Spotlight on: New & Newly Revitalized Ships
Whether it is a completely new class of ship for a cruise line, or a sister-ship of another popular build, there is always something exciting about a new ship. And while this year has been a bit quieter when it comes to the cruise lines adding to their fleets, there are some great new ships that will be grabbing a lot of attention. Both Princess and Norwegian have new ships; the Royal Princess and the Norwegian Getaway, a sister ship to the Norwegian Breakaway.
The story is quite different when it comes to river cruises. Thanks to the growing popularity of River Cruising, there are a large number of new River Cruise vessels that have already been launched this year with even more to come in 2014.
There are also a large number of ships that will feel like new with a number of ships from Disney, Royal Caribbean and Carnival all undergoing major refurbishments.
So, whether you want to be one of the first on a brand new ship, or enjoy sailing on one that is “just like new”, there are plenty of new and exciting options for you next cruise vacation!
The Newest Ships
The Royal Princess was introduced in Europe this past summer after being christened by her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. After sailing Mediterranean cruises this summer, the Royal Princess began her inaugural Caribbean season sailing out of Fort Lauderdale just a few weeks ago.
The Royal Princess will be sailing to the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale through the spring of 2014, after which she will return to Europe for the summer season.
Highlights of the Royal Princess:
-An even larger and expanded atrium with additional entertainment and casual dining options
-Princess’s largest top deck pool ever with a water & light show, an enhanced Movies Under the Stars® screen, and the new SeaWalk with views 128 feet straight down
-A larger version of The Sanctuary, an adults only haven featuring the option of private VIP cabanas
-Balconies on all outside staterooms
[box]Search for Royal Princess cruise deals here.[/box]
*Coming in June, 2014- the sister ship to the Royal Princess, the Regal Princess.
Norwegian Getaway- “Miami’s Ultimate Ship”
The Norwegian Getaway will begin service with a 10-Night transatlantic from Southampton to Miami on January 16th. Once stateside, the Getaway will be used in Super Bowl XLVIII festivities in New York, followed by a few days of Inaugural celebrations and finally, the Getaway will begin sailing from her homeport of Miami on February 8th, 2014.
-The Norwegian Getaway will be sailing 7 night Eastern Caribbean departures from Miami year-round.
Highlights of the Norwegian Getaway:
-Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical, Legally Blonde
-The Grammy Experience, featuring live performances by Grammy-nominated artists
-The Waterfront, a quarter-mile oceanfront promenade
-678 Ocean Place, three decks of entertainment
-Up to 26 dining options
-Aqua Park, featuring 5 multi-story waterslides
-The Haven by Norwegian, a private and exclusive suite and villa complex[box]Check out even more about the Norwegian Getaway here.[/box]
Thanks to the river cruising boom, many river cruise lines continue to introduce not just one but multiple new ships. Here are just two examples of River Cruise lines that are quickly adding to their already growing fleet:
–Avalon Waterways introduced two new ships in 2013 and will introduce three more in 2014
–Viking River Cruises will added 10 new vessels in 2013 and will add 10 more in 2014
“Like New”- Recently Revitalized Ships
While there aren’t as many new builds this year, there are a lot of ships that have been refurbished. Many “older” ships will feel more like newer versions of themselves with new enchantments and updates that often included refreshed staterooms and public spaces as well as new dining and entertainment options and venues. In some cases like Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the seas, a new cabin category may be added! Here are some of the top ships that have undergone (or will be undergoing) revitalizations:
The Disney Magic® is now even more magical with new spaces and enhancements aboard to delight kids, adults and families.
Highlights of the “re-imagined” Disney Magic include:
-All-new Disney’s Oceaneer Club, including Marvel’s Avengers Academy, Toy Story fun in Andy’s Room and the Mickey Mouse Club
-The new AquaDunk – a breathtaking waterslide that begins with a near-vertical plunge
-Carioca’s, a new restaurant inspired by the colorful culture of Brazil.
-And updated look in Animator’s Palate
-Cabanas, a new casual dining experience themed to the Australian setting of the Disney•Pixar animated classic “Finding Nemo.”
See videos about the Disney Magic “re-imagined” here.
[box]Search for Disney Magic cruises here.[/box]
Royal Caribbean “Royal Advantage” Revitalizations
Royal Caribbean’s next new ship, the Quantum of the Seas won’t make her debut for another year, but in the meantime, Royal Caribbean has been in the process of revitalizing their fleet with 13 ships currently sailing “refreshed” and 3 additional ships will join them this coming winter and spring.
These enhancements, which Royal Caribbean calls the “Royal Advantage”, include new features for entertainment, dining, technology, staterooms and more.
The following ships have been revitalized with the “Royal Advantage”:
Radiance, Liberty, Freedom, Splendour, Rhapsody, Mariner, Grandeur, Serenade, Enchantment, Legend, Independence, Brilliance and Vision of the Seas.
Navigator (February 2014), Adventure (April 2014), and Voyager of the Seas (May 2014).
-Outdoor Movie Screen
-Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
-The Dreamworks Experience (Freedom, Liberty and Mariner of the Seas in addition to the Allure and Oasis)
-New dining options such as Chef’s Table and Giovanni’s Table (varies by ship)
-Virtual Balcony Staterooms, inside staterooms that feature an 80-inch, high definition screen that spans nearly floor to ceiling, offering expansive real time views (Navigator of the Seas)
-Centrum Aerial Entertainment (Brilliance, Grandeur, Legend, Rhapsody, Serenade, Splendour and Vision)[box]Search for Royal Caribbean cruise deals here.[/box]
Early this year, Carnival took one of their older ships the Destiny, and did a complete refurbishment including a new name- the Carnival Sunshine.
Some of the highlights of the Carnival Sunshine:
-The biggest Serenity area ever (adults-only area), featuring three decks, plenty of recliners… and even a waterfall. -Carnival WaterWorks, an onboard waterpark
-New dining options such as Guy’s Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and Ji Ji Asian Kitchen
-The latest Carnival bars including RedFrog Pub, BlueIguana Tequila Bar, EA SPORTS Bar and Alchemy Bar[box]Search for cruises aboard the Carnival Sunshine here.[/box] [fblike]