We enjoyed our first cruise on Celebrity Millennium in 2006 very much so it was an easy choice to return to Celebrity for our second cruise in 2009. We were intrigued by a new class of ship that Celebrity were launching, called Solstice Class, that we considered was worth trying. Not surprisingly, Celebrity Solstice is the flag ship of the class of a planned 5 ships and was the first to launch with its maiden voyage on November 23, 2008. We thought it would be nice also to take a voyage in a ship that was so new. Was also interesting to us that our two cruises were both on the current flag ship of Celebrity’s fleet at the time. Celebrity Millennium is the flag ship of the Millennium Class ships that was at to top of the fleet list until Celebrity Solstice was delivered.
Celebrity Solstice is truly a beautiful ship with so many wonderful amenities. With its passenger capacity of 2850, was quite a bit bigger than Celebrity Millennium with its capacity of 1975 at the time. Incidentally, Celebrity Millennium (known as Millennium until 2008 until Solstice class was launched and all of the Celebrity ships were rebranded) has since had a passenger capacity increase to 2138. The newness of Celebrity Solstice was a big plus and the design of this ship was wonderful. This larger ship also had more specialty restaurants, which we also found to be a plus. The down side for us was the larger number of passengers onboard and how that affected a few things such as the service at the main dining room. One of the ship’s claim to fame is real grass on the open area of Deck 15 - called the Lawn Club. At the time of our sailing it was the only ship in the world the could boast this - but when the other Solstice class ship were launched between 2009 to 2012 this brought the number to a total of five ships with real grass.
Just like after the first cruise - the test of any experience - would we do it again? The answer of course was absolutely yes. There were things that were better on this cruise over the first one and things that weren’t as good - but we enjoyed them both. Our subsequent cruises have been a departure from the large ships and selecting Celebrity’s sister company Azamara - which at the times of our sailings were both part of the huge Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. As of the beginning of 2021 Azamara is in the process of being sold to private equity firm Sycamore Partners. This sale is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2021.
WHITEonline is the digital home of Gary & Linda White. We’ve been married since 1980 and live just outside Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Linda was born and raised in Toronto while Gary was born in London, England and moved to Canada at the age of 11. We enjoy travelling and taking photos while we travel. WHITEonline provides the opportunity to share some of our photos & experiences.