That's a big check mark in the progress for the next big cruise ship revolution.
Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas floated out last week.
When it debuts, the 4,180-passenger ship will feature several first-in-industry amenities to entice adventurous travelers, such as a skydiving simulator, bumper cars, SeaPlex activities area and North Star ride, as well as the ever-popular FlowRider surfing simulator and rock-climbing wall.
Quantum of the Seas glided out of its indoor slip at Meyer Werft's shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, last week with no apparent problems. The shipbuilder will add the finishing touches to the onboard spaces during the next two months before Quantum debuts November 2 and makes its way across the Atlantic Ocean to Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., for its first six-month season sailing the Caribbean. After that, Quantum will be relocated to sail out of Shanghai, China, beginning in May 2015.
Elsewhere, I see a couple of cruise lines with adventurous itineraries offering nice promotions.
Un-Cruise Adventures, a small-ship adventure line, is offering a $400 discount per couple for cruises booked by September 30 on a Sea of Cortes, Mexico, voyage on the 84-passenger Safari Endeavour. You'll pay $2,800 per person for a weeklong sailing between November 2014 and March 2015 from San Jose del Cabo through the Sea of Cortes, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The inclusive trip includes all adventure activities -- snorkeling, hiking, skiff excursions, paddle boarding, beachcombing, a burro ride into the arroyo and snorkeling with sea lions. The price also includes meals, wine, premium spirits, microbrews, hot tub, sauna, exercise equipment, yoga on deck and a massage. For details, contact Un-Cruise Adventures at 888-862-8881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrity Cruises' onboard booking program, Celebrity Future Cruise Vacations, is giving cruisers the chance to use an instant onboard credit of up to $500. Book a future Celebrity cruise while onboard a Celebrity sailing, and you can immediately receive the credit to spend during your current cruise. Or you could use that $500 credit on a future cruise. The offer, available on the majority of Celebrity's ships, also is combinable with one of the benefits from the year-round Evergreen 123Go! promotion -- a choice of a free Classic Beverage Package, free gratuities or up to an additional $300 in onboard credit.
We have used these combinable promotions -- the incentives are especially good when you book a future cruise while onboard a sailing for most lines -- and secured a load of discounts on a Celebrity sailing we have scheduled for the Panama Canal in 2015, so I know this is a great way to save.
For you fans of classic TV, a fun note. Princess Cruises will celebrate its 50th anniversary year in 2015. So, the line honored the key role of the hit TV show The Love Boat by tapping the showâs cast members to serve as godparents for the beautiful new ship Regal Princess. All six Love Boat primary cast members -- who played the roles of Captain Stubing, Gopher, Isaac, Doc, Julie and Vicki -- will reunite to christen the ship on November 5 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The ceremony will officially launch the golden year anniversary celebrations for Princess Cruises, which will celebrate five decades of operation throughout 2015.
The actors include Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), Fred Grandy (Gopher, the chief purser), Ted Lange (Isaac, the bartender), Bernie Kopell (Doc, the ship's doctor), Lauren Tewes (cruise director Julie) and Jill Whelan (Vicki, the captain's daughter).
As always, thanks for reading,