How Cruise Lines Are Keeping Up to Date
cruise industry has long sought to respond to the ever-changing
vacation tastes and desires of its passengers by enhancing
onboard facilities and amenities, as evidenced in the
comprehensive stem-to-stern, multi-million dollar renovations
routinely undertaken by the 19 member operators of the
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
is overlooked in our member lines' efforts to ensure
that all ships - whether new to the world's cruise waters
or veterans of years of ocean voyages - measure up to
our guests' high expectations in terms of features,
amenities and cutting-edge facilities," said Terry
L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA, the marketing organization
for 19 North American cruise lines and 16,500 travel
agencies - North America's largest travel industry association
based on agency membership.
62 ships launched in the last five years, and more growth
expected throughout the next decade, CLIA-member cruise
lines are ensuring that existing fleet mates match the
state-of-the-art standards of their newer siblings.
the unusual enhancements planned are expansive spa facilities
featuring advanced treatment technologies, computer
labs, 300-square-foot poolside movie screens, and an
entire ship deck dedicated to teens.
addition to these out-of-the ordinary new facilities,
our member lines regularly replace carpets, furnishings,
linens, wall coverings, and - perhaps more importantly
- they modernize mechanical, electrical and technical
systems, such as fire safety apparatus, navigational
equipment and waste treatment facilities," Dale
cruise lines have recently undertaken the following
Celebration and Fantasy were both the recipients of
multi-million refurbishments. Celebration now sports
a new reception area, including new carpeting, furniture
wall coverings and artwork, creating a more contemporary
Vista and Horizon formal restaurants are now appointed
in pastel-hued décor and reconfigured to provide
diners with a greater feeling of spaciousness, openness
and comfort. Each of Celebration's 743 staterooms received
new curtains, carpeting, wallpaper, upgraded linens,
pillows and bedspreads.
meanwhile, has a new lobby bar and the ship's 1,028
staterooms have been completely made over in a fashion
similar to Celebration's. The Forum conference facility
has been reconfigured as both a meeting space and entertainment
venue. Other public rooms on both ships were appointed with
new carpeting and wall coverings and other such cosmetic
Constellation is the first ship in the Celebrity Cruises'
fleet to feature the line's new trademarked Bar at the
Edge of the Earth entertainment concept, which features
Cirque du Soleil artists in an interactive performance
showcase onboard the vessel.
venue was formerly the ship's disco. The Bar at the
Edge of the Earth - defined by Celebrity as "part
bar, part lounge and complete alternate reality"
- also offers exotic food and beverages available exclusively
in that venue.
was scheduled to receive the same retrofit in late February.
Both ships have also added a Cirque du Soleil boutique
in the shopping area. Other additions include a dedicated
Acupuncture at Sea space and an expanded High Seas Computer
lab in the space formerly known as Notes.
Costa Victoria was reconstructed with 246 new balconies,
which represents 43 percent of the ship' ocean view
staterooms. Along with the new balconies the ship's
buffet area was expanded and two panorama promenades
- about 459 feet in length - were added. Costa Atlantica,
Costa Europa, Costa Romantica and Costa Tropicale have
received various renovations, including new carpeting,
curtains and upholstery in public areas.
Costa Romantica's renovations included the addition
of mini bars to all staterooms and refurbishment of
the casino and arcade areas. Mini bars were also installed
in all guest staterooms aboard Costa Europa; the disco
was redecorated and a ramp was built in the theater
allowing for better handicapped access. Similar handicapped
access was also added to Costa Atlantica's disco, outside
decks and selected staterooms.
No stranger to renovations, Cunard Line spent more than
$130 million in the 1980s to install nine turbocharged
diesel engines to replace the Queen Elizabeth 2's aging
steam plant. In 1994, QE2 - as she is best known - completed
a $45 million refurbishment. Last year, the venerable
ocean liner underwent still more renovations, including
a full painting of its hull, new carpeting and refurbishment
of its decks. Other onboard enhancements included the
addition of an open bar on the ship's Sun Deck.
Mauritania and Britannia Grill restaurants were also
repainted and the medical facility upgraded. Today QE2
is still the fastest and most powerful passenger ship
in service and, as a result of continuous improvements
to both passenger facilities and engineering, remains
both luxurious and up-to-date.
Disney Wonder added three new age-specific venues that
appeal to the varied interests of adults and teenagers.
The ship's interior and exterior areas were also refurbished.
Sister ship Disney Magic underwent similar renovations
more than a year ago. Aloft, a teen center blends a
trendy coffee shop ambiance with that of a college dormitory
with overstuffed couches and chairs. Cove Café lets adults relax with magazines, watch television or
access e-mails and enjoy light fare, gourmet coffees
and specialty drinks.
another new adult public room, is themed as an evening
sports pub featuring plasma TVs and a host of adult
activities like board games and karaoke. Other Disney
Wonder enhancements included the freshening of tile
work, carpets, wood decking and the reupholstering of
Crystal Cruises invested $12 million in Crystal Symphony
with a completely new Feng Shui-designed spa and fitness
center, an expanded Computer University @ Sea program
and a brand-new Vintage Room.
areas that underwent complete refurbishment include
The Crystal Dining Room, The Library, Photo Shop, public
restrooms and all penthouse and penthouse suite accommodations
and staterooms. Crystal Harmony was the recipient of
an earlier multi-million dollar overhaul that included
the addition of expansive new spa facilities; the construction
of a Connoisseur Club, a cigar and cognac lounge; and
remodeled public areas from stem to stern.
Crystal Spa & Salon and Fitness Center was entirely
reconstructed with the principles of Feng Shui and increased
by 430 feet. The ship's Galaxy Lounge and Palm Court
also received cosmetic facelifts.
Holland America Line has dedicated $225 million to its
fleet-wide Signature of Excellence initiative, which
features enhancements to every aspect of the cruise
experience - including accommodations, five-star dining,
service, enrichment programs and activities.
to the ships include new state-of-the-art public spaces
and luxurious amenities in every stateroom. Other Signature
of Excellence highlights include the innovative new
Culinary Arts Center, the new Explorations Café
that is powered by The New York Times and upgraded youth
facilities including The Oasis, a new teens-only deck.
of Excellence improvements have been completed on Ryndam,
Zaandam and Prinsendam. (Prinsendam, which attracts
a more mature audience, did not receive expanded youth
facilities or and Explorations Café because of
space considerations.) The entire fleet will have enhancements
in place by fall 2006.
An alternative to a traditional cruise, each Norwegian
Coastal Voyage vessel is a unique combination of first-class
cruise ship and a working ship carrying local passengers
and cargo to 34 ports, ranging from fishing villages
in the Lofoten Islands to the Art Nouveau town of Alesund
and bustling cities like Trondheim.
ships sail along the picturesque 1,250 coast of Norway,
providing a lifeline to small villages and towns on
the route. The company, which boasts 11 ships, has upgraded
facilities on several vessels.
Jacuzzis have been added to the Millennium-class ships'
MS Midnatsol and MS Trollfjord; and the Contemporary
ships' MS Nordnorge, MS Nordkapp and MS Richard With.
MS Nordnorge has also added an Internet Café
as well as a newly enhanced161-square-foot suite.
Norwegian Sea received multi-million dollar renovations
that included the refurbishing of the signature restaurant
Le Bistro, the addition of the Pasta Café, new
carpet and upholstery and a range of architectural enhancements
in granite and wood.
Star completed a multi-million dollar facelift, a highlight
of which was the addition of decorative artwork - a
burst of colorful stars and streamers - to the ship's
hull. Other changes to the ship included the addition
of a 1930s-style Cagney's Steakhouse and a 10,000 square
foot state-of-the-art casino.
Teen Club was transformed into the Pearl Martini Lounge
and the Karaoke Circus became the Carousel Bar and Nightclub.
Pride of Aloha completed a multi-million dollar refurbishment
and is now the first ship in nearly half a century to
fly the U.S. flag.
MSC Melody and MSC Rhapsody have undergone significant
refurbishments. MSC Melody's $10.5 million renovation
included the addition of new teak deck wood and refurbishment
of the swimming pool and Riviera Terrace area. New upholstery
and carpeting has been installed in corridors. All 532
cabins and bathrooms have been renewed with new furniture;
cabins on the Oceanic Deck now sport new carpets, curtains
curtains in the Galaxy Restaurant on the Bahamas Deck
have also been replaced. In addition to general maintenance
of the decks and swimming pool and carpet replacement,
MSC Rhapsody's 275 staterooms have been refurnished
and now also feature new carpets, curtains and accessories;
356 bathrooms were also refurbished. The
buffet area and discotheque were remodeled, as was the
Top Sail Lounge.
The line's Regatta and Insignia have undergone significant
renovations over the last several years and are due
for still more this year. Both ships feature new pool
decks with new teak decking, new swimming pools and
spas; all new stateroom bedding and accessories; new
teak verandas; renovated spas; new teak deck furniture
and new multi-million dollar art collections.
ships' lobby and Martini Bar have been outfitted with
new furniture, as have decks, staterooms and suites.
Regatta and Insignia's veranda staterooms on decks seven
and eight will receive refrigerated mini bars and DVD
players in April 2005.
Toscana restaurant was gutted and redecorated last year
and Regatta's Toscana will undergo the same procedure
in April. Nautica will undergo similar renovation during
her three-month dry-dock in the fall.
Grand Princess was outfitted with a new "Movie
Under The Stars" outdoor film screen before it
began its inaugural sailing schedule out of Galveston,
Tex., late last year. The 109,000-ton ship was retrofitted
with a 300-square-foot, state-of-the-art poolside movie
screen, which was first introduced on the 116,000-ton
Grand Princess brings to Galveston other popular shipboard
features, such as a Sterling Steakhouse, as well as
many of the amenities that have made the ship a favorite
of passengers - such as an Italian trattoria, Asian-inspired
spa, ScholarShip @ Sea enrichment program and a variety
of dining and entertainment options.
Princess will sail out Galveston through April 9 and
then reposition to the Mediterranean and Greek Isles.
Separately, all Princess ships now feature wireless
"hotspots" for Internet access.
Monarch of the Seas' extensive renovations were custom-designed
for the West Coast market, where the ship is positioned
on three- and four-night Baja Mexico cruises. Spa facilities
were expanded and several facilities include, were added.
Sovereign of the Seas' renovation also included the
addition of Boleros and a sit-down coffee and ice cream
shop and three teen-only areas.
of the Seas, meanwhile, is being stretched with a 73-foot
midsection that will add 151 staterooms and a number
of indoor and outdoor public areas, including suspension
bridges, an overhanging bar with panoramic views and
will be completed by July. All Royal Caribbean ships
have been retrofitted with the line's signature rock-climbing
Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, Silversea's 296-guest
all-suite ships, completed major dry dock refurbishments
at Italy's T. Mariotti Shipyard. Silver Cloud's last
major renovation was in April 2004, and Silver Wind's
was May 2003.
enhancements include new sofas, chairs, tables, vanity
stools and headboards, as well as new bedspreads, draperies
and artwork. The ships were also the recipients of maintenance
makeovers that included the installation of new carpet
in suites and public areas.
area enhancements include a new Champagne Room, a wine
and cigar room; Saletta, an alternative gourmet dining
venue; an expanded Fitness Center, relocated to the
Observation Deck; a new Tranquility Room, offering guests
a quiet place to relax between spa treatments; a new
Internet Point, featuring six private computer workstations;
and a refurbished library.
Windstar invested more than $6 million in its three
sailing yachts. Wind Surf's main lounge received a facelift
that included reupholstered furniture, refinished tables
and floors. An updated Terrace Bar on Wind Surf's Star
Deck has been transformed into an indoor-outdoor gathering
area and is the new spot for the line's "Cigars
Under the Stars" program with a high-tech humidor
and flat screen TV for sports viewing.
Spa and the Owner's Suite also received facelifts. Wind
Star and Wind Spirit's Veranda Café was redone
with new floor plans, glass walls and furnishings and
a new outdoor awning increasing the covered dining area.
ships now feature new seating areas in public rooms,
new art and permanent food stations in pool bar areas.
Guest accommodations have also been modernized.
YACHTS OF SEABOURN
Enhancements will be added to all three Seabourn ships
during scheduled dry-docking late this year and early
2006. The line has been proceeding with some refurbishments
on board during regular cruising over the past year.
in suites and public areas have been replaced and chairs
and couches reupholstered on a rotating basis. During
the dry-docks, the Veranda Cafe casual alternative dining
venue will be extensively reworked, including convertible
screening of the buffet lines used daily to enhance
the indoor portion of the venue for dinner service.
the outdoor portion, a new canopy will be installed
to eliminate the lashed seams that hinder its use during
inclement weather. A flat-screen television and DVD
player will be added to the entertainment options in
all guest suites.
Lines International Association - CLIA)