I spy… lots of ships in Venice! Before sailing out of Venice, I began ship spotting a few familiar ships in port alongside our ship, the MSC Preziosa. It’s not like I have buyers remorse or anything when I’m on a cruise ship looking at other ships… really! But am I the only one when on a cruise ship who looks longingly at other ships? I will always find the look and shapes of cruise ships fascinating.
With a clear view from my cabin, as I began ship spotting, I first cast my eyes on the Norwegian Jade. At first she had a backdrop of billowy clouds after the torrential rainstorm we encountered, but shortly before sailing out of port, the clouds lifted. It was only then that I saw the magnificent mountain range behind her. The Norwegian Jade is one of the four Jewel Class ships from Norwegian Cruise Line and first launched in 2006. The other Jewel Class ships include Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Pearl, and Norwegian Gem. Originally called “Pride of Hawaii,” she underwent a name change in 2008 before debuting in Europe with a new casino, but with the original Hawaii themed hull artwork and decor. She can accommodate nearly 2,500 passengers on her 15 deck frame. After sailing in the Mediterranean, Norwegian Jade will be returning to the US to sail the winter 2015 season out of Houston.
Close by to where the MSC Preziosa was docked was Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas. A Vision Class ship which launched in 1995, her sister ships include Enchantment of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Vision of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, and Legend of the Seas. With an outdoor movie screen, rock climbing wall, mini-golf, and Broadway-style shows, this ship is bound to please everyone in the family on this ship that accommodates just over 2000 passengers in 902 staterooms.
Smaller in size, but not in features is the Seabourn Odyssey, a 450-passenger vessel from Seabourn Cruise Line, which first launched in 2009. With 11 decks, two swimming pools, six outdoor whirlpools, water sports from the marina, a private diamond showroom, and The Retreat – a nine-hole mini golf course, a giant chess board, and shuffleboard, Seabourn Odyssey is something special for anyone looking for a smaller and more intimate cruising experience.
For something completely different, how about Hapag-Llloyd’s Europa 2? This German based cruise line might be unfamiliar to American cruisers, but one look at her and you might want to try her out. With 251 cabins that can accommodate 516 passengers on her 7 decks, Europa 2 first launched in 2013 so she is a really new and spectacular cruise ship. They don’t have traditional cabins, but instead have the following types of cabins onboard:
- 2 Owner’s Suites including veranda at 114 m²
- 2 Grand Penthouse Suites including veranda at 88 m²
- 16 Spa Suites including veranda at 52 m²
- 24 Grand Suites including veranda at 52 m²
- 59 Ocean Suites including veranda at 35 m²
- 141 Veranda Suites including veranda at 35 m²
- 7 family apartments including veranda at 2× 27 m²
Falling in love yet? Europa 2 also has seven restaurants, six bars, one 15 metre long pool, a spa, a gym and two golf simulators. Personally, I was completely loving the furniture up on the top deck and could just imagine myself lounging with a drink on hand. Hey Hapag-Llloyd give this girl a call!
After ship spotting for a bit, time came to pay attention to sail away before heading out to sea to begin our Mediterranean cruise. Next time you’ll see great pics from sail away onboard MSC Preziosa out of Venice.