(2 p.m. EST) — Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas will receive a $30 million makeover this spring, just in time for its summer Mediterranean season. Highlights of the bow-to-stern refurb include a new two-bedroom family suite and 24 additional outside and balcony cabins; new restaurants, including Giovanni’s Table and Izumi; the addition of Vintages wine bar; a new poolside movie screen; and implementation of the line’s superfast VOOM Wi-Fi. Jewel of the Seas will sail seven-, eight- and nine-night itineraries out of Rome to Italy, Greece and Turkey beginning in April 2016.
All ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet will carry more cage-free eggs than they have in the past. The line has committed to going 100 percent cage-free by 2022. The line also committed to sourcing all of its pork from gestation-free crates by the same year.
Greased Lightning will be hitting the high seas in July of next year, when the much beloved musical “Grease” debuts simultaneously on Independence of the Seas and brand-new Harmony of the Seas. The specially adapted version of the show will feature some of the original’s most popular songs, including “Greased Lightnin’,” “Summer Nights,” “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Beauty School Dropout” and more.
Breakfast, dessert and afternoon tea on Princess Cruises are about to get sweeter. The line’s much-loved Chocolate Journeys experience, offered in partnership with Master Chocolatier Chef Norman Love, will unveil new treats beginning early 2016. Chocolate-lovers can start their days with muffins and other breakfast items at Horizon Court, which also will feature a new chocolate cake flavor each night. Additional menu items will include new chocolate bites to pair with afternoon tea, chocolate souffle on select evenings in the main dining room and chocolate cookies served throughout the ship at various times, including at Movies Under the Stars. A survey conducted by Wakefield Research revealed that more than half of Americans admit being addicted to chocolate; when asked which celebrity they’d like to drizzle chocolate on, 41 percent of women chose Adam Levine, while 46 percent of men selected Scarlett Johansson.
Saga has announced that celebrity Chef Theo Randall will demonstrate the art of Italian cuisine onboard Saga Pearl II’s food-themed Flavours of the Mediterranean cruise in July 2016. The award-winning Brit, who runs his eponymous restaurant from London’s InterContinental hotel, will show passengers how to make fresh pasta and teach butcher’s techniques, such as filleting, before visiting Italian ports like San Remo on the Italian Riviera and Cagliari in Sardinia. In addition to showcasing his cooking techniques, the chef will conduct wine tastings and take part in a Q&A session on the 18-night sailing from Dover.
Windstar will host an on-deck festival during Panama Canal journeys, new for 2015-2016 Costa Rica and Panama Canal cruises. The ship transits in the evening, and passengers will be able to enjoy local beverages and local music while a speaker from the Panama Port Authority talks about the canal and its lock system. Cruise travelers will then have the opportunity to dine alfresco on a Panamanian menu put together by Windstar Executive Chef Michael Sabourin. In addition, Windstar is offering several new pre- and post-cruise tours in Costa Rica, including one to Arenal Volcano outside San Jose, one to the cloud forests of Monteverde, and a third to the canals of Tortuguero National Park.