Quantum: Beer

August 20, 2014

I only seem to have ‘Quantum’ news at present. NCL and MSC etc. are all very quiet:

As a Brit, I’m not familiar with the guy, the pub or the beer – but I would definitely give it a go!

Quantum: Artwork, But No Royal Prom As We know It.

August 16, 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 the painfully 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.  RCI did suggest that it would have.

RCI have just released a more detailed/higher resolution cut-away rendering which answers the question:

(Hi-Def  - Click To Enlarge)

(Hi-Def – Click To Enlarge)

It would appear that Quantum’s design does not feature a ‘Royal Promenade’ as we know it.

‘Dynamic Dining’, like NCL’s ‘Freestyle’ requires that much of the ship is devoted to multiple dining rooms and multiple entertainment spaces. Unfortunately this leaves less internal space for large ‘Wow’ spaces that we have come to associate with RCI ships. (Cleverly some of Quantum’s wow features are on the upper deck, outside: Seaplex, I-Fly and North Star).

(RCI)

(RCI)

The cut-away shows that Quantum has a two-deck high walkway (deck 4 and 5) passing through her centre of the ship, for maybe half  the length . There appears to be an upper and lower walkway. It has dining rooms, retail and entertainment venues on either side. It looks as if  the two levels are linked by staircases.  It appears  not pass through the ship in a straight line, but deviate around venues, so you cannot see form one end of it to the other.  There are definitely no cabins overlooking it.

Now we could have a long debate about what exactly constitutes a ‘Royal Promenade’. However let’s just say that it is not a RP as we have seen before on RCI ships. I believe the new space will lack the scale (length, Height and width) that we normally associate with a RP.   It looks not a dissimilar linking-space to those that you will find on many new ships, like NCL’s ‘Breakaway’ and the ‘Celebrity Solstice’ designs. Not so much a street passing though the centre of the ship,  but a  large corridor. Same purpose, different design.

(RCI)

(RCI )

crossing

(RCI – “The Crossing”)

There is a vertical glass art-work (above, under the ‘M’ of ‘Quantum’) called “The Crossing” which encompasses a wall of 210 butterflies representing 30 species, each made of aluminium, stainless steel, acrylic and enamel.

Another art-work is the centrepiece of a rotunda  (below), surrounded by 10 green chairs. RCI describe it as a sprawling, undulating structure titled “Waves of Light,” which explores the light’s potential as a structural element. (I think that they may need more than 10 chairs!)

(RCI)

(RCI – “Waves of Light”)

The top deck now features the Magenta Polar Bear statue called “From Afar” (below) outside the Seaplex, near the Rock Wall.

(RCI)

(RCI – “From Afar”)

RCI have been very brave. They have not only completely changed their dining system and dress code, they have changed their original ‘Royal Promenade’ concept and lost their signature venue, the ‘Royal Viking Crown’, replacing the latter with the Two70 Degree  Lounge.  The Music Hall, Seaplex, I-Fly and North Star are of course new innovations.

It still all adds up to be an exciting new ship.

Malcolm

(Disagree? post a message and tell me)

Quantum’s Float Out

August 13, 2014

Above: Float Out – During the morning of 13th August, 2014, Papenburg Germany.

Below: Quantum’s Magenta Polar Bear

(RCI Image)

(RCI Image)

Video:

Below: Sonic Odyssey

Below: Wonderland (Dining)

Tilbury To Gravesend Ferry

August 10, 2014

Slide-show taken yesterday (Saturday 9th Aug 2014) Tilbury, Essex, UK:

Note the ‘Marco Polo’ cruise ship, in the background.

Princess Orders Third Royal-Class Ship

July 30, 2014

30 JULY 2014.

Today Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc, announced that it has reached an agreement with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build a new ship, which will enter service in 2017.

Royal Princess (Princess Image)

Royal Princess (Princess Image)

The as-yet unnamed 143,000-ton vessel, which will be built at an all-in cost of approximately 600 million euros, will carry 3,560 passengers, and feature the successful design platform introduced by sister ships Royal Princess in 2013 and Regal Princess which entered service this past May.

“We are incredibly excited to add this fabulous new ship to our already formidable fleet,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Royal Princess and Regal Princess have been exceptionally successful for us and have received numerous accolades from guests, travel agents and media, so adding another sister ship will enable us to continue to expand our innovative vacation experiences. We’re very pleased that this new ship order is an indication of the confidence that our parent Carnival Corporation has in the future of the Princess brand.” She added that this is the only new order Carnival Corporation & plc anticipates for 2017.

Specific features and amenities for the ship, along with deployment details, will be revealed in the coming months.

(Source: Princess Cruises)

Malcolm Says: Let’s not forget that P&O’s forthcoming ‘Britannia’ is based on the ‘Royal princess’ platform.

State-of-the-Art Accommodation for Quantum of the Seas

July 27, 2014

Titanic II Progress

July 20, 2014

July 2014:

It’s now been two years since Clive Palmer announced that he was to build the Titanic 2 ship, and so we thought it would be a good idea to look at the progress made in that time. As you might already know, things haven’t gone according to plan for Palmer with the current situation not looking good.

(Clive Palmer)

(Clive Palmer)

Over the past year and half Palmer made great progress with getting the right team in place and even had a model made last year in order to test the design of the ship, which had to be slightly different to the original.

However, since then Titanic 2 progress seems to have stalled because its keel was meant to be laid back in March, and last we heard this was pushed back to September 2014, which would mean a year since the first model test.

Interest was reignited last month in Asia, and so it still seems that the ship is planned to be completed in 2016. However, the news that Palmer could be detained if he enters China has put a huge question mark as to the chance of the Titanic 2 ship ever getting built.

According to the news report, Palmer is not popular with the People’s Republic of China because of some alleged shady goings on. If this is the case and you were hoping to get a ticket to sail on Titanic 2, then you might have to rethink this, as the ship was due to be built in China, something that is now unlikely to happen.

(Source: cruiseshipnews.co.uk)

Malcolm says: Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger! I’ve no idea if this story is accurate. I’ve no idea what “alleged shady goings on” means.  However ‘Deltamarin’ claim to be still finalizing the ships design.

NCL Orders Two More Breakaway-Plus Ships

July 15, 2014

NCL  has ordered two more Breakaway-Plus-class ships for delivery in 2018 and 2019.

The two 164,600 gross tonnage, 4,200-passenger ships will be built by Germany-based Meyer Werft. The first will be delivered in the second quarter 2018, while the second will come in the fourth quarter 2019. They will join sister Breakaway-Plus-class ships Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss, due October 2015 and March 2017, respectively.

(NCL Image)

(NCL Image)

The design of the Breakaway-Plus-class ships is based on the two Breakaway-class ships already in Norwegian’s fleet, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway.

The contract price for both new ships is approximately 1.6 billion euros.

(NCL/Cruise Critic)

Malcolm says: O.K NOT the two rumoured 200,00gt mega-ships, but two more impressive additions to the expanding NCL fleet. As for homeports, how about China and the UK? Maybe not the two new breakaway+ ships themselves, but they would free up older tonnage for re-deployment.

What Would NCL Include On A 200,000gt Mega-ship?

July 14, 2014

While daydreaming, I was wondering what the Norwegian cruise might include on-board a 200,000 gross tonne mega-ship.

(November 2013 - Click for bigger image)

Getaway – Andreas Depping

A recent rumour suggest that they might be about to order such a mega-ship (or two) which would be almost as big as Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the seas (225,000 gt).

Firstly I believe that such a ship would have to be a completely new design. NCL have added an extra deck to their ‘Breakaway’ design (146,600gt) to create the ‘Breakaway Plus’ (Escape and Bliss at 163,000 gt) but we are talking about a 200,000gt. That’s more than just two extra decks!

Not only is Oasis the world’s biggest class of cruise ship, carrying the highest number of passengers (6,296 maximum) she also has room for a number of breath-taking public spaces. Not only does she have an enlarged ‘Royal Promenade’, which is an internal street running along much the length of the ship, she has the ‘Boardwalk’, complete with Merry-Go-Round at the stern and the amazing ‘Central Park, an area with real trees and plants. Only the remarkable split-superstructure design and  scale of the ship allows such ‘wow’ spaces.

Central Park (Oasis)

Central Park (Oasis)

Norwegian’s three most recent ships: Epic, Breakaway, Getaway and the forthcoming Escape and Bliss all have a very different design to Oasis.  Third generation ‘Freestyle’ requires almost every inch of the ships to be packed with multiple dining rooms, multiple bars and multiple entertainment venues. This leaves little room for double-height rooms or big spaces. Even their atriums are modest when compared to many other big modern cruise ships.

So what would they do with 200,000 gt? Well more cabins and more passengers than ‘Escape’ is a given. I guess her double occupancy might be around 5,000 passengers, so that’s maybe a 1,000 more than ‘Breakaway’?  Obviously bigger dining rooms and bigger entertainment venues will be required to handle the extra passengers. However NCL’s new ships already have more dining options than you could use in 7 night cruise. Would a new NCL mega-ships really need even more?

It would be nice to see at least some of the extra-gross tonnage used for some big new public spaces. I assume the very attractive ‘Waterfront’ feature (bars and dining rooms lining an external promenade deck) will be back. After all it’s a simple, but excellent idea. I would expect such a mega-ship have a much enhanced ‘Waterfront’. They say that Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the MSC newbuild project ‘Seaside’ will also have a big ‘Waterfront’ like feature.

(The Waterfront)

(The Waterfront)

What would NCL do with the pool-deck? We have already seen their big aqua-parks with mini golf, sports court, ropes course, rock climbing wall and water slides. What next, a Ferris -Wheel or roller coaster? Maybe even a mini-train around the deck?

Personally I like some of the traditional ideas such as a high forward facing observation lounge. This helps give a ship a better ‘connection with the sea’.  Even RCI have abandoned their signature ‘Royal Viking Crown’ lounge on-board their new ‘Quantum’ class ship, which is a shame.

How about pools? Everyone seems to complain that the pools on-board mega-ships are not plentiful enough and too small. I believe this is because they are now always located on the top deck and having too many tons of water up their can compromise the ships stability. How about creating a big pool, on a low deck, inside the ship. This is where the pools were located on-board the ocean liners of yesteryear. Just an idea!

In short, I have no more idea than the next man what NCL might incorporate into a new mega-ship, but its fun to speculate. What facilities do you think a new NCL mega-ship might have?

Malcolm

Quantum For Geeks

July 11, 2014

I’m a little worried about Quantum.

Quantum’s design is a major change in direction for RCI. In the past their ships have always featured impressive ‘Wow’ spaces which few other ships could match: the tallest atriums, the Royal Viking Crown, the Royal Promenade, Studio B, the Boardwalk, the Aqua-Theatre and Central Park etc.

Now that they have adopted an ‘Dynamic Dining’ an NCL like ‘Freestyle’ system, the ships design will focus on the many dining options. If Quantum is like NCL’s latest ships, almost every inch will be dedicated to dining, bars and other smaller revenue generating lounges and entertainment venues. Large open spaces or large public rooms (including double height ones) may well be too much of a luxury to accommodate. The Two70 Degree lounge is probably the main exception.

I am worried that they have thrown out the baby with the bath water.

In addition NCL have had several decades of practice and many ship designs, to make ‘Freestyle’ work properly. Even now it is not without it’s problems. This is RCI’s first attempt at a ‘Freestyle’ like system.

As I said earlier, I am a little worried.

Malcolm


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