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How Celebrity Just Changed Cruise Dining [VIDEO]

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Every now and again, a cruise line comes up with something so innovative it changes everything. Think Royal Caribbean’s surfing simulators or Carnival Cruise Line’s SkyRide. And this week, I was lucky enough to be on hand when Celebrity Cruise Lines unveiled more information about the upcoming Celebrity Edge… including a new dining experience which promises to blow the mind of passengers

The Ship Will Have Nearly 30 Restaurants

During a presentation at New York City’s Pier 36, Celebrity made it clear that they intend to raise the bar when it comes to how people think of cruise food… and not only in the specialty restaurants. Looking at Celebrity Edge — the first of four Edge Class ships — as a clean slate, Brian Abel, Vice President of Hotel Operations, said that the line has “combined unique concepts, expansive menus and incredible design to serve a platter of exciting new dining experiences never before seen at sea.”

Celebrity offered up all kinds of tasty treats during the presentation.

Certain elements will feel familiar to longtime cruisers, such as the ability to choose between traditional early or late set seatings (at which you will dine with the same people each night and have a set wait staff) or Celebrity Select Dining Plus, which gives guests the freedom to book themselves into any of four dining rooms at whatever time they choose. But even with the main dining rooms, Celebrity is switching things up. The ship will have four complimentary main dining rooms, each with a distinctive design and ambiance inspired by a specific part of the world. Menus will feature some of the same items which have proved popular across the Celebrity fleet, but also dishes showcasing the dining room’s inspiration.

The four main dining rooms are Tuscan Restaurant (a nod to the line’s Tuscan Grille and featuring Italian-inspired dishes); the French-themed Normandie Restaurant (described as a “conceptual cousin” to the line’s Murano); Cyprus Restaurant, featuring bright and flavorful Mediterranean dishes); and Cosmopolitan Restaurant, featuring more familiar American cuisine.

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Among the specialty restaurants, standouts will surely be the Fine Cut Steakhouse, Raw On 5 (which promises to offer “the best blend of St. Tropez and New England seafood) and the BBQ served up at the Rooftop Garden Grill. That’s on top of the already announced Eden Restaurant, which will combine dining and entertainment to create a multi-sensory experience for guests, and Dinner On The Edge (aka your opportunity to eat on the Magic Carpet while it is parked in its uppermost position).

At the special presentation, chefs prepared fresh seafood dishes like those which will be offered up at Raw On 5 on board the Celebrity Edge.

The Meal Sure To Cause Your Jaw To Drop

But the real showstopper will be dinners at Le Grand Bistro. During the day, the space will offer up handmade macaroons, artisinal cheeses and baked breads perfect for grab-and-go meals. But at night, the space will transform thanks to Le Petite Chef, an animated 3-D character who appears on your plate and “prepares” the meal for you. While the line describes it as “an immersive fusion of entertainment and dining like nothing guests have ever experienced at sea,” it is, in a word, stunning.

But don’t take my word for it. They recreated the dining experience for us and, because no special headsets or glasses are required, I was able to capture it on video.

Given that Celebrity is the first cruise line to have partnered with TableMation Studios, they know that this is an experience passengers will not be able to experience on any other ship.

“Once again, Celebrity Edge is solidifying, amplifying and putting a superlative on our award-winning culinary experience,” says Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of the line, “allowing our guests to explore the world without ever leaving their table. From the amazing destinations we visit globally, to the local ingredients sourced to satisfy the visionary recipes created by our Michelin-starred chef, Cornelius Gallagher, we open up the world through our unique culinary offerings.”

Look for Celebrity Edge, which will be homeported out of Fort Lauderdale, to make her first sailing on November 21, 2018. Her three sister ships will join the fleet in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

 

 

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Peek Inside Celebrity Edge’s State-of-the-Art Spa

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Celebrity Cruises has revealed renderings of The Spa on their upcoming ship Celebrity Edge, and it is massive. And beautiful. The nature-inspired space was created by world-renowned designer Kelly Hoppen, and comes in at 22,000 square feet.

Design & Inspiration

To create a luxurious, natural environment, Celebrity worked closely with Hoppen to create a concept called SEA, inspired by the Sea, Earth, and Air.

Blended essences fill the air as soon as guests walk in, and the Relaxation Lounge is a peaceful start to the spa experience before treatments begin.

“As we curated The Spa journey with Celebrity, the inspiration behind this revolutionary concept was to connect guests with nature while delivering distinctive sensory experiences, uncompromising service, and a wealth of new wellness choices that are exclusive at sea,” said Glenn Fusfield, President and CEO, One Spa World, LLC. “We’ve created a concept that not only evolves spa and wellness but sets the new standard.”

Spa Offerings

Celebrity teamed up with the leading authorities in their fields to harness cutting-edge technological and therapeutic innovations for a spa experience like no other. There are over 124 treatments to choose from, including signature offerings such as the Ocean Spa Wave Massage, Hot Mineral Body Boost, Thousand Flower Detox Wrap, and more that travelers will probably recognize.

The Spa aboard Celebrity Edge will also feature a lineup of first-at-sea and brand-first amenities and treatments for guests, including:

  • The next evolution of the Persian Garden that’s across the line’s current fleet, called the SEA Thermal Suite. It will feature eight different experiences: the Hammam, Salt Room, Steam Room, Rainfall Water Therapy Room, Float Room, heated tile loungers, infrared sauna, and Crystalarium. Those staying in AquaClass will receive complimentary access to this suite.

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  • The first line of ELEMIS BIOTEC facials ever offered on a Celebrity ship
  •  A specialty treatment table collection, including:
    • Spa Wave MLW Amphibia Table – water filled cushions adapt to each visitor’s body for prime comfort, as well as customizable color therapy lighting
    • WellMassage4D Table – this award-winning treatment table uses breakthrough technology to deliver a deeper massage
    • MLX Quartz Table – Warm crystals mold and shape around the body, releasing muscle tension and promoting deeper relaxation
  • Ideal Image Ocean, The Advanced MedSpa offering esthetic services like wrinkle treatments and fillers
  • Celebrity is partnering with Kérastase, one of the world’s most advanced luxury haircare brands for the first ever Kérastase Institute at sea

  • The Barber offers traditional hot shaves and fresh cuts for men
  • The Fitness Center will feature hot yoga, Technogym Group Cycle, Fitness on Demand, cardio boxing, and the first Bungee Fit and Peloton bikes ever offered at sea

Celebrity Edge will spend her inaugural season sailing alternating 7-night cruises in the western and eastern Caribbean, before heading to the Mediterranean with a range of 7-11 night cruises in 2019. Bookings for cruises aboard Edge are now open, as well as reservations for the spa.

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Celebrity Cruises Partners With Forbes Travel Guide

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Celebrity Cruises has entered into a travel partnership with Forbes Travel Guide. The line partnered with the company to tap into their 60 years of expertise, as Celebrity continues to refine its guest experience.

Celebrity is the first cruise line to secure a fleet wide partnership with Forbes Travel Guide. Integrating its vast experience assessing and verifying service and facilities at the finest hotel and resorts in the world, Forbes Travel Guide now shares the same standards of luxury service to support Celebrity.

For 25 years, Celebrity’s commitment to world-class service has been their calling card, and the main reason guests continue to cruise with the line year after year.

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For information on Celebrity’s commitment to excellent service, visit celebrity cruises.com/about-us/our-distinction.

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Carnival Cruise Trades Teen Dream Vacation For Snapchat Handle

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When Darian Lipscomb was 9 years old, he went on his first cruise and, like most of us, fell in love with the experience. Now, his love of cruising in general — and Carnival Cruise Line in particular — has paid off in a big way… as in he and his family are going to be taking a dream vacation aboard the line’s newest ship, Carnival Horizon!

Photo via Carnival.

What Carnival Wanted In Exchange

It turns out that after Lipscomb’s cruise, he was flying high. “I wanted to share it with my friends,” the Prospect, Virginia told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. So in 2012, he went on Snapchat and created the handle @CarnivalCruise on which to share pics of his amazing trip. As it turns out, the folks at the cruise line had more than a passing interest in obtaining that particular Snapchat handle for themselves… so they went looking for Darian.

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Photo via Carnival.

The next thing you know, flyers featuring Shaquille O’Neal, aka Carnival’s recently-appointed “Chief Fun Officer” — began popping up around town saying, “Hey, Prospect, does anyone know Darian?” But the real surprise came when the now-15-year-old… well, we’ll let him tell the story!

“I answered the door,” the now-15-year-old told the paper, “walked outside and saw my name on a big truck! I was really surprised!” The next thing you know, he’d traded the Snapchat handle so that he and his family could be booked on a trip to Barcelona to be among the first passengers to sail aboard the Carnival Horizon!

“We thought this would be a fun way to claim our handle and reward a superfan at the same time,” says Robyn Fink, Director of Consumer Public Relations for Carnival. “We’re so excited to give Darian and his family this once-in-a-lifetime seagoing experience!”

This will be the teen’s fourth cruise, and it will all be chronicled on Carnival’s social media… including, of course, the Snapchat account which started it all.

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