Just back from the 8/13 Equinox sailing out of Civitavecchia. First if you don't mind carrying your own luggage you can get a $5 euro train from Rome Termini to the port station (about 1.5 hours/multiple stops)--from there about a 10 minute walk--some steps at the station but if you can handle that it saves some $ v the ship transfer--just depends if you are in Rome ahead of the cruise. Once at the port gate, a free shuttle bus will take you to the check in. Note--free shuttle is from port gate, not train station. Check in was a mass of people but it moved quickly--maybe 15-20 min max from arrival. We got there at 2 p.m. and it was still pretty crowded--some folks who arrived after 3 said it went faster but many don't want to wait that late to get on board. We had an inside deck 3 room--super stateroom staff--prob the best ever on our 3rd Celebrity cruise (plus 1 Azamara). Room was very quiet but think there is a hallway behind the room as we on occasion could hear a cart and some conversation but nothing ever disruptive. Great new in room 1080 quality TV with lots of in room movies, etc.
We thought the food to be very good to excellent most nights--just one or two nights not as great--they want you happy so just ask for something else. We did the select dining as we had a lot of ports and didn't know when we would be back onboard so it worked out well. Lots of European passengers so late dining was packed--prepare accordingly if you like to eat later make a RSVP--we didn't usually and did table sharing and met some very nice folks. Dining room staff excellent. Bar staff around ship generally good--better on Deck 3 and Martini Bar. Also liked Mast Bar. Music sometimes loud by bars, but personal matter.
We did the drink package--premium. Have not done the final calculations but it felt like a good value as we drink OJ/specialty coffees, sodas, bottle water and like to have wine with dinner and cocktails. Not signing was an added benefit. Staff treated everyone the same--lots of folks with beverage packages on this cruise.
Buffet was also very good but tended to get slammed around 1-2 so just keep an eye on the traffic. Exec Chef Donovan was visible and receptive to all feedback. We also did a lunch and dinner at Tuscan Grill which was excellent. Burger bar also great.
We were not sure about the Solstice sized ship but that concern went away after about a day--if you like to take stairs to get up and down this will help with the calories. I would do this size ship again in a heartbeat. We had a great time and for us the 10-12 night is what we can handle and were ready to go home. Also if you have an extra day in Rome as we did strongly suggest IQ hotel near the Opera house close to Termini--excellent value, newer hotel-super quiet and the best hotel staff we have encountered in a long time in Italy. Excellent Rome National Museum and Palazzo Massimo nearby has outstanding mosaics and fresco collection along with bronzes. Don't miss this--we had been to Rome previously and decided to check these out--glad we did.