New year. New look. New brand platform. Celebrity Cruises kicked off 2010 - and its 20th anniversary - announcing all this and more at a special event last night at Manhattan’s Museum of Arts & Design.
“What better time than our 20th anniversary to celebrate Celebrity’s history of award-winning service, cuisine, and our new, brand-defining Solstice Class?” said Celebrity’s President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. “Everything we’ve offered over the course of 20 years, and everything we’ll offer in the future, is designed for discerning cruisers - from our contemporary, new Celebrity Life onboard experiences, to the world-class cuisine of Chef Jacques Van Staden, to our enhanced Captain’s Club loyalty program. So, we’ve summed up our longtime commitment to understanding them and delivering what they want within a new brand platform: ‘Designed for You’.”
The introduction of Designed for You - pairing Celebrity’s commitment to stunningly-designed ships and innovative onboard experiences with its commitment to impeccable guest service - marks the culmination of an extensive, six-month exploration into more deeply understanding the needs of discerning cruisers. The process included an in-depth market research survey of nearly 10,000 international cruisers, numerous focus group sessions with past guests and travel partners, in-home interviews with some of Celebrity’s frequent guests and prospects, and exhaustive reviews of cruisers’ needs, attitudes and behaviors. All these efforts, combined with Celebrity’s 20 years of focusing on guest needs, helped the brand create the ultimate combination of ship design, service, cuisine and programs for cruise lovers.
“We’ve always been committed to identifying and designing what our guests want, and the awards our brand continues to receive are welcome validation that it’s working,” said Hanrahan. “Our new Celebrity Life onboard experiences - inspired by our guests’ interest in more widely varied onboard programming - are netting consistently high marks from our guests, as are the enhancements we’ve made to our Captain’s Club loyalty program, built to suit what our members wanted most. But, the greatest validation has been the response to our stunning Solstice Class.”
Strength in numbers: $3.7-billion investment
Celebrity’s five-ship Solstice Class fleet represents an investment of $3.7-billion - the largest newbuild commitment for a single brand in industry history - offering modern cruising “firsts,” including The Lawn Club; The Hot Glass Show; AquaClass; the industry’s first application of solar technology, and stylish staterooms whose design was influenced by a panel of women with unique travel and hospitality insights.
“Solsticize it:” Celebrity’s Millennium Class to receive Solstice Class features
“Through our Designed for You platform, we plan to leverage our Solstice Class ships’ stylish, modern design and ambience even further,” said Hanrahan, revealing that Celebrity plans to incorporate iconic Solstice Class attributes across the fleet, most notably through a significant revitalization of all four Millennium Class ships. Celebrity Constellation will be the first to receive the new enhancements during scheduled drydock in April of this year.
Among the Solstice Class features to be introduced on the Millennium Class ships:
* More opportunities to relish Celebrity’s world-class cuisine with the addition of Tuscan Grille, the Napa Valley-meets-Italian-steakhouse venue found on Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox
* Bistro on Five, the vibrant, popular creperie introduced on Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox
* A Solstice Class-inspired, ice-topped Martini Bar paired with Crush, whose ice-filled table presents a selection of chilled, top-tier vodkas
* The cool Cafe al Bacio and Gelateria, replacing the former Cova Cafe
* As introduced on the Solstice Class, an Enomatic wine bar, the state-of-the-art, Italian designed wine serving system allowing guests to select and serve, at the touch of a button, the wines of their choice by the glass
* More sumptuous suites, on a par with those in the most modern hotels in Europe, with all new furniture, flat-screen TVs, upholstery, bedding and carpeting
* Restyled staterooms, with entirely new carpeting, flat-screen TVs, upholstery and bedding
* New color schemes, carpeting and upholstery reflective of Solstice Class in every public venue, from the Celebrity Theater to Seaside Grill, from the main dining room to Michael’s Club
The revitalization is just part of Celebrity’s full Designed for You platform, which - when combined with the brand’s Celebrity Life onboard experience, more robust, well-received Captain’s Club, and multiple other brand enhancements- represents a nearly $200-million investment.
The beauty of Celebrity’s Solstice Class also takes center stage in the brand’s new ad campaign, with dramatic, distinctive images, a modern, contemporary graphic treatment, a copy voice promoting the brand’s differentiating elements, and the tagline, Designed for You. Marking a first for Celebrity, a hip new video shot on Celebrity Solstice to capture the essence of the Celebrity cruise experience will run on multiple travel, video, social, lifestyle and news sites. Print ads will appear in trade and consumer magazines and major daily newspapers across North America.
“We’ve studied where cruise enthusiasts go to research options for their next vacation, and more than 70 percent go online,” said Hanrahan. “So, we’ll have a big presence there, on some of cruisers’ favorite sites, to allow them to briefly and virtually immerse themselves in a vacation experience designed for them.”
Celebrity also will continue to ensure its celebritycruises.com web site is designed for cruisers who appreciate online options, such as Celebrity Select Dining, the industry’s first pre-cruise, day-by-day flexible dining reservation system; pre-cruise AquaSpa reservations; specialty dining reservations; shore excursion bookings; and online documentation, or “e-docs.”
Celebrity’s new Designed for You brand platform, revitalization program and ad campaign are only part of the investment the line is making to continue to offer the best in premium cruising, said Hanrahan, adding, “All this is part of a total package, including our robust, new Celebrity Life enrichment and entertainment programming; our enhanced Captain’s Club loyalty program; museum-quality contemporary art collections; our industry-first ConciergeClass accommodations across the fleet and, on the Solstice Class fleet, AquaClass; and guest-inspired partnerships with Riedel Crystal, Rosetta Stone, Smithsonian Journeys and, on the Solstice Class fleet, The Corning Museum of Glass.”
Hanrahan also praised a partnership Celebrity has considered invaluable since its founding. “For 20 years, we have benefited enormously from our relationships with the travel agent community. We look forward to continuing to help them grow their business with new programs and promotions designed for them, and to drive cruisers to capitalize on their expertise when booking their next Celebrity vacation.”