Cruising and Dining on the Celebrity Solstice

The Celebrity Solstice at sea
The Celebrity Solstice at sea

Gastronomy at Sea

Sometimes cruising is less about the destination and more about the journey itself. Cruise ships have evolved into giant floating resort complexes, getting bigger and better as years go by. Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice Class is a prime example with thirteen decks of luxurious staterooms and facilities, including a state-of-the-art spa and fitness center with breathtaking views, indoor and outdoor pools, a theater, a glass-blowing workshop, a shopping galleria, the first Lawn Club at sea and a running track. But the star of the Solstice Class is the dining and beverage program.

There are ten restaurants under the careful watch of energetic executive chef John Suley, including a food court offering multicultural options, four specialty dining restaurants and the main restaurant, Grand Epernay. In the Adam Tihany-designed, 1,429-seat dining room, staff serve up specialty dishes such as creamy salmon rillette, Belgian endive-arugula salad, seared halibut and “Celebrity’s Signature” Beef Tournedo — a medallion of beef tenderloin, ragout of morel mushrooms and pearl onions and roasted potatoes, served with haricots verts and black truffle sauce. Choose a pairing from the two-story glass wine cellar within Grand Epernay, or try the sommelier recommendation featured on each menu. Celebrity also occasionally invites guest chefs on board to prepare special meals, such as “Top Chef” season 5 runner-up Stefan Richter of Stefan’s at L.A. Farm.

As for the other specialty dining options, Blu features healthy, light fare; Murano creates an old-style European atmosphere; Silk Harvest is the ship’s casual, family-style Asian restaurant; and the Tuscan Grille is a steakhouse with Italian influence and robust wine offerings that is located at the back of the boat, with large glass walls for expansive views from the stern. To ensure no shortage of opportunities for lingering and libations, the ship is also home to twelve bars and lounges, including a wine bar that boasts a wine-by-the-glass dispensing system, a martini bar featuring more than 100 varieties of vodka and a mixology bar serving innovative cocktails.

The idea behind the cruise line’s dining program is that, no matter where you’re cruising, the focus is on the food. Travelers can take comfort in the consistency of standards and quality they’ve come to expect from Celebrity and, to us, that alone is worth the cost of a cruise ticket.

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