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Celebrity Solstice Cruise Review

Itinerary: 2 day Inaugural Sailing
Sailing Date: November 12th, 2008
Age: 38
Occupation: General Manager
Number of Cruises: 17

The Solstice is Celebrity’s largest ship, & can accomodate 2,850 passengers. From the staterooms, restaurant & bar decor, to the over 6 million dollars in art displayed…the ship is beautiful! It is a large ship, with an intimate feel.

Cabins: Celebrity used the input of women when designing their staterooms & it shows. Five boomer women, identified by the line as “Celebrity’s Leading Ladies,” specially selected for their distinct points of view – a frequent cruiser, a travel agent, a travel writer, a hotelier and a cruise considerer. The end result is a room with neutral colors & a great lay out. The bathrooms are larger than most ships with glass enclosed showers & shelves for storage space. The bed is high enough to store luggage underneath, and has a comfortable mattress & sheets. The closets had cubby holes, plenty of room for hanging clothes on both sides an over-sized safe.  A large and comfortable cream-colored leather couch, which converts to a bed, occupies one side of the living area.


On the opposite side is an attractive armoire with five drawers; a small refrigerator; several areas for storage; a makeup/desk-like area with large mirror and chair; and a large 32-inch Samsung flat-screen.  Regular channels including CNN, Espn & TNT as well as an Art & Travel Channel. If you don’t find anything of interest, there is also free on demand & pay per view movies. You can also see the room service menu online, connect to the internet via a keyboard provided in your room or listen to music channels that offered an array of genres including country, children, jazz, hip hop & classical. For a larger balcony, book a Sunset Verandah (Cat 1A) Not interested in a balcony? Inside & ocean view balconies offer the same spacious bathrooms & closets.

There are 30 handicap accesible cabins (inside & balconies - no ocean view) Upgrades include push button entrance, higher beds & two level closets.

Aqua Class cabins are similar in design to the balcony cabins, but are adjacent to the spa area. Guests have added perks including a pillow & aroma selection, Hansgrohe shower panels & an exclusive dining room: Blu. A Spa concierge will assist guests with booking spa treatments.  Guests in these cabins also receive perks such as complimentary bottled water, daily canapes, & a dedicated television channel with special programming, including music chosen by therapists for relaxation.

Suites: Penthouse, Royal, Celebrity & Sky feature enhanced amenities and services. They’ll all have a long list of butler-style extras, such as packing and unpacking; full menu meal service for breakfast, lunch and dinner; free espresso and cappuccino. Also included are two complimentary dinners at the alternative restaurants of your choice.

Restaurants: Celebrity cruises is synonymous with world class dining. The Grand Epernay, main dining room is gorgeous with a two story glass wine tower & dazzling chandeliers. Service is excellent & there are a number of tables for two if you arrive early. Murano which is also on Celebrity’s Millennium class ships, serves modern French cuisine. Menu choices include lobster, duck & alaskan crab. You can reserve a private room for a party of 8 in their wine cellar area. Silk Harvest, offers Asian food including sushi as well as a fusion of Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese & Indian dishes. Tuscan Grill is an upscale steak house with an Italian influence, so you can enjoy Caesar salads prepared tableside, an antipasti bar, Kobe beef & a variety of steaks, all paired with a robust list of fine Italian wines. Blu is the restaurant included for all Aqua Class passenger. Menu selections include seafood, herb crusted lamb & steaks, using healthier methods of preparation (i.e. no heavy sauces or fried items). Room service is available 24 hours per day for something as simple as a sandwich or chicken wings, to a  romantic dinner for to on your balcony.



Interested in the night life? Relaxing, more intimate clubs offer everything from wine & cognac tastings to smooth jazz.  Ensemble Lounge had a live jazz band in the evenings & is located near all of the alternative dining restaurants. Cellar Masters is a wine bar inspired by the vineyards of Napa Valley. Excellent variety of wines sold both by the glass & bottle. Renowned Riedel comparative wine tasting programs will be offered throughout the cruise. A sommelier can assist you in paring the perfect wine for dinner that evening & deliver the bottle to the dining room.  Galleria Tasting is a bar off of the shopping area & has several large screen tv’s over the bar. The Art gallery is also located here, offering an extensive art collection for browsing. Michael’s Club has an intimate, pub style setting with a marble fireplace & contemporary artwork. The piano player entertained with music from Bill Joel & Elton John as well as more modern music. The most popular bar on our cruise was the Martini bar inspired by water, ice & snow. Choose from over 100 types of vodkas, or order your favorite drink & watch the bartender’s “show” while they prepare cocktails. There is also a futuristic nightclub called Quasar & late night live entertainment in the Sky Observation Lounge.

A two-story retail shopping area offers wonderful window displays & surprisingly reasonable prices. Shop for men’s & woman’s designer fashions, as well as jewelry, fragrances & accessories.

The pool area has several canopies if you like to lounge around but not be exposed to the sun. Get there early, as these fill up. There is also canopy seating around the solarium pool. The solarium is for adults only.  Live music throughout the day & fountains synchronized to music makes the pool area come to life. Upper pool deck area has a bar & casual dining on burgers, hot dogs & nachos.

The Lawn Club was bigger than I expected (over 1/2 an acre.) Lots of comfortable seating around the lawn area for those that just want to watch the activities. There will be two courts for bocce ball, a putting range & an area for picnics. Corning Museum has an area off of the Lawn Club with glassblowing artists that conduct live glassmaking demonstrations, lectures & workshops.  Right behind the Lawn Club was the Patio & Sunset bar offering wonderful views of the ocean with music playing in the background.

The Aqua Spa offers Elemis products and is one of the largest we have seen at sea. There are 17 massage/treatment rooms, hair & nail salon, as well as the Parisian Gardens which are exclusive to Aqua Class guests.  Services include waxing, hair styling, manicures & pedicures as well as massages & body treatments.

There is a Fun Factory & Teen (”Xclub”) with computers, Wii, arcade games & more.

Celebrity has a winner in the Solstice, and they were betting on that, with 3 new identical ships already on order: the Equinox sails in 2009; Eclipse for 2010 & a 4th vessel yet to be named planned for 2011.

I invite you to take a look at my pictures taking during the 2 day Inaugural cruise Nov. 12th - 14th


Copyright 2009, 2010 Tom Ogg & Associates * All content and information is property of Tom Ogg & Associates