We like New Zealand and decided that it would be a good way to go for a short cruise which started in Auckland and finished in Sydney. One of the selling points was that the ship was coming back to Sydney via Eden on the south Coast of NSW..
On the morning of embarkation in Auckland it was a fairly long process because of the corona virus scare - everyone had to have their temperature taken.. But it was handled well and to know that we were considered safe to board the vessel was good news.
Our balcony cabin on Deck 6 was OK apart from a slightly restricted view because of the life boats. The balcony furniture was very tatty and one of the chairs was less than safe to 'perch' on. There were a few things around the ship that needed attention.
I don't like the idea of a 'minibar' and requested all the things in it be removed.
Another thing which really annoys me is that as soon as one sets foot on the ship someone is trying to take your photo, others are endeavouring to make sure one has a drinks package or others are trying their hardest to get one to sign up for extra dining packages or spa treatments etc etc. If I want those things I am quite capable of making my own decisions.
The WiFI costs on Celebrity Solstice are beyond belief. No wonder people hightail it off the ship when there are port calls to search for free WiFi.
I thought the food in the buffet cafeteria was quite good - a wide variety of food. We never went to the formal dining room. One things I didn't appreciate was the 'music' that constantly bashed one's ears. Why does it have to be so loud and intrusive. Very difficult to hold a good conversation - I guess it's also a way of quickly shunting people through the dining areas.
Their system of accounts makes it appear on the in room TV that each person has the same credit. We spoke to one of the desk staff about this and he said that quite a few people had been 'caught out by this'. An easy way to make an extra buck or two for the company.
The Captain was quite a good communicator - quite amusing as well. Most of the staff were friendly and our room attendant was efficient and pleasant.
The end of the cruise was less than satisfactory. We couldn't dock in Eden because of the corona virus (I understand that). We docked on the evening 19/3 in Sydney but couldn't disembark until the following morning. With everything that was/has been happening with corona virus we would have thought that we all would have been checked before getting off the ship or at least on the dock. But NO - it didn't happen. Something fell down with communication between the ship and NSWhealth/ border control. When we got to the dock we had to sign a form about going into 14 days isolation. Which of course we did and we will be 'in-house' for quite a few more days before that time is up.
It was an unhappy ending to an otherwise fairly good trip.