We are a Kiwi couple in our late 40's who wanted to try a cruise to see if it was for us. And we had a wonderful time on the Solstice. I booked this trip as a Christmas present/surprise for my husband. I decided that I wanted us to have a nice cabin with a balcony and some little extras. Which is why I went for Aqua Class, and we thought it was totally worth it.
Blu restaurant and the wonderful staff there were an absolute highlight for us. We loved the meals, the variety, quality and smaller portions - although of course you could have ordered as much as you liked.
We got the afternoon sun on our way north to Noumea. So it was lovely to just relax on our balcony in the afternoon and look out at the sea.
We didn't particularly want to participate in a lot of activities and we never felt we had to. Although we did end up doing the 70's/80's trivia night on the last night, sort of by accident. We were in the bar and it came to us. But we had a great time and really enjoyed it.
We made an effort to go to the gym each sea day and never had trouble getting on to the equipment. Although I did find trying to run on a treadmill while the ship was moving was just too weird, so I stuck to the cross trainer. And I did Zumba a couple of times which I loved. I had never tried that before but it was so much fun and a great work out.
We loved the three places we stopped at. I have written about Noumea below. The Isle of Pines is the most beautiful beach I have ever been on, we just loved that. And Lifou was really nice as well, except the map we got given by Celebrity was worse than useless. So we ended up going on a long walk to no where in particular. But it didn't matter we were on holiday and we needed the exercise.
I think the Solstice was a great introduction to cruising, and the length of time was perfect for a first time cruise.
I have to say that I found the Cruise Critic forums and community really helpful for giving me some handy hints and a good idea of what to expect. Thanks to all of you who take the time to put up your feedback. But at the end of the day, you just have to go with it and experience it for yourself. Everyone is different in what they want/expect for a holiday. But I can say we had a wonderful time. Now I am saving up furiously for the next one.