Improved stateroom accommodation to compete with rapidly rising hotel standards is likely to feature on Royal Caribbean International’s next-generation ship Project Genesis.
President Adam Goldstein, speaking on board Independence of the Seas prior to its naming on Wednesday in Southampton, also hinted Project Genesis could follow the trend for its ships to move to Europe after an initial stint in the US.
The cruiseline is due to make “significant revelations” about the ship in June and has already announced a Central Park area, which allows inside cabins an ‘outside’ view on to a grassed area with restaurants, shops and a moving bar.
One area likely to be developed will be stateroom accommodation in order for the cruiseline to keep pace with land-based hotels, said Goldstein. This would be in line with previous new generations of the cruiseline’s ships, which have included improved passenger accommodation.
He said: “Even with all the activities on board and the destinations, the importance of the stateroom experience is growing.
“There are real expectations of very nice accommodation and we need to be at that level and compete with rooms in the land-based hotel sector.”
The vessel, yet to be named, will be the largest cruise ship in the world when it launches in late 2009. It will span 16 decks and carry 5,400 passengers, sailing out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line managing director Europe Robin Shaw admitted he would “fight tooth and nail” to get the ship into Europe.
“When the first Voyager class launched in 1999, no one expected it would be in Europe. This year we will have two in Europe and one Freedom class. There is natural progression; Europe is booming,” he said.
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