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Are you ready for a makeover? This week, we have news on new ship amenities and some refurb updates coming to fan-favorite ships near you. We have all the details for you in this edition of Cruise News February 4, 2018.

Cruise News February 4, 2018

Celeystal Cruises is Leaving Cuba

After spending five years cruising Cuba, Celeystal Cruises is saying goodbye. The cruise line announced this week that they would finish this current winter season and then return to Greece for 2019. Currently, the Celeystal Crystal has been doing week-long cruises around the island. As one of the most port intensive itineraries in Cuba, the ship has decided to head home due to growing demand for Greek cruises. Still, plenty of other ships are still posed to cruise in Cuba through next year.

Brand New Photos of Norwegian Bliss

We were excited to see some brand new photos of Norwegian Bliss this week. Several media outlets were on hand to get a look at the ship as work is wrapping up at the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Germany. Hull artist, Wyland, was there to showcase his work on the exterior of the ship. The finishing touches were also being applied to first at sea attractions, like the two-level go-kart race track. While things look mostly complete on the outside, work is still feverishly occurring on interior areas. Designers are still working to complete many of the restaurants and lounges, along with constructing the large LED centerpiece of the 678 area. Norwegian Bliss will set sail in May.

Norwegian Bliss hull artCourtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Final Breakaway-Plus Ship Sailing from Miami, FL

Also during the recent photo tour, Norwegian Cruise Line announced details for the final Breakaway-Plus ship. This fourth ship in the class will be named Norwegian Encore. While the cruise line originally claimed the vessel would be “purpose-built” for China, that apparently has changed. During the steel cutting ceremony, the company announced that the ship would be sailing from Miami, FL in the fall of 2019. Cruise line officials indicated the ship would “be the ultimate Breakaway-Plus vessel”. The new innovative features or design elements that will be added to the ship are not yet known. Bookings for the inaugural season open up next month. Stay tuned to EatSleepCruise for the latest updates on this new ship.

Updates Coming to Mariner of the Seas

Royal Caribbean also made headlines this week. The cruise line revealed the details of some extensive upgrades and enhancements coming to Mariner of the Seas. The ship is repositioning to Miami, FL to sail 3 and 4-day cruises to the Bahamas this June. Before setting sail on these new itineraries, the ship is getting an extensive refurbishment with some innovative new features. Among the new additions is the Sky Pad, a virtual-reality enhanced trampoline attraction on the sports deck. The ship will also be receiving a trio of waterslides. A new laser tag experience, “The Battle for Planet Z”, will take over Studio B on select days and times. The ship will also get a puzzle break room, along with new nightlife venues including the brand new Bamboo Club, a Polynesian-themed bar and the Playmakers sports bar.

Cruise News February 4, 2018Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

Some of these new updates will also be making their way to Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas. President Michael Bayley confirmed that the Sky Pad would also be added to the ship. Previously, the cruise line announced Indy would be getting other venues like a laser tag game and some new restaurants. Bayley’s comments indicated that the Sky Pad would be complimentary, for the time being, until the cruise line can assess demand for the game.


Did we miss any significant headlines in our latest edition of Cruise News February 4, 2018? Do you have any cruise news to share? Drop us an anchor below with your updates from another exciting week in cruising.

Cruise News February 4, 2018

About the Author

DB & The Princess

Welcome Aboard! We are Don and Heidi, the husband and wife travel team behind We took our first cruise vacation together 10 years ago and have been hooked ever since. Follow along as we share our travel tips, cruise reviews, information on ports of call, and the latest cruise news to help you plan the ultimate cruise vacation. Are you ready to embark on your journey to “sea the world, one port at a time”? Read More...

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