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Firsthand sneak peak at Solstice (Merger of Several Threads)


Richard Stein

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Hi Everyone !

 

I dont know if it's just me, but so far, I am not overly impressed. I feel the Balcony Cabin photo looks as dull as can be. I dont need my Cabin to look like a Vegas hotel, but what they have so far, is downright boring. When I heard there was to be this big "event", I was hopeful we would see a bit more about Solstice's public areas.

 

I truly do not understand Celebrity's concept of asking 5 "boomer" women (as stated in the press release), what they want in a Cabin. How many Celebrity Cruises have they sailed on ? If I were Celebrity, I would want to ask MANY of Celebrity's past customers what they want onboard. Shouldn't WE matter (at least a little) in their future plans ? It does not seem that way.

 

As for the "Double Doors" idea ? it might work, but on Celebrity's current ships, I avoid adjoining rooms as much as possible, as you can often hear everything your next door neighbor is saying. I truly hope they will come up with a way to put the noise issue to an end, or this idea will be a failure.

 

While Blu looks visually appealing, I hope they will have a full time person onboard to re-cover the chairs after each sailing. How is that White fabric going to hold up over time ? Has any of this expert panel thought of that ? Functionality and durability is important too.

 

Kudos to Celebrity for putting up a website dedicated to Solstice. I sincerely hope they will stay on top of it, and frequently add more details. As one of many who will be on Solstice's Maiden Voyage, I look forward to hearing more details !

 

At any rate, there is still time for change, and I remain very optimistic about the Solstice Class. I hope this is round 1 of Celebrity's thoughts, and things will improve over time.

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What do you think of the Interior Design on the new Solstice?

 

For pictures and virtual tours, go to cruisecelebritysolstice.com

 

and click on "Accommodations" for pictures of the new Deluxe Veranda, Aquaclass, Celebrity Suite and Royal Suite, and Blu.

 

For the most part, I like the new palette of colours in the staterooms. Personally, I like the greys and taupes better than the golds and pumpkins. In the restaurant "Blu", I find the blue, brown and yellow colour scheme less than successful. I think I would have been happier if they had stopped at the blue, brown and ivory combination.

 

As much as I have loved the three M-class ships I have sailed, I have never liked the carpets and fabrics on Celebrity ships, and don't care for what I see on the Solstice. I was so hoping for an improvement on the new ships. IMHO, the new fabrics look "frowsy", lacking style and surface interest. (The fabric of the "bed scarf" might be interesting, but it's hard to tell). I think the "tweedy" fabrics are tired looking, and I do not think they will age well. They remind me of the fabrics on old olefin sofas.

 

I think the carpets are just plain unpleasant.

 

In terms of the furnishings and cabinetry, I like the clean and refined design ethic of contemporary interiors, but I find that the design on the Solstice lacks warmth. What I see reminds me more of 1950's modern, a style I do not care for.

 

The space planning looks fine, although I think the split/raised vanity, while accommodating more storage, makes the space look choppy. It would have been nice to see a clean sweep of granite rather than the two levels. The vanity/mirror area in the deluxe veranda stateroom looks cramped to me as a result of the level change. Is that the vaunted "storage over the bed for handbags and shopping"?. How many of us can reach up there without climbing on the bed? And if that is a little "shelf" night table beside the bed in the Deluxe Veranda, I am sorely going to miss the drawers I am used to in the M-class nightables.

 

It will be great to be able to open up the partition between adjoining verandas. Love the new flat screen TVs. The beds do LOOK comfortable. Deck table is attractive...chairs, while good looking, appear as if they might have those uncomfortable bars at the front.

 

I SO wanted to love the new staterooms, but sadly find that I am underwhelmed by the new interior design. I would love to hear what others think.

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Hi,

 

I second the kudos to Celebrity for getting a website dedicated to Solstice up and running.... We're set to sail a B2B in January, '09.

 

My initial impressions of the ship while going through the website were that the vessel does have a sophisticated, clean, fresh look in terms of interior designs, rooms, and decor.

 

At the risk of playing armchair quarterback, I did notice some concerns.

 

I, too, am concerned about the practicality of connecting doors, and have had a less than positive experience on M-class.

 

I also notice a lot of white upholstery in the various staterooms and public areas. Again, I'm wondering how practical.

 

The largest concern I have is the nightstands. The veranda stateroom appears to have the smallest such item I've ever seen, and the higher grade staterooms appear to have the majority of their nightstand top taken up by the base of lamps. Again, while the initial 'look' was good, I instantly wondered about practicality?

 

I have always used the top of the nightstand for a variety of things I need to have at hand, but most importantly the CPAP machines we both MUST travel with. It will be tragic if there is no space for such nighttime breathing machines, and we would be instantly excluded from travel aboard this class of vessel.

 

 

 

 

 

CM

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I dont know if it's just me, but so far, I am not overly impressed. I feel the Balcony Cabin photo looks as dull as can be. I dont need my Cabin to look like a Vegas hotel, but what they have so far, is downright boring. When I heard there was to be this big "event", I was hopeful we would see a bit more about Solstice's public areas.

 

As for the "Double Doors" idea ? it might work, but on Celebrity's current ships, I avoid adjoining rooms as much as possible, as you can often hear everything your next door neighbor is saying. I truly hope they will come up with a way to put the noise issue to an end, or this idea will be a failure.

 

At any rate, there is still time for change, and I remain very optimistic about the Solstice Class. I hope this is round 1 of Celebrity's thoughts, and things will improve over time.

 

Andy, this event was dedicated to discussing Solstice's stateroom design only. We were informed that more information would be released later in the year. DH and I were impressed by the design, although we assume the color scheme is not the actual one since the designer mentioned the inclusion of muted tones of the colors found in sunsets. (No sunset colors seen in the photo other than in the artwork over the sofa.) The marble topped vanity/desk and minibar area is a nice touch.

 

Dan Hanrahan's comment about connecting doors was "The space that connects is the space that conducts." I believe the double doors are designed to reduce the noise conduction, but how well that works will be seen once the ship sails. It was noted during the presentation that passengers prefer connecting doors. This was a point that DH and I do not agree with. We avoid connecting cabins at all costs.

 

Although no one said so, I would guess that this cabin design will get few additional tweaks.

 

Karen

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Andy --

 

Thanks for merging the threads. I was a bit surprised by your response. Indeed everybody has different taste in interiors...maybe X went too far in my direction because I was really impressed. Did you take a look at the Solarium images. Looks so relaxing. I'm wondering if the large image on the right will be a digital screen of bubbling water. Could be so cool

 

Anyway, I hope their next info release brings you more on board, as I know you are as excited as I am about this new project.

 

p.s. the description of the AquaSpa staterooms on CNN Money almost had me switching...but I think I want to hang on to my aft.

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Andy --

 

Thanks for merging the threads. I was a bit surprised by your response. Indeed everybody has different taste in interiors...maybe X went too far in my direction because I was really impressed. Did you take a look at the Solarium images. Looks so relaxing. I'm wondering if the large image on the right will be a digital screen of bubbling water. Could be so cool

 

Anyway, I hope their next info release brings you more on board, as I know you are as excited as I am about this new project.

 

p.s. the description of the AquaSpa staterooms on CNN Money almost had me switching...but I think I want to hang on to my aft.

 

Hi Darren !

 

I totally agree with you, that everyone's thoughts on what looks good (and not) is extremely subjective. I'ts no different then food, smoking etc... Ok, lets not go there :)

 

When I said I wasnt overly impressed, I was mainly referring to the Balcony Cabin photo, and the concept of having "boomers" have a say in what Celebrity feels is most important, and will make the Solstice class a winner for Celebrity. I feel those decisions should come from experts within their respective industries, Celebrity Management, and with some assistance from Celebrity passengers who have actually sailed on many Celebrity ships & cruises. I feel these people are the opinions who should truly matter, not boomers per se.

 

I agree that the Solarium photo looks wonderful. I expect to be spending a great deal of time there !

 

I forgot to mention this in my last post, that I would sincerely like to thank Host Karen for her outstanding report. Karen, I am glad you had a great time at the event last night !

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Tsk, tsk... where are the vanity drawers??

There aren't any.

 

Looks like your storage is over the bed... and perhaps some under the sofa.

The cabinet next to the "vanity" looks to be holding the safe and minibar.

 

Ugh..beige..how boring.

 

I think the colors are beautiful, I LOVE chocolate browns and creams, very soothing and I LOVE the bed next to the windows/doors.

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They look like every other new cruise ship cabin, big deal...Honestly the living room of the Celebirty Suite looks like a doctors waiting room...

 

In the Standard Balcony cabin, it looks like it might be tight getting around the bed with that shelving unit/desk

 

The public rooms look great

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I just noticed, on the virtual tour of the Deluxe Veranda stateroom, that you get a much closer view of the fabric in the bed scarf. It looks like a very good quality "tapestry-type" weave, and it pulls the colours of the stateroom together nicely. I think the inclusion of that type of fabric lends a warmer, more gracious look to the stateroom.

 

I wonder if many changes will be made to the interiors, as a result of feedback, as was surmised on another thread discussing the Solstice. Generally, fabrics, carpets and furniture have to be ordered quite far out on a project of this size.

 

I can't really believe they will go ahead with a cream fabric sofa in staterooms, attractive as it looks in the "display" unit.

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By no means are the cabins as interesting as the Celebrity press release made them out to be, but none the less they are inviting, well designed, and look very comfortable with pleasing colors. I'm sure I'll be very happy in one during the inaugural sailing!

 

Thanks to whomever posted the SOLSTICE website earlier in this thread. What a great site and it showcases more of SOLSTICE then we have ever seen before.

 

The ship looks very clean, contemporary, and stylish. Exactly what I would expect from a Celebrity ship. The design looks quite refreshing and I'm anxious to see more. It sure is nice to see something different. I can't wait to see a full set of deck plans.

 

Ernie

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Please observe that the picture of the veranda stateroom is only a rendering (image made by a computer). The look of the interior and it's colour scheme will look different.

 

Once again I notice that all the goal about something revolutionary (in design,style) in the shipping industry isn't reached by Celebrity. Notting in this lates reveal is something new. Come on..colours like that in the cabin we'll see on HAL's Eurodam and a glass door to the shower isn't something that will change the cruise business.

 

The most funny thing is the talk about storage space on each side of the bed. Well I think ALL cabins on other ships have this (seen even on my previous cruises with other Celebrity ships) but what do I know :)

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I'll be curious to see how the bedding situation ends. In the current renderings, it looks as if you don't have the option of splitting the beds.

 

Are they trying to get away from having singles sailing? 2 - 220lb guys might not want to share a bed, then again they might. But the new layout doesn't give them the option. A couple where one snores would have to sleep side by side, even though they might like the added 2 or three feet of separation they get by splitting the beds.

 

I am saving pictures to compare with the real thing. I'm wondering how different it will be.

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I'll be curious to see how the bedding situation ends. In the current renderings, it looks as if you don't have the option of splitting the beds.

 

Are they trying to get away from having singles sailing? 2 - 220lb guys might not want to share a bed, then again they might. But the new layout doesn't give them the option. A couple where one snores would have to sleep side by side, even though they might like the added 2 or three feet of separation they get by splitting the beds.

 

I am saving pictures to compare with the real thing. I'm wondering how different it will be.

 

 

If you look really, really closely at the pictures, there is a small end table between the bed and the large "mantle" that frames the bed, at least in the non-suite room. I imagine these tabled go between the bed when it is made into singles.

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If the cabins are larger, it will be the result of a wider ship: the cabin seems long and narrow. This means that the beds as shown will be curved to allow movement around the bed to get to the balcony... These rounded beds have been the subject of a few complaints from taller passenger. The area in front of the sofa will have a chair (not shown) for the "makeup" counter and movement will be as limited as ever. I was hoping for a larger cabin to lead to more ease of movement when 2 people are mobile at the same time.

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I wonder if a part of the "larger" cabin is given over to the larger bathroom, too. I don't find the baths too small so I didn't think they needed to be enlarged. When we went on HAL, the bathroom had a tub and it seemed like a waste of space. It wasn't long enough to lay down in and so you couldn't really soak without your legs going up the wall. I'd rather have more common space in the cabin.

 

One device they employed was stool under the vanity, which fit complete under there when not in use. It was hollow and was where the steward stored the stuff from our fridge when we aksed him to remove it and also his towels for the towel animals.

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To those wondering if the beds can all be made into twins, I went to the Solstice website and looked at the deck plans. Each deck includes a cabin description of those available on that deck... and each description (including the Aquaclass cabins) says this: two beds convertible to queen size. So I guess they all make into two beds! Since I cruise with my mom, this is GOOD news to me. :)

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I have some thoughts on Host Andy's comment about not understanding why X went to 5 "boomer women" to design for Solstice. From looking at the pictures on the "Cruise Celebrity Solstice" web site, I'm guessing that X is going after a well-defined market with this ship. The number of affluent and not-necessarily-married women in the 40-60 age group is growing. These are the women who were targeted a few years ago by the diamond industry's "right hand ring" campaign, which encouraged women in this age/economic bracket to go out and get their own diamond rings to celebrate what they have achieved for themselves. Anyway, I'm getting a similar "vibe" off of the new Solstice (especially AquaClass) advertising material.

 

Interestingly enough, I am at the young end of this target demographic. I'm 42, divorced, and while I didn't buy myself a right hand diamond ring I do manage to travel a lot and I am willing to pay extra for higher quality and good value. I found the pictures on the Solstice web site to be very appealing, and the descriptions of the AquaClass facilities/amenities to be quite enticing. Back when initial bookings were open to Captain's Club members, I booked my Mother & I for February 2009 in AquaClass on Solstice. It was kind of funny -- for years Mom & I had been saying that we wished we could take a spa vacation at sea, because we love cruises but aren't so much into land-based spa vacations. And then Solstices/AquaClass came out, and it was as if someone were reading our minds.

 

Anyway, the bottom line here is that I think that this whole thing with the Solstice also incorporates a kind of image upgrade for Celebrity. Fares for Solstice are higher than the other ships in the fleet. The ship is purposely made to be appealing to "power women" -- so as to help shake off the "cruising is for couples and retirees" image (which we all can agree is incorrect, but so many people out there who aren't into cruising like we are here still think that -- despite years of RCCL "Lust for Life" and "Get out There" commercials). The whole "hotel-within-a-hotel" (or, for us, "ship-within-a-ship") thing is very a la mode in hotels these days -- look at "THE Hotel" at Mandalay Bay in Vegas, for instance. People can mix in the "big town" of the entire ship, and retreat back to their enclave when they want. (And if that description does not appeal to you, then you are not in the target demographic of this new feature.)

 

I see Solstice, and in particular AquaClass, offering a type of vacation experience that might not necessarily appeal to long-time cruisers, but which could very much appeal to a whole new segment of vacationers. Celebrity seems to be the first mass-market line (well, there's Costa I guess) going after it in this way, so I'm pleased to see that they are innovating. It's a slightly different way of playing the "build bigger ships!" game.

 

Looking forward to my 2009 trip!

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We really do need drawer space. It would be nice to have some hooks to hang clothes out that you are going to wear for dinner that evening. When we cruise for more than 7 days are closet is too small so things are really packed in. Can't wait till 12/14, and to see more pictures.

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Celebrity Man,

 

We too are hoping there is room for CPAPs cause we both must travel with them AND we are booked for the Solstice maiden voyage. I would really hate to have to cancel. We are looking forward to going on our first maiden voyage and being in the Aqua Class cabin. Here's hoping...

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Celebrity sent an email this morning which included all the info and pictures of the main website.

Leela: the emphasis of the pictures showing AquaClass and its private dining room does indicate a trend in the direction of your post.

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