Epernay, the main restaurant venue, is white and sleek and harks back to the glam-1940's. Can't you just see Joan Crawford descending that staircase? The restaurant will, like all of the main dining rooms on Celebrity ships, operate at dinnertime on a set seating, set tablemates scenario -- though a rumor whispered about over the weekend indicates that Celebrity is at least considering an open seating tryout (which ship and when was not disclosed).
Celebrity's really gone all out in terms of offering more choice when it comes to dining. There are the three alternative venues we mentioned earlier, plus Murano -- plus a handful of new casual options, such as the line's first ever 24-hour bistro. This is the entry to Tuscan Grill. Located all the way aft and surrounded on three sides by expansive glass, the restaurant is billed as an Italian steakhouse. It's probably the most beautiful restaurant onboard. Fain told us that -- and this all is part of why advances in new-build technology are making it easier to build gorgeous ships -- Meyer Werft's engineers were able to devise a way to eliminate bulkhead support walls that would have blocked views.
Alas, Blu, the restaurant next door that is geared to inhabitants of the AquaClass cabins and will feature Mediterranean/Californian cuisine, got the supportive bulkhead instead -- and it does stick out in the middle of the room. To lighten it up, Celebrity created a colorful scheme of circles painted in primary colors. In other cases, holes (the ones that look like they are black) actually are cavernous and empty -- and light and sound travel through these.
The Bistro is Celebrity's around-the-clock venue and will serve quiche, pastries, pasta and specialty coffees. Other eateries onboard include the healthy AquaSpa Cafe, the decidedly less healthy Mast Grill & Bar (burgers to reubens, fries to onion rings), and the Pan-Asian Silk Harvest. Of note, too, is the Oceanview Cafe. It's Celebrity's mammoth casual venue, and instead of cafeteria-like counters, it features the station approach (similar to Royal Caribbean's newest ships). This groups like-foods together (salads at one, hot entrees at another, desserts at a third) and cuts down on lines.