Category Archives: Cruise News

The Latest Cruise News on Ships and Champagne

The number of people taking a cruise holiday increases year on year. So then does the demand for cruise ships.

I have put together a cruise news section on the Ships and Champagne cruise blog so that it makes it easy to keep up with the latest announcements in the cruise industry. If you enter your details in the subscribe form at the bottom of this page, you will receive a weekly roundup of everything that has been happening, so you can have the most up to date information at your fingertips.

New Cruise Ships On Order

Your very own brand new cruise ship calendar. See who is building new ships, what we know about them and when they will start sailing. Clicking on the upcoming ship name will take you to all the news on that vessel. View all the videos, photos and renderings that have been released as we watch the ship come to life.

Cruise Ship Upgrades

Sometimes it better to just work with what you have. Find the latest cruise line announcements on cruise ship upgrades.

Any other announcements will be shared here especially if it is from one of my three favourite cruise brands; Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises and MSC Cruises. Why do I prefer these cruise lines? Well, as a single parent, it is vital for me that a cruise provides certain things. Great facilities for children, as well as a great place for me to relax during the day. I enjoy both the casual and formal element of these cruise lines and the fact that they are multi-generational. That means no matter who I cruise with, there is something for everyone.

A New Southampton Cruise Terminal

New Southampton Cruise Terminal For Summer 2021

Associated British Ports in partnership with MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise line Holdings Ltd have today announced the opening of a new cruise terminal at the Port of Southampton.

This is encouraging news as we all wait for cruise operations to resume. Clearly the impact of this years events does not show any signs of slowing down the future demand for cruises.

The fifth dedicated cruise terminal is going to be well equipped to service the next-generation of cruise ships. The main terminal building will use roof mounted solar power and Shore Power connectivity to supply sustainable operations. This will enable cruise ships, with the right onboard technology, to ‘plug in’ while they are alongside.

UK’s Number One Departure Port

Southampton is Europe’s leading cruise turn-around port and the UK’s number one departure port. The £55 million investment will further strengthen the Port of Southampton’s position.

The yet unnamed terminal is due to open in Summer 2021 and will become the home port of MSC Magnifica for part of the season sailing from the UK.

Four Existing Terminals

The Mayflower Terminal is the oldest of the four existing passenger terminals, which opened in 1960. Queen Elizabeth II Terminal followed shortly after in 1966. It wasn’t until 2003 that City Terminal was built and Ocean Terminal 6 years later in 2009.

Construction of the fifth cruise terminal commenced in September 2020 and is schedule to open in Summer 2021. The new Southampton cruise terminal will be the port’s largest to date and will be capable of handling the largest cruise ships in the world.

This is great news as we come to the close of the most difficult year in cruise industry history. We are all so desperate to get back onboard and it appears that there is no shortage of demand.

MSC Cruises are committing to sustainable cruising. Here are 7 Ways MSC Cruises Is Reducing Plastics

Princess Cruises Announce Australia & NZ 2021-22

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links

Princess Cruises Announces Australia & New Zealand Itineraries for 2021-22

One of the Largest Deployments Offered with 5 Ships Sailing to 82 Desired Destinations in 19 Countries

With once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for seaside exploration, cultural immersion, unique wildlife, regional wine and magical landscapes, Princess Cruises announced destination-rich itineraries for the cruise line’s upcoming Australia and New Zealand 2021-2022 season, on sale September 16, 2020, that also includes visiting popular South Pacific tropical destinations of Fiji, Papa New Guinea, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu.

One of its largest deployments ever offered, five ships will sail to 82 destinations in 19 countries on 59 unique itineraries. Royal Princess, Emerald Princess, Sapphire Princess, Coral Princess, and Pacific Princess will cruise this season with voyages ranging in length from two to 36 days. Options abound with sailings between a variety of homeports including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Auckland, as well as journeys afar to Southeast Asia and North America.

Itinerary highlights of the Australia and New Zealand October 2021 through April 2022 season for bucket-list aficionados comprise:

  • Roundtrip New Zealand sailings ranging from 11 to 14 days, from a variety of homeports in Australia including Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Itineraries feature the famed Marlborough Wine Region (from Picton) and scenic cruising of the glacier-carved fjords of Fiordland National Park.

  • Four one-way Australia & New Zealand voyages between Sydney and Auckland travelling to key home ports including Melbourne and Christchurch on Royal Princess and Emerald Princess.
  • Circumnavigate the “Down Under” continent on a Round Australia voyage departing from Sydney and Brisbane, including visits to Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef and scenic cruising of the epic Kimberley Coast.

  • Discover the remote island of Tasmania on roundtrip voyages from five to 10 days from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
  • Visit many islands of the South Pacific including Fiji, Hawaii & Tahiti, New Caledonia & Vanuatu or Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands on a variety of voyages ranging from 11 to 35 days.

  • Variety of Hawaii, Tahiti & South Pacific Crossing voyages connecting North America to Australia in autumn 2021 and spring 2022, ranging from 27 to 29 days.
  • Several two- to four-day Australia and Tasmania Getaway cruises from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne with stops in Newcastle, Eden and Hobart. Offering more time to maximise the experience in each location, Princess lists 14 destinations with late-night, or “More Ashore” stays, including Auckland, Darwin, Hobart and. Sydney, to name a few.

 

Access to 11 UNESCO World Heritage sites including:

  • Tasmanian Wilderness (from Burnie) – one of the largest conservation areas in Australia covering nearly 20 percent of Tasmania.
  • Greater Blue Mountains with the chance to gaze up at the Three Sisters spectacular rock formation (from Sydney).
  • Chief Roi Mata’s Domain (from Port Vila) – the most notable chief in Vanuatu’s history, the “domain” is the first site inscribed in Vanuatu and is a triangle including his old tribe village, his burial grounds, as well as the cave where he supposedly died.
  • Komodo National Park (on Komodo Island in Indonesia) – founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo Dragon, the world’s largest lizard.
  • Two Cruisetour options – Australian Outback and Ultimate Australia – offer guests the opportunity to visit the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru National Park’s iconic Ayers Rock, combining a multi-night land tour with a traditional cruise. Guests also spend time in world-class cities like Sydney, Darwin and Cairns.

OceanMedallion Transforms the Cruise Experience

Onboard MedallionClass ships sailing Australia and New Zealand itineraries, the OceanMedallion wearable device transforms holidays by making the entire cruise experience effortless, delivering highly personalised service and enabling touchless interactive experiences and entertainment. Among enhancements, guests enjoy streamlined boarding; on-demand food, beverage, retail and service delivery; keyless stateroom entry; contactless payment; friends and family locator; anywhere wagering; interactive games; and movies/live TV on the go.

Stay Persistently Connected with MedallionNet – the Best Wi-Fi at Sea

Select Australia and New Zealand itineraries offer the best Wi-Fi at sea, MedallionNet, on board so guests can stay persistently connected to the things they love and share holiday memories with ease. MedallionNet offers unprecedented connectivity that’s fast, unlimited, reliable, and affordable with an access point in every stateroom, so guests can stream favourite movies, shows, games and music; connect to favourite social media sites; and video chat from anywhere on the ship.

With many notable “best of” accolades, Princess Cruises is a top cruise line in Australia and a recognised destination leader in the cruise industry.

Captain’s Circle Savings

Princess Cruises past guests are eligible for a discount off launch fares when they book by February 28, 2021. This discount can be combined with launch and group promotions. These discounts do not apply to third or fourth berth guests.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

Princess Cruises is currently enhancing health and safety protocols with input from global health leaders in light of COVID-19 and assessing how they may impact future itineraries. Actual offerings may vary from what is displayed in marketing materials. Click on the following links to stay updated on

Current Travel Advisories
Health & Safety Protocols

Big Changes to Royal Caribbean Muster Drill

An Entirely New Approach To Delivering Safety Information To Guests

Royal Caribbean Group is replacing the traditional safety drill, with the new innovative Muster 2.0

The process will be faster and have a more personal, which encourages higher levels of safety.

Tested on Symphony of the Seas in January 2020, Muster 2.0 has been more than a year in the making. Guests who took part in the mock process indicated a strong preference for the new approach. They also reported better comprehension and retention of the safety information.

The New Royal Caribbean Muster Drill Approach Will Help Guests Enjoy A Smoother Sail Away

Muster 2.0 enables guests to access the key elements of the safety drill. This includes things like; What to expect and where to go in case of an emergency and life jacket instructions.

eMuster provides information on mobile devices and interactive stateroom TVs. Guests can avoid large group assemblies by reviewing the information at their own time prior to setting sail.

The new approach also allows guests to enjoy more of their vacation with no interruption.

After reviewing safety information individually, guests will complete the drill by visiting their assigned assembly station, where a crew member will verify that all steps have been completed and answer questions. The ships will not depart until all guests have completed the drill.

The distributed muster for ocean-going vessels concept is patented in the United States and is patent-pending in major markets around the world, including the various cruise industry flag states. The company has also worked with international regulators, the U.S. Coast Guard and other maritime and government authorities to ensure it meets all safety requirements.

Cruise Lines to Eliminate Crowding By Using The Technology

In addition to introducing the new process on the ships of its own cruise lines – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara – Royal Caribbean Group is offering to license the patented technology to interested cruise operators and will waive patent license fees during the time the world and industry battle the global pandemic. Patent licenses have already been granted to the company’s joint venture, TUI Cruises GmbH, as well as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Recommended Reading

A Guide To Cruising with Royal Caribbean

Details of Partnership With P&O Cruises and Gary Barlow

British singer, songwriter, producer and musician Gary Barlow is to make his debut role as musical director of The 710 Club on contemporary new P&O Cruises flagship, Iona.

Member of one of the biggest groups in British music history Take That, is set to make Iona’s intimate music bar the most exciting live music venue at sea. The atmospheric late-night music venue will showcase an eclectic range of performances. In keeping with P&O Cruises traditions, the shows will be curated to appeal to British music lovers. Up-and-coming musicians will get a chance to play, which could give them their lucky break.

Naming Ceremony Performance

Gary’s role with P&O Cruises will also see him performing at Iona’s naming celebration which kicks off IonaFest, the UK’s most exciting new floating festival which is a seven-night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords from Southampton on July 4, 2020.

P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, said: “We are immensely proud to have someone of Gary’s stature and talent working with us as the brand ambassador. Gary’s impressive career speaks for itself and he will bring his vision and personality to our new The 710 Club; from guiding the resident band, selecting future performers and playlists and even shaping the interiors and signature cocktails.

“We’re excited that our guests can be a part of it and they will have the opportunity to watch Gary light up Iona’s theatre for some extraordinary performances in dazzling surroundings. This collaboration highlights our commitment to providing world-class entertainment on Iona that places music firmly at its heart.”

Image: P&O Cruises. Gary Barlow is to make his debut role as musical director of The 710 Club on contemporary new P&O Cruises flagship, Iona.

Gary Barlow added: “I want The 710 Club to be a celebration of great music and great talent. As its musical director, I want to give a unique experience for people who love music as much as I do.”

“Music has been such a massive part of my life – and taken me on so many journeys and adventures. I’m hoping to pass this on to all the guests in my club.”

Cruises With Gary Barlow

Gary will also join guests on two Iona holidays in 2020 for exclusive performances;*

  • Iona G018 departing Southampton on 29 August for the Norwegian Fjords
  • Iona G025 departing Southampton on 31 October for Spain and Portugal

*Tickets for the performances are limited. They will go on sale prior to the holiday, on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost will be £25 per person with a maximum of 4 tickets per holiday booking. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to two charities; Child Bereavement UK and Teenage Cancer Trust.

Recommended Reading

MSC Magnifica Restyled for UK Guests

Gary Barlow Is New P&O Cruises Brand Ambassador

Gary Barlow Will Be P&O Cruises New Brand Ambassador

P&O Cruises have announced today, that Gary Barlow is going to be their new brand ambassador. Guests cruising in 2020 will be able to experience the benefit of this pioneering partnership.

As a producer, musician, songwriter and member of the legendary British pop group Take That, cruisers are sure to be thrilled at the announcement.  P&O Cruises are holding an exclusive event at the Grade 1 listed church building St. Luke’s London Symphony Orchestra this evening (15 January). Here they will announce more details of Gary’s as the new brand ambassador.

Gary is one of the most successful musicians in the UK, with an impressive career. He has written 15 number one singles and sold over 45 million records worldwide. His live performances have sold over 8 million concert tickets. In recognition of his great work, Gary has won six Ivor Novello Awards and eight BRIT Awards.

Gary has also co-written and produced music for other renowned artists. These include legendary singers such as, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Elton John and Robbie Williams. Gary composed the score for the hugely successful ‘Finding Neverland’ and worked alongside screenwriter Tim Firth to write the music and lyrics for the musical ’The Girls’. More recently Gary worked alongside his bandmates Mark Owen, Howard Donald and Robbie Williams to produce ‘The Band’ a record-breaking musical featuring the music of Take That.

P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, said: “We are immensely proud to have someone of Gary’s stature and talent working with us as a brand ambassador and we look forward to revealing more exciting details on Gary’s role very soon.”

Recommended Reading

Details of Partnership With P&O Cruises and Gary Barlow

Virgin Voyages ‘Valiant Lady’ to Head for the Med

Virgin Voyages today announced their second ship debuting in May 2020, will be called ‘Valiant Lady’, and is be based out of Barcelona, Spain. From here she will sail 7-night Mediterranean itineraries, with late-night stops and overnight stays in ports such as Ibiza.

Valiant Lady will sail 3 different itineraries with breathtaking ports of call, open for booking in December 2019.

  1. The exotic delights of Barcelona, Ibiza, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Olbia
  2. A fantastic sampling of the Med featuring Barcelona, Ibiza, Toulon, Ajaccio, Marina di Carrara, and Cagliari
  3. Spanish immersion, stopping by Barcelona, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and the British port of Gibraltar

A Home in Barcelona for Summer 2021

Most cruise ships dock at Termina C in Barcelona, which is a 10-minute bus ride to the first point of interest, Las Ramblas. However, Virgin Voyages have secured a prime location usually reserved by luxury liners and mega-yachts. Valiant Lady will dock at the World Trade Center Barcelona, just steps from Las Ramblas, allowing Sailors to be as close to the heart of the city as possible. It gives walking access to the most popular spots such as Poble Sec, el Raval, Barri Gotic, Port Vell and the famed urban beach of La Barceloneta. Departing every Sunday, sailors can enjoy extra time in Barcelona and take advantage of a range of flight options.

Later Stays and Overnights

Sailor and First Mates (travel partners) wanted later stays in ports, which Virgin Voyages have delivered on every itinerary. Sailors can now make the most of their time in port. Every sailing features a Friday overnight stay in Ibiza, one of the most stunning and thrilling Balearic Islands. Whether it’s a beach club, market, spa, sunset, or a late-night out, there is no other place like Ibiza.

Introducing ‘Valiant Lady’

The name ‘Valiant Lady’ was inspired by the Latin valere and the French, Vaillant, meaning “bold”, “strong”, and “courageous”. The image of women historically only graced the bows of ships to bring protection to a vessel. However, ‘Valiant Lady’ embodies the idea that women design, captain, lead and champion change in the maritime industry.

Scarlet Squad

Valiant Lady will continue Virgin Voyages’ ‘Scarlet Squad’ program. This is aimed at recruiting, supporting and mentoring female shipboard talent and growing opportunities to access leadership roles onboard. This includes areas such as marine, technical and hotel management that statistically show low numbers of female leadership.

Recommended Reading Champagne Delivery at the Shake of Your Phone

Future Sailors, First Mates, and travel advisors are invited to check out Virgin Voyages by visiting www.virginvoyages.com or following @virginvoyages on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Virgin Voyages Announces Sneak-A-Peak Sailings

VIRGIN VOYAGES ANNOUNCES CELEBRATORY MAIDEN VOYAGE EXPERIENCES 

Virgin Voyages have made exciting announcements on what to expect for the Scarlet Lady’s Maiden Voyage. The much-anticipated voyage will depart Miami on the 1st April next year. In true Virgin style, the first celebratory sailing will be an unforgettable experience.  Celebrity guests will be at every turn, and I am sure there will be much speculation as to who will be onboard. Special onboard events with exciting surprises will give Sailors an enhanced Virgin Voyages experience.

TWO NEW SNEAK-A-PEAK SAILINGS

Virgin Voyages also announced two special preview Sneak-a-Peek sailings, so sailors can sample the Virgin Voyages experience. with the first one departing 26 March 2020.

The adult-only cruise promises to be a cruise like no other, with their fresh approach to cruising.  Scarlet Lady officially sets sail on its Maiden Voyage April 1st.

The three-night Sneak-a-Peek Scarlet Lady sailings will feature the ship’s marquee experiences. These include a stunning day at Virgin Voyages exclusive Beach Club at Bimini. Sailors will enjoy a Scarlet Night Party, access to all restaurants and the opportunity to experience complete versions of entertainment offered onboard.

Bookings for Sneak-a-Peak sailings open on VirginVoyages.com Friday, November 15th. The first sailing will run from Thursday, March 26 – Sunday, March 29. The second sailing will run Sunday, March 29 – Wednesday, April 1.

Recommended Reading Mark Ronson Virgin Voyages Minister of Music

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New European Itineraries for Royal Caribbean

ROYAL CARIBBEAN ITINERARIES SUMMER 2021

With seven ships in the region, the cruise line is offering 70% new itineraries and new ports of call.

Royal Caribbean International has today announced European itineraries for 2021, with a new mix of destinations and industry-changing ships.

Family-favorites Anthem of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas will return to Southampton and Barcelona respectively whilst the brand-new Odyssey of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s second Quantum Ultra class ship, will sail through Turkey and Greece.

All itineraries are available to book as of today except for Odyssey of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas which will be open to book w/c December 9.

New Itineraries From Southampton

Anthem of the Seas will be the first Quantum-class ship to take guests to ports in Norway including Stavanger, Kristiansand, and Geiranger. Other new stops for Anthem include Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark and Bordeaux, France. Select sailings include late nights in Paris, France, and overnights in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Lisbon, Portugal.Explore Europe from Barcelona

  • Harmony of the Seas will be sailing 7-night itineraries through the Western Mediterranean from Barcelona. For those wishing to start and end their trip in Italy, round-trip sailings from Rome are also available.

  • Vision of the Seas will continue to offer 12-night Mediterranean itineraries from Barcelona sailing the Greek Isles and making stops in Kotor, Montenegro; Nice, France; Rome, Florence/Pisa, Italy and include an overnight in Venice, Italy and late nights in Split, Croatia.

  • Jewel of the Seas will end the summer homeported in Barcelona where she’ll transport guests to the Iberian Peninsula and Greek Isles including stops in Cannes, France; Athens and Santorini, Greece.

Italian Adventures from Venice

  • Rhapsody of the Seas will spend another summer season in Venice offering 7-night sailings alternating between Greece/Croatia and the Greek Isles. Select sailings will offer late nights in Kotor, Montenegro.

British and Baltic Exploration

  • Select Jewel of the Seas sailings from her homeport of Amsterdam to the British Isles and Baltics will include overnights in Edinburgh (S. Queensferry), Scotland and in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as late-nights in Liverpool, England. This marks the first time a Radiance class ship calls to the city – and Bordeaux, France.

  • Adventure of the Seas will offer 7- to 11-night sailings including overnights in St. Petersburg, Russia from Stockholm, Sweden and will also sail to Helsinki, Finland; Tallinn, Estonia, and Visby, Sweden. Adventure will be open for booking the week of December 9.

For more information on Royal Caribbean’s 2021 Europe itineraries, visit royalcaribbean.co.uk

Recommended Reading: Jewel of the Seas Greek Isles Cruise Review

Amazing Features for Odyssey Of The Seas

Royal Caribbean International recently announced details on the newest Quantum Ultra Class ship Odyssey of the Seas.

Decked Out

Odyssey of the Seas is the 27th vessel to join the Royal Caribbean International fleet and looks like it is going to have the most action-packed top deck to date.

Amazing features for Odyssey of the Seas include a two-level pool deck with two open-air resort-style pools and four whirlpools. The new design provides plenty of sunny and shady space, so guests to soak up the sun and relax and cool off in the shade.

The two-storey Lime & Coconut has a tropical vibe with pool-front views, which replaces the old style pool bar. This will be a great place to hang out during the day and in the evening.

Image: Royal Caribbean International

El Loco Fresh, serves poolside authentic Mexican food, from tacos and burritos to quesadillas and fresh salsas. This provides guests with a convenient food option without having to leave the poolside.

Splashaway Bay features waterslides, fountains and water cannons, giving kids hours of fun.

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Splashaway Bay

The Adult only Solarium has an exclusive space on the top deck, offering a retreat for some quiet time, with dedicated swimming pools and whirlpools. Daybeds and hidden nooks will be the ultimate place to relax whilst sipping on a drink from the full-service bar.

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Solarium

Kids Play

Young cruisers will be able to choose their very own immersive experiences, as Adventure Ocean will have a whole new layout.

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Adventure Ocean

The teen lounge will be maxed-out with gaming consoles, music and movies, which will provide endless hangout options.

Entertainment

Entertainment across the ship will include Royal Caribbean’s signature theatre productions and mind-blowing high tech shows in the innovative Two70.

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Two70

Boasting 270-degree panoramic windows with sweeping ocean views at the aft of the ship, the expansive open area living room transforms into a 135-foot-wide and 22-foot-tall screen.  At night, the iconic venue becomes a multidimensional theatre – where six Roboscreens come to life in sync with the music, special effects, live performers and aerialists.

I recorded this video onboard Anthem of the Seas in Two70. It was an afternoon show, which I will never forget.

The Music Hall provides the perfect place for a variety of live performances.

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Music Hall

The Bionic Bar with robot bartenders allows you to order from an iPad, choosing your favourite drink from the menu, or design your own cocktail.

Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade will be found in the SeaPlex. Sports fans can follow all the sports action, with TVs at every angle. The club-level views will offer great vantage points of the competition below. Guests can enjoy an ice-cold beer and order a range of bar food including the Playmakers Burger, buffalo wings and sliders. There will be a selection of classic board games available, trivia quizzes and pool tables. For an extra special experience, guests can reserve the Owner’s Box VIP area.

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Playmakers Sports Bar

Dining

Odyssey of the Seas will have diverse dining to suit all tastes.

Serving Far East flavours, Japanese Teppanyaki Restaurant will make its first appearance in North America.

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Teppanyaki

Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, will serve rustic Italian dishes with a contemporary flair, from hand-tossed pizzas fresh out of the oven and made to order, to charcuterie delights including a wide selection of wines and limoncellos, from many of Italy’s well-known regions.

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Chops Grille

Onboard restaurants include Izumi, Chop’s Grille, Chef’s Table and Wonderland.

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Izumi

Fun For All The Family

Odyssey’s top deck SeaPlex is the largest indoor activity space at sea, offering fun for all the family. Drive the only bumper cars at sea, soar from a flying trapeze at circus school or battle for survival in a glow-in-the-dark laser tag arena.

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Seaplex Bumper Cars

The upper level of SeaPlex will be dominated with the most interactive arcade at sea. Virtual Reality games offer individual and group play, with augmented reality walls and floors, for high-tech competitions and family experiences.

There is plenty on offer for thrill-seekers including the FlowRider , Rock Wall, RipCord by iFly and SkyPad.

Image: Royal Caribbean International – SkyPad

The iconic North Star boasting 360-degree views, will share a whole new perspective of some of the world’s most legendary shores from 300 feet above sea level.

Image: Royal Caribbean International – North Star

Recommended Reading Marc Walker – A Day In The Life Of A Cruise Director

Check the website for updates on their operations – Royal Caribbean Latest Travel Updates

Champagne Delivery at the Shake of Your Phone

VIRGIN VOYAGES “SHAKE FOR CHAMPAGNE” ON-DEMAND CHAMPAGNE DELIVERY SERVICE

Also unveiled for Scarlet Lady is Sip, A Luxuriously Effervescent Champagne Lounge and Caviar Bar

Virgin Voyages announced its exclusive on-demand champagne delivery at the shake of your phone. Shake for Champagne enables Sailors to request champagne, anywhere on board Scarlet Lady.

Click play to watch Virgin Voyages Shake For Champagne trailer.

SHAKE FOR CHAMPAGNE

When the Virgin Voyages Sailor App is shaken, a secret Champagne button is revealed

Once pressed, a bottle of Möet Chandon Impérial will be delivered to the Sailor.

Delivered in an eye-catching, gleaming Virgin red champagne bucket, the service includes a 750ml bottle of Möet Chandon Imperial with two glasses. Möet Chandon Imperial is a blend of over 200 crus, mingling the full body of pinot noir with the suppleness of Meunier and the finesse of chardonnay – the perfect pairing for a day or evening sailing in the warm Caribbean sea.

Also Revealed. Luxurious Champagne Lounge and Caviar Bar – Sip.

Sip is a decadent lounge featuring a diverse curation of champagne labels, including Moët Chandon – Virgin Voyages’ featured champagne house. A glass of bubbles compares well to other cruise lines at just $9. For something more lavish, a sailor can splash out on a $1,000 vintage bottle. With Virgin’s quintessential British heritage and eccentricity in mind, Sip will also offer a signature afternoon high tea.

The glamour and effervescence of champagne inspired the design by Virgin Voyages and HKS Hospitality. Sip features a long marble bar with rose-gold inlay, and encourages Sailors to indulge in one of the most luxurious pairings of them all, champagne and caviar.

The colour of the champagnes that will be served is echoed in the gold and rose-pink hues offset by deep watery blues, with carrara white marble bars and tables. The deep ocean blue banquette wall and carpet that wraps through the space, will create a chance to revel or relax at all times of day as the ship sails through the ocean’s blue waves.

LIMITED-TIME BOOKING OFFER 

Sailors can toast to Virgin Voyages’ inaugural season now through November 30, as those who book April or May sailings will receive a complimentary special Virgin Voyages limited-edition bottle of Möet Chandon Imperial in their cabin upon their arrival. Sailors who book now can also snag their voyage with half off their deposit. Future Sailors and First Mates are invited to check out Virgin Voyages by visiting www.virginvoyages.com.

Recommended Reading Virgin Voyages – Dining Venues

Princess Cruises Names Ship Discovery Princess

Princess Cruises Reveal Name for Next Ship

Princess Cruises Names Ship Discovery Princess

Discovery Princess set to launch on 3 November 2021 will be the 6th Royal Class ship.  She will begin her inaugural season with a series of European Voyages.  She will be a sister ship to Royal Princess, Regal Princess, Majestic Princess, Sky Princess (joining the fleet later this month) and Enchanted Princess (joining the fleet June 2020 and launching in Southampton).

Her maiden voyage is a seven-day Mediterranean and Aegean cruise departing Rome to Athens on November 3, 2021. For those looking for a longer cruise, this can be combined together with the subsequent seven-day Athens to Barcelona voyage to form a 14-day Adriatic & Aegean Medley sailing.

Discovery Princess will include Adriatic and Aegean Itineraries.

On completion of her short season in the Mediterranean, Discovery Princess will reposition to Fort Lauderdale. From here, she will sail a series of roundtrip cruises to the Caribbean, followed by several voyages around South America.  Ports include Buenos Aires, Santiago, Fort Lauderdale, Mexico and California.

Santiago, Chile. One of the destinations Discovery Princess will visit during her inaugural season.

MedallionClass Technology

Construction of the 143,700-tonne Discovery Princess will take place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. The ship will feature the ‘MedallionClass’ technology, which gives guests a smoother and personalised cruise experience, including;

  • Expedited arrival and touchless stateroom entry.
  • On-demand services using smart devices to order drinks, food and retail items and have them delivered directly anywhere onboard, including to their stateroom.
  • Interactive game play – digital scavenger hunts, interactive games and turning their smart device into a game controller for interactive gaming on the Movies Under The Stars top-deck screen.
  • Family and friends locator – Easily locate and chat with friends and family onboard on portals throughout the ships and via guests’ smart devices, and seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest.
  • Guests can use JourneyView to digitally browse on board events, which means they won’t miss out.  This is available up to 60 days in advance, allowing for guests to plan ahead.

Future Ships For Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises have two new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) powered ships on order, which will be delivered in late 2023 and spring 2025. More details here.

Cruise on Discovery Princess

Princess Cruises is offering the seven-day Mediterranean and Aegean inaugural sailing on Discovery Princess from £1,389 per person. Departing November 3, 2021 from Rome to Athens, calling at Naples, Crete (Heraklion), Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Istanbul and Mykonos.

The 3,660-guest ship’s maiden season is available to book from October 8, 2019. To book visit princess.com

Travel With Friends – Virgin Voyages Circles

Virgin Voyages Offer Incentives for Sailors to Travel with Friends

Virgin Voyages is continuing to shake up the cruise and travel industry. The cruise line have revealed details of its group program. Circles is a game-changing approach to travel with friends and family.

The program is for Sailors who love traveling together and enjoy a luxe adult-only experience.  Groups might include friends and family celebrating milestone birthdays, special occasions or corporate incentive groups.

Why Circles?

Virgin Voyages refer to ‘groups’ of Sailors as Circles because “we love the idea of celebrating togetherness and human connection at sea,” said Tom McAlpin, president and CEO for Virgin Voyages. “We threw out the rule book again by eliminating complex point-based amenity programs, to create something flexible and enticing.  Our approach ensures the experience remains intimate for all Sailors on board and never feels over run by mass.”

Group Requirements

Virgin Voyages define a Circle as 10 cabins or more (including solo cabins) with up to 150 Sailors. The size and number of Circles sailing at one time are limited to ensure exclusivity while maintaining the dynamic for Sailors outside of the Circle.

Circle Bounty

Circles will be eligible for Circle Bounty, which includes an onboard credit for Sailors known as Sailor Loot.

Sailors can spend Sailor Loot onboard, however they wish. The cabin type booked will determine the amount. Insider and Sea View cabins receive $50 per cabin; Sea Terraces receive $100 per cabin and Mega RockStar and RockStar Suites receive $200 per cabin.

Insider and Sea View cabins receive $50 per cabin

Mega RockStar and RockStar Suites receive $200 per cabin.

Cruise Chest

For every 10 cabins sold, the Circle will earn a 10 percent voyage credit. This will be based on the highest fares, and known as the Cruise Chest.

Circles can earn credit towards their Circle Chest in increments of 10 cabins. So, when there is a circle of 15 cabins, the credit will be based on the highest valued 10 cabins within the group. If 20 cabins are sold, credits will be awarded based on all 20 cabins. This continues based on each block of 10 cabins.

The Circle Chest puts the control of the benefit in the hands of the First Mate. The ways in which this can be applied are as follows;

  • Spent in part or in total toward new cabins on the Circle voyage date that can be enjoyed by First Mates or Sailors.
  • Applied prior to final payment as a reduction of voyage fare across any of the purchased cabins on the Circle voyage. In this case, the First Mate’s commission will be protected and based on the full voyage fare.
  • Set up as a pre-funded master account that can be used on board during the Circle voyage. This can be used for extras including onboard credits, visits to the spa, shore things, cocktail parties, etc.

SPECIAL PROMOTION

Virgin Voyages is offering a special promotion for new 2020 Circles booked now through December 31, 2019.

For a limited time, Circles will receive double the standard Sailor Loot amount per cabin. This means Insider and Sea View cabins receive $100 per cabin; Sea Terraces receive $200 per cabin and Mega RockStar and RockStar Suites receive $400 per cabin.

This special offer is valid on all 2020 sailings except Virgin Voyages’ maiden voyage on April 1 and Sir Richard Branson’s Birthday Bash on July 15.

To book or add to a Circle, contact our Sailor Services Crew at 1-800-430-5308 in the US & Canada and +44-800-3688912 in the UK. Or visit virginvoyages.com

Recommended Reading

My interview with Stacy Shaw – Virgin Voyages VP Business Development

MSC Magnifica Restyled for UK Guests

MSC Magnifica To Undergo A Massive Transformation

The most Magnificent EX-UK season ever!

MSC Cruises revealed today brand-new itineraries for Summer 2021 sailing from Southampton on a newly refurbished MSC Magnifica. The ship will undergo a transformation adding 23 meters to the length, which will deliver an additional 7,000 m2 of space to the ship. This will allow for 215 extra cabins, a new water park, a redesigned kids area, plus additional features including two new restaurants and an exciting new shopping area.

24 sailings from Southampton for Summer 2021

MSC Cruises are introducing brand new itineraries designed for UK cruise guests. These include a 14-night sailing to the Mediterranean and 4 different Norwegian Fjord itineraries

The 24 sailings from Southampton beginning in May and ending in October will see the introduction of cruises ranging from 2 to 14 nights. The brand new varied itineraries will include the Canary Islands & Madeira, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Baltic Capitals. The majority of the 24 sailings will set sail on a Saturday. This is to ensure guests can make the most of their holiday experience.

Antonio Paradiso MD MSC Cruises UK & Ireland commented, “We are delighted to be further enhancing our guest experience and offering brand new itineraries sailing from the UK. We are committed to providing UK guests with the holidays they want.”

The announcement comes as a result of agents’ and guests’ feedback and the demand for more options to cruise from Southampton with MSC Cruises.

He added “The UK market is a priority for MSC Cruises and we have shown our commitment consistently over the last few years. Firstly, with our first-ever full EX-UK season in 2018, then with the naming of MSC Bellissima in Southampton in March this year and now with another full EX-UK season on a newly refurbished and enhanced ship with brand new itineraries created specifically with the British holidaymakers in mind.”

Itineraries

Cruise highlights include;

A 12-night cruise that calls at three of the Canary Islands – Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote with their fantastic climate, distinctive landscapes and bustling ports the cruise departing early May is perfectly timed to catch the sun.

14-night Western Mediterranean cruise in August, including popular destinations for UK guests such as Palma de Mallorca and Monte Carlo will be the perfect choice for the family summer holiday.

MSC Magnifica will offer four different stunning Norwegian Fjord itineraries and will call at two brand new destinations; Skagen in Denmark renowned for hours of sun and unique light plus Rosendal, Norway, which is the world’s fourth-largest fjord.

Best of British

In addition to new itineraries MSC Magnifica guests will continue to enjoy the ‘Best of British’ enhancements, initially showcased on MSC Magnifica in 2018. These include favourites such as pie & mash, back bacon and sausages available in the buffet and kettles in cabins with of course Yorkshire Tea.

Environmental Advances

When works are completed, MSC Magnifica will feature two new major and important onboard environmental advances to complement a wide range of existing leading-edge environmental technologies across the company’s entire fleet: a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system. SCR technology helps reduce nitrogen oxide into pure nitrogen and water through advanced active emissions control technology.

MSC Cruises took the opportunity to install a state-of-the-art advanced wastewater treatment system onboard. The system meets the highest standards and that purifies used wastewater to near tap-water quality. The system meets the so-called ‘Baltic Standard’ and treats the wastewater to a higher standard than most waste standards available in cities around the world. To help reduce and continuously minimize emissions also while in port, the ship will be able to ‘plug in’ to the local power grid wherever such systems are available at berth.

On Sale Now From £149pp

Cruises go on sale on the 12th September. Prices start from £149pp for a mini cruise and £549 for a Norwegian fjords cruise.

£100 On Board Credit

To celebrate the launch, MSC Cruises are offering up to £100 onboard credit per cabin on all 2021 MSC Magnifica sailings from Southampton. All prices include service charge and taxes. Terms and conditions apply and can be found at www.msccruises.co.uk

Itinerary highlights include:

May Bank Holiday Mini Cruise

This 3-night sailing runs across the late May Bank Holiday. Set sail from Southampton late on Friday evening and spend the day in Zeebrugge before returning to Southampton. Prices starting from £219pp based on two passengers sharing an inside cabin with £25pp OBC.

Baltic Capitals

There are two opportunities to discover the much-loved Baltic Capitals. A 12-night cruise departing 31st May or on a 14-night cruise departing 11th September. Offering slightly different itineraries with added highlights on the 14-night itinerary. These include an overnight stay in the Swedish Capital Stockholm, and a visit to Denmark’s Skagen. Both sailings include an overnight onboard stay in St Petersburg and a visit to Norway’s capital, Oslo. Prices starting from £1,569pp based on two people sharing a Balcony cabin with £50pp OBC.

Norway Your Way

Choose from one of four different Norwegian Fjord itineraries setting sail across the summer season. Explore much-loved ports including Flamm and Stavanger and new destinations for MSC Cruises Rosendal and Nordfjordeid. Cruises depart throughout the summer. Prices starting from £819pp based on two people sharing an Ocean View cabin with £25pp OBC.

14 Nights Perfect For Families

This 14-night cruise visits some of the Mediterranean’s most loved destinations and has been developed with families in mind. Departing on the 7th August this no-fly cruise begins with two sea days to give guests a chance to relax. Then it’s action-packed itinerary allows you to explore seven different ports in nine days. It also includes a late sail from the fabulous Palma de Mallorca and a visit to the exclusive Monte Carlo. Prices starting from £3,296 for a family of 4. All food and service charges included in the price, plus £50 OBC per cabin.

Recommended Reading MSC Magnifica Cruise Review

Sky Princess Completes Sea Trials

Princess Cruises are celebrating another major milestone as they prepare for the launch of Sky Princess.

The 3,660-guest cruise ship set out from Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy for six days of sea trials, where a series of manoeuvres to test the propulsion, steering and navigational equipment were carried out.

Now back in the shipyard Sky Princess will undergo further exterior and interior finishing in preparation for her 7-day Mediterranean and Adriatic maiden voyage on October 20, 2019.

The ship will sail a short season in the Mediterranean before heading to the Caribbean.

Onboard Features

Sky Princess will be an evolution of sister ships Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess. Her enhancements will also feature on Enchanted Princess, which launches in Southampton in June 2020. They include:

  • Two ‘Sky Suites’.  The largest balconies at sea, measuring a massive 1,012 square feet (starboard side), and 947 square feet (portside). These exclusive balconies will offer 270-degree panorama views and provide a private vantage of the top deck Movies Under the Stars cinema screen. They will feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dining area with skylight as well as a host of exclusive amenities for up to 5 guests.

  • More than 25 dining venues and bars including the World Fresh Marketplace and speciality restaurants Bistro Sur La Mer (French bistro), Crown Grill Steakhouse and Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria
  • New entertainment such as the jazz lounge ‘Take Five’, a redesigned Vista Lounge, an enhanced Princess Theatre and the recently announced production show ‘Rock Opera’

  • A redesigned Sanctuary area, the spa-inspired top deck retreat reserved for adults. The Sanctuary will feature an enhanced, contemporary design including twice as many private cabanas as its sister ships, as well as new lounge furniture and the option for guests to indulge in a spa treatment

Ocean Medallion Technology

  • Princess MedallionClass experience, featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion wearable device, which is the same size as a 10p piece, delivers an entirely new level of service and creates a holiday that is more simple, effortless and personalised with:
    • Expedited arrival – Guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile enjoy a streamlined and expedited check-in process that gets their holiday started even sooner
    • Touchless stateroom entry – No need to touch, swipe or insert cards or devices into the door handle to unlock the stateroom. As a guest approaches their stateroom the door automatically unlocks
    • On-demand services – Using smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks, food and retail items such as suntan lotion and have them delivered directly anywhere onboard, including to their stateroom
    • Interactive game play – Available on portals throughout the ship, PlayOcean allows guests to take part in digital scavenger hunts, interactive games and create their own avatars, as well as turning their smart device into a game controller for interactive gaming on the Movies Under The Stars top-deck screen
    • Family and friends locator – Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests’ smart devices, OceanCompass leverages the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family onboard. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest
      • Interactive voyage timeline – Available on ship portals and via guests’ smart devices, JourneyView is an interactive timeline that lets guests scroll through all of the events available on board during their voyage and bookmark activities they’re interested in to their own personalised itinerary. Voyage itineraries are available as many as 60 days in advance, allowing guests to start planning before they leave home

Growing Fleet

The Princess Cruises fleet will continue to expand with the launch of Enchanted Princess and three additional ships arriving in 2021, 2023 and 2025.

Princess Cruises is offering a 7-day Eastern Caribbean voyage on Sky Princess, departing February 22, 2020. Sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, ports of call are Princess Cays (Bahamas), St Thomas and St Maarten. Special offer currently available with prices from £999 per person for a mini-suite.

Recommended Reading A Day Onboard the Royal Princess

Princess Cruises Reveals New Jazz Lounge

Princess Cruises reveals new jazz lounge for Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess

Princess Cruises has announced its two newest ships, the 3,660-guest Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess, will feature a new jazz lounge, ‘Take 5’.

Opening on Sky Princess when she launches in October 2019 and Enchanted Princess in June 2020 in Southampton, Take 5 will be  . Guests can listen to live performances as well as enjoy after-hours parties and take part in dance lessons.

Themed music will also appear including:

A Night in Harlem: Sounds of the 1920s will transport guests to the underground world of the speakeasy in the heart of New York City with sounds of the prohibition era. Featured artists include King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Original Dixieland Jazz Band and Charles “Buddy” Bolden

The Birth of Big Band and BeBop: Showcasing the late 1940s, post-war jazz and the birth of BeBop with the amazing speed and technical ability of these incredible musicians. Music from Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins and Dexter Gordon will fill the air while costumed bow-tied-wearing staff deliver classic cocktails

The Way You Look Tonight: Celebrates women of jazz throughout history and how these legendary vocalists and instrumentalists

Toda La Noche – Fiery Afro-Cuban Jazz: A journey through the Caribbean celebrates the spicy rhythms of Afro-Cuban jazz with classic beats spanning Latin, European and African American influences. Before the show, guests can take salsa lessons to popular Buena Vista Social Club covers. Featured artists include Tito Puente, Irakere and Dizzy Gillespie. The night ends with an invite back for a ‘descarga’ jam session

A Sophisticated Evening of Cool: Featuring the cool jazz sounds of the 1950s, guests will enjoy an American jazz road trip with sounds from New York to California. Musical legends like Miles Davis, Chet Baker and John Lewis will feature

Contemporary Directions – A Festival of Jazz: Featuring local artists from the various destinations the ships sail and the recent decades of jazz music

The on-demand services of guests’ individual OceanMedallion makes it even easier for them to order their food and drinks via their smart device to wherever they are sitting, ensuring that they can sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

Princess Cruises is offering an 11-Day Scandinavia cruise on Sky Princess sailing roundtrip from Copenhagen. Departing Saturday April 25, 2020 ports of call include Oslo (Norway), Berlin (Germany), Tallinn (Estonia), overnight in St. Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland) and Stockholm (Sweden). Prices start from £1,499 per person and includes up to $250 onboard spending money per person or free flights and transfers up to the value of £300 per person*.

For more information or to book visit www.princess.com, speak to your local travel agent or call 0344 338 8663.
Fare price based on two guests sharing an inside stateroom.
*Free flights and transfers offer available between 1 – 12 August.

Amount of onboard credit will vary based on voyage length and stateroom type.

Take a Look At MSC Cruises New Bahamian Island

MSC CRUISES REVEALS DETAILED LOOK INSIDE NEW BAHAMIAN ISLAND DESTINATION, OCEAN CAY

MSC Cruises, today released a new rendered tour video of its exclusive Bahamian island destination, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, ahead of its first guests arriving later this year.

The new video brings viewers along for a detailed look at what guests can look forward to while visiting the island, which is exclusive to MSC Cruises’ guests as part of itineraries in the Caribbean region.

Just 65 miles from the coast of Miami, Florida, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve is a previous industrial sand extraction site that has been restored to a pristine piece of land in the Bimini chain of islands in the western Bahamas. The 120-square-acre restored island is surrounded by a 64-square-mile marine reserve and four smaller cays.

First guests will step onto the island on November 9, 2019, the private island and marine reserve will immerse guests in the natural beauty of their surroundings with white sand beaches, beautiful blue water and lush Bahamian greenery. Guests can seamlessly pass directly between the ship and island throughout the day and evening to take advantage of all of the facilities available onboard and ashore.
In the video, viewers can see some of the island’s key areas including:

  • Many of the Island’s unique beaches including the Great Lagoon Beach: Located in an inlet at the center of the island, this is the largest single beach area and offers a haven with shallow crystal-clear water perfect for swimming and water sports.
  • The iconic Lighthouse: A striking 30m tall landmark that is home to a Hemingway-style bar and a terrace where guests can take in the incredible sea view, have a cocktail, and enjoy live music. After sunset, guests can gather to watch a breath-taking light show.
  • Seakers Food Court: A buffet restaurant that offers freshly prepared meals from a variety of international culinary traditions.
  • Ice Cream Parlour: An ice cream shop and café that serves a wide variety of ice cream flavours and coffee drinks, the perfect cool down just a short stroll from the nearby beach.

Ocean Cay is founded on a deep commitment to ecological principles – beliefs that shape everything from how venues are built, to how the island is run, to the kinds of activities featured on the island. One of the priorities for MSC Cruises on Ocean Cay is the restoration of the coral. An integral part of the marine ecosystem, coral needs to be protected as they ensure biodiversity, provide a habitat for marine life and protect coastlines.

From November 2019, all MSC Cruises ships from Miami will call at Ocean Cay as part of the Caribbean itineraries.

For more information about the island and to book your trip, please visit: www.msccruises.co.uk/cruises/destinations/caribbean-southern-caribbean/bahamas/ocean-cay-msc-marine-reserve

Caribbean Princess Opens Water Playground

Caribbean Princess Opens Water Playground on the top deck of the 3,140-guest cruise ship.

The Reef Family Splash Zone includes a water play area, newly-refurbished pool and lounge area.

The Reef’s family-friendly features comprise:

  • Winnie the Whale’s splashpad: An interactive water playground including a splash pool, water sprays and showers. Winnie the Whale ‘rains’ from her fluke and sprays from her spout. Winnie is also part of Princess’ ‘Animal Planet’ endangered species programme in its Camp Discovery Youth and Teen Centres, where children learn about the anatomy of humpback whales
  • A refurbished spa and bar area including a family pool and jacuzzi. ‘Morgan’s Bar’ has opened with a new child-friendly mocktail menu with drinks on offer such as ‘Crazy Coconut’ and ‘Berry Nice to Meet You’
  • A new outdoor lounge area with a range of seating and relaxing options, from single sun loungers to sectional chairs and sofas with tables. The space also has new fixtures, finishes and canopies offering plenty of shade
  • A multi-generational game zone with oversized activities such as giant Connect Four and Jenga

In addition, directly below The Reef in the Camp Discovery outdoor area, children can interact and explore with a destination-themed water table. It features the many locations and iconic landmarks Princess visits including the Sydney Opera House and Golden Gate Bridge and also highlights how a cruise ship moves through water, waves and weather.

Caribbean Princess boasts a wealth of additional family-friendly features, which were recently expanded via a multi-million pound upgrade. They include three youth and teen clubs, each themed around Princess’ partnership with the Discovery Channel; activities and games for children such as hands-on science experiments, mini golf tournaments, talent shows and stargazing; and interconnecting staterooms for use by larger groups of family and friends.

Caribbean Princess was also the first ship in the Princess fleet to be fully OceanMedallion-activated. The multi-award winning OceanMedallion, which is the same size as a 10p piece, has been designed to deliver an entirely new level of service and create a holiday that is more simple, effortless and personalised. It supports a number of features such as a family and friends locator, which allows guests to easily find other people onboard.

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises vice president UK & Europe, said: “The Reef Family Splash Zone forms part of our ongoing commitment to offer families a fun and relaxing onboard holiday. Caribbean Princess now has a wealth of features designed to appeal to guests of all ages, perfectly complementing the stunning destinations the ship sails to.”

Princess Cruises is offering a 14-day ‘Circle Caribbean’ voyage on Caribbean Princess, from £1,599 per person including complimentary drinks packages. Departing February 2, 2020 and sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale in Florida, ports of call include St Thomas, St Maarten, St Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Bonaire and Aruba. Includes up to $1,100 spending money for a family of four staying in the same stateroom.

For more information or to book visit www.princess.com, speak to your local travel agent or call 0344 338 8663.

Countdown to Enchanted Princess 

Princess Cruises has commenced the one-year countdown to the launch of the 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess in Southampton on June 30, 2020.

Construction of the 143,700-ton ship is currently under way in the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, where it will take a total of three million construction hours to build. On completion, the vessel will sail from Southampton for an inaugural season in the Mediterranean before heading to the Caribbean in autumn 2020.

The keel of Enchanted Princess at Fincantieri, Trieste.

Enchanted Princess will have a top speed of 22 knots (25 mph) and 15,000KW of transverse (sideways) thruster power. Princess Cruises’ original Love Boat, Pacific Princess, had a forward propulsion power of about 13,500KW, meaning Enchanted Princess can go faster sideways than the original Pacific Princess could travel forward!

Its maiden voyage will be a 10-night sailing to Rome, calling at Bilbao, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Barcelona, Toulon/Provence (La Seyne) and Florence/Pisa (Livorno), departing on July 1, 2020. Click here for details.

Enchanted Princess is the sister ship to Royal Princess, Regal Princess, Majestic Princess and Sky Princess, which joins the fleet in October 2019. Royal Princess was the most recent vessel from the line’s fleet to be named in Southampton, in 2013, by Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge.

Enchanted Princess will be an evolution of her sister ships with enhancements, which are also set to feature on Sky Princess, including:

Two ‘Sky Suites’, which have the largest balconies at sea and will be centrally located on the top decks. Measuring 1,012 square feet (starboard side Sky Suite) and 947 square feet (port side Sky Suite) the balconies will provide a private vantage of the top deck Movies Under the Stars cinema screen, offer 270-degree panorama views and sleep up to five guests. They will feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a dining area with skylight as well as a host of exclusive amenities.

Princess MedallionClass experience, featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion wearable device, which is the same size as a 10p piece, delivers an entirely new level of service and creates a holiday that is more simple, effortless and personalised with:

  • Expedited arrival – Guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile enjoy a streamlined and expedited check-in process that gets their holiday started even sooner.
  • On-demand services – Food, beverage, retail order and hospitality services delivered to your location: Using smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks, food and retail items like suntan lotion and have them delivered directly anywhere onboard, including to their stateroom.
  • Family and friends locator – Finding travel companions and directional ship information: Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests’ smart devices, OceanCompass leverages the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family onboard. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest.
  • New entertainment such as jazz lounge Take Five, a redesigned Vista Lounge and an enhanced Princess Theatre

More than 25 dining venues and bars including the World Fresh Marketplace and speciality restaurants La Mer (French bistro), Crown Grill Steakhouse and Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria

A redesigned Sanctuary area, the spa-inspired top deck retreat reserved for adults. The Sanctuary will feature an enhanced, contemporary design including twice as many private cabanas as its sister ships, as well as new lounge furniture and the option for guests to indulge in a spa treatment.

Tony Roberts with Master of Sky Princess, Captain Tuvo from tv series The Cruise.

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises vice president UK & Europe (pictured), said: “With just one year to go until the launch of Enchanted Princess in Southampton this is an exciting time for Princess Cruises as we prepare to add another ship to our fleet. Enchanted Princess will showcase our continued commitment to offering premium services and features  for our guests, as well as maintaining the signature Princess experience that our guests have come to know and love.”

Princess Cruises is offering a 7-day Mediterranean and Aegean voyage on Enchanted Princess departing September 12, 2020. Sailing from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Athens and calling at Naples, Kotor, Corfu, Chania and Mykonos. Prices from £1,099 per person, with up to $250 onboard spending money per person*. Click here for details

Interesting Facts about Enchanted Princess

  • With a length of 1083 feet, Enchanted Princess is longer than the height of The Shard, the tallest UK building
  • At 217 feet tall, Enchanted Princess is around the height of 15 double-decker buses stacked on top of one another
  • There will be 2,500 miles of electrical cabling in Enchanted Princess equivalent to the distance between London and Cairo
  • 100,000 gallons of paint will be used in the construction of Enchanted Princess, more than 10 times the amount required annually to paint the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Enchanted Princess will feature 200 tons of marble, 30 times the amount used in Michelangelo’s statue of David
  • Enchanted Princess’ anchor is 14 tons, twice the weight of an elephant

My very own piece of Enchanted Princess and an Ocean Medallion.

Join Me On A Princess Cruise

Want to try a Princess Cruise, but don’t want to go alone? Come and join me on Sky Princess next year. Click here for details.

Celebrity Cruises Offer S.T.E.M Programmes At Sea

CELEBRITY CRUISES OFFER FROST SCIENCE S.T.E.M PROGRAMMES AT SEA

This month sees the launch of a great new experience for kids and teens cruising onboard Celebrity Equinox. Budding scientists, mathematicians, engineers and tech savvy children with have the opportunity to take part in activities focused around S.T.E.M subjects. This is a result of a new partnership with Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.

S.T.E.M Programmes at Sea follows after Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd donated $1.2 million to support ongoing programs at Frost Science earlier in the year. The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami, is a leading science museum. They are dedicated to “sharing the power of science, sparking wonder and investigation, and fuelling innovation for the future”.

First-At-Sea Activites

The first-at-sea activities will be a new addition to the current Camp at Sea on-board programme that provides children and teenagers with opportunities to uncover the world around them through a series of specially tailored activities.

The interactive programming focuses on two science topics – one on the identification of and solutions related to micro plastics and another on the importance and diversity of plankton to the Earth’s oceans and the environment, both designed to nurture the next generation of inventors and innovators.

The micro plastics activity looks at how plastic pollution breaks down over time in the water and how micro plastics form. Tasks for the children include identifying micro plastics, examining filtered samples with microscopes, gathering samples and determining how many micro plastics are in any given area. Activities related to the importance and diversity of plankton include identifying and discussing the form and function of plankton, collecting water samples and looking at live samples.

The newly relaunched Camp at Sea still continues to feature Celebrity Cruises favourites. Young guests can learn how to mix music and take part in the Scratch DJ tournament. Budding film directors can record their own movies using a Go Pro camera and screen the film to their family and friends with the iTake programme. No two cruises offer the same series of Camp at Sea programming, and the on-board youth teams can deliver fun learning across a diverse range of topics to suit the interests of each child on-board.

For more information or to book, call 0800 441 4054, visit www.celebritycruises.co.uk or talk to your travel agent.

Learn more at frostscience.org. Follow Frost Science on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @frostscience.

Related Topics: Celebrity Edge Raises The Bar in Entertainment

Mark Ronson Virgin Voyages Minister of Music

“Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin brand were legendary game-changers in the music industry and it’s a thrill to join them as they bring that same spirit to sea travel,” Mark Ronson

Mark Ronson Takes Role as Minister of Music for Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages have announced that Academy, Grammy and Golden Globe-winning artist and producer Mark Ronson to be ‘Minister of Music’ for Virgin Voyages.

The role will see Ronson creating a series of pre-voyage and onboard playlists for Sailors. He will also curate the vinyl record selection in the RockStar Suites and in Voyage Vinyl, the ship’s vinyl and music shop. Ronson will be working with Virgin Voyages’ music teams to define the brand’s sound both at sea and at their exclusive luxury resort, The Beach Club located in Bimini in the Bahamas.

Ronson has committed to four performances at The Beach Club at Bimini in 2020. To experience Ronson’s July 9 poolside performance, guests need to book the July 5, 2020 Mayan Sol sailing featuring stops in Costa Maya, Mexico and Bimini, Bahamas.

Diplo Joins On Deck Residency Program

Virgin Voyages also announced that legendary DJ and record producer, Diplo, will perform at the Beach Club in 2020.

At The Beach Club so that Sailors can experience moments of relaxation and serenity as well as high-energy excitement. Mornings will begin with yoga and meditation. The energy will be gradually amplified as the day progresses, reaching a crescendo in the afternoon with DJ-led pool and floatilla parties at the centre of the club. Day will cascade into night with a calming fire ritual where Sailors will enjoy acoustic tunes over an open bonfire.

Scarlet Night- A Party to Remember 

One of Virgin Voyages signature onboard parties Scarlet Night, will take Sailors on a journey around Scarlet Lady. Scarlet Night was conceived, designed and produced by award-winning producer Randy Weiner. It is a glamorous occasion of awe and mystique that pushes the boundaries of entertainment. Groundbreaking music will set the mood, as Sailors dance the night away. The experience will be out of this world, with art installations and performances throughout the ship as the night progresses.

House of Yes from Brooklyn, New York will create an unrivalled after party. They were recently named the number two Best Thing To Do in the World by Time Out, known for their theatre-infused nightclub. A fabulous outfit is a must in here, and guests should expect the unexpected, including circus spectacles, immersive cinema, cabaret performances  and beyond.

For one night only! A taste of the unique onboard experiences come to London with a star-studded Scarlet Night event.

For one night only, Londoners will experience a taste of Scarlet Night as the event comes from sea to land. The event held this evening (Tuesday 21st May) will bring to life the energy of Scarlet Night. Guests can expect extraordinary music and performances along with a featured guest performance from Mark Ronson. The special event will be attended by VIPs, celebrities and more. The likes of which include Geri Horner and Holly Branson.

Scarlet Lady to visit the UK

Scarlet Lady will visit Dover and Liverpool in late February 2020. A number of exclusive events for First Mates (travel advisors), media and VIPs will be hosted onboard. Scarlet Lady will make her way across the pond, to her new home of Miami.

More than 2,770 sailors and 1,160 amazing crew from around the world will be on each sailing from Miami to the Caribbean in 2020. Keep watch on virginvoyages.com for more updates.

How To Make The Sapphire Princess Cocktail

Cruise News

As Sapphire Princess returns to Southampton for the summer, Princess Cruises has announced the ships’ namesake gin-based cocktail will be served exclusively onboard the vessel.

The ‘Sapphire Princess’ was created in partnership with the Bombay Sapphire Distillery, located in nearby Hampshire at Laverstoke Mill.

Inspired by the 2,670-guest ship and its Mediterranean ports of call, the bright blue-hued drink is the newest addition to the ship’s cocktail menu, complementing the extensive beverage options already available onboard.

New Shore Excursion

Princess Cruises has introduced an exciting new excursion for 2019. The visit to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery will be available on the day of disembarkation in Southampton. The in-depth tour offers guests the chance to learn the process of gin production, taste the signature botanicals for which the distillery is renowned and toast their holiday. For more information on the tour read my post Bombay Sapphire Distillery with Princess Cruises.

I was very fortunate to be invited by Princess Cruises to enjoy a guided tour at Laverstoke Mill hosted by Sam Carter, Senior Brand Ambassador for the Bombay Sapphire Distillery. After the tour we were treated to a very special class on how to make the Sapphire Princess Cocktail.

The drink includes a generous measure of Bombay Sapphire gin, which is itself made with botanical ingredients sourced from several of the countries and destinations Sapphire Princess sails to.

Sapphire Princess Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 45ml Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • 15ml Blue Curacao
  • 15ml MARTINI Bianco Vermouth
  • 15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Splash of Prosecco

Glassware: chilled martini cocktail glass

Method: Squeeze the lemon juice into a cocktail shaker and add all other ingredients (except the sparkling wine) including lots of cubed ice and shake well for 10 seconds. Using a fine tea strainer, strain the cocktail into a martini cocktail glass and add a splash of Prosecco. Garnish by squeezing an orange peel disc over the drink, allowing the oils from the orange skin to rest on the top of the drink. Then using a knife, make a cut 1/3rd of the way through the orange peel disc and place on the rim edge of the glass.

Here’s a video I took from our class with Sam Carter.

The cocktail’s mixers include Blue Curacao to evoke the sea. A splash of Prosecco signifies the fizz and bubbles created by waves in the water.

Sapphire Princess Offers

Sapphire Princess will spend April – October 2019 sailing to a variety of destinations from Southampton including the Mediterranean, Norwegian Fjords and Canada & New England.

The new cocktail is available on sailings including:

An 11-day Canary Islands cruise, departing October 8, 2019 on Sapphire Princess. Sailing roundtrip from Southampton. Ports of call include Vigo, Spain, Madeira (Portugal), Santa Cruz De Tenerife (Spain), Gran Canaria (Canary Islands), Lanzarote (Canary Islands). Prices from £1,099 per person click here for details.

A 14-day Mediterranean Adventurer cruise, departing August 17, 2019 on Sapphire Princess. Sailing roundtrip from Southampton, ports of call include Seville (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Marseille (Provence – France), Livorno (Florence/Pisa – Italy) Civitavecchia (Rome – Italy), Alghero (Sardinia), Ceuta (Spanish Morocco – Spain). Prices from £1,249 per person click here for details.

To book visit www.princess.com

For a tour of the ship, check out the video of me with Ben and David having a bit of fun onboard Sapphire Princess.