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

Returning from the Caribbean just a week ago now, I find I'm longing for an excuse to book our next cruise aboard the Solstice! Our third cruise in 18 months, we finally made the jump from Royal Caribbean to Celebrity, and found it ... Read More
Returning from the Caribbean just a week ago now, I find I'm longing for an excuse to book our next cruise aboard the Solstice! Our third cruise in 18 months, we finally made the jump from Royal Caribbean to Celebrity, and found it met all of our expectations. A little background: We're two friends from college, both in our early 30's, and while we're always mistaken for a couple, we've found that we're just great travel partners! We've both taken 6+ cruises, spanning the range from Carnival to Regent, with our 'standard' having been Royal Caribbean to this point. Both active individuals, we tend to look for a balance between beach time and activities, and always appreciate meeting new people while traveling, and have been lucky enough to make some great friends along the way. After fare changes pre-cruise, we upgraded from a Veranda stateroom to AquaClass. Excited about the added amenities, we most looked forward to dining in Blu, and use of the spa facilities. That, along with preferred embarkation and disembarkation, we thought we were already living the life of 'Modern Luxury'! Embarkation We flew into Fort Lauderdale the morning of embarkation, and arrived at the port without issue around 11:00am. After a very quick check-in process, we were escorted to the AquaClass waiting area and only a minute or two later, invited to board the ship. Something to note regarding the Port Everglades cruise terminal -- it's big! Six ships were setting sail that day. In addition, port staff, and not the ship staff that so often takes forever with other cruise lines handle the check in process. This made a tremendous difference in efficiency and quickly getting through the cue. On Board Greeted with a glass of champagne, we were on our way to tour the ship. Rooms wouldn't be available for another couple hours, but that didn't stop us from getting acquainted with the ship -- and it's a beautiful ship -- and heading to the pool. The short version of what happened next is this: Cabin's were ready around 1:30 and after proceeding to our room found the floor was being dried after a 'flood' from the air conditioning unit the previous day. Our cabin attendant was right there waiting for us, and kept us well informed of what was being done, and assured us everything would work out well. After returning from the muster drill, it was clear the issue was larger and we would need to be moved. A quick chat with our room attendant, and a trip to the Guest Relations desk, we were invited to move to a Sky Suite on deck 12. We now found ourselves in a unique position to experience the benefits of both AquaClass and a Sky Suite. The Guest Relations staff made sure to apply our AquaClass status to our new room (suite guests normally need to pay to dine in blue or use the spa facilities), and brought us up to speed with the suite amenities -- a complimentary dinner in one of the specialty restaurants, and butler service. Whatever would we do with a butler!? Room First, the AquaClass cabins: Great rooms in general, and in comparison to other lines, quite luxurious. The welcome champagne, afternoon iced tea, and cabin layouts are all pluses. Uncertain that they're worth the additional $ (on average about $100 per person), but certainly jump on them if fares change or deals are being offered. The Sky Suite: extremely large, and well appointed. Never have we spent so much time on our balcony while at sea -- clearly having twice the amount of space makes a difference! Add in the fact that we weren't tripping over each other and it was clear this was a tremendous upgrade from our normal balcony room. Only downside is the excessive noise coming from above. Being on deck 12, we were directly below the Oceanview Cafe. Unfortunately, nothing can be done about the noise -- just be aware of your room location when booking. Dining & Food Dining in Blu was a welcome change from the main dining room. Something to note -- when you book AquaClass, you don't receive a main dining room table assignment, rather you're expected to be dining in Blu each night. The food is wonderful, and while it's billed as a 'healthier' alternative to the main dining room, it's not that different. Food in both locations is great, and if you want to order off the menu -- that is, the standing menu for the night is not to your liking -- feel free to request something else. The biggest difference we appreciated was that Blu is a much more intimate dining location, and while busy each night, it doesn't have the same 'organized chaos' of the main dining room. In fact, all dining locations on the ship were great -- the food was a definite step up from Royal Caribbean. The buffet never seemed too crowded, and always an option for a sandwich, salad, slice of pizza, or sushi. Bars & Drink Packages We thought long and hard about the drink packages, and at the end of the day decided on the Premium Alcohol package for each of us. A few notes about the differences in packages: The Classic package is good for cocktails up to $8. If you order a drink that costs more than that, you need to pay the full price of the drink. In contrast, the Premium package is good for drinks up to $12, and if you order a drink that costs more than that, you only need to pay the difference in price. Give a lot of thought to what you'll be dinking. Add in bottled water, specialty coffee drinks (latte's and cappuccino's), Pellegrino and wine at dinner, and without doubt we made the package work for us. It was also nice not having to sign for each individual drink! The Pool Bar is SLOW -- a complaint we heard from many people. Plan on sitting and waiting for a drink for a good while. Instead, I recommend heading up to deck 14 just above the pool bar to the mast bar -- much friendlier and faster service! Great crowd too, and where we met some good friends. The Ensemble lounge is fantastic -- great for a pre-dinner or post-dinner drink and to listen to live music. The Martini bar is also a great crowd, and fun to try new drinks at. Ports This is the first time we didn't book at all through the ship. We've booked excursions directly in the past, but almost always found something that jumped out at us through the ship. This time, we were much more in the mood to sit on a beach and enjoy the sun. And that we've decided doesn't warrant booking through the ship. Grand Cayman - We got it wrong here. The problem with 7 Mile Beach is that it's 7 miles! Where's the right spot!? We headed for Royal Palms beach club, and were quickly disappointed when the $2 admission fee was met with $10 per beach chair, and super crowded. Also keep in mind that tendering in Grand Cayman takes time... plan on an hour to reach your destination, and an hour to get back on the ship. There's no particular reason for this -- it just takes time to get off the ship, to the dock, in a cab, and to the beach. Plan accordingly! Cozumel - On the recommendation of a friend that had visited a few weeks earlier, we headed for Paradise Beach. What a great day! We shared a cab with a family of four ($4 per person) and headed to the beach resort. Admission is $2, and use of the water activities (snorkel gear, kayak's, and water trampolines) will cost you $12, but is completely optional. Unlike the day before, our $2 admission gives use of all the facilities including chairs and umbrellas! The complex is huge, with a full bar and restaurant, and failry reasonable prices. Roatan - On a whim, we headed for Little French Cay. Great location, but how we got there was the issue... Uncertain of the port layout, we missed the taxis and wandered through the gauntlet of tour operators. We arrived at our destination about an hour and twenty minutes later, only to come across some soon to be friends that took the taxi option and had been on the beach for an hour already. Regardless, it turned out to be a great day, and while it got busy in the early afternoon, we had a relatively peaceful morning. Costa Maya - Following the advise of our newly found friends in Roatan, we headed for Pez Quadro Beach Club. Great location and an extremely relaxed beach atmosphere. Being Good Friday, there were a lot of local's visiting the beach, but it never seemed chaotic despite being busy. Getting to the beach was $2 per person by taxi (located outside the cruise port), and once there we opted for an all-inclusive package. Not the best deal of the trip, but still nice to have an easy and relaxing day. At the end of the day, this turned out to be a great trip -- probably our best yet. Not necessarily because of the ports, but more because of the ship and level of service. The attentiveness of the crew and staff was a noticeable difference to our previous cruises, and despite getting off to a rough start with our cabin, any issues were resolved effectively and quickly. If you're looking at sailing the Solstice -- I highly recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
My wife and I truly enjoyed sailing to the Western Caribbean with the Solstice. The service and attention to detail made this trip all the worthwhile. From the food, activities and great customer service all contributed to a most enjoyable ... Read More
My wife and I truly enjoyed sailing to the Western Caribbean with the Solstice. The service and attention to detail made this trip all the worthwhile. From the food, activities and great customer service all contributed to a most enjoyable time. From the time we boarded the ship we could tell the staff of the Celebrity were very organized and well trained in handling the crowds. We stayed in Aqua Class on deck 11. Our room had easy access to the Aqua Spa facilities and the Persian Garden area as well (which we used every day). Staying with Aqua Class also gave us access to the restaurant Blu. This was our choice for evening dinner sitting between 6:00 - 7:00pm. We enjoyed the food there as it was all well cooked and the perfect temperature each serving. You must try their salmon - excellent. I also booked an evening with Silk Harvest restaurant - a specialty restaurant. This was a very filling dining experience - a little too much salt added, but all in all, very good food. It's a mixture of several Asian styles of cooking. We also ate at the buffet most mornings before our land excursions. They were opened early and offered plenty of variety enough to satisfy even the most pickiest of people. The sushi (afternoons) was plentiful and fresh daily. They even had my favorite morning dish - Nova Lox! Yum! Very good! Most of the activities were geared toward our senior travelers, but that didn't bother us in the least. The shows at the theater were all very entertaining and well enjoyed by all who attended. We chose this cruise ship because of the low key traveling experience. There were no loud partying crowds to deal with - this was a plus for us. If you're looking for this type of cruise then be sure to book on the Solstice - you won't be disappointed in the least. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
We have cruised on Norwegian Cruise Lines once and on the Celebrity Millenium,twice in Concierge Class Staterooms. We have enjoyed all of our cruises but our experience on Solstice was one of the best Embarkation/Debarkation: All went ... Read More
We have cruised on Norwegian Cruise Lines once and on the Celebrity Millenium,twice in Concierge Class Staterooms. We have enjoyed all of our cruises but our experience on Solstice was one of the best Embarkation/Debarkation: All went very smoothly. We arrived for our cruise and our first embarkation was a breeze. We were on the ship before noon and found a nice place on Deck 12 to relax and wait for our cabin. This was the only day that we ate lunch at the Oceanview Cafe and it was fine. Public Areas: The Solstice is elegantly contemporary. I like the open area in the middle where you could listen to the band below from all floors. Yet, with the glass sliding doors encasing that area with the elevators, the cabins near the elevators were very quiet. The tree hanging from midair was impressive and we enjoyed the lawn area very much. We watched the glass blowing a couple of times. They did very informative presentations. The best time to watch this is when it's dark out! I liked the distinct differences in the pool areas. If you were more in the party mood there were plenty of lounge chairs in the outside pool area and you could choose between sun & shade. There were many hours filled with live music or interactive games. You could hear the music on either the 12 or 14th deck. The track was on the 14th deck. While there are plenty of lounge chairs for everyone, having them on both sides of the track caused many traffic jams while people were exercising. In the long run, I would rather not fight for a lounge chair. After the first couple of days, I used stairs, or did more walking in port and forgot about the track. My preference for the pool most days was in the Solarium. There is a more relaxing spa mood there and there were always plenty of seats. We enjoyed the hot tubs, both inside and out. The Stateroom: Part of the reason we enjoyed our trip is that we splurged for a Celebrity Suite. We had a separate bedroom from the living room and more closet space that you can imagine! I also loved the shower in the tub! We had Cabin 1110 which has an awesome veranda which we used a lot! We will definitely get a suite again occasionally, but I think we will try the Aqua Class Stateroom next time. One of the best things about being in a suite is taking advantage of Elite Captain's Club benefits. It will be awhile before we earn that status. Food: Actually the food was excellent! The Ocean View Cafe was much more open than the "cafeteria style" dining that we have experienced on other cruises. No matter where you eat, this is not going to be the best food by our standards, so we only ate here for lunch the first day and for one morning with our friends. Grand Epernay main dining room was a mix. The food was very good, but the menu was not terribly inventive. I hope that others had better service than our table. Our head waiter never learned our names. My husband & I typically have sparkling water for dinner and every night that we ate there we had to ask. By the second night they should bring it automatically. We had a table of 10 at a table that would have been better suited for 8 however we enjoyed all of our tablemates. We had to move to this table because even though our reservations said that we were paired with some friends when we got on ship we realized they had put us at different tables. Murano Fabulous!!! We ate here with our free dinner reservation from our suite. Our friends ate with us for her birthday. Everything was excellent and the service was exquisite! Blu Aqua Class passengers have priority, but suites passengers can eat here with availability. We had no problem getting in. We used room service for breakfast at the beginning of the week which was good, but we really enjoyed breakfast here the last 3 mornings. We decided to try it for Friday (2nd formal night and our friends were comfortable with other tablemates). It was so excellent that we went back the last night. This is why I think we could downgrade, but only to Aqua Class. Entertainment: It must be difficult to come up with entertainment to make everyone happy! We went to a backstage tour and learned that the visiting acts are planned by the demographics of the passengers that have booked each week. That makes since. The three main shows are Solstice (an amazing Cirque du Soleil type show), Ghostlight (a variety of Broadway tunes) and Pulse (??? I'm sorry, but I just didn't get it. The clapping part in the middle killed the show.) Make sure you get there early enough to sit in the balcony for Solstice. You can see amazing talent. As far as the bands and other acts, they were hit and miss. Some people loved acts that we weren't crazy about, but we enjoyed others that I'm sure they didn't like. We loved Tony Daro like a lot of people (Celebrity Central was standing room only most nights.) We liked Neil Austin, our friends didn't. We sought out Anton Marlokov in different lounges, but were not crazy about Voyage Strings, even though we like classical music. Actually, Voyage Stings was the only act that we were disappointed with. Ports: There are certain times that we would still use the ship to reserve excursions but this time we did not. Grand Cayman: We stayed on ship. Blissful! Cozumel: For $10 less than Ship Tee time, we got Tee Time, Rental Clubs, a 6 Titleist balls each and Course book at Cozumel Country Club. $15 cab fee, $9 back to Los Cinco Soles. We ate at Ponchos Backyard, then shopped our way back to ship. Roatan Kevin from Christophers Tours took us around the island. We ended with THE BEST SNORKELING EVER!. Just 4 of us went out with a guide in a row boat with motor. Our snorkeling experience was like in pictures! Amazing! Costa Maya: We went to Maya Chan. My husband doesn't like beaches and he wants to go on a cruise to Costa Maya next year just so we can go back. It was that good! Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
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
Intro- My wife's entire family and I just returned from a week on the Solstice. Eighteen of us in all. Ages ranged from a 1 1/2 year old to fifty somethings. Most were new to cruises and a bit leery. Not anymore! Embarkation- As ... Read More
Intro- My wife's entire family and I just returned from a week on the Solstice. Eighteen of us in all. Ages ranged from a 1 1/2 year old to fifty somethings. Most were new to cruises and a bit leery. Not anymore! Embarkation- As mentioned by many others, Celebrity has the embarkation process down to a science. Even though we were in Aqua Class and had priority, the time savings was not that great. Aqua Class does however have other advantages which I will expound upon later. All our staterooms were ready by 12:30PM which is an amazing feat considering the ship had just docked that morning. Public Rooms- I can not add much other than to say, the entire ship exudes class, just like the finest hotels and not like an over the top flashy designer. Comfortable and stylish! Art and music are alive on all decks most of the time which makes for a lively atmosphere. Dining- The number one area of contention. Being in Aqua Class, my wife and I were entitled to eat every breakfast and dinner in Blu. I can honestly not convey how amazed we were with every aspect of our dining experience. We had just cruised on the refurbished Celebrity Century in January where we at in Murano twice and considered it a great gourmand experience. Blu exceeded it by a great margin. From a tremendous gazpacho to a world class charred veal loin, every selection was delicious and beautifully displayed and the service from the wait staff, sommelier and maitre'd was truly first class. Wilmer was our server and was never wrong on his food recommendations. The sommelier was also right on with her selections. Seating only 125 persons max meant we could be finished in one hour or less and still meet our family in the MDR while they were just being served their entrees. The one time we did eat in the MDR for a family member's 50th, I ordered the Tournedos Rossini & Wild Mushroom Vol A vent and both were extremely good. Lunches @ the Oceanview cafe were also quite good. Entertainment- While not Las Vegas quality, the Solstice productions were quite good considering they were performed by members of the crew. Solstice The Show had a very talented acrobatic duo and other performers. Ghost Light was good. The other contracted acts were an illusionist and David Meyer who played the Xylo Synth. I know it sounds hokey but his renditions of classical and other familiar tunes was very lively and entertaining Enrichment- If one area was lacking it was this. The galley tour and the navigation tour were interesting, but guest speakers/educational presentations were lacking. The Hot Glass show, especially & night, was the highlight. Considering the clientele were well heeled and very wordly, I would expect more than just wine tastings on this class of ship. Overview- Nitpicking aside, I would still rate the Solstice as a fine ship, well run and a very friendly and accommodating crew. We never saw any open complaining amongst the staff. I really felt that the staff was genuine in its care of the passengers. Celebrity really screens well for attitude. Although some have complained, Aqua Class is worth the upcharge if for Blu only. The other amenities are nice, but to us not critical Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
We are a husband and wife in our late forties. It was our ninth and tenth cruise as we did a back to back sailing. Previously, we have sailed Holland America, Norwegian, Carnival and Princess Cruise Lines. Our Western and Eastern Caribbean ... Read More
We are a husband and wife in our late forties. It was our ninth and tenth cruise as we did a back to back sailing. Previously, we have sailed Holland America, Norwegian, Carnival and Princess Cruise Lines. Our Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises on the Celebrity Solstice 06/13/2010 and 06/20/2010 were "Excellent". We were fortunate to have sunshine and relatively calm seas the entire two weeks. Having RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruise Line) shares, we were able to take advantage of two On Board Credits of $100 for each 7 day cruise with Celebrity. The OBC was easily obtained after final payment was made. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Hilton Marina. It is a good location, with included breakfast and welcome cocktail. The water taxi was just out front, which makes it easy to get anywhere you need to go. A few blocks from the hotel is a Publix grocery, that we also took advantage of for stocking up on supplies. The embarkation process was as to be expected with a few thousand passengers waiting to board. Our room #1503 Aqua Class was wonderful. A balcony room, with chilled champagne, always fresh fruit daily, soft robes with slippers, a large interactive LCD monitor, fresh herbal tea daily. It was clean, adequate and very quiet. Our cabin steward was outstanding with his service, and always interested in polite conversation. Being Aqua Class, the specialty restaurant Blu was our main dining room. It was a very quiet and intimate place away from the crowds. A great window table was always readily available for us. The food was fantastic and the service was always top notch. On two special evenings we dined at the Murano and the Silk Harvest Restaurants. The food and service were excellent. We usually don't enjoy buffets, with the crowds, so we try to stay away from them as much as possible. With that being said, the food choices were excellent and the overall lay out of the buffet was excellent. Also being Aqua Class, we enjoyed free use of the Persian Garden with its steam sauna, dry sauna and ceramic hot beds. This was one of the reasons we booked Aqua Class. There were many shows every evening, catering to various tastes. We attended several shows which were very entertaining. The Hot Glass Show was a very pleasant surprise, and we both obtained our "Living the Celebrity Life T Shirts" attending the Celebrity Life activities. We were always in the gym at opening time of 6:00am using their well equipped facility. We also enjoyed running on the outside track in the morning and using the pools for swimming laps before the crowds arrived later in the mornings. We have been to all these ports several times before so we were looking for new things to do or things that we enjoyed again. In San Juan We did a walking tour on our own of the old forts and the free trolley ride again. Also we loved the free wi-fi at the pier, that I accessed from my balcony on the ship. In St Thomas We took a ship's excursion to St Johns on a power catamaran and snorkelled which was lots of fun. Then we took a taxi into town for some shopping. DW loves the knock off designer purses. In St Martin We took a taxi and did an island tour. We were very unimpressed. It is a very touristy island and not to our taste. In Grand Cayman We went ashore with our snorkel gear and snorkelled the wreck of the Cali, and Eden Rock. We didn't spend a dime. The snorkelling was good. In Cozumel We booked a snorkel tour with EagleRay Divers again. We took a dive boat out and snorkelled three different reefs. We love going to Cozumel and this was our third time with ERD. In Costa Maya We headed out past the touristy pier to the town of Mahajual. We enjoyed the beach and the atmosphere. We hired a young man to take us out to the reef in his fishing boat for snorkelling. Later we enjoyed beach time with free loungers, free tequila, great fish tacos, guacamole and cheap cervezas. It was perfect. In Roatan We did a private snorkelling tour, which is not to be missed in Roatan. Great reefs and aquatic life, but the tour was cut a little short by the presents of unfriendly aquatic life. Great adventure though!! Disembarkation was amongst the easiest we've experienced, even being non-US citizens. We kept our luggage and walked right off the ship during self-disembarkation. We were off the ship by 8:00am right after breakfast, in a taxi and straight to FLL for our flight home. The port in Ft Lauderdale is a wonderful area from which to sail. Summary - We loved this Cruise line. The layout of the Solstice is well thought out. The added amenities of the Aqua Class made for a really wonderful vacation. The added attention from the Maitre d', to the wait staff, room stewards, to all of the staff members, really made for a pleasant experience. By attending the CC meetings on the two cruises it was made clear from the beginning, by the cruise director, that if you had any issues, just make them clear to the proper staff and Celebrity would do their best to resolve them. I believe that to be true. If you do not have a wonderful cruise on this ship, it's your own fault. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Beautiful ship, comfortable stateroom, wonderful food, ok service, boring entertainment and activities. Aqua Spa "Relaxation Room" noisy, not relaxing. Persian Garden room noisy as well. Need to provide Quiet Please signs to ... Read More
Beautiful ship, comfortable stateroom, wonderful food, ok service, boring entertainment and activities. Aqua Spa "Relaxation Room" noisy, not relaxing. Persian Garden room noisy as well. Need to provide Quiet Please signs to remind folks AND SPA STAFF to shut the heck up. Check in for spa services should be relocated somewhere else other than the relaxation room. The showers in the spa did not provide wash cloths and other nice things like mouth wash, disposable combs etc. The showers could have been tidier. Don't go out of your way to book Aqua Class. Food was pretty darn good everywhere I went. Service was slow in Blu but the food was worth the wait. Murano had outstanding service and food ... best meal of the week! Silk Harvest provided generous portions and was a good opportunity to sample a number of sushi items and unfamiliar dishes. Service was very good. Main dining room had good service and food. Oceanview did a good job feeding a lot of folks all the time. The Mast Grill could have a larger offering of lunch items. The food and the beauty of the ship were it's strengths. The Glass show is not to missed and the lawn activities were nice but there was a lack of FUN ACTIVITIES/ENTERTAINMENT on this ship. The stores were all expensive ... do they all have to be high end? Our stateroom was very clean and comfortable. The robes in AquaClass were nice but too heavy weight. The daily water and tea was always welcome as was the fruit. The bottle of champagne on the 1st day was also a nice touch. All in all a nice cruise, job well done. Get the spa figured out, the entertainment up to speed and you will have a gem of a ship! Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
This was our 20th cruise, taken over our 40th Anniversary, using the Ship as our destination since we've taken other Western Caribbean itineraries in the past and weren't interested in swimming with the stingrays for the third ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise, taken over our 40th Anniversary, using the Ship as our destination since we've taken other Western Caribbean itineraries in the past and weren't interested in swimming with the stingrays for the third time or visiting Roatan or disembarking in the Cayman Islands again. We did take a tour to the Chacchoben Mayan ruins which we booked privately with Native Choice along with a group of other Cruise Critic Roll Call Members and enjoyed immensely. Take bug spray and sun tan lotion, wear cool clothes and a hat. We were lucky, we had cloud cover and the heat was bearable, otherwise it could have been a sweltering experience! Intelligent guide and fascinating historic site to visit. Highly recommend. Our first impression of the Solstice was very favorable, fast embarkation, friendly staff and a refreshing glass of champagne or orange juice offered by smiling crew. The ship itself is new and beautiful and contemporary in decor. There is easy walking access from dining-rooms and specialty restaurants to theater and great elevator availability from staterooms to all floors, including pool area and cafes. None of that varying levels with up and down stairs just to walk from one end of the ship to the other on the same floor. And no need to ever walk through a smokey and noisy Casino, another plus! We were in the perfect location mid-ship. Our balcony, which we enjoyed every afternoon for a couple of hours after leaving the Solarium, was very over sized being on the bump out portion of the ship. Here we had two of the most comfortable adjustable chairs with foot rests, and a convenient table for resting our drinks and books. The stateroom itself was a bit of a squeeze and the small closet inconveniently located and difficult to access with sliding panel doors right next to the bed that we constantly had to push one way or the other to find anything. I much prefer a real closet with opening doors and a hallway entry. Of course the trade off was having a larger bathroom with a really commodious shower. Being in AquaClass meant we could enjoy some additional perks: The Pharo Spa shower head and body jets were wonderful, as were the Spa body wash, shampoos and conditioners. There was even a shower bar to rest your foot for shaving legs! The Frette robes were a nice touch too. We had a bottle of chilled champagne in our room with a plate of fresh fruit that was refreshed as needed and two bottles of water replenished at no additional charge. Blu, the restaurant designated for AquaClass, was intimate and nestled among the other specialty restaurants and offered a limited but tasteful selection for dinner. The breakfast menu was adequate, but not always up to the mark. Bacon was never crisp or hot as requested and in fact, very fatty, eggs either overdone or undercooked. Toast never hot. By the fifth night, we discovered that we could easily order off the menu and they would bring offerings from the MDR if requested. Wish I had known that earlier since escargot, Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, etc. would have been preferred to the very limited appetizers on Blu's menu. The entrees themselves were usually good, although on the last night, I asked for both the lamb shank and duck breast and thankful I did, as the lamb shank was tough and inedible. What we especially loved was the Solarium pool area, with lovely soft and meditative type music. This area is off limits to children under 16 and thankfully, we found that everyone complied as we never saw or heard any kids whatsoever during the entire week of blissful quiet. The Spa Cafe and the Spa itself were wonderful! My husband and I each had the Hot Stone Massages which were fantastic and worth every penny and later in the week, I enjoyed one of the Spa specials of an hour of exfoliation, back, foot and scalp massage and facial. We loved the Serenity Garden too with the heated beds and saunas. We were in there every day, enjoying the warmth on our backs and blessed quiet in unlimited access to AquaClass passengers. So all in all, we had a wonderful week of relaxation and reading. Our Anniversary night fell on the first formal night and we ate in the top rated specialty restaurant, Murano. We prepaid $70 for this privilege, but didn't regret it as the food was very good and the service was excellent. Not at all as pretentious and over the top as some of the other specialty restaurants on other ships which we unfortunately have experienced. Once we discovered that the Spa Cafe was open for breakfast, we ate there the balance of the week as the offerings were so fresh and innovative. Most of the time, we ate lunch there as well with the one exception of sampling Bistro on 5, the crepe restaurant which we enjoyed for a unique experience. China Harvest was fantastic, but entirely too much food and so much wasted. They served two people as if we were six! There was an additional cost for this specialty restaurant as well, but well worth the extra amount. It was all out of this world, but we waddled away, close to being uncomfortable with having overeaten. The ship decor itself, rather more contemporary than our usual subdued and traditional taste, grew on us and by the end, we found ourselves growing used to the spare look in the restaurants. By striking contrast, many of the public rooms all looked like an overstuffed private men's clubroom, huge over-sized chairs, and in the bar areas, dark walls and very dim lighting. And last but far from least, this is the first cruise in ten years where we were not in the Theater every night enjoying some form of wonderful entertainment. In fact, due to technical glitches on the first night, no one was and when finally, a show was put on midweek, it was merciful that my husband and I decided to pass since everyone said it was the worst thing they have ever seen in their lives.....amateurish and embarrassing. Many people actually got up from their seats and walked out, I was told. The one big production show, Pulse, which we finally attended on our last night at sea was really poor. A hodgepodge of loud noise, uneven singing, unmemorable numbers all senselessly jumbled together with second rate entertainers preening on stage. No star personalities to be found. It was a mess. Very surprising considering some of the very best shows we ever saw was on another Celebrity ship several years back, the Constellation. Oddly, where the other entertainment was to be found was way down on level two or three in the main center lobby requiring everyone to stand and listen on all the floors while leaning on the overlooking railings. Here we saw at various times and from a great distance an acapella group, a band with two talented female singers and a string quartet. Coming out of Blu in the evenings surrounding one of the many bars on board, there was a jazz combo alternating with the string quartet.....both excellent. So would we go back on a Celebrity cruise......you bet!! As long as that No Children Allowed Solarium stays in business, they'll get ours! 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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