How some cruise ships are literally bringing the land to the sea
By Gina Tarnacki
When Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice-class debuted in 2008 with Celebrity Solstice, the new ship’s biggest claim to fame was its Lawn Club. Real grass — on a cruise ship. It was a first-ever at sea and although initial reports of the outdoor Lawn Club were glowing, I, however, was skeptical. Sure, grass is great. But it’s not that amazing.
Then I experienced the Lawn Club for myself on Celebrity Solstice’s sister ship, Celebrity Equinox. From the moment the elevator doors opened onto Deck 15 and I stepped out and saw the vast expanse of bright green grass stretching before me, I was captivated.
The grass was meticulously planted across the deck, capped by the shimmering Mediterranean Sea in the background that made it instantly inviting. An outdoor bar was serving fruity cocktails and a few people were sitting on the grass enjoying their drinks. A bit further down, some friends were playing bocce ball on the grass.
Check out the making of Allure of the Seas’ Central Park.
Suddenly Celebrity Equinox didn’t feel like a cruise ship; it felt like a country club. And it wasn’t long before I also had a pink drink in one hand and a bocce ball in the other, my shoes kicked off and my feet burrowed into the soft green grass. The Lawn Club easily became my favorite part of the ship and I returned to it most nights after a day in port to enjoy a relaxing drink on the grass while watching the city fade into the distance.
The Solstice-class of ships has since expanded into five ships, with Celebrity Reflection being the most recent. All Solstice-class ships have the Lawn Club on board with varying entertainment to be found on the grass and at its surroundings.
Celebrity Cruises was pivotal in introducing the idea of greenery as a focal point for a cruise ship, but it hasn’t been the only one to jump on this trend in recent years. Fast forward a year after the launch of Celebrity’s Solstice-class to the 2009 debut of Oasis of the Seas, excitedly heralded as the “World’s Largest Cruise Ship.” That nickname was enough to catch most people’s attention, but one thing that has kept it at the forefront of travelers’ minds for innovative cruise ships is its Central Park neighborhood….
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