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114 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Caribbean - Western Celebrity Solstice Cruise Reviews

Celebrity Solstice Back-to-Back 1/8/12 (Western Caribbean) and 1/15/12 (Eastern) ABOUT US Married couple, 35/47, with a 2.5 year old son. Week 1 we cruised with 8 adult relatives; week 2 was just the two of us. I have to admit I was ... Read More
Celebrity Solstice Back-to-Back 1/8/12 (Western Caribbean) and 1/15/12 (Eastern) ABOUT US Married couple, 35/47, with a 2.5 year old son. Week 1 we cruised with 8 adult relatives; week 2 was just the two of us. I have to admit I was nervous about this cruise, even though I've been on so many great Celebrity cruises in the past. The ship had several recent outbreaks of noro virus, and there were a number of negative reviews posted in the weeks before our sailing. The good news is that I had nothing to worry about -- it was one of the best cruises ever, and 14 days was just right. EMBARKATION Best ever! Since the ship was in dry dock the week before our cruise, the ship was ready for boarding very early and there were no lines at all. Plus, we were able to get right to our cabins. CABIN We were in a S1 Sky Suite on the 7th deck. Previously we had sailed in a Celebrity Suite, which is considerably larger and has a separate bedroom area. So I was afraid that the SS might be a letdown. Wrong! I actually preferred the SS, because it is so much more open and airy than the CS. I loved having 2 exposures and the panoramic views from the balcony. Storage space, while lacking a walk-in closet, was more than adequate for the 3 of us. The only downside to the suite didn't become apparent until about day 10. That's when they seemed to have turned on the engine below our suite, and the vibration and humming were pretty bad. I believe that they have 4 engines, 2 aft and 2 fore, but they only need to run 1 at a time. So we were lucky the first 10 days, not so much the last 4 days. FOOD We all thought that the food in the buffet was much better and more varied than our recent RCL cruise. In fact, I thought it seemed better than our cruise on Equinox last year. The first week, we had dinner in the main dining room on 5 nights. We were given a great table, right in the middle of the main floor of the dining room. The service was as good as or better than ever. The food was mostly great, always the right temperature, and generally quite enjoyable. There was only 1 dish I regretted ordering, a pasta dish, and to be fair the waiter warned me not to get it. On one night we ate as a group in Silk Harvest, which was a lot of fun. The food is pretty average Asian fare, but we enjoyed the non-stop family style service (we just asked them to bring us a little of everything) and the cold sake was nice and intoxicating. We also ate as a group in the Tuscan Grille. For some reason I remember the food being a little better in the Grille on Equinox, but the service was terrific and everyone enjoyed their meals. I thought my steak was a little too salty, and the appetizers were not too inspiring. The second week, we didn't eat in the main dining room at all. We bought the 3 specialty restaurant package, plus we had 1 free dinner for being in a suite, we ate twice at Blu, and had one dinner on shore in San Juan. Murano was hands down our favorite; as good as anything I've had on land or sea. We also loved Blu, and would consider booking Aqua Class in the future to eat all my meals there. We had breakfast in Bistro on 5 one morning. They served crepes stuffed with eggs, cheese, etc., and we also indulged in a Nutella and banana crepe. Yum! It was a nice alternative to the hustle and bustle of the buffet. DRINKS We had the drink package on the first week, and liked it so much we got it on the 2nd week. I won't go into all the details, but I'm pretty sure we got our money's worth! We particularly enjoyed being able to pair different glasses of wine with each course at dinner, and we must have tried each brand of premium vodka that they had on the ship! We also enjoyed the coffee at Cafe Biaco. I don't usually have espresso drinks at home, but these were irresistible. SERVICE Our cabin service was just great. No complaints at all. The butler really came through for me when he was able to press my tuxedo shirt one hour after the laundry officially closed, on formal night. He delivered breakfast on time in the morning, and always asked throughout the day if we needed anything. Okay, here's one complaint: The breakfast served in the room was always cold. Always. I think it just takes too long for the food to get from the kitchen all the way up and back to our room. It was always right on time, so it's not as though it was being picked up late. Another complaint: I found the bar tenders to be a pretty unfriendly bunch of guys. We frequented the martini and pool bars, and none of them seemed to be happy to be there. In the martini bar, we noticed some conflict among the bartenders. They seemed to be more focused on their juggling and pouring skills (which were amazing) than their people skills. The pool bartenders just seemed grumpy most of the time. Could this be due to the drink packages we had? Meanwhile, most of the cocktail servers that roamed the floor were pretty friendly. But in the past we used to LOVE our bartenders, really got to know them, and thought they were the nicest people on the ship. Not anymore. On the other hand, the Guest Relations staff was the friendliest and most helpful I have ever experienced on a Celebrity cruise. I got to know them well over 14 days, and they were always cheerful and willing to help solve problems. ENTERTAINMENT Only saw part of one show, so I won't comment on the productions. However, I will say that I really enjoyed the addition of a live DJ on the pool deck and the generally more contemporary music that was played. It was much more fitting with the W Hotel style that the ship is known for than the music I remember that was played on prior cruises. PORTS We visited 4 ports the first week, and 3 the second. GRAND CAYMAN. We booked a private snorkeling and stingray city tour with Native Way water sports. The tour was a lot of fun, even though our captain wasn't terribly personable. COZUMEL. We went to one of the all-inclusive day resorts (Nochi Cocom). The food and drinks were good and the beach was nice and clean. Our group tried Mr. Soncho's on our last cruise, and the verdict was that Soncho's was better for food (all you can eat) and the drinks better ant Nochi (not watered down). ROATAN. We booked a private island tour through Bodden tours. The driver took us to the iguana and monkey zoos, and to a small seaside restaurant for lunch. The tour was okay, but next time I'd probably I'd probably just head to the beach. COSTA MAYA. This ended up being our favorite excursion. We booked a private tour to the nearby Mayan ruins with Native Way. The guide was excellent, and the tour included an authentic Mayan lunch in a small village. The food was great, and overall we found the tour to be very educational. SAN JUAN. The ship arrives in San Juan at 2:00 PM ship time, 3:00 PM SJ time, so it can get a little confusing since you stay on ship time. We did a Segway tour through Celebrity. First time on a Segway, and I would definitely do it again. At first it feels so awkward, but in a few minutes it is like something you were born doing. It's that intuitive. And really fun. ST MARTIN. We booked a mountain hike through Celebrity. Unfortunately due to rain it was cancelled, and they suggested the Tree Top Zip-line adventure at Loterie Farm. We agreed to give it a try -- big mistake! Unless you are a real dare devil with excellent balance and coordination, I would not recommend this excursion. Very little time is spent on zips; most of the time is spent maneuvering across a series of cables and slippery bridges from tree to tree. Instructions are minimal, and it really didn't feel safe at all. Many in our group loved it, but I found it pretty scary (I don't have great balance, although I'm in decent shape). Did I mention it was pouring rain, and that everything was very slippery when wet? ST THOMAS. We had booked a private sailing tour with Captain Pat, but cancelled since we had both come down with colds so we decided to take it easy. The sun came out around noon, so we made our way to Megan's Bay and had a nice afternoon at the beach. INSIDE ACCESS TOUR On the next to the last sea day, I took the Inside Access tour. It's a 3-hour behind the scenes tour of the ship, and it ends with a lovely lunch at Blu. We toured the bridge, the theater, the crew quarters, the storage facility, and (of course) the galley. I highly recommend it. They charge $150, most likely to keep the group small (just 5 of us participated). I justified the expense by not doing any spa treatments this cruise. And it was much more enjoyable than any of the spa treatments I've gotten, and they didn't try to sell me $100 worth of creams at the end. DEBARKATION #1 At the end of the first week, we were given the option of staying on the ship or spending some time in Fort Lauderdale. The information packet recommended the latter. They had no way of knowing that there would be a 1-hour wait to clear customs on that particular Sunday, but there we were stuck in the worst line I've ever been in. When we finally made it out, we jumped in a cab, did some shopping, and came back. Later we spoke with other B2B passengers who stayed on board, and they had a much better experience. Prior to leaving the ship, I went up to the buffet for a bite to eat, and it was really chaotic. By about 7:30 they started running out of plates and silverware. The orange just dispenser was empty. It's pretty obvious that they use a skeleton back-up crew in the café on debark/embark day. It's too bad, since it is the last impression many people will have. I remember they used to serve in-stateroom continental breakfast on debarkation day. That was much more civilized. DEBARKATION #2 Here's where it gets interesting. We participated in the luggage valet program, paying $20 per person to have up to 4 bags picked up from us at night and delivered directly to our airline. You don't see your bags again until you arrive in your destination airport. They also check you in, so you get your boarding pass the night before. It can't be any more convenient. I went up to the café extra early. This time there was orange juice and utensils, but they ran out of coffee! At 7 AM! Oh well, at least I was prepared for it this time. We were told to meet in Cellar Masters at 8:00 AM. At about 8:40, they announced that passengers participating in the luggage valet program could depart. So we made our way down to the gangway, excited to be on our way home to see our son. But when we dipped our sea passes into the machine, we didn't get the standard "thung!" sound. Instead, it went "ding ding ding!" like you would hear if you make it all the way to the top of the $20,000 Pyramid. We thought, did we win something? The guard asked us to step aside and told us we'd have to wait to be escorted off of the ship. He couldn't, or wouldn't, tell us why. Five minutes later another guard steps up, they whisper to each other, and the second guard says, "follow me, you need to have a discussion." Uh-oh. He leads us through the line, allowing us to cut in front of everyone. When we got to the terminal, we were led to a customs agent seated at a table. We look over to the side, and there are our bags along with a few other suit cases. What about the whole you-won't-see-your-bags-again thing? The agent asked us to pick out our bags and move them aside. He takes out some form, checks a box or something, and says, "Okay, you can go." Me: "Do you want our blue customs form?" Him: "Oh, yeah, thanks." Then we walked out of the building, having skipped all of the lines. We hopped in a cab, and I kid you not, we were at our terminal at 9:00 AM. Twenty minutes door-to-door. How's that for a great way to end a fantastic 14- day cruise? Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
This was my 9th cruise, 5th on Celebrity but first on an S-class ship. This was not an itinerary that thrilled me but this cruise was mostly about going somewhere warm in January and experiencing an S-class ship. I sailed with my ... Read More
This was my 9th cruise, 5th on Celebrity but first on an S-class ship. This was not an itinerary that thrilled me but this cruise was mostly about going somewhere warm in January and experiencing an S-class ship. I sailed with my step-dad and a couple that we met on the Summit last year. The ship is beautiful and well-maintained. Someone thought about passenger flow when they designed this ship. The pool is on a different deck than the Buffet area. You don't have to walk through the casino to get from dinner to a show or vice versa. We had an inside cabin on the 10th deck. After being used to lower decks where it's easier to get to activities, I don't know that we liked being up so high. However, with the way they are designing the newer ships, there aren't many cabins on those decks. The food was good, we had excellent service and thought the wine tower in the MDR was amazing. The only specialty restaurant we ate in was Bistro on Five. For a $5 charge, we got really good crepes and service. Our cabin stewards were mediocre. Nice enough gentlemen but they forgot to clean the room one evening. No biggie and we certainly didn't say anything to anyone. The couple we were with never even saw theirs. The Hot Glass Show is absolutely amazing - I went to just about every one of them and probably took more picture there than anywhere else. I also thought that there were more interesting activities than on the M-class but maybe that's just me. The shows that I went to were well-done but I was usually at the Hot Glass show :). We also did a special tour of the bridge that they offer for $75 per person. A small group is taken to the bridge when the ship leaves a port. This was fascinating and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Disembarkation was ridiculous. This was not Celebrity's fault - I blame this entirely on the port and Customs. From the time we got off the ship, it was over an hour to get through the customs line and we were one of the last groups off the ship. The line ran down the outside of the warehouse and moved at a snails pace. We got our luggage quickly but then had to fight our way into another long line to clear customs. The port knows how many ships are going to be disembarking on any given day so they should know how to staff. Maybe I've gotten spoiled by sailing out of San Juan but I'll definitely think twice about sailing into Ft. Lauderdale again. I would sail this class again if the itinerary and disembarkation port were different. Don't know that I'll sail on anything bigger than this but it was a very manageable size ship and the only time it felt crowded was on disembarkation day when everyone is trying to eat breakfast at the same time. Overall, we had a great time on a beautiful ship! Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Keep in mind that Celebrity contacted each and every passenger to notify them that as a precaution, they were delaying boarding and doing a deep cleaning to hopefully eliminate the threat of Noro. I don't get how this is such an ... Read More
Keep in mind that Celebrity contacted each and every passenger to notify them that as a precaution, they were delaying boarding and doing a deep cleaning to hopefully eliminate the threat of Noro. I don't get how this is such an inconvenience and how this set the tone for some passengers to have a mediocre (or worse) cruise and want to spend their vacation complaining about the delayed boarding. (Again. And again.) I was happy they were doing the deep cleaning and as far as we know - noone got sick. We had 2 cabins in AQ - party of 4 adults. Our room steward was very proficient and always pleasant. We dined in Blu each evening and we were DELIGHTED to see the team we had last year. Kirk (Jamaica), Gladys (Dominican Republic) and Wine Steward Maggie (Poland). The food was very much up to Celebrity standards and the service was OUTSTANDING. If you dine in Blu - ask for Kirk and Gladys. We dined at Bistro on 5 twice - AWESOME! Well worth the $5 cover charge and I hope they don't ever make it free. It keeps it from being crowded! I was delighted that the prepaid drink package has been changed ... now if you see a wine or drink that is over the amount allowed, you only pay the difference. SMART! As a result, I enjoyed upgrading :) My only criticisms: I'm sending Celebrity some ideas to improve the speed of service in Cafe Bacio ... I come from a town full of coffee snobs, so I can help here :) Besides the poopy passengers on embarkation - self disembarkation was a bit of a nightmare. Way more folks chose to self disembark than I've ever seen before. Maybe it was a fluke ... but I think X needs to monitor this and add some folks to help passengers form an orderly line - and be clear that self disembarkation is ONLY for folks who can carry their own luggage. Dragging multiple suitcases down the stairwell while they were tipping over was a safety issue. And other than that ... all our experiences were either satisfactory - or delightful. Wonderful ship and we can't wait to sail on her again! And thank you to Cruise Critic for creating this open forum. Our roll call was the best I've EVER had and was a source of a wealth of information, great friendships and much laughter. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This was my 7th cruise with Celebrity and unfortunately, not the cruise line I have come to know. My husband and I just returned from a 7 night cruise on the Solstice. While the Solstice is a beautiful ship, the service was seriously ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise with Celebrity and unfortunately, not the cruise line I have come to know. My husband and I just returned from a 7 night cruise on the Solstice. While the Solstice is a beautiful ship, the service was seriously lacking. Our stateroom attendant never was around and had to remind her on several occasions of various needs we had. It was a Concierge Class room, although I was left wondering if she was aware of that. With that said, the room itself was great. The public spaces on this ship are nice. The dining room was not very impressive and the chairs were so big, it was hard to walk around. I think they wasted some space with Team Earth and the extra large library. However, how about a selection of online books for Kindles?? Now I should mention that this cruise started off on a bad note. They did not allow us to board until after 2 pm - apparently Celebrity contacted all the passengers but I never got a phone call or email. Then, once on board, they did not allow us in our rooms until 6 pm! They claimed that between customs being longer than usual (the ship just returned from Europe) and the norovirus, they had to clean. There was evidence that some rooms were not cleaned at all, but at the end of it, we missed the entire first day of our trip, Guess what - that just made the cruise even worse. The upstairs buffet area was unbearable because you couldn't even get your own coffee! Everything was served. No books in the library, no trays to use, hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE, no ice in the staterooms! I also would like to know if there was an entertainment staff on this ship. There was barely anything going on - I spent an entire day at the pool and not one band, pool game, or trivia contest. I never saw the cruise director and the activities for the day centered around wine and lectures. The shows were also very mediocre. What was offered was a bit lame. I am wondering about this enrichment thing Celebrity is going for. The Lawn area is nice, but they could do so much more with it. I would also add that the entertainment staff was not accommodating when wanting to play croquet outside scheduled times. The pool area was okay. There were plenty of chairs, but the lack of a children's pool made this area a bit hectic. There seem to be a lack of pool waiters when wanting a drink from the bar. I only used the SPA once. Seemed fine but they push products way too hard. They wanted me to buy almost $400 of Elemis products after my treatment. That really bothers me when I am on vacation and just want to relax. I am a Captains Club member and the events were not good. There is nothing ever going on and it really does nothing for me for me to remain a loyal Celebrity cruiser. Overall, a disappointing cruise experience from Celebrity. Perhaps they should focus back on service and not building bigger and impressive ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Overall: I want to start by saying that we had a great trip. Celebrity has great service and the Solstice is a beautiful ship. There were a few problems, but I try to not let the problems ruin the vacation. It may sound like many ... Read More
Overall: I want to start by saying that we had a great trip. Celebrity has great service and the Solstice is a beautiful ship. There were a few problems, but I try to not let the problems ruin the vacation. It may sound like many problems when you read my review, but those were the only problems we experienced. A little background on me: this is my 8th cruise, 3rd with Celebrity. Other cruise line I've been on include NCL, RCL, and Princess. Décor: The Solstice is a fairly new ship, kept in good condition. I really like the décor, overall the colors are classic and elegant. NCL ships seem too bright and loud in comparison. The ship is well laid out, with 8 elevators in the center and 4 near the forward. Since there are only two locations for elevators, it can be a lot of walking depending on your room location. My family like to get some exercise after all the eating so did not mind the walking. There are many lounges to sit and relax and I never really felt very crowded no matter where I was. Room: My parents and I were booked in the Sky Suite at the Aft of the ship. The room is very large with a window and a large balcony. Since it is a corner balcony, we got both a view of the back and the side of the ship which was very nice. There were some soot visible on the deck of the balcony, but I think they wipe the chairs everyday because I never found the chairs to be dirty. My sister and her family stayed in the adjacent room which is a sunset verandah. First day on the ship, one of the staff told my sister that they are not in a suite and will not get the same amenity as us. We realize that and were ok with it, but we thought it was rather tactless for the staff to say that out loud. Since I am in the suite, we have a butler, which I found to be quite useless. The only things our butler did for us was to bring afternoon snacks and in-room breakfast if we ordered. We ordered in-room breakfast twice and both times certain things were forgotten. The first time, it was just a cup and some utensils. The second time, many items were left off, the butler told us it was because we ordered through the in-Room computer system via the TV. Anyways, we got annoyed and just went to the buffet for the rest of the week. I am not sure what else the butler is suppose to do, but for us he didn't seem to be useful or worth the extra tip. Our room attendants were very good and very friendly. Compared with NCL, I think NCL does better with the suite services and the concierge service. However, I do like Celebrity's room better. Food: We ate most of the breakfast and lunch in the Ocean View Buffet and most dinners in the Main Dining Room (Grand Epernay). Here are my comments: Breakfast Buffet: Due to a noro-virus breakout, we could not serve ourselves and had to be served by the staff. This turned out to be a disaster. Once someone else is serving, it just doesn't feel like a buffet anymore. The wait staff appeared to be tired and overworked so they were not very happy or attentive when serving. Often someone would say, "I just want a little of ..." and they would put a lot on the plate or vice versa. Long lines built up at the drink stations because there are only 2 to 3 staff per station. Breakfast food was good, but it was the same everyday, so it got boring by the end of the week. My mom really like omelets, but she thought the omelets made on the Solstice were not as good as other ships. The breads were really good, best I've had on ships. There were French toast, pancake, and waffles everyday which we enjoyed, with these really good cooked bananas. Lunch Buffet: Again, being served was a nuisance. I really enjoyed the Indian food on board, it tasted authentic to me. Lunch also lacked variety, there were nachos/tacos and the same grilled meats everyday. The salads were really good, but waiting on line to get someone to make it for you was annoying. The hamburger on board was excellent, best I've ever had on a cruise. We also had lunch one day at Bistro on the Five which was great. All the crepes we had were good and the service was excellent. Definitely worth visiting. Dinner: As mentioned before, we ate most of our meals in the MDR. We thought the food in the MDR was excellent. Again, one of the best we've had on cruises. Most food came in good temperature and was delicious. We had fixed time dining so we had the same waiters every night, which worked out really well. They got to know us and always prepared things the way we like. The waiters were really friendly and our sommelier was the most attentive I've ever experienced. He brought our unfinished bottle of wine from the night before without us asking. One night, I brought our complimentary bottle of sparkling wine down to the dining room and he immediately opened and poured it. He was really attentive and always kept our glass filled. We did have dinner one night at the Murano. I know many rave about the Murano, but for us it was rather disappointing. I had the lobster bisque to start which was delicious. Then I had an arugula salad with quail. The greens were not dressed so it was a little bland. The worse part was that I found a small hair in my salad! I told the waiter about it, he apologized in a joking manner saying how the chef was upset that he is losing his hair and offered no further consolation. (We were hoping for complimentary wine or something.) No one from the kitchen came out to apologize and neither did the Matre D come by to say anything. Being that the Murano is advertised as a top notch French restaurant, I was disappointed that they treated this matter in such an unprofessional manner. For entrée, I had the Petit Filet which I thought was a little tough, did not taste like filet mignon. My companions had the lobster which was prepared at tableside and the waiter forgot to add the butter in their lobster, but it still tasted very good. For dessert, we all had the soufflé, which were good, but could have been better. I thought it was a little undercooked. Overall, the experience at the Murano was pleasant, but I find the food to be similar to the MDR and the service to be even worse, so I felt that it's not worth the cover charge. Entertainment: I went to several shows, some were better than others. There's one that was similar to Cirque de Soleil which was pretty good. They had a jazz musician one night which I enjoyed. In addition to the main theatre, there were many musicians in the different lounges. I found most of the groups to be good and entertaining. I think I enjoy the smaller venues more than the large theatre performances. I also saw the glass show on board a couple times. They were really interesting. Something you just don't get to see often so it's definitely worth it to go to at least one show. Itinerary: This was my first time with this itinerary and I found it to be great. Grand Cayman had beautiful beaches, great snorkeling at Cozumel, and we got to see some Mayan Ruins at Costa Maya. My only complaint was that there really wasn't much you can do right at the pier besides shopping, no attractions are within walking distance, not even the beach. However, I know that is often the case, so it's not a big deal. One more comment: My sister had two young kids, and she did send the older one to the Day Camp on the ship. The staff for the kids program was great. My niece had a wonderful time there. The Solstice also has one of the best toddler play room we've ever seen. It was quite surprising to us since we didn't think Celebrity catered to kids, but after our experience, I would recommend Celebrity to families. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We have cruised more than twenty times on three different cruise lines, and this cruise was the worst one we have ever been on. We arrived at the pier via Taxi from our hotel before noon. A sign at the terminal said "return at ... Read More
We have cruised more than twenty times on three different cruise lines, and this cruise was the worst one we have ever been on. We arrived at the pier via Taxi from our hotel before noon. A sign at the terminal said "return at 2:00pm". We couldn't leave and return because we didn't have a car and we had no place to go. Apparently we need to check our email more than once a week because others said they received an email from Celebrity about the late boarding. We sat on a bench in the shade near the Holland America terminal for a while, then walked over to the Celebrity terminal and got in line. The line went nowhere fast and we ended up standing until about 3:00pm in both sunshine and rain showers. After waiting for more than 3 hours to check-in, we boarded the ship and then waited in the public areas while the rooms were "sanitized". We were told that the cabins would open at 5:00pm, but that was delayed until 6:00pm. Finally, more than 6 hours after we arrived at the pier we were in our cabin. The same could not be said for our luggage. They waived the dress code for dinner and moved both seatings back a half an hour. We waited in line to enter the main dining room because they were squirting Purell hand sanitizer on everyone that entered, causing quite a traffic jam. To say the least, it was a miserable first day. We understood the boarding delay, and assumed that once we were underway we would have the same cruise experience we have come to expect from Celebrity. We were wrong! Every day on the ship followed the same pattern. Enter the cafe for breakfast. Be assaulted by the Purell Guards, walk to the bacon and eggs station and stand in line, move to the bread station and stand in line again, move to the fruit station and stand in line again, move to the coffee station and stand in line again, circle the cafe 3 time searching for a place to sit, then eat cold bacon and eggs. They wouldn't allow the passengers to touch anything, so every part of every meal had to be handed to each passenger one at a time. Plates, utensils, food, condiments, drinks, etc. Go to the onboard shops, enter the first store, be assaulted by the Purell guard. Leave, enter the second store, be assaulted by the Purell guard, go to the third store, see the Purell guard, turn around and never return the remainder of the cruise. Enter the cafe for Lunch. Be assaulted by the Purell Guards, walk to the Salad station and stand in line, move to the hot food station and stand in line again, move to the drink station and stand in line again, circle the cafe 3 time searching for a place to sit, then eat cold food again. Go to the desert station, stand in line again. Enter the cafe for an afternoon ice cream. Be assaulted by the Purell Guards, and stand in line again. Go to the main dining room for dinner, and stand in line for the opportunity to be assaulted by the Purell guards again. Go to the theater, and you guessed it, stand in line and wait for your mega dose of Purell before you see the show. Day, after day, after day. It became apparent very early in the cruise that passenger service was not a priority. Ensuring that you had a memorable vacation was not a priority. Celebrity was only concerned with the virus and how it was effecting them as a company. Of course they said they were concerned for the health of their passengers, but they failed to remember that we had all paid for a vacation and expected a certain level of service during that vacation. We certainly didn't get the vacation we had come to expect from Celebrity. Housekeeping seemed to be overwhelmed or short staffed. We had to continually ask for towels, we had to take our own toilet paper off the carts in the hallway, and apparently no one was allowed to have an ice bucket in the room. Our mini fridge wasn't restocked once during the entire cruise. The guest entertainers were very good, but ships own singers and dancers were just a little better than the local High School talent show. One high spot, and the only reason I gave a rating of "2" instead of the "1" this cruise deserved was the food. The dinners were excellent. To top it all off, we were one of several passengers complaining at Guest relations that our onboard credits were not showing up on our accounts. Celebrity's first reply to my request for the missing onboard credits was "Do you have any proof that you were entitled to onboard credits?" I had the paperwork with me and presented the proof. The reply was "OK, the may take 48 hours to correct". Forty-eight hours later, I was told I'd have to contact my travel agent about the credit. I did. I've been home for a week and my agent is still trying to get me the credit I was due. Celebrity has fallen well short of our expectations. We are Elite members of the Captain's Club and we are looking at the other cruise lines for our next cruise. That is a shame and something that Celebrity should be concerned about. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My husband and I are both in our 30's (30 and 33)This was my first cruise experience ever so I don't have anything to compare it to. Although some things definitely did not go according to plan I was not as upset as those who ... Read More
My husband and I are both in our 30's (30 and 33)This was my first cruise experience ever so I don't have anything to compare it to. Although some things definitely did not go according to plan I was not as upset as those who knew better. But let me start from the begining: A few days before we were to set sail, I received an email from Celebrity Cruise line that the ship had an outbreak of the norovirus and that they were taking extra precautions to clean and disinfect the ship so boarding on sail date would be later than usual. That's fine, I didn't mind. They gave the option of rescheduling but I didn't want to cancel my vacation plans as this was my one and only big vacation for the year. So we fly in to Ft. Lauderdale the night before and stay at the Hyatt Place South near the airport. It had a free shuttle that picked us up and dropped us to the hotel. The hotel was a perfectly fine 3 star hotel- no complaints. Perfect for short stay the night before the cruise. In short walking distance were a couple of fast food places, KMart, BJ's Wholesale, etc. The morning of our sail date, the hotel offered a shuttle to the port for $8/person. I thought that was an okay deal. We arrived to a big snaking line coming out of the cruiseport building where our check-in was to take place. Again, not knowing any better I wasn't terribly upset about the wait- but after 1 hr and 45 minutes of slowly inching our way through the line I felt flush and my knees were hurting from the carry on bags I was holding. We finally made it through security then check in- Then we had to wait for access to the gangway. After making it through the gangway we had to wait until 6pm to get to our rooms. So our timeline was something like this: Check out of hotel at 12pm, shuttle picked us up at 1pm, the late check in was to begin at 2pm- so yes maybe a little our fault for being there too early but we really didn't have a choice, 1.45hrs in line, 20 minutes wait for gangway, then wait til 6pm to collapse on bed!. . .But before that! I was famished so we headed to the Oceanview Cafe for lunch. It was a MADHOUSE! People everywhere, no places to sit, I even saw one guy eating his food ON the buffet! We finally asked for help and a waiter found us two spots at a table full of people. So because of the previous norovirus buffets and drink stations at all times were on total lockdown and serving was done by the staff. I didn't mind that actually. It was a little like I read in another review- a lot of "Can I have some of that?. . .A little more please." etc., There was also no access to condiments, not even salt and pepper so I would ask for salt, this one server gave me one teeny tiny packet of salt. I asked for more, she gave me one more. I finally asked for several. You could also not touch the utensils- they were rolled in napkins and behind the buffet. This one server got mad at a guy for reaching and taking his own. I could see as the cruise went on that it was getting kind of taxing for the dining service crew. They would get short or frustrated with people wanting more of stuff or stuff that was not there. On the 2nd to last day, there was a line for waffles. They have two waffle irons that make 4 at a time and some people were asking for 4 total- so it was taking time. The lady serving that station was visibly upset when someone asked for more than 1 waffle. I think because it looked like her station was backing up and maybe she wasn't being efficient enough? So although I actually thought it added to the service to actually be served, I definitely witnessed 'attitudes' from the wait staff. But on some level I can understand I guess, the stress they were probably under was hard to always cover up. So you know- whatever. So other than the first day- there was always a little bit of a hectic feeling in the buffet area- a little disorganized, uncomfortable waiting in line for even just water, dirty dishes and empty tables not cleaned and ready for more people (several times we bussed our own tables to make room). It was all okay to me. I just didn't let it get to me- in the grand scheme of things it didn't seem like a big deal. . .As far as the food, I've always heard Celebrity has the best food- but my husband and I just found it to be- you know- good. Like any buffet in a nice hotel. Even the seated dining- just okay. We preferred not to dine in the specialty restaurants since we didn't care to spend any more money on food. We kept hearing they were fantastic though. Our stateroom was near the front of the ship on the left side- so each time we pulled in to port we had a prime view from our veranda. Absolutely unobstructed. My husband's first impression was he expected the room to be bigger but I thought it was perfect. The bathroom was actually nicer than I expected- with thoughtful cabinets and shelves for your toiletries. I liked the location of our room. I liked the fact I had to walk across the ship for food- a little bit extra "exercise". The overall feel was very relaxed. I would say it was probably 45% senior crowd, 40% 40's-50's, and 15% families or our age group and under. Not a lot of kids but I did see more than I expected- so I would imagine there would be more on the Xmas sailings. . .I wouldn't say there isn't a lot to do- maybe it was just hard to get our timings right. We missed a lot of the shows- they would mostly be at 7pm or 9pm. So after excursions all day at ports, coming back, taking showers, getting ready, having a cocktail, and having the 8:30 seating for dinner- we would miss both timings for the shows. We caught part of the comedian once and enjoyed his performance. All of our service staff- state room attendants, wait staff in dining room were really nice and friendly. I think I hit on mostly everything we did on the ship- I did not spend anytime in the pools- the one on deck was quite small and got kind of crowded. I did prefer to be in the climate controlled solarium area. More quiet spa feel. Overall we would definitely use Celebrity again. We really enjoyed our first experience. Mistakes or events happen and you have to adapt. I washed my hands frequently with warm water and soap and never got sick. (Used my elbows for elevator buttons and didn't use banisters anywhere). We might try Royal Caribbean as we've heard it has a younger feel. But we felt we made a good decision- the dress codes and the older crowd made it feel more "classy" if that makes sense. So I would definitely reccommend Celebrity and if you get on after (or even during) a virus outbreak- try to take everything with a grain of salt because it's all being done for your safety. I was careful and patient and had a great time! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We are veteran cruisers of more than 75 cruises on a variety of lines, including being Elite members with Celebrity. We received notification a few days before the cruise of delayed boarding due to the need for deep cleaning of the ... Read More
We are veteran cruisers of more than 75 cruises on a variety of lines, including being Elite members with Celebrity. We received notification a few days before the cruise of delayed boarding due to the need for deep cleaning of the ship because of a norovirus outbreak on the Transatlantic crossing. We arrived at the pier about 3:15pm thinking we would miss much of the chaos only to find disorganized lines snaking all over the place, people cutting in the lines and the boarding process had just begun. Celebrity could have handled the boarding process better than just handing out bottles of water, especially since they knew in advance there would be delays and I am sure they have had delays before. We finally boarded the ship about 5pm, only to learn the cabins would not be available until 6pm. All passengers and staff seemed equally tired and irritable. Once on the ship, we tried to forget about the first day fiasco and have what we hoped to be a cruise of normal Celebrity standards. This did not happen. Our cabin attendant was the worst we have ever experienced on any cruise. None of the extra amenities for the Concierge cabins were there when we boarded, and she explained that because of the cleaning, everything would be delivered the next morning. Same with basic items such as shampoo and soap. Fair enough. We understood. By the third day of the cruise, after asking her the second and third day, we still had not received anything. Luckily we had our own soap and shampoo. Our cabin did not have any extra toilet paper and we had to make calls in order to receive extra paper. The night before arriving in Cozumel, we had not received beach towels in the cabin and I called our attendant. She said "maybe I will bring them tomorrow morning". I told her we were leaving the ship early in the morning to go to the beach and asked if she could please deliver them tonight as they are normally delivered the night before. She reluctantly said OK and brought them to the cabin. The little flowers that are in the concierge class cabins add a little touch of color and brightness, and, they, too, were not delivered until the 3rd day after I inquired at Guest Services as to whether or not the concierge class amenities were going to be received this week. We did, after all, pay for the amenities. Flowers and sparkling wine finally received half way through our cruise. Cabin attendant acted as if she were doing a big favor and as if she really did not want to be there. Out of all of our cruises, we have never had a bad cabin attendant until this cruise. I guess there is always a first, but I did not expect it on Celebrity. We found food in main dining room to be so-so at best. Service was the same. Waiter was good, and also had to pick up the slack for the assistant waiter. Asst. waiter would bring water/tea when we first arrived, and we would never see him again. Waiter would bring us refills. Not even any fresh ground pepper anymore. I got the impression that Celebrity, just like many other mass market lines, are purposely serving mediocre food with mediocre service in main dining room so that you will pay another $40 per person for specialty dining. It also seems service has always been so-so when the lines went to auto tipping. Would love to see the cost of a cruise be a little more and have better quality food and service in main dining rooms once again. Oceanview Cafe very chaotic most of the time. Because of norovirus lockdown, you had to wait in line for juice and coffee, and instead of waiters offering to bring you such beverages, the only thing they were doing was trying to sell you some. By the time you stood in line to get everything and not being offered any assistance to find a seat, once you finally sat down to eat most of the time your food was cold. No condiments, and hard to get service to get any. However, I found it strange they had salt and pepper shakers on the tables in the dining room but not in the Oceanview Cafe. The best thing about our main dining experience was our wonderful new friends/tablemates, and we looked forward to visiting with them every evening. We found the evening shows and music geared to those eating sometime before 7pm. If those dining at 8:30 wanted to listen to or dance to ballroom music, they either had to do it at 5pm (which is way too early for someone with 8:30 dining to be dressed for dinner) or not at all. The last set of dance music was from 9pm-9:45pm, which meant if you had late dining, you missed out. No dance music of any kind in any of the lounge and public areas other than the disco. The first production show was excellent. Others were OK. The other entertainment and lecturers were nothing special. Captain, senior officers, Guest Services, Cruise Director and his staff all seemed very impersonal. The only senior officer who approached several of us at one of the past passenger parties was one who had only been with the cruise line for a month and was just learning the business. He walked around, asked how everything was going and tried to be friendly. Overall seemed to be a very dysfunctional staff and crew with lack of good management. The gala brunch that is normally held on one of the sea days did not take place. Many past Celebrity cruisers were looking forward to it as it is usually a very nice event. We were never told why, but several passengers said they heard it was because of the norovirus and being unable to have the staff serve everyone. Everyone was served in the Oceanview Cafe, so it could have happened if they wanted it to. The Solarium used to be a nice adults only sanctuary. They now allow children in there for an hour in the morning and an hour in the middle of the afternoon. We will cruise with Celebrity again, but never again on the Solstice and maybe never on another "S" class ship. Newer, bigger and fancier is not always better. We much prefer the "M" class ships as they seem to have better management, food quality, service, entertainment and staff. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Cruise out of Fort Lauderdale to Western Caribbean on the Solstice Ship - I was very disappointed in the embarkation process for this trip. I there was a serious problem, the Virus, on the sailing from Spain to Ft Lauderdale and had to ... Read More
Cruise out of Fort Lauderdale to Western Caribbean on the Solstice Ship - I was very disappointed in the embarkation process for this trip. I there was a serious problem, the Virus, on the sailing from Spain to Ft Lauderdale and had to have the entire ship sanitized. I was only notified the day prior to sailing that there would be a delay in embarkation, instead of 1:30 PM, it would start at 2 PM, without any further explanation. It was only after I arrived at the port shortly before 1 PM, and dropped off the suitcases curbside to check in for the cruise, then parked my car in the garage, and went to form a line, when we were told that embarkation was further delayed due to necessitated cleansing of the ship due to the virus, when many were taken ill. The boarding did not actually start till 3 PM, and we did not get onto the ship till almost 4 PM, due to the long lines. So we stood on line for 3 Hours waiting till boarding the ship ! Once onboard the Buffet cafe was packed, hard to find a table to eat, which was not at 4 PM, eating lunch. Then we were told that the Staterooms would not be available till 6 PM> Then we were told that the luggage would not be delivered to the cabins till sometime later that evening. Needless to say walking around, trying to eat lunch with small carry ons, and not able to get to our stateroom prior to dinner to rest some was deplorable. So we went to dinner in our shorts, with no way to shower and change clothes. Not a very relaxing way to start the cruise. And then of course there was the lifeboat drill, mandated by the coast guard, which did not take place the afternoon of boarding, but on the next day, first full sea day, late morning. So that interrupted the morning activities as well, for me at the gym, for my partner in the pool. We should have been advised there was a health problem on the ship when we were called about the delay in embarkation. I also noticed that the first few days on the ship the entire crew had a certain anxiety about, and also in the manner the meals were served in the cafe buffet on deck 14. It was all served by the crew. Management did not have enough personnel there to afford a speedy process in going from station to station for the different food items, as there were lines all over and they moved slowly. I booked this cruise four months prior to departure, paid my fare passage, and on my sailing date at the port only to learn about the Virus outbreak for many days on the ship after departure from Spain. This was not a Celebrity cruise to remember and was very disappointed after paying my Fare for Passage, not receiving what I paid for nor what I was accustomed to in a Celebrity cruise. There were many apologies by the staff for the delays at embarkation as well as while on the ship. However Celebrity did not offer any compensation for the delays or inconvenience. I was very surprised that when I inquired at the Guest services area on the ship about any compensation, I was informed, by Anna, none would be given. What a disgrace that was ! I had enjoyed the Celebrity cruises in the past, however from all the major cruise lines I have been on in the last 25 years, I have never written a letter to complain nor requested compensation. As a baby boomer I plan on doing a lot more cruises and considered Celebrity Cruises one of the more upscale lines to cruise on, however I was very disappointed this time around. This cruise was a bad experience and we should have been advised of the health condition prior to the trip so as we could decide whether to postpone and reschedule. If it was truly about passenger safety as was emphasized by the crew staff all week long, then advance notice should have been provided by Celebrity regarding their serious illness problem as it returned to Fort Lauderdale. Management certainly did a poor job in advising the passengers what was really going on. Cruising is enjoyable however maybe should look at other Cruise lines that would be more responsive in the event of a major problem with more skilled management at the top to handle it properly from a customer service point of view. I have written to Celebrity Cruises as well to voice my concerns on this particular cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Embarkation was a nightmare. You would think they had never done this before. We had received advance notice via e-mail saying that the boarding time was delayed until 2 pm as a result of a norovirus issue. However, we arrived at the ... Read More
Embarkation was a nightmare. You would think they had never done this before. We had received advance notice via e-mail saying that the boarding time was delayed until 2 pm as a result of a norovirus issue. However, we arrived at the Fort Lauderdale port at 2 pm and stood in a line, outside, in the sun for 3 hours. It's clear from prior cruise reviews that this was not a new issue. They had experience with cleaning the ship due to the virus before, and should have had a contingency plan to make those waiting more comfortable - even rent folding chairs. There were many passengers with health issues and obvious ambulation challenges (using walkers and canes), but no one seemed to notice. They passed out water, but were insensitive to the extreme discomfort of the passengers waiting to board. I found this unacceptable. We had a confirmed reservation for early dining, confirmed by our travel agent, but when we boarded, we were told we had late dining. The guest services staff were unable to resolve this issue, despite our visiting the guest services desk in person four times. They said each time they would contact the dining staff, but never got back to us with a resolution. On day 3 of the cruise, I tried again, and finally was connected to someone in the dining room who did change our dining seating. Probably due to the embarkation problems we were never oriented to the cabin, (working the TV, lights) etc by the cabin steward, as has been our experience with other cruise lines. Despite these issues, the cruise line did not offer any perks, or amenities to offset the problems. Despite an earlier positive experience with an Alaska Celebrity cruise, we would think twice about choosing them again. On the positive side, The room was nice, veranda was spacious and the ship was gorgeous and well laid out. Service was good, but not exceptional. The Ocean View Cafe offered a wide variety of choices and was well designed to avoid waiting in line. We recommend both the Tuscan Grill and the Silk Harvest Specialty restaurants. Both the service and the food were excellent in both. Probably due to the norovirus problem, the ship's library was empty... imagine that, a library with no books! The Hot Glass show was wonderful! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Due to previous problems with Norovirus and the fact that the ship was returning for the first time from Europe we had a delayed boarding that did not start until 2 pm. In addition to doing extra cleaning the ship was dealing with a coast ... Read More
Due to previous problems with Norovirus and the fact that the ship was returning for the first time from Europe we had a delayed boarding that did not start until 2 pm. In addition to doing extra cleaning the ship was dealing with a coast guard inspection and immigration (we later found out from a crew member that they had all been up since 4 am, many getting very little sleep the night before). We had been notified by Celebrity about a week before that the sailing would be delayed. We were staying at The Atlantic Resort and we waited until noon to check out because of the delay and then went to a leisurely lunch. We waited until just after 2 pm to actually show up at the port. Unfortunately they were still not checking people in and the line now snaked out in front of the building twice. We just took our place and made the best of it, we had also packed minimal carry-ons, just a backpack each, anticipating this, which worked out great. Celebrity was handing out water, snacks and making sure older people who needed to sit where taken inside. In my opinion most people seemed to be in good spirits about the whole thing, although it did seem like there were a lot of people who did not realize the ship could be so delayed even without the noro, which only added to delay, because of returning from Europe (Thank you CC members!). Once inside check in was a breeze. The Aqua Class line was pretty short and we were on within 15 minutes. Once on board we found out the cabins would not be ready until 5:30 pm. No worries though, we had purchased the premium alcohol package and headed up to the lawn club bar to meet up with other members of our roll call. We also did a little exploring around the ship, making sure to avoid the buffet area! YIKES! I was so glad we had already eaten when I saw that place. The cabins were ready around 6 pm and because of it there was no dress code the first night. We also left port late. I believe it was almost 6:30 pm by the time we finally headed out. We dropped our stuff off, met our room steward and then headed off to Blu. We had cabin 1610 and my parnters parents had cabin 1608. Both cabins are on the hump and had huge balconies. We were also able to get the room steward to open up the divider which made the balcony even bigger! It was great. The rooms were also in a great location midship and just a short walk to the elevators. We'd heard of people having noise concerns in that location, but we had no problem whatsoever. We dined in Blu for breakfast every day except for two early port days where we ordered room service. Room service breakfast was ok, but I much preferred dining in Blu. We also ate in Blu all but three nights of the cruise. We loved Blu. The food was very good, always cooked perfectly and we had the most amazing sommelier. We made sure to sit in the same section every night just to make sure we had her. She knew we had the package and then made recommendations based on that and what we ordered. It was fantastic! On the other nights we visited each of the specialty restaurants - Tuscan Grille, Silk Harvest, and Murano. Tuscan Grille was very good, however I was not impressed at all with the service, which I felt was lacking. There seemed to be similar service issues in Silk Harvest, although there it seemed as though there was not enough wait staff for how many people were actually dining there that night (it was almost full). I had heard that Silk Harvest is almost always empty so we wondered if they just ended up swamped that night. Our waitress did her best though. As far as food I personally just thought it was hit or miss. Murano was an outstanding experience and I thought the food was wonderful. However, it seemed like they were trying just a little too hard, and it came off as a little pretentious (just my opinion). However, we will still probably go back on our next cruise. We also ate at Bistro on 5 which is worth the $5. Make sure you try to the Italian Crepe for dessert. We also frequented Cafe al Bacio & the Gelato counter daily. It ended up becoming our return-from-port afternoon activity. We were kept pretty busy with four port days and only two sea days. At each port we did something (all private tours/activities, nothing through Celebrity). It was because of this we really didn't go to any of the shows, not our style. For the first sea day we had several planned actives from our roll call (cabin crawl, poker run, bar crawl, etc.) that kept us busy. We also had a slot pull one night that was also really fun. The other nights we just divided our time between the Martini Bar and the Molecular Bar. There wasn't a whole lot of night life on the ship, however we always found people to talk to and had fun. On the last day we did the Riedel wine tasting. It was very interesting and truly amazing how different the wines tasted in the different glasses. That said being our first time on Celebrity there were so many things that we wanted to do but just never manged to get to. Overall despite the late boarding the cruise was a wonderful experience. We enjoyed it so much we even booked another cruise while on board and managed to get the same cabin again, this time on Equinox. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
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
So I took a trip on Celebrity's Solstice which is truly a massive hotel on the water. 14 stories and every floor unique. It was a delightful ship with great service and smiling attendants and luxurious service. We left Ft. ... Read More
So I took a trip on Celebrity's Solstice which is truly a massive hotel on the water. 14 stories and every floor unique. It was a delightful ship with great service and smiling attendants and luxurious service. We left Ft. Lauderdale in the late afternoon under cloudy skies and sailed off towards Cuba. I was laughing at how high the ship was as we passed out of the harbour by the condo towers which I was looking down on. Lots of champagne as I wandered the decks looking to see whom I might bump into. A good cross section of ages on the ship from people in their 20s through to older folks. This was my first sort of luxury cruise as previously I had cruised on Princess to Alaska and the ship was old and still rather maritime in its configuration as opposed to a luxury hotel suite like Solstice. Anyway, I managed to spend some time chatting with a dermatologist in the scotch bar and don't remember much of the rest of the night other than the balcony room was superb and standing on the balcony at night in the Caribbean in the humid August air was such a delight after the insufferable rains of British Columbia. The next day was all ship and exploring and my god there is a lot to explore on this boat, if you can call it a boat...it does rock a bit when the wind is blowing though. I met some friends and swam and drank and ate throughout the day, and danced the night away with a girl I met from Paris Texas. Her yall's just killed me. And she liked Corona's. So far so good. The shore excursion in Grand Cayman was an eye opener. the water was the ultimate turquoise. While I didn't do a ship excursion I did mange to get on a local bus to Hell and do the picture taking by the weird rocks. But the best part was the barefoot beach and the swimming in that unbelievable water. The beach could have used some change rooms as my Texan friend found it a pain to change in the bathroom. Carly was not amused, but then she realized it was all about relaxation and she and I enjoyed each other's company in the water never wanting to get out. You could see forty feet down is was so clear. I was thinking this was a pretty good part of this cruise to meet a woman also travelling alone..kind of like Celebrity planned it that way, thinking of everything as usual. Our next stop was not quite so good. The Mexican port of Costa Maya was really only a cruise ship dock and a dive of a town and it was a tourist trap. Wandered around a bit,quite disappointed in that stop until we hit the beach and that was actually again, pretty fantastic. Long hot sunny days. Cozumel was fun and we got hit upon a thousand times to go into various shops and all the men were looking at my blond companion. A bit of a pain, but all in all not a bad place. Bought some cigars from a guy on the street saying they were Cuban , but probably fake, not bad though. Back on the ship and avoiding the hurricane but feeling the ship moving in powerful winds. Getting a bit drunk and wandering the decks with a lady and the ship moving was an experience for sure. Never mind losing a bit in the casino. But the entertainment was a specular with a cruise director who could actually sing.. wonderful. Always music happening in this ship...love love love the jazz bar. Roatan...spent the day. Monkey jungle zoo, swimming in Sandy Beach, driving through old town, having lunch from this look out tower where you could see the whole humid steaming jungle vista...just superb. We had so much fun. I totally want to go back. The two days back were quite romantic and I won't get into that but to say this trip was just wonderful all round. The only thing was the disembarkation process too such a long time. It was a pain, but it's not Celebrity's fault but US Customs. Oh well. On another note my companion Carly has asked me to go on a small ship cruising adventure with Travcoa in the Mediterranean as a completely different and somewhat more luxurious experience. So I will have to update you on that one when we do that later this fall. Read Less
Sail Date August 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 an amazing experience on the Solstice! What really makes it great is the wonderful and friendly crew. They are genuinely happy and really want to please you. Service is impeccable. Cabin 9296 - Concierge Class, bed by the ... Read More
We had an amazing experience on the Solstice! What really makes it great is the wonderful and friendly crew. They are genuinely happy and really want to please you. Service is impeccable. Cabin 9296 - Concierge Class, bed by the balcony with an extra deep balcony. Room: The bed was very comfortable and linens were top quality. Yes, the closet doors are awkward but space is adequate and the set up worked out to be fine. Additional hangers are always needed and were promptly delivered upon request by our cabin steward Roger who was excellent. In the bureau area the top drawer and space above fridge is warm so yes, I wouldn't store anything here that may be affected by this. Appetizers were delivered every afternoon and we ate them maybe half the time. I really preferred when Celebrity used to do their "midnight bites". There was a bottle of the Celebrity champagne waiting for us which was decent enough. We didn't drink it until the end of the week. Fruit was placed in the room which we didn't eat and it was in the way most of the time. We did keep forgetting to tell our steward to take it away. We enjoyed breakfast on the balcony most days and it was always delivered on time. Additional perks in the CC cabins were 2 different size umbrellas, tote bags, credit card holders, and binoculars (to borrow). Lighting is good. DEcor is nicely understated and relaxing. Little touches like overlapping draperies and the ability to lock the slider in place are nice. There are a few hooks on the wall as you enter the cabin coming in handy but adding a few more would be really useful. Beach towels were left in the room on evenings before port days. It would have been helpful to place a card on these requesting "return to the room" rather than pool area where we left them. We explained our mistake to our cabin attendant and were not charged. We had not had a chance to read through the literature explaining this. Balcony: It was nice having no lights on the balconies at night. The water is lit by the ship lights so it is not completely dark out there. Our balcony was not windy at all and we had a very good view. There were two very nice comfortable loungers with separate stools that could double as additional seating or low tables. We also had a small dining table with two chairs. Our balcony partition was opened by the steward so we could expand our space with our friends next door. This was a great feature. Bathroom: Great set up with lots of storage, well organized, but no outlets in there. The faucet does actually swivel though it is tight. TP holder definitely needs replacement with a properly designed one and is basically useless. Hooks are handy along the wall. Shower was wonderful and adequately sized. Water pressure was excellent and shower doors were a very nice design feature. Cotton balls & q-tips were placed in an open holder and not wrapped in plastic. I find this to be less sanitary and therefore, less desirable. Towels were good quality and plentiful. Ship: Lovely, I won't go into detail here because so much has been written. It is beautifully decorated, sophisticated, upscale and comfortable. We did not make it to the glass blowing or spend much time on those upper levels so I cannot comment on the lawn. The layout was generally good although I think I prefer the smaller M class ships with the main cafe on the same level as the pool and a more spacious pool area. I missed the T pool. I did like the nooks and crannies around the pool area for some privacy but as always the chairs are lined up so closely to each other things get tight. We did not have trouble finding loungers though, even when it was busy. Also, no ship should ever have the walking/jogging area located around any portion of the pool deck in my opinion. It just isn't relaxing for those trying to exercise to have this obstacle course or, for those trying to relax in the loungers having people constantly whizzing by. The open atrium with performances on the lower level surrounded by the social areas/bars on the upper levels, gave a great party atmosphere to the ship in the evening. Bronson Arroyo (professional baseball pitcher) was a guest on our cruise and we enjoyed his impromptu performance with the band plus him playing volleyball with the crew on the last day. This volleyball game at which, the captain also participated, was a lot of fun to watch! Entertainment: We only attended one show, "Solstice" at the beginning of the week and although some parts were cheesy, overall it was decent enough. We enjoyed the newlywed show and also the comedian. I think adding a few more comedy nights would be a good idea. Food: Main Dining Room: The food was excellent for the most part. I had very good luck though some of my tablemates were not pleased with their choices. The food is a little heavier now than the old Michele Roux menus and seems more Americanized. It was still very good though and if you are a beef lover you will be in heaven. Less focus on seafood and veggies although the options were fine. Choices were plentiful. We were seated at a corner table by the window and this was a nice cozy location. A bit of a hike to the restrooms but we managed. Our waiter Garry, and assistant waiter Igor were excellent with terrific personalities and provided great service. Igor is being promoted to Blu and consider yourself fortunate if he is your waiter. We had a lot of fun with them and really enjoyed our table even though we spent four nights in the specialty restaurants. The wine sommelier was friendly and helpful as was the dining room manager. Murano: Excellent! We enjoyed this so much that we had to go back again later in the week. The staff was phenomenal, funny and friendly. Marco and Darko were standouts! We requested the private wine room and were able to be seated in there both times. Again the sommelier here was also very helpful and extremely nice. Tuscan Grille: Here the food was also excellent and the setting was lovely. We seemed to only have one waiter and no bus-boy or assistant.....? Yet, it is only $5 less per person than Murano where you have a very large service staff. I don't know what was going on that evening but we waited almost an hour between our appetizers and entrees. From others reviews I think this was not the norm. Maybe just an off night? Silk Harvest: Delicious and plentiful food. Nice atmosphere. Prompt service until the end of the meal while we waited a bit to have our cards scanned even though we had explained we were trying to make the newlywed show. Oceanview Cafe: Very well set up though it took a bit to figure out what options were available each time and where they were located. Food was very good and we could always find something appealing. Poolside Grill: This is the one location that could really use improvement. The food was poor and they were always running out of items (nacho ingredients/toppings). Many of the staff here seemed confused and also unable to understand requests. It was also unclear where to stand to pick up food, order food, or just grab some nacho chips. Sometimes it was self serve and other times they would serve you. Also, location of trash can, where to place used trays, etc. This needs an objective look and overhaul from an expert in this area. Bistro on Five: We dined here on the first afternoon and really enjoyed it. Service was excellent and Andrea made sure all of our needs were met. She was very friendly and remembered us around the ship throughout the week. Aqua Spa Cafe: Excellent food and great option to grab a quick bite or snack. Location is a bit out of the way from main pool area so you have to truck through the solarium with your selections if you want to bring food out there. M-class is a bit better set up. Also, here it is a bit confusing as to what is available and what they can make for you. Possibly better signage or menus? Bars: We purchased the drink package and found this to be very worthwhile. It included almost everything and other than a few glasses of special port, we used it exclusively. It was nice to be able to try a lot of new cocktails and it also really simplified things by avoiding the stack of charge slips. The staff handled this with no problem and it seemed to simplify things for them too. Also, whenever anyone in our group would order something not covered by the package the staff would gently point this out, just in case we didn't realize there would be an extra cost. That was kind of them. Kudos to Celebrity for implementing these packages! Martini Bar: Excellent! The bartenders here are worth their weight in gold, TJ, Adrian, and all the others. Not only are they incredibly friendly, fun and hilarious, but they mix amazing drinks all while keeping everyone entertained with the crazy pours into stacked towers of glasses. Note that if you are seated in the lounge area here and order from a waiter, your drink order will not come from the main bar and is not the same quality. This needs adjustment. For a funny surprise sit down quickly in the white marshmallow chairs! Molecular Bar: Fabulous fresh and unique concoctions! Great concept and Celebrity should solidify this venue. The Head bartender here is expert, excellent, and quick to produce. Be careful though that his passion to educate and share is not misconstrued by different cultures as being condescending or arrogant. He makes amazing drinks and his desire for perfection comes through to your taste buds with very pleasing results. Pool Bar: It is wonderful that there is a large selection of beer and basically any type of drink you want. Good drink menu for ideas. Service was fairly quick. Almost all the drinks were great but once in a while one was just okay, different, or not good. I think there were maybe some less experienced trainees there and this was not a big deal since we had the package and could just re-order when this happened. Waiter service around the pool was good for the most part but occasionally non-existent. Also, removal of used glasses, etc. could have been better. We weren't clear whether it was the waiter's responsibility or the pool attendants (should be both) but sometimes they were left sitting around for a while. Sports Bar: Doesn't exist. The only place to watch a Sunday football game was at the casino bar with limited seating. They didn't show the game we wanted to watch and we were disappointed. Why not take Quasar or one of the other lounge areas, add some large screen tv's to utilize it as a sports bar during the day or off hours? Michael's Club: We wandered in here one night before our dinner at Murano and had an excellent experience. We were trying to figure out what we should order so the waitress had Brian come over with the scotch cart to help us out. Brian was knowledgeable and fascinating to listen to. We told him we had a reservation so he gave us a quick education on scotch and helped us with our order. I could have listened to him talk for hours he was that interesting. Cellar Masters: Staffed with knowledgeable and helpful sommeliers. Also, it is a nice spot for a snack of cheese and crackers with other tidbits before dinner. Sunset Bar: Great location and relaxed venue. Service could be a bit better here but it was fine. Perfect spot to watch the sunset with some late afternoon snacks or sushi from the cafe. Ports: Grand Cayman: We reserved the Cayman Outrage Eco-Tour through Island Marketing. You can also contact Captain John Michael directly for this JMVBS@candw.ky 345-925-1961. We had a wonderful day, swimming with the rays, snorkeling on a reef, having lunch at Rum Point, visiting Starfish beach, and touring the mangroves. We really recommend this if you have a small group. It was very crowded in port that day and this tour gave us some relaxed privacy. Tendering was also no problem. I had worried about getting priority tender tickets and we succeeded through the kindness at guest relations. It turned out we didn't need them since there was no line and they were running the tenders very efficiently. Upon return we could see the very long lines of passengers waiting to return to OTHER cruise ships. No problem, short line, and 2 minute wait with Celebrity. They did an excellent job with this and you could see the comparison with the chaos of the other cruise lines. Cozumel: Spent the day at the Wyndham Aura which we reserved through Island Marketing. It was a very relaxing day. There was a nice but cool pool, rocky beach but good for snorkeling, and excellent service. The food and drinks were very good and having the all inclusive option was great. Costa Maya: We went to Maya Chan Beach Resort. There was a large cruise critic group that had also reserved this so they had a coach bus to take us there. It began to pour on our ride and there were a few leaks in the roof. The ride was not too bad and fairly interesting. It is not far but they just have to go slow. When we arrived most of the group opted to return to the ship because of the rain and had their $ refunded. This worked out great for us because shortly afterward the rain stopped and we had a wonderful day. It may have felt too crowded if everyone had stayed there since it is a small property. The food was delicious, service was friendly and we had a lot of fun. The guys try very hard and want you to have a good experience. Swimming was nice and those who had massages enjoyed them. The mini golf was very silly and we had a lot of laughs. Bring some bug spray for the sand fleas. Roatan, Honduras: Used a taxi service van and I think it was RT $20 pp for six of us. Our driver was nice enough but drove like a maniac, speeding and passing anyone in his way. Against their recommendation we had them take us to Infinity Bay resort but there was construction next to the beach bar so we went over to the Mayan Princess instead. Both were lovely resorts on a beautiful beach with very nice pools making the day pass worth the small fee. The weather wasn't great while we were there and it did rain for a while. We had lunch at the resort and it was very slow to get the food. Our waiter seemed very anxious for us to order and hovered until we did so. He also was very concerned to get his tip directly and not have it split with the kitchen staff. No sure how it works here? No problem with the slow food since we enjoyed some beverages under a palapa while waiting out the rain. Although the beach is very nice, the beach vendors came in swarms. I would say one approx. every thirty seconds! Maybe this was just the initial tide but since we moved back and forth to the beach it just seemed that we could not relax here. Embarkation/Debarkation: Embarkation: We had stayed a few nights in Ft. Lauderdale and arrived to the ship a little after noon I believe. Fairly quick and painless and we were on the ship in no time although our friends arriving an hour after us had a much longer wait. (Our friends also stated the concierge class line was longer than the general line for our deck). We needed to drop off a heavy tote bag in the room and luckily were able to do so even though the cabins were not ready and they began locking doors to the hallways. Celebrity should really rethink this and just allow you to easily and quickly drop your carry on items in your cabin. We all understand our cabins aren't ready yet and aren't trying to use them. You should be able to just go and enjoy the ship without being burdened by lugging these items around. We encountered an elderly couple who were very distraught when they couldn't access their cabin to do this and I felt very sorry for them. This is a stressful way to be introduced to the ship and doesn't make a welcoming first impression. Debarkation: We went down at our appointed time after enjoying a leisurely breakfast in the MDR. Don't plan on being able to use any elevators since there were long waits and all of them weren't in operation. This necessitated bringing our carry ons down the stairs so if you are not able to do so you will want to send everything out the night before. Generally everything was organized and moved along at a reasonable pace. There was a little bit of a line but it kept moving. At one point it was slow due to an elderly woman who couldn't walk that far. There was a delay getting her some assistance but it was eventually taken care of. This was not a problem, especially so since there was only a large gap in the line in front of her and then another line to stand in. The problem though was the obnoxious and vocal older couple behind us who kept loudly complaining about this situation. It was embarrassing to see them behave this way when it didn't even make a difference in the wait whether there was a gap in the line or not. At one point I was zipping something into my bag and the line moved forward. While I paused they actually darted around us and into the 3 foot space in front of me, and then looked back at us with silly smirks on their faces. Wow, just wow! My husband recognized one of them from one of the tours who had identified himself as a frequent contributor here and was giving out lots of advice. Are they also trying to work for Celebrity? Double shame from someone who should know better! Absolutely no reason for this behavior! Once in the terminal at the port authority things moved along although a woman working there seemed to be adding some needless confusion creating an extra line that didn't seem to go anywhere. Most passengers quickly figured this out and went on their way. Misc: I really like the convenience of having the tips automatically charged to your shipboard account. I always wonder though how the crew feels and if they receive their fair due? It would be helpful to unobtrusively have some extra envelopes in the room folder in the event there is a desire to add an additional gratuity that you can personally hand to those who go above and beyond. As always the week went by too fast. I want to note that any criticisms in this review are meant constructively. Overall we enjoyed ourselves quite a bit and would not hesitate to sail with Celebrity again. They remain our favorite cruise line and we felt we got a great value for our dollar. Almost too good a value, since we prefer higher space and crew ratios and are concerned that cost cutting in the industry will eventually erode the product. Good news for now, the excellent product from Celebrity remains intact! Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
We had never cruised with Celebrity before so thought we would try them. Wow is all I can say. It was outstanding. We are a married couple in our mid fifty's and live in South Florida. We drove to the port which is only 40 minutes ... Read More
We had never cruised with Celebrity before so thought we would try them. Wow is all I can say. It was outstanding. We are a married couple in our mid fifty's and live in South Florida. We drove to the port which is only 40 minutes from where we live. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale around 11:00 am and after parking our car and walking about 2 blocks to the ship we dropped our luggage with the porters, tiped them and then started our check in process. We were very impressed with the way everything flowed so smoothly with the embarkation process. We checked into our "letter of last name" with absolutel no wait and then stood in line for about 10 minutes and that was only because the computers were down for the check in with your sign and sail card. Afer about 10 minutes we were on board. We got our champagne and then went immediatly to deck 14 and had a great lunch. We were on board by 11:30 am and got to check out our balcony room by 1:15 PM. We dropped our carryone luggage and then started to explore the ship. We then checked in with the restaurant staff to make sure we had a table for two with early seating and were assured that we did. We had our lifeboat drill at 3:30 PM and then were out on our balcony when we left the pier in Ft. Lauderdale for our 4:30 PM departure. We then changed for dinner as our bags arrived about 30 minutes before dinner, checked our table and had a fabuluous dinner. Our waiters were delighful and made the whole dining process wonderful. Everyone that we encountered in the dining room was very happy with their service and the food was the best we have ever had. Our first sea day was nice and we did the behind the scene tour of the galley and took some pictures. The ship is only about 2 years old and is in great shape. The only weat and tear that I could find was the balcony railings on the private balcony's in your staterooms need some new varnish but other than that it is being taken very good care of. We especially like the 1/2 acre of realy grass on the top deck. That was so cool. Our entire cruise experience was outstanding and the only complaint that I could find was that it took about 3 hrs. to disembarke in Grand Cayman because of the tendering. Other than that the coffee was a little strong but absolutely no other complaints. We enjoyed our ports in Grand Cayman, Cozumel and had great weather. In Costa Maya it rained and in Roatan it also rained. Once again a fabulous cruise with no complaints and just about everyone that we encountered ageed with us. We had lobster on our second formal night and on the first formal night we had filet mignon and all the food was great. A great selection every night. The week went way to fast and every morning we got room service and had danish and coffee on the balcony. I like the way they call you about 2 minutes before they delivery it so that we are awake we they deliver it. It was sort of a wake up service. We decided to do the self-disembarkation and it was very well organized. We were off the ship by 7:45 PM and home by 9:00 am. We would definitely recommend Celebrity and will definitely be crusing with them again. Our oversized balcony was a plus and the shower was great with glass closing doors. Perhaps in the Mediterrean. Happy Sailing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Just returned today after a back to back Western/Eastern Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Solstice and just had to send this review because we couldn't believe how stunning this ship was. From the first moment we came through the ... Read More
Just returned today after a back to back Western/Eastern Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Solstice and just had to send this review because we couldn't believe how stunning this ship was. From the first moment we came through the embarkation process and being met by waiters with champagne, we just knew this was going to be a fabulous trip. Our stateroom was very spacious with plenty of storage room and a good sized balcony with sun loungers, it was kept spotless by the housekeeping staff and it also housed a large, very comfortable bed. The food was AMAZING with plenty of variety, so we felt that there was no need to try the speciality restaurants, as dining in the Grand Epernay was like eating out somewhere special every evening anyhow! There was entertainment going on throughout the day which I'm sure we missed, as we tended to just relax by the lovely pool deck when the sun shone. There were many bars around the ship and the bar waiters were a lot of fun. We preferred the second week of our cruise which was to the Eastern side as we felt the poverty, especially on Roatan, Honduras a bit too hard to handle, and although we still enjoyed seeing the Western ports, we absolutely loved our visits to the Eastern ports of St Thomas and St Marten which were beautiful islands. There were no children with us but the youngsters that we did see seemed to be having fun around the pool. The staff all around the ship were so attentive and helpful and never failed to greet you whenever you met them, we found them all very pleasant and approachable and went out of their way to assist you. All in all I can find no complaints with the Celebrity Solstice and can't praise it highly enough, in fact it will be hard trying to find another cruise which can live up to these standards! Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
My partner and I (early 50's) and my parents (early 80's) sailed on the Solstice in the Aqua Class cabins. Fort Lauderdale: Stayed one night pre-cruise at the Embassy Suites on 17th Street. I recommend this hotel because ... Read More
My partner and I (early 50's) and my parents (early 80's) sailed on the Solstice in the Aqua Class cabins. Fort Lauderdale: Stayed one night pre-cruise at the Embassy Suites on 17th Street. I recommend this hotel because of 1) its overall cleanliness and quietness, 2) good buffet breakfast; 3) in the same shopping center as Total Wine and Publix and 4) only about 4 blocks from the Port Everglades terminal (we could see the cruise ships from our hotel balcony). Only steps away from the hotel, is the Gilbert's Grill, a family owned restaurant with a diverse menu, for a nice, inexpensive dinner. The morning of the cruise, I asked the bellman for a Yellow Cab (which can hold four adults and their luggage). For $20 total, the bellman offered to take us in a private hotel van, which was convenient and a good price. Embarkation: Arrived at the Pier 25 around 11:10. (Pier 18, the new mega pier that formerly served the Solstice was not available to the soon to arrive Allure of the Seas) There were no lines for AQ passengers, and we were quickly processed. From there it was non-stop onboard the Solstice. I guess we had very good timing that morning. AQ Cabins: My partner and I had an AQ cabin (1531), next to my parent's AQ cabin (1533). At first the cabin seemed small, since last year we had a suite on a HAL ship, but once settled in and unpacked, it did well. I am seriously considering booking this size cabin on HAL and X in the future to save money, while not seriously degrading the cruise experience. All of the 'perks' of the AQ really aren't that special except 1) the enhanced shower is very nice and 2) oddly the easily overlooked foot spray (yep, foot spray) is refreshing. The cabin was quiet except for fellow passengers letting their cabin doors bang shut (and honestly, sometime I forgot, and let mine bang too). My parents did miss having a DVD player in the cabin (they like to watch movies and old tv shows in the afternoons). Blu: I was concerned that the Blu menu would be too 'fancy' for my parents. Luckily, my parents, especially my father (a meat and potatoes type guy) loved Blu. They appreciated the quiet atmosphere, as opposed to the main dining room. Also the staff was very accommodating. Prior to dinner the first night, I went to Blu and I asked the matrie'de if my parents could order a few simpler items off-menu, like shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, and even chocolate cake. He said it would not be problem, so I mentioned it to my parents, and yes they ordered those the first night (and other nights) with no issues at all. My father really liked having breakfast in Blu and avoiding the Ocean View cafe morning crowds. The food overall was very good with the Ahi Tuna and the everyday salmon as outstanding. In our experience, the service was good, but not outstanding as other reviewers had stated. We did have to remind the same waiter attendant every night about ice tea, and invariably sweetener for the tea. And it seemed the water glasses were never proactively refilled. So, if you read about the FANTASTIC service in Blu, I suggest you temper you expectations, from our experience, it is good, but not nearly the level that some reviews have stated. Again, it is a great overall experience, and well worth the AQ price. Ship appearance: The Solstice was very clean. We never saw trash or uncleared cluttered tables around the ship or in the dining areas. One day they asked if they could remove our balcony railing for refinishing (which it badly needed). It was reinstalled the next day looking brand new. Silk Harvest: The Asian themed Silk Harvest was the only speciality restaurant we went to since we were happy with Blu. If you go, go hungry. The amount of food is staggering. We ordered a few small plates (appetizers) and a couple of large plates (entrees). Then the waiter 'suggested' a few others. And then the food just kept coming. The standouts were the spring rolls and ribs ! Oceanview Cafe: A good selection for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a worthy alternative for days you just don't want the full seat-down dining experience. The action island set up is absolutely better than the old cafeteria line setup both in crowd flow and in ambience. Shows: The only area that rated a 'poor' on my survey card. The production numbers were hampered by weak singing, poor song choices, and an amazingly lackluster production values (especially given the state of the art stage equipment). This is one area where they need to scrap the entire entertainment production shows and start over. The most interesting, for a brief time, was the Cirque de Sole type show, but the novelty quickly wore off, and you soon realized that basically you were watching 'repackaged' acts as old as Vaudeville (a juggler, a contoristist, etc). Hot Glass show: An informative and entertaining show that should not be missed. Though the show last for 2-3 hours, each piece only takes 30 minutes to go from hot glob of liquid to a finish work of art, the audience tends to come and go, which allowed my elderly parents to get seats in just a few minutes. Do not miss this show. Overall, a very good cruise, and I would differently do this ship and style of ship again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
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
We left NE Ohio on Sunday Oct. 24th and arrived in Ft. Lauderdale around noon. A quick taxi ride to the port, an easy and efficient check-in, and we were on the spectacular Solstice by 1:15 pm. We are in our 50's and this was our ... Read More
We left NE Ohio on Sunday Oct. 24th and arrived in Ft. Lauderdale around noon. A quick taxi ride to the port, an easy and efficient check-in, and we were on the spectacular Solstice by 1:15 pm. We are in our 50's and this was our 2nd Celebrity cruise, 4th overall cruise. Our expectations were high and we weren't disappointed. The ship is gorgeous, well appointed, and easy to navigate. This was the first balcony we ever had and LOVED it! Our cabin was very spacious, as was the balcony. Our friends were in the cabin next door and without asking, the steward opened the balcony so we could share the space! There is plenty of storage space with a large closet, 4 dresser drawers, and an enclosed shelf above the bed, with lots of room! The bathroom was the largest we've ever had on a cruise ship. We were unpacked in no time... as our luggage was waiting for us when we returned from the buffet. The crowd on the Solstice was a bit older than our last few cruise on RCCL, but not so old that it was granny central! There were very few children on the ship, probably due to school being in session. Overall, it was a very nice mix of people. There's plenty to do and we found that we didn't have to time to do everything that was offered. DO NOT MISS the Glass show on the top deck. Spencer, from NY, is a very, very talented artisan. The glass pieces that were blown onboard were stunning. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to settle in... uncrowded and relaxing. The library is one, as was the bar on the top deck, aft... The grass is very nice... and to walk barefoot through the grass in the middle of the ocean is an unforgettable experience. We had the first dinner seating and everything ran like clockwork. The staff is well trained & attentive. Our meals were delicious, with plenty of choices to entice and satisfy everyone's appetite. Head chef, Panos is a master in the kitchen and on the stage. On a sea day we attended the tour of the main kitchen and that was a splendid treat for anyone interested in cooking & eating! DO NOT MISS the rack of lamb on the first formal night. It was the best we've ever eaten. The Tuscan Grill offered us a very special, evening. Just don't ask for a side of anything because they will bring you full portions, making it almost impossible to move after dinner! Grand Cayman had plenty of excursions and we chose the Jeep adventure. Once it got started we enjoyed driving through the mangroves and along the coast. Please note that they no longer offer the stick shift option for a vehicle. Our favorite port was Costa Maya, closely followed by Roatan. We booked a Beach Break through costamaycruiseexcursions.com and had the most relaxing day we've ever experienced on a cruise. If you have the chance, go to Nohoch Kay Beach Club. Jaime is the owner and a wonderful host... they treated us like royalty . There were a number of crew members there for the day, relaxing. In Roatan we booked a private tour through roatancruiseexcursions.com and had a great time. If you can, ask for Syvonnie. She is a great tour guide and makes the tour very personalized. The views from the top of the island was spectacular. We were able to see both sides of the island from that point. Each time we returned to the ship we were greeted with glassed of ice water and cold, iced towels straight out of the cooler. That might not sound like much, but after a hot, humid excursion, they were most welcome and cooled us off quickly! It's little touches like this that makes a Celebrity passenger feel pampered and special. The entertainment was enjoyable. The performance by the cast of a cirque-like performance was the most unique show we've seen onboard. They are very talented. The Captain was very entertaining while delivering his 'reports' and we appreciated that they didn't pipe the announcements into the rooms as we docked. The final sea day, the Captain and officers met in the pool for a grudge volleyball match... alot of fun to watch. We rate this cruise at the best because the ship was great in every area. Our cabin was clean & spacious. The staff was attentive and friendly. The food was unbelievably good... The pool and hot tubs were great. We LOVED this ship, this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
With a desperate need for R & R, my husband and I booked this cruise last minute. Consequently, we simply booked on price and didn't care about the ship or the itinerary. Both ended up being wonderful surprises. This was our ... Read More
With a desperate need for R & R, my husband and I booked this cruise last minute. Consequently, we simply booked on price and didn't care about the ship or the itinerary. Both ended up being wonderful surprises. This was our second cruise with Celebrity and it was every bit as spectacular as the last if not better. Although the service and food weren't quite as good as what we had on Celebrity's Century, it was still top notch. The food, unbelievably, was fantastic on the buffet and consitstently excellent in the main dining room. We did not dine in any of the specialty restaurants on board but talked to many other who did and rated their experience very highly. The itinerary was pleasant (Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Costa Maya and Roatan - see individual reviews) although weather precluded us from visiting Grand Cayman. We did not book any excursions through the ship, but had amazing experiences at each port we went to. Although we were searching for nothing but a get away we walked away with memories that will last a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Just had a chance to compare Princess and Celebrity back-to-back on Caribbean cruises. This review does not include the ports- just ships and the attitude and experience between the two cruise lines. First of all, the attitude between ... Read More
Just had a chance to compare Princess and Celebrity back-to-back on Caribbean cruises. This review does not include the ports- just ships and the attitude and experience between the two cruise lines. First of all, the attitude between the cruise lines in noticeable right away. On Princess, the customer is always right, on Celebrity, the attitude is that the passenger is always wrong. On the second day, I was asking about adjusting the gratuity amount upward on Celebrity as this is something we invariably wind up doing, however, two employees at the customer relations desk thought I was going to adjust it downwards, and I was told that it is "mandatory". As an experienced cruiser, I knew it wasn't mandatory so I asked for the form. It was refused to me. I was told it was "basically mandatory". What is "basically mandatory", I asked. I was referred to their website. No gratuity increase was completed and I came close to insisting on adjusting the gratuity downward just to make the point. Beware of the policy of Celebrity regarding the security of your stateroom. We came back to the ship early one day from port to see our stateroom wide open with a stranger standing outside. Our steward left the door open while she went on an expedition for towels or something and was completely out of sight for about two minutes. We were deeply concerned about this and indicated this to our cabin steward. She argued with us that it was ok. I complained to the customer relations desk about this incident. The woman at the desk tried to argue with me that this is ok and it is nothing to worry about when it happens. I cut her argument off immediately and told her that there is absolutely no explanation for leaving a cabin room wide open. She was going to refer my concern to the manager of housekeeping. I am still waiting for either an apology or an explanation or even a sense that there is some accountability by the crew for this behavior. The result was that we did not get cabin service for the next two days and always put the do not disturb sign out. We did not get notices, disembarkation information or nothing thereafter. It is a shame that we could not trust the behavior of the steward and that there was no apparent corrective action or explanation that the ship wished to make. The food is ok, but nothing special. The buffet always seemed to have coffee machines and juice machines out of order for breakfast. You have to hoard table service as soon as you see it on the buffet line or it will be gone. The production shows are good when singers and dancers perform. The entertainment is below poor when the stage is given to other forms of entertainment. The grass on the top deck was brown, trampled, and practically worthless as an attraction. Celebrity needs to dump this idea. The ship is beautiful and we want to especially commend the bathroom attendants in the public areas. These are people who worked hard all of the time, their efforts were noticeable and appreciated by many passengers. The solarium is a nice feature and better than the costly Sanctuary idea on Princess. We have sailed many times and frankly, Celebrity seems to care less about the passenger than any other cruise line. During the entire week on Celebrity, I was afraid to ask or comment about anything because I invariably would get a pompous and arrogant attitude from the personnel. The ship managed to rescue a man overboard in the middle of the night in open seas and I don't want to minimalize this spectacular result. Passengers mostly see the service personnel though, and this ship needs an attitude adjustment in a hurry. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Good- super fast check in- let us on board at noon, it took all of 15 min's. Food is some of the best we've had in recent years-better than RC. Cabin's are larger and better designed than we've had previously (we ... Read More
Good- super fast check in- let us on board at noon, it took all of 15 min's. Food is some of the best we've had in recent years-better than RC. Cabin's are larger and better designed than we've had previously (we usually take inside cabins). Bad- While food was good, seafood & meat are all previously frozen as tasted like it-dry, never hot in dining room. We were forced to pre-pay tips to be allowed to dine with friends who were in acqua class dining, and there is definitely a significant difference between service in the pre-paid area vs. timed dining where the staff has to earn the tips. Wait time for drinks both at the bars and in dining rooms was excessive, at least 10 min's each time you wanted to order. Our room steward was very friendly, asked 1st thing if we had any special requests-yes, ice at 7pm each nite- never once got it w/o calling, they didn't even replace the shampoo(our friends had the same issue). Boat itself is very limited in what it offers-very small pools, glass show was cool, but large natural grass areas are a total waste of space and could have been used for some better entertainment-miniature golf at least. Even the folks behind the main service desks were rude, ignored you while you waited in line like at a bank for the next teller. They forgot to give us a departure form form that they wanted completed a few days into the cruise, when we found out about it, asked for it, she told us "you were supposed to have been turned in yesterday and it's too late now". Naturally, it was not too late and it was taken care of after we complained, but who needs the hassle? Cruising used to be high class travel with exceptional food, staff and experiences. It's now all about making more money off of the guests, just about everything has upcharges. No more midnight chocolate feast, no towel animals. Mobs at the food buffets with too little space, especially the drink areas where coffee ran out daily and tables not bussed quickly so not enough space to find seating. Not much going on after 10pm, weak entertainment which repeats itself and very limited TV choices. Our last cruise was on the RC Freedom of the Seas- a much more interesting ship with better design, more places to eat w/o upcharges, generally a better crew. 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
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
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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