|Royal Caribbean's Nordic Empress, which at 14 years (young) is one of the line's most venerable vessels (only Sovereign of the Seas is older), will get a Monarch of the Seas-style overhaul. The renovation of the ship, launched in 1990, will include the addition of Portofino, a new alternative restaurant, a Latte-tudes coffee bar, and an upgraded main dining room and Windjammer Cafe. Other improvements include an expanded ShipShape spa/workout facility and refurbishment of staterooms (some, like the royal suite and "superior" oceanview staterooms will get all new furnishings while others will get more modest upgrades). |
In an effort to bring the 48,563-ton, 1,600-passenger Nordic Empress more in line with the rest of the Royal Caribbean fleet, the overhaul will include the addition of some now-traditional favorites. The Latin-themed Bolero's will replace High Society and the Schooner Bar will take over from the Carousel Bar.
Also in keeping with Royal Caribbean-consistency: Nordic Empress will get a new name. Beginning in May, when the ship re-launches, it will be known as "Empress of the Seas."
In what amounts to a lot of firsts for the ship this year, Empress of the Seas gets a new twist on its usual summer itinerary assignment. The ship, which will still offer Bermuda voyages, will sail out of the New York area -- specifically Royal Caribbean's new Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J. -- offering six- and eight-night itineraries.