We had high expectations and in some ways we were satisfied but in others we were definitely not. Firstly all credit to the dining and cabin staff who did a great job . The entertainment was in our opinion pretty average but you cant please everyone and we accept this. Since we started in Auckland and we are New Zealanders we had a pretty good idea what local tour prices were and here's a BIG TIP. The shore Excursions are VERY EXPENSIVE. As an example the Taieri Gorge Railway Trip in Dunedin was $199 US or about $240 NZ dollars. The actual cost if you booked online or went to the Station was $86 NZ. So you got ripped for $150 if you booked on the ship. Every port has local operators on the wharf and you will get a far better deal. Many trips had space but you should book online BEFORE you travel. This is because the Internet on the ship is outrageously expensive-about $1 US a minute. If you like your alcohol you will pay top dollar plus a compulsory 15% tip. You cant take any alcohol More
on board or buy any while you are ashore.
There are no guest laundry facilities on the Celebrity so be prepared for some fancy prices for them to do your washing.
You will be automatically charged about twelve dollars a day for gratuities which you can ask to be removed from your account. We personally object to this form of tipping as Kiwis do not generally tip and we believe tipping should be at ones discretion and not just added to your account. I guess if you paid your workers a fair wage then tips would not be necessary.
Unfortunately we felt that once you were on board it was everyone's job to screw as much extra money out of you as possible - constantly bothered by waiters asking you to buy alcohol, photographers, Shore excursions, expensive restaurant cover charges,laundry charges etc etc.
The trip itself was reasonably good and the food excellent. If you heed some of the advice on being ripped off you will have more money to do some other things you enjoy. Less
Celebrity Solstice Cruises to Australia & New Zealand