In a stunning announcement, RCI today said that Quantum will not homeport in Bayonne. Instead the ship will do it's initial round of sailings from New Jersey, and then move to Shanghai in May 2015.
Also, the Anthem Of The Seas will not be based in Fort Lauderdale but will replace Quantum in the NY area market, along with Liberty Of The Seas. So, Port Everglades not only doesn't get a new ship, but it loses one (the Liberty) which was based there seasonally.
I am trying to sort this out and understand why a new ship with a new dining concept, and Mamma Mia as the main show, will appeal to the Chinese market. Will Jamie's Italian restaurant, Coastal California cuisine, and an always formal dining room with old word French cuisine appeal to the Chinese cruiser?
In a way I feel a sense of betrayal, but then I admit it is probably because the typical American cruiser has been spoiled by expecting every new cruise ship to sail from U.S. ports initially.
I still remember a couple years back when they sent so many ships to Europe and had to have a fire sale to fill them up. I know they have been in that market for some time with Celebrity. I saw the rendering of the new pier being built in Singapore. It will be able to handle two Oasis class at the same time.
What is shocking is the pricing of the new releases. I see significant increase in pricing over last year. TA's used to be such a value, not any more. It also looks looks like New Orleans will not longer be served. We on the west coast no that feeling all to well.
Yes, they have nothing planned right now for New Orleans and that bothers me. It's really the only port we can drive to in a day.
Something happened recently to cause this sudden change for the Quantum, which had a domino effect on the other ships. Royal Caribbean isn't saying what it is, but I'm thinking it has to do with issues in Bermuda and also some pressure from China after Royal got them to build a new port facility in Hong Kong (Royal paid for 20% of it), and then Royal wasn't being too forthcoming with ships in that market. So, Shanghai gets the plum.
In the phone press conference I attended this morning, Paul Motter of Cruisemates specifically asked about California. Royal Caribbean was rather curt about it and said the market isn't there and the lack of ports is the reason. It would help if some new ports on the west coast could open up, but distance is an issue. Creating a private stop in Mexico - like Labadee - would certainly help.
There's a lot of available loose cash in the Orient these days, there's a lot of "Ah So's" being heard at Royal Caribbean Corporate Headquarters too!!!! I am saddened by the move from Port Liberty to Shanghai but the Repositioning Cruise offers an interesting temptation and an exciting set of possibilities!!!
Dave....Yes, there have been a series of labor problems in Panama which are adding considerable delay to the completion of the new, and much larger, locks!!! Indeed, the repositioning cruise has a most unique appeal!!! Hmmm!
At the C&A event this week, they said that then navigator will replace the liberty. I just assumed she was confused when she said the liberty would replace the quantum. She also said the oasis was heading to Sydney after her refurbish.