Out goes glass and in comes grill as Celebrity cuts its hallowed turf

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Real grass lawns are among the most distinctive features of the Celebrity Solstice-class cruise ships, and the turf has been as hallowed and as sacrosanct as anything at Wimbledon or Lord’s.
The Lawn Club includes space to lounge and picnic, and to play croquet or bocce ball, and until now any suggestion that it could be put to another use have been met with protestations of “over my dead body” from Celebrity president Dan Hanrahan and Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain.
Well, there’s been a change of heart, not least of which is the decision to do away with the Hot Glass Show and Corning’s Glass Museum which have been a centrepiece of the area. They will be replaced on the final two ships in the class – Silhouette and Reflection – with a 56-seat al fresco grill restaurant with an additional charge of $30.
Part of the lawn will have sheltered cabanas, similar to those introduced on Holland America’s Eurodam, and sun-bathing hammocks will be provided elsewhere. Introducing the new features at a press conference yesterday, Hanrahan admitted that the Lawn Club is “a little bit under-utilised.” One problem among British passengers at least, sailing on Celebrity Eclipse out of the UK during the summer, is that they don’t seem to be able to shake themselves out of the “Keep off the Grass” mentality.
An extra 17 staterooms are to be squeezed into Silhouette, which is under construction in Papenburg, Germany, and due to debut next year. Celebrity Reflection, which will be launched in 2012, is to be a metre wider than its four sisters, and will accommodate an extra 72 cabins, including 42 suites.
The size of the ship is being increased by three per cent, and the number of passengers is going up by six per cent, from 2,850 to 3,030.
In the central atrium a new venue, the Hideaway, will fill the space occupied by Team Earth on the other Solstice ships. The 30-seat lounge is intended for relaxation and reading overlooking the hallmark ficus tree which is suspended in a giant tub.
Both new ships will also feature Qsine, the innovative fun-food restaurant devised by culinary director Jacques Van Staden and introduced on Eclipse, although there is no word yet on whether that – or any of the other innovations – will be retro-fitted to Solsitice or Equinox.

By | 2010-12-09T13:26:43+00:00 9 December 2010|Cruise Ships|0 Comments

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John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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