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In an age when brand-new ships are launching at a staggering pace, cruise lines know how crucial it is to not only maintain their existing fleets, but also to enhance them. To keep travel agents and consumers interested in older hardware, brands are constantly renewing more senior vessels.
Here are a few of the latest revitalizations.Norwegian Cruise LineThe Norwegian Edge fleet upgrade program from Norwegian Cruise Line has recently completed work on Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Sun.After only five years in service, Breakaway has replaced Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club with Syd Norman’s Pour House, a classic rock ’n’ roll bar and lounge. An extension of the ship’s “Rock of Ages” production show, the new space — which was inspired by legendary music venues such as CBGB, Rainbow Music Hall and The Fillmore — pays tribute to playwright Chris D’Arenso.
What’s more, the ship’s Bliss Ultra Lounge has been decked out with new furniture; the gift shop has been updated; and new carpet has been installed in the staircases, elevators, lobbies and all staterooms and suites.Meanwhile, Star has introduced three new spaces onboard: Sky High Bar, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spice H2O. The first is a scenic replacement of Bier Garten, with redesigned outdoor seating for nearly 120 guests. Bliss Ultra Lounge replaced Spinnaker Lounge to offer late-night entertainment, new carpet, loungers, artwork and a bar. And Spice H20 is an adults-only venue with an exclusive pool, whirlpools, a bar and events such as theme nights.Additionally, bars and lounges throughout Star were updated, as were restaurants and public spaces such as Atrium Cafe & Bar, Garden Cafe, the main dining rooms and the casino, which now has a VIP section. All staterooms and suites received USB charging ports, 1,500 total art pieces, new carpet, headboards and select furniture. Three-bedroom garden villas were also redesigned.Sun received a trio of new venues. Mexican eatery Los Lobos Cantina replaced the former Las Ramblas Tapas Bar & Restaurant; Bliss Ultra Lounge took over Dazzles Nightclub; and Spinnaker Lounge updated the Observation Lounge with new furnishings and fixtures.Plus, Cagney’s Steakhouse, La Cucina, Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, Mandara Spa, Stardust Lounge Theater, Splash Academy and more were renovated. Also, all staterooms received smart televisions and USB charging ports, as well as fresh carpet, art and select furniture.
www.ncl.comPrincess CruisesFollowing a “Come Back New Promise” campaign, Princess Cruises has updated Crown Princess and Sun Princess, both of which now prominently sport the famed Seawitch logo on their bows.
Fresh on Crown for dining are The Salty Dog Grill (in place of Trident Grill), which is home to “The Ernesto” burger from chef Ernesto Uchimura; Slice (in place of Prego Pizzeria), which offers items such as Deep Dish Focaccia; California Artisanal Toast; and Sliced Stromboli; Coffee & Cones (in place of Sundaes Ice Cream Bar); and The Mix (in place of Mermaid’s Tale).The Princess Luxury Bed has made its way into all staterooms, and Club Class Mini-Suites — which feature VIP amenities and exclusive dining — are now available. The youth and teen center has been retooled as Camp Discovery in partnership with the Discovery network. Rounding out the improvements are upgrades to the retail shops, casino and Lotus Spa & Fitness Center.Sun has been similarly refurbished with Club Class Mini-Suites, a Camp Discovery club and enhanced stores, which include an Effy jewelry boutique, as well as designs from Burberry, Coach, Longchamp and Guess.
www.princess.comRoyal Caribbean InternationalRoyal Caribbean International has added several finishing touches to Mariner of the Seas as part of its Royal Amplified program.
The brand-favorite FlowRider surf simulator kicked off the new transformation before The Perfect Storm’s pair of waterslides continued the efforts. The Sky Pad elevated things further with a virtual reality bungee trampoline experience, while Laser Tag: Battle for Planet Z and Escape Room: The Observatorium rounded out the additions.Newly added dining and casual venues include The Bamboo Room tiki bar, Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, Izumi Hibachi & Sushi and Jamie’s Italian, which features the cuisine of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.