Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Celebrity Solstice - An Absolutely Amazing and Impressive Ship - Part II

Having reviewed some of Celebrity Solstice's overall design, the pool/outside public spaces and the restaurants,I did want to add some additional photos.

Below is one of the bars aft of The Lawn Club.  As you can see there is interesting lighting, the expected bar stools and tables with chairs...and in the rear (closeup shown further below), comfortable all-weather wicker seating.  This sort of furniture, in various permutations, is found throughout the outdoor areas of the ship.

The Library is also of note.  It is a truly inviting space with the addition of wonderful natural light.  The proof of its good design was in the number of people I saw enjoying this space on a short cruise.

My thoughts now turn to the lounges.

One of my favorite spaces on Celebrity's Millennium-class ships is Michael's Club; a wonderful warm wooded, formal yet comfortable space originally designed as a cigar lounge, but transformed into a piano bar.  On the Celebrity Solstice the space has been refined and made more cozy.  Rather than being oriented for larger groups to have a performance, it has been broken down into three smaller areas:  piano/bar, lounge by the fireplace and the living room.

What this does is allow those who want to interact with the pianist to do so, those that want to be with the music, but not interact to do so, and those that like the ambiance to do so music in the background.  Quite ingenious. [Note as to service:  I am a regular drinker of Glenfiddich whisky.  During my pre-inaugural cruise there was an open bar policy, but with only certain brands available.  Somehow, without any real magic, I always had a Glenfiddich available.  I certainly received, yet again, "Star Treatment".  Outstanding!]

Another wonderful space is the Ensemble Lounge.  It is the perfect name for this space, as it works as a sort of upscale jazz club and hub for the specialty restaurants (Murano, Tuscan Grille, Silk Harvest and Blu).  It is a larger space with comfortable sofas, chairs and a bar with nicely designed pathways to the various restaurants and Michael's Club, so it seem intimate enough, rather than merely a passageway.

The Martini Bar on Deck Four (sorry, no photo) is definitely a hub for more high energy activity.  It is not my favorite space, but that is a personal preference.  By the crowds and noise (yes it is one of the only loud spaces on the ship) it is definitely a place to have fun.  One fellow passenger noted she enjoyed playing with the ice permanently located in the middle of one of the tables.

Across from the Martini Bar is the Passport Lounge, which is supposed to be a yacht-like locale.  Having been on many yachts, I am not sure where that description came from..  It is not a great space; giving me a feeling that it probably is meant to handle overflow from the Martini Bar or for those who want to watch the action from afar.

I did not have a change to really enjoy the Sky Lounge Observation area, high overlooking the bow.  It is a large space with great views and a very clean, white, appearance.  It is pretty, but definitely reminds you that you are on a very large ship.

There is also a nice bar by the Casino which has an interesting row of LCD TVs showing "art-like" images either across the screens or simultaneously on all of them at the same time. 

Finally, as to the lounges I am mentioning (and, yes, there are more), is Quasar, the disco.  It has a definite Jetson's feel to it.  I had wondered if the hanging chairs (see below) would be a hindrance or cool and, seeing the club packed, they are very cool.  The space definitely has the feel of a good dance club, rather than a ship's disco.  Also, being located just outside the Solstice Theater (as is the Stage Door Comedy Club), it draws people in to it rather than being a hidden place you need to seek out.  Well done!

My last post will be discussing the Accommodations, focusing mostly on the AquaClass Cabins.