We flew from NYC to Barcelona and got right on the ship. Our flight landed at 8:00 am and we were on the ship by 11:30. We were the first ones checked in and had to wait a half hour to board.
The Solstice is a beautiful ship and we were greeted by very friendly crew. In fact, I can honestly say we never passed a single crew member on the entire cruise that didn't greet us. Service was exceptional in every way and we appreciated the warm welcome.
Our room was in the very front of the ship with an oceanview window that looked out on the heliport. The angle of the window was a bit awkward, but our view was still decent. One of the advantages to being in front was that our room was oversized compared to even verandah rooms. We enjoyed the extra breathing space and I would recommend asking for one of these rooms if you don't mind the extra walking. One disadvantage was that the anchor was very loud on a couple of ports where we tendered in. Also, the bow thruster shook the entire cabin and the first time we thought it might be an earthquake!
The food in the main dining room was average. Heavy emphasis was placed on presentation rather than portions or quality. Most nights I had trouble finding an entree I really wanted rather than having difficulty deciding between a few options. We did not try the specialty restaurants, but heard the food was plentiful and excellent. Wine packages were pushed ad nauseum and they boast the most extensive wine offerings on the high seas.
We did eat the first meal on the ship in the Bistro on Deck 5. There is a $5 cover charge per person and I highly recommend it. We had intended to go back again but never did. It was nice to get on the ship and not have to fight at the buffet for elbow room. This was a much more relaxed atmosphere and it was not crowded at all.