Here They Come – Part 2 - Sailing Your Way Soon! Why I believe 2016 will be the most exciting era in cruising
by Vanessa Lee
Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas' 10 storey Ultimate
Royal Caribbean's Royal Genie
Carnival Vista's Sport Square & Skyride
Carnival Vista's RedFrog Pub
I wrote about several of the remarkable new ships being brought
on line by a number of highly regarded
cruise lines this year. I truly believe this will be one of those years that
will be looked back upon and consequently referred to as a period when cruising
made another huge leap forward in reaching its enormous potential. I even think
of one of my favourite quotations as I write this – it’s from Robert Browning:
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or
what’s a heaven for”.
So think about this and consider how much the cruise industry constantly reaches and strives to
innovate and bring us ever more beautiful
and fantastic ships. How they have revolutionized their vessels and all they
contain and how the experiences are so much richer, vibrant and tasty than in
I sailed my
st ship when I was just 15 but it was such an experience for me
that I will never forget that transatlantic
journey from Southampton to New York. I know
my life was changed forever as I look back on that early August morning as
the ocean liner on which I was a guest (not a passenger!) sailed past the
Statue of Liberty, under the Verrazano
Narrows Bridge into the sights and cacophony of sound of the Big Apple.
I have basically lost count of how many ships I have sailed since then
but it is close to 200 (and some numerous times) but fortunately I have
never lost that wonderment for all things cruise and water and I am thrilled
every time I step on board a ship of any size as I just know I am very likely
going to be delighted once more.
Today I am
going to tell you more about 2 new ships coming from the brand leaders of the
industry, Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas due in June and Carnival Vista
coming in May. Both are huge and full to the brim with new and exciting
concepts and of course bigger and better “everything at sea”!
So here’s a
scoop on the highly anticipated Harmony of the Seas, the newest vessel in the
popular Oasis Class from Royal Caribbean and some insight into all her bells
and whistles – of which there appear to be many, some of which have been kept
top secret ‘til recently. She will launch in Europe with Med cruises from
Barcelona and then head to Fort Lauderdale to homeport for the winter and of
course – she’s going to be the largest ship in the world carrying 5,497 guests!
show on Harmony will be a full-scale production of yet another Broadway
hit musical GREASE and of course it will include such memorable tunes as
“Summer Nights” and “Greased Lightnin”. A sure fire hit.
there’s the tallest slide at sea called the Ultimate Abyss which is 10 storeys
high and located in the aft part of the ship. Apparently one can slide all the
way down and arrive at the Boardwalk, one of the 7 neighbourhoods on board –
just in time for some fish and chips or a hot dog or something! Just imagine
not forget the debut of the Royal Suite Class which is being rolled out on
Quantum and Oasis class ships in May. These ships will offer a range of
exclusive amenities for suite guests with many premium features and one’s very
own Royal Genie who will be at your beck and call and meet every need and wish!
I could use one of those at home.
Now on to
Carnival Vista which has a list of firsts coming on this, the largest vessel
for Carnival with 3,954 guests. This ship is going to be very family-focused
with sports and watersports oriented activities sure to please every member of
the clan and in dedicated family zones too. The ship will offer the first IMAX
Theatre at sea and beer lovers will be able to enjoy hand-crafted ales brewed
on board at the RedFrog Pub, a stalwart on many Carnival ships.
good fun is going to be found in the expanded water park and the line’s 1
raft-riding water slide along with the colourful Kaleid-O-Scope slide. Oh yes
tons of fun for everyone. Never mind the SkyRide ™ which is an
aerial-attraction offering a pedal-powered, suspended open-air cycling
experience! That’s going to be an interesting innovation for sure. And
naturally there’ll be more announcements to come.
ships, along with Regent Seven Seas Explorer and Holland’s Koningsdam which I
wrote about last week are just 4 of the new ships arriving on the scene this
year. There are still more to come and I will give my thoughts on those in my
next column. Plus the entry of Scenic’s ocean-going discovery yacht and the
great news about the refurbishment of Regent’s 3 existing vessels, never mind
all the new river ship announcements. Lots to hear about – lots of news to
tell. Catch me next time for more.