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2,190 Celebrity Solstice Cruise Reviews

I have read a review by Msglodenhair and agree with most of her review of her on board experience, of the ship and the captain and crew. However prior to embarkation, I had attempted to register on the Celebrity email log on pages that ... Read More
I have read a review by Msglodenhair and agree with most of her review of her on board experience, of the ship and the captain and crew. However prior to embarkation, I had attempted to register on the Celebrity email log on pages that my wife was Gluten intolerant and that she would need a Gluten free diet. Having cruised in the Princess and P & O lines, that was a simple option to highlight and once on board the crew were ready to attend to my wife's dietary needs. I could not find any reference to special dietary needs, although I looked everywhere I could. I asked our travel agent to see if she could find the details I was looking for and she came back to me that it had been done by the Auckland agent for Celebrity Cruises. Once on board the Celebrity Solstice and our first visit to the dining room we found that my wife was not expected. There was no Gluten free option available at all. For a starter the only offer was a salad, but when all the possible gluten elements were removed it was just a plate of lettuce. I suggested to the waiter that at least some tomato could have been included and he returned with a medium sized tomato. It did get better after this first meal, but we were also disappointed with the quality of a firm favourite meal, Eggs Benedict which lacked the zing in the Hollandaise Sauce. For a Cruise line that should have been superior to the likes of Princess and P & O, we did not experience that in our dining on the Celebrity Solstice. Other than our dining experience, the other aspects of our cruise we really enjoyed. The entertainment on board was of a very high standard and the Faberge presentation was really superb. Communication from the bridge was really appreciated as we were sailing during testing times world wide so the Captain's updates were of great help for us in our decision making. The Captain had a friendly manner and a good sense of humour with it. Sadly we felt it necessary to end the cruise when we arrived at Dunedin. It was a hard decision to make but we do not regret making it. The crew readily accepted our decision and helped us with our bags to get off the ship. We would definitely sail with Celebrity again as our means to travel to/from Austalia to visit our daughters who live there - just as soon as it is again safe to travel. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose this cruise at the last minute as we were booked to go on a cruise around Asia, which was cancelled due to port restrictions in Singapore and Hong Kong. We had not travelled with Celebrity at all prior to this cruise. I ... Read More
We chose this cruise at the last minute as we were booked to go on a cruise around Asia, which was cancelled due to port restrictions in Singapore and Hong Kong. We had not travelled with Celebrity at all prior to this cruise. I agree 100 percent with the two previous very positive reviews. The cruise was fantastic. It was a great way to see New Zealand. The ship was kept very clean and everything was done that could have been done to ensure that health risks were kept to a minimum. I commend the wonderful crew of this ship. John, our stateroom steward was wonderful, along with Richard, our sommelier in the MDR, and our waiters Anthonius and his assistant waiter. The Captain looked after us well, as did everyone that we encountered. All crew were only too happy to help with anything at all. We flew into Auckland from Australia prior to embarkation. Many other fellow passengers had flown in from USA and UK. Our temperatures were taken and we were asked many questions about our health and where we had been before boarding, unlike our experience at the airports and with airlines, where no precautions were taken. Yet airports and airlines have not been scrutinized in the same way as cruise ships have been so unfairly targeted. The worst thing about this cruise was having to disembark. I can't wait to cruise again, once the travel ban is lifted. Thank you Celebrity Solstice, for a great holiday. Until we meet again... Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We flew from Sydney to Auckland via Air New Zealand and stayed three nights at the Sofitel property Grand Windsor in Queen St. We had breakfast included and there were plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby for lunches and dinners. The ... Read More
We flew from Sydney to Auckland via Air New Zealand and stayed three nights at the Sofitel property Grand Windsor in Queen St. We had breakfast included and there were plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby for lunches and dinners. The hotel was in a great location. Highly recommend day trip to Waiheke Island (and we would stay overnight when we visit NZ again). We travelled with another couple who had never cruised. This was our fifth cruise with Celebrity (have not travelled with others as we like Celebrity). Our friends were super impressed with cruise life and would agree with the comments that follow. Cruise embarkation smooth and quick; temperatures were checked upon boarding which gave us confidence they were taking the coronavirus seriously. We thought the ship was well maintained noting it is scheduled for refit in 2021. We were in Aqua Class and like to be aft - we were in room 1653 (rear, port side, bed near bath layout). Really liked the aqua spa shower; good size balcony with 2 chairs, footrests and a table. The room had plenty of storage space, a big sofa and a huge flat screen interactive tv. Surprisingly spacious and our cabin steward Achmad did a great job. Our friends were in 1584 (bed near balcony) and were impressed with the size and layout of room. Tauranga - we booked a Viator tour which took us to Rotorua and Hobbiton. Our guide was Peter who was informative and a good driver. A great day! Rotorua was fascinating and Hobbiton where part of Lord of Rings and Hobbit trilogies were filmed was very interesting. Picton - we did a Viator tour for the Marlborough train tour to Blenheim. Scenic journey passing through vineyards and then stopping at Blenheim for a few hours to spend in this town before taking train back to Picton. We enjoyed the train trip but were a bit lost in Blenheim as it was not the quaint country town we were expecting. In hindsight we should have done a wine tour. Akaroa - tendering process was efficient. We did a Viator tour to Christchurch and our guide was Scotty was great. Had lunch in the Riverside Market and would have been happy to spend more time here. We had a pie from The Butchers Pie Shop which we would recommend trying. We hopped off at the far end of Akaroa and walked back to the tenders. NZ prime minister then announced that all cruise ship ports in NZ would be shutting next day but we were lucky and able to disembark at Dunedin where we joined a Viator tour - sights of Dunedin, Larnach Castle and Speights brewery with Russell. Surreal because this was the last tour for these guys and they were trying to work out what it meant for them. We really enjoyed the short stop at the railway station (most photographed building in all of NZ), Larnach Castle and the very informative tour of the brewery with generous tastings available and the chance to pour your own beer. Fjordland area (Dusky, Doubtful and Milford sounds) - very lucky the sun shone and we had a spectacular day. The captain rotated the ship 360 degrees at Milford sound so every side of the ship could get views of the falls. Lots of dolphins sailing alongside the ship from time to time. We missed Eden due the closure of Australian ports but were given onboard credit for missing that stop and hence the shops were busy. We arrived in Sydney the night before disembarkation which gave us an unexpected and spectacular view of our beautiful harbour and the chance to see it at sunrise. We dined mostly in Blu, Murano, Tuscan Grill, Silk Harvest and Sushi on Five. We avoided the Ocean View Cafe and MDR just because they tend to have people sit closer together and we liked the spaciousness of the other restaurants. We loved all our meals and could not fault the presentation, flavour or choice. And the service of the teams in those restaurants was flawless. We had the premium beverage package which was great. Just surprised the choice in the restaurants was quite limited. But we ended up trying wines we wouldn't normally drink. Enjoyed the theatre shows. We loved the Australian singer and violinist. The production shows were well done 'Rock city', 'Broken strings', and 'Euphoria' (our favourite). Spa - knowing the world was being locked down I had my hair coloured, a massage, facial and legs waxed - now the spa is expensive but I was happy with the service I got and it means I don't have to worry about any personal maintenance for 2 months or so! Disembarkation ran very smoothly and we were off the ship by 8am in Sydney and being local home by 9am to commence our self isolation for 14 days as required by our government. Pleased to say we have now completed it and we have not had a hint of illness. Captain Alex was a bit of a comedian and did a great job with his announcements. Overall we loved our cruise and are especially appreciative of the Celebrity Solstice team that made it safe and special. The crew were always cleaning and made sure everyone used hand sanitisers regularly. Knowing the world would change when we disembarked was surreal. A cruise is a great way to see NZ and we hope to do the trip again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We flew from London to Auckland via Emirates. Everything ran as per schedule and we arrived in New Zealand 3 days prior to the cruise. It took about an hour or so to go through immigration and customs before leaving the airport. However ... Read More
We flew from London to Auckland via Emirates. Everything ran as per schedule and we arrived in New Zealand 3 days prior to the cruise. It took about an hour or so to go through immigration and customs before leaving the airport. However apart from usual bag checks no other checks like temperature monitoring were being carried out at the airport. We were transferred to our central Auckland hotel called Citylife heritage hotel. We were given a one bedroom suite on one of the top floors of this hotel which had beautiful views of the city and harbour. We had breakfast included at the hotel which was great and there were plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby for lunches and dinners. The hotel was in a great location, situated on the main shopping street, Queen street. Sky tower was 5 mins walk away. We spent the next 3 days sightseeing around Auckland. Took hop on hop off bus to tour around Auckland, went up the sky tower for great views of the city, took a ferry to Devonport for views of Auckland from Mount Victoria. Also visited museum and botanic gardens. On our third day, we took a full day excursion to Rotorua to visit Tepuia and Wai-o-tapu geo-thermal sights. Very interesting day visiting these lovely sites and also saw a kiwi bird at Tepuia. On our return back to Auckland there was heavy rainfall which the country desperately needed after a very dry summer. Thankfully this was the only rainfall we saw in our entire trip. The next morning we did a bit of souvenir shopping on queen street before being picked up by our trasnsfer service to be taken to the dock to check in for the solstice New Zealand cruise. We thought it would take a long time to board the cruise as they were going to do extra checks like temperature monitoring etc. However no sooner we got there, our temperatures were promptly recorded and after getting the all clear, we handed our luggage to one of the porters. We proceeded to the check in area where the queue was minimal and were checked in to board the ship in 10mins. This was one of the fastest boarding we have experienced for a cruise. The whole process from arrival to boarding ship took under half an hour! As soon as we entered this beautiful ship, we were given champagne and asked to proceed to buffet as staterooms were going to be ready by 1pm. There was plenty of food choice for lunch from pizzas to sandwiches to Indian, Mexican, Chinese, vegetarian/vegan etc. After we finished lunch, we went to tour the ship which was similar to the Reflection we had been on 6 months prior to this cruise. 2 outdoor and 1 indoor pools, 2 tier theatre, cinema, casino, plenty of bars and cafes, around 4 speciality restaurants, outdoor screen by lawn area etc. Lovely ship and everything seemed nicely maintained despite a refit scheduled in 2021. We were soon asked to proceed to the staterooms soon after 1pm. Our cabin was a balcony cabin on deck 7 on the starboard side of the ship towards the front elevators. Great location for the theatres, Sky bar and cinema. Bit further to walk for dining areas but we got used to it very soon. When we got to our cabin, all the luggage had already arrived which was great! The cabin was once again very similar to our cabin on celebrity Reflection. Lovely bathroom with shower cubicle with glass doors. Good size balcony with 2 retractable chairs and a table. The room had plenty of storage space, a big sofa and a huge flat screen interactive tv. All in all, a very pleasant cabin which was looked after by our cabin steward Joaquín. The master of the ship, captain Alex, was one of the best captain we have ever had on a cruise. He was hilarious and we eagerly looked forward to his daily announcements. More importantly he kept us reassured and worry-free through out the cruise as we were travelling at a time when the whole world seemed to be affected by the coronavirus. Moreover we saw him regularly saw him and his officers throughout the cruise. We departed Auckland after 6pm soon after the safety drill was completed. We had lovely views of the city as we sailed toward Tauranga, our first stop. We docked in Tauranga next day at 10.30am. As we had booked a 'Hobbiton film set' tour for 12.30pm, we went to explore nearby area in the morning. we hiked up Mt. Maunganui in the morning where we got lovely views of the ship and surrounding area. Went back to ship for 12.30 whereby we took a coach to see the lovely film set where some parts of Lord of Rings and Hobbit trilogies were filmed. Spent around 3 hours at this magical place before returning to the ship around 4.30pm. As the ship was not leaving Tauranga till 10pm, we had local Maui performers come and do a traditional show in the theatre and included Haka dance too. We had a sea day in between followed by 3 consecutive stops. The first stop was Picton in South Island which was extremely picturesque. We had a lovely sunny day and we did a Marlborough train tour to Blenheim which was really a scenic journey passing through many vineyards. We got off at Blenheim and had a few hours to spend in this town before taking train back to Picton. Once we got back, we looked around Picton and the beautiful scenery around the area before taking back shuttle to ship. The next day we tendered in Akaroa. However the tendering process was very quick and efficient. We did a tour to Christchurch. It was a lovely picturesque journey to Christchurch and we had an excellent tour guide/driver who was very informative. When we got there we toured the city on the colourful trams and although the city is still rebuilding from the earthquake around 10 years ago, we loved the city for its vibrant atmosphere. We returned back to the ship and sailed towards Dunedin (Port Chalmers). We were advised by the captain that night that NZ prime minister had announced that all cruise ship ports in NZ would be shutting next day and if anyone entered the country from a foreign country including Australia, they would have to self isolate for 14 days. Hence anyone wishing to get off at Dunedin would be allowed to. This was our last NZ port anyway so we didn't miss any of the NZ ports. However due to the self isolation policy, around 180 guests left the ship in Dunedin. In Dunedin, we had a tour booked to see sights of Dunedin and visit Speights brewery. This was an excellent tour as it covered quite a few areas of Dunedin like botanic gardens, the railway station (most photographed building in all of NZ) and also a very informative trip to the brewery. After the tour of brewery we were given lots of good sized samples of various beers to try. Returned back to ship after 4 hours and then went around Port Chalmers Local area to have a look at this lovely small town. The next day we were visiting the national fjordland area (dusky, doubtful and Milford sounds). As we were not docking there, we were allowed to visit this part of New Zealand. It started off a bit overcast when we cruised through dusky sound but weather kept improving through the day and by the time we got to Milford sound, it was very warm and sunny. The captain gave us a surprise by rotating the ship 360 degrees at Milford sound to view one of the gorgeous waterfalls there so every side of the ship could get great views of the falls. We also saw lots of dolphins sailing alongside the ship once again pointed out by the captain and cruise director. During the sail into other sounds, we also saw seals and plenty of different types of birds. Had a great day visiting all the sounds and our trip to NZ wouldn't have been complete without without visiting these sites. We were supposed to have 2 sea days before docking in Eden. However Australia announced they would be closing all ports to cruise ships. Hence we missed Eden but were given onboard credit for missing that stop. So we ended up with 3 sea days. We were slightly concerned whether we would be allowed to disembark in Sydney but we needn't have worried as captain Alex announced that we were given permission to disembark in Sydney and would be arriving there the night before. However wouldn't be allowed to leave the ship until the scheduled day of departure. So apart from missing Eden, we didn't have any other itinerary changes and were very lucky that everything ran smoothly and no one fell ill onboard. The ship staff were always cleaning around the ship and made sure everyone washed their hands and used hand sanitisers regularly. We dined in main dining room on level 4. Although we were on anytime dining, the hostess Carla (who remembered our names daily) always ensured she was gave us table by the window with the same waiter every night. One of the best hostesses we have seen on a ship. Our head waiter Rejoy was excellent and ensured all our needs were promptly met. His assistant Goolfee was great too but was moved to one of the speciality dining rooms later. However his replacement was great too. Wine steward Paul gave us a good selection wines daily. Since we had outstanding service in main dining room, we didn't need to visit any of the speciality restaurants. However those who visited some of them like Murano, had a great time. Food was great and loved all the choices on menu. All the shows in theatre were great. There were some guest presenters like a British magician, Australian singer and a violinist. All were very talented and enjoyed their shows immensely. The production shows were brilliant and loved all 4 of them. They included 'Rock city', 'Broken strings', 'Amade' and 'Euphoria'. The singers and dancers did a great job and we got to see how they work and train on one of the sea days when we were given a complimtary tour of the backstage areas. The cruise director Kelly did and excellent job and together with her assistant Patrick, they ensured everyone was kept entertained during the various parties on the ship. Loved the balloon launch night and st. Patrick's day party. However disappointed that Abba night was not held in foyer as the charm was lost when it was held in sky lounge. There were quite a few talks, trivial, games and shows organised on the sea days to keep us occupied. However apart from one film shown in theatre on first sea day, no other films were shown in theatre during the cruise which was slightly disappointing. Films were shown on the screen by the lawn and at celebrity central but these are not ideal venues for film screening. Hence I would recommend solstice to show more films in theatre like they had done on our previous cruise on Reflection. Disembarkation ran very smoothly and we were off the ship by 8am in Sydney. We were at the airport by 11am and luckily our flight went on time later that day. Sadly lot of flights were cancelled as the world prepared to lock down due to coronavirus. On the whole, I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone who wants to visit and see sites and sounds of NZ in a relaxed way. We were immensely lucky that everything ran smoothly from start to finish and captain Alex and his team did a marvellous job to keep us safe and entertained through out the trip. Hoping the world can get over this virus quickly and cruises and travel can restart soon. Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We like New Zealand and decided that it would be a good way to go for a short cruise which started in Auckland and finished in Sydney. One of the selling points was that the ship was coming back to Sydney via Eden on the south Coast of ... Read More
We like New Zealand and decided that it would be a good way to go for a short cruise which started in Auckland and finished in Sydney. One of the selling points was that the ship was coming back to Sydney via Eden on the south Coast of NSW.. On the morning of embarkation in Auckland it was a fairly long process because of the corona virus scare - everyone had to have their temperature taken.. But it was handled well and to know that we were considered safe to board the vessel was good news. Our balcony cabin on Deck 6 was OK apart from a slightly restricted view because of the life boats. The balcony furniture was very tatty and one of the chairs was less than safe to 'perch' on. There were a few things around the ship that needed attention. I don't like the idea of a 'minibar' and requested all the things in it be removed. Another thing which really annoys me is that as soon as one sets foot on the ship someone is trying to take your photo, others are endeavouring to make sure one has a drinks package or others are trying their hardest to get one to sign up for extra dining packages or spa treatments etc etc. If I want those things I am quite capable of making my own decisions. The WiFI costs on Celebrity Solstice are beyond belief. No wonder people hightail it off the ship when there are port calls to search for free WiFi. I thought the food in the buffet cafeteria was quite good - a wide variety of food. We never went to the formal dining room. One things I didn't appreciate was the 'music' that constantly bashed one's ears. Why does it have to be so loud and intrusive. Very difficult to hold a good conversation - I guess it's also a way of quickly shunting people through the dining areas. Their system of accounts makes it appear on the in room TV that each person has the same credit. We spoke to one of the desk staff about this and he said that quite a few people had been 'caught out by this'. An easy way to make an extra buck or two for the company. The Captain was quite a good communicator - quite amusing as well. Most of the staff were friendly and our room attendant was efficient and pleasant. The end of the cruise was less than satisfactory. We couldn't dock in Eden because of the corona virus (I understand that). We docked on the evening 19/3 in Sydney but couldn't disembark until the following morning. With everything that was/has been happening with corona virus we would have thought that we all would have been checked before getting off the ship or at least on the dock. But NO - it didn't happen. Something fell down with communication between the ship and NSWhealth/ border control. When we got to the dock we had to sign a form about going into 14 days isolation. Which of course we did and we will be 'in-house' for quite a few more days before that time is up. It was an unhappy ending to an otherwise fairly good trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
It was our first ocean cruise although we have done river cruises. We did it for the cruise experience rather than the destination (been to NZ many times). It went from Melbourne to Auckland. We had an Aqua class cabin. Most cabins of same ... Read More
It was our first ocean cruise although we have done river cruises. We did it for the cruise experience rather than the destination (been to NZ many times). It went from Melbourne to Auckland. We had an Aqua class cabin. Most cabins of same size and with small balcony - difference only in deck and benefits e.g. Aqua meant expedited boarding, own restaurant, canapes, etc. We were very impressed with our room attendant Santesh. Room needed more power points and more Euro ones - only 2 USA and 1 Euro. WiFi service should allow more than one device at a time per account, and very slow to download daily newspaper. Bars should provide nibbles/snacks with drinks - got nothing. I was told beforehand that there free public laundry facilities on the ship, but there weren't: our one large load of laundry cost US$93. Had niggles with online help before cruise as they insisted on using deck names not numbers, even though every single web site/link and document/email used number. From first minute onboard we were constantly assailed by media and staff flogging packages and deals - every waiter pushed drinks package then 5 drinks for US$35 card. Entry to dining constantly assailed by staff flogging dining package. Then flyers and letters and emails and PA announcements and phone msgs (!) pushing shopping deals and art gallery auctions (!! must be USA thing) and opals and cheap watches and future tours and ..... Room had surprising amount of storage although not large but OK. Room's aircon was quiet and effective - very pleasant surprise. No free bottled water after first day. Entertainment in theatre (impressive) and around bars was very good. Good amount and range of fair quality food in Oceanview Café; could get snacks there until midnight. Coffee OK for filter coffee but no decent latte or cappuccino by Oz standards. Low quality resolution TV - should be HD. Surprisingly cheap toilet paper. Second rate and limited wine even in Premium Package, no wine in Basic Package. Champagne very expensive, even a glass was US$25. Capt Alex clearly a frustrated standup comedian. All prices on board US dollars plus 20% gratuity on food/drink purchased. Airport transfer upon disembarkation cost US$132 (i.e. AU$200) for two! Mixed experience of Blu cafe (for Aqua Class): sommelier was consistently poor; twice waiters had to apologise for his late arrival at table to take drinks order, and not at all on one night; his attitude varied between attentive and total disinterest; Blu food could be poor (sorbet was woeful), OK or excellent (creme brulee); could not order side dishes; needed to request "medium" for meat to not be raw by Oz standards; overall, service pretty good in Blu; two maitre-D's were good. Balcony covered in paint flakes like confetti one day when chipping off paint. Very good enforcement of hand sanitiser use. Had lots of error msgs opening and closing safe - had to call someone to open it at one stage; seemed related to our 4 digit code, which we then changed. In summary, we definitely enjoyed it and are glad we did it. We would recommend Celebrity, but not sure we would sail with them again - might try a more upmarket one next time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have sailed on 4 Celebrity ships all in Aquaclass, and enjoy the access to BLU as well as the Spa amenities. We chose Solstice for the itinerary, as New Zealand was on the bucket list. We stayed in Auckland, on Princes Wharf, so we ... Read More
We have sailed on 4 Celebrity ships all in Aquaclass, and enjoy the access to BLU as well as the Spa amenities. We chose Solstice for the itinerary, as New Zealand was on the bucket list. We stayed in Auckland, on Princes Wharf, so we were able to leave our hotel room, walk to the end of the building, drop our luggage, and enter the cruise port within a few minutes. We were directed to a line for Aqua passengers, and were boarding the ship within 10-15 minutes. Service and food quality in Blu was exceptional. We dined around 7pm most nights, and did not have to wait to be seated. The waiters and assistant waiters worked together as a team, and quickly learned our names and preferences. We found the bartenders and waiters went out of their way to find a selection of wines to match our beverage package. The choices available in the outside bar at Oceanview tend to be narrow, but the inside Oceanview bar always had multiple premium wine choices to pick from. We enjoyed the range of daily activities on the ship for sea days. We only booked one shore excursion through Celebrity, and it was well done. We had 3 tender days, and were very impressed with the speed and efficiency displayed by the captain and crew in handling the tendering process. We also found the Disembarkation to be very smooth. We typically walk off, with our luggage, but as we were staying on in Melbourne, we chose to set out our luggage the night before. We were able to enjoy a last trip to Blu, and were able to relax in a lounge, and our number was called 10 minutes before the assigned time of 9:15 am. Overall the ship was as outlined in great shape, and the staff across the board were excellent. If there is one thing that Celebrity needs to stop, it is the upselling. We always had to bypass 3 photographers getting off of the ship, and then multiple portrait stations in the evening going to dinner and returning, Everyone has an iPhone, if we want our picture taken, we will ask someone to take it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Chose this cruise for the itinerary Auckland to Melbourne ,on a positive note excellent staff both in level of service and quantity ,no issue with getting drink etc having sailed with NCL and RCI Celebrity and the quality of food was ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary Auckland to Melbourne ,on a positive note excellent staff both in level of service and quantity ,no issue with getting drink etc having sailed with NCL and RCI Celebrity and the quality of food was Superior . Itinerary was excellent with the over night in Sydney (although we did have to return to ship by 9.30pm) ,generally the entertainment was very good but the organisation and scheduling was poor ,for example for the house band played for a max 45 minutes session then stop (even if dance floor full)with no interim entertainment ,subsequently mass exodus from the audience leaving a 90% empty ,plus overlapping events and confusing use of venues where you had to keep skipping around to attend events ,it was a real struggle for the entertainment staff to keep the 2800 odd passengers to stay up any later than 10.30 pm ,during the day the ship had the feel of a carehome (I am 55) ,party ship this isn't !.felt really sorry for the Dj starting at 11ish with empty dance floor, however Patrick (activities manager )is destined for better things with his energy and enthusiasm . Another annoying issue was the 3 levels of drinks package ,never had this before where you could only have certain drinks and the premium drinks you could have were only available in 1 bar Tendering absolute debacle 2.5 hours to get off at bay of islands . The ship is looking very old and tired ,in need of a refurb and not by adding speciality restaurants at the expense of venues ,absolutely no WOW factors Not sure why the Captain was vying with the cruise director for entertainment value ? Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Just like to start of by saying -Thank you so much for such an amazing experience. Everything from the cabin we had to the atmosphere/entertainment and food, comfort it was all well above excellence. Everything was absolutely above ... Read More
Just like to start of by saying -Thank you so much for such an amazing experience. Everything from the cabin we had to the atmosphere/entertainment and food, comfort it was all well above excellence. Everything was absolutely above expectation and it was my first time on a cruise and it goes beyond words to explain how wonderful it all was. Our cabin was comfortable, spacious, clean and had all the facilities we needed. The services throughout the cruise including all the facilities and cleanliness were excellent. Definitely deserve over 5 stars. Meet amazing people, the atmosphere was wonderful the food and cocktails were divine always! With so much variety to choose from and such great entertainment. A BIG thank you! to Marvin (our waiter) and his team for always providing such a lovely service! Such a friendly, lovely team thank you! Exceptional teams, the services were all excellent. An experience to never forget. Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We wanted to see the New Zealand Sounds - not hear them. We are regulars and have sailed on Celebrity before, the last trip was around the west coast of India. The Solstice is a modern well run Ship with good food, comfortable cabins, and ... Read More
We wanted to see the New Zealand Sounds - not hear them. We are regulars and have sailed on Celebrity before, the last trip was around the west coast of India. The Solstice is a modern well run Ship with good food, comfortable cabins, and professional staff. Exploring Milford and the other sounds on the ship was a great experience, and the Captain and pilot managed to manoeuvre close to the shore, giving us close ups of the waterfalls and rock formations. It is a shame that the crews good efforts were spoiled by the constant noise generated by the background music which was always loud and intrusive. It consisted of about 2 hours of repeats on a loop, coldplay, wailing femail vocals, seeped into everything. I could list the tracks I complained several times, the waiting staff said that the background tape had been played constantly for 7 months at least. Reception also confirmed that there had been several complaints. The Hotel Manager said that the music was on Spotify, it was not.. When we alighted into the tender, the first thing the skipper did was to crank up the same tape. All restaurants were the same as was the rear deck, and I was told it was for ambiance, in fact it was a weapon to move people through the restaurants faster. To be told repeatedly "Head Office choose the music and its for your own good is just not acceptable. At least "Kung Foo Fighting", and ironically "I can't get no satisfaction" was not on the foredeck when we cruised through the Sounds. Totally ruined the cruise, and in the absence of an apology or reassurance, will never go with Celebrity again Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise because it linked to another cruise that would be ending and went to a destination we wanted to see. This was advertised to us as a 5 1/2 star ship. It is a 4 1/2 star ship with 3 1/2 star food and service. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it linked to another cruise that would be ending and went to a destination we wanted to see. This was advertised to us as a 5 1/2 star ship. It is a 4 1/2 star ship with 3 1/2 star food and service. Embarkation: The porter staff was gruff and borderline rude. We were told if we had alcohol in our checked luggage we had to remove it or it would be confiscated. Cabin: Chipped veneer, worn carpet, holes in the black-out blinds, scratched furniture. Our room was sold to us as "partially obstructed". Upon inquiry, we were told by Celebrity that the top of a lifeboat would be at the base of our balcony so it would obstruct our view looking down. However, if, like ours, your lifeboat is one of the tenders, it is much taller than the lifeboats and therefore reaches the railing height such that when you are seated, it fully obstructs your view. Cruise Experience: In the first 3 days we were inundated by sales people trying to sell us beverage and wi-fi packages. It was relentless and obnoxious. They would walk up to you anytime and anyplace, interrupt your meal, your conversation, whatever you were doing and try to sell you this stuff. Some would not take no for an answer, just like commissioned sales people do. After seeing that they were charging USD$6 (plus tip) for each bottle of water, latte or coke, I bought the basic beverage package. However, once I bought the package, only once was I asked if I would like any of these things served to me. If you want one, you have find a place that served them, stand in line, and get it yourself. Also, if your spouse does not buy a package, you can never ask for 2 drinks at a time, so mid meal, if you want a second drink, your food gets cold while you go get yourself another drink. The Food: Buffet Service: Finding a seat was like being in a mall food fair at lunch time. We could never find a seat and usually ended up clearing a table ourselves to get one. It seemed to me that there were staff available to clear tables, but they aimlessly wandered around with one or two dirty coffee cups on their trays trying to look like they were busy. One day, we could could only find one table available, but it was piled high with dirty dishes from everyone dumping dirty dishes on it to make a seat for themselves, I asked 3 different people over to clear the table and not one of them came over! The food staff was borderline rude. One morning I asked the cook to not put my Eggs Benedict on a bagel (which he was about to do) and he gave me attitude. The menu description in front of him said it came on an English muffin and they were right beside the bagels, so....? I do not recall a single happy smile or greeting by any staff member at the buffet. I got the distinct feeling that the staff are not treated well and actually witnessed one staff member getting publicly yelled at. Not cool. Buffet Food: The food was cafeteria-like. Heavy on the carbs, cheap cuts of meat (1/2" thick steaks), frozen vegetables and the cheap fresh fruit (melons, apples, oranges). A good example of how cheap the food is - the only crackers served on the cheese board were Premium Plus soup crackers in the plastic wrappers. Dining Room: One expects better food in the dining room, but it was not. The only benefit of the dining room is that you got a table and they bring you your food. However, the same austerity program was on display in the dining room. For example, I ordered prawn linguini for an entree and got a bowl of pasta with 3 little anemic shrimp on top (like what you get on a Domino's pizza). The dining room for breakfast was horrid service. Our first time, with the restaurant 1/5 full, we waited 45 minutes to get an omelette. Day 2, I ordered an omelette and toast. I repeated my order 3 times to the steward as he didn't understand what I wanted despite it being on the menu item with no substitutions. My husband ordered pancakes, eggs and bacon. 45 minutes later, two omelettes were brought. Extra omelette was taken away, husbands order repeated, and again I asked for my toast. Twice more I asked for my toast. After I finished my omelette, eggs showed up for my husband, but no pancakes or bacon, and I still had no toast. By this time, two "supervisors" had now come over and apologized profusely and advised it was being looked after - but we never got our food!! My husband finally gave up and went to the buffet for breakfast. Specialty Restaurant: As condolences for the dining experience, the ship sent us to their specialty restaurant, Murano for dinner. It was fantastic. The price is $55 pp. Entertainment: The entertainment was the best I've seen on any cruise line. One curiosity, in our view, the best male and female singer on the ship's troupe were a Hispanic female and black male. However, they were not the leads. The leads were a white male and female of mediocre talent. Shore Excursions: We did not book with the ship, preferring the smaller groups of private tours at (usually) half the price. The Gym: The fitness room was excellent, but the entire floor work area always had chairs set up in it for their sales pitches. If you wanted to to do floor work you had to do it between weight machines. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was just wonderful in every aspect, we did the back to back Australia and New Zealand cruise from Sydney. The ship was great but the service and entertainment was spectacular the best of the 7 cruises we have had. I could not ... Read More
This was just wonderful in every aspect, we did the back to back Australia and New Zealand cruise from Sydney. The ship was great but the service and entertainment was spectacular the best of the 7 cruises we have had. I could not fault in any way and now would only book with Celebrity for my future cruises. Brilliant Cruise Director, Kelly and a great Activities Manager in Patrick really kept us busy when on a 23 day cruise we only managed to read 10 pages of our books !!!! The organisation of on board activities was first class with something always available to do if you wanted. The Captain and staff were very engaged with the passengers which was great. The staff could not do any more for you. Food in the main restaurant was first class the only thing we would have changed is to have a little more variety on the 2nd cruise as we did the back to back cruise so the menu was repeated Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and I wanted to repeat a similar Pacific cruise on the Solstice which we enjoyed several years ago. Overall the cruise was pleasant but was marred by several avoidable problems. First, my wife's suitcase was mysteriously ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to repeat a similar Pacific cruise on the Solstice which we enjoyed several years ago. Overall the cruise was pleasant but was marred by several avoidable problems. First, my wife's suitcase was mysteriously impounded by over-zealous ship security and we were left wondering whether, and when, it would be delivered to our cabin. Just before the ship's 5 pm departure and after receiving no effective assistance from our room attendant, we made our way to the ship's luggage hold on deck 3 only to encounter a line of 20 to 30 guests in a line also seeking release of their luggage. My wife had placed her allowed bottle of wine in her case which apparently triggers a warning on the security xray. It was only after a heated exchange with security (highlighting her urgent need to access her medication) that her suitcase was handed over. Hardly a good start to the cruise! Soon after that episode we experienced a few frustrations with the quality of the wines available in our Classic Drinks Package which has somewhat arbitrary price restrictions. These problems, and the unhelpful attitude of some bar staff, were resolved when we received an apology and compensation from the Beverage Manager. The food in the MDR and our "Seafood Fiesta" lunch in Silk Harvest ($40 pp) was generally of high quality and the service excellent. The buffet food on deck 14 however was a bit disappointing for evening meals - the self service food was only lukewarm, there were too many curry dishes and only limited seafood, carvery and other freshly cooked options. Fresh fruit options were extremely limited - bananas, kiwi fruit, strawberries and the like were usually unavailable. The evening performances were mostly lively, professionally produced and highly entertaining. The ship's 2 house bands played some appealing popular music although many sets, eg on the pool deck, seemed to last only 30 mins at most. The groups also lacked energy, public involvement and and were almost robotic. The solo performer, Sasha, was excellent. Facilities such as the well-equpped gym, sauna, pools (often over-crowded) and cafe were of a high standard, although the (chargeable) coffee was bitter and unpleasant. The port to shore services in Noumea appear to have been restricted since our last cruise to this region eg there is now no free shuttle to the beaches but only to downtown, whilstthe mini-bus service to the pristine beach on Mare island attracts a rather high charge of $20 USD. This is yet more evidence of cost cutting and price gouging by Celebrity which is a regretable trend. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This is the second time we have travelled on Celebrity Solstice, and again, we had a faultless experience. We travelled with another couple, so we experienced both the suite and a balcony cabin. Accommodation: The balcony cabin ... Read More
This is the second time we have travelled on Celebrity Solstice, and again, we had a faultless experience. We travelled with another couple, so we experienced both the suite and a balcony cabin. Accommodation: The balcony cabin was big enough, with enough storage space for everything, the bathroom was compact but storage space was good. Everything in the cabin was pristinely clean and well maintained. The suite was excellent, spacious, well maintained and better than the suites we stayed in on 2 other cruise lines last year. Food: We could not fault any of the food, we ate in the buffet and found there to be an excellent selection of various cuisines. We went there a few times as there was a great variety, and we enjoyed everything we ate. Breakfast can be very busy, also lunch, choose your times and there won't be an issue. Again, compared to the other 2 cruise lines we travelled with last year there was no comparison, the other cruise line buffets we ate at were dreadful and we simply couldn't eat there. Interesting to read other reviews where people complain of the food on the Solstice, not sure if they were even on the same ship. Sushi on five was great, we tried a lot of things on the menu and really enjoyed everything we ate. The ramen noodles were the only thing that we found not to be outstanding, however the broth was delicious. Murano is our favourite, and we went there twice, the food is excellent, the ambience and the wait staff there are also excellent. Petit Chef is a new concept which you really have to experience to understand it. It is a set menu with the whole table being animated, and an interactive dinner experience. We all loved it and were pleased we went. Food was also excellent. Crew: Everyone on board was fantastic, nothing was a problem and everyone we encountered was professional, friendly and efficient. Shore excursions: We did our own thing; however, the tendering was extremely efficient and again we were very impressed. The ship: Beautifully maintained, everything is kept looking good, we were surprised as other reviews differed in this respect. Not sure what people are expecting, but we found it excellent. Our friends had not been on a cruise before and loved everything about the ship, service, food etc. We were discussing on our last night what faults we could find, and there were none. There are loads of places to hang out, we spent a lot of our time on the lawn club. Yes, this is real grass on the top deck, lovely to sit on, watch movies, have a drink and just relax. The shows we went to were great, the comedian, the illusionist and the show on the last night was fantastic. This is a well-oiled machine, and anyone with complaints I would seriously wonder what the issue is. We did meet one guy on the cruise who didn't enjoy it, because another passenger didn't greet him in the lift. Wondering if people bring their own issues with them and take it out on the cruise line. Comparing the experience we had with some of the reviews, doesn't corelate at all. As previous, we travelled with 2 other cruise lines last year, been on 3 Celebrity cruises, and would not cruise again with anyone else, as nothing is comparable. The food, the suites, the service, everything is outstanding with Celebrity and the Solstice is a beautiful ship. So will we go again? Absolutely! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We sailed onboard the Solstice to New Zealand form Sydney. Wow what a cruise! It really is for all ages and plenty of things to do for everyone. On the ship itself there was no fault I found, the staff were excellent and the restaurants ... Read More
We sailed onboard the Solstice to New Zealand form Sydney. Wow what a cruise! It really is for all ages and plenty of things to do for everyone. On the ship itself there was no fault I found, the staff were excellent and the restaurants were amazing. We had Christmas Dinner at Tuscan Grille and NYE dinner at Murano. If you get a chance, I would highly suggest going to the specialty restaurants, they were really top-notch quality. Our cabin was a Ocean-View stateroom, however I bid for a Balcony Stateroom and received the upgrade. Travelling with my family, we got to explore such beautiful sights of New Zealand, and we thoroughly enjoyed Celebrity. The entertainment was phenomenal, being a dancer for 17 years, I loved the shows in the theatre, and I would highly recommend anyone to go see, even if you are not one to go to a musical, anyone will love it. I guarantee it! We did only one shore excursion which was the Dunedin Castle Experience where we ate Haggis and drank Whisky - Very entertaining, you have to go, its a must! Well done Celebrity for the amazing trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We sailed on this cruise as a family Christmas cruise, the ship is far from being in prestige condition, well due in of a refurbishment our balcony chairs had chips of paint missing one of the chairs the blot came out the little table has ... Read More
We sailed on this cruise as a family Christmas cruise, the ship is far from being in prestige condition, well due in of a refurbishment our balcony chairs had chips of paint missing one of the chairs the blot came out the little table has not seen a coat of varnish in years. All around the pool area they have only got sun lounges no tables and chairs even in the shaded areas the only tables and chairs were for smokers.The bar staff were rude and some of the waiters didn't want to know you especially in the Sky lounge. The chefs in the carvery at the buffet were more interested in talking then serving. The cabins were clean and well kept generally the staff were friendly and pleasant. We've sailed with Celebrity twice before in Europe and the standard has certainly slipped the food is still good but it used to be so much better, the speciality restaurants are way too expensive. Embarkment was excellent as was disembarkment. Entertainment was very good we enjoyed the shows and bands there could have been more band music played around pool area and also no poolside BBQ go figure first cruise ship we've been on with no Bbq special event they did have bbq dinners at the other pool at a charge off course. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
It wasn't our first choice, but I am soo happy with this cruise and the experiences we shared. Leaving and coming back to Sydney Harbour was like night and day. Leaving the port was smooth as the seas beneath us. The ship is ... Read More
It wasn't our first choice, but I am soo happy with this cruise and the experiences we shared. Leaving and coming back to Sydney Harbour was like night and day. Leaving the port was smooth as the seas beneath us. The ship is magnificent and should be explored in great detail. The cabins are adequate and will serve you well. The food is delicious, not one desire was left unfulfilled. Entertainment was amazing, such a wide selection of shows, movies, and games. If you are strong, turn off your phone and allow the captain to take you on your journey. You will find all the answers you seek if you aren't afraid to follow your pain. If you are reading Captain Nicholas, please employ a maître d' for the disco, the DJ's need all the help they can get. Thank you so very much Celebrity Solstice, till we meet again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had the pleasure of taking our fourth cruise on the Celebrity Solstice in Dec 2019; on this occasion Syd-Syd via Noumea and Vanuatu for 9 nights. Sea conditions were superb, didn’t feel like we were at sea. Good for most, some might ... Read More
We had the pleasure of taking our fourth cruise on the Celebrity Solstice in Dec 2019; on this occasion Syd-Syd via Noumea and Vanuatu for 9 nights. Sea conditions were superb, didn’t feel like we were at sea. Good for most, some might have preferred some ‘rock-n-roll’! Without doubt we would recommend this ship to any friend without children, thank God. My comments are however novel more than serious: 1. Breakfast: One should NEVER go to a buffet breakfast on your own. I have experienced this before, but this was ridiculous. My wife wisely loves to have breakfast served to her on our veranda, whilst watching the water ripple past. Just beautiful. My favoured table is up-top, outside in the shade watching the wake disappear over the horizon as I tuck into an American breakfast, magnificent. No forgotten salt or pepper, or hot milk or anything ~ just go and help yourself. On this occasion, I was a wake up to the old tricks, so on my way through to the rear, I picked up my cutlery wrap serviette, cereals, milk, toppings and juice but I couldn’t manage carrying my coffee (I didn’t get an offer to help from any waiter). I found a table in the shade and put it all down together with my baseball cap for ‘protection’ against someone claiming the table as their own. Coffee service is no longer available as all is self-serve, so off I went to get coffee. On my return, the only thing left on my table was my hat! I hadn’t even touched my food or opened the cutlery wrap (who would have thought). I looked around for the attendant without being able to ID the culprit. I asked “what happened” to a bunch of waiters in the galley area, and all I got was blank looks. So, I put my coffee down beside my hat and off I went to renew my cereal choices and a new cutlery wrap. When I returned, you guessed it, all I found was my hat, AGAIN! This time I really blew my lid and people were wondering what on earth was going on. I complained to the group of waiters, looking for the offender, but all I got was a sheepish lady waiter trying to pacify me, asking me to calm down. She tried to explain that their supervisor liked them to be right on top of clearing unused tables. Are you kidding? So, I asked her “what do I have to do to get my food together in one piece, so I can eat it”. I suggested putting the chair up on the table with my food on top and the shirt off my back covering same, but she was not amused. I then told her that I will try again, and NO ONE is to clear this table until I SAY SO! I must have made an impression for that’s how it happened. Later, other helpful travellers with whom I shared this comedy suggested putting my cap over the food, or leaning the chair across the table, but this doesn’t work on floor boards as it slides off, or someone will surely trip over the foot of the chair. Nope, I suggest common sense training that says if a table contains untouched food, cutlery and a hat besides, it STRONGLY suggests that the owner of same WILL return, or he’s jumped overboard in FRUSTRATION. 2. Noise: Apart from your own cabin, it is virtually impossible on this ship to sit anywhere in quiet peace to read or think. The “library” is ludicrously in the central atrium that booms up all sorts of entertainment noise from the lowest deck to the top deck. Once I hid in the Sky Lounge well away from the atrium, where there are comfortable chairs and a lovely view forward, high up and majestic. With 30 mins, a group came to set up for a dance lesson. That was the end of that. Disappointing. Is there a cigar lounge anywhere that may suit? 3. Talking about smoking cigars, there is a location on deck 15 rear, where one can enjoy a quiet smoke. It is Port side, rear with its own bar. I always go there after the show to puff on a cigar (when wind direction allows, otherwise it’s simply a waste of a good cigar), in quiet contemplation of the sky drifting past, and solving the crisis of the world. BUT the recorded music is rap or bee-bop or rock knows what. Not at all conducive to a quiet puff of anything. It should be peaceful, soft, ‘go to sleep’ music for goodness sake, can’t anyone tune in such music to an isolated specific speaker? I cant think of anyone that smokes a cigar at a rock-n-roll venue. Some well-meaning soul pointed out what a filthy habit it was, to which I agreed, but something will kill us all one day, and reminded them that they had 99.8% of the ship, whereas we just wanted this tiny corner for our private indulgence. Happy sailing everyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
In summary I'd highly recommend Celebrity Solstice. We were fortunate enough to sail in the Sky Class Suite. (To date we have done a balcony stateroom, Concierge Class & Royal Suite so we have good points of reference). ... Read More
In summary I'd highly recommend Celebrity Solstice. We were fortunate enough to sail in the Sky Class Suite. (To date we have done a balcony stateroom, Concierge Class & Royal Suite so we have good points of reference). Having come off Millennium in September 20 (see earlier review) we were questioning Celebrity's commitment to maintaining and enhancing it's reputation (as opposed to living off it).. we can honestly say that the commitment to excellence was very present on Solstice. Embarkation curb to ship was in under 10 minutes…an absolute breeze and the suite experience was very well represented by the inter-cruise personnel too. Dining in Luminae was absolutely magnificent... Sam the Maître d' was very passionate about guest experience and his general ship and fleet knowledge was an added bonus. Our waiter Jules was a super star... we loved being 'welcomed home' by him upon our arrival and he executed accordingly. Ocean View Cafe had good food selection and tables were pretty easy to come by. We did have a disappointing experience in Sushi on 5 one lunch... I'm not sure this is really a specialty restaurant in terms of service and/or food. Be aware that if you go here for lunch on a port day you chances of utilising your premium drinks package becomes frustrating as this restaurant can't access the wine selection... and the time it takes for them to source the drinks leaves you with 30+ minute wait times for drinks. Our waitress was quite disengaged and weakened the experience. The ship is getting on in age and is due for it's 2021 'revolutionize dry dock'...BUT... this majestic vessel is grand, clean and in beautiful condition. The ship is so well maintained that just strolling around it makes one feel graceful. The layout of the Solstice class ships is true to grand and nostalgic cruising... the public spaces really allows guests to connect and interface with the ocean... something getting lost on some of the newer vessels. We must compliment the executive / officer personnel onboard. They were ever present and mingling with guests across all decks, classes and events. The energetic and positive attitude of Captain Nikolaos Frantzis (with his great sense of humour) certainly cascaded through his entire crew... cultures this good are not easy to build and maintain. Our cabin (2150) was really enjoyable, wonderfully complimented by Orlando our Butler, and impeccably serviced by our stateroom attendant. We did note on cruise critic prior to booking, mixed reviews around noise from the floor above in Ocean View Cafe. If you are considering this cabin here's the specifics... - The (occasional) noise comes from tables and chairs being dragged around in Ocean view on Deck 14. - If you go to bed before 9:30pm or sleep in after 7:30am and are a light sleeper this cabin's not for you. - If you go to bed later and rise fairly early you'll not be bothered by the occasional noise, Personally I didn't find any of the noise that bad, and I think some of the reviews around this are over dramatic. In summary this was a close to 10 out of 10 as a cruise can get for us... well done Solstice... we look forward to our next visit! Some food for thought / improvement: - Setting up wrist band stations for kids at the entrance to the ship was a poor idea…it created congestion as families clustered around the tables, and really robbed from what is normally a grand entrance onto a Celebrity vessel... first time we've seen this and think it is a poor idea. - I really think the wine experience onboard has lost its authenticity... selections on the Premium package are questionable and sommeliers are ‘theoretically’ adept, but I’m not sure they are wine lovers. - Michael's club needs some form of kids control... I don't think it is the appropriate place to let kids loose. (We do cruise with kids... mainly on Royal Caribbean, but in some public places better discretion needs to be exercised by some parents). Hope you find this review helpful in finalising your cruise choice! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Booked a Celebrity Suite (CS) for the first time on a very good Last minute deal having been in Balcony, Aqua and Concierge on previous cruises on Solstice. It included all the perks with premium drinks package, Wi-Fi and $600 OBC. So ... Read More
Booked a Celebrity Suite (CS) for the first time on a very good Last minute deal having been in Balcony, Aqua and Concierge on previous cruises on Solstice. It included all the perks with premium drinks package, Wi-Fi and $600 OBC. So now I’m spoilt for life! The suite was spacious and it was lovely to have the seperate bedroom and full lounge area. Our steward Jimmy was fabulous and could not have done more. The suite also has a butler who provided information and looked after room service, laundry etc. Tender transfers were immaculate as you just went to Michaels Club as were then personally escorted. Luminae restaurant was also great with fine dining with a french flair. It was all so relaxing and you were treated as special guests. The ship is still fairly pristine and well looked after. Other passengers were a mixed demographic being pre Christmas but quite a younger active crowd which was fun. Solstice does not really cater to kids and that is fine as the brand is more contemporary adult. Only disappointment was the rather basic wine. They seemed to have run out of a lot including dessert wines and ports on this cruise. Only one advertised but non hosted LGBT mixer on the first night. I suggest at least marking out an alcove in the martini bar with a little flag and a host. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our second cruise on Celebrity Solstice and found it most enjoyable with no complaints bar two which I will go into later. Embarkation a breeze. Just board when you want, Dont follow their advisory boarding times. Their a pain if ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Celebrity Solstice and found it most enjoyable with no complaints bar two which I will go into later. Embarkation a breeze. Just board when you want, Dont follow their advisory boarding times. Their a pain if you get a late time. They dont hassle if you turn up early. Everyone was very pleasant. Complaing ONE/ Boat drill was a real pain. They made us stand in a small atrium with virtually no seating so everybody had to stand for 20 minutes so of course we couldnt see the demonstration talk come video. I eventually had to sit down on the floor due to aching back. Their were over 2800 passengers and for some reason lots of asians, americans, canadians british etc.Lots of pushing for drinks package for first couple of days, Got a bit annoying Our cabin 2507 was balcony and very spacious. Bed was great. Good sized bathroom, No complaints there. Cabin steward Rhonda was very nice and polite. Cabin electricity suitable for Aussie appliances but you will need American or British electrical plug adaptor. Ship is huge but easily naviable. Plenty of elevators. Lots of public lounges and other spaces to find quite spot for some quiet time. Ship is gears to mature passengers, not a lot for kids and hardly any at all/ Numerous places to eat. Their is set dinning or select dinning. We choose select dinning. You have to ring them to book time. You can choose size of table from two to eight people. Waiters effecient and ;polite. Their are a number of PAY restaurants. We tried the Tuscan grill the first night and not greatly impressed. We found the main dining room food just as good We found the entire crew very polite and effecient. Tables are cleared immediately. Their is no compulsory tipping but please tip them. These guys work long hours every day for upto 7 months No complaints about crew at all. Two pools. One outside. One inside. Both with spas. Two of the spas have small hoists to help disabled people into them. This ship is disabled friendly. All doors including toilets open automatically [except cabin door] In port ramps are used, no stairs. Staff will help you if required. Quite a few electricl wheelchair people on board. Tendering is not very disabled friendly. You may miss out. Lots of entertainment. I think their were four different groups playing throughout the ship during the day and evening. A lot of the daytime activities were designed to seperate you from your money! The jogging track was only 200 metres round and crowded which was a pain. Good gym if your into that. Smallish library, pretty useless really. The Oceanview buffet is where you have breakfast, lunch and dinner if you want. Multiple stations have various menus such as Asian. Western, Salads. Bread, Desserts. Carvery etc. Except for the Carvery its all self serve. I found some of the meats dry and tough. The Carvery was usually ok. Some desserts were dry as well. It can get very crowded and noisey in this place. We always found a spot out the back deck but can get breezey and cold sometimes. Disembarkation good as we were able to take all our luggage of with us and not wait for them to unload so you can get off immediately. Complaint TWO. Piped music is played throughout most of the public areas. I found this most annoying, In particuar the music at the Oceanview cafe was atrocious and sometimes sounded like a strangling cat. This ship is geared to the mature and seniors but yet the piped music to the oceanview and coffee shop was geared to the young set of which their were hardly any. Both my wife and I couldnt stand it and would eat and get out as quickly as possible. We had this problem last cruise to which I complained but apparently fell on death ears. Now for something really important HYGEINE. Last time on this ship I got the dreaded Noro virus. Confined to cabin for two days and missed a good port. This time we took no chances. Upon entering our room we used sanitised wipes to clean everything. Door handles. Taps, Toilet, TV remote, phone etc/ We did this every couple of days as the cabin attendent cleans 15 rooms so germ transfer is a problem. When you enter any eatery you must use the hand wash dispenser but I noticed some people sneak in without doing so. The most contaminated implement are the food thongs. We used hand wipes after useing them. Also take my advice and do the following. Under no circumstances unless necessary touch handrails or bannisters. Use your knuckle to touch elevator buttons. Even clean your seacard every couple of days. Countless waiters touch them. You may think Im paranoid but I am an ex paramedic and know how easy it is to get contaminated and having the noro virus once was enough for me/ I would have given this ship five stars except for the two complaints noted. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I had planned for several years to visit Australia and New Zealand. We first considered a land trip but eventually choose to do a cruise due to the overall value and convenience. I looked at several very similar cruise lines ... Read More
My wife and I had planned for several years to visit Australia and New Zealand. We first considered a land trip but eventually choose to do a cruise due to the overall value and convenience. I looked at several very similar cruise lines but ended up choosing the Celebrity Solstice based on ship size and a good experience with them on a Bermuda cruise. We arrived in Sydney a few days early to take in the sites before boarding. In Sydney we stayed at the Marriott which is only a couple of blocks from the cruise terminal and an easy walk. Embarkation on the ship was a breeze, with easy luggage check in and no lines. We were on-board and enjoying ourselves by 11:30 in the morning. After a tour of the shop and a welcome lunch, our room was ready, much sooner than we have ever experienced on any other ship. The ship itself, the Celebrity Solstice, was elegant and understated. My favorite section was deck 15 with it's expansive grass (yes, grass) areas for relaxing, playing bocce balls, watching movies on the outdoors screen, watching glass making, or simply gazing at the sunsets in the evenings. The remainder of the ship was nice but very similar to most other cruise ships. Really like the casino but was disappointed that it wasn't open more often. Bars were average and the theater was about what you would expect. Overall the food was good but not great. The buffet was very disappointing, one of the worst we have ever experienced. Sit down dining was very good with prompt service and high quality meals. We did each of the four specialty restaurants and found them to be about with average to that of other cruise ships. Not sure they are worth the extra money given the quality of the food in the main dining area. Although the ship was almost full is felt very uncrowded. We never had to fight to find a chair and were able to go where we want when we wanted without any lines or having to reserve seats ahead of time. Shows - very good but not great - new cast who did a very commendable job on their first gig. Some of the best cast singers that I have seen on a cruise ship. Hit and miss on the "guest" entertainers. Service - Very mixed results. At times they were johnny on the spot and at other times virtually non-existent. You were supposed to get free drinks when you were gambling but I only got served once over the 5-6 days I gambled in the casino. I even asked the pit boss for help running someone down but it never happened. Our dinner took 2 1/2 hours in one of the specialty restaurants due to a shortage of staff. Up-sell - We were constantly badgered by ship personnel to buy more; more drink packages, more dining, more everything - this continued almost to the last day and really become annoying . I would have bought the drink package if it weren't so outrageously expensive. It would have cost me and my wife about $1600 for their premium package. You really have to drink like Otis the town drunk to break even on that deal. Excursions - They were well organized and generally went as advertised. Prices continue to rise so I began looking outside the ship. Viator,com offers virtually the same excursions for 10-30% less. Check them first before booking on board. Celebrity Travel - Used Celebrity travel to arrange our return trip from Auckland. They booked us on Air New Zealand which sounded fine till we got to the airport and got hit with $500 in excess baggage fees. US airlines allow 2 checked bags on international flight but not Air New Zealand (unless you are flying from Australia to the US - go figure). No disclosure of this before arriving so I'm mad at both Celebrity and ANZ for the last minute surprise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The reason for choosing this cruise was the time of year it cruised and to try a different cruise company. This was my ninth cruise and the first on Celebrity. We had a Concierge Cabin on Deck 10 cabin 1204. I have 4 people in the cabin my ... Read More
The reason for choosing this cruise was the time of year it cruised and to try a different cruise company. This was my ninth cruise and the first on Celebrity. We had a Concierge Cabin on Deck 10 cabin 1204. I have 4 people in the cabin my advice maximum 3 persons should be the maximum. The cabin is narrow and needs refurbishment as does the ship. Not enough space for 4 persons. The Dinning was my worst experience on a cruise ship ever. On the first night we ate in the Grand Epernay Dinning Room, service was slow and the meal main course being Jerk Chicken was terrible, only the skin on the half piece of the bird that we were served in the plate was seasoned the actual meet was not touched, farr too much food on 1 plate but were told there were no smaller portions. After this for the rest of the cruise apart from 1 night we ate in the buffet. Whilst there was a lot of food on offer all was exceptionally bland with not much taste. Looking at all the different cakes they had for desert all tasred the same only difference appeared to be the colour being pink for strawberry, green for Kiwi Fruit or Pistaccio etc you get the picture. Drink asked for a cocktail whatever one came out as a complete alcohol fest somebody needs to train their barstaff each bar would produce a different version of the same cocktail, just terrible. Only meal which I could safely say was good was the bbq on the penultimate night on the ship, but hey we had to pay US$35 each for that, truely bad that you have to pay extra to get a good meal. OVERALL EXCEPTIONALLY POOR CELEBRITY PLEASE TAKE NOTE AND IMPROVE. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Highlights - sailing though the NZ Fjordland National Park on the bow- stunning! - Tasmania is gorgeous and we loved the wildlife (kangaroos, koalas, wombats etc) - Melissa at the Captain's Club desk really makes you feel ... Read More
Highlights - sailing though the NZ Fjordland National Park on the bow- stunning! - Tasmania is gorgeous and we loved the wildlife (kangaroos, koalas, wombats etc) - Melissa at the Captain's Club desk really makes you feel special! - so glad there is still a library onboard Lowlights -hot tub so chlorinated we only lasted a few seconds, eyes burning -no thalasso pool, just an indoor pool that was cool (and this was a cold cruise...) -the buffet..ugh.. unless a formal night, very crowded, on sea days, no seats available, with pushy sales people at the entrance saying, "you should go to specialty restaurant" - so bc X doesn't want to organize sea day meals, I need to pay to get a seat??? Princess has overflow of seats to their specialty restaurants on the same floor, and there's always room and always food, so it CAN be done. the food was just okay there, MDR okay, hit or miss, excess of Indian dishes and dessert at buffet, had a very hard time finding cooked vegetables -prices - a bottle of water is now $7 USD, really? -front desk: you really need to learn your ship (didn't know the extended room service menu had been abandoned but was told to search for it on TV), also see 'biggest disappointment' below -super loud and pretty bad 'house band'. Our upper tier veranda was right at the entrance to the Earth thingy and thus the atrium. The sliding door they installed was good noise insulation, but anybody walking by activated it and it was a constant teeter totter of loud-silence-loud-silence.. -wine tasting: wouldn't do it again. It was fun, but there was only one really good wine out of 6-7 stations with 2-3 wines each. Biggest disappointment -we got a flyer saying notify front desk regarding your shore plans for Hobart. We have an elderly Tasmanian friend who waited for us at the pier, so we called 3 days ahead of Hobart and asked for earliest possible time. We got the LAST group!!! She had to wait at the pier for nearly 4 hours and got a parking ticket. She was worried she would miss us and didn't move her car. Our friends onboard had an excursion at 1pm and got the earliest disembarkation group which they ignored since it was way too early for them. It's okay to put us last but LET US KNOW. We thought our group number was about half way, but in fact it was last.. Celebrity punishing us for not taking any of the overpriced excursions! In the future, we will stay away from Celebrity's bigger ships and maybe from Celebrity in general, in favor of all-inclusive lines. Getting nickled and dimed gets on our nerves and the crowding adds to stress while on vacation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were looking forward to the Solstice as not previously been on this ship, but on other Celebrity Ship. Weather was not too kind to us, mostly rain or wind or cold, no laying around on desk this cruise. Ship is good size and has ... Read More
We were looking forward to the Solstice as not previously been on this ship, but on other Celebrity Ship. Weather was not too kind to us, mostly rain or wind or cold, no laying around on desk this cruise. Ship is good size and has lots of good features, however it seems very sterile with not much colour. From the time you get on, the main thing you notice is the sell, sell, sell of the staff. Buy a drink package, buy a restaurant package, buy a spa package, buy this buy that. This is normal first day on most ships, but it went on most of the cruise. The main thing I found that irritated us was the cost of everything, all prices are in $US. So for example a can of beer in $Aust works out to be $12 to $18, and a wine is from $19 up, it just goes on. Even the bottle spirits from the duty free on board work out to be the same price as purchasing from Coles or Woollies. A coffee was $9 for a very small cup. There are so many restaurants on board and all except one I think you need to pay big money to enter, we just ate at the Oceanview Buffett ( it was fine - it had a few themed meals, and seating was available without much problem most of the time). The cast on board shows ( two only ) were terrible, not like you would expect. Other entertainers were quite reasonable ( however, everyone of them was from Australia). Best part of the day was the Elite 2 hour drinks, if we didn't get that, then I would not have had a drink at the prices they were asking. The cabin was fine - except the cabin steward kept forgetting to put things in our room. The Casino was the biggest I have seen, it took up half of one desk. There were two guest lecturers ( one on astronomy and one on wildlife ), they were both good and interesting. Staff - some were happy some were very sad looking indeed. We could opted out of graduities not problems. Captain was funny and worth listening too at 10am. No laundries on board, so either pay heaps or take into shower and hang up in the room. Room also had the best air conditioning control we have ever had, it would alter temperature by about 5 degrees up and down if not more. Day entertainment and night activities were so so, mid ship always was small area and no open room. Not much to do on deck, just lots of sitting areas, no big screen. Overall was disappointed in the ship and was not up to the hype. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Celebrity Solstice Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.5 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 5.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.4
Value for Money 4.5 N/A

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