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Celebrity Solstice - Western Caribbean Cruise Trip Report

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Celebrity Solstice - Overview and Embarkation
Celebrity Solstice - At the Dock in Cozumel, Mexico

Celebrity Solstice - At the Dock in Cozumel, Mexico on a western Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Roatan

Celebrity Solstice (c) Linda Garrison
Prior to her 2008 christening, I sailed for two nights on the Celebrity Solstice and thought the ship was gorgeous, so I was elated when the opportunity arose to sail on her two years later for a week's cruise to the western Caribbean. This longer cruise would give me an opportunity to try more of the Celebrity Solstice dining options and to explore the ship more thoroughly. In addition, the Celebrity Solstice was visiting Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Roatan--all fascinating ports with many appealing shore activities. The Celebrity Solstice had dozens of optional shore excursions at each port, ranging from city or island tours to more active adventures such as snorkeling, swimming with stingrays or dolphins, kayaking, or zip lining.

I'm happy to say that my initial opinion of the Celebrity Solstice has not changed. The ship is classy, with touches of elegance. For example, at boarding we were greeted with a glass of free champagne. Since it was before noon, the cabins were not ready, so we stopped by the public restroom on our way to the Oceanview Cafe for lunch. Both of us immediately noticed the large private stalls and terrycloth hand towels, just like seen on luxury cruise ships. Nice touch!

We also quickly noticed the ship's elegant interior design seemed to be mostly adult-oriented. Although Celebrity welcomes families with children, it doesn't have as many onboard kids' activities as other cruise lines do. No water slides, rock climbing walls, or ice skating rinks. It does have a gorgeous adults-only solarium and indoor pool. The week ahead promised to be a good one!

Following the mandatory lifeboat drill, we had a drink out on the aft deck at the Sunset Bar. This lovely bar provides marvelous aft views of the sea or the port. Since we were still docked in Fort Lauderdale, we got a good look at the Celebrity Infinity and Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam, which were docked next to us.

We returned to the cabin to get ready for 6 pm dinner and discovered our bags had arrived. So, we took turns unpacking in our spacious balcony cabin. We especially liked the glass shower, night light, and comfortable beds.

Dinner in the Grand Epernay Restaurant was excellent, and the first of many memorable dining experiences on the Celebrity Solstice.

After dinner, the show didn't start until 9 pm, so we wandered around, listening to the music in the lobby and watching couples dance. The show was a welcome aboard show and showcased the Celebrity troupe and other entertainers. We especially enjoyed the "iTones", an a cappella quartet. After the show, we followed almost everyone else to the casino, where they had a series of giveaways using tickets. Neither of us won a thing, so we returned to the cabin, took showers and were in bed by 11:30.

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