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2010 Cruise News Update No. 1
The Christmas and New Years holidays prevented The Cruise Examiner from bringing readers the planned news update for the end of 2009, so we now take the opportunity to update the latest changes in the world of cruising. Despite the recession that the world has been suffering, new ships will continue to arrive while some of the older ships find new employment in new waters. Here is the latest up-date.
Comparing The Giants
Now that the Oasis of the Seas has been safely delivered and carried her first loads of revenue passengers, the reviews have been generally good. ("The Battle of the Cruise Giants," September 14). Whether this style of cruising will support three such ships is no doubt something we will learn after sister ship Allure of the Seas is delivered next year. And whether the new ports will work ("New Ports: Coney Islands of the Seas," November 9).
One reviewer, however, has done both the Oasis of the Seas and the new Carnival Dream back to back and has said he will never go back to the Carnival Dream. While it is necessary to reserve for alternative dining arrangements on Oasis, the queues on board Carnival Dream at its new "The Gathering" multiple eatery have apparently been enough to discourage this reviewer from ever returning to the Dream (but not other Carnival ships).
On the other hand, he very much enjoyed and would go back to the Oasis of the Seas, although another reviewer did comment that meals are served in large bowls rather than on plates. As the Norwegian Epic has not yet been delivered it is too early to comment on her.
One of the better looking ships to have come along in some time will be Oceania's new Marina, due to enter service in about a year's time. Last month, details were released of her Ralph Lauren-decorated owners suites, of which there will be three, and it was also revealed that she will be fitted with a grand stairway by Lalique. This has actually evolved from the main staircase in their first three Oceania ships, which were originally designed by John McNeece for Renaissance Cruises.
The first purpose-built ship for the upper premier market, as opposed to the ultra-luxury market, there will be great interest in this ship and whether she re-introduces a more human scale back into cruising. Will she be the first of many more to come that might bring a new population of ships to ther world of cruising?
Whither Bleu de France?
Rumours twice circulated late last year that the Bleu de France had been sold but no confirmation was forthcoming from Croisières de France or from its parent company Pullmantur ("Cruising à la Française," October 26). Meanwhile, in mid-December, Bleu de France's Red Sea season was been and passengers were either refunded or re-booked onto Pullmantur's Pacific Dream operating out of the Dominican Republic. Both Pullmantur and Croisières de France are now marketing this ship for both French and Spanish customers.
Two other cruise ships also on the market from Pullmantur are the Ocean Dream, Carnival's original Tropicale and the steam-powered Atlantic Star, once Sitmar's Fairsky. Meanwhile, Croisières de France are continuing to book the Bleu de France's summer program from Marseilles. Meanwhile, speculation is that the unknown bidder may be Britain's Saga, who have just retired the Saga Rose, ex-Sagafjord.
The New Adonia
Last year, we wrote about the Artemis, the Astor, the Athena and the Amadea ("Ships From the 'A' Team," September 7). P&O has since confirmed that the Artemis is indeed going to Phoenix, where she will became yet another "A" ship, the Artania, in 2011.
And more recently P&O has revealed by P&O, that the Minerva II, now operating as the Royal Princess, will return to the UK, but this time as a P&O ship called the Adonia, the second of that name. It can only be good news for British cruisers to have one of these ships sailing from the UK. And that P&O have seen fit to add a 700-guest ship to their fleet as well as another 3,000-berth "A" ship, the Azura, at least shows that cruise lines don't all have to be homogenous.
New Ships Continue to Arrive
Although only Carnival has ordered a new ship recently, and MSC may revise their next pair, which had been announced as an order some time back, the deliveries will continue in 2010, when fourteen new ships are delivered. Although most of these are follow-on orders from existing designs, the Norwegian Epic and three of the smaller ships, Le Boreal, the much-delayed Pearl Mist and the tall ship Sea Cloud Hussar, will be new designs, probably one-off in case of the last two.
And as Seatrade Cruise Insider has pointed out, more berths will be delivered in 2010 than in either of 2008 or 2009. And whether Regent choose to follow on the Marina hull form to produce a more upmarket version is also something the market will be keeping an eye on. The Cruise Examiner will be keeping you abreast of these new ships and developments as they occur.
(Source: By Mark Tré - Cybercruises.com)