Embarkation This was very smooth and we wer eon the ship within 30 minutes of arriving.
The ship I found it a departure from the norm. We had just travelled on Eurodam around the Caribbean and found it to be an excellent ship and its nautical heritage was obvious, you really felt like you were on a ship.
Solstice is very contemporary and you feel like you are in a building that is a cross between a modern office block and a shopping mall. I think the central location of the elevators and the open plan environment gave me that feeling. I loved it.
We had one of four family cabins on the ship. When we booked the fine detail of the cabin layout was not available as the ship was still being built. The second bedroom has no natural light and this made us nickname it "the cave". Although this was disappointing it gave my father in law his own separate and private space, which is a rare commodity on a ship unless you book a really expensive suite.
The TV was so much more than a TV and we were impressed with the many things you could do on it.
The room was large and very spacious, were were not crowded at all. I suppose this results from the cabin being on a corner of the ship. The furnishings and surface finishes were not very upmarket and looked quite cheap. Having just got off Eurodam the day before we embarked on Solstice gave us a good comparison. Eurodam furnishings and surface finishes were rich and inviting.
Storage space was very inadequate and there were a number of walls that could have been used to mount wardrobes or other storage space.
The balcony was rarely used as the wind was far too strong when the ship was underway. The two front facing windows were great as you could see where you were going and they gave lots of natural light.
The roll away bed for my daughter was poor quality.
The bathroom was excellent, plenty of space given it was on a ship.
The cabin attendant was very helpful, no complaints.
I did not like our location in the main dining room, it was on the upper level next to a window but on rectangular tables that were too close together. We did not feel like we were in the main dining room as we could not see the lower level and lost the ambiance of the magnificent ceiling displays.
The ice bar was a popular meeting point but I felt it was too crowded. The alternative restaurants are all located at the rear of the ship and I felt you lost some feeling of exclusivity due to them being so close together, I preferred the spread out restaurant locations on Eurodam.
The Bistro on Five is a good alternative restaurant and well priced at $5 a head and I was surprise it was not well patronised.
I did not like the coffee shop coffee. The baristas need more training and there should be a choice of milks. Australians like 4% fat milk as it makes a better latte.
The enclosed indoor pool area is fantastic for relaxing but I was annoyed at the selfish people who leave books on a seat to reserve it then walk away. The staff did not police this very well.
I loved the sea days and would have liked more of them. As much as I enjoy the port visits, the sea days are very relaxing.
I also enjoyed the evening entertainment, both the shows and also the musicians playing around the various bars. Very professional.
The library was poor, very few books and over two levels it was difficult to go up and down. The library looks like it was designed as a pretty show piece for guests to see as they went up and down the lift. The library on the Eurodam is perfect, Celebrity should copy what HAL do.