Great time on the Solstice: Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by jam47

Celebrity Solstice 5
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

Great time on the Solstice

Sail Date: March 2011
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
My husband and I booked relatively last-minute on the Solstice on the advice of our travel agent. She said we would enjoy the ship and concierge class and she was right. Having sailed last on the much larger Ruby Princess, we were pleased with the size and decor of the Solstice. I particularly liked the central atrium with the glass elevators.

Our agent did advise us that the norovirus had been present on the previous sailing, and as a result we would have a later embarkation so they could sanitize the ship. I had read in the member reviews that Celebrity had taken all precautions following a January sailing norvirus outbreak and so I expected that they would do so again. I was extremely impressed with how they handled it, from having staff with hand-sanitizer on embarkation, and at each food service place. They were constantly wiping down handrails and sanitizing tables in the buffet and restaurants. Food was served to us in all areas until mid-week, when they returned to More self-service in the buffets and returned the salt and pepper shakers to the table.

Our stateroom was nicely appointed, with a decent sized balcony. I loved the shower in the bathroom as opposed to having to climb into a tub. One of the only things we didn't like about the stateroom was the sofa, which wasn't very comfortable. Having said that, we spent a lot of time on the balcony anyway so it wasn't a big deal. We had two great stateroom attendants.

The food was excellent and the service attentive in the dining room, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They also had "normal" portion sizes, so that if you had a couple of courses you didn't feel like you were served too much food (as opposed to Princess who seemed to feel that each course had to be super-sized). We had a wonderful meal in the Tuscan Grill, and had the best seats right beside the floor to ceiling windows where we had a great view from the back of the ship. I was disappointed in the Asian Silk restaurant, and even sent one dish back. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his meal there, however. They did agree to remove my cover charge.

For a couple of lunches we went to the Aquaspa Cafe. This was a real treat, as it's in the adults-only solarium by the spa, and features very healthy salads and small plates. We also had breakfast here on disembarkation day with only a few other people around. So peaceful.

We had several spa treatments, and were pleased with the quality of the staff. The spa is run by the company that makes Elemis products, so expect to be sold to. But they aren't pushy and respect your right to say no thanks.

Others have commented on the hot glass show and I echo that it's really worth seeing. The glass pieces are created by glass artisans who are graduates of schools of art or who have apprenticed with masters. Fascinating to watch!

Overall we were very impressed with the Celebrity Solstice as a ship and for the professional and friendly staff. We will definitely try the ship again for another itinerary. Less

Published 04/11/11
Helpful? Thank jam47

Cabin review: C31168 Concierge Class

Good location, not far from the central elevators. Good sized balcony with chairs and footrests (nice treat) and a table. Very quiet hallway on our cruise. Enough closet, cubby and drawer space to unpack all our stuff. Nice bathroom with a walk-in shower instead of a tub. The room had a trundle bed, but it really is too small for more than two people. The sofa wasn't really comfortable as it had no back support. The bed was very comfortable.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We chose not to book a shore excursion after reading member reviews that suggested the old city was walkable on our own. We visited both the forts and had refreshments in the Cafe Berlin and Picateo. Overall we enjoyed the port and would like to go back and visit more of San Juan and PR.
Read 2979 San Juan Reviews

We liked St. Martin/St. Maarten. It is a pretty island and each side is distinct. We booked a shore excursion through the ship and had a bus tour from Phillipsberg to Marigot, then on to Orient Bay Beach. While each city is touted as a shopping mecca, unless you are interested in jewellery or souvenirs, neither are very impressive. We had advice from Frommer's Caribbean 2011 that we could have a great local lunch in the market in Marigot, and we did enjoy local seafood, rice and salad at Enoch's Place. I highly recommend it with a cold Carib beer.

While my husband didn't swim, I had a great time in the surf at Orient Bay. We had about an hour there and loved it.

This was our second time in St. Thomas (last time we visited Magen's Bay for the beach - lovely!). We went to the Butterfly Farm, which was a 2-minute walk from the pier. We had a fascinating explanation of butterflies from the knowledgeable fellow. There was also a free parrot show. We took the skyride to the top of the island (also just a 5-minute walk from the pier)and got some great photos. Not sure if the photos are worth the $21 (each) price, though.

In the afternoon we took the shore excursion ferry to the island of St. John, where we engaged a local taxi to take us on an island tour for $50. He was genial and knowledgeable and took us all around within our short time frame. The island is mostly a national park, with a ban on further development, so it was quite refreshing to see the pristine landscapes. I highly recommend taking the time to visit St. John.

Read 4002 St. Thomas Reviews

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