Cruise itinerary, prices and details for a new booking on the Celebrity Solstice...

Celebrity is our favorite cruise line.  This is the ship we'll sail on for 14 nights beginning on January 5, 2016, ending on January 19, 2016.  Built in 2008, it's rated 5.5 stars, of a possible 6 stars  We love the smaller size of 2850 passengers as opposed to many of the larger ships with a capacity with upwards of 5000 passengers.
In 18 months, on January 4, 2016, we'll be departing Fiji to arrive in Sydney, Australia, spending one night in a hotel. 

The following day, we'll make our way to the Port of Sydney to board this 14 night cruise on the Celebrity Solstice as listed below which ends in Auckland, New Zealand on January 19, 2016 when we'll make our way to New Plymouth, New Zealand to live on the on the Alpaca Farm for 83 days

Please refer to Part 1 and Part 2 posts from the past two days to see all the criteria and factors that come into play in pricing a cruise.  Please click these links below in the event you missed them over the weekend:
Part 1, Booking cruises
Part 2, Booking cruises

When reviewing the prices below it appears that our total cost for two, would be US $4498 EU $3676.69.  Not so fast.  Based on the addition of taxes, fees and gratuities and the upgraded category for our preferred cabin number, the cost had jumped to a total of US $5340.32, EU $3928.51.

By researching prices for our choices. we were able to find an all inclusive total for US $4771, EU $3509.70 through the free site, Cruise Compete

By doing so, we then asked  Anna at Vacations to Go to match this best price. She was able to match the price after sending her the link as to where we found the best pricing.  In other words, many cruise agencies have the ability to "match the best price found."  However, proof in writing of that best price is always required when asking for the best price discount.

14 nights departing January 5, 2016 on
Celebrity's Celebrity Solstice

Brochure Inside$3,298
Our Inside$1,649
You Save50%
Brochure Oceanview$3,998
Our Oceanview$1,999
You Save50%
Brochure Balcony$4,498
Our Balcony$2,249
You Save50%
Brochure Suite$8,298
Our Suite$4,149
You Save50%
$$$ Book now and receive a FREE US$100 per cabin onboard credit on select categories plus choose one of the following offers on  select oceanview, balcony, and suite categories: an additional US$300 per cabin onboard credit (for a total per cabin onboard credit of US$400), FREE pre-paid gratuities (a per cabin value of US$336 to US$434), or a FREE beverage package for two, which includes select alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages onboard (a per cabin value of US$1,372).
Promotions may not be combinable with all fares.
The prices shown are US dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. They include port charges but do not include airfare or (where applicable) airport or government taxes or fees.
Important Note: Visas are required for this itinerary.
TueJan5Sydney, Australia6:30pm
WedJan6At Sea
ThuJan7Melbourne, Australia8:00am6:00pm
FriJan8At Sea
SatJan9Hobart, Tasmania, Australia8:00am6:00pm
SunJan10At Sea
MonJan11At Sea
TueJan12Milford Sound, New Zealand (Cruising)8:00am9:00am
TueJan12Doubtful Sound, New Zealand (Cruising)1:30pm2:30pm
TueJan12Dusky Sound, New Zealand (Cruising)4:30pm6:00pm
WedJan13Dunedin (Port Chalmers), New Zealand9:00am7:00pm
ThuJan14Akaroa, New Zealand8:00am6:00pm
FriJan15Wellington, New Zealand8:00am6:00pm
SatJan16At Sea
SunJan17Tauranga, New Zealand8:00am6:00pm
MonJan18Bay of Islands, New Zealand7:00am6:00pm
TueJan19Auckland, New Zealand6:00am

Here are the details of the ship, the Celebrity Solstice, rated a 5.5 stars (out of a possible 6 stars):

Celebrity Solstice

Ship Rating: 
The first ship to be a part of Celebrity’s Solstice class, the Celebrity Solstice features many of the personal amenities passengers have come to expect from Celebrity while carrying 2,850 passengers. Each of the ships in the Solstice class feature wireless Internet throughout, larger staterooms with flat screen televisions, spacious bathrooms, more storage space and plush European bedding. Balconies are available in 85% of the ship's staterooms, and the Solstice-class ships include an exceptional range of guest-inspired services and amenities made possible due to the ships’ larger size. Spa-enthusiasts aboard the Celebrity Solstice can enjoy the 130 “AquaClass” veranda staterooms, with unlimited access to the Aqua Spa relaxation room and the Persian Garden, and exotic aromatherapy and steam room. AquaClass guests also receive exclusive complimentary dining in Blu, an intimate 130-seat specialty restaurant.
 Ship Statistics 
Year Built2008
Tonnage122,000 tons
Length1,033 feet
Beam121 feet
Passenger Capacity2,850
Crew Size999
Total Inside Cabins102
Total Outside Cabins1,323
Cabins & Suites w/ verandas1,177
Maximum Occupancy per room5
Age RestrictionsOne person must be 21 or older
Dinner Seatings2
Seating Assignments 
in Main Dining Room
Dining Hours6:15 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.
Dining Room Dress CodeDining
Tipping Recommended?Yes
Tipping GuidelinesAdded to onboard account. $12.00 per person, per day in staterooms, $12.50 per person, per day for Concierge/Aqua class, $15.50 per person, per day for Suites. 15% tip included on beverage orders.
Onboard CurrencyUS Dollar
Services & Amenities
Beauty Salon/Barber ShopYes
Hot Tub10
Cell Phone ServiceYes
Internet CenterYes
Wireless Internet AccessYes
Note: Available in certain areas
Laundry/Dry CleaningYes
Movie TheatreYes
Outdoor Movie ScreenNo
Onboard WeddingsYes
Self Serve LaundromatsNo
Video ArcadeYes
Fitness & Sports Facilities
Basketball CourtYes
Fitness CenterYes
Golf Driving NetNo
Golf SimulatorNo
Water SlideNo
Water Sports PlatformNo
Ice Skating RinkNo
Jogging TrackYes
Mini-Golf CourseNo
Rock Climbing WallNo
Swimming Pool3
Tennis CourtNo
Cabin Features & Amenities
Hair DryerYes
24-Hour Room ServiceYes
Kids Facilities
Children's PlayroomYes
Kiddie PoolNo
Supervised Youth ProgramYes
Teen CenterYes
Special Needs & Requests
Adjoining Cabins
     (private connecting doors)
Kosher MealsYes
Single Occupancy CabinsNo
Single Share ProgramNo
Wheelchair-Accessible Cabins30

Speak to a Cruise Specialist
Call toll free from Portugal to our US offices

Open Mon 12am-4am, 12:30pm-12am, Tue-Fri 12am-8am, 12:30pm-12am, 
Sat 12am-8am, 3pm - 12am, Sun 12am-2am, 4pm-12am

Here is the deck plan for the Celebrity Solstice from which we chose our preferred cabin on this level in Category 2B.  Please scroll to the right to see the far right of the entire deck plan. 

Celebrity Solstice Deck 7 - Sunrise

Sky Suite
Category S1
Features include floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, two beds convertible to queen-size, bathroom with shower/tub combination and washbasin, living room with sofa queen sleeper and vanity, mini refrigerator, 40" LCD TV, and veranda with lounge seating. (stateroom: 300 sq. ft., veranda: 79 sq. ft.)
Family Ocean View Stateroom with Veranda
Category FV
Features include floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, master bedroom with two beds convertible to queen-size, second bedroom with one twin bed, sitting area with sofa convertible to trundle bed, vanity, privacy partition, 32" LCD TV and veranda. (stateroom: 575 sq. ft., veranda: 53 to 105 sq. ft.)
Sunset Veranda
Category SV
Features include floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, sitting area with sofa, two beds convertible to queen-size, vanity, 32" LCD TV and veranda. Some staterooms may have a trundle bed. (stateroom: 194 sq. ft., veranda: 54 sq. ft.)
Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Veranda
Category 1A
Category 2A
Category 2B
Features include floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, two beds convertible to queen-size, sitting area with sofa, vanity, 32" LCD TV and veranda. Some staterooms may have a trundle bed. (stateroom: 194 sq. ft., veranda: 54 sq. ft.)
Ocean View Stateroom
Category 07
Features include an ocean view window, two beds convertible to queen-size, vanity, 32" LCD TV and a sitting area with sofa. Some cabins may have a trundle bed. (177 sq. ft.)
Inside Stateroom
Category 11
Features include two beds convertible to queen-size, vanity, 32" LCD TV and sitting area with sofa. Some cabins may have a trundle bed.(183 to 200 sq. ft.)

Convertible Sofa Bed
Inside Stateroom Door Location
One Upper Berth
Triple Occupancy
Quadruple Occupancy
Two Upper Berths
Connecting Staterooms
Wheelchair Accessible Stateroom Featuring Roll-In Showers
 Deck 7 - Sunrise

In all, we're thrilled with the price, our cabin selection and of course, the itinerary as shown above.  As with all of our cruises, we'll be sharing details and photos of the ship, the ports of call, the excursions we choose and the meals.

More follows tomorrow with details of the second cruise we booked in the past few days on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Photo from one year ago today, July 7, 2013:

A year ago, we wrote about mechanical issues and nuances of living in a 300 year ago house in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy.  This photo of Tom standing in the hallway, at 6 feet, 1.83 meters, his head almost reaches the ceiling.  If he didn't walk down the hall straight and centered, he'd bang his head.  Also note, the  upcoming doorway at eye level in which he had to duck to enter.  For more details about the old stone house, please click here.


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