Celebrity Cruise Lines - Cruisemates Reader's Cruise Reviews
Celebrity Cruises

Solstice
by Mary & JB
Eastern Caribbean
November 23, 2008

As a fan of the M-class ships, this was a disappointment to us.

Main Dining Room

Dinner: The cut of the meats seemed to be lower quality than on previous X cruises. Presentation fine, but never arrived hot.

Breakfast: This was always very good in the main dining room. (We did not try lunch there.)

Cabins

The bathroom is fine, but the stateroom closets are smaller and more importantly for me the drawers are too few. The top drawer gets very, very warm, so be careful what you keep in there. The overhead bed storage would be a problem if you were petite. The handicapped accessible stateroom (friends had) did not have the overhead storage. Personally I do not like to keep things in one large pile. The TV was nice. You can adjust it so viewing in bed is fine. Bedding nice and comfortable. Our bump out cabin 7278 had part of the X logo below the railing, but it did not bother us.

There is a large safe. Can easily fit important items in it.

The Murano specialty dining was not up to the same level as the Oceanliners; it is quite noisy if you have the wine room booked (as we did). The Ensemble Lounge is on the other side of the entry door. Not one in our party of six raved about the food or service. Other passengers we met gave mixed reviews of all three specialty restaurants; most of the high marks went to the Tuscan. The Ensemble Lounge reminded me more of a hotel lobby than an actual lounge.

The Solarium air temp was always chilly. There were youngsters in the pool a lot. The outdoor pool and hot tubs had young children in them. (This of course can/will change from cruise to cruise.) Lots of chairs available, plenty of fresh/clean pool towels.

We never saw the cruise director walking around the ship, and the activities were so-so. (Of course that changes with new contracts on all ships.)

Celebrity notified smokers when they checked in at the pier about the newest changes to smoking restrictions; lots of unhappy smokers.

The Oceanview Cafe (buffet) was nice, bright and plenty of tables/chairs. Independent stations to get your food, no lines to wait in. Decent food/selection. The pasta station could be better, but in a pinch would do. Always lines for the ice cream.

The mid-ship elevators usually had at least 2 out of service. It seemed more for keeping the glass clean than a mechanical issue.

Grass was 'resting' a lot. For us it was just a large waste of space. The Glass Blowing demo was usually too crowded to get a good view, and/or the winds were kicking up too much to stay out there.

Photographers, especially at port stops, were too pushy. I am not one who likes pictures taken, and they did not seem to understand "No Thanks."

We did not spend any time in the casino, but walking by it never seemed really crowded.

Bistro on Five: Pax we spoke to who ate at Bistro were very happy with it. Reminder: There is a small surcharge. Originally it was to have been no charge.

Men and women have separate salon areas on the Solstice. On our cruise the choice of nail color was very limited. Hopefully they have since added to their inventory. I was not happy with the color choice or the manicure.

Observation Lounge: This is nice, large, and has great views. There is a decent size dance floor. Service will probably get better given a little more time. Location prohibits just stopping in for a drink.

Quasar: We walked in and looked around, then left. Just not our cup of tea. Some activites held there included the WII gaming.

Theatre: Comfy seats, so-so shows.

The ship is new, nice and different, very bright and done in white/cream/beige and chrome. (Not a 'warm' feeling to it.) Every space is dedicated to something; no nooks or comfy seats tucked in here and there to chill out, do some people watching, or read a book.

Crew

Some familiar faces; wonderful to see crew members from other cruises. Some of the crew just seemed to be tired. (Understandable, given this was the first regular cruise for Solstice.) Our stateroom attendants (Jose and Agos) and dining staff (Ben and Bradley) were wonderful and very accommodating.

We booked this cruise in June 2007 only because it was a maiden voyage. We are not planning another Solstice cruise.

Embarkation/Disembarkation

Both Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. We were off the ship an hour earlier than our 'scheduled' time. No problems with luggage.