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My daughter and I did just spend a very enjoyable 10 nights on Solstice to start June. a fine cruise, although not everything was seamless, of course. For example, I can't understand why Celebrity had me fill out all those online forms (for credit card usage, for allowing my daughter to drink, etc.) and then turned around and made me fill them all out again when we checked in. Just a minor irritant, but it seemed so avoidable unless they had lost their online data (which they then could have admitted).I can say overall I was very impressed with the ship and its crew. The public spaces may have been less in the "I'm aboard a ship" style, but they were gorgeous. The stateroom was beautiful plenty large enough, designed to make the most of the space. My first reaction was to immediately unpack all our bags into the closet and drawers, since ten nights at sea spelled "home" to me, unlike the vast majority of my land vacations. This is certainly the feeling the ship would like to inspire, as we were always welcomed back after a long, hot day of excursions with a cold drink, an iced towel and, "Welcome home!" I must say, it worked for me, as I did feel like I had come home when I returned to the ship.More specific critiques. I have little but praise for our room steward. Top notch. We did get a couple unexpected entries into the room while there, one when we probably would have been expected to be elsewhere, one when the "Do Not Disturb" sign was very much in place (although this wasn't our normal steward). The whole logistics involved in taking care of all those staterooms must be a science in itself. The same must be said for dining. The Grand Epernay is obviously an example of scientifically controlled mayhem—two shifts of dining on two different floors, yet there was never a feeling of "crowd control" except the first night when everyone needed to find their seat assignments. Dining was one of the few places where you realized that their were enough passengers onboard to populate a fair-sized town, but approaching our table was always a matter of avoiding the rapidly-scurrying wait staff, not being caught in a queue of fellow travelers. Because of the marvelous job with crowd flow, it is a testament to their work that the primary criticism of the dining experience has been somewhat less-than-hot entrEes. Yes, I agree, I would very much prefer not having to send food back for reheating, but I wasn't aghast. (I think it was more telling the first night when the crème brûlEe really should have just been called custard, since they obviously didn't have the time to melt the sugar on top of what could be a thousand or so identical desserts.) I must say, unlike some other reviews, we had the most wonderful wait staff, with personable, attentive servers who attended to the table promptly and never seemed overly delayed in the delivery of the next course. The one more serious issue. As a first timer, I did go to Customer Relations several times with questions. Early on when returning my Disembarkation Questionnaire, I was told they had been informed that there would be no train service from Civitavecchia when we returned after the cruise. And no taxis in town (well, maybe five or six). But we can sell you very high-priced city transfers, so get it quickly so you will be able to return to Rome. OK, I grumbled and paid up. Later at dinner, our dinner companions, who also planned to go by train, had no knowledge of this rather important situation and cast doubt on its veracity. So off the Customer Relations again—where they told me that everyone had either been personally informed, or they had a message waiting for them in their room. Oh, OK. The next evening? Our companions had still heard nothing, which really concerned me, so we started plotting our own shared ride. When I approached Customer Relations again with this news, they admitted they'd gotten it wrong and that the trains would run as usual. Unfortunately I have the feeling I wouldn't have been told this, but would have been allowed to take the expensive, inconvenient transfer instead. And so I cancelled my transfers. Or so I was told, until I returned to Customer Relations with a later bill where the charges still remained. This time they told me I needed to bring in my purchase paperwork to cancel the order—but again, I would not have been told this. I wasn't too happy about it this time, which prompted the attendant to make a joke about getting the previous person fired, which I thought REALLY hit a wrong note. So long story short: Celebrity, you need to work seriously on communications, especially when it involves shifting information about something of rather vital importance.Other admittedly nit-picking items. 1) The library was a very nice place to read, but what thrift store did they visit to stock the shelves? I'm not asking for a comprehensive library, but having old encyclopedia year books and the third books in trilogies without the first two (yes, I checked on the first day) made it appear the library was just a pretty prop. It does seem that, if you are going to do it, you want to do it right. 2) About the same with the game room: a nice space, but after the first day all the playing cards were gone as well as any popular board games—my daughter wanted Scrabble so I guess we were supposed to grab it that first night, as it never reappeared again—so maybe someone should be assigned to keep the room stocked? 3) The TV interactive information system for Ship Location was worthless. Why show GPS location on a stylized map with an unlabeled single line designating a coastline? I was looking forward to keeping track of our course, knowing what islands we were passing, essentially visualizing where we were in the Mediterranean. I had to track down the Atlas in the library to make a guess. How about a basic contract with Google Maps? Favorites. I'll only bring up the spaces we used most. Top location? The Solarium, with a nice pool and jacuzzi, a fountain and quiet music. I would have liked the cruise to go longer just to lounge here. Best lounge? The Sky Observation Lounge, especially when the music didn't get too loud. Alternate dining? We only tried the Bistro on Five, which did make very good crepes, so I would recommend it. We also ate plenty in the Oceanview Cafe, which had very satisfying buffet food (and gave us the ice cream and pizza we needed after excursions as a snack before dinner!). And I have to make a plug for the Fortunes Casino, since I did win a fair amount—some of the crew were a bit inexperienced at the craps table so you had to watch your payoffs, but I didn't come expecting Vegas.OK, enough said. I feel like my negatives stand out more than my positives, but in fact they were the small details in the midst of a most pleasant experience. I will want to do this again, perhaps with an itinerary that is not so port-of-call heavy so I can relax in the Solarium more often ...

First Timer Review of Solstice

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by SamPepys

Trip Details
My daughter and I did just spend a very enjoyable 10 nights on Solstice to start June. a fine cruise, although not everything was seamless, of course. For example, I can't understand why Celebrity had me fill out all those online forms (for credit card usage, for allowing my daughter to drink, etc.) and then turned around and made me fill them all out again when we checked in. Just a minor irritant, but it seemed so avoidable unless they had lost their online data (which they then could have admitted).I can say overall I was very impressed with the ship and its crew. The public spaces may have been less in the "I'm aboard a ship" style, but they were gorgeous. The stateroom was beautiful plenty large enough, designed to make the most of the space. My first reaction was to immediately unpack all our bags into the closet and drawers, since ten nights at sea spelled "home" to me, unlike the vast majority of my land vacations. This is certainly the feeling the ship would like to inspire, as we were always welcomed back after a long, hot day of excursions with a cold drink, an iced towel and, "Welcome home!" I must say, it worked for me, as I did feel like I had come home when I returned to the ship.More specific critiques. I have little but praise for our room steward. Top notch. We did get a couple unexpected entries into the room while there, one when we probably would have been expected to be elsewhere, one when the "Do Not Disturb" sign was very much in place (although this wasn't our normal steward). The whole logistics involved in taking care of all those staterooms must be a science in itself. The same must be said for dining. The Grand Epernay is obviously an example of scientifically controlled mayhem—two shifts of dining on two different floors, yet there was never a feeling of "crowd control" except the first night when everyone needed to find their seat assignments. Dining was one of the few places where you realized that their were enough passengers onboard to populate a fair-sized town, but approaching our table was always a matter of avoiding the rapidly-scurrying wait staff, not being caught in a queue of fellow travelers. Because of the marvelous job with crowd flow, it is a testament to their work that the primary criticism of the dining experience has been somewhat less-than-hot entrEes. Yes, I agree, I would very much prefer not having to send food back for reheating, but I wasn't aghast. (I think it was more telling the first night when the crème brûlEe really should have just been called custard, since they obviously didn't have the time to melt the sugar on top of what could be a thousand or so identical desserts.) I must say, unlike some other reviews, we had the most wonderful wait staff, with personable, attentive servers who attended to the table promptly and never seemed overly delayed in the delivery of the next course. The one more serious issue. As a first timer, I did go to Customer Relations several times with questions. Early on when returning my Disembarkation Questionnaire, I was told they had been informed that there would be no train service from Civitavecchia when we returned after the cruise. And no taxis in town (well, maybe five or six). But we can sell you very high-priced city transfers, so get it quickly so you will be able to return to Rome. OK, I grumbled and paid up. Later at dinner, our dinner companions, who also planned to go by train, had no knowledge of this rather important situation and cast doubt on its veracity. So off the Customer Relations again—where they told me that everyone had either been personally informed, or they had a message waiting for them in their room. Oh, OK. The next evening? Our companions had still heard nothing, which really concerned me, so we started plotting our own shared ride. When I approached Customer Relations again with this news, they admitted they'd gotten it wrong and that the trains would run as usual. Unfortunately I have the feeling I wouldn't have been told this, but would have been allowed to take the expensive, inconvenient transfer instead. And so I cancelled my transfers. Or so I was told, until I returned to Customer Relations with a later bill where the charges still remained. This time they told me I needed to bring in my purchase paperwork to cancel the order—but again, I would not have been told this. I wasn't too happy about it this time, which prompted the attendant to make a joke about getting the previous person fired, which I thought REALLY hit a wrong note. So long story short: Celebrity, you need to work seriously on communications, especially when it involves shifting information about something of rather vital importance.Other admittedly nit-picking items. 1) The library was a very nice place to read, but what thrift store did they visit to stock the shelves? I'm not asking for a comprehensive library, but having old encyclopedia year books and the third books in trilogies without the first two (yes, I checked on the first day) made it appear the library was just a pretty prop. It does seem that, if you are going to do it, you want to do it right. 2) About the same with the game room: a nice space, but after the first day all the playing cards were gone as well as any popular board games—my daughter wanted Scrabble so I guess we were supposed to grab it that first night, as it never reappeared again—so maybe someone should be assigned to keep the room stocked? 3) The TV interactive information system for Ship Location was worthless. Why show GPS location on a stylized map with an unlabeled single line designating a coastline? I was looking forward to keeping track of our course, knowing what islands we were passing, essentially visualizing where we were in the Mediterranean. I had to track down the Atlas in the library to make a guess. How about a basic contract with Google Maps? Favorites. I'll only bring up the spaces we used most. Top location? The Solarium, with a nice pool and jacuzzi, a fountain and quiet music. I would have liked the cruise to go longer just to lounge here. Best lounge? The Sky Observation Lounge, especially when the music didn't get too loud. Alternate dining? We only tried the Bistro on Five, which did make very good crepes, so I would recommend it. We also ate plenty in the Oceanview Cafe, which had very satisfying buffet food (and gave us the ice cream and pizza we needed after excursions as a snack before dinner!). And I have to make a plug for the Fortunes Casino, since I did win a fair amount—some of the crew were a bit inexperienced at the craps table so you had to watch your payoffs, but I didn't come expecting Vegas.OK, enough said. I feel like my negatives stand out more than my positives, but in fact they were the small details in the midst of a most pleasant experience. I will want to do this again, perhaps with an itinerary that is not so port-of-call heavy so I can relax in the Solarium more often ...
SamPepys’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Veranda
Cabin 2B 7112
A fine room. The balcony seems to be openly observable from the flying bridge, so you might not feel completely private out there.
Sunrise Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins