Celebrity Solstice

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Solstice was the first vessel in Celebrity's much-acclaimed Solstice class, with an eclectic, contemporary design and packed with facilities, dining options and more. An innovation in marine architecture, she introduced a new level of style and elegance to the world of big ship cruising and is designed for coules who want a romantic getaway on the high seas.

Fast Facts

Launched: November 2008.

Tonnage: 122,000.

Cruising speed: 24 knots.

Number of passengers: 2,850 at double occupancy.

Crew: 1,255.

Staterooms: 1,426, 90 per cent with ocean views and 85 per cent with private balconies. There are 418 staterooms which can accommodate 3-4 people, and 134 dedicated AquaSpa staterooms. Thirty staterooms across most classes are wheelchair accessible.

Where she cruises: Europe, Asia, The Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand.

Who Should Go?

People who enjoy cruising in style and luxury on an affordable price, also people who enjoy flexibility and choice with dining, people with older kids, and younger couples seeking a vacation getaway and boutique hotel experience at sea, rather than an overly traditional cruise holiday.

Things You Might Not Know

Solstice introduced many features never seen before at sea, including a Lawn Club with real grass, a hot glass show, and a putting course. Like her younger sisters, other unusual design element include environmentally friendly solar panels, and a hull design with paintwork which boosts fuel efficiency.


Solstice has an impressive variety of accommodation choices, from standard inside double staterooms to large and lavish suites, 1,426 all up. Categories include four types of suites with private balconies, enjoying a lavish and contemporary decor using a rich palette of earth tones, with splashes of red and dark wood. At the top end, the Penthouse and Royal Suites benefit from a separate whirlpool tub, a whirlpool on the balcony, and an in-suite bar setup of one complimentary bottle of vodka and one bottle of scotch. 

Other categories of note include AquaClass staterooms, also with private balconies, which have spa elements including exclusive access to Blu restaurant, unlimited access to the AquaSpa Relaxation Room and Persian Garden, a Personal Spa Concierge to organise spa treatments, daily bottled water and herbal tea, an aromatherapy diffuser, and an on-demand wellness program including meditation and yoga. Concierge Class staterooms have perks including priority check-in, Concierge service, complimentary shoeshine, access to an exclusive pre-departure lounge, and expanded room service menu.

For our cruise from Singapore to Sydney, we were allocated a deluxe ocean view stateroom with a veranda, number 9228 on deck 9. The room is quite spacious at just over 18 square metres, with the veranda just under 5 square metres. The overall decor is simple and elegant, with cream walls, accents of blonde and dark wood, good use of mirrors to create a heightened sense of light and space, a large cream leather sofa and desk chair, and an entertainment/vanity area combining blonde wood and biscuit coloured marble. 

Amenities include a large, flat screen television, powered by Apple, which can be used for watching one of a decent selection of TV channels, accessing the internet using an additional wireless mini keyboard, ordering room service and more. The stateroom also had a freestyle hairdryer, a magnifying mirror, a mini bar, and plush bathrobes. The ship is entirely Wi Fi enabled, so you can use a laptop in the convenience of your stateroom. The bathroom is a good size with a corner shower, a narrow vanity and plenty of shelf space for storing toiletries.

Facilities and Entertainment

When it comes to keeping busy on this ship, Solstice won't disappoint. There are two pools to cool off in; a split pool on the open deck for everyone to use, and an elegant solarium pool towards the back of the ship, which is covered and designated for adults only. 

On the very top of the ship, deck 15, as per the other ships in the class, there is the unique Lawn Club  Occupying an area of just over half an acre in size, it has a real grass lawn complete with a patio, lawn bowling, a three-hole putting course, and the uber cool Sunset Bar. There is also a fitness centre which is separate from the spa, with a large range of state-of-the-art exercise equipment and a studio for classes such as yoga and spin tucked away in a quiet corner.

Other facilities of note include a live glass-blowing show, a two-story library, interactive themed parties, three show venues including the expansive Eclipse Theatre, and an iLounge devoted to communications and all things Mac. 

Shoppers can wile away the time in an impressive collection of retail stores in various locations. The primary ones include Shops on the Boulevard on deck 4, with outlets including fashion jewellery and custom logo wear. High end cosmetics, fragrances and jewellery can be found in the Galleria Boutiques on deck 5.

For your daily pre-dinner cocktail or post-dinner nightcap there are plenty of bars to enjoy. One of the best is the Martini Bar, enjoying a central location, and an enthusiastic team of bartenders who are more than willing to put on a mixology show, Tom Cruise style.


This is an area where Solstice started a revolution of sorts among Celebrity ships. There is a choice of 10 dining venues, including the traditional ship's dining room, Grand Epernay Dining Room, which spans two levels, seats 1,402 guests at once, and has an impressive centrepiece of a two story glass wine tower. Guests can choose between fixed seating dining, or open seating, and the cuisine is international. The ship's expansive casual option, the Oceanview Café and Bar, is the place for breakfast, lunch, or an easy self-serve dinner, with seating for over 760 people, and a variety of stations with hot and cold offerings. 

When it comes to alternatives, pick of the crop is Murano, which has to be booked in advance and attracts a surcharge, but it's an intimate venue serving high quality gourmet cuisine. There's also the popular Italian steakhouse, Tuscan Grille, Blu for AquaSpa guests serving healthy cuisine, Silk Harvest serving Asian fusion cuisine, and the creperie Bistro on Five. For your daily caffeine fix, head to deck five and the elegant Café al Bacio and Gelateria.

The Spa

AquaSpa by Elemis is an elegant facility at the front of the ship spanning two decks. Facilities include a large number of treatment rooms, a relaxation room with a view, a gorgeous beauty salon in which to get your hair done, or a manicure and pedicure. Celebrity offers a range of medispa treatments from Botox to injectable fillers, and a centrepiece of the spa is the Persian Garden.

The Low Down

There is really not a lot to dislike about this stunning ship, the first of her class for a cruise line looking to make its mark at the premium level. It has plenty of gloss and glamour, and big ship facilities, but she undoubtedly set a new standard for Celebrity in general, as well as attracting a new generation of cruisers, and is a welcomed addition to the offerings in the Australian market.

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For more information on Celebrity Cruises, visit www.celebritycruises.com.au, or call 1800 754 500

Joanna Hall