Royal Caribbean orders yet another ship as the fourth Quantum Class ship begins physical construction; Holland America refreshes suites; and DCL’s policy will not reverberate through the cruise lines. Here is this week’s cruise news!
Royal Caribbean International announced the physical construction of its fourth Quantum class ship at the STX shipyard in St. Nazaire, France. A 1,000-ton block measuring 32 feet by 154 feet was lifted onto the building dock and newly minted coins were placed under the keel. When the ship nears competition, the coins will be presented to the ship’s captain and crew to be placed onboard as per maritime tradition. Royal Caribbean expects to take delivery in spring 2018. The announcement comes the same week as Royal Caribbean orders a fifth Quantum-class ship, which will be delivered in fall 2020.
Cape Liberty Cruise Port welcomed its newest cruise ship, Anthem of the Seas. The ship will sail to The Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti, Grand Cayman, Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, and more Caribbean destinations from New York Harbor on seven- to 12-night cruises.
AAA Travel awarded Royal Caribbean International “Ocean Partner of the Year” and “Best Travel Agent Support.”
Travel Weekly reports that Royal Caribbean will be taking delivery of the 25-year-old Empress, which has been sailing with Pullmantur. The ship will be rebranded as Empress of the Seas following an extensive drydock.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises celebrated Seven Seas Explorer floating out of building dock this week. The ship’s construction will now focus on the interior spaces before its maiden voyage, scheduled for July 20, 2016.
Carnival Cruises Line released an update on its newest ship, Carnival Vista, which has moved to wet dock. Construction continues on the largest and most innovative Carnival ship with 1,968 staterooms, SkyRide, and the first IMAX Theatre at sea. The ship is scheduled to debut on May 1, 2016 in Europe.
Carnival will deploy Carnival Miracle in spring 2017 and Carnival Splendor in spring 2018 to the China market. Carnival Miracle holds 2,124 with a two-to-one guest to crew ratio for outstanding customer service. Carnival Splendor welcomes more than 3,000 passengers.
Holland America Line announced enhancements to top staterooms with new furnishings, décor, amenities, and upgrades for all suites on Signature-, Vista-, and R-Class ships. The enhancements include a new sofa, lounge chairs, and desk chair in the main living area; a new headboard, carpet, and wall coverings; plus new quartz stone top on the desk, dresser, and nightstands. Electronic improvements include a new USB outlet on the bed’s headboard, bedside LED lights, and a new interactive television system with complimentary movies on demand. ms Eurodam will receive a refit Dec. 7-20, 2015 at Freeport, and ms Oosterdam is heading to dry dock April 3-18, 2016. ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Westerdamn, ms Zuiderdam, and ms Noordam will follow, while ms Amsterdam, ms Rotterdam, ms Volendam and ms Zaandam will receive the upgrades during their scheduled dry docks over the next few years.
In addition to the room upgrades, Holland America will also be giving service upgrades to all suites as of January 2016. Passengers in suite categories will enjoy a premium duvet, superior bathrobes and slippers, Bose docking stations, binoculars for use during the voyage, complimentary mimosas with in-suite breakfast, and an in-suite coffee and expresso machine.
Travel Weekly also reports that NCL, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International have plans to continue paying agents their previously agreed upon commissions for onboard bookings, unlike Disney Cruise Lines which recently capped onboard commissions at 10 percent.