The last cruise my wife and I took was with our two boys to Alaska on the Royal Caribbean Line 5 years ago. We are in our 50's and haven't had a vacation together without the kids in... who can remember. We left Ft Lauderdale on the Celebrity Solstice on February 14. It was easy getting on the ship and it was easy getting off. Just about everything in between was wonderful. The ship is quite beautiful and interesting by any standard. It really is "eye candy;" Sophisticated yet warm. Each time you walk around you inevitably find something interesting that you didn't see before. Your senses are awakened. The people who work on the ship go out of their way for you and appear happy and upbeat; it seems to come from their sense of professionalism/they are extremely well trained, and from the heart - who can ask for more in this regard; it doesn't hurt that the Captain is a relatively young man who is hysterically funny and open but yet commanding - the staff talk about him with great respect and admiration.
The food. We eat out regularly at the finest restaurants in Los Angeles and Manhattan. The food we ate was at times "great" but never less than very good. We had upgraded to Aqua Class for a nominal charge and as a result our regular dining room was "Blu." This dining room is absolutely beautiful in every way. The walls and carpet and even the butter served carry the same theme - artfully scalloped roses. The menu is creative and the food is delicious. It is in fact better than most gourmet restaurants we have eaten in. The Blu restaurant Captains work the room to make sure everyone is happy and feels pampered. The sommelier and wait staff is "the best" and engage you and become personally involved with you in a good way. They are clearly proud to be there. If Blu were a restaurant in Los Angeles, we'd eat there twice a week. We also ate at each of the 3 specialty dinner restaurants and the specialty crepe restaurant for lunch. Murano had spectacular food and service - our most memorable dinner - it included foie gras and pressed duck, onion soup, giant shelled lobster tail, chocolate souffle, artisan cheeses [get the Lipitor]. I so overtipped the main waiter but I left there feeling like a billionaire sailing on my private yacht - having a world class meal and service. A great vacation should have a fantasy element to it.
We had signed on for three massages each when we first entered the ship, but after our first massage the following day, we decided to cancel the other two massages. The massage was wonderful but expensive - not unexpected but one was sufficient. The room and balcony were extremely nice - the bed and pillows were fantastic as were the towels. We enjoyed having drinks at many different locations throughout the ship. The martini bar is very special - there is ice, like compacted snow on the bar and the talented bartenders put on quite the show. We love wine but were disappointed by the Cellar room that was devoted to wine - it is dark and cold - and as a result, almost empty throughout the cruise - not a big deal as there are so many other great places but Celebrity is "off" with this room and should completely redo it -it is depressing looking and doesn't work and is out of character with every other aspect of this great ship. The weather wasn't great but it was hot and sunny in St. Maarten and Tortolla/Virgin Gorda - we took simple tours to the beaches with lunch or just drinks and they were very nice - and afterwards we walked around.
We envied the people who were on back to back cruises. We hated to leave the ship. If you are not cruising Crystal or Seabourne or Radisson for 4X the cost, Celebrity Solstice is your choice if you want a cruise ship, food and staff that is "fabulous" and upscale ; be prepared though, the overall crowd is something else.