Cruise News Shorts: Carnival Adds Third Texas Ship, Silversea Boosts Connectivity & More Cruise News

April 25, 2014
Carnival Freedom

(12:44 p.m. EDT) -- Every week we catch wind of so much cruise news, we don't always know what to do with it all, but a few standout bits sometimes catch our attention. Here are some interesting snippets we think you might like to know about.

Everything's Bigger in Texas

That whole "bigger in Texas" thing must be catching on because Carnival's Galveston-based fleet is growing starting February 2015, when Carnival Freedom becomes the third year-round ship sailing from the Texas port. The ship will sail seven-night Mexico, Caribbean, and Bahamas and Florida itineraries; it first will undergo a comprehensive refurbishment as part of Carnival's Fun Ship 2.0 program. Among the enhancements to the ship, in dry dock now, will be the addition of Guy's Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, EA Sports Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar, the Alchemy Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, RedFrog Pub, Dr. Seuss Bookville and Playlist Productions.

We Need More Power, Captain

Silversea Cruises is revving up its onboard communications engine, expanding its partnership with maritime expert MTN Communications. MTN will help Silversea increase broadband connectivity on every ship as well as optimize the Wi-Fi design to support video streaming, broadcast, data and voice services.

Epic Itineraries

Norwegian Epic will add two sailings to and from Southampton in 2015. Norwegian Cruise Line's largest ship will sail two Iberian Peninsula itineraries, fitting around its scheduled 15-night dry dock in France. The six-night sailing will leave Barcelona on September 20, 2015 and arrive in Southampton on September 26, 2015. Following the dry dock, Epic will then return to Barcelona on a seven-night sailing via Spain on October 11.

Stir It Up

Passengers onboard Norwegian Cruise Line from July through September 15 can enjoy five new handcrafted cocktails inspired by their cruise destinations. In a partnership with James Beard Award-nominated mixologist Gabriel Orta of Bar Lab Cocktails in Miami, the line will feature drinks made using local ingredients from ports of call in Bermuda, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Alaska and Europe. Featured cocktails include a Smoky Hot Toddy in Alaska, Spica Pina Punch in the Caribbean and Kona beer in Hawaii.

--By Dori Saltzman, News Editor, Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor, and Brittany Chrusciel, Editorial Assistant