THE SUITE LIFE ONBOARD CELEBRITY SOLSTICE
Hello there! Today I’ll be sharing with you the Suite life onboard Celebrity Solstice. While life was “sweet” onboard Solstice, I’m talking about a “Suite” as opposed to a regular stateroom, pun intended.
As you may know if you’ve been following along lately, I gave my husband a cruise to Alaska for his recent birthday.
We have just returned from our trip so today I thought I’d give you a tour of our Sky Suite #8336.
Celebrity Cruise Lines offers a number of different categories of Suites, the least elaborate and least expensive of which is called a “Sky Suite.” This entry level Suite is terrific because without having to spend an absolute fortune one can sail in a Suite and enjoy all of the many perks that come with the “Suite Life” without breaking the bank. So, for our recent cruise I selected Aft-Facing Sky Suite #8336 which was on the side corner of the very back of the ship. You can see it marked on the right, starboard side of the photo below. Because we were traveling north to Alaska, I chose the starboard side because we would have a land view for the entire journey north. Since 2/3rds of the trip was going north, we’d have a better view for the majority of the cruise by being on the starboard side.
I have found that I like aft facing staterooms for several reasons:
- They provide an outstanding 180º view
- The balconies are often larger and aren’t as exposed to wind
- They are more private, especially in port
- This particular suite has a private little anteroom off of the main hallway that is shared with only one other stateroom, making it extra private & quiet
The disadvantage of an aft facing stateroom is in rough seas you will feel more motion. If you are inclined to seasickness the best cabin to have is in the middle of the ship on the lowest floor. For this reason I only book aft facing staterooms on itineraries that tend to have calm seas.
So please, step inside my Sky Suite #8336 for a tour. As you can see, our suite was a spacious (as cruise suites go) 300 square feet. The layout of the aft facing suites are a different configuration than the normal Sky Suites and I believe they are more spread out and open feeling.
While this suite is aft facing, it also has a giant porthole on the side of the ship so it had a great wraparound view. The sliding door faced the back of the ship and opened onto the balcony, while the porthole gave a view out of the starboard side of the ship.
The suite has a large couch which also converts into a bed for 2 additional passengers, making this suite a good choice for a family of 4.
Upon embarkation suite occupants are given a complimentary bottle of champagne. Fresh fruit was replenished every day. And the pretty little vase of flowers stayed fresh for the duration of our 7 day cruise.
The bed was comfortable with high quality sheets and feather pillows. Celebrity calls their bedding and mattress the 2Xhale feature. One missing feature was electrical plugs by the bed. The only plug to be found was located at the desk where Brad and I were forced to juggle the charging of our various electronic devices, which was a bit of a nuisance.
This bar area is adjacent to the bed. One of the perks of a suite is a large free bottle of water. Inside the lower cabinet was a mini fridge stocked with the usual mini-bar fare, all at a price. While this little built in was nice, the storage in this area was way more than anyone would ever need and seemed a bit pointless. We used the counter but none of the cabinets. On second thought, if a family of 4 was using this suite, the extra storage space would probably come in handy.
To the left of this bar area is the opening onto the large balcony, somewhere around 80 square feet. I believe, however, that this aft facing balcony is larger than those which are attached to side facing Sky Suites. The balcony has 2 adjustable chairs, 2 foot rests and a table.
Stepping back inside let me show you the bathroom. The marble tile walls and floor made it seem elegant and it felt spacious. The bathroom was also supplied with Bulgari Brand Luxury Bath Products.
There was adequate storage space for both Brad and I to store all of our toiletries. But as you can see, there was no magnifying mirror. A handheld magnifying mirror was located in a drawer of the desk which they also referred to as a vanity. Honestly, I truly do wonder if very many women out there ever get ready at a vanity not located in a bathroom? I require running water when I put on my makeup and would never apply it sitting at a desk. Is this just me, or do you think men design these vanities and never consult with women? I’d love to hear from you on this subject.
Another thing that I am certain was designed by a man are rain showerheads. They are a nice feature on the days that I wash my hair. But when I’m not washing my hair I find this style of overhead showerhead, which was in our Solstice tub/shower combo, completely out of place and annoying. That’s because it’s so difficult to shower without getting your head wet. On the other hand, having a bathtub on a cruise ship is a very nice feature.
The Solstice shower did have a handheld sprayer which I used instead of the rain showerhead. However, if I’d designed this bathroom I would have placed the hand sprayer attachment at a normal shower height. In order to use this sprayer you had to have it in hand.
Lastly, here’s a photo of the closet. The hanging space was actually double what you see in the photo, and provided enough room for both mine and my husband’s clothes. There was a safe, an umbrella, a tote bag, 2 pairs of slippers and a small pair of binoculars in the closet as well. Celebrity supplies 2 terry cloth bathrobes to their suite occupants. I noticed that regular staterooms have thin, flimsy looking robes instead.
So, now let’s talk about the added perks that come with buying a suite from Celebrity Cruises. It is these perks that can really make the splurge worthwhile. Keep in mind that at any given time all cruise lines have some kind of promotion they are pitching. In our case, if you booked a suite it came with these 4 special offers for 2 people:
- Free Premium Beverage Package : We could order as many drinks as we wanted that cost up to $13.00. If our beverage cost more than that we were charged the difference.
- Free Internet: As a blogger and also for my husband’s business purposes, this was a must for us. However, the internet connection was spotty at best when we were at sea. And this cruise had 3 days at sea.
- Free Gratuities: All of the cruise employees that attend to you while onboard a ship expect to be offered a suggested tip at the end of the cruise. It was nice not to have to deal with the gratuity issue which can be awkward.
- $300.00 Onboard Spending Money: When planning a cruise one must always factor in the additional expenses involved, i.e: the cost of shore excursions, spa services, purchases made in the shops, and the expense of Specialty restaurants. Believe me, $300.00 does not go far on a cruise ship but it was a nice little extra.
But even if you don’t get to take advantage of a special offer such as ours, just being a suite occupant comes with some pretty nice perks that Brad and I have really come to enjoy, so much so that I doubt we’ll ever sail in anything but a suite ever again, if we can afford it.
The Suite Life Perks
- Priority check-in, Debarkation & Tendering: If you’ve ever tried checking into a large cruise ship with all the masses of humanity, getting to check in at a special line just for suites makes the process so much sweeter. The same is true when it is time to disembark. And, when the ship was anchored and tenders were used to transport people to shore, special tenders were reserved for suite occupants only.
- Priority Reserved Seating at Shows: On what Celebrity calls “Evening Chic” nights (thank heavens they got rid of formal nights) the Suite Butlers gather at the show venues and seat suite guests in a reserved seating area.
- Specialty Dining Room Reserved Just For Suite Occupants: A recent trend in the cruise industry is to offer suite passengers their own exclusive dining venues. Celebrity has Luminae, Norwegian has the Haven Restaurant, etc.
- Butler Services: Living the Suite life means never having to lift a finger. Butlers will unpack your bags (no thanks), bring snacks and drinks to your suite at teatime (yes please), and serve you dinner at your suite’s dining table.
- Specialty Lounge with Free Cocktails: On Celebrity Cruises this feature is called Michael’s Club. It’s a private lounge for those in suites and it’s open 24 hours a day. This luxurious club features a large-screen TV, reading areas stocked with magazines, newspapers, and books, plus a continental breakfast. Complimentary drinks and tapas are also served.
- Concierge Services: A Concierge dedicated to suite passengers can help arrange your specialty dining, shore excursions, even handle inquiries about various ports of call.
- Free Stuff: Suite passengers might pay a lot up front, but they don’t have to pay as much onboard, thanks to all sorts of freebies offered by the cruise lines. This varies from company to company, but it can result in substantial overall savings in the long run.
So there you have it: THE SUITE LIFE ONBOARD CELEBRITY SOLSTICE
Thanks so much for dropping in! Stay tuned because in my next post we’re going to beautiful Alaska!
No blog post is truly complete without a word from you. I’d be so delighted if you’d leave a comment below.
All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise credited, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.