Hooked on Celebrity!: Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by CruiseMaman

Celebrity Solstice 5
Member Since 2010
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Hooked on Celebrity!

Sail Date: February 2011
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Embarkation: Perfectly smooth. We arrived at the terminal at 11:00am and were on the ship before 11:30. The row-by-row embarkation is wonderful. Our room was ready by 1:15.

Cabin: Balcony cabin on the starboard aft corridor. It was spacious and lovely. There was lots of storage room, a *very* comfortable bed, and the best bathroom we've ever experienced on a cruise -- shower door instead of a curtain, great storage areas, bright lighting with a night-light feature.

Service: Our cabin steward couldn't have done a better job or been more accomodating. Our room was spotless.

Buffet: We ate breakfast and lunch here most days, although we enjoyed the AquaSpa cafe, too. We were very happy with the wide variety of food and always found many appetizing choices. We liked carrying our plates out to the "Oceanview Bar" at the back of the ship and eating outside. We always found seats with no problem.

Dining: We were stuck with the late seating, which we did More not like (too late, interfered with too many evening activities we wanted to do). We were unable to change to the Select Dining option before the cruise and, in fact, the Maitre D' was quite rude about his refusal to accommodate our request to change when we talked with him on embarkation day. To make matters worse, we were invited to dinner mid-week by a couple we met on an excursion. When we arrived at the dining room with them (they WERE on Select Dining), the Maitre D' gave the four of us a very difficult time and would only agree to let us eat together after our friend asked to speak to a supervisor. At that point, the MD said, "Well, I will let you in this time, but don't ever ask to do this again." We ate dinner in the buffet (very quiet and, again, we could eat outside on the back deck) or in the Bistro.

The Maitre D's inflexibility was especially hard to take because the dining room was never full -- not on the one night we did eat there at the beginning of the cruise or on the night we ate there with our friends. In fact, other people we talked to throughout the week said that there were always MANY empty tables in the dining room during both seatings.

In any event, we did not mind eating at the buffet and we enjoyed being able to eat outside. Plus, we could spend as much or as little time dining as we wanted to, unlike in the dining room when dinner was a two-hour affair. We were also free to dress much more casually than if we had been in the Grand Epernay.

Solarium: This adults-only pool area is fantastic! We never had a hard time finding lounge chairs and we loved the atmosphere. This became our favorite area of the ship.

Activities: The Celebrity Life series was great and we especially enjoyed the Hot Glass Show up on the top deck.

In short, we loved this cruise (our second on Celebrity) and will definitely cruise with them again. Of our past 16 cruises, this was one of the very best, in spite of the dining room experience. Less

Published 03/08/11

Cabin review: 1C6302 Deluxe Veranda

6302: Quiet location at the end of the hallway. We liked that the stairway and elevators were far away, since there was virtually no traffic. Very spacious private balcony, but does not look directly down onto the water due to a steel deck area right outside our balcony. (The deck is an access area for crew only, though, so it's not like people walk by the room.) We knew that our cabin was considered to have an "obstructed view." The view out to sea was unobstructed but, as I said, we couldn't look directly down into the water. We would definitely book this cabin again.

Read All Deluxe Veranda (1C) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We did the 12-mile bike trip through San Juan and to several beaches. The guides were amazing and the trip was tons of fun -- as well as being very informative and a great workout. We loved this.

Read 2981 San Juan Reviews

Fan-Ta-Sea snorkel, sail, and beach excursion. We loved the snorkeling and the sailing, but the beach portion of the trip was really only long enough to gobble down a mediocre lunch. There was no time to swim or walk on the beach. The crew was lively and fun, but this was really just a "booze cruise" and it seemed like most people were only interested in the "free" drinks. We would not repeat this excursion.

Read 1322 St. Kitts Reviews

We *LOVED* the America's Cup regatta! This was my husband's second time on this excursion and this sailing experience is one of the reasons we took this particular cruise -- he loved the sailing so much a couple of years ago that he wanted me to experience it, too. There were several repeat sailors on our team. The crew of the "True North" was great and made this an unforgettable afternoon. Our team won the regatta and we felt like we had won a real race. We will do this again in the future!

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