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100 Celebrity South Pacific Cruise Reviews

After researching cruise lines my husband and I chose to go with Celebrity as it sounded perfect for a couple in mid forties to enjoy good food and service without a heap of kids running riot around the place. And the free drinks package ... Read More
After researching cruise lines my husband and I chose to go with Celebrity as it sounded perfect for a couple in mid forties to enjoy good food and service without a heap of kids running riot around the place. And the free drinks package sounded good too. Embarkation was a smooth process - arrived at about 10am and went straight through with no line ups. Disembarkation was just as smooth. We took our own luggage off and were expected to vacate the cabin at 6.45am and were hopping in an uber at 7.15. Everything was explained really well and everything was so organised. The ship is beautiful - only 8 years old and well maintained. Very easy to navigate - just had to remember food at the back, entertainment at the front and money in the middle. Very light and airy with lots of places to sit to get away from everything. Didn't often feel crowded except at the sales. In peak times it was difficult to get a table anywhere. We dined outside of the peak times so didn't have any problems. Was so nice sitting at the back of the oceanview having a leisurely breakfast while watching the view. Our cabin was on the 7th floor midship which was a perfect location- close to everything but so quiet and little movement. The new alcoves didn't seem to get used much although the weather wasn't the greatest the whole time. But at $249US on a sea day, I wouldn't be paying it. I did see some people get kicked out them as they hadn't paid for them. Loved the food. Surprisingly we spent most time at the buffet which is saying something as my hubby doesn't normally do buffets. Good quality, lots of variety and everything was spaced out so no line ups. A lot of the food was made to order too - eggs, steak and even stirfries. Our first time in the main dining room put us off going for a bit. We went for breakfast where we were squashed in like sardines in one area. I thought the bacon and eggs was actually better in the buffet. We had a couple of dinners at the MDR later and the seating was better and food was good too. Still felt pressure to eat quick and go so they could give the table to someone else though. There were 2 evening chic nights. Was really lovely seeing everyone dressed up although there were some that didn't make an effort and I even saw thongs (flip flops) in the MDR. We had some onboard credit to use so went to Silk Harvest and Tuscan Grille and we loved both of them. Had more relaxed evenings there. Silk Harvest was the favourite. Loved the burgers at the Mast Grill for a quick meal. Don't waste your money on the gelato - mine was tasteless and the waffle cone disintegrated in my hand. The free ice cream in the buffet is a lot nicer and the flavours change daily. One thing I noticed missing is savoury snacks - no potato chips or nuts to have with a drink so bring your own. I did notice pringles in the shop but after seeing a 200gm block of chocolate for $17US, I didn't look any further. The service was amazing. Staff were everywhere and they all acknowledged you as you walked past. There was always someone there to pick up after you or to offer you a drink as soon as you sat down - even in the buffet. The room steward tidied the cabin twice a day. No towel animals but there was a chocolate on the pillow at night. The highlight was reading the Daily that he left at night to work out what to do the next day. We are still none the wiser on whats included in the drinks packages. I think Celebrity are deliberately vague on advising what is included in each package in the hope you will upgrade just to be sure you'll be able to get your drink. I don't think the bartenders even know what's in each package. Was told Midori was a premium drink but then it was the classic drink of the day! There is a bit of hard sell in the first couple of days from the bartenders to upgrade but then it stops. My hubby and I had no problems getting whatever drink we wanted on the classic package There were lots of activities to do to keep most happy. If there wasn't something on, I was happy to sit on my balcony and read a book or sit at a bar trying all the different cocktails talking to some great bartenders. There were a few money making seminars that were a bit offputting like how to look younger (if you buy our products) etc Apart from that everything was great. Loved the production shows - they had four over 8 nights. If you want a good seat you need to get there half an hour early. The best show was Liar Liar - an R rated show that was on after the production show. Captain Tasos was in it and he and the whole show was hilarious. It involved 3 crew members trying to convince you their definition of a naughty sounding word was correct. Not to be missed. We stopped at Noumea, Lifou and Isle of Pines - Lifou and Isle of Pines both tendered. We did our own tours of Noumea and Isle of Pines. Favourite was Isle of Pines. So pretty and everyone was friendly. Tip, if you stop at Lifou on a Sunday and want to do a tour, do the celebrity organised one. Otherwise there is no guarantee that there will be anyone to drive the tour buses as they all go to church and may or may not come back as in our case! There were only a few people there selling their stuff and they weren't really friendly. I was watching them cook chicken skewers while waiting 2 hours for the no show driver - I wouldn't advise eating them. Hopefully Lifou is better on other days. Another tip - souvenirs are cheaper in Noumea then the other islands. I took South Pacific francs but found everywhere took Australian dollars. Overall a great cruise. As first timers we have nothing to compare it to but everything was great so no complaints. We felt like we were having a holiday with lots of staff to ensure we did. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this ship after reading reviews and after seeing the ship docked in Wellington when in holiday in NZ three years ago. We could have picked up a cruise in Brisbane but we chose to fly down to Sydney as we thought the ship would be ... Read More
We chose this ship after reading reviews and after seeing the ship docked in Wellington when in holiday in NZ three years ago. We could have picked up a cruise in Brisbane but we chose to fly down to Sydney as we thought the ship would be worth a special effort. We have two teenage children and were looking for a cruise that catered primarily for the adults, without ignoring the kids completely. Embarkation was efficient and took about 45 minutes.The ship has been recently been refurbished and looked almost new. Our cabins (or stateroom as they prefer to call them) were clean with everything in working order. Our stateroom attendant, Michael was well liked by us all. He was always asking me if there was something he could do for us. Leaving from Sydney was certainly spectacular and was probably worth the flight down alone. It was school holidays but we were surprised at how many kids were on board. The ship has kids clubs and pools but no other gimmicks such as ice-rinks or climbing walls that other big ships now have. It seems that plenty of other parents thought the same as we did, and the number of kids gave the cruise a younger feel, which we liked. There are plenty of dining options and food served seemingly at all hours. The Oceanview Cafe is a large buffet which a large variety of food options. This was so popular at mealtimes and it was sometimes hard to find a seat, especially at around 2pm on shore days. Despite the wide range of food, constantly replenished, we still heard of people complaining at what they regarded as the lack of choice. You'll find whingers wherever you go. Most nights we had our evening meal at the Main Dining Room. The quality of food was very good and portion sizes here were more sensible than the buffet where you are inclined to load up your plate as everything looks so appetising. Having said that, we never said no to dessert. Service here was friendly and efficient - our serving staff Edward and Eddy were great and the kids just loved them. We had a 6pm sitting and were usually served our three courses by 7.15 - just time for a drink or two before the 9pm show. There were bars all over the ship that each offered their own vibe. We tried them all! Highlights included sipping drinks in the early evening at the Sunset Bar at the blunt end of the ship (stern) while the talented Michael sang and played guitar to us and about ten others - it was like a private show - and the Martini bar which become another favourite after we upgraded our 'Classic' drinks package to 'Premium' halfway through the cruise. One constant grumble we heard from other passengers was the poor attitude of some of the bar staff at certain very busy bars. There was some merit in this, but unlike normal bars where people are primarily ordering beer and wine, on board most people are ordering cocktails which slows down the whole process and put the staff under more pressure. Celebrity try to ease this pressure by having trolleys loaded with beer and wines wheeled around the pool decks during the day - but the poolside and sunset bars remained particularly busy. We thought the quality of live music throughout the ship was excellent. The lighting and sound quality in the theatre was of the highest standard. The ship's band were top notch. Some of the entertainers weren't to everyone's taste, including ours, but we were prepared to sit for 45 minutes and clap someone trying their hardest to entertain, while others were just plain rude and walked out. The singers, dancers and acrobats from the ship's production crew put on four top quality shows - ROCK and BROKEN STRINGS were favourites - and 45 minutes weren't enough (but hey, they were doing two shows a night!) The cruise director Ben was from Australia and his dry sense of humour was appreciated by the predominantly Australian audience. His talk about his time at Australian Zoo with Steve Irwin drew a large crowd in the theatre and was well received. Captain Tasos is a pretty funny man for someone with such great responsibility. He gave a talk on the building of the ship to a packed theatre of over 1000 people and had the audience in stitches. The cheer he received when he entered the pool for the officers versus passengers pool volleyball game was a fair indication of the respect he had quickly gained from his guests. The ship was always being cleaned and handrails were constantly wiped down. Everyone entering a dining area was offered hand sanitiser. I must give a special mention to the cleaners who were constantly stationed in the ship's public toilets. Although they didn't have the highest of positions on the ship, they obviously took pride in their work and they kept their toilets spotless. Was everything perfect - no, but's that's life. Were some staff a bit rude? Yes, but most were friendly and efficient. Some things were overpriced - $250 for a weeks internet seemed pricey but then again, it is a ship in the middle of the ocean! And besides, it meant we saw our daughter's face for the first time in ages - and not just the top of her head as she constantly sends texts and Facebook posts . Maybe as first time cruisers we are a bit naive, but if you go on this ship with a positive attitude and treat the staff with respect and not as your servants, you will have an enjoyable experience - and avoid the whingers! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise because Celebrity offer a premium experience in a relaxed environment. Our mindset was to have the best holiday, and that is what we had. The crew were amazing led by the wonderful Captain Tasos. The Cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Celebrity offer a premium experience in a relaxed environment. Our mindset was to have the best holiday, and that is what we had. The crew were amazing led by the wonderful Captain Tasos. The Cruise Director, Ben was an absolute professional, and the entertainment was always enjoyable. The standout performance in the Solstice Theatre was by the headline act, Australian Pianist Kym Purling. Also onboard was the wonderful Ray Brown Quartet who played two shows a night in the main lobby and the Ensemble Lounge. We did the behind the scenes tour which commenced on the Bridge with the Staff Captain doing an excellent job of explaining the ship's operations and finished in the Ship's galley after stops at the laundry, engine room, cool room, recycling room, crew dining room and bar, well worth doing. Another highlight was A Taste of Film, outside on the grass deck with a big screen - deck chairs, seven course dinner paired to the movie "A Hundred Foot Journey" and bar service - even the Executive Chef arrived at the end of the movie to check everything was ok. It is so easy to have a good time on this ship, can't wait to be onboard again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Firstly a bit about us: we are 45 (husband and wife) who loves to travel and cruise, we are not hard to please people, we like the beach, we like to drink a little, we normally cruise as a couple but sometimes we cruise as a family (with 2 ... Read More
Firstly a bit about us: we are 45 (husband and wife) who loves to travel and cruise, we are not hard to please people, we like the beach, we like to drink a little, we normally cruise as a couple but sometimes we cruise as a family (with 2 kids currently 19 and 21) and sometimes with our friends. We live in Australia but we were born in Portugal and Brazil. This was our 7th cruise. We booked this cruise 10 days before departure, it was a last minute decision we booked the last cabin available being an inside cabin (1055 level 10) and we paid AUD$5,900.00 for it. I have heard hat Celebrity was on the same level as Princess Cruises (we cruised with Diamond Princess and we really liked the ship and the service) and a level higher than Royal Caribbean (we did Radiance, Rhapsody and Voyager) so I was expecting a beautiful ship,with great amenities and outstanding service. It was a Christmas, new years and my husband birthday. Because we are Paltinun level on RC (almost emerald) we had the "Select" tier on Celebrity. Upon arrival, around 3pm, we boarded without any delays or queues, as almost everyone were already in the ship. We went direct to our room. The room was a good size, and good set up, the only improvement would be a nice picture frame or a mirror on the wall opposite the door to give some focal point as one opens the door. The shower whithout the curtains was a big relief, and the best bathroom i've had on a cruise. The only thing we found on our room was a print out with some "special events" for the select members. On the day of those events no invitation was sent to the room so its easy to forget and miss those events. My husbands birthday was during our cruise and nothing was said or given, not even a card saying happy birthday, not a cake or no one wine him a happy birthday. Very disappointing. The ship was on its full capacity, and we noticed it on the pools, and during lunch and breakfast. Breakfast closes at 10am and with only 2 hours to serve breakfast for over 3,000 it was a dogs breakfast, queue for bread, queue for eggs, queue for everything. Same history for lunch. The food was not presented in a nice way, it was like they were feeding the army, bland food and not very nice to look at, no decorations. The hours of service should be increased when the ship is full to accommodate and serve everyone in a nice manner. The lunch was supposed to end at 2.30pm but they start removing the trays around 2.10pm and all is removed but the pasta and pizza only after that. We tried the main dinning room for two nights but the food was not special, and we decided to have dinner at the buffet. The seating area isn't big enough to accommodate all guests during meal time. The only time one could use the buffet wihitout having to fight or queue for food was at dinner time when most guests where at the min dining room. The entertainment was a hit and miss, and we did walk out on few show and didn't turned up for others. With only 3 swimming pools, one indoors for the oldies. And 2 outside with the children taking over was not possible to use it at all. One of those outside pools should be for adults only and the other for the kids. There isn't many activities happening and after 11pm the only option is to go to bed, because there isn't anything to do. The ship is okay and being a new ship to should be stunning. The excursions where very overpriced. The Captain was the best thing on the ship, Captain Tesos is a people person and e is always around the ship and happy to have a chat and take photos. I wouldn't cruise with celebrity again based on my experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
First of all this was our 8th cruise with 3 cruise lines and we had anticipated it would be the best experience so far. Before we left we had a few alarm bells ringing in regard to noise in the cabin after we read a cruise critic review ... Read More
First of all this was our 8th cruise with 3 cruise lines and we had anticipated it would be the best experience so far. Before we left we had a few alarm bells ringing in regard to noise in the cabin after we read a cruise critic review that said the forward cabins on deck 11 were directly under the gym and the noise started at 7 am and was loud and constant. Well, I am delighted to say we had cabin 1501 on deck 11 - which was as far forward as they go and it was perfectly quiet with only the odd short burst of subdued thuds from above when a running machine was worked particularly hard in the afternoon now and again. So whether they have reinforced the floor or the report was exaggerated I can assure anyone in a forward cabin on 11 not to worry about the noise and due to the ships amazing stabilizers, there is minimal rocking even that far forward. The boarding process in Sydney's International Terminal is incredible. As we had an Aqua class suite booked our check in time was from 11.30 am. We arrived around 11.25 and were on board drinking an orange juice or champagne by 11.40!!!!. We had even suffered a delay when we were told we were not permitted to take on board a multi pin adapter for our various electrical appliances and had to dig it out and hand it over for collection after the trip. This delayed us almost 5 minutes. So my first piece of advice if sailing on Celebrity is to take a US plug adapter and NO multi point adapters! Once on board we were handed our drinks and were then "jumped on" to buy a drinks package! When we explained we had a Classic package, the staff then tried to upgrade us to Premium. We told them we were fine as we were and were THEN jumped on to buy a specialty restaurant package and about two other various packages. It was annoying to say the least and when it continued over the next couple of days it became offensive. At one point we even tried to find out what cocktails were included in the Classic drinks package and actually couldn't. Guest services didn't know and referred us to a nearby bar which made it clear they didn't serve Classic Cocktails only Premium! This was actually untrue but when we tried to check another bars cocktail menu price list, it contained ONLY Premium cocktails and we started to wonder what the Classic package actually got us for our money! We needn't have worried as once the first few days were past, we had no trouble with the Classic range and assume the difficultly on the first two days was to assist the cruise line to sell more Premium packages. Not the most impressive start to the cruise! The pestering to sell or up sell packages was SO consistent it became a joke among passengers. On entering a lift it was not uncommon to hear a passenger ask if you had the Premium lift package or the Classic as this was a Premium lift!!! On one occasion when asked to buy a package I didn’t want (YET again) I responded by saying I had bought the special ‘staff won’t offer me a package’ package and on another occasion when entering the spa area the manageress approached us to sell us one of her many services and introduced herself by saying she was a qualified plastic surgeon. I put on a shocked look and interrupted her to ask if she was suggesting my wife needed plastic surgery. She looked genuinely shocked and said “No”, to which I said “good because I think she looks perfect”, which of course the manageress agreed and we walked off as I said “well thank goodness we agree on that!” Oddly enough she never tried to sell us anything after that!!!! Once we had access to the cabin we walked in to what appeared to be the smallest cabin we have ever had on any ship. This MAY have been an illusion, but to be honest if my wife or I casually dropped a shoe on the floor of the cabin without carefully putting it away, it became a hazard and we would have found it hard to avoid tripping over it. The balcony was also narrow but may have been deeper than others, though I didn't get that feeling to be honest. On the plus side, our stateroom attendant was the best we have ever had and earned his extra gratuity over and above those paid when we booked. In fact, almost every staff member was first class except for one rather rude indolent female in the cosmetic shop, who apparently took an instant dislike to my wife and I and went out of her way to obstruct our efforts to spend money in the store!! She also ran a training session for a few passengers supposedly explaining the benefits of certain products and as I stood waiting for my wife, it became clear she knew next to nothing about her subject OR about how to deal with people who have a legitimate question on the subject. Having been IN the cosmetics industry myself, TRUST me, she was completely useless. Now a few more pluses. The captain was brilliant. He was funny and very human and made himself VERY available to passengers. Every night his officers walked the decks chatting to any passenger wanting to approach them. A clever and delightful way to run a ship. The shows in the theatre involving the singers and dancers were all top notch and the company has also modified its approach to formal nights instead calling them evening chic, and this appears to have had the positive outcome of far more men getting dressed up for the evening, though not necessarily in suits or dinner jackets. The relaxation of the dress code is a definite improvement - and that is coming from someone who wore a suit and bow tie on the formal nights! Now I must air a few negatives of the ship and the cruise. This was a Christmas/New Year cruise so it was my own fault that I was on a full cruise with over 3300 passengers aboard. The result was a fair bit of queuing and crowding. When the sun came out the external decks were filled with sunbathers with barely a foot to spare between them all. Restaurants had queues for diners waiting to be seated and of course the Bistro area was at times almost impossible to find a seat in. I hate crowds and so for me the numbers WERE a problem. If they don't bother you, then this isn't a problem. Also because it was a cruise during a school holiday - there were a LOT of children of varying ages and they occasionally became a bit boisterous and seemed to have little concern for their fellow passengers - as kids are wont to do. Again I blame myself for booking a cruise at this time of the year which resulted in a lessening of the experience for us. Another problem we experienced on this ship which I hadn't experienced before was that soon after getting access to our cabin, my card failed to open the cabin door, so I went to Guest Services reception and queued for over 30 minutes. I was NOT alone with the problem, but there was NO dedicated staff member to sort this out for all those with faulty cards. I found this frustrating. For your own information, some of the faulty cards had become faulty because they had been placed against a mobile phone, or iPad of other electronic or magnetic device. For your own sake keep your card well clear of these devices and reduce the chances of being forced to queue up for a new card! Two final criticisms of the ship. On EVERY other ship we have sailed on there has been an outside deck where you can sit and look out over the water or walk the length of the deck for exercise without crowds of people all around. The Solstice lacks this deck and that may well partially explain why so many other areas are crowded. Yes, you can get outside on deck 5, BUT there are lifeboats and tenders all along both sides of the ship, so there are limited views of the water when on this deck. There is also limited access, so a walk around the ship on this deck is not possible. The deck also suffers one other problem and it is one that affects virtually every area of the ship. On deck 5 the ONLY seating is wooden deck chairs which are VERY low and for anyone who has any sort of knee problems, getting out of a low seat is very difficult if not impossible. With two shonky knees and a very tall and large body, there was NO way I was ever going to be able to sit on deck 5 outside. The trouble is, that elsewhere on the ship, the design of the chairs has obviously been done with an eye to art and very little attention to comfort or practicality. A mix of low seats with no arms, or seats with ultra high backs and no arms, meant my options of where I could sit were reduced to about 4 or 5 areas only and even THEN there were only limited seats I could use in those areas. I heard several other guests making similar comments, so it really should be something the shipping line needs to look at. There are PLENTY of people less mobile than I who would have their cruise spoiled by this badly thought out mistake. Overall, I have to say I have had two cruises better than this one - a mini suite on Diamond Princess and a cruise on Celebrity Century just before it was sold off. From the moment the hard sell started on arrival I got the feeling Celebrity were copying P & O and THAT is perhaps the worst shipping line to copy! The ship is in pretty good nick and offers the most stable ride out of Australia, but lacks some finishing touches. The curtains in our cabin were fraying and had a couple of holes, the carpet was looking a little tired, but these are minor negatives which on their own would have had no impact on the holiday. More serious was the Spa steam room area where the sauna worked just one day of the 12, one of the two showers was not working on ANY day and the steam room often had no oil in the container so half the benefit of the steam room was lost. When people are asked to pay almost $200 to use these areas, there is NO excuse for it being unserviced and unservicable. Despite reporting the problems several times, NOTHING changed. As a consequence of this trip, I could NOT recommend the ship to anyone I know - the minuses outweighed the positives which is sad. There are a few steps that could be taken to change this - new seats throughout, cutting back on the pushy sales approach on board and maintaining the areas in the spa section to ensure value for money when people pay for specialised services. Those would have been enough to encourage me to give them a second chance on a NON school holiday period, but unfortunately it is unlikely Celebrity will change them and this will be my last cruise with Celebrity - in fact we have already booked our next cruise, which will be on the Cunard Queen Victoria in September around the Mediterranean. Here’s hoping our next experience will be better than this one. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Fantastic cruise from Sydney to New Caledonia to Vanuatu to Fiji and back. Beautiful ship Excellent staff at every location on the boat. Every night at dinner there are 4 wait staff per table. The staff to passenger ratio is ... Read More
Fantastic cruise from Sydney to New Caledonia to Vanuatu to Fiji and back. Beautiful ship Excellent staff at every location on the boat. Every night at dinner there are 4 wait staff per table. The staff to passenger ratio is impressive Public areas like toilets are always pristine with dedicated staff cleaning non stop. Tour of the galleys shows an excellent kitchen, extremely clean. Exceptional quality food. Well worth visiting some of the speciality restaurants too. We visited Murano and Tuscan Grille. Well maintained rooms with twice daily servicing Drinks package was excellent. would recommend it for cruises that have many sea days Improvements - small pools, would be ideal in school holidays if one pool could be for children and another for adults. Outdoor cinema was rarely used - 2 movies I think played in the 12 nights, a daily movie would have been great use of the space. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We went on the 12 night South Pacific cruise from Sydney on 23 December. It was our 7th Celebrity cruise but first from Australia (all the others were from US/Caribbean ports). We have also been on Silversea, Oceania, Royal ... Read More
We went on the 12 night South Pacific cruise from Sydney on 23 December. It was our 7th Celebrity cruise but first from Australia (all the others were from US/Caribbean ports). We have also been on Silversea, Oceania, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Carnival. We are Celebrity Elite level members. Here is the good and the not so good. Cabin Attendant – Excellent – Our cabin attendant (Gabriel) was superb. He was always efficient, smiling and helpful. Our departures were noted and our cabin made up immediately. Tenders – Excellent – Tenders were used at Isle de Pines and Mystery Island. On previous Celebrity cruises tenders have been a problem. On this cruise there were only short waits and even long queues moved quickly. The reason was simple – whoever was in charge used up to 7 lifeboats to provide a high frequency service from two boarding platforms. This was a problem from past cruises fixed – let us hope the same approach is adopted on other ships. Photo Shop – Poor – Bring your own camera and take your own photos. Avoid the photo packages. On previous Celebrity cruises the photo packages were good value by skilled photographers. On this cruise we felt there was no skill or art involved and the resulting photos were poor quality camera work such as parts of heads cuts off. Delays and stresses even getting the package USB on the last night suggested incompetence. Shuttle Bus – Excellent – Noumea – Often a problem on other cruises this, like the tender issue, was solved by whoever was in charge by having plenty of buses in Noumea running a high frequency service so there were no waits. Main dining room (Epernay) – Very Good – We had recently been on much higher priced Silversea and Oceania cruises. The food in the main dining room on Solstice was better than the main dining room on each of those cruise lines although not up to the standard of the speciality restaurants on those lines. Celebrity remains the best food in the mega ship market. Service in Main Dining – Excellent – Our waiters (Valentin and Iryna) were excellent and helpful. Seating in Main Dining – Poor – We are Elite Celebrity members but for some reason got about the worst table in the middle of the bottom level of the dining room. We used to get much better tables before we reached the Elite level. At no stage were we aware of the presence of a maitre d’. Coffee – Poor – The coffee throughout the ship is terrible. Café Bacio does not live up to the hype with poor service, attitude and coffee. Coffee was bitter and too hot. Children – Being an Australian school holiday cruise the ship had over 3000 passengers with lots of children (and prams). Most were well behaved but a few insisted upon pushing all the buttons in the lifts and gangs playing chasing games around the corridors on treasure hunts posed a hazard. Smoking – As non-smokers we were pleased that overall the smoking on board was only a minor inconvenience. Walking/Jogging Track – A design flaw of the Solstice is that the jogging track runs around a deck used for sun lounges and often during the day is hard to use because people put their sun lounges across the track. Whilst not as bad as on other cruises this was still an issue and the staff did not move sun lounges off the track. Sun Lounges – Most of the passengers being Australian it was shade rather than sun that was in demand. There were plenty of lounges available in the sun and sometimes in the shade. Unfortunately there was a lot of saving of lounges by passengers who rarely used them or who put belongings on adjoining lounges to stop them being used and give themselves extra space. This did not appear to be policed by the staff. Ocean View Buffet – Excellent – Huge and at times overcrowded it is usually possible to find something to eat from the wide range. The effort made for Christmas and New Year was spectacular and greatly appreciated. Sushi – Not Good – On previous Celebrity cruises Ocean View Café had reasonable sushi in the evening. Now that is gone. Instead there is only a Sushi café on level 5 which costs extra. Embarkation – Good - Surprisingly quick and efficient. On board 25 minutes after arriving at pier at 12.30pm. Unfortunately we were not then allowed off again that afternoon to spend any more time in Sydney and had not been warned this would be the case. Disembarkation – Good - At 6.40am there was a huge line for walk offs which commenced at 6.50am and went so quickly we were at Sydney airport at 7.20am. Itinerary – OK – Australia is a long way from anywhere which means too many days at sea. There were 6 days at sea and only 5 ports on this cruise. Cabin – Clean and functional the cabins are good for the price. Hygiene – Problem – Whilst there is hand washing lotion everywhere the system for obtaining beverages (sodas, water or alcoholic) seemed likely to be very efficient at spreading disease. You have to hand your seapass to a waiter who swipes it and hands it back and then does the same with someone else’s seapass and on it goes. The system needs to be contactless with the passenger simply waving their seapass. Beverage Packages – Poor – Even if the beverage package you purchase includes the type of drink available in your minibar you get charged again if you take it from the minibar. If your package includes Coke you cannot take the can of Coke from your minibar. Your package only allows you to get one drink at a time from a bar even if that drink is water or soft drink (and each time your seaspass is handled by a staff member who is handling lots of other seapasses and bottles and glasses handled by other passengers). At times the brand of bottled water sold was undrinkable. Internet – OK – Internet costs extra still unless some minutes are included in a deal or because of your status. Speed was fair. Security – As an Australian holiday period cruise there were a lot more passengers in the 20-40 age group than on other cruises, many of them appearing to consume vast amounts of alcohol. Given the amount of alcohol consumed security did a very good job of keeping it a safe cruise. It is certainly far safer than going out in an Australian capital city at night. Entertainment – Disappointing – Apart from Aussie Boys the acts and Celebrity in house entertainers were below the standard expected out of US ports. Movies – Some nights recent release movies were shown in Celebrity Central which is a comfortable cinema. Overall we were impressed. Christmas and New Year were made special which they have not been on some other cruises we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our first cruise however others in our group were seasoned cruisers. The ship was great, the decor and the design was fantastic.First we stayed in a balcony room, 1091, which was good nothing to complain about. The food choices ... Read More
This was our first cruise however others in our group were seasoned cruisers. The ship was great, the decor and the design was fantastic.First we stayed in a balcony room, 1091, which was good nothing to complain about. The food choices were endless. We were on a Christmas cruise which was great, added to the feeling and atmosphere. The crew were great. Captain Tasos was amazing, he would mingle with passengers daily and eat at the restaurants on occasions. His humor was brilliant everyone waited with anticipation each day for his briefing which was informative but funny. All staff we crossed paths with were exceptional - no complaints.We had tips included in our fare however ended up tipping 6 special people who really looked after us and made us feel welcome. This was my first cruise and I was worried i would get bored at sea, far from it, i didn't want to get off, two more nights would have been perfect!!!!! The shows at night and during the day were great, a real variety. I went to things i thought i would never like such as a lady playing electric violin with a band with modern songs!!! I am hooked on cruises and was very impressed with Celebrity, will be travelling on the them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose to do the Christmas /New Year cruise as something different over the holiday period , my wife ,two children (12 & 8) and parents throughly enjoyed our 12 night cruise, from embarkment in Sydney which we were on the ship with ... Read More
We chose to do the Christmas /New Year cruise as something different over the holiday period , my wife ,two children (12 & 8) and parents throughly enjoyed our 12 night cruise, from embarkment in Sydney which we were on the ship with 20 min of arriving at the pier, first thing was to sign the kids up for the Kids Club (fun factory) , as we had not seen many reviews about the kids club we were concerned about keeping the occupied, the kids loved it and didn't want to leave each night , whilst it is open to 1.00 am, we made a point of collecting the kids at 10.00 pm ... the dining options had plenty of choices , with the Oceanview & Grand Epernay being our choice most nights - we did go to Silk Harvest one night and once again very impressed. The entertainment was good we felt that the ships entertainers were of a much higher quality than the Speciality acts brought on board , overall no complaints and will travel with celebrity again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Solstice a nice ship overall, staff service great, 2 choices for dining either Oceanview cafe deck 14 or Grand Epernay deck 3 or 4 all other dining places take your fat wallet you'll need it. ( Remember the charges are US Dollars plus ... Read More
Solstice a nice ship overall, staff service great, 2 choices for dining either Oceanview cafe deck 14 or Grand Epernay deck 3 or 4 all other dining places take your fat wallet you'll need it. ( Remember the charges are US Dollars plus 18% Tax) Bar prices are expensive plus you pay 18% tax on every drink which makes the humble Corona beer around $15 AUD that's each not a six pack gents. Veranda Staterooms are comfortable and serviced well each day, entertainment is somewhat repetitious, the resident ship band certainly missed out on the TV talent quest, The Lawn Club deck 15 with Sunset Bar quite relaxing however Port Side is designated Smokers area depending on wind direction can be unpleasant for non smokers. Embarkation and Disembarkation is punishing long queues stretching for 100 meters or more, be prepared to move at snails pace with frustrated passengers surrounding you on all sides. Most importantly remember on board currency is US Dollars with 18% TAX on everything you purchase ( even bottled water) the Solstice is a floating Sales market with more than willing Sales Staff after your Dollar. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Boarded ship in Honolulu and was onboard within 30 minutes. Went straight to Grand Epernay dining room for lunch. Bags arrived promptly except 1 which went astray but turned up early evening. Stateroom was Concierge 2102 up on the 12th ... Read More
Boarded ship in Honolulu and was onboard within 30 minutes. Went straight to Grand Epernay dining room for lunch. Bags arrived promptly except 1 which went astray but turned up early evening. Stateroom was Concierge 2102 up on the 12th Floor nearest the lifts. DO NOT choose this cabin as it has a storeroom right next door and then a ladies toilet. Being located close to the lifts was handy, but the lift bells were going throughout the night. All in all a very noisey cabin that should not be classed as Concierge. The afternoon Canapés served in the Stateroom are embarrassingly bad and it would be best they not serve them at all. Chose 1st seating in the main dining room. Table was located under the stairs and we were separated from the rest of the dining room, no atmosphere at all. We saw the Maitre de and he managed to change us.to anytime dining which was fantastic. Food was of a high standard. Visited the 3 select dining restaurants which were amazing. Went to the Solstice Theatre each evening where the entertainment was very good. Service was of a high standard and all of the crew, apart from a few were always smiling and seemed to enjoy themselves. Nothing was too much effort. Did our own thing in each of the ports and had fun. Apart from the noisey cabin, this was a great cruise. Met so many new acquaintances and some of them will be lifelong friends. Would highly recommend Celebrity Solstice. Ship was heading up to Singapore for a refit. Apart from some worn furniture, the ship is in really good shape! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our third cruise. First was with Norwegian Pride of America around Hawaii (which was very good) & second which was with Carnival Spirit from Barcelona to Venice ( which was OK) Boarding was easy in Sydney & bags ... Read More
This was our third cruise. First was with Norwegian Pride of America around Hawaii (which was very good) & second which was with Carnival Spirit from Barcelona to Venice ( which was OK) Boarding was easy in Sydney & bags delivered to the room soon after. The lifeboat drill was awful with hundreds of people cramped into tiny rooms for 40 minutes +. This drill should be done outside near the lifeboats. First two days were at sea & with a none exsitant cruise director and it was pretty much spent lying by the pool and having your own fun and trying to work out the classic beverage package which is only value for money if you can get through about 15 drinks a day. The food at Ocean View buffet was good and dining at Epinary Restaurant was very good. Did not try the paid dining experiences. Cruise took in the Islands of Lifou, Noumea & Isle of Pines. Did not bother with the expensive shore excursions as were only on the islands for a few hours. Entertainment increased during the cruise but was not as good as the other two cruises that we have done. Room attendants were good and staff freindly and keen to chat. Would not look to use Celebrity Cruise line again as they seem expensive for what they provide. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our first cruise with Celebrity, having travelled with Princess on other occasions. My first impression was not WOW as I expected. I was very impressed with the Stateroom, plenty of storage spaces. Loved the shower cubicle with ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Celebrity, having travelled with Princess on other occasions. My first impression was not WOW as I expected. I was very impressed with the Stateroom, plenty of storage spaces. Loved the shower cubicle with it's sliding doors. The balcony in room 9211 was roomy and being in the area that bulged out there were very good views. Another area which surpassed Princess was the theatre. The viewing was excellent from almost all seats, with the exception of a few posts. On this note the shows were first class on every night. For me the Solstice lacked atmosphere. The lounges and bars did not have the intimate feel of the Princess, and the main restaurant felt very uninspiring. We had any time dining, And the area overlooked the set dining restaurant and I preferred this outlook but the same table cannot be guaranteed every night and on one of our nights we were pushed around the corner looking at a blank wall. One big disappointment was the lack of organisation on the shore excursions. On our Noumea tour it said on the ticket to meet at the pier. We proceeded off the ship to the pier only to be sent back up to the Theatre and when we arrived there we were told to go back to the Pier. This had happened to a few other couples who were waiting for different excursions - no one seemed to know what they were doing. In general the staff were very accommodating, with special mention to the restaurant and bar staff who were efficient and very friendly and helpful. In general we had a very good cruise and it was good to experience a different cruise line but my preference is with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We arrived into Sydney a few days early to visit Rellies in the suburbs & were really impressed by the ease & convenience of rail travel from the Burbs to Circular Quay. The walk from the station with our suitcases was only 5 ... Read More
We arrived into Sydney a few days early to visit Rellies in the suburbs & were really impressed by the ease & convenience of rail travel from the Burbs to Circular Quay. The walk from the station with our suitcases was only 5 minutes! & with both embarknent & disembarkment being a breeze, we oldies were off to a great start!!!- IT ONLY GOT BETTER !!! We have sailed with Celebrity before, so our expectations were high & the Soltice & Staff delivered. All the ticks applied to food, entertainment, cabin & ambiance. Our favorite spot for pre (show, then late dinner) drinks was the Martini bar where there was several little alcoves for small & bigger groups to meet up with friends. The Theater was enormous & absolutely beautiful so no worry about getting seats for the early show. The Dining Room was understated but classy. The Solarium (adultsr only) was a real haven & the healthy foods were available here.. The Buffet dining room was well laid out & the only que I saw was at the Ice cream counter There was a good range of ages aboard & we never had to wait anytime in ques even though there were about 2,500 onboard. The ship has a few areas that need attending, however nothing that would lessen our enjoyment. We intend to sail on her again!!!! Ports, Lifou was pretty,but the foreshores were very rocky & steep, not really suitable for people with walking problems. Noumea, French', expensive, clean. We caught the HOHO ($20audpp) & got off at Lemon Bay & enjoyed a delicious lunch then returned to the Information center to browse around the locals market stalls. Isles of Pines, beautiful beach (not as good as our Gold Coast though). My pick of the Ports. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Another cruise on the lovely Celebrity Solstice, we were not disappointed and found once again the ship delivered as expected. This was a relaxation cruise for us both, time to chill in lovely surrounds and feel pampered and Solstice ... Read More
Another cruise on the lovely Celebrity Solstice, we were not disappointed and found once again the ship delivered as expected. This was a relaxation cruise for us both, time to chill in lovely surrounds and feel pampered and Solstice delivered... Embarkation was a breeze, even though Border Security were on strike, we found the ship to be in excellent shape, sparkling clean and once again a staff from Officers to hand sanitizing staff always smiling and with a friendly greeting. Our Stateroom attendants, Michele & Cezar were excellent, always happy to greet us and the accommodation was spotless and comfortable. We have dined in all specialty restaurants on a previous cruise and loved them, they appeared to be very busy on this a full capacity cruise, so we dined mainly in the Ocean View Café where we found an excellent selection of fresh tasty dishes, morning, noon and night. I realise this may sound boring to some, but we were quite happy... Early morning walks were a must and enjoyed, also taking the stairs helps with the waistline. There were ample opportunities to be entertained from morning until late, the shows were most enjoyable and Ben the cruise host was as bright as a button. I suppose if someone really wanted to nit pick, one could, but why bother we had a lovely cruise and cannot wait to cruise with Celebrity again next year. This cruise offered the free classic drinks package, which we indulged in and enjoyed, it was ample for us, no complaints... The ports were okay, Lifou was rustic, some pretty views, Noumea was fun, we rented a car and found some great sights and met some very friendly locals along the way. Isle De Pines was stunning, but we were rained out for a while, none the less a beautiful beach and many lovely spots to enjoy around the island. All in all a great cruise, not long enough... A special mention to Guest relations Officer Sandra, who made a Birthday and Anniversary very special... Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this ship because we sailed on it the year earlier from Perth to Sydney and loved the ship. This time we were taking friends, one of whom is suffering a terminal illness. They had never cruised before and were unsure about it. It ... Read More
We chose this ship because we sailed on it the year earlier from Perth to Sydney and loved the ship. This time we were taking friends, one of whom is suffering a terminal illness. They had never cruised before and were unsure about it. It was wonderful to hear them say at the end, 'This was the best week of our lives!'. Embarkation was very efficient and we were on board and greeted with a welcome drink in no time at all. By the time we had finished a light lunch, our cabins were ready. We were in Aqua Class again and it once again proved to be worth every extra dollar. The cabins were very comfortable. The Celebrity bathrooms have to be the best, with plenty of room and a circular glass shower door, not the usual clinging curtain. Our cabin attendants were excellent and nothing was too much trouble. We enjoyed the pre-dinner snacks they provided each evening and their attention to detail in keeping the cabin spotless. We upgraded our free Classic Drink packages again and found that was really worth doing. We loved the fantastic cocktails, whipped up by Darko, each evening before dinner. The Aqua Class restaurant is great, more intimate than the main dining room, with friendly staff, who know your name straight away and very soon all the things you like. We asked to have the same table and staff each evening and had a great time with those lovely people, who really looked after us. We enjoyed the early morning walk around the upper deck track and time in the pool and the spas. We saw some of the evening shows, which were OK and loved the daytime cooking show. We also enjoyed the visit to the galley to see how the food was prepared and the amazing systems in place. The ports were incidental to us, as we have been there a number of times before, so we chose to just do our own thing. Our friends did a tour in Noumea and were happy to see something of this new place for them. Celebrity Solstice is the ship we love most, and we have travelled with most cruise lines. We will be back! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We boarded this ship with very high expectations - all the great reviews/hype from cruise agent/promises from Celebrity..... We cruised on Carnival Legend last year and just loved every second of it, so when we are promised a ... Read More
We boarded this ship with very high expectations - all the great reviews/hype from cruise agent/promises from Celebrity..... We cruised on Carnival Legend last year and just loved every second of it, so when we are promised a noticeable step up from Carnival, well that seemed too good to be true !! Lovely ship - modern and nicely laid out, and very easy to find everything - felt like a much smaller ship when it came to getting around. Facilities were a mixed bag - auto toilet doors were a good idea, lots of hand sanitizer stations, plenty of lifts, and all the usual shops and bars and casino. On the down side of facilities - pools very small and the supposed lap pool was a joke, no pool deck seating to eat - just lounges, coffee shop whilst good was always crowded with sometimes very long queues, and no gueat laundry!!!! ( you can only imagine the cost of laundering) Food - in the dining room, was average or below average, in comparison to Carnival and P&O. Plenty of complaints from diners and lots of meals sent back. In the buffet, not a great variety but reasonable quality food - but very hard to find a seat most lunch times. Service - overall poor when compared again with Carnival and P& O. Many staff either didnt know what they were doing, or simply didnt care. Entertainment and activities - well, if we were 70 then I suppose it would have been adequate. Shore tours - a ripoff! Half as much again as Carnival and in some instances even more. And - tender damaged and guests injured at Lifou - should never have been allowed to tender. If this had been our first cruise we may feel differently about it - however after spending $2500 MORE on this cruise than Carnival we were left unimpressed and very disappointed. We are going back to Carnival and P &O and will never cruise on the Solstice again.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Embarkation was a dream, the huge crowd had diminished by the time we arrived and check in was smooth quick and easy, we didn't even need to line up. We boarded and would highly recommend booking your speciality restaurants first ... Read More
Embarkation was a dream, the huge crowd had diminished by the time we arrived and check in was smooth quick and easy, we didn't even need to line up. We boarded and would highly recommend booking your speciality restaurants first thing, we purchased the package of three and booked on the first day. Headed back up to our stateroom and our bags had been delivered to our room already, we took the opportunity to unpack and change and then headed off to explore the ship. The Molecular bar was my favourite bar on the ship! fresh fruit and juices mixed into a delightful alcohol filled cocktail, they were amazing! The staff at this bar are also a delight and amazing at what they do, would highly recommend. The martini bar was also great, ship is very clean and hand sanitisation is every where you go which is great. Main dining room was lovely but wait staff was different every time we dined,our favourite dining experience was The Tuscan Grille the food was out of this world and the staff were awesome! wish we had of eaten here earlier and we would have gone more then once. Entertainment was geared more towards the older age demographic aboard, sea days we found boring with not enough activities we enjoyed on offer. Extra little touches like cold towels on port days when boarding were lovely. Overall experience was great but thought the age demographic was a little older than we would have liked Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We researched a lot! as this was to be our first cruise, embarkation was better than expected, friendly staff, our cabin was on VIsta Deck (8) very nice, clean and the cabin attendants were great. Dining was good, many choices of venue, ... Read More
We researched a lot! as this was to be our first cruise, embarkation was better than expected, friendly staff, our cabin was on VIsta Deck (8) very nice, clean and the cabin attendants were great. Dining was good, many choices of venue, although we used the buffet on top deck mostly, food was plentiful and varied, the entertainment was wonderful and we went every night. We loved the hot glass shows too, the presenters were very open to questions and took the time to fully explain. We booked excursions through the ship, very good except for the bus on one trip, a little expensive but enjoyable. Arriving back in Sydney was stress free, collected bags and was on our way. So happy with this trip we have booked on another in February, flying to NZ this time, and catching up with the Solstice from Auckland to Sydney via Hobart. Hope to see just as many happy faces again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our first cruise and on the recommendation of others, this ship was the only one to go on. My husband and I are both early to mid 50's and were looking for a trip with everything. Boarding was a breeze, met with a champagne ... Read More
This was our first cruise and on the recommendation of others, this ship was the only one to go on. My husband and I are both early to mid 50's and were looking for a trip with everything. Boarding was a breeze, met with a champagne and then toured the ship, which is so big! Had a beautiful lunch at OceanView Cafe. We had booked Aqua Class and were very happy with all the amenities, beautiful veranda over looking the ocean and when sailing in to ports, what a view! Our cabin attendants Mariano and Raj were just fantastic. So helpful and quick, very efficient, nothing was ever too much trouble.. We were close to the gym and Spa facilities. The gym was fully equipped with all that you need and then some. Even offering classes everyday. We loved the persian gardens, with the Steam, sauna and aromatherapy rooms, we were there nearly everyday. We also enjoyed a wonderful massage each. Staff very friendly and ever so helpful. The dining room with Aqua is Blu for breakfast and dinner. This was a highlight of the trip. The level of service is impeccable. You are greeted by the lovely Diana, who was extremely professional, friendly and a most gracious hostess. Seated at a table with such a wonderful view each morning for breakfast and greeted by the exceptional waiters Iman, Tony and August (007)& Bonny ,remembering just the little things that make you feel special. All the staff there were so attentive. Breakfast was amazing always, beautiful food and accommodate special needs if be. Dinner what can I say, was truly amazing. The chef is brilliant, dinner everyday was different with a few favorites as well. Lobster was sensational as was the frogs legs, enjoyed every meal there. The range of food caters for all. Our sommelier Milo was awesome, nothing was too much trouble and was very attentive to all of us. Had a exceptional dinner at Tuscan Grill, this definitely was such a wonderful experience, Elyas was a standout for us, this gentlemen was just the most wonderful person and went out of his way to make our experience there a memorable one. Our night there was spectacular and the food just amazing! Tracey the appetizer and salad chef even came out and spoke with us. Before dinner having a cocktail at either of the many bars to have a drink. Watching the guys at the Martini Bar make cocktails is fabulous.. Talented for sure. We had the premium beverage package so pretty much all is covered. Then off too a show! Every Night something different the cruise director Peter is just wonderful and talented himself, but the shows were really good and enjoyed them immensely. Great singers and dancers. great aerial show as well. Loved Chiko, he is brilliant talented man. Beautiful pianist Kim and comedians, even opera! The range of entertainment was fabulous. Visiting all the islands and leaving the ship was so effortless, they really are very efficient. When waiting for the tenders to go back to the ship, staff were offering cold drinks and iced wet towels for people. Service always with a smile. Swimming in the pools during sea days and relaxing was most enjoyable, always a waiter to serve you and lunch at the ocean view cafe, food there was great only had lunch there a few times but it was really good, Sushi, fresh made caesar salads to order, pizza, fresh made asian noodles, so clean... Staff always handy with hand disinfectant! I could write forever, but I will leave here and we were so happy with our experience we have booked NZ to Sydney in January 17 and so look forward to it. I can see why people rave on about this ship, was just such a fantastic holiday. Do not hesitate you will not be disappointed Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Review Solstice South Pacific Cruise March 20th Background Information: We are sisters and frequent cruisers in our early 50’s and have been on the Solstice at least 5 times from Sydney. We are also Elite and Platinum level on ... Read More
Review Solstice South Pacific Cruise March 20th Background Information: We are sisters and frequent cruisers in our early 50’s and have been on the Solstice at least 5 times from Sydney. We are also Elite and Platinum level on Princess Cruises. We choose Celebrity Solstice as it is the nicest ship that leaves Sydney at the moment, apart from the Diamond Princess which we love as well. We choose this ship as it caters for mainly adults and not as many kid’s attractions as other cruise lines. The following is our own opinion, and we realise everyone is different and likes different things. We have done this cruise before, so we know what we like and don’t like to do and mostly what to expect. Embarkation: Arrived at 11am and was on the ship by 11.30. Luggage arrived before 3pm, so all unpacked before muster. Very happy. Warmly welcomed to a glass of sparkly and then straight to arrange our dinner package and drink upgrade. Thank you Bhye, from Silk Harvest(forgive spelling) for being so helpful and making us feel special. We got the 3 dinner package and also half price for Tuscan Grille on the first night. We saw Bhye throughout the cruise and always charming and couldn’t do enough to help. Cabin: Cabins were ready by 1pm. 8248- Our favourite cabin was on the hump and in a convenient position near the lift. It was nice and quiet with great views directly down to the water. Being on starboard side also eliminated any cigarette smells that you get from the smoking section on the port side deck. Our cabin was roomy with lots of storage for two people. Not sure how it would go with more than two however, for drawer space is limited. We brought our own coat hangers for packing and unpacking convenience. Also, those wooden coat hangers get noisy with the sway of the boat and they are bulky. The bathroom was always immaculately clean and we love the glass shower screen! The face washers, however, were threadbare and like sandpaper. Hopefully new ones with the upcoming refurb?? Thank you Sydney for keeping everything tidy and clean. The Ship: The ship was always immaculately clean and still in great condition. Public toilets were always being cleaned and we love the elegantly rolled cloth hand towels. In the busier bathrooms, attendants were always stationed to keep things tidy and clean. Didn’t have to touch the door handles or taps, but were automatic. The lounges and public areas were always clean and attended by cleaners, security and staff. We loved lounging in the Solarium. It is so quiet, peaceful and adults only! The pool was clean and warm. We didn’t swim outdoors but it was always busy and everyone looked like they were having fun. The coffee lounge needed more seating. Always crowded, however service was fast. Love those Aspen coffees!! Bars: We spent a lot of time at the Martini Bar in the evenings. Norman the cocktail waiter was so entertaining and friendly. A couple of other bar tenders there, however, were very brusk and unfriendly. We especially loved the Eurikatini with basil and cucumber. Very disappointed to be given one with no basil OR cucumber (which were the main ingredients)! When we questioned the waiter, he didn’t seem to care and just said there was no ingredients for it. Strange for this to happen on the first night! Thank you Norman for organising the basil just for us!!! As a matter of fact nearly all drink ingredients had run out long before the end of the cruise. Whoever is in charge of the background music for the Martini bar needs to be sacked. The majority of people using this bar were around 50+ years. Loud techno, duff duff music is a stupid choice to have playing constantly and loudly from 4pm. It would have been better to have no music playing. Many people complained, but nothing changed. Having said this, the Martini bar was still fun and the place to be at the end of the night. All other bars were great, however the outside bars needed more staff as there was a lot of people waiting to be served. Some of the bar men did not know how to make basic cocktails or drinks. They were also very inconsistent in flavour and ingredients throughout the ship. However, we can’t complain too much as drinks were free flowing and generously poured! Thank you Louie, Iputu, Bhye, and Stanley for remembering us and making us feel special! Food: The MDR was mainly good. Food came hot and tasty. Waiters were all friendly and helpful. Choice of food has significantly decreased over the past few years, however, we never left hungry! You could always have as much as you wanted. Choices of wines by the glass have been cut dramatically. Only one choice per wine type. Always seemed to push to buy a bottle that was nicer. We tended to drink cocktails instead as we didn’t like the wine on offer. That’s a personal taste thing of course! The Oceanview Café was about the same as always. Food was always fresh and hot with good variety. However, after a few days, we notice that is the same food on offer every lunch and dinner. The only changes were in the roast of the day. A few days had something different like calamari or bbq ribs, but these didn’t last long and within a few minutes were all gone and not replenished. Obviously chefs didn’t allow for any extra to last the whole sitting. Pizzas were yummy, but never seemed to cook enough and always a wait. As soon as a pizza would come out of the oven, they’d be gone in a split second. Surely they could foresee this and make adjustments. The specialty restaurant food was good. Murano had nice food, but we felt the waiters were in such a rush all the time and we were in and out within an hour or so. Tuscan grille great food and service. We were unlucky enough to be talked into the Silk and Soul Asian night in the Silk Harvest. It was a waste money and all the patrons sitting near us complained. The 7 courses could have fit on half a plate. The so called Peking duck was cold in a wrap. The scallops were cold and under cooked. The dessert was burnt and completely inedible. The waiters looked very embarrassed and apologised. Were given a refund and a half price meal for the next night in the Silk Harvest which we thoroughly enjoyed. The Mast Grill served yummy hamburgers and chips. Delicious. Aqua Spa had nice food and smoothies, however the girl behind the counter was not very friendly. Entertainment: The Celebrity Shows were very enjoyable and the singers and dancers were very talented. The Australian singer, Mark, was especially good. For us, the other entertainment was a bit hit and miss. It all depends on what your tastes are, of course. Most was reasonably entertaining, however after 3 years on the Solstice, many of the entertainers are repeats, playing exactly the same show as before. Most of the cruisers we spoke to were repeat passengers. This is due to a lack of choice of better ships for Australians to choose from who want a bit more class than P & O Australia. Surely Celebrity, knowing this after all the surveys they must read would select some different acts that haven’t been on before. In 3 years of cruising on the Solstice we have seen Peter Cousins 3x, Hayden Smith 5x, Pete and the Boys 3x all with exactly the same content. We had almost three quarters of passengers who were from Australia. We loved the Boys in the Band group. Fantastic! Fusion were entertaining as well. The 2pm shows were also very enjoyable. The Celebrity Band (Funky T?) were great, playing a wide range of music to suit all tastes and occasions. The lounge entertainers were not to our liking. The Ensemble Lounge had very boring string duet that made us feel we were attending a funeral. On Evening Chic night they were dressed in inappropriate attire (like for a farmhand) and never smiled. Steve Aubry was also playing quite boring songs that no one knew. When we asked for a request he refused. This lounge was more or less empty every time we passed it. On previous cruises, the Neil Diamond singer had standing room only and people dancing in the isles. We loved the trivia in the Sky Lounge. Very fun. On a few occasions we had an announcer/host who was very apathetic and you could tell he didn’t want to do it. He lessened the experience and fun for everyone. Pete, Chico and other announcers were great fun. DJ Lucas was a terrible DJ. Arrogant and would not listen to most requests to play less techno music and more music suitable to the age group listening to it. The other husband and wife team DJs were far more cooperative with requests and played to suit the audience. Ports: Noumea: Just a walk around the city. Had been here numerous times. Lifou: Got first tender off early to avoid cues and sun. Walked to church, snorkeling bay, then had a swim on the beach beside the pier. Clean and beautiful. Back to the ship early. Suva: Just a walk around the city as we had been there before. People very friendly all greeting you with “Bulla” Latouka: Oolala Cruise to Suvala Island. Fantastic day of swimming, kayaking, singing, eating and relaxing. Could see the ship from the island covered in black clouds and rain. Sunny where we were, luckily! Thought was very overpriced, however. $265 for an excursion that we know costs only $130 online. Isle of Pines: Took early tender to avoid cues and avoid sun as we got sunburnt at Latouka. Lovely walk to the end of the beach, then a swim in the warm, clear water. Got back to the wharf to take tender back by 9.40, only to be told no returns to ship until 11! After 5 empty tenders left to go back to the ship and many irate passengers wanting to get back on, we eventually got on a tender after waiting for 20 minutes. We were not happy after this as it was very poor duty of care to many of the passengers who needed to get back on the boat. Hopefully this won’t happen again. We chose to use self disembarkation. Due to the anticipated Customs Officers strike a lot of people chose to use this option at the last minute. Unfortunately, Celebrity didn't accommodate the extra people and the cues to get off were huge. We were one of the first in the cue, so got off very quickly with no one checking anything at customs. Conclusion: Apart from the few minor issues we mentioned, we had a great time! We met great people, most of the crew were fantastic, the ship was beautiful, weather and seas perfect, food delicious and plentiful and drinks flowing abundantly! Looking forward to our next cruise on the Solstice in November and March!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
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