Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Celebrity Releases First Details of Solstice Class Ships

Celebrity Cruises has unveiled details of its new Solstice class ships, the first of which, the Celebrity Solstice, will make its maiden voyage in the Caribbean in December 2008. Last night in New York, Celebrity made the first of a half-dozen announcements about the plans about the new class of ships; the event focused specifically on the ship's staterooms. Dan Hanrahan, Celebrity's president and CEO, said research for the stateroom design began even before the cruise line cut steel for the ships. Recognizing that women are the decision-makers when it comes to cruising, Celebrity put together a panel of five women -- a frequent cruiser, a travel agent, a non-cruiser, a hotelier and a travel writer-to get their input on staterooms -- they spent four months helping Celebrity design the staterooms. The result: staterooms that are 15 percent larger than those in Celebrity's Millennium ships, and bathrooms that are 24 percent larger and have touches such as fog free mirrors and bars for women to rest their feet upon while shaving their legs. "The showers are the biggest you'll find at sea," said Hanrahan.
To better accommodate luggage, beds are higher, so bags fit underneath, and there are additional nooks and crannies for storage. The ships have interconnecting staterooms, but since space that connects also conducts sound, each has a vestibule with a double set of doors to muffle sound. Triple and quad rooms all have trundle beds that extend from couches as well as Pullman beds, meaning parents can put smaller children in the lower trundles. Staterooms are roughly 295 to 300 square feet, not including balconies. The ship has WiFi, staterooms have 32-inch flat screen TVs, while suites have larger flat-screen TVs. There is also the new AquaClass, which is tied into the ship's spa. It includes 130 of the ship's 1,425 staterooms. Celebrity Solstice is the line's first in a class for four 2,850-passenger vessels. German shipbuilder Meyer Werft, which constructed the line's Century-class fleet, is building the 122,000-GRT ship.

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