Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel, dba Cruise Holidays.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Ships in 2012

This update on new/refurbished ships for 2012 was sent to us by the corporate office of Cruise Holidays (author unknown).  Read the article -- and remember to follow us on Facebook!

"It's the time of year when we naturally think of things new and old, so what better occasion is there to announce what the cruise lines have in store for us in 2012?

Next year, seven ships will embark on their maiden voyages for six different cruise lines. Five will be new-builds, and two are existing ships that will be extensively refurbished and renamed. That's not counting the Norwegian Breakaway, which is set to launch in April 2013.

Below are some highlights of each ship launching in the next 16 months,
First the new-builds:

Disney Fantasy, Disney Cruise Line --- March 31, 2012 --- 4,000 passengers
Sister-ship to Disney Dream, the 5-star Disney Fantasy is 40% larger than the line's other two ships (Disney Magic and Disney Wonder) and in typical Disney style, offers fun for the whole family. Kids will love meeting some of their favorite Disney characters onboard while participating in age-appropriate, supervised activities in the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab. 'Tweens and teens can chill out in spaces designed just for them.

When you're ready for some adult time, parents and grandparents can retreat to one of the kids-free areas of the ship such as the Cove Café, featuring coffee, cocktails and Internet access; the Quiet Cove pool; Palo or Remy, specialty restaurants featuring Italian and French cuisine, respectively; or Meridian, a bar with indoor/outdoor seating that sits between Palo and Remy. The inaugural sailing for this ship is nearly sold out.

Riviera, Oceania Cruises --- April 24, 2012 --- 1,258 passengers
Sister-ship to the Marina, the 5.5-star Riviera is about twice the size of the other ships in Oceania's fleet. Six open-seating dining venues offer a variety of cuisines, from Italian to Asian Fusion, and from French to American Continental. Fans of Oceania's signature spaces such as The Patio, Horizons and the Grand Bar will not be disappointed, as each of these venues have a place on this ship.

More than 95% of accommodations boast private balconies and all have large, marble-and-granite bathrooms, LCD flat-screen televisions and exclusive Tranquility beds. Other amenities on the Riviera include the Bon Appétit Culinary Center, offering cooking lessons with experienced chefs, and the Artist Loft, providing instructional courses in fine arts. Very few cabins remain on this ship's inaugural sailing.
Costa Fascinosa, Costa --- May 11, 2012 --- 3,800 passengers
The 4.5-star Costa Fascinosa is a sister-ship to the Costa Favolosa. Interior spaces are inspired by historic films and their protagonists, and will be outfitted with rich colors and sparkling accents. Dancing enthusiasts will enjoy the ballroom and kids will have the time of their lives in the Squok Club, an extensive kids-only space with age-appropriate activities and a pool/water park area.

There will also be an outdoor movie screen, 13 bars and lounges, five hot tubs, a video arcade, a chapel and, of course, the state-of-the-art Samsara Spa, with its wellness center, spa, salon and fitness center. Costa Fascinosa will debut with two four-night, pre-inaugural cruises departing on May 2 and May 7. The ship's official inaugural voyage, a 10-night cruise, will sail roundtrip from Venice on May 11.
MSC Divina, MSC Cruises --- May 27, 2012 --- 4,363 passengers
The 4-star MSC Divina is modeled after sister-ships MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia, taking on some of their most popular features, but also incorporates several enhancements. The MSC Yacht Club suite complex will be expanded and will include a private, V.I.P. area with its own restaurant, bar, pool, solarium and concierge. Yacht Club suites also offer butler service.

The state-of-the-art Pantheon Theater will host nightly entertainment, and young guests are sure to like the video game room, called Virtual World. An infinity pool will be situated at the aft of the ship, giving passengers a unique view of the ship's wake and the horizon.


Carnival Breeze, Carnival --- June 3, 2012 --- 3,690 passengers
Like its sister-ships Carnival Magic and Carnival Dream, the 4.5-star Carnival Breeze will feature the WaterWorks aqua park, the tranquil, kids-free Serenity area and extensive children's and teens' areas with activities for three age groups. Adults will enjoy the huge Cloud 9 spa, as well as the scenic whirlpools extending beyond the ship's beam.

Other new features include the laid-back RedFrog Pub, home to Carnival's exclusive house brew, ThirstyFrog Red and Cucina del Capitano, a specialty restaurant featuring family-style Italian fare. Accommodation options include "cove" balcony staterooms located close to the waterline, deluxe oceanview staterooms featuring two bathrooms, and spa staterooms and suites with exclusive amenities and spa privileges.

Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian --- April 30, 2013 --- 4,000 passengers
As the newest member of an innovative fleet, the 5-star Norwegian Breakaway will incorporate the most popular elements of all of Norwegian's existing ships, as well as introduce some exciting new features. Staterooms will have a contemporary feel with clean, modern lines and a neutral palette with splashes of color. The extremely popular Studio staterooms from the Norwegian Epic, designed and priced with solo travelers in mind, will be featured, as well as an exclusive area called The Haven, a private enclave home to the most luxurious accommodations on the vessel, tucked away near the top of the ship.

Norwegian's ships are known for their unique hull artwork, and Norwegian Breakaway will be no different. Renowned pop artist Peter Max, whose other large projects have included an airplane and a stage for Woodstock, will paint the ship's hull. Few details about this ship's public spaces have been released at this time.


And now, the ships that will be refurbished and renamed:

Costa neoRomantica, Costa --- February 20, 2012 --- 1,800 passengers
Formerly the Costa Romantica, this 4-star ship is being completely restyled and refurbished before it emerges as the neoRomantica. Two half-decks and more than 100 cabins are being added, and an additional 120 cabins and suites will receive private balconies.

Among the other new features will be a wine bar, a coffee and sweets bar, a show lounge bar with a dance floor, a new specialty restaurant and the Samsara Spa, a wellness area with a gym, thalassotherapy pool, sauna and Turkish bath.


MV Voyager, Voyages of Discovery --- November 17, 2012 --- 556 passengers
Formerly the Alexander von Humboldt, the 3-star MV Voyager is small enough to reach off-the-beaten-path ports, yet large enough to offer all the comforts of cruising on a much larger ship. Eighty-six percent of staterooms feature ocean views, and all have a TV, hair dryer and safe. Suites come with a few extra perks, such as bathrobes, slippers, a fruit basket and bottle of champagne.

There are three restaurants onboard, two with open seating, plus four bars, an Internet center, a swimming pool, two hot tubs and a gym."