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We chose this cruise because old friends from the US had booked it and we were able to board in our home town of Perth (Fremantle), and enjoy another cruise with them. Unfortunately the cruise was ultimately disappointing on too many levels and we will probably never cruise with this company again. 1. Too many sea days. 3 sea days from Perth to Adelaide, then only 9 hours in port. Another 2 sea days to Melbourne and only 7 hours in port. Melbourne deserves at least 2 days in port - so much to see and enjoy in and around the city. After Melbourne we were supposed to have 2 more sea days then one full day cruising through and around Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and Dusky Bay. However the ship had to return to Melbourne (after we were already 6 hours out) as there was a sick passenger who could not be medivacced by helicopter. Total loss - 12 hours, therefore decision made to cancel the visits to the Sounds. Sorry, but this story about the sick passenger started to sound more and more like a fairy story as the day, and the constant video loop by the Captain and the cruise director, wore on. Milford Sound is a NZ ICON. To cancel this was very poor. So another boring day at sea. 2. Very badly organised tender departures and a DEARTH of information beforehand. Too bad if you had a train to catch at 10am...you could not leave on the tender until all the ship's tours passengers had departed. We managed to sneak onto the tender and did manage to catch our train. Others were not so lucky. No-one was told beforehand that the tender would take almost half an hour to reach the dock so people were missing their tours all over the place. How dare the "Guest Relations" staff treat their "guests" so rudely. Trying to get a straight answer from them on any question relating to being able to leave the boat to take a privately organised excursion was impossible. Obfuscation, confusion, wrong information and straight out lies seem to have been their forte. The boat did not offer a tour of the sort which we wished to take in one port so we organised our own special interest tour. But we were told we would have to wait until all the boat tour passengers had left before we could use the gangway. Well...poop to that said we, and off we went down the gangway when it suited us. 3. Overly loud music from Take 5 on deck 3 at 7.45 Couldn't hear oneself think, let alone converse with others. Ray Brown Jr was more pleasant. The Take 5 singer had already overstretched her voice trying an overly loud and screechy version of RESPECT, and no-one was enjoying her singing any more. The demographic on this tour was 60+ - we like to converse over a drink and hear each other. 4. Flavourless, insipid food How many chefs are on board this vessel??? And not one of them could produce an interesting, authentic, spicy Asian dish. Bland, boring, insipid, with plenty of pseudo French and Italian food also. The Tuscan Grill, for which we paid US$45pp extra, was horrible. Not a genuine Italian dish on the menu. Dry chicken schnitzel smothered in melted rubbery tasteless cheese is not an Italian dish. We were rushed through our meal and did not enjoy it at all because of this also. ALL the cheese at every meal was the same - tasteless, unidentifiable, and rubbery. Occasionally a brie or camembert, and a blue cheese appeared but these were a very rare occurrence. 5. Tired and dated cabin decor. Bed with sunken patches, small, uncomfortable pillows. KMart quality toiletries - adequate but not special. KMart quality chocs on pillows - not nice. The choice of ports in New Zealand was quite good, but the activities onshore were fairly limited in these small towns. The cancellation of the Sounds also affected all of the Wilderness tours, as they all had to be cancelled. The room stewards were always delightful, as were many of the bar and waitstaff. The waitstaff attending our table in the Epernay Dining Room were very good also. Fortunately we had the company of friends to enjoy our days with. We will probably revisit New Zealand later this year and hopefully see the Sounds and the Wilderness areas which we missed on this cruise. Ultimately, for us, this cruise was very unsatisfying.

Could have been so much better

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review by Miz Aris

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise because old friends from the US had booked it and we were able to board in our home town of Perth (Fremantle), and enjoy another cruise with them.

Unfortunately the cruise was ultimately disappointing on too many levels and we will probably never cruise with this company again.

1. Too many sea days.

3 sea days from Perth to Adelaide, then only 9 hours in port.

Another 2 sea days to Melbourne and only 7 hours in port. Melbourne deserves at least 2 days in port - so much to see and enjoy in and around the city.

After Melbourne we were supposed to have 2 more sea days then one full day cruising through and around Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and Dusky Bay. However the ship had to return to Melbourne (after we were already 6 hours out) as there was a sick passenger who could not be medivacced by helicopter. Total loss - 12 hours, therefore decision made to cancel the visits to the Sounds. Sorry, but this story about the sick passenger started to sound more and more like a fairy story as the day, and the constant video loop by the Captain and the cruise director, wore on. Milford Sound is a NZ ICON. To cancel this was very poor. So another boring day at sea.

2. Very badly organised tender departures and a DEARTH of information beforehand.

Too bad if you had a train to catch at 10am...you could not leave on the tender until all the ship's tours passengers had departed. We managed to sneak onto the tender and did manage to catch our train. Others were not so lucky. No-one was told beforehand that the tender would take almost half an hour to reach the dock so people were missing their tours all over the place. How dare the "Guest Relations" staff treat their "guests" so rudely. Trying to get a straight answer from them on any question relating to being able to leave the boat to take a privately organised excursion was impossible. Obfuscation, confusion, wrong information and straight out lies seem to have been their forte. The boat did not offer a tour of the sort which we wished to take in one port so we organised our own special interest tour. But we were told we would have to wait until all the boat tour passengers had left before we could use the gangway. Well...poop to that said we, and off we went down the gangway when it suited us.

3. Overly loud music from Take 5 on deck 3 at 7.45

Couldn't hear oneself think, let alone converse with others. Ray Brown Jr was more pleasant. The Take 5 singer had already overstretched her voice trying an overly loud and screechy version of RESPECT, and no-one was enjoying her singing any more. The demographic on this tour was 60+ - we like to converse over a drink and hear each other.

4. Flavourless, insipid food

How many chefs are on board this vessel??? And not one of them could produce an interesting, authentic, spicy Asian dish. Bland, boring, insipid, with plenty of pseudo French and Italian food also. The Tuscan Grill, for which we paid US$45pp extra, was horrible. Not a genuine Italian dish on the menu. Dry chicken schnitzel smothered in melted rubbery tasteless cheese is not an Italian dish. We were rushed through our meal and did not enjoy it at all because of this also. ALL the cheese at every meal was the same - tasteless, unidentifiable, and rubbery. Occasionally a brie or camembert, and a blue cheese appeared but these were a very rare occurrence.

5. Tired and dated cabin decor. Bed with sunken patches, small, uncomfortable pillows. KMart quality toiletries - adequate but not special. KMart quality chocs on pillows - not nice.

The choice of ports in New Zealand was quite good, but the activities onshore were fairly limited in these small towns. The cancellation of the Sounds also affected all of the Wilderness tours, as they all had to be cancelled.

The room stewards were always delightful, as were many of the bar and waitstaff. The waitstaff attending our table in the Epernay Dining Room were very good also.

Fortunately we had the company of friends to enjoy our days with. We will probably revisit New Zealand later this year and hopefully see the Sounds and the Wilderness areas which we missed on this cruise.

Ultimately, for us, this cruise was very unsatisfying.
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