OK, I’m no James Bond, but I’ve always wanted to say "shaken, not stirred”, 007’s martini cocktail catchphrase... and where better than at my favourite bar, the Martini Bar, one of just a few of the many superb bars I managed to get to on board Celebrity Cruises’ stunning "modern luxury" cruise ship, Celebrity Solstice. Bond would feel right at home on a bar stool with me at the Martini Bar, which is not just any bar, just like Celebrity Solstice is not just any cruise ship. Why? Because not only is the Martini Bar amazingly ice-topped, but the bartenders are high energy showmen, shaking a massive menu of classic and contemporary martinis, with my choice keeping to the nautical theme by ordering a "fleet" of taster martinis... my favourite? The lychee martini... simply perfect.
Right next door, the roll of a martini olive away at Crush, I found an incredible one hundred (and counting) classic and rare vodkas including Charbay Green Tea, Tru Organic and Hangar One Mandarin Blossom, all joining a portfolio of fine caviars, and all in a central ice-filled table, especially made for vodka and caviar pairings.
At Cellar Masters, wine comes into its own with a collection of both familiar and less familiar drops from around the world, plus a state of the art Enomatic wine-by-the-glass dispensing system, which may sound a tad too high tech for wine, but I was told that it makes sure that the wine is kept at the optimum quality and temperature... sounds good to me!
Totally different and quite surreal, the specialist barmen in the unique Molecular Bar create handcrafted cocktails including the Berry Patch and Dragonfly, a blend of vodka, Cointreau, dragon fruit juice, pink grapefruit juice, raspberries, lime and hibiscus essence and served with a (hard to believe) top layer frozen by liquid nitrogen.
My favourite sunset spot had to be the Sunset Bar located on the top deck, perched on the stern, right behind the Lawn Club, the first half-acre of real grass on a cruise ship. With this bar providing the most spectacular views over the stern, it was here we wended our way to our next exotic port with live music to while away the pre-dinner cocktail hour, or even for that romantic late night post dinner drink – simply superb.
Not surprisingly, the "modern luxury" themes and styles of Celebrity Solstice set her and her sister Solstice class vessels apart from others ships and companies – so you might be wondering – who cruises on a vessel like Celebrity Solstice? Well, I reckon she is just perfect for those of us that enjoy the better and more quality things in life – great food, sophisticated decor and the amazing range of very cool bars. And, with Celebrity Cruises having had five women known as the "Leading Ladies" redesign, and redecorate all the staterooms (how good is that ladies) what does that tell you? I also experienced outstanding cuisine, without question Celebrity Cruises taking the food and overall dining experience, at both the inclusive and specialty restaurants, to a whole new level in the cruising world. But that's another story altogether. Oh, and if you are looking to navigate even more bars on Celebrity Solstice, don’t worry, there are a heap left that I did not even get to!