Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
mahdnc

Live: Jan 2 2018 Solstice Great Barrier Reef

Recommended Posts

Hi. My family and I are currently aboard Celebrity Solstice doing a 12 night Great Barrier Reef itinerary out of Sydney. The ship returns to Sydney on Sun Jan 14.

 

If anyone has questions for me, just ask--esp from those of you that are planning on doing this infrequent itinerary in the future.

 

So far the cruise is going well.

 

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are doing this exact cruise in March / April on Solstice

one thing would like to know how the docking / tendering ashore goes in Airlie Beach / Cairns

also how is the ship regarding the norovirus issue?

if you are able to let us know what the shows are like at night?

 

many thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How nice. How have you enjoyed the cruise so far? Any highlights in terms of the on-board experience and also ports?

 

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No signs of Noro anywhere on board. The usual ship countermeasures are absent and the sundry shop has plenty of cold medicine (Infinity ran out off cold medicine when Noro hit a year ago).

 

Yes, I'll be happy to answer and document your tendering questions. When planning this trip, it was very difficult to find any information on it.

 

However my family won't be taking the ship's tenders at Airlie Beach because our snorkeling shore excursion will pick us up at the ship directly and return us to Solstice when the excursion finishes. This is one of the advantages with taking the ship's shore excursion although it is very expensive compared to booking with an independent company.

 

Because tendering at Cairns is not done at night, I've taken the unusual measure of booking a hotel for us when Solstice overnights. This is to guarantee that we make our early check in time for a scuba diving trip that we have booked through a local company. The expense of the hotel room is completely offset by the savings from not booking through Celebrity.

 

Our family doesn't go to the shows much anymore. So I may not have much information for you there as the audience experience goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wed Jan 3 Newcastle: ATV driving on ocean shore sand dunes (booked independently)

 

Sat Jan 6 Airlie Beach: GBR snorkeling (booked thru Celebrity)

 

Sun Jan 7 Cairns Day 1: GBR snorkeling (thru Celebrity)

 

Mon Jan 8 Cairns Day 2: GBR snorkeling (not thru Celebrity)

 

Tue Jan 9 Port Douglas: GBR snorkeling (not thru Celebrity)

 

Fri Jan 12 Brisbane: Australia Zoo (thru Celebrity)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How nice. How have you enjoyed the cruise so far? Any highlights in terms of the on-board experience and also ports?

 

Keith

 

 

 

Cruise is going well. We've done only one port so far, Newcastle. On board experience has been fine although I was a bit surprised to find out that the casino and shops will be closed for most of the time on each sea day except Sea Day #1 (yesterday, Jan 4). I will post more on that later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wed Jan 3 Newcastle: ATV driving on ocean shore sand dunes (booked independently)

 

Sat Jan 6 Airlie Beach: GBR snorkeling (booked thru Celebrity)

 

Sun Jan 7 Cairns Day 1: GBR snorkeling (thru Celebrity)

 

Mon Jan 8 Cairns Day 2: GBR snorkeling (not thru Celebrity)

 

Tue Jan 9 Port Douglas: GBR snorkeling (not thru Celebrity)

 

Fri Jan 12 Brisbane: Australia Zoo (thru Celebrity)

 

wow that's a lot of snorkeling!

 

so far we've booked a wine tour at Newcastle (organised by a fellow cruise passenger) and a trip to Hartleys Crocodile Adventures from Cairns (not through Celebrity)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're going scuba diving actually as the entire family of 4 are certified.

 

So the whole point of booking this itinerary for us was to dive as much of it as possible!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are doing Solstice to NZ Jan. 22 then port douglas.

Look forward to hearing your experiences. How hot is it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was very nice during our only port day so far--it got up to 75F in Newcastle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely of you to answer our questions. I hope you have a lovely time.

 

We're booked on the same cruise on the 30th of March and really looking forward to it.

 

How are you finding the internet speed?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thread! I know you will not be using the ship's tenders in Airlie Beach - but - can you find out what port the tenders went to while there? Abell Marina or Port of Airlie. I am setting up a flight tour there and need to know which port to tell the company to pick us up!

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Internet speed is ok. Seems best early in the morning when presumably fewer people are on it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great thread! I know you will not be using the ship's tenders in Airlie Beach - but - can you find out what port the tenders went to while there? Abell Marina or Port of Airlie. I am setting up a flight tour there and need to know which port to tell the company to pick us up!

Thanks!

 

 

 

No problem, I will look into it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have an excellent time. We love the East Coast of Australia. Just got back from 8 nights in Port Douglas and a week in the Brisbane/Gold Coast area. Hope you have good Snorkeling weather. Hartley's is fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the itinerary from Celebrity Today. Besides listing the ports, it also tells you which ports are tendered, which nights are Evening Chic, and when the ship's clock is changed.

 

51e939ebf9bd5561a631fe99016956b3.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thx. Any menus? Who are you snorkeling with in PD?

 

 

 

Yes, I've been photographing the MDR menus. I will publish them when I get a chance.

 

At Port Douglas, we're snorkeling with Quicksilver Cruises. Their boat leaves late enough that I'm confident we'll catch it despite having to tender. The snorkel boat operates at the same marina that the ship's tenders go to. Curiously, Celebrity does not offer a snorkeling

shore ex there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great thread! I know you will not be using the ship's tenders in Airlie Beach - but - can you find out what port the tenders went to while there? Abell Marina or Port of Airlie. I am setting up a flight tour there and need to know which port to tell the company to pick us up!

Thanks!

 

 

Surprisingly this was difficult to find out. I talked to the ship's GBR pilot, the shore ex desk, and Guest Relations. A nice woman at Guest Relations spent some time looking into it and she told me that Abell Marina was the tender land location. The ship's GBR pilot wasn't sure (he thought it also was Abell Marina), but he pointed out that Abell Marina and Port of Airlie are not that far apart. The shore ex desk told me it was at Airlie Beach Marina (after calling someone on the phone) which I presume is Abell.

 

It is now 526am on our Airlie Beach day. I will try to find out more if I can. You may want to look at MarineTraffic website or app. In near real time, you can watch the tenders and actually see where they go. I did exactly that from home during Solstice's GBR sailing this past March for Cairns and Port Douglas.

 

Here is a screenshot from the app when Solstice was at Cairns. From the tenders track, I was able to deduce that Celebrity chartered Reef Magic 2 for tendering (there were other boats used as well), the number of tender trips and when the tendering occurred. You could even see where the tender comes from at the beginning of the day and where it went to at the end.

 

96ff8fc7755f04b35d23bde63b3c1240.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Surprisingly this was difficult to find out. I talked to the ship's GBR pilot, the shore ex desk, and Guest Relations. A nice woman at Guest Relations spent some time looking into it and she told me that Abell Marina was the tender land location. The ship's GBR pilot wasn't sure (he thought it also was Abell Marina), but he pointed out that Abell Marina and Port of Airlie are not that far apart. The shore ex desk told me it was at Airlie Beach Marina (after calling someone on the phone) which I presume is Abell.

 

It is now 526am on our Airlie Beach day. I will try to find out more if I can. You may want to look at MarineTraffic website or app. In near real time, you can watch the tenders and actually see where they go. I did exactly that from home during Solstice's GBR sailing this past March for Cairns and Port Douglas.

 

Here is a screenshot from the app when Solstice was at Cairns. From the tenders track, I was able to deduce that Celebrity chartered Reef Magic 2 for tendering (there were other boats used as well), the number of tender trips and when the tendering occurred. You could even see where the tender comes from at the beginning of the day and where it went to at the end.

 

96ff8fc7755f04b35d23bde63b3c1240.jpg

 

 

 

Thank you for looking into this. In 2017 Celebrity used the Port of Airlie. So may change each trip.

 

We are also thinking of using Quiksilver in PD. Or ReefSprinter.

Looking forward to how your trip goes.

 

Take care.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great idea on the MarineTraffic site. It appears the tenders from the Solstice are going to the Port Of Airlie.

 

Have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wow that's a lot of snorkeling!

 

so far we've booked a wine tour at Newcastle (organised by a fellow cruise passenger) and a trip to Hartleys Crocodile Adventures from Cairns (not through Celebrity)

 

Who are you doing the wine tour in Newcastle with?

 

You are going to hate Yorkey's Knob especially if the wind and sea conditions pick up and the tenders are cancelled as is often the case

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...