Yesterday I (along with my friends above) did my last ship visitation of the summer. Kathleen was supposed to come along with me but after a week of having the grandkids here, I think she was just plain worn out (or we hope not…catching something). Besides the fact that the ship I was touring was one we know VERY well—Celebrity Solstice. We had just finished our recent Ireland/Iceland cruise on Celebrity’s Reflection which is pretty close to a carbon copy of Solstice. My guess is that we have probably spent 3 weeks total on Solstice since we sailed on one of her first voyages back in early 2009 and at least twice since then.
I would have skipped this visit myself (those grandkids wore me out too) but I had both travel agent friends I was driving and more importantly, I had clients that were coming for the visit as well. Celebrity allows us to invite people who might want to try their ships in the future along with us, which is a great idea and something I wish all the cruise lines would do.
We were at the pier and waiting to board by 9:15 (not sure why so early, but we were there). We have a brand new BDM (Business Development Manager) for Celebrity in Washington, who is just starting, so two sales managers (including the person who is in charge of all sales and marketing for the entire western USA) were doing the tour. They split us into two groups and our group was lucky enough to wind up with Elena, one of the Future Cruise salespeople on board. She was great and very receptive to having me show the group some of my favorite parts of the ship as well. I apologized later for “taking over her tour.” and she said it was great to get the viewpoint of a guest and see what was important to someone who had sailed as a passenger.
Since so many of my readers have already been on Solstice or one of her sister ships I am not going to say much more and just add some pics but I do want to add one thing. There was/is a little drama for Solstice as after we left the ship at 3:00, she sailed at 4:00, got halfway up the Puget Sound and lost all power. Got it back within the hour but had to turn around and come back to Seattle to be inspected by the Coast Guard. She was still here last night when we went to bed around 9:00 pm and I just checked on the Marine Traffic Global Ship Finder and she is just now clearing the Straits of Juan de Fuca which puts her about 10 hours behind. That means she left Seattle about 4:00 am.
One thing I forgot to mention, this was the best food of the entire summer for lunch. Got one of my favorite Celebrity dishes for lunch—Moroccan braised short ribs with couscous and apple pie. Just delish. And we got an excellent Malbec to go along with it.
More about this in a future post—the ways the media covers the cruise industry. Something that really ticks me off.
Our experiences of the Solstice depends entirely upon where we are when it occurs. Neither Solstice encompasses everyone. Neither can. The Solstices stand forever opposed, literally at the two poles of our Earth and experiences. —Gary Zukav