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3 Helpful Votes
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We picked the Celebrity Solstice sailing from Auckland to Sydney so that we could visit my husband's family in New Zealand. We were pleasantly surprised, having done multiple sailings around the world with Princess, this was our first with ... Read More
We picked the Celebrity Solstice sailing from Auckland to Sydney so that we could visit my husband's family in New Zealand. We were pleasantly surprised, having done multiple sailings around the world with Princess, this was our first with the Celebrity line - we were not disappointed. I will try & summarize as best as I can. Embarkation/Disembarkation/Tenders Etc. I had read mixed reviews about how there were far too many passengers which made for extremely long wait times. There was 2871 passengers onboard our cruise. We never waited more than 15 minutes. We were on the ship on day 1 within minutes of receiving our room keys and even on tender days things went very smoothly. Coming back the longest wait we had was 10 minutes and that's because all of the shore excursions were returning at the same time. Cabin We had cabin 8253 which was a midship, deck 8, category A1 cabin. We could not have been more pleased. We were located in a fantastic position close enough to the lifts, but not close enough for any noise. Our cabin was fantastically appointed with all the modern amenities and we found everything we needed. At one stage, we noticed some small holes in the curtains, but as soon as we bought it to our room attendants attention they were replaced within 2 hours. Our shower was great (sometimes water pressure can be a bit basic on cruise ships - but we weren't disappointed). The one weird find I thought, was a mini bar that had 2 cans of coke & 2 cans of diet coke in it. We were told that the mini bar was not free, however we had the premium beverage package as part of our promotion & we could get cans of coke anywhere on the ship. The room attendant said if we wanted to drink them we would need to replace them - I found that odd, but it didn't affect my journey. Food This was probably the only let down of the cruise. We were spoilt on night 1 dining at Tuscan Grille, it was so delicious that we walked away in a food coma. That night we visited the Grand Epernay to advise of my husbands allergies, where we got told a few lies about how the chef hadn't yet prepared the next nights menu. After taking a stand they finally bought us the menu and we pre-ordered. However the food was terrible the next night and we left after the starter. The Maitre'd tracked us down in the buffet and we told him of our experience. That night waiting in our room was the entire dining menu for the remainder of the cruise for my husband to pre-order. We went back multiple times after that and it was ok, never great, just ok. The food was always just warm. On lobster night, the butter was warmer than the lobster leaving for a cold clarified solution which was a let down. In the buffet, the pizza was soggy through, the ice cream, no matter which flavor you had tasted bland. On some of the desserts the icing wasn't dissolved. But, you could have your own stir-fry's made from scratch and they were fantastic. We also ate in Silk Harvest. The starters were exciting but when the main dishes came out we found them very underwhelming and not very asian. All in all though, we were always able to find something to eat that suited us, even if it was luke warm. My husband was particular fond of the burgers & hot dogs in the Mast Grill they were definitely yummo. With all that being said, we aren't the kind of people who come of cruise ships as cargo rather than passengers so we weren't too affected. Bars & Public Areas We spent alot of time in the main areas. Our favourite bar was the World Class Bar, however we found the staff weren't always happy to be there. In particular one gentlemen who we talked to every day, seemed very depressed about being onboard & particularly home sick. It made us feel incredibly sad for him, but he still made great cocktails so we kept returning. More so than Princess, sometimes the staff struggled to understand our orders - ie we would have to repeat a drinks order 4 to 5 times. But again, it's a nitpick not a major issue. Cafe El Bacio did a wonderful hot chocolate and fresh cinammon donuts each morning were a treat. Also, when we travelled with Princess, once we became a regular they would always remember our drinks order but this didn't really happen on Celebrity - nobody ever remembered our orders. We spent a lot of time in the Solarium which was lovely and relaxing. If I was being really picky I would say that it would have been nice if they had staff wandering to take drink orders, but that didn't happen at all and they are missing an opportunity there. We also loved the shopping areas which are vast and beautiful, the main atrium which was decorated for Christmas & all of the different public areas including the library and most of all the way the lifts face inwards towards that magical tree (which happened to reach it's peak on Deck 8 so we spent a lot of time loving it from our cabin's deck). Crew & Captain Captain Tasos. Wow! That man is absolute comedy gold & perfectly suited to be on cruise ships. His demeanor, sense of humor, ability to calm the masses - it was a masterpiece and I will follow him and sail with him wherever possible. His crew were always warm & welcoming everyone was polite and friendly. Yes, sometimes there were language barriers but in the grand scheme of things we were swept up in the beauty of this wonderful cruise line and it's amazing experiences. As a final note, I would rate Princess 7/10 and Celebrity 8/10. They are almost on par, and where one lacks the other picks up. But when we got off in Sydney we really felt like we were leaving home as opposed to returning to it. If you are thinking about doing a cruise, Celebrity Solstice will not disappoint. It's too beautiful to do anything other than amaze you! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Family holiday to celebrate son and daughters achievements. Wanted a all inclusive trip with minimal unpacking and an experience of New Zealand. This is wonderful cruise ship with beautiful clean cabins. Excellent amenities especially ... Read More
Family holiday to celebrate son and daughters achievements. Wanted a all inclusive trip with minimal unpacking and an experience of New Zealand. This is wonderful cruise ship with beautiful clean cabins. Excellent amenities especially superb fine dining restaurants. Never felt crowded and passengers were fruendl. Embarkation and disembarkation all very smooth and thorough. Safety a premium on this ship. We did the transalpine railway excursion. It was a full day and simply unforgettable experience. We travelled with adult children they loved it too, especially the martini bar and night fun! The ports were very enjoyable, we mainly did our own thing including shopping and swimming. Going through the sounds was a highlight for us. We did have a confussion with our beverage package in the first few days. This was eventually sorted and we received a bottle of wine and strawberries from guest relations. Please remember to ensure you have proof in writing of any beverage packages or other entitlements you have on board. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Never been to New Zealand or Australia, so this was a great introduction. We have been on Celebrity before but never aqua class which we really liked, especially the Blu restaurant. We usually do shore excursions on our own. My favorite ... Read More
Never been to New Zealand or Australia, so this was a great introduction. We have been on Celebrity before but never aqua class which we really liked, especially the Blu restaurant. We usually do shore excursions on our own. My favorite port was Tauranga, NZ, where I spent all day hiking the beautiful trails on Mt Maunganui (easy walk from the ship). They also have lovely beaches there. One of the best things on the cruise was Captain Tasos’ talk about the building of the Solstice. It was hysterical. Don’t miss it. Only went to a couple of the big shows and they were OK but I’m not much for the entertainment. However they did have several small venues of musicians in the bars which were quite excellent. Also have to give a shout out to the bar staff who went out of their way to make a special cocktail for me that wasn’t on the menu. My only complaint was the cost of the premium beverage package. It was nice for the convenience to get whatever you wanted but you had to drink a lot to justify the cost. Overall excellent cruise which I highly recommend and will certainly sail on celebrity again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our first cruise ever and chose it as the best way for us to see Australia and New Zealand. Our travel agent recommended Celebrity over other cruise lines touring Australia and New Zealand. Overall the trip was okay and ship's ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever and chose it as the best way for us to see Australia and New Zealand. Our travel agent recommended Celebrity over other cruise lines touring Australia and New Zealand. Overall the trip was okay and ship's excursions good with some exceptions. Long wait (1+ hour) for embarkation in Sydney at our 11:30 time slot. The Concierge lunch was very nice but cabins were not ready until after 3 PM. When we went to our cabin after the "cabins ready" announcement, our attendant and a ship's officer said this was not correct so we waited another 30 minutes. Our cabin (1407) was missing several items including the bottle of sparkling wine for Concierge class. It took three days and requests every day before we finally received it. Toilet paper seemed to be in short supply too. Took several requests to obtain a second roll. After all, it was a 14 day cruise! However, our attendant was great about supplying buckets of ice each day. The daily canapes were okay but wish we had booked Aqua class instead to have access to Blu restaurant. The ship is 8 years old and the cabins are tired. Chipped furniture and deck furniture. I requested a foam pillow from the pillow menu. It smelled very bad and couldn't use it. We loved the view from our aft cabin when leaving each port! The ship followed strict sanitation protocol for the first 3 days due to previous norovirus outbreaks. It caused long lines even in the Main Dining Room but we appreciated the attention to protecting passengers. Food was not allowed to be taken out of the buffet. We weren't sure if this was typical or due to sanitation protocols. The ship's excursions were very good for the most part. Some times we had a long wait time (up to an hour) in the theater for excursions to be called for boarding. The best excursion was the 2 day excursion that included Queenstown NZ. Great tour guide and driver, lots of interesting scenery and good history about NZ. The first day was long (8 AM to 12:15 AM). It could have been shortened if the sheep shearing demo and steamboat trip back to Queenstown had been moved up by an hour. Also loved the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary excursion in Tasmania. We only ate three times in the MDR due to the length of time it took to dine (3 hours one evening) and limited selection. Most evenings and lunches, only 5 entrees offered, one of which was seafood and the other vegetarian. Saw pork belly several times on the menu which is a dish many from the US are not fans of. We preferred the greater options in the Oceanview buffet. Flavor was lacking in some cases, for example, the desserts were lovely to look at but all tasted the same. Same with the salad bar, nice to look at but the dressings all tasted the same. Pizza were good! We tried the Tuscan Grille once and definitely enjoyed it. Good service without being overly attentive and good food. Worth the up price. We purchased the premium drink package but often the bars were out of the premium beverages. The shops were disappointing. My husband likes to collect T-shirts but the shop never had an XXL size the entire cruise. The sales person initially said more were being delivered but this never happened. Overall, an okay cruise but doubt we will cruise again if there are other touring options. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Always wanted to see Australia & New Zealand. !4 night cruise best suited us for this adventure. Embarkation was a bit of mess with construction at the port, congestion, & many cruisers arriving early. The entire process was about ... Read More
Always wanted to see Australia & New Zealand. !4 night cruise best suited us for this adventure. Embarkation was a bit of mess with construction at the port, congestion, & many cruisers arriving early. The entire process was about an hour. Celebrity Solstice is a beautiful ship, well maintained,& we enjoyed very smooth sailing throughout the entire trip. Some overcast days, with some light rain in the first sound, Service levels were quite good for us, with the exception of the Martini Bar with very slow service & very limited sitting. Therefore we enjoyed most of our cocktails at the Passport Bar & Sunset Bar outside at the end of the stern. We enjoyed the best dinner staff ever with the head waiter & assistant very good & the sommelier excellent. Cabin attendant good & produced a bucket of ice everyday at 4:30 pm as requested on the first day. We had early seating at 6:00 pm in the MDR & a 3 night package for speciality dinning. The MDR was good & we listened to our waiter's suggestions, she was always spot-on. The speciality dining was good, however this time I would rate Tuscan Grill or Murano about equal. For us the best food was in Sushi on 5. You will not leave hungry. Entertainment subjective. We liked some of the performers & one production number. We did not attend all performances. We found our fellow passengers very friendly & engaging throughout the entire cruise. Many passengers from the United Kingdom & Australia. Even a nice like us from Arizona. We encountered some of the up-selling by crew members, however it not as bad as on past sailings. We saw many of the officiers & the captain on most days speaking with fellow passengers. Crew in general was happy & smiling & trying to assist your needs. Overall this was a very good cruise for us. High point for us was a bridge tour of the Solstice. It was very informative & interesting. The most difficult thing is the amount of time it takes to fly to Australia. I cannot endure another one of these long flights overseas flying in economy. Until the up grade fairy arrives & changes this for us, it is likely our next cruise with be in Alaska, Mexico, or the Caribbean. Happy travels, John Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We normally cruise Princess but chose Celebrity for this reason. We were part of a group of 17 who booked this cruise. From the very beginning we all experienced problems with the website. Its ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We normally cruise Princess but chose Celebrity for this reason. We were part of a group of 17 who booked this cruise. From the very beginning we all experienced problems with the website. Its very hard to navigate and at times does not work at all. Sometimes information is there, sometimes not. Very frustrating. We usually arrange our own excursions independent of the ship however this time we booked through the ship. A mistake that would bite us all along the way. When you book excursions with Celebrity you have to pay for them at the time of booking, we booked all of our excursions more than 6 months out and paid for them. Several months out from the booking Celebrity had a sale on their excursions, and would not honor the sale to those who had already booked. It was 30% off, so a significant amount. More about excursions later. We embarked in Sydney which went ok, but we boarded later in the day so I dont know how it was at our embarkation time. From the moment of embarking the ship we noticed the lack of information and differing bits of information we did get. The ship was under quarantine due to the Nova Virus and according to some members of the crew it had been for two months. That would have been nice to know. All food was covered in plastic and you could not serve yourselves, it would have been tolerable if the crew was in a good mood but they were not and werent afraid to share their views. Most of the crew was downright rude or would just ignore you completely. You had to get your own drinks, condiments, etc. I figured this would change once the quarantine was lifted, but it didnt. Trying to get a drink from a server proved to be near impossible unless you created a relationship with a server from the get go. After 3 days the quarantine was lifted and it was so much nicer, however the crews mood did not alter. As a matter of fact after interacting with the crew in many different areas we came to the conclusion that this crew seemed to be brand new, there was no team spirit, and no cohesion. Over the course of this 14 day cruise we saw a very noticeable distance between the crew and any management above them. The crew being disheartened and frustrated, the management not being aware of what was going on. On our first excursion we were surprised to find that the excursion was not as advertised and that a 4 hour excursion meant a total 3 hour bus ride with a half hour bathroom stop and a half hour in a tiny town (which would have been good to actually spend some time in). We complained about this, that we did not see and do what was in the description, and were compensated 30% of the excursion cost. It was a big waste of time, we could have done something worthwhile. At this point we decided to check our excursions to make sure we werent going to have bus rides that were 3/4 of the excursion time. And what did we find, the excursion we booked for the next day had a completely different description than it did when we booked and paid for it. So we went to Michaels Club and had the representitive check it for us. We were told, oh that is wrong, it was done by a person. Really? Its ok to distribute something like this with no proofing? Really shaking our heads at this point. But it was to continue, unbelievably. Overall we had two excursions where the time was changed for part of our group. No concern by Celebrity over whether they split up groups or not. We did the overnight excursion from Milford Sound which would have been excellent except that we were taken off the ship at 8am and we did not get to our hotel until 1230 that night. Over 16 hours. Everything we did was great, it was just too long of a day. It became clear during this excursion that the excursion team from Celebrity really needs to spend some time with the actual tour operators to figure out what is going to be seen and the timing. There were things in the description of the tour that we did not experience and there were things that Celebrity thought we should see or do that were absolutely nothing or in the middle of nowhere with nothing to see. We ended up dropping some of the further excursions we had booked and did our own thing. On to the cabin. We had originally booked a Concierge level room on the aft and then decided to go big and get an aft suite. We had cabin 6305 on the aft corner. Great room but after living in it for a bit we saw it wasnt worth it. Every day or so the decks/balconys were washed down. The water from every balcony above ours washed directly onto our balcony. Literally a waterfall cascading down of dirty water. Four times we were in the room with the slider open, one time I was on the balcony and got all wet. Complaint after complaint and promise after promise this continued to happen up till the day before we disembarked. You could tell it had been happening continually as the carpet in front of the slider was constantly damp and discolored. The food was good, with good choices. I didnt really care for the premium restaurants, the service was perfect but the food wasnt spectacular and the portions were way too big. The dining room was good, food and service. The buffet was good except for the desserts which were quite tasteless. Dessert was only good in the dining room. The bars do not offer menus which makes for one that likes to try new things a difficult task. Our room steward was excellent. Trying to get a drink in any area without going to the bar yourself was impossible. Either nonexistant or took an incredible amount of time. It seemed like there was not enough staff in this area. One thing that happened really upset me was when I tried to buy cough drops and a bag of potato chips. The cough drops were $8 US and the chips $10 US (single serve). Really. That is over the top taking advantage. The charge for a bottle of water was $4 US, again excessive. Your TV is your information system, however none of our group's TV worked, it always said unavailable. I wanted to like this cruise line, I really did, we even booked another cruise while onboard thinking it would get better. But it didnt. One thing I really enjoyed was the Hot Glass Show. Oh and the itinerary was good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Picked this cruise as we have been to NZ before and many times to Sydney in Australia and have seen the cruise ships docked at the Rocks and thought wow to sail in would be an amazing thing (and it was) the whole cruise was fantastic we ... Read More
Picked this cruise as we have been to NZ before and many times to Sydney in Australia and have seen the cruise ships docked at the Rocks and thought wow to sail in would be an amazing thing (and it was) the whole cruise was fantastic we had a A1 class cabin on level 8 port side it was very clean and had everything we needed. We had most of our meals in the café but did buy the 3 meal package and also had open dining for the main dining room but to be honest we liked the café food better lots of choice. When on holiday we like to do our own thing so did not take part in any activities but there was plenty to do if that's your thing. All the staff were polite and very friendly the service was wonderful, the only downside was embarkation due to the cleaning of the ship so did not get on till about 5.30pm and our cabin was still not ready, when we did get to the cabin our luggage was waiting outside. All the ports of call were fabulous but we only took one excursion in Melbourne as we had been to some before so we took advantage of the empty ships pool and hot tubs. The sounds were stunning and the weather was awesome on that day not a cloud in the sky along with the sunrise as we sailed into Sydney I would say the best part of the cruise. The whole cruise was everything we expected saddest part was having to leave but we will do Celebrity again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I have been on a few ships with a Star ratings from 2 to 5.5. The Noro Virus that was on the cruise before this one made boarding late and we couldn't go straight to the terminal as they were still in the process of sanitizing the ... Read More
I have been on a few ships with a Star ratings from 2 to 5.5. The Noro Virus that was on the cruise before this one made boarding late and we couldn't go straight to the terminal as they were still in the process of sanitizing the ship and the terminal. I noticed someone in this review commented that there was no water at the convention centre but there was bottled water and it was on the table on your left as you walked in to the large room after the check in and boarder check. I didn't see or hear any one complain about the process we had to go through before boarding and I think a lot of people just knew that it had to be done or if the sanitizing didn't happen then it would have been a ruined cruise just like the cruise before our one. We had spent 3 days on level 4 so no helping yourself to buffet foods and no salt or pepper on tables and you were given plates, cutlery and napkins. For three days we waited to see if anyone would succumb to the noro virus and if no one came down with it in those three days then the Captain would be able to give the all clear and for the crew to stand down and return to normal duties and I am happy to say there was no one sick with any virus in the whole 14 days and it was thanks to the wonderful crew who worked hard and you could see that it was wearing them down and they were looking tired as they had worked very long hours and very hard. . After the level 4 had been removed there was some service that was lacking like things that should have been in your stateroom but wasn't and you had to go ask and even the scarf at the end of the bed didn't exist either, that's a little cover placed on the bed after it had been made and no towel animals, what is the world coming to , no towel animals, towel animals is what breaks the ice with your cabin steward and I just felt the service was just not there for a 5.5 star ship, the food in the MDR was well presented not to much and not to little but very limited in variety and as for the Ocean view cafe there was food all day long and the deserts, ice cream and gelatos wow I mean WOW, tooo much and might I say that is where the 5.5 star was, in the food. The crew were from different places especially Eastern Europe and they were a bit stiff to start off with, not very chatty and I found once I had broken through that ice barrier and they found I was not a threat to them, we had made new friends from the Eastern Europe crew. I think it is where they come from everything is serious unlike in Australia where we are laid back and this is unusual to them. so if you do cruise on the Solstice give these crews time to get used to you and be the one to make the move to break that ice barrier and they will then come over to say hi once you have made that friendship and maybe teach you some Russian like Добрый вечер Dobryy vecher which means good evening in Russian. Alla spent the whole cruise trying to teach me that one. so say HI to her. you should also say hi to Chandra as he looked after me with my two eggs sunny side up in the morning in the Ocean View Cafe. Just ask for Chandra in the Ocean View Cafe. The other best think was staying in Melbourne over night and again in Sydney over night. It was a change to been kicked off as soon as you hit port. Just a tip: don't take kids on this ship as they will be bored out of their brains. second tip don't get Concierge not worth the extra money. 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 3.7
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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