How Celebrity Cruises is planning a revolution

Stephen Fryers tells Alex Smith how the Celebrity Revolution project is bringing the innovative design concepts of the Edge-class to the rest of the Celebrity Cruises fleet

How Celebrity Cruises is planning a revolution
The Celebrity Revolution is introducing a new, expanded spa design by lifestyle brand Canyon Ranch

Representing an investment of around US$500 million across its entire fleet, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Revolution is the cruise line’s biggest-ever modernisation project. With the help of more than 50 architects, designers and engineers, Celebrity is carrying out a complete refresh of its older ships, upgrading existing areas and adding new ones.

According to Stephen Fryers, owner of STF Project Management and the overall project manager, there were two motivations for Celebrity in carrying out such an extensive refurbishment.

“Firstly, the ships are at the age where brands typically begin to think about freshening up and modernising their existing fleet,” he says. “The second driver was doubtless the new ship, Celebrity Edge. With Celebrity Edge having so many new and innovative designs, it was a good time to replicate some of those ideas on the older ships.”

With all nine of Celebrity’s Millennium and Solstice class ships undergoing the transformation, careful planning and cooperation has been required throughout the process.

“Several design companies are employed on the project, with each having specific areas of responsibility for the designs,” says Stephen Fryers, “All these groups work very closely with the in-house teams to ensure that designs are meeting, and in most cases exceeding, the design intent. The contractors and major suppliers are brought into the process very early on. This allows for the design groups to collaborate with the contractors and suppliers to come up with workable and cost-effective solutions to achieve the overall designs. This means when we get to the dry dock, we should have very few problems related to material selections, technical issues and interferences all of which hopefully reduce any design changes.”

The project began with renovations onboard Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Equinox in 2019, followed by Celebrity Silhouette at the beginning of 2020. The redesign has touched almost every area onboard, with changes being made to accommodation, dining and retail venues, the Canyon Ranch Spa and many other public spaces.

“All staterooms received fresh carpets, drapery and balcony furniture, and eight new interior staterooms were added,” says Fryers. “The Casino Bar was redesigned and a new bar, Craft Social, was also added. However, the biggest works were carried out in upgrading the experience for suite guests, with the modernisation of all suite rooms and the introduction of the new Retreat Lounge and Suite Sundecks.”

First introduced on Celebrity Edge, The Retreat is an exclusive area for suite guests created by interior designer Kelly Hoppen that is now being brought to the rest of the fleet. The Retreat Sundecks allow guests to relax in a private area that is intended to have the feel of a high-end resort, while The Retreat Lounge offers complimentary beverages, food and a concierge team that provides services both onboard and onshore.

With work on the remaining five ships set to be resumed after the Covid-19 outbreak subsides, one area that Fryers is particularly excited to see realised are the two Aft Lawn areas, which have been added alongside the existing Lawn area.

“They were difficult areas to get Celebrity executives to agree to in the planning stages,” he says. “It meant removing some of the existing grass area on deck 15. As the Solstice-class ships are particularly known for their lawn area, the executives were obviously reticent to agree to such an idea. In the end they did agree, and the upgraded areas look fantastic. I am sure guests will really enjoy sitting there watching the sun set as their ship leaves port.”

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
21 July 2020

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