Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Contributor Level: Third Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

5 out of 5

Best cruise ever!

Sail Date: June 06, 2014

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

This was our 15th cruise and we both agreed, the best yet! We've cruised Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Holland American, Renaissance and Celebrity and have, overall, like Celebrity best. We had even been on this very same Solstice ship, on a 2010 Caribbean cruise, and they hadn't updated it much, maybe changed the art work and artifacts. We liked the ship the first time and still do. But the itinerary - Alaska - this time was so great! Majestic, constantly amazingly awe-inspiring scenery. We saw ice floes and glaciers, and a mama bear with her two cubs, dozens of bald eagles, five or six whales, dolphins, a seal swimming across a pond, a seal stretched out on its back sunning on an ice floe, five or six sea lions sunning on a buoy. The evening sky was indescribably beautiful -- one night a huge moon seemed to be at arm's reach, with its sunbeams across the water, then set behind mountains and icy sea, so bright that it cast rays as a sunset does! We watched this for 10-20 minutes in awe! And at the same time -- this 3 a.m. -- the sun was coming up, and the sky around it turning peach and rose and cream!  Our three tours, with a Tlinkit guide who was terrific in Ketchikan to the Saxman Village and environs and Ketchikan city; on a boat whale watching out of Juneau; and a bus tour to White Summit Pass with lots of info on the Klondike Gold Rush and back to the frontier town of Skagway, were all terrific. (These we booked through Cruise.Com rather than through the ship).

But the very best thing about this cruise, for us, were the wonderful presentations by Brent Nixon on wildlife and his narration through the Inside Passage and those of his wife, Mary Amanda, who was just terrific, on the history of Ketchikan, Skagway, the Gold Rush, and especially the shady ladies of the times plus a memorable presentation on the Last Song played on the Titanic as it was sinking. These two were terrific -- witty, animated, enthused, informed, intelligent, folks giving talks that we will always remember and that really enhanced the value of the cruise to us. It was so good to hear a ship's presentation on something other than shopping! Huzzah for the Alaska Solstice, and for the Nixons -- may their tribes increase!

Service and Staff
Ship Quality
Every cruise we have ever been on has been wonderful; Celebrity is usually (not always) a cut above, but this ship, itinerary and cruise was best yet!
Food and Dining
The presenters, the Nixons, made this cruise. Song and dance were pretty good; the other ship muscians fine, good variety. David Meyer, a kind of futuristic one-man band (hard to describe but fun to listen to) was exceptional.
Destinations and Excursions
Cabin / Stateroom
Seattle, Washington
Good, if not great. We had a deluxe downtown hotel that we found sterile and kind of stingy (no breakfast, no shuttles to pier) considering the cost, but great location and beautiful view of waterfront and cityscape from the 10th floor room. Pike Place Market is not to be missed! Wished we could have ridden the shoreline ferris wheel!
Ketchikan, Alaska
Very interesting frontier town!
Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska
Out-of-this-world scenery. For people who like to travel on the water, this was a huge treat!
Juneau, Alaska
Juneau itself was pretty boring compared to Ketchikan and Skagway; we went whale watching, but actually ended up seeing more whales from the ship than on this tour. We did see five or six sea lions however.
Skagway, Alaska
A fun, frontier town. I got some lovely inexpensive momento-type gifts here; especially liked the Russian-American Company. Fascinating history of the role it played in the Yukon Gold Rush -- have ordered several books on Skagway, its shady ladies, and the Gold Rush to learn even more (what a good cruise should accomplish -- to make its passengers curious to learn more and eager to return if possible!)
Cruise Inside Passage, Alaska
Fabulous scenery.
Victoria, British Columbia It was at night, the last night of the cruise, so we never left the ship, and couldn't tell much from the ship. .


Don't opt for select dining on this particular ship; you end up having to make reservations in advance the night before (there goes spontaneity) and there were always long lines, whether you had a reservation or not! We waited 10-20 minutes in line most nights.

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