Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 by Peter Knego
We return to the original format for Part Two of Peter Knego’s Triple Decked! feature illustrating the public spaces on Decks 11 through 3 of Celebrity Cruises’ spectacular fourth SOLSTICE Class ship, the CELEBRITY SILHOUETTE.
The upper level of the two deck Library is on Deck 11 overlooking the forward edge of the Grand Foyer.
Deck 10 begins with the Bridge area and continues aft with accommodation. The lower portion of the double deck Library is located on the forward Grand Foyer balcony on this level. Designed by RCI’s Newbuild team, its centerpiece is a tall oil painting called “Ivory Figure WIth Jade Leaves” by American artist, Mary Van Cline. Vertiginous views are afforded from the Library’s balcony, either up into a crown of glass or down through the suspended ficus tree centerpiece atop a tentacled brass sculpture by Swiss-American art duo Lang and Baumann.
Deck 9 begins with officers’ quarters, continuing aft with passenger accommodation, including Sky Suites. In the forward Grand Foyer balcony, there is a Card Room (designed by RCI’s Newbuild team).
Deck 8 is dedicated to passenger accommodation. On the forward Grand Foyer balcony, the upper level of the tree house-inspired Hideaway replaces the Conservation International-endorsed Team Earth in the prior ships (a space that was dedicated to celebrating the value of marine life).
Deck 7 begins at the SOLSTICE’s fo’c'sle head helipad and continues inside the ship with accommodation. In the forward Grand Foyer balcony, the lower level of the Hideaway resembles an upscale, avant-garde tree house. Inspired by the ficus trees suspended in the middle of the SOLSTICE class Grand Foyers, this adult tree house is quite possibly the most whimsical space on board the ship. Its design was overseen by RTKL Associates in conjunction with a group of graduate students from the Florida International University.
Deck 6 is devoted to accommodation and the Celebrity i-Lounge, a Mac-equipped internet center in the forward balcony of the Grand Foyer.
Deck 5 begins an entire level of public rooms with the triple deck 1,115 seat Silhouette Theater that features a semi-theater-in-the-round stage, a galaxy of technical effects including acrobatic suspension devices, telescopic orchestra pit, revolving props, and all the latest light and sound engineering (designed by Wilson Butler Architects).
Finite promenades on either side of Deck 5 are largely obscured by the lifeboats but there are open platforms forward and aft that provide a limited view of the sea.
A balcony on Deck 5 just aft of the Silhouette Theater overlooks the Entertainment Court on Deck 4.
On the aft port side of the Deck 5 balcony, there is a photo gallery.
Across from the photo gallery, a row of boutiques continues aft on the starboard side of Deck 5. The shops include the first seagoing Bvlgari as well as Michael Kors, Watch, Eileen Fisher, Calypso, Tommy Bahama, Nautica and more.
An Art Gallery continues aft inboard of the shops. Curated by International Corporate Art, the art aboard Celebrity ships is among the finest afloat and covers almost every genre, from edgy sculpture to abstract paintings and fine photography. On the SILHOUETTE some of the collection was transferred from the CELEBRITY MERCURY, when it left the fleet to become TUI’s MEIN SCHIFF 2.
At the aft end of the Art Gallery, there is the Molecular Bar, set between passageways for optimal people-watching.
Opting for a bit of classic ocean liner ambiance, the central portion of the Grand Foyer is topped with a chandelier meant to evoke interlocking bracelets. More on the foyer in a bit…
Overlooking the Grand Foyer on the port side of deck 5, the Bistro On Five is an extra tariff creperie with a full menu of light selections from crepes to panini and salads (design is by Wilson, Butler and Associates).
Beyond the midships foyer on the port side, there is the Celebrity Destinations future cruise booking desk.
Meanwhile, on the starboard side of the Deck 5 level of the Grand Foyer, a duo of venues include Cafe Al Bacio and the Gelateria. Designed by RTKL, they are inspired by a Viennese Coffee House and feature oversized lemon yellow wing back chairs.
Continuing aft of the midships foyer on the starboard side, the next space is part passageway and part art installation. Leading to the Ensemble Lounge Bar, the vestibule is a multi-sensory installation with piped-in bird sounds, insect buzzes and running water in a verdant Renaissance style backdrop painted by American artist Julie Heffernan entitled “Self Portrait As Radiant Host”.
The Ensemble Lounge, designed by BG Studio International, stretches aft along the starboard side of Entertaiment Deck, providing access to Michael’s Club and the posh, extra tariff Murano Restaurant on its port side as well as the aft-situated Aqua Spa class Blu Restaurant, the extra tariff Qsine Restaurant and the extra tariff Tuscan Grille. A destination unto itself with a long, centrally-placed bar, high back chairs and a rich, bold palette of walnut, maroon and gold, it achieves the designers’ intended “vibrant jazz lounge” feel.
Michael’s Club (also by BG Studios), accessed from the forward/port side of the Ensemble Lounge, has been restyled from the prior ships with a contemporary look. The upscale pub and sports bar is equipped with 46 inch TV screens and offers an enhanced menu with 50 newly-added beers.
Inspired by the piazzas of Venice, the top-rated extra tariff specialty restaurant Murano serves a blend of classic and modern cuisine. Decoratively, it is a world-class venue with walnut, black lacquer, golden silk, beige and deep brown fittings, courtesy of BG Studios.
A “neighborhood” of specialty dining venues is accessed by another foyer on starboard Deck 5. On the port side of the foyer, there is a five panel mural of a hybrid world filled with colorful wildlife and exotic birds, including silhouetted forms (an ongoing theme in the ship’s artwork).
On the starboard side of the foyer, there is an evocative stainless steel sculpture entitled “Mirror” by Indian artist Anish Kapoor. The reflected image the sculpture creates is intended to “create an obscure world that is in a continuous state of flux.”
The first Qsine was introduced aboard the CELEBRITY ECLIPSE. Featuring “food as performance”, the room was conceived by Celebrity Executive Chef Jacques Van Staden and executed by 5+ Designs. With menus and wine lists presented on I-pads, the extra tariff eatery is a study in amber, gold and umber, light oak and mahogany wood tones.
One of the most beautiful rooms afloat, Blu is a 130 seat specialty restaurant reserved for Aqua Spa passengers, and, when space permits, suite guests for a moderate service fee. Designed by RCI’s Newbuilding Design Team, Blu has a Scandinavian modern feel with a cool palette of blue and ivory with vividly-colored screens. Dozens of roses fill the sockets in the deep blue enameled entryway, while white roses are skillfully embossed into two of the room’s exquisite bulkheads.
Just beyond an entryway inspired by a Napa Valley wine cellar, the extra tariff, 130 seat Tuscan Grille concludes the specialty dining “neighborhood” of CELEBRITY SILHOUETTE’s aft Deck 5. A panorama of windows overlooks the ship’s wake. On the SILHOUETTE, 5+ Design updated the original Tuscan Grille blueprint conceived by Adam Tihany Design.
Located on Deck 4 just aft of the Silhouette Theater, Celebrity Central is accessed via the Entertainment Court. Designed by Wilson Butler, the space is used for movie screenings, meetings and enrichment lectures.
The Entertainment Court links the Silhouette Theater, Celebrity Central and the Quasar disco. A mini piazza, it is also home to musical performances and a popular gathering spot.
Located on the port side of the the Entertainment Court, the futuristic Quasar Bar is the SOLSTICE’s dedicated nightclub designed by RTKL Associates.
The aft portion of Quasar is a chill out room with plush furnishings.
Shops On The Boulevard connects the Entertainment Court with the Grand Lobby. On the port side, natural light filters in through windows on Deck 5, above. It was executed by 5+ Design, who also did the adjacent Fortunes Casino.
Located on the starboard side of the Shops On The Boulevard, Fortune’s is a state of the art casino from the 5+ Design team that created the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
On the starboard Deck 4 level of the Grand Lobby, Cellar Masters is a warm, richly-hued space dedicated to “all things wine as a social experience”, according to a BG Studios designer.
The Martini Bar is another gorgeously appointed Midcentury-influenced space by the Royal Caribbean Newbuild Design team in cool blues, lace curtains, frosted glass and stark white.
Quite possibly my favorite modern room afloat, Adam Tihany’s magnificent Grand Cuvée restaurant concludes the Deck 4 and Deck 3 public areas. Ribbed white support columns, an elliptical steel ceiling fixture, a prow-like plexiglas and steel wine cellar, a grand staircase and bold palette of red and gold, enhanced with cool fiber optics and, in daytime, abundant natural light. It is a truly awe-inspiring venue, one of many highlights on board a ship filled with superlative spaces. Fine details include spun glass fixtures, polished steel orbs, posh arm chair seating and sunburst-patterned carpeting. Mr. Tihany credits the architecture of Calatrava as its inspiration.
Deck 3 begins with the lowest tier of the Silhouette Theater, continuing aft with a block of accommodation.
On the port side of the Grand Foyer is the Guest Relations Desk.
Located on the starboard side of the Grand Lobby, the Passport Bar was designed by BG Studios to not only make a “vibrant first impression” but also to reflect “a confluence of arrivals and departures”. As a point of reference, the main entry gangway is located just aft aft, by the Shore Excursions Desk.
The Shore Excursions Desk is adjacent to the midships stairtower on the starboard side of the Grand Foyer.
The three deck high Grand Foyer atrium, was restyled from those of the prior ships in a collaborative effort between RCI Newbuilds and BG Studio International. Topped with the aforementioned chandelier, and meant to evoke the grandeur of ocean liners past, the staircase has been given a sweeping curve. Detailing include Moiré-patterned curtains, walnut and makore veneers and Italian granite.
Very special thanks: Dayna Adelman, Martin Cox, Elizabeth Jakeway, Tavia Robb