Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Celebrity Cruises Introduces Exclusive ‘Suite Class’ Experience

While other cruise lines, most notably Norwegian and MSC, have introduced ultra-private upscale ship-within-a-ship decks on their newest vessels, Celebrity Cruises plans to offer a somewhat similar experience on their existing fleet. Their most discerning guests who desire the very best will soon be able to indulge themselves with special perks for booking the new 'Suite Class' experience that will be fully introduced on Celebrity's ships during April 2015.

From the one-of-a-kind Reflection Suite, with its stunning ocean views and unique cantilevered shower, to the stylish Sky Suites, Celebrity's aim with the Suite Class experience is to set the standard in modern cruise vacations around the world. With exclusive new benefits including a suites-only restaurant, VIP lounge, complimentary premium beverages, plus more, the newly launched Suite Class is designed to create an ultimate luxurious experience with personal butlers taking care of every detail.

The new Suite Class will include:
-- Private dining: A dedicated private restaurant reserved exclusively for all Suite Class guests will be available morning, noon and night. Each meal will feature unique menus that offer dishes not available anywhere else onboard. Memorable dishes will be served, from locally caught seafood, to the freshest pasta. The Suite Class chef can provide a tailor-made experience to suite guests and prepare a dish to their liking, and the Cellar Master, Celebrity’s head sommelier, will select from more than 450 wines to provide the perfect pairing.
-- Premium 'all in' benefits: Premium beverages, dining across all specialty restaurants, unlimited Internet access, and a private bar with water, sodas, and beers will all be complimentary for guests staying in Royal, Penthouse, and Reflection suites.
-- VIP lounge: A private VIP lounge, Michael's Club, will be available to guests staying in Celebrity, Signature, Royal, Penthouse, and Reflection suites. A dedicated Concierge service and unique food and beverage experiences by Celebrity's James Beard-featured chef will be provided to guests.
“Our guests are accustomed to exceptional quality and service, and for those wishing to further indulge in the very best while on vacation we have launched 'Suite Class', specially designed to appeal to the most discerning vacationer,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “We know that suite guests value privacy, personalized service, exclusive access and flexibility, and providing them with their own unique benefits, such as a dedicated restaurant with a dining experience like no other, is just another way that we are significantly elevating the guest's vacation with us.”

Suite guests will also continue to enjoy a large number of benefits including:
-- The Celebrity 'Suite Class' welcome: Guests will receive priority check-in and embarkation
-- Legendary butler service: From unpacking guests' luggage to booking destination experiences on land, the Suite Class butler will be on hand 24 hours a day to ensure seamless, dedicated, and personalized service. The Suite Class experience will also include a daily high-end afternoon tea service served in the guest's suite.
-- Luxurious stateroom amenities & benefits: As well as enjoying spacious suites with verandas, guests can indulge in a variety of deluxe amenities including Bulgari bathroom toiletries, plush robes, premium bedding, and a pillow menu. A host of other extras will also be provided during the guest's cruise, including reserved theater seating for all Suite Class guests.
That sounds great and the amenities are terrific for passengers who pay the highest fare on board, but we wonder how that 'privacy' aspect mentioned by Mr. Bayley will play out in reality. As mentioned, other cruise lines with such exclusive offerings are truly private in that they are located on decks that are accessible only by key card. However, Celebrity's dedicated venues for the Suite Class passengers are located in well-trafficked areas of their ships and will be visible to everyone on board. By making Michael's Club accessible to only certain suite occupants (we noticed that some suite categories weren't included in all the perks mentioned above), Celebrity Cruises may find themselves the recipient of criticism for being snobbish, or worse. The line is in the premium category of cruises, but has begun tagging their fleet as 'modern luxury' in media releases for some time now. We wonder if perhaps they may alienate their loyal 'ordinary' passengers by taking away some of the onboard public spaces they've enjoyed in the past.

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