(2:30 p.m. EDT) — Two ships from Celebrity Cruises’ Millennium Class are about to undergo major changes, thanks to multimillion-dollar refurbishments that will bring exciting new features to Celebrity Infinity and Celebrity Summit.
Cruise Critic exclusively interviewed Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo about Infinity, which will enter dry dock October 15 and emerge October 29. Changes to fleetmate Summit will be nearly identical and will take place from February 27 to March 12.
Q: What changes are coming to Celebrity Infinity?
A: Celebrity Infinity is already stunning. When we «Solsticized» our Millennium-class ships a few years ago, we added AquaClass Suites and Blu, CellarMasters, Martini Bar & Crush, Cafe al Bacio and the iLounge to those four ships. We also added some of our most popular specialty restaurants and upgraded finishings throughout the ships.
Now, with this refresh, we are continuing to invest in the Millennium Class, and, in the Celebrity tradition, we will continue to enhance our guest experience to stay at the forefront of modern luxury.
With this refresh, Celebrity Infinity will offer even more ways for guests to enjoy modern, luxurious vacation experiences. We’re broadening our commitment to our Suite Class, as every Penthouse and Royal Suite will receive new glimmering fixtures, marble surfaces and comfortable seats in the bathrooms. The rest of the suite will get refreshing touches like new carpeting, drapes and bed linens.
We are also converting the S.S. United States restaurant to Tuscan Grille, adding an enclosed portrait studio and a new future cruise sales office, and refreshing the Solarium with new finishes throughout. We are changing the decor in the casino and creating a special space at the casino entrance where the maritime artifacts currently in the S.S. United States restaurant will be on display.
We’re also creating a brand-new venue that isn’t found anywhere else in our fleet: the Rooftop Terrace. With an outdoor movie screen, chic decor and modern, modular furniture, this venue will be a brand-new way to enjoy the great outdoors on a modern luxury vacation. The popularity of our Solstice Class Lawn Club venues has shown us that some of the richest moments our guests enjoy are when relaxing in beautiful outdoor spaces. In creating the Rooftop Terrace, we wanted to create a hot spot where guests can kick back under the stars in the middle of the ocean, with amazing experiences where film fuses with food. During the day, we think the Rooftop Terrace definitely will be a hot spot for hanging out to read, relax or enjoy a glass of wine.
Q: What should passengers expect at Tuscan Grille on Infinity?
A: We are so excited to be bringing our very popular Italian steakhouse to Celebrity Infinity. Not only should our guests expect the same Mediterranean, chic, relaxed vibe and amazing service offered at our Tuscan Grille restaurants throughout the fleet, but they should also look forward to some changes. Our popular cuts like filet mignon and ribeye steak will remain, and we are adding skirt steak, as well as dry-aged steaks (porterhouse and New York strip).
And we are introducing new menu features, like fresh pasta made in-house; an Italian cocktail menu, a first for Tuscan Grille; a wine list focused on the wine-growing regions of Italy; and new foods like artisanal salumi and cheeses; crispy crab arancini with lemon pepper aioli; grilled branzino with spinach and olive oil; and swordfish with Castelvetrano olives, fennel and white wine.
Q: How will the menu changes roll out?
A: For the new items in Tuscan Grille, after we introduce them on Celebrity Infinity, we will listen to our guests’ feedback, then roll the new items out to our other ships. We hope to have our Tuscan Grille restaurants fleetwide serving new dishes soon.
Q: Will the main dining room menus change?
A: Nothing has been announced, but we are always looking for ways to improve on our offering, to ensure that our guests have amazing dining experiences while vacationing with us.
Q: How do you work with the onboard teams to determine which changes are made to ships?
A: At Celebrity Cruises, ship design — whether it’s a new ship or a refresh, or a full renovation — is a collaborative process between teams, from marketing to newbuilding, from marine operations to hotel operations. Our onboard teams in particular are critical to helping us understand the realities of great ideas. For example, we might decide in a meeting that installing a bar in a certain onboard space is a fantastic idea, and then we look to the onboard team to help us understand all the pros and cons of that particular space or what features would really work in a particular space.
Q: Which changes are you most excited about?
A: When it comes to making our ships even more modern and luxurious, I’m excited by all of it. What can I say, I’m a little obsessed with making our ships as stunning, relaxing and exciting as they can possibly be … that’s a huge part of my job.
Q: Which changes onboard might we see added fleetwide?
A: I think the new menu in Tuscan Grille is likely to be the first of these refreshes that will make their way to other ships in our fleet.
Q: What ships are next for dry dock?
A: Celebrity Summit is heading to dry dock during her upcoming winter Caribbean season. The dry dock will be completed in March. Celebrity Summit will undergo a refresh very similar to that of Celebrity Infinity.
Q: Can we expect to see any of the new innovations on Celebrity’s Project Edge new-builds?
A: Every project we undertake helps build the next. With Solstice Class, our guests told us that we had created a ship that was truly a game-changer. The Solstice-class experience was so well received that we coined the term «Solsticizing» when we added many of these elements to the Millennium Class ships. With Project Edge, we hope to further revolutionize our brand and the industry. I am really pleased to hear how excited and passionate our guests are about our new ships and how eager they are to find out more. Stay tuned!
Watch Celebrity’s video on the changes to Infinity and Summit.