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Ray Palandri

Age: 68


Number of Cruises: 15

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Sailing Date: 2009-04-18

Itinerary: Trans-Atlantic

As always, Celebrity has it's act together. All the staff are well trained and very helpful. As far as the ship is concerned, I was a little disappointed. I had heard so many good things about the ship that I think I might have been expecting too much. The Ocean Side Cafe was beautiful, but there were never enough seats and a table had to be found before you could even think about food. Unless you got there very early or very late, it was like that every day.

Over all the ship was beautiful, but was mostly designed for beauty and not practicality. There was grass on the top deck which I thought was very innovative and different, but actually was wasted space. The ship seemed to have too many passengers at all times even though it was not booked to capacity. I prefer the Constellation class of ships from Celebrity. They seem just as large and not nearly as crowded.

Again, I am not a gourmand, but I thought the food was very good for this class of line.

The stateroom was the best of any ship that I have been on. The shower had an actual glass door and was the roomiest of any ship that I have sailed. The entertainment system in each room was a cut above with the ability to pause a movie that you might be watching and restart it at that point for up to 48 hours. If there was a negative in the room, it is the hanging closet which was about 2/3 the size of most and was located in an awkward location next to the bed. We learned to live with that minor inconvenience, however.

Generally we don't partake of the ship board activities, but this ship had the usual ones and a few added that did interest us on the days at sea.

We generally plan private tours when possible as much of the time spent on the ships tours involves loading and unloading from the bus with 50 people. We did take one tour on Ponta Delgada on the Azores that was quite reasonable and we found that the excursion prices on this cruise were fairly reasonable.

In the past, if we were docked some distance from the town, a free shuttle was provided. This is no longer the case as there is now a $10.00 fee to ride the shuttle bus. I guess this is the way of the world today, but I would rather have a few dollars added to the price of the cruise and not be nickled and dimmed along the way.

Over all, the trip was wonderful. We had a beautiful ship, good friends, good food, and got to visit ports in Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy. What's not to like!

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