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.

 

Carnival’s New Mardi Gras Opens For Bookings

January 30, 2019.

Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras (note that the ship is not named ‘Carnival Mardi Gras’) is now open for sale of its inaugural 2020 schedule.

Mardi Gras will offer a schedule of 6 to 15 night sailings in Europe and the Caribbean beginning in summer 2020.

Guests can choose from more than 20 different stateroom categories and  suites, more than on any other Carnival ship.  Stateroom options include both general and special stateroom and suite areas such as Family Harbor, Havana Cabana and Cloud 9 Spa accommodations. 

Inaugural Season

The schedule includes:

  • A nine-night maiden voyage from Copenhagen to Southampton Aug. 31 – Sept. 9, 2020 calling at Kiel (Hamburg), Germany; Gothenburg, Sweden; Oslo, Norway; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Zeebrugge (Brussels), Belgium; and Le Havre (Paris), France.
  • A 14-night trans-Atlantic crossing from Southampton to New York Sept. 9-23, 2020, with stops at Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain; and Funchal (Madeira) and Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal.
  • A six-night cruise round-trip from New York to Portland, Maine and Saint John, New Brunswick Sept. 24-30.
  • A 15-night Carnival Journeys voyage departing New York Sept. 30, 2020 and arriving in Port Canaveral, Fla., on Oct. 15, 2020, calling at Amber Cove, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Aruba, Curacao, and Grand Turk, positioning the vessel for year-round voyages to the Caribbean.

Year-Round Caribbean Departures from Port Canaveral

Following a special eight-night Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral on Oct. 16, 2020, Mardi Gras will kick off its seven-night program from the Space Coast Oct. 24, 2020, offering two different three-port, seven-day itineraries, alternating weekly to the eastern and western Caribbean featuring some of the region’s most beautiful and popular ports.

  • Eastern Caribbean cruises will visit San Juan, Amber Cove and Grand Turk.
  • Western Caribbean sailings will stop in Cozumel, Costa Maya and Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan).

Additional Information and Reservations

Additional details on the six themed zones that will provide Mardi Gras guests with scores of ways to Choose Fun and have a great Carnival cruise vacation are scheduled to be announced over the coming weeks.

The New Mardi Gras From Carnival Will Feature First-Ever Roller Coaster At Sea

December 13, 2018.

Get ready to ride!   In another cruise industry first, Carnival Cruise Line’s new Mardi Gras™ will feature the first-ever roller coaster at sea when it debuts in 2020.

Built by Munich-based Maurer Rides, BOLT™: Ultimate Sea Coaster™ offers nearly 800 feet of twists, turns and drops with riders reaching speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour.

BOLT is an all-electric roller coaster that allows two riders in a motorcycle-like vehicle to race along a track 187 feet above sea level.

BOLT begins with a launch where riders can achieve race car-like levels of acceleration and culminates with a high-powered hair-pin turn around Carnival’s iconic funnel.  Riders’ speeds are posted after the race, and just like land-based roller coasters, guests have their photo taken during the ride for a memorable keepsake.  And since guests choose their own speed, each ride is unique.

Carnival has teased in social media that the BOLT roller coaster is just the first of other new features coming to the ship.

Mardi Gras will be based in Port Canaveral, Fla., which will feature a new state-of-the-art terminal.  Itinerary information will be revealed early next month with additional details about Mardi Gras’ groundbreaking features announced throughout the year.  A second XL-class ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding.

Holland America Line Takes Delivery of Nieuw Statendam from Fincantieri Shipyard

November 29, 2018.

Holland America took delivery of Nieuw Statendam today,  officially making it the 15th ship in the fleet. A hand-over ceremony took place at Fincantieri’s Marghera, Italy, shipyard, and Nieuw Statendam will set sail for Venice tomorrow en route to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, for its Premiere Voyage with guests departing Dec. 5.

The delivery was attended by Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president; Carnival Corporation’s Micky Arison, chairman of the board, and Arnold Donald, president and CEO; and Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, and several other executives from both companies also attended.

Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Holland America Line 

Following its transatlantic crossing from Civitavecchia, Nieuw Statendam will spend a full season in the Caribbean sailing round trip from Fort Lauderdale. Nieuw Statendam’s official naming ceremony will take place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Feb. 2.

The ship will head to its summer homeport of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in May and sail a series of northern Europe, Baltic and Iceland cruises before making its way to the Mediterranean in September for cruises out of Civitavecchia.

The 99,902-ton vessel accommodates 2,666 guests and features purpose-built staterooms for families and solo travelers among its 1,377 guest accommodations.

While much of the ship’s design will be similar to the first Pinnacle Class ship ms Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam will have exclusive public spaces and its own style created by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjørn Storbraaten. The ship will feature light-filled spaces, visual drama and interiors inspired by the fluid curves of musical instruments.

In addition to the Dining Room, guests will dine in specialty restaurants that include newly designed Rudi’s Sel de Mer, a French seafood brasserie; pan-Asian Tamarind, with a new al fresco dining area where guests can enjoy the ocean breeze; Nami Sushi, a new sushi experience within Tamarind; the award-winning Pinnacle Grill; Canaletto, with family-style Italian dining; and the new Club Orange restaurant exclusively for guests in the Club Orange program.

Additional culinary venues include Grand Dutch Cafe featuring traditional Dutch coffee and treats and European beer; Dive-In, serving up gourmet burgers and fries poolside; New York Deli & Pizza, offering made-to-order sandwiches and pies; and Lido Market, with themed serving stations that revolutionize the buffet experience.

Onboard entertainment features the innovative Music Walk offering a variety of authentic live musical experiences and genres.   These include the debut of the new Rolling Stone Rock Room with classic rock hits; Lincoln Center Stage, with chamber music; Billboard Onboard, with chart-topping hits; and the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club, bringing the best of Memphis music to sea. With the 270-degree LED projection at World Stage and expanded seating on Nieuw Statendam, even more guests will enjoy performances with panoramic visuals and sound effects.

Princess Cruises Unveils New Features and Itinerary for Enchanted Princess

November 5, 2018.

New Sky Suites and Enhanced Eateries are Highlights

(Photo clockwise: Salty Dog Gastropub, Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria, new Sky Suites and Princess Live! and Café

Princess Cruises has announced that when its next new ship, Enchanted Princess, debuts in June 2020, it will be named in Southampton, UK and sail its inaugural season in the Mediterranean. Princess has also unveiled new details revealing innovative features on board the ship.

As previously announced for its sister ship Sky Princess, Enchanted Princess will also feature the new Sky Suites, centrally located on the top deck of the ship and featuring the largest private balconies ever offered by Princess Cruises. Measuring 700 square feet, the balconies will provide a private vantage of the ship’s Movies under the Stars screen and create the ultimate space for entertaining. The two suites will also offer a 270-degree panorama and have sleeping capacity for five guests, and more for entertaining – making them ideal for families.

The 143,700-ton ship will include the best of the new features found on Sky Princess including a Wakeview pool on its aft decks and relaxing Sanctuary area offering a new contemporary design with more private cabanas than ever before. In addition Enchanted Princess will offer features from its three other sister ships – Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess – including an Italian-inspired Piazza, dramatic over-the-ocean glass, Seawalk and Broadway-caliber shows performed in the Princess Theater.

Some exciting new offerings that represent another evolution of the current ships’ designs on Enchanted Princess will be a reimagined Salty Dog Gastropub. The rustic pub space will be an exciting new venue where guests can watch sporting events, gather with friends over drinks and small bites, and partake in the award-winning Ernesto Burger, created by chef partner, Ernesto Uchimura, a founding chef of the original Umami Burger and owner of the new Los Angeles based neighborhood restaurant and bar, Electric Owl.

Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria, Princess Cruises acclaimed specialty restaurant, will also be transformed. The space will blend classic Italian accents with the spaciousness of a modern, contemporary setting featuring unique handmade pasta courses developed in collaboration with Los Angeles chef Angelo Auriana that will be prepared fresh daily.

The Princess Live! and Café will have a new art deco-style décor where guests can enjoy their favorite drinks and small bites while watching live performances or enjoying an intimate gathering.

Enchanted Princess sailings go on sale November 8.

Carnival And Port Canaveral Reach Agreement In Principle For State-Of-The-Art Terminal

August 21, 2018.

Carnival Cruise Line has reached an agreement in principle with the Canaveral Port Authority on a new state-of-the-art terminal able to accommodate its new 180,000-ton Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) powered ship, the largest ever constructed for the line, set to debut in 2020.

The terms of the agreement are expected to be included on the agenda of the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018.  If approved, the agreement will clear the way for Carnival Cruise Line’s plans to homeport the as-yet-unnamed 5,286-lower berth ship at Port Canaveral, further bolstering the line’s position as the port’s number one cruise operator.

The vessel will offer an array of groundbreaking, never-before-seen features and attractions while also being the first North American-based cruise ship to be powered by LNG, part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” design platform.

Construction of the 180,000-ton cruise ship is scheduled to begin in November 2018 with the official steel-cutting ceremony at the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Turku, Finland.  Further ship details, along with itineraries from Port Canaveral, are expected to be announced in 2019.

The decision to base the new ship on the Space Coast continues a decades-long relationship and reinforces Carnival Cruise Line’s position as Port Canaveral’s number one cruise operator.  The line currently has three year-round ships based in Port Canaveral carrying upwards of 650,000 passengers a year. In October, Carnival Cruise Line will also reposition the newer Carnival Breeze to homeport at Port Canaveral.