“We Expected A Better Experience from Celebrity”
Cruise review of Celebrity Solstice

Tumbleweed66 Celebrity Solstice 3 We Expected A Better Experience from Celebrity
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Just returned from a 12 day cruise between Sydney and Auckland on Celebrity. Have to say I found it less than acceptable due to a number of factors. To begin with the descriptions of the tours being offered were not honest. None of them mentioned anything about the amount of time that would be spent on a bus. We discovered that a 10 hour tour included 4 or 5 hours getting to a destination and back again. Our long anticipated tour of the Blue Mountains was a complete waste of time and money as it took 2 1/2 hours to get there, 20 minutes to enjoy the view then on to a gondola for a 5 minute ride, a short hike and the train ride that was advertised as part of the tour and didn't happen. (More on that in a minute). We were rushed through this portion so as not to be late for lunch only to arrive at the lunch stop and wait 35 or 40 minutes for other tours to arrive so lunch could be served to everyone at once. Then on to the obligatory shopping stop at a location that had mostly furniture and home decorating stores. Go figure. It was then 1 1/2 hours to return to the ship. Regarding the train ride, we saw an online posting prior to leaving home that said the train was not running pending repairs. We called Celebrity to inquire about it and we were assured that that was not the case and that the train was running. Wrong answer. No train. Other gripes about this cruise: We purchased Internet minutes and couldn't connect on board. No problem on shore however at any of the free wifi locations we tried. Good luck getting bar service during Happy Hour. The staffing at the bars involved was ludicrous with usually one person waiting on a room full of patrons. The food was mediocre at best. We had a great meal at the Murano restaurant but had to pay extra. We were traveling with friends and were told that we could be together on the tour we taking on the last day even though our friends had an airport drop off and we we were staying an additional night and had a hotel drop off. Wrong information again. As we boarded our bus we were told that of the two buses going on this tour one would be going directly to the airport without stopping at the hotels and the other would only be going to do hotel drop offs only. Double wrong answer this time as both buses did hotel stops as well as airport stops. There's more but I think I've made my point. It's been 5 or 6 years since our last cruise and I felt this time I was being nickeled and dimmed to death where I didn't feel that way before. The misinformation was palpable, the food poor, and the ports were boring.
Celebrity Solstice Cruises to Australia & New Zealand
Overall Ratings
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Cabin review: Concierge Class

We felt the cabins were poorly laid out. It seemed my wife and I were continually bumping into each other which we don't remember experiencing on prior cruses. A small coffee type table was in the middle of the cabin which would have been a nice touch in a larger setting. We were able to move it to the side and keep it somewhat out of the way.
Published 03/26/13
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Celebrity Solstice Cruises to Australia & New Zealand
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