Norwegian's Pre-Cruise Concierge
As a new benefit to cruisers choosing to book accomodations in The Haven, a pre-cruise concierge "desk" will be available to assist in booking and arranging a variety of services and amenities. The Haven consists of suites with butler service, priority boarding and tendering and higher quality soft goods in the rooms such as bedding and robes. Passengers also have exclusive access to a private pool, two hot tubs, gym, sundeck, restaurant and bar. The Haven is available on Norwegian's Jewel class ships as well as the Epic. Now, in addition to all these amenities, passengers can pre-book shore excursions, dining and choose pillow type through their own dedicated service.
Now, call me crazy, but booking shore excursions and dining is not that difficult, and I bring my own pillow. I suppose (aka know for a fact) that The Haven and its new concierge desk is not targeting me though. I guess rich people like the idea of having a dedicated phone line to book stuff? Don't their travel agents do that for them anyway? (I'm not rich, and my TA does that stuff for me) So is this for rich people's travel agents? I guess it just sounds good, or is likely a way to get people interested in The Haven. I'm interested, now only if I could afford it...
iPads in Every Stateroom for the Royal Caribbean Vision Class
Royal Caribbean is one of the leading cruise lines in innovation on cruise ships with their ice skating rinks, surf simulators and record-breaking ships. Now, some of their smaller ships will be getting a different kind of innovation: iPads in the staterooms. Starting with the Splendour of the Seas in February and continuing as the ships are renovated through 2013, the Vision class will have the tablet in staterooms available for Internet browsing (for a price), booking reservations and shore excursions, managing shipboard accounts, watching movies and checking out the daily Cruise Compass.
While I love iPads as much as the next guy, this seems like an extremely high expenditure without much payoff. Does Royal Caribbean expect these tablets to increase on board spending in any way? Many of their past innovations were certainly large and impressive enough to perhaps convince someone to book that particular ship, but I can't imagine anyone booking just because their room will have an iPad. I, for one, would prefer more outward improvements on these older ships, and looking at what they have done with the Splendour, it looks like my wishes have been granted. To get a peek at all the refurbishments, check out the video on royalcaribbeanblog.com
Disney Fantasy to Feature the Muppets
In addition to all the fun stuff we have to look forward to on the Disney Fantasy like the Aladdin stage show and new interactive water play area, the stars of a current hit movie will be hosting a new game on the ship: no, not Edward and Bella, The Muppets! While it is somewhat difficult to tell from the description, it sounds like it will be a scavenger hunt type game with The Muppets leading via video. According to Disney Parks blog, the goal of the game is to find props and items for the Muppets so that they can take the stage in a big performance. Guests will utilize a unique game card and explore enchanted art and more to find the props.
I absolutely love scavenger hunts and such on cruise ships, so this sounds like great fun to me, but am I alone in wishing we could also see that Muppets performance in a night time stage show as well? Still, props to Disney for utilizing the Muppets on the cruise ships. Now, can we have some meet and greets and photo ops?
That's all for today. We hope you have a great week and that you get a chance to tune in to our cruise podcast where we discuss the most recent cruise news in depth.