Steiner, Celebrity won't renew spa contract in 2014

By Rebecca Tobin
Spa operator Steiner Leisure said this week that its agreement to operate the spas onboard Celebrity Cruises ships would not be renewed.

In a statement, the company said it had been advised by Celebrity that the line would not renew the agreement, which expires Dec. 31.

"The company is negotiating a transition plan as to the turnover of the ships to the new vendor," Steiner said.

In the statement, Steiner CEO Leonard Fluxman said the company was "disappointed with Celebrity's decision, particularly in view of our revenues being at historical highs on Celebrity's ships. We believe that the terms we proposed for renewal contained compelling economics, and it also contained a unique brand at sea. It is our understanding that Celebrity's decision was made purely from a marketing perspective."

"Steiner has been an excellent partner over the years," Celebrity said in an email. "We thank them for helping us deliver high quality spa experiences to our valued guests."

It said it would make an announcement about its new spa and wellness partner "in the near future."

Celebrity in recent years has expanded its spa offerings; for example, its AquaClass category, which debuted on the Solstice, enables passengers in AquaClass cabins to enjoy spa- and wellness-related perks and exclusive access to a restaurant featuring "clean cuisine."

Steiner has long been the largest spa operator at sea. In its statement, the company said its cruise line operations are conducted on spas on 155 ships. It currently services Celebrity sister brands Azamara Club Cruises and Royal Caribbean International. In June it announced a deal with Royal Caribbean to extend its agreement through 2017. Its land-based customers include Hilton, Marriott, St. Regis and W Hotels.

A handful of cruise ships and lines have contracted with other spa operators, such as Canyon Ranch, which operates the spas onboard Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 and the Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises ships.

Follow Rebecca Tobin on Twitter @twrtobin.
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