April 24, 2024

Aboard Celebrity Solstice – Part 3

Celebrity Solstice accommodates over 2800 passengers.

In the week since my last blog we’ve stopped at three ports in French Polynesia as well as Auckland and Bay of Islands in New Zealand. The cruise has been good, although the ship has experienced several mild cases of Covid. Some passengers are wearing masks and coughing is often heard in the public areas. Guests are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and most are still enjoying their cruise.

The entertainment on the ship has been good. Our favourite act is a talented cover band called The Cardinals, which performs hits from the ’60s to early 2000s. As mentioned earlier, the food continues to stand out for Celebrity and the meals on this cruise, basically a transition voyage, have been better than expected. At the lido deck Oceanview Cafe there is a wide selection for breakfast and lunch.

One aspect of the ship I find needing attention is the public area’s background music which, for the crowd on this ship – mostly older couples – is a bit too frenetic, especially in the mornings. One fellow passenger suggested the music in the pool area should be much mellower for people relaxing or reading. But this is a small point for most cruisers I would guess. Alcohol drinks are expensive and when combined with the added gratuity add up to what you’d pay in a luxury hotel. A beer is about $7 USD and a bottle of basic red or white wine will be well over $40 USD. The wine steward at our table, Nelson, is very good however and knows his wines, offering excellent recommendations.

The cruise director has worked hard to engage passengers in various activities. Many of these are held in the grand foyer, where people can casually join in. Especially popular are the dancing classes, with couples brushing up on their ballroom dancing so they can take to the dance floor and enjoy the live band music in the evenings.

Avatar photo About Anne Vipond

Anne Vipond is the author of several guidebooks to cruising destinations around the world. She draws on an extensive sailing background to impart her enthusiasm for cruise travel. From her home port of Vancouver, she travels by cruise ship to a wide range of destinations to keep her books current and useful for her cruise readers. Her cruising articles have been published in magazines and newspapers throughout North America and over seas.