Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CruiseNews: Celebrity Millennium Rounds Out Celebrity Cruises' Ambitious 'Solsticizing' Initiative

Two short years ago Celebrity Cruises set out to accomplish one of the most ambitious revitalization initiatives in the history of the cruise industry and—with a few tweaks detailed below—the massive task was completed as Celebrity Millennium set sail last Saturday from Miami, fresh from becoming the fourth and final Millennium Class ship to complete the line's $140-million "Solsticizing" process. Incorporating a host of the venues and experiences guests like the most on the Solstice Class ships was an astonishing feat—each ship completed the massive transformation during short three-week drydock periods.

"Solsticizing has been such an exciting initiative for us—and more importantly, for our guests, as indicated by their response to each of our Solsticized ships," said Celebrity's President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. "Our Millennium Class ships already had a large and loyal following, having repeatedly ranked at the top of many of the world's most prestigious consumer polls, and their original style, design and ambience served as significant inspiration for the design of the Solstice Class. So now, we're bringing it full circle, incorporating on the entire Millennium Class what our guests enjoy most on the Solstice Class. It ties our whole fleet together in a very powerful way."

One of the many Solstice Class features added to the Millennium Class ships* is Celebrity's trendsetting AquaClass category of staterooms, with spacious, private verandas; exclusive access to the stylish specialty restaurant, Blu; complimentary access to the Persian Garden and Relaxation Room in the AquaSpa; a personal Spa Concierge to book exotic AquaSpa treatments; use of plush Frette bathrobes and slippers; enhanced personal care products, and plentiful in-room amenities, including Hansgrohe shower heads, fog-free bathroom mirrors, aromatherapy selections, and daily deliveries of complimentary bottled water and teas. [*Note: AquaClass and its associated of amenities will be added to Celebrity Constellation in 2013.]

Another Celebrity exclusive—"Qsine," the novel restaurant introduced on Celebrity Eclipse in 2010 and Celebrity Silhouette last year—is also dazzling guests on Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Summit, and Celebrity Millennium as a result of each ship's revitalization. The first restaurant at sea to present a menu and wine list on an iPad™, Qsine serves a blend of classic and contemporary dishes in custom-made serveware, such as spring rolls served in vertical springs, and popcorn shrimp in theater-style popcorn boxes. Described in press reviews as "the latest and most innovative restaurant," "cutting-edge," and "appealingly quirky," the restaurant and menu were designed to take what guests expect of a specialty restaurant and "turn it upside down" in a captivating, entertaining and flavorful way.

Joining AquaClass, Blu, and Qsine* in the "Solsticizing" initiative are:

-- the hip Celebrity iLounge, which debuted on Celebrity Eclipse and made Celebrity Cruises the industry's first Authorized Apple Reseller (to be added to Celebrity Constellation in 2013).
-- Celebrity's "eXhale" bedding program, in partnership with Reverie®, a leader in the field of luxury bedding. Hand-made in the U.S. with natural raw materials such as bamboo and sustainable natural rubber, the mattresses are almost entirely recyclable and biodegradable, feature removable, hypo-allergenic, antibacterial and dust mite-resistant covers, and a breathable, plush pillow top with a patented air flow design. Rounding out Celebrity's eXhale bedding program are custom-embroidered, 100% Egyptian cotton linens (to be added to Celebrity Constellation in 2013).
-- A new twist within Celebrity's casually elegant bar, Michael's Club, where its selection of fine whiskies, cognac, bourbons and scotches is now complemented with craft beers, including 50 international selections (the new Michael's Club concept will be added to Celebrity Constellation in 2013)
-- the "cool," ice-topped Martini Bar and Crush
-- Celebrity's vibrant creperie, Bistro on Five
-- the inviting Cafe al Bacio and Gelateria
-- Cellarmasters wine bar, complete with the "Enomatic" state-of-the-art wine serving system--an industry-first when it debuted on Celebrity Solstice--allowing guests to select wines by the glass, at the touch of a button
-- entirely new verandas added to the ship's spacious, luxurious Celebrity Suites
-- additional new oceanview and inside staterooms
-- an expanded collection of original, contemporary art

* During the Solsticizing of Celebrity Constellation in 2010, the Solstice Class-inspired specialty restaurant "Tuscan Grille"—an Italian-themed steakhouse—was added to the ship, within the space occupied by Qsine on her sister ships.
Celebrity Millennium is currently on a Panama Canal voyage from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego. Following a 5-night wine-themed cruise from San Diego to Vancouver May 27, the ship will offer 7-night Northbound and Southbound Alaska sailings between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska.

Photo © CruiseDiva.com

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