Watching The World Go By
Our World | On 12, Apr 2013
One of the things that often comes up with travel incentives is the time spent travelling to destinations and getting from one place to another when all that guests really want is to get the party started. Want a solution that takes your guests from one intriguing destination to the next while indulging their every whim? Then cruising may just be the ticket! From spacious ocean-view suites, gourmet dining and exceptional amenities cruising really does have something for everyone.
Having never cruised before, when the opportunity came up for me to experience one of the newer luxury cruise liners in Europe, I jumped at the chance!
We arrived into Naples on an early flight and met the Celebrity Solstice at the nearby cruise terminal. After a swift bag drop, that evening we set sail and were at sea the whole of the following day. I initially had concerns over potential ‘cabin fever’ being stuck on the ship for 36 hours, but boy I was wrong.
Hailed as a “new benchmark in cruise ship design” by the International Interior Design Association, the Celebrity Solstice has a wealth of innovation including the revolutionary Lawn Club – a half-acre of real manicured grass on the top deck, where a casual country club atmosphere is the norm. In the onboard AquaSpa, you can lie back and enjoy world-class treatments. Or for an exciting experience of a different kind, take a seat at the Hot Glass Show. This one-of-a-kind show demonstrates the incredible art of glassblowing, where you will get the chance to watch and learn from the experts from the renowned Corning Museum of Glass. Guests can finish your day by sampling wines from around the world in the Cellar Masters bar or learn how to shake up cocktails like Tom Cruise in a Mixology Master Class. There are of course ample sun loungers available to soak up the Mediterranean sun or pool decks (indoors and out) and a large and very well equipped gym to burn off some of the additional 1,000 calories consumed on average per day, onboard a cruise!
Spoilt for choice
Whilst on the subject of food, the Solstice exceeded all my expectations when it came to their F&B outlets. We experienced three of the twelve dining outlets; the San Marco Restaurant (main dining room), Muranos (five senses tasting, speciality restaurant) and Ocean View Cafe & Bar (buffet restaurant). As standard, your group would have breakfast and lunch served daily in Ocean View and dinner in either San Marco or Ocean View. Guests are able to upgrade to or even take exclusive use of one of the ten speciality restaurants.
Full scale production shows that could rival the West End are also available on board and if you’re really feeling energetic, you could always try the Quasar nightclub into the wee hours – you’re only ever steps away from your room after all!
With cruising you can do as much or as little as you want. Experience multiple destinations and only unpack once. Expect the unexpected – Celebrity is also the first authorised Apple reseller at sea. The Solstice has one of the world’s largest permanent contemporary art collections, complete with their self-guided iPad art tour. In terms of service you have 24/7 Butler service available in some staterooms and on average there is an incredible 2:1 guest to staff ratio.
A cruise enables the most ambitious incentive organiser to build an amazing programme that offers individual choice, great group activities and dining experiences together with a chance to experience multiple destinations. You don’t have to go anywhere – the world just moves around you.