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New Ships for 2008
Watch the Horizon for New Cruise Ships With Unfamiliar Profiles

Welcome to 2008 and an all new "Wave Season"—the time of year when winter doldrums set in and it's time to think of warm sea breezes and booking a cruise.

All New
The more things change, the more they stay the same... we aren't quite sure who first made that observation, but it's certainly been true in the recent wave of cruise ships. Only one entering service in 2007, Cunard Line's Queen Victoria, was a unique design (in reality, she was originally destined to be a Holland America Line Vista-class vessel and was lengthened and reconfigured for Cunard). The rest were recognizable as additions to previously introduced ship classes, such as Norwegian Gem pictured above.

In 2008, that changes with the introduction of ships that are first in their "classes" as well as some that follow a familiar profile. Cruise Diva is happy to preview the Class of 2008.

2008 New Ship Launches:

  • MSC Poesia—The third ship of MSC Cruises' Musica-class is set for an April launch. At 92,400 tons, she will homeport in Venice to sail the Mediterranean.
  • Independence of the Seas—In May, Royal Caribbean's third 158,000-ton Freedom-class ship heads for a rendezvous with 3,643 passengers waiting to surf through Europe from the U.K. and the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale.

  • Carnival Splendor—First in a new Carnival class, the 113,000-ton Carnival Splendor is set to launch in July. She features a large spa and fitness center and 68 staterooms that have private access to the spa. She also boasts four swimming pools, one of which is covered by a retractable dome that will also shelter the Seaside Theatre.

  • Eurodam—Holland America introduces their new Signature-class with Eurodam in summer 2008. Don't look for anything revolutionary on board. Instead, think evolution as she'll feature a new restaurant deck and more verandah staterooms (67% will have a balcony!). At 86,000 tons, she will slip easily through the Panama Canal.

  • Ruby Princess—The 116,000-ton sister ship to Crown Princess and Emerald Princess is slated for christening in November and will offer a tried-and-true Princess experience to her 3,100 passengers.

  • MSC Fantasia—First in MSC Cruises' newest and largest class, she's weighing in 133,500 tons and can carry 3,900 passengers (make that 3,300 at double occupancy). With MSC Fantasia, the line introduces an exclusive VIP area.
  • Celebrity Solstice—Also heading an all new Solstice-class, Celebrity Solstice won't fit through the Panama Canal, but there will be a lot on board for her 2,850 passengers to do.

What's Really NEW?
We'd like to share the insider details. Alas, the cruise industry is generally secretive when it comes to the new features they plan on adding to wow passengers. While Celebrity Cruises has shared a preview of what's new, what's cool, and what's hot on Celebrity Solstice, the rest aren't saying too much. At the very least, expect to find a surfing simulator on Independence of the Seas and "Water Wars" on Carnival Splendor. Beyond that, instead of star-gazing for answers or predictions of what's to come, we'll report the latest in Cruise News to keep you up to date.

Happy New Year!

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