Celebrity Cruises has announced that the 122,000-ton, 2,850-passenger Celebrity Solstice, which sailed a maiden season of Caribbean sailings before repositioning to Europe, will move to year-round Caribbean service in 2010. Celebrity Solstice will sail alternating seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale.
What's interesting about this announcement is that the redeployment impacts European itineraries originally scheduled for Solstice next year. Celebrity Equinox, which debuts in July, will handle the 10- and 11-night Mediterranean sailings from Rome in 2010 originally planned for Celebrity Solstice. A spokeswoman for the line tells us that all guests with pertinent bookings on Celebrity Solstice are being contacted proactively and offered the opportunity to transition to like accommodations. Guests with questions about the change can also call 888-281-9343.
Because of this, the 12-night voyages previously announced for Celebrity Equinox between Barcelona and Venice in 2010 have been dropped. However, the European voyages previously announced for Celebrity Eclipse (which debuts in 2010) and Celebrity Constellation will sail as planned.
Also of note is that, according to cruise-community.com, Celebrity hasn't had a ship sailing weeklong Caribbean cruises on a year-round basis since 2004 (though Century will also start a year-round program in December of alternating four- and five-night Caribbean cruises from Miami). But it is certainly not the first cruise line to bring ships closer to home in this tough economy. Carnival pulled its Carnival Freedom from previously announced 2009 summer itineraries in the Mediterranean in order to place it year-round in the Caribbean.