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Celebrity Update

 

Solstice's first appearance at Santorini

Solstice's first appearance at Santorini

 

 

There have been two developments of some note on the Celebrity front in the last week or so. First, Solstice (about which ship I have blogged before) started its first European cruise last Monday (4th May). This is the first of a series of 11-night itineraries from Rome into the eastern Mediterranean and Aegean seas, with calls at Santorini, Mykonos, an overnight stay at Istanbul, Kusadasi, Athens and (on the way back to Rome) Naples. These itineraries alternate with a 10-night version, which basically leaves out Istanbul but adds Rhodes, to provide a 3-week repeating pattern of cruises throughout the summer and autumn. These cruises were the ones that Galaxy did for the last two years, and we did the 10-night itinerary in 2007.

 

On Wednesday afternoon Solstice arrived at Santorini, and I was able to grab a webcam image of her in the caldera there (shown above). Roll on 28 September! – that’s when we embark on her for our 11 night cruise.

 

Also this last week, Celebrity has made significant changes to their Mediterranean deployments for 2010. It all began at the weekend, when all the Mediterranean cruises scheduled for Solstice and Equinox disappeared from the celebrity.com website. A day or two later the position became clearer. For reasons still unexplained (but probably to do with falling bookings from cruising americans) Celebrity have decided to keep Solstice in the Caribbean all year round next year; therefore her 2010 sailings in the Mediterranean (originally announced as a repeat of the 2009 programme) were all cancelled. Equinox has been shifted to replace Solstice on the 10 & 11 night eastern Mediterranean sailings, thus canceling her originally-planned 12-night Barcelona-Venice/Venice-Barcelona cruises. However there’s no replacement for her, so those cruises are cancelled. There was then some confusion for UK-based cruisers as it took Celebrity UK until Friday to respond to the itinerary changes which had already been announced on the Celebrity US website; indeed, on Friday morning the Celebrity UK website (celebrity.co.uk) still had the Solstice cruises in their 2010 Mediterranean brochure.

 

There’s no change to the northern Europe programme, however, which means that Eclipse will be doing her planned programme of cruises from Southampton.

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