After our wonderful experience on the Majestic Princess Preview and Maiden cruise earlier this year, we are now keeping an eye on all the new cruise ships making their debut in 2018.
After all, you get quite a buzz discovering all the gleaming nooks and crannies of a new ship, being the first to sleep on brand new mattresses, using towels while they are still fluffy and putting the bar staff through their paces.
Here are the new ships on our watch list:
1. Carnival Horizon
This is the first new ship out of the blocks in 2018 and will be a sister ship to Carnival Vista which was the largest ever built for the Carnival cruise line.
Carnival Horizon will feature a Dr. Seuss themed water park including a red and white Cat in the Hat water slide, a blue and white polka dot Fun Things water slide with special lighting effects, a 150 gallon The Cat’s hat, a kiddie zone and water spray toys.
The ship will include the most popular new features that debuted on Carnival Vista, including SkyRide, IMAX, Family Harbor Cabins and the LED centerpiece in the atrium.
The 3,934 passenger Carnival Horizon is under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy and her maiden cruise is due to depart from Barcelona, Spain on April 2nd 2018. She will then sail from New York before moving to Miami for a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning in September.
2. Norwegian Bliss
Norwegian Cruise Line’s first cruise ship built for Alaskan cruises, Norwegian Bliss will be the third member of the Breakaway Plus Class alongside Norwegian Escape and the built-for-the-Chinese-market Norwegian Joy.
The hull of the ship will feature the painting ‘Cruising with the Whales’ by marine life artist Wyland.
The main highlight will be an almost 2,000 square foot Observation Lounge which will span the entire forward part of the ship and include a centerpiece bar.
There will be a second observation lounge for those sailing in The Haven, the line’s ship-within-a-ship concept. This an 80 suite exclusive area with its own restaurant, outdoor terrace, private lounge and courtyard with pool, whirlpools, sauna, spa and sunbathing deck.
New dining options will include Texas Smokehouse Q offering authentic Texas barbecue with live pop country music and Coco’s, an a la carte dessert venue whose main entrance will be dominated by a liquid chocolate fountain. For liquid refreshments, a new bar will be debuted – the A-List Bar – which will serve handcrafted cocktails, wines and premium spirits. There will also be an onboard Starbucks.
Like her sister ship Norwegian Joy, there will be a two-level electric-car race track (but 40% longer) and an open-air laser tag course, themed on an abandoned space station.
Norwegian Bliss will bring the best of Broadway to sea with the Tony Award®-winning Jersey Boys and will also include a new comedy club and nightlife venue, a theatrical cocktail hour experience and a version of the legendary Beatles’ venue The Cavern Club.
The 4,250 passenger Norwegian Bliss is currently under construction at Meyer Werft Papenburg, Germany and her maiden cruise will depart from Southampton on 21st April 2018 for New York. *Update* We are booked on this maiden cruise!
She will spend her first summer sailing week long Alaska itineraries from Seattle. From October she moves to Los Angeles for Pacific Coastal, Mexico and Panama Canal cruises before arriving at her winter homeport of Miami, from which she will sail seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises.
3. Symphony of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship ever built and is the 4th Oasis class ship.
Symphony of the Seas is expected to feature seven neighbourhoods: Boardwalk, Central Park, Entertainment Place, the H2O Zone and Kid’s Avenue. It will include the great new features provided on Harmony of the Seas such as the 10 story slide Ultimate Abyss (but with a new twist), an ice skating rink, an aqua theatre, robot bartenders and will have over 20 restaurants on board.
There will be 28 more staterooms than Harmony of the Seas with a Royal Suite class, neighbourhood balconies overlooking Central Park, virtual balconies on inside staterooms, and the highest number of ocean-view cabins at sea. The Solarium adults-only area towards the front of the ship is expected to be “quite a lot” different from those on other Oasis Class ships.
The 6,870 passenger, 18 deck Symphony of the Seas is currently under construction at STX Saint-Nazaire, France and her pre opening will depart from Barcelona on 31st March 2018.
She will spend the summer sailing week long Mediterranean itineraries from Barcelona/Rome before moving in October to her homeport of Miami for sailings around the Caribbean. Royal Caribbean are currently building a brand new terminal, nicknamed the “Crown of Miami”, just for their ships.
4. MSC Seaview
This sistership to the highly anticipated MSC Seaside from MSC Cruises will have the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any cruise ship in the world.
With 463,000 square feet of public space it will include panoramic elevators with sea views, suspended glass floors, a giant aqua park and an outdoor promenade with shops, bars and alfresco dining.
MSC Seaview will also utilise the new digital technology MSC for Me which will link the guests, the crew and the ship.
The 5,429 passenger MSC Seaview is under construction at Fincantieri Monfalcone, Italy and will commence her maiden voyage from Genoa on 10th June 2018, sailing exclusively in the Mediterranean. Passengers will be able to embark from either Genoa, Marseille or Barcelona.
5. Nieuw Statendam
Holland America will welcome a second ship to its Pinnacle Class with Nieuw Statendam following in the footsteps of Koningsdam – the line’s largest ship to date.
The ship will share many of the same venues as Koningsdam but will feature some new public spaces and its own style created by hospitality designer Adam Tihany and architect Bjorn Storbraaten. Holland America said it would make adjustments to existing venues based on feedback from passengers on Koningsdam.
The 2,650 passenger Nieuw Statendam is under construction at Fincantieri Marghera in Venice. Her maiden cruise will depart from Rome on 5th December 2018 for her homeport of Fort Lauderdale, sailing exclusively around the Caribbean.
6. Celebrity Edge
Celebrity Cruises have announced they are building four new cruise ships and Celebrity Edge will be the first to be delivered under the Celebrity’s Edge Class. This is expected to be a game-changer by featuring several innovations for the cruise line and for the greater cruise industry. Among the first-at-sea inventions will be a moveable deck and cabins with “balcony” spaces that can transform from outside to inside.
The Magic Carpet is a platform that slides between decks. At the lowest position, it’s the Destination Gateway: an embarkation station that makes for more comfortable tendering. Raised to Deck 5, it’s an al-fresco restaurant, or additional entertainment space higher still at Resort Deck level. At its highest deck, it becomes a speciality restaurant for an intimate “Dinner on the Edge”.
The Infinite Veranda Staterooms will allow the balcony and living area to be merged into one continuous space. At the touch of a button, guests will be able to expand their stateroom by almost a quarter, stretching it to the water’s edge.
The three-deck high Eden will be a terraced lounge rising up from Deck 3 through to decks 4 and 5. It will feature floor-to-ceiling windows that span all three decks, as well as window seating on a long ramped walkway. With a capacity of 325, Eden will be a place for passengers to relax, grab a snack, learn and be entertained.
Celebrity Edge will feature 15 restaurants and cafes, and 12 bars and lounges. This will include 4 main dining venues – Cosmopolitan, Normandie, Cyprus and Tuscan – and seven new speciality restaurants.
The 2,900 passenger Celebrity Edge is currently under construction at STX Saint-Nazaire, France and her maiden cruise will depart from homeport Fort Lauderdale on 16th December 2018, sailing exclusively around the Caribbean.