We are back with an information-filled Cruise News January 22, 2017. After a short hiatus, we return to get you up-to-date on the latest cruise line and ship news from across the industry. A lot has happened over the past few weeks, so let’s dive right in to get up to speed in the world of cruising.
Cruise News January 22, 2017
More Wearable Technology in Cruising
With the moderate success of Royal WOW bands on Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum-class ships (and Harmony of the Seas), Carnival Cruise Line is looking to up the ante in wearable technology for cruising. Earlier this month, plans were unveiled about the new Ocean Medallion technology coming to Regal Princess in a few months. Beyond entering your room and making purchases, the technology will allow staff and crew to customize your vacation, by delivering food wherever you are on the ship or greeting you by your first name when you pass by. Is this the future of cruising?
MSC Ocean Cay Breaks Ground
A bit behind schedule, but better late than never! This past week, MSC Cruises officially broke ground on one of the company’s newest additions. No, it was not a new ship but a new private island. Ocean Cay is set to be the largest private resort area managed by a cruise line in the region. It will feature a number of exhilarating activities like a zip line and marina, along with a large amphitheater, several restaurants, a family-only area, and an exclusive resort area for members of the MSC Yacht Club. The island is now set to open in November 2018.
Cruise News January 22, 2017, Rendering of Ocean Cay (Courtesy of MSC Cruise)
Carnival Changing Things Up in 2018
In an effort to make their newest ships accessible to different travelers, Carnival Cruise Line has decided to change the homeports of their three largest ships next fall. Starting in September of 2018, the line’s largest ship, Carnival Vista, will start regular cruises departing from Galveston, TX, offering two slightly different Western Caribbean itineraries. The Carnival Breeze will reposition to Port Canaveral, with different itineraries visiting the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Finally, Carnival Magic will move down to Miami, FL, with 7 night cruises alternating between the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
Cruise News January 22, 2017 – Carnival Vista (Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)
Upgrading Norwegian Cruise Line Cabins
Have you always wondered if you could get a cabin upgrade for only a few bucks? Well, starting in a few weeks, Norwegian Cruise Line will offer guests the opportunity to bid on cabin upgrades. Select guests will receive the opportunity to upgrade their current cabin using an online auction system which rolls out on larger ships in February. As part of the Norwegian Upgrade Advantage, guests can bid on upgrade cabin categories but will not know the exact assigned cabin number until winning the bid. The program is expected to go fleetwide later this spring.
Cruise News January 22, 2017 – Upgrade to the Haven on NCL
Next Oasis Class Ship Named?
When a press release a few days ago from Flowrider, the company that makes onboard surf simulators for Royal Caribbean, indicated the name of the next Oasis class ship would be Symphony of the Seas, social media blew up. Royal Caribbean remained silent, refusing to comment on the misprint that was later removed from the Flowrider statement. But, then a photo surfaced from an avid Royal Caribbean fan apparently showing part of the ship with the name engraved. While it is a forgone conclusion that Oasis 4’s name is now known, there still has been no official word from Royal Caribbean International.
More ‘Episodes’ on Disney Cruise Line
Whether you are part of the dark side or not, you can have your share of the force on Disney Cruise Line next year. Coinciding with the release of Episode 8 of the Star Wars saga later this year, Disney is continuing their popular Star Wars Days at Sea in 2018. Similar to this year, the Disney Fantasy will host a number of Caribbean sailings, where this popular event will include movie screenings, meet and greets, special merchandise, and even themed food. Join the Resistance, and set sail to a galaxy far, far away.
Cruise News January 22, 2017 – Star Wars Days at Sea (Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line)
New Ships Announced by Carnival Corporation
Adding new vessels to the family, Carnival Corporation revealed the details of the expansion of two of their cruise lines a couple of days ago. As part of the agreement, Holland America would get a third Pinnacle-class ship in 2022. Currently, the MS Koningsdam is the only ship sailing in that class, with the second ship due out next year. Also part of the update, Princess Cruises will now be getting a sixth Royal-class ship. With both Royal Princess and Regal Princess currently sailing, and Majestic Princess setting sail in March, Princess will now be adding three new ships in the next 4 years.
Cruise News January 22 – MS Koningsdam in San Juan, PR
Norwegian Bliss Now Open for Booking
While we were away, Norwegian Cruise Line opened up bookings for the newest addition to the Breakaway Plus class, the Norwegian Bliss. Besides the inaugural season in Alaska during Summer of 2018, cruisers can sail the Caribbean, the West Coast of the U.S., and even the Panama Canal. Details on the ship’s venues and onboard amenities have still not been released, but with the ship’s Observation Lounge, you can always marvel at the stunning views. With a plethora of dining and drink options sure to be on board, you will certainly have a bliss-ful time.
Cruise News January 22, 2017 – Rendering of Norwegian Bliss (Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)
More Ships Heading to Princess Cay
Adding more diversity to the ports visited by Carnival Cruise Line ships, the line indicated that six of their ships will be adding a stop to the private island of Princess Cay on select itineraries in 2017. Ships sailing from Baltimore, MD, Charleston, SC, and Jacksonville, FL will be among the 40 calls heading there this year. Carnival expects to more than double the number of calls made to Princess Cay in 2018 to further enhance cruisers experiences and “fun in the sun”.
Cruise News January 22, 2017
Making the Most of Wave Season
We are in the midst of the best time to book your next cruise- Wave Season, the time when cruise lines typically offer some of their best deals and promotions. The Princess and I have already booked one cruise during this time frame and might try to get a few more in to take advantage of these deals. Get the best bang for your buck with some of these tips from Travel Pulse, or learn everything you need to know about wave season from the crew over at Cruise Critic. Book, save, and sail.
Have we missed any major cruise news from 2017? Are there updates you would like to share? Drop us an anchor below to give us your latest cruise scoop.