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663 Celebrity Australia & New Zealand Cruise Reviews

My wife and I wanted to repeat a similar Pacific cruise on the Solstice which we enjoyed several years ago. Overall the cruise was pleasant but was marred by several avoidable problems. First, my wife's suitcase was mysteriously ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to repeat a similar Pacific cruise on the Solstice which we enjoyed several years ago. Overall the cruise was pleasant but was marred by several avoidable problems. First, my wife's suitcase was mysteriously impounded by over-zealous ship security and we were left wondering whether, and when, it would be delivered to our cabin. Just before the ship's 5 pm departure and after receiving no effective assistance from our room attendant, we made our way to the ship's luggage hold on deck 3 only to encounter a line of 20 to 30 guests in a line also seeking release of their luggage. My wife had placed her allowed bottle of wine in her case which apparently triggers a warning on the security xray. It was only after a heated exchange with security (highlighting her urgent need to access her medication) that her suitcase was handed over. Hardly a good start to the cruise! Soon after that episode we experienced a few frustrations with the quality of the wines available in our Classic Drinks Package which has somewhat arbitrary price restrictions. These problems, and the unhelpful attitude of some bar staff, were resolved when we received an apology and compensation from the Beverage Manager. The food in the MDR and our "Seafood Fiesta" lunch in Silk Harvest ($40 pp) was generally of high quality and the service excellent. The buffet food on deck 14 however was a bit disappointing for evening meals - the self service food was only lukewarm, there were too many curry dishes and only limited seafood, carvery and other freshly cooked options. Fresh fruit options were extremely limited - bananas, kiwi fruit, strawberries and the like were usually unavailable. The evening performances were mostly lively, professionally produced and highly entertaining. The ship's 2 house bands played some appealing popular music although many sets, eg on the pool deck, seemed to last only 30 mins at most. The groups also lacked energy, public involvement and and were almost robotic. The solo performer, Sasha, was excellent. Facilities such as the well-equpped gym, sauna, pools (often over-crowded) and cafe were of a high standard, although the (chargeable) coffee was bitter and unpleasant. The port to shore services in Noumea appear to have been restricted since our last cruise to this region eg there is now no free shuttle to the beaches but only to downtown, whilstthe mini-bus service to the pristine beach on Mare island attracts a rather high charge of $20 USD. This is yet more evidence of cost cutting and price gouging by Celebrity which is a regretable trend. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This is the second time we have travelled on Celebrity Solstice, and again, we had a faultless experience. We travelled with another couple, so we experienced both the suite and a balcony cabin. Accommodation: The balcony cabin ... Read More
This is the second time we have travelled on Celebrity Solstice, and again, we had a faultless experience. We travelled with another couple, so we experienced both the suite and a balcony cabin. Accommodation: The balcony cabin was big enough, with enough storage space for everything, the bathroom was compact but storage space was good. Everything in the cabin was pristinely clean and well maintained. The suite was excellent, spacious, well maintained and better than the suites we stayed in on 2 other cruise lines last year. Food: We could not fault any of the food, we ate in the buffet and found there to be an excellent selection of various cuisines. We went there a few times as there was a great variety, and we enjoyed everything we ate. Breakfast can be very busy, also lunch, choose your times and there won't be an issue. Again, compared to the other 2 cruise lines we travelled with last year there was no comparison, the other cruise line buffets we ate at were dreadful and we simply couldn't eat there. Interesting to read other reviews where people complain of the food on the Solstice, not sure if they were even on the same ship. Sushi on five was great, we tried a lot of things on the menu and really enjoyed everything we ate. The ramen noodles were the only thing that we found not to be outstanding, however the broth was delicious. Murano is our favourite, and we went there twice, the food is excellent, the ambience and the wait staff there are also excellent. Petit Chef is a new concept which you really have to experience to understand it. It is a set menu with the whole table being animated, and an interactive dinner experience. We all loved it and were pleased we went. Food was also excellent. Crew: Everyone on board was fantastic, nothing was a problem and everyone we encountered was professional, friendly and efficient. Shore excursions: We did our own thing; however, the tendering was extremely efficient and again we were very impressed. The ship: Beautifully maintained, everything is kept looking good, we were surprised as other reviews differed in this respect. Not sure what people are expecting, but we found it excellent. Our friends had not been on a cruise before and loved everything about the ship, service, food etc. We were discussing on our last night what faults we could find, and there were none. There are loads of places to hang out, we spent a lot of our time on the lawn club. Yes, this is real grass on the top deck, lovely to sit on, watch movies, have a drink and just relax. The shows we went to were great, the comedian, the illusionist and the show on the last night was fantastic. This is a well-oiled machine, and anyone with complaints I would seriously wonder what the issue is. We did meet one guy on the cruise who didn't enjoy it, because another passenger didn't greet him in the lift. Wondering if people bring their own issues with them and take it out on the cruise line. Comparing the experience we had with some of the reviews, doesn't corelate at all. As previous, we travelled with 2 other cruise lines last year, been on 3 Celebrity cruises, and would not cruise again with anyone else, as nothing is comparable. The food, the suites, the service, everything is outstanding with Celebrity and the Solstice is a beautiful ship. So will we go again? Absolutely! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We sailed on this cruise as a family Christmas cruise, the ship is far from being in prestige condition, well due in of a refurbishment our balcony chairs had chips of paint missing one of the chairs the blot came out the little table has ... Read More
We sailed on this cruise as a family Christmas cruise, the ship is far from being in prestige condition, well due in of a refurbishment our balcony chairs had chips of paint missing one of the chairs the blot came out the little table has not seen a coat of varnish in years. All around the pool area they have only got sun lounges no tables and chairs even in the shaded areas the only tables and chairs were for smokers.The bar staff were rude and some of the waiters didn't want to know you especially in the Sky lounge. The chefs in the carvery at the buffet were more interested in talking then serving. The cabins were clean and well kept generally the staff were friendly and pleasant. We've sailed with Celebrity twice before in Europe and the standard has certainly slipped the food is still good but it used to be so much better, the speciality restaurants are way too expensive. Embarkment was excellent as was disembarkment. Entertainment was very good we enjoyed the shows and bands there could have been more band music played around pool area and also no poolside BBQ go figure first cruise ship we've been on with no Bbq special event they did have bbq dinners at the other pool at a charge off course. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
It wasn't our first choice, but I am soo happy with this cruise and the experiences we shared. Leaving and coming back to Sydney Harbour was like night and day. Leaving the port was smooth as the seas beneath us. The ship is ... Read More
It wasn't our first choice, but I am soo happy with this cruise and the experiences we shared. Leaving and coming back to Sydney Harbour was like night and day. Leaving the port was smooth as the seas beneath us. The ship is magnificent and should be explored in great detail. The cabins are adequate and will serve you well. The food is delicious, not one desire was left unfulfilled. Entertainment was amazing, such a wide selection of shows, movies, and games. If you are strong, turn off your phone and allow the captain to take you on your journey. You will find all the answers you seek if you aren't afraid to follow your pain. If you are reading Captain Nicholas, please employ a maître d' for the disco, the DJ's need all the help they can get. Thank you so very much Celebrity Solstice, till we meet again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We sailed onboard the Solstice to New Zealand form Sydney. Wow what a cruise! It really is for all ages and plenty of things to do for everyone. On the ship itself there was no fault I found, the staff were excellent and the restaurants ... Read More
We sailed onboard the Solstice to New Zealand form Sydney. Wow what a cruise! It really is for all ages and plenty of things to do for everyone. On the ship itself there was no fault I found, the staff were excellent and the restaurants were amazing. We had Christmas Dinner at Tuscan Grille and NYE dinner at Murano. If you get a chance, I would highly suggest going to the specialty restaurants, they were really top-notch quality. Our cabin was a Ocean-View stateroom, however I bid for a Balcony Stateroom and received the upgrade. Travelling with my family, we got to explore such beautiful sights of New Zealand, and we thoroughly enjoyed Celebrity. The entertainment was phenomenal, being a dancer for 17 years, I loved the shows in the theatre, and I would highly recommend anyone to go see, even if you are not one to go to a musical, anyone will love it. I guarantee it! We did only one shore excursion which was the Dunedin Castle Experience where we ate Haggis and drank Whisky - Very entertaining, you have to go, its a must! Well done Celebrity for the amazing trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Booked a Celebrity Suite (CS) for the first time on a very good Last minute deal having been in Balcony, Aqua and Concierge on previous cruises on Solstice. It included all the perks with premium drinks package, Wi-Fi and $600 OBC. So ... Read More
Booked a Celebrity Suite (CS) for the first time on a very good Last minute deal having been in Balcony, Aqua and Concierge on previous cruises on Solstice. It included all the perks with premium drinks package, Wi-Fi and $600 OBC. So now I’m spoilt for life! The suite was spacious and it was lovely to have the seperate bedroom and full lounge area. Our steward Jimmy was fabulous and could not have done more. The suite also has a butler who provided information and looked after room service, laundry etc. Tender transfers were immaculate as you just went to Michaels Club as were then personally escorted. Luminae restaurant was also great with fine dining with a french flair. It was all so relaxing and you were treated as special guests. The ship is still fairly pristine and well looked after. Other passengers were a mixed demographic being pre Christmas but quite a younger active crowd which was fun. Solstice does not really cater to kids and that is fine as the brand is more contemporary adult. Only disappointment was the rather basic wine. They seemed to have run out of a lot including dessert wines and ports on this cruise. Only one advertised but non hosted LGBT mixer on the first night. I suggest at least marking out an alcove in the martini bar with a little flag and a host. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
In summary I'd highly recommend Celebrity Solstice. We were fortunate enough to sail in the Sky Class Suite. (To date we have done a balcony stateroom, Concierge Class & Royal Suite so we have good points of reference). ... Read More
In summary I'd highly recommend Celebrity Solstice. We were fortunate enough to sail in the Sky Class Suite. (To date we have done a balcony stateroom, Concierge Class & Royal Suite so we have good points of reference). Having come off Millennium in September 20 (see earlier review) we were questioning Celebrity's commitment to maintaining and enhancing it's reputation (as opposed to living off it).. we can honestly say that the commitment to excellence was very present on Solstice. Embarkation curb to ship was in under 10 minutes…an absolute breeze and the suite experience was very well represented by the inter-cruise personnel too. Dining in Luminae was absolutely magnificent... Sam the Maître d' was very passionate about guest experience and his general ship and fleet knowledge was an added bonus. Our waiter Jules was a super star... we loved being 'welcomed home' by him upon our arrival and he executed accordingly. Ocean View Cafe had good food selection and tables were pretty easy to come by. We did have a disappointing experience in Sushi on 5 one lunch... I'm not sure this is really a specialty restaurant in terms of service and/or food. Be aware that if you go here for lunch on a port day you chances of utilising your premium drinks package becomes frustrating as this restaurant can't access the wine selection... and the time it takes for them to source the drinks leaves you with 30+ minute wait times for drinks. Our waitress was quite disengaged and weakened the experience. The ship is getting on in age and is due for it's 2021 'revolutionize dry dock'...BUT... this majestic vessel is grand, clean and in beautiful condition. The ship is so well maintained that just strolling around it makes one feel graceful. The layout of the Solstice class ships is true to grand and nostalgic cruising... the public spaces really allows guests to connect and interface with the ocean... something getting lost on some of the newer vessels. We must compliment the executive / officer personnel onboard. They were ever present and mingling with guests across all decks, classes and events. The energetic and positive attitude of Captain Nikolaos Frantzis (with his great sense of humour) certainly cascaded through his entire crew... cultures this good are not easy to build and maintain. Our cabin (2150) was really enjoyable, wonderfully complimented by Orlando our Butler, and impeccably serviced by our stateroom attendant. We did note on cruise critic prior to booking, mixed reviews around noise from the floor above in Ocean View Cafe. If you are considering this cabin here's the specifics... - The (occasional) noise comes from tables and chairs being dragged around in Ocean view on Deck 14. - If you go to bed before 9:30pm or sleep in after 7:30am and are a light sleeper this cabin's not for you. - If you go to bed later and rise fairly early you'll not be bothered by the occasional noise, Personally I didn't find any of the noise that bad, and I think some of the reviews around this are over dramatic. In summary this was a close to 10 out of 10 as a cruise can get for us... well done Solstice... we look forward to our next visit! Some food for thought / improvement: - Setting up wrist band stations for kids at the entrance to the ship was a poor idea…it created congestion as families clustered around the tables, and really robbed from what is normally a grand entrance onto a Celebrity vessel... first time we've seen this and think it is a poor idea. - I really think the wine experience onboard has lost its authenticity... selections on the Premium package are questionable and sommeliers are ‘theoretically’ adept, but I’m not sure they are wine lovers. - Michael's club needs some form of kids control... I don't think it is the appropriate place to let kids loose. (We do cruise with kids... mainly on Royal Caribbean, but in some public places better discretion needs to be exercised by some parents). Hope you find this review helpful in finalising your cruise choice! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had the pleasure of taking our fourth cruise on the Celebrity Solstice in Dec 2019; on this occasion Syd-Syd via Noumea and Vanuatu for 9 nights. Sea conditions were superb, didn’t feel like we were at sea. Good for most, some might ... Read More
We had the pleasure of taking our fourth cruise on the Celebrity Solstice in Dec 2019; on this occasion Syd-Syd via Noumea and Vanuatu for 9 nights. Sea conditions were superb, didn’t feel like we were at sea. Good for most, some might have preferred some ‘rock-n-roll’! Without doubt we would recommend this ship to any friend without children, thank God. My comments are however novel more than serious: 1. Breakfast: One should NEVER go to a buffet breakfast on your own. I have experienced this before, but this was ridiculous. My wife wisely loves to have breakfast served to her on our veranda, whilst watching the water ripple past. Just beautiful. My favoured table is up-top, outside in the shade watching the wake disappear over the horizon as I tuck into an American breakfast, magnificent. No forgotten salt or pepper, or hot milk or anything ~ just go and help yourself. On this occasion, I was a wake up to the old tricks, so on my way through to the rear, I picked up my cutlery wrap serviette, cereals, milk, toppings and juice but I couldn’t manage carrying my coffee (I didn’t get an offer to help from any waiter). I found a table in the shade and put it all down together with my baseball cap for ‘protection’ against someone claiming the table as their own. Coffee service is no longer available as all is self-serve, so off I went to get coffee. On my return, the only thing left on my table was my hat! I hadn’t even touched my food or opened the cutlery wrap (who would have thought). I looked around for the attendant without being able to ID the culprit. I asked “what happened” to a bunch of waiters in the galley area, and all I got was blank looks. So, I put my coffee down beside my hat and off I went to renew my cereal choices and a new cutlery wrap. When I returned, you guessed it, all I found was my hat, AGAIN! This time I really blew my lid and people were wondering what on earth was going on. I complained to the group of waiters, looking for the offender, but all I got was a sheepish lady waiter trying to pacify me, asking me to calm down. She tried to explain that their supervisor liked them to be right on top of clearing unused tables. Are you kidding? So, I asked her “what do I have to do to get my food together in one piece, so I can eat it”. I suggested putting the chair up on the table with my food on top and the shirt off my back covering same, but she was not amused. I then told her that I will try again, and NO ONE is to clear this table until I SAY SO! I must have made an impression for that’s how it happened. Later, other helpful travellers with whom I shared this comedy suggested putting my cap over the food, or leaning the chair across the table, but this doesn’t work on floor boards as it slides off, or someone will surely trip over the foot of the chair. Nope, I suggest common sense training that says if a table contains untouched food, cutlery and a hat besides, it STRONGLY suggests that the owner of same WILL return, or he’s jumped overboard in FRUSTRATION. 2. Noise: Apart from your own cabin, it is virtually impossible on this ship to sit anywhere in quiet peace to read or think. The “library” is ludicrously in the central atrium that booms up all sorts of entertainment noise from the lowest deck to the top deck. Once I hid in the Sky Lounge well away from the atrium, where there are comfortable chairs and a lovely view forward, high up and majestic. With 30 mins, a group came to set up for a dance lesson. That was the end of that. Disappointing. Is there a cigar lounge anywhere that may suit? 3. Talking about smoking cigars, there is a location on deck 15 rear, where one can enjoy a quiet smoke. It is Port side, rear with its own bar. I always go there after the show to puff on a cigar (when wind direction allows, otherwise it’s simply a waste of a good cigar), in quiet contemplation of the sky drifting past, and solving the crisis of the world. BUT the recorded music is rap or bee-bop or rock knows what. Not at all conducive to a quiet puff of anything. It should be peaceful, soft, ‘go to sleep’ music for goodness sake, can’t anyone tune in such music to an isolated specific speaker? I cant think of anyone that smokes a cigar at a rock-n-roll venue. Some well-meaning soul pointed out what a filthy habit it was, to which I agreed, but something will kill us all one day, and reminded them that they had 99.8% of the ship, whereas we just wanted this tiny corner for our private indulgence. Happy sailing everyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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
The reason for choosing this cruise was the time of year it cruised and to try a different cruise company. This was my ninth cruise and the first on Celebrity. We had a Concierge Cabin on Deck 10 cabin 1204. I have 4 people in the cabin my ... Read More
The reason for choosing this cruise was the time of year it cruised and to try a different cruise company. This was my ninth cruise and the first on Celebrity. We had a Concierge Cabin on Deck 10 cabin 1204. I have 4 people in the cabin my advice maximum 3 persons should be the maximum. The cabin is narrow and needs refurbishment as does the ship. Not enough space for 4 persons. The Dinning was my worst experience on a cruise ship ever. On the first night we ate in the Grand Epernay Dinning Room, service was slow and the meal main course being Jerk Chicken was terrible, only the skin on the half piece of the bird that we were served in the plate was seasoned the actual meet was not touched, farr too much food on 1 plate but were told there were no smaller portions. After this for the rest of the cruise apart from 1 night we ate in the buffet. Whilst there was a lot of food on offer all was exceptionally bland with not much taste. Looking at all the different cakes they had for desert all tasred the same only difference appeared to be the colour being pink for strawberry, green for Kiwi Fruit or Pistaccio etc you get the picture. Drink asked for a cocktail whatever one came out as a complete alcohol fest somebody needs to train their barstaff each bar would produce a different version of the same cocktail, just terrible. Only meal which I could safely say was good was the bbq on the penultimate night on the ship, but hey we had to pay US$35 each for that, truely bad that you have to pay extra to get a good meal. OVERALL EXCEPTIONALLY POOR CELEBRITY PLEASE TAKE NOTE AND IMPROVE. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife and I had planned for several years to visit Australia and New Zealand. We first considered a land trip but eventually choose to do a cruise due to the overall value and convenience. I looked at several very similar cruise lines ... Read More
My wife and I had planned for several years to visit Australia and New Zealand. We first considered a land trip but eventually choose to do a cruise due to the overall value and convenience. I looked at several very similar cruise lines but ended up choosing the Celebrity Solstice based on ship size and a good experience with them on a Bermuda cruise. We arrived in Sydney a few days early to take in the sites before boarding. In Sydney we stayed at the Marriott which is only a couple of blocks from the cruise terminal and an easy walk. Embarkation on the ship was a breeze, with easy luggage check in and no lines. We were on-board and enjoying ourselves by 11:30 in the morning. After a tour of the shop and a welcome lunch, our room was ready, much sooner than we have ever experienced on any other ship. The ship itself, the Celebrity Solstice, was elegant and understated. My favorite section was deck 15 with it's expansive grass (yes, grass) areas for relaxing, playing bocce balls, watching movies on the outdoors screen, watching glass making, or simply gazing at the sunsets in the evenings. The remainder of the ship was nice but very similar to most other cruise ships. Really like the casino but was disappointed that it wasn't open more often. Bars were average and the theater was about what you would expect. Overall the food was good but not great. The buffet was very disappointing, one of the worst we have ever experienced. Sit down dining was very good with prompt service and high quality meals. We did each of the four specialty restaurants and found them to be about with average to that of other cruise ships. Not sure they are worth the extra money given the quality of the food in the main dining area. Although the ship was almost full is felt very uncrowded. We never had to fight to find a chair and were able to go where we want when we wanted without any lines or having to reserve seats ahead of time. Shows - very good but not great - new cast who did a very commendable job on their first gig. Some of the best cast singers that I have seen on a cruise ship. Hit and miss on the "guest" entertainers. Service - Very mixed results. At times they were johnny on the spot and at other times virtually non-existent. You were supposed to get free drinks when you were gambling but I only got served once over the 5-6 days I gambled in the casino. I even asked the pit boss for help running someone down but it never happened. Our dinner took 2 1/2 hours in one of the specialty restaurants due to a shortage of staff. Up-sell - We were constantly badgered by ship personnel to buy more; more drink packages, more dining, more everything - this continued almost to the last day and really become annoying . I would have bought the drink package if it weren't so outrageously expensive. It would have cost me and my wife about $1600 for their premium package. You really have to drink like Otis the town drunk to break even on that deal. Excursions - They were well organized and generally went as advertised. Prices continue to rise so I began looking outside the ship. Viator,com offers virtually the same excursions for 10-30% less. Check them first before booking on board. Celebrity Travel - Used Celebrity travel to arrange our return trip from Auckland. They booked us on Air New Zealand which sounded fine till we got to the airport and got hit with $500 in excess baggage fees. US airlines allow 2 checked bags on international flight but not Air New Zealand (unless you are flying from Australia to the US - go figure). No disclosure of this before arriving so I'm mad at both Celebrity and ANZ for the last minute surprise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were looking forward to the Solstice as not previously been on this ship, but on other Celebrity Ship. Weather was not too kind to us, mostly rain or wind or cold, no laying around on desk this cruise. Ship is good size and has ... Read More
We were looking forward to the Solstice as not previously been on this ship, but on other Celebrity Ship. Weather was not too kind to us, mostly rain or wind or cold, no laying around on desk this cruise. Ship is good size and has lots of good features, however it seems very sterile with not much colour. From the time you get on, the main thing you notice is the sell, sell, sell of the staff. Buy a drink package, buy a restaurant package, buy a spa package, buy this buy that. This is normal first day on most ships, but it went on most of the cruise. The main thing I found that irritated us was the cost of everything, all prices are in $US. So for example a can of beer in $Aust works out to be $12 to $18, and a wine is from $19 up, it just goes on. Even the bottle spirits from the duty free on board work out to be the same price as purchasing from Coles or Woollies. A coffee was $9 for a very small cup. There are so many restaurants on board and all except one I think you need to pay big money to enter, we just ate at the Oceanview Buffett ( it was fine - it had a few themed meals, and seating was available without much problem most of the time). The cast on board shows ( two only ) were terrible, not like you would expect. Other entertainers were quite reasonable ( however, everyone of them was from Australia). Best part of the day was the Elite 2 hour drinks, if we didn't get that, then I would not have had a drink at the prices they were asking. The cabin was fine - except the cabin steward kept forgetting to put things in our room. The Casino was the biggest I have seen, it took up half of one desk. There were two guest lecturers ( one on astronomy and one on wildlife ), they were both good and interesting. Staff - some were happy some were very sad looking indeed. We could opted out of graduities not problems. Captain was funny and worth listening too at 10am. No laundries on board, so either pay heaps or take into shower and hang up in the room. Room also had the best air conditioning control we have ever had, it would alter temperature by about 5 degrees up and down if not more. Day entertainment and night activities were so so, mid ship always was small area and no open room. Not much to do on deck, just lots of sitting areas, no big screen. Overall was disappointed in the ship and was not up to the hype. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
Having cruised both NCL & Princess I was interested to see how Celebrity compared. First to the good points. Well decorated and very modern with clean lines, staff 10/10 both friendly and there when you needed them. The buffet was the ... Read More
Having cruised both NCL & Princess I was interested to see how Celebrity compared. First to the good points. Well decorated and very modern with clean lines, staff 10/10 both friendly and there when you needed them. The buffet was the best we’ve had on ships so far, both in variety and quality of food. Our cabin was well set out and comfortable bedding. The only specialty restaurant we went to was The Petit Chef which is a very different dining experience as you are seated at a table where animation is used as part of the service. Would definitely recommend going to this. Food was of reasonable standard. Now to the not so good. As mentioned in other reviews, be prepared for the eternal pressure put on by staff wanting you to take up the packages both beverage and specialty dining. This lasted more than 3 days into the cruise. One passenger told me she complained as one staff member held on to her arm so she couldn’t leave until they finished trying to convince her. They don’t want to take no for an answer. Even when you are sitting eating in the buffet you are approached to buy packages. The shows were average overall. Peter Cousins was a stand out. The production shows far better on NCL. We went to the Main dining 3 times and would not go back as both the presentation and quality of food below standard. My husband had a chorizo pasta and received three tiny cubes of chorizo decorating his plate and tasteless pasta. Escargot so small and swimming in butter with almost no taste of garlic. Pricing for purchases on the ship was higher than we experienced on the other two lines. Upgrading to a specialty restaurant cost us over USD$ 50 each and this was with 20% discount. Also far more expensive than the other Lines. If you want to change your dining allocation go as early as you can on first day to dining area and you will be out on a list. We were able to change ours. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
What we liked: 1)Spotless ship with obvious attention to detail and a crew focused on cleanliness. 2)Great crew who worked hard to please. Some going out of their way to do so. 3)Above average(in some cases excellent)food. ... Read More
What we liked: 1)Spotless ship with obvious attention to detail and a crew focused on cleanliness. 2)Great crew who worked hard to please. Some going out of their way to do so. 3)Above average(in some cases excellent)food. Luminae,Blu,and Murano excellent. 4)Excellent gym, both in size and equipment. What we didn't like: 1)Constant selling of Beverage and specialty dining packages. There was no escape. One time I was asked to buy just after getting through security from the tender(I am not making this up). 2)Ship was launched in 2008 and it shows. I think our TV was original equipment as it quit working twice.Other items showing wear. Lots of paint chipping off in different areas. 3)Lack of attention to the re-boarding process in port. Long line into one gangway while another gangway was not used. Security(in some cases) lacking basic manners. 4)Sushi on 5-don't bother,Tuscan Grill-best views on the ship with average food. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
People both on and off the ship were so kind and helpful. Always smiling and wanting to know if you need something. You almost would have thought they were smoking something to be so gracious. Out of 30+ cruises we have been on, this is ... Read More
People both on and off the ship were so kind and helpful. Always smiling and wanting to know if you need something. You almost would have thought they were smoking something to be so gracious. Out of 30+ cruises we have been on, this is definitely the happiest crew and country I have been too. Maybe its in the water. We ate mostly in the buffet. It was very good. I will see if I can post some pics of the buffet. The cake seemed to be dry on every desert. They were not moist. This seemed to be a common problem. Breads and rolls were great and abundant. Tea and lemonade seemed to be different every day. They need a different brand of tea or something. Besides the tea's were weak and strong depending on the day you went. Everything else was great. Carving station, build your ceaser salad, Pasta Station, Indian curry area, salad station, ice cream station, fruit station, deli station, breads station, soup station and a few nights of caviar. Fine dinning - we ate there 3 three times. 1st, 3rd and lobster night. The lobster night we had the worst dining experience of our 30+ cruises. We were in a group of 50+ people. so we moved around to different tables. There were two waiters for the 6 tables of 10 we had. The first two nights we had a lady, Alexandria, I think. She was great handling 3 to 4 tables. The last night, lobster night, we had a male waiter. We sat at 6pm and did not get served until after 7:30. not getting drinks, getting wrong food served to people, having duplicate starters, coming to table with little sauce in bowl (took 5 min to refill in kitchen), and letting us watch everyone else eat and leave before we were served the main dish. More insulting was some tables were getting third portions of lobster. Reported it to guest services the next morning, someone called that evening (around 8) trying to get us to come that night. we ate already and I have a feeling in talking with people who were at the table the night before did not show up. This is probably why he called. very bad. Entertainment was better than average. Their production cast is very good. Of all their shows, only one was so so. It was also only about 15 min long where should have been 45 to 60 min. Guest services always seems to be a problem on ships the first few days and last few days. They had long lines but was helped by people walking around and taking care of the little things while in line. They need one more person doing this during peak times or categorize issues. Tenders were ok except for the port BAY OF ISLANDS. Our tender got lost in the fog. We found another tender #11 while trying to find the dock. I had downloaded the map on my phone and was watching were they were going. They were about 2 miles left of the port. They kept circling and search for a green and white buoys. My maps did not show the buoys or low water areas they were trying to navigate around. It was funny until the #11 boat almost hit our tender. If it was not for our tender driver putting it in reverse quickly we would have collided. They spent about 30 min lost until a white yacht type boat came by and they followed him the the port. Not really any long lines for tenders but they did try to pack us in pretty good on one of them coming back. We left the ship with our bags which was extremely quick. Started about 7am and was through customs and out the door by 7:30. All in all it was a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We traveled with our family which consisted of 13 adults, 1 child & 1 infant. We took a shuttle Limo from Cheektowaga NY to Toronto. We flew 22 hours from Toronto to Sydney. We had a 1 hour layover in Vancouver at 2:30am, which was ... Read More
We traveled with our family which consisted of 13 adults, 1 child & 1 infant. We took a shuttle Limo from Cheektowaga NY to Toronto. We flew 22 hours from Toronto to Sydney. We had a 1 hour layover in Vancouver at 2:30am, which was awful. When we got to Sydney we only had that day to explore, so we checked in at The Holiday Inn at The Rocks and then spent the day walking around. Though we were jet lagged, we were going on adrenal from the excitement of being there. We saw the Opera House, walked across the Harbor bridge and ate and shopped at The Rocks. We even found a Starbucks! The next day we had a shuttle to the cruise pier, at 11:00 am, which was across the street, but we had to much luggage to walk there. We had priority boarding and curbside luggage. Which really wasn’t curbside. We had to drag our suitcases 100 feet to drop it all off. We went to the front of the line to check in. The building didn’t seem to have AC, because we, as well as the staff, were all sweating in there. Once on board we were given a glass of champagne and had our family picture taken. We were then escorted to Luminae, a restaurant for all Suite quests. By 1:00 our cabins were ready. We received flowers, sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries. We received our suitcases by 5:00, which was wonderful. The food in Luminae was very good and the service was superb. We also ate at Tuscan Grill and Sushi on 5, which were 2 specialty restaurants. The food was very good there as well. We mostly ate at the Buffet for breakfast. It had a lot of varieties and once you found what you liked, you could enjoy it every morning. A lot of our group ordered room service, which came within half hour. That was a treat in itself. Our Royal Suite was a good size. A few times we had 12 people visiting us comfortably. Though the furniture needed an upgrade and the TV only had 10 channels. None of which I liked. There were free movies and pay per view. I saw most of them already. I am known as a movie bug. The internet was awful. You could never stay connected. It took long to open apps and search the web. I would get text messages hours later, when I would remember to reconnect to WiFi. The Ship was very nice considering it’s scheduled to be remodeled in 2021. There were some shops, but mostly high end designers, that you wouldn’t normally buy from. The souvenirs were limited and they didn’t have a store that sold any staples, should you need any. A major disappointing thing was all the Senior Citizens that were the majority of people. Our group ranged from 14 years to 56 years old. So a lot of the entertainment was geared towards 65 plus years old. There wasn’t much going on past 10:00pm. The elevators took a long time to come when we had to use it. Most times it was full with wheelchairs, walkers or both. The Buffet was always crowded. A few mornings we couldn’t find a table. There should be as many tables & chairs, as there are guests on board! The shows were mediocre, 3 out of the 12 nights were very good! Going to and from Ports went smoothly, whether we walked off or had to take a tender. Though our stroller had to be carried up or down stairs to enter & exit the ports. Not sure how the wheelchairs and walkers handled it? The Excursions were ok. A few were misleading. We informed the Excursion desk of our disappointment and they didn’t seem to care that much about our opinion. We booked a private tour 4 months in advance. The night before it was scheduled, we received a note and voice mail, that it was canceled due to mechanical issues. (Whatever that meant?!) So we had to try to arrange something else with a tour company on shore. That was a pain, but it worked out. We probably won’t travel on Celebrity again. Their prices were almost double what I’ve paid on other CruiseLines. They weren’t any better than those, so I’m not sure how they justify that. Some crew members that we would like to recognize, as those who went above & beyond for us, were Sam and Ty in Luminea, as well as our Butler Lorenzo. We spent some time in Michael’s Club, which was a lounge for Suite guests, where you could get a drink and some cookies and just relax. The Conceirge in there, Davina, was very helpful as well. All and all we had a great time with our family experiencing Australia and a cruise was a great way to do it!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise as it was suitable as our first cruise of the season. We had been on this ship some 5 years before but it is still in very good order. Only our 5th Celebrity cruise but due to our Royal Caribbean history we were given ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was suitable as our first cruise of the season. We had been on this ship some 5 years before but it is still in very good order. Only our 5th Celebrity cruise but due to our Royal Caribbean history we were given Elite class. Embarkation was quick due to that benefit. We had done all the ports before, both by sea and land, so will not expand on them. First the good points - as I said the ship is in good order with many comfortable lounges -the food is generally good with tasty curries in the buffet on port days. Lunches in the MDR were only average, breakfasts were good and dinners satisfactory with some disappointments. Our inside cabin was quite spacious and served the purpose. The room attendant was also excellent. The dining room staff were also good, mainly Indonesian and Filipino , a little reserved at first but relaxed after they got to know us. The passengers were a mixed lot, mainly Aussies, NZ, Uk and a lot of well off Americans. All very nice apart from a Bible bashing couple. The theatre was good with never a problem in getting a seat. It holds 1400+ and getting there early was not necessary. The individual artists were good but the production shows were poor except for the last night, an acrobatic show with an extremely good female acrobat. The captain entertained us with his reports and quirky sense of humour was easy and taxis were plentiful. Disembarkation was easy and taxis were plentiful. The not so good points- We missed the dedicated Diamond and Diamond+ lounges on Royal Caribbean. There were no Captains Club drinks on embarkation night or on Captains party night. On RC you get proper coffee and nibblies in Diamond lounges, but missing on Celebrity. However, in the Ensemble lounge we got excellent service from the waiter, Hendry. Although we got our drinks for free we noticed the extortionate cost of drinks eg a glass of ordinary wine US$10 or 14 or 19. A lot in Australian money. A coffee in special coffee lounge was US$6 = A$9. The specialty restaurants are all priced in US dollars and are also expensive. They did not seem well patronised at the times we saw them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose the cruise partly because we knew a crew member but also because of the itinerary. Sailing from Sydney to the Great Barrier Reef. We had sailed with Celebrity before so knew what to expect in terms of the standards of food, ... Read More
We chose the cruise partly because we knew a crew member but also because of the itinerary. Sailing from Sydney to the Great Barrier Reef. We had sailed with Celebrity before so knew what to expect in terms of the standards of food, service etc and those were certainly maintained throughout this cruise Service was excellent and places visited were interesting and varied We particularly enjoyed the talks on the wildlife of the area given by Celia the naturalist guest speaker as these brought the areas we saw to life and were entertaining and informative At times it was difficult getting a table in the Ocean buffet restaurant but by timing things we usually managed to cope. The only thing I would like to see improved is more designated 'quiet' areas onboard After midday it was virtually impossible to find somewhere to sit and relax which didn't have music playing. Even the library is located above the central atrium area and so the music reaches there as well but that is just a small niggle but explains the 'average' score that I have given below for public rooms Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
With so few opportunities to cruise from Fremantle we took the opportunity to fly to Sydney for a 4 day cruise to Melbourne. Hence the title "Booze Cruise". I must admit to being disgusted by ANY shipping line that condones ... Read More
With so few opportunities to cruise from Fremantle we took the opportunity to fly to Sydney for a 4 day cruise to Melbourne. Hence the title "Booze Cruise". I must admit to being disgusted by ANY shipping line that condones drinking alcohol to excess. Passengers who purchased the alcohol package at $US80+ per day certainly decided to get their monies worth regardless of their loud and often offensive behaviour. Obviously not concerned about their health either. The food was very average. The ship had sailed from the west coast of USA via Hawaii to NZ and then Sydney. 35 days. The natural yoghurt in the buffet was from the US (New Jersey - east coast) had been frozen and split. The fresh fish on board for tea one night was a Mediterranean fish. Fresh??? How long had that been on board. Dining room "ran out" of steak and roast beef one meal. Curtains in the deluxe balcony were missing. Only had sun block curtain lining hanging. Bathroom was good with good sized shower. Celebrity is very class orientated. Have sailed several times with Cunard and even they were more relaxed and less class conscious than Celebrity. Sorry. Not my cup of tea. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We took a 4-day cruise out of Sydney to Melbourne on 10/11, than stayed on ship for 12-day cruise 10/15 to east coast of Australia and Great Barrier Reef. We are longtime Celebrity cruisers, and were somewhat disappointed with our ... Read More
We took a 4-day cruise out of Sydney to Melbourne on 10/11, than stayed on ship for 12-day cruise 10/15 to east coast of Australia and Great Barrier Reef. We are longtime Celebrity cruisers, and were somewhat disappointed with our transatlantic cruise last Spring on the Celebrity Reflection. But these two cruises fully restored our faith in Celebrity. Excellent and very visible/entertaining captain and crew, impeccable service in main dining room and lunch buffet, as well as in lounges. Food quality and variety were excellent. Entertainment with ship house band and others was varied and outstanding. Most theatre performers were excellent, and there were some very good matinees. Cruise director was energetic and fun, entertaining at a variety of venues during the day and evening.Cabin stewards and size/cleanliness/comfort of our balcony cabin for both cruises were terrific. Ship is in very good condition and well-maintained, even though it’s the oldest of the Solstice-class ships. It’s a mid-size ship (under 3,000), and they managed the tendering at several stops very efficiently. Many of the ship tours for the Barrier Reef are very expensive, and we limited ourselves to a couple, simple city tours (e.g., Melbourne) that were very good and fairly priced. The cities and coastal stops in Australia are beautiful with lots to do—from the exotic to just simple city tours and dining/shopping. Our only real complaint, which is symptomatic of most cruise ships, is the price and quality of drinks/wines, even in drink packages. We had a “classic” as opposed to the “premium” package—didn’t expect the best, but also didn’t expect Celebrity to be serving wines that retail for under $5 in the US (ugh!). And if you don’t specify what liquor you want in your cocktail, they pour the house brand rot-gut. When you’re paying $60 a day, per person, this should not be. Our biggest disappointment, though: having to leave the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Where do you Start.? The Good - The Staterooms ( Balcony) are bigger than other cruise lines - The corridors are bigger - The Captain was outstanding. in communication and very funny. That unfortunately is where it ends The Ship is ... Read More
Where do you Start.? The Good - The Staterooms ( Balcony) are bigger than other cruise lines - The corridors are bigger - The Captain was outstanding. in communication and very funny. That unfortunately is where it ends The Ship is tired - Cabin Curtains with holes - Carpets worn and stained - Public rooms are worn and tired Particularly the Passport Bar. Theatre seating very shabby. The Staff - Room attendant Mariano was great - Dining Staff Kavi and crew also where very good . Bars Not so good - even when not busy - no table service you had to go and ask and pay at counter. The drinks where thrown together with little care- Cocktails served whisky glass or high ball glass Remember your not sitting in cheap seats a Gin and tonic (Bombay ) your paying close to $ A 20 each. Organisation Very average - eg: Final day of Bingo set down for 4 pm A total mix up with the room not available to 5 pm due to movie running. A 150 Plus passengers hanging around and being told nothing. Sky Lounge - Beatles Music 10 minutes of music then games no more music - Rumba Dance Class 15 Minute max the staff could not get away quickly enough It Goes on The Daily News Letter is not News- it is a Selling document with a few activities thrown in for good luck This document is aimed at not informing you too much other than what you can buy and when. Informative No eg: Formal night never mentioned Time changes forgotten once they got it the next time. Speciality Dining - Tuscan Grille first night a birthday Food served stone cold had to be sent back - only bottle of sweet Sparking Wine available US$ 103 a bottle ( $ A 156 a bottle) Main Dining Room - Menu Entrée majority just Salads - When you got something like Seafood it was the smallest portion they could supply. Main course - Repeated the same items every second night Bar Service Dining Room - Prosecco served at room temperature 2 nights in a row - Yes it was replaced but remember your paying $A 17 a glass. Bottled wine - cheapest white wine $A 62 dollars a bottle - an average white $ A100. Entertainment - Very average - Main production shows - I have no idea who creates the shows, songs and themes - you have never hear of them. The guest entertainers of what we saw middle of the road a Country RSL at best. The Celebrity Band where very good. Gaming Room - Free Cocktails as long as you keep playing on you Sea Pass Only - In Australia your gaming licence would be reviewed. Pricing in general - Drinks - need I say more than a Beer was $A 12 want something like a Peroni Try $ 18 a bottle ( remember Celebrity is buying all the grog Duty and Tax free.) Shore excursions - booked independently tour on Maui cost $A 89 each Ship had the exact same tour different operator there bus followed us $ 240 each Overall we have sailed with Princess - Royal Caribbean and Carnival - Celebrity is marginally better than Carnival - about the same as Caribbean and no where as good as Princess which is generally cheaper for the cruise and much cheaper for on board purchase. Overall the much hyped Celebrity a disappointing product. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I hate flying. So any cruise that docks in Australia is attractive to me. It was easy to get to the port from Waikiki but we left it late and got traffic. This was a good size ship. The cabins are quite spacious and decent. The staff ... Read More
I hate flying. So any cruise that docks in Australia is attractive to me. It was easy to get to the port from Waikiki but we left it late and got traffic. This was a good size ship. The cabins are quite spacious and decent. The staff are great. And who doesn't love Tahiti. The entertainment, food and general feel is this cruise is great. The breakfast ends in the restaurant at 9 am and with the 830 pm dinner seating that was too soon for is a few mornings. The buffet is open longer and the food was great just a little hard to get seating some days. I got the non alcoholic premium drinks package but I'd probably get the alcoholic one next time. I'm 43 so the demographic is slightly older than I'm used to but they're a great crowd. And a welcome change from the drunken louts. I've already booked it again. I particularly enjoyed the Silk Harvest for dinner. Quirky Le Petit Chef projection show accompanied an absolutely fantastic meal. Check it out. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had a wonderful time. The crew really are a credit to Celebrity - nothing is ever too much trouble for them and they do everything so cheerfully. We had the best waiters in the MDR in Mary Grace and Umesha - they truly cared about what ... Read More
We had a wonderful time. The crew really are a credit to Celebrity - nothing is ever too much trouble for them and they do everything so cheerfully. We had the best waiters in the MDR in Mary Grace and Umesha - they truly cared about what they were serving and were fabulous. Captain Alex was very engaged with us and we looked forward to his daily announcements. Our cabin was mid ship on the hump on Deck 9 so we had a perfect view and were within walking distance of everything. Our room steward was lovely and was like the invisible man - we knew he'd been because the beds were made but he was just so unobtrusive. He kept the cabin beautifully clean. The only downside was that we have done several cruises with Celebrity and the shows are the same. It's time to get some new shows Celebrity! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I have spent more than 300 days at sea on a variety of lines. This was our 6th Celebrity cruise and probably our best one. We sailed on the Eclipse earlier in the year, while nothing was wrong with that cruise it was a little ... Read More
My wife and I have spent more than 300 days at sea on a variety of lines. This was our 6th Celebrity cruise and probably our best one. We sailed on the Eclipse earlier in the year, while nothing was wrong with that cruise it was a little underwhelming. We chose this cruise as we were travelling in the region and it seemed a fun way to return to Australia rather than flying. Embarkation was generally smooth although our check in agent was clearly inexperienced and flustered and things were progressing very slowly until a manger noticed and intervened. Everyone at the port was very friendly. Unfortunately the weather turned but we still decided to hit the pool, as it was raining no one joined us and we got the pool and most of the deck to ourselves. The ship was in very good condition. Captain Alex was phenomenal and proves that good management trickles down as we found all the crew to be incredibly fun and helpful. The captains announcements were always entertaining and even more importantly he always kept guests informed on all events. He even stood and farewelled every guest on departure- impressive! The CD Maarten was a young Belgium fellow who we feared might struggle with the predominantly Aussie crowd but we could not have been more wrong, his enthusiasm and self deprecating manner was perfect. Everyone was full of praise for his efforts. Likewise his partner in crime Patrick led the activities amazingly well. Chico and Mulvey were great supports. We had a balcony cabin and it amazed me again how comfortable these cabins are, they are large as was the balcony. Loads of storage space. Comfortable bathroom. Our attendant Arnold was phenomenal. It was a little worn but very comfortable. Dining - we were very nervous after some very forgettable dining experiences on the Eclipse. Our nerves were allayed after our first night in the mdr. Service was amazing and the quality of food was good. We moved around a little but once we found Pranata we never left him again, easily the best waiter we have had. Not surprisingly we lost him one night when the F&B manger dined in the mdr and our waiter was assigned to him. This in fact was a minor gripe of ours as why should we as paying customers receive inferior service so that an officer is looked after? Our questions on this matter were never responded to. As the mdr was good and we have felt underwhelmed on previous experiences we gave the specialty dining a miss, it is simply way too expensive for a supplemental experience. This didn’t stop them trying everyday to upsell us on dining and wine experiences. We had the premium beverage package, we found drinks in the world class bar to be exceptional, however as per usual there were problems attaining premium drinks in other locations. This is a real bugbear of mine, if you choose to sell a premium product than it is your duty to supply what you promise, while it was better than on the Eclipse too many times we were simply told something wasn’t available. My main complaint however again goes to the Martini bar, I know others love this location but it is a disgrace. Incorrect glasses consistently used, inferior spirits often used. They try and distract people with tricks but the product is poor. A classic martini was served in a huge Margarita glass, if I had drunk this I would probably be dead right now. I have found this bar a problem on every cruise and it continued. Overall though bar service and drink quality was improved (still inferior to HAL). Entertainment- the productions shows were excellent and big kudos to the ship and X for using a live band/orchestra, it makes such a difference. The highlight of the cruise was the Polynesian performance in Tahiti, this was an amazing show. Most other guest entertainment was a little lacklustre and the shows that Chico (part of the actives team) put on were far superior! There were loads of activities, lectures, music etc so you could never be bored. Service - as mentioned previously was top notch. Dining, bars, housekeeping, guest relations were all good. Crew regularly joked with us, seemed to know our names which is amazing on such a big ship. Kudos to the hotel manager because with so many sea days it is understandable that crew get tired but this simply wasn’t the case on our cruise. Ports - this was really a repositioning cruise but the ports were very enjoyable. Lahaina on Maui was very cute, Bora Bora was sensational.Bay of islands was gorgeous. Weather and sea conditions were generally good. Even our “rough” sea day was relatively tame, the captain went out of his way to avoid the weather. This cruise was just one of those great cruises where the vibe on the ship was seriously relaxed. Everyone seemed to be full of praise for the crew. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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