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193 Celebrity Auckland Cruise Reviews

My wife and I have been on 55 cruises, the shortest 11 days, the longest 28 days. We have sailed with NCL, Holland America, Princess, Azamara and Celebrity. On Celebrity we are Elite Plus members with 2000 points. Our most recent cruise ... Read More
My wife and I have been on 55 cruises, the shortest 11 days, the longest 28 days. We have sailed with NCL, Holland America, Princess, Azamara and Celebrity. On Celebrity we are Elite Plus members with 2000 points. Our most recent cruise was a back to back on Celebrity Solstice. Here are the pros and cons.  The pros: Friendly Crew and excellent service though out the ship. Good meals. Nice casino. Wi-Fi is good. The daily get together for Captain's Club members in the Sky Lounge was very enjoyable. The music played at the pool wasn't deafening. The cons: Because the backs lounge chairs in the Solarium can only be raised about 45 degrees and we found them too uncomfortalbe to just sit and read. The ship is starting to get a "tired" look. I noticed a lot of rust. Maybe Celebrity should attend to the fleet before more building new ships. Unrelated pet peeves:: Cruisers who come to breakfast for the gym or track wearing their sweat soaked work out attire. They obviously don't have any respect of their fellow travels. Maybe a security guard should be posted at the entrances and deny them entry. This happens on all the ships. Cruisers who linger chatting or reading after breakfast and lunch while others are searching for a table. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chose this cruise because it was hubby’s bucket list trip to go to Australia and I wanted to go to NZ. Solstice is showing her age a bit...things are just looking a little worn...some holes in our cabin drapes, chairs in the public ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was hubby’s bucket list trip to go to Australia and I wanted to go to NZ. Solstice is showing her age a bit...things are just looking a little worn...some holes in our cabin drapes, chairs in the public areas are a worn...that type of thing. If you look passed all those types of things then Solstice is still a beautiful ship. Food this time out for me was a bit of a disappointment. Had to send one dinner in the MDR back all together. There was a good mix of choices. They were free with the lobster on the night they served it which hubby was quite happy with. Staff were marvellous, Joaquim our cabin attendant was very good with our request to get the night light in the bathroom fixed and sorting out a different appie plate for us in the afternoon. He was very helpful and pleasant and attentive to all our needs. Martini Bar staff were lovely too. Thank you Alin! MDR staff were wonderful although I gave them such a bad tim*e trying to get them to stop calling me madam...had fun though. Entertainment wasn’t an attraction for us...we previewed the early show after dinner to see if it was something we wanted to see. Over a 16 night sailing I think we only took in maybe 4 shows. There were special ABBA or Queen music nights in Sky Lounge we attended instead. Ports were all good. Excursions for the most part were good. Some narratives were better than others. The Adelaide excursion we went on the commentator sort of stammered and repeated himself. The sound system on the bus wasn’t working right or he wasn’t talking loud enough but half the bus couldn’t hear him. I was quite surprised by the number of people with walking/travelling aides on this cruise. I know I am not a spring chicken but I found it frustrating trying to move freely sometimes because of the number of people with scooters etc. I understand now that the longer the cruise the more chance you have of that happening. So if you are young and want more action.....think on. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We have been cruising since 1986 and truly have enjoyed most experiences. We chose this cruise as a B2B since we had not been to this part of the world and it was a long flight from the states. We booked an Aqua spa class cabin (first ... Read More
We have been cruising since 1986 and truly have enjoyed most experiences. We chose this cruise as a B2B since we had not been to this part of the world and it was a long flight from the states. We booked an Aqua spa class cabin (first time) and was not disappointed. The cabin located on deck 11, was small but adequate. The Blu restaurant was excellent and worth the cost of the room itself. From the hostess to the waiters and the sommeliers, the experience was exceptional. Food was perfectly presented, in nice small portions and prepared as requested. Seating was well staged with mostly paired tables but just close enough if you wanted to carry on a conversation with your neighbor. I'm afraid I will never go back to the main dining room. We also ate in Tuscan and Murano. Food was good and plentiful but not worth the cost unless you can get a discount. The cafe (buffet) was also a good experience as the food and layout made it easy to see the offerings and find what you were looking for. However, on seas days you could not find a place to seat let alone a table as people camped out for many hours at a time playing cards, grazing, playing on their tablets and phones killing time. We frequented the Martini bar and Cafe al Bacio utilizing our premium drink package. Love the specialized coffees and variations in martinis. Prices however are outrageous if you don't have that package. We purchased 9 ship tours and 3 private tours. All tours met or exceeded our expectations except for the ship's "taste of Barossa." On that tour the wineries were not prepared for 45 people at one time. On the other tours, the animals many times were the stars of the tours especially the Koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, seals and penguins. The seas by luck were mainly calm even in the Tasmanian sea. Weather in ports for February and March was 70's (expected and packed for hotter) and mainly clear except for Sydney where it rained off and on both times we were there. As mentioned in earlier reviews the ship is looking worn. Although beautifully designed, much of the furniture is thread bear and needs replacing. This includes most public areas especially the chairs. Again as mentioned in earlier reviews, there was a significant amount of rust showing in the upper superstructure. Not what I am accustomed to on a Celebrity ship. Lastly the things that will make me think twice before booking another Celebrity cruise with sea days. The constant promoting of the specialty restaurants, wine purchases, drink packages, spa packages and "pay to play" promotions (wine tastings for example) from morning to night around every corner of the ship was awful. A real turnoff to most passengers. You could not escape it especially on sea days. I can not stress enough how hard they tried to sell these products. But the most disappointing thing I found on the cruise was how Celebrity has gutted the "activities staff" and the activities they provide. The CD talked a good game each day but was mostly missing in action. His recently promoted assistant tried his best to provide some form of sea day activities, but with what appears to be no budget, offered little. Celebrity's program is pay to play or entertain yourself. My idea of sea day activities does not include making paper airplanes for an hour to challenge for 10 seconds an officer, making an egg drop contraption or a "boat" out of ship garbage (referred to by Celebrity as recyclables) or waiting an hour to hit a golf ball one time in the foyer to an "X" taped to the floor. Cost for these activities to Celebrity = $0.00. The hot glass program and outside movies to me were non-existent. Overall we still had a great time, but with many ways to spend your travel dollars these days, I will think long and hard before making my next booking. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
INTRO My wife and I went on a 16-night cruise aboard the Celebrity Solstice out of Auckland, NZ with ports of call in New Zealand (Tauranga, Napier, Picton, Wellington) and Australia (Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth). We spent three ... Read More
INTRO My wife and I went on a 16-night cruise aboard the Celebrity Solstice out of Auckland, NZ with ports of call in New Zealand (Tauranga, Napier, Picton, Wellington) and Australia (Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth). We spent three days in Auckland before boarding the ship. One funny thing happened while we were in Auckland. The first day we had lunch at the Harbourside Ocean Bar and Grill in the old ferry building – a great place for lunch BTW. We had some questions about the menu, and at one point the waiter asked me if I liked oysters. I was tired from the flight from the States; my hearing isn’t what it used to be; and I had not had a chance to acclimate myself to the Kiwi accent; because I would have sworn he asked me if I liked horses! Sigh. REVIEW Ship I am not going to say much about the Solstice because it has been reviewed so many times before. Furthermore, the Solstice has consistently won Cruiser’s Choice Awards year after year, with Cruisers and Cruise Critic Editors each rating the Solstice 5.0 on a 5.0 scale. What I will say is that ship was large, but it still had a very intimate feel, which is probably due to the outstanding crew on the Solstice. Everyone was incredibly friendly and hospitable. We found that the crew would go out of their way to take care of whatever requests or needs we had, some before we even voiced them. One of the things we really enjoyed was the Hollywood Hot Glass’ workshops on the Lawn Deck (Deck 15) where you can create a glass piece of your own coloring and choosing. There are a number of different things you can make, e.g., a flower, heart, vase, tumbler, ruffle bowl and ornament). I would have preferred to make a ruffle bowl, but we didn’t have enough room in our suitcase or any way to protect the glass. So we made really cool paperweights. Smile. I highly recommend taking a glassblowing class (or two), but plan ahead by bringing some bubble wrap and leaving a little extra room on your suitcase. The other thing I really enjoyed was looking at the fine art on the Solstice (owned by Celebrity, not the auction). I noticed some of the artwork in pictures of the Edge, so I paid particular attention to the paintings and sculptures on the Solstice. It really enhanced my appreciation of the ship. Dining The food onboard the Solstice was excellent. The main dining room for suite-class passengers is Luminae. The food there was excellent and the service was second to none. The Maître D' in Luminae (Dimitri) set the tone for Luminae. He always greeted us as though we were long lost friends he was happy to see again. He made us feel welcomed and right at home every time we entered the restaurant. Our waiter (Chitra) paid attention to our likes and dislikes, and made it a point to recommend things that we would like. I didn’t particularly care for the sausages they served there. I preferred the sausages in the Oceanview Café, so Chitra made sure Luminae had the sausages I liked for breakfast every day. One evening, Chitra served a special dessert. It was a chocolate sphere. She poured a flaming hot liquor over the top of the sphere that melted the chocolate revealing some vanilla ice cream. I asked if they could make that dessert another evening so I could take a video of the presentation. Chitra and the chef were more than happy to make that happen. The assistant waiter (Natalie) couldn’t have been friendlier. We always enjoyed talking to her. The wine steward (Juris) made great selections for us. In the one or two instances we didn’t particularly care for the wine he selected, he made some alternate suggestions, which were excellent. We also ate at several specialty restaurants Murano, the Tuscan Grille and Sushi on Five. I loved them all, but Sushi on Five was my favorite. Kudos to the F&B director (Mihai) and restaurant manager (Mazy) for their outstanding work in creating a five-star experience in every venue on the Solstice. Entertainment I have to give a shout out to the cruise director (Lewis). The entertainment aboard the Solstice was outstanding. It included acts such as Peter Cousins, an actor who performed in such musicals as Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables; Keith Scott, an outstanding voice actor, impressionist and comedian; and, Matt Mcgurk, an award-winning magician and illusionist. Two of our favorite acts were (1) the Beatnix, a Beatles tribute band, and (2) the Lighthouse String Duo (with Lia on the electric violin and Alina on the electric cello). Both acts connected well with audiences. If you are interested in checking out the latter act, which was pretty unique, you can visit their Facebook page at .) We looked for performances throughout the cruise and were never disappointed. Another great show was the aerial acrobatic show entitled “Euphoria” by the French Cirque Les Farfadais & Co. that Celebrity saved until the end of the cruise. Euphoria was a combination of acrobatics, silk dance and aerial rings that rivaled Cirque du Soleil in every way and left us amazed and awed by their skills. We would be thrilled to see any of these acts again on future Celebrity cruises. Service From the moment we checked in and all throughout the service onboard the was exceptional. This was the first time we had a butler. I wasn’t sure why I needed a butler, but I quickly found out how valuable he was. We were invited to dinner one evening, and I needed a shirt pressed right away. Our butler (Anu) took care of that and had the shirt back to me within the hour. We also had a bottle of champagne that I wanted sent to the dining room to be chilled for dinner, and Anu took care of that as well. It was a nice luxury to be able to enjoy the cruise and not take the time to work on the logistics of something like that. We also found the Michael’s Club Concierge (Olga) extremely professional, competent and helpful. I asked Olga if I could get a list of lectures and shows for the cruise (so I could better plan our evenings). She would have had the list back to me the next day, but it was not to her liking because It only listed the names of each act. She sent the list back and asked that they add a description of each act. I also asked if Olga could arrange for someone from future cruises to meet me in Michael’s Club to book a future cruise, which she did. Even if there was a lot going on in Michael’s Club, Olga never appeared distracted as she welcomed guests and answered questions. The suite manager (Anastasia) was fantastic. You could tell that she was all about providing the best guest service possible in the way she regularly checked in with us and the way related to others on her team. She really looked after us. PORTS & SHORE EXCURSIONS We enjoyed all of the ports-of-call, but I will only highlight four: two in New Zealand and two in Australia. Tauranga, NZ Our first stop was Tauranga, NZ where we visited the Māori (pron MOU•ree, not may•OR•ee) village of Whakarewarewa in Rotorua, which was a lot of fun. (The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand.) After touring the village, the Māori served lunch and put on a show. The Māori villagers like to have fun with you by presenting the name of their village as one word: Tewhakarewarewatangaoteopetauaawahiao. It seems overwhelming, right? It really isn’t. If you break that word down into its component parts, it is actually “Te Whakarewarewa Tanga, O Te Ope Taua A Wahiao,” which means “gathering place for the war parties of the Wahiao.” If you want to have a little fun with the Māori, you can learn how to pronounce the name of the village before you go. When they ask if anyone can pronounce the name of their village, you can surprise them by sounding like the Māori. They will definitely not expect it. Here is how the Māori pronounce the name of their village: http://alturl.com/abr3f. Napier, NZ We were lucky to be in Napier (pron NAY•pee•er) during the weekend of the year they held their Hot Rod & Classic Car Festival, one of several Art Deco Festivals held every year celebrating the classic Art Deco period of the 1920’ and 30’s. (For more about the festival and events throughout the year see their website at . Much of Napier was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 and many of the buildings were rebuilt in the (Art Deco) style of that period. It was fun to walk around the town and to see many of the locals (flappers and dappers) dressing in period garb for the occasion. If you want to join in the fun, stop by Napier Antiques and Jewelry store at 65 Tennyson St. in Napier. They had a wide variety of styles for men and women from which to choose. People there also displayed beautifully restored antique cars and old motorcycles. A band played music in the square. Several dance troupes performed in the town square. All in all it was a lot of fun. Sydney, AUS Bridge climb or Pylon? A number of passengers on the cruise opted to climb the “coat hanger (Sydney Harbour Bridge). The cost is AUD $263 – $403 per person (USD $186 - $285 per person). That’s USD $372 - $570 per couple! The climb takes 3 ½ hours and you have to wear a suit that others have worn before. (I have no idea how often the clean the suits, but it didn’t appeal to me one way or the other.) We spent a fraction of that and chose to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon. The cost of climbing the Pylon is AUD $15 per person (USD $10.63pp). That’s only $22 per couple! There is an interesting historical exhibit on the climb up, and we had virtually the same view of famous Sydney Harbour Opera House as those who spent a whole lot more money and time. That left us plenty of free time to grab lunch at the Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, which was located at 1 East Circular Quay just down from the Opera House across the way from the Circular Quay and Overseas Passenger Terminal. It had a great view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour. The food was excellent. I ordered BBQ’d shrimp (what else?) and my wife ordered seafood linguini. We also had a surprise visit by some parakeets. We mentioned that to the waiter, and he said they loved the sugar. Who doesn’t? Adelaide, AUS We visited the Cleland Wildlife Conservation Park in Adelaide where we saw a Tasmanian devil, kangaroos, koalas, emus, geese, various birds and more. It was too hot that day to hold a koala, but we were able to pet a couple of kangaroos. My one regret is that we did not purchase food to feed the animals, primarily because I didn’t want to throw food at the animals, but what I didn’t know is that some of the animals, like the kangaroos, and I am guessing the koalas as well, would eat out of your hand. It might have been fun. CONCLUSION Pros Celebrity’s Solstice is a beautiful ship. Great food, service, and entertainment. An outgoing and professional staff who genuinely cared about you and who went out of their way to make sure you wanted for nothing. Cons I really don’t have any cons other than recommending those with mobility issues booking rooms closer to the elevators, which are located amidship. Value The value for what we received was excellent. I heartedly recommend Celebrity Cruise Line and the Solstice. You will not be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which was great. We had never been to this part of the world or had been on a Celebrity ship. The cabin was clean and pretty spacious but it did need a bit of a refurb especially the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which was great. We had never been to this part of the world or had been on a Celebrity ship. The cabin was clean and pretty spacious but it did need a bit of a refurb especially the curtains.The food in the Oceanview Cafe was great and there was a wide choice to choose from. Zeljko Cickovic the Maitre D’ in the cafe was so friendly and always stopped to chat with us. However, in the restaurant the food was good but we felt there wasn’t much of a choice. The entertainment was ok however, the show put on by the Celebrity dancers and singers were very good. The daily activities was ok, not as good as P&O cruises. The crew were very friendly and some would always chat to us when we saw them. One of the Officers Stelios always made time to chat to us , he seemed a lovely genuine man. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We love the fellow travelers on celebrity cruises, especially on longer cruises. The food is very good, entertainment is fair compared to Royal Caribbean, and there is a decent amount of night life. The smaller groups of musicians are ... Read More
We love the fellow travelers on celebrity cruises, especially on longer cruises. The food is very good, entertainment is fair compared to Royal Caribbean, and there is a decent amount of night life. The smaller groups of musicians are excellent in the side venues. The main theater entertainment could really use some improvement. The pool areas are only crowded on sea days, but between the solarium and outer decks is large, so you can usually find a comfortable spot. The abundance of towels is wonderful, and unlike Royal Caribbean, you don't have to show your card as they seem to ration towels like old war era Soviet union lines for toilet paper. One thing that has changed is the switch from the Corning glass blowing exhibits on the long club. Now, under new management, there's a do it yourself with instruction, which charges a fee. Also, try and book tours on your own as the ship charges a premium for variable quality tours. This is true for most lines it seems. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
You either love cruising or you hate it, and we are one of those couples who absolutely love it! You unpack once and if you find a place you really like, you can come back to it later. We try to take at least one cruise every year. The ... Read More
You either love cruising or you hate it, and we are one of those couples who absolutely love it! You unpack once and if you find a place you really like, you can come back to it later. We try to take at least one cruise every year. The New Zealand cruise we booked two years out while on board the Celebrity Eclipse (a sister ship) for two weeks in the Caribbean. We decided it was time to go check out what everyone had been raving about. The itinerary was fantastic, 14 nights Auckland to Sydney on our favorite class of ship. We'd been through the Panama Canal, Canada, Alaska, Iceland, Europe, and so on. Being from California we were really dreading the long flight to Auckland, and we wavered back and forth the entire two years. Oh my gosh...we are so glad we forged ahead! We flew direct from LAX to Auckland, and then after spending time in Australia, flew direct from Sydney to LAX. The flight really is not all that bad. I started my research about New Zealand about nine months out, and while researching I fell in love before we even got there. To top it off, we got super lucky. Our Cruise Critic thread was quite active, and we had a really great couple who set up an offsite page we could all access for an abundance of information. We could add private tour info to this, and also post info along the way as needed (before, along the cruise, and after the cruise). They kept it (and all of us) organized. A big shout out of thanks to Tom & Barbara! We arrived in New Zealand a day ahead (not early enough in my opinion). At least two days would have been better. After researching Taxis vs. Uber vs SuperShuttle, I opted for prearranging the SuperShuttle to take us from the airport to our hotel. It could not have been easier! Prepaid conversion cost us $36.40 US from airport to Hilton Hotel. Yes, it might have taken us ten minutes longer than Uber, but the upside was seeing a couple hotels along the way and meeting others who would be on the ship with us. We are social (heck, you have to be a bit social to cruise, right?), so we didn't feel the need for a private taxi or Uber. We stayed at the Hilton Auckland Princess Wharf for its location and membership in their loyalty program. We could walk along the waterfront, to shops and the sky tower. Since we only had the one day in Auckland, we chose to ride the Hop On Hop Off to get an overview of the area. There are two companies that do this, so check them both out. I researched them ahead of time, and my preference was the "Auckland Explorer Bus" as they had better reviews, and the ferry trip to Devonport was included. I can't give the Hilton Hotel enough Kudos! The location is awesome; rooms were modern; staff was friendly; restaurant and bar on site was good. It is literally right where the ship docks, and in the morning when it is time to turn your luggage over to the porters and check in for the cruise, you only have to walk out of the lobby and turn left, walk about fifty feet and you are there! January 17, 2019 - The day is finally here! We had a nice leisurely breakfast, walked around the corner to a couple of shops to pick up a couple of gifts. Grabbed our bags from the hotel, dropped the luggage to the porters at 11:30 and got in line. Check in for the Celebrity Solstice went smooth. It seemed the lines were moving along fairly fast. We only waited about ten minutes. Once we boarded, we did not want to disembark. We had a full day ahead of us. We had opted for a Sky Suite (Aft 2155) celebrating our 38th Anniversary and wanted to meet up with the Michael's Club Concierge, our Butler, dine for lunch in Luminae, unpack, check out the ship, muster drill, and get ready for our Cruise Critic group Sail away. For us the Solstice class is the perfect size ship. It has a nice selection of restaurants, bars, and quiet space to just hang out and read a book if you so choose. The spa is a nice size, and if you choose to go to the gym it is located in the front of the ship with plenty of windows to look out and enjoy the scenery. Some ships can be so dreary, and Celebrity does a fantastic job at bringing the light in. The artwork throughout the ship is always interesting and fun to look at. We’ve tried all the different staterooms along the way. It just depends on budget and needs. We tend to opt for balconies, and since Celebrity introduced the Aqua Class, we have been quite happy with that. Splurging for the Suite was a real treat. We were spoiled with our Butler bringing us our morning Lattes, tea and scones in the afternoon, escorting us to our show seats on formal evenings, etc. etc. etc. Michaels Lounge was an extra special enhancement. I won’t even go in to detail on that, but one huge perk is tendering days, the concierge escorted us to the front of the line for disembarking. Luminae’s dining experience was superb. By far the best meals, and the best service we’ve had on Celebrity. Our favorite spots to hang out on the ship are Café Al Bacio, the Martini Bar, Grand Foyer for Entertainment, Sunset Bar and Lawn Club, Solarium, Sky Observation Lounge, and if we are looking for something light to eat, we love the Spa Café. A couple of times we grabbed a burger and fries on the upper deck by the pool and just enjoyed some sunshine and people watching. The entertainment was especially good this cruise with the Celebrity Singer & Dancers, and variety of entertainers on board. We were really excited to see the daily entertainment throughout the ship included two girls Alina & Lia, known as the “Lighthouse String Duo” (one plays the violin, the other the cello). We had seen them before on a New Years Eve Cruise. They are talented musicians who play classical and popular music on their electric strings. Their energy is captivating! January 18 - Oh my gosh. The weather is fantastic! Our arrival into the Bay of Islands brought us calm waters and blue skies with beautiful poofy clouds. I don’t think I’ve seen such beautiful green rolling hills and valleys. Beautiful blue water. The coastline is dotted with islands .... wow ! Everything is spotless!!! Cute rural towns. I’m in love! I’m dying to put my feet in the water to check the temperature! Today’s excursion was a ship excursion “Glow Worm Caves & Te Waimate” We went to see the glow worms at the Kawiti Cavern, along with an afternoon tea at Te Waimate Mission House. Unfortunate that we are unable to take photographs of the glow worms, as they do not allow it. But .... wow it was super cool! A must do if in the area. The aft stateroom is paying off right now as we pull out. Today, February 19 had to be one of our best excursions ever! We arrived in Tauranga, NZ at 8:00 AM and joined the tour arranged by a fellow Cruise Critic member with Carolyn & Terry (husband/wife team) of Custom Day Tours. Our van had five couples from Cruise Critic. Terry (our guide) stopped along the way for us to watch the river rafters coming down Kaituna River. Then we were off to Rotarua. We see an active geothermal area (Te Puia) which includes 2 of 8 spontaneous geysers in the world, bubbling mud pools, a Maori welcome, and lunch & much more!!!! Then we were on our way to the Redwood Forest and a Kiwi fruit orchard for tasting. Pictures can’t even tell the story. What a fantastic day. Back to our stateroom to enjoy the sail away jet skiis were riding the wake as we left port. Glory our Butler had delivered a beautiful platter of cheeses and prosciutto along with a bottle of wine on ice. Nice! Our first Sea Day was busy starting with the Cruise Critic get together in Cellar Masters. One of the best groups we’ve connected with over the years. We attended a private glass blowing show for Suite guests by the new company Celebrity has onboard (they took over Corning’s spot). Tonight is our first of three Evening Chic nights. In Wellington I arranged a small group tour for 13 of us. It was a six hour driving tour with Michelle that would have many stops and photo ops along the way, including lunch at a funky very busy whimsical restaurant along the waterfront. We rode the famous cable car, went up to Mount Victoria for stunning views, saw the Parliament building, Weta Cave - Home of Lord of the Rings, Art Deco Roxy, Old St Paul’s Cathedral, and the incredible Te Papa Museum! Yes, Wellington topped Tauranga!!!! Wow! As we pulled in to the Port of Picton we were treated to the beautiful scenery and waters of Queen Charlotte Sound. Our excursion was a ship tour “Explore Marlborough Wineries by Bike’. Great exercise and visited three wineries. The last one Mahi being the best! We had a fabulous lunch of baked salmon, warm potato salad, and a cold corn salad served by their chef Marcia. Yum! The Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays of this Marlborough region are so flavorful. Mahi even had a fantastic Pinot Noir. This was such the great day! Akaroa! What can I say? It just kept getting better and better. We love the Countryside of New Zealand. The Akaroa hills remind us a lot of the rolling hillsides as you drive through Cambria to the coast in the spring time, or Santa Ynez if the hills were green all year and dotted with pine trees here and there. The homes along the coast are modern architecture, and the homes walking up into the neighborhoods are a bit more modest but modern wooden with metal roofs. Flowers are incredible!!! The trees and flowers are what we have in Santa Barbara, but more vibrant in color and healthier!!!! It’s peaceful. The climate is dryer than ours which surprised us. Used more lotion. Great for the hair ...... lol. In all of our travels we think this is that special spot! Wish it wasn’t so far from family. Could we bring a piece of New Zealand home with us? Including their government! Safest Country in the World!! Today we were doing our own thing. We walked along the seashore to the Light House (something we have a thing for), and then weaved our way through the neighborhoods up to the Giants House. Oh my gosh. We highly recommend “The Giants House”! It is not anything like it sounds. Be sure to look it up online. It is something you can do on your own, and we highly recommend you do so you are not rushed for time. We shared a light lunch up there (egg salad sandwich, crust was cut off cut in quarters and delicious fresh lemonade). Afterwards we walked back down the hill to town and did some shopping along the waterfront before returning to the ship by tender. Dunedin - Really a beautiful arrival into the channel. We chose the ship tour “Scottish Experience, Castle & Brewery”. The unexpected bonus to this tour was stopping at the famous Dunedin Rail Station on the way to the Brewery for a photo op. We toured the 141 year old Speight’s Brewery and tasted fabulous beer! Toured New Zealand’s only Castle, the Larnach Castle. Along the way our guide pointed out many highlights and shared many interesting historical facts about Dunedin. Beautiful countryside again!! Great tour, but really wish we had more time at the Castle. Too much time was spent on lunch at the Castle, and not enough time to explore the beautiful gardens! Cruising the Fjords – Wow….what a day! Our arrival to Dusky Sound was a welcome sight off our aft balcony. Then on to Doubtful Sound. The best of all was Milford Sound. It was stunning! We were invited to the Heliport for this portion of cruising the Sounds. The Captain pulled up close to waterfalls, and later did a 360 degree turn on the cruise out of the fjord. For that portion we went back to our stateroom to enjoy the waterfalls super up close!! Photos….photos….photos! Sea Day was a Lazy Day We took a Backstage tour of the Production shows put on by four of the cast members. Attended a fabulous concert by the two girls Alina and Lia. Another Sea Day – this one was fun and a bit busy. We attended a fabulous talk about the Antarctic, then a Bridge Tour so different than what we experienced before. The afternoon the Solstice theatre was standing room only for an impressionist from Australia. He was so da## funny. Later we went again to listen to our favorite girls on the strings!!”Lighthouse String Duo”. For those of you who like “duelling banjos” or “duelling pianos” these two girls take it to a whole new level !!!!!! Day 1 in Hobart Tasmania Australia we first went through Immigration process prior to exploring the city. Even though the line for immigration was very long and we were standing outside for a good portion of the time (wear a jacket, as it is cold!!!), the process was fairly quick. We decided to do the Hop On Hop Off Bus for a 90 minute narrated tour of the highlights but did get off at the botanical gardens. The Japanese Gardens were absolutely beautiful. The botanical gardens are free and it was a holiday so there were many families with children having picnics throughout the park areas. The Hop On Hop Off is just a short walk from where the ship docks. Easy to do on your own. In the evening we had a ship excursion called “An Evening With the Devils”. It was an after hours tour of Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. We were able to feed the kangaroos and pet a Koala, and see all sorts of other animals. We also got to see the Tasmanian Devil!!!! Day 2 in Hobart we got up early. Glory, our Butler delivered breakfast to our stateroom as we had an early excursion to Port Arthur, one of Australia’s most notorious penal colonies developed in the 1830’s. I’d say this is a must do in Hobart, especially if you have an overnight. We chose to do this as a ship excursion on the second day as we knew we’d have to be back on board early and figured “let them be responsible for getting us back on time”. Worked out perfectly. We packed in a lot while in Hobart. January 30 - Last Day at Sea – Lots to do on the daily schedule. Lots of goodbyes to be said. My hubby attended a cooking class where one of the chef’s prepared alligator and kangaroo in the fry pan using butter, olive oil and lemon. We met with a Cruise Vacations Associate, and booked two more cruises. We will miss tossing our towels on the floor morning and night; having our bed made for us daily with chocolates on our pillow every night; scrumptious meals served to us with smiles; nonstop entertainment......but when we wake tomorrow we shall be sailing into the magnificent Sydney Harbour and setting our sights on the world famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge! According to Captain Tasos, we should be arriving into port about 5:15am. January 31 - We’ve arrived in Sydney. Set our alarm for 5:00 am so we’d be up and dressed for the arrival into the magnificent Sydney Harbour. Wow! What a sight it was. The skyline is spectacular. Like no other. Disembarkation went off without a hitch. Our bags were easily spotted. The lines to exit went fast. The only hiccup we had was at the very end after disembarkation. We needed a taxi to take us to our hotel in Sydney. There were no taxis, and there was a long line waiting for one. When we asked for help, we were directed to walk straight up the street and cross the street to where there would be another taxi pick up area. We were wheeling two bags each. This was not an easy task. We could not find the spot she told us to go, and it turned into a total fiasco. We walked for blocks. We should have stayed in the taxi line at the port (or, in hind sight I should have prearranged transportation). I had no idea it was going to be that difficult to get to the hotel that was only one mile away. We have never had a problem getting a taxi in a port on departure. But, best cruise ever!!!!!!! Ship was beautiful, and clean. Captain, and all the staff were friendly, helpful and fun. The entertainment was fantastic! The dining was fabulous. We tried them all, except Silk Harvest. Murano was very good, Luminae the favorite of course. Ports of Call were absolutely the best. As said.....Perfect Destination, Exceeded our Expectations! Thank you Celebrity. We love New Zealand! This is definitely a place we would like to go back to and spend more time. Note: Since we’ve been home, he’s been preparing most of our fish, chicken and steak over a propane flame like the chef (but outside) instead of our barbecue. Oh my gosh, its so much more flavorful, and moist! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
As a first-time cruiser, I choose this cruise because of the dates fitting in with my work Christmas closedown and the opportunity to visit friends. Unfortunately, when I got the booking sorted, Napier had fallen of the list of ports to ... Read More
As a first-time cruiser, I choose this cruise because of the dates fitting in with my work Christmas closedown and the opportunity to visit friends. Unfortunately, when I got the booking sorted, Napier had fallen of the list of ports to visit. I also chose Concierge Class because of the room location and concerns about safety as a solo female traveller. Embarkation. Slow and no promised (Conceirge Class) priority check-In. I never met my Conceirge during the entire trip. Also promised but not delivered for Conceirge Class was the exclusive departure lounge, priority disembarkation, welcome sparkling wine and fresh fruit. I forego the daily delivery of afternoon savouries as there was something that looked like cat’s vomit left on the coffee table. Room – 12th Deck. The attendant was very pleasant and kept the room very clean and tidy. Though tired, the room was functional, and the bed and pillows were incredibly comfortable. The shower was great for me (little person) but my 6’3” son would have had to shower on his knees if he wanted water on his face or shoulders. Food. My first night experience in the main (Grand Epernay) restaurant found a menu of limited variety and contained ingredients I don’t eat (and I’m not a fussy eater). What I ordered (bolognaise) came with no vegetables and was cold. Breakfast was generally taken first thing (6-6.30 am) in Ocean View Café where the food was more likely to be hot and fresh, and I could enjoy a slow and leisurely meal with my book or puzzles. By 9-9.30am the Cafe was bedlam and best avoided. While there was plenty of variety at lunch and dinner, the selection was much of a muchness. I found the lunchtime soups delicious and with a couple of pieces of French loaf and a sprinkle of parmesan (caesar salad bar) and spring onions (stir fry bar). After hearing conflicting reviews about the specialty restaurants, I decided the extra charge would probably not be worth additional cost and more disappointment. The best meal was at the Mast Grill (Deck 14). The hamburgers and chip were really good – much moreso than that on offer in the Ocean View. Service. The Ocean View Cafe was dirty at times, a point noted to a senior staff member was food and crumbs still on the bench seats at 6 am. The staff member commented that someone had complained the previous day but he obviously hadn’t checked the night cleaning crew had upped their game. The cafe also ran out of black tea on a regular basis. On the first occasion just after leaving Dunedin, a query to a senior staff member elicited a response that they had run out and they couldn't resupply as you can't buy [black] tea in NZ. Need it be said, irrespective of running out, the tea stations were intermittently resupplied. The other resupply of the coffee stations was chaos with access to cups being cut off while coffee filters were prepared on the cup counter. The Grand Epernay also lacked in service. Having tried to book a large group (20 pers) in for a lunch the following day, the Maitre D said she couldn't pre-book so to arrive as a group. When we arrived, there was a lot of eye rolling and muttering about why we wanted to be seated as a group. Bar Service. The pool bar closed earlier than advertised nearly every day. Previous travellers with Celebrity also commented on the lack of poolside service. One quickly worked out it was better to go to the bar than wait for service. At the Poolside Bar the service was generally quick and efficient except for the propensity to pour inferior wines. In the Ocean View you are more likely to leave without a drink than wait for service at a table. Here, cafe bar staff ignored patrons and would do a round of the room without taking a single order prior to returning to the bar to spin jokes with workmates. It was also annoying that the bar staff would flip the drinks menu onto it’s side (a sign that you don’t want a drink) without asking if you did want one. In the Grand Epernay, one of our lunch group had asked for a particular wine, was told they had run out, then after specifically asking for champagne was served sparkling wine. The wine waiter then magically turned up with a bottle of the wine they had previously ‘run out’ of. When making an objection another wine waiter back-chatted and said that with her attitude she was lucky to have anything to drink. A ‘house’ wine on offer was proffered as a very good NZ Sauvignon Blanc but it was a bottle you could buy for $12 from the supermarket. Entertainment. An old and very limited selection of movies both on the lawn or on the room TV. Gave up on the main theatre entertainment that was mediocre at best and the comedian worst (fell asleep). Listening to fellow travellers unanimously agreed Motown was good, and Rock City in the later stages when the acrobat joined the stage. Many of us didn’t get that far as the opening was aweful. On Deck 4 the house bands and dance lessons were held in a very tight area with very little seating, floorspace, at the bottom of a ‘grand’ stairway and where a constant stream of traffic moving between two bars, lifts and shops. Three of the group I met up with got a skin rash from the spa pool and insect bites on top lawn. The better entertainment included the Naturalist talks and Captain Tasos’ onboard commentaries, Liars Club and talk about the Solstice. Excursions. An excursion talk on the first day hinted that visitors to the little blue penguin colony at Oamaru might get a peek in the hutches and to maybe even hold a penguin. I know this not done and Celebrity should not hint at the prospect. The same excursion talk offered a visit to a high country farm and the opportunity to see livestock and maybe get to see other native NZ mammals. It is a shame that the only land based NZ mammal are bats and highly protected. Through Dusky Sound the Naturalist lauded about being able to hear the birds if you listened carefully but spoke the whole way thus denying any opportunity to hear anything. I did local onshore activities on my own arrangements and booked fellow travellers onto a train trip in Dunedin at 1/5th of the Celebrity excursion price. Up-Sell. The up-sell was constant including being accosted at the entrance to the Ocean View Café and on disembarking at shore destinations with people dressed in weird outfits and a guy waving a miniature lifebuoy for a photo opportunity. It was also the case for specialty restaurants, pushing to buy packages. Once we hit the Tasman inbound for Sydney it was a constant tirade of buy buy buy. Disembarkation. The disembarkation directions were not relayed to outdoor speakers. Fortunately I had a later flight and by time I joined the queue grinding it’s way offboard I was thankful that I could sit on my suitcase when the grind became a halt. Heard of many other complaints from fellow travellers include a lack of advertised services such as babysitting, toilet paper resupplied reluctantly, and passengers confined temporarily to a wheelchair not able to get a disabled suite when there were others 'upgraded' to a disabled suite. In all, if it hadn’t been for a great bunch of people I met up with, I would have cut my losses and bailed at Dunedin. I would recommend a 10 day stay in a spa resort with a decent restaurant. It would be cheaper, the food would be better and service of a much better quality. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
have been on the ship before it was great but this time just poor food and shows .xmas dinner was bloody poor not xmas at all a very poor selection of food the same for new years eve small steak spoon full of mash potato and small serve of ... Read More
have been on the ship before it was great but this time just poor food and shows .xmas dinner was bloody poor not xmas at all a very poor selection of food the same for new years eve small steak spoon full of mash potato and small serve of veg.We did have very good service from the staff.the cost of shore trips was very high it was far cheaper to buy these when in port.also the on board exchange rate was a rip off.will i travel with them again think not.very good cabin staff room was always clean and tidy. again it was the poor food selection and shows were poor.As my wife has done 4 trips on this boat she has rated this one very poor. i feel the boat is now dated this was more so with the air con not working properly and internal carpet is very dated Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We paid an awful lot of money for the cruise. Even when you have a cabin with a balcony you have to pay extra to have an unobscured view (a balcony without a lifeboat outside). The cabin was remarkably small and cramped. Despite the ... Read More
We paid an awful lot of money for the cruise. Even when you have a cabin with a balcony you have to pay extra to have an unobscured view (a balcony without a lifeboat outside). The cabin was remarkably small and cramped. Despite the already high cost we still had the extra expense of over £200 for wi-fi. The vast majority of hotels these days offer free wi-fi and what is a cruise ship but a floating hotel. Every day we were pestered by staff with offers to upgrade/buy/get extra and it was a real nuisance. They really try to squeeze every penny out of you and ultimately it left a pretty sour taste and spoiled what was otherwise a nice holiday. There were upsides however as the staff were really hardworking and pleasant plus the food was very good, which was pleasantly surprising bearing in mind the amount of people that were being served simultaneously. We probably won't cruise again after this experience and could not recommend it to friends or family. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the ship because we were told it was amazing.plus a good price with balcony and drinks package. Boarding was good with a welcome glass of sparkly as you got on. Our cabin was very nice as was our ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the ship because we were told it was amazing.plus a good price with balcony and drinks package. Boarding was good with a welcome glass of sparkly as you got on. Our cabin was very nice as was our steward, The safety talk was a bit of a mish mash as all done on a screen..... We had anytime dining and requested where possible table for two and the lady in charge accommodated us nearly every night so we had the same wonderful waiters, Joinar and Jobi. However, the tables were all so close together so the waiters barely had room to get through.The menu was good and steak available every night if required but nothing was outstanding, Our lovely "Rapunzul" drinks waitress was gorgeous and efficient but had to see another waiter for wine??? I feel that the waiters (apart from ours) were not as well trained as on Princess. This was more notable at breakfast where you were really squashed in but the alternative of the buffet was worse as never able to get a table plus food cold. The sunbeds by the pool were squashed next to each other with no tables so nowhere to put your drinks, etc. The pool bar was very small and not the usual hub of the pool area like Princess,also, absolutely nothing going on around the deck apart from the odd exercise to music with the boring Lauren, although the band wasn't too bad but not good enough to want to dance to. The movies on Lawn Deck were also boring. Evening entertainment was pretty bad too apart from Motown night. Comedian terrible. Captain Tsasos was quite funny and interesting . The martini bar and staff there were good as was the bar in the casino, especially our friend Made, but one of the other bar staff in casino not too good. We had already booked a cruise with Infinity in August in the Med and now wished we'd done NCL or Princess but they didn't have same itinerary so lets hope it is better!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our group of 6 chose this cruise as a reunion cruise. Previously we met and became cruise buddies 6 years ago when cruising on the Millenium through Asia and this was the first time as a group we had been together. The 6 of us had a ... Read More
Our group of 6 chose this cruise as a reunion cruise. Previously we met and became cruise buddies 6 years ago when cruising on the Millenium through Asia and this was the first time as a group we had been together. The 6 of us had a fabulous time together but it had nothing to do with the quality of the ship. Firstly, while the ship in public areas is quite stylish and clean the cabins were not. We had splurged and got a suite. It was spacious but upon embarkation my first experience was to lift the toilet seat lid and discover the previous guest's faeces was still on the toilet seat. So I got the wonderful job of using my hand sanitiser and anti- bacterial wipes to clean the seat and after this 'lovely' welcome was dubious about the standard of cleaniness so after the cabin steward had finished I always wiped the seat and then with separate handwipe of course tap handles! Our butler and steward were lovely people but it was extremely obvious they were tired and over worked. We didn't ask them for much because we could see how exhausted they were. Our butler was fantastic and every morning brought us cappuccinos and breakfast. We are late risers and it was clear that he appreciated that! Most of the staff on board though appeared exhausted and tired and jaded. Smiles for most were forced and there was an obvious feeling of discontentment. This of course was when you could find staff. The ship certainly does not have the staff ratio to guests it claims. No pool service, no Lawn Club service, bars were understaffed and our friends staying in an Ocean view catergory didn't see the cabin steward until the third day of the cruise and only after they had seen the supervisor 'accidentally in passing' were they able to follow this up. Their steward went 'missing' several times so for clean towels they sometimes needed to get pool towels to shower with. Friends in Aqua class also experienced dissatisfaction with their steward as well. The food on board was though fantastic! But the drinks service in the main dining room was particularly slow and not tailored to personal tastes, instead it seemed to be the Sommelier recommending the same wine every night she wanted to get rid of the infamous 'Elegance' Chardonnay. Thankfully it was drinkable but not fine dining worthy. Specialty restaurants are expensive. Silk Harvest was good and Murano too, who doesn't like Lobster cooked table side? The buffet always had sensational food. If you are in suite class the Michaels Club is fantastic, however Luminere didn't impress at all. Limited choices and repeated choices during the 10 days didn't entice us. Between the main dining room food and the buffet you don't really need anything else. The entertainment was not impressive overall. Rock City was enjoyable but overall,the entertainment was sub standard when you consider other ships/cruise lines have shows like Burn the Floor in the past. Despite these negatives we had a great time! We had many enjoyable meals together and great conversations. Ports were great but there was a lack of information. For example the Terracotta Warriors are on display at the Wellington Museum yet this wasn't made apparent to guests. I want to make a comparison between suite products and value for money. We have sailed on the P and 0 Pacific Aria suite product and it was a better standard and value for money product than Celebrity this time. We have also sailed in the suite products on NCL Jewel and the NCL Epic. NCL is a far superior luxurious experience and at a better price. Overall we had nice time but I'd prefer to give my cruise dollars to NCL when booking a suite in future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
going around new zealand was wonderful watching as depart was so cool! we enjoyed ourselves so much, we got spoiled rotten by the staff ,the Elton jack show was amazing , Picton and Akaroa are gorgeous, the food was Excellent not to ... Read More
going around new zealand was wonderful watching as depart was so cool! we enjoyed ourselves so much, we got spoiled rotten by the staff ,the Elton jack show was amazing , Picton and Akaroa are gorgeous, the food was Excellent not to forget the amazing, Joseph, Jay Jay, Thia and Victoria the made our experience triple! the last night was tough, the whole ride was very smooth, except for some bumps every now and then. the cabin was very nice with an amazing view everyday, the creme brûlées were spectacular, just everything was bliss, many thanks to all the amazing staff that made the cruise AMAZING! and of course to the amazing, hilarious captain that made me and my family laugh, i am just so grateful for the experience and i wish it never ended. D: The James Family #2 sorry for any constant words this was written by an eleven year old that just woke up. :) Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We booked this cruise to unwind from a busy and stressful year, and tied it in to allow us to see friends and family in NZ. The package included Classic beverage, which we upgraded to Premium before we departed, and also included some ... Read More
We booked this cruise to unwind from a busy and stressful year, and tied it in to allow us to see friends and family in NZ. The package included Classic beverage, which we upgraded to Premium before we departed, and also included some dinners and a lunch at the premium restaurants. This was our first Celebrity cruise, having previously cruised with P&O (past that now) and Norwegian (comparable), and we have definitely decided to add them to our "will return" list with the Norwegian Jewel. Pros - Well equipped and maintained ship; Absolutely awesome crew; Great food and drink options. Cons - Show venue is more of a Cabaret than a Theater so the shows weren't as spectacular; Karaoke venue a bit naff and not nightly. Our favorite aspects of the ship were: The main dining room, where there was a definite attempt to place you in a consistent part of the room, even with "non-booked" times, and where the staff were friendly and knowledgeable; Cafe al Bacio, where we spent most post-dinners and were well looked after by the crew there; World Class Cocktail Bar, where we ended up after coffee and whiled the evening away! The verandah cabin was well maintained and easy to get around with a good bathroom. For future cruises in NZ, we'll note some gotcha's, like the paid transport from the dock to the city in Tauranga and Dunedin, but for the most part, the off-shore access was well organised and easy to work with. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The cost of sailing with Celebrity could not lead to expectations of Four Seasons quality accommodation, service, and food. I went with an open mind but at the end the highlight was finally getting off this tacky vessel which closely ... Read More
The cost of sailing with Celebrity could not lead to expectations of Four Seasons quality accommodation, service, and food. I went with an open mind but at the end the highlight was finally getting off this tacky vessel which closely resembles a bottom end Vegas casino masquerading as “glamour”. Where do I start .... here we go: Cabin - black scum line around the toilet bowl and congealed dirt stuck to the wall. The kind of accommodation you would expect in a caravan in the 1970’s. Reds and browns designed to hide the filth accumulated over years. Bathroom like faded yellow fibreglass and toiletries guaranteed to have your skin flaming within 24 hours. Entertainment - the shows in the theatre were the highlight and the experience was improved when the lights dimmed and it was no longer necessary to look at the tired mahogany seats and gold velvet/synthetic seat covers. Other musical entertainment was thin on the ground and ironically given its scarcity, almost universally terrible. One evening the only live music entertainment at 10pm on a boat with 3,000 plus people was a male vocalist with a mouth organ. A waiter helpfully suggested I go to the silent disco where there would be a choice of three different music types to listen to! This ship is boring beyond belief. Food - I cannot begin to describe how bad the food is. Looked forward to getting off at every port of call to find something edible. Only managed on trip to the crowded buffet place at the top of the ship. Could hardly find breakfast cereal not covered in sugar or synthetically multicoloured. Yoghurt - only peach or apricot made from skimmed milk. It is an insult to the English language to name the main restaurant Grand Epernay. The food was almost universally cold, over-cooked, bland ... dreadful, I am reminded of a motorway service station, Specialty Dining - Invested in a package in the hope that throwing money at the problem may resolve the inclusive dining experience. How wrong I was. The worst experience had the be the specialty Asian restaurant called Silk Harvest. The fact that this restaurant is a hybrid of purportedly Japanese, Chinese and Thai food (plus a bit of Indonesian and Malay) should have been a warning signal but nothing could prepare me for the “favourite” cheese wantons. I think some of this congealed glob is still stuck to the top of my palate. The only remotely passable specialty restaurant was Murano, which, believe it or not is French, apparently named after an original Murano shade which has now been replaced by a plastic replica after the original broke. Bars - Think drinking on the edge of a casino corridor being oggled by the passing foot traffic. No intimacy anywhere just places to very occasionally have your ear drums assaulted by the dreadful house singers when Celebrity disdained to fit them into their pitiful live music schedules. I do a disservice. There is a Cellar Master Wine Bar just off the main drag. Trouble is in port this becomes the main gangway so it is not difficult to imagine what the carpet is like - gross. Drinks Package - Persuaded to upgrade to premium package before we left. It was not explained that classic package could be used pay for premium drinks with a small uplift over the premium ceiling. Further, it became apparent that Celebrity has a policy of not holding premium drinks and numerous outlets and trying to fob off inferior quality drinks. On more than one occassion we were given a sparkling blanc de blanc when we had requested champagne. The default premium chardonnay was a Celebrity label wine called Elegance. I was unable to get a glass of Poilly Fume or a bottle of Grolsch (as advertised on their premium list) anywhere on the ship. About a week into the cruise I discovered that Evian water was available on the premium package - not once had it been offered! Celebrity should provide what has been paid for. Guest Relations - My wife had a visa issue. She was told her business visa would not allow her entry into Australia so we applied for a tourist visa. Over four days we had to make numerous visits to the Guest Relations desk to be told numerous different stories before finally being told she could now gain entry to Australia an hour before we were about to be disembarked on a business visa organised by Celebrity. I understand there can be visa issues but Celebrity refused our numerous requests for a face-to-face meeting with the Documentation Officer despite her frequently being in the adjacent office, or condescend to provide an explanation. The reality is they did not deal with our predicament until the last minute and we were truly anticipating being disembarked at the last minute - which ironically I was somewhat hoping for by this stage. My advice to anyone would be to avoid Celebrity generally and the Solstice in particular. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We went for a 12 day holiday to NZ but after travelling on many other cruise lines we found the food was shocking and staff rude on Solstice. We were advised that this ship was superior to most of the other cruise lines. NOT SO!! I ... Read More
We went for a 12 day holiday to NZ but after travelling on many other cruise lines we found the food was shocking and staff rude on Solstice. We were advised that this ship was superior to most of the other cruise lines. NOT SO!! I thought the ship itself was great with heated pools which was handy as it was so cold and also entertainment was good at night. But this was overshadowed by bad service with next to no seafood and only fruit was watermelon, rockmelon and oranges!!!!!! Only seafood they had was deep fried fish which was mainly batter. No range of cereals which we found ALL OTHER cruise lines supply. When going to the bars we found on the pool deck and in the main dinning on the 14th floor we found it hard to get any service and even though we had a basic drinks package we were encouraged to pay an extra $150.00 for better wine and beer. We were under the impression that the basic would cover this but then had to pay $1.00 extra for every drink?? On board specialty dinning we did not go to as they were too expensive and when speaking to fellow passengers they told us they were not worth the money. Most meals started at $45.00 extra per head. We had 3 days at sea but found activities were very limited as only one band onboard that played from about 4pm to 9pm and then nothing!!! But the onboard shows were good and we went to most of them except the dance ones held by the crew. We didn’t do any port excursions from the boat as we are from NZ and knew the places to go on our own. We went downstairs to the formal dinning twice (which was free) and found one night the food was dreadful but the second time we enjoyed both the service and the food. They rang our cabin and wanted to know why we hadn’t gone back so told them we would give them another go. Embarkation was shocking with arguments going on with other passengers and staff yelling because of time we all had to wait in lines. Over 2 hours for many. This was a cold and rainy day which didn’t help tempers. Disembarkation went smoothly as we got off on our own when we docked at Sydney. We were advised to arrange for a transfer from the ship which would cost us US$30.00 each as in a note to everyone they stated NO taxis would be there. Not true as many, many taxis were there waiting and we got away first and the cost was only A$30.00 for both of us instead of US$60.00. It seemed to me it was important for staff to get passengers to upgrade their drinks and dinner meals. We wont be travelling with them again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise in order to visit relatives and see destinations we missed previously. We were not disappointed as the tours we went on covered the South Island which was new to us. The position of our cabin was very good and ... Read More
We chose this cruise in order to visit relatives and see destinations we missed previously. We were not disappointed as the tours we went on covered the South Island which was new to us. The position of our cabin was very good and although we were offered an upgrade we declined as this would have put us either bow or stern, not very steady if bad weather ensued. We thought the ship lacked the 'wow' factor as did the entertainment. All the entertainers were good but not cruise material. We have come to expect West End/Broadway quality and the Celebrity X did not offer this. The cinema was on deck and it was not warm enough to attend. This also applied to the outdoor pools but the solarium was fine. The entertainment timing was not good and the main house band played in an area with very little seating, at the bottom of a stairway and with obstructed views along with guests moving around between two bars, lifts and shops. Although the food was fine it could have been available in any high street. Where were the ice sculptures and carved fruit or chocolate fountain - all now standard on most cruise lines. Our cabin attendant was excellent, our waiter attentive but not intrusive but we did eat in the cafe most times as we were not happy with the allocated table arrangements which didn't allow guests to mix. To finish this review, please note this review is totally personal and for anyone cruising for the first time it would have been a good experience, although for us we would choose a different line next time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We wanted to experience a different cruise ship to the ones we had used in the past. Unfortunately our experience at Auckland cruise terminal was unbelievable & we had thoughts of abandoning the cruise altogether. It took 3 ... Read More
We wanted to experience a different cruise ship to the ones we had used in the past. Unfortunately our experience at Auckland cruise terminal was unbelievable & we had thoughts of abandoning the cruise altogether. It took 3 hours to board the ship & another hour to get our luggage. There did not seem to be any priority embarcation for Elite, Elite Plus, etc. We have never experienced this before & have done over 20 cruises. The ship was fantastic overall. Great Captain, crew, staff & attendants. We had some dinners in Blu restaurant, but the choice onthe menu was not always good. On the final night in Blu I askedfor the main dining room menu as there was nothing that I was interested in. Most of the fish & beef dishes were overcooked & dry. The Ocean Cafe buffet was really good with a great range of choices but as usual too crowded. Best entertainment was the pianist & the final show. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had a great cruise, the Celebrity Solstice is a beautiful ship, the itinerary was amazing, the staff was efficient and friendly. Our veranda cabin on deck 7 was quite big, but it was rather narrow and long, so we had a small balcony. ... Read More
We had a great cruise, the Celebrity Solstice is a beautiful ship, the itinerary was amazing, the staff was efficient and friendly. Our veranda cabin on deck 7 was quite big, but it was rather narrow and long, so we had a small balcony. The bathroom was very well designed with many shelves to store things and there was enough storage in the cabin. The best part: the cabin was very quiet, I believe it was at least partially because there were no internal cabins on the other side of the corridor. The organization was quite good with smooth tender boats operation. However the embarkation was quite chaotic, with one older lady having difficulties controlling the crowd. And we were told to check-in not later than at 3 pm while the departure from Auckland was at 8 pm. On the other hand the disembarkation was the smoothest I have ever had. The emergency and lifeboat drill was half an hour long - longer than on any of my previous cruises. Since only half of its time was devoted to the drill I felt that it was inconsiderate to the older passengers who had no choice but to stand in the crowded room without a place to sit. The last weak point was in Picton where there was a long line (approximately half an hour) to get off the ship because the shuttles were unavailable. It would have been nice to hear an announcement about estimated waiting time at the gangway instead of the usual "you may now proceed to the gangway". The Cruise Director Rich was excellent. We had a different show every day and the quality was impressive. That includes the Maori performance in Tauranga. The Solstice ship's star aerialists were amazing. I would say that other ship's star performers were second only to NCL performers. I was glad to attend some lectures about ports of call, but some of them were before we returned to the ship and conflicted with our excursions. So the timing was inconvenient. Also there could be more activities for the days at sea. The main restaurant was very good with exceptional service. The food was great, enough choices and daily changes of the menu. We had an amazing waiter, Peter: prompt, friendly, knowledgeable. Whenever we could we had lunch at the restaurant too, because the weakest part of the cruise was the buffet at Oceanview Cafe. The best part of the buffet was that it was still partially open for late lunch when we were returning to the ship around 4 pm after our excursions. I would say that about 60% of the food was well prepared/had good quality ingredients. There were enough choices to find something good, but every day the menu was the same. There were theme days, but often there was the same dish with a different name: one day it was a beef stew, the next day Hungarian goulash, without a trace of paprika, so it tasted like beef stew. It was the worst buffet of the 8 cruises that I took. That includes desserts. For example when the Australian lunch was announced I went to the buffet to sample the Pavlova dessert. I enjoyed the Pavlova at the Cafe al Bacio very much, but in the buffet the Pavlova dessert was not as good: it was a meringue cake and some soggy fruits without any cream. The best buffet we had was on Holland America when both the main restaurant and the buffet were outstanding. The ship excursions were very expensive, so mostly we booked our excursions with local tours. However in Akaroa we booked with Celebrity and it was very well organized. All in all we are happy we took this cruse and will book with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This cruise was most agreeable. Meals were of high quality and variety. Particularly the pastries.Wines rather expensive. Evening entertainment : not truly exciting except for the ship's own dancers and acrobats. We were awed by ... Read More
This cruise was most agreeable. Meals were of high quality and variety. Particularly the pastries.Wines rather expensive. Evening entertainment : not truly exciting except for the ship's own dancers and acrobats. We were awed by the orchestra : top notch ! The conferences about our destinations were informative and -sometimes - very funny. The one thing all passengers complained about (those we met after disembarking in B.A.) is the taxi mafia at the exit of the cruise-terminal. Normal taxi ride into town costs around 200 Pesos. Disembarking in Buenos Aires you could book your taxi only through "agents" charging 20 or 15 US$( if you were fussy) which is 600 to 800 pesos !! No other possibility. I cannot understand that port authority allows this thieving practice. It gives the town a bad reputation right on arrival. Why do you pay a given sum for the cruise but are automatically charged nearly 25% on top for (gratuities). Shouldn't this be included in the price ? These so called gratuities must be sufficient to pay a big part of the staff's salaries. For us Europeans this system appears somewhat dishonest. You sell a package but then add on a big extra cost which is not always clearly indicated on the offer. This was the case for a group of young first-time cruisers who were demoralised by this attack on their budget. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise as we thought it would be a more relaxing way to travel to the North & South Islands of New Zealand. We picked up the ship at Auckland after a two night at the Rydges Hotel. A very nice city. There were very ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we thought it would be a more relaxing way to travel to the North & South Islands of New Zealand. We picked up the ship at Auckland after a two night at the Rydges Hotel. A very nice city. There were very large queues on embarkation & although we were advised it could take two hours before we got on board our queue moved quite quickly. The organisation did seem a bit haphazard with some queues moving quickly while others seemed to move at a snails pace, You were just lucky if you were in a fast moving queue. We were impressed with the ship & although we had an inside cabin, it was a very good size compared to other cruise lines we had been on. We were happy with all our ports of call, although we found some more interesting than others. The scenery was fantastic, the highlight of which was our last day in New Zealand. It was an at sea day sailing around the Dusky, Doubtful & Milford Sounds. The scenery in this area was stunning, it certainly had the Wow factor. We choose a set dining time at 8.30 which was a lot later than we would have liked to have eaten. However, we thought 6pm would be a bit of a rush when we were at a port. I found the standard of food good, although there was a limited choice if you were gluten & dairy free. The sweets especially got a bit boring often I was given the same dessert two or three times in a row & by the end of the cruise I didn't want to see another chocolate cake again. The waiters were very attentive. we couldn't fault Umesh & Lucas who we got to know very well. Umesh was very helpful,especially as I had other food allergies as well as being gluten & dairy free. The breakfast buffet could be a bit manic. There was always plenty of food but finding somewhere to sit often proved to be very difficult. There wasn't much choice on the room service breakfast menu if you were gluten & dairy free. We did order breakfast room service on two occasions. The firsttime the food was ok but the second time, the order was wrong & the hot food choices were cold, We never used it again after that. The lunch & evening buffet menus had plenty of choice at the self service cafe/restaurant on level 14. There was an excellent choice of gluten & dairy free desserts here, so I couldn't understand why the choice was so limited when having a set meal choice. We only went on one Celebrity shore excursion The Marlborough Flyer steam train from Picton to Blenhim. We enjoyed the train journey through the coutryside but there wasn't much to see at Blenhim. The trip was well organised but for other trips we used Viator. Their shore exursions were less expensive & good value for money. For us the most disappointing thing about the cruise was the activities & entertainment. On other cruise lines that we had been on the entertainment had been more varied & there were more talks & activities going on when at sea. The entertainment was very run ofhe mill & was more geared to the Australian guest. There were not many late night shows. We did enjoy the Maori show when we stayed overnight at Tauranga & the acrobatic show on the last evening of the cruise. The films shown in the theatre & the free film selection on the television again was limited compared to other cruise lines. However,on this occasion we were there for the beautiful scenery that New Zealand was famous for & that certainlydidn't disappoint us. One fault design on the ship was the walking/ running track. This was on level 14. However this was the cafe level so there was a lot of activity with people walking to & from the cafe in various directions Therefore, it was difficult to do laps around the track if you liked to do a lot of walking or running. Another highlight was arriving in Sidney as dawn was breaking, with the sun coming up over the Opera House. Then sitting having breakfast looking out over the Opera House before getting ready for disembarkation. Disembarkation went smoothly & we left to spend two enjoyable days in Sidney. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
just wanted to provide some feed back from my perspective. The first cruise we did was on P&O and we were thrilled to be going on our first ever totally child free holiday. After having 7 children now all grown up it was so nice ... Read More
just wanted to provide some feed back from my perspective. The first cruise we did was on P&O and we were thrilled to be going on our first ever totally child free holiday. After having 7 children now all grown up it was so nice to be away just the two of us. The ship was ok but the air con in the room did not work and was not fixed. It was so bad the pillow chocolates melted. It was only a 4 night cruise and we were never moved. (I felt sorry for the honeymoon couple next door who also had no air con) We were also in a cabin with no balcony. The entertainment was a bit thin and the food was ok, the ship seemed to feel every wave though and even though I was not sick I was looking for a sun lounge at the back of the ship to combat the feeling. The staff were really nice. Next cruise was so different, We went on Royal's Ovation of the seas . It was a four night cruise to Hobart and back. We had a balcony. a beautiful room, we loved exploring the ship. The shows were great , food amazing, always something to do and not over crowded at all. It was so big and clean and and friendly. Smooth sailing just a few bumps on the bass but did not affect us at all. Staff were so helpful and so nice, I dont know how they remember you no matter where on that huge whip you are. Everything is charged in US dollars on the ship and that was probs the only thing that was a bit of a pain but you get use to it. We bought the drinks package so there were no surprises and it all went smoothly. Honestly had no complaints at all. Next cruise and everyone since has been on celebrity solstice , Why we keep going back (though we are itching to try Edge:)) Still all in USD The ship is big but not too big, It has plenty of places to drink. to chill, to listen to music, to take part in Trivia and other activities, The shows are really good and the food is amazing even in the grand dining room. The demographics are a bit different too certainly not a BOOZE cruise. You have a real good mix of ages and there is a really nice team there to look after the Camp at Sea kids (the kids club is never overcrowded and they really look after them) I do prefer the solarium on Ovation but the solarium on Solstice is still really nice and has the pool and whirl pools and lots of lounges. It also has an amazing Aqua Cafe there for a healthy snack. I love catching a movie on the real grass be it day or under the stars of a night. Mast Grill is a must for burgers and hotdogs. The tenders works well and the destinations are fab We have stayed in Suite at the Aft and enjoyed that so much, Butler, dedicated Suite only lounge where all the drinks are free, dedicated suite only dining where the food and staff are amazing. Reserved seating for the shows, no tender queues . We have stayed on concierge at the Aft again brilliant and the Aft for me is the best place to be. We have stayed in a royal suite AMAZING no extras at all fully stocked fridge with what ever you want in it. Free internet washing drinks, everything. Even a bath on the balcony not to mention the two bathrooms and walk in wardrobe and afternoon tea severed for you and any guests by your butler. We have stayed in a balcony and done the main hall dining and again amazing. A really good vibe in there and staff will do everything they can to help. People complain about staff trying to up sell the other dining (in Royal suite its all included BTW) .. I dont have an issue with that I just say no thank you . The buffet is great and you can go grab something from there and enjoy the food out on the deck if you want. The ship tour is also amazing. The guests are friendly and like I said mixed age. You can dance with the younger ones or sit by the pool taking to the older ones. The lifts even become a social trip where you can say hi to new people. If you smoke there are areas dedicated for that an people meet up there for a drink and a chat. The full moon party is always great and the silent disco is something you have to try even just watching that is fun. They gym on board is good (not that we did anything other than walk through it) and the pamper spa is great. We could always find an area to just chill where sometime there would be no one else around. There is a games area/lounge where you can play cards or board games and a lounge with a library feel where you can just sit and relax or read. There is always trivia going on but we get so busy we miss it most the time :) But its fun to do and again you meet other people. There are ship activities to join in. There is always something to do or you can do nothing . thing is on Celebrity your on a beautiful ship that caters for everyone. Your holiday is what you want it to be ...relaxing..or full on it's up to you. The destinations are great and the tours offered are varied. If you have never been on a cruise and are looking to do one. I would say go with Celebrity it's our favorite. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had always wanted to visit New Zealand and this cruise allowed us to sample this amazing country. The whole experience that The Solstice offered was first class. We stayed on deck 9 mid ships in a good sized balcony cabin. Great bed and ... Read More
We had always wanted to visit New Zealand and this cruise allowed us to sample this amazing country. The whole experience that The Solstice offered was first class. We stayed on deck 9 mid ships in a good sized balcony cabin. Great bed and storeage facilities along with a large and well appointed shower room. As soon as we got on board the quality of service was evident. Staff at all levels were only too happy to help. The quality of food and bar service was amazing. We took the premium drinks package and this allowed us to get all of our favourite wines,spirits,beers and cocktails with no concerns about running up a large bar bill.Add to this premium coffees from the cafe and we were very happy. The pool arreas are excellent and there were ample sun beds ensuring we always achieved a good spot to enjoy the great weather that we had. We sampled all of the restaurants and the quality of food and service was first class. The speciality restaurants are excellent but we would have been more than happy to dine each night in the main dining room where the menus are varied and service very friendly and efficient. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have just completed a cruise on the Celebrity Solstice. We boarded the ship in Auckland New Zealand on February 17 and disembarked on March 21 in Sidney Australia (32 days). I will try to leave my personal opinion out of this ... Read More
We have just completed a cruise on the Celebrity Solstice. We boarded the ship in Auckland New Zealand on February 17 and disembarked on March 21 in Sidney Australia (32 days). I will try to leave my personal opinion out of this commentary and just relay factual observations of our experience on the ship. We are Elite + members with Celebrity so we are not new to the line. We also have very high status on several other cruise lines. The first impression of the ship that you get is that it is a tired, worn out old vessel. The walking deck (5) is worn out, meaning that the deck base material is showing through the surface coating and looks worn out and decrepit, all of the metal surfaces are rusted and give you no comfort level if you were dependent on them in an emergency. There were dead crickets, spiders and assorted bugs everywhere. The ship overall is dirty, worn out and quite tired. Cruising about 150 days a year with a handful of cruise companies, we can honestly say that this ship is one that is in the worst shape we have ever seen. Our room was well worn. The night stands looked like they had been chewed by rats, the furniture was worn, stained and dirty as was the carpeting, the toilet did not flush properly and generally the room felt like a cheap motel. As we arrived to the first port of call, we were informed that at all ports, in order to disembark, you would have to get in line early in the morning to get a number to get in line to disembark after the ship was cleared by port authorities. This is obviously absurd at best. People were lining up for tickets hours before arrivals. When questioning the Hotel Director, she made the comment that she felt it necessary to maintain order and avoid long lines for debarkation. So now, this ridiculous idea caused people to have to line up twice to disembark instead of once. No wonder she is nicknamed Ms "Queue"on other ships. This HD is the least visible Hotel Director we have ever experienced. She intentionally makes an effort to avoid eye contact. She is snobbish, aloof, pedantic, condescending and cold. She only associates with suite guests or people with stripes on their shoulder. Most of her meals are consumed at the Luminae restaurant, Celebrities' restaurant just for suites. We won't even go into her stupidity at making a guest disembark the ship early into the cruise for making a joke to his room steward about jumping overboard. This is the third cruise we have had the displeasure of having her at the helm of the hotel, therefore this is not an isolated observation. I have managed upper middle managers my entire working life and understand there are different management styles, she has no style in any way. Difficult to understand how this gal is still employed in such a high profile position. The Celebrity Captain's Club hostess (joke) is another story. In thirty two days I think we saw her twice in the captain's club breakfast. The only time we came even close to "inconveniencing" her was when we were tendered in Akaroa. The previous night she sent out a letter advising us that as Elite Plus members we could meet her in the dining room in the morning to be taken to the tenders with priority. When we showed up she told us we had to go to the main foyer to line up for tickets. She is quite worthless, worse Captain's Club Hostess (joke) in the fleet. The real purpose for this review is the atrocity that the ship called food, which was just awful. Clearly a bean counter in the corporate office has tightened the belt on the ship. Everything has been watered down. The oatmeal in the morning has the consistency of water with just a little bit of oats in it, the Dahl at lunch is like weak soup, the only curry at the Indian Specialties counter is "vegetable" curry which consists of only potatoes and peas, which is fine from time to time but this was for 32 days in a row. The sandwich station housed couscous, coleslaw, beets or garbanzo sandwiches which were made with four feet long, one foot wide and 8 inches thick undercooked Ciabatta and the cut to custom size, (who in the hell has heard of a couscous sandwich! - seriously, these are the daily sandwiches!)), in the morning, the French bread often felt hard as a rock and might have been day old bread. During the "International" buffet we had shrimp fried rice with no shrimp and curry chicken rice with no chicken. The salad bar was comprised of lettuce and various assorted canned vegetables. This is indisputable. It is pretty hard to not recognize canned corn, peas, a mix of corn, peas and carrot and canned olives with the cute hole in the middle. What looked like they took a huge Bologna roll and cut into cubes, scraps of bad Cheddar, oxidized black mushroom scraps, fried Chinese noodles, etc., etc. The only fruit ever present was unripe cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon and apple. Grapes were used as a display for cheese and the next mornings taken off the stems and cut in half as the only accompaniment to cereal. For toast, bread or muffins the only "butter" was some foul flavorless, no brand "butter". For "jam", only artificial spreads, never marmalade or preserves of any kind. Never any berries of any kind, only unripe bananas cut in half and browning and dried out raisins. When we inquired about the food selections, we were advised by a manager that a "food grid" was being followed per corporate directive and the ship management had no control of the matter. The meat in the main dining room was flavorless and tough as leather, same for pork. If not for sauce, there would be no taste. "Crab cakes" with no crab, just filler, mashed potatoes made with instant potatoes and water, disgusting! Braised beef short ribs, just braised gristle and fat. The chicken saltimbocca had no ham or sage so you are basically having a dried out chicken breast which was rolled up with with chopped parsley inside to make it look like it had something inside, by the way Chefs, Saltimbocca is not rolled up to hide the fact that you are not using any Prosciutto. How can you have Beef Bourgeon with meat and potatoes that you cannot cut? After all, isn't it supposed to be an endlessly braised stew? Everything is supposed to fall apart! Chicken Kiev with no butter and parsley inside? Pizza made with sliced American cheese? Cauliflower Mournai that is raw Cauliflower with a dried out clump on American cheese on top? Where is the white sauce? The classic salmon comes with Hollandaise sauce that is congealed and cold? The portioning was also absurd. The roast pork loin (from previous Celebrity cruises) has gone from being three nice slices equaling about 6 oz. to three slices equaling 3 oz. The seared salmon went from a nice 4 or 5 oz. portion to what looks like 2 or 3 ounces. Obviously I realize I could order two portions but this is not my style. My wife and I eat twice a day and not much, we expect what we eat to not be garbage. Clearly there is a corporate directive to cut costs. This was in fact confirmed when a Zenith guest who was going to be on board for close to five months inquired as to why the Captain's Club breakfast always had the exact same type of cheese (Jack and Provolone) and always the same luncheon meat (never Ham, Salami etc., only some weird looking processed "thing" that would look about the same coming in as going out). He was told, by the never present Captain's Club hostess, that the ship had no say in the matter, they were following corporate directive. After everyone complained about the matter, a couple pieces of Brie were hidden away for a pair of Zenith guests for the following morning. This is not hearsay, I was sitting next to them. I could go on ad nausea but I think anyone would get the message. After presenting this list of atrocities to the maitre'd, knowing that the corporate food and beverage manager was on board, nothing changed. On inquiry I was told that proper protocol has to be followed to approach this person with guest complaints. In summary, my wife and daughter volunteer to cook and serve meals at a homeless shelter in Santa Ana, California. She would attest to the fact that the food on board is not fit to be served there. As if to add insult to injury, we just completed our flight home and the airplane food was better than any meal we had on the Solstice. They should be embarrassed. 80% of the reason we went on this cruise, half a world away, was to go through the New Zealand sounds. 4 hours after leaving Wellington, we had a medical emergency on board, rather than air evacuation or evacuation from shore, the captain decided to turn back to disembark the passenger. Due to this, the captain chose to skip the sounds and proceed to our next port Dunedin. It would have been as easy to skip Dunedin and go through the sounds. The reason that this option was not chosen, even though Celebrity advertises the sounds of New Zealand as the highlight of the cruise is that in a never ending quest to make money at the expense of guests, Celebrity allows agents in Australia and New Zealand to purchase blocks of rooms on this 16 day segment and sell them as 4 day cruises. Of course Dunedin was an embarkation and debarkation port for many of these guests. This ship is very poorly run by senior management with and by Corporate directive. The balance of the crew are absolutely wonderful!!! They were kind, hardworking, serviceable and warm. They continue to carry forward the image that Celebrity advertises, unfortunately without all of the "tools" they used to have at their disposal to carry forward the tag line of "modern luxury". It would appear this "modern luxury" is clearly something reserved for the exclusive benefit of Suite guests. The nickel and diming has reached comical low levels. The new ship "The Edge" must have gone over budget and we are footing the bill. If there is any doubt left, we will not be sailing with Celebrity again anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
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