Immediately we were encouraged to go up to the Lido deck for some lunch, as our rooms would not be ready for a few hours. Everything was fresh, new and extremely clean! The staff was friendly. The food was outstanding and the selection was very nice. There was an elderly man slicing the roast beef, who quickly became my new friend. He greeted me each day carving meat for me.
The Solstice serves different flavors of ice cream, in addition to soft serve, and always had a line of excited cruisers trying to try new flavors.
Our room was in the aft of the ship and the balcony seemed larger because off from the edge of the railing was the very large extension from the restaurant just below us. At no time did we hear noise from any direction.
The only inconvenience would be the layer of soot that developed on the balcony from the smokestacks. I put 4 fresh pool towels down daily - one on each chair, one on the small table and one on the balcony floor so I never stepped on the balcony and tracked soot into the room. I learned it the hard way by getting soot on my feet and on my clothes. I took advantage of the balcony, but the soot annoyed my husband. He preferred going up to the top of the ship or to the pool to relax.
Our dinner table was upstairs (center of the room) one table over from the railing. We found our waiter Ita (I think that's his name) and his helper Ati very funny and outstanding. They took very good care of us, greeted us by name and always brought us 2 desserts each night. I always tried something new, but loved their creme brule! My husband tried 2 entres most nights and videoed everything...They did napkin and magic tricks most nights for the children next to us that made it extra special.
We did our own shore excursions on the trip.
We went to a beach bar that had a monkey. It was entertaining. Don't leave your drink unattended as they will run off with your drink and drink it. Check youtube and see it for yourself.
The beaches on the French side - Orient Bay, our favorite is a must! Walk down the beach (to the left) from where the cab drops you off and the prices will drop dramatically for a chair, umbrella and a drink!
There are nudist walking the beach, so keep that in mind if you're bringing children.