Celebrity Equinox will sail year-round Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in 2017. Beginning next April, the 2,850-passenger ship will offer a total of 24 cruises from its new homeport, including seven-night itineraries between June and August, and 10- and 11-night itineraries throughout the rest of the year.
To kick off its first summer season in the Caribbean, the ship will host an 11-night cruise with two overnight stays in New Orleans, during the city's famous Jazz and Heritage Festival, starting April 24. Celebrity will wrap up its 2017 summer season with a "President's Cruise" on August 27. On the eight-night Eastern Caribbean sailing, the line's president Lisa Lutoff-Perlo will treat passengers to special events and excursions.
Conversations with Celebrity passengers had inspired her decision: I can't tell you how many people I bump into and they say: 'We're going on a summer vacation this year, but we can't go on Celebrity because you don't have a ship in the Caribbean'. Every time I hear that, my heart breaks. Now they can't say that to me anymore."
In addition to a year-round presence in the Caribbean, Celebrity will debut a new family program with an array of new enrichment options for kids. "Summer Camp at Sea" will include activities such as video creation, cooking classes and marine biology lessons.
Celebrity also will continue to raise the bar on its food and wine offerings. The new "Taste of the Caribbean" program will feature complimentary activities like cooking and mixology demos, rum and reggae parties on the Lawn Club, and brunch and bubbles. Foodies can even splurge on more exclusive experiences such as a fresh pasta and mozzarella making class with lunch in Tuscan Grille, and a five-course tasting dinner with Celebrity chefs.
The previously announced Chef's Market Discoveries' shore excursion and Blendtique wine-blending classes also will be available on Celebrity Equinox sailings.
Celebrity is offering four free perks ($150 onboard credit, unlimited internet, a premium beverage package and prepaid gratuities) per passenger, on select 2017 cruises booked between July 19 and August 31, 2016, to celebrate the move.