More than Botox…Celebrity gets a whole facelift

Posted in Ship Reviews By Tom Baker

Blu Restaurant - Photo: Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises has nearly completed the extensive refurbishment (long, long overdue) of its spectacular Millennium Class ships built a decade ago. This fleet of four nearly identical sister-ships  include the Millennium, Infinity, Constellation, and Summit. When these remarkable 90,000 ton, 2100 passenger ships were built, they were the “pinnacle” of premium class ships, spacious, and in many ways ahead of all competition at the time. But with nearly a decade of service behind them, they began o grow a little older, tired, and lacked the luster that they once were famous for!

In 2009, Celebrity Cruises introduced a new larger class of ships that were an advent of the Millennium Class and these were called Solstice Class. These ships like her predecessors are the modern marvel of the industry and significantly larger at 122,000 tons and carrying 2800 passengers. Celebrity suddenly had a serious quagmire on their hands. They had a fleet with great disparity in age, look, and feel. Unfortunately, the downturn in the economy and free money were not readily available to refurbish the ships of old.

Reviews on public web sites became very critical of the older Millennium Class ships as they became faded beauties of yesteryear and prices for these once great ships plummeted against the NEWER and wildly popular solstice Class ships that set the ground for new Modern Luxury cruising.

I too, was highly critical of Celebrity Cruises for not announcing a fast-track refurbishment of this fleet but now that is nearly complete. Constellation, Infinity, Summit, and very soon-Millennium will complete a total “Solsticization” with nearly $30 million invested in each ship to renew and refresh them back to the standard of being nearly brand new but once again highly competitive and glamorous.

AquaSpa - Photo: Celebrity Cruises

This rebuild is quite a remake as you will see from the USA Today photographs taken of Celebrity Constellation last summer and some from Infinity late last fall. Celebrity has  added all the popular venues from its newest ships that include, the Ice Martini Bar, Wine bar, Qusine alternative Restaurant, Bistro on Five alternative dining venue, Café Al Baccio, added a new Apple I-Computer Lounge, to name just a few. All furnishings were changed or refurbished as well as all carpets, walls and art refreshed. Every cabin received updated bedding, décor, carpets, flat panel interactive televisions, and the ships mechanical systems were upgraded and overhauled…  The biggest change for Celebrity Infinity, Summit, and soon for Millennium is the addition of Aqua Class cabins and BLU its exclusive BLU restaurant. This venue has been wildly successful on the Solstice Class ships and gives an added class of accommodation and dining unique to Celebrity Cruises!

All of this amazing work was done during a short couple of weeks in a shipyard using the ships crew plus, thousands of professional craftsmen working around the clock to make this transformation take place.

Today, Celebrity has a wonderful fleet of highly consistent ships that do embody its slogan MODERN LUXURY. While overdue, I sigh in relief knowing that I can recommend the older ships with great aplomb and wish them success into their second decade of passenger service

Happy Cruising!

Have you been on a Celebrity ship that has been ‘Solsticized?’  Tell us what you thought. Also remember to click here and give us your review.