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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
2nd Jan 2018 Sailed out of Sydney Australia We chose this cruise because it sailed up the east coast of Australia and as Aussies we wanted to check out our own country having seen more of America than our own back yard. Cabin, ... Read More
2nd Jan 2018 Sailed out of Sydney Australia We chose this cruise because it sailed up the east coast of Australia and as Aussies we wanted to check out our own country having seen more of America than our own back yard. Cabin, dining, food gets a excellent tick Beverage, photos, shore excursions gets a rip off extremely high prices thumbs down To play the pokies you had to get a cash advance from the casino desk (unless you had cabin credit) and they charge 5% on top of the amount required just so you can put the US money back into the machines. What a joke. another cruises you simply insert your sea card, rack up money on your account whilst playing in the casino it it gets added to your account at the end of the cruise. 1 bingo session in the whole cruise that cost a fortune. $59 for the top pack to give the most chances that would normally be worth $30 on P&O or Princess. And because we were on a American ship although we were in Aussie water for the most part everything was in US dollars so add 25% to everything. Shows were decent but not excellent Musicians around the ship were excellent but unless you like drinking or "Self help" seminars there wasn't much else to do in my opinion. Can of coke $4-50 Half glass of "premium" orange juice $4-50 1 x photograph print $25-00 20 x photo package $300 Endless digital pics $300 Cocktails starting at $9 for thin tall glasses. Premium drink package $77/nigh per person Classic package (everything except for top shelf spirits and bourbons $67/night. Flip do your sums. That's a lot of money especially when turned into Aussie dollars. 12 night cruise x 2 people x classic package x $67 = $1608US ($2020AUD). Geez that's a lot of grog to drink to break even Up to 1/3 more expensive for shore excursions (we saved over $750 AUD booking our tours before the cruise or when we got into port) Be careful people, check what currency is being used, drink prices and shore excursions, photo and other packages before booking. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Very excited on our 11th Celebrity Cruise to see the Great Barrier Reef 12 day Sydney to Sydney cruise. The good: Great Australian tropical weather while the Northeast US is locked in cold Celebrity Internet is still one of the ... Read More
Very excited on our 11th Celebrity Cruise to see the Great Barrier Reef 12 day Sydney to Sydney cruise. The good: Great Australian tropical weather while the Northeast US is locked in cold Celebrity Internet is still one of the fastest and most reliable The bad--(not up to the standards of the other 10 cruises on Celebrity) 1. While the ship schedule says it overnights in Cairns--the actual time on shore is limited to 10:30 a.m. to about 8:00 p.m. on the first day--then tender service STOPS. Tender service does not resume until 8:00 a.m. the next morning and ends at 6:00 p.m. I believe the overnight publicized by Celebrity is extremely misleading and very disappointing. And even when informed of no overnight tender service--the times listed were completely inaccurate. 2. Tender service at three GBR stops, Airlie Beach, Cairns, and Port Douglas, relies on local large and rather unmaneuverable tenders. Loading 350 guests can take up to 45 minutes, unloading another 45 minutes and a 40 minute travel time. Some guests were on tenders for more than two hours. Keep this in mind for your GBR experience. 3. Solstice customer service--I believe all good service starts at the top and on this cruise the hotel director, Sue, her guest relations manager and her Captains Club host don't understand communicating accurate information to the guests. I could write a long explanation of the failed service, but suffice it to say, the condescending attitude of the guest relations manager was probably the best example. It's one thing to be condescending when everything is accurate--it's stupid to be condescending when your not performing you basic duty of correct information to the guests. The daily planner should be shredded--breakfast at 6:30 a.m. (not really--most food is not ready until 7:00 a.m.). Tender hours of operation and the process of obtaining tenders, while corporate correct in syntax did not reflect the reality of the situation. The shore excursion desk knows little to nothing about their planned excursions. On our 25th cruise with many more planned--this one will be memorable for a ship's executive management that doesn't meet Celebrity standards or provide basic service to the ship's guests. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
The Celebrity Solstice has to be our favourite of favourites. Not only is it a beautiful ship both inside and out but the layout and convenient access to public areas is excellent. And, in spite of the number of passengers (over 3000), ... Read More
The Celebrity Solstice has to be our favourite of favourites. Not only is it a beautiful ship both inside and out but the layout and convenient access to public areas is excellent. And, in spite of the number of passengers (over 3000), there is never a feeling of overcrowding (oh, with one exception: the Pool Deck on New Years Eve - but it was a great party). I should also mention in this regard that with 12 constantly operating elevators we rarely experienced the elevator wait time frustration that we've felt on other ships even when re-boarding. Also, boarding was a breeze and Celebrity should be highly commended for their attention to this critical aspect of the cruise. We were onboard within 15 minutes of our arrival at the International Cruise Terminal in Sydney. This compares to 2 hours on a Princess cruise out of Sydney a couple of years back and 2-1/2 hours getting on the Ovation in Freemantle last year. We chose this cruise for three main reasons: (1) it was the Solstice; (2) it was a Christmas/New Year cruise with all the fun and glitter that entails; and (3) although this was our third cruise to New Zealand this one focussed on the South Island which is spectacular and there were things we hadn't seen that were still on our bucket list. The other thing that made this particular cruise special was the Captain. Captain Tasos has to be the most congenial ship's master we have ever sailed with. He, and by example his senior officers, were constantly about the ship mingling with guests and showing a presence that is rarely matched on other cruise ships. His sense of humour is also amazing. We would look forward to his daily navigational update simply for the humour he brought into it. He was funnier than the cruise director by a long shot. Finally, he was sincerely interested in making the cruise as enjoyable as possible for his guests and did some impressive navigational exercises such as carrying out a "doughnut" turnaround in Milford Sound to make sure that passengers on either side of the ship could enjoy the spectacular views. Captain Tasos is definitely a credit to Celebrity and we will look forward to sailing with him again. All in all, it was a great cruise on a great ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose this cruise for the ease of traveling through New Zealand and the hopes of an upscale crowd and good food in Blu. We book an Aqua Class stateroom with a balcony. The unfortunate: Warning! Do not book #1604 or #1602!! These ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the ease of traveling through New Zealand and the hopes of an upscale crowd and good food in Blu. We book an Aqua Class stateroom with a balcony. The unfortunate: Warning! Do not book #1604 or #1602!! These 2 rooms have HUGE air handler vents on the balcony which are super noisy! You really can’t sit on the balcony with the noise, and, in fact, the motor noise can also be heard in the room. The good: I got to know some of the higher-up staff like the head of the Hotel and head of Guest Relations (Ralf) as well as the Concierge in Michael’s Club. These employees were stellar! Very caring and GREAT at their job. I will give a shout-out to Josue Acosta in Michael’s Club. He was an A+! We did enjoy the Glass-Blowing show although it was FREEZING outside! I wish they had given us a little warning in the Daily to bundle up with a coat and gloves!! Blu is always good. It’s many steps above the MDR. This ship had a very small BLU restaurant which was extremely over-crowded with no room to walk between crowded-in tables. I have to wonder if they were letting people other than those booked in Aqua Class into eat at BLU. The bad: We have been super bored on our last 3 Celebrity cruises. We kept trying. Slowly but surely, Celebrity seems to be eliminating activities to do on the ship. If you want to sit by the pool all day then go to the gym and casino - you will love it. If you don’t do these things - there is very little to do. Most ‘classes’ or ‘speakers’ are actualy selling something. Or, there is a charge for the class, if they are not selling something. I miss having lots of interesting things to do! The “Beyond the Podium” speakers were not enthusiastic speakers at all. They spoke in a monotone with their powerpoints. I miss when they had good speakers! And - no more A capella singers or any music groups with energy. One club had a good group that played each night - the bar right outside of Michael’s Club on 5. (Singer, cello and drums) There was SO LITTLE to do! And, the evening shows were very mediocre. We LOVE the shows of past! There was nothing that stood out on this ship at all. In fact, even the musical with dancing and singing was very strange. Ths ship: The ship was not nearly as clean as other ships. The public areas were clean and the stateroom was clean. The balcony was not clean. I leaned against the railing and ended up with a filthy shirt. The plex-glass on the balcony and other ship areas was not clean. I was VERY surprised!! We love hot tubs. The hot tubs on this ship used chlorine which seemed to be too strong and was burning everyone’s eyes. We tried it again the next day, same thing, so we never went back. Most ships are using salt-water these days. I hate to give up on Celebrity. I hope they ‘listen’ and schedule better activities and entertainment. There are numerous Facebook groups online that are talking about how boring this cruise was. Please listen and revamp what used to be a great cruiseline! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
we loved the ship,but unfortunately the food and its presentation was nowhere near 5 star. some food was handled like dogfood, staff does not know how to cut meat. maybe it is what Americans are used to, but definitley not up to 5 ... Read More
we loved the ship,but unfortunately the food and its presentation was nowhere near 5 star. some food was handled like dogfood, staff does not know how to cut meat. maybe it is what Americans are used to, but definitley not up to 5 star. you may get the 5 star if you pay aditional 50$ per meal per person! when a ship claims it is 5 star it should be for everyone. Entertainment was good, service was below par , as many barely could understand english and did not have the skills required for a so called 5 star ship. The ports were great, we already knew them. Shore excursions a total rip off, as you can get private or taxi excursions at halfprice or less and can stop where you like on the way. embarkation and disembarkation was ok, although a bit complicated at times. the biggest turn off on the trip was the continuing harassment for extras, so you spend more money on the ship. the wine selection was not great and again aimed at americans who like sweet wine. Availability of certain wines was very limited and restricted to certain bars. we made it a good trip ourselves, but on the last day caught a bad cold from the ships guests. I would not travel celebrity again, as the claims they make about the ship are misleading, a lot of staff are not very friendly, but then there are some outstanding ones as well! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Returned again to enjoy Christmas New Year on the enjoyable Solstice with another couple from home. The first impact on boarding (which was consistent throughout) was of the immediate and ongoing “upsell” on dining speciality ... Read More
Returned again to enjoy Christmas New Year on the enjoyable Solstice with another couple from home. The first impact on boarding (which was consistent throughout) was of the immediate and ongoing “upsell” on dining speciality restaurants/ drink packages/ photo opps etc… However a now normal so.. The ship itself was spotless and remained clear of the dreaded “Nora Virus” thanks to the infection control measures implemented at ALL venues ( even when departing and returning the ship) by the ever smiling staff and their hand sanitising procedures…. thank you The main dining room (Grand Epernay).. Thanks to Alex the Maitre De, we negotiated and allocated a regular table for the four of us serviced by the cheerful and efficient Luisto and Sabar…. a delight, where we enjoyed the evening meals of consistent high quality and choice. Also attended for breakfast and lunch as available…. far more relaxing than Ocean View cafe which, while the food buffets are excellent offering a huge variety of selections and choice the ongoing battle to find a seat is often frustrating… but do enjoy the ice-cream . We also managed, 3 evenings at Murano restaurant ( ahh lobster and the Sole) and 1 at Tuscan ( wow, the Fillet steak)..all fabulous and a pleasure to enjoy the service Evening entertainment on stage this trip was beyond expectation particularly the energetic and professional dancers and singers…crisp choreography and soaring high wire acrobats…wow. Not to mention individual singers, illusionist and instrumentalists other evenings In fact throughout the ship all the entertainers at various venues were excellent. Our favourite meeting place remained the Cafe al Bacio. New Zealand port excursions were unattended as we have been there several times and simply strolled around the towns and their “fish and chips”… it is an island We enjoyed the whole trip, perhaps mainly attributable to the relaxed and happy crew and staff which we believe was a function of one of the best ever “Masters”, Captain Tasos Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise as we had sailed with Celebrity Solstice on two previous trips and thought we would do it again, over Christmas and New Year. We were a group of 14, with ages ranging from 12 to 87. Embarkation – Embarkation ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had sailed with Celebrity Solstice on two previous trips and thought we would do it again, over Christmas and New Year. We were a group of 14, with ages ranging from 12 to 87. Embarkation – Embarkation in Sydney was amazingly streamlined, staff were friendly and vibrant and we were on the ship having a lunch and beer within 30 minutes (arrived at 12 noon) of arriving at Circular Quay. If you’re a Captains Club member, ensure you queue up in that line rather than Concierge etc as it moves faster and has shorter lines. Highlights - Décor / style of the ship – still so modern given it is just over 9 years old - Cleanliness, maintenance and quality of furnishings of the ship is still incredible (yes there is some wear in locations, but the ship is heading into its 10th year and who is looking when they are on holidays) - Stateroom is timeless and the bathroom is awesome (no shower curtains), so too was our room attendant Zul who ensured that everything was to order and even found a kettle for my wife who suffers badly from sinus so this enabled her to do her drainage each day - Our table staff at the Main Dining Room each night for the 6pm sitting were awesome (Table 311 – Agustika and Marija) - Murano and Tuscan Grille really are beautiful places to eat and the food and service are beyond words - New Years was fantastic and we had a great party around the pool with champagne given to all guests at midnight - The Captain is comical and engages really well with the passengers. He is great at doing donuts (thanks Captain Tasos :) Why we didn’t give 5 stars this time like we have in the past? - My wife has food allergies (anaphylaxis), and Celebrity on the last two cruises treated her like a queen (the assistant Maitre De’s took her to the galley/kitchen, introduced her to the chef so no matter where she ate on the ship, she was accommodated, and organised her two surprise desserts each night in Grand Epernay from the pastry chef). This time, it felt it was more of a hassle, even though she would order her dinner meal the night before, they would still come out wrong and most nights she wouldn’t receive a dessert that she could eat (even though we filled out and sent the form to Celebrity as requested months before we cruised and met with staff on the first day of the cruise to discuss her allergies (as requested by Celebrity). Our amazing assistant waiter Marija went to shore one day and bought chocolate out of her own money so my wife could have dessert that night. Menu in Grand Epernay I think is the same as it was four years ago – in the main though, still great meals Many of the night time shows were just average Christmas was a let down. We tried checking with Celebrity before the cruise, asked when we got on the ship and even asked the day before Christmas to see what was planned for Christmas - no-one knew. There was no special meal for lunch or dinner (nice decorations in Ocean View) and the 11pm mass on Christmas Eve was just embarrassing – no music, no minsters of Eucharist, the priest asked the guests to put up their hand if they wanted eucharist and then asked a passenger up on stage to count us (maybe 500 people). He also told us he was flown in from Los Angeles to do the mass– surely there was a retired priest in Melbourne that we could have picked up? Tips for others - In the main dining room (and the Specialty restaurants), you can eat as many ‘Starters’, Entrees’ (which we call main meals in Australia) and ‘Desserts’ as you like each night. - Remember anyone can use the Aqua Spa Café for breakfast and lunch (you don’t have to stay in an Aqua Class room to use it) – the Refuel smoothie each morning was great. - Spend time on the ship on the first few days exploring it – start at the top and work your way down, there are amazing places all over the place to relax or be entertained - Have Baileys on your corn flakes for breakfast … just once, because you can! - We did the 6pm dinner sitting again. Now the kids are older, we will do the 8:30pm sitting or ‘anytime dining’ next time as it was just too early (especially with the sun setting around 9:30 to 10pm each night). - If you have a drinks package, get to know what drinks you are entitled to have early in the cruise (don’t be too embarrassed to ask or look at the myriad of drinks menus at the different bars). - Take your togs in your carry-on bags for day 1 and have a swim in the pool - there are only a small number around the pool on day 1. - Drinks package is good if you enjoy even a few drinks. Peroni's are $12US each, so quickly adds up if you are paying for them as an example. - With so many people having the drinks package now, be prepared to wait are bars to order and then get a drink. Tours We didn’t book any through the ship. The ones we booked we really enjoyed ... Dunedin – hop on / off bus that picks you up and drops you back at the Port – you get to see worlds steepest street, botanic gardens, the old train station, Cadbury factory tour, the university etc $65 for adults and $35 for children and booked it when we arrived at the Port. Akaroa – jet boat ride (only one in town) for 50 minutes which we booked around 12 noon and we were on the 1:15pm tour. Awesome fun that everyone on the boat loved. $75 adults and $35 for children. Picton - we did a four hour kayak with wilderness guides New Zealand. Great fun getting on the water and our tour guides Jake and Courtney were awesome and very knowledgeable. $99 per person and left from the main beach in Picton. Pre booked this one, one week out. Disembrakation - just great also - off the ship in less than 5 minutes. It really is a great holiday. No cooking, cleaning, thinking for two weeks. Your room is serviced twice daily (including fresh towels). I have given 5 stars on my two previous trips on Solstice, but it was little things this time, (plus them not catering well for my wife and her allergies) that let them down. Also spent around $3,000 more on the Christmas cruise then the cruise just before it or just after it (comparable in number of nights). Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise for its itinerary and the fact we have sailed on 2 other Celebrity Cruises. The Solstice is a beautiful ship. She is showing a little bit of age in a couple of areas but really well maintained The ports of call ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary and the fact we have sailed on 2 other Celebrity Cruises. The Solstice is a beautiful ship. She is showing a little bit of age in a couple of areas but really well maintained The ports of call were awesome. The staff were incredibly helpful and professional at all times. Our cabin 9136 had lovely unobstructed views from the balcony. There was a little noise from above. I am not sure if this wasn't just a very noisy family with kids. It was always clean. Nothing was too much trouble for John our Steward. The standard of the food was great which is why we are now both on a diet. As usual the Martini Bar was our favourite. A special call out to Yogi !! We would definitely recommend this itinerary if you haven't been to Australia or New Zealand. Alaska next!! Read Less
Celebrity Solstice Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 4.5 4.2
Entertainment 4.5 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.2
Family 4.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 3.9
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.2

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