Converted to Cruising!: Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by RieCrosson

Celebrity Solstice 5
Member Since 2010

Overall Member Rating

Converted to Cruising!

Sail Date: February 2010
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
This was our first cruise having put it off for various reasons, not knowing whether we would get seasick, would there be enough room in the stateroom as we are used to top hotels with large rooms. This year was a last minute decision, a desire to get away for a much needed break and without the teenage boys! We had already research the various ships and for us the Solstice was the only way to go if we were going to do it once it had to be the newest and the most modern designed one! Before we left we had conflicting messages from our friends and colleagues, things like too many queues, seeing the same people over and over again, horrible food, small rooms. However the good reviews were much more accurate! My husband says its the best holiday he has ever had even though we go the flu on board half way through the trip!

Good stuff first!...with a bit of bad thrown in! The ship is wonderful, so exquisitely designed it's awesome! The public rooms are perfect nothing bad to say at More all. Stateroom excellent and Concierge service superb. Grand Epernay Dining Room delightful, food very very good and if you didn't like what you ordered you could order something else or more what ever you want they will do it even if it means getting desert from one of the other restaurants you may like! Main fault we had was we were tucked away in a corner on a table for 2 and would have liked to be in the centre to absorb the atmosphere. We ate here 3 times out of 7. Tuscan Grill SUPURB food and great staff! Didn't use the Blu, Murano or Silk Harvest, or Bistro on Five we didn't have time! Cafe El Bachio was elegant and just what we need for that perfect Earl Grey Tea or Cappuccino. The little pastries are complementary and yummy! Mast Bar and Grill was the place to go for burgers mid day although why when the main Ocean-view Cafe offers so much selection of good food would you want a burger and fries?? (hey-ho each to their own)a tip here, don't sunbathe on a bed down wind of the burger bar the hot grease stinks! The jogging track is on the sunbathing deck, not good if you are a serious jogger as people just stand in the way! have to get up early to jog! The Lawn club is pleasant, real grass but very windy up there! The Solarium is pleasant for those not wanting to take the air! I slightly bigger pool for one thing. The outdoor pools are practically unusable when the kids are around! My sons would have hated the pools they are not meant for fun and frolics.

The Spa is lovely I had a few treatments but was very disappointed to find i couldn't get into the steam room unless I paid extra! that's not good especially as the Sauna was not hot enough! didn't go to the glass blowing but heard it was good. Martini Bar was ace! No caviar though as seen in brochure! Passport Bar good, nice music for people of a certain age. A bit a dancing if the mood takes you. Quasar bar wild would have liked to stay up long enough to go once! Sky Observation Bar massive! Every time we went it was empty though, maybe because you can really feel the wake up there? Didn't do the Casino not our thing or the slots but looked OK. Michael's Club looked like a Gentleman's Club dark and woody and the library was a nice touch. The crew and especially the Captain and the Cruise Director John deserve a special mention, they were outstanding! The Captain Dimitrios Kafetzis was hilarious and entertaining. All in all great value for money. We knew we would spend a lot on excursions and wine so we were prepared for the Visa bill afterwards! We would definitely go again but like someone we met on board said we started cruising on the best newest ship where do we go from here? Well Done Celebrity!!!! Less

Published 03/06/10

Cabin review: C11081 Concierge Class

We could not fault the cabin! Great View, quiet hallway, EXCELLENT Concierge! Good sized closet, lovely comfortable bed, I cant think of anything to complain about!!!

Read All Concierge Class (C1) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We travelled the night before to Fort Lauderdale as advised by our travel agent. We were disappointed in Fort Lauderdale our first trip to Florida, but to be fair we flew straight into Hollywood airport and into a bus that took us to the Best Western Cruise and Airport Hotel. The weather was awful, cold and dull so that didn't help. We expected beaches and hot weather and an opportunity to sight see but in the area we were in there was nothing! The only restaurant within walking distance of the hotel (there was no restaurant in the hotel) was a German Beer Keller, we had to wait for a table but it was pleasant enough and the food was edible.

The hotel was clean, friendly and served its purpose. the courtesy bus took us to the Port, our luggage was taken by friendly courteous porters and we made our way into the terminal.

We were one of the first to enter and the staff were amazing! We were greeted and shown to the Concierge desks checked in and went up to the waiting area to board. In no time at all we were on board greeted by a glass of champagne and the relaxation began!

We found our stateroom and were very happy with the size, he balcony and the cleanliness, we set sail, attended the lifeboat drill in the theatre and went up to the Mast Bar for a glass of Champagne and watched the sun go down while we sailed off into the unknown, what an amazing feeling it was, we will never forget it!

We were going to the Grand Epernay for dinner but we started off in the Martini Bar (fantastic!)and got so hungry we took a chance at getting into the Tuscan Grill without reservations and we had an exquisite meal. Steak Tartare like I have never tasted and a mixed grill done to perfection! The staff were wonderful!

Docked 2pm to 8pm We ordered breakfast in our stateroom which arrived on time delivered by our Concierge Amil who was a gem! We sat on our balcony having breakfast simply wonderful! The first day at sea was a little disappointing simply because we could find a lounger in the sun! People had already bagged their beds earlier, even though they were not there towels were holding up the beds for a minute I thought I was in Europe!! I found I could get a swim because the kids were taking over all the pools, I couldn't get in the jacuzzis because certain people parked themselves in them and took up residence chatting and holding up others who wanted to get in and relax not chat! So we stayed on board while the rest went into San Juan when we docked. I got a swim a jacuzzi and a sunbed then! We got off the boat for an hour before sailing to get sun lotions etc. What we saw of San Juan (the port) looked nice but we didn't really explore. As we pulled out the sun was setting again a beautiful sight!

Read 2975 San Juan Reviews

Docked 8am to 7pm Pulling into St Maarten was wonderful, what a beautiful Island! The weather was hot and sunny. We had booked a tour called "Dutch and French Getaway:Speedboat, sightseeing and Shopping with lunch" it cost $99 pp for 4 hours. (easy to book via the flat screen TV in your room) The tour groups were very well organised. We were taken to our speedboat and off we went from the Dutch side Phillipsburg to the French side Marigot via water. We saw the Marina (such boats!) and docked in the French side for a bit of shopping a glass of wine in a French Sidewalk Cafe and then back on the boat for an exhilarating ride to a beach for lunch. A warning need to be able to swim to go on this tour and you shouldn't be on the heavy side or infirm!! you have to swim from the boat to to beach there is no dock! Some of our party couldn't swim which meant they were taken from the speedboat by Kayak by the boat captain and tour guide! Scary for the passengers and time consuming for the whole tour as it took a while. But we had a good laugh and the non-swimmers were very good sports about the whole thing. Lunch was Burger and fries and a glass of rum punch in a beach cafe with Caribbean music the whole works! then back onto the speedboat for an even faster ride back to Phillipsburg. We walked the Jewellery stores had a couple of beers in the Blue Bitch Beach Bar and then boarded the ship. A great day out we highly recommend it!

We sailed again at 7pm there was a beach party disco up on the pool deck great fun!!!

Docked 7am to 1pm An early morning saw the British Virgin Island of Tortola, these Islands are beautiful! So lush green and the sky is radiant blue, paradise for Canadians knee deep in snow the week before! We had booked a "Dolphin Swim" $155 pp for 2 hours. A short bus ride to the Mangroves, saw us achieving a lifelong dream! We stood on a submerged platform in the Dolphin pool and a Dolphin let us pet him, kiss him shake fins and most importantly he let us hold his fins and took us for a swim! We were able to buy photos and a video of the experience. The we went back to the ship and grabbed some sun and rest while the others were still ashore!

Read 1239 Tortola Reviews

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