Thursday, November 22, 2012

Celebrity Solstice, A Formidable Competitor To The Luxury Lines? One Person’s Perspective: ‘Crystal Light’

Stateroom design underscores what you find throughout Celebrity Solstice: taste & class. The company has since launched two additional Solstice-class vessels, Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Eclipse. Some say they are formidable competitors to the luxury lines.

Back in November of 2008, the Celebrity Solstice left a good impression on me and many others. This week, I’m taking a second look at what a friend of mine calls “Crystal Light.” She’s referring not to the powdered sugar-free beverage but rather to Celebrity’s competitive response to luxury operator Crystal Cruises.

Celebrity is a formidable contender to Crystal in some areas, namely staterooms, cuisine, and other ship-board offerings. That’s quite a claim, especially considering that Celebrity’s price point is about half of Crystal’s. Are Celebrity’s Solstice-class vessels nipping at the heels of their luxury competitors? I don’t plan to do a blow-by-blow comparison, but I will take a look at some of the good — and not-as-good — attributes of Celebrity Solstice.

Bathrooms are well-designed with one small but well-publicized feature: a shower bar to assist women in shaving their legs. Such small touches characterize the well-thought-out design on Solstice-class vessels.

First impressions are the same as last time I was on board: Solstice is an exceptionally tasteful ship in both design and on-board offerings. Public areas are gorgeous, and restaurants are numerous and impressive. Staterooms are comfortable and well-designed.

But with a capacity of more than 2,800 guests, a single Solstice-class vessel has more capacity than the entire fleets of most luxury lines. On the smaller luxury lines, staff frequently address guests by their names. Not so on larger vessels, such as those in the Solstice class.

With the exception of Crystal, luxury lines are all-inclusive, meaning that a check will not be shoved under your nose to sign for soft drinks, specialty coffees and alcoholic beverages. On Celebrity, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice your penmanship.

-- Joe L., CruiseCounselor

No comments: