Tag Archives: New-Cruise-Ships

Disney Teases New Design of Disney Wish

Disney Cruise Line Unveils New Design of Disney Wish, Due Summer ’22

With less than a week to go until their grand ship reveal, Disney teases new design of Disney Wish.

The fifth ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, will introduce a brand-new concept unlike anything at sea. Enchantment will be the design theme,  weaving imagination, emotion and adventure into every corner of the ships’ unique personality.

Imagineering an Enchanted Ship

Enchantment is that special ingredient of Disney films.

Inspired by nearly a century of Disney fairytales, Walt Disney Imagineers have captured the essence of enchantment, using:

  • fairytale castles, emulating the classic storybook charm at the core of many enchanted tales;
  • forests and animals, bringing to life fascinating natural worlds and the animals that inhabit them; and
  • spirit of the sea, embodying the magic and mystery of the watery world below.

A wide range of stories that will be represented on board, from Disney and Pixar to Marvel and Star Wars.

Designed with Character

The Disney Wish will continue the Disney tradition of incorporating an elegant, classical exterior design.

Every Disney cruise ship features two character art pieces on the hull of each ship. For the Disney Wish, elegant artwork on the bow, will feature Captain Minnie Mouse.

The stern of the ship will feature a custom sculpture of the optimistic and adventurous Rapunzel. The Disney Princess will be suspended by her golden tresses and appear to be “decorating” the exterior of the ship with the help of her chameleon pal, Pascal.

Imagineers have taken it one step further. By adding a whimsical curvature to the deck edge along both sides of the ship, they have created a sense of magic and visual movement both inside and out.

A Castle on the Seas

Image Credit: Disney Cruise Line – The Grand Hall onboard the Disney Wish

The spellbinding Grand Hall is a bright, airy and elegant space that will greet guests the moment they step on board. The fairytale castle-inspired atrium is touched with Gothic, Baroque and French Rococo influences that gives life to the columns, carvings, trimmings and adornments.

The Grand Hall will be Disney Cruise Line’s castle on the seas. An enchanted realm where glittering trails of pixie dust climb majestic columns, spill across the ceiling and animate the shimmering chandelier  with a burst of magic. The chandelier is the manifestation of wishes come true.

Cinderella stands at the base of a grand staircase, beneath the glow of the wishing star. The story of Cinderella is the epitome of magic transforming wishes into dreams and dreams into reality. The beautiful bronze statue of this beloved princess is just one of many tributes to her story in the Grand Hall’s design. Others include railings that glisten with elegant stained glass, and sophisticated nods to her carriage and glass slipper in the delicate metalwork and light fixtures.

The Grand Hall will be the enchanted gateway to everything that awaits on board the Disney Wish including;

  • fairytale worlds
  • heroic challenges
  • epicurean indulgences
  • thrilling adventures
  • galactic encounters
  • peaceful escapes

Details on the experiences, itineraries and booking dates for the Disney Wish will be revealed next week. For more information, visit the Disney Parks Blog.

Recommended Reading Disney Magic Cruise Ship Review

Magic In The Air with Leee John & MSC Bellissima

Leee John and his platinum selling band Imagination, packed dancefloors in the Eighties. Their hits included Just an Illusion, Body Talk, Music and Lights, and Flashback with sales in excess of 30 million albums.

The multi talented North London Soul boy of St Lucian decent, has worked non stop over the last 30 years as a songwriter, vocalist, producer, musician, radio show presenter, dj and actor.

I caught up with Leee this week following the announcement of his performance at the MSC Bellissima Christening. The star-studded event to be held on 1st of March in Southampton will be hosted by TV beauty Holly Willoughby. Also performing will be Nile Rodgers and Chic. This will be followed by the traditional ribbon cutting by ship’s Godmother, award winning actress Sophia Loren.

Have you been on a cruise ship before?

“Yes. The first ship I cruised on was when I was eight years old. It was the SS France, which was the longest ship in the world at the time and had the biggest floating cinema.” 

How do you feel about performing at the MSC Bellissima Christening?

“Overwhelmed and very, very excited. I mean wow, what can I say? Sophia Loren? I am going to be completely gaga! I am very much a music and film buff and saw Sophia Loren in Two Women in which she won two awards. I also saw her in Arabasque which I love as I am a fashionista.”

“Antonio and the team at MSC Cruises have been fantastic. They came to see me and were extremely gracious, offering to help us with anything we need.”

“I am looking forward to performing alongside Nile Rodgers and Chic again. We have toured together twice before, having performed around 20 shows together. In fact I once had a call from Nile asking me to help him out. He was due to perform at a special party for his Goddaughter, but had been delayed, so asked if I could fill in for him until he arrived.”

Can you reveal any details about your performance for the event?

“We will be playing the latest and the greatest! I am old school so for me the performance is totally about the audience. I have a fantastic band. Our drummer is Mel Gaynor who used to play with Simple Minds. He actually played with Imagination on our very first tour. Mike Timothy is our keyboard player and he has worked with Dexys Midnight Runners and Massive Attack. Alexis our bass player and Lorraine who sings backing vocals are also outstanding musicians to work with.”

Retropia

After talking to Leee, I am even more excited to see his performance at the event and have bought a copy of his last album Retropia. It includes a range of styles from Soul and Jazz to Rock and Dance. Recording a soul version of Highway To Hell (my personal favourite track on the album) takes talent, but has clearly paid off as it will feature as the theme tune to Netflix show Street Riders, also produced by Sky in Italy.

Current Projects

Leee has been producing his film Flashback over the last six years. The film celebrates the great black artists who have contributed to UK music. Leee has gathered more than 80 interviews from artists such as Beverley Knight, Eddy Grant, Trevor Nelson, Omar, Geno Washington, Shalamar’s Jeffrey Daniels, Boney M’s Bobby Farrell and Ruby Turner. Leee is also planning on putting this on an app platform for use in the educational system.

As well as a film, Leee is working on his new album under the working title of World Domination. It is expected for release in 2020. Leee is working with an eclectic mix of musicians from the Gypsy Kings to Rob David (Can’t Get You Out Of My Head).

If you can’t wait until 2020, Retropia is available to buy from Amazon.

 

Retropia Review

Wonderful album from the very talented Leee John, the lead singer of Imagination. The songs vary from the very danceable” Do It Right Now “to the atmospheric ” Utopia ” to the rocky ” Highway To Hell”. Every track has something to offer in quality, perfect pitch and great production. Thoroughly recommended. – Cheri

Buy Retropia here

Recommended Reading

Losing George Michael – My First Love

MSC Cruises To Host A Star Studded Extravaganza In Southampton

7 Ways MSC Cruises Is Reducing Plastics

Virgin Voyages Brings Rock and Roll to the High Seas

The new cruise line set to disrupt the cruise industry, Virgin Voyages, has revealed details of its mega yacht inspired suites.

Scarlet Lady is the first of four Virgin Voyages ships being built by leading cruise ship design and construction company Fincantieri.  The adult only vessel, being dubbed by Virgin Voyages as Rebellious Luxe, will be floated out in Genoa, Italy on 9th February. Setting sail in 2020, sailors will be able to book one of these incredible suites from 14th February 2019.

British Interior Designer, Tom Dixon led the team working on the design. The idea of the RockStar Suites was to combine yachting glamour with Virgin’s rock and roll heritage.

Key Features of RockStar Suites

The Best View Money Can Buy

All suites will be situated on the upper decks of the Scarlet Lady and configured to maximise views of the ocean.

Ships and champagne go hand in hand, and every suite has a specially-designed champagne table on its sea terrace.  An ice bucket fits perfectly in the centre of the table and will be complemented by stargazing loungers, and sustainably sourced Yellow Leaf terrace hammocks.

In true Rebellious Luxe style, Virgin Voyages suites will have a full bar and cocktail kit . The first round is on the house.

All suites are fitted with blackout curtains and mood lighting that automatically adjusts to the time of day. In-room tablets are provided to enable Sailors to adjust the lighting to exactly how they like it.

Every suite will enjoy luxurious comforts with a plush European king bed, premium linens and upgraded bath amenities.

You can play that funky music with your very own gold-plated vinyl record player accompanied by an en-suite collection of classic records.

Many suites will feature a Peek-A-View shower, an all marble shower with a dichroic glass window carved in the centre, allowing sailors to stay connected to the sea. The top suites will also have an outdoor Peek-a-View shower.

RockStar Lifestyle

A dedicated RockStar Services Crew are on hand for Sailors from the moment they book their cruise.

Once onboard, suite guests will have their very own “Rockstar Coordinator,” to ensure they enjoy backstage access at every corner, with early access to onboard entertainment, restaurants, their very own wardrobe team to help unpack and repack, complimentary pressing service and nightly express swimsuit drying service.

Shore Things

Suite guests will enjoy a private transfer to and from the ship in Miami, an exclusive express VIP pathway to the ship during embarkation.

Access to Richard’s Rooftop

All RockStar Suites Sailors will have access to Richard’s Rooftop. A secluded private members club at the top of the ship.

Branson Brings Rock and Roll to the High Seas

“Virgin has always avoided stuffy formalities and brought a lot of excitement and a bit of rebelliousness to our customer experiences,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group. “With these glamorous suites, Virgin Voyages is bringing rock and roll to the high seas and spoiling our Sailors like the rockstars they are.”

Sweets for my Suite

Among the 78 RockStar Suites aboard the Scarlet Lady, there are 15 Mega RockStar Suites primely located on deck 15. These are named the Massive Suites, Fab Suites, Posh Suites and Gorgeous Suites.

Sailors staying in one of the Mega RockStar Suites will receive a personalised bar filled with their favourites. The RockStar Services Crew will tend to their rider list, to make their voyage perfect; all red gummy bears, an electric guitar and beyond.

Massive Suite

The two Massive Suites are the largest of the RockStar Suites at 2,147 sq. ft. including an expansive sea terrace. Located above the ship’s bridge, the suite can accommodate up to six guests.  Each has its very own music room stocked with guitars and an amplifier.

A circular oversized couch is the centrepiece of the room. This is the perfect place to host parties with its adjacent in-room bar.

The suite includes a glamorous bath and dressing room area complete with a hot tub, vanity area, two full-sized wardrobes and a marble-clad bathroom with a Peek-a-Boo shower area that overlooks the bedroom and out to the ocean.

The sea terrace has a private hot tub and a Peek-a-View outdoor shower. Other features include a circular conversation pit, a lookout point, two full length hammocks and a catamaran net for stargazing, circular sea bar loungers and a meditation area overlooking the ocean. Just in case you feel like treating your guests to a private performance, a staircase leads you gracefully to the table top.

Fab Suite

At 950 sq. ft., an open wall separates the space into distinct bedroom and living areas, featuring an extra-long sea terrace with an outdoor shower, stargazing loungers, a hammock and a champagne table.

Posh Suite

The Posh Suite features an all marble bathroom with dichroic glass to stay connected to the sea.

This 833 sq. ft. suite features a fully stocked bar a record player and a spacious lounge. A peek-a-boo shower offers views of the ocean.  The sea terrace comes complete with lounge chairs, outdoor shower and champagne table.

Gorgeous Suite

The Gorgeous Suite features an outdoor shower, loungers and a hammock.

The 570 sq. ft. Gorgeous suite features an open plan lounge and bedroom. The luxurious bathroom has a window for inspiring sea views. The expansive sea terrace features an outdoor shower, lounge chairs and a hammock.

Brilliant Suite

The 482 sq. ft. brilliantly designed suite has an open plan featuring a stocked bar with record player and sea terrace complete with a hammock swing chair.

Cheeky Corner Suite

Between 607 and 847.8 sq. ft, the Cheeky Corner Suites’ have wrapping panoramic views from the corner of the ship. This provides the perfect views of the sea with direct views of the sea, larger balconies with sofa loungers. Interconnecting doors enable guests to connect with adjacent sea terrace cabins and more.

Sweet Aft Suite

The best wake views can be enjoyed in these suits. Between 416 and 661 sq. ft., the suites are located at the aft of the ship. Enjoy sea views from the bed or even from inside the shower, with more views from the suite’s sea terrace.

Seriously Suite

Between 352 and 357 sq. ft, the Seriously Suite is the most popular RockStar Suite. Featuring an open plan lounge and bedroom, sea terrace with chairs, plus a luxurious bathroom with seaviews.

Competition

Until 31st January, enter for the chance to win the opportunity to Party Like a rockstar.  Virgin Voyages are holding their next #ShipTease event in New York City on Valentine’s Day and you could be there. Those interested in the sweepstakes should visit www.virginvoyages.com to enter.

Open to legal residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia, Canada (excluding Quebec) and Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). Entrants must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age or older at the time of entry.

Future sailors and travel partners can find more information by visiting www.virginvoyages.com or following @virginvoyages on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Oceania Cruises Announce New Allura Class

Allura Class – Higher Level of Comfort and Amenities

The ultra luxury cruise line Oceania Cruises have announced an order for two new cruise ships. The Allura Class will offer guests an even higher level of comfort and convenience than Marina and Riviera.

The two 67,000 gross ton Allura-Class ships will cost approximately 575 million euros per vessel. The ships will be built by leading cruise ship design and construction company Fincantieri S.p.A.  Each shall accommodate an estimated 1,200 guests. Oceania Cruises want to retain the warmth, design and signature amenities regular Oceania cruisers love about the Marina and Riviera. The new Allura Class will also offer an additional level of comfort and convenience, with new luxury amenities.

The Evolution of Perfection

“This new class of ships will represent an evolution of the Oceania Cruises experience with all the elements our guests treasure – a warm, intimate, residential style; the most spacious standard staterooms afloat; amazing suites, and of course, the finest cuisine at sea,” stated Bob Binder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceania Cruises.

Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd announced; “We are excited to expand the Oceania Cruises fleet with our new Allura-Class ships to meet the strong demand for upscale culinary- and destination-focused cruise vacations around the globe. This new class of ships will further elevate the already best-in-class guest experience at Oceania Cruises and meaningfully strengthen demand from both new and loyal returning guests, which will ultimately drive further returns for shareholders.”

“This new successful project for Oceania Cruises is yet another demonstration of our ability to capitalise on product innovation and diversification to meet the needs of every type of customer, a capability that distinguishes us in the world” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri.

The ships will be delivered in 2022 and 2025.

Recommended Reading: Ship Tour of Oceania Nautica

Scarlet Lady Keel Laying Ceremony

After a month long countdown to the #ShipTease, I still can’t believe the day I had at the keel laying ceremony with Virgin Voyages. Thank goodness I invested my time and money in going to the event. Now I feel I have a much clearer picture of the vision intended for the new cruise line.

Somehow I ended up in a VIP group hosted by Stacy Shaw, Vice President of Sales and Business Development. We were taken to a conference room at the Fincantieri offices. CEO and President of Virgin Voyages, Tom McAlpin greeted us and asked us if we wanted a glass of champagne. Silly question. With that the sliding doors rolled apart. There stood Sir Richard donning an officers jacket, wheeling a trolley loaded with champagne on ice. What a wonderful surprise!

Sir Richard Branson serves champagne to Travel Partners at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, to celebrate the keel getting laid in Genoa.

Working With Travel Agents

There has been much speculation as to whether Virgin Voyages will be working with Travel Partners on this, and although nothing has been announced, Sir Richard did say that he had been told by Tom that the group in the room (apart from me) were very important and that he had to make a good impression. With that, he got down on his knees and pretended to kiss the feet of one of the guests. Take from that what you will, but why spend all that money on flying people from the US over to Genoa, putting them up in a five star hotel and plying them with champagne, if you have no intention of working with them?

Over 18’s Only

So the next big thing that has everyone talking, is the over 18 policy. Although it has been reported as adult only, Virgin Voyages is keen to use the term Adult By Design. Why? Because the term “adult only” conjures up the image of a strip club, and that could not be further from the vision of a holistic, sophisticated, sanctuary at sea that offers a place for rejuvenation, relaxation and exploration.

It’s understandable that some people may feel a bit disappointed that they can’t take their kids onboard. I felt the same at first. When I travel for pleasure I take my 4 year old son with me. An over 18 policy makes it challenging for me to go on one. But then when I started to imagine the reality of a cruise with no kids onboard, it made me think that actually I would LOVE the option to go on a cruise without kids. If I can’t do it now, then it will be something to look forward to, but think of all those people who CAN go.

In fact this morning I saw comments in a Facebook fan group for one of the major cruise lines, where people were saying they thought it was a great idea, and wished the cruise line they were “loyal” to, would do the same. Virgin said they had taken the decision based on customer feedback, so clearly there is a demand for it. Whether those people are existing cruisers or existing Virgin Holidays customers, I don’t know, but either way they are definitely onto something.

Does It Look Like A Ship?

Well did the first car look like a horse and cart? This is NOT a cruise ship. Forget everything you/we know of cruising as it is today. Virgin Voyages’ First Ladyship is more of a mega super yacht with it’s smoked glass and silvery-grey hull. The cruise line are also declaring their commitment to the happiness of their crew, with better accommodation than any other cruise ship. I wonder if they will include gratuities in their fares (ooh don’t mention gratuities!)

Clime Onboard A Cleaner Ship

I want to talk about how these ships are going to be so much more energy efficient than ships out there at the moment. I want to tell you how the Swedish company Climeon have found a way to make these ships save masses of CO2. All I know is that they have discovered a way to turn waste hot water into energy and that it may be a good time to buy shares in Climeon. This video will give you a better idea of what they have designed.

What A Night!

To those of you that follow my blog you will know that this event was my first official press gig. That could be a problem because I don’t think there is likely to be anything like this again, well at least for another year, and I will probably be banned from that one after they see my video.

All I want to say is, what a way to start! I hope you have enjoyed reading about it and that you will take a look at the video I have put together in an attempt to capture the vibe.

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