Royal Caribbean Launches Multi-Billion Dollar Private Island and More

CocoCay, Royal Caribbean
PHOTO: CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island, is getting some amazing enhancements. (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

Carnival’s Cuba ship getting upgrade

T0226CarnivalParadiseHavana_HRThe Carnival Paradise in Havana.The Carnival Paradise, a ship that sails Cuba cruises from Tampa, is undergoing an extensive month-long refurbishment in Freeport, Bahamas.

When the 20-year-old ship returns to service on March 26, it will have a water park, 38 new cabins, 98 balconies added to existing staterooms, and new bars and restaurants.

Among the new accommodations are two Grand Vista suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, 22 junior suites, two oceanview cabins and 12 interior accommodations. All staterooms will have new island-inspired interiors with bright colours.

The new dining and drinking options are establishments that are on many other Carnival ships:

The complimentary Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina, and the RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar.

The BlueIguana Cantina is a complimentary restaurant on the pool deck.
The BlueIguana Cantina is a complimentary restaurant on the pool deck.

The WaterWorks Aqua Park on the Verandah Deck features the enclosed 300-foot-long Twister water slide, two 82-foot-long racing slides, and a splash zone for kids.

A nine-hole miniature golf course has been relocated to Deck 14.

The Camp Ocean play area for kids ages 2-11 showcases the wonders of the sea and offers ocean-themed activities, including arts and crafts and science-oriented programming.

The Carnival Paradise’s retail shops are being redesigned and will include Pandora and Guess.  The Cherry on Top sweets shop is also being added. The printed photo gallery is being replaced with a digital Pixels-branded platform that allows guests to identify and purchase images via their smartphones or at a nearby kiosk.

The Carnival Paradise’s schedule includes four-day cruises to Cozumel and five-day cruises to Cozumel or Roatan, Grand Cayman or Key West. The ship also sails to Cuba with four-day cruises visiting Havana, five-day cruises calling at Havana and Cozumel or Key West, and eight-day voyages to Havana, Key West and Grand Cayman.

Norwegian Sun to Offer Cuba Cruises from PortMiami

The Norwegian Sun is set for a short Cuba program from PortMiami

Norwegian Cruise Line put new cruises on sale to Cuba and the Caribbean aboard the Norwegian Sun round-trip from Miami, Florida.

“We are thrilled to reveal Norwegian Sun’s new fall 2018 itineraries, which will be the first time our brand has featured a call in Havana, Cuba on seven-day and longer cruises,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “These new itineraries offer a remarkable breadth of experiences for guests with a culturally immersive full day and evening in Havana, complemented by several visits to world-class destinations across the Caribbean and beyond.”

The Norwegian Sun will sail six new seven-day cruises from Miami departing on Sundays from September 9 through October 14.

Port calls include Havana, Cuba, Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas; Costa Maya, Mexico and Harvest Caye, Belize. The ship’s nine-day Cuba and the Caribbean cruises will expand upon her seven-day sailings and also include additional visits to Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras and Cozumel, Mexico.

There’s also a 13-day Cuba, Caribbean and Panama Canal sailing on Oct. 30, with calls in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Cartagena and Santa Marta, Colombia and Oranjestad, Aruba, among others.

Norwegian Cruise Line has also added a new five-day cruise to Cuba and the Bahamas from Port Canaveral on September 3. The new cruise will round out the ship’s season sailing from the Space Coast with an afternoon visit to Key West, Florida then heads to Havana for an overnight visit, followed a call in Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.