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Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,157 Reviews

North to Alaska

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by Z0nker

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jul 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Veranda 1A

Ship: over the top great. I’ve cruised on 3 other lines, 6 other ships, none compare to the Solstice for design style or functionality. It’s like staying at an Intercontinental Hotel, only as sea. Atrium and elevator designs are beautiful. Elevators came quickly on most occasions. Fellow passengers were friendly.

There were two formal nights, branded “evening chic”. Everyone dressed up in their own way and posed for photos. Not many suits or tuxedos like the old days, but people made an effort and looked good. Had some nice elevator discussions on what everyone chose to wear. On more traditional cruise lines where they still call it “formal night”, I’ve seen passengers “protest” by showing up in jeans or a T shirt and a ball cap. Didn’t see anything like that on Celebrity.

Main Dining Room (MDR): fantastic, well prepared and presented food and outstanding service. Knowledgeable sommeliers took good care of us. Beautiful venue; we were told it was designed to look like you are inside a glass of champagne. We had anytime dining and never had to wait for a table for two, aside from a maximum five minutes in the hostess line. They always gave us table 444 or 445, which are on the 2nd level, overlooking the lower, assigned time dining section. Great people watching.

Buffet was good quality with a wide variety of choices. Sometimes hard to find a table, but we managed. More challenging to find ketchup and mayo – be sure to ask someone.

On embarkation day, we avoided the buffet crowd and got burgers at the Mast Grill. Decent burger, good fries, good service and a great view leaving port.

Wine lover? This is the ship for you. Great wine selection and they serve it in Reidel glasses at every venue except the pool bar, where they use plastic glasses for safety. No problem taking your drink with you if you need to be somewhere else. Not every venue has all the wines. Frequent Cellar Masters, MDR and the specialty restaurants for the best stuff. Say hi to Dimytro in Cellar Masters if you see him. A couple small tips ($2 - $5) early in the week and Dimytro will be your friend for life. If you like martinis, check out the martini bar, across from Cellar Masters on Deck 4. If whiskey is your thing, the World Class Bar is your place.

Deal: by paying a larger, nonrefundable deposit, Celebrity comped us the premium beverage package, internet, gratuities and $300 on board spending credit. Wow! That made for a great cruise. We wanted for nothing the whole time. Beverage package includes much more than booze: fresh squeezed juice and brewed coffee at breakfast, fancy coffee drinks at Café Al Bacio, bottled water, tea – you name it. Once the servers know you have the premium package, they really take care of everything. Had fun spending the OBC at the shops and Sushi on Five. You can also use OBC for shore excursions or in the casino. Internet was sometimes slow and dropped out altogether on the first night.

Specialty restaurants: expensive compared to other cruise lines. Enjoyed Sushi on Five twice. The Kobe beef slider is the best burger I’ve had. Also loved the sushi rolls and seafood stuffed wontons. Did not visit the other pay restaurants.

Had room service breakfast once. They showed up right on time with everything we ordered. We also went off menu, requesting lox and cream cheese for our bagels. They brought the same spread that you get if you have breakfast in the MDR: smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, onion, lemon and tomato. Bravo!

Lots of good music throughout the ship. Almost always someone performing in the Grand Foyer. Danny Smart was our favorite.

They had trivia every afternoon in the Sky Lounge, which has some of the best views on the ship, a good bar, and plenty of comfy places to sit and relax. Watched Captain Tasos do a slide show and Q&A on the construction of Solstice in the main theater. The Captain is informative and has great comedic timing. His PA announcements throughout the cruise are a hoot.

Conclusion: Alaska was stunningly beautiful and the Celebrity Solstice ship, crew, food, drink and fellow passengers were first class. We have a new favorite cruise line.


Z0nker's Full Rating Summary
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Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Veranda 1A
Cabin 1A 8273

8273 Veranda on the hump, which has good views from the balcony. Great location, near the elevators. There’s a wall between the room door and the elevators, so it’s quiet. Lots of storage once you find it. Lighting control takes some effort to figure out. If in doubt, ask your room steward.

Bath: nice size, functional design. Shower pressure and temperature perfect every time. The curved, sliding, magnetically latched doors are far superior to having a shower curtain that sticks to you. A very nice touch. Shower includes a foot rest for leg shaving. Exhaust fan is right above the shower so the room and mirror don’t fog up. Toilet did its job, with a solid flush every time.

TV: 3 news channels (Fox, MSNBC and BBC). Two ESPN channel plus HGTV and Travel. Some on demand movies. There are many ship channels, including a navigation channel which tells you where you are, but not in as much detail as other cruise lines. Bridge view channel carried Brent Nixon’s live commentary during the fiord and glacier journey. We were on our balcony and one of our neighbors turned up the sound so everyone could hear it, adding much to the experience. Nixon is as good as everyone says.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Space Needle

This was a debarkation tour. A bus was waiting for us at the cruise terminal, drove us to the Space Needle and Chihully Glass Museum with tickets for both. We had more than two hours to look around which was plenty of time to see both places. Then they drop you off at the airport with your luggage.

View All 54 Space Needle Reviews
Ketchikan

Walked to Creek Street, looked around. Had halibut fish & chips at a small restaurant on the dock.

Juneau

Bought tickets for the Mt. Roberts Tramway at the tram station. No waiting. Nice ride to the top of Mt. Roberts and great views. Walked all around Juneau, then had excellent halibut fish & chips and local craft beer at The Hanger, on the dock where the float planes take off.

White Pass Scenic Railway

Walked around town earlyon our own. Then met the shuttle bus to the train station. Great scenic views going over the pass. Nice old train. If you want some great photos, step out onto the platforms between cars. We came back on a motorcoach which also has epic views, different from those on the train.

View All 1212 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews
Victoria

We walked on the trail that leads southeast from the cruise port to Beacon Hill Park and took pictures at the Mile 0 marker, which is where the Trans Canada highway begins. It's a nice walk along the waterfront and past some nice residential neighborhoods.


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Z0nker
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