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New Royal Caribbean Ship Details Revealed



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

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Québec, Canada Wants Wintertime Cruise Guests



With the increased demand for cruises to Canada and New England, and the growing trend of cold weather cruises, Québec tourism and port officials recently invited representatives from Adventure Canada, Huerten-Groten and Ponant cruise lines to partake in the first-ever winter familiarization trip to the region.

A ship docked in Québec City – photo: Flickr/Visavis

The group visited Québec from February 8-14, and explored Montréal, Trois-Rivères, Québec, and Saguenay. Activities in Québec included a tour of the port, a taste of the winter Carnaval, a visit to the city’s famed ice hotel “Hotel de Glace,” and urban discovery tours. There was also a trip to Montmorency Falls and the Valcartier Vacation Village, the largest winter playground in America. It has over 35 snow slides, skating paths, snow rafting, 5,000 inner tubes and 17 mechanical lifts, plus ice skating, tobogganing, dog sledding, ski-dooing, and ice fishing.

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Other wintery activities were shown to the group in presentations and discussions. Hôtel 71 in Old Québec City hosted the group during their stay and Chlorophylle, a local manufacturer of upmarket outdoor gear outfitted them in warm year.

For information on activities in Québec City, click here.

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Cruise News

Jeff Foxworthy to Headline 2019 Country Music Cruise



The Country Music Cruise has announced their lineup for the 2019 sailing, and it’s full of talented superstars. The 2019 Country Music Cruise will set sail from January 29 to February 3, 2019 aboard Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam. 

Television star, author, and one of the world’s best comedians Jeff Foxworthy is set to headline the voyage. The Country Music Cruise has sold out each of its first five years, and the 2019 sailing is already nearly 70 percent filled.

Jeff Foxworthy

Emceeing the sixth annual cruise will be television and radio host Lorianne Crook, and back by popular demand will be a special Grand Ole Opry at Sea performance event. The following artists will be performing on this special cruise:

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  • The Oak Ridge Boys
  • Patty Loveless
  • Ronnie Milsap
  • Ricky Skaggs
  • Joe Diffie
  • The Bellamy Brothers
  • Shenandoah
  • Jimmy Fortune
  • Johnny Lee
  • David Ball
  • TG Sheppard
  • Jeannie Seely
  • Wade Hayes
  • Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys
  • Elvis Tribute Artists

Guests aboard the Country Music Cruise will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the stars. In addition to over 50 live performances, cruises can mingle with their favorite artists at theme nights, panel discussions, cooking demonstrations, jam sessions, meet and greets, autograph sessions, and more. The cruise will depart from Fort Lauderdale and stop in Key West, St. Thomas, and Half Moon Cay. To book a cabin, visit

Read More: 5 First Impressions of Nieuw Amsterdam

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Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival $49 Early Saver Deposits Return



Carnival Cruise Line is having a 48 hour Early Saver sale on sailings through April 2020. The sale will last until midnight Thursday, February 22, 2018. Deposits start at $49 and go up to $199 if you’re planning an Alaska or Europe cruise.

Carnival’s Price Protection Guarantee is also in place during this sale, which covers you if the cruise price drops.

Deposits Start at $49 

  • $49 per person deposit is applicable to 2 – 9 day sailings
  • $149 per person deposit is applicable to Vista and Horizon sailings
  • $199 per person is applicable to 10+ days, Alaska and Europe sailings
  • Search Reduced Deposits

Carnival will honor your request for price protection if the reduction on the total amount paid for your booking results only from a lower cruise fare and not from the booked ancillary services, such as air, transfers, pre-paid gratuities, or Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses.

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  • Book by Thursday, January 22
  • Early Saver rates include free room upgrades, $50 onboard credit, plus Free Price Protection
  • Deposits are non-refundable

Sailings available on most ships through April 2020, including Carnival Horizon, Carnival Vista, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Victory, Carnival Elation and more.

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