I will review the 12 day cruise by category and not the " I got up on the day of the cruise at 7am and ate a raisin bagel with butter before heading out of the house" format. Your Welcome.
We have only good things to say about the cruise with one exception: We do not condone animal torture so we are always disapointed that some of the restaurants serve Foie Gras. We are NOT vegetarians but if you are aware of the procedure performed on live animals for this dish you'd feel the same.
Embarkation: Smooth, mostly because we were in aqua class and therefore bypassed the long check in lines, similar to First class at the airport. We especially enjoyed leaving from NJ and avoiding the flight to Florida. The "entertainment" bus picked us up in Massachusetts and the drive was 3.5 hours to Bayonne Port. $100 RT. We were on the Ship by 1pm. On the last day we made it from our stateroom, to luggage pick up, thru immigration, to the bus in 1 hour.
Stateroom: We were in Aqua class "on the hump", where the ship bends inward so our balcony was 3 times as big as the rest. Plus you get a nice view of the side of the ship without leaning over the rail. Aqua class was definately worth it because of the restaurant "BLU", which is only accessable to Aqua class and suite passengers. The food is much better than the main dining room and the room is much QUIETER. Great service too. The food is healthier and presented beautifully. There are also a few perks that go with Aqua class, the same perks as concierge class plus: herbal teas, bottled water and a fantastic shower with multiple body jets. You also have unlimted access to the Relaxation lounge and Persian Garden.
Free restaurants: Main dining room: Food is hit or miss, but the Room is lovely. It can get noisy though.
Oceanview Cafe: this is where the masses eat. It is ok. Almost always open. Great views, plus you can dine al fresco off the back of the ship. Very Nice.
Aqua Spa cafe: Open for breakfast and lunch. Healthy food, right next to the indoor pool, so you can eat in your swimmies.
Mast Grill: Over looks outdoor pools. Great Burgers and fries.
Cover charge Restaurants: Tuscan Grill Italian Steakhouse. $40 per person. Good food. Large portions. Not that many Italian dishes though. Views overlooking the wake.
Q-sine: did not eat here but heard only great things about it.$40 per person.
Murano: We do not eat here due to their extensive use of Foie Gras.
Cafe Al Bacio. Loved it. if you like good coffee (sorry Dunkin Donuts)you must get a beverage package. Great Coffee, Great Service, Comfortable seating.
The Porch: Good food and deserts with views. Mostly sandwiches and paninis. $5 per person.
The Lawn Club grille: Did not eat here, Semi-Outdoor Steakhouse on the Lawn. Dont know anyone that ate here. $40 per person.
Bistro on Five: Great paninis, breakfast, crepes. Centrally located, open late. Good place to eat if you dont want to fight the crowds at Oceanview cafe and want to get served. $5 per person.
Entertainment: Much better than my last Celebrity cruise. We like all the shows except for one. Broadway shows with a full cast of singers and dancers, a cirque du soleil show , some comedy shows and some solo performances.
Casino: Nice place to lose your money.
Shopping: Nice stores, plus some high end watch and jewelery boutiques.
Bars: Martini Bar and Molecular bar are a must. Be sure to book the "Taster" events at both bars. Martini bar taster is only $15 and you get 6 small martinis and a great show by the bartenders. The Molecular bar is $18 and you get 4 unusual martinis. There are other bars, including on that sits aft over looking the wake, al fresco!
Activities: Lots to do, but keep in mind that although the Solstice class ships are extremely modern and hip, the crowd is very much over 50. In fact, the majority of the passengers are well over 65, so watch out for the jazzy's, hoverrounds, and slow walking elders. Expect to hear lots of Frank Sinatra, Ballroom dancing music, acapella singers and barber shop quartets. They did have one rock and roll performance poolside which was awesome.
This is a terrific ship and everyone was professional and helpful. We had a great time.