This is my second cruise with hubby (both 50 yr olds) and our first one was on Solstice also 2 years ago. Our first cruise was perfect and so it was inevitable that we would be comparing both cruises and that the second one wouldn't be as good as the first.
Celebrity have the embarkation/disembarkation process down pat and we can't fault them on that at all. Even at Princess Wharf Auckland where it is so small and could be utter chaos, everything was good and moved quickly. We had stayed at the Sebel Quay West the night before which I recommend as it is a lovely hotel and an easy walk with luggage down to the wharf.
The ship is as lovely as ever and looked after well although you can see some minor things showing some wear and tear. The best thing about Celebrity is the staff - they are all friendly and helpful. As with the last cruise, the only staff member to not acknowledge us as we walked by everyday was the Captains Club hostess.
Cabin was great and Rex our cabin steward looked after it well. A couple of doors fell off but easily fixed. This cabin is the first angled one on the hump. It has only a slightly larger balcony then the standard but when you stand at the edge you can see directly into next doors balcony (7209) so doesn't seem as private as a normal balcony. Not worth paying any extra for. Handy to lifts and you can't hear any outside noise from inside.
Stayed at Sebel Quay West beforehand which is really good and handy to the wharf. Looked around all of the streets and went to the Sky Tower to get some good views. Took the red HOHO bus which is free and the green innerlink bus which does a bigger loop of the city - only costs about $3.50
Beware there are people that come out when cruise ships are in town and want you to do their tours (and charge a huge amount) We walked around the city streets - very dirty and not everyone was friendly.
Beware there are people that come out when cruise ships are in town and want you to do their tours (and charge a huge amount) We went with a company that was set up at the wharf. Told us a time the bus would leave but waited a long time until they filled up the bus before we would leave. Was taken to a village where we were told we had to pay extra to enter this village - even though we were told there was nothing more to pay. Some paid but most refused. Discovered we all seemed to pay different amounts. Also had to pay extra to see a waterfall (most didn't) waterfall was hardly running. Was supposed to go for 3 hours but ended up going for 4 1/2. Couldn't get off quick enough.
Loved Pago Pago - the friendliest people out of all the ports we stopped at. Went on a tour run by Alofa tours and saw the western side of the island in one of the cool wooden buses.Good commentary throughout and they took us to the top of the mountain for some great views. Went to Sadie Thompson Inn (near Mcdonalds) where it nice and cool in the bar and free wifi.