I cannot say enough about how great a time we had during our cruise to Alaska this past summer. From the moment we stepped on the ship until we disembarked, we were pampered by the crew. We sailed on Celebrity Solstice. We were told that the ship got its name after the summer or winter solstice, the longest or shortest day of the year depending on the hemisphere of the world you find yourself in during the summer or winter months.
Embarkation was in Seattle. On sail day, we took an Uber to Port 91. It cost about $12 from our hotel in downtown Seattle. Check in was 4 pm but we were on our way to the ship by 11 am. Usually they serve lunch before sailing time. From start to finish, we completed check in in 30 minutes! Celebrity Cruises ground crew was efficient and everyone was out to make the beginning of our cruise a smooth one.
Cameramen were all over the place. They make sure that they capture every moment of your trip. We posed for one shot and walked up the gangway and entered the ship.
We were greeted by smiles from the crew and offered a glass of champagne or orange juice. We were on vacation so we took the leaded one:-) Unlike when you travel by plane, you don’t meet carry your luggage up to your room. The crew delivers them up and leaves them outside your cabin door. Because there are over 2000 passengers, we didn’t get our luggage until just before the ship departs the port.
We took this time to visit the Oceanside Cafe on Deck 14 to have lunch. The party out on the deck was starting with the band playing and passengers with a drink on hand. One thing we noticed was that there were not a lot of kids on board, unlike when we took cruises to the Bahamas. Muster drill was also different on this ship. We gathered at our muster stations but did not have to put on the life jackets instead just listened to announcements on the loud speaker. It took no more than 10 minutes and we all proceeded to go on Deck 15 to watch the ship sail away from Port 91 and watched the Seattle skyline fade from view.
Our cabin on Deck 6 was very comfortable. It was a balcony cabin with a nice size bathroom. In fact, it was larger than the bathroom at the hotel we stayed at in Seattle! The usual soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion were provided. Hair dryer was not inside the bathroom but was found in the bedroom. We were not allowed to bring an iron on board and they did not provide one in the room either. This is considered a fire hazard. They do have laundry service for a fee. We had a dedicated steward who cleaned the room and took it down at night.
The captain of Celebrity Solstice was a 30 year old Captain Tasos. He was also good looking and Greek god kind of way. Everyone was trying to find out if he was single. He was hilarious, too. When he came on the ship’s microphone, we were always laughing! Check him out on the video and let me know if you agree:-)
The ship teemed with friendly and professional crew from all over the world. However, it seemed like a majority of them were from the Philippines! You would have thought we traveled back home! In the middle of the cruise, the Philippine crew celebrated the Philippine Independence Day on June 12. This is also known as Filipino-American Friendship Day to commemorate the country’s liberation from the United States in 1946. The crew had a cultural show and Filipino fiesta. Unfortunately, it was not open to the guests.
The food on board was first class. We had early dining and I loved everything we had on board. My favorites included the escargot for appetizers and creme brulee for dessert at Grand Epernay. We had unlimited beverage so we took advantage of it:-) You can see the different drinks we had during the cruise throughout the video. I blame this package for finding a few pounds during the cruise!
Activities on board were numerous. There was always something or somewhere you can go to for entertainment or you can relax in your cabin. The only place we didn’t go to was the casino. Instead we watched the Corning Glass Show, enjoyed nightly performances by the entertainment crew, took dance classes, went on a Galley Tour with the Executive Chef, sang Karaoke, ran the track, danced at Silent Disco and enjoyed the jacuzzi! The Silent Disco was a first for us and it was a riot! Everyone has a headset on with a choice of 3 channels with songs to dance to. You can tell that others are listening to different music by the color on the headset. Clip of the disco starts at 1:38 min.
We took a Galley Tour on the first day on the cruise. We found out that all of the ships on Celebrity actually have the same menu! They have pictures of all the dishes that they prepare and how they are served. This ship had its own bakery so all of the bread, cakes, and pastries on board were freshly made daily! We love the bread sticks!
The nightly shows were spectacular. They had acrobatic shows, Broadway plays and awesome concerts. We only missed their show on the first night of the cruise but never missed any till the end. What was the most incredible night was the acrobatic show they presented on the evening that we hit rough seas. They did not skip a beat.
As with the other cruises we’ve gone on, there is shopping on board. However, we have more restraint now from buying on board. It was, however, a great way to burn some calories after dinner. We would window shop after dinner and while waiting for the evening shows. We also enjoyed hanging out at the Sky View Lounge at the bow of the ship. Everyone would have their binoculars on hand to watch for whales while the band played in the background.
The cruise was a celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary. On the fourth night on the cruise, we celebrated it with dinner over a 7-course meal at the Silk Harvest. We were serenaded by the crew and a cello duet performance.
The seven days on the cruise zoomed by so fast, or so it seems. Before we knew it, we were preparing for our arrival in Seattle. Disembarkation was just as smooth as embarkation. For those who had luggage to check in, they had to have it ready for pick up from your cabin at 8 pm the evening before arriving in Seattle. Once on port and disembarked, you find your luggage arranged in rows by number in a huge hangar. You then walk out and hail yourself an Uber or Lyft:-)
I published a highlight video of the cruise. It features both the activities on the ship as well as our experiences during some of the tours that we joined at the different ports. Thank you for viewing and hope you enjoy it.