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7 Night Alaska Cruise from Seattle

7 Night Alaska Cruise from Seattle

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Celebrity Solstice (Photo: Celebrity)
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Seattle
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Ketchikan
  • Day 4
    Endicott Arm
  • Day 4
    Juneau
  • Day 5
    Skagway
  • Day 5
    Inside Passage
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Victoria
  • Day 8
    Seattle

Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice - Celebrity Cruises

Pros

Elegant, modern ship with impressive drinking and dining venues

Cons

Exclusive venues for certain cabin categories could make some passengers feel excluded

Bottom Line

Sophisticated, contemporary and delicious cruise experience for all ages


Cruise Reviews

We flew from Sydney to Auckland via Air New Zealand and stayed three nights at the Sofitel property Grand Windsor in Queen St. We had breakfast included and there were plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby for lunches and dinners. The ... Read More
We flew from Sydney to Auckland via Air New Zealand and stayed three nights at the Sofitel property Grand Windsor in Queen St. We had breakfast included and there were plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby for lunches and dinners. The hotel was in a great location. Highly recommend day trip to Waiheke Island (and we would stay overnight when we visit NZ again). We travelled with another couple who had never cruised. This was our fifth cruise with Celebrity (have not travelled with others as we like Celebrity). Our friends were super impressed with cruise life and would agree with the comments that follow. Cruise embarkation smooth and quick; temperatures were checked upon boarding which gave us confidence they were taking the coronavirus seriously. We thought the ship was well maintained noting it is scheduled for refit in 2021. We were in Aqua Class and like to be aft - we were in room 1653 (rear, port side, bed near bath layout). Really liked the aqua spa shower; good size balcony with 2 chairs, footrests and a table. The room had plenty of storage space, a big sofa and a huge flat screen interactive tv. Surprisingly spacious and our cabin steward Achmad did a great job. Our friends were in 1584 (bed near balcony) and were impressed with the size and layout of room. Tauranga - we booked a Viator tour which took us to Rotorua and Hobbiton. Our guide was Peter who was informative and a good driver. A great day! Rotorua was fascinating and Hobbiton where part of Lord of Rings and Hobbit trilogies were filmed was very interesting. Picton - we did a Viator tour for the Marlborough train tour to Blenheim. Scenic journey passing through vineyards and then stopping at Blenheim for a few hours to spend in this town before taking train back to Picton. We enjoyed the train trip but were a bit lost in Blenheim as it was not the quaint country town we were expecting. In hindsight we should have done a wine tour. Akaroa - tendering process was efficient. We did a Viator tour to Christchurch and our guide was Scotty was great. Had lunch in the Riverside Market and would have been happy to spend more time here. We had a pie from The Butchers Pie Shop which we would recommend trying. We hopped off at the far end of Akaroa and walked back to the tenders. NZ prime minister then announced that all cruise ship ports in NZ would be shutting next day but we were lucky and able to disembark at Dunedin where we joined a Viator tour - sights of Dunedin, Larnach Castle and Speights brewery with Russell. Surreal because this was the last tour for these guys and they were trying to work out what it meant for them. We really enjoyed the short stop at the railway station (most photographed building in all of NZ), Larnach Castle and the very informative tour of the brewery with generous tastings available and the chance to pour your own beer. Fjordland area (Dusky, Doubtful and Milford sounds) - very lucky the sun shone and we had a spectacular day. The captain rotated the ship 360 degrees at Milford sound so every side of the ship could get views of the falls. Lots of dolphins sailing alongside the ship from time to time. We missed Eden due the closure of Australian ports but were given onboard credit for missing that stop and hence the shops were busy. We arrived in Sydney the night before disembarkation which gave us an unexpected and spectacular view of our beautiful harbour and the chance to see it at sunrise. We dined mostly in Blu, Murano, Tuscan Grill, Silk Harvest and Sushi on Five. We avoided the Ocean View Cafe and MDR just because they tend to have people sit closer together and we liked the spaciousness of the other restaurants. We loved all our meals and could not fault the presentation, flavour or choice. And the service of the teams in those restaurants was flawless. We had the premium beverage package which was great. Just surprised the choice in the restaurants was quite limited. But we ended up trying wines we wouldn't normally drink. Enjoyed the theatre shows. We loved the Australian singer and violinist. The production shows were well done 'Rock city', 'Broken strings', and 'Euphoria' (our favourite). Spa - knowing the world was being locked down I had my hair coloured, a massage, facial and legs waxed - now the spa is expensive but I was happy with the service I got and it means I don't have to worry about any personal maintenance for 2 months or so! Disembarkation ran very smoothly and we were off the ship by 8am in Sydney and being local home by 9am to commence our self isolation for 14 days as required by our government. Pleased to say we have now completed it and we have not had a hint of illness. Captain Alex was a bit of a comedian and did a great job with his announcements. Overall we loved our cruise and are especially appreciative of the Celebrity Solstice team that made it safe and special. The crew were always cleaning and made sure everyone used hand sanitisers regularly. Knowing the world would change when we disembarked was surreal. A cruise is a great way to see NZ and we hope to do the trip again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We flew from London to Auckland via Emirates. Everything ran as per schedule and we arrived in New Zealand 3 days prior to the cruise. It took about an hour or so to go through immigration and customs before leaving the airport. However ... Read More
We flew from London to Auckland via Emirates. Everything ran as per schedule and we arrived in New Zealand 3 days prior to the cruise. It took about an hour or so to go through immigration and customs before leaving the airport. However apart from usual bag checks no other checks like temperature monitoring were being carried out at the airport. We were transferred to our central Auckland hotel called Citylife heritage hotel. We were given a one bedroom suite on one of the top floors of this hotel which had beautiful views of the city and harbour. We had breakfast included at the hotel which was great and there were plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby for lunches and dinners. The hotel was in a great location, situated on the main shopping street, Queen street. Sky tower was 5 mins walk away. We spent the next 3 days sightseeing around Auckland. Took hop on hop off bus to tour around Auckland, went up the sky tower for great views of the city, took a ferry to Devonport for views of Auckland from Mount Victoria. Also visited museum and botanic gardens. On our third day, we took a full day excursion to Rotorua to visit Tepuia and Wai-o-tapu geo-thermal sights. Very interesting day visiting these lovely sites and also saw a kiwi bird at Tepuia. On our return back to Auckland there was heavy rainfall which the country desperately needed after a very dry summer. Thankfully this was the only rainfall we saw in our entire trip. The next morning we did a bit of souvenir shopping on queen street before being picked up by our trasnsfer service to be taken to the dock to check in for the solstice New Zealand cruise. We thought it would take a long time to board the cruise as they were going to do extra checks like temperature monitoring etc. However no sooner we got there, our temperatures were promptly recorded and after getting the all clear, we handed our luggage to one of the porters. We proceeded to the check in area where the queue was minimal and were checked in to board the ship in 10mins. This was one of the fastest boarding we have experienced for a cruise. The whole process from arrival to boarding ship took under half an hour! As soon as we entered this beautiful ship, we were given champagne and asked to proceed to buffet as staterooms were going to be ready by 1pm. There was plenty of food choice for lunch from pizzas to sandwiches to Indian, Mexican, Chinese, vegetarian/vegan etc. After we finished lunch, we went to tour the ship which was similar to the Reflection we had been on 6 months prior to this cruise. 2 outdoor and 1 indoor pools, 2 tier theatre, cinema, casino, plenty of bars and cafes, around 4 speciality restaurants, outdoor screen by lawn area etc. Lovely ship and everything seemed nicely maintained despite a refit scheduled in 2021. We were soon asked to proceed to the staterooms soon after 1pm. Our cabin was a balcony cabin on deck 7 on the starboard side of the ship towards the front elevators. Great location for the theatres, Sky bar and cinema. Bit further to walk for dining areas but we got used to it very soon. When we got to our cabin, all the luggage had already arrived which was great! The cabin was once again very similar to our cabin on celebrity Reflection. Lovely bathroom with shower cubicle with glass doors. Good size balcony with 2 retractable chairs and a table. The room had plenty of storage space, a big sofa and a huge flat screen interactive tv. All in all, a very pleasant cabin which was looked after by our cabin steward Joaquín. The master of the ship, captain Alex, was one of the best captain we have ever had on a cruise. He was hilarious and we eagerly looked forward to his daily announcements. More importantly he kept us reassured and worry-free through out the cruise as we were travelling at a time when the whole world seemed to be affected by the coronavirus. Moreover we saw him regularly saw him and his officers throughout the cruise. We departed Auckland after 6pm soon after the safety drill was completed. We had lovely views of the city as we sailed toward Tauranga, our first stop. We docked in Tauranga next day at 10.30am. As we had booked a 'Hobbiton film set' tour for 12.30pm, we went to explore nearby area in the morning. we hiked up Mt. Maunganui in the morning where we got lovely views of the ship and surrounding area. Went back to ship for 12.30 whereby we took a coach to see the lovely film set where some parts of Lord of Rings and Hobbit trilogies were filmed. Spent around 3 hours at this magical place before returning to the ship around 4.30pm. As the ship was not leaving Tauranga till 10pm, we had local Maui performers come and do a traditional show in the theatre and included Haka dance too. We had a sea day in between followed by 3 consecutive stops. The first stop was Picton in South Island which was extremely picturesque. We had a lovely sunny day and we did a Marlborough train tour to Blenheim which was really a scenic journey passing through many vineyards. We got off at Blenheim and had a few hours to spend in this town before taking train back to Picton. Once we got back, we looked around Picton and the beautiful scenery around the area before taking back shuttle to ship. The next day we tendered in Akaroa. However the tendering process was very quick and efficient. We did a tour to Christchurch. It was a lovely picturesque journey to Christchurch and we had an excellent tour guide/driver who was very informative. When we got there we toured the city on the colourful trams and although the city is still rebuilding from the earthquake around 10 years ago, we loved the city for its vibrant atmosphere. We returned back to the ship and sailed towards Dunedin (Port Chalmers). We were advised by the captain that night that NZ prime minister had announced that all cruise ship ports in NZ would be shutting next day and if anyone entered the country from a foreign country including Australia, they would have to self isolate for 14 days. Hence anyone wishing to get off at Dunedin would be allowed to. This was our last NZ port anyway so we didn't miss any of the NZ ports. However due to the self isolation policy, around 180 guests left the ship in Dunedin. In Dunedin, we had a tour booked to see sights of Dunedin and visit Speights brewery. This was an excellent tour as it covered quite a few areas of Dunedin like botanic gardens, the railway station (most photographed building in all of NZ) and also a very informative trip to the brewery. After the tour of brewery we were given lots of good sized samples of various beers to try. Returned back to ship after 4 hours and then went around Port Chalmers Local area to have a look at this lovely small town. The next day we were visiting the national fjordland area (dusky, doubtful and Milford sounds). As we were not docking there, we were allowed to visit this part of New Zealand. It started off a bit overcast when we cruised through dusky sound but weather kept improving through the day and by the time we got to Milford sound, it was very warm and sunny. The captain gave us a surprise by rotating the ship 360 degrees at Milford sound to view one of the gorgeous waterfalls there so every side of the ship could get great views of the falls. We also saw lots of dolphins sailing alongside the ship once again pointed out by the captain and cruise director. During the sail into other sounds, we also saw seals and plenty of different types of birds. Had a great day visiting all the sounds and our trip to NZ wouldn't have been complete without without visiting these sites. We were supposed to have 2 sea days before docking in Eden. However Australia announced they would be closing all ports to cruise ships. Hence we missed Eden but were given onboard credit for missing that stop. So we ended up with 3 sea days. We were slightly concerned whether we would be allowed to disembark in Sydney but we needn't have worried as captain Alex announced that we were given permission to disembark in Sydney and would be arriving there the night before. However wouldn't be allowed to leave the ship until the scheduled day of departure. So apart from missing Eden, we didn't have any other itinerary changes and were very lucky that everything ran smoothly and no one fell ill onboard. The ship staff were always cleaning around the ship and made sure everyone washed their hands and used hand sanitisers regularly. We dined in main dining room on level 4. Although we were on anytime dining, the hostess Carla (who remembered our names daily) always ensured she was gave us table by the window with the same waiter every night. One of the best hostesses we have seen on a ship. Our head waiter Rejoy was excellent and ensured all our needs were promptly met. His assistant Goolfee was great too but was moved to one of the speciality dining rooms later. However his replacement was great too. Wine steward Paul gave us a good selection wines daily. Since we had outstanding service in main dining room, we didn't need to visit any of the speciality restaurants. However those who visited some of them like Murano, had a great time. Food was great and loved all the choices on menu. All the shows in theatre were great. There were some guest presenters like a British magician, Australian singer and a violinist. All were very talented and enjoyed their shows immensely. The production shows were brilliant and loved all 4 of them. They included 'Rock city', 'Broken strings', 'Amade' and 'Euphoria'. The singers and dancers did a great job and we got to see how they work and train on one of the sea days when we were given a complimtary tour of the backstage areas. The cruise director Kelly did and excellent job and together with her assistant Patrick, they ensured everyone was kept entertained during the various parties on the ship. Loved the balloon launch night and st. Patrick's day party. However disappointed that Abba night was not held in foyer as the charm was lost when it was held in sky lounge. There were quite a few talks, trivial, games and shows organised on the sea days to keep us occupied. However apart from one film shown in theatre on first sea day, no other films were shown in theatre during the cruise which was slightly disappointing. Films were shown on the screen by the lawn and at celebrity central but these are not ideal venues for film screening. Hence I would recommend solstice to show more films in theatre like they had done on our previous cruise on Reflection. Disembarkation ran very smoothly and we were off the ship by 8am in Sydney. We were at the airport by 11am and luckily our flight went on time later that day. Sadly lot of flights were cancelled as the world prepared to lock down due to coronavirus. On the whole, I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone who wants to visit and see sites and sounds of NZ in a relaxed way. We were immensely lucky that everything ran smoothly from start to finish and captain Alex and his team did a marvellous job to keep us safe and entertained through out the trip. Hoping the world can get over this virus quickly and cruises and travel can restart soon. Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We like New Zealand and decided that it would be a good way to go for a short cruise which started in Auckland and finished in Sydney. One of the selling points was that the ship was coming back to Sydney via Eden on the south Coast of ... Read More
We like New Zealand and decided that it would be a good way to go for a short cruise which started in Auckland and finished in Sydney. One of the selling points was that the ship was coming back to Sydney via Eden on the south Coast of NSW.. On the morning of embarkation in Auckland it was a fairly long process because of the corona virus scare - everyone had to have their temperature taken.. But it was handled well and to know that we were considered safe to board the vessel was good news. Our balcony cabin on Deck 6 was OK apart from a slightly restricted view because of the life boats. The balcony furniture was very tatty and one of the chairs was less than safe to 'perch' on. There were a few things around the ship that needed attention. I don't like the idea of a 'minibar' and requested all the things in it be removed. Another thing which really annoys me is that as soon as one sets foot on the ship someone is trying to take your photo, others are endeavouring to make sure one has a drinks package or others are trying their hardest to get one to sign up for extra dining packages or spa treatments etc etc. If I want those things I am quite capable of making my own decisions. The WiFI costs on Celebrity Solstice are beyond belief. No wonder people hightail it off the ship when there are port calls to search for free WiFi. I thought the food in the buffet cafeteria was quite good - a wide variety of food. We never went to the formal dining room. One things I didn't appreciate was the 'music' that constantly bashed one's ears. Why does it have to be so loud and intrusive. Very difficult to hold a good conversation - I guess it's also a way of quickly shunting people through the dining areas. Their system of accounts makes it appear on the in room TV that each person has the same credit. We spoke to one of the desk staff about this and he said that quite a few people had been 'caught out by this'. An easy way to make an extra buck or two for the company. The Captain was quite a good communicator - quite amusing as well. Most of the staff were friendly and our room attendant was efficient and pleasant. The end of the cruise was less than satisfactory. We couldn't dock in Eden because of the corona virus (I understand that). We docked on the evening 19/3 in Sydney but couldn't disembark until the following morning. With everything that was/has been happening with corona virus we would have thought that we all would have been checked before getting off the ship or at least on the dock. But NO - it didn't happen. Something fell down with communication between the ship and NSWhealth/ border control. When we got to the dock we had to sign a form about going into 14 days isolation. Which of course we did and we will be 'in-house' for quite a few more days before that time is up. It was an unhappy ending to an otherwise fairly good trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
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