Cruise News: Cruises for the Healthy, the Brave and the Booze-Loving
In this week's Cruise News, we learn that Disney Cruise Line is adding two new ships to its family-friendly fleet, Norwegian Cruise Line reveals its Chinese name and MSC unveils a program to promote wellness on board.
While design, ship name and itineraries are still in the early stages of development, here's what we DO know:
- The ships will make their debut in 2021 and 2023
- Each will include about 1,250 staterooms
- Each will also be slightly larger than the cruise line’s newest ships Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy (this means more room for fun).
We’ll be paying close attention to the development of these ships, so stay tuned to our weekly Cruise News for updates.
The Bacardi Cruise Competition attracts some of the best cruise and ferry line bartenders around the world. Kljajic, a talented mixologist at the Alchemy Bar aboard Carnival Glory, beat out over 4,000 contestants to land this year's coveted award of 'Bartender of the Year'. The drink that landed him top honors? The "Elixir Fizz", a mix of Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, Tawny rum, vanilla/thyme syrup, Fee Brothers Cherry blitz liqueur and Prosecco. In addition to the title of "Most Delicious Drink Maker Ever" (rather that's what WE'RE calling him because that concoction sounds divine), Kljajic won a $4,000 cash reward and a spot in the finals of the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition in San Francisco. Carnival Glory sails out of Miami, for those who want to see the mixologist in action and try the Elixir Fizz for yourself.
Hey, Bacardi, if you're in need of some judges, we know a good cruise-friendly drink when we see (and taste) one. Just saying.
In other adult beverage-related news:
Among the increases in pricing are a boost from $69 to $79 per person/a day for the Ultimate Beverage Package. The Corks and Caps drink package also increased by 10% (now $59 per person/day), and the cruise line's Speciality Dining Packages are now $10 more per person/day (tip: if you purchase the package in advance, you can save these $10).
Norwegian rolled out this new pricing on nine of its fourteen vessels this past weekend, with Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Epic in line for implementation this week.
Earlier this week, Viking River Cruises welcomed six new Viking Longships to its fleet with a waterfront ceremony in Amsterdam. During the christening, Viking honored six of its key partners, who were then named as ceremonial godmother roles for the new ships. Four of these ships will be sailing on Europe's Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers, while the remaining two will sail the Seine River on Viking's Paris and the Heart of Normandy itinerary.
The river cruise line has expanded tremendously in the last few years, and they're showing no signs of slowing down. Two years ago, they set a Guinness World Record for most new ships launched in a single day. Now, after welcoming six new ships, Viking will debut a seventh new river ship later this month named Viking Osfrid. This ship is specifically built for the Douro River surrounding Portugal and Spain.
Norwegian Cruise Line has revealed the English and Chinese names for their newest ship, built specifically for the China market: world, meet Norwegian Joy (translated into Chinese as 喜悦号, or Xǐ Yuè Hào).
Naming the world's first purpose-built cruise liner for the Chinese market is a pretty important feat, especially because Norwegian is working hard to deliver an authentic, upscale experience for its Chinese travelers. Her given name emphasizes the cruise line's promise that guests will 'Experience Paradise on the Sea' while on board. Norwegian has not released all of the details but we do know that the ship will feature world-class entertainment, a wide range of international dining options, duty-free shopping at sea and a variety of first-at-sea activities on board. The cruise line has also involved detailed consultation with Chinese partners and local experts to incorporate the subtleties of Chinese culture and preferences throughout the ship.
In addition to naming the Breakaway-Plus class vessel, Norwegian also unveiled their new Chinese name and logo. The cruise line's name will be represented as Nuò Wéi Zhēn (诺唯真), which translates as a 'Promising, Exclusive and Authentic' cruise line.
The 3,900 passenger ship is set to debut in China in summer 2017.
Adrenaline junkies may want to keep their eyes peeled for Carnival's new ship-in-the-making, Carnival Vista, who showed us that she's soaring to new levels (literally).
The newest video in the Behind the Scenes: Carnival Vista series features the ship's aerial attraction, SkyRide. The activity involves pedaling a recumbent-like cycle at speeds of up to 25 mph. The elevated 800 foot-long track allows for some serious panoramic views of the sea, killer photo-ops (for the brave multitaskers) and, best of all, there's no extra charge to experience this attraction.
Carnival Vista is set to debut May 1 with an inaugural 13-day sail out of Trieste, Italy, a part of her Mediterranean voyages schedule which runs through October. The ship will then head to New York for two voyages and shift to Miami for year-round Caribbean sailings starting in November.
Mother Nature can be a major party pooper sometimes, but Royal Caribbean is weathering this storm like a pro.
Last month, Anthem of the Seas had a dangerous run-in with a storm off the coast of the Carolinas and it caused some significant damage to the ship. The ship experienced yet another run in with a major storm in the Atlantic Ocean last Wednesday, forcing the ship to cut its scheduled trip short by two days due to the weather threat. The cruise line is taking extreme precautions by following a new storm avoidance policy, implemented after February's incident.
The ability to laze the day away poolside, 4th frozen-drink in hand, is a cruiser's right of passage. However, for those interested in staying active (and healthier) during their cruise, MSC has created a completely personalized wellness experience that provides guests with the ability to feast and stay fit while sailing the Mediterranean.
The Wellness Experience, powered by leading fitness equipment manufacturer Technogym, caters to cruisers who are looking to stay on the healthy side while at sea. Participating guests can enjoy privileges such as exclusive shore excursions, a one-on-one consultation with a Master Trainer, fitness classes, healthy food options, a medical check-up with the doctor on board and access to mywellness app. Guests can fill out a pre-cruise questionnaire to help determine their personal fitness and health goals.
If you're looking to stay active during your next cruise, we recommend booking a shore excursion while in port. Some excursions, like this hike through El Yunque Rainforest in San Juan, can keep your heart pumping (and your eyes wandering--I mean, just look at those views).