When the Celebrity Solstice first made her debut in the Fall of 2008, I was in awe of her beauty, but overwhelmed by her size. Frequent readers know that I have always chosen to sail ship with around a 2000 passenger or less capacity. I’ve always enjoyed meeting and talking with new people on a cruise and have felt that the smaller size ships met that need better.
However, the fates have come together and I found the perfect (maybe) room and the perfect itenerary for a reasonable price. With frequent flyer miles covering the air fare to Rome, the Celebrity Solstice cruise from Rome to Miami quickly became our best option.
So now that I am booked on a larger cruise ship with a 2800 passenger capacity, what are the features of the ship to which I look forward to utilizing and what features will probably not end up on my “to do list”.
Design and Style
The design and style of the Solstice is certainly a new direction for a cruise ship. While many cruise ship have a Las Vegas Neon Style, Continental Style, or Classic Nautical style, the Solstice an a crisp modern style with monochromatic pallets and clean lines. This theme is carried out not only in the public areas but also in the state rooms.
Our State Room
We were fortunate enough to book one the the Solstice’s Family Veranda cabins. These cabins are completely different from the other family rooms we have booked in the past. The first difference is that these cabins are not located on the back of the ship, but rather right in the front. While the family veranda cabin on the Celebrity Summit had about 240 square feet, with a balcony nearly as large, the Solstice family cabins feature more interior space, at 525 square feet, and a standard size balcony, from 52 to 105 square feet. The room is really laid out like a suite with king bedroom, one bunk bedroom, and a living area with TV, dressers and sitting area. In addition to the balcony door, the room also has two front facing picture windows. We are not sure how the forward location will fare on the Trans-Atlantic crossing, but none of us have been susceptible to sea sickness on our last few cruises, so we don’t anticipate any problems.
Reports from fellow cruisers state that despite the presences of several specialty dining venues, Celebrity is still emphasizing quality food in the main Grand Eperanay dining room. While we won’t be able to enjoy panoramic ocean views during the day, my husband pointed out that during our November cruise it will be dark outside during our dining time in the evening. Hence we really won’t be missing out on views. My husband has suggested that we might enjoy eating in the buffet for our lunch time meal. The buffet area with its aft location will offer better views of the ocean than the main dining room, and with the new design and lay out, might provide more efficient service and variety than we’ve experienced on previous Celebrity cruises in the buffet area. Probably, we won’t pay extra to do any of the specialty dining. Usually our on board spending bill is high enough with out an extra dining charge. However, on a two week cruise, we may decide to splurge and take in one of the extra charge dining.
With the debut of the Solstice, Celebrity’s entertainment contractor created three new production shows. One of the shows is modeled after a theatrical circus and another features a Broadway theme where singers and dancers bring to life the shows of the past wile visiting an old theater.
Way up at the top of the ship Celebrity has two features completely unique to the Solstice class ships, The Hot Glass Show and the Lawn Club. My daughter has said that she would definitely want to see the glass blowing show one day and my husband and son are looking forward to playing bocce ball like we did while visiting family in Michigan a few years ago.
Outdoor Pool Area
I am hoping that we have warm sunny weather for our Atlantic crossing, much like we did on last year’s Trans-Atlantic cruise. The out door pool area on the Solstice is absolutely stunning with two pools, a dancing fountain, and shaded cabana areas. The indoor pool is an adult only area, so weather permitting the children and I should enjoy some wonderful swim time in the out door pool area.
It is still a few months away, but I’ll be sure to write a detailed review upon our return from the Solstice to let you know how the Solstice stacks up against other cruise we’ve taken.