By Matt Roseboom
Celebrity Cruises will begin offering a variety of Apple products in their new Celebrity iLounge for guests to learn about, use and purchase. As the only authorized Apple reseller at sea, Celebrity will begin offering iPods, MacBooks and other Apple accessories. It’s essentially an Apple store at sea.
Celebrity recently announced plans to introduce the first Celebrity iLounge on their new Celebrity Eclipse — their third ship in the Solstice Class, which is launching this month. Celebrity said the announcement met with such positive response from guests, travel agents and press that they’ve decided to introduce the hip, modern lounge on Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Summit next month. It will also be a feature on their future ships.
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The Celebrity iLounge will offer what the line said their guests requested most in an Internet cafÃ© — easy access to the Internet, inspiring computer classes and new products.
The Celebrity iLounge will consist of three main areas: a series of contemporary MacBook workstations where guests can check their e-mail, surf the Web, check their social networking sites or print boarding passes; a retail area offering cruisers the opportunity to check out and purchase the latest MacBooks, iPods and accessories; and an enrichment center where certified staff will offer tips on Apple product usage.
Whether guests are savvy or novice Apple users, Celebrity’s certified staff has been training so they’ll be ready to assist. The crew members working in the iLounge have gone through more than 125 hours of training in operating systems, applications and products. They have also been taught to show guests the differences between Macs and PCs.
Celebrity’s President and CEO Dan Hanrahan said their surveys showed that their guests rely heavily on the Internet for research, learning and staying in touch, “so we think this new offering will be a big hit, as will the contemporary online classes offered through the ‘Discover’ series of our inspiring and enriching ‘Celebrity Life’ experiences.”
The computer classes onboard will help with the typical things a person documenting their vacation would use. Some of the classes offered will include movie editing, web design and photo manipulation through Apple’s iLife applications: iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD and iWeb.
Located on deck six of the Solstice and Eclipse, the Celebrity iLounge will house 26 MacBook Pros, a classroom, retail area, display pods, and an accessible workstation. A 56-inch flat-screen TV will be set up for use during classes.
On Summit, the iLounge will replace the current computer classroom on deck six, with the same new products and technologies as on Eclipse and Solstice. Even the “[email protected]” cybercafÃ© on deck four of Celebrity Summit will be retrofitted with entirely new MacBook workstations.
The new iLounge will open on the Celebrity Summit by May 16, on the Solstice by May 30, and on the Eclipse when the new ship enters service. The iLounge also will be presented on Celebrity Silhouette, which launches in 2011, and the fifth ship in the Solstice Class fleet, which sails in 2012.