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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Fifth cruise - first with Celebrity. Excellent ship and repositioning cruise. Good facilities aboard. Smooth embarkation and disembarkation. Plenty of space and never felt too crowded. Excellent passenger flow. I am always ready ... Read More
Fifth cruise - first with Celebrity. Excellent ship and repositioning cruise. Good facilities aboard. Smooth embarkation and disembarkation. Plenty of space and never felt too crowded. Excellent passenger flow. I am always ready to get off a cruise after 7 days, but I managed 10 days on this one with no troube. Ports visited were OK except for Hilo. Not a lot to see there and the showers didn't help. Excellent buffet selection and well laid out, especially the English Breakfast (who would ever expect bangers, black pudding and English bacon on a Pacific cruise!) and Indian sections. Cabin (and balcony) very good (9141). Cabin staff excellent. We are not generally attracted to cruise entertainment and the only show we saw was disappointing. Our main criticism was the MDR. Portions were small, especially the appetizers, and we found several main courses served warm, not hot, and lacked flavour, especially sauces and gravies. Lobster was overcooked and chewy. The cheese board was a joke compared to what HA offers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Booked this cruise for my 20th anniversary. Just me and my wife on this journey across the Pacific...... Traveled up to Vancouver as we live in Seattle. Would certainly say we waited in line longer to get on this ship than most. Lots ... Read More
Booked this cruise for my 20th anniversary. Just me and my wife on this journey across the Pacific...... Traveled up to Vancouver as we live in Seattle. Would certainly say we waited in line longer to get on this ship than most. Lots of confusion by staff which contributed to the lengthy boarding process. Ship was nice, nothing to complain about. Our room was very big for an inside cabin, however when things got rough at sea, it creaked and squeaked very loud which made sleeping fairly tough. Dining was probably average. Better service on Princess and the food was better in my opinion. We did the early seating, nice company at our table, but again, everything else was average. Ports were great, just enough time in each to give us an idea as to what and where we may want to go in the future. Tenders were the typical mass movement of people trying to get in front of each other....organization of this part of the cruise was the WORST part of our experience. Comedians were really pretty darn good. Other shows were the average sort of cruise ship stuff, but the dancers on the ship were excellent. Here is the thing about this cruise. For day two, three, and part of four--this cruise was ROUGH. I do not normally get sick, but I think close to every one else on the ship was sick--including the staff. I went to the buffet for lunch and saw a total of 9 people. The enclosed pool looked like an infirmary. When warm, finding a chair by the pool was very tough. Our favorite part of the cruise was the martini bar. Friendly people great drinks. We sat there every night before bed and enjoyed it every time. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Celebrity X Modern Luxury Cruise Style! This is their new motto as seen on T.V. or the internet. If you booked an inside cabin, window, we choose a balcony. Now settle for scratchy T.P. and tissues, faded small robes, and worn out towels. ... Read More
Celebrity X Modern Luxury Cruise Style! This is their new motto as seen on T.V. or the internet. If you booked an inside cabin, window, we choose a balcony. Now settle for scratchy T.P. and tissues, faded small robes, and worn out towels. Gone are the luxury aquatic spa therapy items. The room attendants were working very hard and we truly appreciated both of them. They kept our worn tired room clean. No longer do they fold towels into crafty animals. In room meals varied each day and we always ordered the same. Would receive a call to see how our breakfast was that morning. No way, would I give them the truth for fear of a breakfast (it was already cold, hard fruit and super thin bacon). The menu has up charges for better selection. The breakfast buffet proved to be our best choice. Coffee on the ship was either too strong or too weak and not always hot. The Veranda was nice size, railing window, chairs, table was dirty and large tear in the flooring could cause a problem. Veranda scheduled to be cleaned! Oops, missed our room. The rumor on the ship was that there (many passengers sick) stabilizer problems. This was causing severe sickness/balance problems for many on these 5 days at sea. My Husband has two knee replacements; he needed a cane and my hand to steady him. Now back home his knees are back to normal. We canceled our excursion like the snorkeling on Maui. Being tendered was a scary experience with one woman falling down when entering the boat. I tried to use the pool the first day at sea and the waves were at least 6 feet high, the water in the pool (closed) splashed out from one side to the other. No, this after 10 cruises have I never experienced this before. We cruised on the Solstice three years ago and this time was disappointing. We were celebrating our Golden anniversary. We booked this Hawaiian cruise 18 months ago, knowing it caters to older cruisers. Yes, the repositioning of the Solstice from Alaska to Australia was not a scheduled feature so no Hawaiian food, music, entertainment flowers, clothes, coffee. Gone is the famous brunch buffet appreciated by every seasoned guest on repositioning ships. Ship remains shiny, clean in common areas. The Shops were clearing out old stock. We booked first dining at 5:30 and had the worst food experience, rude grabby plate waiter Poltan, and his assistant Latia proved to be incompetent. The waiter gave us four different menus. Poltan read off his favorite choices for the night. I asked why he didn’t mention any item on my menu. My husband was given a blank one first. The prelude of what would be many disasters. The waiter continued to serve plates to the wrong person, neglected the items ordered, minute portions and some choices were horrible. We were given a table next to a pole, we moved to the outside portion of the table. Gee whiz, you would have thought we wanted a better view. No way! that a portion of the dining room is for new Suite Class guests who will be indulged with a new and exclusive restaurant Luminae. Luminae offers a deliciously exclusive dining experience like no other. They have you packed in like sardines on what’s left of the original dining area. One waiter bumped my chair so hard I almost fell out of it. This continued numerous times with softer bumps. It was also very loud and noisy. We went to the dining area one afternoon and met the Head Dining Manager who is not very friendly and capable of changing our dining in 3 minutes. We requested a different table. There are no tables available for early dining. Nope, late dining wasn’t our first choice but it worked. We met our new waiter Camilo and his assistant D. They were a joy. The portions are so small we ordered more soups and salads. They are following the lead on the Food Network with small portions being the in thing now. We enjoyed the hamburgers and fries at the Mask Grill and ice cream at the buffet. Aqua Spa Café now charges for yogurt parfaits. Gone are the many choices like the nuts and dried fruits and replaced with canned fruits, small muffins and hard fresh fruit and melons! The buffet announced a Hawaiian menu. I looked around and finally asked where it was located Sweet/sour Chicken rice. Charging for pay per view $13.00 and 18% gratuity fees, inferior entertainment, taped ballroom music, and some singers near the elevators before dining located. We located the sweet and chicken and rice. We waited 10 days after we arrived home to contact someone about our cruise. I contacted guest relations representative: Kara Frank. The items I mentioned above were noted and she contacted me a week later to inform me these are the new company standards. The new dining guideline now represents Food Network portions. She encouraged us to take another cruise with them with absolutely no compensation. Earlier this year we sailed to Alaska on Holland America. We noticed portion sizes were smaller yet delicious all of the time. Ship was very clean, roomy placement of tables so everyone enjoyed the large windows. We enjoyed breakfast in our room everyday, wonderful service and great breakfast menu. This ship is scheduled for major remodeling soon. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Celebrity dropped the ball on Solstice. We've cruised with Celebrity before and were quite happy but this cruise left us disappointed and we will not travel with them again. The buffet had the same food everyday for lunch and ... Read More
Celebrity dropped the ball on Solstice. We've cruised with Celebrity before and were quite happy but this cruise left us disappointed and we will not travel with them again. The buffet had the same food everyday for lunch and dinner, something in red sauce and something in brown sauce. The formal dining room was just as bad, food cold and dry and no vegetables unless you ask for them. Celebrity touts their flex anytime dining but when we requested it we were told it wasn't possible and we ended up eating at 8:30 every evening, much to late for our tastes. Service in dining room was hit or miss. We think this is to force guests to eat in alternative restaurants for which a fee is charged, food definitely better if you pay for it. Cocktails are expensive and come out of a carton. Coffee horrible, either too strong or too weak. Egg station got our orders wrong 4 mornings in a row. The cabins are very nice and bathrooms are roomy but cabin steward got grease on our clothes that were left out on the bed. Entertainment was lacking in theatre and TV did not work half the time. No nightlife to speak of, generally boring. We will stick with Princess from now on! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
The ship is very clean and well maintained. From the first evening in the mdr, the food was consistently poor quality. The same meat was served over and over, whether in the mdr, Cafe, or speciality restaurants. From terrible coffee to raw ... Read More
The ship is very clean and well maintained. From the first evening in the mdr, the food was consistently poor quality. The same meat was served over and over, whether in the mdr, Cafe, or speciality restaurants. From terrible coffee to raw salmon (not sushi) to veal that could not be cut with a steak knife. We turned countless meals back. The cafe food was unattractive and tasteless. They couldn't even cook a burger properly. We tried to get anytime dining but were advised that it was wait listed, although there were lot of tables available. Part of the mdr has been closed off for suite guests, resulting in very close quarters in the mdr. Tables for two are so close, they are really two tables for four. It is impossible to have a private dinner for two as the guests in the next table are far too close. There was never a place to sit quietly. Loud music was playing everywhere and with the ships open concept design, the music funnelled from deck 3 right up to the library. The music was so loud at the pool, my husband had to get ear plugs as it was physically painful. Our cabin was very comfortable and clean. The room stewards did a great job. We rarely saw an officer or the cruise director. Although we were advised that many issues were addressed, we saw no improvement during our time on board. Although we have booked an Eastern European cruise on the Silouhette next year, we are debating whether to go ahead with the booking based on the Solstice experience Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
After being on Constellation and Infinity, we were expecting a major step up to the Solstice class. Way too many staff were disinterested or rude. I was stunned by the obscene pricing increases on drinks, an obvious railroad into a ... Read More
After being on Constellation and Infinity, we were expecting a major step up to the Solstice class. Way too many staff were disinterested or rude. I was stunned by the obscene pricing increases on drinks, an obvious railroad into a drinks package. We were given the used car salesman hard sell on day 1, anywhere we went. I don't go on vacation to be hard sold on anything. It it happens again, I'll likely never sail with them again. The shows were repeats, and quite average. Dining room staff were great as normal, but the food was a "blah". The menus were identical to our Infinity cruise from a year and a half prior. Oceanview Cafe was horrid, and there was no service to speak of and very little variety changes from day to day. Silk Harvest was nasty, not worth the $35 cover. Murano was fantastic as normal, amazing food and service. I mentioned to my spouse this is how the cruise main dining room used to be a decade ago. Tuscan was good, but made better by a very attentive server. The best part - the hot glass show was awesome! There was nothing that stood out to make this a "WOW" cruise, and are now debating cancelling our 28 day Transpacific for 2016. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
My husband and I are in our mid 50's; Celebrity Captain's Club members. !st time on Solstice , but militple times on Equinox, Eclipse and Reflection. This ship was a huge disappointment on so many levels. Lack of service, ... Read More
My husband and I are in our mid 50's; Celebrity Captain's Club members. !st time on Solstice , but militple times on Equinox, Eclipse and Reflection. This ship was a huge disappointment on so many levels. Lack of service, officer and crew rudeness towards passengers , tendering was a mojor safety issue; the crew was having difficulty leaving passengers with the impression this was their first attempt at doing this. Selection of food items in the Oceanview Cafe was nothing speail. Cruise lacked holiday spirit, fun. Crew members appeared miserable and the gift shops were shop worn I had a $500 credit and had a hard time spending it . Great ship for new cruisers because of itinerary. Ship is in dire need of a refurbishment very worn but EXTREMELY clean . RCI is putting money into building new RCI ships and fogetting about the beaulitifl Celebrity Solstice line Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Prior to this cruise we had sailed only on Royal Caribbean. We have always heard that Celebrity was a great cruise line and being under the umbrella of RC we thought we would choose it for our special anniversary. Royal had a couple of ... Read More
Prior to this cruise we had sailed only on Royal Caribbean. We have always heard that Celebrity was a great cruise line and being under the umbrella of RC we thought we would choose it for our special anniversary. Royal had a couple of ships sailing during that time but the itinerary that Solstice was offering was the selling feature and the price quoted for a Verandah cabin was also a reason for our selection. When we arrived in Honolulu we had some challenges finding transportation to the pier. I guess we should not have assumed that there would be a vast array of taxis and shuttles for us to choose from, but we did manage to find a shuttle to drop us off at the pier on the way to various hotels in the area. Embarkation was great. We arrived after the rush and we were able to get on board with ease. Our cabin was mid-ship on deck 7 and was lovely. Prior to sailing we had been given an upgrade so our balcony was larger than normal. This was wonderful because we like to get coffee from room service early in the morning and sit out to enjoy it. Every day the room service was very prompt and they always called to see if everything was OK. My only disappointment with room service was some of the items offered compared to other ships we had been on with RC. We would normally get a fruit plate with our coffee that would have a selection of fresh fruits but this ship only provided a small plate with three slices of either cantaloupe or honey dew. It was OK but we didn't order the fruit again. We did find our bathroom much more spacious than RC ships. The shower especially gave more room to move around which was great. The bed was comfortable as we like a firm bed and extra pillows were provided at our request. Linens were top quality. Lots of storage and the housecoats provided were a bonus. We also enjoyed the chocolates left for us each evening. Meals were excellent, whether in the Main Dining Room or the Ocean View Café. We also tried the Mast Grill (great hamburgers) and the Spa Café which was a really nice healthy alternative for breakfast. Service was always great and they did all they could to accommodate requests. We were reasonably happy with excursions booked through the ship however they seemed pricier than we thought they should be. One in particular, we didn't think we got our money's worth. I appreciated the fact that we had to meet in the theatre to wait for our excursion to be called which reduced the congestion getting off the ship. One thing I did not think was well planned was the fact that everyone had to go to the front of the stage to show their tickets for the excursion and receive the appropriate sticker for their shirt and then sit down to wait for the number to be called. There were so many senior people who would have benefited from showing their tickets when entering the theatre rather than making the trip all the way to the front and then back again. There were a couple of days, one being Lahaina, where we just walked to a beach and enjoyed the day rather than spending 70$ each for a shuttle to a beach for 5 hours and a chair and drink. Entertainment was mediocre. For the first three days I was beginning to think that the entertainment in the theatre would not get any better. Fortunately it did and we did enjoy several of the singers, acts, etc. that were featured. During the five days travel back to Vancouver, there was a vast selection of activities for us to be involved with. The band director formed a choir, my husband joined a putting challenge, seminars, trivia, etc. We made use of the fitness centre daily, along with the saunas. We did not find those days long at all. There was always something to do. Granted there were not many children on the ship and most passengers were 45+ age range so some younger travellers may not find it exciting enough but we enjoyed the time and activities. The ship as a whole was easy to get around and we appreciated the fact that we did not see a lot of people smoking or smell the smoke. The casino, in fact was open to some shopping areas and there was no smoking there...a plus for us. I must admit to readers that we are not drinkers and did not frequent the lounges but everyone we talked to did appreciate those areas...beverages, music. The lawn area on the top deck was unique and a lovely feature on the ship. Pool areas were kept well and we appreciated that fresh towels were placed on the chairs for use. When we arrived in Vancouver the disembarkation was delayed due to customs and two other ships being in port as well. However once we got off the ship and got our luggage, the lines moved along reasonably well. I can safely say we would sail on the ship again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
This was my first trip with Celebrity Embarkation very good with no hitches Cabin was good but no tea /coffee facilities? Ship was excellent and being on deck 12 access was easy to everything No laundromat facilities? ... Read More
This was my first trip with Celebrity Embarkation very good with no hitches Cabin was good but no tea /coffee facilities? Ship was excellent and being on deck 12 access was easy to everything No laundromat facilities? Gymnasium was good with plenty of equipment and clean towels Food in the Dining room was excellent however bistro food was noticeably below average as the trip progressed Only one decent Coffee shop (Lev 5) with constant lines of people most of the time? Entertainment was very average with exception of The Circus Solei night which was outstanding. On deck activities were nearly non existent. Too many 'at sea' hours spent on deck with most people sound asleep with their mouths open!! 30 min of dancing at lunch time is not enough to keep passengers interested nor indeed was a single guitarist singing to 500 people, mostly asleep. People needed to DO stuff. One passenger threw a a blow up ball int the pool and instantly the pool filled up with people having fun...Really!! Instead of putting on entertainment each evening in the theater, Celebrity would run a movie which you could watch in your suite anyway Highlight of the cruise was rescuing the two stranded yaughtsmen from the island I thought the costs charged on the ship for drinks were nothing short of obscene. The dining room would happily charge upwards of US$55 for for wines which could be purchased in Australia for AU$10 !!. Beer was costing US$8.50 for a bottle. Scotch and cocktails up to US$15 On shore Excursions, if booked on the ship, were heavily loaded. I booked all tours on shore. One tour cost $155 if booked on board, $50 on shore, with full fare paying passengers sitting along side us on the tour? There was a Hawain get together on deck at 10.30pm on the night before we disembarked in Honoloulu.? Why not a couple of days before hand, earlier start and lots of great music and Hawain dress up and maybe get your dance performers involved? It was the opinion of quite a number of passengers that Celebrity was intent on doing the minimum required for the cruise and at the same time suck as many dollars they could from their passengers. Celebrity....this was our first experience with you and it will be our last A super Ship does not always mean a super cruise. It is the people and the experiences that will be remembered Celebrity... You need to look very closely at your competitors...and learn Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We boarderd in Sydney , and thanks to the Concierge class , we had a shorter line to embark. Found the ship to be luxurious , beds super comfortable and the staff most attentive. The stateroom with a balcony was a great assett. Food ... Read More
We boarderd in Sydney , and thanks to the Concierge class , we had a shorter line to embark. Found the ship to be luxurious , beds super comfortable and the staff most attentive. The stateroom with a balcony was a great assett. Food on the ship was of an excellent quality and the specialty restaurants Murano,Silk Harvets and Tuscan were well worth paying the additional $us 99.00 per person for all 3. Nightly entertainment in the theatre we on the whole excellent . The crusie line pushes the drinks packages very hard , but we didint buy into it . You have to buy the package for the whole voyage , and when you consider how many days you will be off shore - not worth it for us ( and we're not big drinkers) . You can always get softdrinks and water/ tea and coffee from the self serve restaurant on deck 14 . Wish the cruise line would do something about the people who have breakfast/lunch in the Ocean View Cafe and linger long after they have finished , despite seeing people wandering around looking for tables to have breakfast / lunch .Thoughtless people . Found its better to book tours off the ship. 1/2 the price and less crowded.There are tour operators waiting in all the ports Bay of Islands, Auckland,Mooreau, Papeete,Bora bora and Lahaina. For example Bay of Island 5 hour sailing tour on the Phampton Yacht cost NZ $110..as opposed to US $ 174.00 through the cruise line.Papeete Circel island tour booked on the pier was US$ 50.00,which was also airconditioned. Shops Island Circle tour in a non airconditioned "Le Truck" was over us$100.00. If you want the glass bottom boat tour in Bora Bora , you have to book through the ship , as the crusie line hires the only boat doing this for the whole day . The Celebrity Solstice had an older crowd with the average age being 70. No more than a dozen kids under 18 were in the cruise with us .We are in our early 50's . While the cruise was great , 18 nights got to be a little tedious . We thought when we got off in Honolulu , we would jus get a taxi to the hotel on Waikiki Beach.Disembarking was a horrendous episode. Huge lines for the Taxis with over an hour wait . Best off pre booking Roberts Hawaii Tours transport to get into town. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Well this was our first cruise on Celebrity (first two on RCL) and our longest cruise. It also had by far the most amount of sea days, so we were curious on how this would play-out. Unfortunately the friends who put us onto the trip ... Read More
Well this was our first cruise on Celebrity (first two on RCL) and our longest cruise. It also had by far the most amount of sea days, so we were curious on how this would play-out. Unfortunately the friends who put us onto the trip cancelled prior to departure, so it could have been a long, long trip. Starting at the beginning, the embarkation was reasonably painless, we were aware that you can really embark whenever you wanted, so we dropped the bags off at the collection area and went for a stroll. Once the lines were down a bit (and this was early afternoon) we boarded. Quickly got our all important seapass, cleared customs, checked through security and were onboard - 20 mins tops. We then proceeded to check out a couple of bars and waited for the rooms to be ready, which was also quite quick, and we were ready to go (well the bags showed up by about 4ish). Food - this is all important. Now I could say that when I got home I had actually lost a kilo (and no that wasn't from the gym) and you'd think the food was poor, but on the contrary, there was plenty of food and generally very good. We ate at all the restaurants, Tuscans was our favourite, a bit more of the style of food we eat out on in Australia and the service was top notch. Muranos service was excellent, but the food was a little rich, and Silk Harvest was good, we enjoyed the food, but missed the mark a little - maybe we had expectations of a full on Japanese style, while it was a bit of a mixture. The MDR - well we only ate there about six nights, we picked the select dining times and pre-booked our times online before departure - a good idea. Unfortunately we did not get the dining experience we had had previously as we did not get the same waiters nor were we able to chat with the same people each night - something we liked from previous cruises. The dining room looks good, but it is a bit cramped and the décor a little 'too white and shiny'. Couldn't complain about the standard of food. There was a reasonable selection, it all tasted pretty good and the staff were very attentive to my wife's dietary needs that we had alerted the company to prior to departure. Bistro on Five was also pretty good, but only if you like crepes and baguettes. We did go a couple of times as it was a bit of a change, and they were open to alternative suggestions on the menu. A good location if everywhere else is busy. The Oceanview café was actually quite good, there was plenty of selection, and we found the quality of the food to be of a good to very good standard. It was busy at times (2800 people do get hungry at breakfast and lunch), but there was always a seat available. Dinner there was actually quite good, a good selection, they'd cook steak, chicken and fish to your requirements, and you could eat at your own pace - and not too busy. If you are a tea person - bring your own tea bags, and the freebie juice would make the best athlete a diabetic overnight, dilute it with some water (we were diluting it 50/50 or better). Lastly was Café al Bacio - we must have lived there. The staff were very friendly (I know its their job, but...) great cups of coffee and tea, cakes and gelato (thanks Jayne). It could be quite crowded though, so pick your times. At all eateries you were expected to clean your hands, some people complained about this, but for an 18 day cruise, and no norovirus outbreak - it is a precaution we should all adhere to! Overall, food wise, we had no complaints, except for there was too much, and too rich....oh and what's with the American bacon - we prefer ours the 'English way' please. Ok that's the important part over. There were number of downsides, drinks at the bars were expensive (compared to RCL and the real world). This saved us some money as we didn't drink much at all (we had the non-alcoholic premium package - fantastic value), but we were not paying $A20 for a premium cocktail, $A12 for a martini, $A12 for a mid range beer and anywhere from $A12 - 22 for a glass wine. We also thought the shops were also a little pricey and lacked variety over the 18 days, but that's what they are there for. We did organise a 'cultural walk' of the bars for a group of people, and the Events Co-ordinator and the Food and Beverage managed were very supportive. (This was actually a very good thing). Another area that let the ship down was the medical centre - unfortunately their bedside manner leaves a little to be desired when we needed their assistance one mid afternoon, the nurse was more concerned about making sure the bill was paid rather than assisting my wife who was in extreme amounts of pain. Make sure your travel insurance covers this (because of the pain the bill brings). The Doctor was quite good though, and we were sorted fairly quickly. Internet - don't get me started, this was a rort, I know we were in some remote areas, but the they still kept flogging the package even though they new the data rate was very low - 13mins to check a bank balance! On the issue of money, the onboard tours seemed quite expensive, and we found cheaper ones on the wharf. Overall Celebrity did seem to be more expensive onboard than RCL had been in the past (even allowing for the exchange rates). And I wont even mention the Spa prices! Back to the good things. The Cruise Director, his offsider (Ben and Pete - or should that be Benno and Peteski) and their teams did go to a lot of trouble to organise events on the long days at sea. There was plenty of variety (including the standard bingo etc.) and the presentations by Mike (general info) and Ann (locations) were quite interesting (and varied), there were also several matinee shows during the trip. We had a crossing the International Dateline Party, a crossing the equator ceremony, Polynesian dancing show and other events to fill in the time. There was live music at times around the pool, in the atrium and on the lawn area during the day, and more live music in the evenings in several of the bars. They did try to vary the style, but it was 18 days long! The Corning Glass show was great to watch, and the evening shows were, overall, quite good and entertaining. The cruise company show team put on some really good performances in the theatre but also upstairs in the Sky Lounge. The afternoon talent show was great with several outstanding performances by three of the crew members. We spent a lot of our time though just sitting around the pool, our room or a quiet area of the ship (and there was plenty of them) reading, listening to music or having a doze. We even had the chance to watch the crew conduct a SAR for two yachties, this delayed us by 16 hours, but the crew (probably with permission from head office) turned up the 'steam' and we were only two hours late to Maui - thanks skipper. The cabin we had (veranda deck 8) was neat and tidy, and well maintained by our cabin attendant (thanks Santanu) and his offsider. Minimal noise, room service was reasonable, but not as good as Oceanview, and a good selection of movies to watch when relaxing in the room. It was really good to relax, read a book, listen to music watching the endless ocean float past! Service - the service from all the crew members we encountered was very good. They were always with a smile on their face, and a 'how are you' on their lips. At some time we spoke to, or were greeted by, all the senior staff, and they were open to questions and comments. This was definitely a highlight, the low part of this was the way some of the passengers treated the staff - some people are so rude and selfish. Only negative here was there needed to be more bar staff during the peak hours to cater for the demand, and everyone should wait their turn when it is busy! Again the rudest people on the ship were some of the passengers. Disembarkation - this did not always run smoothly. We were tendered out in a number (most) of locations, and getting off the Ship by tender is a drawn out process. Sometimes there was a number system, a couple of times there were not. We got over this by not having any tours booked (we expected delays) and just waited out the rush by having a late breakfast etc. Customs and Immigration in Maui took a long time, and we were amongst the last to be processed (again we expected it and weren't to phased), but there are better ways, and the final disembarkation in Honolulu also took some time, but again we hadn't planned anything that required us to rush off, but we were in the final third and still off by 9am. Would we do it again, YES - we had a very relaxing time, the service was great, the food of a high standard and the room met our requirements. We beat the crowds by not joining in the rush, and generally had a laid back time of it all. We reduced our onboard expenses by opting for the non-alcoholic premium pack, and not going to the Spa, and only having a few drinks (if you are going to have more that five - six drinks a day look at the alcohol packages - you can buy them onboard after you sale, a great idea by Celebrity). The ship was in good knick, clean and tidy, and there were plenty of places to relax, and heaps of good food. Yes the average age of the passengers was 50-60 (with some older, but still some in their 30s), there were a number if kids and teenagers (what to do to keep them busy for 18 days?), but they seemed to be well catered for, but that's what the solarium is for if you want to escape, but they all seemed to have a good time as well. And, yes there was some downsides, but most of that revolved around money, rude passengers and queues to get off the boat; overcome by some prior planning and patience. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was the second time we had been on this ship and I loved it even more this time around. We had a suite and a premium drinks package and I felt very looked after and spoilt. The staff are generally very friendly and helpful and our ... Read More
This was the second time we had been on this ship and I loved it even more this time around. We had a suite and a premium drinks package and I felt very looked after and spoilt. The staff are generally very friendly and helpful and our cabin was clean comfortable. They take great pains to keep the ship clean and keep people healthy. The food is great and the various restaurants are terrific. They have a new restaurant for suite guests called Luminae which is wonderful. Bora Bora and Moorea are to die for. Water like a warm bath and fantastic snorkelling. I would do it all again! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
I read many reviews about Celebrity Solstice and many reviews leave me wondering what on earth people do on their cruise, maybe all day finding fault very anything they can? Our second cruise on Solstice was as memorable and wonderful ... Read More
I read many reviews about Celebrity Solstice and many reviews leave me wondering what on earth people do on their cruise, maybe all day finding fault very anything they can? Our second cruise on Solstice was as memorable and wonderful as the first, just over a year prior. Embarkation in Sydney was busy but efficient, it did not take long to board, the traffic jam at Circular Quay took far longer and not the fault of Celebrity. Our sail away from Sydney was damp, but wonderful. Once again we had selected Concierge Class C1, we loved it before and loved it again with our aft facing stateroom (same as last time) quiet, comfortable and spotlessly clean. Our stateroom attendants were friendly and did a great job, extending themselves for special occasions we celebrated on board. The canapés were tasty and fresh, the room service very good and the variety of towel animals a lot of fun. Our fresh flowers courtesy of the stateroom attendants were beautiful. For us it was a blissful cruise, many happy days on board Solstice, still an elegant lady of the sea's, friendly staff and always plenty of good morning, afternoons and evenings shared each day. Entertainment was very good, loved the Aussie Boys and several other individual artists. Especially loved the cooking shows, Chef Richard was knowledgeable and very approachable, a good selection Celebrity. We opted to do our thing regarding shore excursions in Moorea and Bora Bora, Papeete was expensive and hot, but enjoyed a walk around the town and enjoyed mixing with the locals at the markets, such beautiful flower arrangements. Our ATV tour on Moorea was fantastic, thoroughly recommended, and Bora Bora was a 4WD adventure, once again a great time and beautiful sights but my heart fell in love with Moorea. We heard people niggle about things on board, we could not agree, honestly are all our days perfect at home? We only dined once in the main dining room, then enjoyed the great variety at the buffet which was delightfully quiet in the evenings all meals were very good, we chose the 3 restaurant package and loved all three, Silk Harvest, Murano and Tuscan Grill, the latter was amazing. Our Maritime rescue at sea added a bit of drama to our cruise and slightly delayed our Lahaina arrival, sadly we were last on the list for immigration which did cut down our time on shore, but a place we will return to one day. Overall an excellent cruise we would do again, but Solstice and Singapore is on the list for 2016, our biggest complaint would be the higher prices for drinks and laundry, with the shrinking Aussie dollar it was rather expensive...our favourite bar on board was The Ensemble Lounge, superb service and always with a smile. We thoroughly recommend this ship... Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
I booked this cruise as my girlfriend's birthday gift in January of 2014 based on a couple of reasons. 1st reason was the 123 go option that enabled us to enjoy the classic beverage package for two plus a minimal onboard credit. 2nd ... Read More
I booked this cruise as my girlfriend's birthday gift in January of 2014 based on a couple of reasons. 1st reason was the 123 go option that enabled us to enjoy the classic beverage package for two plus a minimal onboard credit. 2nd was the hansgrohe massaging shower head that is advertised on both the Celebrity website and in one of their catalogues. Shortly after booking the cruise I received an email from the travel agent that there would be a hand held shower head in the room. The drink package was a nice touch although due to sea conditions for the first three days did not drink much alcohol (not the cruise ship's fault on the rough seas). For the hand held shower head, it was non existent. It was explained to us at the front desk that all shower heads on the ship were fixed heads that could not be removed (except for Aqua Class Rooms and some suites had hand held). Upon returning to the room and looking at the shower head I made an attempt to remove it. It came apart with hand pressure only exposing a standard shower nozzle thread. Upon showing the confirmation by email from Celebrity that there would be a hand held shower head in the room the front desk rudely stated that nothing could be done. I tried to explain that I had sailed on the Solstice on the same floor but in one concierge class down C1 in 2010 and C2 in 2014. The room location was only about 40' away from where I stayed the last cruise. Instead of a hand held shower head in the bathroom there was a shower stool. Somehow between the time of booking the cruise in January and sailing in September there had been a mix up on the request and Celebrity would do nothing. To help make up for the lack of the hand held shower head and no flower in the bathroom, the supervisor for housekeeping sent up a complimentary bouquet of flowers (big deal). She also advised my girlfriend that could have on free hair wash at the spa. One hair wash for a 12 day cruise ? Are you f'ing kidding me? Throughout the cruise we continued to visit this Supervisor (Sandra from South Africa). Although we never got the hand held shower head, we got $150 taken off of the house account and $ 500 deposit towards another cruise. I am not done with them yet. For the record ... I read through one of my Celebrity cruise books for the 2012/13 season and visited the Celebrity site today to see the benefits of the concierge class staterooms. It states in black and white on both : Hansgrohe massaging shower heads will be provided in all concierge class staterooms. The evening hors d'oeuvres are a joke as compared to what they were the first time on the Solstice in 2010 and the Reflection in 2012. There used to be a different variety each night of small sandwiches, meats, and fruits. Now there is an assortment of olives 4 chips and a dip. The same thing every evening. The amount of cutbacks is amazing especially when you have experienced first class everything on the ship on previous cruises to these penny pinching measures that they are providing now. The daily delivery of fruit has noticeably been cut back as far as selection. Do not waste your money on the chocolate covered strawberries. For $26 USD the plate that came to the door was 6 tiny strawberries that were barely covered with chocolate. I had to catch the girl who delivered the strawberries to remind her that I had ordered 12 of these berries. They arrived shortly after but each serving was thrown together. There was absolutely no presentation. At least the strawberries had decent flavour. It is frustrating with all of these cutbacks especially when there is no notification prior to final payment. Before the final payment. There was even big cutbacks with the food at the main dining room. There used to be a brunch in the main dining room on the first sea day (we had 6 in a row). We were advised that this was cut out 1 year ago. Yet more cutbacks! This was supposed to be a Hawaiian cruise. It certainly did not feel like it. Not once during the 12 days of the cruise was there any Hawaiian music being played in public areas such as hallways, by the pool etc. Will I sail with Celebrity again ? Yes Will I book in a concierge room again? Maybe if the price is right and Celebrity picks up their act and delivers the same service that I had on the previous two cruises. Had I never sailed with Celebrity and experienced first class service and this was my first cruise with them ... it would have been my last with Celebrity. Who knows, maybe they had a new crew on the ship and those that were on this ship had never experienced the first class things that were delivered in the past. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
We are experienced cruisers in late 40's/early 50's. This was the best of 18 cruises, 6 with Celebrity. We were in Aqua Class. There wasn't much I didn't love about this cruise. Ship - Clean and fresh. This ship is ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers in late 40's/early 50's. This was the best of 18 cruises, 6 with Celebrity. We were in Aqua Class. There wasn't much I didn't love about this cruise. Ship - Clean and fresh. This ship is getting older but you wouldn't know it. It was sparkling...every day without exception. Crew - excellent service, happy and fun attitude. I didn't run into any crew member that wasn't willing to go the extra mile and helpful. Special call out to the Blu restaurant staff for their excellent service and flexibility. Wow... loved it. Relaxing - this is the first time ever that I didn't even care what time it was. We got up when we wanted and just relaxed all day on the six sea days crossing to Hawaii. The drink package was amazing.... will never said again without one. The first day was a bit rocky but I expected it would be. Food - We've sailed on this ship and other solstice class ships before and I would say this cruise was above average. It's true that in order to get the really high quality steaks and seafood you must go to a specialty restaurant. We didn't bother...the food in Blu was excellent and they did special orders if I didn't like what was on the menu. We didn't eat in the main dining room so I can't speak to that. The Ocean View cafe buffet had a great assortment of items for breakfast and lunch that were excellent quality. I was never unhappy with any of the food. Room Stewards - They were easy going, fun and pleasant. Did a great job with the room and were never in the way or lurking around. Lawn Club - LOVED IT. We spend many hours up there relaxing with our books with a cocktail in hand. The views of the islands were wonderful. The service from Sunset Bar was great Hawaii - Loved having overnight stops. Islands were wonderful and we had some great excursions... a mix of cruise sponsored and private. The views from the ship in Maui were beyond fabulous... I can't even begin to imagine the cost of a hotel room with the view we had from our balcony. I thought maybe tendering would be an issue but it wasn't ....done very well with no problems. Passenger mix - Loved the international mix of passengers on this cruise. We met many wonderful people from all over the world. The only negative for this cruise is embarkation. I believe it was long and drawn out due to the fact everyone had to go through customs before getting on the ship. It took a couple hours to get through. I would recommend this cruise to anyone wanting a longer cruise experience with a good mix of relaxation and fun. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
As it was our first time cruising, were not quite sure what to expect. We were very happy with the cruise. The ship was beautiful. Our room was clean and bright and once we settled in, it felt like home. In fact, we were saddened when it ... Read More
As it was our first time cruising, were not quite sure what to expect. We were very happy with the cruise. The ship was beautiful. Our room was clean and bright and once we settled in, it felt like home. In fact, we were saddened when it was time to leave the ship. We were impressed with the quality of the entertainment on board and looked forward to the evening shows. The sight of the young acrobats dressed in exotic costumes flying around the theatre is something we will not soon forget. We also attended some of the interesting lectures and slides which helped prepare us for our trip to Hawaii. I took advantage of the Hula lessons although for some reason, my husband found our debut on deck extremely funny which I discovered as I watched and listened to the video. The food was varied, well presented and represented a variety of cultures. We did not eat in the main dining room much because we were given a late dining time and could not change it. This would be my only dissatisfaction with the cruise. The staff were friendly, helpful and organized. The staff encouraging us by saying "washy,washy" as we were given hand sanitizer going into the dining room usually made us chuckle. It also made us feel more secure in their maintaining the cleanliness of the ship. Overall the staff made us feel very safe and well care for. We were planning our next cruise before we left the ship. Thank you Celebrity!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
We did the ’18 Night Tahitian Treasures Cruise’ from Sydney to Honolulu trip via New Zealand and Tahiti leaving on 11th April 2014. We were in Aqua Class, room 1651 on the 11th level. This was our 1st cruise on any ship and therefore I ... Read More
We did the ’18 Night Tahitian Treasures Cruise’ from Sydney to Honolulu trip via New Zealand and Tahiti leaving on 11th April 2014. We were in Aqua Class, room 1651 on the 11th level. This was our 1st cruise on any ship and therefore I have tried to focus on information (as opposed to opinion) which I think would be more useful for other newcomers like ourselves. Overall the cruise was better than expected as I probably read too much negative feedback from various on-line critics before heading off. Generally the seas were calm except for the last 2 or 3 days when there was a bit of a gale. Even under these conditions, we did not feel sick as the ship remained relatively stable. All references to monies are in US dollars unless stated otherwise. Leaving Having arrived at the dock, we found we had to drop off our bags with men who were placing them under a large tarpaulin for transfer to the ship later in the day. They were armed with stapler and spare luggage tags for those who came ill-prepared. However we retained one of our airplane style carry-on bags where we put our permitted two bottles of wine and as we were a bit nervous about the security with our bags, we put all of our documents and valuables in it as well. While waiting, we had to fill in 2 forms being handed out by people on the dock. One was the standard government form when leaving Australia and another was a declaration that we didn’t have any colds, flu, etc. A passenger near us looked like she was ready to go to hospital with something terrible but she seemed to get on the ship without any troubles. We met her a few days later and she confirmed that she had recovered from her ordeal. There were 3 queues on the dock, one for people with suites or certain Captain’s Club membership, one for aqua and concierge class and one for the rest. People started queuing in the aqua/concierge line a bit after 10am and they opened the gates half an hour early at 11am for the two priority queues but always allowing the suites/Captain’s Club to jump the queue as it were. It didn’t really matter though as it didn’t take long to get to challenge no. 1 – the check-in counter. I forgot our on-line check-in printout and I was admonished by the staff member (and my wife) for doing so. As punishment I was asked to fill in a form which took less than a minute and gave them a credit card (Amex) for swiping for on-board expenses. We were then photographed and in return we were given our id cards. Challenge no. 2 was passport control which was fast and easy; challenge no. 3 was doing the x-ray thing in the same manner as airports do. I was interested to see the fellow in front of us carrying two big packs of diet coke without any problems. And as an aside, we met a fellow passenger who didn’t get his dropped-off bag delivered to his door like the rest of us but rather, many hours later he received a message asking him to report to the “you’re in trouble” room down on level 2 where he had to open his bag in front of other similar passengers to explain his Swiss knife and unexpectedly, his thongs. His thongs were given the ok but the knife was confiscated for the duration of the voyage. He was then allowed to take his bag to his room. Challenge 4 was to walk the gang plank (job well done) and challenge no. 5 was accepting a glass of champagne on-board though I have to confess that we helped ourselves to many more glasses over the next hour or two while we explored the ship. Getting on-board from start to finish was no more than 20 minutes. The staff were out in force past the free champagne spot encouraging sign-ups for the specialty dining, drink packages and I think, excursions. Interestingly enough, we couldn’t sign up, for the dining packages on the internet prior to departure but could easily do so once on-board. I asked many people why this was so but nobody had a sensible answer. Indeed there have been other mysteries about the cruise that were like this and I tried my best to solve as many as possible. One bit of advice I have when you get on-board is just to walk into all the different places even though it might be hard to find a staff member and start asking questions when you find one. Guest Relations To be found on the 3rd level; it has its uses. On the stands near the queue, there is the ‘Australia Today’ printout and a selection of other countries, information sheets on the various destinations and spare copies of the ‘Celebrity Today’ printout giving the day’s activities which you get every night in your room for the next day. At the desk, they can get on the internet and print stuff out for you though like everyone else, the internet is painfully slow so such things are best done in the quiet hours, early in the morning or late at night when there are no queues. They have a special machine that will punch a hole in your Id card so that it can be attached to a lanyard and hung around your neck. The exchange of currencies can be done but it can be expensive with an approximate 7.5% margin added to the AUD$/US$ exchange rate (1.01/0.86). My advice (and what we did) is to setup a credit card facility and then pay off amounts from time to time in US$ that we had brought with us from Australia. We spent about $1,200 on the trip all up which included drinks, internet access, an excursion and who knows what else. We also were able to change US$ notes to smaller denominations suitable for tipping which we preferred to do this way in preference to sticking a tip on those ubiquitous dockets. Being Australians we tipped when we thought the service was praiseworthy as opposed to Americans who seem to do it regardless. A thought I had was that it would be extremely useful if Celebrity setup an intranet on the ship. Apart from the obvious benefits of providing an alternative to a whole array of printouts and announcements, gateway to the internet etc., it would be excellent for guests like ourselves via an app on our electronic devices to give any staff member a tick or a cross with optional commentary for good or bad service. Celebrity could then have a reward system for those staff who score the best in their category. And Celebrity, if you’re reading this, think about it and contact me if you want to get more detail on how it could work. Eating We tried every place which was everything except for secret places for those in suites and high scoring Captain’s Club passengers. We quite liked the food everywhere though dishes can vary and service can be quite random on occasions. There are two different types of places to eat, those where you just arrive and grab a table wherever you can – Oceanview Café, Mast Grill, AquaSpa Café, Gelateria; and the restaurant types where you arrive and you are ushered to your table and a menu is provided – Grand Épernay (aka the ‘Main Dining Room’ or ‘MDR’), Bistro on Five, Blu, Murano, Tuscan Grille and Silk Harvest. The allocation of tables is done when you arrive so if you want a view then you need to turn up when they open or perhaps even earlier and then ask for a view or perhaps you might turn up at the right time when somebody is leaving except in the case of Murano where there is a limited view. And then there is the Café al Bacío and the many bars which you can order at the counter/bar or wait for someone to serve you when you seat yourself nearby. I am generally impatient so I tended to go up and order rather than wait for someone to find me. Sometimes they tried to encourage me to go and sit down and wait but I kind of worked out a system to get some action depending on where we were. It is important to note that with many things on-board you will need to look after yourself but best to do it with charm in preference to aggression. I had some dollar notes too which can always help to endear yourself to an individual if you frequent the same place quite a bit; thank you Dario at the Passport Bar. The buffet (aka as the Oceanview Café) was big and quite good for a buffet if that’s what you’re into, and it had the benefit of being open all hours of the day and night though what’s available varies depending on the time. And I appreciated it that they provided hot plates. It was very useful as it was simple to go there in the most casual wear, especially given its proximity to the pool area. Many mornings I popped up there early to grab a mug (they don’t really have cups) of tea and a bit of fruit to bring down to our room 2 floors below. Our default dining room however was Blu which we thought was pretty good. Like most places, they tended to rush you through your meals but we didn’t mind that. It is not that different to the Grand Épernay other than it’s a lot smaller, it feels a bit more posh and there were a few extra things like fresh orange juice (as opposed to the standard orange juice which tasted like cordial), a trolley brought to your table to make your cereal/fruit combo for you and I think the menu selection is probably better too but I wasn’t observant enough to work that one out. We went to the specialty restaurants five times in all. We did the Specialty Dining package for 3 meals and twice we couldn’t resist a two for one offer at the Murano on the first night and a later offer at the Silk Harvest at a reduced price with a glass of champagne thrown in. These offers seem to occur randomly and it’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time. We thought the Silk Harvest was great and the Murano was too with certain orders like lobster or crepes being prepared at the table. The Tuscan Grille was disappointing which is a pity because we love Italian and it has the best views at the back (stern) of the ship. We spoke to some others and they agreed too so maybe they’re just going through a bad patch. Anyway, it was my wife’s birthday so they didn’t let us down as they provided us with a delightful, personalised birthday cake. I asked for the cake beforehand though I did notice later on when I read some of the brochures in our room that they offer all sorts of specialty packages for birthdays and other important occasions at a price of course though I didn’t get charged for our cake. Drinks We didn’t go for the drinks packages as we thought it would encourage us to get drunk all the time particularly on sea days of which there were many. We’re essentially white wine drinkers and don’t mind ordering the cheaper stuff as nowadays in our view, it’s all ok really. Cheaper in the context of Celebrity is a bottle costing between $30 and $35. So we had two approaches to our afternoon drinking. One was to buy a bottle at the bar which is sometimes a bit tricky as they encourage you to buy by the glass and so tend to keep the bottle list out of sight. It is there though but the list can vary by bar and what they have can vary from what they have on their list. Stick with it though. It’s not that hard really and it can be fun for people with my sense of humour and you do end up with an ice bucket. On occasions we took the unfinished bottle to dinner though apparently it’s not appropriate to go to the specialty restaurants (excluding Blu) with a bottle in hand. Nevertheless we took one from the Ensemble Lounge to the Murano. The other alternative is to buy by the glass which we did at the Passport Bar for the happy hour between 4 and 6 and way past our bedtime between 10 and 12. The wine is $5 per glass, the beer is $3.50 per glass, certain cocktails are $6 and all with a glass container of nibbles thrown in (if you ask for it) though they do add on a gratuity to the bill. Getting served can be tricky on occasions but we worked out a system that made an impatient person like me happy. As a word of warning, drink waiters will appear in all sorts of places, but mainly when dining and you may request a glass of wine and not ask the price as it seems vulgar to mention such things. The default charge is around $11. Better by the bottle. The standard coffee tends to be pretty ordinary, similar to our experiences in America. Sorry America. In pursuit of something better you are compelled to order a cappuccino or similar which costs around $5.25 no matter where you are. We got into the habit of going to the Café al Bacío after breakfast when there are no queues and ordering a takeaway and getting a bigger cup as a bonus. Still, we found even the purchased coffee was very weak (like in America) and so we had to ask for an ‘XtraShot Espresso’ which then took the price up to $6.50. The Café al Bacío comes with free cakes, pastries which can be ordered without the need for a coffee being ordered. Hamburgers, chips and hot dogs were available at the Mast Grill in the pool area and they looked a bit much for us but we had a go. They didn’t taste too bad at all. There can be quite a queue for a feed but we went there when it was raining so that kept the punters away. Bistro on Five does crepes but they do other things as well. They’re open long hours and have a flat charge of $5 per person. It was good enough for us to go back a 2nd time. Port or Starboard? (Left or Right?) And for those who think too much we have the question of which side of the ship to have the cabin (aka the ‘stateroom’). I have to say that there wasn’t much in it in the end. Given our route, for most of the time we got the afternoon sun which we liked but then there others who may disagree. In summary this is how it went at each port. Sydney: faced the dock and the Bridge but away from the Opera House. Bay of Islands: faced away from the port. Auckland: faced the dock but away from the city. Papeete: faced the dock and exposed to the night time music coming from the direction of the Vaima Centre, though closing our balcony doors did the trick. Moorea & Bora Bora: more or less faced out to sea away from the island. Places to Stop and See Getting to the Bay of Islands meant being taken by a boat of up to 100 people to the mainland (aka ‘tendering’). We wanted to get off as early possible as we had sights to see and most importantly, we hate having to wait around. Because we couldn’t get off till 9am, it was always going to be a challenge to get off quickly. They have a system where they hand out numbered tickets at the Cellar Masters wine bar (and for Australians, this has nothing to do with the wine selling company). Only one person has to turn up on behalf of others to get these tickets so I took a book down 50 minutes early, dragged a comfortable seat over to the short queue that had formed of a dozen or so, and read a book. By the time they were ready to hand out tickets, the queue was very long indeed. Anyway we got straight off the ship and walked to the Waitangi exhibition which was close by but they wanted NZ$25 (free for locals) and more seriously, they wanted to take 4 hours of our time. We declined but not before having a coffee. We walked the couple of kilometres to Pahrua though a free shuttle bus was available and then caught the ferry (NZ$24 return) to Russell, enjoyed a very nice fish, chips and wine and then returned to the tender. They x-ray, airport style, all your stuff when you get back on-board the ship so there is no bringing back more wine or other contraband. Auckland was easy as you just walk off when you want though I was surprised that more locals weren’t at the dockside trying to offer great things to thousands of cashed-up tourists. As for ourselves, we were entertained by Kiwi friends. Papeete likewise was easy to get off too and we went in search of a hire car only to find that Avis were charging far too much and what looked like a long wait to get served. After a couple of hours we grabbed a $50 per person tour around the main part of the island (‘grand tour’ they called it) for 4 hours but in the end took quite a bit longer than that. It was quite a circus getting on the ‘truck’ in the first place but we got there in the end. The ‘truck’ had sideways bench seats with no one sitting on the middle bench which made it all very sociable facing each other making it quite a fun time. Though I did see others in ‘trucks’ that weren’t so lucky in that they had people crammed in on the middle bench. Diego was the guide and he was good for the first hour or so but he then got distracted and we didn’t see much of him after that. Tahiti was quite hot and humid and we were surprised that it was so difficult to find an ice-cream. Eventually we got Diego to stop the ‘truck’ at a Mobil service station for a very welcome ice-cream (Magnum in our case). All up, quite enjoyable. Because the tendering started early at 7am there was no need to queue at the Cellar Masters. In fact we went on the first tender even though we had tickets to a later one as some of those who were supposed to go on it, didn’t. Always keep a lookout for this sort of stuff. And in fact, the same thing happened at Bora Bora. Because we were off straight away, we had first go at what the locals were offering dockside. We rented a Fiat Panda off Albert Rent-a-Car for 6,800PF (about $75) for 4 hours plus petrol. If we had gone for 8 hours, it would have been 8,000PF. Avis nearby also had offerings but I think they were more expensive and I think that their cars were pre-booked. It takes about 3 hours to go around the island including miscellaneous stops but being Easter Sunday, we had to work hard to find a café which we eventually did. We also went for a spin up to Belvedere to check out the view. We got a tender boat to Bora Bora in the same way as Moorea. We had booked a tour with Celebrity for us to ‘truck’ around the island for about $65 each but we missed out on booking the trip leaving at 8.30 and had to settle for the one at 11.30. Because we couldn’t resist being one of the first to get ashore, we were now faced with a problem of having to wait for 3 extra hours. But luck’s a fortune and we were able to get a couple of spare seats next to each other on the 8.30 tour after everybody else had been seated. The ‘truck’ had seating in the traditional manner as opposed to the seating at Papeete and therefore was not as sociable. Our tour guide was a delightful woman and so much better than Diego back at Papeete. We went round the island, bought a ‘Bloody Mary’, shopped in downtown Bora Bora which isn’t very big and then returned to the ship early afternoon. As with the other French Polynesian destinations, I was surprised by the shortage of places for refreshments though there were plenty of clothes and black pearl shops. US Immigration We were booked to go to Los Angeles after spending a few days in Honolulu, so we were quite excited about having the opportunity to bypass the US immigration problems that we had experienced at Los Angeles in the past. I have to report that we were sucked in bad because it was an even greater stuff-dealing with US immigration on-board the ship. We were left a note advising what time we had to turn up at the Sky Observation Lounge. They staggered the arrival times so as to make it work smoothly. But what a mess it ended up. It seemed many passengers ignored the staggered arrival times and no staff were there to deal with that but more frustratingly was that they created a new queue resulting in many getting in very quickly and others having to wait a long, long time. It was very bad timing to upset so many passengers at the very end of the cruise. Bits and Pieces The Solstice Shop on deck 4 had quite a reasonable stock of various pharmaceuticals including sea-sickness remedies at surprisingly sensible prices. You should bring your own clothes hangers to supplement the few on offer. Bring US dollars with you. Walking up the stairs in preference to the lifts is necessary if you are watching your weight as you’re going to eat too much. The chairs on the stateroom balcony are particularly well designed for hanging wet clothes off them. We booked a Mediterranean trip while on-board and we felt it was a better deal than what we would have got otherwise. I went to the online@celebrity lounge on deck 6 to organise our wi-fi internet after finding it impossible to do so using the television in our stateroom. I spent a bit over $100 over 18 days which I generally used for dealing with emails on our iPhones/iPads but also for some other enquiry as well.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
This trip was over a year in planning and it was the first time we were on a Celebrity Cruise. We are in our mid 50's and were traveling with another couple. Embarkation was very easy and smooth as we were in a Sky Suite (2125), ... Read More
This trip was over a year in planning and it was the first time we were on a Celebrity Cruise. We are in our mid 50's and were traveling with another couple. Embarkation was very easy and smooth as we were in a Sky Suite (2125), however there were no lines at all for any room type when we boarded. We went to the Ocean View Cafe for lunch and were able to find a seat. Shortly after they announced that the rooms were ready. Our Suite was very nice and spacious with a lot of storage. Most importantly, there was a bathtub!! Our only room complaint was that our room was under the buffet and was very noisy especially late at night when we were trying to sleep. You could hear a lot of banging and carts rolling across the floor. After getting settled, our "Butler" Ryan appeared to introduce himself. It was a good thing because after that we barely saw him. The only time he was around was when he was delivering afternoon snacks which we rarely wanted. Our room attendant, Luz and her Assistant, Mulyo were great!! The room was always clean and if Luz saw us coming down the hall, she called us by name and opened the door. She needs a promotion! The first morning we went to the dining room for breakfast but it was very unorganized and slow. After we ordered we waited at least 30 minutes and then they came to say they didn't have the right cheese for the omelet (which was one of the items on the menu that day). We almost had to leave without eating because of our excursion. So after that we just went to the buffet everyday. The buffet was good once you could snag a seat. That part was an adventure each day! We had Select Dining for dinner but went at the same time each night so we always had the same table for the four of us with the same Waiters (Charlie and Charlie) They were awesome as were the drink specialists who would automatically bring us our drinks. We loved the food in the Dining room but we did manage to eat in the Specialty Restaurants 3 nights. The only time I did not enjoy my dinner was in the Tuscan Grille. I ordered the sea bass but I don't think that was the fish I got. It was just not good. We ate twice at Murano and all I can say is that it was spectacular!! The quality of the food and the service were amazing. If you go to just one specialty restaurant, go to Murano! The entertainment was very good and aimed at the older crowd on board. The Cruise Director, Alejandro, was funny and quick witted. The only complaint I have it that with the Suite, our "Butler" was supposed to reserve seating for us on the formal nights. Ryan did this on the first formal night, but not on the second. Although seats were roped off upstairs in the balcony, no one from Celebrity was there to seat anyone. After a few minutes, people just took the rope down and seated themselves, whether they were supposed to be there or not. Again, our Butler was very disappointing during this cruise. The other disappointment was the shore excursions. In Maui, the men were golfing and my friend and I signed up to see the crater and the advertised "panoramic views". We endured a 2.5 hour bus ride around hairpins turns up the volcano and when we finally reached the top there were NO VIEWS at all. Complete fog. According to an employee in the small shop, the views are only visible less than 50% of the time. Really Celebrity?? No mention of this in your description of this excursion. Also no mention that neither of the stops sell food except for beef jerky and macadamia nuts. A heads up on that would have been great since we did not stop for lunch on the way back until almost 2pm. A total waste of $110 not to mention of entire port day ruined. Five hours on a bus is just too long, even if we had been able to see the crater. When we went to the excursion desk to complain, they were not interested and could have cared less. The next day in Hilo, we were supposed to go on a helicopter tour of the volcanoes and waterfalls but do to bad weather it was cancelled. This was not their fault, it happens,and we received a refund to our account without a problem. I did use the spa one day because they advertised a special that day for an 80 minute massage for $106. Sounded like a good deal so I called for myself and my girlfriend. We showed up, got settled in the robes (the slippers were so uncomfortable they actually hurt and we had to walk around barefoot) and then I was called into the room where the massage therapist confirmed my "50 minute" massage. I said, no, the flyer clearly said 80 minute. I was told it was a "typo" and I should have been told that when I made the appointment. Well I wasn't and they would not make good on it. What could I do at that point? We were looking forward to it so we went ahead and had the 50 minute massage but we felt like it was a bait and switch. Not only that but the spa is operated by Canyon Ranch and they add an 18% service charge. This would be fine if it was the tip, but it is not. It is the fee that Canyon Ranch must pay to Celebrity. So we had to pay that and THEN the tip. Again, if I had received the advertised special, I don't think I would have felt so ripped off. The only other glitch was disembarkation. We were supposed to exit at 8:15am but weren't called until an hour later. After we were called we proceeded to deck 5 to exit and got in the long line. As we got closer to the exit point, we saw that many people were coming up a stairway from the 4th floor that was close to the exit and cutting in the line that everyone had been waiting in. There should have been someone from Celebrity at the entrance to the stairway on the 4th floor to redirect them to the midship in order to get in the back of the line. Once off the ship, we found our luggage with no problem and there were plenty of carts to use. We had a great time despite the bad weather in each port. The seas were smooth enroute to Vancouver and we enjoyed relaxing and not being at work. I will most likely never book another excursion through the ship because of the lack of honesty in advertising, but the food and entertainment onboard were very enjoyable.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
My wife and I are experienced cruisers (about 18-19 thus far, and include all the mainstream cruise lines). We were looking forward to this trip, as we had never been to Hawaii, and are getting older, making the long flight from the east ... Read More
My wife and I are experienced cruisers (about 18-19 thus far, and include all the mainstream cruise lines). We were looking forward to this trip, as we had never been to Hawaii, and are getting older, making the long flight from the east coast more taxing. Overall, we certainly had a very good time. The ship is elegant, in an understated way; lots of chrome, glass, and neutral colors. The Solstice was immaculate, and staff were busy cleaning glass, etc., everywhere. There were some disappointments, however, and while each was rather small as an issue, they did add up. First, the staff person registering us upon embarkation did not know what she was doing, unable to run my wife's passport through, (though we had done the pre-embarcation weeks before, on-line)-requiring additional help to process us, and even then my wife's name was inverted, with her middle name being on the cruise pass-which caused us delays later as her ID then did not match the name on the pass. We both observed that used plates at the upstairs buffet were not cleared in a timely manner, and wait staff in the dining room did not serve with the expected aplomb-i.e.- water glasses not refilled, mistakes made as to who ordered what, and at one point, an assistant waiter had each of three persons at our table check our tea bags, as he did not know which type of tea was given to whom. Again, not a big deal, but not what we had come to expect from Celebrity. The food was good-some main courses in the dining room were excellent, which some others had lovely presentation but were short of content-3 brussel sprouts halves, serving as the vegetable. The lunch buffet had many choices, from Oriental, to a pasta station, carved meat, etc. We were considering ordering one of the photos taken of us on the first formal night, but the photo taken by the ship photographer captured a woman in the corner, essentially ruining this as something we would want as a keepsake. When I asked the photo staff about whether she could be cropped out, he said, "yes", but there would be an additional charge for this service. I said this is surprising, given that their photographer was responsible for the picture, but he essentially said, then don't purchase it. Entertainment was very good. The production shows showed much imagination, and the Cruise Director, Alejandro, was great-a charming guy, not at all obnoxious as some others have been. Our cabin steward was spot-on. She changed the ice in our ice bucket twice daily, alerted us about time changes, and seemed interested in us having a good cruise experience. I suspect that Celebrity, while initially having upscale aspirations, has slipped back to the pack-the Royal Caribbean pack. I do not rule out future cruises with the line but will take a harder look at the price before selecting them. Finally, Hawaii was absolutely beautiful. While the cruise gave us a limited time to see the islands, a big plus for us was not having to take inter-island flights, or pack and then unpack.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
This was our second Celebrity cruise but first time on an S Class. WOW…Absolutely Loved it! We arrived in Honolulu 4 days early and stayed at the Ilikai which we’ve stayed at several times in the past. Quick cab ride to the port. ... Read More
This was our second Celebrity cruise but first time on an S Class. WOW…Absolutely Loved it! We arrived in Honolulu 4 days early and stayed at the Ilikai which we’ve stayed at several times in the past. Quick cab ride to the port. Check in was very easy at 11:30. Lots of lines open and we made it onboard pretty quick. Thanks to Cruise Critic I knew to head to Bistro on Five for lunch... Fantastic option! Thanks for that advice. Well worth the $5 each. It also gave us an early opportunity to check out the Premium Drink Package…More on that later! Rooms were ready by 1:30 and we made our way to deck 8. We had 8256, third cabin on the hump. CABIN Couldn’t have asked for a more central location. Cabin was great, especially the bathroom. So nice to not have to deal with a shower curtain. Lots of storage everywhere in the cabin. Balcony was nice and large. Cabin steward was nice, but very quiet so we didn’t get a chance to interact that much but she seemed efficient enough. FOOD: 10 night cruise, we dined in the MDR 3x, Oceanview Café 2x, Tuscan Grille 2x, Murano 1x, Bistro on Five 1x, Room Service 1x. Our first venture into the MDR was the second night of the cruise, the first formal night. To be honest, we weren’t that impressed. It seemed very rushed service and the food was ok. I’m putting that down to perhaps we just ordered wrong as the other two trips to the MDR were very good. We had Select Dining and didn’t have an issue getting a table for two. The last night of the cruise we had about a 20 minute wait for a table which we spent in the martini bar (shocker) and they came to get us. Tuscan Grille: We ate here twice, once the first night of the cruise and the second time on my Birthday. Both were outstanding and well worth the upcharge. Service was fantastic as well as the food. Wine/Drink service was very prompt. Murano: Another WOW...perhaps more so than Tuscan. We had a dinner and a lunch at Murano and both times rolled out stuffed. Again, nothing but impeccable food and service. Lunch at $25 is a bargain in Murano. Buffet: Surprisingly good. I only say surprisingly as my last cruise was on Millennium and the evening offerings were pretty sparse. Never had a problem getting a seat. SHIP: In a word…Stunning…simply stunning. So modern and light. Absolutely loved the atrium and how open it is. There were no issues with loud music in any venue. Quick elevators and being by the hump is so convenient. Martini Bar: Our second home apparently. Had a blast in the martini bar. The staff were beyond fantastic. We were there every day…thank you Premium Package Molecular Bar: So Cool! We missed it the first couple of days but once we found it we took full advantage. Imagine a couple of nutty professors mixing your drinks. We tried A LOT and they were all good. Personal favourite of mine was the Dragonfly. Solarium: Beautiful and a great place to hang out. We had 5 port days followed by 5 sea days. I’d say sea day 4 & 5 were very busy in there but it was pretty easy to get seats in there any other day. Lovely and tranquil with very comfortable lounge chairs. Main Pool: Needs a paint job, badly. This was the only area I noticed that felt a bit run down. Lots of chairs available, chair hogs didn’t seem too bad. Bar service was hit and miss but really, it’s not that far of a walk. Mast Grill Good burgers & fries. Not much of a wait. Other Areas: We walked through lots of bars/lounges but never really stopped, Cellar Masters looked empty all the time so I think it’s great they’re converting it to a gastro pub. The observation lounge looked great but we only strolled through there when they were closed on embarkation day. We had a tendency to stick to the M Bars...Molecular and Martini Shows: Didn’t go to any – sorry. We did attend a Sushi Demo in Silk Harvest which was pretty good. Casino: Hot and cold - it was good to me on the first sea day ($380 playing 25 cents) but then went very cold for the rest of the trip. I was able to save some of my winnings and not donate it all back. Drink service in the casino seemed non-existent but the bar is right there if you want something. Casino was never that busy and boy is the no smoking great. Announcements: I’d laugh every day. The captain had a strong Greek(?) accent and he’d be followed by the CD who had a strong (Mexican?) accent and because there were a lot of Germans on the cruise there’d be a 3rd announcement in German. For 15 minutes every day we couldn’t understand a word that was being said J PORTS: We visit Hawaii quite a bit so forgive me in that we didn’t do too much exciting. Honolulu – we were there 4 days ahead of time and go sometimes twice a year (and we’re back in December) so we just hung out on the beach or by the pool relaxing. From the ship I walked down to Ward Centre for a bit of retail therapy. If it’s your first trip to Honolulu please take in some of the sites. Maui (Tender) – we were married on Maui so it’s always lovely to return. This trip we just hung out in Lahaini, walked up and down Front Street. We’d debated taking the bus to Whalers Village but decided to pass. We had a fantastic lunch at Kimos on the main drag. Very good food! Try the coconut shrimp. Hilo – we originally had a car reserved for Hilo as we wanted to take in some of the waterfalls but close to sail date we found out that because we’d booked with an AMEX agent, this was a Mariner cruise and they would have a rep onboard and would be hosting a shore excursion to the waterfalls. Deal! We cancelled the car. OMG did it ever rain. We’re from Vancouver, we know rain…this was crazy. And of course to see waterfalls usually involves a hike. Some people didn’t want to get off the bus but what the heck. The area of Akara falls was beautiful (when the rain slowed to see it) and I would definitely recommend heading out there if you’ve already been to VNP. Boy we were wet! We then headed to Big Island Candies which was a great surprise. Didn’t even know this place existed. Great chocolate, nuts, shortbread etc. Brought lots home. Kona (Tender) – Dolphin Alert! We had to cut the motor on the tender because we were surrounded by Dolphins. Very Cool! Nice little town – very laid back. We tendered and then just hung out. We walked to the right on the main drag and on the left hand side there’s a little swap meet. Then if you cross the road there’s a nice little shopping area. We spent the morning in that area then made our way back to the main area, went up the hill and went to Kona Brewing Company for a great lunch. WEATHER: Was that really the Pacific? I’m not sure the Pacific is supposed to be that calm. We were soooo lucky. Calm seas and pretty good weather for the entire voyage. WILDLIFE: (not referring to my DH after a night at the martini bar) For those that will repeat this cruise, keep your eyes peeled for whales in Maui, Dolphins in Kona and then the last sea day heading into Vancouver we had whales, dolphins and seals. PREMIUM DRINK PACKAGE: Is the bomb! Man we loved this and it’s going to be really hard cruising without one…let’s hope that day doesn’t come. It was so nice to be able to just hand your card and get what you want as often as you like. Silly things that we wouldn’t normally do you do because you have the drink package..like mimosa’s with breakfast. Dinners; champagne to start, white wine with my appetizer please and then a lovely cab followed by a port and cappuccino. Stop trying to do the math to see if it’s worth upgrading, the premium package changes how you cruise and you can’t factor that into any equation. GRIPES: I don’t have many, we had a really good time and found the staff overall to be excellent and very friendly. I was annoyed one day sitting on our balcony reading and a torrent of water came down. The cabin steward above decided to take a hose to the glass above us…absolutely soaked the last two feet of our deck and missed me by mere inches. We really missed the laundry rooms on Princess. We didn’t need any laundry done but DH sent two shirts out to be pressed as soon as we boarded. They didn’t come back in time for formal night the next day so he ended up wearing a black golf shirt under his jacket. It’s so much easier to run down the hall and iron the bumps out yourself. That’s about it. We now have a new favourite ship and we booked onboard to enjoy one of her sisters next year. Any questions, I’d be happy to answer them.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
Our pre-cruise we stayed at the "Outrigger on the Beach" in Waikiki beach we were able to purchase an upgrade to the Diamond Suite, which was a great room overlooking the ocean and Diamond Head. The hotel was directly on the ... Read More
Our pre-cruise we stayed at the "Outrigger on the Beach" in Waikiki beach we were able to purchase an upgrade to the Diamond Suite, which was a great room overlooking the ocean and Diamond Head. The hotel was directly on the beach. We had lunch at Dukes and dinner at Chuck's both were good. It was a great place to start our vacation. Now for the Solstice, it was our 4th cruise on the Solstice class but our 1st on the "Solstice" Cons are: Embarkation was the strangest we have ever had in the 15 cruises we have done. It took us almost an hour to get to where we got our keys. Elemis Spa is no longer, the new company is Canyon Ranch Spa Club. The prices for treatments are much higher; the upkeep of the Persian Gardens is not being addressed. Steam room not very hot, the benches are sometimes too hot, some days music, some days not music and some days the music is too loud and they appear to be understaffed and not very friendly. The changes to the Aqua Spa Cafe were not for the better. Very very small portions with even smaller selection and half of the menu items cost extra. The Sommeliers in the "Blu" restaurant were the worst we ever had. Silk restaurant was a disappointment food was not as good and the service was rushed not like the first time we ate there on the Equinox. Also lunch menu in the Ocean View Cafe was a big disappointment compared to our last March 2013 cruise on the Eclipse which had a great lunch menu. One last thing this was our 4th Solstice Class ship that we cruised on so far and this ship, Solstice, needs a face lift. For Captain's Club members - the Captains Club social hour on this cruise was in the Sky Lounge which it normally is except for our last cruise which they gave us vouchers to be used at any bar on the ship and we could actually take our drinks to dinner and it was a much better system. Celebrity should really just bag the upstairs and go with this system not just when there are too many Captain Club members on board. If you want to see Hawaii I don't really recommend this cruise because of the limited amount of time you are in the ports and when they weather is bad like it was in 2 of our 4 ports our helicopter ride to the volcano was cancelled and our 6 1/2 hour bus ride to the crater was a bust because of no visibility. We came to the conclusion that it would have been better to have come over to Hawaii and spend 4 or 5 nights in a couple of different islands, especially since this was our very first trip to Hawaii. Pros are: "Blu" restaurant was excellent in both food and service. Our cabin attendants were excellent. In every other aspect the ship was great as the other 3 Solstice Class ships we were on. One thing we really liked was Celebrity's extension of the choice of 3 benefits for booking new sailings while on the ship. So now we have a booking on the Solstice to Alaska and a cruise to the Caribbean on the Reflection. We ended our vacation with 2 nights in San Francisco which was great!!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
First time to Hawaii and first cruise with celebrity. Overall it was great. If we had to do it over again, we would have flown to Kauai a day or two before embarkation. (Kauai wasn't on itinerary). It was really hard for myself and DW ... Read More
First time to Hawaii and first cruise with celebrity. Overall it was great. If we had to do it over again, we would have flown to Kauai a day or two before embarkation. (Kauai wasn't on itinerary). It was really hard for myself and DW to adjust for the time difference. We were met at the airport by gorabbitgo tours and got leid. They are part of Roberts tours and a lot cheaper to get to the pier. Being in AQ, it was a breeze to get onboard. Once onboard, we went to Bistro on 5 for lunch. DW and I are gluten free eaters and were told that they could make us GF crepes, just not on the first day. DW ordered a chicken Caesar salad, (sans the croutons),and I a regular cowboy crepe. (I can cheat a little and not pay for it like DW). Her salad was a dissapointment. Not adequately dressed, light on the chicken, and all on a bed of plain Jane iceberg. Modern luxury? Yeah right. My crepe was delicious. Later in the cruise, the GF crepes were excellent. I have t say that X does a great job catering to those with special dietary needs. We have previously been on HAL, Princess, and yes the "fun ships." We were excited to finally be on a Celebrity cruise. We were imediately impressed with the Solstice. Even though she is almost 6 years old, she is no worse for wear. Classy all the way. Our AQ stateroom was the best balcony we have had. All the features and extras are worth the price of admission. (Especially BLU). Or first night in BLU was just OK. One of our neghbors had a challenge with his steak being overdone. (Twice)! He even got a lecture about what is medium rare. I'm here to tell you that his steaks were medium well both times. Steak #3 was an improvement to medium. We later realized that our table neighbors were our CC roll call hosts. All in all, not the best start. All remaining nights and breakfasts in Blu were very good to excellent. Service is outstanding in Blu. They even remembered our GF bread. We had most lunches in Oceanview cafe and all were pretty good. (Breakfast just ok, Blu much better). We tried Tuscan grill for lunch and it was good with excellent service. We tried the main dining room for lunch one day and it was the worst food we ever ate at sea. The best mahi mahi we ever had was on shore earlier on this cruise. The worst mahi mahi in our life was in the mdr aboard the Solstice. (Sad to say). The best is at Pacific O in Maui. You must go there! You won't regret it. We did three excursions with X. AZ memorial, biking through Volcanoes NP, and snorkeling in Kona. All were excellent. We booked some tours through shoreexcursions.com, surfing in Maui and city tour in Vancouver. (Both were excellent as well). I want to thank Celebrity for changing the final port to Vancouver. (Instead of ensenada). We spent two days there and absolutely loved it! Entertainment aboard Celebrity was the best we have experienced. Stuff like bingo, dance lessons, triva were all well done. Shopping was a cut above other lines as well. I have to say the staff onoard this ship is the best I've encounted. The molecular and martini ice bars are a real treat. All in all I think Celebrity has the best mass market cruise experience I have had to date. With the exception of Blu and Bistro on 5, the food aboard the solstice is not any better than other lines. (IMHO). Noise in our stateroom at night was a nuisance at times. Thumping bass was making its way to our ears on some nights. Is it really necessary Celebrity? I am not impressed. You might lose more pax than you gain. Why risk sullying your reputation by adopting this practice? There are suits in corporate that are really screwing up what got Celebrity its high reputation in the first place. Thanks to the CC roll call members for organizing the events onboard. Met some very nice people! Hope this review is helpful.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
As this was our 2nd cruise we where looking forward to enjoying our trip, the first on Celebrity Century was great, but unfortunately this was POOR when you compare the 2 cruises. We upgraded from Veranda Stateroom to Concierge Veranda ... Read More
As this was our 2nd cruise we where looking forward to enjoying our trip, the first on Celebrity Century was great, but unfortunately this was POOR when you compare the 2 cruises. We upgraded from Veranda Stateroom to Concierge Veranda Stateroom our room was of a poor standard, curtains coming of the rails, handles coming off the doors, it was eventually rectified but unfortunately a little too late. They advertise as Modern Luxury Cruising, with fresh flowers/fruit in your cabin, we had fresh flowers on day one, and 3 green apples on a plate which remained their for 10 days until we asked them to remove them. The flowers wilted for several days before being removed, which they did but left the water in the vase. The did however give us after complaining some more flowers which eventually died before we took them ourselves down to Customer relations who where surprised to say the least, it became a joke in the end we just had to laugh it off, however we do not value the cruise as Luxury living. The food was great no complaints, most of the staff where great not in housekeeping, but the waiters and dinning room attendants where all good. We where charged excessively for on board products, I don't consider $75 for 4 photos good value for money at all. The off board excursions took us to the same places as the on board offers and at a much reduced price some more than half the price and better information, touring with the locals was great. Whilst many of the issues didn't spoil our holiday, it has certainly changed our views on Celebrity Cruising and we will not use this line again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
A little about us, we were part of 14 Aussies who spent time in Hawaii before boarding this lovely lady of the sea. My daughter and I arrived early and spent 8 days staying at the Outrigger Waikiki, I have stayed there previously on 6 ... Read More
A little about us, we were part of 14 Aussies who spent time in Hawaii before boarding this lovely lady of the sea. My daughter and I arrived early and spent 8 days staying at the Outrigger Waikiki, I have stayed there previously on 6 occasions and can say that it is location,location. Our cruise left Honolulu 11pm Sat 2nd Nov 2013. We arrived a little later than most to board, approx 2.30ish and it went very smoothly. We were met on board with a beautiful drink of Champagne and from then on it just got better and better. I have previously cruised on Princess and NCl, this was our first time on Celebrity. Loved it so much we just booked our next 18 night cruise on Celebrity Solstice, Perth, Port Hedland, Australia up to Bali, Indonesia then back to Darwin, Australia, Cairns,Brisbane, Newcastle and back to Sydney. Our cabin was spacious and very well looked after by Jose, a very special man. Spent most of our day out by the pool as we were sailing the Pacific and the weather was magic. Entertainment was great but would have liked to see more of the Celebrity Dancers and Singers. The food, well what can I say, the Metropolitan Dining Room, never had a bad meal..steak, crab cakes, french onion soup, creme brulee to name just a few. The Grill by the pool had the nicest hamburgers and fries..Cafe Al Bacio had the best pastries..the Ocean View Cafe provided you with everything you could wish for. Freshly cooked pasta to which you were able to ad garlic or whatever you chose. Freshly cooked fish and chips....yum, sushi to die for..we had not one complaint out of our group of 14. The ship was so clean and she has class all over her, the crew just great, always there with a smile and again no complaints about anyone of them. Met the usual whingers, cannot understand how you can constantly whinge over such minor little things, aren't you just so glad to be cruising and grateful for the experience. Ports of Call Papeete, Tahitit Disappointed with the capital of Tahiti, it was not the cleanest of places and the living conditions for most very poor. Sad to see people living that way, having said that they were lovely and you could not find a more friendly race. Bora Bora, Tahiti, oh this was just a beautiful island, we did a tour that we picked up when we arrived, half the price of Celebrity tour and went to the same places. Sad to see most of the hotels and holiday places were closed down due to lack of visitors. Moorea, Tahiti Did another local tour and went out swimming with stingrays and reef sharks, have already experienced swimming with dolphins so this was another highlight. Our tour guide was so funny..he made our day. Suva, Fiji This was sadly a let down, had been there in 1976 and it has got worse, very dirty, sad to see again the local Fijians struggling to survive. We also found it to be very smelly. Noumea, French Polenesia I loved this place as it is so clean, very expensive but a smaller version of the French Riviera. Overall the whole experience was fantastic and I have no reservation in saying that I love sailing with Celebrity. Gwenda (64yrs) Lisa 41 (yrs)   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
Everything you have read about the San Diego to Ensenada transfer on Cruise Critic is true, but probably understated. It was the main topic of conversation at the Cruise Critic RollCall get-together, when the cruise director asked for ... Read More
Everything you have read about the San Diego to Ensenada transfer on Cruise Critic is true, but probably understated. It was the main topic of conversation at the Cruise Critic RollCall get-together, when the cruise director asked for comments or questions. Try to imagine being in a giant warehouse with 2,000 other people, with one set of bathrooms, no signs telling people where to check in, no public address system to inform passengers of procedures or bus departures. There were free shuttles to Balboa Park, in an attempt to placate passengers who were stuck there for hours. When the buses were ready to depart, port employees were literally screaming out bus numbers to passengers who, for the most part, were talking among themselves and not paying attention or were outside sitting by the water. Once you got to the buses, nobody checked numbers, so the number system is basically meaningless. My advice is just get on a bus as soon as you can and get the hell out of there. That's what we did (we used our Celebrity Select status to get an earlier departure). The trip to Ensenada is just under 2 hours. Then we waited in a line of buses to get to the ship. There went another hour, as we sat in the bus, within sight of the ship, but unable to get to it. One of those "so close, yet so far" situations. Since we had flown in that day from the East Coast, our day started at 4:30am when we got up, and we got on the ship at 8:30pm. The word "grueling" doesn't quite capture it. The cruise was fine. Five days at sea were relaxing and a very gracious way to travel to Hawaii. We enjoyed all the ports, although Maui was moderately stressful, since passengers have to go through US customs (not a big deal) and it is a tender port. They only allowed TWO tenders at a time to make the trip, so you can imagine what it was like trying to get all the people ashore who wanted to go. Returning to the ship was much better. The onboard experience is about what we have come to expect from Celebrity: good food and service, a relentlessly cheerful and helpful crew, a few generally well-behaved children among the passengers. The passenger median age seemed to be older than on previous cruises. We did not think that the entertainment was up to the standards of the other ships, but the shows were well attended. Just a matter of taste, I suppose. We would like to see more than one night of comedy. They did offer a series of hula lessons, which were fun and informative. Fitness program was fine, with Zumba offered twice daily, pool exercise, and other fitness classes. We did not enjoy the speakers, and so did not attend as many as we usually do. We missed the park ranger speaking about the National Parks, which we probably would have liked. One recurring lecturer was a pretty monotonous speaker whose lecture on the History of Hawaii contained mostly geology. The history part was read off a Power Point display screen. The other seemed to be a "look at what I did" guy who was plugging his book. A big disappointment. Disembarkation in Honolulu was not too bad, although there seemed to be lots of buses competing for too few spaces at the port. All things considered, it was a really nice cruise, but I would NEVER cruise from San Diego again.   Read Less
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