Thursday, February 19, 2009

Celebrity Equinox Sails Early

Celebrity Equinox to Soft-Launch in Norwegian Fjords

Celebrity Cruises announced this week that the construction of Celebrity Equinox is ahead of schedule and a Soft-Launch in the Norwegian Fjords is being added to the 2009 cruise schedule.

The Equinox is a sister ship of Celebrity Solstice which debuted last November. Since that time it has received rave reviews from everyone that has had the good fortune of sailing on her (including yours truly).

You may recall that there was some controversy last year when pre-inaugural cruises were added to the cruise schedule. Passengers that were booked on the maiden voyage felt like they were cheated from being the first to set sail on the Solstice. This time, Celebrity Cruises is extending a special offer to passengers that are already booked on the ship's maiden voyage of August 8. Celebrity has invited them to combine their 10-night “Best of Europe” cruise with the 8-night soft launch, for a spectacular 18-night voyage on the new ship. Celebrity is offering those guests an onboard credit of $200 per stateroom or $300 per suite if they add the 8-night cruise to their reservation.

The 8-night cruise through the Norwegian Fjords features visits to Stavanger, Flam, Geiranger, and Oslo, Norway. The 10-night maiden voyage, which will include an inaugural gift and commemorative activities, will visit Paris/Normandy (via Le Havre) and Cherbourg, France; Vigo, Cartagena and Barcelona, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal, and Gibraltar, UK, ending in Rome (via Civitavecchia), Italy.

We had the good fortune of sailing on the Solstice last year and enjoyed the half-acre Lawn Club with real grass, The Corning Museum of Glass glassblowing show, the various new dining venues, entertainment, and the modern decor of the ship. We have also had the good fortune of sailing through the Norwegian Fjords and the European ports that will be visited on this 18-night voyage.

According to Celebrity, reservations are now being accepted for the 8-night cruise which will depart on July 31st. If you are looking for something special in the July/August timeframe, I would definitely put this cruise at the top of your list for consideration.

I've written about the Solstice in past posts and will cover it again in the near future. As always, I'd be happy to help you plan your cruise and answer any questions you might have.

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