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The Cruise Ship and Cruise Line Discussion Thread!

P. 131: "Margaritaville at Sea" cruise line announced

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A new video by Royal Caribbean (that also includes some shots of the Liberty of the Seas' Tidal Wave water slide, also built by Wiegand) - Engineering the Tallest Slide at Sea: Royal Caribbean Creates the Ultimate Abyss on Harmony of the Seas

 

http://www.royalcaribbeanpresscenter.com/video/701/engineering-the-tallestnbspslide-at-sea-royal-caribbean-creates-the-ultimate-abyss-on-harmony-of-the-seas/

 

 

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Photo by Hervé GL.

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The world of luxury cruise ships strikes us as one of unfettered oneupmanship. Do you really need (even want) to shoot down a zip line in the middle of the ocean or sip drinks served up by a robo bartender? No, but such features sure seem compelling when you're browsing cruise line websites. Norwegian Cruise Line has raised the bar for outlandish cruise offerings yet again. Its recently announced China-bound "Joy" cruise ship will entertain with a two-level race track, multi-story water park, high-tech arcade, and bumper hovercraft arena.

 

Norwegian calls the Joy ship its most innovative and luxurious ship ever, and even if we were really itching to argue, it'd be hard to make a case against the stack of evidence. Exhibit A, of course, is the two-level race track.

 

Racing is not an entirely new concept to the cruise ship market, but usually it's handled by simulators; Norwegian says that the Joy's race track will be the first to venture out to sea. We've seen cruise ships with ice skating, simulated skydiving and other unlikely activities, so why should all that ocean get in the way of racing cars?

Cars" is definitely too strong a term in this case, as the rendering of the Joy's track clearly show we're talking go-karts. Still, racing go-karts head to head with friends, family members and fellow passengers should be a fun way to spend a sunny day out at sea. And that track would look impressive at a boardwalk amusement park, let alone riding aboard a ship.

 

If racing isn't your thing, the Joy will have no shortage of entertainment alternatives, and the Galaxy Pavilion promises to rival the race track in terms of intriguing offerings. The high-tech arcade will offer Oculus virtual reality experiences, dark ride simulators, an interactive race car-turned-simulator, flight simulators and bumper hovercraft. The pavilion will also include a Star Wars game and six Xbox stations.

 

"Joy riders" will also have access to an open-air laser tag arena and two multi-story water slides. The Double Aqua Loop free fall slide will include a loop winding off the side of the ship, while the Aqua Racer will continue the ship's racing theme, letting two guests compete on inner tubes down 360 feet (110 m) of twisting, splashy slide.

We assume some folks still go on cruises to relax - or at least need to bring their pulses down from all the wild activities. They will be able to enjoy quiet and tranquility in the Joy's top deck open park and browse offerings in the luxury retail space, which will offer everything from duty-free goods, to clothing, to electronics. There will also be three full-service casinos.

 

The ship will include The Haven, a private luxury complex for VIP types with 74 large suites, an enclosed courtyard with pool, an observation deck with 180-degree views, a private restaurant, personal butler service and a dedicated concierge.

 

Beyond those major selling points, Norwegian says there will be a mix of mini-suite, balcony, ocean-view and interior staterooms, along with the fastest bow-to-stern Wi-Fi network in its fleet. It promises an east-meets-west experience, where the western cruise vacation blends with the "comforts and preferences that Chinese guests expect."

 

The Joy is being built by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany and will officially launch in Summer 2017, sailing from Beijing and Shanghai. You can see a little more about it in the short video teaser below.

http://www.gizmag.com/norwegian-joy-racetrack-cruise-ship/42674/

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I'm not sure I like the gokart track on the cruise ship!!?? Like I loved the bumper cars because they were fun and that space could be used for a ton of other activities throughout the day and night. That track is going to take up a lot of room and be ONLY for go-karts. Oh well, doesn't matter for now as I will not go on a China-Based ship.

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^You make a good point. While it seems cool, it is going to be very low capacity (worse than bumper cars) making it a one and done thing. Plus it takes up so much space that could be something you use multiple times on a cruise. Last I think that would be fairly loud and annoying outside.

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...Last I think that would be fairly loud and annoying outside.

 

Not if it were electric go-karts!

Theres a fairly new indoor family fun center in my town that has electric go karts, and I got to try it out with a friend. While they're not the most exciting things in the world, I did quite enjoy them! They go plenty fast on a tight-enough course, and I would assume any kid would have a blast on them!

 

But I do agree that having them on the ship might have not been the best idea since that space would have very limited uses. A court on one ship could serve a huge array of sports, a ballroom converts into a meeting space/bumper car arena/roller skating arena/dance club/dining hall/wedding area/etc., but a go kart track could serve as that and maybe a jogging track... I think?

 

^ What d you mean "under construction?" Those things are done. The ride sends patrons into the eternal abyss...

You do have a point!

 

Edit: After a bit of digging (and raised suspicion after looking back at the rendered image of the ship), I found that the ship will also have a butterfly/double-looping water slide onboard! That's probably the first of that type at sea too!

 

The ship will include a racetrack with go-cart-like cars, laser tag, bumper cars, Oculus Rift virtual reality, car racing simulators and two multistory water slides.

 

The Double Aqua Loop slide includes one loop that extends out over the edge of the ship and a second see-through loop that stretches to the deck below, Norwegian said.

 

The tandem Aqua Racer slide will enable two people to race side by side on inner tubes for more than 360 feet.

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No surprise considering some water slides (ESPECIALLY in Europe) have gotten crazier these days!

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Watched the video. It is pretty odd they spend most of it talking about luxury, VIP, top brands, targeting the wealthy traveler and then intro the go-karts. Talk about incongruous. Is go-karting a luxury in China or something? I would associate go-karts more with Carnival Cruise lines than anything else.

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Watched the video. It is pretty odd they spend most of it talking about luxury, VIP, top brands, targeting the wealthy traveler and then intro the go-karts. Talk about incongruous. Is go-karting a luxury in China or something? I would associate go-karts more with Carnival Cruise lines than anything else.

 

The major lines all try to be all things to all people. You watch the in room Royal Caribbean channel and they go from discussing drinking Louis XIII to bumper cars in a span of 90 seconds.

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Has anyone seen the new DCL summer prices. I know disney charges a premium but these price seem absurd. I did a mock booking on a 7 night Alaska sailing in July and a verandah stateroom for 4 is 14K. Thats about double the price of a similar room on RCCl or Celebrity.

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Watched the video. It is pretty odd they spend most of it talking about luxury, VIP, top brands, targeting the wealthy traveler and then intro the go-karts. Talk about incongruous. Is go-karting a luxury in China or something? I would associate go-karts more with Carnival Cruise lines than anything else.

 

Probably a "we need something unique that Chinese kids will love because westerners love go karts!"

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Has anyone seen the new DCL summer prices. I know disney charges a premium but these price seem absurd. I did a mock booking on a 7 night Alaska sailing in July and a verandah stateroom for 4 is 14K. Thats about double the price of a similar room on RCCl or Celebrity.

 

Disney has always priced themselves like a deluxe line while producing a mainstream line product. But most DISNEY DISNEY DISNEY people are addicted to that brand like Lindsey Lohan is cocaine, so they'll go in debt for the privilege of watching Mickey's Sailaway Dance Party or whatever.

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Norway's "Hurtigruten" just announced that they are building at least 2 new "explorer ships". They will be built at "Kleven shipyard" in Norway and the first will be ready in 2018 and the second in 2019. They also have a contract for 2 extra vessels if they need them. The vessels will sail in the arctic areas.

 

I LOVE the design

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If a James bond villain had a cruise ship! I guess the black design against the arctic snow and ice make them easier to spot.

 

Its been over a year since my last cruise and I have the shakes!

 

Stu K 18 sleeps!

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So this is a departure from the "typical" cruise ship experience, but I wanted to put together a trip report for the overnight cruise ferry that I did a few weeks ago that went from Copenhagen Denmark to Oslo Norway. These European cruise ferrys have been featured in a few trip reports that Robb and Elissa have done before, although this one is a different company and route. It was overnight (we boarded around 4pm and arrived around 9am) and the cost was similar to an inter-europe air fare and one night in a decent hotel. It was our anniversary, so I decided to splurge and upgrade us to the lowest category of room that included access to the concierge lounge and also free breakfast. This cost about 60euro extra (for both) and was a GREAT deal since the breakfast alone would have been 20euro each and the lounge had unlimited beer, wine, sodas and snacks. These ships do have complementary entertainment, but you do have to pay for all food.

 

Anyways... on to the photos!

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Our first glimpse of the shio! The bottom is where the cars drive in - it really is a ferry!

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Hey! Thats the route we are doing... so European looking. As we soon discovered, we think we were the only Americans on the whole ship.

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Check in was done entirely on kiosk! It printed out your boarding/room "key" which was little more than a hard paper ticket with a mag stripe on the back. Wrinkled after one night!

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I love ship models! Wish they had this one to purchase.

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European kids are REALLY excited about this cruise!

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We spent a night on this ship and we still aren't really sure of the name. Crown Seaways was used pretty much everywhere but there was also a few other names around..

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Walking the gangway onto the ship... it really is like a cruise!

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Aaaaaaaaaannnnndddd... our grand entrance. OK - so our first impression was "Carnival ship from the 1990s" but many other areas have been upgraded recently as you will see in other photos!

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Our room was AMAZING! One of the largest rooms on the ship and well worth the upgrade. We were dead center in the front!

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Largest bed we had during our entire trip!

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Typical tiny cruise ship bathroom.

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FREE minibar with sparkling wine, their own microbrew beer and bottled water!

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View from our stateroom.. how awesome is that! It was in the low 40s outside so a great indoor view helped!

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Ship map so you can get a feel for the layout!

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Time to visit the concierge lounge.. the Commodore club!

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