March 19, 2014
The new suite dining rooms will have capacity for about 50 to 60 people and be open to Sky Suite passengers and above.
The new dining room is just one of a raft of changes being rolled out for suite guests, which include: a private butler, fast-track embarkation and a drinks package included in the fare. The changes will be gradually implemented across the fleet between now and April 2015.
"One thing we're still trying to figure out is whether friends of suite guests can also use the dining room," U.K. managing director Jo Rzymowska said. "The challenge with that is that the dining room could fill up very quickly, and there may not be enough space for suite passengers."
The changes are being extensively discussed on the Cruise Critic Message Boards, where member Bababooey Land first posted about a survey Celebrity had sent to him "regarding a new dining option they are considering for suite guests," and now runs to 12 pages.
It was initially thought that just Celebrity Suite guests and above would be able to use the new private dining room, which on a Solstice Class ship would run to a manageable 22 suites, or around 44 people. However, Celebrity has recently confirmed Sky Suite passengers would also be eligible -- adding 48 cabins, or potentially 96 extra passengers -- double the capacity of the proposed dining room.
A spokeswoman for the line said: "This is all still very much in development and numbers are yet to be confirmed."
Rzymowska, who became Celebrity Cruises U.K. managing director at the start of this year, said the emphasis for the line would be attracting "affluent families and couples." "We see our brand as for those who enjoy the finer things in life," she added.
She also outlined further changes that Celebrity passengers can expect over the coming months: "We will be having an exclusive relationship with our entertainers. We don't want them performing with us one week and someone else the following," she said. This includes the Tenors of Rock, a male rock voice group; and Sin City, a risque comedy/burlesque act.
U.K. passengers can expect to see both acts this year on Southampton-based Celebrity Eclipse.
Rzymowska confirmed no changes had been made to Black Sea itineraries as yet, but the line was monitoring the situation in the Crimea closely and had its first meeting to discuss the situation this week. The first sailing is planned this September on Celebrity Constellation.
--by Adam Coulter, UK Editor