18 Nights cruising from Sydney, Australia to Honolulu, Hawaii on Celebrity Cruises – Solstice.
I love cruising but ABSOLUTELY love cruising with Celebrity Cruises. The Solstice is my third Celebrity Cruise after being on board the Celebrity Silhouette and the Celebrity Constellation. Arriving at the Overseas Passenger Terminal the Solstice looked immaculate! We dropped our bags off, checked in (this is why I love booking Aqua Class), and straight through to the Aqua Class booking line and onto the ship! The harbour bridge on one side, the opera house on the other and a perfect sunny day… could life get any better…Hawaii here we come!
It’s true you will never be bored on a cruise ship, you can do as much or as little as you like.
Like all Celebrity Cruise ships, the Solstice interior is spotless. The staff are extremely helpful and there is entertainment galore.
This ship is glitzy but tasteful and has millions of activities to keep guests entertained like shopping, a casino, onboard spa, Persian Garden, in and outdoor pools, fitness centre, movies, bingo, wine and food tasting, shows, guest speakers, ship tours, art gallery auctions, coffee shops, a video arcade, library, iLounge and its very own lawn club with real grass.
Martini Bar – watch talented bartenders shake, stir and pour martinis or cocktails
Sky Lounge – right at the front of the ship and is great day or night
Persian Garden – hotbeds & Saunas (free for aqua class guests)
Beyond the Podium – learn about interesting topics from guest speakers
Bingo – who doesn’t love playing bingo on a cruise ship, right!
You will never go hungry on the Solstice there are so many food choices so I guarantee there is something for everyone.
Specialty Dining (you pay a small cover charge)
Silk Harvest – Asian
Tuscan Grille – Italian
Sushi on Five – Japanese
My Favourite Specialty Restaurant: Sushi on Five
How funny I don’t even like sushi but this was my favourite specialty restaurant onboard. I visited this nearly every day for lunch or dinner and ordered: edamame, chicken and ginger gyoza, Kobe beef sliders, shrimp tempura sushi with no seaweed please! I have actually contemplated booking a 3 day cruise to nowhere out of Sydney just so I could go Sushi on Five… so it must be good!
Inclusive Dining (the cost is included in your fare)
Grand Epernay – the main restaurant with a two-story wine cellar for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Oceanview café – buffet style, this seemed to be always open
Spa Café – juices and healthy food
Blu – exclusively for Aqua Class guests for breakfast and dinner
Lumina – exclusively for all suite guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner
24-hour room service – in-room dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner
We also had some great lunches in the main dining room on sea days.
My Favourite Inclusive Dining: Blu
All of the restaurants onboard offer great food but Blu is the main reason I book an aqua class cabin. Blu is exclusive (love it!) for aqua class guests, it’s intimate and has spectacular décor. The menu is based on “clean and fresh” eating although the blueberry pancakes with maple syrup, strawberries and bacon may be an exception!
Bars and Lounges
Passport Bar, Cellar Masters, Martini Bar, Ensemble Lounge, Michael’s Club (for suite guests), World Class Bar, Pool Bar, Mast Bar, Sky Lounge, Ocean View Bar, Sunset Bar… need I say more!
For this cruise, I booked Aqua Class cabin 1569 on deck 11. I love Aqua Class as you get exclusive access to the Blu restaurant and free entry into the Persian Garden along with a bottle of Champagne, tea daily, upgraded amenities, slippers, robes, pillow menu, expanded room service menu and a Celebrity tote bag.
Celebrity has other cabin options including internal, balcony and suites. I have previously stayed in Sky Suite #1668 on the Silhouette (this would be cabin 1666 or 1663, deck 11 on the Solstice) which has a large porthole and balcony – totally recommended!
Bay of Islands, New Zealand – spend the day in the charming town of Russell for lunch and shopping
Auckland, New Zealand – take a boat ride to Waiheke Island, wineries galore my fave was Mudbrick. I would love to go back and stay at Mudbrick vineyard and luxury accommodation
Papeete, Tahiti French Polynesia – hit the shops or stay on board in the Persian Garden, I did!
Moorea, French Polynesia – jetski and snorkel with Top Jet Moorea (we swam with sharks and turtles and saw dolphins!)
Bora Bora, French Polynesia – relax at a resort for swimming and cocktails, try the Le Meridien but be sure to book ahead
Maui, Hawaii – shop for delicious Honolulu cookie company pineapple-shaped cookies
Honolulu, Hawaii – shop at Ala Moana or visit Tommy Bahama for coconut prawns, fish tacos and sangria
The Celebrity Cruises Captain’s Club is a great rewards program for past passengers where you earn points based on the stateroom type booked and the length of your cruises. There are six tiers in the program so the more cruises you book the quicker you will climb the ladder.
I am a proud Elite Plus cruiser with Celebrity which gives you extras like Captains Club high tea, wine tasting, daily elite cocktail hour, free internet hours and many more perks. I am hoping to reach the Zenith one day.
For more information on the revolution to modernise the entire fleet check out Celebrity Cruises
Good To Know
♡ When cruising out of Sydney check how your boat docks in port (font in or back in), this way when booking a balcony cabin you can book it overlooking the opera house
♡ Some boats offer specials once onboard for drinks packages and specialty dining
♡ Visit the “future cruise” desk on board to book your next cruise. Most cruise companies offer free perks when rebooking on board like drinks packages or onboard credit – yes please!
♡ Most cruises allow you to take on board a bottle of wine to enjoy on your balcony – just check the T&Cs before boarding
♡ If you get seasick buy the sea bands, I was skeptical but tried them and they worked
Ready to cruise on the Solstice? Visit Celebrity Cruises
Five Faves to See in Hawaii
Thoughts & opinions shared about Cruising with Celebrity Cruises are entirely my own