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Celebrity's AquaClass StateroomsMarch 12, 2009 By: Susan Young Travel Agent
A Sunset Veranda stateroom on Celebrity Solstice
Agents say there’s nothing like “exclusivity” to pamper clients. One new way to do that is to book them into one of 130 new AquaClass staterooms on either the new Celebrity Solstice or—later this summer—on Celebrity Equinox, both ships from Celebrity Cruises.
Pairing the spa life with the high life, these new ocean retreats are designed to satisfy the five pillars of health and wellness—Renew (sleep); Replenish (nutrition); Refresh (body); Restore (spirit); and Revive (fitness). Priced from $999 per person, double occupancy, for Celebrity Solstice’s Caribbean voyages, AquaClass staterooms are veranda cabins on Deck 11 near the AquaSpa; four are handicapped-accessible.
We toured an AquaClass stateroom, number 1602, on Celebrity Solstice during a recent cruise. On first blush, the cabin was essentially the same as our own deluxe veranda cabin. Don’t expect big structural changes. What makes this cabin appealing for your clients are the perks and amenities not available to guests in regular veranda cabins.
AquaClass guests receive a welcome kit with a teeth-whitening sample, slippers, spa-oriented amenities kit and shower gel. Light dimmers create mood lighting, and the staterooms feature a holder with fragrance reeds and lavender oil—a nice touch that allows guests to enjoy a touch of aromatherapy. A dedicated TV channel delivers music recommended by music therapists, and also features a “Conscious Dream Enhancer” to help clients foster lucid dreaming—a state of consciousness that can occur during sleep and reportedly helps mental awareness during waking hours.
AquaClass staterooms feature oversized bath towels, plush Frette robes, a choice of pillows, European-style bedding and special toiletries. The fog-free bathroom mirror and a five-head Hansgrohe showerjet are other nice perks. Also, AquaClass guests receive complimentary bottled water along with a carafe of flavor-infused iced tea. They also enjoy complimentary daily canapés. An upgraded room-service menu for these cabins includes new healthy menu options and salads with organic grains.
The best perk of all may be that AquaClass guests dine in the 130-seat Blu. This intimate restaurant is off limits to other guests (except suite guests admitted based on availability); it’s open for continental breakfast and dinner.
With touches of blue hues, the restaurant’s decor is white with a crisp and elegant (yet comfortable) look. We loved the sculpted, artistic walls depicting large white floral blossoms. A central wall provides contrast with see-through cylinders exuding splashes of color.
Blu creates healthy yet tasty cuisine in multiple courses. Described by the line as “clean cuisine,” the food is eclectic and diverse, and its preparations have a wellness bent (don’t expect fried foods).
A small appetizer-like holder of thin vegetables for dipping got us started, but the waiter also brought a selection of breads. After a savory appetizer and a yummy soup, we had a choice of multiple entrees, including salmon, lamb, pheasant and a risotto-mushroom creation, along with a robust entree salad.
We opted for the risotto-mushroom dish, which was creamy and delicious. Our tablemates enjoyed a large portion of salmon. On other evenings, guests might order pan-seared filet mignon or blackened ahi tuna. Dessert options include ice creams, sorbet and more decadent fare.
Another plus for AquaClass guests is complimentary access to the spa’s relaxation room and to the blue-and-white Persian Garden (up to a $100 value for a seven-night cruise) with its tiled, heated loungers and adjacent sauna. A spa concierge also will assist AquaClass guests with booking spa treatments; no prepackaged spa treatments are included in the AquaClass fares.
Celebrity Solstice operates Caribbean cruises from Port Everglades, FL, through spring; it then repositions to Europe. Celebrity Equinox will operate a Norwegian voyage from Southampton, England, on July 31, prior to its official maiden voyage August 8 from Southampton to Rome; it will then operate voyages from Rome this fall.