Latest Cruise News: Norwegian Ups Cancellation Policy; Royal Caribbean Dares You to Jump Into the Abyss; Sleep Like Royalty on Princess

Aerial Norwegian JewelNorwegian Cruise Line revealed its summer 2017 itineraries for North America, Bahamas, and Bermuda. From Seattle Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Jewel will sail seven-night itineraries to Glacier Bay and Sawyer Glacier, respectively, and Norwegian Sun will sail seven-nights to Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seward, Alaska. Special 10- and 14-day itineraries will sail through the Inside Passage and call in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and more. The 14-day Ultimate Alaska will sail from San Francisco on May 15, 2017.

The refurbished Norwegian Gem will sail seven-day Bahamas and Florida cruises from New York from April through August 2017 with stops at Port Canaveral, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau, Bahamas. Norwegian Sky will sail on three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas from Miami, departing Fridays and Mondays.

Norwegian Breakaway will sale from New York City to Bermuda from April to October 2017, and Norwegian Dawn will sail from Boston to Bermuda, from May to September 2017, with two additional cruises in October. Both itineraries are seven days.

Norwegian Gem will also be sailing two summer Canada and New England roundtrip cruises from New York City with calls in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Saint John, and more as well as alternating seven-day roundtrip cruises from New York City during the 2017 fall season. Norwegian Dawn will also sail two return seven-day cruises from Quebec City to Boston with stops in Sydney, Halifax, New Brunswick, and Bar Harbor, Maine.

NCL announced it has been honored by the World Travel Awards as the “World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line” for the fourth consecutive year. It also received “World’s Leading Cruise Line Website.”

Travel Weekly reports that NCL is tightening its cancellation policy as of Jan. 1. Changes include an increase on cancelling cruises (25% of cruise fare) on seven nights or longer from 76 to 89 days ahead of sailing, 50% penalty from 60 to 75 days; 75% penalty from 31 to 60 days; and 100% forfeit within 30 days. Standard deposits were also raised to $100 per person on cruises under seven days; $250 on cruises of seven to nine days; and $400 on cruises that are 10 days and longer. Final payment will also be due closer to the voyages.

Royal Caribbean International revealed the first look of the tallest slide on the seas, The Ultimate Abyss, a 100-foot drop from the Pool and Sports Zone on Deck 16 to the Boardwalk on Deck 6. Guests will begin their thrilling adventure on a glass platform and slide down on customs mats over the aqua theater. The Ultimate Abyss will debut on Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, this May.

Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards named Royal Caribbean the Best Cruise Line Overall for 2015 for the 13th consecutive year as well as Best Cruise Line Sales & Service and Best Cruise Line in the Caribbean for the eighth consecutive year.

MSC Cruises has acquired an island in the Caribbean, to be named Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, through a 100-year lease. With more than 95 acres and six distinct beaches, the development of the island will be the largest by any cruise line in the Caribbean and will feature a purpose-built berth and pier, a 2,000-seat amphitheater, restaurants, bars, and more. For MSC Yacht Club guests, the northwest corner of the island will be an exclusive spot and wellness center with private bungalows, massage huts, a zipline, inland lagoon, and a pavilion for weddings and celebrations. MSC Cruises will break ground on the island in March 2016, and the reserve will welcome its first guest December 2017.

Carnival Cruise Line released its fifth episode of its behind-the-scenes look at Carnival Vista, showcasing how the ship’s stateroom production, the first IMAX screen at sea, and how the two intertwine. Check out the video above for a sneak peek of Carnival Vista, which will debut next May in Europe.

Crystal Cruises announced that Crystal Serenity will sail throughout North American following its 2017 “Southern Celebración” World Cruise, including cruises along California’s coast, Mexico, through the Hawaiian Islands, glaciers in Alaska and British Columbia, New England and Eastern Canada, and fall and winter voyages along the southern east coast of the Caribbean. Itineraries range from seven days to 16.

Travel Weekly reports that Princess Cruises has developed its own bed with the help of Michael Breus, sleep expert and clinical psychologist. The bed will sport a pillow top mattress with individually wrapped coils for less sleep disturbance, 100% Jacquard-woven cotton linens, and will be called the Princess Luxury Bed. They will roll out in 2018 on all 18 of the cruise line’s ships.