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4 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
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise to see New Zealand, it was our first cruise and we were not disappointed. We picked this particular one for the stops in Sydney and New Zealand.We had wonderful service and would like to thank especially Catalin, ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see New Zealand, it was our first cruise and we were not disappointed. We picked this particular one for the stops in Sydney and New Zealand.We had wonderful service and would like to thank especially Catalin, Larissa and the wine waiters for table 271 they were especially attentive and pleasant and very helpful when I was feeling under the weather. The captain was great and we enjoyed listening to his amusing updates on the weather and the ports. We went to his talk about the history of the vessel and found it very entertaining. The weather wasn’t always good but had it been the sun deck would have been used much more. We did find the solarium useful on the dull days but couldn’t always find a seat. The journey into the Fjiords was great and beautiful. We particularly enjoyed the trip on the Ketch in Akaroa and the Jet boat ride in Rotarua. Overall we had a great time and wouldn’t hesitate in booking again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We were interested to try a Celebrity cruise out of Australia, and this one offered an interesting itinerary as it visited Newcastle and Hobart as well as New Zealand ports. Embarkation was quick but we had special assistance with elderly ... Read More
We were interested to try a Celebrity cruise out of Australia, and this one offered an interesting itinerary as it visited Newcastle and Hobart as well as New Zealand ports. Embarkation was quick but we had special assistance with elderly mother, and we also had an accessible stateroom for her. Generally the public rooms of this ship were in excellent condition, and they were very elegant. We enjoyed the many different places on the ship to hear music of excellent quality, and also enjoyed the main production shows very much. Some of the guest acts were not quite as good, but it is necessary to cater for the many different tastes of the passengers in entertainment and one cannot expect to like everything. The house band was fantastic and we found ourselves dancing every night. We found the cruise director and staff to be very good, and the captain was hilarious! We were in the Captain's club lounge every night, and enjoyed the service there. Select dining around 8pm worked very well and the food and service in the main dining room was of a very good standard. The sommeliers were also knowledgable, and we found good wines to drink with our meals. Overall the service all around the ship was excellent. We have been to NZ many times so the ports were predictable for us, but we were lucky with the weather and were able to see everything on the itinerary. People we met who were experiencing NZ for the first time seemed to really love the ports. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We choose cruises based on places we want to stop, and have preferred Celebrity when possible for the past 15+ years. Things we liked: Every place we stopped. Love New Zealand. Cruising the fjords of New Zealand. Select dining ... Read More
We choose cruises based on places we want to stop, and have preferred Celebrity when possible for the past 15+ years. Things we liked: Every place we stopped. Love New Zealand. Cruising the fjords of New Zealand. Select dining started at 5:30 so you could catch the 7 pm show. Everyone tried hard to please, and most succeeded. They really do have good people. Liked the Elite benefits--bag of laundry, 3 free drinks everyday from 5-7 anywhere on the ship (except dining room). Looked forward to the captain's announcements--always learned something. Ice cream every day. They even had cinnamon every single day (normally we only see it a few days). Captains presentation on the last sea day was the best presentation I've ever seen on a ship--better even than our Panama Canal presentations. Things we didn't like: Food in the dining room and on the buffet seems to be significantly going downwards. I've heard these complaints for years, but this cruise it really really seemed true. On a shore excursion someone asked how the food was, and another passenger replied "average". Sad, because we originally chose Celebrity years ago because the food was above average. Sloooooow select dining service. Servers could have sped things up a bit (often sat for 15 minutes waiting for a menu, dishes cleared, etc), but I also think there is something about how they run it that it just goes slow (an organizational and management problem). Took 3 days and 5 trips to the customer service desk to get my Elite benefits working properly. They were nice enough about it, just couldn't fix it right the first time. Heard several times "sometimes it doesn't work, just put it on your bill and we'll take it off". Guest lecturers were pretty dry. I give the ship 3 stars mostly because of the food and organizational issues. 5 stars for the destination. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife & I were fortunate enough to have enjoyed (for $75) a TA ship's tour, including coach travel & lunch, on the Solstice whilst it was in port in Sydney just prior to Christmas in 2017. That sold us & shortly after, ... Read More
My wife & I were fortunate enough to have enjoyed (for $75) a TA ship's tour, including coach travel & lunch, on the Solstice whilst it was in port in Sydney just prior to Christmas in 2017. That sold us & shortly after, we booked the 2018 Christmas/NY New Zealand 12 night cruise. We'd not been to NZ previously & certainly hadn't sailed during the festive season. It would also be first time with Celebrity. Initially it was just the 2 of us, but a few months' later a friend signed up & we changed our standard balcony cabin to a concierge class balcony room for 3. As it eventuated, 2 more friends from USA wanted to do the trip & they booked a sky class suite. So all up, 5 of us, but in fairness, this review is based on my wife's & my experiences. Embarkation: We arrived at the terminal at 11.45am & dropped off our luggage - very easy. Consistent with our previous experiences on other ships, it took about 35 minutes all up from the time we entered the terminal until boarding. Mind you, without concierge class, it would definitely have been longer. I must comment on the vast number of helpful & pleasant service officers standing by, pointing us in the right direction as we progressed through the terminal. They helped set the tone for our cruise & it was a perfect start when we were offered a glass of bubbly on boarding. Concierge Class: Near the ship's entry point as we boarded, we were greeted by our concierge, Javier, who introduced himself & told us that we should contact him if we have any questions or concerns. He gave us his card. Excellent start from Celebrity! Daily & most times, twice daily, there were recorded messages sent by Javier to our cabin 'phone with updates. These were especially helpful with info re excursion tendering & disembarking during port visits & also, for our final disembarkation in Sydney. Javier's message always gave particulars of the hours he would be available daily at his desk on deck 7. He also facilitated a helipad visit for concierge class passengers when the ship was arriving in Picton. He was exceptional. We enjoyed our first lunch in the Main Dining Room as part of the concierge deal. Our bottle of bubbly was waiting for us on ice in our room. Daily canapés were provided & initially, we ordered 3 plates of 4 canapés each, but we stopped these after a few days as we truly had enough food at meal times to more than satisfy our hunger. A small set of binoculars were in our cabin, as per the concierge service. Concierge also promises preferred dining options in the MDR. We invariably were seated at our desired table there at night. Would we pay the extra $$$ again for concierge? Probably not now that we're retired & every $ really counts; however, if you can afford it, I'd recommend you seriously consider it. Dining: We ate most of our meals in the MDR, although we went to the buffet for lunch on port days & also enjoyed Murano & Tuscan. MDR provided us with an adequate variety of courses, although perhaps an over concentration on cold soups which weren't our thing. But still plenty of appealing & tasty dishes to choose from. We thoroughly enjoyed each & every meal we had here & we were fortunate enough to be seated at Table 561 (seats 6) for our group of 5. Our servers, Head Waiter Clamelle, Assistant Marija, Drinks Waiter Mark & Sommelier Nelson, were all outstanding. They truly spoilt us. Mind you, all the staff at each meal time in the MDR, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner, were wonderful. Lunch on 4 occasions in the buffet provided us with an amazing array of food from which to choose. Quality & flavour weren't missing. We had no issue getting a table each time as we only ate there on port days. Loved the ice cream bar & the dessert & cake selections were staggeringly good! Our evening in Murano was very special & was definitely a 5 star event. Such attentive staff & perfectly professionally friendly. Food was exceptionally good & the whole experience, as a one-off for us, was worth the US$65 per head. We dined the 1 night in Tuscan & whilst we preferred the menu in Murano, Tuscan's location at the ship's aft provided a tremendous setting. We did enjoy our night here; cost was US$60 per head. Café: Inevitably stopped for a liqueur coffee & tea here at night & I can't believe how quick & efficient service was. Also a stop over point for a mid morning coffee. Most times, but not always, seats were available, but there was a quick turn over of tables. A most pleasant venue to relax. Room Service: We ordered pre-breakfast tea, coffee, smoothies & juice each morning & this is a wonderful free service. Bars & Lounges: Mainly had our drinks at lunch & dinner times so didn't frequent the bars in the main. However, did enjoy an occasional beer or wine in the Ensemble and Passport bars. Both were nicely furnished & relaxing & service was no issue. Paid about USA$30 for a "world wide" wine tasting of 6 reds & 6 whites from different international wine regions, hosted in Cellar Masters. Enjoyed this, a pleasant couple of hours & no shortage of drinks. Rest Rooms: I can understand why they were rated number 1 by Cruise Critic readers. Cloth or paper towels, constant cleaning (there was always a cleaner there ) & fresh smelling. The standard is at the highest level. Activities & Entertainment: We only participated in a number of the trivia games & the bingo. The latter was expensive at USA $39 - $59 & we only played on one day of the 3. Trivia was as you'd expect, but don't have high expectations when it comes to prizes (not that it mattered to us as we rarely won anyway!). It's there for the fun & that's okay. But one trivia host was excruciating. It was all about him & his Sicilian heritage. He was over - indulgent, infantile, went on & on & it got to the point of narcissism. Just not at all funny after a few minutes. Went to most stage shows which included a rock/dance show, 2 individual performers/singers, a comedian & 4 singers, The Other Lads. Enjoyed them all, although nothing sensational , but an entertaining way to spend an hour. Plenty of seats available at the late shows. The Ship: We think this is a wonderful ship with a great variety of public rooms. It was beautifully decorated throughout the public areas for the festive season & Santa was on hand on Christmas Day for the kids & families. Especially loved the solarium area, just to chill & look at the beautiful view from there. Not that we tried them, but they serve healthy meals there too. There were 3 to 4 metre swells crossing the Tasman going over & the Solstice handled them admirably. Smoother than all previous cruises I've been on. Christmas/NYE: As mentioned, Santa came on board, in the morning & all kids were given a gift. All diners in the MDR had a bon-bon at their table setting. We dined in the MDR on NYE & all diners were given headwear & hooters for the evening. A nice touch. Unfortunately, NYE celebrations on Lido Deck were rained out & as it eventuated, boring old us were sound asleep when the NY rolled over. Upselling: Of course, this takes place but noting that we couldn't quickly put an end to. Not a concern to us, just be firm. Kids' Clubs: With no kids of our own on board, this didn't interest us but after a discussion with Mum with a teenage daughter, if your kids are thinking of going, get them to go from day & try it out. This Mum's daughter didn't go in the first few days & by the time she did, groups or cliques had already been formed & she felt shut out & somewhat unwelcome. Ports: Enjoyed visiting all ports but Akaroa is the most beautiful we've ever seen. An absolute standout & a credit to the townsfolk. Laundry: As you'd be aware, there is no self- service laundry on board. This is definitely a negative with Celebrity & undoubtedly an opportunity for them to extract $$$. They even had the temerity to offer a "special" during the cruise: fill up your room PAPER laundry bag with as much as you can cram in for US$49.95! In summary, we had a fabulous & relaxing holiday on Solstice & would recommend it to anyone. Would we sail on her again? In a heartbeat, but cost wise it's a bit dearer than some others. Hopefully we will, but in the meantime, we've snapped up a bargain on Carnival Splendor for 2020. Perhaps the beautiful Solstice once more in 2020 if we save our pennies! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Food was very average not high quality always served cold food that had been sitting in a fridge all day The fine dining was not worth spending $100 on each meal I expected much better after spending $11,000 for a aqua class tickets. ... Read More
Food was very average not high quality always served cold food that had been sitting in a fridge all day The fine dining was not worth spending $100 on each meal I expected much better after spending $11,000 for a aqua class tickets. in room movies $14.99 pay view absolutely crap movies not worth viewing. $5.00 for a gelato ice cream ARE YOU KIDDING! 2 hour wait time for the tender to take us to Akaroa many people were very upset at the waiting time. SUMMARY It was not the best holiday a little boring always trying to up sell you from the minute you got on the ship It felt like Thailand cheap watches crap jewellery I was a little bit embrassed to tell the family but I was rather happy to get off and go and have a nice cooked hot meal . The Sky Deck was nice but nothing ever happens there a bar that doesnt open until 3.30pm a lot wasted space The staff are nice Sorry but it didnt leave me wanting to go back. Read Less
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We paid an awful lot of money for the cruise. Even when you have a cabin with a balcony you have to pay extra to have an unobscured view (a balcony without a lifeboat outside). The cabin was remarkably small and cramped. Despite the ... Read More
We paid an awful lot of money for the cruise. Even when you have a cabin with a balcony you have to pay extra to have an unobscured view (a balcony without a lifeboat outside). The cabin was remarkably small and cramped. Despite the already high cost we still had the extra expense of over £200 for wi-fi. The vast majority of hotels these days offer free wi-fi and what is a cruise ship but a floating hotel. Every day we were pestered by staff with offers to upgrade/buy/get extra and it was a real nuisance. They really try to squeeze every penny out of you and ultimately it left a pretty sour taste and spoiled what was otherwise a nice holiday. There were upsides however as the staff were really hardworking and pleasant plus the food was very good, which was pleasantly surprising bearing in mind the amount of people that were being served simultaneously. We probably won't cruise again after this experience and could not recommend it to friends or family. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
have been on the ship before it was great but this time just poor food and shows .xmas dinner was bloody poor not xmas at all a very poor selection of food the same for new years eve small steak spoon full of mash potato and small serve of ... Read More
have been on the ship before it was great but this time just poor food and shows .xmas dinner was bloody poor not xmas at all a very poor selection of food the same for new years eve small steak spoon full of mash potato and small serve of veg.We did have very good service from the staff.the cost of shore trips was very high it was far cheaper to buy these when in port.also the on board exchange rate was a rip off.will i travel with them again think not.very good cabin staff room was always clean and tidy. again it was the poor food selection and shows were poor.As my wife has done 4 trips on this boat she has rated this one very poor. i feel the boat is now dated this was more so with the air con not working properly and internal carpet is very dated Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We booked this cruise to unwind from a busy and stressful year, and tied it in to allow us to see friends and family in NZ. The package included Classic beverage, which we upgraded to Premium before we departed, and also included some ... Read More
We booked this cruise to unwind from a busy and stressful year, and tied it in to allow us to see friends and family in NZ. The package included Classic beverage, which we upgraded to Premium before we departed, and also included some dinners and a lunch at the premium restaurants. This was our first Celebrity cruise, having previously cruised with P&O (past that now) and Norwegian (comparable), and we have definitely decided to add them to our "will return" list with the Norwegian Jewel. Pros - Well equipped and maintained ship; Absolutely awesome crew; Great food and drink options. Cons - Show venue is more of a Cabaret than a Theater so the shows weren't as spectacular; Karaoke venue a bit naff and not nightly. Our favorite aspects of the ship were: The main dining room, where there was a definite attempt to place you in a consistent part of the room, even with "non-booked" times, and where the staff were friendly and knowledgeable; Cafe al Bacio, where we spent most post-dinners and were well looked after by the crew there; World Class Cocktail Bar, where we ended up after coffee and whiled the evening away! The verandah cabin was well maintained and easy to get around with a good bathroom. For future cruises in NZ, we'll note some gotcha's, like the paid transport from the dock to the city in Tauranga and Dunedin, but for the most part, the off-shore access was well organised and easy to work with. Read Less
Celebrity Solstice Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.5 4.2
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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