Five ships operated by Celebrity Cruises received Star Awards from Forbes Travel Guide, marking the first time that the rating service and online publication has recognized an ocean cruise line with its top honor.
The 2023 resort-at-sea awards to Celebrity Cruises place the Royal Caribbean Group brand in good company, joining an exclusive collection of land-based luxury properties.
Two Edge-Class Ships Among Winners
This year, Forbes Travel Guide, the global rating authority for luxury hotels and resorts, spas, and restaurants, expanded its reviews to include ocean cruise ships for the first time. Celebrity Cruises is the only cruise line to have its ships listed in the prestigious Forbes Star Awards.
Ships honored with the award are the 3,405-guest, 130,818 gross ton Celebrity Apex, and the 2,908-guest, 129,500 gross ton Celebrity Edge, both Edge Class vessels; two Millennium Class ships, the 2,138-guest, 90,963 gross ton Celebrity Millennium, and the 2,158-guest, 90,940 gross ton Celebrity Summit; and one of the line’s Galapagos vessels, the 100-guest, 5,592 gross ton Celebrity Flora.
Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said, “We always reach for the stars at Celebrity Cruises, whether it’s in our exceptional level of service, our innovative ship design, or the highest quality of relaxed luxury experiences we provide onboard.”
“To now be Star-rated multiple times over is such an incredible honor from the Forbes Travel Guide team. It’s confirmation that with our resorts at sea, our guests truly sail on the world’s best places to the world’s best places.”
According to Celebrity Cruises, the remainder of the line’s 15-ship fleet will be evaluated in the year ahead, except for the line’s smaller Galapagos ships.
A Set Of Exacting Standards
The Forbes Travel Guide ratings come from its professional inspectors who anonymously evaluate hotels, restaurants, spas, and now, ocean cruise ships, based on hundreds of exacting standards that determine the annual star ratings.
Forbes Travel Guide CEO Hermann Elger said, “Celebrity has delivered on Forbes Travel Guide’s standards time and time again during meticulous incognito inspections – offering guests experiences that rival those at the very best land-based properties. We congratulate Celebrity Cruises on this spectacular and historic accomplishment.”
A statement from Forbes said that a second wave of cruise lines will be announced later this year, and evaluations are underway on several ships earning their star rating for 2024.
Some of the onboard innovations cruisers find on Celebrity’s Edge Class ships include the industry’s first cantilevered floating bar called The Magic Carpet, its two-story Edge Villas staterooms with private plunge pools, and an outward-facing resort deck.
The line’s fourth Edge Class ship is under construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The Celebrity Ascent will carry 3,260 guests and is scheduled to launch in late 2023.
Celebrity Cruises recently announced that two Greek brothers will co-captain Celebrity Ascent. Captains Dimitrios Kafetzis and Tasos Kafetzis, both veteran officers with the line, will share the helm of the new ship, on rotating three-month assignments onboard.