We have just returned from a really great cruise on the Solstice and the overall experience was very good.
We are quite experienced cruisers and have travelled on P&O, Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Each cruise line has its own individual 'flavor'.
This year our cruise was from Rome so we decided to stay 2 days in Civitavecchia. I chose the Hotel Miramare and was not disappointed. It was situated in a great location right on the sea front and just steps away from some lovely restaurants and the market. We had a suite as there is my husband and I and our teenage son. The rooms were simple and clean and the walk to the port even with suitcases was not to strenuous.
We boarded the Solstice at lunchtime. Its a lovely ship with great amenities including a fabulous gym. Our son really enjoyed the teen area and hanging out with new friends. We had made friends with some people on our Celebrity Connections thread and arranged to meet them - we had a wonderful time together and dined with them most nights.
The cabin was, we feel, the best designed one we have had. Even with the pullman bed out it was easy to walk round and was perfectly spacious for all three of us. The bathroom had been ingeniously designed and had loads of storage space and the cabin storage was fine too.
The bars we used were great of particular note was the Martini Bar with its great performing barmen and also the bar outside the Murano restaurant which had a lovely atmosphere.
We dined in the Murano restaurant one night and were extremely impressed. Although there is an additional cover charge for this it is well worth it, the food was excellent (my lobster was out of this world!) but my advice is don't be tempted to fill up on bread before hand because the portions are very generous The food in the main dining room was a little disappointing and tended to be on the luke warm side at times, however, we made a comment to the Maitre D' about this and the service after that was much better, however, I would say the quality of the food was not quite up to the standards we have come to expect from Celebrity. We used the Oceanview Cafe for lunch and breakfast and were very impressed with the facilities and quality/choice of food here.
We did play croquet on the lawn area and watched the hot glass show, both very enjoyable. Also the shows put on by the Celebrity theatre were very good particularly the one with the trapeze artists. There was also a late night comedian in the Celebrity Central venue and he was really funny. One thing we did miss was and outside deck party with a buffet. They did put on a deck party but there was no food and it just seemed to lack the fun that we had had on previous Celebrity cruises.
Embarkation and Disembarkation was stress free.
All in all we had a lovely cruise.
Despite having an obstructed view we were very happy with the size, layout and storage space in our cabin. The balcony was a good size too. The pulmanbed was above the sofa so even when it was out it didn't 'overcrowd' the cabin. It is the best designed cabin we have had.
We loved this port. The tender dropped you off in the heart of town and we wandered around taking photos and enjoying the quaint streets and lovely whitewashed buildings.