Cruise News – June 13, 2014

Cruise News – June 13, 2014

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Entertainment

Royal Caribbean International is going for the gold in terms of Quantum of the Seas‘ entertainment – if, that is, the gold involves robots and high-tech wizardry. Prepare to be wowed when the new class of ship debuts this November.

In a landmark space called Two70°, a wall of glass provides ocean views during the day, then becomes a monster digital screen called Vistarama at night, for screenings including virtual concerts by top bands. Robotic arms equipped with 7-foot screens will also perform, splashing images around the room using technology originally developed for the Bon Jovi Circle Tour. Live performers including aerialists will interact with the techno-wizardry in shows.

Meanwhile, in the Royal Theater, in addition to singing along to ABBA tunes while watching the Broadway hit Mamma Mia! the audience will encounter Sonic Odyssey, a production created by musician and innovator William Close, and featuring his signature instruments including the Earth Harp.

And there’s more. In the Music Hall, there will be a Mamma Mia! after-party and other events including performances by tribute bands and an adults-only nighttime show called Wink.

Announcement were gleefully made by Royal Caribbean’s vice president of entertainment, Nick Weir, and Quantum of the Seas‘ godmother and Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth, advisor to the line on entertainment.


Crystal Cruises Roams the World

Crystal Serenity at Geiranger Fjord - NorwayCrystal Cruises loves to get its planning done early and the line broke its own record by already releasing its 2016 and early 2017 cruise itineraries.

Included are two world cruises on Crystal Serenity, a 102-day voyage in 2016 (round-trip from San Francisco for the first time), and a 94-day voyage in 2017 (round-trip from Miami). Crystal Symphony will also sail a 99-day pan-Pacific Odyssey cruise in 2017.

Summer 2016 will mark the all-inclusive luxury line’s return to Alaska for the first time in five years – for a series of four 7-day and three 10-day sailings. On its way to Alaska, Crystal Serenity will sail Crystal’s first-ever 5- and 6-day itineraries on the Pacific Coast.

Crystal will also return to New Orleans in 2016 for the first time in a decade.


Oceania completes $50 million fleet renovation

Oceania RegattaOceania Cruises’ Regatta is cruising in Alaska, fresh from an overhaul in dry dock – marking the completion of the upper-premium line’s $50 million, three-ship renovation project.

The 684-passenger Regatta was enhanced with a Baristas coffee bar, cooked-to-order grill at the Terrace Café, and new golf putting greens and shuffleboard courts on the Sports Deck. The makeover also included new furnishings and décor in all public rooms, suites, and staterooms.

Oceania made similar updates on sister ships Insignia and Nautica.

And briefly…

  • Holland America Line is debuting a Game of Thrones shore excursion from Belfast, Ireland, that visits filming locations seen on the hit HBS show. (Crystal Cruises has one too)….
  • Two lines announced beer-themed cruises for next year. AmaWaterways will highlight local brew on select cruises on European rivers, while Un-Cruise Adventures will feature beer on three Pacific Northwest sailings….
  • Shekhar Grover, one of the lead bartenders on Royal Caribbean International‘s Oasis of the Seas, won the title of Best Bartender this week at the Diageo Reserve World Class final in Miami.


–Fran Golden



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