Planning a cruise this year? Here’s a quick look at 4 new cruise ships scheduled to set sail in 2014.
Costa Cruises’ Costa Diadema
Costa Cruises caters primarily to Italian travelers, but from time to time, its ships sail into American markets and share similar layouts with the ships of its sister companies, Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line. The Costa Diadema, launching in October 2014, may likely influence the ships coming in 2015, too.
With 7 restaurants and 15 bars, the Costa Diadema offers a wide array of cuisines and beverages for its guests. Some venues include the Japanese Teppanyaki Restaurant, Piazza Pizza Pizzeria, Birreria La Fiamma pub, Bar Bollicine Prosecco bar, Vinoteca Huit-Huit wine bar and Gelateria Amarillo ice cream parlor.
A 2-deck gaming area satisfies video and laser game aficionados, while a Grand Prix simulator virtually fulfills the need for speed. For music lovers, the new Country Rock Club is dedicated to playing American classic rock music. And rounding out the onboard attractions are a 4D cinema, 3-deck theater and the Portobello Market Piazza, an impressive 11,840-square-foot retail complex.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Getaway
Just like her sister-ship, the Norwegian Breakaway from 2013 is inspired by its homeport of New York, so too is the Norwegian Getaway and its décor inspired by its homeport of Miami, where the new ship is scheduled to sail from year-round beginning in February 2014. Some cool features this ship shares with the Breakaway include The Waterfront, an outdoor boardwalk for eats and relaxation; a Sports Complex and an Aqua Park with 5 water slides, including a pair of freefall ones that feature the fastest drop at sea.
For your dining options, The Tropicana Room transports guests to Miami Beach in the 1940s and 50s with vintage photos, retro decor and Latin-inspired cuisine. Similarly, The Flamingo Bar & Grill also serves Latin fare near the ship’s pools and Aqua Park. As for drinks, the island-themed Sugarcane Mojito Bar has mojitos and rum-based drinks covered; while the Key West-inspired Sunset Bar mixes up specialty cocktails. Guests have 12 bars on the ship to grab a drink and unwind.
Exclusive to this new ship is its headliner production of Legally Blonde. Also, Wine Lovers: The Musical makes its way on board with a winetasting lunch and comedy show in the ship’s Illusionarium, a new venue featuring magic acts and special effects during dinnertime. We recommend visiting the new GRAMMY Experience. By day, it’s a museum and by night, it’s a jazz and R&B club with live performances from GRAMMY award winners and nominees.
Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess
Princess Cruises launched the Royal Princess last year, and this year, the Regal Princess will launch in May. The ship has amenities similar to its predecessor like the dramatic SeaWalk and SeaView Bar, a glass-floored walkway and watering hole — both cantilevered 28 feet off the side of the ship and 128 feet above the ocean.
Building on existing fan favorites like the “Movies Under the Stars” outdoor cinema are the new Water & Light Show, a grand fountain display at the pool deck, and Princess Live!, the first broadcast television studio at sea. For more diversions, check out the ship’s new nightclub next to the casino, Club 6.
Book the Chef’s Table Lumiere in the main dining room for an exclusive, private culinary experience. Other options include The Horizon Court and Horizon Bistro, where the top-deck buffet has been expanded with multiple stations and The Pastry Shop, a new cafe setting with its very own treats. The Gelato ice cream bar, Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar and Bellini’s champagne bar are also new additions.
Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas
Heading to sea this November, the Quantum of the Seas is already bursting with innovations, and — as of now — not all of them have even been announced yet. For starters, new modular stateroom designs feature inter-connecting layouts perfect for families and large groups, and most inside cabins come with full-sized “virtual balconies” with live digital views from outside of the ship.
Top Deck Features
The eateries on the Quantum of the Seas have not yet been revealed, but there are a few top-deck amenities cruisers will enjoy. The North Star takes guests to new heights in a jewel-shaped capsule over 300 feet above sea level. Hop on this leisurely ride for great port and sea views. Meanwhile, thrillseekers can enjoy the FlowRider surfing simulator as well as the new RipCord by iFly — the first skydiving simulator at sea. And for sports fans — have fun at the indoor SeaPlex to play basketball, go rollerskating, dance under a floating DJ booth, enroll in a circus school or just take out some inner aggression with the first bumper cars on a cruise ship.
So where do guests go for entertainment? Head to the Quantum’s double-decker observation and entertainment venue at the back of the ship called Two70°, indicating the room’s expansive field of view. This area is great for lounging during the day and for watching amazing aerial shows in the evenings. Dance classes, game shows, theme night parties and live performances are at Music Hall, another new 2-deck space complete with billiard tables and 2 bars. And guests who love musicals will be happy to know that the Broadway show MAMMA MIA! will be headlining in The Royal Theatre.
– By Jason Leppert
Jason Leppert is a San Diego-based writer, photographer and videographer who publishes his own cruise travel website, PopularCruising.com.