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  1. Confirmed: RCI developing new ship class Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Chief Executive Michael Bayley (pictured) has confirmed the veracity of swirling rumours the cruise line is currently working on a new class of ships to follow its high-profile Icon-class. Bayley said the next phase of RCI’s ship development plan, currently in preliminary plan stages, will be to ultimately replace its ageing Vision- and Radiance-class vessels with a revamped model. “They are beautiful ships and beautifully constructed but like me and others they are getting older so we are now concepting thoughts and ideas about how we are going to replace those ships with a new class for Royal Caribbean,” he added. “We have already done a fair amount of work within the brand in terms of the concepting process, but these still have to go through the corporate machine, through the board and through a process, but we are actively working on trying to figure out what that would look like”. Bayley added from what he has seen from the early planning phases, the new class of RCI ships “look fantastic”. “We really do have some great ideas on the table and I could tell you a few now but I’m not going to,” he quipped. At a later immersion session, RCI Chief Product and Innovation Officer Jay Schneider declined to be drawn on the exact size of the new class, but confirmed it won’t be as large as the Icon class. “The new class of ships will not be the world’s largest class of ship, we are starting smaller and have not put a size to it yet but it will definitely be a ‘mic drop ship’ [like Icon],” Schneider noted. “It will take the same attention to detail [of Icon], that same level of focus on experience to achieve something like this but just at a different scale,” he added. RCI has two more Icon-class ships on order to launch next year (Star of the Seas) and in 2026. Schneider said the name of the third vessel has been chosen (CW 16 Jan), but has not yet been released to the public. Source Cruise Weekly 23January 2023
  2. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2976685-carnival-says-goodbye-to-melbourne/page/1/#comment-66522734:~:text=goodbye to Melbourne-,Carnival says goodbye to Melbourne,-By bazzaw%2C
  3. Check-in times for international departures is recommended as 3 hours. Bear in mind that if you are traveling to USA there is a secondary security check at the departure gate.
  4. An interesting article re cruising in Australian waters. Source is cruise weekly Thursday 14 February 2023. One year extension for cruise rules International cruise ships have been granted 12 months of additional certainty about their operations in Australian waters, under a ruling issued yesterday by Minister for Transport & Infrastructure Catherine King. The cruise sector has been waiting for some months for a decision on the ministerial exemption for cruise shipping to the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012, which allows foreign-flagged cruise ships to carry passengers between Australian ports. Under yesterday’s update, the exemption will now apply from 01 Jan-31 Dec 2024, a one year period, replacing the current fiveyear exemption issued in 2018, which ends later this month. The ruling applies to vessels in excess of 5,000 gross tonnes which are capable of a speed of at least 15 knots and capable of carrying at least 100 passengers, “used wholly or primarily for the carriage of passengers between any ports in states or territories, except between Victoria and Tasmania”, the document states. “COVID-19 really affected tourism and the cruise industry, so the Australian Government is continuing to support cruise tourism by guaranteeing another year of the exemption,” King said. “The exemption reduces red tape and costs while supporting THRIVE 2030, our national strategy for the long-term sustainable growth of the visitor economy,” she added. King said the 12-month exemption will provide additional time to consult on potential amendments to the Act to aid in the revitalisation of the Australian maritime industry. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) hailed the extension of the provisions to give clarity to cruise passengers, cruise lines, and the Australian tourism industry. However, Managing Director Joel Katz noted that with cruise operations planned and scheduled several years in advance, “CLIA and cruise lines look forward to further urgent consultation with the Australian Government to provide longerterm certainty for cruising and to support the THRIVE 2030 national strategy for the sustainable growth of the visitor economy”. Australian Cruise Association CEO Jill Abel said the extension of the exemption is welcome. “We look forward to the opportunity for further consultation over the next 12 months to ensure the Act delivers the maximum benefits to Australian ports and destinations,” she added. B
  5. Todays Cruise weekly had 2 articles on Melbourne. Australia a “difficult” cruise market Australia is becoming a more difficult market to cruise from, Carnival Corporation Chief Strategy Officer Teresa Lloyd has revealed, stoking fears regarding the lackadaisical decisions recently made by state governments around the country. Lloyd, addressing the media earlier this week in the wake of the cessation of Carnival Corp’s Melbourne voyages of two of its cruise lines (see page 1), said the company is considering “all deployment everywhere” as margins become thinner around the industry. “Australia and this region is becoming more difficult since the restart,” she conceded. “Fuel is very expensive in this part of the world, the distances we have to travel to go to different ports is a long way, we have issues that compound operating in this region.” Carnival has asked for a meeting to fully brief ministers on the significance of the rate hikes, Lloyd said, and to explain what they mean, and what the impact is, indicating the company is not turning its back on Victoria. “We’re confident we’ll have a meeting with the minister soon, and we really look forward to having that discussion,” she said. “It’s too late for 25/26, but for the future, we want to bring the ships back.” Melbourne’s loss is the gain of other cruise destinations around Australia, Lloyd confirmed, with the company set to redeploy some of the lost voyages to Sydney and Brisbane, where it is less expensive to call. Cruise lines were first informed of the magnitude of the rate increase, which will apply from next year, a number of months ago, but only received formal confirmation last week. “A much more moderate increase would have been something that could have been accommodated, but this increase and the prospect of further significant increases is really what’s triggered this decision,” Lloyd said. She ominously added although Carnival Corp hopes it will reach a decision with the Victorian stakeholders soon, other cruise lines within the company are considering their own decisions for the coming seasons. The revelation is the latest wake-up call to just how precarious deployment prospects are in Australia - a roller coaster the industry rode back in May, when the Government of NSW ruled out the construction of a cruise ship terminal in Yarra Bay, without presenting an alternative option (CW 29 May). Cruise weekly 01Dec2023
  6. Voyager is showing up in Darwin port schedule on 07 December 2025 and then showing up frequently on the Brisbane port schedule from December 2025 to April 2026.
  7. Having worked for a US carrier, the reason they checked the the ETA before boarding the flights, is because the Australian immigriation could fine the airline for transporting people without the proper documents.
  8. We did a Southern Caribbean cruise on Volendam, just after September 11. While on the cruise, I was just doubling the price of everything and adding a bit. Prior to the cruise we went to New Orleans and drove to Fort Lauderdale. It was a very enjoyable trip.
  9. I just tried to open the zip file and it is showing as unavailable. I noted that you did have an older version which I have used and found it very useful. Thanks for sharing.
  10. The ships operate solely in AUD, so I am sure the upgrade prices will be AUD.
  11. The below was reported in Cruise Weekly on Friday 02September 2023 at the CLIA conference. "Port Authority of New South Wales Chief Executive Officer Philip Holliday (pictured) has lent his support to Port Kembla over Garden Island as the site of a third cruise terminal to service greater Sydney. Holliday described Port Kembla as a “really strong option” at yesterday’s Australian Cruise Association Conference, while noting he would be spending “very little time” looking at Garden Island as an option. “The really strong option is Port Kembla, and I think that’s where we need to put our energy and our excitement and drive forward in delivering the business case to make a decision at the earliest opportunity. “That’s the work the Port Authority will be undertaking, and we’ll see where it takes us.” Holliday noted while the discussion about Garden Island excites many within the cruise industry, it is not a realistic possibility “before he leaves this merry Earth”. “It’s important when looking at options to ensure that you have local support as well. “You’ll be aware the New South Wales govenment recently announced, with our full support, that Yarra Bay was off the table as a potential location for the third cruise terminal, and just in case anybody’s wondering, Jervis Bay has never been, and will not be, considered as a location for a cruise terminal. “We know that we have at least the support of Cruise Wollongong, Business Illawarra, and the local member (Paul Scully), who also happens to be the Planning Minister.” Scully joined Wollongong Mayor Gordon Bradbery on Wed night to open the conference, where both men expressed their enthusiasm for cruise, and the region’s suitability for the sector."
  12. Cruise news is reporting as follows: After announcing the cancellation of the ship’s 2024 summer program, Norwegian Cruise Line is cancelling more scheduled sailings onboard the Norwegian Spirit. According to different statements sent to booked guests, all of the 2025 departures were cancelled, as well as additional dates in 2024. Essentially leaving the 1999-built ship with no schedule beyond next April, the new cancellations are the result of redeployment moves, Norwegian Cruise Line said in one of the letters. “As a company, we are committed to providing exceptional vacation experiences, both aboard our ships and by taking our guests to some of the most sought-out destinations around the world. As a result of a fleet redeployment, Norwegian Spirit’s sailings from February 8, 2025, through and including November 23, 2025, have been cancelled,” the company explained. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may cause,” Norwegian added. In 2024, the sailings not long going ahead include cruises previously scheduled to depart between May through early June, in addition to itineraries scheduled to sail between September and December. The Norwegian Spirit was scheduled to sail in the Pacific during the period, offering itineraries across Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Hawaii and Tahiti. While no cruises had originally been planned for January and early February 2025, and the ship’s 2024 summer program had already been cancelled back May, the new cancellations leave the Spirit with no schedule after the 2023-2024 winter season. Impacted passengers will receive several compensations, including full refunds and discounts for rebooking on different dates. Originally built for Star Cruises in 1999, the Norwegian Spirit is currently one of the oldest in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet. With capacity for 2,000 guests, it went through a $100-million refurbishment in early 2020. The major modernization project saw the addition of 14 new venues to the ship’s public areas, in addition to cabin updates and technical upgrades.
  13. When you arrived in Sydney, you will need to clear customs and immigration. Also when you arrive in Sydney it will be at the international terminal. The flight to Melbourne will be from the domestic terminals, which are serparate terminals. You will need to go by train or taxi to the different terminal. My suggestion is stay at an airport hotel that has a shuttle from the international terminal and the following morning to the domestic terminal.
  14. Source Travel Weekly 13April 2023. Royal Caribbean International is set to bring its cruise experience to Brisbane via a takeover of the city’s inner oasis, Streets Beach. On Saturday 15 April, Streets Beach will transform into the Royal Caribbean Beach Club, offering Queenslanders an opportunity to “Holiday in Every Way” and enjoy a taster of the cruise line’s adventures only found on board Quantum of the Seas. The Royal Caribbean Beach Club will showcase the largest cruise ship sand sculpture to ever be produced in Australia, an interactive photo wall, cruise giveaways, plus a DJ to create the ultimate beach club vibes – there’ll be something for everyone, offering up the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation. In addition, Flight Centre will be on site offering an exclusive 15 percent off deal for beach goers to book their next holiday on Quantum of the Seas, to visit destinations including the Queensland Brisbane Welcomes the Royal Caribbean Beach Club to Streets Beach Coast and the South Pacific. “The Royal Caribbean Beach Club will enable Queenslanders to immerse themselves in the possibilities of what is possible on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Streets Beach will become a place to discover more about the ultimate family holiday and get a taste of why cruising with Royal is like none other,” VP, MD Royal Caribbean International AUNZ, Gavin Smith, said. “Quantum of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s most innovative ship to come to Australian shores. Over the past six months, she’s welcomed over 100,000 guests onboard, with nearly two-thirds from Queensland. We’re excited to be bringing the Royal experience to Brisbane through this unforgettable event.” Royal Caribbean kicked off its first season in Brisbane Australia with Quantum of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) To unveil the Royal Caribbean Beach Club, the cruise line has partnered with radio personality, cruise convert and Queenslander, Emily Jade O’Keeffe, who said she can’t wait to bring her family down to the Royal Caribbean Beach Club. “Last Christmas, my festive cruise with Royal Caribbean was a family highlight we will never forget. Quantum of the Seas delivered one of the best family holidays ever, with delicious dining options, show-stopping entertainment, unforgettable activities for all ages, and caring and helpful staff,” O’Keeffe said. “My kids loved spending quality time with just our little family unit, hanging ten on the FlowRider and indoor skydiving with iFLY. Royal Caribbean Beach Club will be an enjoyable day out for the whole family and a memory-making way to experience the excitement of a cruise.” Queensland locals, and visitors alike, are encouraged to come down to Streets Beach from 9:00am on Saturday 15 April, to experience the Royal Caribbean Beach Club. There’s also the opportunity to win one of four incredible family cruise holidays to the South Pacific worth $3,999. All visitors have to do is scan the onsite QR code, answer the competition question and submit their contact details.
  15. Just got off Spendor Easter cruise to Moreton Island and the ship was unable to tender. Very strong winds from the west, Carnival offer $200 onboard credit and 50% future cruise credit.
  16. From my research you will need to clear customs and immigration in Sydney, upon arrival, and then transfer to Qantas domestic terminal 3 or Jetstar/Virgin Australia terminal 2. Qantas to Qantas domestic, your bags should be check to your final destination, however I am not sure if you can interline (check your bags through) if travelling on Jetstar or Virgin Australia. There is an airside bus that can take you to the domestic terminals or you could catch a taxi or train. I would suggest a minimum of 2 hours for Qantas to Qantas and maybe an extra 30 minutes to 1 hour if travelling on Jetstar or Virgin Australia.
  17. Geoff, looking at Sydney Ports it seems that QE is homeporting in Sydney.
  18. Do you think that Princess will offer a 2025 world cruise ex Australia?
  19. Geoff, do you think 3 Quantum class in the Asia / Pacific for 24/25?
  20. Ch9 at it again. On the 530am news mentioned Quantum of the Seas is riddle with Covid cases.
  21. Thanks Philip. We are actually cruising then on Majestic.
  22. Cruise weekly 20Oct2022 Royal considers Oasis deployment With the newly opened Brisbane International Cruise Terminal having capacity for Royal Caribbean International’s Oasisclass ships, the line continues to look at options for the world-class vessels to operate locally. Speaking to CW earlier this week, VP APAC Gavin Smith was enthusiastic about the new Brisbane facility, where Quantum of the Seas will be homeported from early next month. “We’ve finally got an Oasis class terminal, at the mouth of the Brisbane River, adjacent to the airport with plenty of parking - so go figure!” he said. Pre-pandemic, Royal’s Oasis plans had involved having ships in China complemented by a possible 10-12 week local deployment which would “just transform the industry”. “That hasn’t happened, but it’s still a big prospect,” he said. And despite a lack of other Oasis-capable ports in the region, the huge response to next year’s Disney Cruise Line local voyages, where the ship is effectively the destination, has suggested that “we can create an experience on an Oasis class ship,” Smith said. He said Royal had previously spoken to New Caledonia about whether an Oasis ship could get into Noumea’s container pier, which would only require some minor modifications. Royal’s planned “Perfect Day” destination at Vanuatu’s Lelepa Island is currently a tender port, and would require significant investment to give it an Oasiscapable terminal, Smith added. MEANWHILE for the moment the strong focus is on a safe, successful restart for Royal Caribbean in local waters, with Ovation of the Seas arriving in Sydney on 29 Oct, followed by Quantum’s Brisbane debut. Smith said the Queensland season would see Royal carry about 90,000 passengers on 20 departures, with the company targeting about 40,000 local cruisers from South East Qld, about 45,000 from interstate, mainly Vic and SA, and around 5,000 internationals. @Chiliburn, Interesting article!
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