This Week in Cruise: Onboard Two New Ships; Caribbean Developments

“The Love Boat” is making another run—this time with a new 4,300-passenger ship, Sun Princess, now sailing the Mediterranean. Travel Agent is aboard this new Princess Cruises ship right now and will provide a full report soon. The 21-deck ship offers 2,157 staterooms, including 80 suites. This newest "Love Boat" also offers many new venues and experiences (some fully operational now, a few others yet to open). One highlight we enjoyed Saturday night was "Spellbound by Magic Castle," combining the world of magic with the art of mixology.  

In particular, we also like the new three-level approach for main dining room service. Fully aft on Deck 6, the first venue is dedicated to traditional early/late fixed-time dining. The second venue on Deck 7 just above is reserved for guests who desire anytime dining and have a specific time reservation. Both have expansive glass allowing for lots of natural light and sea views. Plus, the third main dining spot, the Americana Café, is one deck up on Deck 8, and serves walk-ins with casual fare and a new "all-day breakfast." In total, Sun Princess has 30 restaurant and bar venues.

In other new ship developments, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is now building another “Super Ship to sail in Europe in 2026. The new Emilie will offer design inspired by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt and will be named after his life partner and muse, Emilie Floge. 

Sea Cloud Cruises recently debuted its new 136-passenger boutique luxury Sea Cloud Spirit. Sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor was on site in Nassau earlier this month for a look at the new three-masted sailing ship and to discuss the line’s North American marketplace growth and plans with Mirell Reyes, president, North America, and Kevin Smith, vice president of sales.

Bahamas and Caribbean Updates

Cruise tourism is booming in the Bahamas, as the Port of Nassau welcomed a record seven cruise ships in port on March 12, constituting more than 20,000 passengers. Ships were operated by Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International and Sea Cloud Cruises. Travel Agent traveled to Nassau recently and interviewed Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper about the nation's significant rise in cruise tourism. His report? Things are going well and that's expected to continue in the years to come. 

Royal Caribbean International has temporarily suspended port calls at its Labadee, Haiti, private island experience, citing "an abundance of caution" due to deteriorating conditions in that country. The decision impacts six ships and calls are suspended at least through March 22. The line will substitute various other ports in the region. 

Impacted are these Royal Caribbean sailings: Adventure of the Seas on March 15; Mariner of the Seas on March 16; Oasis of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas, all on March 17; and Grandeur of the Seas on March 18.

New Voyages and Itineraries

Bookings open Tuesday, March 19, for Crystal’s 2026 World Cruise. Separately, Swan Hellenic will offer four Northern Lights Voyages” across the Arctic aboard its ice-class vessel Vega. The first sets sail in August 2024. For 2025, Alaskan Dream Cruises has introduced two new itineraries, while Riviera River Cruises has added new Adriatic Sea yacht and cruise tour itineraries.

Le Boat, which operates a fleet of more than 950 private boat rentals in France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany, has unveiled its 2024 spring and summer lineup. Le Boat also is opening two new Canadian bases—one in Ottawa, Ontario, at Dows Lake Pavilion and the Trent-Severn Waterway from a new base in Peterborough, Ontario.

New Offers and Options

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has introduced an Upgrade & Explore More offer, while travel social network ASmallWorld has launched The Solo Cruise Company, which is now creating itineraries catered towards solo female travelers aged 55-plus. These itineraries are created in partnership with Silversea CruisesSeabourn and AmaWaterways.

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