If you don’t take care of yourself, then who will? Right? In keeping with this mantra, I decided to splurge and travel suite class aboard the Celebrity Solstice to Alaska. And I’m back to tell you how sweet it was! When I say that Celebrity rolls out the red carpet, I mean they literally roll out the red carpet! The entire crew fall all over themselves to cater to your every need. Let’s start at the beginning and you’ll begin to understand what I’m taking about.
1. Priority boarding
Suite passengers may board the ship anytime during the boarding process. All other passengers are given a time frame in which to board. We figured, the earlier the better and boarded as soon as we could at 11:00am! No lines for us! We were immediately checked in and whisked off to Michael’s, a lounge reserved exclusively for suite class passengers, to wait for our cabin to be ready. If I have anything negative to say, it’s that the staff at Michael’s was a little unorganized and overwhelmed. We also weren’t told beforehand that our cabins wouldn’t be ready until 12:30. Had I known this in advance, I would have boarded the ship later.
2. Private concierge
In comes Samantha, our private, ok, suite class passengers’, private concierge. Samantha immediately, took charge of the chaotic situation in Michael’s and escorted us to our suites. Throughout the cruise, Samantha was literally at our beck and call, whether it was making reservations at the specialty restaurants or calling to inform us of an upcoming activity. She even cancelled a private tour for me that I had booked in Victoria.
Michael’s is a private lounge reserved for suite class passengers. It’s also Samantha’s office. So you can do your business with Samantha with a drink in hand! How convenient! Every night before dinner we were treated to drinks and hor d’oeuvres in a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. By the second day, the cocktail waitress even knew our drink order! If only my memory were that good! Boy, this was taste of the good life……
4. Private butler
Glen, our private butler, was always bringing us goodies. I might add, too many goodies! Sometimes it’s the little things that make you happy like free laundry! We were given laundry coupons at the beginning of the cruise, but didn’t bother to read the fine print. The fine print that said, “Only valid the first four days of the cruise!” I’m sure you can guess that we were past day four at this point. No worries as Glen came to the rescue! No questions asked, he took the laundry and it was brought back the next day folded and fluffed. Boy, I wish he had followed me home after the cruise!
5. La piece de la resistance, Luminae
Yes, Luminae is the new, I would say close to, gourmet restaurant exclusively for suite class passengers. Luminae is equipped with its own chef, menus and management. All I can say is wow. Both the service and food were outstanding. Honestly, if this were the only upgrade for suite class passengers, I would have been happy!
6. Special tours and events
This, my friends is where the red carpet comes in. Suite Class passengers were invited to the bow of the ship while cruising through the Tracy Arm Fjord. As we walked down the red carpet we were given blankets (it was very windy and cold) and hot chocolate as we walked outside! Who could ask for anything more? Well, maybe a little caffeine since it was 6:00 am. As you can see, the views were amazing. The beautiful Tracy Arm Fjord. During one of the very relaxing days at sea, we were treated to a tour of the bridge and the engine room. I’m all about behind the scenes tours, so this was right up my alley. The officers gave us very interesting facts and figures. Did you know that the Solstice carries enough fuel to cross the Atlantic twice and takes four minutes to come to a complete stop from maximum speed? I guess we never have to worry about running out of gas and need to be careful about tailgating!
7. Specialty restaurants
Suite passengers are entitled to dine free of charge at one of the three specialty restaurants. Normally this is a per person up-charge of about $35 to dine at anyone of these restaurants. We ate at both the Tuscan Grill and Silk Harvest. While both were good, the standout for me was definitely the Asian infused Silk Harvest.
8. Reserved seating for shows
I honestly cannot accurately report about this because I was too busy eating and sampling wine in Luminae. I just never made it to the shows. I mean one must have their priorities! However, if shows are your thing, you won’t have an obstructed view!
9. How suite it is
With about 400 square feet and a double balcony, who can complain? Add to that the space well designed that included two large screen televisions. But don’t get too excited, you’re at sea, so there’s not much to watch. One thing though, I just don’t understand why they have to make the showers so difficult to use. It took me until day six to finally figure it out. My only other wish would have been to have the bathroom just a wee bit bigger and two sinks would have made it perfect.
While everyone else waited on long, and I mean long lines, to first get a tender ticket to Juneau, Samantha ushered us out a side door and we went right on the tender. Same thing with disembarking on the last day, Samantha slipped us out a side door and off we went!
A final warning…
After being treated like royalty on the Solstice, it was quite an adjustment to acclimate back into the real world after disembarking!