During the course of our regular blogs we like to share with you, amongst other things, the news of new ships, new features on those ships and new itineraries which they’ll be operating, too. As well as launching new vessels and exploring new places, cruise lines like to keep their ships up to date and looking fresh. We’re not just talking about a new lick of paint – though that’s usually also the case – but with such refurbishments as new venues, new public spaces and new accommodations, there’s plenty to talk about when it comes to cruise ship renovations. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the latest cruise ship refurbs.
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas
Royal Caribbean is in the midst of an intensive refurbishment programme, whereby the line’s older vessels are receiving a complete makeover to bring them more up to date with the line’s Oasis Class ships. The Voyager of the Seas is set to debut her new look in Australia next month, when she’ll operate an extensive South Pacific itinerary throughout 2014-15. She’ll benefit from the addition of the line’s FlowRider surf simulator, a 220-foot poolside movie screen, a new 3D theatre and virtual balcony cabins, which provide wall-size real-time views to interior stateroom guests. The ship will also debut a number of new restaurants, including Italian Restaurant Giovanni’s table and Izumi, a Japanese cuisine specialist venue.
P&O’s association with some of the leading lights of the culinary world strengthens with the emergence from dry dock in Hamburg at the end of the year of Aurora. The family-friendly, mid-sized vessel will feature a menu masterminded by Michelin star fusion guru Atul Kochar to be served in the all-new Sindhu. It will also be the line’s latest vessel to feature the Glass House, an exclusive to P&O venue serving wines selected by TV’s Ollie Smith. An overhaul of culinary public spaces is a continuing theme for Aurora, as it will also introduce freedom dining in its Medina Restaurant and will feature a completely refurbished buffet area, too. She’ll bear some significant changes on her exterior too, as she’s set to be the first P&O vessel to bear the line’s new livery, which features a union flag hull design and blue funnels.
The first vessel of MSC’s Lirica Class and also the first to benefit from the line’s Renaissance Program, Armonia is set to emerge from dry dock next month to begin a season of Canary Island sailings. It’s no ordinary dry dock though, as the ship was cut in half and had a new pre-built section inserted into the middle of it. This extension means an extra 193 cabins and an increased guest capacity of 2,679. The ship will also benefit from a brand new spray water park, featuring among other aquatic attractions, water cannons, as well as a make-over for the ship’s boutiques and a brand new perfumery. The Renaissance Programme is a 200 million euro endeavour which will see all the line’s Lirica Class vessels benefit from the same treatment over the course of the next two years.
Holland America Line Volendam
Following on from her last make-over in 2011, HAL’s mid-sized favourite Volendam is the latest ship in the fleet to benefit from the line’s Signature of Excellence programme. She’s set to start the 2015 season with a completely new class of Lanai cabins, which offer passengers personal access to the Lower Promenade walking deck, where reserved deck chairs await. In other accommodation upgrades, all the ship’s suites will feature completely renovated bathrooms with whirlpool tubs and a host of other revamp benefits. As for the vessel’s public areas, another new feature will be the Mix lounge, which will feature three different speciality bars serving Champagne, Martinis or spirits and ales. Each bar will offer a comprehensive selection of your chosen tipple including the line’s signature Yellow Tulip Martina and over 20 different Champagnes.
Moving into 2015 and it’s the turn of a from-the-UK favourite, Celebrity Eclipse, which is set to emerge from dry dock in good time for the summer season. The ship’s bars and evening venues are set to benefit greatly from the refurb, with the Gastrobar taking the place of the Cellar Masters. It’s set to mirror its compatriot on the line’s Equinox and offer a state of the art venue, where guests order food and drink on iPads. There will also be a new frozen drinks venue called Slush, which will be located by the ship’s pool area. In keeping with the Eclipse’s popularity with UK cruisers, it’s American-style casino will emerge with a distinctly more British feel and the ship will also boast its own private photo studio. Suite guests will also benefit from their own exclusive restaurant, lounge and 24-hour butler service.
We have an exceptional selection of cruises on offer from all the ships mentioned in this blog, so you’ll have every opportunity to experience these refurbished vessels for yourself, once they emerge from dry dock. Of course, we have an excellent selection of deals available on many of the line’s other vessels too, so when you’ve found the itinerary that’s perfect for you, just give our dedicated Cruise Concierge team a call free on 0808 1234 118 to book your place.