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7 Celebrity Solstice Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to South Pacific

This was our first cruise and on the recommendation of others, this ship was the only one to go on. My husband and I are both early to mid 50's and were looking for a trip with everything. Boarding was a breeze, met with a champagne ... Read More
This was our first cruise and on the recommendation of others, this ship was the only one to go on. My husband and I are both early to mid 50's and were looking for a trip with everything. Boarding was a breeze, met with a champagne and then toured the ship, which is so big! Had a beautiful lunch at OceanView Cafe. We had booked Aqua Class and were very happy with all the amenities, beautiful veranda over looking the ocean and when sailing in to ports, what a view! Our cabin attendants Mariano and Raj were just fantastic. So helpful and quick, very efficient, nothing was ever too much trouble.. We were close to the gym and Spa facilities. The gym was fully equipped with all that you need and then some. Even offering classes everyday. We loved the persian gardens, with the Steam, sauna and aromatherapy rooms, we were there nearly everyday. We also enjoyed a wonderful massage each. Staff very friendly and ever so helpful. The dining room with Aqua is Blu for breakfast and dinner. This was a highlight of the trip. The level of service is impeccable. You are greeted by the lovely Diana, who was extremely professional, friendly and a most gracious hostess. Seated at a table with such a wonderful view each morning for breakfast and greeted by the exceptional waiters Iman, Tony and August (007)& Bonny ,remembering just the little things that make you feel special. All the staff there were so attentive. Breakfast was amazing always, beautiful food and accommodate special needs if be. Dinner what can I say, was truly amazing. The chef is brilliant, dinner everyday was different with a few favorites as well. Lobster was sensational as was the frogs legs, enjoyed every meal there. The range of food caters for all. Our sommelier Milo was awesome, nothing was too much trouble and was very attentive to all of us. Had a exceptional dinner at Tuscan Grill, this definitely was such a wonderful experience, Elyas was a standout for us, this gentlemen was just the most wonderful person and went out of his way to make our experience there a memorable one. Our night there was spectacular and the food just amazing! Tracey the appetizer and salad chef even came out and spoke with us. Before dinner having a cocktail at either of the many bars to have a drink. Watching the guys at the Martini Bar make cocktails is fabulous.. Talented for sure. We had the premium beverage package so pretty much all is covered. Then off too a show! Every Night something different the cruise director Peter is just wonderful and talented himself, but the shows were really good and enjoyed them immensely. Great singers and dancers. great aerial show as well. Loved Chiko, he is brilliant talented man. Beautiful pianist Kim and comedians, even opera! The range of entertainment was fabulous. Visiting all the islands and leaving the ship was so effortless, they really are very efficient. When waiting for the tenders to go back to the ship, staff were offering cold drinks and iced wet towels for people. Service always with a smile. Swimming in the pools during sea days and relaxing was most enjoyable, always a waiter to serve you and lunch at the ocean view cafe, food there was great only had lunch there a few times but it was really good, Sushi, fresh made caesar salads to order, pizza, fresh made asian noodles, so clean... Staff always handy with hand disinfectant! I could write forever, but I will leave here and we were so happy with our experience we have booked NZ to Sydney in January 17 and so look forward to it. I can see why people rave on about this ship, was just such a fantastic holiday. Do not hesitate you will not be disappointed Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our first cruise, and definitely will not be the last. I am not sure if all cruise lines are this good but celebrity was amazing. From the moment we got onboard we went straight for lunch at the buffet. The choice of food was ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and definitely will not be the last. I am not sure if all cruise lines are this good but celebrity was amazing. From the moment we got onboard we went straight for lunch at the buffet. The choice of food was huge and the quality excellent. Once we were allowed into our stateroom we were more than happy with the room and the balcony was great. Our first night at dinner blew us away at the quality of the food and the service. The staff in the dining room were so helpful and nothing was a problem. There were lots of really cool bars on board and it was really relaxing to hang out at the pool through the day drinking cocktails. As we were onboard on new years eve the boat put on a big party on the top deck. This was a really cool night, they emptied all the spas and filled them with Champagne bottles and we almost like we were in a Las Vegas nightclub!! There was a Dj playing some good music and just a really well organised night. The thing we most liked about being onboard is we felt there are not all these over the top rules and regulations like we have in Sydney bars. People were allowed to have fun and let their hair down and not worry about getting in trouble. So overall we were hugely impressed by all the staff onboard who go above and beyond to make everyone happy. I have no idea how people can write bad reviews about this boat!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I travelled with my Mother and this was our first cruise. The Sydney Terminal on embarkation day was challenging but organised chaos. Streamlined as could be expected with the large number of passengers. Celebrity know how to do ... Read More
I travelled with my Mother and this was our first cruise. The Sydney Terminal on embarkation day was challenging but organised chaos. Streamlined as could be expected with the large number of passengers. Celebrity know how to do cruising and do it well. We had Stateroom 1253 Concierge Balcony located towards mid back of the ship. Great room as near elevators for convenience. Library nearby so nice and quiet. The two Jason's who were our Stateroom Attendants were A+ and if I could I would bring them home. I struggled when I returned not having my bed turned down and a chocolate on my pillow. I used the Gym most mornings and found it excellent. I would like to see a proper water dispenser rather than small drink fountains. Hard to fill a water bottle. The service overall is very good and in some cases exceptional. The Grand Dining room staff are all of a high calibre, stateroom attendants were very attentive and the amazing Cynthia who manages the Select Dining in the Grand Epernay Dining does an amazing job. We had Select Dining but found we had to book to have dinner - which negates to whole Select Dining at a time that suits you. The food was excellent and the menu ever changing so we found no need to pay for our evening meals at the alternative restaurants. Drinks were expensive. We did not purchase a drinks package as we did not drink enough to warrant it being economical. The shore excursions were expensive and so I arranged private tours when we arrived in port or in one case prior to arriving in port. We could cover more ground rather than having a big bus with 30 plus passengers to negate. The entertainment was first class and we enjoyed all the shows. The ship is immaculately clean and the staff do an excellent job. Disembarkation was organised. My only grumble is the alcohol prices and drinks packages - ridiculously expensive. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Sailed on her (Celebrity Solstice) on the 22nd March 2015, it was our first cruise, we had the best time on board, all the staff were very friendly, the ship was spotless, food was great. We didn't buy a drinks package as we ... Read More
Sailed on her (Celebrity Solstice) on the 22nd March 2015, it was our first cruise, we had the best time on board, all the staff were very friendly, the ship was spotless, food was great. We didn't buy a drinks package as we aren't drinkers but coffee and 1Litre bottled water was very reasonably priced $6 for each. Entertainment on board was varied, something for everyone. Our cabin 6217 was spacious, with plenty of room in the bathroom. Our cabin attendants were very nice in fact were the best you could ask for. Guest relations were very helpful. Shore excursions were a little on the expensive side if you book on board but were well managed. Disembarking was a breeze it was very well organised by staff. My only fault were the pillows, but having said that I didn't ask if they had one that would suit me. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We are a Kiwi couple in our late 40's who wanted to try a cruise to see if it was for us. And we had a wonderful time on the Solstice. I booked this trip as a Christmas present/surprise for my husband. I decided that I wanted us to ... Read More
We are a Kiwi couple in our late 40's who wanted to try a cruise to see if it was for us. And we had a wonderful time on the Solstice. I booked this trip as a Christmas present/surprise for my husband. I decided that I wanted us to have a nice cabin with a balcony and some little extras. Which is why I went for Aqua Class, and we thought it was totally worth it. Blu restaurant and the wonderful staff there were an absolute highlight for us. We loved the meals, the variety, quality and smaller portions - although of course you could have ordered as much as you liked. We got the afternoon sun on our way north to Noumea. So it was lovely to just relax on our balcony in the afternoon and look out at the sea. We didn't particularly want to participate in a lot of activities and we never felt we had to. Although we did end up doing the 70's/80's trivia night on the last night, sort of by accident. We were in the bar and it came to us. But we had a great time and really enjoyed it. We made an effort to go to the gym each sea day and never had trouble getting on to the equipment. Although I did find trying to run on a treadmill while the ship was moving was just too weird, so I stuck to the cross trainer. And I did Zumba a couple of times which I loved. I had never tried that before but it was so much fun and a great work out. We loved the three places we stopped at. I have written about Noumea below. The Isle of Pines is the most beautiful beach I have ever been on, we just loved that. And Lifou was really nice as well, except the map we got given by Celebrity was worse than useless. So we ended up going on a long walk to no where in particular. But it didn't matter we were on holiday and we needed the exercise. I think the Solstice was a great introduction to cruising, and the length of time was perfect for a first time cruise. I have to say that I found the Cruise Critic forums and community really helpful for giving me some handy hints and a good idea of what to expect. Thanks to all of you who take the time to put up your feedback. But at the end of the day, you just have to go with it and experience it for yourself. Everyone is different in what they want/expect for a holiday. But I can say we had a wonderful time. Now I am saving up furiously for the next one.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We went on the Celebrity Solstice to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. The cruise departed from Sydney and return to Sydney which meant we could just catch the train to Circular Quay and board the boat. We booked Concierge class and ... Read More
We went on the Celebrity Solstice to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. The cruise departed from Sydney and return to Sydney which meant we could just catch the train to Circular Quay and board the boat. We booked Concierge class and were on Level 10, slightly Arf of mid ship. It took a bit longer than we expected to board the ship. We were given an approximate time for boarding and assumed that passengers would have been staggered throughout the day but it appeared that most people like to get on as early as possible. We wondered around the ship for about half an hour in TOTAL AWE, then there was an announcement to say all staterooms were ready. We found our bags already in our room. There was a bottle of French champagne and fresh fruit in our stateroom which we promptly refrigerated for a later date. We unpacked and found there was plenty of storage room and a safe for valuables. The bathroom was spacious and the shower was plenty big enough. Having a balcony was like having an extra room and we spent a considerable amount of time out there having breakfast, playing card, reading, drinking champagne and sightseeing. We loved the variety of Bars that were available on the ship. Whatever your mood you could find somewhere to sit and chat to other passengers, listen to the musicians or just soak up the atmosphere. We dined in the Grand Epernay Restaurant 7 nights including the 3 formal nights. It was wonderful to see men wearing suits and women looking stunning in cocktail dresses and long gowns. I cannot fault the service we experienced during our time in the dinning room. We opted for select dinning so we dined at a different time each night and only sat at the same table twice. The Oceanview Cafe had a good selection of food and we eat there most days for lunch and it was always open for snacks that you could take back to your cabin or anywhere else on the ship for that matter. Unfortunately the coffee on board was terrible! Even the coffee from the Cafe was only slightly better. We ended up drinking black tea with lemon or hot chocolate. Many passengers brought this to the attention of the food and beverage manager of the ship so lets hope the American owners will change to a more Down Under Coffee! It was very noticeable that the staff all got on well and had respect for each other which is incredible when you consider there are 63 different nationality's on board! We like the fact that staff are rotated so they clear tables one day, sever food another which reflects a high level of training and it shows in everything they do. I used the gym and the indoor pool most days. The gym can get a little crowded at times but there is a walking track on level 14 that you can take advantage of until the equipment become available.The early morning stretching classes are very popular and many people also attend the health and well-being seminars that take place in the gym. We had been told by more experience cruisers that there is a mad rush to get off the ship at ports and it's better to wait for an hour or so then you'll get off without having to queue. We took their advice and it definitely made for a more enjoyable experience. We did not book any excursions on the ship. It was a Sunday when we were in Noumea so most of the shops were closed ( Coffee Club was open!!). Buses took us from the port into town and we did a couple of bus tours on our own. We had been to Fiji before and just planned on shopping, drinking good coffee and having a couple of Fiji beers at the Bad Dog Cafe (Suva). We enjoyed the quest speakers, Hot glass show, Solstice dancers and special sale items that were on offer during our trip. We both came away form the Solstice experience feeling all the boxes had been ticked and more.We will be cruising again. I just hope the Solstice has not set the bar too high for other ships:)   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We are a couple in our mid 50's who had never cruised before. We have travelled a great deal, but always independently and to be honest weren't quite sure that we would take to cruising. After reading Cruise Critic reviews we ... Read More
We are a couple in our mid 50's who had never cruised before. We have travelled a great deal, but always independently and to be honest weren't quite sure that we would take to cruising. After reading Cruise Critic reviews we chose Celebrity Solstice and hit the jackpot. We loved the experience so much that we have now booked our second cruise. Embarkation Easy. We were staying in a suite which gave us priority boarding and we simply walked straight through the various check - in points without any delay. The Ship Solstice is a beautiful ship. Elegant decor, easy to find your way around, spotlessly clean. Lots of quiet places to sit so that you were never really aware of the large number on board (except at the buffet). The floor to ceiling windows in the Sky Lounge were stunning. The Martini Bar was lots of fun. The lawn I'm not so sure about. Much of it was roped off to "rest" during the trip. Fellow passengers were generally mid 40's to 60's with a smaller number of elderly passengers. There were quite a few young people too, but they tended to be involved in activities in other parts of the ship, particularly around the pool and at the Sky Lounge at night . There appeared to be only a few families with young children, but perhaps we just didn't see them. State room Our sky suite was wonderful. The balcony ran across the aft and side of the ship giving us panoramic views. There was plenty of room to move our deckchairs if we wanted to avoid the sun or shade. The room itself was large and spacious. I loved the over sized porthole on the side. I had packed far too many clothes, but even I couldn't fill the ample wardrobe and drawer space provided. The bed was very comfortable and the storage space underneath for suitcases was welcome. Dining We chose select dining and never waited more than a few minutes to get a table. My only gripe is that most tables for two were so close together that you may as well be sitting together. Fine, if you want to talk to your neighbour and vice verse. but sometimes it was just plain awkward. We did work out halfway through the cruise that the tables for two near the serving areas were better spaced. From then on, we asked to be seated there. The food in the MDR was very good. The portion sizes were not too large and there was a good variety to choose from. Breakfasts were had either at the buffet or in our suite on the balcony. There was a slight problem with the hot food being not so hot by the time it reached us though. We also chose the buffet for lunch as there was a good choice of salads with grilled or roasted meat. Seating could be a problem at the buffet and the atmosphere was more like a cafeteria. If you avoided the peak times it was ok though. The range of food was good. Loved the bread. Desserts and cakes became a bit monotonous. They also seemed to run out of things towards the end of the cruise such as individual serves of butter. There was sometimes a bit of confusion regarding queuing, with people obviously not realising that they had "cut in" and the staff serving them anyway. We were pleased that the food was served by the staff for most of the trip. We ate at all three of the specialty restaurants. Two of these meals were included in our suite package. The Tuscan Grill was lovely. Our waitperson Ivana was charming and our table near the window overlooking the ship's wake was wonderful. Silk Harvest - the Asian food was a nice change, but maybe my least favourite of the three. Our experience at Murano was mixed. Several months prior to sailing we had booked a special dinner for the last night of the cruise. Mid cruise we received a card saying that our reservation had been cancelled. as a large group had booked the restaurant six weeks prior to sailing. It became apparent that we were cancelled for financial reasons, (us v a large group who wanted the entire restaurant), but as a PR exercise it didn't go down well. We did eat at Murano at another time and found the food to be very good and the service excellent. We also visited Cafe Baccio daily for coffee. The coffee was quite good but very expensive ($5.25). There seemed to be a better range of cakes here than those supplied at the buffet. We were entitled to in-room cappucinos and espressos as part of our suite package, but in reality this was not easy to organise. The times we were most likely to want a coffee clashed with the busiest times of day for the attendants / butlers and we were asked to order outside these times. Perhaps guests with this package should be able to collect free coffee from the cafe themselves? Ports and shore excursions As first timers we booked most of our tours through the ship. We knew that this would be more expensive but decided to take the easy option. Booking was easy, but there were a number of mix ups including change of dates not being noted, double bookings and not being given notice of a vacancy after being wait listed. Lifou was a bit of a disappointment. There were no ship excursions so we chose a local tour which can only be described as chaotic, so much so that it became quite amusing (tour guide who went off for a swim mid way through the tour, bus driver found asleep in a hut after one stop, the Vanilla Bean House closed as they had expected the ship at 8 not 11...) I really don't know why a ship of this size would stop here as the locals are simply not geared up to cope. I was looking forward to Noumea not only for the sightseeing, but for the chance of looking at French goods in the shops. However the ship arrived on a Sunday - the day that all shops are closed! Even the iconic cultural centre was closed, although you could still walk through it. Local tour operators were bemused, one stating that there had been a change in the ship's itinerary - they had expected us on the Saturday. We took the Tchou Tchou train sightseeing trip which was good, but much cheaper if you booked at the tour centre located near the shuttle bus terminal. Isle of Pines was simply beautiful. We booked a tour on land which included an overview of the island and then time to snorkel in the natural aquarium. Locals sold fresh baguettes and one lovely lady was making sun hats out of leaves, decorating them with hibiscus flowers and giving them to tourists. Donations were accepted, but not asked for. White sand, aqua blue water, palm trees - beautiful. Suva and Lautoka are not tourist towns so we knew to book tours out of the city. In Suva we did The Jewel of the Pacific tour and this was great. Travelling in long boats up the river through rapids to swim under a waterfall. Kava ceremony and lunch at a village. In Lautoka we sailed to Tuvalu Island and this was also a wonderful day, probably my favourite. A highlight was the Inside Access tour which involved three hours looking at behind the scenes of the ship. Absolutely fascinating, very well organised with the officers / personnel for each section speaking to us as we arrived at various parts of the ship. It concluded with a lunch at the Tuscan Grill with a senior member of staff sitting with us answering even more questions about operations. This is such a well run ship ! All ship tours were well organised from disembarkation arrangements to transport to choice of activities. Yes, expensive but we were well looked after. Entertainment The Solstice Theatre is beautiful. We had reserved seating on the formal nights, but didn't have trouble finding seats on other nights. The entertainment program started strongly, but I felt it became a little monotonous and less entertaining towards the end.The Cirque de Soleil style show was very good as was the singer Will Martin. The illusionists were not what we expected, relying too much on card tricks. I'm sorry, but the Aussie Boys made me cringe (and I'm Australian). The Solstice Big Band was really good. Ian Cresswell did a great job as Cruise Director along with Maria. We also attended several lectures, an art appreciation class (which led to several art auctions) and cooking demonstrations including the Master Chef competition. Essentially there was a good range of activities to choose from if you wanted to do something. Most things we went to were professionally run and enjoyable. Service Service on the ship was absolutely outstanding. From the moment we boarded we encountered unfailingly polite and helpful staff wherever we went. Everyone seemed to know what was expected of them and did it well. It's a credit to not only the staff, but to the HR managers who recruit and train them and must also provide a pleasant environment below to retain the staff. Summary Our first cruise far exceeded our expectations. I think the secret was that we chose a ship that matched our demographic, interests and preferred standard of accommodation. We felt that we had really had a holiday instead of coming back needing a holiday, which has sometimes happened in the past. The number of sea days and shore days were perfect so that we were able to explore all the facilities available on the ship. The destinations were a mixed bag, but the journey to get there was so enjoyable it didn't really matter. Overall a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Celebrity Solstice Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.5 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 5.0 3.8
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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