Ovation of the Seas

September 19, 2014


Royal Caribbean announced today that the third Quantum-class cruise ship will be named ‘Ovation of the Seas’.

(Meyer Werft/RCI)

(Meyer Werft/RCI)

In addition to announcing the name, the first piece of steel was cut at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. This is the same shipyard where sister cruise ships Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas are being constructed.

Ovation of the Seas is scheduled to be delivered in the autumn of 2016.


Malcolm Says: There only seems to be one cruise line in the world at the moment – RCI! Carnival have been very quiet lately. How long before they introduce a form of ‘freestyle’ dining?

Quantum’s Royal Prommenade Revealed!

September 15, 2014

Since RCI announce their new ship ‘Quantum of the Seas’ in February 2013, there has been much speculation about the ships facilities,  because of RCI’s frustratingly slow revealing of the facts.

A major point of speculation was whether  ‘Quantum’ would have  ‘Royal Promenade’, similar to those on-board the Voyager, Freedom and Oasis class ships, or at least something similar.

(The Crossing - RCI)

(The Crossing – RCI)

RCI did suggest that Quantum would have a Royal Prom. A cut-away diagram shows an internal corridor possibly reminiscent of Celebrities ‘Solstice’ design. However it is not clear if it will have a ‘street’ feel like the ‘Royal Promenade’ that we have grown to love.

Wave of light

Below are latest images from the Meyer Werft, ship yard, Germany,  that give us the best insight yet as to what the ‘Royal Prom’ (or not) might look like.

(RCI/Meyer Werft)

(RCI/Meyer Werft)

(The Crossing - RCI/Meyer Werft)

(The Crossing – RCI/Meyer Werft)

Above: There appears to be a tall atrium with a equally tall butterfly artwork. We do know that vertical glass art-work is called “The Crossing” and it encompasses a wall of 210 butterflies representing 30 species, each made of aluminium, stainless steel, acrylic and enamel.

(RCI/Meyer Werft)

(RCI/Meyer Werft)

MV Discovery

September 14, 2014

Sept. 2014

I recently visited ‘Discovery’ at Bristol’s Avonmouth Docks, and was amazed how many spacious public rooms the ship offered, for her relatively small size (20,186 gt, 698 passengers). Although some of her carpets were a little worn, I was generally very impressed with the overall operation.

She is a real ‘classic’ ship with aspects that reminded me of SS Norway, QE2 and even the SS Rotterdam. My slide show below hardly does her justice – you really need to see her in the flesh.

Discovery was originally the ‘Island Princess’, built in 1971, was one of the ships used to film the classic American TV series, the ‘Love Boat’.

For the past few years Cruise & Maritime Voyages have been chartering her.  However the owners, ‘All Leisure Group’, have gone into the red so are keen to sell her.  CMV will be replacing ‘Discovery’ with ‘Azores’, which they will charter from Portuguese operator Portuscale.

Regular readers will know that I am quite a fan of CMV’s Marco Polo.  MV Discovery is about the same size, carries less passengers and has so many more public lounges and bars. She even has a cinema. (Although internally MP seems to have been benefitted form a more recent refit).


NCL Acquires Prestige Cruises International

September 12, 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Prestige Cruises International, Inc. (“Prestige”), the market leader in the upscale cruise segment and parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, in cash and stock for a total transaction consideration of $3.025 billion.

(NCL Image)

(NCL Image)

“The acquisition of Prestige represents an extraordinary opportunity for Norwegian Cruise Line to expand our market presence by adding two established, award-winning brands in the upscale cruise segment with loyal followings,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer.

“We are excited to become part of the Norwegian family and start a new chapter for our company,” said Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Prestige. “With Oceania and Regent, we have built iconic brands with distinctive product offerings and strong customer loyalty.

Prestige operates eight ships and approximately 6,500 berths under two segment-leading brands. Oceania Cruises is the market leader in the upper-premium cruise segment with five ships offering destination-oriented cruise. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the market leader in the luxury cruise segment and operates three award-winning, all-suite ships, with an additional ship on order for delivery in summer 2016.

“The combination of three distinct brands, each serving a different market segment, under one umbrella immediately creates an industry-leading cruise operator with an unmatched growth trajectory and a portfolio of products that allows us to appeal to guests at every stage of their life cycle,” added Sheehan. “We are fully committed to retaining the brand propositions, guest experiences and cultures of the Norwegian, Oceania and Regent brands that have allowed each to realize such success.”

(Source: NCL)

Quantum 90% Complete

September 11, 2014

12 Sept. 14

Most of the cruise news is still about RCI’s latest vessel. Here’s a nice little video:

Britannia Construction Update

September 9, 2014

P&O’s MV Britannia is currently under construction at the Fincantieri ship-yard, Monfalcone, Italy.

She will be the biggest cruise ship designed specifically for British passengers, although based on the Princess ‘Royal Class’ design.

(P&O Images)

(P&O Images)

Britannia will have a total of 1,837 cabins on board with 27 of those being Single cabins (Inside and Balcony), in addition to conventional Inside and Balcony as well as 64 Suites. For the first time on a P&O Cruises ship, all outside staterooms will have balconies.


Britannia’s Maiden voyage is planned to take place between 14 – 28 March 2015, and will take in Spain, Italy and France.



 (Click to enlarge the P&O images)

Quantum’s Bionic Bar

September 7, 2014

One of the coolest technologies has always been robotics.  The idea of a machine being able to do everyday tasks has always been a dream and Royal Caribbean has seized this idea with the Bionic Bar.

(RCI image)

(RCI image)

The idea is simple: guests place orders via tablets and then can watch the robot bartenders start mixing the cocktails.  Bionic Bar combines two big trends, robotics and mixology.

“It actually looks like a robot … (although) it’s not a humanoid robot,” Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain said.


The single armed robot will get the ice, mints and lemon and then squeeze and shake them to make your drink.  Eventually, there won’t be a limit on what the drinks the robots can make.  The customization is what Royal Caribbean is aiming for.



(RCI Movie Grab)

Malcolm Says: The bit that really made me laugh was:  “What about gratuity? There will still be gratuity on the drinks you order…”

However they added: “… but instead of lining the pockets of these robots, they will go towards a tip pool for the crew members.”

CMV Loses The Love Boat

September 7, 2014

Cruise & Maritime Voyages are about to lose their ship, ‘Discovery’ which they charter.


Just two cruises remain under the CMV banner. The owners, ‘All Leisure Group’, have gone into the red so are keen to sell her.

Discovery was originally the ‘Island Princess’, built in 1971, was one of the ships used to film the classic American TV series, the ‘Love Boat’.

However Cruise & Maritime Voyages will be replacing ‘Discovery’ with ‘Azores’, which they will charter from Portuguese operator Portuscale. The ship’s first cruise for CMV leaves Bristol on January 26th and is a 30-night voyage to the Caribbean.

Azores, first entered service in 1948 but was extensively in 1994.

Malcolm says: I  visited ‘Discovery’ at Bristol, Avonmouth Docks, on 6th September 14.  I was amazed how many spacious public rooms the ship offered, for her relatively small size. Although some of her soft furnishings were a little worn, I was generally very impressed with the overall operation. She will be quite a loss to CMV.

More CMV River Cruises For 2015

September 5, 2014

Following  our successful inaugural season, CMV are delighted to present this expanded selection of Signature River Cruises in addition to our  existing collection of ocean cruises and voyages. For 2015 we will be offering no less than 18 scenic cruising holidays on the beautiful Rhine, Danube, Rhône and Saône rivers in association with our sister company TransOcean Kreuzfahrten aboard the premium Bellejour, Belvedere and Bellefleur.


These premium river ships carry between 150 and 180 discerning guests in style and comfort enjoying excellent service standards and delicious cuisine. Cruising aboard these intimate vessels, pampered by the excellent crew, is a truly relaxing way to travel. Unpack once and enjoy the ever-changing panorama as you glide past beautiful scenery, quaint towns and elegant cities in the comfort of your floating hotel.


On Bellejour, our ‘Rhine and the Netherlands’ cruise begins in Frankfurt and journeys through Germany and the Netherlands to Amsterdam. The ‘Magical Rhine’ will take you on a spectacular voyage through no less than four countries: the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland. Alternatively, discover Germany’s most famous rivers on the ‘Rhine & Moselle Experience’.

Belvedere offers a choice of itineraries and dates cruising the majestic Danube, and on Bellefleur discover the beautiful landscape of the south of France along the Rhône and Saône. At each port of call, stroll into town and explore its delights or take a tour and discover more of the beauty, history and culture of the places you will pass through.  So, with so much choice, why not join us in 2015 on a magnificent river cruise?

(Cruise & Maritime Voyages)

Malcolm Says: CMV are not staffing these river cruises, they are essentially just selling them.

Their opening prices are pretty typical for River Cruises (expensive) but I’m sure that there will be deeper discounts nearer the departure dates. (CMV are not staffing these river cruises they are essentially just selling them)

Quantum of the Seas gets “Wink”

September 4, 2014

Quantum of the Seas will get a new show called ‘Wink’.

Wink is an adults-only show that combines cabaret-style performance art with premium spirits and late-night club life into one big event.

Held in the Music Hall Wink will feature the cast of the Royal Theatre and sounds like it will be very different than anything else we’ve seen before.

In addition, Wink is something for adults to enjoy and it adds to what there is to do at night.  Royal Caribbean is referring to it as a “late night party designed for mature audiences”.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 177 other followers