Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Second Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

Highly recommended!

Sail Date: September 05, 2014

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

Rating this cruise was tough--I'd say 4.5 stars is closer to my vote. The scenery in Southwest Alaska is spectacular. The seas were 'bathtub calm'--not at all what I expected in September. Sunny, with warm temperatures for 85% of the week--couldn't be better. The Solstice is a beautiful ship; very clean and modern. At about 2900 passengers, it was the largest ship we've sailed on. That's a lot of people, but in most cases, the numbers were handled well. Exceptions to that: the Dining Room table assignments--many people (like us) were "double-booked" on tables, and that was rather chaotic for a couple of days. My husband and I actually prefer to have an "assigned" table each night, as Celebrity does, and was a major factor for our ship choice. Also, the ship did not dock in Juneau like other cruise line ships did. Tendering this large crowd ashore was disorganized, and poorly handled--especially for the hundreds of passengers that had "independent" shore excursions (not sold by Celebrity). The ship's wait staff and cabin attendants were excellent, but its Guest Relations staff needs to have a refresher course. All in all, it was a VERY good cruise experience, and we recommend it.

Ship Quality
This isn't really "quality", but we wished they had another group of elevators near the rear of the ship. There were elevators only in the front and midship areas.
Food and Dining
The only blip was the "double booking' of some dining tables. Excellent food.
Service and Staff
Excellent theatre choices and interesting lecturers.
Children's Programs I don't know
Onboard Activities The schedule was packed--one could keep VERY busy during the days and nights.
Destinations and Excursions
Nice ports. I wish the cruise was a few days longer to spread out the port stops more. I bought our shore excursions through , which were a much better value than what the ship offered.
Cabin / Stateroom
Nice cabin! We recommended that they repair some of the holes in the well worn leather 'sofa'. The television didn't work, and we had to have a tech person "reset" it. The location of the cabin was excellent, and it had a much larger, angled (forward) balcony than most. This was great for viewing the scenery coming up. The cabin was VERY quiet--the quietest we've ever had on a cruise. (I'm wondering if that was because the entire cruise was on extremely calm waters--an unexpected surprise.)
Seattle, Washington Best thing was being able to drive there, park our car, and take a short shuttle ride to the ship. That's a first for us.
Ketchikan, Alaska
Very scenic--literally "hangs" on a steep hillside. Interesting architecture, and plentiful shopping.
Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska
Spectacular! And we got to get closer to the actual glacier end than any cruise ship had been able to before, since there was little floating ice around.
Juneau, Alaska
Take an excursion to see the Mendenhall glacier. Juneau was just another small city, but the surrounding area was nice.
Skagway, Alaska
Very historic. We really enjoyed the BUS tour up White Pass and into Canada (a bit). Our tour guide was very good, and allowed us lots of stops for photo ops that the train didn't allow.
Cruise Inside Passage, Alaska
Nothing spectacular...except seeing some humpback whales breach, and some leaping Dalls porpoises that followed along for a while.
Victoria, British Columbia
We''ve been to Victoria MANY times, so we didn't even get off the ship. But it is a beautiful city, with lots to see. Unfortunately, we arrived around 6:30 pm, so that didn't allow much time for passengers to visit the shops, etc. before sailing off at midnight. Not good timing for that stop.

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