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81 Honolulu to Transpacific Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise as friends that were travelling with us had Tahiti as a bucket list. The islands that we visited were wonderful. The ship was super clean and the food was excellent.Service was poor or lacking in many areas although ... Read More
We chose this cruise as friends that were travelling with us had Tahiti as a bucket list. The islands that we visited were wonderful. The ship was super clean and the food was excellent.Service was poor or lacking in many areas although our cabin steward was amazing and we tipped very well. Entertainment was disappointing with the odd exception. The cruise destinations were wonderful but we all felt the overall experience was not as good as we normally experience on Princess or Celebrity or Holland America. We had booked a mini suite and found it smaller than we thought and had a lighting issue sin the closet until our friends found the little red button at the back of the closet then there was light! Our friends were celebrating a big anniversary as were we and there was nothing much done by the ship. We did have a cake handed to us when we left the dining room one night. The wait staff were very good as a rule but the rest of staff not as friendly as we expected and we are very friendly people and polite at all times. We had a major problem on a ship tour and it was not addressed. The front desk people just said that they were sorry. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had a wonderful cruise. The itinerary, Hawaii and the Polynesian Islands, was fabulous. We were worried about all of the days at sea but we found plenty to do and were not bored. Of course the islands were terrific. We especially liked ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise. The itinerary, Hawaii and the Polynesian Islands, was fabulous. We were worried about all of the days at sea but we found plenty to do and were not bored. Of course the islands were terrific. We especially liked the snorkeling/beach day in Moorea. The staff was very friendly and hardworking and the ship was clean and pleasant. We did not eat in the specialty restaurants and found the food in the dining room and buffet to be good. We have sailed on other cruise lines, some with higher ratings, but were pleasantly surprised by Norwegian. I would not hesitate to recommend the cruise. Aside from the ports a highlight was crossing the equator by sea. It was a spectacular day weather wise, the cruise director was a great Neptune, and we enjoyed the kissing of the fish ceremony. Our only negative experience was an issue with the passport collection and the coffee at the buffet was pretty bad. Other than that it was a dream trip. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My dream was to go to bora bora and with this itinerary I could see it plus other French Polynesia islands We started in Honolulu and the embarkation was the best I have ever done , fast and easy. Then we got onboard unknown to us that ... Read More
My dream was to go to bora bora and with this itinerary I could see it plus other French Polynesia islands We started in Honolulu and the embarkation was the best I have ever done , fast and easy. Then we got onboard unknown to us that every Hawaiian port you must pay port taxes although not high but on every drink. We had already paid gratuities and taxes for our drink package. Then we got to Maui , it was not a nice location with high security and very rude people working at the location. Treated us like we were criminals !! Yelling at the cruise clients constantly about staying in line but not helping to which line to go in. I felt so sorry for the older client as they had no shuttle to the exit of the security and it was far. Nothing around other then a shopping mall about 20 min walk. Not the Maui I remember. Then Hilo same thing Hawaiian port people very loud and rude. But once we got away from the port all was good . In Kauai much better a shuttle was there to take people who did not book N excursion or a after they finished there excursion to the little beach and shopping area . The 5 days at sea went by ok but our party of 16 was the reason . The entertainment and games were definitely not as good as expected. The games are the same time to get some new games Norwegian!! The bands that played at the pool were way to loud and very humdrum! The entertainment group other then Marta very poor , no liveliness and excitement , almost seemed like it was a chore rather then a job they wanted to do ! The food at all restaurants that we went to was very good, lots of choices and very accomadating , especially the head waiter at tsars , could not do enough for my grand niece who has severe lactose allergy and is vegetarian, waitress Darren was exceptional. The bar tenders quite often ignored us maybe because we prepaid gratuities???? Then we got to French Polynesia our first stop Nuku hiva, thank goodness we booked a tour as not much there, the beach was in walking distance so we did swim for awhile . Next stop Moorea , my first impression was WOW ! so beautiful and it did not disappoint other then again beaches so far from the port! Thank goodness once they finished there cruise excursions they had buses from the town transport people back to the ship as it was a very long 45 min walk . Warning get all your money changed to CFP as they really rip you off in exchange everywhere in French Polynesia . We had US dollars and for something say that cost 1000 CFP would cost 13.00 US We used Albert transport , we had a driver named Hamilton he was exceptional . Then bora bora my dream island ! We organized a private excursion for our group of 16 we had the best day ever 5 hours of Snorkling , swimming with lemon and black tipped sharks, swimming with the stingrays in the shallow crystal baby blue warm waters , onto a coral reef that I have never seen so many different types of fish and coral. Our guide was amazing showed us all the highlights of bora bora then back to the best beach I have ever been . Played so much in the warm waters with my grand nieces . MAouhuni bora bora is who we booked with . Prompt and very knowledgeable as they are local tour guides . We finished the cruise in Papeete Tahiti ! It looked like a very busy big city , did not get a chance to tour as we went straight by ferry back to Moorea for 5 nights. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We booked this cruise for the itinerary - and the fact we could do back to back all the way to Sydney. We had a balcony cabin - number 9644 in this case It was perfectly fine but since the ship was in dry dock, the cabin has changed ... Read More
We booked this cruise for the itinerary - and the fact we could do back to back all the way to Sydney. We had a balcony cabin - number 9644 in this case It was perfectly fine but since the ship was in dry dock, the cabin has changed slightly in that only one side of the bed has a cabinet. This was a little awkward and I don't really understand why they did this. The storage was adequate with plenty of room under the bed for a hard body suitcase on each side and also the hand luggage trolley cases fit too. The bathroom was fine - my criteria of trying to not book cruises with shower curtains was fully met and so I was happy with that. Embarkation was perfectly fine with a small amount of queueing. We noticed that, if you have a disability of any kind, there was a separate area with seating so that is a "mind at rest" thing for some people. We were allowed into our cabins after a fairly short wait and the luggage arrived pretty quickly so that we could unpack and explore before attending the drill. We didn't have a dining package on this cruise and so used the main rooms and Chin Chin (our favourite because the service is just so much better than the other places, even though the menu is more limited). We also ate a couple of times in O'Sheehans, especially after getting back on the ship after a hard day's exploring. We did have some complaints including the ubiquitous "over-cooked fish" - I just don't get why, when you send it back, it comes back nearly every time perfectly cooked, they don't just do it that way the first time around. Its such a waste of food, but it was completely inedible on a number of occasions. I was also served some frozen potatoes which sort of explains the fish as they must pre-cook and freeze a lot of the dishes. I suppose that's fine for most things, after all it is mass-catering, but they need to work on it. We had attended the meet and greet and so had received the card with the phone numbers on. We used them and things improved a little, along with a little complimentary Sushi to apologise, which was very nice and unexpected. The ship had a lot of new crew on board and it was especially noticeable in Tsar's Palace dining room. They have to be trained, of course, but maybe don't put all of the new staff in the same place! Azura was better and the staff in there were much more upbeat and good at service. There were good staff in Tsar's Palace but, on this occasion, the atmosphere could be strained at times whereas the other venues didnt have that vibe. I'm sure it is temporary and will be back to normal once the staff find their feet. The shows were outstanding, as usual. In particular we loved Rock you Tonight, Anna and Vlad, Le Cirque Bijou and Velvet. The other shows were good, just these were great. The Tap Pack could become a favourite in time. The comedians and hypnotists were not to my taste but others enjoyed them. Overall the entertainment staff do a great job. A shout out to Dexter for the dance classes on sea days. We had a lot of sea days on this leg and so the enrichment programmes become important, especially when you have 2 or 3 days of not so good weather. We enjoyed the talks on Polynesian Art and the navigation and Atoll talks. We didn't ever use the pool or the sun loungers but I didn't hear any complaints. (I'm too pale to sit in that sort of sun unfortunately but I did enjoy sitting on my balcony in the shade and watching out for sea life - the pacific is so vast that we didn't see a single other ship on the 5 days at sea, only a couple of flying fish and one pod of dolphins but hey the colours of the sea and just the peace was great). We embarked in Oahu and had spent a couple of days beforehand exploring with friends who had hired a car. I can highly recommend a visit to Pearl Harbour and some shopping in Honolulu - there are some great deals to be had if you search them out! The Hawaii Islands were a great place to have some really good days out, Volcanos, Blow Holes, Mountains, Views, Beaches, Waterfalls - whatever you like you will find it. My own highlight was the sailaway from Nawiliwili and viewing the Napali Coast from the deck of the ship. What an awesome place. However, that wasn't the only highlight. I think my favourite was Kauai Island but its truly hard to chose. I don't know what excursions were on offer specifically from the ship but the usual comment about the price is in order. It cost us $280 over the full four islands for four of us - including hiring a car, petrol, entrance fees to whatever we wanted to see and some drinks - including coffees in McDs for the free wifi. That was $140 per couple. As far as I could see $140 per person per day was the average cost of the excursions in each port - just not good value for money at all. This needs to be fixed by the company. Nuku Hiva was pretty special - we had a beach day but there were other things to do. We didn't book any ships excursions on this leg of the trip and were certainly glad as they are completely overpriced. You can book on the dockside for around a third of the price and better if you have a large group as you have bargaining power. Mo'orea - booked a lagoon sailing with sharks and stingrays - utterly beautiful although I didn't swim with the sharks! Despite what was being claimed, I had read that three weeks earlier, in the exact same reefs, a woman had her hands and boobs eaten by a shark. While the people in the boats keep feeding them and the stingrays, they will continue to be a danger to human beings. After the tour we had a good wander and found a local beer (delicious). Raiatea - again booked a tour at the harbour and visited Marae Taputapuatea which was very spiritual. Pearls, Vanilla, Volcanic Craters, Rivers that are the sea as well. We saw children having swimming lessons with the fish around them. I think this was my favourite place of the whole trip but I loved it all tbh. Bora Bora - again got off the tender boat (which was always easy and there were few queues except first thing in the morning. We visited this port twice on the back to back so on this visit we did a land tour and met the delightful Delores (who used to be in the tank regiment just outside of Paris). We visited Bloody Mary's bar but didn't have a drink - although you could. I took the advice of friends and stayed off the beach area there as it is renowned for people being bitten by sand flies. The visit to the place where they hand make the Pareau ended in my purse being lightened as I couldn't resist one of the dresses they were selling. The views all around the island are stunning. We did a lagoon tour on the next visit so I shall cover that in my next review. Pape'ete Tahiti. - Not my favourite place of the tour but that may have been coloured by the poor showing on the tour we booked dockside. I'm not sure that any of the others, including the ships tours, were any better - I didn't hear anyone praising the place but it was still nice to see the island. This was the end of this part of the cruise and was disembarkation day. We had to change cabins and it was chaotic due to the card printing machine not working properly. I'm not sure why the crew couldn't have delivered the new key cards to the cabins as there was no checking of ID etc. It resulted in huge queues at the guest services desk where they were having to reprint nearly all of the cards as none of them seemed to work on board (although they did work so that you could get on and off the ship). There must be a better way and it will be interesting to see if it was any better in Sydney as there were quite a number of guests staying on until Auckland. There was very little wifi to be had once you left the accessibility of McD's or Starbucks in Hawaii. Bora Bora - there was a cafe not far from the port where you could pay $5 for 30 minutes but it was very slow. There was free wifi in the tourist information centre but it hardly ever worked. Pape'ete - there was good wifi in a cafe near the port, you just had to buy a drink and also there was free wifi in the tourist information centre, but I dont know if it was fast or not. If you can afford it I would upgrade your wifi packages on the ship if you need to be in contact with home for whatever reason. Nuku Hiva had wifi in the cafe on the port - free as long as you bought food - I'm not sure that anyone on a cruise needs to eat food in a port - but crack on if you can manage it. It certainly smelled good! We loved the cruise. Being from the UK, it means that these places are normally too far away so this was an ideal opportunity. We found the sea days fine, although the sea day in between Nuku Hiva and Mo'orea was a killer for us - nothing wrong with the ships entertainment, it was just a perception that this was definitely the longest day. We crossed the equator during this trip and they did the ceremony! We got wrapped in togas (bed sheets!) King Neptune granted us safe passage as long as we kissed the (most disgusting) fish and then submitted to a glug of slime. It was great fun although in 85% humidity the togas were a little on the warm side! We didn't have any children with us but there were some on the cruise. They genuinely seemed to having a great time - even the "too cool for school" teenagers! We hardly ever saw or heard them during the sea days which usually means there is plenty to do to keep them out of trouble and harms way. The Jewel is a lovely ship with some seriously nice crew who go out of their way to try to make sure you have a good time. The food is my only bug bear but it never is bad enough to spoil my adventures. I would go back no problem at all - where is that lottery ticket! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I was really surprised at how easy embarkation was, after having stood in long lines with other cruise lines, this was really easy if you had done the electronic "pre-check in". Great idea RCCL, keep it up. The cruise itself ... Read More
I was really surprised at how easy embarkation was, after having stood in long lines with other cruise lines, this was really easy if you had done the electronic "pre-check in". Great idea RCCL, keep it up. The cruise itself was good, but as it was a relocation cruise, there were a lot of sea days. I have done such a cruise before (with a different cruise line), so I knew that it was very different from the type of cruise where you stopped every day, or almost every day. BUT the activities did get a little repetitive. There is only so much trivia/card games/dancing you can do. A little more variety would have been great. Even something as simple as more movies available on the big screen, not necessarily just for kids either. The lines for the dodgem cars were very long, but it was fun anyway. I didn't brave the roller skating, not being confident enough to do it on a moving ship! The food was great, although the Windjammer did get a bit repetitive. Perhaps varying the food by having theme days (ie:, Italian, Mexican etc...) instead of having the same two or three things on rotation all the time would have been good. I can't praise the executive chef highly enough though, having a coeliac hubby can often mean sitting opposite a grumpy face as there isn't enough variety, but the Coeliac One was usually satisfied. The main dining rooms were of course lovely, although we didn't try any of the specialty restaurants. The shopping on board was just as expected, same old same old kept getting trotted out, and after seeing the same things "for sale" for about the fourth time, I was constantly surprised at how many people were showing interest, although that may have been due to the boredom some people were feeling after the fifth sea day in a row. My cabin (10316) was excellent and kept clean (how I would love a stateroom attendant at home). The internet was expensive and often slow, so don't buy it unless you really need it. Some of the shows were a bit "meh" but some were great. As an Australian, I really enjoyed the INXS tribute, the band was very energetic and got the room pumping. Lucky things got to stay on the ship for the next cruise too, so even more people would have had a great time! Now, here comes my BIG gripe. Disembarkation was a disaster. Every other line I have been on (including a previous experience with RCCL) you are given a questionnaire with a choice of times you would like to leave, and preference is given to people who have to catch planes after getting off the ship. Not this time, oh no. We were TOLD when we would be getting off the ship, unless we wanted to walk off when the ship docked. So that's what we decided to do. Unfortunately, so did about 3,000 other people, luggage included. Deck 5 was a nightmare, people and bags everywhere. Had there been an emergency at that time, it would have been disastrous. To RCCL, YES I know there was a delay getting clearance, but that only made the problem worse, there wouldn't have been a problem with better management. There was no facility for people catching flights to be getting priority. When we finally got off, we found ourselves on the train platform (obviously there weren't enough cabs in Sydney to cope with the instant demand) with people who were just catching the train home. Getting off then, or a few minutes later, would not have mattered to them, but to us, it meant missing our flight. We were not the only ones, Mascot airport was inundated with frantic people that day. Friends of ours couldn't get another flight until after 8pm. Of course, these flight changes cost money, and when RCCL was asked for assistance as they had caused the problem, nothing was forthcoming, not even the offer of a stateroom credit on a forthcoming cruise. Well, as much as I enjoyed my holiday, I did not enjoy the stress afterwards, so for me, it will not be a Royal Caribbean ship next time. Hubby and I are already looking forward to our next cruise, but RCCL have put us off their brand by their mismanagement and misinformation. If you live near the port and don't have any time pressures to get home, give them a go. If you don't, I wouldn't risk it, even though it is a fun ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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
We’ve done many transatlantic and transpacific cruises, most of which offered many activities and good entertainment for the many sea days. Unfortunately, this 18-day transpacific cruise was sorely lacking in both entertainment and ... Read More
We’ve done many transatlantic and transpacific cruises, most of which offered many activities and good entertainment for the many sea days. Unfortunately, this 18-day transpacific cruise was sorely lacking in both entertainment and enrichments opportunities, and was a boring experience overall. This was made all the worse by inclement weather that forced us to spend a lot of time indoors. And the few entertainment events that were offered almost always conflicted with dining times. As for the ship itself, Radiance of the Seas is an older ship in great need of some basic refurbishment. The lounge chairs and theatre seating are badly worn (some with tears) and very uncomfortable. The deck floor of our balcony was all rust, and the balcony chairs extremely uncomfortable because of worn seat cushions. The ship’s cruise director was a complete amateur, curt and unfunny. He took great delight in telling us he was leaving on vacation after this cruise, and we were sorry he didn’t leave sooner. The two so-called “enrichment” speakers were equally amateurish and, no doubt, came at little cost to the cruise line. The good news: service overall and in all venues was excellent, and both the service and food in the MDR was very good. Unfortunately, the breakfast and lunch buffet were limited and mediocre at best, with many repeat offerings. Lastly, we were very disappointed at how slovenly many of the passengers were, and that the ship’s staff did not enforce their own dress codes. Men wore shorts and cutoff t-shirts at dinner in the main dining room even on evenings when “casual chic” was requested. When we complained, we were told that people interpret “casual” differently. We’ve had good experience with RCCL in general, but this sailing reflected a definite cut-back in overall quality and care. This sailing was not inexpensive, but definitely over-priced for what was provided and from a comfort standpoint, and will cause us to think twice about RCCL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was meant to be an aniversary present for my husband. We expected to see some of Hawaii but the itinary was changed several times before the sailing. We sat in Oahu for a survey instead of cruising. They cancelled all our prebooked ... Read More
This was meant to be an aniversary present for my husband. We expected to see some of Hawaii but the itinary was changed several times before the sailing. We sat in Oahu for a survey instead of cruising. They cancelled all our prebooked shore excursions leaving us with a breif stop in Maui. If you wanted to shop great if not disapointing. It was just a really long boat trip from Hawaii to Vancouvre via Maui. Our time in Victoria was cut short due to the tide. We sat in Vancouvre overnight in port. Dissembarkation was a nightmare. Locating bags was like a really sick idea of a scavenger hunt. Close to 3 hours to get off, find your bag and wait in the longest line ever for a taxi. Of course the taxis were busy bringing people for embarkation so it was a mess. We were told when we complained that everyone received the same compensation. We received refunds for our shore excursions and refunds for 2 nights we spent in port instead of cruising. We received a credit to buy lunch because they couldnt one day. That certainly is not compensation its reimbursment! Royal Caribean do not care. They changed everything about our holiday, we did not get what we paid for or what we expected. If we had wanted to do a long boat ride from Hawaii to Vancouvre then we would have booked one. We didnt but thats what we got. Wouldnt travel with them again. The cruise was a comedy of errors and changes. Appauling customer service. MSC gave us a better cruising experience at a far better price. The activities onboard were sometimes hard to get onto and into. You certainly needed to be everywhere very early and not mind waiting in line at times. The artists were of a high standard. The food was nice in the restaurant but it did get a little boring after 10 Days as several meals were repeated. The buffet had a large range but again the choices got boring as they seemed to be the same each day. We dinned at Wonderland on one occasion and really enjoyed the quirky nature of the food. It was fun and a nice break from the main eating areas. The robot bar is fun the first time but the novelty soon wears off. Unfortunatley there were a large amount of people who had very small children in the bars even as late as midnight. We had the drinks package and found it was a good idea as the prices on board were expensive. There were multiple shopping events. Its such a shame that this cruise was spoilt by poor planning. We complained to our travel agent who passed our concerns onto Royal guest services who said that all passengers were given the same compensation. We were refunded the cost of shore excursions and 2 nights that we sat in port as well as the cost of lunch on a day they could not provide it. That certainly does not qualify as compensation. Perhaps they need a dictionary to understand the difference. At the end of the day they just did not care about our experience it was all about the money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We sailed from Hawaii to japan 15 days approx. 65 passengers . This Cruise which is about 15th was one of the best . Great Food Great service (with exception to the Butler bad) Fantastic mix of travellers We had 4 days of ... Read More
We sailed from Hawaii to japan 15 days approx. 65 passengers . This Cruise which is about 15th was one of the best . Great Food Great service (with exception to the Butler bad) Fantastic mix of travellers We had 4 days of rough sea's but no one really bothered .I was cruising alone and met a fantastic group of people which we met each day for lunch and Dinner with Cocktails in the Lounge pre dinner .The Crew were fantastic friendly. I had a Butler servicing my suite on Deck 6 he was the only disappointment (you would have thought he had paid to be aboard unfortunately very arrogant.. This was April 2nd.Some of the People I met are all catching up for a Cruise from Boston to Cancun on Le Champlain cant wait ... I highly recommend Ponant from this experience it is a definite cut above large Cruise lines Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
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
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
This was one of the all time cruises we wanted to do, Hawaii to Sydney via Tahiti. for the ports of call the cruise rates a 5 how can you not like Bora Bora, Moorea, Hawaii. But this review is all about the ship experience. The Cabin ... Read More
This was one of the all time cruises we wanted to do, Hawaii to Sydney via Tahiti. for the ports of call the cruise rates a 5 how can you not like Bora Bora, Moorea, Hawaii. But this review is all about the ship experience. The Cabin The Cabin Steward was fantastic got us a bed underlay and extra pillows on the second day, the bed was uneven my side was higher than my wife's, had a 4K cabin 4139 which had opening French doors before the refurb in May which they replaced with a full glass non opening window, a bit disappointed. Food The Lido deck has 4 food stations 3 of which have the same things for Breaky/Lunch the other has a choice of toasted sandwiches, there is also a omelette area which becomes Pizza at lunch and dinner, there is a Taco station and a burger station as you enter the pool area. The MDR had seating for breaky , Lunch , Dinner Did most of our eating in the MDR as the Lido deck was always crowded and the food was not that good looking, all I can say to Guy ( Guys Burgers ) is come to Australia and the local takeaway will show you how to make a good burger !. The food in the MDR started of very well for the first 4-5 Days and then went downhill, cold meat overcooked tasteless chips, and you could not trust the description on the menu. Thankyou to our MDR Waiters Entertainment 19 days and only 3 shows by the onboard singers/dancers , 3 different Magic acts, the one really disappointment is they have done away with a live band and all the acts perform to recorded music. Lots of trivia throughout the day but the areas where they where held did not have enough seating so unless you got there 30min before forget it. and on the subject of trivia, why do people cheat just to win I don't get it. The entertainment staff where great ( thank you Tiny Tim & Richie and ALL the others ) The Ship Is in very good condition with a bit of wear & tear here and there we where the Legend 2 years ago and the colours seam to be a bit lighter than then, if you want to get a hammock ect in the serenity area I think you need to sleep there !!! the public rooms where kept clean , the ship is very well laid out and easy to navigate. Overall we had a great holiday but would have rated it higher if the food had been better Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We spent one week in Waikiki before our cruise back to Australia. We had a great time. Boarding the ship was super easy. Never been easier in fact. I’m a celiac so I was worried about my food choices but the dining room team looked ... Read More
We spent one week in Waikiki before our cruise back to Australia. We had a great time. Boarding the ship was super easy. Never been easier in fact. I’m a celiac so I was worried about my food choices but the dining room team looked after me. I don’t think there were as many choices in the windjammers. Coffee has improved a little. Room attendant was amazing as always. I don’t think there was as many activities to do on board unless you were prepared to pay. The shore excursions were overall good though expensive. The interior of the ship was nice everything easy to find. The digital cruise compass near the lifts was good if you forgot the paper compass. I think there was too much paperwork left in our cabin most of it is very wasteful. The beds could do with new mattresses. At the end of the day I love cruising and it’s hard to find complaints. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We booked this cruise while we were sailing on Empress of the Seas to Cuba. We have sailed with this line several times before, with Celebrity and RCL ships. In every instance except for this one, the cruises have been excellent. NOT this ... Read More
We booked this cruise while we were sailing on Empress of the Seas to Cuba. We have sailed with this line several times before, with Celebrity and RCL ships. In every instance except for this one, the cruises have been excellent. NOT this one. Cruise was from Hawaii, around the islands, ending in Vancouver, BC. 10 days. We had been to the islands 35 years ago and wanted to get back to see the changes. Sailing dates were May 3-13, we flew in a day early to catch up on Honolulu sights which was a good thing, should have come in two days early or more. Pearl Harbor was outstanding(not a RCL feature) We were scheduled to board at 12:30, got to pier at 12:15, checked luggage and then lines started. Did not get to cabin until 2:30 at which point we were told that cabin was not ready and would not be ready until 3:30-4pm. That was the first clue. Finally got to cabin at 4, luggage arrived at 7pm. we had dinner at 5:30. Ship was full, 2500 guests, wait staff was stretched. We had a table for 4, but our waiters also were serving three other tables, 2 tables of 10 and one table of six. Guess who came in 4th. Seriously understaffed in Dining room. This was true for entire cruise. Maui was next day, Tenders in, very small harbor, we were fortunate, to get out early, later passengers were not able to get off the ship due to congestion in the harbor. It got worse later when all the tours that had gotten out came back at the same time. The line for the tenders was 90 minutes in the heat, and 500 yards long. Oh and it was formal night, we did not get back to ship until 5:15 pm, not a lot of time for changing and cleanup. Big Island was day 3, Tenders again, I had an accident getting into the tender-what a fiasco, nothing from RCL, Sitting in the tender bleeding from the knees, and the only comment from staff was to ask what was my cabin number. Went to infirmary to get it checked out, Medical staff was great-but as I walked out of infirmary, I was accosted by one of the security staff who proceeded to interrogate me and tried to criminalize the incident. By the way, he had a body camera on him and was filming the entire interrogation., When I complained to the desk, the response was "we apologise for the inconvenience" Next stop Kauaii, that was on a pier and the visit was excellent. However at Kauaii and also in Victoria, BC, I was now subject to "special attention" whenever I reboarded the ship. I wear an external brace on my knee, so I got "wanded and patted down" each time back to the ship. I did bring this up to RCL on two occasions, first on board the ship where there was no response. Second directly to RCL via the website, there has been no response to date. I am completely baffled by this indifferent or even vindictive response by the staff to a guest. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
Everything was good except in the main dining room. Was nice to see tablecloths still there but I believe they are going away soon. There was no teamwork in our section of the dining room and was very stressful to watch. The dining rm was ... Read More
Everything was good except in the main dining room. Was nice to see tablecloths still there but I believe they are going away soon. There was no teamwork in our section of the dining room and was very stressful to watch. The dining rm was advertised at lunch as opened until 2:30 so when we arrived at 1:30 they were not very pleasant when we showed them it said 2:30 and they insisted that kitchen was closing at 1:30. After alittle rudeness they did let us in. The mentalist was awesome, lots of activities on board. Great music. Jen the cruise director was everywhere. Don’t know when she slept. First time we tried the French doors and it was great having light. I choose the location carefully and was great. Look for ones between 2 lifeboats. Good views. Miss having the outdoor screen as well. The Redfrog beer is good and not expensive. On the last Saturday night all the musicians had a jam session in the pub and it was awesome. So many talented people. Looked like they were having a blast as well. This was one of the highlights for my husband. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. Not a fan of sea days, but the ports were interesting, as was the panama canal and Havana stop. Embarkation in Honolulu was good and bad. There was no one to help us with our luggage when we ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. Not a fan of sea days, but the ports were interesting, as was the panama canal and Havana stop. Embarkation in Honolulu was good and bad. There was no one to help us with our luggage when we got to the port. We were told this isn't the norm. The rest of the embarkation was good getting on the ship, but due to the CDC restrictions, we were unable to get to our cabin until 15 minutes before muster. Also I had to find and take my invoice down to guest services because they gave me a card without showing my drink package, although my cabin mates did have it. I stood in lline for over an hour while my friends were having lunch. Disembarkation was a total nightmare. Baggage tags for those who were to depart by 8:15 through 9:15. I was also told Oceania does not allow you to self depart with a large suitcase. At 7:15 people were lining up with their suitcases to self disembark. By 7:45 I got in line. At about 8:23 they started to allow the line to start disembarking. Those of us who had red and green baggage tags for an 8:15 departure were held up in the warehouse (about 20 of us), we could see our bags sitting there. We were told no one could collect their bags until every single bag was in the warehouse, meaning to wait until at lease 9. At this point they had stopped letting passengers off the ship. Many arguements were going back and forth between some of the passengers who were already in the warehouse and the dockside security. Obviously the Red and Green tags bags were within reach but no one was allowed. At about 8:45, the land side representative stepped away to take a call and the group rush to grab their bags. Many had early flights. I heard from friends still on board that it got ugly on the ship as well. The rain didn't help. While I have over 47 cruise in my history, none on Oceania and I’m a young active 64 year old). After a good two weeks, we started judging the average age of passengers was somewhere between 75-80. Though most everyone were in shape, healthy, happy and enjoying the bars though very few showed up in the dance lounge after the 9:30 nightly show. The choice of food venues was nice and overall excellent food. Deserts to die for. The Terrace buffet usually offered the same as the main dining room, but IMHO the dining room was the better option as the food was fresh, normal portion, although for me, I asked for and received 1/2 portions of most meals. In the terrace you were unable to serve yourself and the server would always just slop on a big portion and typically you just eat more than you should in the buffets. You can also get lobster for lunch and most nights. The Wave serves a surf and turf sandwich. A friend ordered lobster only each day and put it on top of her salad, also from the Waves. She managed to each lobster and/or crab twice a day. The few times I ate lobster I will say the Waves tasted the best. We had four bookings for specialites (Polo and Toscana) but easily went to the Terrace early morning and either go another reservation or wait listed for that night. You can also try showing up at whichever restaurant, but your chances are low. Drinks: We had the basic beverage package (wine with lunch and dinner). There were some decent wines, but my favorites are the ones that I brought on board myself. With the package, the waiters had no problem switching your wine glasses to go so you were able to walk out of the venues with your wine. Drinks are pricey, if not choosing drink of the day. The happy hour 2 for 1 were a big hit with us. The pool drink of the day was different, so make sure you check both. The typically advertised the drink of the day in the Currents (but not the pool drink). Cabin, we had a deluxe oceanview on Deck 4, which was easy access to most things, same level as guest services. I had to walk past the medical service most days and would hold my breathe walking past, lol. It was one busy place. The beds were separated as I was traveling with a friend. It was a pretty small cabin. We did not meet our cabin steward until late Day 2. Since the ship was under a CDC Code Red we were very delayed in getting into our stateroom and when we did we had quite the surprise in the toilet. We also needed maintenance to fix our less than cooling air conditioner. No one responded to us until Day 2 when we met our stateroom attendant and his supervisor. They basically said they were so busy sanitizing the ship they did not have the resources to go back and re-check every cabin. It seems there were a few cabins, where the pipes backed up and feces entered the toilets after the cleaning. Medical: We had about five medavacs or passengers who left the ship during the 24 nights, one which required return to Hawaiian waters so coast guard could airlift the passenger. We had been well on our way crossing the Pacific. This turn-a-round, caused us to skip two ports (we didn't have that many to begin with for a Transpacific), delayed by a day in two ports and shortened our time in those ports. This was a lesson learned for me. I've been on many cruises that had medavas and even an airlift or two, but we were always close enough to land and/or a port not to cause such a change in itinerary. Unlike other cruises I have taken where they return your port charges if skipped, Oceania does not do this. Another turn off to me, was they were not apologetic to those who had private tours booked. They would actually say, we are so sorry to those who have ship excursions and the destination desk is working to reaccomodate you. At least say your sorry to the rest of us. Those who did book ship excursions were learning quickly that although they paid up front via credit card, Oceania was putting their payment as OBC to be used before they got off, and/or charge them 5% if taken out as cash. Another note which many may be aware, one of the ladies whom we did some excursions with fainted of dehydration during the Panama canal transit (it was hot on the upper deck). She was brought to but insisted on going to the medical for IV fluids rather than drink her bottle of water which she wanted to do. $1500 later.... Also two others we spoke to with bronchitis received bills of $6,000 and $9,000. Not sure what that entailed. Two tylenol cost $37 from medical. Go buy them in the shops instead if you forget them. The ship is older, very dark wood. Horizons is the only indoor area (air conditioned or heated) with big glass windows. The other floors with windows for general seating is limited but the windows are small with heavy drapes. I did eat in the MDR each morning and requests an aft table which had a great view. Entertainment: The ship's entertainment was okay, there was one great singer, Crystal, a pretty decent singer Daniel, the Cruise Director Shawn also sang. Amy and Mervin were both sick the second half of the cruise - disappointing. We had a vegas style singer who was entertaining, an electric violin (jazz celtic fiddle), a ventriloquist, a magician, both good. The bad was a harpist and another female vegas style who I did not enjoy whatsoever. After the 9:30 show, the Regatta band would play in Horizons but most nights there were just a handful of us who showed up. There were two men who did the very informative lectures. The cruise director staff had a gaggle of games, shuffleboard, bingo, trivia, toss games, needlepoints, majong, and of course bridge. I almost forgot line dancing, my favorite. They give out O points which you redeem the day before you disembark for a range of items such a clothing, hats, luggage tags and travel accessories. Service: Once we were over the CDC restrictions, the staff was extremely helpful and went out of the way to please you. I can not say the same about the guest services or destination staff - they were of little help whatsoever. I wouldn't do another Transpacific again knowing the pitfalls to potential medavacs when so far out to sea. I have been on other ships where we have had airlifts and/or medavacs, but barely a blip in the itinerary. I've read that Oceania does drop ports very easily which was also the case with my itinerary. I'd like to give her another chance, but the communication was so bad and they just didn't seem to care to compensate whatsoever that we certainly didn't get the cruise we paid for. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We selected the transpacific repositioning cruise aboard the Noordam out of Honolulu which included not just south Pacific island stops, but Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart Tasmania but an additional 14 days around New Zealand. The showtime ... Read More
We selected the transpacific repositioning cruise aboard the Noordam out of Honolulu which included not just south Pacific island stops, but Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart Tasmania but an additional 14 days around New Zealand. The showtime entertainment couldn't have been better in the Vista Lounge. We enjoyed so many very accomplished artists. The ship's regular entertainment was excellent, but the same shows were offered several times during the different segments of the reposition cruise. The different musical venues provided great listening and dancing aboard the Noordam. The service of the crew was outstanding. The Lido deck staff was always prompt and helpful with a smile whether it was in serving up our meal or assisting us to a table. Dinner in the dining room was always lovely and it was fun conversing and getting to know other travelers like ourselves. Our stateroom was comfortable and afforded enough storage for our items. I loved having the tub/shower combo. Our stateroom attendants were always prompt and thorough. Our only comment would be that they schedule more and a variety of activities during the day on the many sea days. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I think this itinerary was mis-named. For me, South Pacific Treasures would have been more accurate, because it was traversing the South Pacific ocean that was the purpose of this cruise, with a total of 11 sea days. One day we were ... Read More
I think this itinerary was mis-named. For me, South Pacific Treasures would have been more accurate, because it was traversing the South Pacific ocean that was the purpose of this cruise, with a total of 11 sea days. One day we were treated to 4-5 meter waves, another day 2 meter waves, another day it was a pacific ocean, smooth as a lake. Overnight of Oct. 5, we were treated to a beautiful full moon reflected on the water. As attractive as most of the stops were, spending time on open water was the central reality of this re-positioning cruise. Embarkation in Honolulu was smooth, with a different look, we each received a shell necklace as we entered the registration area. We cruised the Inside Passage on the Solstice last year, and it seemed a fair number of other passengers had previously been aboard this ship, allowing a comfortable familiarity for us. Certainly for us, the other passengers help make this a very enjoyable vacation. The many Australians we met during this trip were individually and as a group friendly and good-humored. The fun we had with our trivia team was a highlight of the whole cruise. The Cruise Critic meeting was well attended by cruisers and officers. Hotel Director Andrea and the Cruise Director Ben were very visible and active leaders throughout the cruise, one never knew where and when either of them might appear. Parag was our stateroom attendant, and he performed his duties with a smile, and proved quick to respond to both face-to-face requests and to phone calls. Blu was good for us. Telma and her restaurant staff provided excellent service throughout the cruise. Our main complaint is and has been, that we would like richer flavors in the food. Over 17 nights, the menu of course had repetition, and constraints of resupply further limited some of the potential choices. Considering there was some understandable drop-off in fresh produce, we admired the way Celebrity handled the logistics of supplying our cruise. Rose of Captain's Club had plenty to do, and was once again helpful to us. Ben was ok as CD, he is definitely energetic. Alexa and Nick ran trivia, both injecting some dry humor into the sessions. The house band Sound Stars was as good as any we have seen during our 16 years cruising. They played a range of popular music, covering different styles well, with some good interpretations thrown in. Prisma, the string duo, were excellent throughout the cruise, and I made an effort to hear them play. Starlight, the fusion quartet were good. Duo, the acoustic pairing were not as good for us as the other performers. Of the stage productions, the acrobatic/aerial show was much better than the other productions. Yoomi was good, as was Denny Elliot. The entire Hotel Staff deserves kudos for their efforts to clean and re-clean the ship during the Norovirus outbreak. Days before the cruise ended, thorough cleaning and re-cleaning of some state rooms commenced, pillows and linens were removed. The housekeeping and restaurant staffs, I think the entire Hotel management and staff, worked hard long hours to contain and rectify this outbreak. People were quarantined, care was offered and given. We very much appreciate all the efforts the service staffs made on the passengers behalf. The Polynesian Enrichment team provided ukulele lessons that I attended when they were available. They also were offering hula and other dance lessons, and were well attended, again when they were officially scheduled. It was odd to see them aboard and stating they were willing to hold classes that for some reason weren't being scheduled by the activities director. We watched some of the Enrichment lectures via the television, which was a first for us. We made good use of the fitness center and walking track. We the number of sea days, we had ample time to walk the promenade, and decks 14 and 15. Disembarkation in Sydney was easy, with helpful attendants sprinkled throughout the terminal. If the meters worth of missing wood railing on decks 14 and 15, and the connecting stairways; and the amount of rust clearly visible on our veranda and other parts of the ship are any indication, then the Celebrity Solstice best not wait until 2019 or even later to be totally refurbished. Overall, the combination of meeting friendly and interesting fellow cruisers, excellent service, the Pacific ocean, and attractive ports made for memorable travel. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Well done Celebrity Solstice, we love and adore you. Your staff and ship are just awesome, we can't wait till our next one in Europe in 2019. So very sad to have to disembark after such an amazing time. Dining anytime was very well ... Read More
Well done Celebrity Solstice, we love and adore you. Your staff and ship are just awesome, we can't wait till our next one in Europe in 2019. So very sad to have to disembark after such an amazing time. Dining anytime was very well organised, loved sitting at different tables every night or just the two of us. Staff in this area were well trained and wonderful human beings. Our room steward was just more than happy and anything we asked was attended to immediately. Entertainment was awesome as expected, played bocce every sea day as port days taken up with tours. Evening Shows were amazing spectacular events, managed to make the majority of them but with so much to do on this ship didn't get to them all. Martini Bar was the place to be seen of an evening before or after dinner. Love the Lycheetini's, mmmmmmm. We cannot wait for our next Celebrity Cruise with we booked whilst on board for 2019 Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We always wanted to do this cruise and visit Hawaii. Unfortunately our time in Hawaii of 5 days was not enough time, you definitely need a full week or more. Hawaii is great. The weather was great and so was our accomodation at the ... Read More
We always wanted to do this cruise and visit Hawaii. Unfortunately our time in Hawaii of 5 days was not enough time, you definitely need a full week or more. Hawaii is great. The weather was great and so was our accomodation at the Hilton Embassy Suites. Celebrity Cruises are great as was this one. The service and staff are amazing and very friendly. No faults there. However I will say that this cruise really needed more port stops. It was too many sea days. It was definitely very relaxing as the weather was great, but by time the second lot of 5 days of sea days came, we were a little over it, especially during the day. At night it was fine, as you had a pre-dinner drink, then dinner in the Dining Room (open dining times) then after we would go to see the 9pm show. But for us we just felt you needed at least two more port stops. Possibly in Fiji or the Cook Islands region. Overall we definitely enjoyed it though. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
First time on Celebrity and first time at ALL the ports. We selected this cruise because we wanted to see all the ports and relax on the slow float back to our home port. We flew to Honolulu from Sydney stayed at the Moana Surfrider in a ... Read More
First time on Celebrity and first time at ALL the ports. We selected this cruise because we wanted to see all the ports and relax on the slow float back to our home port. We flew to Honolulu from Sydney stayed at the Moana Surfrider in a Bunyan Room with views to the beach and Diamond head, it also had access to the Beach Club Room (pay the extra it is worth it). We pre-ordered a day pass/passport at Pearl Harbour through recreation.gov, so we had our allocation to the tender to see the Arizona and entry (plus audio guide) to all the sites at the memorial, the Bowfin submarine, Museum, Missouri and the Aviation Museum. You need a full day to see all the sites, I would highly recommend a visit. Note: they don't allow bags in the site, so pack your pockets not a bag. Embarkation in Honolulu was hot and noisy and the lines were long. However, when you get near the front, they ask those with priority boarding/Aqua Class to go to another area. However, the customs official for our embarkation area was very strict, so the priority line was longer than the non priority - you have to wait sometime. Once onboard, the holiday begins, Celebrity service and staff are wonderful, treat people as you want to be treated and a smile goes a long way. Those who board who expect servants not service make me annoyed. Unfortunately, there are a number of those personality types who cruise. We booked Aqua Class as this was our preview cruise with Celebrity. The cabin 1541 was spotless and the location was fantastic, one fight of stairs turn right to Aqua Spa Cafe - light breakfast and lunch and the adult indoor heated pool, turn left and you are at the entrance to the Canyon Spa and the Gym. Book early for embarkation deals if you like the Spa treatments onboard, I had saved for 'something special' and the embarkation deal I purchased was the buy 4 massages and get 1 free. Five heavenly massages from Riyha, the highlight of the cruise. Two flights up and you are at the Sky Lounge and the walking track. Sky Lounge is the location for trivia and evening band 'Celebrity Life' activities, our cruise have Bandioke, CelebrityVoices, and many other fun nights after 10pm. We always walk down the stairs and up the lifts, however, the location of our cabin made walking up easy to all our favourite locations. Their is even access through an open door on Level 11 on the starboard side (forward) so you can access the treatment rooms and the relaxation room only available to aqua class. This room has the best view of the ship over the bow with comfortable lounges, reading and sleeping as you sail. Dining - We bought a 7 night Specialty restaurant package - our first booking by Celebrity was in the Silk Harvest 7/10. If you do the same, cancel straight away and book all your meals at the Murano. We did not find out how good the Murano was until we had also eaten at the Tuscan Grille (being Italian - 6/10 Nonna cooks better). However, the Murano is a MUST and Sasha the Maitre'D is excellent. I ordered the same meal (5 times) - Crab parfait 10/10 entree and the Lobster Main course, the Lobster is cooked at your table. 20/10 Entertainment was hit and miss, most shows are OK. I don't cruise for the shows or the entertainment, I want to relax, if it interests me, then I go. Ports - Lahaini - we would go back to port and have the pineapple at the cafe across from Bubba Gumps - Maui Aquarium was a good surprise. Papeete - BB Cafe for the Surf and Turf - best meal and free wifi Bora Bora - Bloody Mary's and the Public beach - wonderful Auckland - catch the ferry to Devonport and wonder, then public library has the best view and free wifi. Bay of Islands - Ferry to Russell, then to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds (a must) Shore Excursions - Lahaini - Robert's Hawaii - 8/10 Papeete - Celebrity - Bus around the island - 6/10 Visit to the gardens was the highlight Bora Bora - Celebrity - Glass Bottom Boat - 9/10. Our own local 'taxi' to Bloody Mary's' and the main beach 10/10 Auckland - own - Fullers ferry to Devonport and 1 hr tour - 9/10 . Walked around and had lunch at Hum Cafe 10/10 Bay of Islands - own Ferry to Russell 9/10, self guided visit to Waitangi treaty ground + Museum 10/10 Do it again - we booked a future cruise on board and saved, plus Perks - next time we have our Classic drinks package and Internet included - bam! Note to Celebrity - if they included Aperol in the Classic Drinks Package I would book 20 more cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was the only cruise line sailing from Hawaii to Australia at the time we were going. On-board check was done ahead of time yet we had to go through it all over again. Very disconcerting. The too narrow sofa had a stained ... Read More
This was the only cruise line sailing from Hawaii to Australia at the time we were going. On-board check was done ahead of time yet we had to go through it all over again. Very disconcerting. The too narrow sofa had a stained mattress. Ugh! Dining was just so-so. The extra dining rooms were priced high at $50/person. Much too pricey. They would stand outside the main dining area and try and recruit people to go there. Most everything on board had an extra price tag to it or it was intended to sell you something as a result of a presentation. Our room steward was superb but was run off his feet with so many rooms to care for just on his own. We've always had 2 stewards on other cruises. The ship had no promenade deck to walk around. This was a huge disappointment. The running track above the pool area was short and had a lot of people walking across it or using walkers. Not good for a power walk. The ship had an outbreak of the Nora virus. We all had a number of days of sickness but not from that. But because one of us visited the medical clinic, we were quarantined, including our luggage. But were not told that our luggage would be in a different area when we disembarked. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017

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