Cruise News Update: Ship Fire, Disney Cruise, Small Cabin

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Get ready for the exciting weekly recap of the major cruise news developments of the week. Cruise Hive has it all covered, with stories about Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, and Crystal Cruises.

Cruise News Update

Let’s delve into the top stories from the cruise industry, including Disney Cruise Line revealing seven themed areas onboard the new Disney Adventure; a small fire erupting onboard Icon of the Seas; Carnival Cruise Line guests asking for chocolates on their pillows; a Royal Caribbean crew member posting a very popular video of his tiny cabin; Carnival Cruise Line again explaining its luggage drop-off policy; and Crystal Cruises ordering two new ships for its fleet.

Seven-Themed Spaces Unveiled For Disney Adventure

Disney Cruise Line revealed that Disney Adventure, a new vessel under construction and set to debut in 2025, will feature seven themed areas, each tied to Disney’s iconic characters, films, and family experiences.

The cruise line acquired the ship in 2022 while it was being built for Genting Hong Kong before the company went bankrupt. It was to operate under the name Global Dream.

Disney Adventure Cruise Ship
Disney Adventure Cruise Ship

With capacity for 6,700 guests, Disney Adventure will entertain guests with the Disney Imagination Garden, an open-air entertainment space described as the heart of the ship. At Disney Discovery Reef, guests will have dining and shopping venues to check out, and San Fransokyo will feature a street market and movie theaters with themes tied to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 2014 animated hit “Big Hero 6.”

Wayfinder Bay will offer a Pacific Islands vibe inspired by the Disney film “Moana,” and Town Square will feature reminders of Disney’s most popular films, including “Cinderella,” “The Princess and the Frog,” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

Marvel Landing will be focused on Disney’s heroes and villains, and Toy Story will provide a play space featuring Pixar characters.

Disney Adventure will be based in Asia, sailing from the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore. Itineraries have not yet been announced.

Small Fire Erupts Aboard World’s Biggest Cruise Ship

The world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s 248,663-gross-ton Icon of the Seas that carries up to 7,600 guests with all berths occupied, experienced what the cruise line called a small fire while the ship was docked in Costa Maya, Mexico, on June 25, 2024.

The ship called at the popular port on day four of her 7-night Western Caribbean cruise that set sail from Miami on June 22, 2024. Guests who had not disembarked the ship reported experiencing a shaking of the vessel at around 3 p.m., and then heard the emergency code “Bravo Bravo Bravo” over the ship’s public address system. On cruise ships, that code indicates fire onboard.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Deutschlandreform)

Power failures were reported across the ship, impacting elevators, air conditioning, pool pumps, and other services. Moreover, guests who had gone ashore were not able to reboard the ship, since digital ID scanners were not operating.

Outages were reported for about an hour, although some areas of the ship had power restored within about 20 minutes. The location of the blaze is unconfirmed, although there were reports it had started in a crew hallway. Staff onboard all cruise ships are trained in firefighting techniques, and in this case, the fire was quickly extinguished.

Icon of the Seas is a new ship that launched in January 2024. This incident represented the second time the ship has lost power in the past month. On May 19, 2024, the ship lost power temporarily while at sea. Propulsion was impacted, along with other electrical systems, but the power loss did not cause any major problem.

No Chocolates on the Pillow For Carnival Cruise Line Guests

The announcement that Holland America Line has partnered with the candy maker Lindt to offer a Sweet Dreams chocolate treat during nightly turndown service prompted some Carnival Cruise Line guests to say: “Hey, what about us?”

The two lines are brands of Carnival Corporation. Some Carnival Cruise Line guests reached out to Brand Ambassador John Heald, reminiscing about a similar service that was provided to Diamond and Platinum loyalty club members. That was some years back, when cruisers returned to their cabins at night to find milk chocolates waiting for them on their pillows.

Carnival Cruise Line Cabin Chocolates
Carnival Cruise Line Cabin Chocolates (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks & Sonja)

On his Facebook page, Heald commented that, no, the cruise line will not offer that amenity again.

“We stopped this many years ago and the savings paid for the introduction of Guy’s Burgers across the fleet,” he quipped. The popular eatery was added to Carnival Cruise Line ships as part of the line’s Fun 2.0 upgrades starting in 2011. Currently, all but one ship features the burger joint created by celebrity chef Guy Fieri.

It is unlikely that the line did finance the burger joint partnership by nixing its chocolate turndown service, but the costs of such a perk do add up.

If all ships in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet provided a chocolate treat to all berths each night, it would total some 32.4 million pieces of chocolate over the course of a year.

Video of Tiny Crew Cabin Goes Viral on Social Media

The video tour of an itty-bitty cabin occupied by a crew member working onboard Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Utopia of the Seas, went viral on TikTok and YouTube as viewers got an insider’s look at the space.

The 5,600-guest Utopia of the Seas will be the second-largest cruise ship operating when she enters service in July 2024, behind Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas. But her large size does not translate into a spacious cabin for musician James (@bryanjamescruises), who was assigned the tiny cabin as part of his work contract.

Tiny Utopia of the Seas Crew Cabin
Tiny Utopia of the Seas Crew Cabin (Credits: Bryan James & Royal Caribbean)

Located on Deck 3 of the mega-ship, which is undergoing final preparations ahead of her debut, James’ cabin has a narrow single bed from which he can reach almost everything in the stateroom.

“Laying in your bed, you can touch every drawer, your fridge, your trashcan, your sink, your mirror, your phone, your lighting…the only thing you can’t touch is the bathroom,” James says in the video post. 

The bathroom is shared jack-and-jill style, with the crew cabin next door. Not all crew cabins are as small as the one James was assigned. Typically, crew accommodations are based on a ranking system, with servers and housekeepers in the smallest cabins.

James’ video has garnered more than 45,000 views on TikTok and 28,000 on YouTube, giving curious folks a surprising glimpse into life as cruise ship crew.

Cruise Line Again Explains Policy Behind Early Access to Cabins

Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has again reminded guests that the line’s luggage drop-off policy offered to certain loyalty club members and other qualifying guests means that cruisers can enter their staterooms upon embarkation but only to leave their carry-on luggage, not to remain in the cabin for any reason.

Heald was responding to some guests who complained that rude cabin stewards told them to leave their cabin while dropping off their hand luggage. But Heald explained that it was not rudeness; it was necessary so that the crew member could clean the stateroom.

Carnival Cruise Cabin
Carnival Cruise Cabin (Photo Credit: Emrys Thakkar)

The embarkation day perk is meant only to relieve guests of their hand luggage, not to enable them to enter their cabin early to take naps, shower, or do any other activity. Guests who receive the perk are asked to place their carry-on bags in the cabin closet or under the bed and then leave the premises.

Crew members need sufficient time to remove trash, change bedding and towels, scrub the bathroom, vacuum, restock soaps, etc.

The stateroom access benefit is offered to Diamond and Platinum level loyalty club members as well as to those who book the Faster to the Fun add-on package and to all suite guests.

Crystal Cruises to Expand With Two New Ships

Crystal Cruises ordered the construction of two new ships from Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard, and the agreement includes an option for a third. The first vessel will debut in 2028, and the launch of the second has not been confirmed. 

With two ships currently operating — Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, the order will double the line’s fleet. The ultra-luxury cruise line is owned by Abercrombie & Kent, which acquired the Crystal brand and two of its blue-water ships in 2022, following the bankruptcy of the line’s former owner, Genting Hong Kong.

New Crystal Cruises Ship Render
New Crystal Cruises Ship Render

The new-builds will each have capacity for 690 guests in all-suite cabins. Italian interior design firms Studio Ibsen and Gem Cruise Ships Design are partnering with Crystal to create the ship’s high-end interior spaces. The firms had collaborated on the refurbishments of Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony after A&K purchased them.

The new ships, whose names were not revealed, will sport a spa and fitness center, dedicated spaces for families with children, single occupancy cabins for solo travelers, and eateries that will include Umi Uma, the cruise industry’s only Nobu venue.

Both ships will also feature the line’s new casino concept, Casino de Monte-Carlo at Sea, which will soon be installed on the line’s two existing ships. The project is a partnership with Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, which operates the famous Monte Carlo casino in Monaco.

More Cruise Headlines

Those were just some of the cruise news headlines Cruise Hive covered in the last week. There are plenty more to check out, such as Costa Cruises offering new family programs on Mediterranean cruises, Oceania Cruises deploying two ships to French Polynesia in 2025, Explora Journeys adding an Italian-style fine dining venue to Explora I, TUI Cruises christening its new ship, Mein Schiff 7, during an at-sea ceremony, and Carnival Cruise Line nixing a donation it made on behalf of cruisers who reach Diamond loyalty level.

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