May 2016 - Celebrity Solstice to Alaska - Inside Passage
I am not a frequent cruiser. In fact, prior to this cruise, I had only gone on a 4 day Caribbean cruise on a very old ship for my grandmother's 85th birthday. Cruises, in my opinion, were synonymous with bad food, annoying casinos, too many people, and lots of hidden up-charges.
My 7-day Alaskan cruise could not have been any different! Celebrity ships are fantastic. The Solstice was physically ornate with both social and quiet spaces to spend time in during our "at sea" days. I never felt like the ship was too crowded. I loved the Cellar wine bar with their incredible selection of both wine and craft beer (WAY better than I expected!) and was astounded that I walked out of my cruise with a credit balance and not a huge bill from all the "hidden fees." Investing in the premier beverage package was a very smart move, as it turned out. We really took advantage of the package every night at dinner and at the wine bar in the afternoons! We also loved the fact that they offered the local brews too (from Alaska Brewery). Our excursions were incredible and the trip down Tracy Arm Fjord really made the entire price of admission worthwhile. There is NO way to see that glacier except by ship. Going to Alaska via cruise is truly the only way to go. I will definitely take another cruise based on this experience. Service was exceptional. Food was incredible. The entertainment every night was great, especially the live music and the evening we got to see a very well known illusionist/magician. We never felt rushed or ignored by the staff. We also felt no need to use the specialty restaurants while there, because the regular food options were so outstanding! In addition, our package deal allowed us to get an above-average amount of shipboard credits. This was another reason why we ended up owing NOTHING extra at the end of the trip! We also LOVED our room. Concierge level was spot-on and very comfortable; the outdoor space was beautiful and very necessary for a cruise that relied heavily on the "views."