Blog

10 Must-Know Things About Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas debuted among Royal Caribbean’s fleet in the early 2000s, making it a little on the older side, but that hardly makes the ship undesirable. For cruisers who want that classic, traditional cruise experience, that’s exactly what they can find aboard this ship.

Launched in 2004, the Radiance-class vessel debuted with all of the perks and features that you’d expect from a cruise ship from the time, and Royal Caribbean has done a good job of keeping up with repairs and various refurbishments, including a large (to the tune of £20 million) dry docking in 2016 that brought the ship up to par with many of the cruise line’s other vessels, improving both entertainment options and staterooms.

Sailing around the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Middle East over its long life, the ship has seen much of the world. Is it ready to see you?

If you’re thinking of taking a Jewel of the Seas cruise in the near future, you’ll want to know as much about the ship as possible, whether you’re new to the world of cruising, or you’re an old pro.

Here are the top 10 of our must-know things when it comes to Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas.

1. Jewel of the Seas offers an uncrowded, low-key feel.

If you don’t prefer the party-esque atmosphere that you’ll find on some other cruise ships, you’ll be glad to know that’s not what you’re going to get aboard Jewel of the Seas.

This ship is on the smaller side and caters to low crowds of cruisers who want a traditional cruising experience, without a bunch of hubbub.

The ship comes in at a gross tonnage of 90,090 GT and a length of 962 feet. It has 12 passengers decks (Decks 2 through 13) and a capacity for 2,501 passengers, plus 842 crew members. While that may seem like a lot, keep in mind that it’s basically as little as half of what some other cruise ships carry.

2. Jewel of the Seas rounded out Royal Caribbean’s small Radiance class of ships.

Jewel of the Seas was the fourth and final Royal Caribbean Radiance-class ship. The Radiance class was built between 2001 and 2004, and came between Royal Caribbean’s Voyager and Freedom classes.

Jewel of the Seas Pool
Jewel of the Seas (Photo Via: Royal Caribbean)

Overall, the Radiance-class ships are all smaller than their older sisters in the Voyager class. The ships were built with specific cruising destinations in mind (particularly colder climates). The Radiance-class ships were also built to be able to pass through the Panama Canal with ease.

Special Radiance-class features at launch included more than three acres of glass on each ship; more than 700 balcony staterooms on each ship; retractable pool roofs; and the first self-leveling pool tables at sea.

Other Radiance-class ships beyond Jewel of the Seas include Radiance of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas.

3. Expect limited — but great — complimentary dining.

Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas only offers a few complimentary dining options aboard the ship, but you can expect the service and food to be up to snuff.

The main dining room is Tides, which is a two-story main dining room set over Decks 4 and 5. The opulent environment is exactly what you’d expect from a classic cruising experience. Themed menus change daily, but you can find that there’s usually something to fit every diner in your party.

Of course, every cruise ship needs a buffet, and Jewel of the Seas’ is located on Deck 11. Expect a very wide range of options.

There’s additionally a complimentary pizzeria and cafe on Deck 11, which is one complimentary venue that you won’t find on a lot of other Royal Caribbean ships.

Select room service is also complimentary.

4. Expect your favorite Royal Caribbean for-a-fee restaurants.

If you’ve sailed with Royal Caribbean in the past, then you likely are familiar with the cruise line’s standard, for-a-fee restaurants, the ones that you can find on all of the cruise line’s ships, and that basically offer the same experience, no matter where you are in the world.

So, you might expect that these same restaurants are on Jewel of the Seas, and you’d be right.

You’ll find Giovanni’s Table on Deck 6, the line’s family-style Italian restaurant; Chops Grille, the classic, American-style steakhouse, also on Deck 6; and Izumi on Deck 12, with its Japanese fare.

There’s also a coffee bar that serves desserts and specialty drinks for a fee.

If you don’t want to try all the for-a-fee restaurants, and only want to give one a go, try Giovanni’s Table. The Italian restaurant is highly reviewed by cruisers, and is fairly new on the ship, added during the ship’s 2016 dry dock.

5. Classic cruising entertainment is the standard.

Don’t expect necessarily to find ice skating shows or high-flying trapeze acts or Cirque du Soleil while you’re aboard Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas. The cruise ship is much more adept at serving up standard cruising entertainment than it is anything brand-new and glitzy.

What exactly is “standard” cruising entertainment? Think shows in the theater — Broadway-style, cabaret and live music. Think cover bands and maybe a magician or two. Occasionally, you might find a lecture going on in the theater, during the daytime.

For the most part, don’t expect celebrity-style talent, either. However, if it’s classic cruising entertainment you want, that’s what you’ll get (and for many people, that’s a good thing!).

Beyond the theater, it is possible to find live music elsewhere, with dancing encouraged.

Of course, daytime entertainment throughout the ship is more of that standard — peppy cruise coordinators leading games like Bingo and trivia, and dance classes or wine tastings.

There is a movie theater on the ship, though, which is something that you don’t always see on every Royal Caribbean ship.

There additionally is, of course, a casino.

6. There are tons of bars and lounges to hit up after dark.

While the dining options aren’t necessarily plentiful compared to what you might find on larger, newer ships, when it comes to bars and lounges, Jewel of the Seas really delivers, with a wide range of watering holes. Not only is there a large number of bars and lounges, but each one offers a different theme or aesthetic.

There’s the classic lobby bar, of course, right in the center of all the action. There’s a sports bar on Deck 6 called The Pit Stop. Vintages is an upscale bar serving wine and small bites.

Schooner Bar is a Royal Caribbean classic that you’ll find on every ship in the fleet, with a nautical vibe. The Congo Bar is all about live music and great views. There’s a bar near the pool, as well as a separate bar overlooking the pool. Then, there’s a club-style bar called Vortex on Deck 13.

And that just scratches the surface!

7. There are multiple ways and places to catch some rays.

If you’re a sun seeker wanting to soak up as much Vitamin D as possible during your cruise, then you’ll be glad to know that there are several pool areas aboard the ship.

The main pool is probably one of the more crowded areas on the ship, even though the ship itself hardly feels crowded most of the time. There’s lots of seating, both in and out of the shade. Two hot tubs are available in addition to the pool.

Jewel of the Seas Open Deck and Pool
Jewel of the Seas Open Deck (Photo Via: Royal Caribbean)

The solarium is also a nice spot to enjoy the heat. The solarium features a pool and a hot tub. Unlike many Royal Caribbean ships, the solarium aboard Jewel of the Seas is not adults-only.

A separate children’s water slide is the only non-pool water activity, though, unfortunately.

The ship does, though, have a climbing wall, a miniature golf course and a basketball court, for other ways to be outdoors, without necessarily needing to get your hair wet.

Worth Reading: 9 Things to Love About Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas

8. Taking care of both body and spirit is easy aboard Jewel of the Seas.

If you’re feeling weighed down by all the cruise ship buffet food, you can burn off a few calories or just make sure to get your steps in for the day, at the spacious fitness center aboard the ship. There’s a lot of different exercise equipment to choose from, as well as some fitness classes.

You can even find a few classes for free, and those that aren’t free really aren’t that expensive anyway. As with other Royal Caribbean ships, Jewel of the Seas also has an outdoor walking and jogging track.

When it’s time to take care of the spirit, though, you’ll want to head to the spa, where it’s easy to relax and leave feeling rejuvenated. You can expect the standard spa treatments that you would get just about anywhere, from massages to facials. There are some additional medi-spa treatments, though, if you’re interested in zapping away some fine lines or wrinkles.

9. Kid-tailored amenities are plentiful.

Royal Caribbean is renowned for its children’s programming aboard its entire fleet, so you can expect plenty of kid-tailored amenities aboard Jewel of the Seas.

Adventure Ocean and Adventure Beach are the areas set aside for children under 12, on Deck 12. There’s indoor space for fun and educational activities, plus an arcade, as well as outdoor space with a splash pool. Children are split up into age groups and then activities are created according to their age group’s needs.

Water Slide (Photo Via: Royal Caribbean)

The teen area is limited and not as cool as what you might find on some other Royal Caribbean ships, but it is better than nothing. Called Fuel, the Deck 12 area has a dance floor and age-appropriate bar. Teen-only programming is plentiful and ranges from parties to pool movies.

10. There are tons of stateroom options aboard Jewel of the Seas.

Last, but certainly not least, when you’re ready to book your Jewel of the Seas cruise, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. There are more than a thousand staterooms on the ship, many of which received facelifts during the 2016 dry dock.

Choose from more than 500 balcony staterooms, more than 250 exterior staterooms, nearly 250 interior staterooms and 20 handicap-accessible staterooms.

Also Read: 10 Things to Know About Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas

Jewel of the Seas FAQ:

Does Jewel of the Seas have a diamond lounge?

Jewel of the Seas features a Diamond Club on Deck 13, where Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club passengers can enjoy complimentary amenities and concierge service, 24 hours a day. Expect special breakfast, snacks and dessert throughout the day and a self-service bar. The Diamond Club is on the small side, though, seating less than 35 passengers at one time.

How many swimming pools are on Jewel of the Seas?

There are three swimming pools aboard Jewel of the Seas. There’s the main pool area, a pool within the solarium and then a children’s pool in the Adventure Beach area. The main pool area features two hot tubs as well, while the solarium area features one hot tub. There is a children’s-only slide, but no other water slides or waterpark features.

What class cruise ship is Jewel of the Seas?

Jewel of the Seas was the fourth and final Royal Caribbean Radiance-class ship. The Radiance class was built between 2001 and 2004, and came between Royal Caribbean’s Voyager and Freedom classes. Other Radiance-class ships beyond Jewel of the Seas include Radiance of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas.

How big is Jewel of the Seas?

The ship comes in at a gross tonnage of 90,090 GT and a length of 962 feet. It has 12 passengers decks (Decks 2 through 13) and a capacity for 2,501 passengers, plus 842 crew members. While that may seem like a lot, keep in mind that it’s basically as little as half of what some other cruise ships carry.

Photo Credit: Debbie Ann Powell / Shutterstock.com

Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas

Princess Cruises Confirms Sale of Two Ships to Undisclosed Buyers

Carnival-owned Princess Cruises has confirmed the sale of two cruise ships to undisclosed buyers.

Two Princess Cruise Ships Sold

Following up on our post from last week, Princess Cruises has now confirmed that two of its ships are leaving the fleet after being sold to undisclosed buyers.

This comes as parent company Carnival Corporations recently announced a total of 18 vessels are being disposed of across its nine cruise brands.

Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz, said:

“Sun Princess and Sea Princess contributed to significant growth in Australian cruising”

“Both ships defined the premium cruise experience with Australians and New Zealanders spending close to 14 million nights aboard these ships. While it is never easy to say goodbye to any ship in our fleet, this will allow us to deploy newer ships enhancing our offerings for Australia cruisers and focus on bringing into service exciting newbuilds like the upcoming delivery of Enchanted Princess.”

The first ship in the Sun Class, Sun Princess was introduced in 1995 debuting in the Caribbean and was amongst the largest ships in the world at the time. The 2,000-guest Sun Princess also sailed in Alaska and Panama Canal, among other destinations, before being homeported in Australia in October 2007.

Sun Princess also helped us open the Japanese market in 2013 as the first foreign-flagged cruise ship to offer cruises designed specifically for the Japanese.

The 2,000-guest Sea Princess became synonymous with World Cruises, having completed six full world cruises since 2013. During her time based in Australia, Sea Princess travelled the equivalent of 35 times around the world.

Also Read: Which Cruise Ships are Being Scrapped or Sold Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Prior to joining Sun Princess in Australia, Sea Princess sailed in Europe and Alaska as well as the Caribbean, including serving as a homeport ship in Barbados in the mid- to late-2000s.

Due to the imminent departure of these two ships from the fleet, Princess Cruises will cancel published itineraries which include:

  • Sun Princess sailings from December 28, 2020 through August 14, 2021
  • Sea Princess sailings from December 23, 2020 through November 9, 2021

Guests with bookings will be notified, and along with their travel advisors, will receive information on how to book another Princess Cruise when operations resume. Guests who prefer a refund will be accommodated.

Princess Cruise Ship Funnel

10 Reasons Why Cruise Ships Are Not Floating Petri Dishes

It’s safe to say that 2020 has not turned out quite the way that anyone planned.

As we continue to learn how to navigate this unprecedented year, people all around the world are being forced to cancel their former vacation plans. This might mean foregoing a week at the beach or postponing a much-anticipated trip to the mountains.

As you’re rearranging your schedule, have you considered booking a cruise instead?

If you believe everything that the media delivers, it’s easy to see why you’d furrow your brow at this question. “Wait,” you might ask, “Are cruise ships clean? Aren’t they floating Petri dishes, filled with germs and bacteria at every corner?”

Not hardly. Today, we’re pulling back the curtain and shedding light on this common misconception. Read on to discover why you’re likely safer on our ships than in many places on land, and why it’s time to shed your preconceived notions of what a cruise experience can look like.

1. Industry-Regulated Sanitation

On any given cruise line, housekeeping and maintenance teams aren’t simply going through half-hearted motions when they set out to clean. Rather, they’re following strict industry guidelines set forth to ensure that each ship is as clean and sanitary as possible. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established a stringent Vessel Sanitation Program to help prevent the introduction, transmission and overall spread of illnesses on cruise ships, especially those that impact passengers’ gastrointestinal (GI) systems.

This infographic helps explain each of the eight areas that VSP inspects on every cruise ship. This inspection process includes thorough and laborious procedures meant to ensure the safety and security of each of these assets:

  • Cruise line medical centers
  • Portable water systems
  • Galleys and dining rooms
  • Swimming pools and whirlpools
  • Housekeeping procedures
  • Pest and insect management
  • Child activity centers
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)

At any time, current and prospective passengers alike can visit the CDC’s website to learn how well their specific cruise line performed on all of its VSP inspections. This site also lists the corrective actions taken to remedy any issues discovered during the inspection process. Using the same search portal, users can also find ships that recently scored a perfect 100 on their inspection!

While the CDC has inspected more than 200 active cruise ships, most receive a score of nearly 90 on the 100-point scale. If a cruise ship does not make a passing grade, it cannot sail until it corrects the issues noted. All cruise lines are subjected to two unannounced CDC inspections per year.

2. Misinformation in the Media

One of the reasons you’re likely a little nervous about boarding a cruise ship? Everywhere you look, it might seem like the media is portraying this way of travel as highly unsafe, pointing to cases of acute GI illnesses (noroviruses) that have been found onboard.

Any time you carry as many passengers as a cruise ship can hold, your opportunity for contact and cross-contamination naturally increases. However, the CDC itself reveals that GI illnesses are, in reality, relatively infrequent on cruise lines. 

The agency recently reviewed data that spanned from 2008 and 2014. During that six-year timeframe, 74 million passengers sailed on cruise ships covered by the VSP’s jurisdiction.

Of that number, only 129,678 passengers developed what the program defines as an acute GI illness. Moreover, only one in 10 of those illnesses were associated with a more widespread norovirus outbreak. In addition, another report reveals that while there were 31 million people who vacationed on cruise ships last year, there were only 1,038 reported cases of norovirus. That equals 0.003 percent.

Yet, your news channel may make it seem as though these instances are far more common.

Why is this the case?

Health officials are legally required to track any illnesses that occur on a cruise ship. As such, outbreaks are discovered and reported more frequently on sea than on land. 

3. Hyper-Vigilant Passengers

With so much false talk about cruise ships being veritable cesspools of disease, it’s no wonder why passengers want to be as protected as possible when they travel on one.

In fact, many of them promptly wipe down every conceivable surface as soon as they enter their cabin as a preliminary measure. Using standard sanitation wipes, they make sure to hit the most commonly used areas especially hard, including doorknobs, light switches, bathroom faucets and telephones. 

If there’s one perk that’s come out of the media’s negative portrayal of modern cruise lines, it’s that the reports have led passengers to become even more vigilant about their personal cleanliness and sanitation than ever before. Some staff members even report noticing passengers who place their television remote control inside of a plastic ziplock bag!

Yet, while appreciated, these lengths aren’t exactly necessary. Room stewards on every cruise line are responsible for disinfecting high-touch areas in each cabin every day. In addition, they clean common use areas, including restaurants and bars, multiple times per day.

The same staff members note that the bathroom in a cruise ship’s cabin has around 400 times fewer bacteria than you’ll find on your office desk at work! Why? They’re cleaned to an exceptional standard that most land businesses can’t maintain.

4. Plenty of Space to Spread Out

Those images of people huddled together in masses on a ship, looking miserable and unable to move more than a few feet? It’s simply untrue.

It’s important to realize that cruise ships are massive vessels. Whether you book a getaway on a small, midsize or large vessel, you’ll have more than enough room to spread out. This means you’ll have no trouble complying with the recent guidelines that require you to maintain six feet of personal space. 

This can help slow the spread of the coronavirus, as well as other illnesses, including noroviruses. In this way, cruises have a marked benefit over other types of vacation experiences, as no hotel, restaurant or nightclub can boast the same square footage.

The best part? When you book a cruise, there are also plenty of opportunities to take your fun outdoors, where most experts agree that the risk of virus transmission is lower due to the fresh air and opportunity to adhere to that six-foot rule. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, shooting down a water slide or simply taking in the views, you can rest assured that you’re doing your part to stay safe.

5. Innovative and Advanced Cleaning Solutions

Another reason why you shouldn’t think twice about booking a cruise? In response to the recent pandemic, staff members are embracing cleaning products and approaches that are more innovative and effective than ever before.

This includes the use of some of the industry’s heaviest-grade disinfectants, which top airlines are also using to disinfect cabin surfaces and common contact areas such as seatbelts and tray tables.

The cruise ship disinfecting process has always been intense and detailed, but recent events have made it even more so. Take the Carnival cruise line, for instance. This industry giant is spraying its ships (and all ships that fall under its brand umbrella) with a special cleaning solution called Virox to keep passengers safe and protected.

Representatives explain that Virox is designed to kill coronavirus in only 30 seconds when applied to hard surfaces. When used in combination with the line’s already-established cleaning procedures, it delivers a powerful, two-punch approach that leaves little behind.

6. Trained, Prepared Crew Members

Industrial-strength cleaning products are only part of the equation. They are only effective if the people using and applying them are trained and qualified. This is another area in which cruise lines go above and beyond. 

Not only are cruise ship staff members trained in first aid, but they’re also well-versed on their ship’s specific public health policies. In addition to the initial training they receive when they first join, they also attend regular refresher training sessions to make sure they’re up-to-date on the latest health and wellness procedures. 

This way, they’re ready to respond when an emergency strikes, but are also detail-oriented experts in everyday maintenance, sanitation and upkeep. 

In addition to the valuable cleaning crew, it’s also important to note that every cruise ship must have licensed physicians and registered nurses available at all times. These clinical staff members are trained in every aspect of health and wellness and can help ensure that patients are feeling their best.

7. Advanced Patient Screening Techniques

Illness screening has become somewhat of a buzzword now that the coronavirus has forced almost every public-facing school and business to enforce temperature checks.

Yet, this is one step that the cruise industry has always done for years. Pre-board health screenings have long been an essential and expected part of the cruising process. These screens help identify if any passengers or crew members may be ill prior to boarding. 

In the past, this was usually achieved through a questionnaire, though it’s expected that more recent techniques will involve a greater number of steps. In addition to explaining if you or your traveling companion have had any recent symptoms of illness, you can also expect on-board temperature checks and other advanced steps surrounding embarkation and debarkation.

A few of the procedures already established by some lines include:

  • Capacity control (e.g. closing or limiting some stateroom decks)
  • Requiring staff members to wear masks
  • Enforcing social distancing
  • Disinfecting passenger luggage
  • Online check-ins

8. Minimal Risk of Spread

According to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), every cruise ship must have the space and ability to isolate any passengers that it determines to be afflicted by a contagious disease. This is to minimize the risk of contracting the disease for others on board.

Understanding this, it becomes more apparent how skewed the mainstream media’s portrayal of cruise-centered disease outbreaks truly is.

As soon as anyone shows any signs of being ill, they have access to immediate, top-of-the-line care. All cruise ships are required to have an examination room on board, as well as an intensive care room. They must also have in place equipment and procedures for processing labs, administering medications and keeping a close watch on patient vital signs. 

9. Safer Than Ever

Despite what you may hear or read, cruise lines today are the safest they’ve ever been.

As reported by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) global cruise ship capacity skyrocketed by nearly 70% between 2009 and 2019. Yet, the number of occupational incidents greatly decreased by more than 40%.

While this refers to safety more than sanitation, it reveals the standards to which cruise lines hold themselves and their team members. All crew members, regardless of their specific job title, are required to receive training on emergency and evacuation procedures, as well as fire prevention methods and more. 

10. Customer-Focused Care

There’s a reason why avid cruisers can’t wait to get back on board their favorite vessels. The customer service that most ships provide is second to none. This is true whether it’s your first time on a cruise or your 50th. 

While the media reports about cruise lines may be grossly misrepresentative, they have spurred crew members to be even more focused on customer satisfaction to quell any concerns and ease anxieties about this form of vacationing.

The bottom line? They’re on their A-game, and they aren’t taking any chances. From the cleaning solutions they use to the protocols they keep, they’re covering every square inch in care.

Floating Petri Dishes is a Myth

If you believe everything you hear about cruise ships, it’s easy to see why you’d think that they’re nothing more than Petri dishes for bacteria and contamination.

Yet, as these 10 reasons reveal, this couldn’t be further than the truth. Especially in the wake of the recent coronavirus outbreak, crew members are more dedicated than ever before to ensuring safety and sanitation at every turn.

Photo Credit: MaleeS / Shutterstock.com

Cruise Petri Dish

Cruise Line Announces Record-Setting Bookings

Oceania Cruises has some good news for the industry with its Labor Day promotion setting a record in its cruise bookings.

Promotions Sets Record for Cruise Line

The luxury cruise line has revealed that its Labor Day upgrade sale set the most successful holiday promotion in its history. It was a new record for Oceania Cruises setting the most amount of bookings.

The company attributed the success of the sale, with almost half of the new reservations coming from new-to-brand guests, to a combination of an exceptional value proposition and strong demand for a cruise product that features immersive destination-rich itineraries, culinary experiences that rival the finest ashore, and the highest levels of personalized service.

Oceania Club members, the line’s repeat guests, comprised slightly more than half of the new reservations with less than five percent of reservations in total utilizing future cruise credits from cancelled voyages.

Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises, said:

“The success of our recent Labor Day upgrade sale underscores the pent-up demand from our loyal repeat guests and incredible appetite from new first-time guests alike”

“We are especially encouraged by increased interest in small-ship luxury travel experiences from aspirational travelers and the continued support of our travel advisor partners.”

The volume of new reservations validated the company’s recent commitment to an enriched and improved eco-system of sales tools and online reservations capabilities for travel partners and the additional investment in digital outreach to consumers and travel advisors.

Also Read: Here Is How to Get the Best Deal on a Cruise

With the strong demand for voyages in 2021 and the first half of 2022, the line will be launching its summer 2022 season of itineraries to Europe, Alaska, Bermuda, and Canada-New England in November, its 2023 Around the World voyage in January, and the balance of winter 2022-23 itineraries in February.

Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock.com

Oceania Cruise Ship Funnel

Could There Be Another Extended CDC No Sail Order?

It’s reported that the CDC’s No Sail Order has been extended through to the end of October 2020 but this is “utter nonsense” according to Carnival Cruise Line’s ambassador.

It is important to know that currently, Carnival along with other CLIA members have suspended operations through October 2020 anyway and the current CDC No Sail Order is through September 30, 2020. No official changes have yet been announced.

An Extended No Sail Order?

So there’s a lot going on right now when it comes to getting cruise operations going again and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s No Sail Order. The order is currently in place through September 30, 2020 which is next week. The order could be extended or lifted and hopefully, we’ll officially know soon.

According to the popular Cruise Law News blog, a crew member sent over a termination letter from Carnival Cruise Line. In the letter, it stated that “Our industry remains extremely challenged by travel restrictions, extended closures of ports and destinations to cruise ships, and limited air travel. Most recently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended its no sail order to pause cruise operations and the Cruise Lines International Association extended the industrywide pause in operations in North America through the end of October 2020.”

This was part of a longer letter that unfortunately was informing the crew member he or she would not be offered any future contracts with Carnival Cruise Line from September 17, 2020. It comes as Carnival is letting go thousands of staff including officers.

Even though it said the No Sail Order was extended through the end of October, Carnival Cruise Line Ambassador John Heald has said it’s “utter nonsense”. We do know the cruise line is in regular contact with the CDC regarding a number of matters including the No Sail Order.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) that includes Carnival has a voluntary suspension through the end of October anyway. However, if the No Sail Order is lifted there is a possibility that cruises could resume earlier.

Carnival Cruise Line did state in August when the announcement of an extended suspension through October was released, “If conditions in the U.S. change and short and modified sailings are possible, the industry may consider an earlier restart, and we would consider that as well.”

Heald has also posted that the thousands of crew members being let go is not true. Maybe it’s not thousands but we do know that recently crew members, officers, and more are receiving letters. It’s the case for many cruise lines that are suffering during these difficult times.

This comes as the cruise line has disposed of four Fantasy-class cruise ships including Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Imagination, and Carnival Fascination. Three of them are already being scrapped at the Aliaga ship breaking facility in Turkey.

Recently the CDC has been welcoming comments from the public on resuming cruise operations from the U.S. and those comments will close tonight. There have already been over 10,000 comments and the CDC will start to review them. The Healthy Sail Panel implemented by Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line has also today submitted its new recommendations on a safe return to operations to the CDC.

The reality is, reviewing more than 10,000 comments and reviewing the Healthy Sail panel’s 65-page report on recommendations is going to take time.

Also Read: Will the Cruise Industry Be Back to Normal in 2021?

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens but we do hope the No Sail Order is not extended and once October comes cruise lines can slowly begin operations with new health measures in place. There is hope!

Photo Credit: Valerie Johnson / Shutterstock.com

Carnival Breeze Cruise Ship

Cruise Lines Submit New Health Recommendations to CDC

The Healthy Sail Panel which is a joint expert panel from Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line has submitted its recommendations to the CDC which will hopefully get cruises going again.

Now It’s Up to the CDC!

The Healthy Sail Panel which is an expert panel formed by Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line has completed its new health recommendations and submitted them to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The group has been working since it was first formed in June 2020 to put together new industry standards for the safe and healthy return of cruise operations.

The panel of experts is chaired by Governor Mike Leavitt and Dr. Scott Gottlieb who was the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There are also another nine members who have been working on the new measures over four months.

Dr. Gottlieb, said:

“The Healthy Sail Panel spent the last four months studying how to better protect the health and safety of guests and crew aboard cruise ships.”

“Taken as a comprehensive approach, we believe the Panel’s robust public health recommendations will help inform strategies for a safe resumption of sailing.”

The new recommendations focus on five areas to make sure guests and crew members can remain safe during the entire cruise vacation. The new suggestions have been fully researched and is one of the best hopes that cruses from the United Stated can resume soon.

The Healthy Sail Panel Suggestions
Infographic: The Healthy Sail Panel

The Healthy Sail Panel’s 65-plus-page report includes 74 detailed best practices to protect the public health and safety of guests, crew and the communities where cruise ships call. Recommendations include testing, the use of face coverings, and enhanced sanitation procedures on ships and in terminals.

Gov. Leavitt said:

“This Panel undertook an ambitious, cross-disciplinary, public health examination to develop standards and guidelines that create the highest level of safety in the complex environment of a cruise ship. We studied the industry’s experiences combating the pandemic – and we then incorporated the many lessons learned and advances made by medicine and science over the past six months. The Panel’s recommendations are grounded in the best scientific and medical information available and are intended to meaningfully mitigate public health risks to those who sail.”

The report is not just being summited to the CDC but relevant authorities around the world and it is an open-source for other cruise lines to use and implement. In each of the five areas that were focused on the Healthy Sail Panel looked at actionable suggestions to highlight specific concerns such as:

  • Taking aggressive measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from entering a ship through robust education, screening and testing of both crew and guests prior to embarkation
  • Reducing transmission via air management strategies and enhanced sanitation practices
  • Implementing detailed plans to address positive infection on board, including contingencies for onboard treatment, isolation and rapid evacuation and repatriation
  • Closely controlling shore excursions
  • Enhanced protection for crew members

Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, said:

“The Healthy Sail Panel’s recommendations are robust and comprehensive, and they reflect the intense focus the panelists brought to their work.”

“We know that both authorities around the globe and consumers expect cruise lines to provide the safest, healthiest vacations we can, and this work demonstrates our commitment to doing just that.”

This comes as the CDC is closing the public comments on returning cruise operations on Monday night. They will then review the 10,000 plus comments to help them make an important decision on allowing operations to resume along with the recommendations from the Sail Healthy Panel.

Also Read: How to Social Distance Effectively on a Cruise?

It’s an important week for the cruise industry as the CDC No Sail Order is coming to an end at the end of the month. Cruise Lines will likely make their decisions on extending their suspensions by the end of this week.

Cruise Ship Balcony

Knut Kloster, Founder of Norwegian Cruise Line Dies Aged 91

Knut Kloster, a legend in the cruise industry and who co-founded Norwegian Cruise Line has sadly died at the age of 91.

Cruise Line Founder Knut Kolster Dies

The cruise industry has lost one of its greats, Knus Kloster who passed away today at the age of 91. He co-founded Norwegian Cruise Line (then named Norwegian Caribbean Line) in 1966 along with Carnival Cruise Line founder Ted Arison.

Kolster was born in Oslo, Norway in 1929 and he joined his family business named Kloster Redri in 1959. The business was founded by his father Lauritz Kloster in 1924. Thanks to his partnership with Arison he launched a cruise line which has since become the third-largest in the world.

Kloster who was a visionary kicked off his new cruise line with the 8,666 gross ton Sunward which first sailed for Norwegian Caribbean Line on December 19, 1966, and offering short cruises out of Miami, Florida to the Bahamas.

Kloster helped grow the cruise line with even more vessels including MS Starward, MS Skyward, MS Southward, and MS Sunward II. He found that turning these ferry type ships to more cruise focused vessels would be good and eventually a more serious cruise business started growing.

Once Norway joined the fleet it put Kloster’s cruise line on the map as she was the largest cruise ship in the world at the time. He eventually stepped back from running the business but he had even bigger plans!

Also Read: Co-Founder of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd Dies Aged 90

In 1983 development began ion the ultimate cruise ship! It was the World City Phoenix that was to be a mind-blowing 250,000 gross tons, just unprecedented in those days. The innovative cruise ship was to have a passenger capacity of 5,200, 1,850 crew members, and 2,600 cabins.

Unfortunately, the ship never got past the design stage due to being too complex for her time and a number of feasibility reasons.

Kloster has been involved in many projects over the years including the founding of Norwegian Cruise Line’s current private island of Great Stirrup Caye in the Bahamas. It was purchased from Belcher Oil Company in 1977 and in fact the first cruise line to have a private island, another one of Kloster’s innovative decisions.

He truly will be missed across the cruise industry and we thank him for making what the industry is today. Thanks to all the new ship features, ideas, creativity, and more. RIP.

Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock.com

Norwegian Star Cruise Ship

Which Cruise Ships are Being Scrapped or Sold Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Which cruise ships are being scrapped or sold directly due to the suspension of cruise operations and the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the cruise industry?

Cruise Ships Bring Scrapped or Sold

With cruise lines around the world pausing operations due to the health crisis, it’s impacting the industry hard. Cruise lines are putting their ships in cold lay-up and have repatriated thousands of crew members to help reduce costs and ride out these difficult times.

Also Read: Will the Cruise Industry Be Back to Normal in 2021?

We’ll be keeping an eye on the cruise ships that are being sold or scrapped as cruise lines adjust their operations moving forward. We already know that the Carnival Corporation has announced a total of 18 vessels will be disposed of across its nine cruise brands. The list below will be constantly updated on all the latest developments covering many cruise lines.

Sea Princess (Princess Cruises)

It came at no surprise that the Sea Princess has been sold to an undisclosed buyer, it was confirmed by the cruise line on September 21, 2020. It’s not yet known what will eventually happen to the Sea Princess. She could still be scrapped or hopefully sail for another cruise line.

Sea Princess has completed six full world cruises since 2013. She has a guest capacity of 2,000 and was the second oldest in the fleet before being disposed of. The Princess cruise ship is 77,499 gross tons and was last refurbished in November 2017.

Sun Princess (Princess Cruises)

Just like her sister ship above, Sun Princess has also been sold to an undisclosed buyer and this was confirmed by the cruise line recently. It’s not yet known what will eventually happen to the Sun Princess as she could still be scrapped by her new buyer.

Related: Princess Cruises Confirms Two Cruise Ships Have Been Sold

Sun Princess Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: liu yu shan / Shutterstock.com

Sun Princess is the first in her class and made her debut in the Caribbean in 1995. She has a guest capacity of 2,000 with a gross tonnage of 77,441. The vessel was last refurbished in July 2018.

Carnival Fascination (Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival Cruise Line did not make a surprise by announcing that Carnival Fascination had been sold. It came as the cruise ship was already in a long term lay-up and parent company Carnival Corporation had announced even more less efficient cruise ships are being disposed of across its brands.

Carnival Fascination Cruise Ship in Barbados
Photo Credit: Solarisys / Shutterstock.com

With the Fantasy-class ship being sold it could be heading to another cruise line or likely being scrapped at the Aliaga ship breaking facility in Izmir, Turkey. Her sister ships of Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Inspiration, and Carnival Imagination are already being scrapped there.

Related: 10 Reasons to Cruise on the Carnival Fascination

The Carnival cruise ship was based out of San Juan, Puerto Rico before the pandemic hit and is 70,367 gross tons with a guest capacity of 2,634 at double occupancy along with 920 international crew members.

Carnival Imagination (Carnival Cruise Line)

The Fantasy-class cruise ship is to be scrapped after recently spending time docked in Curacao to offload any important equipment and items. This was the same situation just before sister ships Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration were also scrapped.

Carnival imagination
Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line

Related: Carnival Imagination Might Be Heading for the Scrapyard

Even though as of writing this Carnival Cruise Line is yet to announced the scrapping of Carnival Imagination, the vessel is heading towards the Aliaga ship breaking facility in Turkey. The route tracking is showing Aliaga as her final destination. She will likely be beached a few days after arriving in Turkey and the remaining crew will disembark.

Black Watch (Fred Olsen Cruises)

The British-based cruise line announced towards the end of August 2020 that Black Watch will be retired. The cruise line has purchased newer ships from Holland America Line named Bolette and Borealis.

Black Watch Ship
Photo By: Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Related: Cruise Line Confirms it Will Retire Two Cruise Ships

It is likely the vessel will be scrapped due to her age. She first entered service for Royal Viking Line in 1972 and was constructed in Finland. Since then the ship has been operated by Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Cruise Line and until her retirement, Fred Olsen Cruises. She’s 28,200 gross tons with a guest capacity over 800. It’s not yet known where the ship will be scrapped.

Boudicca (Fred Olsen Cruises)

Just like Black Watch, it was announced by Fred Olsen Cruises that Boudicca is retiring which will likely lead to scrapping due to her age. This comes after the cruise line purchased two newer ships that will replace itineraries and offer greater capacity.

Boudicca Ship
Photo By: Fred Olsen Cruise Line

Boudicca entered service for Royal Viking Line in 1972. Since then the ship has been renamed many times including Sunward fir Norwegian Cruise Line until 1993 and Golden princess for Princess Cruises until 1997. In total, she’s been operated by ten different cruise lines including the most recent Fred Olsen Cruises.

The ship is 28,300 gross tons and has a guest capacity of around 900 along with 320 crew members.

Carnival Inspiration (Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival Cruise Line has not officially announced the Carnival Inspiration is leaving the fleet but it’s pretty much confirmed. The Fantasy-class ship has already been stripped of all her important items and equipment in Curacao and is currently heading for Izmir, Turkey.

The ship will be scrapped at the Aliaga ship breaking facility which is just north of Izmir. She is following sister ship Carnival Fantasy which is also being scrapped. All the details on the Carnival inspiration leaving the fleet can be found here.

Carnival Inspiration Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Stories In Light / Shutterstock.com

Carnival Inspiration debuted for Carnival Cruise Line in 1996 and was constructed in Finland which is the same for other ships in her class. She has a gross tonnage of around 70,360 and a guest capacity of over 2,000.

Costa neoRomantica (Costa Cruises)

The oldest Costa cruise ship which entered service in 1993 has been purchased by Celestyal Cruises. The ship has been sold due to the impact from the suspension of cruise operations and this comes after parent company Carnival Corp announced 13 cruise ships would be disposed of. You can read more about the purchase here.

Celestyal neoRomantica
Image Via: Celestyal Cruises

MS Amsterdam (Holland America Line)

Amsterdam has been sold to Fred Olsen Cruises which is a mid-ship cruise line in the UK. The vessel has been sold as a pair with sister ship Rotterdam and will be renamed as Bolette. She’ll be refurbished and rebranded before the end of 2020. You read more details about the Fred Olsen purchase right here.

Amsterdam Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: 1000 Words / Shutterstock.com

The cruise ship has a gross tonnage of over 62,700 making her the largest of the four Holland America vessel to be sold. She has a guest capacity of over 1,300 along with 640 crew members.

MS Rotterdam (Holland America Line)

Rotterdam is being sold by Holland America Line along with sister ship Amsterdam to British-based Fred Olsen Cruises. The UK cruise line will rename the ship Borealis and it will join the fleet later in 2020.

MS Rotterdam Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: 1AdesiA1 / Shutterstock.com

The Holland America cruise ship entered service in 1997 and has a guest capacity of 1,400 along with 600 crew members. Once Fred Olsen Cruises has updated the vessel some stats may change.

MS Veendam (Holland America Line)

The Veendam cruise ship has been sold to an unknown buyer and will be leaving the Holland America fleet. Parent company Carnival Corp is selling the ship along with Maasdam as a pair.

MS Zaandam Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: pho.stories / Shutterstock.com

The Veendam made her debut for Holland America Line in 1996 and was constructed at the popular Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard in Italy. The ship is over 57,000 gross tons with a guest capacity of over 1,300 along with 560 crew members.

MS Maasdam (Holland America Line)

On July 15 Holland America Line announced it has sold four cruise ships and one of those was MS Maasdam. Currently, the buyer for the vessel along with sister ship Veendam, has not yet been revealed.

MS Maasdam Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

The vessel debuted for Holland America Line in 1993 and is 55,575 gross tons with a passenger capacity of over 1,200 at double occupancy. There is also a capacity for 580 crew members.

Carnival Fantasy (Carnival Cruise Line)

It’s not yet official but extremely likely that Carnival Fantasy, which is currently the oldest ship in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, will be scrapped. We’ve already reported that important equipment is being taken from the vessel at the cargo dock of Brion Wharf in Willemstad, Curacao.

Carnival Fantasy Docked in Cozumel

It’s also been found that Carnival Fantasy’s next final destination is Izmir, Turkey, the region where cruise ships go to be scrapped at the Aliaga ship breaking facility. It will be a sad ending to the popular ship but she is showing her age and Carnival will soon be taking delivery of the new Mardi Gras in February 2021.

Carnival Fantasy entered service in 1990 and has a gross tonnage of 70,367 and a guest capacity of 2,056 at double occupancy. The vessel also has a capacity of 920 crew members but at the moment there is only a limited number onboard.

MS Monarch (Pullmantur Cruises)

The Monarch was operated by Spanish-based Pullmantur Cruises until the cruise line filed for bankruptcy in June 2020. As a result of the cruise line shutting down, the ship was taken control by Royal Caribbean which already partly owned the cruise line.

Pullmantur Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Yingna Cai / Shutterstock.com

The ship was previously part of the Royal Caribbean International fleet from 1991 to 2013 and known as Monarch of the Seas. The ship was then sailing for Pullmantur until June 2020. Sadly the vessel is being scrapped at the Aliaga scrapyard in Turkey. She has already been stripped of all the important items in Naples, Italy as we reported here.

MS Monarch was refurbished for Pullmantur in 2012 and is 73,937 gross tons with a guest capacity of 2,733.

MS Sovereign (Pullmantur Cruises)

The MS Sovereign, which was also part of the Pullmantur Cruises fleet, is being scrapped due to the cruise line filing for bankruptcy in June 2020. The ship has had her valuable and important items removed when it was in Naples, Italy. At the moment the ship is docked in Malta and will be scrapped following sister ship Monarch.

Pullmantur Cruise Ship
Copyright Cruise Hive

Sovereign was previously operated by Royal Caribbean International and named Sovereign of the Seas. She was the first in her class and made its debut for Royal Caribbean International in 1988. The ship then started sailing for Pullmantur in 2009, until the cruise line shut down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MS Sovereign was remodeled for Pullmantur in 2008 and is 73,592 gross tons with a guest capacity of 2,733 along with 820 crew members.

MV Horizon (Pullmantur Cruises)

The cruise ship MV Horizon has been known under a handful of different names but the main name Horizon came from the Celebrity Cruises when the cruise line operated the ship from 1990 to 2005. Just like other ships in the Pullmantur fleet, MV Horizon is to be scrapped in Turkey, a sad ending for such an interesting vessel.

Pullmantur Horizon Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Photomarine / Shutterstock.com

All the important equipment was taken from the vessel in Athens, Greece, and now the ship seems to be awaiting the scrapyard. Royal Caribbean took back control of the ship when Pullmantur filed for reorganization in Spain, which is a form of bankruptcy.

Horizon has also sailed for Island Cruises and Croisieres de France. The ship is 46,811 gross tons with a passenger capacity of 1,442 along with 620 crew members. She was last refurbished to become part of the Pullmantur fleet in 2012.

Oceana (P&O Cruises)

Cruise Hive has already reported that P&O Oceana has been sold by the Carnival-owned cruise line, however, it is not yet known who the buyer is. The good news is that the vessel is not being scrapped and we can hope she will offer cruises again in the future.

P&O Oceana Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Gail Heaton / Shutterstock.com

P&O Oceana is leaving this month (June 2020) as confirmed by the cruise line. As the vessel was built in 1999, she is fairly new and still has many years to come before heading to any scrapyard. P&O Cruises will also be taking delivery of Iona, a new generation of LNG ships ordered by Carnival. The new ship will no doubt make up for the loss of Oceana once cruises get back to normal in 2021.

P&O Oceana is 77,500 gross tons and has a passenger capacity at over 2,000 along with over 800 crew members.

Costa Victoria (Costa Cruises)

Costa Victoria was the first Carnival-owned cruise ship to be disposed of due to the global health crisis and the suspension of operations. It was a surprising move as the Costa vessel was delivered in 1996 so still had many years to go in its expected service life.

Costa Victoria Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Shi Yali / Shutterstock.com

The ship was sold to Genova Trasporti Marittimi and there were reports that Costa Victoria was to become a floating hotel for workers at the Cantiere Navale San Giorgio del Porto in Genoa, Italy. Unfortunately, parent company Carnival Corporation needs funds to help ride out these difficult times so Costa Victoria was sold and now to be scrapped.

The Costa cruise ship is over 75,000 gross tons with a guest capacity of over 1,900 at double occupancy along with 766 crew members.

Rusty Cruise Ship

MSC Cruises Releases Photos of First Ship to Resume Operations

MSC Cruises has provided new photos from its first cruise ship that has already resumed operations in Italy.

MSC Grandiosa Photos

The cruise line has released a batch of new photos that show how its keeping guests and crew safe aboard MSC Grandiosa. The cruise ship is the first in the fleet to resume operations and the ship is actually about to complete her fifth sailing!

Everything is looking good and MSC is now leading the way not just on new health measures but kickstarting cruises in Europe. The ship has returned to service successfully and as Cruise Hive previously reported, the new protocols are working.

Let’s take a look at the new photos from the first few sailings of MSC Grandiosa and how guest are being protected:

The MSC Cruise ship first resumed cruises out of Genoa in August and became the first from a major cruise line to do so. The vessel is offering Western Mediterranean sailings calling to Civitavecchia, Naples, Palermo, and Valetta.

MSC Magnifica will follow and become the second ship in the fleet to resume operations on October 19, hopefully even more vessel will start sailing soon but it will depend on the global health crisis and travel restrictions around the world.

Also Read: Second MSC Cruise Ship to Restart Operations Soon

New health measures aim to stop any new outbreak on ships and this includes testing for all guests and crew before embarkation, health screenings, constant health monitoring onboard, enhanced sanitation, social distancing, face masks, and more.

MSC Grandiosa Health Measures
Share via
Copy link