Having been out to sea on Oasis of the Seas recently, it was difficult to stay up to date on our Cruise News. Now back on solid ground, we get caught up with our latest version of Cruise News September 11, 2016. A lot has happened in the world of cruising recently. As always, if we missed something, be sure to let us know in the Comments section of the post.
Cruise News September 11, 2016
New Carnival Cruise Line Mega-Ships
Carnival Cruise Line is going to be adding two new mega-ships in the coming years. With Carnival Vista’s sister ship, Horizon, debuting in 2018, the cruise line has decided to upgrade to a new class of ship. In an announcement last week, Carnival revealed they will be building two new 180,000 gross ton ships that will have a double capacity of 5,200 passengers. These ships would be the largest in the fleet and the second largest class of ship in the world (Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class is still the reigning champ). No details about ship design or itineraries have been made public yet. We will be keeping our eyes out for more news on these berth busting ships. Not to be outdone, Carnival Corp will also be building a similar size and style ship for brand P&O Cruises. The ship is said to meet the specific needs and aspirations of British passengers and will be family friendly. The unnamed P&O ship will also set sail in 2020.
Inaugural Cruise for Dream Cruises Set
The largest Chinese luxury cruise line is set for its inaugural five day cruise in April 2017. Details were made public a few weeks back that the ship’s itinerary would include two stops in Japan. Starting next year, the line will sail 7 day round-trip sailings from her home-port of Guangzhou, China, stopping at two Japanese ports, Naha and Miyakojima. The ship offers a variety of bars and restaurants, as well as technological entertainment, catering to Asian clientele. Reservations are now being accepted for those looking for a more traditional cruise experience in Asia.
Cruise News September 11, 2016 – Genting Dream, Courtesy of Dream Cruises
Royal Caribbean Drink Package Updates
We saw this one coming, just not this soon. Leaked last weekend, and officially announced September 6th, Royal Caribbean International changed their Beverage Package options. Simplifying the alcoholic drink packages, the line reduced the offering from three versions to one. This new “Deluxe” package is very similar to the line’s previous “Ultimate” drink package. Now, the package covers Starbucks drinks on Oasis class ships. Removal of the Select package (just beer and wine) and increased costs of the non-alcoholic beverage package, now called Royal Refreshment, has been met with some disappointment among loyal Royal cruisers. We will be testing out the Deluxe drink package on Harmony of the Seas in January 2017. Of course, we will report back to you on our impressions of this new offering.
No More Dynamic Dining on Anthem of the Seas
In more Royal Caribbean news, the word came down just this weekend about the fate of Dynamic Dining. Once the future of dining on new ships in the fleet, the concept had been scrubbed from all ships except Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas. Until now! Royal Caribbean announced to travel agents that Dynamic Dining is officially leaving Royal Caribbean for good. It will be replaced with the same setup on other vessels. Two of the dining rooms will host traditional dining with set dinner times (early and late seating), and the other two restaurants will be for My Time Dining. New menus are being tested on several ships, and these enhanced menus are expected to be on Anthem of the Seas when Dynamic Dining ends this November.
Cruise News September 11, 2016 – Anthem of the Seas in Bermuda
Environmentally Friendly Expedition Ships Coming in 2018
More cruise lines are venturing to the ends of the earth. With an increase in demand to visit remote locations such as Antarctica and the Arctic Circle, the Norwegian-based cruise line, Hurtigruten, has set out to invest in their largest project to date. Set to release two “expedition ships”, designed to navigate the waters and landscape of these locations, the company is going green by using the first hybrid propulsion system that will traverse these waters. In an effort to reduce pollution and maintain the natural beauty of these locales, these 530 passenger ships will reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. The unnamed ships are set to debut in 2018 and 2019.
Cruise News September 11, 2016 – Future of Hurtigruten Ships, Courtesy of Hurtigruten Inc.
New Restaurants and Bars on Norwegian Joy
The Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ship built specifically for the Chinese market, will have over two dozen bars and restaurants. The lineup was released last week, and we were happy to see many Norwegian Escape (her sister ship) venues will be onboard this new ship. Among the options are the line’s classic steak house, Cagney’s, along with Le Bistro and La Cucina. New on Escape, and continuing on Joy, will be the Food Republic– a fusion restaurant serving tapas and small plates. A number of Asian inspired restaurants and cuisine will also be found onboard, including a Korean Barbecue, a Noodle Bar, and the Grand Tea Room serving “high-end” tea.
Cruise News September 11, 2016 – Food Republic Snacks from Norwegian Escape
Crystal Cruises Looking for “New Ships”
The luxury cruise brand Crystal Cruises has not had a new ship in quite sometime. While she has added additional ships to her fleet, most of these vessels have come from other brands and were built years ago. In an interview with Cruise Critic, the CEO of the company, Kyriakos Anastassiadis, expressed his interest to build up to two new ships in the next 5-6 years. The ships would top out at 60,000 gross tons, carrying about 1,800 passengers. This would enable the line to provide unparalleled service to guests as they sail unique itineraries with ports of call that larger vessels can not visit. Starting this November, Crystal Cruises will have a cruise ship home-ported in Cuba, and Mr. Anastassiadis hinted that a second ship could be joining her in 2017.
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