We are a couple in our 50's and have cruised about 10 times. We have cruised on the P&O, Royal Carribean, Princess and Carnival lines. We had never tried Celebrity but are now converted.
We embarked in Auckland, dropping our luggage at 11 a.m. but upon seeing the line went away for some sightseeing and came back at 3.30pm. We breezed through all the paperwork and were aboard in about 10 minutes, picking up a complimentary drink on the way through.
Our cabin was 6140 and we had our first ever balcony. I don't know how we will ever go back to a window only cabin next time. The cabin was a great size with a king sized bed with plenty of room to walk around it. The lounge was good and the flat screen can be swivelled to watch TV in bed or on the lounge.
The ensuite was a good size and had a glass sliding door on the shower, so no shower curtains sticking to your nether regions..a big plus. My only criticism was there was not a huge amount of storage space More
and the wardrobe sliding door ran beside the couch so one side was a bit harder to access. Suitcases fitted neatly under the bed. We had enough space for everything.
We dined in the MDR most nights and the food was very good. One night we tried Tuscan Grille and another night we celebrated our anniversary by dining in Murano. Both restaurants were exceptional and the Tuscan Grille restaurant is at the back of the ship so great views while dining. Murano however was a step up and I would highly recommend dining in there. The food and the service was exceptional. Book before you go or early on in the cruise as the word quickly spread and there was a few disappointed people that missed out. We had never eaten in the cover charge restaurants on any ship before and will most definitely try other ones on our next cruise.
We also tried the Bistro on five dining option. $5/head and worth the cost.
We ate breakfast in the MDR and the buffet and both were very good. Buffet was very busy but everything was super fresh. We were served for the first 3 days to try and reduce the chances of viruses starting.
Even though it has so many passengers it rarely felt crowded and there was always a quite space to read and relax.
Service and staff were exceptional. Always a smile and very helpful….a big shout out to the lady in the ladies room outside the MDR who even had the paper towels in points and checked the cleanliness of the cubicles regularly with a huge smile on her face.
Martini Bar was a hoot and the two men working in there made it so much fun
Night time entertainment was really good with a vast array of shows on. We went to most of them.
My only whinge would be that on sea days I did not feel there was much going on as far as fun activities.
We played croquet once and when we said we would like to have another game we were told no, that they don't leave the mallets out as children wreck the lawn with them. I even offered to return the mallets personally to guest relations but no..not happy about that.
The guitarist played up on the lawn a couple of nights between 6 and 7pm and blankets, pillows and cheese platters were on offer. You just had to purchase the wine. A lovely idea but not many people there, their loss as it was great.
The ship was great, heaps of lounges around the pool and you might even be lucky enough to get a double hammock. Solarium pool was a quiet adult only area and a nice place for a swim and a read.
We did not do any ship tours as we found them to be so much cheaper to purchase when we docked. We did book Custom Tours NZ in Tuaranga before we left home and can highly recommend them to see Rotorua.
We will definitely cruise with Celebrity again and I think it might even be our favourite now. :-) Less
Celebrity Solstice Cruises to Australia & New Zealand