Having already been on Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Eclipse, I couldn't see how the latest Solstice class ship could really have been improved. How wrong was I?
All the things I loved about the previous Solstice class ships were still there, including:-
The overall feel of the ship was still one of modern luxury, with friendly attentive service, and it is hard to imagine anyone not being wowed by a cruise on a Solstice class ship.
However, they have removed the Hot Glass Show from Celebrity Silhouette (and Celebrity Reflection in 2012). The plus point with this is that it has freed up space for a number of new additions to the Lawn Club deck.
The Alcoves - your own private cabana-styled haven on The Lawn Club. These are for up to four people and give stunning views of the sea and lawn, complete with lighting for those darker evenings. Within the price you receive four bottles of water, a fresh fruit plate, hand held fans, chilled towels and the use of an iPad loaded with movies, music, games, magazines and more. You can order picnics, drinks etc from your Alcove Attendant, and the cost is added to your stateroom account. A wide range of Alcoves Spa Services are also available. The cost of an Alcove for the day is $99 on a port day and $149 on a sea day and that is per Alcove, not per person. They can even be booked online in advance of your cruise.
The Porch - a great new restaurant on The Lawn Club, which seats just 48 people and offers fast and fresh food for breakfast and lunch, including freshly baked bread, pastries and coffees, salads, wine and beer. There is a surcharge of just $5 per person.
The Lawn Club Grill - this is a highly interactive open air restaurant, seating just 58 people, which is based around outdoor grilling. The food served includes a gourmet salad bar, build your own pizzas, beef, seafood and poultry. One person from each party can be a Grill Master who gets paired with one of the chefs to work together in cooking the food, although you can opt out and let the chefs do all the cooking. Reservations are required, and it is open from 5pm to 10pm every night, and noon to 2pm on one sea day per cruise. There is a surcharge of $40 per person, which includes a complimentary apron and tongs for the Grill Master in each party.
Art Studio - this new venue at The Lawn Club offers activities such as drawing, painting, beading, cooking lessons, tasting and demos to small groups. Some of these sessions are free while others carry a surcharge.
Elsewhere on the ship there have been some other changes:
The Hideaway - this new venue is located on Deck 7, and is a retreat where guests can rest and relax. You can read a book, do the crossword or perhaps listen to music. It has seating for just 30 people so you can be sure of a relaxing time.
Michael's Club - for Silhouette (and Reflection in 2012) they have added a selection of more than 50 international beers, including ales, lagers, lambics, ciders, wheat beers and even beer cocktails. There is a selection of homemade snacks, such as potato crisps, parmesan bread sticks, and caramel popcorn, all of which are made daily. There will be beer tastings and even challenges to test your knowledge of different beers.
Well when Celebrity Reflection launches in 2012 she will have a few more additions:-
It seems that the best just got better with Celebrity Silhouette, but will get even better still next year, with the debut of Celebrity Reflection.
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