Updates from around the fleet.
Cruisin’ on the Edge
In 2014 the world learned that Celebrity Cruises signed a letter of intent for a new class of ships—currently named Project Edge—to be built by French shipbuilder STX France. The first two ships of the new class—expected to be delivered in 2018 and 2020—will set the standard for premium world travel while delivering the next generation of modern luxury experiences.
Since the initial announcement details have been scarce, but we do know that the new additions will be larger than Millennium Class, slightly smaller than Solstice Class, and offer small-ship itineraries with large-ship amenities. The Edge ships will deliver modern luxury vacations with authentic experiences, taking guests closer to the destinations than ever before.
“My goal with the Edge class is that people will say: ‘Holy cow, Celebrity did it again!’ That is the reaction that we want,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity Cruises president and CEO, to Cruise & Ferry. “Before the year ends we will start talking a lot about Project Edge. Meanwhile, I want to thank everyone for their patience in waiting.”
Modern Luxury Makeovers for Millennium Class
Back in 2011 and 2012, Celebrity Cruises’ Millennium ships underwent major “Solsticizing” renovations. Upgrades added verandas to the Celebrity Suites, brought about the spa-inspired AquaClass staterooms, introduced Celebrity iLounge, and tempted taste buds with specialty restaurant, Qsine, and AquaClass exclusive, Blu.
In 2015 and 2016, three in the class presented even more surprises with grand makeovers. Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Summit, and Celebrity Millennium shine brighter than ever with new marble, fixtures, and furnishings in the Penthouse and Royal suites. There’s also the premiere of the chic Rooftop Terrace, where cocktails and movies are presented alfresco amidst sea breezes. With the new “A Taste of Film” experience, delicious bites and drinks inspired by the movie are served during the showing to heighten the experience.
And the popular Tuscan Grille joins the onboard culinary lineup offering freshly made pastas, dry-aged steaks, and an expansive wine list—all done Italian style.
President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo commented that the suites were designed to be so luxurious and comfortable that it will be difficult to leave at the end of the cruise vacation. Of the Rooftop Terrace, she explained that the popularity of Celebrity Cruises Lawn Club was the inspiration. “We wanted to create a hot spot where guests can kick back under the stars in the middle of the ocean, with amazing entertainment and food,” she said. “We want the entire ship to turn heads.”
Congratulations Are in Order
Thanks to CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity Cruises was named the No. 1 woman-led business in Florida for 2016 by the Commonwealth Institute of South Florida. The nonprofit aims to understand how smart, committed women run their companies, overcome challenges, and celebrate success, and then pass that inspiration on to future generations.
TCI recognized Lutoff-Perlo for “challenging assumptions about the cruise industry with a bold new advertising campaign, raising the bar on diversity and inclusiveness by hiring the first American female cruise ship captain, changing the face of the cruising experience by introducing the industry-changing Solstice Class, and rallying young women to dream differently…”
And it’s not just the woman at the helm who’s earning accolades. For the eighth consecutive year, Celebrity Cruises was named the Best Premium Cruise Line in Travel Weekly’s 13th annual Readers’ Choice Awards and the Best Cruise Line in Europe for the sixth consecutive year. Additionally, TravelAge Magazine named the cruise line 2016’s Best Onboard Dining program, and Cruise Critic awarded Celebrity Equinox Best Overall in the large ship category.
Full Speed Ahead
In Spring 2016, Celebrity Cruises announced its latest modern luxury experiential offering: the addition of Xcelerate, high-speed internet across the fleet (with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos sailings). Now with Xcelerate, Celebrity guests can look forward to technological essentials like faster web browsing, accelerated page loads, and more dependable video streaming capabilities.
“Xcelerate is going to give our digitally connected guests a new opportunity to share their amazing travel experiences with the world in real time, whether docked in Europe’s sought-after ports-of-call or gliding through the ocean on one of our large ships, anywhere in the world,” said CEO Lutoff-Perlo. “We know that this is what our guests expect—it’s what we expect when we travel, too—and we are thrilled to be answering that expectation with Xcelerate, which offers some of the fastest access at sea.”
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