Happy New Year! May your 2018 be filled with prosperity, good health and happiness! I’m catching up on all my writing on the awesome things I experienced towards the end of 2017. A sense of experience is driving trends in cruising and dissipating the myth that cruising are only for honeymooners or retirees. Nope. From what I experienced being on-board the Celebrity Solstice for a couple of hours whilst it was docked in Sydney, it is a foodie’s paradise where there is something for everyone and be prepared to be eat lots and also make use of the ship’s gym to work it off so you can start all over again the next day.
Late last year I boarded the Celebrity Solstice for a ship tour which docked in Sydney Harbour and there is no shortage of things to see, taste and do. Taste in particular. We firstly toured the galley (the kitchen) with Frenchman, Executive Chef Karl where all food for the restaurants are prepared. This is no small feat. There are about 162 chefs on board Celebrity Solstice servicing 2850 passengers. That’s 2850 breakfasts, 2850 lunches and 2850 dinners and maybe more for those who like to moonlight between meals. We had a cooking masterclass demonstration from Executive Chef Karl who showed us how to prepare a Blue Eye Travalla fish dish. I learnt something. It’s all about the sauces - learn to make the sauces well and it can go with any seafood dish.
TV presenter and food and wine authority, Lyndey Milan was our MC for the night, who has been to every continent on earth including Antarctica noting humoursly “The food wasn’t great there”. Lyndey likes her creature comforts, from mud crabbing with a small Indigenous bow near Broome eating it on driftwood, to indulging in Michelin star restaurants. She likes to travel close to home and also likes grand. Lyndey told us at dinner that what she likes about cruising is the flexibility cruising gives, getting on board not packing and unpacking, enjoying vast range of activities, visiting ports and enjoying world class entertainment and eating when and where she feels like to eat and there is no need for Uber. You also get to meet people around the globe including crew members, all of whom have story to tell.
There are 11 restaurants on board this ship. We dined at the Tuscan Grille restaurant on the night we boarded for dinner and the food was devine, so delicious and fresh. The newest addition on the Celebrity Solstice is Sushi on Five, an expertly crafted à la carte menu, curated by sushi chef Yoshikazu "Yoshi" Okada. Sushi on Five offerings include hand-rolled sushi, fresh tableside grated wasabi, house-made soy sauce, Asian-inspired cocktails, Japanese beers and sakes and unique desserts like caramelised gingerbread complete with wasabi gelato.
There is also the Taste of Film experience on the Solstice’s Lawn Club, and it,s real lawn that you sit on, where you can watch a film, in our case Chef and perfectly paired canapes will come out as you watch the film. A sensory enhancing experience. I finished the evening at the Cellar Masters where the Celebrity Solstice Sommeliers offer me insight into their fine art of wine selection.
Further cementing Celebrity Cruises’ credentials in the world of gourmet tourism, the line boasts the largest wine selection at sea. For the fifth year running, Celebrity Cruises’ one-of-a-kind wine program has been recognised by the Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards, claiming nine awards in 2017. Celebrity’s entire fleet of ocean vessels were awarded, making the brand’s wine collection the most awarded.
For those who like facts to discuss during BBQs here are some interesting facts on the Celebrity Solstice:
13,000 meals are prepared each day
It takes 162 chefs to feed 2,850 guests
1,265 tables are set each day
240 dozen eggs, 8,814 kilograms of meat and 750 kilograms of fresh vegetables are consumed daily
Approximately 18 truckloads of local produce are supplied each cruise
Celebrity Solstice features a two-storey wine tower that holds 1,800 bottles of wine
One unforgettable experience! See you on-board the next cruise!
Celebrity Cruises AU & NZ YouTube: youtube.com/user/celebritycruisesaunz
See.Taste.Do attended a media famil dinner and tour on board the Celebrity Solstice thanks to Frank PR.