Monday, 15 September 2014

Work Has Begun To Stretch MSC Cruises' Armonia

MSC Cruises has begun their multimillion euro programme to stretch all four of their Lirica Class ships. 

Work began on 31st August to stretch MSC Armonia, the first of the four ships to undergo the refit. The vessel was cut in two and separated early this month, at the Fincantieri shipyard, ready for the pre-fabricated section to be inserted and welded.

The 80ft section, which was welded into place on 10th September, will not only provide 193 new cabins, but also a new waterpark area for the children, an enhanced boutique and refitted restaurants.

The refit will take approximately 9 weeks from start to finish, with a completion date of 17th November 2014. Upon completion MSC Armonia will carry 480 additional passengers and increase the ship’s weight by an estimated 5000 tonnes.

The three remaining ships are scheduled for their refit on the following dates:
MSC Sinfonia: 12 January – 16 March 2015
MSC Opera: 2 May – 4 July 2015
MSC Lirica: 31 August – 9 November 2015

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Friday, 5 September 2014

Seabourn Revise Dress Guidelines

The following information has been provided by Seabourn.

In general, the world is becoming less formal in terms of the attire people are expected to wear in a given situation. At the same time, Seabourn guests expect to encounter a level of elegance which is beyond that they would normally experience at home. In order to balance these two sets of expectations, the following guidelines have been implemented.

Daytime wear
During the day we request that swimwear is not worn in the interior public rooms. Further, brief shorts (such as jogging shorts and work-out apparel) are not considered appropriate attire in dining venues and lounges.  (Bermuda, or longer shorts and jeans are acceptable).

Evening wear
In the evening (after 6pm) there are two different dress codes:

     1.  Elegant Casual
Men: slacks with a collared dress shirt or sweater; Jacket optional
          Ladies: slacks / skirt, blouse, pant suit or dress
          This is the dress standard for all dining venues
          Jeans are welcome in all dining venues during the day
          Jeans are not appropriate in the Restaurant after 6pm
     2.  Formal
          In the Restaurant:
              Men: Tuxedo, suit or slacks and jacket required
              Ladies: evening gown or other formal apparel
          Dress in other dining venues is Elegant Casual
          Jeans are welcome in all dining venues during the day
          Jeans are not appropriate in any public venues after 6pm

The breakdown per cruise for the different dress codes is as follows:
        Up to 13 day cruise – 1 Formal night
        14-20 day cruise – 2 formal nights
        21 or more day cruise – 3 formal nights

Christmas & New Year Cruises will have two formal nights per week or four for the two-week cruise, with Dress Code on December 25 and December 31 Formal.

Formal Evenings in The Restaurant
A sign with the evening dress code will be posted in The Restaurant, the only area where the dress code will be strictly enforced on formal nights. On Formal nights, a selection of jackets will be available to be offered to gentlemen who arrive without one. Alternatively they may dine in their suites, or in the Veranda Café/Colonnade/R2/Patio/Sky Grill when open.

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Thursday, 4 September 2014

Royal Caribbean International Sell Celebrity Century to Chinese Travel Company

Royal Caribbean International have announced that they plan to sell Celebrity Century, the 19-year-old, 1,814 passenger ship, to Ctrip, a Chinese travel company.

Royal Caribbean International and Ctrip have entered into a joint venture, both managing the operations of Celebrity Century. However the details of this agreement have not yet been announced.

Ctrip International, Ltd is one of China's leading travel agencies, with interests in accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours and corporate travel mamangement. they have sent more than 120,000 passengers on cruises and makeup more than 10% of the Chinese cruise market.

Celebrity Century will complete its scheduled sailings through to March 22, 2015 itinerary plus scheduled farewell cruises, including one with President and CEO Michael Bayley before leaving Celebrity Cruises fleet in April. It has also been rumoured that the vessel will receive a full renovation ensuring a great cruise experience for the Chinese market.

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Friday, 29 August 2014

Celebrity Eclipse Will Undergo A Revamp April 2015

Celebrity Cruises has announced that Celebrity Eclipse will undergo a revamp April 2015 just in time for her six consecutive summer seasons from Southampton! The Solstice Class ship will arrive in the UK, May 2015, ready for the summer season with some luxurious new features!

Cellar Masters is becoming Gastrobar A new craft beer and comfort food venue
• Gastrobar's upscale casual surroundings will feature inviting entertainment and music for the complete sophisticated lounge experience
• The new venue will offer food and beer enthusiasts a choice of over 40 handcrafted boutique beers in addition to Celebrity Cruises' varied collection of wines and classy cocktails, all of which are perfectly paired with a menu of elevated bar-fare creations

American style Casino becomes a bit more British
• Guests will be able to enjoy more British style slot machines
• The bar will receive an upgrade with a reconfigured layout including a new seating area and larger TVs for viewing sporting events
• Better odds will be offered through more European-style roulette

Say Goodbye to the Pool Kiosk & hello to ‘Slush’ 
• The current sea and sun kiosk will be reinvented as a frozen drinks venue called ‘Slush’ featuring flavour-rich and fresh frozen cocktails
• The venue will be modern, bright and cheerful to entice passing guests
• Alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails will be served with perfectly balanced ingredients ranging from fresh pressed lemon juice to Persian lime

The Studio is becoming a brand new fine art photography studio
• The Studio will provide guests with a brand new, unique and Modern LuxurySM venue that will take the portraiture experience to a whole new level
• The Studio will specialise in ‘fine art photography’
• The Hot Glass ShowSM will remain, and The Studio will replace the Glass Exhibit

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P&O Cruises' Britannia To Feature Most Luxurious Spa Facilities

Britannia, (P&O Cruises newest ship, scheduled for delivery February 2015), is not just the largest ship ever to be built for the British market - She also has the glamour and sophistication of a five-star hotel, complete with five-star facilities and first-class amenities.

To relax and unwind, guests can visit Britannia's signature Oasis Spa; the largest and most luxurious spa amongst the P&O Cruises fleet, complete with a Spa Shop! The first Spa Shop to feature on a P&O Cruises ship will stock skin and haircare products by Elemis, La Therapie, Phyto, Bliss and Sebastian. The Oasis Spa will also be equipped with two other new features designed to appeal to couples and groups, the Oasis Villa and a new 'blowout menu'. 

The Oasis Villa
New to the P&O Cruises fleet, the Oasis Villa is an exclusive area for guests to unwind. Facilities include a private whirlpool and a personal spa therapist for a treatment of their choice.

Blowout Menu
Following recent trends in the UK market, the Oasis Spa will feature a new 'blowout menu', perfect for black tie evenings. Guests can nip to the salon to be treated by "honchos of the hair dryer and masters of the make-up brush". The blowout menu will include a variety of treatments from a deep conditioning hair treatment to a full blown 'bombshell' makeover.

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Construction Begins On Holland America Line's New Pinnacle Class Vessel

The end of last week saw Holland America Line celebrate the keel laying of its new Pinnacle Class ship. 

The 680-ton block which was cut earlier this year was lowered by crane into the yard's building dock, marking the official beginning of construction. The event was attended by Holland America Line's Keith Tayor, senior vice president, fleet operations and Cyril Tatar, vice president, newbuild and technical operations

"The keel laying of our new Pinnacle Class vessel heightens the anticipation for delivery because very soon we’ll see the ship begin to take shape,” said Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America Line. “As the largest ship ever built for Holland America Line, the vessel features many innovations and new features, and we’re excited to see it all come together over the next year and a half.”

The new ship is being built at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Italy and is scheduled for delivery February 2016. At 99,500-gross-ton it is the largest ship ever built for Holland America Line and will hold 2,650 passengers. The ship will showcase decors by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, based in New York City, and designer and architect Bjorn Storbraaten, based in Oslow, Norway.

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Royal Caribbean Reveal Quantum of the Seas - The world's first 'smartship'

When Royal Caribbean began their 99 day count down until their newest cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas, we knew they wouldn't disappoint! Yesterday, as part of the big countdown, Royal Caribbean announced the latest update on the ship during an online 'reveal' where Quantum of the Seas was labelled the first ever 'smartship'.

With the latest technological innovations it is easy to see why Quantum of the Seas will be the smartest ship in the world!

Smart Check-in
"From sidewalk to ship in 10 minutes"
For the first time ever Royal Caribbean will eliminate the counter check-in, forms and queues when you arrive at the cruise terminal! Passengers will now use an easy online check-in system to upload their own ID photo before they arrive at the cruise terminal and will receive a digital check-in confirmation.

PLUS with the latest RFID technology, passengers will be able to track their luggage in real time on their smartphones. Luggage will be tagged at drop-off and from their passengers can monitor the progress of their bags from through key points from drop-off to arrival at passengers' cabins.

Smart Concierge
"Flexibility at your fingertips"
Royal Caribbean are introducing new RFID WOWband wristbands, with just one simple tap passengers will navigate around the ship, make onboard purchases and access their cabin.

PLUS two brand new smartphone apps, Cruise Planner & Royal IQ.
Cruise Planner gives guests the ability to book shore excursions, spa appointments and dinner reservations through their smartphone or tablet even before their cruise begins.

Royal IQ is a smartphone app which is used by guests during their cruise, it includes a quick view of the cruise programme and the ability to text and phone one another or even those at home.

Smart Connect
"Speeds that match the fastest connections on shore"
Quantum of the Seas will operate with more bandwidth than every cruise ship in the world combined! Passengers will be able to stream videos, check email, share images on social media and enjoy video calls, even in the middle of the ocean, no matter what device they bring onboard.

PLUS such speedy connections will make it possible for SeaPlex to become a live global video gaming suite. Guests will enjoy Xbox Live with the ability to challenge other gamers worldwide!

Smart Experiences
"A fully robotic bar"
Quantum of the Seas will include various brand new venues including, Bionic Bar, where passengers will place their order via tablets and have fun watching fully robotic bartenders prepare their cocktails.
Another spectacular new venue featuring robotic technology is Two70, home to six Roboscreens that participate and perform during evening shows.

Watch the video for an overview of the technology onboard!