Here’s a quick look at what’s new this week in cruising, and how it could impact your next trip.
- To impress the rich and famous it hopes to attract as passengers, Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced Princess Charlene of Monaco -- wife of Prince Albert II -- as godmother of its soon-to-debut Seven Seas Explorer. Musical Maestro Andrea Bocelli will also be contributing his talents at the sendoff next month for what is billed as, "The world's most luxurious ship." The gala christening will take place in Monte Carlo, of course.
- Some of the first 6,000 passengers on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas -- the world's largest ship -- complained loudly last week that construction was not finished when they got onboard. Here's the thing: When you book a discounted "shakedown" cruise, everything is rarely perfect.
- Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean signed a deal with the STX France shipyard to build a sister, Oasis-class behemoth to be delivered in 2021. The deal also includes two new Echo-class ships for sister line Celebrity Cruises.
- It's official: America's Top Chef Thomas Keller now has a signature restaurant on a cruise ship. The Grill by Thomas Keller opened onboard the Seabourn Quest, serving classic American chophouse fare.
- Couples looking to play (yes, that kind of play) have a new option in the Adriatic. Desire Resorts has booked the Azamara Quest for an Adriatic cruise embarking Venice on September 26, 2017. Clothing is optional and there will be playrooms.