What’s New, and undergoing change
within the Cruise Line Industry!
Part 2, of a 3 part series
Part of what I have to do, as a professional cruise planner, is to keep abreast of changes and advancements that are a regular occurrence within the Cruise line Industry. In attempt to merely give you a broad brush stroke of just some of those new innovations and new service offerings that have come about to the various cruise lines mentioned. As there are numerous cruise lines, and vessels; I have broken down the information into a three part series. As a regular feature of our blog, I intend to update these posts a couple of times each cruise year. If you enjoy cruising, I believe you will enjoy being able to stay “in-the-know” about your favorite cruise line. Part 1, covered cruise lines A thru D (click to view), while this Part 2, will cover Cruise Lines H thru P, and Part 3, will cover the final letters of the North American Market Cruise Lines, (click here for article)and the European and Asian River Cruise Market.
Holland American Lines – Which is another of the Premium Cruise Ship products. While no new ships to speak of, HAL recently began a new program that they call “Stateroom Direct Service”. The intent of the new service is to not only simplify the boarding process in general, but in particular to enhance the customer experience (especially for the HAL loyal’s and frequent cruisers of any other brands) by making staterooms readied for the passengers sometimes as early as 11:30am. Which for any avid cruiser you know that is pretty much unheard of. While getting onto a ship by 11:30 is seldom difficult, generally being able to access one’s stateroom at such time is literally unheard of. So this new service will certainly come as a welcome to practically everyone. Thus far, the New Service is being heralded by cruise goers as Great! No more having to lug your carryon bags along with you to the lunch table while awaiting access to the stateroom for this Cruise Line. Great Idea, and Even Better Job pulling it off HAL!
MSC Cruises – Which currently pretty much calls home in Port Everglades (Ft Lauderdale, Fla.) here in North America Since their arrival in North America in 2003. For those who are unfamiliar with this Cruise Line, they offer a Mass Market Cruise Product, intended to compete with the majority of other cruise lines here in North America. As a privately owned Italian Family run company, MSC is poised to be able to offer some product and services that most of the other publically held cruise entities must work through a myriad of decisionary making processes, as do most all other publically held corporations, with Boards and Stockholders to answer to. Also, as the world’s largest containerized shipping company, they will have the ability to offer ports of calls that other cruise lines could only hope for. So be sure to keep your eye on this cruise line. Having cruised on this line personally, I can tell you that I definitely recommend it, very cost effective, and very clean, fitted with modern elegant ship board environments. They are also a very eco minded company. They have now entered into the building the latest of their Fantasia Class of Ship’s to join her other sister ships in May of 2012. She will be called the MSC “Davina” as is currently under construction in the STX Europe shipyards in France. Be sure to watch for her! While I do not have a previous blog post on this new ship. You can view a past article (click here), which I wrote on the “Fantasia” which is an identical class of ship to the “Divina”.
Norweigian Cruise Lines– Known as the innovators of “Freestyle Cruising”, recently in July of 2010, launched their innovative new ship called The “EPIC”. Unlike many of her sisters and cousins, this ship comes equipped with approximately 130 Single, (or Solo intended) passenger staterooms called “Studios”. Where as with most other cruise lines a solo cruise goer is faced with rather hefty single supplement fare, (of 120% to 200%) if unable to find someone to share a stateroom with, this ship comes equipped with rooms intended just for such cruisers, and even boasts a private access lounge strictly for use of the Studio passengers. (click here) To see my “Epic Photo Set” on Flickr, after I toured this captivating ship. Designed for what they felt would be the upwardly mobile single professional traveler, they have also found their new accommodations to be well suited for the active single traveler as well, who in many cases has no partner to join them on their cruise adventures. Having just finished up a sailings stint in the Caribbean, and is now cruising the Mediterranean, but will be returning to Miami later this fall, when she once again will begin her Caribbean Itineraries. Having been on her personally, I can vouch for her new amenities, and appointments, uniquely varied service levels it is certainly a ship for the multitudes to be sure! Neat ideas and concepts NCL!
Princess Cruises– known as the cruise line where one can “escape completely”, primarily due to their most latest “Solstice” class of ships that offer lots of private adult area relaxation venues than do most cruise ships. This particular class of ships is scheduled to become upped a notch with the announced construction of their newest ship, which is scheduled for delivery in May of 2012, and will be called “Royal Princess”, (which is not the first time this name has adorned a Princess vessel). However this ship heralds in their newest class of ships which will hold 3600 passengers, and will feature some pretty innovative designs which will be incorporated into this new vessel. One such new innovation will be the “Sky-Walk” which will be an glass enclosed (and bottomed) walkway, which will extend some 28 feet over the edge of the cruise ship. Also to be unveiled will be a somewhat similar area situated (opposite) on the port side of the ship which will be the “Sea-View Bar”, offering some of the most splendid views anywhere on the sea. Other new features are to include an Outdoor Dance Club, an Adults Only Pool Area, as well as a Water and Light show feature, as well as the largest outdoor movie screen in the princess fleet. This ship is also to have the famed sanctuary area which is a totally adults only rest and relaxation area, where you can unwind with a good book, a sumptuous beverages, grab a private cabana for a couples message, or just lounge in totally uninterrupted relaxation. This is definitely a ship I wish to try out for sure! Here’s a link you can (click on) to read all about this wonderful new ship!
Oceania – Known for being the World’s Luxury Cruise innovator, the latest is also the newest addition to Oceania’s fleet of ships, and a class of ships that bear’s the companies own name. She is called Oceania “Marina”, and carries a mere 1258 passenger capacity. Her features include the largest staterooms, and suites (in the cruise line industry) and are quite tastefully appointed with extras like marble finishes, private in-room workout areas, with some having in-room entertainment viewing areas. One of the nice touches that Oceania is becoming known for is its “Bon Appetit” Culinary Center, offering hands-on cooking instruction under the personal guidance of master chefs. You should know that this offering is capacity controlled and generally booked solid well before the ship sets sail. So if interested, be sure to put in your request as early as possible. Maybe you might like to check out my article and review of this fine vessel just by (clicking here). There are pictures, videos, and a wealth of information on this magnificent cruise ship.
For more information on Cruise Industry breaking news and recent innovations, you can contact Mike via email firstname.lastname@example.org . You can tweet (or follow) Mike at http://www.twitter.com/cruisewithmike . To “Join” our Travel Club go to http://meetup.com/Sun-Cities-Travelers-Group/ Mikes web site can be found at www.mberryhill.cruiseholidays.com . Follow Mike’s blog (or subscribe to it) at http://www.cruisewithmike.com (or merely click on the subscribe button above to have daily delivery to your email). View all of Mikes uploaded Flickr Photo Galleries at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cruisewithmike/ . Mike also edits his own twice daily e-newspaper called “The Compass Headings” you can see (or subscribe to) it free! at http://paper.li/CruisewithMike
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