Part 2, The journey continues...Itinerary additions...

Celebrity Solstice

Ship Rating:
The first ship to be a part of Celebrity’s Solstice class, the Celebrity Solstice features many of the personal amenities passengers have come to expect from Celebrity while carrying 2,850 passengers. Each of the ships in the Solstice class feature wireless Internet throughout, larger staterooms with flat screen televisions, spacious bathrooms, more storage space and plush European bedding. Balconies are available in 85% of the ship's staterooms, and the Solstice-class ships include an exceptional range of guest-inspired services and amenities made possible due to the ships’ larger size. Spa-enthusiasts aboard the Celebrity Solstice can enjoy the 130 “AquaClass” veranda staterooms, with unlimited access to the Aqua Spa relaxation room and the Persian Garden, and exotic aromatherapy and steam room. AquaClass guests also receive exclusive complimentary dining in Blu, an intimate 130-seat specialty restaurant.
   
             
 Ship Statistics 
Year Built2008
Tonnage122,000 tons
RegistryMalta
Length1,033 feet
Beam121 feet
Passenger Capacity2,850
Crew Size999
Total Inside Cabins102
Total Outside Cabins1,323
Cabins & Suites w/ verandas1,177
Suites56
Maximum Occupancy per room5
Age RestrictionsOne person must be 21 or older
Dinner Seatings2
Seating Assignments
in Main Dining Room
Assigned
Dining Hours6:15 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.
Dining Room Dress CodeDining
Tipping Recommended?Yes
Tipping GuidelinesAdded to onboard account. $12.00 per person, per day in staterooms, $12.50 per person, per day for Concierge/Aqua class, $15.00 per person, per day for Suites. 15% tip included on beverage orders.
Onboard CurrencyUS Dollar
   
Services & Amenities
Bars/Lounges14
Beauty Salon/Barber ShopYes
CasinoYes
ChapelNo
Disco/DancingYes
ElevatorsYes
Hot Tub10
Cell Phone ServiceYes
Internet CenterYes
Wireless Internet AccessYes
Note: Available in certain areas
Laundry/Dry CleaningYes
LibraryYes
Movie TheatreYes
Outdoor Movie ScreenNo
Onboard WeddingsYes
Self Serve LaundromatsNo
ShopsYes
ShowroomYes
SpaYes
Video ArcadeYes
Fitness & Sports Facilities
Basketball CourtYes
Fitness CenterYes
Golf Driving NetNo
Golf SimulatorNo
Ice Skating RinkNo
Jogging TrackYes
Mini-Golf CourseNo
Rock Climbing WallNo
Swimming Pool3
Tennis CourtNo
Water Sports PlatformNo
Cabin Features & Amenities
24-Hour Room ServiceYes
Hair DryerYes
SafeYes
TelephoneYes
TelevisionYes
Kids Facilities
BabysittingYes
Children's PlayroomYes
Kiddie PoolNo
Supervised Youth ProgramYes
Teen CenterYes
Special Needs & Requests
Adjoining Cabins
     (private connecting doors)
Yes
Kosher MealsYes
Single Occupancy CabinsNo
Single Share ProgramNo
Wheelchair-Accessible Cabins30

See below the text for more details about this ship and our booked cruise on September 23, 2014, one year from now.


First, an update on the recent terrorist attacks in Kenya:

Many of our friends have contacted us inquiring as to our safety after the horrific attacks on a shopping in Nairobi. We are saddened by the loss of life and the injuries sustained by many Kenyan residents and visitors. 

We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of those lost in the devastation and extend our wishes for healing and recovery for those injured. 

As for us, rest assured, we are far from the attacks, a 7 hour car ride, a one hour flight. Although we have no TV and can't stream news due to data restrictions, we were abreast of the situation only hours after it commenced.

When we registered our travel itinerary with the US State Department many months ago, we couldn't help but notice numerous warnings for travelers to stay out of discos and shopping malls, often targets for these heinous attacks.
We have taken these warnings seriously with no intentions of visiting either a mall or disco.

Today, when once again we went grocery shopping, the gates to the small strip mall were closed, attended by armed guards, checking bags, packages, and trunks along with opening the door and looking at the passengers in the vehicles.  Alfred, our driver, made the transition relatively seamless, speaking in Swahili to the guards as we were waved on after the inspection of the vehicle.

The Nakumatt Grocery Store had several guards at the entrance but this has been the case each time we've shopped.  As I entered to shop, I was "wanded" to ensure I had no concealed weapons.

When Tom walked upstairs in the strip mall to the SafariCom phone store to buy more SIM card scratch cards (to add more data to Hans' Hotspot we're using), armed guards stood in attendance at the door, wanding, checking ID and inspecting passports.

Well aware of the risks in Kenya before we booked our plans, it's comforting to know, now that we're here, that the Kenyan government takes these risks seriously.  But, as we see, many scenarios are difficult to fully protect based on the carnage that occurred at the upscale mall this past weekend.

Tom and I also consider our safety with the utmost of concern, avoiding unguarded restaurants and points of interest.  Yes, we are across the street from the Indian Ocean and had hoped to spend time walking the beach during the day. 

However, the risks on the secluded beaches are many and we choose to stay away.  We're able to see the beach when dining in resorts located on the ocean, all of which are guarded, none of which we will walk at night. 

In the realm of the recent events, our lives of travel seem so small and insignificant.  Although we all carry on in our own lives, in light of the devastation around us, the memories lingering in our hearts and minds.

Now, on to the second leg of our newly booked travels. 

Yesterday, we left at the point whereby we traveled to Boston, MA, USA by cruise ship from London on our eventual path toward Hawaii where our kids and grandchildren will visit us on our rental house in Kona for Christmas.

1. September 17, 2014 to September 23, 2014:  Fly from Boston MA, USA to Vancouver, British Columbia Canada (one way, under $250 each!),  where we'll stay for 6 nights touring this enchanting city.

2. September 23, 2014 to October 5, 2014 - Cruise from Vancouver to Honolulu, Hawaii
 
3. October 5, 2014 to December 1, 2014 - Rent a condo on the beach in Honolulu where we'll stay until December 1, 2014
 
4.  December 1, 2014 - Fly from Honolulu to the Big Island of Hawaii where we'll live in our rented house with our kids and grandchildren visiting for Christmas until January 15, 2015
 
5. January 15, 2015 - Fly to the island of Kauai, Hawaii where will live in a lovely oceanfront condo until May 15, 2015. 
 
By next May, we'll begin booking beyond the above ending date, a full year
in advance.
 
For now, we need to find a house to rent in England for a month, hotels for
both Boston and Vancouver and a condo for Hawaii.  Once completed, we'll
be fully booked through May 15, 2015, looking forward to planning the next
leg of our world journey.  At this point, we haven't decided where we'd like
to go as we continue to discuss the endless exciting options.
 
Here are the details of the 2nd cruise we booked over the weekend from
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to Honolulu, Hawaii.  As usual, we
booked a balcony cabin on the starboard side to ensure the best views.

(Please excuse editing.  Each time we copy and paste cruse itineraries, they appear differently when pasted and are impossible to edit).
 
 
12 nights departing September 23, 2014 on
Celebrity's Celebrity Solstice

Brochure Inside$2,799
Our Inside$1,324
You Save 53%
Brochure Oceanview$3,099
Our Oceanview$1,474
You Save 52%
Brochure Balcony$3,399
Our Balcony$1,699
You Save 50%
Brochure Suite$5,599
Our Suite$2,849
You Save 49%
$$$ Early booking bonus! Book now and receive a FREE US$100 per cabin onboard credit on select categories.
Promotions may not be combinable with all fares.

 
ITINERARY














DAY



DATE



PORT



ARRIVE



  DEPART
TueSep23Vancouver, BC, Canada 5:00pm
WedSep24At Sea
ThuSep25At Sea
FriSep26At Sea
SatSep27At Sea
SunSep28At Sea
MonSep29Honolulu, Oahu, HI 1:00pm
TueSep30Honolulu, Oahu, HI 8:00pm
WedOct1Kilauea Volcano, HI (Cruising)
WedOct1Hilo, Hawaii, HI 11:00am8:00pm
ThuOct2Kona, Hawaii, HI 11:00am8:00pm
FriOct3Lahaina, Maui, HI 8:00am
SatOct4Lahaina, Maui, HI 6:00pm
SunOct5Honolulu, Oahu, HI 7:00am

 
 

Charges


Cruise (includes port charges)3,558.00
Government Taxes*270.02
Pre-Paid Gratuities288.00



Total Sale (US$)$ 4,116.02


*subject to change by the cruise line.

Payments


Paid ToTypeAmount






CelebrityCC900.00



Total Payments (US$)$ 900.00
Balance Due (US$)$ 3,216.02

Final payment due July 1, 2014.

Additional expenses are incurred while cruising including Internet fees, alcoholic and other beverages (ice and hot tea and coffee are free of charge), purchases in the shops (a rare occurrence) and for the specialty restaurants which we may try from time to time.  In most cases, our bill, above and beyond the cost of the cruise itself, usually runs about $1200 for a two week cruise.  This additional expense is factored into our budget.

As we book the house for a month in England and the almost two months in Honolulu, we'll share the photos and details with you.  For now, the search continues.

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