Royal Caribbean’s surprising port announcement was likely motivated by Norwegian’s arrival in New York City this May, and fueled with hopes of capturing a new market of cruisers from the Northeast Corridor.
Cruise ship surfing and rock-climbing walls are so last decade.
At an event in New York City Tuesday, Miami-based Royal Caribbean International unveiled the offerings aboard its next new ship, Quantum of the Seas, which includes activities designed to appeal to thrill-seekers and scaredy-cats alike. The ship launches in fall of 2014.
Brand new to the industry are a simulated skydiving experience called RipCord by iFly; a Ferris wheel-inspired capsule that takes passengers hundreds of feet in the air; a circus school; bumper cars and roller skating. New to the brand: studio staterooms for single guests and “virtual balconies” that display live views of the outdoors in interior rooms.
Because sister ship Anthem of the Seas is scheduled for delivery six months after Quantum, it will include the same features.
One thing Quantum of the Seas won’t offer: South Florida departures. The 4,180-passenger vessel will sail from New Jersey’s Cape Liberty Cruise Port about seven miles south of Manhattan.
“This area is clearly one of the most critical population centers of our world — of the world,” said Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Adam Goldstein in an interview Monday. “And clearly we’ve put significant new capacity down into the Florida-Caribbean basin in the last few years with Oasis class. We felt like there was an opportunity in the market to bring state-of-the-art capacity to the New York area going forward.”
Royal Caribbean stations its two largest ships, the 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, in Port Everglades year-round. The company has not said where Anthem of the Seas will be based.
(c)2013 The Miami Herald. Distributed by MCT Information Services.
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