By Michael Coleman
KUSADASI, Turkey — It should come as no surprise that a cruise ship with design elements ahead of its time also features stylish accommodations.
The 2,850-passenger Celebrity Solstice arrived in this Aegean Sea port city today at the half-way point of a 10-night Mediterranean itinerary.
Since embarkation, guests have been wowed by a series of onboard design elements not yet duplicated by any other cruise ship in the world. From real grass growing on the top deck to quiet spaces accentuated by comfortable seating and soothing mood music, Solstice is a treat for the senses.
The greatest onboard venue, however, may not be in one of the beautiful public spaces at all. Instead, it may be in one’s own stateroom.
It is here where ship designers exceeded expectations, creating sanctuaries unlike any other at sea. With the aide of five, keen-eyed women — an experienced travel agent, a frequent cruiser, a travel writer, a hotelier and a potential cruiser — the team crafted a sense of personalization with more spacious bathrooms, smarter, improved storage space, and softer, more stylized color palettes.
Look for increased clearance beneath the bed for larger luggage, and storage units over the bed for personal items such as handbags and shopping bags.
Modular closets were created for varied clothing lengths; 32-inch flat-screen TVs have been placed in every stateroom; and larger flat-screen TVs added to suites.
Spacious bathrooms feature glass showers and large fog-free mirrors. Individual reading lights have been placed at each nightstand, including a shelf for personal items such as reading glasses and books.
A first-in-industry adjoining stateroom design features a double set of doors allowing guests to open up space for families or friends traveling together. Verandas of adjoining staterooms also can be opened to create a veranda spanning both rooms.
All ship staterooms are 15 percent larger than those on other Celebrity brand ships, 85 percent of which feature private, outdoor verandahs.
The ship also features a new class of suite dubbed AquaClass. Comprising of 130 of the ship’s 1,425 staterooms, AquaClass guests receive unlimited access to the ship’s AquaSpa relaxation room and the Persian Garden, an exotic aromatherapy and steam room.
AquaClass guests also enjoy the spoils of an exclusive dining room, Blu, an intimate, 130-seat specialty restaurant.