I had not been interested in seeing Alaska since I live in the Seattle area. I believed the climate and scenery would be similar, so I typically travel away from the rain and cold toward sunshine and warmth. However, our friends (two couples we had traveled with previously) invited us to join them on this cruise, and I am so happy we did. I would happily go on another Alaskan cruise, and I hope I get to one day. The scenery is so beautiful, and must be experienced in person. Words and pictures do not capture it.
I have only been on one other cruise ship, RCI Symphony of the Seas, so in comparison the Solstice is much smaller. I definitely felt the ship movement more on this ship, but it did not affect me. I did, however, wear sea bands as a preventative measure.
The ship is very clean and very pretty. We had an Aqua Class cabin on deck 11 and enjoyed the privileges of unlimited Persian Garden use in the Spa, and eating in the Blu restaurant. The captain was very engaged with the passengers, and his sense of humor was a delight. We were very lucky to have a gorgeous sunrise over Mendenhall Glacier, and the captain spun the ship 540 degrees so all could view the majestic glacier up close.
The cabin 1566 was very clean and our attendant, Iwyan, was friendly and accommodating. The cabin was slightly smaller than the one we had on our only other cruise (RC Symphony of the Seas), but not by much. The cabin is on the starboard side under the solarium and is quiet, and the balcony view is just about mid-ship and unobstructed. However, when in the room I mostly enjoyed the view from the sofa, which is next to the balcony in 1566. I tried to sit outside but thought it was too cold most of the time (cruised early June).
The spa shower in Aqua Class was very nice with extra jets and multiple settings. The bed is rounded to create more space, but my foot hung off the rounded end when I slept, and I am only 5'5. We missed the 2nd extra closet that we had had on the newer/bigger RC Oasis class ship. The over-bed storage was not easy to access, and the desk/dresser drawers were very small, so my husband left things piled on the sofa instead, which made the room less organized and messy. All of our luggage fit under the bed with room to spare.
There were only two outlets on the desk, one in the bathroom for an electric shaver, and none by the bed. I was prepared for this and brought a cruise approved adapter to provide more charging ports (the Trond 3 non-surge outlet extender). I like having my phone by the bed as a clock/alarm, and this was not possible due to the lack of an outlet.
There was a provided hair dryer and also a magnification mirror in the desk drawers, and both were appreciated. Aqua Class also provides a large golf-style umbrella, a smaller folding umbrella, two heavy spa robes, spa slippers, and small binoculars. (If you want to really look for wildlife, bring your own full size binoculars or a zoom lens camera). In addition, we received daily water bottles and iced tea, and an option for afternoon canapés. (but we did not partake), and turn down service with a chocolate on the pillow each night.
I liked the cabin, and Aqua Class amenities, and would choose both again.