What exactly is Celebrity Cruises’ “New Luxury”?

LATTE chats with Tim Jones, VP/MD Australia, New Zealand and Asia-Pacific

Celebrity Cruises has this week rolled out a new tagline of ‘Always Included’, building on the marketing jargon of ‘New Luxury’.

The ‘Always Included’ phrase come as Celebrity Cruises aims to provide guests with a simplified approach to its offering, “putting an end to confusing promotions, complicated add-ons and limited-time offers,” the line said.

Now, Celebrity’s pricing includes base package Wi-Fi, drinks and service charges.

Announcing the ‘Always Included’ positioning last week, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, said: “Everything we do at Celebrity is driven by the desire to redefine what today’s luxury looks and feels like, with experiences modern travellers want.

“With the launch of our Edge Series ships, Celebrity Edge and her brand-new sister ship Celebrity Apex, we tapped into a powerful ‘New Luxury’ culture – relevant, relaxed, design-focused and inclusive.

“Today, nothing is more luxurious than when things are extra-simple, and extra-special. We wanted to bring that big, wonderful feeling of ‘everything is taken care of’’ to life for our guests.”

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Tim Jones, newly appointed Vice President and Managing Director of Celebrity Cruises Australia, New Zealand and Asia-Pacific, told trade media on Wednesday [18 November 2020] that research by the line suggested affluent travellers find booking a cruise confusing due to the range of variables, and that they expected Wi-Fi, drinks and service charges to be included in the cost.

Jones said “strong feedback” from the trade supported the new pricing proposition, making it easier to sell.

The luxury space isn’t new for Celebrity Cruises, with high-end  Retreat ‘ship-within-a-ship’ product launched years ago.

Tim Jones, Vice President and Managing Director, Australia, New Zealand and Asia-Pacific, Celebrity Cruises
Luminae, The Retreat

“The Retreat offering is an unparalleled luxury experience inclusive of stunning suites, a private restaurant, an exclusive lounge, amenities and much more – but our award-winning ships have really been carving out a luxury category of their own,” Jones told LATTE.

“Beginning with the launch of the two most innovative ships at sea, Celebrity Edge and Flora, and continuing with Celebrity Apex, which will form part of the game-changing Edge Series, our offering really aims to break through the luxury glass ceiling. Luxury isn’t eating at the same restaurant every night; it’s embarking on a culinary journey with dishes influenced by the destinations you visit. Luxury isn’t going to bed by 9pm; it’s having the option to extend your amazing day into the night with entertainment and nightlife.”

“It’s all about guests understanding the nuances of our offering, getting past traditional silver-service luxury, to a luxury that is so seamlessly ingrained into the offering that it allows guests to become more open, more curious, and more fulfilled.”

Luminae, The Retreat

Jones said the ‘Always Included’ positioning is an extension of that, “giving our guests the luxury of peace of mind”.

The former National Geographic Partners VP said travel partners are a critical part of Celebrity’s fresh strategy.

“We’re doing everything we can think of to support them. Training to front line agents has started this week and will run over the coming weeks. This will be supported by an ongoing cycle of sales and marketing assets so our travel partners can become experts on our ‘New Luxury’ and ‘Always Included’ positioning,” he said.

Michaels Club, The Retreat

Inter-brand clashing with Azamara?

Questioned if this luxury focus steps on the toes of Royal Caribbean Group’s other luxury brand and Celebrity’s sister, Azamara, Jones told LATTE, “As a group we are very fortunate to have a diverse range of cruise products tailored to a diverse range of high-end and luxury guests.

“We’re focused on creating an experience for our guests that is unlike any other cruise line. It’s our distinctions that set us aside as a brand and now, more than ever, luxury consumers will choose brands that align with their values.

“On board Celebrity, guests have the opportunity to explore over 270 extraordinary destinations; sample menus crafted by Michelin-starred chefs with dishes inspired by, and locally sourced from, the amazing regions we visit; and be surrounded by stylish design in luxurious accommodations, including The Retreat – all underpinned by the intuitive service of our amazing crew.”

This week Celebrity Cruises also released it 2021/2022 Australia and New Zealand program, featuring 19 itineraries aboard Celerbrity Eclipse, which will sail local waters for six months from 18 October 2021. Celebrity Eclipse will be home-ported in Sydney.

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