(12:30 p.m. EDT) – Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship, Norwegian Joy -- the first custom built for Chinese cruise market -- underwent its christening ceremony in Shanghai today.
Godfather Wang Leehom, a Chinese triple-threat singer songwriter, actor and director, not only christened the 3,900-passenger vessel with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot Champagne, but he also performed for a crowd of VIP Chinese and Western guests.
"After years spent carefully designing this amazing vessel, my team and I are both proud and thrilled to finally christen the world's first cruise ship custom-designed for the wonderful people of China," said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., in a release. "This is truly a special moment for the entire Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings family, our valued travel partners, honored guests and dedicated officers and crew across our fleet."
Norwegian Joy has many firsts for the line, including a go-kart track at sea, a virtual reality game room and a Laser Battle course, as well as special features for the Chinese market. These include 100 high-end Concierge Class cabins, an expanded retail area with 50 high-end brands, a 'Serenity Park' instead of a main pool deck, private karaoke rooms and a vast casino area, including private gambling rooms.
Cruise Critic spent some time on Norwegian Joy in April, and found much to like. It's speculated that some of the ship's new features will be on Norwegian Bliss, the line's new ship purpose-built for Alaska, due for delivery June 2018.
--By Chris Gray Faust, Senior Editor