We booked our cruise as soon as we received the invitation from Captain's Club, but elected not to go on one of the first weeks, to allow time for a learning curve by the staff and crew. Apparently some of the early critics should have done that also, for we found none of the major gripes they mentioned. (Several staff members admitted that there were some bumps in the road to good service on earlier cruises - and that there were design flaws, such as galley size, to be dealt with on later ships in this class).
The ship is magnificent. Like the Millennium class, lots of hideaways to find a peaceful moment or two. We found that we spent most of our free time in the solarium; not near as crowded or hectic as on the pool deck. On our cruise (January 25th) the lush green lawn was attractive and could be walked on, but I think the whole concept was a silly marketing gimmick.
We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment, especially in the smaller venues, but it is hard to understand how the planners figured that the theater was large enough. It is a bit ridiculous to have to be in the theater at least a half hour early to get a seat!
The food, while not quite up to the standards of the Rieux era, is still of very good quality, and the servers at our table were as good as any we've experienced in the past (we've been sailing on Celebrity since the Meridian days). Yes, a nit picker could always find something to complain about, but nothing is perfect!
The cabin was nicely done, and the public areas elegant. We did not avail ourselves of the specialty restaurants, spa, or the casino. I liked the fitness center.
We've sailed on larger and smaller ships than the Solstice, and I prefer smaller, but we did not find it too large. I think it is the perfect ship for a repositioning cruise with lots of sea days! We would love to cruise again on the Solstice or it's sisters, and look forward to doing so!