MSC reveal digital technology, Celebrity launch Edge, Cunard return to Alaska, Symphony is announced, Norwegian Joy float out, Princess release guest speaker names & Boyzlife to perform on P&O Cruises...
MSC Unveils Digital Technology Debuting On Meraviglia
MSC Cruises has revealed more details on the new digital technology that will allow passengers to start their cruise before they have even boarded the ship. Passengers will be able to book restaurants, shore excursions and other services as well as select their onboard preferences before setting foot onboard their ship.
MSC for Me will consist of 130 different functions, including a smart watch, mobile app for passengers as well as crew, tablet and website as well as in-cabin technology through the TV.
The technology will provide passengers with the ability to find venues onboard the ship, access menus and the ship’s daily programme – and even find the nearest bathroom for when nature calls! In addition to this the next-generation smart watch will also allow passengers access to their cabins, make purchases and request support.
Celebrity Cruises Reveals Edge-Class Detail
As it goes on sale for the first time, Celebrity Cruises have announced the first details for their new class of ship, Celebrity Edge.
Celebrity Edge’s inaugural sailing will take place in December 2018, offering two itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The first will sail to the Eastern Caribbean taking in destinations such as San Juan, Puerto Rico and Philipsburg. Whilst the second is a Western Caribbean voyage stopping off at at destinations including Costa Maya, Cozumel and Grand Cayman.
One of the standout features of Celebrity Edge is the ‘Magic Carpet’ – which is a ship climbing platform which can travel 13 stories and re-position itself alongside decks, allowing for new or extended venues depending on position. During the day, the Magic Carpet will serve as an al fresco extension to a raw bar restaurant on Deck 5. The movable deck will rise to the pool deck ( deck 14) for happy hours and late-night parties. At dinner time, it will be used as an alternative restaurant on Deck 16 where the theme will change every night.
New suite categories have also been added, which have been designed in partnership with interior designer Kelly Hoppen. These include Iconic Suites located above the bridge of the ship. These will offer panoramic views of the ocean and a private veranda; and Edge Villas, which will feature plunge pools, ocean views and direct walk-out access to ‘The Retreat’.
Another innovation that Celebrity Edge will introduce is the Infinite Veranda, a cabin designed to seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor. The Infinite Veranda makes your balcony part of your room, thanks to bi-fold doors that can be opened completely, adding roughly 23% more space to the room.
Cunard Returns To Alaska For First Time In 20 Years
For the first time in more than 20 years, Cunard will sail to Alaska as part of its ‘Oceans of Discovery’ program in 2019.
Queen Victoria will operate the only full world cruise in 2019, which will leave Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 as well as Queen Elizabeth with greater flexibility to travel to a mixture of destinations the line has said.
Queen Elizabeth will undertake its first Alaskan cruise, crossing the North Pacific and Gulf of Alaska en route to Vancouver, this will be the first time that any of the line’s current fleet will have travelled to Alaska. She will run a total of 41 cruise combinations ranging from 2 to 38 nights overall.
Queen Victoria which is scheduled to undergo a refit in June will run a 107-night world voyage in 2019 on a western circumnavigation via the Panama Canal. Passengers will be able to travel on sections, which sees the ship end up sailing the Indian Ocean to South Africa before returning to Southampton.
Queen Mary 2’s 2019 deployment features UK departures visiting the Mediterranean, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean to Far East and back, these journeys range from one to three weeks, but they can be combined to a full 94 day voyage.
Symphony Of The Seas Announced As Royal’s New Ship
It has been confirmed that Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, which is set to launch in April 2018 will be named Symphony of the Seas, and will be the largest cruise ship in the world.
At a massive 230,000 gross registered tons and measuring 362m long, the vessel will offer 28 more staterooms than her newest sister ship, Harmony of the Seas.
Symphony will also include many of the same features as Harmony, such as the seven-neighbourhood concept, the Bionic Bar, AquaTheatre and the Perfect Storm trio of waterslides. Symphony will spend her inaugural season exploring the Mediterranean calling into destinations such as Barcelona, Naples and Provence before heading to Miami. She will begin seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries on 17th November 2018 from the ‘Crown of Miami’ Terminal A.
Norwegian Joy Floats Out As First Chinese Ship For NCL
Norwegian Joy floated out from Meyer Werft’s shipyard located in Papenburg, Germany on the 4th March, becoming Norwegian Cruise Line’s first purpose-built ship for the Chinese market. The ship is the second ship in the cruise line’s Breakaway Plus Class, but will offer a significantly different experience from one you would expect to find onboard sister ships Norwegian Escape which sails out of Miami.
The 168.000-ton Norwegian Joy, which can carry 3,850 passengers, features the Haven, the line’s ship within a ship concept, a 180-degree view observation desk, open-air laser tag, a shopping district and colourful artwork by Chinese artist Tan Ping. The ship is scheduled to be delivered to Norwegian Cruise Line next month, and it will being sailing voyages from Shanghai and Tianjin (Beijing) beginning in summer 2017.
Princess Cruises unveils star-studded guest speaker line-up
Princess Cruises has revealed that names from across the world of royalty, entertainment, politics and sport will speak on Crown Princess, one of its Southampton-based ships for this spring and summer. Crown Princess will sail to the Mediterranean and northern Europe from April to September 2017 on seven and 14-night cruises.
The line-up is the first time Princess has introduced a speaker programme on one of its UK ships. It forms part of Princess’ Encounters with Discovery speaker series and comprises the following:
– Katie Nicholl (Royal correspondent and commentator), on a 14-night Med cruise, departs April 22
– Beverley Callard (actress, Liz McDonald in Coronation Street), on a 7-night cruise, departs May 6
– Harry Redknapp (former footballer and manager), on two 14-night Med cruises, April 22 and May 13
– Graham Gooch OBE (former England cricket captain), on a 7-night Scandinavia cruise, departs May 27
– Peter Shilton OBE (former England goalkeeper & football manager), on a 14-night North Cape and Norwegian Fjords cruise, departs June 17
– John Virgo (former snooker player, current snooker commentator), on a 7-night Fjords cruise, July 1
– Terry Butcher (former England captain and football manager), on a 14-night Baltic cruise, departs July 8
– Paul Burrell RVM (butler to Diana, Princess of Wales), on a 7-night Fjords cruise, departs July 22
– Mike Gatting OBE (former England cricket captain), on a 14-night Mediterranean cruise, departs July 29
– Sherrie Hewson (actor, presenter, broadcaster and novelist), on a 14-night cruise, departs August 12
– Edwina Currie (former MP. Novelist and broadcaster), on a 7-night Scandinavia cruise, August 26
Each speaker will host a 45-minute talk with questions and answers, as well as a meet and greet session including photographs and book signings. Additionally some speakers will be judges on ‘The Voice of the Ocean’, an onboard singing competition for guests, which is based on ITV’s ‘The Voice’.
Irish supergroup Boyzlife to perform on Britannia this August
Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy from Westlife and Boyzone are joining forces to create Boyzlife and will be performing in Britannia’s Limelight club in August this year. Guests on board can pay £49 per person for the unique show which will feature dinner, plus a performance from the boys. Boyzlife will be performing on the first five nights of Britannia’s 14-night Spain, France & Italy cruise round trip from Southampton. The cruise departs August 12, 2017 with prices starting from £1,299 per person.
P&O Cruises have teamed up with literally an army of chefs and cooks to create the first cookery school on board a British ship, headed up by celebrity chef James Martin. James is joined by Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar and wine guru Olly Smith who are already well established P&O Cruises favourites. Also involved with the cookery school is acclaimed patisserie Eric Lanlard and cheese expert Charlie Turnbull, who together with James, Marco and Atul make up the ‘P&O Cruises Food Heros’. The chefs are cruising on selected sailings throughout the 2015/2016 programme, so worth checking when you’re looking to book to see who is on board.
For entertainment, P&O Cruises innovation continues in The Limelight Club, the fleets first dinner and entertainment venue in the great tradition of the supper club. The stunning Headliners Theatre boasts digital technology to rival almost any West End stage, and The Studio, Crystal Room and Live Lounge complete the line-up for both daytime and evening entertainment. Another place you can head to is Brodies on Deck 6 – delivering a menu of British beers from over 56 counties in the UK, from lagers, to ales, to ciders, to beers, you can find it all here.
On Deck 7, you will find the Crystal Room with its beautiful wooden dance floor to gleaming chandeliers, and this is the venue where stars from Strictly Come Dancing will perform on board selected cruises.