Saturday, February 28, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
“In this challenging economic environment, we are offering a safety net for guests who want to book a cruise, but are uncertain about what the future holds in terms of their employment,” said Andy Stuart, NCL’s executive vice president of global sales and passenger services. “Our BookSafe plan enables guests to book with confidence knowing that they will receive a full refund if they need to cancel their cruise because of job loss.”
In addition to the new job loss protection feature, NCL’s overall travel protection plan, administered by BerkelyCare and underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Penn., includes a variety of benefits and services so guests can plan and enjoy their vacations with peace of mind. Benefits of the program include: trip cancellation/trip interruption protection; medical protection including emergency evacuation coverage; baggage protection for lost or delayed luggage; and worldwide emergency assistance, such as emergency cash transfers, medical consultation and assistance with lost travel documents.
Effective February 26, 2009, guests who purchase NCL’s BookSafe Travel Protection Plan for any NCL cruise departing on or after May 1, 2009, are eligible for reimbursement of any cancellation fees if an insured guest loses their job as long as the person has been an active employee at the same company for at least one year.
NCL’s enhanced travel protection plan is available starting at $29 per person, depending on the cruise fare paid. More information about how the plan works can be found at www.ncl.com or by contacting a travel professional who specializes in NCL’s Freestyle Cruising.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Just this year the Queen Mary 2, celebrated her 5th birthday. I have been onboard the ship and have found her to be both beautiful and oppulent.
I hope you find these stats enjoyable. Thanks Cunard Public Relations dept for sharing these!
QUEEN MARY 2 (QM2)
Did you know…
- At 1,132 feet, QM2 is five times longer than Cunard’s first ship, Britannia (230 feet), and 113 feet longer than the original Queen Mary (1,019 feet).
- She features 17 decks and towers 200 feet above the waterline, equal to the height of a 23-story building.
- QM2 is more than twice as long as the Washington Monument is tall (550 feet), 147 feet longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall (984 feet), more than 3 ½ times as long as Big Ben (Westminster Tower) is high (310 feet), as long as 36 double-decker London buses (31½ feet each), more than three times as long as St. Paul’s Cathedral (366 feet), and only 117 feet shorter than the height of the Empire State Building (1248 feet).
- QM2 stretches nearly four football fields in length.
- There are several dining venues, all featuring ocean views, including Cunard’s traditional Grill Rooms for the higher stateroom categories and an elegant restaurant for the deluxe and standard categories. Recalling the classic dining salons of grand liners of the past, the magnificent three-deck-high main dining room will span the full width of the ship with a sweeping central staircase creating a dramatic showcase for those wishing to make the ultimate grand entrance.
- Another classic feature is the 360-degree Promenade Deck, recreating an environment, which historically served as an important social venue aboard transatlantic liners. The spacious deck, whose total circumference exceeds one-third of a mile, is lined with traditional steamer chairs while leaving expansive room for guests to stroll. Interior promenades circling several decks provide attractive walking venues, as well.
- The ship has a large indoor swimming pool in the spa as well as four outside pools, one of which has a retractable glass roof.
- A planetarium on board - the first at sea - offers a variety of constellation shows, as well as other presentations.
- One of the ship’s whistle is an original from Queen Mary so that her famous predecessor’s voice will once more be heard on the ocean. It is audible for 10 miles.
For the construction of QM2…
…some 300,000 pieces of steel were cut and welded into blocks in specialized workshops. QM2’s hull is made up of 94 steel blocks (made from 580 panels), some of which weigh more than 600 tons, involving some 1,500 kilometres of welding. Her hull weighs 50,000 tons (more than a school of 330 blue whales) – not to be confused with her gross tonnage, which is 151,400.
Food & Beverage…
- The annual sugar consumption would make eight million scones.
- The QM2 uses almost 7,000 boxes of strawberries each year.
- The annual tea consumption would fill an Olympic size swimming pool.
- The QM2 serves 1.5 million drinks per year, not including wine sales.
- The annual beef consumption would supply a city the size of Southampton each year.
- The onboard baking requires the use of nearly 8,000 industrial size flour bags. Stacking them would make a pile five times higher than the Eiffel Tower.
- The weight of pineapples used per year match the weight of 50 SUVs, almost 90 metric tons.
- 2,500 kilometres of electric cable
- 310 miles (500 kilometres) of ducts, mains and pipes
- 2,000 bathrooms
- 80,000 lighting points
- 280,000 square yards (250,000 square metres) of fitted carpets
- 144,000 square yards (120,000 square metres) of insulating material
- 3,800 square yards (3,200 square metres) of galleys
- 3,000 telephones
- 8,800 loudspeakers
- 5,000 stairs
- 5,000 fire detectors
- 1,100 fire doors
- 8,350 automatic extinguishers
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Sunday, February 22, 2009
These amenities became passenger favorites when they debuted aboard Crown Princess, Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess over the last three years, and are being added to a number of ships, including Golden Princess in May. The company has already introduced many of these features on Star Princess and Grand Princess.
"We want to give passengers who sail aboard any of our large ships the opportunity to enjoy the innovative amenities that have become hallmarks of the Princess cruise experience," said Jan Swartz, executive vice president of Princess Cruises.
Caribbean Princess' new atrium now features the specialty coffees, fresh baked cookies and pastries, paninis and tapas of the International Cafe. Also new is the Vines wine bar offering a selection of more than 30 wines by the glass, plus a selection of seafood, artisan meats and cheeses, and a wine shop where passengers can purchase their favorite bottle.
Adult passengers looking to get away from it all will be able to relax in the tranquility of The Sanctuary, Princess' signature retreat featuring plush padded lounge chairs and the services of dedicated Serenity Stewards. Visitors to this exclusive space can enjoy refreshing beverages and light snacks, or receive a massage in one of two private cabanas.
Caribbean Princess will soon debut a brand new Crown Grill restaurant featuring an open kitchen where passengers can enjoy watching as chefs prepare chops, steaks and seafood, including live lobsters.
As part of the renovation, the 3,080-passenger ship -- which debuted in 2004 -- also received seven new suites with ocean-view picture windows, and a relocated casino on deck 7, bringing it into the ship's central entertainment area. Other changes include a new location for the sports court, a new Limelight boutique, new shore excursions and Captain's Circle desks, new Internet cafe and library, and the addition of flat-screen televisions in all staterooms.
The dramatic makeover took place at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas, where more than 1,500 workers and contractors worked around the clock to complete the impressive project.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
MSC Orchestra departs Fort Lauderdale on May 2 on an 18-night sailing to Copenhagen. The voyage includes the line’s first call in New York City, a May 5 overnight. The offer brings starting prices to $56 per person, double occupancy, for an inside stateroom, $73 for an ocean-view, $84 for a balcony and $144 for a balcony suite.
MSC Lirica departs Fort Lauderdale on April 23 on a 16-night voyage to Dover. With the savings, rates begin at $44 for an inside stateroom, $60 for an ocean-view and $125 for a balcony suite.
The rates expire March 15.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Watch as ships of all types are lifted or lowered through the locks in real time. It is always a treat to see enourmous cruise ships or containeships sailing through the canal.
The webcam is available at the following link: http://www.pancanal.com/ - Follow the links for the webcam.
“We are excited to be introducing one of the industry’s most innovative ships to the West Coast giving more vacationers the opportunity to conveniently experience the Royal Caribbean difference,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “From the very beginning, we have been guided by the principles of ‘Why Not’ - why not ice-skate across the equator or why not rock climb 200 miles out at sea? With Mariner's arrival in Los Angeles, we invite West Coast travelers to the Nation of Why Not and ask them ‘why not go out and see, do and be more than they had ever thought possible on a vacation’."
Mariner of the Seas offers guests the chance to relax in the adults-only Solarium, swim in the two swimming pools or six whirlpools, or sunbathe in the main pool area, which served as the canvas for pop art sensation Romero Britto. Brittotransformed the 25,000 square-foot pool deck into an outdoor art exhibit replete with whimsical figures and playful patterns. This one-of-a-kind pool deck also features a side gallery chronicling this project from initial inspiration to final construction. Offering an experience that caters to active travelers or multigenerational family vacations, Mariner of the Seas also features a nine-hole miniature golf course, interactive golf simulator, the full-service Mariner Day Spa and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
In the evening, guests can enjoy one of the16 bars and themed lounges and seven restaurants, including a 1950s-style Johnny Rockets Diner and Royal Caribbean’s signature specialty restaurants; Chops Grille steakhouse and Portofino Italian restaurant. Guests also can enjoy a myriad of entertainment options from top-rated Broadway-style productions in the Savoy Theatre to world class gaming in the Casino Royale.
Throughout, all guests will experience the line’s hallmark Gold Anchor Service, which helps make each guest vacation a unique and unforgettable experience with friendly and engaging service from the staff and crew.
For younger guests, Royal Caribbean’saward-winning Adventure Ocean youth program offers scheduled activities throughout the day that enriches and entertains kids. Teens have their own dedicated onboard areas such as Fuel, the teen disco; The Living Room, a place where they can relax and hang out with their friends; and The Back Deck, an outdoor lounge.
Mariner of the Seas will sail a seven-night Mexican Riviera itinerary, round-trip from Los Angeles with ports of call at Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Amidst ongoing rave reviews of its new Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Cruises today announced that the pace of construction of sister ship Celebrity Equinox is proceeding so well, the cruise line will offer a soft launch prior to the ship's maiden voyage of August 8.
The eagerly anticipated Celebrity Equinox will now present a cruise departing July 31 through the majestic Norwegian Fjords, roundtrip from Southampton, England. Celebrity paired the news with a special offer to guests booked on Celebrity Equinox’s inaugural sailing of August 8, inviting them to combine their 10-night “Best of Europe” cruise with the 8-night soft launch, for a spectacular 18-night voyage on the new ship. Guests capitalizing on the opportunity will receive an onboard credit of $200 per stateroom or $300 per suite. The 8-night cruise through the Norwegian Fjords features visits to Stavanger, Flam, Geiranger, and Oslo, Norway. The 10-night maiden voyage, which will include an inaugural gift and commemorative activities, will visit Paris/Normandy (via Le Havre) and Cherbourg, France; Vigo, Cartagena and Barcelona, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal, and Gibraltar, UK, ending in Rome (via Civitavecchia), Italy.
Guests on every sailing of Celebrity Equinox will experience the series of brand-defining, industry-first attributes that guests, travel agents and press have praised about Celebrity Solstice, including a half-acre Lawn Club with real grass, a glassblowing show and studio developed with The Corning Museum of Glass, unrivaled dining venues offering trendsetting cuisine and design, and widely varied entertainment, including spectacular new shows in partnership with Poet Theatricals. The 2,850-guest vessel also will have spacious staterooms and bathrooms, and several categories of accommodations, including Celebrity’s new, spa-inspired AquaClass staterooms.
Bookings are now open for the new 8-night cruise on Celebrity Equinox.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The extensive renovation, which took place during a 35-day dry dock, is part of Carnival’s “Evolutions of Fun” refurbishment program for the line’s eight Fantasy-class vessels. Carnival Sensation is the fourth “Fun Ship” to receive the upgrades, joining the Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, and Carnival Fantasy which have already been renovated. The four remaining Fantasy-class ships will be refurbished over the next few years.
Carnival Sensation resumed its year-round three- and four-day Bahamas cruise program from Port Canaveral, Fla., last week. On this route, three-day cruises depart Thursdays and visit Nassau while four-day voyages depart Sundays and call at Freeport and Nassau.
Exciting Open Deck Upgrades
A highlight of the “Evolutions of Fun” upgrades is Carnival WaterWorks, a sprawling aqua park that is designed to appeal to guests of all ages. Towering over Verandah Deck, the expansive open-air facility includes a 300-foot-long water slide – the longest at sea – along with twin 82-foot-long racing slides and various water spray apparatus. Another signature element of “Evolutions of Fun” is the redesigned main pool area. Located mid-ship on Lido Deck, the area has a distinctive resort-style ambiance, with colorful, oversized umbrellas, thatched roofing, vibrant tile work and other tropical-themed design elements.
Serenity Adults-Only Retreat
Also new on the Carnival Sensation is Serenity, an exclusive adults-only retreat located aft on Promenade Deck. Designed as an ocean-going oasis for comfort and relaxation, Serenity offers plush chaise lounges and chairs, and two large whirlpools. Shade is provided by oversized umbrellas, along with an area covered by thatched roofing. Within Serenity, guests can enjoy a wide range of icy cocktails and frozen drinks or partake in various dining options at the nearby, casual Seaview restaurant.
Ninety-Eight New Balcony Staterooms
Ninety-eight existing ocean view staterooms on the Carnival Sensation have been retrofitted with balconies, creating expansive new cabins measuring approximately 230 square feet. Twenty-four of the new balcony cabins are located mid-ship, 12 are located near the stern, and the other 62 are located aft, with several of these accommodations featuring extended balconies. Additionally, a number of the Carnival Sensation’s suites have been modified to feature larger, extended balconies to create a more spacious environment for guests.
New Circle C Facility, Other Enhancements
Carnival Sensation’s refurbishment also included the creation of a new Circle C facility on Atlantic Deck 8. Catering to the 12- to 14-old age group, Circle C includes a high-tech sound and lighting system, plasma screen televisions displaying movies and music videos, a touch-screen jukebox and gaming pods with the latest games and consoles. All of the Carnival Sensation’s 1,026 staterooms have been completely remodeled with new wall coverings, tile work, carpeting and light fixtures. Additionally, virtually all dining, dancing and entertainment venues, as well as all guest corridors, have been renovated with a host of cosmetic enhancements.
Monday, February 16, 2009
- 4 Day Cruises visit St. John, New Brunswick, Canada.
- 5 Day Cruises visit St. John, New Brunswick, Canada and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
- 7 Day Cruises visit Boston. MA, Portland, ME, St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
- 9 Day Cruises visit Quebec City, Quebec; Baie-Comeau, Quebec; Havre St. Pierre, Quebec.
- Route 1 visiting San Juan, PR; St. Thomas and Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos;
- Route 2 visiting Grand Turk, Turk and Caicos; Half Moon Cay (Private Island), Bahamas; and Nassau, Bahamas.
Later in the year, the brand new Carnival Dream, a new class of ship for Carnival, will sail an abbreviated season from New York. After a transatlantic sailing from Rome to New York, in late October, the Carnival Dream, will sail on a two night cruise to nowhere, followed by two, 8-day cruises to Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau and Freeport in the Bahamas. The Carnival Dream will spend the remainder of 2009/2010 sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida alternating sailing to the Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean.
Carnival offers a decent cruise product, appealing to the masses at a reasonable price.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Capable of carrying 4,200-passenger, she is scheduled to sail year-round to the Caribbean from Miami, beginning in summer 2010. Following a series of inaugural events in Europe and the U.S., the Norwegian Epic will be based in Miami and sail year-round to the Caribbean offering alternating seven-day Western and Eastern Caribbean voyages through April 2011.
The ship's Western Caribbean itinerary includes stops in Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico. Norwegian Epic's Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes stops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.
Norwegian Epic represents the next generation of Freestyle Cruising which incorporates a wide range of new features and amenities, including curved New Wave staterooms and unique nightlife options.