Celebrity's Solstice Class: Changes Planned for Line's Upcoming Cruise Ships

December 8, 2010
Celebrity-cruise-hideaway (4:33 p.m. EST) -- Celebrity Cruises is thinking big(ger): The cruise line announced today in a news conference that its two new Solstice-class ships -- Celebrity Silhouette, due late next year, and Celebrity Reflection, debuting in 2012 -- will arrive larger and more amenity-packed than their three Solstice-class siblings. Also on the way: more for-fee offerings, including restaurants and special cabana-style alcoves that can be rented for a full or half-day.

During the conference, Celebrity President and CEO Dan Hanrahan also stated that while the line hasn't placed any new ship orders, he's hopeful that additional Solstice-class vessels will be built in the future.

While most of the changes will debut with the 122,000-ton Silhouette, Reflection will boast an additional meter in width and an increase of 4,000 gross tons. That will allow for additional cabins and expanded capacity in the ship's theater and in a number of its restaurants.

The most significant changes will be made to three main areas: the Lawn Club, Michael's Club and Team Earth. Here's what's on tap:

Increased Capacity: What It Means for the Two Ships

Due to time constraints it wasn't possible to increase the size of Celebrity Silhouette, but it will still feature 17 more cabins than any other Solstice-class ship to date.

The line will be adding 42 suites to Celebrity Reflection, including 34 AquaClass spa suites (the first cabins of their kind on this line) and eight Sky suites. Reflection will also have an additional 19 Concierge-class cabins and 11 inside cabins. To compensate for the extra capacity, the line is raising the pool deck and adding a deck.

Dining capacity will be increased in several of Reflection's restaurants, most significantly in the main dining room (which will have 40 more seats) and the Oceanview Café (118 more).

Reflection will also have 45 more seats in the theater and 245 more sun loungers on the pool deck.

Changes for the Lawn Club: Less Glass, More Grub

Celebrity-cruise-lawn-club-grill Most significantly, the Corning Glass Museum and the Solstice class' famous glass-blowing demonstrations are being replaced by the Lawn Club Grill specialty restaurant (the museum and show will remain on the older ships). For $30 per person, passengers can dine at cruising's first outdoor interactive grill venue: During lunch, the menu will feature high-end burgers and pizzas, and diners can participate in interactive demonstrations such as pizza-making. For dinner, you'll have the opportunity to choose your own cut of meat and grill side-by-side with one of the restaurant's chefs.

The Porch, another new venue, will be a 48-seat eatery overlooking the lawn. It'll offer complimentary breakfast and lunch options -- plus specialty coffee, wine and beer for a fee -- in a casual, beachy setting.

The Art Studio and its central "gathering table," which can be found near the entrance to the Lawn Club, will be used for art demonstrations and a variety of other classes, on topics such as painting, drawing and mixology. While some activities will be free, some will likely require a small fee.

Eight cabana-style alcoves will be added to the space; each one will accommodate up to four people and be available for a full- or partial-day rental (the cost hasn't been determined yet). The alcoves are Wi-Fi enabled, and passengers will have the option to order picnic baskets and beverages for delivery.

Eight hammocks and two oversized Adirondack chairs are also being added.

What's Brewing for Michael's Club

Celebrity-cruise-michaels-club A Celebrity mainstay, this venue is being transformed from an "elegant social club" into a craft beer bar featuring new décor (including 46-inch televisions) and a selection of whiskeys and scotches -- plus more than 50 international hand-crafted beers. Bar snacks will include housemade gourmet potato chips and breadsticks along with caramel popcorn.

In addition to live music, playlists featuring such popular modern artists as Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Maroon 5 and Kings of Leon will be piped into the venue.

Enrichment courses, tastings and pairings will be held here.

Exit Team Earth, Enter The Hideaway

Team Earth, an interactive environmental awareness exhibit, is being eliminated and replaced by a lounge area dubbed "The Hideaway," a quiet place intended for reading, relaxing and listening to music. Apple products from the Celebrity iLounge can be used here, and regular (complimentary) and specialty (for-fee) coffee will be offered.

--by Shayne Rodriguez Thompson, Web Content Producer