Celebrity Moves One Step Closer to Century Refurb

December 22, 2005
With no new ships debuting next year, Celebrity Cruises watchers have their eye on what's termed a "major revitalization" of its 70,000-ton, 1,750-passenger Century next spring.

The latest sign of progress is that Celebrity has selected the shipyard to handle the project. Interestingly, it's one of the Italian Fincantieri's yards, this one in Palermo. And that's intriguing because Fincantieri has of late been almost completely associated with new-builds for fleets owned by Carnival Corporation -- the arch nemesis of Royal Caribbean International, parent of both Celebrity and Royal Caribbean.

The revitalization of Century itself is no newsflash; Celebrity released details on the project back in June.

While the Palermo yard has handled dry-docks for numerous ships -- most recently CostaAtlantica and CostaFortuna (CostaEuropa's up next) -- the Century project is the biggest cruise ship modification its ever undertaken.

It's no small potatoes for Celebrity, either. The $55 million refurbishment is Celebrity's most extensive ever.

No new details about onboard improvements were released today but we can offer some tidbits resulting from the original announcement. The ship will be outfitted with 314 new verandas, 14 new suites, 10 new staterooms ranging from inside to balcony, and an expanded number of Concierge Class category staterooms. Other highlights include:

A specialty restaurant with a menu designed by Michel Roux. The to-be-named venue will mirror the style of Celebrity's Olympic, SS United States, Normandie and Ocean Liners restaurants, which presented the industry's first tableside cooking, carving and flambe.

A chic martini bar that will take the place of the underused Images sports bar

A brand-new teens-only lounge

An expanded spa with a healthy Spa Cafe

Outdoor tapas off of the casual Islands Cafe -- and a sushi bar

Century will enter dry dock in April of 2006, and though most ships spend about two weeks in dry dock, it will take five weeks to revitalize Century.

The ship will emerge from dry dock on June 2, 2006, and will sail a series of 12-night Baltic, and 10- and 11-night Mediterranean sailings; a 13-night "Best of Europe" voyage; and a 7-night Norwegian fjords cruise. In November, Century will reposition to Miami to sail four and five-night Caribbean cruises until April of 2007.