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12 Night Australia & New Zealand Cruise from Auckland

12 Night Australia & New Zealand Cruise from Auckland

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Celebrity Solstice (Photo: Celebrity)
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Auckland
  • Day 2
    Paihia
  • Day 3
    Tauranga
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Wellington
  • Day 6
    Akaroa
  • Day 7
    Dunedin
  • Day 8
    Doubtful Sound
  • Day 8
    Dusky Sound
  • Day 8
    Milford Sound
  • Day 9
    Cruising
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    Hobart
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Sydney (Australia)

Celebrity Solstice

Celebrity Solstice - Celebrity Cruises

Pros

Elegant, modern ship with impressive drinking and dining venues

Cons

Exclusive venues for certain cabin categories could make some passengers feel excluded

Bottom Line

Sophisticated, contemporary and delicious cruise experience for all ages


Cruise Reviews

2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
First cruise with Celebrity, had previously done 2 Alaskan cruises with HAL. We prefer a more sedate and classy vibe, but the reviews for the analogous HAL cruise ship were poor in comparison. In general I think this cruise is targeted ... Read More
First cruise with Celebrity, had previously done 2 Alaskan cruises with HAL. We prefer a more sedate and classy vibe, but the reviews for the analogous HAL cruise ship were poor in comparison. In general I think this cruise is targeted towards the livelier of the older crowd. Itinerary was fine. I would've preferred fewer cities and more nature. It's a bit of a tradeoff, though, since it'd be difficult to get rental cars. Didn't do any excursions, just went touring independently. Good: * Crew is excellent. They work so hard and really aim to please. My impression is that they're asked to do a lot. * Handicap accessibility and assistance. My dad is in a wheelchair, and we found no issues getting around or sitting anywhere. The crew were very accommodating. In particular, they were very helpful whenever we tendered. It can be tricky helping someone who can't really walk to step on and off a rocking tender boat, but the crew kept my dad safe at all times and just did a really commendable job. * Food overall. We didn't do any specialty dining. We did Oceanview Cafe buffet for breakfast and lunch. Excellent variety. Quality was good but I can see room for improvement there (some items were verging on stale). We usually did Grand Epernay for dinner, where the meals were higher quality than the buffet, as expected. We did Grand Epernay for lunch once, and it was quite good. * Entertainment overall. * Live music overall. * Gym was well-maintained. Equipment was abundant and clean. Not great: * The library. Maybe we've been spoiled by HAL, but on the Solstice it's just an extra space that was made into a library. Furnished decently enough, but it's small, and exposed to the atrium, meaning it's potentially noisy and with no outside views. Not a single ottoman here (or anywhere on the ship, for that matter, I don't think). No happily falling asleep on accident as you lean back in a comfy chair, reading a book, with the ocean in the background. * There are no quiet and unexposed public spaces on the ship with a view. * Two of the smoking areas are indoor-ish, on the 12th floor by the pools. * Music is constantly pumped everywhere, so you feel like you're always in a shopping mall. I found this to be less than classy. There are likely some areas where there is no music, but I remember far more places where music seemed inappropriate. For example, I remember being in the Sky Lounge (a confusing space in itself - more on that later) on the morning of entering Milford Sound, before sunrise, and for some reason Eye of the Tiger and some other song with "sex pot" in the lyrics were playing loudly. Just really conflicted with the mood you would expect so early in the morning, which should be serene, peaceful, to be gently introduced to the splendor of nature. * Or maybe it was just the choice of music. In general the music aesthetic was as if you put "Lisa Loeb - Stay" into Pandora. Why not some classical instead? * There are way too many bars on this ship, especially in the nicer parts of the ship. I wonder how the friends of Bill W feel about that. Anyway, if there's a nice space, there's a high probability that there's a bar in it to take it down a few notches. Examples: Sky Lounge and the Lawn Club. This ties back to confusing spaces. Sky Lounge is a potentially relaxing part of the ship, yet there's a bar and dance floor in it, effectively removing the relaxation potential. * Lots of up-selling. It's easy to decline but I found this to be tacky, and felt bad for the crew who have to do it. * Port information is not given along with the daily infosheet. You have to visit Guest Relations to get the port's infosheet. It's too easy to take a cynical view of why this is done. * Very expensive laundry service, whereas it's a non-issue on HAL. What we ended up doing was dropping off our laundry at Mall Drycleaning in Wellington (day 8 or 9 of cruise - we had another destination after the end of the cruise) on Johnston St, then picking it up at the end of the day before boarding. It was about 30 NZD for straight wash-dry-fold of about 4 large reusable shopping bags' worth of clothes. That's compared to 50 USD for one small bag on the Solstice only about 4 or 5 days into the cruise. Quibbles: * Not enough turnover on the pizza in Oceanview Cafe led to oftentimes surprising staleness. * Guest Relations crew should feel more OK to say when they don't know something but that they'll try to find the answer we're looking for. * I think it would be OK to call "music trivia" what it really is, which is "name that tune". * There were oftentimes typos and grammatical errors in the daily infosheet. There were also a lot of fluff sales-y phrases, where simple, accurate descriptions would be better. * There was some issue with linking expense accounts to each person in our party. Online, I had assigned everyone in my family to my credit card, but I still had to go to Guest Relations to swipe my card to associate it to each person. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We love the fellow travelers on celebrity cruises, especially on longer cruises. The food is very good, entertainment is fair compared to Royal Caribbean, and there is a decent amount of night life. The smaller groups of musicians are ... Read More
We love the fellow travelers on celebrity cruises, especially on longer cruises. The food is very good, entertainment is fair compared to Royal Caribbean, and there is a decent amount of night life. The smaller groups of musicians are excellent in the side venues. The main theater entertainment could really use some improvement. The pool areas are only crowded on sea days, but between the solarium and outer decks is large, so you can usually find a comfortable spot. The abundance of towels is wonderful, and unlike Royal Caribbean, you don't have to show your card as they seem to ration towels like old war era Soviet union lines for toilet paper. One thing that has changed is the switch from the Corning glass blowing exhibits on the long club. Now, under new management, there's a do it yourself with instruction, which charges a fee. Also, try and book tours on your own as the ship charges a premium for variable quality tours. This is true for most lines it seems. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
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