Written by on Friday July 17, 2015
This week in cruising, there's been news of Cunard's flag ship going into dry dock; a change in dining policy on Royal Caribbean, and new Wi-Fi offerings on the major cruise lines.
Queen Mary 2 to be refurbished
Cunard’s flagship, Queen Mary 2 is to go into dry dock in 2016 for a major refurbishment. There will be more state rooms added with single occupancy, as well additional kennels for those looking to take animal companions cruising. Addition features being added will be 30 new Britannia Club Balcony Cabins which offer continuous access to the Britannia dining room. Pampered pets will also be treated to a new indoor play area and larger outdoor walking area as well as a lounge for owners. The refurbishment begins on 27 May 2016 at the Blohm+Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany with renovations to be completed on 21 June 2016.
Dynamic dining halted by Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean International have paused their expansion of Dynamic Dining, following problems with the service in its pilot phase on Quantum of the Seas. Dynamic Dining aimed to revolutionise cruise dining by removing set dining times and allow diners to choose when and where to dine at any of four complimentary restaurants. A retooled version of the concept has been tried on Anthem of the Seas which allows guests choose between Choice – which require reservations, and Classic – which had fixed dining times. It had been planned to roll out Dynamic Dining to Oasis of the Seas in January which was then postponed buy has now been cancelled completely.
Cheap Wi-Fi packages unveiled by major cruise lines
While Wi-Fi may be free in most places these days, it still comes at a premium on cruise ships. Now, two of the world’s biggest cruise providers are set to offer cheaper and faster internet for their passengers. Carnival Cruise Line have a number of packages with the “Social” plan starting at $5 per day but this only allows access to social networks. For casual browsers, there’s “Value” plan at $16 per day and for intense consumers the “Premium” plan comes in at $25 per day. Royal Caribbean has branded their internet offering as Voom which costs $15 per day.
Norwegian Cruise Line raises gratuities again
Norwegian Cruise Line has upped gratuities for the second time in a year. Now passengers will be charged $13.50 per person, per day up to a mini-suite, while suite passengers will pay $15.50 per per day. This will come into effect on 1 August 2015. Anyone who has passenger who has already booked, these can be prepaid at the current rate up to 31 July. The previous increase was announced in February and came into effect in March.