An invitation to join the preview of the new Celebrity Equinox, the latest of the Solstice Class ships is something not to miss. Our host was the President and CEO, Dan Hanrahan. When I asked him his objective for the Equinox and its sister ships, he looked me straight in the eye and said “to be the best in the world”. This was no glib “PR” reply, but a more than obvious passion for his ships, and that was something we found throughout the Equinox.
This article is really intended for those who have never cruised, or at least, not with Royal Caribbean International (RCI). We had never taken a cruise, and it was the one thing we said we would never do. Having taken a seven day cruise around the Caribbean, we were left with only one possible conclusion. How wrong can you be, and when can we go again? Now RCI also depart from Malaga and Barcelona as well as Southampton.
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Voyager of the Seas is slightly smaller than the Independence of the Seas which we sailed with in the Caribbean and reported on earlier this year. Smaller it might be, if only by 20 or so metres, but it is still superbly equipped, and sailing from Barcelona for a seven night trip around the Mediterranean makes a very attractive proposition for a week’s break departing from a relatively near port. A more attractive option for those living in Portugal is Malaga, which will be an alternative departure port from next year.
Celebrity Cruises are already world famous for their luxury, cuisine and service, so when you note they offer a special class on board all their ships, Concierge Class, it is tempting to see if they can improve on what’s already a very high standard. On a recent 10 day cruise around the Caribbean we found the answer - they can, and for a little more, they offer some superb extra touches that made the cruise an even better experience.
Think of the ideal resort for a wonderful, relaxing holiday. Obviously it will have luxury rooms, sea view terraces and five star plus service. Add a choice of ten or so restaurants, from Italian to Japanese and Healthy Cuisine, where there are no charges for whatever you choose from the menus. Introduce a spa and health centre, several swimming pools, indoors and out. Discover the lawn club, then add a ‘West End’ style theatre with star acts and shows but no ticket cost. That's only the beginning, read on...
Last week we reported on the cruise ship Celebrity Equinox. However, there was one aspect we didn’t mention, and it really deserves some detail, because what they have done is outstanding, and that is not what we thought, that is what people in wheelchairs told me. The owners of the cruise line have also equipped to accommodate the needs of people with visual or hearing disabilities & those who requires dialysis or oxygen.
The Celebrity Constellation is one of Celebrity’s four ‘Millennium Class’ ships, but due to the popularity of the newer and larger Solstice Class Ships, she has now been “Solsticised”. This might sound painful, but is really an impressive re-fit, bringing the first of the Millennium Class ships up to the same design and features as the newer, larger ships. Having sailed a year ago on the Celebrity Millennium, it was interesting to see what changes had been made. In addition, we had the opportunity to try a Sky Suite, which even comes with its own butler, and is very impressive. We also reviewed Celebrity's revised beverage package.
If you have read previous reviews of the Solstice Class ships from Celebrity Cruises you will know we are great fans of their ‘Aqua Class’ concept. When Celebrity introduced this new class of stateroom they showed how devoted they are to adapting to the health-conscious way so many of us are now thinking, eating and living. The Solstice was the first of this new class of ship, and like her subsequent sisters, outstanding for pure class and luxury.
The latest addition to the Celebrity Solstice class fleet is the new Celebrity Silhouette launched in July last year. Having sailed on the first three ships, the amount of changes to the design, facilities and staterooms is immediately obvious, you could never accuse Celebrity Cruises of ‘standing still’. Their quest for constant improvement is very obvious. They call it perfection evolved - I don’t think you can dispute that.
If you live in Portugal, when you want to get away, you are frequently looking for something different from what we have on our own doorstep. We discovered cruises some years ago, and were hooked from the beginning. It took a couple of cruises and some guidance from Melair, the main agents for Portugal for the best cruises, to find the cruise-line that suited us. They guided us towards Celebrity Cruises, and we have never looked back. Have a look at the other reviews on this page, and you will find a lot of the reasons why. What still surprises us is that people have little idea of the extraordinary value for money Celebrity offers, while matching that with ultimate luxury and service. In this article we look at the many on board restaurants and what they offer for every taste, and what a choice! Better still, there is no price on the menu as meals are included, (though there is a nominal charge to dine in one of the 'speciality restaurants' )