(12:22 p.m. EDT) – The third ship in Royal Caribbean's Quantum class will be called Ovation of the Seas, the line said during a steel-cutting ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The ceremony marks the official beginning of construction on the 167,800-ton, 4,180-passenger ship, scheduled to debut fall 2016.
The first ship in this new class for Royal Caribbean, Quantum of the Seas, launches November 2014. It will sail first to the Caribbean from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey and then to Asia out of Shanghai. Second ship Anthem of the Seas debuts spring 2015 and will cruise the Mediterranean and Caribbean in its first year.
All three Quantum-Class ships will continue Royal Caribbean's reputation for innovation with multiple cruise ship firsts, including a skydiving simulator; North Star, a jewel-shaped glass capsule that rises 300 feet above sea level and provides 360-degree views from high above the ship; and the Seaplex sports and entertainment space with bumper cars, roller skating and a circus school. The ships will also tout "virtual balconies" in inside cabins and a flexible dining system that eliminates set dining times and main dining rooms.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor