January 2023 Celebrity Solstice
Mexican Riviera Cruise

Our first time sailing with Celebrity Cruises

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Celebrity Solstice anchored off Cabo San Lucas

Kellyn and I have been on a LOT of cruises together, with lots of different cruise lines, but somehow we never got around to sailing with Celebrity until now.  The main thing that had made me never seriously consider a Celebrity cruise was a perception that the food they served was gourmet food...  tiny little portions of beautifully plated food, with an emphasis on unusual ingredients.  I'm more of a meat-and-potatoes, casual dining, comfort food kind of guy...  so, Celebrity never really seemed like the right cruise line for me.

My travel agent, Caitlin Gallagher, really thought I was missing the boat (pardon the pun) and strongly encouraged me to give it a try.  Finally, she found me a bargain that I couldn't pass up, and in January of 2023, Kellyn and I took our very first Celebrity cruise.

Kellyn Zimmerlin and Jim Zimmerlin

So, how did Celebrity compare to all the other cruise lines we've sailed with...  and did we enjoy our cruise?  The best way for me to explain that is to have you watch this video I made about it:

To start the video playing, click the triangle in the middle of the video screen
To make the video fill the screen (recommended) click the little symbol in the lower right corner of the video player


I am a licensed commercial drone pilot...
So, I was able to get some nice aerial photos of the ship.

Celebrity Solstice at Catalina Island, California



We stayed in the least expensive type of suite they have on this ship.
It's called a Sky Suite.  It's only a bit larger than a conventional cruise ship cabin...
But it comes with some really nice perks, like a butler...
And access to the most exclusive restaurant on the ship.
Also, when booking a suite, quite a few things that you would normally pay extra for are included at no extra charge.

Suite 2125 on Celebrity Solstice



As a suite guest, E scored a free tour of the ship's navigational bridge.
I've toured the bridge of a few other cruise ships before...
But this tour was unusual in that the ship was actually underway at the time.

Navigational bridge of the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship



My wife and I were not alone on this cruise...  we cruised with our friends, Bob Kaplan & Joan Dillon.
We met them several years earlier on a Columbia River cruise, and quickly hit it off with them.
This has now been three cruises that we've taken together!

While we were on Catalina Island, I shot this photo of Bob with our ship in the background...

Bob Kaplan on Catalina Island



Here's a shot, from my drone, of our ship anchored off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
In the background, you can see "Land's End"...  the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula.

Celebrity Solstice at Land's End at the tip of Baja California



One thing you couldn't see in that last photo is "Los Arcos"...  the famous arch at Land's End.
Here's a shot from down at ocean level where you can see it...

Los Arcos at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico


One more shot of Land's End, this time at sunrise from the balcony of our suite on the cruise ship.
Notice all the little fishing boats heading out to sea...

Sunrise at Land's End - Cabo San Lucas


Something that I liked about Celebrity Solstice was that she has
 two outdoor swimming pools as well as an indoor swimming pool.
Plus, she has a total of six hot tubs.
Here are the two outdoor pools, and four of the hot tubs...

Main pool on Celebrity Solstice cruise ship



Here's the indoor pool, inside a climate-controlled oasis known as "The Solarium"...

The Solarium on Celebrity Solstice


The ship had a lot of nice little places where people could relax.
This is one that felt so wonderful to be in.  It's the library.  It was so cozy!

The library on Celebrity Solstice


This ship appeals to a fairly "mature" crowd...  so, a lot of things about it were very old school.
For example, they had an Internet Cafe where you could get on the Internet from a shared computer.  Very 1990s.
They even had a crew member on duty there to help people who were having tech trouble.




This is my typical cruise ship buffet breakfast.
A ham & cheese omelet, a croissant, slice of bacon, and fried potatoes.

Cruise ship buffet breakfast plate




Part of the fun of being on a cruise ship is the entertainment in the evening.
Here's a shot I took of one of the big musical productions in the main theater...

Broken Strings musical production show on Celebrity Solstice






This talented singer was hired to come aboard for a week and be the headline performer.
This is known in the cruise biz as being a fly-on entertainer.
It's not a bad gig...  because other than doing four one-hour shows and two one-hour rehearsals...
She was free to enjoy the ship as a passenger for the rest of the week.

A talented singer, Ashlie Amber



Our friend, Bob, is a volunteer on the historic aircraft carrier "Midway"...
Which is now a pretty great museum in San Diego.
Our cruise ship docked right next door to it, so Bob took us on a nice tour of it.

Midway museum - a historic aircraft carrier in San Diego




I was surprised to see how badly the paint had chipped on the bow of our ship.
Most cruise lines take a little more pride in the appearance of the exterior of the ship, and paint over things like this...

chipped paint on the bow of the Celebrity Solstice

Internet Access

Internet access on Celebrity Solstice was provided by Starlink, which was surprisingly slow.  The ping time was blazing fast, at just 38 milliseconds...  which meant using the Internet on the ship was fairly responsive...  but download speeds were less than 5 Mbps and upload speeds were less than 3 Mbps.

That's a far cry from the extremely fast Internet we had about a month earlier on Carnival Celebration...  with upload and download speeds of around 60 Mbps.  I don't know who provided the Internet for Carnival Celebration, but it wasn't Starlink, that's for sure.

Need A Travel Agent?

Booking a cruise can be confusing, especially if you haven't been on many cruises before.  There are lots of first-time cruiser mistakes that a travel agent can keep you from making.

If you're interested in booking a cruise with any cruise line...  please feel free to use the services of my travel agent, Caitlin Gallagher.  She's extremely pleasant to deal with, easy to talk to since she lives in the United States and speaks without any kind of an accent, and quite experienced and knowledgeable about different types of cruising.  Caitlin is the owner of Ambren Travel.  Visit her web site, check out the Ambren Travel Facebook page, or contact her using the information below.

Caitlin Gallagher business card Ambren Travel

Other Cruise Ships We've Been On

If you've enjoyed this page, you would probably also enjoy reading my web pages about:

December 2022 Caribbean cruise on Carnival Celebration
A Puget Sound cruise on American Constellation
A Cruise on Viking's new expedition ship, Viking Octantis
February 2022 cruise on one of our favorite ships, Carnival Panorama
A Cruise Up The Mississippi River on American Melody
American Harmony... our first river cruise!
A cruise to Iceland... our first cruise after the pandemic
Our first time on Carnival Panorama, January 2020
December 2019 cruise in The Haven on Norwegian Joy
May 2019 Carnival Horizon cruise
April 2019 Norwegian Breakaway cruise
January 2019 Caribbean cruise on the Viking Sea
December 2018 country music cruise on the Norwegian Getaway
May 2018 Panama Canal cruise on the Norwegian Bliss
January 2018 cruise on MSC Seaside in a suite with a private Jacuzzi
September 2017 Carnival Vista cruise in a Havana Suite
October 2017 Norwegian Sky cruise in the owner's suite
The $1600 per night owners suite:  January 2017 Norwegian Pearl
An Un-crowded Small Ship Experience:  Viking Star
One Of The Best Waterslides At Sea:  Liberty Of The Seas
Quite Possibly The Best Cruise Ship In The World:  Anthem Of The Seas
January 2017 Allure Of The Seas
One of the best cruise ships we've ever experienced: The Norwegian Escape
2015 Carnival Breeze back-to-back cruises
Back-to-back cruises on Independence Of The Seas
World's largest cruise ship: Allure Of The Seas
2015 Carnival Freedom repositioning cruise
Our first VIP cruise in The Haven: The Norwegian Getaway
Our June 2014 Alaska cruisetour with Princess
Our first cruise with Princess!  January 2014 Sapphire Princess
2014 back-to-back eastern/western Caribbean cruises on the Carnival Glory
The completely refurbished Carnival Sunshine
One of Carnival's best ships, the Carnival Breeze
A sister ship to the Breeze, the Carnival Magic
Our 2013 cruise on the Carnival Conquest
One of the oldest ships in the fleet, the Carnival Inspiration
Our first Caribbean cruise:  the Carnival Glory
Our many cruises on the Carnival Spirit
Our February 2010 cruise on the Carnival Splendor
Our January 2008 cruise on the Carnival Elation
Our April 2008 cruise on the Norwegian Star
Our first cruise!  1996 on Carnival Cruise Line's MS Holiday

Click here to see the complete chronology of all the cruises we've ever taken.

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