It has been an important week for the cruise industry as cruise line suspensions continue and new health measures are a major focus on returning to service in the U.S.
Latest Cruise News Updates
This week there’s been non-stop cruise action with the latest developments on new health measures from Royal Caribbean’s and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Healthy Sail Panel, more cruise ships being offloaded, and the hope that health protocols can help get cruises going again.
Healthy Sail Panel Submits Report to CDC
The Healthy Sail Panel which has been jointly set up by Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line has finally submitted its health and safety recommendations to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 65-page report that’s also been sent to other relevant authorities details new health measures to safely allow cruise operations to resume.
There are five areas of focus to make sure guests and crew remain safe and healthy at all times during any cruise. Included in these areas of focus are testing, screening, exposure reduction, sanitation, ventilation, response, contingency planning & execution, destination & excursion planning and finally mitigating risks for crew members.
You can check all the details of these new recommendations over here.
Princess Cruises Confirms Two Cruise Ships Sold
Princess Cruises has confirmed that two of its cruise ships have been sold to undisclosed buyers. The sale of Sea Princess and Sun Princess comes as parent company the Carnival Corporation recently announced that a total of 18 cruise ships are being disposed of across its nine cruise brands which includes Princess Cruises.
Carnival has said that less efficient ships will be let go and unfortunately that’s the case for the two Princess cruise ships. All sailings for the vessels have now been cancelled and the cruise line is contacting affected guests on their options.
Sea Princess made her debut in 1998 and has a guest capacity of 2,000 at 77,488 gross tons and with 1,008 guest cabins. The ship was last refurbished in November 2017.
Sun Princess is even older and made her debut in 1995. The ship is 77,441 gross tons with a guest capacity of 2,000. She was last refurbished in July 2018.
CLIA Announces Mandatory Health Protocols
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced new mandatory health protocols that will be implemented by its cruise line members that actually represent 95% of the industry!
The new protocols are thanks to work done by members lines such as Royal Caribbean’s and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Healthy Sail Panel, MSC Cruises’ Blue Ribbon group, and Carnival Corporation’s health experts.
The new mandatory measures are:
- Testing. 100% testing of passengers and crew for COVID-19 prior to embarkation
- Mask-Wearing. Mandatory wearing of masks by all passengers and crew onboard and during excursions whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained
- Distancing. Physical distancing in terminals, onboard ships, on private islands and during shore excursions
- Ventilation. Air management and ventilation strategies to increase fresh air onboard and, where feasible, using enhanced filters and other technologies to mitigate risk
- Medical Capability: Risk based response plans tailored for each ship to manage medical needs, dedicated cabin capacity allocated for isolation and other operational measures, and advance arrangements with private providers for shoreside quarantine, medical facilities, and transportation.
- Shore Excursions: Only permit shore excursions according to the cruise operators’ prescribed protocols, with strict adherence required of all passengers and denial of re-boarding for any passengers that do not comply.
This doesn’t mean that cruise lines won’t still introduce their own additional measures when more cruise ships begin sailing again especially from the United States.
Mardi Gras Grand Central Atrium
Some more exciting news and it’s about Carnival’s new cruise ship Mardi Gras that is currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.
The cruise line released some new details about the Grand Central Atrium, a space that is part of six themed zones on the new Mardi Gras cruise ship.
Grand Central spans decks 6, 7, and 8 and features huge 3,000-square-foot glass panels offering stunning ocean views from the starboard side of the ship. The venue will be a nice relaxing place where guests can enjoy drinks and even get involved in trivia activities.
At night Grand Central becomes a hub of entertainment with a range of live performances and spectacular events. Talented performers will interact with 16 LED screens that will display video and special effects. Theses new visually created performances will be detailed in the future, we can’t wait to find out more!
Overlooking Grand Central will be a multi-level Grand View Bar which is a multi-functional dining and entertainment space. Down on the main level will be the Center Stage Bar and nearby will be the Java Blue coffee shop, Cherry on Top along with access to the casino and retail shops.
Guests will be able to start enjoying this stunning new space once the Mardi Gras has made her debut from the new Carnival terminal at Port Canaveral on February 6, 2021.
Royal Caribbean Changes Summer 2021 Cruises
Royal Caribbean has announced changes to five cruise ships for summer 2021. This includes new homeport options and more enhanced itineraries. All the detail are right here.
- Adventure of the Seas, which was previously scheduled to sail from Copenhagen and Stockholm, will head for Barcelona to sail a mix of new 4- and 5-night Mediterranean itineraries to historic destinations in Italy, France and Spain.
- Jewel of the Seas, originally planned to homeport in Amsterdam and Barcelona, will now sail from Copenhagen and Stockholm on 7-night cruises calling on Northern Europe’s picturesque ports in Finland, Estonia and Sweden.
- Independence of the Seas, originally sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. offering 3- and 4-night cruises, will now make the neighboring city of Miami her home for the summer season and offer a combination of 6- and 8-night cruises to the Southern and Western Caribbean, visiting far-flung islands including Aruba and Curacao.
- Vision of the Seas¸ previously planned to sail from Barcelona, will sail from San Juan, offering a new summer program from the island of enchantment. She will offer 7-night Southern Caribbean itineraries to exotic destinations including St. Maarten, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados.
- Brilliance of the Seas will stay in Tampa for the summer offering a new drive to port for guests. She will sail 4-, 5- and 7-night cruises to the Caribbean, elevating Caribbean summer sailings from Florida’s west coast.
Plenty to look forward to for 2021 from Royal Caribbean, let’s just forget about this year and focus on all those great destinations to come.
Norwegian Cruise Line Founder Dies Aged 91
And finally, we are deeply saddened by the passing of Norwegian Cruise Line founder Knut Kloster at the age of 91 last weekend. It’s thanks to him that we have such a creative and innovative industry with bold new features on cruise ships.
We would just like to send my deepest condolences to all his family members and friends around the world including everyone he’s worked with within the industry and beyond.