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A Guide To Hot Glass Class On Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises hot glass class

With all-new cruise ships come the latest and greatest ideas to entertain passengers on sea days. Gone are the days of just swimming pools and hot tubs. In recent years, new mega-ships come with ice skating rinks, bumper cars, zip lines, climbing walls, and skydiving simulators.

However, Celebrity Cruises hot glass class allows passengers the opportunity to create their own works of art. Having enjoyed this unique experience on the Celebrity Eclipse, I’d recommend you not miss this unique cruise experience.

Celebrity has created a new partnership with Hollywood Hot Glass. Brenna Baker Brown, the founder of Hollywood Hot Glass, was excited to bring a fun and educational glass-making experience to beautiful Celebrity ships.

The hot glassblowing class is offered on three of their cruise ships; the Eclipse, Solstice, and Celebrity Equinox. It is not available on all Solstice-class ships or its newest ships.

The addition of Hollywood hot glass class adds to the appeal of the ships, which have natural grass, and Le Petit Chef, a dinner presentation show.

While the live demonstrations have been on the Celebrity ships for about ten years, the concept of participation is relatively new.

Only in 2018 were cruisers allowed to work with experts to make their own piece of art. Having sailed on the Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Solstice, I watched the glassblowing several times.

Celebrity Cruise ship and glass pieces from the hot glass class
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I was fascinated that this experience is available on a cruise ship, as fire is a ship’s worst nightmare.

This unique class and Celebrity’s other features make it a top cruise line in the industry.

Celebrity Cruises Hot Glass Demonstration

Once on board your ship, check your daily newsletter for the live glassblowing demonstration times. On the Solstice class ships, head to deck 15 (Lawn Club) near the aft. You’ll find the hot glassblowing class by the real grass, around the corner from the Sunset Bar.

If you’re already booked on either of the ships offering the hot glass class, the class is found in the Celebrity excursion section online. The hot glass class program generally operates on sea days or after your ship has left a port.

Individual sections are 20 mins, which is plenty of time to create your one-of-a-kind art piece and special souvenir from your cruise. This unique activity is available for both adults and children over 8, so long as an adult accompanies them.

Celebrity Cruises' glassblowing studio
Celebrity Cruises’ glassblowing studio

If you’re unsure about participating in this new experience, it’s best to watch a hot glass show first. After I watched the hot glassblowing demonstration in the Eclipse, a free draw allowed one lucky audience member a chance to book a class at a 50% discount.

In the glass blowing spacious studio, a furnace keeps the molten glass liquified and ready for use. The furnaces don’t shut down as it would take too long to fire them up each day. The elements are turned down at the end of the day but not turned off.

Hot Glassblowing Class

Passengers can select from a variety of unique pieces, from ornaments and paperweights to vases with contemporary designs.

During my 12-day itinerary from Vancouver to Hawaii, it was evident this was a favorite activity. The 20-minute classes fill up fast, especially as some passengers blow several pieces of glass.

Sample of blown glass art pieces
Hot glass blowing class samples

The heart paperweight and the pumpkin ornament were especially lovely. The starfish paperweight is extremely popular amongst cruisers.

Due to the popularity of the class, the cost has skyrocketed. Prices start at about USD 120 for a small ball ornament to approximately USD 175 for a sizeable fluted vase. Just four years earlier, prices began at USD 59.

However, if you want to book your own hot glass class, you’ll benefit from a small discount if you pre-book two sessions online. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, consider making a beautiful gift to commemorate it.

The Hot Glassblowing Studio

The hot glassblowing studio has three large pieces of essential equipment. First, the glass melting furnace melts the glass at 2,100F (1,150C).

Secondly, molding glass must be done using the glory hole. The glory hole keeps a constant temperature of 2,050F (1,120C). The annealer’s cooler temperature, at 950F (510C), allows the freshly blown glass to cool slowly for 12 hours before you can collect them.

Working With Hot Glass

Colored glass oxide used in glass making
Colored glass chips made from colored oxide and glass chips

Once you have selected your art piece, you must choose from a variety of colors. You can select up to two colors from a choice of about fourteen.

It’s important to note that most colors look the same orange tone when hot. The authentic colors of glass shine through once your art piece has cooled. The only exception is white, which still looks white when heated.

While you work with a hot glass instructor to blow your glass piece, you must wear safety glasses for protection. After all, that hot glass is over 2,000F.

Be prepared to get a little sweaty, especially on a warm, sunny day. I watched a few glassblowing sessions during my cruise and noted that some pieces did not allow a cruiser to participate too much.

If you’re doing your class in a cooler destination, wear a jacket because it’s cool and windy on the top deck.

Making a starfish paperweight
Making a starfish paperweight

The ornament required the instructor to do the majority of the work. However, the starfish paperweight allowed cruisers to do a fair amount of work, from shaping the starfish’s arms and elongating them to the required length.

Shaping The Hot Glass

You blow glass on a stainless-steel rod which conducts heat poorly. The rods are preheated to 1,000F, so the glass will stick to it.

Once your chunk of glass is heated and shaped, the colors are added. Color oxide is added to small glass chips, which are rolled into the molten glass.

Adding colored oxide to the hot glass
Adding colored oxide to the hot glass

The glass cools down quickly, so the instructor will continuously reheat it in the glory hole to mold it. Should the molten glass drop below 1,000F, there is a high chance the glass will crack.

Should the glass crack, the used glass is discarded and cannot be reused. Only clear glass is reusable again.

As you work with the glass, the heating process creates air bubbles. By blowing air into the rod, the glass expands. To control the temperature of the glass, the piece is rolled on a marver which is a steel-topped table.

Once you have molded, shaped, and completed your masterpiece, the instructor will remove it from the stainless steel rod. Then, it’s placed in the annealer overnight to cool.

Removing the finished piece from the metal rod
Removing the glass from the rod

When it’s time to collect it, the glass studio will bubble wrap your gorgeous finished product so you can safely transport it home.

The onboard experience is unique, fun, and only available on certain ships in the Celebrity fleet. While I first enjoyed the experience on the Eclipse, I later sailed her sister ship, the Solstice, where I got to watch the event again.

During my Solstice cruise, I met fellow passengers who made a souvenir piece on every vessel with a glassblowing studio. What an excellent idea to remember their sailing!

The hot glass class with Celebrity Cruises allows you to try a unique activity at sea. If you’re looking for other sea day activities, I have lots more ideas to keep the boredom away.

Happy travels ~ Karen

Celebrity Cruise ship and hot glass samples from its glassblowing sessions


Saturday 5th of August 2023

Thanks for your help. Is it easy to reserve a specific time if you have prepaid? How do you make a reservation once on board?

Forever Karen

Sunday 6th of August 2023

Hot Glass Class fills up fast. Booking a spot before the cruise will ensure a spot. Onboard, you can book by going to the venue at the Lawn Club or using the app.

Thomas Rucinski

Thursday 13th of July 2023

The hotline glass class for two is cheaper than two singles, but do you walk away with two pieces to take home?

Barb Stokes

Thursday 16th of November 2023

@Wendy Sims, Oh NO ! Sis and I wanted to do a class and EACH get an item ! Are you sure this Right ? I thought it was for TWO items !!

Wendy Sims

Saturday 26th of August 2023

@Thomas Rucinski, I called them with this question as I had it too - The answer was the price for 2 is to make 1 piece together . We chose to do the two singles.

Forever Karen

Friday 14th of July 2023

The class for two includes two sessions and two pieces of glass.

Maureen Ridley

Sunday 23rd of April 2023

In the glass blowing do you have a gold colour ? It our Golden Wedding anniversary when we are on Eclipse in June and I would like to make a piece for our anniversary maybe a heart or a paperweight or whatever you recommend Thank you really looking forward to our special cruise

Forever Karen

Monday 24th of April 2023

Maureen, they have a yellow and yellow/orange colour which may work for you. What a lovely idea and a cherished item to commemorate your 50th. Congratulations!

Jessica Ramgoolam

Thursday 16th of February 2023

I'm excited to do this again this upcoming August. I made a paperweight the last time and it's absolutely gorgeous

Forever Karen

Friday 17th of February 2023

It's a unique cruise ship activity, such fun to do and watch.


Tuesday 14th of June 2022

Was the cost of the item made in addition to the $120 for the class itself?

Forever Karen

Tuesday 14th of June 2022

Hi Gloria, the price includes the class and the item.