An anniversary cruise to remember: Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by barcafan

Celebrity Solstice 4
Member Since 2012
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An anniversary cruise to remember

Sail Date: June 2012
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
We had a wonderful cruise experience and the vacation of a lifetime on Celebrity Solstice. We traveled to Barcelona 3 days prior to departure and were very glad for the opportunity to overcome jet lag. I would strongly recommend against flying in on the day of the departure- especially traveling East across 7 time zones. In Barcelona, we stayed at Casa de Marcelo, a very small, quaint hotel (probably off the books, considering the cash only requirement) where we had a large room by European standards, but had to share a bathroom. The location in the Barri Gotic, the breakfast and service and the price all made it a good value. I rented a road bike+ GPS from TerraDiversions and rode up the mountain to Tibidabo- a short, tough climb which was vey much worth the work. We were shown around Barcelona by our friends who live there (and came on the cruise with us), also visiting the beautiful beach town of Sitges. The superlatives: Embarkation and disembarkation were both quick and painless. More Solstice is a beautiful boat. the food was outstanding- a true banquet every night in the main dining room meant that we never tried the specialty dining. Our waiter and his assistant, Shubert and Branson, were exceptionally friendly, quick, and helpful. There was a wide variety of good food available for breakfast and lunch- all hours, at the Ocaeanview Cafe. Our room was spacious and very well planned. Our room service was thorough but unobtrusive. The exercise area was large and complete- plenty of treadmills, cycles, machines and free weights.
The few negatives:
The coffee was atrocious, unless you want to pay $5 a cup for it. Amazing that an otherwise outstanding product could get something as easy as coffee so wrong! If not for the coffee, I would have rated the dining 5+. The entertainment was mediocre- except for the comedian-magician Rawlings, and the acrobats, both very good. The singers couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.
We thoroughly enjoyed all our excursions, which we booked privately. All our guides were prompt, waiting for us when we left the boat in the morning, and returning in plenty of time in the afternoon. In Rome and Naples we used RomeInLimo, which lived up to the superlative reviews of other travelers. Alberto was our driver in Rome, and Carmine in Naples. Mauro was our extraordinary guide for the Vatican Museum. In Kusadasi, we were met by Sedat from Melitours- the agency recommended by Rick Steves. In Santorini, we took a catamaran cruise with Santorini sailing, which was very good. In Athens, Nikos Loukas was a driver-guide for a very good city tour. Guzi took us on a great tour of Malta.
Maybe the most memorable evening was sitting on the lawn listening to 70's music and singing along with our friends. Less

Published 06/25/12

Cabin review: 1A8199 Deluxe Veranda

Cabin 8199 had plenty of room and a large balcony with great views. It was quiet and had close access to the forward elevators and stairs.

Read All Deluxe Veranda (1A) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

City Tour

Nikos Loukas took us to the Acropolis, Agora, and Plaka, as well as the Chapel of St. George on Lycabettus Hill, where we enjoyed a breathtaking view of Athens. He helped me make the day special for my wife Laura, on her birthday, met us at the boat with a bouquet of flowers as requested, and for lunch reserved a rooftop restaurant with a view of the Acropolis.

City Tour

Guzzi was a guide recommended to our friends who live in Barcelona. He showed us an amazing number of places on Malta, including a boat tour of the Blue Grotto and M'dina, but we never felt rushed.

Beautiful island. We decided to explore it on our own. I rented an ATV for 20 Euros and rode around the island taking pictures.
Read 822 Mykonos Reviews

Amalfi Coast

Carmine was a careful and efficient driver on winding roads. He took us to a wonderful restaurant for lunch and was a good guide for the beautiful Amalfi Coast.

City Tour

Alberto was our driver-guide for a city tour of Rome. He was friendly and enthusiastic.

Vatican Museums

Mauro was our very knowledgeable guide to the Vatican- outstanding.

Santorini Crater

Beautiful 5 hour catamaran tour of the caldera, with several stops at beaches for a swim and a tasty lunch.

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Member Since 2012
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