Great cruise on Solstice: Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by jenlynmc

Celebrity Solstice 5
Member Since 2004
49 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Great cruise on Solstice

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
We arrived in Barcelona on May 12 and stayed at the Hilton Diagonal. I will go onto the port review sections and post more detailed port review there. We took a cab to the cruise dock around 11 on May 14 and check in was very easy and quick. Because we were booked into Aqua Class, we planned to eat most meals in Blu, but I booked the three meal package for variety. We had also prepurchased the premium alcohol beverage packages. We ate lunch at the grill and started enjoying the beverage package while we waiting for the room to be ready! We found the ship very clean and elegant. Our cabin was very nice, functional but not elaborate. We had regular size, a little to the back of mid ship. It was quiet except for occasionally hearing some chair movement above us. We enjoyed the balcony the most when docking and just on sea days. We ate breakfast there on early port days too. Bathroom of the cabin was fine and the shower was great. We had plenty of storage, requested more hangers and got More them easily. Pretty much anything we asked for was provided by our excellent cabin steward, Cyril.

We ate at each restaurant on the ship and Blu was our hands down favorite. Jesse was our waiter and he was great. Erlich the sommelier was also very good at recommending wines. My only complaint about Blu was that one night we asked to be seated away from the windows because of some sun glare and we were in no mans land for a good while with no food or water or service. The food at Blu was SO good. I love trying different things and this was the place to do it. The portions were just the right size to be able to eat something from each course without being stuffed. My favorite things there were a lamb dish with lamb done 2 ways on the plate, the lobster, the coconut creme brulee, and the rum cake with caramel ice cream. Silk Harvest was our second favorite place. We didn't hate but didn't love Murano or Tuscan Grille. We almost never ate at the buffet except to get a snack or gelato. My husband ate at the Mast Grill and really enjoyed the bar and cigar smoking up top.

For drinks, we frequented the Martini Bar. We liked the location and the crowd. The Molecular Bar had some great drinks--the Coming up Roses was fantastic. We also spent lots of time at the Cafe Bacio with frappes every day. I didn't care for the regular coffee on the ship and was very happy to find that with the Premium Beverage package we could get the specialty coffees at the Cafe Bacio or even at the bar as you go into the buffet area.

We did not attend shows every night, but did enjoy the ones we saw. I attended the cooking shows and learned a lot and had fun there!

The casino was fun--we did Cruise Critic slot pull and broke even. My husband fared better than me and enjoyed a couple of the tournaments.

We made minimal use of the spa and Persian Gardens. We did have room service breakfast and it was quite good, but we liked eating in Blu when we had time. We only asked for the afternoon Aqua Cabin snacks a few days and they were fine.

We thought the cruise was great and would go again in a minute. Celebrity is our favorite line due to the smoking policy (no smoke smelled on our balcony and no smoke in the casino!) and now the Aqua Class because of Blu. Less

Published 06/28/11

Cabin review: A21623 AquaClass

Great location. Bed near Balcony. Only occasional noise--nothing that ever woke us up and I am a light sleeper. Cyril the attendant is Magic!!

Read All AquaClass (A2) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We arrived in BCN early morning the day before our cruise. We stayed at Hilton Diagonal. We liked the modern decor and traditional Hilton comfort. It is right across from a large mall and we enjoyed walking though looking at the different foods, clothes, etc.

We did the HOHO bus to get a good overview of the sites. Only problem is that if you get off, you may be waiting to get back on for a while! We walked Las Ramblas which was very crowded, toured La Sagrada Famila, and walked through several other areas. We LOVED the architecture and the food. My husband encountered two children pickpockets but had wallet zippered up and quickly realized what was going on. Other than that, it was a safe and beautiful port.

For anyone wondering, we docked at 6 am and had a 10 am flight. We walked off with our luggage, getting to the doors about 6:30 and finding 20 or so people with us. We were off in about 15 min but the line behind us was long. We hailed a cab and were at the airport by 7:45 and it was a weekday. It made us a little anxious, but it was fine.

Read 1729 Barcelona Reviews

We went with two other couples we met on the Cruise Critic board on a private tour in a van. The tour guide (French Frankie) was great. We didn't spend much time in Cannes because of the film festival. Monte Carlo, Eze and the area were incredibly beautiful. We did lots of walking and took some great photos from the places the guide took us.

Read 360 Cannes Reviews

We didn't have a tour lined up for Dubrovnik. We lucked into a cab driver who spoke very good English and we paid him $50 (his set price) to take us on a tour of the area and then drop us in Old Town. He did a very good job of getting us to spots with great views and shared their interesting history with us. I highly recommend doing this kind of tour if you go there. You can probably prearrange it. There were lots of cabs waiting outside the ship and it wa very easy. We walked through Old Town. Overall, this was a very easy and relaxing tour day!

Because it was Monday and the museums were closed and also just to give us some countryside time as opposed to spending each day in a crowded city, we did the Cinque Terre tour. We were unsuccessful at booking a private tour, so we did the ship tour. They bussed us to one of the villages and then we walked and boated to the others. This was one of our favorite ports. The villages were colorful and beautiful and the walking along the seaside cliffs yielded spectacular views. We loved being outside and seeing the incredible scenery. The walking was not strenuous at all. The guide was pretty good, and we had plenty of time in each village to sightsee, eat and shop.

We opted for only the Pompeii tour while in Naples. It was a ship tour and we probably could have just done it ourselves. We took a bus to the site and followed a guide through the ruins, listening to him over headsets. Pompeii was amazing, but the tour was only okay. Naples was very dirty, with garbage everywhere. I was glad we did not opt to just go walk around!

Read 1162 Naples Reviews

We did private tour with 3 other couples we met on Cruise Critic Roll Call and we had a great time! We hit the main sites and got some great info and driving from our guide. He set up for us to eat lunch together at Dino and Tonys (or Tony and Dinos) near the Vatican. It was fantastic. The Coliseum was incredible. We did the 2 pm tour of the Vatican museums for which we prepurchased tickets and it was also great. Our guide there, Rosie, was awesome. This is a city where I was very glad we were on a private tour. A group tour here probably would not have allowed us to see so much AND meander around too.

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Member Since 2004
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