Travvy Awards Winners Spotlight: Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises, the “Modern Luxury” line, was voted Best Premium Cruise Line in the Travvy Awards from travAlliancemedia.
Founded in 1989 and operating its first cruise in 1990, Celebrity earned an enviable niche in the travel industry from the start. Its original commitment was to take the best aspects of classic cruising and update them to reflect current lifestyles.
Among the early hallmarks of Celebrity Cruises was highly rated cuisine, stunning art collections and beautiful, cutting-edge ships. The Celebrity ships and logo still feature an X, the Greek letter “chi,” which refers to the last name of the company founder, John Chandris, and has now come to convey “the mark of modern luxury.”
The company became part of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. family in 1997.
Today, Celebrity operates 11 ships with cool, contemporary designs and delicious cuisine in some of the most innovative restaurants at sea. The accommodations are spacious and thoughtfully appointed, while the lush spas offer pampering services designed by the well-known resort company Canyon Ranch.
Four of the company’s ships are part of the Millennium class, which was launched in 2000 with the aptly named Celebrity Millennium. It was a pioneer in using gas turbine engines, which reduce exhaust emissions by up to 95 percent over traditional propulsion systems.
The Celebrity Millennium and her sister ships — Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Constellation — nearly doubled the line’s capacity in two years by 2002. Of note were the specialty restaurants — the Olympic, S.S. United States, Normandie and Ocean Liners — which were decorated with original paneling and artifacts from the famed trans-Atlantic liners after which they are named. They feature tableside cooking and carving.
Celebrity upgraded the onboard pampering in 2003 with “tastes of luxury” such as welcome champagne and mimosas, cold towels and sorbet poolside, new dining options including Sushi Cafés and pasta/pizza bars, sunset yoga and Pilates classes, and more.
In 2004, the line expanded its reach with the introduction of Celebrity Xpeditions, an adventurous yet upscale experience on a 98-passenger mega-yacht in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands.
Celebrity in 2008-2012 introduced the four ships in the stylish Solstice class — Celebrity Solstice, Equinox, Eclipse, Silhouette and Reflection.
These ships included the first Lawn Club, an outdoor lawn of real grass where guests can play lawn games like croquet and lawn bowling, or simply relax. This class was the first to feature AquaClass staterooms and suites designed for spa and offering exclusive amenities, including unlimited access to the two-story spa, and priority seating in Blu, a specialty restaurant with healthy cuisine.
Celebrity Silhouette introduced new dining venues, including The Lawn Club Grill, which lets guests grill their own steaks outside; The Porch, a casual spot with a chic Hampton’s-style design; and The Art Studio, which offers classes in drawing, painting and beading, as well as culinary-themed instruction.
Also noteworthy is Qsine, which the line describes as a “uniquely unordinary” specialty restaurant. First introduced on Celebrity Eclipse, it’s now on five other ships, offering whimsical, creatively presented choices — sushi lollipops, sliders, a trilogy of meatballs — on a menu that comes on an iPad.
Many of the Solstice-class innovations and developments were added to the four Millennium-class ships in a process called “Solsticizing.”
With its stylish, newly upgraded ships, Celebrity now visits all seven continents and also offers immersive cruise-tour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America.
“Our loyal travel partner community has voted for Celebrity again, and we are so proud to be recognized by them,” said Dondra Ritzenthaler, senior vice president of sales, trade support and service, Celebrity Cruises. “Winning these two prestigious Travvy Awards is a great achievement; they reinforce our passion to deliver exceptional modern luxury experiences. We would like to thank the trade for their ongoing support, and we will continue to provide them with ‘The Celebrity Commitment’ - real tools, real solutions and better business.”
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