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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
The cost of sailing with Celebrity could not lead to expectations of Four Seasons quality accommodation, service, and food. I went with an open mind but at the end the highlight was finally getting off this tacky vessel which closely ... Read More
The cost of sailing with Celebrity could not lead to expectations of Four Seasons quality accommodation, service, and food. I went with an open mind but at the end the highlight was finally getting off this tacky vessel which closely resembles a bottom end Vegas casino masquerading as “glamour”. Where do I start .... here we go: Cabin - black scum line around the toilet bowl and congealed dirt stuck to the wall. The kind of accommodation you would expect in a caravan in the 1970’s. Reds and browns designed to hide the filth accumulated over years. Bathroom like faded yellow fibreglass and toiletries guaranteed to have your skin flaming within 24 hours. Entertainment - the shows in the theatre were the highlight and the experience was improved when the lights dimmed and it was no longer necessary to look at the tired mahogany seats and gold velvet/synthetic seat covers. Other musical entertainment was thin on the ground and ironically given its scarcity, almost universally terrible. One evening the only live music entertainment at 10pm on a boat with 3,000 plus people was a male vocalist with a mouth organ. A waiter helpfully suggested I go to the silent disco where there would be a choice of three different music types to listen to! This ship is boring beyond belief. Food - I cannot begin to describe how bad the food is. Looked forward to getting off at every port of call to find something edible. Only managed on trip to the crowded buffet place at the top of the ship. Could hardly find breakfast cereal not covered in sugar or synthetically multicoloured. Yoghurt - only peach or apricot made from skimmed milk. It is an insult to the English language to name the main restaurant Grand Epernay. The food was almost universally cold, over-cooked, bland ... dreadful, I am reminded of a motorway service station, Specialty Dining - Invested in a package in the hope that throwing money at the problem may resolve the inclusive dining experience. How wrong I was. The worst experience had the be the specialty Asian restaurant called Silk Harvest. The fact that this restaurant is a hybrid of purportedly Japanese, Chinese and Thai food (plus a bit of Indonesian and Malay) should have been a warning signal but nothing could prepare me for the “favourite” cheese wantons. I think some of this congealed glob is still stuck to the top of my palate. The only remotely passable specialty restaurant was Murano, which, believe it or not is French, apparently named after an original Murano shade which has now been replaced by a plastic replica after the original broke. Bars - Think drinking on the edge of a casino corridor being oggled by the passing foot traffic. No intimacy anywhere just places to very occasionally have your ear drums assaulted by the dreadful house singers when Celebrity disdained to fit them into their pitiful live music schedules. I do a disservice. There is a Cellar Master Wine Bar just off the main drag. Trouble is in port this becomes the main gangway so it is not difficult to imagine what the carpet is like - gross. Drinks Package - Persuaded to upgrade to premium package before we left. It was not explained that classic package could be used pay for premium drinks with a small uplift over the premium ceiling. Further, it became apparent that Celebrity has a policy of not holding premium drinks and numerous outlets and trying to fob off inferior quality drinks. On more than one occassion we were given a sparkling blanc de blanc when we had requested champagne. The default premium chardonnay was a Celebrity label wine called Elegance. I was unable to get a glass of Poilly Fume or a bottle of Grolsch (as advertised on their premium list) anywhere on the ship. About a week into the cruise I discovered that Evian water was available on the premium package - not once had it been offered! Celebrity should provide what has been paid for. Guest Relations - My wife had a visa issue. She was told her business visa would not allow her entry into Australia so we applied for a tourist visa. Over four days we had to make numerous visits to the Guest Relations desk to be told numerous different stories before finally being told she could now gain entry to Australia an hour before we were about to be disembarked on a business visa organised by Celebrity. I understand there can be visa issues but Celebrity refused our numerous requests for a face-to-face meeting with the Documentation Officer despite her frequently being in the adjacent office, or condescend to provide an explanation. The reality is they did not deal with our predicament until the last minute and we were truly anticipating being disembarked at the last minute - which ironically I was somewhat hoping for by this stage. My advice to anyone would be to avoid Celebrity generally and the Solstice in particular. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose celebrity due to previous reviews from friends. We had been on Viking and wanted a more livelier experience . This cruise was a total pleasure. Great crew, employees are very customer oriented. There is a ton to do on this ship. ... Read More
We chose celebrity due to previous reviews from friends. We had been on Viking and wanted a more livelier experience . This cruise was a total pleasure. Great crew, employees are very customer oriented. There is a ton to do on this ship. Entertainment all over the ship every evening and excellent quality. Food choices are also excellent and quality is exceptional in their specialty restaurants. The Buffett is very good with a huge selection. We ate at their specialty restaurants and the quality was exceptional. Celebrity employees are happy and personable . The Cruise Director and Captain were in frequent contact and always were fun. A big difference in this cruise was the quality of entertainment. A great show every night at 7 or 9. The entertainment varied from Broadway music, classic rock, singing and dancing, aerial silks, etc. the one thing I would say about this cruise is I would be careful on their shore excursions. We took 3 and would say the description did not match the tour. We provided this feedback to the Shote Excursion desk. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are seasoned travelers on cruise ships with many of them on Celebrity and previously have always had above average experiences. However, my husband and I (and MANY fellow travelers we learned throughout) have seen a noticeable drop in ... Read More
We are seasoned travelers on cruise ships with many of them on Celebrity and previously have always had above average experiences. However, my husband and I (and MANY fellow travelers we learned throughout) have seen a noticeable drop in overall quality. Let me start by saying that in our BTB cruise (NEW Zealand also) our room was very nice, clean, spacious, with plenty of storage, The person who took care of our room was beyond excellent. The food in The Blue Dining room was very good and the staff warm and gracious. We were so impressed that many remembered our names and preferences after only a few days. I also loved the Persian Gardens that came with our Blue upgrade. I enjoyed laying on the warmed tile seats and sweating it out in the steam room. My husband and I also enjoyed the workout facilities although I wish they were much quicker to repair broken equipment. 3 treadmills were out of order so at certain mid morning times we would have to wait awhile to get on one. Same was the case with the Persian Garden chairs. I believe by the end of the trip there were two out of order. Where the ship fell short were primarily in the excursions. Many of them were disorganized (more so on the New Zealand half but I'll save that for my other review). We at times felt rushed with not enough time to do much of anything. That said, we were taken to some beautiful areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef. It was unfortunate though that we were not able to see the quantity of fish and coral we were hoping for. Some on this excursion claim they saw almost no fish. Some guidance from the crew on the platoon as to where to snorkle once we got on the beach would have been helpful. I found I had to go out quite a bit further than others to see what I came to see. As a side note, a couple of days prior to this excursion we tried to change it to another snorkling experience because the man at the excursion desk told us "you aren't really snorkling in the Great Barrier Reef". When we asked to change it he told us they were all booked and "you should have booked one of the other ones earlier". We left sorely disapponted and scratching our head that he would say this to us. We later learned that it WAS part of the Great Barrier, just the southern part. This was one of a handful of mishaps with customer service but overall the many great workers on the ship made up for the handful of poor ones with fatigue attitudes. To sum up our shore excursions I would advise anyone going on a cruise to either book your cruises through Cruise Critic when someone in your group sets one up or go to a site like Viator to book it. You will get better excursions for less price and smaller groups. From this point forward we will be avoiding ship excursions until/unless we read that they have upped their game. They are way overpriced for what you get. Another area of disappointment was the food in the cafe on the 14th floor. Almost universally the food was just blah with little flavor. The best were the asian noodles but I can't say too much for the other food (and I'm not a picky eater at all). There was almost no variety from a day-to-day basis. This is 100 percent true with the healthy eating area on the other side of the ship on the 12th floor. The selection there (albiet limited) NEVER changed for either of the 2 cruises we were on. Overall we enjoyed the nightly entertainment in the theater. Some were better than others but still entertaining. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My sister & I chose this cruise as we wanted to sail up the coast of Australia from Sydney to Cairns. The Solstice is a well appointed huge ship.The food was excellent & most of the entertainment was good. On the whole the staff ... Read More
My sister & I chose this cruise as we wanted to sail up the coast of Australia from Sydney to Cairns. The Solstice is a well appointed huge ship.The food was excellent & most of the entertainment was good. On the whole the staff were friendly but a number found it hard to look interested. Our Stateroom Attendant was fantastic. The shore excursions were so expensive as was the drinks package & because we were paying in American Dollars & not Aust Dollars it made it worse. It pays to look into local shore excursions.. When we went ashore in Brisbane there was no alternative other than to pay the $30 US to get into the city as the bus company the cruise was dealing with had the monopoly on transport from the Port.. We tired very quickly of the constant loud music throughout the ship. It wasn't turned down when the Captain whom we couldn't understand at the best of time, spoke. He did have a great sense of humour. We also tired of being accousted by crew members daily to buy special dinners etc. Going ashore at Airlie Beach took two hours from the time we got down to get a pass to when we actually got ashore. Not once during this time were we told what was happening or why it was taking so long. There were many irate passengers & even more during our Safety Drill Deck 5 C1. Many passengers had to stand for about an hour. We couldn't see the screen or hear what was happening. Nobody had any confidence if anything did go wrong. It was a disgrace. I have been on Azamara which was amazing & ran like clock work. Princess & Royal Caribbean which were great & Costa which lacked any form of organization. If I cruise again it will be with Azamara. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Me and my partner chose to cruise with celebrity after enjoying a fantastic cruise on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 2 years prior. We thought since the two are related and celebrity is more expensive that the experience ... Read More
Me and my partner chose to cruise with celebrity after enjoying a fantastic cruise on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 2 years prior. We thought since the two are related and celebrity is more expensive that the experience should be even more fantastic. I have to say, we had a better time on the Explorer. Not sure whether this is because of the people on the ship... we are 25 but we don't drink and aren't party animals - But wow, this is a very sloooow crowd and the daily planner reflects that. There is literally nothing to do during the day other than go to talks where they try to sell you things. Other than that the daily features are bingo, glass blowing, spa talks on how to reduce lines and ease back pain + more activities that lets just say, I'd rather watch paint dry. if we hadnt booked such a great Shore activities I'm not sure how much we would have enjoyed this cruise... Cabins - we just had a regular interior cabin on level 8. We were unfortunate enough to have probably one of only three babies on board 4 cabins down and this one was definitely a screamer. I have to say I think every single time we were in the cabin, that baby was crying... including multiple nights. However I have to admit that's obviously not celebrities fault but it did impact the trip. also, the cabins on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas are much nicer than the solstice cabins except for a smaller bed. There is way more storage on the Explorer and the rooms are just laid out a lot better. Another little thing that is sort of silly but it's one of the things makes a cruise, we didn't get any towel animals except for the first night. That was one of the most exciting things on the Explorer! Seeing which new one we got every day! A weird damp smell also lingered the whole time... Dining in the buffet - we only ate in the buffet and included restaurant the entire trip because we usually find that that's all you need... Again, the food at the buffet on the Explorer was much superior to the food on the solstice. The breakfast did not change literally every single day. Lunch varied somewhat but barely. Most of the dinner was also the same, except for a few theme nights where they basically just had maybe 10 more dishes added. Dining in the no fee restaurant - firstly I want to say that our waitress Taisiia was amazing. She was extremely prompt, friendly and informed about the food. We also found this on the Explorer with our waiter. but once again, the Explorer had much better dinner food than the solstice. we found that the menu on the solstice was very bizarre and somewhat pretentious. The entrees were pretty much just soups and salads for the entire duration of the cruise which I guess you can mass make and not really stuff up. The mains were really hit and miss...some of the steaks were really overcooked even though we ordered them all medium rare. But then again some of the food was fantastic. it's really hard to say but it's really just a game of luck every night with the menu. But I have to say it was a process of elimination of things we didn't like most of the time... another small thing to know is that the bread options are really limited on the solstice. At dinner on the Explorer we were given about 6 to 8 different options of bread but on this cruise we only had three different types of bread to choose from one of which was bread sticks. Dessert was great but honestly it's pretty hard to stuff up dessert. Shows in the theatre- the one thing that celebrity did mirror with Royal Caribbean Explorer was the fantastic shoes on board. But I have to admit that the entertainment was only really great when it was with the solstice theatre performers. All the other extra performers were pretty rubbish other than one comedian. Most nights there were plenty of seats left in the theatre when it wasn't the solstice group performing. Pools - pool areas were nice and tidy and they did have plenty of chairs for everyone in the main pool. This was not k's in the adults only area. You'd go literally at 9 a.m. and all the chairs would have towels and things on them from people dumping them on the way to the buffet. They really should have some sort of system in place to avoid this happening as we saw chairs with no one in them for hours on end... Gym and spa - we did go to the gym a couple of days and I have to say it was pretty fantastic. Loads of equipment and weights. Plenty of cold towels for anyone and a really great Fitness classroom. we also did take advantage of the Persian room for our stay. It was expensive but we really enjoyed it. The steam room was awesome and the hot pads were really relaxing. We also did have one couples massage that was pretty good but in hindsight we probably wouldn't do it again how much money it cost. that was another thing, throughout the entire ship there were the massage ladies sitting you in chairs giving you a random shoulder rub and running you through the price list. It was a bit full on and I was really over it by the end of the trip. Shore excursions - we did 3 excursions, quad biking in the sand dunes in Newcastle, Australia Zoo and also a Great Barrier Reef snorkeling Discovery. Quad biking was definitely the highlight. this was due to the fact that there was only about 10 of us considering the general demographic on the cruise wouldn't be able to physically quad bike, plus the dunes were fantastic and the guys were amazing. Australia Zoo was ok, I mean it's just a zoo and it may have been more exciting for someone who isn't an Australian but we still did have fun and we don't regret going but wouldn't do it again. we have mix feelings about the great barrier reef discovery . Unfortunately it was the best day for it it was a really rough seas - the boat the incredibly rocky the entire time and multiple people were being sick. This gets pretty full-on since it's over an hour and a half trip to the reef. I got sick too. The reef itself was ok I have to say I don't think we were taken to a particularly beautiful part. I've done snorkeling a lot of times and there are much better spots all around Australia in Thailand and as well in New Caledonia. I was happy we went but again we wouldn't do it again. The rest of the staff were ok. The guest relations staff were pretty average an abrupt but all of the buffet and public room staff were very kind and accommodating. all in all, it was a bit disappointing and I wouldn't be cruising with celebrity again. I think I'll stick to Royal Caribbean. To give you some feedback also, my partner has cruised with multiple lines and he said that celebrity is pretty hand in hand in terms of food with P&O. Save your money, go with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise as we had heard great things about Celebrity X. We have cruised several times Royal Caribbean so expected it to be better as Celebrity is supposed to be their premium brand. Our room attendant kept our rooms cleans ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had heard great things about Celebrity X. We have cruised several times Royal Caribbean so expected it to be better as Celebrity is supposed to be their premium brand. Our room attendant kept our rooms cleans but could barely speak English so was very hard to communicate with. The main dining room staff were gorgeous, kind and fun and the food on board is definitely a grade above Royal Caribbean. The entertainment was severely lacking and we were very bored most of the time. The evening shows were very hit and miss, the illusionist on the first night, Raymond Crowe, was particularly cringe-worthy. We were told by the Entertainment director at the Rock Show that only half the orchestra had boarded the ship for our cruise. The wait to be served at the bars could be up to 20 minutes which became very frustrating when you just wanted a bottle of water or a can of soft drink. The staff at Bacio cafe were very sour and happy to tell you off if you ordered incorrectly or not as they liked. Overall we felt like we had paid to go on the staffs holiday and everyone we spoke with onboard said similar. Other travellers said they had been told by staff that only half the crew had arrived on time for our cruise. Not sure exactly the correct reason but this cruise was a major letdown and disappointment. We wouldn’t cruise with Celebrity again: Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We have cruised with Holland America and Royal Caribbean previously. This cruise was to places we had been to before but we wanted a "Solstice Experience". Many of our friends have said - what a beautiful ship she was, and so ... Read More
We have cruised with Holland America and Royal Caribbean previously. This cruise was to places we had been to before but we wanted a "Solstice Experience". Many of our friends have said - what a beautiful ship she was, and so we wanted to see if they were right... and they were right! EMBARKATION was smooth and seamless from shore to ship with a lovely glass of bubbly waiting for us, once on board. But then as like a tornado the ON SELL started! Our BALCONY CABIN on deck 9 was ready by 1pm. It was spotlessly clean - with no apparent signs of wear and tear. Loved the sliding doors to the shower! But hated the pillows... they were shockers - very lumpy and small but the bed was comfortable. DINING - We had "dine as you please". The meals in the main dining room were excellent - not big serves but enjoyable. There were 2 nights where the menu selection was poor. If you left anything on your plate the waiter would seek reassurance that the meal was o.k. and would offer you something else if it was not to your liking. The Oceanview Buffet was excellent and the best on any ship we have sailed. The selection was fresh and excellent quality. Oceanview had several days which featured different countries eg, Aussie, Mexican. Some of the cake deserts in Oceanview were the same as what was offered in Silk & Tuscan Grille. We bought a 3 night dining package. Silk Harvest and Tuscan Grill look out onto the ocean but Murano is full enclosed. Our impressions were: SILK HARVEST - Not worth the surcharge. The meal was comparative to our local Thai. TUSCAN GRILL - Well cooked steak but this was the only time we noticed a slip in the excellent service we had experienced. The wrong entree was served and one us was not served our main. MURANO - Top Notch - great menu, well presented and some dishes cooked in front of you. Excellent service and worth the surcharge. Next trip if we get the restaurant package we have decided we would do all three nights at Murano. ENTERTAINMENT - Was mixed, several mediocre performances in the Theatre and several high quality performers like the silk acrobats, Oz Boys and Kym Purling. The theatre timing was a little late. Both could have been brought forward an hour, so other activities later in the evening were achievable before falling asleep from a day in the sun and snorkling. CRUISE DIRECTOR - Rich Spacey was TOPS!! such a talented man. Professional in every way! Other cruise ships should take a look at the quality act he gives and mimic it. ACTIVITIES - This is one area where Celebrity could lift its game. A couple of dance classes, 3 games of trivia each day, and a couple of games on the sports deck and poor quality selection of movies. Everything else was ON-SELL. ENRICHMENT - Beyond the Podium. These were on sail days with two speakers. One on Forensic and the other on the Ocean Deep (who was excellent). The choice of speaker on Forensic was poor one. A policeman from Broome WA whose claim to fame was 2 weeks in Bali after the bombing. His talks contained more padding than fact and when someone asked a question he said he needed to do more research before he could answer. Surely Celebrity could have looked for quality candidate for the roll from Sydney or Melbourne whose career was in Forensics. PORTS OF CALL - Celebrity did not give any talks on the destinations and so there were people on the ship who were unaware of the facilities (or lack there of) walks and snorkling opportunities on the islands. At all ports the tendering was done efficiently and quickly. We never had to wait more than 5 minutes to get on a tender boat. We noticed that the crew had put 4-5 tender boats out. Other cruise lines could take a lesson from Celebrity on how to effectively manage this process. CHILDREN - There were only about 30-40 children on board. This ship has limited outdoor activities for children. WOULD WE GO AGAIN? Most definitely Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose this cruise ship as i did hear good things about it...This is my sixth cruise (Carnival Spirit, Princess Sapphire,Diamond,Sun & Sea) and 1st with Celebrity... The Outstanding : I must say Firstly, "THE FOOD IS ... Read More
I chose this cruise ship as i did hear good things about it...This is my sixth cruise (Carnival Spirit, Princess Sapphire,Diamond,Sun & Sea) and 1st with Celebrity... The Outstanding : I must say Firstly, "THE FOOD IS SENSATIONAL ON THE SOLSTICE" !!! OMG, so much variety to choose from with such high quality. And this is just at the Oceanview cafe (buffet)...Being in construction, i do love my food, and weight just falls off me( haha), so i eat ALOT...And it was such a pleasure with the different ways they could serve beef, chicken, pork, turkey , kangeroo and crocodile... YES, i said crocodile ! FANTASTIC......Cakes,pastry,jelly,icecream,pavlova,tarts,pies,brulee,arrrrggghhhhhh EVERYTHING.... The "Blu" Restaurant . quality in food and service. And it felt very comfortable, relaxed and classy. I even requested 2 mains for myself (you know, big eater and all) and with not even the slightest look of evil coming from the waitor. Instead, i get no problem at all , Sir. And then proceeded to organise what was coming out when.. Did not try other "specialty" restaurants. The Cabin Steward..kept our cabin clean and attended to our every request (laundry, room service mess, extra towels, itinerary brochure for days events,NOT to keep the bed tucked in neat,). And genuinely happy every time i talked to him. The secrets of Cruise ship Navigation talk by one of the high ranking Captains. The Guy could have been a comedian. Great personality by the Irish guy. Delivered the talk show with in depth information for around an hour and a half. A great range of Topics discussed, and the average person has NO IDEA of the complexities of Cruise ship industry and running until you see this talk/show...you think flying a jumbo jet plane is hard? not even in the same league as these cruise Captains...You will finally understand WHY they have so many captains on the ship... All staff in ANY food area . Just seemed to have the perfect amount of staff to serve the customer. Well organized and had everyone adhering to the high hygiene standards. The Great : The Cabin (review below) The Hot Glass show...my son made me a drink glass. got to choose colours and was helped to make it by the staff. The silent Disco thing...Attend this party , everyone has headphones on. There are 3 different channels you can tune the headphones to and each channel has a different glowing colour when your listening to it. At first i thought how silly. But after arriving with a couple of Tequila Sunrises under my belt, and seeing how everyone was into it, it was great and totally weird at the same time. take your headphones off, and the room is dead silent with crazy people dancing around in all different ways and speeds corresponding to whichever channel they are listening to..just watching was hilarious. Embarkation & Disembarkation both floorless procedures The NOT so good. The member of staff who somehow managed to put a $650 drinks package on my card after the 3rd day in. Was annoyed it took me 4 times to approach the customer desk to remove it from my account. its a long story and too much for here. The itinerary on the ship...The events they did have planned WERE great, it was just NOWHERE near enough of them. Not enough things to do on the ship. Overall though, Best Ship ive been on...just needed more of a itinerary on the ship and a better cruise destination. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We adored this cruise. 3rd time on the ship 1st time in the royal suite. Could we ever go back to a Sky Suite ? yes of course we can they are all delightful. The royal suite is so perfect. everything about it. Space luxury, service ... Read More
We adored this cruise. 3rd time on the ship 1st time in the royal suite. Could we ever go back to a Sky Suite ? yes of course we can they are all delightful. The royal suite is so perfect. everything about it. Space luxury, service everything. Internet and premium drinks included but with this bar stocked everyday and all bar services available on room service who needs to even use the drinks package. Unlimited specialty dining and even your washing done, it's so worth it even if it's a one of cruise of a life time. The staff make everyone feel special so you can imagine how your butler and room steward go that extra mile. We have done sky suite at the AFT and loved that we have done concierge at the aft and loved that too. we just love the ship. Food is great, service is great, passengers are all friendly. Give it ago if you get a chance. the pacific islands are amazing places to visit and the beaches with the ship in the background make the perfect holiday snaps. 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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