Carnival Says Goodbye to Victory and Welcomes Carnival Radiance
Yesterday, Carnival Cruise Line announced that after an extensive dry-dock, apart of the $2 billion fleet-wide enhancement program, the Carnival Victory will sail under a new name, the Carnival Radiance.
Following a 38 day dry-dock in Cadiz, Spain, the Carnival Radiance will enter into service in 2020. The homeport and itineraries will be announced in mid-November when booking opens. The refurbishment will add Carnival’s popular culinary, bar, and entertainment innovations.
“We have been investing in our products, amenities and experience offerings at unprecedented levels which are driving higher results in guest satisfaction, passenger yields and onboard revenue,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
“Our guests and travel agent partners can count on a high degree of consistency and quality vacation offerings across all our fleet and homeports regardless of what ship they’re sailing on. Ultimately, this effort is about driving demand by giving each and every guest a memorable vacation and offering a reason to come back to Carnival again and again. And it’s clearly working based on extremely positive feedback from the more than five million guests we carry each year.”
The refurbishment will include the following additions and changes (from John Heald’s Facebook post):
Casual F&B options, Poolside venues like Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, in collaboration with Food Network star Guy Fieri, BlueIguana
Cantina & Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, as well as upgrades to Lido Deck buffets and The Deli, and popular features like Swirls self-serve ice cream stations, coffee bars and 24-hour pizza.
Specialty dining, including The Chef’s Table fine dining experience, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, as well as Italian, sushi and seafood options.
Shopping and Personal Care, including Cherry on Top sweet shops, Pixels photo galleries, expanded retail outlets and offerings and renovated fitness and spa facilities.
Outdoor Decks and Attractions, including massive new water parks with huge slides and kiddie splash zones, Serenity adults-only areas, new miniature golf courses and more.
Youth & Family Entertainment, including game arcades, and dedicated Camp Ocean, Circle “C” and Club O2 facilities hosting supervised children’s programming for kids 2-17
Theater & Live Entertainment, including Punchliner Comedy Clubs, Playlist Productions shows, Rock Band 2.0, live entertainment, deck parties, onboard programming and piano bars.
Technology upgrades, including fleet-wide roll-out of the Carnival HubApp to allow all guests to check-in online, book dining, spa treatments and shore excursions, keep abreast of ship news and activities, and communicate with their fellow travelers.
Award-winning enhanced NextGen Connectivity solution that creates a best in class Wi-Fi experience onboard enabling guests who want to be connected a content rich experience and ability to seamlessly access their favorite social media applications, news, email, and the internet with enhanced speed.
Carnival Cruise Line began this fleet-wide enhancement program back in 2011. Since then, they have refurbished over 20 ships, and taken delivery of 3 new ships. Not only that, but they have three more ships on order for delivery through 2022.
John Heald stated “Since the fleet enhancement program was launched, Carnival’s annual passenger count has grown from 4.1 million to 5.2 million guests; the number of children under 18 sailing annually has grown from 650,000 to 800,000; its employee base has grown from 34,000 to 40,000; its voyage operations have grown from 1,400 to 1,700 sailings per year; and its lower berth count has grown from 58,000 to 70,000.”
Christina Duffy also stated, “Our guest satisfaction ratings continue to trend upward reflecting our ability to exceed our guests’ expectations by delivering an excellent experience. And our strong product offerings and outstanding facilities allow our friendly and attentive crew members to focus on delivering first-class customer service, which they do in unmatched ways every day.”
In addition to these refurbishments, the new Carnival app, The Carnival HubApp, has become available across all 26 of their ships. With over 4.5 million downloads, the app has a 4.6 out of 5 star rating on the App Store. More than 20% of onboard dining and excursions are booked through the app.
“We are excited by the exciting new choices added across our fleet, but more importantly by the positive reaction from our guests. When you combine all the great amenities and offerings onboard with the best employees in the cruise industry, we have a recipe for success that will continue to fuel our growth,” said Duffy.
I am curious to see if Carnival will pull any of their other ships and rename them to add to this class. No other cruise line has done this to an extent as great as Carnival. We’ll see.