Celebrity Cruises’ CEO Talks Poolside Jumbotrons (Never!), Future of Oldest Ship, More

October 3, 2012 | By | 4 Comments

Michael Bayley
Celebrity Cruises‘ new President and CEO, Michael Bayley, has taken to the Cruise Critic message boards — minus the pun-y alias. The time for questions is over, but Bayley has been diligently slogging through the hundreds of reader posts about poolside movie screens, aging vessels and the deafening music some think has invaded Celebrity’s lounges and public spaces.

  • In the “sore thumb” department, several readers asked about the fate of Celebrity Century, the line’s oldest, smallest, least amenity-laden ship. The 17-year-old vessel is an outlier when compared with its eight restaurant- and lounge-filled Millennium- and Solstice-class fleetmates, which all launched or underwent multimillion dollar refurbs in the past few years. Many assume the teenage Century’s days are numbered; the ship’s former sisters, Celebrity Mercury and Galaxy, now sail for German sister company Tui Cruises. As cruise blogger Captain Greybeard has asked, when will we be able to write the headline, “Sale of the Century”?
  • Bayley left the future open. “Just last week I was in Vancouver,” he wrote, “and [we] spent the day walking the ship from stem to stern with the captain and members of our Newbuilding & Design team to get a clear understanding of the improvements we can potentially make. So, we’re now evaluating the ship’s future and assessing the scope of a major revitalization, if we ultimately decide to pursue that. We’re evaluating all of our options.”
  • Commenter Zoey was blunt: “Please never add large outdoor screens to Celebrity ship pool decks,” she wrote. Many other mega-ship lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises, the originator of the at-sea concept, have made the offering a sun deck staple. And few would argue it makes for a boisterous environment.
  • After several “amens,” “dittos” and “agrees” from the Celebrity faithful, Bayley weighed in: “That seals it! No big outdoor screens for Celebrity!”
    Now it’s in writing.
  • Undoubtedly the hottest topic was on what’s perceived by many as the “too loud” music blasting throughout the line’s ships. “I am hoping that before we travel with Celebrity again something can be done about the dreadful thumping music that seems to have invaded the ship — the Martini Bar in particular,” wrote Ems2. I was on Celebrity Constellation just after the line added the venue, which features juggling bartenders, South Beach-style club music and patrons who hoot and holler their approval. Opinions were divided. The beats that blasted into the early-morning hours bothered enough passengers that, early on in the cruise, the hotel manager decided to limit the volume. On our port-intensive 12-night Baltic cruise, late-night partying wasn’t a high priority.
  • Bayley has so far been silent, but he’ll be answering questions through October 5.
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      4 Responses to “Celebrity Cruises’ CEO Talks Poolside Jumbotrons (Never!), Future of Oldest Ship, More”

      1. Anthony Bucciarelli III
        October 3rd, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

        I take approximately 3 cruises per year, the last one I took on Celebrity was on the Solstice but I was very disappointed to find the mens and ladies spa area (steam room/sauna) combined into ONE. I have never experienced that on a ship before and as a result the following 5 cruises I have taken on Norwegian instead. No one wants to wear swim trunks b/c the opposite sex is in there. Please consider making a mens sauna and a female sauna. You can leave the heated tiled chairs etc co-ed. I paid extra on the Solstic for the Aqua class to only be VERY disappointed with the co-ed set up on that ship.

        Best Regards,
        Anthony Bucciarelli

      2. Kevin Harrigan
        October 3rd, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

        I recently cruised on the Solstice. The Mediterranean cruise was awesome! However, there are a few things I didn’t like:

        Food – Overall, Celebrity’s food is very good. However, in Oceanview,the pasta bar seems to need a bit of reworking. The offerings are very slim, during my cruise I noticed that meatballs were the only meat available. To make things worse, the meatballs were TERRIBLE! My mother, when she used to make meatballs during my youth, made homemade meatballs were 100 times better. Even I, a decent cook, can make better meatballs. First, there seems to be a problem with the quality of the cut of meat; it’s sort of gristely, and the kitchen doesn’t seem to grind the meat fine enough. Thus, when you eat these meatballs, you end up biting on what hard pieces of things in the meat. Second, they are dry as sand, no moisture. Third, they are BLAND, no seasoning (herbs, salt, pepper, etc.). One day, there was a meatball stuffed with cheese, and it was more tasty because of the cheese, but it suffered from the same texture and moisture problems. What chef worth their salt approves of such a low quality offering on a luxury line?

        Perhaps the pasta bar can be enhanced by first improving the meatballs and then offering grilled chicken, maybe even nice sausage. How about some pesto, which is easy to make? I make it at home with my own homegrown basil, so professional chefs can make it, too.

        The milk-fed veal in the main dining room was very delicious and nicely seasoned. However, it contained too much fat to be enjoyable to eat. Perhaps better butchering can make this offering better.

        Overall, breakfast was good, but it would have been nice if it were possible to get French toast and pancakes made to order. Stale French toast and pancakes are not appetizing.

        Single Passengers – This time around, I traveled solo, being newly single. Before the cruise, I inquired via email concerning the seating of single passengers for dinner. I was told that efforts are made to seat single passengers together. I ended up being seated to a table for four couples. They were very nice people, and we became friends, but it would have been nice to have met some single people.

        The singles’ dinner party was a COMPLETE failure. It was scheduled for 6:30 on the first day of the cruise. That was totally ridiculous because 6:30 p.m. is much too earlier, considering that the shape left port at 5:30. Luggage was being delivered through the evening, so not everyone had their clothes. Also, people were getting acquainted with the ship. Perhaps the singles’ dinner party ought to be held around 10:00, and certainly not on the first day. Also, I noticed that was one event that did not get any publicity by the Cruise Director. Thus, I and a friend concluded that it was not important for the cruise line to promote. Keep in mind that I paid double occupancy as a single passenger, so I feel that events for single travelers ought to be treated with the same importance as events or activities for couples.

        Excursions – I appreciated the excursions on which I went. However, the staff failed to provide adequate information that the receipt or identification sticker that’s worn on the passengers’ shirts permit the passengers to use the shuttles between the ship and town. Also, one day, after returning from an excursion, one of my friends and I tried to board a shuttle to return to town to do some sightseeing. I didn’t have my sticker, which fell off during my excursion (kayaking). The stickers are very flimsy, and they DO NOT adhere well to shirts. I had to return to my cabin and present my receipt, but the guy who demanded the receipt didn’t look at the receipt, so what was all the fuss about? Idiocy, it is. My friend’s sticker fell off his shirt twice while we were in town sightseeing. So, perhaps a better pass is warranted.

        Further, some staff are quite rude to passengers when instructing them to wear the sticker. However, if I am in a city where I don’t live, I am not walking around with a bright sticker on my shirt to let everyone know I am a tourist. I always presented my sticker when requested, but I don’t see why I must let every thief in town know I am cruise passenger. Again, a better system ought to be devised. I remember on the Serenade of the seas that a sticker was affixed to my sea pass card when I signed up to climb the rock wall, so maybe that would be a better practice. It certainly would be more secure.

        Smoking – While Celebrity does a very good job limiting smoking, more work needs to be done. Certain lounging and bar areas permit smoking, but this also prevents me from enjoying those areas of the ship. Just to walk past those areas is disgusting. One need not smoke to drink or lounge. I don’t smoke, so I don’t see why I must inhale anyone’s smoke. It’s simply not fair. We all pay to be on the cruise, but not all of us smoke.

      3. Bob Johnson
        October 4th, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

        Speak for yourself, Anthony Bucciarelli III. Regarding steam rooms/saunas, you said, “No one wants to wear swim trunks b/c the opposite sex is in there.” What is the big problem with wearing a swimsuit? And I as a guy don’t want to see your bits and pieces hanging out even if it was a men’s only room. I prefer a single room so I can spend that time with my wife.

      4. cruisenation.com
        November 27th, 2012 @ 5:16 am

        Great information regarding the future of old cruise ships, and how their is a great effort in restoring them and putting them to use in smaller cruise journey’s.

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