Announces Refurbishment for Carnival Victory, to be Renamed Carnival Radiance
Carnival Cruise Line today announced a dry dock that will transform Carnival Victory into Carnival Radiance – representing the final phase of a $2 billion fleet enhancement program that has brought a consistent level of experiences from WaterWorks aqua parks, specialty dining, entertainment, enhanced accommodations and amenities, to the more than five million passengers who annually sail with the line.
The refurbishment of Carnival Victory will add the line’s popular culinary, bar and entertainment innovations and complete an “any ship, any port, any itinerary” level of service and offerings across its fleet of 26 ships that is unparalleled in the cruise industry. Following a 38-day dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, Carnival Radiance will enter service in 2020. Homeport and itinerary details for the new Carnival Radiance will be announced in mid-November.
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“We have been investing in our products, amenities and experience offerings at unprecedented levels which are driving higher results in guest satisfaction, passenger yields and onboard revenue,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
“Our guests and travel agent partners can count on a high degree of consistency and quality vacation offerings across all our fleet and homeports regardless of what ship they’re sailing on. Ultimately, this effort is about driving demand by giving each and every guest a memorable vacation and offering a reason to come back to Carnival again and again. And it’s clearly working based on extremely positive feedback from the more than five million guests we carry each year.”
As part of the fleet enhancement program, popular features are nearly ubiquitous across the fleet through a combination of branded offerings which provide guests with a consistent level of dining, entertainment and amenities, including:
- Casual F&B options, Poolside venues like Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, in collaboration with Food Network star Guy Fieri, BlueIguana Cantina & Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, as well as upgrades to Lido Deck buffets and The Deli, and popular features like Swirls self-serve ice cream stations, coffee bars and 24-hour pizza.
- Specialty dining, including The Chef’s Table fine dining experience, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, as well as Italian, sushi and seafood options.
- Shopping and Personal Care, including Cherry on Top sweet shops, Pixels photo galleries, expanded retail outlets and offerings and renovated fitness and spa facilities.
- Outdoor Decks and Attractions, including massive new water parks with huge slides and kiddie splash zones, Serenity adults-only areas, new miniature golf courses and more.
- Youth & Family Entertainment, including game arcades, and dedicated Camp Ocean, Circle “C” and Club O2 facilities hosting supervised children’s programming for kids 2-17.
- Theater & Live Entertainment, including Punchliner Comedy Clubs, Playlist Productions shows, Rock Band 2.0, live entertainment, deck parties, onboard programming and piano bars.
- Technology upgrades, including fleetwide roll-out of the Carnival HubApp to allow all guests to check-in online, book dining, spa treatments and shore excursions, keep abreast of ship news and activities, and communicate with their fellow travelers.
- Award-winning enhanced NextGen Connectivity solution that creates a best in class Wi-Fi experience onboard enabling guests who want to be connected a content rich experience and ability to seamlessly access their favorite social media applications, news, email, and the internet with enhanced speed.
Carnival launched its fleet enhancement program in 2011. Since that time, it has completed refurbishments to more than 20 ships, taken delivery of three new ships and has three additional ships scheduled for delivery through 2022.
Since the fleet enhancement program was launched, Carnival’s annual passenger count has grown from 4.1 million to 5.2 million guests; the number of children under 18 sailing annually has grown from 650,000 to 800,000; its employee base has grown from 34,000 to 40,000; its voyage operations have grown from 1,400 to 1,700 sailings per year; and its lower berth count has grown from 58,000 to 70,000.
Duffy said that Carnival’s top quality offerings and consistency across its fleet have attracted more guests that are new to cruise, as well as solidified Carnival cruise brand loyalists by providing new and exciting shipboard choices.
“Our guest satisfaction ratings continue to trend upward reflecting our ability to exceed our guests’ expectations by delivering an excellent experience. And our strong product offerings and outstanding facilities allow our friendly and attentive crew members to focus on delivering first-class customer service, which they do in unmatched ways every day.”
As Carnival completes this phase of the capital investment and fleet expansion program, it is focusing more intensely on providing a better onboard technology experience for guests.
The Carnival HubApp is now available across all 26 ships in the fleet and running ahead of projections with regard to customer adoption. Since its introduction in January 2015, it has generated more than 4.5 million downloads from Apple’s App Store and Google Play, earning a 4.6+ rating. Recent data shows that nearly two- thirds of all staterooms had at least one guest who downloaded the app, and more than half of all guests interacted with the HubApp at least once during the cruise.
More than 20 percent of onboard specialty dining and tour excursion purchases are placed using the HubApp, contributing to the double digit lift in onboard revenue since the HubApp was introduced. This summer on its two new Vista-class vessels, 40 percent of guests purchased the HubApp’s onboard chat feature and the HubApp is also driving internet revenue, with penetration now averaging more than 50 percent of all guests across the fleet.
The enhanced NextGen connectivity system has proven extremely successful on Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista, enabling fast and reliable Wi-Fi at sea. Further deployment of this technology on Carnival Radiance will provide even more guests the opportunity to enjoy superior connectivity while they access their favorite social media sites, news, email or even stream their favorite content.
Carnival is now piloting a “pizza anywhere” delivery capability on select vessels with the eventual goal of allowing guests to order food and drink options directly from the HubApp for delivery to their location on board. Along with the added HubApp benefits, Carnival is investing in an enhanced Wi-Fi infrastructure to bring more robust service across the Carnival fleet by 2021.
“We are excited by the exciting new choices added across our fleet, but more importantly by the positive reaction from our guests. When you combine all the great amenities and offerings onboard with the best employees in the cruise industry, we have a recipe for success that will continue to fuel our growth,” said Duffy.