There's a new ship in Seatown taking cruisers from the city of Seattle up the Inside Passage in Alaska. While the Celebrity Solstice herself is not new (though only five), she is new to the west coast and is making Seattle her home.
On a recent trip, I had the opportunity to cruise around Puget Sound for two days to get a taste of what the ship has to offer. Admittedly, it was my first time aboard a cruise liner and wasn't sure what to expect, but I quickly found myself in awe. Celebrity marks "modern luxury" with its cool, contemporary design and warm, inviting spaces like a cozy chair in the stunning two-story library or a quiet space in the pool atrium. Their passion for outstanding cuisine has taken the restaurants, the food and the overall dining experience to a whole new level in the cruising world.
I was impressed by the diverse selection of global fare at the buffet, both for breakfast and lunch. In the main dining room on our first night, I dined on Creamy Salmon Rillette with Cucumber-Caper Salad and Avruga Caviar, a Belgian Endive and Arugula Salad, a cooked-to-perfection Roasted Colorado Rack of Lamb, and sipped on a Rodney Strong Merlot. It was delicious!
The six specialty restaurants onboard the Solstice each offer their unique menu and ambiance, many of which were designed by world-renowned designer Adam Tihany. At Silk Harvest Restaurant guests can enjoy a selection of Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Indian cuisines all served family-style.
The Tuscan Grille Restaurant is a Napa-Valley-meets-Italian-steakhouse venue, and the Murano Restaurant features a blend of classic and modern continental multi-course cuisine. Many of the menu selections at Murano are even prepared tableside.
At Qsine, diners make their food and wine selections from an iPad and are encouraged to experiment, share and try new things without traditional courses.
At The Lawn Club Grill, guests are invited to grill with their chef and enjoy their meal overlooking an onboard lawn complete with bocce ball.
At Blu, guests can dine in an upscale atmosphere on fresh and flavorful "clean cuisine" for breakfast and dinner. We enjoyed an amazing multi-course seafood meal prepared by local Seattle guest chefs (below).
For ones imbibing pleasure there's Martini Bar where flare bartenders entertain guests by pouring libations down a pyramid stack of glasses (I believe the record is 24 glasses!), and perform other feats with bartending tools.
Across from Martini Bar is Cellar Masters, the ships beautiful wine bar (and where I could be found writing and sipping during down times) that features a do-it-yourself wine tasting system from Enomatic® (shown on the back wall above). With a simple swipe of your SeaPass card, this dispensing system will pour your choice of wine directly from the bottle in a 1-ounce, 2.5-ounce or 5-ounce portion. My favorite? A red from The Chocolate Block that only cost me $28 a glass (ouch!). But it was well worth it!
For a beautiful view off the bow of the ship, you can enjoy cocktails and bites in The Skyline Lounge. See more of the ship's bars and clubs here.
As the premium cruise brand dedicated to providing "modern luxury" vacations, Celebrity offers engaging activities for food, wine and spirits enthusiasts. In the afternoon, guests can enjoy “Champagne High Tea” in one of the specialty dining venues. Those interested in culinary arts have the opportunity to attend the “Star Chefs Cooking Competition,” where two Celebrity chefs and guests from the audience showcase their skills as they compete for the best-chef honors of the day. Those interested in “chef-inspired” bartending and mixology can participate in “Mixology 101,” “Molecular Mixology from the Liquid Chef” and learn to make a variety of concoctions, including the perfect mojito. Several wine activities are also available onboard, including “Wine Appreciation 101,” the “Riedel® Comparative Wine Crystal Workshop” and the “Food and Wine Pairing” hosted in Cellar Masters.
Celebrity offers a city's worth of entertainment with experiences in culinary arts, learning, wellness and entertainment, some in conjunction with proud partners, Xbox, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF), Apple®, Riedel®, Smithsonian Journeys and The Corning Museum of Glass. There's even a ton of activities for kids, so there's something for everyone on board!
Check out Celebrity Cruises for more information, but do come to our fair city of Seattle for the amazing Alaskan cruise!
Editorial disclosure: Foodista was hosted by Celebrity Cruises.