In summary – we had a FABULOUS cruise! We are Aussies, both in our 40s, and this was our eighth cruise, our third with Celebrity and second time on the Solstice.
We flew Canberra to Melbourne to Los Angeles to San Diego and spent three days pre-cruise to get over the flights and because we love San Diego, it was our fourth visit. We stayed at the Wyndham Hotel (previously Holiday Inn) which is located directly opposite the cruise terminal. You can’t beat the location for convenience, it is close to the airport and the trolley (tram) and train system operate just a couple of streets behind. Shopping is another couple of streets behind that. We met up with some Cruise Critic (CC) friends from our Infinity Panama Canal cruise in 2011 at Sea World and had a great day with them. The night before we sailed a group of us from CC met at the Elephant & Castle (the pub within the Wyndham) and had a pre-cruise meet and greet dinner. It was wonderful to meet so many lovely people face to face after so many months of ‘chatting’ online.
On sailing day we went to the cruise terminal at 11am (a quick walk across the road). We were processed fairly quickly and then waited for our bus number to be called. We were on a bus just before noon, and we were given a bottle of water and a packet of crackers. The drive to Ensenada was two hours but when we arrived at the ship we had to wait almost an additional hour. We were kept on the bus because there were only two x-ray machines/security stations to process all of the passengers. This was an oversight; with 2800 guests and presumably hundreds of ship personnel needing to go through the security process you would think that someone would have thought two machines will not be enough. So everyone was kept on their buses, when we arrived there were 8 buses already there and it took a long time to process everybody.