Celebrity Cruises generally appeals to more upscale travelers. That doesn’t mean they don’t have plenty to offer families with children of various ages. (See “Noteworthy Programs” below for details.) According to representatives, they have a guest to crew ratio of 2:1 and have received a number of awards in recent years, including:
- Travel Weekly’s 2012 Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Premium Cruise Line”
- Meetmeonboard.com* CRUIZIE Awards for “Best Large Ship Cruise Line”(2013, 2014), Best Overall Food Experience (2013, 2014), and “Most Comfortable Cabins” (2013, 2014)
- U.S. News & World Report designation as one of the top three “Best Cruise Lines for Families” (2013)
Tolerance and Diversity:
We were told by Celebrity representatives that their staff and crew are trained on an ongoing basis in issues of LGBT sensitivity training, zero tolerance and sexual harassment training, as well as Cultural Diversity. Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Michael Bayley is also on the advisory board of Equality Means Business which was formed to spotlight major employers in Florida that have adopted comprehensive non-discrimination policies. Additionally, Celebrity Cruises and its Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. sister brands are listed in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, as part of the distinguished corporate commitment of leaders/major businesses in Corporate America.
Celebrity has established partnerships that will appeal to both children and adults. According to reps, they offer the largest and most comprehensive SpaClub at sea in partnership with Canyon Ranch—that got my attention! They also have partnerships with Bravo Media’s Emmy Award-winning TV series “Top Chef” and the James Beard Foundation—a leader in America’s culinary community.
For children, Celebrity has partnered with Xbox, outfitting their ships with Xbox stations and mobile consoles, a sure-fire hit with most teens. For up-and-coming “directors,” many Celebrity ships also offer the “iTake” video program that allows young visionaries to shoot and edit short videos using GoPro Hero 3 high definition, wide-angle video cameras (even underwater).
I also liked the fact that Celebrity has a limited number of pagers available for use onboard by parents of children with disabilities, special needs or allergie who might not otherwise leave their children at a kids club.
Celebrity sails to all seven continents and is one of the few major cruise lines that sails to The Galapagos Islands with their 90-passenger ship Celebrity Xpedition.
* MeetMeOnBoard.com is a website and forum that connects gay cruise travelers.