Here’s your weekly cruise news update across all the major cruise lines, including Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean. We’ve got coverage on an older ship reaching the end of service, to the newest cruise ship in the world.
Cruise News Update
Cruise Hive has you covered with the major headlines from the past week across the major cruise lines. We’ve got coverage on Carnival Cruise Line getting tough with chair hogs, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship making waves in the U.S., the world’s first zero-energy cruise terminal by Royal Caribbean, Holland America Line ending its Alaska season, and its a sad day for Carnival’s oldest cruise ship.
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In This Article…
Carnival Cruise Line Gets Tough
Carnival Cruise Line has quietly updated its onboard FAQ to include the enforcement policy about reserving sun loungers.
This move, which now implements a tagging system to prevent excessively saving seats, follows a recent trend by the cruise line of instituting new policies to curb unacceptable behavior on its ships.
Frequent cruisers are very familiar with seat-saving tactics, which often include using a towel, flip flops, piece of fruit, or another item to “reserve” a chair by giving it the appearance of being in use, when in reality, the person who put the item on the chair may not return for hours to actually use it.
Guests reserving sun loungers or deck chairs for long periods are often referred to as “chair hogs.” Reserving chairs can be a source of great frustration on a cruise, especially when deck space may be limited, particularly on sea days.
Now, Carnival Cruise Line is seeking to cut down on chair reservation incidents with a monitoring system, and taking steps to ensure guests are aware of the policy.
A crew member will place a notification in the form of a sticker, or some tape on the lounger of the current time, so they can keep track. If the chair remains unoccupied for 40 minutes, the contents shall be removed, so other guests can use it.
Also, signage will be clearly posted in deck areas, and the announcement will be posted on the Seaside Theater poolside LED screen at regular intervals. The policy is also noted on the Carnival Hub app, and cruise directors are beginning to make regular announcements over the ship’s loudspeakers to remind guests of the policy.
This is not a new policy for the cruise line, but enforcement has been lacking in the past, with experienced guests reporting that many times, no enforcement at all is visible and chairs will remain “claimed” for hours without consequences, despite crew members passing the chairs on a regular basis.
Norwegian Prima Completes First US Cruise
New York City got a taste of Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest cruise ship in the past week, Norwegian Prima. The cruise ship sailed on her maiden US voyage on October 6, visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia, and returned to New York City on October 10, completing the ship’s first US sailing.
Norwegian Prima departed on one more voyage from New York City. On October 10, she sailed on a five-day cruise visiting Norfolk and Bermuda. She will return to New York next year to offer roundtrip sailings to Bermuda starting March 28, 2023, through May 14, 2023.
Following her cruise to Bermuda, Norwegian Prima will sail south to Galveston, Texas. Along the way, the ship will call on Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic and the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.
After a second cruise from Galveston, Norwegian Prima will sail two cruises from Miami before a series of fifteen cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida.
Five more ships in the Prima class are scheduled for release in the next five years. In 2023, Norwegian Viva will set sail for the first time. Another vessel will be released each year after that between 2024 and 2027.
Solar Powered Royal Caribbean Terminal
The new $125 million, 161,334-square-foot Galveston Cruise Terminal, which opens on November 9, will significantly expand Royal Caribbean’s presence in Galveston.
But what’s even more impressive is that once opened, the cruise terminal in Galveston will be the first of its kind to generate 100% of the energy needed to run all systems through a massive array of solar panels measuring 30,000 square feet.
The terminal will be the home of Allure of the Seas, the first time Galveston welcomes Royal Caribbean’s signature Oasis Class.
Several other Royal Caribbean cruise ships will also use the new terminal, such as Adventure of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas. In all, the facility will be able to handle 630,000 Royal Caribbean cruise passengers annually.
The solar panels will provide over 100% of the energy needs of the building; the surplus will be sent to the local power grid. There will be bicycles for staff, providing alternative transportation to the city, and electric charging points for vehicles.
The building has been built with materials that produce less carbon, based on energy used and transportation. At the same time, these materials have been designed to minimize the heat-island effect.
Holland America Line Ends Alaska Season
Holland America Line concluded its 75th season in Alaska on October 8, as two of the line’s cruise ships arrived in their homeports to debark their guests in Seattle and Vancouver.
Out of the company’s eleven cruise ships, six sailed on voyages in Alaska this season, with the last two concluding their season. Koningsdam made its last call to Ketchikan on October 7 and is already starting her winter season sailing the Mexican Riviera.
Koningsdam was the first cruise ship to return to Canada this year with a call at Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The ship’s call marked 905 days since a cruise ship visited the port and a maiden call for the ship. Koningsdam sailed from Vancouver for the entirety of its Alaska season.
Eurodam also concluded its Alaska season in Seattle on October 8, after which she sailed south to Fort Lauderdale for a series of cruises around the Caribbean, Central,- and South America.
As another season comes to a close, the cruise line is seeing an increased interest in Alaska cruises, a destination that many guests see as a bucket-list destination and something entirely different than cruises in the Caribbean or Mediterranean.
Holland America will return to Alaska in April next year, sailing a record 121 cruises onboard six ships through September 2023: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Westerdam, Volendam, and Koningsdam.
Carnival Ecstasy Final Voyage Ends
And finally, we come to a sad ending with Carnival Ecstasy reaching the end of service. After 31 years, the Fantasy-class Carnival cruise ship ends its final voyage with passengers, a five-night cruise that departed Mobile, Alabama, on October 10. The itinerary included a final call to Cozumel and then to Progreso, before heading back home.
While many are sad to see the smaller size cruise ship go, she did have a final hurrah. During the last day at sea, Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald organized an auction where a considerable amount of money was collected to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a longtime beneficiary of charitable events onboard Carnival cruise ships.
During her career, the cruise ship sailed on 2,300 cruises for Carnival, during which more than 5.5 million guests embarked and disembarked the ship. The Fantasy-class cruise ship has always been a hugely popular ship amongst Carnival Cruise Line guests.
Carnival Ecstasy will make its way across the Atlantic Ocean and towards the Mediterranean in the coming days. She will be broken up as scrap metal in the shipbreaking yard in Turkey.
However, before that happens, and once all the guests have disembarked, the crew will start making preparations to strip the ship of anything valuable, such as consumables, towels, and valuable hardware.
Only two of the original eight Fantasy-class cruise ships remain. Carnival Elation is currently sailing out of Jacksonville, Florida, and Carnival Paradise is presently operating from Tampa, Florida.
Five Fantasy-class ships have already been scrapped, Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Imagination, and Carnival Inspiration.
More Cruise Headlines
Those were just a handful of the cruise stories from the past week, we’ve got all the coverage over on cruisehive.com, including another Caribbean cruise destination dropping all requirements, Carnival dropping its face mask mandate for crew members, an expedition cruise line rolls out Starlink internet fleetwide, construction begins on a new cruise port in Alaska, Grand Turk reopens for cruises after being damaged from Hurricane Fiona, Port Canaveral expected to be busy with new Artemis launch date, disembarkation port changed for Holland America cruise ship and more.