Following up on my article Comparing Celebrity’s Solsticized Ships, I was granted a day trip aboard the Solsticized Celebrity Infinity to check out the latest improvements firsthand. The Solsticization program – initiated to bring the best new features of Celebrity’s Solstice-class ships to their Millennium-class ships – is ambitious in its concept and well executed in its implementation. Let’s take a look.
Stateroom upgrades are immediately apparent from the exterior of the beautiful ship. Above the undulating bay windows of the aft Oceanview Café are the newly added AquaClass staterooms that displaced the previous Fun Factory space. And just below the smoke stack, the convex column of Celebrity Suites now sports verandas.
Here you see the stern view from the new rear facing AquaClass verandas.
Originally, the unique bowed Celebrity Suites included floor to ceiling glass windows only and no balcony. Now, a curved veranda outlines the still magnificent window views with one of the glass panels giving way to an access door.
Restaurants and Bars
Upon first consideration, the addition of so many new restaurants and passenger spaces at the cost of reducing or replacing others might seem problematic. In reality, the new venues are masterfully plotted to follow existing ship contours and walkways leaving you to believe that these new areas might very well have been with the ship since initial construction.
Most notably, Cellar Masters and Bistro on Five flow perfectly into the space once occupied by the previous champagne and martini bar lounges.
The new rich colors and design of Cellar Masters are quite exquisite.
And the adjacent Bistro on Five, casual crêperie, nestles cozily between the wine lounge and the bright windows of the ship’s port side.
Formerly one of the portals to the Trellis Restaurant, the entrance to Blu – the AquaClass restaurant – invites you into a space that shaves a wedge off of the main dining room.
The new venue features cool colors contrasting the warmer colors of the next door Trellis Restaurant.
Having lost a number of its previous seats, the main dining room has made creative use of its layout to accommodate new tables such as this one where the bandstand once stood.
Qsine is the alternative restaurant that is alternative in its design as much as its fare.
To say that the décor is eclectic would be an understatement. Once the Conservatory floral showcase and acupuncture center, the space now exhibits high-gloss and translucent orange, black, and white surfaces and curiously inverted lighting fixtures.
The place settings also follow the wild aesthetic which is something of a cross between an Apple store and wonderland.
The conversion of Cova Café to Café al Bacio is very impressive.
The former coffee shop was limited in seating but has now expanded into the once enclosed and isolated oval card room. Now open to the main thoroughfare, only the curved banquette suggests a dividing wall ever existed here.
The new Martini Bar with its chilled counters similarly displaces one of the former oval rooms used for an internet center.
The venue along with the adjacent Crush ice bar now opens up into the central atrium making the space seem much larger than before.
Even the tried and true Michael’s Club has been retooled for beer aficionados with an ample selection of craft bottled beers.
Similar to the aesthetics of Qsine, the ship features an iLounge, Apple Authorized Reseller and computer center, which closely mimics the clean, minimal style of the Apple stores found internationally on land.
The original cinema and conference center was reconfigured to make room for a bank of new ocean-view staterooms on the starboard side. The new conference facilities succeed in their utility but not in their bare bones look.
The Fun Factory which relocated to make way for the additional AquaClass staterooms now resides on a slice of deck space that was previously the port side of the Constellation Lounge.
This modification was done quite tastefully and, as many of the other spaces, follows the existing contours of the former observation lounge space. Here you can see the new wall that outlines the dance floor.
During the renovation the bar was relocated and the colors were made much more bright and steely. The only unfortunate result for adults is the much reduced number of windows to gaze out from.
Lastly, the pool deck was slightly reconfigured with new shade structures…
…as well as plenty of new comfortable outdoor furniture.
The Solsticization of Celebrity’s Millennium-class ships is a success and only the Millennium herself is left to be updated this May.