We are in our mid-50's, and have taken over 20 cruises with several different cruise lines. We have sailed with Celebrity before, but never on a Solstice class ship. We booked this cruise while sailing on the Azamara Journey last year, so we got what I consider to be a good price, based on the fact that I have checked for a price reduction frequently.
We flew in the day before, since we are coming from the Northeast in the middle of winter and stayed at the Sheraton. The hotel was adequate, certainly nothing spectacular. The hotel staff encouraged us to sign up with one of their shuttles to the port, and told us that cabs would not be available. We did sign up with them, and as we were watching the madness of passengers loading luggage on the van my husband spotted a cab, which we took to the port with no issues whatsoever. We arrived a the port at 11:00 am, and were enjoying lunch by 11:55am. Check in went smoothly, no lines at all. We were in AQ class, which helped. There were several people waiting to board the ship and we walked by all of them because of the AQ-- NICE!!!
Our room was ready at 1pm as promised. I don't particularly like the storage over the bed but, that being said, there was more than enough storage for the both of us. The bathroom was really nice and had lots of storage, and a great European shower!!! The room was very clean and well appointed.
The ship is beautiful! I love the layout, with lots of nooks and crannies and bars and lounges. The pool loungers have nice pads on them, very comfy and nap-worthy! We never had an issue finding a lounge chair at all.
The lunch buffet was probably the best I've ever seen on a ship- lots of nice variety. I had salad most days- the salad bar was so inviting! They also had a cheese bar, which I was eager to add to my salad.
BLU, the AQ restaurant, is well worth the extra cost of AQ class. It is open for breakfast and dinner, and does not require reservations. We typically ate between 7:30-8 and never had to wait for a table. On some nights service was slower than others, but overall the meals were well spaced. I loved the choices they had as well- no complaints! Breakfast was always served quickly and hot- a nice change from the MDR, where eggs are often only warm.
We enjoyed the Hot Glass Show immensely- even won a vase! What a nice addition and so interesting. The show was always very well attended.
We also enjoyed the acoustic guitar play and the jazz band. There was also a 3 piece string combo that was just too mellow for us- good nap music. The a Capella group was phenomenal, and the house band was really good as well. We did see a comedy show, but we did not do the production shows as they are not our thing.
We had a premium drink package that we paid in full for, but I'm glad we did it. We were able to thoroughly enjoy wine with dinner, the specialty coffees, as well as the Martini and Molecular bar. It was well worth the cost.
We have a 7 night cruise booked on another Solstice class ship in November, and 2 7-night back to back cruises for next February- can't wait!
We enjoyed all the ports, and will answer any questions about them (or anything else) any time! Email me at email@example.com I am always happy to talk cruises!