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Celebrity Announces Restart


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Starting in June sailing from St. Maarten.  
 

https://creative.rccl.com/Sales/Celebrity/General_Info/ITK/CEL_JUNE_CARIBBEAN_COMEBACK_FOR_CELEBRITY_CRUISES_Press_Release_3-19-21.pdf

 

CELEBRITY CRUISES EMBRACES THE MAGIC OF ST. MAARTEN FOR JUNE CARIBBEAN COMEBACK
- Revolutionized Celebrity Millennium to set sail on June 5
- Announcement is “such a significant moment’ for company, St. Maarten and the Caribbean


MIAMI (March 19, 2021) – Celebrity Cruises announced its long-anticipated return to cruising today, as company President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo confirmed that the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, the ship at the forefront of the fleet’s $500 million modernization program and featuring the exclusive open-air hideaway The Retreat®, will homeport in the tropical paradise of St. Maarten beginning June 5.


Beginning March 25, eager travelers can turn their vacation dreams into a dream vacation when booking opens for new seven-night itineraries departing through August to some of the best-loved Caribbean island destinations. The ship will sail with vaccinated crew and will be available to vaccinated adult guests and children under the age of 18 with a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of embarkation.


Guests can take advantage of special air and sea pricing offering exceptional savings on all Summer 2021 St. Maarten sailings starting at $1,999* per person for a veranda stateroom. The offer applies to new bookings and flights must be booked through Flights By Celebrity and prices include airfare and taxes. No promotional code is needed.
Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said, “Returning to the Caribbean after more than a year away is such a significant moment for us. It marks the measured beginning of the end of what has been a uniquely challenging time for everyone. We have been in constant contact with the leadership of St. Maarten these past months to support each other and share learnings and best practices. That we’re able to offer people the opportunity to safely vacation onboard the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, is incredible, and that we will sail from the magical island of St. Maarten is very special. I am forever grateful for the support and collaboration of the St. Maarten government.”


“Having a major cruise line such as Royal Caribbean Group’s Celebrity Cruises homeport here is a significant economic milestone for St. Maarten. It’s an historic agreement, the fruit of continuous dialogue and a testament to the strength of our longstanding relationship,” Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT) Ludmila de Weever declared. “Celebrity Cruises homeporting here will help rejuvenate our economy and drive opportunities for our people. I would like to thank the management team at the Royal Caribbean Group for their commitment to St. Maarten and their confidence in the Ministry of TEATT as a reliable and responsible partner. I look forward to the successful re-launch of their Caribbean cruising,” Minister de Weever concluded.

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10 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Millennium is one of their older ships, isn't it ?

Yes - oldest of the Millennium class.  Its been "Revolutionized", but too be honest, we were disappointed when we sailed her in Alaska in '19.  It wasn't really a complete upgrade - especially in the specialty dining areas.  Upgrade from Michael's Club to Retreat lounge was very nice, but the service model changed and became more "self serve" in the lounge.

 

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Some details are emerging.

  • PCR tests before the cruise is paid by the guest.  Antigen tests performed by Royal are included.
  • The final antigen test near the end of the cruise is being scheduled on board so it can be used to satisfy airline requirements to fly home.
  • Capacity will be limited to 40% to 60%.  Closer to 40% initially but expanding as time goes on.
  • B2B are allowed i.e. 2 x 7 = 14 days, pending determination of PCR test requirements for 2nd sailing and how that would work. TBD
  • Verandah and above initially.  No inside or oceanview.  This may change as things progress.
  • Royal considers themselves multigenerational across the brands so they specifically created the PCR test requirement so that children can sail.  If you are eligible to get a vaccine, you must have a vaccine.  For those age groups that aren't eligible for a vaccine yet, a PCR test is required.
  • These are "Always Included" cruises
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4 hours ago, twangster said:

Apparently when asked "why Millie?" the response was to the effect that they hope to sail Apex and Edge on her already scheduled sailings so they didn't want to disrupt those cruises in case they get the green light from the CDC soon.

But I’d counter that with, “Well, why not Summit in that case?” Summit is newer, also Revitalized, and equally screwed for any US sailings this year. Remember that she’s the ship they use for Bermuda / Charlotte / Nantucket sailings. Plus the Iceland & Greenland TA that I’m confident saying is definitely not happening this year (Aug sail dates).

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9 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

But I’d counter that with, “Well, why not Summit in that case?” Summit is newer, also Revitalized, and equally screwed for any US sailings this year. Remember that she’s the ship they use for Bermuda / Charlotte / Nantucket sailings. Plus the Iceland & Greenland TA that I’m confident saying is definitely not happening this year (Aug sail dates).

I assume it's because they recognize the chance of saving Millie's Alaska season versus the chance that some or any of Summit's season makes Millie the better choice.

If they use Summit and the CDC allows July cruises then all of Summit's summer and fall is lost.  Millie's summer and fall is almost certainly lost (thanks Canada). 

Pick Summit and another ship sits idle.

Pick Millie and maybe, just maybe, Summit can save something of her season.

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Was surprised Millennium is the first to sail.  But I guess it makes sense based upon crew/passenger numbers and embarkation port limitations.  I was told by one Celeb employee the "Edge" class ships were the priority to get underway.  (Also have a superior IT backbone for the contact tracing requirements)  There was even a rumor it might get sold off.

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8 minutes ago, cruisellama said:

Was surprised Millennium is the first to sail.  But I guess it makes sense based upon crew/passenger numbers and embarkation port limitations.  I was told by one Celeb employee the "Edge" class ships were the priority to get underway.  (Also have a superior IT backbone for the contact tracing requirements)  There was even a rumor it might get sold off.

If it flops and an outbreak occurs maybe they didn't want the flagship in the spotlight.

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5 hours ago, cruisellama said:

Will or can these early cruises by Royal and Celebrity be considered as "test cruises"?   Its low spreader risk proposition since all guests and crew will be vaccinated and there will be pre/post testing.

Without seeing the actual CDC technical details we don't know, however the test cruise are a CDC requirement so I'm not sure the CDC is going to allow a cruise in another country on a different ship that they weren't present to observe to be accepted.  If they do, there is Singapore and soon Israel cruises that would satisfy the concept.  Will they require each ship to perform a test cruise?  That's sort of the gist of the entire CSO - everything on a per ship basis.  

Everything changes weekly.  More vaccinations, different case counts, different variants.  The October CSO is now outdated and obsolete so even that framework doesn't reflect where we are now six months later.    

Hopefully the delay with the CDC providing details has in some small way been caused by them throwing out the CSO and writing a new one to reflect major game changers like vaccinations that didn't exist in October.

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I think we all have to realize that the CDC is, in fact, a government agency with all the inherent hesitance to action of any government agency. (At least in the US, I can't speak for other countries.) They cannot keep up with the changing COVID landscape. As soon as they write, then staff, then rewrite, then restaff, then get administration guidance from the new administration, and then repeat, the situation has changed. There is a terrible tendency in the US to do nothing. Remember, "If we do nothing, we can do nothing wrong!" I don't see that changing before the summer.

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