Thursday, November 20, 2008

Celebrity Cruises debuts Celebrity Solstice

I had the terrific opportunity to be invited to a one night pre-inaugural cruise on Celebrity Cruises' new Celebrity Solstice this past weekend. Celebrity Solstice is the first of the new "Solstice-class" ships. With promises of fantastic accessibility by the line's access department, I was excited to be offered a chance to see her. Nineteen hours of exploring, experiencing, writing notes and taking photos. It was short, but great!

We sailed from Fort Lauderdale. If you are a "slow walker" I'd suggest you consider asking for pier assistance. Specifically for someone to push you in a wheelchair onto the ship. There's a long distance from where a vehicle can drop you off until you actually board the ship and the last few minutes will be in a jet way type of area with a killer slope.

Solstice is a beautiful ship. Lots of open spaces that create a welcoming calm and relaxing atmosphere. These open areas will make it a lot easier for people using wheelchairs, scooters and walkers to get around.

She has many small alcoves with sitting areas. My attention was caught by the various types of chairs located around the public areas in lounges, restaurants and unexpected seating areas. Many are very unique and beautiful so they become artwork in themselves. From a practical standpoint, these many spots serve as terrific meeting spots to catch up with others you are traveling with and are a respite for slow walkers not using a scooter who need to get off their feet and take a break.

If you use a manual wheelchair and have cruised on a Celebrity ship in the past, you're going to find something missing from this one but it's something you'll be happy is gone! Watch for my next blog about Solstice for the answer to this mystery and some more exciting news regarding this ship!