March 22, 2009
Both my wife and I are in our 50s and have cruised the Eastern Carribean many times. We found Solstice to be extraordinarily pleasant for a number of reasons.
Embarkation was relatively easy, and we were processed and on the ship within 45 minutes of arrival to the port. Our stateroom was located on deck 8 with a balcony. We found the room spotless and quite comfortable. The same can be said for the bathroom.
The couple we travelled with had a stateroom right next to us.
Please be careful with balcony rooms. The wind generated when you open your stateroom door while your balcony door is open can be dangerous. The other couple discovered this when her bathroom door, not properly shut, flew open with such force as to break her nose! Outside of that, the cruise was fantastic.
The dining room food, in my experience, was absolutely delicious. Steaks were cooked properly, side dishes were excellent, and the service was friendly and efficient.
While the pool area experiences the same problems as other cruise lines with chair saving, it really wasn't much of a hassle. There were plenty of chairs available even if they were not poolside. If you were hungry at poolside, there was the outside grill that served fabulous sausage, hot dogs, guacomole and chips, chicken, kbobs, etc. Or, you could simply walk into the Oceanview Cafe and feast on an enormous array of food, including sushi, pizza (which was pretty darn good), ice cream, Asian food, beef, and on and on.
The ship is quiet and I never got the sense that I was constantly being sold something. We never chose to eat in one of the alternative restaurants because the food in the Main dining room was superb.
The shows were very good and the comedian was quite funny. The casino was probably my biggest disappointment because you simply could not win. The blackjack tables use 8 decks and I swear, no matter how hard you tried, you couldn't beat those dealers. It seemed they showed tens and aces on nearly every hand and I played a lot of hands! My advice to any seasoned BJ player is to forget it.
Overall my cruise experience was very nice. The average age on the ship seemed a little bit over my age range (which isn't young either!) The ship, by the way, is gorgeous, clean and well maintained. Our room attendant (room 8110) was awesome. I highly recommend trying this cruise line.