We were asked to join another couple on an Alaskan cruise and after looking at all the cruise lines, we selected Celebrity because it was not as large as Royal Caribbean and not as expensive as smaller ships such as Viking. We spent one night in Seattle and had plenty of time to check out Pike Place Market and walk around a bit. We waited to board till around 3 pm and it went very smoothly and quickly. We used the Valet service for our luggage at disembarkation and that went smoothly also. It was nice to not have to schlep around our luggage at the end of the cruise.
The Solstice is a well maintained ship. It's not as new as some other ships, but it is beautifully appointed. The staff is always seen to be cleaning everything. We had a Sunset Veranda cabin and it was very nice. Roomy with a gorgeous view off the back of the ship. Note that it is very long walk to the elevator. Our cabin steward was excellent and always greeted us by name and asked about our day. The only downside was that we were sandwiched between two cabins that had parents in one room and their kids in another....We heard a lot of slamming doors and running back and forth at all times of the day/night.
The food in the Cafe was always good because there is so much variety. We did get a little tired of seeing the exact same offerings at breakfast everyday. The food in the main dining room was average. Some meals were good and some were just so-do. We ate one time at the Tuscan Grille but decided it was too expensive ($30 per person) for just another version of the main dining room. We attended one of the wine tastings and it was pretty disappointing... plenty of wine but it was just kind of a "free for all". We were each given a glass and told we could drink as much as we wanted for 1 hour. I would have liked to have an explanation about each wine as we slowly enjoyed each one. We were so exhausted every day that we never made it to any of the evening shows.
The wait staff was pretty good. There were a few surly people here and there but overall they were polite. We did feel like there were not enough servers in the public areas (such as the pool) for taking drink orders. We always had to walk up to the bar to get a drink.
Our ports included Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. In Ketchikan we booked (on our own) a salmon fishing trip. We caught a total of 10 salmon and had a great time! In Juneau, we booked the canoe trip to the Mendenhall glacier. This ended up being beautiful but a LOT of work. I thought it would be a leisurely canoe trip but it was a large canoe that held 14 people and we paddled about 2 miles across the lake at a very fast pace. We spent about 10 minutes at the glacier and then went to the waterfall. After a short rest, we paddled all the way back. My arms were quivering and I was sore the next day. In Skagway, we splurged and did the "Luxury Rail Car " train ride. This was worth every penny! We were picked up by golf cart at the shipped and taken right to the rail car. Only 14 people were in the car that was beautifully appointed with leather swivel seats and big glass windows. It also had a nice restroom onboard. A wonderful breakfast buffet was set out and all the beverages (non alcoholic as well as beer and wine) you could drink. Our guide was amazing and kept us entertained with many stories and local history.
We only had a few hours in Victoria, so we took the shuttle bus to town and walked around and had a nice dinner out on the harbour.
We did not travel with children however we saw a lot of children on the ship and they appeared to have a good time.
This is our third alaskan cruise but everytime we go, we see new sights and try new excursions.
Beautiful views off the back of the ship. Plenty of room with lots of storage. It is a very long walk to the elevator.
Walked around on our own and went to Pikes Place Market
Prebooked a private fishing trip on our own. Excellent fishing
It's well worth the money to take the Luxury Railcar ExcursionView All 1212 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews