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My wife and I have completed over fifteen cruises and this was out first time on Celebrity. We choose Aqua Class primarily for the Blu restaurant and were not disappointed. We drove up from Oregon so we did not stay in Seattle pre or post cruise. The embarkation was easy as we dropped off our bags at the pier, my wife waited while I drove to the parking lot which was nearby. Hopped on the shuttle and back to the pier. A short wait (15 minutes) to check in and we were on our way onto the ship. Greeted with a glass of champagne and settled into the Ensemble lounge until the cabins were ready. This was about 1:00 PM. Our AQ cabin, Penthouse Deck 1623, was on the starboard side with the bed near the balcony. The amenities were nice and the spa shower was refreshing. Bottled water for the first day and after that you need to pick it up at one of the bars. The canapes served were the biggest disappointment, just toast and spread, Celebrity should be embarrassed even to serve these. The balcony was very nice with footstools and a table included with the lounge chairs. There are nightstands for each side of the bed, which were very handy. The room was quiet with only occasionally hearing talking when others were on their balconies. Room stewards were friendly and efficient. We are going on this same itinerary next year on the Solstice but switched to the starboard side. I don’t know why but all of the sightings of whales and such were on that side. Also, the starboard side is the dockside in each port, so more activity to spy on. The Blu restaurant is so worth the upgrade. The staff is fantastic and they get to know you after your first visit. While they can’t work miracles they aim to please. The tables for two near the windows are very close together. Depending on your desire to be social these can be a boon or an annoyance. I loved it since we were able to share experiences with fellow cruisers we otherwise would not have met. We made some new friends and we were able to invite them share our private excursion we had booked in advance. The menu is limited and eclectic but we always found something to enjoy. The rack of lamb was excellent as well as the lobster tail with an orange based sauce. Breakfast was very pleasant with a broad menu. We never went to the MDR for dinner so other than one lunch there I have no review for it. We did eat in Murano one night and it was excellent with over the top service. Several shipmates commented on the Tuscan Grille and they were not impressed. Silk Road got better reviews from them. I hate buffets but due to scheduling we did eat there a couple of times for lunch and I was pleasantly surprised at the variety and quality of the choices. My DW said the tuna salad was superb. The pizza was also very nice, thin crust and always fresh since it was gone as soon as it was placed on the buffet. Room service was fine but they did lose our order one time when I used the automated system. The bars are very efficient and there is no discrimination if you are on a drink package, in fact once they get to know who you are they didn’t even need to see my card. Ensemble Lounge is a nice quiet bar most of the time with quieter music. Martini Bar is busy and loud. Café al Bacio is perfect for an afternoon coffee and pastry. Very efficient table service for when you want to relax. No more Bistro on Five replaced with Sushi on Five, we didn’t try it and it never seemed to be busy. As this was an Alaskan cruise with cold rainy weather we didn’t go the outdoor bars. The staff throughout the ship are friendly and helpful, even Guest Relations, where I have seen some complaints on other reviews. We don’t go to the shows so no information about them. The lectures by Brent Nixon are very well done and informative, I would encourage you to give them a try. I did find some of the music around the ship to be too loud to have a conversation with new friends, but that is just me. Sail away was on a warm and sunny day in Seattle, great views. Second day at sea was quiet and calm seas. The only time the ship seemed crowded, we sailed at full capacity, was when the shops had there always on sale sales. They put tables in the corridors and it was difficult to get past the people. Ketchikan – Cloudy day with some rain. I had booked a private tour and we explored the Totem Bight Park and our guide provided an in depth explanation of the totems and what story they told. Had I gone on my own, I would have been clueless. We toured the city and watched the salmon running up the creek and went out to look for bears but alas no luck. Had time to do some shopping and it was a great day. When we visited here last year on the NCL Jewel we missed everything. Tracy Arm Fiord _ We did the catamaran tour where you go off the ship onto the catamaran and sail up close the glacier. Due to excess ice in the Tracy Arm Fiord we did Endicott Arm and the Sawyer Glacier. While we were waiting in the dining room on the ship we saw a huge calving, but when were at the glacier for about an hour, nothing. The catamaran took us back to Juneau where we met the ship. The return trip was interesting as they pulled the nose of the boat under a waterfall and later into a narrow gorge where the walls were 600 ft. straight up. Saw a humpback whale on the return. This is an excursion I would recommend. Juneau – Pretty town with lots of shopping. We did a whale watch tour last year and it was well done, this year we just wandered around town. Skagway – Did the round trip train last year and I would recommend doing it one way with a bus return or vice versa. You will see more as the return on the train was a bit boring. This year we did the mini bus to the summit and it provided a different view from the train. Last Day at sea there was a pods of 600 humpback whales sighted, of course, we were in the restaurant and missed this. They were visible for a half hour, but no announcement that we heard or heads up from the staff. Victoria – Beautiful city! We did a Scenic Bus Tour and it was very informative. Unfortunately, since it was last August it did get dark before we finished. Disembarkation went smoothly except the customs line we choose had a very chatty agent who wanted to find out from everyone how they enjoyed the trip. Getting the car was easy as the shuttle is right in the lot as you exit. This was a great cruise and today I booked an Alaska cruise on Solstice for next year, probably the best compliment I can give them.

Excellent Cruise

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by PDXer2

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: AquaClass
My wife and I have completed over fifteen cruises and this was out first time on Celebrity. We choose Aqua Class primarily for the Blu restaurant and were not disappointed. We drove up from Oregon so we did not stay in Seattle pre or post cruise. The embarkation was easy as we dropped off our bags at the pier, my wife waited while I drove to the parking lot which was nearby. Hopped on the shuttle and back to the pier. A short wait (15 minutes) to check in and we were on our way onto the ship. Greeted with a glass of champagne and settled into the Ensemble lounge until the cabins were ready. This was about 1:00 PM.

Our AQ cabin, Penthouse Deck 1623, was on the starboard side with the bed near the balcony. The amenities were nice and the spa shower was refreshing. Bottled water for the first day and after that you need to pick it up at one of the bars. The canapes served were the biggest disappointment, just toast and spread, Celebrity should be embarrassed even to serve these. The balcony was very nice with footstools and a table included with the lounge chairs. There are nightstands for each side of the bed, which were very handy. The room was quiet with only occasionally hearing talking when others were on their balconies. Room stewards were friendly and efficient. We are going on this same itinerary next year on the Solstice but switched to the starboard side. I don’t know why but all of the sightings of whales and such were on that side. Also, the starboard side is the dockside in each port, so more activity to spy on.

The Blu restaurant is so worth the upgrade. The staff is fantastic and they get to know you after your first visit. While they can’t work miracles they aim to please. The tables for two near the windows are very close together. Depending on your desire to be social these can be a boon or an annoyance. I loved it since we were able to share experiences with fellow cruisers we otherwise would not have met. We made some new friends and we were able to invite them share our private excursion we had booked in advance. The menu is limited and eclectic but we always found something to enjoy. The rack of lamb was excellent as well as the lobster tail with an orange based sauce. Breakfast was very pleasant with a broad menu. We never went to the MDR for dinner so other than one lunch there I have no review for it. We did eat in Murano one night and it was excellent with over the top service. Several shipmates commented on the Tuscan Grille and they were not impressed. Silk Road got better reviews from them. I hate buffets but due to scheduling we did eat there a couple of times for lunch and I was pleasantly surprised at the variety and quality of the choices. My DW said the tuna salad was superb. The pizza was also very nice, thin crust and always fresh since it was gone as soon as it was placed on the buffet. Room service was fine but they did lose our order one time when I used the automated system.

The bars are very efficient and there is no discrimination if you are on a drink package, in fact once they get to know who you are they didn’t even need to see my card. Ensemble Lounge is a nice quiet bar most of the time with quieter music. Martini Bar is busy and loud. Café al Bacio is perfect for an afternoon coffee and pastry. Very efficient table service for when you want to relax. No more Bistro on Five replaced with Sushi on Five, we didn’t try it and it never seemed to be busy. As this was an Alaskan cruise with cold rainy weather we didn’t go the outdoor bars.

The staff throughout the ship are friendly and helpful, even Guest Relations, where I have seen some complaints on other reviews.

We don’t go to the shows so no information about them. The lectures by Brent Nixon are very well done and informative, I would encourage you to give them a try. I did find some of the music around the ship to be too loud to have a conversation with new friends, but that is just me.

Sail away was on a warm and sunny day in Seattle, great views.

Second day at sea was quiet and calm seas. The only time the ship seemed crowded, we sailed at full capacity, was when the shops had there always on sale sales. They put tables in the corridors and it was difficult to get past the people.

Ketchikan – Cloudy day with some rain. I had booked a private tour and we explored the Totem Bight Park and our guide provided an in depth explanation of the totems and what story they told. Had I gone on my own, I would have been clueless. We toured the city and watched the salmon running up the creek and went out to look for bears but alas no luck. Had time to do some shopping and it was a great day. When we visited here last year on the NCL Jewel we missed everything.

Tracy Arm Fiord _ We did the catamaran tour where you go off the ship onto the catamaran and sail up close the glacier. Due to excess ice in the Tracy Arm Fiord we did Endicott Arm and the Sawyer Glacier. While we were waiting in the dining room on the ship we saw a huge calving, but when were at the glacier for about an hour, nothing. The catamaran took us back to Juneau where we met the ship. The return trip was interesting as they pulled the nose of the boat under a waterfall and later into a narrow gorge where the walls were 600 ft. straight up. Saw a humpback whale on the return. This is an excursion I would recommend.

Juneau – Pretty town with lots of shopping. We did a whale watch tour last year and it was well done, this year we just wandered around town.

Skagway – Did the round trip train last year and I would recommend doing it one way with a bus return or vice versa. You will see more as the return on the train was a bit boring. This year we did the mini bus to the summit and it provided a different view from the train.

Last Day at sea there was a pods of 600 humpback whales sighted, of course, we were in the restaurant and missed this. They were visible for a half hour, but no announcement that we heard or heads up from the staff.

Victoria – Beautiful city! We did a Scenic Bus Tour and it was very informative. Unfortunately, since it was last August it did get dark before we finished.

Disembarkation went smoothly except the customs line we choose had a very chatty agent who wanted to find out from everyone how they enjoyed the trip.

Getting the car was easy as the shuttle is right in the lot as you exit.

This was a great cruise and today I booked an Alaska cruise on Solstice for next year, probably the best compliment I can give them.
PDXer2’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

AquaClass
Cabin A2 1623
Our AQ cabin, Penthouse Deck 1623, was on the starboard side with the bed near the balcony. The amenities were nice and the spa shower was refreshing. Bottled water for the first day and after that you need to pick it up at one of the bars. The canapes served were the biggest disappointment, just toast and spread, Celebrity should be embarrassed even to serve these. The balcony was very nice with footstools and a table included with the lounge chairs. There are nightstands for each side of the bed, which were very handy. The room was quiet with only occasionally hearing talking when others were on their balconies. Room stewards were friendly and efficient. We are going on this same itinerary next year on the Solstice but switched to the starboard side. I don’t know why but all of the sightings of whales and such were on that side. Also, the starboard side is the dockside in each port, so more activity to spy on.
Penthouse Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews