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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Cruises When Run by Chandris and Beyond

My parents and I began sailing with Celebrity Cruises in 1996 aboard the then new Galaxy when the company was still operated by the Chandris family, and we’ve seen the premium cruise line evolve since under Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited.

Celebrity Cruises was founded in 1988 by the Greek Chandris Group, and, in fact, the line’s remaining “X” logo is based on the Greek letter “chi” standing for Chandris. The company began to sail when Chandris Fantasy Cruises’ Galileo was rebuilt to become the Meridian entering service in 1990. Next to come online were the larger sister ships, Horizon and Zenith, in 1990 and 1992 respectively.

During its early days, Celebrity had a reputation for fine service and dining offered at an affordable price, which gave it a unique value proposition for potential travelers, and my father took note. He was impressed by what the line represented under the leadership of Rick Sasso, who continued as president of the brand through 2001 before eventually moving over to MSC Cruises, w

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