It is always so interesting to me how different people have such different experiences when traveling. I heard a lot of happy people and I heard a lot of whining on the ship, but I can only share my experience and we had a fantastic time sailing on Solstice.
When traveling my top priority is always the destinations, the scenery! Alaska did not disappoint - it was breathtaking! Cruising is a wonderful way to see it, especially the first time! I lost count of how many times I cried standing on my balcony just taking it all in! As a travel agent, I have had the great fortune of seeing many beautiful places, but Alaska is tops in my book! I feel extremely blessed to have had the chance to visit, I will definitely be back!
When traveling - Service is very important. The service on Celebrity Solstice was top notch! Captain Alex and his crew were fantastic - skilled and entertaining! Our cabin steward Vicky, he was so pleasant, non-intrusive and our cabin was always tidy and a pleasure to come back to each evening. Our head waiter at Blu - Orlando was very friendly, we sampled many of the dining options throughout the ship and found all of our service to be wonderful. All of the Sommeliers were very friendly & attentive. We did the galley tour and it was fun to see behind the scenes, I am so fascinated by the amount of food service and preperation it takes on a cruise ship! Husband and I are not Spa people, at all, but decided to splurge - Roxana at the Canyon Ranch Spa was spectacular! We each went twice! From the bartenders (make sure to defintely stop at the Martini Bar!), to the shops to the Guest Services folks, the service was immpecable and very friendly everywhere we went on this ship.
We are not much on joining in on group activites - but anything we did happen to catch, people seemed to really be enjoying themselves. The dancers and singers were very good. We really enjoyed Tony Tillman's Las Vegas style show. We did do several wine tastings and a cocktail making class that we really enjoyed at the Master Class Bar.
We loved the White Pass Railroad in Skagway and the Enchanted Butchart Gardens Tour in Victoria BC - Kent our bus driver/guide gave great information about Victoria. We enjoyed roaming the streets in Ketchikan and Juneau, just shopping, visiting local bars & restaurants.
The Food, I know I am a bit odd, but the food is never a huge priority for me when cruising, so this review won't be all that in-depth when it comes to food. We found it to be mostly good. The buffet was fine for what it is, a buffet. We very much enjoyed Blu (Aqua Class main dining retaurant), Silk Harvest and Tuscan Grill, all the food we had in these restaurants was very good. The Main Dining Room (Grand Epernay Restaurant) was good, I especially enjoy the fruit soups when cruising, so we did go to the Main Dining Room several times.
Embarkation, we arrived at the ship early, probably around 10am and it was a breeeze. Our luggage was delivered just fine to our cabin, we had one small bag that did come a little later than the others, so don't panic if everything is not there at the same time. Disembarkation, we did the standard disembarktion and it went very smooth.
My one suggestion, when cruising anywhere, is coming in the day before, it takes away so much stress! We took taxis from and to the airport. We stayed at the Homewood Suites on Western Ave. and took an Uber to the port, very easy and hassle free. Homewood was very nice, clean and good service. This hotel does offer a shuttle for a nominal fee to the port, evening drinks and a little food as well as breakfast was included, which was very nice before heading to the ship on embarkation day.
Solstice is a beautiful ship, while she is getting a bit tired and ready for some updating & sprucing up (aren't we all?) in 2021 is the last I read, she was super clean and very well cared for by the cleaning crew.
Overall this was a wonderful trip and I would go again tomorrow if I could.
Thank you to everyone associated with Celebrity Solstice for providing us with a perfect, relaxing vacation!
Very happy with our cabin - had plenty of room & storage for two people. I am not a good sleeper, slept really great at sea! Beds we extremely comfortable. We did take magnetic hooks and they were a life saver on this cruise to hang jackets, scarves, swimsuits and a great place to hang lanyards with your Sea Pass Card, never gets lost this way! Definitely take a power strip for a few more plug ins and/or USB ports if you are charging phones, cameras, etc... (only non-surge protected power strips allowed onboard - Google them, there are many different kinds)