FROM THE BRIDGE
Just for you—your exclusive Captain’s Club Newsletter is here
It’s not a makeover. It’s a $500-million modernization. It started with our new ship, Celebrity Edge℠, with an innovative, outward-facing design that connects you to the sea like never before. It continued with Celebrity Flora℠, the first ship designed specifically with the Galapagos Islands in mind. And now, we’re bringing together more than 500 leading architects, designers, and engineers to reimagine the best fleet in the world
Introducing The Retreat, exclusive new sanctuaries for suite guests at The Retreat Lounge and The Retreat Sundeck. Luxuriously updated restaurants and lounges. New boutiques featuring the hottest designer names. This is how the world’s best premium cruise line becomes better than ever. This is The Celebrity Revolution.
Revolutionizing our award-winning ships gave us the opportunity to bring our already world-class suites to lavish new heights. Celebrity Edge will change the way you experience the world, and The Retreat will change the way you experience vacations. Together with world-renowned designer Kelly Hoppen, MBE, we’ve created the ultimate in modern experiences, and they’re only on Celebrity.
The Retreat isn’t just a place. It isn’t a service. It isn’t an amenity. It’s our entire suite experience, and it’s all available to every Retreat guest. In fact, we’re the only premium cruise line to offer every Retreat guest a personal butler, a private restaurant, and an exclusive lounge. And, The Celebrity Revolution—our $500 million fleetwide modernization—will introduce The Retreat experience to the rest of our ships beginning in February 2019. Each ship will offer exclusive areas, such as The Retreat Sundeck, The Retreat Lounge, and Luminae at The Retreat.
It’s not just our suites that are getting a design overhaul. Every room—from our inside and ocean view staterooms to our Concierge Class and AquaClass® staterooms—is being boldly rethought. From a fresh, new look rivaling the world’s best boutique hotels to our eXhale™ bedding featuring luxurious CashmereSM mattresses you won’t find anywhere else, every detail of our staterooms has been elevated, every comfort refined. We collaborated with the acclaimed design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) to transform all our staterooms on Celebrity Millennium®, Celebrity Constellation®, Celebrity Infinity®, and Celebrity Summit®, as well as the staterooms and many of the suites on Celebrity Solstice®, Celebrity Eclipse®, Celebrity Equinox℠, and Celebrity Silhouette®. You might never want to leave your room—if it weren’t, of course, for the stunning ship and incredible destinations waiting just beyond your door.
Is a luxurious outdoor area that rivals any high-end resort. This spacious lounge area makes it easy to unplug with plush, stylish furniture and an inviting hot tub. Dedicated attendants are at your service to make sure your every whim is tended to – cocktails, fresh towels, refreshing treats, you name it. This is a private retreat within a retreat, and it’s available for all Retreat guests.
Is available 24/7, and inside, Kelly has created a warm and inviting space. Here, you’ll have access to an exclusive concierge who’ll make any arrangements you need – on board or off. You’ll also enjoy complimentary beverages, gourmet bites, and a comfortable place to read the latest best-seller, catch up on current events, watch the big game or just kick your feet up and relax.
We’re always looking for new ways to open your world, not only through the places we bring you but through our globally-inspired culinary experience, as well. So, in our Main Restaurants, gorgeous new fixtures and finishes will perfectly prepare you for the mouthwatering journey ahead. Oceanview Café will be transformed with an open, airy, marketplace-inspired design offering you island after island of international delicacies. Day or night, the luxuriously redesigned Rendezvous Lounge is equally inviting, whether you want to meet new friends over handmade cocktails at the newly enlarged bar or curl up with a book in a quiet reading nook. Marvel as your dinner comes together right before your eyes with our virtual Le Petit Chef™ experience, created by the world-famous artists of Skullmapping, presented by TableMation™, and now coming to you fleetwide at our Qsine restaurant. Gather for a toast at the newly reimagined Passport Bar. And with the expansion of our popular Gastrobar concept, discover more than 40 craft beers, along with creative cocktails and gourmet comfort food. Together, it all adds up to make the world’s most delicious vacations even more tantalizing.
Q & A with Tom Brady
We recently sat down with the man coordinating everything behind the gargantuan 500-million-dollar refurbishment of our fleet, Tom Brady, Director of The Celebrity RevolutionSM, to find out a bit more about what it entails.
Tom has extensive knowledge, experience and expertise in the cruise industry. He’s been with Celebrity Cruises since 2011 when he started as a Hotel Director. After four years of running our award-winning vessels, Tom moved shore side where he held multiple positions within Hotel Operations. He led our Millennium class upgrades in 2015 and 2016 and took over Shipboard Rooms Division in 2017.
Q: How is the Celebrity Revolution different than other ship enhancements you have managed throughout your career?
A. In the past, I’ve led ship “refreshes” where public space and suites have been upgraded. The Celebrity Revolution is on a much bigger scale – a $500 million-dollar scale. We’re taking every state room “down to the metal” for a complete renovation. It’s an intense project that will touch almost every part of the ship so much so that not only do we need to take the ships out of operation, but we need to find alternative off-site accommodations for the 2,200 contractors and engineers working on the vessel. This is much, much bigger than a refresh.
Q. What can guests expect from the newly renovated Millennium and Solstice class ships?
A. We love our Millennium and Solstice class ships and so do our guests. With the Celebrity Revolution the ships will still feel familiar, comfortable, warm and welcoming, but with amazing design and technology enhancements. Inspired by EDGE, we’ll be bringing amazing updated staterooms, an incredible suite and spa experience, a redesigned shopping environment, and so much more to our guests. We’re overhauling our Wi-Fi, implementing new RFID keys, and bringing all the new attributes of EDGE to the rest of our fleet.
Q. What makes you most excited about bringing The Celebrity Revolution to life?
A. Well, I’m personally excited to lead such a massive project that will not only be amazing for our guests but also deliver for our crew. The crew is the heart of our organization. As part of the Revolution, we’re going to be taking care of them as well. We’re going to make their living spaces more guest-like; common areas will be modernized, staterooms will be refreshed with new flooring and mattresses, and the whole area will be more colorful and comfortable. Being an intricate part of such a huge event in the cruise industry is really special. I hope our guests are thrilled with the results and that it transforms the way they experience the world.<
Celebrity is joining the ranks of top brands throughout the world pledging to eliminate plastic straws. All ships across our fleet will ring free of plastic straws in 2019 on the way to total plastics elimination wherever possible.
For over a year now, our ships have begun implementing a “straws upon request” policy. That program will be taken a step further by the start of 2019, when guests requesting a straw will receive a paper straw instead of a plastic one. Guests also will begin seeing Forrest Stewardship Council-certified wood coffee stirrers and bamboo garnish picks as part of our plastic reduction strategy.
After straws, stirrers and picks, our next efforts will focus on other single-use plastics such as condiment packets, cups, and bags. A full plastics audit is underway, with the overall plan to be completed in phases by 2020. We’re currently testing aluminum and boxed water on several ships.
“Healthy oceans are vital to the success of our company,” said Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “For over 25 years, our Save the Waves program has guided us to reduce, reuse, and recycle everything we can. Eliminating single-use plastics is another step in that program.”
There are people who do good in the world. And then there are some people who really take that concept to new heights. Recently aboard Celebrity Infinity®, we met up with Captain’s Club members Marcel and Gudrun Laurendeau. They are the epitome of giving back and walking the talk. By far. Very far.
Even though they lived in the same town for decades, they really connected at the time she was a banker and he was a business owner and elected official who came into the bank regularly. Gudrun recalled, “He was the one who made me blush.” Last month, they celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary. We spoke with them as they had coffee on their outdoor deck in Manitoba, Canada, birds chirping and a friendly dog barking in the background.
After many years in the corporate and political worlds, they explained they both came to a point where they were ready for the next chapter, and they wanted to do something positive and give back. They wanted to help, and they wanted to “walk the talk.” Even though they both have adult children from previous marriages, Gudrun’s idea was that they have enough love for kids that they could still foster young kids who needed help navigating the world. It was a romantic vision at first. They were determined to keep siblings together and as stable as possible. They expected they would work with the kids and their parents, while the parents got back on track, and then return the kids to their families after a few months. That’s exactly how it worked with their first foster venture—twin 7-month-old boys. Like clockwork.
Then, the fun and challenges began. About 4-1/2 years ago, the foster agency contacted them again and asked if they would take in two little girls, Lilli and Emily, ages 10 and 4. Of course, they did. Soon, the girls’ 12-year-old sister, Rozine, joined them. Now, they were up to three foster children. The girls’ mom gave birth to another baby, a girl named Camryn. She joined Gudrun and Marcel when she was one day old as they were determined to keep the family together.
Yes, there’s more to the story. The family increased to half a dozen children with the arrival of Felicity (another newborn sister) and Darcie, the girls’ cousin, a few years ago. Darcie’s brother, Roger, soon joined the growing family bringing the current count to seven foster children ranging in age from 2 to 17. Whew! That’s a lot of love.
As the kids get older some worry that they will lose the support of the foster system at eighteen and be left to take care of themselves. Not with Gudrun and Marcel. They promised the kids they would not “age them out at eighteen.” They assured the kids they would always be there for them. “It’s no one’s fault,” Gudrun said. We want to help these kids to “change their cycle so they can be successful and live a healthy, independent life when they are ready”
How do Gudrun and Marcel handle seven children and all that comes with it? With grace and patience, of course. And they do make it a point to spend time with each other every day at three for coffee and to reconnect. And, yes, they do take an annual Celebrity cruise that gives them a much-needed break. Both praise the Celebrity crew for their amazing abilities to make them feel special while on board. “We can’t go anywhere else and there are no bad cruises,” notes Marcel. Plus, they say the Wi-Fi onboard helps them stay connected. It let them Facetime the kids as the two of them were sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge on their recent Pacific Coastal cruise. The kids were mesmerized and thrilled to see it this way.
What’s next for the family? In 2018, they took all the kids in a motor home to old Quebec City and Nova Scotia, so they could swim in the Atlantic Ocean. They hope to do the same in the opposite direction and visit British Columbia and the Pacific Ocean. We think this is one very special family. And Gudrun and Marcel are two exceptional people. We hope you get meet them on board one day. Happy sailing!
* All renderings of The Celebrity Revolution represent current design concepts and are subject to change. Design enhancements will vary by ship and are also subject to change. The Celebrity Revolution is a trademark of Celebrity Cruises. Celebrity Edge and Edge are trademarks of Celebrity Cruises.