What’s New, and undergoing change
within the Cruise Line Industry!
Part 3, 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 here to view), Part 2,covered cruise lines H thru P, (see it here) while this Part 3, covers the final North American Market cruise lines, as well as the European and Asian River cruise market.
Regent Seven Seas– As one of the top of the Luxury Cruising Industry with the Awards and Accolades to show for it, Regent is truly an “all-inclusive” luxury product. With 2 for 1 cruise fares, Free Air Packages, Free unlimited shore excursions, Free Alcoholic Beverages, Free Prepaid Gratuities, Free In-Room Mini Bar Service (restocked daily), As well as Free Transfers between Airport and Sea Terminals (let’s see did I forget anything. It’s certainly easy to see why they rank at the top for Luxury Cruise Ship products. While no new ships to speak of, Regent Seven Seas announced that beginning with the Summer 2012 Sailing Season, that all concierge suite level guests and above will enjoy a wide range of benefits. From Priority Excursions and restaurant reservations, to other room upgrades and other complimentary amenities. With treatment such as this, it’s no wonder Regent Seven Seas is continually voted by the passengers as the best of the Luxury Cruise Lines.
Royal Caribbean Cruises International – 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 if the 6600 passenger “Oasis of the Seas” which was launched in December of 2009 and became the largest cruise passenger carrying ship in the world wasn’t enough. Just this past November brought the unveiling of her sister and pretty much twin ship called “Allure of the Seas” except that Allure boasts a few inches longer to be able to capture the title of Largest Cruise Ship in the world from Oasis. Both ships call home at the world’s largest cruise ship terminal located at pier 18 (check out the video here) in Port Everglades (Ft Lauderdale, Fla.) Presently both ships are sailing varied Caribbean Itineraries, as they are so big, it’s about the only place they can take them for now. These ships are a marvel of not only engineering, but ingenuity as they are definitely destinations unto themselves. Having had the privilege of cruising on both, I can tell you that it will take you the weeks cruise duration, just to be able to see and take in everything these ships truly have to offer. You Might wish to check out my recent Blog Post on the Inaugural Sailing of the Allure (click here to read the review). A wonderful adventure for all to say the least!
Seabourn Cruises – Which you may have known as The Yachts of Seabourn, only recently decided to opt for the name change in order to get more in step with their competitors within the Luxury Cruise Product Market. Seabourn will launch a brand new ship next month (May 2011), and she will be called Seabourn “Quest”. So special is this new vessel, that the company has decided that they will actually require two separate inaugural sailings. A short one (3 days) which customarily will take aboard media, and cruise industry personnel which helps to set the tempo of not only the media buzz, but to be able to let the people involved in the selling of space on this maritime marvel the opportunity to really get familiar with the amenities and services offered on her. There will also be a special 8 day Inaugural Sailing which is typically attended by their cruise lines loyals, and other interested passengers which will take place prior to receiving a fireworks reception ceremony in Barcelona Spain. Sounds ultra exciting to me!
Silversea Cruises – known for offering some of the most in ultimate’s of the luxury cruise line business, will be giving her ship the “Silver Shadow” a makeover, which will include completely new looks and decors in her suites. Which in the case of this cruise line all staterooms are suites, and all are situated in exterior positions. Of all of the suites on board Silversea’s vessels the smallest suites on board start off at 240 sq. feet in size, and have no balcony just merely ocean views. Which means that there are no inside nor “windowless” accommodations on their ships. Therefore, the price is governed by suite size and positioning on the ships passenger decks. Upcoming remodeling plans for the “Silver Shadow” include not only the various public areas within the ships interior, but new and exciting upgraded outdoor spaces as well. Keep up the standard Silversea. Where as in years past, only the very well off generally opted for this cruise line, but now with the competitive pricing, (when you account for all of the included values of these cruises), makes them just as affordable or even less expensive, than the upgraded accommodations on other premium type cruise line providers. Such a Value!!
Uniworld Luxury River Cruises – Known for being the World’s Premier Luxury River Cruise innovator, and is definitely known for being the Most Luxurious of the River Cruise Lines presently available, with their one of the most well-appointed fleet of ships, and is absolutely one of the finest, if not the very finest river boat fleet ever to take to the european waterways. There newest ship to join their fleet was just recently christened the S.S. Antoinette, and is getting rave reviews from passengers and agents alike. and carries a mere 164 passenger capacity. Her features include the largest staterooms, and suites (in the river cruise line industry) and are quite tastefully appointed with extras like marble finishes, and the rooms decor and their service staff are absolutely over the top. Also Uniworld offers the most in available river cruise sailings and destination itineraries. Be sure to (check out) the Uniworld video. One of the nice touches that Uniworld is known for is their completely all-inclusive approach to river cruising. They also provide company executive accompanied tours, as well as escorted guided tours and special events making sure that your ultimate pleasure and comfort are assured. A truly first class operation all the way!
Viking River Cruises – Once known as the World’s leader in the luxury river cruise service, she has been overtaken by Uniworld in that category, and is getting some pretty stiff competition from an up-and-comer in the form of AMA Waterways. (See my article on what river cruising is all about here) So both Viking and AMA are battling it out for becoming the “premier” class of river cruising service. To keep pace with the number of vessels AMA has been bringing into service over the past few years, Viking has recently announced that they are building 4 new “long boats” to be launched beginning in 2012, and they are boasting that these new ships will be setting new benchmarks for what Viking officials are calling “The next generation of River Cruise Vessels”. With 75% of these ships featuring either real balconies, or “French Balconies”. One of the major reasons why these ships are generally restricted to not having balconies is so that they can navigate the smaller canals, waterways and locks associated with the narrower navigable tributaries throughout Europe. So it sounds like these new ships will be getting streamlined right into the major river (the wider waterways) itineraries. Competition can only breed better service and bargains for the river cruising public. Bring it on Viking!!!
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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