Norfolk (Port Talks)

Ships are again porting out of Norfolk, with Royal Caribbean and Carnival lines originating Bahamas and Burmuda itineraries out of the city.  The Silver Shadow, AIDA Luna and Carnival Splendor will run regularly from the port.  Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas sailed from Norkolk on May 7th but the line does not expect regular service to return until November.  Other ships such as “The World,” a ship whose passengers are actually full-time residents and the Insignia from Oceania Cruises.

Norfolk is an obvious choice for cruise lines but the complications of air travel and lack of easy drive-and-cruise support has hindered the ports development.  That aside, the actual cruise terminal is among the most beautiful and boasts the rare sight of cruise ships docked next a massive battleship.  The U.S.S. Wisconsin was permanently docked next to the terminal as the anchor of a museum, shopping and eating complex.  One of the four Iowa class battleships the “Whisky” served in World War II, Korea and the Gulf War.  Until 2009 she was kept in reserve in the event her dozen massive sixteen inch guns were needed again.  Cruise aficionados will find it interesting to note that the historic ocean liner, SS United States shares the same basic hull design and propulsion plant as the Iowa class battleships.  This was long a closely held secret when the long inactive ocean liner was technically a possible troop ship.  

Puerto Vallarta Visits Curtailed.

The historically peaceful Puerto Vallarta has been under the shadow of drug cartel driven violence for some time.  Now major cruise lines have curtailed their visits as they watch heavily armed groups of cartel rebels fight local and federal Mexican troops draw closer to the city itself.  No cruise passengers have been impacted by the violence but lines have increasingly been pro-active in avoiding areas where risk is elevated.  The moves to avoid the immediate area mirror calls for caution from most western governments including the U.S. and Canada.  The U.S. State Department has placed Puerto Vallarta on its warning list advising travelers to avoid it.  

"Dynamic Dining" invades the Oasis.

Due for introduction aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas, Dynamic Dining is now going to be introduced on the colossal Oasis of the Seas.  Dynamic Dining is the Royal Caribbean approach toward “freestyle dining” which Norwegian Cruise Line brought to the industry some years ago.  

Dynamic Dining essentially has passengers rotating through a series of different restaurants.  Akin to the NCL approach you have means to choose where you go within reason.  This is also not unlike Disney Cruise Line cycling passengers through a few different locations.  Likewise, this move comes after years of decentralizing the dining experience aboard ships of the Voyager class or larger as premium and “my time” options were introduced.  

Read more: "Dynamic Dining" invades the Oasis.

Holland America Line lays keel for new Pinnacle class.

Targeted for delivery in early 2016, Holland America Line laid the keel for a new “Pinnacle” class ship.  Steel was put to block for the 2,650 passenger ship at Fincantier’s yard in Marghera, Italy. No name for the ship has yet been announced, however the interior design is being lead by Adam D. Tihany of New York and Bjorn Storbraaten of Oslo, Norway.

Cunard Queens to circle globe together.

On January 10, 2016, the three “Queens” of Cunard will leave Southampton for a five month journey together around the globe.  Cruise ships Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria will sail with purebred ocean liner Queen Mary 2 and return to return to the UK May 10, 2016.  Their itineraries will vary, each visiting slightly different ports of calls in many cases.  However all three will remain in the same region as they progress through Asia and back to Europe.

Share us everywhere!

Follow us with your favorite social media!

Share a Review!

Reviews on Cruise Aficionados