“Brilliant family holiday”
Cruise review of Celebrity Solstice

Kidstons Celebrity Solstice 5 Brilliant family holiday
Kidstons
Member Since 2013
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We undertook this cruise sceptically with our three children aged 7 to 9 and their grandparents for grandpa's 70th birthday. We normally rent private luxury houses so it was a BIG change for us. We all had a BALL. The children loved all the entertainment - they only used kids club once as there was so much else to do, but it was really great and free for those who chose to use it - caring staff and good activities. They loved the shows and the acapella group, and the glass blowing was a huge hit - can you imagine twin 7 year old boys sitting immobile riveted for two solid hours pretty much every day. Just the right balance of days at sea by the pool and days on land to treck off some energy. We were blessed with stunning weather (a huge help I admit). Cabin lovely, food much better than we expected for catering on this scale, truly wonderful dining room wait staff (though some at the outdoor bars could do with a lesson in manners). Pool area very clean and lots of really smart public areas. Just when you think you have run out of things to do, just head up to the grass lawn area and play some of the deck games up there - we filled a whole afternoon doing this. Or go and play bingo with the kids - sounds awful but is GREAT fun in small doses. Only quibble is that quality of lectures was lower than my parents have experienced on other cruise lines. Only quibble is that Ocean Grill where most breakfast and lunch is eaten in very overcrowded which seems strange given that there is so much other public space that is so under-utilised - I think they need to turn another of these spaces into another casual dining room. It got so busy it was often a bit dirty and grubby as the wait/cleaning staff could not keep up with the turnover of diners, so this room would only rate a 2 or 3 unlike the 5 I have given for other public rooms. We didn't want a cruise specifically aimed at families, with the unecessary chaos of water slides etc - we much prefer a more rounded environment with simple deck games and a nice pool any age can enjoy. All three generations really enjoyed it. It's actually pretty good value compared to a luxury resort style family holiday. I would definitely recommend this as a family holiday for children 7-10, with or without grandparents. It was a really nice change and we will do it again.
Celebrity Solstice Cruises to Australia & New Zealand
Overall Ratings
  • Cabin
  • Dining
  • Embarkation
  • Enrichment Activities
  • Entertainment
  • Family & Children
  • Fitness & Recreation
  • Onboard Experience
  • Public Rooms
  • Rates
  • Service
  • Shore Excursions
  • Value for Money

Cabin review: Family Veranda

FV
We were in the two family cabins on level 8 I think (the two with the smaller balconies). We were lucky to get them - we originally booked 2 ordinary cabins but then a couple of weeks before we set off I saw on the internet these two rooms had been released at the same rate. It was GREAT to have the space but they were VERY noisy in the morning when the anchors were dropped VERY early in ports, and they washed the windows every morning around 5am until we complained, and it did then stop! You aren't in the cabin much so space not essential but seperate room for kids meant we could stay up and watch film after kids in bed. Just take earplugs.

Port and Shore Excursions

Otago Peninsula and Yellow-Eyed Penguins
We hired a car and had a wonderful day driving round the Otago Peninsula - you need to get out and get onto the beaches - spectacular scenery, sea lions on the beach,sadly no penguins.
Port
We have been to Melbourne several times. Jump on a tram and head to the botanical gardens. Would rather it had stopped in Tasmania.
Port
A lovely walk round the little mountain - beautiful scenery - again a lovely leg stretch for a few hours after a day or two on board.
Read 116 Tauranga Reviews
Published 03/30/13
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