All-Female Bridge and Leadership Team Sets Sail on Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Edge Bridge Team
Celebrity Edge all-female Team.
 Onboard the Celebrity Edge, an all-female bridge and onboard leadership team set sail yesterday, commemorating International Women’s Day.

Led by Captain Kate McCue, the first American female cruise ship captain, who was accompanied by 26 other women representing 16 different countries, the Celebrity Edge sailed out of Port Everglades and began its seven-day Caribbean journey.

Retiring Pilot Boat Captain Cheryl Phipps, one of only a few female pilot boat captains in the country, led the ship out to sea.

Also, in celebration of International Women’s Day, Celebrity Edge-lit up the high seas with a vibrant purple glow, the colour associated with the day.

Celebrity Edge

“I fell in love with cruise ships at age 12 when my family took its first cruise vacation. At the end of the trip, I asked my Dad if he thought I could be a cruise director someday and he replied that I could drive the ship if I wanted to. Five years later, I enrolled at the California Maritime Academy and nineteen years later I became a Captain,” said Captain Kate McCue. “I firmly believe that you have to see it, to be it. My hope is that today we inspire a new generation of young girls and women to chart their own course of pushing boundaries and breaking barriers to be whatever it is they want to be.”

“To ‘man the bridge’ with 100% women and to fill every leadership role onboard with women is truly significant. I am so proud of these accomplished women, who worked tirelessly to be the best person for the job in a traditionally male-dominated industry and I am honoured to work alongside them,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Advancing gender equality in our industry takes a purposeful and focused commitment because it is not easy. This is such meaningful progress and we’re just getting started.”

Onboard for the sailing are women in other fields including Madeline Stuart, the first Supermodel with down syndrome; Kellee Edwards, the first black woman to host a national adventure travel show; and child prodigy artist Autumn de Forest; international jewellery designer Reout Kallati; and fashion designer Mary Frances. The seven-night sailing will celebrate other female achievements through a variety of events including panel discussions, gallery exhibitions featuring female artists, excursions to women-led businesses in the ports the ship visits, and a cinema series putting female directors, actors and inspirational narratives centre stage.

Celebrity Cruises moves Apex’s naming ceremony from Southampton

Image result for Apex princess cruise

Celebrity Cruises has postponed the naming ceremony of new ship Celebrity Apex this month in response to the coronavirus outbreak, but two planned inaugural sailings are still to go ahead.

Apex was due to be named in Southampton on March 30 – the event would have been the first time Celebrity Cruises named a ship in the UK for ten years.

The Edge-series ship’s naming ceremony will be rescheduled to take place later this year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from where it will sail to the Caribbean this winter.

The line’s two two-night inaugural sailing events, which around 1,000 UK and Irish agents have been invited to, are expected to go ahead as planned on March 28 and March 30.

A Celebrity Cruises spokeswoman said it would be insensitive to the wider industry for Celebrity to host the event when companies are dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

She added: “We [the UK] are still getting the ship first out of the shipyard, and we can’t wait to show her off to all our trade partners.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to celebrate our ship in the UK market, but it’s times like these where we have to be sensitive to the environment the wider industry is working in.”

In a letter to guests due to attend the naming ceremony, Celebrity’s president and chief executive Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said: “We always expected Apex to be an extraordinary ship, but the extraordinary times we’re living right now have come as a surprise.

“Those who know me, or even know of me, know that I’m not much of a traditionalist. One tradition I do cherish, however, is the tradition of launching a new ship with a groundbreaking naming ceremony, and a groundbreaking godmother [technology activist Reshma Saujani]. I believe the karma and energy around the naming of a ship and its godmother are important to its future, its guests and its crew.

“To that end, we believe that continuing with the naming ceremony in the current environment would be inconsistent with the spirit and intention of such an important and meaningful event. We have therefore made the difficult decision to postpone our formal naming ceremony until later this year and will name Celebrity Apex when she arrives in Fort Lauderdale to begin her Caribbean season.”

Additional health and safety measures have also been implemented on Celebrity ships, which have been subject to “special sanitising”, Lutoff-Perlo said.

Any guest, or crew member, who has travelled to, from, or through China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea, or Italy within 15 days of departure will not be allowed to board, including those who had connecting flights in affected countries.

For the inaugural sailings from Southampton, all guests and crew are to receive a pre-boarding health screening and anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will receive additional medical screening and/or be denied boarding.

Lutoff-Perlo added: “While we find ourselves in uncharted territory and, as our captains will tell you, sooner or later everyone who sails into rough seas eventually sails into calmer waters. I know we are all anxiously awaiting those calmer waters.

“The health and safety of our guests and our crew are now, and have always been, at the forefront of everything we do every single day. These protocols are attached for your reference.”

Royal Caribbean To Sail Free Cruises for Crisis Responders with Displaced Tonnage

Spectrum of the Seas and Celebrity Millenium
The spectrum of the Seas and Celebrity Millennium

Royal Caribbean Cruises announced it will dedicate two ships to “humanitarian efforts in Australia and California” to support those affected by recent crises in both areas.

Both the Spectrum of the Seas and Celebrity Millennium, which is out of service due to the coronavirus outbreak, will redeploy for these sailings.

The 2019-built Spectrum of the Seas will move Australia and be deployed on complimentary cruises sailing from Sydney in support of Australia’s first responder community, according to a statement.

The ship has been out of service since mid-January due to the coronavirus outbreak, with cruises cancelled through mid-March.

“When things go wrong, this is a company that wants to find a way to help,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises. “At Royal Caribbean, we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to use our ships in a positive way during difficult times.”

“We are in a fortunate position to offer these brave and selfless members of the Australian community the opportunity to join us for a few days and let them relax and unwind in the company of other volunteers and first responders,” added Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “By welcoming and accommodating them aboard Spectrum of the Seas, we hope to recognize their contribution and offer them our hospitality.”

Fain said Royal Caribbean was working with its suppliers to deliver one million N-95 protective masks into China for government distribution into affected areas.

“We admire the all-out efforts of the Chinese government and people to address this crisis, and we want to bring our resources to bear to help their efforts,” Fain said.

In addition, the Celebrity Millennium is moving to the West Coast of the U.S. earlier than previously scheduled ahead of her Alaska program and will offer a series of “Cruising for Heroes” voyages in support of California firefighters, other first responders and veterans.

These voyages will run through March and April. A variety of three-, four- and five-night sailings have been added to the brand’s offerings to travel the breathtaking Pacific Coast. The sailings will leave from Los Angeles and details will be announced soon.

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, said, “While the circumstances have not been what any of us would have wanted, we now have the opportunity to show the State of California our stunning Celebrity Millennium and do some good in the process by honouring and helping our everyday heroes who do so much for so many. Celebrity Millennium is a beautifully appointed ship and was recently revolutionized. It’s exciting to share it with this market and to honour the men and women who come to the aid of others every single day.”

Royal Caribbean also announced it plans to dedicate a ship in China to a series of complimentary sailings to thank first responders and medical personnel when the outbreak is under control.