Connect with us

Cruise News

New Royal Caribbean Ship Details Revealed

Published

on

Royal Caribbean has announced new details on their upcoming ship, Symphony of the Seas. The vessel will claim the title of largest cruise ship in the world when she debuts in April 2018 for her inaugural season in Europe.

Reimagined Boardwalk

Symphony will introduce a new generation of Royal’s famed mega-ship Boardwalk neighborhood, infused with new venues and experience for all ages. Playmaker Sports Bar & Arcade will be the place to watch the “big game” from around the world across 30 big-screen TVs. Spanning the length of the boardwalk, the vibrant sports bar will be a family hot spot for wings, burgers, and craft beer on draft, along with everyone’s favorite arcade games. Adjacent to the Boardwalk’s iconic carousel will be Sugar Beach, a candy and ice cream shop bursting with colorful candy-packed walls and temping ice cream and toppings. The venue will also offer family-friendly activities for aspirational bakers.

rendering of Playmaker Sports Bar

Other additions will be the Ultimate Abyss, which will be taller and even more thrilling than the version aboard Harmony of the Seas. Johnny Rockets will be aboard for guests to satisfy their burgers and shakes cravings, and the AquaTheater will offer awe-inspiring aquatic acrobatics shows for a fun family evening.

The Ultimate Family Suite

Aboard Symphony of the Seas will be a brand-new type of family suite. The two-level Ultimate Family Suite is a dream come true for kids of all ages, offering a slide from the kid’s bedroom to the living room below, a floor to ceiling LEGO wall, an air-hockey table, and hidden nooks for relaxing.

A separate 3D movie theater-style TV room includes a popcorn machine and library of video games across multiple gaming systems. On the outside, the suite boasts an impressive 212-square foot balcony with a pool table, climbing experience, and full-size hot tub. The suite is 1,346 square feet and can accommodate a family of up to 8 in two bedrooms. Guests in the cabin will also have access to their personal Royal Genie (butler), who will take care of their every need.

rendering of the Ultimate Family Suite

New Dining Options

The vessel will be debuting new dining concepts for Royal Caribbean across the seven neighborhoods. Hooked Seafood is Royal’s first New England-style seafood restaurant with fresh seafood and a large raw bar. Located in the Solarium, the casual restaurant will offer expansive views of the open water, serving lunch and dinner. El Loco Fresh, located in the sports zone, will serve up made-to-order tacos, burritos, and other Mexican fare.

Some of Royal Caribbean’s signature favorites like Wonderland, Jamie’s Italian, 150 Central Park, Park Café, and Izumi Hibachi and Sushi will also be onboard.

rendering of El Loco Fresh

Entertainment at the Next Level

Back by popular demand, the brand’s first Broadway musical at sea – “Hairspray” – will return on Symphony with a total refresh. “Flight,” a historic satire on the evolution of air travel, will end with homage to the Wright Brothers. In the AquaTheater, a new aqua show, “HiRo,” offers lots of wow factor with high-diving and acrobatics. Studio B will showcase a new time-travel adventure, and a new high-tech ice-skating show “1977” will bring guests to London on the eve of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee when her Crown Jewels are stolen in the heist of the century. The ship will also boast glow-in-the-dark laser tag and a Puzzle Break submarine-themed escape room experience.

Mobile Check-In

The latest technological innovations will be integrated throughout the ship, including a redesigned check-in process that eliminates lines and the need to wait at the counter. The new process will leverage facial-recognition, bar codes, and beacons to make boarding quick and easy. Guests check in on Royal’s new mobile app and upload their security photo to create their onboard account at home. Upon arriving, guests go through security and head to their cabin, where their key will be waiting. Symphony will also offer VOOM high-speed internet and virtual balconies.

Symphony of the Seas will be the 25th ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, kicking off her maiden season in the Mediterranean before heading to Miami in November 2018 for Caribbean voyages. It will span 16 decks and carry over 5,500 guests.

Renderings: Royal Caribbean

Sponsored Link

SaveSaveSaveSave

Advertisement

Cruise News

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Ship Photos Released

Published

on

This week, the folks at Norwegian Cruise Line officially took delivery of their newest ship, the Norwegian Bliss, and cruisers are getting a look at the inside of this latest megaship! Forget the renderings… photos of the actual ship are starting to come in, and she’s a beauty. The ceremony — during which shipbuilders Meyer Wert handed over the ship in Bremerhaven, Germany — took place on Thursday, and the final touches are currently being put on the ship! Scroll down for details and some pretty gorgeous photos! And remember that Cruise Radio will be coming to you live the weekend of May 4 as the Norwegian Bliss arrives in New York and is introduced to her godmother, Queen Latifah!

Stunning New Photos Of The Norwegian Bliss

Over the past few years, Norwegian has built ships specifically designed to serve or represent a particular location. The Norwegian Breakaway, for example, was designed to homeport in New York City (although, after five years of doing so, she’s now visiting other ports). And while the Norwegian Bliss will sail out of several locations during her first season, she is specifically designed for Alaskan sailings… which is most noticeable when it comes to her two observation lounges, from which passengers can enjoy stunning views of what is often called “the last frontier.”

The heart of the ship can be found at 678 Ocean Place, spanning three decks (with the casino on deck 7, for those who can’t wait to hit the slots!) and anchored by the stunning chandelier pictured below.

 

Next up on our photo tour is The Haven, Norwegian’s exclusive ship-within-a-ship area. On board the Bliss, the Haven will feature not only the usual pool, private sundeck and 24-hour butler service, but also a special observation lounge available only to Haven guests.

 

Among the gorgeous spaces on board are, of course, numerous restaurants including high-end seafood eatery Ocean Blue, with it’s coral-inspired ceiling lights and soothing ambiance…

 

… Los Lobos, serving some of the best Mexican-themed cuisine (and, of course, margaritas!) at sea…

 

… and, in a first for Norwegian Cruise Line, Q, the Texas-style barbeque joint which will also feature live entertainment each night.

Sponsored Link

Other Shipboard Features

Of course, it wouldn’t be a modern-day cruise ship without a shopping area. On the Norwegian Bliss, that is Tradewinds, featuring everything from high-end watches to items you might have forgotten to pack before leaving home.

 

While several Norwegian ships have featured the Sugarcane Mojito bar in recent years, the one aboard Norwegian Bliss offers more space than previous incarnations and some fun splashes of color (to go with the amazing array of hand-crafted mojitos which are a highlight of the menu).

 

Oh yeah, lest we forget, there is of course that race track you’ve probably heard a thing or two about.

As mentioned previously, Bliss will feature two observation lounges. One will be exclusively available for guests of the haven, but a second lounge — featuring amazing forward-facing views and, of course a bar — is open to all guests.

Finally, there’s the pool deck. Or, as pictured below, one of them. You can see the Aqua Racer looming in the background, one of several slides featured aboard Norwegian’s newest ship.

 

 

Are you excited to sail on the Norwegian Bliss? What’s your favorite feature of the new ship? Hit the comments, and make sure to join us for exclusive photos, interviews and more when we board the ship in New York City on Friday, May 4! 

 

All photos via Meyer Werf’s Facebook page

Continue Reading

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line Reverses Unpopular Pricing Decision

Published

on

Yesterday, we reported that Carnival Cruise Line had boosted the price of their new Pixel photo packages… a decision which proved wildly unpopular. And in response to their loyal passengers complaining, Carnival has reversed the decision! There is, however, a modification being made to the program.

The New/Old Prices

“Effective today,” wrote Brand Ambassador John heald on his popular Facebook page, “Pixels pre-cruise photo packages are returning to their introductory pricing. To balance the strong popularity of the most premium package with the onboard photo center resources, there will be a cap on the number of copies guests can order of their unlimited photos to a maximum of 50 prints or 50 digital files. The other two packages remain the same.”

He added that another change would be made by popular request. “We are now making these packages available to guests onboard on embarkation day only at special rates.” Those who pre-purchased the package at the higher rate will be given an onboard credit for the difference in price. “We will also honor the original Pixels Plus Digital package for those who purchased it before today,” he added.

 

Pixels Digital Photo Gallery onboard Carnival Horizon

“We appreciate our guests’ feedback,” he concluded, “and are happy that we can provide the great opportunity to preserve their cruise memories with photo packages that meet their needs. So there you go!”

Sponsored Link

Although the website had not yet been updated to reflect the change when Heald made the announcement, the original pricing on the packages was as follows, with the onboard-purchase price he mentioned listed as well.

  • Pixels: This package offers prints of 5 of your best photographs, plus 1 16” by 20” canvas portrait at a cost of $99.99. (The embarkation day price will be $119.98.)
  • Pixels Plus: With this package, you can choose as many of your favorites as you like and have them printed at a cost of $199.99. (The embarkation day price will be $239.98.)
  • Pixels Plus Digital: This option offers you all of the prints of your favorite photographs, plus a souvenir USB stick containing high-resolution digital versions of the pictures, and runs $249.99. (The embarkation-day price will be $299.98.)

Those picking the Pixels option have until the final sea day of their voyage to pick the five prints they want to have made. Passengers who purchase a package will receive a Pixels gift ticket, which will be left in their stateroom. That ticket can then be taken to the photo gallery for redemption (which must be done within two days of boarding).

 

Continue Reading

Cruise News

Could Free Wi-Fi Be Coming To Carnival Cruise Line?

Published

on

Gone are the days when people tried to completely disconnect while on vacation. Now, one of the things cruisers look for when planning a trip is how easily they’ll be able to stay connected… and how much it will cost! But is the idea of free wi-fi for everyone on board even a possibility, given both the technical aspects and cost prohibitions? In a recent interview, a Carnival exec suggested that might not be as far-fetched as it currently seems!

Connecting The Dots

In talking to Cruise Industry News, Reza Rasoulian, Carnival’s vice president of global connectivity (aka their internet guru), addressed some of the questions and issues all of the cruise lines are currently dealing with. And make no mistake: keeping passengers connected is something that all of the major cruise lines are interested in doing for numerous reasons. Not only is it something that their customers increasingly demand, but it also creates an avalanche of free advertising as passengers use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to make everyone back home jealous!

Guests want to be able to connect from wherever they are on a ship… including the Carnival Sunshine’s atrium!

 

“There’s a lot of great ideas out tehre,” Rasoulian told the site. “We are on a great trajectory as an industry, because we need to change the conversation and make sure connectivity isn’t a problem.”

Sponsored Link

But could this ultimately mean putting an end to wi-fi packages in favor of access being included in the price of a cruise? “We know that there are cruise lines offering it now,” he admits, “but the ships are small, 300 guests, so that’s a whole different equation. Scale is a factor, but we need to provide a situation where there’s no friction. Maybe it will happen in five or 10 years as a collaborative process.”

Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, echoed that sentiment when speaking to the press during the rollout of the line’s newest and biggest ship, Symphony of the Seas. “The theory is that over the next five to 10 years, as the technology improves, the cost of internet is going to start decreasing significantly. So I think at some point, when the cost becomes more sensible, then it will [probably be] something that will convert into free internet and Wi-Fi for our customers.”

Why Wi-Fi Is So Important

In February, Carnival Corporation tested its MedallionNet Wi-Fi on Princess Cruise Line’s Regal Princess in an effort to, as Chief Experience and Innovation officer John Padgett explained, “demonstrate that guests can have a connected experience that parallels land-based Wi-Fi.”

Over the past few years, the cruise industry has made major strides in reaching out to younger cruisers. But the executives behind the scenes know that in order to convince many gadget-addicted millennials to trade traditional land-based vacations for ones on the high seas, they must provide the kind of connectivity they demand. It’s a tall order, and one the cruise lines take very seriously… as evidenced by the fact that Carnival’s newest ship, the Carnival Horizon, even comes with a Wearable Tech outlet staffed by employees who can not only sell you the latest fitness tracking devices, but show you how to use them.

“One of the conscious decisions we continue to make is that we are not standing still,” says Rasoulian. “We want to continue to evolve.” Which would seem to indicate that when it comes to cruising, free Wi-Fi is more a matter of when than if!

Do you purchase a wi-fi package when you cruise? How important is it that you be able to stay connected to folks back home?

Continue Reading

Sponsored Link

ads

Sponsored Link

Stay in the Know with Cruise Radio

Send this to a friend

Hi, this may be of interest to you: New Royal Caribbean Ship Details Revealed. This is the link: https://cruiseradio.net/new-royal-caribbean-ship-details-revealed/