Ovation arrives in Australia this week

Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, Australia’s biggest, newest and most advanced cruise ship ever, has made landfall at last.

The billion dollar megaliner arrived in Fremantle this week and will be in Hobart on Monday.

When Ovation of the Seas makes her new hometown debut in Sydney, TV viewers around the country will be able to take a look inside the megaliner.

Hosts Lisa Wilkinson, Richard Wilkins, Peter Stefanovic and Natalia Cooper of Channel’s Nine’s TODAY show will be among the first Australians to try our the vessel on December 16.

The ship has an iFly sky-diving simulator, North Star viewing deck and robot bar service – all of which have already proved a big hit with cruisers. The ship has sold out most of its cabins for its first season, and is now selling the 2017-18 season.

With 6,500 passengers and crew,  disembarking and embarking at the Overseas Passenger Terminal will be one of the cruise industry’s biggest challenges.

Get the latest edition of Cruise Passenger magazine, out next Thursday, to see how it’s done, and read our review of her 17 restaurants at here.

Rush to Cuba

Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises will all be offering Cuban itineraries after the relaxation of travel rules by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control.

There are more shore excursions, too, including meeting local people, music, art, history and culture. More guest speakers are also being hired and trained to accommodate new itineraries.

Turkey cruises axed

Holland America Line has become the latest line to pull Turkey from its itineraries because of the military coup attempt this summer.

Carnival Corporation has already cancelled Cunard and P&O Cruises calls to the country in 2017.

“Ten departures in 2017 are affected and booked guests and travel professionals on these sailings will be notified,” Holland America told Cruise Critic. “Shore excursions booked in affected ports through Holland America Line will be refunded and taxes, fees and port expenses will be adjusted accordingly.”

Captain Fantastic

Marvel Comics are the latest theme cruise heroes being enlisted by Disney Cruise Lines.

Super heroes and super villains will feature during a new, day-long celebration entitled Marvel Day at Sea.

Available on seven Disney Magic sailings from in 2017, Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor and other Marvel Universe Super Heroes will meet-and-greet guests and hold photo opportunities.