Celebrity Cruises

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Celebrity Cruises fleet

Review of Celebrity Cruises

The Celebrity cruise ship line has been a member of the big Royal Caribbean family club since 1997. The Celebrity cruise company was founded in 1988 by the Greek Chandris Group. The history of the Celebrity brand starts with cheap sailings on second-hand ships, to become one of the most prominent premium luxury and most affordable cruise lines in the world. The voyage to the world of deluxe cruising started with premium Bermuda sailings, buying more and better ships ever since. As a feature brand name of Royal Caribbean Ltd, Celebrity has 5 sister companies – Royal Caribbean International, Azamara, CDF, Pullmantur, and TUI Cruises. The line’s headquarters address: “Celebrity Cruises, 1050 Caribbean Way, Miami, FL, 33132-2096 USA”.

The Celebrity ship company as a brand name represents one of the best cruise lines for adults, a feature Panama Canal Cruise line, and is also one of the top 3 best cruise lines for Alaska. 

Celebrity is a medium priced cruise line, associated with sophistication, style and elegance. Celebrity cruise ships offer impeccable service and exquisite cuisine, appealing to a moderately affluent, well-educated clientele of mostly adults in their 40s. Celebrity offers Family Cruises during holidays (particularly on Caribbean cruises, and on cruises to Bermuda), and  Seniors Cruises to Europe and on the exotic itineraries to South America. The letter “X” on the funnel of all Celebrity ships stands for the name “Chandris” (in Greek it is “Xandris”).

In February 2014, Celebrity Cruises announced it would add "The Suite Class" to its cruise ships. Suite Class guests have their own private restaurant and VIP lounge. Key features on Solstice Class ships include the Lawn Club, which is a freshly manicured lawn on ship's highest deck. Passengers enjoy casual outdoor activities, country-club atmosphere and grass between their toes. They can watch a glass-blowing demonstration on Equinox, Eclipse and Solstice, or a meal in the Lawn Club Grill. The Celebrity ships also feature Cellar Masters, inspired by the Napa Valley vineyards, which brings to life a global wine tour experience, while guests learn about and taste a variety of wines from around the world. 

In March 2016 Celebrity Cruises acquired two-ship cruise line Ocean Adventures. The purchase of 16-guest catamaran Athala II and 48-guest ship Eclipse meant Celebrity Cruises increased capacity in Galapagos Islands by 65%. The two vessels joined the Celebrity Cruises fleet in spring 2016. Until a January 2017 stint in drydock the ships offer Ocean Adventures cruise experiences.

Celebrity attracts a diverse passenger base. The line targets baby boomers and their families, honeymooners and seniors. In addition to U.S. cruisers, Celebrity Cruises also draws vacationers from Europe, Canada and South America. Longer sailings in more distant locales tend to draw an older crowd. Week-long trips to places like Alaska and the Caribbean attract families. In an effort to appeal to more multi-generational groups, line's family programs have expanded and now include teen centers, more enrichment and educational programs for kids.

Following are Celebrity Cruises' best features: 

  • Accommodations: some of the largest cruise ship suites (all served by butlers). Luxurious “ConciergeClass” staterooms, attentive highly personalized impeccable service; and enjoying seating preference, priority check-in. 2:1 guest-to-staff ratio
  • Dining: award-winning cuisine, excellent alternate dining venues. The Celebrity’s “Gourmet Bites” every afternoon, themed lunch buffets. Culinary demonstrations. The line has partnered with “Elizabeth Blau & Associates”, as to menu and wine selections, and all the standards of serving.
  • Facilities: the largest cruise ship spa and gym facilities at sea (“AquaSpa by Elemis” – a world-class beauty salon, spa treatments and fitness programs). “Celebrity Theatre” for Broadway-style productions, huge European-style casinos, bingo, themed bars and lounges, including an European style disco, large pools, poolside recreation programs (massages, yoga), on-board boutique shopping.
  • Enrichment: “Celebrity Lecture Series”. Rich contemporary art collections. Art auctions, enhanced golf program.
  • “Celebrity Escape” concept: reserved exclusively for adults ages 21 and older, with classes, themed events, fashion shows, parties, etc.
  • “Family Cruising Program”: on all sailings. Games and parties, educational activities, history and sea life explorations. Separate pools and discos for teens. Online booking.

Itinerary of Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruise destinations include Alaska, Hawaii, Bermuda, Canada, Bahamas, Caribbean (all, but mostly Southern), Mexico, Panama Canal, South America, Australia New Zealand, Northern Europe from UK, Eastern and Western Mediterranean.

The Celebrity line owns one of the youngest and most innovative fleets, with 13 luxury ships currently in operation. They all are Malta flagged (with the exception of the Xpedition ship - flag Ecuador), with gross tonnage above the 91,000 GT marker. The Celebrity Xpedition ship is the smallest member of the Celebrity family, with 100 passengers capacity. She sails the Galapagos Islands, and Antarctica on adventure voyages.

Celebrity Cruises confirmed itinerary changes for their ships Constellation, Equinox and Reflection. They will cancel the overnight stays in Istanbul Turkey scheduled for 2016 because of berth availability and Salipazari Port (aka Galataport) construction.  The construction project in Istanbul is set to make the city one of the world's largest hubs for cruise tourism. The development is slated to start in 2016 and due to be completed in the last quarter of 2018. As yet, it is unclear as to whether Celebrity Cruises sailings in 2017 and 2018 will be affected.

In the beginning of December, 2015 Celebrity Cruises announced deployment into 2018, featuring 282 destinations in 76 countries, 236 overnights in 55 ports and new ports of call. Deployment news includes Bermuda, Canada/New England, Alaska, Asia-Pacific and Europe.

  • In 2017 Celebrity Cruises will have three cruise ships in Alaska: Celebrity Solstice, Millennium and Infinity
  • In 2017 Celebrity Summit will be in Bermuda, with sailings from Bayonne New Jersey and a new 9-night sailing to Canada/New England
  • Beginning in 2016, Celebrity will introduce chef-led shore excursions called “Chef’s Market Discoveries” with regional experts, local entertainment and authentic flavors.
  • Celebrity Constellation and Celebrity Millennium will offer Asia cruises in 2017 and 2018. Celebrity Cruises ups India sailings to 8, which is the most in the history of the brand. The season in the region features a 15-night “Best of India & Sri Lanka” sailing along the ancient Spice Route. This once-in-a-lifetime tour to Taj Majal traces the origins of tea in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Another option is to relax on the beaches of Goa, India. The line will also continue to sail from Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Image: australiantraveller.com

New to the Signature Event Sailings of the brand is the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taipei, Taiwan. It is available over the Chinese New Year on a cruise onboard Celebrity Millennium.

Celebrity has added new destinations to the 2017-2018 season, such as Hiroshima, Japan with a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and Aomori, Japan - home of Hirosaki Castle, built in 1611.

  • Celebrity Solstice will also offer western and southern Australia cruises in 2017-2018, visiting ports of call like Adelaide and Perth, as well as an added opportunity to sail from Sydney to the Great Barrier Reef. The Solstice will also continue to cross the Pacific Ocean on cruises to Hawaii and the South Pacific.

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