Cashmere mattresses. That’s mattresses, not sweaters. And while it may be a small thing in the context of a nearly billion-and-a-half-dollar reimagining of ships in two Royal Caribbean fleets, it may be the most emblematic.
In one initiative, luxury is the watchword. In both, innovation – as always – is the driving force.
Some $900 million is being invested in a Royal Caribbean International program that perfectly captures the intent in its name: Royal Amplified. Drawing on the best of the cruiseline’s innovative features, and building on them, it will see new life added to 10 ships over four years.
“Royal Amplified is built on our passion for innovation, relentless attention to detail and commitment to always exceeding our guests’ expectations,” says Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “We have designed this program to wow our loyal guests while also attracting the next generation of adventurers.”
That includes millennials, specifically for the long weekends they’re drawn to. Royal Amplified intends that three- and four-night cruises – “redefined” weekends – will hold the same fascination as longer getaways.
Oasis of Seas, Allure of the Seas, and all Freedom and Voyager-class ships are included in the ambitious plans. Details of the new amenities for each ship will be unveiled over the next three years, beginning with the first up for upgrades, Independence of the Seas. Among them: an escape room, glow-in-the-dark laser tag, The Perfect Storm waterslides and new dining venues.
Major amp-up is also moving ahead ashore with Perfect Day at CocoCay, the cruise company’s private destination in the Bahamas. Slated for completion in fall 2019, eye-bugging additions include a 30,000-foot, freshwater pool – families at one end, a swim-up bar for adults at the other.
As for the cashmere mattresses, nearly 11,600 of them will be installed on Celebrity Cruises ships as just part of adding more luxe under its half-billion-dollar Celebrity Revolution initiative, inspired by the hyper-innovative and posh Celebrity Edge, launching in November 2018.
“Celebrity Cruises has always been recognized as an innovative, trend-setting brand, and the Celebrity Revolution is just another instance in which we keep raising the bar in modern luxury travel,” says President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. “This is the largest investment the brand has ever made to modernize our fleet, and it’s all for our guests.”
The entire Celebrity fleet will be restyled with cues from Edge, including refitting and reconfiguring staterooms, “tearing them down and building them back up,” as Brian Abel, VP for hotel operations, puts it.
This renovation includes: maximizing stateroom storage, adding a suite-class Retreat Sun Deck, redesigning the spa, and adding new retailers such as Hublot, Shinola and John Hardy. The Oceanview Café on five ships will be reborn as international marketplaces, their menus influenced by cuisines from around the globe.
More than 500 top architects, designers and engineers have been assembled to carry out the work, intended to rival the world’s best boutique hotels.
Work will vary between ships, Lutoff-Perlo notes, with more money devoted to Celebrity’s Millennium-class ships, which are twice the age of its Solstice-class vessels.