My husband and I had tried a Carnival cruise in 2009 and vowed we would never, ever cruise again! However, almost eight years later we decided to give it one more chance. SO GLAD WE DID!!!! We loved Celebrity Solstice and her amazing Capt. Tasos. I read over 1600 Cruise Critic reviews before deciding on The Solstice. I must say that I do not know where the negative reviews on the food in the Grand Epernay MDR came from. We had absolutely delicious food each evening and we had breakfast there twice and it was equally delicious. I will try to break down categories (in our opinions):
Speciality Dining - MURANO - Absolutely TERRIBLE. Did not like the dark wood paneling, the meals offered and the snobby attitude. Waste of $100 OBCs.
TUSCAN GRILLE - Simply FANTASTIC!!! Service was out of this world. We had a table for two beside the window upon our departure from Skagway and were treated to a view of a whale and beautiful sunset. Food was delicious and would highly recommend dining here.
OceanView Café - Great! Loved the way The Solstice had different food categories at different stations so you did not have huge lines and everyone kept moving. Plenty of seating and opportunities to meet new people while sharing a table.
Room Service - EXCELLENT and arrived exactly when it was supposed to. We used this service for breakfast twice and the food was hot presentation wonderful. I am from the South and they have grits with NO LUMPS and they are smooth and creamy!
We did not try the Mast Grill but it was always busy at lunch and afternoons so I am thinking it must have been good! One of our MDR companions said he had a hamburger there and it was great.
We met our MDR companions at Michael's Martini Bar one evening before dinner and this is a "must see" to watch the bartender make up 12 or more martinis and hold them on one arm and pour into glasses and somehow each person ends up with the type martini they ordered! Awesome!
The onboard presentation we attended were fantastic:
The Building of The Solstice - Boring, you say? NOT EVEN! Captain Tasos is great and hilarious. You learned everything about The Solstice's creation while laughing your head off.
The Liars Club - A must see!!! Captain Tasos, Cruise Director Damion and another director, Christine, are each given the same word and must convince the audience THEY are telling the real word. The entire Solstice Theater was packed with 1,350 persons and you could probably hear the laughter all over the ship!
Brent Nixon - He was awesome! His knowledge of whales, bears and Alaska is mind blowing! So much enthusiasm for his work and it is contagious. He works for National Geographic and is contracted by Celebrity!!!
"Miss Amanda" - We saw her historical information on Ketchikan, Skagway and it was wonderful! (She is Brent Nixon's wife!). We watched her info on Victoria on our cabin t.v.
The Beatles Review - These four young men were pretty darned good, I thought. Dressed as the real Beatles in their early years with the "mop tops" and suits.
Music on The Solstice: Our favorite was the evening so much of the '60's music was played and we stood on one of the decks and looked down onto everyone dancing below in the Grand Atrium.
We did not watch any shows with the Celebrity Dancers, but comments ran 50/50 good or so-so. Cannot comment either way.
Celebrity honored the military on Memorial Day in the Sky Observatory with champagne and mimosas! The American flag was displayed with flowers on either side of it. Damian, the cruise director and Captain Tasos spoke briefly, and asked for any stories the veterans might want to share. Some stories were VERY MOVING and brought tears to my eyes.
Our Cabin - We were on Deck 9 and our cabin attendant, Malcolm was wonderful! He kept it spotless and there was nothing we asked for that was not done. He was awesome.
Plenty of room for two 25" suitcases and a 21" suitcase stored underneath the bed, and big Tote bag.in the closet! Our couch was beside the closet; I think if the bed had been there instead---it might have been a tight fit to get to our clothes on the right side of the closet. Enjoyed having a safe in our cabin, but wish it had been placed higher!
Lots of storage throughout the cabin; the storage above the bed was greatly appreciated!
Bathroom - Great! Even my husband said, "This is a nice bathroom!" Lots of storage cubicles on the right side for toiletries. Liked the fact there was no nasty shower curtain, but a plexi-glass door! (Star Trek looking!) PLENTY of hot water!!! Excellent toiletries in our Concierge class bathroom too. Excellent shower spray too.
Room t.v. - Lots of ESPN channels, CNN, Fox, TBS, TNT, On Demand Movies (some free, some not), If you missed some of the Brent Nixon shows or Miss Amanda's shows, you could watch them on your cabin t.v.!!! Capt. Tasos' program on The Solstice was also shown on our t.v.
Linens, Robes - Our robes were thick, thick, heavy terry cloth and very warm! Bed linens great and bath towels nice and thick!
Balcony - Twice as large as the tiny balcony on Carnival some years ago. Enjoyed it a lot; especially when we saw Dawes Glacier!
Captain Tasos - WONDERFUL! He was the absolute star of the cruise. Everyone talked about how funny he was and how they looked forward to his daily PA messages and his "true stories" (always a big whopper!). Very down to earth, friendly captain with his passengers safety always first.
We would take another Celebrity cruise in a heartbeat! Thinking about a cruise in the Baltic if The Solstice AND Capt. Tasos do that!
Our attendant, Malcolm was wonderful! If we asked for anything it was granted immediately. He kept our cabin spotless and even offered us new balcony furniture! When I booked our cruise in Aug. 2016, flowers in our cabin was still a Concierge perk. There were none in our cabin upon arrival in May 2017 and Malcolm said they do not do that anymore. Next day, a knock on our cabin door and it was Malcolm with flowers! How thoughtful was that? Cabin was great and for two people we were NOT cramped at all. Very well designed.