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Embarkation We flew down the morning of the cruise. We decided to take a taxi to the cruise ship which we never do. What an experience. The driver had one phone in his ear and he was texting on a phone in his right hand! We did not know what to do as he did not talk to us over the entire short trip. We got there safely but that is no way to start a vacation! We were on the ship after a short wait in the Aqua Class line and had our welcome champagne and mimosa in no time. Stateroom Room was clean and the bed was near the veranda. We like that set up as we can see the water from our bed. Everything was in working order but I got occasional error messages on the room safe. But it worked just fine. There was plenty of storage for our clothes. The water pressure in the bathroom was strong and it had a body massaging function. Quality bath products were included. We received a bowl of fruit and bottle of champagne upon arrival. We had daily canapes which were a big improvement from previous cruises. The daily iced tea was very good as well. Our stewards were very efficient and professional. Fellow Passengers There was a large group of Canadians, both English-speaking and French. Also, there were a good number of cruisers from Germany. A wide range in ages were represented but most were in their 60's. Of note, there may have been a record for the number of passengers who weighed over 275 pounds. Food The food in the Oceanview Cafe-which is served cafeteria style with stations- was consistently outstanding. Breakfast and lunch were well attended but never crowded. There was a wide variety of well-prepared foods to suit anyone's taste. The Aqua Spa Cafe had healthy alternatives and we ate lunch there daily. Being in Aqua Class, we ate breakfast and dinner in Blu. Smaller portions but very good quality food. Service was excellent by the wait staff. They earn their money! Especially having to put up with one of the rude managers there. I felt bad for some of the staff. We ate at two of the Specialty Restaurants. Tuscan Grill was outstanding in all respects. The filet mignon was the best I had on the ship. The French onion soup was the best I have ever had. The servers, Iresh and his assistant, were top notch. The dark chocolate fondue with fruit and brownies was outstanding. One of the best Tuscan Grills in the fleet! Murano was somewhat disappointing. Very small portions and the food did not compare favorably with Muranos from past cruises. Service was outstanding. Norovirus The Captain announced that there had been a problem on the cruise the week before. He did ask all of us to take precautions. I did not hear of anyone getting sick on our cruise. Entertainment The party band, Top Notch, was really top notch! They really made a difference in the cruise and are accomplished singers and musicians. One of the best. There was a very good classical music trio that played in different venues along with a Steel Drum band, solo guitarist, Big Band, and A Cappella quartett. A magician (Adam Trent) and a comedian were also on our cruise. The major shows in the theater were well attended and the young group were very entertaining. The cruise director, Stewart Turnbull, did an efficient and commendable job. The Corning Hot Glass Show was outstanding. The three young ladies did a great job engaging the audience and explaining how they made their products. I cannot say enough about them. The Captain, Gerry Larsson-Fedde, is active and involved with passengers. A surprise awaits you! He is surrounded by an enthusiastic staff. A real friendly and professional group on this ship! Excursions We took an excursion via Celebrity. Over-priced and over-crowded. We were told by the tour operator that Celebrity had told them the day before to expect 40 passengers on the Jolly Roger Catamaran in Roatan. 67 tickets were sold and there was a shortage of food and beverages. Not acceptable. We still had a fun time as I knew the crew from a previous cruise. I had arranged private tours in advance at other ports. Leaving the Ship Disaster. There is no other word to describe it. We knew there had been problems in the past so we waited on the ship until they threw us off. Still, we were in line along the dock winding through a stuffy warehouse. Luckily, it was a cool day. We waited in a chaotic line for over an hour to clear customs. Celebrity could have monitored the lines and allowed passengers to remain in the theater in comfort. No, they wanted everyone off the ship. I have never experienced anything like this on previous cruises. Celebrity was blaming the Customs Agents but they are also responsible.

Cruising on the Solstice for the Second Time

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by keesar

Trip Details
Embarkation

We flew down the morning of the cruise. We decided to take a taxi to the cruise ship which we never do. What an experience. The driver had one phone in his ear and he was texting on a phone in his right hand! We did not know what to do as he did not talk to us over the entire short trip. We got there safely but that is no way to start a vacation! We were on the ship after a short wait in the Aqua Class line and had our welcome champagne and mimosa in no time.

Stateroom

Room was clean and the bed was near the veranda. We like that set up as we can see the water from our bed. Everything was in working order but I got occasional error messages on the room safe. But it worked just fine. There was plenty of storage for our clothes. The water pressure in the bathroom was strong and it had a body massaging function. Quality bath products were included. We received a bowl of fruit and bottle of champagne upon arrival. We had daily canapes which were a big improvement from previous cruises. The daily iced tea was very good as well. Our stewards were very efficient and professional.

Fellow Passengers

There was a large group of Canadians, both English-speaking and French. Also, there were a good number of cruisers from Germany. A wide range in ages were represented but most were in their 60's. Of note, there may have been a record for the number of passengers who weighed over 275 pounds.

Food

The food in the Oceanview Cafe-which is served cafeteria style with stations- was consistently outstanding. Breakfast and lunch were well attended but never crowded. There was a wide variety of well-prepared foods to suit anyone's taste. The Aqua Spa Cafe had healthy alternatives and we ate lunch there daily.

Being in Aqua Class, we ate breakfast and dinner in Blu. Smaller portions but very good quality food. Service was excellent by the wait staff. They earn their money! Especially having to put up with one of the rude managers there. I felt bad for some of the staff.

We ate at two of the Specialty Restaurants. Tuscan Grill was outstanding in all respects. The filet mignon was the best I had on the ship. The French onion soup was the best I have ever had. The servers, Iresh and his assistant, were top notch. The dark chocolate fondue with fruit and brownies was outstanding. One of the best Tuscan Grills in the fleet!

Murano was somewhat disappointing. Very small portions and the food did not compare favorably with Muranos from past cruises. Service was outstanding.


Norovirus

The Captain announced that there had been a problem on the cruise the week before. He did ask all of us to take precautions. I did not hear of anyone getting sick on our cruise.

Entertainment

The party band, Top Notch, was really top notch! They really made a difference in the cruise and are accomplished singers and musicians. One of the best. There was a very good classical music trio that played in different venues along with a Steel Drum band, solo guitarist, Big Band, and A Cappella quartett. A magician (Adam Trent) and a comedian were also on our cruise. The major shows in the theater were well attended and the young group were very entertaining. The cruise director, Stewart Turnbull, did an efficient and commendable job.

The Corning Hot Glass Show was outstanding. The three young ladies did a great job engaging the audience and explaining how they made their products. I cannot say enough about them.

The Captain, Gerry Larsson-Fedde, is active and involved with passengers. A surprise awaits you! He is surrounded by an enthusiastic staff. A real friendly and professional group on this ship!

Excursions

We took an excursion via Celebrity. Over-priced and over-crowded. We were told by the tour operator that Celebrity had told them the day before to expect 40 passengers on the Jolly Roger Catamaran in Roatan. 67 tickets were sold and there was a shortage of food and beverages. Not acceptable. We still had a fun time as I knew the crew from a previous cruise. I had arranged private tours in advance at other ports.

Leaving the Ship

Disaster. There is no other word to describe it. We knew there had been problems in the past so we waited on the ship until they threw us off. Still, we were in line along the dock winding through a stuffy warehouse. Luckily, it was a cool day. We waited in a chaotic line for over an hour to clear customs. Celebrity could have monitored the lines and allowed passengers to remain in the theater in comfort. No, they wanted everyone off the ship. I have never experienced anything like this on previous cruises. Celebrity was blaming the Customs Agents but they are also responsible.
keesar’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

AquaClass
Cabin A1 1651
Quiet. Bed close to veranda. Great view but a good walk to the nearest elevators.
Penthouse Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins