Portsmouth selected as host for Saga’s Spirit of Adventure naming ceremony 

First naming ceremony for Portsmouth 

Rendering of Saga Cruises Spirit of Adventure
Spirit of Adventure Image: Saga Cruises

Saga has announced that Portsmouth has been chosen as the location for the official naming ceremony of their second new-build boutique cruise ship, Spirit of Adventure.  The prestigious event will be held on Wednesday, August 19, 2020.

The city’s dramatic harbour, maritime heritage, and wider regeneration plans for the port were crucial deciding factors for their choice of Portsmouth for what will be a first for the Port.

In recent years, Saga has pioneered the boutique cruising experience for its customers. In 2019, the company launched its first-ever, purpose-built boutique cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery, to great acclaim, and the launch plans for Spirit of Adventure promise to be just as exciting.

Nigel Blanks, Managing Director of Saga cruises, said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce that our second new ship, Spirit of Adventure, will be named in Portsmouth. The city is steeped in British maritime history and it will be another first for Saga Cruises with Spirit of Adventure being the first ever cruise ship to be named in this historic port.

“The naming of Spirit of Discovery has been shortlisted for best cruise ship launch for 2019 and we intend to create an event that is just as special for Spirit of Adventure.  Whilst the ships are recognizable sisters, they are most certainly not twins. Spirit of Adventure will have a distinctly different identity to her sister ship, which is why we have chosen a different port for her Naming Ceremony.  Alongside the port and the cities partners we are planning another utterly memorable event.”

Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: “We’re so proud Saga has chosen Portsmouth to host the naming ceremony for its newest ship, Spirit of Adventure, which is a first for the city.

“Portsmouth’s dramatic harbour entrance is a stunning backdrop to showcase the ship and we will work closely with Saga to put on an event to match.

“It will also be a fantastic spectacle with the opportunity to welcome the ship as she arrives in Portsmouth and put on a firework display that will take place in the evening from Southsea Common.

“We’re looking forward to Saga’s new vessels becoming a familiar sight in our city. Our cruise transformation is already well under way with a significant berth extension plan, followed by a terminal transformation, which will be completed next year.

“This is a new cruise era for Portsmouth, and we can’t wait for leading brands like Saga to join us on our journey.”

Spectators will be encouraged to welcome Britain’s newest boutique cruise ship, as she sails into Portsmouth for her UK arrival.

Nigel Blanks continued: “Carrying just 999 guests, Saga’s unique boutique cruise ships have been designed specifically for the needs and tastes of the over 50s luxury market. This means there’s no Casino, ice rink or climbing wall. Instead they boast the largest percentage of single cabins of any modern ship, a high crew to guest ratio, West End standard entertainment, five different dining options, balcony cabins for all guests and countless other features offering the latest in luxury, boutique cruising.

The interior design for Spirit of Adventure is bold and striking.  Yet again we have risen to the challenge set us by our guests. They have told us that life for them is not ‘beige’ and they want to see something that showcases the best of British contemporary design.”

Spirit of Adventure will feature three speciality restaurants including the world’s first Nepalese restaurant at sea – Khukuri House, alongside Amalfi, a high-end Italian cuisine restaurant and the Supper Club a dining and live entertainment venue.

The ship will also feature a 500 sq metre spa, The Lido outdoor pool, The Playhouse, a 444-seat theatre and a large library.

Spirit of Adventure’s 17-night The Inaugural Cruise will depart from Dover to the Baltic on August 21, 2020, with further cruises scheduled for 2020 including the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and Norway.

Ship Factfile

IMO No.: 9818084

Launch: 2020

Shipyard: Meyer Werft,  Papenburg, Germany  

Building Cost: USD 346 million (GBP 280 million / EUR 310 million)

Hull No.: 715

Keel laid: 3rd June 2019

Sister Ships: Spirit of Discovery (2019)

Length:  236 m

Width: 31 m

Draft:  3 m

Gross tonnage: 58,250  GT

Passengers: 1,000

Staterooms & Cabins: 540

Decks: 10

Cabin Decks: 6

Crew: 505

Cruising speed: 23 knots

As always thank you for taking to time to read my latest post

MSC GRANDIOSA COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL SEA TRIALS

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MSC Grandiosa leaves Saint Nazaire for sea trials Image: MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises’ first Meraviglia-Plus class ship MSC Grandiosa has successfully completed her first intensive systems tests at sea during a three-day trial in the Atlantic Ocean between 28-31 August.

MSC Cruises’ latest flagship will next receive her finishing touches at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France before being officially delivered to MSC Cruises on 31 October.

With a gross tonnage of 177,000, the ship has a total guest capacity of 6,334 and will feature some of the latest innovative marine technology and systems to become MSC Cruises’ most efficient and environmentally clean ship in its fleet.

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The Meraviglia-Plus class are 16m longer than Meraviglia class
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© Andrew McAlpine

MSC Grandiosa is equipped with two new and important technological innovations including a selective catalytic reduction system to decrease nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 per cent and transform it into pure water and nitrogen.  The flagship is also fitted with a state-of-the-art advanced wastewater treatment system that will lead to nearly zero impact on discharges and allow her to operate in delicate environments such as the Baltic Sea and Alaska.

MSC Grandiosa will feature extended 111-meter-long indoor promenade featuring an extended screen of 95 meters by 6 meters supplied by Samsung. The extended promenade area which will house two extra restaurants, giving passengers a wider dining choice.

The new environmental features add to other effective technologies deployed on MSC Grandiosa to further reduce her environmental impact including a cutting-edge exhaust gas cleaning system, systems for the prevention of oil discharge from machinery spaces, a ballast water treatment system and various energy-saving improvements such as heat recovery systems and LED lighting.

The christening ceremony for MSC Grandiosa is due to take place on 9th November in Hamburg and will be hosted by German TV star Michelle Hunziker. The ship will then head to Southampton arriving 12th November for two days of celebrations after which she will then head for an inaugural season in the Western Mediterranean with maiden calls from her Genoa homeport to Civitavecchia, Palermo, Valletta, Barcelona and Marseilles.

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Image: MSC Cruises

MSC Grandiosa Factfile

IMO No.: 9803613

Shipyard:  Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Saint Nazaire

Length: 331 m

Width: 51 m

Draft: 8,75 m

Gross tonnage: 177,000

Passengers: 6,334

Staterooms & suits: 2,444

Decks: 18

Crew: 1,700

Cruising speed: 21.8 knots

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post.

To find out more about MSC Grandiosa visit here http://www.msccruises.co.uk

ROYAL CARIBBEAN REVEALS DELICIOUS NEW VEGAN DINING OPTIONS

So it is with great interest that I saw the latest press release from Royal Caribbean announcing their new vegan food options. I became vegan in 2018 having been vegetarian for one year before, so vegan dining options on board are now of great importance. With the rise of veganism and flexitarian diets cruise lines need to offer new dining options as they are now effectively mainstream.

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OC Plant Based Impossible cheese burger Image: Oceania

A number of lines have offered vegan options for a number of years, In Spring 2017, Oceania Cruises – the world’s largest luxury cruise line launched an a plant based menu which in April this year was extended and now features more than 250 dishes and is available fleet wide in all dining venues. In the same year the German cruise line Hapag-Lloyd Cruises introduced a new vegetarian and vegan menu on Europa 2, which featured more than 80 vegetarian and vegan options.

“As the number of people and families adopting a vegan lifestyle continues to grow, we wanted to formalise our vegan offerings in a dedicated menu (available upon request in the Main Dining Room) where guests can explore options and choose their dish – it’s all part of the dining experience!

“It’s important to us to meet holidaymakers’ dietary choices.”

The vegan menus are now available on board Royal Caribbean’s ships, including its 2020 European flagship Allure of the Seas.

The one route they will not be found on is ships travelling to China.

Plant-based in the Windjammer Buffet 

Royal Caribbean also say that plant-based options will also be available in the Windjammer Buffet in edition to the evening dining options.

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Independence of the Seas in Southampton © Andrew McAlpine

Royal Caribbean Press Release

ROYAL CARIBBEAN REVEALS DELICIOUS NEW VEGAN DINING OPTIONS

The palate-pleasing, plant-based provisions will tantalise taste buds across the entire Royal Caribbean fleet from August 2019*

LONDON, UK, 6 August 2019 – Royal Caribbean International has announced new mouth-watering vegan menus, which will be rolled out across its fleet this month. While vegan options have always been available on board Royal Caribbean ships, the new menus have been added to the Main Dining Room, enhancing the dining choices for every guest.

The three-course menus will be available on request, offering a range of gastronomic delights to cater for diners following the increasingly popular vegan lifestyle. New vegan options include edamame-stuffed Portobello mushrooms, vegan spaghetti “bolognaise” and orzo pasta stew with green vegetables, as well as desserts such as a toffee “cheesecake” with dark chocolate and a peanut butter crust.

“At Royal Caribbean, we’re always looking at how to raise the bar of our dining offerings and we do it with one specific purpose: delivering great holidays for our guests,” said Linken D’Souza, Vice President of Food & Beverage, Royal Caribbean International.

“As the number of people and families adopting a vegan lifestyle continues to grow, we wanted to formalise our vegan offerings in a dedicated menu (available upon request in the Main Dining Room) where guests can explore options and choose their dish – it’s all part of the dining experience! It’s important to us to meet holidaymakers’ dietary choices.”

The vegan menus are now available on board Royal Caribbean’s ships, including its 2020 European flagship Allure of the Seas, when she home ports in Barcelona next summer following a $165 million makeover.

End

Its unfortunate that as yet Royal Caribbean have not released any images of the dishes being served as yet, but check out the latest post from https://vegancruiser.co.uk where Sanna has shared the full 7-day vegan menu.

New Royal Caribbean vegan menu finally here!

I would be very interested to hear your thoughts and whether you have tried the new menu.

As always thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog post.

UK-based Crown Princess confirmed as fourth OceanMedallion-activated ship

 

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Crown Princess sailing from Southampton © Andrew McAlpine

Today 24th July 2019 I was onboard Crown Princess in Southampton after being invited by Princess Cruises to learn more about their new Ocean Medallion technology and take a tour of Crown Princess, read on to learn more about this highly anticipated new technology.

Princess Cruises has confirmed that the 3,080-guest Crown Princess has become it’s fourth Medallion Class ship. Crown Princess becomes the first UK-based ship to feature the OceanMedallion: the vessel is based in Southampton this summer sailing the British Isles on a series of 12-night voyages. 

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My own Ocean Medallion © Andrew McAlpine

The multi-award winning OceanMedallion, which is the same size as a 10p piece, has been designed to deliver an entirely new level of service and create a holiday that is more simple, effortless and personalised with:

·        Princess MedallionClass experience, featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion wearable device 
·        Expedited arrival – Guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile enjoy a streamlined and expedited check-in process that gets their holiday started even sooner
·        Touchless stateroom entry – No need to touch, swipe or insert cards or devices into the door handle to unlock the stateroom. As a guest approaches their stateroom the door automatically unlocks
·        On-demand services – Using smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks, food and retail items such as suntan lotion and have them delivered directly anywhere onboard, including to their stateroom
·        Family and friends locator – Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests’ smart devices, OceanCompass leverages the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family onboard. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest
·        Interactive voyage timeline – Available on ship portals and via guests’ smart devices, JourneyView is an interactive timeline that lets guests scroll through all of the events available on board during their voyage and bookmark activities they’re interested in to their own personalized itinerary. Voyage itineraries are available as many as 60 days in advance, allowing guests to start planning before they leave home.

In addition, Crown Princess now benefits from MedallionNet, which allows guests to stay connected anywhere onboard including staterooms. MedallionNet allows guests to share holiday experiences with friends and family back home; stream TV shows, movies and sports events; and make voice and video calls.

The three other ships which are already MedallionClass vessels are Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess. Ships are fitted with 72 miles of cable and 4,000 sensors to get them OceanMedallion ready. Its implementation requires more than 650 readers and 4,000 interactive portals.

Seven more ships will become MedallionClass vessels up to the end of 2020:

·        Sky Princess on its launch in October 2019
·        Ruby Princess on January 27, 2020
·        Grand Princess on March 29, 2020
·        Enchanted Princess on June 15, 2020
·        Emerald Princess on August 16, 2020
·        Coral Princess on October 16, 2020
·        Island Princess on December 20, 2020

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In 2021 all five European based ships will be Ocean Medallion enabled. Image: © Princess Cruises

Following her UK season, Crown Princess will make her way to Fort Lauderdale in September for roundtrip Caribbean sailings. The ship will return to the UK from May-November 2020, where she will sail from Southampton on a series of voyages to the Mediterranean, Canary Islands and northern Europe.

The vessel has over 1,500 cabins, including nearly 900 balconies, and four swimming pools. It has 19 decks; 18 restaurants, cafes and bars; and at a length of over 950 feet is around the size of three football pitches.

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises vice president UK & Europe, said: “We are so excited to see an OceanMedallion-activated ship in the UK as guests can now see first-hand the huge number of benefits it brings with it. OceanMedallion is intended to make every guest feel like a VIP and helps them relax and enjoy their cruise from the moment they are ready to step onboard.

“From quicker access on and off the ship, to the unprecedented on demand service, to being able to stay in touch with friends and family wherever they are on the ship, all mean guests on Crown Princess can now make the most of every aspect of their holiday with us.”

Princess Cruises is offering a 17-day Mediterranean and Greek Isles voyage on Crown Princess, from £1,699 per person. Departing November 6, 2020 and sailing roundtrip from Southampton, ports of call include Seville, Cartagena (both Spain), Valetta (Malta), Mykonos, Kusadasi and Santorini (all Greece). Includes up to $500 per person spending money.

About Princess Cruises:
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year on 170 itineraries to more than 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England and World Cruises. Itineraries range in length from three to 111 days. 

In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass cruises enabled by the Ocean Medallion – the cruises industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to a hassle-free, personalised cruise, giving guests more opportunity to enjoy their time onboard. Ocean Medallion will be activated on five ships by the end of 2019. An activation plan will continue across the global fleet in 2020 and beyond.   

Three new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship, Sky Princess, under construction and scheduled for delivery in October 2019 followed by Enchanted Princess in June 2020. Princess recently announced that two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests with expected delivery in 2023 and 2025.  Princess now has five ships arriving over the next six years between 2019 & 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

About Princess Cruises:
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year on 170 itineraries to more than 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England and World Cruises. Itineraries range in length from three to 111 days. 

In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass cruises enabled by the Ocean Medallion – the cruises industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to a hassle-free, personalised cruise, giving guests more opportunity to enjoy their time onboard. Ocean Medallion will be activated on five ships by the end of 2019. An activation plan will continue across the global fleet in 2020 and beyond.  

Three new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship, Sky Princess, under construction and scheduled for delivery in October 2019 followed by Enchanted Princess in June 2020. Princess recently announced that two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests with expected delivery in 2023 and 2025.  Princess now has five ships arriving over the next six years between 2019 & 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

As always thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog post.

 

Princess Cruises opens family water playground on Caribbean Princess

Princess Cruises has opened a family water playground on the top deck of the 3,140-guest Caribbean Princess cruise ship. The Reef Family Splash Zone includes a water play area, newly-refurbished pool and lounge area.

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Image: Princess Cruises

The Reef’s family-friendly features comprise:

·         Winnie the Whale’s splashpad: An interactive water playground including a splash pool, water sprays and showers. Winnie the Whale ‘rains’ from her fluke and sprays from her spout. Winnie is also part of Princess’ ‘Animal Planet’ endangered species programme in its Camp Discovery Youth and Teen Centres, where children learn about the anatomy of humpback whales

·         A refurbished spa and bar area including a family pool and jacuzzi. ‘Morgan’s Bar’ has opened with a new child-friendly mocktail menu with drinks on offer such as ‘Crazy Coconut’ and ‘Berry Nice to Meet You’ 

·         A new outdoor lounge area with a range of seating and relaxing options, from single sun loungers to sectional chairs and sofas with tables. The space also has new fixtures, finishes and canopies offering plenty of shade

·         A multi-generational game zone with oversized activities such as giant Connect Four and Jenga

In addition, directly below The Reef in the Camp Discovery outdoor area, children can interact and explore with a destination-themed water table. It features the many locations and iconic landmarks Princess visits including the Sydney Opera House and Golden Gate Bridge and also highlights how a cruise ship moves through water, waves and weather.

Caribbean Princess boasts a wealth of additional family-friendly features, which were recently expanded via a multi-million pound upgrade. They include three youth and teen clubs, each themed around Princess’ partnership with the Discovery Channel; activities and games for children such as hands-on science experiments, mini golf tournaments, talent shows and stargazing; and interconnecting staterooms for use by larger groups of family and friends.

Caribbean Princess was also the first ship in the Princess fleet to be fully OceanMedallion-activated. The multi-award winning OceanMedallion, which is the same size as a 10p piece, has been designed to deliver an entirely new level of service and create a holiday that is more simple, effortless and personalised. It supports a number of features such as a family and friends locator, which allows guests to easily find other people onboard.

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Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises vice president UK & Europe, said: “The Reef Family Splash Zone forms part of our ongoing commitment to offer families a fun and relaxing onboard holiday. Caribbean Princess now has a wealth of features designed to appeal to guests of all ages, perfectly complementing the stunning destinations the ship sails to.”

Princess Cruises is offering a 14-day ‘Circle Caribbean’ voyage on Caribbean Princess, from £1,599 per person including complimentary drinks packages. Departing February 2, 2020 and sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale in Florida, ports of call include St Thomas, St Maarten, St Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Bonaire and Aruba. Includes up to $1,100 spending money for a family of four staying in the same stateroom.

For more information or to book visit www.princess.com, speak to your local travel agent or call 0344 338 8663.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post

Allure of the Seas second Oasis-class cruise ship to undergo huge refurbishment

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Iconic Ship Sets Sail from Barcelona in May 2020 with Added Thrills, Nightlife and Dining

MIAMI, July 11, 2019 – Travelers can soon take in Europe’s historic destinations from a bold, new perspective on board the amplified Allure of the Seas. Royal Caribbean International has revealed the signature feats and innovative experiences coming to the renowned Oasis Class ship as part of a 58-day, $165 million transformation. Guests will be able to conquer a continent’s worth of adventures and come back for more with Allure’s upcoming lineup of new features, including the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, completely redesigned Adventure Ocean kids and teens spaces, the first Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, and Quantum Class original Music Hall. Reimagined as the ultimate summer vacation in Europe, Allure will open its season of 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises from homeport Barcelona, Spain on May 10, 2020.

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Bold Family Favorites
Whether the moment calls for thrills or relaxation, vacationers sailing on the amplified Allure of the Seas can test their courage or sit back at the Pool and Sports Zone neighborhood that will now tout the perfect family day out. Feature highlights include:

  • The 10-story Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea
  • The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell
  • Splashaway Bay kids aquapark, featuring twin drench buckets, three waterslides, fountains, pools, water cannons and a Splash Pad for tots
  • Reimagined pool deck, complete with The Lime & Coconut signature bar across two locations, a wider variety of seating and shade with cabana-like “casitas,” daybeds, hammocks and swing seats; new whirlpools on the top deck, and a reinvigorated, adults-only Solarium

The thrill will go from the outside-in on board the amped-up Allure. Expanding on the ways that families can spend time together and on their own are the additions of completely reimagined, dedicated spaces for babies, kids and teens, and popular Royal Caribbean activities.

  • All-new Adventure Ocean, where younger kids can choose their own immersive adventures across an entirely new layout. The major makeover will bring to life interactive, personalized and unexpected activities and features in areas redesigned from top to bottom, including whimsical rooms with climbable creations at Play Place, hands-on art, science and tech fun at Workshop; friendly competition in physical, interactive games at Arena; the Hangout, to chill and make new friends over gaming consoles or sit back for some quality “me” time, AO Babies for babies and tots, and experiential activities at the multipurpose AO Junior space specially designed for 3- to 5-year-olds
  • Maxed-out teen spaces, debuting a 360-degree transformation, with a secret speakeasy-like entrance leading into an exclusive lounge with gaming consoles, music, movies, places to hang out and a new outdoor deck
  • Glow-in-the-dark laser tag in Clash for the Crystal City and Royal Escape Room – Apollo 18: Lunar Landing, an out-of-this-world expedition that challenges guests to solve puzzle after puzzle before time runs out

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A World of Flavors

Allure will deliver an array of culinary possibilities with more restaurants, casual spots and bars joining the already-diverse offering of specialty and complimentary options.

  • Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, a new take on a guest-favorite, will offer the beloved family-style, rustic dining experience with an enhanced menu of Italian staples, complete with hand-tossed pizza from the new in-house pizza oven, an expansive charcuterie station and a wide selection of wines and limoncellos
  • Portside BBQ will serve up a menu inspired by popular barbecue styles across the United States, including brisket, pulled pork, chicken, burnt ends, mac and cheese, homestyle cornbread and more
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade for gameday watch parties on big-screen TVs, tournaments, bar bites with a twist and ice-cold brews
  • El Loco Fresh, featuring casual Mexican “street fare”
  • Sugar Beach, the sweetest spot on board with more than 220 types of candy and ice cream
  • Bionic Bar by Makr Shakr, manned by two robot bartenders shaking up classic cocktails and custom orders


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After a day of exploring iconic destinations and channeling their inner adventurer, guests can go out for a “night on the town” and find new venues added to the nightlife offered on board.

  • Music Hall, a Quantum Class favorite, will take live music to the next level with revolving setlists and cover bands, ample lounge seating on two levels and room to rock out on the dance floor
  • Spotlight Karaoke, the dedicated karaoke bar with both main stage and private room experiences will feature thousands of songs to choose from, music trivia and themed nights 

Beginning May 2020, Allure of the Seas’ 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises sailing roundtrip from Barcelona will visit must-see cities such as Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence (Marseille), France; Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples/Capri, Italy.

            Allure joins the original gamechanger, Oasis of the Seas, as the second Oasis Class ship to be reimagined in the $1 billion Royal Amplifiedfleet modernization program. These two revolutionary ships will steal the spotlight next year in Europe and the New York area, respectively, as the boldest summer vacations on both sides of the Atlantic.

In November 2020, Allure will make its way coast to coast to Miami for the winter season. Sailing from Royal Caribbean’s state-of-the-art Terminal A, the reimagined ship will offer 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Many of the ship’s Caribbean itineraries will include visits to the cruise line’s new private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

            

About Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International has been delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Each successive class of ships is an architectural marvel featuring the latest technology and guest experiences for today’s adventurous traveler. The cruise line continues to revolutionize vacations with itineraries to more than 270 destinations in 72 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s highly anticipated private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first in the Perfect Day Island Collection. Royal Caribbean has also been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 16 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.

Media can stay up-to-date by following @RoyalCaribPR on Twitter, and visiting RoyalCaribbeanPressCenter.com. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers can call their travel advisor; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

As always thank you for taking the time to read my blog

 

 

 

 

Carnival Vista arrives at shipyard onboard BOKA Vanguard

At the weekend Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) successfully loaded cruise ship Carnival Vista on its semi-submersible heavy lift vessel BOKA Vanguard and transported it to a shipyard facility in Freeport, Bahamas for a unique dry docking operation.

I thought I would share some of the amazing photos and videos showing the process.

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BOKA Vanguard passes Carnival Vista in port Image: © Boskalis

The BOKA Vanguard can be seen passing in this great drone footage below

 

Both ships headed a few miles offshore for the loading to commence at sunrise on 13th July. The loading operation and re float took approximately twelve hours in total.

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Tugs assisting Carnival Vista Image: © Boskalis
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Image: © Boskalis

Drone footage showing Carnival Vista loaded and BOKA Vanguard re-floating

 

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Image: Captain Vittorio Marchi

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Once re floated the BOKA Vanguard headed slowly back to the shipyard in Freeport

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One of the two azipod units that will be repaired once in the shipyard

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Image: © Boskalis
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Image: © Boskalis

 Both ships arrived in Freeport early Saturday evening

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Image © Boskalis

Drone footage of BOKA Vanguard sails into port with her unique cargo

 

 

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A ship carrying a ship!

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Image: Captain Vittorio Marchi

Once safely in port work on the repairs started immediately.

IMG_2113-fill-800x600IMG_2104-fill-800x600The dry dock operation will last for two weeks with Grand Bahama Shipyard also involved. In April 2019 the usual dry dock was damaged after a crane collapsed on the Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, with both the ship and dry dock damaged. As a result, other ships including Carnival Vista have been unable to use the dry dock until it is repaired.

Once the repairs have been completed Carnival Vista will be offloaded in time for its next scheduled cruise from Galveston in Texas on 27th July.

My thanks goes to both Boskalis and Captain Vittorio Marchi of the Carnival Vista for use of the wonderful photos.

As always thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

 

 

World’s first hybrid powered cruise ship to be named in Antarctica

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Image: Hurtigruten

NAMED IN ICE – WITH ICE: Hurtigruten’s new hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen will be the first ship in history to be named in Antarctica. Photo: ESPEN MILLS/Hurtigruten

Hybrid powered expedition cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen continues to make history – as Hurtigruten announces the first ever ship naming ceremony in Antarctica. Instead of the traditional bottle of champagne, MS Roald Amundsen’s explorer heritage will be honored by naming the vessel with a chunk of ice.

The naming ceremony will take place this fall, as the first world’s first hybrid powered cruise ship makes her way to the white continent on her maiden Antarctica voyage.

– We can think of no better place to name the truly unique MS Roald Amundsen than the waters of Antarctica – where no ship has ever been christened before, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

Named in ice – with ice

Named after polar hero Roald Amundsen – who led the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage, the first expedition to the south pole and the first expedition proven to have reached the North Pole – the MS Roald Amundsen naming ceremony is set to honor his legacy with a ritual invented by Amundsen himself.

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When christening his famed expedition ship “Maud” in 1917, Roald Amundsen switched the traditional bottle of champagne for a chunk of ice. Before crushing the ice against her bow, he stated:

“It is not my intention to dishonor the glorious grape, but already now you shall get the taste of your real environment. For the ice you have been built, and in the ice, you shall stay most of your life, and in the ice, you shall solve your tasks”.

Hurtigruten – and the yet to be disclosed godmother – will use the same ritual when naming MS Roald Amundsen.

– To honor Roald Amundsen and his explorer heritage, we will revive his ritual. With over 125 year of Polar experience, Hurtigruten will use the first ever ship naming ceremony in Antarctica to pay our respects to our oceans, the environment and past and present explorers, Skjeldam says.

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Image: ESPEN MILLS/Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten’s hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen made maritime history by being first cruise ship in the world to sail purely on battery power – as she left Kleven yard for her maiden voyage off the coast of Norway in late June.

IMAGES AND VIDEO: Watch MS Roald Amundsen sailing on battery power
MEET THE CAPTAIN: Hurtigruten veteran Kai (54) to captain MS Roald Amundsen

Specially designed for exploring some of the most spectacular waters of the planet, MS Roald Amundsen features groundbreaking green technology.

The hybrid powered expedition cruise ship is using battery packs to support her low-emission engines and will reduce CO2 emissions with more than 20 % compared to other cruise ships of the same size.

– This opens a new chapter in maritime history. MS Roald Amundsen is the first cruise ship equipped with batteries, something deemed impossible just a few years back. With the introduction of MS Roald Amundsen, Hurtigruten sets a new standard not only for cruising, but for the entire shipping industry to follow, said Skjeldam (pictured).

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Image: Hurtigruten

The stunning scenery will be reflected in a modern Scandinavian design – with features spanning from the high-tech Amundsen Science Center, vast observation decks, an infinity pool, panoramic sauna, wellness center, three restaurants, bars, Explorer Lounge, aft-facing suites with private outdoor hot tubs, and the laidback atmosphere that creates the special Hurtigruten on board feel.

EXPLORE THE GREEN PIONEERVirtual tour of MS Roald Amundsen

From pole to pole

MS Roald Amundsen’s maiden season includes expedition cruises along the Norwegian coast, to Svalbard and Greenland, before becoming the first hybrid powered ship to attempt a traverse of the legendary Northwest Passage – following in the wake of the namesake explorer Roald Amundsen’s famed expedition.

In addition to eco-friendly expedition cruises along the west coast of North- and South America – with destinations bigger cruise ships cannot reach – the MS Roald Amundsen will head to the extreme south for a full 2019/2020 Antarctica season.

On board facilities includes: A fully equipped Science Center, observation decks, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, wellness center, three restaurants, bars, Explorer Lounge, more than 50 % of cabins with private balconies.

Hurtigruten – World leader in exploration travel

Building on 125 years of Norwegian pioneering heritage, Hurtigruten is today the world’s largest expedition cruise company.

Hurtigruten’s rapidly growing fleet of custom-build expedition ships takes modern-day adventure travellers to the world’s most spectacular destinations on our Planet – from the High North to Antarctica in the south.

Being the world leader in exploration travel comes with a great responsibility. Hurtigruten is enhancing destinations and runs an responsible, sustainable global operation. Read more about Hurtigruten’s sustainability efforts here.

Hurtigruten is introducing the world’s first hybrid battery powered cruise ships, the MS Roald Amundsen (2019) and the MS Fridtjof Nansen (2020).

MS Roald Amundsen Factfile

IMO No.: 9813072

Shipyard:  Kleven Yards, Norway

Length: 140 m

Width: 23,6 m

Draft: 5,3 m

Gross tonnage: 20.889

Passengers: 530

Staterooms & suits: 265

Crew: 151

Cruising speed: 15 knots

Ice class: PC-6

The World’s first hybrid powered cruise ship equipped with large battery packs and groundbreaking green technology.

Want to learn more about the worlds first battery powered cruise ship? then be sure to check out my next post when I will be profiling this remarkable ship.

Hurtigruten website

http://www.hurtigruten.co.uk

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HRH THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL BECOMES GODMOTHER TO SAGA’S SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY IN DOVER

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Image: Saga Cruises

On Friday 5th July HRH The Duchess of Cornwall today became Godmother to Saga’s new boutique cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery, in Dover, Kent. It’s the first cruise ship to be named at the Port of Dover for over a decade.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall joined over 500 guests in true British style, at what is thought to be the first ever garden party on a quayside.  Grass grown in Yorkshire adorned the harbour, surrounded by traditional bunting and table settings, stunning foliage, florals, trees and parasols.

HRH was given a tour of the ‘contemporary classic’ Spirit of Discovery which has been designed and built to be a British ‘boutique’ hotel on the sea. Whilst on board she met Jools Holland OBE in ‘The Club by Jools’, as well as Captain Julian Burgess and crew on the Bridge and entertainers in the Playhouse, the ship’s theatre. She also viewed some of the 400 plus pieces of original art commissioned by British based artists and artisans. These include a striking glass work created by sculptor Peter Layton, and inspired by the Royal Gardens at Highgrove.

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HRH The Duchess of Cornwall cuts the cake image: Saga Cruises

Following the tour of Spirit of Discovery, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall cut a specially made cake, a two-metre long replica of Spirit of Discovery, designed and made by Mark Tilling, award winning chocolatier and winner of Bake Off Crème de la Crème. During the official naming ceremony, HRH and guests were entertained by The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Collingwood and the Morriston Orpheus Choir. The ship was blessed by The Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall formally named Spirit of Discovery with a jeroboam of the specially-blended Hush Heath English sparkling wine, before an eco-confetti cannon fired across the proceedings.

HRH is the patron of the charity The Silver Line, which provides a 24-hour telephone service for older people who are feeling lonely or isolated, and is Saga’s first national charity partner. During her speech she said of The Silver Line, “Since its launch in 2013, it has received over 2 million calls – and the support of Saga will ensure that its vital work can continue.”

Robin Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Saga Travel, said, “This is an immensely proud moment for Saga. We started this journey to build something special some three and a half years ago, and today, we are honoured to be joined by our Godmother, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. We firmly believe that Spirit of Discovery creates a new British quality standard in the cruising market and we can’t wait to welcome guests on board.”

The occasion celebrated the start of a significant new era for Saga Cruises, the only remaining British registered, independent, cruise company, whose headquarters are in Folkestone and Best Small Cruise Company winner at the British Travel Awards 2019. Saga’s Spirit of Discovery is their first commissioned ship, and is the only ship built and delivered exclusively for the British market this year.  She has been registered in the UK and will proudly display London as her port of registry on her stern. Her sister ship, Spirit of Adventure, will also fly the Red Ensign when she launches in 2020. Moreover, Spirit of Discovery is the first ship to be docked, and named, at Dover Western Docks following the £250m redevelopment of the area.

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Image: Saga Cruises

The inaugural cruise of Spirit of Discovery, named ‘A British First’, will depart from Dover on 10th July and sail around the British Isles and will make her first visit to Southampton 22nd July.

You can find out more by visiting Saga Cruises website https://travel.saga.co.uk/cruises/ocean/our-ships/spirit-of-discovery.aspx?pid=ppsl&scid=ppc-b&infinity=ict2~net~gaw~ar~338966019539~kw~saga%20cruises~mt~e~cmp~Brand_Long+Tail_Cruises_X_X_X_Core_X_Exact~ag~Cruise&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_bnnnaui4wIViEHTCh1b4AY5EAAYASABEgKLZvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

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MSC CRUISES FURTHER ENHANCES AWARD-WINNING* FAMILY OFFERING WITH NEW TEEN WEB SERIES AND NEW ACTIVITIES LAUNCHING ON MSC GRANDIOSA

·        MSC Grandiosa will feature three brand new activities: MSC Dance Crew, The Drone Academy and Spy Mission

·        Cruise line introduces new web series developed specifically for teens: Cabin 12006

·        MasterChef at Sea Juniors rolling out fleetwide in 2019

Debuting onboard MSC Grandiosa, the Company’s new flagship launching in November this year.

Each year, MSC Cruises welcomes over 350,000 children onboard its ships, with a comprehensive entertainment schedule offering hundreds of hours of activities each week, up to 700 m2 of dedicated kids space with rooms for different age groups as well as exhilarating aqua parks, high-tech virtual games arcade and much much more. The Company is now introducing three brand new activities to MSC GrandiosaMSC Dance CrewThe Drone Academy and Spy Mission, as well as introducing a new web series targeted at teenagers.

Matteo Mancini, MSC Cruises’ Children’s Entertainment Manager commented: “The growing number of teens sailing with us, 13-17 year olds now make up 40% of our young guests – this has driven our development of exciting new teen-focused entertainment activities and a new web series dedicated to teens. We are delighted to launch MSC Dance Crew, Spy Mission and The Drone Academy onboard MSC Grandiosa later this year, and announce that filming is underway for ‘Cabin 12006’ – our new teens web series coming online early next year.”

NEW KIDS ENTERTAINMENT ACTIVITIES LAUNCHING ON MSC GRANDIOSA

  • MSC DANCE CREW – developed in partnership with Fremantle, the production company behind the globally successful TV talent shows including Idols, The X Factor and Got Talent series, this brand-new competition experience sees teams of 12-17 years battling it out to win the title of dance crew of the year.
  • MSC Cruises is working in collaboration with London-based immersive agency, The Department, who specialise in creating theatrical and technology-driven productions for a host of global brands and companies to introduce:

o   THE DRONE ACADEMY – taking place in MSC Grandiosa’s Sportsplex venue, this high-tech and high-energy drone relay race comes to life at night thanks to fluo effects and glowing drones. Teens are trained on drone piloting skills before competing in teams to race through the 390m2 arena navigating 15 obstacles in the quickest time possible.

o   SPY MISSION – young audiences play a central role in a new, immersive, roaming spy experience, a first for MSC Cruises. Blending the lines between reality and fiction; guests are led through a number of different scenes, taking place throughout the ship to unravel unique storylines, follow clues and solve the mystery to win a host of MSC Cruises prizes.

NEW TEENS WEB SERIES ‘CABIN 12006’ LAUCNHING EARLY 2020

Following the success of ‘Kelly & Kloe Onboard’, MSC Cruises’ kids web seasons, running for three series and attracting over five million views, the Company is now introducing a brand-new web series targeted at teens.

The seven-episode series follows teenager Markus as he embarks on his first ever cruise – however, his holiday doesn’t quite go to plan and turns into an unexpected adventure…

MSC Bellissima’s Cabin 12006 is full of unanswered questions and many surprises, and it’s down to Markus and his friend Lucas to solve the mystery with the help of virtual personal cruise assistant ZOE. Meanwhile, two young guys dreaming of a career onboard a cruise ship come aboard for a unique internship and unintentionally get tangled in the story thanks to an unexpected whirlwind love story.

The series has been written and shot in collaboration with Viacom, the media group behind kids’ channel Nickelodeon, to develop an original, authentic and high-quality web series for kids.

The series features some of the worlds most loved talents including Luciano SpinelliMax & HarveyMatteo Markus BokSespoValerio MazzeiRosalba and for the first time as comedians, kids from UNICEF Ambassador group Kids United. Between them, they have millions of followers across their social channels and are known by kids and teens of all ages worldwide.

Those who have followed the Kelly & Kloe series will be glad to hear that the two main characters also make appearances throughout ‘Cabin 12006’.

Filming is currently underway onboard MSC Bellissima, with the episodes expected to launch early in 2020. For those who haven’t seen ‘Kelly & Kloe Onboard’, head over to kellyandkloe.com now to watch all three seasons.

MASTERCHEF AT SEA JUNIORS

Throughout 2019, MasterChef at Sea Juniors that launched last October on MSC Seaview is rolling out across the entire MSC Cruises fleet, meaning that kids on board any ship will be able to take part in the interactive two-stage cooking competition.

This activity is developed to help inspire a new generation of children to take an interest in cooking and encourage healthy eating. The activity helps children to practice useful techniques and cultivate creativity in the kitchen through recipes devised by Rukmini Iyer, a MasterChef contestant from 2013 and author of two best-selling cookbooks.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MSC CRUISES KIDS’ OFFERING

These elements are just the latest enhancement to MSC Cruises’ award winning* family offering that already includes:

  • The LEGO Experience on-board – a whole day on every cruise itinerary that is dedicated to fun LEGO® activities, which culminates in the children receiving a Jr. LEGO® Master Builder diploma
  • DOREBRO – a dedicated sports programme for kids of all ages
  • A range of services for babies and toddlers: including the Baby-Club for children under 3 as well as a dedicated childcare service. Many of these services are offered in collaboration with Chicco® – the leading global baby brand and yet another exclusive MSC Cruises partnership.
  • Family Explorer Club – tailor-made shore excursion programme to meet the needs of the whole family
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MSC Grandiosa Image: MSC Cruises

For more information about MSC Cruises’ family offering please visit: www.msccruises.co.uk

For more media information about MSC Cruises please visit www.mscpressarea.com