Cruise News: They're Naming a Ship WHAT?
In this week's Cruise News, MSC Cruises announces a huge ship expansion, EUROPA 2 is going family-friendly and you'll never believe what Royal Caribbean is thinking of naming its next ship.
The 4 new ships are in addition to the 7 new builds already on order. This brings MSC Cruises' new ship count between 2017-2026 to eleven--a total investment of $10.2 billion.
The 11 new ships will be across 3 entirely different prototypes (Meraviglia, World Class and Seaside), an addition to the cruise line's 3 existing prototypes: Lirica, Musica and Fantasia. Further details on the new ships are not yet available, but stay tuned to our blog for developments.
Princess Cruises honors top-ranked Alaska and Europe shore excursions with the first-ever "Discovery at Sea Tours of the Year" award.
Princess Cruises is kicking off the Alaska and Europe cruising season by honoring some of 2015's best Discovery and Animal Planet shore excursions in each region. These excursions, which debuted in Alaska in Europe this past spring, are a part of the cruise line's Discovery at Sea program created to immerse guests in once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Top-ranked tours were honored at a special ceremony in Ft. Lauderdale aboard Royal Princess. Among the tours recognized were the Taku Lodge Feast & 5-Glacier Seaplane Discovery in Juneau, a three-and-a-half hour journey that flies guests over five breathtaking glaciers, the ultimate tour of Naples, Italy via Pompeii, Positano & Amalfi Coast and the Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in Skagway, where guests can get up close with some of the region's most precious wildlife.
The ship, which sails year-round from Honolulu on 7-day intra-Hawaii cruises, returned to her homeport on March 26th and is showing off some serious enhancements--some of which include newly designed public spaces, refreshed decor in staterooms and brand new venues. This renovation is a part of the Norwegian Edge Program, an extensive initiative to improve the overall cruising experience for Norwegian guests. And when you're looking to recharge on board after spending 100 hours port-hopping around Hawaii, convenience is everything.
Now, onto a few of the many makeover details. Several of the ship's restaurants, bars and lounges were updated with contemporary decor, flooring and lighting (because lighting is everything when you're trying to snap the perfect cruise picture). All staterooms were updated with new bedding, furniture and flat screen televisions. New venues on board include the Soho Art Gallery, which features original works of art available for purchase. The Perspectives Photo Studio offers guests the chance to capture photo memories professionally (in case that DIY photoshoot lighting doesn't work out), and those looking for a quiet retreat can head to the completely transformed Conservatory or the now-larger Mandara Spa. From a dining perspective, expect to find new menus with additional dining choices. After dinner, head to the new Dolce Gelato, the cruise line's signature gelateria. And if you happen to be sharing a cup of chocolate gelato with your sweetheart and are overcome with the urge to get hitched (hey, it happens), you can do so in the ship's wedding chapel, now located on deck 6 and sporting floor-to-ceiling renovations.
Hapag Lloyd Cruises wants to ensure families get the most out of sailing on the 5-star-plus ship, and they're doing it by offering two family-friendly cruises from New York to Progreso (Louisiana) and Progresso to La Guaira, Venezuela. The New York to Progreso cruise (cruising September 30-October 15 this year) will call in popular East Coast cities such as Baltimore, Miami and New Orleans with excursions in Washington D.C, Charleston and Everglades National Park in Miami. This cruise will feature a Golf and Cruise program where children ages 6 and up can take golf classes. Young guests can also learn how to make pizza at the Culinary School and attend workshops run by stuntman René von Hagen. The Progreso to La Guaira cruise (sailing October 13-25) will be more of a historical and cultural experience, taking guests to destinations in Central America such as the Maya sites at Chichen Itza in Mexico and Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman. Kids and teenagers on this ship who wish to experience the thrill of performing on stage can attend a music, dance and drama workshop hosted by performer Verena Nießner.
EUROPA 2 will have a childcare program for children 2 years and older, as well as a variety of specialized excursions for children and teenagers, family excursions. This ship will also contain eight family apartments and will offer babysitter bookings as a special service.
Here's a sneak peek of EUROPA 2's family-friendly experience:
RANDOM, BUT COOL
The internet is full of memorable personalities, but none have stood out in the last week as much as these two:
This 90-year-old grandmother is rocking a bikini on her family cruise and the internet is showing their support.
After walking into Lady Watego clothing shop in Byron Bay, Australia with the intention of finding a kaftan for her upcoming family cruise, Irene was encouraged by the staff at her aged-care home to make one final purchase before setting sail. Now, not only is Irene a mother of 10 kids and a grandmother to many more, but she can now add "owner of a red-and-white polka-dot bikini" to her list of life accolades.
The internet spiraled into a Team Irene frenzy after Lady Watego posted a picture on their Facebook page of Irene donning the colorful swimsuit, leaving tons of positive comments in support of the woman's poolside ensemble choice. Here are a few of the many amazing comments her picture received:
Kudos to the internet for embracing ageless decisions, and special kudos to Irene for rocking that bikini like it's no one's business.
Royal Caribbean considers hiring a Chief Naming Officer after receiving this very unexpected--and epic--ship name suggestion.
In an effort to name its newest $300 million Antarctic survey vessel, Royal Caribbean sought the help of the public via a contest hosted by the UK's Natural Environment Research Council. Little did they know that UK publicist James Hand would come forward with what is arguably one of the most epic ship names in cruise line history: Boaty McBoatface.
The contest isn't even over (it ends April 16th), but the cruise line has already expressed deep admiration for the unique ship name-- so much that Hand may play a pivotal role in the naming of their future ships. They've invited Hand to sail on Harmony of the Seas, the newest and biggest ship in the RCI fleet which sails out of Southampton, UK in May. There, Hand will meet with the cruise line's ship naming experts to discuss potential forthcoming ship names. Can you top a name like Boaty McBoatface? Sound off in the comments below.