How to Fill 5 Sea Days on Celebrity Solstice

One of the first questions asked by people who haven’t been on a cruise is often “what do you do on the ship?”. That’s particularly true on an itinerary such as we’re on, which starts with 5 days at sea between Vancouver and Honolulu.

The short answer is that you can do nothing but relax and de-stress, or you can keep busy up to 18 hours every day doing an enormous variety of things. Every cruise line, and even every cruise ship, has its own personality and will appeal to different people, but for Cathy and I (and it seems to be true for our friends MJ and Jim as well) the Celebrity Solstice is perfect. In this post I’ll show you a bit of what has gone on the past couple of days.

My days start much earlier than they do for normal people 🙂 I’m usually in the Oceanview Cafe on Deck for coffee at around 05:00, and there are never more than 3 or 4 other passengers up and about.
Oceanview Cafe on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
My quiet corner in the Oceanview Cafe at 05:30 – in another hour and a half this will be a very busy place. The early-riser breakfast is available starting at 06:30, with full service a half-hour later.
Oceanview Cafe on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
Every evening, a newsletter, “Celebrity Today”, is put in our cabin. It includes a schedule of events for the next day. The next 2 images show about 1/3 of a typical list (typical for the Celebrity Solstice – other ships can have very different activities).
Daily schedule of events on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
Daily schedule of events on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
The weather and sea conditions can play a part in the activity list. With a 35-knot crosswind and 7-meter (22-foot) seas the first sea day, one theatre performance was delayed until things calmed down, and some people were quite seasick.
Navigation chart on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
We stopped by the workshop on making leis, though we didn’t take part. It attracted about 50 people to the Observation Lounge on Deck 15.
Making leis on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
The pools were all closed, though might have been useful for advanced surfing lessons!
Pool on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
There are countless places to chill out. Cabin balconies aren’t on the list yet, but the library has a wonderful vibe and is very popular.
Library on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
The naturalist for this sailing is Dirk Younkerman, who I worked with on the Celebrity Infinity a few years ago. He lived on Maui for a few years, and has a presentation in the theatre every day at 10:30 am. He started with an overview of the islands and is now geting into specifics – today’s presentation is about the volcanoes that formed the islands.
Dirk Younkerman's show on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
Cuisine is a big part of the Celebrity experience, and is a big part of why we chose this sailing. A demonstration and sampling by all 3 of the main specialty restaurants on board, Silk Harvest (Asian), Murano (French) and Tuscan Grille (Italian) was very popular.
Sampling food from the specialty restaurants on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
There’s always something going on – we happened along as this waiter was showing how to pour 11 martinis at once! No, I won’t be trying this at home 🙂
Trick martinis pouring on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
Most events and activities offered are free, but some have a charge. Cathy and I went to a sampling of wines from around the world. For $20 we got to sample 12 wines, and some of the pours were very generous.
Wine sampling on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
As well as the wine, there was lots of cheese and other nibblies. We were so exhausted from all that learning that we went for a 2-hour nap after 🙂
Wine and cheese on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
I really enjoy rough seas, and joined a few other people on the lowest open deck, Deck 5, to get some shots. The odd wave sent heavy spray onto the navigation wing on Deck 10- that’s over 100 feet above the water!
Heavy seas on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
For people who don’t bring their own computers, a large Apple-equipped computer room (the iLounge) is available. Using the computers is free, but Internet access runs from 79 cents per minute down to 26 cents per minute if you buy a 1,680-minute package. I got a 600-minute package for $198 (a 10% discount from the usual price as a prior Celebrity guest).
The iLounge on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
I’m constantly impressed by the design of the Solstice – it’s bright, it’s modern, and there is wonderful art everywhere. Part of our plan to minimize weight gain during cruises is to always use the stairs rather than the elevators. It doesn’t always work out that way, but we’re both usually good about it.
Stairs on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
There are 2 wonderful canopied hammocks-for-2 in a covered corner on the pool deck, and we spent an hour or so in one.
A hammock on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
The view from the hammock helps make it a great space for some quiet time together.
The sea view from the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
Another of the eating places with a surcharge is Bistro on 5, which is available for breakfast and lunch. With a surcharge of $7, it specializes in crepes and paninis.
Bistro on 5 restaurant on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
We had been to Bistro on 5 on a previous cruise, and it was a “must” on this voyage. The Mediterranean crepe I had as the main course (seen in the next photo) was excellent, and the Grand Marnier crepe for dessert was amazing!
Bistro on 5 restaurant on cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
Dancing lessons are quite popular on the ship – waltzing, the cha cha…
Cha cha lessons on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
… and a series of lessons on how to do the hula.
Hula lessons on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
The other major speaker is Dr. Peter Wasilewski. Yesterday his presentation was about the red, green, yellow, black and white sand beaches of Hawaii, today it’s on the glaciers that used to be on Mauna Kea. Having multiple speakers, especially one sof this calibre, is not common on cruise ships anymore.
Dr. Peter Wasilewski speaking on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
Last night, we had dinner at the Tuscan Grille, and it was simply superb. In particular, I have never had calamari that good, and Cathy’s filet mignon could be cut with a fork.
Tuscan Grille on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice

It’s now Friday afternoon, and sun has become the major focus for many people, including us. The pool deck was packed, and some of the very red people we saw there are going to be very sore people tomorrow! It’s not hot yet (it hit 21°C, 71°F), and there are still some clouds, but it was wonderful – and we’re only halfway to the islands yet!:)


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