Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by Nattybugle: Fabulous first cruise
Overall Member Rating
Fabulous first cruise
Destination: South Pacific
Embarkation: Sydney (Australia)
We are a Kiwi couple in our late 40's who wanted to try a cruise to see if it was for us. And we had a wonderful time on the Solstice. I booked this trip as a Christmas present/surprise for my husband. I decided that I wanted us to have a nice cabin with a balcony and some little extras. Which is why I went for Aqua Class, and we thought it was totally worth it.
Blu restaurant and the wonderful staff there were an absolute highlight for us. We loved the meals, the variety, quality and smaller portions - although of course you could have ordered as much as you liked.
We got the afternoon sun on our way north to Noumea. So it was lovely to just relax on our balcony in the afternoon and look out at the sea.
We didn't particularly want to participate in a lot of activities and we never felt we had to. Although we did end up doing the 70's/80's trivia night on the last night, sort of by accident. We were in the bar and it came to us. But we had a great time and More really enjoyed it.
We made an effort to go to the gym each sea day and never had trouble getting on to the equipment. Although I did find trying to run on a treadmill while the ship was moving was just too weird, so I stuck to the cross trainer. And I did Zumba a couple of times which I loved. I had never tried that before but it was so much fun and a great work out.
We loved the three places we stopped at. I have written about Noumea below. The Isle of Pines is the most beautiful beach I have ever been on, we just loved that. And Lifou was really nice as well, except the map we got given by Celebrity was worse than useless. So we ended up going on a long walk to no where in particular. But it didn't matter we were on holiday and we needed the exercise.
I think the Solstice was a great introduction to cruising, and the length of time was perfect for a first time cruise.
I have to say that I found the Cruise Critic forums and community really helpful for giving me some handy hints and a good idea of what to expect. Thanks to all of you who take the time to put up your feedback. But at the end of the day, you just have to go with it and experience it for yourself. Everyone is different in what they want/expect for a holiday. But I can say we had a wonderful time. Now I am saving up furiously for the next one. Less
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Cabin review: 1621
Loved the location and the room. We were on the 11th floor and nice and handy to the stairs and elevators so it was really easy to just pop up to the Ocean View Cafe in the morning and get some fruit and a coffee to take back to our room.The balcony was great for relaxing on in the afternoon and with the sun streaming in it was just magical.There was so much storage space, the wardrobe had more than enough coat hangers for all of my clothes, and everything just packed away so nicely.
Port and Shore Excursions
We were at the container port, which is not the most exciting or prettiest way to be introduced to a new place. And we did have to take shuttle buses to get into town. But getting off the ship and onto a shuttle was really easy and fast. It was a Sunday when we arrived, and as I had heard it is pretty dead in Noumea, I decided we would do a snorkeling tour with a local company called Aquanature which I totally recommend. It was for the whole day, but everything was provided and we got to do plenty of snorkeling, saw lots of wonderful marine life, had some time on a little island called Signal Island and got back in plenty of time before the ship sailed.
It was nice to be greeted with cold drinks and towels when we got back, and getting back on board was easy as.
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