We just returned from our lovely 14 night cruise upon Celebrity Solstice. It's our 3rd cruise, the first without our kids! (we are aged late 40's early 50's). Here is a summary:
Embarkation: Pretty easy. The line looked long at it seemed a complicated series of things to do but it still only took 45 minutes in total to board the ship.
The Ship: Absolutely beautiful! It is big, plenty of space despite being at capacity, spotlessly clean. Everything about this ship is classy. The staff cannot do enough for you, so polite and friendly. Lovely pool areas with plenty of comfortable deck chairs everywhere. I really liked the indoor pool, so peaceful. The only slight complaint is there is not really spectacular a 'grand foyer' area like many other ships have. So when they had some interactive entertainment it was very squashy and difficult to see.
Our Cabin: We had an inside cabin, mid-ship on Deck 10. It was a really good price for the inside cabin and no regrets. Very nicely appointed, roomy enough, and the darkness was great for sleeping in!
Food: Delicious, but too much! The food is wonderful and the best buffet we have had on a cruise, even had a made to order stir-fry and pasta station. We ate most nights in the main dining room and it was great 99% of the time and it is a really beautiful room.
Entertainment: The production shows were better than on previous cruises and most of the individual acts were good. Our favourites were the American comedian and the pianist/cellist. I think that Royal Caribbean were probably a bit more fun and entertaining in the ways they do their Trivia quizzes etc. Perhaps Celebrity cater for a slightly older crowd? Bingo was far too expensive.
Ports: New Zealand was very nice and mostly easy to just get off the ship and walk around. We did a tour to Rotorua through No.8 tours and I highly recommend them. We got a bus from Akaroa to Christchurch which was worthwhile-very sad to see the damage from the Earthquake but interesting. Really enjoyed Hobart, it was a shame that Melbourne was having a heat wave!
If you have a chance to sail on the Solstice I would definitely recommend it!