Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.
Grab your workout shoes. The first Zumba cruise, featuring 130 Zumba celebrity instructors from around the world, will cast off from Fort Lauderdale next January aboard Royal Caribbean International‘s 1,360-passenger Independence of the Seas. The four-night sailing will visit Falmouth, Jamaica, and Royal’s private island, Labadee. Onboard, dance and fitness sessions will reign.
From $842 per person, based on double occupancy.
In other Royal Caribbean news, another Quantum-class ship is on the way, with delivery scheduled in 2019. The 4,100-guest vessel will be the fourth in this class, sister ship to Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, and Ovation of the Seas (due out in 2017).
Forget the doggie bags. Norwegian Cruise Line, which recently began charging a $7.95 room service delivery fee, now is prohibiting cruisers from carrying food back to their staterooms from onboard restaurants and buffets. In other words, if cruisers want to eat in their staterooms, room service is their only option. (Few cruisers actually leave dining rooms with takeout containers, but it isn’t uncommon to see them bring buffet items and snacks to their cabins.)
Silversea Cruises‘ Silver Select promotion is back and better than ever, letting cruisers save more on 52 voyages this year. While last year’s promotion only offered a $500 onboard credit, this year’s presents three options for guests on typical sailings to choose from: a two-category suite upgrade; a $1,000 onboard credit per suite; or half-off a second suite. Passengers on special expedition voyages can receive either a two-category suite upgrade or half-off a second suite. The deal must be booked by June 30 and is offered on a wide range of itineraries, from Africa to the Arctic, the Caribbean to the Mediterranean.
Eager to experience Princess Cruises‘ new ship? You’ll have to make your way to China — the line announced that the 3,600-guest vessel will be based year-round in Shanghai starting summer 2017. The yet unnamed ship will follow the design of the line’s latest additions, Royal Princess and Regal Princess, featuring an over-the-ocean SeaWalk, a giant outdoor movie screen, and balconies on all outside staterooms.
Windstar Cruises has nearly doubled its former fleet of three, after christening the 212-guest Star Breeze in Nice last week. The new ship is the second of the three all-suite vessels Windstar has acquired from Seabourn (Star Pride set sail in 2014, and Star Legend will be christened later this month). Star Breeze will cruise the Mediterranean this summer before repositioning to the Caribbean in the fall.
A seven-night Venice to Rome cruise in mid-June starts from $3,499 per person, based on double occupancy.