Rene and I had a wonderful 17 day cruise from Fremantle to Sydney on this magic ship with a new adventure at every turn. So much to see and do with staff who really took time to make your trip so enjoyable
Great job all.
First time on Celebrity cruises and it was fantastic! We went Aqua class and our classic drink package was part of the deal. Great value. Dining in Blu was the way to go -out of the crowds! Staff were friendly and very relaxed, lots of fun. Will definitely sail with them again.
1st time cruiser...so wasn't sure what to expect
Food - very good (plenty of it & far too rich) but very "american" - if there is such a thing.
Entertainment - plenty & varied.
Cabin - Starting to show signs of wear & tear but overall excellent.
Crew - could not be faulted. Nothing was too much trouble, courteous, polite.
Celebrity Solstice is classified as a 5 star ship and this was evident the moment we stepped onboard. Our welcome started in celebration with a glass of champagne upon entering the ships boarding deck. Directions weren't freely available with fewer staff visible than say on a Royal Caribbean ship
but then again I didn't meet any first time cruisers on this ship so we all pretty much were aware of the lay of the land, or ship, so to speak! We were quickly welcomed by our cabin steward and after aquainting ourselves to what would be our home for the next 18 nights we were off to lunch. The buffet was of a high quality and immediately what stands out on this ship is the cleanliness of the public eating areas and the freshness of the food. Our children, yes, we did have 2 of the 80 that were on board with us, although not really a children's ship they do still accommodate for them in their programs and kids club. One thing though the group sadly missed performing at the equator ceremony as practiced (their hand made hats were lovely) due to sound and music inadequacy and then disappointingly just got as quickly dismissed by the cruise director as he moved on? Generally the kids groups were diverse and well divided into age groups.
Generally we are in the dining room every night at the 6pm sitting and had a nice group to sit with but I feel unlike royal Caribbean who seem to always match you up with people similar in age, celebrity clearly spent no time on this as the ages at the table spread from 11 to 80. It would have been nice to perhaps have another family as well on the table for our kids as well. We didn't take up any of the drinks packages as the pricing of the individual drinks basically meant under a classic beverage package there were very few wines you could choose, about 2 beers and I doubt a cocktail at all. You'd need to do a premium package which was $70 USD on board ($100 pp/pday AUS) so for both of us that over 18 nights would have amounted to $3400 AUS for our drinks! We didn't think that was worth the money and better spent our money at the ports of call. The ships port excursions are too pricey for a family of 4 (especially as my son 11 was almost always classified as an adult price) so I book our tours online before we depart. This has never been a problem. One of our tours in bora bora was full of people from the ship even though I booked online. The ports of call on this cruise were terrific with the exception of Papeete. It is similar to Noumea but the people are much friendlier. The tourist information office is right there as soon as you get off the ship and its well worth the walk along the new park areas along the waterfront which also affords a great photo opportunity of the ship in dock. Other than this Papeete isn't so good but the other two Tahitian stops, Moorea and Bora Bora were great. Heaps to do and tours that were worth the money. It was extremely handy having Pacific Franc cash with us because islands are always hard with credit cards if not impossible and we were in Papeete on a Saturday when all the banks were shut. People were having trouble with not being able to get money from the ATM machines there. Entertainment one night in Papeete was from a Tahitian dance group which (without the flames due to ships safety reasons) were just as good if not better than any Luau performance I've seen. This was on deck one evening which was nice to be up there rather than inside every night as in most ships that these days don't utilize their upper decks at night. Having said that, this cruise activities did reflect the older age group that became apparent because there wasn't a single BBQ around the pool deck in the whole 18 days nor a Hawaiin night, Tropical luau evening on deck for passengers to be involved etc. given it was a cruise to Hawaii and all through the tropics with the calm warm seas we enjoyed I would have thought the activities manager would have had some of these events to break up some of the usual monotonous activities you get to know inside out. The cruise director was Australian so I thought he might have been pushing for a BBQ at least but it seems this wasn't the case. The ship isn't as glamorous in its Foyer as other ships I've been on but its lifts were fast and the public spaces appealing. It did seem squashed at times with activities held in the centrum where you couldn't negotiate around the crowds to get to reception, and women were even sitting all around on the floor at one stage for a Tahitian bracelet craft class which I though ridiculous. All the staff on board were fabulous and the specialty restaurants (we tried two out of three) were worth the extra cost (which we got discounted to half price for lunch sittings during the cruise with them trying to fill seats). The Asian style restaurant Silk actually cooked my husband a whole barramundi because he couldn't eat the prawns given his allergy and even asked if we minded waiting a little between courses because they were new clean oil to cook it in due to his serious allergy and it had to heat up properly. The Tuscan which is Italian based was superb and if I had known just how good it was I would have dined there more often. Our waiter was also fabulous. The only two disappointments where firstly, with our cabin was that we were sold it as a Quad where clearly it was a triple. The fourth bed was a small couch that had a single short mattress on top of it, that even my 11 year olds feet touched the end, that was hard as concrete. There is no way we should have been expected to pay for this as accommodation for a fourth person for 18 nights. It did spoil his cruise due to poor sleep. Secondly the organization for tenders was terrible. I was up at 6am in a line for tender tickets for port only to be told at 6.55pm that they weren't going to do tender tickets (as they had in the previous port of call where some people with ticket numbers 41 didn't get off ship until 1pm) and we needn't worry about them! Just line up to leave now, which of course we weren't ready to as we'd been in line for an hour whilst our partners etc were having breakfast. Other than these two main bugbears the cruise was wonderful.
Cheers and until next sailing, Linda Herden.
This was my 10th cruise and my partner's 2nd this ship is amazing. It has a wonderful ambience about it. The staff were amazing and the food in Blu restaurant was incredible.
We are looking to book another cruise in November and one the following year.
Absolutely loved Celebrity. The only thing we couldn't get into the Aqua Class garden it was always full. If you offer the service it should always be available to ALL passengers not just a few.
Second cruise on Celebrity Solstice. Excellent in service and cleanliness, in fact everything. So impressed with our cruise we have booked a third on the same ship- well done Celebrity!!
This was my 10th cruise and my partners second. This ship is absolutely beautiful. It is well worth going Aqua Class just for the Blu restaurant alone. The food was amazing. The cabins are beautiful, beds comfortable and the bathroom the best I have encountered. Have booked again for
November cruise. Will not be the last time we will cruise Celebrity.
My family of 4 went on a 14 night cruise departing Auckland on the 4 January. I have been on 6 cruises so on Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Carnival but the sailing with Celebrity on the Solstice has trumped all my positive experiences with these other cruises. It was a near perfect cruise, in fact
if they just played some more upbeat music to appeal to a younger demographic, I would have rated this 11/10 perfect.
Entertainment was great in the Grand Solstice Theater, great musicals etc, the cruise director was the funniest cruise director I have ever experienced. He was great.
Cabin was superb. We had inside cabins on deck 7 and it was so modern and clean. The bathroom is better than the one I have at home. Deck 7 is in a great location.
Price was around the same as the other cruises, so this is great value for money cruise.
Food was once again 10/10. The buffet is the best buffet I have ever been to, either land or sea. The main dining room had a great atmosphere but I wished that the tables were a little more spread out.
Itinerary- I believe a 14 night cruise around New Zealand is the perfect duration. The weather was almost always sunny, except for Milford sounds. Great time of year to go. Temperature perfect.
Service went above and beyond. It was a family members birthday on the cruise and on his birthday in the main dining room the around 10 waiters including the matr'e D sang happy birthday and gave him a lovey personalized cake which was COMPLIMENTARY.
Another thing i LOVED ABOUT this ship was they hygiene. Sanitizer available everywhere. Clean ship/ spotless ship.
The ship itself still looks brand new and I love how it has a very modern decor.
I totally recommend this ship to literally anyone of any age.
Celebrity Solstice #1