Brand new Celebrity Solstice Ship Review (2019)

Our first cruise on board Celebrity
Solstice was back in 2014 for a seven night Alaskan cruise. This time around, it
was an easy decision to board the ship again to explore the Pacific Islands on
a 10 night Hawaiian cruise. Having sailed with the cruise line a few times, we had
reasonable expectations for the ship. I’m DB from , and in our latest video, we share our Celebrity Solstice ship scorecard review. For the most part,
getting on and off a ship of this size was well-organized. Embarkation in
Honolulu was smooth and efficient. The entire process took no more than 20
minutes. Tendering at the islands was what we have come to expect from this
process. Some rough seas did make it slow at times, but the crew kept the process
moving as best as they could under the conditions. On the other hand,
disembarkation was a bit of a disappointment. The entire process was
delayed over a half hour. When we finally made it off the ship, we were greeted
with hordes of other cruisers. Celebrity Solstice houses three pools which is
generous for a ship of its size. During our days in Hawaii, there was adequate
availability of loungers and room to take a dip in one of the two outdoor
pools. Once the weather turned a bit cooler, the indoor Solarium was packed
every day. Unless you woke up very early in the morning, there was not a seat to
be found. If you plan on cruising Celebrity Solstice in Australia or
Alaska, then the pool deck should accommodate your need for sun, weather
permitting. In our opinion, one thing that has always set Celebrity Cruises apart
from other cruise lines is service. When cruising on any of the line’s ships, we
expect a greater attention to detail and more personal service than some of the
other larger, more contemporary cruise lines. However, service on Celebrity
Solstice was a bit mix during this recent trip. Some staff did provide the
service we expected, whereas others seemed a bit indifferent or tired. Our
stateroom attendant Jose was not the most talkative staff member, but he
always timed his daily cleanings perfectly. The hard-working staff at Cafe
al Bacio and the Martini Bar also shined as they provided some of the
friendliest and most attentive service on the ship. We really enjoyed the
chemistry between the cruise director Lewis and Captain Tasos as well. They are
by far the best we’ve had in a long time. However, our waitstaff at dinner did not
live up to our expectations. Given the structure of the cruise, five port days
in a row followed by five sea days in a row, the cruise director Lewis and
activities manager Kate did a good job of offering a variety of activities.
There were several matinees in the theater featuring some of the very
talented ship performers. We particularly enjoyed performances by Lighthouse
String Duo and Gilly and the Girl. Other Celebrity Life activities included your
typical trivia with various sessions each day, bingo, officers versus
passengers games, cooking demonstrations, and more. The cruise also offered for-fee
classes and seminars like food and wine pairings, and hot glass classes. Additional presentations included the beyond the podium talks featuring the
very popular naturalist Brent Nixon. On this 10 night cruise, we ate in the main
dining room on eight occasions. One surprising letdown was the food quality
in the dining room. We both felt that the food did not live up to Celebrity’s typical standards. Having experienced the same menu multiple times now, we were
disappointed by many of our starters and entree selections. Hopefully, this was
just a fluke, as we typically love the main dining room on Celebrity
Cruises’ ships. On the other hand, our two dining experiences at the specialty
restaurants were certainly up to the cruise line’s standards. On night 2, we dined
at the Italian inspired Tuscan Grille. Our experience was very similar to our first
visit to this restaurant on Celebrity Eclipse. Our starters were well prepared
and our entrees, including the Princess’ chicken parm, were excellent. On night four, we dined at the Asian-inspired Silk Harvest. Tasting a variety of small and
large plates, we were fans of the tempura shrimp, pad thai noodles, the orange
chicken, and most of the other items we sampled during our dinner. While not many ships in the fleet currently have this restaurant, we would recommend dining
here when cruising on Celebrity Solstice. When it comes to casual daytime dining options, you are a bit limited on the Solstice
class. Of course, we knew this prior to our trip. The Oceanview Cafe on Deck 14
offered a pretty standard breakfast buffet along with a custom omelet
station. The lunch buffet did not vary as much as we expected which was a bit of a disappointment. Aside from the last day of the cruise, the selection quality was
average at best. Another casual healthier option is the
Aqua Spa Cafe located on Deck 12. This venue is open for breakfast and lunch
with light fare. Again, the highlight of our cruise was Cafe al Bacio, which we
visited multiple times a day for our coffees and a few sweet treats. In the
evenings, the cruise director and activity staff hosted a variety of
events. There were game shows like “Yes or No” or “Family Feud” that featured fellow
passengers. We highly recommend attending or even participating as these short
shows were fun to watch. Along with main theater entertainment, there was also a
variety of live music that occurred throughout the ship as well as two DJs.
You could also attend an improv comedy show in Celebrity Central or watch a
movie under the stars. There are also some parties that took
place on Celebrity Solstice in the grand foyer, including two silent discos, the
line’s groove interactive party, and of course a Hawaiian theme party night. While most events ended by 11:30 p.m., the night club Quasar was usually open
late. Except for night one, there were two
shows each evening in the main theater occurring at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. The
main theater entertainment included a selection of production shows with our
favorite being “Broken Strings”. Additional headliner acts included a piano prodigy, a
comedian, and several guest vocalists which were pretty typical of cruise ship
entertainment. During our overnight in Maui, a local group called Children of
Hawaii performed to showcase music and dancing from the region. The show was
entertaining and felt very authentic. In addition, the popular Liar’s Club
also occurred one evening the main theater. This interactive and hilarious
game show is not to be missed. One of our favorite bars on Celebrity Cruises is the Martini Bar. This version on Celebrity Solstice did not
disappoint with well-made drinks, skillful bartenders, and an equally engaged
patronage during the trip. Many of the other bars on Celebrity Solstice also
offer signature drinks. The handcrafted drinks at the World Class Bar were
smooth and well-balanced, whereas the signature drinks at the Sky Lounge
offered some great alternatives to sip during one of the themed events held
there. Other options include the Sunset Bar at the back of deck 15,
the Cellar Masters wine bar, and the relaxing Ensemble Lounge. All of these
venues offer distinct drinks and a unique atmosphere. Celebrity Solstice is
scheduled for a major update as part of the line’s Revolutionary Project. We
hope that the staterooms get some attention as our balcony cabin, 7192,
showed considerable signs of wear and tear. Furniture and decor were dated and tired,
and the outdoor patio furniture on our balcony looked like it should have been
replaced years ago. In comparison to other balcony rooms, this room felt a bit
more cramped than our cabin on Celebrity Eclipse, though the bathroom and balcony
we’re roomier when compared to other contemporary cruise lines. With some
creative unpacking, there was just enough storage for our 10 days worth clothes
and gear. Perhaps it was the length of the sailing or the itinerary, but the
ship did not feel like it was sailing at full capacity.
This meant that there were virtually no lines or waiting times at any of the
venues. Getting to the shows 20 minutes early gave you plenty of choices for
seats. Even during peak buffet times, tables became available quite quickly. Lines at the bars and coffee shop were usually very short or non-existent. The
tendering process was also handled efficiently to minimize crowds. The only
place we could feel the crowds was in the Solarium during the chilly sea days.
While five years have passed since we last sailed on Celebrity Solstice, the
ship still maintains many of the signature features that make it a
standout among the fleet. With well themed bars and lounges, plentiful
onboard activities and nightlife, and a variety of main theater productions,
there are certainly ways to keep yourself entertained whether at sea or
at port. For a ship of her age, the public areas were well maintained, and the ship
looked clean. Dining is usually one area where Celebrity Cruises shines. Unfortunately, our dining experience on Celebrity Solstice was not up to par with other previous
experiences on ships in this fleet. Our cabin too was another area that needed
some TLC. We are sure that the cabins, along with some of the other public
areas, will be transformed as part of the ship’s 2021 revitalization. Celebrity
Solstice regularly sails in Alaska and Australia, and we definitely recommend
the ship for either region as Celebrity Solstice is the perfect backdrop to
those ports of call. The ship offers comfort and amenities that compliment
the long days ashore without being flashy or distracting. And
while some areas of our trip did not live up to our expectations, we would not
hesitate to sail on a Solstice class ship again in the near future. There you
have it, that’s our Celebrity Solstice ship scorecard review. But of course, we’d
love to hear from you. Let us know your experience in sailing on this cruise
ship in the comments below. I’m DB from, and if
you enjoyed this video, we’d really appreciate it if he gave it a big thumbs
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16 thoughts on “Brand new Celebrity Solstice Ship Review (2019)

  1. Did the Sydney to New Zealand earlier this year and loved everything about the ship.
    Would cruise on her again with no qualms.
    Loved my Solstice experience.

  2. The non-specialty restaurant food selection and quality needs to be improved. As well, less monetary squeeze of passengers on the drinks and internet packages can lift Celebrity out of "stingy and greedy cruise" category.

  3. Thank you tor your review. Your call outs were very similar to mine when I traveled on this ship to Alaska and Canada in 2017. Specifically the balcony room we stayed in as well as the service and food in the dining room. The cafes were just ok. I actually felt I had a better experience on the RC Oasis. I went on Celebrity because of the reviews. I did provide the feedback to my travel agent as well. I shared with the group that I traveled with that I would have a hard time recommending this ship. It needed to be refurbish. I was talked into booking a cruise on The Edge. I hope it lives up to its reviews. I’m paying a lot more money but we are cruising Italy and the Greek Islands in September 2020. Keeping my fingers crossed.😬🤔😀

  4. Honestly if they can't get their act together with the food then why bother cruising with Celebrity? Royal Caribbean offers decent cruise-worthy fare and better cabins

  5. “Larger cruise ships” this is a behemoth at 122,000 tons. We just saw her in Victoria, BC , unusual Oyster colour hull. Looked like a large block of flats.
    “Ship of her age” she was only launched in 2008, ships have to last 50 years, but get sold off to lesser cruise lines. Celebrity is one of the best in the Premium category, but there are 2 categories above that are more luxurious and of course much more pricey.

  6. We literally just got off the Solstice this morning. Our party all had a wonderful experience. Food was amazing in the main dining area, the buffet was average, and the one dinner in Silk was not good. Staff was all very good!

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