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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I selected this cruise for my annual summer vacation with my two grandchildren (both 6 years old). My grandson has Autism and I was searching for a vacation that would be appropriate for us all. I read that Celebrity Cruise had a Autism ... Read More
I selected this cruise for my annual summer vacation with my two grandchildren (both 6 years old). My grandson has Autism and I was searching for a vacation that would be appropriate for us all. I read that Celebrity Cruise had a Autism friendly program. I was excited to find out the details, so I contacted Celebrity direct and got the details. I was impressed that they were including a much ignored traveler and I booked the cruise the same day. I paid for two cabins and my grandchild were billed at the same rate as an adult. I won’t go into everything that was so “not” friendly about this cruise. But it started at boarding. It continued through the Muster drill and meal times were pathetic. Not only is this ship not Autism friendly. It really isn’t kid friendly. I went to guest relations to try to find a solution to standing in line for 30 minutes or more to feed two hungry six year olds. I was told that I could take my meals back to my stateroom. That wasn’t exactly true. The specialty restaurants will not accommodate you in any way. You have to eat the meal in the restaurant (with the exception of Sushi on Five).So we ended up eating in the buffet or room service for all 7 Days. We were able to order non- hot food from Sushi on Five ( most of their food was hot!) I refused to eat in a fancy restaurant and my grandchildren’s only options were hot dogs, pizza and an occasional hamburger. So we all ate the same foods. This was their vacation and it should have been special for them. We attempt to use their kids club. And after questioning the staff I learned that they have a “general” knowledge of Autism. The staff member complained that the parents with children afflicted Autism expected their children to have one on one supervision. That certainly wasn’t the case for me. I was looking for a safe place that the children could interact with their fellow shipmates. Not feeling comfortable with the staffs lack of training, we passed on that amenity. So to sum it up, I spent over $8,000 to eat hamburgers, pizza and hot dogs mainly in my cabin. But the highlight was the Alaskan scenery. I can best sum up this vacation as upscale camping. Nothing luxurious or special. I wouldn’t have been disappointed had they not misled me about their Autism program. There was no Autism program. This is pure marketing. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise because I wanted a roundtrip cruise to Alaska from a US port. This cruise checked the boxes. This ship was recommended by a travel agent friend who frequently cruises. This was a second cruise for my companion and me. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted a roundtrip cruise to Alaska from a US port. This cruise checked the boxes. This ship was recommended by a travel agent friend who frequently cruises. This was a second cruise for my companion and me. My stateroom was spotless. The ship was beautiful. My companion and I LOVED Captain Tazos. We were obsessed and we wanted to talk with him every time we saw him, but the gaggle of ladies would objectify him and gossip over their obsession as they parted from him. He’s quite a funny guy with an agreeable philosophy and we would like to go in another cruise with him. The shopping area of the ship was typical and mall-like. I would’ve liked to be able to find trash cans. The staff was helpful and ensured a fun environment. The shows were entertaining but didn’t have much of a plot. The dancers were impressive and I had a good time watching the audience squirm and squeal with excitement as dancers flew over the audience in a surprising aerial routine. There were 2 silent discos and a pride party. My favorite entertainment host was Tiago at trivia and putting. I really liked the availability of hand sanitizer. Dining was good in the main dining room and at Murano. I’m unsure of whether the additional cost was merited, (my companion was a little drunk and unsure of whether the calculations were adding up as offers of dining packages were presented) but we enjoyed our time. The wait staff was definitely attentive and remembered my drinks of choice. Kennedy joked with us. Constantyn made sure we were stuffed with delicious food and also packed leftovers for us to nosh on in the middle of the night. We dined at Murano 3 times. The other restaurants didn’t appeal to me. The main dining hall’s offerings rotated nightly and dished repeated towards the end of the trip. I love dessert and there were plenty of god desserts to choose from. There were some very dry cakes at the buffet—like a tres leches cake with no leche. Some of the pastries could have used more butter, as they were missing crispness and flakiness. The buffet was mostly the same for breakfast. The lunchtime rotation of Indian curries and Filipino adobo was surprisingly good. I was pleased with the availability of melon. Upon boarding there was a child running around, but that subsided after departing from port. One day at the Sky Lounge bar, excessive people were waiting for service. As I waited patiently, older men cut in front of me. My thought was, typical old men, blinded by privilege, cutting in front of a younger person, but I was determined to not let it ruin my vacation. I intended to avoid kids on this vacation but forgot about adults behaving poorly. There was no enforcement rules except in the fitness center. Zumba, cycling, and HIIT classes were $17.70 each. The exercise bikes weren’t very sturdy. It would have been helpful to find more sanitizing wipes around. We booked an excursion to go dog-sledding on a glacier. The tickets showed Mendenhall Glacier, but the trip was on Denver glacier. The puppies were cute. We did not go very fast, but it was still great. The cost was quite high $800pp, but we enjoyed ourselves. Glacier viewing from the ship was better than expected. We got very close to the Dawes glacier and Capt. Tazos turned the ship 360+180 degrees. During disembarkation, we had a little trouble finding a place to sit. When our turn came, we quickly walked out and found a nicely organized luggage retrieval set-up at bag claim, but the rows were off by a few numbers. Overall, I would go again, but now I feel better prepared for what to expect. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband cruised on the Celebrity Solstice ship, May 24-31, round trip from Seattle to Alaska. On our cruise, we visited Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, Alaska, as well as visited Victoria, BC, Canada. We were supposed to visit Tracy Arm ... Read More
My husband cruised on the Celebrity Solstice ship, May 24-31, round trip from Seattle to Alaska. On our cruise, we visited Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, Alaska, as well as visited Victoria, BC, Canada. We were supposed to visit Tracy Arm Fjord as well, but unfortunately, there was no safe way to do so, according to our captain. Our stateroom attendant said such a departure from itinerary had only happened once before in his time working with Celebrity; we just happened to be unlucky in that regard. However, the other ports were excellent and we had a great time overall in each port. The highlight was taking the short walk (it's not really a hike) to the Nugget Falls near Mendenhall Glacier. Those falls were GORGEOUS, and in the unexpectedly hot weather (it was 70-75 degrees in our Alaskan ports), the cool mist from the falls was very much appreciated. The relatively low point of the excursion portion of our vacation was the Zodiac whale watching tour. We saw whales, which was great, but it took 4 hours to do so, in extremely cold and windy conditions; the waves were so bad heading back to the ship, that our ship captain had to ride in another boat's wake for calmer waters. Additionally, there was a scary period of time where our Zodiac boat completely stopped running. We were just floating in the sea. Our boat operator literally said, "it's no big deal" but he never explained the full situation to us - we were all left to wonder/panic, until thankfully, his peer came on the radio and offered assistance. We spent about 30 minutes pulling up to another boat, then waiting for our ship operator's peer to steer her boat full of guests over to us, before she (the other Zodiac operator) could help our boat operator fix our boat's issue. It was a stressful experience. Now, on to the ship: it was beautiful! I thought it was the perfect size: roomy enough to not ever really feel crowded, small enough to not feel like a floating mall. It was well maintained as well. My favorite area of the ship was the Solarium. It was so beautifully done and very peaceful. The attendants did a great job of enforcing the age limit rule when the 16+ age limit was in effect. My husband and I also enjoyed the Sky Lounge/Observatory for the most part - it was a great place to have a drink with beautiful views, but some of the guests at the bar were loud and obnoxious; you could hear them throughout the very large observatory. Not only that, at one point, the kids' clubs were hosted in the observatory, and they played on the piano and use microphones, all the while the captain was announcing where to spot wildlife. Many guests, myself included, were pretty annoyed at missing all the announcements due to the loudness of this area. We had a lot of other issues on this cruise as well, including a professionally trained singer SINGING at all times of day and night in the stateroom next to ours. We called guest relations several times to address this issue, but unfortunately, the guest relations employee stated that she had no real power to do anything beyond advise the woman to sing when we were out to dinner from 8:30 - 10:00. Of course our neighbor did not stick to this schedule, and we would have to endure her singing at all times of day still. It was infuriating. That leads me to another quirk: the soundproofing on the ship is just awful. We could hear our neighbors on the other side of us talking in their room at times, and we could tell that they were not speaking loudly. I'm sure they could hear my husband and I laughing as well. I have never been on a cruise ship where I could hear my neighbors talking at a normal voice level; ever. I also did not love the limited, included dining options on board. The menus in the main dining room each night were often uninspired and it would have been nice to have had another seated option for no additional fee. The soda package was a waste of money as well. I had no idea that the soda would be served warm each time we ordered. I could've bought cans of soda in my suitcase if I had known that was going to be the case. It would've been nice to at least have the option of getting cold soda from a machine, but of course, Celebrity couldn't collect a 18-20% service charge on that. The activities and entertainment on board were also pretty uninspired and not really geared toward active cruisers; the entertainment and activities were definitely for a more mature crowd. Embarkation was a bit of a mess, but I could write another book on that. Disembarkation was great on the other hand. I was very impressed. Overall, we will definitely be cruising to Alaska again soon, but not with Celebrity. I think I'm one and done with the Celebrity Cruise Line. My husband cruised on the Celebrity Solstice ship, May 24-31, round trip from Seattle to Alaska. On our cruise, we visited Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, Alaska, as well as visited Victoria, BC, Canada. We were supposed to visit Tracy Arm Fjord as well, but unfortunately, there was no safe way to do so, according to our captain. Our stateroom attendant said such a departure from itinerary had only happened once before in his time working with Celebrity; we just happened to be unlucky in that regard. However, the other ports were excellent and we had a great time overall in each port. Here are my overall thoughts: Cruise Port/Embarkation - 3/5 stars The cruise port is a little ways away from the airport, which is typical for cruising, but it was easy enough to take a Lyft to and from the airport and the cruise terminal. I didn’t love the unnecessarily aggressive driving of the other drivers - reminded me of driving in NYC, but what you can do? The port employees were definitely the friendliest port employees I’ve ever had the pleasure of interacting with. That was a lovely experience. They were happy, smiling, and conversational even in the cold and ugly, morning weather, with all the chaos of a typical embarkation day. The one negative - which is kind of a major negative - was that the employee handing out bag tags was terribly inefficient. He literally spent over 10 minutes talking to a man looking for a bag tag, about jewelry. He kept saying, “I LOVE jewelry” to this man, who happened to own a jewelry store. The cruise passenger finally took the hint and gave the bag tag employee a card for his store. Unfortunately by that point, the line had gotten pretty unruly - we had to stop some very frustrated cruise passengers from jumping ahead of us. Additionally, the luggage employees had NO clue what they were doing. There were other, senior cruise port employees yelling at several luggage employees, telling them how and where to take bags. Many of the luggage employees took bags too early, some weren’t checking for tags which were marked orange or blue to differentiate between the 2 ships at the port, etc. We only left our bags with a luggage employee that had a senior cruise port employee directly in front of him, telling him what to do. Our bags made it to us fine, so we think we made the right call there. Inside the cruise terminal, the line moved extremely slow for about 20 minutes, but then picked up considerably as the line extended impossibly far down into the lower level of the terminal, and it drew closer to 2:30 PM, which was the cut off for check in. I’m sure some upper level manager realized they’d never make it if the original pace kept up. I was extremely grateful for the change in pace. Ports: We had never been to Seattle, so we explored Seattle on our own after leaving our bags at the cruise terminal. It was an okay city. The pros are that downtown is a very walkable area and there’s LOTS to explore and see for a reasonable amount of money. I was kind of shocked at the amount of construction going on downtown, the awful traffic with very rude drivers, and the lack of skyline. Ketchikan was a very cute city and the downtown area was super close to the cruise port. We did the Unlimited Crab Feast excursion, booked directly with the lodge, and we LOVED it. We plan to go back. Our guide who drove us to the lodge took us on a short tour around downtown Ketchikan and even stopped at a beautiful waterfall for us to take pictures, on the way back to our ship. The crab at the lodge was amazing, of course, as was the cheesecake. The entire experience was great, with the exception of the time limit at the Lodge. They ended up rushing everyone out not even 5 minutes after handing out the cheesecake, stating that we HAD to leave because our ships were leaving soon. That was obviously not the case, but they were literally taking plates and rushing around the room to clean, so everyone cleared out. I scarfed down about 1/2 of my cheesecake and was the last to leave. It would’ve been nice to know in advance when we would need to clear out. I think we, as a crowd, would’ve paced ourselves, so we could all enjoy the delicious and creamy cheesecake they served at the end. We were not able to visit Tracy Arm Fjord safely, unfortunately, so our ship captain made the executive decision to head to Juneau - we got to Juneau 2 hours early. Juneau: Juneau was absolutely stunning. It was definitely the most beautiful place I’ve been to date. The weather was perfect too - actually too hot for what my husband and I packed, but I just stripped off a few layers and I was fine. We went to Mendenhall Glacier, on a narrated bus tour, and then walked to Nugget Falls, which were stunning. We hung out there for quite awhile, enjoying the misty breeze from the falls. Victoria, BC, Canada: We did very little here due to the short time in port. We did the Zodiac whale watching tour, which was mostly successful in that we saw a majestic humpback whale, and few Orcas. However, our boat stopped working at one point, and our boat operator was pretty unprofessional about the whole thing. Thankfully, his partner and another ship captain were able to help us out, and after about 30 minutes, we were back to whale watching. The entire tour was 4 hours long, which was way too long. The boat ride back was long, wet, dark, windy, and completely torturous. The ride was so uncharerstically bumpy, that our ship operator got in another larger ship’s wake so the ride was a little more smooth and we wouldn’t have to stop as often due to large waves. Ship service: Excellent. Not a bad server in the bunch. Everyone was very responsive and friendly. Disembarkation: This was an excellent experience. They were well prepared by this point. We waited in a bit of a long time that didn’t move for about 10 minutes, but when it started moving, we were off the ship in about 10 minutes. I was very impressed. Overall ship experience: The food in the buffet was excellent, as far as buffet food goes. The main dining room food was prepared well, but the menus were just not good. The lunch menu was so bad the first day at sea, my husband refused to go back, so we ate at the buffet for lunch for the rest of the cruise. The dinner menus were only marginally better - everything was prepared well, but the options were just so uninspired. I didn’t love anything except the last night’s menu option of lobster tail and rice pilaf. Additionally, the activities offered onboard were just not suitable for younger, more active people. My husband and I had nothing to do. We weren’t interested in seeing comedians night after night, or drinking at all hours of the day. The activities and entertainment seemed geared toward a more mature crowd/inactive people. That was a real downer of sea days. The positive was that the Solarium, which was an adult only pool area most of the time, was a wonderful retreat and beautifully done. Our stateroom cabin was nicely laid out, but Celebrity NEEDS to improve the soundproofing in their rooms - at least in the balcony rooms on deck 8. Additionally, Celebrity needs to do a better job policing their guests. One of our neighbors was a professionally trained singer who sang all times of day. Guest services could not do a thing about it, apparently, except try to get her to sing when we were at dinner for 1 1/2 hours, and the neighbor refused to do that. This made our experience overall pretty miserable, honestly. We had little to do on the other decks, besides eat and swim, but then couldn’t stay in our room because our neighbor was loud and inconsiderate. It was a terrible issue that I begged guest services to resolve by moving my husband and I, or by moving the neighbor. No one we spoke to had the power to do so, or so they claimed. The observatory was a beautiful, but rarely peaceful place, due to over served patrons in the bar area and the kids clubs coming in and using microphones while the ship captain announced where to spot wildlife. That was super frustrating too. The soda package was a waste of money as well. I had no idea that the soda would be served warm each time we ordered. I could've bought cans of soda in my suitcase if I had known that was going to be the case. It would've been nice to at least have the option of getting cold soda from a machine, but of course, Celebrity couldn't collect a 18-20% service charge on that. Overall, we will definitely be cruising to Alaska again soon, but not with Celebrity. I think I'm one and done with Celebrity Cruise Line. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Started cruising in the 70's when Carnival had only one ship before all these mega ships,all they care about now is milking as much money as they can.In my over 3 dozens cruises,i finally will give it up or cruise with the smaller ... Read More
Started cruising in the 70's when Carnival had only one ship before all these mega ships,all they care about now is milking as much money as they can.In my over 3 dozens cruises,i finally will give it up or cruise with the smaller more refined cruise lines.I always heard Celebrity was above the rest,but came to realize maybe they were,but not anymore.Their food is not for experienced cruisers and foodies like myself.I ate one night in the main dining room and that was it !Ate the rest of my meals at restaurants while in port and at the ship buffet and room service for breakfast.The cabin attendants expect double or triple their recommended tips.There is not even a room for the guest to use to iron their clothes,you have to pay for that service.The aft cabin on the 10th floor Concierge class Elite was a nice package with the balcony a big plus.Inexperience passengers will thinks it's great because they never knew what it was like back in the days. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I had sailed on Celebrity Summit to Alaska several years ago and it was excellent. This time, on the aging Solstice, while most of the service was top notch, there were disappointments. First, our luggage was lost on boarding until the ... Read More
I had sailed on Celebrity Summit to Alaska several years ago and it was excellent. This time, on the aging Solstice, while most of the service was top notch, there were disappointments. First, our luggage was lost on boarding until the next morning. After a few conversations with guest relations the first night, all initiated by us, not once did they call us back with updates, but sent up kits containing 2 tee shirts, and one toothbrush. (More were sent after another request) The next morning after a personal visit to guest relations, it seems unclaimed bags had been reported the night before as sitting outside another cabin. One bag was also misplaced on disembarkation. I was fortunate to have spotted it amid thousands of bags a few rows away. Otherwise, help from the staff was minimal. Our cabin was very nice and exceptionally clean. However, it was showing it's age with small holes in the draperies (allowing the sun to shine through) and wearing on the upholstery. Our cabin was always meticulously cleaned. The food was probably the biggest disappointment. When I sailed previously, there were no dining choices, only the main dining room. We chose not to spend an additional $50-100/day to upgrade and so stayed with the main dining room. While the food was always good, the choices were limiting. Previously, prime rib, filet, lobster, crab, etc. choices were offered almost every night. Not so now. Prime rib one night. Lobster one night. The other steak choices were NY Strip - not so good. Same with dessert choices. They were good, but little variance from night to night. Additionally, we purchased a drink package (excellent choice!) and were able to order most any wine. However, the wine choices on the dinner menu never changed with the entree choices, I just thought that was odd. Food offerings at the buffet were plentiful but most offerings looked better than they tasted. It wasn't terrible, just OK. But, the area was ALWAYS extremely crowded! It was difficult to get close to come offerings (i.e. omelet station) and it was usually difficult to find seating. We did not feel "hounded" for up-sales as I had read others complaints. They were offered but a simple no thanks was always sufficient. We only purchased one shore excursion from the ship (Misty fjords cruise) and it was excellent. All other shore excursions we purchased on our own. So there it is. I don't mean to insinuate the cruise was bad, just not the previous standard I experienced from Celebrity. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We lucked out with good weather but the cruise did not meet our expectations. Just about everything was just pretty average other than cleanliness which was great. The ship was very clean and well maintained. . This was our first time ... Read More
We lucked out with good weather but the cruise did not meet our expectations. Just about everything was just pretty average other than cleanliness which was great. The ship was very clean and well maintained. . This was our first time cruising on Celebrity. The food was very bland. The service was pretty good. The buffet offered variety but nothing exceptional in terms of flavor. The food in dining room was plain. I thought by upgrading to Celebrity the food would be much better than bland and plain. The wine list was pretty weak. The bartenders appeared as though they didn’t drink because they didn’t appear to know how a cocktail should taste. The only exception was the lead bartender at the martini bar. The Sommilier at dinner actually tried to serve me Barefoot wine (3.99) a bottle retail and we had the premium drink package. Our cabin was fine, the bathroom was pretty spacious by cruise ship standards. The entertainment was really disappointing. MSC’s entertainment is 10’s better. There was only one show that I would say was pretty good. The rest were really amateurish. The captain was entertaining and the ports were okay. None of the excursions we took were exceptional. We saw very minimal wildlife.. The best part was Endicott Arm. Honestly, that was really the only thing worth the trip other than the views of the mountain ranges. The ports are pretty much souvenir stores, some cute buildings and cafes. If I had to do it over I would go in summer and fly to Anchorage and hire a guide to see Denali. Touristy ports and too many days at sea for a 7 night cruise. Too little wild life. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I want to point out that I have cruised with Celebrity before and have been quite happy but I was unimpressed with this cruise. A 14 night cruise should give you the opportunity to see and visit many interesting locations in New Zealand ... Read More
I want to point out that I have cruised with Celebrity before and have been quite happy but I was unimpressed with this cruise. A 14 night cruise should give you the opportunity to see and visit many interesting locations in New Zealand and Australia but this was not the case with this particular cruise. The cruise started in Auckland NZ which is a vey nice city to explore if you choose to book independent excursions. The shore excursions through Celebrity overall during this cruise was marginal. The overviews for the excisions did not actually explain how long some of the bus rides were to get to a destination. We had a 7 hour bus ride (3 1/2 to and 3 1/2 back to ship) in Akaroa NZ to go on a TransAlpine Train that was supposed to reach some of the Southern Alps and traverse through a gorge. We did go through the gorge but no real mountain views and the train ride was about 1 hour. That excursion was $349.00 per person... A very expensive bus ride... Most other excursions were ok but again beware of the bus rides to get to the destinations. If you have the means and opportunity to investigate private tours and their cost versus ship excursions my recommendation is to go on your own. We actually cancelled some excursions from the ship and found that the price for the private tours to the same destinations were comparable and more comfortable. Just a suggestion to do your homework before obligating yourself to a particular ship excursion. Celebrity does give you the opportunity to cancel prepaid excursions with 48 hour notice prior to the excursion date. Also note that there were 5 days of at sea. The Tasman Sea did get rough during a 2 day sea voyage to Tasmania for Milford Sound NZ. 18 foot waves one night. The Ship: Celebrity Solstice The ship we found to be very comfortable to walk around and explore. The drink package was good to get if you enjoy beer, wine, cocktails without wondering what the final cost would be if not using it. Premium package was good because it enabled you to get any specialty drinks (top shelf liquor) as well as any specialty coffee drinks from any part of the ship unlimitedly. The food from the main dining room was not exceptional. Portions were small in most cases and the variety of choices was limited. We did choose a 3 night specialty dining package to eat in some of their premium restaurants. We chose the Tuscan, the Murano and the Silk Harvest. We found the Asian Silk Harvest to be the best and the Murano just so so. Again you have to consider if the additional price to dine in their specialty restaurants is worth the investment. It was interesting and a bit annoying that when we were eating dinner in the main restaurant that someone always came over to give us information to book reservations in one of their specialty restaurants. The buffet dining room (Ocean View Cafe) was always crowded for breakfast and the selections very good. The lunches were very good as well. You can eat breakfast and lunch in the main dining rooms also. A bright spot was the entertainment on board. We went almost every night and enjoyed all of the programs. The Cabin: We booked a Concierge Room in the aft section of the ship (2142). Being in the back was very quiet and the view from the balcony exceptional. However the room was small and since we did bring 4 large luggage bags, it was hard to find room to store clothes. I kept clothes in my luggage bags under the bed that I could not find room to place in the cabin. Some of the draws in the cabin needed to be fixed due to age but will probably be redone when the ship gets some refurbishment at it's next dry dock. Service: Service for the most part was very good. I did have an issue with one on my white polo shirts that became back with a blue tint from the laundry but the ship did address the situation and issued a no charge for the entire laundry and did finally get the blue out of my shirt. Please note that there are specials in laundry that give you one price for all items the you can place in their bag for one price of $49 regular or dry cleaning (no ripping the bag) but ask them which day the specials are given. I spent $80 one day before we were informed of the discounted special day. I hope I gave you an informative review of the ship and it's destinations. Overall good cruise but I expected more from Celebrity to show case these countries that you usually only get a chance to visit once. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We have previously sailed on Celebrity and enjoyed the upmarket ambiance and cultured environment BUT alas this seems to have been eroded into what has become a very ordinary cruise line. The harassment we experienced form staff as ... Read More
We have previously sailed on Celebrity and enjoyed the upmarket ambiance and cultured environment BUT alas this seems to have been eroded into what has become a very ordinary cruise line. The harassment we experienced form staff as soon as we boarded to 'purchase a package' was beyond annoying. On no less than 45 occasions we were asked to purchase on day one. This continued for 3 days and on one occasion I was even challenged to explain why I did not want to buy a 'package' .. by a wine waiter. After declining to purchase a package we then found it literally impossible to get served on deck and in the theatre unles we were standing at a bar. The other great dissappointment was the total lack of discernable dress code. Evening chic - a joke. On dressier nights it was common to see formal attire mixed with shorts and thongs. TRhe redeeming factors were .. the dining room staff who were excellent .. the room steward who was also excellent .. the Lighthouse string duo who were beacons of entrertainment .. and the best show on the ship The Hot Glass blowers .. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise as we had done the cruise from Auckland to Perth the year before and were very impressed with the Solstice . What a difference a year makes , the ship was showing a lot of wear. The entertainment on the cruise the year ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had done the cruise from Auckland to Perth the year before and were very impressed with the Solstice . What a difference a year makes , the ship was showing a lot of wear. The entertainment on the cruise the year before was excellent , this trip it was less than average. The drinks packages had gone up and the discount they offered on board was 10% , 15% ,20% respectively as apposed to the 30% we received of the basic package last year. When we embarked we ticked the box which indicated that our account would be charge direct to our visa card at end of cruise . that didn't happen and we were charged through the cruise lines bank which resulted in a lot higher conversion rate. BE WARNED. Overall the service on board was excellent , the crew were very good and were always polite and helpful which certainly goes to making a pleasant cruise. We thought the food was a bit ordinary this time around , we dined in the GE , anytime dining . Overall an average cruise and we will probably try a different cruise line next time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
CELEBRITY SOLSTICE embarked in PERTH for a back to back of 29 nights, to SYDNEY/AUCKLAND/FIJI/SAMOA/TONGA and back to AUCKLAND. A wonderful experience of personal service, excellent dining in the Luminea / Murano / Tuscan restaurants, ... Read More
CELEBRITY SOLSTICE embarked in PERTH for a back to back of 29 nights, to SYDNEY/AUCKLAND/FIJI/SAMOA/TONGA and back to AUCKLAND. A wonderful experience of personal service, excellent dining in the Luminea / Murano / Tuscan restaurants, especially the Luminea where all the staff were very attentive and obliging, our thanks, and deserving recognition were KAVI ( nothing was ever too much), RYAN (thanks Sunshine), DOMINIC, ALEX and JURUS ( Christine is now hooked on 'Pinot Gris'). Although the food in Ocean View ( renamed: Bread Pudding Café) a little more imagination there please Chef, was good with a wide choice to please any calorized diet. But it was MANIC a frenzied throng weaving around the food stations and hunting elusive seats and slow Bar service. ALAN from excursions was amazing, he tirelessly coordinated, organised, arranged and lectured upon forthcoming excursions, whilst expediting the vast numbers of guests ashore on their trips. LEWIS..mmm..with his extensive wardrobe, still forgot his socks! The theatre productions were very professional, enhanced by the brilliant ACROBATIC TROUPE who were phenomenal. The guest acts varied depending on your personal choice, but generally good and entertaining. All guest areas were busy and noisy, apart from the 'Silent Disco', very good ( we even joined in!) Fortunately our sanctuary was the suite guest club room, and the delightful OLGA and helpful bar steward. Now our Suite Attendant & Butler, ALDRIN (Buzz) was so friendly, caring and efficient he deserves an award, along with ROGELIO and his constant smile and attention, he made sure we wanted for nothing. The Suite Manager ANASTASIA and the lovely ALANA Guest Relation Director, whom had the unenviable task of being front line to guest complaints, including our suite issues, they deserve medals and a salary hike, they did all they could in an impossible situation, thank you both. Celebrity and RCCL as a company, seriously need to address the problems on the Solstice and others in this class during the forthcoming refurbishments. We will avoid any concierge or S2 suites on Deck 12 on these vessels. Again our thanks to all the dedicated staff and crew. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise is a disappointment.The food in the restaurant was never hot and the menu choice just seemed to be juggled about each night.Restaurant staff very good as usual but the wine waiters seemed to give you one glass then ... Read More
This cruise is a disappointment.The food in the restaurant was never hot and the menu choice just seemed to be juggled about each night.Restaurant staff very good as usual but the wine waiters seemed to give you one glass then disappear.The cafe is a nightmare and very difficult to find a seat not because there are not enough of them but the over 70 groups seem to just sit there for hours after they had finished breakfast and refuse to move.The Itinerary is lacking in ideas with too many days at sea and two of the ports Esperanza and one of the New Zealand ones were just stop to refuel.The Dunedin trip is a waste of time as we wandered a botanic garden for over an hour when only getting 25mins in downtown Dunedin not even time to enjoy the shops or have a coffee.Your tours are also overpriced compared to the local tours when you disembark.I have never seen such disorganisation than at Fremantle port where preferred guests are ok but others waited for over 2 hours to board.Perhaps you could cut New Zealand out of the tour and let us see Brisbane and Canberra and please arrange to dock in Sydney and not tenders.Lastly your staff on board were impeccable as usual but the bands were somewhat lacking in variation.I would not recommend this cruise to the under 30s unless they want to sit about playing cards,knitting,or sleeping in the library.CELEBRITY can do better than this Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise as it was a long time since we had been on a larger ship (Celebrity Alaskan cruise 11 years ago) and we felt like an end of summer holiday through Australian ports that we are fairly familiar with. We flew to Perth ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a long time since we had been on a larger ship (Celebrity Alaskan cruise 11 years ago) and we felt like an end of summer holiday through Australian ports that we are fairly familiar with. We flew to Perth from Auckland 4 days prior to the cruise and thoroughly enjoyed this delightful city. Embarkation was a nightmare as no training had been given to the local staff who were trying their best to process the guests with no help from the bored Celebrity staff who were wandering behind them. Once onboard we ran the gauntlet of Celebrity staff trying to sign us up for drinks and dining packages( we had been warned but they are very annoying). The cabin war excellent except for the wardrobe doors which supposedly slid and got in the way. No doors or bifold would be s vast improvement. Food in Blue and the main dining room was excellent. Also good in the buffet restaurant but the huge number of people there turned us off. We enjoy good lectures but these were scheduled at 9.00am on sea days which is crazy especially as you had lost an hour due to time changes. We also enjoy playing bridge on sea days as did a lot of fellow guests but nothing was organised. Flying paper aeroplanes and throwing bean bags is not everyone’s idea of entertainment. Shows were mixed with some very good and some less so. Overall our experience was enjoyable and good value for money but could have easily been better Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We have had a number of Celenrity Cruises this was the most disappointing. The positives - Luminae dining, cabin housekeeping and general level of service. The Sky Suite was spacious and service excellent but the noise from trolleys ... Read More
We have had a number of Celenrity Cruises this was the most disappointing. The positives - Luminae dining, cabin housekeeping and general level of service. The Sky Suite was spacious and service excellent but the noise from trolleys in the buffet restaurant directly above was intrusive - especially in early morning. Negatives- We saw no evidence of 'priority boarding' which is sold as part of the package. Our check in at Auckland, which was a shambles and left is standing on the gangway with all other passengers for over 20 minutes, set the scene for all other ports. We appreciate port restrictions where only one gangway ( which would sometimes only carry 5 at any one time) seemed to be a feature but no attempt was made to prioritise and there tended to be only one card reader in operation,which for a ship this size is ridiculous. We felt sorry for disabled passengers. Occasionally there were two bag screening machines but not very often. NOISE! Screaming music invaded almost every public space even the Lawn Club, which we associate with peace and calm. A number of other passengers asked for it to be turned off or turned down but it was systematically turned back up. So many of us complained especially in the Martini bar where a disco was thumping out mindlessly. Up selling was intrusive and infuriating. Celebrity clearly have a mandate to squeeze as much out of passengers as possible. This is even more evident in our bookin for next year ( which we will probably cancel). Gratuities are added to the total cost of the cruise and the customary service for those of us who have to fly to Florida, where flight times are not compatible with cruise times, were an overnight hotel pre cruise and day room on day of departure are now an extra the latter being totally unavailable. We have contacted Celebrity. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our first time on Celebrity, we are RCCL people, which own celebrity. Embarkation was OK no issue at all, the ship looked good but you can see some areas are tired and in need of some work but that is not a big issue. From ... Read More
This was our first time on Celebrity, we are RCCL people, which own celebrity. Embarkation was OK no issue at all, the ship looked good but you can see some areas are tired and in need of some work but that is not a big issue. From the minute we got on board we were endlessly pounded with first, drinks packages, then were ever we went it was specialty restaurants. I felt they were hiding at every corner, breakfast , lunch before entering dining room and leaving dining room , it just never stopped. Then when going to the gym you had to run the gauntlet of massages etc etc. I want to pass on a tip, you can offer specialty restaurants but when you ask around $40-$50 US, then the food needs to be rather special and sorry, it was not. Drinks on all cruise lines are out of control and crazy expensive, $6US for a ordinary coffee UP to $15 US for a cocktail and $11-15 US for wine really is too much. which includes an 18% gratuity .For us poor Aussies add at least 25%+ to get Aussie pricing We booked a concierge cabin and we thought it was good value with the extras you got. Our cabin was a bit smaller than we were used to, with not as much storage space but a slightly larger bathroom I thought the service on the ship was great however for some reason, the staff do not appear happy. The food in the dining room was mostly good although became repetitive. I thought the Buffet selection was ordinary and not a great variety. Entertainment was generally Ok, I have a thought, do not expect good entertainment and if you get it then it is a great bonus. I was happy with most of the entertainment I did notice there were a lot of bars on board but not much to do like, mini golf etc. If you did not follow the daily activities then there was not much else. The top deck was covered in lawn which was different but frankly, useless and the glass blowing for me was a little boring. The adds say Premium cruising and I did expect to get the wow factor but generally speaking it was very little difference to any other of the 300 nights I have been on ships Cruising has become like " lamb to the slaughter", they just try and extract every dollar possible. I would not personally, go on Celebrity again and I hope other cruise lines are not pounding you with upselling otherwise I will stop going. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
For background, we (my wife and I), have been cruising since 2012, our first and third cruises were with Celebrity, and had anyone asked us since that time, we would have recommended them as our favourite cruise line. We have also cruised ... Read More
For background, we (my wife and I), have been cruising since 2012, our first and third cruises were with Celebrity, and had anyone asked us since that time, we would have recommended them as our favourite cruise line. We have also cruised with HAL, RCL, NCL and Princess. Unfortunately, we can no longer say that after our last outing on the Solstice. The Staff The staff are still top notch. Our stateroom attendant was excellent (best to date), the Martini Bar crew are still excellent fun, and the activities staff and main dining room staff were also very good. Nothing to fault here. The Ship The ship is starting to show its age a bit, but it is still pretty good considering its been cruising for over a decade. It could use a freshening up, but it’s still fine. There were noise issues, however, in a number of the cabins. A fellow trivia team mate, and former merchant mariner, suggested air conditioning ducts were probably loosening in their brackets, causing intermittent clanging noises. Presumably this is something that would have to be addressed in dry dock. The balcony door also caused quite a racket when exposed to moderate winds, but leaving it unlocked helped with that issue (at least for us). The Seaview Cafe So many cruise lines focus on getting quantity out there and often the food is cool when it should be hot and/or variety is lacking. The Solstice is still above average on this front, in my opinion. Main Dining Room This is where the Solstice is failing, badly. This is not just our opinion, but something echoed by many other passengers. The issue is not with the staff, however, who were excellent, in our experience, but rather the food variety and quality. Variety was generally lacking as we saw many repeat dishes over the 16 day cruise. In addition, the chefs seemed to have a fixation with cold soups and smothering seafood dishes with tomato-based sauces. We looked forward to the lobster tail on the second last day, but it was basted with an unknown seasoning which completely ruined the dish. Dessert pastries were generally OK, but hardly spectacular. When asked why local fare wasn’t used (Blue mana crabs are in season in Australia), it was suggested such meals would only be in the speciality dining rooms. Speciality dining We didn’t – the prices are becoming quite ridiculous. Activities Meh best describes this. After having a lot of fun on the Norwegian Breakaway, where we almost had to jog from event to event, 3 hour gaps in the Solstice activities simply don’t cut it. Some nights there were mini game shows, which were reasonably fun, but for the rest it was trivia and name that tune. The activities crew were good, but they were hampered by lack of numbers and props/facilities. The stand out for us was a guest lecturer (Bill Lee) covering theoretical physics. My advice to Celebrity: You were never the go to for bells and whistles activities and entertainment. Get your food sorted out, at the very least, or you’ll find those staterooms progressively harder to fill. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - didn't pay much attention to which cruise line, and hadn't previously cruised with Celebrity before. We won't be cruising with them again. Cabin design and layout of the ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - didn't pay much attention to which cruise line, and hadn't previously cruised with Celebrity before. We won't be cruising with them again. Cabin design and layout of the ship was excellent, but that's where the good points end. Worst feature of the cruise was the outrageous pricing of every extra - drinks, WiFi, speciality dining, all seriously over priced. No laundry facilities without paying through the nose, the list goes on. Food was uninspiring, and certainly not of the standard we are used to with lines like Cunard or P&O. My wife is vegetarian, and very unimpressed, especially with the buffet offerings. We were on back to back cruises, and were thoroughly bored with the repetitive menu's - we have seldom taken so many opportunities to eat while ashore! Entertainment on board was variable - some excellent resident musicians and on board shows, but some very dull guest artists, including the worst Beatles tribute band I have ever suffered, but big thanks to Gilly and the Girl and Pete Henry for making the musical aspects of the cruise up to standard! The ports we visited, and tours were almost all wonderful, with the possible exception of the Marlborough railway trip. We would return to New Zealand and Australia at the drop of a hat, but not with Celebrity. Chatting with fellow cruisers who had been with the line before, the general feeling was that standards had slipped and corners cut - not the quality we expect. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We have chosen this cruise and next cruise from Auckland because of their interesting itinerary. Our opinion about embarkation was very good and very quickly. We expected much more from Premium Class ship it is very much in need of ... Read More
We have chosen this cruise and next cruise from Auckland because of their interesting itinerary. Our opinion about embarkation was very good and very quickly. We expected much more from Premium Class ship it is very much in need of renovation and new furniture all over the ship. The food and presentation of the food at Main Dining Room was not even medium class. We tried buffet few times for lunch that was okay. Big surprise no table served lunch every day, only at days at sea. Room Service at the beginning was out of this world, always something missing or wrong items. For example got coffee not cups got yoghurt but not spoons etc. Only few times at the end of second cruise all was good. We both bought a very expensive drink package compared to other cruise ship we have been cruising before.On this ship the most heard saying at bars was sorry Sir not in this bar maybe that drink is available on some other bar. And we asked only the drinks was on a list we got when we bought packages. Two days after Sydney the ship was out of " Tonic" can you understand that, we don´t. Once I ordered GT and I got Gin and Soda , and that was not told me before I asked what you gave me ? Sorry no tonic I put soda instead was the answer, very nice ! Near the bars the live and other music was too loud to speak to other people, especially when you are not using English as a first language. And finally this disembarkation at Perth was horrible we were out of the ship before our bags came. We were waiting in a very very hot area without cooling, next straight out to burning sun to wait for transport and no shade at all. Even most of the staff was friendly and nice we have to say no more Celebrity Cruises unfortunately ! Ps. At Celebrity the biggest problem is their logistic not staff. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this back to back cruise because of the destinations more than the ship. We were a little uncertain what to expect as it seems aimed at US market. The ship itself it lovely. Clean to a very high standard. The staff are very ... Read More
We chose this back to back cruise because of the destinations more than the ship. We were a little uncertain what to expect as it seems aimed at US market. The ship itself it lovely. Clean to a very high standard. The staff are very accommodating and helpful always. The spaces on the ship are weirdly set out. There are few quiet indoor areas! The library is over looking the Atrium and Open to the ensuing noise. As is the card/game room. The stupidest place for these public areas. The Atrium itself hosts all sorts of inane activities as well as live music. There is a tree suspended in midair for no apparent reason? There are many bars. Some are nice but the drinks are ridiculously expensive. The drinks packages are ridiculously expensive too unless you can down 9-10 alcoholic drinks a day every day ( there are a lot is shore days on this cruise) . We rarely drink during the day and maybe a couple in the evening with dinner or at a show. We were harangued on day 1 to get a package ! It was uncomfortable and we were told we could have 1 package if we wanted whereas we read you MUST have 2 of the same! At $70 a day each $140 x 28 is a lot of dollars!! ( nearly $4000!) our spend was less than $ 700 and we had bottles of wine regularly. The food was very underwhelming. Nothing looked particularly pretty there was a distinct lack of vegetables choice in the restaurant. The buffet desserts were literally CAKE. Red green blue orange cake. Proper puddings as I would describe there were 2 and only served at lunch and tea time. Not in the evening. There was ice cream too. And MELON. Always Melon . Fruit variety was also very lacking. Melon pineapple and apple. Bananas cut up for breakfast. There were lots of choices for breakfast and lunch in the buffet. It was nice enough but nothing wowed me food wise anywhere. Even speciality dining which again we were harassed on a daily basis to book ( we ‘d prebooked anyway for one meal in Asian Fusion restaurant for valentines evening) it was really nothing special and certainly not worth paying extra for. We tried the Tuscan grill and again not impressed. I had to send my steak back as it was so salty I couldn’t eat it. All dining staff however are wonderful. In Epinay we were freedom dining but when we eat there we always tried to be in the same dining area where Chris and Custodio looked after us. Shore excursion were very pricey and not particularly good. Everything seemed rushed. We booked several of our own tours before we came and found them far more fun informative and 5x cheaper! We will never book ship excursions again unless there is no choice. This is a big ship with not too many passengers which we liked. No fighting for sun beds etc. The entertainment in theatre was ok. I have definitely seen a lot better. Some of the acts were poor and some good but never dazzling! Our favourite individual artist was a hoolahoop act! Yes exactly! Whoever edits the daily news sheet can’t spell or use correct grammar.This did make us laugh. The spa was nice . I like saunas and steam but you have to pay for steam and hot beds. Again very expensive $59 per day! I did manage to broker a deal near the end of the holiday as I knew there were a few sea days. Photography! OMG ! We were dumbfounded by photographers on board. Dressing up in costumes and accosting you to have a photo! Why would I have a photo of me with a stranger in a costume ( which generally had little relevance to where we were- a frog? A cheeky sailor in an unconvincing costume! A back drop of The titanic staircase?? Why? Maybe it’s just us but we found this flabbergasting tbh. If it were aimed at children I could understand. I am sure on a Disney ship this would be acceptable. The photos themselves were not particularly good quality and yet again Expensive! In conclusion we liked the ship the crew and the destinations. We would not rush back to book celebrity but neither would we not travel with them again if the itinerary was right. There was a lot of outward fakery based on the size of your wallet rather than true quality. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We wanted to cruise NZ and after a good experience sailing with Celebrity in the Caribbean on the Eclipse decided on the Solstice. The ship was well appointed, the same set up as the Eclipse. We boarded smoothly around 11.30 but ... Read More
We wanted to cruise NZ and after a good experience sailing with Celebrity in the Caribbean on the Eclipse decided on the Solstice. The ship was well appointed, the same set up as the Eclipse. We boarded smoothly around 11.30 but didn't receive luggage until after 6pm. Never experienced that before. After a long trip to Sydney my wife, having no change of clothes etc , was not happy. The staff seemed disinterested in locating the luggage. Said they'd get back to us but never did. Anyway, once this was sorted out we got into cruising mode and had a really good time. Met a lot of good people. The staff in the main dining and the Martini Bar were great. Fun and really attentive. The food generally was pretty good in the main dining but became a little same same after awhile. So we decided on the fine dining package, The experience in all these restaurants was underwhelming. The food was basically bland. The sauces used had little flavor, steaks overcooked and definitely no wow factor. Was much better in the Caribbean. In fact the meals we had on shore for lunch in bothe Australia and NZ were of far greater quality. Really disappointing. Also the coffee on board was simply terrible. Can't understand what's so hard about getting a decent coffee. Australians and NZ's are used to quality coffee these days. We're not the complaining type. Certainly I'm of the opinion one should let the little things slide but quality food and beverage is a must when you're paying out good money. Really enjoyed NZ. The people are friendly and the food and wine was great. It's a quality country. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the ship because we were told it was amazing.plus a good price with balcony and drinks package. Boarding was good with a welcome glass of sparkly as you got on. Our cabin was very nice as was our ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the ship because we were told it was amazing.plus a good price with balcony and drinks package. Boarding was good with a welcome glass of sparkly as you got on. Our cabin was very nice as was our steward, The safety talk was a bit of a mish mash as all done on a screen..... We had anytime dining and requested where possible table for two and the lady in charge accommodated us nearly every night so we had the same wonderful waiters, Joinar and Jobi. However, the tables were all so close together so the waiters barely had room to get through.The menu was good and steak available every night if required but nothing was outstanding, Our lovely "Rapunzul" drinks waitress was gorgeous and efficient but had to see another waiter for wine??? I feel that the waiters (apart from ours) were not as well trained as on Princess. This was more notable at breakfast where you were really squashed in but the alternative of the buffet was worse as never able to get a table plus food cold. The sunbeds by the pool were squashed next to each other with no tables so nowhere to put your drinks, etc. The pool bar was very small and not the usual hub of the pool area like Princess,also, absolutely nothing going on around the deck apart from the odd exercise to music with the boring Lauren, although the band wasn't too bad but not good enough to want to dance to. The movies on Lawn Deck were also boring. Evening entertainment was pretty bad too apart from Motown night. Comedian terrible. Captain Tsasos was quite funny and interesting . The martini bar and staff there were good as was the bar in the casino, especially our friend Made, but one of the other bar staff in casino not too good. We had already booked a cruise with Infinity in August in the Med and now wished we'd done NCL or Princess but they didn't have same itinerary so lets hope it is better!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise in order to visit relatives and see destinations we missed previously. We were not disappointed as the tours we went on covered the South Island which was new to us. The position of our cabin was very good and ... Read More
We chose this cruise in order to visit relatives and see destinations we missed previously. We were not disappointed as the tours we went on covered the South Island which was new to us. The position of our cabin was very good and although we were offered an upgrade we declined as this would have put us either bow or stern, not very steady if bad weather ensued. We thought the ship lacked the 'wow' factor as did the entertainment. All the entertainers were good but not cruise material. We have come to expect West End/Broadway quality and the Celebrity X did not offer this. The cinema was on deck and it was not warm enough to attend. This also applied to the outdoor pools but the solarium was fine. The entertainment timing was not good and the main house band played in an area with very little seating, at the bottom of a stairway and with obstructed views along with guests moving around between two bars, lifts and shops. Although the food was fine it could have been available in any high street. Where were the ice sculptures and carved fruit or chocolate fountain - all now standard on most cruise lines. Our cabin attendant was excellent, our waiter attentive but not intrusive but we did eat in the cafe most times as we were not happy with the allocated table arrangements which didn't allow guests to mix. To finish this review, please note this review is totally personal and for anyone cruising for the first time it would have been a good experience, although for us we would choose a different line next time. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are seasoned travelers on cruise ships with many of them on Celebrity and previously have always had above average experiences. However, my husband and I (and MANY fellow travelers we learned throughout) have seen a noticeable drop in ... Read More
We are seasoned travelers on cruise ships with many of them on Celebrity and previously have always had above average experiences. However, my husband and I (and MANY fellow travelers we learned throughout) have seen a noticeable drop in overall quality. Let me start by saying that in our BTB cruise (NEW Zealand also) our room was very nice, clean, spacious, with plenty of storage, The person who took care of our room was beyond excellent. The food in The Blue Dining room was very good and the staff warm and gracious. We were so impressed that many remembered our names and preferences after only a few days. I also loved the Persian Gardens that came with our Blue upgrade. I enjoyed laying on the warmed tile seats and sweating it out in the steam room. My husband and I also enjoyed the workout facilities although I wish they were much quicker to repair broken equipment. 3 treadmills were out of order so at certain mid morning times we would have to wait awhile to get on one. Same was the case with the Persian Garden chairs. I believe by the end of the trip there were two out of order. Where the ship fell short were primarily in the excursions. Many of them were disorganized (more so on the New Zealand half but I'll save that for my other review). We at times felt rushed with not enough time to do much of anything. That said, we were taken to some beautiful areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef. It was unfortunate though that we were not able to see the quantity of fish and coral we were hoping for. Some on this excursion claim they saw almost no fish. Some guidance from the crew on the platoon as to where to snorkle once we got on the beach would have been helpful. I found I had to go out quite a bit further than others to see what I came to see. As a side note, a couple of days prior to this excursion we tried to change it to another snorkling experience because the man at the excursion desk told us "you aren't really snorkling in the Great Barrier Reef". When we asked to change it he told us they were all booked and "you should have booked one of the other ones earlier". We left sorely disapponted and scratching our head that he would say this to us. We later learned that it WAS part of the Great Barrier, just the southern part. This was one of a handful of mishaps with customer service but overall the many great workers on the ship made up for the handful of poor ones with fatigue attitudes. To sum up our shore excursions I would advise anyone going on a cruise to either book your cruises through Cruise Critic when someone in your group sets one up or go to a site like Viator to book it. You will get better excursions for less price and smaller groups. From this point forward we will be avoiding ship excursions until/unless we read that they have upped their game. They are way overpriced for what you get. Another area of disappointment was the food in the cafe on the 14th floor. Almost universally the food was just blah with little flavor. The best were the asian noodles but I can't say too much for the other food (and I'm not a picky eater at all). There was almost no variety from a day-to-day basis. This is 100 percent true with the healthy eating area on the other side of the ship on the 12th floor. The selection there (albiet limited) NEVER changed for either of the 2 cruises we were on. Overall we enjoyed the nightly entertainment in the theater. Some were better than others but still entertaining. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My sister & I chose this cruise as we wanted to sail up the coast of Australia from Sydney to Cairns. The Solstice is a well appointed huge ship.The food was excellent & most of the entertainment was good. On the whole the staff ... Read More
My sister & I chose this cruise as we wanted to sail up the coast of Australia from Sydney to Cairns. The Solstice is a well appointed huge ship.The food was excellent & most of the entertainment was good. On the whole the staff were friendly but a number found it hard to look interested. Our Stateroom Attendant was fantastic. The shore excursions were so expensive as was the drinks package & because we were paying in American Dollars & not Aust Dollars it made it worse. It pays to look into local shore excursions.. When we went ashore in Brisbane there was no alternative other than to pay the $30 US to get into the city as the bus company the cruise was dealing with had the monopoly on transport from the Port.. We tired very quickly of the constant loud music throughout the ship. It wasn't turned down when the Captain whom we couldn't understand at the best of time, spoke. He did have a great sense of humour. We also tired of being accousted by crew members daily to buy special dinners etc. Going ashore at Airlie Beach took two hours from the time we got down to get a pass to when we actually got ashore. Not once during this time were we told what was happening or why it was taking so long. There were many irate passengers & even more during our Safety Drill Deck 5 C1. Many passengers had to stand for about an hour. We couldn't see the screen or hear what was happening. Nobody had any confidence if anything did go wrong. It was a disgrace. I have been on Azamara which was amazing & ran like clock work. Princess & Royal Caribbean which were great & Costa which lacked any form of organization. If I cruise again it will be with Azamara. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Me and my partner chose to cruise with celebrity after enjoying a fantastic cruise on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 2 years prior. We thought since the two are related and celebrity is more expensive that the experience ... Read More
Me and my partner chose to cruise with celebrity after enjoying a fantastic cruise on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 2 years prior. We thought since the two are related and celebrity is more expensive that the experience should be even more fantastic. I have to say, we had a better time on the Explorer. Not sure whether this is because of the people on the ship... we are 25 but we don't drink and aren't party animals - But wow, this is a very sloooow crowd and the daily planner reflects that. There is literally nothing to do during the day other than go to talks where they try to sell you things. Other than that the daily features are bingo, glass blowing, spa talks on how to reduce lines and ease back pain + more activities that lets just say, I'd rather watch paint dry. if we hadnt booked such a great Shore activities I'm not sure how much we would have enjoyed this cruise... Cabins - we just had a regular interior cabin on level 8. We were unfortunate enough to have probably one of only three babies on board 4 cabins down and this one was definitely a screamer. I have to say I think every single time we were in the cabin, that baby was crying... including multiple nights. However I have to admit that's obviously not celebrities fault but it did impact the trip. also, the cabins on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas are much nicer than the solstice cabins except for a smaller bed. There is way more storage on the Explorer and the rooms are just laid out a lot better. Another little thing that is sort of silly but it's one of the things makes a cruise, we didn't get any towel animals except for the first night. That was one of the most exciting things on the Explorer! Seeing which new one we got every day! A weird damp smell also lingered the whole time... Dining in the buffet - we only ate in the buffet and included restaurant the entire trip because we usually find that that's all you need... Again, the food at the buffet on the Explorer was much superior to the food on the solstice. The breakfast did not change literally every single day. Lunch varied somewhat but barely. Most of the dinner was also the same, except for a few theme nights where they basically just had maybe 10 more dishes added. Dining in the no fee restaurant - firstly I want to say that our waitress Taisiia was amazing. She was extremely prompt, friendly and informed about the food. We also found this on the Explorer with our waiter. but once again, the Explorer had much better dinner food than the solstice. we found that the menu on the solstice was very bizarre and somewhat pretentious. The entrees were pretty much just soups and salads for the entire duration of the cruise which I guess you can mass make and not really stuff up. The mains were really hit and miss...some of the steaks were really overcooked even though we ordered them all medium rare. But then again some of the food was fantastic. it's really hard to say but it's really just a game of luck every night with the menu. But I have to say it was a process of elimination of things we didn't like most of the time... another small thing to know is that the bread options are really limited on the solstice. At dinner on the Explorer we were given about 6 to 8 different options of bread but on this cruise we only had three different types of bread to choose from one of which was bread sticks. Dessert was great but honestly it's pretty hard to stuff up dessert. Shows in the theatre- the one thing that celebrity did mirror with Royal Caribbean Explorer was the fantastic shoes on board. But I have to admit that the entertainment was only really great when it was with the solstice theatre performers. All the other extra performers were pretty rubbish other than one comedian. Most nights there were plenty of seats left in the theatre when it wasn't the solstice group performing. Pools - pool areas were nice and tidy and they did have plenty of chairs for everyone in the main pool. This was not k's in the adults only area. You'd go literally at 9 a.m. and all the chairs would have towels and things on them from people dumping them on the way to the buffet. They really should have some sort of system in place to avoid this happening as we saw chairs with no one in them for hours on end... Gym and spa - we did go to the gym a couple of days and I have to say it was pretty fantastic. Loads of equipment and weights. Plenty of cold towels for anyone and a really great Fitness classroom. we also did take advantage of the Persian room for our stay. It was expensive but we really enjoyed it. The steam room was awesome and the hot pads were really relaxing. We also did have one couples massage that was pretty good but in hindsight we probably wouldn't do it again how much money it cost. that was another thing, throughout the entire ship there were the massage ladies sitting you in chairs giving you a random shoulder rub and running you through the price list. It was a bit full on and I was really over it by the end of the trip. Shore excursions - we did 3 excursions, quad biking in the sand dunes in Newcastle, Australia Zoo and also a Great Barrier Reef snorkeling Discovery. Quad biking was definitely the highlight. this was due to the fact that there was only about 10 of us considering the general demographic on the cruise wouldn't be able to physically quad bike, plus the dunes were fantastic and the guys were amazing. Australia Zoo was ok, I mean it's just a zoo and it may have been more exciting for someone who isn't an Australian but we still did have fun and we don't regret going but wouldn't do it again. we have mix feelings about the great barrier reef discovery . Unfortunately it was the best day for it it was a really rough seas - the boat the incredibly rocky the entire time and multiple people were being sick. This gets pretty full-on since it's over an hour and a half trip to the reef. I got sick too. The reef itself was ok I have to say I don't think we were taken to a particularly beautiful part. I've done snorkeling a lot of times and there are much better spots all around Australia in Thailand and as well in New Caledonia. I was happy we went but again we wouldn't do it again. The rest of the staff were ok. The guest relations staff were pretty average an abrupt but all of the buffet and public room staff were very kind and accommodating. all in all, it was a bit disappointing and I wouldn't be cruising with celebrity again. I think I'll stick to Royal Caribbean. To give you some feedback also, my partner has cruised with multiple lines and he said that celebrity is pretty hand in hand in terms of food with P&O. Save your money, go with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We recently traveled from Honolulu to Sydney, Australia on the Solstice. We were in Aqua Class and as usual the food and service in Blu was excellent. We were very pleased with the stateroom attendant who was personable and exceeded our ... Read More
We recently traveled from Honolulu to Sydney, Australia on the Solstice. We were in Aqua Class and as usual the food and service in Blu was excellent. We were very pleased with the stateroom attendant who was personable and exceeded our every request. We thought our meals in Murano, the Oceanview Cafe and the AquaSpa Cafe were very good. We enjoyed our ports of call and the shore excursions which included Maui, Tahiti, Bora Bora , Moorea, Auckland and Bay of Islands. We thought the cruise director was excellent and really enjoyed the shows, lectures and various entertainment. On occaison we visited the Martini Bar and found the bar tenders to be very personable and quite entertaining. We found the Fitness Equipment to be in good working condition and thought the Embarkation and Disembarkation process was efficent . We were assigned a Guaranteed Cabin which was Stateroom 1510. We had read several reviews regarding the noise from the treadmills located in the Fitness Center being problematic. Actually, it was not an issue for us since we are early risers and only on a couple occaisons did someone use the treadmills prior to the 6 am Fitness Center opening.We did not hear any noise after 7pm. You can hear the treadmills in the Cabin and on the Veranda but again it was not an issue for us but could be for someone else. The real issue we had with the Cabin was that the Couch was worn and the fabric was ripped in three different areas. The paint on the ceiling of the Veranda was peeling in two separate spots and ready to fall. On one of the days during the 18 day cruise they power washed the verandas and the peeling paint fell on the floor and onto our porch furniture. The paint that fell actually dried and stuck to the recliners and our room attendand cleaned the furniture to the best of his ability.. This was our eight cruise with Celebrity and it is the first time we departed a Celebrity ship not being able to recommend that ship to our family and friends. The only other negative we experienced ,and heard many others comment on, is the constant Upsellling from Specialty Dining to Photos etc;. Read Less
Celebrity Solstice Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.5 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 5.0 3.8
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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