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7 Celebrity Solstice Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Hawaii

Hawaii Celebrity Solstice review April 29 - May 11, 2018 We had a enjoyable cruise despite some bumps along the road. We embarked in Honolulu. The lines were short but the woman we had checking us in just couldn't get it ... Read More
Hawaii Celebrity Solstice review April 29 - May 11, 2018 We had a enjoyable cruise despite some bumps along the road. We embarked in Honolulu. The lines were short but the woman we had checking us in just couldn't get it together. We stood waiting for her to check us in. It took 30 minutes. We were not happy with that but couldn't do anything about it. Finally, we got on board. They were giving out Champagne and mimosas as we boarded. The ship looked great. It shined and sparkled. The rooms were not ready yet. So we found some lunch and then found a comfortable place to wait. We had the Classic beverage package and enjoyed some drinks while waiting. We booked a handicapped accessible cabin on deck 11 Aqua class. I use a scooter to get around as I have muscular dystrophy. The cabin was barren as usual for handicapped cabins but did not have enough storage. We had only one closet and only 4 small drawers. The balcony had a lovely built in ramp to get out to the balcony. We had two chairs and loved having matching foot stools for each. We spent may hours out on that balcony. The door to our room was automatic which was wonderful for me. It is so hard to drive my scooter and open the door at the same time. I found the whole ship to be wonderfully accessible. All the doors were automatic all around the ship. I was able to get everywhere. Waiting on elevators after shows were awful. I would wait for my turn however able bodied people wouldn't let me get in the elevator. By the time I was able to get to elevator door it was full of able bodied people. I would have to wait and wait. Most of the time I would have to travel to the back of the ship just to find an elevator. Then had to travel back to the front of the ship where our cabin was. I would have loved to travel the stairs but my disability makes it impossible. We booked no excursions thru the ship. We booked them on shore. Much cheaper and just as good as ship excursions. Since we were in Aqua class we were able to eat in the Blu restaurant. It was open for breakfast and dinner each day. We went to breakfast there a few times, however, I like waffles and Blu didn't serve waffles at breakfast. The buffet did serve waffles so we preferred to eat there. The buffet was quicker too. The buffet food was delicious. Two lunches in the buffet they had fish and chips which were wonderful. We ate all our dinners in Blu. The food was good. The waiters were very nice and knowledgable about the menu and food. I liked having a cosmopolitan at dinner. After 3 days the wine waitress in Blu would recognize me and would always bring me my cosmopolitan with out me even having to ask. This made me feel so special. I went to all the shows. I was always entertained. My favorite shows are usually production shows but I found these productions shows to be lacking. I enjoyed all the game shows. The newly wed game and liar liar were hilarious. All the comedians were funny and clean. We experienced an earthquake in Hilo. We were on the ship at the time. The whole ship shook while we were at the pier. It was quite the adventure. Not for one man. I went down to guest relations to find a man yelling at the poor guest relations attendant. Earlier in the day he went on a ship excursion to the Volcano. He wanted a full refund. He couldn't understand how Celebrity would take passengers to a place that had earthquakes and that Celebrity should have known a earthquake was going to happen. I had to laugh. I don't even think all those specialists with all their expensive equipment knew that an earthquake was going to happen. I don't know if he got a refund or not. Getting a bar drink during the day was next to impossible. We would go to the pool bar to find one bartender trying to get drinks for 10 people in line. This was a daily thing. However, at the show room at night it was super easy to get a drink. The bar waiters were abundant. We had the classic drink package and liked it. The only drinks I couldn't get were at the martini bar. It worked for wine, beer and drinks of the day. I spent most of my money at the spa. I do not get the popularity of the Persian Garden. It was included in our Aqua class cabin. Lovely view but those tile chairs are hard and uncomfortable. I got two massages which were wonderful but expensive. I also got a facial. I was not told to buy this cream and that cream. No hard sell. Actually no sell at all. I really liked that. I also got my teeth whitened. It worked really well. I went 7 shades lighter. I was happy at the time but it sure doesn't last very long. I am now home and my teeth look the same as they did before the whitening. Next is the horrible problem we had in our cabin. Bugs. We found 7 in total. 3 we found in our bed. They were not bed bugs. I was told they got in thru our balcony. We did not leave our balcony doors open. Only when we went in and out. This really was a problem. I have been on over 27 cruises and I have never had bugs in my cabin before. Despite the bugs, and the earthquake we really enjoyed our Celebrity cruise and still believe that there is no such thing as a bad cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The itinerary was great, service was fantastic, with so many of the staff that we could name that went the extra mile. One waiter was Bobby, although there were many others. The ship, although the largest we have siled on did not appear ... Read More
The itinerary was great, service was fantastic, with so many of the staff that we could name that went the extra mile. One waiter was Bobby, although there were many others. The ship, although the largest we have siled on did not appear too big as getting around was not a problem, the lifts were so convenient. Even when we had to use a tender for getting ashore it all went very smoothly and no great waits even with the number of passengers. The food was very good and even when there was nothing that we liked on the menu there was always a choice of steak, chicken or fish available each night. The entertainment was average as having sailed with Thomson they take some beating for entertainment. There was plenty of activities to get involved with as we were 5/6 days at sea, with quizzes, table tennis and talks. The captain was really funny when making his daily announcements, but very good at making sure we saw all the sights such as the volcano lava flowing inti the sea as we passed. Wonderful cruise, brilliant ship and great staff, thank you Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
What a great cruise. I am an experienced cruiser. I have been on Carnival,, NCL Princess, HAL and Celebrity. Celebrity being my favorite cruise line right now. Embarkation was the usual lines and waiting but nothing out of the ... Read More
What a great cruise. I am an experienced cruiser. I have been on Carnival,, NCL Princess, HAL and Celebrity. Celebrity being my favorite cruise line right now. Embarkation was the usual lines and waiting but nothing out of the ordinary. We stayed at the Pan Pacific hotel in Vancouver which takes your luggage down to the ship for you. Lovely hotel for a pre cruise stay. The ship was lovely and was so clean everything sparkled. We were offered champagne or orange juice upon boarding. Out cabins were not ready until 1pm so we headed to the Lido for a buffet lunch. After lunch we changed into our suits which we had packed in out carry ons and hung out at the hot tub until our room was ready. We had a handicapped cabin on deck 6 as I am disabled. The ship was totally accessible for me with automatic doors everywhere. All the public bathrooms were handicapped accessible with automatic doors. The only problem I had was finding a place to sit in the buffet. It was packed with people and there was no where to sit. Here I am with my food on my lap and no where to sit and eat. I think some tables should be reserved for handicapped people like they do on NCL. We cruised from Vancouver to Kona, Hawaii on very smooth seas. No rough weather at all. .However, we don't get seasick even with heavy seas. I even missed being rocked to sleep at night. It was a wonderful itinerary. What can beat Hawaii but I missed going to Kauai which is my favorite island. We went to Kona, Hilo, and two days in Lahaina and ended the cruise in Honolulu. We had to tender in Kona and Lahaina and it was a major pain. Had to go stand in line for a tender ticket. We got tender number 19 and had to wait 2 hours for our number to be called. It was horrible. I wish they would dock on the other side of Maui. We booked the go best program which included premium drink package, unlimited internet, and gratuities. We are not big drinkers but it was nice to order any kind of drink we wanted including martinis, wine, pop and bottle water. Internet was strong and we always had a signal. Had a wonderful room steward by the name of Berri from St Vincent. He was great. He cleaned our cabin when we wanted it cleaned and when we didn't want to be bothered he left us alone. I had two massages at the spa. I had a hot stone massage with Andrea and a regular massage with Ru. Both were great therapists. There was no hard sell.for their products. I said one no and that was it. There is a 18% gratuity that they add on to all services. We dined a few times in the dining room but we found the service to be very slow. Once we ordered drinks and didn't get them for 47 minutes, by that time we were already on our main course. Sometimes it was quicker and easier to go to the Lido buffet. I think a lot of people had the drink package as the bar and wine service was slow everywhere.. I talked to many people who complained about the food in the dining room. Not me. I thought all my meals were excellent, however, I am not picky. If someone else makes it I'll eat it. My husband ordered rooms service many times and loved it. Entertainment was hit and miss. I usually love the production shows but not on this ship. I found them way too loud. I couldn't wait to get out of the show room as I felt like I had been yelled at for an hour. Other shows I found boring. I enjoyed the juggler and really enjoyed the enrichment talks during the day. There was handicapped seating in the show room but I found you had to get there early to get any of it. Either there was a lot of disabled people on this cruise or there is not enough handicapped seating in the show room. We did no excursions as we had been to Hawaii so many times before. We always rent a car and have favorite places we like to go. Besides trying to get handicapped accessible excursions are close to impossible. I like Celebrity so well that I booked another cruise in 2018. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
embarkation a nightmare. There were 2 ships at the same terminal for checkin. confusion and unorganized. After dragging luggage thru terminal for 200 yards we thought we final reach the end of line. But no, a luggage handler said leave ... Read More
embarkation a nightmare. There were 2 ships at the same terminal for checkin. confusion and unorganized. After dragging luggage thru terminal for 200 yards we thought we final reach the end of line. But no, a luggage handler said leave luggage by this door leading to garage and ship. He pointed and said go to elevator by a green door about 150 feet away thru 100s of other passengers. We went to 2nd floor and now total confusion, lines did not really exist. About 1/3 of passengers still had their luggage. Checkin had no way to handle luggage so after checking in they had to go down stairs to get rid of luggage. We people upstairs followed signs to 3 more check points. Customs , carry on luggage check and board ship. It took over 1 hour , on previous 4 cruises total terminal time 70 minutes. I can not blame Celebrity for all of this. First cruise with 5 days cruising no ports. Plenty to do, we are over 65 yrs old. Purchased 2 specialty dining pkg. Had lunch in Murano , the Ocean View buffet had a island with a different countries food every night. Solstice select dining wasn't run as nicely as Silhouette. On Silhouette the 4th floor starboard side was just for select diners. On Solstice mixed diners and waiting. Ports were Ok, 2 required tending. Weather on 5 day Pacific were warm, 75 degrees or warmer except 1st day 68 degrees. Water had a slight chop. Partly clouds and clear. Did have fog one night, ship used horn. Hardly heard it. Rented a car on Maui, Driving was relaxed, no speeding , parking lots in cities. Entertainment had 3 bands all 4 star. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
luxery of traveling prima diner and service..clean cabines en very friendly personel on all sites of the ship...nice food and variation and a very good service at dinertable from Cheatan and his help..very clean toilets everu-yware on the ... Read More
luxery of traveling prima diner and service..clean cabines en very friendly personel on all sites of the ship...nice food and variation and a very good service at dinertable from Cheatan and his help..very clean toilets everu-yware on the ship...entertainment was niveau...ports and shore excusions were very expencive...the embarkation was smoothly....and we come back!!I did not explore the before the cruise...we are in mars of 2017again on a celebrety soltice cruise to the far east...so it is because we are very happy with the cruisefacilitys we come back..we want to be registrate as a membre of the ship so we have the invitations of captein and special activitis..service on board were nice and very nowing their job as we where a lt in cafebar where it was very good quallity..the drinks as the cakes that we eat and personel was kindly and correct..so whe surtenly come back in mars 2017..thanks very much Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had to toss up between a Good or Very Good rating - why - mainly because of the Main Dining Room experience of an evening. The service was good however the food was far from acceptable, especially after sailing on RCL's Legend of ... Read More
We had to toss up between a Good or Very Good rating - why - mainly because of the Main Dining Room experience of an evening. The service was good however the food was far from acceptable, especially after sailing on RCL's Legend of the Seas in December, which is one of their older ships sailing however had much more appealing food in their Main Dining Room with absolutely no complaints. When the Solstice's Maitre D and the Sous Chef visited our dining table towards the latter end of the cruise to ask about the food, the Sous Chef blamed Australian Beef for the poor quality. Not a good thing to do! It was like waving a red rag to a bull saying that to Australians! After all, we do export to Japan, so questions need to be asked as to was it the cuts purchased by the staff, quality of what they chose to purchase, their actual supplier, preparation or cooking of the beef (and other meals) that resulted in substandard meals. Even a butcher on the cruise was complaining. We were not the only ones as many who had sailed on her before were bitterly disappointed after previously wonderful experiences. And the quality and presentation of the food overall was not just about beef. One example is I personally had Beef Goulash for a starter, there was one piece of beef the size of a small finger nail in the Beef Goulash, the rest was liquid. Another example was having Beef Cheeks which was predominantly full of fat which I couldn't really spit out sitting with a table of other people. The Creme Brûlée was the same nearly every evening whereas on other ships they actually make different flavours. The food was just average at its best. We had been allocated 8.30pm dining which is too late for me, therefore the first thing we did was to head to the Dining Room to plead for 6pm dining (due to my illnesses) which we were told may be unlikely as it was already fully booked with people requesting 6pm from 2 years earlier whereas we had recently booked. It was a pleasant surprise the next day receiving advice they had a table for us and we dined with some wonderful people who we plan to keep in touch with. It may or may not have been the food offering, however, this Dining Room was 'at least' 25% empty the majority of the time. This is the first time I have criticised a cruise after sailing on many. More specifically because this cruise was on my Bucket List as I have terminal Illnesses and I really wanted to sail on Celebrity while I could as I had heard so many wonderful things about the line. Even the bread on the table was predominantly a white loaf sliced in a basket, whereas on Legends, the Assistant Waiter would come around with a tray full of a beautiful variety of freshly baked rolls and bread to offer. Solstice felt more like a cafeteria in this regard. We chose to dine at one of their Specialty Restaurants, Muranos, a couple of times and the food, as well as their service was superb. Their fillet steak melted your mouth and was also Australian. No excuses there! There are two other Specialty Restaurants on the ship which we also heard good reviews about. The Buffet was probably the best we've experienced with a great selection of food. No complaints there however I needed to eat where there was a less likelihood of picking up bacteria or a virus due to my low immunity and not the ships attempts to maintain excellent cleanliness in every area of the ship which they did. Oh, and room service was very efficient with good quality of food. And, there are other places offering food in different parts of the ship that seemed to be well accepted by the guests. The other thing we must comment on was that we chose this same dining room for breakfast and lunch and could not complain about anything at these times. The other reason for our questionable rating was the tendering, for example when we tendered off The Bay of Islands NZ, we were not able to disembark the ship by tender boats until around 12.30pm when half the day was gone so it really impacted on our visit and restricted what we could do and where we could go. This was despite us obtaining our tender tickets around 9.05am when they started distributing them at 9am. Must have been a lot of people there early! There were many many annoyed and frustrated people at this time. The other tendering ports still had minor issues however the staff had made great improvements from the Bay of Islands. Also, we had to hand in our Passports prior to arriving in Tahiti and 'that' was a big mess too, resulting in guests queueing for at least 40 minutes or more, then the reverse when collecting them prior to visiting Maui and going through the US Customs on the ship. There 'were' better options to be considered for this process rather than alienating and inconveniencing guests, such as a deck at a time, or not all on the same day (for handing in the passports), or pre boarding Immigration Inspectors at the earlier port (may be cost and space prohibitive but...) These things need to be addressed if the ship wants to maintain a questionable 5 Star experience which we expected and were really looking forward to. Now I've got that off my chest, which I do hope has now been addressed, the ship and cruise was really nice. Externally there is a bit of tiredness showing and the balconies need new furniture, however 'she' is going in for some upgrades in September which can account for this so no real issues. The cabins were comfortable, clean and had everything we needed. The service overall was excellent. The entertainment in the main theatre was also excellent (best we've experienced). The Cruise Director Ben again excellent, funny and Australian!! The Lectures we attended were excellent especially Chelsea who is a young, vibrant, enthusiastic and knowledgeable marine biologist. We didn't avail ourselves of the shore excursions and chose to do our own thing on shore as we had visited these ports before, we just wanted to sail on Celebrity! Ports were also excellent (bad luck about the overcast weather in Tahiti not allowing the beautiful colours of the water to be exposed). We both couldn't help but wonder why the ship has the natural grassed area on Deck 15, which is roped off anyway. It seems to be a waste of space with few passengers seeming to avail themselves of the deck itself. The Glass Blowing and a bar is on this deck and worthwhile visiting...otherwise.... The ship itself presents well, is easy to navigate (internally), has a lovely spacious lounge and bar area overlooking the ocean views where Trivia is played of a day but where you can relax with a book to read in comfortable seating. Two lovely pools, internal and external which appear to be well maintained. The theatre is beautiful and there is an additional smaller theatre next to it for smaller activities, bingo, lectures etc. There is really nothing lacking in these areas. The shops are central, between the main dining areas and theatre and alongside the casino area. There were not many children on this particular cruise, however those that were on it seemed to be well behaved so obviously well cared for by the staff. There appeared to be lots of activities in the latter part of the evening for those who could stay awake LOL. We were off to bed after dinner and the 9pm show however the ship was still 'alive' at this time. Embarkation and Disembarkation ran smoothly. No issues here whatsoever. Overall, we did really like and enjoy the cruise but the food issues really spoilt it for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. It included 5 ports of call we had never visited (2 in New Zealand, Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora), and ended in our favorite travel destination, Hawaii. The length was about what we wanted and of ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. It included 5 ports of call we had never visited (2 in New Zealand, Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora), and ended in our favorite travel destination, Hawaii. The length was about what we wanted and of course the capability to visit 3 islands in French Polynesia made this cruise very attractive. The Solstice is a fantastic ship and the crew is outstanding. We were very impressed with the entire ship, especially the theater and the Solstice crew. Boarding in Sydney was very easy. We dropped out luggage off early the day of departure and then spent several hours in The Rocks area since that was market day. Our only issue with sailing day was the muster drill. Our muster point was on deck 4 promenade and it was very chaotic trying to get everyone's attention and maintain it during the drill. The drill lasted rather long, ending at 5:50pm, which was pushing early dining at 6pm. The sailing time of 6:30pm also conflicted with those of us with early dining so we had to make our first choice of the cruise--attend sail away or go to main dining. Our cabin on deck 3 (ocean view) was very nice and our cabin attendants were 2 of the best we've every had. A hit attraction for this cruise was the presence of the Polynesian team of 4 from Hawaii that taught several courses including ukelele (which I took). lei making (my wife too) and also performed on many occasions including crossing the equator ceremony. On board lectures were very informative. I want to call out Chelsea Behymer, the on-board naturalist, in particular. She has a passion for her subject area that made her lectures come alive and made you want to learn. Entertainment was top notch for the most part with the Solstice singers and dancers our favorites. Another highlight was the ANZAC memorial at 6am the day we sailed into Hawaii. A special thank you for Ben the cruise director for coordinating and directing that effort. Immigration and customs was conducted at anchor at Lahaina since that was the first port of call in the US. It went well for us US citizens as most of us were through immigration and on the tender by 10am. Disembarkation in Honolulu was one of the smoothest I've ever done. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
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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