Here at Iglu, we love it when cruise lines announce ship upgrades and we are more excited than ever about this one. Disney Magic is the oldest of the Disney fleet and is set to undergo a significant upgrade. The ship's enhancements will be inspired by the newer ships in the fleet, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, however set to host some exclusive features of its own.
Disney announced this news a few weeks ago and the speculation has already started. Disney ships are already known for having beautiful interior spaces, innovative features and spectacular entertainment, so everyone wants to know what else will be added.
Sarah, our Head of Marketing went on Disney Magic with her family and could not compliment the ship and the crew enough. She quoted ‘’the ship is already fantastic, I cannot even begin to imagine how amazing it will be after the upgrade’’.
From top to bottom, forward to aft, the ship is going to be beaming with wonderful new features, new dining venues and new staterooms…how exciting!
Filmmaking is the history of Disney and they want to create a story making concept on everyone's cruise. The new grand atrium lobby will be the beginning of your cruise story as you enter the ship. The three story centre piece will feature a grand chandelier to represent the glimmering ocean against rays of the sun. Decorated in seaside colours, it will also boast custom made carpets that dazzle in the lights reflection. A grand piano and portholes will create a traditional cruise ship feeling, whereas the gold Mickey Mouse centre piece will remind you it is far from an old cruise liner! Even Mickey is set to have a makeover!
From the atrium, the amazement will continue throughout the ship. The dining options are set to be some of the best at sea with the addition of new restaurants and new technology.
The upgrade to the popular Animators Palate will be fantastic. Updated with animation adorned walls and larger HD flat screen it will enable guests to experience the best views of ‘Animation Magic’. The popular concept that was introduced on Disney Fantasy where guests can design their own characters that come to life, will be even better on Disney Magic. Other exciting features here will include the restaurants canvas miraculously changing colour.
The adult only restaurant, Palo will receive a stylish makeover and present a Venice themed design.
Two new restaurants will be added, Carioca’s and Cabanas. Carioca’s will offer a ‘fun by day, elegant by night’ dining experience. Replacing Parrot Cay, this new restaurant will transform into a Rio de Janiero themed eatery.
Cabanas will host a casual dining experience, boasting self-service stations in the day and table service in the evenings. A ‘Finding Nemo’ themed décor will give guests a feeling of enjoyment as they dine with their family.
The children’s clubs onboard Disney Magic will undergo the largest upgrade of all. Disney Magic will be the first ship to home Super Hero icons of Marvel. Marvel’s Avengers Academy will take children into a land of secret missions and interactive adventures.
Andy’s Room will be a place where stars of the popular ‘Toy Story’ come to life and Pixie Hollow will boast a land of enchanted fairies. Mickey Mouse Club is another new children’s’ area where they can participate in games and crafts.
Disney’s Oceaneer Lab is a pirate themed area that takes children on a journey of discovery. This will be a new area where they can create experiments and get hands on with different tasks. It will even boast a simulator that gives children an opportunity to experience what it is like to steer a ship.
Disney could not forget the tiny ones and with the addition of It’s a Small World Nursery, the under 3 years will now have somewhere to play and learn.
The Senses Spa and Salon will undergo a significant enhancement. The size of the spa is will be expanded by 725 square feet which will give it a total size of almost 11, 500 square feet. It will be redecorated and offer the ultimate escape. New additions to the spa will include teeth whiting, a barbershop and teen treatments.
D Lounge is an addition that all ages will enjoy. A lounge that is designed for family-friendly activities, it was created to bring the whole family together.
Disney wanted to recreate their adult evening entertainment, so ‘After Hours’ will boast an all new line up of evening venues. The aim is to create a sleek and sophisticated experience for adults of all tastes. From the excitement of the nightclubs to the relaxing piano bar, there will be something for everyone.
Moving from the interior to the outer deck, you will continue to be stunned as the ship’s upper deck will be completely redesigned. Children and adults can benefit from the new outdoor features that guarantee days full of fun. AquaDunk will be a three story body slide that takes riders on an adventure through a translucent tube, part of the slide will even extend 20 feet over the side of the ship… eek!
Aqualab will provide an area for families to enjoy the sun together. An interactive water playground that includes jets, slides and bubblers, it will be the perfect place for families to create ever lasting memories.
It is not only the public spaces that will be refurbished, all staterooms are going to have a refreshing new look too. New room features will include elevated beds, more storage and upgraded bathrooms.
Is all of this exhilarating enough for you?
Disney Cruise Line are really going to town on Disney Magic! It appears to be one of the largest and most exciting ship upgrades to date and we cannot wait to see it. Coming October 2013… watch this space!
By Sally Grimes
This week was an extremely exciting time in the cruise industry with the arrival of Princess Cruises new ship, Royal Princess. The long wait had finally come to an end and we we were able to see what all the anticipation and excitement was about.
Since it was announced that Princess Cruises were launching a new ship we have been eager to find out more and been following its progress.
Before the maiden voyage, she spent a week in Southampton hosting various launch events. Some Iglu team members and I were lucky enough to go and see exactly what Royal Princess was all about, here is how we got on…
Bags packed and heading South…
On Friday we watched the spectacular arrival of Royal Princess into Southampton harbour as she was serenaded with a version of ‘God save the Queen’. This made us even more excited about our weekend visit.
Saturday morning arrived and we all boarded the train to Southampton. During the journey we spoke about all the things we were looking forward to seeing on the ship.
From the station we took a shuttle to the pier, which suprised me how easy it was for those people taking the train to a cruise in Southampton. As the bus pulled up, the ship looked beautiful and we hoped she was as stunning inside as she was from the outside. Princess did an excellent job of decorating the terminal building with ship pictures, Welcome signs, fresh flowers and a bright blue carpet.
When I first stepped onto the ship I was instantly impressed, we walked on to the outer deck that had clean wooden like flooring and we were guided through to the inside, where the real ‘Wow’ came. We stepped into the Atrium and were amazed by the size and splendour. Set at the heart of the ship, it is the largest Atrium at sea. Carefully decorated in warm gold colours and lined with elevated platforms of cafes, bars and seating areas. I could have enjoyed the atmopshere of the Atrium for hours, but it was time to explore the rest of the ship.
From the Atrium, I went to check out my stateroom. I was allocated a balcony room, towards the aft of Deck 16. As I walked up to my room I was warmly greeted by my stateroom attendant who introduced himself and informed me that I could contact him if there was anything I needed. This is always a good start to a cruise! The stateroom was a reasonable size and the warm décor gave it a cosy feel. It had a very large wardrobe space and a nice bathroom.
The sun was shining so naturally our next place to visit was the top deck.
Top deck was top notch…
Upon reaching the top deck of the ship, it was one of the best looking pool decks I have ever seen. The pools, spacious sun lounge area and outside bars are all set out perfectly and make it an excellent place to enjoy the sun if you were cruising in a hot climate. The addition of private cabanas that appear to float in the water are something I have never seen before and really add to the tranquillity of the pool area.
We all collectively said that one of our favourite things about the ship is the ‘Movies under the stars’ concept that Princess seem to have nailed down to a tee. Royal Princess has one of the largest screens at sea standing over the pool and surrounding by large seats, I could imagine watching a movie here whilst sailing in the evening sun…perfect!
The Sanctuary and Retreat Pool are absolutely beautiful and will provide the ultimate escape.
We then went to explore what else the ship had to offer, including the spa, children’s areas and restaurants. All of the areas were finished to a very high standard and there is lots for guests to do onboard.
The kids area was particularly impressive and offered large spaces to hang out and play. There is even an area for children under 3 where parents can play with their little ones. The teen programme called ‘Remix’ boasted a large lounge area with video games, football and skee-ball.
We had to try the Sea Walk, which is a glass walk way extending 128 feet above the ocean, offering unparalleled views.
After a presentation from Princess staff it was time for our sit down dinner. The dining room was large and decorated in warm colours that gave a traditional but modern cruise ship feel. We were shown to our table by a head waiter who sat us down and gave out the menus. It was a five course meal with a choice of two dishes for each course. I had a goats cheese soufflé to start and it was out of this world, one of the best things I have ever tasted! The beef from the main course was tender and the dessert was very tasty.
After dinner we were invited to the top deck to see a special performance from RnB singer, Lemar. His excellent performance was complimented by how amazing the pool deck looked at night. This was definitely my favourite place on the ship. From the coloured lights to the fountain show in the middle, it was just an amazing place to be. I could picture myself here on warm evenings.
After the performance we went to check out some of the other evening venues such as the nightclub and the piano bar. There is certainly an excellent choice of evening entertainment to suit everyone’s taste.
Time to go… for now…
After a comfortable night in the stateroom, and a tasty breakfast it was time for us to head back to London and take the great memories with us. Although some us were coming back for the naming ceremony.
Our Royal Princess comes to Royal Princess…
Thursday was the special day that everyone had been anticipating, the official naming ceremony of Royal Princess by HRH Duchess of Cambridge. As the offical Godmother, Kate Middleton, was going to smash the champagne bottle over the hull of the ship.
The evening consisted of a gala dinner with fantastic food again, followed by a performance from Beverley Knight. The next morning was the big day. The celebration started with a piece from the Royal Marines Band, followed by the pipers of the Irish Guards and a song from Natasha Bedingfield, it was then time for The Duchess to arrive.
Dressed in an elegant black and white animal print dress, matched with a black hat she gracefully smiled and waved at onlookers before taking to the stage to cut the ribbon. The ceremony could not have been any better.
It was then back onboard for final lunch before heading back to London.
A week in conclusion…
Princess Cruises put on a spectacular week of celebrations in Southampton and made the launch of Royal Princess a very special time. The ship itself is fantastic and we think that everyone who takes a cruise on her will have a wonderful time.
Last week was a very exciting time for the cruise industry as the brand new ship from Princess Cruises sailed into Southampton after months of speculation. Royal Princess arrived on Friday with a spectacular welcome from Southampton University Brass Band serenading a version of ‘God Save the Queen’.
During our visit to Royal Princess we wanted to meet with someone from Princess to hear their views on this exciting launch and what better person to speak to than David White, UK Head of Sales for Princess Cruises.
David White has worked for Carnival UK since 2008 and spent time working in various departments within the company including sales and commercial. David was appointed to Head of Sales in February and has a wealth of knowledge about the brand.
It was an extremely busy day for David and it appeared that everyone wanted to speak to him and congratulate him on the beautiful new ship, however we managed to land a quick interview with him for our latest episode of ‘Iglu Cruise Sessions’.
In this interview he talks about why people love Princess Cruises, the new features on Royal Princess and the plans for this exciting launch week.
Take a look at our talk with David, on the sunny pool deck of Royal Princess:
From this video we can see that this is a very exciting time for Princess Cruises and the company is continuing their success and offering guests everything they desire on a cruise. It was exciting to hear David talk about all of the new features that Royal Princess has to offer and listen to his personal opinions about cruising.
By Sally Grimes
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