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A Quick Cruise to the Eastern Caribbean

Experiencing the "Star" Treatment on the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship

People who know me, know that I love to travel. Cruise travel is my preferred vehicle to see the world. When I go for too long without sailing on the seas, I start to get antsy and wanderlust builds in my being. So, it was no surprise that as I spent time looking over cruise travel opportunities for my clients, I found one for myself too. I'm always ready to try new things, so a great low fare on a 7 day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on the Celebrity Solstice grabbed my attention. While the itinerary was not at all new to me, the ship and the cruise line was. In no time at all I had made the cruise booking and my husband did not bat an eyelash when I told him we were going on another cruise, in less than 2 weeks. It's a good thing that we both work for ourselves!

The Celebrity "Star Treatment" was something I had never experienced and I was very excited when embarkation day arrived in Ft Lauderdale. Our itinerary included my favorite islands of St Thomas, St Martin and San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was going to be fun visiting those places again on a new (to me) ship. We arrived at the ship dock early and boarded the Solstice. This is when my Celebrity Experience began. My first look at the sleek contemporary design and modern furnishings took me by surprise. The low techno beat music playing in the background left me feeling like I had stepped into the hottest ultra lounge in Hollywood. I immediately wished I had waited to lose 20 pounds before taking this cruise. I felt more than a little overweight and frumpy as we made our way to our cabin. The cabin interior was spacious and comfortable, the balcony a little small. I knew right away that this was going to be a completely new experience for me and I prepared myself to keep an open mind in the days to come.

Celebrity Solstice
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Solstice Promenade Deck
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Solstice Martini Bar
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Solstice cabin
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With sailaway from Ft Lauderdale behind us, my husband and I made our way to the main dining room for dinner. The decor of this room also took me by surprise. Beige chairs, white table linens and chrome fixtures as far as the eye could see. Yes, contemporary was definitely the theme of this ship.

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Our dinner companions were from various parts of the southern United States and included one couple from Ireland. We all immediately became fast friends over good food and wine and great service from our waiters. As with all embarkation days, we ended the evening early and turned in for the night, looking forward to the next day aboard the Celebrity Solstice.

Our first full day on this cruise was spent at sea. A wonderful opportunity to relax and unwind from all the hassles of everyday life. After completely unpacking and having a great breakfast in the Buffet, my husband and I found a nice spot on the pool deck, which was my favorite part of the ship.

Solstice pool deck
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I was extremely content relaxing in my lounge chair, listening to live Caribbean music with my Kindle e-book reader in hand while we sailed the calm waters headed toward San Juan. My husband Reginald was very happy to have discovered the Spa section of the pool deck that was covered and serene with its own lunch counter featuring light salads and wraps. Reggie is always worried about gaining weight on a cruise. I, unfortunately, am not.
The day passed slowly and we had a real chance to rest before the evening dinner and entertainment began. I love sea days, they truly make me feel renewed.

Solstice Spa pool and deck
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The next 3 days were spent in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas and Phillipsburg, St Martin. Having visited all of these islands before, we did not do many excursions, just enjoyed the scenery, the beaches and the shops. I took lots of photos of course, to document the changes year by year. Thankfully, things in the Eastern Caribbean had only changed for the better and the weather was as perfect as always, even in November.

Sailing into San Juan
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San Juan cruise ship dock in Old San Juan
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St Thomas, USVI
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Sapphire Beach on St Thomas
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Sapphire Beach Ducks
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Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas harbor
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Cruising in to St Martin
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Phillipsburg, St Martin
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Leaving St Martin, we spent two more days at sea before arriving back in Ft Lauderdale. We relaxed and enjoyed the food and entertainment on the ship including champagne art gallery tours, production shows, the casino and of course the pool deck. Before we knew it we were back home in Alabama with Fall slowly sliding into Winter. It had been a wonderful trip on the Celebrity Solstice and I would choose this cruise line again.... I will just lose some weight first.

The End (smile)

Gerrilyn Grant Gipson Esq.
Owner/Travel Consultant
Meetings & Events Unlimited Travel Services

Posted by Gerriv 10:11

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