We flew direct on Jet Blue and arranged transportation through Quality Limo Service (QLS Transportation) for our group. We had one night precruise at the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Beach. The Hilton was not as convenient as some other hotels but we loved being on the beach. We had a wonderful dinner at the Casablanca Cafe, within walking distance.
We were picked up by QLS the next morning and arrived to the pier after 12:00AM. We are platinum on RCCL so we had priority boarding and were on board in what seemed like minutes. The rest of our group had a wait of probably ten minutes in line.
There was a group of about 200 "Singles at Sea" sailing with us. This made for some interesting people watching throughout the week.
The ship was fantastic. Lots of attention to detail. There were so many things we just loved; the upholstery in the common areas, the drapes, beautiful lighting, the public bathroom sinks, the tables that change colors in the Sky Observation lounge. There were lots of cozy areas to sit. I could go on and on about how impressed we were with the ship.
Loved the bathroom set up in our cabin. Just that little bit of extra room in the shower does make a difference and loved the shaving bar. We had plenty of storage for our things, but did have to be creative finding a place for everything. And yes, I wore all ten pairs of shoes I brought!! The balcony seemed a little wider than some we have had, it was comfortable with two chairs and a small table.
What did not impress us much was the service. Where did the coffee/drink service at breakfast and lunch in the buffet go? We did ask for a tea on the first day (unknowingly) and were told the drinks were self service and were pointed in the right direction. Much has changed in this area since we last sailed with Celebrity in 2004. I finally figured out - get your beverages and put them on the table - then get your food.
We went to the three main shows performed by the singers, dancers, and acrobats and enjoyed them all.
We were not impressed with the food in the main dining room. At first, I felt like I just wasn't ordering the right thing. But everyone at our table was disappointed with their dishes and we all ordered different things from the menu. Towards the end of the week, I did a little better and actually found a few things I liked.
DH and I received an invitation to tour the bridge. This was a great tour that we both really enjoyed. The Captain and the ship's officers were very friendly.
The Solstice is a beautiful ship but we felt the service had really gone down since we last sailed Celebrity. We will probably stick with Royal Caribbean unless we find an itinerary we really want to sail that is not offered by them.