Royal Caribbean’s Symphony to feature world’s tallest slide at sea

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony to feature world’s tallest slide at sea

Gallery: Symphony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International has revealed features onboard new megaship, Symphony of the Seas.

These include the world’s tallest slide at sea, robotic bartenders and theatre shows.

The cruise line’s 25th ship, set to launch in April 2018, will claim the title of the world largest vessel when it sets sail on its inaugural season in Europe.

Royal Caribbean will put on popular Broadway production Hairspray – the cruise line’s first musical at sea – on board the 5,500-capacity Symphony.

In addition, guests will be able to enjoy the tallest slide at sea, the Ultimate Abyss (pictured), robot bartenders at the Bionic Bar and high-flying, high-diving performances at the AquaTheatre.

bionic-barroyal-caribbean

bionic-barroyal-caribbean

Families will be able to explore seven neighbourhoods on board, such as Central Park, which has more than 12,000 tropical plants, or the pool and sports zone, where there is a nine-deck high zip line, a beach pool and even a mini-golf course.

Symphony’s debut season will see it call at ports in Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca in Spain, Provence in France, Florence, Rome and Naples in Italy.

From November 24 2018 Symphony will make Miami her home all-year around.

Michael Bayley, president and chief executive of Royal Caribbean International, said: “We set out to create a new level of holiday adventure and deliver the ultimate escape for families of all shapes and sizes.

“Symphony will introduce the most cutting-edge, customisable, and digitally-enhanced experiences in the Royal Caribbean fleet.

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STX France’s groundbreaking collaboration with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Edge

STX France’s groundbreaking collaboration with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Edge

STX France has launched an ongoing monitoring services programme with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Edge

STX France and Royal Caribbean have launched a partnership that allows ongoing monitoring by the shipyard to ensure energy efficient solutions are in optimal use on Harmony of the Seas. This is also to be rolled out to the Celebrity Cruises’ Edge-class vessels being built by the shipyard, and other ships in Royal Caribbean Cruises’ fleet.

The groundbreaking collaboration on Harmony of the Seas – which has not been carried out between a shipyard and cruise ship operator before – has led to 5% fuel savings on the cruise ship, which was delivered last year. The monitoring agenda has its foundations in STX France’s Ecorizon, a research and development programme launched in 2007 to create more environmentally friendly and energy efficient ships.

STX France Ecorizon R&D project manager and energy efficiency manager for Harmony of the Seas and Celebrity Edge-class, Arnaud Jacques told Passenger Ship Technology “We took this approach to help Royal Caribbean reach the best energy efficiency level possible. Normally the work of a shipyard stops after delivery but we believe that it is very crucial to share all this knowledge and expertise we have built up.”

He said this is what propelled STX France to go further than the usual scope of shipbuilder to deliver not just a ship that was “designed well but one designed to operate well”.

The monitoring services sees STX France following the ship year after year and see what works, what does not work as expected and looking at what can be improved (in terms of energy efficiency). A very important part of it is to train the crew how to check equipment and maintain the level of knowledge about how the ship works and maintain best practice. This is especially important as crews change frequently. The training takes place twice a year. STX France also gives Royal Caribbean weekly updates and analysis on the back of its monitoring services.

Mr Jacques said “We plan to continue co-operation with Royal Caribbean next year following other ships; they want to have a great benchmark for their fleet and make sure the ships run at an optimal energy performance.” He wasn’t able to say at this stage which ships these would be.

Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge will also undergo the same monitoring services when it is delivered at the end of 2018.

With some Caribbean ports knocked out, cruise lines make wholesale changes

The cruise port in Nassau, Bahamas, has escaped hurricane damage. Photo Credit: Ceri Breeze/Shutterstock

Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean have announced itinerary changes for cruises scheduled to depart into October that steer ships clear of storm-ravaged destinations in the eastern Caribbean.

The changes affect nearly half of Carnival’s fleet of 25 ships. The cruises, with departure dates ranging from Sept. 20 to Oct. 1, will visit ports in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic and sail to ports in the western Caribbean, including those in Jamaica, Mexico, Belize, Honduras and the Cayman Islands.

One ship, the Carnival Vista, will visit the southern Caribbean on an 8-day roundtrip Miami itinerary that includes La Romana in the Dominican Republic, Aruba and Curacao.

The Carnival Paradise will offer a five-day roundtrip Tampa cruise departing Sept. 25 that overnights in Havana.

Other affected ships and their departure dates are: Carnival Ecstasy (Sept. 20), Carnival Sensation (Sept. 21 and 30), Carnival Splendor (Sept. 23 and Sept. 30), Carnival Conquest (Sept. 24), Carnival Magic (Sept. 24), Carnival Pride (Sept. 24 and Oct. 1), Carnival Victory (Sept. 25) and Carnival Glory (Sept. 30).

Carnival said the Sept. 24 cruise of the Carnival Fascination, which sails from San Juan is contingent on the damage caused by Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday. Carnival said it will continue to monitor the hurricane and will confirm the itinerary once a post-storm assessment has been completed.

Royal Caribbean said that it will skip Key West on departures of Empress of the Seas through Oct. 11, but that it plans to visit Havana as scheduled on Empress departures that have it as part of the itineraries.

Five Royal Caribbean ships have modified itineraries to substitute other ports for stops in St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Key West.