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258 Celebrity Solstice Romantic Cruise Reviews

We traveled with our family which consisted of 13 adults, 1 child & 1 infant. We took a shuttle Limo from Cheektowaga NY to Toronto. We flew 22 hours from Toronto to Sydney. We had a 1 hour layover in Vancouver at 2:30am, which was ... Read More
We traveled with our family which consisted of 13 adults, 1 child & 1 infant. We took a shuttle Limo from Cheektowaga NY to Toronto. We flew 22 hours from Toronto to Sydney. We had a 1 hour layover in Vancouver at 2:30am, which was awful. When we got to Sydney we only had that day to explore, so we checked in at The Holiday Inn at The Rocks and then spent the day walking around. Though we were jet lagged, we were going on adrenal from the excitement of being there. We saw the Opera House, walked across the Harbor bridge and ate and shopped at The Rocks. We even found a Starbucks! The next day we had a shuttle to the cruise pier, at 11:00 am, which was across the street, but we had to much luggage to walk there. We had priority boarding and curbside luggage. Which really wasn’t curbside. We had to drag our suitcases 100 feet to drop it all off. We went to the front of the line to check in. The building didn’t seem to have AC, because we, as well as the staff, were all sweating in there. Once on board we were given a glass of champagne and had our family picture taken. We were then escorted to Luminae, a restaurant for all Suite quests. By 1:00 our cabins were ready. We received flowers, sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries. We received our suitcases by 5:00, which was wonderful. The food in Luminae was very good and the service was superb. We also ate at Tuscan Grill and Sushi on 5, which were 2 specialty restaurants. The food was very good there as well. We mostly ate at the Buffet for breakfast. It had a lot of varieties and once you found what you liked, you could enjoy it every morning. A lot of our group ordered room service, which came within half hour. That was a treat in itself. Our Royal Suite was a good size. A few times we had 12 people visiting us comfortably. Though the furniture needed an upgrade and the TV only had 10 channels. None of which I liked. There were free movies and pay per view. I saw most of them already. I am known as a movie bug. The internet was awful. You could never stay connected. It took long to open apps and search the web. I would get text messages hours later, when I would remember to reconnect to WiFi. The Ship was very nice considering it’s scheduled to be remodeled in 2021. There were some shops, but mostly high end designers, that you wouldn’t normally buy from. The souvenirs were limited and they didn’t have a store that sold any staples, should you need any. A major disappointing thing was all the Senior Citizens that were the majority of people. Our group ranged from 14 years to 56 years old. So a lot of the entertainment was geared towards 65 plus years old. There wasn’t much going on past 10:00pm. The elevators took a long time to come when we had to use it. Most times it was full with wheelchairs, walkers or both. The Buffet was always crowded. A few mornings we couldn’t find a table. There should be as many tables & chairs, as there are guests on board! The shows were mediocre, 3 out of the 12 nights were very good! Going to and from Ports went smoothly, whether we walked off or had to take a tender. Though our stroller had to be carried up or down stairs to enter & exit the ports. Not sure how the wheelchairs and walkers handled it? The Excursions were ok. A few were misleading. We informed the Excursion desk of our disappointment and they didn’t seem to care that much about our opinion. We booked a private tour 4 months in advance. The night before it was scheduled, we received a note and voice mail, that it was canceled due to mechanical issues. (Whatever that meant?!) So we had to try to arrange something else with a tour company on shore. That was a pain, but it worked out. We probably won’t travel on Celebrity again. Their prices were almost double what I’ve paid on other CruiseLines. They weren’t any better than those, so I’m not sure how they justify that. Some crew members that we would like to recognize, as those who went above & beyond for us, were Sam and Ty in Luminea, as well as our Butler Lorenzo. We spent some time in Michael’s Club, which was a lounge for Suite guests, where you could get a drink and some cookies and just relax. The Conceirge in there, Davina, was very helpful as well. All and all we had a great time with our family experiencing Australia and a cruise was a great way to do it!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We took a 4-day cruise out of Sydney to Melbourne on 10/11, than stayed on ship for 12-day cruise 10/15 to east coast of Australia and Great Barrier Reef. We are longtime Celebrity cruisers, and were somewhat disappointed with our ... Read More
We took a 4-day cruise out of Sydney to Melbourne on 10/11, than stayed on ship for 12-day cruise 10/15 to east coast of Australia and Great Barrier Reef. We are longtime Celebrity cruisers, and were somewhat disappointed with our transatlantic cruise last Spring on the Celebrity Reflection. But these two cruises fully restored our faith in Celebrity. Excellent and very visible/entertaining captain and crew, impeccable service in main dining room and lunch buffet, as well as in lounges. Food quality and variety were excellent. Entertainment with ship house band and others was varied and outstanding. Most theatre performers were excellent, and there were some very good matinees. Cruise director was energetic and fun, entertaining at a variety of venues during the day and evening.Cabin stewards and size/cleanliness/comfort of our balcony cabin for both cruises were terrific. Ship is in very good condition and well-maintained, even though it’s the oldest of the Solstice-class ships. It’s a mid-size ship (under 3,000), and they managed the tendering at several stops very efficiently. Many of the ship tours for the Barrier Reef are very expensive, and we limited ourselves to a couple, simple city tours (e.g., Melbourne) that were very good and fairly priced. The cities and coastal stops in Australia are beautiful with lots to do—from the exotic to just simple city tours and dining/shopping. Our only real complaint, which is symptomatic of most cruise ships, is the price and quality of drinks/wines, even in drink packages. We had a “classic” as opposed to the “premium” package—didn’t expect the best, but also didn’t expect Celebrity to be serving wines that retail for under $5 in the US (ugh!). And if you don’t specify what liquor you want in your cocktail, they pour the house brand rot-gut. When you’re paying $60 a day, per person, this should not be. Our biggest disappointment, though: having to leave the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have taken 1 Carnival cruise ages ago. 1 Royal Caribbean 15 years ago and about 14 Norwegian cruise line cruises. On the Celebrity-Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. I loved the size of ship. Never overcrowded. Perfect size. ... Read More
I have taken 1 Carnival cruise ages ago. 1 Royal Caribbean 15 years ago and about 14 Norwegian cruise line cruises. On the Celebrity-Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. I loved the size of ship. Never overcrowded. Perfect size. Cabin- in comparison to even the Norwegian new ships but had amazing storage. Didn’t need my over the door plastic shoe rack due to the great storage in bathroom. Nearly floor to ceiling cabinet like a deep medicine cabinet. We were in an Aqua class balcony room. Loved the extra storage over the beds. We could get daily, included, room service for breakfast. Loved having breakfast on our balcony on most mornings. Another bonus, big for me, I could put my feet up on balcony. And, table on balcony large enough for breakfast tray. The service in Blu(included for Aqua class and open for breakfast and dinner) Tuscan Grill and Romano(extra charge) were great. I was very impressed with the quality of the buffet. Amazing desserts. They even have a GF and sugar free section. Comedian was funny. We didn’t see a lot of shows. Best interactive, funny engaging captain we have ever encountered. He was so enthusiastic! Service was great. We had great weather at all ports except Victoria. Ketchikan-very disappointed our lighthouse, totem and eagles was cancelled. They tried calling us at 10:10 for our 12:30 meet up but we were off the ship already. We did get a refund. Our only last minute replacement option was crab boat ride or duck. We took the duck and it was actually a nice land and water tour. Our friends took the Bear life and wildlife excursions and loved it. Juneau-dog sled summer camp excursion was so much fun. Skagway-white pass rail and Yukon adventure. Long tour. We’ve done the train twice now we are done. Train up. Bus down. The suspension bridge place in Yukon was beautiful with great chili. Our friends got stuck on the later train for 6 hours missing their helicopter tour later. All was refunded but their day was wasted. Victoria was pouring so we didn’t get off. Slots were tight and casino staff wasn’t friendly. Lack of smiles and offered drinks. Cons: longest, most annoying muster drill ever. Stupid, time wasting movie. Why do they do this to the passengers? Celebrity gets it wrong. Casino staff. Cancelled excursion with poor, delayed communication. Pros: service. Above and beyond. Captain. Food quality. Wow. The shower has a bar so I can shave my legs easier and additional body sprayers for an enjoyable shower. . Raj, room steward, was awesome! Anticipating our every need. So much fun hanging out in Seattle (Motif Seattle) before cruise and an extra 2 days in Vancouver at Pinnacle Harbor Resort. I would do this ship and cruise again. Next time, I will go end of August to hopefully see some northern lights. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We thought we would enjoy it because we had taken an Alaskan cruise 17 years ago on Princess - it was a wonderful experience. The ports/locations were almost the same as our ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We thought we would enjoy it because we had taken an Alaskan cruise 17 years ago on Princess - it was a wonderful experience. The ports/locations were almost the same as our previous cruise so we were confident that we would enjoy that part of the cruise. So our only "unknowns" had to do with sailing with Celebrity to Alaska. This was our 8th cruise and our second on Celebrity. Our first cruise on Celebrity was 20 years ago on a much smaller ship - The Galaxy. The ship is old and showing its age in some areas. The carpet, furnishings, and furniture needs to be upgraded and replaced. The worst are the seats in the Solstice theater. They are so worn that they are uncomfortable- especially those closest to the stage. It is my understanding that Solstice is scheduled for an refurbishment soon. It is time. Cabin: We had the Deluxe Veranda. Plenty of storage and space for the two of us. We were impressed with the size of the bathroom- it is the largest bathroom we have ever had in a ship cabin (even larger than on Disney). The veranda was large with two chairs and a table. We had breakfast (room service) on our veranda most mornings. Our only complaint is the lack of electrical outlets and no USB ports. I'm sure that will be addressed in a refurb. Dining: Let me first be clear - we are not picky eaters or food snobs. We have always used the MDR and buffets for cruises and most of the time have been happy and often impressed. We usually do not use the specialty restaurants because of the quality of the free options. However, we were gifted 3 visits to specialty restaurants on this cruise, so we ate at Murano twice and Silk Harvest once. Murano is superb! Silk Harvest was good but not any better than the MDR. We did not eat at Tuscan, so I cannot review it. MDR was excellent. Now for the buffet - IT WAS AWEFUL! The food was pretty good, but the design leads to such chaos I couldn't stand to eat there. We ate at the buffet three times, and all three experiences were terrible due to having to hunt for a table, stand in numerous lines, and then navigate through the crowds to locate foods. We quickly came to the conclusion that we would have room service for breakfast (on our veranda) and do lunch somewhere other than the buffet. Entertainment and Activities: Celebrity needs to let the singers and dancers go- they were mediocre at best. I've seen better at highschool talent shows. The best entertainment were the guest entertainers. The comedian and magician were excellent. Service: AMAZING! Everyone from our room attendant (Charley) to our waiter (Dipo) were wonderful and attentive. Embarkation and Debarkation: Easy and efficient! I had read on these reviews that it was a nightmare and embarkation could take as long as an hour. We arrived at the pier and 15 minutes later we were sitting on the deck having our first cocktail! No joke - 15 minutes! Debarkation was just as easy and smooth. And now..... the reason we are now Celebrity Loyal - We purchase our flights through Celebrity. It was easy and the cost was the same as us doing it on our own. I thought it was the best way to ensure we wouldn't be bumped off a flight and would be rebooked quickly if our flights were cancelled on our way to the start the cruise (a fear I have always had). I really didn't think it would be an advantage for our flights home - BOY, WAS I WRONG! We arrived in Seattle and debarked around 7:30 AM (self-assist walk off). Our flight was scheduled to leave Seattle that night at 10:00 PM so we scheduled a private day tour to Mt. Rainer. At 4:45 PM I got a text from American Airlines that our flight had been cancelled and we were rebooked for a flight on Sunday morning - that was 48 hours later! At that point I called the Celebrity to see if they could help me - WOW! They were awesome! I talked to a man named Aaron. He thought is was ridiculous that we had been rebooked for a flight leaving two days later. His words were "that is unacceptable, I am going to see how to change that". Aaron was then able to book us on a flight for the next morning on Delta. Next, he made a reservation for us at an excellent hotel near the airport and told me to be sure to keep any receipts for taxi/transportation to the airport so he could reimburse us for that expense. I WAS BLOWN AWAY! Aaron (Celebrity) took care of everything in about 30 minutes over the phone! Given that we were still on our tour of Mt. Rainier, we were able to finish our tour, our driver simply dropped us at our hotel, we had an easy check in, were given 2 coupons for the hotel breakfast, and spent the evening relaxing! We didn't have to spend hours on the phone arguing with the airline or stand in line at the airport hoping for a voucher for a hotel stay. With that experience, we became Celebrity Loyal! We are already looking at Celebrity itenararies for 2020. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I had not been interested in seeing Alaska since I live in the Seattle area. I believed the climate and scenery would be similar, so I typically travel away from the rain and cold toward sunshine and warmth. However, our friends (two ... Read More
I had not been interested in seeing Alaska since I live in the Seattle area. I believed the climate and scenery would be similar, so I typically travel away from the rain and cold toward sunshine and warmth. However, our friends (two couples we had traveled with previously) invited us to join them on this cruise, and I am so happy we did. I would happily go on another Alaskan cruise, and I hope I get to one day. The scenery is so beautiful, and must be experienced in person. Words and pictures do not capture it. I have only been on one other cruise ship, RCI Symphony of the Seas, so in comparison the Solstice is much smaller. I definitely felt the ship movement more on this ship, but it did not affect me. I did, however, wear sea bands as a preventative measure. The ship is very clean and very pretty. We had an Aqua Class cabin on deck 11 and enjoyed the privileges of unlimited Persian Garden use in the Spa, and eating in the Blu restaurant. The captain was very engaged with the passengers, and his sense of humor was a delight. We were very lucky to have a gorgeous sunrise over Mendenhall Glacier, and the captain spun the ship 540 degrees so all could view the majestic glacier up close. The crew were all very friendly, work very hard, and are all eager to provide a great experience to every guest. We thoroughly enjoyed the educational talks offered on the ship about the wildlife, history of the port towns, and gold rush history. And the captain's powerpoint of the building of Solstice. If you can take time to hear these talks you won't be disappointed. We went to one show called Broken Strings. They did a great job dancing, but it was not easy to follow the story line through the songs. I could not hear the lyrics of the songs at all. I only knew what was going on by the dancing and acting (in love, cheating, breakup, make up). We saw both comedians, and they were just ok. I'd pass next time. My friends did the glass blowing, and enjoyed it. A bit pricey, but ended up with cool souvenirs. Canyon Ranch Spa: I had a deep tissue massage and also a paraffin wax treatment, and both were great. Beware of the emphasis by all the spa staff to upsell everything. They were very insistent that I buy a small tube of hand lotion for $33 (I declined). As aqua class, we were allowed to use the Persian Garden anytime. It has heated tile loungers with a floor to ceiling widow view of the ocean. I used this frequently, and it really warmed me up after the Juneau tour in the rain. DINING: We ate at Blu most of the time, which was the best option for Aqua Class. It is not crowded, you do not need reservations, they remember your name, and there is a great view from most tables. Blu is open for breakfast and dinner, which was fine since we were off the ship on port days. I ate at Grand Epernay (main dining room) three times. The dining room is very pretty, but the food was just ok. Nothing spectacular. The service was friendly and fast. The Oceanview Cafe is the buffet, and typically very crowded at meal times. Some dishes were very good, and others were very cafeteria bland. I did like that the cafe attendants were very attentive and offered to bring drinks from the bar to your table (if you could find a table!) Specialty Restaurants: We ate at Murano and at Silk Harvest. Murano was just ok. I had the lasagna that was oddly all meat and noodles, with very little cheese; not my favorite. Silk Harvest was the best experience. We had family style meal with all 3 couples and tried most of the menu items. I did not care for the shrimp pad tai but all the rest was really good. Drinks package: We had the premium package, and while it was nice to have the option to drink anything, we did not drink enough to make it worth the cost. It came with our package on this cruise, but I would not pay for it as an add on. Our friends had the classic package. Initially, it was not explained that there is a charge for drinks that cost over $9, and figuring out what drinks were part of their plan was confusing. I really liked getting specialty coffee or tea at Cafe al Bacio. It was comfortable seating with a view and treats. KETCHIKAN: We toured the town and Creek Street on our own, and went to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack show. It was cheesy show - but was also entertaining and showed off the amazing skills of the lumberjacks. In town, my husband ate a reindeer chili dog. Not my thing, but he liked it. JUNEAU: Mt Roberts Tramway: We docked at 1:30 and went on the tram before our 3:00 pm excursion. There were many cruisers in line for the tram, with long lines both ways. Be sure to allow enough time to do this if you have an excursion. The view would have been amazing, but was obstructed by fog. I did not think it was worth the price of $29 each. We did not plan to do a hike at the top, the resident eagle was not there, and we only spent about 20 minutes at the top because we had to return to the dock for our excursion tour at 3:00. Photo Safari Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier: This is a misnomer. No one on the tour was interested in photography, and the focus of the tour guide's information was on glacier conservation efforts, not cameras or photo opportunities. The nature trail to the glacier was through a dense forest, and it rained the entire time. The guide stopped frequently to talk about plants and glaciers, and the scenery lacked any real photo ops and only one viewpoint. Just before we finally got to the glacier visitor center and view, he told us that he had run out of time and we had to run to the bus to make it to the whale watching part of the tour. We basically missed the main destination! We were not allowed to go into the glacier visitor center. I snapped two pictures and ran to the bus. The next part of the tour was on a small boat guaranteed to see whales or we get $100 back. We did see whales, and photo ops were in abundance on the boat, but we were so cold from walking in the rain for two hours, the wind chill on the boat ride added more discomfort to our cold and wet bodies. They really should do the tour in the opposite direction. Boat tour first, then glacier visitor center, and then nature walk for those interested while allowing others to roam free in the glacier area. SKAGWAY: White Pass Summit and Beyond: (booked off cruise - Frontier Excursions and Adventures). This was a bus tour to White Pass and the Yukon Suspension Bridge. The tour guide, Brooke, was very funny and knowledgeable, and she stopped the bus frequently for photo ops when wildlife was spotted. She even backed up the bus and did u turns to allow us to view the animals, which would not be possible if we had taken the more popular White Pass train ride. We stopped to observe three different bears, and a mama moose and her calf. This was the best tour of the trip, and I got some spectacular photos. The scenery of the tundra-like arctic landscape and majestic mountains and glacial lakes was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Going to the Yukon is a must do for sure! VICTORIA: Buchart Gardens tour. We docked at 5:30, and took a bus to Buchart Gardens. This was barely enough time to see the garden. It is an amazingly beautiful place, and to really enjoy it you need time to just sit and experience the beauty. This tour was expensive and way too fast. I am glad I live in Seattle and can go again at a more leisurely pace. The tour guide on the bus talked non-stop about uninteresting random things. I would have preferred a quiet ride to his personal jabber, "beyond those trees is a lake, and I have memories of taking the children there when they were small", which did not add to my experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I primarily chose this cruise because of all the perks being offered by my online Travel Agent and we have always wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise. Should you choose an Alaskan cruise do yourself a favor and save up for the luxury of a ... Read More
I primarily chose this cruise because of all the perks being offered by my online Travel Agent and we have always wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise. Should you choose an Alaskan cruise do yourself a favor and save up for the luxury of a balcony stateroom. It was worth every dime. I spent a great deal of time on my balcony watching the beauty of Alaska go by as we sailed the inland passage and the Endicott arm. From the master of the ship on down we enjoyed extreme customer service, great food and entertainment. We primarily ate in the main dining room, but had a premium dining selection included, so we chose the tuscan grille. It was very good, but if I had to pay the 45 bucks for it, I wouldn't have been all that pleased. Service was excellent, actually superior which made it a memorable experience. Food was good, but just not exceptional. Other than the natural beauty of the state, a huge highlight of the cruise was the naturist speaker Brent Nixon. His presentations were absolutely riveting. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I was very impressed with a lot of thing about Celebrity Solstice and very disappointed with other things. The shows were great, especially the Alaska shows. I was a little disappointed in the age of the ship but it wasn't dirty just ... Read More
I was very impressed with a lot of thing about Celebrity Solstice and very disappointed with other things. The shows were great, especially the Alaska shows. I was a little disappointed in the age of the ship but it wasn't dirty just a little aged. The Ocean View Cafe was great if you were of Asian or Indian background or if you love their food. The American fare was poor. The food looked right but it definitely didn't taste right. The sauces for the pasta was runny, the eggs were runny, the hamburgers were burnt, and the selection was almost nonexistent. There were very few waiters/waitresses on the floor so you just had to make do with pushing used dishes out of the way. The main dining room was terrific. The food here was outstanding. Our service was slow (we don't drink) and we spent too much time waiting on our waiters to serve the food and take our dessert order. But the staff was extremely nice. Our cabin steward was the best. He worked very hard every day to make sure that everyone was happy and had everything needed, We just sailed on May 10, 2019, so our experience is fresh, The ship is well suited for couples. Of course, we sailed during the school year. Our excursions were through Viator instead of Celebrity. Other than almost missing our connection in Juneau, we didn't have any trouble finding our tour groups. The bus tour through the Yukon, in Skagway, with our tour guide Mike, was the best. We saw 2 bears, mountain goats, and a young moose. Our tour guide had sharp eyes and he was very entertaining. I believe anyone will enjoy this cruise and we are looking forward to our next one. The departing from the ship was extremely streamlined and it didn't take very long for everyone to be on dry land. The Celebrity excursions were the easiest to find since they were the first ones you came upon when docking. There were always other ship at port when were got to port so we were usually the farthest from the city. The other ships had mostly already unloaded their passengers when we first were let off the ship. Getting back on was a breeze. I brought two lanyards to hold our sea passes and we just had to show them when we boarded. Having the sea passes on the lanyards worked well for dining as well. We just showed them to the waiters and they used them to bring our sodas. The ship had a lot of things going on so you weren't bored at any time. We had to make time to go swimming and look around the ship. It was a wonderful experience and we had a great time (other than the fact that we brought our colds with us from home, but we found that the ships liquor store had things that you would normally buy in a pharmacy. Nail polish remover, cold meds, etc.) I recommend this ship and the experience to anyone wanting to discover Alaska! I no I don't have a reference point to compare this sailing to but I really enjoyed the experience. The captain came on loud speaker (outside the ship) he was Greek and a little hard to understand but he continued with the same message in a different way a few times so we were able to understand his message. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We choose this cruise because the last Solstice trip (to Sth Pacific) the average age was around 60, still way older than us but ok. This time is very around mid 80s and most people were not mobile. Getting around the ship was very ... Read More
We choose this cruise because the last Solstice trip (to Sth Pacific) the average age was around 60, still way older than us but ok. This time is very around mid 80s and most people were not mobile. Getting around the ship was very frustrating and the music on board was obviously to cater for them - 30s and 40's (which my husband and I can't stand). We don't have children (by choice, they annoy me); so it was good that there weren't too many to be seen or heard. The ports were mostly good but I would get rid of Lautoka and Suva and try and use a beautiful outer Fijian island. I've been to Fiji a few times and the ports are not a true reflection of the beauty of the Fiji. We both really enjoyed Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga - we did shore trips in each location but not through the ship. We did the Oolala trip, with the ship, in Lautoka and it was terrible - I went two years ago and everything has changed for the worse. It was overcrowded, mean and the food was inedible. The entertainment was generally ok, if geared towards very old people. The dining was good but portion sizes are very small. I'm a size 8 and I had to eat 2nd dinner in the buffet some night as I was still starving. One of the guys (a professor) giving talks was so boring and his material very old. Surely they can find people who are actually interested in their material and pass that on to the cruises. Cost for gym classes is a bit expensive at $17US Why is the spa so expensive? I would love to have treatments but not at twice the price of Australia. The shops are ridiculous - LV and Tiffany - seriously???? why not have nice brands that your target market can afford. Get rid of the stupid art show - just have nice stuff around the ship to admire (not to purchase) Based on this cruise, we have decided to cruise again in about 20 years time - unless Celebrity really do something to encourage a younger (but Childfree) market. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. It satisfied the ports we wanted to visit. The food was great, the desserts were amazing, The ship and stateroom were immaculate. The entertainment overall was soso compaired to other ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. It satisfied the ports we wanted to visit. The food was great, the desserts were amazing, The ship and stateroom were immaculate. The entertainment overall was soso compaired to other cruises we have been on. The shining star was the Piano player from Geelong. The big screen is hidden up on a deck where nobody visits. It would be better on the swimming pool deck. Cruise went from Fremantle so we spent 4 days in Perth investigating the area then one night in a BnB in Fremantle. First stop at Esperance was interesting but a bit of a waste of time (Hobart would be better). Was a bit disappointed with the amount of smoke from the funnels in our beautiful Milford Sounds. The in room videos about the pod motors, electric generators, and the side thrusters were very informative, The free movie channel had to be reset twice during our voyage. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our first time on Celebrity, we are RCCL people, which own celebrity. Embarkation was OK no issue at all, the ship looked good but you can see some areas are tired and in need of some work but that is not a big issue. From ... Read More
This was our first time on Celebrity, we are RCCL people, which own celebrity. Embarkation was OK no issue at all, the ship looked good but you can see some areas are tired and in need of some work but that is not a big issue. From the minute we got on board we were endlessly pounded with first, drinks packages, then were ever we went it was specialty restaurants. I felt they were hiding at every corner, breakfast , lunch before entering dining room and leaving dining room , it just never stopped. Then when going to the gym you had to run the gauntlet of massages etc etc. I want to pass on a tip, you can offer specialty restaurants but when you ask around $40-$50 US, then the food needs to be rather special and sorry, it was not. Drinks on all cruise lines are out of control and crazy expensive, $6US for a ordinary coffee UP to $15 US for a cocktail and $11-15 US for wine really is too much. which includes an 18% gratuity .For us poor Aussies add at least 25%+ to get Aussie pricing We booked a concierge cabin and we thought it was good value with the extras you got. Our cabin was a bit smaller than we were used to, with not as much storage space but a slightly larger bathroom I thought the service on the ship was great however for some reason, the staff do not appear happy. The food in the dining room was mostly good although became repetitive. I thought the Buffet selection was ordinary and not a great variety. Entertainment was generally Ok, I have a thought, do not expect good entertainment and if you get it then it is a great bonus. I was happy with most of the entertainment I did notice there were a lot of bars on board but not much to do like, mini golf etc. If you did not follow the daily activities then there was not much else. The top deck was covered in lawn which was different but frankly, useless and the glass blowing for me was a little boring. The adds say Premium cruising and I did expect to get the wow factor but generally speaking it was very little difference to any other of the 300 nights I have been on ships Cruising has become like " lamb to the slaughter", they just try and extract every dollar possible. I would not personally, go on Celebrity again and I hope other cruise lines are not pounding you with upselling otherwise I will stop going. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My husband and I chose this ship as we heard a lot of good things about it so we decided to try it out on the Sydney to Auckland journey. We were not disappointed! This is our 6th cruise and I must say it was one of our best experiences. ... Read More
My husband and I chose this ship as we heard a lot of good things about it so we decided to try it out on the Sydney to Auckland journey. We were not disappointed! This is our 6th cruise and I must say it was one of our best experiences. Destinations around the north and south islands were very good which gave us a taste of how beautiful and picturesque New Zealand is. Definitely a place to return to in the future. From embarkation in Sydney to the last day in Auckland, our time on this beautiful ship was exceptional, Service, food and experience was great and the many bars and chill out areas around the ship suits everyone. Activities on the ship were very entertaining especially the daily commentary from Captain Tasos. The only negative about the cruise was the nightly entertainment in the main theatre as there was only 2 nights (Mo Town and Rock City) which were very good, but the rest of the shows were a bit to be desired. Speciality restaurant package is great value and thoroughly recommend booking early for these. We booked Aqua Class and had the privilege of dining in the designated Blu Restaurant, however, no bookings can be made for this restaurant and the wait can be up to 30 mins and food is mediocre - we only dined here one night. Buffet has a large variety of food from all nations which is very good, however, the speciality restaurants was our favourite! Cruise Director, Rich, is great value and very entertaining, especially his daily banter with Activities Director, Lauren, on the TV. Fully recommend you try this ship as there is so much happening all the time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Wanted to travel to this part of the world for a long time and when the oppertunity came could think of no better way to do it. The ship was beautiful, the food and service was first class and our table of six people was a great mix and we ... Read More
Wanted to travel to this part of the world for a long time and when the oppertunity came could think of no better way to do it. The ship was beautiful, the food and service was first class and our table of six people was a great mix and we have all vowed to keep in touch.The excursions were very well organised and ran like clockwork ,we were a little bit dubious about this aspect of the cruise as the only other cruise we have been on was a free for all when it came to disembarking and boarding coaches for excursions. Our cabin steward was called Leonardo who couldn't have been more attentive.Coming back to the cabin after a wonderful evening was crowned by what Leonardo had sculpted out of the fresh towels.All in all we had a wonderful,memorable holiday where we have made friends for life. So many highlights, wonderful sights and lovely friendly people. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
just wanted to provide some feed back from my perspective. The first cruise we did was on P&O and we were thrilled to be going on our first ever totally child free holiday. After having 7 children now all grown up it was so nice ... Read More
just wanted to provide some feed back from my perspective. The first cruise we did was on P&O and we were thrilled to be going on our first ever totally child free holiday. After having 7 children now all grown up it was so nice to be away just the two of us. The ship was ok but the air con in the room did not work and was not fixed. It was so bad the pillow chocolates melted. It was only a 4 night cruise and we were never moved. (I felt sorry for the honeymoon couple next door who also had no air con) We were also in a cabin with no balcony. The entertainment was a bit thin and the food was ok, the ship seemed to feel every wave though and even though I was not sick I was looking for a sun lounge at the back of the ship to combat the feeling. The staff were really nice. Next cruise was so different, We went on Royal's Ovation of the seas . It was a four night cruise to Hobart and back. We had a balcony. a beautiful room, we loved exploring the ship. The shows were great , food amazing, always something to do and not over crowded at all. It was so big and clean and and friendly. Smooth sailing just a few bumps on the bass but did not affect us at all. Staff were so helpful and so nice, I dont know how they remember you no matter where on that huge whip you are. Everything is charged in US dollars on the ship and that was probs the only thing that was a bit of a pain but you get use to it. We bought the drinks package so there were no surprises and it all went smoothly. Honestly had no complaints at all. Next cruise and everyone since has been on celebrity solstice , Why we keep going back (though we are itching to try Edge:)) Still all in USD The ship is big but not too big, It has plenty of places to drink. to chill, to listen to music, to take part in Trivia and other activities, The shows are really good and the food is amazing even in the grand dining room. The demographics are a bit different too certainly not a BOOZE cruise. You have a real good mix of ages and there is a really nice team there to look after the Camp at Sea kids (the kids club is never overcrowded and they really look after them) I do prefer the solarium on Ovation but the solarium on Solstice is still really nice and has the pool and whirl pools and lots of lounges. It also has an amazing Aqua Cafe there for a healthy snack. I love catching a movie on the real grass be it day or under the stars of a night. Mast Grill is a must for burgers and hotdogs. The tenders works well and the destinations are fab We have stayed in Suite at the Aft and enjoyed that so much, Butler, dedicated Suite only lounge where all the drinks are free, dedicated suite only dining where the food and staff are amazing. Reserved seating for the shows, no tender queues . We have stayed on concierge at the Aft again brilliant and the Aft for me is the best place to be. We have stayed in a royal suite AMAZING no extras at all fully stocked fridge with what ever you want in it. Free internet washing drinks, everything. Even a bath on the balcony not to mention the two bathrooms and walk in wardrobe and afternoon tea severed for you and any guests by your butler. We have stayed in a balcony and done the main hall dining and again amazing. A really good vibe in there and staff will do everything they can to help. People complain about staff trying to up sell the other dining (in Royal suite its all included BTW) .. I dont have an issue with that I just say no thank you . The buffet is great and you can go grab something from there and enjoy the food out on the deck if you want. The ship tour is also amazing. The guests are friendly and like I said mixed age. You can dance with the younger ones or sit by the pool taking to the older ones. The lifts even become a social trip where you can say hi to new people. If you smoke there are areas dedicated for that an people meet up there for a drink and a chat. The full moon party is always great and the silent disco is something you have to try even just watching that is fun. They gym on board is good (not that we did anything other than walk through it) and the pamper spa is great. We could always find an area to just chill where sometime there would be no one else around. There is a games area/lounge where you can play cards or board games and a lounge with a library feel where you can just sit and relax or read. There is always trivia going on but we get so busy we miss it most the time :) But its fun to do and again you meet other people. There are ship activities to join in. There is always something to do or you can do nothing . thing is on Celebrity your on a beautiful ship that caters for everyone. Your holiday is what you want it to be ...relaxing..or full on it's up to you. The destinations are great and the tours offered are varied. If you have never been on a cruise and are looking to do one. I would say go with Celebrity it's our favorite. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We sailed from Sydney to Auckland NZ departing Nov 8. The ship was in excellent condition. The balcony cabin was nice and well organized if a bit small. The choice of ports was quite good and the ship had plenty to do. First the ... Read More
We sailed from Sydney to Auckland NZ departing Nov 8. The ship was in excellent condition. The balcony cabin was nice and well organized if a bit small. The choice of ports was quite good and the ship had plenty to do. First the high points: Dining at Murano, Silk Harvest, Tuscan Grill and particularly Chef's Table. They were all excellent. We booked specialty dining for EVERY night and never ate in the main dining room. I think it was a brilliant decision. The staff in all three restaurants got to know us by name and taste. In Murano, our waiter, Sommelier, and Maitre D were all fantistic. In Silk Harvest, the young lady from Indonesia had boundless energy and an endless smile with excellent service. At Tuscan Grill, our waiter and Sommelier were all fantastic and took great care of us. The food was excellent at each venue. The Chef's Table was special even for "foodies". Drinks at the martini bar with the endless bar stunts by the staff were typically well prepared and very entertaining to have served. Flawless individual service. The lead bar tender from Bali is a star. We loved our quiet before dinner glass of wine at the Wine club also. A special shout out to the Sommelier from the main dining room who pitched in to help in the Wine Bar on several occasions. She was great. Variety of activities on board was also very good. From Glass blowing and lawn bowling on the top deck to the Casino. Plenty of fun and diverse things to do. Now for the NOT so good. First we had a very negative "bait and switch" on a shore excursion in Tauranga. Clearly stated and showed a picture of a jet boat running on the river. Instead without ANY explaination of articulation on the ticket, it was dull antics in the jet boat on a lake with a cultural tour of sites. That was a 20 year plan to do that after my father spoke so highly of it years ago. I went to the Shore Excursions desk to ask them nicely for an explanation and to make it right by me. I was curtly told that they were closed at 9:30 am would not return until 6 pm at night, and to "put it in writing" for the customer service desk. I did. customer service got them to call THE NEXT DAY at 9pm in my cabin. I got out of bed and went down to their desk and explained my disappointment. He said he would contact the tour operator. Despite the fact that the Tour Operator was CLEARLY not to blame. Celebrity changed the excursion and failed to notify the passengers at some time from when I booked it to when I was on the jet boat. I was pissed they changed it and failed to notify me. I could have adapted. By not on the next to last day on the ship. I asked the man that night to contact me by Email within 7 days with Celebrity's proposed "make it right" solution after he said he would escalate it to "Corporate". It has now been almost 3 weeks of radio silence from Celebrity. I can only conclude that the Shore Excursions group and leadership is Rude, Lazy and not customer focused at all. Be warned and do not "trust them". For the rate premium they charge, they should do much better. My next complaint was with tender management of the Shore Excursion. Ruturning to the ship after a long train and SUPER HOT bus ride from the Alpine Railway, we had a 45 minute line to get on a tender with a rude and agitated shore Officer who lost his composure no doubt under pressure to get the passengers back on board. Finally the ship house band was not up to expectations. We really love live music but some of the songs were so poorly done, it quite some time to even recognize personal favorites. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was a back to back cruise to Australia and New Zealand, two countries on my wish list since many years. We spent two days in Sidney staying at the Sidney Hilton Hotel before departure with excursions to the Sidney Opera House and ... Read More
This was a back to back cruise to Australia and New Zealand, two countries on my wish list since many years. We spent two days in Sidney staying at the Sidney Hilton Hotel before departure with excursions to the Sidney Opera House and to the Blue Mountains. All was most interesting and enjoyable, especially the ride on the steepest train ride and seeing a koala bear for the first time. Indeed there were several firsts on this cruise. We were picked up by a limousine from the hotel to the port-side. Once onboard our cases were soon delivered to our cabin. In the meantime we relaxed on the balacony. Indeed we enjoyed using the balcony throughout our cruise for relaxing during the day and most evenings watching the landscape change or looking for sea and bird life. Very good entertainment on most evenings. Dining at the Ocean View had excellent choice for breakfast and lunch. Evening meals were taken in the Grand Epernay. Excellent food and good service. There were several chic evenings were people could dress up to make an occasion of the meal.However not all diners were dressed appropriately and still allowed in to the dining room. After our first cruise we were badgered by dining room staff to complete a survey within 7 days. This we did in the iLounge on board ship. One evening the table waiter announced that we had not completed the survey in front of the other diners. I saw the Maitre’d immediately and the the iLounge staff who had helped me to login to the survey initially, which I had received a thank you message for completing. One thing, the survey was not annonimous and staff were fully aware who and what were the results- this almost destroyed our holiday, which until then had been exceptional. Our disembarkation at Auckland was chaotic as recent changes at port-side had left cars no spaces to park for the pickup. We arrived at the Pullman Hotel where our reservation could not be found in our name. A wrong name had been entered, it took us an hour before it was sorted and we eventually had a room, but not before thinking we would sleep on the street. A highly stressful end to our cruise that took the shine off a generally enjoyable time. We were satisfied with our dining options, so we had no reason to pay the xtra at other restaurants offered. We were astonished that there was no free wifi. It was only available at an extortionate rate. This caused us to miss an urgent message regarding the death of our dog whilst we were at sea. It was two days later when ashore that we received the news. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose celebrity due to previous reviews from friends. We had been on Viking and wanted a more livelier experience . This cruise was a total pleasure. Great crew, employees are very customer oriented. There is a ton to do on this ship. ... Read More
We chose celebrity due to previous reviews from friends. We had been on Viking and wanted a more livelier experience . This cruise was a total pleasure. Great crew, employees are very customer oriented. There is a ton to do on this ship. Entertainment all over the ship every evening and excellent quality. Food choices are also excellent and quality is exceptional in their specialty restaurants. The Buffett is very good with a huge selection. We ate at their specialty restaurants and the quality was exceptional. Celebrity employees are happy and personable . The Cruise Director and Captain were in frequent contact and always were fun. A big difference in this cruise was the quality of entertainment. A great show every night at 7 or 9. The entertainment varied from Broadway music, classic rock, singing and dancing, aerial silks, etc. the one thing I would say about this cruise is I would be careful on their shore excursions. We took 3 and would say the description did not match the tour. We provided this feedback to the Shote Excursion desk. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I chose the Sydney to Auckland cruise on Celebrity Solstice to celebrate our 50th Wedding anniversary. The service and other features of the cruise justified my choice. This was our second cruise on Solstice, the first being to New ... Read More
I chose the Sydney to Auckland cruise on Celebrity Solstice to celebrate our 50th Wedding anniversary. The service and other features of the cruise justified my choice. This was our second cruise on Solstice, the first being to New Caledonia etc. We travelled C3 Concierge and our cabin was deck 10 a little aft of the bulge on the starboard side. Everything about the cruise was just perfect, from the very quick embarkation procedure in Sydney to our sad farewell to Solstice in Auckland. In Sydney after we dropped our bags off it was pretty much straight through Customs and Immigration - probably a 15 minute process at the most. We went aboard and were greeted with the customary glass of champagne and then proceeded to Cafe al Bacio to kill some time before lunch and wait for our cabin to be ready. Shortly after we had finished lunch we got the call that cabins were ready so went to check ours out. As we might have expected our cabin was immaculate, everything as it should be in Concierge, including the welcome bottle of bubbly. We couldn't fault the cabin, plenty of storage, a very comfortable bed, quiet and a more than adequately sized balcony. Our Cabin Steward Eduardo was one of the most pleasant and obliging people you could wish to meet, times we didn't encounter him in the hallway or in or about our cabin when we returned made me wonder if he wasn't hiding in the wardrobe. We dined most nights in Grand Epernay and the service and food was faultless. We opted to eat in Oceanview on the first night because we wanted to be up on deck for our departure from Sydney and it was certainly worthwhile. It was a beautiful clear evening and the buzz among fellow passengers on deck 12 as we cleared the International Terminal and eased out into Sydney Harbour was palpable. There was no hiding the excitement we were all feeling. The food on offer in Oceanview was also quite good - there was a very wide range of cuisines to choose from. There were several good shows on offer to keep us entertained, "Amade", a tribute to Mozart was very enjoyable as was the Elton John tribute and Rock City. There was always something happening in the Sky Lounge or Celebrity Central or the Entertainment Court hosted by Lauren and Emily to keep passengers happy and laughing, just too many alternatives to mention but something to suit everybody. The session in Solstice Theatre on our last sea day by Captain Tasos explaining the construction of Solstice was most interesting and very well received by a packed theatre. The service we received could not be faulted, from the waitresses in Cafe al Bacio to bar stewards at ny bar you care to mention, at the Mast Grill or Mast Bar. Our Head Waiter, Assistant Waiter, Drinks Waiter and Sommelier in Grand Epernay were excellent, always had a smile, our drinks waiter did not need to be told what we wanted after the second day - he would ask to confirm that we wanted the same as we had previously and return with our drinks in a flash. Again, with this foursome nothing was ever a problem. We only booked one shore excursion with Celebrity, the Blue Baths Tea and Rotorua Thermal Outing for when we were in Tauranga. In Dunedin and Wellington we chose to visit I-Site, the visitor information centre, in Akaroa and Bay of Islands we just did our own thing. We were staying Auckland for a couple of days after our arrival and were in no hurry to disembark so we chose a 9.30am disembarkation. Due to some passengers having problems with Customs and Immigration there were a few holdups but we were off by 10am. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Me and my partner chose to cruise with celebrity after enjoying a fantastic cruise on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 2 years prior. We thought since the two are related and celebrity is more expensive that the experience ... Read More
Me and my partner chose to cruise with celebrity after enjoying a fantastic cruise on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 2 years prior. We thought since the two are related and celebrity is more expensive that the experience should be even more fantastic. I have to say, we had a better time on the Explorer. Not sure whether this is because of the people on the ship... we are 25 but we don't drink and aren't party animals - But wow, this is a very sloooow crowd and the daily planner reflects that. There is literally nothing to do during the day other than go to talks where they try to sell you things. Other than that the daily features are bingo, glass blowing, spa talks on how to reduce lines and ease back pain + more activities that lets just say, I'd rather watch paint dry. if we hadnt booked such a great Shore activities I'm not sure how much we would have enjoyed this cruise... Cabins - we just had a regular interior cabin on level 8. We were unfortunate enough to have probably one of only three babies on board 4 cabins down and this one was definitely a screamer. I have to say I think every single time we were in the cabin, that baby was crying... including multiple nights. However I have to admit that's obviously not celebrities fault but it did impact the trip. also, the cabins on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas are much nicer than the solstice cabins except for a smaller bed. There is way more storage on the Explorer and the rooms are just laid out a lot better. Another little thing that is sort of silly but it's one of the things makes a cruise, we didn't get any towel animals except for the first night. That was one of the most exciting things on the Explorer! Seeing which new one we got every day! A weird damp smell also lingered the whole time... Dining in the buffet - we only ate in the buffet and included restaurant the entire trip because we usually find that that's all you need... Again, the food at the buffet on the Explorer was much superior to the food on the solstice. The breakfast did not change literally every single day. Lunch varied somewhat but barely. Most of the dinner was also the same, except for a few theme nights where they basically just had maybe 10 more dishes added. Dining in the no fee restaurant - firstly I want to say that our waitress Taisiia was amazing. She was extremely prompt, friendly and informed about the food. We also found this on the Explorer with our waiter. but once again, the Explorer had much better dinner food than the solstice. we found that the menu on the solstice was very bizarre and somewhat pretentious. The entrees were pretty much just soups and salads for the entire duration of the cruise which I guess you can mass make and not really stuff up. The mains were really hit and miss...some of the steaks were really overcooked even though we ordered them all medium rare. But then again some of the food was fantastic. it's really hard to say but it's really just a game of luck every night with the menu. But I have to say it was a process of elimination of things we didn't like most of the time... another small thing to know is that the bread options are really limited on the solstice. At dinner on the Explorer we were given about 6 to 8 different options of bread but on this cruise we only had three different types of bread to choose from one of which was bread sticks. Dessert was great but honestly it's pretty hard to stuff up dessert. Shows in the theatre- the one thing that celebrity did mirror with Royal Caribbean Explorer was the fantastic shoes on board. But I have to admit that the entertainment was only really great when it was with the solstice theatre performers. All the other extra performers were pretty rubbish other than one comedian. Most nights there were plenty of seats left in the theatre when it wasn't the solstice group performing. Pools - pool areas were nice and tidy and they did have plenty of chairs for everyone in the main pool. This was not k's in the adults only area. You'd go literally at 9 a.m. and all the chairs would have towels and things on them from people dumping them on the way to the buffet. They really should have some sort of system in place to avoid this happening as we saw chairs with no one in them for hours on end... Gym and spa - we did go to the gym a couple of days and I have to say it was pretty fantastic. Loads of equipment and weights. Plenty of cold towels for anyone and a really great Fitness classroom. we also did take advantage of the Persian room for our stay. It was expensive but we really enjoyed it. The steam room was awesome and the hot pads were really relaxing. We also did have one couples massage that was pretty good but in hindsight we probably wouldn't do it again how much money it cost. that was another thing, throughout the entire ship there were the massage ladies sitting you in chairs giving you a random shoulder rub and running you through the price list. It was a bit full on and I was really over it by the end of the trip. Shore excursions - we did 3 excursions, quad biking in the sand dunes in Newcastle, Australia Zoo and also a Great Barrier Reef snorkeling Discovery. Quad biking was definitely the highlight. this was due to the fact that there was only about 10 of us considering the general demographic on the cruise wouldn't be able to physically quad bike, plus the dunes were fantastic and the guys were amazing. Australia Zoo was ok, I mean it's just a zoo and it may have been more exciting for someone who isn't an Australian but we still did have fun and we don't regret going but wouldn't do it again. we have mix feelings about the great barrier reef discovery . Unfortunately it was the best day for it it was a really rough seas - the boat the incredibly rocky the entire time and multiple people were being sick. This gets pretty full-on since it's over an hour and a half trip to the reef. I got sick too. The reef itself was ok I have to say I don't think we were taken to a particularly beautiful part. I've done snorkeling a lot of times and there are much better spots all around Australia in Thailand and as well in New Caledonia. I was happy we went but again we wouldn't do it again. The rest of the staff were ok. The guest relations staff were pretty average an abrupt but all of the buffet and public room staff were very kind and accommodating. all in all, it was a bit disappointing and I wouldn't be cruising with celebrity again. I think I'll stick to Royal Caribbean. To give you some feedback also, my partner has cruised with multiple lines and he said that celebrity is pretty hand in hand in terms of food with P&O. Save your money, go with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Quick observations and context: We sailed the Pacific NW cruise from Seattle to Astoria, San Francisco, Victoria & Vancouver. We have previously sailed multiple times on the Summit (and like the ship very much). We found the larger ... Read More
Quick observations and context: We sailed the Pacific NW cruise from Seattle to Astoria, San Francisco, Victoria & Vancouver. We have previously sailed multiple times on the Summit (and like the ship very much). We found the larger size and newer design of the Solstice VERY nice. Decks 4 & 5 (where the $$$ is) flows better than on Summit. We noticed the extra width and felt it was a more luxurious and relaxed experience. We also liked having more entertainment "out" in that area vs tucked away in a lounge. MDR was excellent as was (I can't believe I'm saying this) the buffet. We're not buffet people, but found this to be the first we went to where a) the food was fresh and really good, b) laid out clearly and easy to get what you want without standing in a long line, and c) staff was quick to clean/clear, meaning you could actually get a table. Overall - ship was run very well, clean, and felt uncrowded (I don't think they sold out, probably 90%). We would definitely sail on this class again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The most enjoyable part of our cruise occurred while on a tour from Skagway Port. We disembarked and found Skagway Tours. Though we hesitated to take the 3+ hour tour up to the Yukon, we are extremely glad we did! We had the best guide ... Read More
The most enjoyable part of our cruise occurred while on a tour from Skagway Port. We disembarked and found Skagway Tours. Though we hesitated to take the 3+ hour tour up to the Yukon, we are extremely glad we did! We had the best guide and driver that anyone could hope for: River. This wonderful woman proved to be informative, considerate, helpful, and kind. She made this trip the highlight of our off-ship exploring. Not only did she entertain us with stories of the region but she also provided an ongoing narrative about the way the mountains, rivers, and lakes were formed and continued to exist. She pointed out animals and things to look for and then, when she would spot one, she would stop the bus and we were able to take many pictures and video of these sights. Our most memorable sight was this absolutely gorgeous black bear. He was just strolling along the roadside munching on tasty grasses and shoots. He seemed to not even notice us but continued to graze while thrilling us with his actions. He finally lumbered off into the brush but we remember saying: "Well, that just made every dollar we spent for this trip worth every penny!!" River even stopped along the road to see if a fellow motorist who appeared to be having car difficulty might need some help. She said that up in this remote region, if someone breaks down, it's common practice for another motorist to stop to see if he can help. Who knows when another vehicle will pass by and the motorist may become stranded there. We were very impressed with River's compassion and fellow feeling for others. River slowly toured us through the town of Skagway explaining how it came to be and how it managed to function that far away from everything. We thoroughly enjoyed her stories and insight. We were very privileged to have somehow chosen to take the Skagway Tours bus with River as our driver/guide. Our experience there could not have been better. We will continue to tell our friends and family about our amazing cruise topped off by this absolutely unbelievable experience with River for as long as we live. We will recommend to everyone that they must take this cruise and experience this tour to the Yukon from Skagway, if at all possible. We are certainly hoping to return on the Solstice to Skagway and perhaps explore even further, if possible, especially if we are privileged to have River as our guide. Our on-board experience far exceeded our dreams. We enjoyed the pleasant atmosphere and generous seating on the upper decks. We were able to view the scenery easily from almost any place on board. Our stateroom had a lovely balcony from which we could sit and watch the ocean anytime we wanted, privately and quietly. We appreciated the entire staff aboard the Solstice. Each staff member greeted us with a kind word and a smile no matter where we encountered him or her. The Ocean View Cafe provided excellent cuisine with a great variety of foods to satisfy all our cravings. The seating was adequate and when the weather permitted, we enjoyed the outdoors seating as well. The wait staff in Blu far exceeded our expectations. Especially Orlando, Wayan, and Budi. Not only did they provide excellent service, but they also provided abundant information about all our dining choices; doing so with smiles, laughs, and wonderful stories. The food proved to be superb! Gormet at least! Every dish we ate was scrumptious. Truly a memorable experience each time we dined. We must praise the Staff aboard the Solstice more than anything else as they are the ones who made the entire cruise so enjoyable for us. Celebrity as hired an excellent staff that is determined to be pleasant, joyful, helpful, and kind no matter what a guest may ask or require. Our Stateroom assistant, Mara, was a joy to interact with each and every day. She was sweet and kind. Always cheerful and smiling. We will always remember her. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and would recommend to everyone wanting the cruise- of-a-lifetime, to take this cruise with Celebrity Solstice to Alaska! No words can adequately describe the scenes and vistas your eyes will barely believe you are seeing! Go! Enjoy! It's worth every dollar spent! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was only or second cruise and it has been many tears since the first. We found the ship to be incredible. It's amazing what can fit on a cruise ship! The common areas were awesome and we never felt crowded wherever we went. As ... Read More
This was only or second cruise and it has been many tears since the first. We found the ship to be incredible. It's amazing what can fit on a cruise ship! The common areas were awesome and we never felt crowded wherever we went. As for the staff, our room keeper, Rhonda, was a dream. She never intruded on us and somehow managed to keep our room spotless. We had several servers at Epernay that were beyond amazing. Froilan, Christina and Ranburne. They gave us amazing service. We experienced some snarkiness at the martini bar and the third floor bar. In my opinion, the martini bar servers were more interested in showing off than providing service. Other than that, the service was great. Excursions: Ketchikan-we did the nature hike. It was ok. Our guide was knowledgeable enough and we were stoked to see some bears in the water fishing for salmon. Skagway-Mendenhall canoe trip. All I can say is be prepared to work. And work hard. It's a lot of paddling (6 miles there and back). My shoulder still hurts! It was beautiful, yes and our guide Mitch was entertaining but it was not as I expected. Juneau-Eagle preserve raft float-the most enjoyable trip! Saw lots of bald eagles and it was so relaxing. Our guide was an expert on the eagles no doubt. Gorgeous. Victoria-Beautiful place! We enjoyed the lantern tour at Butchart Gardens. Absolutely stunning scenery! One thing we wished is that we had more time in each port. If you do an excursion, there is little to not time left to explore the city. That was a bummer. If you're planning on souvenirs, I thought Ketchikan was the best for that. I did feel like all of the ports were reasonably priced though. We would definitely go again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Next stateroom smokers filling our room with smoke. No coffee or tea included with dinner at our restaurant Blu. I had to pay almost 6$ for a cup of coffee! In the cafeteria coffee quality was quite bad as well. In room breakfast was bad ... Read More
Next stateroom smokers filling our room with smoke. No coffee or tea included with dinner at our restaurant Blu. I had to pay almost 6$ for a cup of coffee! In the cafeteria coffee quality was quite bad as well. In room breakfast was bad and they NEVER got it right ( no cheese in omelet) underlined was always with cheese. I gave up. Toast like cardboard. In Blu we had to ask SEVERAL times to refill our glasses before it was done. Health food cafe had the SAME options all the time. Every pie had a disgusting, almost plastic crust you couldn’t cut let alone eat!! Selling, pushing, selling, pushing. Even lectures about the icebergs had messages to buy Tiffany blue diamonds( so like the color of the icebergs! Give me a break!....) Totally inappropriate and unscientific, no serious lecturer would push buying diamonds resembling the icebergs....ridiculous. He also pushed Alchool in your coffee, etc. Annoying! Singers, players around the ship totally out of tune, horrible. Shows in theatre were very good. Staff was nice and Polite. Our stateroom attendant was very good. Wifi prices were beyond ridiculous! Overall impression: we paid over 6k for two people, we felt it should have been 2k, to be fair. Bad food, no coffee included with dinner at our restaurant Blu, so so food, fake pie crusts, wrong breakfasts consistently, selling and pushing non stop, lectures mixed with selling merchandise...only a totally dumb traveler would fall for such tactics. Wait, did I mention the smoking in the next balcony/ cabin, over and over again, filling our cabin with THEIR smoke? Total waste of money and vacation time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I was really excited about going on the Celebrity Solstice but once I got on board I was bored. The daily activities are really a joke unless you want to be sold something. The bars were really all the same with no real flare to any of ... Read More
I was really excited about going on the Celebrity Solstice but once I got on board I was bored. The daily activities are really a joke unless you want to be sold something. The bars were really all the same with no real flare to any of them. The staff was nice at them but had no imagination when asked to make a surprised drink. One of the things that bothered my was the Captain and the Entertainment Director. Both had very heavy accents and could only understand about every 5th word they were saying. If you wanted to hear the announcements you had to step into the hallway from your room and was still very hard to understand. I was definitely not the only one that felt this way on the cruise. Never did the sit down dinner but always ate at the burger bar or buffet. Both were okay. The soft serve was very popular as well as the cookies. I did 2 excursions and both were duds. I did a whale watching one and afterwards you get a ticket to eat at Tracy's crab place. We saw more whales on the Solstice than were did on the excursion and Tracy's place was a joke. With 4 cruise ships in port it was way overally busy where we had to eat standing. Eating crab leg standing is not the easiest thing to do. Then the other excursions was going to play with the sled dogs. Again 4 boats in port and the excursion was way too crowded. One nice thing about Solstice was the band. They were very good and did enjoy the shows. Also, the historian on board gave some good lectures. Alaska was awesome just wish I did it on another boat. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We just got back from a seven-night Inside Passage Alaskan cruise on the Solstice and, in general, it was very nice. Background: My wife (37) and I (43) took this cruise with my parents as a celebration of their 50th anniversary. ... Read More
We just got back from a seven-night Inside Passage Alaskan cruise on the Solstice and, in general, it was very nice. Background: My wife (37) and I (43) took this cruise with my parents as a celebration of their 50th anniversary. They had booked it and wanted us (as cruise experts/excursion planners/luggage porters) to join them, which we did “last minute” by cruise standards (two months out). This was our 9th cruise, (7 on Celebrity, 2 on Princess), going back to 2007 and all our cruises have reviews on Cruise Critic. In my last review (January 2017 Caribbean Princess), I did a comparison of X vs. Princess and rereading it now, I can say my comments actually stand the test of time. Here it is: https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=563757 Though our seventh X cruise, this was our first on X in over five years as well as our first on a Solstice-class ship (now almost 10 years old). Definitely feel the increased size a when getting on/off the ship, but not usually too many other times, with perhaps the exception of the buffet, which at times seemed rather crowded. This was our second cruise to Alaska (first on Infinity back in 2008) and we were very much looking forward to returning. Cruise had more children than I expected (would guess at least 400 or so), but generally not an issue in terms of behavior, and I am certainly not one who seeks opportunities to spend time with children. Many baby boomers in their 60s or early 70s, not as many 75+ as I expected. My parents (in their mid-70s/early-80s) had contemporaries, but not as many as those 10 years younger. Pre-Cruise: We flew United from Washington IAD to SEA the night before. Available hotel rooms in downtown Seattle were basically nonexistent that night, and really expensive if available (e.g., $500 for Best Western), so we stayed near SeaTac, seemingly along with everyone else going on a cruise. Still $275 for one night at a Hampton Inn a mile from the airport. We walked to Safeway early the next morning to get water, diet soda, and tonic and a lime to bring aboard. Taking an Uber back, the driver told us about a friend who could take all four of us (in a black Suburban) to the pier for $70. Considering the other option seemed to be a $25/person shuttle or taking two taxis, we took the opportunity and he showed up on-time. Embarkation: Though it didn’t seem to say on any of our cruise documents, the ship was at Pier 91, not Pier 66; fortunately, our driver knew where to go when we took him to Pier 66 and no ships were there. Dropoff was a bit chaotic (RCL Adventurer of Seas was at the port too), but easier than Pier 66 ten years ago because there’s more space to load/unload as it’s not in the middle of downtown. Dock workers were helpful once you could get one. We tipped $10 and he helped my parents a lot. Check in wasn’t too bad: went through security, then lines to check in. Regular line was long (for my parents), Elite was a two minute wait, which is what we had. Boarding was very fast with no issues. Luggage came in the afternoon, though our last bag (containing only sodas, water, etc.) took a little while to arrive. We brought in our usual two bottles of wine per cabin with no issues. Cabin: We had a regular balcony room (2B), which seemed pretty good on Solstice, but the large sofa made drawer and closet space smaller than would like. Our cabin steward, Peter, was excellent and eager to please. BTW, my parents were down the hall with a massive handicap accessible room (though they are not mobility impaired—just was what was available as we booked only two months out). Their room was like a hotel room in size, but with annoyances to deal with if you are not in fact handicapped (e.g., a door that only opened by pushing a button, emergency alarms that seemed to malfunction at times). Main Dining Room: Had “select” (anytime) dining for the first time on X, and that went well. The first night, the four of us got a table by ourselves and we locked in an 8:15 time for four at the same table for the rest of the cruise after hitting it off with the waiters. Not a big fan of “starters” and “entrees” as only options, rather than listed as courses (though of course, can do so—we usually had four courses including dessert). Our waiters, Widana and Suryati (both from Indonesia) were kind, thoughtful, and by the end of trip, sad to say goodbye to. They had good recommendations and were accommodating of my parents who are getting up there in age. We tipped them extra of course. We skipped dinner the final night (like many) as we were in Victoria, BC during dinner. We do miss the “formal” nights to some degree, but many people were still dressed up during the “elegant chic” nights (us included) in dresses, sports jackets/suits, etc. And the food is better those nights too, of course. Murano: We ate one night at Murano (while my parents ate in the MDR). I suspect this is the only specialty restaurant on Solstice that’s actually worth it. Based on how they hard-sell the upcharge restaurants other than Murano, I suspect that’s a common opinion. It’s a little pricey for $50/person, but it’s worth it one night a cruise for us, as it’s a slower pace, quieter and a more refined menu and experience. Buffet: I generally avoid the buffet when I can (limited to maybe 3 lunches on this cruise), and I found this to be generally disappointing. The pizza is much worse than I remember (I think recipe has changed) from old X cruises (Princess’s is definitely better). It was more crowded than the Millennium class ships too, and was often hard to get a seat. I found the sanitation practices to be as lax as I have ever seen on any cruise. People using tongs in ways that would spread germs easily and no one was serving you food. Didn’t have any issues in that regard, but was mildly turned off by it. Due our “Elite” status, we could make use of the Elite breakfast, which was a major highlight. Located in the Tuscan Grille, we had a choice of many coffees/morning cocktails with interesting (though limited) breakfast options. Great attentive service, and the Captain’s Club (CC) hostess (Paulina from Mexico) was great. She was a constant presence, very helpful, made sure you knew about all the events, never tried to sell you anything, and always asked if you wanted something else. The Elite breakfast was quiet, uncrowded, and very civilized. The CC Cocktail hour (really two hours) in the Sky Lounge was similarly a nice treat. Their one-day only “elegant tea”, however, was a dud and far less impressive than Princess’s, which is available most days and open to everyone, not just Elite loyalty members. As I detailed in my most recent Princess review (again, link posted above), there are places where X and Princess do better than the other. I won’t repeat them here but after this trip, I felt like Princess might have a small edge, though our Elite status on X is worth quite a bit (free bag of laundry, aforementioned breakfast and cocktails, 90 minutes of internet) so our eggs are somewhat in one basket. If you care most about sleek ship styling, elegant spaces, staterooms with nicer touches, uncrowded public rooms (especially the theatre) and interesting MDR food (especially starters and entrees), X has the edge. If you care more about affordable drinks/wine (as well as water/soda packages), better value alternative restaurants, dining on your balcony, better desserts (if slightly less interesting entrees and starters), more dining options for lunch, elegant afternoon tea, self-serve laundry, functional—if less glamorous and slightly worn—staterooms, then Princess clearly has the edge. As for Solstice’s main downside, we thought there was LOTS of space for shops, and to a lesser extent, specialty restaurants. I don’t mind the latter, but the former makes it often feel more like a casino/shopping mall than ship. As many have mentioned, and more so than what I recall from prior X cruises, there was hard selling of drink packages and specialty restaurants, which leads me to believe that the product offerings are overpriced; and thus they must resort to hard selling. Other than Murano, the upcharge restaurants seemed, empty which I think means the menus can’t justify their prices. We were “greeted” many times throughout the ship when it was clear that the waiter/sommelier, etc. was only doing so as an entrée for a sales pitch (often a crab lunch that we had no interest in). I don’t mind extra charges, but I do mind hard selling on my vacation. The prices for drinks, drink packages and specialty restaurants seem very high, and the fact that on Princess it’s pushed much less and is even hard to get a reservation at their specialty restaurants is probably an indication that X is failing in this regard. Basic arithmetic would say that you would need around 10 drinks/day to break even on the drink packages—and sporty amount for anyone, especially considering you’re often in port, drinks are not available in your room, you can’t order two at a time, etc. It’s clear X knows this; even when I was ordering drinks (and paying for them normally), the waiters asked if I wanted a drink package—sometimes, two or three “no thanks” were required. Frustrating. Entertainment: the evening shows were generally pretty good. The singers, dancers and acrobats were impressive, and both comedians (Rich Aronovitch in particular) were very solid and even a bit edgy. I was initially skeptical of our cruise director, Alejandro from Argentina, but he was in fact very charming, funny and very likeable. Like Princess, there could be more enrichment activities, but we were delighted that Brent Nixon, the naturalist who was aboard on our prior Alaskan cruise 10 years ago, was aboard once again. He’s definitely not everyone’s (including my father’s) cup of tea, as his shows are very much performances and he engages at times in histrionics, but he’s also very well-informed about all things related to Alaskan wildlife. Even if the style is not to everyone’s liking, X (and Princess) needs more of these types of people on board to give talks, not fewer. Fortunately, these talks were well-attended so I hope the message is getting out. Mercifully, there was no a capella quartet on this cruise (unlike previous X cruises we’ve been on). Sadly, that did not seem to translate into more musicians—there were just two classical musicians aboard for my parents to enjoy. Ketchikan: took a taxi ($30 each way) on our own to Perseverance trail (near Ward Lake). Good hike (about 5.5 miles r/t and a 500 feet climb), but it’s just a lake (though nice one) at the top. Great weather helped, though it was more good exercise than great views. Cabbie came back to meet us on time. Based on my experience, it seems likely your driver will be a talkative, helpful Alaskan cabby with interesting life stories. Afterwards, we headed to dive bar, Sourdough, right near the port for a couple of beers before heading back to the ship. Juneau was a bit of a washout weather wise. We went to Mendenhall Glacier with my parents. Similar nice cabbie (talked about his life growing up in a tiny SE Alaskan town). $35 + $12/person (since we had an annual pass for National Parks). Very crowded with lots of (Chinese) tourists, and less good views of the glacier than Dawes glacier in Tracy Fjord earlier in the day—so a bit of a disappointment, but still a decent walk and some exercise, and we saw up close a bear and her two cubs. We planned to do Mt. Roberts Tramway afterwards with a longer hike, but it was rainy and fogged in, so it wouldn’t have been worth it, so we skipped. We instead went to the Alaska Bar, somewhat divey, and less overtly touristy than some others. Unlikely everything else in Alaska, drinks at bars are actually rather cheap (drafts like $5-$6 for Alaska beer, cheap macros were like $3-$4). Skagway: A much smaller town where cabs are not necessary. My wife and I hiked to Lower Dewey Lake and around most of it. Steep, but not too long to get there (about a mile each way). Good exercise and not as muggy as the hike in Ketchikan. Like many, did the White Pass and Yukon Railway trip. Very crowded with four cruise ships in town that day (Ruby Princess, Star Princess, Nieuw Amsterdam and us). But worth the trip for the unbelievable scenery, helped by generally very good weather. The main street in town, Broadway, was a little prettier, even if filled with tourists and gift/jewelry shops, than equivalents in Ketchikan and Juneau. We went down to the end of the street to have a Sitka Spruce Tips Blonde at Skagway Brewing company, continuing the theme of a local bar visit after a day of excursions/hiking. Though slightly pricier than the bars in Ketchikan and Skagway, still cheap compared to D.C. prices and especially since everything else in Alaska is expensive. Victoria: nice town, but of course, a short stop. We went downtown. Note: r/t tickets from pier were $13/person on shuttle bus, so we instead took a taxi (four of us) for fixed $10 plus tip each way, which was obviously much cheaper. We had a few beers and a light dinner at a pub (Bard and Banker, I think it’s called) on Government Street and walked around for a few hours. Disembarkation was fine, though there seemed to be waits for taxis. We had the driver who took us to the port come and pick us up (he was early, which was great). Stayed post-cruise at Westin Downtown. Perfectly fine, if you can stand Seattle prices. Flight home the following day was blissfully uneventful. Used the same driver who drove us to the pier to drive us to the airport for $70. Note that a taxi from downtown is fixed at $40, but we would have had to take two with my parents and our luggage, so still a decent value. Final Thoughts: No one in his right might can complain about a pleasant, event-free Alaskan cruise with his wife and parents celebrating their 50th anniversary. Celebrity continues to excel in MDR and cabin service, very good MDR food at dinners, evening entertainment, nice décor and generally upscale atmosphere. We were impressed enough to put a deposit on another cruise at some point in the future, but I think it’s safe to say that to a large extent our decision for what cruise line to use in the future will be based on itinerary, amenities, and price. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was the first time my husband and I embarked on a ship for a vacation. We were invited by a couple friend of ours who were seasoned cruisers (they had one of the two penthouses on board), and talked about just how wonderful it was, a ... Read More
This was the first time my husband and I embarked on a ship for a vacation. We were invited by a couple friend of ours who were seasoned cruisers (they had one of the two penthouses on board), and talked about just how wonderful it was, a sentiment that was echoed by a number of friends and family who had also been on cruises, although not necessarily Celebrity. Given that we had vacationed with this couple before, and knowing that we tend to go first-class when we do take time off, this couple suggested booking a Sky Suite on the ship, which I'll review under the cabin area of this posting. We boarded in Seattle, and our group - which, by the time we sailed, was actually made up of 10 people total - was met at the dock by a Celebrity representative, and ushered through the checkin process, which was all very smooth and friendly. Time from drop-off to on board the ship was only 20 minutes! One of the crew even recognized that I was struggling a bit (my generalized anxiety disorder crops up at the WORST times!), and helped me to a quieter area with some water, to wait for the rest of the group to check in, which gave me a chance to actually get more excited about boarding. The process was so wonderful, a great way to get to know Celebrity and the crew right off the bat. Great customer service! We made our way to Michael's Club to wait for our rooms to be ready, and thought about where to get some lunch, when one of the MC staff said that Luminae was open for lunch. So we made our way there for the first on board meal of the trip. It was at that point I knew that my husband and I were in trouble...in a really good way. In Luminae, the food, the service, the drinks, the atmosphere - everything was five-star impeccable. The staff was incredibly helpful and friendly, the serving sizes of both the entrees and the appetizers were big enough to satisfy but not *too* big, and the sommelier had a wonderful selection of wines, some vintages that I hadn't ever been able to get while in the US! And the service didn't change at ANY time that we were eating at Luminae, either. We were greeted with a "welcome home" from the staff when we came back from excursions, or just came down for breakfast. Luminae is one of the biggest reasons we rebooked, and we rebooked at suite class level, heh. The ship itself is very nice - you can tell she's a bit older (I'm really looking forward to all of the refurbishment going on!), but like a fine wine, she's aging gracefully. There were a few small issues here and there that I noticed, but nothing major - one of the issues I detail in my cabin review. Although it's bigger than I expected (I kept losing my way as to whether I was forward, aft, or midship, heh), it was still cozy where it needed to be. After I got more used to the layout, everything was easy to find, and even if I was a little lost, no one had any problem pointing me in the right direction. Every crew member we ran into seemed to have a smile on their face and a greeting for us, from the captain on down. By the end of the cruise, I felt in many ways like I was leaving family members. As far as other dining is concerned, we ate at Murano, Sushi on Five, and Silk Harvest. All of them were amazing - we did an all-you-can-eat option at Sushi on Five when they were having a discount day, and the only complaint I had was that they didn't have any Ikura (Salmon Caviar), which is my favorite Nigiri (I actually had it in Murano instead, heh). They are more roll-heavy than anything, and while those are tasty, I prefer Nigiri and Sashimi. Murano was absolutely five-star like Luminae, but even more upscale. If you want a fine-dining experience, go to Murano - I've eaten at a Michelin-starred restaurant that didn't treat me as well. The food is amazing; I had one dinner that consisted solely of small plates, because I just wanted to try them all! Silk Harvest was excellent too. We had a variety of small plates and a few big plates, and just shared them, family style. They knew about my food sensitivity as well, and went out of their way to make sure that I wouldn't have any problems. We even got to meet the chef! Great dining options - I didn't think that I would be so happy with the food on board, and it all was lovely. Michael's Club was a great place to go and unwind just before sail-away from any of the ports, I think I spent the most time there when we weren't in our room. We tried the Martini Bar, but it was so busy and crowded when we went, it felt like forever before someone came over to take our order, and then more time while we waited for it. I wanted to watch the bartenders, since they're supposed to do all of the fancy bottle-flipping and things, but there was no room at the ice bar (which looked as cool as it probably felt, heh), and from what we could see, there wasn't much going on behind the bar - probably too busy to be really artistic. I would recommend going to World Class Bar over the Martini Bar, the bartenders at World Class were so sweet, and very good at the mixology of the drinks they had available. When I went up to Darko (one of the bartenders) and told him I was in the mood for something tart rather than sweet, and I was looking for a vodka drink, he whipped something up for me right there that tasted just like what I wanted, even though I didn't know it's what I wanted! We also tried Cellar Masters - I'm actually rather sad that will be going away with the refurbishment. I understand why; it was very quiet when we were there. But the sommeliers we had there were friendly and helpful. I was so sad when I found out that a Chateauneuf du Pape was on board, and that they were all out! They went hunting for it, but alas, were out of luck. I didn't get to it until towards the end of the cruise, and now I'm sorry that I didn't go earlier! My husband is looking forward to the gastrobar, though, as he is a craft beer drinker. Our shore excursions were a lot of fun, our favorite being the smaller ship that took us closer to the Dawes glacier and whale-watching. We watched the glacier calve a few times with big pops and cracks that sounded like thunder, and on our way back to the ship docked in Juneau, saw an Orca and two Humpback whales and a number of Harbor seals. We also did a hike through the rainforest area in Ketchican, and saw a LOT of bald eagles and salmon. It was lovely, if a bit over-crowded - I would have liked to do more actual hiking. But it was a good excursion, nonetheless. We did a few things in terms of entertainment and activities; some were just for suite class, so I'll skip those, and will talk about the activities available to everyone. I wanted to attend the opening of Tiffany's, which was a lot of fun - the crew members were getting people into it by dancing and singing, especially since the captain was running a little late to do the ribbon cutting. Other activities included a tour of the galley, but there was so many people there and they were moving slowly, so we wound up leaving after about 20 minutes. The crew member meet-and-greets on the Evening Chic nights were a lot of fun, some great picture-taking opportunities, and my husband and I wound up watching a few activities as well, such as the salsa dancing lessons and the paper airplane flying contest, in which all the participants looked like they were having a great time. The biggest disappointment in entertainment for both me and my husband was actually the first Evening Chic theater night presentation. It was supposed to be something that supposedly Cirque du Soleil had worked or consulted on, and was (very loosely) based on the music and time-period of Mozart. Hearing that, I expected far more acrobatics and Cirque-style demonstrations than we got. I get that acrobatics are difficult on a moving ship (and the waters we were in were moving us around a bit), but it still seemed like there was a lot of modern dance to modern music that had little to do with Mozart, and very few acrobatics. The acrobats we *did* see were very good, but we saw almost the same acts *again* during the Rock of Ages-type show that was a part of the second night. A couple of folks in our party were so disappointed by the first night, they didn't go to the second one. My husband and I went, but I think it was better the second night, because we got more of the performance that we expected then. I only attempted to use the fitness center once, and made the mistake of doing it on a sea day. I knew it was going to be crowded, but my biggest issue was the lack of any sort of structure when it came to the treadmills and ellipticals. When I was there, they were completely full, and as I waited, I noticed that as soon as someone stepped off their treadmill, someone else would rush right up to it. So I waited for *another* one, and then as soon as one became available, someone else - who had been on a bike right up to then - immediately rushed up to it as I was walking towards it. I didn't know who was waiting or not, and I felt really uncomfortable, since I made it obvious that I was waiting (had been for 10 minutes by the time the *second* machine became available), but no one appeared to care - I didn't see any attendants. I waited another 5 minutes, and then went up to dodge people on the jogging track, which actually wasn't so bad. I tried to go back to the workout room, but by then, everyone had moved on to the weight machines and free weights, and since I didn't want a repeat of the treadmill issue, I left. The spa was somewhat of another disappointment. The day we went to the spa was a port day where our excursion actually got cancelled due to high winds and seas, so we thought we'd check out the Persian Garden and get a treatment. While the Garden was actually pretty nice, the steamroom and sauna that accompanied it wasn't. The steamroom had a vaguely citrusy smell that you could barely get a whiff of above the smell of, well, moisture, and the sauna had eucalyptus in it - I could only spend about 30 seconds in there before my eyes started burning and I was coughing. The "rain showers" that were in the Garden itself were cold too - even after waiting for a couple of minutes, they never warmed up, and then shut off after about 5 minutes. The treatment I got was a disappointment too - after I asked the therapist use a little more pressure on my back, she basically tried to upsell me to a "deep tissue" massage, when I was asking for medium pressure instead of the light pressure she was using. Then she tried to tell me that I hadn't prepaid, and was trying to charge me in full for the service! Fortunately it got all worked out, but I don't know that I'll be going back to Canyon Ranch after all of that. I expected a luxury spa experience - my husband and I will spend several hours in the spa at Aria, and I have a membership to Massage Envy - and didn't really get it at all. It was disappointing. We tried to go back to the Persian Garden too (the same day as my experience in the fitness center), but when both me and my husband tried to find a place in the locker room to store our stuff, none were available. The locks on them were confusing as well. So we kind of gave up; a waste of money too, since we had paid to enter the Persian Garden. There were a few things that made me not able to give the cruise 5 stars. Overall, however, it was an amazing experience, from the customer service to the food to the activities and excursions. The room was comfortable, and it was a great vacation made even better by the attention to detail by Celebrity. My husband and I have already booked a Celebrity Suite on Equinox *next* August (I've always wanted to go to Puerto Rico, and my parents actually honeymooned in the Dominican Republic)! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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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