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17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This cruise was amazing. All the ports were outstanding. The Solstice is in excellent condition. There were lots of activities for sea days: ukulele lessons, hula lessons, Maori Poi Ball dance, cooking classes, a passenger chorus, ... Read More
This cruise was amazing. All the ports were outstanding. The Solstice is in excellent condition. There were lots of activities for sea days: ukulele lessons, hula lessons, Maori Poi Ball dance, cooking classes, a passenger chorus, outstanding lectures (Pacific Ocean, WWII, Women of Pearl Harbor, Volcanoes etc). Blu and Oceanview Cafe were both great. Crossing the Equator ceremony was lots of fun.. Damian our CD was very entertaining. The crossing was smooth with only one day out of New Zealand a little bumpy with 15 ft swells. The Sail Away from Sydney is the most beautiful I have ever experienced. We sailed at night and the Opera House was all lit up. Unfortunately the new production shows are not very good with the worst one the supposedly "Mozart" show. The guest entertainers were very good. One of the best tours we took was on Oahu from Escape Waikiki Tours. Kevin was a high energy fun and knowledgeable guide and the warm breakfast donuts are not to be missed. He will tailor a tour to the size (2-14 people) of your group and include whatever you like, but his knowledge of secret beaches and views on the island really sets this tour apart. The other tour was "Patrick's " snorkel tour on Bora Bora. It was an amazing experience with snorkeling and a pig roast on a private motu (small island) with wine, champagne and beer. Definitely plan on staying in Sydney at least three days before the cruise. It's a beautiful city and there is so much to do. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our second cruise on the Celebrity Solstice and we enjoyed it very much. We stayed in Aqua Class cabin 1538 which was very large and well maintained. Our ports of call were excellent. We had most of our breakfasts and dinners ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Celebrity Solstice and we enjoyed it very much. We stayed in Aqua Class cabin 1538 which was very large and well maintained. Our ports of call were excellent. We had most of our breakfasts and dinners in Blu which was outstanding. We had several lunches in the main dining room which was very good. I thought the Ocean View Cafe, the buffet, quality of food and service had dropped substantially from our previous cruise on the Solstice 10 years ago. The pools were great and the hot tubs were wonderful. Both the entertainment and the ship's activities were very good. We attended every evening show and enjoyed them very much. We visited Honolulu, Maui, Kona and Hilo which were beautiful. We booked private excursions for each port with friends we met on cruisecritic. I highly recommend both the Celebrity Solstice and the Honolulu to Vancouver cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
The captain of the Solstice made this journey very memorable. He was very personable, and approachable. He genuinely wanted to do what he could to ensure the passengers had a good time. He did a 360 as we passed the lava flows on Kona ... Read More
The captain of the Solstice made this journey very memorable. He was very personable, and approachable. He genuinely wanted to do what he could to ensure the passengers had a good time. He did a 360 as we passed the lava flows on Kona so everyone got a good chance to see it as it hit the ocean. I'd like to see this cruise hit another island -- maybe Kaui. Maui, Hawaii, and Oahu are getting fairly commercialized. However, the big Island never fails to give a good show and we enjoyed both our days there. We had a private jeep tour in Maui that was an excellent introduction to Maui and it's history. The only ding/con for this cruise (and it's minor) was the breakfast. The scrambled eggs out on the buffet were so soupy that if you wanted eggs, you generally lined up for omelettes or eggs benedict to order. It's always nice to have your eggs made to order, but sometimes you'd like to just grab and go. I could never seem to get cheese on my omelette that I ordered -- I ordered cheese each time, but when I got it, there was never cheese on the omelette. As I said, it's a very minor ding. The rest of the cruise was wonderful. The crew members went out of their way to provide lots of entertainment and relaxation. All 5 days at sea ended up being cloudy, windy, and cold, so the crew had their work cut out for them. Our cabin steward kept the room spotless even though we were constantly heading back to the room (we both caught a bit of a cold and needed to get extra sleep). Our dining staff were very attentive. Our waiter and his assistant learned our tastes early and kept our water filled (something important to me). We enjoyed our dinner mates and learned a lot from them. The sommelier was always prompt getting our wine and suggesting alternatives so we could try everything available on the drink package we had. We tried a specialty restaurant for our anniversary, but weren't really impressed. There was way too much food. And for the extra money, we would have been just as happy eating in the main dining room. Embarkation and Disembarkation were handled efficiently with little waiting. The ship notified us that there would be 3 ships in Vancouver on the day we were there and offered additional chances to get a direct transfer to the airport which worked out well. The crew of the Solstice made the journey and we thank them for a job well done! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We love Hawaii and wanted to do a cruise around the islands, and we thought it would be good to cruise to Vancouver to have a longer cruise and be back close to home. We picked the Solstice because we love the Hot Glass Show they have on ... Read More
We love Hawaii and wanted to do a cruise around the islands, and we thought it would be good to cruise to Vancouver to have a longer cruise and be back close to home. We picked the Solstice because we love the Hot Glass Show they have on board. Embarkation went very smoothly. We arrived around 4pm and went right on. Disembarkation was a big mess. We were told that we should have the transfer shuttle to the airport as there were going to be 3 ships in port at once and it could be 3 hrs to wait for a taxi. So we paid the $30 each and went to get our bags. We were told to go in and go out the same place to get our luggage. That was not very smooth. Then we were in a crowd and there were no signs to tell you were to go for the shuttle. We found out there were 2 ships in at that time, and finally found the line for the shuttle. We waited at least 1 & 1/2 hrs to get on a shuttle! Some people missed there flight. We made it, but no time to get lunch. We should have had a few hrs to spare. The ship is very nice. The cabin was good. We were in Aqua with a balcony. We got to dine in Blu , the specialty restaurant for Aqua class. It was very nice. Smaller and more intimate than the MDR. It was smaller portions, but still plenty and you can always order more. The did have a lot of sea food and lamb... that we don't like, but there was always steak. Deserts were really good, especially the chocolate cake and the cheese cake! Entertainment was disappointing. It was very loud, everything, and not many good guests. However we loved the Hot Glass Shows and went to all of them! Service is great! We had really great servers in Blu, we got them most nights. Also our room attendant was so friendly and helpful! We enjoyed the Ports. You can't go wrong with Hawaii. We did a ship excursion in Maui, Lahaina , the Dolphin and Snorkel tour to Lanai. It was good. They took us to a bay in Lanai. We saw 3 bottle nose dolphins on the way. The snorkel spot was kinda deep, so it was hard to see a lot, but we saw some turtles and fish. If I go again, I think I want to spend more time in Maui or Kona...so probably not a cruise. It was hot the first day at sea, but it got colder after that . I would go on the Solstice again . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
The itinerary was great, service was fantastic, with so many of the staff that we could name that went the extra mile. One waiter was Bobby, although there were many others. The ship, although the largest we have siled on did not appear ... Read More
The itinerary was great, service was fantastic, with so many of the staff that we could name that went the extra mile. One waiter was Bobby, although there were many others. The ship, although the largest we have siled on did not appear too big as getting around was not a problem, the lifts were so convenient. Even when we had to use a tender for getting ashore it all went very smoothly and no great waits even with the number of passengers. The food was very good and even when there was nothing that we liked on the menu there was always a choice of steak, chicken or fish available each night. The entertainment was average as having sailed with Thomson they take some beating for entertainment. There was plenty of activities to get involved with as we were 5/6 days at sea, with quizzes, table tennis and talks. The captain was really funny when making his daily announcements, but very good at making sure we saw all the sights such as the volcano lava flowing inti the sea as we passed. Wonderful cruise, brilliant ship and great staff, thank you Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful experience we had on Infinity and of course the itinerary. Alas, this was a huge disappoint. We paid for a Royal Suite and the truth is, it was no where near worth it. Check in was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful experience we had on Infinity and of course the itinerary. Alas, this was a huge disappoint. We paid for a Royal Suite and the truth is, it was no where near worth it. Check in was appalling. We queued for over an hour and a quarter in a CAR PARK, inhaling car fumes and as taxi's were constantly depositing guests to join the queue, the atmosphere was beyond pollution. Health and safety would have had a field day. As suite guests, you are supposed to receive the extra special touches, which let's face it, is why you pay in the first place, this most definitely was not the case. Apart from our excellent Butler Jose and the Luminae restaurant, it was very disappointing. The private lounge, Michael's Club had no atmosphere and wasn't a place where you felt as though you were receiving value for money. I could go on but suffice to say, the cruise was way over priced and if I hadn't already booked a cruise with Celebrity, I wouldn't be sailing with them again. Actually, it goes beyond that. I would CANCEL the cruise with them but our flights are already booked. I complained on the ship and received vouchers but no explanation or apology and on my return I wrote and complained and didn't even get a reply. The worse customer service ever. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
The speakers were outstanding. The waiters and room attendants were excellent, as usual. The ship's cabins are starting to show a bit of aging. I understand that the Solstice is going into dry dock for some updates soon, so maybe ... Read More
The speakers were outstanding. The waiters and room attendants were excellent, as usual. The ship's cabins are starting to show a bit of aging. I understand that the Solstice is going into dry dock for some updates soon, so maybe that will be addressed. Most of the nightly entertainment in the theater was pretty good--we enjoyed the people they brought in more than their own productions. However, every show we attended was way too loud. We (and others) left shows because of the noise level. A hint--we discovered half way through the cruise that there are free ear plugs available at the guest relations desk. The only specialty restaurant we used was the Tuscan Grill. It was wonderful. I found the menu in the main dining room for main courses a bit difficult for me to find items I would enjoy. Desserts--no problem. The Windjammer menu was the same old same old and we tried to avoid going there. It is crowded at mealtimes, although the staff does try to clear tables as quickly as possible and are always very helpful. In Maui we took "The Road to Hana". Be aware that it is a very long day. There are beautiful waterfalls and lovely views but after a couple of hours I had seen enough. The excursion lasted approximately 11 hours. All the tour guides on the excursions from the ship were very good. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
What a great cruise. I am an experienced cruiser. I have been on Carnival,, NCL Princess, HAL and Celebrity. Celebrity being my favorite cruise line right now. Embarkation was the usual lines and waiting but nothing out of the ... Read More
What a great cruise. I am an experienced cruiser. I have been on Carnival,, NCL Princess, HAL and Celebrity. Celebrity being my favorite cruise line right now. Embarkation was the usual lines and waiting but nothing out of the ordinary. We stayed at the Pan Pacific hotel in Vancouver which takes your luggage down to the ship for you. Lovely hotel for a pre cruise stay. The ship was lovely and was so clean everything sparkled. We were offered champagne or orange juice upon boarding. Out cabins were not ready until 1pm so we headed to the Lido for a buffet lunch. After lunch we changed into our suits which we had packed in out carry ons and hung out at the hot tub until our room was ready. We had a handicapped cabin on deck 6 as I am disabled. The ship was totally accessible for me with automatic doors everywhere. All the public bathrooms were handicapped accessible with automatic doors. The only problem I had was finding a place to sit in the buffet. It was packed with people and there was no where to sit. Here I am with my food on my lap and no where to sit and eat. I think some tables should be reserved for handicapped people like they do on NCL. We cruised from Vancouver to Kona, Hawaii on very smooth seas. No rough weather at all. .However, we don't get seasick even with heavy seas. I even missed being rocked to sleep at night. It was a wonderful itinerary. What can beat Hawaii but I missed going to Kauai which is my favorite island. We went to Kona, Hilo, and two days in Lahaina and ended the cruise in Honolulu. We had to tender in Kona and Lahaina and it was a major pain. Had to go stand in line for a tender ticket. We got tender number 19 and had to wait 2 hours for our number to be called. It was horrible. I wish they would dock on the other side of Maui. We booked the go best program which included premium drink package, unlimited internet, and gratuities. We are not big drinkers but it was nice to order any kind of drink we wanted including martinis, wine, pop and bottle water. Internet was strong and we always had a signal. Had a wonderful room steward by the name of Berri from St Vincent. He was great. He cleaned our cabin when we wanted it cleaned and when we didn't want to be bothered he left us alone. I had two massages at the spa. I had a hot stone massage with Andrea and a regular massage with Ru. Both were great therapists. There was no hard sell.for their products. I said one no and that was it. There is a 18% gratuity that they add on to all services. We dined a few times in the dining room but we found the service to be very slow. Once we ordered drinks and didn't get them for 47 minutes, by that time we were already on our main course. Sometimes it was quicker and easier to go to the Lido buffet. I think a lot of people had the drink package as the bar and wine service was slow everywhere.. I talked to many people who complained about the food in the dining room. Not me. I thought all my meals were excellent, however, I am not picky. If someone else makes it I'll eat it. My husband ordered rooms service many times and loved it. Entertainment was hit and miss. I usually love the production shows but not on this ship. I found them way too loud. I couldn't wait to get out of the show room as I felt like I had been yelled at for an hour. Other shows I found boring. I enjoyed the juggler and really enjoyed the enrichment talks during the day. There was handicapped seating in the show room but I found you had to get there early to get any of it. Either there was a lot of disabled people on this cruise or there is not enough handicapped seating in the show room. We did no excursions as we had been to Hawaii so many times before. We always rent a car and have favorite places we like to go. Besides trying to get handicapped accessible excursions are close to impossible. I like Celebrity so well that I booked another cruise in 2018. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to cruise to and around Hawaii. We had a beautiful five days at sea. Ship was very nice and crew were extremely friendly and helpful. Ate one night at Murano and the food was delicious. We felt like ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to cruise to and around Hawaii. We had a beautiful five days at sea. Ship was very nice and crew were extremely friendly and helpful. Ate one night at Murano and the food was delicious. We felt like we were the only table that our server had. She was very knowledgable and prepared our lobster tails at our table. The Vancouver terminal was not very well laid out and seemed a lot of unnecessary going up and down escalators just to check in. They need to rethink their check in process. But once we boarded it was all good experiences. Two ports had tenders and that was a little rough. We don't really dock anywhere that is a high tourist area so not a lot of Hawaii experience. That was kind of a let down. As long as we were on the ship itself it was great. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
embarkation a nightmare. There were 2 ships at the same terminal for checkin. confusion and unorganized. After dragging luggage thru terminal for 200 yards we thought we final reach the end of line. But no, a luggage handler said leave ... Read More
embarkation a nightmare. There were 2 ships at the same terminal for checkin. confusion and unorganized. After dragging luggage thru terminal for 200 yards we thought we final reach the end of line. But no, a luggage handler said leave luggage by this door leading to garage and ship. He pointed and said go to elevator by a green door about 150 feet away thru 100s of other passengers. We went to 2nd floor and now total confusion, lines did not really exist. About 1/3 of passengers still had their luggage. Checkin had no way to handle luggage so after checking in they had to go down stairs to get rid of luggage. We people upstairs followed signs to 3 more check points. Customs , carry on luggage check and board ship. It took over 1 hour , on previous 4 cruises total terminal time 70 minutes. I can not blame Celebrity for all of this. First cruise with 5 days cruising no ports. Plenty to do, we are over 65 yrs old. Purchased 2 specialty dining pkg. Had lunch in Murano , the Ocean View buffet had a island with a different countries food every night. Solstice select dining wasn't run as nicely as Silhouette. On Silhouette the 4th floor starboard side was just for select diners. On Solstice mixed diners and waiting. Ports were Ok, 2 required tending. Weather on 5 day Pacific were warm, 75 degrees or warmer except 1st day 68 degrees. Water had a slight chop. Partly clouds and clear. Did have fog one night, ship used horn. Hardly heard it. Rented a car on Maui, Driving was relaxed, no speeding , parking lots in cities. Entertainment had 3 bands all 4 star. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our first cruise on Celebrity, our other cruises were on Royal Caribbean. We arrived in Vancouver 2 days early to allow us some free time before the cruise. We went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and the Fly Over Canada. ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Celebrity, our other cruises were on Royal Caribbean. We arrived in Vancouver 2 days early to allow us some free time before the cruise. We went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and the Fly Over Canada. Both well worth the money. We stayed at the Days Inn, a couple of blocks from Canada Place. It was a very easy walk even with our luggage (one large roller, three smaller roller suitcases). The hotel has some age on it, and the rooms were small, but we saved a hundred or so per night compared to other hotels. The embarkation was a little tricky. You had to drop off your luggage on one floor, go up to the next floor to check in, then back down to the previous floor to board the ship. Canada Place should send some personnel to the Port of Baltimore, they have embarkation down to perfection. The ship was nice, could not tell she needed to go in for a referb. We had a Concierge class stateroom (2103), on the port side. It was well situated. We were on the pool deck one room away from the doors to the pool area. We were also just below the Oceanview Cafe. We could here some noise, but that was because we had the door to the balcony slightly open. We went to the Martini Bar every night as a group of us would use this location to meet up after dinner. The bartenders were quite good and very entertaining. It was a pleasure to watch them mix and pour the martinis. The food in the main dining room was very good. We ate there almost every night. The service was very nice as well. The servers always made you feel as though you were the only ones they were waiting on that night. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. The five days at sea went by fast as there was always something to do on the ship. We were treated to a special event, as we were able to watch the lava flow into the ocean the night we left Hilo. The Capt was nice enough to stop the ship off the coast, then do a 360 so everyone that wanted to view the lava flow had a chance. We would welcome another chance to sail on the Solstice. We hope Celebrity keeps her on the same schedule as now because we have two cruises on our bucket list (Alaska, and cruise to Australia) that would mean sailing on her again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
luxery of traveling prima diner and service..clean cabines en very friendly personel on all sites of the ship...nice food and variation and a very good service at dinertable from Cheatan and his help..very clean toilets everu-yware on the ... Read More
luxery of traveling prima diner and service..clean cabines en very friendly personel on all sites of the ship...nice food and variation and a very good service at dinertable from Cheatan and his help..very clean toilets everu-yware on the ship...entertainment was niveau...ports and shore excusions were very expencive...the embarkation was smoothly....and we come back!!I did not explore the before the cruise...we are in mars of 2017again on a celebrety soltice cruise to the far east...so it is because we are very happy with the cruisefacilitys we come back..we want to be registrate as a membre of the ship so we have the invitations of captein and special activitis..service on board were nice and very nowing their job as we where a lt in cafebar where it was very good quallity..the drinks as the cakes that we eat and personel was kindly and correct..so whe surtenly come back in mars 2017..thanks very much Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Apologies for the length but hopefully you will think it a worthwhile read. This was our fifteenth cruise and having sailed previously with Princess, P&O, Royal Carribean and Celebrity we became firm fans of Celebrity. Sadly in view of ... Read More
Apologies for the length but hopefully you will think it a worthwhile read. This was our fifteenth cruise and having sailed previously with Princess, P&O, Royal Carribean and Celebrity we became firm fans of Celebrity. Sadly in view of this particular experience we are not sure we would regard them as our top choice anymore or that they are superior to other cruise lines. They are certainly no worse than other lines but they have dropped in our estimation at the moment. We have booked our next cruise for next May and have decided to go back to Royal Carribean who we liked but not as much as Celebrity. Such a shame as on their day Celebrity are streaks ahead of the rest, in our view. Overall the trip was very good but whilst the below were very poor experiences that just shouldn't be happening on a holiday of this cost, we all know that you can still have a good holiday overall even with incidences like these. So we would definitely say to book Celebrity but just be cognisant of the potential for the below.. The Solstice ship is amazing, and that is before the upcoming refurb, as were the ports of call, excursions etc but a ship is only as good as the crew and we found all too many examples of pretty appalling service levels with this one. Unfortunately we had to deal with a number of them when in reality the crew should be seemless to the customers. Just remember most staff on these ships are really lovely but the poor ones unfortunately are the ones that tend to stick in the memory and impact the remembrance of the holiday. Embarkation was an ab shambles but tbf the oficers were well aware of all the issues and said it was a blip, They said the captain had ordered an enquiry into all that had gone wrong and to ensure all lessons learned were implemented immediately. We were supposed to be priority boarding yet we got served after most of the general queue. Created a bit of embarrassment for us with our friends on their first cruise and they were boarded long before us. They thought it was hilarious but we did not. No one was there to direct the boarding passengers sufficiently, very rude indeed staff just ignorantly waving us to " go there" and not even looking at us. We ended up heading for the wrong ship. Communication was nil. At the port we were constantly harassed by Celebrity staff to buy drinks packages and this continued at an unbelievable and unacceptable rate once we were actually on the ship and throughout the eleven days. We counted twenty such approaches in all before we were free to wander round the ship upon boarding and it was nigh on incessant after that. It was our twentieth wedding anniversary and my wife's fiftieth birthday so I had ordered flowers and champagne to be in our cabin but sadly it was not there. Went to their customer disservice desk, or guest relations to give them their title, where the staff were rude and told me they didn't need to deliver this order until 6pm and then said it would be with us in an hour. It wasn't delivered four hours later so back to customer disservice desk where I got more rudeness and a bovine excrement excuse that the ship had no champagne on board until 3.30pm that day but it would now be with me in five mins. It wasn't so I called and told them to forget it and refund my money as the surprise was now lost. Half an hour later a stewardess arrived and delivered a warm bottle of champagne, no glasses. no ice bucket etc so I told her to go away as I had now cancelled the order. Obv the depts. don't talk to each other. TBF I did report it to and was immediately contacted by Deborah, their wonderful Guest Relations Manager, who generously offered us a meal in the Tuscan Grill speciality restaurant as an apology for their omission. What a lovely gesture but I would rather have seen my wife's face when the surprise was waiting for her and for us to romantically consume said surprise on our balcony to start our holiday off on the right footing. How the hell Deborah puts up with some of those staff god only knows and why they are in such positions with such poor attitudes. She had to become involved in an issue that could so easily have been avoided if even one of the staff had taken ownership, had been sympathetic and helpful with me rather than being rude, offhand and obstructive. I am sure she has more to do with her valuable time than mop up behind her can't do won't do mentality staff. We spoke to long experienced Celebrity cruisers of this and found they also had failed to receive their purchased surprises. They said they were amazed how much the service and atmosphere had changed and gone downhill. They said the change in atmosphere aboard was tangible. On to the muster drill where the level of rude staff went up a few notches. They ignorantly waved us on with a " THERE " as they pointed to where we should stand. One guy in particular had a really bad attitude and physically and rudely pushed a lady to the wall as he said she was blocking the passage for others. Why the woman's husband didn't do something to him I really don't know as I would never tolerate anyone treating my wife like that. He was also rude to a ;lady pushing a gentleman in a wheelchair that was obv encroaching his valuable space. He then walked around with an almost militaristic strut, staring at all the passengers as he did so. The organisation during excursions was at times similarly lacking and we chatted to a couple who we had seen remonstrating with the staff after having being told in a less than friendly tones to stand at four different locations. He was another cruise customer who had been on many Celebrity cruises and he said the difference in overall culture on this trip was tangible and that he would not be coming back. One of the excursions we went on i.e. a wine tasting tour, bore ab no resemblance to the gushing description and picture in the shore excursion info on Celebrity's website. She went to complain but the tours desk was closed. There was a notice to say in the event that the desk was closed then guest relations would be glad to help. They weren't and did a Pontius Pilate act on her. I said to my wife it just wasn't worth the hassle dealing with such people so no point introducing that sort of pain into our holiday. The food and service in the main dining restaurant was first class. The breakfast restaurant, burger bar and other food areas were top class and def value for the cost of the cruise. Some people moaned about the choice and quality of the food but I honestly don't know what the basis for their moans was. The buffet restaurant offers a great choice of great foods throughout the day. The bars, particularly the passport bar with Randy, were also unbelievably great fun with great service but again we were hassled almost every drinks order to get us to take a drinks package. One waiter actually produced a chart based on our known spend to show why a package would be good. aghhhh. The live band were out of this world the and the decades music nights by the resident theatre troupe were simply fantastic. I have never seen a cruise where almost everybody of all ages got up and danced the night away. The decades shows as I say were particularly fantastic and ab spot on for the age group of the passengers so well done Celebrity for all of the above. We used two speciality restaurants ie the Tuscan Grill which is absolutely out of this world, everyone raved about this place, and the staff were superb albeit they canvassed for a big tip at the end, the cheeky monkeys lol. The food, portions far too much lol, was really top class and the selection mesmerising. The other was two nights at the Murano which we had fantastic experience of on a previous cruise on the Equinox. The first night there was sensational, you will never taste chateaubriand like this mmmm, and we rewarded the young lady accordingly with a sizeable tip for her service and friendliness. The second night, same lady was appalling. She was too busy with four Americans and almost ignored us entirely. As soon as we had just finished one course the next one was dumped on us. They even brought the speciality coffees and liqueurs before our dessert had even been served. The meal was over in an hour and we hadn't finished our wine??? Thankfully we knew the manager, i.e. Nenad lovely man, from the last cruise and he tactfully addressed the issues with the young lady who in turn sought us out on the ship to apologise for the way she had treated us and assured us she had learned from it. Apparently Americans like to have their courses rapid fire, she thought without actually asking that we would prefer the same, even though they were in the restaurant long before us and were just being served their main course as we were getting our dessert dumped on us. So another night that could have been a big,big win for Celebrity was turned into a major negative by total disregard for the paying customer. Again another manager had to become involved due to poor service from their staff. We may have been unlucky on this trip but too many other people, mostly devoted Celebrity cruisers, were echoing our experiences and views and I am sorry but it does colour your view of your experience, The " GIve me big tips, irrespective of service level ", with not even a thanks when we did, culture was very prevalent. Celebrity are a commercial organisation and quite rightly they have to look totally to the bottom line at all times. that is why they exist, but I am sure they are clever enough to achieve this seamlessly to their customers instead of naked aggression type hard sell techniques like this. We applaud staff being incentivised to sell the main product lines and services but perhaps some training and guidance is needed to avoid alienating the customer as they do so. We were so looking forward to going on Celebrity again as our experience on the Equinox was the best we have had in fifteen cruises. The above incidents are hopefully seen as opportunities to improve on areas that are not working in our view, rather than being viewed as just criticism. That is the last thing we want to spend time doing on our valued holiday time or indeed on sites like this. We do hope that this was a one off bad experience in a few but vitality important areas to us and that we have a better time should we use Celebrity again in the future. As I said at the start please don't be put off Celebrity as they are a truly wonderful line but hopefully take heed of some experiences we have had. Do let the staff know what you want ie if you want a leisurely meal. Do ensure any orders you have made will be there. Double check trips on trip adviser to ensure the marketing material is a true reflection of what you think you are buying. Do not get involved with negative staff.If they are rude and unhelpful go straight to their managers as they are very capable people. Do make up a badge before you board " I don't want a f*&%cking drinbks package " lol Happy cruising Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
My husband and I always wanted to go to Hawaii but we don't like long flights. The cruise was round trip to from and to San Diego. We were able to spend several days in San Diego prior to the cruise. We rented a car and drove up the ... Read More
My husband and I always wanted to go to Hawaii but we don't like long flights. The cruise was round trip to from and to San Diego. We were able to spend several days in San Diego prior to the cruise. We rented a car and drove up the coastline of California stopping in several towns. Entertainment and service on the ship was exceptional. The ship did a night time cruise around the big island to see lava flowing into the ocean. We loved the variety of the shore excursions offered, We took a tour in a helicopter and flew over the volcanoes and the calderas on the big island. The helicopter crew were very entertaining and pointed out many highlights on the island. The best excursion was snorkeling/snuba at the Molokini Crater. I snorkeled and my husband did the snuba. The water was crystal clear and there many beautiful fish and coral reefs. Staff on the snorkeling boat were very friendly and knowledgeable. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Background: We're a late 50's Calgary couple who wanted a nice leisurely cruise, to do the Hawaii sampler and to get off in Vancouver so we had a short plane trip home. This was our 4th cruise, 2nd with Celebrity. A lot of our ... Read More
Background: We're a late 50's Calgary couple who wanted a nice leisurely cruise, to do the Hawaii sampler and to get off in Vancouver so we had a short plane trip home. This was our 4th cruise, 2nd with Celebrity. A lot of our expectations were set when we sailed on the Reflection in December and the Solstice didn't quite live up to her sister ship. Newer is better I guess. Room: We had a balcony for the first time. Absolutely wonderful and we wouldn't book another cruise without going balcony again. Well worth the extra money IMHO. We spent a lot of hours sitting outside, when the weather was good, sipping wine or coffee and watching the world go by. That being said... The maintenance has been neglected. Our room on Reflection was newer and better even tho it wasn't a balcony. Dining: Dinner: The main dining room was hit and miss on this trip. Some really nice offerings and some really bad ones. I had to send my tough Prime rib back and the replacement was only marginally better. The 'Baked Alaska' and the 'Key Lime Pie' were sad to say the least and didn't reflect their namesakes in any way. I'd suggest staying away from the steak. Stick to the daily side of the menu. We splurged on the Tuscan grill and weren't disappointed! Excellent steak. Excellent service. Excellent table right at the back of the ship watching the sunset. I can highly recommend it. Lunch: The buffet was as good as it was on the Reflection. Take the time to walk around and find everything before you get your plate then pick up the hot items last and you won't be disappointed. Pretty hard to find a seat on sea days, but that's just par for the course when you're cruising. The Mast Grill has lineups for a reason folks. It's got tasty food and you don't have to leave the comfort of your deck chair for very long. Pick up a cold bevvy on your way back and you're going to have a good time. We tried the MDR for lunch once on a sea day. Gotta say, I wouldn't try it again. Food wasn't as good as the buffet and it took a while to get it. Breakfast: Buffet is always good for breakfast. Pick up your cold items then go to the egg station and have them prepare your eggs fresh. Don't make the mistake of setting for the eggs that are sitting in the hot dishes. We tried the MDR for breakfast once and it's just OK. Personally, I'd rather just do the buffet. Cafe Bacio - Great coffee. Grab one before breakfast and take it with you or do like we did and get a sampling of the morning bunnage and take it back to your balcony and have a quiet before breakfast breakfast. Included in the standard drinks package and a great place to have a late afternoon snack before getting ready for dinner. Solstice's food was hit and miss. Reflection's food was consistently better. Entertainment/Activities: Nothing bad here, but Reflection wins this one too. Reflection has some live entertainment around the pool. Solstice relies on canned music. Reflection has live entertainment in the main area before dinner. Solstice had some live and some DJ's. I liked the house band on Reflection better than the one on Solstice. I also found that there wasn't enough live entertainment during the days on the 5 sea days we had. Ports/Excursions: What's not to like about Hawaii? Lots to see and do. Great food. Great beaches. Our seasick snorkeling adventure wasn't Celebrity's fault. Only downside is that you don't get to stay long enough in Kona and Hilo. I can highly recommend a day at Kaanapali beach and you can get there cheap on public transport, just $4 for a daily pass. A couple of beach chairs and a big umbrella so you don't fry on your first day... $50. Great lunch with great drinks, not cheap, but well worth every penny. Lahaina's a great beach town with nice shops and galleries. When folks didn't have what we were looking for they gave us suggestions of who else in town might have it, which is a real nice vibe. Kona's just as nice. Check out Splashers upstairs for the best burger I've had in a long time and strong, I mean really strong, double Mai Tai's. The Kona coffee shop just below not only has great coffee, it also has sweet free wifi which came in really handy. Hilo was disorganized. After waiting for over an hour for the 'hoppa on hoppa off' bus to downtown, we gave up and went back to the ship. At least they gave us our money back. BTW: It's $15 online and $20 in person and you get on based on the number they give you. 3 busses went by and we still weren't going to get on the next one and they gave multiple folks the same numbers which of course caused problems. Overall: Trips are what you make of them. We had a great time and will go again. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. They busted their butts to make our experience the best it could be. Sure, some things could have been better, but who cares? Put a smile on your face. Have another drink and thank your lucky stars that you get a few days in paradise. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We had a fabulous time on this cruise. We are a couple late 40's & early 50's. This was our 4th cruise, first on Celebrity. Embarkation was a breeze. We had received an email telling us to arrive between 1 and 5pm, but ... Read More
We had a fabulous time on this cruise. We are a couple late 40's & early 50's. This was our 4th cruise, first on Celebrity. Embarkation was a breeze. We had received an email telling us to arrive between 1 and 5pm, but with having to be out of our hotel by 11am, we headed to the port. We thought we could at least drop off our luggage, but there were some others waiting to board so we joined the line. They started boarding people just after 11am and we were on deck with drink in hand by 11:30am (it was 5 o'clock somewhere) We booked with the 123 Go promotion, and the included beverage package made things very easy. We found no need to upgrade to the premium package, the basic was just fine for us. Muster drill was a bit of a joke, but they usually are. They had a 50% discount on the specialty restaurants the first evening so we dined in Tuscan Grille. It was amazing, had a window seat with great view. The food in the main dining room was great. We at there most nights with the exception of one evening where nothing appealed to us and another when my hubby got too much sun and was in bed most of the day. The buffet had great options and there was always something to eat. The mast grill was great also. Our stateroom was awesome. We were on the back side of the hump in 9241 and the balcony was huge. We would watch the sunset of our balcony each day at sea back to Vancouver. We didn't do any excursions on shore, however we did do the behind the scenes tour. While it was ok, the one we did on Holland America Zuiderdam was way more organized and interesting. The one plus is we had lunch in Silk Harvest as part of the tour. The entertainment on board was good and varied. Always something different. The hot glass show was great, but you could only watch so much, especially the last couple of days at sea when it was quite cold. We bought a beautiful piece in the auction they have at the end of the cruise. Service was very good, never had an issue with our stateroom or in any venues. Actually asked to be moved in the main dining room one night due to a very rude passenger near us and were accommodated very quickly. The poor wait staff still had to deal with the guy though Disembarkation was good off the ship, but finding our luggage on land and getting out of the area was a challenge. The cruise line couldn't help anything with this - there were 3 cruise ships in that day. All in all it was a great cruise, will we sail Celebrity again? Maybe one day Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise because of the value, ports, length of the cruise, cruise line reputation and cruise ship rating. We were very pleased with our selection and our cruise. The service was excellent, the food was excellent. You have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the value, ports, length of the cruise, cruise line reputation and cruise ship rating. We were very pleased with our selection and our cruise. The service was excellent, the food was excellent. You have to go to Murano, the specialty restaurant. It was amazing. The entertainment was great as well. The room layout is the best we have had on a larger ship. I do wish they had a Promenade Deck as other cruise line do but they have a track on the top of the ship. It is just smaller and congested if you go anytime other than early in the morning. The fitness area is excellent. There were always machines available if you wanted to go that route. I was disappointed that there were no self service laundry facilities. That would probably keep me from doing a real long cruise with them. We ate most of our meals in the main dining room, anytime dining, and we had excellent service and quite a selection to choose from each day. The time we were in port was good and the ports were good as well. The on board shopping was expensive and the selection OK. I actually did not purchase anything on board and I usually do. Some of the activities were more expensive as well, Bingo for example. This ship is rated 5 star so I guess that is why the additional costs were higher. One thing that was very clever was that when the ship photographers took pictures of us they would show up on our television as a rotation. That was very inventive of them and I am sure helps with the photo sales. The activities were fun, Trivia, Galley Tour, Apple classes. We also had a naturalist on board who was very enthusiastic and informative. I would cruise with Celebrity again in a heartbeat. The officers and wait staff were outstanding. One other note, there is no smoking in the casino. It was so nice to be able to walk through there without having to hold your breath. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Nothing good to say about the ship, food, entertainment, service or staff ! Would give a negative rating if I could. Had to literally wipe out my drawer to put my clothes in on day one, full of dirt and hair. Service was poor, food was ... Read More
Nothing good to say about the ship, food, entertainment, service or staff ! Would give a negative rating if I could. Had to literally wipe out my drawer to put my clothes in on day one, full of dirt and hair. Service was poor, food was lousy, staff unfriendly. Had previously been on a Royal Carribean cruise in the past and the ship was beautiful, the service was wonderful and the food was great, so when we got on this ship it was a huge disappointment! Spent 5 days at sea, while it was quite cold outside so we were trapped inside this ship and the majority of the entertainment was quite costly! Spent $100 to play lousy bingo! Wish I had read the reviews prior to taking this cruise as many that I have seen have been negative. Also wish I had some pros to add to the cons of this cruise ship, but sadly and honestly can't think of one! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We had to toss up between a Good or Very Good rating - why - mainly because of the Main Dining Room experience of an evening. The service was good however the food was far from acceptable, especially after sailing on RCL's Legend of ... Read More
We had to toss up between a Good or Very Good rating - why - mainly because of the Main Dining Room experience of an evening. The service was good however the food was far from acceptable, especially after sailing on RCL's Legend of the Seas in December, which is one of their older ships sailing however had much more appealing food in their Main Dining Room with absolutely no complaints. When the Solstice's Maitre D and the Sous Chef visited our dining table towards the latter end of the cruise to ask about the food, the Sous Chef blamed Australian Beef for the poor quality. Not a good thing to do! It was like waving a red rag to a bull saying that to Australians! After all, we do export to Japan, so questions need to be asked as to was it the cuts purchased by the staff, quality of what they chose to purchase, their actual supplier, preparation or cooking of the beef (and other meals) that resulted in substandard meals. Even a butcher on the cruise was complaining. We were not the only ones as many who had sailed on her before were bitterly disappointed after previously wonderful experiences. And the quality and presentation of the food overall was not just about beef. One example is I personally had Beef Goulash for a starter, there was one piece of beef the size of a small finger nail in the Beef Goulash, the rest was liquid. Another example was having Beef Cheeks which was predominantly full of fat which I couldn't really spit out sitting with a table of other people. The Creme Brûlée was the same nearly every evening whereas on other ships they actually make different flavours. The food was just average at its best. We had been allocated 8.30pm dining which is too late for me, therefore the first thing we did was to head to the Dining Room to plead for 6pm dining (due to my illnesses) which we were told may be unlikely as it was already fully booked with people requesting 6pm from 2 years earlier whereas we had recently booked. It was a pleasant surprise the next day receiving advice they had a table for us and we dined with some wonderful people who we plan to keep in touch with. It may or may not have been the food offering, however, this Dining Room was 'at least' 25% empty the majority of the time. This is the first time I have criticised a cruise after sailing on many. More specifically because this cruise was on my Bucket List as I have terminal Illnesses and I really wanted to sail on Celebrity while I could as I had heard so many wonderful things about the line. Even the bread on the table was predominantly a white loaf sliced in a basket, whereas on Legends, the Assistant Waiter would come around with a tray full of a beautiful variety of freshly baked rolls and bread to offer. Solstice felt more like a cafeteria in this regard. We chose to dine at one of their Specialty Restaurants, Muranos, a couple of times and the food, as well as their service was superb. Their fillet steak melted your mouth and was also Australian. No excuses there! There are two other Specialty Restaurants on the ship which we also heard good reviews about. The Buffet was probably the best we've experienced with a great selection of food. No complaints there however I needed to eat where there was a less likelihood of picking up bacteria or a virus due to my low immunity and not the ships attempts to maintain excellent cleanliness in every area of the ship which they did. Oh, and room service was very efficient with good quality of food. And, there are other places offering food in different parts of the ship that seemed to be well accepted by the guests. The other thing we must comment on was that we chose this same dining room for breakfast and lunch and could not complain about anything at these times. The other reason for our questionable rating was the tendering, for example when we tendered off The Bay of Islands NZ, we were not able to disembark the ship by tender boats until around 12.30pm when half the day was gone so it really impacted on our visit and restricted what we could do and where we could go. This was despite us obtaining our tender tickets around 9.05am when they started distributing them at 9am. Must have been a lot of people there early! There were many many annoyed and frustrated people at this time. The other tendering ports still had minor issues however the staff had made great improvements from the Bay of Islands. Also, we had to hand in our Passports prior to arriving in Tahiti and 'that' was a big mess too, resulting in guests queueing for at least 40 minutes or more, then the reverse when collecting them prior to visiting Maui and going through the US Customs on the ship. There 'were' better options to be considered for this process rather than alienating and inconveniencing guests, such as a deck at a time, or not all on the same day (for handing in the passports), or pre boarding Immigration Inspectors at the earlier port (may be cost and space prohibitive but...) These things need to be addressed if the ship wants to maintain a questionable 5 Star experience which we expected and were really looking forward to. Now I've got that off my chest, which I do hope has now been addressed, the ship and cruise was really nice. Externally there is a bit of tiredness showing and the balconies need new furniture, however 'she' is going in for some upgrades in September which can account for this so no real issues. The cabins were comfortable, clean and had everything we needed. The service overall was excellent. The entertainment in the main theatre was also excellent (best we've experienced). The Cruise Director Ben again excellent, funny and Australian!! The Lectures we attended were excellent especially Chelsea who is a young, vibrant, enthusiastic and knowledgeable marine biologist. We didn't avail ourselves of the shore excursions and chose to do our own thing on shore as we had visited these ports before, we just wanted to sail on Celebrity! Ports were also excellent (bad luck about the overcast weather in Tahiti not allowing the beautiful colours of the water to be exposed). We both couldn't help but wonder why the ship has the natural grassed area on Deck 15, which is roped off anyway. It seems to be a waste of space with few passengers seeming to avail themselves of the deck itself. The Glass Blowing and a bar is on this deck and worthwhile visiting...otherwise.... The ship itself presents well, is easy to navigate (internally), has a lovely spacious lounge and bar area overlooking the ocean views where Trivia is played of a day but where you can relax with a book to read in comfortable seating. Two lovely pools, internal and external which appear to be well maintained. The theatre is beautiful and there is an additional smaller theatre next to it for smaller activities, bingo, lectures etc. There is really nothing lacking in these areas. The shops are central, between the main dining areas and theatre and alongside the casino area. There were not many children on this particular cruise, however those that were on it seemed to be well behaved so obviously well cared for by the staff. There appeared to be lots of activities in the latter part of the evening for those who could stay awake LOL. We were off to bed after dinner and the 9pm show however the ship was still 'alive' at this time. Embarkation and Disembarkation ran smoothly. No issues here whatsoever. Overall, we did really like and enjoy the cruise but the food issues really spoilt it for us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise on internet reports that Celebrity Solstice is an upmarket experience in cruising. The cabin was good. The crew were good. The shipboard experience was a let-down. No coin laundry; a debacle in tendering at Bay of ... Read More
We chose this cruise on internet reports that Celebrity Solstice is an upmarket experience in cruising. The cabin was good. The crew were good. The shipboard experience was a let-down. No coin laundry; a debacle in tendering at Bay of Islands where it took us over 3 hours to get on a tender. (Improved in later ports); main Dining Room food was a huge disappointment. Overcooked meals. Many dishes tasteless. We purchased a 5 night specialty Restaurants package. Murano and Tuscan Grille were excellent in menu, food, and service. Silk Harvest Asian Restaurant was a disaster - dried out whole fish, long overcooked duck breast. Drink prices on board were over the top!! Repeat Celebrity Solstice cruise guests reported that the standard of the ship was way below previous cruises. Another huge annoyance to a lot of cruisers was the expulsion from the only seaview lounge on the ship at 5pm to allow private access to a "higher paying" class of guest. No more Celebrity!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. It included 5 ports of call we had never visited (2 in New Zealand, Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora), and ended in our favorite travel destination, Hawaii. The length was about what we wanted and of ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. It included 5 ports of call we had never visited (2 in New Zealand, Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora), and ended in our favorite travel destination, Hawaii. The length was about what we wanted and of course the capability to visit 3 islands in French Polynesia made this cruise very attractive. The Solstice is a fantastic ship and the crew is outstanding. We were very impressed with the entire ship, especially the theater and the Solstice crew. Boarding in Sydney was very easy. We dropped out luggage off early the day of departure and then spent several hours in The Rocks area since that was market day. Our only issue with sailing day was the muster drill. Our muster point was on deck 4 promenade and it was very chaotic trying to get everyone's attention and maintain it during the drill. The drill lasted rather long, ending at 5:50pm, which was pushing early dining at 6pm. The sailing time of 6:30pm also conflicted with those of us with early dining so we had to make our first choice of the cruise--attend sail away or go to main dining. Our cabin on deck 3 (ocean view) was very nice and our cabin attendants were 2 of the best we've every had. A hit attraction for this cruise was the presence of the Polynesian team of 4 from Hawaii that taught several courses including ukelele (which I took). lei making (my wife too) and also performed on many occasions including crossing the equator ceremony. On board lectures were very informative. I want to call out Chelsea Behymer, the on-board naturalist, in particular. She has a passion for her subject area that made her lectures come alive and made you want to learn. Entertainment was top notch for the most part with the Solstice singers and dancers our favorites. Another highlight was the ANZAC memorial at 6am the day we sailed into Hawaii. A special thank you for Ben the cruise director for coordinating and directing that effort. Immigration and customs was conducted at anchor at Lahaina since that was the first port of call in the US. It went well for us US citizens as most of us were through immigration and on the tender by 10am. Disembarkation in Honolulu was one of the smoothest I've ever done. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
I first want to say that we sailed on Reflection last year and loved it, had no complaints. We have over 20 cruises under our belt, most on RCI. So when we booked Solstice to Hawaii we were expecting a great cruise. However there were ... Read More
I first want to say that we sailed on Reflection last year and loved it, had no complaints. We have over 20 cruises under our belt, most on RCI. So when we booked Solstice to Hawaii we were expecting a great cruise. However there were too many things we were not happy with and I doubt I will go back on this ship. First the food in the dining room was not what we were use to. Many times it was cold, it was tasteless and they have made the portion sizes very small. I asked one of the chefs what was going on and all he could say was cost cutting. Trying to reduce waste. Also the dining room was so cold by the end of the cruise I couldn't wait to go home. I was sick of freezing to death during dinner. The Staff was amazing, very happy and always said hello. They made the cruise for us. I have not one thing bad to say about them. The ship was clean but all common areas were freezing all the time. Again we have never been so ready to go home and be comfortable. Also we were disappointment in the shows at night. They were the worst we have seen. The dancers were great, but the others were not what we were use to. The tours we did were amazing, can't say enough about them. Hawaii was beautiful. Our Hawaiian ambassador, June was wonderful. She held hula classes for 5 days and I never missed one. It was the highlight of my cruise. Read Less
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