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Sail Date: July 2019
Great itinerary, visiting great Alaska areas. Weather in July was beautiful. We were in the pool on the first sea day! Sunny and warm. We opted for a suite, as you get expedited embarkation, disembarkation, a butler, access to ... Read More
Great itinerary, visiting great Alaska areas. Weather in July was beautiful. We were in the pool on the first sea day! Sunny and warm. We opted for a suite, as you get expedited embarkation, disembarkation, a butler, access to Luminae, and Michael’s Club. The ship is showing signs of age, but is due for refurbishment in 2020. Common areas are clean though. Staff are (for the most part) well trained, professional and personable. Our butler, Glenn, was OUTSTANDING. My friend traveled with us and was a tad demanding (ordering drinks, coffee, desserts at will), but Glenn responded quickly and with a smile. We ate breakfast in the cabin almost every day, and he delivered it hot and ACCURATE. Also enjoyed occasional wine, cheese and fruit. Luminae had a hiccup, but Sam, the Maitre D, quickly resolved the issue. Jules was a good waiter and Lewelyn was an excellent sommelier. Food was quite good on board, especially at Murano (Ricky was an excellent waiter there). LOVED the Dawes Glacier experience on the helipad with a mimosa. Got some fabulous photos getting that close, and saw harbor seals lounging on the icebergs. Captain Tasos was funny in both his announcements and his participation in the Liars Club. Funny show!! The captain was also very gracious and VISIBLE throughout the cruise, something we appreciated, given his personality. The SkySuites (S2, Cabin 2124) are a good size and comfortable for 3. Again, the perks and nice size verandah justify the extra cost. The naturalist provided us with some great education on what we were seeing (including orcas and humpback whales, 150-200 yards from the boat! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Always wanted to see Alaska and decided on Celebrity Solstice. This was our first time cruising with Celebrity and we were not disappointed. All Staff was wonderful and accommodating and very friendly. Dining was always a pleasure ... Read More
Always wanted to see Alaska and decided on Celebrity Solstice. This was our first time cruising with Celebrity and we were not disappointed. All Staff was wonderful and accommodating and very friendly. Dining was always a pleasure whether in the main dining, buffet and especially in the specialty restaurants. Murano was my particular favorite although the others were also outstanding. Cafe Biaco was also very very good for lattes and cafe mochas and of course their delightful desserts. Entertainment was top notch on the ship. All the musicians were fabulous. Don't miss Rock City! Although the ship could use some renovations, we found our balcony cabin to be perfect for storage and very comfortable. The ship was very clean throughout. The only thing we would have changed is to be forward rather than aft on our next cruise. For excursions, we did not book anything in Ketchikan but did go see the Lumberjack Show which was very fun! Skagway, we booked the Best of Skagway tour which included a visit to Liarsville with Salmon Bake Lunch (We loved it!) and train ride on the yukon/white pass railway. In Juneau we booked a whale watch cruise which was AWESOME!! All were booked through Celebrity. Our favorite was cruising through Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier. The views were breathtaking and although everyone was out on their balconies to enjoy it, you couldn't hear a sound. People were in awe. We definitely will be cruising with Celebrity again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We were asked to join another couple on an Alaskan cruise and after looking at all the cruise lines, we selected Celebrity because it was not as large as Royal Caribbean and not as expensive as smaller ships such as Viking. We spent one ... Read More
We were asked to join another couple on an Alaskan cruise and after looking at all the cruise lines, we selected Celebrity because it was not as large as Royal Caribbean and not as expensive as smaller ships such as Viking. We spent one night in Seattle and had plenty of time to check out Pike Place Market and walk around a bit. We waited to board till around 3 pm and it went very smoothly and quickly. We used the Valet service for our luggage at disembarkation and that went smoothly also. It was nice to not have to schlep around our luggage at the end of the cruise. The Solstice is a well maintained ship. It's not as new as some other ships, but it is beautifully appointed. The staff is always seen to be cleaning everything. We had a Sunset Veranda cabin and it was very nice. Roomy with a gorgeous view off the back of the ship. Note that it is very long walk to the elevator. Our cabin steward was excellent and always greeted us by name and asked about our day. The only downside was that we were sandwiched between two cabins that had parents in one room and their kids in another....We heard a lot of slamming doors and running back and forth at all times of the day/night. The food in the Cafe was always good because there is so much variety. We did get a little tired of seeing the exact same offerings at breakfast everyday. The food in the main dining room was average. Some meals were good and some were just so-do. We ate one time at the Tuscan Grille but decided it was too expensive ($30 per person) for just another version of the main dining room. We attended one of the wine tastings and it was pretty disappointing... plenty of wine but it was just kind of a "free for all". We were each given a glass and told we could drink as much as we wanted for 1 hour. I would have liked to have an explanation about each wine as we slowly enjoyed each one. We were so exhausted every day that we never made it to any of the evening shows. The wait staff was pretty good. There were a few surly people here and there but overall they were polite. We did feel like there were not enough servers in the public areas (such as the pool) for taking drink orders. We always had to walk up to the bar to get a drink. Our ports included Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. In Ketchikan we booked (on our own) a salmon fishing trip. We caught a total of 10 salmon and had a great time! In Juneau, we booked the canoe trip to the Mendenhall glacier. This ended up being beautiful but a LOT of work. I thought it would be a leisurely canoe trip but it was a large canoe that held 14 people and we paddled about 2 miles across the lake at a very fast pace. We spent about 10 minutes at the glacier and then went to the waterfall. After a short rest, we paddled all the way back. My arms were quivering and I was sore the next day. In Skagway, we splurged and did the "Luxury Rail Car " train ride. This was worth every penny! We were picked up by golf cart at the shipped and taken right to the rail car. Only 14 people were in the car that was beautifully appointed with leather swivel seats and big glass windows. It also had a nice restroom onboard. A wonderful breakfast buffet was set out and all the beverages (non alcoholic as well as beer and wine) you could drink. Our guide was amazing and kept us entertained with many stories and local history. We only had a few hours in Victoria, so we took the shuttle bus to town and walked around and had a nice dinner out on the harbour. We did not travel with children however we saw a lot of children on the ship and they appeared to have a good time. This is our third alaskan cruise but everytime we go, we see new sights and try new excursions. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose Celebrity because our travel agent recommended it for fewer children travelling and a slightly more upscale experience. We upgraded to the premium drink package for an additional $10 per day which turned out to be a good ... Read More
We chose Celebrity because our travel agent recommended it for fewer children travelling and a slightly more upscale experience. We upgraded to the premium drink package for an additional $10 per day which turned out to be a good investment since it included all of the specialty coffees and premium drinks at no additional cost. We sampled only one specialty meal (Tuscan) which turned out be be good not great. The embarkation and disembarkation were suprisingly easy and smooth. We were eager to start our cruise and got to the terminal about 1/2 hour before the official start time for embarkation. Fortunately they were already processing people in and we were on board in under 15 minutes. Disembark was almost as easy although customs lines were a little slower. We planned/scheduled our own excursions and all turned out to be great. In Ketchikan we used Islands Wings Service and flew with Michelle to the Misty Fjords. Beautiful flight and all of the passengers wear headsets so the entire flight is narrated by Michelle. We landed on a fjord lake and coasted up onto a beach. We had time to take pictures and explore a little before heading back. Michelle is a very experienced pilot and I would highly recommend this trip with Island Wings. In Juneau we went out whale watching (~2 hrs) and the visited the Mendenhall glacier/Nugget falls (~1.5 hrs). We used Juneau Tours and were very happy with the experience. We got lots of video of humpback whales and were somewhat rushed at Mendehall since the last visitor bus left at 7 pm but we had enough time to make it to Nugget falls and take the pictures we wanted before catching the last bus of the day. I was probably most surprised by how much we enjoyed our excursion in Skagway. We signed up for the Yukon Dog Sledding Adventure with Skagway Day Trips and Skagway Scooter. Our driver/guide Mikey was enthusiastic and a pure pleasure as a guide. I don't recall any guide previously making us feel as if our enjoyment on this trip was the most important thing in his day. Our dog sledding excursion involved a comfortable van ride to the Yukon (~ 2 hrs) with stops along the way for waterfalls, glacier pictures and finally to the Tagish Lake Kennel where we got to hold husky puppies, play with older husky puppies, have a Q&A with Michelle Phillips an Iditarod musher before taking a husky pulled cart (think Polaris 4 wheeler) ride. You find out that these cart rides are part of the husky pairing process, conditioning, and evaluating which dogs work best together. If you take this excursion and have Mikey as your guide and you like dogs I guarantee you'll have a good time. Pros: - Room was larger than expected. - Service was 1st rate everywhere on the ship. - Nightly theater entertainment was good. We saw a comedy show and a couple of musical/dance shows and all were good. - Gym was good. I saw several whales jump while walking on the treadmill. - We are coffee drinkers and the 5th floor coffee shop is Celebrity's version of Starbucks (with alcohol drinks too). On sailing days this was a great place to hang out and read your book or surf the internet. Our package came with 1 device unlimited internet and most of the cruise I had good service on my Galaxy S10. My wife's Apple iPhone for some reason didn't seem to connect as well to the internet. When you are in port service wasn't as good but we have Verizon phone service and we could use Verizon in all of the ports. - Martini bar was fun each evening before dinner - Breakfast buffet was probably the best meal of the day for us. Omlettes and fresh squeezed OJ (premium drink package) were good. Good selection of fruit too. - Room service Turkey BLT & fries with a salad was lunch most days. Cons: Dinner meals were just OK. We always found the starters preferable so we would order 2 or 3 starters for most of our meal and then typically salmon. I tried the steak in the dining room a couple times and at the Tuscan and all were just average at best. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I have been on several cruise lines and this was my first Celebrity cruise. I was told by many people that this would be the best cruise I have taken so far and that Celebrity is the best cruise line. Maybe I was expecting too much but I ... Read More
I have been on several cruise lines and this was my first Celebrity cruise. I was told by many people that this would be the best cruise I have taken so far and that Celebrity is the best cruise line. Maybe I was expecting too much but I didn't feel that it lived up to its reputation. There was really nothing special about it compared to other cruise lines - in fact there were a few areas that were lacking: Facilities - little to no public trash cans in common areas, veranda railings varnish are worn and flaking. Other areas were always clean and well maintained. Information - daily schedule not posted in any public locations, temp on TV always displayed 140F/60C, Celebrity App doesn't include the Solstice even though the entertainment director said it was, daily schedule listed Monday for three different days. The muster drill was the worst I have ever experienced. We were group C1 and we were stuffed standing in a packed hot lounge only to be shown a childish video about washing our hands and then an uninformative theatrical video about the lifeboat and life jackets; this was not a good way to start a cruise. Technology - "high" speed Internet was not high speed - video streaming was not possible and general surfing and access was very slow - especially for the exorbitant price, TV in the room was unreliable - it kept turning off and on, channels offered were sometimes not displayed, TV turned on by itself between 4A and 5A two nights - we finally unplugged it, the music channels were not titled correctly unless Bach and Mozart are now considered "Classic Rock." Accommodations - our cabin was 7277, just above lifeboat 20. On Deck 5 below us there was a kitchen for one of the specialty/private dining rooms. The first few days of the cruise, the door to the kitchen was left open and pop music was being played which ruined the quiet and peaceful atmosphere of sitting in the on the balcony early in the morning and late at night. Sales - like most cruises, they are sponsored by Diamonds International etc. Celebrity was no different, it was like living on a one big sales pitch vessel. The first day we were constantly being hounded to buy drink packages. Following days were were being pitched specialty restaurants, overpriced photos, and drinks. Activities constantly included money making schemes for jewelry and art purchases. Activities and Entertainment - We purchased the ship tour and enjoyed it although the wireless earpieces we were given cut in and out a lot so we couldn't really hear much of the presentation. For the price, I expected a bit more organization. At the end, were were given a piece of rope as a "gift." The other entertainment was top notch! We greatly enjoyed all of the shows we attended and thought that the talent and production value was excellent. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We absolutely loved this cruise. We thought we would do this cruise for our 50th anniversary but we just couldn’t wait. Embarkation went very smoothly and quickly. The ship was beautiful and never seemed crowded except for the buffet of ... Read More
We absolutely loved this cruise. We thought we would do this cruise for our 50th anniversary but we just couldn’t wait. Embarkation went very smoothly and quickly. The ship was beautiful and never seemed crowded except for the buffet of course. We sailed aqua class and are so glad we did. Our favorite restaurant on the ship was Blu. Such mouthwatering food and so many choices. We ate breakfast there everyday and dinner almost everyday. The service was unbelievable, someone there to take care of every need practically before you needed something. We learned a lot from the different speakers and the entertainment was great. We did all our excursions through the ship, the trolley in Ketchikan was the only thing that was less than stellar. We all enjoyed the lumberjack show although the line to get in was very long. Juneau was the second stop.The whale watch excursion was so exciting, we saw 5 whales one of them was just a baby. The Mendenhall glacier, was a sight to behold. It is sad how much the glaciers are melting. Next part was Skagway, we took the vintage rail to the White Pass Summit. It was great to hear about the gold rush. We learned amazing new things about it. Well, at least it was new to me. Our major disappointment was the helicopter to the glacier and the dogsled excursion, we got all dressed in our warm clothing and boots, went up in the helicopter, saw a smaller glacier on the way up, but we encountered dense fog and had to go back down. It was nothing that was anybody’s fault but it was to be the highlight of our trip. We were refunded in full, so I guess we can look at it as a free helicopter ride. We traveled with our best friends and we loved this cruise. It may be harsh, but I left off one star because the drinks did not measure up to other cruises we have been on. For example the Bloody Mary’s had no celery nothing but the mix and the alcohol. I tried margaritas at two different bars and they were both terrible. All in all the cruise was worth every penny and I would definitely go again! Our room Stewart “Devin” was great! He kept our room stocked and clean throughout our cruise. All of the crew would bend over backwards to help all cruisers. They always were smiling and had kind words for everyone. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I had not been interested in seeing Alaska since I live in the Seattle area. I believed the climate and scenery would be similar, so I typically travel away from the rain and cold toward sunshine and warmth. However, our friends (two ... Read More
I had not been interested in seeing Alaska since I live in the Seattle area. I believed the climate and scenery would be similar, so I typically travel away from the rain and cold toward sunshine and warmth. However, our friends (two couples we had traveled with previously) invited us to join them on this cruise, and I am so happy we did. I would happily go on another Alaskan cruise, and I hope I get to one day. The scenery is so beautiful, and must be experienced in person. Words and pictures do not capture it. I have only been on one other cruise ship, RCI Symphony of the Seas, so in comparison the Solstice is much smaller. I definitely felt the ship movement more on this ship, but it did not affect me. I did, however, wear sea bands as a preventative measure. The ship is very clean and very pretty. We had an Aqua Class cabin on deck 11 and enjoyed the privileges of unlimited Persian Garden use in the Spa, and eating in the Blu restaurant. The captain was very engaged with the passengers, and his sense of humor was a delight. We were very lucky to have a gorgeous sunrise over Mendenhall Glacier, and the captain spun the ship 540 degrees so all could view the majestic glacier up close. The crew were all very friendly, work very hard, and are all eager to provide a great experience to every guest. We thoroughly enjoyed the educational talks offered on the ship about the wildlife, history of the port towns, and gold rush history. And the captain's powerpoint of the building of Solstice. If you can take time to hear these talks you won't be disappointed. We went to one show called Broken Strings. They did a great job dancing, but it was not easy to follow the story line through the songs. I could not hear the lyrics of the songs at all. I only knew what was going on by the dancing and acting (in love, cheating, breakup, make up). We saw both comedians, and they were just ok. I'd pass next time. My friends did the glass blowing, and enjoyed it. A bit pricey, but ended up with cool souvenirs. Canyon Ranch Spa: I had a deep tissue massage and also a paraffin wax treatment, and both were great. Beware of the emphasis by all the spa staff to upsell everything. They were very insistent that I buy a small tube of hand lotion for $33 (I declined). As aqua class, we were allowed to use the Persian Garden anytime. It has heated tile loungers with a floor to ceiling widow view of the ocean. I used this frequently, and it really warmed me up after the Juneau tour in the rain. DINING: We ate at Blu most of the time, which was the best option for Aqua Class. It is not crowded, you do not need reservations, they remember your name, and there is a great view from most tables. Blu is open for breakfast and dinner, which was fine since we were off the ship on port days. I ate at Grand Epernay (main dining room) three times. The dining room is very pretty, but the food was just ok. Nothing spectacular. The service was friendly and fast. The Oceanview Cafe is the buffet, and typically very crowded at meal times. Some dishes were very good, and others were very cafeteria bland. I did like that the cafe attendants were very attentive and offered to bring drinks from the bar to your table (if you could find a table!) Specialty Restaurants: We ate at Murano and at Silk Harvest. Murano was just ok. I had the lasagna that was oddly all meat and noodles, with very little cheese; not my favorite. Silk Harvest was the best experience. We had family style meal with all 3 couples and tried most of the menu items. I did not care for the shrimp pad tai but all the rest was really good. Drinks package: We had the premium package, and while it was nice to have the option to drink anything, we did not drink enough to make it worth the cost. It came with our package on this cruise, but I would not pay for it as an add on. Our friends had the classic package. Initially, it was not explained that there is a charge for drinks that cost over $9, and figuring out what drinks were part of their plan was confusing. I really liked getting specialty coffee or tea at Cafe al Bacio. It was comfortable seating with a view and treats. KETCHIKAN: We toured the town and Creek Street on our own, and went to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack show. It was cheesy show - but was also entertaining and showed off the amazing skills of the lumberjacks. In town, my husband ate a reindeer chili dog. Not my thing, but he liked it. JUNEAU: Mt Roberts Tramway: We docked at 1:30 and went on the tram before our 3:00 pm excursion. There were many cruisers in line for the tram, with long lines both ways. Be sure to allow enough time to do this if you have an excursion. The view would have been amazing, but was obstructed by fog. I did not think it was worth the price of $29 each. We did not plan to do a hike at the top, the resident eagle was not there, and we only spent about 20 minutes at the top because we had to return to the dock for our excursion tour at 3:00. Photo Safari Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier: This is a misnomer. No one on the tour was interested in photography, and the focus of the tour guide's information was on glacier conservation efforts, not cameras or photo opportunities. The nature trail to the glacier was through a dense forest, and it rained the entire time. The guide stopped frequently to talk about plants and glaciers, and the scenery lacked any real photo ops and only one viewpoint. Just before we finally got to the glacier visitor center and view, he told us that he had run out of time and we had to run to the bus to make it to the whale watching part of the tour. We basically missed the main destination! We were not allowed to go into the glacier visitor center. I snapped two pictures and ran to the bus. The next part of the tour was on a small boat guaranteed to see whales or we get $100 back. We did see whales, and photo ops were in abundance on the boat, but we were so cold from walking in the rain for two hours, the wind chill on the boat ride added more discomfort to our cold and wet bodies. They really should do the tour in the opposite direction. Boat tour first, then glacier visitor center, and then nature walk for those interested while allowing others to roam free in the glacier area. SKAGWAY: White Pass Summit and Beyond: (booked off cruise - Frontier Excursions and Adventures). This was a bus tour to White Pass and the Yukon Suspension Bridge. The tour guide, Brooke, was very funny and knowledgeable, and she stopped the bus frequently for photo ops when wildlife was spotted. She even backed up the bus and did u turns to allow us to view the animals, which would not be possible if we had taken the more popular White Pass train ride. We stopped to observe three different bears, and a mama moose and her calf. This was the best tour of the trip, and I got some spectacular photos. The scenery of the tundra-like arctic landscape and majestic mountains and glacial lakes was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Going to the Yukon is a must do for sure! VICTORIA: Buchart Gardens tour. We docked at 5:30, and took a bus to Buchart Gardens. This was barely enough time to see the garden. It is an amazingly beautiful place, and to really enjoy it you need time to just sit and experience the beauty. This tour was expensive and way too fast. I am glad I live in Seattle and can go again at a more leisurely pace. The tour guide on the bus talked non-stop about uninteresting random things. I would have preferred a quiet ride to his personal jabber, "beyond those trees is a lake, and I have memories of taking the children there when they were small", which did not add to my experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
First time cruising and we chose Alaska for it's scenic. It's was our 29th anniversary and decided on Celebrity Solstice after reading the reviews. We got a really good price and the weather was wonderful. Would go again. Ports ... Read More
First time cruising and we chose Alaska for it's scenic. It's was our 29th anniversary and decided on Celebrity Solstice after reading the reviews. We got a really good price and the weather was wonderful. Would go again. Ports were very nice. If going again would just choose the land tour next time. Ship was nice. Just needed a little more entertainment and maybe a couple of quick snack places. Ocean side café was just ok with bland food. Main dining was good and our staff was very good. We had a balcony on the 10th floor with concierge class. Was nice. The shows were ok. There really wasn't a lot of activities do to. Skayway was the best port. Would recommend the train ride. Didn't have any problems with the embarkment and disembarkation. Would have like a little more variety in shops beside jewelry and purses. Have read prior reviews about too much upselling but we didn't see much of that beside some stands posted around the ship. Overall a very nice experience and we enjoyed ourselves. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I was very impressed with a lot of thing about Celebrity Solstice and very disappointed with other things. The shows were great, especially the Alaska shows. I was a little disappointed in the age of the ship but it wasn't dirty just ... Read More
I was very impressed with a lot of thing about Celebrity Solstice and very disappointed with other things. The shows were great, especially the Alaska shows. I was a little disappointed in the age of the ship but it wasn't dirty just a little aged. The Ocean View Cafe was great if you were of Asian or Indian background or if you love their food. The American fare was poor. The food looked right but it definitely didn't taste right. The sauces for the pasta was runny, the eggs were runny, the hamburgers were burnt, and the selection was almost nonexistent. There were very few waiters/waitresses on the floor so you just had to make do with pushing used dishes out of the way. The main dining room was terrific. The food here was outstanding. Our service was slow (we don't drink) and we spent too much time waiting on our waiters to serve the food and take our dessert order. But the staff was extremely nice. Our cabin steward was the best. He worked very hard every day to make sure that everyone was happy and had everything needed, We just sailed on May 10, 2019, so our experience is fresh, The ship is well suited for couples. Of course, we sailed during the school year. Our excursions were through Viator instead of Celebrity. Other than almost missing our connection in Juneau, we didn't have any trouble finding our tour groups. The bus tour through the Yukon, in Skagway, with our tour guide Mike, was the best. We saw 2 bears, mountain goats, and a young moose. Our tour guide had sharp eyes and he was very entertaining. I believe anyone will enjoy this cruise and we are looking forward to our next one. The departing from the ship was extremely streamlined and it didn't take very long for everyone to be on dry land. The Celebrity excursions were the easiest to find since they were the first ones you came upon when docking. There were always other ship at port when were got to port so we were usually the farthest from the city. The other ships had mostly already unloaded their passengers when we first were let off the ship. Getting back on was a breeze. I brought two lanyards to hold our sea passes and we just had to show them when we boarded. Having the sea passes on the lanyards worked well for dining as well. We just showed them to the waiters and they used them to bring our sodas. The ship had a lot of things going on so you weren't bored at any time. We had to make time to go swimming and look around the ship. It was a wonderful experience and we had a great time (other than the fact that we brought our colds with us from home, but we found that the ships liquor store had things that you would normally buy in a pharmacy. Nail polish remover, cold meds, etc.) I recommend this ship and the experience to anyone wanting to discover Alaska! I no I don't have a reference point to compare this sailing to but I really enjoyed the experience. The captain came on loud speaker (outside the ship) he was Greek and a little hard to understand but he continued with the same message in a different way a few times so we were able to understand his message. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We took this particular cross pacific cruise from Hawaii to Vancouver for the route it was sailing and also, the price was very attractive. We sailed in Concierge Class and we enjoyed the little extras it gave us, like priority boarding, ... Read More
We took this particular cross pacific cruise from Hawaii to Vancouver for the route it was sailing and also, the price was very attractive. We sailed in Concierge Class and we enjoyed the little extras it gave us, like priority boarding, tender service, sparkling wine and snacks every day. Our cabin was located on deck 10 in the forward part of the ship, it was very quiet, hardly any noise at all, we could hardly even hear the engines. Our first of five sea days threw us into a scale 11 storm with 55 knot winds and 25 feet waves. The ship handled it VERY well. Yes, there was movemnet, lots of people were sea sick, but there was nothing failing of the tables or anything like that. Luckily, none of us were prone to sea sickness. The ship itself is very beautiful, lots or artwork and spotlessly clean! It is ten years old and in the cabins the age is beginning to show just here and there. Nothing to be concerned about, and I understand that all cabins will be replaced during her major refit in 2021. The ship has plenty to do, you can do it all or nothing at all. The choice is yours. The service onboard is impeccable and the food is of a very high standard. Even the buffet and room service was excellent, ask for crispy bacon and you will have just that.. Personally, I did find some of the tastes to be a bit bland, but that is purely a matter of personal taste. The wines were excellent and all cocktails equally delicious. We had a few ports with tender service and that can be a bit of challenge, but sail in a Concierge cabin and you will not experience any of that. There were a few flaws here and there. For instance, the music in the lounges and bars is simply too loud. It discourages conversation and it fails to meet its purporse of adding to the ambiance. Furthermore, there were no change in the music during the day, why have Madonna blasting from the speakers on the aft deck outside the buffet, where people were having breakfast at 8 am?? Why not play some lovely classical music or piano, even some soft jazz would have done better. The bands on board and shows were very good as well. There was always plenty of seating to be found, both in and outdoors, no shortage of nice sun loungers either. We did not take any of the organized tours as we preferred to arrange it ourselves. Travelling as LGBTs we were greated with a social hour each evening, that was a nice touch! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was my first time cruising with Celebrity, but I had sailed with other lines previously. The demographic was what I expected, mostly 30 or 40-somethings and up. The staff onboard worked extremely hard to ensure I had everything I ... Read More
This was my first time cruising with Celebrity, but I had sailed with other lines previously. The demographic was what I expected, mostly 30 or 40-somethings and up. The staff onboard worked extremely hard to ensure I had everything I needed and that my experience was a positive one. The captain always had a good sense of humor, and I enjoyed his commentary during daily announcements. The area I enjoyed most was the solarium--super relaxing. For entertainment, I loved going to see the string duo, Lighthouse. They were so fun and such great performers. The only criticisms I could think of are regarding the thermal suite and the wifi. The thermal suite is fairly small for the ship size and the amount of money you pay to get access. It could use a refurb. The wifi was just not good. I realize most like to disconnect while on vacation (I understand this), but unfortunately I have to keep up with my house/dog sitter at home. The connection was just very poor for most of the cruise, and I did not like paying that much for something boasting access to all streaming apps, surfing, etc. Overall, the experience was a very positive trip. I would consider Celebrity again, and I do believe the solstice class ship could be a lot of fun in the caribbean. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the transpacific cruise because of the ports and Celebrity Solstice because of reviews and recommendations. Very pleased we went Aqua class as the food and service in Blu restaurant was outstanding, especially for anyone with ... Read More
We chose the transpacific cruise because of the ports and Celebrity Solstice because of reviews and recommendations. Very pleased we went Aqua class as the food and service in Blu restaurant was outstanding, especially for anyone with special dietary requirements. By comparison, the main dining room was mediocre, but the buffet was better than expected. The Spa cafe was also good for light breakfast and lunch options but the burgers at the Mast Grill were disappointing. Al Bacio Cafe is very popular for specialty coffee and tea but expensive unless you have a drinks package. The daily treats there are provided free and some are very good. The gym is modern and spacious and evening entertainment was very good, especially the Lighthouse Duo and Gilly and the Girl. Some of the special artists were also great but there was a lack of variety of activities during the day and the cruise catered more to an older crowd with two sets of five consecutive sea days with mostly passive activities on offer. Although there were a small number of families on board this cruise which spanned the school holidays, and there is a kids club, the ship does not really cater to children or a younger crowd. It is quite accessible for people with mobility issues but there were often long delays for the lifts especially when disembarking. There were only 6 ports of call on this 19 night cruise so it was disappointing for a cruise called Tahitian Treasures that we visited two of the three ports in Tahiti over Easter where many places were closed due to the holidays. Shore excursions can be prebooked through the cruise line or independently online for convenience but are usually much cheaper and quite easy to book when you arrive in a port if you have done some research beforehand. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, and in that respect, it delivered. We booked the Hilton on Princes Wharf for a 3-night pre-cruise stay in Auckland, and the ship was docked beside the hotel when we woke up on embarkation ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, and in that respect, it delivered. We booked the Hilton on Princes Wharf for a 3-night pre-cruise stay in Auckland, and the ship was docked beside the hotel when we woke up on embarkation day. Porters met us in the lobby and delivered our luggage to the ship, and from that point, everything went smoothly. We had pre-booked the Murano specialty dining room for the first evening's dinner. It was very nice and worth the extra cost, but there was an odd twist. My wife ordered a dessert which was prepared and flambeed table-side with great fanfare -- only to be rolled away quickly with a flippant "Now the real one will be delivered to you from the kitchen." We're still trying to figure out what happened ... Our first cruise was with Celebrity many years ago, and we were hoping for the same quality of food and beverage service as we had experienced before. Overall, I'd have to say that the main-dining-room food on this ship was good to very good, but not great. Several fellow passengers commented that the food served in the Oceanview Cafe was generally better in terms of variety and quality, even for dinner. Somewhat disappointing was the fact that we weren't able to access some dining venues, even for an extra fee, because we hadn't paid for one of the highest-price cabins. The major irritation, however, was during bar service, where our mid-range "classic" beverage package required as much as $4.50 extra per drink, depending on what bar we were in and what drink was ordered. The size of our drinks was actually smaller than the same drink in the "premium" package, as well, which was a great way to limit the amount of alcohol poured during busy bar times when the waiter might not get back to you for 15-20 minutes after you've finished your first drink. This "nickle-and- dime" approach will most likely prevent us from cruising with Celebrity again, as we've recently been accustomed to all-inclusive cruising, with no tricks to limit costs and squeeze more money from guests. Overall, we found New Zealand to be the most beautiful country we've ever visited, and Sydney is an amazing city -- perhaps the most vibrant we've visited. Our ship took us to many interesting ports, and we're glad we made the trip One highlight of our trip was the crew. Especially for such a large ship, this was the friendliest crew we've experienced in 9 cruises. Our cabin was the most spacious we've ever had, and it made a noticeable difference in our experience. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Last sailing of the season – 3 senior couples traveling together, 2 couples from Phoenix, 1 couple from WA state – our 4th cruise as a group of 6, 14 days, March/April 2019. GREATEST FEAR: Dread of the flight to AKL and the ... Read More
Last sailing of the season – 3 senior couples traveling together, 2 couples from Phoenix, 1 couple from WA state – our 4th cruise as a group of 6, 14 days, March/April 2019. GREATEST FEAR: Dread of the flight to AKL and the transport home from SYD. Into AKL we arrived 2 nights early – all on Hawaiian. One couple did PDX to HNL to AKL in one shot – the others did PHX to HNL, overnight, then HNL to AKL on day two. This gave us 2 non stops PHX to HNL 7 hours, then HNL to AKL 9 hours by leaving a day early. Though an inconvenience to go from airport to hotel then back using free hotel shuttle and free breakfast the 4 of us felt this was a great way to go. JET LAG ISSUES: Indeed for all of us – about 18 hours ahead of our normal time, plus while onboard we had 3 instances of setting the clock back 1 hr each time. We found we did not bounce back from this quickly and seemed tired for a week trying to adjust to the time change issues. Pricing to do this by Hawaiian was very good. TRANSPORT HOME: 1 couple left upon concluding the cruise, 3 flights, SYD to AKL, AKL to HNL, HNL to PDX. We all found air fares back to US from SYD very high with a saving by first going to AKL then home. Our 2nd couple in fear of 13 + hours non stop chose to cruise SYD to HNL on the Radiance, then fly home from HNL. Couple 3 braved the long non stop which was 12 hrs 35 mins SYD to SFO, then SW SFO to PHX (USED UAL FF MILES for the non stop and paid for the extra comfort seating, which we felt was a good idea). Couples 2&3 stayed 5 nights after disembarking to tour Sydney as 1st time visitors. We’ve come too far not to see Sydney !! EMBARKING – GETTING ABOARD: As we arrived into AKL at 10pm 2 nights prior to departure we chose to stay near the airport at a hotel with free airport transport. The other 4 chose to ride into the CBD after the flight and stayed 2 nights in the CBD. We decided to get to the ship via an Auckland City Tour just prior to loading. We used Skybus from the airport to get into the CBD, day of boarding, was quick, efficient and about $12 USD each. There we were picked up by the tour operator. The other 4 were added at their hotel and the 6 us had a 4 hour tour of Auckland with Auckland Scenic Tours, dropping us at conclusion with our luggage at the Solstice Pier. THE SHIP: Sept 2014, 4 of us had been on Solstice, 11 day Alaska sailing. Had been in dry dock since and was somewhat improved. Still very shiny, well cared for, public areas neat clean – it is like a floating palace it’s so nice. CREW: Had a change of Master’s mid cruise, never had this before. New one, Captain Tasos, was a ton of fun with his 10AM briefing - one favorite quote; “put the pedal to the metal”. Staff was very good, mostly friendly and helpful with a smile. PASSENGERS: Approximately 2900 + crew – 1/3rd US/Canada, 1/3 Aussie/NZ, and 1/3rd other countries. Few children, mostly a senior crowd but a good age mix. DINING: A very annoying situation here – we all booked over a year in advance and requested linked traditional early dining (6pm) with a table for six. All of us requested this and at times we were linked and at times the linkage would disappear. One week before leaving home I was told by Captain’s Club we were at a table for six, but I should check with the maître'd to be certain. 1st thing on boarding we checked and the link had again disappeared – 1 table of 4, 1 table of 2, not a table for six. We immediately went to the maitre’d who had an explanation of why this had happened but after being forceful and determined he agreed to seat us together the 1st night in MDR and would arrange for seating together the 2nd and subsequent night. That is what occurred but our permanent table assignment though for six was too noisy to hear one another during dinner. Why does a linkage for 6, set up in advance disappear? This should never have even been an issue and did not get us off to a good start on boarding so beware. Once a link occurs it should be impossible to tamper with this – this needs fixing. Our evening dining at our joint table was a very important part of the cruise. SERVICE AND FOOD QUALITY DIVERSITY: Some nights were okay – menu choices were not special many times; food quality was sometimes very good, other times not what we expected. Service was fine but the noisy table and food prep overshadowed everything else so we skipped the MDR the most times we ever had on this cruise as a result. Also – show times were 7pm and 9pm; with the 6pm dining we could not make the 7pm show so we dined at the Oceanview buffet at 6pm to make the 7pm showtime; not liking a show starting at 9pm normally. Too late for our needs and enjoyment. We did dine in one specialty restaurant, the Murano one night and found it to be a special experience, well worth the added cost. Otherwise most dining was in the buffet; we found their food better overall than the MDR so kept going back and we usually could hear each other as we dined together. Good service and usually tables available to select. We did have prime rib twice and lobster once in the MDR. PORTS AND ITINERARY: This was a winner – ports were outstanding, docked and departed on time, great weather but why an overnight in Tauranga? One day was enough. Nice balance of ports and sea days. TOURS: We normally stay away from the ship’s product assuming it will be on a big bus (55 people) and usually too expensive. We did tours in most stops but took only 2 Celebrity Tours, using OBC for that. Though convenient for pickup and return big bus it was but pricing for these 2 tours was acceptable too. Our private tours worked just fine and usually came with a smaller bus as well – never a problem getting back to the ship on time. I think my favorite port and tour was in Hobart, Tasmania – we took a Gray Line tour with Jim on a tram type car but this did involve a 10 minute walk from the pier after an involved immigration clearing as this was our 1st port into Australia. We all loved Tasmania and it was a good city to walk upon tour conclusion. THE EVENING SHOWS: As stated. Shows at 7pm and 9pm – never an issue getting a seat. Many production shows by Celebrity talent and orchestra; most were good and entertaining. Had some singers; a comedian my favorite was the Motown show by the OZ brothers; for them we dined in Oceanview at 6pm and attended the 7pm show. Was advertised as a Motown show but that was a 3rd of the music they performed. Also did 4 Seasons and other artists – well done guys. DISEMBARKING – GETTING FROM SHIP TO OUR SYDNEY HOTEL: Four of us stayed the 5 nights to see Sydney, staying at the Hyatt Regency Darling Harbor, near the ship docking pier. The four shared an SUV, along with all our bags and in 20 minutes or so were at the hotel – cost: $35 AUD total including a tip – hard to beat. SHIP ACTIVITIES: On those days not visiting a port we always did the trivia sessions and there were usually 3 per day. There were the usual exercise classes, information lectures and the crew selling various products. Also the retail area regularly had sales and offers and there were numerous upscale retail outlets on board. We found no trouble staying busy as we also enjoyed playing games as our group of six. PUBLIC AREAS: We found them to be clean and in great condition, we could usually find a quiet place to do our group game sessions. INTERNET CAFÉ: As stated having access to 180 complimentary minutes allowed us to avoid paying for internet use on board. Once docked it was usually easy to find free wi fi locally to stay caught up. Pricing was the usual outrageous number. CASINO: ENTIRELY NON SMOKING ALL THE TIME -The slots were not very generous but we certainly had seen worse on prior cruises and cruise lines. Enough of a variety to keep a gambler interested, also the usual blackjack, craps, roulette. TRIP HINTS CPAP BREATHING MACHINE – Suppose to use distilled water in the device – almost impossible to find in NZ/AUS. CAPTAIN’S CLUB – This was our 1st time at the elite level and the benefits we found were very nice to have, e.g., unlimited drinks in most bars between 5 and 7 pm most days. A free bag of laundry and 90 mins of free internet. NOTE: These benefits are per person, not per stateroom. We were thinking per stateroom until our room steward called this to our attention so we really had twice what we thought we had. POST CRUISE LAUNDRY: Arriving into Sydney with a lot of dirty laundry and plans to stay 5 days meant trying to address laundry needs. A coin laundry in the central city was not possible but we found a true gem for this problem. WASH ON THE ROCKS.COM.AU ON HICKSON ST. They are in the rocks area of the city and they pick up, do the laundry, fold it and deliver back to your hotel. They picked up before noon and by 6pm of the same day it was all done. We (the 2 couples) sent them 4 loads and for that the charge was $84.00 AUD. That includes pick up and return to the hotel – we were all so excited to have clean laundry done for us for this pricing and set us up for the balance of our trip. SYDNEY HOTEL RECOMMENDATION: Hyatt Regency, 161 Sussex near Darling Harbor. We opted for the “deluxe” room for our 5 nights. Rates were reasonable for Sydney, the hotel is beautiful and the Darling Harbor location a good location, felt safe and excellent location. Employees were friendly and helpful; received many helpful hits from Tony, Hyatt valet for 22 years re: things to see, do and where to dine. He is a treasure. Room was quiet, good bed and pillows, good for temperature control (note they use Celsius not F). A great choice for our needs. SUMMARY Overall would give the cruise and ship a 4.8 out of 5.0 due to the small very irritating items mentioned earlier. Celebrity does so many things well and we feel offers a superior, premier cruising product without requiring premium pricing to cruise. The six of us are booked in April on the Silhouette and all looking forward to that cruise. If Celebrity could just address these nagging problems I would not hesitate to give them a 5.0. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
4th cruise, 3rd with Celebrity, 2 others on smaller Constellation & Millenium. Value of cruise good but inclusions very expensive. Had balcony midships level 8, excellent. Internet usage $55US per day, Drink Packages ridiculous ... Read More
4th cruise, 3rd with Celebrity, 2 others on smaller Constellation & Millenium. Value of cruise good but inclusions very expensive. Had balcony midships level 8, excellent. Internet usage $55US per day, Drink Packages ridiculous prices as well. $25US corkage if you bought your own wine to dinner. (1 bottle per person allowed onboard first day). Food in main dining ok except for 2 nights when the choice was inedible. Ocean View cafe ok but again some of the meat dishes were a bit dry & unappetizing. Trying to find a seat at breakfast was a challenge. Solstice is getting a bit tired & needs a refit which is happening next year I think. Captain Tasos is THE best & he & his staff of many could not be faulted. Dining room staff were exceptional & really looked after you. Ports of Call on this itinerary were great, especially our sail through The Sounds. Much prefer to cruise on smaller ships. 2200 pax & 1200 staff just not as personal. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We choose this cruise because the last Solstice trip (to Sth Pacific) the average age was around 60, still way older than us but ok. This time is very around mid 80s and most people were not mobile. Getting around the ship was very ... Read More
We choose this cruise because the last Solstice trip (to Sth Pacific) the average age was around 60, still way older than us but ok. This time is very around mid 80s and most people were not mobile. Getting around the ship was very frustrating and the music on board was obviously to cater for them - 30s and 40's (which my husband and I can't stand). We don't have children (by choice, they annoy me); so it was good that there weren't too many to be seen or heard. The ports were mostly good but I would get rid of Lautoka and Suva and try and use a beautiful outer Fijian island. I've been to Fiji a few times and the ports are not a true reflection of the beauty of the Fiji. We both really enjoyed Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga - we did shore trips in each location but not through the ship. We did the Oolala trip, with the ship, in Lautoka and it was terrible - I went two years ago and everything has changed for the worse. It was overcrowded, mean and the food was inedible. The entertainment was generally ok, if geared towards very old people. The dining was good but portion sizes are very small. I'm a size 8 and I had to eat 2nd dinner in the buffet some night as I was still starving. One of the guys (a professor) giving talks was so boring and his material very old. Surely they can find people who are actually interested in their material and pass that on to the cruises. Cost for gym classes is a bit expensive at $17US Why is the spa so expensive? I would love to have treatments but not at twice the price of Australia. The shops are ridiculous - LV and Tiffany - seriously???? why not have nice brands that your target market can afford. Get rid of the stupid art show - just have nice stuff around the ship to admire (not to purchase) Based on this cruise, we have decided to cruise again in about 20 years time - unless Celebrity really do something to encourage a younger (but Childfree) market. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Found the cruise relaxing staff were very helpful. Didn't enjoy the meals tried twice in the restaurant on Deck 3 or 4. Because we don;t consume alcohol and don't put on airs down to earth couple didn't really feel welcomed ... Read More
Found the cruise relaxing staff were very helpful. Didn't enjoy the meals tried twice in the restaurant on Deck 3 or 4. Because we don;t consume alcohol and don't put on airs down to earth couple didn't really feel welcomed there. After that experience used the Ocienveiw Cafe for all our meals and the Mast Grille nice presented food. Enjoyed the show put on most nights in the Solstice Theatre pity they were only a hour long. Enjoyed the outdoor movies pity they repeated them over and over especially The Black Panther and Skycraper. Enjojed watching the girls on deck 15 working with the glass very pleasant and customer looked happy with their items. Bands that played were good normally listened to them in the library. Really not a lot to do at night if you don't gamble or drink. The ship looked nice and clean Indra did a good job making and tiding our room. A few issues with wind blowing thru the door at night whistling, broken tiolet seat cracked T.V. losing signal when watching it otherwise okay.Choose excursions thru the ship 1st not to be left behind and 2nd not to indated by the locals if going ashore. Went on the Nausori Farmers Market Drive hard to hear the person talking as microphone kept cutting in and out. The third excursion I didn't do due to illness which was spreading thru-out the ship coughing, sneezing runny nose and sore throat, as no opening windows in our room think it was spread by the air conditioning.Older couple early 60's no children. Yes we have booked again for same trip 2021 with a room at back of ship with opening balcony hopefully to prevent illness. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is my second cruise with hubby (both 50 yr olds) and our first one was on Solstice also 2 years ago. Our first cruise was perfect and so it was inevitable that we would be comparing both cruises and that the second one wouldn't ... Read More
This is my second cruise with hubby (both 50 yr olds) and our first one was on Solstice also 2 years ago. Our first cruise was perfect and so it was inevitable that we would be comparing both cruises and that the second one wouldn't be as good as the first. Celebrity have the embarkation/disembarkation process down pat and we can't fault them on that at all. Even at Princess Wharf Auckland where it is so small and could be utter chaos, everything was good and moved quickly. We had stayed at the Sebel Quay West the night before which I recommend as it is a lovely hotel and an easy walk with luggage down to the wharf. The ship is as lovely as ever and looked after well although you can see some minor things showing some wear and tear. The best thing about Celebrity is the staff - they are all friendly and helpful. As with the last cruise, the only staff member to not acknowledge us as we walked by everyday was the Captains Club hostess. This itinerary seemed to attract an older age group - a lot of baby boomers on this cruise and more then half were New Zealanders. We seemed to find this age group to be really rude - always needing to be first in line for everything, and would push in front of you to grab something (with their hands) in the buffet. We noticed on a few occassions some were really rude to the bartenders - was terrible to see and was no need for it. Poor bartenders have to work so hard to keep us thirsty aussies and kiwis satisfied as it is without having to deal with people who think they are entitled. I thought there might not be much nightlife because of the older crowd but a lot of them liked to party. The Full Moon party, and silent discos were pretty popular. The sea days were pretty quiet with not too many activities which was disappointing. We ended up going to the afternoon trivia most days to fill in some time - even though we are really bad at it. Luckily the bartenders there were the best on the ship- in particular Eric and Nevil. Last cruise we spent a lot of time at the outdoor bars - Sunset and Mast but they've changed the rules and they are now smoking bars so we didn't go there much at all. Sunset bar is only supposed to be smoking on port side but this doesn't seem to get enforced. While we were sitting at the centre of the bar, a woman was standing directly behind us smoking while ordering a drink. Bit of a deal breaker unfortunately for us when the best bars are now off limits for the non smokers. The food is still good but probably not as good as the first cruise. The quality has dropped a bit in the buffet eg used to be able to get different varieties of bacon but now only thin stuff that was cooked in the oven making it hard. There isn't as much variety either. The food in the main restaurant is tasty. The bread basket is dangerously good. The portion sizes are small on some things but you can order more. We found it is difficult to get a drink there if you don't drink wine. Went one night without being asked at all if we wanted a drink. And another night we had to ask. We went to Silk Harvest once - good food but the restaurant is a bit too dark and it was very stuffy. Tuscan Grille is a lovely place to have a good meal before it gets dark so you can see the views. Service was good, they were probably a bit too attentive if anything as there was always someone asking us how the food was, do we need anything else etc. Pretty sad but one thing I was looking forward to was the $10 watch sale. They don't have it anymore. Luckily nothing else grabbed me, including the casino so didn't have to spend much costly US$. Missed hearing Captain Tasos's daily announcements this time- Captain Taramas doesn't have the same character and isn't seen as much around the ship. The ports were interesting to see. We didn't do any Celebrity excursions as they all seemed too expensive. In hindsight it might have been better to go with Celebrity - it would have saved us having to deal with some undesirables in all of the ports who see cruisers coming and want to rip them off. The entertainment was good mostly - pity the production shows are the same ones we saw over 2 years ago. The singers seemed more suitable for musicals - they weren't really cut out for Rock City. The impressionist seemed to be popular with the older people but wasn't to my taste. Magician was good but all the tricks were shown on a screen that made everything look blurry so was difficult to watch. Couldn't fault our cabin - had a balcony on the hump on the Portside. If this itinerary is repeated exactly, I would recommend staying on the Starboard side. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Good itinerary and ships reviews. Pablito in Al Baccio was the hardest working member of staff on the ship, a real asset to Celebrity. Platino, Kevin and Thia looked after us very well in the restaurant, very pleasant and professional ... Read More
Good itinerary and ships reviews. Pablito in Al Baccio was the hardest working member of staff on the ship, a real asset to Celebrity. Platino, Kevin and Thia looked after us very well in the restaurant, very pleasant and professional service received from them all. Kadek our steward friendly and helpful, made us feel very welcome and did a good job. Disappointed with the evening offering in the restaurant, quite repetitive, especially for desserts, would have welcomed a cheese board. Entertainment was poor, for the general age of the guests on board, most of the activities were quite childish. Artists in the theatre were not of a good standard with the exception of the magician. Lighthouse, the two young ladies with electric violin and chello were excellent, really enjoyed their music. Embarkation in Fremantle was very slow and we had nowhere to stand in the shade whilst waiting to enter the port building. All other disembarkation went without any hitches. Did not do any of the ships 'extortions' as we found the cost to be prohibitive. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. It satisfied the ports we wanted to visit. The food was great, the desserts were amazing, The ship and stateroom were immaculate. The entertainment overall was soso compaired to other ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. It satisfied the ports we wanted to visit. The food was great, the desserts were amazing, The ship and stateroom were immaculate. The entertainment overall was soso compaired to other cruises we have been on. The shining star was the Piano player from Geelong. The big screen is hidden up on a deck where nobody visits. It would be better on the swimming pool deck. Cruise went from Fremantle so we spent 4 days in Perth investigating the area then one night in a BnB in Fremantle. First stop at Esperance was interesting but a bit of a waste of time (Hobart would be better). Was a bit disappointed with the amount of smoke from the funnels in our beautiful Milford Sounds. The in room videos about the pod motors, electric generators, and the side thrusters were very informative, The free movie channel had to be reset twice during our voyage. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We researched heavily before we picked a cruise line and ship, broken down into tonnage, amenities and restaurant choices, as well as general destinations. We chose to book a deluxe verandah stateroom, and got placed starboard on level 7. ... Read More
We researched heavily before we picked a cruise line and ship, broken down into tonnage, amenities and restaurant choices, as well as general destinations. We chose to book a deluxe verandah stateroom, and got placed starboard on level 7. We feel that our travel agent should have indicated to us that by paying more we would have had included all the perks and extras that we paid for anyway, but hey, she didnt, we didnt know, there you have it. The embarkation process in Perth was actually not that bad at all - a small wait in a holding area but that wasnt a drama. Do not understand why people grizzle about that when they are trying to process through as many people as you could find living in a small town. We got on board and found our cabin - it was tidy and clean. We realise that unless you board a vessel of ANY sort on its maiden voyage of course things will feel a bit pre-used, but on the whole they have gone to length to make it feel clean and fresh. For those grumbling about the black line around the toilet, I suspect that has to do with the sanitation system so maybe is just the way it is - it didnt make our bathroom smell nor did it detract from the use of the loo in any shape or form, so hey - get over it! The staff are nice and very helpful, but also pushy - a constant push to buy more, upgrade more, do this, do that. Some are extremely aggressive, some try to do it in a more subtle way - but the outcome is the same, it isnt nice when we have already paid a bit to get there and prepaid for packages and extras before we even embarked. We found the household staff a bit intense - we do not want our cabin turned down at night, dont want our things picked up and moved and dont want our already folded clothes refolded and put in one big pile. we tried to explain we didnt need the evening service thanks, which sort of fell on deaf ears so we started to put up the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door. A morning spruce-up of the cabin is nice, fresh towels etc (which sometimes when the old ones were removed no new towels were left in replacement) but this constant in and out was a bit much. The premium non-alcholic drinks package was a brilliant investment - we used that a lot. Really liked that we had this as we are frequently at Cafe el Bacio on level 5, where most of the staff who prepare coffees etc do a sterling job. We had one staff member who made ghastly coffees, frappes etc - I mentioned to the wait staff who brought the coffee that it wasnt very good at all, she made excuses for the fact it was awful, then must have gone back and told the girl who was acting as barista that day. We heard "expletive you" from behind the counter, so we consequently made a decision to AVOID the cafe if this staff member was on the machines. Because so many of the rest of the staff were really nice and some made really quite good coffees, we did not go down to Guest Relations and make a complaint. On the mainland it would have been very different. OCEANVIEW CAFE - is really okay actually, they try really hard to turn out a good selection for the masses, I think they do very well and have no complaints. A great staple with a stack of selection. Whats not to like. I will say though that real vegetable selection was sparse but once again it must be hard to carry enough of everything on a ship. GRAND EPERNAY - We went twice. It was a horrid experience and is the fly-in-the-soup of the restaurant dining experience for us. We refused to go back there again, rather using speciality restaurants most nights or good old ocean view cafe. Epernay was like a factory, noisy, seated almost right on top of the next couple where too many 2-seat tables had been crammed together. The cruise demographic did not help Epernay I suspect, all trying to turn up at the same time for dinner and of course the staff will attempt to accommodate them, but its not nice when you just want to eat in peace and the neighbours who are almost sitting on your lap feel obliged to talk to you. Other half and I obliged somewhat, but werent really there for the chitchat with others beyond the odd hello here and there so found that felt like a difficult transaction that was forced upon us because of the tight space. The food was okay but not outstanding. MURANO - We love Murano and have been many times. Small portions but you will feel stuffed when you leave, nicely prepared food. A definite 10 out of 10. SUSHI ON 5 - a hidden gem! Once again suspect because of the demographic on the ship it has been under-utilised on this trip. Good sushi, great serving staff - this was our other 10 out of 10. A really great sushi chef. MARTINI BAR - loved it. Good martinis pre dinner - candied apple martini and dessert martinis scrumptious. A fair few happy martinis pre dinner were had. The whole laundry service isnt a good concept - I have woollen items that I am NOT paying someone else to wreck, and anyway we refuse to pay at least 25USD per day on Laundry. Its not that we cant afford it, its that they warn you that its a case of caveat emptor when it comes to using laundry services. No thanks. We did pre-order two cakes off the web site for the stateroom - one choc raspberry for one week, and one choc coffee. We got the same choc raspberry each time which wasnt that great so consequently ended up getting binned. We just let it go because sometimes things can be very hard to sort, and when we mentioned it to the housekeeping girl who brought it to the room (that they had got it wrong and we received the same thing two weeks running) she just looked blank, and to be honest I couldnt be bothered going there. Be careful when ordering cakes in advance as a room treat. We didnt do organised shore packages - more just a trip into town in whatever port we were in. It was really great. Didnt go into adelaide but went everywhere else. Shop staff in esperance WA rude. We didnt do theatre etc - for us this has been about catching our breath and decompressing on a real break. The Gym and the Persian garden top up have been great. For better or worse we feel like we had a break. This has been our learning curve cruise - we now know how it works. The mistake we made is that we didnt go for suite class in the booking phase. It might have given us a bit more respite from some of the faux snobbery that seems to prevail amongst certain of the demographic, but on thorough dissection we have decided we are going to bite the bullet and go for royal suite or penthouse suite class next time if we go celebrity as that will give us the extras and packages that we bought anyway if I understand correctly, plus a suite with a bit more room will be a bonus! Dont get me wrong through - I have never felt like we are falling all over one another, but a bit more space will make it really amazing. We went down to future cruises and tried to secure something for approx 2 years away in July 2021 - the very helpful lady there told us that we could find 2021 cruises up on the site by the end of this year - that works for us. We've already worked out that we want to do St Petersburg 14 nights, Viking cruises does a better itinerary of stops in Scandinavia but we are debating giving Celebrity another go and see if booking a different sort of class of accommodation irons out the wrinkles, so to speak. All in all, a very good experience, we feel rested and like we have had a real holiday, someone else has done the driving and the cooking and the cleaning. Loved seeing Melbourne and Sydney again, the sounds are stunning and Dunedin is a southern gem. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We have been cruising since 1986 and truly have enjoyed most experiences. We chose this cruise as a B2B since we had not been to this part of the world and it was a long flight from the states. We booked an Aqua spa class cabin (first ... Read More
We have been cruising since 1986 and truly have enjoyed most experiences. We chose this cruise as a B2B since we had not been to this part of the world and it was a long flight from the states. We booked an Aqua spa class cabin (first time) and was not disappointed. The cabin located on deck 11, was small but adequate. The Blu restaurant was excellent and worth the cost of the room itself. From the hostess to the waiters and the sommeliers, the experience was exceptional. Food was perfectly presented, in nice small portions and prepared as requested. Seating was well staged with mostly paired tables but just close enough if you wanted to carry on a conversation with your neighbor. I'm afraid I will never go back to the main dining room. We also ate in Tuscan and Murano. Food was good and plentiful but not worth the cost unless you can get a discount. The cafe (buffet) was also a good experience as the food and layout made it easy to see the offerings and find what you were looking for. However, on seas days you could not find a place to seat let alone a table as people camped out for many hours at a time playing cards, grazing, playing on their tablets and phones killing time. We frequented the Martini bar and Cafe al Bacio utilizing our premium drink package. Love the specialized coffees and variations in martinis. Prices however are outrageous if you don't have that package. We purchased 9 ship tours and 3 private tours. All tours met or exceeded our expectations except for the ship's "taste of Barossa." On that tour the wineries were not prepared for 45 people at one time. On the other tours, the animals many times were the stars of the tours especially the Koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, seals and penguins. The seas by luck were mainly calm even in the Tasmanian sea. Weather in ports for February and March was 70's (expected and packed for hotter) and mainly clear except for Sydney where it rained off and on both times we were there. As mentioned in earlier reviews the ship is looking worn. Although beautifully designed, much of the furniture is thread bear and needs replacing. This includes most public areas especially the chairs. Again as mentioned in earlier reviews, there was a significant amount of rust showing in the upper superstructure. Not what I am accustomed to on a Celebrity ship. Lastly the things that will make me think twice before booking another Celebrity cruise with sea days. The constant promoting of the specialty restaurants, wine purchases, drink packages, spa packages and "pay to play" promotions (wine tastings for example) from morning to night around every corner of the ship was awful. A real turnoff to most passengers. You could not escape it especially on sea days. I can not stress enough how hard they tried to sell these products. But the most disappointing thing I found on the cruise was how Celebrity has gutted the "activities staff" and the activities they provide. The CD talked a good game each day but was mostly missing in action. His recently promoted assistant tried his best to provide some form of sea day activities, but with what appears to be no budget, offered little. Celebrity's program is pay to play or entertain yourself. My idea of sea day activities does not include making paper airplanes for an hour to challenge for 10 seconds an officer, making an egg drop contraption or a "boat" out of ship garbage (referred to by Celebrity as recyclables) or waiting an hour to hit a golf ball one time in the foyer to an "X" taped to the floor. Cost for these activities to Celebrity = $0.00. The hot glass program and outside movies to me were non-existent. Overall we still had a great time, but with many ways to spend your travel dollars these days, I will think long and hard before making my next booking. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Chose this cruise because it was hubby’s bucket list trip to go to Australia and I wanted to go to NZ. Solstice is showing her age a bit...things are just looking a little worn...some holes in our cabin drapes, chairs in the public ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was hubby’s bucket list trip to go to Australia and I wanted to go to NZ. Solstice is showing her age a bit...things are just looking a little worn...some holes in our cabin drapes, chairs in the public areas are a worn...that type of thing. If you look passed all those types of things then Solstice is still a beautiful ship. Food this time out for me was a bit of a disappointment. Had to send one dinner in the MDR back all together. There was a good mix of choices. They were free with the lobster on the night they served it which hubby was quite happy with. Staff were marvellous, Joaquim our cabin attendant was very good with our request to get the night light in the bathroom fixed and sorting out a different appie plate for us in the afternoon. He was very helpful and pleasant and attentive to all our needs. Martini Bar staff were lovely too. Thank you Alin! MDR staff were wonderful although I gave them such a bad tim*e trying to get them to stop calling me madam...had fun though. Entertainment wasn’t an attraction for us...we previewed the early show after dinner to see if it was something we wanted to see. Over a 16 night sailing I think we only took in maybe 4 shows. There were special ABBA or Queen music nights in Sky Lounge we attended instead. Ports were all good. Excursions for the most part were good. Some narratives were better than others. The Adelaide excursion we went on the commentator sort of stammered and repeated himself. The sound system on the bus wasn’t working right or he wasn’t talking loud enough but half the bus couldn’t hear him. I was quite surprised by the number of people with walking/travelling aides on this cruise. I know I am not a spring chicken but I found it frustrating trying to move freely sometimes because of the number of people with scooters etc. I understand now that the longer the cruise the more chance you have of that happening. So if you are young and want more action.....think on. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
My wife and I have been on 55 cruises, the shortest 11 days, the longest 28 days. We have sailed with NCL, Holland America, Princess, Azamara and Celebrity. On Celebrity we are Elite Plus members with 2000 points. Our most recent cruise ... Read More
My wife and I have been on 55 cruises, the shortest 11 days, the longest 28 days. We have sailed with NCL, Holland America, Princess, Azamara and Celebrity. On Celebrity we are Elite Plus members with 2000 points. Our most recent cruise was a back to back on Celebrity Solstice. Here are the pros and cons.  The pros: Friendly Crew and excellent service though out the ship. Good meals. Nice casino. Wi-Fi is good. The daily get together for Captain's Club members in the Sky Lounge was very enjoyable. The music played at the pool wasn't deafening. The cons: Because the backs lounge chairs in the Solarium can only be raised about 45 degrees and we found them too uncomfortalbe to just sit and read. The ship is starting to get a "tired" look. I noticed a lot of rust. Maybe Celebrity should attend to the fleet before more building new ships. Unrelated pet peeves:: Cruisers who come to breakfast for the gym or track wearing their sweat soaked work out attire. They obviously don't have any respect of their fellow travels. Maybe a security guard should be posted at the entrances and deny them entry. This happens on all the ships. Cruisers who linger chatting or reading after breakfast and lunch while others are searching for a table. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Bucket list to see Australia. Embarkation and disembarking are the worst part of any cruise. This was no different, although clearing the ship of that large a number of passengers and preparing for the arriving passengers in 4 to 5 hours ... Read More
Bucket list to see Australia. Embarkation and disembarking are the worst part of any cruise. This was no different, although clearing the ship of that large a number of passengers and preparing for the arriving passengers in 4 to 5 hours is a difficult task. The crew was fantastic in every department. They actually appeared to be happy to serve you. The food was well prepared but the selection was small. It seems they want you to use the buffet or pay for one of the specialty restaurants. My main complaint is the constant up selling. I researched to find the cruise I wanted along with the type cabin and extra packages. I bought the classic drink package and was constantly receiving emails trying to get me to upgrade. At least twice a day on the cruise I was approached about booking specialty dining. Everything now seems to be geared toward getting you to spend every cent you have in the shops and restaurants. 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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