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Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,157 Reviews

Middle East & Asia on Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by cliffnphil

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2012
  • Destination: the Middle East
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Veranda 1A

This is my first review, and as I have only just returned home from the overnight flight from Singapore the memories should still be fresh, and hopefully be of some use if you are considering either this cruise, or this cabin. I know there are lots of very useful hints and tips available on the forums but sometimes it is good to simply read a review.

Embarkation: incredibly straightforward, flew into Dubai, private transfer to the port, then a simple check in experience where the Sea Pass was issued and we were told that we would be able to board the ship at around 1pm. That was perfect for us as it meant we had less than a couple of hours to wait, but even better they allowed us onto the ship at around 11.30 so we could go exploring and have a bite to eat straight away. I only hope it is that simple next time!

Cabin: 7237, on the 'hump' as I believe it is referred to.

Could not fault the location of the cabin, mid ships on deck 7, right by the stars and elevators but separated from any noise with its own privacy doors separating this cabin and the one next door from the corridor.

There is ample storage space, in the closet, the drawers and in the useful cupboards over the top of the bed where you can find your beach towel (we only used this on the balcony, as there are plenty of fresh clean towels available on each deck for use on the sunbeds).

The bed was very big, the balcony just right for two (two chairs that recline and a small table perfect for the wine glasses), and the bathroom just about right too. Note that in this class of cabin you are provided with shampoo and conditioner but no shower gel so take your own or buy it on board in the shop. There is a very useful night light in the bathroom which means there is no need to wake up your partner in the middle of the night. Unless you want to.

Ship: these are just general comments as there is much more detail available on CC....we were on freedom dining, and had no problems turning up for dinner each night between 8.15 and 8.45ish and getting a table straight away, either with friends or by ourselves.

The food in the main dining room was generally excellent, can not think of a single poor meal, and as we were on the Premium drinks package there was a comprehensive selection of wines available by the glass to suit each course. Speaking of which, I have read a number of reviews of this drinks package but I have to say we found it excellent, in terms of ease of use if not simply in terms of value for money. The choices were excellent (only a small number of wines cost more than $12), premium spirits and martinis plentiful and the concoctions available at the molecular bar pretty stunning. And if you didn't like any of them you could simply ask for a different one safe in the knowledge that drinks were already paid for... oh yes, all waters, juices, coffees, teas etc were part of this package too.

We dined in The Silk Harvest (Asian) and Tuscan Grille (Contemporary Italian) and were wowed in both. The view from Tuscan Grille overlooking the ship's wake whilst devouring a divine Fillet Mignon was truly memorable.

Nightlife: was what you made it really, contrary to popular belief the ship did not close down at 11.30 each night, there was always at least one venue/bar where there was dancing/drinking and general merry making. Generally this was the Sky Lounge as this had a dance floor and a big bar area. My friends and I certainly helped to get the dancing going and it's amazing how many people are prepared to join in !

The Martini Bar was a particular favourite and the bar staff an absolute blast, always smiling and happy that you are enjoying their creations. The wine bar (Cellar Masters) was slightly more refined, perfect for an aperitif on the formal evenings, and despite the very warm evenings it was great to see so many Tuxes and evening gowns on display.

All in all, we really enjoyed our first experience with Celebrity, made some great friends and were really impressed with the Solstice, and will certainly be booking with Celebrity again.

Hope this has been useful, if there is anything you would like to know about the cruise or the ports just let me know !

cliffnphil's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Veranda 1A
Cabin 1A 7237

Great location, on the hump of the ship, not overlooked at all and not obscured by the 'X' across the side of the ship.

Perfect for privacy for those quiet sunbathing moments, and perfect for access to stairs and elevators...I would happily stay in this cabin again.

Plenty of storage space, but no shower gel so take your own (but you do get shampoo provided) !

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


I could not find Oman in the list of ports so have selected Muscat !

Went on the 'Fascinating Forts' tour from the ship, visited 3 interesting forts/castles and a decent lunch at a tourist hotel.

A lot of driving between the sights but it you have a y interest in the history of Oman (in particular the Forts) then this is a great choice, we loved it.

Kochi (Cochin)

If you have never been to India then this is not a great way to be introduced to the country. The port itself is fairly shoddy and industrial, absolutely nothing to do at the port so if you get off the ship then you need a taxi or tuk tuk or ship tour in order to get anywhere.

Cochin is pretty interesting, we booked a taxi for 4 hours for 2 people, agreed a cost of $30 for the driver to take us to all the sights, which he did, and all with good humour and plenty of ad hoc stops when we asked to stop or go to a shop. In the end we paid $40 for a 4 hour excursion, great value.

The taxis are all aligned in the port and getting one really could not be easier. The tuk tuks are the same, but they are open to the elements, and fumes, so depends on your preference.

City Tour

Never been to Dubai so took the easy option and booked the city tour as an easy introduction to the city. Went around the major sights, a simple introduction to Dubai and an overview of the history and culture. Lots of time on the coach, not much chance to get off and wander around.

View All 43 City Tour Reviews
Batu Caves

Was really looking forward to Batu Caves, and was pretty impressed (be warned there are 272 steps to get up there) ...BUT... we only had 1/2 hour at the caves, so 10 mins climb, 10 mins viewing and 10 mins back down and refreshment stop. This was unfortunate as you need more time there, could easily spend an hour exploring.

The trip then went to the Royal Selangor Pewter factory and gift shop (surprisingly interesting and plenty of people bought items in the shop), then lunch, then on to the KL tower and a trip up to the observation deck to get a 360 degree view of KL and take plenty of snaps. This was followed by a whistle stop visit to take snaps of the Petronas Towers and then back to the ship. A long day but again a good introduction to KL if like us you had never been there.

View All 20 Batu Caves Reviews
City Tour

The last day of the cruise, so booked a city tour with an airport drop off.

Visited the Orchid Gardens (beautiful place), and the China Town/Colonial areas of the city. Really enjoyed this brief tour and would certainly go back to Singapore.

Worth pointing out that it is easy to pass a half day or so at Singapore airport, plenty to see and do, including free city tours from the airport, free movies, and rest areas that you can book to relax/shower/prepare for the flight home.

View All 38 City Tour Reviews

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