Get Away With Fran

January 8, 2010

Celebrity Cruises Celebrates

Filed under: Cruise — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 7:06 am

Celebrity Solstice - First Arrival Port Everglades 11/03/2008

Cruise fans who read my columns will know that I have long raved about Celebrity Cruises. To me, it is and has always been the best of the premium lines, based on decor, food and overall experience. And the prices have always been reasonable, adding to the allure.

When the line last year came out with its first Solstice-class ship, Celebrity Solstice, I couldn’t wax poetic enough about the Solstice’s stunning spaces including the all-white dining room with two-deck wine tower (created by the same designer who did Le Cirque in New York, no less).

Other writers did the same, as did customers. The Solstice and sister ship Equinox have been big hits and the cruise line got the message.

So for the New Year – which happens to be Celebrity Cruises’ 20the anniversary – the line last night announced plans to “Solsticize” its entire fleet. That means Celebrity’s four Millennium-class ships will be updated in dry dock, to look more like their newer siblings. The redo begins with the Celebrity Constellation in April.

Celebrity Cruises Logo

At a clever party for media, top-tier travel agents and some members of Celebrity’s Captain’s Club, held at the ultra hip  Museum of Arts & Design in New York, Celebrity President & CEO Dan Hanrahan also announced a very smart new tagline for the line’s advertising, “Designed for You,” which actually pretty much says it all.

The success of the Solstice-class even caught Celebrity executives by surprise – truly the ships are stunning and have been so received – and now they are going to capitalize on that. A third sister ship, Eclipse, debuts later this year, a fourth, Celebrity Silhouette in 2011, and a fifth after that. Hanrahan called the Solstice, “brand-defining.”

In creating the new campaign, Celebrity did a six-month market research study to understand the needs of its guests, and decided, based on 10,000 international cruisers, they want Solstice-class. And the ad campaign will focus on these ships.

That’s a good thing for Celebrity and parent company Royal Caribbean, since the Solstice-class represents a total investment of $3.7 billion.

The ships offer a number of cruise industry firsts including a half-acre of real grass up on top, a Hot Glass Show with master glassblowers, AquaClass spa cabins and the industry’s first application of solar technology.

So how many of that will appear on the redone Millennium-class ships? Uh, none that we heard about last night. But the Millennium ships will get the addition of other popular Solstice-class features including Tuscan Grille, the Napa Valley-meets-Italian-steakhouse; Bistro on Five, the vibrant, popular creperie; an ice-topped Martini Bar; the coo Café al Bacio and Gelateria; an Enomatic wine bar, and more sumptuous suites and restyled staterooms, all with flatscreen TVs.

And new color schemes, carpeting and upholstery throughout the redone ships will be reflective of Solstice Class, officials said.

After Constellation, they’ll be updating one ship a year, Hanrahan said.

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