My wife and I sailed on the Celebrity Solstice from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
to San Juan, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. Our primary motivation for selecting
the cruise was to experience the new Solstice class Celebrity ships. We were
Unusual uses of outside light enhance the ship interiors. The guest
relations desk and the shops have outside windows or light backgrounds. The
shops are also along a boulevard-like walk.
The Lawn Club, on the top deck, with a large area of real grass was unusual,
to say the least. Glass blowing was in the same area.
The public areas were nicely designed with plenty of comfortable seating in
just about every available space. Bars, clubs, and food venues were readily
available on decks four and five as well as the dining rooms and buffet.
Elevators were conveniently placed and waits were reasonable even during
peak use times.
Parking and Access
There is a convenient parking lot next to the ship,
about a five minute walk to the ship. It is easy to drop bags at the
terminal, park the car and walk to the ship. The parking is outside so you
can count on a filthy car when you return in a week. There is a lot of
construction next to the ship and current terminal so we concluded that
Port Everglades is working on a new parking garage, terminal or both. They
need the garage.
Food and Dining
The food was excellent in every dining venue that we tried.
The Grand Epernay Restaurant, the main dining room, had nice selections for
lunches and dinners. We noted that the meat/steak was above average on the
Solstice. The Oceanview Café, their buffet, was one of the best, if not the
best, buffet areas we have experienced. The food display/serving area was
one large area where we could see which foods they were serving. The seating
area was very large and easily accommodated guests without a lot of walking
and looking for a table. The buffet had a large variety of foods for every
We tried two of the specialty restaurants, the Murano French themed
restaurant and the Silk Harvest oriental restaurant. Both were excellent
with very nice menus. We thought the Silk Harvest was a special flavors
The staff was excellent. Stewards, waiters, hosts, desk personnel,
officers and crew were all attentive and seemed pleased to be there. They
kept the ship clean and neat, kept the food and drinks coming, and spoke and
smiled when you met them.
The rooms were well designed. We did think they were a little
narrower than similar rooms on other ships. This was emphasized by the fact
that the location of the beds was alternated from close to the closets to
close to the balconies in adjacent rooms with the widest areas being where
the beds were located. Lighting in the rooms was unique with a lot of
control. A nice feature was a low level bathroom light that was on all night,
making a night time bathroom visit much less hazardous. Bedding was
comfortable. Closet space seemed to be less than we have experienced on
The Solstice casino had a large selection of games including "penny"
slot machines. The slots were coinless ticket-in/ticket-out, which is nice as
well as clean.
The theatre, movie theater, lounges, entertainment court, and
pool area all had entertainment available throughout the cruise. There was adequate
seating in each area. The Ensemble Lounge, near the specialty restaurants,
seemed to be an especially popular gathering place.
If you smoke, you need to be made well aware of the Celebrity
smoking policy and the on-ship restrictions so that you won't be surprised
or disappointed when you get on board. Smoking is not allowed in any cabin
or on any balcony. There are designated smoking areas, outside on the port
side of deck five (the outside walkway/promenade) on the back half of the
ship, is one such area. If your cabin is convenient to this area it will
help. There are also other areas designated, but not all are as convenient.
We believe Celebrity needs to revisit their policy and should include some
smokers in the policy group.
Prices seemed to have taken a step up on the Solstice. My special
gripe was the drink prices. Beer, for example, ranged in price from $4.50
for a bottle of domestic beer to $6.00 for a bottle of premium beer.
Gratuities were $11.50 per person per day, higher than many other ships, but
the staff earned every penny of every gratuity.
The Celebrity Solstice is unique and has set new benchmarks in
several areas, especially in décor and design.