Well, It’s that time of year again, when we naturally think of things new and old, so what better occasion is there to announce what the cruise lines have in store for us in 2012?(short vid)
Next year, seven ships will embark on their maiden voyages for six different cruise lines. Five will be new-builds, and two are existing ships that will be extensively refurbished and renamed. That’s not counting the Norwegian “Breakaway”, which is set to launch in April 2013, as well as a carbon copy sister ship the Norwegian “Getaway”, which is currently planned to set sail beginning in April of 2014.
Below are some highlights of each ship launching in the next 16 months,
First for the new-builds:
“Disney Fantasy, Disney Cruise Line — March 31, 2012 — 4,000 passengers
Sister-ship to Disney Dream, the 5-star Disney “Fantasy” will be 40% larger than the line’s other two ships (Disney Magic and Disney Wonder) and in typical Disney style, offers fun for the whole family. (see my review of the Dream here).Kids will love meeting some of their favorite Disney characters onboard while participating in age-appropriate, supervised activities in the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab. ‘Tweens and teens can chill out in spaces designed just for them.
When you’re ready for some adult time, parents and grandparents can retreat to one of the kids-free areas of the ship such as the Cove Café, featuring coffee, cocktails and Internet access; the Quiet Cove pool; Palo or Remy, specialty restaurants featuring Italian and French cuisine, respectively; or Meridian, a bar with indoor/outdoor seating that sits between Palo and Remy. If you might be interested in going on this marvels inaugural sailing, better scurry as this sailing is already a near sell out!
Riviera, Oceania Cruises — April 24, 2012 — 1,258 passengers
Sister-ship to the “Marina”, (you can read my review of her here) the 5.5-star “Riviera” is about twice the size of the other ships in Oceania’s fleet. Six open-seating dining venues offer a variety of cuisines, from Italian to Asian Fusion, and from French to American Continental. Fans of Oceania’s signature spaces such as The Patio, Horizons and the Grand Bar will not be disappointed, as each of these venues have a place on this ship.
More than 95% of accommodations boast private balconies and all have large, marble-and-granite bathrooms, LCD flat-screen televisions and exclusive Tranquility beds. Other amenities on the Riviera include the Bon Appétit Culinary Center, offering cooking lessons with experienced chefs, and the Artist Loft, providing instructional courses in fine arts. Even now as this article is being written only a few staterooms remain available for this ship’s inaugural sailing.
.Costa Fascinosa, Costa — May 11, 2012 — 3,800 passengers
The 4.5-star Costa “Fascinosa” is a sister-ship to the Costa Favolosa. Interior spaces are inspired by historic films and their protagonists, and will be outfitted with rich colors and sparkling accents. Dancing enthusiasts will enjoy the ballroom and kids will have the time of their lives in the Squok Club, an extensive kids-only space with age-appropriate activities that will feature a pool/water park area, which is hoped to make a splash with the younger cruisers on board!
There will also be an outdoor movie screen, 13 bars and lounges, five hot tubs, a video arcade, a chapel and, of course, the state-of-the-art Samsara Spa, with its wellness center, spa, salon and fitness center. Costa Fascinosa will debut with two four-night, pre-inaugural cruises departing on May 2 and May 7. The ship’s official inaugural voyage, a 10-night cruise, will sail roundtrip from the romantic city of Venice on May 11.
.MSC Divina, MSC Cruises — May 27, 2012 — 4,363 passengers
The 4-star MSC “Divina” is modeled after sister-ships MSC “Splendida” and MSC “Fantasia”, taking on some of their most popular features, you can check out a review I recently wrote on the “Fantasia” (by clicking here). This newest sister ship will also incorporate several of those enhancements. The MSC Yacht Club suite complex will be expanded and will include a private, V.I.P. area with its own restaurant, bar, pool, solarium and concierge. Yacht Club suites also offer butler service.
The state-of-the-art Pantheon Theater will host nightly entertainment, and young guests are sure to like the video game room, called Virtual World. An infinity pool will be situated at the aft of the ship, giving passengers a unique view of the ship’s wake and the horizon.
Carnival Breeze, Carnival — June 3, 2012 — 3,690 passengers
Like its sister-ships Carnival “Magic” and Carnival “Dream”, the 4.5-star Carnival Breeze will feature the WaterWorks aqua park, the tranquil, kids-free Serenity area and extensive children’s and teens’ areas with activities for three age groups. Adults will enjoy the huge Cloud 9 spa, as well as the scenic whirlpools extending beyond the ship’s beam. And for sure will appreciate and frequent the George Lopez Comedy Club Venue. Actually you might wish to see my complete review I wrote on the Carnival “Magic” (by clicking here)!
Other new features will include the laid-back RedFrog Pub, home to Carnival’s exclusive house brew, ThirstyFrog Red and Cucina del Capitano, as well as a specialty restaurant featuring family-style Italian fare. Accommodation options include “cove” balcony staterooms located close to the waterline, deluxe oceanview staterooms featuring two bathrooms, and spa staterooms and there will also be suites with exclusive amenities and spa privileges too!
Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian — April 30, 2013 — 4,000 passengers
As the newest member of an innovative fleet, the 5-star Norwegian Breakaway will incorporate the most popular elements of all of Norwegian’s existing ships, as well as introduce some exciting new features. (Be sure to read my complete review of this ship here). Staterooms will have a contemporary feel with clean, modern lines and a neutral palette with splashes of color. The extremely popular Studio staterooms from the Norwegian Epic, designed and priced with solo travelers in mind, will be featured, as well as an exclusive area called The Haven, a private enclave home to the most luxurious accommodations (read all about them here) on the vessel, tucked away near the top of the ship.
Norwegian’s ships are known for their unique hull artwork, and Norwegian Breakaway will be no different. Renowned pop artist Peter Max, whose other large projects have included an airplane and a stage for Woodstock, will paint the ship’s hull. Few details about this ship’s public spaces have been released at this time.
And now, for two ships that will be getting dramatically refurbished (as well as renamed):
Costa neoRomantica, Costa — February 20, 2012 — 1,800 passengers
Formerly the Costa Romantica, this 4-star ship is being completely restyled and refurbished before it emerges as the “neoRomantica”. Two half-decks and more than 100 cabins are being added, and an additional 120 cabins and suites will receive private balconies.
Among the other new features will be a wine bar, a coffee and sweets bar, a show lounge bar with a dance floor, a new specialty restaurant and the Samsara Spa, a wellness area with a gym, thalassotherapy pool, sauna and Turkish bath.
MV Voyager, Voyages of Discovery — November 17, 2012 — (ONLY) 556 passengers
Formerly the Alexander von Humboldt, the 3-star “MV Voyager” is small enough to reach off-the-beaten-path ports, yet large enough to offer all the comforts of cruising on a much larger ship. Eighty-six percent of staterooms feature ocean views, and all have a TV, hair dryer and safe. Suites come with a few extra perks, such as bathrobes, slippers, a fruit basket and bottle of champagne.
In addition to the three restaurants onboard, (two with open seating), plus there are four lounges-bars, an Internet center, a swimming pool, two hot tubs plus a gym. Not bad for such a smaller and intimate class of vessel.
So it is clear to see that the cruise tides are still bringing on the good stuff here, with more and more opportunities at sea for just about every taste and budget. Hope you are at least now better informed and enlightened at least! Bon Voyage Maties!
CruisewithMike: for more information on new Cruise Ships, or to Book your Cruise Travel you can contact Mike at email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow mike on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cruisewithmike . Join our Travel Club at http://meetup.com/Sun-Cities-Travelers-Group/ Mikes web site can be found at www.mberryhill.cruiseholidays.com .
Please give us your comments on the contents of this article. We are always on the lookout for suggestions on issues or topics that you would like more information on. Wanted:Guest Writers, and Contributors. We appreciate your visiting our blog, and we hope you can return often!!-Thanks, Cruise with Mike