THIS IS A GREAT THREAD!!!
Celebrity has always had a problem trying to establish a brand. They are reluctant to use the term upscale because they will scare the new pax. There are many points that were made in the above posts that were valid but I might be able to shed some light on this topic with my historical perspective.
Celebrity was, indeed, created from the Chandris line. The Chandris line was very old and family run. It started just after WW I around 1920 and worked its' way into the passenger business after surviving WW II. Chandris was known for its' ability to refurbish older vessels and provide a classic crossing/cruise experience for less $$ than the mainstream competition. Chandris was one of the first to offer more pools, better cuisine, air conditioning and better service for less $$.
Chandris was able to survive the decline in shipping during the 60s and 70s. While other great companies folded Chandris started growing. Their theme was always the same: "more of everything for your money". I could hardly believe all the good things I was hearing about Chandris until I experienced a 10 day cruise onboard the Amerikanis
in 1971. I was onboard the Gallilao and sitting next to members of the family in 1984 when they were planning the rebuilding of Gallilao into the Merridian. This, of course, became the first ship of the new Celebrity line.
Chandris/Celebrity always delivered a superior product (most of the time-nobody is perfect). I think that you can call it refined when compared to most other mass market lines. I believe that Celebrity delivers a traditional ocean liner experience that resembles the traditions of the great trans Atlantic companies of years gone by.
I have experienced Celebrity in all of its' forms and I have to say I like them the best and I do hope that the RCI culture will not amalgamate into Celebrity. The Celebrity experience is more refined; yes it is true, they should enforce the dress code, some cruises don't offer the best food, the entertainment is pale (sometimes) and you won't have the same experience if you have a cat 12 inside compared to the Penthouse Suite. All of that is very true but I have to say: My worst cruise experiences on Celebrity have far exceeded many good ones on other lines.
Can't wait for the Summit on 10/10!!!