1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Celebrity Cruises
  4. Celebrity Cruises Cruise Reviews

58 Celebrity Auckland Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise at the last minute as we were booked to go on a cruise around Asia, which was cancelled due to port restrictions in Singapore and Hong Kong. We had not travelled with Celebrity at all prior to this cruise. I ... Read More
We chose this cruise at the last minute as we were booked to go on a cruise around Asia, which was cancelled due to port restrictions in Singapore and Hong Kong. We had not travelled with Celebrity at all prior to this cruise. I agree 100 percent with the two previous very positive reviews. The cruise was fantastic. It was a great way to see New Zealand. The ship was kept very clean and everything was done that could have been done to ensure that health risks were kept to a minimum. I commend the wonderful crew of this ship. John, our stateroom steward was wonderful, along with Richard, our sommelier in the MDR, and our waiters Anthonius and his assistant waiter. The Captain looked after us well, as did everyone that we encountered. All crew were only too happy to help with anything at all. We flew into Auckland from Australia prior to embarkation. Many other fellow passengers had flown in from USA and UK. Our temperatures were taken and we were asked many questions about our health and where we had been before boarding, unlike our experience at the airports and with airlines, where no precautions were taken. Yet airports and airlines have not been scrutinized in the same way as cruise ships have been so unfairly targeted. The worst thing about this cruise was having to disembark. I can't wait to cruise again, once the travel ban is lifted. Thank you Celebrity Solstice, for a great holiday. Until we meet again... Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was our second cruise on Celebrity Solstice and found it most enjoyable with no complaints bar two which I will go into later. Embarkation a breeze. Just board when you want, Dont follow their advisory boarding times. Their a pain if ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Celebrity Solstice and found it most enjoyable with no complaints bar two which I will go into later. Embarkation a breeze. Just board when you want, Dont follow their advisory boarding times. Their a pain if you get a late time. They dont hassle if you turn up early. Everyone was very pleasant. Complaing ONE/ Boat drill was a real pain. They made us stand in a small atrium with virtually no seating so everybody had to stand for 20 minutes so of course we couldnt see the demonstration talk come video. I eventually had to sit down on the floor due to aching back. Their were over 2800 passengers and for some reason lots of asians, americans, canadians british etc.Lots of pushing for drinks package for first couple of days, Got a bit annoying Our cabin 2507 was balcony and very spacious. Bed was great. Good sized bathroom, No complaints there. Cabin steward Rhonda was very nice and polite. Cabin electricity suitable for Aussie appliances but you will need American or British electrical plug adaptor. Ship is huge but easily naviable. Plenty of elevators. Lots of public lounges and other spaces to find quite spot for some quiet time. Ship is gears to mature passengers, not a lot for kids and hardly any at all/ Numerous places to eat. Their is set dinning or select dinning. We choose select dinning. You have to ring them to book time. You can choose size of table from two to eight people. Waiters effecient and ;polite. Their are a number of PAY restaurants. We tried the Tuscan grill the first night and not greatly impressed. We found the main dining room food just as good We found the entire crew very polite and effecient. Tables are cleared immediately. Their is no compulsory tipping but please tip them. These guys work long hours every day for upto 7 months No complaints about crew at all. Two pools. One outside. One inside. Both with spas. Two of the spas have small hoists to help disabled people into them. This ship is disabled friendly. All doors including toilets open automatically [except cabin door] In port ramps are used, no stairs. Staff will help you if required. Quite a few electricl wheelchair people on board. Tendering is not very disabled friendly. You may miss out. Lots of entertainment. I think their were four different groups playing throughout the ship during the day and evening. A lot of the daytime activities were designed to seperate you from your money! The jogging track was only 200 metres round and crowded which was a pain. Good gym if your into that. Smallish library, pretty useless really. The Oceanview buffet is where you have breakfast, lunch and dinner if you want. Multiple stations have various menus such as Asian. Western, Salads. Bread, Desserts. Carvery etc. Except for the Carvery its all self serve. I found some of the meats dry and tough. The Carvery was usually ok. Some desserts were dry as well. It can get very crowded and noisey in this place. We always found a spot out the back deck but can get breezey and cold sometimes. Disembarkation good as we were able to take all our luggage of with us and not wait for them to unload so you can get off immediately. Complaint TWO. Piped music is played throughout most of the public areas. I found this most annoying, In particuar the music at the Oceanview cafe was atrocious and sometimes sounded like a strangling cat. This ship is geared to the mature and seniors but yet the piped music to the oceanview and coffee shop was geared to the young set of which their were hardly any. Both my wife and I couldnt stand it and would eat and get out as quickly as possible. We had this problem last cruise to which I complained but apparently fell on death ears. Now for something really important HYGEINE. Last time on this ship I got the dreaded Noro virus. Confined to cabin for two days and missed a good port. This time we took no chances. Upon entering our room we used sanitised wipes to clean everything. Door handles. Taps, Toilet, TV remote, phone etc/ We did this every couple of days as the cabin attendent cleans 15 rooms so germ transfer is a problem. When you enter any eatery you must use the hand wash dispenser but I noticed some people sneak in without doing so. The most contaminated implement are the food thongs. We used hand wipes after useing them. Also take my advice and do the following. Under no circumstances unless necessary touch handrails or bannisters. Use your knuckle to touch elevator buttons. Even clean your seacard every couple of days. Countless waiters touch them. You may think Im paranoid but I am an ex paramedic and know how easy it is to get contaminated and having the noro virus once was enough for me/ I would have given this ship five stars except for the two complaints noted. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Highlights - sailing though the NZ Fjordland National Park on the bow- stunning! - Tasmania is gorgeous and we loved the wildlife (kangaroos, koalas, wombats etc) - Melissa at the Captain's Club desk really makes you feel ... Read More
Highlights - sailing though the NZ Fjordland National Park on the bow- stunning! - Tasmania is gorgeous and we loved the wildlife (kangaroos, koalas, wombats etc) - Melissa at the Captain's Club desk really makes you feel special! - so glad there is still a library onboard Lowlights -hot tub so chlorinated we only lasted a few seconds, eyes burning -no thalasso pool, just an indoor pool that was cool (and this was a cold cruise...) -the buffet..ugh.. unless a formal night, very crowded, on sea days, no seats available, with pushy sales people at the entrance saying, "you should go to specialty restaurant" - so bc X doesn't want to organize sea day meals, I need to pay to get a seat??? Princess has overflow of seats to their specialty restaurants on the same floor, and there's always room and always food, so it CAN be done. the food was just okay there, MDR okay, hit or miss, excess of Indian dishes and dessert at buffet, had a very hard time finding cooked vegetables -prices - a bottle of water is now $7 USD, really? -front desk: you really need to learn your ship (didn't know the extended room service menu had been abandoned but was told to search for it on TV), also see 'biggest disappointment' below -super loud and pretty bad 'house band'. Our upper tier veranda was right at the entrance to the Earth thingy and thus the atrium. The sliding door they installed was good noise insulation, but anybody walking by activated it and it was a constant teeter totter of loud-silence-loud-silence.. -wine tasting: wouldn't do it again. It was fun, but there was only one really good wine out of 6-7 stations with 2-3 wines each. Biggest disappointment -we got a flyer saying notify front desk regarding your shore plans for Hobart. We have an elderly Tasmanian friend who waited for us at the pier, so we called 3 days ahead of Hobart and asked for earliest possible time. We got the LAST group!!! She had to wait at the pier for nearly 4 hours and got a parking ticket. She was worried she would miss us and didn't move her car. Our friends onboard had an excursion at 1pm and got the earliest disembarkation group which they ignored since it was way too early for them. It's okay to put us last but LET US KNOW. We thought our group number was about half way, but in fact it was last.. Celebrity punishing us for not taking any of the overpriced excursions! In the future, we will stay away from Celebrity's bigger ships and maybe from Celebrity in general, in favor of all-inclusive lines. Getting nickled and dimed gets on our nerves and the crowding adds to stress while on vacation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Last sailing of the season – 3 senior couples traveling together, 2 couples from Phoenix, 1 couple from WA state – our 4th cruise as a group of 6, 14 days, March/April 2019. GREATEST FEAR: Dread of the flight to AKL and the ... Read More
Last sailing of the season – 3 senior couples traveling together, 2 couples from Phoenix, 1 couple from WA state – our 4th cruise as a group of 6, 14 days, March/April 2019. GREATEST FEAR: Dread of the flight to AKL and the transport home from SYD. Into AKL we arrived 2 nights early – all on Hawaiian. One couple did PDX to HNL to AKL in one shot – the others did PHX to HNL, overnight, then HNL to AKL on day two. This gave us 2 non stops PHX to HNL 7 hours, then HNL to AKL 9 hours by leaving a day early. Though an inconvenience to go from airport to hotel then back using free hotel shuttle and free breakfast the 4 of us felt this was a great way to go. JET LAG ISSUES: Indeed for all of us – about 18 hours ahead of our normal time, plus while onboard we had 3 instances of setting the clock back 1 hr each time. We found we did not bounce back from this quickly and seemed tired for a week trying to adjust to the time change issues. Pricing to do this by Hawaiian was very good. TRANSPORT HOME: 1 couple left upon concluding the cruise, 3 flights, SYD to AKL, AKL to HNL, HNL to PDX. We all found air fares back to US from SYD very high with a saving by first going to AKL then home. Our 2nd couple in fear of 13 + hours non stop chose to cruise SYD to HNL on the Radiance, then fly home from HNL. Couple 3 braved the long non stop which was 12 hrs 35 mins SYD to SFO, then SW SFO to PHX (USED UAL FF MILES for the non stop and paid for the extra comfort seating, which we felt was a good idea). Couples 2&3 stayed 5 nights after disembarking to tour Sydney as 1st time visitors. We’ve come too far not to see Sydney !! EMBARKING – GETTING ABOARD: As we arrived into AKL at 10pm 2 nights prior to departure we chose to stay near the airport at a hotel with free airport transport. The other 4 chose to ride into the CBD after the flight and stayed 2 nights in the CBD. We decided to get to the ship via an Auckland City Tour just prior to loading. We used Skybus from the airport to get into the CBD, day of boarding, was quick, efficient and about $12 USD each. There we were picked up by the tour operator. The other 4 were added at their hotel and the 6 us had a 4 hour tour of Auckland with Auckland Scenic Tours, dropping us at conclusion with our luggage at the Solstice Pier. THE SHIP: Sept 2014, 4 of us had been on Solstice, 11 day Alaska sailing. Had been in dry dock since and was somewhat improved. Still very shiny, well cared for, public areas neat clean – it is like a floating palace it’s so nice. CREW: Had a change of Master’s mid cruise, never had this before. New one, Captain Tasos, was a ton of fun with his 10AM briefing - one favorite quote; “put the pedal to the metal”. Staff was very good, mostly friendly and helpful with a smile. PASSENGERS: Approximately 2900 + crew – 1/3rd US/Canada, 1/3 Aussie/NZ, and 1/3rd other countries. Few children, mostly a senior crowd but a good age mix. DINING: A very annoying situation here – we all booked over a year in advance and requested linked traditional early dining (6pm) with a table for six. All of us requested this and at times we were linked and at times the linkage would disappear. One week before leaving home I was told by Captain’s Club we were at a table for six, but I should check with the maître'd to be certain. 1st thing on boarding we checked and the link had again disappeared – 1 table of 4, 1 table of 2, not a table for six. We immediately went to the maitre’d who had an explanation of why this had happened but after being forceful and determined he agreed to seat us together the 1st night in MDR and would arrange for seating together the 2nd and subsequent night. That is what occurred but our permanent table assignment though for six was too noisy to hear one another during dinner. Why does a linkage for 6, set up in advance disappear? This should never have even been an issue and did not get us off to a good start on boarding so beware. Once a link occurs it should be impossible to tamper with this – this needs fixing. Our evening dining at our joint table was a very important part of the cruise. SERVICE AND FOOD QUALITY DIVERSITY: Some nights were okay – menu choices were not special many times; food quality was sometimes very good, other times not what we expected. Service was fine but the noisy table and food prep overshadowed everything else so we skipped the MDR the most times we ever had on this cruise as a result. Also – show times were 7pm and 9pm; with the 6pm dining we could not make the 7pm show so we dined at the Oceanview buffet at 6pm to make the 7pm showtime; not liking a show starting at 9pm normally. Too late for our needs and enjoyment. We did dine in one specialty restaurant, the Murano one night and found it to be a special experience, well worth the added cost. Otherwise most dining was in the buffet; we found their food better overall than the MDR so kept going back and we usually could hear each other as we dined together. Good service and usually tables available to select. We did have prime rib twice and lobster once in the MDR. PORTS AND ITINERARY: This was a winner – ports were outstanding, docked and departed on time, great weather but why an overnight in Tauranga? One day was enough. Nice balance of ports and sea days. TOURS: We normally stay away from the ship’s product assuming it will be on a big bus (55 people) and usually too expensive. We did tours in most stops but took only 2 Celebrity Tours, using OBC for that. Though convenient for pickup and return big bus it was but pricing for these 2 tours was acceptable too. Our private tours worked just fine and usually came with a smaller bus as well – never a problem getting back to the ship on time. I think my favorite port and tour was in Hobart, Tasmania – we took a Gray Line tour with Jim on a tram type car but this did involve a 10 minute walk from the pier after an involved immigration clearing as this was our 1st port into Australia. We all loved Tasmania and it was a good city to walk upon tour conclusion. THE EVENING SHOWS: As stated. Shows at 7pm and 9pm – never an issue getting a seat. Many production shows by Celebrity talent and orchestra; most were good and entertaining. Had some singers; a comedian my favorite was the Motown show by the OZ brothers; for them we dined in Oceanview at 6pm and attended the 7pm show. Was advertised as a Motown show but that was a 3rd of the music they performed. Also did 4 Seasons and other artists – well done guys. DISEMBARKING – GETTING FROM SHIP TO OUR SYDNEY HOTEL: Four of us stayed the 5 nights to see Sydney, staying at the Hyatt Regency Darling Harbor, near the ship docking pier. The four shared an SUV, along with all our bags and in 20 minutes or so were at the hotel – cost: $35 AUD total including a tip – hard to beat. SHIP ACTIVITIES: On those days not visiting a port we always did the trivia sessions and there were usually 3 per day. There were the usual exercise classes, information lectures and the crew selling various products. Also the retail area regularly had sales and offers and there were numerous upscale retail outlets on board. We found no trouble staying busy as we also enjoyed playing games as our group of six. PUBLIC AREAS: We found them to be clean and in great condition, we could usually find a quiet place to do our group game sessions. INTERNET CAFÉ: As stated having access to 180 complimentary minutes allowed us to avoid paying for internet use on board. Once docked it was usually easy to find free wi fi locally to stay caught up. Pricing was the usual outrageous number. CASINO: ENTIRELY NON SMOKING ALL THE TIME -The slots were not very generous but we certainly had seen worse on prior cruises and cruise lines. Enough of a variety to keep a gambler interested, also the usual blackjack, craps, roulette. TRIP HINTS CPAP BREATHING MACHINE – Suppose to use distilled water in the device – almost impossible to find in NZ/AUS. CAPTAIN’S CLUB – This was our 1st time at the elite level and the benefits we found were very nice to have, e.g., unlimited drinks in most bars between 5 and 7 pm most days. A free bag of laundry and 90 mins of free internet. NOTE: These benefits are per person, not per stateroom. We were thinking per stateroom until our room steward called this to our attention so we really had twice what we thought we had. POST CRUISE LAUNDRY: Arriving into Sydney with a lot of dirty laundry and plans to stay 5 days meant trying to address laundry needs. A coin laundry in the central city was not possible but we found a true gem for this problem. WASH ON THE ROCKS.COM.AU ON HICKSON ST. They are in the rocks area of the city and they pick up, do the laundry, fold it and deliver back to your hotel. They picked up before noon and by 6pm of the same day it was all done. We (the 2 couples) sent them 4 loads and for that the charge was $84.00 AUD. That includes pick up and return to the hotel – we were all so excited to have clean laundry done for us for this pricing and set us up for the balance of our trip. SYDNEY HOTEL RECOMMENDATION: Hyatt Regency, 161 Sussex near Darling Harbor. We opted for the “deluxe” room for our 5 nights. Rates were reasonable for Sydney, the hotel is beautiful and the Darling Harbor location a good location, felt safe and excellent location. Employees were friendly and helpful; received many helpful hits from Tony, Hyatt valet for 22 years re: things to see, do and where to dine. He is a treasure. Room was quiet, good bed and pillows, good for temperature control (note they use Celsius not F). A great choice for our needs. SUMMARY Overall would give the cruise and ship a 4.8 out of 5.0 due to the small very irritating items mentioned earlier. Celebrity does so many things well and we feel offers a superior, premier cruising product without requiring premium pricing to cruise. The six of us are booked in April on the Silhouette and all looking forward to that cruise. If Celebrity could just address these nagging problems I would not hesitate to give them a 5.0. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, and in that respect, it delivered. We booked the Hilton on Princes Wharf for a 3-night pre-cruise stay in Auckland, and the ship was docked beside the hotel when we woke up on embarkation ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, and in that respect, it delivered. We booked the Hilton on Princes Wharf for a 3-night pre-cruise stay in Auckland, and the ship was docked beside the hotel when we woke up on embarkation day. Porters met us in the lobby and delivered our luggage to the ship, and from that point, everything went smoothly. We had pre-booked the Murano specialty dining room for the first evening's dinner. It was very nice and worth the extra cost, but there was an odd twist. My wife ordered a dessert which was prepared and flambeed table-side with great fanfare -- only to be rolled away quickly with a flippant "Now the real one will be delivered to you from the kitchen." We're still trying to figure out what happened ... Our first cruise was with Celebrity many years ago, and we were hoping for the same quality of food and beverage service as we had experienced before. Overall, I'd have to say that the main-dining-room food on this ship was good to very good, but not great. Several fellow passengers commented that the food served in the Oceanview Cafe was generally better in terms of variety and quality, even for dinner. Somewhat disappointing was the fact that we weren't able to access some dining venues, even for an extra fee, because we hadn't paid for one of the highest-price cabins. The major irritation, however, was during bar service, where our mid-range "classic" beverage package required as much as $4.50 extra per drink, depending on what bar we were in and what drink was ordered. The size of our drinks was actually smaller than the same drink in the "premium" package, as well, which was a great way to limit the amount of alcohol poured during busy bar times when the waiter might not get back to you for 15-20 minutes after you've finished your first drink. This "nickle-and- dime" approach will most likely prevent us from cruising with Celebrity again, as we've recently been accustomed to all-inclusive cruising, with no tricks to limit costs and squeeze more money from guests. Overall, we found New Zealand to be the most beautiful country we've ever visited, and Sydney is an amazing city -- perhaps the most vibrant we've visited. Our ship took us to many interesting ports, and we're glad we made the trip One highlight of our trip was the crew. Especially for such a large ship, this was the friendliest crew we've experienced in 9 cruises. Our cabin was the most spacious we've ever had, and it made a noticeable difference in our experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
4th cruise, 3rd with Celebrity, 2 others on smaller Constellation & Millenium. Value of cruise good but inclusions very expensive. Had balcony midships level 8, excellent. Internet usage $55US per day, Drink Packages ridiculous ... Read More
4th cruise, 3rd with Celebrity, 2 others on smaller Constellation & Millenium. Value of cruise good but inclusions very expensive. Had balcony midships level 8, excellent. Internet usage $55US per day, Drink Packages ridiculous prices as well. $25US corkage if you bought your own wine to dinner. (1 bottle per person allowed onboard first day). Food in main dining ok except for 2 nights when the choice was inedible. Ocean View cafe ok but again some of the meat dishes were a bit dry & unappetizing. Trying to find a seat at breakfast was a challenge. Solstice is getting a bit tired & needs a refit which is happening next year I think. Captain Tasos is THE best & he & his staff of many could not be faulted. Dining room staff were exceptional & really looked after you. Ports of Call on this itinerary were great, especially our sail through The Sounds. Much prefer to cruise on smaller ships. 2200 pax & 1200 staff just not as personal. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This is my second cruise with hubby (both 50 yr olds) and our first one was on Solstice also 2 years ago. Our first cruise was perfect and so it was inevitable that we would be comparing both cruises and that the second one wouldn't ... Read More
This is my second cruise with hubby (both 50 yr olds) and our first one was on Solstice also 2 years ago. Our first cruise was perfect and so it was inevitable that we would be comparing both cruises and that the second one wouldn't be as good as the first. Celebrity have the embarkation/disembarkation process down pat and we can't fault them on that at all. Even at Princess Wharf Auckland where it is so small and could be utter chaos, everything was good and moved quickly. We had stayed at the Sebel Quay West the night before which I recommend as it is a lovely hotel and an easy walk with luggage down to the wharf. The ship is as lovely as ever and looked after well although you can see some minor things showing some wear and tear. The best thing about Celebrity is the staff - they are all friendly and helpful. As with the last cruise, the only staff member to not acknowledge us as we walked by everyday was the Captains Club hostess. This itinerary seemed to attract an older age group - a lot of baby boomers on this cruise and more then half were New Zealanders. We seemed to find this age group to be really rude - always needing to be first in line for everything, and would push in front of you to grab something (with their hands) in the buffet. We noticed on a few occassions some were really rude to the bartenders - was terrible to see and was no need for it. Poor bartenders have to work so hard to keep us thirsty aussies and kiwis satisfied as it is without having to deal with people who think they are entitled. I thought there might not be much nightlife because of the older crowd but a lot of them liked to party. The Full Moon party, and silent discos were pretty popular. The sea days were pretty quiet with not too many activities which was disappointing. We ended up going to the afternoon trivia most days to fill in some time - even though we are really bad at it. Luckily the bartenders there were the best on the ship- in particular Eric and Nevil. Last cruise we spent a lot of time at the outdoor bars - Sunset and Mast but they've changed the rules and they are now smoking bars so we didn't go there much at all. Sunset bar is only supposed to be smoking on port side but this doesn't seem to get enforced. While we were sitting at the centre of the bar, a woman was standing directly behind us smoking while ordering a drink. Bit of a deal breaker unfortunately for us when the best bars are now off limits for the non smokers. The food is still good but probably not as good as the first cruise. The quality has dropped a bit in the buffet eg used to be able to get different varieties of bacon but now only thin stuff that was cooked in the oven making it hard. There isn't as much variety either. The food in the main restaurant is tasty. The bread basket is dangerously good. The portion sizes are small on some things but you can order more. We found it is difficult to get a drink there if you don't drink wine. Went one night without being asked at all if we wanted a drink. And another night we had to ask. We went to Silk Harvest once - good food but the restaurant is a bit too dark and it was very stuffy. Tuscan Grille is a lovely place to have a good meal before it gets dark so you can see the views. Service was good, they were probably a bit too attentive if anything as there was always someone asking us how the food was, do we need anything else etc. Pretty sad but one thing I was looking forward to was the $10 watch sale. They don't have it anymore. Luckily nothing else grabbed me, including the casino so didn't have to spend much costly US$. Missed hearing Captain Tasos's daily announcements this time- Captain Taramas doesn't have the same character and isn't seen as much around the ship. The ports were interesting to see. We didn't do any Celebrity excursions as they all seemed too expensive. In hindsight it might have been better to go with Celebrity - it would have saved us having to deal with some undesirables in all of the ports who see cruisers coming and want to rip them off. The entertainment was good mostly - pity the production shows are the same ones we saw over 2 years ago. The singers seemed more suitable for musicals - they weren't really cut out for Rock City. The impressionist seemed to be popular with the older people but wasn't to my taste. Magician was good but all the tricks were shown on a screen that made everything look blurry so was difficult to watch. Couldn't fault our cabin - had a balcony on the hump on the Portside. If this itinerary is repeated exactly, I would recommend staying on the Starboard side. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Found the cruise relaxing staff were very helpful. Didn't enjoy the meals tried twice in the restaurant on Deck 3 or 4. Because we don;t consume alcohol and don't put on airs down to earth couple didn't really feel welcomed ... Read More
Found the cruise relaxing staff were very helpful. Didn't enjoy the meals tried twice in the restaurant on Deck 3 or 4. Because we don;t consume alcohol and don't put on airs down to earth couple didn't really feel welcomed there. After that experience used the Ocienveiw Cafe for all our meals and the Mast Grille nice presented food. Enjoyed the show put on most nights in the Solstice Theatre pity they were only a hour long. Enjoyed the outdoor movies pity they repeated them over and over especially The Black Panther and Skycraper. Enjojed watching the girls on deck 15 working with the glass very pleasant and customer looked happy with their items. Bands that played were good normally listened to them in the library. Really not a lot to do at night if you don't gamble or drink. The ship looked nice and clean Indra did a good job making and tiding our room. A few issues with wind blowing thru the door at night whistling, broken tiolet seat cracked T.V. losing signal when watching it otherwise okay.Choose excursions thru the ship 1st not to be left behind and 2nd not to indated by the locals if going ashore. Went on the Nausori Farmers Market Drive hard to hear the person talking as microphone kept cutting in and out. The third excursion I didn't do due to illness which was spreading thru-out the ship coughing, sneezing runny nose and sore throat, as no opening windows in our room think it was spread by the air conditioning.Older couple early 60's no children. Yes we have booked again for same trip 2021 with a room at back of ship with opening balcony hopefully to prevent illness. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We choose this cruise because the last Solstice trip (to Sth Pacific) the average age was around 60, still way older than us but ok. This time is very around mid 80s and most people were not mobile. Getting around the ship was very ... Read More
We choose this cruise because the last Solstice trip (to Sth Pacific) the average age was around 60, still way older than us but ok. This time is very around mid 80s and most people were not mobile. Getting around the ship was very frustrating and the music on board was obviously to cater for them - 30s and 40's (which my husband and I can't stand). We don't have children (by choice, they annoy me); so it was good that there weren't too many to be seen or heard. The ports were mostly good but I would get rid of Lautoka and Suva and try and use a beautiful outer Fijian island. I've been to Fiji a few times and the ports are not a true reflection of the beauty of the Fiji. We both really enjoyed Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga - we did shore trips in each location but not through the ship. We did the Oolala trip, with the ship, in Lautoka and it was terrible - I went two years ago and everything has changed for the worse. It was overcrowded, mean and the food was inedible. The entertainment was generally ok, if geared towards very old people. The dining was good but portion sizes are very small. I'm a size 8 and I had to eat 2nd dinner in the buffet some night as I was still starving. One of the guys (a professor) giving talks was so boring and his material very old. Surely they can find people who are actually interested in their material and pass that on to the cruises. Cost for gym classes is a bit expensive at $17US Why is the spa so expensive? I would love to have treatments but not at twice the price of Australia. The shops are ridiculous - LV and Tiffany - seriously???? why not have nice brands that your target market can afford. Get rid of the stupid art show - just have nice stuff around the ship to admire (not to purchase) Based on this cruise, we have decided to cruise again in about 20 years time - unless Celebrity really do something to encourage a younger (but Childfree) market. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Bucket list to see Australia. Embarkation and disembarking are the worst part of any cruise. This was no different, although clearing the ship of that large a number of passengers and preparing for the arriving passengers in 4 to 5 hours ... Read More
Bucket list to see Australia. Embarkation and disembarking are the worst part of any cruise. This was no different, although clearing the ship of that large a number of passengers and preparing for the arriving passengers in 4 to 5 hours is a difficult task. The crew was fantastic in every department. They actually appeared to be happy to serve you. The food was well prepared but the selection was small. It seems they want you to use the buffet or pay for one of the specialty restaurants. My main complaint is the constant up selling. I researched to find the cruise I wanted along with the type cabin and extra packages. I bought the classic drink package and was constantly receiving emails trying to get me to upgrade. At least twice a day on the cruise I was approached about booking specialty dining. Everything now seems to be geared toward getting you to spend every cent you have in the shops and restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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
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
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
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
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and also because it was the Celebrity Solstice! This ship is very nice with excellent staff and great amenities. We arrived in Auckland 1 day early so that we could adjust to jetlag and also ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and also because it was the Celebrity Solstice! This ship is very nice with excellent staff and great amenities. We arrived in Auckland 1 day early so that we could adjust to jetlag and also explore Auckland. The city is beautiful with a gorgeous harbour. Lots to see and explore. Embarkation was fine, staff helpful and cabin was nice. We had Concierge on 10th floor. The bags were late arriving but our concierge was able to find them and bring them to our cabin. We dined mostly in the Main Dining Room. The menu was varied and very nicely presented. The waiters and sommelier were exceptional. We dined at Murano 1 evening and it was wonderful. The evening entertainment was very good except for 1 evening. That particular entertainer was not able to connect with the audience. The itinerary of this cruise provided some excellent ports. We took 4 private excursions and 4 Celebrity shore excursions. Celebrity provided very good excursions which we enjoyed very much. We are glad we went but not sure we would again. It was 26 hours of flying time to go back home! We enjoyed our trip very much. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Having never been to NZ before thought this would be an ideal opportunity to see a little of the country and really enjoyed what we experienced, all of the ports were really interesting. As for the cruise on the whole it was good, the ... Read More
Having never been to NZ before thought this would be an ideal opportunity to see a little of the country and really enjoyed what we experienced, all of the ports were really interesting. As for the cruise on the whole it was good, the entertainment was mostly excellent apart for one night when a comedian to put it mildly did not go down very well and this resulted in a public apology the next morning over the ships PA which was interesting. As for the cabin we had an aqua class grade and it was kept immaculately clean by the Steward who was excellent. What was a really hit and miss was the Blu dining room, to be fair we were normally seated straight away on arriving at the dining room only a couple of times did we have to wait and then only for a short while however the service when seated was not consistent, occasionally once seated and handed a menu we had to then ask to order, quite often the table was not layed properly with missing cutlery as well. The staff on the whole in there did try I just think there was not enough of them and this included getting hold of the sommelier to order wine so not the best of experiences. We enjoyed our trip but should there be a next time on Celebrity not sure we would pay the extra for the aqua class because of the dining experience, it was not worth it. Finally the new dress code it all seems to have drifted into one you cannot tell smart casual from evening chic, we have not done many cruises but this was the most casual of any which dependant on your view may suit you, for us it was just too casual. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Just back after 16 nights on NZ to OZ trip on Solstice. We had given Celebrity a miss for a couple of years as we thought the standards of service and food had started to fall over the many cruises wed done with them over the last ten ... Read More
Just back after 16 nights on NZ to OZ trip on Solstice. We had given Celebrity a miss for a couple of years as we thought the standards of service and food had started to fall over the many cruises wed done with them over the last ten years. We decided to come back as the itinery was good and we knew Solstice very well. Thankfully all our fears were unfounded. From the minute we got on we saw a difference. Staff were friendly, service great and the food in Blu (cant vouch for MDR but was told was really good by lots of other passengers) was fab. The maitre de (Nena) was so helpful and always went that extra mile to help us. Well up to the high standards that we had had with Viking Ocean for last two years. We did have problems with room but it was quickly sorted out with the help of the CC host and the Hotel Manager. The shows were very good and we hadnt seen two of them! Entertainers were on the whole ok with the exception of a so called comedian who the Cruise director had to apologise for the next day after most of the audience walked out! Managed to catch up with old staff in Caf del Bacio (Angel and Mike) who are a joy to be served by. The itinery was good. Loved most ports with the exception of Adelaide (which we had been to before). Hobart and Wellington stick out! Even the weather was great in New Zealand and Oz (mostly apart from rainy day in Sydney which for some reason we had to tender in from middle of harbour!) Embarkation and disembarkation was easy and smooth. It has helped us regain our love for Celebrity and we will be back! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
First time cruising New Zealand and Australia. Due to such long flights-we looked for a cruise of at least 14 or more days. Started out looking at a 16 day one on NCL Jewel but flights were almost twice as much (leaving Jan 5th) as ... Read More
First time cruising New Zealand and Australia. Due to such long flights-we looked for a cruise of at least 14 or more days. Started out looking at a 16 day one on NCL Jewel but flights were almost twice as much (leaving Jan 5th) as opposed to the 16 day one on Celebrity Solstice that left on Feb 17th. Let me try to summarize and start at the beginning. 1) flew to Auckland 2 days prior to embarkation and Celebrity booked us at the Pullman Hotel with transportation to the port on embarkation day included. Hotel was nice-a 20 minute walk to downtown Auckland and restaurants but located on a steep hill. We discovered that there was a Hilton hotel right on the wharf where the ship docks that was a much better location so wish we had booked that on our own. It was within steps of over 20 restaurants and steps from boarding the ship. On embarkation day-we received a packet from Celebrity with instructions to be in the lobby with our luggage promptly at 10:45 for a bus to depart at 11:00. Only it appears that Celebrity forgot to book a bus to pick us all up! After much confusion, angry passengers, and many phone calls, a bus showed up for us at about 12:30. By that time, many of the people waiting just gave up and took a cab to the ship. When we finally got to the ship the rest of the embarkation process went smoothly and took about 15 minutes. 2) we booked a Concierge room and to be honest-I don't feel any of the so-called extra benefits were worth the price. I would just book either a Veranda room going forward or go for the Suites. Our room steward was great, room was always very clean although the balcony was showing wear and tear. 3) we had the anytime dining and dined in the Main Dining Room all 16 nights (we felt the price of the specialty restaurants was not worth paying) and we actually had the same table and wait staff each night. They staff were all fantastic and the food was very good -no complaints there! 4) this being a small ship-not much choice for entertainment each night. The nightly shows in the main theater were just so-so. Not really much variety for 16 nights. Casino was not at all popular on this ship for those who enjoy a little gambling. Dancing seemed to be the big draw on this particular cruise. 5) we did not book any of the ships shore excursions-we prefer to go off on our own and book locally. Did a few hop-on hop off bus excursions, hired local tour guides, etc. and were satisfied with what we chose on our own. 6) had the classic drink package which included any drinks that cost up to $11 and it was amazing how many of their drinks were $12 and up! Found if we wanted a drink anywhere on the ship-we basically had to go up to the bar ourselves and order as not many wait staff going around taking drink orders. 7) Staff overall on the ship were very friendly. The ship is a small ship and when compared to all the newer mega ships-there is definitely not as much going on around the ship or as many activities and shows. We try to alternate cruises- big ship, small ship. For 16 days I think I would have preferred being on a bigger ship-but this was very relaxing, we met lots of great people form NZ and Australia and would love to go again and try a different cruise line. 8) We did take a ship tour on disembarkation day as our flight didn't leave until 11:15 pm. It was totally not worth the money and it dropped us off at the airport at 3:00 only it left us all at the wrong terminal. It was not just a matter of walking to another terminal-you had to go outside for a shuttle as the terminal was over 20 minutes away. Shuttles came every 20 minutes and there were at least 100 of us waiting to get on with loads of luggage! The airport personal said that the Celebrity buses had been doing this all day and they had called Celebrity to tell them the buses were going to the wrong terminal! Would we go on Celebrity again-yes we would! Mistakes happen- we made it on the ship and we made it back home. We enjoyed the cruise and we loved the 2 countries. Also-we have cruised RCL several time and are Diaimond members -which carried over to the Celebrity cruise and gave us the Elite status with benefits. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Family holiday to celebrate son and daughters achievements. Wanted a all inclusive trip with minimal unpacking and an experience of New Zealand. This is wonderful cruise ship with beautiful clean cabins. Excellent amenities especially ... Read More
Family holiday to celebrate son and daughters achievements. Wanted a all inclusive trip with minimal unpacking and an experience of New Zealand. This is wonderful cruise ship with beautiful clean cabins. Excellent amenities especially superb fine dining restaurants. Never felt crowded and passengers were fruendl. Embarkation and disembarkation all very smooth and thorough. Safety a premium on this ship. We did the transalpine railway excursion. It was a full day and simply unforgettable experience. We travelled with adult children they loved it too, especially the martini bar and night fun! The ports were very enjoyable, we mainly did our own thing including shopping and swimming. Going through the sounds was a highlight for us. We did have a confussion with our beverage package in the first few days. This was eventually sorted and we received a bottle of wine and strawberries from guest relations. Please remember to ensure you have proof in writing of any beverage packages or other entitlements you have on board. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We picked the Celebrity Solstice sailing from Auckland to Sydney so that we could visit my husband's family in New Zealand. We were pleasantly surprised, having done multiple sailings around the world with Princess, this was our first ... Read More
We picked the Celebrity Solstice sailing from Auckland to Sydney so that we could visit my husband's family in New Zealand. We were pleasantly surprised, having done multiple sailings around the world with Princess, this was our first with the Celebrity line - we were not disappointed. I will try & summarize as best as I can. Embarkation/Disembarkation/Tenders Etc. I had read mixed reviews about how there were far too many passengers which made for extremely long wait times. There was 2871 passengers onboard our cruise. We never waited more than 15 minutes. We were on the ship on day 1 within minutes of receiving our room keys and even on tender days things went very smoothly. Coming back the longest wait we had was 10 minutes and that's because all of the shore excursions were returning at the same time. Cabin We had cabin 8253 which was a midship, deck 8, category A1 cabin. We could not have been more pleased. We were located in a fantastic position close enough to the lifts, but not close enough for any noise. Our cabin was fantastically appointed with all the modern amenities and we found everything we needed. At one stage, we noticed some small holes in the curtains, but as soon as we bought it to our room attendants attention they were replaced within 2 hours. Our shower was great (sometimes water pressure can be a bit basic on cruise ships - but we weren't disappointed). The one weird find I thought, was a mini bar that had 2 cans of coke & 2 cans of diet coke in it. We were told that the mini bar was not free, however we had the premium beverage package as part of our promotion & we could get cans of coke anywhere on the ship. The room attendant said if we wanted to drink them we would need to replace them - I found that odd, but it didn't affect my journey. Food This was probably the only let down of the cruise. We were spoilt on night 1 dining at Tuscan Grille, it was so delicious that we walked away in a food coma. That night we visited the Grand Epernay to advise of my husbands allergies, where we got told a few lies about how the chef hadn't yet prepared the next nights menu. After taking a stand they finally bought us the menu and we pre-ordered. However the food was terrible the next night and we left after the starter. The Maitre'd tracked us down in the buffet and we told him of our experience. That night waiting in our room was the entire dining menu for the remainder of the cruise for my husband to pre-order. We went back multiple times after that and it was ok, never great, just ok. The food was always just warm. On lobster night, the butter was warmer than the lobster leaving for a cold clarified solution which was a let down. In the buffet, the pizza was soggy through, the ice cream, no matter which flavor you had tasted bland. On some of the desserts the icing wasn't dissolved. But, you could have your own stir-fry's made from scratch and they were fantastic. We also ate in Silk Harvest. The starters were exciting but when the main dishes came out we found them very underwhelming and not very asian. All in all though, we were always able to find something to eat that suited us, even if it was luke warm. My husband was particular fond of the burgers & hot dogs in the Mast Grill they were definitely yummo. With all that being said, we aren't the kind of people who come of cruise ships as cargo rather than passengers so we weren't too affected. Bars & Public Areas We spent alot of time in the main areas. Our favourite bar was the World Class Bar, however we found the staff weren't always happy to be there. In particular one gentlemen who we talked to every day, seemed very depressed about being onboard & particularly home sick. It made us feel incredibly sad for him, but he still made great cocktails so we kept returning. More so than Princess, sometimes the staff struggled to understand our orders - ie we would have to repeat a drinks order 4 to 5 times. But again, it's a nitpick not a major issue. Cafe El Bacio did a wonderful hot chocolate and fresh cinammon donuts each morning were a treat. Also, when we travelled with Princess, once we became a regular they would always remember our drinks order but this didn't really happen on Celebrity - nobody ever remembered our orders. We spent a lot of time in the Solarium which was lovely and relaxing. If I was being really picky I would say that it would have been nice if they had staff wandering to take drink orders, but that didn't happen at all and they are missing an opportunity there. We also loved the shopping areas which are vast and beautiful, the main atrium which was decorated for Christmas & all of the different public areas including the library and most of all the way the lifts face inwards towards that magical tree (which happened to reach it's peak on Deck 8 so we spent a lot of time loving it from our cabin's deck). Crew & Captain Captain Tasos. Wow! That man is absolute comedy gold & perfectly suited to be on cruise ships. His demeanor, sense of humor, ability to calm the masses - it was a masterpiece and I will follow him and sail with him wherever possible. His crew were always warm & welcoming everyone was polite and friendly. Yes, sometimes there were language barriers but in the grand scheme of things we were swept up in the beauty of this wonderful cruise line and it's amazing experiences. As a final note, I would rate Princess 7/10 and Celebrity 8/10. They are almost on par, and where one lacks the other picks up. But when we got off in Sydney we really felt like we were leaving home as opposed to returning to it. If you are thinking about doing a cruise, Celebrity Solstice will not disappoint. It's too beautiful to do anything other than amaze you! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click