My wife and I chose this cruise because we had such a good experience on the Millenium to Alaska in 2015. The New Zealand cruise started off poorly. We started receiving emails that our boarding time was being pushed later and later due to "necessary inspections" prior to departure. We later found out that the ship had encountered several cases of Norovirus and extra time for cleaning/inspection was required. To no fault of Celebrity, the knowledge of Norovirus lurking around put a damper on the trip. Sure, the cruise used hand sanitizers religiously but a quick Google search indicated that hand sanitizers were not effective in killing Norovirus. In the end, 200 new cases were identified out of 3000 passengers on board. My wife and I were spared.
We had an Aqua Class cabin which was identical to our Aqua Class cabin on the Millenium. I assume that the emergency cleaning/inspecction put the crew behind schedule because many of the Aqua class amenitites (e.g. fruit, water, champagne, robe, slippers, etc,) were not in the room when we got there. We had to ask for them.
We had most of our meals in the Blu restaurant. I felt that the selection of dishes offered on this cruise was not equivalent to the selection on our Alaskan cruise (also in the Blu). I enjoy shell fish dishes and on the Alaskan cruise, there always seemed to be a shell fish appetizer or a shell fish entrée at every meal. Not so on the Solstice. We ended up having two dinners in the Main Dining room since they offered shell fish on a couple of those nights when the Blu didn't. The Alaskan cruise had one formal night on which they served lobster so of course on the Solstice, where we were having two formal nights, I was expecting to have two nights of lobster. Not so, we only had one. Finally, the food on the Solstice always seemed to be luke warm, not hot.
The service on the Solstice was superb. From the room attendant to the bartenders, to the restaurant personnel, the quality of the service was excellent.
The entertainment was just okay. The onboard activities were scant and repetitive. The best was an act called the Liar's Club. This was the highlight of the trip. I never laughed so hard.