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10 Celebrity Auckland Cruise Reviews

This is not a luxury five star ship whatever the travel agents claim, not now. It was back in 2008 when it was launched, but its been worked hard since then. Its evident when you embark through its nice white hull and enter its interior ... Read More
This is not a luxury five star ship whatever the travel agents claim, not now. It was back in 2008 when it was launched, but its been worked hard since then. Its evident when you embark through its nice white hull and enter its interior that its tired and overdue for a refit. We did venture up to the buffet on the first day and were surprised it was a serve yourself affair (a known novivirus risk) and the carpet was badly food stained and furniture chipped and stained. We never went up again. The food in the main dining room was good though, and our table staff were excellent, but the stained drapes and furnishings were similarly in need of attention.We went to most of the shows which were pretty average Broadway type shows, although we did have a good comedian one evening. We had pre-dinner drinks most evenings at the ice bar where the bar staff (and some of the guests) were always entertaining. The other bars offer a more relaxed experience with faster service though. We got off the ship at every stop and found them interesting and worth a visit, especially if the weathers good. Overall we had the impression they are only attending to basic maintenance and cleaning on the Solstice leading up to its refit next year. Avoid this ship until after its refit, or in the meantime there are other better alternatives like Princess or Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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 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
If you like an overcrowded ship (2850 max capacity with over 3000 passengers on board), hospital quality food, average entertainment and unexciting on board activities on an older ship, this is your cruise. The new menu in the Tuscan ... Read More
If you like an overcrowded ship (2850 max capacity with over 3000 passengers on board), hospital quality food, average entertainment and unexciting on board activities on an older ship, this is your cruise. The new menu in the Tuscan Grille is awful-an $18 additional up charge for a dry-aged New York that you couldn't cut with a steak knife. Suite dining was nearly empty with horrible service and a condensed main dining room menu. Older crowd from many countries. Not family-oriented Everything was always crowded, long waits to get off the ship and many of the staff acted burned out. Security staff were seen on the ship wearing body cameras which is creepy when you are on vacation. Front desk staff was non-responsive and never got back to us on questions on our bill. Spa staff are the masters of high pressure sales which you never want after a treatment-kind of kills the zen. Our itinerary was changed due to very rough seas but still had some extremely rough sea days and missed a day in the fiords. Too many sea days on this itinerary. Cabins are nice but not much sound-proofing. Did not book any shore excursions with the ship as they are so over-priced. Celebrity is not what is used to be or should I say it is a has-been. If you have been a frequent cruiser with Celebrity you will notice the cutbacks from the earlier days and whole difference vibe.There are newer, more innovative ships and Cruise lines out there where the customer experience and dining is still a priority and a much better value. Cannot recommend this ship or cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We are elite plus and have cruised with Celebrity on numerous times. Based on our last experience , they seem more like a budget line at a premium price. They have definitely lost their vibe and more of a has been. It seems to keep ... Read More
We are elite plus and have cruised with Celebrity on numerous times. Based on our last experience , they seem more like a budget line at a premium price. They have definitely lost their vibe and more of a has been. It seems to keep corporate profits up, they've made many noticeable cuts which impact the passenger experience. We will never cruise with them again. For the high prices they charge, there are far better options with other cruise lines that have new ships and a more upscale experience with better dining without all of the upcharges. The ship has a capacity of 2850 passengers and we were told by hotel mgmt that there were over 3000 passengers on the ship. International crowd with about 1/3 from US. It was impossible to find a table in the main dining room during main dining hours, long waits for elevators, crowded public spaces, long lines to get off the ship and just an overall body press. This older ship is pretty but starting to show its age. We were in a Royal suite which was in good shape, liked the bathrooms and walk-in closet. The worst part about the cabin is the lack of decent sound-proofing between floors and cabins. Don't like being awoken when . the family on top of us get in late and up early. Children running back and forth for hours, loud TV and music-spoiled the cabin experience and ability to sleep in. Complained several times but you get treated like you are a unreasonable to expect a serene environment by ship staff and security. We had security staff show up at our door wearing body cameras after we complained several times about the loud noise from cabin above. You don't want to mess with these guys-not pleasant and always remember you are under Maritime law which is scary in itself. Cabin staff did a good job and worked hard. We used to love the food on Celebrity but it has gone downhill across the board and not very good. My husband and I lost weight on this cruise. The quality of room service food was the worst we've ever had reminding us of airline food and menu is limited without an up charges for better selections. We dined in the buffet which was repetitive and just not good. The suite restaurant, Luminae was the worst on the ship. It was mostly empty, understaffed, beyond slow service and very limited menu. Twice was enough and the main dining room has better options. The Silk Road is the best specialty restaurant as far as service and menu. Tuscan Grille has a new menu which has really downscaled what onc e was our favorite. The menu in Murano is too rich for most people and not worth the upcharge. The health club was the most crowded that we'd experienced on a ship with older equipment. We had several spa treatments but thought they were overpriced and thought all of the high pressure sales after a treatment was obnoxious. We even started getting several calls from the spa each day wanting us to made more appointments. We finally had to ask them to stop calling us. The entertainment was pretty much more of the same and inferior to NCL and other ships. We noticed less live music also on the ship I'm sure due to all of the cutbacks made by Celebrity. The overall level of service on the ship was inconsistent. Some bars and food service seemed understaffed and the not usual amount of smiling faces as in the past. Guest relations acted like the passenger was just a headache and unresponsive or unhelpful on several occasions , like when we were questioning charges on the and not helping us with promised travel assistance. The weather was cool most of the time and we encountered some very rough seas for a few days and the Captain changed the itinerary for the safety of all on board. Did not book any shore excursions as they are overpriced and limited. Much better options if you do the research. Overall this was the worst cruise out of over 20+ cruises with multiple lines due to the ship being overcrowded, noisy cabin, rude staff, mediocre food and onboard experience. Very poor value when compared to Viking, Oceania, HAL, etc. New Zealand and Australia are wonderful places but there are much better options than Celebrity or RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We have cruised more than 25 times on all the cruise lines. This cruise without a doubt was the worse cruise of all. The food was terrible and for the any time dinners you could not get a proper time to eat. They chose the time not you. ... Read More
We have cruised more than 25 times on all the cruise lines. This cruise without a doubt was the worse cruise of all. The food was terrible and for the any time dinners you could not get a proper time to eat. They chose the time not you. The entertainment was extremely amateur. The acts were performed by the activities staff rather than professional performers. The activities were non-existing and this lead to a great deal of bordem during the sea days. The celebrity lounge venue was full of broken seats. Celebrity made a $1400 in their favor and refused to rectify it. In short the worst cruise we ever experienced. Avoid Celebrity Celebrity even refused to send us a survey hence this review. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We are a couple in our sixties and cruise a lot. The last years we tried several cruise companies just to compare them. We just got off a cruise on the Solstice and this was the worst value for money cruise we have ever taken. Embarkation ... Read More
We are a couple in our sixties and cruise a lot. The last years we tried several cruise companies just to compare them. We just got off a cruise on the Solstice and this was the worst value for money cruise we have ever taken. Embarkation in Auckland was a mess and lasted a few hours. The cabin and cabin stewards were fine. The food was not very good. Just average with very few choices in the main dining room, a basket of tasteless bread, water sometimes without ice, very few excellent steaks, very overpriced wines ($12 a glass) and a lot of fried food and pastas for lunch. You can compare it with Carnival, but Carnival has a better price. We expected a lot more for the price we paid for this cruise. The entertainment was very low quality, especially the own productions, and the crew was sometimes unfriendly, especially those from Europe. Several times it occured that we entered the main dining room and nobody of the crew welcomes you. Just kept staring at their computer. You do not feel very welcome then. If you compare with Holland America Line for example theres a great difference in how they treat the guests. You do not feel as a guest on the Solstice. The officers on the ship are invisible and the captain does speak very bad english. Every day the same dull talk at noon. Out! (Thats how he always ended his short speech) The itinary was very nice and New Zealand was fabulous. Sydney was a highlight. We got stuck in Esperance due to high waves for 8 hours. That day we went ashore at noon and that was the first possibility for us. There were always long lines for disembarkation with tenders. The waves were already high by then and there was a very strong wind. At 3 p.m. the tender boats could not go back to the ship. A thousand guests had to stay ashore till 10.00 in the evening. The tender back to the ship was a nightmare. Totally dark and very high waves. There was absolutely no good communication from the officers to the guests in Esperance. After 7.00 p.m. some person from the entertainment team came to explain something in the bar ashore. Celebrity Solstice does not deliver a nice cruise and we did not feel satified with them when we disembarked in Perth. The intinary was good but the service was mediocre. Though, we are a happy and positive couple and enjoyed our trip and made the best of it, we will never suggest Solstice to our friends. We will say "There are far better choices in that price range".   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We just got off a cruise on the Solstice, was the worst cruise we have ever taken. We have sailed many times on Celeberty and Royal Carribean and this was not a memorable cruise. The food was bad, entertainment was bad, and the crew was ... Read More
We just got off a cruise on the Solstice, was the worst cruise we have ever taken. We have sailed many times on Celeberty and Royal Carribean and this was not a memorable cruise. The food was bad, entertainment was bad, and the crew was not friendly like other ships. I spoke to the Captain about the bad food and he showed little interest even as I compared it to being McDonalds quality. Food which used to be found in the main dinning hall you now have to spend more for at specialty restaurants. The food which was served in the dining hall was tasteless, bland, and uninteresting. It was often cool by the time it go to the table. People would look at the menu and just leave because nothing was what sounded good. The bread offerings were plain. Other cruises had different breads each meal with variety of grains, fruits, nuts, etc., but not this cruise. Three days from the end of the cruise they ran out of orange juice, pineapple juice, watermelon, some tea flavors, and other items. Having paid for a drink package, it is hard to make drinks without the proper mixes. It appears that Celeberty has downgraded themselves from a quality cruse line to plain and ordinary. The crew I talked to all blamed corporate, saying the menu comes from corporate in Miami. The know the menu is bad but there is nothing the can do. The cruise director was bad and appeared to find the cheapest entertainment he could find to book for the cruise. The only bright spot was a Neil Diamond entertainer who played and sang those songs. Other entertainers seemed to think that loud equated to quality which it does not. If Celeberty continues down this cheap path for their ships, I for one will vote with my travel dollar and go elsewhere. I have spoken to many other people who were on the same cruise and all found it to have been terrible and they all gave the same reasons as I spoke of. First time cruisers do not realize how much quality has dropped but frequent cruisers do know. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My wife and I have made 10 cruises with Celebrity Cruise Lines, The latest was in Celebrity Solstice. We have sailed in 5 different Celebrity ships including the Century, Millennium and Solstice classes. While the technical and engineering ... Read More
My wife and I have made 10 cruises with Celebrity Cruise Lines, The latest was in Celebrity Solstice. We have sailed in 5 different Celebrity ships including the Century, Millennium and Solstice classes. While the technical and engineering advances are indisputable, if you have cruised in a Millennium class ship, the passenger amenities in the Solstice class are a classic example of progress being change, but change not necessarily being progress. In comparison to the Century and Millennium classes Solstice was too crowded and all chrome and glitz. Although cabin locker and drawer space the Millennium and Solstice classes MAY be the same, storage space is much better laid out and more accessible in the Century and Millennium classes. Celebrity is currently "Solsticing" the Millennium class; I hope they don't go too far because in my opinion they have definitely "Carnivalized" Solstice. For openers, there are only two banks of elevators, forward and midships. The 8 midships elevators are glass; your elevator choices are between acrophobia or claustrophobia. If you are acrophobic there are three ways to get to Oceanview Cafe aft on deck 14. In all three you would have to use the forward elevators. On deck 11, you would have go aft and up several flights of stairs; on deck 12 or 14, you would have to cross a weather deck. Not a pleasant task in bad weather. The only way get to the main or specialty dining rooms without using the midships elevators or stairs is use the forward elevators and walk aft. The Library, Card Room and other public spaces overlooking the Grand Foyer also are unusable by passengers who have a problem with heights. Additionally, the pool in the Solarium in the Solstice class in not a therapy pool as in the Millennium class, nor is it heated; you usually find more people around it than in it. You could hardly call the hot tubs heated either. The sign for the spa says to limit use to 15 minutes; good advice, any longer could result in a severe case of frost bite. Trays are not used in the Oceanview Cafe. Bring one with you; we sure wished we had. There also are no food service lines; just food service stations, about 10. Consequently there is no traffic flow, resulting in a lot of people milling about. One group is checking out what's available at the food stations while the other is trying to get back to their table while balancing plates or bowls of food. Here is how you would have to manage a breakfast of juice, coffee, milk and/or yogurt, and a plate of hot food. You put your silverware in your pocket, get your coffee and juice, then find a table; put those items there. Go get your plate of hot items and milk; if you also want yogurt you put either the milk or yogurt in your pocket. Then go back to your table and hope it hasn't been cleared or usurped by another passenger; by this time your coffee is cold. Your could reverse the fetching order; your choice is cold coffee and hot food or hot coffee and cold food. Unlike revenge, meals are not better served cold. You can be of good cheer though in the knowledge that the ship doesn't have to be bothered with policing or washing the trays. After many attempts I finally decided the definition of insanity was, indeed, repeating the same behavior and expecting a different result. Alas, I eventually gave up on the 400 yard poached eggs. I call them 400 yard poached eggs because that is the distance I estimate the average golfer could drive one off the tee. You can get them either hardened or case hardened. If you want a drink before the show in the Solstice Theatre, take it to your seat with you and hope the other passengers do likewise because the leg room between rows of seating is restricted making drink service a challenge. Also sitting any length of time if you have leg issues can be painful. The Ensemble Lounge, Michael's Club and the specialty restaurants on the 5th deck are the only spaces in the ship up to Celebrity's past standard of elegance. With the exception of the poached eggs, the food in Solstice was on a par with other Celebrity ships we have sailed in; and the service provided by the crew was up to Celebrity Cruise Lines' high standards. It is not my objective to discourage people from cruising in Celebrity, far from it. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise, just hated the ship. We even booked our next two cruises onboard... in Celebrity Infinity. Celebrity will continue to be our first choice; however, we will NEVER cruise in another Solstice class ship. If the only choices were between a Solstice class ship and another cruise line we would not go or seriously consider the other cruise line! Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Overall:This was our 16th cruise on a major Cruise Line.  First for the good stuff:   The Ports of Call were excellent. The not so good:  During the second leg of our Sydney to Honolulu cruise we were forced to change cabins and loose ... Read More
Overall:This was our 16th cruise on a major Cruise Line.  First for the good stuff:   The Ports of Call were excellent. The not so good:  During the second leg of our Sydney to Honolulu cruise we were forced to change cabins and loose half our day in Auckland. We actually believe the staff in Sydney that we would have one statement for the entire cruise to Honolulu.  The ship Millennium is definitely showing her age with worn carpets and furniture in the staterooms and the mirrors in the bath turning black around the edges.  The Food was mediocre in the main dining room with less than mediocre service provided by our waiter and his assistant.  The food at the 10th deck buffet was awful.  The onboard entertainment was marginal at best, and an exact repeat of the previous 14 days.  The shore excursions were usurious, at least 4 times the same tours purchased on land.  Embarkation:This was the second leg of a 28 day cruise. Public RoomsNothing special one way or the other.  Showing their age. CabinThe cabin was old, with a worn and stained sofa, worn carpet and sway back beds.  Lot of noise from behind back wall. Enrichment The enrichment series with the Weintrob Duo, Discovery String Quartet and Capt Cook Lecture series was the only note worthy experiences on the cruise DiningOur maitre d' asked us if we would like a window table for this leg of the cruise.  We asked for our waiter from the 1st leg and the Maitre d' said of course.  Well we were assigned to a different waiter and assistant that bordered on the incompetent.  When we asked the waiter why we didn't get the previous waiter, he responded that the previous waiter was assigned to a different table, end of story.  The food and menu was an exact replica of the first 14 days, except we now had terrible service.  The service was so slow, we even had an occasion where the lights were being flicked on and off at the beginning of our dessert. EntertainmentThe entertainment was well below the standards of other cruise lines, was an exact repeat of the first 14 days.  They did bring on a "New" magician, who performed the exact same act as the previous magician.  When some friends told the Cruise Director, he remarked with words to the effect that "We can't please everyone." Service:In Sydney, where we originally embarked, we were told we would have the same cabin through to Honolulu.  On board the ship, the guest relations staff confirmed that we had the same statement for the remainder of our cruise.  We unpacked everything, since we weren't moving, and the night before we arrived at Auckland we were told to pack-up and move the next day.  We were told that we were never told that we would stay in the same cabin, and besides what was the big deal. This room change impacted the majority of the 500 continuing passengers. When exchanging New Zealand Dollars for Polynesian Francs, we received only 50% of the value of the NZ Dollars.  At first they told me that was impossible, when I insisted they said they would check the cash drawer and later called and told me the other half of my money was in an envelop at guest services. Shore Excursions:Much too pricey to take. Value for MoneyDisappointing   Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
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