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We have cruised nearly 40 cruises. 17 on Celebrity. We traveled with 4 other couples. 3 from England and 1 from Minnesota. We are from Boston area and are 69 years old. We've been on this ship and all of the other sister ships in this class before. The ship is in excellent condition. There isn't a lot of action type attractions on this ship. We're not young but we're not dead. We still like to do things like the flow rider, rock climbing walls, water slides, zip lines and the like. If your like us you might want to try a different ship class. We feel the lawn area really under uses the space it takes up on this ship. There isn't a lot of usage by the passengers. We also feel the ships with the steak house use some of this space better than the ones with the glass blowing venue. This one has glass blowing. The cabin was very good. The cabin steward was excellent. We had outside cabin 3108. Adequate storage, clean, pleasing and with a sufficiently sized bathroom. Casino was good but table stakes are to high. Blackjack minimum was $15 at lowest stake table. Casino would be more fun with more people playing. $15 keeps to many people away. Happy to say there were no automatic shuffling machines. We had anytime dining which became fixed dining because they only had 2 tables for 10 people. We had a choice of 6:00 or 8:00 only and 6:00 was already taken so 8:00 it was. Table was against a wall so waiters had trouble getting to inner guests on wall side. Service was average for Celebrity which is better than most. There were a few errors or omissions but most were handled well by the staff. Sommeliers and drink waiters were good. Food continues to be of a lower quality than we expect from Celebrity. Especially noticeable in meat quality. This has been noticeable over the last year and half or so. Tuscan was the only specialty restaurant we tried. It was excellent but not worth the full price the charge over and above the meal you could have that you already paid for. We only went because they were offering a discount to get people to go. We didn't go to any of the other specialty restaurants for that reason. Entertainment was average for the cast review shows. Magic and comedian guest entertainers were very good. The ports for the most part were very good but the majority had to be reached by tender and some with a bus shuttle of up to a half hour which cost up to $18 per person. Shuttles weren't paid for by Celebrity. There were long lines and waits both coming and going. Better than half your port days involved the tenders and buses. It really took away from the ports. Booked our own tour in New Castle. The Cheers Bus Guided Winery tour. 10 of us in a van for $40 AUD per couple. Picked up at dock for all day tour to 3 vineyards in Hunter Valley (Calais estate, Waverly estate, Leogate estate) and the Hunter Valdha distillery (multiple samples of flavored vodkas and Schnapps). We also visited the Smelly Deli for cheese and spread tasting and a chocolate store for tasting. Unhurried and no crowds. Lunch at Leogate was beautiful. Soft shelled crab, roasted potatoes, spinach salad, cheese board and crusty bread were some of the menu items we ate. Lunch cost was not included in tour. Great tour. www.cheerbus.com. Talk to John. All ports north of Brisbane have jelly fish that are very venomous. This includes the Great Barrier Reef. Getting stung will lead to hospital stay of 2 to 3 weeks or in some cases death. Most beaches have large pools with salt water for swimming. You need to wear protective nylon suits to go in the ocean. Kind of kills the beach experience In these ports. In Cairns we booked our own tour for snorkeling the inner Great Barrier Reef. The outer reef was better snorkeling but it took 2 hours each way to get there and we didn't want that long of a trip. We went to Green Island. $180AUD per couple. Saw plenty of turtles, sting rays and even a shark. Coral was beautiful but spotty. Glass bottom boat was part of tour for no snorkelers and those that had their own snorkeling equipment. Island has all services including restaurants and bar.

Tenders were a real drag

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by FrankA

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We have cruised nearly 40 cruises. 17 on Celebrity. We traveled with 4 other couples. 3 from England and 1 from Minnesota. We are from Boston area and are 69 years old. We've been on this ship and all of the other sister ships in this class before. The ship is in excellent condition. There isn't a lot of action type attractions on this ship. We're not young but we're not dead. We still like to do things like the flow rider, rock climbing walls, water slides, zip lines and the like. If your like us you might want to try a different ship class. We feel the lawn area really under uses the space it takes up on this ship. There isn't a lot of usage by the passengers. We also feel the ships with the steak house use some of this space better than the ones with the glass blowing venue. This one has glass blowing. The cabin was very good. The cabin steward was excellent. We had outside cabin 3108. Adequate storage, clean, pleasing and with a sufficiently sized bathroom. Casino was good but table stakes are to high. Blackjack minimum was $15 at lowest stake table. Casino would be more fun with more people playing. $15 keeps to many people away. Happy to say there were no automatic shuffling machines.

We had anytime dining which became fixed dining because they only had 2 tables for 10 people. We had a choice of 6:00 or 8:00 only and 6:00 was already taken so 8:00 it was. Table was against a wall so waiters had trouble getting to inner guests on wall side. Service was average for Celebrity which is better than most. There were a few errors or omissions but most were handled well by the staff. Sommeliers and drink waiters were good. Food continues to be of a lower quality than we expect from Celebrity. Especially noticeable in meat quality. This has been noticeable over the last year and half or so. Tuscan was the only specialty restaurant we tried. It was excellent but not worth the full price the charge over and above the meal you could have that you already paid for. We only went because they were offering a discount to get people to go. We didn't go to any of the other specialty restaurants for that reason.

Entertainment was average for the cast review shows. Magic and comedian guest entertainers were very good.

The ports for the most part were very good but the majority had to be reached by tender and some with a bus shuttle of up to a half hour which cost up to $18 per person. Shuttles weren't paid for by Celebrity. There were long lines and waits both coming and going. Better than half your port days involved the tenders and buses. It really took away from the ports.

Booked our own tour in New Castle. The Cheers Bus Guided Winery tour. 10 of us in a van for $40 AUD per couple. Picked up at dock for all day tour to 3 vineyards in Hunter Valley (Calais estate, Waverly estate, Leogate estate) and the Hunter Valdha distillery (multiple samples of flavored vodkas and Schnapps). We also visited the Smelly Deli for cheese and spread tasting and a chocolate store for tasting. Unhurried and no crowds. Lunch at Leogate was beautiful. Soft shelled crab, roasted potatoes, spinach salad, cheese board and crusty bread were some of the menu items we ate. Lunch cost was not included in tour. Great tour. www.cheerbus.com. Talk to John. All ports north of Brisbane have jelly fish that are very venomous. This includes the Great Barrier Reef. Getting stung will lead to hospital stay of 2 to 3 weeks or in some cases death. Most beaches have large pools with salt water for swimming. You need to wear protective nylon suits to go in the ocean. Kind of kills the beach experience In these ports. In Cairns we booked our own tour for snorkeling the inner Great Barrier Reef. The outer reef was better snorkeling but it took 2 hours each way to get there and we didn't want that long of a trip. We went to Green Island. $180AUD per couple. Saw plenty of turtles, sting rays and even a shark. Coral was beautiful but spotty. Glass bottom boat was part of tour for no snorkelers and those that had their own snorkeling equipment. Island has all services including restaurants and bar.
FrankA’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
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Service
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 08 3108
The cabin was very good. The cabin steward was excellent. We had outside cabin 3108. Adequate storage, clean, pleasing and with a sufficiently sized bathroom.
Plaza Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Gold Coast
    Just took transportation tour. Got us there and back. Tour guide was repetitive.
    Gold coast beach is breath taking. Miles of pure white sand. Developed wave action for swimming and surfing. Nothing available right on beach. Any rentals are across the street. Plenty of food and shopping. Toilets are available on beach.
    View All 3 Gold Coast Reviews
  • Barrier Reef
    What makes this port unenjoyable is the tender (45 minutes water time plus wait) and the 1/2hour shuttle (Celebrity doesn't pay for. $36 per couple.). Half your time in port is spent doing this. What's worse is that we overnighted there. This means you could go through the process a much as 3 times.
    In Cairns we booked our own tour for snorkeling the inner Great Barrier Reef. The outer reef was better snorkeling but it took 2 hours each way to get there and we didn't want that long of a trip. We went to Green Island. $180AUD per couple. Saw plenty of turtles, sting rays and even a shark. Coral was beautiful but spotty. Glass bottom boat was part of tour for non-snorkelers and those that had their own snorkeling equipment. Island has all services including gear, jelly fish suits, restaurants and bar.
    View All 17 Barrier Reef Reviews
  • Wine Tour
    Booked our own tour in New Castle. The Cheers Bus Guided Winery tour. 10 of us in a van for $140 AUD per couple plus whatever you spend for lunch. Picked up at dock for all day tour to 3 vineyards in Hunter Valley (Calais estate, Waverly estate, Leogate estate) and the Hunter Valdha distillery (multiple samples of flavored vodkas and Schnapps). We also visited the Smelly Deli for cheese and spread tasting and a chocolate store for tasting. Unhurried and no crowds. Lunch at Leogate was beautiful. We spent $40 AUD per couple for lunch. Soft shelled crab, roasted potatoes, spinach salad, cheese board and crusty bread were some of the menu items we ate. Lunch cost was not included in tour. Great tour. www.cheerbus.com. Talk to John. John drives the van and tells you all about the area. He lives there and has for many years, so he very knowledgeable.
    View All 9 Wine Tour Reviews
  • Blue Mountains
    We took a tour on Gray Line to the Blue Mountains. Full day tour costs $398AUD per couple. Pick up at centrally located hotels at 7:15 AM. About 1-1/2 hours to Blue mountains. Stopped in mountain town for coffee and any other needs. Went to Scenic World for Skyway Tram with glass floor about 270 meters above Jamison Valley and Katoomba falls. While there you can descend to the valley floor via the Scenic railway, walk the rainforest valley floor with many points of interest and take Cableway back up to top. At the top you can view famous three sisters rock formation. You have lunch vouchers to be used here that will get you lunch and drink, including beer or wine. Tour includes all fees at Scenic World. There are 3 other stops on the way back. Small town, famous for of all things, its public toilets. The aborigine center includes a show about the people and closer view of three sisters rock formation. The Featherdale Wildlife park which is a small zoo that is a nice size to see animals. Bus drops you off near the head of the Parramatta River which flows into Sydney Harbor. It's about a 3/4 hour boat ride with a drink included back to Central Quay. Great tour which is highly recommended.
    View All 27 Blue Mountains Reviews