Florida: New ships to sail this fall
Each fall, some of the world's newest cruise ships steer a course to Florida ports to feature a selection of Caribbean cruises. This year is no exception and among the new ships are several noteworthy ones with unprecedented features including the world's largest cruise ship and two ultra-deluxe vessels.
Here are some details on some of the new ships coming to Florida ports:
Carnival Dream -- The largest "Fun Ship" ever built, the Carnival Dream is a 130,000-ton, 3,652-passenger vessel being launched in Europe with a series of Mediterranean cruises in September. The ship will be repositioned to Florida and begin sailing out of Port Canaveral year-round on seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages in December.
Among the Carnival Dream's most noteworthy features are a Carnival WaterWorks aqua park for the enjoyment of families; "scenic whirlpools" that jut out over the ship's beam; The Piazza, an indoor/outdoor cafe with live entertainment; and "cove" balcony cabins close to the water line. Visit www.carnival.com.
Celebrity Equinox -- A sister to Celebrity Solstice, introduced last year, the 122,000-ton, 2,850-passenger Celebrity Equinox offers real grass growing on the top deck in The Lawn Club, a half-acre complex featuring croquet and bocce ball and opportunities for picnics at sea. In the area there is also the Hot Glass Show where glassblowers demonstrate their techniques and give talks and workshops on their art.
Introduced in Europe this summer, the Celebrity Equinox begins a series of 10- and 11-day Ultimate Caribbean voyages from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Visit www.celebritycruises.com.
Oasis of the Seas -- Royal Caribbean International's much-anticipated Oasis of the Seas, the biggest cruise ship in the world will debut in December out of her homeport of Fort Lauderdale. The 220,000-ton, 5,400-passenger ship will have seven 8 0neighborhoods" so guests can seek out relevant experiences according to their personal styles and moods. Among the "neighborhoods" is Central Park, the ship's "town square" with peaceful daytime ambiance for perhaps an al fresco lunch and with street entertainment and concerts at night.
Among the never-before-seen-at-sea features of Oasis of the Seas is a handcrafted carousel, a zip-line suspended nine decks over the Boardwalk seaside-pier-styled family "neighborhood," and the AquaTheater, an amphitheater for water shows including water ballets and synchronized swimming.
In the accommodations front, Oasis of the Seas will feature an industry first: "loft suites" with double height ceilings and bedroom on the upper level, living quarters on the bottom level and panoramic views of the ocean through floor-to-ceiling windows and balcony. Visit www.royalcaribbean.com.
Seabourn Odyssey -- The Yachts Of Seabourn's new Seabourn Odyssey is a 32,000-ton, 450-passenger vessel, the line's largest. The all-suite ship has verandas on 90 percent of the accommodations, four restaurants and an indoor/outdoor spa, and four restaurants.
The Spa at Seabourn features 750-square-foot private retreat "Spa Villas" with seating and dining areas, indoor double bed lounger, two treatment beds, oversized bathtub and separate shower, and wraparound terrace with sun loungers for half-day use including preferred combination of treatments.
The ship is being introduced in Europe this summer and will offer a series of Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale beginning in November. Visit www.seabourn.com.
Silver Spirit -- Silversea Cruises' 36,000-ton, 540-passenger Silver Spirit is the ultra-luxury line's largest. Novel features include an expanded 8,300-square-foot indoor/outdoor Spa at Silversea including a whirlpool (and three others by the pool), six restaurants including a new supper club, and a new Asian-themed restaurant. Ninety-five percent of the all-suite accommodations have verandas.
Scheduled for launch in Europe in December, the Silver Spirit will offer a Grand Inaugural Voyage (70-, 88- or 91-days) from Fort Lauderdale beginning on Jan. 21, 2010 and including a visit to Rio de Janeiro during Carnival time. Visit www.silversea.com.