Friday, 4 November 2016

Celebrity Solstice - Tahitian Treasures Cruise Diary Part 5

After leaving Maui, the next 5 days were at sea cruising days. So I thought I would show you around this ship. I took so many, many photos, I promise not to share them all - but come to our home and ask to see the photos - well be ready with wine, beer and snacks to view the whole 2954 of them!!
Now we haven't done a lot of cruises, but this ship - Solstice - would be my favourite so far.
A little technical details about the ship, for those that NEED to know :)
Occupancy is 2850; length is 1041 feet; draft is 27 feet; and it was built in 2008.
Most days went like this: Cafe Baccia for morning tea and latte to bring back to the room while getting ready for the day. Breakfast at Oceanview Cafe, walk around the pool deck – so many people sun-baking and all the sun lounges taken. We went to presentations, mostly in the Solstice Theatre. Nap or Cafe Baccia for latte or blended ice chocolate (frappe). Lunch, usually at Oceanview Cafe, but we did try the burger bar at the pool once. Later in the cruise we didn't worry about lunch as we were not hungry, so would chill out in our stateroom watching a movie, or the U.S.A. Election coverage – so funny, well to us anyway, probably not funny to Americans. We also went to some of the matinee shows, which were ok. We then went to afternoon tea, which was great – about four different type of sandwiches, hot mini quiches, scones and rolls and of course, the beautiful cakes. We went to some demonstrations and talks in the afternoon and back to stateroom to get ready for the evening. Evenings were 7pm show, most were very good, followed by a few drinks at usually the Martini Bar lounge, then dinner at the Grande Epernay, where we met Ken and Jackie, a lovely couple from Perth. Some nights we just didn't feel like a 3-4 course dinner, so would go to the Oceanview Cafe for something lighter. A couple of nights we had room service – the best club sandwich I've ever had.
After dinner it was usually the Sky Observation Lounge for themed music, or one of the 'fun' shows around the ship, then a nightcap of Bailey's and bed. By day 5 I wasn't feeling too well, so did spend more time in the room resting and watching TV. I felt much better the next day.
Day 5 was the day allocated by the captain to do the Crossing of the Equator ceremony. After lunch we attempted to watch the ceremony, but there were too may people in a small viewing area, so we watched the procession as it came past and I went back to the room, and Peter did some bar hopping. We actually crossed the equator at 9.23pm on September 23.
Day 6 we met a lovely couple, Ray and Becky, at lunch and we talked about so many different things. Becky is a quilter and she found a fabric shop in Lahinia, that I missed. At lunch a small crowd gathered looking out the window, and there were pods of dolphins jumping beside the ship. Here we were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and we see dolphins.
Presentations were very good. After the first Mickey Live presentation, we tried to get to all of his presentations. He was very entertaining and informative. He spoke on many different topics, including crossing the Equator, the International Date Line, the different places we visited, and photography. He ran a, I guess one would call it a 'club' called SnapShot Rally, where guests were invited to submit a photo of each place visited, and once collected all were put on a data disc and distributed to those who had submitted photos. Great idea.
Mary Amanda Fairchild was another presenter who was very interesting. She did one presentation that was particularly interesting, called 'Titanic – The Last Song', strange title especially when on a cruise ship, but it was a really good talk. Mary Amanda is a music forensic scientist – I never knew this existed.
Concierge Class is ok. We booked it because it was cheaper than the regular balcony. We received a bottle of bubbles the first day, along with 3 pieces of fresh fruit.
Mostly the fruit was green apples, but one day we did get a red apple, and another day we got a pear. Each day any fruit consumed was replaced, and a platter of canapes was delivered each afternoon. Canapes were ok, a lot of olives and olive type canapes, which neither of us liked. It was lovely, at first, to come back to the cabin and enjoy these treats while getting ready for the evening show, but there is so much food available on the ship, that unless it was special – like prawns one afternoon – we just left it. Mickey Live nick-named the Solstice 'the food freighter'.
So lets go deck by deck.
Deck 16 is the Solstice Deck at the bow of the ship (front). I didn't go up there, but Peter did. There were a few sun lounges, but not a lot there.
Deck 15 : at the stern (back) is a Lawn Club on the roof with a manicured lawn, where one can have picnics or play bocce, or simply sit and have a drink or three.

There is also a Sunset Bar, where we enjoyed a few drinks.
The  also has glass blowing demonstrations where one can sit and learn about this art form.

Deck 14 : was probably our most visited deck. Each morning, well, most mornings, we would walk on the jogging track to the Oceanview Cafe for breakfast.
There is also a bar at the back behind the Oceanview Cafe
Our favourite bar was the Sky Observation Lounge, located at the bow of deck 14. Sadly, this cruise it was often closed or holding private functions, so we didn't visit as much as last time. Last cruise we would often sit in there watching the waves in front of us. We did spend some evenings there listening to Motown one night, Beatles another night, etc.
Deck 14 also overlooks the pool and has a bar :)
Deck 12 : (there is no Deck 13), has the pools. We did swim in the Solarium pool, which wasn't as crowded as the outside pools. The sun lounges were taken by early morning so we had no chance of getting a sun lounges, EXCEPT when most were ashore at a port. That is what we did. We got back early at one port and had a choice of lounges. The outside pools were much warmer than the inside Solarium Pool. Deck 12 also has the fitness centre and spa centres, and some staterooms.

Decks 10 and 11 : is staterooms, and the library. Our stateroom was on Deck 10 forward.
We had room service breakfast on port days.
..and it was lovely to eat breakfast on the verandah
... or look at the view.
We checked the ships status each day on the TV.
Deck 9 : staterooms and card / puzzle room
Decks 6, 7 and 8 : are staterooms and smaller areas for internet and concierge area.
Deck 5 : is another deck we visited daily. It has Cafe Al Baccio, which made the best 'blended' ice chocolate - like a frappe and had a lovely rooibos tea called African Solstice. Of course Peter liked the extra shot lattes and we both liked the hot chocolates. The drinks came with free cakes and pastries. It was also the top floor in the Solstice Theatre, where we preferred to sit to watch the shows and lectures. This Deck also had the photo gallery, art gallery, shops and speciality restaurants.
Deck 4 : we often visited. It has the lower floor of the theatre, the Casino and Casino Bar,
the Martini Bar, 
Ice Bar, Cellar Masters Bar, Quasar which doubles as a table tennis venue during the day and a nightclub at night. The Karaoke at night was funny.
This deck also has an entertainment foyer, and small theatre as well as more shops
and the top floor of the main restaurant Grand Eperney.
The food was fairly good, just so much of it. I often left most of the main meal, and only had dessert when it was lemon or mango sorbet. 
Deck 3 : is where we had dinner most nights, on the lower floor of the Grand Epernay. This deck also has staterooms, Guest Relations Desk, Passport Bar, the main entertainment foyer, and the Solstice Theatre, which is entered via Deck 4.

We do love this ship.


  1. It was great to meet the two of you as well. I'm off to a 'Sew Day' today - This group makes quilts for our police department to use as needed - mainly kids in distress. Sometimes adults get them, too. Happy Travels! Watch for our Harmony of the Seas travels!


  2. I will be following your cruise Becky, so exciting. Always lovely reading about others holidays. Have fun.