Carnival Reveals More Dining & Beverage News For Mardi Gras

June 19, 2019.

It’s a big week for news about Carnival’s newest ship Mardi Gras, no under construction in Finland.

The new, only-on-Mardi Gras dining and bar spots in the two themed zones include Street Eats, RedFrog Tiki Bar and The Watering Hole, among many other popular branded outlets and a Big Chicken restaurant by Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal.

These venues – which were previewed at an event yesterday in New York featuring an appearance by O’Neal – can be viewed in a new virtual tour here: https://youtu.be/8g8P5kBMqSs

New Food and Beverage Concepts in Lido and Summer Landing Zones

  • Street Eats – This open-air eatery will bring the ready-to-eat nature of street food to the seas with three themed kiosks offering fried, steamed and plancha (skillet) delicacies. Representing a variety of global cuisines and located next to Seafood Shack, the quick, grab-and-go venue will offer a daily rotating menu. Small plates like empanadas or falafel will be available at the fried station; bao buns or siu mai at the steam outlet; and kebabs or satay at the plancha venue. And the best part – Street Eats’ ever-changing options are free of charge.
  • RedFrog Tiki Bar – Designed to transport guests to a South Pacific paradise, the new two-level RedFrog Tiki Bar is a twist on Carnival’s popular poolside bar with playful, rum-based cocktails in an island-inspired atmosphere decked out with tiki heads, floral patterns and vibrant colors. Steps away from Guy’s Burger Joint, guests can wash down hand-crafted burgers with refreshing cocktails – such as the Polynesian Punch, Red’s Rum Runner Jumper and Jungle Bird – creatively presented in pineapples, souvenir tiki glasses and Mai Tai glasses with elaborate garnishes.
  • The Watering Hole – Situated within The Patio at Summer Landing, The Watering Hole is modeled after a fun backyard gathering spot and is the perfect space for guests to unwind, grab a cocktail and enjoy sweeping sea views. The bar will boast a wide beer selection including Carnival’s own canned and draft brews, as well as refreshing summer-inspired sips like the Watermelon Cooler and Tequila Sunset.

Big Chicken Restaurant by Shaquille O’Neal

Mardi Gras will also feature the second Big Chicken restaurant at sea created by Carnival Chief Fun Officer and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal. Already winning over fans on land at its Las Vegas venue and debuting on Carnival Radiance in 2020, Big Chicken will be located aft on Lido Deck.  The all-inclusive breakfast, lunch and dinner menus will also give guests a glimpse into O’Neal’s family traditions as all menu items will be developed and taste-tested by the star himself and based on his favorite recipes.

Additional Dining, Entertainment, Recreation and Relaxation Options

Mardi Gras takes Carnival’s two-deck-high Lido zone to new levels with:

  • The largest Guy’s Burger Joint in the fleet developed by Food Network personality Guy Fieri, New England-inspired Seafood Shack, Mexican-themed eatery BlueIguana Cantina, and the Lido Marketplace with an extensive array of international favorites;
  • Mid-ship Beach Pool and an infinity Aft Tides Pool with a bar, ample seating and sweeping ocean views;
  • Exciting entertainment such as deck parties and Dive-in Movies at the Carnival Seaside Theater.

Designed as the ultimate chill spot for fun in the sun, Summer Landing will be home to:

  • An expansive outdoor deck area with an infinity pool and two whirlpools;
  • A sports bar featuring both indoor and outdoor television screens;
  • Hang-out space with cornhole, trivia, arts and crafts, dance classes and more;
  • Expanded Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse offering smoked-on-board favorites and an assortment of Carnival’s ParchedPig craft beers brewed on site and developed by the line’s in-house beverage team, as well as a large stage for live music.

Further details on other Mardi Gras features and themed zones will be announced in the coming months.

Mardi Gras’ Inaugural Schedule

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.

Carnival Sunrise Officially Named By Godmother Kelly Arison

May 23, 2019.

Following a $200 million dry dock the transformed Carnival Sunrise was officially named today by godmother Kelly Arison – daughter of Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine – in a ceremony at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City.

As a Carnival godmother, Kelly Arison carries on a family tradition – her mother, Madeleine was godmother to the ship when it first entered service in 1999 as the Triumph, and her grandmother Lin Arison served as godmother to Carnival Sunrise’s sister ship, Carnival Sunshine, in 2013.

In a unique twist, the naming of Carnival Sunrise was commemorated with Arison “uncorking” a custom-made, four-foot-high confetti-filled champagne bottle sculpture designed by world-renowned and Miami-based artist Romero Britto. The one-of-a-kind bottle features Britto’s signature vibrant colors, bold patterns and elements of cubism, pop art and graffiti, as well as Carnival-inspired designs. Smaller versions of the bottle will be sold onboard with proceeds benefiting the Ehlers-Danlos Society (EDS), an organization dedicated to serving those with joint hypermobility spectrum disorders, of which Arison is a strong advocate.  Carnival also made a donation to the organization as part of the naming festivities.

Kathie Lee Gifford, who has had a longstanding 35-year relationship with Carnival, took a moment to address the crowd and extend her best wishes to Arison as godmother, a role that Gifford served for two Carnival ships, Celebration in 1987 and Ecstasy in 1991.

The event included a video featuring players from the Miami Heat, of which Micky Arison is a managing general partner. In the video, Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning, as well as former Miami Heat player and Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal, congratulated Arison.

As part of a fleetwide $2 billion ship enhancement program, Carnival Sunrise features all of Carnival’s popular branded food, beverage and entertainment innovations with new offerings such as Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, in collaboration with Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri; The Chef’s Table fine dining experience; cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar; a new WaterWorks aqua park; SportSquare recreation area; and a Serenity adults-only retreat, among many others.

Carnival Sunrise will spend the summer in New York operating four- to 14-day voyages before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a winter schedule of Caribbean and Bahamian cruises beginning in October. Carnival Sunrise then heads back to New York for another season of cruises beginning in spring 2020.

Oasis Of The Seas Getting $165 Million Modernization

May 21, 2019.

When Oasis Of The Seas debuted in October 2009 it was the most innovative and revolutionary ship ever built.   Oasis was first to introduce the seven-neighborhood concept and AquaTheater entertainment venue,  and now the ship will set a new standard with first-to-brand experiences and the latest Royal Caribbean hits.

Guest favorites making their way to Oasis as part of the 63-day modernization include a reimagined, Caribbean-inspired pool deck that will feature a Splashaway Bay kids aquapark and The Lime & Coconut signature bar;  Quantum Class staple, the Music Hall; the Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, and the Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea. Debuting alongside this lineup is the cruise line’s first barbecue concept, Portside BBQ, and dedicated karaoke venue Spotlight Karaoke. The amplified Oasis will set sail on Nov. 24, 2019, beginning 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Royal Caribbean’s new, state-of-the-art Terminal A in Miami.

The architectural marvel will break even more records when she heads to the Big Apple in May 2020 as the largest ship to sail from the New York area. Oasis will reposition to her new summer home at Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey, offering 7-night sailings to The Bahamas with visits to Royal Caribbean’s newly transformed private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Top Deck  Additions

The Ultimate Abyss, at 10-stories it is the tallest slide at sea; and The Perfect Storm, a trio of multistory waterslides known as Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell.  For the kids of all ages there will be a new Splashaway Bay at sea with a Splash Pad for tots, three waterslides, water cannons, fountains, pools and the first-ever twin drench buckets.

 

At the center is the new Caribbean-style pool deck with The Lime & Coconut. The signature bar will be one of the liveliest spots on board, day and night, with poolside cocktails, DJs and live music across two locations. Every pool is only as good as its places to chill, and Oasis will deliver a larger variety of seating and shade, including comfy casitas, daybeds, hammocks and swing seats, new whirlpools on the top deck, and a refreshed Solarium for the adults.

Dining
The Oasis Royal Amplified modernization will introduce various new dining venues that will further diversify Oasis’ 23 specialty and complimentary options.

Portside BBQ
Portside BBQ

Royal Caribbean’s latest culinary creation and first-ever barbecue restaurant, Portside BBQ, will offer an authentic, meat-packed menu including smoked brisket, pulled pork and chicken, beef ribs and burnt ends, together with classic sides – including mac and cheese, homestyle cornbread, baked beans and coleslaw – and down-home desserts such as the Banana Dream and a brownie cookie mashup.

Across the way, guests can find Mexican grab-and-go fare at El Loco Fresh, serving up made-to-order tacos and burritos, quesadillas, mini salads and salsas. Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade will anchor the lineup in the signature Boardwalk neighborhood. With 80 big-screen TVs, tabletop games, arcade classics, tournaments, an Owner’s Box VIP room, bar fare and ice-cold brews.  Sugar Beach, with more than 220 types of candy and a new walkup ice cream window

Chart-topping Hot Spots

Spotlight Karaoke

The new Spotlight Karaoke on the Royal Promenade is where singers can rock out to their favorite tunes at the dedicated karaoke venue’s main stage or one of two private rooms.

Music Hall

First introduced on Quantum of the Seas, live music venue Music Hall will make its Oasis Class debut. A roster of live cover bands, an expansive dance floor, pool tables and intimate loungers across two levels give vacationers ample room to end the night on a high note at a place where every seat is the best seat in the house.

Rounding out the list is the dynamic duo of robotic bartenders at the Bionic Bar. The new venues join nightlife favorites on board, including Boleros, Schooner Bar, Blaze Nightclub & Comedy and English pub Atlas & Globe.

Family Time Redefined

Oasis will again redefine family vacations with a combination of programming that brings families together while also providing ways for everyone – from parents, to kids and grandparents – to enjoy time on their own.

Adventure Ocean will receive a total makeover, with newly designed areas organized by activity type and created to fully immerse kids and their families in the adventures they choose based on their interests. Returning offerings include a nursery for the youngest of travelers, and a specialized area with programming for kids 3 to 5 years old. Teens can rejoice in their more off-the-grid hangout. With exclusive features like a “hidden” entrance, gaming lounge, movies, music, and a new, laid back outdoor deck, teens are free to engage however and whenever without interruption.

Adding to the variety of activities, featuring ice skating and mini-golf, Oasis will challenge friends and foes with a new glow-in-the-dark laser tag game, Clash for the Crystal City.  Two clans, the Yetis and Snowshifters, must go head-to-head to claim the crystal city and defeat impending extinction.  At the new Royal Escape Room – Mission Control: Apollo 18, the year is 1973 and travelers must come together to launch Apollo 18 to the moon by solving every mind-bending puzzle before time runs out.

Oasis of the Seas is the first of the cruise line’s renowned Oasis Class – the world’s largest cruise ships – to be modernized as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort.  Rooted in research and guest feedback, Royal Caribbean’s investment of more than $1 billion in the program spans 10 ships in four years and touches every facet of the guest experience to bring new thrills and signature experiences designed to appeal to every generation.

Carnival Sunshine Begins Year-Round Service From Charleston

May 20, 2019.

Carnival Sunrise has launched a schedule of 4 to 11 night voyages from the Port of Charleston, becoming the newest ship to operate year-round cruises from that port.

Carnival Sunshine inaugural festivities on Saturday, May 18, included a luncheon for travel advisors, local officials and VIPs during which Carnival made a donation to One80 Place, a homeless assistance center supported by the cruise line for many years.  Charleston-based ships have donated hundreds of mattresses, chairs, dishes and other items for use at the facility over the years.

Carnival Sunshine features the 334-foot-long Twister water slide, the longest in the fleet. (Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines)

Carnival Sunshine’s schedule from Charleston includes 4 and 5 night sailings to the Bahamas, 6 and 7 night voyages to Bermuda and the Caribbean, and the first-ever Cuba cruises from Charleston with a series of 5 night sailings calling at Havana.  Also offered are 10 and 11 night Carnival Journeys sailings to the Caribbean with special activities like a retro Throwback Sea Day.

In addition to featuring more than 500 balcony staterooms and nearly 50 suites, Carnival Sunshine has newly added venues such as a three-level Serenity adults-only retreat, a suspended ropes course and Speedway Splash, a dual racing slides that are part of an expansive WaterWorks aqua ark.  Also, a variety of food and beverage options such as Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub and the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar.

Charleston is an important part of Carnival’s ship deployment strategy in which the line positions ships near large U.S. population bases along the East and West Coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. Carnival sails from 20 different North American homeports providing a convenient and cost-effective means for its guests to get to and from their cruise. It’s estimated that roughly half of the U.S. population is within a day’s drive of a Carnival homeport

Carnival launched Charleston’s first year-round cruise program in 2010 and the departures attract guests from across the Southeast and other regions.  Carnival and other cruise operators generate $131 million in direct expenditures and account for nearly 2,400 jobs and $93 million in wages toward the South Carolina economy.

With Carnival Sunshine repositioning to Charleston, Carnival Ecstasy was moved to Jacksonville for year-round 4 to 7 night cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean.  In turn, Carnival Elation, previously based in Jacksonville, shifted to Port Canaveral for a new 4 and 5 night Caribbean/Bahamas schedule from the Space Coast.

Princess Cruises West Coast 2020-2021 Season Revealed

May 8, 2019.

Princess Cruises has revealed details for the 2020-2021 season, featuring cruises to Mexico, Hawaii and the California Coast.  The sailings go on sale May 9, 2019.

Deployment highlights for the 2020-2021 season include a new hometown cruise ship for San Francisco – Ruby Princess – sailing roundtrip to Hawaii, Mexico and the California coast, along with new 16-day Hawaiian Islands cruises roundtrip from Seattle aboard Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess. Regal Princess makes her west coast debut with a seven-day Pacific Wine Country cruise visiting San Francisco, San Diego and Astoria, Oregon.

Additional 2020-21 west coast season sailing from September 2020 through May 2021 include:

Cruises to Mexico

Royal Princess returns to the Port of Los Angeles, offering 25 cruises to the Mexican Riviera, including seven-day options to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. Shorter, five-day cruises to Cabo San Lucas are also available featuring an overnight stay so guests can enjoy more time in port.

New San Francisco hometown ship Ruby Princess offers three, 10-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera from the Port of San Francisco.  Guests will visit Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. In addition Emerald Princess and Star Princess will sail on five, 10-day Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez voyages, visiting Cabo San Lucas (overnight), La Paz, Loreto and Puerto Vallarta, roundtrip from Los Angeles.

Cruises to the Hawaiian Islands

With four homeports offering roundtrip cruises to Hawaii, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, guests can choose their perfect itinerary visiting Maui, Oahu, Kauai and Hilo. New for this season, two 16-day cruises from Seattle onboard Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess are offered. Star Princess (roundtrip Los Angeles), Ruby Princess (roundtrip San Francisco) and Grand Princess (roundtrip Vancouver) sail 15-day Hawaii cruises.

Emerald Princess and Star Princess also offers a 28-day Hawaii and Tahiti cruise roundtrip from Los Angeles, featuring visits to Tahiti, Moorea, and overnight stay in Bora Bora, plus Pago Pago and Samoa in addition to the Hawaiian Islands.

During days at sea, guests can experience the Hawaiian and South Pacific cultures with unique activities including lei-making, ukulele playing, hula dance lessons, Polynesian language classes and even a farewell Hawaiian luau. Plus, delicious locally-inspired cuisine and beverages fill the daily menus.

Cruises to the California Coast

Princess Cruises offers four homeports from which to explore the California Coast. Sailing seven-day cruises from Los Angeles onboard Royal Princess and seven-day cruises from San Francisco aboard Ruby Princess and Star Princess, guests will experience coastal towns and cities including Astoria, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Monterey. A Grand Princess 10-day option from Vancouver also includes stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Guests can also choose from various seven-day Pacific Wine Country cruises sailing between Los Angeles and Vancouver, highlighting the beautiful wine regions along the coast. Shorter, one-to five-day cruises also highlight the scenic beauty.

Princess has also developed enhanced shore excursion offerings in collaboration with Bill Esparza, noted James Beard award-winning cookbook author and leading expert on Latin American cuisine. Guests sailing the California coast are invited to sample local cuisine, specifically focused on the Latin American influence in California. Esparza has developed exclusive culinary shore excursions for Princess in Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Ensenada. In addition, Princess offers excursions to the California wine country, visiting local vineyards and winemakers throughout the region.

Holland America Expands Digital Guest Platform with Launch of Navigator Phone App Across Entire Fleet

May 2, 2019.

Holland America Line is expanding the functionality of its popular browser-based Navigator tool into a user-friendly, free app for mobile phones and tablets that can be used on board.  iPhone and Android users can download the Navigator app from the iTunes App and Google Play stores, respectively.

Using Navigator, guests can plan daily activities, explore and book shore excursions, view restaurant menus and make dining reservations, view spa treatments, check their account statement and more. Expected to be the most popular feature is the chat function that enables guests to communicate with each other for free while on board.

Guests also are able to select and save activities to personalize their daily schedule. Those activities appear alongside booked dining reservations and shore excursions, keeping everything easily accessible in one place. Notifications can be set up to send reminders and alerts for reservations, messages and more.

Guests who forget to download the Navigator app prior to embarking can download it once on board free of charge without using internet minutes.

In the coming months, Holland America Line will extend the app offerings for both mobile phones and tablets — currently only available to use during a guest’s cruise — to offer pre-voyage access so guests can review available services and check out the interactive fleet map at any time before boarding the ship.

Princess Cruises Announces 2020-2021 Caribbean & Panama Canal Seasons Featuring Newest Ships

May 2, 2019.

 

Princess Cruises has released the schedules for 2020-2021  Caribbean and Panama Canal sailings.  They open for sale on May 9, 2019.

Caribbean 2020-2021

A total of 127 departures on 15 itineraries, ranging from 4 to 20 days, will be offered.

Caribbean Princess, Crown Princess, Enchanted Princess, and Sky Princess are Princess MedallionClass™ ships.  With the high tech OceanMedallion wearable device, these ships deliver a personalized vacation that gives guests more time to enjoy what they love most about cruising.  Each cruise ship will also feature MedallionNet Wi-Fi which is very fast, affordable, reliable and unlimited.  Guests have the ability to stream shows and videos, post photos and video chat.

Enchanted Princess, makes her North American debut in Ft. Lauderdale on November 21, 2020 sailing on 21 alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises through April 10, 2021. Sky Princess, launching in October 2019, will sail for the first time on the cruise line’s popular 10-day Southern Caribbean Voyager itinerary, which can be combined for a 20-day Caribbean Explorer cruise. Guests can choose from 17 Sky Princess voyages from November 5, 2020 to March 30, 2021.

Additional itinerary highlights for the fall 2020 – spring 2021 Caribbean season include:

  • Offered onboard Caribbean Princess and Enchanted Princess, all seven-day Eastern Caribbean voyages depart on either Saturday or Sunday and visit St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Princess Cays.
  • All seven-day Caribbean Princess and Enchanted Princess Western Caribbean cruises leave on either Saturday or Sunday with port calls in Grand Cayman and Cozumel, with options including Roatan, Costa Maya or Belize City or Jamaica and Princess Cays.
  • Longer and more destination-rich itineraries to the Southern Caribbean aboard Crown Princess and Island Princess featuring 14-day cruises with port stops in Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Barbados, Trinidad, Aruba, Bonaire or Curacao.
  • Princess Cruises visits several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Belize Barrier Reef System, The Pitons Volcanic Spires in St. Lucia and historical Bridgetown in Barbados.
  • Calls to the award-winning Princess Cays on all seven-day voyages, featuring MedallionNet on the island to stay connected.
  • Holiday sailings over Christmas and New Year’s offered on four ships: Caribbean Princess, Enchanted Princess, Island Princess and Sky Princess.
  • Five ports with late-night calls, including St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Cozumel, Aruba and Curacao.

The cruise line’s “Rhythm of the Caribbean,” is an immersive onboard offering that celebrates the lively spirit of the islands through enticing cuisine, signature cocktails, exhilarating entertainment, and authentic regional experiences, bringing the destination to life while at sea. In addition, Discovery at SEA offerings include Stargazing at Sea, Shark Week and Mythbusters activities and more. Plus, the cruise line offers Animal Planet and Discovery recommended shore excursions in every port.

Panama Canal 2020-2021

Princess Cruises was the first cruise line to take passengers through the Panama Canal locks in 1967 and Caribbean Princess was the first large cruise ship to sail through the new Agua Clara locks in fall 2017.

For the upcoming 2020-2021 season, five ships will sail the waters of the Panama Canal, with 30 departures and nine unique itineraries, offering three ways to experience the canal – roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, roundtrip from Los Angeles or sailing between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Voyages range from 10 to 21 days, visiting a total of 23 destinations in 11 countries. New for this season, two 15-day ocean-to-ocean voyages are offered sailing between Ft. Lauderdale and the new homeport of San Diego and Crown Princess sails on 10-day cruises roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale.

Additional highlights of the September 2020 – April 2021 Panama Canal season include:

  • Five ships: Coral Princess, Crown Princess (MedallionClass), Emerald Princess, Island Princess and Pacific Princess
  • Four homeports: Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco
  • Sailing to the Panama Canal through the new Agua Clara Locks, Crown Princess and Emerald Princess offer partial Canal transits from the Atlantic Ocean roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale with Costa Rica and Caribbean voyages.
  • Coral Princess and Emerald Princess will sail full transit 15-day cruises between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles. In addition Emerald Princess will offer departures between Ft. Lauderdale and San Francisco or San Diego.
  • Island Princess will offer two 14-day Panama Canal sailings as part of her 2021 World Cruise.
  • Pacific Princess is scheduled to sail on a 15-day Panama Canal Connoisseur sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles for a small ship transit via the Panama Canal traditional locks.
  • Coral Princess will offer a 19-day Panama Canal Pacific Adventure cruise, roundtrip from Los Angeles.

Captain’s Circle Savings and Early Booking Deposit

Princess Cruises past guests are eligible for a special promotion when they book early with up to a $100 per person discount off the public fare. This can be combined with launch and group promotions. These discounts do not apply to third or fourth guests. Additionally, a reduced deposit is available for Captain Circle guests when they book by November 30, 2019.

 

Royal Caribbean Adds Map Of ‘Perfect Day At Coco Cay’ Private Island

April 10, 2019.

We’ve all been anticipating the transformation of Royal Caribbean’s Coco Cay private island in The Bahamas, as it becomes Perfect Day At Coco Cay after a $200 million dollar remodeling.  Royal Caribbean has released a map of the new layout and it is going to be spectacular.

The remake includes installing a pier so the days of tender rides, and quite often a cancellation of the port due to sea conditions, will be history.

The island has the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, a hot air balloon ride, water slides, a wave pool, but also quiet beach areas that carry on the original look of the resort.

Here is the map:

MSC Cruises To Build Multi-Ship Terminal At PortMiami

April 9, 2019.

MSC Cruises announced today details of a new highly-innovative cruise terminal at PortMiami that will support its expanding presence in North America and in the Caribbean in particular.

As per the terms of the agreement, which has today received approval from the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, MSC Cruises will design, construct, operate and maintain a large building that hosts two cruise terminals (AA and AAA) as well as two berths. Designed by the award-winning global architecture firm Arquitectonica, MSC Cruises’ exclusive new PortMiami terminals will be capable of hosting two mega cruise ships at the same time, allowing the Company to conduct two turnaround operations simultaneously, handling up to 28,000 passenger movements per day.

MSC Cruises currently operates four vessels out of PortMiami: MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia year-round; MSC Divina seasonally; and MSC Meraviglia, which will join the ships sailing from Miami this fall, seasonally.  With the new cruise facilities, MSC Cruises will bring a total 1 million guests through PortMiami each year.

Work on the new terminals is due to commence in early 2020. MSC Cruises currently estimates that the work will be completed by late 2022, at which time the Company will transfer all its PortMiami operations to the new Terminal.

Windstar Cruises’ Reveals Details of $250 Million Star Plus Initiative

April 9, 2019.

Windstar Cruises revealed big news today about the award-winning line’s $250 Million Star Plus Initiative at Seatrade Cruise Global, the cruise industry’s most celebrated worldwide event.

At a press conference today, the Seattle-based cruise line’s President John Delaney, revealed 360-degree “views” and vibrant renderings of what guests will experience on the line’s three renovated vessels, Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride. Delaney was joined by Giorgio Rizzo and Lawrence Zammit, respectively Fincantieri Services Executive Vice President and Vice President Merchant Market Strategies and Sales for partnered shipbuilder and ship conversions specialists Fincantieri. Zammit shared technical details and video on the complex project in the wake of last week’s “Steel Cutting Ceremony” that began creation of the first new section of ship, proving the project is moving from renderings to reality at Fincantieri’s Shipyards in Trieste and later in Palermo, Italy.

The Star Plus Initiative is the most complex and comprehensive small ship lengthening, engine replacement, and renovation project in cruising.  You can see a video here.

Windstar will take half of its fleet – Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride – and renovate each ship in succession. Work on the ships begins in October 2019 and ends in November 2020. The total capacity of the expanded ships will be 312 guests, with additional staff hired to maintain the line’s impressive 1.5 to 1 guest-to-staff ratio. The ships’ new engines will meet and exceed new global International Maritime Organization (IMO) limits – one of the requirements being the engines produce no more than .5 percent sulphur content. In addition, the new engines are designed to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, supporting the company’s goals of traveling with a softer environmental footprint.

An inviting new infinity pool was also revealed, along with a reimagined Veranda restaurant with all new layout and more seating. More news and reveals will be announced in the coming months, including two highly anticipated new dining spaces and new dining concepts on board, a world-class spa and fitness center, and enhanced “living room-esque” deck space, where guests will no doubt congregate.

The just-released renderings and 360-degree views are available to the public and travel advisors by visiting Windstar’s updated webpage at https://www.windstarcruises.com/starplus/.

The renovated ships will chart courses to some of the most popular, aspirational, and legendary destinations in the world including Iceland, Northern Europe, the British Isles, Ireland, Greece, Turkey, Crete, Israel, Egypt, Malta, the Cote D’Azur, Alaska, the Panama Canal, Mexico, Baja, the West Coast of the U.S., and the Caribbean. Itineraries will continue to feature transits of the famous Corinth Canal – a feat only small ships can fathom – along with a plethora of other “small ship only” experiences.