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Old February 4th, 2013, 12:29 PM
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Default Redefining Celebrity Cruises 2013

Redefining Celebrity Cruises 2013
by Paul Motter


Celebrity is out to remake its image as the "Modern Luxury" cruise line for cuisine, entertainment and service

2.4.13


Reflection is the newest cruise ship in the fleet

Celebrity Cruises has been a premium brand name in cruising since its inception by John Chandris in the late 1980s. The line has always tried to attract discriminating cruisers who wanted a more refined cruise ship, with more accent on fine food, drink, art and entertainment and less on the usual shipboard antics affiliated with other "Fun Ship"-style cruise lines.
Royal Caribbean International acquired Celebrity from its original founder, Greek Shipping magnate John Chandris, in 1997; just about the time the line was starting to reinvent itself with a fleet of new ships of the Millennium-class. Today, the fleet is dominated by two classes of ships, four from the Millennium and five from the Solstice family.

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Old February 5th, 2013, 03:31 PM
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Slight correction on your article... classic package drinks go to $8 not $10
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Old February 5th, 2013, 05:01 PM
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Thank you - did they change it?
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Old February 5th, 2013, 06:15 PM
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Not that I know of. Classic has always been $8 and Premium is $12 and if you have the Premium and want a $15 drink, you can pay the $3. Classic you'd have to pay the $15.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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Interesting article, I think the new CEO is heading in the direction of making what he has the best it can be. At some point however considering the lead time it takes, they will have to think of new ships. Also believe they will need to do something with Bermuda, possible throw an S class ship in there with the new NCL Breakaway doing Bermuda as competition.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 01:07 PM
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We absolutely love the new Solstice-class ships and think we've found our perfect ship! But then again, in all fairness, we're in our early 60's and what works for us doesn't work for everyone. Personally, families with tweens and teens would not find them 'kid friendly'. Being foodies, we were in paradise during our Eclipse sailing and can't wait to try the new Reflection.

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47 Cruises & Counting! Favorites: Paul Gauguin to Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises in Europe; any of the Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America for 12-nights in the Baltics & Russia; RCCL for 14-night Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America for 14-day Alaska cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days in Hawaii including a 7-night NCL cruise; Oceania for 25 days in Asia; & 3 months touring Europe by train. And many days spent in all-inclusive resorts!
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Old February 7th, 2013, 01:52 PM
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If you were at my press conference I think you would have come to the same conclusion I did - that they see Oceania's new ships doing extremely well and they feel their Solstice class ships are every bit as nice.

And in many ways I would not argue with Celebrity about that. I also love the S-class ships.

However - in terms of image the cruise public KNOWS that Celebrity cut ties with Michel Roux and that he has been replaced not with a "name" but with dining concepts.

Concepts may work to a limited extent - (arguably better for Carnival) but nothing quite matches the "buzz" one gets from hearing you will be eating cuisine from a true "star" chef (Jacques Pepin) on Oceania, and com pare that to Celebrity where the conversation goes "well, they used to have Michel Roux, then they had a different chef (Jacques Van Staden - who actually has a decent reputation) but he was replaced by a chef John Sulley who has no awards.....

But, putting that aside, The S-ships are beautiful. The entertainment is first class, the food is excellent in many ways - but it's too complicated to get that message out.

So - getting back to Oceania. I believe Celebrity's target is the Oceania Audience, and well it should be. However, when you charge $35 for a premium dining experiece (Oceania has a name chef and no extra charges for premium restaurants) then you have a challenge.

Celebrity might do well to raise its fairs but make the premium dining restaurants included on the cost. The dining packages are just the trial balloon to see if they can get there.

But to be sure, the term "modern luxury" tells us what they want us to think about them. They want us to compare them to luxury (Crystal Cruises) but modern (Oceania).

I think Celebrity can get there, but it will take some daring changes in policy. It would certainly help if the economy is better.

And as far as itinerary planning - 2013 is already a done deal, but they will figure it out and 2014 will have those ships' itineraries far more diversified, as they should be.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 03:26 PM
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Interesting discussion.

I think that if Celebrity truly wants to align themselves with Oceania, that would mean that they would have to adjust their fares accordingly, & would never be able to fill their ships, even if they went to a more all inclusive model. Azamara is doing that & it seems that there are many who have been turned off by the higher prices, & their ships are so much smaller than Celebrity's. There are many people who are not interested in having drinks included in the fare, because they do not drink.

I know for myself, if Celebrity substantially raised prices, being on a fixed income, I would be driven away from them, even though they are our favorite cruise line, & have been for many, many years.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 04:08 PM
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I agree. I don't think Celebrity could fill their ships with higher prices. Oceania has a huge advantage with their ship size... the ports. I wouldn't want to do too much tendering with 3,000 other people.

While I like the S Class, I think it has its faults. One outside pool area, no promenade deck, the lovely view of life boats instead of the ocean when looking down. They're nice, but not perfect.

Not sure if you got the "World" brochure from Oceania, but they took a run at Celebrity by comparing their costs and there wasn't much of a difference if you use Oceania's Air and use the specialty restaurants.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 05:24 PM
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I do have that brochure, I will have to look it up.

Of course, when I reference Oceania I am talking about their newer ships, which are about 30% larger than the small ones, but yes, the S-class is much bigger, but they are spacious ships, even Reflection.

I just got a press release today about Celebrity's cuisine. Funny, because I got a press release from them last week about the line & the TV show "Top Chefs" and it was so badly written it barely made sense (I showed my culinary editor and she completely agreed).

But the one I got today is far clearer - and it touts special culinary cruises. The thing is that Celebrity USED TO compete as a culinary cruise line, but you really don't hear them mentioned that way so much anymore. They lost a lot of good will when they decided not to have a "celebrity" chef anymore.

Now, I have eaten onboard and I do think the Lawn Grill and Qsine both offer wonderful food. But as a concept I actually don't hear that many people raving about it.

Here is the thing - each portion is enough for four people, so while it is a "tasting" experience, there is really too much food. If one person wants "sliders" then you enough for four people comes to the table. Same with egg rolls, etc.

So - in the end I suppose there is a lot of wasted food, or else people get food that other people wanted.

But the food is really good and beautifully presented. I think they need to keep the menu and presentation, but control the portions so only the people who really want a certain dish get a portion of it.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 05:45 PM
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The price comparison was the insert, it's not in the actual brochure. I think they compared Celebrity, Princess and a third one I can't remember who.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
I do have that brochure, I will have to look it up.



Now, I have eaten onboard and I do think the Lawn Grill and Qsine both offer wonderful food. But as a concept I actually don't hear that many people raving about it.

Here is the thing - each portion is enough for four people, so while it is a "tasting" experience, there is really too much food. If one person wants "sliders" then you enough for four people comes to the table. Same with egg rolls, etc.

So - in the end I suppose there is a lot of wasted food, or else people get food that other people wanted.

But the food is really good and beautifully presented. I think they need to keep the menu and presentation, but control the portions so only the people who really want a certain dish get a portion of it.
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Old August 8th, 2013, 02:11 PM
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AR...

Why are you quoting my post about having the Oceania Brochure?
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Old August 15th, 2013, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
AR...

Why are you quoting my post about having the Oceania Brochure?
Sorry bout that. I guess what I wrote didn't take or I didn't click right. What I said was that I don't think it would be practical for Celebrity to throw in their specialty restaurants at no extra cost. Oceania does it because their ships and restaurants are scaled to be able to pull it off--plus if I remember right, you're limited in the number of times you can use the specialties.

Now, I love Qsine, Normandie, and all the other specialties on Celebrity, including the Bistro on 5, which is ideal on some evenings when you want to avoid the MDR but don't want to face the trough upstairs. For five bucks you can usually walk right in. Many people who spend $44 a day for a drink package won't spend $5 for the Bistro.

But imagine if Celebrity made their specialties free on S class and M class. Think of the size of Qsine. It's just impossible. They'd be hammered in six seconds, because everybody would want to go (after all, they PAID for it). Charging extra eliminates the masses of people who say, "Why should I pay when I can get fed for free?" Those same people would be beating down the doors to the specialties if they were free. The dining spaces on Celebrity just aren't scaled to make this remotely possible.
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