We received the following press release from Celebrity Cruises today. I wanted to post the release and respond with a few comments:
Vacationers who love the personalized services of a professional concierge are likely to relish the new, modern luxury amenities Celebrity Cruises has added to its plush “Concierge Class” accommodations.
Guests booked in Celebrity’s Concierge Class staterooms still will be treated to the full slate of services and amenities associated with the category since it was introduced, including a bottle of chilled Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine with a commemorative label featuring exclusive artwork from the ArtCenter/South Florida artists upon arrival; fresh fruits and flowers; daily delivery of afternoon savories; pillow menu and the Celebrity eXhaleTM bedding program, with premium mattresses, 100% Egyptian cotton linens, and plush duvets and pillows; personalized stationery; oversized tote bag; special room service breakfast menu; Frette bathrobes; plush bath rugs; two hair dryers; Hansgrohe massaging showerhead; use of in-stateroom golf umbrellas and binoculars; custom-blended bath amenities including fine shampoos, body lotions and soaps; a veranda table large enough for dining al fresco, with cushioned chairs; and special services including priority luggage delivery, dining time, shoe shine service, and priority embarkation and debarkation privileges.
Now, the list of services and amenities has been expanded to also include even more personalized service with hand-delivered, customized courtesy cards to ensure that guests can directly contact the Concierge at any time during the cruise for assistance with special occasions or any requests they may have. Additionally, priority debarkation services have been enhanced to include an exclusive Concierge Class pre-departure lounge with complimentary coffee and juices.
“Expanding our already broad array of Concierge Class amenities is yet another illustration of our recognition of how rare and important vacation time is for our guests, and our continuous focus on finding the best ways for them to maximize that time,” said Celebrity’s Senior VP of Hotel Operations Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. “Just as a professional, personal concierge is devoted to ensuring his or her clients’ specific, individual preferences are met, so is our Concierge Class category of accommodations.”
Concierge Class staterooms are offered on every ship in the Celebrity fleet, with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition, the line’s luxurious megayacht sailing year-round in the Galapagos Islands.
Celebrity introduced the Concierge Class cabins and amenities around the time we took our Celebrity Infinity cruise to Hawaii. I remember talking to another passenger who was on her first Celebrity cruise and had booked the Concierge class cabin. She was underwhelmed with the amenities. She had thought that she might get a larger room or something extra special, but she felt like she had paid a little bit more for her room but received very little of value in return. Since their introduction, Celebrity has usually listed the price on these cabins slightly higher than standard balcony cabins. We always felt like the amenities were really something that was not of benefit to us. Our travel agent usually sent us a bon voyage bottle of sparkling wine, we could get fresh fruit in the buffet, and the savory snacks were just more calories that we didn’t need. We are not picky about pillows, sheets, shower heads, bath mats and we always bring our own shampoo and hair dryers anyway. Hence, we never sought to book one of these cabins. We just didn’t feel it was worth the higher price.
However, when we took our Equinox cruise in 2010, we did upgrade our original booking from a standard balcony to a Concierge Class cabin when Celebrity offered them at lower price than our standard balcony. We had no problem paying less for those amenities.
With this new release from Celebrity, who is our favorite cruise line, Cruise Talk wanted to comment about the addition service amenities. It is really a huge compliment to Celebrity, but I have to say that the service levels already exceed my needs and expectations, so the addition of the courtesy cards doesn’t seem necessary to me. Also, we have always found Celebrity’s debarkation procedures to be extremely efficient. Any difficulties or delays we ever experienced were caused in the port terminal and customs, not by Celebrity. I guess the juice and coffee would be nice if there are delays, but since we already qualify for an Elite debarkation lounge, that benefit doesn’t seem like something for which I would be willing to pay extra either. Perhaps that benefit would be of more value to a first time Celebrity cruiser.
Cruise Talk’s take on these rooms is that they are nice, but only if you can get a good deal on this class of room vs a standard balcony.