Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in Review

As the year draws to a close, we'll take a look at some of the headlines from the past year.  2013 had been a year marked by disasters and fortunately that wasn't the case in 2014.   The year wasn't completely without mechanical issues, but they were not like the previous year.

The cruise lines added capacity, especially in the Caribbean, driving prices down.  Passengers that took advantage of the low pricing still got the excellent value that cruising offers.
Norwegian Getaway
Norwegian Getaway Courtesy MEYER WERFT

 "First New Cruise Ship 

for 2014" 

Honors went to Norwegian Cruise Line as it took delivery of Norwegian Getaway from MEYER WERFT in Bremerhaven, Germany in January.  The 145,655 gross ton cruise ship, second in the Breakaway Class ships, took only 15 months to be built by the German shipbuilder.

"Most Anticipated New Ship for 2014"

Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas took to the waters in Cape Liberty for a winter program in the Caribbean.  It will then transition to Europe for Spring before departing for its permanent home in Asia.  The ship has several new innovations including North Star where you can ride 300 feet above the sea, bumper cars, and sky-diving.  New dining experiences were also introduced.  Dynamic Dining is receiving mixed reviews.  Read more about the new concept:  Quantum Leap in Dining.

Quantum Changes for Cruisers
Prepare to be WOWED – The Quantum Class

Regal Princess Kicks off Princess Cruises 50th Anniversary Celebration

When the brand-new Regal Princess began its Caribbean sailings in November, we were onboard to enjoy the introduction of Chocolate Journeys which is part of the 50th Anniversary celebration that will be fleet-wide starting in January.   Princess Cruises teamed up with Norman Love to introduce this new culinary experience. You won't want to miss the anniversary celebration.

Circles of Regal Princess
4 Reasons to Sail the Love Boat in 2015

As these new ships entered service one ship that had been front and center in the industry news for more than 2 years, made its final voyage as it was towed to Genoa, Italy where it will be scrapped.

Costa Concordia Parbuckling (Salvage Operations)

Costa Concordia Parbuckling
Costa Concordia Parbuckling (read more)
This image extracted from a live video of Costa Concordia's Parbuckling Procedure, which began mid-September, 2013 in Giglio, showed how slow the process was to right the vessel.

The installation of 15 sponsons positioned on the starboard side (land side) and the remaining 4 on the right side (sea side) was completed in order to proceed with the refloating phase and have the wreck ready for towing by the end of June 2014.  The towing to Genoa, Italy actually began July 22, 2014.

As 2014 ends, Captain Schettino is still on trial,  Costa Concordia is being dismantled, and costs of the largest salvage operation in history continue to mount.

Costa Concordia Salvage Begins 
Costa Concordia the Final Journey


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