Cruise News Update: February 4, 2023

Weekly cruise news update covering multiple cruise lines, including Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line.

We’re here to make sure you’re up to date on the biggest cruise news stories from the past week. There’s coverage on Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Marella Cruises and even the world’s oldest cruise ship.

Cruise News Update

Time to make sure you’re all caught up with another weekly cruise news update. In this article, we take a first sneak peek at the interior spaces on the first Princess Cruises LNG-powered vessel, Carnival releasing new longer itineraries that will likely get booked up fast, a warning to Carnival guests to not misbehave, food and beverage issues forces a cancellation for Marella cruises and sadly the world’s oldest cruise ship is set to be scrapped.

New Spaces Revealed for Sun Princess

With a year to go until Princess Cruises’ 4,000-guest Sun Princess is introduced, the line on February 3 offered some sneak peeks of the ship’s interior public spaces.

In what will be a first for the Carnival Corporation brand, the Horizons Dining Room will span three decks, with each deck offering different dining options and formality levels. Natural light and a central sculpture will enhance the venue’s open spaces.

The ship’s theater, the Princess Arena, will be the fleet’s most technologically impressive and will sport a curved theater-in-the-round design with movable seats able to accommodate 1,000 guests.

Its Princess Casino will be the cruise line’s biggest in size and number of gaming positions, offering more than 200 slot and video poker games.

Sun Princess Cruise Ship
Sun Princess Cruise Ship

In other entertainment reveals, the Princess Live! space on Sun Princess will combine the elements of the existing Princess Live! and Explorer’s Lounge areas, where guests can participate in game shows, trivia and the cruise line’s popular Wake Show. The space will offer full beverage services and be located nearby restaurants.

The cruise line’s signature restaurants will be included on Sun Princess, and some will have new designs and decor. Crown Grill, for instance, a favorite specialty restaurant, will be modernized with contemporary designs like leather booths, circular seating and custom-designed artwork, the line said.

A newly imagined Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria will feature a pasta room where guests can watch the pasta-making process. The line described the Italian specialty space as having “intimate bistro-style nooks and a dramatic circular main room.”

The 175,500-gross-ton Sun Princess will sail her 10-day Inaugural Grand Mediterranean cruise on February 8, 2024, from Barcelona to Rome.

New Carnival Cruise Line Itineraries

The Miami-based cruise line released some exciting new itineraries on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 for two of its ships, Carnival Panorama and Carnival Splendor.

The Vista-class Carnival Panorama will sail two transpacific Carnival Journeys itineraries. The first is an 18-day voyage departing Long Beach, California on Thursday, August 22, 2024.

The ship will visit three various Alaskan ports. The ship will arrive in Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan to end the unique sailing on Tuesday, September 10.

The second of Carnival Panorama‘s sailings is even longer and more spectacular, setting sail from Singapore on Saturday, October 12, 2024 for a phenomenal 25-night voyage. Among the fantastic ports the ship will visit on her transpacific return, are stops in Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Hawaii.

The ship will cross the International Date Line and enjoy a total of 17 days at sea, as well as be the first-ever Carnival ship to call on Manila in the Philippines, before returning to Long Beach on Tuesday, November 5.

Carnival Splendor has equally amazing itineraries for her two unique Carnival Journeys cruises, one-way sailings between Sydney, Australia and Singapore.

The first will depart Sydney on Sunday, July 21, 2024, visiting various ports in Australia, Indonesia, and Bali. Of the 15 nights on the cruise, nine will be days at sea, giving guests plenty of time to enjoy all the amenities onboard before arriving in Singapore on Monday, August 5.

Carnival Splendor will return to Sydney along a similar route, departing Singapore on Saturday, August 24 for a 16-night cruise. Of special note is the very first port of call, visiting Tanjung Priok in Indonesia. Additional Indonesian and Australian ports, as well as nine days at sea, will also be part of the sailing, which will arrive back in Sydney on Monday, September 9.

Carnival Reminds Passengers to Behave

Carnival Cruise Line has begun sending “Guest Advisory” guidelines to booked passengers ahead of their upcoming cruises, with detailed reminders about behavior guidelines and safety policies onboard every Fun Ship.

“We are looking forward to welcoming you on board!” the email begins. “As part of our commitment to create the best environment to provide you with a fun and memorable vacation, we want to remind you of our Safety First! guidelines.”

The email proceeds to detail a variety of behavior and conduct policies and their consequences, such as smoking policies, bringing alcohol or non-alcoholic beverages onboard, and general disruptive behavior.

Carnival Cruise Line Ship
Photo Credit: Solarisys / Shutterstock

While the policies covered in the email have always been available on the cruise line’s website, this new outreach ensures that all guests have multiple reminders of the code of conduct, and offers additional explanations where necessary.

In addition to outlining policies, the email goes on to emphasize “Carnival Values.” “Our experience has taught us that everyone has a better time when children are supervised, noise in the hallways is kept to a minimum, guests follow queues, and that a spirit of community and neighborliness is shown by all,” the email explains.

The email clearly outlines consequences for unruly or disruptive behavior, which can include a fine of $500 and additional expenses related to confining or disembarking guests if necessary.

Food and Beverage Issues Forces Cancellation

Marella Cruises‘ Marella Discovery 2 finished up a 7-night “Flavours of the Caribbean” cruise that set sail from Montego Bay, Jamaica on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. Along the way, the ship called on the deliciously decadent ports of Cozumel, Mexico; Havana, Cuba; and Georgetown, Grand Cayman.

Guests onboard were notified, however, that the next sailing – a 7-night “Pride of Panama” sailing – must be cancelled due to technical reasons affecting food and beverage service. That cruise was scheduled to depart Montego Bay on January 31, visiting Kingston, Jamaica; Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.

Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Kateryna Mashkevych / Shutterstock

The ship, which had suffered from thruster issues earlier in that sailing, planned to arrive back at its homeport in Jamaica on schedule at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, January 31. On that day, the cruise line began flying guests home via chartered aircraft from parent company TUI Group.

Guests are being refunded for the cancelled cruise in full at a “pro-rata per night rate.” The cruise line is also offering £300 ($370 USD) per adult and £150 ($185) per child in vouchers for a future cruise, as a “gesture of goodwill.” Refunds will be processed back to the original method of payment, and may take several weeks to be fully processed.

While no cruise line wants to cancel a full sailing for any reason, different causes such as severe weather, emergency repairs needed for engine issues, or accidents with the vessel – such as when Norwegian Escape ran aground in March 2022 – can require cruises to be cancelled.

“Food and beverage service” is a less frequent cancellation reason, however, but an equally valid one.

World’s Oldest Cruise Ship to be Scrapped

The world’s longest-serving cruise ship, Astoria, will be scrapped in the coming weeks or months. The sale of the Astoria to a European Union-approved shipbreaking yard, most likely the Aliaga Ship Recycling Facility in Turkey, marks the end of a long and eventful life for this floating piece of history.

Astoria Cruise Ship
photo Credit: Peter Titmuss / Shutterstock

TradeWinds reported the sale of the vessel by The Roundtable LLC of Puerto Rico for an undisclosed amount. S&P Global’s International Ships Register lists its status as “to be broken up.”

Astoria has had a long and storied history, serving as a transatlantic passenger vessel, a cruise ship for the German Communist party, a barracks for asylum seekers, and a modern cruise ship. 

Despite its many lives and names, Astoria will be remembered as a unique and unforgettable ship with a rich history spanning nearly 75 years, more than any other cruise ship in history.

More Cruise Headlines

It was a busy week of cruise news and Cruise Hive has all the coverage, including Princess Cruises removing calls to protect marine life in British Columbia, Royal Caribbean accidentally sending a safety drill notification to non-passengers, an Alaska port seeking to put limits on cruise ships, an itinerary change for the world’s largest cruise ship, Carnival Glory cancellations for a dry dock, Crystal Cruises to restart sailings with its two ships in Summer 2023 and much more.

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