March 14, 2014
Beginning in May, a round of renovations to Oceania's Regatta, Nautica and Insignia will scrap the ships' for-fee adults-only cabanas. The $50 million refurb program will add a sports deck with mini-golf, a putting green and shuffleboard where the cabanas now stand -- all in an effort to make the aforementioned trio more similar to its newer siblings, Riviera and Marina. Insignia will be the first to enter dry-dock -- after returning from a lengthy stint as Hapag-Lloyd's Columbus 2 -- followed by Nautica; both will receive their upgrades in Marseille. Regatta will follow at the end of May in Vancouver, and all renovations are slated to be completed by June 7.
Green Eggs & Hamming It Up
Last week, Carnival Splendor became the first ship to offer "Seuss at Sea," a new program offering experiences inspired by the world of Dr. Seuss. Touches can be seen onboard from the classic books and movies to more interactive experiences like a Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast and a Seuss-a-palooza Character Parade. Carnival Freedom is next to receive Seussification, as the line rolls out the program fleetwide by 2015.
New-Build Meets Top Designer
Seabourn has painted a picture of its next cruise ship, and it's one that reflects the designs of award-winning interior designer Adam Tihany. Known for his work on a number of luxury hotels and restaurants worldwide, as well as Celebrity Solstice, Tihany is expanding his portfolio on the high seas. He will be designing both the interior and exterior spaces of Seabourn's yet-to-be-named ship, including multiple dining venues, the spa, casino, lounges and outdoor deck areas. The 40,350-ton, 604-passenger ship -- which is slated for delivery in 2016 -- will be the largest in Seabourn's fleet.
Face of France, Now Uniworld Godmother
Legendary actress Catherine Deneuve -- who was once a model for Marianne, the symbol of France -- will serve as Godmother for Uniworld's newest ship, S.S. Catherine. She will attend the river ship's christening later this month in Lyon. The line's president, Guy Young, said the ship -- set to sail in Burgundy and Provence -- embodies Deneuve's iconic characteristics, including "classic sophistication, beauty, elegance and grace."
The Christening of an American Empress
American Queen Steamboat Company's newest and largest ship, 223-passenger American Empress, will be christened by godmother Claudette Waggoner (wife of line Chairman and CEO John Waggoner) and former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, the event's keynote speaker, at a ceremony on April 5 in Portland, Ore. Festivities will also feature a blessing by elders of the Chinook tribe, as well performances by local musicians. American Empress' debut effectively doubles the size of the formerly one-ship fleet as the vessel joins sister ship American Queen.
--By Brittany Chrusciel, Editorial Assistant; Gina Kramer, Associate Editor; Chris Gray Faust, Destinations Editor; and Ashley Kosciolek, Copy and Ports Editor