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This was our 8th cruise with Celebrity and the second on the Solstice which is a beautiful ship. Embarkation was swift and pain free and we were onboard just after 11am. We were given the Classic Beverage Package as a free perk and upon boarding, asked the cost of our favourite NZ Sauvignon Blancs (in particular Villa Maria). At $12.50US per glass, they are definitely Premium Package material, so we had no qualms at all upgrading our package. What we weren't told was that there would be no Villa Maria onboard for the first 7 days. It only arrived when we docked in Noumea and then there was very little of it to go round. So, upgrading from day one was a complete waste of money. We spoke with Michael the Beverage Manager and George the head of Cellarmasters who explained that a pallet has been missed and the situation was totally out of their control. DINING: With a Health Inspector Hubby, buffets are never popular with us but there are times when there is nowhere else to dine. We found the food in the Oceanview Cafe on this cruise below par. There was no variety and the food was luke warm at best. Not keeping the food at an ambient temperature is a recipe for disaster and perhaps a reason for food poisoning outbreaks. Main Dining Room: We found the food in the MDR very hit and miss. We did have some lovely meals - roast beef, duck, lobster, salmon, prawns to name a few. On a couple of occasions we sent meals back and asked for something different. We also had to ask for food to be reheated a few times. We did not dine in any of the specialty restaurants on this occasion. Service, as always, was without fault from the friendly always smiling staff. Our favourite bars were the Sunset Bar and also the Passport Bar. Staff were fabulous and made our cruise memorable for sure. The ship is just gorgeous and was spotlessly clean. We had a few issues with our cabin which I have detailed in the "Cabin details" section. Our cabin steward was fantastic and went above and beyond. Before leaving for our cruise, we called Celebrity and asked if we could load cash (in USD) onto our account for use on the ship. Certainly we were told, no problems at all. We were told we could go to Guest Relations and withdraw cash whenever we needed it. So we loaded $975US onto our account - some for Hubby to use in the casino and some for tipping staff. On day 2 we visited Guest Relations and asked to withdraw $400 of our own cash only to be told that this was impossible. We could not access any of our own money until after 6pm on the last day of the cruise. We could go to the casino and would be given "promotional chips" but a 5% transaction fee would be incurred. I said that I refused to pay 5% to access my own money and that it was daylight robbery. It took two days of debate with various members of staff before we were given the $400 we wanted. However, when Hubby tried to get some chips in the casino to play Texas Holdem Poker (the only game he plays), he was given those "promotional chips". These chips can only be used on certain tables and the Texas Holdem Poker table is not one of them. You have to play on the designated tables and hope to win to have your promotional chips turned into regular use chips. What a rort! We are still very much Celebrity fans and hope that our next cruise on the Equinox in December will restore our confidence.

Our most disappointing Celebrity cruise to date

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by cruisingcaker

28 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our 8th cruise with Celebrity and the second on the Solstice which is a beautiful ship.

Embarkation was swift and pain free and we were onboard just after 11am.

We were given the Classic Beverage Package as a free perk and upon boarding, asked the cost of our favourite NZ Sauvignon Blancs (in particular Villa Maria). At $12.50US per glass, they are definitely Premium Package material, so we had no qualms at all upgrading our package. What we weren't told was that there would be no Villa Maria onboard for the first 7 days. It only arrived when we docked in Noumea and then there was very little of it to go round. So, upgrading from day one was a complete waste of money.

We spoke with Michael the Beverage Manager and George the head of Cellarmasters who explained that a pallet has been missed and the situation was totally out of their control.

DINING: With a Health Inspector Hubby, buffets are never popular with us but there are times when there is nowhere else to dine. We found the food in the Oceanview Cafe on this cruise below par. There was no variety and the food was luke warm at best. Not keeping the food at an ambient temperature is a recipe for disaster and perhaps a reason for food poisoning outbreaks.

Main Dining Room: We found the food in the MDR very hit and miss. We did have some lovely meals - roast beef, duck, lobster, salmon, prawns to name a few. On a couple of occasions we sent meals back and asked for something different. We also had to ask for food to be reheated a few times. We did not dine in any of the specialty restaurants on this occasion.

Service, as always, was without fault from the friendly always smiling staff.

Our favourite bars were the Sunset Bar and also the Passport Bar. Staff were fabulous and made our cruise memorable for sure.

The ship is just gorgeous and was spotlessly clean. We had a few issues with our cabin which I have detailed in the "Cabin details" section. Our cabin steward was fantastic and went above and beyond.

Before leaving for our cruise, we called Celebrity and asked if we could load cash (in USD) onto our account for use on the ship. Certainly we were told, no problems at all. We were told we could go to Guest Relations and withdraw cash whenever we needed it. So we loaded $975US onto our account - some for Hubby to use in the casino and some for tipping staff. On day 2 we visited Guest Relations and asked to withdraw $400 of our own cash only to be told that this was impossible. We could not access any of our own money until after 6pm on the last day of the cruise. We could go to the casino and would be given "promotional chips" but a 5% transaction fee would be incurred. I said that I refused to pay 5% to access my own money and that it was daylight robbery. It took two days of debate with various members of staff before we were given the $400 we wanted. However, when Hubby tried to get some chips in the casino to play Texas Holdem Poker (the only game he plays), he was given those "promotional chips". These chips can only be used on certain tables and the Texas Holdem Poker table is not one of them. You have to play on the designated tables and hope to win to have your promotional chips turned into regular use chips. What a rort!

We are still very much Celebrity fans and hope that our next cruise on the Equinox in December will restore our confidence.
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 07 3143
We sailed on the Reflection for 21 nights last October and had a cabin on Deck 3, only 4 cabins in from the main foyer. We were amazed at how quiet it was and loved the location and convenience. So, when booking the Solstice, we chose this deck again - 9 cabins in from the foyer. We were amazed at the difference in noise levels. Firstly there was a constant loud, whining noise - 24 hours a day - it never stopped. No one could tell us what it was and the head of house keeping was less than helpful. The noise from the bands in the main foyer late at night was also excessive. We were told that the fire doors would be closed at night to reduce the noise and when they were, it was acceptable. However, staff kept opening them. We would call Guest Relations and ask for them to be shut again but they rarely remained closed for long. There were no other cabins available. My pet hate is people who let those heavy cabin doors slam shut. OMG how hard is it to gently close the door. There should really be a sign on the back of the door asking people to consider their fellow guests and DO NOT SLAM THE DOOR.
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