Family Celebration Cruise: Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by maryannew

Celebrity Solstice 5
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

Family Celebration Cruise

Sail Date: August 2011
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
We found two weeks of the summer in the schedules of 4 busy people, that we could disconnect from the real world and get away to celebrate college graduation, birthdays, and 25 years of marriage. We blended a tour of the World War II sites of Normandy with a mediterranean cruise. After 3 days in Normandy, we flew to Barcelona for a few days prior to the cruise. Barcelona is fabulous and has to be one of the best cruise ports!

Embarkation was smooth and we were pleasantly surprise with the size and quality of our concierge class stateroom. Our sons were in an inside state room nearby. Probably not the best choice due to the lack of light and difficulty getting them up for port days, but the price was right. Hats off to the cruise director, the captain, the kitchen, and of course, the cabin stewards. We were so well taken care of!! The ship feels new and fresh; plenty of activities and the food was always fresh. We did not try the specialty restaurants. We understood that More reservations were difficult to get due to a company event that booked 2/3 of the cruise.

Ports like Cannes,Barcelona were great. But Civitavechhia and Livorno are really quite far from major attractions. If you have been to Rome and Florence, opt for something closer.

Recommendations to the cruise line:

1) create some sort of activity for 18-25 year olds to meet. Singles night at the martini bar attracted mostly 40+. Teens seemed to connect quickly at events but nothing for college age.

2) communicate that cruise is significantly booked with 1 company--many of the events seemed exclusive for the company so the atmosphere on board was different than that of most cruises where you meet people from everywhere. Fine for us since we were with family, but not as much fun as it could have been for our sons. Less

Published 08/16/11

Cabin review: C31002 Concierge Class

Very comfortable bed, lots of storage space, great balcony that felt private except when coming in to port early in the AM. Room is adjacent to the Bridge; a busy area if the boat is being docked on that side. Cabin service was incredible.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Barcelona is a fabulous port and perfect place to begin or end a cruise. There is so much to do within walking distance of the port gate and the metro system is steps away as well.

Read 1749 Barcelona Reviews

Great port! Beautiful city on the water and lots of activity at the beaches. If you are interested in the fantastic shopping and browsing, easy ferries are available to get to nearby islands.

Definitely take the 30 minute open air train around the historic area of town, then walk the beach front and around the shops behind the major hotels.

Just a beautiful french town with the bluest water!!

Read 366 Cannes Reviews

The port for Florence is actually Livorno. A bus and 5-10 min. ride is required from the port to get to the center of town in Livorno. The drop off is very near the bus station, the beach, and the downtown area.

We chose to take a train over to Pisa rather than the 3 hour round trip for Florence. Pisa is a 15 minute train trip from Livorno and quite interesting. The best pizza of our trip came in Pisa from a "hole in the wall" spot with a wood fire oven. Also, good luck with local trains got us back to poolside activities early.

We liked the town of Livorno but didn't care for the effort involved to actually get to Florence. Had we not been a family of 4, we probably would have relied on a cruise line excursion to get to Florence.

Not a great experience. A "pop up" village has been created at the dock for those that would like to wander through a simulated market of Tunisian goods. Tunisian band greeted us at the port, as well as camels for photo ops.

Everyone is clearly there for the ship's tourists. Highlight was getting my son's picture riding a camel...then we were back to the ship for fun around the pool.

Even if the stay had been longer I doubt we would have spent any more time off the ship.

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