Choosing a cruise is hard. That’s why we started this site. With so many options, it seems impossible to make a decision. In fact, one reader told me, "It seems I can't make a wrong decision no matter which company I choose to go with." While that may not necessarily be true, there are different things that each cruise guest values. That’s why we are starting a series about what makes each cruise line different.
We are starting off this series by looking at Celebrity Cruises. When I first looked at the list of what cruise lines we were going to cover in this “What Makes X Different” series, I was eager to write about Celebrity because the answer to the title question was “a lot.” Whether it is the different stateroom classes that Celebrity offers, family friendly travel, entertainment, or a completely new class of ships that have never been done before, Celebrity makes a point to differentiate itself from its competition. So let’s take a look.
Celebrity Cruises is going to have a completely updated fleet by the end of 2023 – with three ships having been updated this year alone. These renovations are happening through The Celebrity Revolution, a half billion dollar renovation project meant to enhance and elevate Celebrity’s fleet.
With the help of over 500 architects, designers, and engineers, Celebrity plans to modernize its fleet with new interiors throughout the ship. These renovations include updated staterooms and public spaces, most notably in dining rooms and lounges.
The Celebrity Revolution also brings a new concept for suite guests with it. What was formerly known as Michael’s Club will now be known as The Retreat Lounge. Guests booking any suite category will have access to not only The Retreat Lounge, but also The Retreat Sundeck and exclusive restaurant, Luminae. But more on that in a minute…
While having multiple stateroom classes or implementing the “ship within a ship” concept is not an idea that is unique to Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity’s execution of this notion is why this concept makes the list.
Before we get to the different staterooms categories, let’s look first at what amenities are available for suite guests. As I’ve mentioned a few times, The Retreat is a new concept for suite guests that was first introduced on Celebrity’s newest ship, Celebrity Edge. The Retreat is made up of three components, The Retreat Lounge, The Retreat Sundeck, and Luminae. Suite guests also have access to 24/7 room service and a personal butler. Added amenities include Frette robes, a custom tote bag, and a welcome bottle of champagne.
Celebrity’s AquaClass staterooms are wellness centered, meaning that guests booking these rooms are going to have added wellness amenities.The best amenity? A dedicated restaurant for AquaClass guests, Blu. Not only is Blu a wonderful venue for dinner, it also has an amazing breakfast menu that includes everything from fruit and cheese plates to juices and smoothies.
AquaClass guests also have unlimited access to The SEA Thermal Suite aboard Celebrity Edge, and The Persian Garden on Millennium and Solstice class ships. There is also a dedicated Spa Concierge, as well as multiple personal training sessions including everything from hot yoga to suspension training.
Guests booking Concierge Class staterooms will have access to a dedicated concierge onboard. These guests will receive priority check-in, an enhanced room service breakfast menu, destination seminars, and personalized concierge service.
I so desperately wanted to name this category “The Martini Bar,” because that is the true number three for me. Of course, Celebrity has many lounges and entertainment venues aboard its ships, but the Martini Bar will always be a favorite of mine. I mean, looking at that picture how could it not be? The Martini Bar is not only a great place to grab a drink, but also an awesome place to hang out. I always find it to be the busiest of any venue on the ship – and for good reason. The drinks are scrumptious, the bartenders are talented, and quite frankly it’s just fun to sit and watch the crew showcase their talents.
There is so much more fun to be had on Celebrity’s ships. Fun doesn’t stop at the Martini Bar – I assure you. There are a multitude of events including silent discos, karaoke, live music, hot glass classes, yoga, and so much more. One thing that always stands out about Celebrity is its evening entertainment. The cruise company recently announced a partnership with American Ballet Theatre. Ballet at sea? Not sure it gets much more unique than that.
Obviously many cruise lines have children’s programs but oftentimes as you raise your price point and ships get smaller, you see a decrease or total elimination of children’s activities. On Celebrity, this is far from the case. Celebrity has one of the most comprehensive children’s programs of any cruise company sailing the seas.
Celebrity has partnerships with Xbox, Lonely Planet, Fat Brain Toys, and more. This allows Celebrity the ability to offer customizable children's programs that cover four different categories – art, recreation, culinary, and S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math).
Where on other cruise lines each child of the same age may be doing the same activities with everyone else their age every day, Celebrity allows children to choose activities based on their personal interests.
S.T.E.M. is geared toward children who have an interest in maths and sciences and includes activities such as programming, building robots, and other various experiments. Art is pretty self explanatory, it features craft based activities. The culinary program allows children to make and explore different cuisines. Lastly, the recreation program adds an active component to the Camp At Sea.
Celebrity Edge started sailing in fall of 2018. I was able to go on one of her first sailings, so you can believe me when I say that the experience aboard Celebrity Edge is unlike anything else I have ever seen – on land or sea. Celebrity Edge has a lot of what Celebrity is known and loved for, quality entertainment, exceptional service and most importantly, my beloved Martini Bar. What makes Celebrity Edge so exceptional, though, is not what it has carried from its predecessors, but also what it has introduced to Celebrity’s fleet and to the world of cruising in general.
Edge is currently the only ship of her kind, however she will be joined by a sister ship, Celebrity Apex, in 2020.
The Edge class ships offer a different style of entertainment – with a focus on immersive theatre. Celebrity Edge does offer the traditional nighttime entertainment option of a main stage production, however it does so with a twist. The stage in The Theatre protrudes into the audience, allowing for guests to feel more like a part of the production than like observers. Guests on Edge can also find entertainment in The Club and in Eden.
Celebrity’s Edge class ships are ideal for young travelers, be it in age or in spirit, who are looking to try something new. The experience is ideal for a traveler who likes modern, sleek finishes; is willing to go out of their comfort zone; and most importantly wants to have fun.
The post What Makes Celebrity Cruises Different? appeared first on Avid Cruiser Cruise Reviews, Luxury Cruises, Expedition Cruises.
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