This was the first Solstice sailing after a one week dry dock. It was just what was needed after the problems shown in previous reviews with NoroVirus. Thankfully, we did not see or hear of any of those issues on the ship this cruise.
The cruise overall was excellent. Because the ship came out of drydock, there was no delay boarding, and, the cabins were ready as soon as you came on-board. We were on the ship before noon and were able to proceed directly to the cabin. We had an extended balcony on the hump.. very nice. Steward was very nice. Hardy saw him, did his job well.
Ship was in great shape. This is my second time on Celebrity, last year was on Equinox so the ship layout was exactly the same and getting around was simple. People tend to moan and grown about the stupidest things and although previous reviews with those that had the virus get some latitude, the rest of you just need to relax... wah wah wah... "my steak was overdone" ... get over it. Even though we ourselves tend to be critical of food, we go in knowing they are serving thousands of meals and if you are looking for perfection then stay home where you belong. We were impressed with all of the Celebrity options. We used the buffet for most breakfasts and lunches. Bistro on 5 a few times, 5 nights at the main dining room and 1 night in Silk Harvest and the last night in Tuscan Grille. I can honestly say it was hard to find fault with anything. Buffet was good. Again, I see reviews saying how breakfast is the same every day... DUH! How many options do you want for breakfast?? They have EVERYTHING. Fruits were always plentiful,always easy to get around as the layout is far superior to the Princess layout where people cause traffic jams everywhere. The main dining room was as good as I've seen. Escargot every night, always had yummy options to try. Lobster on 2nd formal night was really good. Steaks were excellent. In fact, we had steaks in the main dining room that all four of us commented how excellent they were.. cooked perfectly, seasoned to perfection... so good we, and the two tables around us said it was some of the best steaks we've had. Our waiter Putu and his assistant Ronald were one of the best waiter teams I've seen in 14 cruises. Putu was fantastic...classy, efficient, and very personable. Ronald always had a big smile on his face and was eager to serve. Putu was headed back home this week but he'll be back in October when we return to Solstice... we'll be looking for him again on that trip!! Specialty dining was top notch. Silk Harvest is fabulous... way too much food!! Tuscan Grille was excellent too with the great view off the stern. Sure, there might have been a few items that were not "fantastic"... pizza was okay... Princess has that one down much better. But really.. Celebrity did a great job, 5 stars all around for dining!
Our favorite bars were the Martini Bar (although we missed Hector from Equinox), and the Molecular bar. We did purchase the premium drink package and it was a great bargain. With all the waters, wines, martini's, bottle waters, coffees, etc. etc... we easily saved hundreds of dollars each. Princess... you need to start doing this finally!
Comedy show was great. Did not do any of the other shows. Football games were shown in Celebrity Theater on the big screens. Bar setup was available, although no snacks like we had on Equinox.
Used the gym, Persian Spa daily. Very nice. Decently equipped gym.
Casino.. not much for gambling. Tried a few slots, terrible. For the 26 or so pulls for each $20, not a single credit. Way too tight Celebrity. So, you got nothing more from any of us. Dangle the carrot a LITTLE.. we might have played a bit more.
Excursions, like on all cruises are way overpriced. We only did one, in Roatan, and for $62 was just not worth it. Beautiful place.. but just a quick boat ride to get there and a small buffet. Best part was all the wildlife on the island, especially the monkeys!
Overall, a great 7-night getaway on a wonderful ship with terrific service. Celebrity has become my favorite over Princess. Looking forward to the Med in October!