Norwegian Star exits drydock with Five O’Clock Somewhere bar

By Rebecca Tobin

Norwegian Cruise Line’s partnership with Margaritaville is taking shape on the Norwegian Star, which carries the line’s first Five O’Clock Somewhere bar following a two-week drydock.

The Five O’Clock Somewhere bar will sell Margaritaville signature drinks like the “Who’s to Blame Margarita” and LandShark beer. Norwegian, which announced its partnership with Margaritaville last year, will offer a Margaritaville restaurant and Five O’Clock Somewhere bar on the Norwegian Escape, which debuts this fall, and it also plans to construct Margaritavilles at its private ports of call.

In addition to introducing the Five O’Clock Somewhere bar, the line also eliminated a $15 cover charge on the Star’s Ginza restaurant. The Asian specialty restaurant will offer a complimentary menu and items priced on an a la carte basis.

An O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill was added to the ship. The Brazillian steakhouse-style Moderno Churrascaria was moved to what Norwegian called a “more intimate” setting on Deck 13, and a Sugarcane Mojito Bar was installed adjacent to the steakhouse.

Other additions to the Star include new carpeting and flooring throughout guest areas and updates to the pool deck. Touch-screen signage, which was introduced on the Norwegian Breakaway, was added to the Star.

On the technical side, the Azipod propulsion system was updated and the hull coated with silicone paint. Norwegian said the measures would improve fuel efficiency.

The ship will sail in northern Europe this summer.

Correction: A scrubber system was not installed during the recent drydock.

‘Allure of the Seas’ to Undergo Repairs at Grand Bahama Shipyard

‘Allure of the Seas’ to Undergo Repairs at Grand Bahama Shipyard


Allure of the Seas to Undergo Repairs at Grand Bahama Shipyard

Royal Caribbean International announced yesterday that a mechanical issue has made it necessary to perform unscheduled repairs to Allure of the Seas. The repairs will take place at Grand Bahama Shipyard, in Freeport, Bahamas, the week of February 24, 2014. As a result, it will be necessary to cancel the February 23, 2014, sailing of Allure of the Seas.

We sincerely regret that we will be unable to deliver the Royal Caribbean cruise vacation that our guests were looking forward to,” said Adam Goldstein, president and chief executive officer, Royal Caribbean International.We understand that our guests’ vacation time is very precious and can assure you that we did not take this decision lightly. But it was very important to us that we bring Allure back up to speed so that she could continue to deliver the amazing cruise vacations our guests expect.”

Allure of the Seas has been experiencing unanticipated bearing wear in one of its three propulsion motors. All three motors are fully operational, and there is no impact on the maneuverability of the ship or on the safety of guests and crew. However, since the rate of bearing wear is directly related to ship speed, the ship’s top speed has been limited. This has reduced the rate of bearing wear, and will ensure that all three propulsion motors are fully available for maneuvering and emergencies until repairs can be completed.

While Allure could have continued to sail at a reduced rate of speed, we felt it was important to fix the problem as soon as possible,” said William D. Baumgartner, senior vice president of Marine Operations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We explored numerous repair options. Unfortunately, there was no satisfactory solution that did not involve taking the ship temporarily out of service.

The company said guests currently booked on the February 23, 2014, sailing of Allure of the Seas will receive a full, 100 percent refund, or the option to sail on select itineraries at the same rate.

Additionally, until the repairs can be made, it will be necessary to make minor adjustments to Allure of the Seas’ eastern Caribbean itineraries. Allure of the Seas will now call on Nassau, Bahamas, from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and on Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is no need to modify Allure of the Seas’ western Caribbean itineraries.

Early drydock considered for Allure of the Seas

Early drydock considered for Allure of the Seas

By Tom Stieghorst
Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas has developed a propulsion problem that is slowing the world’s largest cruise ship. The line is considering an early drydock.

Allure, which debuted in 2010, would normally be drydocked in 2015, but Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman Richard Fain said that schedule may be accelerated.

“We’re considering it, sure,” Fain said while onboard Vision of the Seas for a one-night cruise to display its recent renovations to travel agents. “We’re in the process of trying to assess [whether] we move up the drydock, and if it makes sense we will.”

One option would be to give Allure the 2014 drydock slot reserved for sister ship Oasis of the Seas, and push off the Oasis drydock by a year.

The unspecified propulsion issue developed about three weeks ago. Allure can still complete its weeklong itineraries, but the slower speed means that Royal Caribbean has had to shorten its port stay in Nassau, and some excursions have been canceled. It is also arriving late in the next port of call in St. Thomas.

Fain said the design of the Oasis-class ships, which has three podded propulsion motors instead of two, gives it better resilience when one of the units malfunctions.