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Cruise News Digest — December 3, 2023

Welcome to the weekly Cruise News Digest. Here you can catch up on the past week’s cruise news and all things La Lido Loca

Let’s dive in!

Life at Sea Cruises and its parent company, Miray Cruises, officially canceled the world’s first three-year cruise because they do not have nor have ever had a ship. The cruise was to encompass over 130,000 miles, 375 ports, 135 countries and seven continents aboard the MV Gemini which was then replaced by the former AIDAaura which was ultimately purchased by Celestyal Cruises. Miray Cruises has stated booked guests money will be returned but it could be late February before final payment is received. 

In much more exciting news, Royal Caribbean International has taken delivery of Icon of the Seas. The delivery of Icon comes at the end of 900 days of construction and more than seven years of design and development. The ship sailed for Cadiz, Spain where she is receiving her finishing touches before she traverses the Atlantic to her homeport in Miami, Florida. Icon of the Seas will welcome her first guests on January 27, 2024. 

Princess Cruises revealed this week that its first Sphere-class ship, Sun Princess, will be home to the largest casino on any Princess ship. The venue will feature 10-foot high ceilings, the most comfortable gaming seating available and 9,000 square feet of space for its 227 slot machines, 13 live game tables and more. Princess Casino offers 50% more space than the cruise line’s Royal Class ships.

Black Friday sales were offered across every cruise line, but one cruise line continues to break records. Holland America Line’s booking volumes broke records for the second year in a row. Black Friday bookings were 20% higher than the record breaking volumes in 2022, and the period from Black Friday through Cyber Monday increased by 23% over 2022. Many guests chose to plan 2024 summer vacations and bookings for Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England all exceeded 2022 booking volumes. 

Two ships were officially named this week in traditional maritime ceremonies–Norwegian Viva and Celebrity Ascent.

The Prima-class Norwegian Viva was officially named on November 29, 2023 at PortMiami by the ships’ godfather, Luis Fonsi, just before he headlined an evening full of entertainment from artists with Miami and Latin roots. The native Puerto Rican is a Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, producer and musician and is very excited for Norwegian Viva to debut in his hometown this month.

Two days later, in Port Everglades, Celebrity Ascent was officially named by her industry first sister co-godmothers and twin brother co-captains. Co-godmothers Captain Sandy Yawn, star of Bravo TV’s Below Deck, and Michelle Dunham, founder of the Jacksonville, School for Autism, were joined by co-captains, Captain Dimitros and Captain Tasos Kafetzis, as they christened Celebrity Ascent with the traditional breaking of a bottle of champagne on her hull. She sets sail today on her inaugural 7-night Eastern Caribbean voyage.

There you have it. This week’s Cruise News Digest. Are you a member of the Loca Extra Patreon? You can join here and get extra live content and more. Did you catch the latest YouTube live? Tony and the lovely Jenny B are cruising again!  La Lido Loca has even more cruise news, while La Lido Loca Two offers more cruising content along with the Cruise Podcast! Tony updates his weight loss journey over at Have To Lose. You can also join in on the conversation via social media on the La Lido Cruising Community and the Have to Lose Support Crew group pages.