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Celebrity Cruises: Solstice

  • Celebrity Cruises Inc.
  • Celebrity Cruises Inc.
  • Celebrity Cruises Inc.
  • Celebrity Cruises Inc.
  • Celebrity Cruises Inc.
  • Celebrity Cruises Inc.
  • Celebrity Cruises Inc.
  • Celebrity Cruises Inc.

Solstice Review

The first ship in Celebrity’s Solstice-class, Celebrity Solstice was launched in 2008 with the first of many new features for the cruise line, including the Lawn Club, a buffet restaurant with stations instead of lines, spa-inspired accommodations, and more specialty-dining

options. During the northern hemisphere's summer season, Celebrity Solstice sails weeklong cruises to Alaska from Seattle before heading "down under" to the southern hemisphere summer and longer sailings of 12 to 17 days from Sydney, Australia, or Auckland, New Zealand.

Solstice-class ships are the largest in the Celebrity fleet. While the ships are contemporary in design—even a bit edgy for Celebrity—the line included enough spaces with old-world ambience to satisfy traditionalists. The atmosphere is not unlike a hip boutique hotel yet filled with grand spaces, as well as intimate nooks and crannies. Celebrity Reflection adds an additional deck for more high-end suite accommodations.

The Lawn Club, a half acre of real grass on deck 15, is where you can play genteel games of croquet, practice golf putting, indulge in lawn games and picnics, or simply take barefoot strolls. In a nearby open-air "theater" on Solstice, Eclipse, and Equinox, artisans demonstrate glassmaking in the Hot Glass Show. A similar space on Silhouette and Reflection houses an outdoor grill restaurant, and those ships also have private cabanas in the Lawn Club (for a fee). These ships have a lot to offer families, with a family pool and the most extensive children's facilities in the Celebrity fleet.

The Chandris Group, owners of budget Fantasy Cruises, founded Celebrity in 1989. Initially utilizing an unlovely, refurbished former ocean liner from the Fantasy fleet, Celebrity gained a reputation for professional service and fine food despite the shabby-chic vessel on which it was elegantly served. The cruise line eventually built premium sophisticated cruise ships. Signature amenities followed, including large standard staterooms with generous storage, fully equipped spas, and butler service. Valuable art collections grace the fleet.

Although spacious accommodations in every category are a Celebrity standard, Concierge-class, an upscale element on all ships, makes certain premium ocean-view and balcony staterooms almost the equivalent of suites in terms of service. A Concierge-class stateroom includes numerous extras, such as chilled champagne, fresh fruit, and flowers upon arrival; exclusive room-service menus; evening canapés; luxury bedding, pillows, and linens; upgraded balcony furnishings; priority boarding and luggage service; and other VIP perks. At the touch of a single telephone button, a Concierge-class desk representative is at hand to offer assistance. Suites are still the ultimate, though, and include the services of a butler to assist with unpacking, booking spa services and dining reservations, shining shoes, and even replacing a popped button.

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What You Should Know

Pros

  • An interactive TV system allows you to book shore excursions and order room service
  • Aqua-class has its own staircase direct to the spa
  • A Hospitality Director oversees restaurant reservations

Cons

  • Closet space is skimpy in standard cabins
  • There are no self-service laundries
  • Dining choices are plentiful, but pricey
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,253
  • Entered Service 2008
  • Gross Tons 122,000
  • Length 1,033 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,425
  • Passenger Capacity 2,850
  • Width 121 feet
  • New

Mar 13, 2017

New Zealand

We have cruised with Celebrity before and always found them first class recommending them to all family and friends after our recent experience we will not be recommending them to anyone and we will not be sailing with them again. Solstice was reported to have had a referbishment before this Australian season but the ship is tired and scruffy it is impossible to see where any money was spent. The food on the cruise was not up to standard on

previous cruises it has been 5star this time 2star at the most. The cabin was scruffy looking the furnishings faded and grubby curtains had small holes in them On board activities were very poor the staff just did not seem interested We did not take any of the ships excursions as they are always far to expensive we were able to do the same things by arranging it ourselves much cheaper This cruise was around New Zealand then to Tasmania ending up in Sydney.We flew from Sydney to Auckland on a flight arranged by Celebrity in Auckland we were keep sitting on a bus for over and hour because the meet and greet people lost 2 passengers when we finally arrived at the ship we were rushed through the boarding as the ship was waiting to sail not our fault we were late.From then on it was all down hill the food was awfull the staff not interested and the ship not up to standard

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  • New

Mar 1, 2017

New Calendonia

Do NOT book a Guarantee GTY cabin. I booked 2 balcony rooms as linked reservations, and these idiots have allocated us room on different floors, on opposite sides of the ship, AND on different levels. Pretty much as far apart as you can literally be. They advertise that Guarantee GTY means the location on the ship could be anywhere, which is fine, but not when 2 rooms on linked bookings are miles apart! Clearly no brain or common sense between

anyone on their reservations team. Their customer service is shocking. My mother, who is in the other room, phoned to speak with them yesterday and the rude man she got was extremely condescending and lied, claiming the ship is now fully booked, which is BS because both yesterday and right now they still have multiple rooms available on their website for sale. I will never book another cruise with Celebrity again.

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  • New

Feb 1, 2017

Review of Celebrity Solstice

doreen Age: 76 Occupation:retired Number of Cruises: 7 Cruise Line: Celebrity Ship: Celebrity Solstice Sailing Date: 2017-03-14 Itinerary: New Zealand We have cruised with Celebrity before and always found them first class recommending them to all family and friends after our recent experience we will not be recommending them to anyone and we will not be sailing with them again. Solstice was reported to have had a referbishment before this Australian

season but the ship is tired and scruffy it is impossible to see where any money was spent. The food on the cruise was not up to standard on previous cruises it has been 5star this time 2star at the most. The cabin was scruffy looking the furnishings faded and grubby curtains had small holes in them On board activities were very poor the staff just did not seem interested We did not take any of the ships excursions as they are always far to expensive we were able to do the same things by arranging it ourselves much cheaper This cruise was around New Zealand then to Tasmania ending up in Sydney.We flew from Sydney to Auckland on a flight arranged by Celebrity in Auckland we were keep sitting on a bus for over and hour because the meet and greet people lost 2 passengers when we finally arrived at the ship we were rushed through the boarding as the ship was waiting to sail not our fault we were late.From then on it was all down hill the food was awfull the staff not interested and the ship not up to standard

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  • New

Dec 15, 2015

Alaska inside passage

Beautiful ship, great staff, disappointing cruise. The food in the main dining room was quite good. Excellent variety. The food in the buffet was good. We did not care for any of the baked desserts. The red velvet cake was standing in a pool of water after sitting on the plate. The lemon meringue pie contained a very thin layer of what appeared to be cake between the lemon and the meringue. It gave it a grainy texture. Same

for the strawberry pie. The little tartlets at the coffee bar didn't have that and were much better. Other pies and cakes tasted as if they had been frozen. We didn't find a single piece of soft bread on board. All breads and rolls were hard crusted breads, rolls or ciabatta style. Actual breakfast delivered to the cabins was great! Good arrangement for the cabin. Good bath space for this size cabin. Veranda view is definitely obstructed. Life boat is always visible. The entertainment was good. There were drawings in the casino that I never really figured out how/where to sign up for. It seemed disorganized. Nice pools and Jacuzzis. It was nice to have access to all public areas of the ship. Our first excursion at our first port (Ketchikan) was cancelled by the operator. The 3 guys went fishing and caught very little. Disappointing day for all of us. The excursion exits and return to the ship were well managed and painless. We had several disappointments during this cruise. Some Celebrity had control of and some they did not. Our first disappointment was re our cabins. We booked 3 cabins in Oct 2014 for travel in Aug 2015. We could not get adjoining cabins on the side of the ship that we wanted. We were told by our travel agent and Celebrity that if the adjoining cabin between 2 of ours became available that 1 of our cabins would be changed to that adjoining cabin and we would have 3 cabins in a row. More importantly, we would have 3 verandas in a row. Over the months I spoke many times w/Celebrity and our agent and this was always confirmed. Shortly before our cruise I inquired again and was told that the note was in place but that Celebrity would not contact the owner of the cabin in question to ask about trading accommodations. If this were owned by a private individual I completely understand. If a travel agent has the cabin I don't see the problem. When we arrive on board, early, we visited the adjoining cabin to inquire if they would be willing to trade. The man said yes. We went to customer relations, waited, and asked about what needed to be done, waited, and then returned to the adjoining cabin. In the interim, he had decided to decline to trade. I apologized for asking at this late date and explained that we had requested a change earlier. He was confused and said that he had only recently purchased the cabin in the last couple of weeks. And he had purchased it directly from Celebrity. Clearly Celebrity had done absolutely nothing to honor our repeated request. 6 adults on a single veranda is not workable. That meant we spent very little time on the verandas that we had upgraded to. Major disappointment in Celebrity. As we approached Skagway the weather turned quite bad. The ship was rocking and rolling. Eventually the decision was made to remove Skagway from the itinerary and head toward Victoria BC and spend more time there. This cruise is sold as an "inside passage" cruise. Changing the itinerary changed the time frame in which we would travel through the passage. We were not advised when this time frame was after the change. By the time I realized that and inquired I was told that an answer would be provided to our cabin. No answer ever came. I think we had already passed through the passage. Staff scrambled to re-accommodate people onto Victoria excursions. The excursion we had previously booked left at an earlier time. It seems someone forgot to inquire as to how many other tours would be at that venue at the same time. There were several tour buses at the "castle" at the same time. You couldn't see the displays nor read the information. We didn't see many animals from the ship. 3 or 4 whales. A few eagles. 1 or 2 bears. Not sure if that is the time of year or not. 1 of our couples was celebrating their anniversary. I wanted to send a special gift to their cabin for that. The selection was very limited. A nice non-alcoholic breakfast option would have been good. We did have a lot of advance problems w/the website trying to check-in and place orders. In the end, we enjoyed our time w/family but went home feeling like we hadn't really seen anything of Alaska.

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  • New

Jul 18, 2015

Alaska

First cruise ever and I loved it!! The crew of the Solstice were amazing! Everyone was friendly and helpful and kind. The meet and greet with the ship's officers made us feel welcome as though they were genuinely happy to have us on board. I loved my trip and the Solstice and would recommend it to anyone who asked! I will cruise Celebrity again if I get the chance.

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