire trip. The room was missing the normal information books about the ship and stuff. No cards in the card room and when we requested cards for several tables of bridge players, we were told "due to the situation there would be no cards". Well one of the bridge players went to customer service and requested 4 decks of cards and brought them to the 4 tables of players. Better service from a passenger then the crew members. At this point you should be getting the impression that I was no satisfied with the way Celebrity was handling the situation. The food in the dining room for diner was satisfactory; not as good as I remember on previous cruises. The Social Director was a non entity as was the rest of his staff. For those who like to have lunch in the dining room please note that when in port, the dining room is closed. The Customer Service desk crew members were very helpful and understood what customer service means. The crew members in the buffet were serving the passengers since we were not allowed to touch anything during the entire cruise because of the virus situation; therefore lines were long waiting to be served and there was no indication where the lines began. Passengers were commenting to each other that they are in the wrong place - "get in line no line cutting". Not very pleasant experience. The servers themselves in further training since they also had a negative attitude. I will not book a cruise that has just come from a repositioning cruise again and will think twice before cruising Celebrity. I have had wonderful experiences on Princess and Royal Caribbean lines. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My wife and I returned from the 7 day Celebrity cruise with Solstice on 10th April. We have probably taken around thirty cruises and have previously sailed on Millennium, Constellation, Zenith and Century twice. We also like HAL and were ... Read More
My wife and I returned from the 7 day Celebrity cruise with Solstice on 10th April. We have probably taken around thirty cruises and have previously sailed on Millennium, Constellation, Zenith and Century twice. We also like HAL and were on Noordam last October and Eurodam at Christmas.I think I am in a position to compare both lines which have strengths and weaknesses and will comment on the recent Solstice cruise but rate against HAL. Not sure if it helps anyone but it makes me reflect on what we choose next.Solstice Embarkation / Disembarkation. Worst I have done in many years, they gave a story about a fault with the travellator but had the same crowds and lines on our return so not sure what the problem was. I would advise anyone to maybe delay their arrival slightly! I parked opposite the ship in covered parking and it cost $105 for the week a lot less than Miami charge. What I did not like with HAL is being forced to line up for photographs.Celebrity 2/10 HAL 7/10.Safety Drill. I was disturbed that Celebrity used the MDR for this as all the tables had been set for the evening meal. I saw many instances of children and adults playing with cutlery and glassware and considering the recent noro virus events was surprised Celebrity allowed this. The screens that displayed the video were also difficult to view although the audio was clear. I do prefer being inside for this drill but think another location could be found.Celebrity 9/10 HAL 5/10State Room. We took a balcony on deck 8 on the bump out close to the elevators and atrium. No noise heard at any time. Cabin was very clean and modern with a great interactive TV that you could view the ships photographs on, if you had them taken and presented your card. My only very slight negatives were that the balcony had no footstool and the faucet above the vessel sink was fixed and I nearly took my eye out once or twice when face washing. Probably enough storage for a two week cruise.Celebrity 8/10 HAL 6/10.Main Dining Room. Booked online for the Select Dining as we wanted a 7pm sitting. Never had to wait in line. The tables were very cramped and sometimes waiters had to lean over with food. After the first visit I thought it was bit 'fast food ish' but that may have been us, later we slowed the pace down and it worked out ok with timing for shows etc. The food was always hot and of a good standard. Service was good considering the different nationalities of the staff. It is probably a good time to say that HAL staff were better, not because Solstice staff were not good but HAL seemed to be so much friendlier and worked as a real team. This may be due to HAL having their own training school and recruiting office in the Far East. The formal night surprised me in that very few of the men wore a tux and one lady walked into the MDR in trainers. Guess times are changing.Celebrity 8/10 HAL 9/10Specialty Restaurants. On this cruise we only visited the Murano, which was a big disappointment. Some years ago when the specialty dining was a new concept we visited the Murano on another Celebrity ship and that experience was far superior. The Solstice Murano dining room felt cramped with tables being small and close together. The food was not really different from the MDR and the chef's surprise is not really a surprise when you have heard it on the four tables around you. I think Murano has suffered from the corporate interference of RCCL. Would never do the Murano again. On HAL we tried the Italian and Asian and they were very good.Celebrity 6/10 HAL 8/10Deck Space. I was shocked that Solstice gives up so much space to the grass or Lawn Club. We always found a sun bed at 9am but later in the day on the 3.5 sea days not a chance. There were plenty of pool butlers but they did nothing about clearing towels and books from beds where people have walked away for 2-3 hours. It was nice to see that they have not taken on the RCCL way of booking out pool towels with room cards and there were always plenty of clean towels on the pool deck. Solarium was ok although it got very humid and they made no attempt to open the roof vents. I just think they need more available deck space with 7 day cruises having 3.5 sea days. HAL in particular Eurodam always had space and was better planned out. I did like the fact that on Celebrity you are not constantly harassed by waiters selling drinks. I did complain about a Jamaican bar man who turned my two Mojitos into three. I watched but was talking to a guy ordering bottles of wine and it only registered fully as I walked away. I later complained and the drinks cost was refunded.Celebrity 7/10 HAL 9/10Smoking. I should mention smoking as this as it is one of my pet hates. Celebrity has it just about right. There is no smoking in the casino and there are designated smoking areas about the ship. Not once did I feel uncomfortable by people around me smoking. Not a hint of smoke in the cabin or on the balcony at any time.Celebrity 9/10 HAL 5/10Entertainment. Celebrity put on some quality entertainment not least the Captain playing the guitar and singing one number. They had a great mix and during the back stage tour I heard another guest compliment the staff on the quality of the productions remarking that on other ships shows were the equivalent of a high school production. The entertainment was never too loud and I think was enjoyed by children and adults alike.Library and IT Area. Very poor is my description. No recent novels, shelves empty even on the day of disembarkation. Seating area cramped and on such a big ship very poor. HAL does a much better job with magazines games etc.Celebrity 3/10 HAL 8/10.Fitness Center. Again small for the number of passengers, a couple of times when we arrived there was a wait for treadmills. The layout seemed a bit strange and two or three machines were out of service the entire cruise. I never once saw a staff member in that area although they may have been involved with 'sales presentations' in an adjoining room. HAL again employed some real helpful friendly instructors.Celebrity 5/10 HAL 8/10.Ports of Call. San Juan we arrived an hour late at 3pm so just did some shopping. St Thomas went to Sapphire Beach; it was ok just a bit of a frightening drive in the safari buses. St Martin went to Dawn Beach which was very nice and they only charged $15 for two good quality beds and a brolly right at the water's edge. Snorkeling ok saw plenty of colorful fish. On tip at St Martin if you go the French side walk into the Marina and you can arrange a boat ride back to the ship avoiding all the traffic. On our HAL cruise we came back in a 35' Boston Whaler for $50 and we toured the super yachts and had great photo opportunities approaching the ship from the sea.To summarize would I sail with Celebrity again? Absolutely and the same goes for HAL in particular on the Euro dam. Which line to I prefer? There is no answer it would depend on the itinerary and the deal. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We had never been on a cruise before, so we used a travel agent to find one that would be just right for us. I am so glad we did, as our cruise experience was just what we desired. My husband and I were celebrating our 20th wedding ... Read More
We had never been on a cruise before, so we used a travel agent to find one that would be just right for us. I am so glad we did, as our cruise experience was just what we desired. My husband and I were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, and we wanted a stress-free, relaxing, indulgent vacation, away from our four children. Our vacation turned out to be exactly what we wanted. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, October 23rd, the day before our ship sailed. We stayed at the Hilton Embassy Suites, which was pretty nice. There were plenty of places within walking distance for dinner that night, and the hotel provided a nice full breakfast on Sunday morning. When we looked out our hotel window on Sunday morning, we could see the Solstice in the distance. The hotel provided a shuttle, which began running at 11 am, which ran to the dock. Security and check-in at the dock were very easy. We breezed through security and then had to wait about 15 minutes in line to check in. Once through, we walked right onto the ship. The ship is beautiful and you feel pampered from the moment you arrive. It was drizzling when we boarded, and they had two crew members standing by the walkway to the ship to help keep us dry for the two steps it took to get underneath the overhang. The ship is very elegant and sophisticated in its design and decor. We stopped at the Aquaspa Cafe and had a little snack. The food there seemed very light and refreshing, not to mention healthy. We then made our way to the Ocean View Cafe where we had a delicious buffet lunch. It was crowded, but not surprising considering the fact that everyone had just boarded and everyone went straight to the buffet. We found a table and I enjoyed a delicious made-to-order stir-fry. I had chocolate mousse for dessert and it was yummy. The Ocean View Cafe is the buffet area of the ship and that is where a full buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea, midnight snacks, etc. are served. We did not purchase a beverage package, and did not miss it. There was iced tea, lemonade, water, juice, coffee, tea and hot chocolate available to us. The food at the Ocean View Cafe was very good. Made-to order omelets, fresh fruit, waffles, different varieties of eggs benedict, bacon, sausage, breads, sweets, cereal, yogurt, you name it at breakfast. Lunch offered many hot dishes, made-to-order stir-fries, pasta, sandwich fixings, lovely salad bar. The hand scooped ice cream offered there was excellent and available in many tasty flavors; praline and chocolate were favorites. I liked that you could sit outside to eat and enjoy the view. We never ate dinner there, so I can't comment on that. After lunch, we made our way to our aquaclass room. It was beautifully and stylishly decorated. We had plenty of room for our clothes and storage of our suitcases (under the bed). The bed was very comfortable. The private verandah was spacious and provided two reclining lounge chairs, foot rests and a small table. We enjoyed it very much and watched the sunrise in our plush provided bathrobes almost every day. The bathroom seemed to be a very nice size and the shower was great. The space was designed very well and we never felt cramped or awkward or crowded. Our Cabin steward was very nice and took care of our every request quickly. We ordered room service a few times and it always came quickly. One morning we ordered breakfast and it came right at the requested time. We slept well, and did not notice any annoying noises. There was a strange smell in the hallway and our room sometimes, but it did not really bother us, and we could not identify what it was. The bottled water and flavored iced tea that was provided every day was a nice touch. We requested the complementary canapes one evening, but they weren't that exciting and we did not get them again. Being in an aquaclass room, we had access to the Persian Garden in the spa. The Persian Garden is a private room with about 8 heated tile beds facing a wall of windows. A steam sauna, dry aromatherapy sauna, and two rain showers, are in smaller adjoining spaces. Soothing music plays throughout. It was a heavenly place. On any given day, the beds would be filled with people, sleeping or reading. I dozed away many an hour there and it was blissful. It was one of my favorite places on the ship. Another perk of being in aquaclass, is the privilege of being able to dine in the restaurant named Blu instead of in the main dining room. We never got there for breakfast, but we did eat dinner there almost every night. It was like eating in a five star restaurant every night. The food was innovative and delicious. The portions were just the right size and you could finish your entire meal without feeling stuffed. The ambiance was more intimate than in the main dining room, and the decor was modern and opulent, yet understated. The tables by the windows were coveted, and many people tried to get there by 6 pm or earlier in order to snag them. The servers were attentive, friendly and entertaining. One evening we went to Murano for a special anniversary dinner. It did not disappoint. We got a very romantic table, tucked away in the corner. Our lobster and filet mignon were cooked at the table with flourish by two waiters, who them presented our plated and domed food in synch. It was such fun. The food was mouth-watering and we ate too much. The portions were average American size (meaning huge!), and we could barely finish our meal. We missed the Blu portions! It was an awesome meal though and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We also ate lunch one day at Bistro on Five which serves crepes. They were delicious and the salad was also excellent. The public places of the ship were lovely and we did not feel crowded. There were many places where you could find a private place to relax. The pools and hot-tubs were pretty crowded. We were always able to find a deck chair, however. We especially liked the Solstice Deck for its quiet and seclusion. The bar service at the pool seemed fine. The hot glass show is always fascinating to watch. We sat there for a couple hours captivated. The lawn was very nice and refreshing, but we did not really "use" it much. The shops, casino, lounges, bars, library, etc. were all comfortable and inviting. There was always live music playing in many areas of the ship, and the musicians were excellent. We often stopped to listen to them during our day. We only went to the theater twice: once to see the cirque type show, which was ok, and the second time to see the variety show at the end. I think the performers were ok. The musicians seemed very talented and entertaining. The comedian was the best; we wished we would have gone to his full show. The captain and crew were all very entertaining as well. I will discuss the ports in the port review section, but I will mention here that getting off and on at the ports was very easy and efficient. The cold water, fruit juice and icy towels provided when re-boarding after a hot day in port, were most welcome. The other passengers seemed mostly in the 50 and up age range. We saw a few children and quite a number of younger couples. In general, everyone seemed very nice, well dressed for dinner and well behaved. The gym seemed very well equipped and well used. All in all, we had a wonderful time. We felt very pampered and rested by the end of the week. The food was fabulous, the vibe was relaxing, yet elegant, and we felt like we were in another world. I would definitely cruise on the Solstice again and definitely in aquaclass. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Background Wife and I (both early 30s) did a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise on Solstice out of Ft Lauderdale for our honeymoon. Before the cruise we stayed at the Renaissance Port Everglades. Great deal for the money (
Background Wife and I (both early 30s) did a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise on Solstice out of Ft Lauderdale for our honeymoon. Before the cruise we stayed at the Renaissance Port Everglades. Great deal for the money ( Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We were on the "Newly Wed" team. Yes, this cruise was geared for an older crowd, but we LOVED it! We are in our mid 20's and were on our Honeymoon. I am not going to write out minute by minute what we did, just some things ... Read More
We were on the "Newly Wed" team. Yes, this cruise was geared for an older crowd, but we LOVED it! We are in our mid 20's and were on our Honeymoon. I am not going to write out minute by minute what we did, just some things that stuck out to us. Celebrity Transfers from airport to ship - Very easy and convenient. Will use again. Luggage Issue - Our luggage handle was totally bent in half broken when it arrived at our stateroom and bottle of wine inside was smashed. It came off the airplane fine, not broken, didn't smell the wine. When it got to stateroom we smelled it right away. I had to have half our clothing sent to the laundry. It was packed very well, so they had to really be rough with it to bend a metal handle and break the bottle. Oceanview Cafe - Excellent food! Very clean, and tidy. Good variety. We ate breakfast here every morning. No complaints at all. Outdoor Pool - Very comfy loungers, a little small for amount of people, but still nice, also played great music - no elevator stuff. Indoor Pool - Pretty to look at and walk thru to get to spa, but not for us. It was really for the older crowd, because that's all who was in there. But if sun isn't your thing, it's good to use, but then again, you're on a cruise! Stateroom - We were in 1263 Concierge class. We did not pay for this room, but the ship was not even close to full, so we got upgraded for free. The only difference is, the fruit and champagne when you board, and canapes in the afternoon. You have to choose what time you want them delivered, which was kind of annoying. They were never hot, so they could have been left in the room. The bathroom was nice! Plenty of room to move around, and lots of storage. Our balcony was fine, but people on the "humps" could totally see into other balconies. The shows - Michael Harrison, a ventriloquist, was very funny. Sean O'Shea, not so much. Very D-List. The shows were good, not great. The singers were very good! Grand Epernay dining room - Decorated beautifully! Staff was great. We did select dining. It was great, we just walked to the dining room anytime and got a seat immediately. Never waited, and didn't have to share! Always got table for 2. Food was beyond awesome! We loved everything! The BBQ Sea Bass was the best! Shopping - The onboard shopping was nice. Always had good sales in the corridor area. I bought a lot of Swarovski jewelry, very pretty and on sale! The boutiques on Deck 5 were nice to look at, but pricey. Ports - Grand Cayman was a raining, cloudy mess. We still walked around a bit and I got my charm from Diamonds International. Cozumel was gross right where we got off, lots of annoying hagglers wanting to sell stuff. We found a nice couple in the taxi line an shared a ride with them to Chakanaab. It was nice there. Saw lots of iguanas! Costa Maya was a very small port, you were forced to pay for an excursion if you wanted to do anything. They luckily had a pool there, so we hung out at the pool all day. There was a tequila store there, so we bought a bottle of tequila and then just ordered soda from the bar to mix our own drinks. it was cheap and mexican tequila is THE best! (We would like to thank the nice fellow passenger who took our picture in front of the ship, we don't have any recollection of this, but thanks!) Honduras was also a small port area, but lots to see. We went to Gumbalimba Park, mainly for the monkeys. It was okay there, the tour guide was good, Teddy. The monkeys were hilarious! But the staff wanted tips for everything! It was kind of annoying. AquaSpa - I had an excellent facial! It was the Elemis Oxydermy Facial. Kind of expensive, but worth it! My only complaint about the spa is the rooms have windows which let in a lot of light. I prefer a dark room, it's more relaxing. The window space could be used for something else? I love that the Steiner company which runs most spas on cruise ships, now uses Bliss products. They are wonderful! The Lawn - To us it was really wasted space. It looked pretty, but I don't think anyone really went on it? Crew - Our room steward, Maria, was the best! Very friendly. The captain, Dimitrios, was hilarious! Too funny. The cruise director Lisa was very personable, but not overly "fun". (We went on a cruise last summer, and that director hit it out of the ballpark!) Overall - We loved the ship! It was so modern yet elegant. We also liked the other couples we met on board. Except for one large group of people at dinner one night, very loud and rude. We liked that there were not a lot of kids on board, it was fairly quiet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
I went with my girlfriend on the 8/1/10-8/8/10 sailing to the western Caribbean on the Celebrity Solstice, the first ship in the Solstice class. I sailed Celebrity many years ago on the Horizon and wasn't impressed. I was reluctant to ... Read More
I went with my girlfriend on the 8/1/10-8/8/10 sailing to the western Caribbean on the Celebrity Solstice, the first ship in the Solstice class. I sailed Celebrity many years ago on the Horizon and wasn't impressed. I was reluctant to try them again, but based on a recommendation I took the plunge. I was not disappointed. Just some background first. I am 29 and have been on roughly 10 cruises (Celebrity, RCCL, Carnival, Princess and Norwegian). Up until now my favorite line was RCCL -- now it's a tie between RCCL & the beautiful Celebrity line. Our cruise was a 7 nighter to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Costa Maya & Roatan. I'll break down the review into different categories: Embarkation: Smooth as can be. I arrived in FLL at about 11:30. Checking in was seamless. You are greeted on board by champagne. Not a bad touch! Room: I was in an oceanview balcony room (8114). After seeing the room I was shocked to see that it was covered in chocolate and dirt. Apparently, there were terrible kids staying in the room before us. It was an utter mess. I was so angry and upset. I talked to the room steward and he was right on top of it. They crew was very apologetic. We gave him a few hours to take care of it and sure enough it was fixed up nicely. I wasn't pleased at first, but do understand that those guys work their butts off and had about 25 rooms to clean in 2 hours. The people in there before us were so dirty. Other than that, we loved our room. It had plenty of storage and a nice balcony to boot. I have stayed in many rooms and this was probably the nicest (unless you deal with suite level, which I have never seen). Food: The food was for the most part very good to excellent. Tip: Don't miss the first sea day's brunch. I sadly skipped it and went to breakfast instead. Then I walked around and saw the brunch and was disappointed I missed eating there. Definitely check it out. My girlfriend and I chose the select dining, meaning we could eat dinner anytime between 5:45 - 9:30. The food itself was very, very tasty. Some of the cold soups were too sweet, but most things were fantastic. I was also very impressed that they had escargot EVERY night (on the anytime menu). And yes, I had escargot 7 days straight! The presentation was very high quality and the service was generally A-OK. One night was slow (half hour before we even placed the order), but that was because the dining room got slammed at the same time. I do feel like if I had chosen the specific dining times I would have gotten closer to the waiter/bus boy, but we did appreciate the flexibility in timing. The buffet (Oceanview cafe) was superb. I honestly have never seen such a well organized buffet on a cruise ship. There were so many choices with generally very good quality food. They had, for example, several different types of eggs benedict every day. I was a little disappointed that the food remained the same (for breakfast at least), but it was so varied that I didn't get tired of it. I didn't eat there ever for lunch or dinner, but did walk around and see the food. It looked very good. I also really enjoyed the ice cream you could get almost all day long. There was a bit of a line, but it was worth it to have that option. Yum! I didn't order room service but it was available on the tv 24 hours a day. Bistro on 5: This is one of the specialty restaurants. It was $5 pp. They had mainly crepes and paninis. We enjoyed the food. I was a bit ambitious and ordered 2 crepes, not realizing they were huge and very filling. If you aren't opposed to the idea of paying for food when there is unlimited around you, it's worth a try for a different pace. It was good, although I recommend only ordering one! They are unique, big and filling. Murano: This is the place that I have literally thought about for days how to write up. It's not cheap -- about $35 extra pp. It is the fanciest restaurant I've ever been to. It's high-end French cuisine. Murano is THE restaurant aboard the Solstice. The service at the Murano is top notch. They make you feel like kings and queens. The presentation of the food is outstanding. I've never seen some of the things they do. All this being said, the Murano was the worst dining experience I had on Solstice. I'll explain why: The food was prepared in a way that my girlfriend and I weren't used to. Everything had a lot of foam. For instance, my GF ordered rissoto and we couldn't even see the rice! There was just ... foam. We both ordered the lobster bisque. It was very good, but something about it filled us up. I'm a big eater, but after eating that I was done. I had about two bites of my lobster and was finished. It was so disappointing. Between the wine and the restaurant I spent a fair bit of money on the Murano. We came away from it not eating much, felt very full and uncomfortable, and were shaking our heads about the whole experience. If you don't mind paying extra for a specialty restaurant and want to experience VERY high-end cuisine it's worth a try. But be aware that the presentation and preparation is probably something you aren't used to. Thankfully I didn't get sick from Murano, but didn't eat for many hours afterwards. Sadly, I was a little let down, despite what I had being very good. Entertainment: The entertainment on the ship was very good. I really enjoyed the band, the iTones (a'cappella group), the glass blowing (excellent addition to the ship), the cirque-type show, the Broadway show, David Meyer (he played this instrument called the zenosynth -- unique and brilliant), and more. The staff/entertainers were very friendly, as I approached them during our cruise. Also the comedian was hysterical. The ship is definitely geared towards a slightly older crowd (no belly flop contest for instance), but my girlfriend and I (both in our mid to upper 20's) definitely had things to do. Also I must say that I've never had such a funny captain and executive head chef. The captain kept saying that he was Greek and the chef was really approachable and good humored. He is a genius, going to culinary school at age 12. The ship: I really enjoyed the solarium. It's a nice enclosed area with cabanas and a fountain. There was also a healthy eating area in there which was very good. They didn't have much food, but it was good, hit the spot, and another change of pace from the big buffets and filling dinners. As mentioned before, the glass blowing was awesome. My girlfriend even won a piece at the end of the show. Here's a tip: go to the last glass blowing day/time. For us it was 3-5 pm on the last sea day. At the end they raffle away some of the pieces. Good luck! The ship at first seemed small, but there were a lot more areas once you dug around some. Since our cruise was so port intensive, I found that there wasn't enough time to do things, rather than being bored. Overall impressions: We loved our time aboard the Solstice. If you are looking for non-stop craziness and a younger crowd check out Carnival. Otherwise, if you value high-quality food and entertainment and want a beautiful (but not over-the-top) ship, the Solstice-class is one heck of a choice. I highly recommend. My port reviews follow. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
My Wife and I are parents of 3 young children and we also are small business owners. Needless to say, we are VERY busy and try to enjoy one kid-free week a year to get away and relax. This cruise was our 6th cruise and our first with ... Read More
My Wife and I are parents of 3 young children and we also are small business owners. Needless to say, we are VERY busy and try to enjoy one kid-free week a year to get away and relax. This cruise was our 6th cruise and our first with Celebrity. All previous cruises were 5-7 day cruises with either Royal Caribbean or Carnival. While reading this forum before we left for our cruise I became a little concerned that it would be dull or boring and perhaps feel a little out of place for our age group. I am pleased to say that while it certainly was more mellow than our previous cruises, and there were MANY more older people on this cruise, it was not boring or dull. HOWEVER Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
My wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise on Solstice. We are very experience cruisers, really enjoy just getting away, and are not demanding people, so we can have a good time on any ship. ... Read More
My wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise on Solstice. We are very experience cruisers, really enjoy just getting away, and are not demanding people, so we can have a good time on any ship. For us, our Solstice cruise was very average. This was our third Celebrity cruise; the first two were on their Millennium-class ships. Let me start with the positives first: The ship is ultra-modern and quite beautiful. Our verandah cabin was high on the 9th deck. The bathroom and shower were especially large. The shower has a rounded door and there was a great deal of room inside - more than I have ever seen on any ship. The entire staff, from every functional area was extremely polite and helpful. The ship was very clean, hand sanitizers were available all over the ship, and I never smelled any "funky" smells as is the case on some other ships. Overall the cruise experience was good, but there were some things we did not like so we will not cruise on Solstice again. The other Celebrity ships we have cruised on had about 1,800 passengers, while the Solstice carries about 2,800. I've been on other ships that are even larger, but on the Solstice, we often felt crowded. Chairs in the main dining room were too close so the wait staff had to do a dance to squeeze by chairs. Many of the public areas were always overcrowded in the evening. There were long lines queued up to get off the ship at the ports. It was difficult finding a seat in the breakfast and lunch buffet areas. The main outdoor pool area was always overcrowded. Dining: Generally good. The Oceanview Cafe (buffet) had a nice assortment of American, Indian, Mexican, and Chinese stations. While the choices did not differ much day-to-day, the quality was good, and you could order custom dishes from the chefs at each station. The food in the main dining room was also good - typical cruise ship fare. There were several specialty restaurants. The Murano was billed as their top restaurant featuring French food. We went once, and the food was excellent, however it was very heavy and not at all what you think of for French food, yet it was definitely worth the surcharge. Silk Harvest was their Asian specialty restaurant. It was also excellent, kind of a PF Chang experience. We were booked into the Tuscan Italian specialty restaurant, but some cruisers said their experience at Tuscan was poor, so we changed our reservation and went to Silk Harvest a second time. While some areas of the ship were overcrowded, some areas of the ship were like ghost towns. Both times we went to Silk Harvest, we were one of only 3 or 4 tables. I never saw anyone in Cafe Bacio any time I walked through, and their wine cellar bar was lightly used, while just outside the common areas were jammed, and the Martini bar down the hall was standing room only. The much advertised grassy lawn on the top deck is nice to look at, but hardly used. An upper deck pool might have been a better use of that deck. I expect Celebrity will make some changes to this ship's configuration to distribute the crowds better into the areas that were not frequented. Entertainment: Very disappointing. The concert pianist was OK. The circus act was good. The singer/comedian was awful - very few laughs from the audience, many groans, and light applause. Celebrity really could improve in this department, but budget cuts probably limit the level of entertainer that they can attract. The roving a cappella group was the lone exception. They were great, but because they sang in the overcrowded public areas, most people had to stand to enjoy their shows. Cabins: Good. I mentioned above how nice the bathroom was. The mattresses seemed to be foam and very comfortable. The pillows were bad. My very smart wife brought her pillow from home... wish I had done that. Our room had the bed near the sliding verandah door. We liked that. The only place to sit in the cabin was on a small sofa, which was not very comfortable so we watched TV mostly while lying in bed. The vanity area was fine. There was a large flat screen HDTV. There were very few channels, and the CNN/ESPN feeds were international and not U.S., so I saw lots of rugby and cricket scores, but not many baseball or basketball scores. The verandah was average size, and the two chairs were very comfortable for just sitting and staring at the sea. Ports: No problems. Went shopping in Grand Cayman. Walked around Cozumel for an hour then went back to the ship to enjoy the ship's pool without the crowds. Went on a ruins tour in Costa Maya, but went with Native Tours instead of the ship - this company was highly recommended online and they did not disappoint - fascinating tour. Finally, we had excellent snorkeling at the last stop, Roatan. We took the ship's Tabyana Beach & Snorkel tour with lunch: nice beach with a small reef just a couple of hundred feet off the beach, so the snorkeling was easy and the reef fish were plentiful. For the included lunch at the beach, go for the BBQ chicken or a hot dog; the hamburgers were cooked well beyond their useful life. It was a good cruise, just not a great cruise. I think we will go back to Holland America for our fall cruise, and when Celebrity beckons again, we will book on a smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
After reading all the reviews and trolling the boards for information on the Solstice, I booked a trip for DW and myself. We have previously sailed 3 princess cruises. 2 of those were before Carnival bought them out. We decided that it ... Read More
After reading all the reviews and trolling the boards for information on the Solstice, I booked a trip for DW and myself. We have previously sailed 3 princess cruises. 2 of those were before Carnival bought them out. We decided that it might be time to try a different brand. We had always gotten balconies, and most of the other Celebrity ships were not as balcony friendly as other cruise lines had become. Of course, that has changed with the Solstice line of ships. So we flew into Ft Lauderdale on the date of sail. Stopped by the liquor store, picked up the 2 bottles of wine we were allowed to bring on board, then went to the pier. Embarkation was incredibly smooth. Took 5 minutes at most. We boarded at about 12pm, which was about an hour before we were told we would be able to. We ate at Bistro on 5, which was very nice, and a very reasonable price. Then once the rooms were ready, we dropped our back packs/carry on bags in the room, then explored the rest of the ship. It was a very nice lay out. We never really had to walk thru areas were we felt they were trying to overly push us to buy products. Room: After an hour or 2, we went back to our room. It was an Aqua Class Accessible room. We did not need it, but they put us in it 4 weeks before sailing, since no one had taken it. At the end of the cruise, we looked in a regular AC room, and the it was smaller, but it did have a nicer bathroom (shower, sink, etc). The balcony was very very nice. Aqua and Concierge rooms get the foot rest, to make your chairs more like lounge chairs. We spent a lot of time out there. The flowers were nice also. I am not sure, but I believe the towels in our room were supposed to be better than regular rooms. I do know that they were huge. Food: We at in the Blu Dining room 5 nights. It was very nice, and I think service was probably better than the MDR, but I am not sure. Some of the food was a little healthier (no fattening sauces), but it was still good food. Instead of healthier, it might be better to say that the food was not as bad for you. As I mentioned earlier, we at at Bistro on 5, and for the $5 per person, it is worth it. We also ate at the Tuscan Grille. Very Nice. In regards to Blue, I will say that even though it was nicer, on a 7 day cruise, I probably would not pay more than $50 per person to have Aqua over Concierge. Room service choices were better than my prior princess cruises. Also, the food arrived hot. However, I am not sure if Celebrity has always had a bigger menu, or if this is a recent change. Ports: The ports were nice. But we had been to Cozumel and Grand Cayman twice. We did swim with the dolphins in Cozumel. We also went to Maya Chan in Costa Maya. It was very windy, but it was still a great time. I would recommend it to anyone. Didn't do anything but shop in Roatan. The people on the street are over bearing, trying to get you to go an island tour. Overall, I would say that this was the best ship I have ever been on. Oh, we are not big on the entertainment at sea, but the Cirque type show was great. The only negative was that the pools were divided in a way that made them very small. But that was a minor issue. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
This was my fifth cruise over the last 5 years.... Three with Royal Caribbean, which until now, I was impressed with... and one on Norweigan Cruise Line, upon which I have vowed never to cruise again! This cruise was a 25th Anniversary ... Read More
This was my fifth cruise over the last 5 years.... Three with Royal Caribbean, which until now, I was impressed with... and one on Norweigan Cruise Line, upon which I have vowed never to cruise again! This cruise was a 25th Anniversary celebration for my wife and I. It started with a surprise for my wife... I had a stretch limo pick us up and take us to the port... From the moment we stepped into the limo, until disembarkation back at Ft. Lauderdale, we absolutely felt like celebrities... Embarkation was swift, curtious and easy. I would say from the moment we walked into the building at the port, we were on the ship in less than 15 minutes... (we arrived at 12:30). By the time we found the elevator, our room was already accessible. This is definately a class outfit all the way! The room was immaculate... PLENTY of storage if you looked... Being able to store the suitcases under the bed was wonderfull. (even my rather large pullman fit with ease!) Tastefully decorated and more than comfortable, this room was better than I expected. The veranda was spacious and the chairs were very comfortable. The Television (although we didnt spend a lot of time watching it) was very nice and had a great selection of channels (and some good FREE on demand movies...). The room steward was amazing... the room was always clean when we returned from wherever, and we hardly ever saw him! (unless we called him...). On the day of our Anniversary, we found fresh flowers in a vase (we didn't order them)... that was a really nice touch! The one specialty resteraunt we tried was Bistro on Five. If you go on this ship, don't miss this! The five dollar per person fee was more than a bargain! The service was wonderfull and so were the crepes! The dining room and the buffet were good reasons to not even want the other specialty resteraunts... The food was amazing! There was nothing that we had that I could find fault with. Room service was prompt, and always perfect! (By the way... no limited menu through 5am! Our ship was filled to capacity, yet never once did we find any area we went overcrowded. We NEVER had to search for a seat, or a lounge chair or anything! Bravo Celebrity! The entertainment was great to spectacular! There were more things to do than time to do them. There was not a single employee that did not have a smile and a warm greeting! Even embarkation was smooth and easy. And although it is a simple thing, the cold water and iced towels upon return from the ports was a wonderfull experience! Funny, I didn't seem to see that at the "Walmart of the Seas" Celebrity ships! :) Celebrity, you have proved to be my new favorite! I will DEFINATELY be cruising with you again! Eastern Caribbean next???? Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
From the description you might assume that any old cruise would do but we consider ourselves discerning travelers as I travel for business over 150 nights per year and when we travel together we stay in places like the Four Seasons and ... Read More
From the description you might assume that any old cruise would do but we consider ourselves discerning travelers as I travel for business over 150 nights per year and when we travel together we stay in places like the Four Seasons and Renaissance. For the past four years our vacations have been limited to three day trips to large cities usually in conjunction with a business trip. This year we made up our minds that we would take an extended, relaxing vacation. After much research we selected Celebrity Solstice in late May. The itinerary was not that important to us as we have traveled to most places in the Caribbean so we settled on the Western route since we have never been to Roatan or Costa Maya. Our goals were relaxation, great meals, invigorating surroundings and forgetting about work and the rigor of our lives for a week. By even the most exacting standards all goals were exceeded. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before embarkation and made a smooth transfer to the Hyatt Place for an overnight stay. Walked to a nice dinner then purchased two bottles of wine to bring on board the hotel has a good location and transfers included with the comfortable room. On Sunday from the time we left the hotel until we were on board was about 45 minutes. The process could not have been more efficient. Once on board we explored the ship until our cabin was ready at 1pm. The cabin was on deck 11 near the middle of the ship with a great veranda and a super bathroom. The bed, close to queen size, was very comfortable. At 2:30pm our luggage arrived and once everything was stowed we went back out to explore some more of the ship. Our departure was on time as was everything else during the week and we were off. Everything on the ship was very neat and clean with nothing out of place. Tucked away everywhere are art installations large and small that give the ship an air of something that everyone could take pride in being a part of which contributes to the passengers not littering and the staff really caring about their surroundings. The level of service everywhere on the ship is truly outstanding. We purchased the premium non-alcohol package and had no issues with charges or service and usually gave the folks an extra dollar on the check. Every member of the staff we met was helpful and very engaging. I spoke with a pool butler about the Jamaican soccer team in the World Cup and discussed the virtues of a warm climate merlot versus that of a cool climate merlot with the sommelier at the wine room. We ate in Blu most nights except for one night in Murano and another night when we just wanted a simple dinner and ate in the Oceanview Cafe. Murano was a combination of classy dEcor, good menu and superlative service to yield a two hour dining experience beyond compare. We made one mistake in Murano by telling the waiter we could not decide on dessert so they brought one of each item. It was nice to able to sample the items but a bit embarrassing to have all of that dessert on the table. Lunch every day was at Oceanview sitting outdoors aft. The lunch selections are extensive and good. The best part is you completely control the portion size and menu. Blu has a great menu that offers a little lighter cuisine but not quite a true spa menu. The service is great and the view is very nice. Expect to have a four course dinner that consists of very nice portions. We did not leave the table feeling too full. On one night, a couple sitting at the table next to us ordered multiple entrees and even asked for an item from the main dining room. They ate everything put in front of them including wine and soft drinks. Since our goal was relaxation we decided to stay on the ship during our stops in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The ship emptied out by about 2/3 on those days but there were still plenty of organized activities for those so inclined. We spent our days by pool, on our veranda and in the Persian Garden. The Persian Garden is a room in the spa complex that has both wet and dry saunas and heated stone loungers that melt away any stiffness. If you need to cool off there are two cooling drench showers with settings for Spring Rain and Jungle Rain. We did get off the ship in Costa Maya heading to the Maya Chan beach retreat. In Roatan we took a privately booked tour to visit a few specific sites on the island. In both places we could not have asked for a better experience and highly recommend Maya Chan and Bodden tours. Disembarkation was quick and smooth with an elapsed time of 40 minutes from leaving the ship to entering a cab. The process seems to take longer due to the fact you have been catered to all week then you have to claim your luggage and clear customs through a long line. Customs is a quick, perfunctory process if you have a passport. There is some discussion as to the necessity of a passport but travel is easier with a passport. Highs - Cellar Masters, food anywhere on the ship, Blu, Persian Garden, Aqua Class cabins, service and great attitude from everyone we met, musicians around the ship Lows - Photography Services for poor pictures and disappearing shots, evening shows Areas to improve - Have a lounge for folks departing on afternoon flights Do Not Miss - Molecular Bar, Cellar Masters, Persian Garden Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
We first cruised Solstice in April, 2009, which was exactly one year prior to this sailing. We were blown away, so decided to go with this ship again. It was a great cruise, but the ship has lost some of the attention to detail we ... Read More
We first cruised Solstice in April, 2009, which was exactly one year prior to this sailing. We were blown away, so decided to go with this ship again. It was a great cruise, but the ship has lost some of the attention to detail we experienced when she was brand new. We are a mid-30s couple. Embarkation and debarkation could not have been any easier. Solstice used the new Oasis terminal (Pier 18) at Port Everglades. This place is built to handle a lot of people, so using it with only half the Oasis numbers was a breeze. *I'll get the bad out of the way first. It's actually all pretty minor stuff. None of it was at the level of ruining a vacation. Balconies - I love the Solstice balconies. Unfortunately, they never cleaned the glass. On every single cruise I have been on, they cleaned the balconies at least once with the mechanical apparatus that goes down the side of the ship spraying fresh water on the glass. They didn't do it on my sailing and the salt build-up on the glass and railing was very heavy. It even started out that way, so I don't think they did it on the previous cruise either. In our last port, I had to use a wet pool towel to clean it as much as I could. Entertainment - Just prior to my sailing, the large movie screen in the main show theater came crashing down. Because of this, they moved the shows on the first 2 nights to the Grand Foyer. I can't blame them for the rigging failure in the theater and I grateful no one was hurt, but I do question why they would move the show to a foyer that is only 3 stories tall and has very limited space from where you could see them. In all, only about 100 people were able to actually see the entertainers, and most were standing. I would think Sky Lounge would have been a much better alternative. However, when the theater was finally fixed, the 2 production shows were a notch better than the norm. Unfortunately, there was no farewell show due to show rescheduling. Activities - I was bored at times. There was a lack of activities on the ship. The daily events schedule (Celebrity Today, I think?) was double, sometimes triple spaced because there was nothing on it. There is no doubt that my other favorite cruise line, Royal Caribbean, excels (by far) in this area. TV - The remote battery was held in by a piece of tape that kept falling off, and our internet keypad was broken. They had no extras. Elite Wine Tasting Benefit - I thought I would try this. I knew there wouldn't be any special wines. What made this bad was our fellow Select and Elite members. There were 3 or 4 tables at the end of the room that were so loud and obnoxious, we could not hear the host talking. It was very rude. *Ok, that's out of the way. On to the good. Service - Absolute top notch. Everyone was great. On my comment card, I gave special kudos to our waiter and assistant waiter (Shaikh and Ebru), martini bar waiter (Jeff), our room attendant (Josephino), and Sunset Bar bartender (AA). Yea, I do see the irony in a bartender named AA. ;) I could have gone on and on because everyone was very friendly and accommodating. Silk Harvest - I heard some gripes about this place, and I also heard Celebrity is doing away with it on new Solstice ships. I whole-heartedly disagree. We thought it was wonderful and wou8ld definitely book it again. Fellow guests - Other than what I already mentioned in the wine tasting event, this was an extremely well behaved and polite crowd. Your typical rude behavior, like poor elevator etiquette, was very far and few between. This sailing only had 11 kids on board. On formal nights, I could probably count on one hand how many people did not dress to suggestion. I love the formal atmosphere. Food - I thought the food was fantastic. I think it is great that guest favorites like shrimp cocktail, escargot, and caprese are on the menu every night. I also like how there was a featured appetizer every night that was from different specialty restaurants in the Celebrity fleet. Pier Service - The canopy, cold towels, drinks, and lounge chairs make you proud to be on this ship. We docked next to Carnival Imagination in Cozumel. The looks on their faces when they had to board their ship was priceless. Announcements - Almost none. Fantastic. Smoking - I am a non-smoker, so the smoking policy alone will draw me to Celebrity. It was so nice to sit on my balcony every evening while the wife was getting ready for dinner and not have to suck in other people's smoke. Nuff said there. Solarium - Of course, one family who claimed to "no speaky" (I discovered otherwise later) had to challenge the 16+ rule by bringing their crying, diaper cladded baby in to the pool. The pool butlers were quick to respond and send them packing. Additional signs were hung on all the glass doors leading to the Solarium. *Final Thoughts: I probably thought the Solstice lost some luster simply due to age. She's not brand new anymore and she's starting to show the signs of a ship that has a few miles. That being said, I would book this ship, or this ship class again in a heartbeat. The Western Caribbean is my least favorite route. I only booked this itinerary because I have never been to Roatan. I do not regret it. Roatan is gorgeous. We didn't even get off the ship at Grand Cayman. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
We have cruised a total of 4 times in the past, three with Celebrity and once with Royal Caribbean. We are in our early 40's (43 & 41) we did not travel with anyone else on this voyage. We live in Atlanta and decided to drive to ... Read More
We have cruised a total of 4 times in the past, three with Celebrity and once with Royal Caribbean. We are in our early 40's (43 & 41) we did not travel with anyone else on this voyage. We live in Atlanta and decided to drive to the port, this took about 10 hours with minimal stops, we drove down the day before boarding and stayed at the Holiday Inn on Sheridan street , it is about 6 miles from the port, We paid $149 for a package that included parking for the week, transportation to the port (not from - they charge extra for that) and breakfast. The hotel is new and very clean, the room was adequate and the breakfast was typical buffet fare. I would stay here again in the same situation. As I said earlier they do not pick you up at the port when you return, they will offer to set up a service to pick you up for $12 per person. This is a shuttle type service that can leave you standing at the port waiting for your car. We decided to take a cab, which are plentiful at the port when you arrive and it cost $22.20 without tip. Embarkation - We arrived at the port around 11:30 - handed our bags to the porter, went in the terminal and walked right up to the special Aqua Class check in and 5 minutes later were on our way to the ship! After the ubiquitous arrival photo we were on board. Our rooms were not ready until 1PM, but we were prepared for that so we went to the buffet and had lunch and then toured the ship. We had our bathing suits and could have laid by the pool, but we figured we had plenty of time for that so we went exploring. The Ship - This is a beautiful ship, the artwork displayed through out is awesome and adds to the decor of the ship. The ship is well laid out and flows easily, my only criticism of the ships layout is the large space set aside for the library and the card and computer rooms. I don't personally use these spaces while on board and it seems like the space could be better utilized. Having said that I love that the Casino is off to the side so you don't ever have to walk through it if you don't want to. The shops are on two levels and flow nicely from one to the other and offer sidewalk sales every night so there are different things to look at. The bars are my favorite part and our two favorites were Quasar and the Molecular Bar. Quasar is a night club atmosphere, if you grew up during the 80's and 90's you will love this place! There is plenty of room for dancing here, although not ballroom dancing. There is limited space for ballroom dancing on the ship, which only matters if this is important to you. Molecular Bar is a unique bar where the drinks are really amazing! They are not cheap at $12 each but are large and well worth it, just watching and listening to Anna the bartender makes the drinks worth the money, she is fun. This bar was not heavily patronized, it seems to me the same 6-7 couples were the only ones here every night. I think that is because the drinks are pricy and not what people are used to, but well worth the visit. The food - The ship has several different choices of places to eat. We were booked in Aquaclass so our dining room was the Blu restaurant. Blu was very good, although not what we expected. We expected lighter spa type cuisine, however, this was not what it was, they did have some lighter choices than the main restaurant but most of the choices were similar to what you got in the main dining room. We did not try any of the other specialty restaurants (Tuscan grill, Murano and Silk Harvest) we did eat at the Bistro on 5 several times and it is well worth the $5 service charge. The Main Buffet was disappointing to say the least. We were not happy with the choices here and the stuff we did choose was not very good. The Gelateria was excellent and very reasonably priced. I love ice cream and the ice cream in the buffet was always overly frozen with ice crystals and tasted old. The Gelateria by comparison only cost $3 dollars for a two scoop cone and was excellent! The Gelato was phenomenal and you could get many toppings placed on your cone and the waffle cones and cups are made right there in the Gelateria. The Ports - This was the Solstice's first trip to the Western Caribbean and the ports went from excellent to extremely poor. The only problem with the larger ship is it cannot go into the smaller ports, so it is limited in its destinations. I will give overall impressions on each port and the excursions we booked. Grand Cayman - This was our second trip here and we should have booked an excursion. If you want to shop for jewelry or liquor, this is the port for you, if you like to shop for hand made local stuff or just wander around and get a flavor for local culture, then you will not like this port. Book an excursion to a beach or something while here. This was also the only port where we were tendered and not docked. Cozumel, Mexico - Cozumel was a fun port, we took the Mexican Cuisine workshop and enjoyed it allot. The "Chef" Luis is hilarious and fun. The meal we cooked was simple and we did not learn much about Mexican cooking but had a good time. During the "class" they bring you multiple drinks and tell jokes to make it fun and interesting. The best part of the excursion is that it is held at Playa Mia beach park which is very nice and you can stay and lay at the beach and get free drinks the rest of the day. The class ends about 12:30 and gives plenty of time for hanging out. We then went into the "town" of Cozumel and did some shopping. We walked back to the ship which is about three miles and worth if it you don't mind sweating! Costa Maya, Mexico - As my wife described this port - it is like a rest stop on the New Jersey turnpike! There is nothing here - there is a contrived port area with some shopping and a Hard Rock Cafe. We had booked an excursion - the Bike and Kayak adventure that was cancelled due to rain and high seas. There is nothing near the port - you can rent a golf cart or buggy and go into the "Town" but that is all there is to do. Book an excursion here, preferably one not contingent on the weather. Roatan, Honduras - As others have said, and is true, the ship docks here on the wrong side of the island, the west bay side is nicer. However, if you are adventurous and want to buy some local art this is a great location. Yes the people in the little "shops" are poor but are very friendly, they want you to be happy and will negotiate pricing on their items. We booked a tour to the Gumbalimba park, it is a very nice park, they do have parrots and monkeys as advertised - however not as much as you would like. Three things they don't tell you on the ship about this excursion, 1) take or wear your bathing suit, there is a nice pool and beach here and you will have time to enjoy them, 2) the tour can be hard on mobility challenged people, you have to climb some steep steps and cross a rope bridge and, 3) the tour does not automatically take you back to the ship, their policy is the bus does not leave until there are at least 20 people ready to go back, so be prepared to wait. After our excursion we went for a walk in the shopping area outside the port and had lunch at a restaurant called Taste of Paradise. It does not look like much but is very good, it was recommended to us by a local ex-patriot and I am recommending it to you as well. Make sure to buy some local pottery and possibly a new wooden salad bowl while here, they are excellent deals! Disembarkation - Extremely easy and trouble free, they assign you a number and call it when it is your time. You go out and your luggage is readily available and after a quick jaunt through customs, you are home free! Although we had a fantastic time, there are a few criticisms I would like to address here. The biggest is that it appears the personal level of service we loved about Celebrity on previous cruises is gone. Our stateroom attendant appeared twice a day, in the AM to make the bed and give us new towels and in the evening to turn down the bed. There were several days where we showered in the AM, left the room for an excursion, pool etc. and came back around 2-3 to shower again for a late lunch and then back at 6-7 to get ready for dinner, unfortunately the room was not attended to during the day so we would have to re-use the towels all day - not really a big deal but they don't dry really quick and we would have liked dry towels. In the past it seemed like the attendant was always waiting outside your room for you to leave because it would be cleaned often. We were booked into the Aqua class category. We were under the impression that the "Relaxation Lounge" on deck 11 was for Aqua class guests only - it is not, anyone can use it. We also thought we would get ice tea every day, we did, but it was so watered down as to be undrinkable. The Blu restaurant which is the Aqua Class dining room is good - but not good enough for the upgrade to aqua class and neither is the access to the Persian Garden which we used twice for a total of maybe a hour. We will stick with a regular verandah stateroom on our next visit to the Solstice. We were also disappointed in several other areas that are minor but worth mentioning. In the aforementioned card room or library, there should be a coffee/tea service set up for people using the space, you see people all the time going to the buffet for coffee, it would have been nice to either have a service set up there or have waiters periodically check to see if anyone there wants something. Another minor detail - the specialty restaurants are aft on deck 5, many women wear high heels to dinner, especially on formal nights. The ladies room is out of the restaurants, through a long foyer type area, through a bar to mid-ship. The mens room in contrast is much closer. They should have been together. Another not so minor detail was the entertainment. The first two nights the theater was broken and all shows were in the main foyer area, this was not large enough for most to attend. Once the theater was opened, the entertainment left a little to be desired. I likened the entertainment to Pocono's style. If you have ever been to the Pocono's you will know what I mean, suffice to say, make your own entertainment! Overall, the Solstice is a fantastic ship! It is modern and beautiful with many great amenities. The only time we ever felt crowded is when we were at the pool deck while the ship was at sea. And even then we were able to get deck chairs. We will be sailing again on the Solstice or one of her sister ships as soon as we can! Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
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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