By paul motter
Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas will have its official naming ceremony on November 30th in Fort Lauderdale. The godmother for the event has not yet been announced, but we do know the night will be a grand charity event for the Make a Wish foundation. Make a Wish, if you don't already know, makes the dreams of children with life-threatening illnesses possible, when possible. This is one of Royal Caribbean's favorite charities, and they have hosted more than 1300 "wish-kids" on Royal Caribbean cruises.
Royal Caribbean is donating 1000 Oasis staterooms to the Naming Ceremony and Charity Event on November 30. Participants are invited to the naming ceremony plus a special "Make a Wish" gathering. There will be a special dinner in the Opus Dining Room followed by an acrobatic show at the AquaTheater. Donors will have access to all of the onboard amenities including the Flo-Riders, the zip-line and carousal. Oasis will also sail at least five miles off-shore so the casino, shops and nightclubs can all open for full access to everything on the ship.
Packages for this one-time Naming Ceremony and Charity Event start with a double occupancy stateroom for $1500 total, good for two people. For $2000 you can share a Central Park or a Boardwalk balcony stateroom. Junior Suites are $2500 and add a private cocktail party. A Grand Suite is $2750 and an Owner's Suite is $3000 - add a special mention in the program to all the above.
For Crown Loft accomodations you donate $5000 for two people and receive VIP seating at the Naming Ceremony and at the Aquatheater show, and add a special VIP galley tour. Give $10,000 and you stay in the Presidential Suite and get all the above plus a VIP bridge tour and champagne toast. Corporate packages are also available starting at $15,000 for 10 people in oceanview balcony staterooms and topping out at $75,000 for 70 people in Boardwalk balcony staterooms.
The official night of the Oasis Naming Ceremony, November 30th, is the final event before Oasis begins regular service with its first revenue cruise commencing December 1st, a four-night cruise from Ft Lauderdale to Royal Caribbean's private oasis; Labadee.
Preceding the naming ceremony are several media and travel agent orientation cruises of two nights sailing Friday November 20; Sunday Nov. 22, Tuesday Nov. 24. The period between November 26-30 is the Thanksgiving Cruise which right now is earmarked as a "family cruise" but is NOT a revenue cruise that passengers can book. We assume it will be for family members of Royal Caribbean, possibly another charity event, and the international media will also be onboard since Thanksgiving is an American holiday.
Norwegian Epic 7-day Transatlantic
NCL just announced that Norwegian Epic's inaugural transatlantic cruise will be seven-day sailing directly from Southampton, U.K. to New York where she will arrive on July 1st. This is a classic cruise, the same as most of the great ocean liners in history have done including the SS United States (also owned by NCL) when she won the Blue Riband for making the crossing in just under five days - still a passenger vessel record. It is fitting for a brand new flag ship to make such a crossing.
NCL also just announced they have added a new 7-night Caribbean cruise one week ahead of the first previously scheduled Caribbean cruise. That new cruise will depart July 10 from Miami to the Eastern Caribbean. Guests already booked on the July 17 cruise will have the option of moving their reservations forward to this newly announced cruise.
People on the waitlist for the transatlantic sailing have already been contacted to arrange their accommodations. On Wednesday, September 16, 2009, members of Norwegian's past guest program, Latitudes, will have a special preview sale day to book the transatlantic cruise. The transatlantic sailing will be open to the public for booking the next day, Thursday, September 17, 2009.