gts Celebrity Solstice
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Operator: Celebrity Cruises
Year Built / Last Refurbished: 2008
Length / Tonnage: 1,033 / 122,000
Number of Cabins / Passengers: 1,425 / 2,850
Officers / Crew: Greek / European
Operating Area: Caribbean
Celebrity Solstice entered service in November 2008 and is the first vessel of the much anticipated Solstice class. She, along with the rest of the Solstice-Class, will have larger standard staterooms than the other ships in the Celebrity fleet. Ninety percent of these will be outside, and 85 percent of all staterooms will have verandas. The 2,850-guest vessels will have an exceptional range of guest-inspired services and amenities, and will measure 1,033 feet in length and 121 feet in width.
A tour of Celebrity Solstice's public areas begins at the highest deck on the ship, the Solstice deck. This area is filled with lawn chairs and sun beds.
One deck below is the forward Lawn Club deck which includes areas for the younger passengers. There is the Fun Factory for ages 3-12 and the XClub for teens 13-17. There is also a video arcade and a basketball court on this deck.
The aft Lawn Club Deck is where two of Celebrity Solstice's most distinctive attractions are located. The forward part of this area serves as the home for Hot Glass Show. This industry first was developed in collaboration with The Corning Museum of Glass, and features live demonstrations of glass blowing. Just behind Hot Glass Show is the exclusive Lawn Club. This half-acre Lawn of real grass provides guest with an area where they can enjoy bocce ball and croquet, practice their putting, picnic with a basket of wine and cheese, or simply feel the grass between their toes. Moving aft, past the Lawn Club is the Sunset Bar which overlooks the ship's stern and provides a relaxed, country club-inspired atmosphere from which to take in breathtaking views.
At the forward end of the next deck, the Lido Deck, you will find the Sky Observation lounge. The lounge offers breathtaking views over the bow of the ship through the floor-to-ceiling windows. In the corner of the lounge, in its private area, is the Sky Conference Center. Proceeding aft on the Lido Deck you pass the upper portion of the two deck Solarium pool and the main outside pool area. The Mast Bar and Mast Grill are also located here. At the aft end of the deck is the Oceanview Café. The café is set in a casually chic environment, and offers a buffet that features a variety of international dishes. The Oceanview Bar provides any number of beverages to be enjoyed in an outdoor version of the Oceanview Café.
Moving one deck down you reach the Resort Deck. The forward portion of this deck is occupied by the Aqua Spa which includes an area for aerobics, and a wide variety of weight machines. Mens and womens changing rooms, a hair salon and the Acupuncture at Sea salon are also located here. Behind the Aqua Spa is the enclosed Solarium which features a lap pool, sparkling waterfalls, thickly padded lounge chairs, and an adults-only policy. Just past the Solarium is the main outdoor pool area. There are two large swimming pools with 4 hot tubs. The Wet Zone water fountain, a waterfall, and distinctive sun shades make this area both beautiful and relaxing. Behind the pool area are balcony cabins.
The next deck is the Penthouse Deck. The forward portion is occupied by the Relaxation Room of the Aqua Spa. The remainder of the deck contains cabins. As the name of the deck states, this is where the two largest cabins onboard can be found. Amidships is where the top level of the Library can be found.
Continuing down you reach the Sky Deck. The ship's bridge occupies the forward portion of this deck and cabins occupying the remainder along with the bottom level of the library.
One deck down is the Panorama Deck which features mostly passenger cabins along with the Card Room amidships. Below the Panorama Deck is the Vista Deck which consists completely of passenger accommodations as does the Sunrise Deck one deck below.
The next deck, the Continental Deck, features passenger accommodations along with the Internet Café located amidships.
One deck down is the Entertainment Deck, the forward portion of which is occupied by the Solstice Theatre. The Solstice Theatre is the premier live performance venue aboard Celebrity Solstice. Aft of the top level of the theatre are the Galleria Boutiques which feature the standard array of onboard shops. Also in this area are the Photo Gallery and the Art Gallery. Near the Galleria is the Galleria Tastings. Unique to the Celebrity Solstice, this area allows passengers to "taste" food, sample a drink, while experiencing fashion and art.
Just past this area are two restaurants: Bistro on Five and Café al Bacio. Bistro on Five offers an assortment of sandwiches, salads, crepes and desserts in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. Café al Bacio is your local coffee shop with an ever-changing ocean view. This café also serves up Italian ices and gelatos in the afternoon and evening.
Continuing aft brings you to the a collection of Michael's Club, Ensemble Lounge, and Murano. Celebrity's well-known Michael's Club is back and on the Solstice. It's privacy and intimacy, along with the live jazz band make this a perfect area before dinner. Also in this area is the Ensemble Lounge. This lounge offers a perfect background with its soothing backdrop of instrumental or vocal sounds. The lounge is also a great place to drop in for a nightcap and plan your next fabulous evening aboard Celebrity Solstice. The restaurant Murano offers views through floor-to-ceiling windows which provide an elegant backdrop. Courses are served on gorgeous crystal, and exquisite china The menu here is a blend of Classic and modern continental cuisine.
The aft portion of this deck is comprised of three restaurants: Blu, the Tuscan Grille and the Silk Harvest Restaurant. Blu Restaurant is the specialty dining restaurant for AquaClass guests. The menu features choices of fresh cuisine. The Tuscan Grille is a contemporary steakhouse that serves a succulent selection of pastas, seafood, steaks and salads. Italian influences can be seen throughout the restaurant. On days at sea, this popular restaurant is open for a mid-morning brunch. The Silk Harvest Restaurant offers a fusion of traditional and creative cuisines with inspiration from Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, China and India. The Entertainment Deck also offers an outdoor area, just behind the Lifeboats.
The next deck down is the Promenade Deck of which the forward portion of occupied by the middle level of the Solstice Theatre. Walking aft from the theatre brings you to the Entertainment Court. This area serves as a center for some of the entertainment venues onboard the Solstice. During the day it is open to create a single large venue, but at night they partition it off into different smaller venues. Located here are the Celebrity Central and Quasar. Acts at Celebrity Central include: late-night comedy shows, cooking demonstrations, enrichment lectures, and movies. Quasar is the Celebrity Solstice's nightclub. The futuristic designs of the '60s and '70s are the inspiration for the design of this lounge.
Along with the Galleria Boutiques from the deck above, the Celebrity Solstice also has the Shops on the Boulevard to add to the array of shopping options. Adjacent to the shops is the Fortunes Casino. Walking aft brings you to another group of bars and lounges: The Martini Bar, Crush, and Cellar Masters. The Martini Bar's atmosphere is inspired by ice and snow. The frosted bar is the place to be in the heart of the "coolest" setting on the ship. This bar has a vibe like no other, which makes it the perfect spot to "chill" out with friends all night long. An alcove off of the Martini Bar is Crush. This bar features an ice-filled table center That is perfect for superb Caviar and Vodka pairings. The Cellar Masters wine bar will deliver exceptional wines by the glass and bottle and features its own sommelier. Cellar Masters also will present the renowned Riedel comparative wine-tasting program introduced across the Celebrity fleet. Walking aft we finally hit the main dinning room, The Grand Épernay. Designed by Adam Tihany the dinning room's old Hollywood glamour meets contemporary design.
The final deck with public areas is the Plaza Deck. The bottom level of the Solstice Theatre occupies the forward area and groups of oceanview cabins take up the middle portion of the deck Just past the cabins is the bottom level of the Grand Foyer which includes the Guest Relations desk along with the Passport Bar. The Passport Bar is a casual relaxed living space, like that of a large, oceangoing yacht. Just aft of this area is the bottom level of The Grand Épernay dinning room.
The Grand Épernay
Old Hollywood glamour meets stunning contemporary design in this refined, sweeping main dining room created by Adam Tihany, highlighted by a distinctive, dramatic, two-story glass wine tower. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, evening entrée options include peppered bison filet with red onion preserve; smoked filet with lentil stew, sultana caper and beef jus; and taro-crusted salmon filet with glazed Brussels sprouts, turnip hash and apple cider sauce. A champagne collection from the region inspiring the venue's name includes Perrier Jouet Grand Brut, Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon, Heidsieck and Monopole, Champagne Pol Roger, and Louis Roederer Cristal.
The Old World charm of Italy is the inspiration behind this Tihany-designed specialty venue, where guests enter through an archway reminiscent of a fine Napa Valley wine cellar. There, diners can enjoy Caesar salads prepared tableside, antipasti bar, Kobe beef, and a variety of steaks, all paired with a robust list of fine Italian wines.
Exotic Asia is the theme of this contemporary, casual specialty restaurant designed by RTKL. The menu serves up a fusion of hot and cold, spicy and mild Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese and Indian selections, while the specially-selected libations include a variety of sakes, Asian-influenced martinis and beers, and cocktails created with ginger root and acai berries.
"Clean cuisine" is served in this soothing specialty venue designed by Celebrity's own Newbuilding and Design team. A venue exclusively for guests booked in Celebrity Solstice's new AquaClass category of accommodations, Blu is open for other guests on a space-available basis. The menu features savory appetizers such as roasted beet salad with goat cheese; Mediterranean chopped salad with pita chips and pomegranate vinaigrette; and entrees including blackened ahi tuna, pan-seared filet mignon, and herb-crusted rack of lamb.
A twist on the restaurant of the same name on Celebrity Century, and reflective of the specialty restaurants on the cruise line's Millennium-class fleet, Murano presents a blend of classic and modern Continental cuisine. The warm, elegant restaurant designed by BG Studios of New York features dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows, with romantic ocean views that pair beautifully with the fine Riedel stem ware, exquisite bone china and gleaming silverware. The wine cellar offers options from around the world, with a focus on boutique-style and limited-production vintages. Appetizers include warm goat cheese pancakes with sweet bell pepper nage; salads include a combination of Maine lobster, white asparagus and black truffle lobster aioli; and entrees run the gamut from spice-roasted duck with raisin-apple compote to pan-seared turbot with Alaskan King crab ragout.
Bistro on Five
A variety of specialty crepes highlight the menu in this casually-chic location, where guests are welcome to take out selections, but the ocean views are likely to entice them to stay. Designed by Wilson Butler Associates, the venue's creperie is complemented with sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts and entrees including quiche, fish and chips, baked ziti and chicken pot pie nearly around-the-clock.
Café al Bacio & Gelateria
This upscale coffeehouse radiates all the energy of a popular European café, highlighted by a sophisticated gelateria serving authentic gelatos and Italian ices, as well as signature and specialty coffees, teas, fresh-baked pastries, chocolate truffles and petit fours.
The AquaSpa Café is the perfect option for guests seeking quick, lighter fare. A signature venue introduced on Celebrity's Millennium-class fleet, and designed by RTKL, the soothing, airy setting invites guests to dine at comfortable tables while soaking up the tranquility of the Solarium, or enjoy their cuisine while nestled in the comfort of the lounge chairs.
Mast Grill & Bar
Comfort food is the focus of this ultra-casual, poolside venue, where the simple, fast and tasty options include burgers grilled to order, tacos, nachos, hot dogs, bratwurst, chicken wings, lamb gyros, Reuben sandwiches, and onion rings.
Oceanview Café and Grill
Embodying the casually chic atmosphere of a European marketplace, this Tihany-designed restaurant offers extensive menus with international flavors that change to reflect the regions in which the ship is sailing. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the venue offers plenty of outdoor seating for dining al fresco and soaking up the sun and sea air. Inside, during evening hours, a special section of the venue features tables draped with linen tablecloths for yet another casual dining option.
A full 85 percent of all staterooms onboard Celebrity Solstice will have verandas, and all staterooms will be equipped with flat-screen TVs, smarter storage and closet space, spacious bathrooms, and plush European bedding. The ship will offer wireless Internet access throughout.
Celebrity's design team uses new interlocking technology to maximize flow in all rooms. Also, in an industry first, Celebrity Solstice will feature an adjoining stateroom design with a double set of doors, allowing guests to open up the space for families or friends traveling together or close the doors for a more private environment. Verandas of adjoining staterooms can also be opened up to create a veranda that spans both rooms. Clear sight lines and walkways to sea views are found in nearly every stateroom; modular furniture design and vestibule areas facilitate a more spacious flow; and additional storage – generous hooks, shelves and nooks – ensures a clean and clutter-free look.
Other improvements include:
More spacious bathrooms with glass showers equipped with a foot rail for easy leg shaving in every stateroom, and large fog-free mirrors, which are being introduced in Celebrity’s suites and new AquaClass staterooms.
Individual reading lights at each nightstand, including a shelf for personal items such as reading glasses, books, etc.
Expanded and “smarter” storage, including increased clearance beneath the bed for larger luggage, and storage units over the bed for personal items such as handbags, shopping bags, etc.
A new feature is the line's new AquaClass category of veranda accommodations expressly designed for spa enthusiasts. Guests booked in AquaClass will receive unlimited access to Celebrity Solstice's new AquaSpa relaxation room and the Persian Garden, an exotic aromatherapy and steam room, as well as exclusive, complimentary dining in Blu, an intimate, 130-seat specialty restaurant whose design is likely to be as inviting as the cuisine. AquaClassSM will comprise 130 of the ship's 1,425 staterooms.
Although Celebrity's advertising caters to those in the 30's and 40's age group, you'll find all types on board. The cabins are large enough to provide comfort to families.....so on holiday and summer trips, keep that in mind. The line's fixation with all things up to date......electronic gewgaws, pay per view movies in the cabins....to name a few, are to reel in the more affluent, on-the-go type of vacationer.
Celebrity Solstice sails on seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She sails on alternating itineraries with one itinerary visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico; Basseterre, St. Kitts; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten and the other calling on San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Tortola, B.V.I.; and Labadee, Haiti.
Will you have a great cruise if you take the Solstice? For most people, the answer is probably yes. Her interiors are spectacular and the quality of food and service onboard are very good. The Lawn Club is an innovative offering but does take up a significant amount of deck space so when sailing full, the pool areas may feel a bit crowded. If you want guaranteed deck space, make sure you book a balcony cabin, of which there are plenty. She doesn't have a wrap around promenade either but for most people this is not a big issue. She is definitely the new star of the Celebrity fleet and most veteran cruisers will find her a refreshing step up from their previous cruises.
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