Celebrity Cruises has signed contracts with Jos. L. Meyer shipyard to build up to three 1,740-passenger ships at a cost of $320 million each, designated "Century Class", and scheduled for delivery in 1995, 1996 and 1997. The first ship will sail year-round from Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
The new ships will be 70,000 tons, 800 feet in length, with a width of 106 feet, and draft of 24.5 feet. The space ratio will be 40.2, putting the new Celebrity Cruises ships among the most spacious in the premium class.
According to John Chandris, Chairman of Celebrity Cruises, the new generation ships will accommodate 26 percent more passengers than the line's first generation ships, but will also offer 48 percent more space.
"The Phase I trio of Celebrity ships has demonstrated that a cruise product can deliver an exceptionally high level of service if the line pays close attention to details and guests' needs," Chandris said.
Chandris also noted that Celebrity Cruises is one of the most flnancially powerful companies in the cruise industry today.
"With the new ships, we will continue to offer the same product," Chandris said. He said that the new ships will not be priced or marketed differently from the existing Celebrity Cruises.
Of the new ships' 870 cabins, 561 will be outside, with 54 offering private verandas. Chandris said that the new ships' suites will be larger than the average suite on small luxury ships. Standard cabins will measure 172 square feet, providing generous closets and drawer space as well as large bathrooms. "Unlike many other lines, we believe passengers deserve space in their cabins as well as in the public rooms," Chandris said.
According to Chandris, a two deck main showroom will feature the industry's largest advanced technology investment to date. The amphitheater-style showroom will offer unobstructed views for 1,000 passengers per seating.
Other public rooms will include an observation lounge and disco, a two-deck casino, nightclubs, and extensive facilities for young passengers.
Another feature aboard the new ships will be a conference space and cinema, catering to the meetings and incentive market. A Grand Foyer will feature a three-deck grand staircase as well as a shopping gallery and champagne bar.
There will also be a state-of-the-art health club and spa, aerobics room, golf simulator, mud and Turkish baths and beauty salon.
Outdoor space will include two swimming pools, whirlpools, a jogging track and a designated area for active sports.
The appearance and profile of the Century Class ships will be similar to the Horizon and Zenith.
The formal restaurant will be two levels with sweeping ocean views. A staircase will offer a grand entrance to the dining room, which will service up to 1,100 passengers at each of two seatings. According to Chandris, the dining room will offer a 26 percent "redundancy" thus offering passengers more flexibility to chose first or second seating or change tables.
There will be two galley operations, each serving half of the dining room, "to ensure that Celebrity's standards of cuisine and service will be met", according to Chandris.
Informal dining will be offered by a two-level Lido Cafe featuring five buffets, grill room and separate outdoor dining cafe, adding up to what may be the largest casual dining area at sea.
Michel Roux will be responsible for the design and development of the new ships' food service.
Chandris also said that Celebrity would consider other sailing areas when the ships arrive. "We would like to be involved in Europe and on the West Coast," he said. He also noted that Celebrity would consider adding a ship to its Bermuda service in 1996, but not before.