The current industry-wide orderbook for newbuilds has a few questions marks in it after 2009.The biggest newbuilds in question are NCL's F3 ships. Originally scheduled for delivery in March and October, the two 150,000-ton, 4,200-passenger ships were to cost roughly $940 million each. How exactly the F3 got off track, however, is still a bit of a mystery.

All STX Europe has said about the conflict is that it centers on construction costs for the first vessel, not the second ship. NCL only confirmed that there was a conflict, nothing more.

 Cruise Industry News asked NCL for a status report on the newbuilds but did not receive a response from the line. It was not clear what penalties NCL might incur, if any, were the first F3 ship officially cancelled.

Royal Caribbean International has an option to build another Freedom-class ship in 2011 at STX Europe. A spokesman for Royal Caribbean Cruises said no decision has been made about building the $825 million, 158,000-ton, 3,600-passenger vessel. The only ships the brand currently has on order are the two Oasis-class ships.

If the Freedom-class ship were built, Royal Caribbean International would be introducing 14,400 new berths over the next three years.

In related news, STX Europe laid the keel on the second Oasis-class ship, the Allure of the Seas, last week.

In a prepared statement, STX said it has the two Oasis-class ships to be delivered to Royal Caribbean in 2009 and 2010. The shipbuilder did not mention the additional Freedom-class ship. And there is no further word on the two new ships that were planned for TUI Cruises.

Questions at Smaller Lines Too 

Silversea Cruises plans to take delivery of the 36,000-ton, 540-passenger Silver Spirit any day now, although the exact date seems to be a mystery even to those within the company. The inaugural sailing won't happen until January or later, however. The line has an option for a second $250 million ship from Fincantieri, but hasn't decided whether to exercise the option. If the line chooses to build the ship, it would arrive in late 2010.

Oceania Cruises will take delivery of the 65,000-ton, 1,260-passenger Marina from Fincantieri in September 2010 and then an unnamed sister ship in July of 2011.

Parent company Prestige Cruises Holdings will hold off on a decision about options for a 2011 newbuild for Regent Seven Seas Cruises and a sister ship to the Marina for Oceania in 2012. Prestige has until the end of 2009 to make the decision. The global economy is clearly a factor.

"We will place any order once the market conditions are in favor of moving ahead with an order," a Prestige spokesman said.

Pears Seas Cruises' new 210-passenger Pearl Mist is scheduled to arrive from Irving Shipbuilding's Halifax Shipyards later than planned. Originally scheduled for 2008, the ship will likely be delivered in May 2009 because of delays at the yard, a Pearl Seas spokesman said.

Pearl Seas' second new ship was originally scheduled to be built in Halifax, but that plan has since changed. The spokesman declined to give details about the delay, or what caused the move away from building at Halifax, saying only that Pearl is currently seeking a yard to build the ship.