Need any more proof that the cruise industry is booming? Both Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery this week of brand-new vessels designated for the U.S. cruise market. Each of the new vessels is built to carry approximately 4,000 passengers.
Carnival Brings Home the Carnival Panorama
Carnival Panorama was delivered to the cruise line from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. The ship will become the first Carnival ship in 20 years to homeport on the West Coast, where it will sail year-round from Long Beach, California.
As a Vista-class vessel, it is a sister ship to Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon. The Panorama will have some new features, however. The vessel boasts the first-at-sea Sky Zone trampoline park plus a first-in-fleet culinary studio where guests can participate in hands-on cooking classes.
In addition to these “firsts,” Carnival Panorama also offers several familiar, Carnival-fan favorite features like WaterWorks aqua park and Sky Ride, which lets guests cycle high above the ship’s top deck, taking in the views. Shipboard dining venues include Bonsai Teppanyaki and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse.
Carnival Panorama becomes the 27th ship in the cruise line’s fleet.
Following a naming ceremony the ship will begin sailing on December 11. Panorama will offer 7-night Mexican Riviera sailings. Next year the ship will be joined in the fleet by the completely new Mardi Gras.
To reserve a cabin on Carnival Panorama, or find information on sailings on their other vessels, you can visit Carnival.com.
Norwegian Takes Delivery of the Encore
Norwegian Cruise Lines also welcomed a brand-new ship. The new Norwegian Encore is the 17th ship in the cruise line’s fleet, and the fourth of its Breakaway-Plus class vessels (which includes Norwegian Escape, Joy, and Bliss).
The new Norwegian vessel boasts the cruise line’s longest go-kart racetrack, as well as an Atlantis-themed outdoor laser-tag area, and a 10,000-square-foot virtual reality arcade.
The new Norwegian vessel also has Onda — the first-at-sea location of the Scarpetta restaurant chain. Plus, it features familiar NCL dining venues like Cagney’s Steakhouse and the Japanese hibachi restaurant Teppenyaki.
Like the other three ships in Norwegian’s Breakaway-Plus class, the new vessel has a main theater designed to stage full-scale Broadway productions. Guests aboard Norwegian Encore can view the Tony-award winning musical “Kinky Boots.”
Following the ship’s delivery ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany, Norwegian Encore headed for Southampton, England. From there it will make a transatlantic voyage, concluding with an appearance in New York City. The ship concludes its debut tour with a November 21 naming ceremony in Miami featuring ship’s godmother Kelly Clarkson.
Norwegian Encore will begin sailing Caribbean voyages out of PortMiami beginning in November. Also in the future schedule are sailings from New York and Alaskan cruises from Seattle.
You can find booking information for Norwegian Encore, or any of the cruise line’s ships, at NCL.com.
Are You Booked on These (or Similar) Ships?
What are your thoughts on these two new ships? Have you pre-booked a voyage aboard either or have you already sailed aboard one of Norwegian’s other Breakaway Plus ships or one of Carnival’s previous Vista-class vessels? Le us know in the comments.