Me and my partner chose to cruise with celebrity after enjoying a fantastic cruise on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 2 years prior.
We thought since the two are related and celebrity is more expensive that the experience should be even more fantastic. I have to say, we had a better time on the Explorer.
Not sure whether this is because of the people on the ship... we are 25 but we don't drink and aren't party animals - But wow, this is a very sloooow crowd and the daily planner reflects that. There is literally nothing to do during the day other than go to talks where they try to sell you things.
Other than that the daily features are bingo, glass blowing, spa talks on how to reduce lines and ease back pain + more activities that lets just say, I'd rather watch paint dry. if we hadnt booked such a great Shore activities I'm not sure how much we would have enjoyed this cruise...
Cabins - we just had a regular interior cabin on level 8. We were unfortunate enough to have probably one of only three babies on board 4 cabins down and this one was definitely a screamer. I have to say I think every single time we were in the cabin, that baby was crying... including multiple nights. However I have to admit that's obviously not celebrities fault but it did impact the trip. also, the cabins on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas are much nicer than the solstice cabins except for a smaller bed. There is way more storage on the Explorer and the rooms are just laid out a lot better. Another little thing that is sort of silly but it's one of the things makes a cruise, we didn't get any towel animals except for the first night. That was one of the most exciting things on the Explorer! Seeing which new one we got every day! A weird damp smell also lingered the whole time...
Dining in the buffet - we only ate in the buffet and included restaurant the entire trip because we usually find that that's all you need... Again, the food at the buffet on the Explorer was much superior to the food on the solstice. The breakfast did not change literally every single day. Lunch varied somewhat but barely. Most of the dinner was also the same, except for a few theme nights where they basically just had maybe 10 more dishes added.
Dining in the no fee restaurant - firstly I want to say that our waitress Taisiia was amazing. She was extremely prompt, friendly and informed about the food. We also found this on the Explorer with our waiter. but once again, the Explorer had much better dinner food than the solstice. we found that the menu on the solstice was very bizarre and somewhat pretentious. The entrees were pretty much just soups and salads for the entire duration of the cruise which I guess you can mass make and not really stuff up. The mains were really hit and miss...some of the steaks were really overcooked even though we ordered them all medium rare. But then again some of the food was fantastic. it's really hard to say but it's really just a game of luck every night with the menu. But I have to say it was a process of elimination of things we didn't like most of the time... another small thing to know is that the bread options are really limited on the solstice. At dinner on the Explorer we were given about 6 to 8 different options of bread but on this cruise we only had three different types of bread to choose from one of which was bread sticks. Dessert was great but honestly it's pretty hard to stuff up dessert.
Shows in the theatre- the one thing that celebrity did mirror with Royal Caribbean Explorer was the fantastic shoes on board. But I have to admit that the entertainment was only really great when it was with the solstice theatre performers. All the other extra performers were pretty rubbish other than one comedian. Most nights there were plenty of seats left in the theatre when it wasn't the solstice group performing.
Pools - pool areas were nice and tidy and they did have plenty of chairs for everyone in the main pool. This was not k's in the adults only area. You'd go literally at 9 a.m. and all the chairs would have towels and things on them from people dumping them on the way to the buffet. They really should have some sort of system in place to avoid this happening as we saw chairs with no one in them for hours on end...
Gym and spa - we did go to the gym a couple of days and I have to say it was pretty fantastic. Loads of equipment and weights. Plenty of cold towels for anyone and a really great Fitness classroom. we also did take advantage of the Persian room for our stay. It was expensive but we really enjoyed it. The steam room was awesome and the hot pads were really relaxing. We also did have one couples massage that was pretty good but in hindsight we probably wouldn't do it again how much money it cost. that was another thing, throughout the entire ship there were the massage ladies sitting you in chairs giving you a random shoulder rub and running you through the price list. It was a bit full on and I was really over it by the end of the trip.
Shore excursions - we did 3 excursions, quad biking in the sand dunes in Newcastle, Australia Zoo and also a Great Barrier Reef snorkeling Discovery.
Quad biking was definitely the highlight. this was due to the fact that there was only about 10 of us considering the general demographic on the cruise wouldn't be able to physically quad bike, plus the dunes were fantastic and the guys were amazing. Australia Zoo was ok, I mean it's just a zoo and it may have been more exciting for someone who isn't an Australian but we still did have fun and we don't regret going but wouldn't do it again. we have mix feelings about the great barrier reef discovery . Unfortunately it was the best day for it it was a really rough seas - the boat the incredibly rocky the entire time and multiple people were being sick. This gets pretty full-on since it's over an hour and a half trip to the reef. I got sick too. The reef itself was ok I have to say I don't think we were taken to a particularly beautiful part. I've done snorkeling a lot of times and there are much better spots all around Australia in Thailand and as well in New Caledonia. I was happy we went but again we wouldn't do it again.
The rest of the staff were ok. The guest relations staff were pretty average an abrupt but all of the buffet and public room staff were very kind and accommodating.
all in all, it was a bit disappointing and I wouldn't be cruising with celebrity again. I think I'll stick to Royal Caribbean. To give you some feedback also, my partner has cruised with multiple lines and he said that celebrity is pretty hand in hand in terms of food with P&O. Save your money, go with Royal Caribbean.
Wouldn't recommendView All 27 Barrier Reef Reviews
Perfect do it!View All 0 ATV Reviews
I leave yes I guess it was fine
It was okView All 12 Australia Zoo Reviews