Norwegian Getaway Launched

Fireworks over the Norwegian Getaway

Fireworks over the Norwegian Getaway

Norwegian Cruise Line’s new 4,000-passenger Norwegian Getaway is to be officially named by The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders during its christening ceremony in Miami on February 7th 2014.

The twin of ship of Norwegian Breakaway, which was christened last May, is scheduled to sail year-round out of Miami with its revenue cruises taking place after the christening ceremony.  Cruise destinations offer seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailings from Miami to Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.

Constructed by the  Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, (which is also constructing Norwegian’s next two vessels, the Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss  set to debut in fall 2015 and spring 2017 respectively), Norwegian Getaway offers many of the same features as Breakaway, but with a Miami theme.

Aside from theme changes,  Getaway offers up the Grammy Experience in replacement of Breakaway’s Fat Cats, with nightly performances by Grammy-award winning artists such as Latin Grammy winner Nestor Torres, a jazz and Latin flautist.

Getaway also replaces Breakaways Cirque Dreams Spiegel tent with an all new unique dinner and magic show called The Illusionarium. Featuring a set menu dinner, entertainment in the specially created dining room is provided by five different magicians with different specialties such as levitation, hypnosis and slight of hand in conjunction with a sound and light show projected onto  the large central dome above the circular stage.

Signature restaurants remain the same with menu items tweaked in tune with the ship’s new Miami style such as Florida-sourced fish In Ocean Blue, the Geoffrey Zakarian specialty restaurant.

For more information on Norwegian Getaway from dining options to family fun and entertainment along with pictures of the venues click here.

Quantum Of The Seas Update

Quantum Of The SeasCurrently under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, Quantum of the Seas (along with her sister ship Anthem of the Seas and a third ship yet to be named), are the latest offerings from Royal Caribbean who have brought unprecedented firsts at seas leading the cruise industry with innovative features including Rock Climbing Walls, Ice-Skating rinks, FlowRider surf simulators, Central Park (adorned with real life trees, plants and vines) and the spell bounding AquaTheatre with its acrobatic high dive shows.

Flow Rider

Flow Rider

With tickets for her inaugural cruise on 23rd November 2014 released for sale in June 2013, Quantum will be setting sail from New York from her homeport of Cape Liberty on 7-12 night itineraries during the winter of 2014/15 season.

Along with firm Royal Caribbean favourites such as the popular Royal Promenade, Adult only Solarium, select dining rooms, extensive kids programmes and facilities including the H20 splash zone and DreamWorks entertainment events (featuring characters from Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar providing photo opportunities, 3D movies and character breakfasts), Quantum will offer an all new line up of firsts at sea experiences from sporting activities to exciting new venues.



For thrill seekers, Quantum will offer everything from Skydiving with RipCord by iFly to Dodgems (bumper cars) in the vast new SeaPlex sporting arena.  RipCord by iFly will be the world’s first skydiving experience onboard a ship allowing both novice and experienced skydivers to enjoy the thrill and exhilaration of skydiving from the confines of a safe, controlled and simulated environment.  Taking place inside a 23-foot tall glass flight chamber high up on deck 15 guests can enjoy spectacular ocean views during their flight.

Sky Diving

Sky Diving

SeaPlex revolutionises sporting activities on cruise ships creating the largest indoor active space to hit the seas.  The flexible venue will provide sports and entertainment for guests to partake in delivering a plethora of activities including dodgems (bumper cars), a circus school (including a trapeze, Lyra hoops and juggling) and roller skating.  Located on deck 15, along with an outdoor full-size regulation basketball court which will also be used for sports such as football, volleyball and badminton, by night guests can ride the dodgems or rollerblade around the arena which will come alive with a mix of special lighting effects and music provided from the floating DJ booth hovering above the activity below.



To ensure that guests remember they are at sea, the SeaPlex venue will be designed with large windows allowing plenty of natural light to flood the area whilst protecting guests from the elements.  On the mezzanine level above the main floor will be the first ever food truck at sea serving snacks, along with four custom themed Activity Rooms offering spectacular sea views with non-stop action ranging from table tennis and air hockey to foosball and other interactive games.

For guests seeking less adrenaline fuelled activities, Quantum offers the North Star experience, all new Two70° multi-level venue and the Music Hall.


North Star

Located on the top deck of the ship towards the bow, North Star is an engineering sensation taking guests for an unforgettable 15 minute journey more than 300 feet above the ocean rotating up and over the side of the ship in a jewel shaped glass capsule delivering 360-degree views.  The complimentary experience has the capacity for 14 guests (including one wheelchair) and the structure reaches the height of the New York Statue of Liberty and will be available both in port and at sea from sunrise to sunset.

Whilst North Star will be complimentary, three special premium packages will be available for advance bookings including Sunrise and Sunset flights and Private Flights ideal for marriage proposals and wedding ceremonies.  All packages will include a pre-flight reception, in-flight Champagne toast, a commemorative flight certificate and a post-flight brunch or dinner.

Two70° is the ships new Day to Night venue creating a fully immersive experience for guests to enjoy.  Located at the stern of the ship on decks 5 and 6 with vast floor-to-ceiling glass walls spanning almost three decks high, the venue offers magnificent 270-degree panoramic sea views with technology and entertainment seamlessly transforming the room from a daytime to night time venue.

With seating at various levels along terraces and a spacious lounge seating area, during the day guests can relax and take in the views or enjoy a casual meal at The Cafe @ Two70°, a gourmet marketplace.  Those seeking enrichment activities can visit the second level of the venue, home to the ships library and activity workshop offering guests lectures, demonstrations, art activities and crafting classes to keep them entertained.

Two 70

Two 70

As the sun sets below the horizon, guests will experience Two70°’s transformation into a night time venue with a stunning curved bar housing Royal Caribbean’s first Ice Bar at sea serving up delicious cocktails and featuring a spiralling staircase around the bar leading up to the second level.  Entertainment will be provided both by the ships entertainment team and stunning visual effects.  Guests will be wowed by a combination of performers, aerialists, performance art and mesmerising video as images and special effects are projected around the venue including its glass walls offering dazzling digital scenery encircling the whole space.  As though that wasn’t enough, guests can expect the unexpected as housed in the venues ceiling are six robot arms controlling 100-inch LED TV screens that reach down into the room airing stunning video and imagery giving the illusion of jumping from screen to screen.  After the spectacular display, lights will illuminate the floor setting the scene for late night dancing.

Music Hall

Music Hall

The Music Hall is another new venue to be introduced on Quantum providing guests with a performance hall and music venue with intimate and exclusive live performances, DJs, theme nights, billiard tables and more all showcased in the state-of-the –art hall.

By day, the Music Hall will offer a number of activities such as dance classes and improve workshops whilst by night will come alive with music.  Decorated in deep rich colours with accents of leather, reflective mirrors, a tufted wall with glowing LED buttons, long red velvet curtains and distinctive furniture, the baroque inspired space will also feature a huge central chandelier.

The venue includes two bars, one on each level and will open daily with the upper level featuring self-levelling billiard tables and light bar fare at night.

Still under construction, further features of Quantum of the Seas are yet to be released whilst a number of digital images of venues are available and can be accessed here.

Watch this space for more information on Quantum as it becomes available.

Costa Concordia Operation Has Begun

The salvage operation has begun

The salvage operation has begun

The operation to right the Concordia has begun.

Engineers delayed the start by 2 hours due to bad weather overnight, but the lift finally got underway at 8am GMT this morning.

Expected to take 12 hours, the operation will pull cables attached to the side of the stricken ship.

Once the ship is upright, it will remain in place whilst tanks are welded to side of the ship that was underwater. Once this (a process taking several months) is completed, the Concordia will be refloated and towed away to be scrapped.

The photograph above shows the Bridge of the Concordia at around 9am GMT this morning. You can clearly see the part of the ship that has been underwater. will continue to provice updates via our twitter feed – you can subscribe using the link at the top of this page.


Costa Concordia salvage almost 75% complete.

Costa Concordia Progress

Costa Concordia Progress

The operation to salvage the stricken Costa Concordia is coming to the end of its first  phase.

You may remember from earlier posts that a platform to stand the ship on was to be built on the sea bed and that metal tanks called ‘Sponsons’ were to be welded to the side of the ship.

The platforms and anchor points have been completed and most of the sponsons are now in place.

The next stage of the operation will see the sponsons filled with water to help pull the ship upright and then filled with air to refloat the ship.

The operation is nearly ready to go, however Italian officials have suggested that further checks need to be made into the state of the ship to avoid any environmental damage from unknown holes in the side of the ship touching the sea bed. There is speculation that this could delay the next phase until 2014.

Five Crew Killed In Thomson Majesty Lifeboat Drill

Thomson Majesty Cruise Ship

The Thomson Majesty

Five crew members aged between 30 and 32 have been killed during a lifeboat drill on the Thomson Majesty.

The tragedy happened in the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa during a routine crew exercise. The crew fell approximately 65ft into the water and were trapped underneath the upturned lifeboat.

Three Indonesians, a  Filipino and a Ghanaian died, whilst two Greek and one Indonesian were  seriously injured.

The older type of lifeboat deployment system requires the procedure to be carried out precisely and in the correct order leading to speculation that this could be the cause of the accident, although mechinical or cable failure are also posibilities

The Thomson Majesty was built in 1992 for the now defunct Majesty cruise line, before being bought by the NCL cruise line and renamed the Norwegian Majesty.

Thomson cruises operate a fleet of 5 ships marketed mainly at the British market. Although sailing under the Thomson flag, the Majesty is actually owned and operated by the Cyprus based Louis cruise line.

You can find further information and track the Thomson Majesty here says :

Whilst tragic for the crew members concerned, these crew training exercises are a standard part of the schedule and happen hundreds of times per week around the world.

Passengers are never onboard during the exercise so the only time that this would impact a passenger would be during a real emergency.

Costa Concordia Disaster – A Review

Costa Concordia

Costa Concordia

The Costa Concordia hit a rock close to the Isola Del Giglio, Italy on 13th January 2012. In this article we piece together the various stories and reports of the disaster to create a comprehensive review of events to date. Of course further details will emerge later this year during the inquiry and trial of the captain as well as during the salvage of the vessel and we will provide further updates in our daily articles.

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