‘Emeril’s Bistro 1396’ by Emeril Lagasse To Debut On Carnival’s Mardi Gras

March 6, 2019.

Carnival Cruise Line today announced that it has partnered with world-renowned chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse on his first-ever seagoing restaurant aboard Carnival’s Mardi Gras, setting sail in summer 2020.

Located in the heart of Mardi Gras’ French Quarter zone, Emeril’s Bistro 1396 will showcase the chef’s signature dishes that earned him the reputation as one of New Orleans’ most acclaimed and respected chefs.

“I’ve developed restaurants all over the country, but to create my first restaurant at sea – on a ship named Mardi Gras with its own French Quarter, no less – was an opportunity I simply could not pass up,” said Lagasse. “I’m excited to be a part of this brand new ship and bring a taste of the flavors of New Orleans cuisine to the guests sailing on Mardi Gras.”

Mardi Gras’ hull number at the Meyer Turku shipyard is 1396, hence the name of the restaurant.  The bistro will celebrate New Orleans’ rich culture with Creole favorites and daily specials.

The menu will include: oyster and cochon de lait po-boys, muffaletta sandwiches, Emeril’s signature barbecue shrimp, fresh seafood ceviche, roasted duck & Andouille sausage gumbo, jambalaya, and complements such as Creole potato salad with diced scallions, and red beans and “jazz-man” rice.  Breakfast offerings will feature shrimp and grits and a shrimp Creole omelet. The New Orleans classic Bananas Foster and lemon ice box pie will be available for dessert.   According to Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald, prices will range from $2 for appetizers to $12 for entrees, from an a la carte menu.

Emeril’s Bistro 1396 will take center stage in Mardi Gras’ French Quarter, one of the ship’s six themed zones where guests will find fun, memorable ways to create their own personalized vacations. The French Quarter will capture the festive spirit of Louisiana with food, cocktails and, of course, live jazz.

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

Navigator Of The Seas Completes $115 Million Transformation

February 28, 2019.

Royal Caribbean International’s newly amplified Navigator of the Seas arrived into her new year-round home with $115 million of next-level features. The transformed 3,386-guest ship debuts new adventures and Royal Caribbean favorites for all ages, like The Blaster, the longest aqua coaster at sea; Riptide, the industry’s only head-first mat racer waterslide; a reimagined poolscape infused with Caribbean vibes; To Dry For, the first standalone blow-dry bar at sea; and elevated dining and nightlife.

The Blaster & Rip Tide slides on Navigator of the Seas Royal Amplified.

Beginning Friday, March 1, Navigator will sail 5- and 9-night Caribbean itineraries through May 2019. The action-packed ship will then set course for The Bahamas with 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday cruises, including visits to the cruise line’s highly anticipated private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Reimagined pool area

New Features:

  • The Blaster – the cruise line’s first aqua coaster and the longest waterslide at sea propels thrill seekers through more than 800 feet of dips, drops and straightaways that extend over the side of the ship
  • Riptide – the industry’s only headfirst mat racer waterslide, complete with a finish through a translucent tube for endless ocean views
  • To Dry For – the first standalone blow-dry bar at sea, offering blowouts, hairstyling and other services, plus a selection of wines and champagnes
  • Reimagined Poolscape – this Caribbean resort-style deck touts more pool for everyone – even a Splash Pad for tots – and tasty dining options Johnny Rockets Express and Mexican “street fare” at El Loco Fresh
  • The Lime and Coconut – a three-level signature bar that offers a variety of libations, a “rooftop” deck for a bird’s eye view and live music
  • Hooked Seafood – the casual eatery serving up New England-inspired dishes
  • The Bamboo Room – a Polynesian-themed watering hole with kitschy-cool cocktails
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade – where families can enjoy gameday classics, 50 big-screen TVs, tabletop games, classic arcade hits and a new Owner’s Box VIP room
  • Jamie’s Italian – home to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s rustic Italian recipes
  • Battle for Planet Z – an epic glow-in-the-dark laser tag battle for the last planet in the galaxy
  • Royal Escape Room: The Observatorium – a challenge for teams of families, friends or fellow travelers to solve mind-bending puzzles before time runs out
  • FlowRider surf simulator, the rock-climbing wall, and a redesigned Adventure Ocean for the youngest of the family as well as new dedicated teen spaces
    The Lime & Coconut on the Navigator of the Seas Royal Amplified.

    Navigator of the Seas is the third ship to be reimagined as part of the Royal Amplified modernization program, an investment of more than $1 billion in the cruise line’s fleet. The effort spans 10 ships in four years and touches every facet of the guest experience with the introduction of a wide range of new thrills and Royal Caribbean staples meant to appeal to every generation.

    Beginning May 2019, each sailing on board Navigator of the Seas will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first in the cruise line’s Perfect Day Island Collection of destinations around the world. Royal Caribbean’s private island will be transformed with $250 million to deliver unmatched adventures and amenities, including Thrill Waterpark with 13 jaw-dropping slides, like Daredevil’s Peak – the tallest waterslide in North America; Oasis Lagoon, the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool; the Caribbean’s largest wave pool; Up, Up and Away, the helium balloon that floats up to 450 feet in the air; and Chill Island for some beach R&R.

     

     

Carnival Mixologist Named ‘Bartender of the Year’ at the 2019 Bacardi Cruise Competition

Carnival Cruise Line bartender Sanja Cvijetic won the 2019 BACARDÍ® Legacy Cruise Competition in San Juan, Puerto Rico, competing against more than 2,000 entries from major cruise lines’ top bartenders worldwide. This marks the fourth time in the past eight years that a Carnival mixologist has earned the coveted award.

The BACARDÍ® Legacy Cruise Competition is an annual global search to find the best bartender in the cruise industry with a cocktail that can stand among Bacardí’s heritage classics. This was Cvijetic’s first bartender competition.

Cvijetic, a 31-year-old from Bosnia who is currently aboard Carnival Conquest, took home the gold for her custom-created libation, “Purple Sunset,” a signature cocktail mix of Bacardí Superior, Monin® Lavender Syrup, lemonade, fresh lime juice, MARTINI Prosecco® and fresh rosemary.

In addition to a $4,000 cash award and an etched trophy, Cvijetic’s victory earned her a spot in Bacardí’s global finals this May in Amsterdam where she’ll compete against 38 domestic market winners for the ultimate title.

“Winning the BACARDÍ® Legacy Cruise Bartender of the Year 2019 is beyond everything I ever dreamed,” said Cvijetic. “Working for Carnival has opened my eyes to a world of possibilities, and I am so grateful for the unique opportunity to compete against such talented professionals.”

“Sanja is a fantastic role model for our team of bartenders across the fleet and shows a great level of professionalism and talent,” added Edward Allen, vice president of beverage operations for Carnival Cruise Line. “Joining us in January 2018 on Carnival Pride, she has made a positive impression on our guests who enjoy her warm hospitality and amazing bartending skills. We are very proud of her and look forward to supporting her at the global finals.”

Purple Sunset®

Ingredients:

  • 60ml BACARDÍ Superior
  • 22ml Monin® Lavender Syrup
  • 15ml lemonade
  • 15ml fresh lime juice
  • Splash of MARTINI Prosecco®
  • Fresh rosemary bunch

Preparation Method:

  • Gently muddle fresh rosemary bunch
  • Place all ingredients (except MARTINI Prosecco) into shaker
  • Add ice, and shake 10 seconds
  • Double strain into a chilled glass
  • Add a few more drops of lavender syrup and a splash of MARTINI Prosecco
  • Garnish with fresh rosemary

Royal Caribbean Orders Sixth Oasis-Class Vessel

February 18, 2019.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique to order a sixth Oasis-class ship for delivery in the fall of 2023.

“It is such a pleasure to announce the order of another Oasis-class ship,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “This order is a reflection of the exceptional performance of this vessel class and the extraordinary partnership between Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.”

“This is the twenty-third cruise ship that RCL will be building at our shipyard, and we are especially proud of it,” said Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique. “The order reflects the confidence our customer puts on us, based on the exceptional quality of our long-term co-operation between the two companies and on our capacity to bring innovative solutions to meet our customer’s expectations.”

This order is contingent upon financing, which is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of this year.

Virgin Voyages Sailings Now Open for Bookings

February 14, 2019.

Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin announced today that Virgin Voyages is officially open for business, with the company’s first ship, Scarlet Lady, now open for bookings for her inaugural season, with voyages departing from April 1 through October 25, 2020 now on sale.

Virgin Voyages will offer a new approach to service, as well as an inclusive approach to sea travel that removes the always annoying nickel and diming so prevalent on other cruise lines.  Virgin calls cruise guests “Sailors”, and the cruise price paid for each sailor will feature all the food at the 20+ eateries onboard,  group fitness classes, no gratuities or service charges, free Wifi and free basic beverages like soda, teas, and drip coffee, as well as still and sparkling water.

In conjunction with opening bookings for sale, Virgin Voyages revealed that all voyages will feature The Beach Club at Bimini, a Virgin Voyages experience in Bimini, Bahamas. There, Sailors can enjoy a  beach day and/or explore the island flavor and culture of Bimini and its
turquoise blue waters.

While on ship, Virgin Voyages Sailors will have the opportunity to choose from a festival-like lineup of all-new completely original Events & Gigs developed by some of the world’s most-talked about producers, directors and artists in the expansion of the company’s Creative Collective. Virgin Voyages’ entertainment Creative Collective includes Jenny Gersten, Randy Weiner, Sam Pinkleton, Ani Taj, PigPen Theatre Co, The 7 Fingers, Roslyn Hart and Alfredo Guenzani and the Spark Cooperative.

The Beach Club at Bimini

A cornerstone of every voyage will be The Beach Club at Bimini, where sailors can feel the sand in their toes in a stylish setting with white-sand and crystal clear waters and programming that will rival the best beach clubs in Ibiza and Saint-Tropez.

Just a short transfer from the pier, and built by Resorts World Bimini, The Beach Club at Bimini is designed with Miami-based architects EOA, Inc., featuring natural materials and soft earth tones that organically blend into the seascape. The Beach Club at Bimini will overlook the ocean and cascade down to the sea with an expansive lagoon-style pool as the central anchor of the club.

In the spirit of Vitamin Sea, the brand’s ethos of well-being, there will be moments of retox and detox throughout the day. Sailors will find areas of high energy and quiet spots for complete relaxation and introspection. Mornings at The Beach Club at Bimini will begin with yoga and meditation as Sailors enjoy the sounds of the ocean. The energy at The Beach Club at Bimini will be gradually amplified as the day progresses and turned back down as dusk settles in. Sailors will reach the high point of the day by the afternoon where DJ-led pool and flotilla parties will be center of the action. The night’s energy will wind down with a beach bonfire to close out the evening with an acoustic musical performance.

With music at the heart of the Virgin brand, Virgin Voyages will carefully curate the soundtrack for The Beach Club at Bimini, with seven-time Grammy-Award-winning artist and producer Mark Ronson named founding DJ, where he will be among the first talent to grace the turntables. Ronson, the British-born DJ, producer and songwriter, has topped the charts and collaborated with artists like Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Adele, Miley Cyrus and Bruno Mars. Ronson will have four performances in 2020, with specific performance dates to be announced soon.

 

The Beach Club will also have complimentary food that is thoughtfully sourced. Its locally inspired menus will serve up island favorites such as conch and mango salad, banana leaf-wrapped queen snapper, Bahamian rum cake and more.

As Sailors start to explore the club they will be pleased to discover creative social spaces with hammock groves and six bars where Sailors can congregate in groups of friends. Those looking for a home base for the
day can enjoy the many beach loungers, or opt for a more private place to cuddle up, with beach-side and poolside cabanas available for rent. The Beach Club at Bimini will also feature active areas for watersports and beach play.

Sailors staying in RockStar Suites will have their exclusive slice of paradise at The Beach Club at Bimini, with a dedicated bar, complimentary food service, an outdoor terrace lounge, sun loungers and beach cabanas. Sailors looking to explore the island of Bimini will have ample opportunities to do so in this off-the-beaten path tropical destination. The island is a beach-lovers paradise with welcoming and warm residents. It was a known favorite of author Ernest Hemingway, who described it as “like the end of the world.” This intimate seven-mile island offers extraordinary sea experiences such as boating, snorkeling, and even wreck diving, with the SS Sapona just a few miles off the coast of the southern part of the island.

Events & Gigs

Scarlet Lady will feature a festival of choice in entertainment made up of bespoke intimate and authentic Events & Gigs created exclusively for Virgin Voyages, with the goal of providing Sailors with an alternative perspective on the world and play that ignites the spirit within. Sailors won’t just sit and watch shows, they may be asked to participate with the cast or become immersed in the world of the performance. In keeping with Virgin Voyages’ rebellious nature, the company will have no traditional cruise director on board the ship, and instead will have a dynamic group of individuals dedicated to making “Happenings” around the ship completely epic. From modern takes on classic stories, to interactive dance parties and off-the wall participatory acts, the experiences will break down the fourth wall and push the boundaries of traditional stage performances. Virgin Voyages’ entertainment goes beyond Broadway with first run experiences that have never been seen before on land or at sea.

To accommodate its variety of entertainment opportunities Virgin Voyages created The Red Room — designed by renowned architects WorkAC and theater consultants Auerbach Pollock Friedlander — as the first transformational multi-form theater at sea. It will transform into four different configurations – a traditional Proscenium stage, an alley stage used in fashion shows, a dance flat-floor configuration, and finally a unique reverse stage setup. This first at-sea theater will enable Virgin Voyages to create completely different experiences for each day of the voyage.

Scarlet Lady will feature six original shows that include a soon to be announced production by award-winning producer Randy Weiner (Queen of the Night, The Donkey Show, Sleep No More).

Sam Pinkleton & Ani Taj have created a hype music video disguised as an absurdist style dance party, called UNTITLED DANCESHOWPARTYTHING.

Phantom Folktales is a collection of song driven micro plays throughout the ship that seemingly appear out of thin air, and disappear just as quickly, created by PigPen Theatre Co.

Ships in the Night is an emotion-filled contemporary experience telling its story through the use of cutting edge digital projection interwoven with the authenticity of the human condition, and Duel Reality examines the age-old tale of Romeo & Juliet with a modern twist featuring acrobatic storytelling. Both performances were made possible through our collaboration with the innovative circus company, The 7 Fingers.

Never Sleep Alone is a participatory show featuring the hysterically funny,
straight-talking relationship therapist, Dr. Alex Shiller, by producers Roslyn Hart and Alfredo Guenzani.

Additionally the creative development, production and installation of “happenings” that will take place throughout the ship were created by Spark Cooperative.

To add to the overall vision, Tony Award winning creative producer, Jenny Gersten, will serve as an artistic and production liaison between the core in-house Virgin Voyages Entertainment team and other members of the Collective.

Sir Richard Branson’s Birthday Voyage

Sir Richard Branson will celebrate his birthday bash among celebrity friends and fellow Sailors aboard a four-night Havana After Dark voyage departing July 15, 2020. Sailors are invited to book their passage aboard this one-of-a-kind trip by visiting www.virginvoyages.com. Sailors willing to test their luck can enter for a chance to win a cabin for two now through March
31, 2019 by visiting RichardsBirthday.VirginVoyages.com.

Scarlet Lady is a boutique-style, mid-sized ship designed to reflect a yacht’s sleek luxury and will set sail from PortMiami for her 2020 inaugural season on unforgettable four and five-night voyages to Havana, Cuba; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and Costa Maya, Mexico.

You can follow Virgin Voyages on social media via @virginvoyages on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Princess Cruises Celebrates Progress on 3 New Royal-Class Ships Under Construction at Fincantieri Shipyard

February 14, 2019.

Sky Princess Madrina and Princess Cruises 2nd Officer Ms. Kerry Ann Wright and Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz at special ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

Princess Cruises is growing and today major milestones for three ships under construction at the same time were celebrated, at Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

The three milestones included the introduction of the Sky Princess crew member who was nominated by her peers to serve as Madrina to celebrate the recent float out of the ship which will enter service in October 2019; the keel laying ceremony for Enchanted Princess launching June 2020 and the steel-cutting ceremony for the sixth and final Royal-Class ship, yet to be named, debuting 2022. With two additional ships on order for delivery in 2023 and 2025, Princess Cruises will increase its capacity by 32 percent over the next six years, adding to its current fleet of 17 ships.

Sky Princess is the first new ship to join the fleet activated with Princess MedallionClass™ Vacations enabled by the OceanMedallion, the industry’s most advanced wearable technology delivering guests hassle-free, personalized cruise vacations. Sky Princess will also feature MedallionNet, “the best Wi-Fi at sea” delivering land-like internet speeds for watching sports, movies or making video calls from a smart-phone.

Steel-Cutting Ceremony for the final Royal Class ship
The steel-cutting ceremony for the sixth and final Royal-class ship, was broadcast live to the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone from the builder’s yard in Naples, Italy. This ceremony marked the cutting of the first plates of steel to begin the building phase of the ship, which is scheduled to launch in 2022.

Enchanted Princess Keel Laying Ceremony
Princess Cruises and Fincantieri executives started the countdown to the launch of Enchanted Princess as the keel – the bottom-most part of the ship – was ceremoniously lowered into position in the dry dock. Following a traditional blessing, the ship’s keel – which weighs approximately 500 tons – was lifted then lowered into position by a huge crane onto the keel blocks. Representatives and invited guests participated in a traditional coin ceremony, and for this occasion, welding an OceanMedallion into the ship believed to bring good luck to the vessel and all who sail on her.

Sky Princess Madrina Celebration in Honor of the recent Sky Princess Float Out
Ms. Kerry Ann Wright, 2nd officer for Princess Cruises, nominated by her fellow crew members will serve as the Madrina recognizing her “Reach for the Sky” story and the career she is forging in the cruise industry. Sky Princess is nearing the final construction and interior outfitting phase before joining the fleet in October 2019.

Recently announced features to debut onboard Sky Princess, include:
Largest Balconies at Sea for guests in the Sky Suites accommodations, featuring the largest continuous private balconies ever offered by any cruise line. Measuring 1,012 square feet (starboard side Sky Suite) and 947 square feet (port side Sky Suite), the furnished balconies will provide a private vantage of the ship’s Movie Under the Stars screen and create the ultimate space for entertaining. The two suites will also offer 270-degree panorama views and have sleeping capacity for five guests, and more room for gathering — making them ideal for families.

Princess MedallionClass™ Vacations enabled by the OceanMedallion, this complimentary wearable device is the most advanced in the vacation industry. Delivering a hassle-free, personalized vacation giving guests more time to enjoy what they love most about cruising.

Award-winning entertainment offerings, including new jazz lounge Take Five, the popular Vista Lounge, an enhanced Princess Theatre, and new exclusive entertainment options.

World-class dining with more than 25 restaurants and bars onboard. From the World Fresh Marketplace to guest favorites like the Crown Grill Steakhouse and Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria, offering the Northern Italian flavors of acclaimed chef, Angelo Auriana and La Mer, a French Bistro by Chef Emmanuel Renaut whose Flocons de Sel restaurant has received three Michelin stars.

Contemporary-designed Sanctuary with eight private cabanas – offering an adults-only area for rest and relaxation.

The Enclave at Lotus Spa. Sky Princess will include Princess’s largest thermal suite at sea – featuring a stunning hydrotherapy pool, heated stone beds, Turkish bath and dry, steam, and aromatherapy chambers.

Sky Princess is scheduled to launch in the Mediterranean in October 2019, before debuting in North America in December 2019 marked with the traditional naming ceremony before sailing a season of Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale.

First Photos Of New “Perfect Day At Coco Cay” Attractions

February 8, 2019.

Royal Caribbean released a couple photos of the new attractions under construction at the private island of Coco Cay.  The small Bahamian island is being totally revamped with the initial phase set to open this coming May.

Here is the foot bridge over the Oasis Lagoon which will be the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean according to Royal Caribbean.  (Strictly speaking, Coco Cay is not geographically in the Caribbean, it’s in the Atlantic Ocean.)

Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

The water slides for Splash Summit are also being installed.  (the image seems to be the Splash Speedway slides although the press image didn’t specify.)

Splash Summit will include six slides, including:

The Twister:  a winding tube slide for two people aboard a raft

The Slingshot:  a zero-gravity slide for four

Splash Speedway: four separate racing slides

Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

Although opening in May 2019 with some of the new features, the full Perfect Day At Coco Cay experience will not be completed until December 2019.  In the end it will cost $200 million dollars and will boast the Thrill Waterpark, Oasis Lagoon, Up, Up and Away helium balloon (yes, it’ll be tethered), Chill Island beach, and South Beach.

Carnival Expands Hub App Features To Include ‘Pizza Anywhere’ & Pre-Cruise Purchases

February 5, 2019.

The Carnival Cruise Line Hub App has received more enhancements which were announced today with the launch of pre-cruise purchasing functionality and online check-in for its North American-based ships.  The app’s popular “Pizza Anywhere” on board function is now available on 11 ships with a fleetwide rollout expected to be completed later this year.

New Pre-Cruise Functionality 

With the Hub App’s new pre-cruise capabilities, guests can now manage their booking, complete their online check-in, and purchase a wide variety of items and experiences before departure, including shore excursions, spa treatments, specialty dining reservations, Wi-Fi packages and Fun Shop orders for stateroom delivery. 

Expanded ‘Pizza Anywhere’ Feature

First available on Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista, the Hub App’s popular “Pizza Anywhere” feature has been added to nine other ships, including Carnival Victory, Carnival Magic, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Dream, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Glory, Carnival Ecstasy, and Carnival Liberty.

With the “Pizza Anywhere” function, guests can order a made-to-order pizza for delivery anywhere on the ship.  To place an order, guests simply click on the ship’s map to mark their location, take a selfie to identify themselves and select their desired pizza and toppings. Five hand-tossed pizzas are available: margherita, funghi, prosciutto, pepperoni and quattro formaggi.

Pizzas are cooked to order and delivered hot to the guest’s location on board. Cost is $5 per pizza and automatically charged to guests’ Sail & Sign shipboard accounts.   Carnival is now working towards a pilot to expand “Pizza Anywhere” deliveries with the addition of beverages.

Launched in 2015, Carnival’s Hub App has become the leading app in the cruise industry with a 4.6+ rating in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and more than 5.1 million total downloads. Hub App is designed to serve as a one-stop-shop for making the Carnival vacation experience seamless and convenient from beginning to end, allowing guests to track daily happenings on board, view food, beverage and entertainment offerings, chat with family and friends, follow the ship’s route in real time, and access their Sail & Sign account.

 

Holland America’s Nieuw Statendam Christened By Godmother Oprah Winfrey

February 4, 2019.

Nieuw Statendam Dedication with Godmother Oprah Winfrey at Port Everglades on February 2, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

In an event rich with inspiration and tradition, Holland America Line held a dedication ceremony for Nieuw Statendam Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.   Oprah Winfrey officially named the ship in a ceremony on board in the ship’s World Stage.

During the daytime celebration, Winfrey was joined by Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line; Stein Kruse, Holland America Group and Carnival UK chief executive officer; and Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation.

Nieuw Statendam’s dedication ceremony followed the three-day Girls’ Getaway cruise to the Caribbean that celebrated the power of female relationships. Gayle King, editor-at-large of O, The Oprah Magazine and Winfrey’s best friend, joined her on the cruise, along with several other senior editors from the magazine.

During the ceremony, Ashford highlighted the connection between Nieuw Statendam, the legacy of the ship’s name and the stories of life-changing travel experiences for the officers and crew, travel professionals and guests, saying: “Nieuw Statendam represents our highest aspirations for connection and understanding in our world. She is a vessel for exploration and adventure across countries, languages, cultures and peoples, and — we hope — a source of joy for our guests for many years to come.”

Winfrey reflected on the Girls’ Getaway cruise that had just concluded, saying “It’s been an incredible experience to see people from across the world come together with one mind and celebrate themselves, honor themselves and honor each other. Everybody gathered, made friends and connected to people they didn’t know because they felt like they had met themselves on some level. I have never seen anything like it.” She then officially dedicated the ship as its godmother with the traditional statement, “I name this ship Nieuw Statendam. May God bless her and all who sail on her.” The ceremony concluded when Winfrey triggered the release of the traditional bottle of Champagne that broke against the ship’s bow.

Following the ceremony, a Gala Dinner was held on board. During the evening celebration, guests were invited to participate in a maritime tradition of pouring Champagne over the ship’s bell as a blessing.  This ceremony was a recreation of the bell ceremony on Holland America Line’s s.s. Statendam IV on January 23, 1957, when a then-18-year-old Dutch Crown Princess Beatrix poured Champagne over the bell to officially dedicate that new ship as it sailed in the North Sea. Nieuw Statendam is the sixth ship in the company’s history to bear the name.

About Nieuw Statendam
Nieuw Statendam was delivered from Fincantieri’s Marghera, Italy, shipyard Nov. 30, 2018, and currently is sailing its inaugural season from Ft. Lauderdale to the Caribbean through April 2019.  Following a transatlantic crossing, the ship will spend the summer exploring Norway, the Baltic and Iceland on cruises sailing roundtrip from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Come fall, the ship will make its way to the Mediterranean and offer a series of cruises roundtrip from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.

The new 2,666-guest ship has an ambiance that balances fresh, contemporary styling in perfect harmony with the line’s renowned classic elegance. At the helm of the design and interiors are internationally acclaimed hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and Bjørn Storbraaten, one of the world’s leading architects working in the cruise industry.

Nieuw Statendam offers an abundance of unforgettable dining options. Award-winning cuisine is served in the stunning Dining Room; and an array of specialty restaurants feature exclusive experiences such as steak and seafood at Pinnacle Grill, authentic Italian cuisine in Canaletto, the culinary traditions of Southeast Asia at Tamarind and Nami Sushi, and a contemporary twist on French seafood classics in Rudi’s Sel de Mer.

The innovative Music Walk on Nieuw Statendam showcases a variety of live musicalexperiences and genres unlike any other at sea, including Rolling Stone Rock Room, Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard and B.B. King’s Blues Club.

Royal Caribbean Begins Construction Of 2nd Quantum Ultra Class Ship – To Be Named Odyssey Of The Seas

February 1, 2019.

In a ceremony at the Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenburg Germany earlier today, Royal Caribbean executives did the ceremonial cutting of the first steel for Odyssey Of The Seas.  Odyssey will be the second of the Quantum Ultra class of ships, following the Spectrum Of The Seas which is scheduled for delivery this coming April.

Odyssey will be the 27th ship for Royal Caribbean International and is planned to be delivered in the fall of 2020.

Great news for those who sail from the United States was also announced, with word that Odyssey will sail from a U.S. port.  The exact port is still to be determined and will be announced at a later date.