We had another day at seat with an interesting mix of waves, weather, and fun. Last year when we crossed the Atlantic we could not have had more perfect weather with warm sunny days and lake like conditions. However, yesterday started calm with a little bit of sun, but then got cloudy and rougher as the day went by. They ended up having to drain two of the three pools because the water was sloshing out. Then in the afternoon we even had a bit of rain. This is really not a problem because there is plenty to do on a cruise ship even in rough seas and rainy weather.
First, I had a wonderful opportunity to see a variety of different cabin type in a cabin tour organized by those of us from Cruise Critic. One of our members had suggested it because it give people staying in one class of cabin to see what else is available on the ship. One lady in particular wants to organize a cruise with her grand kids so she was very curious about the Family Veranda in which we are staying. The way it worked was that we all signed up to either show our cabins or just tour several months ahead of the cruise, then one of the ladies in our group was kind enough to send out a schedule and approximate times.
The standard cabins on the Solstice, be they outside or inside are all very nicely furnished and appointed, though small. It would be a little hard to fit more than two people, but when we cruised on the Infinity we had four people in an even smaller cabin, so it can be done. A little tips is that the standard balcony cabins that are right on the area of the ship where is bows out, sometimes called â€œthe humpâ€ have a slightly bigger balcony because they rail is at an angle. This makes the balcony about 50% bigger. The down side of any of the cabins on the hump is that Celebrity has painted their iconic â€œXâ€ across these balconiesâ€™s glass in blue paint, partially obstructing the view is one is seated. So if you are booking in this area it might be worth taking a look at an exterior picture of the ship and comparing it to the floor plan to see how much of your seated view would be obstructed.
The next set of cabins that I found interesting were the Sunset Verandas. The two that we were viewing happened to be side by side and connecting. The nice thing about these cabins was that they were mostly shielded from the wind and offered views out the entire back of the ship so one could see points of interest on both side of the ship from these cabins. The balconies were standard size as were the rooms and furnishings. As with all the balconies on this ship passengers have the options of having the cabin steward open up the glass partition so that neighbors traveling together can create one balcony space.
We also got to see the aqua class and concierge class rooms which again are standard size rooms that come with extra amenities like fresh fruit, flowers, pillow menus, special shower heads, and special dining. The Aqua class rooms are located near the spa and have their own assigned dining room that creates lighter spa like cuisine called â€œBluâ€™â€. My friend who is dining their says she really likes the food and the presentation. She also liked the pillow menu and ordered one of each.
We also got to see both a Celebrity Suite and and Royal Suite. These rooms were very nice and though about the same size as the Family Veranda in which we are staying, feature more, higher quality furnishings. Their sofas sat up to 8 and were more plush. The closet doors opened out rather than sliding or they had walk-in closets. Both rooms had a tub, but the Royal Suite featured additional bathroom amenities like an additional powder room and a balcony Jacuzzi type tub. They also had wicker and upholstery balcony furniture rather than standard patio type furniture. The Royal suite also featured a glass dining room table and a lovely butlerâ€™s pantry with a glass tiled back splash and wine cooler. The baths in the suites are finished off with beautiful marble tiles rather than just the simple wall paper covered walls in the in the standard rooms. (Though even those rooms have a lovely glass tiled backsplash.) If you are traveling with a group and can organize a tour like this amongst yourselves you will find it really interesting to see the variety of cabins offered.
The next highlight of the day was the Captains Club cocktail party. Celebrity has so many returning passengers on this voyage that they had to divide the reception into two seatings. At the reception we learned that there are close to 1500 past Celebrity guests on this cruise. It seems that people who discover Celebrity really like to stay with them. They gave an award to a lovely couple from Belgium whom I had met several nights earlier. The award recognized their 50th cruise with Celebrity. The party was quite a bit of fun with musical performances from the orchestra, production singers, and the A Capella group. The Captain, who has a terrific sense of humor also joked that he had orded the rain just to help stay on budget and in expensively wash off the ship.
Finally, the evening entertainment was also fun. It started with a comedian at 7:00. He was pretty good and had quite a few jokes that had me laughing pretty hard. Next at 8:00 we had our first round of the â€œCelebrity Singerâ€ contest. They had selected four singers from Karaoke to participate. They were all incredibly nice people and we hated the fact that we had to compete against each other. They had a judges table set up with two of the Celebrity production singers and one of the guests from England, to kind of gives us a Simon, Randy and Paula panel. The first guy did a wonderful job with Any Dream Will Do from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. The next young man sang Marvin Gayâ€™s â€œLets Get it Onâ€ and had all the ladies loving him. The next lady, a beautiful young woman from Florida sang â€œI Will Always Love Youâ€ in a beautiful lyrical tone. Finally I was last. I was nervous too. I was worried about a scratchy throat and the fact that it was a contest. I sang Kristen Chenowithâ€™s â€œThe Girl in 14 Gâ€ which allows me to tell a funny story and sing in three styles Opera, Jazz and Broadway. It was apparently a winner, as I, along with the â€œLets Get It Onâ€ gentleman were selected to go through to the next round in the â€œStarring Youâ€ show. It sounds like they are going to try to incorporate more â€œawardsâ€ into this show as the teaser in the daily listed many more categories than what they featured last year.
Dinner followed the show and I have to say that everything at dinner was back on track to being 100% perfect. The waiter even said to me that his boss was one of the best in business and that he had been in the kitchen talking to the staff to make sure all the steak would be coming out correctly. I am not sure what happened last night but tonight my husbandâ€™s prime rib was rare and juicy. I had a delicious orange roughy. My son had a great pasta and prosciutto dish and my daughter had a sautÃ©ed shrimp dish.
Tomorrow should be interesting as we have three different wine tasting events scheduled through-out the day. If the sea are rough again, I may not even notice by the end of the day.