Celebrity Cruises is rolling out new non-refundable deposit fares.
The non-refundable deposits will be optional and will go into effect starting November 28, a Celebrity Cruises spokesperson tells Travel Agent. They will be applicable to new deployment only.
Guests who choose the non-refundable deposit will receive a lower rate, which will vary by sailing, Celebrity said. Additionally, any guests booked in an oceanview or above stateroom will receive one free perk. Suite guests will receive four free perks.
This past July Royal Caribbean International introduced a similar non-refundable deposit program. As with the Celebrity non-refundable deposit fares, Royal Caribbean’s non-refundable fares default to the best rate whenever available, always being priced lower than the regular brand promotion. Travel agents we spoke with at the time likened it to Carnival Cruise Line’s Early Saver rates. Both Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises are owned by the same parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
The move comes as Celebrity is counting down to the 2018 debut of the Celebrity Edge, the line’s newest ship and the first of an entirely new class of ships for the brand. Recently Travel Agent got a chance to tour a mock-up of one of the ship’s entry-level suites, the Sky Suite. The new suite incorporates a number of automation features as part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Excalibur technology initiative. Using their smartphone or an in-room control panel, guests can choose from a number of suite “moods” with different lighting levels, curtain positions and temperature adjustments.