Learn the secrets to navigating the cities and cruise terminals your cruise will leave from. At the bottom of the atrium is this Grand Foyer with a majestic unbroken three-deck staircase and billowing drapes hanging from three decks above to create a memorable setting for the string quartet and solo guitarist who set up and play, amplified organically by the marble and glass surroundings.
The dining rooms are spectacular, each in their own way; with perfect light and color coordinated table settings. Celebrity Cruises was long associated with the culinary guidance of 3-star Michelin chef Michel Roux of London. Tuscan Grille: Italian steakhouse and specialty restaurant offering fine Italian wines and panoramic views along with your Caesar salad, made tableside. Silk Harvest: Cuisine of Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, China and India, served family-style, with built-in lazy-Susans and small plates perfect for sharing.
Blu Restaurant: The specialty restaurant set aside as the exclusive dining venue for the AquaClass suite guests, serving healthier (but not true spa cuisine) fare in a sophisticated and soothing atmosphere. Murano Restaurant: Savory multi-course meals featuring a blend of classic and modern continental cuisine with an extensive and superb wine list.
Bistro on Five: This small, bistro-like room hidden behind glass walls in the public areas of deck five, this room features crepes of all kinds from breakfast to luncheons with beef or chicken and, of course, desserts. All guests are given a form to sign if they wish to have these gratuities charged to their shipboard account. Indoors during the daytime the library is extensively informative and the card room has plenty of tables and games. Online at Celebrity is the Internet Café, but the entire ship has wireless access anyway. Although there is plenty of shopping, the Art Gallery on Solstice is notable in that Park West Galleries, the company that runs art auctions on most cruise ships, does NOT run it. For fine art, it is hard to beat an original piece of art glass or crystal by the glass blowers of the Corning Museum.
Nighttime entertainment begins in the Solstice Theater, which features three different shows with a full cast of singers and dancers on every seven-night cruise.
Other diversions include the casino with several table games including craps, roulette, 21, let it ride and more.
A Jazz Trio plays in the Ensemble Lounge nightly while during the day a very talented string quartet performs regularly. Solstice keeps up the tradition of Celebrity having an excellent A Capella vocal group onboard. All staterooms offer wireless Internet access at an additional fee, with data throughput nearing broadband speeds - impressive for a satellite service. The desk area has plenty of shelf space and both US 110-volt and European 220-volt outlets - perfect for a computer setup, or a vanity area with lighted mirror. Persian Gardens, a sensory treatment area within the spa area, features aromatherapy rain and mist showers, wet and dry suanas and hot creamic lounge chairs to warm your body througout. Solstice is also beautiful with many of the same features that make the Millennium class appealing. The vast majority of staterooms have balconies, and they average 15% larger than other Celebrity ships, Most of the extra room is given over to the bathroom where there is enough room for two people to get ready for dinner. Ten dining options will satisfy any craving, especially for fine coffees with pastry or gelato.


The main dining venue, the Grand Epernay, is particularly attractive with white tables, walls and pillars accented by a silver chandelier and railings over glass panels. That association began when Celebrity was under the auspices of John Chandris and lasted almost two decades before the line sought the guidance of dining expert Elizabeth Blau.
There is a grand staircase with silver railings and an immense chandelier of hanging silver bubbles.
In fact, anyone can dine here for a small fee ($5.00) but the food is nearly the same as the main dining room - except that it is cooked a la minute so it arrives hot. With a multitude of dedicated stations of different types of food, it is easy to see all of the possible selections and lines are always short.
A decade ago one would find Celebrity Cruises' staff very professional yet stoic in service. While it isn't as sports-oriented as sister company Royal Caribbean, many of the outdoor elements are there. This room is great for people who do not travel with a laptop, but your surfing will be limited to web sites or a temporary Celebrity-assigned email address. Corning Glass is already well known in America for Corningware, but many people do not realize the Corning Museum is one of the finest glass museums in the world. The theater is a two-deck venue with a forward thrust proscenium stage and extensive balcony seating. It is high atop deck 15 forward and has an eclectic décor of white and red couches and chairs.
The décor is decidedly masculine with deep recliners and paintings of popular game targets.
There is a quartet group that performs at least twice a day in the Ensemble Lounge and in the Court.
They average 15% larger than previous Celebrity cabins and most of that space is given over to the bathroom.
Although the televisions are placed over the desk instead of directly in front of the bed, it is possible to adjust the angle of the screen so it is squarely visible to both people in bed. A Mac Mini running special software allows the user to interact with various cruise services like shore excursion bookings, onboard accounts, on-demand movies, restaurant menus, ordering room service and more.
There are long drapes cascading down from three decks above to frame the Grand Foyer staircase.
The large showers feature sliding doors rather than plastic curtains that hug against you and there is more storage than most cruise ships. There are gift shops exclusively for women and for men, jewelry shops, dress shops, souvenir shops and kiosks. The beds are sublime, as are the chairs in the restaurants and the loungers on the sun-soaked outside pool decks.
The ship is full of glass partitions giving long views into several rooms at once from several spots on the ship. Alternatative dining rooms Muranos, Tuscan Grille and Silk Road as well as other themed rooms include the wine bar Tastings, each have their own decorative flair. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu features continental European cuisine and champagne from the rooms' namesake region. Dedicated stations include the carvery, salad bar, dessert bar, Asian stir-fry, grilled steaks and chops and more.


Children under 12 who are the third or fourth person in the stateroom pay only half these amounts. Naturally, it is there to underscore the point that Celebrity is environmentally aware and has many forward-looking practices to help planet Earth remain green. The Solarium is an adults only greenhouse style swimming pool with great temperature-controlled sunning in any climate. The purveyor of the gallery actually told me they only do onboard auctions only at the request of the cruise line. Corning Glass is also the home of Steuben Crystal, a company that features original works of art in crystal by different artists. A string quartet plays in the Atrium during the day and in Michael's Club and the Solarium at night.
There is a beautiful chandelier in the dining room while the alternative dining spots are generously apportioned with plenty of space between the tables.
One does not generally cruise to shop, but these stores are certainly tempting and you can always go in just to chat. On formal nights most men turn up in dark suits rather than tuxedos, while ladies choose dressy pantsuits or dresses.
Not so, of course, the library has over 8,000 books, and Team Earth is a user-interactive display of various worldwide topics of interest. The martini bar, Crush, features an ice covered bartop to keep your drink cool to the last sip. Otherwise, the gallery is open for viewing, like a museum, and there is no pressure to buy anything. There is ample storage space and the showers are approximately 25% larger than the average cruise ship. All of the doors are recessed from the hallways so they do not open into public traffic lanes. Size is relative and in many ways Solstice is like a roomier version of the Celebrity Millennium-class. By day, don't even consider wearing anything other than shorts, sneakers, polo shirt and a baseball cap. They feature state-of-the-art stage techniques such as flying characters over the audience, lasers, pyrotechnics and more. The air conditioning was on too high - losing the attraction of a sun-baked glass room.The spa also offers extensive acupuncture treatments which are surprisingly popular. The designers more than compensated for the larger capacity, making her the perfect size - alive with activities but never too crowded. Look for the 86-facet diamond-pattern round cut Solstice Diamonds - available in all sizes.
Sometimes we had to strain to interpret what we were hearing when asking for descriptions of dishes.



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