Tag Archives: Cruises

MSC Virtuosa Will Restart UK Cruising

IT’S TIME TO SAIL AGAIN

JUST ONE MONTH TO GO

MSC Virtuosa will restart UK cruising from Southampton on 20th May 2021. British guests will be first to discover one of the newest and most innovative ships in the UK this summer.

Initially, the cruise will offer 3 and 4 night mini cruises from Southampton to the isle of Portland, Dorset. From the 12 June, guests can enjoy 7 night cruises calling at Portland and Belfast. These will have embarkation points in Southampton, Liverpool and Greenock.

Here is a taste of what guests can expect onboard.

EXCLUSIVITY AND PRIVACY AT THE MSC YACHT CLUB

Image Credit: MSC Cruises – MSC Virtuosa, MSC Yacht Club Duplex Suite

Spread over three upper decks and linked by glittering MSC Cruises signature Swarowski crystal staircases, the MSC Yacht Club, offers the exclusive luxury of a private club. Located in the front of the ship, guests can experience the best view on board across the bow and out to sea. Two MSC Yacht Club Royal Suites with a private balcony whirlpool bath are among the gorgeous accommodation. Guests can dine in style at the exclusive, 120-seat Top Sail restaurant,  with a curated à la carte gourmet menu paired with a wide selection of wines.  The Top Sail Lounge has it’s own private pool and spacious sun deck.

A PLATE FOR EVERY PALATE

An unparalleled dining experience awaits guests on board MSC Virtuosa. There are five main dining restaurants, five specialty restaurants, 21 bars and lounges both indoor and outdoor, and globally inspired menus from all corners of the Earth. Whether guests are looking for a steakhouse, fresh seafood, Mediterranean cuisine or sushi and Asian dishes, every taste bud will be satisfied.

Making their debuts on MSC Virtuosa are two new speciality restaurants: Indochine and HOLA Tacos & Cantina. Indochine combines two culinary heritages as it brings together savoury Vietnamese classics and gives them a contemporary French twist. At HOLA Tacos & Cantina, MSC Cruises introduces its first street food dining concept, offering Latin American and Mexican inspired dishes with a selection of Tequilas and Mezquals to be savoured alongside.

For those with a sweet tooth, two-time World Champion in Pastry, Jean-Philippe Maury returns on MSC Virtuosa with Chocolat & Café and Crêpes & Gelato, two mouth-watering concepts for pure indulgence.

ROB, THE ROBOTIC BARTENDER

The star of the MSC Starship Club is Rob, the robotic bartender.

Image Credit: MSC Cruises – MSC Virtuosa, MSC Starship Club

Rob is a humanoid robot with different facial expressions and a voice. He can move his arms, body and head just like a real person as he prepares your cocktail.

He can speak eight languages according to the language chosen when the guest makes the order.

ALL NEW TEENS LAB

This will be an immersive, tech-filled space with the latest games consoles, virtual reality and music, all just for teenagers.

Driven By The Music combines a silent disco with a juke box for kids and teens to dance their hearts out.

For young Sherlocks, Junior Detective is a game of wits, observation, and puzzle-solving, as they collect clues in search of the truth.

Image Credit: MSC Cruises

A SHOPPING LOVER’S HEAVEN

MSC Cruises’ has received accolades for Cruise Retailer of the Year 2020 and Cruise Retail Environment of the Year 2020 at the Travel Retail Awards. MSC Virtuosa, will have 11 state of-the-art boutiques housing 250 brands spread over 1,168m2 of dedicated space – the largest retail area at sea.

The ship will feature a branded MSC Foundation shop, which was the winner of the Judges’ Gold Seal for “CSR or Sustainability Initiative of the Year” at the Frontier Awards 2020. The shop offers a selection of specially crafted, high quality, sustainable pieces made from recycled plastic.

Image Credit: MSC Cruises – MSC Virtuosa, Sky Lounge

Here are some of MSC Virtuosa’s highlights in numbers:

·        A 1,100 m2 spa with more than 20 massage treatments for the ultimate in relaxation

·        More than 17 hours of entertainment each day and over 210 different activities to choose from on a 7-night cruise

·        A 975-seater theatre with West-End style original productions and entertainment each night

·        164 slot machines and 12 tables in the Red Gem Casino

·        A 112-metre long Mediterranean-style promenade

·        10 restaurants and 21 bars

·        Five swimming pools including an indoor pool

·        The longest LED sky-screen at sea

·        Two bowling alleys and two F1 Simulators

·        A Himalayan Bridge adventure rope course 80 metres above the sea

Image Credit: MSC Cruises – MSC Virtuosa, solarium

Cruise With Confidence – Industry Leading Health and Safety Protocol

There are comprehensive health and safety measures in place that are designed to protect the guests and crew. However, MSC Cruises aim to preserve the unique holiday experience at every step, so guests are able to relax and enjoy their holiday with the confidence. To find out more visit: www.msccruises.co.uk/health-and-safety-measures

Image Credit: MSC Cruises – MSC Virtuosa, Marketplace Buffet

Environmentally Advanced Technology

As one of MSC Cruises’ most environmentally advanced ships, MSC Virtuosa reinforces MSC’s commitment to protect the seas and communities. The ship is highly equipped with advanced cutting-edge technologies, this will ensure cleaner air emissions and improved overall environmental performance.

Find out more about what this ship holds in store

To find out more about MSC Virtuosa this summer in the UK visit here.

Suggested Reading A New Southampton Cruise Terminal

Will Cruise Ships Wait For You?

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There are certain circumstances when a cruise ship MAY wait for you, but in most cases it will not. Here are some tips to avoid being left up the creek without a paddle.

Let’s look at the good, better and best options.

The main reason people tend to veer away from the cruise line packages is down to cost. Booking things separately might save a few quid, but you have to weigh up the true cost if things don’t go to plan.

EMBARKATION

Drive To The Port The Day Before

If your departure port is within driving distance the best option is to drive to the port the day before. This way you will avoid any traffic delays or breakdown issues. You can arrive the night before, stay in a hotel and be refreshed and de-stressed for embarkation day.

Coach Transfer

A better option is to arrange a coach transfer with the cruise line on the same day of departure. The coach will be designated for cruise guests. That means if the coach is delayed for any reason, the cruise line is more likely to wait for you. If they are unable to delay departure, the cruise line will make all the arrangements to get you and the other guests to the next port of call. They cover the expenses for any accommodation, transport and meals required until you step foot onboard the ship.

Allow For Delays

If you can’t go the day before or get a coach then at the very least, leave plenty of time for delays. If you are driving yourself on the day of departure and miss the cruise, it will be completely down to you arrange and pay for flights to the next port of call. Also check with your travel insurance provider what is covered otherwise this could be an expensive mistake.

Fly Cruise

With a fly cruise, it is without doubt the best option to book the cruise line package. This can still be done through a travel agent, you just need to make it clear to them that you want the cruise lines package and not one that they have packaged themselves. It doesn’t mean that it is risky booking a package with another ABTA or ATOL protected operator, it just keeps things super simple. A fly-cruise package usually include an overnight hotel stay the night before the cruise. It should also include transfers from the airport to the hotel, the hotel to the port and the port back to the airport, but clarify this when you get a quote as some cruise lines are different. You can add on extra nights before and after the cruise for an extra cost, if you want to extend your holiday.

Another thing I love about packaging everything with the cruise line is that it is just one set of documents.

A better option is to book a package with an ABTA or ATOL protected operator. They have to stick to certain parameters which will include flying you out the day before and allowing plenty of time to get to the airport when you disembark the ship.

If you absolutely must do your own thing, then the good option again is to fly the day before.

SHORE EXCURSIONS

Getting off at the ports is the main cause of passengers missing the ship. This can happen for a variety of reasons but the most common is that guests either lose track of time, or forget that the ship and local time are different. Unforeseen delays such as heavy traffic and even getting lost can contribute to guests missing the ship.

The best option is to book one of the shore excursions offered by the cruise line. Shore excursion staff will keep an eye on the time for you and as there’ll be other passengers on the excursion. In the event that anything should happen, the ship will usually wait or make arrangements to transfer guests to the next port of call.

Some private tours will guarantee to get you back to the ship, although I don’t know how they can do this. If you are doing a fairly local tour and it will get you back to the ship midday giving you 4 more hours until departure, then this is a better option. However, if you are an hour and half or more away from where you want to visit, I would think twice.

A good option and most definitely the cheapest, is to walk around the local town for an hour or so.

Check your travel insurance

Some insurance policies especially the free ones may only give you a basic cover. Check your policy covers you for missing the ship and under which circumstances, so you are not in for a shock later on.

Keep Copies Of Important Documents And Phone Numbers With You

Take photocopies of your passport, and both sides of your driver’s license and credit cards (unless you have the originals with you) when you go ashore. You should also have a copy of the phone numbers for your ship, port agent (printed in your daily onboard schedule) and your cruise line’s customer service department. It’s also worth having the address and phone number of your country’s embassy in the port you’re visiting.

This information will be essential for helping you figure out what to do if you miss your cruise ship.

Ship Time Vs. Port Time

Ship time and local time are often different. Make sure you know exactly what time to be back onboard and if it’s the ship or port time. Get a cheap watch that you can wear in port and keep it in sync with the ship time.

What to Do If You Miss the Ship

Find your port agent

Most cruise lines have port agents stationed in the port area to assist if your ship has left without you. Sometimes the ship’s crew will remove the passengers’ essential items from the ship to leave with the port agents. These officials can help you contact your ship and making travel arrangements.

Make travel arrangements

If you miss the ship, you’ll have to either join it at another port of call or return home. Your cruise line, travel agent or travel insurance provider might be able to help you make the plans; otherwise, you’ll have to make arrangements on your own. Either way, you’ll be responsible for any costs incurred.

Retrieving Your Belongings

The cruise line will ship your belongings home for you which can be expensive.

Coral Princess 107 Day World Cruise from Australia 2022

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links

Coral Princess Sets Sail On Her First 107 Day World Cruise from Sydney in 2022

107-Day Voyage Offers 43 Destinations in 27 Countries on 6 Continents

Princess Cruises have announced a 107-Day World Cruise for the ultimate bucket-list seekers. In May 2022, Coral Princess will be sailing round trip from Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland.

The 107-day circumnavigation of the globe will include the Mediterranean, Norway, Iceland and the Arctic Circle. Other highlights will include a transit of the Panama Canal, a firm favourite. In addition, guests have over 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to choose from.

107 Day World Cruise Highlights

The cruise will sail the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Panama Canal and Pacific Ocean, covering 34,000 nautical miles.  The epic voyage crosses the equator twice, the international date line and travels above the Arctic Circle.

Thingvellir National Park (Reykjavik)

Guests can depart from one of the three roundtrip departure homeports, with the option of 14 unique itineraries ranging from 19 to 107 days;

Auckland – May 14, 2022
Sydney – May 18, 2022
Brisbane – May 20, 2022

Olden, Norway is one of the 4 maiden world cruise ports.

The Four maiden World Cruise ports are;

  • Sibenik (Croatia)
  • Olden (Norway)
  • Isafjordur (Iceland)
  • Cornwall (Falmouth, United Kingdom)

Access to more than 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including;

  • The archaeological “lost” city of Petra from Aqaba
  • Gorham’s Cave Complex from Gibraltar. A sea-level cave considered to be a last known habitations of the Neanderthals
  • The Statue of Liberty, New York
  • Thingvellir National Park, Reykjavik. See stunning views of the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates

Notable sailing experiences include;

  • Easter Island scenic cruising
  • A full transit of the Panama Canal (including Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun Locks)
  • A Suez Canal transit in Egypt

Guests will benefit from more time in port, with 12 late nights and 4 overnight stays. Princess Cruises’ “More Ashore” promise includes Dubai, Venice, New York and Lima (Callao).

Optional overland tours of Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands are available from Lima (Callao), Peru.

Optional overland tours include the Galapagos Islands

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

Coral Princess MedallionNet offers fast, unlimited, reliable, and affordable connectivity. Every stateroom has an access point, which allows guests to stream their favourite shows, play games and music; connect to social media sites; and video chat from anywhere on the ship.

World Cruise Early Booking Benefit and Captain’s Circle Savings

Onboard credit and discounts are available to past guests, when booked by April 30, 2021. This offer is combinable with launch and group promotions, but do not apply to third or fourth berth guests.

Prices and availability for the 107 Day World Cruise on Coral Princess 2022 can be found here.

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

Actual itineraries may vary from marketing materials.

For the latest updates, click the links below;

Current Travel Advisories
Health & Safety Protocols

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

Holland America Are Cruising To Greenland in 2021

Holland America Line’s Canada & New England season will be even more scenic in 2021

From April to October, guests have more than 13 unique Canada, New England and Greenland itineraries to choose from. These range from seven to 17 days,  including a new roundtrip cruise from Boston, Massachusetts, that features GreenlandNewfoundland and New England.

Image Credit: Holland America Line – Maasdam in Quebec City, Canada

Suite bookings made by Feb. 28, 2020, receive free drinks, free dining package and free gratuities.

To celebrate the opening of the 2021 Canada, New England & Greenland bookings, Holland America Line is featuring an exclusive suite offer that includes free drinks, a free dining package and free gratuities when reserved by Feb. 28, 2020.

“With spectacular scenery in any season, close-to-home access for many of our guests and a thriving culinary and cultural scene, Canada and New England remain our most requested destinations,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Adding Greenland to those itineraries makes them even more desirable because it’s so rarely visited on a cruise, and the natural beauty is a perfect complement to Canada and New England.”

Image Credit: Greenland Travel – A fountain in Qaqortoq

Kicking off the season in April, Amsterdam, Zaandam and Rotterdam sail diverse collections of 50 cruises that call at 23 exceptional ports on itineraries departing from BostonFort Lauderdale, Florida; and Montréal, Québec. In addition to Greenland, the cruises call at some of the region’s most iconic destinations, including Charlottetown on Prince Edward IslandMaine’s spectacular Acadia National ParkCape Breton’s incredible Bird Islands and Red Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.

New and Notable in 2021:

  • Three new 17-day GreenlandNewfoundland & New England Discovery cruises aboard Rotterdam in July and August sail roundtrip from Boston and explores remote destinations with breathtaking natural beauty. Ports include Paamiut, Qaqortoq and Nanortalik, GreenlandSt. John’sRed BaySt. Anthony and Corner Brook, Newfoundland and LabradorHalifax and Sydney, Nova ScotiaCharlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Bar Harbor, Maine.
  • Amsterdam and Zaandam will continue cruising between Montréal and Boston in both the summer and fall, which will add three additional Canada & New England Discovery cruises and one additional Atlantic Coast sailing.
  • Rotterdam takes over the 10-day Newfoundland & New England Discovery itineraries that now sail all the way to Montréal and include a late-night departure or overnight at Québec City, Québec.
  • All three ships will cruise the region in the fall so guests can view the impressive display of foliage. Itineraries feature scenic cruising on the St. Lawrence River and Saguenay Fjord.
  • Holland America Line’s perfectly sized ships enable cruising the scenic St. Lawrence River, with calls at Montréal and Québec City on nearly every itinerary.
  • Leisurely journeys along the Atlantic Coast to and from Fort Lauderdale feature port calls at Charleston, South Carolina, and New York City on select itineraries.

Image Credit: Holland America Line – Saguenay Fjord

Cultural Experiences Come Aboard

On board, Holland America Line’s multimedia EXC Talks bring Canada, New England and Greenland to life with captivating storytelling, expert commentary and stirring audio and video presentations.

Explore Food, Wine and Culture on Culinary Tours

Exclusive shore excursions in partnership with Food & Wine magazine showcase the tastes of the region. On Canada, New England and Greenland cruises, guests can indulge in authentic poutine and maple syrup-infused treats, or farm-to-fork cuisine in Québec City; sail on a classic lobster boat and then dine at a Downeast Maine lobster bake in Bar Harbor; explore Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley and attend a tasting at the Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards; or take a walking tour of Portland, Maine, and quaff a small-batch beer at Shipyard Brewing Company.

Recommended Reading

7 Ways MSC Cruises Is Reducing Plastics

An Introduction To Anthem of the Seas

,Anthem of the Seas – Introduction

Anthem of the Seas is a Royal Caribbean QUANTUM Class ship. She was built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Her Maiden Voyage was on the 22nd April 2015 from Southampton, England.

Accommodating 4,609 passengers at full capacity, Anthem of the Seas is still not the largest cruise ship in the world.  She is however, a close second to the largest in the world, her sister Oasis Class ships.

Image Credit: Royal Caribbean International – Outdoor Pool Deck and North Star

The 18 passenger decks offer plenty of space, which is great for those looking for somewhere quiet to relax.

Anthem of the Seas Dining

The ship has 17 dining options to choose from, ranging from casual buffet-style to multi-course fine dining and 24 hour snacks. These include an array of international cuisine and most dietary requirements are catered for.

Image CreditL Royal Caribbean International – Onboard Dining Room Chic

Activities Onboard Anthem of the Seas

Anthem of the Seas has plenty of activities for all ages.  High adrenaline activities for thrill seekers, a west end musical for theatre lovers and high tech shows are just some of the things on offer.

Image Credit: Royal Caribbean International – We Will Rock You

Children will love the Adventure Ocean kids club. Free daily sessions are available for children aged 3 – 17. Check your planner onboard as the opening times may vary. These are a pretty good guide to how they usually work.

  • Morning Session 9am – 12pm
  • Afternoon Session 2pm – 5pm
  • Evening Session 6pm – 10pm

Late nights, lunch and dinner sessions are available at an extra charge, allowing the adults to enjoy everything the ship has to offer, without the guilt.

The Vitality Spa and Fitness Centre offers a state of the art gym, a range of fitness classes and some of the most advanced spa services at sea.

At the front of the ship is a stunning glass covered, adults-only solarium.  Cascading pools, whirlpools, luxurious loungers and a dedicated bar, makes it the perfect place to unwind.

Image Credit: Royal Caribbean International – Adult Solarium

Accessibility

Anthem of the Seas is perfectly suitable for people with mobility issues. Corridors built to allow wheelchairs to turn 180 degrees, along with all public rooms featuring entrances with gradual inclines.

A wide choice of stateroom types are available, from single rooms to multi-bedroom family suites and two-storey loft suites. Rooms for five people or more cannot be booked online. Please contact your travel agent or the cruise line directly.

Anthem of the Seas is the perfect multi-generational cruise ship.

Recommended Reading

A Guide To Cruising with Royal Caribbean

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

First Carbon Neutral Private Cruise Island

Royal Caribbean Announce World’s First Carbon Neutral Private Cruise Island

Royal Caribbean have announced their second ‘Perfect Day’ resort will be in the heart of the South Pacific. Perfect Day at Lelepa in Vanuatu, will be the first carbon neutral* private cruise destination in the world.

Created in partnership with the local community, it will provide fantastic employment and education opportunities.

“Vanuatu is a true paradise for both our people and the visitors we welcome to our shores each year. Today marks a major step forward in our island nation’s close relationship with Royal Caribbean and one that will support sustainable growth for future generations. The Ni-Vanuatu people look forward to welcoming Royal Caribbean guests from around the world to enjoy extraordinary adventures and relaxation during their Perfect Day at Lelepa.”

Vanuatu Prime Minister Salwai

Perfect Day at Lepela will be built with sustainable features designed to protect the island’s ecosystems.

Perfect Day at Lepela will be located in the South Pacific Vanuatu Islands.

The new destination will have a different look and feel to Perfect Day at CocoCay. The

‘Anyone who has encountered the tremendous natural beauty of Lelepa, can understand why it is the perfect setting for ‘Perfect Day’. Our guests who travel to the South Pacific are seeking authentic adventures and genuine relaxation, and they will find both here.’

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO, Michael Bayley

*Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at Lelepe will be audited and certified by an independent third-party expert to ensure it meets the standards for carbon neutrality. Details on the extensive and innovative techniques used to achieve carbon neutrality will be released soon.

This announcement is further evidence that Royal Caribbean are committed to reducing their carbon footprint. It is a big challenge for the cruise industry as a whole, but new technologies are making this a reality.

Recommended Reading Royal Caribbean Brands Increase Sustainable Tours

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

Princess Cruises South America & Antarctica 20/21

Princess Cruises has announced that its full 2020-2021 South America and Antarctica programme are on sale today, Friday July 12, 2019.

Two ships will sail the region: the 2,000-guest Coral Princess and 670-guest Pacific Princess. Voyages will range in length from 14-92 days, with a total of 35 destinations on offer in 17 countries, on eight itineraries.

Guests on select departures will have the opportunity to spend more time ashore with overnight calls in Lima (Callao), Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

Coral Princess from the West Coast

Coral Princess at Sea

Coral Princess will depart on a series of voyages from Los Angeles, Santiago and Buenos Aires and will offer a new 15-day Cape Horn and Strait of Magellan voyage, which will give guests the opportunity to view the solar eclipse off the coast of Argentina.

The voyage will sail from Santiago to Buenos Aires on December 3, 2020 and will call at Puerto Montt, Amalia Glacier, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Cape Horn (scenic cruising), Falkland Islands (Stanley), Puerto Madryn and Montevideo. Prices from £1,999pp with up to $375 onboard spending money per person. Click here for details.

Also available on Coral Princess are several departures to Antarctica and Cape Horn.

Each 16-day sailing will feature four days of scenic cruising through the Antarctic Peninsula.

Coral Princess will call at Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Cape Horn (scenic cruising), Falkland Islands (Stanley) and Montevideo.

Prices for January 3, 2021 departure are from £2,799 per person, with up to $375 onboard spending money per person. Click here for details.

Guests wishing to extend their holiday can combine their cruise with land tours visiting Iguazu Falls and Macchu Picchu.

Pacific Princess from Sydney

Pacific Princess will circumnavigate the continent on a 92-day Circle South America voyage, sailing from Sydney to Brisbane, featuring overnight calls in Tahiti, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro – during its annual carnival – and Lima.

Other options include 90-day Circle South America sailing roundtrip from Sydney and an 82-day sailing roundtrip from Auckland.

 

More off-the-beaten-track destinations such as Easter Island and Ilhabela will also be included. Prices for the 92 day sailing from £14,519pp, with $1,000pp onboard spending money and complimentary gratuities*. Click here for details.

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises vice president UK & Europe, said: “Once again Princess Cruises is offering an incredible range of South America and Antarctica sailings.

“Whether you’ve visited the region before and are looking to tick off more bucket list destinations such as Macchu Picchu or Easter Island, or you’re heading to the region for the first time, we have a holiday to suit everyone.”

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

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

VIP Tours at Renowned Champagne Houses

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald.

This insightful observation from the renowned American writer is behind the latest luxury VIP Champagne Cruise.

With over 40 years’ experience, European Waterways operate the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe. The all inclusive, boutique luxury experience focuses on local culture, history, fine wine and gourmet cuisine. Guests are transported through intimate inland waterways, whilst experiencing an impeccable level of service.

Raising The Bar

Panache, the luxury 12 passenger hotel barge, already visits well known wineries and Champagne houses such as Maison Pannier. Now they have added exclusive VIP experiences at prestigious Moët & Chandon and Henriot champagne houses.

Champagne House Maison Pannier

“European Waterways’ Panache hotel barge offers some of the most diverse programmes in our fleet, with Tulip cruises through Holland in the spring, Champagne Cruises in May and June, and a beautiful route across Alsace & Lorraine through the summer and into the Autumn,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “These new VIP excursions reflect our continuing focus on providing luxurious, memorable experiences with a real difference.

More Moët

Founded in 1743, the Moët & Chandon brand is one of the best-known and most exclusive in the world.  Located on the famed Avenue de Champagne in the city of Epernay, in France’s Champagne region, the domaine features 200-year-old tunnels carved out of the area’s white chalk stone and spreading for 17 miles under the city.  They provide the perfect temperature and humidity necessary for the slowly maturing process of the famous wines.

Image By Palauenc05 of Orangerie de Moët & Chandon on Avenue de Champagne in Épernay, France

On a Panache Champagne Cruise, European Waterways’ guests enjoy a private tour of Moët & Chandon’s vast underground cellar and its much-admired, bubbly treasure. This is followed by an exclusive tasting of some of their renowned vintages, which takes place in an elegant private salon, hosted by an experienced cellar master.

The Panache Champagne Cruises also includes a visit to the domaine of Champagne Henriot. Guests can tour the vineyard and discover the fine art of grape production and selection. There is also a visit to the nearby village of Pierry for a private tour of the winery’s 18th century Château Les Aulnois. Guests will then enjoy an exclusive tasting of various Henriot Champagnes in the Chateau’s dining room, followed by a gastronomic lunch.

A trip to La Maison Pannier is another integral part of the upgraded itinerary for Panache. Founded in 1899, it is the largest Champagne house in the valley.  Following the tour of its medieval labyrinth-like cellars, guests will be treated to a private tasting.

Double Bubble

“After these exclusive tastings, the Champagne flows freely aboard the hotel barge, too, where we don’t spare the bubbly!” said Banks. “Our guests are also treated to the finest gastronomic experiences onboard, with meals prepared by the chef using regionally-sourced ingredients, such as Champagne’s creamy, crumbly Chaource cheese.”

These six-night Champagne cruise fares have a 20 % discount on the May 26, June 16 and June 30 cruise departures this season, and includes;

  • local, private, chauffeured transfers;
  • comfortable, air-conditioned accommodation;
  • all gourmet meals;
  • fine wines – indigenous to the cruise region;
  • an open bar;
  • daily excursions and admittance fees;
  • use of barge facilities, including bicycles and hot tub.

Restrictions apply. Please visit www.europeanwaterways.com for information;

Follow European Waterways on Facebook and Twitter and view the YouTube channel.

An Introduction To Oceania Marina

Oceania Marina Specifications

  • Year Built: 2011 / Year Refurbished: 2016
  • Guest Capacity: 1,250 (Double Occupancy)
  • Crew: 800
  • Guest to Staff Ratio: 1.567 to 1
  • Guest Decks: 11 / Total Decks: 16
  • Electric Power or Voltage: 110, 220 AC
  • Cruising Speed: 20 knots
  • Stabilizers: Yes
  • Gross Tonnage: 66,084 / Length: 784.95 feet / Beam: 105.646 feet / Maximum Draught: 24 feet
  • Deck Plan

Oceania Marina is an ultra-luxury boutique cruise ship, which makes this a great ship to experience the destinations in more detail.  Besides you can enjoy the six-star experience onboard.

The magnificent interior. Staircases, mirrors and chandeliers are adorned with Lalique Crystal.

The artwork onboard consists of a four million dollar collection and includes six Picasso sketches.

One of the Picasso Sketches onboard Oceania Marina

Oceania Marina Accommodation

Every stateroom onboard Oceania Marina has a luxurious Prestige Tranquility Bed, dressed with 1,000-thread-count linens. The Owner’s Suites, Vista Suites and Oceania Suites have a King-size bed.  The other suites and staterooms have a queen-size bed, which can be converted into twin beds if required.
Other stateroom features include:
  • Refrigerated mini-bar with free and unlimited soft drinks and bottled water replenished daily
  • Bulgari amenities
  • Twice-daily maid service
  • Full-size bathtub in all staterooms except interior
  • Belgian chocolates with nightly turndown service
  • Complimentary and extensive 24-hour room service menu
  • A flat-screen television with DVD player and extensive media library
  • Wireless Internet access and cellular service
  • Writing desk and stationary
  • Plush cotton towels, robes and slippers
  • Handheld hairdryer
  • Security safe

A full-size bathtub, plush cotton towels and Bulgari amenities

The Oceania and Vista suites were designed by New York designer Dakota Jackson. Three luxurious Owners’ Suites span the entire beam of the ship and are located at the aft of decks 8, 9 and 10. Here you can enjoy stunning wake views, with furnishing from the Ralph Lauren Home Collection.

Owners Suite with Ralph Lauren Home Furnishings

Owners Suite with Ralph Lauren Home Furnishings

Oceania Marina Dining

Oceania Cruises are known as the ‘foodies’ cruise line, which is why twenty-five per cent of its ships’ staff work in the Galley. There is plenty of variety, with 14 dining options. The Main Dining room offers a six-course gourmet experience, in an opulent setting. Polo Grill serves a delicious assortment of steak, along with chops and range of seafood dishes. Toscana offers gourmet, Italian food. Guests can enjoy French country restaurant cuisine in Jaques, or bold, contemporary Asian flavours in Red Ginger. For a special occasion and something more intimate, Privée can host a private party of up to 10 people.
Dining options onboard Oceania Marina;
  • The Grand Dining Room
  • Polo Grill
  • Toscana
  • Jacques
  • Red Ginger
  • Tuscan Steak
  • Waves Grill
  • Terrace Cafe
  • La Reserve
  • Privée
  • Baristas
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Room Service

Jaques Restaurant onboard Oceania Marina. Menu by Master Chef Jaques Pépin

Red Ginger serves contemporary Asian Cuisine

Privée hosts a private party of up to 10 people

In partnership with Wine Spectator, La Reserve offers seminars, tasting and gourmet pairings

This introduction is to give you a brief overview of what you can enjoy onboard Oceania Marina. There are many other features on board too. These include a luxury spa, a culinary centre, and bars and lounges offering incredible sea views. In the meantime, more information on life onboard Oceania Marina can be found here Oceania Marina – Life Onboard

Recommended Reading

A Day Onboard The Elegant Oceania Nautica

Features for Enchanted Princess Revealed

Princess Cruises Reveals New Features on Latest Ship

Princess Cruises has unveiled the first wave of new features onboard its newest ship, the 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess. The vessel will be named in Southampton late June 2020, the first Princess Cruises ship to be named in the UK since Royal Princess in 2013.

As with sister ship Sky Princess, which launches next year, Enchanted Princess will feature two new ‘Sky Suites’ centrally located on the top deck of the ship. The 270-degree panorama staterooms will provide a private vantage point of the ship’s Movies under the Stars screen and create a large space for entertaining. The suites can accommodate up to five guests, making them ideal for families.

The ship will also include:

A redesigned ‘Salty Dog Gastropub’. The venue will screen sporting events and offer a range of premium-range food and drink including the award-winning ‘Ernesto Burger’

A redesigned Sabatini’s speciality restaurant, Princess Cruises’ onboard Italian Trattoria, which will incorporate new handmade pasta dishes prepared fresh every day

An art deco design for The Princess Live TV studio and café, where guests can watch live entertainment, order drinks and light snacks

A ‘Wakeview’ pool on its rear decks

A newly-designed top-deck ‘Sanctuary’, Princess Cruises’ adults only relaxation area, which will house extra private cabanas

Tony Roberts, vice president Princess Cruises UK and Europe, said: “With the launch of Enchanted Princess in Southampton and our continued commitment to enhancing the range of features onboard our growing fleet of ships, this is an exciting time for Princess Cruises as we constantly strive to appeal to passengers looking for something new and exciting, both in terms of onboard offerings and destinations.”

After its naming ceremony Enchanted Princess will head to the Mediterranean for summer 2020. The ship will offer sailings ranging between seven and 22 days from Barcelona, Athens and Rome.

The Heart and Soul of Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Cruises Unveils The Breathtaking Grand Plaza.

Welcome To The Grand Plaza

With only three months until the first official sailing of Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Cruises have revealed the heart and soul of Celebrity Edge. The beating heart of the year’s most anticipated new ship will be The Grand Plaza,  a stunning venue that will shatter all expectations and break from traditional cruise ship thinking.

Chic Society

Mixing simplicity and modernity, The Grand Plaza takes inspiration from the glamorous days of transatlantic travel. At a time when cruise ships were at the heart of chic society, the centre of these ships were traditionally spectacular ballrooms, accented with dramatic staircases and ornate chandeliers. They were social places to meet, greet, dine, drink and dance. The Grand Plaza pays homage to these powerful historic spaces and reinterprets them for the 21st century.

The Grand Plaza truly is a grand space. At its centre, on Deck 3, guests will find the breathtaking next evolution of the always-buzzing Martini Bar, one of the most popular venues across Celebrity’s fleet.

A breathtaking chandelier-meets-art installation, immediately draws one’s eye from anywhere in the space. Below its atmospheric glow, the bar curves gracefully around to invite conversation and interaction with Celebrity’s talented flair bartenders who’ll impress guests with their gravity-defying skills.

Guests can choose from a wide variety of martinis, including the brand’s Bella Cera, which blends Chameleon cachaça, Bombay Sapphire gin, lime juice, Angostura bitters, and ginger beer; or try the Marmalade Smash, which fuses Bulleit bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, orange marmalade, and fresh ginger.

Adorning the edges of The Grand Plaza are intricately hand-stitched mesh screens, combining more than 13,500 pieces of metal, leather, and fabric.

In the morning, The Grand Plaza invites guests to enjoy a cappuccino and a croissant at either of the cafés. Guests can return to The Grand Plaza for afternoon tea or to indulge in a pre-dinner cocktail while enjoying unexpected pop-up performances. At nightfall, the energy transforms completely, and the space becomes the social epicenter of the ship, coming alive with live music.

The Heart and Soul Behind The Heart and Soul of Celebrity Edge

With the aspiration to completely transform the way guests connect to the world, Celebrity sought creative thinkers who were new to the cruise industry to ensure every aspect of Celebrity Edge would be a departure from traditional thinking about cruising.

Turning The Typical Into The Transformative

The Grand Plaza remains a highlight of Jouin Manku’s involvement in the design of Celebrity Edge, but their influence is also strikingly apparent in the Main Dining Atrium on Celebrity Edge, where they’ve taken the concept of a staircase and turned it into a work of art. Hanging three stories between the flights of stairs is yet another meaningful art installation known as The Pendulum. The Pendulum base moves ever so gently to the rhythms of the ocean to remind guests that they are indeed moving and connected to the sea, even when they cannot see it.

World’s First Floating Runway

Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess ‘lands’ on world’s first floating runway in Sydney Harbour

Majestic Princess sailed into Sydney on Saturday morning on the world’s first floating “runway”. The spectacular celebration was held to mark the maiden arrival of the ship, the largest Princess Cruises’ vessel ever to visit Australia.

The 3,560-guest Majestic Princess was filmed arriving into Sydney via the 1,550 metre-long illuminated floating runway, which was created by 62 buoys with red and white flares that guided her path into Sydney Harbour.

The newest ship in Princess Cruises’ fleet, Majestic Princess will be based in Sydney for the next six months, and will join three other Princess Cruises’ ships – Sun Princess, Sea Princess and Golden Princess – in Australia. The vessels will sail from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Fremantle, and Adelaide.

Princess Cruises recently announced its largest ever deployment in the region for 2019-2020. Five ships will travel to more than 100 destinations and carry around 200,000 guests.

The extra capacity will help meet growing demand from the UK. The amount of Brits booking Australia and New Zealand voyages with Princess Cruises has nearly doubled year-on-year in 2018.

Majestic Princess’ current sailing is being filmed as part of series six of ITV documentary ‘The Cruise’, which is due to air on ITV in early 2019. At 143,700 tonnes, Majestic Princess is equivalent to 126 Sydney Manly ferries, while her height of more than 68 metres makes her taller than the Sydney Opera House. The documentary will reveal what life is like for both crew and guests as they sail around Australasia.

Prices start from £2,689 per person for a 13-night cruise onboard Majestic Princess to New Zealand sailing roundtrip from Sydney, departing 1 November 2019.

About Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises operates a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, all provided with the experience of exceptional customer service. Princess carries two million guests each year to more than 380 destinations around the globe on more than 150 itineraries ranging in length from three to 114 days. The company is part of Carnival Corporation

Recommended Reading:  Princess Names New Ship Enchanted Princess

Celebrity Edge Transforms Youth Activities

Celebrity Edge inspires the next generation of explorers at sea

From tots speaking their first words to teens preparing to leap into university, Celebrity Cruises  is taking learning at sea to the next level for guests of all ages on its new transformational ship, Celebrity Edge.

Younger travellers will be truly spoilt for choice with the ship’s Camp at Sea programme. With over 500 activities to try out, don’t miss out on the chance to take part in the cruise line’s first youth coding experience at sea, create a holiday vlog using a Go Pro camera or master the music decks with a Scratch DJ tournament.

Those looking to become the next Albert Einstein, Bear Grylls or David Attenborough can harness their inner scientist, explorer and adventurer at Anturus Explorer Academy. Navigate the world like an explorer and uncover the Earth’s magnetic field, test out a homemade shelter with a special camp-out evening on the top deck, and test out those commentary skills at The Explorer Olympics. At the end of the sailing, children will graduate from the academy as an Explorer with their very own certificate and badge, and can put their training to good use after their holiday.

Free for all children on-board, the Anturus Explorer Academy sessions will not only help ignite the imaginations of young people, they also bring the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – to life outside the classroom.

Homeporting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Celebrity Cruises’ newest transformational ship, Celebrity Edge, will be making her first sailing in November 2018. Celebrity Edge will spend her inaugural season sailing, alternating seven-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries before transporting guests to the stunning vistas of the Mediterranean, with a range of seven-to-11-night sailings from iconic cities like Barcelona and Rome in 2018.

Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity Cruises can provide, all created to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time.  This is the Celebrity Distinction. Celebrity Cruises’ 12 ships offer modern luxury vacations visiting all seven continents. Celebrity Cruises also presents immersive cruise tour experiences in Alaska and Canada. Celebrity is one of six cruise brands operated by global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Join Celebrity Cruises for a nine-night Western Mediterranean fly/cruise from £2,659 per person based on two people sharing an Oceanview stateroom. Both guests will receive a free Classic Drinks Package worth £450* per person, along with free soft drinks packages for additional guests.

Departing 10 August 2019, the price includes return flights from London Heathrow airport, transfers, and a nine-night cruise departing Rome (Civitavecchia, Italy), and calling at Naples (Italy), Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Monte Carlo (Monaco), Santa Margherita (Italy) and Florence/Pisa (La Spezia, Italy), before returning to Rome for the flight home; meals and entertainment on-board the ship and all relevant cruise taxes/fees.

*Subject to availability, prices depending on sailing length

3 Norwegian Ships Get Total Refurbishment

Norwegian Cruise Line have completed total refurbishments of three ships, which is further proof of its commitment to extraordinary quality and guest experience. The revitalized ships, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Star, now feature new designs and venues. These include Los Lobos Cantina, an upscale Mexican restaurant; the adults-only enclave, Spice H2O; and Syd Norman’s Pour House – an American rock ‘n’ roll bar and lounge, which makes its debut aboard Norwegian Breakaway.

Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Breakaway, which was built in 2013, debuts the new American rock ‘n’ roll bar and lounge Syd Norman’s Pour House as well as upgraded accommodations, public spaces and more, following a two-week dry dock in Brest, France.

Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line – Syd Norman’s Pour House onboard Norwegian Breakaway

A testament to Norwegian Cruise Line’s commitment to providing the best entertainment at sea, Syd Norman’s Pour House is an authentic and immersive experience inspired by the greatest clubs in American rock ‘n’ roll history.  Replacing Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club, Syd Norman’s is a tribute to the grandfather of “Rock of Ages” playwright Chris D’Arenso and modeled after influential rock houses such as CBGB’s, The Rainbow and the Fillmore.  Vintage décor, diner-style seating and an unforgettable playlist of classic rock from the late 1960’s to 1980’s come together to bring this high-caliber entertainment offering to life. Three times a week, cast members from “Rock of Ages” will treat guests to specialty cocktails named after rock ‘n’ roll classics such as “The Witchy Woman” among others in the interactive Syd Norman’s Experience. Guests will also rock-out to a five-person band playing classics six nights a week.

Additional upgrades include enhancements to Bliss Ultra Lounge with new, premium furniture; new carpet in all 2,014 staterooms and suites; a full transformation of the gift shop; and new carpet installations in the staircases, elevators and lobbies.

Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line – Bliss Ultra Lounge onboard Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Sun

Built in 2001, Norwegian Sun underwent a three-week bow-to-stern renovation in Victoria, BC.  As a result, she now features refreshed staterooms and public spaces, and boasts three new venues including Los Lobos Cantina, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge.

Los Lobos Cantina is a Mexican restaurant offering a modern take on traditional favorites like guacamole prepared tableside, al pastor tacos, enchiladas de mole and handcrafted margaritas. Replacing Las Ramblas Bar and Restaurant, Los Lobos Cantina features leather banquettes, dark wood tables and seating and ranchero-style design accents.

Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line – Los Lobos Mexican Cantina onboard Norwegian Sun

Bliss Ultra Lounge, formerly Dazzles, is the new bar and nightclub where guests can begin or end their evenings. Enhancements include an updated look with new plush seating, cocktail tables, bar stools, chandeliers, wall sconces, wall coverings, ornamental ceilings and a wooden dance floor.

The Spinnaker Lounge replaces the Observation Lounge and showcases a fresh design with a natural color palette reminiscent of blue, beige and tan. New to the venue are leather chairs, carpet, chandeliers, wall coverings and a stone top bar.

Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line – Spinnaker Lounge onboard Norwegian Sun

All 968 staterooms were upgraded with smart televisions and USB ports as well as new carpet, artwork and select furniture. The newly revitalized accommodations pay tribute to the beauty of the surrounding ocean with a palette of cool blue hues and silver and turquoise accents. The adorning abstract art within the staterooms and suites are the ideal complement to the new and modern feel.

Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line – Balcony Staterooms onboard Norwegian Sun

Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line – Owners Suite Living Room onboard Norwegian Sun

Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line – Forward Facing Penthouse onboard Norwegian Sun

The renovations also touched dining outlets and public spaces including Cagney’s, La Cucina, Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, the Mandara Spa, Stardust Lounge Theater, Splash Academy and more.

Norwegian Star

Following a nearly three-week dry dock in Barcelona, Spain, Norwegian Star underwent extensive enhancements to its staterooms, public spaces, restaurants, bars and lounges. The ship, built in 2001, also unveiled three new venues: Sky High Bar, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spice H2O.

Sky High Bar showcases a new design complete with an updated bar and seating for close to 120 guests.  Replacing Bier Garten, the outdoor bar and lounge offers the best views on board.

Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line – Sky High Bar onboard Norwegian Star

Bliss Ultra Lounge replaces Spinnaker Lounge for late-night entertainment and now boasts a light, neutral color palette and a complete redesign with new carpet, custom loungers, seating, an upgraded bar and artwork.

For the first time, Norwegian Star will offer the adults-only enclave, Spice H2O. This well-appointed venue features a private pool, hot tubs, full bar and uninterrupted ocean views. During the day, it makes an ideal spot for sunbathing, and at night, it transforms into an open-air lounge with live entertainment, DJs and energizing themed nights.

Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line – Spice H20 deck onboard Norwegian Star

All 1,174 staterooms and suites were outfitted with USB ports, enhanced with over 1,500 works of art and upgraded with new carpet, headboards and select furniture. The three-bedroom garden villas which feature private deck areas and can accommodate up to seven people were also remodeled to offer a light and airy design.

Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line – 3 Bedroomed Garden Villa onboard Norwegian Star

Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line – 3 Bedroomed Garden Villa Living Room onboard Norwegian Star

Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line – 3 Bedroomed Garden Villa Sun Deck onboard Norwegian Star

Additional enhancements were made to the bars and lounges, restaurants and public spaces including Atrium Café & Bar, Garden Café and the main dining rooms. A VIP section was also added in the casino.

About Norwegian Cruise Line

Recently, the line was named “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line” for the eleventh consecutive year, “World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line” for the sixth consecutive year, the “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line” for the fifth consecutive year, as well as “World’s Leading Cruise Line” and “North America’s Leading Cruise Line” both for the second straight year by the World Travel Awards. Norwegian’s newest ship, the highly anticipated Norwegian Bliss, debuted April 2018 featuring many firsts-at-sea for the global market including the largest race track at sea, award-winning Broadway entertainment, two observation lounges for guests to enjoy stunning ocean and glacier views and more.

Norwegian will introduce Norwegian Encore in 2019 and has six additional ships on order for delivery beginning in 2022.

A Very Happy Fifth Birthday to the Royal Princess

Royal Princess Cruise Ship Celebrates Her Fifth Anniversary

It was five years ago today that the 3,560 guest Royal Princess cruise ship, was christened by the expectant HRH, The Duchess of Cambridge in Southampton.

Since then, Royal Princess has sailed over 600,000 miles. That is the equivalent of travelling 25 times around the world. 730,000 guests have had the pleasure of cruising onboard this magnificent ship, during which time she has clocked up an impressive 79 ports and 23 countries. Guests have enjoyed18,000,000 onboard meals, 10,000 ‘Royal afternoon teas, more than 10,000,000 slices of complimentary top-deck pizza and 310,000 glasses of champagne.

Bellini’s Champagne Bar onboard Royal Princess

Chateaubriand, served onboard Royal Princess

Royal Princess is currently based in Southampton for the summer season, travelling around the British Isles. 

The ship was the first to include signature Princess Cruises’ features such as the SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway that extends 28 feet over the edge of the ship, and Princess Live, a television studio with onboard programming throughout the day.

The Seawalk

Royal Princess has also become a star of the small screen, as for the past two years she has been the setting for three series of primetime ITV documentary ‘The Cruise’. Set in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, the series offered viewers an insight into life onboard a Princess ship for both guests and crew, and attracted a combined average audience of around 4m per episode.

Image Credit: Andrew Sassoli-Walker – Timothy Gallant, star of The Cruise TV show aired on ITV

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ Vice President UK and Europe, said: “Royal Princess’ special ties with the UK mean she is always thought of particularly fondly over here. It’s therefore especially fitting that the ship is spending her fifth year anniversary sailing a season around the British Isles.”

“We wish all the crew onboard a happy birthday and hope guests who have enjoyed spending time on Royal Princess previously, or are booked to travel on her in future, will raise a glass to her next five years setting sail across the world.”

Royal Princess’ sister ship, Regal Princess, was launched in May 2014, followed by another sister ship, Majestic Princess, in March 2017. Three further sister ships will launch in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The Most Irresistible Vessel on Earth?

Modern, Cutting Edge 18 and Over Sanctuary at Sea

It’s what all cruise lines are trying to do but will Virgin Voyages lead the way in persuading people to take their first voyage on a cruise ship? I’ve compiled the renderings in this short video, to try and capture the essence of the first Lady Ship.

In true Virgin style, the company has approached the creation of a cruise ship in a very different and risky way. No surprises there! The decision for the first ship’s experience to be “Adult By Design” (minimum sailing age is 18), was made after feedback received from future sailors and travel professionals who are looking for a more premium experience with some Virgin style surprises thrown in.

Tom McAlpin, CEO and President of Virgin Voyages announced at the latest ship design reveal in New York, “Adult by Design, means we are designing a modern, cutting edge 18 and over sanctuary at sea”.  Virgin Voyages also promises to be one of the cleanest fleets at sea.

Tom McAlpin President and CEO of Virgin Voyages speaking in New York at the latest ship design reveal.

The design team, otherwise known as the Creative Collective, are respected visionaries known for their forward thinking designs. Tom McAlpin credited them by saying “Our Creative Collective have contributed tremendously towards ensuring that we will become the most irresistible, alluring and recognisable vessel anywhere on earth”.

Part of Virgin Voyages Creative Collective Design Team talking at the design reveal in New York.

More Than A Cruise

McAlpin continued “At Virgin Voyages we pride ourselves on being more than just another cruise line, which is why in everything we do and every decision we make, we are always working to redefine how the world views sea travel.”

“It’s why we named the company Virgin Voyages, because we see this as more than a cruise. This is a journey. It’s why we designed our ships to be smaller than most, to provide a more personal and intimate experience for our sailors. and its why with each step we take we are working to change the way this kind of vacation not only looks, feels but most importantly how it is experienced.”

Virgin Voyages SVP Product Design, Dee Cooper, who was responsible for leading the design and experience work at Virgin Atlantic, had never been on a cruise ship before this project. Talking about her approach to this project in New York,  she said “We wanted to give our Sailors lots of  choice, and if you think about this amazing city that we are in at the moment, you choose to go uptown and glam it up and be refined and glamorous, and you chose to go downtown to the West Village and be a bit more relaxed. And we wanted to give our Sailors diversity across the ship.”

It’s Very Risky To Do What Virgin Voyages Have Done

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages Richard’s Rooftop, VIP Space – located right at the front at the top of the ship celebrating the ocean

Tom Dixon of the Design Research Studio in London, responsible for Richard’s Rooftop and the upscale Mexican restaurant, Pink Agave said,  “It’s very risky to do what Virgin Voyages have done here. To get a load of people that have never been on a ship before. But there’s a logic to that madness. Which is if you are going to encourage people to go on cruises of a new demographic, then why not use designers that have not been on a cruise and say ‘what would it be to entice you to go on a cruise?’ maybe.”

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages Retrofuturism – The Romance of Sailing, where the glamour of the past meets the glamour of the future.

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – Richard’s Rooftop designed by Tom Dixon

Tom says he has been influenced by the glamorous age and romance of cruising “which has partially vanished and been replaced by synthetic glamour in a lot of cases. Somewhere between the glamour of the 20’s and 30’s and the glamour of the future, which is something that doesn’t seem to happen anymore.” According to Dee Cooper, Tom fondly refers to this approach as Retrofuturism.

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – Richard’s Rooftop

Designers Thrive On Restrictions

Pink Agave – Upscale Mexican Restaurant

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – Pink Agave Mexican Restaurant designed by Tom Dixon

When asked what was different about working in a cruise ship environment, Tom replied “The idea of diversity in a controlled environment was interesting and unique.  The challenges included technical, low ceilings, steel construction, vast amounts of restrictions in terms of  materials the flammability and wear and tear, but restrictions are what designers thrive on. Battling but being inspired by them equally.”

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – Pink Agave Mexican Restaurant designed by Tom Dixon

Virgin Always Challenge the Cliché

Rob Wagemans – Concrete Founder Creative Director, responsible for The Test Kitchen and The Athletic Club said “Virgin is Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll.” Rob is from Amsterdam with offices in the Red Light District and says that teaming up with Virgin Voyages “Could not be a better match. Virgin always challenge the cliche and they look at the world in a different way than the majority of the world does and they see that the modern society has a different behaviour than the past.”

“They really know how to treat me well on an airplane and no other airline can do it like Virgin does. So if they come to me and say – What I’ve done with the air industry I want to do again on the sea, can you help me? –  I say Hell Yes! As long as I don’t have to go on a Disney Cruise.”

Don’t Let A Cruise Line Dictate Your Lifestyle

Rob continued “What I like is that the ship is full of contrast. There are a lot of places that are calm and a lot of places that are extremely crazy, and luckily we have a lot of crazy spaces. So we really used this philosophy of being disruptive and trying to really change the perspective of what the audience wants. Do they want to have a 7 day calm experience that is different everyday? Or do they want to have fifteen different experiences throughout the day or throughout half a day? And I think the last thing is what people really like. They zap from one world to the other world and from sophistication into casual and that could happen in an hour and this ship will provide all these different worlds by different designers and they are all in contrast and you can live the lifestyle you like and not the lifestyle that the brand of the ship dictates.”

The Test Kitchen – A Restaurant and A Laboratory

You can visit The Test Kitchen many times and have a completely different experience. Concrete Amsterdam’s Head of Interior Design, Lisa Hassanzadeh explains “In the first place its not only a restaurant, its a laboratory and that’s very distinguishable from other restaurants we have done before. So it has a double function you can of course have dinner there, but during the day it’s a cooking school, but not only that it’s also a laboratory for being the best barista or becoming an expert in beer and wine. So you can get really your hands dirty there as well . But there is a great dining and drinking experience there in the evening.”

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Test Kitchen designed by Concrete Amsterdam

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Test Kitchen designed by Concrete Amsterdam

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Test Kitchen designed by Concrete Amsterdam

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Test Kitchen designed by Concrete Amsterdam

The Athletic Club

Rob refers to this as “A contrast within spaces. Its a huge space on the top. We were inspired by the downtown Athletic Club in New York not just about sporting but the social life that happens in the dressing rooms where the muscled men would socialise and eat oysters. In the end, sports is about two things, being active, being sweaty, creating a better shape for your body and the second part is that you look at them, you look at the bodies, look at the winners, so we decided to combine these two spaces.”

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Athletic Club designed by Concrete Amsterdam

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Athletic Club designed by Concrete Amsterdam

“We have huge sunbathing beds where you can look at people jogging on the jogging track. The bar below with trophies dressed in gold as you are a winner. There is a boxing ring, basketball court, outdoor and indoor gym, cabana for a nap and privacy, brain training games, all kinds of things, interesting food to feed your body with healthiness, so everything is in harmony. We challenge every aspect of the concept. Total harmony within spaces.”

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Athletic Club designed by Concrete Amsterdam

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Athletic Club designed by Concrete Amsterdam

The Dock

Located at the aft (back) of the ship on deck 7, The Dock has been designed by Roman and Williams. Co-Founders, Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer wanted to capture the essence of what they love about the sea.

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Dock designed by Roman and Williams

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Dock designed by Roman and Williams

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Dock designed by Roman and Williams

When looking for inspiration, Robin Standefer says they “were thinking about a dock with an incredible restaurant, Morocco very salty, chilled.”

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Dock designed by Roman and Williams

Robin Standefer explains the vision for The Dock. “The design is understated, its beautiful but its more about the food and the people in the space.”

The Manor

Roman and Williams are well known for their incredible designs is New York’s top nightclubs The Boom Boom Room and The Guilded Lily. You can clearly see their design style in the elaborate and beautiful lighting throughout the venue.

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Manor – nightclub designed by Roman and Williams

Robin Standefer says “We wanted to create a myth. Together we really helped to create a certain drama with the lighting. It’s got a Mezzanine and balcony and amazing lights, like mirrored ball, chandeliers that almost breathe like a jellyfish, as they curl up and down. We want to melt their inhibitions and then allow them to have a powerful and memorable experience.”

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Manor – nightclub designed by Roman and Williams

When talking about the nightclub, Dee Cooper declared “If Virgin can’t do the best nightclub at sea, no-one can. It’s in our DNA!”

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Manor – nightclub designed by Roman and Williams

Image Credit: Virgin Voyages – The Manor – nightclub designed by Roman and Williams

“We needed to do more on this ship.” said Dee Cooper,  “We needed to think about the lifestyles all of us lead in these amazing cities we live in around the world. Whether it’s New York or London, or it’s holiday destinations like Ibiza or Miami, we know that we all have amazing vacation and holiday experiences and our sailors expect the same, and these guys (Creative Collective) really created quintessential holiday romance for everybody.”

Cruise Cynics

But is the design of a cruise ship enough to encourage people to try out their sea legs? I talked to someone who has vowed cruising is not for her, to see if these renderings would give her second thoughts.

Image Credit : thelondoner.me Valentina needs a bit more convincing before stepping onboard a cruise ship.

Valentina De Pertis – Cyber Security CMO (and sister-in-law)  Instagram: @vdepertis

“It love the renderings, it looks absolutely stunning, the deck looks wonderful. It’s a good idea for Virgin to do something like this. However moving it to a completely different target audience, for example people who don’t like cruising, or people who wouldn’t normally go cruising, young adults or something, I think a nice deck and a beautiful ship isn’t enough.”

“There are already nice decks and beautiful ships and presidential suits on other boats. There are lovely areas that already exist. So it’s not enough to get the people who are stereotypically and unfairly biased against it.”

“You would really have to change the people. So having more young adults in the same industry, maybe young influencers, getting people blogging from a certain age interested in it.”

“Also, changing up the food, because the food is already really good quality, but just modernising it, and onboard entertainment.”

“So really the whole experience would have to change, apart from the destinations because going to multiple destinations is already beautiful.”

“You’re stuck on this boat, and if you’re stuck with people who might not be your type of people, or with food that’s absolutely gorgeous, but maybe not something that you would search out if you were on land. If they get all of that sorted out then I actually would book a trip I think and we (the family) all would.”

How A Cruise Ship Is Made

Although everyone was excited to hear about and see the renderings of the cruise lines first ship, Tom McAlpin gave an interesting summary as to the ship building process. He said “It starts with one year of designing followed by another full year of engineering before any construction even begins. Then they start construction by cutting a load of steel followed by the laying of the keel which is the first section of the ship. This is a big block and they place it into the dry dock. They include a lucky keel coin which is a maritime tradition for blessing the vessel for good fortune.” You can read more about this in my post  Getting Laid In Genoa with Boy George. 

Here is the video I took in Genoa of Richard Branson welding the lucky coin into the keel.

Image Credit: Nikola Petrovic – Virgin Voyages Chief Engineer – “Proud moment to see the first main engine being installed in the engine room for our first ship.”

Virgin Voyages first Ladyship will be constructed of 108  blocks in total.  48 blocks weighing up to 6,000 tons each have been built so far and they are up to deck 16. The ship is being built in three different shipyards. Romania, Palermo and Genoa and will all come together in Genoa in July for the ‘Hook Up’ Event. She will sail 7 night Caribbean itineraries from Miami, Florida.