Cruise News Update: July 16, 2022

It was just another busy week of cruise news and it was significant for Disney Cruise Line, with its newest ship in the fleet finally launching guest cruises. We also have updates on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line.

Cruise News Update

In this week’s cruise news update, we’ve got coverage from the three biggest cruise lines, including a Royal Caribbean ship being redeployed, last-minute Norwegian Cruise Line itinerary changes , and how about a couple who spent 1,000 days sailing with Carnival Cruises!

Disney dominates the week with the new Disney Wish set sail on its maiden cruise and the cruise line increasing tips. There’s also breaking news on cruises with a Holland America cruise ship suffering from propulsion issues.

Serenade of the Seas redeploys

Last week, Royal Caribbean International informed its guests that Serenade of the Seas won’t go to Europe for its summer deployment in 2023.

Citing growing uncertainty over the situation in Ukraine and the possibility of a stopover in St. Petersburg, Russia, the cruise line decided to maintain Serenade of the Seas in the USA.

The season consisted of cruises from Copenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden, including two transatlantic voyages from May 2023 to September 2023. These will now be replaced by a series of cruises from a homeport in Florida.

Photo credit: SOLODIVER / Shutterstock

What home base it would be is unclear. However, Serenade of the Seas scheduled to depart Tampa, Florida from October 2022 through March 2023. Royal Caribbean may retain Serenade of the Seas in Tampa.

Customers who had booked one of the European voyages or one of the transatlantic voyages can rebook to sail on another ship during the same period. These include four transatlantic voyages.

The cancellation of the summer season for Serenade of the Seas This is the second time that Royal Caribbean has decided not to sail to Russian ports. Earlier this year, Voyager of the Seas cruises were also canceled.

Norwegian Star Route Change

A cruise that for many would have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience turned sour for those who booked an 11-night Greenland cruise onboard norwegian star.

For the cruise that started on July 14, Norwegian Cruise Line did not notify guests of major changes to the itinerary until July 13. The cruise line has decided to remove calls to Greenland of the route.

Norwegian cruise ship Star
Photo credit: Ian Dewar Photography / Shutterstock

norwegian star was due to spend two days at sea in transit from Iceland to Greenland, with an expected arrival date of July 17. However, a major storm is brewing in the North Atlantic and around the southern tip of Greenland.

With wave heights expected to reach 18 to 20 feet, Norwegian Cruise Line does not believe the circumstances would be safe for the ship, crew and guests. This means norwegian star will not be calling at ports in Greenland on July 17, 19 and 20.

Instead, Norwegian Cruise Line informed its customers that the ship will sail from Reykjavik to Norway and spend July 17-20 in Norway. The ship will now arrive in Bergen, Norway on July 17. The 91,740 gross tons, 2,348 passengers norwegian star will return to Iceland on July 25.

Disney Wish Begins Guest Operations

Disney Cruise Line’s long-awaited and highly anticipated new ship, Disney Wishembarked on her maiden voyage of Port Canaveral on Friday, July 15, welcoming passengers for the first time.

The ship is the first new ship for the cruise line in more than a decade, and replaces Disney Dream to the homeport of central Florida after the former ship moved to Miami in early June.

Disney Wish first arrived in Port Canaveral to much fanfare on Monday, June 20, 2022. The ship was officially christened in a star-studded high-tech ceremony on July 2.

Disney Wish cruise ship
Wish Disney (Courtesy of Port Canaveral)

On July 13, representatives from Disney Cruise Line and Port Canaveral exchanged plaques to mark the maiden sail, a longstanding tradition whenever a new ship officially begins sailing from a new homeport or visits a new port of call for the first time.

For more than a week, the ship underwent preparations for her first guests, including ensuring that the personnel on board were fully staffed, storing supplies and continuing with training and other final details, as well as limited, invitation-only media exposure.

Disney WishThe first sailing is a 5-night itinerary, visiting Nassau as well as Disney Cruise Line’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. After this first navigation, the ship will begin to offer 3 to 4 night cruises in the Bahamas.

The 144,000 gross ton vessel can accommodate up to 4,000 guests in 1,254 staterooms, with 1,555 crew members on hand to provide spectacular service and magical memories.

Disney Cruise Line Increases Tipping

Disney cruise line slightly increased its recommended tip rates for certain crew positions, which in total increases the gratuity rate by $1 per day per cabin passenger.

The cruise line has also recommended a gratuity of $8 per day per stateroom for the Concierge Lounge crew, although this is not part of automatic or prepaid gratuities on guest accounts.

Disney Magic Cruise Ship
Photo credit: Melissa Mayntz

The gratuity increase brings the gratuity rate per guest per day on Disney Cruise Line ships to $14.50 (USD) for most staterooms and $15.50 per guest per day for staterooms and suites with concierge, which includes cabin host assistant in automatic cabin or prepaid gratuities.

Broken down, standard gratuities cover all three levels of dining room server — main server, assistant server, and server — as well as the cabin host who cleans and maintains guest cabins. The recommended daily tip for each of these positions has been increased by $0.25 per passenger per day.

These complimentary changes took effect immediately on all Disney ships, including the new Disney Wish.

Couple celebrate 1,000 days on Carnival Cruise Line

Robert and Nancy Houchens of North Garden, Virginia, a small town 280 miles from the seasonal home base of Norfolk, recently reached their incredible stage of 1,000 days of sailing in the Spirit class Carnival Pridetheir favorite ship in the fleet.

To commemorate the occasion, Robert asked crew members to help organize a surprise for his wife, and the significance of the achievement caught the attention of everyone on board.

Cruise guests on the Carnival cruise ship
Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

The couple were able to pose with numbers to mark their days at sea and celebrated with many crew members. After so many cruises – at least 15 on board Carnival Pride – The couple consider the Carnival crew members like family.

Because the Houches are so well known to the cruise line, they were asked to cut the ribbon as Carnival Pride returned to service in Baltimore on September 12, 2021, following the ship’s pandemic-related operational pause.

Carnival Pride is based in Dover, UK for the summer, offering alternating 9 and 12 night crossings. The 9-night cruises visit a variety of ports across Norway, with a phenomenal scenic cruise along the Norwegian fjords.

Westerdam propulsion problems

On a cruise to Alaska aboard Holland America Line Westerdam, which sailed from Seattle on July 10, the the ship suffered damage to her Azipod propulsion system. The problems arose while the ship was cruising through the Hubbard Glacier area and was unable to cruise at full speed.

Before returning to Seattle, the cruise was scheduled to stop in Juneau, Hubbard Bay, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria, British Columbia. However, due to technical difficulties with the ship, calls to Ketchikan and Victoria were both cancelled.

Holland America Westerdam cruise ship
Photo credit: Jason Wells/Shutterstock

To compensate customers for the disappointing experience of missing Ketchikan and Victoria, Holland America Line is offering customers compensation. Each guest on board will receive a $100 onboard credit and Holland America Line will refund any payments made for shore excursions at either port.

Westerdam is scheduled to return to its homeport of Seattle, Washington on July 17. The cruise line has not made any announcements or informed future guests of any changes to the July 17 sailing at this time.

More cruise titles

These are just a few of the stories from the past week. We have even more coverage, including updated bermuda protocols of Carnival Cruise Line, the US Coast Guard finally cleared a cruise ship from West Palm Beach to sail after the issuance of a no navigation order, damaged vehicles in a parking lot in Norfolk for Carnival cruise passengers, new detailed family spaces for the new MSC Seascape cruise ship, Carnival personnel problems are coming to an end and the norwegian sun put back into service after hitting an iceberg in June.

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Cruise News Update