– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
Next week, after my attendance at the Global Superyacht Form http://www.superyachtevents.com/gsf/gsf2008.asp) in Amsterdam, I am flying to Ft. Lauderdale to board the brand new Celebrity Solstice for a two day pre-inaugural cruise.
What I am most interested in, other than the technical innovations such as the use of solar panels, is its AquaClass (spa) cabins with its private Blu restaurant, as well as its hopefully true ability to make this large ship classy, comfortable and anything but a mega-ship experience.
I will be checking out the Persian Gardens (an oasis of steam baths, saunas and such); access for which is included in the AquaClass cabins, but is extra cost for other passengers. Also the Solarium and various private lounges (such as Cellar Masters) and restaurants are tickling my interests.
I will leave to others to right about the “common” and will focus on what makes, or is supposed to make, this ship special. I do, however, feel obligated to check out the Lawn Club (putting green and all), the Hot Glass Show (in the glassblowing studio) and the dancing waters by the main pool.
One thought that greatly interests me is, does this focus on the ship actually play well for Celebrity as Americans look for closer cruises (shunning Europe due, in large part, to the the higher cost of airfare)? Does the Solstice provide passengers with an upscale experience where the ship is truly “the destination” as it cruises around the Caribbean?
What I do plan on doing, fair or not, is make a head-to-head comparison between the Seabourn triplets, the new Seabourn Odyssey and the Celebrity Solstice. It might not be competition, but if the Solstice can provide a sufficiently upscale experience, it might just give luxury passengers who look to the ship rather than the itinerary…and are looking harder at their cruise budget…a pretty interesting option.
The jury is not yet out. Court will be in session next week and the evidence will be examined and deliberations begun on November 19th! The verdict will be reported hopefully by next weekend.
If you have anything in particular you would like me to check out, please leave a comment or email me.