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Celebrity Cruises earns high marks from cruisers and experts alike, thanks to its upscale design and innovative cuisine. Celebrity's fleet departs from U.S. cities like Honolulu , Miami , Boston and Seattle . While you can sail on a smaller vessel like Celebrity Xpedition, which transports only 48 passengers, you can also cruise on a larger ship like Celebrity Beyond , which can host up to 3,260 guests.
Regardless of the ship you select, you can expect a high level of customer service, with each ship carrying approximately one crew member for every two passengers. Celebrity's ships ply waters all around the globe, with sailings making stops in Asia, Europe and the Caribbean, among other popular destinations. Voyages span anywhere from three to 18 nights, and excursions vary by cruise duration and itinerary.
No matter which itinerary you choose, you'll find a full docket of onboard activities, including wine workshops and glassblowing classes, as well as relaxing pursuits like spa treatments. When you work up an appetite, check out the fleet's variety of dining options, ranging from the Main Restaurant to several specialty venues.
U.S. News Insider Tip: Download the Celebrity Cruises app a few weeks before your cruise to take full advantage of features like scanning your passport and choosing an arrival time. On the ship, you can use the app to start your guest safety briefing, chat with loved ones onboard, reserve dining and excursions, track your onboard spending and organize your calendar of day-to-day activities. On Edge Series ships, you can even use the app to control the TV, lighting, temperature and window shades in your stateroom. – Skye Sherman, Contributor
Pros & Cons
Access to exclusive events and promotions through Captain's Club rewards program
Cost-saving packages available for specialty restaurants
Wide roster of kids and teens activities
Must purchase beverage package (or stay in select suites) for unlimited soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
Shore excursions not covered by cruise fares
More limited onboard offerings for adults compared to some other cruise lines
- Expert Rating » 4.3
- Traveler Rating » 4.2
- Health Rating » 4.8
Celebrity Cruises has been ranked based on an expert evaluation of the line's level of luxury, as well as an assessment of user reviews and health ratings.
- # 2 in Best Cruise Lines for the Money
- # 2 in Best Cruise Lines in the Caribbean
- # 3 in Best Cruise Lines in the Mediterranean
- # 5 in Best Cruise Lines for Couples
Celebrity Cruises Ships
Before You Book
- Full payment must be made 75 days prior to departure for most voyages. Special sailings require final payment 105 days in advance of your scheduled sail date.
- Celebrity Cruises' cancellation policy varies by itinerary, duration and whether you choose to purchase a CruiseCare benefits package. Cancellation policies for your voyage can be found on the cruise line's FAQ page .
- Children younger than 1 are not allowed to sail on Celebrity Cruises' trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific or select South American sailings, or voyages that require three or more consecutive days at sea. For all other cruise itineraries, Celebrity requires passengers to be at least 6 months old.
- You must be 21 years old to sail unaccompanied on voyages originating in North America and 18 years old for cruises departing from South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand (with some exceptions).
- Passengers in need of special medical equipment or extra assistance should call Celebrity's Access Department at 954-628-9708 or email [email protected] before their scheduled departure date.
Before You Board
- Travelers must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the completion of their cruise (or three months for cruises with ports in the European Union). If you are on a voyage that begins and ends at the same port in the U.S., you will only need a government-issued photo ID or a birth certificate. Consult Celebrity's FAQ page to determine if (based on your nationality and travel plans) you need to acquire a visa before sailing.
- Along with your passport, remember to bring necessary health documentation, like an inoculation certificate. Vaccination requirements vary by destination. Celebrity advises passengers to consult the website .
- To expedite the process, you can check-in online up to three days prior to departure. In-person check-in is required at least two hours before your scheduled sail time. You must board the ship at least one hour before your cruise departs.
- Celebrity recommends booking port excursions and dinner reservations through your Celebrity account before your cruise begins. Travelers can also book dinner reservations and shore excursions once they board the ship. To book dinner reservations during your cruise, call or visit the restaurant's maitre d'. Additionally, Specialty Dining Packages must be purchased at least two days before your departure date.
Disclaimers about ship ratings: A ship’s Health Rating is based on vessel inspection scores published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If a ship did not receive a CDC score within 22 months prior to the calculation of its Overall Rating, its Health Rating appears as N/A; in such a case, the ship’s Overall Rating is calculated using the average Health Rating of all CDC-rated ships within the cruise line. All ship Traveler Ratings are based on ratings provided under license by Cruiseline.com.
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Celebrity Cruises Review
Tuesday, December 5th
2023 Cruise Line Reviews
- Celebrity Cruises
- Best all-around cruise line: widest variety of destinations, ship sizes, and adventure levels
- 13 ships in the main fleet + 3 smaller ships that visit the Galapagos Islands
- Suitable for guests of all ages
- Choose between Cruise-Only and All-Inclusive fares
- Excellent track record for safety
- Winner of multiple awards
Celebrity Cruises offers an all-ages cruising experience to destinations large and small. Founded in 1988, the company is part of the Royal Caribbean Group and has a fleet of over a dozen ships that run the gamut with respect to size - from the Xploration which carries just 16 passengers up to the Beyond which carries 3,260 guests. Of particular note is Celebrity's Edge series, which invites you to "put the world front and center" while traveling in "relaxed luxury" .
Competitive spring break options in the Caribbean
When comparing cruise lines, we looked at booking a Caribbean sailing in March about a year in advance. Celebrity didn't disappoint: there were 20 itineraries to choose from, starting with a 4-night sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale to Nassau and Key West for just $370 per person, up to an 11-night Panama Canal and Southern Caribbean sailing priced at $1,400 per person.
Broad range of itineraries worldwide
Beyond the Caribbean, Celebrity offers a variety of itineraries to destinations all over the world, including Europe, Asia, and Alaska. They also have unique itineraries such as transatlantic crossings and trips to the Galapagos Islands. With so many options, Celebrity Cruises caters to a wide range of travelers, from families and couples to solo travelers and groups.
Decent activities for kids and teenagers
Speaking of children and teens, will they be happy on a Celebrity cruise? It's important to point out that this cruise line doesn't have some of the "high octane" shipboard activities like ice skating rinks and rock climbing walls that its rivals provide to keep the older kids occupied. But, Celebrity's Camp at Sea program for kids ages 3-12 and the Teen Club (ages 13-17) do give them lots of options. We also really like the STEM at Sea program on the Equinox and Edge: in partnership with the Frost Science Museum, cruisers can learn more about conservation, marine life, and nautical exploration.
Dining is flexible and flavorful
The dining options on Celebrity Cruises are renowned for their exceptional quality and variety. The company partners with famous chefs such as Daniel Boulud and Jacques Van Staden to create menus that feature both classic and contemporary cuisine. Passengers can choose from a variety of dining options, including the main dining room, specialty restaurants, and casual eateries. Celebrity Cruises also offers a unique dining experience called "Celebrity Select Dining," which allows passengers to choose when and where they want to dine each night.
All-Included is the best value for most guests
When you book your cruise with Celebrity, you'll want to compare the price for Cruise-Only vs. All Included. While the latter option may not be offered on every sailing, it provides an excellent value if you can secure it: it's essentially a prepackaged deal on drinks, Wi-Fi and tips. For example, on a three-night sailing to Key West and the Bahamas, the Cruise-Only rate for an interior stateroom was $318 per person while the All Included fare was $581. No, that might not be your best bargain if you're not into cocktails or other beverages and if your whole goal on your vacay is to disconnect, but the numbers really work out well otherwise.
Award-winning and safe
Celebrity Cruises is known for its high standards of safety and has never experienced a major incident. The company has a comprehensive safety program that includes regular training for crew members and strict maintenance procedures for its ships. Plus, Celebrity was named as the Best Premium Cruise Line by Travel Weekly's Readers' Choice Awards for an impressive 14 consecutive years.
Great cruise line for all ages and interests
For virtually any type of cruise you could be dreaming of, from a leisurely trip through the islands of the Caribbean to an exploration to the Galapagos Islands, Celebrity has something to offer. This award-winning cruise line earns high marks for variety, overall onboard experience, and commitment to safety. Celebrity should be near the top of your list when deciding which cruise line you should use for your next sailing.
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The 15 Best Cruise Lines
Which cruise line is the best.
Cruising is a popular way of traveling for many people, offering a unique experience that combines the convenience of a floating hotel with the excitement of visiting multiple destinations in one trip. In an average year, over fifteen million people say "all aboard" and set sail on an amazing vacation.
There are many different cruise lines to choose from, and each one offers a different type of experience. Some are geared towards families, while others are more focused on luxury or adventure. What would you like to see and do while you're onboard? Is a casino a must-have or a rather-avoid? Would a Broadway-caliber show tip the scales for you? Do you need a wide range of activities to keep the kiddos happy while the adults live it up or relax? The onboard activities and amenities can really make or break your vacation, so be sure you know what you're getting.
Cruise Line FAQ
Which cruise line is the best, what is included in the cost of a cruise, what is the minimum age to cruise, what are the dining options on a cruise ship, are cruise ships crowded, do i have to dress up, are activities included at destination ports, can i bring my own alcohol onboard.
Continued from above...
Another factor that can influence which cruise line you choose is the itinerary. Cruise ships travel all over the world, but some cruise lines may not have destinations available where you're hoping to go. You should also consider the size of the ship: larger ships offer more amenities, but smaller ships can access ports that bigger ships can't.
Speaking of amenities, make sure you understand what you'll get as part of your fare and which extras will come with an additional cost. For example, most cruises offer drink packages for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, but a few have drink stations where you can get complimentary lemonade, coffee and tea. Other amenities that might be important to you are Wi-Fi, spa services, babysitting, fitness classes, and upgraded dining experiences. You can usually get a decent discount if you sign up for an amenities package before you sail, so keep an eye out for promotions in the months leading up to your sailing.
When you take a cruise, it's almost always expected that you'll tip the crew members who have attended to your needs while onboard: your cabin steward ( who probably leaves your towels folded into fun shapes every night ), your servers at your nightly meals, and the head waiter. Cruise lines have a recommended gratuity to cover all three of those staff members, usually $15-$20 per traveler, per day; the total gratuity amount may be charged automatically to your account, or you may be given envelopes to make cash payments.
While it usually isn't mandatory to pay those gratuities - you can ask to have them removed if they're applied automatically, especially if you've received poor service - it's typically considered in poor taste not to tip at the suggested levels (because crew members' salaries, much like servers at your local restaurant, are based on the expectation of tips paid by guests). And, if you receive service that goes above and beyond, adding to the recommended gratuity is always appreciated. Be aware that tips for bartenders, poolside servers, and professional services provided in the spa or elsewhere are not included in the daily suggested gratuity and may be charged automatically at the time of service.
Now that you have a good overview of the cruising experience, which cruise line should you choose? Beyond the points we already covered, here are a few additional criteria that might make it easier to pick:
- Embarkation port. You could get a great deal on a cruise, but what will it cost you to get to the port? That could involve airfare, an overnight stay or two in a nearby hotel (so that you're less likely to be affected by travel delays), and transportation from the airport or hotel to the port. This is especially true if you're taking a cruise that departs from an international destination.
- Perks for repeat cruisers. Like frequent flyer programs on airlines, most cruise lines offer benefits the more you sail. If you find yourself absolutely loving cruise vacations, it can be advantageous to put all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak. Rewards programs can include casino benefits, complimentary meals at the upgraded dining experiences, exclusive sail-away parties with free cocktails and tchotchkes, early-access booking on future cruises, and much more.
- Reputation. It's a really smart idea to see what other travelers have said about their overall experience with a cruise line before booking your trip. The ads on TV may make that private island look amazing, but someone who's been there might point out that you'll pay extra to get on that waterslide. Or, previous cruisers could tell you that despite having several formal nights on the schedule, a particular cruise line has no problem with people showing up to dinner in flip-flops and swimsuit coverups. Find out if the cruise line you're considering lines up in reality with what they advertise.
Here at Top Consumer Reviews, cruising is one of our favorite ways to travel and experience new things. And with so many different cruise lines to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. But, don't worry: take a look at our in-depth analysis of today's most popular options, find the one that's the best match for your vacation ideas and your travel party, and book that trip you've been dreaming of. Bon voyage!
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Australia & new zealand cruises, on sale from $699 aud , europe cruises, on sale from $999 aud, last minute exciting deals, on sale from $769 aud.
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Sail on an award-winning resort at sea.
Savour a new restaurant at every meal made from scratch by more than 200 chefs.
Discover up to 8 countries in just one voyage and wake up in a new place every day.
Complete Your Holiday
Complete holiday—from the tarmac to the top deck.
Healthy At Sea
From bow to stern, we're taking extraordinary measures to keep you Healthy at Sea.
Extraordinary Shore Excursions
Embark on an excursion perfectly tailored to your interests and appetites.
Celebrity Cruises exists because we believe in opening up the world. We know that travel makes us better—every one of us. We’re here to help vacationers understand the value of travel. Our cruises encourage people to sail beyond their own borders and expand their horizons. Our iconic "X" is the mark of luxury, the mark of contemporary spaces that are at once coolly sophisticated and warmly inviting. Where the culinary experience is influenced by global cuisines and designed by our Michelin-starred chef. Where our staff provides seamless and intuitive service that’s both personal and unobtrusive. Where everything is designed to provide an unparalleled resort at sea experience. Our fifteen award-winning ships offer unique experiences in more than 300 destinations on all seven continents.
We’re Celebrity Cruises, and the world is open.
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Upscale but comfortable. Semi-formal and exciting. Modern luxury. These are the words one you’ll associate with Celebrity Cruises after your cruise vacation. Celebrity is a superb cruise line, founded in 1988 with a focus on bringing excellent service and cuisine to you in the most comfortable and luxurious setting. With traditional cruise vacation destination offerings the Caribbean supplemented by exotic and unique regions like the Galapagos Islands and Asia, Celebrity Cruises has a destination for everyone. Climb aboard for an unforgettable experience at a fantastic value, filled with the finest in Modern Luxury.
Innovative spaces and delightful dishes help define the modern luxury that Celebrity Cruises offers its passengers. You will be amazed to find a sea of green grass on your ship, at the line’s Lawn Club where you are invited to picnic or play bocce ball. There are the award winning and innovative dishes like sushi lollipops at Qsine, a special specialty dining restaurant. In the main dining room you’ll always have a variety of options including a selection of 500 wines to choose from. For relaxing nothing beats Celebrity’s AquaSpa experience with sensory showers, Turkish baths and a full menu of services.
Celebrity Cruises' handicap accessible cruises and accommodations for guests with special needs or disabilities include accessible excursions and accessible staterooms.
Dining aboard Celebrity Cruises features main dining rooms and specialty restaurants like Blu, Qsine, Murano, Normandie, Lawn Club Grill, Tuscan Grille and Silk Harvest.
Celebrity Cruises' onboard entertainment include stage productions, dance shows, comedians, live music, DJ performances, Lawn Club concerts, Sin City comedy shows and the 54 Below dinner and cabaret.
Celebrity Cruises' onboard activities, bars, lounges and clubs features the Cellar Masters wine bar and Sky Observation Lounge. There's also duty-free shopping, the casino and pools.
Service & Awards
Learn how Celebrity Cruises takes care of your every need with friendly stateroom attendants and an extensive list of onboard services. Plus, view Celebrity Cruises' cruising awards.
Spa & Fitness
Enjoy Celebrity Cruises' fitness centers, private spas and various spa treatments, like massages, salon services, acupuncture and more.
Celebrate something special with Celebrity Cruises' holiday or themed cruise vacations.
View Celebrity Cruises' luxurious staterooms, including suites, balcony, oceanview and inside staterooms.
Learn about cruising with children aboard Celebrity Cruises, which offers youth programs for toddlers, pre-teens and teenagers. Programs include Xbox at Sea, iTake film program, the Nerdel health program and more.
Top 10 Celebrity Cruises Itineraries
- Celebrity Xpedition 10 NT Quito & Galapagos Northern Loop Departing From Isla Baltra, Galapagos Islands (Dec 2023 - Dec 2025)
- Celebrity Xploration 10 NT Quito & Galapagos Southern Loop Departing From Isla Baltra, Galapagos Islands (Dec 2023 - Dec 2025)
- Celebrity Xpedition 11 NT Quito & Galapagos Northern Loop Departing From Isla Baltra, Galapagos Islands (Dec 2023 - Dec 2025)
- Celebrity Xploration 11 NT Quito & Galapagos Southern Loop Departing From Isla Baltra, Galapagos Islands (Dec 2023 - Dec 2025)
- Celebrity Eclipse 16 NIGHT SOUTH AMERICA REPO CRUISE Departing From Los Angeles, California (Dec 2023)
- Celebrity Xpedition 16 NT Galapagos Northern Loop & Machu Picchu Departing From Isla Baltra, Galapagos Islands (Dec 2023 - Dec 2025)
- Celebrity Xploration 16 NT Galapagos Southern Loop & Machu Picchu Departing From Isla Baltra, Galapagos Islands (Dec 2023 - Dec 2025)
- Celebrity Summit 4 NIGHT KEY WEST & BAHAMAS CRUISE Departing From Miami, Florida (Dec 2023 - Apr 2024)
- Celebrity Infinity 12 NIGHT CANARIES, MOROCCO & SPAIN Departing From Barcelona, Spain (Dec 2023 - Jan 2025)
- Celebrity Xpedition 7 NIGHT GALAPAGOS NORTHERN Departing From Isla Baltra, Galapagos Islands (Dec 2023 - Dec 2023)
Celebrity Cruises Cruise Destinations
Whether you are looking for a voyage to a Caribbean paradise, a culinary journey to the Mediterranean or an unforgettable cruise to Alaska, Celebrity Cruises can take you there in style. Visit hundreds of ports in numerous countries ranging from Anchorage, Alaska to Yangon, Myanmar and everywhere in between. You can go golfing in Bermuda, view the awe-inspiring Panama Canal or swim the Great Barrier Reef in Australia when you choose to cruise with Celebrity Cruises.
Towering glaciers, humpback whales swimming alongside your cruise ship and the expanse of America’s final frontier stretching out before you—that’s what you can expect from a Alaska cruise.
Find adventure, romance, and inspiration in the rugged wilderness with an Alaska Cruisetour.
Distinctive exotic culture, colorful architecture, and friendly people await you on a cruise to Asia.
Modern architecture, wild and rugged outback, and some wildlife that may keep you on your toes—all this and more with an Australia and New Zealand cruise.
Escape to island life on a quick cruise to the Bahamas.
Golf, pink-sand beaches, and luxurious and tasty beachside eateries are among the host of wonderful features to enjoy about a cruise to Bermuda.
From seasons changing to seafood feasts, you enjoy the rich history and natural beauty of a cruise to Canada and New England.
Stunning architecture, fascinating history, breathtaking landscape, and picturesque views are waiting for you on your Dubai and Indian Ocean cruise.
Prepare to soak in some sun and splash in the turquoise waters of the islands with an Eastern Caribbean cruise.
History is exciting and new when you can touch it and see it first hand on a Celebrity cruise to Europe.
Up-close-and-personal encounters with rare wildlife and incredibly exotic lifestyle will bring you peace and happiness on a Galapagos Islands cruise.
Palm tree lined beaches and active volcano excursions are waiting for you in the Pacific—just take a Hawaii cruise to find them.
It’s your moment to shine when you sail with Celebrity Cruises through the Mediterranean – the playground of the world’s rich and famous.
Breathe the fresh air as you spot castles, fjords and forts on your Northern European cruise with Celebrity Cruises.
Sail through a man-made wonder and marvel at the marvelous engineering milestone with a Panama Canal cruise.
Enjoy everything your ship has to offer on a Repositioning voyage with Celebrity Cruises.
From the jungles of the Amazon to the ruins of the ancient Incas, there’s truly something for anyone when you cruise to South America.
South Pacific / Tahiti
The South Pacific and Tahiti are full of beautiful beaches, exotic creatures and locals ready to welcome you into their culture.
Enjoy the unique cultural mix and fine island lifestyle with a Southern Caribbean cruise.
Travel from coast to coast and see some truly intriguing ports-of-call with a Transatlantic cruise.
Sail from Pacific coast to coast and experience the ports, the people, and the excitement along the way with a Transpacific cruise.
U. S. Pacific Coast
Sail down the U.S. Pacific Coast in search of U.S. history, fine cuisine, and some of the most intriguing people you’ll ever meet—try a Pacific Coastal cruise.
From Cozumel to the Grand Cayman, tropical pleasures abound on a Western Caribbean cruise.
Celebrity Cruises Departure Ports
To set sail with Celebrity is an easy task as this premium cruise line has ships embarking from ports all over the world. Explore the Mediterranean on a sailing from Barcelona, Venice, Istanbul or Rome. Enjoy the land down under with a cruise from Sydney to Auckland. You can even explore the good old U.S. of A with a sailing to Alaska from Seattle or around Hawaii from Honolulu. Whichever port you want to leave from The Cruise Web has a deal for you so contact us today!
With Amsterdam’s beautiful canals and an open attitude you’ll find no shortage of interesting attractions in the capital of The Netherlands.
Auckland, New Zealand
The mild temperatures in Auckland enhance an outdoorsy cruise destination. Tour the many beaches, hike beautiful mountain ranges or just wander Auckland’s city streets.
Discover imaginative architecture, impressive Spanish dishes and beautiful excursions into nature when you cruise to Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia.
Benoa (Bali), Indonesia
For decades Bali has lured visitors with its beautiful beaches, forests and mountains and a culture that is devoted to the arts.
Boston is home to great sports, great food and loads of history with the Freedom Trail and Harvard.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is a charming European style city with the perfect combination of new world characteristics mixed with old world history and culture.
Cape Liberty, which is just miles from New York City, offers incredible views of the city skyline and easy access to many cruise destinations, along with everything NYC has to offer.
A cruise to Civitavecchia is a chance for you to hop a quick train to Rome and explore the enormous history through ruins, galleries and The Vatican museums.
With incredible weather, delicious fare and some stupendous attractions, you will find that Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades is one of the most attractive ports in the entire US.
Hong Kong, Hong Kong Sar, China
One of the world’s most exciting modern cities, Hong Kong offers a true East meets West experience where you can shop for traditional Chinese cure-alls and attend high tea all in the same afternoon.
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Honolulu, with its near perfect weather every day and beautiful mountains and tropical landscapes, is a destination not to be missed.
Isla Baltra, Galapagos Islands
This quiet and quaint island plays an important role offering access to the Galapagos Islands. As you arrive in Isla Baltra and head to the cruise ship you will see the beauty of the blue water and diving blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds.
Lisbon has deep cultural roots that are exposed through ruins and museum artifacts. Cruise to Lisbon and discover the culture and history of Portugal in its capital city.
The possibilities are endless when cruising to or from the City of Angels. Let your inner rock star shine as you explore the many wonders of Los Angeles, California.
In Miami, you’ll enjoy a small taste of the tropical weather many of you will experience during your cruise, and you’ll see why Miami is one of the most popular places to live in America.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Mumbai is a bustling city where you’ll find packed trains, towering skyscrapers and a vibrant population that continues to grow.
Learn about the Greek gods and the early philosophy of Socrates when you visit the incredible ruins left in Athens, Greece. At night, go out and take in the culture with the modern Athenians.
The seafood is fresh, the sun is shining and there’s a whole lot to do, so get out there and explore the city before, during and after your cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida.
Art lovers to the front in Ravenna! Incredible mosaic art and ancient architecture grace this small port city, often used as a jump-off point for cruisers looking to spend some time in Venice.
Reykjavik was just a small village until seeing a major expansion after World War II, but this popular cruise destination still offers a small town feel different than any other European capital.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro, one of the most visited cities in the southern hemisphere, has numerous activities for every desire. Cruise to Rio for the Carnival celebrations, natural environment, beautiful beaches and famous landmarks.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
With modern buildings and a bustling population, Rotterdam offers an interesting contrast to the more laid back feel of city’s like Amsterdam.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan is a gateway to the Caribbean with activities for everyone. Enjoy an old-world feel as you wander around Old San Juan, relax on the many beaches or explore the rainforests.
Known as The Emerald City, Seattle is a beautiful, luscious city with incredible views of the Cascade Mountains and Elliott Bay. The city is full of activities for both water lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The beautiful small coastal town of Seward, which is most known for its picturesque scenic views and many visitors’ attractions, is a perfect addition for your next Alaska cruise.
Southeast Asia’s most modern city, Singapore, also contains a lot of history and treasures from the past, along with a perfect tropical climate – all making Singapore a wonderful destination year round.
The cruise port of Southampton features tons of diverse attractions that provide insight into England’s culture and storied past, including fortresses, gardens and national parks.
The near perfect days, beautiful scenery, pristine beaches and sparkling water offer the perfect backdrop for any dream adventure in Sydney, Australia.
Whether it’s a trip to the historical streets of Ybor, a day in the Florida Aquarium or a nice Cuban-infused meal, your time in Tampa will make you consider a longer stay.
Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile
Valparaiso, the oldest city in Chile, is a beautiful urban town full of old Victorian homes and cobbled stone streets bordered by the Pacific Ocean and steep hills.
Whether it’s your cruise destination or a launching point, Vancouver is a beautiful destination in itself with a sophisticated downtown and lots of natural elements to explore.
See Japanese history in person as you discover Yokohama, Japan’s biggest port city, where the country was first opened to outside trade after more than 200 years of seclusion.
Celebrity Cruises Ships
Celebrity Cruises has a regal fleet of cruise ships focused on bringing you 'Modern Luxury' and optimizing your cruise experience to make sure every passenger is satisfied. Each ship is designed to feature stylish decor, enriching and intriguing onboard entertainment, activities and delicious cuisine. Beginning in 2008, Celebrity began 'Solsticizing' their ships with an overhaul of luxury, comfort and innovation to match the Solstice-class ships, which began with the Celebrity Solstice. Expect special dining venues like the Silk Harvest Restaurant, innovative fitness options like the Aqua Spa and, of course, the Monte Carlo-style grandeur of Fortunes Casino.
- Passenger Capacity: 2,910 (double occupancy)
- Year Built: 2020
- Last Refurbished: N/A
- Passenger Capacity: 3,260 (double occupancy)
- Year Built: 2023
- Year Built: 2022
- Passenger Capacity: 2,170 (double occupancy)
- Year Built: 2002
- Last Refurbished: 2020
- Passenger Capacity: 2,852 (double occupancy)
- Year Built: 2010
- Last Refurbished: 2021
- Passenger Capacity: 2,918 (double occupancy)
- Year Built: 2018
- Passenger Capacity: 2,850 (double occupancy)
- Year Built: 2009
- Last Refurbished: 2019
- Passenger Capacity: 100 (double occupancy)
- Year Built: 2019
- Year Built: 2001
- Passenger Capacity: 2,218 (double occupancy)
- Year Built: 2000
- Passenger Capacity: 3,046 (double occupancy)
- Year Built: 2012
- Last Refurbished: 2023
- Passenger Capacity: 2,902 (double occupancy)
- Year Built: 2011
- Last Refurbished: 2020
- Passenger Capacity: 2,852 (double occupancy)
- Year Built: 2008
- Passenger Capacity: 48 (double occupancy)
- Passenger Capacity: 16 (double occupancy)
- Year Built: 2007
- Last Refurbished: 2017
Photo Gallery for Celebrity Cruises Cruises
A Celebrity Cruise is a delight for the eyes. Check out this photo gallery to get a sense of the sophisticated, chic and comfortable spaces that await you on a Celebrity Cruise ship.
Celebrity Millennium in Alaska
Celebrity Constellation Solarium
Celebrity Xpedition Sky Deck
Celebrity Solstice Persian Garden Spa
Celebrity Reflection Spa with heated chairs
Celebrity Century Royal Suite Stateroom
Celebrity Reflection Aqua Class Balcony Stateroom
Celebrity Infinity Specialty Restaurant Blu
Celebrity Constellation Martini Bar
Celebrity Qsine Specialty Dining Restaurant
Celebrity Solstice Sky Observation Lounge
Celebrity Lawn Club
Paleokastritsa in Corfu, Greece
Sunny fields of Tuscany, Italy
Volcanic cave Grjotagja in Iceland
Plaza of Spain in Seville, Spain
Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Machu Picchu in Peru
Zodiac Expedition in Galapagos
Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska
Misty Fjords National Monument, Alaska
Osaka Castle, Japan
Wat Yansangwararam Pattaya in Thailand
Huts over the water in Bora Bora
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Stingray Sandbar, Grand Cayman
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Celebrity Cruises fleet
Celebrity xcel, celebrity ascent, celebrity beyond, celebrity apex, celebrity flora, celebrity edge, celebrity reflection, celebrity silhouette, celebrity eclipse, celebrity equinox, celebrity solstice, celebrity xploration, celebrity constellation, celebrity infinity, celebrity summit, review of celebrity cruises.
Celebrity Cruises (celebritycruises.com) is the second-largest (by fleet) brand in the RCCL/RCG (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd/Royal Caribbean Group) of companies. The 1990-established "Celebrity" cruise brand joined RCCL in 1997. Celebrity represents one of the best "luxury ship travel" companies for adults, as well as a signature operator of regularly scheduled Panama Canal transition itineraries and one of the top 3 Alaskan cruise lines. In May 2020, the company celebrated its 30th Anniversary.
Celebrity is a medium-priced luxury cruise company , which travel vacation package product is associated with top-hotel amenities, premium services, sophistication, style, elegance, technology innovations. Celebrity cruise liners offer impeccable service and exquisite cuisine, appealing to moderately affluent, well-educated travelers (mostly adults in their 40s). Celebrity offers "Family Cruises" during holidays (particularly on voyages from the USA to Caribbean and Bermuda) and "Seniors Cruises" (on European and South American itineraries). The letter "X" on ships' funnels stands for the name "Chandris" (in Greek "Xandris").
The company was founded in 1988 as part of Chandris Group ( Athens Greece -based marine corporation, now Chandris Hellas Inc) - shipowner and vessel management. Before Celebrity, Chandris Group operated the cruise brands "Chandris Line" (1960-1974, ocean liner crossings between Greece and Australia), "Chandris Cruises" (1974-1996, Mediterranean itineraries from Greece) and "Chandris Fantasy Cruises (1985--1996, North American itineraries). Chandris' brand "Celebrity Cruises" started with cheap voyages offered on second-hand ships, to become one of the industry's most prominent premium "affordable luxury" ship travel brands.
The company's current President and CEO is Laura Hodges Bethge (Celebrity's former Executive VP), who succeeded in 2023 (May) Lisa Lutoff-Perlo (now Vice Chair and External Affairs for RCG).
Celebrity entered the luxury cruising marked with roundtrips from the USA to Bermuda, acquiring more and newer liners. As a brand of RCG, Celebrity's sister companies are RCI-Royal Caribbean International , Pullmantur (Spain) , Marella (UK) , TUI (Germany) , Silversea . The company's headquarters address is "Celebrity Cruises, 1050 Caribbean Way, Miami FL, 33132-2096 USA".
The company attracts a diverse passenger base, targeting mainly baby boomers and their families, honeymooners, and seniors. In addition to North American customers (USA and Canada), it also draws travelers from Europe, Central and South America. Longer itineraries tend to attract older travelers.
Week-long roundtrips in Alaska and the Caribbean attract many families. To appeal to multi-generational groups, Celebrity's family programs were expanded to include dedicated, well-trained staff serving shipboard kids and teen centers with enrichment and educational activities.
On October 4, 2018, was launched "Celebrity Central" (website for travel agents). It has 6 sections (news, marketing, and sales, learning and training) and is accessed via personalized log-ins. It combines AirWaves, CruisingPower, the company's sales and marketing toolkit (Rewards, Digital Library) and Celebrity Passport (e-learning resource). Celebrity Central has a search bar and tags for popular terms and topics.
In December 2020, Celebrity's parent company (RCG-Royal Caribbean Group) sold the Galapagos-based ship Celebrity Xperience to Emerald Blue Cruises Panama. The boat was named Celebrity Xperience (January 2016 through March 2020), "MS Xperience" (April through November 2020) and "Emerald Dream" (since December 2020).
Since 2022, Celebrity's well-being advisor is Gwyneth Paltrow (1972-born American actress and businesswoman, owner of the lifestyle brand company Goop Inc). The first “Goop at Sea” event debuted on Celebrity Beyond’s 9-night "Italian Riviera and France Cruise" (Barcelona roundtrip, departure Sept 24, 2022). Each "Celebrity Goop Cruise" is Goop-curated and features a live interview-Q&A session (with a wellness expert), themed experiences (food tastings, product trials, sale promotions, massages), interactive sessions (led by practitioners), gifts, surprises, on-demand TV classes (in the public restrooms), a detox smoothie and fitness tools (for Aquaclass cabins), an ultra-luxury wellness experience (for Aqua Sky Suites). Feres on the Goop-themed voyages start from US$750 pp with double occupancy.
By March 2023, Celebrity added pickleball playing (at the sports courts) fleetwide. The sports facilities are complimentary, including the equipment (net, paddles, balls). Pickleball Court's locations vary by ship class - EDGE ships at Rooftop Garden (Deck 15), on SOLSTICE ships on the Sports Deck (Deck 15), and on MILLENNIUM ships at the Multi-Sports Court (Deck 12).
In summer 2024 (starting in April), for the first time ever, Celebrity ships (Beyond and Reflection, being redeployed from Europe/Mediterranean to the Caribbean) will visit Royal Caribbean's private island CocoCay Bahamas .
The following YouTube video (official release) reviews the company's newest Edge-Class vessels and their unique features. The EDGE series includes all 5 units - Celebrity Edge (2018), Celebrity Apex (2020), Celebrity Beyond (2022), Celebrity Ascent (2023) and Celebrity Xcel (2025).
On April 11, 2019, the shipowner RCCL signed an MoU agreement with Chantiers de l'Atlantique Shipyard ( St Nazaire, France ) to order a 5th Edge-Class vessel, with scheduled delivery in 2024-Q3.
In February 2014, Celebrity Cruises announced it would add "The Suite Class" fleetwide. Suite Class passengers have their own private restaurant and VIP lounge. Key features on Solstice Class ships include the Lawn Club, which is a freshly manicured lawn on the ship's highest deck. Passengers enjoy casual outdoor activities, a country-club atmosphere, and grass between their toes. They can watch a glass-blowing demonstration on Equinox, Eclipse, and Solstice, or a meal in the Lawn Club Grill. Celebrity ships also have Cellar Masters, inspired by the Napa Valley vineyards, which brings to life a global wine cruise tour experience, while guests learn about and taste a variety of premium wines from around the world.
In March 2016, Celebrity Cruises acquired the two-ship company "Ocean Adventures". The purchase of the 16-passenger catamaran Athala II (Celebrity Xploration) and 48-passenger yacht Eclipse (Celebrity Xperience) increased Celebrity Cruises Galapagos capacity by 65%. The two boats joined Celebrity's fleet in spring 2016 but started regular operations following extensive drydocks in January 2017.
Since March 2018, RCCL offers one login for RCI and Celebrity websites and mobile apps. The new policy allows one account to be used for loyalty program benefits, bookings, and reservations with both brands. The account security was also simplified and strengthened to ensure customers' personal data.
Celebrity's loyalty program "Captain's Club"
In June 2021, Celebrity updated its "Captain's Club" loyalty program (for repeat customers).
The offerings now include:
- onboard events "Captain's Club Sneak Peek Series" (ship tour with cocktail sampling), "Create and Pour" (wine sampling), Welcome Parties (outdoor events held at Lawn Club and Rooftop Garden), "Captain's Club Cocktail Hour (free drinks daily between 5-7 PM at all bars and lounges).
- Spa discounts (10% off for Select and Elite members, 15-20% off for Elite Plus and Zenith members), deals exclude MedSpa and Spa Retails, but for Elite and above members Persian Garden's access is complimentary on one of the port days (guest's choice).
- Photo discounts (25-50% off any photo packages, up to US$300 off Studio Packages), added were greenscreen photo sessions (with changing background scenery) as well as aerial and 360-degree photos.
- Laundry packages (on select voyages only) now include "Evening Chic" (dry cleaning for US$35, 8 max items) with the optional US$20 add-on for unlimited pressing (throughout the cruise).
- Internet discounts (10-35% off any Internet package) plus bonus minutes for Elite and Elite Plus members, an additional 10% discount (combinable) is offered with pre-cruise booking. Zenith members receive complimentary the Stream package (for 1x mobile device).
- Beverage package discounts (5-10% off to upgrade from "Classic" to "Premium", if purchased pre-cruise). Zenith members receive complimentary the "Premium Beverage Package".
- Wine discounts (20% off per bottle / valid for all wine brands available for purchase on the ship). Zenith members receive one complimentary dinner (per voyage) at a specialty restaurant, marked with complimentary wine and flowers.
Celebrity brand's cruising experience
- Accommodations: some of the largest cruise suites (all served by butlers). Luxurious "ConciergeClass" staterooms, attentive highly personalized impeccable service; and enjoying seating preference, priority check-in. 2:1 guest-to-staff ratio
- Dining: award-winning cuisine, excellent alternate dining venues. Celebrity's "Gourmet Bites" every afternoon, themed lunch buffets. Culinary demonstrations. The line has partnered with "Elizabeth Blau and Associates", as to menu and wine selections, and all the standards of serving.
- Facilities: the largest cruise ship spa and gym facilities at sea ("AquaSpa by Elemis" - world-class beauty salon, spa treatments and fitness programs). "Celebrity Theatre" for Broadway-style productions, huge European-style casinos, bingo, themed bars, and lounges, including a discoclub, large pools, poolside recreation programs (massages, yoga), onboard boutique shopping.
- Enrichment: "Celebrity Lecture Series". Rich contemporary art collections. Art auctions, and enhanced golf program.
- "Celebrity Escape" concept (reserved exclusively for adults ages 21 and older) offers complimentary classes, workshops, themed events, fashion shows, deck parties, etc.
- By the "Family Cruising Program", on all voyages are offered complimentary games, parties, educational and fun activities, history and sea life explorations, dedicated/exclusive pools and discos for teens.
Via partnership with CG Technology (fka Cantor Gaming), Celebrity Cruises introduced the industry's first casino gaming mobile app. Passengers download the free app (Cantor Mobile Casino) via ship's WiFi network to Android or Apple phones/tablets. The app allows them to play slots, video poker, and table games anywhere on the ship. At the ship's casino lounge passengers can play (for real) games like roulette, poker (plus Texas Hold 'Em) and blackjack. Some ships have Let It Ride and baccarat available upon request. All ships have at least 1 poker table in the casino and host tournaments during the voyage.
Since 2013, the company has been partnered with "Top Chef" (US reality competition TV series). In late 2014, both companies started the exclusive "Top Chef at Sea" cruising experience. By this onboard culinary program, fans and foodies have the opportunity to travel with a lineup of celebrity chefs on food-themed "Top Chef Signature Sailing" each year. Celebrity also offers an interactive "Quickfire Challenges" and "Top Chef"-inspired menu evenings fleetwide on cruises 5-nights or longer (excluding Galapagos Islands).
In 2017, Celebrity Cruises partnered with Bravo Media for a new cooking video series - "Isaac Takes On". This digital show follows Top Chef's Isaac Toups as he cruises around the Caribbean on the ship Celebrity Reflection , competing against passengers in a variety of culinary challenges. The ship has its own Michelin-star chef - Cornelius Gallagher, who also makes appearances throughout the series.
In February 2019, Celebrity Cruises announced two new (exclusive) partnerships - with Daniel Boulud (Michelin-starred Chef) and with ABT-American Ballet Theatre ( NYC -based, 1939-founded classical ballet company). Both partnerships created unique onboard culinary and entertainment experiences fleetwide.
- The Celebrity-ABT partnership allows passengers (on selected ships) to enjoy ballet shows by guest performers and to join the dancers for seminars and ballet classes.
- Chef Daniel Boulud is the founder of a global restaurant group that includes 7 NYC restaurants plus 6 in other (national and international) destinations. As Celebrity's Global Culinary Brand Ambassador, he designs signature dishes for Luminae (exclusive / Suite-only restaurant). Celebrity also introduced "Chef's Table by Daniel Boulud" - a private galley/kitchen tour and 5-course VIP dining package.
The new experiences were introduced in 2019, starting with the liners Summit, Equinox and Millennium.
In December 2019, the company signed an exclusive partnership with OneSpaWorld Holdings Ltd (Bahamas-based global provider of health and wellness services and products to cruise ships and land-based resorts). The partnership starts in May 2020 and is fleetwide (including the newbuilds under construction ).
Since November 17, 2020, every Celebrity Cruises deal included unlimited beverages (Classic Drink Package/cocktails, beers, wines by the glass, sodas, juices, bottled water, brand coffees and teas), Basic Wi-Fi, and onboard gratuities. However, since October 2023, the brand's "All Included" packages don't include the prepaid shipboard gratuities.
Option upgrades offered to all bookings include:
- ELEVATE Package (unlimited premium drinks and shore excursions priced up to USD 200 per person)
- INDULGE Package (ELEVATE Package plus unlimited streaming Wi-Fi Internet and up to USD 400 per person in OBC/onboard credit).
In August 2022, the shipowner RCG-Royal Caribbean Group signed a deal with SpaceX/Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (2002-founded by Elon Musk) for using Starlink's satellites to provide faster and low-latency Internet connections across the global fleet (Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity, and Silversea ships). Fleetwide Starlink installations were scheduled to be completed in 2023-Q1.
"Celebrity Revolution" fleetwide refurbishments
In July 2018, the company announced a USD 500 million fleet modernization ( drydock refurbishment ) program dubbed "Celebrity Revolution". The project was scheduled for February 2019 through February 2023.
Fleetwide renovations include all staterooms and public spaces on 9 liners to bring their onboard amenities and services up to the standards of EDGE-class ships. For staterooms were contracted HBA (Hirsch Bedner Associates / US-based hospitality interior design company) and Kelly Hoppen (UK-based interior designer).
All staterooms will be upgraded with eXhale bedding sets (premium cashmere mattresses) and high-tech amenities (RFID locks, Bluetooth, Xcelerate / Wi-Fi Internet).
The drydock-renovated Celebrity ships have "The Retreat" (adults-only sundeck) with a full-size swimming pool, Jacuzzi, private cabanas, padded loungers, and poolside bar service (food and drinks). The Retreat suites' passengers have priority access to the facilities and their cruise fares are also inclusive of Premium Wi-Fi Package and Premium Drink Package.
Luminae Restaurant (Suites-only) was redesigned and introduced new/custom-made menus by chef Cornelius Gallagher.
Qsine Restaurant will be added fleetwide and will offer "Le Petit Chef" (virtual dining-entertainment experience) created by Skullmapping artists and presented by TableMation Studios exclusively for Celebrity Cruises.
Main Dining Rooms, Oceanview Cafe and Sunset Bar will be redesigned, as well as most public venues. In the SPA will be added expanded SEA Thermal Suite. Retail shops will be expanded with new shopping brands - including Hublot (luxury Swiss watches) and Shinola (luxury watches, jewelry, premium leather goods).
The 4-year fleet refurbishment program started in February 2019. The current list of scheduled for drydocks Celebrity ships (by the "Celebrity Revolution" project) is as follows:
- Celebrity Millennium Feb 9, 2019
- Celebrity Summit Mar 23, 2019
- Celebrity Equinox May 25, 2019
- Celebrity Silhouette Jan 24, 2020
- Celebrity Eclipse Apr 1, 2021
- Celebrity Constellation May 1, 2020
- Celebrity Infinity Nov 14, 2020
- Celebrity Solstice Oct 1, 2021
- Celebrity Reflection Feb 2, 2023
(NEW) Celebrity cruise gratuities 2023
Since July 2023, the company's daily gratuity rates (per person/pp, both adults and kids are charged) were increased. The new rates (listed below) are compared to the previous/2022's rates).
- Standard cabins' (inside, oceanview, veranda) daily gratuity was increased from US$17,50 to US$18 pp (per day).
- ConciergeClass and AquaClass staterooms' daily gratuity was changed from US$18 to US$18,50 pp (per day).
- Suites' daily gratuity was changed from US$21 to US$23 pp (per day).
Daily gratuity is an automatic service charge added to the passenger's onboard account each day. Passengers can prepay gratuities. Daily gratuities are split between the ship's staff (dining, housekeeping, cabin stewards).
In 2018, Celebrity's daily gratuities (pp per day) were USD 13,50 (interior-oceanview-balcony staterooms), USD 14 (Aqua-Class and Concierge-Class) and USD 17 (Suites).
In 2020, Celebrity's daily gratuities (pp per day) were USD 15,50 (interior-oceanview-veranda), USD 16 (Aqua-Concierge Class) and USD 19 (Suites).
In October 2022, the gratuities were increased from US$15,50 to $17,50 (Standard), US$16 to $18 (Concierge-Aqua Class) and US$19 to $21 (Suites/The Retreat) or with ~16%, ~15%, ~21% (respectively).
Celebrity cruise ship Room Service
Celebrity Cruises requires a fee of USD 4,95 for ordering items from the cruise ship's room service menu.
- Room Service is operated on each Celebrity cruise vessel and between 11 pm - 6 am.
- Prior to September 2015, the basic room service items delivery to passengers' cabins was complimentary. The exception was for some premium items (like a cheese platter, filet mignon, Caprese salad).
New shipboard Wellness classes
In 2018, Celebrity and Canyon Ranch upgraded fleetwide the onboard fitness program by adding more (to a total of 20) fitness classes and wellness seminars for passengers. Of all classes, 6 are based on different exercise groups - Acupuncture (Pain Relief), Conditioning (Pilates), Longevity, Mindfulness (Spiritual Cycling), Nutrition (Detox 101), Sweat (Tabata).
Among the new wellness offerings are:
- "Acupuncture for Pain Relief" revives energy levels, treats pain and digestive discomfort, de-stresses, aids a healthy sleep.
- "Pilates to the Beat" is a mat class choreographed with upbeat songs.
- "Age-Defying Technology" reviews the latest technologies, wellness products and services that help anti-aging.
- "Spiritual Cycling" Incorporates mind and energy awareness while cycling to musical beats.
- "Detox 101: Weight Loss and More" reviews the most effective detox foods and how they promote weight loss.
- "Tabata Impact" is a Japanese intense and fast full-body workout offering best cardio and training techniques.
(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021
Due to the COVID pandemic, RCG-Royal Caribbean Group (shipowner) suspended its entire fleet's passenger shipping operations (RCI-Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity, Silversea, Azamara) worldwide by canceling all voyages with pre-scheduled departures in the period March 13, 2020, through June 30, 2021.
Next are listed all Celebrity ships and their first scheduled departure dates/regions - APEX (June 19, 2021/Mediterranean from Piraeus-Athens), BEYOND (April 27, 2022/ Maiden Voyage /Europe), CONSTELLATION (Nov 7, 2021/Caribbean from Tampa), ECLIPSE (April 23, 2022/Hawaii-Australia repositioning from Vancouver to Honolulu), EDGE (June 26, 2021/Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale), EQUINOX (July 25, 2021/Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale), INFINITY (June 25, 2022/Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale), MILLENNIUM (July 23, 2021/Alaska from Seattle), REFLECTION (Nov 6, 2021/Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale), SILHOUETTE (July 3, 2021/ UK from Southampton ), SOLSTICE (May 6, 2022/Alaska from Seattle), SUMMIT (Sept 14, 2021/Caribbean from Miami). Celebrity's Galapagos ships' restart dates were - Flora (July 4, 2021/ Maiden Voyage ), Xpedition (July 31, 2021), Xploration (January 1, 2022).
- Celebrity's Australia and New Zealand 2021-2022 programs were canceled (affected ship Eclipse, homeported in Sydney NSW and Auckland NZ).
- All Celebrity repositioning cruises in 2021 (Alaska, Panama Canal, Transatlantic) were canceled.
- Most Celebrity's European schedules 2021 (ships Constellation, Edge, Infinity, Reflection) were canceled, excluding APEX (Med) and SILHOUETTE (UK).
- Celebrity's South America 2021-2022 program (Infinity ship from Rio de Janeiro) was canceled.
- Celebrity's Japan 2021-2022 program (Solstice ship from Yokohama) was canceled.
All affected bookings received full refunds (100%), including on prepurchased through Celebrity Cruises packages and services. The refunds were in FCC (Future Cruise Credit) to be used on itineraries that depart up to April 30, 2022. The FCC had to be redeemed by December 31, 2021. Changing the FCC to a monetary refund (100%) was possible thru December 31, 2020. Celebrity's Cancellation Policy was extended to allow penalty-free cancellations up to 48 hours prior departure (all itineraries departing up until September 1, 2020 / initially thru July 31) and receive an FCC.
Itinerary of Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity cruise line's destinations include Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, Bermuda, Bahamas, Caribbean (all, but mostly Southern), Mexico (Caribbean/Yucatan, Pacific/Mexican Riviera), Panama Canal , South America, Australia-New Zealand, Asia (Taiwan-China-Japan, Thailand-Vietnam), Northern Europe (from the UK), Eastern and Western Mediterranean.
The Royal Caribbean-owned brand Celebrity operates one of the industry's youngest and most innovative fleets. The liners all are Malta - flagged , except the Galapagos Islands fleet (Ecuador-flagged).
Celebrity Cruises' 2024-2025 schedule (16 ships) included 250+ destinations/ports (in 70 countries), ~500 departures, new ports, more overnight and double overnight port stays. The Caribbean 2024-25 program featured 3-night Caribbean itineraries (new for Celebrity) and four American homeports (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, San Juan Puerto Rico). The European program included 40+ itineraries and overnights in 11 capital cities.
Celebrity 2024-2025-2026 cruise ship deployments
In June 2023 was announced that in 2024 (starting in April), for the first time ever, Celebrity ships (Beyond and Reflection) will be seasonally deployed to the Caribbean (both homeported in Fort Lauderdale for the summer) and will visit Royal Caribbean's private Bahamian resort island CocoCay . Celebrity Beyond has scheduled 6-8-night voyages to Western and Southern Caribbean destinations, while Celebrity Reflection’s 3-4-night short breaks/weekend getaways also visit Key West FL USA and Resorts World Bimini Bahamas . The 3-night itinerary (Friday departures) and the 4-night itinerary (Monday departures) both visit Key West, Nassau and Bimini, and CocoCay.
In Aug 2023 was announced that for 2024-2025 winter season (October-November thru April), Celebrity deploys in the Caribbean 4x ships (Apex, Constellation, Equinox, Summit) whose schedules include visits to CocoCay. The ships' USA homeports were all in Florida ( Port Canaveral/Orlando , Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale , Tampa ). The homeporting in Port Canaveral (Equinox) is also new/first time for Celebrity. Those special voyages were open for booking on August 22nd, 2023.
In October 2021, Celebrity revealed the program for 3 Alaskan ships during the 2023 summer season (May 3, thru mid-September), with each itinerary visiting Inside Passage . Season's highlights include:
- Homeported in Vancouver BC Canada and passing twice through the Inside Passage, Celebrity Eclipse sails on 7-night itineraries to Hubbard Glacier , Juneau , Ketchikan (Revillagigedo Island) , and either Sitka (Baranof Island) /Icy Strait Point.
- With 7-night itineraries roundtrip from homeport Seattle (Washington USA) and one 9-night "Ultimate Alaska Cruise", Celebrity Solstice is the fleet's only to visit Endicott Arm Fjord and Dawes Glacier , along with Juneau, Skagway , Ketchikan, Victoria BC Canada .
- Celebrity Millennium offers 7-night Alaskan itineraries between homeports Vancouver and Seward, with a multi-night Cruisetour Denali option.
- Offering 9- to 13-night Cruisetours in 2023, tourists stay in first-class lodging, ride the Wilderness Express scenic train, visit destinations like Anchorage , Fairbanks, Homer .
Celebrity's European 2023 program offers 45+ overnight port stays (in 11 cities) and 7 ships - the three EDGE-class ( Beyond , Apex , Edge ), plus Silhouette , Constellation , Infinity , Reflection . The vessels offer voyages ranging from 4 to 13 nights, with more 7-night itineraries available than ever before.
Celebrity Apex from homeport Amsterdam Holland has a 9-night Norwegian Fjords voyage visiting Oslo and Flam . Apex is also the first ship in the fleet to visit Egypt since 2012 (10-night Holy Land to Israel and Egypt), with an overnight in Alexandria . Additional itineraries include British Isles, Iceland, Ireland, Iberia (Portugal and Spain), Malta.
Following the 2022 inaugural season, Celebrity Beyond returns to Europe (Eastern Mediterranean) from homeport Civitavecchia-Rome .
Celebrity Eclipse's South America program lasts 4 months (December 2023 thru April 2024) and offer visiting a total of 16 destinations, a 14-night Antarctica, and a 12-night Argentina & Patagonia voyages. Call ports include Valparaiso-Santiago (Chile) , Buenos Aires (Argentina) , Montevideo (Uruguay) , Antarctic Peninsula . Signature land tours offer visits to Chile's Osorno Volcano (from Puerto Montt ), Argentina’s Playa El Doradillo (from Puerto Madryn ), as well as Peru's Cusco and Machu Picchu (from Callao ) during the 16-night repositioning voyage from the USA (Los Angeles) to Chile which includes 2 overnights in Callao-Lima (Peru) .
Celebrity Summit's 2023 program (August thru October) offers 11-night itineraries (one-ways from homeports Boston MA USA and Quebec City ) visiting ports in New England and Canada. The voyages include the maiden for the fleet port Rockland ME and overnight stays in Quebec City. Follows a program with roundtrips to Bermuda ( Royal Naval Dockyard in King's Wharf ) with 7-9-10-night roundtrips from New York (Port Cape Liberty Bayonne NJ/NYC) , some of which visit Newport RI , Charleston SC , Martha's Vineyard Island (Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts) . After Bermuda (August 2023) are scheduled two 12-night itineraries visiting Iceland and Greenland - eastbound from NYC and the reverse/westbound from Reykjavik (Iceland) .
Celebrity Infinity returns to operation and sets sail for the Caribbean in Summer 2022. Sailing from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades, Florida) beginning June 25, 2022, Celebrity Infinity is due to embark on alternating 7-night Eastern & Western Caribbean itineraries. All 7-night itineraries feature calls to Nassau or Bimini , Bahamas and Key West (Florida) . In addition, Eastern Caribbean cruises visit Puerto Plata (Dominicana) . Western Caribbean sailings also call on Belize City and Cozumel (Mexico) . Celebrity Infinity is due to operate in the Caribbean through the end of November 2022 before embarking on a 14-night voyage to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) . Celebrity Infinity joins sistership Celebrity Equinox , marking the first time the line has offered 2 ships sailing a full summer Caribbean season from South Florida.
In November 2022 was announced 2024-2025 program with ~500 itineraries (scheduled for 16 ships) visiting 250+ destinations across 70 different countries.
Celebrity Edge is due to set sail out of Australia between October 2024-April 2025. She operates on itineraries from 3 to 14 nights hitting some of the country's most exciting spots. Celebrity Edge makes her way out to new ports of call across the Pacific, such as Fiji, American Samoa, Samoa, and Tonga.
Other highlights include a range of new European offerings (7 ships) including Celebrity Apex - the first EDGE liner to homeport in Europe and also sailing a new itinerary (12-night Norwegian Fjord & Arctic Circle).
Two ships are deployed in Asia (Millennium, Solstice), with Millennium leaving from Tokyo Japan on a series of 12-night itineraries with destinations including Osaka, Mt Fuji, Kyoto.
Celebrity ships also visit destinations in the Caribbean, South America (also Galapagos Islands ), Alaska, Greenland, and Iceland.
In November 2022 was announced Celebrity's ever-biggest season (2024-2025) with 16 ships, ~500 departures, 250+ destinations (70 countries), new homeports and call ports, numerous in-port overnights and double overnights, new (year-round voyages) in Europe, new land tours.
2024-2025 season's highlights include:
- 40+ different itineraries in Europe, with overnights in 11 port cities, new European ports of call - France's Bordeaux , Italy's Brindisi and Trieste , Greece's Kavala and Volos .
- Celebrity Edge is scheduled to sail in Alaska roundtrip from Seattle WA .
- Celebrity Apex departs from London (England UK) to the Arctic Circle and the Norwegian Fjords.
Celebrity Millennium is homeported in Yokohama/Tokyo Japan in 2024 (April thru October) to sail 12-night roundtrip itineraries featuring overnights in Osaka . After the Japan season, Millennium joins Celebrity Solstice in Southeast Asia (September 2024 thru April 2025) for 11- to 14-night voyages visiting 32 ports/islands across Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. Millennium and Solstice make Celebrity’s biggest Asian season with 32 destinations (including 7 new ports).
In August 2023, Celebrity Cruises introduced an array of Caribbean options for the Winter 2024-2025 season, available on 4 ships: Celebrity Apex , Celebrity Constellation , Celebrity Equinox , and Celebrity Summit . Departing from 3 Florida ports – Port Canaveral in Central Florida, Port Tampa Bay in West Florida, and Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) in South Florida – travelers can select from over 40 new itineraries.
Catering to the diverse preferences of today's travelers, this new program provides a diverse range of experiences, ranging from revitalizing quick getaways to 7-night weekly cruises and extending to 9-night escapes. These voyages transport passengers to idyllic tropical destinations such as Belize , Bimini , Grand Cayman , San Juan , and some itineraries even include visits to Perfect Day at CocoCay .
As a highlight of this program, Celebrity Cruises expands offerings from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, featuring more opportunities to set sail on two award-winning vessels: Celebrity Apex and Celebrity Summit. From October 23rd, 2024, to March 8th, 2025, travelers can partake in five new sailings on the Celebrity Apex, spanning 6 to 7 nights and calling at destinations like St. Maarten , San Juan, Grand Cayman, Mexico, and select sailings to Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Perfect Day at CocoCay, a vibrant private island haven situated in The Bahamas, delivers a blend of beachfront bliss and sun-soaked thrills. This paradise offers pristine white sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters, the largest freshwater pool in The Bahamas, and a bar serving tropical cocktails. Additionally, guests can bask in relaxation and seclusion at Coco Beach Club, featuring an infinity pool, a specialty restaurant, 20 exclusive overwater cabanas, and more. Debuting in January 2024, Perfect Day at CocoCay will introduce Hideaway Beach, an adults-only retreat boasting private cabanas and a new signature food venue.
Furthermore, from February 25th, 2025, to April 10th, 2025, Celebrity Summit presents 5 itineraries ranging from 5 to 9 nights, encompassing both Western and Eastern Caribbean destinations.
In an unprecedented move, Celebrity Cruises is also sailing from Port Canaveral in Orlando, offering 20 new itineraries from November 21st, 2024, to April 19th, 2025, aboard the Celebrity Equinox. With the majority of itineraries spanning 7 nights, passengers will have the chance to explore coveted Caribbean locales including the Bahamas, Belize, Grand Cayman, Mexico, San Juan, and St. Maarten. In time for the Spring Break season, two sailings on March 1st and March 15th, 2025, feature visits to Perfect Day at CocoCay.
The Caribbean program from Port Tampa Bay is also revamped by Celebrity Cruises. Travelers can now opt for more frequent 6- to 7-night cruises aboard the Celebrity Constellation. This expanded program includes 4 new itineraries and a total of 14 sailings, spanning from January 2nd, 2025, to April 6th, 2025. The itineraries encompass destinations like Belize, Honduras, Key West , Mexico, and New Orleans (Port NOLA) during the Mardi Gras festivities scheduled for March 1st, 2025.
On November 17, 2025, officially debuts the fleet's newest member - Celebrity Xcel . Being the 5th/last EDGE-class ship, Xcel starts revenue operations with the 5-night "Maiden Voyage - Bahamas & Mexico". The 5-night itinerary (roundtrip from homeport Fort Lauderdale) visits Resorts World Bimini Port and Cozumel. Xcel's inaugural winter season is based on two alternating 7-day itineraries: Bahamas (Bimini), Mexico (Cozumel) plus Grand Cayman (George Town Harbour) , and Dominicana (Puerto Plata) , St Thomas USVI (Charlotte Amalie) plus St Maarten (Philipsburg) .
Celebrity's 2025-2026 program is the brand's "most ambitious" to date, grouping 800+ voyages with 290 destinations across 70 different countries and a fleet of 16 ships.
European offerings include Celebrity Apex , which once again homeports in Southampton UK , featuring Arctic Circle and Norwegian Fjords itineraries. Additionally, Celebrity Ascent sails 7- to 11-night Adriatic itineraries from Barcelona and Rome .
Celebrity Equinox joins Mediterranean routes with 9- and 10-night itineraries in the Italian Riviera, Greek Islands, France and Iberia (Spain and Portugal).
Celebrity Infinity and Celebrity Constellation operate 7-night Greece and Turkey sailings from Athens and 10-11-night Italy and Croatia roundtrips from Rome and Ravenna .
Celebrity Eclipse from Amsterdam offers 12-13-night Best of Scandinavia/Baltic cruises.
Celebrity's "mini-season" in Iceland groups four 7-night circumnavigating voyages on Celebrity Silhouette in July and August 2025.
In the Caribbean, 9 ships are homeported in Florida (4 different ports) during winter, and 3 ships during summer, including Celebrity Xcel 's 7-night roundtrips from Fort Lauderdale .
In Alaska are deployed 3 ships - Celebrity Edge from Seattle WA (second season) and Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Summit sailing between Vancouver BC and Seward AK .
Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Solstice operate in Asia, offering the 12-night "Best of Japan" itinerary and the 12-night "Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Thailand" itinerary, respectively.
In South America, Celebrity Equinox is homeported in Buenos Aires .
Celebrity Edge's program is in the South Pacific/Australia and New Zealand.
In November 2023, Celebrity officially opened bookings for its 2025-2026 Alaska and Australia itineraries, featuring the esteemed Celebrity Edge , Celebrity Solstice , and Celebrity Summit . These premium cruise offerings aim to provide nature enthusiasts with exceptional experiences amid the pristine landscapes of Alaska, including glaciers and wildlife encounters. Celebrity Edge later extends exploration to Australia and New Zealand during the Winter season.
- Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Solstice, and Celebrity Summit are set to navigate the Alaskan waters.
- The outward-facing design of Celebrity Edge ensures passengers enjoy proximity to nature and iconic views.
- Adventurous options for a roundtrip through the picturesque Inside Passage are available.
- Celebrity Summit offers a CruiseTour featuring a 2-6-Night land tour, providing insights into Alaska's interior.
- CruiseTours include stays in authentic lodges, journeys on the Wilderness Express Railway, and exploration of Anchorage , Talkeetna, and Denali.
Australia and New Zealand:
- Celebrity Edge returns for the Winter season, offering sailings through Sydney Harbour and New Zealand's majestic fjords.
- Departure ports encompass Sydney , Auckland , and Honolulu , with diverse itineraries catering to different preferences.
- Highlights include round-trip sailings from Sydney Harbour and overnight stays at The Great Barrier Reef .
- New Zealand itineraries encompass Milford, Dusky, and Doubtful Sounds, providing a harmonious blend of tradition and breathtaking scenery.
Asia 2023-2024 itineraries
The company's Asia 2023-2024 program is based on two ships ( Millennium and Solstice ).
Starting September 2023, Millennium operates in Northeast and Southeast Asia visiting China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka. The 12-night itineraries visit ports like Klang-Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia , Lombok Indonesia, Mumbai India , Benoa Bali , as well as the maiden for Celebrity ports Hambantota (Sri Lanka) and Celukan Bawang (Bali Indonesia) .
Starting November 2023, Solstice operates on 12-night Southeast Asia itineraries (to Thailand and Vietnam) departing from homeports Singapore and Hong Kong . Two 17-night Transpacific relocation voyages (RepositionCruises.com) are also offered - leaving from either Sydney NSW Australia or Honolulu Hawaii and visiting New Zealand and French Polynesia. Asian ports include Hanoi (Vietnam) , Mumbai (India), Bangkok-Laem Chabang Thailand .
Celebrity's 2023-2024 Caribbean season (8 ships) includes the 2023-built Celebrity Ascent , plus 2 more EDGE ships. Caribbean itineraries range between 4-12 nights.
Celebrity Ascent's maiden voyage departs on December 3, 2023. Homeported in Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades, Florida) , Celebrity Ascent visits Eastern Caribbean ports Philipsburg St Maarten (Netherlands Antilles) , St Thomas Island USVI (Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands) , Puerto Plata-Amber Cove (Dominicana) . Actually, Ascent starts passenger shipping operations in November 2023 as in mid-March 2023 were added two "preview cruises" (both roundtrips from Port Everglades). The previews depart on Nov 22nd (4-night to Cozumel) and on Nov 26th (3-night to Nassau).
Following the maiden voyage, Ascent's 7-night roundtrips depart from Terminal 25 (Port Everglades) on Sundays. Eastern Caribbean voyages visit San Juan (Puerto Rico), Tortola (British Virgin Islands), and Basseterre (St Kitts), while Western Caribbean voyages visit Nassau, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman.
Starting November 2023, Celebrity Apex is scheduled to embark on rotating 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Setting sail from Fort Lauderdale guests can visit Eastern Caribbean islands, including San Juan, Philipsburg St Maarten, St Thomas, and Puerto Plata. Apex also takes guests to the Western Caribbean with calls in Key West , Grand Cayman (George Town) , and Belize . In summer 2024 (May thru November) Apex will be homeported in Southampton (England UK) for 4- to 13-night roundtrips, replacing Silhouette.
Celebrity Beyond is due to sail on 9-, 10-, and 11-night cruises to the Southern Caribbean, including overnights in Oranjestad Aruba (Netherlands Antilles) . A shorter voyage on Beyond takes passengers on a 6-night trip to Bimini Islands (Resorts World Bimini Bahamas, Bailey Town) , the retreat of choice for Ernest Hemingway.
Celebrity Silhouette is returning to the Southern Caribbean and the Bahamas with itineraries ranging between 4-11 nights. For the first time since 2011, Silhouette will call at Scarborough , the main city on the island of Tobago.
For those wishing to celebrate Mardi Gras, Celebrity Constellation offers a 12-night voyage departing from Tampa (Florida USA) that starts with a double overnight in New Orleans (Port NOLA) for Fat Tuesday, prior to taking guests on a journey in Belize, Mexico (Cozumel) , and Honduras.
Passengers looking for a short getaway will find it on Celebrity Summit , as she sails from PortMiami Florida on alternating 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean itineraries.
Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Reflection round out the offerings via 6-night Western Caribbean and 8-night Eastern Caribbean sailings, which includes calls at the Dutch island Kralendijk Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles) , where the official bird of the isle, the flamingo, is spotted on many of the white-sand beaches.
Australia New Zealand 2023-2024 programs
In September 2021 was announced that for season 2023-2024 (December thru April) Celebrity Edge will be deployed in the South Pacific (Australia and New Zealand) with homeporting in Sydney NSW and Auckland NZ .
- A total of 12 itineraries (6- to 13-nights in length) visit 22 different ports.
- Some of the voyages are without call ports ( cruises to nowhere ) themed as "Sun and Beach Escape", "Food and Wine Classic", "Five Star Getaway".
- Overnights are scheduled in the ports Auckland NZ, Cairns QLD , Hobart Tasmania .
- A new port for Celebrity Cruises is Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island) .
- The "South Pacific Islands" itinerary visits islands in New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
Celebrity Edge Australia 2023-2024 bookings were opened for the general public on October 14, 2021.
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Everything you need to know about Celebrity Cruises cabins and suites
In keeping with the ambiance on Celebrity Cruises ' vessels, the brand's accommodations offer an elevated experience without going full-on luxury. That means Celebrity's passengers can expect more sophisticated surroundings and an upscale vibe at relatively affordable prices.
Like the vessels themselves, the line's cabins are well-appointed and elegant, with modern touches that appeal to a slightly younger-than-average cruise demographic.
Learn what to expect from each room type before you book with our primer for those who are new to Celebrity.
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Celebrity Cruises cabin primer
Celebrity Cruises' fleet of ships includes more than a dozen vessels that fall into four main categories : Millennium Class, Solstice Class, Edge Class and Galapagos Class. Ships in the first three classes share similarities in terms of their cabin offerings. The Galapagos-class vessels are much smaller and include a narrower selection of cabin types and amenities. Because of this, the Galapagos Class will have its own section below; the other sections of this article do not apply to the Galapagos Class.
Although all of the ships' staterooms fall into the same general categories – insides, oceanviews, balconies and suites – the specific types of each vary across classes, particularly with regard to the most expensive options.
Even at the most basic level, nearly all accommodations include two twin beds that can be connected to form a king (most rooms) or queen; a desk and vanity area with a chair, drawers and a phone; nightstands with drawer space and reading lights; a sofa or plush chair; a coffee table; an in-cabin bathroom with shampoo, conditioner, body wash and towels; a closet with shelves, hanging space and bathrobes; a safe; a hair dryer; a television with a selection of movies and live TV, as well as shipboard channels and the ability to check the daily schedule and your onboard bill; a mini-fridge; a selection of outlets, including USB ports; and individual lighting and climate controls.
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All cabins also come with the services of a room attendant, who will tidy your digs up to two times daily. All passengers also have access to 24-hour room service, which carries a fee of $9.95 per order, plus an 18% auto-gratuity.
Across the fleet, all ships offer connecting rooms, with some of the largest suites joining to sleep up to 10 people. The line also features special accommodations for solo cruisers on a small number of its vessels (specifics are noted below under applicable cabin categories).
Further, all ships offer several accessible accommodations across all main stateroom categories (except Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Reflection, which do not offer accessible standard balcony cabins) for passengers needing extra space for wheelchairs, walkers and scooters. Those cabins feature wider (32-inch) doorways, a 5-foot turning radius, ramped bathroom thresholds, bathroom grab bars, lowered sinks and vanities, higher toilets, roll-in showers with fold-down benches, hand-held showerheads, lowered closet bars and accessible balconies (in select staterooms).
Unless otherwise noted, all cabins are designed for double occupancy. In most cases, solo travelers staying in accommodations meant for two people will be charged an additional cruise fare, known as a single supplement. Further, some staterooms are outfitted with trundle beds, pull-down bunks or sofa beds that can accommodate up to four people per room.
Inside cabins on Celebrity ships
Inside cabins on Celebrity ships run anywhere from 170 to 202 square feet, and they offer everything mentioned above. The one thing they don't have is a view.
As is implied by their name, they have no windows and no balconies for natural light or fresh air. These are stellar options for anyone on a budget or travelers who have trouble sleeping with any sort of light.
Celebrity Silhouette has four inside cabins available for solo travelers.
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Oceanview cabins on Celebrity ships
Oceanview cabins on Celebrity ships come in at between 170 and 242 square feet, depending on the ship and type.
True to their name, these rooms offer views of the ocean from windows that don't open, so although there are no in-cabin ocean breezes, there is natural light.
They include all of the basic amenities listed above.
Balcony cabins on Celebrity ships
There are several veranda categories available throughout the Celebrity fleet, all of which offer traditional balcony setups. Types include basic balcony cabins (170 to 202 square feet, 38- to 53-square-foot balcony), Family Verandas (270 to 575 square feet, 106- to 242-square-foot balcony) that sleep a larger number of people and Sunset Verandas (194 to 228 square feet, 53- to 89-square-foot balcony) that offer aft views of the ship's wake.
The vessels also offer AquaClass and Concierge Class digs, which are essentially basic balcony accommodations with some extras. The former focuses on wellness and comes with free fitness classes, unlimited access to the onboard spa's thermal suite, dining at exclusive health-focused restaurant Blu, a healthier room service menu, daily bottled water, upgraded toiletries, discounts on spa packages and yoga mats for in-cabin use. The latter entitles cruisers to amenities like dedicated concierge services, as well as an exclusive luncheon, daily in-room canapes and sparkling wine on request.
Basic amenities are included, but what really sets these accommodations apart is that they provide cruisers with private access to ocean air – no need to venture to a public deck.
As with standard balcony cabins, Infinite Verandas – which are only found on ships in the line's Edge Class – come with the basic amenities listed above, but they also grant a bit more interior space (202 square feet) in lieu of the usual walk-out terrace.
They earn their own category here because, as those who book the accommodations will find, instead of a traditional balcony, they have a window that can be raised and lowered with the push of a button. A set of see-through folding doors allows the area near the window to be cordoned off in order to make it feel like a more traditional balcony.
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Celebrity's three newest vessels each have several Infinite Veranda solo cabins for cruisers traveling by themselves. Celebrity Edge has 16, and Celebrity Apex offers 24, while Celebrity Beyond boasts 32. They offer 131 to 184 square feet of space with 42- to 45-square-foot interior balcony areas.
Suites on Celebrity ships
There are 10 types of suites on Celebrity's ships, four of which – Sky Suites, Celebrity Suites, Royal Suites and Penthouse Suites – appear on every single ship in the fleet. Two more – Edge Villas and Iconic Suites – are found only on Edge-class vessels. Another two, Signature Suites and Reflection Suites, are exclusive to Celebrity Reflection, and the remaining Sunset Suites and AquaClass Suites are new to the fleet with the debut of Celebrity Beyond.
Passengers booked in any of the suites in this category have access to the exclusive suites-only lounge and pool deck, known as The Retreat, as well as dining in suite-access-only restaurant Luminae.
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Cruisers in these accommodations also receive a slew of perks, including higher-level Wi-Fi and drink packages (upgraded from the free ones that come with all fares); onboard credit; prepaid gratuities; free in-room bottles of alcohol; complimentary laundry, shoeshine, butler and concierge services; and priority embarkation and tendering, among other draws.
An explanation of each type of suite can be found below.
These are the smallest suites in the fleet, ranging from 251 to 362 square feet with balconies that range from 57 to 163 square feet. They're arranged in a studio configuration, similar to what you'd find in non-suite cruise-ship accommodations. They're the least expensive option for those who crave access to suite-level amenities.
For cruisers wanting the step up their square footage or storage space, a Celebrity Suite will do the trick. Expect 394 to 498 square feet, plus a balcony between 51 and 105 square feet, complete with separate living and bedroom spaces, a sizeable bathroom (with a bathtub/shower combo) and tons of drawers and cabinets to help chronic overpackers stow their belongings.
For an even bigger upgrade, Royal Suites come in at between 538 and 687 square feet with verandas measuring 72 to 195 square feet. Each has ample storage, separate lounging and sleeping quarters, and a generously sized bathroom with a shower and separate soaking tub that's perfect for relaxing after a day in port.
Penthouse suites are the largest accommodations found fleetwide, ranging from 1,291 to 1,432 square feet with 197- to 1,098-square-foot verandas that are large enough for their own private hot tubs. The two-bed, two-bath setup with a separate sitting area and dining table that seats eight, makes these cabins great for entertaining or sharing with travel companions.
These two-deck suites offer an upstairs-and-downstairs setup with one bedroom, two bathrooms, and a living room in 739 square feet of space. There's also a 211-square-foot balcony. These rooms are exclusive to the line's Edge Class of ships, and they boast access to a private plunge pool.
Iconic Suites -- which are in high demand, due to their limited numbers and plethora of extras -- are the largest on Edge-class vessels, offering 1,892 square feet, a nearly 689-square-foot balcony (larger than most staterooms onboard, complete with a private hot tub and daybed), a bathroom with dual sinks and a whirlpool tub, and an unparalleled forward-facing view from directly above the bridge.
While Signature Suite accommodations are on the smaller side, at 441 square feet, the 118-square-foot balcony still manages to include an outdoor tub with a rain shower so you can soak while taking in the views as you sail. They also include high ceilings, a shower/tub combo, and separate living and sleeping areas.
At nearly four times the size of Signature Suites, Reflection Suites come equipped with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a cantilevered glass shower that hangs out over the ocean for simply amazing views. All of this fits neatly into 1,636 square feet of space, plus a 194-square-foot balcony. Dual sinks, a separate soaking tub with a rain shower, high ceilings, a walk-in closet, and a prime corner location round out the opulent offerings. These suites are only slightly smaller than Iconic Suites, but their verandas are far tinier.
Similar to the wake-view concept behind the line's Sunset Veranda staterooms, Sunset Suites provide an elevated experience with the same stunning vistas at each ship's aft. Some of these suites are on the smaller side, comprising 296 to 575 square feet, plus a 53- to 242-square-foot balcony, but they do incorporate separate living and sleeping areas, making them feel more like true suites.
AquaClass Sky Suites
These rooms combine the space and enhanced extras of a Sky Suite (including access to The Retreat and Luminae) with the perks of an AquaClass cabin – fitness classes, thermal suite access, dining at Blu, daily bottled water, discounts on spa packages and yoga mats for in-cabin use – to bring passengers a more health-centric suite experience in 319 square feet with a 79-square-foot veranda.
Cabins on Celebrity's Galapagos-class ships
Because Celebrity's expedition vessels are much smaller, they warrant their own section. What follows is a breakdown of the cabin types – most of which are suites – offered on each ship.
Note that Celebrity Flora, Celebrity Xpedition and Celebrity Xploration have neither The Retreat nor Luminae, so suite passengers do not have access to those venues. Amenities also may vary from those offered on the fleet's non-expedition ships.
The largest of Celebrity's expedition vessels, Celebrity Flora houses 50 cabins with a double-occupancy capacity for 100 passengers. All staterooms are classified as suites, with a mix of several types of Sky Suites, including some with Infinite Verandas (330 to 365 square feet, 65- to 86-square-foot balcony); Royal Suites (559 square feet, 129-square-foot balcony); and Penthouse Suites (1,288 square feet, 321-square-foot balcony).
Significantly smaller is Celebrity Xpedition, which can carry 48 passengers across 24 cabins at capacity. Availability includes 160-square-foot oceanview accommodations; 175-square-foot Junior Suites with 45-square-foot verandas; and a combination of suites – Xpedition Suites, Royal Suites and Penthouse Suites – that run the gamut from 205 to 460 square feet with balconies ranging from 50 to 235 square feet. Given that Penthouse Suites on the line's other ships span 1,291 to 1,432 square feet with 197- to 1,098-square-foot verandas, it's easy to see that suite sizes decrease as ship sizes decrease.
The tiniest and most no-frills option on Celebrity's roster is Celebrity Xploration, which carries just 16 people in eight cabins at its maximum. Oddly, all staterooms are labeled as Junior Suites, but while half of them have balconies (180 square feet with 245-square-foot verandas), the other half (190 square feet) don't. It's also interesting to note that, in the ones that do have them, the balconies boast significantly more space than the interior living area does.
Celebrity's selection of basic cabins is fairly standard. However, when it comes to suites, passengers have a decent number of choices, and even the smallest and least expensive options offer coveted amenities and access to dedicated spaces.
Although there are suite types that span the entire fleet, the line likes to create experiences that are exclusive to some of its newest classes and ships.
Celebrity is one of the best big-ship cruise brands when it comes to everything from service and extras to in-cabin storage space, decor and even furniture layout. Overall, the line offers an upscale ambiance with a lot of value for your money, starting with inside cabins and running right up through accommodations at the suite level.
Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:
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- A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
- 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
- 15 ways cruisers waste money
- 12 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
- What to pack for your first cruise
Feature d photo by Tim Aylen/Celebrity Cruises.
Home » Cruise » Celebrity Cruises » 25 Expert Celebrity Cruises Tips and Tricks
25 Expert Celebrity Cruises Tips and Tricks
Don't set sail before reading our 25 Expert Celebrity Cruises Tips and Tricks to ensure your next voyage is smooth sailing.
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Celebrity Cruises is one of our favorite cruise lines. This premium cruise line offers some amazing cruise ships coupled with unique itineraries. Whether you have cruised before with the brand, or this is your first sailing in modern luxury, we are here to help. To ensure you remain one step ahead of everyone else onboard, we put together this list of our expert Celebrity Cruises Tips and Tricks you need to know.
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Our 25 Expert Celebrity Cruises Tips and Tricks
All included pricing.
In 2020, Celebrity Cruises launched a brand-new pricing structure. Referred to as “Always Included,” the new fares included several add-ons that are typical upcharges on mainstream cruise lines.
While the program has evolved since then, the cruise line still offers the ability to upgrade from a cruise-only rate to an “All Included” fare. Although, the new program is not as inclusive as before. Effective October 4, 2023, the “All-Included” fare will include a drink package and WiFi. Gratuities will no longer be included in this package pricing.
Comparing upgrade options, cruisers can expect to pay anywhere from $70 to $150 more per person, per day. Unlike Princess Cruises, it is not one set price to upgrade. The cost depends on the cabin type, region, and cruise duration.
Celebrity Cruises says these fares can save cruisers between $200 and $800. But, the amount of savings will depend on your particular sailing, so make sure to do the math before upgrading.
Regardless of the stateroom category and package, all guests will now be responsible for the daily service charge, which ranges between $18 to $23 per person, per day depending on the stateroom category.
Still, opting for this fare can save you money compared to purchasing a drink package and WiFi a la carte.
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Room Service is No Longer Free
Like several cruise lines, Celebrity Cruises has recently made some cutbacks to its onboard offerings. Sadly, one of these changes is the elimination of included Room Service. Now, the cruise line charges guests a $9.95 delivery fee.
At breakfast, a few continental items are available free of charge. But if you want a morning omelet or something delivered later in the day, you must pay for it now.
On our last cruise , we tested out the breakfast one morning. Honestly, the food was hot and fresh, and some of the best-prepared breakfast we have had on a ship in a long time. With an early morning tour departure time and a full-day tour, splurging for this breakfast was well worth the nominal fee for us.
Of course, the cruise line does still offer several included options, like the Oceanview Café buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not to mention, other dining options include the Spa Café, Mast Grill, Eden Cafe, and four complimentary main dining rooms.
Download the App
Like many cruise lines, Celebrity Cruises has gone digital. Thus, be sure to download the Celebrity Cruises app to your smartphone. This is one of our essential Celebrity Cruises tips.
Even before your cruise, the app will come in handy. Cruisers can use the app to check-in and set up an onboard account. This will ensure a smooth embarkation at the cruise terminal.
From there, cruisers can book dining, review shore excursion options, and make other purchases. Cruisers can purchase items like WiFi, spa treatments, or upgrade their drink packages.
The app also has vital information about the ship and itinerary. Learn more about the amenities and public spaces onboard with virtual deck plans. Cruisers can also explore and bookmark the entertainment and activities at the various venues on their sailing.
Even if you don’t have an internet package, you can still use the app on the ship. It also allows you to stay in touch with other travelers for free with in-app messaging.
Admittedly, we are over-planners. This means we typically book cruises 8 months to a year in advance. Recently, cruise lines have begun opening up itineraries years in advance to meet the demands of eager cruisers. So, planning a trip for one or two years in the future is definitely possible.
While that might sound crazy to some, in our experience, the earlier you book, the lower the cruise fare . This is one of our Celebrity Cruises tips and tricks that can save you a lot of money.
In our over 70 cruises, we have seen the cruise fares gradually increase for most of our trips over time. Plus, if the fare does go down, cruisers can often get an adjustment or some onboard credit in the amount of the difference.
Booking ahead of time not only gives you lower fares, but it also gives you a better selection of cabins and more time to pay off the cruise. Further, it gives travelers time to review the ports of call, plan their time ashore, and consider other add-ons like drink packages or specialty dining.
Matching Status from Royal Caribbean
Celebrity Cruises is part of the Royal Caribbean Group. Thus, if you have earned some status with Royal Caribbean , you might be able to get some additional benefits once onboard your Celebrity Cruises ship. This is true even if you have never sailed with the brand before.
Royal Caribbean cruisers who are Platinum or Emerald will be recognized as Select in Celebrity Cruises Captain’s Club . This gives them access to a special Welcome Aboard event and discounts on WiFi, laundry, and the spa.
Cruisers with Diamond or above status with Royal Caribbean will be recognized as Elite status on Celebrity Cruises. These cruisers can enjoy a complimentary happy hour with free drinks at many bars and lounges, much like the Diamond drink benefit. However, Celebrity does not have a drink voucher program like Royal Caribbean.
Not All Ships Are Created Equal
The Celebrity Cruises fleet comprises over a dozen ships. While across the vessels, you can expect excellent dining and superb service, not all of the ships feature the same amenities.
The Solstice class is known for its Lawn Club, featuring real grass, lawn games, and even a bar. The Sky Lounge at the top of the ship offers panoramic views along with live music and entertainment. Not to mention, these ships feature a spacious pool deck, dedicated night club, library, and a variety of other bars and lounges including the popular Martini Bar.
The smaller, more intimate Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Millennium were recently updated. These ships boast a sports deck, an outdoor terrace with a movie screen, a three-story grand foyer with a variety of bars and lounges, a solarium, and several nightly entertainment options.
Then, the new Edge class is the cruise line’s largest class with several innovative features. From the lively Grand Plaza, to new restaurants and bars, to infinite verandah cabins, these ships are the most luxurious in the fleet. While they are certainly mega-resorts at sea, they will come with a higher price tag.
So, when deciding on a Celebrity Cruises voyage, do some homework and compare the vessels and itineraries. That way, you can pick the right ship and destination for your next cruise.
Check-in As Soon As Possible
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you will want to do your check-in as soon as possible. This usually opens around 45 days in advance of your sailing. By doing so early, you will snag an early port arrival time.
This means the earlier you can board the ship on cruise embarkation day and the sooner you can get your cruise vacation started!
The check-in process also entails inputting your personal information, uploading a security photo, linking a form of payment for onboard purchases, adding passport information, and signing the cruise contract. Once this information is completed, you will be cruise ready with your Xpress Pass.
This is also a good time to print out the accompanying luggage tags that you will need to secure to your bags prior to dropping them with the porters at the cruise terminal.
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Pack Appropriately for Your Cruise
Deciding what to wear for a cruise can feel stressful. There are several factors to consider, including the length of the trip and the itinerary. Not to mention, the overall vibe on the ship.
We have sailed on Celebrity Cruises in Alaska , the Caribbean , and Europe. So, we have a good sense of official and unwritten dress code.
When it comes to dinner, Celebrity Cruises has a resort casual policy. This includes no swimwear, tank tops, or caps in the dining rooms. Further, we find that most cruisers wear pants, collared shirts for guys, and summer dresses or slacks and a top for women.
So, we suggest avoiding shorts and T-shirts in the main dining room.
Further, Celebrity Cruises does have its version of formal night called Evening Chic. Yes, cruisers do dress up for this event. Typically, on a 7-night cruise, there will be two Evening Chic nights.
You don’t need a tux or a suit; although, you will certainly see many wearing these formal clothes. I usually pack a sports coat and button-down shirt and don’t feel out of place.
Of course, when it comes to the pool deck, feel free to don your flip-flops, bathing suit, or beach cover-up. But, if that is all you feel like wearing on the ship, you will probably want to stick to the buffet for meals.
Of course, you will want to keep in mind your shore excursions when packing as well. And be sure to prepare a carry-on with all your essentials since you won’t get your luggage until later in the afternoon on embarkation day.
Aqua Class Benefits
Celebrity Cruises Aqua Class might be the perfect stateroom category for health-conscious cruisers. These staterooms allow guests to enjoy onboard upgrades, unique dining experiences, and health and wellness-focused amenities.
However, the room dimensions and furnishings are not different from the typical balcony cabins found on your Celebrity Cruises’ ship. Still, the additional benefits are pretty appealing.
Benefits of this room category include complimentary access to the ship’s thermal suite for the cruise duration. Additionally, Aqua Class rooms get complimentary fitness classes, eco-friendly bath products, and expanded wellness on-demand programming on the stateroom television.
Further, guests have access to an exclusive restaurant, Blu. Open every day for breakfast and dinner, Blu is an excellent alternative to the main dining room on the ship. The menu here focuses on cleaner, healthier options. But cruisers can also still order from that evening’s main dining room menu. Thus, you have the best of both worlds when dining at Blu.
The Retreat on select Celebrity Cruises ships is ideal for guests looking for the most upscale accommodations and amenities. This ship-within-a-ship concept boasts reserved public areas and amenities exclusively for those in these luxurious suites.
Not only do the suites in the Retreat boast some of the largest and most elegant accommodations, but many of them come with butler services. Within the ship’s Retreat, there will be a private sun deck with hot tubs and/or a pool, a lounge, and a bar exclusively for these guests.
Further, the French-inspired Luminae is an intimate restaurant exclusively for guests of the Retreat. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a rotational menu, this exquisite restaurant alone is an excellent reason to upgrade.
Guests in the Retreat also get perks like an upgraded drink package and WiFi plan when opting for the All Included fare option.
Book With a Travel Agent
We can’t blame you if the different fare options and stateroom categories feel a bit overwhelming. That is why one of our Celebrity Cruises tips and tricks is to work with a certified travel advisor. These travel advisors can walk you through the different stateroom categories and options for each ship in the Celebrity Cruises’ fleet.
Even with all our cruise experience, we still book with a travel advisor. For our last Celebrity Cruises’ Mediterranean sailing, our travel advisor got us an “All Included” rate lower than the cruise line’s advertised price. Not to mention, the rate was still eligible for the cruise line’s current onboard credit promotion. So, the cruise line gave us $200 of OBC, and our travel advisor gave us an additional $500. Now, that’s a perk!
Plus, when booking with an agent, there is an independent party in your corner if there are any issues with the booking. Some travel advisors will monitor prices too to ensure you get the lowest fare possible even after booking.
Celebrity MoveUp Upgrades
Depending on the ship’s capacity, getting a better stateroom at a fraction of the cost is possible even after you book.
The Celebrity MoveUp program allows guests to bid on a better cabin category. The program is capacity-controlled and depends on the availability of different cabin categories for a particular sailing. It is possible that on a particular sailing, there are no available upgrade options.
Also, there is no guarantee that a bid will be accepted. So, don’t book a cheaper room thinking you will be able to upgrade, as that might not be the case.
Still, we have taken advantage of this program on previous cruises and scored cabin upgrades for only a few hundred dollars. We upgraded to an Aqua Class stateroom on one of our recent cruises using this program.
Remember that you won’t know the location of your upgraded room if the bid is accepted until a few weeks before the trip. Plus, once the bid is accepted, cruisers cannot opt out. So, if you prefer a specific ship location or a particular deck, this auction is probably not right for your next cruise. This is particularly true if you are prone to motion sickness .
Your Rooms Are Open
On many cruise lines, staterooms are not ready when cruisers board the ship. Typically, staterooms are available around 1 pm or 2 pm. Although, we have sailed on cruise ships where rooms weren’t accessible until after 3 pm!
Regardless of when the rooms officially open, Celebrity Cruises lets guests drop off carry-on luggage in their staterooms. This is a great perk, as you don’t need to lug your carry-ons with you around the ship.
So, unlike other cruise lines, we do suggest you stop at your stateroom first when cruising with Celebrity Cruises. You can drop off any carry-on items, rearrange your day bag, and head off to explore the ship!
Don’t Miss a Thing with the Celebrity Today
The Celebrity Today is the daily activity planner delivered to your stateroom each evening. This schedule will detail all the events and entertainment options occurring the following day. It will also provide other helpful information like when the restaurants are open, the all-aboard time at your ports of call, and more.
Every night before we go to bed, we make sure to review the daily for the following day.
If you’d prefer to go paperless, the Celebrity app contains all of the day’s events as well. Cruisers can sort by activities, spa, shopping, entertainment, and more. Cruisers can save their favorite events and they will integrate with pre-made dining and shore excursions in the “my calendar” section of the app.
No Reservations for Shows
Celebrity Cruises Edge class of ships have some of the best entertainment at sea. The high-tech theater includes a unique design offering an immersive experience regardless of where you sit. However, unlike other cruise lines, guests do not need to make reservations to experience these productions.
All main theater shows, as well as shows in The Club and Eden are first come, first serve.
This is also true on all other Celebrity ships in the fleet. No entertainment offerings require reservations. So, this is one less thing you will need to worry about pre-cruise or on cruise boarding day.
Of course, this also means you will want to get to shows early for the best seats. Most venues open up about 30 minutes prior to show time, some earlier. So, plan wisely when deciding your nighttime lineup.
Like many cruise lines, Celebrity Cruises now has a digital muster drill. This mandatory safety briefing can now be completed primarily on your phone (or stateroom television) on embarkation day.
Simply watch the required video, visit your muster station quickly, and listen to the ship-wide announcement. You no longer need to crowd with other guests near the lifeboats to conduct this mandatory safety drill. It also gives you more time to enjoy more of the ship on embarkation day.
Celebrity Select Dining
While Celebrity Cruises does offer cruisers the ability to opt for traditional dining, the cruise line has rolled out Celebrity Select Dining. This flexible dining option allows cruisers to dine at different times and venues each evening. Depending on your cruise ship, there might be more than one complimentary main dining room as with the Edge class of ships.
Cruisers can reserve tables ahead of time using the Celebrity app or website. Or, once onboard, cruisers can make reservations or walk up whenever they are hungry. In our experiences, there are often no or short waits if you don’t have reservations.
Of course, this can vary based on your party size, as well as your preferred dining time. The peak dinner time tends to be between 7 pm and 8 pm on most itineraries. So, plan accordingly.
Also, guests will be given the option to dine alone or with others, so you can still make some new friends even if you opt for this dining program.
Opt for Specialty Dining
The main dining room on Celebrity Cruises serves up exquisite three-course meals each night. Yet, the specialty restaurants on your ship offer a further elevated experience.
On Celebrity Cruises Solstice class, cruisers can experience fine French cuisine at Murano. Or, dive into Italian classics at Tuscan Grill.
Many ships offer Le Petit Chef , a thrilling combination of digital technology and freshly prepared cuisine. Likewise, many vessels offer sushi at Raw on 5.
Other specialty restaurants worth testing include the Fine Cut Steakhouse on Edge class ships. There is also the new Le Voyage, from chef Daniel Boulud, found on Beyond and Ascent. This modern menu boasts globally-inspired cuisine with a twist.
It is true that you can certainly go the entire cruise without spending any money on food. Still, depending on the length of the itinerary, we suggest budgeting for one or two specialty dinners. Believe us, they are well worth the upcharges.
Cafe al Bacio
Perhaps one of our favorite spots on any Celebrity cruise ship is Café al Bacio. This coffee house is home to a variety of espresso-based drinks. These include several specialty coffees and signature coffee-infused cocktails. There is also a wide selection of premium teas. All drinks are included in the Classic Drink package, which is part of the All Included fare.
If you don’t have a drink package, the coffees here cost around $5 a serving.
Even if you are not a coffee lover, you will not want to miss out on the treats. Café al Bacio is home to some of the most delicious pastries, cakes, and desserts found on any cruise line. Whether it is a quick breakfast treat or a slice of decadent chocolate cake, you will not be able to pass up these offerings. And the best part is that they are complimentary!
Another benefit is that Café al Bacio offers table service. So, it is the go-to place in the morning or afternoon to meet up with friends over a café latte. You can even find a corner to do some work or catch up on social media.
Another hub of any Celebrity Cruises’ ship is the Martini Bar. Whether it is a frosted bar top like the Solstice class or a glowing chandelier on the Edge class, this is the place to be seen. It doesn’t hurt that the Martini Bar is home to a signature cocktail menu with some fantastic libations.
Along with the well-balanced cocktails, you don’t want to miss out on the craftsmanship of the expert bartenders. The mixology skills of these bartenders come to life with regular shows.
Don’t be surprised to see juggling bartenders or towers of drinks being served in one awe-inspiring pour. Even if you don’t have a drink package, you can still enjoy all of the artistry and fun as the bar comes alive in the evenings.
The martinis here are covered in the Premium Drink package and will be an upcharge if you have the Classic Drink package.
Another perk for many sailing with Celebrity Cruises is the non-smoking casino. The casino on all ships in the fleet is smoke-free. In fact, the cruise line even tested out allowing vaping in casinos, which was met with much resistance from the loyal cruisers. So, they abandoned that pilot project pretty quickly.
So, you can rest assured that no one next to you will be lighting up or puffing away while you are gaming.
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Prepare Your Cabin
Regardless of your cabin selection, you should do several things on the first day of your cruise to organize the room for the voyage ahead. We always recommend packing magnetic hooks to hang items like bags, hats, and coats.
Another packable item we always take is an over-the-door shoe organizer. Here, you can place accessories and toiletries like suntan lotion, sunglasses, jewelry, cords, and small electronics to help you save valuable counter space.
Also, you will want to make sure you unpack your clothes. Packing cubes will make this task easy and organized. Then, with your bags unpacked, make sure to place your suitcase under the bed; that way, you have as much space as possible in your stateroom.
Another item we suggest is a cruise-approved power adapter. That way, you’ll have extra USBs and outlets for charging items like phones, computers, cameras, and other digital gadgets.
Explore the Ship
Now, if you are like us, you have been planning your trip for some time. This likely means you have reviewed those deck plans on the Celebrity Cruises website. Well, now it is time to check out the ship in person.
On the first day of the cruise , we always allocate some time to explore the ship. We usually go all the way to the top of the ship and work our way down. Many popular spots that will be busy the rest of the week tend to be less congested on day 1.
This includes places like the fitness center or spa. If you are traveling with little ones, make sure to check out the kids’ area and youth center. This is also a great time to get some photos and videos of the ship without too many people.
With a few laps around the ship, you will have a general sense of the ship layout and be one step ahead of everyone else for the rest of the cruise.
Attend Enrichment Sessions
Depending on the region, you will want to check the daily schedule for enrichment sessions. These Beyond the Podium series often feature destination-focused talks about culture and history.
Cruisers can learn more about the upcoming ports of call in regions like the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. In our experience, these sessions are much more than glorified port shopping seminars or shore excursion talks like some other cruise lines.
When in regions like Alaska, these talks might be led by local naturalists and other experts. Often, these talks are informative and engaging, providing guests with greater insight into the Alaskan Frontier. We learned much about Alaskan culture, food, history, landscape, and wildlife during these talks on our previous Alaska cruise with Celebrity.
Consider Upgrading Your Experience
Celebrity Cruises offers a few exclusive areas on its ships that provide an upscale experience during your cruise vacation.
Our favorite is the Thermal Suite. Depending on the class of ship, the suite might include aqua therapy rooms and experiential showers. Not to mention, there’s heated stone loungers, a sauna, steam room, and other rejuvenating experiences.
Cruisers can opt for week-long passes or attempt to get a day pass when docked at a port of call.
On the Edge class ships, Celebrity offers Resort Deck cabanas. With prime seating, an elevated menu, and plenty of space, it is the ideal sea day upgrade for those looking to relax. The Solstice class ships also offer a similar experience on the Lawn Club.
Power Up Points
Want to get to Elite status faster? Well, Celebrity Cruises gives guests the ability to earn additional Club points. All cruisers need to do is register with Celebrity Cruises and check their inbox. Occasionally, the cruise line will reach out via email for cruisers to complete tasks. These can include doing surveys, social media posts, or other online activities.
Completing these Power Up activities earns points that are then converted to Club points. For every 10 Power Points earned, cruisers get one 1 Club point. So, depending on the number of activities completed, you can easily rack up additional Club points.
Do you have any additional Celebrity Cruises tips to share? Did we miss any other insider tips or tricks in this post? Drop us an anchor below to share your best cruise planning advice.
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Navigating the Best of Celebrity Cruises' Most Tempting Bars and Restaurants
The Celebrity Edge series, the cruise line’s newest set of ships, named Edge, Apex, Beyond, and Ascent, has landed, bringing a dazzling array of ways to drink and dine amid some of the most innovative interiors at sea. Find up to 29 food and beverage experiences on each ship, many with menus crafted by Michelin-starred chef Cornelius Gallagher.
You can experience variations of these venues on many ships and itineraries, but Celebrity Beyond and Celebrity Ascent (which debuted in the Caribbean in November 2023) now boast fan favorite venues with updated designs.
Ascent will be sailing year-round in the Caribbean beginning in April 2024 . As you visit fabulous destinations, including Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas, the newest port, you’ll be able to savor flavors from sensational regions around the world at these exciting forthcoming restaurants and bars.
Eden is more than a restaurant or a bar; it’s an all-day entertainment experience. The space is a prime example of “outward-facing” design, a concept that blurs the boundaries between inside and outside so guests feel closer to the sea; it also underlies almost every design decision on board. The space features massive floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views, so the ambiance changes with the daylight.
Lobster from Eden Restaurant
The restaurant features a chef’s tasting menu that shines with beautifully plated simple and delicious dishes such as branzino in crispy bread, sheep’s milk gnocchi, and pan-roasted shrimp. Head over to Eden around 4 p.m. when things start turning up. Hang out for a cocktail such as the mezcal-based Veldt (presented in a cauldron with smoking dry ice) or the Forbidden (vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and apple butter) at the glittering bar and wait for the evening’s amusement to commence.
Exclusive to Celebrity Beyond, Le Voyage is Celebrity Cruises’ global culinary ambassador Daniel Boulud’s first restaurant at sea. Jouin Manku, the same team that designed Le Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, brings a certain intimacy and elegance to the space, outfitting it with buttery beige banquettes, pops of sumptuous reds, and gentle lighting. The food is inspired by global destinations and underscored by Boulud’s rich flavors and luxurious seasonal ingredients. Think creamy poulet aux morilles with pommes Dauphine, asparagus, morels, and Madeira cream, and five-spice duck pithivier (a flaky pastry pie) with bok choy, shiitakes, and sweet and sour sauce.
Le Voyage by Daniel Bouloud
Café al Bacio is your go-to for morning almond croissants and aromatic Lavazza coffee. However, if you desire to delight in a gourmet coffee or a hot tea from Tea Forté after lunch, that’s your prerogative: The space is open all day. Drawing inspiration from the enchanting atmosphere of European cafés, award-winning British designer Kelly Hoppen, CBE, leans on blue and gray tones and plush seating to create a calming atmosphere. Beyond caffeine treats, the atmosphere of Café al Bacio is always evolving, and so are the views outside and in the Grand Plaza below.
Luminae isn’t available to just anyone; you’ll have to book a suite in The Retreat to access this premier restaurant’s modern and eclectic cuisine. The Retreat is essentially a high-end, all-inclusive hideaway with accommodations, a lounge and sundeck (designed by Kelly Hoppen, CBE), and the exclusive Luminae.
Breakfast at Luminae
The restaurant is located on the front of the ship, so you can keep an eye on the horizon through the floor-to-ceiling windows while enjoying unique, entirely complimentary breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Daniel Boulud’s signature dishes stand out: chilled carrot and ginger velouté, Moroccan chicken tagine with saffron couscous and preserved lemon, and raspberry pistachio vacherin. You won’t find menu items like these at any other restaurant on the ship.
Fan favorite Sunset Bar has been reimagined by acclaimed interior designer Nate Berkus, Edge Series travel ambassador, to be bigger and better than ever. Head here for sunset and enjoy a fanciful alfresco cocktail like the Mai Kaab Tai, a delightful blend of spiced rum shaken with orange curaçao, allspice, orgeat, and lime juice, and the Slim & Spicy, which features blanco tequila, lime juice, agave, cucumber, and jalapeño. The colorful tiles, friendly lighting, and clean archways evoke a carefree global beach club; fresh small plates of labneh with olive oil, caper berries, za’atar, and sea salt with naan and merguez lamb with kebab with tabbouleh round out the journey.
World Class Bar
Around 5 p.m., beloved and new-to-Beyond World Class Bar comes alive with an electrifying energy, transforming into a vibrant hub where the art of cocktail making takes center stage. Here, drinking is on par with fine dining, emphasizing fresh, high-quality ingredients and top-tier spirits. Indulge in top-shelf creations such as the bold tequila-based Azteca or the sophisticated gin-based Celebrity N10. Not seeing what you want? Go off-menu—bespoke orders are most welcome.
The bar overlooks the Grand Plaza, the heart of the ship’s social life, which adds an extra layer of allure.
Visit celebritycruises.com to book your journey.
Celebrity Cruises' Exclusive Destination Experiences Redefine Island Exploration
Edited by Lale Arikoglu
Cruises allow for an extraordinary travel experience for myriad reasons—staterooms with views over vast oceans, spas to reset you after a busy day exploring, a different award-winning restaurant to sample each night. But with Celebrity Cruises, what happens off the ship is just as immersive as what happens on board, thanks to the brand’s carefully curated destination experiences across each one of its itineraries, from shopping for ingredients with a local chef to private and small group tours of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Sailing through the Galapagos? You might find yourself hiking through the wilderness in search of albatross. Docking in Hanoi? Spend the day exploring some of its most ancient buildings. Recently, I sailed with Celebrity through Europe, with stops in some of the world’s greatest cities, including Athens, Rome, and Istanbul. One particularly memorable day, however, was spent in Mykonos, where a string of Celebrity-orchestrated activities allowed me to access places and experiences that I would have never uncovered by myself. Below, some of the highlights—all of which can be booked privately as part of a customized itinerary.
Cooking classes at a Greek home
The Greek way of life is frequently heralded as one of the best in the world—so good, in fact, that parts of the population have the vaunted “Blue Zone” status, signaling that their population on average lives longer than most. Much of this longevity is attributed to the nation’s food culture and the traditional recipes passed down through generations, often by its matriarchs. Teta Fragedaki, a local cook who owns Mykonian Spiti and Farm with her husband Stratis, is one of those women: She’s spent over a decade teaching visitors to Mykonos how to make some of her most cherished recipes out of her home among the olive groves. Thanks to Celebrity, I was able to have a private, one-on-one lesson with Fragedaki. After welcoming me with a glass of local liquor tentura and a tour of the house—a stone haven filled with local art and ceramics—we got to work on two classic dishes, both of which she had learned to make with her own grandmother as a child: spanakopita, a spinach pie featuring layers of thin, flaky pastry, crumbly feta, and generous helpings of dill; and yemista, stuffed tomatoes filled to the brim with richly-flavored rice. As we cooked away in her spacious kitchen, Fragedaki guided me patiently through measurements and techniques, shared stories of her Greek upbringing and food memories, and explained the importance of these traditional recipes to Greek heritage. The final highlight? Getting to sit down and share the meal over a crisp glass of white wine together.
Church Bells in Mykonos
Wine tasting on a vineyard
Speaking of wine: as well as making its own olive oil and baking its own bread, Mykonian Spiti and Farm cultivates sprawling vineyards across its land, which visitors can tour. I was eager to get to know Greek wine better, so Celebrity set me up with on-site sommelier Stathis Pasoglou for a guided tasting in the sunshine. Along Mykonos countryside in the center of the island, where farm animals roam and bougainvillea drapes lazily over walls that line the property, Pasoglou chatted to me about the value Greek culture places on hospitality, walked me through the winemaking process, and taught me the Greek word for cheers ( yamas! ). Much like its European neighbors, Greece has a long history with wine (Dionysus is the god of winemaking, after all) and is home to its own indigenous grapes, meaning that there is a wealth of varietals to sample. It also means you need the expertise of someone like Pasoglou to help you understand the complex flavors behind them, and how to thoughtfully taste them—on this occasion, moschofilero and muscat from Alexandria, meltemi, a type of rosé, from Agiorgitiko, and garbis, a red variety also from Agiorgitiko. I left the farm a good deal more knowledgeable, and perhaps a little tipsier, too.
Mosaic making with a local artist
Three additional things Greece is famous for: its islands, its myths, and its ancient history. Within that history lies a long tradition of mosaics that can be seen all over the country, from inside churches to across the walls of ruins. It means that, like with food, mosaic making is a skill passed down through generations and still being preserved by artisans across the country to this day. It’s also a great afternoon activity after a busy morning of exploring, which is why Celebrity can arrange for guests to take a class on Mykonos with a local artist. I learned the ropes at ASTERIA Workshop with Irene Syrianou, making reproductions of ancient works as well as original pieces of contemporary art. Syrianou is a Mykonos-based artist who spent 10 years honing her craft on the island of Delos, where many of Greece’s most important mosaics reside. t. Over the course of a few hours, shaded by trees in a secluded courtyard behind an outdoor movie theater, she taught me the painstaking yet meditative process, during which each piece of tile is cracked into smaller pieces and placed individually into clay, and helped me create my own piece of work—and Mykonos—to bring home with me.
Local Restaurant in Mykonos
Local Donkey in Mykonos
A guided walk through Mykonos town
One of the best things about a destination experience? Walking the streets and feeling like a local. Celebrity Cruises set me up with guide Marilena Sfaellou, who was able to show me all the sights, as well as point me to some lesser-known spots that she likes to spend her own free time at, including quiet hiking trails and peaceful beaches away from the crowds. As the sun began to set, we zigzagged through Mykonos’s iconic narrow streets done up in bright white and blue (Mykonites repaint their houses at the start of each season, she told me) popping in and out of shops selling gold jewelry and woven bags, and peeking into jewelbox churches (there are 1,200 on the island total). Sfaellou was, unsurprisingly, a font of knowledge about Mykonos, telling me stories of how the strength of the wind is measured by the song from the town bells, of the family chapel that dates back to the 1200s, and even of Petros, the resident pelican visitors might catch sight of during a trip. Like all the great travel experiences, it enriched my experience of the island—showing me that Mykonos has far more to offer than just its legendary party scene—and took me to places I’d never have found on my own.
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Celebrity BEYOND transatlantic cruise: final musings
Corporate PR decline request for interview with captain
So there is no misunderstanding about this post: I had a great 14-day cruise on the Celebrity BEYOND. A beautiful ship, with great officers, crew, and entertainers. I am booked on two more Celebrity cruises at this time. The Flora to the Galapagos in February, and the ASCENT transatlantic from Barcelona, next October. I also look forward to booking two more cruises in 2025. I drafted this column a few hours after leaving the ship while sitting at the airport waiting for my flight to D.C.
We were welcomed to board the beautiful Beyond at the port of Civitavecchia, Italy, at 11 a.m. on Oct. 30. We dropped our luggage off as directed and then went through the metal detectors. Many of our group had reservations in the Retreat and were shown to a separate area to be boarded. After a short wait, when I was told there was an issue, I found out they just wanted to welcome me as a journalist they knew would be cruising with them and blogging from the ship. Then they directed us to the gangway to board. We were told our luggage would be delivered shortly. Turns out, many of us, including those in the Iconic suites, were still waiting for some luggage at 6:00pm. Mildly annoying, just not the welcome you want. On the other hand, my cabin was ready, and the attendant gave me a great smile, and welcomed me to the ship. I told him I needed hypoallergenic bedding and he had it there, and changed the bedding, within 15 minutes. I am on my own in the cabin and he didn’t have all that much to do for the two weeks, but was always available, and always smiling.
I was then left to my own devices and headed out to tour the ship. It is beautiful. I have been on other Celebrity ships including the EDGE, and did transatlantic cruises on the APEX the last two years. The BEYOND has some wonderful new additions. The Sunset Bar, designed by Nate Berkus, is beautiful; bigger, with plenty of seating. The retreat lounge has been expanded and changed in some good ways. Over the two weeks I was incredibly impressed with the concierge staff, Dalton was great, and with deck 17. The added space, designed in a great way, was perfect for relaxing, whether you wanted shade, or sun. The little pool was nice, and the bar and restaurant tables still great. Towels and blankets plentiful, with an always attentive crew. The garden deck was great with the plunge pool and the big pool deck was wonderful. The new hot tubs got lots of business.
Celebrity PR knows I write and publish a blog during my cruises, and for the past few years have written columns about Celebrity with the knowledge and help of their PR team. I have produced lots of sales for them, based on my published blogs, and columns. Despite that each year they make it difficult to get interviews with the captain and crew, which have always been well received. In the past though difficult, it was always possible. This year it wasn’t. When I asked to do interviews, I was told it would not be possible with the ridiculous statement, “At this time, we are keeping our stories focused on the product and overall travel experience.” Well, anyone who cruises will tell you the captain, officers, and crew, are what make a huge difference in the ‘overall travel experience.’ On the Beyond they were all around the ship chatting with cruisers, so not allowing an interview seemed really questionable. I know Celebrity is ‘LGBTQ+ friendly,’ I have written about that. I wondered if the fact that I would publish the interviews in the largest LGBTQ paper, among other outlets, was something they didn’t want done even though that would make no sense. Whatever the reason, it made no sense. Celebrity promotes and writes about their captains in press releases, using them as lures for travelers. The first woman captain, the first brothers being co-captains. I have actually written stories about them. But there is nothing like doing an interview and finding out why a captain or officer chose this career, a little more about them as people, and their families, and why they chose Celebrity. It would seem getting those stories out is good for the cruise line. Again, dealing with Celebrity PR is one of the most frustrating things a writer can do.
Dealing with the officers once on the ship is great. I arranged a meeting with Hotel Director Christophe Belaubre, whom I had first met last year when he was Hotel Director on the APEX. He is great at his job and Celebrity is lucky to have him. We met in the retreat lounge and chatted a little about issues like the luggage and some other small issues I brought up. Careful not to do an interview. He seemed appreciative to hear about the issues in a nice way from a cruiser. During the cruise I saw how incredibly helpful he was to my friends, and travel agents, Dustin, and Scott, of My Lux Cruise, who hosted a number of parties in their Iconic suite. In fact, I had first met Christophe on the APEX at one of their parties, just after I had interviewed the Captain of APEX, and invited him to the party. He not only came and enjoyed it; he brought Christophe with him. That is how I knew Christophe was going to be on the Beyond this year.
Now for a few other issues with Celebrity. Again, none of these issues has stopped me from booking cruises, or getting others to book them, but they are annoying. It seems Celebrity is trying to nickel and dime people once they are on board, and I heard lots of people on board make this complaint. When I mentioned these things to the crew, they told me they are hearing them often. Now this is in addition to their cutting back on other perks like pre-paid tips, and OBC.
One complaint is the additional cost of some dishes in the main dining rooms. When you book a cruise, you expect, at least the food served in the main dining rooms, to be included. Today you find menu items listed with additional prices as if you were in a restaurant in any city. If there are things Celebrity doesn’t want to serve at the price people paid for the cruise, leave them off the menu. I expect to pay extra, and do, for the specialty restaurants, but not in the main dining room.
Then even in the specialty restaurants, they are trying to get extra money after you have already paid the extra fee to eat there. One example is in EDEN restaurant. Let me first say, it is the best food I had on the ship, and the Chef, David, is incredible. I first met him when he was the chef in EDEN on the EDGE years ago. The issue here is the left side of the menu, a tasting menu of eight courses. Mind you, the same food as on the regular menu on the right side of the menu. But the tasting menu, if you order it with wine pairing for each course, is a whopping $200. Well, if you have a premium drink package, even if you order special wines and they charge you the extra $3 a drink above the package, three times eight is only $24. Everyone we were sitting near called it the same thing, a rip-off, and offensive. Not a look Celebrity should be going for. Again, we ate at EDEN three times during the cruise as the food is fantastic. Just order from the right side of the menu and you will be very happy.
I had some issues with the food in the main dining rooms as well. The soups were often not really hot, and the some of the pasta dishes, especially one in Cyprus, had so much of the cream sauce it looked, and tasted, like goop. But here the waiters were great and always willing to bring you something else, and did it with a smile, so by the time you finished dinner you were happy. I have to mention how great Raw on Five is, and I enjoyed the Rooftop restaurant even though it was a little windy the night we went. But you leave happy if you have the deep-dish chocolate chip cooking, with vanilla ice cream melting on it.
Now kudos to Celebrity for the entertainment. The shows in the theater, which is an incredible place, were superb. The cast of the Eden Lounge shows, who also perform in The Club, were just as great. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the acrobat/aerialists from Ukraine, and Slavik and his partner Vlad were a pleasure to watch. All the cast, singers, dancers, and acrobats were great. Interestingly, we wanted to invite them to the parties we had in the Iconic suite but apparently, they are told they can’t go. But on this cruise both Christophe, and Captain Leo, said if the cast directors said OK, they would be fine with entertainers being at the parties. I think it is great to let them mingle. It makes the cruise experience that much better. Captain Leo was at the party and everyone enjoyed meeting him there. Contrary to the PR departments response to me, getting to know him made the ‘travel experience’ for some of the most loyal Celebrity cruisers, that much more enjoyable and memorable.
Another issue was the lack of enough bartenders in the Eden lounge for what were billed as LGBTQ happy hours. They attracted big crowds each evening, of both LGTBQ and straight guests. It was a happening place each evening at 6 p.m. and could have used more servers at the bar.
I need to mention the incredible artwork on the Beyond. Each of the Edge series ships has great art. Each of us view art from our own perspective, so not everyone likes everything, but there is enough for everyone to appreciate and it definitely adds to the overall ambiance of the ship. The one piece of art I asked Christophe about was the dark tunnel leading to the Eden lounge. I saw two people walk into the dark mirrored walls, and if you were over 5’9 you could easily hit your head on one of the hard silver balls hanging from the ceiling, if you didn’t duck. Seemed it could have been planned a little better. But again, I guess it’s all in the eyes of the beholder, and in general, in my eyes, the art on the Beyond is quite amazing.
So, in totality, if you read this, you will see the issues I have are with Celebrity Cruises, corporate. Everyone on ship is great. Always smiling, and always working hard to make each traveler’s cruise as great as it possibly can be. For the 100 or so I travel with, they obviously succeed, as we keep booking again, and again, and our group keeps growing.
One way among others to join us is by contacting my friends, Scott and Dustin, at My Lux Cruise . It is always a pleasure to see old friends, and make new ones every year. It is especially great to see a first time Celebrity cruiser enjoy their experiences on these beautiful ships.
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Key West doesn’t need more, or bigger, cruise ships
Seeking a balance of ‘environmental protection and sustainable tourism’
There is a fight today about whether they should let more, and bigger, cruise ships dock in Key West. The New York Times recently wrote about it. As someone who has spent many memorable vacations in Key West, I side with those who say “no” to more cruise ships. The organization Safer, Cleaner, Ships , is fighting to keep more, and larger, ships, out of Key West. They have the right idea.
The question that should be asked is: “What kind of an island do the people living on Key West want?” And the answer should drive the decision of the Florida Legislature, and Governor DeSanctimonious. Unfortunately, it may be decided based on political donations the governor received. One resident of Key West, Christopher Massicotte, co-founder of Duval Street Media, said, “Key West voters overwhelmingly supported reducing cruise ship size, and the number of daily disembarkations. Then greedy Mark Walsh, who owns the dock, went straight to the governor and the legislature asking them to overturn the will of the people for his own financial gain, greased with a $1 million contribution to DeSantis’s campaign for president. The citizens of Key West aren’t trying to stop all cruise ship traffic, or bring the city back to ‘The good old days.’ We are trying to create a balance of environmental protection and sustainable tourism.”
I cruise regularly and love it and have traveled to Alaska on a cruise and woke up one morning on the ship in Ketchikan, to step out on the balcony and see six massive ships, and hundreds of busses on the pier, ready to take passengers on tours. In Key West, that won’t happen. Instead, the thousands of passengers will not get on busses, rather throng the main street (Duval), from one end of town to the other, making it look more like Times Square, instead of a sleepy little island, which is what always attracted people to the idea of Key West. It is what attracted Hemmingway. It attracted President Truman to set up his winter White House. Everyone going to visit Key West heads to the Southernmost Point in the U.S. to snap their photo. One doesn’t need thousands more people heading there all at once. Just the thought of this would have Hemmingway and Truman turning over in their graves.
I always thought Key West did fine with an airport, and people coming to visit by car, then staying in a hotel, or guesthouse. I often stayed at one of the great little guesthouses, or some of the smaller hotels, on the island. I remember the larger ones being on both ends of Duval Street. There were great bars and restaurants, and you could amble down Duval slowly, enjoying the sound of the music coming out of the bars — think Jimmy Buffett.
I loved Key West when it was a gay Mecca, having the first openly gay mayor of a city. At the time there were lots of gay guesthouses and clubs. I remember dancing at the Copa, and there was the dock on the southern side of the island, next to the one tiny beach, which locals called ‘dick dock.’ It was a great spot for nude sunbathing, as was the pool at the Southernmost Motel. That period ended when the gay community moved to South Beach in Miami. Key West is still welcoming to the LGBTQ community. There is the iconic La Te Da hotel, on Duval Street, with its tea dance. Performing there is another Key West icon, Christopher Peterson, a female impersonator extraordinaire. Christopher said, “Unfortunately I don’t think we need to dredge again the beautiful coral reef we live on, just to have 10,000 more people here for six hours, adding nothing to the economy because they eat and drink on the ship for free.” He added, “Bigger is not always better unless it’s in the bedroom…. king-size bed…. dirty minds!”
Numbers can always be used in many ways, but the Times column reported “Before the pandemic, nearly a million people a year were visiting Key West aboard cruise ships. But when Covid-19 brought that to a halt, the city’s $2.4 billion tourism industry, responsible for 44 percent of its jobs, did not collapse. Instead, hotel tax revenue rose 15 percent, and with 1.4 million arrivals, the airport set a record in 2021.”
If that is enough revenue to keep Key West being the wonderful place it is to live and visit, it seems adding thousands of more day trippers out of cruise ships isn’t going to make the place better. Rather, it will hurt the environment, and make things worse.
Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.
Most of America opposes Speaker Johnson’s anti-LGBTQ hate
No one should have their identity politicized so GOP can score points with its base
When I was a kid, I was afraid to come out to my religious family – at the time, gay marriage was still illegal. Fortunately, times have changed: My family is supportive of me for who I am and I now plan to marry my partner one day. But the newest speaker of the House jeopardizes that dream, making me fear the life I have planned with the person I love will soon fall out of reach.
Recently, after three weeks of chaos, the House of Representatives elected Mike Johnson (R-La.) as speaker. His extremist rhetoric and horrific record of discrimination toward the LGBTQ community doesn’t represent where most of America is – but it does clue us into the priorities of today’s Republicans.
The love that I and my partner have built over our three years together is the same as straight couples. Yet Johnson’s legislative record flies in the face of that as he’s argued to uphold bans on same-sex marriage , sought to ban inclusion of gay couples in employment benefits , and compared gay marriage to bestiality . It’s impossible to feel optimistic that, with a background like that, Johnson will protect my rights during his tenure.
The entirety of my community feels the same apprehension. My coworker, Mads Stirling, who came out as a nonbinary trans person in 2021, has the same fears that I do. They found that being empowered to live as their authentic self through hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and changing their driver’s license gender marker improved their mental health.
“But even as I was transitioning with the crucial support of family, friends, coworkers, and the local government, I felt terrified as I watched Republican-led states roll back rights for trans people,” Mads said.
Johnson contributed to the dangerous climate that spurred these attacks, speaking in favor of banning gender-affirming care for transgender youth and joining a contingent of politicians who proposed more than 500 anti-LGBTQ bills in the U.S. in 2023 . In his new role as speaker, Johnson could even help unravel important protections like federal nondiscrimination laws.
It feels like our country is moving backward and that nowhere is safe for people with identities like mine. Having been there myself, my heart breaks for LGBTQ children who will hear the new speaker’s horrible homophobia and transphobia and feel unsafe being their authentic selves. No person, least of all children, should have their identity politicized so the Republican Party can score points with its members.
It is appalling that while 70% of Americans support gay marriage , we have a speaker who opposes it. It is appalling that while gender-affirming care reduces suicidality in trans adults and childre n, we have a speaker that wants to deny life-saving care to them. It is appalling that, in 2023, a person in power can spread such hatred toward a group of people for simply existing.
The Speaker of the House should be a voice for all Americans, representing our interests and embodying the role of a leader. But as a gay Black man, it is impossible for me to feel that Johnson — and the Republican Party he answers to — can ever represent us when they work so actively against us.
The Republican Party and Mike Johnson have demonstrated over and over again that protecting and uplifting LGBTQ+ people is not a priority. We expect Johnson intends to serve only his own party’s extremist agenda by further isolating and oppressing LGBTQ people — after all, they maneuvered him into power. We fear the erasure of LGBTQ identities entirely by disappearing us from public life and making our private lives intolerable by criminalizing our families and our healthcare.
America deserves better than Mike Johnson. We can never tolerate nor normalize Johnson’s hateful rhetoric toward LGBTQ people, and now that he has a national platform, it’s more important than ever to speak out and vote against the GOP’s extremist policies. We must continue our work to elect representatives that will champion LGBTQ people and fearlessly defend their rights so that in the future, no one with views like these can assume a place in Congress.
We deserve leadership reflective of the American people and that’s not Mike Johnson or the GOP’s anti-LGBTQ agenda.
Mike Griffin is senior electoral organizer for D.C.-based Community Change.
This World AIDS Day, we must protect access to HIV medicines
We stand on the precipice of ending the epidemic
As a physician who has worked with patients living with HIV since the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, I’ve seen the darkness and the light.
Back then, it was a scary, anxious time—not only for patients, but also for clinicians. We lacked effective medical treatments. Patients swallowed handfuls of pills. These complex regimens often worked only for short periods of time and brought difficult side effects. Contracting HIV seemed like a painful death sentence—and one that too often lacked dignity, as many morticians then refused to embalm those who had succumbed to the disease.
Today, the reality is much brighter. I now regularly counsel my patients who contract the virus to plan on living a full life into their golden years. With longer lives, more people now access prescription HIV drugs from Medicare than ever before. While we still lack a cure, we stand on the precipice of ending the epidemic because we know people cannot transmit the virus through sex when they have undetectable levels of HIV. This incredible step forward—a concept known as U=U, or undetectable equals untransmittable—is due in large part to the steady supply of a wide variety of antiretroviral medications. So long as patients have access to quality care and the right medicine, HIV is now a manageable disease.
One important but unsung hero in this progress? An obscure federal law with long, bipartisan support, known as the “six protected classes” policy. It mandates that Part D prescription drug plans cover “all or substantially all” medications in six protected classes. It helps Medicare beneficiaries with some of the most serious health conditions: not only HIV, but also cancer, epilepsy, and those at risk of organ transplant rejection. Now that policy is under threat because pharmacy benefit managers—or the drug middlemen who decide which drugs your plans include and your pharmacy carries—are pressing the federal government to weaken the policy to pad their bottom lines.
For those living with HIV, the stakes could not be higher. Until we have a cure, patients must take drugs regularly and diligently for the rest of their lives. Thanks to decades of incredible innovation, there are now 23 different antiretrovirals in nine different drug classes available to those living with HIV. I have prescribed every single one. Sometimes, I’ll prescribe from nine different two- or three-drug single tablet co-formulated combinations to find the most effective option for a patient.
While patients have more options, they still face challenges adhering to their regimen. Some experience a gap in coverage due to loss of insurance or a switch in plans. Copayments can become a financial barrier. Others might experience side effects or have conditions making a particular medication unsuitable.
These antiretroviral medications are not interchangeable. If a patient doesn’t take the exact medicine they need, they risk side effects, problematic medication interactions, and possibly developing resistance to HIV. If the virus comes back, it is genetically unforgiving. Now resistant to an entire class, the virus steals precious options for the patient, particularly those who have been living with HIV for decades. To overcome this, I need—my patients need—every single option at their disposal. The only way I can keep my patients maximally suppressed, living well, feeling good, and able to live a full, healthy life is if they have access to the full range of drugs.
We have come a long way. Over the past decade, we have driven new deaths down by 70 percent and new infections down by 40 percent worldwide. But this progress is not guaranteed. If we eliminate the number of antiretrovirals available to patients, the danger of a backslide into resistant strains of the virus is real.
As we recognize World AIDS Day, let us not only remember the millions this disease has taken, but let us also recommit ourselves to the 40 million people worldwide living with HIV and many more who are at risk of contracting it.
Let’s protect this critical federally protected drug class policy that has delivered so much progress. We can’t slide back into darkness. We must keep pushing forward into the light.
Dr. James A. Sosman is a recognized leader in the field of HIV/AIDS medicine and serves as medical director for the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center.
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