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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 25th, 2008, 08:33 AM
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Default Solstice Itineraries?

Is the Solstice cruising the Caribbean year-round, or will it be somewhere else in the summer? I can't seem to find that anywhere.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: Solstice Itineraries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisinsoon
Is the Solstice cruising the Caribbean year-round, or will it be somewhere else in the summer? I can't seem to find that anywhere.
The ship will be in the Caribbean until next April and that is the only official itineraries out now. The President of Celebrity about two weeks ago made a speech in which he stated it would be in the Mediterranean next summer. Again, nothing official.

Don
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Old February 27th, 2008, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: Solstice Itineraries?

cruisinsoon,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Is the Solstice cruising the Caribbean year-round, or will it be somewhere else in the summer? I can't seem to find that anywhere.
Celebrity has not announced any itineraries after April 2009 yet, but current market conditions strongly suggest that she will go to Europe for the summer and fall of 2009. European cruises are commanding much higher fares than cruises around North America right now.

I suspect that MV Solstice will take over the "Classic Mediterranean" intineraries between Barcelona and Venice that GTS Summit is scheduled to operate this summer. This is a very popular itinerary that will have no trouble absorbing the additional capacity. It's most likely that GTS Summit will take over either the itineraries that MV Galaxy will operate this summer or the itineraries that MV Century will operate this summer, though she may "trade places" with another ship that will take over either of these sets of itineriaries. This sort of shuffle is pretty normal when cruise lines introduce larger ships into their fleets due to the risk that a new route draw enough passengers to fill a newer, larger, ship.

And in any case, the shuffle of ships will free either MV Century or MV Galaxy to operate new itineraries in the summer of 2009. The freed ship might return to Bermuda, become a fourth Celebrity ship in Alaska, cruise the "Pacific Rim" with ports of call in China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and possibly the Philippines, or introduce additional European itineraries.

Norm.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: Solstice Itineraries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
cruisinsoon,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Is the Solstice cruising the Caribbean year-round, or will it be somewhere else in the summer? I can't seem to find that anywhere.
Celebrity has not announced any itineraries after April 2009 yet, but current market conditions strongly suggest that she will go to Europe for the summer and fall of 2009. European cruises are commanding much higher fares than cruises around North America right now.

I suspect that MV Solstice will take over the "Classic Mediterranean" intineraries between Barcelona and Venice that GTS Summit is scheduled to operate this summer. This is a very popular itinerary that will have no trouble absorbing the additional capacity. It's most likely that GTS Summit will take over either the itineraries that MV Galaxy will operate this summer or the itineraries that MV Century will operate this summer, though she may "trade places" with another ship that will take over either of these sets of itineriaries. This sort of shuffle is pretty normal when cruise lines introduce larger ships into their fleets due to the risk that a new route draw enough passengers to fill a newer, larger, ship.

And in any case, the shuffle of ships will free either MV Century or MV Galaxy to operate new itineraries in the summer of 2009. The freed ship might return to Bermuda, become a fourth Celebrity ship in Alaska, cruise the "Pacific Rim" with ports of call in China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and possibly the Philippines, or introduce additional European itineraries.

Norm.
If the below thread and its attachment is to be believed then Solstice will be taking Galaxy's place in the med. Personally, I think that makes more sense and I believe it is very possible that Galaxy will be gone from the fleet by then or shortly thereafter.

http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=591325
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Old February 28th, 2008, 05:47 PM
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BTW looks like it will make an empty TA crossing from Germany
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Old February 28th, 2008, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfleo
BTW looks like it will make an empty TA crossing from Germany
That would be normal, it is a time of training and final preparation for the first voyages..

Don
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Old February 29th, 2008, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Solstice Itineraries?

Don,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
If the below thread and its attachment is to be believed then Solstice will be taking Galaxy's place in the med. Personally, I think that makes more sense and I believe it is very possible that Galaxy will be gone from the fleet by then or shortly thereafter.

http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=591325
Yes, I saw that thread after I posted. I'm really surprised since the normal pattern would be to put incrementally larger ships on both itineraries rather than to go for a "double jump" as this change would represent.

But having said that, I doubt that the company will dispose of MV Galaxy any time soon. She is only about ten years old, so she still has a lot of serviceable life, and she is about to get a major rehab. She also has a very loyal cadre of passengers who prefer her and MV Mercury to the ships of the Millennium class. It's more likely that she, MV Century, and MV Mercury will deploy on more exotic itineraries as the ships of the Solstice class enter service.

Of course, these ships also might go to Azamara Cruises or to one or another of the company's European lines at some point....

Norm.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: Solstice Itineraries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
Don,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
If the below thread and its attachment is to be believed then Solstice will be taking Galaxy's place in the med. Personally, I think that makes more sense and I believe it is very possible that Galaxy will be gone from the fleet by then or shortly thereafter.

http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=591325
Yes, I saw that thread after I posted. I'm really surprised since the normal pattern would be to put incrementally larger ships on both itineraries rather than to go for a "double jump" as this change would represent.

But having said that, I doubt that the company will dispose of MV Galaxy any time soon. She is only about ten years old, so she still has a lot of serviceable life, and she is about to get a major rehab. She also has a very loyal cadre of passengers who prefer her and MV Mercury to the ships of the Millennium class. It's more likely that she, MV Century, and MV Mercury will deploy on more exotic itineraries as the ships of the Solstice class enter service.

Of course, these ships also might go to Azamara Cruises or to one or another of the company's European lines at some point....

Norm.
Having been on all three, I certainly hope they stay, Century is my favorite ship of all that I have been on. I think it was very telling that they did not put Specialty Restaurants on Mercury or Galaxy. I just think their spending money now to hold over a while until the Solstice ships start entering the fleet. Sort of like, give me the cheapest tires because I'm only going to keep the car for a year...

Don
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Solstice Itineraries?

Don,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Having been on all three, I certainly hope they stay, Century is my favorite ship of all that I have been on. I think it was very telling that they did not put Specialty Restaurants on Mercury or Galaxy. I just think their spending money now to hold over a while until the Solstice ships start entering the fleet. Sort of like, give me the cheapest tires because I'm only going to keep the car for a year...
I could be wrong, but I think that MV Galaxy and MV Mercury are slated to get specialty restaurants during their next major refits. The normal life of a cruise ship is about two decades with the original line (before going to a "bargain" operator), so these ships should have about another decade of service with Celebrity Cruises. It's possible that Celebrity will reassign them to its Azamara Cruises product at some point, but that product also features specialty restaurants. IIRC, MV Galaxy will head to the yards for such a refit next month.

In any case, the extensive rehabilitation that I personally observed aboard MV Galaxy over the course of 2007 most assuredly is not indicative of the "Give me the cheapest tires because I'm only going to keep the car for a year..." mindset of which you speak. Celebrity spent a lot of money installing new "Boldt" deck material on the weatherdecks, replacing stained lavatories, replacing carpets, etc., aboard MV Galaxy even while she was operating cruises, such that and the contrast in her condition between January and November was quite impressive. I'm really wondering whose head(s) rolled over the preceding neglect of maintenance aboard this vessel.

Norm.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Solstice Itineraries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
Don,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Having been on all three, I certainly hope they stay, Century is my favorite ship of all that I have been on. I think it was very telling that they did not put Specialty Restaurants on Mercury or Galaxy. I just think their spending money now to hold over a while until the Solstice ships start entering the fleet. Sort of like, give me the cheapest tires because I'm only going to keep the car for a year...
I could be wrong, but I think that MV Galaxy and MV Mercury are slated to get specialty restaurants during their next major refits. The normal life of a cruise ship is about two decades with the original line (before going to a "bargain" operator), so these ships should have about another decade of service with Celebrity Cruises. It's possible that Celebrity will reassign them to its Azamara Cruises product at some point, but that product also features specialty restaurants. IIRC, MV Galaxy will head to the yards for such a refit next month.

In any case, the extensive rehabilitation that I personally observed aboard MV Galaxy over the course of 2007 most assuredly is not indicative of the "Give me the cheapest tires because I'm only going to keep the car for a year..." mindset of which you speak. Celebrity spent a lot of money installing new "Boldt" deck material on the weatherdecks, replacing stained lavatories, replacing carpets, etc., aboard MV Galaxy even while she was operating cruises, such that and the contrast in her condition between January and November was quite impressive. I'm really wondering whose head(s) rolled over the preceding neglect of maintenance aboard this vessel.

Norm.
Norm:

I hope your right but I really disagree with you on this. I saw a figure of them only spending 7million on the Galaxy drydock and for a ship that apparently has many problems that is not a lot of money. I have heard nothing about Specialty restaurants being put on the ships. I think that there would have been one put on Mercury last year after spending as much money as they did after Century got one.

I just think their on their way out to somewhere in RCCL's empire.

Don
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Old March 5th, 2008, 02:29 PM
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They assigned me cabin 8332 on the vista deck, which is significantly larger than the rest. Anybody knows how big (sq ft) this cabin is? maybe dkjretired can help me out
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Old March 5th, 2008, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Solstice Itineraries?

Don,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I hope your right but I really disagree with you on this. I saw a figure of them only spending 7million on the Galaxy drydock and for a ship that apparently has many problems that is not a lot of money. I have heard nothing about Specialty restaurants being put on the ships. I think that there would have been one put on Mercury last year after spending as much money as they did after Century got one.
It appears that you are right about the specialty restaurant, as there's no mention of a new specialty restaurant in the press release announcing the drydocking. I'm sure that the line would hawk it if they were adding one.

There could be a couple factors here.

>> 1. MV Galaxy and MV Mercury really are NOT the same class of ship (that is, built to the same design) as MV Century. Rather, they are built on different hulls that are about 10% larger and they have some differences in layout. It may be that the configuration of these ships will not accommodate a specialty restaurant in the location analogous to that of the specialty restaurant aboard MV Century or that there's some difference in structure that precludes it.

>> 2. It's also very likely that the specialty restaurant aboard MV Century is not as lucrative as the specialty restaurants aboard the ships of the Millennium class. In particular, people who take four-night and five-night Caribbean cruises because they are cheaper than seven-night cruises probably are also less likely to spend $30 per person to dine in a specialty restaurant, resulting in less business. If so, the line's executives may well have decided that it would not be cost-effective to add specialty restaurants to MV Galaxy and MV Mercury.

Or there may have been other factors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I just think their on their way out to somewhere in RCCL's empire.
That's certainly possible, but I would not read too much into the decision. The other major "premium" cruise lines, Princess Cruises and Holland America Lines. have much larger fleets than Celebrity even counting the five newbuilds on order, so Celebrity really does need all of these ships to offer the same variety of destinations.

That said, I really do expect that Celebrity's older vessels will offer more "exotic" itineraries when the newbuilds come into service.

Norm.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 01:47 AM
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Horm:

You make some excellent points, I don't agree with all of them. I guess we will just have to see what happens.

don
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Old March 16th, 2008, 04:08 PM
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Suggestion for you:

Pending your access to a pc, google Celebrity Soltice or soltice cruises to learn more about this newest of Celebrity's fleet (2 ships, I believe). Like everything else Celebrity does so brilliantly, these ships will be golden. Also think because these are smaller ships of specialized catering amenities, cruise fares will be a tad bit higher than usual for Celebrity. More info is available on the Soltice fleet in Celebrity's Caribbean travel magazine now available at most travel agencies. (2008-09 edition).

Hope this is helpful, Dennis
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