Continuing Shawn J. Dake’s
Cruise Ships 2012, The Year In Review
RIVIERA at Barcelona, photo © Peter Knego 2012
Oceania Cruises added their second newly built ship the 66,000 gross ton RIVIERA to the fleet with a May 16th maiden voyage from Venice, Italy. Strikes at the Fincantieri builder’s yard near Genoa delayed delivery by nearly a month. The 1,258 passenger ship is a sister to the MARINA which debuted in 2011 to much acclaim. Celebrity chef, Cat Cora served as godmother.
Oceania Cruises has opened the bars aboard their ships, for a price. Contradicting the term, the “Open Bar Package” is priced at $54.95 per person, per day, and includes most, but not all of the beverages found on the bar menu. Oceania is now the only luxury line that has not adopted an all-inclusive policy when it comes to alcoholic drinks served on its ships. This otherwise premium cruise line has some of the best onboard food and décor but continues to utilize some unusual marketing practices. One of the three 30,277 ton former Renaissance Cruises sisters, the INSIGNIA (ex R ONE), left the fleet in April for an extended charter to Hapag-Lloyd lasting until April, 2014.
SEVEN SEAS NAVIGATOR at sea approaching Key West, Florida on February 22, 2009. Photo by Shawn J. Dake © 2009.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises, along with Oceania, is the other unit of Prestige Cruise Holdings, which manages the luxury end of Apollo Management’s cruise investment portfolio. Between these two lines, they now offer 6,450 berths. Regent is a line that has found good success by offering a more all-inclusive cruise experience, even including shore excursions as part of the cruise fare. The line’s smallest ship, the 490-guest SEVEN SEAS NAVIGATOR, completed a major refurbishment in May that included completely redecorating all eight Grand Suites and Master Suites. All other suites and public areas received new carpets and wall coverings aboard the 28,550 ton ship.
Their other two ships, the 708-passenger SEVEN SEAS MARINER and SEVEN SEAS VOYAGER remain among the few all-Suite, all-Balcony vessels in the luxury arena. The latter is the newest vessel in the fleet having been built in 2003. It appears likely that Regent will be ordering a new ship in the very near future. The line celebrated its 20th birthday in 2012.
Shawn Dake is a freelance photo-journalist and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters.com. For more than a decade he has written his annual “Cruise Ships, The Year In Review” which has now grown to a nearly 15,000 word essay recalling all of the events that have taken place within the cruise industry the previous year.
Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years. A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary. A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs. Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America. With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.
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