For those who want a brief review:
This ship is beautiful. It was tastefully decorated and as an artist, I appreciated the use of Modern and Contemporary art to decorate the stairwells. I've also traveled on Princess and I found Celebrity to be very similar. There are some things that one line does better than the other, but it was a similar experience.
Now the more detailed review:
Very easy and relatively speedy. The room was ready as soon as we got on the ship and we met our room steward right away. Our room smelled a bit musty and he took care of them right away. We were always happy with the service we got from both the main room attendant and his assistant.
We had an inside cabin. There's not a lot of them on board. The room was well organized. Tons of storage and the bathroom was the biggest I've had on a cruise ship. The room, on the third deck, was also great when it came to getting off the ship at port. No waiting for the elevators!
The MDR was slooooooow. This was my main complaint about the ship. Two plus hours for dinner and over an hour for breakfast. We couldn't go on the days we were in port for breakfast because we wouldn't get off the ship in time. We also had issues with our seating assignment and it took two days and several phone calls to get it fixed. The food was good, tasty, but rarely amazing. Ocean View, the buffet, had good food and was rarely crowded.
The concierge was very informative, but we did have some issues getting problems solved (like our seating arrangement). Another small complaint was that they didn't sell stamps (other than for the US). We bought postcards and tried to send them in every port but were never able to find a post office. Princess offered that service on board and it was a huge help.
We loved the public spaces on the ship. As I said before, I loved the art around the ship. Even on at sea days there was always a lounge chair to be had. The solarium was great. A nice place to read and relax and it was amazing how the sound was blocked from the main deck. The library had some great books it in, no reason to fill up your suitcase with reading material.
We found there to be the same amount of big shows, but fewer little things. We were glass groupies and spent most of our time at the Hot Glass Show which we loved. The glass blowers were entertaining and educational and the glass was amazing. The big shows in the theater were pretty good. There seemed to be fewer little activities on the ship and it was hard to get to some of the activities with our long dinners. The scheduling just seemed to be off, but something that would be easy to fix. One thing we did love was the interaction with the crew and ship's officers. They presented informative lectures, the Captain performed in one of the shows, and they were the entertainment in the "Liars Club." The Captain was actually quite funny and very personable.
This went really smoothly for us, but apparently not for other people. We must have gotten off at just the right time. The issue seemed to be not the ship, but the lack of customs agents. We spent more time waiting for the shuttle than in customs.
So overall, would I cruise on Solstice again? Yes. Were there little things that could be done to make the journey more enjoyable? Sure, but overall it was a great vacation!