The week in cruise…April 7


Azamara Quest is in dry dock at Singapore’s Sembawang Shipyard undergoing a major overhaul of its suites, restaurants and bars over the next two weeks. When the multi-million upgrade is completed in mid-April, Azamara Quest will begin a 16-night Spice Route itinerary from Singapore to Dubai calling at Penang in Malaysia, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Mormugao in Goa, Mumbai in India and Oman in Muscat. The multi-million upgrade is to bring the 686-passenger ship on par with its sister ship, Azamara Journey which recently also underwent a similar facelift. We are getting onboard next week, so stay tuned for updates and pictures.

Cruisers can look forward to plenty of new ships over the next few years. Costa Cruises has announced it will be building two 4,200-passenger vessels to be delivered in 2019 and 2020. Both will be operated by Costa Asia and designed specifically for the Chinese market. Princess Cruises will also be introducing two new ships in 2019 and 2020 (rendering above). The Royal class vessels will be based on the same design as the existing Regal and Royal Princess, carrying 3,560 passengers and with balconies on 80% of the staterooms. Regent Seven Seas is building a sister ship to the ultra luxurious Seven Seas Explorer and will launch it in 2020.

Details have been released about Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Chinese-based ship, Norwegian Joy. Launching in summer 2017 the ship will feature a two-level competitive racetrack – the first ever at sea – so guests can race against each other. Norwegian Joy will also have an open-air laser tag field and the Galaxy Pavilion, which promises guests immersive reality experiences, simulator rides and even interactive video walls. For the racing fanatics, there will be hovercraft bumper cars and a professional single-seat racer which has been converted into a state-of-the-art racing simulator, also in the Galaxy Pavilion. There will be three interactive dark ride simulators where guests including the adrenaline-pumping Star Wars Battle Pods where guests can pretend like they are flying through the galaxy. Outdoors, the ship will have two multi-story water slides including the high-speed Double Aqua free fall slide. The tandem Aqua Racer slide allows guests to race side-by-side on inner tubers for more than 360 feet. For the shopaholics, Norwegian Joy will offer an upscale shopping complex which will include well-known luxury brands. The exclusive Haven Club will feature an all-new Observation Deck that will feature 180 degree views serving gourmet canapés and premium beverages.