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Celebrity Solstice
Where The Grass Is Always Greener

Celebrity Solstice Lawn Club

The Lawn Club

by Linda Coffman

Part Two

Where Turf's Up & the Action Is Hot
In case you haven't heard, the Lawn Club is covered in real honest-to-goodness grass. It covers a half-acre fifteen decks above the sea and provides a sea of green for genteel games of croquet, golf putting, lawn games, picnics, or simple barefoot strolls. A nearby covered patio area is furnished with thickly padded chairs and settees. But the pièce de résistance is the Hot Glass Show, presented in its own specially-designed open air “theater” where artisans from The Corning Museum of Glass demonstrate glass making techniques. Watch the schedule of daily events for times—you won't want to miss it.

Celebrity Solstice Michael's Club
Michael's Club

Inside and on decks 3, 4, and 5 is where the lounges are located and there are a lot of them, ranging from Quasar the futuristic disco with lucite-globe chairs suspended from the ceiling to Celebrity's signature Michael's Club, the refined, wood paneled clubby lounge to savor a cocktail in front of the faux fireplace while a pianist or jazz combo performs. In addition to familiar spots, such as the hip and trendy Martini Bar, Celebrity Solstice introduces Ensemble, a new lounge concept that resembles a drawing room aboard an ocean liner in the last century. Located near the entrance of the specialty restaurants, it's an ideal spot for pre-dinner aperitifs.

New to Celebrity Solstice is Crush, an enclave adjacent to the Martini Bar where vodka and caviar samplings are the order of the day (or night). Cellar Masters wine bar delivers wines and wine-tastings accompanied by the sommelier service that is a standard aboard Celebrity Cruises. Off the Lobby is the Passport Bar, filled with cozy, comfortable seating and a relaxed yacht-y atmosphere.

Two public spaces that aren't exactly lounges, and might be confusing as to their purpose until you experience them, are Galleria Tastings, the spot to “taste” an array of foods and beverages while sampling fashion, jewelry, and art presentations, and Celebrity Central, the Entertainment Court venue where you can expect to see anything from daytime culinary demonstrations to late-night comedy shows.

Sky Observation Lounge offers panoramic views from atop the ship by day and a dance club vibe at night. Sensibly, the sound system delivers music directed at the central dance floor, yet the volume level in surrounding seating areas is lower. Finally, a lounge where you can dance and still carry on a conversation.

Naturally, there are poolside bars; however, my choice of outdoor watering hole is the Sunset Bar. Tucked away aft of the Lawn Club, it's the ideal location to get away from it all and savor a perfect sunset.

Fortunes Casino is conveniently located near Shops on the Boulevard, the ideal spot to relieve yourself of some "found" money. In all, there are 18 onboard shops filled with enough merchandise to satisfy the need for retail therapy. The Lawn Club Shop offers nifty "turf" soled flip flops, pricey at $25, but no one at home will have a pair.

Celebrity Solstice Solarium
The Solarium, with overhead solar panels
Celebrity Solstice Resort Pool
Resort Pool
Celebrity Solstice Resort Pool Seating
Resort Pool Seating Area

Where There's Relaxation & Water Everywhere
Celebrity Solstice's AquaSpa has my nod for a total spa vacation at sea. In addition to a complete menu of spa treatments to get you glowing from head to foot, there are salons for both women and men. Guys have their own barbering space where screens set into the mirrors show sports programming when they opt for a traditional shave-and-a-haircut. Gym rats can use exercise machines to get the heart pumping, free weights, and an exercise area. Some sessions such as aerobics and stretch classes are complimentary, while there's a $12 per class fee for others such as yoga and pilates, and $30 per class for unique gravity reformer training. Saunas are located in ladies' and men's changing rooms, but for true relaxation after a work out, give the Persian Garden a try—heated stone loungers, a gentle aromatic sauna, and herbal steam room are included in the $20 per day fee (which is complimentary to AquaClass passengers). The AquaSpa and Salon offers treatments and services by Steiner Leisure.

Adjacent to the AquaSpa is the prettiest Solarium at sea. With a soothing fountain at one end and a wall of bougainvillea at the other, in between are the pool, two hot tubs, and a variety of padded loungers and funky wicker clamshell-style seating. It's an adults-only haven.

Just a few steps away is the main Resort Pool area. Separate sports and family pools lead to the wet zone where kids on my cruise frolicked amid jets of water pulsating from the floor while adults relaxed nearby in four hot tubs. Go early if you want to laze on one of the poolside loungers set into draped sailing material—there's no charge for one of these cabana-like loungers, but they're popular and get snapped up fast. Set in the shade are padded wicker seating areas where you'll also find nifty draped hammocks-for-two. Service is provided by Pool Bar stewards and Pool Butlers keep the area ship shape.

Fun Stuff For Families
While Celebrity Cruises are heavily adult-oriented, no one gets overlooked on Celebrity Solstice and the youth and teen areas are as appealing as any I've seen at sea. Fun Factory offers age-specific spaces and activities for groups ages 3-5 (Ship Mates), 6-8 (Celebrity Cadets), and 9-11 (Ensigns). Extensive play areas for children feature not only the usual arts and crafts and games, but they also offer “edutainment” in collaboration with LeapFrog SchoolHouse. Teens, ages 12-14 and 15-17 have their own supervised XClubs Teen area with computer stations, video games, and a hang out space with a mock bar.

Chic & Cutting Edge With a Softer Side

Draped alcove in the Martini Bar
Shops on the Boulevard

While Celebrity Solstice has public spaces where “traditional” ship decor predominates—Michael's Club, Ensemble Lounge, Murano Restaurant—and even contains areas that could be considered “themed”—Silk Harvest's Asian inspiration and Tuscan Grille's Italian ambiance—overall the decor is stylish and chic with a hip edgy twist.

Accented by modern art and sculpture, clean and crisp public areas flow into one another with unparalleled continuity. In the hands of most designers, the result could be cold and sterile; however, hard lines are softened with the use of textiles. Seating alcoves throughout the ship are defined with sheer fabric drapes creating intimate spaces and textile “columns” line Shops on the Boulevard and soar skyward from the lobby floor.

Lighting also plays a key role aboard Celebrity Solstice—in the vast double-height Grand Epernay Dining Room tables are individually lit to create the illusion that each one is in a smaller, more intimate space. However, the most useful lighting fixtures aboard are located just above each elevator door where panels change from blue to pink signifying an elevator's arrival.

A contemporary artwork collection consisting of works from 98 artists and valued at five million dollars adds beauty and thought provoking interest throughout Celebrity Solstice. Stairtowers contain particularly intriguing portrayals light or water and have been dubbed the Stair of Water and Stair of Light. Staterooms and the passageways leading to them were not overlooked and are graced with specially commissioned pieces by Norwegian photographer Espen Tollefson.

Natural elements and environmental friendliness also play a part aboard Celebrity Solstice, which captures the sun's energy in the only solar panels at sea and has a special silicone hull coating to reduce friction and fuel consumption. You can learn more about the energy efficient features incorporated into Celebrity Solstice as well learn about conservation efforts worldwide in the Team Earth venue. Created in cooperation with Conservation International, Team Earth isn't marked on deck plans yet, but once on board you can't miss it's location, which is highlighted by a huge globe on Deck 7.

With respect for tradition and an eye to the future, Celebrity Solstice is truly a dazzling addition to the Celebrity Cruises fleet.

Celebrity Solstice Fast Stats

  • 122,000 tons
  • 1,033 feet long
  • 121 feet wide
  • Cruising Speed 24 knots
  • 2,850 guests, double occupancy

Photos © Linda Coffman,
Resort Pool image courtesy Celebrity Cruises

Back to Part One --> Celebrity Solstice Preview

Cruise Diva's Celebrity Solstice Blogs:

  • Celebrity Solstice: Embarkation
  • Celebrity Solstice: Day One
  • Celebrity Solstice at Sea: Day Two

Cruise Diva's Celebrity Solstice Background Articles:

  • Celebrity Solstice Get an inside look at what's new, what's not, what's cool, and what's hot on Celebrity Cruises' new class of cruise ships.
  • Celebrity Solstice Dining Ten of 2008’s hottest new restaurants have opened on board one of the year’s most anticipated new cruise ships.

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