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penny3333 12-23-2009 07:57 AM

We just returned from our 7 day Solstice cruise visiting San Juan, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. The ship was beautiful, the cabins were spacious with a good amount of storage space, balcony was standard size with 2 chairs and a table. There were plenty of shops on board, the casino was large and very tight, there were plenty of extra charge areas. There were 3 pools and 6 hot tubs. One of the pools was in the enclosed area with 2 of the hot tubs. Finding a deck chair didn't seem to be a problem. I'll post pictures soon.

We bought drink packages, I bought the frozen package and my husband bought the alcohol package. These were very restrictive and not worth the price of the package.

We did 2 snorkel trips through the ship. Both were very nice, but the one in St. Maarten, the Tiki Hut snorkel was the best. There was actually things to see from the Tiki Hut. It was a floating dock type set up with a bar, lounge chairs, and a pool for those who had not snorkled before. They had good equipment for rental if you don't have your own. The operators were really great. And the best part was you could stay as long as you liked. When you were ready to return, they would take you to town or back to the ship, free of charge.

If you're trying to quit smoking, Celebrity is definitely the line for you. Smoking areas are VERY limited.

The food and the service were less than stellar, in fact, IHOP is better. I hate to say that because I had heard such rave reviews. The entertainment was just ok. Definitely no "wow" factor.

There was a good age mix on board, including a pretty good group of children considering school was not out. I'm sure this last sailing was full of children.

I'm glad to say, Princess is still my favorite, since they are less expensive than Celebrity. This was my first and sadly my last cruise on Celebrity. They're just not for me. Happy Holidays!

Dave 12-23-2009 08:52 AM

Welcome back to soon-to-be rainy and nasty north Alabama.

That's a shame about the drink packages. If I paid $360 for a package and then got charged because the glass was bigger, well, let's just say I'd be disappointed. That whole program seems to be a muddled mess, first with the rollout and price changes, and now with all the hidden caveats.

We had great food on the Equinox, but I've read more than one report of inconsistency between Celebrity ships. My sister was on the Millenium and felt really let down by the food.

Sandy 12-23-2009 10:05 AM

Welcome back, Penny, and thanks for the review. I'm sorry that the food and entertainment were so disappointing.

Did you use the grassy lawn areas? Did you see the glassblowing demo? What did you think of both? I didn't see anyone using the lawns during my short time on Solstice. Just wondering if people have come to use it since then.

penny3333 12-23-2009 11:40 AM

We actually did use the grassy areas. I tried Bocce and they had a bean toss, too. That was fun. The glass blowing was very interesting. They used to raffle off the glass pieces made, but they weren't doing it on this cruise. Not sure why, something about the contract? They also had a type of putting on the grass areas, too. The attendant taking care of the grass was very happy to talk about what all he had to do and was very proud of how pretty it was. He told me he had to cut it 2-3 times a week. Thankfully, it's not that much grass

The entertainment wasn't as disappointing as the food and the service. The crew might have just been tired from the crossing, but they were down right rude at times. I even heard a waiter cursing at a table in the main dining room at night. It was definitely not what I expected. I've heard such wonderful things about Celebrity. Like you said, it might have just been the ship, but I think I'll stick to the other lines.

billybuzzy 12-23-2009 01:18 PM

penny - Welcome back from your cruise adventure. It's wonderful to have you back among are always missed. Some cruises(as you well know) are more pleasing and satisfying than others......My niece did the Solstice with her hubby and hasn't stopped raving about it!!! Then too....she raved about the Imperial Majesty when she was still on the Bahamas run!!!

Welcome back and....Merry Christmas!!!!!


queenofcruzin 12-23-2009 01:43 PM

Welcome Back Penny you are very much missed. So very sorry your about the crew, they are going to have a tough time with the holiday crowd. Thanks for the update about the beverage packages, have been hearing that alot on other boards and forums. I didn't purchase one, gladly. Funny, I have been looking at Princess or a Millenium class ship next. My options are open, not such a one line gal anymore.

penny3333 12-23-2009 01:45 PM

Thanks, billybuzzy. I really wanted to hop on another ship. Port Everglades was super busy when we docked. There were 6 ships in port that day. I'm glad your niece had a good cruise on the Solstice, she's a beautiful ship. Any cruise that I'm on board is a great cruise! Believe me, I had a good time

LisaP 12-23-2009 05:14 PM

Welcome home, Penny... you were most definitely missed. So sorry to hear that several aspects of the cruise did not live up to expectations. I hope you at least had a great celebration!

Dwayne 12-23-2009 07:15 PM

Welcome Back Penny!

You were most definitely missed here.

Thanks for posting the review. I hope the casino wasn't too tight. I've got to try the Tiki Hut snorkel the next time I'm on St. Maarten. That sounds right up my alley so to speak. Sorry to hear about the food and service being not what was expected. It is very true about different ships and cruises being inconsistent within a brand as we all know. Yet, I would imagine one can still get a good feel for them as to whether they are a fit for us or not.


janfred 12-24-2009 06:10 PM

WOW, I am so sorry to hear this, what a difference a year makes. I am such a foodie, and loved Tuscan Grill and Murano's. What the heck went wrong, that stinks, and the service too... Well, I hope I am not disappointed in Feb on the Mercury...we will see and send a review.

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