Limited Choice of Meals
We did a 17 day cruise, and mostly used the Dining Room for Breakfast and Dinner in the evening, and it was the same menu every day, there was a number of choices, but each day it was the same old Menu. If shall we say there was only two of the choices that you liked, well after a few days, you get fed up with the same old meals.
The service was amazing, bartenders didn't leave you wanting drinks. I had a special request for dinner the following night and they were so accommodating to provide it. The ship is very modern, just awesome!
American All the Way
I just disembarked from the Celebrity Solstice after a 12 night cruise to the Loyalty Islands Noumea, Fiji and Isle Des Pins. Let me make it clear this is absolutely a fantastic ship very smooth and quiet thanks to it's thoughtful modern design and innovation. The friendly crew were always very welcoming with a courteous greeting be it the deck cleaner or a senior staff member but that's about where the Celebrity Status stopped. Celebrity is self ranked as a Premium Brand with premium pricing which I knew was the case when I booked but I didn't...expect the constant in your face upselling that makes Maccas look like a bunch of amateurs. With this cruise company which is related to the Royal Carribbean brand and which is being closely followed by many of the brands under the Carnival Banner it seems that they strive to have us believe that when fulfilling the Aussie Season they adapt to our likes and are aware of our dislikes but let me tell you they are Yankee Doodle Dandy all the way. The dining on this ship gives fast food a new meaning out of 12 main meals only 4 could be ranked as satisfactory. Sure there are a magnitude of choices but none of them come close to being appetising served luke warm if your lucky, dry meats cooked hours ahead and then added to the sauces or condiments doesn't make a tasty meal no matter how good it looks. The management of this company has set a high standard for their expectation but when it comes to the food u get the impression that the bean counters in the head office in Miami have the last say and that the Executive chef and his team have to make do with what they have which lets the whole idea down. You know what it's like when companies start believing their own hype well this mob are true believers. Even if you fork out the extra $50 per head to dine in one of the upscale restaurants you are not guaranteed of a large difference in the quality. Another example of the Americanisation of Australian cruising is the annoying in house TV it's all American despite them offering Fox don't they know that Fox and MSN offer an Aussie service that would enable guests to at least keep up with domestic affairs and these modern flat screens have most of the mod cons yet despite this they insist that everything is presented letterbox format that makes everyone short and fat. This is more a message that will hopefully be read by someone from the company able to implement the necessary changes that would deliver the experience the management intended as well as value for the premium one pays for it. If you reading this review for your personal assessment your experience cruising with Celebrity should be interpreted as, As good as you will get but you'll pay more for the brand than others that deliver just as good an experience and bang fir your buck.
Solstice Stole our Hearts
As an avid P&O Pacific dawn fan jumping ship was a big thing to me but certainly glad we made the effort. Deciding on a 12 night NZ cruise Nov 14 we were blown away by her size and majestic appearance all i can say is WOW. From the initial get go we were floored by her beauty and style everything from the staircases, artwork and shops, I am certain after 12 nights we still hadn't covered her completely. I would have to say it did seem to be a little older demagraphic than on the Dawn where we usually party hard :) We are in our mid to late 40's...and travelling with a 10 year old well I should probably say what 10 year old as I think we had dinner with him twice on the whole cruise the kids club was Awesome, and he had us rebooked straight away. The rooms were very compact but extremely functional we chose a deluxe balcony room and was very sufficent for the duration. The things that are different to P&O that did make it stand out were the drink packages, might i say we didn't go with this as neither of us are overly big drinkers and we certainly spent less than the packages were worth. Gratuities there are a couple of ways of dealing with this...you can pre-pay or they credit your cruise account each day for $12 per person or you can at the end of the cruise just pay what you think is appropriate, we did also leave a small tip for our room attendant and gave our waiters something extra as well. You get the same dinner setting each night and the same table and same waiters so its nice to be greeted each night by name makes you feel special:) Photo packages are also on the Celebrity line these are great $300 up front and that gave us every photo from the whole cruise in hard copy and on disc much cheaper than P&O. Another helpful and handy addition is you can view your photos and your onboard account right from your TV in your room saves going down and asking all the time. My main gripe if you could call it that was the exchange rate because it is an American ship the ship only deals in US dollars so your account is in US this caught us out a little, the ATM onboard was in US and charged $6 per transaction so keep these things in mind maybe exchange money before leaving etc. Well on a final note NZ was sooooo beautiful and every port was an experience from swimming with wild dolphins in Akaroa to glow worm caves and Lord of the Rings experiences NZ and Celebrity Solstice are must on the bucket list.
Celebrity Solstice Pacific Islands & Fiji - Excellent
My wife and I sailed on the Solstice out of Sydney on 23 Oct 13. This was our first cruise with Celebrity and our fifth cruise all up. We loved it...so much so that we have booked on the Solstice again in Apr 2014 and Jan 2015! This is not really a party ship like the P&O experiences that we have had; it is a little more sedate/relaxed. It was an older passenger compliment but that was ideal for us. We are both in our early 50s. The cruise staff were exceptional and the facilities onboard were extremely good. We purchased the Premium Drinks Pac...kage prior to boarding and this is a major selling point IMHO. Just not having to ever worry about what ordering or how much ordering is tremendous. Ours was a 12 night cruise and we had previously been to all the ports of call. If new to Noumea though, I'd recommend the Tchou Tchou (pronounced Choo Choo) train. All in all, we loved the Solstice and can't wait for Apr to arrive! Drinks Package, Staff, Amenities Any complaints we had were so minor I cannot even recall what they were
Celebrity Solstice QLD cruise
We have recently returned from our 11 night QLD cruise on Celebrity Solstice. We had previously been on the P & O Pacific Dawn. First of all the ship, celebrity solstice is a magnificent ship, it was modern and extremely clean. The crew were excellent and could not be more helpful/friendly. The food was exceptional (the only thing is the buffet needs to change the type of food more) overall we found this cruise excellent but we experienced a few negatives. The tendering process on this cruise was appalling, we took one hour fifteen minutes to ...get from the ship to the catamaran by this stage people were annoyed and frustrated ( Not. Great start to the day trip) we arrived on the barrier reef pontoon with approx 300 other people well surprise surprise there was not enough goggles, flippers etc... To go snorkelling very very disappointing consider we paid $500 for 2 people. After a long day on the reef it then took us another hour and a half to get from the catamaran to the ship. It was extremely frustrating and it made you think twice about going off the ship. Every time we went off the ship the tendering process was appalling, frustrating and just spoilt the day before it started. Other things we found compared to the P& O is the dress code, if you are an Aussie please keep in mind this is an American cruise line and we Aussie's do things differently. The dress code all over the ship after about 7pm is very very dressy, we were having a lazy day/ night and just went for a walk down the shops about 7.30pm in our shorts and t-shirts (not stubbies and thongs) but nice casual wear. Well the look we got, people looked down their noses like we were from another planet. Even around the pool area people are very over dresses. Overall we had a great time on this cruise but would I go on another Americal cruise ship
Questions & Answers
Are there ironing rooms and laundry rooms on ship to do your own
Going by Robinit review there isn’t: No ironing facilities in room due to safety I understand but why not a fireproofed laundry room to iron clothes. To have all my clothes pressed by the laundry service would have cost me at least $200 US!! Once again thanks to a mandatory 50% surcharge!!!!!
If we’re going more than a week we’ll only go on ships that have a laundry and ironing facility, not having this facility is a way they can charge there passengers more money, so as I said we only use cruise lines that have these facilities also I don’t like the idea of someone doing my washing I’m very fussy. And no I didn’t get a reply.
Can you take a portable garment steamer on board?
We're thinking taking our kids on the Celebrity Solstice during the school holidays (aged 12 and 15). Is this a good ship to take the kids on? What activities are there for the kids to do? Other than the price, is it worth booking a Guaranteed balcony room or a Guaranteed Concierge verandah?
Hi, I don't know that I am really the right person to answer this question with my children being in their late 20's. It is a beautiful ship, but does not have all of the teenager activities that are perhaps offered on Royal Caribbean, eg water slides, rock climbing etc.
As for guaranteed cabins, our preference is for a high floor balcony mid ship.
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