Carnival Triumph getting a $200M redo and a new name

Carnival Triumph is to become the Carnival Sunrise.

Carnival Cruise Line will budget $200 million for an overhaul of the Carnival Triumph so sweeping that the ship will get a new name, the Carnival Sunrise.

It is only the second time that Carnival has renamed a ship of its own design. In 2013, it rechristened the former Carnival Destiny as the Carnival Sunshine. 

Carnival said the two ships will form the new Sunshine class. The $200 million sum is the largest ever spent by a cruise line in a ship renovation.

By the time the work begins next March, the Triumph will be 20 years old. It is perhaps best known for an engine-room fire in 2013 that left it disabled off the coast of Mexico without power for most hotel services. The ship had to be towed back to the United States, on a four-day odyssey that was memorialized as “the poop cruise” because toilets didn’t work for most of the trip.

In the two-month renovation, to be done at the Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, a laundry list of Fun Ship 2.0 features will be added to the ship, including seven restaurants, two bars, two lounges, three new pool deck attractions, a newly designed spa, two new children’s play areas and new retail spaces, including a candy store. 

Gus Antocha, Carnival’s chief operating officer, said the additions complement certain upgrades that had already been made to the Triumph, such as Guy’s Burger Joint.

Unique to the Sunrise will be what Antocha called “bridge wing suites,” encompassing two junior suites and two larger Captain’s Suites adjacent to the bridge, which will be redesigned with floor-to-ceiling windows. That means the ship’s capacity, listed as 2,758 passengers at double occupancy, will remain relatively unchanged.

“We’re adding a handful of different spaces,” Antocha said. When the Carnival Sunshine was created, an extra 182 cabins were added to the Carnival Destiny.

The first sailing of the Carnival Sunrise, following a renaming ceremony, will be from Norfolk, Va., where the ship will begin a series of five- to seven-day cruises on April 29, 2019. It will then move to New York for the summer for a series of four- to 14-day cruises, starting May 23. It will move to Fort Lauderdale for four- and five-day cruises in October.

Royal Caribbean curtails Adventure of the Seas renovation

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Adventure of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International is scaling back renovations to the Adventure of the Seas, citing extensive hurricane damage at the Grand Bahamas Shipyard in Freeport, where the work was scheduled to take place.

Freeport suffered the greatest destruction anywhere in the Bahamas from Hurricane Matthew’s pass last month.

Royal Caribbean said the Adventure will still exit drydock on Nov. 14, but without many of the improvements that had been planned. Some will be added on the first few sailings after drydock.

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Grand Bahama Dockyard

In a letter to travel partners, Royal Caribbean said work will continue on the Dual Racer water slides, FlowRider and Splashaway Bay aqua park with a new opening date of Dec. 10.

Royal Caribbean said its premium steakhouse, Chops Grille, won’t open on the Adventure until early next year. In the meantime, Giovanni’s Table will offer select items on the Chops menu.

Plans to add Izumi, a Japanese restaurant, have been shelved.

Also, the introduction of new suites and staterooms “is no longer possible at this time,” the letter said. Royal Caribbean and travel partners will be contacting guests who had booked those rooms to discuss re-accommodation.

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Boleros Latin Lounge

Improvements that will open for the initial sailing after the drydock include Boleros Latin lounge and the two-story mini-golf course.

In addition to storm damage at the shipyard, Royal Caribbean cited the global rerouting of cargo ships carrying equipment and materials as a factor in the modified renovation plan.

Launched in 2001, the Adventure of the Seas is a Voyager-class ship. In 2014, it received “Royal Advantage” upgrades, including an outdoor movie screen, digital signage, ship-wide WiFi, new Concierge and Diamond lounges, and the changeover of the Portofino restaurant to Giovanni’s Table.

Norwegian Epic back in service with new attractions and spaces

Norwegian Epic.
The Norwegian Epic set sail this week with new venues and attractions after a three-week renovation.

The ship now features the Cavern Club, an entertainment venue that pays tribute to the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, where the Beatles performed in their early years.

The Epic has a new Broadway-style revue, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert — The Musical,” a show that celebrates gay pride and is based on the 1994 Australian film. Well-known pop songs from yesteryear are part of the score, including “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

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A scene from “Priscilla Queen of the Desert — The Musical.”

The Aqua Park now has SplashGolf, a game that combines water features with minigolf.

Norwegian Epic also was outfitted with a new photo gallery, library and card room.

Several restaurants received new decor, carpeting and furnishings, including Moderno Churrascaria, Cagney’s, La Cucina, Le Bistro, Garden Cafe, Manhattan Room and Taste.

Other venues that were spruced up: the Mandara spa, Bliss Ultra Lounge, Marketplace buffet, Epic Theater, casino and Haven suite complex.

The Norwegian Epic entered service in 2010. The ship will sail Mediterranean cruises this winter and next spring and summer before returning to the U.S. and its new home in Port Canaveral, Fla., in fall 2016.