October 3, 2012 | By Dan Askin | 4 Comments
‘ 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.