Why do so many cruises start from Rome? Directect air access from Manchester is only available on Jet2 and they start back from Rome in the a.m. which combined with the trek from Civitavecchia to Da Vinci Airport means the check-in time would be hard to guarantee. British Airways don't have direct flights to most of Europe from the North - and we don't want to suffer Heathrow any more so despite a fairly unhappy experience with K.L.M. last year we accepted Celebritys' suggestion of Lufthansa via Munich which turned out fine - all four flights were on time and the luggage was on the carousel. Celebity started well by not only greeting us at Rome but providing trolleys for the luggage - only the most meticulous holiday planner would have brought a Euro for the trolley. As others have reported check-in was astonishingly rapid and our first impression of the ship ---- we were impressed! Our Concierge Class Cabin was not as large as its title implied but was perfectly adequate and well designed. The balcony (because of this cabins' location) seemed larger than most and was well protected from the breeze when at sea. The safety drill was shambolic because of problems with the P.A. system - but for the first time ever we didn't have to wear the Life Jackets. Tables for two are not as rare on Solstice as on most other ships - but 6.15 is too early for dinner, and 8.30 (actually nearer 9.0 p.m.) doesn't
leave much time before bed so we look forward to the new open sitting
policy (which we enjoyed on Princess). However the Dining Room is the
best looking of any ship we have sailed on. We ate here every night
except for one visit to the Murano Restaurant - don't know why it has
an Italian name because it aims to be French -and it was really good.
The steak in the Surf & Turf was incredible, and the lobster was
far above the usual cruise ship tasteless offering. We had some
excellent meals in the M.D.R.,and the service was first-class. the only
downside was the wine - we don't mind paying the ripoff wine markups
(much) but it would be nice if the wine was in the same upmarket region
as the prices- most of the bottles we tried were of a very poor
standard. The Oceanview Cafeteria was well planned,the food was
good,and we never had a problem finding a table -top marks to Celebrity
again. Entertainment :- the Solo acts - two singers & a violinist
were topnotch,the "Broadway"show was O.K. but we have seen better.
Where was the mandatory cruise ship comedian? In Michaels Club the Dan
Hodge show was well worth a visit - we made several. We have cruised
over 25 times and we both rate this as one of the very best -
particularly as we got a super deal on the cabin!
Handy for the lift.