My husband and I chose this ship because it was only 4 yrs old and in Australia. We always wanted to see the rest of our own country. The Solstice is a beautiful modern ship with mixtures of modern and classic styles and very clean. The demographic is mostly 40-80 and older. So all are in bed by 1am. There are some younger people under 30. The children that are on board are well behaved as there aren't many. A cruise is what you make it and there are always going to be unhappy people and happy people. The most disappointing part of the trip was getting sick from a flu virus on board which we were not told about. As we have never been sick before on other cruises. We met many people who caught the virus,it was very nasty indeed.
Passengers where mostly Americans and Canadians, some International(European) and Australians. The accommodations are very comfortable, but our room attendant was hopeless compared to other cruises. Our bathroom was always cleaned well but not our room. The toilet paper is cheap. It took me about 5 days to realise I could put our suitcases underneath the bed and I thought shouldn't of the room attendant tell us. We both hated our cupboard but the bed and lounge are very good. I think we upset him because we were preoccupied when he came to introduce himself and thus we didn't get the best service from him.
We purchased the Premium Non-Alcoholic packages and bought alcoholic drinks as we wanted them. We bought the dining package on the first day as you get a discount. Both good value. You will find bars are only opened certain hours and sometimes they close early depending on the weather and business. The bar staff seemed to spend a lot time doing stock take. We found Level 15 to be particular slow workers and lazy but entertaining. The Molecular and Martini Bar are great but the ice bar was broken. All specialty restaurants are good. The shops are good onboard. There's everyday shopping on the casino level and high end shopping the level above. The usual programs of things to do and see onboard. What is unusual is the grass lawn and grass lawn games and the Glass Blowing shows. The gambling games are expensive onboard eg bingo or lotto tickets and don't use your mini bar unless you can afford it.Even the Casino doesn't stay open that late. Shows are standard depending on your tastes.
My husband and I decided to pre paid the tips because we wanted anytime dining as we hate being restricted to a timetable whilst on holidays as we have enough of that in everyday life. Our hostess Anna was fantastic. The meals in fine dining are good but breakfast is better in cafe for fresh eggs and toast.
What we like about this cruise was we weren't hounded to have our picture taken. Room service is included in the tariff. Some staff are amazing and some staff just don't speak English very well, so if communication is not right then problems are not solved properly or you can't get service you want. I was unhappy about trying to watch a movie in our room as the Apple software on our TV kept playing up and the movie on demand were the only ones I wanted to watch. I rang for 4 days in a row before the problem was actually fixed but then it played up again, so I just didn't bother. We didn't appreciate the Cruise director passing himself as an Australian, citizen yes, fair dinkum, no.
Tendering out was not good because of weather and political matters for Bali. We were refunded our visa money and Celebrity only charged us the tax. A lot time wasted on Port days for Bali and Cairns. We felt because Celebrity has been to Bali before they should of been more organised. Thus showing a lot of trainee staff onboard this trip. They also charge for shuttle buses(in Australia) unless you book tours from the ship. Also make sure you check your account everyday, as what is shown on the TV, doesn't match was your account really is. As I did get charged for water I'd already paid for through the package deal.
My advice is read the daily paper every night and then you will understand what is on offer for the next day. It is a massive ship and learning you way around can get confusing and read the lifts buttons.
The Aqua Spa is good and take note of the specials if your interested in treatments.
Fremantle and Perth is beautiful and expensive. I recommend the Gaol Tour, Lavender Farm, Little Creatures brewery and Elmers brewery.
Cicerellos, have the seafood chowder. Good things are free bus in city and at Fremantle and cheap reliable public transport.
Many people didn't like Port Headland but my husband and throughly enjoyed learning and sightseeing there. It's a booming town and totally all about business.
Bali was interesting and a culture shock to the system but the countryside there is lush and breath taking. Shopping is fantastic bargains and massages are cheap as chips.
Darwin is beautiful and we loved the Art Museum and National Park.
Cairns is clean and gorgeous. Lagoon is nice. Skyrail is fun. Kurunda Village is wonderful shopping.
Brisbane close to amazing Gold Coast.