Cruise News Wrap Up for the Week of August 13, 2017
A lot of crazy things have happened this week in the world of cruising, so here is your cruise news wrap up for the week of August 13, 2017!
Carnival Dream Experiences Mechanical Failure
On August 13, 2017, the Carnival Dream was forced to sail back to it's home port of New Orleans, due to a mechanical failure.
As a result, the Dream was forced to skip it's call in Cozumel, Mexico.
Carnival put out a statement saying that everything in the staterooms were functional, but the ship was forced to sail at a reduced cruising speed due to propulsion issues. Passengers on-board received $50 on-board credit.
Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed that the problem was fixed, and that future cruises were not affected.
The Dream was on a seven day Southern Caribbean cruise to Cozumel, Montego Bay, and Grand Cayman when this incident occurred.
Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils Features for Norwegian Bliss
On Sunday, August 13, 2017, Norwegian Cruise Line released artist renderings of what their newest ship, the Norwegian Bliss, will have to offer. Some of these features include a two deck race track, laser tag, a chocolate shop, a Texas barbecue restaurant, a water slide that goes out over the ship, and two racing slides.
The race track will be on the top deck of the ship and feature fully electric race cars that can reach 30 miles per hour. A similar race track is already on-board the Norwegian Joy, but this race track will be much longer.
The chocolate dessert shop will be known as Coco's, an à la carte restaurant. The venue will feature a massive chocolate fountain in the middle, and a menu including truffles, crepes, and pralines.
Another new à la carte restaurant on the Bliss will be the Texas barbecue restaurant, Q. Some dishes will include brisket, ribs, chicken and sausages, with sides including breadcrumb-crusted mac-n-cheese, deviled eggs with natural air-cured ham, and baked sweet potatoes in pecan honey butter and cinnamon.
An abandon space station will be the setting for the outdoor laser tag course on-board Bliss. Laser tag, along with the race track, will require an extra charge, undisclosed by NCL at this time.
The slides will provide passengers with an exhilarating experience as they are brought out over the side of the ship. Bliss will also include two slides that will allow passengers to race each other in rubber inner tubes.
Other features will include a district brew house and a complimentary pub. The Norwegian Bliss is sure going to impress. Andy Stuart, president and CEO of NCL, made a statement saying, "Norwegian Bliss will no doubt be our most incredible ship to date. We have elevated Norwegian Bliss’s onboard experience to new heights, bringing the best features from across our fleet plus exciting new first-at-sea activities."
Royal Caribbean Officially Announces Name of Fourth Quantum-Class Ship
On August 16, 2017, Royal Caribbean officially cut steel on their newest Quantum-Class cruise ship at Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.
Royal Caribbean re-filed for the trademark of the name Spectrum of the Seas back at the end of June, after letting it expire back in September of 2015. They also did this with the names Apex of the Seas, Joy of the Seas, and Emblem of the Seas.
The ship will debut in 2019, and will cater to the Chinese market.
Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean, made a statement saying, "Today is a very special day in the development of our new Quantum Ultra ship, Spectrum of the Seas. We are now one step closer to delighting our guests in Asia Pacific with this remarkable ship. Spectrum will be another giant leap forward in vessel design and guest experiences that will provide travelers with ample opportunities to create unforgettable memories."
Cruise Lines Respond to Terror in Barcelona
On August 17, 2017, Isis claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack where a van slammed into a crowd of people in Barcelona, Spain.
Thomson put out a statement that all crew members and passengers were accounted for, and that their sail time had been pushed back to 10:00 PM. Thomson also canceled all excursions in Barcelona for Friday August 18, 2017, for passengers on-board the TUI Discovery 1.
Oceania and MSC Cruises also docked in Barcelona on Friday. Neither cruise line has made any changes to their itinerary. Oceania put out a statement saying, "We have strict safety protocols in place and cooperate with local authorities regarding security matters at the destinations our ships visit. Port and onshore facilities, infrastructure, and passenger security and services in destinations are strictly scrutinized prior to a ship call. In the event of any safety concerns, we have the flexibility to alter our itineraries as needed to avoid areas of concern."
MSC also made a statement, "MSC Meraviglia is confirmed to call in Barcelona tomorrow as planned. We will continue to monitor the situation as the safety and security of our guests and crew is our top priority."
Norwegian Cruise Line Cancels "Rebel Cruise"
Rebel Media is a far-right group based in Canada. They had planned to hold a week long "neo-nazi" conference on the Getaway on November 12, 2017. The cruise was supposed to leave from Miami and sail to Roatan, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico; and Costa Maya, Mexico.
Earlier this year, the group Hope not Hate set up a petition to cancel the cruise, and went straight to Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. NCLH then released a statement to the Hope not Hate group saying, “As a matter of policy, we do not disclose or discuss the identities of our guests or groups. However, all guests who cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line are required to adhere to the Guest Conduct Policy while on board company vessels, which, among other things, prohibits verbally abusive or offensive language directed towards anyone on-board as well as inappropriate or abusive behavior.”
However, on Thursday NCL changed their stance and confirmed the cancelation of the cruise saying, "We recently became aware that one of several affinity groups that booked space on an upcoming sailing was associated with and espoused views that are inconsistent with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' core values.The company has therefore exercised its right to cancel this group’s reservation and provide a full refund. As a matter of policy, the company neither discusses nor discloses the identities of our individual guests or groups.”
Cruise Lines to Celebrate Solar Eclipse
On a lighter note, on Monday August 21, 2017, Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, Empress of the Seas, and Enchantment of the Seas will be celebrating the solar eclipse. Themed activities will vary by ship. However, the Oasis of the Seas is going to positioned in the area of the total eclipse. Bonnie Tyler will be performing her hit song, "Total Eclipse of the Heart," along with the band DNCE.
All of Carnival Cruise Line's ships will be in position of the partial eclipse, and will also feature many eclipse themed activities.
The MSC Divina will have a viewing party on the pool deck featuring a themed cocktail, along with many fun games.
Celebrity Cruises will be celebrating on-board the Celebrity Summit, Equinox, and Millennium. Paul Delaney, a TedX astronomer, will be on-board the Celebrity Equinox, along with astronomer Dan Benedict on-board the Celebrity Millennium. The line will give all passengers viewing glasses for free. For ships not in the range of the eclipse, passengers will be able to watch from a live Nasa Feed.