February 15, 2013
A Quantum Hypothesis
Although Royal Caribbean is officially keeping mum on Quantum of the Seas' inaugural itinerary, some sleuth-y Cruise Critic members found its inclusion on St. Maarten's cruise schedule, beginning in December 2014 and continuing into 2015. While we don't know if this is a tentative or confirmed schedule, our readers have some interesting ideas about what this could mean for Quantum's future (hint: the leading hypothesis has Quantum homeporting in Bayonne). Stay tuned for actual info whenever the cruise line chooses to release it, which it has declined to do when asked.
Bermuda: Not Just for Golf
Norwegian has expanded Bermuda shore tour offerings for new ship Norwegian Breakaway, launching in May. Offerings include moonlight snorkel trips, night fishing, a bike-and-beach tour along the Bermuda Railway Trail, stand-up paddleboarding, a dolphin encounter, private half-day boat charters and the Island Fever Show, a choreographed stage show focusing on Bermuda's cultural heritage. Some of the new tours will be available to Norwegian Dawn passengers, as well.
An Adrenaline-Pumping Getaway
Also in Norwegian news, Breakaway and sister Norwegian Getaway will be getting Flywheel Sports cycling studios onboard. Flywheel uses proprietary bike designs, so riders can track their performance. Getaway's fitness center will also offer Nexersys interactive fight training modules (kick an avatar's butt); Norwegian Fight Klub, a combination of Nexersys and cardio boxing; Pure-Form Pilates (using weighted balls for resistance) and Chi Ball Yoga (yoga meets tai chi meets meditation). The spa, like Breakaway's, will have a rejuvenating salt room and thermal suite, 22 treatment rooms, a barber shop for men, kid-friendly salon services, and all the usual spa favorites (acupuncture, teeth whitening, medispa treatments, massages, facials and wraps).
Paul Gauguin Branches Out in 2014
Once strictly Pacific-bound, Paul Gauguin Cruises has acquired a second ship and will be globe-trotting in 2014, according to its just-released schedule. Its luxurious duo will be visiting new ports in Fiji, Australia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America and Costa Rica. New itineraries for Paul Gauguin include 11- to 14-night voyages between Fiji and Australia and Australia and Southeast Asia. Tere Moana will feature new seven-night cruises to the French and Italian Rivieras, Costa Rica and the Caribbean (including Panama, Colombia, Aruba and the French West Indies).
Homecoming for Insignia
Oceania has announced its summer 2014 itineraries, featuring the return of Insignia from its stint with Hapag-Lloyd. Seasonal highlights include mostly new European itineraries, new Canada/New England cruises and visits to Alaska and the Panama Canal. Riviera, Marina, Nautica and Insignia will cover Europe with cruises to the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Baltic and Scandinavia, British Isles, Dalmatian Coast and some far-north voyages to Greenland, Iceland and the Polar Ice Barrier. Regatta will hang out in the Americas; it will be joined by Insignia for the Canada and New England itineraries in the fall.
Summer on the Seven Seas
Sister cruise line Regent Seven Seas has also announced summer 2014 sailings. Seven Seas Voyager will cruise Northern Europe and the British Isles, with new embarkations in Oslo and Amsterdam. Mariner will explore the Med; new ports include Antibes, France; Argostoli and Syros, Greece; Santa Cruz de la Palma, Canary Islands, Spain; and Dakar, Senegal. Navigator will continue Regent's presence in Alaska, followed by some Canada and New England sailings. Book early to take advantage of two-for-one fares, bonus savings of up to $15,000 per suite and free round-trip business class air for penthouse suites and higher on European voyages.
--by Erica Silverstein, Features Editor