If you are ready to board one of the most beautiful ships at sea, then get ready for the Celebrity Solstice by Celebrity Cruises. This beautiful ship was built in Germany and inaugurated on November 23, 2008 into service. She can accommodate 2,850 passengers in seven different stateroom categories including the new Aqua Class. Celebrity provides its guests with a sophisticated stylish environment more like a five-star hotel than what you might expect from a cruise ship at sea.
I was incredibly impressed with the design and furnishings, both in the public areas, but also in the cabins. Celebrity avoids some of the expected trappings that other cruise lines use and made this ship a stylish alternative to all of that. In addition, the food choices and offerings are second to none. You can enjoy a casual meal or fine dining under the watchful eye of Chef Jacques Van Staden who has raised cruise cuisine to an art form. As a Mac user, I loved the iLounge where I could not only purchase Apple products, but I could take one of 18 classes available. How about a Rosetta Stone language lesson? Hot Glass Show? Or a Beyond the Podium Speaker Series featuring Smithsonian Journeys? Looking for something more active? There’s yoga, Chilates fitness, or a lawn game up on the Lawn Club on the top deck. Yes folks — that’s real grass up there! Much like other cruise ships, you can do everything or nothing at all, but it’s your choice and the choices are incredibly stylish. Maybe all you want to do is take a dip in the pool.
Accommodations: From inside to ocean view to verandah cabins, this ship has these cabins and more. In addition you’ll find Aqua Class cabins, which are designed for the ultimate spa enthusiast. Located close to the AquaSpa and with a restaurant dedicated exclusively to Aqua Class guests, Blu. Other amenities include a personal spa concierge, special programming and wellness classes, and an abundance of in-room amenities. There’s also Concierge Class for those guests who desire something extra such as fresh flowers, personalized stationery, and priority check in. Don’t forget the suites, too! I love how Celebrity addressed connecting staterooms on the Solstice. Let’s say you’re going on a cruise with your family and your parents. You can always find connecting staterooms on cruise ships, but Celebrity does it slightly different. Instead of having the door inside the cabin that connects the two cabins, here they have a small ante-room in front of the two cabins. Say Grandma and Grandpa don’t want to have the kids running around in their room after dinner – no problem. You can close the cabin door, but the ante-room will allow anyone in the other cabin to simply knock on the door without barging in or having to go out in the hallway. It’s the little touches like this that make a huge difference. What’s even nicer is that connecting cabins are usually hard to find and often booked first and on this ship there are 265 connecting cabins.
The pool area was calm, inviting, and relaxing and that’s all I want when I go on a cruise. There’s a sports pool, a family pool, and a wet zone. In the Solarium, which is for adults only, there’s a gorgeous lap pool, sparkling waterfalls, and thickly padded lounge chairs. The dining options are as varied as you will find at sea from the beautiful white Grand Epernay Dining Room with a two story glass wine tower to the Tuscan Grille, a sophisticated steakhouse to Silk Harvest with a variety of Asian cuisines available. If you are looking for something to eat and don’t want a sit down meal, there are crepes, ice cream, and pastries among other eateries available to guests any time. For entertainment you can choose from the shows in the theater, the casino, one of the many bars and lounges, and shopping. Who will forget the one of a kind Martini Bar with 26 varieties of martinis and an ice frosted countertop?
The ship itself doesn’t show any wear as it is a relatively new ship, but clearly they are taking excellent care of her. Both in the common areas and in the cabins the furniture is clean and fresh and the rugs don’t show any damage. This ship makes you feel as if you are somewhere special because the entire crew provides excellent service the Solstice. I highly recommend this ship to couples (especially honeymooners!), families, and small or large groups. There is something for everyone on this ship and Celebrity does a great job with their children’s programs, which seems to surprise families since they may not think of Celebrity as a family cruise line, but it is! Don’t overlook Celebrity when planning your next cruise because although they are a premium ship you will be surprised at the price as quite often it is comparable to the contemporary or mass market cruise line prices. If you would like to see more pictures, go to the Travel Shop Girl page on FaceBook and click on the Photos tab. You can see more pictures of the Celebrity Solstice, but also pictures of other cruise ships and join in on the fun.
Sample 10-night Hawaii itinerary (April 28, 2014):
- Day 1 Oahu,
- Day 2 Oahu depart 6:00 pm
- Day 3 Maui arrive 8:00 am and depart 10:30 pm
- Day 4 Hilo arrive 8:30 am and depart 6:00 pm
- Day 5 Kona arrive 8:00 am and depart 5:00 pm
- Day 6 At Sea
- Day 7 At Sea
- Day 8 At Sea
- Day 9 At Sea
- Day 10 At Sea
- Day 11 Ensenada arrive 6:00 am
Starting at only $1259.00 per person plus taxes/fees for an inside cabin. Other cabin categories are available, but what a great way to travel to Hawaii.