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   Cruise Travel - Reader Reviews

Welcome to Your Favorites, where you have the opportunity to share your travel experiences with fellow Internet Travelers around the world.

Celebrity Cruise Line

MS Solstice

Your Rating:Four Stars
Reviewed by: Rich Frost
# previous cruises: 10 to 20
Date of Trip:January 25, 2009
Itinerary: Caribbean - Eastern

This was the ship's 10th trip. A new approach to ships design and style. Some very minor things need correcting that they will fix on the next ship Equinox.

Do NOT get there early for boarding. If you go a day or two before the cruise, the hotel will shuttle you to the ship but there check out time is 11 AM. Hence arriving that early warrants standing in line (even for those with express check in) and waiting to board. You will NOT have access to your cabin till 1 PM. Most people when boarded at noon went to the Buffet where it was crazy with carry-ons and food. BTW NO trays for your plates.

Public Areas
Never went out on the Promenade, deck-does not go round the ship. The Quasar lounge is very modern however the area outside this lounge seemed to always crowded especially after the theatre show was over when they had performers there creating a big bottleneck and backup of the people leaving the show. I noted this on my comment sheet at the end of the cruise.

Deck chairs -- forget it as there was never any available.

Food and Service
The buffet has a number of islands with different venues of food. It was almost completely self service-no one handed you your plate or silverware. No trays! A lot of traffic in this area. Once again it was difficult finding a place to sit.

We went to a few of the lounges to participate in the games etc. I did see some wear on the chairs(fraying) surprising on this new ship. Food was generally good but it seemed that some portions were smaller. We were on the upper deck of the main dining room. Had a table for 2 but we had another table adjacent to ours so we had some one to chat with during dinner.

We did not use the specialty food restaurants. We took a look at them but the menus did not strike us ones that we had to pay for!!

The entry doors are recessed in an alcove and the doors open outward which seemed difficult to get used to as compared to other ships. The closet was next to the bed and access was somewhat poor. Safe is in the closet. I believe cabins alternate as to bed and siting area. The sofa was bigger but who needs one that big for only two people? Generally quiet, although toilets flushing can still be heard even from a distance. TV was a flat panel. You have a lot of choices - normal TV, On Demand movies(free), and Pay per view. Plus access to your onboard account etc.

The shower was larger than as seen on other ships. A little bigger overall bathroom.

The balcony seemed smaller, reclining chairs and a small teak table. I did notice a lot of small rust spots leaching thru the simulated teak decking.

I did not like the duvet on the bed - too warm for me. Our cabin attendant arranged the bed to have a blanket and sheet on my side while my wife used the duvet. Bed was comfortable.

I asked him to bring a pitcher of water along with the ice bucket which was filled twice each day.

The refrigerator has a lock on it now and had to be opened later on the first day by the bar staff. and locked again on the last night of the cruise. This was done to prevent raiding the refrigerator (apparently done) as they did not charge for items late on the last night or on disembarking.

Some small problems encountered: Air conditioning not working initially in the cabin, quickly corrected. No tissues on dressing table. Cabin attendant provided that and two for the tables by the bed. Sink stopper lever became inoperative-screw came loose,quickly correct by cabin attendant.

NOTE: be aware that the light switches for the cabin have a master switch-top of the row. this shuts off everything including the toilet flushing, I suggest leaving it alone as it is somewhat confusing as to how the lights work.

The first show (only one presentation) was overcrowded - no seats. I did not see the show which had aerial acts.

The rest of the shows were singers and dancers. The headliner was a Xlyosynth player who was very good. These performers will be onboard for a while.

There was a lecturer who had a Space, Universe, Comet, asteroid presentation. Which was educational.

Went to lectures on shopping, jewelry, Space/Universe talks, trivia games. We are non drinkers but we did try the wine tasting. Two days at sea followed by Ports of San Juan PR, St Kitts, and St. Maarten. Then back to Ft Lauderdale.

Lots of ships in ports of call. Only took the train ride around St Kitts as the only shore excursion. Very nice.

We did see some very young children on this cruise. Both indoor and indoor plus whirlpools. Did not use.

Who Goes
A large Jewish group on this cruise. Seemed like a lot of East coast US passengers. I estimate 75% US total. Some friendly, some not, some pushy.

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