Brilliant summer break

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 15

Overall rating:

3.6 out of 5
Celebrity Solstice

10 Night New Zealand (Sydney To Auckland)

Sail date: February 07, 2020

Ship: Celebrity Solstice

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 1184

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 8 months ago

Review summary

10 nights, out of syndey, to Hobart and around NZ. Despite it being the middle of summer, unfortunately stuck a patch of bad weather, but NZ is brilliant even on a bad day.

Embarkation

3 out of 5
Smooth and quick processing in Sydney, however once on board it appeared the check in staff hadn't activated our credit cards correctly. Then 3/4 of the way through the cruise it was discovered once they were activated, they'd been switched been accounts. We were still trying to resolved the issue as we disembarked.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5

Mast Grill and Bar

4 out of 5

Decent burgers for a snack. First time they've had the turkey burger available when I've requested it.

Oceanview Cafe and Bar

3 out of 5

Always clean and tidy. Options were much more repetitive and limited than on other ships. No excuse for going hungry though.

Galleria Tastings

5 out of 5

Always very quiet, an under used bar, given it's slightly out of the way. Friendly and efficient staff. If you like raspberries, try the celebrity no. 10.

Grand Epernay Restaurant

3 out of 5

The quality of the meals were as brilliant as ever. Seemed as though the waitstaff had a much larger group to cover, so the service wasn't quite as attentive as on other ships in the fleet. Despite being so busy, and spread a bit too thinly, staff were very pleasant and accomodating.

Tuscan Grille

4 out of 5

Portions were all very large, and received full sizes even when requesting a half. Tables were a bit too close together but I think this may have been due to a very large group.

Murano Restaurant

5 out of 5

Brilliant meal and service.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5

Fitness Center

5 out of 5

Always very clean. Busy at peak times, but outside of that, plenty of space. Some equipment seemed to be imperial and some metric, so figured out which ones to used what I'm used to and stuck with them.

Entertainment

2 out of 5
Only stayed for the entirety of 2 shows. The singers didn't seem to be of as high a standard as on other ships and the sound cut out a few times. Stayed for the magician, hoping the show would get better. Did 3 tricks in the 45 minutes, so was mostly padded with him talking, rather sexistly about his wife.

Hot Glass Show

5 out of 5

Was pleasantly surprised wandering past and watching someone make a fish, so much so that I chose to do a vase. Great staff to make sure you can't fail. Noticed a stray strand of glass on the fished product, so popped back a day or so later and they tidied it up nicely.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
As mentioned previously, a bit thin on the ground in places. We didn't see our room steward anywhere near as much as on previous ships. Other guests commented on this as well. But the room was always clean and tidy. Got a chance to talk to some of the staff in the quieter bars and heard some really interesting stories about their lives.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Good layout, showing signs of its age. The upcoming refit will take care of this though.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Showing its age, quite obvious with the curtains, where we only had the blackout lining. The curtain over the front seems to be long gone.

Ports of call

Auckland, New Zealand

4 out of 5

Tauranga, New Zealand

4 out of 5
Hired a car and drive about am hour to Hobbiton. Well worth prebooking in advance as fills up (we booked over a month before departure), as we were ahead of schedule, the staff were able to accommodate us on an earlier your. The set is amazing and a must for for fans of the books and films. Once back in Tauranga, had plenty of time to climb to the summit of Mt Maunganui at the end of the beach. Managed it a bit quicker than the indicated times. Stunning views, but due to the drought at the moment, very dusty shoes. Well and truly earned a G&T once back again.

Akaroa, New Zealand

4 out of 5
Beautiful little town. Had already pre booked a swim with the Hector's Dolphin (one of NZs native, and endangered, species of dolphins and the smallest) but there were lots of options ready and waiting at the port for those with no plans. The swim through Black Cat was a wonderful experience. Wetsuits and books were provided to keep us warm and boyant. Got in the water at a couple of spots to see if the dolphins would interact. Remember that these are wild animals, and it's illegal to touch a marine mammal in NZ.

Port Chalmers (Dunedin), New Zealand

4 out of 5
Rented a car for the day, from RAD car hire, who for an additional fee are able to have the car waiting at the port (which is about 15 minutes from Dunedin itself). Visited the second (at time of writing, being contested to try and win back first place) steepest street in the word, the amazing view from Signal Hill, then a trip around the peninsular to Larnach Castle and the Royal Albatross Centre. The day started off brilliantly but the rain quickly rolled in and didn't let up until just before sail away.

Cruise Doubtful Sound

4 out of 5

Cruise Milford Sound

4 out of 5

Cruise Dusky Sound

4 out of 5

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

4 out of 5
Did a ship your to Port Arthur. About 3 hours all up on the coach, which only left 3 hours to explore, including lining up and taking the harbour cruise, so was very rushed and meant we only had time to see the highlights.

Sydney, Australia

4 out of 5
Happened to be there during a downpour, which they well and truly needed. Great city with a brilliant train network.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
All processed very efficiently, though received the request for desired departure times much early in the sailing than on other cruises. Auckland processed things very quicky, despite not having a dedicated cruise terminal.
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