The Celebrity Silhouette will be identical in size (122,000 tons) to the three previous ships in the Solstice Class, the Celebrity Solstice (2008), Celebrity Equinox (2009), and Celebrity Eclipse (2010). However, she will have 17 additional staterooms--8 concierge class, 8 oceanview, and 2 inside cabins.
In addition to the few new staterooms, the Celebrity Silhouette will have several new venues and modifications to existing space. The Lawn Club, the half-acre grassy space on the top deck of the ship, will have hammocks and huge Adirondack wooden chairs added to increase the seating space. Celebrity's goal is to make the Lawn Club space more interactive, rather than just decorative. Guests will still be able to enjoy lawn games like bocce ball and crochet.
In addition, the Alcoves, which are eight cabana-style private retreats designed for two to four guests will grace the Lawn Club space. The Alcoves can be rented onboard by all guests for a full or partial day, and guests can order snacks or a picnic basket from an al a carte food and beverage menu. The Alcoves will also have WiFi service.
The Celebrity Silhouette will also have three new dining and activity venues at the Lawn Club. The Porch, which seats 48 and has complimentary food, is a casual outdoor cafe that will serve as a nice alternative to the much larger Oceanview Cafe. The Hamptons-style Porch will have great views of the lawn and the sea, and since it is covered, will be popular for breakfast and lunch.
The second dining venue at the Lawn Club is the new Lawn Club Grill, which will have a $30 surcharge and be located in the space occupied by the Corning Museum of Glass on the three other Solstice-class ships. The indoor/outdoor area with an open kitchen is an interactive grill restaurant. In the daytime, diners can watch the chefs make gourmet burgers or pizza, and at night they can select their meat from a special refrigerator and either grill along with the chefs or let them take care of all of the cooking.
The space for the third new dining option will primarily be used as an Art Studio dedicated to the art of Celebrity Cruises. Art enthusiasts can learn about art and participate in art classes at the Gathering Table. In the evening, the space will be used for intimate chef's pairing dinners. Some of the Art Studio events will be complimentary; others will have a surcharge.
Michael's Club is a popular venue on all Celebrity ships. Today, the venue is seen as an elegant social club, with dark paneling and a grand piano. On the Celebrity Silhouette, the club will transformed into a craft beer bar, where guests can watch sporting events and enjoy one (or more) of the 50 international beers and boutique spirits while nibbling on complimentary homemade snacks. The space will not be a traditional sports bar; the emphasis will be on craft beers and malts. Tastings and classes on how to pour beers and what type of glassware to use will also be held. In addition to sporting events, Michael's Club will have live musical entertainment or cool playlists.
The Hideaway is a new venue that will be located in the area used by the Team Earth exhibition on the other Solstice-class ships. This quiet area will feature a retreat-like environment with comfortable seating and space for 30 guests. The decor will have a tree house inspiration, and guests can read (i.e. nap), use Apple products, or drink coffee in the quiet space.
The Celebrity Reflection will have all of the same venue and dining changes as the Celebrity Silhouette. In addition, the ship will have an additional deck of 72 cabins and suites--34 new AquaSpa suites, 8 sky suites, 19 concierge class cabins, and 11 inside cabins. The AquaSuites will be the same size as the Sky Suites--251 square feet, with a 57 square foot veranda. The deck will be added where the existing pool deck is now, with all of the decks above just pushed up a notch.
Adding a new deck is not easy. To balance the ship and provide more common areas to accommodate the additional 144 guests, the ship has been widened by about a yard (almost a meter). This may not seem like much, but spread over 17 decks it adds 4 tons to the ship's size, making the Celebrity Reflection 126,000 tons, compared to the 122,000 on the other four ships. Adding the additional width allows Celebrity to slightly expand some of the existing rooms such as the theater (45 new seats) and the dining venues. Cruisers will appreciate having more space in the the dining rooms instead of just pushing the tables closer together! The larger outdoor decks will accommodate 245 more sun lounges.
SUMMARY and CONCLUSION
Celebrity Cruises has analyzed the use of the public space on its existing Solstice-class ships and listened to the feedback of the ship's guests. The company has used these data to make changes to the last two ships planned for this class. While some passengers will miss the glass blowing demonstrations and Team Earth, those venues will continue on the first three ships. I think the changes made to the Lawn Club will make the space more popular with guests, and having a craft beer bar to complement the Cellar Masters wine bar is an excellent idea. I was also delighted to hear that the public areas would all be expanded to avoid the overcrowding that might occur with the addition of 144 more guests.
The Solstice-class Celebrity ships are among the most beautiful afloat and have received rave reviews from the media and guests. However, it's good to know that the cruise line is not resting on its laurels, but continuing to try innovations in its fleet.