During Royal Caribbean’s recent earnings call, Celebrity President Dan Hanrahan sounded like he couldn’t wait for 2011: “I’m pleased to report that with the addition of Silhouette in 2011, almost 50% of our capacity will be Solstice class,” he told listeners.
Hanrahan reminded Wall Street financial analysts that Celebrity is “Solsticizing” all of its Millennium-class ships, beginning with Constellation, which is in dry-dock in Hamburg this month. During a stay of just over two weeks, Hanrahan says “the best venues from the Solstice will be added to the ship.”
By the time all four Millennium-class ships are updated in 2012, approximately $200 million will have been spent. Normally, with that large an investment, upgrades involve tearing out walls and putting in balconies, but not this time. Instead, Celebrity is upgrading the public areas – adding a Tuscan Grille and Martini Bar/Crush. Other improvements include adding a Bistro on Five, a Wine Bar, where guests can sample by the glass with a touch of a button (and a SeaPass card) and the Café al Bacio & Gelateria.
Millennium-class ships aren’t as large as Solstice-class, so some of Solstice’s features – like the Lawn Club, hot glass shows and AquaClass – won’t make it to Constellation.
Celebrity’s primary market is couples 35-plus, but recent changes are designed to appeal to a wider range of ages and lifestyles than in years past. And all of these onboard changes come at a time when Celebrity is significantly altering its deployments for next summer.
The biggest changes will be seen in Europe in summer 2011, where all of Celebrity’s ships will have Solstice features. Not only will Solstice itself do 12-night Barcelona roundtrips, but Constellation will offer Amsterdam roundtrips and Eclipse (primarily U.K. sourced) will sail roundtrips out of Southampton. Civitavecchia will be a particularly busy turnaround, handling both Equinox and the new Silhouette, with the latter operating 12-night Holy Land cruises out of Rome.
Following that season, Silhouette will bring its ‘Solsticized’ product to North America, offering 12-night Southern and Eastern Caribbean cruises out of Cape Liberty.