Skip to site content
The Group Travel Leader Small Market Meetings Going on Faith

New comforts at Celebrity Cruises

Bob Hoelscher

There’s apparently nothing sleepy about Celebrity Cruises’ “Solsticizing” program. This ambitious, $140 million program will add a host of the most popular venues and experiences featured on its Solstice Class ships to its Millennium Class vessels. Each ship will complete the transformation over the course of a three-week drydock period, all in less than two years.

The line now plans to complement the program further by rolling out an entirely new fleetwide bedding program called “eXhale,” which debuted on Celebrity Infinity when the ship emerged from Solsticizing in December.

Celebrity’s eXhale bedding program includes new mattresses designed exclusively for Celebrity in partnership with Reverie, a leader in the field of luxury bedding. Hand made in the United States with natural raw materials such as bamboo and sustainable natural rubber, the mattresses are almost entirely recyclable and biodegradable.

With more than a dozen patents granted, the unique technology of the Reverie mattress features removable, hypoallergenic, antibacterial and dust-mite-resistant covers, plus a breathable, plush pillow top with a patented air-flow design that helps circulate air through the mattress and keep guests cool as they sleep. Rounding out Celebrity’s eXhale bedding program will be custom-embroidered, 100 percent Egyptian-cotton linens.

Happenings at Seabourn
After cruising from Europe, the new Seabourn Quest made its maiden arrival in the United States at Port Everglades, Florida, on Nov. 21, where it remained docked for two nights to roll out the red carpet and host local travel agents and their clients for special dinners and shows.

Elsewhere, recent announcements by the editors of the Cruise Critic websites in the United States and the United Kingdom have reconfirmed earlier readers’ polls at Travel and Leisure, and Condé Nast Traveler naming Seabourn the best small-ship cruise line in the world. All of Seabourn’s six ships are among the 10 highest-scoring ships in the world, according to ratings in the “2012 Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships.”

Costa’s Middle East
Costa Voyager has been officially transferred to Costa Cruises’ fleet from Costa Crociere’s Spanish brand Iberocruceros, where it sailed as Grand Voyager. The 927-guest ship underwent a $3.44 million renovation at the San Giorgio shipyard in Genoa, Italy, Nov. 9-19.

Through the end of 2012, Costa Voyager will sail seven-night Red Sea cruises, embarking Mondays at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where the ship will overnight before cruising to Eilat, Israel; Aqaba, Jordan; and Safaga and Sokhna, Egypt, then returning to Sharm el-Sheikh. Costa Cruises earned top honors in the Best Mediterranean Itineraries and Best Africa/Middle East Itineraries categories in Porthole magazine’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards.