I have reposted my remarks below about my Jan 18th cruise on the Solstice.
The two most active lounges were the Sky Observation Lounge until the band finished (the band was very good), then the Quasar with a DJ after that until around 2-2:30 am when they shutdown.
One night they did have a fairly good deck party, it shutdown fairly early (early for me is anything before 2 am), but it was a good time. Some of the Celebrity show dancers were there.
I was with a large singles group, so the nightlife wasn't bad, but without our group this cruise would have been dead, with the decks rolled up before midnight.
But don't dispair, each cruise is different, so yours maybe much livelier than ours would have been without the group - but expect an older crowd than if you were cruising with Royal Caribbean, NCL or Carnival.
I was on the same cruise as nvabill, and would agree with everything he has posted. Overall I was disappointed with both Celebrity and the Solstice. Celebrity is marketed as an upper scale cruise line, but I found little that would indicate this with my interaction experience with the crew. The crew, including my cabin steward, was the equal with my experience with Carnival and Princess, and below that of Royal and NCL.
Our first night in the Dining Room, we found old coffee containers and water jugs stashed under the table. These were most likely from the previous cruise, since we were first seating. The food overall in the Dining room was very good, but the buffet was poor, with the same selections every lunch and dinner.
Please bring back the trays, I would put my silverware in my back pocket, grab a drink, then try and find a table. Hopefully by the time you went back to get your meal, the stewards would not have taken your drink and silverware so you would not have to start over.
Elevators - I agree with Bill that the ship requires more elevators, but two banks can work, as I have seen on the FOS. The problem is they do not have enough elevators in each bank. There are only four in the front bank, when they should have a minimum of six and ideally eight.
The lawn is a waste of space. Part of it was roped off the entire cruise, while the remainder was seldom used. A better use of the space would be to put the basketball court there, since it is useless in the front of the ship, where it is constantly in the wind from the ship cruising.
The ship itself is nice, but is very "lively". I was suprised with the amount of roll/motion the ship has. It was the liveliest ship I have been on since the 18,000 ton Skyward, which didn't have stabilizers. Don't get me wrong I LOVED IT. I like a ship that moves, but it did suprise me. The only other comment I have is the air conditioning. I don't know if it was turned up, so the ship stayed hot, or if there is a problem, but my cabin and a couple of the lounges were hot. Usually they are too cold.
The shows could also use some work. The first show, "Solstice - the show" was ok, nothing special. The "Spirt of Broadway" was terrible. We actually left. On the plus side, the Comedy show with Dennis Blair was excellent.
The other big turn-off's for me were that the pools were shutdown at 8pm. This is a joke - 8pm, come on we are adults.
The ice container in the cabins. Useless - the ice melts almost immediately and will only fill a couple of drinks. Even the cabin stewards hate them, he warned me the first day that they were not adequate. The cabins themselves were gorgeous, but could use more closet space.
And they ran out of both Canadian Club and Coors light on the ship....shocking!! I have never been on a ship that ran out of booze!
Looking back I think that Celebrity is not a good fit for me. I am in my mid-40's and like a more active experience. I had three names for the ship:
The Slowstice - because it is a slower paced experience. If this is what you are looking for in a cruise, then you will enjoy this ship. The deck chairs are the best I have seen on a ship and would be great for relaxing the day away.
The No-stice - because there was no pools after 8 pm, and there was no booze left on the second and last night.
The Oldstice, because it is an older crowd, and the ship caters to this group. Celebrity knows it's market and how to cater the ships experience to it, but it does not work for an active 40 year old.
It is very unlikely I will ever cruise Celebrity again, but will go back to it's parent company's Royal Caribbean. I enjoy a more active line, but if you are out to relax, but all means try Celebrity.
Nov 91 Star Princess
Feb 06 Carnival Conquest
Feb 07 Carnival Squalor
Jan 08 Freedom of the Seas
Jan 09 Celebrity Solstice
Jan 10 Crown Princess
May 10 Navigator of the Seas-Med
Jan 11 Oasis of the Seas
May 11 Independence of the Seas-Canary Is.
May 11 Vision of the Seas-Baltic
Jan 12 Island Princess-Panama Canal
Oct 12 Oasis of the Seas-Halloween
Dec 12 Mariner of the Seas-New Years Eve
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