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This was our first time sailing on Celebrity, and having sailed on Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean ships over the last 20 years, we found this to be the best ship we’ve ever been on. We stayed at a hotel the night before the cruise and chose to book it through the cruise line. This was worthwhile because our luggage was automatically picked up in the room the morning of the cruise. We had a free shuttle to the ship. Our luggage was brought to our stateroom. It was nice not to have to handle luggage that morning. We were fortunate to have good weather through most of the cruise, and Alaska was beautiful and majestic. • This ship is geared to a middle aged crowd. I would say 80% of those on board were in the 35 to 65 age range. There’s very little for children to do on this ship and there were virtually no kids on board, save a few toddlers and infants. • We liked the design of the ship. Everything just feels like it is convenient and it’s not too big, never seemed too crowded. The buffet on at sea days gets really busy but not as bad as other ships. Restaurants and lounges, the Solarium, theater, and shops are all easy to access. • Outstanding multinational crew. All of the staff on this ship were not just friendly, but efficient, and all seemed as though they were happy to be there and wanted to make everyone’s vacation an enjoyable experience. • The main dining room food was the best we’ve ever had on a cruise ship. I was really surprised at the selections and quality. Prime rib, rack of lamb, short ribs, seafood were excellent. “Could I please have 2 lobster tails?” – no problem sir. The shrimp cocktail was great, could we get 3 more – no problem. Can I have asparagus with my meal instead of broccoli? – no problem. This service is common on cruise ships but especially well executed on Soltice. Great freshly baked breads. And the ship’s still water was delicious, better tasting than bottled water. We had Select (anytime) Dining, and we never had to wait long to be seated even though we never called ahead. We chose a table for 2 each meal, usually close to other conversational and engaging diners. • Buffet - Last year we sailed on the RC Anthem of the Seas. Huge ship. Their buffet was basically prison mess hall quality IMO. The buffet food on Soltice was very, very good. Always seemed fresh and well prepared. Service - almost overstaffed, with crew everywhere helping guests get served and seated. Separate servers bringing drinks from the bar were also very attentive to guests. • Balcony stateroom – We liked the layout with the desk near the slider and the bed closer to the bathroom. Everything was in good order and clean, and the bed was very comfortable. Lighting was adequate, although there should have been more outlets available. • Concierge Class – I felt this was worth the extra cost. You get a preferred location on the ship and priority boarding, with a Concierge greeting us before we even reached the counter at check in, giving us his card and phone nbr to assist us if needed. We had confirmed Select Dining but were set up with late seating in error. Our first night I called the Concierge and he had it corrected. There are some additional small amenities for your cabin (no big deal). However, one really nice perk was on “welcome aboard” day Concierge Class passengers can dine in the main dining room with full table service and a regular menu. This avoids being limited to the ship’s buffet with large crowds of people. • Go Best Package - $630 per couple for the 7 day cruise. I think this was, for us, a good value. You get unlimited internet on the ship for 2 devices (I use my laptop on board). We are both drinkers and this includes the Premium drink pkg. Premium wines and alcohol run $10 to $13 per drink normally. So just 4 drinks each per day plus bottled waters made it worthwhile. You also get pre-paid gratuities and $300 ship board credit applicable for excursions, specialty dining, etc. A summer promo also gave us an additional $300 discount. • Luggage Valet Program – something new for us on a cruise. $25/person. You provide a form to C/S with your flight info 2 days prior to arrival back in port. The night before docking flight boarding passes, flight baggage tags, & shuttle transfers along with your departure priority code are delivered to your cabin. Your check in luggage must be left outside your stateroom the night before as usual, but you don’t see you bags again until your flight lands back home. We left the ship at 8am, got right on a shuttle bus to the airport, through security and straight to our departure gate. When our flight arrived back in Burbank CA our bags were quickly available in the baggage area for us. This whole process had me a bit worried, especially when our reserved flight was cancelled & we had to switch to a new flight, but all went well. A great service. Improvements: • In our opinion the specialty restaurants are not worth the extra cost. We ate at Murano the second night ($100). The service was impeccable and a beautiful room. However, the food in the dining room was so good we declined other specialty choices for the rest of the cruise. If the cost were like cruises of old, say $20 to $30/person, it would have been more inviting. • Celebrity did not send us our cruise documents, which should have come to our e-mail. I called our travel agent right before the cruise to follow up. She forwarded them to me, but by then it was too late to get Express Boarding passes on line. Turned out our embarkation process went very smoothly & quickly without it, but that should have been handled more thoroughly. • Celebrity is not alone in closing their main dining rooms for lunch on in-port days. This means there are no table service venues open other than the extra cost sushi restaurant. In Ketchikan we were off then back on the ship before lunch. It would have been nice to have a full service option. • The day we arrived on board we did not get both pcs of our luggage delivered to our stateroom until about 5pm, which was 30 min after the ship sailed. This was disconcerting.

Best ship we've ever been on.

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by SoCalPhil

15 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Concierge Class
This was our first time sailing on Celebrity, and having sailed on Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean ships over the last 20 years, we found this to be the best ship we’ve ever been on.

We stayed at a hotel the night before the cruise and chose to book it through the cruise line. This was worthwhile because our luggage was automatically picked up in the room the morning of the cruise. We had a free shuttle to the ship. Our luggage was brought to our stateroom. It was nice not to have to handle luggage that morning.

We were fortunate to have good weather through most of the cruise, and Alaska was beautiful and majestic.

• This ship is geared to a middle aged crowd. I would say 80% of those on board were in the 35 to 65 age range. There’s very little for children to do on this ship and there were virtually no kids on board, save a few toddlers and infants.

• We liked the design of the ship. Everything just feels like it is convenient and it’s not too big, never seemed too crowded. The buffet on at sea days gets really busy but not as bad as other ships. Restaurants and lounges, the Solarium, theater, and shops are all easy to access.

• Outstanding multinational crew. All of the staff on this ship were not just friendly, but efficient, and all seemed as though they were happy to be there and wanted to make everyone’s vacation an enjoyable experience.

• The main dining room food was the best we’ve ever had on a cruise ship. I was really surprised at the selections and quality. Prime rib, rack of lamb, short ribs, seafood were excellent. “Could I please have 2 lobster tails?” – no problem sir. The shrimp cocktail was great, could we get 3 more – no problem. Can I have asparagus with my meal instead of broccoli? – no problem. This service is common on cruise ships but especially well executed on Soltice. Great freshly baked breads. And the ship’s still water was delicious, better tasting than bottled water. We had Select (anytime) Dining, and we never had to wait long to be seated even though we never called ahead. We chose a table for 2 each meal, usually close to other conversational and engaging diners.

• Buffet - Last year we sailed on the RC Anthem of the Seas. Huge ship. Their buffet was basically prison mess hall quality IMO. The buffet food on Soltice was very, very good. Always seemed fresh and well prepared. Service - almost overstaffed, with crew everywhere helping guests get served and seated. Separate servers bringing drinks from the bar were also very attentive to guests.

• Balcony stateroom – We liked the layout with the desk near the slider and the bed closer to the bathroom. Everything was in good order and clean, and the bed was very comfortable. Lighting was adequate, although there should have been more outlets available.

• Concierge Class – I felt this was worth the extra cost. You get a preferred location on the ship and priority boarding, with a Concierge greeting us before we even reached the counter at check in, giving us his card and phone nbr to assist us if needed. We had confirmed Select Dining but were set up with late seating in error. Our first night I called the Concierge and he had it corrected. There are some additional small amenities for your cabin (no big deal). However, one really nice perk was on “welcome aboard” day Concierge Class passengers can dine in the main dining room with full table service and a regular menu. This avoids being limited to the ship’s buffet with large crowds of people.

• Go Best Package - $630 per couple for the 7 day cruise. I think this was, for us, a good value. You get unlimited internet on the ship for 2 devices (I use my laptop on board). We are both drinkers and this includes the Premium drink pkg. Premium wines and alcohol run $10 to $13 per drink normally. So just 4 drinks each per day plus bottled waters made it worthwhile. You also get pre-paid gratuities and $300 ship board credit applicable for excursions, specialty dining, etc. A summer promo also gave us an additional $300 discount.

• Luggage Valet Program – something new for us on a cruise. $25/person. You provide a form to C/S with your flight info 2 days prior to arrival back in port. The night before docking flight boarding passes, flight baggage tags, & shuttle transfers along with your departure priority code are delivered to your cabin. Your check in luggage must be left outside your stateroom the night before as usual, but you don’t see you bags again until your flight lands back home. We left the ship at 8am, got right on a shuttle bus to the airport, through security and straight to our departure gate. When our flight arrived back in Burbank CA our bags were quickly available in the baggage area for us. This whole process had me a bit worried, especially when our reserved flight was cancelled & we had to switch to a new flight, but all went well. A great service.

Improvements:

• In our opinion the specialty restaurants are not worth the extra cost. We ate at Murano the second night ($100). The service was impeccable and a beautiful room. However, the food in the dining room was so good we declined other specialty choices for the rest of the cruise. If the cost were like cruises of old, say $20 to $30/person, it would have been more inviting.

• Celebrity did not send us our cruise documents, which should have come to our e-mail. I called our travel agent right before the cruise to follow up. She forwarded them to me, but by then it was too late to get Express Boarding passes on line. Turned out our embarkation process went very smoothly & quickly without it, but that should have been handled more thoroughly.

• Celebrity is not alone in closing their main dining rooms for lunch on in-port days. This means there are no table service venues open other than the extra cost sushi restaurant. In Ketchikan we were off then back on the ship before lunch. It would have been nice to have a full service option.

• The day we arrived on board we did not get both pcs of our luggage delivered to our stateroom until about 5pm, which was 30 min after the ship sailed. This was disconcerting.
SoCalPhil’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Entertainment
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Onboard Experience

Cabin Review

Concierge Class
Cabin C2 1108
see main review
Resort Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins