Solstice, Eastern Caribbean 03 Oct.: Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by Marelaine

Celebrity Solstice 5
Member Since 2010
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Solstice, Eastern Caribbean 03 Oct.

Sail Date: October 2010
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Port Everglades Cruise Terminal: The embarkation and debarkation process was quick and efficient. The security guards were a little overbearing, barking orders and reprimands, though. Overall, the process took about 15 minutes.

We were immediately escorted to our floor on the Solstice so that we could drop off our carry on bags and check out our cabins. The cabins were decorated in a soothing neutral palette, with ample, clever storage space. Very nicely laid out, attractive and clean. We had a mid-deck veranda, with 2 deck chairs and a table. Our wonderful steward, Odya, stopped by to introduce herself. She took very good care of us throughout our cruise.

Food service is excellent from the casual Oceanview Cafe which has an extensive breakfast and lunch buffet to the magnificent main dining room, The Grand Epernay. We were assigned to a table of 7, first seating. Our head waiter, Ernesto, was personable and knowledgeable about the menu. I ordered his More recommendations, each night and was never disappointed.

I read so much brouhaha over formal night dress requirements, that we almost opted not to attend. We took a chance though, me in my LBD and my husband in his navy blazer and dress slacks, dress shirt and tie. We did not feel out of place at all. My estimate is that less than 20% of the men wore tuxes, 60% wore dark suits, with the remainder in blazers and sports coats. The women were a little flashier,some with long, elegant evening gowns, sparkly tops and evening pants, cocktail dresses and Sunday best dresses. We felt very comfortable and attended the second formal night, as well. There were a few men without jackets, who were stopped at the door. The maitre d' arranged 'loaner jackets' for them before they were allowed to enter.

The outdoor pool area was crowded on sea days, but there were plenty of lounge chairs to accommodate everyone, just not right next to the pool. I didn't notice the infamous 'chair hogs', so I'll assume that the pool butlers were vigilant about clearing up those 'saved' chairs for people who were actually present. Or maybe,they made the chair hogs walk the plank : )

The entertainment on the Solstice was excellent. We attended the after dinner shows in the Solstice theater every night and really enjoyed them. There were a nice variety of acrobatic, dance, musical and comedy acts there. And there were various performers around the ship, where you could stop and enjoy a dance or two or relax in a comfy chair and enjoy the music. And of course there are a casino, theme parties various lectures and demonstrations. The hot glass show was very interesting. There were plenty of activities to choose from, most listed in the 'dailies' that are delivered to your cabin each evening.

Unfortunately the weather was not good to us on this cruise (during hurricane season). But our cruise director, Lisa Richards, met the challenge of providing extra activities for those who did not care to venture out in the rain. Less

Published 10/15/10

Cabin review: 2A7244 Deluxe Veranda

Cabin 7244, category 2A, mid-ship, well laid out, bed near bathroom, ample storage space, quiet, close to elevators. Balcony overlooks life boats, but otherwise view is unobscured.

Read All Deluxe Veranda (2A) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Our last port was supposed to be St. Martin, but that port was closed by the Coast Guard, thanks to hurricane Otto. Captain Demetris Kafetzis arranged to dock us in Montego Bay, Jamaica, reportedly the only sunny spot in the Caribbean at that time. He went beyond his duties, here, since he could have much more easily substituted a sea day. We opted to enjoy our view of beautiful Jamaica from the ship that day. It was a nice peaceful, warm and wonderful day near the uncrowded pool.

About a half hour after our arrival in San Juan, there was a torrential downpour. We waited to debark about an hour, when the rain slowed to a steady drizzle. The crew members offered umbrellas to any who wanted them. Old San Juan is an easy walk from the pier. The traffic on the main road, which you need to cross, is heavy and slow moving, not a problem getting across. We walked around the old part of city, visiting shops for about two hours. There were an astounding number of jewelry shops as well as souvenir and tobacco shops. The shop employees were mostly polite and didn't mind if you were just browsing.

Although parts of this section of town looked a little bit shabby, we felt safe walking around Old San Juan.

Read 2985 San Juan Reviews

I am not going to rate St. Thomas because we arrived right before tropical depression 17 became hurricane Otto. All excursions were canceled, including ours to Magen's Bay. It rained all day, but we got of the ship to stroll around Havensight, the shopping area at the pier. This is marketplace of (expensive and cheap)jewelry shops and souvenir shops. A good place for the kids to pick up T-shirts, although you can purchase them on the ship. Nothing really remarkable about this place. We walked around less than an hour and were happy to return to the Solstice.

Read 4003 St. Thomas Reviews

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