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112 Celebrity Transpacific Cruise Reviews

My daughter, her partner and myself have had the most amazing cruise on the beautiful Celebrity Solstice cruising from Honolulu to Sydney. Why are there any negative comments regarding this ship? I honestly have no idea, not only is the ... Read More
My daughter, her partner and myself have had the most amazing cruise on the beautiful Celebrity Solstice cruising from Honolulu to Sydney. Why are there any negative comments regarding this ship? I honestly have no idea, not only is the ship beautiful but the staff are equally so. Staff cannot do enough to ensure your every need is met with kindness, professionalism and friendliness. The food in the main dining room and buffet were incredible. Our cabins were kept spotless by our friendly and helpful attendant. Actually serviced up to three times a day. We had our balconies opened up which gave us heaps o room. There were plenty of activities on board, you could do as much or as little as you liked. Captain Alex was a hoot, so very entertaining. I must mention Restika, Totok, Francis, Albert and Leonel from the dining room. Their service was way beyond what could be expected. Embarkation and Disembarkation were easy and carried out within minutes. I cannot thank Celebrity and her crew for one of the most memorable vacations of my life and I have had quite a few over the years. Please, please if you get the chance go for Celebrity, it really is the best. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I'm looking to be as honest and balanced as I can in this review so that it helps prospective cruisers who are considering Celebrity. I'll do this in 3 parts... Summary… the Good… the Bad. Summary My view is that ... Read More
I'm looking to be as honest and balanced as I can in this review so that it helps prospective cruisers who are considering Celebrity. I'll do this in 3 parts... Summary… the Good… the Bad. Summary My view is that Celebrity is living off its reputation (& messaging) of ‘premium’. My experience is that they are looking for ever 'sneaky' ways to drive up revenue (as any good business should), whilst minimising the product (which is cancerous). Sure push the envelope for a few dollars here and there, but don't reduce the product at the same time. We cruise Royal Caribbean and Celebrity a lot… and enjoy the loyalty reciprocity and we are finding the gap between the 2 becoming more and more insignificant. Royal are getting better, whilst Celebrity are slipping. So would I cruise Celebrity again? Yes. I’ve seen Celebrity really good, and quite average. Considering this cruise might have been an exception, I’ll go again… but that may be the last if it remains under-whelming. The Good: - Crew: The 'Worker bees' were all so generous and courteous... nothing but good things to say - Tuscan Grill: Personalised and accommodating… even modifying the menu upon request (The Maître d was brilliant) - Stateroom: Remodelled room (Balcony Concierge Class) was very good… décor was modern and warm, whilst storage space was plentiful and practical - Beds and pillows were so good… slept like a baby (despite some rough seas) - Ocean View Café – Lunch and Dinners were amazing in terms of quality & choice. And the pizza… the BEST on the open seas! (In contrast the Main Dining Room’s food was a complete let down) The Bad: So before looking like I’m just whining, I respect that everyone has different tastes so I’ve left entertainment, enrichment and excursion off the ‘bad’ list. Most of my ‘bad’ is centred around how I’ve seen Celebrity go from ‘WOW!’ to ‘’MEH!’. - Casino: I thought I was being a little too negative, until I heard many guests in there complaining. Apart from 2 to 3 dealers, the rest were inexperienced and most impersonal. There was a strong contingent of Texas Hold’em Poker players onboard, and the availability, service and games structures were amateurish at best. A 10% rake (yes..10%) should come with incredible dealers… instead we had trainees who did not know the rules, and continually exposed cards whilst dealing. - Outdoor hot tubs were lukewarm at best. I know many folk were requesting for the temperature to be increased. Each time was met with a shrug of the shoulders saying ‘it was just the way it is’. Considering the weather outside was cool, this was most disappointing. - Concierge Class: This is pretty much a bluff... (It is anything but personal, group phone messages, line up for 30 minutes, call the service desk and we could never get through). On sea days the concierge was ‘closed’ from Midday to 4:30pm every day. This is an absolute oversell... save your money!! The Concierge Class left me questioning why we did it… just couldn’t see the value. - Embarkation: 1.75 hours kerb to ship! - (And we were concierge class)… absolutely dreadful - 'Premium' Drinks Package - You can't get a glass of wine with your room service order (you can pay for it though). I think this is a nasty slap in the face and really lost Celebrity lot of points in my book. (Using the 'we must see your stateroom card upon ordering' is so condescending). - 'Premium' Drinks Package - Take a Coke from your mini bar - you'll get charged. Again just thoughtless. (So instead I go to the bar get a heap of unopened soft drinks and put them in the bard fridge). - 'Premium' Drinks Package - with a dreadfully limited selection by the glass of basic wines. If you are a wine drinker (primarily) I strongly urge you to give the drinks package a miss. The selection is very, very limited and anything but ‘premium’. - 'Premium' Drinks Package - in the specialty restaurants the wine by the glass choices are a contradiction (to align to 'specialty')... limited in terms of choice / country / region / variety / quality. - When I first cruised celebrity the wine experience was great. The Sommeliers were experienced and knowledgeable. They really should not use the term Sommelier for the wine crew on this cruise… can you believe we were served corked/off red wine in one of the specialty restaurants (because it had been left open for a few days), and the Sommelier just didn’t get it! - Main Dining room - Can't tell the difference between Celebrity and Royal Caribbean anymore. This has sadly been dumbed down to mass production without the culinary prowess the once defined the Celebrity difference. So the main dining experience is the centre of ‘Premium’ cruising. It’s where the nostalgia lives… Celebrity have absolutely dropped the ball here. The main dining room is pretty much sitting back in the industry pack now… so very disappointing!!! Bland, unseasoned, cold, huge variance from one guest plate to the next, lack of imagination (sides were pretty much boiled carrot, broccoli & a bit of mash with most meals). Also the dress standard Celebrity have held to all but disappeared… formal nights were really just neat casual. It’s not good when the buffet is way better than the main dining room. - Main Dining Room - can you imagine getting your 1st drinks order half way through your main course? (twice). - Constantly pushing up the prices on specialty dining (Tuscan now up to $45 US!!). But then at the bottom of the menu offering premium steaks for an additional $18... Really!! - Disembarkation… It’s amazing how much colder and unhospitable the crew became on disembarkation morning. We went to guest services to see if I could exchange some US for YEN... got an abrupt NO... with an immediate reminder that we had to get off the ship! In closing I was surprised at how aloof and closed off the managers and above were... almost like the guest were annoying them. But again the core crew were so great! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
About me: 7 prior cruises. Full-time wheelchair user. Somewhat active, wheeling several miles on a typical day. Middle-aged. I found the Millennium surprisingly UNaccommodating to passengers who, like me, need a wheelchair to get ... Read More
About me: 7 prior cruises. Full-time wheelchair user. Somewhat active, wheeling several miles on a typical day. Middle-aged. I found the Millennium surprisingly UNaccommodating to passengers who, like me, need a wheelchair to get around: 1) My wheelchair-accessible cabin had a ramp to get out to the balcony. Great. But NO ramp on the balcony side, just a 3.5" drop, making it unusable. I had to contact our cabin attendant, who then called engineering, who built a wooden ramp for me. Great, but shouldn't this have been done from the beginning? 2) Our table in the Metropolitan dining room was lovely. But didn't it occur to ANYONE that a table in the farthest corner from the entrance, with two heavy high-backed chairs (photo attached) might not be the best fit for someone requesting an accessible cabin?? 3) There was NO seating set aside in the Oceanview Buffet for wheelchair diners. Again, didn't it occur to ANYBODY on the dining staff that we might need tables that were easy to get to? (Again, after speaking to the maitre'd, by the end of the cruise there were heavy plastic "reserved for accessible seating" signs on 3 tables at the entrance, but I'm amazed I had to bring this to somebody's attention.) 4) We were invited to check out the Spa, but upon inspection I found the most (all?) of the therapy rooms had a 2 inch lip on the bottom of the doorway, blocking anyone with a wheelchair from getting in. Come on, guys, now you're actually BUILDING barriers preventing me from using your facilities. Deck 10, the pool deck, had automatic doors to the outside. But all the other doors on decks 4 and 11 were doorknob doors, making it challenging to get outside. And most of the hallway and large-room carpeting was like wheeling on velcro. I will say that the crew was extremely accommodating and more than willing to help out however they could, but my feeling was that Celebrity Corporate gave mere lip service to the concept of accessibility and couldn't care less about anyone actually needing accommodation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having done a number of Transatlantic cruises we opted for a Transpacific cruise to Tokyo, and the eight days at sea did not deter us. We flew from Toronto to Vancouver at 7:00am, arrived at 9:20am, took the Canada Line train from the ... Read More
Having done a number of Transatlantic cruises we opted for a Transpacific cruise to Tokyo, and the eight days at sea did not deter us. We flew from Toronto to Vancouver at 7:00am, arrived at 9:20am, took the Canada Line train from the airport to the port, and were ready to board the ship for the Concierge lunch in the dining room. While our cabin #8177 was not quite ready, the “touch” Seapass was on the door and we could drop off our carry-on bags. First impressions of the refurbished cabin were very positive. Fresh, clean décor, large TV screen, clear view from the balcony (with slight obstruction to the far left where the window cleaning ladder was stationed). Good number of wood hangers in the closet, soft closing drawers, ample lighting, USB ports. What we didn’t like: unable to regulate the fan speed, undersized sofabed for the available space, unable to angle the TV for viewing when sitting on the sofabed. As for the bathroom, while the shower stall has a nice door, it opens inwards, almost hitting the oversized grab bar leaving little space to maneuver. The grout on the tiled shower floor had many cracks which resulted in water leaking on to the floor. We asked to have this fixed, and we were given access to another cabin for half a day while the shower stall was re-grouted and re-caulked. Concierge Violetta Joson took charge of this case, sent us wine, strawberries and gave Future Cruise Credit for our inconvenience. This commitment to customer service in a friendly and honest manner was also demonstrated by many of the crew, including cabin steward Ronnie, assistant Maitre d’ Eric and waiter Limon to mention a few. The captain and senior officers were visible throughout and very approachable. The Elite breakfast, which was served in the Tuscan Grill on prior cruises, was moved to the MDR. In the new design, Tuscan Grill has shrunk in size, and access blocked off from the mid-ship lobby. In the first two days the breakfast was plated menu service and very disorganized. From the third day onwards it was a buffet service. Hot items were also included, which was a welcome addition to the Elite breakfast, but the pathetic so-called bagels need a new recipe. The Elite cocktail hour 5pm-7pm, allowed unlimited drinks in the Skylounge as well as the other bars. We had Select dining, and booked 6:45pm well in advance. Only once we had to wait with a buzzer, since we changed the reservation from 2 to 4 persons. The food and service in the MDR was up to Celebrity standard – good to very good. The Oceanview Café was nicely re-designed with a variety of seating options. Pizzas and fajitas bar were very good, but there is no stir-fry station, available on the Solstice class ships. Our days at sea were filled with many activities ably supplied by Cruise Director Steve Gayda. The guest speakers were excellent, the Asia Film Festival screened good quality movies. Evening entertainment was good to very good, with notable highlights of Tom Franek (piano acrobat and sing-along), aerialists Julia and Alan, and Scottish soprano Elaine Gray. Weather was pleasant on our port days. There were a couple of moderate seas and windy days on the crossing, being on the edges of a passing storm. Clock were set back one hour almost every night. After a few days it was difficult to stay awake past 9pm. We “skipped” Friday the 13th when crossing the International Date Line. Upon arrival to our first port in Japan we had to get through immigration process. Celebrity and Japanese officials were very efficient and quick. Lines were short and within minutes we were done and ready to go ashore. The ports of call offered a good variety. Sitka in Alaska with its wildlife and forests, and Japan’s destinations with the small town of Otaru, a larger city Hakedote, and metropolis Yokohama. Celebrity provided free shuttles at all the ports except for Otaru, where we docked within walking distance of town centre. Disembarkation was also well organized and efficient. We were off the ship, with the Captain and the senior officers lining up to bid us farewell. What a thoughtful and heart-warming gesture. How can you not want to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find ... Read More
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find them to be any better than going to the dining room. Also, the main dining room the service is poor. The guys are overworked and overwhelmed. Did have one experience that was not good with the Shores excursion department. Over an excursion purchased through them. The spa service is not very good when it comes to doing your nails. I find that they overcharge. The most positive thing that I enjoyed was having Captains Club Desk. Always very kind, helpful to take care of any issues. This trip on Millennium ship has made me think that I would consider now trying other cruise lines. We are elite members of Celebrity and have been very loyal to Celebrity. Through the years I’ve seen Celebrity changing and not for the good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Good: Great staff, everyone from the room attendant up to the waiters, Concierge, Captains Club representative and Hotel Director couldn't have been nicer. The Ship is in good shape. The Cruise Director Steve is everywhere and ... Read More
The Good: Great staff, everyone from the room attendant up to the waiters, Concierge, Captains Club representative and Hotel Director couldn't have been nicer. The Ship is in good shape. The Cruise Director Steve is everywhere and enthusiastic. The Captain is everywhere (who's steering the ship??) but is very pleasant and does his best to communicate with the passengers even though his heavily accented Greek/English almost requires a translator. The Average: This was a re-positioning cruise through the Gulf of Alaska known for its difficult weather so when the weather is bad, you can't enjoy the outside. On bad weather days, the buffet is so crowded you can't find a seat because the overflow that usually sits on the deck by the pool are inside due to the weather. Best to go to the formal dining room. The Not so Good: While there is a difference of opinion between my spouse and I, I found the Entertainment second or third rate and the production shows boring. We have experienced much better entertainment on re-positioning cruises including on Celebrity. The food was only average or worse. Breakfasts were good, we rarely ate lunch but the dinners were another story. The appetizers at dinner were good and some of the main course meals (Prime Rib of Beef, Duck, Lamb Chops were good) the rest was not. This is not a problem with the quality of food, it is how it was (over) cooked and sometimes, had little flavor. Don't order the chicken or fish unless you want shoe leather texture. One woman at our table loved fish and ordered it every night only to be constantly disappointed by the tough overcooked fish they served her. She complained with no success, even sending it back for a replacement only to receive the same overcooked tough fish again. I lay this on the feet of the Head Chef who has been on this ship for some time and is responsible for supervising the cooks. Some people say that fish, poultry and pork should be cooked right through (tell that to the Sushi Chefs) but good restaurants and chefs have been producing juicy versions for years. Quite disappointing! On the subject of restaurants, the Specialty Restaurants were overpriced and in the case of the Sushi restaurant not popular. They were heavily discounting this one at the end of the cruise and most of the time we passed it during the dinner hour there were only a handful of couples in it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days ... Read More
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days together but we got a routine of trivias, podium talks, hot tubs and eating in the day as the weather was too cold to be out on deck much or in the swimming pool. The speakers were entertaining, one gave talks on major trials. Another did Buddhism history and meditation and a third did varied talks from Rasputin to dog behaviour. The afternoon progressive trivia was fun if you had got a team together. It wasnt too rough so seasickness wasnt an issue either. We did have to change our clocks forward about 6 separate times to be on Vancouver time by arrival butbetter than getting full jetlag. So repositioing was worth doing, although the stop in Russia was a waste of time except to stretch your legs! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while ... Read More
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while the smaller dining room is nice & Blu, gave us access to two menus (Blu and Main), we do not feel the extra cost of Aqua class was merited. There were some instances where the entrees lacked flavor and were overcooked. One of our travelling companions made the remark that the crepe suzettes dessert tasted like "hockey pucks." Early on, we expressed our disappointment to Guest Relations. Subsequently the Head Chef came to our table and explained that the food comes frozen from the US. and that may alter the freshness factor and taste. Having been on numerous Celebrity cruises, Europe, Caribbean and the TransAtlantic, this was quite a unique explanation. On a positive note, service in Blu was excellent and the wait staff were always willing to exchange any food that was not to your liking. The Blu hostess was also extremely accommodating. As on all our Celebrity cruises the cabin attendant "Z" kept our room in excellent shape. Also we had fun with the Celebrity Life staff, particularly with Jaz and Tim. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
As the caption suggests, my main dissatisfaction with the cruise was the was overly-amplified "ambient" music everywhere, and it was always of the thump-thump variety. There was no escaping it. I will never cruise on ... Read More
As the caption suggests, my main dissatisfaction with the cruise was the was overly-amplified "ambient" music everywhere, and it was always of the thump-thump variety. There was no escaping it. I will never cruise on Celebrity again. For those who do not object to this terrible noise, I am adding a few comments on other aspects of the cruise. The promotional material said the port of embarkation would be Yokohama. With no explanation and no apology Celebrity sent out an e-mail saying the ship would leave from an freighter port about ten miles from Yokohama. I had to change my hotel reservations. Some people said they didn't get the e-mail, went to the wrong port, and had to scramble. Some poor souls probably failed to make it on board at all. Changes must sometimes be made, of course, but failing to acknowledge inconveniencing your customers and to apologize is a serious breach in good service. Regarding the cabin, the shower was roomy and functioned perfectly. It was the best cruise ship shower I've seen. The little lady who tended to my needs was sweet and responsive. Sheets were changed every three days, which was nice. The bed was over-burdened with huge pillows. I stowed them over the closet and under the bed. My cabin attendant got me a reasonably-sized pillow. The mirror had a big circle of light around it. If I sat on the sofa, the light reflected off my glasses, producing an image in the mirror of me with luminous circular eyes. I was amused. The TVs are bolted to the wall, so when the TV was playing next door, I could hear it. The food in the dining room was mediocre, meaning it wasn't very tasty. The emphasis seemed to be on what is called “presentation.” Typically, food is placed in a heap, rather than segregated on the plate. Maybe this is artistic, but the assemblage has to be taken apart before one eats it. As for the specialty restaurants, I didn't try them. Two [Luminae and Blu] were reserved for people higher up in Celebrity's caste system. As a peasant, I was not allowed in them. There was no library on board. A room called “The Retreat” looked like it served that purpose, but it was off-limits to serfs like me. The ship does not have a card room, but we were allowed to play in the upper dining room near the door into the service area, where there was an escalator in serious need of grease. The throbbing of the escalator, along with thumping ambient music, did not make for a relaxed card game. I imagine dining there would be less than ideal, too. Nearby were tables for two with seats enclosed in a cove of foam. That might help a little with sound abatement. One of the bars had two talented chanteuses and a dance floor. It was a pleasant and entertaining way to spend a little time in the evening. The shows in the auditorium were all grossly over-amplified. The grandest featured elaborately-costumed and energetic dancers wearing fake microphones and lip-syncking to recorded music. I don't expect an orchestra on a cruise ship, but at least the singing should be real. Enrichment included a man who talked interestingly about crime in Los Angeles. The other lecturer, while a dynamic speaker, did not have much of interest to say. His lecture on the Pacific Ocean basically said it is big. I like to go to the gym and use the treadmill. Who needs music playing at all or, if it is necessary, why at such high volume? Maybe you want to watch TV, listen to content on your phone, or just read. The loud music is an annoying distraction. All this noise is a deal-breaker for me. I'll never cruise on Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much ... Read More
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much more enjoyable so thats what we look for now. Our cabin, an A1 was a long way from the spa and because of the weather we didn't use it. The room was very well done and the bed was very comfortable. By the time we finished breakfast our room was usually finished. Very clean.did n The buffett was usually crowded but never so much that we couldn't find a place to sit. I noticed, and reported, when a guest came back and dumped his leftover food back into the container. After that I only ate what was served. No more self serve. I feel that they should have someone at all the stations. I have no desire to eat a strangers leftovers. The lounge music venues were very nice. The service in Blu as always was excellent. Daniell and Jet, our waiters, Yudie(sp) the Maitre d' and the wonderful hostess were were so friendly and professional. Overall the shows we great with one notable exception. The music was so loud it overpowered the singers and the guest piano player. It was also.was damaging to our ears. Some of the performances we had to leave because of the music. I don't know why the music director thinks that louder is better. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose the transpacific cruise because of the ports and Celebrity Solstice because of reviews and recommendations. Very pleased we went Aqua class as the food and service in Blu restaurant was outstanding, especially for anyone with ... Read More
We chose the transpacific cruise because of the ports and Celebrity Solstice because of reviews and recommendations. Very pleased we went Aqua class as the food and service in Blu restaurant was outstanding, especially for anyone with special dietary requirements. By comparison, the main dining room was mediocre, but the buffet was better than expected. The Spa cafe was also good for light breakfast and lunch options but the burgers at the Mast Grill were disappointing. Al Bacio Cafe is very popular for specialty coffee and tea but expensive unless you have a drinks package. The daily treats there are provided free and some are very good. The gym is modern and spacious and evening entertainment was very good, especially the Lighthouse Duo and Gilly and the Girl. Some of the special artists were also great but there was a lack of variety of activities during the day and the cruise catered more to an older crowd with two sets of five consecutive sea days with mostly passive activities on offer. Although there were a small number of families on board this cruise which spanned the school holidays, and there is a kids club, the ship does not really cater to children or a younger crowd. It is quite accessible for people with mobility issues but there were often long delays for the lifts especially when disembarking. There were only 6 ports of call on this 19 night cruise so it was disappointing for a cruise called Tahitian Treasures that we visited two of the three ports in Tahiti over Easter where many places were closed due to the holidays. Shore excursions can be prebooked through the cruise line or independently online for convenience but are usually much cheaper and quite easy to book when you arrive in a port if you have done some research beforehand. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This is going to be long winded! So many times, I have read that this itinerary only comes around twice a year and therefore, fewer reviews. If I can help anyone decide to take this journey, my job will be done. I decided to sail from ... Read More
This is going to be long winded! So many times, I have read that this itinerary only comes around twice a year and therefore, fewer reviews. If I can help anyone decide to take this journey, my job will be done. I decided to sail from Honolulu instead of Sydney mainly to escape airline luggage restrictions and also to rest after my first visit to Hawaii. This trip was 18 months in planning with no stones unturned. I really don’t know where to start. I’m always sceptical about people who have a gripe against a cruise line or hotel when something goes wrong that clouds their entire review (sometimes due to unrealistic expectations), or those, much like me, who can see no wrong. I’m a glass half full kind of person. I will try to give this review balance. A little background. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii and more importantly, to Bora Bora, my bucket list place. My youngest daughter aged 19 and I flew to Hawaii on Jetstar on September 24 from Sydney. We spent a marvellous week there before embarking the Solstice on Oct 1 for the cruise home via French Polynesia and New Zealand. What a month-long journey it was…. We stayed at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel in a premier oceanfront room. The view was stunning and well worth the extra cost for this room in my opinion. It made me constantly “feel” I was finally in Hawaii. It’s located next to the Park Shore Hotel and the Zoo in the quieter end of Waikiki. It was an easy 10-minute walk to Waikiki central. The staff at this hotel were friendly, helpful and professional. We luckily paid $USD60 for an early check in which was much appreciated after arriving from Sydney at 6am. Those overnight flights are brutal if you can’t sleep on a plane (like me). Check in and check out was super easy and fast. The pool area was very pleasant. You could check out towels and deck chairs to take to the beach across the road without charge. There’s an ice machine on some floors. One thing about this hotel is that there is no room service. That didn’t bother us in the least because there were 2 ABC stores, a Wolfgang Puck, a juice place, a cookie store and a Subway on the ground level. The weather in Hawaii was very warm and humid. The locals saying that it was unusually so due to the recent hurricanes and volcanic activity around the islands. I enjoyed swimming at Kuhio Beach to cool down on many occasions. The ocean was refreshing and not cold. Whilst in Hawaii we went with Oahu Photography Tours to the “North Shore” and a “Beautiful Hawaii” tour. I can highly recommend them. You don’t need to be a photographer. They will help you get great shots at some beautiful locations if you want or you can do your own thing. An iphone is just as good as an SLR. We took both. It’s a great way to see the island. I do have to say here that many people we spoke with went to the North Shore with Hi5. It sounds that this may have been a better option. I will go with them next time. Oh, and there will be a next time. Already booked for next June before I even left Hawaii. LOL. We also went to Pearl Harbour. Got a shuttle from our hotel, for something like $USD32 return for both of us. Of course, you still can’t disembark the boat onto the memorial due to structural defects, however, the moving video and 2 free museums were well worth the visit. The movie really explained in simple terms why and how the bombing of Pearl Harbour occurred. Such a tragedy. I booked Arizona tickets online two months out. We got there two hours before our tour asked if we could change our times. Numbers are down so we were able to do that no problem and did not have to wait. One morning at 6am we hiked Diamond Head. We caught an Uber as the buses weren’t running that early. My daughter called it the “death hike” although it wasn’t that bad. It was tough though. There were lots of places to stop and rest on the way up with great photo opportunities. There are lots of uneven lava paths, tunnels and stairs +++. I saw some young and older people have trips and spills. TIP. Once you get to the top and arrive at the near vertical stairs on your right, turn left, a much easier climb to the summit. We were greeted by an amazing scene that included a rainbow! Well worth the effort. Some other things we did was to eat Poke’ in backstreet restaurants, tuna, salmon and octopus, yum. I tried Loco Moco once, and ate at a lovely Italian place, Arancino Di Mare, down near the zoo. Beautiful food. Of course, we went to the Cheesecake Factory and Dukes. No complaints. Lulu’s attached to the Park Shore had great breakfast although way to big portions that were very tasty and economical. Get one meal for two. Great views too. Tikis grill at our hotel was lovely too. You could have a light meal by the pool with drinks or dine in the restaurant for a more a la carte menu. There was nightly music and entertainment. We were on the 10th floor and the music was enjoyable, not intrusive. Of course, we also did some retail therapy at the Waikele outlets and Ala Moana Centre and got some high-end bargains compared to prices in Australia. We caught an Uber to the outlets from Ala Moana, $USD35, and then got a Robert’s air-conditioned bus back to the hotel for $USD10 each which you could book at the outlets. Now to the cruise October 1, got to the terminal by 11am with Hawaii23 shuttle service and were on board by 12 eating lunch at a dedicated dining room function for Concierge class. A lovely way to start. This would be my 7th cruise. All the others on Royal Caribbean. As Concierge class we were invited by the concierge Javier, to the bridge and to sail into Auckland on the helipad which were really nice touches. The main advantage of Concierge class for me was the location. We had a hump cabin on the pool deck with a bigger balcony. We were starboard and had shade most of the day. From day 1 I was blown away. This ship by far is the best I have been on. Probably the biggest difference is that this ship seems to have 2 passengers to each crew member. That is amazing. Considering I have been on Ovation where it was probably 10 to 1. There were no lines on this ship! The Solstice staff were standout. They are truly a credit to their ship and industry. So friendly and willing to help anyone and assist at every opportunity. I could name so many people. But here goes some….Greg and Abel on the pool deck, Maurice, our room attendant, Jim, Faishoul, Kim and Almandi in the dining room. Thank you. You deserve all the recognition you can get. The Solstice has tendering down to a fine art. We had no problems getting off or back on the ship whenever we wanted. We were docked for Honolulu, Papeete, Auckland and of course Sydney. The entertainment was enjoyable with a few standout performances. I enjoyed the enrichment talks about sharks, rays and turtles etc with Brent Nixon prior to French Polynesia. They were appropriate and informative. Especially as we would be swimming with them in Bora Bora. The food was amazing. Not one bad meal. We were careful not to overeat and enjoyed our food. Often skipping lunch after a lovely breakfast where you are spoiled for choice. Occasionally we had a hot dog or burger from the Mast Grill that were always tasty. We dined at many of the specialty restaurants, namely Murano, Silk Harvest, and Tuscan Grill. The flambé lobster at Murano was particularly good. At Silk Harvest, we did a set menu that consisted of a lot of seafood with an Asian twist titled Silk ‘n’ Soul. Very nice. Tuscan Grill was my least favourite, only because I am not a steak person. We had pre-purchased a 3-night dining package. Most nights we did select dining and did not ever wait to be seated. We were treated like royalty. We ate breakfast in the Oceanview café daily except when we ordered room service on days that we had early tenders. It was on time, complete and still hot enough to eat. I was not going to purchase a drink package; however, I could not pass up the premium package for $AUD46 a day! It went on sale just before our cruise. By the time I had daily bottled water, speciality coffees, soft drink, nightly wine with dinner and a cocktail or two, it worked out economical for me. Whenever we went ashore I would grab some cold bottled water to take with me. I suppose I should mention here that we were advised not to drink anything other than sealed bottles of water in French Polynesia which surprised me a little. We were also warned about having drinks with ice in it. My daughter had the premium non-alcoholic package which was not on sale. I was under the impression that she would not be able to drink alcohol as this cruise originated in the USA where drinking laws are 21. However, after clearing Hawaii and in international waters, the drinking age was reduced to 18. So, she ended up having a couple of drinks which were charged at full price and 18% gratuity. Luckily for me she doesn’t drink much. Our first port of call was Maui after departing Honolulu at midnight. We had organised a ship’s tour on what was a beautiful day without any wind. A 45min helicopter flight. How else to see the most of Maui in one day? I can only say that it was worth every dollar. My daughter and I travelled in the front with the pilot as we ascended 10000 feet to the Haleakala Crater. Awe inspiring. It looked like something out of a sci fi movie. A bit like Mars, the red planet. We then travelled the road to Hana by air and saw majestic waterfalls and beautiful terrain that you can’t see from the road. We travelled the famous Jurassic Park helicopter scene into the “park” as Blue Hawaiian had the contract for all the helicopter scenes for all the Jurassic movies. On return to the port we visited the shops and bought some souvenirs and enjoyed the shade of the Banyan Tree. After Maui we had 5 sea days. There was always something to do around the ship or relax around the pool. The cruise director, Rick Spacey and his team could certainly entertain. The uniformed staff often played games against passengers which I think they genuinely enjoyed. Many people debated that 5 sea days in a row were too much, however, I didn’t think so. I used the Canyon Ranch Spa for a massage and a manicure however I found the staff unengaging, condescending and dismissive on two different occasions. Karin who did the massage and Kim the advanced aesthetics technician who did my nails were less than happy to be there in my opinion. I believe they are not employed by Celebrity which could have enhanced their business in my eyes. I could not wait to get out of there. Our next port of call was Papeete, Tahiti. The city itself was like any other capital city with a French flavour. We did another ships tour down the West Coast. It was a nice way to see some of the island. We visited a grotto, a scared ground, and a botanical garden. We called into the markets to buy some souvenirs and found them to be quite expensive. $USD10 for a fridge magnet minimum. This was the same all over French Polynesia. I did get some beautiful unique flower arrangements for my granddaughters to wear in their hair. The next port day was Bora Bora. My destination!! I was up early because I was so excited. It was another beautiful day. I had organised a private tour for about 30 cruisers with Maohi Nui. We had booked nearly a year out to ensure we could experience all Bora Bora has to offer. 12 of us, 6 at a time, did a full day combo tour for $USD215 each which included going up the mountain in a 4-wheel drive for some stunning views, a drive around the island with commentary from Arii who was obviously proud of his country and culture. Up the mountain we visited an artist studio where I bought 4 beautiful hand painted sarongs for my family at home. They were not cheap but definitely unique and of good quality. The artist said it takes him 4-5 hours to paint each one. We then went down the mountain and boarded a 12-seater outrigger canoe with Teddy and Vaitiare and went snorkelling in a coral garden. So many fish all swimming around you. We were serenaded by ukulele as we were taken through the pristine waters to Patrick’s private motu for a true Polynesian feast of suckling pig cooked underground. It was melt in the mouth good! It was served with fruits cooked in the oven, two types of BBQ fish, a chicken and spinach dish and some salad. Cold drinks were supplied and included bottled water, beer, wine, soft drink and champagne. We ate with our hands as you do in Bora Bora from banana leaf plates. After lunch, Patrick performed his fire dance before we headed back to the outrigger to swim with sharks and rays, and that we did in 1-2 metres of water! It was thrilling. Finally, we headed out to the reef to swim in 40ft of deep blue water on top of sharks deep below. To top everything off, a mother and calf whale breached in front of our outrigger as we headed back to the port. What a day! Words are not enough. This day turned out to be the highlight of our month-long holiday. It’s a good idea to take water shoes, an underwater camera, and your own snorkels as we did. If you go to Bora Bora, do yourself a favour and tour with Maohi Nui. Vaitiare likes to book groups to make her job easier so use your roll call and organise things early with one person to do the planning. I do recommend the combo tour however only 12 people per day can do this. The other cruisers did the full day tour and Polynesian lunch minus the 4 wheel drive up and around the island and most raved about the day. All money is payable on the day in cash. The last port of call in French Polynesia was Moorea. It was very hot and humid. We booked the ships Capture Moorea photo tour. It was a lovely way to see the island from Belvedere Lookout and atop Magic Mountain. It was very majestic scenery. After we left French Polynesia, the weather changed. We had cold windy weather with 4 metre swells. They closed the top decks for a couple of days. I was rocked to sleep two nights in a row. The weather settled a little in New Zealand and remained cool till we reached Sydney. Fortunately, I heard of no one coming down with gastro. Unfortunately, many people including myself became unwell in the last few days of the cruise. Many people were quarantined due to influenza A or another virus going around that caused razor blade throats and a hacking cough. I am still recovering. I don’t blame Celebrity for this. The ship was kept meticulously clean and they maintained mandatory hand sanitising. It was just a consequence of many people in a confined space with viruses that were airborne and helped along via the air conditioning when everyone was forced inside due to inclement weather. Despite the illness, I had the time of my life!! I met so many nice people to share my time with. I can now tick off Bora Bora and hope that you can too one day. It really is paradise. Everything else on this remarkable voyage was a bonus. Tours Hana and Haleakala Helicopter Exploration ++++ Discover Tahiti’s West Coast +++ Maohi Nui- Bora Bora ++++++ Capture Moorea- Photo tour ++++ Auckland- Hop on Hop off bus and the Skywalk +++ Bay of Islands- Island and Cave Adventure ++ Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We did the Tahitian Treasures Cruise on Solstice from Honolulu to Sydney for the second time now. We enjoy seadays and chose Aqua Class because of the breakfast in Blu and access to Persian Gardens. Dinner in Blu is a nice plus and we are ... Read More
We did the Tahitian Treasures Cruise on Solstice from Honolulu to Sydney for the second time now. We enjoy seadays and chose Aqua Class because of the breakfast in Blu and access to Persian Gardens. Dinner in Blu is a nice plus and we are happy to report that the food has been significantly better compared to our Blu experience from last year! Our cabin 1543 showed some wear under the roof on the balcony (visible and rusty holes) beside this, it was kept extraordinarily well by our steward Santan. He was incredibly hard working and we can't praise him enough! Overall the ship is still in very good condition - just the seats in the theatre desperatly need a new padding and one hot chair in Persian Guardens seems to be out of order for more than 1 year! We love seadays and we have immensely enjoyed Brent Nixon's lectures and those of Mary Amanda (B. Nixon's wife). The Hawaiian enrichment where enjoyable and authentic, but we had the feeling, that they have just been squeezed into the daily programme without very much attention - which resulted often tin conflicts with other important programme points. Too bad, because our tutors where hard working and overly friendly and helpful. The shows where hit and miss, often very good and spectacular, but then noticeably cheap (repetetive jugglers and the comedian was not funny at all) and boring. Our cruise director Richard and his sidekick Tim where more entertaining than the jugglers and comedians of the main program. Food in Blu was outstanding all the way and Ocenview Cafe always offered an incredible offering of various food and we always found something delicious there. The crew is exceptionally hardworking and overly friendy - with one exception: Guest Service who had a different attitude: "No, you customer are wrong, we can't help you" and we could always feel that they where afraid that complaints could lead to potential refunds (which we never asked for). We dined twice in Murano - top notch from beginning to end and being helped by Sandra was like being guest at a friend's home! She's a gem! We also dined twice in Sushi on 5 and where excited about their offerings that had nothing to do with Sushi! We enjoyed the Lobster Ramen, the Lobster Wan Tan and in particular the Ramen Sliders (Wagyu burgers). Having booked the dining package for 4 nights in advance, Sushi on 5 and Murano gave a very good value for money. All meals in Blu where excellent and beyond what we have experienced last year, the staff around Tanja where absolutely outstanding and it was just like returning to family. It really was that good! We did read a lot about Celebrity diming down and to be honest (with the exception of the lack of the daily 2 bottles of water) we could not sense anything compared to last year - quite the opposite: Everything was slightly better compared to last year. One negative thing: We had to leave ports in Bora Bora at 6:00, Moorea at 5:00, Auckland and Bay of Island at 6:00. Keeping in mind the tender times, this all left not enough time at the destinations and we have heard complaints, that Celebrity excursions left viewpoints before sunset just to be right on time back on the ships. These stays should be longer (and have been mostly longer in the last year) to enable guests to enjoy more of these phantastic destinations. Another niggle: Last year, we had an Hawaiian Farewell show with Hula dancers of all ages (particularly the little boys and girls where just adorable!!!) - nothing like that this year and we really missed it! All in all, it was an almost perfect experience and we can highly recommend cruising on Celebrity Solstice! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My wife and I had twelve prior cruises under our belt, but had never done a re-positioning cruise. The "Tahitian Treasures" cruise from Honolulu to Sydney via French Polynesia and New Zealand sounded like just the ticket for our ... Read More
My wife and I had twelve prior cruises under our belt, but had never done a re-positioning cruise. The "Tahitian Treasures" cruise from Honolulu to Sydney via French Polynesia and New Zealand sounded like just the ticket for our inaugural re-positioning, and we were not disappointed in the slightest. The Solstice, although the oldest of the Solstice class ships, is still relatively young (in service since 2008) and is in tip-top shape. Everything is sparkling clean, in good working order, and we didn't see anything that showed signs of wear and tear. Our stateroom was reasonably spacious for two, as was the veranda. One thing I liked was that the bed frames were high enough off the floor to easily allow our 29-inch suitcases (and we had four of them since we were staying on in Australia after the cruise and needed clothing for a couple of climate zones) to fit underneath them. There is also a nice-sized couch in addition to a small but functional desk. The large TV provided for easy viewing and the controls worked well. Storage space was adequate, but just barely. More drawer space would have been nice although I'm not sure where it could have gone. One minor complaint is that the safe was in a less-than-convenient spot, requiring you to get on your hands and knees to operate it. At least there was a safe, however, which we think is a critical piece of equipment for storing passports and other valuable. This was the first time we opted for Celebrity's "Select Dining" rather than having a fixed dining time and fixed seating assignment, and we found it worked quite well. Being able to eat when we wanted was very convenient, and allowed us to select the time that best worked relative to shows or other activities that we wished to see. We never had to wait for a table, and although the tables are relatively close together, it afforded us the opportunity to meet some very nice people while also avoiding the situation, which has sometimes occurred, of being seated for the whole cruise at a table with people with whom you have nothing in common. Also, over time Celebrity has cut back on the selections available in the main dining room, and we found that on some nights where there was nothing that compelling on the main menu we enjoyed the more relaxed atmosphere of the buffet in the Ocean View Cafe. Food quality was uniformly good in the main dining room and the Ocean View Cafe. We also tried three of the premium restaurants -- Silk Harvest (Asian fusion--nothing particularly impressive), Murano (continental--limited menu but excellent quality and superb service), and Tuscan Grill (Italian/steak house--good amount of choices, also with excellent quality and service). We found the entertainment on this cruise to be somewhat better than on other Celebrity cruises we have taken in the last couple of years. There was a good variety of singers, comedians, and production shows. We particularly enjoyed Ivan Rutherford, who for many years was in the Broadway production of Les Miserables, and Nikki Barrett, an Australian singer. The singers, dancers and band really put their all into the production shows. Although we enjoyed some of the shows more than others, we never for a moment felt that any of the cast were putting less than 100% into their efforts, even though by this point (they were all near the end of their tours) they must have done these shows any number of times. The only entertainer we were a little put off by was a juggler who, although quite talented, made a number of comments we thought were a bit too edgy for an audience that included some (although granted not a lot) of children. Special mention goes to one of the bands, Jeam Beam, who we thought did an excellent job with every genre of rock, pop and contemporary music. Service was exemplary. We don't know how they do it day in and day out, but one thing we have found on every Celebrity cruise we have taken is that to a person, the crew is friendly, cheerful, and anxious to please. Being a re-positioning cruise, there were lots of sea days, but we never felt bored or as if we were going through the same routine day after day. There were a variety of activities to keep us busy, and plenty of time to just sit, relax, and read if that's all we wanted to do for the moment. We enjoyed all the ports of call and the shore excursions we did, although Papeete on Tahiti was something of a disappointment--a bit grungy around the edges. Bora Bora and Moorea were excellent, and we highly recommend the Aqua Safari on Bora Bora--you put on a diving helmet into which air is pumped under pressure so it keeps the water out, and you can walk on the sea bed 15 feet below the surface, surrounded by hordes of tropical fish. A truly memorable experience! Moorea was scenically magical--very reminiscent of Bali Hai in South Pacific. For some reason, it has been dropped from next year's itinerary for this cruise, however. Would we do this cruise again? In a heartbeat! It was one of the best we've ever done. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had traveled on this ship last year in Alaska in a small suite. We felt like we were treated like royalty. This trip was a transpacific with many days at sea,so we took a Royal Suite. The room was very comfortable and the butler and ... Read More
We had traveled on this ship last year in Alaska in a small suite. We felt like we were treated like royalty. This trip was a transpacific with many days at sea,so we took a Royal Suite. The room was very comfortable and the butler and concierge were outstanding. The ship is going into refurbishment and it needs it. Carpet is worn and paint is peeling. We had the feeling that the ship was shorthanded. We mostly ate in the Luminae restaurant. This is where we saw fewer servers than last year.The shower was small but very nice. The room was clean and comfortable and while the closet was small,there was ample drawer and cabinet space. Having been to Sitka before, there were no excursions that interested us. We did a ship excursion in Otaru, but did not get much out of it. We thought the entertainment was mediocre at best. WiFi was better than expected on a transpacific with so many days at sea. I would travel with this ship again after the refurbishment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We took the Celebrity Millennium on a 15 day trans-Pacific trip from Vancouver to Tokyo. It was a trip we were anxiously anticipating since the ship was scheduled initially to go to Dutch Harbor in the Alueutian Islands, a port we would ... Read More
We took the Celebrity Millennium on a 15 day trans-Pacific trip from Vancouver to Tokyo. It was a trip we were anxiously anticipating since the ship was scheduled initially to go to Dutch Harbor in the Alueutian Islands, a port we would never visit otherwise. Six months ago, Celebrity cancelled the port and substituted Sitka. We were never notified of the change nor were our traveling companions who had booked directly with the cruise line. When we discovered the intinerary change, I called to ask why this was done and why we weren’t notified. Basically we were told that it had something to do with Chinese immigration...yes, that’s right...Chinese immigration even though the last time I looked, Dutch Harbor was in the United States. In truth, the person I was talking with was reading from a paper and couldn’t answer any questions. He said that it was the responsibility of our travel agency to inform us of the itinerary change. I called American Express and they had no record of any changes and, as I indicated, our friends who booked directly with Celebrity were not informed either. The “customer service” represented basically told me my only option was to cancel the cruise. Nice. We boarded the ship in Vancouver and the check in was excellent...much better than we have had at the port on previous cruises. The ship is old and worn but it still has character and we like the small size of the ship...2,100 passengers. Captain Alex is awesome. He is quite a personality and just a lot of fun. He is also visiable around the ship which is nice. Overall, the service on the ship was good and the staff was accommodating even though it is a stressful voyage for them with 8 consecuative days at sea. Sitka is a nice port...no complaints about that other than it wasn’t Dutch Harbor. On the first night of the trip, we were eating in a speciality restaurant when the power went out throughout the ship. This was three hours into the voyage. The generates came on with emergency power and I guess the problem was resolved in about 60 minutes. A disturbing way to start a trip when you are crossing the Pacific Ocean. The cabin was fine...we had an eight deck concierge class room with the option of a bottle of champagne every day. The beds are average. Princess is doing a much better job now with their new beds in all staterooms. Lots of rust on the ship but it is going into a major dry dock in 2019. The buffet lunch was average at best. It was always over crowded and guests would sit at tables for hours playing cards and drinking coffee. You could not get a table until after 2 PM for lunch. There is little effort to encourage guests to eat and then vacate tables. They finally put out tent cards with that except they were only in English and they needed to be in at least two other languages. Food was mediocre. The main dining room was better. The service was very good; food just ok but that is not the waiters fault. The gym was absolutely terrible. You could not get a treadmill at any time of the day or night. People would monopolize the machines for hours despite people waiting. It was so bad that security had to be called at least two times that we know of to prevent fights from breaking out. We finally gave up on the gym after a week...it wasn’t worth the hassles or the frustrations. They don’t have enough equipment, the room is too small, and they need to get rid of the paid exercise classes to accommodate passengers who want to work out. The excursions on the ship in Japan were not worth the expense. They mostly consisted of being transported to a certain area and given free time to explore on your own. The Japanese hosts were lovely people but there wasn’t a whole lot to the tours. It seems that the trend in cruise lines is now to de-emphasize service and to find more “revenue enhancement” activities to make more money. That is not a good policy for elite passengers who travel a lot. The evening cocktail party for elites has been reduced in hours and there is now a three drink maximum during that time. Yes, you can use your cruise card at other bars between 5 and 7 PM but the purpose of the party is to visit with other passengers. Overall, it was an ok cruise but, in truth, a bit of a disappointment. We have been looking more at Princess lately and have some pretty good sailings with them. Maybe it is time to switch once and for all? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
When I was looking for a cruise, I was excited to see that the Celebrity Millennium was rated a 5. Previously, I had been on 4.5 rated ships which I thought were fine ships so, I thought the Millennium would be exceptional. I was wrong! ... Read More
When I was looking for a cruise, I was excited to see that the Celebrity Millennium was rated a 5. Previously, I had been on 4.5 rated ships which I thought were fine ships so, I thought the Millennium would be exceptional. I was wrong! Overall, I don’t think the Millennium quite measured up to the other ships. I don’t mean that it is a bad ship. it isn’t. It wouldn’t be my first choice but I would take it again. My cabin was better than I had on any of the other ships in the same category. The entertainment, except for the library, was at least as good. The food was slightly below the quality I’ve had on other ships but always equal or above what I’d expect at a good coffee shop. The service was a slight bit below that on other ships I’ve been on but I feel that was management’s fault, not the actual staff that provided the service. To me, service is the complete service package, not just that provided by the actual servers. Millennium management seems to have the idea that to increase profits they can increase the service charge and lower the size of the staff. (It’s called a gratuity but in actuality it is a charge added on to the bill.) I don't mind paying a gratuity and I can't suggest a solution that would insure an adequate gratuity for good service but I don't feel the service charge system on the Millennium insured good service. There were staff members who I thought deserved something extra but as the overall service charge was already over twenty percent of the fare, I didn't give them any extra. It seems that there may be too few staff members to maintain the highest quality or that the training of staff is lacking attention to detail. For example, an inspection of the cafeteria will reveal several instances of neglect: pastries that have been maimed by passengers, food trays with only one or two items left in disarray within them. Unmanned stations. Food trays that are almost impossible to reach. These are all parts of the service I have come to expect on a cruise ship based on my experience with other lines. Examples of what I consider less than adequate service also include the following. . Too few tables in cafeteria. At busy times it was extremely difficult to find a table. Sometimes I had to make two or more complete rounds of the restaurant to find one. This created an unpleasant competitive atmosphere among diners looking for a table. The food stations used for clearing tables in the cafe are in full view. Food scraps in full view are very unappetizing! There were receptacles for teaspoons near coffee stations for both clean and dirty spoons. These could be easily confused and I think passengers sometimes were confused as to which was which because I got a couple of “clean” ones that were were wet and sticky. I also got a napkin wrapped knife that was covered in brown stuff. Coffee stations were often out of coffee (brewing) and usually the coffee was only warm. Pastry area was often a mess - mangled cakes, helter-skelter smaller items. Roast beef and pork were usually somewhat dry and tough. Had Kobe meatloaf that was extremely salty. I had lobster one night which was very good but most of the other food was fairly average.. Waiting time to get into the more formal restaurant always over 15 minutes. Sometimes seemed that there were empty tables. Perhaps this is because there is not enough staff to accommodate the number of passengers. Many of the single party deuces were separated by less than five inches - too close together. The physical menu was lackluster (one page of drinks for sale, the other the menu) which, to me, made the menu offerings less than exciting. I think that when one comes to eat, the food should be the first thing one sees on the menu. The wine list is comprised of mostly overly expensive wines. Limited information is provided about which restaurants are specialty restaurants and their costs and which restaurants were for the lower class passengers and which for the two higher classes of passengers - a rather elitist boat. The Library on the Millennium was an extreme disappointment to me. Based on my experience on other ships, I was expecting to be able to find a variety of reading material. This ships library lacks any reference books and the reading material consists of limited selection of novels and a few non fiction books. I didn’t count them but I estimate the library had fewer than one hundred books, non of which I found of interest. Had I known, I would have brought my own materials. Very disappointing to me. Others might not find it so. One of the worse things about this cruise, however, was Toluene (lacquer) smell which covered over several floors for several days. It gave me a headache. I know ships must perform this sort of maintenance while cruising but there are exhaust systems available to direct the fumes to the outside. I wonder too if the fumes are as volatile as they smell and if so if they represented a fire danger. Surely the fumes represented a danger to the workers if they were not wearing proper safety respirators. Coffee, tea and water were the only sugar free drinks. The singing and dancing ensemble is excellent as was Salvatore and the female singer/pianist. The rest were so-so. Both speakers on the lecture series were outstanding although the fellow was a little difficult to understand at times. But then, my hearing is a little wonky too. Because of a typhoon, we missed a port on the itinerary. I understand and appreciate the concern for safety. I think the Captain would have gained some good will if he had given some small token to make up missing a port. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had long wanted to experience a longer time at sea on a repositioning cruise, and also to visit Japan, so this cruise killed two birds with one stone. I had read the CC reviews about the age of the Milennium, but some peeling paint ... Read More
We had long wanted to experience a longer time at sea on a repositioning cruise, and also to visit Japan, so this cruise killed two birds with one stone. I had read the CC reviews about the age of the Milennium, but some peeling paint etc just adds character to a ship and didn't concern us. However, we had two cabin issues that probably linked to the age of the ship and these were an unpleasant surprise. Firstly, our balcony cabin had an adjoining cabin door and the noise insulation was really terrible. You could hear the couple next door talking and I am sure they could hear us. Guest Services said there wasn't much they could do about this except get the cabin attendant to turn down the volume on the TV to minimum. (I had spent hours on the first night listening to what turned out to be the ping ping music of the Celebrity TV Channel that the attendant had turned on to welcome the other couple back to their room.) The second issue was the mattress which was ancient and caused me to have bad back ache. It took me a week to isolate this as the cause and Guest Services were really helpful. They arranged for the senior housekeeper to inspect and confirm the same day, and then they replaced with a brand new and mercifully comfortable mattress. Embarkation was smooth except we hadn't realised that we needed a USA visa as well as a Canadian visa- I knew that Sitka was in USA but, in my mind, we were travelling from Canada to Japan. There were a lot of other passengers in the queue for emergency USA visas and one Chinese couple were unable to get their visa for 3 days so they lost their cruise- terrible for them. We had travelled on several Solstice class ships and didn't feel that the Milennium design was massively different- the buffet was much better designed on the later ships and I am sure they will correct this during the January re-fit. Food in the Main Dining Room was generally great. Entertainment was also much better than I had expected- I had thought that Celebrity would cut corners on a repositioning cruise but I saw no signs of that. We went to the main shows and the talks by a naturalist. We also tried the talks on Japan but the lectures were poorly structured, and I don't think the lecturer knew that much about Japan. A shame really as Japan is so different from most other countries and a really fascinating culture- Celebrity should aim to improve this aspect I feel. Service was pretty impeccable- Celebrity staff manages to deliver a top class experience every time we go on a cruise, and this really adds greatly to our enjoyment. It was a bit chilly and rainy on the cruise, so no one wanted to use the swimming pool, with the result that other areas of the ship became pretty crowded at times. Especially, the gym in the morning, though it was fine in the afternoon. We enjoyed ourselves in the ports, doing our own thing. Japan is so well organised for transport, and everyone seems so helpful and honest, that it was far easier to travel on our own than we had expected. Eating in Japanese restaurants is great fun! We missed the last port due to a typhoon but had an extra day in Yokohama on board ship, and that worked our very well. We traveled to Tokyo by train using the free shuttle at Yokohama. I was really worried about our quantity of luggage as we had four suitcases and two small bags, but it was a Sunday and the Yokohama train station they use is for the normal train rather than the bullet train, and these have far more luggage and were not crowded either. I was annoyed that the Celebrity (paid) shuttle to Tokyo was not included within shore excursions but rather in Guest Services, and I only found out about it by chance 5 days before the end of the cruise, by which time it was booked out. In the end, the train worked much better for us, as our hotel was next to Tokyo station, whereas the Celebrity shuttle would have needed a 30 minute taxi ride to the hotel. After the cruise, we had a few days in Kyoto. We used the Japan Tourist offer of a hotel and bullet train tickets and this was both good value and a great service. The main sites in Kyoto are very crowded but there are lots of minor temples and other sites that are simply lovely. We hired a guide and that was a great investment. We must have fired 500 questions at her over the course of the day and she was so articulate in explaining how and why Japanese people think the way that they do. (Her employer is Chris Roworth Guides). This review sounds a bit negative, but we had a great time and felt that the cruise was a great way to get a sense of the distance to Japan, and was great value for money. I brought two crates of sparkling water on board as the cost of the drinks package would otherwise have negated the value for money side of things! We also used the internet very sparingly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I had been to Vancouver last year to visit my son- what a great place to start a cruise! Diverse city with loads of things to do and places to see! Granville Island, Stanley Park, Gastown to name a few. We ( a friend from school and me, ... Read More
I had been to Vancouver last year to visit my son- what a great place to start a cruise! Diverse city with loads of things to do and places to see! Granville Island, Stanley Park, Gastown to name a few. We ( a friend from school and me, both in our 60’s) were here for a few days before the cruise started and would love to have spent a few more. The embarkation ran smoothly, quickly and easily. Couldn’t have been better. Everyone involved was helpful and pleasant. The Millenium -All public areas and cabin were kept spotlessly clean and tidy although the fittings and fixtures are a bit tired. Refit due next year I believe. We were in aqua class so we had a balcony which, although we didn’t use often, was a great bonus. We had a few issues with the cabin: the aircon didn’t work, the shower drain was blocked on arrival so it had a musty smell, the water didn’t drain well in the shower so the second person in had to paddle and my friend’s bed had a torn sheet. Those were the negatives. However, most were dealt with really quickly( aircon, sheet, blocked drain) and efficiently. The shower drain remained a problem. To “make up” for this we were given an option to dine in one of the speciality restaurants for a night. . Qsine= confused and confusing- strange mix. Blue= great food, service at times dreadful! 40 mins to get breakfast? Improved as time passed. Sommelier brilliant, maitre de tried his best. Main restaurant very good with lots of choice although was surprised it closed at 1. I do realise they needed to start prep for dinner and give the staff some time off but with all the activities it was difficult sometimes to fit food in! The terrace cafe’s range of food was amazing and tasty although seating on sea days will always be a problem. I was a bit worried about the 8 days at sea but I needn't have worried....so much to do, people to meet, food to eat, lectures, shows, shopping and so much more! Entertainment mixed bag- some superb, some dreadful. The show by the celebrity cast was brilliant. The artists who performed around the ship were also excellent. Activities- art class, unexpected and enjoyable although too big a class to learn a lot. Lectures by Celia Garland on wildlife were absolutely brilliant! Get her back! What a joy to listen to her! Quizzes were fun! There were plenty of other things to choose from eg bridge, salsa, basket ball, ping pong or keep fit, massage etc Got to put a bit in here re shops. Beautiful merchandise, great prices but....please, please be aware of the amounts of duty free you are allowed to take back to your country before you are tempted to buy expensive items on board. Service with a smile sums this area up! Attentive without being overbearing. The guys in the cocktail bar were incredible! Captain Alex was good fun and informative. The folk who manned cafe al baccio were also great. In fact all the staff worked so hard but managed to keep a smile on their face...even at 6 in the morning! Ports were great with lots to do and see. Alaska was amazing. Sapporo had a food festival going on(in honour of samna, a local fish) market food stalls in abundance..what a choice! We didn’t need lunch that day as the stall holders were desperate for us to try their wares and we obliged...it would have been rude not to.We missed Shimizu due to typhoon Trami but we had an extra night in Tokyo. Since we had a trip booked to see Mt Fuji we exchanged this and visited Kamakura instead which proved to be amazing...we would never have seen the giant Buddha otherwise. Most of the excursions we booked(whale watching in Alaska(not to be missed!) were very well planned and executed. The Otaru trip was a huge disappointment! Ok, it was raining but the “ nature walk” round a park was overpriced and quite frankly boring! The best bits were tasting a locally grown apple and losing someone who had nipped into a shop. Honestly the worst celebrity excursion I’ve been on! We would have been better exploring the local port town! It sounded far more exciting! We ended in Tokyo and were lucky enough to stay a couple of extra days. The transfer to our hotel was dreadful. It took over two hours(others in a taxi took 20 mins), because we had to stop at a number of hotels. We rode up the same street 3 times. However Tokyo is an amazing city...not enough time. The people are exceptionally polite, most speak some English( for those of us who don’t speak Japanese) and all are very helpful! The toilets? Well, you’ve heard the stories. In the hotel we were in the seats were warmed and there were various buttons to press for various “treats”. There was also what we referred to as a panic button.....just in case you got overwhelmed with the choice available. We did come across a couple of old style ones on our travels which proved a source of much hilarity. I’m going to miss that heated seat in our cold Scottish winter! Shopping opportunities abound and food available to suit all tastes and pockets. Would I do it all again? Absolutely!!! In a minute!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise for itinerary & price, and to visit my sister in Otaru. Embarkation was very smooth. Cabin (8129) was OK, but was showing its age. TV was an old LCD with a "fuzzy" picture. Our cabin's ... Read More
We chose this cruise for itinerary & price, and to visit my sister in Otaru. Embarkation was very smooth. Cabin (8129) was OK, but was showing its age. TV was an old LCD with a "fuzzy" picture. Our cabin's housekeeper always greeted us and took care of our needs. Cabin was kept clean & lines fresh. We purchased soda package. Limited selection of diet sodas, but good enough. They don't stock bitter lemon! Why? Servers made sure that were never "dry" on sodas. We spent most of our free time in coffee lounge. Staff members there were wonderful and cookies fresh. Captain Alex could be counted on to keep us informed of cruise progress & issues. His jokes were deliberately "corny." Fun hearing from him. Fellow passengers were very friendly and were very interested in other travel experiences. Some children on cruise, but they were well behaved & courteous. Okay, about the food. Breakfast in dining room was very good. Omlets were made to order and were served hot. Breads & pastrys were exceptional. Lunch & dinners were a bit disappointing. Limited menu selections. Buffet was mostly average or worse. Some individual items were good(pepperoni pizza. salads, and rice), but scrambled eggs were too "wet," and chicken pie was wretched. It was like somebody put a bunch of leftovers in a blender and turned it in to a glop filling. Hamburgers & hotdogs at pool grill were very good. We only purchased the Tokyo Tour/Airport Transfer excursion. I called Celebrity before signing up for excursion to confirm that my wife could stay on bus during stops. She had back surgery 12 weeks ago & can't walk far or fast. Celebrity rep assured us that she could stay on bus. We took the excursion. Just before arriving at first stop, guide informed us that all had to leave bus for that stop. We all need to walk quickly to keep up. My wife gave up after 2 blocks. We dropped out of group and waited for bus to return an hour later. Guide was very apologetic, but it was Celebrity that misled us. Typhoon caused us to be stranded overnight in Narita Airport. Not Celebrity's fault. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We found some of the Cruise to be very good. However there were other areas that I felt were less than satisfactory. Activities (on board) were good but very repetitive particularly as we were on board for 8/9 consecutive days. The ... Read More
We found some of the Cruise to be very good. However there were other areas that I felt were less than satisfactory. Activities (on board) were good but very repetitive particularly as we were on board for 8/9 consecutive days. The cabin service was less than satisfactory. On some occassions, our room was not cleaned until after mid-day. The Cabin Attendant did not build any sort of rapport with us and we rarely made contact with him. Shore excursions were, as usual, expensive and unimaginative. Unfortunatley the weather on the Japan tours did little to improve the experience. The dinining each evening was excellent. Our waiter , Basheer and Assistant Suthasine were extremely curtious and very friendly. They should be complemented by Celebrity. Disembarkation included a tour of Tokyo and set down at the airport. My main criticism of this is that our flight was at 10.00pm and we were left at the airport at 3.00pm! Most unsatisfactory and something Celebrity should address. I normally pre-book the drinks package but on this occassion I purchased the standard package at the beginning of the cruise. I was advised of a price by your staff of $675. Much to my surprise, I was charged an additional $121.50 gratuities! despite notifying customer relations at the beginning of the cruise that I did not want gratuities added to my invoice!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My neighbors invited us to travel with them. They have traveled with Celebrity before and apologized for the experience agreeing it was a terrible experience from the room steward to the dinner steward, the food and everything in between. ... Read More
My neighbors invited us to travel with them. They have traveled with Celebrity before and apologized for the experience agreeing it was a terrible experience from the room steward to the dinner steward, the food and everything in between. The service on the ship was terrible; leave for breakfast and 2-3 hours later the stateroom wasn’t made, yet the steward was always smiling. The food was worse than the worse cafeteria food both on Deck 10 and in the dining room. The service in the dining room was S-L-O-W. At least 20 minutes between ordering the meal, receiving the starter, another 20 minutes to receive the main course and at least another 20 minutes after completing or asking them to take a dish away to receive the next item of disgust or the dessert menu then yet another 20 minutes to receive the dessert. Yet the steward and his helper always smiled. The food received at the table at dinner was cold and had to be returned many times. The spa only offered services of the sauna. My husband and myself were denied access to the steam room and other spa facilities other than those at cost such as massage services. When we asked the room steward for CLEAN robes in the stateroom because those in the stateroom had a horrific odor about them, the room steward hung smelly robes in the room. We had to ask for CLEAN ODOR FREE robes in the stateroom. We paid for transportation to the airport at the end of the cruise. We set on a bus at the cruise terminal for 3 hours waiting for the bus to leave the port. We were instructed to disembark and be on the bus for transport to the airport at 0630. We sat on that bus without food water and access to restroom facilities for 3 hours before the bus drove the 2-hour route to Narita Airport. There was constantly a crowd of people outside our stateroom during the cruise. I am a disabled senior citizen. I went to the Main Lobby to complain about the constant crowds outside my stateroom including the fact that other passengers do not have to deal with such crowds at all times of day and evening and I was rudely mistreated by the fellow working the Captains Club. The officers and the crew on the Milennium are very disrespectful. Not only will I NEVER go on another Celebrity Cruise, I do NOT recommend this cruise line at all. I will forever stick with the cruise lines I have sailed with in the past....the wonderfully appointed Holland America Cruise Line. Heck! I have even had better cruise experiences on Carnival Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Loving cruising and wanting to go to Hawaii and the added bonus of Vancouver was amazing! Landed in Oahu end of April with warm air and palm trees! Glad to get here after over 12 hours of travel and changing planes from the East Coast. ... Read More
Loving cruising and wanting to go to Hawaii and the added bonus of Vancouver was amazing! Landed in Oahu end of April with warm air and palm trees! Glad to get here after over 12 hours of travel and changing planes from the East Coast. Hubby upgraded us to First Class so not so hard to take the trip:) Hawaii and Oahu were more than I imagined! Good food, friendly people, upgrade in our room at the Hilton Rainbow Tower. We were set! Since we were only going to be there for 3 nights we decided it looked like an easily walkable city, it was. We walked everywhere. Had dinner at both Duke’s and Roy’s. Loved Duke’s, Roy’s not so much. Ate at Tommy Bahama’s in town for lunch, on the rooftop! would do it again. Hilton was great. Found breakfast to be expensive eat locally. And don’t forget to have a shave ice! Watched the Solstice come into port from our balcony on Sunday morning. Sad to leave but excited to try the Solstice. Embarkation went smoothly with one problem and something in our carry on. A box of Tastycakes!! We were bringing them to family that lived in Kona. No one in the port knew what they were. They let us go :) No one to give us direction when we boarded. Since we have done more than 35 cruises we were helping others. We went to Michael’s where we met Cali, a pretty, well mannered young woman with a nice smile. Met a couple there that I had talked to on the Cruise Critic boards. Then went to Luminae for lunch. Great staff. Greeted by Marie who we remembered from Equinox. Enjoyed most dinners there and the staff was amazing! Headed to our room on deck 11, Sky Suite 1667. First thing we noticed, the railing was missing and there were paint chips all over the deck and furniture. Graffiti on the deck railing was exposed. I told Cabin steward and butler. It stayed like that for the whole 12 nights (I cleaned the paint chips). Room needs makeover but it was kept clean with requested extra towels, everyday. Only request for butler was keep lots of water and ice in the bucket. We do not need anything else. Had to ask for it the first two days. Water appeared about every other day, ice two days. It was our only request. Maja was the suite concierge we told her and water appeared, two days. Still no ice. Cabin is a good walk to aft but it was great since we are late eaters. Shows, most were pretty good, some not so good. Passed the time. Ports were the best!!!! Oahu (overnight), Maui (overnight) and the big island of Hawaii. Went on a Viatour to Pearl Harbor, don’t miss it. Very emotional. Then left to head to Maui. Took the Road to Hana tour in Maui with a local, went to Lahaina Luau with friends on Cruise Critic (well worth it) food was very good and entertainment was terrific. Second day did Maui on our own and had lunch atPaia Fish Market, loved it. Shopping was great in town. Tender ride was a little rough. In Kona we met family to tour their coffee farm, it was amazing. Next day the other side of the island Pahoa, Hawaii. Probably one of the most exciting days we ever had while traveling. We got to take a tour with Daniel Kenoi, a local with a great sense of humor. He told us Ku’u Home la ‘Oe which means My home I share with you. The best tour we have ever taken (before Vancouver). He took us to steam vents, to the crater, where as everyone knows by now, we were when the walls caved in and ash shot up into the air. Being from the East coast, we don’t get to see things like this. Took lots of photos, but we were both a little nervous. First a small earth tremor, it was an earthquake. Daniel decided for us to leave. They closed the park after we left. He headed to an orchid greenhouse to have our lunch where we were when the second earthquake, this one a 6.9 occurred. I felt my heart jump out of my chest. Saw hubby and Daniel and both were scared. He decided it was time for us to head back, NOW. Worried more about aftershocks and sunami. All on this tour decided to let Daniel go back to his family and help friends rather than continue tour. God Bless the people of Hawaii. 5 days at sea and we had a naturalist forgot his first name but last name was Nixon. He was great with stories of whales, and sharks and eagles. We went to every one. We arrived in Victoria BC in the rain. We had been here before on our way to Alaska. Nice city with wonderfully helpful people. Had lunch in an Irish Pub. Next day was disembarkation with a Vancouver tour (Sea to Sky) we both awoke with terrible colds (lots of sick people on board) but did not have much choice since our flight was not till 11PM. One of the best tours we ever took!! Vancouver is beautiful do no miss this tour if you get a chance. We traveled as a couple, in our 60’s and 70’s. I recommend this cruise for the ports. Glad we did it.Should not have waited this long to do it. Was a lot of moving luggage around and customs. Did not get home till Saturday morning after two plane changes!! Booked another cruise while on board - why not!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Embarkation was quick and easy compared to recent large ship and midsize ship embarkations. After arriving at the cruise terminal in Honolulu, we were guided to our line for our cabin class and we walked right to the counter. After ... Read More
Embarkation was quick and easy compared to recent large ship and midsize ship embarkations. After arriving at the cruise terminal in Honolulu, we were guided to our line for our cabin class and we walked right to the counter. After answering the quick health questionnaire our photos were taken and we were escorted to our cabin by ship's staff. Twenty minutes from unloading at the dock and getting to our cabin. Disembarkation was the also the easiest we have ever had as the Destinations Manager escorted us off the ship, to our luggage and then to our awaiting car to take us to the airport. Our suite was well appointed with only the sofa cushions showing some wear, otherwise the Suite was perfect. Dining at Luminae, Tuscan Grille, Morano and Sushi On Five was the best dining we have had in terms of quality and variety on any ship. Michael's Club, where after the first night the bar tender knew our choice of libations and the string duet and the classical guitar entertained was our favorite spot before dinner. The service on board was excellent from the butler, cabin steward, to the whole staff at Luminae, Sushi On Five, Tuscan Grille and Morano, we did not want for anything. We had chosen some interesting shore excursions including the Road to Hana and the Pineapple Plantation on Maui, the Atlantis Submarine in Kona as well as the Glass Bottom Boat and we recommend those excursions. The most interesting shore excursion, and it was a matter of timing, was the visit to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, and hiking through Kilauea Iki Crater as the plume from the Kilauea Caldera rose behind us. The 5.1 earthquake which occurred while we were in the crater and brought rock down from the crater sides was pretty exciting and then experiencing the 6.9 earthquake while at the Jaggar Volcano Overlook topped off the day. It was a matter of timing! I will add, that we never felt in danger as the guides and the rangers were well trained and safety came first in dealing with the guests and the situation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
It seemed like a good idea at the time we selected it. We had thoroughly enjoyed our Trans-Atlantics but this was different. We were Back-to-Backers and although both cruises were full, it seemed as if 3 times as many people were on ... Read More
It seemed like a good idea at the time we selected it. We had thoroughly enjoyed our Trans-Atlantics but this was different. We were Back-to-Backers and although both cruises were full, it seemed as if 3 times as many people were on this one. Everything was crowded and finding a seat in Oceanview Cafe was difficult if not impossible. Service in the dining room at lunch was VERY slow. Entertainment was poor and when you're at sea so many days, good entertainment is something you look forward to, but not so much this time. Of course there were several repeats being a back to back cruise for us and most were not ones I cared to see twice. A little new talent came on board in Russia and was pretty good but not the quality we had experienced on Celebrity in the past. The lounge groups were not changed out and were so so at best, in my opinion. It seems sad when Karaoke has better talent than the stage. However, the Production Crew of young people were the best I've ever seen on any ship. Kudos to them. I understand it may be hard to obtain entertainers due to the long flight over and many days at sea with having only one or two shows, but The Captain was wonderful, seen everywhere, kept us well informed, attended every performance, and so forth. The Cruise Director also did everything he could to make it fun. Those special events for Captains Club were hit and miss. The brunch was lovely. The party with Senior Officers was so crowded there were no seats and service was not good. With so many members perhaps 2 parties could be held splitting up the group. When I mentioned this to the young woman at the CC desk she acted offended. And although I appreciated the box of chocolates it was given to us as we were packing to depart so there was no time to enjoy it and who wants to add baggage at the last minute? Ports of in Japan of Aomoir, Hakodate,Sapporo, and our final port in Canada - Vancouver were all wonderful. I enjoyed Petropavlovsk, Russia as well but the tendering was a mess. Very rough and the line to get on the tender to return to the ship was well over an hour standing in line. Some who came later just got off and right into line to return to the ship. There was even damage to one of the tenders it was so rough. This was my first and last Trans-Pacific cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
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