Solstice is a Winner!: Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by reginab1979

Celebrity Solstice 5
Member Since 2009
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Solstice is a Winner!

Sail Date: September 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
This was our fifth cruise with Celebrity, (two on Century, two on Summit) but our first with Solstice. It is a beautiful ship, no doubt about it. There were some things we missed from Summit but overall we were very pleased with this ship.

We arrived the day before and stayed at the Ramada Cruise Port. It's a rather inexpensive hotel that includes transfers from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the cruise-port the next day. I'm a believer in the theory that you can have a rather elegant vacation without spending a ton of money. Embarkation was very smooth and easy. The cruise-port itself is much nicer than Miami. Our room was ready about 1:30 pm. We had a veranda cabin 8247. Not Aqua Class or Concierge Class. The bathrooms are quite nice but I think there is less storage space in the room itself as compared to Summit. But it is a beautiful room with flat screen TV, and lovely color schemes.

Now, lest you think I loved this ship 100%, there were some More negatives for myself and my husband. First, when we got to our room I discovered that there was no pitcher of water with the ice bucket. When I asked the room attendant I was informed that, "you only get a pitcher of water on Millennium Class ships. On Solstice Class ships you have to buy your water". I was NOT a happy camper and voiced my dissatisfaction. The room attendant immediately arranged for my water which I had for the rest of the cruise. The muster drill was also pretty dreadful. On all our previous cruises the drills started in the theaters where people could be seated. On Solstice we were herded into an area where the cruise photographs are displayed. Forced to stand for 15-20 minutes in tight, hot quarters some older people looked like there were ready to pass out. I'm short and was unable to see the movie they were showing on the television screens about the muster drill itself. I also thought that the buffet on the first day was so packed that you could not find any place to sit and eat. Later on in the week it became easier to find a place to sit but that first day it was very difficult. We also missed the therapy pool that the Millennium Class ships have. We spent very little time in the Solarium on Summit. The pool there didn't seem very warm.

I think that the food on Solstice was quite wonderful. We ate most nights in the MDR. My husband and I aren't big eaters and find the MDR meals to be quite filling. I'm sure that the specialty restaurants would be great it doesn't make much sense for us, with our small appetites, to eat there. As compared to Summit, Solstice food is 100% better. The service was fantastic, (as it always is on Celebrity).

Some of the areas of the ship that we enjoyed were the Lawn Club and the Wine Cellar. We visited there each evening and took part in all their wine tastings throughout the week. It was amazing to me that this ship never seemed very big. Perhaps it was because our room was mid-ship and we never seemed to have to walk very far to get to anything. And except for that first day, the ship never seemed very crowded.

One thing that was awesome on Solstice was the senior officers. They were all very approachable and very often quite funny. The last day at sea the officer, (including the Captain), took part in a water-volleyball game. It was hysterical. Something that most people may not know was that on our particular cruise a man jumped overboard at 1 in the morning in an attempt to commit suicide. The Captain turned the ship around on a dime, launched two small boats and rescued the jumper in the dark ocean. The jumper tried to fight off the security people who tried to pull him from the ocean, thus putting the security personnel lives at risk. In my opinion the crew and senior officers of Celebrity Solstice are all heroes.

Overall I think that Solstice is a lovely ship and if you are looking for a great cruise this is the one to pick. Less

Published 10/04/10
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: 1C8247 Deluxe Veranda

Very convenient, midship, near midship elevators

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Port and Shore Excursions

Tropical Storm Karl hit Costa Maya on 9/15 and we were scheduled to arrive 9/16. Our Cruise Critic Roll Call group had arranged to go to the Maya Chan Resort. Once we docked and went to our rendezvous point for our taxi we were shocked to hear from Raul the taxi coordinator, "Maya Chan was destroyed and no longer exists". Luckily we were a pushy bunch and insisted that Raul get us to Maya Chan. We were shoved into an open air vehicle and driven to Maya Chan where Mark welcomed us to Maya Chan. TS Karl had destroyed Maya Chan and I've now seen pictures to prove it. But Mark and his staff worked to put it together again so that he could welcome us there the next day.

Maya Chan is in the middle of nowhere and looks like a commercial for Corona beer. The people there wait on you hand and foot to make sure you enjoy every minute you spend at their property. The food is great and the beer is cold. They ever come serve you drinks while you float around in the ocean. The water isn't perfect and probably was even less so when we were there because the storm had churned it up so badly the day before. These people actually drive once a week all the way to Cancun to buy food at Sam's Club thus insuring that the food they serve is safe for us to eat. After seeing how they put this place together after TS Karl I have new found respect for these people.

I would recommend Maya Chan to anyone wanting a relaxing day on the beach. I would also recommend that you get together with your Roll Call group and get a cheaper price.

Read 1760 Costa Maya Reviews

We did the Celebrity Jeep Patriot Tour and Snorkel Excursion and had an awesome time! The Patriot as opposed to the Wrangler was a good idea because it was very warm and it did rain a few times. There was only two other couples in our group and we were lead by Lorenzo who did a fabulous job. We did Jeep excursions in Aruba and in Grand Cayman and this was by far the best. We toured the entire island and Lorenzo filled us in on the island's history via the car radios along the way. After stopping to see the crocodile pool we headed off to the southern point lighthouse. My husband and I had just moved away from the edge of the water when we heard people screaming and yelling. Apparently an 8 foot crocodile had crawled out of the ocean where we had just been standing. Lorenzo explained that this never happens! My luck...I hate reptiles. We continued on to the Fiesta Americana Hotel where we went snorkeling. All the gear was provided and we were lead out in a carefully guided group. The snorkeling was fabulous! Fish were everywhere! After snorkeling we had a lunch of chicken fajitas. Great food.

The entire tour took about 5 hours. These people took wonderful care of us. This excursion was well worth the money. I would highly recommend this to anyone. I believe that Sun Tours does this particular tour.

Read 5467 Cozumel Reviews

This was our 4th time at Grand Cayman and our original plan was just to stay on the ship. We should have stayed with our original plan. There was 3 other cruise ships in port that day. It was a mad house in town. We decided to get off the ship and do a little shopping. What a mistake. I love Grand Cayman but too many ships in port just spoil this town.

Also tendering on Solstice is a pain in the butt as well. Takes a long time to get off the ship in my opinion.

This was our favorite port! We did the Zip and Dip with Victor Bodden. There were two other couples in our Zip and Dip group and Kenny was our guide for the day. I have to admit I was reluctant at first about the ziplining part of the Zip and Dip. I'm 57 years old and my husband is 63 and I was afraid that we wouldn't be able to physically handle the zip-line. Man was I wrong! The zip line at Victor Bodden is set up for beginners and just about anyone is able to do this. It is very, very safe and the young men who are at each station give you the confidence to do it. I loved every minute of it. I think there were 13 different stations and I could have kept going with 13 more! After the zip lining we went into the monkey and parrot cages for a visit. I was impressed because the cages and animal areas are kept very clean and the animals themselves seem to be well cared for. After that we went to Infinity Bay Beach Resort for the dip part of our tour. This place was beautiful. The beach was beautiful and some fabulous snorkeling was very, very close to the beach. You had to pay for snorkeling gear and for beach chairs but we just sat on the chairs at the restaurant and ate lunch there and enjoyed the local, (and very inexpensive) beer. This was a great day on a lovely island. Oh and mosquito or sand flea bites! I understand that Celebrity is dropping Roatan off their Western Caribbean itinerary. What a shame. Roatan was the highlight of this trip!

Read 2443 Roatan Reviews

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Member Since 2009
526 Forum Posts
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