- Sy O'Neill Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Disney is working its magic — on Disney Magic.
In March the ship will debut a movie-themed family restaurant, a fresh new space for teen cruisers and a redesigned cafe for adults.
Rapunzel’s Royal Table, inspired by “Tangled,” will feature characters and live entertainment, including singing and dancing led by the mâitre d’, a band of musicians, the mischievous Snuggly Ducking Thugs and Princess Rapunzel.
What better way to get into the spirit of the “Tangled: The Musical” on the ship’s main stage?
Special spaces abound on Disney ships, and Vibe is one of them. Designed for 14- to 17-year-old cruisers, Vibe will be transformed into a trendy urban loft environment. What does that mean? A new coffee and smoothie bar, video and virtual reality games, and fun activities like movie making or a DJ spin-off.
Adult cruisers also have some exclusive spots on the ship, including Cove Cafe. This retreat will be redesigned in a sophisticated tropical style. It’s a great spot to sip a specialty coffee or tea — or maybe some adult beverages. The nearby Signals Bar will also receive an update.
Experience these enhancements aboard Disney Magic beginning March 9, as the ship sails from PortMiami on four- and five-night cruises through May 9.
NEW SHIP NEWS: Work continues at the STX shipyard in France on Royal Caribbean’s next Oasis Class ship, Symphony of the Seas, which launches in April and will claim the title of the largest cruise ship in the world.
The 5,500-passenger ship will feature 23 pools, water slides and flowriders for the wet set, and 20 restaurants for foodies. Also aboard: The Ultimate Abyss, a 10-story slide. which debuted on Harmony of the Seas.
Other new features include Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, with its 30 big-screen TVs, which will span the length of the Boardwalk neighborhood; Hooked Seafood, the line’s first New England-style seafood restaurant; and Puzzle Break, where teams race the clock and work together to escape from a submarine-themed room.
Want to treat the kids to something special? Book the two-level, 1,346-square-foot Ultimate Family Suite, with its slide from the kids’ bedroom to the living room below, a floor-to-ceiling Lego wall and an air hockey table. There’s also 3D movie theater-style TV room boating a library of video games and a popcorn machine.
On the 212-square-foot wraparound balcony you’ll find a bumper pool table, a climbing activity and a full-size whirlpool for a good family soak. Will anyone want to leave the stateroom?
Symphony of the Seas will spend her inaugural season in the Mediterranean before heading to her new home in PortMiami. From there, the ship will sail seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages.
Coming up next will be Spectrum of the Seas. Royal Caribbean recently celebrated the keel-laying of the ship, set to debut in 2019.
The shop will be designed for guests in China and the Asia-Pacific region, and it will usher in a new class for the cruise line — Quantum Ultra.
ON HER WAY: MSC Cruises took delivery of its newest ship, MSC Seaside, last week at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
The 5,119-passenger ship will soon sail to her new home at PortMiami, where she will be christened Dec. 21.
During the delivery ceremony, the cruise line and shipbuilder signed an agreement for the construction of two Seaside EVO ships, a further evolution of the Seaside Class prototype. The ships are expected to be delivered in 2021 and 2023.
AWARD SEASON: Porthole Cruise Magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards have been announced. Winning the best small ship was Crystal Esprit, with Azamara Quest taking the honors for medium-sized ship. Norwegian Escape won for best large ship, and Harmony of the Seas for best mega ship.
Holland America’s Half Moon Cay was voted best private island. Norwegian Cruise Line was chosen for best specialty restaurants, best signature cocktail (Mango Meltdown maybe?) and best casinos. Readers selected Disney Cruise Line for the best children’s programs and best entertainment.
Carnival Cruise Line scored as having the best nightlife, along with the best computer facilities and website. Royal Caribbean was the winner for best onboard activities and best fitness facilities. The line is also home to Ken Rush, voted best cruise director.
See how your favorite ship or cruise line fared in the voting at www.porthole.com/readers-choice-awards-2017.