A day of living aboard the Celebrity Solstice
|There was entertainment provided every night in the Solstice Theater. Cruise Director Liam Ryan introduces each act.|
On a number of occasions over the past 5 months, I tried to document a full day of activities on the cruise ship, Celebrity Solstice. I always found myself with a Homer Simpson "D'oh!" moment as I realized that I got caught up in one activity or another, and forgot to record what I was doing. Finally, on April 26, during a day at sea following a visit to Tahiti, I did it!
Although the Solstice is a "contained city" of 3000 or so guests (and 1000+ crew), everyone had their own preference for where to go and what to do. You wouldn't see me spending any time in the smoking areas, and the casino and shopping areas were just spaces to walk through on my way to the theater. In other words, my typical day does not have to correspond with the typical day of any other passenger (different strokes for different folks, right?). Regardless, I didn't spend much time in my stateroom, so I roamed quite a bit. After 54 consecutive days on board, I had settled into my routine. So, for your viewing and reading pleasure, here is a pretty average sea day on April 26, somewhere in the Pacific on our way to Hilo, Hawaii.
I woke up about 6 AM, and took a look outside on the balcony to assess the weather. After a week visiting French Polynesia, the weather as we approached Hawaii was actually cold! I start most days off with exercise, so I headed out our stateroom (6223) toward the front of the ship.
There is a lot of action on the ship after 10 PM (music, dancing, drinking) so guests don't tend to wake up this early. I don't run into anyone as I walk down the hall to the stairs.
Over 54 days, I probably had used the elevators 6 times. Caroline and I got to know all the stairways, the stairway art, and the stairway attendants (cleaning and polishing the handrails and glass) quite well. From deck 6 to deck 12 (where the gym was located) was about 90 steps. In an average day, we would climb about 500 steps (and an equal number when descending).
|This is a view of the Solarium on deck 12 before 7 AM. The pool opens at 7.|
|This is the reason I go to the fitness center in the morning (it opens at 6 AM). No waiting! By 9-ish on sea days, there's a person on each machine.|
|In the spa area, there is a small locker room, with showers and a steam room.|
|The Spa Cafe, where you can get "healthier" foods. There are fewer dining choices here, so the crowds are smaller.|
|After eating, I bus my own table. It's just too weird to expect the staff to take away my dishes, day after day. When you do, they thank you. And I thank them right back!|
Time for second breakfast, you Middle Earth fans! I take the stairs down to deck 5, walk outside along the lifeboats and lifeboat tenders, and go to the Tuscan Grille which is located all the way to the rear of the ship. Hint: most food venues are located close to the rear (aft), and entertainment is forward. There, it is time to blog, meet friends, and enjoy a cappuccino or 2 with croissants.
|There are few decks that allow you to walk outside. The only lower deck that allows access is deck 5.|
|The view to the rear from the Tuscan Grille on deck 5. You can see the wake from the propeller pods.|
|Time for Second Breakfast! Really, this is just a nice, quiet spot for writing. Quiet spots are at a premium on a cruise ship with 3000 guests.|
It's now close to noon, so time for lunch. Today, I walk up the stairs to deck 14 to the Oceanview Cafe. This is a very large buffet area. Practically everyone has at least 1 meal a day here, and you often see officers, including the captain, eat here as well.
|This is the area of the Oceanview Cafe located outside, near the Oceanside Bar. Caroline and I ate outside whenever possible.|
|Lunch! Although I was always hopeful, I only saw whales once while eating.|
Where was Caroline today? She was working in the dialysis clinic on deck 2 next to Medical. I picked up some snacks for her and the Dialysis At Sea team, and climbed down 100 steps.
Over the past 2 weeks, Polynesian experts have been giving people ukulele and hula lessons. There is a "recital" tonight. Caroline has attended most of the practice sessions, but she asked me to video that last practice since she was working. It was on deck 12, poolside.
Back downstairs to deck 4 (more stairs) with a drink to take to dinner in the Grand Epernay Restaurant. Today, we were dining with the Dialysis at Sea crew.
Then it was time for the ukulele and hula recitals in the Grand Foyer. For the players and dancers, I am confident that a good time was had by all.
So this day can be summarized as exercise, food, stairs, lectures, stairs, food, stairs, writing, stairs, food, and stairs. Of course, there were conversations with friends at various times. On other sea days, we may play table tennis, swim, run on the outside track, watch a movie on the lawn (really!), or play cards. We limited drinking alcohol to after 5 PM, and after 2 months at sea on this ship, neither Caroline nor I gained weight.