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36 Celebrity Perth (Fremantle) Cruise Reviews

Cruising is expensive. This cruise line needs to realize that many people who would like to cruise need to take a working holiday to do so. This means that we need good, reliable and high speed internet. Today hotels provide this as a ... Read More
Cruising is expensive. This cruise line needs to realize that many people who would like to cruise need to take a working holiday to do so. This means that we need good, reliable and high speed internet. Today hotels provide this as a routine amenity. Where does this cruise line get off charging $500USD for unlimited service during a 17 day cruise that made watching paint drying look fast? If you purchased unlimited (as I did) you could, if lucky, get a couple of hours of connection between 4 and 5 am. No Skype, no attachments unless you had an hour to watch and hope it went through. Ridiculous! Offering a paltry refund when faced with a complaint just does't cut it. Suck it up and get with today's passenger needs. Second complaint is the cruise line sponsored tours. Getting on and off the ship is a nightmare if tenders are involved. Nothing is staggered so a hoard of passengers stumble and bumble there way off the ship as staff try to get onto the ship against the passenger flow. Madness! Either get the passengers off before or after the crew get on, or go to their work stations, or forget ship sponsored tours. As if that isn't enough the tours are overpriced junk. The cruise line presumably gets a cut on sales so they should ensure that these tours are jam-packed and value laden. Unlike the ones we suffered through where delays in arriving meant we were told, "sorry too late for that" without any refund offered. My advise - don't book through the ship it is a waste of money and cruise passengers are being fleeced. On a positive note, our cabin staff were great. We were in 2150 and there are criticisms about the noise from the floor above. Yes, there was some but it was rare and we did not find it too irritating. We like to chill out on our verandah for most of the cruise so we spend a lot of time there. Also the view from the back is so great that it's worth the compromise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We went on the Australian Top End Cruise out of our home port of Fremantle - going from our own port was a novelty and boarding of the ship was reasonably painless. The cruise was supposed to go to Bali as its first stop which we were ... Read More
We went on the Australian Top End Cruise out of our home port of Fremantle - going from our own port was a novelty and boarding of the ship was reasonably painless. The cruise was supposed to go to Bali as its first stop which we were looking forward to but for security reasons the cruise line decided to skip this port and instead have an extra night in (the not very exciting ) Darwin. This made the first part of the cruise a very long 7 nights at sea with very little entertainment to soften the blow. Now I understand that security is the number 1 concern of all tourism organisations at the moment so no issue there - but the way the cruise company basically skipped over any complaints that their customers had about missing out on a part of a vacation really shows their true colours. Because they could not pick up the entertainers booked from Bali - entertainment suffered badly - because they could not pick up the major food and drink supplies from Bali then food and drink suffered with the bars running out of certain types of drinks etc and the main restaurants getting very boring and basic. Finally as there was supposed to be a swap of staff in Bali service also suffered (although only slightly). To compound all this the cruise line had to then take a major detour to conserve their status as an "International Cruise Line" for Australia customs purposes and to avoid duty being levied on all their profitable items such as drinks - onboard shopping - gaming. The company seemed to putting their profit margin well above the needs of their paying customers and deciding to ignore the fact that decisions they had made for whatever reason reduced the quality of the vacation for their customers. The Solstice is overall a lovely ship to look at and our cabin was very nice looking off the back of the ship was a bonus for us. We were upgraded to Concierge class C1 at no charge so can not complain about that - but a tip for anyone else would be never to pay for concierge (as we have done in the past) as you do not really get any tangibles for the extra cost. My biggest gripe about the ship is that it is very large with lots of "what is this for" space onboard. The cruise line really needs to get with the times and blend a little of the RCCL into the Celebrity offering in order to make the ships more appealing and more exciting. The biggest problem with the cruise was the blatant up selling and scandalous pricing. The drinks offering seemed to have been set high to make you obliged to take out a beverage package to soften the blow. An example of this is that a glass of "premium" wine is $12 US plus 18% tip at an exchange rate of .63 A$ to $1 US - this effectively make this glass of wine nearly $23AU - the same BOTTLE of wine in Australia costs around $9AU retail (celebrity are charging this out at around $135AU a bottle calculated from the above) as I said the list prices are ridiculous!!!!! - luckily for us we had the Classic drinks package selected as our 321Go bonus and I then upgraded this for around $255AU each to the Premium package so this effectively allowed us to drink what we wanted for only for only $15AU per day each. I have got to say that some of the nightly entertainment was very good however that was not the norm which was a shame on a cruise with very few port stops. One night we actually had a DJ singing and although she was a lovely girl someone really needs to tell her that she is not a singer. Some of the entertainment was laughable by how bad it was. Finally the demographics of our particular cruise was that the vast majority of those onboard seemed to be over 70 - which meant that the ship went just about dead after 10:30pm - I am no spring chicken (59) but I really don't want to go to bed early when I am on vacation - a good drink and a dance is what we like - you had to look very hard on the ship to get either after 10:30 on this ship. We have sailed before with Celebrity in 2011 when we went to Alaska on a 7 day cruise on the Infinity - this smaller ship was better in so many ways - what a shame they could not scale up the experience to the much larger and newer Solstice. I have got to say that I will have to think long and hard before I book with the lack lustre Celebrity cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Wonderful Holiday. Lovely helpful smiling crew. A Joy to be around. We have done 5 previous cruises and never on Celebrity. If this is what this cruise line always offers we will most certainly be travelling with them again. We are a ... Read More
Wonderful Holiday. Lovely helpful smiling crew. A Joy to be around. We have done 5 previous cruises and never on Celebrity. If this is what this cruise line always offers we will most certainly be travelling with them again. We are a couple 61 and 67 and were not looking for a specific itinerary just a relaxed holiday. This vessel suited us perfectly. Its not got the wow standout flashy but a more sophisticated vessel I believe they spend their money on the things that count. Also I felt other ships which we have travelled on more suited to the younger set and family holiday fun. It didn't have roller skating, slides etc. At our age we worry about dislocating something so they are always irrelevant other than entertaining to watch. We seem to tolerate child cruising easier than most but I must admit it was nice to not have them taking over the lifts and pools. Only about 10 children on board who were looked after and taken care of extremely well with more one on one staff than normal. We loved the real grass on the top deck and used the area often enjoying the ambiance of the outside aft bar with its wonderful high views and picnic wine tasting on a blanket was very different. We also loved the onboard glass blowing studio in the same area. That was such a treat as were the many enrichment talks. We boarded in Fremantle quickly due to half the ships passengers staying on from the last cruise and disembarkation in Sydney was a breeze. We were supposed to go to Bali Darwin Cairns Whitsundays Brisbane Newcastle and Sydney. We enjoyed all except Bali. This was cancelled due to Terrorist Warnings issued by Indonesia and Australia. The staff mainly Indonesian and looking forward to visiting family held up very well. I was more upset for them than the passengers. I won't go into that any further only to say this is the way of the world and ultimately it is the decision of the shipping company and safety always prevails. Thank Heavens. Two nights Darwin was not so bad. Berthing at their lovely marina we got to see a little more than we had intended. I would have liked for mostly the lovely international travellers to have been more informed on what they were travelling past as they went around Australia. It was like the entire West Coast of Aus was not there. Unlike us they were here to see and learn. What else can I tell you. Wonderful Gym overlooking the water with very good up to date gear. I didn't use the Spa but it looked good. We had a veranda(balcony) which was lovely. Plenty of room the balcony offering lay back chairs and completely open half glass ensuring lovely outlook from the cabin. Plenty of cupboards draws even extra over the bed. Enough room under the bed to easily store medium size bags. This vessel supplied shampoo soap and moisturiser. The room attendants are fabulous but the poor buggers are sooo busy sanitising twice a day. No silly time waster bed animals but you get turn down and chocolates. My preference. The shower was glass wrapped and larger than I have previously experienced. I'm a coffee addict and just love it in my stateroom but there was no kettles on this vessel. The booking clerk told me to ask for one. That I did but none was given. Room service was good, we used that. We just made up a breakfast menu daily requesting early tea and coffee. It was good and still hot. For me laundry was a bit expensive. Celebrity does not have laundries on board so its best to pay the airlines for a little extra luggage and bring plenty if you are budgeting. Smart Casual was the main dress code at night though they did have a couple of Evening Chic if you wanted to dress up. During the day pretty casual. Bit of info for first timers. Its in the fineprint rarely read. Don't attempt to take electrical irons hairdryers or kettles as they will be picked up in the xray. Probably delay your bag to your room as you will be asked to go and take it out and only be given this back on departure. You can take on departure only two 750ml bottles of champers and wine and no hard spirits. If you take and its found this will also be confiscated and given back on dep. The vessel itself was spotless and much care was taken regarding hygiene. Buffet food was fabulous even sushi most days. You name it they had it. I gathered cheese at lunchtime from a large variety to go with my afternoon chardonnay. My husband headed to the fabulous icecream bar in the dinning room which was complimentary all day and night. Around the pool they had an easy access burger bar and in the adults only spa pool area a very very healthy alternative food venue. Epernay the main dinning room was where we ate most nights and here we found the food and table service very good. Lovely old fashioned service still. We love Asian Spicy Food so we had a night at Silk Harvest. Its one of the extra cost restaurants on board to us worth it. Sometimes they have special priced nights when they are not busy so purchasing on board when you feel like it and not in advance is a good idea. As per usual you can also purchase special coffees and teas and water but good and varied was available free. Always note the water out of your tap is the same as in the ice fridges. I heard people complaining about the cost of water and wondered what they were on about. We enjoyed all the nightly entertainment. Seeing anything live is just such a pleasure and there were some extremely skilled varied entertainers and shows on this voyage receiving stand up ovations. Of course you can't please everyone. I've found in life enjoyment is often more ones state of mind. What I can tell you is the absolute majority of 2500 loved the ship staff and cruise and 1100 were onboard for 35days. Many unwell unhealthy people were looked after by the staff so compassionately. We had a drinks packages which we thoroughly enjoyed. When you purchase these you must pay from that day daily to the end of the cruise but you can purchase anytime up to 4 days to disembarking. I believe most cocktails were about 14.50US and beer about 7US. Excursions were good and varied but on a ship this size you have to be prepared to go out sometimes large groups. The tender days were ok, well organised the ship spending extra money for large ferries from shore if available which made the transfers quicker and more comfortable and anyone disabled was looked after. Passengers doing their own thing are always limited to time only able to get off after ship booked excursion people. On a large ship its an issue you need to be prepared for. Time is a numbers thing. Quite a few first time cruisers on board did not relate just how long it takes to get people off and had organised to be met early. Speak to guest relations and they will help if they can. As with most ports you should do homework on them before you go. Look through these areas and perhaps ship ports on the internet. For instance the ship did not tell you there was a hop on hop off bus right at the port in Darwin and Sydney. Maybe they didn't know maybe they don't so you do their tours?. Baggage needing to be held securely for a while at the dock in Sydney is available but a bit of a climb if you are elderly and if the markets are on not an easy find. It also costs $20 per bag and only open 0930-5pm. My gripe only!!! Captains Club members had an exclusive function in the largest forward enclosed viewing area the Sky Lounge not once but twice right on departure time when all wanted to use it. This was a bad move by the entertainment organisers as it definitely put a few noses out of joint and not good for anyone with health issues. Go see for yourself. Unless you are a bunch of teenagers or have kids wanting climbing frames skating rinks or waterslides this ship will suit. If it doesn't I would suggest you stay at home. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our fourth Celebrity Solstice Cruise which departed from Fremantle on 3 March 2016 to destinations, Bali, Darwin, Cairns, Whitsundays (Airlie Beach), Brisbane, Newcastle and ending in Sydney. Boarding at Fremantle was hassle free ... Read More
This was our fourth Celebrity Solstice Cruise which departed from Fremantle on 3 March 2016 to destinations, Bali, Darwin, Cairns, Whitsundays (Airlie Beach), Brisbane, Newcastle and ending in Sydney. Boarding at Fremantle was hassle free although there was a slight delay with customs procedures for guests. The usual practice of having your picture taken whilst boarding the ship and the complimentary champagne or juice on arrival was as per usual on embarking days. There was a huge presence of specialty restaurant staff doing a fair bit of what we would call "pestering" for guests to dine in the speciality restaurants. As we had already pre-booked a 3 dinner package in specialty restaurants, this does become a bit annoying as it continues throughout the cruise days on the ship. Also talking about pestering, we find the same goes for the staff of the shops selling jewellery, watches, etc, along the walkway from the theatre as you leave the shows. We were in an Aqua class suite at the rear of the ship on the port side. We were very happy with this position as it was down the end of the corridor with less noise from passing traffic. We were happy with all aspects of the suite, including storage and hanging space. The bed was located next to the ensuite with the sofa next to the sliding door to the balcony. There were two chairs with footstools and a small table provided on the balcony. The air-conditioning in the suite provided comfort whilst on our journey. The ensuite, as in all Aqua class suites is of a good size with a sliding shower door and shower tower with jets. Our room attendants, Palton and Mahammad, were outstanding in the service they provided keeping our stateroom in topnotch condition, which was much appreciated. From our observations, on the Celebrity Solstice, the room attendants and public area staff do a wonderful job which could not be faulted. As Aqua class guests, we dined in the specialty restaurant for Aqua class guests "Blu". This was a first class operation run by extraordinaire maître d", Mugurel and his wonderful staff. Every one of them were friendly and attentive and you could not wish for better service from them. The food provided by the chef of Blu is of a very high quality in presentation and taste. The other specialty restaurants we dined in were Silk Harvest, Tuscan Grille and Murano, overseered by Jerry Van der Velde, maître d' of the specialty restaurants who does a great job in the services he offers guests. We make special mention in the specialty restaurants of Lina in Silk Harvest, Cagla in Tuscan Grille and Ibraham in Murano. We found their service to us whilst dining was first class. The Ocean View Café always seemed to be overcrowded to us, as was the Café Al Bacho at certain times. The shows each night provided a good range of artists but we did find the Celebrity Solstice in-house artists to be very loud in their singing, which in some cases, was quite ear-splitting. The cleanliness of the ship all over was very good with plenty of hand sanitizing stations available to guest. This is a very important aspect of ship cruising as guests are in close proximity to each other and one must be aware of the possibility of getting a cold or other virus unless extra attention to cleanliness of hands is practiced. Our first port stop was supposed to be Bali, but we were advised by the ship's captain by letter the day before we were scheduled to be in Bali, that we would not be going to Bali due to safety issues as there was a terrorist alert in place. (After arriving home and consulting our travel agent, we were advised that no other cruise ships took this action, so we wonder if there was any other reason that we were not advised of). Because we did not go to Bali, we had an extra day in Darwin, and an extra sea day. In Darwin we went on the Celebrity Litchfield Park shore excursion. This excursion we were quite satisfied with. Next stop was Cairns (Yorkeys Knob). This was a tender stop and here we chose the Celebrity Cairns Panorama Tour. This was a half day tour which showed the sights of Cairns including the botanical gardens and the seaside resort area of Palm Cove. Next stop was the Whitsundays (Airlie Beach). Here we took the Celebrity Airlie Beach sights and history tour. This was a half day tour which took us to a museum in Proserpine finishing off at the Airlie Beach Yacht Club for coffee and cake. Next stop was Brisbane where we took the Celebrity Brisbane sights and Lone Park Koala Sanctuary tour. We enjoyed the Koala Sanctuary although it was hugely overcrowded with many coach tours, which spoilt the experience. There was a long line-up just to get a drink. The next stop was Newcastle. As we were here on a Saturday, Newcastle (Hunter Street) had quite a buzz about it with markets at the far end of Hunter Street near the beach. The General Manager of Guest Relations, Mr Christian Bell, always ably assisted us with any queries or problems we had on the cruise and they were attended to in a prompt and efficient manner. All in all, we were very happy with this 17 night Australian Top End Cruise, although we were advised that Celebrity will no longer be doing this particular cruise in the future. The weather at this time of the year in the Top End area is extremely hot and humid and it was sometimes uncomfortable when on excursions or visiting the ports. However, the ship itself was always kept comfortably cool. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Embarked at Fremantle, and found ship to be in good order and well maintained. The shore excursions were chaotic and badly organised, staff wanting to cut short our time ashore on over-priced excursions. Bad weather affected a ... Read More
Embarked at Fremantle, and found ship to be in good order and well maintained. The shore excursions were chaotic and badly organised, staff wanting to cut short our time ashore on over-priced excursions. Bad weather affected a couple of the tendering ports, and we queued in corridors for over an hour, not having information on disembarkation. Entertainment the worst on any ship. Didn't see the Captain, so no, if any, passenger contact. Apparently entertainments director and Capt had both recently been replaced. Celebrity needs to get its act together, so we shall be returning to Royal Caribbean for efficiently managed ships and great entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was our second cruise. We are a couple of 50 year olds and we travelled with another couple of the same age. We had adjoining stern cabins 7311 & 7315 on deck 7. The cruise was titled Australia’s Top End and travelled from Perth ... Read More
This was our second cruise. We are a couple of 50 year olds and we travelled with another couple of the same age. We had adjoining stern cabins 7311 & 7315 on deck 7. The cruise was titled Australia’s Top End and travelled from Perth up around the top of Australia and finished in Sydney. All ports were Australian with the exception of Bali, Indonesia. 17 nights with 10 sea days. Incredibly calm seas all the way. Cyclones whipped up off Western Australian and Queensland after we cruised past. We were in the bottom 10% by age group on the ship i.e. lots of older passengers, mobility scooters, walking frames etc. As one of the bar staff pointed out, the longer the cruise the older the passengers (generally speaking). The pax were predominantly Australian but with a good mix of North Americans, English and Europeans. We had the Classic drink package as part of the 123 go promo and upgraded to the premium package before we boarded. We do enjoy a drink so this worked well for us. It cost us $11.50 per day to upgrade. So it paid for itself with one cocktail at USD $15/AUD$19 per day. It was just nice passing the card over and knowing that there were no more charges.. What really surprised me is the ability of people to find something to complain about. I work hard in my own business and holidays are always much anticipated and taken with a happy disposition. On a ship like Solstice the general approach by all crew is to make passengers experience as enjoyable as possible – they generally bend over backwards to help/serve you. Of course sometimes there are inconveniences, some which could possibly have been avoided but most are insignificant in the overall scheme of things. Yet people get worked up over little things/first world problems (no English Breakfast tea) and are rude to staff. The ship – we loved the ship. Whilst it’s 7 years old now, the only place that I really noticed that was the balconies of the cabins. They were showing small amounts of rust and the rail was in need of a coat of varnish. Everywhere else throughout the ship was in good condition. For the most part It’s a bright airy, open, modern ship. There’s plenty of tasteful art all over the ship, plenty of quiet spots if that’s what you wanted and always something going on if you want to be active. I was told that the ship was full so that means 2850 pax or close to it. Surprisingly it never felt crowded. I think the only time we queued was for tender boats and for customs paper work. I never ceased to be amazed at the size of the ship but I only really appreciated it when we were in port and I was looking at it. The Cabin – stern cabin so peaceful and wind free. There has been complaints about soot on the balconies of the stern cabins. We did not experience this at all – clearly it depends on what fuel they burn. No over hang on the balcony so it was very sun exposed. We had the balcony divider opened to share with our friends in the adjoining cabins – that works to a limited extent. The inter connecting doors at the cabin entrance are a bit of an odd setup and worked …sort of. Our cabin 7311 had the bed near the balcony whilst 7315 was near the bathroom. Good size bathroom with a proper shower screen. More than enough storage for us. We had Peter our cabin steward empty the fridge so we could bring back drinks and put them in there. It is however a 100 metre walk from the stairs/lifts to the cabin. Not an issue for us but if you had mobility issues it might be. All in all, very happy with the cabin. The Crew – We make a habit of trying to engage the staff and create a friendly relationship with them. It helps us enjoy the experience more and they seem to enjoy it too. It must be so hard for the crew – long contracts, long shifts, away from family. Every day must be groundhog day for them and whilst as passengers we’re excited about our holiday/experience, it’s just another day/cruise for them. Our cabin stewards Peter from India and Ahktar from Mauritius were friendly, attentive and only to happy to help if there was an issue. Bar staff and MDR staff were generally very good. I happened to meet the Chief Engineer one day and he was happy to chat with me and answer my questions. We also had a good chat with Richard Green, the head chef, who gladly gave us a few minutes of his time. The entertainment –A very talented ensemble cast in the Solstice theatre. The house band Spitfires were a bit under whelming – their performances always seemed to lack punch. There was a duo who sang daily throughout the ship and even performed in Solstice theatre one evening. A good variety of performers brought on for a few days eg. Aussie Boys, Rat Pack, David Campbell, magician, comedian and my favourite, the Cirque Soleil style show. overall very good. The Ports – Port Hedland was an industrial mining port and was interesting. I may not ever get back that way so it was worth seeing/the experience. Interestingly it’s been dropped from the same cruise next year. Bali and Cairns were tender ports – due to windy conditions tendering was delayed in Cairns so we ended up with only about 3 hours on land there. We enjoyed Bali but again because of tendering our time was limited. Darwin, Cairns and Newcastle were all enjoyable and I know we’ll get back there individually to get a better look around. Coming back on board it was often very hot so the crew would be waiting at the port with iced towels and cold drinks … just an extra special level of service. The Food – I was a bit disappointed in the quality of the food in the MDR. Variety was plentiful but was often just bland. By contrast, we found the buffet food quality and variety excellent. Bistro on 5 was not that good. The only specialty restaurant we tried was Tuscan Grille and it was the food highlight of the cruise. The mast grill was very good for burgers and gourmet sausages. The Bars – we really enjoyed sitting out the back at the Oceanview Café at any time of day – we often had brekky out there. It has more cover than the sunset bar and comfy couches. We were regulars at the Molecular bar – we found it surprisingly quiet, particularly compared to the Martini bar, and got to know the bar tenders there quite well. They were a bit stand offish early but became more engaging as the cruise progressed. I personally loved the passport bar, it had the best variety of beer on board and you could sit quietly and have a drink or alternatively you could always find someone to chat to. Sky observation lounge was good afternoon trivia venue and live band venue in the evening. Qasar night club was a good karoke venue and late party spot. The older crowd seemed to work well in our favour at the bars. There was hardly any waiting or crowds at the bar so no waiting for drinks – this was because the older crowd didn’t frequent the bars too much and were tucked up in bed early. Shops, photos, art sales. Not really our thing. We did a little bit of shopping and bought a couple of photos. Whilst we got 'personal' invitation to the Art Auctions, we didn't attend. We did attend a couple of the enrichment presentations which were OK - you've just got to pick your mark. The casino looked impressive although I didn't utilise it. Overall – a wonderful experience on a beautiful ship. We had great friends with us and made some new ones along the way. I certainly got the fun and relaxation I was looking for. It was a great experience cruising around northern Australia, especially down the east side of Cape York. At times it felt like you could reach out and touch the mainland on the starboard side and islands on the port side – the shipping channel was only a couple of kilometres wide. 17 nights was probably a bit long for us (personal view) but we persevered. Not sure that I could or would travel without a drinks package again – for us it was well worth it. Whilst I love sea days, 10 was a lot. This was only our second cruise so we’ve learnt a lot – we would probably avoid (as far as possible) tender ports. Embarkation was a breeze but that might be because we didn't board until about 3pm as we were waiting for our travelling companions to fly in. Disembarkation was an equally simple and well organised process. We had a very active roll call group with plenty of well organised activities. We even had a pre-cruise meet up the night before in Fremantle. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We have just returned from our Australia Top End cruise feeling very disappointed by the experience because of the reasons listed: Dining Room: Almost every meal served was not hot, only warm, the meat being very tough and the fish very ... Read More
We have just returned from our Australia Top End cruise feeling very disappointed by the experience because of the reasons listed: Dining Room: Almost every meal served was not hot, only warm, the meat being very tough and the fish very dry. On several occasions we returned our meals but in the end just gave up. We were served far better meals in pubs ashore and my wife even preferred a salmon dish served in an in flight meal on our way out to Australia, a sad indictment indeed. The waiters worked very hard but seemed to be constantly rushing around leading to mistakes in orders, obviously understaffed. Entertainment: The first production show “Ghostlight” was excellent but unfortunately it was all downhill from there with a selection of sub standard guest performers. Even the resident lounge and bar performers were given their own shows in the theatre, several times in fact, the icing on the cake being the cruise director doing a spot in one show and putting together an ad hoc acapella group including himself, two production singers, a dancer, and even a horn section artist, treating us to FIVE songs on the last night's show. Recycled sub standard entertainment for sure. Itinerary: Firstly Port Hedland, the dust covered iron ore capital of Australia. Even the cruise director made jokes about the place several times on stage, and how right he was. A post office, supermarket, red dust and lots of it! I would expect an allegedly five star cruise company to come up with something a little more exotic than this offering. It says it all when the only shore excursion was to an iron ore plant. Then we came to Cairns, I hear it it's a lovely place because we didn't actually get to see it due to a noon arrival time and an absolute shambolic tendering operation. We gave up after standing in a queue for two hours after our tender number was called, while the operation was started and stopped repeatedly. No doubt the health and safety excuse will be rolled out, but all the fare paying excursion passengers managed to be tendered ashore before operations were suspended, strange that! Maybe upping the ship's speed from a very leisurely fuel saving 14 knots a little would have got us there earlier, thus improving the lack of time issue. On the plus side, our cabin was excellent and the staff very friendly, but my overriding impression of Celebrity is of cost cutting at every turn which eventually is going to cost them dear. I had another cruise booked with Celebrity in November which I have now cancelled even though I have lost my deposit. No way will we be cruising with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We were almost a month aboard Celebrity Solstice and would very happily have stayed longer. From the moment we boarded in Perth ( easy peasy ) to our disembarkation in Auckland, also a positive experience, our holiday was hugely enjoyable. ... Read More
We were almost a month aboard Celebrity Solstice and would very happily have stayed longer. From the moment we boarded in Perth ( easy peasy ) to our disembarkation in Auckland, also a positive experience, our holiday was hugely enjoyable. Fantastic staff from our ever helpful stateroom attendants through reception and dining rooms, nothing was left undone and they were unfailingly courteous. The size of the ship meant that it never felt crowded and the top deck was always comfortable for the brisk daily walk I so enjoyed. Imagine being surrounded by sparkling blue seas yet seeing this notice posted on the verdant grass- " Lawn is resting "- magic! The food was so good and the company( open dining ) so pleasant that we didn't bother booking a specialty restaurant though we heard very positive comments on all of them. Entertainment was varied and perhaps varied in quality too but the permanent hardworking troupe were excellent as was the band. One of the unforgettable experiences was getting to sing with the Celebrity Guest Choir under the tutelage magi and friend, something unexpected and wonderful. The ports were all interesting and memorable in different ways, with our privately arranged tour of Bali( thanks to Cruise Critic) one of the highlights. All in all, a great way to make winter disappear, and I have no hesitation in recommending Celebrity X Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
What an amazing cruise! The Solstice is a beautifully appointed ship with great attention to guest satifaction, you only have to ask and you have it.We splurged a little and stayed in an Aqua class stateroom which enabled us to use Blu ... Read More
What an amazing cruise! The Solstice is a beautifully appointed ship with great attention to guest satifaction, you only have to ask and you have it.We splurged a little and stayed in an Aqua class stateroom which enabled us to use Blu Restaurant for breakfast and dinner.The service and food were outstanding with charming staff who couldn't do enough to ensure you were satisfied.We also tried the three specialty restaurants and found each to be well worth the small extra cost.We liked Silk Harvest the most and the Asian menu was outstanding,the best I have ever tasted.The ship was spotlessly clean,may be a little strange to comment on the ladies toilets but I have never experienced them to be so immaculate with friendly,happy attendants to turn on the tap and hand you a towel and wish you a happy time. There was always plenty to do,the Hot Glass Show on deck 15 was wonderful to watch, only wish they had auctioned more pieces that they made on board.We like our sea days on board and as the weather was very hot we used the pool deck a lot.Standing room only in the two pools but as you really only needed to cool off this was ok.We enjoyed the cooking demonstrations from Executive Chef Geoff and we bought the Excite your Senses book and got the Blu Team to sign.The entertainment was as entertainment is on board,you like it or you don't,great Solstice dancers and acrobats on the last nights show and a fabulous Brunch in the Grand Epernay Restaurant was a sight to behold if you are a foodie with ice sculptures and tables laden with everything you could imagine to eat.To put all this in a nutshell, the best cruise yet.If you like to eat and what cruiser doesn't,don't miss this one. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Having been to Australia 5 years ago but mainly to the East coast region, ie Sydney, Brisbane, etc, we decided to do the West coast option but doing cruising as opposed to land based tour. We are a couple of reasonably fit, adventurous 70 ... Read More
Having been to Australia 5 years ago but mainly to the East coast region, ie Sydney, Brisbane, etc, we decided to do the West coast option but doing cruising as opposed to land based tour. We are a couple of reasonably fit, adventurous 70 ish people from the UK. After a couple of long uncomfortable flights we arrived in Perth to spend 3 days pre-cruise. Perth is a beautiful city, we used the free CAT buses to get around with four different routes (why doesn't every large city have this option). We spent a few hours walking around Kings Park, beautiful sights overlooking the Swan River, following day we did a tremendous wine tasting tour with Out and About Wine Tours incorporating river cruise, three wineries, brewery and chocolate factory, it didn't get any better than this. We embarked at Fremantle and were told quite wrongly that we had to be back on the ship by 16.00 hours for lifeboat muster. This was apparently wrong as we could have done it later in the evening we, therefore, cancelled going walkabout in Fremantle. Embarkation was a doddle, in our cabin within 20 minutes. This was our first cruise with Celebrity and it's quite possible that we picked the best ship in the fleet?? Arguable. We were absolutely blown away by the style and elegance of this beautiful ship and considering there were so many people on board you never had the feeling of being overcrowded, plenty of sun loungers, you were always able to find a lounger on any deck. There was always something interesting going on, glass blowing demonstration, popular Zumba, interesting talks particularly by a guy called Milos who gave talks on a variety of interesting subjects but with a quirky offbeat sense of humour. The standard of service on board was exceptional from the bar staff, waiters, cabin steward, dining room staff, all were superb. We had the drinks package and we found this a very quick and hassle free option when ordering drinks, so much quicker and easier to check your onboard account, instead of looking for the things you have ordered just looking for the ones you haven't. We chose to use the Ocean View buffet everyday for breakfast and lunch. The first 72 hours service was a little slow due to the fact that the passengers were not allowed to help themselves, after this period there were generally no problems but we suppose that's for the good of everyone hygienewise. The buffet food was very good with lots of variety, it would be your own fault if you couldn't find anything acceptable. We chose Select Dining and usually went for dinner 7.30 - 8.00 pm each evening. The food and standard of service at any of the dining rooms was nothing short of exceptional. Full credit to those responsible. We had balcony cabin 9109 close to the front of the ship which was very quiet and it involved much needed exercise to and from the main areas of the ship. The cabin was immaculately clean and kept that way by a super-friendly cabin steward. Not much hanging wardrobe space! The itinerary involved Port Headland, very hot but interesting only for those who like large industrial mining operations. We found the locals extremely friendly with lots of people volunteering and school children with clip boards given time off school to interview passengers. Small tip rather than waste time trying to connect to the free wifi at the Visitor Centre, best to walk 20 yards down the street to the Seafarers Club where you can use their computers for $5 per hour or $2.50 for half an hour. Next stop Bali was a tendered port and as such there was a lot of problems. Priority was given to people on ship shore excursions if you were doing your own thing (which we were) even allowing for the fact that we started queuing 15 minutes before tender tickets were issued, we were still on number 19 tender which resulted in us not being ashore until 11 o'clock. Fortunately this did not affect the private tour that we had arranged but it could have done. We thought it was a fiasco. Next stop Darwin, again very hot, we arrived on the day Australian soldiers were marching through the town on their return from Afghanistan to a rapturous welcome. We also saw the Australian Prime Minister and his entourage also marching through the town centre. We did the jumping crocs excursion with the ship, very interesting. Next stop Airlie Beach, again this was a tendered port but without the problems of Bali, lots of local volunteers greeting people, went on a private tour, we did a flight over the Whit Sunday islands and then onto the Great Barrier Reef which was absolutely amazing. The pilot of the 6 seater aircraft was a young girl (23??) such a fantastic experience well worth the extra money involved. Next port Brisbane, having been before we chose the shuttle bus option into town. Next port Newcastle. This is the one that really blew us away, we woke early as usual 7 am to go out on the balcony and there before us were thousands of people giving up their Sunday morning lie in lining the beach and the headland waving and cheering as we entered Newcastle harbour. As we got off the ship the Lord Mayor was there to greet the passengers as they got off, also dozens of volunteers (we've never seen so many smiling faces) what a credit to the town of Newcastle. We did a Hunter Valley wine tasting which again was very interesting but the best was saved til last, the sailaway from Newcastle. Again thousands of people lining the beaches and headlands and in honour of the ship docking there we had a three gun salute from one of the World War 2 artillery pieces stationed at the entrance to the harbour, fantastic, so emotional! Final port Sydney, what can be said about Sydney that hasn't already been said, fabulous place. We had the added bonus of meeting up with relatives who were staying with their son. We couldn't rate this cruise any higher we have never come across so many smiley faced happy people in one place and as we write this review we have already booked our next Celebrity cruise, recommendation indeed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
It was a leap of faith to choose this cruise as our first but either through luck or good judgement we really chose well. The ship was, in our opinion, 5 star in every aspect; comfortable, clean, superb staff, great food and good ... Read More
It was a leap of faith to choose this cruise as our first but either through luck or good judgement we really chose well. The ship was, in our opinion, 5 star in every aspect; comfortable, clean, superb staff, great food and good entertainment. Despite having almost 3000 passengers we never felt crowded and the solitude of the cabin was always available. The route was what we had wanted although a couple of the stops were not that exciting (e.g. Port Hedland). There were a number of sea days but it was a top end trip around Australia and it's a big place! In fact the sea days were rather nice. Plenty of activities if you wanted and peace and quiet to be found if you didn't. Our cabin stewards (Joe from Goa and Lincoln from Jamaica) were great and really deserve a special mention. The cabin was always spotless and they were both discreet and professional. We could wax lyrical about the food and the choices of menus and restaurants. Only bad experience was at one of the speciality restaurants but we did complain and this was taken seriously. Good choices that we made were to have a cabin with a balcony, go for select dining instead of sittings and choosing a starboard cabin as the cruise went clockwise around Australia. No real bad choices although I think that, for us, the shore excursions were a bit overpriced and we preferred to do our own thing when in port. All in all a great experience, a great ship, great crew and a great Company to cruise with. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
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