This was our first cruise and we chose an 8 night South Pacific Islands Cruise on the Celebrity Solstice leaving Sydney with stop-overs in Noumea, Isle of Pines and Lifou. How impressed we were with the Celebrity Solstice Cruise Line! From the moment of embarkation, it was hassle free, and we were promptly put through in a courteous and very quick manner onto the ship. It was very well organized. Once on board, after a quick exploration of the ship, we were able to sit and relax, have a coffee and cake and wait for the announcement that our stateroom was ready. Our bags were waiting for us on our arrival to our stateroom as well as welcome champagne in an ice bucket. Our stateroom (No. 1132) Concierge Class, on Level 10, was more than we could expect with a nice balcony containing two chairs, small table and foot stools. It had a large bed with good quality linen and an ample sized bathroom with plenty of storage and a shower cubicle with sliding door. The stateroom was serviced twice daily - in the morning and in the evening (turn down bed service). The service provided by our stateroom attendant, Marivic, was second to none. Her attention to the servicing of our stateroom was first rate. Afternoon canapés were delivered to our room each afternoon, which we enjoyed on our balcony. The cleanliness on the ship is outstanding with hand sanitizing attendants operating on all entrances to the dining areas, plus other mobile hand sanitizing self service stations at various locations throughout the ship. We chose a non-alcoholic premium drink package, which included coffees, premium teas, soft drinks, water and mocktails, and we found this very good value for money. We also chose the specialty restaurant package and chose to dine in the three specialty restaurants, including Murano, Silk Harvest and Tuscan Grille. Here we would rate, Murano (1), Tuscan Grill (2), and Silk Harvest (3). We chose to eat breakfast and lunch sometimes in the main Grand Epernay dining room, and also at the Ocean View Café which is self-service. Sometimes, we found the Ocean View Café to be a little crowded. We were very satisfied with the standard of food provided in all dining areas, and the service by the wait staff was excellent in all venues. We also liked relaxing and having a coffee and cake in the Café al Bacio. Sometimes, here this could also be a little crowded. We enjoyed the nightly shows in the Theatre each night. The hot glass show on the lawn deck was also very entertaining to watch. We enjoyed the nightly performance of the house band, called Top Notch, in the grand foyer. They were very entertaining and the two women singers put on a good performance, singing popular and evergreen songs. We found the disembarkation at Noumea at the Industrial Dock was seamless and we were immediately ferried into the centre of town by a courtesy bus. At the two other Islands, tender service was available. Here too, this was satisfactory and well organized. As this was our first cruise, we are so glad we chose the Celebrity Solstice, as we were not disappointed with any aspect of our voyage.
The ship docked at the Industrial area at Noumea and courtesy buses were provided to take passengers to the town centre. As the ship docked in Noumea on a Sunday, the town centre shops were all closed but there were morning markets at the Marina. At the Isle of Pines, tender service was available to the island and was well organized. Here we took a two hour bus tour. On this tour, there was really not much to see, but some good photo opportunities. There are nice swimming spots on this island for those interested in this activity. At Lifou, again a tender was available to the island. Here again, although the scenery is beautiful and it has many photo opportunities, all that was here was some local craft markets.