Itinerary: 2 day Inaugural Sailing
Sailing Date: November 12th, 2008
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
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
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
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