If you are lucky to travel on a completely new cruise ship you will never forget your impressions. Just imagine the unforgettable excitement that not only passengers but also the crew members feel, as well as the emotions you have when you see your cabin where nobody has ever slept before, and, of course, a special smell that only a new ship can have!
The first few cruises of any cruise ship are traditionally considered the so-called test voyages when a crew and a vessel are getting used to each other before the profit-bringing work starts. However, today many cruise lines hiding behind the word “inauguration” use it for checking new systems and technologies on their passengers who have paid for their cruises.
Thus, when you find yourself on a new cruise ship’s board next time, you should keep in mind two fundamental rules: “Do not wait for everything to be ideal” and “Be patient!”
Below, you can find some things that you have to be aware of when buying a cruise on the just-launched cruise ship.
You will have to simply put up with it. We are speaking about some technical innovations, dinners arrangement, the order of tickets for theater performances, cabin service, as well as the service as a whole. Have you booked a ticket for the evening show at the theater? The actors mustn’t have finished their rehearsals, or the stage equipment has not been delivered yet. Ordered a bottle of wine in your cabin when at home? It may happen that your order has not been received yet. Have you ordered dinner at the restaurant in advance? Your order can be lost.
Most cruise lines are in the process of creating a crew consisting of the best employees from other ships during the first season. Such experienced people can “run in” the vessels that have hardly been launched and can professionally cope with unexpected problems. And yet, even the most experienced crew can not explore the whole cruise ship at once. Thus, if your cabin has not still been ready for sleeping, or your breakfast has not been delivered to your cabin on time, there are undoubtedly some reasons for it.
For instance, the Japanese restaurant was closed as well as water slides were not available at Carnival Sunshine during her first cruise after reconstruction. What else can be unavailable during an inaugural cruise? There can be a spa salon, some equipment for a gym, or a mini golf course if some technical shortcomings occur.
Weirdly, some ships go on their first cruise when the technical works have not been completed on them. As a result, the necessity to complete finishing touches such as restaurant design or eliminating water pipe problems can be the reason why engineers are completing their work when the vessel has already been at sea. Thus, the limit of the number of available cabins can be explained by the cruise line’s necessity to provide the workers with a part of passenger cabins. Note: not always interior cabins are used for such purposes. For instance, during the cruise of Allure of the Seas, one of the workers was lucky to get the royal suite where he was completing finishing work at that time. And, by the way, having stumbled upon the workers you should not count on the same friendliness as the members of the crew usually demonstrate.
Cruise lines indeed use you as a test subject. And yet, it is you who will be the first to watch new performances, visit a restaurant of a star chef, or try new first-class technologies and take part in various activities. For instance, during the inaugural cruise of the Quantum of the Seas, her passengers were the first to watch the amazing «Starwater» performance at the Two70 hall; they were the first to taste dishes at the excellent restaurant where Michael Schwartz was a chef or to try iFly Ripcord skydiving simulator; they were also the first who watched Mamma Mia! musical show. And yes, you will have a great opportunity to become the first to write a review on this cruise ship!
When a cruise ship visits a cruise port for the first time, she is usually met in a special way. It depends on where you go, and yet, in the Caribbean, for instance, music ensembles and dancers appear most often on the ship’s arrival, whereas in Europe the mission is entrusted to the delegation of top officials accompanied sometimes by a marching orchestra. Cruise ships represent the main source of finance for port cities, so it is not surprising that new cruise ships are welcomed by mayors, municipal deputies, port officials, and the local media.
It is likely the most impressive (albeit intangible) aspect of being on a new vessel. Your impressions represent priceless information influencing the further manner of work of this ship as well as the other vessels belonging to the cruise line’s fleet. Cruise lines usually use the feedback to understand how theater performances work, what restaurants are popular, and what novelties are in demand. Cruise line’s leading executive managers are usually on board as well, to identify deficiencies and evaluate the ideas whose effectiveness turned out to be below the expected level. In numerous situations, the representatives of the top management pay great attention to the passengers’ opinions.
And, finally, you have the full right to boast, especially if you turned out to be a participant in the ship’s inaugural voyage!