Tag Archives: Ships-and-Champagne

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

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.

A New Southampton Cruise Terminal

New Southampton Cruise Terminal For Summer 2021

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

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

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

UK’s Number One Departure Port

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

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

Four Existing Terminals

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

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

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

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

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

Queen Mary 2 World Voyage for 2022

Cunard announces Classic World Voyage on Queen Mary 2 for 2022

Queen Mary 2 charts a stunning 104 night escape through Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe

Cunard’s 2022 classic World Voyage on their iconic flagship Queen Mary 2 goes on sale today (September 8 2020).

The ocean liner will make calls to Greece, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Australia and Bali, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Italy and Portugal. The World Voyage will cruise through the Suez Canal on both the outbound journey and return.

Intrinsic Glamour and Heritage

Cunard president, Simon Palethorpe, said, “Our guests have told us they want memorable destinations which combine intrinsic glamour and heritage.” Spanning 16 countries, this unique cruise offers 33 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The 104 night voyage departs Southampton on January 10th 2022 and returns on April 24th 2022. The itinerary will include overnight stops in Haifa, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney and Singapore. In addition, Columbo will offer a late night departure.

Choose From Six Sectors

Palethorpe continued, “This 104 night voyage can be split into six sectors and booked individually, which is tailored to those who want to fully immerse themselves in the Cunard experience for just a portion of the journey. It truly is the ultimate exploration of east meets west experienced from the magnificent setting of the world’s only ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2.

“Guests on board will be able to take advantage of a multitude of luxurious offerings whether they want to be entertained, learn something new, get active or simply relax, while the ambience throughout the ship is warm, friendly and inclusive.”

Those sailing the full World Voyage will enjoy a welcome on board reception, plus all the services of a World Voyage Concierge. These include the use of a private lounge, a gala event ashore and complimentary daily gratuities.

Prices for an inside stateroom for the complete 104 night voyage start from £11,499 per person.

For the latest information about the steps Cunard are taking to ensure the very best protocols are in place to guard against Covid-19, visit www.cunard.com/sailing-with-confidence

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

The Princess Sale offers fares from £499pp

Disclaimer: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post, but only recommend products that I would buy or have bought myself.

The Princess Sale for 2021

Princess Cruises is offering reduced fares on more than 800 voyages departing from December 2020 – May 2022 as part of ‘The Princess Sale’, with 7-night sailings available from £499pp.

The Princess Sale is open to book from today, May 1 – June 30, 2020, and includes cruises from the UK, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Panama Canal and Alaska.

Low Deposit

Offering a low deposit of £50pp means guests don’t have to pay their balance until 90 days before departure.

The applicable voyages departing from the UK are throughout spring, summer and autumn next year. They sail to destinations across northern Europe, southern Europe, the Mediterranean and the British Isles.

The Princess Sale voyages include:

A 14-night Mediterranean Adventurer cruise on Grand Princess, departing July 24, 2021. Sailing roundtrip from Southampton calling at Seville (Cadiz), Barcelona, Marseille, Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Sardinia (Cagliari) and Ceuta. Prices from £1499pp.

·        A 7-night Scandinavia cruise on Grand Princess, departing November 15, 2021. Sailing roundtrip from Southampton calling at Oslo, Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Kristiansand. Prices from £679pp.

Nyhavn buildings in Copenhagen, Denmark.

·        A 12-night British Isles cruise on Crown Princess, departing 26 May 2021. Sailing roundtrip from Southampton calling at Guernsey (St. Peter Port), Cork (Cobh), Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow (Greenock), Orkney Islands (Kirkwall), Invergordon, Edinburgh (South Queensferry) and Paris/Normandy (Le Havre). Prices from £1199pp.

Here’s a little video of Josh and I arriving at South Queensferry during a UK cruise on Ruby Princess.

As previously announced, guests booking a Princess cruise of three nights or longer can choose to add the ‘Princess Plus’ simplified onboard savings package for £35 per person per day. The package covers premium drinks, unlimited WiFi and gratuities – which is worth over £70 for guests who pay for these items in advance of their cruise, or onboard.

For more information or to book visit www.princess.com

Recommended Reading: Sapphire Princess Cruise Part One

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

Details of Partnership With P&O Cruises and Gary Barlow

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

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

Naming Ceremony Performance

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cruises With Gary Barlow

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

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

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

Recommended Reading

MSC Magnifica Restyled for UK Guests

Gary Barlow Is New P&O Cruises Brand Ambassador

Gary Barlow Will Be P&O Cruises New Brand Ambassador

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

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

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

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

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

Recommended Reading

Details of Partnership With P&O Cruises and Gary Barlow

European Waterways “break out the bubbly”

European Waterways ‘Breaks Out the Bubbly’ for the New Year With Exclusive Hotel Barge Cruise Excursions in Champagne, France

*Champagne Tastings feature in the expanded ‘Insider Experiences’ Programme For 2020 Season, including Gastronomic Lunch at Famed Chateau*

As the world breaks out the champagne to herald the New Year, European Waterways invites travellers to “break out the bubbly” in the land where it all began – Champagne, France. 

For the 2020 season, launching in March, the luxury hotel barge cruise specialist is offering exclusive experiential excursions in Champagne that now include a tasting of various vintages and a gastronomic lunch at the 18th century Château Les Aulnois in the village of Pierry, just south of Épernay  – the birthplace of champagne.

The opportunity is available when cruising aboard European Waterways’ Panache luxury hotel barge and also includes a tour of the original Champagne Henriot vineyards, one of the oldest family-owned domaines that traces its origins to the late 1700’s.

10% Off Selected Cruises

European Waterways is offering 10% off on selected cruise departures in May and June 2020, aboard Panache in Champagne, valid when booked before January 6, 2020

For departures on June 7 and 28, cabins are available at £4,131 per person, based on double occupancy. This is a saving £459 off the regular price of £4,590.

Twelve-passenger whole boat charters are available at £44,550 for the May 31, June 14, and June 21, 2020 departures.  This is a saving of £4,950 off the regular price of £49,500. 

Celebrating with Panache

Panache cruises through the heart of Champagne from mid-June to mid-July, between Château-Thierry and Châlons-en-Champagne, just weeks before the start of France’s famous grape harvest.  The vessel’s six-night, all-inclusive cruises offer a unique immersion into the celebrated history of the sparkling wine and the famous houses that include Moët & Chandon, Henriot and Pannier.  

Epernay

In Épernay, the champagne house of Moët & Chandon features the largest vineyard in the region.  Guests will enjoy a guided tour of its vast underground cellar, carved into the white chalk under L’Avenue de Champagne, and taste some of Moët’s vintages in a private salon with the cellar master.  A separate excursion to the Domaine of Champagne Henriot includes a stop at its famous vineyard, where a viticulture expert explains their grape selection process. Guests are then treated to a private tour of the Château Les Aulnois. This includes a tasting of the various Henriot champagnes, and a gastronomic lunch in the chateau’s dining room.

Reims Cathedral

Panache’s guests visit the magnificent 800-year-old Reims Cathedral. This Gothic masterpiece is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the coronation of the kings of France once took place.  Guests will also visit Château-Thierry, the scene of many fierce battles in WW1 and where American Expeditionary Forces first saw action.  Guests will also visit the American cemetery at Belleau Wood, where the combined U.S., French and British forces fought against the Germans.

Dom Perignon

“The pioneering innovations in the wine-making processes by the Benedictine monk Dom Perignon led to the invention of champagne in the late 17th century, and the world has been celebrating ever since,” said Banks.  “In 2020, we invite travellers to celebrate with us in the land that made it all possible.” 

Six-night cruise fares, based on double occupancy, include:

  • 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, such as bicycles and hot tub

European Waterways’ Brochure

The full range is available in European Waterways’ colourful new 104-page brochure. The brochure is available online at https://www.europeanwaterways.com/brochure-request/

Please visit www.europeanwaterways.com for information.

With over 40 years’ experience in luxury hotel barging, European Waterways has a fleet that spans nine countries and is the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe. Hotel Barging is a unique experience for 6 to 20 guests. It offers an immersive, all-inclusive “gentle voyage of discovery” focusing on local culture, history, fine wine and gourmet cuisine.

European Waterways provide an impeccable level of on board service with access to intimate inland waterways. This network of smaller canals allows for flexibility, spontaneity and opportunities to explore surroundings on a bicycle, or on foot. Chauffeured “off the beaten track” excursions to exquisite wine tastings to private tours of stately homes are available daily.

Recommended Reading

Bombay Sapphire Distillery with Princess Cruises

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What Is a Guarantee Cabin on a Cruise Ship?

What Exactly Is A Guarantee Cabin?

Everyone is looking for a deal, so it’s easy to be seduced by the offers that include free drinks, wifi, specialty restaurants, free parking, free flights and anything else that the cruise lines can think of to throw in. But you may find that you are better off getting a guarantee cabin.

The word guarantee can be confusing. It does not mean you are guaranteed a particular room. So let’s take a look and see what it does mean. A guarantee cabin means that if you book a balcony cabin, you are guaranteed to get at least a balcony cabin. In other words, you would not get an inside cabin. This sounds pretty straightforward but there are exceptions to the rule and here’s how to figure them out.

Check the Deck Plan

When you are booking your cruise, take a look at the deck plan. It is best to view this on the website of the cruise line itself to ensure you are looking at an up to date version. Check that the dates of the deck plan apply to the date you are sailing. In some cases, you may only have one option, but if the ship is due to enter dry-dock, there will be two sets of deck plans, before the refurbishment and after. Make sure you select the one that you will be cruising on. Familiarise yourself with the different categories of cabin on the ship and what they mean. This is where you will be able to figure out which cabins are classed as an upgrade.

For example, some cruise ships have suites that do not have a balcony. So you may have your heart set on a balcony, book your guarantee but get an amazing upgrade to a suite. However, not all suites have balconies, but you might find you can live without that balcony after all.

This means that a guarantee inside is a bit pointless because you can’t get a lower cabin type than that, but it is likely to be the cheapest cruise fare for that sailing, so well worth a try. The really important thing to remember about the guarantee cabin, is that you are agreeing to accept any cabin the cruise line gives you within that category or above. Expect it to be right at the back or right at the front of the ship because it probably will be. Booking a guarantee cabin means you have agreed to accept whatever the cruise line offers you. Bear in mind that it might be noisy, it might be obstructed or have an overhang.

What If I Really Don’t Like The Cabin I’ve Been Given?

If you really don’t like the cabin, check the prices of other cabins around 50 days prior to sailing. Cruise may reduce prices of remaining inventory and you might get an upgrade for a little bit extra.

I’ve Been Told I Might Get A Free Upgrade

Yes, that is true. There are cases where people have booked a guarantee inside and ended up in a balcony cabin. It does happen. But don’t take it personally if it doesn’t happen to you and don’t expect it. In most if not all cases the selection is purely at random.

Recommended Reading 5 Tips on How To Get Free Cruises

Virgin Voyages ‘Valiant Lady’ to Head for the Med

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

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

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

A Home in Barcelona for Summer 2021

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

Later Stays and Overnights

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

Introducing ‘Valiant Lady’

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

Scarlet Squad

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

Recommended Reading Champagne Delivery at the Shake of Your Phone

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

Virgin Voyages Announces Sneak-A-Peak Sailings

VIRGIN VOYAGES ANNOUNCES CELEBRATORY MAIDEN VOYAGE EXPERIENCES 

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

TWO NEW SNEAK-A-PEAK SAILINGS

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

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

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

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

Recommended Reading Mark Ronson Virgin Voyages Minister of Music

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New European Itineraries for Royal Caribbean

ROYAL CARIBBEAN ITINERARIES SUMMER 2021

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

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

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

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

New Itineraries From Southampton

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

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

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

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

Italian Adventures from Venice

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

British and Baltic Exploration

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

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

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

Recommended Reading: Jewel of the Seas Greek Isles Cruise Review

Amazing Features for Odyssey Of The Seas

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

Decked Out

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

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

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

Image: Royal Caribbean International

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

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

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Splashaway Bay

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

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Solarium

Kids Play

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

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Adventure Ocean

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

Entertainment

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

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Two70

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

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

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

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Music Hall

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

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

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Playmakers Sports Bar

Dining

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

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

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Teppanyaki

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

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Chops Grille

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

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Izumi

Fun For All The Family

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

Image: Royal Caribbean International – Seaplex Bumper Cars

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

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

Image: Royal Caribbean International – SkyPad

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

Image: Royal Caribbean International – North Star

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

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

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

Introducing Wonder of the Seas

Fifth Oasis Class Ship Set For Asia

Royal Caribbean International has announced the name of the next ship to join the fleet. Wonder of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world and will set sail from Shanghai, China in 2021.

Royal Caribbean President and CEO, Michael Bayley, revealed details at a global cruise industry conference event in Shanghai. Wonder of the Seas, will be the first Oasis Class ship to sail the Asia Pacific. This will be the start of a new era of cruising.

Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International at the press conference in Beijing. Photo provided to China Daily

“Royal Caribbean is known for its innovation and constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and an Oasis Class ship in China is proof of that,” said Bayley. “Wonder of the Seas will redefine the ultimate vacation and be revolutionary in her own right, and she marks one of Royal Caribbean’s most exciting chapters to come.”

What to expect on board

Wonder of the Seas will be part of the Oasis class of ships which are the largest in the world. The ship will feature the iconic seven-neighbourhoods and a bold lineup of thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology.

Image Credit: Royal Caribbean International Wonder of the Seas will be like her sister, Oasis of the Seas. (Pictured View of Central Park)

Construction

Construction of Wonder of the Seas took place this week, at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. Wonder’s keel, a 970-tonne block measuring 155 feet by 65 feet, was lifted onto the building with a 1,400-tonne crane. This ceremony marks the beginning of her construction.

 

The coin ceremony is part of a long maritime tradition that takes place during the keel laying. You can read more about this in  What Is A Keel Laying Ceremony?

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