1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Australia & New Zealand Cruises
  4. Australia & New Zealand Cruise Reviews
Cruise Ratings
1,506
1,123
891
579
359
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Wow, wow, wow. Our week on True North was by far the best holiday we have ever had. The Kimberley region is a spectacular location for a holiday but being able to see it with True North was what really made it. All of the staff on board ... Read More
Wow, wow, wow. Our week on True North was by far the best holiday we have ever had. The Kimberley region is a spectacular location for a holiday but being able to see it with True North was what really made it. All of the staff on board were friendly, easy going and professional. They took the time to get to know guests and provided an exceptional service. The food prepared by the chefs was ample and delicious. The chefs were accommodating to specific requests and also happy to share recipes for favourite meals. Housekeeping was done promptly and discreetly and the rooms were very comfortable. Jo-Lee in the bar made excellent cocktails and was familiar with guests usual drinks. There were always loads of great activities on offer and the staff had an immense knowledge and passion for the region and it’s history which was incredibly contagious. I am so, so glad we got to experience True North and would not hesitate to explore with her again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The balcony room was quite spacious and in a great location. The evening shows were outstanding, the group put lots of energy in their show and costumes, the variety was great too. This cruise could have been very nice experience, however, ... Read More
The balcony room was quite spacious and in a great location. The evening shows were outstanding, the group put lots of energy in their show and costumes, the variety was great too. This cruise could have been very nice experience, however, the way information sessions were organised, it was very clear that fitness and spa team are trying to sell you anything and everything. The sessions were not quite informative and sometimes had very conflicting information. I'm not sure why you need to sell shoe inserts and detox pills on the cruises, it is just disgusting. most fitness classes were offered at the additional cost. I think spa should be relaxation space and not pushy sales space. The reception service was rude and not helpful, all 3 attempts to get any information about tours, shuttles, etc. was a waste of time, the staff has to be trained well to communicate to guests, this ruins the experience overall. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Here is our secret for a great cruise. Prior to embarkation and having read all the wonderful marketing material, we discount the hype by 20 per cent. Now let's be honest. Have you ever had a burger or sandwich that looked as good as ... Read More
Here is our secret for a great cruise. Prior to embarkation and having read all the wonderful marketing material, we discount the hype by 20 per cent. Now let's be honest. Have you ever had a burger or sandwich that looked as good as the one on the T.V advertisement? Of course not. The Maasdam is now the oldest ship in the fleet but all public spaces are well maintained. In fact we believe the Rotterdam dining room and the Theatre/Showroom are beautiful. The size of the ship is a plus as there are plenty of seating in quiet places. We never waited more than a a couple of minutes for the elevator. During this 24 day crossing from Auckland to San Francisco there were about 11 sea days and this was when the library was appreciated. It is a great place to read about the American founding fathers American politicians and presidents, American sportspeople, and well known American authors. I particularly appreciated the stories of the American heroes of the integration of black Americans. Well, we must understand this is an American owned company. For the same reason we gave up on Trivia. Our cabin 140 on deck 9 was a disappointment. It was past being tired, it was exhausted and it was dominated by a four seater settee in dark brown vinyl that most likely could fold out into a bed. It looked like a refugee from a Salvation Army charity shop. But get this. Its unwanted presence in our tiny space now placed us in a Vista Suite which raised our gratuities to $16.00 U.S per day per person. The redeeming feature was the large covered balcony. Our total gratuity bill was around the equivalent of $1,100 Australian dollars. To the rest of the world that pays a livable wage to all workers this is a hangover from the days of the 18th century English Poorhouse where the poor were dependent on charity to survive. Meals in the Rotterdam dining room were very good, and while we avoid the rugby scrum of the buffet we were forced there when the dining room was closed. The food was surprisingly good. staff were better than good, they were wonderful. Entertainment was soloists such as a guy playing the flute while jumping all over the stage, a magician, a girl playing the piano accordion etc etc. And get this one. One evenings entertainment was a nature movie with the ship's talented musicians playing mood music. There were lots of complaints when usually the best nights entertainment is the crew, was relegated to 11.00pm. the Cruise Director known as K.K was the best we have ever seen. So here is the bottom line. We enjoyed this cruise and we love so much about HAL. Our 20 per cent discounting of the marketing hype was about right for the ship in general, but we should have discounted the cabin by 30 per cent. ps The guest lecturers saved us from being bored to death. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a last minute booking as it fitted with time off work and was inexpensive. We are Elite on Princess but have cruised with P&O several years ago and were not expecting it to be of the same standard, however we were ... Read More
This was a last minute booking as it fitted with time off work and was inexpensive. We are Elite on Princess but have cruised with P&O several years ago and were not expecting it to be of the same standard, however we were pleasantly surprised. The ship is small so easy to find your way around and very nice inside, quite different to other ships we have been on, more like a modern Hotel. Our room was a ocean view on deck 4, all we could get at that late stage, but it was quite large compared to some of the rooms we have been in on other ships. The only issue was machinery noises from below at night and the air conditioning that had a mind of its own and no matter where the controls were set varied between freezing cold and hot. We normally take the traditional dining option on Princess but did enjoy the options of the different dining rooms - Angelo's, Dragon Lady and the Waterfront. The food was what you can expect on a cruise ship and remember it is not expensive. Some meals were very good and some not so good. It was necessary to book well in advance if you wanted a specific time, in order to see the shows and while this was ok on a short cruise we would still prefer the Traditional dining option - same time, same table, same people, same waiters on a longer cruise. There was no shortage of variety as although the menus were quite small they changed every 4 days. We only ate in the Pantry at lunchtime and breakfast on shore days when we had early starts. There was a huge variety to choose from and generally the food was good. It was a little disjointed though having to go to different stations to put a meal together. Best to find a table then check out what you want, and then get to the stations with the longest queues first otherwise the hot food will be cold. The entertainment was excellent, the production shows, guest artists and live music was as good as any we have seen on a cruise ship. Sideshow alley, the magician/singer duo, and the Hawaiian Comedian were stand outs. Embarkation and disembarkation was very well organised, as good as we have come across. The Tendering process was poor, we gave up in Lifou after waiting over 1 1/2 hrs in the morning. And when I finally went ashore in the afternoon it took over 2 hrs from the time I joined the queue for the return journey, all the time standing in pouring rain - not pleasant. It is a small ship and therefore there are not the facilities we are used to. There is no hot tub in the adults area and as the main pools were freezing cold the two hot tubs in the main pool area were always full of children. It was the school holidays and we understood that the capacity of children allowed on board was maxed out. There are no wine lists in the bars - only in the restaurants and although there was a good range of wine in the restaurants it was very limited in the bars and there was different availability in the different bars. Bottled wine was in the $30 to $60 range with reds in Angelo's generally more reasonable than a good Chardonnay anywhere on the ship. It was good to see the ships security policing the R18 shows and adults only areas and crew removing towels from loungers that had been left by lazy and thoughtless passengers. The Unesco Heritage site snorkelling trip in Noumea was a highlight despite poor weather conditions. Expensive but well worth it, one of the best snorkelling sites we have been to in many years. Sharks, turtles, lots of tropical fish both small and large, moray eels and great coral. Having a guide with us made it feel much safer and they knew the best spots to go to. On a sunny day this would be stunning!! The shore excursion to Mare was also good, nice beach with easy swim to some coral reefs with some brightly coloured tropical fish. Due to poor weather we did not get to visit Mystery Island. Overall a good cruise and certainly value for money. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Did the 10 night "Kimberley Waterfalls" trip with 34 other passengers from Broome, WA to Wyndam. Everything on the boat from the cabin, to the food, to the service was first class. The 21 crew members were young, energetic, ... Read More
Did the 10 night "Kimberley Waterfalls" trip with 34 other passengers from Broome, WA to Wyndam. Everything on the boat from the cabin, to the food, to the service was first class. The 21 crew members were young, energetic, friendly and very helpful. The activities which are tightly scheduled included fishing, walks, helicopter flights, swimming, picnics and naturalist led excisions. Some of these take a moderate level of fitness so if you are a couch potato this probably isn't the trip for you. Also, there is no nightly entertainment and on many mornings breakfast was at six dependent on the tides.On our voyage there were five Americans and the rest of the passengers were Australians. Everyone was most cordial and mixed well. The cabin size was comparable to what we'd experienced on much larger ships and the bathroom was larger. There is plenty of storage. Dress is totally casual. Bare foot, shorts and tops. The food was excellent and often included fish caught that day by passengers. There are no meal choices except at breakfast but this was never a problem because everything served was delicious. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
For many years we have heard of the wonderful experiences people have had on True North and it has been on our bucket list for some time. We went on the Kimberley Waterfall Cruise departing from Broome in April 2019. We were collected ... Read More
For many years we have heard of the wonderful experiences people have had on True North and it has been on our bucket list for some time. We went on the Kimberley Waterfall Cruise departing from Broome in April 2019. We were collected from our accommodation in Broome and taken to the ship at the Port. Here we were met by the friendly young crew of True North and given name badges (very useful) and a welcome drink. After some mingling with the other passengers and crew we were taken to our cabin by one of the crew and shown through the various facilities (daily laundry service was included - how fantastic). After a chef prepared dinner (every meal was simply sensational) we were given details of where we would be travelling to over night and the options of activities available the next day (a process that occurred each evening). The choices always covered peoples capabilities and interests. During the course of our 10 night cruise, I fished (and I had very limited previous experience and the staff were always patient and helpful - and with a sense of humour) and caught fish, I climbed up rock paths to water holes and water pools, visited the most amazing rock art sites, stood on the bow of the ship under a waterfall, had heli picnics (such an incredible experience flying in to an isolated water fall to see a tarp, chairs and BBQ set up), leaned much about the area and its history from the onboard naturalist, saw crocodiles and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The list goes on. After a day out in the sunshine experiencing the wonderful Kimberley Coast you returned to an airconditioned boat for evening cocktails, a beautifully cleaned room (every cabin has its own bathroom) and the most delightful staff who are always friendly and upbeat. The trip is expensive (as you would expect) but certainly was worth every penny. I am definitely planning to travel with them again in a few years. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Have cruised before on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria and wasn’t disappointed So disappointed this time around Meals average No dress code in Restaurants and children in adults only area Great Gatsby party was such a let ... Read More
Have cruised before on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria and wasn’t disappointed So disappointed this time around Meals average No dress code in Restaurants and children in adults only area Great Gatsby party was such a let down people dressed up waiting for the party to start just hanging around stairs etc The band played wrong era music rock and Beatles Then when they did the Charleston it was by record Back to school was fun Shows were hit and miss Cabins are ok plenty of space balcony was big enough for two but needs the refurbishment Two many costly extras that are free on other cruise line Edge a waste of money and Soda drinks packages use cans to fill the glass which was often warm or flat Our cruise was a great price so I wasn’t expecting too much but unfortunately I was disappointed with the food choices in the restaurants and didn’t match was on the menu to on the plate Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This year 3 members of my family are celebrating a “Big 0” Birthday. To celebrate these milestones we decided to have a weekend together. What better way to spend time together than on a cruise. Having previously cruised with Princess, ... Read More
This year 3 members of my family are celebrating a “Big 0” Birthday. To celebrate these milestones we decided to have a weekend together. What better way to spend time together than on a cruise. Having previously cruised with Princess, I suggested a short cruise. The Golden Princess had a 3 night cruise from Melbourne to Sydney. Perfect! With 13 passengers and an age range from 3 to 69 we boarded in Melbourne for what proved to be an amazing way to be together. With so much to see and do, everyone was treated to some activity they really enjoyed. Kid’s Club provided magical experiences for the little ones whilst Wine Tasting and night life were enjoyed by the adults. The live shows and movies were enjoyed by all. The gym junkies in the group were pumping in the early morning at the very well appointed Fitness Centre. The food was sensational. So many choices and every meal was delicious and beautifully presented. There was something for everyone. Half time pies at the AFL footy telecast, pizza and icecream at the pool, High Tea and late night snacks after Dancing the night away. We also got together for Buffet breakfast and fine dining in the evenings. The staff were excellent and so attentive to all our needs. In every area of the ship our requests were cheerfully attended. Each member of the group gave our trip a 10/10 rating and we are already planning our next cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Many time travellers had recommended the princess ships to me,thought it was time to try. The quality and type of food was excellent,the restaurants so good the waiters and the staff were so friendly and their choice of the menu was ... Read More
Many time travellers had recommended the princess ships to me,thought it was time to try. The quality and type of food was excellent,the restaurants so good the waiters and the staff were so friendly and their choice of the menu was incredible. The ship is a dream so much to see and do it is hard to get around to every thing ,the movies under the stars is a knockout. The cabin crew were so good and obliging helped in every manner that was possible. The staff at DONATELLOS are the best that I have experienced you have to experience to appreciate fully. The embarkment and disembarkment were so smooth took no time at all. My wife and I are in the process of booking several tours with princess at this time,much longer cruises are now in order. Coffee and wines were the best could not have asked for better. All in all I did not want to get off the ship it was that good. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Before traveling we read many negative reviews about this ship so our expectations were quite realistic. It was a taster cruise to see if I could handle the seasickness and being on board for days in a row. We had an amazing time and ... Read More
Before traveling we read many negative reviews about this ship so our expectations were quite realistic. It was a taster cruise to see if I could handle the seasickness and being on board for days in a row. We had an amazing time and could find little fault. For the price we paid, we didn't expect the highest quality food or the most luxurious accommodation but our meals in the specialty restaurants were fine. Yes the serves were small, but extra dishes could be ordered. I loved the smaller serves, compared to the huge meals served in most restaurants everywhere these days. The staff were amazing. Nothing is too much trouble. We found the entertainment to be excellent with something for everyone. I am sure there are more glamorous ships on offer but we went with an open mind and a positive attitude and enjoyed the whole experience. On this comedy cruise we laughed our way across the Tasman. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise over a Sydney to Melbourne one as had the need to go one way or the other (function in Melbourne). Unfortunately this ship is getting very old & has some challenging issues. The toilet wasn't working upon ... Read More
I chose this cruise over a Sydney to Melbourne one as had the need to go one way or the other (function in Melbourne). Unfortunately this ship is getting very old & has some challenging issues. The toilet wasn't working upon arrival to our cabin & also several times throughout the cruise causing me to have to visit a public toilet on multiple occasions, unfortunately for Princess many of these were also out of order. The lack of Happy Hour means that many people no longer mingle in the bars & we'd be happy for princess to bring this back, even if it was at an inflated price. There was a guy at the bag drop in Melbourne who was very odd, all I wanted to do was use his stapler to staple my bag tag on to my luggage, instead when another passenger handed me the stapler, snatched it & put it in his pocket & made me wait over 20 minutes for 2 staples (sarcastically thanking me for waiting after stapling my tags for me). Unfortunately we noticed the limitation of nip sizes when pouring drinks, whereas in the past they used & filled the large size of the jigger now they use the small side & only half fill it. If the alcohol is so much more expensive now, put the prices up, don't rip your passengers off. On the plus side the cabin was the largest we've had to date (6 previous cruises) and the TV was huge, shame it didbn't have the movies on demand like on the Diamond. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We went on the Astoria in March 2019 and firstly the really good aspects: It went from our home port in Poole so no distance to travel. It is a nice size with not too far to walk to the restaurants and lounges, it is quite stable so ... Read More
We went on the Astoria in March 2019 and firstly the really good aspects: It went from our home port in Poole so no distance to travel. It is a nice size with not too far to walk to the restaurants and lounges, it is quite stable so although quite rough seas it didn't roll too much so no sea sickness. It had a cinema with recent releases being shown. They had a good speaker on board who shared his Vulcan experiences so being into aviation this was a nice surprise. The cabins were very well appointed with plenty of space for clothes etc. The staff were very friendly and we received good service. They provided shuttle buses at all the ports for independent travellers not going on the excursions so there weren’t the long walks that we have had on other cruise providers Next the not so good aspects The cabins were noisy and vibration from the engines could be felt all night long. We couldn't work out whether this was the location of our cabin - deck 4 mid ship but I suspect that it was throughout the ship but the beds were very comfortable so didn't affect our sleep. The general consensus was 'the more you pay the more you sway' .The service in the Olissipo restaurant was quite slow and the food average. We did treat ourselves to the steak bar and had an excellent 8 course meal although one of the steaks was too tough and went back. The schedules weren't kept to due to rough weather (not their fault) so we only ended up with 4 full days ashore and 4 half days. Our trip to the Scillies was cancelled which was disappointing. We felt that the information provided by the excursion team was poor for independent travellers. For instance when we went to Invergordon we were told that it was difficult to get the public transport into Inverness and that we should take the £25 ship transfer. In fact there was a bus that went straight into Inverness and cost only £12 return. Clearly they were more interested in selling the excursions. There were 2 sizes of wine on offer a large and small glass but despite repeated requests for a small glass, large ones (187ml) always arrived. So we ended up buying a bottle which was cheaper. Overall it is a good value boat and CMV are recommended as good organisers. We would go on Astoria again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I had seen the promotional videos of TrueNorth and met some of the crew when TrueNorth was in Sydney in 2018 and I thought at the time - wow, I would love to do this. I was fortunate that an opportunity landed at my door, I needed to be ... Read More
I had seen the promotional videos of TrueNorth and met some of the crew when TrueNorth was in Sydney in 2018 and I thought at the time - wow, I would love to do this. I was fortunate that an opportunity landed at my door, I needed to be in Broome and it happened for me. I had the most amazing time, I did not envisage that it was going to be as good as it was. Someone had said to me 'it is difficult to put into words what a trip on the TrueNorth is like, you just have to experience it'. They are correct! A TrueNorth adventure is an experience that you will not get anywhere else. It is a combination of experienced and professional staff, incredible beautiful and remote places in the Kimberley, a boat/ship that is purpose built to take you places to enjoy and immerse yourself in adventures that are wonders of the world. Each day I thought, if the trip stopped now, I have seen/experienced and done things I have not previously done - I would die happy. I am planning on going on another cruise, there are so many adventures that TrueNorth do that would rock my boat - my next one I think will be the Rowley Shoals. If you only get the chance to do one adventure in your life, do one of the TrueNorth cruises, they are worth every penny! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I had heard Royal Caribbean (RC) was highly regarded so I had always wanted to try them and booked the New Zealand cruise as part of our Aussie vacation. So far, only day 2, I am underwhelmed. The ship looks great but soon reminded me ... Read More
I had heard Royal Caribbean (RC) was highly regarded so I had always wanted to try them and booked the New Zealand cruise as part of our Aussie vacation. So far, only day 2, I am underwhelmed. The ship looks great but soon reminded me of the song, “She ain’t pretty, she just looks that way”. It is new, big and impressive looking and unfortunately, not designed for the passengers - at least for the usual amenities. Check-in went reasonably smooth. We arrived on time for our scheduled boarding time and were on the ship within about 40 minutes. The only confusion was in realizing we did not receive the usual ship credit card that opens your stateroom door but soon discovered it was left on the stateroom message slot. Despite dropping our luggage of a few hours before our boarding time it was not in our stateroom but no big deal. It was only returning to our stateroom an hour or so later I happened to notice one of our bags in amongst a large number of luggage about 20 rooms away from ours. All of it was there. I guess RC doesn’t bother delivering luggage they just put it on the correct floor and let their guests figure it out for themselves - a bonus game we didn’t have to pay for! Our holiday was a 35-day trip with the cruise starting after 6 days in Sydney. Having been on 5 different ships with 4 different cruise companies we were not worried about laundry as all previous ships had guest laundromats so we were utterly astonished to discover RC doesn’t bother with such things - what better way to increase revenue than to have guests have to use their much higher priced cleaning service. Despite talking to guest services, they weren’t prepared to offer any kind of deal so we bit the bullet and had the bare minimum cleaned to keep us in clean underwear and shirts. The same day it was returned, with a $40 price tag guests got an offer to have their clothes cleaned - all they could fit into an attached bag, with no restrictions on numbers - for the price of $25. Talk about adding insult to injury! It would have been nice to know about that ahead of time. I mentioned the ship was not designed with usual amenities in mind. It has some incredible attractions- more about that later - but those come at a price, like dining areas. The main cafeteria area is about 1/2 the size then those on the “older” ships only carrying about 2/3 to 3/4 of the same number of passengers. Needless to say, this meant listening to numerous announcements to please vacate your seat so other passengers can eat and wandering to and fro trying to find a table. The food itself was barely adequate. On other cruises I was always surprised but pleased to always find the food hot and fresh - not so on RC. I seldom could find anything I wanted that was both hot and fresh. Luke warm to cool seems to be the norm temperature-wise and nothing seems to be removed if it is not eaten in a timely manner. I saw what I thought was a fresh tray of eggs Benedict only to find it had been there a while and were rock hard and cold. The only exception to this was the team responsible for soups and sauces. Soups were hot and delicious and the sauces tasty. There were other options for dining, but I found little difference between the various locations, except for the pizza. It was fresh, hot and good so of course there was always a big line up. The main dining for dinner, the food was better and usually toward the warmer side but there were still glitches. If you recall my soup compliment earlier, you can imagine my surprise to find the one exception was French onion soup. The first try was cold with the cheese-like substance on top congealed into an almost impenetrable glob. The second attempt was better, but not by a huge margin and I think I found an actual onion amongst the sodden mess of some sort of bread beneath the glob of cheese that soaked up most of the liquid. The other thing lacking in food was variety - at least as part of the regular fare. On other cruises I always enjoyed searching out where they placed the various treat spots like Sushi, pasta bars and the like. RC had those - but they all were an extra cost. On other cruises the crew was usually a treat. On RC, I found a mixed bag. Some were great - friendly and helpful while others were sullen, and while not quite rude, not what I would consider helpful. This ship has bumper cars, a surf machine, faux skydiving and the North Star that lifts you up 25-30 meters above the ship giving you a good view. It was here I learned of RC’s caste system. You had to stand in line and wait your turn which is fair - unless you are one RC’s Star class or something like that. Then you got to cut the line and go in front of those mere peons who had waited patiently for their turn. The angry responses of those still in line might explain the staff’s sullenness. Going into the theatre one evening we were told we couldn’t sit in an empty section of seats as they were reserved for the same elite caste. I pointed out to the staff member the irony as the notice posted on all screens in the theatre that stated clearly that there was no reserving of seats for any reason - she could only shrug helplessly. Was the cruise a complete disaster? No, we still had fun and once we figured out what to eat - soups, fruits, salads, baking and surprisingly good coffee and when the crowds weren’t too bad, we didn’t starve. However, would I cruise RC again? No, not unless there was no other option for where I wanted to go. TLDR - give RC a miss. There are far better cruise lines out there. I felt my only purpose on board was to be held upside down to see how much they could pry out of my pockets. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Suite Cabin 11234 - Owner's Suite - Sky Class:- * Coastal Kitchen - amazing service, management and staff * Concierge Lounge - amazing service and great staff * Main Dining Rooms - American and Silk - barely acceptable - very ... Read More
Suite Cabin 11234 - Owner's Suite - Sky Class:- * Coastal Kitchen - amazing service, management and staff * Concierge Lounge - amazing service and great staff * Main Dining Rooms - American and Silk - barely acceptable - very basic * Windjammer Restaurant - nothing more than disgusting, overcrowded, never find a seat * Wonderland Restaurant - plays on gimmicks - food disgusting and certainly not worth the money - service was terrible and took over 40 minutes to get starters * Jamie Olivers - plain and very ordinary and service to match * Chops - simply amazing service (great staff) and amazing food We had kids running around the ship pressing door bells at all hours of the night. Security onboard did nothing the first time we complained until the follow day when we got a little louder when woken up at 1.30am in the morning. Plenty of activities onboard such as rock climbing, ifly, northern star, bumper cars, surf rider and great staff to look after you. Expect long queues for everything - some people we spoke to waiting over 2 hours to get on the Norther Star (always try to pre-book). Entertainment onboard such as pixels, broadway productions, singers, comedians was ok - i've had better on other ships. If you have priority disembarkation then you will get off the ship very fast, otherwise you will end up in a queue a mile long. Overall felt like a cash cow with everyone trying to get a slice of your money - staff told by Miami office (so i was told) to hard sell to meet their targets - you get a little tired of this behaviour especially when your their to relax and enjoy a holiday. Would i ever do Ovation of the Seas again - NO - found it over crowded with far too many people with queues everywhere. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our second cruise on the Ovation. We had upgraded to the Grand suite and definitely worth it with all the inclusions of specialty restaurants, butler, vip dining etc and the room was amazing and spacious. Great storage for us both ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Ovation. We had upgraded to the Grand suite and definitely worth it with all the inclusions of specialty restaurants, butler, vip dining etc and the room was amazing and spacious. Great storage for us both and the view of the sounds as we sat on the balcony was wonderful. Your room receives a daily planner of activities and I wish they would update over the speakers throughout the day as a reminder as there is so many things on and spread out across the ship I found it difficult sometimes to plan properly. The food in the coastal kitchen and solarium was outstanding and recommend booking the Chefs table early as it sells out quickly. With 5 courses matched with wines including the chef who explains all about each dish and why the wine was chosen is a great experience. The only con is the constant up selling from staff, but say no once they tend to leave you alone. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was the worst cruise we have ever had. Missed two stops, they said it was too rough, CRAP, just too many old people who would have been a pain to get them off. Food was poor, i got sick from Japanese. Italian was frozen pasta. We sent ... Read More
This was the worst cruise we have ever had. Missed two stops, they said it was too rough, CRAP, just too many old people who would have been a pain to get them off. Food was poor, i got sick from Japanese. Italian was frozen pasta. We sent our washing to the laundry, and they lost all our clothes, so when we got off the ship, we had no clothes for three days, in Singapore. We contacted them when we got home, and they insulted us by saying they will only pay us 60% of the cost of our clothes. NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Room was clean, but every morning, we would be woken up by loud banging, them fixing pipes in the walls that were leaking. The hand basin leaked into my cosmetics bag, and destroyed lots of items. Once again, they didnt care. I tried to buy a drinks package before we got on the ship, as they said it was cheaper to do before, but they locked me out 2 days before we were to go on the cruise, so we got stung a huge price when we got it on board. We spent over $3500 on board, and this is how we got treated. I wrote to them telling them all the issues we had, and not a response....... Never ever ever again....... Holland America all they way now. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was part of a 3 leg repositioning cruise from Australia to Europe ... with hardly any stops on the 13 day leg from Dubai, we transited the Suez Canal without proper narration as to what we are seeing starting at 4 am. The only ... Read More
This was part of a 3 leg repositioning cruise from Australia to Europe ... with hardly any stops on the 13 day leg from Dubai, we transited the Suez Canal without proper narration as to what we are seeing starting at 4 am. The only other port calls were Athens and Valletta... both stops if you haven't been before were guessing games as the cruise line did not give port information for those wanting to explore on their own.. it's all geared to those taking shore excursions This cruise had a lot of sick people on board .. it was difficult not to catch whatever was going around. The captain withheld much information about what was going on on the ship and of course sugar coated what little information he gave... of course with 3,000 people you don't want to cause alarm but intelligent people are not sheep.. Although the Explorer OTS is my favorite class of ship in the RCI fleet, the ship is very tired.. obviously in need of maintenance and refurbishment..it will be limping into the shipyard.. Our last cabin was a disgrace.. so many items broken or not working.. (our reward for Royaling Up) .. Dining room service for breakfast and lunch..? How about waiting for 40 minutes for a menu item that they don't have... grapefruit! Lunches were only good on sea days when you could help yourself to the salad bar buffet style... I don't understand if the wait staff is short handed or something else.. The entertainment is never the best on repositioning cruises but this was probably the worst.. Some of the dancers were sent home at selected ports as they also got sick..The ventriloquist stayed healthy but...! The ice show is always good, but at one point the lead female ice dancer got sick and was also sent home.. The ports from Australia to Dubai were selected for the convenience of RCI .. not enough hours in any port except Darwin and Dubai where the ship stayed overnight.. The inconvenience of having to pack up everything and move to another cabin defeated the purpose of unpacking once and enjoying a relaxing cruise ... totally for the convenience of the cruise line ...this cruise, not even offering to move your closet of hanging clothes for you to lessen the blow.. imagine being sick and having to pack your bags and move to another cabin ... Would i take this particular cruise again...? probably not! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, and in that respect, it delivered. We booked the Hilton on Princes Wharf for a 3-night pre-cruise stay in Auckland, and the ship was docked beside the hotel when we woke up on embarkation ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, and in that respect, it delivered. We booked the Hilton on Princes Wharf for a 3-night pre-cruise stay in Auckland, and the ship was docked beside the hotel when we woke up on embarkation day. Porters met us in the lobby and delivered our luggage to the ship, and from that point, everything went smoothly. We had pre-booked the Murano specialty dining room for the first evening's dinner. It was very nice and worth the extra cost, but there was an odd twist. My wife ordered a dessert which was prepared and flambeed table-side with great fanfare -- only to be rolled away quickly with a flippant "Now the real one will be delivered to you from the kitchen." We're still trying to figure out what happened ... Our first cruise was with Celebrity many years ago, and we were hoping for the same quality of food and beverage service as we had experienced before. Overall, I'd have to say that the main-dining-room food on this ship was good to very good, but not great. Several fellow passengers commented that the food served in the Oceanview Cafe was generally better in terms of variety and quality, even for dinner. Somewhat disappointing was the fact that we weren't able to access some dining venues, even for an extra fee, because we hadn't paid for one of the highest-price cabins. The major irritation, however, was during bar service, where our mid-range "classic" beverage package required as much as $4.50 extra per drink, depending on what bar we were in and what drink was ordered. The size of our drinks was actually smaller than the same drink in the "premium" package, as well, which was a great way to limit the amount of alcohol poured during busy bar times when the waiter might not get back to you for 15-20 minutes after you've finished your first drink. This "nickle-and- dime" approach will most likely prevent us from cruising with Celebrity again, as we've recently been accustomed to all-inclusive cruising, with no tricks to limit costs and squeeze more money from guests. Overall, we found New Zealand to be the most beautiful country we've ever visited, and Sydney is an amazing city -- perhaps the most vibrant we've visited. Our ship took us to many interesting ports, and we're glad we made the trip One highlight of our trip was the crew. Especially for such a large ship, this was the friendliest crew we've experienced in 9 cruises. Our cabin was the most spacious we've ever had, and it made a noticeable difference in our experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My wife and I have sailed on the Explorer of the Seas for multiple cruises and had high expectations for the 4 B2B Odyssey cruise that was offered from Sydney to Southampton, UK from March 29th to May 7th. Those expectations have not been ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed on the Explorer of the Seas for multiple cruises and had high expectations for the 4 B2B Odyssey cruise that was offered from Sydney to Southampton, UK from March 29th to May 7th. Those expectations have not been achieved. Due to a high number of older and more experienced cruisers, who are apparently much more tight with the pocketbook, we have had many of the venues we enjoyed stopped or marginalized for Royal Caribbean to cater to their Diamond and Diamond plus cruisers at the expense of anyone lower. Bingo was stopped due to low participation, yet the problem, was very little advertising, playing Australian versus US Bingo, low payouts and constant switching of the venue time and location. The Casino has been lightly attended and part of that was the introduction of new slots with higher minimums. They even increased the minimums on the Blackjack tables. They refused to change out card decks if a player requested it. If you wanted to play craps many times one would have to play alone and only late in the evening. Many of the scheduled poker, blackjack and slot tournaments were canceled due to lack of minimum players. Even when we tried to recruit more players to come, the ship refused to broadcast that we were seeking a few more players to play. Complaints to the CD were dismissed by his saying that the decisions were coming out of Miami. Laundry was refused due to being in the wrong bag. (It was a plastic bag for a special one cost for the bag that our steward had left us earlier and we had not utilized but they only ran on certain days versus the higher cost itemized laundry bag.) This has been a very disappointing cruise, and seems to be getting worse as it goes on. Since this was 4 B2B instead for just one repositioning cruise, the entertainment was stale by the second leg of the trip. Timing was not very well coordinated with other activities like meals. We enjoyed the enthusiasm of the entertainment staff but the Cruise Director and Asst. Cruise Director tended to act like a couple of juveniles with a morning show that was a level of entertainment not much above that of juveniles. Sort of Bennie Hill type of humor. Maybe the geriatric crowd aboard Royal Caribbean on these repositioning cruises love this sort of stupid antics but I found it demeaning at many times. My recommendations are not to take the repositioning cruises on Royal Caribbean unless you are a Diamond or above in their Crown and Anchor Society. it just does not pay to be onboard. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Explorer of the Seas is showing its age now, with many areas looking tired and in need of renovating. Was almost the worst cruise we have been on, only saved from this by having good food and wonderful dining room staff. The buffet ... Read More
Explorer of the Seas is showing its age now, with many areas looking tired and in need of renovating. Was almost the worst cruise we have been on, only saved from this by having good food and wonderful dining room staff. The buffet area seemed more crowded than on ships of a similar size, and at sometimes it was a problem to find a table. The choice of food however was up to RCI’s usual standards. The main dining room experience was good, with a varied menu each night as well as the standard dishes available every night. One of our party was vegetarian and there were at least two main courses available each night. Additionally, our waiter produced the following nights menu to look at, and if the veggie options didn’t appeal, he arranged for an off-menu dish to be prepared for the following night, an excellent service which we have only had before on Celebrity cruises. We were well looked after by our waiters Benjaman and Rovie. we went to the main dining room for breakfast once to avoid the crush oft he Windjammer, and was surprised to see how chaotic it was. Diners were getting their meals 15 minutes after their partners on the same table, teas and coffees were ordered, never to appear. Where this cruise failed miserably was with the entertainment programme. The ships singers and dancers only appeared in three shows during the three-week cruise, when normally this form of entertainment would appear at least twice per week. Other acts in the evening included a juggler who could only juggle with three clubs and an Australian comedian whose act consisted on identifying non-Australians in the audience and then insulting them, explaining because we are friends, he could?? There were two good acts, a musical impersonator and a Liberace style pianist. Daytime entertainment consisted of trivia quizzes and bingo. Poolside entertainment only appeared in the third week, and there were no sail-away parties. There was a very good ice show, but access was limited on a rota basis. This was without doubt the worst entertainment we have had on any cruise and certainly not up to RCI’s usual level. Possibly because it was a re-positioning cruise RCI were doing things on the cheap, as people we had met who had sailed on Explorer earlier in the season said it was much better then. The biggest disappointment of the cruise was the failure to make the two stops at the Great Barrier Reef, due to weather conditions restricting tender use apparently, although certainly on the second stop at Cairns most people said on previous cruise’s they had used tenders in worst weather. No attempt was made to stop and the Captain was in a rush to get out to sea and open the casinos and shops, obviously people spending on board was more important than waiting to see if the weather moderated. In both cases the ship was out to sea before the announcements were made. As a compensation the Cruise Director offered free access to the films on the interactive TV for the two days it would take to sail to Darwin, but that day the interactive TV stopped working only to miraculously start again the day we docked at Darwin – nice offer RCI. The reason given for not using the tenders was Health and Safety, and yet at Darwin the angle of the boarding ramps almost necessitated ropes and climbing boots and health and Safety did not seem to be an issue Another issue with RCI was that at Brisbane, (and at Cairns had we stopped), because the ports are a distance from the centres, shuttle buses would be needed to get there, for which RCI levied a $25 dollar fee, unless you were on an RCI excursion. Other cruise lines in this situation provide a free shuttle from/to the port. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We joined four friends for one of those life time trips. We always wanted to cruise and see NZ..so we did both with Celebrity. Also to revisit a special place..Australia. Booked this 14 day cruise. Ship was Celebrity Solice. Does ... Read More
We joined four friends for one of those life time trips. We always wanted to cruise and see NZ..so we did both with Celebrity. Also to revisit a special place..Australia. Booked this 14 day cruise. Ship was Celebrity Solice. Does to Auckland for cruise launch. Boarded after a day exploring Auckland (which we explored before)had hired a private tour..Wonderful Boarding went quickly....this process was very well done by Celebrity. As we were watching leaving Auckland..We decided to eat in Ocean View Cafe. This was my first day and we loved the view. But then...food. Was so bland... over cooked, lots of bad deserts. This first impression did not change throughout trip. Poor food all around except hotdogs and hamburgers at an outside grill. Very disappointed..but no weight gain... Service great, outings good. Rooms good. Very poor condition for hallways, and veranda furnishings. Broken curtains, torn bath towels..then no fair shake for a gay couple on being in stage..Very concerning. Told Cruise person all this on ship in Future Cruise dept. Have not received any communication from them on a review of our concerns. Probably done with Celebrity. Will cruise again though! Thx for reading. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We had this cruise booked almost two years in advance, in order to secure an accessible room. We picked this cruise as we had previously cruised NZ but had a lot of ports cancelled, so we decided to try again as we had heard good things ... Read More
We had this cruise booked almost two years in advance, in order to secure an accessible room. We picked this cruise as we had previously cruised NZ but had a lot of ports cancelled, so we decided to try again as we had heard good things about Solstice. We had a fantastic time. It is the best cruise we have ever done. Embarkation - we stayed at the Quest on Queen in Auckland (very nice hotel, very handy to the port if you are just wanting to wheel your luggage down to the wharf). We had to book a taxi to take us to the ship and when the taxi arrived at the pier, he spoke to one of the baggage handlers who called for some assistance, and our bags were taken directly from the taxi to be loaded onto the ship. We were then directed inside to the wheelchair assistance area, and we then had a man push the wheelchair all the way past the lines of people right to the front of the queue. From there it was only a few minutes until we were on the ship. Our cabin was Aqua class stateroom 1526 on deck 11 and it was the best accessible cabin we have had on a ship to date. There is an automatic door so once you insert your card it swings open to allow the wheelchair to enter. There is a large entryway and enough room in the cabin for a wheelchair to pass between the desk and the beds to the balcony. There is a ramp from the cabin onto the balcony. The bathroom is huge with a shower chair and bars around the toilet. The only things we might criticise is that the toilet is not raised and the bed is almost a little too high to transfer in and out of the chair, but other than those two minor things which we worked around, the cabin was excellent. As to the state of the cabin itself, I thought it was in good condition. The beds were very comfortable (they have a squishy topper on the mattress). The wooden railing on the balcony was a bit rattly but you couldn't hear it with the door closed inside the cabin. The bathroom was in good condition as well but because there is nothing to stop the water, when the ship is rolling I did have to put down a towel around the shower so I didn't flood the bathroom with water. Our room steward was excellent, although we did keep surprising him by turning up when he was trying to clean, but he was very nice about it. As we were Aqua class we dined in Blu. The food was very good but the service was excellent. I was a little concerned that Blu might be too fancy for us but we found something to our tastes every night, and if we didn't, they had a back-up or two in the kitchen that they could bring out. Our waiters were hilarious and they greeted us like friends every night which made the whole restaurant experience that much more enjoyable. We had breakfast in the buffet only a few times because it was so hard to find somewhere to sit and it was just so crowded. On port days we had breakfast in our cabin so we could get an early start (there is no charge for room service on Celebrity). We had breakfast in Blu and it was very good as well. We had lunch in the buffet most days. If you arrived at the wrong time (i.e. between 12 and 1.30pm) it was almost impossible to find somewhere to sit. Thankfully they have helpers in the buffet who were able to take control of the wheelchair and find a seat for us. I thought the food in the buffet was the best I have had at a buffet at sea - every day there was something different to try. I especially loved the ice cream and the pasta station. We would often go in the afternoon and get ice cream or sorbet to take back to the room, it was delicious. We tried all three specialty restaurants (except the sushi place). Of the three Tuscan Grille was our favourite. The lobster rigatoni alfredo was to die for. We had dinner there the night we left Milford Sound and it was a very special experience to watch New Zealand grow smaller and smaller behind us. We tried the seafood fiesta at Silk Harvest which was good (but costs extra, and you can only book once on board). We tried the lobster at Murano and it was delicious. I don't have any complaints about the specialty restaurants. I had read bad reviews about them but we thought they were excellent. Next time I would wait until I was on board before booking, as you could get the restaurants cheaper on board, and they were always trying to offer us deals. Re the drinks packages - we had onboard credit (about $350AUD worth) so we didn't bother buying drinks packages, as neither of us drink alcohol. The non-alcoholic package is $22 a day per person. It averaged out that we would not have spent enough on board to warrant buying the drinks package (we averaged about $15 per day each, on port days we might've only spent about $8 each, some days we spent nothing). In saying that, we are booked again on Solstice in 2021 and we received two perks with our booking, so we are both getting a drinks package. Why? Because the amount of times I was asked why I didn't have a drinks package, how it will work out better for me if I have one, and the amount of huffing and puffing from the bartenders was so unbelievably frustrating that it is just easier to have a damn drinks package. I don't know how many times, and to how many different people, I explained that we are not spending enough per day to warrant it - they just don't understand. I know they are meant to push it on you but it was really annoying. Honestly, my biggest overall complaint is that I found the bar service at every single bar I went to absolutely terrible. Maybe they care if you're buying cocktails and you've got a drinks package, but other than that, they just want you gone. And just trying to get noticed to place an order was an ordeal in itself, especially at the pool bar. I didn't have any problems with the table service at the Sky Lounge - that was excellent. Other people may have had an easier time but by the end I was dreading having to order anything at a bar. The other thing we didn't buy that I wished we had bought was an internet package, but it was just so expensive that I didn't really think I could justify having it. Thankfully it is our second perk for our 2021 cruise, so I won't have to worry about it next time. We didn't see all of the shows. We saw the Buddy Holly show, Nikki Bennett (awful, just awful), the Motown tribute show and then a few of the Celebrity productions. I didn't really enjoy the shows but it seemed like I was in the minority there, as there were a lot of standing ovations. We went to Captain Tasos' talk about the building of Solstice and it was standing room only for good reason - it was absolutely fantastic and a highlight of the trip. I wondered what all the fuss about Captain Tasos was until I got on board - the hype is worth it. He is hilarious. I participated almost exclusively in trivia and had a great time doing so. The entertainment staff were very friendly and it was a lot of fun. I spent a lot of time in the Sky Lounge; it was my favourite part of the ship. We never did make it up to watch the glass blowing - it was too cold to be out on deck most of the time, but I will definitely go for a look when we're back on in 2021. We also didn't make it to any movies - they play the movies up on the grassed area but again it was too cold and I wasn't really interested. For the most part (bar service aside), I found the service on the ship to be above and beyond what we were expecting. The staff were unbelievably helpful, attentive and friendly. We had assistance every single time we were getting on or off the ship - usually an army of men to help push the wheelchair up and down the ramp. If there was a long walk (for example in Tauranga and Dunedin), one would often walk the wheelchair about half of the distance for me. The wheelchair was a fast pass in itself - we bypassed the queues getting off the ship in Tasmania, were straight off and through customs before the rest of the passengers had even gotten off the ship. In Akaroa they have a stair-lift to carry the wheelchair down to the tender boat, and they helped us on and off the boat. The staff were really wonderful and they are a big reason why we decided to book again for 2021. We booked this cruise for the itinerary and unlike the last time we cruised NZ, we were able to make it into every single port. I love Auckland and I think it's a beautiful city. In Tauranga we rented a car through Rite Price Rentals (highly recommend them) and drove ourselves to Rotorua and Waiotapou, and the next day up north to a small town on the coast called Bowentown. In Wellington we booked a private tour with a driver who took us all around the city; it was fantastic. In Akaroa we simply went ashore and did some shopping. In Dunedin we booked another private tour with Good Company Tours, did a city tour, a tour of Olveston House and then a train ride (some disappointment there for us as it turned out the train wasn't wheelchair accessible and we couldn't go, but other than that the tour was very good). In Hobart we met a friend and wandered around the city and in Melbourne I got off the ship for a few hours to do some shopping. The highlight of the ports were the sounds - we had unbelievable weather, blue skies and sunshine. I was able to stand out on the helipad for our entrance into Dusky Sound in the early morning which was wonderful. We saw dolphins in Doubtful Sound and seals in Dusky Sound. In Milford Sound the captain took us right up to the big waterfall and did a 360 turn - it was spectacular. Other thoughts on the ship: It really does cater to an older crowd which suits me just fine, even though I'm only in my 30s. There were a lot more Americans than I was expecting. There were hardly any kids - I think I saw less than 20 the entire time, which again, suits me just fine. I was a lot more comfortable on this ship with an older crowd than I was on Explorer of the Seas with a much younger crowd. As such the entertainment, activities and trivia are all geared towards an older crowd, which might bother some people but it didn't really worry me. I think the ship itself is really nice - very clean. The bathrooms have attendants so they are kept really neat and tidy. I didn't get sick on board but my mother picked up a cough in the last couple of days. I didn't hear about anyone getting gastro or anything like that. I usually pick up a cold but thankfully I managed to avoid it this time. There are probably a few things that need doing up but honestly, it's the second best ship I've ever been on and I really don't have any complaints about the ship itself. We got roped into "lunch with the captain" which was actually $90 to sit with a bunch of people we didn't know and make awkward conversation, and meet the Captain for two minutes at the start. So that was disappointing, but even though we didn't complain about it to anyone, we ended up getting a second free lunch at Tuscan Grille for the last day. And the hostess from Blu was really apologetic about it, but we definitely didn't complain so I have no idea why they thought we were upset. Anyway, the free lunch was really good. I think the shops are a bit... ridiculous, but I guess it's a fancy ship so they sell fancy things. We went to a couple of the sales and bought some cheap jewellery, and I did get some cheap t-shirts for my friends back home. We didn't bother with the art auction as they are a waste of time. We also didn't bother with bingo as it seemed really expensive. If I had known when we were on board that we were going to book again a few days after we got off I would've booked through Future Cruises, but I guess I will next time. This two week cruise with Celebrity has turned me into a convert - I think this may be my favourite cruise line now. Honestly, I may have some complaints about the bar service but overall this was the best cruise we have ever done, hands down, and I can't wait to sail on Solstice again in 2021. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first time cruising with Royal Caribbean and it will be our last. On a number of occasions we raised our concerns with the management of the ship. Concerns raised include stains on towels ( which looked like blood on one ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with Royal Caribbean and it will be our last. On a number of occasions we raised our concerns with the management of the ship. Concerns raised include stains on towels ( which looked like blood on one occasion and mascara on another) on the first occasion I rang the Hotel director, whose number was in the cabin, re the towel issue to be informed that someone would be down with clean towels , ( I am still waiting) and the to be asked how I got his number, the card din the cabin disappeared that evening. The next night we had the issue of what looked like mascara stains, this time I went to the guest services desk. The towels were replace and we had a visit from the deck supervisor. On the first sea day between Sydney and Brisbane, when the weather was poor. There is insufficient break away areas for the number of passengers that were on the ship. The promenade area was parked like sardines and some bright spark then decided to run the morning Zumba class in that area. We were on My Time dining, for the first seven days of the cruise, all 4 of us thought the food was poor and the service was shoddy. After the mid cruise questionnaire, where we raised the issue of service, quality of food, things did improve drastically. There appears to be a significant number of middle managers/supervisors standing around in the dining room doing little while the waiters and assistant waiters are running around Unfortunately due to the swell two ports, that were tender ports were missed. But the at Darwin, you had to be a mountain climber to get on and off the ship due to the extreme angle of the gang ways. I requested to see the health and safety officer plus a copy of the risk assessments for the gang planks at Darwin in at least 4 occasions, I have still not received anything despite being informed by 4 staff that someone will be in touch and it being logged - still waiting! The cabin was good, for an accessible cabin but it was showing its age. Bed linen was rather thin. Entertainment- the dancers/singers were good and delivered 3 strong performances as did the ice skaters. We didn’t attend the other shows. We thought the range of activities on offer through the sea days were weak. Given our experience on this ship, with a management team who on the face of it, say yes but then totally ignore passengers comments. We will never cruise Royal Caribbean again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I want to point out that I have cruised with Celebrity before and have been quite happy but I was unimpressed with this cruise. A 14 night cruise should give you the opportunity to see and visit many interesting locations in New Zealand ... Read More
I want to point out that I have cruised with Celebrity before and have been quite happy but I was unimpressed with this cruise. A 14 night cruise should give you the opportunity to see and visit many interesting locations in New Zealand and Australia but this was not the case with this particular cruise. The cruise started in Auckland NZ which is a vey nice city to explore if you choose to book independent excursions. The shore excursions through Celebrity overall during this cruise was marginal. The overviews for the excisions did not actually explain how long some of the bus rides were to get to a destination. We had a 7 hour bus ride (3 1/2 to and 3 1/2 back to ship) in Akaroa NZ to go on a TransAlpine Train that was supposed to reach some of the Southern Alps and traverse through a gorge. We did go through the gorge but no real mountain views and the train ride was about 1 hour. That excursion was $349.00 per person... A very expensive bus ride... Most other excursions were ok but again beware of the bus rides to get to the destinations. If you have the means and opportunity to investigate private tours and their cost versus ship excursions my recommendation is to go on your own. We actually cancelled some excursions from the ship and found that the price for the private tours to the same destinations were comparable and more comfortable. Just a suggestion to do your homework before obligating yourself to a particular ship excursion. Celebrity does give you the opportunity to cancel prepaid excursions with 48 hour notice prior to the excursion date. Also note that there were 5 days of at sea. The Tasman Sea did get rough during a 2 day sea voyage to Tasmania for Milford Sound NZ. 18 foot waves one night. The Ship: Celebrity Solstice The ship we found to be very comfortable to walk around and explore. The drink package was good to get if you enjoy beer, wine, cocktails without wondering what the final cost would be if not using it. Premium package was good because it enabled you to get any specialty drinks (top shelf liquor) as well as any specialty coffee drinks from any part of the ship unlimitedly. The food from the main dining room was not exceptional. Portions were small in most cases and the variety of choices was limited. We did choose a 3 night specialty dining package to eat in some of their premium restaurants. We chose the Tuscan, the Murano and the Silk Harvest. We found the Asian Silk Harvest to be the best and the Murano just so so. Again you have to consider if the additional price to dine in their specialty restaurants is worth the investment. It was interesting and a bit annoying that when we were eating dinner in the main restaurant that someone always came over to give us information to book reservations in one of their specialty restaurants. The buffet dining room (Ocean View Cafe) was always crowded for breakfast and the selections very good. The lunches were very good as well. You can eat breakfast and lunch in the main dining rooms also. A bright spot was the entertainment on board. We went almost every night and enjoyed all of the programs. The Cabin: We booked a Concierge Room in the aft section of the ship (2142). Being in the back was very quiet and the view from the balcony exceptional. However the room was small and since we did bring 4 large luggage bags, it was hard to find room to store clothes. I kept clothes in my luggage bags under the bed that I could not find room to place in the cabin. Some of the draws in the cabin needed to be fixed due to age but will probably be redone when the ship gets some refurbishment at it's next dry dock. Service: Service for the most part was very good. I did have an issue with one on my white polo shirts that became back with a blue tint from the laundry but the ship did address the situation and issued a no charge for the entire laundry and did finally get the blue out of my shirt. Please note that there are specials in laundry that give you one price for all items the you can place in their bag for one price of $49 regular or dry cleaning (no ripping the bag) but ask them which day the specials are given. I spent $80 one day before we were informed of the discounted special day. I hope I gave you an informative review of the ship and it's destinations. Overall good cruise but I expected more from Celebrity to show case these countries that you usually only get a chance to visit once. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise