« Behind the scenes at United/Fort Lauderdale | Main | Road trip: Grapefruit League's Spring Training »

Royal Caribbean names 2 new ships

Royal Caribbean, which has been very secretive about its next two “Project Sunshine” ships, on Tuesday announced their names and said steel-cutting had begun for the first ship.

The ships will be Quantum of the Seas, which is scheduled to debut in fall 2014, and Anthem of the Seas, expected to launch in spring 2015.

Royal Caribbean had already said that the ships would be 158,000-ton, 4,100-passenger vessels — smaller than their Oasis-class ships — but has not said what their features will be. Will they have Flowrider surfing pools? Staterooms that overlook a park in the center of the ship? A parade of DreamWorks characters? We don’t know. While Princess and Norwegian Cruise Line have been unveiling the innovative features of their ships under construction, Royal Caribbean has been silent.

In fact, Royal Caribbean says on its Project Sunshine blog that “a handful of spaces on the new Sunshine-class ships will remain ‘white spaces’ until the last moment so that Royal Caribbean can respond to the latest trends.” The ship has been in the planning and design phase for three years.

Royal Caribbean intends for the name Quantum of the Seas to signify cutting-edge design.

 “The new ship will be such a leap forward in terms of vessel design and guest experiences that we thought the name Quantum of the Seas was perfectly appropriate,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO.

We’ll just have to take his word for it for now.

The first piece of steel was cut for the ship Tuesday at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.  Royal Caribbean has not announced either ship's home port or itineraries.