Winter Break: Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by Council Man

Celebrity Solstice 4
Council Man
Member Since 2009
1 Forum Post

Overall Member Rating

Winter Break

Sail Date: January 2010
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
My wife and I, decided to break up the Midwest winter by selecting any relatively interesting cruise. We selected the Celebrity Solstice due to Celebrity's high reputation and to experience the beauty of this ship. We had been to most of the ports several times. Our flight to Ft Lauderdale was an adventure due to the mid-Atlantic snowstorm. Instead of changing in Charlotte, we were routed to Philadelphia. By this time we reached Philly, it was also snowing there. Our transfer time was elongated due to limited runways and de-icing but we finally reached Ft Lauderdale around midnight. We always go the day before. Hotel was Marriott Courtyard near the airport. Very crowded due to the many departing cruises and the NFL Pro Bowl game. Hotel staff did an excellent job getting us to Port Everglades on time. Our travel consultant, did not provide luggage tags but said not to worry. Dockside porters will prvide the tags. They did provide the tags and I tipped well to assure our receipt of More them. My wife's bag didn't reach our room until 7:30pm. It did not have a tag attached even though I saw them place it on the bag. Fortunately we had the late dinner seating.

Embarkation was very smooth and organized. Probably the smoothest we ever experienced. Initial boarding(1 pm) everyone was given a glass of champagne and advised to have lunch in the Ocean View dining room since rooms were not ready. Food selection was very impressive as was the design of the cafeteria. Everything moved smoothly and freely except the drink station which is a major bottle neck. Our rooms were ready within 30 minutes. Rooms were typical size but much larger bathroom. We always get a balcony which was adequate. Our attendant from Guatemala was excellent. He provided true quality service customary of Celebrity.

Our first dinner in the Epernay Dining Room was marginal as were most meals. We were generally disapponted with the food particularly any beef item. We were also accustomed to top notch service in the dining room particularly from Celebrity. Our head waiter introduced himself but was mostly distant throughout the cruise. He seemed more interested in another table, or generally distant. The assistant waiter never did introduce himself but was more visible. We seemed to have to ask for everything, bread, coffee, wine, etc. This theme was evident in the Epernay throughout the cruise whether breakfast or dinner. Service in general was lowere on this cruise. Seems to be concentrating in the specialty restaurants. We only ate at the Bistro, an excellent crepe restaurant where service was excellent.

The ship was beautiful and very easy to navigate. Staff provided a useful map upon entry. Design was very high-tech with a European ambiance. We thoroughly enjoyed all areas particularly the Martini Bar on Deck Five and the unique Lawn Club on the 15th Deck. Disembarkation was also the most organized we ever experienced. Total time to disembark was 20 minutes. Less

Published 02/16/10

Cabin review: 6265

Rooms very quiet, very clean, less closet space but adequate drawers, balcony adequate, occasional smell of cigarette smoke in the hallways. Excellent service from cabin attendant.

Port and Shore Excursions

We had limited time even though this was our 5th time in San Juan. We arrived at 3:15pm due to strong headwinds (were to arrive at 2pm)and departed at 7pm. Tour choices were limited due to the limited time. We walked around Old Town. Same old congestion and same old junk in the shops. Having been there before, we spent out time in Barrachinas drinking pina coladas.

Read 2976 San Juan Reviews

St Maarten has always been one of our favorites. Beautiful island, good shopping and much to do. This trip was an exception. We were the 6th ship in port including the mammouth Oasis of the Seas. The excess traffic is ruining this port. Traffic was horrible. Philipsburg was too crowded to enjoy shopping. We had booked a tour titled Marigot Sailing & Shopping. Well someone forgot the sailing. We had an exchange of tour guides from the ship to the waiting bus. When we reached the bus, the guide was unsure who should take us so he had us board a bus which began westward around the island. The driver gave little information explaining he was really from the Dominican. After going past Cole Hill and the entrance to Simpson Bay, we asked when we would board the catamaran. He had no clue about any boat but proceeded toward Marigot. We insisted in he call in to check what is going on. We then spent two hours shopping in Marigot and circled the remainder of the island reaching Philipsburg in a massive traffic jam. Upon reaching the pier we were met by another guide who said they had changed our tour because weather conditions in the morning were not conducive to sailing. We all knew that was hogwash. We finally did board a catamaran led by Roxey, Jason & Robert. They were great! We did ride over to Simpson Bay and back. I filed a complaint at the shore excursion desk but simply received a letter telling me where I could further file a complaint.

This was one of the highlites. Beautiful island with no congestion. We had toured the island on a previous cruise (North Shore, Pusser's Landing, Bamba Shack, etc.) and were most impressed. This time we booked a tour to Jost Van Dyke which was cancelled. An alternate cruise was created to Virgin Gorda which we booked. This was not the snorkel tour but simply a trip to the Baths. This was great. Beautiful scenery! We again had limited time arriving at 7am and departing at 1pm. That was the only downside.

Read 1239 Tortola Reviews

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Council Man
Member Since 2009
1 Forum Post
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