Celebrity Cruises to Debut 'Ship Within a Ship' Concept

February 12, 2014
celebrity-cruises-suite-class (6 p.m. EDT) -- The latest to add to the "ship within a ship" trend is Celebrity Cruises, which will begin featuring a more self-contained and exclusive experience to passengers who book suites.

Offering access to a suite-passengers-only restaurant and lounge, the line's "Suite Class" concept -- set to debut on all ships in the fleet (with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition) during the line's 2015-2016 season -- will also provide the most elite cruisers with complimentary alcoholic beverages, free alternative dining, unlimited Internet and the services of a butler.

Private restaurant offerings, which won't be available anywhere else onboard, will focus on local cuisine found in the ports of call on each itinerary. In some cases, the ingredients will even be locally sourced. Additionally, courses will be paired with complimentary wines, chosen by Celebrity's head sommelier.

Suite privileges for those staying in Royal, Penthouse and Reflection suites -- including free premium beverages and gratis dining in restaurants that normally carry added fees -- extend to other restaurants onboard, as well.

VIP lounge Michael's Club will offer complimentary food, drink and concierge services for those booked in Celebrity, Signature, Royal, Penthouse and Reflection suites.

Other amenities included are priority embarkation and debarkation, as well as daily in-suite tea service.

Prices, line spokeswoman Stephanie Holder tells us, will vary by itinerary and suite type.

Other lines' programs, such as Norwegian's "The Haven" and MSC's "Yacht Club," feature similar perks and also offer extras like private pool decks, cabanas and spa access.

We've reached out to Celebrity for comment on whether other amenities might be added, whether the addition of the "Suite Class" concept will require ship refurbishments and, if so, when those refurbishments will take place. We'll keep you posted.

--By Ashley Kosciolek, Associate Editor