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)

Anthem of the Seas is “We Will Rock You”

September 4, 2014

Royal Caribbean has announced that the Broadway musical on Anthem of the Seas will be “We Will Rock You”.

We Will Rock You is based on the music of Queen and will be the Broadway show available on the second Quantum-class cruise ship.


Oh, and did I Mention the future of the Seapass…

RCI’s WOWbands (for Quantum & Anthem at present) are RFID bracelets that allow you tap it and quickly navigate the ship, make on-board purchases, access staterooms and access the Royal iQ app. It is an optional replacement for the SeaPass card.

Unlike a SeaPass card, it can never demagnetize. It’s also waterproof.


Malcolm Says: Maybe the WOWband comes in black for the formal dining room?

Oasis to get ‘Dynamic Dining’ ?

September 3, 2014

According to ‘Cruise Critic’ Royal Caribbean will roll out its flexible dining program to Oasis of the Seas next year and possibly to the rest of its fleet.



The “Dynamic Dining” concept — which is being launched on its two newest ships ‘Quantum of the seas’ and ‘Anthem of the Seas’ marks the end of fixed time seating and main dining rooms and introduces flexible, multichoice dining.

The new program will give passengers a choice of 18 restaurants, of which seven will be fee-free for all guests: four full-service and three casual eateries. A new reservations system also will be used on-board so passengers can decide when, where and with whom they want to eat each night.

RCI has not made an official announcement yet, however a Royal Caribbean spokesperson confirmed: “We have confirmation from head office in Miami that Dynamic Dining will be introduced on Oasis of the Seas in 2015.

(Cruise Critic)

Malcolm Says: I’m not sure how easily ‘Dynamic Dining’ can be retro-fitted to a ship that was built with a very large three-tier ‘main’ dining room. I guess each tier re-branded as a different restaurant. The tiers could even be divided into two, to give six options. It all sounds rather NCL to me.

I wonder how long before the Carnival ships introduce a type of flexible dining?

Oasis review:

Tilbury News (Exclusive)

September 3, 2014

02 September 2014

Repair work is currently taking place at the London Cruise Terminal (Tilbury). Although I do not have an official statement, engineers appear to have removed many of the old timbers, which look badly weathered.  They are carrying out welding on the metal structure below and appear to be replacing the old timbers with new ones.

(Click images to enlarge)

(Click images to enlarge)

This work is not affecting the arrival and departure of cruise ships. The classic cruise ship ‘Marco Polo’, based at Tilbury,  has just returned from a sell-out 12 night Baltic cruise and has departed on a around-Britain itinerary.

(MP and Oceania's Marina, 2014, Germany)

(MP and Oceania’s Marina, 2014, Germany)

The Marco Polo will be undergoing some maintenance and a re-fit  for 6 weeks, commencing around the 10th November and returning to service on the 15th December  2014. I can confirm that she is in excellent condition for a 49 year old ship, but carpets, soft furnishings  and chairs are now showing a little wear. At present I do not have any more details.



Marco Polo Ship Review: (Updated)


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).



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 – “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 – “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 – “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.


(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)


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.


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.


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