As the cruise industry continues to grow, suppliers are jockeying to be the best at sea. Consequently, many lines are revamping existing ships and adding new ones. This month, I’m taking a quick look at three vessels deploying in 2014.
Princess Cruises launches the new Regal Princess in
May 2014. The 141,000-ton ship begins its maiden season in the Mediterranean with several seven-night cruises between Venice, Italy, to Athens, Greece. It later morphs into longer itineraries in the Mediterranean before beginning its fall trek across the Atlantic for the ships maiden Caribbean season.
Regal Princess offers a host of amenities to entertain guests, such as The Sanctuary for adults only; a youth and teens area call Remix; Shockwave – where younger kids can enjoy activities in their own space; an atrium with expanded casual dining; and a Princess first – The Skywalk, a glass-paneled walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship. Also Regal Princess has no ocean-view stateroom. Instead, the line opted to have two categories of balconies: regular and deluxe.
You can find more info on the Regal Princess at www.princess.com.
Norwegian Cruise Line christened the Norwegian Getaway in February. This ship features the first Aqua Park at sea; a three-story sports complex that includes the largest ropes course at sea; a nine-hole miniature golf course; basketball court; a rock climbing wall; and a unique waterfront promenade with intimate cafés and boutique shops. It also has the Nickelodeon experience for the whole family and includes the Kids’ Aqua Park with a Nickelodeon-theme.
The Getaway has myriad accommodations for single cruisers, families and upscale clients who can enjoy yacht-like services in The Haven; a secluded ship-within-a-ship area reserved for those booking villas and suites with its home port in Miami year-round, this ship has lots to keep travelers entertained.
Visit www.ncl.com for more information.
In the fall, Royal Caribbean unveils the Quantum of the Seas. Though smaller than its predecessors (Oasis and Allure of the Seas) the “wow” has not diminished. Notable features include 28 studio staterooms for singles (including 12 studio staterooms with balconies); aft-facing staterooms with two-story “loft” suites; 80-inch virtual balconies displaying live views of the outdoors in interior rooms; a skydiving experience caledl Ripcord; the first bumper cars at sea; the North Star Observation pod taking passengers 300 feet above the sea for 360-degree views of destinations; and the first circus school at sea where you can learn to fly on a trapeze.
The Quantum will have approximately 19 dining venues on board – something for every taste. Before making its way to U.S. shores, it will sail several itineraries from Southhampton, United Kingdom, before going to its home port at Cape Liberty, New Jersey. From there it will make calls in the Bahamas and Caribbean. Learn more about the Quantum of the Seas at www.royalcaribbean.com/quantumoftheseas.
Whether you decide to sail during the maiden seasons or later on, be sure to check with your personal travel professional. Often they have group space available at lower rates and additional perks to save you money.
So until next time – happy travels!
Rose Alston is a certified travel and master cruise counselor. She operates a business in Fairfield and can be reached at [email protected]