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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the price point. You get so much value on re-positioning cruises. We flew to Japan early to see Kyoto and Tokyo. The ports were Yokohama (overnight) then Hakodate, Muroron (Sapporo) and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the price point. You get so much value on re-positioning cruises. We flew to Japan early to see Kyoto and Tokyo. The ports were Yokohama (overnight) then Hakodate, Muroron (Sapporo) and Petropavlovsk, Russia. While certainly not as large as the Solstice class, the Millennium is in excellent shape. Don't believe the negative reviews! We had an Aqua class room and it was as nice as those on a Solstice class ship -- though the configuration of storage was different. I actually like the closet on the Millennium better. I thought that Blu was even better than on the Reflection. Service was excellent throughout the ship. We were very fortunate in the crossing because it was quite calm most of the way. The weather was cool but the seas were well behaved.The captain gave us an added bonus. Instead of cruising straight to Vancouver, he turned into the Inside Passage. When the fog lifted, we saw fantastic scenery and some whales, eagles. Both embarkation and disembarkation were relatively smooth. Though our suitcase was damaged at the port in Yokohama, eventually the insurance paid the claim. We had a short wait n Yokohama, then they opened a separate line for Aqua class and it went quickly after that. An added benefit was the rooms were ready early. Getting off at Vancouver was a breeze. And our luggage was waiting for us when we got to the carousel. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
My wife has waited for 40 years to see Hawaii but this trip was the worst ever. The ship was very good but the excursions are not set up for passengers with disabilities as there was nothing that could accommodate an electric portable ... Read More
My wife has waited for 40 years to see Hawaii but this trip was the worst ever. The ship was very good but the excursions are not set up for passengers with disabilities as there was nothing that could accommodate an electric portable scooter . We saw nothing of Hawaii only the shops around the dock area. The entertainment was so poor that the passengers were leaving the theatre as the shows were going on , some shows were over a year old as seen on an Alaska cruise before. Staff and food were very good but a complete waste of money for us would not do this again. This could be our last cruise on Celebrity or Royal Carribbean as we feel like that the qualiy has dropped below the standard we expect from them.Tendering is a complete nightmare for those with a disablity as we were informed 3 times that we could take her travel scooter on the tender and when we got to the tender we were informed that it was not possible to take it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
.We have been on more than 20 Celebrity cruises, but this was our first cruise on Celbrity Solstice. We wanted to see Hawaii, as well as enjoy a repositioning cruises. We have always enjoyed the evening's entertainment, especially ... Read More
.We have been on more than 20 Celebrity cruises, but this was our first cruise on Celbrity Solstice. We wanted to see Hawaii, as well as enjoy a repositioning cruises. We have always enjoyed the evening's entertainment, especially the production shows, but not this time. The production shows were the worst we have ever seen on a Celebrity cruise. The food was fine, but if you want something from the grill, you have to walk outside, half the distance of the ship. This you have to do in the wind and cold and hope you get back to your table with warm food and everyone else already not done eating. On the positive side, the captain was outstanding, on the bridge keeping our sailing safe and comfortable , giving a talk on the building of the Solstice, and a member of the "Liar's Club". All the service personnel were excellent, going out of their way to be of assistance. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Cruising the Hawaiian Islands was a cruise I have always wanted to do. Booked Aqua Class as sailed with Celebrity before and enjoyed eating in 'Blu' restaurant. It was a great cruise and did not disappoint. I could not rate ... Read More
Cruising the Hawaiian Islands was a cruise I have always wanted to do. Booked Aqua Class as sailed with Celebrity before and enjoyed eating in 'Blu' restaurant. It was a great cruise and did not disappoint. I could not rate this cruise as excellent due to a couple of small issues but these did not spoil the cruise in any way. The food on board was very good, lots of choice and deserts especially good. I felt the entertainment was lacking, especially of an evening. Some of the singers, well lets just say, maybe should not have been there. The 5 days at sea (weather was not great) could have been more to do. We did not see the entertainment team except in the Theatre. The shore excursions were good, I felt that the first excursion we took, 'Whale watching' should not have been offered on this cruise as we were informed that it was end of the season and not really the best time to see whales. I would sail with Celebrity again. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was our 3rd time on Solstice, but our 9th with Solstice Class ships, which is always our favorite. There are no water slides, wall climbing, or belly flop competetions so if this is what you enjoy, don't pick Celebrity! This is ... Read More
This was our 3rd time on Solstice, but our 9th with Solstice Class ships, which is always our favorite. There are no water slides, wall climbing, or belly flop competetions so if this is what you enjoy, don't pick Celebrity! This is also the longest cruise we have taken! There were many sea days but I enjoy the relaxation of reading on our Veranda, just listening to the ocean and relaxing or sitting aound the Lawn Club. Our trip began in Sydney, where we arrived 2 days before the cruise. If I had to do it again, I would add 2 more nights to our stay. Sydney is a beautiful, welcoming city. We stayed downtown, walked everwhere once we got to the hotel from the airport. Taxi fare was about 60 US$, very congested traffic from airport to downtown. Credit cards are accepted in the cabs and easily throughout the city. In fact, we did not convert any US dollars prior to our trip, visiting New Zealand, Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea (the last 3 accepted US dollars for taxis and convenience stores for water, etc). So don't be swayed by some reviews that say you need to bring all local currencies! One of the days from Sydney we took a ferry to Manly Beach (about 14 Australian $ per person round trip). From the Ferry terminal it is a beautiful 30-45 minute ride to Manly and then a 15 minute or so walk down the pedestrian street to the beach itself. There are many restaurants and shops along the way, so much to see. A walk along the beach to "Shelly Beach" is worth while, along a winding beach road. On the day of our cruise, we walked with our rolling bags from the hotel to the Pier, about a 15 minute walk, very easy! I wasn't too sure about walking at first, but no uphills and Sydney has great cross-walks for pedestrians! Check-in was a breeze, 30 minutes and we were on the ship. By 1PM, it was announced that staterooms were ready. I have read about the constant annoying attempts by staff to up sell Specialty Dining, etc. We did not experience this as annoying, specialty restaurant staff are positioned at entrances to the restaurants so that you notice them but they were not annoying or aggressive by any means. On this 18 night cruise there were 3 "Evening Chic" nights, which is the new title for dress code for Formal nights. I would estimate about 50% of the men guests still dress in suits, and some tuxes and the rest wore shirts and slacks while the women wore dresses and nice slacks. We did not see any guests dressing shabby because of the change in dress code. We did 3 Celebrity sponsored excursions: Inside Access Tour (behind the scenes tour of bridge, kitchen, engine room, etc.), Shark and Stingray Encounter in Bora Bora ( fabulous, saw 50 - 100 sharks and stingrays swimming within 2 feet of your face) and the Aito Off Road Safari in Moorea, also a fabulous excursion. I would recommend all of these if that is your interest. We ate in Murano's twice (the best!) and Tuscan Grill (not as good in our opinion as Murano's but still nice). The menus can be viewed on the Celebrity website. Murano's Lobster prepared table side was excellent and the fish entree Sole' was incredible. Service was 5 Star. Our stateroom was a 2C Veranda, some obstruction if you look down but not if you look out to sea. Storage was adequate and the bathroom was average size with an adequate storage cabinet for your toiletry items. 3 large suitcases fit under the bed without any problem. I did some handwashing of some of our clothing since the cruise was long as laundry service is expensive and there is not a self service laundry facility. There were 5 or 6 guest entertainers brought on board in addition to the Celebrity entertainers, who were very good. One Australian comedian thought he was funny with US political jokes, I find that boring and old not what I look forward to on vacation. Violinist David Klinkenberg was amazing as well as pianist Kym Purling, top notch entertainment to say the least! We truly enjoyed the Tahitian Folklore show as well. Ports of Call: Sydney - Embarkation quick and easy! Bay of Islands, NZ - tendered off ship, took Ferry to Russell, old fishing town. Refreshments at Duke of Marlborough Hotel there, beautiful spot. Auckland, NZ - docked at the Pier, easy walk around town. Lunch in Viaduct area at DR Rudi's. Very good. Papeete, Tahiti - docked at the Pier, walked about, nice along the water front but shabby in some back areas. Moorea, French Polynesia - tendered off ship, you will be on a priority tender if scheduled on ship excursion, did off road safari as described before. Bora Bora - as above, with Celebrity excursion get priority tender, swam with stingrays and sharks. Taxi to Bloody Mary's, $5. each person, one way whether taxi or shuttle, iconic place! Maui - tendered to shore, walked and shopped, have been here before. Lunch at Cool Cat Cafe, fun spot. Honolulu - Having gone through customs aboard ship in Maui the day before, disembarkation was swift. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose the Celebrity Solstice because it was supposed to be a 5 star experience travelling to great destinations like New Zealand French Polynesia and then on to Hawaii. 17 days in all. This is exactly what we got. This was not our ... Read More
We chose the Celebrity Solstice because it was supposed to be a 5 star experience travelling to great destinations like New Zealand French Polynesia and then on to Hawaii. 17 days in all. This is exactly what we got. This was not our first cruise but is was the best by far. This ship is beautiful. We had a balcony cabin which was more than adequate and gave my wife and I all the space we needed for the length of this cruise. The rooms were extremely clean and obviously well serviced. Bedding was great and comfortable. Shower was better than most hotels I have been in. Balcony was used by my wife and I extensively and was very private. Cleanliness is paramount on board this ship and throughout the cruise staff were constantly cleaning the ship. Food on board was very good and there was an extremely wide variety of choice. Epernay Restaurant served very high quality meals with a more formal approach while the Ocean view buffet on deck 14 giving the largest variety of food in a more relaxed atmosphere. Food quality and choice on this ship is excellent. We did not have one bad meal. The speciality restaurants are great but can be expensive taking into consideration that you have already paid for all your meals and are an added expense. We did however visit the Silk Harvest restaurant twice. Entertainment on board was great and something to look forward to each evening with the main show on at either 7 pm or 9 pm. Permanent on board entertainers were excellent. With guest entertainers in the main very good. You can do as much or as little as you want on this ship. Let's talk destinations. New Zealand. Two stops Bay of Islands and Auckland. First stop Bay of Islands tendering was a bit of a disaster taking 2.5 hours to get us off the ship. This was sorted at other tendering ports and disembarking from then on went smoothly and quickly. New Zealand is a great place to visit and was well worth the look. Next ports of call was Papeete, Moorea and Bora Bora, with my favourite being Bora Bora absolutely beautiful destination with the best beaches I have ever seen. Next destination Lahaina and then Honolulu Hawaii. Hawaii is just beautiful and a very laid back destination. Visited Pearl Harbour USS Arizona Memorial, which I thought was fantastic. So tastefully done with the utmost respect to the fallen. A very informative and unbiased attraction. To sum up I just want to comment on the staff on board the Solstice. In the face of sometimes very rude guests the staff were wonderful. Very attentive polite and professional. A credit to the company. Life on board was usually very relaxed. However there were constant attempts to sell dinner packages, drink packages and Photo packages which was a bit annoying. (Also very expensive) This cruise was not cheap (obviously subjective) and everything was in US dollars with tax added. We bought the internet package and basic drink package (water, tea coffee and soft drinks) with the daily gratuities at US$13 dollars per person per day which added another US$1200 to the price of the cruise. Throw in a couple of cocktails a day and a couple of tours and we easily went over 2 thousand dollars U.S. on top of the cruise price. Was it worth it? A resounding yes. A fantastic holiday we will remember. We have already booked again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My wife & I chose Celebrity Solstice for a 18-day Tahitian cruise to Hawaii, as my wife's birthday coincided with the cruise being at Bora Bora on that day. Generally speaking, the cruise was very enjoyable and strongly ... Read More
My wife & I chose Celebrity Solstice for a 18-day Tahitian cruise to Hawaii, as my wife's birthday coincided with the cruise being at Bora Bora on that day. Generally speaking, the cruise was very enjoyable and strongly recommended for the following reasons: 1. This is a floating city with 5-star amenities and is very stable, even when 4-metre waves were encountered. 2. This ship is clean to perfection and even our bath towels were changed twice a day. 3. Service is 5-star in every area, e.g. the staff will go out of their way to fulfil your request. 4. Hygiene is tip-top all over the ship. 5. Food was available in great variety and good quality. 6. State-of-the-art fitness centre. (However, one has to pay for yoga or pilates classes). 7. Entertainment was excellent - day and night. As we know, nothing is perfect in life. Hence, there are a few things that could be improved: (a) Long queues at SOME ports to get on the tender boats, e.g. Bay of Islands, NZ. (b) It took us at least 2 hrs to go through US immigration on board at Lahaina, Maui (not Celebrity Cruise's responsibility). This could perhaps be organised better with US Immigration. (c) Outdoor furniture badly needs refurbishing. (d) A couple of bottles of drinking water needs to be provided in the cabins free of charge, as it is a necessity. This extra cost for Celebrity Cruises could be included in the price of the cruise? All in all, regardless of the above negative experiences, it was a very pleasant and enjoyable time. It is to be said, however, there are expenses and inconveniences to be expected, apart from the cruise itself, e.g. flights and connections between airport and cruise and vice versa as well as tours at ports when chosen. In conclusion, despite the above issues, we highly recommend this cruise on Celebrity Solstice without hesitation. I hope the above will clarify a few areas for someone who is interested in cruising. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
POSITIVES: we were on deck 7. Ship was clean, room clean. We had a balcony which was lovely. Shower room was a nice size. The bed big and comfortable. Our room steward was lovely. We had open dinning which gave us the freedom to ... Read More
POSITIVES: we were on deck 7. Ship was clean, room clean. We had a balcony which was lovely. Shower room was a nice size. The bed big and comfortable. Our room steward was lovely. We had open dinning which gave us the freedom to choose which place we wanted to eat. The food in the seated dinning room was lovely, varied and hot. The buffet restaurant had a great choice, but you had to queue for quite a while for toast and eggs etc. The food was also not very hot at times. The staff were cleaning the ship constantly, and you were not allowed into the dinning rooms unless you sanitised your hands. There was plenty to do on the ship, and the guest speakers gave good insight to places that were being visited. The waiters were very attentive, couldn't help but be so as there were so many of them. The places we visited were lovely, you couldn't pick a favourite. The trip to Pearl Harbour was very moving experience. The embarkation was very smooth and quick. NEGATIVES: Why were staff trying to sell drinks packages as soon as you set foot on the ship, and I mean as soon as u stepped aboard. You had your hand luggage, a welcoming drink, in the other hand, were trying to get your bearings to your cabin and they were hassling you to buy a drinks package!! The Wi Fi is a rip off, 390 dollars for 17 days. we went ashore and went to the cafes etc and got it free or for a minimal cost 2 dollars. We were told it was due to the satilitte, but come on 2800 passengers x that by 390, nice little earner. The shore excursions were very expensive, we heard a lot of people complaining. We went with local companies ashore for half the cost, or did our own thing. We only did 2 ship excursions. Some people had booked on line and tried to cancel when they got onto the ship. We have cruised many times but not with Celebrity, we found this ship did not have the 'wow' factor like the Royal Caribbean ships. The Atrium had a big green plant in a coloured pot, not an ideal backdrop for photos. We like to have a nice picture taken on the nights that we dressed up in our lovely dresses and suits. The back drop to the professional photos were not great. We had one taken, cost us 25 dollars, which although expensive was a lovely keepsake. But we were disappointed and disgusted that this photo did not even come in a presentation folder, which we had on all the other cruises we had been on. We did try and speak to the photographic manager, and ask why no presentation folder but this uninterested arrogant individual couldn't have cared less. Told us lots of people had complained, well he's the manager why didn't he do something about it! The gratuities were also expensive, but you could have them taken off and tip who u wanted to. Like a previous comment we were very disappointed that people did not dress up when going to dinner, sometimes it appeared like a Butlins cruise.! But all said we did enjoy the cruise, meeting some lovely people, visiting some beautiful places. You expect to pay when on a ship, but not to the extent that Celebrity charged their customers. We would not sail with Celebrity again, for the reasons stated above. not a five star experience. Disappointed from Kent. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise after seeing an advert in the UK DMail in late 2015 and just fancied the itinerary. I thought, 'looks interesting, like those stop-offs, I wonder if I can get it for less . . .' After some investigation and ... Read More
We chose this cruise after seeing an advert in the UK DMail in late 2015 and just fancied the itinerary. I thought, 'looks interesting, like those stop-offs, I wonder if I can get it for less . . .' After some investigation and maths I found that we could go on the cruise, plus have a few nights in start and finish destinations for the same amount. So we went ahead and booked and so glad we did. It became, honestly, the holiday of a lifetime; 30 days away with the 17 day Pacific cruise as the highlight. Ok, first the best bits: the stateroom accommodation was excellent, better than on previous cruise lines we had used. The crew were extremely friendly and efficient and actually spoke to passengers, started conversations, which was so refreshing. The ships facilities were also very good and finally the food superb. Now for the cons: the drinks were very expensive and even with having a drinks package I felt it difficult to make the most of the outlay (we both needed a rest to our livers when we arrived home!). The Captain, God bless him, was difficult to understand being Greek and although he was undoubtedly a fine sailor, communication and presence was not his strongest virtue, and this applied to some of the officers to. Some people found that having 2 lots of 5 continuous days at sea was too much; maybe a better thought out itinerary with additional stops would have been better. Food, as I said, was very good but not as varied as other lines we have used and, just one complaint, the iced tea was awful! In addition, some shore excursions were poorly managed and not what I had hoped for. Finally, I am by profession a maritime engineer with some 50 years experience and currently have my own ship safety engineering company in the UK; during my trip behind the scenes (additional 99$ cost!) I saw a number of areas which need review from a safety point of view - nothing major I should add, but areas that need tightening up. But saying all that, we met some new friends, most cruisers were very friendly and I would definitely recommend Celebrity and would not hesitate to cruise with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Embarkation Was seamless, we are Elite Plus level and we do enjoy some benefits such as early embarkation, hey we have cruised a large number of cruises with them, Royal Caribbean and 1 with Azamara Journey (wasn't really all that ... Read More
Embarkation Was seamless, we are Elite Plus level and we do enjoy some benefits such as early embarkation, hey we have cruised a large number of cruises with them, Royal Caribbean and 1 with Azamara Journey (wasn't really all that good and not 5 star). Glass of bubbly is still available if you like on boarding the vessel, they haven't removed that yet, give them time! Ship Condition Overall it was good inside it is showing some signs of wear and tear however, we have been on this ship for 6 cruises and it now has paint flaking off it, not seen that before, maintenance appears not a priority anymore. Staff and Service Only recognised two staff that we had previously met on this ship, they were both bar staff and were as good as ever. Although the older of the two was a little unhappy as the management were not quite up to scratch and were more concerned about selling drink packages and speciality restaurant packages than ensuring that the customers were being looked after, shame really! Our cabin steward was missing in action for most of the first day, we asked about the bottle of sparkly we are supposed to get as part of the Concierge package, well you would think we were asking for $1000 OBC, he said we have to ask for it now, and for bathrobes, etc, etc. He was the worst room steward ever, we also were on the cruise afterward back to back to Vancouver, the service went from bad to worse, and he accused us of stealing something on our last night, that was the last straw! Guest Relations staff, except for the Manager, are rude and non accommodating. We had transferred our 2 cruises from Asian cruises to the Sydney to Hawaii and Hawaii to Vancouver and we had been the 3 perks package transferred over $300 OBC, free gratuities, and the Classic Alcohol and non alcohol drink package (CALL) for both cruises, we had this is black and white from our travel agent, who had it in writing from Miami office of Celebrity. Well we had the fight of our life to get the CALL package honoured, 5 hours later after lunch, we finally managed to have it honoured after we spoke to several customer service people, managers, they called our travel agent, and Miami, we think, and we finally had our first drink on the package 6 hours after embarkation. What a joke and a calamity, they have no care or concern for any passengers and especially loyalty club ones with a large number of cruises with them under our belt. Shame we are over them and have not booked anymore cruises with them!! Cabin Was ok however Concierge class is not worth it, it is a rip off big time! Entertainment We have seen most of the crew shows previously, as we cruise a lot 33 or 34 cruises up to this one, not all with Celebrity, we have been with Princess, Azamara, Royal Caribbean, P&O, MSC, HAL, Captain Cook, etc. However guest entertainers was good on the whole! Dining Main Restaurant food has deteriorated to the a level where it is not 5 or even 4 star, the fish was the worst, it had been thinned out by slicing it horizontally and tasted dry and virtually tasteless, the waiter did warn us, we had anytime or select dining although they placed us mainly at the same wait station, with the same waiters. We did manage to go to the other side of the restaurant and see how the service was there. Overall service was ok, however, the waiter management are younger and are not up to scratch as I said previously. Bistro variety was good, food not too bad, they cannot serve poached eggs that the white has been cooked properly, not in the restaurant or especially up in the bistro. Attended the Tuscan on one night, as we received a special price, very nice indeed. However, they are now openly informing us that you cannot get the meals we were used to having in the main dining room anymore, you must purchase the speciality restaurant package to get that quality. Money, money, money, bring back Daniel Hanrahan, get rid of this bean counter who is running the cruise line!! Shore Excursions Didn't go on any, as we had been on this cruise in 2013, and they were good then. Conclusion We were extremely disappointed with Celebrity, from what they used to provide and the great service we once received is all but gone, pity! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We always do the royal Caribbean cruise line and was told celebrity was better, so booked this one, some ports of call were way to short. The ship its self is more for the aged and we are all in our 50s and we are so darn board, our room ... Read More
We always do the royal Caribbean cruise line and was told celebrity was better, so booked this one, some ports of call were way to short. The ship its self is more for the aged and we are all in our 50s and we are so darn board, our room is so noisy with rattling ceiling, bathroom door rattles and so does the balcony door, had to purchase ear plugs to sleep. Very disappointed, don't pick cabin 8268, the staff are fantastic. I suggest they do a big overhaul of this ship and put some good activities for slightly younger people, the stop in Auckland was way to short, moorea and bora bora were magical. Food on the ship are lovely the specialty dinning rooms are expensive but very nice, way to many things that you still have to pay for, we didn't travel with children but people we met did and there isn't enough to entertain children. I will not be doing anymore celebrity cruises. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 70th birthdays and the fact that we could spend a month with our daughter in Melbourne after docking in Sydney. Food is OK, only two new choices each day for starters and mains and desserts. Many ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 70th birthdays and the fact that we could spend a month with our daughter in Melbourne after docking in Sydney. Food is OK, only two new choices each day for starters and mains and desserts. Many extra restaurants for which premium prices are paid. Staff are excellent and friendly. Entertainment is very disappointing, mainly solo artistes who are not to our taste. In nine days we have not had one costumed singing dancing razzamatazz show with sequins, feathers and nice songs. The best show so far was in Tahiti when the best folkloric group on the island gave a fabulous performance for 45 minutes. The lecture series consists of Mickey Live, who is a self-confessed geek but very interesting and entertaining on things like Google Earth, digital photography; Peter Donaldson who talks about Captain James Cook, the Equator and International Date Line, a lady who spoke about French Polynesia and the artist Paul Gaugin, a person who spoke about sharks and stingrays, animals and the sea. We were annoyed that in the first couple of days we were hassled to buy the very expensive drinks packages. Now we both like a drink but to have $56 worth each day for 18 days is going too far, even for us. As the cruise has gone on, we have been offered bottles of wine for $20 to drink in our cabin, which is not too bad. There are no formal nights now. Since January 2016, these are now called smart chic, which basically means nothing. I saw only one dinner jacket, a couple of suits and ties, but that is about it. Very casual nearly every night, with the ladies making far more effort than their men. Disappointed so far especially as this is the longest, most expensive cruise we have been on. We prefer English cruise lines which seem more gracious, better lecturers and more variety.of evening entertainment. A very expensive decision on our part. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Honolulu to Sydney - While we do not usually give extra tips money on this cruise our service was so good we gave extra to a number of the staff. We did not expect the greatest entertainment as this was a transpacific voyage but what was ... Read More
Honolulu to Sydney - While we do not usually give extra tips money on this cruise our service was so good we gave extra to a number of the staff. We did not expect the greatest entertainment as this was a transpacific voyage but what was presented was done well. The food was excellent, the wait staff was very gracious. All the staff seemed happy and more than willing to please. If they sensed there might be a problem they inquired and were attempting to correct the matter. The embarkation was a breeze. The disembarking was so easy and the taxi's well organized on our arrival in Sydney. The inside staterooms on the Solstice style ships are very spacious with plenty of storage. The entire experience was excellent. Even though the ship os due to be refurbished shortly it was still in good condition and the staff GREAT. We will continue to use the Celebrity line. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose the Celebrity Solstice because it was rated Australia's best cruise ship 2015 and the ports of call, Hawaii, Lahaina Maui, Bora Bora,French Polynesia, Papeete,Tahiti, Moorea, French Polynesia, Auckland, Bay of Islands New ... Read More
We chose the Celebrity Solstice because it was rated Australia's best cruise ship 2015 and the ports of call, Hawaii, Lahaina Maui, Bora Bora,French Polynesia, Papeete,Tahiti, Moorea, French Polynesia, Auckland, Bay of Islands New Zealand, and Sydney Australia. The ports of call were great, but as seasoned travellers we did not use the ships shore excursions as they are always over priced by comparison with local tours, and doing it yourself doesn't present any problems, and as a small group you have a much better time. Boarding in Honolulu and disembarkation in Sydney, went wthout a hitch. Our welcome onboard consisted of being continually harassed (17 times in 4 hours) to buy the overpriced beverage package. Great welcome to a supposedly four star, best cruise ship in Australia. When I questioned Guest Relations they said that they never get complaints about the harassing. Our cabin, sorry Verandah Stateroom (7303) was sufficient, and our cabin staff were excellent. The Epenay restaurant and Cafe' were up to the usual cruise ship standard. The Speciality Restaurants, Murano ($50 USD per person), Tuscan Grille ($45 USD per person), and the Silk Harvest ($35 USD per person) compared to other cruise lines are overpriced. This was probably why they were only half full every night we attended. (6 times). Dining packages are available at a reduced price. Running out of New Zealand Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc ($10 AUD) selling for $60 AUD, before we got to Tahiti, doesn't rate the Food and Beverage Manager too highly, especially when you see them on TV replenishing the stock when they get to port, but wasn't done in Auckland, had to wait for Sydney. The compulsory gratuities of 18%, because they say staff don't get paid enough, has always been a joke. Pay them a basic wage and charge accordingly.Restaurants in Australia would die to be able to charge $60 for Villa Maria and get away with it. The entertainment was okay but nothing you'd rave over. The amateur opening Hawaiian night in Honolulu was disgraceful considering the talent that would be available in Honolulu for one night. 2016 and cruise liners are still "ripping off" passengers with overpriced WiFi. Lucky we have free onshore WiFi when we dock. Our "so called" Cruise Director Ken was an absolute joke.The only word most passengers understood from him was "awesome". The morning activities TV shows consisted of him and Peter, the Activities Manager, seeing who could talk over each other the most. More activities should have been on offer and less emphasis placed on selling goods. This review has also been sent to Celebrity. We are booked to travel again around New Zealand in February 2017. I hope it improves. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
Chose this cruise because of the destinations. Found embarkation could have been handled better ie. long time queuing. Hard sales for drinks packages which were extortionate compared to other cruise lines, speciality restaurants and always ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the destinations. Found embarkation could have been handled better ie. long time queuing. Hard sales for drinks packages which were extortionate compared to other cruise lines, speciality restaurants and always pushing for booking another cruise in the news letter received every evening in the cabin. Excursions were also expensive compared to other cruise lines and not always value for money. The staff were nice and we did enjoy the cruise but found not a lot to entertain us for the days at sea. Found the cruise director of entertainment very annoying couldn't talk without shouting. No he wasn't awesome as his catchphrase goes. This was a first cruise with celebrity and was a bit disappointed as recommended by a friend. Found the ship a bit tired in places and although there was a rule about reserving sun loungers etc. never saw his implemented at any time. Most annoying. Would be nice if at the buffet restaurant someone could show you to a seat. Hunting for one was a chore at times so avoided it most of the time. These are observations made by myself and not complaints as such. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
The beautiful ship and diverse, paradise destinations were an irresistible combination. The excellent service and entertainment more than lived up to our expectations. As Aqua Class cruisers, we dined in Blu for the first time and were ... Read More
The beautiful ship and diverse, paradise destinations were an irresistible combination. The excellent service and entertainment more than lived up to our expectations. As Aqua Class cruisers, we dined in Blu for the first time and were very happy with the meals and the service. The only drawback as a Blu diner was that we were not able to invite non-Aqua guests to join us because of limited space. We only did one Celebrity-marketed shore excursion and felt it was good value. Otherwise, most of the stops were easy to access on our own or with small, local guided tours arranged outside the ship. We enjoyed the many days at sea as much as the shore days, thanks to beautiful seas and scenery and no lack of interesting entertainment and educational options. At the end of the cruise, we spent five days exploring Sydney on our own. The city is easy to get around by foot and ferry and has many historic, scenic and cultural attractions. We wouldn't hesitate to do this cruise again or revisit the destinations. Since the French Polynesian Islands are small, one Port day apiece was enough to get a taste. The Bay of Islands in New Zealand and Australia are definitely places we would like to return to in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Staff were really excellent, friendly and helpful - cabin always well maintained. Food average compared with other cruises we'd been on with not a lot of variety in the main dining room. Solstice show band and regular singers and ... Read More
Staff were really excellent, friendly and helpful - cabin always well maintained. Food average compared with other cruises we'd been on with not a lot of variety in the main dining room. Solstice show band and regular singers and dancers were very good but shows themselves were not as glitzy as expected. Couple of guest piano players/singers were excellent. It would have been good if musicians providing background music in bars and quiet areas had not used amplifiers as it was often impossible to have a conversation once they started. There were the usual activities such as game shows and trivia but so much on offer each day seemed to focus on events in the shops to encourage people to spend money. Drinks had an automatic 18% gratuity added - far more expensive than the other 8 cruises we'd been on previously. Shore excursions expensive - a lot cheaper to take one of the local buses/taxis/tours of which there were many available at each stop, and they are just as reliable in getting you there and back on time. Overall it is a nice ship but we are unlikely to sail with them again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Stateroom 2112 Concierge class. We book this cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Embarkation: arrived at port to find a queue over 100 yds long awaiting to deposit their bags in the baggage drop area, in temperatures of ... Read More
Stateroom 2112 Concierge class. We book this cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Embarkation: arrived at port to find a queue over 100 yds long awaiting to deposit their bags in the baggage drop area, in temperatures of over 24 degrees.This was despite all our bags being pretagged with our deck and stateroom number on. There was a total lack of porters to help speed up the process. Once on board our stateroom was very comfortable and our stewardess was excellent. We then encountered the two main problems. The food in the Grand Epernay restaurant was limited in choice and very low quality, far below the standard we expected. If this restaurant was in the high street it would not last 6 months. After 5 nights we decided to eat every night in the Speciality Restaurants. This cost us an additional $800 just to get food near the standard expected. We also talked to people who reverted to eating the childs portions because the food was of a higher standard, and others went to the Oceanview Buffet Restaurant where the menu was more extensive and the food better.. We purchased a drink package on the promise of fine wines and speciality beers. We found from the very first night at a lot of the speciality wines or beers were not available, having apparently been consumed by guests travelling from Vancouver to Hawaii, so all the was left were wines of a lesser quality. As the cruise progressed the standard of wines available deteriorated further. Certain spirits also began to disappear and go out of stock for the entire cruise. We also felt that there was a lack of professionalism by some of the bar staff, having the return 6 gin and tonic at various times and bars, 3 due to being mixed with soda, and 3 mixed with totally flat tonic, again not what you expect from supposedly top of the range cruise line. As the cruise progressed certain food disappeared from the Oceanview Restaurant. This cruise had 9 sea days and the daytime entertainment fell far below what we would have expected. We found this ship to be very divided by class. Aqua Class had their own dining room as did Suites, and judging by the menus available to these guests the food was far more varied and of a much higher quality. So if you want fine dining you had to go Aqua Class or above or do what we did and dine in the Speciality Restaurants. Disembarkation was an even bigger shambles. We had to be out of our stateroom by 8am and its was 2.1/2 hours before we could exit the ship, only to meet more chaos and holdups in the baggage collection area. All in all this was the worst cruise we have ever been on, and it is unlikely that we would go with Celebrity again. We would not recommend Celebrity Cruises to anyone. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our second Celebrity cruise the first being on the Reflection in April 2015. Though Celebrity is always touted and touts themselves as better than all the other cruise lines and prides themselves on "excellence" this has ... Read More
This was our second Celebrity cruise the first being on the Reflection in April 2015. Though Celebrity is always touted and touts themselves as better than all the other cruise lines and prides themselves on "excellence" this has not been our experience. And we have experience since this was our 20th cruise. The overall impression is that Celebrity is catering to their higher paying guests and that all efforts are aimed at them spending more money whether its for a premium drink package, specialty restaurants, or specialty coffees, etc. And though the Elite status and above clientele is catered to above all else my question was why would I want to endure being treated poorly to reach a higher status in hopes that I'll then be treated better? Now to the specifics. Despite our disappointments with the Reflection, the one highlight of note on the Reflection last year was the high quality of the food. This was certainly not the case on the Solstice. The food in the Oceanview buffet was mediocre at best and the selections were limited in choice and the quality was at a lower level. Examples of this were the choice of fresh fruits which were always: melons, apples,apples and bananas. never papaya, or any berries. If you happen to go to the Aqua Spa cafe you might find a bit of mango or berries but not in general. The same was true for the cheese choices: always: provolone, blue cheese, cheddar, monteray jack-all pretty plebian. In the dining room it was hit or miss-some nights there were excellent choices, others the food again was below par. All the pastries and desserts were very poor except at Cafe Baccio but many folks were fooled into believing they had to buy a specialty coffee to ask for these which was not the case. We ate in three of the speciailty restaurants. The Silk Harvest had lovely decor and service but the food was overall very poor. And we ate there twice so we had other choices in hopes that we had just gotten it wrong the first time. Shame on us. The Tuscan Grill was by far the best and I felt worth the money as well as excellent service. We were disappointed with the service and the food in the Murano and it definitely was not worth the additional tarrif. Enough about the food. The original embarkation in Vancouver was a disorganized mess that took far longer than any other we have experienced. We had good staff and poor staff. My biggest complaint was frquently we received conflicting info about how to do something, e.g. when I asked about how to order a wine package I was directed to Guest Relations. At Guest relations I was told " I don't know why you were directed here we don't do that" and go to CellarMasters. At Cellar Masters the wine steward could help me but had to hunt for the wine choices in the different packages and only had one copy. I once asked a bartender in the Lounge area where the specialty restarants were located if I could throw away a dirty napkin and he told me "no". (He was only setting up the bar at the time) It was my birthday when we arrived and my husband had alerted the line of this fact-nothing was ever acknowledged about it. Tendering was sometimes easy, sometimes arduous, always confusing. Sometimes you needed a tender ticket, sometimes you didn't and staff could not tell you which was which until the exact moment which made planning difficult if you had a non Celebrity excursion to get off for. Here's what went well: the room size is generous and we liked that. We knew a refurb was happening after this cruise so the torn curtains in our room was overlooked. Our room stewards were very attentive. We had to switch rooms from one part of this cruise to another (B2B). Celebrity and the staff made this effortless for which I am quite grateful. The reembarcation process in Honolulu was a breeze for which we were most grateful and all based on Celebrity's procedures. Two of the enrichment speakers one in particular (Mickey Live) were excellent. I would go on another cruise where Mickey Live had his shows just because of that. Mary Amanda was the other who was quite good. We were not fond of her husband, Brent Nixon d/t to his presentation style which was always over the top which was too bad as he was quite knowledgable. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Celebrity Millenium: Launched June 17th, 2000; Handles 2158 guests at that time (but has been upgraded to about 2450); 91,000 tons, 965 ft long, 105.6 ft wide, 26 ft drought, Top cruise speed 24 knots (although we mostly cruised at ... Read More
Celebrity Millenium: Launched June 17th, 2000; Handles 2158 guests at that time (but has been upgraded to about 2450); 91,000 tons, 965 ft long, 105.6 ft wide, 26 ft drought, Top cruise speed 24 knots (although we mostly cruised at 16kts). The Millenium is now 16 years old although it has been well treated. The ship is well maintained and kept very cleaned. It does show its age a bit (the sealed windows are loosing their reflective coatings and some of the outside fittings need replacing) but the time has been kind to it with the maintenance and care. It is well designed and works well. The extra passengers do stress the regular facilities at times, especially the cafe where it can get quite competitive. The bridge crew and the captain especially had a high profile during the trip. The captain would often show up at the shows in the evening and everyone stopped talking to listen to his 10 o'clock daily talk. The captain was very proactive on safety and comfort - he changed course so that we stayed north of a particular storm so we transited the Bering Sea with very little ship movement. This repositioning cruise is excellent if you like lots of days at sea and to be able to get up into the Aleutian Islands/Bering Sea/Northern Japan. Celebrity has also started to go into more isolated ports, in this case Dutch Harbour (Aleutian Islands), Otaru and Hokodate (Japan). We enjoyed all of these ports and all three ports appreciated the arrival of the Millenium. Entertainment: The Millenium has the Cosmos Lounge upstairs at the bow and the large theater at the bottom of the bow. Both are well used. The presentations during the day are generally well done. Beth Foggin has been putting on a series of historical talks that are very good. We have attended them all. Milos Radakovich is the science guy and has done a series of talks on mammals, Mars, the universe, etc, all very well done with a lot of humor and a sense of the big picture. Compared with some of the other cruise lines, Celebrity has some of the best speakers. Both of these speakers are well researched and interesting. Others were less so, but overall, the speakers were good. The evening presentations were good. Many of these entertainers are older and appear to be doing the cruise circuit as a job. Most did it well. The young dancers and the band that was attached to the ship did an excellent job, doing show after show almost continuously and doing it with enthusiasm. Laundry: Celebrity claims that we have better things to do on our trip than do our own laundry so there is no place to do your laundry on board. So they charge $3US for a pair of socks and $4US for underwear. They charge similar prices for dry cleaning and even more to get something pressed. I heard that Celebrity was concerned about the safety of a laundry. This is surprisingly since Oceania and even Crystal have laundry facilities on board. The best way to handle laundry on a Celebrity ship is to bring lots of easily washed and no iron clothing. Towards the end of the cruise they offer to do a paper bag of laundry for $45US. If you roll your clothing and pack it tightly, it is amazing what you can pack in one bag. Otherwise you have to do enough cruising with Celebrity to get laundry as something included in your trip. Aqua Class: Aqua gets you access to the Persian Gardens steam room in the Spa area, a better location in the ship for your cabin, special soaps and shampoos, a small plate of treats in the late afternoon, access to the concierge services and the use of Blus restaurant for breakfast and dinner. We tried the Persian Garden which had been retrofitted into the Millenium. It is dark, hot and steamy. A good idea but it does not work as a retrofit. The concierge was great and helped with a couple of issues. I did not find anything special about the shampoos and soaps that they feature. Blu's was great. The food was good and the staff was even better. They were friendly, helpful and did an excellent job. One of our group was a Celiac (allergic to gluten). She had access to the next day's menu so that her food could be prepared in a gluten free kitchen and the staff understood about this problem and handled it well. They were so well organized on the gluten free area that she was even able to safely eat at the Buffet. Captains Club Receptions. The Captains Receptions last for 2 hours in the afternoon and involve all of the frequent flyers (we are not one of those) getting free drinks (they line up). But it shuts off Cosmos lounge for everyone else and it is one of the nicest public areas in the ship. Celebrity Land Tours: I would rate Celebrity a B on this, they can definitely do better. The tour we took at Otaru in northern Japan was great, but that was mostly due to the location of the trip and the wonderful guide (Nori) that we had. The trips appeared to be a little on the expensive side and there was not that much selection. The staff selling the tours on the ship also need a bit more knowledge and enthusiasm for what they are doing. They could have been selling caskets. Celebrity used to hand out better descriptions and maps of their destinations and give a short lecture on each place the day before. The lectures that used to be done for each port are almost non existent (they do one summary lecture at the start of the trip) and the handouts aren't much better (you have to ask for them since they are not officially sanctioned by Celebrity). Definitely an area of improvement. Fitness Facility: The facility has lots of exercise equipment and it is of very good quality. The treadmills have a wonderful view out the front of the ship. Staff was ok but not overly enthusiastic (and did not know the distance around the running track on top of the ship - 8 laps to the mile). Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
It's all about the journey for us. Long days at sea are what we need to reconnect to each other, to remember how much fun we have together when his job keeps us apart most of the year. Time at sea to sit on the deck, holding hands, ... Read More
It's all about the journey for us. Long days at sea are what we need to reconnect to each other, to remember how much fun we have together when his job keeps us apart most of the year. Time at sea to sit on the deck, holding hands, but not saying a word, a shared unspoken bliss. Time to act like goofy young newlyweds even though we long ago stopped looking like that much younger couple in our wedding photos. Time, ever so precious, is our ultimate journey. We want to spend it wisely. So, it is the ship, the crew, the overall cruising experience that makes the journey wonderful for us. And this journey from Vancouver, BC to Tokyo, Japan, on Celebrity's Millennium, was more than we hoped for. On September 2, 2016, we arrived at the port in Vancouver, Canada and boarded the Millennium for our first ever cruise upon a Celebrity ship. We have sailed once on Princess, once on NCL and numerous times on Holland America. But this cruise on the Millennium fit our schedule and our last minute desire to go somewhere. We had rented a car in Portland, Oregon and drove to British Columbia. We spent two nights in Whistler before making the drive to the port. It's a bit chaotic trying to figure out just how to enter the port and find the rental car return. A simple external sign that would state "Return rental car, this lane," would have been helpful. But once we found the place, it was easy. Park the car, turn in the keys, gather our luggage, walk to the elevator and without waiting, check-in for the cruise and board the ship. I don't know if this is an industry wide change, but Celebrity allows its passengers to board early, even though their rooms are not ready. So we were able to walk right on, find a spot in a public place and wait on the ship as opposed to waiting in the warehouse-huge port room. I liked this. An announcement let us know it was okay to find our rooms. We had chosen a concierge level veranda room. We were in 7183, which is a port sided room toward the aft. Our preference are rooms on the very aft part of the ship, but we were lucky to get back this far considering our last minute plans. We were greeted fairly quickly by our room attendant who asked us when we wanted our sparkling wine. From the moment we first met him, we knew we were in good hands. Ahmad was friendly, professional and attentive. His kind demeanor never wavered during the course of the cruise. It wasn't long before our luggage arrived. At first I thought there would not be enough space, but in the end, I actually had more than enough space, with some drawers not being used at all. The room was clean, the lights bright enough. I had read that Celebrity's rooms on these older ships were smaller than most, but it didn't seem to matter. The room was easy enough to get around, the bathroom, small, but logical in its layout. There wasn't a tub, but the shower was good size. I do wish that the Millennium had soap and shampoo dispensers instead of individual tubes, but considering I brought my own shampoo and conditioner, it didn't matter. The veranda is also smaller than what we've had on Holland America. But it worked. I truly believe that one should always approach life and events without any expectation. That way you spend more of your time being grateful for things simply existing and not waste a lot time fretting over something that didn't meet some per-conceived expectation. This doesn't mean that I didn't spend time comparing the ship and cruise line to Holland America, as I did. But I found myself pleased as to how close the two lines are. Not expecting Celebrity to match the few bad reviews I had read, I found myself wondering why more weren't mentioning its attributes. Onward we sailed. The seas to Dutch Harbor, Alaska were smooth, really smooth. Typhoons and other "low" weather systems were to the south of us the entire time. I don't know if they were sucking the energy away from the more northern waters, but the waters were truly smooth. As we got closer to Dutch Harbor, the Captain kept us up to date on the weather. He made several course deviations to keep us away from the potential of rough seas. He even had a TV presentation showing us the latest forecasts via his computer in his office. He decided to go north into the Bering sea and cross back into the Pacific as we got closer to Russia. Of course, a lot of us passengers had visions of crab boats bouncing in frigid, violent waters, but the Captain's decisions was wise. We continued with glass-like seas for the next several days. As the time came for us to reenter the Pacific Ocean, the captain made it very clear that we were facing 7-10 foot seas. He said that there were no further deviations that he could take, but felt the ship's stabilizers could handle the swells with minimal effect. And the ship did very well. I hardly noticed the swells except at night when I laid down. Our room attendant was making sure everyone had green apples in their room, an old time remedy for sea sickness. As we entered the waters off the coast of Japan, the seas were once again smooth as glass. Back to Dutch Harbor. Dutch Harbor is a very small town in the middle of nowhere. Maybe it was its isolation that made the town people so friendly. School buses were engaged in taking passengers from the port to the town and back. While the location is beautiful, there isn't a lot to do there. The local fire department was present and more than willing to have their picture taken with passengers. They were selling t-shirts and caps which I bought to take home. There are a couple of museums to visit and a few restaurants to dine at. My husband and I chose to walk around, go to the local store to buy a few things and then back to the ship. It's a short visit, a pleasant few hours and a once in a lifetime moment. How many people in their lifetime will make a stop in the Aleutian Islands? Just mind boggling, the places a cruise can take you. Next stop was several days away in Otaru, Japan. Where Dutch Harbor was on the chilly side, Otaru was muggy hot. We don't do excursions as a rule. We did get off the ship and walked a couple of blocks before heading back to the ship. Other cruisers who had taken excursions were happy with them. The biggest problem that everyone was having was the communication between ourselves and taxi drivers. The cruise director gave us wonderful advice to print in Japanese letters, from the onboard internet center, just where we wanted to go and give that to the taxi driver. He told us that at the bottom of each port's paper for the day, there was the port address in Japanese letters, in case we got lost. In Europe, because of the Latin roots of many words, one can find their way around or least understand what kind of products a store might be selling based on the similarity of some of the words to English. But in Japan, no way. Big advice for next trip to Japan, bring a book of symbols with a translation and learn a few Japanese phrases. Two very unique events happened as we left the Japanese ports of Otaru and Hokkaido. Children presented farewell shows from the dock. Now this isn't your typical "welcome to our port" set of dancers or even crew members dressed in costume. These were local children and young people dancing, cheering, performing as we sailed away. In Otaru, it was a group of girls doing Polynesian hula dancing. Next to them were young boys playing traditional Japanese drums. They danced and yelled to us messages in Japanese that could only be interpreted as heartfelt. 'Thank you." "Bon Voyage." "Please come visit again." Signs translated what we could not understand. In Hokkaido, there must have been 100 young school girls, all in school uniforms, performing a dance, over and over again, until we sailed out of view. Shouts of bye-bye filled the air. It was quite the farewell and not one to miss. Just remember to be dock side on the ship when you sail from a Japanese port or you might miss these wonderful performances. To clear customs, one must meet first with a Japanese official onboard. This process, while orderly, took some time, occurring at the first stop in Otaru. Some of the excursions got a late start because of it and I heard some grumbling from a couple of passengers because of it. I don't think you can plan for every complication that occurs, and I'm not sure there was any way to make the process faster. But keep that in mind if your return on cruise ship to Japan that your first stop is going to take longer to go ashore. As I mentioned earlier, we are not shore excursion types. We had two different stops in Tokyo. The first one at the Oi Harbor, found us parked next to a very active port's crane, unloading and loading the ship behind us. Well, there were a lot of ships in and out of the harbor. My husband spent hours enjoying all this activity. The next day we moved to the port in Yokohama. Disembarkation was smooth and easy. To catch a taxi to the airport, we found that the taxi loading area was manned by an interpreter, which made communication so much easier. Now let me talk about the cruise itself. Dining: We ate in the main dining room twice. We like the ease of the buffet and most times went there. The food in the dining room, the food overall, was just fine. Was it a mind-blowing, latest and greatest fusion, gourmet, latest spin on presentation, dining experience? No. But it was alright. I told my husband eating on Celebrity was like having dinner at your best friend's house. It wasn't as good as mom cooked, but it was okay, good enough and after all, you were there because you were friends, not because you wanted to eat your friend's mom's version of meatloaf. Could the food be better? Probably. Breakfast was very good in the buffet. The setup in the buffet could be improved upon as there were long lines for pasta dishes and stir-fry in particular. But did I ever go hungry for lack of food? Nope. For us, we found the Tuscan Grill not up to expectations, but the service we received was awesome. We went there only once. We did go three times to the Qsine Grill. The food there was very very good, the service enjoyable and impeccable. The chef came out and chatted with every table. The cost for these specialty restaurants compared to the food/service? I think they are too much, considering that I am paying the same amount for dinner for two as I could pay at my local, excellent cuisine restaurant for dinner for two and drinks. But we had bought a dinner package which made the specialty restaurants costs about 1/2 price, a very good bargain. I would recommend buying a 3-5 package in advance if eating at these restaurants interest you. I can say that Sushi on Five has lovely service, but my husband, a sushi snob, wasn't impressed. About the ship experience. Stores on the ship were typical, though I was surprised to have to go to the liquor store to by dental floss, the salon to buy finger nail polish. On other ships, there is a general store where these things could be bought in one place. Overall the stores were fine and well stocked with things you don't need. The future cruise desk actually has several people working at one time which was a very nice thing to have, no long waits just to ask a future cruise question. The photo studio was standard and opportunities to have your photo taken were plentiful. The casino has to be walked through to get to theater on that floor, but considering the small walking space between machines, I didn't see a lot of crowding going on when the theater was letting out. There were plenty of activities on board to do, including a passenger choir that practiced nearly everyday, a passenger flash mob dance group, art classes, an indoor putting competition and karaoke. Karaoke occurred about three times, late at night. Then they had a competition with three judges. I enjoy karaoke, but always choke during competitions, losing in the first round. They did have band karaoke, after the competition where I got to sing with the home band. That was fun. But overall, I think fewer and fewer people are doing karaoke. For those karaoke fans, the Millennium gets its song from SBI Karoake. You can go to SBI's website and see all the songs SBI has. While the Millennium does not have everysong SBI has, you can be assured that if SBI doesn't have a song, the ship doesn't either. The best part of our cruise was listening to a band from Poland, that I think the cruise named them the Four Elements Band. This quartet was excellent. They played jazzy arrangements of not so common standards and performed then professionally, with technical brilliance and that subtle interpretation that separates a technical musician from an artist. We don't dance much, but the dance floor was packed every night when they played. If you go to youtube you can find some videos of the band that we've posted. Just search for Millennium Four Elements Band Poland and they should show up. Anna, Aga, Daniel and Bogdan...they made our cruise such a pleasure. Our overall impression of Celebrity is this: Personable service. The crew wanted to interact with the passengers. I know I'm not going to spell this correctly, but Captain Christopulous, from Greece, would sit next to passengers in the evening and engage them in conversation. "Are you enjoying the cruise?" he would ask. "Is there anything I can or my officer's can do to make it better?" He asked. Wow. We were impressed enough to book another cruise on Celebrity. If there is any negative to report, it is the attitude of other passengers. There seems to be an increasing tendency for people to speak their mind. Just because one has the freedom to speak, doesn't mean one should forget the responsibility to speak wisely or with kindness. I hope they all enjoyed themselves as much as we did. It was a great cruise, on a very nice ship with a wonderful crew. And the time with spent with my husband, watching the waves move us along, made the cruise a journey well spent. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We sailed the Celebrity Millenium on a 16 night transpacific cruise from Vancouver to Tokyo in September 2016. This was our 4th cruise. The previous 3 were with Royal Caribbean. We were less than impressed. Embarkation went smoothly. ... Read More
We sailed the Celebrity Millenium on a 16 night transpacific cruise from Vancouver to Tokyo in September 2016. This was our 4th cruise. The previous 3 were with Royal Caribbean. We were less than impressed. Embarkation went smoothly. We arrived very early and within a short time they started processing people. This went smoothly and we were on the ship at about 11:00. The ship is the same size and basic style as ones we have previously been on. We like the somewhat smaller ships. Our cabin was wonderful - we had never had a balcony before. By dumb luck, our balcony was twice as deep as most balconies. Only 12 were like this (cabin 6031). We enjoyed the room and balcony. The bathroom was a little bigger than we've experienced before and our shower was very roomy. Our stateroom attendant was excellent. The service in the main diningroom was pretty good, but we have experienced better. There really was not much variety on the menu with only a few items changing each day. Portions were smaller and there was no meal that "wowed" us. The buffet was set up so that you had to go around the entire thing (quite long, in a circle). There were quite a few choices, but little changed. Many items in sauces and not very healthy, although there were some healthy choices. There was very little fruit to choose from. The buffet was very busy during meal times and it was difficult to find a place to eat, so we often ate in the Solarium. In the Solarium, there is a Spa Cafe. This is where the healthy choices are found. Two friends said that the poached salmon was very good and that the spa cafe had the best food on the ship. We ate at the Tuscan Grill one night and the food was excellent. My husband absolutely raved about the pistachio marbled creme brulee. We really did get tired of the same choices every night. Entertainment and activities were ok. The average age on the ship was over 70 - we are in our late 40's and by far the youngest on the ship. So entertainment was geared that way. We aren't that big on shows anyway, so this did not bother us that much, although we would have liked more to do. We chose this cruise because it was going to Japan and knew there would be a lot of sea days - we loved that. They did change one port before the cruise. We were supposed to go to Russia, but, instead went to Dutch Harbor. We were very upset by this since we chose this exact cruise because of the stop in Russia. We already had flights booked and the fees were too high ($1000) to cancel. I know they have the right to do this, but what rights do we have? The ports had very limited choices for shore excursions. We ended up on tour buses, which is our least favorite thing. We found out that Japan is extremely safe and friendly (love the Japanese people), so we could have gotten around on our own easily. Not thrilled with the excursions we took. We loved the Solarium and spent a lot of time there. Our cruise was too chilly for the outdoor pool, so indoor was better. The pool is a thalasotherapy pool and made more for floating and relaxing than laps or active swimming. There are two hot tubs in the Solarium and two outdoor hot tubs. There were many complaints about the outdoor hot tubs being too cold and the crew agreed, but said they wouldn't do anything about it. The Solarium has nice, plush lounge chairs, but we had to get up there early to nab any. It's peaceful and relaxing. In the evenings, after dinner, we would go up for a swim and time in the hot tub. Our biggest complaint is that they were constantly working on the ship. During the day, we would hear drills running and hammers pounding. In the Solarium in the evenings, they would be cleaning the lounge chairs at 8:00, even though the Solarium did not close until 10:00. There were often ladders on the stairs that we had to go around and they changed out a lot of carpet. These things should be done while guests are sleeping or in port, out of view. It felt like they were getting ready for the next cruise and we did not matter. Another complaint is that the service really was not up to par. We've gotten used to good service with Royal Caribbean and we did not get that on the Millenium. We chose this cruise because of the destination. We have decided that we will stick with Royal Caribbean unless they don't go to the destination we have in mind, which was the case with this cruise. We would go on this cruise again because we loved Japan (and Dutch Harbor, too). We will be hesitant to cruise with Celebrity again. If they offer the destination we want, then we will, otherwise we will probably stay away. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We have been exclusively Celebrity Aqua Blue travelers since we started cursing with Celebrity. However, although we will continue with Celebrity, we will no longer book in Aqua Class! We believe we pay an average of $1000.00 more for the ... Read More
We have been exclusively Celebrity Aqua Blue travelers since we started cursing with Celebrity. However, although we will continue with Celebrity, we will no longer book in Aqua Class! We believe we pay an average of $1000.00 more for the Blu Restaurant. Except for an exclusive waite staff, I no longer feel the food is that much better. Aqua class has discontinued the daily bottled water. Our belcony was obstructed view I could have gotten that for 1500 less per guest. On the positive side the Captain and staff were top of the Line.. I can not say enough Good for the Captain and Cruise Host. They were superb. There was a problem with the Crafts teacher. My wife participate in Water Color. The instructure did not instruct. She was not prepared. She seemed to not be coordinate with the Cruise staff. There were not enough materials for the participants. Sea days are what makes the cruise for us. We really enjoyed the activities and lectures on this particular cruise and the Entertainment was in my opinion Top Notch. I wish I had worked with other experienced cruise critic travelers to book our shore excursions. I will the next time, as I feel the cruise line's excursions were very expensive for what was obtained. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise for the itenerary, transpacific Vancouver to Tokyo. The ship was in very good condition for an older ship. If a person wanted to nitpik they could find small things to complain about. Our cabin was very nice, the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itenerary, transpacific Vancouver to Tokyo. The ship was in very good condition for an older ship. If a person wanted to nitpik they could find small things to complain about. Our cabin was very nice, the sleeper sofa was worn but it didn't bother us. The bathroom was very clean with new grout in the shower. The staff on the ship was the friendliest we have had on any of our 6 cruises with Celebrity. Our room steward was outstanding. We ate in the dining room using select dining every evening except 1. We also had the same servers every evening and they were outstanding, Ryan and Karyati. The food in the dining room was prepared very well and was always delivered promptly. We also had seats in a quiet area of the dining room. This was one of the best cruises we have been on. It was our 2nd cruise on the Millennium, our 1st was in 1999. The ship was as nice this time as it was 7 years ago. Most of our cruises have been on S class ships but we prefer the M class after this cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our 10th Celebrity Cruise.... for the first time we chose Concierge Class. One good thing was the extra cruise credits we got, but gotta say I was shocked at the (lack of) quality of the daily hors d'ouvres as were most of ... Read More
This was our 10th Celebrity Cruise.... for the first time we chose Concierge Class. One good thing was the extra cruise credits we got, but gotta say I was shocked at the (lack of) quality of the daily hors d'ouvres as were most of the guests we chatted to in both Concierge and Aqua Class. We ended up requesting a fruit plate instead of the stale bread and/or stale cashews. The Cabin steward we had was excellent. The entertainment, quality of the daytime lectures and events and Q-sine were absolutely amazing. We went twice to Q-sine... so worth the extra $$... someone should get an award for ingenuity in menu design, food quality and presentation. Outstanding! Had a wonderful meal in the other 'optional' dining room but the room was so large it just lacked any atmosphere. We did not try the Sushi on 5 as we live close to Vancouver that has some of the best sushi in the world. We will definitely take more Celebrity Cruises in the future but probably will just opt for a regular cabin. We has asked to be able to take a look at the Blu Restaurant to see what you get for the additional fare, but not even the Concierge Class Concierge could get us permission to see their facility (VERY surprising not to showcase to a 10x cruiser who is ready to spend more money an upgrade facility). I've been in the hotel and tourism industry for 40+ years and have NEVER heard of anyone who wanted to see the upgraded rooms or service being turned down. Oh well! Read Less
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