This week, we want to wish all of our fellow U.S. cruisers a Happy Fourth of July. If you weren’t able to keep up with all that happened in the world of cruise travel this week, we are here to give you complete coverage of all the notable updates. Hop on-board as we sail through cruise news July 3, 2016.
Cruise News July 3, 2016
Royal Caribbean Gets a New Terminal For Port of Miami
Finally, the world’s largest cruise port can now host the world’s largest cruise ships. It was revealed last week that Royal Caribbean entered into an agreement with the Port of Miami to build a new terminal. At a cost of close to $250 million, this terminal would enable the company to bring Oasis class ships to Miami. Until now, Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale has been the Florida base for these mega-ships.
Cruise News July 3, 2016 – Rendering of New Terminal © Royal Caribbean International
The agreement goes to a vote this week, but it is expected to pass the city’s Board without opposition. The new terminal would be set to open in 2018 and would also be home to a new parking garage with room for 1,000 vehicles.
Carnival Rolls Out New Check-In Process
After a successful pilot of a “staggered” check-in process in Galveston, Texas, Carnival announced that they will be expanding the program this month. Soon, most ports will offer this two step process that assigns cruisers an actual time to board the ship. The hope is to reduce wait times and congestion on the morning of embarkation day. Starting in July, passengers on the Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Pride will have to engage in this new process.
Cruise News July 3, 2016 – Carnival Ecstasy (source)
Cruisers will be required to check-in online and print boarding passes. Then, they can pick an embarkation time to arrive at the port. Those who do not pick a time will be assigned one. Once they arrive, with proper forms and ID, they should be able to quickly get through security and on the ship with little hassle. According to reports, those who show up before their assigned time will not be allowed into the terminal. Previous cruisers with status, or those who purchase the “Faster to the Fun” option, will be allowed to board whenever they want even though they will have to choose a boarding time online.
Change to Norwegian Cruise Line’s Beverage Policy
In an abrupt change to current boarding policy, Norwegian Cruise Line announced that starting July 15th, passengers will no longer be permitted to bring certain beverages onboard. While there have been restrictions on alcoholic beverages, the ban has now spread to include non-alcoholic beverages.
Cruise News July 3, 2016 – We Were Allowed to Bring Bottled Water on Norwegian Escape
According to our friends at CruiseFever.net, the cruise line will no longer allow passengers to bring sealed packages of soda or bottled water onboard the ship. NCL officials claim that the change had to do with improving the boarding process as all packages have to be inspected to ensure passengers are not trying to sneak alcohol onboard. Bottled water packages are available for purchase starting at $47 for the equivalent of a 24 pack of water.
Regent Seven Seas Explorer Delivered
The “most luxurious cruise ship ever built” has been officially delivered. The 750 passenger Regent Seven Seas Explorer was officially turned over to the cruise line by builder, Fincantieri. The 55,200 ton luxury cruise ship contains 375 suites and is said to have the largest space to passenger ratio in the industry. She is the first of two ships to be built, with a younger sister expected to be delivered in 2020.
Cruise News July 3, 2016 – Rendering of the Regent Seven Seas Explorer
Finishing touches and inspections are underway ahead of the ship’s inaugural sailing on July 20th in Europe. For those looking to experience the finest in cruising, the Seven Seas Explorer is set to head to North America at the end of 2016 and will offer a number of Caribbean sailings from Miami in early 2017.
Brand New Details of the MSC Meraviglia
More exciting news was released last week about the MSC Meraviglia. Looking to attract younger, tech savvy cruisers, a number of hi-tech features and attractions were announced making this cruise ship one of the most innovative and advanced ships afloat. Did you just hear that Quantum class ships?
Cruise News July 3, 2016 – Rendering of MSC Meraviglia
Among the details, the ship will have a special lounge for the signature Cirque du Soleil show which will have a 180 degree circular glass wall embedded with technology. The ship’s promenade will be enclosed with a 262 foot LED dome that will display light shows and be the biggest such feature on any ship. Touch screens throughout the ship will let you make reservations, book excursions, and see what is happening throughout the day. Virtual reality and augmented reality will also be featured onboard along with other digital attractions that will allow passengers to utilize their mobile devices.
Did we miss any cruise news that you found noteworthy last week? Which of these new stories are you looking forward to the most? Drop us an anchor below to let us know your thoughts.