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Rhapsody of the Seas enters Singapore's Sembawang shipyard for a $54 million, month-long refurbishment

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Royal Caribbean International's Rhapsody of the Seas has entered Sembawang Shipyard (a subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine Ltd.) in Singapore to begin a month-long, $54 million drydock where she will undergo a major revitalization and emerge with an array of new amenities. The ship revitalization is the largest of its kind ever to take place in Singapore and will employ more than 800 local workers from the region.

Part of the cruise line's Vision-class of ships, Rhapsody of the Seas will receive a host of new dining and entertainment venues as well as an assortment of technological upgrades. The ship also will receive a bow-to-stern refresh of all furniture, carpet and upholstery, including renovated staterooms. The revitalizations are part of the Royal Advantage – the cruise line's commitment to offer vacationers the world's most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned, friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service.

"Rhapsody of the Seas drydock is part of Royal Caribbean's commitment to continue to deliver the Royal Advantage to our guests," said Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "With our $300 million investment through 2014, no ship in our fleet will go untouched and our guests will have an unrivaled vacation experience no matter which destination in the world they visit or on what ship they sail on." 

Similar to sister-ship Splendour of the Seas, which underwent its revitalization in November 2011, Rhapsody will receive new dining venues, including Chops Grille, Izumi Asian Cuisine, Chef's Table experience and Park Café. Additional offerings include a Diamond lounge for Crown and Anchor loyalty guests, a Concierge Lounge for suite guests and top tier loyalty guests, a transformed Viking Crown Lounge and the popular Royal Babies and Tots Nursery.

New offerings for guests include ship-wide Wi-Fi, a digital way finding system, electronic mustering, an outdoor movie screen, as well as iPads in every stateroom featuring content about the ships amenities and activities, ensuring a seamless cruise experience for guests. The ship's Centrum, with its sweeping views and central location, will transform into a new chic and sophisticated venue featuring enriching daytime activities, dazzling nightly entertainment and jaw-dropping aerial spectacles. The ship's Champagne Bar, located in the Centrum, also will reemerge as the R Bar, featuring a sophisticated 1960s vibe, complete with iconic furnishing and signature cocktails mixed by a savvy and personable mixologist.

When the enhancements are completed on March 28, Rhapsody of the Seas will sail a 15-night voyage from Singapore to Sydney, Australia. From there, she will sail across the Pacific with a combination of cruises from Australia and Hawaii, before beginning her Alaska season in May 2012.

In Alaska, Rhapsody of the Seas will offer seven-night open-jawed itineraries from both Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington. She will join Radiance of the Seas, which was revitalized in May 2011, offering guests in Alaska an unparalleled cruise vacation experience.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.

TUI Cruises teams up with insurance company Hanse Merkur

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

TUI Cruises, the German premium market cruise operator, has teamed up with Hanse Merkur Reiseversicherungs AG to provide travel insurance for the passengers on its two ships. The new arrangement means that passengers can book travel insurance with the cruise operator from the start of April 2013. TUI Cruises says that by adding this offering it orientates itself closer to meet the needs of its customers.

Voyages to Antiquity adds eight more single cabins

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Voyages to Antiquity, the British destinational cruise specialist, has added eight single cabins on board Aegean Odyssey that now features 24 such cabins. The new single accommodation is spread over seven price categories and they feature beds that are four foot (120cm) wide, which is more than the width of a normal bed in a hotel room. the company also sells some double cabins for signle occupancy, the company said in a statement.

Norwegian Cruise Line to introduce Moderno Churrascaria fleetwide

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Norwegian Cruise Line is enhancing dining options for guests by introducing its signature Brazilian-style steakhouse on board additional ships in its fleet. Moderno Churrascaria first debuted on board the line's newest ship, Norwegian Epic, and was the first dining concept of its kind at sea. Because of positive guest feedback and popular demand, Norwegian is now offering this unique dining experience on eight Freestyle Cruising ships. The company is also introducing the ability for guests to pre-book dining reservations for specialty restaurants fleet-wide.

Moderno Churrascaria offers guests a whole new experience in dining at sea. This Brazilian "Churrascaria" or steakhouse, boasts a delicious salad bar filled with appetizers, gourmet vegetables, soups, salads and more. The experience is not only delicious, it is also interactive. As guests dine on a feast of salad bar selections, they are greeted by passadors who serve generous amounts of various beef, lamb, pork, chicken and Brazilian sausage tableside. For a cover charge of $20 per person, guests can enjoy a salad bar, filled with an array of gourmet options, as well as an unlimited amount of the mouth-watering meats.

Moderno Churrascaria is currently available on board Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Pearl. Norwegian Gem will be outfitted with this unique restaurant in late February, followed by Norwegian Jewel in March and Norwegian Star in April of 2012.

Guests wishing to dine at Moderno Churrascaria or any of the line's specialty restaurants now have the opportunity to pre-book their reservations before they cruise. With the introduction of a fleet-wide dining reservations system, guests cruising within 45 days on any Norwegian ship can plan and pre-pay for their specialty dining choices in advance by visiting ." target="_blank" style="font-family: Tahoma, Arial; font-size: 11px; font-weight: normal; color: rgb(51, 51, 255); text-decoration: none; " href="">>.

Costa Allegra to be towed to Mahe

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Today afternoon, around 12.30 pm CET (3:30 pm local time) the two tugs reached the Costa Allegra to assist the ship as well as a deep sea trawler, the French flagged Trevignon and maintains a speed of about 6 knots. At current speed and with stable weather conditions Costa Allegra may also anticipate its arrival in Mahé on March 1 early morning, Costa Crociere said in a statement.

Tomorrow, the arrival of an helicopter will be the expected to deliver flashlights (about 400) and fresh bread, while there is no lack of food and other comfort items. The ship's galley is not operational. "Also thanks to the arrival of a small generator, carried by a naval ship present on site as support, the ship's crew is doing everything possible to make the   situation on board more comfortable, trying to restore basics services on board. The speed of the ship, despite the hot and humid climate, creates a            slight breeze that helps making the situation more comfortable."

Meanwhile, today early afternoon, Costa Cruisess "Care Team" has arrived in Mahé: a group of 14 people made up of executives and qualified  managers as well as specialized technicians with the task of providing the necessary assistance both to the ship and to passengers as well as to crew   members on their arrival in Mahé.

Care Team members immediately met with local authorities and those responsible for the rescue coordination in  order to define the operational details of passengers arrival on the island and to guarantee the necessary accommodation in local hotels and an   efficient organization for their return back to their final destination. Eight of them will board Costa Allegra tomorrow morning thanks to a local naval   ship to meet Guests and discuss with them all the necessary arrangements and to assist the ships staff in deeper technical inspections.