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New ship No. 3 — Ovation of the Seas

Third in a series of new ships for 2016

Ship-Ovation

Royal Caribbean’s newest class of ship is the Quantum Class and when Ovation of the Seas joins it, two-thirds of the ships will be based in Asia. Unless you go off to search for it to take a cruise cruise, the only place you’ll find out about it is in places like this. A month after its Southampton launch, Ovation of the Seas is off to Dubai, en route to its Asian home: Tianjin, China. It will briefly visit Australia and New Zealand at the end of the year and no cruises are posted online after its return to Asia (Singapore) in February.

Launch date: April 17

Capacity: 4,180

Sister ships: Quantum of the Seas (2014), Anthem of the Seas (2015)

Maiden voyage: Southampton return (5 days)

Home port: Tianjin, China

Ships then in Royal Caribbean fleet: 25

Interesting: Other than the fact that it has robots serving drinks, a flying pod to give people a 360-degree view of the sea (or whatever else happens to be in sight) and simulators for surfing and skydiving, it’s just like any other cruise ship. Not really. This is a clone of Quantum and Anthem of the Seas, and the differences will likely be hard to find. Like them it also has the Two70-degree lounge/entertainment center and the SeaPlex, where bumper cars, roller skates and basketball are the featured activities. Unlike them, it has virtual balconies so everybody gets to see what’s happening outside whether they’re in the North Star or not. With 16 decks, 25 places to eat and a price tag close to a billion dollars, it’s still not even close to being the biggest ship in the world. That comes — here — on Friday.

In the news…

• Windstar’s damaged Star Pride now out of cruising until after April 9
• Royal Caribbean drops eat-healthy restaurant from Anthem of the Seas

Today at portsandbows.com: Emerald kicks off Wave Season with free are


Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas
6 nights
April 10, 2016
Fort Lauderdale (return): Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Labadee
Inside: $389
Cost per day: $64
www.royalcaribbean.com

North Star? RipCord? Go now!

If you’re booked on Anthem of the Seas, the newest Royal Caribbean ship on the sea, make sure you take a ride on the North Star. That’s the pod at the end of an arm that North Startakes you on a ride over the water while the ship is cruising. And after you’ve done it, do it again. And again. And again.

If you are a cruise aficionado who can’t wait to see Harmony of the Seas, the next new Royal Caribbean ship that’s due in 2016, go on its North Star, too. Then go again. And again. And again.

If you think you might like simulated sky diving, RipCord by iFly is available (or will be) on RipCordboth those Quantum Class ships, so don’t miss a chance to give it a shot. Then do it again. And again.

Both those thrill features are free.

For now.

The flagship for this class is Quantum of the Seas. It is cruising in Asia, home-ported in Singapore. If you go on that North Star, it costs $20. If you go on that RipCord, it costs $26 for the one-minute ride.

Isn’t it just a matter of time?

In the news…

• Eight-year-old boy drowns in pool on Liberty of the Seas
• Crystal Cruises announces plans to add two jets and double air fleet
• Pier 66 cruise terminal improvements project approved in Seattle

Today at portsandbows.com: Hurtigruten expanding operations


Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam
7 nights
January 24, 2016
Fort Lauderdale (return): Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Key West
Inside: $539
Cost per day: $77
www.hollandamerica.com

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