My partner and I have previously been on the Eclipse and Solstice, so this ship was very familiar. Although there is an additional level of cabins, the layout is actually better on the upper decks than on the other ships in this class. The ship is brand new and beautiful. Very nice artwork throughout. We didn't miss Quasars, which is now a conference center. Frankly, we never saw anyone use Quasars on the other ships anyway. The Sky Observation Lounge is smaller than on previous versions of the ship because of the addition of new suites, but it is still adequate and very nicely furnished.
We stayed in cabin 1620 which is on the "bump out" section of the ship and has a huge balcony. Very nice. The cabins are, in my opinion, small and kind of cramped especially when the bed in near the door instead of the balcony. Nonetheless the cabins are nicely furnished and comfortable. The bathrooms are laid out excellently and quite large for a cruise ship. They have nice touches like fog free mirrors and nightlights. There is insufficient drawer space in the cabins although the closet is adequate. The bed is comfortable, but even with the "pillow menu" neither of us could find comfortable pillows. The room service attendant was excellent. We hardly saw her after the first day, but the cabin was always clean when we returned and there were always plenty of clean towels/glasses, etc.
We tried 3 of specialty restaurants and enjoyed them all. The best was the Lawn Club Grill. The flat bread appetizer (which was actually a pizza) was awesome. The restaurant is, however, over priced at $40. Quisine is a great experience and I think worth the $40 surcharge. We have eaten in Tuscan Grill several times before and we were not disappointed. The food and service were excellent and worth the $30 surcharge. We did not try Murano's this trip because we both feel it is stuffy and overpriced having dined there twice before on other trips. Our main restaurant was Blu because we had an Aqua class stateroom. The food is consistently good in that venue as is the service. On three Solstice cruises we have yet to try the MDR.
The cruise line says they have added additional deck chairs, but it was still difficult to find sunny deck chairs on sea days. There were many "chair hogs" on board. I actually did see the pool attendants pick up peoples belongings from chairs that had not been occupied for a long time. Good job! The Solarium is very nice as it is on all the Solstice ships. For the first time we tried the Spa Grill and were pleasantly surprised. The ahi tuna was very good.
We saw a few of the shows. The production shows were good, not great. The magician was also good, but again, not great.
We did try most of the bars and enjoyed the Martini Bar and the Sunset Bar best. The new layout for the Sunset Bar is much improved. I had the drink package and thought it was worth the money if for nothing else than the convenience. I noticed on this voyage that most of the passengers had some sort of drink package as very few receipts were printed out by the bartenders. I also noticed that very few people seemed to tip the bartenders. I know 15% is included in the price, but many them went above and beyond and deserved extra compensation. In general, the service throughout the ship was uniformly excellent. We had no complaints about the service.