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‘Tis the busy season, and there’s plenty of cruise news from new terminals to expansions to new ships.

Royal Caribbean is leading the charge with the announcement of the opening of its new, state-of-the-art $125 million cruise terminal in Galveston, Texas, which welcomed that state’s largest cruise ship, the Allure of the Seas. The terminal is expected to welcome as many as 630,000 travelers every year. This also marked the Texas debut of the Oasis Class of ships, the largest cruise ships in the world.

The terminal boasts over 161,300 sq. ft. and is the first LEED Zero Energy facility in the world, meaning it gets 100 percent of its power from onsite solar panels, very much in keeping with Royal Caribbean Group’s environmentally-friendly goals.

The Allure of the Seas will offer 7-night Western Caribbean cruises from its homeport of Galveston during the winter 2022-2023 season, an itinerary that includes stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, as well as Roatan, Honduras. The family-friendly ship has an extraordinary selection of onboard fun to choose from, including rock-climbing walls, a nine-story high zip-line, and two FlowRider surf simulators—just for starters—and over 30 bars, restaurants and lounges.

Expansion is high on the list for Carnival Cruise Line—for 2023, the line has doubled the number of cruises from Norfolk, Virginia, and extended the season to a consecutive 6-month period from May through October. The idea is to eventually lead into a year-round cruise program from the destination starting in 2025.

The sailings for 2023 are already on sale and include 4- to 10-day cruises on Carnival Magic, with stops in the Eastern Caribbean, The Bahamas and Bermuda, as well as Canada and New England. The ship accommodates up to 4,724 guests and will keep your clients plenty entertained with tons of dining options, activities, a spa and a choice of staterooms and the Serenity adults-only retreat, among so many other treats.

This is the iceberg tip of a larger expansion plan for the line in its mid-Atlantic operations. The second big piece of news from Carnival: Reservations are already open for the 2023 sailings of the new Carnival Venezia round-trip from NYC starting in June, replacing the Carnival Magic that moved to Norfolk. The ship is ready to honor its name by hosting “Carnival Fun Italian Style” on its 22 itineraries that visit 25 ports across 14 countries, with 10 different durations.

The inaugural 15-day transatlantic journey for the Carnival Venezia departs on May 29, 2023. It will then spend the summer on 4-, 5-, 6- and 8-day sailings with stops in the Caribbean, Bermuda and ports in Canada and New England. Come fall, the Carnival Venezia will head out to the Eastern Caribbean, Southern Caribbean and The Bahamas on 8- to 12-day cruises starting on Sept. 29, 2023. Ports of call will include four of Carnival’s private destinations, and the 9-day cruises will include a stop in the glittering port of Miami.

Cruise New P.S.

Of note: The Carnival Venezia is undergoing a ton of enhancements in its transformation from a Costa vessel, so your clients will find many of the Carnival Cruise Line venues they know and love; think Carnival Waterworks, Piano Bar 88, Cloud 9 Salon & Spa, the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat and many more attractions. And in even more good cruise news, they’ll also have a second “Carnival Fun Italian Style” ship to look forward to in 2024 with the addition of the Carnival Firenze, set to sail year-round from Long Beach, California.

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