Luxury for everyone
I visited Akaroa to inspect the Celebrity Solstice cruise liner last week and boy what a treat. Celebrity Solstice was built in 2008, but she certainly did not look and feel her 10 years in age. Accommodating 2850 passengers, this large ship felt intimate and uncrowded with a sense of modern luxury without the pomp and arrogance that many associate with cruise ships. She is also an eco-conscious ship with her own recycling plant and water-filtration system. When not cruising around New Zealand, Celebrity Solstice is relocated to the Alaskan inside passage.
This ship felt unique. For instance, the open-air deck had REAL grass growing out of it! Here you could have a picnic, relax on a beanbag and watch movies on the big screen, play games or even hire a large 8-person cabana ($199USD for the day) and simply enjoy an authentic lawn club feel. It’s one of only five ships in the world that has an actual lawn and not fake grass. It felt earthy and peaceful and would certainly be a place I’d want to spend a few evenings or afternoons.
If chilling out on a grassy knoll isn’t your idea of entertainment, then the theatre performances could be another option to pass the time. Celebrity Cruises have a stage school in Miami open only to Broadway-level performers to ensure the highest possible quality of experience for guests. These shows are included free of charge while on board and do not disappoint.
The common areas of the Celebrity Solstice felt intimate, despite their size. Through elegant partitions, multi-functional furniture and sheer, discreet curtains, areas for any number of groups were available throughout the ship. Smaller, private lounges like “Michael’s Club”, made exclusively for the suite level passengers, had a relaxed, old-world feel through a use of dark wood, oversized leather armchairs and authentic Matisse and Picasso paintings adorning the walls.
For the health conscious, there is a massive gym on board. It’s actually one of the largest gyms I have ever seen on a cruise ship. Nearby is a day spa and their famous “Persian Garden”, a relaxing room with heated tile loungers looking out through floor to ceiling windows. If you’re concerned about putting on weight while cruising, you can book an Aqua Class stateroom, which includes exclusive access to “Blue”, a health-focused restaurant (see Gabby’s Blog for more restaurant info).
Finally, for those “At Sea” days, there is as much duty-free shopping and entertainment as one could want. Each day a program is provided with on-board activities that range from glass-blowing to spin classes, portrait sessions to silent discos, degustation dining to wine tasting and much, much more. If you’re keen to try a cruise on the Celebrity Solstice, or even her new sister ship Celebrity Edge, let us know!