Saturday, July 30, 2011

THE NEXT UPDATE - AUGUST 8TH












THE NEXT UPDATE TO THE CRUISE-GURU

BLOG WILL BE
MONDAY AUGUST 8th -

PLEASE CHECK BACK THEN.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Norwegian Pearl to Host Bill Cosby While Ship Undergoes Repairs

Norwegian Pearl will play host to Bill Cosby for one night only when he performs in concert in the ship’s Stardust Theater on Sunday, July 24, 2011. Cosby will perform two 70-minute comedy shows, complimentary to guests, while the ship is docked in Seattle , Washington . One of America ’s most beloved comedians of all time, Bill Cosby has captivated generations of fans with his comedy routines, iconic albums, best selling books such as Fatherhood and groundbreaking television like The Cosby Show. His comedy transcends age, gender and cultural barriers.

Norwegian Pearl will overnight in Seattle on July 24 in order to undergo technical repairs to the ship’s propeller. The ship will depart at noon on Monday, July 25 on its seven-day Alaska Glacier Bay cruise. Because of the delayed departure, the ship will bypass its call in Juneau , Alaska . Guests will be compensated with a $150 onboard credit per stateroom, as well as a future cruise credit of 10% of the cruise fare paid per guest. In addition to Cosby’s special performance on Sunday night, guests will also enjoy complimentary house wine with dinner, 50 percent off on specialty restaurants’ cover charges and the option to enjoy Seattle ’s nightlife.

“We understand that missing Juneau will cause disappointment for some of our guests, so we wanted to do something very special to make the cruise memorable,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “Bill Cosby is a huge name in entertainment and we felt that he would deliver an incredible show. We are very pleased to have Mr. Cosby performing on board Norwegian Pearl.”

Friday, July 22, 2011

MSC's MSC Poesia Offers Baseball Theme Cruises


Fans looking to extend the baseball season can sail to some incredible Caribbean destinations with former Major League Baseball stars onboard MSC Poesia for various “Baseball Greats” theme cruises from $549 plus government fees and taxes.

This is the eight year MSC Cruises has hosted these popular cruises with an ever-changing line-up of players. Interact with former Major Leaguers who played and were stars on several teams.

Host and emcee for all of the onboard activities on each cruise is former New York Yankees star pitcher, Stan Bahnsen. “Baseball Greats” cruises offer free guest/player activities including a player-hosted trivia game, a question-and-answer session, a guest pitching contest, and a lively story-telling session.

Baseball players host hitting, fielding, base running, and defense strategy clinics. One of the most popular aspects of the experience includes a free autograph session.

These Caribbean cruises are roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and feature the following destinations and former Major League Baseball players:

7-night Western Caribbean cruise on November 19 with Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers’ Hall-of-Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, Glenn Beckert (Chicago Cubs All-Star and Gold Glove second-baseman), Frank Howard (two-time, American League home run king), Bill Russell (Los Angeles Dodgers’ star shortstop and manager), and Stan Bahnsen (a star pitcher for the Yankees).

10-night Western Caribbean cruise on December 6 with Tommy Davis (National League batting champion with the Los Angeles Dodgers), Amos Otis (All-Star, Gold Glove center-fielder for the Kansas City Royals), Jack Billingham (All-Star pitcher and World Series star with the Cincinnati Reds), Dave Campbell (infielder for the Tigers and Padres, and award-winning broadcaster for ESPN), and Stan Bahnsen.



7-night Western Caribbean cruise on January 14 with Ken Griffey, Sr. (Cincinnati Reds All-Star), Jim Fregosi (All-Star shortstop with the California Angles and manager for four teams), Darold Knowles (All-Star relief pitcher with the World Series Champion Oakland A’s), one more player to be named, and Stan Bahnsen.

7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on February 18 with Vida Blue (American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner with the Oakland A’s), Randy Hundley (All-Star, Gold Glove catcher with the Chicago Cubs), Jessie Barfield (All-Star, Gold Glove outfielder with the Toronto Blue Jays), Cookie Rojas (All-Star shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies and Kansas City Royals), and Stan Bahnsen.

7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on March 3 with Gorman Thomas (two-time American League home run king for the Milwaukee Brewers), John Lieber (Star pitcher with the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs), Tony Taylor (All-Star, Gold Glove second baseman with the Philadelphia Phillies), Ken Berry (Chicago White Sox All-Star, Gold Glove centerfielder), and Stan Bahnsen.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Norwegian New Ships to Feature The Haven - Exclusive Suites

Norwegian Cruise Line (“Norwegian”) today revealed that the exclusive suite complex for its two new Project Breakaway ships will be named The Haven by Norwegian. The company also unveiled renderings for some of the ship’s most luxurious accommodations along with announcing that the suite complexes on five of its ships – Norwegian Epic, Gem, Pearl, Jade and Jewel – will also be named The Haven by Norwegian.

“Norwegian was the first cruise line to introduce the ship within a ship complex with the introduction of Norwegian Jewel in 2005,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “These private enclaves at the top of the ships are home to our most luxurious, well-appointed and spacious accommodations offering the utmost in service and elegance. With the introduction of the suite complex on our Breakaway ships, we felt it was appropriate to brand this space as The Haven by Norwegian to better identify and describe the unique luxury cruising experience we offer.”

Norwegian’s Jewel class ships (Norwegian Jewel, Jade, Pearl and Gem) include up to 18 suites as part of The Haven, including the largest suites at sea – the 5,000 square foot, three-bedroom Garden Villas. All of these suites surround The Haven Courtyard that includes a pool, sundeck, hot tub, fitness room and more. The Haven on Norwegian Epic is the largest suite complex at sea, comprising 60 suites on two private decks at the top of the ship. An additional 15 suites also have access to The Haven. These guests have exclusive access to The Haven Courtyard featuring a pool, two whirlpools, gym, saunas, sundeck, along with a restaurant with indoor/outdoor dining, bar and concierge lounge.

The Haven guests also have an array of amenities, including private butler and concierge service. Norwegian is enhancing the experience in The Haven by expanding existing butler service to 24 hours and having butlers trained and certified by the International Institute of Modern Butlers. The Line is also adding a poolside valet in the Courtyard who will provide more personalized service poolside. In-suite dining has been enhanced to white tablecloth service.

Norwegian ensures that guests staying in The Haven will be pampered with privacy, personalized service and a deluxe array of complimentary amenities so they can experience everything a luxury vacation should offer. The Haven’s exclusive benefits include priority embarkation and disembarkation; distinctive platinum keycard; priority boarding of tenders to shore; in-suite espresso/cappuccino machines; gourmet treats delivered each evening; Bliss Collection by Norwegian™ pillow-top mattress; fine linens, feather duvet and pillow menu; along with plush bathrobes, slippers, oversized towels; and much more.

“When I described the design theme for Breakaway’s staterooms recently I called it ‘modern boutique hotel meets the sea,’” added Sheehan. “Now with The Haven by Norwegian, we truly have our own private boutique hotel on Norwegian Epic, Gem, Pearl, Jade, and Jewel, along with our new Project Breakaway ships, offering the ultimate in luxury and service at sea.”

The Haven on Project Breakaway

On the Project Breakaway ships, The Haven, consisting of 42 suites located on Decks 15 and 16 forward, includes a private restaurant, a cocktail bar and a concierge desk where Haven guests can relax, have a drink and make dining, entertainment or spa reservations through the dedicated concierge. In the center of The Haven, there is a two-story courtyard area with pool that has a deep end for swimming and a shallow area for relaxing, two whirlpools and a private sundeck, along with two private massage rooms, changing areas and a sauna. The Haven guests also have direct, private access to the ship’s spa and fitness center.

The most luxurious and the largest suites within The Haven are the two Deluxe Owner’s Suites which include an elegantly appointed living room and dining area that also includes a wet bar. In the bedroom, there is a plush king size bed with pillow top mattress that faces floor-to-ceiling windows and an extra-spacious wraparound private balcony. In the bathroom, there is an oversized bath tub, two modern vanity sinks and a luxury shower. The Deluxe Owner’s Suites can be joined to the Owner’s Suites, creating one grand suite that can sleep up to eight guests.

The 21 Two-Bedroom Family Villas feature two bedrooms and two bathrooms which are perfect for families. The separate living room and dining area includes a single sofa bed, writing desk, bar and more. The master bedroom features a luxurious king-size bed, floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony. The master bath features separate luxury shower, an oversize oval tub that looks out to the sea, two modern vanity sinks and a variety of bath appointments. The second bedroom includes a double sofa bed and bathroom.

Rounding out the accommodations inside The Haven are the 17 Courtyard Penthouses which feature a king size bed with pillow top mattress, living and dining area, a single sofa bed, writing desk and lots of storage spaces.

On other decks throughout the ship, there are eight aft-facing penthouses and 10 forward-facing penthouses. The forward penthouses include a living room and dining area featuring a double sofa bed and writing desk. The bathroom is ultra modern with double bowl sinks, a curved oval bathtub and separate shower.

Norwegian is also continuing with the popular Spa Suites introduced on Norwegian Epic. There are 16 Spa Suites with tranquil spa décor, king-size bed, dining area and an in-suite whirlpool for the ultimate in luxury. These Spa Suites also feature easy access to the adjacent spa and fitness center, as well as complimentary access to the thermal spa suite during operating hours. The bathroom features an oversized spa-like shower with a waterfall shower head and multiple body spray jets, along with a separate handheld shower head and two vanity sinks.

Each of the Project Breakaway ships will be 144,017 gross tons and will have approximately 4,000 passenger berths. They are scheduled for delivery in April 2013 and April 2014.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oceania Cruise New Riviera is Floated Out.

Oceania Cruises celebrated a major milestone on Saturday, July 16, as the line’s new 1,250-guest Riviera was afloat for the first time and moved from the construction dock to her fitting-out berth.

"The float out of a ship is a beautiful occasion which marks the beginning of her life and we are eagerly anticipating the day next spring that we can unveil her to the world,” stated Frank Del Rio, Chairman and CEO of Prestige Cruise Holdings, parent company of Oceania Cruises.

The shipyard will now focus on fitting out and finishing Riviera’s exquisite interiors which were designed in concert with the renowned team from Y&S of Oslo, Norway.

Riviera will offer 625 elegantly appointed and custom-crafted accommodations that are among the largest at sea, ranging from 174 to a palatial 2,000+ square feet. Her top suites will be a study in chic, residential elegance and feature furnishings from Ralph Lauren Home and designs by Dakota Jackson of New York City and S.B. Long Interiors of Greenwich, CT. The ship will also feature a Lalique-designed grand lobby, 10 dining venues and numerous bars and lounges. Facilities will include a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub and fitness center, innovative Bon Appétit Culinary Center, swimming pool and hot tubs.

In her inaugural year, Riviera will cruise the Mediterranean and then cross the Atlantic where she will spend the winter cruising the yacht harbors of the Caribbean.
--------------------------------------------------------------------


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Celebrity Cruises Takes the Keys to the Celebrity Silhouette

It’s official: Celebrity Cruises today took ownership of the sleek new Celebrity Silhouette in a celebratory handoff ceremony with colleagues from shipbuilderMeyer Werft. Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of Celebrity’s parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and Celebrity’s President and CEO Dan Hanrahan participated in the event, which marks the transfer of ownership of the vessel from the shipyard to Celebrity.

Following a formal, invitation-only naming ceremony and cruise July 21-23, Celebrity Silhouette will set sail from Hamburg, Germany, on July 23 on a seven-night cruise to Civitavecchia (for Rome), where the ship will present roundtrip 12-night Mediterranean/Holy Land sailings until November, when the vessel will be the first Solstice Class ship to offer cruises from the New York/New Jersey market.

Celebrity Silhouette will enhance guests’ precious vacation time with a host of industry-first venues and experiences within The Lawn Club, including the interactive “Lawn Club Grill,” where guests can select and grill their own meats side-by-side with Celebrity’s expert chefs, or have them cooked to order; the relaxing, private, wi-fi-equipped cabanas called “The Alcoves”; “The Porch,” a breezy, casual dining spot offering sandwiches, coffees and captivating views of the sea and the ship’s lush lawn, and “The Art Studio,” where vacationers can bring out their inner artist. The ship also will present another entirely new venue, “The Hideaway,” an intimate, quiet space reminiscent of a childhood tree house, and a new twist on Celebrity’s “Michael’s Club,” with a selection of more than 50 beers from around the world, including craft beers.

Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of the world’s top-rated premium cruise line, with spacious, stylish interiors; dining experiences elevated to an art form; personalized service, with a guest-to-staff ratio of nearly 2:1; unexpected, trendsetting onboard activities, all designed to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. Celebrity sails to Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. One of the fastest-growing major cruise lines, Celebrity’s fleet currently consists of nine ships, with two additional Solstice Class ships scheduled to join the fleet: Celebrity Silhouette in July 2011, and Celebrity Reflection in Fall 2012.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional Links:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Luxury Operator Crystal Cruises Offers Significant Reduction on October 25th Cruise from NY to the Caribbean

As if Crystal Cruises’ big fall sale wasn’t already big enough, the ultraluxe cruise line has marked down its October 25 New York-Miami Caribbean cruise even further, with savings of up to 67% off brochure fares. To learn more -> http://www.nycruiseinfo.com/News_Article/11-07-13-Crystal-Cruises-Offers-Reposit-Discount.htm
---------------------------------------------------------------------


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Royal Caribbean Announces Biggest Ever Asia Australia Deployment in 2012-13

Royal Caribbean International today announced a record-setting winter 2012-13 Australia cruises and cruisetours season, offering vacationers three of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships in the region. Voyager of the Seas – the largest and most amenity-filled cruise ship to sail the Indian and Pacific oceans – Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas will sail an eclectic mix of Australia and New Zealand itineraries, ranging from one to 18 nights, and cruisetours for up to 23 nights. Bookings for Royal Caribbean’s 2012-13 Australia and New Zealand cruises and cruisetours open today.

“Royal Caribbean will offer more capacity in Sydney than any other cruise operator during the season,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “Vacationers have the widest choice among the region’s most innovative ships, exclusive onboard amenities and compelling itineraries. Combined with our signature friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service, Royal Caribbean’s Australia and New Zealand season is delivering the Royal Advantage to guests on an adventure Down Under.”

Vacationers also can choose among five cruisetour itineraries, which combine a cruise aboard one of the ships and an escorted multi-night land tour. Destination highlights on the land tour include visits to Ayers Rock, rising high above the Northern Territory’s dramatic desert plain, and enjoy a gourmet barbeque under the vast Outback sky; and cruise, swim, snorkel and dive in the Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas. In New Zealand, guests will explore Auckland and Rotorua and enjoy a Hangi and Maori concert among many other activities. All Royal Caribbean cruisetours are escorted by a knowledgeable Adventure Specialist and include hotel accommodations, transportation and select meals.

Voyager of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas will offer vacationers a wide range of short cruises – one-, two-, and five-night itineraries – to longer, eight- to 18-night cruises in the South Pacific to New Zealand and Australia. Vacationers also can choose a repositioning cruise aboard Voyager of the Seas from Singapore to Fremantle, departing October 22, 2012, and return on March 9, 2013. Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas both will reposition from Vancouver, British Columbia to Sydney, via Hawaii, in September 2012, and return in May 2013.

At 137,276 gross registered tons, Voyager of the Seas ranks among the world’s 10 largest and most innovative cruise ships and will offer Australia vacationers an unparalleled experience in the region. The ship offers exclusive Royal Caribbean onboard amenities, such as an ice-skating rink for spectacular ice show performances, nine-hole mini-golf course, and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that runs nearly the length of the ship, flanked with boutiques, restaurant and lounges, and ideal for dance parties and parades. Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas are both appointed with multi-deck, dazzling glass windows, affording guests sweeping vistas of the landscape as it unfolds.

Aboard all three ships, guests can race to the top of the ships’ iconic rock-climbing walls for an even more thrilling view from the ship’s highest point or enjoy a variety of rejuvenating spa treatments in the Day Spa. Younger guests will be entertained and enlightened in the cruise line’s award-winning Adventure Ocean and teen programs, with scheduled activities led by a college-graduate counselor beginning from 9 to 2 a.m. In the evenings, guests can enjoy the Royal Caribbean Productions’ award-winning Broadway-style musical revues, and recount the day’s experiences in multiple onboard bars and lounges over cocktails.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 ships currently in service.

--------------------------------------

Additional Links:

Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Main Page
Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Cruise News

Cruises From Boston
Cruises From Baltimore
Cruises From Norfolk


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Royal Caribbean Announces Major Upgrades to the Fleet

Royal Caribbean International today announced that it will invest approximately $300 million to bring the latest innovations to the cruise line's ships across the fleet and introduce the highest guest-rated programs from its award-winning Oasis-class ships. The revitalizations will offer guests a greater variety of new onboard dining and entertainment options, pervasive Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations, and many more amenities, to deliver even more of the "WOW" aboard all Royal Caribbean ships sailing worldwide. Planned through 2014, the revitalizations are yet another example of why Royal Caribbean has been voted Best Cruise Line Overall for eight consecutive years in Travel Weekly's Readers' Choice Awards. These fleetwide enhancements build on Royal Caribbean's best-in-class global vacation offering and deliver to guests the Royal Advantage - the industry's most innovative cruise ships, combined with exciting itineraries and destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service.

"The Royal Advantage revitalizations takes many of the best features that we have created in recent years and introduces them across our fleet, offering our guests enhanced vacation choices around the world," said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. "We never stop trying to make the experience even better, and no other cruise line can offer the same high quality vacation experience with such an array of choices that cater to every guest."

The Royal Advantage revitalizations began with Radiance of the Seas in May 2011, and will be followed by Splendour of the Seas in November. In 2012, revitalizations are scheduled for Vision-class ships including Rhapsody of the Seas (March 2012) and Grandeur of the Seas (May 2012), as well as Radiance-class Serenade of the Seas (November 2012). Each ship will enter dry dock for approximately a month and re-emerge as even better versions of the ships that guests love, complete with new dining venues, entertainment options, technology enhancements and more.

"We are thrilled that the ongoing Royal Advantage revitalizations will result in a virtually brand-new fleet that offers the most contemporary experience, no matter which ship or itinerary vacationers choose," said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president of Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. "From new dining concepts to cutting-edge entertainment to technological advancements, we are raising the bar across the fleet to offer guests our signature Gold Anchor Service and the world's most innovative cruise ships that sail to exciting destinations worldwide."

With the cruise line's recently announced 2012-13 deployments, vacationers have the opportunity to enjoy new and unparalleled onboard experiences and itineraries. Revitalized Grandeur of the Seas will offer vacationers seven-night Western Mediterranean or 10- and 11-night Greece and Turkey itineraries from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Venice, respectively, in summer 2012. Moreover, the newly revitalized Rhapsody of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas will offer vacationers additional dining and entertainment options for a cruise or cruisetour in awe-inspiring Alaska in summer 2012 or rugged Australia and New Zealand in winter 2012-13.

Among the revitalizations and enhancements to the Vision-, Voyager- and Radiance-class ships throughout the next three years, will be:

  • New Technology: Guests will enjoy pervasive Wi-Fi, interactive flat-panel televisions in staterooms, and electronic mustering.
  • Digital Wayfinding Systems: Onboard activities, real time updates, customized directions and routing, as well as ship factoids will all be at guests' fingertips with new plasma and L CD touch screen signs prominently placed throughout each of the ships.
  • Outdoor LED Video Walls: Oversized video screens will be installed on the pool decks to liven up outdoor entertainment and programming, day and night.
  • Royal Babies and Tots Nursery: Safe, fun and interactive vacation environments will be available in nurseries designed for babies and tots ages six through 36 months.
  • New Staterooms: New levels of accommodations, including staterooms ideal for families, will be added to suit a variety of guest needs and requirements.

Additional Dining Options:


  • Chef's Table: An exclusive experience co-hosted by the Executive Chef and Sommelier for an intimate wine pairing dinner of five courses.
  • Izumi: A pan-Asian cuisine restaurant featuring mouthwatering flavors and a sushi bar with hot-rock cooking.
  • Chops Grille: Royal Caribbean's signature steakhouse featuring a menu of prime cuts prepared a la minute.
  • Park Café: A casual dining venue featuring gourmet salads, sandwiches, soups and pastries.
  • Rita's Cantina: A casual yet vibrant restaurant offering traditional Mexican fare, comprehensive selection of margaritas and live evening entertainment.
  • Boardwalk Doghouse: A casual eatery for guest to enjoy a range of brats, links, wieners and dogs.
In 2013 and 2014, additional Royal Advantage revitalizations will take place on Vision-class ships, including Legend of the Seas and Vision of the Seas, four Voyager-class ships - Navigator of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas - and the Radiance-class Brilliance of the Seas. Royal Caribbean also will deliver the Royal Advantage through less extensive enhancements planned for Freedom-class Independence of the Seas, Voyager-class Mariner of the Seas, and Vision-class Enchantment of the Seas.

Radiance of the Seas' recent revitalization doubled the ship's onboard dining options among other enhancements, and is now alternating seven-night South- and North-bound Alaska itineraries this summer before repositioning for its first winter season in Australia and New Zealand. The final and most extensive revitalization this year will be Splendour of the Seas in November, which afterwards will offer two-, three- and four-night Brazil cruises, as well as seven- and eight-night Argentina & Uruguay Cruises from Sao Paulo, Brazil. In early 2011, Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, and Liberty of the Seas had received popular enhancements and programs that were introduced aboard the newly launched Allure of the Seas, such as the DreamWorks Experience. Having previously undergone extensive revitalizations in recent years, both Sovereign-class Majesty of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas are currently delivering the Royal Advantage to guests on short Bahamas cruises from Miami and Port Canaveral, Fla., respectively.

--------------------------------------

Additional Links:

Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Main Page
Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Cruise News

Cruises From Boston
Cruises From Baltimore
Cruises From Norfolk

Friday, July 15, 2011

Oceania Cruises New Riviera Itineraries Announced


The inaugural season itineraries for Oceania Cruises’ new Riviera have been announced and travelers who book by Aug. 31 will receive a free hotel stay and bonus savings of up to $3,000 per stateroom. Fares begin at $1,999 per guest and include free round-trip Economy Class air from 22 North American cities.

From April 14 through Nov. 29, 2012, Riviera offers 13 distinctive itineraries on a total of 21 voyages, calling on ports in France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Turkey as well as Israel, Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro, Morocco and Monaco.

Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-guest Riviera has been designed for epicureans and features 10 dining venues – six of which are open-seating, gourmet restaurants – including a French bistro by Master Chef Jacques Pépin. Facilities also include a Canyon Ranch SpaClub® and Bon Appétit Culinary Center and Artist Loft enrichment center. Interior design highlights include a Lalique-designed grand staircase, elegant public rooms, spacious accommodations and Owner’s Suites furnished exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home.

“We are delighted to introduce Riviera as part of our 2012 European Collection,” said Bruce Himelstein, the line’s president. “While we are seeing tremendous booking interest from our loyal past guests, there is still an opportunity for savvy consumers to take advantage of the free hotel stay and bonus savings offer.”

- Riviera Showcases Best of the Mediterranean -
  • Riviera’s maiden voyage, departing April 14, is a 10-day Mediterranean Tapestry cruise from Barcelona to Piraeus (Athens). Ports include Marseille (Provence), Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Civitavecchia (Rome), Taormina and Amalfi/Positano, as well as Kusadasi (Ephesus) and Santorini.
  • From Piraeus Riviera operates a 12-day Ancient Grandeur itinerary, departing April 24. Ports include Alexandria and Port Said, Egypt; Haifa (overnight) and Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel; Rhodes, Patmos and Kusadasi before ending in Istanbul.
  • On May 6, Riviera departs Istanbul on a 10-day Greek Glory voyage, call at Mitilini, Greece; Kusadasi, Mykonos and Piraeus before visiting Cephalonia (Argostoli), Greece – a maiden call for Oceania Cruises. Additional ports include Corfu, Dubrovnik, Split and Venice (overnight). The cruise is repeated, departing Aug. 3.
  • Pearls of the Aegean, May 16, includes an overnight aboard ship in Venice before visiting Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu, Monemvasia, Aghios Nikolaos, Santorini, Kusadasi, Delos and Mykonos before ending in Piraeus. This itinerary is repeated Oct. 4.
  • The 10-day Mediterranean Tapestry departs May 26 from Piraeus. Ports include Santorini and Kusadasi, Taormina, Amalfi/Positano, Civitavecchia, Livorno (overnight) and Marseille, before arriving in Barcelona.
  • Riviera’s 12-day Exotic Lands begins June 5 in Barcelona and visits Mallorca, Valencia and Motril (Granada) – a maiden call for Oceania, Madeira, La Palma (maiden call) and Lanzarote, both in the Canary Islands; two ports in Morocco, and Cadiz (Seville) before Lisbon, where the cruise ends. The voyage is repeated Sept. 2.
  • From Lisbon, Riviera embarks on a 10-day Iberian Odyssey visiting Casablanca and Gibraltar before heading to the Spanish ports: Motril, Valencia and Barcelona, where the ship remains overnight. The voyage continues to Marseille, Monte Carlo, Livorno and Civitavecchia. This itinerary is repeated Sept. 14.
  • Accent on Italy is a 10-day cruise, departing June 27, from Civitavecchia to Monte Carlo, La Spezia (Cinque Terre), Livorno, Amalfi/Positano and Taormina. Additional ports include Corfu, Kotor, Dubrovnik and Venice (overnight). This itinerary is repeated Sept. 24 and Oct. 24 and operated in reverse Aug. 13.
  • The 12-day Radiant Riviera, departing July 7, showcases the vessel’s namesake region. An overnight onboard in Venice is the prelude for calls at Dubrovnik, Corfu, Taormina, Sorrento/Capri, Civitavecchia and Livorno. Riviera highlights include Portofino, Monte Carlo, Saint-Tropez and Marseille prior to concluding in Barcelona.
  • A 15-day Lands of Time, July 19, features overnights in Haifa and Istanbul. Beginning in Barcelona, Riviera cruises the Mediterranean before calling at La Goulette, Malta, Aghios Nikolaos, Alexandria, Port Said (Cairo), Ashdod (Jerusalem), Haifa, Limassol on the island of Cyprus, Rhodes, and Kusadasi before making her way to Istanbul.
  • On August 23, Riviera explores the Azure Coasts on a 10-day itinerary which begins in Civitavecchia and visits Sorrento/Capri, Amalfi/Positano, Livorno, Portofino, Monte Carlo, Saint-Tropez, Marseille, Ibiza and Barcelona (overnight).
  • Riviera next departs Piraeus on a 10-day Enchanted Grandeur cruise, departing Oct. 14, visits Kusadasi, Monemvasia, Argostoli, Messina, Sorrento/Capri and Livorno. The ship continues to Monte Carlo before ending in Civitavecchia.
  • Rivera’s Europe season concludes with a 12-day Mediterranean Medley, departing Nov. 3 from Venice that calls at Dubrovnik, Corfu, Messina, Sorrento/Capri, Civitavecchia, Livorno (two days), Monte Carlo, Marseille, and Barcelona (overnight).
About Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises® offers unrivaled cuisine, luxurious accommodations, exceptional personalized service and extraordinary value. Award-winning itineraries visit more than 330 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard the 684-guest Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. The line’s 1,250-guest Marina debuted in January 2011 and will be followed by Riviera – a sister ship – in April 2012.


--------------------------------------

Additional Links:

Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Main Page
Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Cruise News

Cruises From Boston
Cruises From Baltimore
Cruises From Norfolk

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Celebrity Cruises' New Celebrity Silhouette Godmother Named.

Celebrity Cruises today announced the appointment of Michelle Morgan, CTC, the highly regarded president and CEO of Signature Travel Network, to serve as Godmother of one of the most talked-about new ships to enter the market this year, Celebrity Silhouette. The first travel industry executive to serve as Godmother of a Celebrity ship, Morgan will preside over the line’s first naming ceremony to be held in Hamburg, Germany, on July 21.

“We are thrilled and honored to have a woman of Michelle’s caliber serve as Godmother of this exceptional ship,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman of Celebrity Cruises and Chairman and CEO of parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Her achievements in business are remarkable, and her personal life is as inspiring as her professional life.”

A 33-year travel marketing executive, Morgan joined Signature Travel in 1991, when the company had 30 locations in Southern California. Today, its membership has grown to 350 locations in 38 states and two providences in Canada, with sales exceeding USD $5-billion.

The member-owned co-operative has enjoyed explosive growth over the past 20 years. As president and CEO, Morgan maintains day-to-day operating responsibility and has been instrumental in framing the organization's strategic direction, partnership development, marketing, technology and member services programs. She takes special pride in the fact that her company has the lowest attrition rate of any network.

Morgan has received a host of industry honors, including recognition as Luxury Travel Advisor’s Retail Travel Partner of the Year, and one of Forbes’ “25 Most Influential Women in Travel.” This year, Michelle also was inducted into Cruise Line International Association’s (CLIA) Hall of Fame.

About her honors, Morgan says: “It’s not about me; it’s about the incredible staff at Signature – many of whom have been with me as long as 15 years – and the hand-selected agencies that are members of our organization. Their commitment to the highest service standards, ethical practices and professionalism is at the core of what makes Signature extraordinary. I’ve worked tirelessly over the past 20 years to ensure these small business owners can compete and prosper. Their success is my success,” adds Morgan. “Signature is my second family.”

Morgan’s “first family” is comprised of her daughters, Deirdre and Alisa, who she raised as a single parent from the time they were ages three and six. She has taken great pride in seeing each of them succeed as parents, and as a veterinarian and a director of internet business solutions, respectively. Morgan takes equal pride in her four grandchildren, in addition to her mother, a breast cancer survivor who – at age 85 – is extraordinarily active and an inspiration to Morgan and her family.

Like her mother – and each of Celebrity’s exceptional Solstice Class Godmothers – Morgan, too, has courageously battled breast cancer. Despite enduring two series of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, she says she didn’t allow the disease to define her.

"I learned many lessons as I went through the treatment,” says Morgan. “I found that if I continued with my life and work, and behaved positively – showing unflinching confidence and optimism to my family, friends, co-workers, and doctors, and banishing any doubts or negative thoughts – it would take over the core of my belief system, and it did. More importantly, my family, friends and industry friends brought me endless joy and hope.”

“Michelle Morgan personifies all of the qualities we seek in our Solstice Class Godmothers: remarkable strength and courage in both her professional and personal life, along with optimism, warmth and a very engaging personality, all of which have made her so admired throughout the industry,” said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Dan Hanrahan.

Morgan shares Celebrity Cruises’ devotion to the breast cancer cause, through Signature’s participation in the travel industry’s breast cancer awareness month in October, and says Signature’s board will be exploring fundraising programs for breast cancer research this year.

Meanwhile, Celebrity Cruises plans to extend its efforts to support the cause, which began in 2008 with its Celebrity Solstice event to raise funds for breast cancer screenings for low-income women, and its sponsorship of the first “Celebrity Sunwalk,” in association with Walk the Walk, a breast cancer charity founded by the Godmother of Celebrity Equinox, Nina Barough. In addition to continuing to work with Walk the Walk in the UK, Celebrity also will introduce a variety of year-long fundraising activities to further support breast cancer research this year.

Following Celebrity Silhouette’s naming cruise July 21-23, the ship will set sail from Hamburg to Civitavecchia (for Rome), Italy, where it will present 12-night roundtrip Mediterranean/Holy Land voyages through October. The ship will offer Celebrity’s first Solstice Class sailings from the Northeast beginning in November, when Celebrity Silhouette offers 12-night Caribbean vacations roundtrip from the port of Cape Liberty (Bayonne), NJ.

--------------------------------------

Additional Links:

Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Main Page
Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Cruise News

Cruises From Boston
Cruises From Baltimore
Cruises From Norfolk


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

P&O Offers 2012 Cruise Discounts


P&O Cruises offers a 15% discount and free on board spending money on 2012 holidays

Early booking discounts of up to 15% and free on board spending money of up to £700 per person, is being offered by P&O Cruises throughout July for those booking early on 2012 holidays.

The offers are available for bookings made before July 31, 2011, on all holidays from January 2012 to March 2013, published in the P&O Cruises 2012 second edition brochure, out now.

This is a collection of 215 holidays on all seven ships, visiting 84 countries and 255 individual destinations, including 13 new ports.

A 14 night Western Mediterranean cruise on board Oceana (E224) departing October 17, 2012, is priced from £1,099 per person (was £1,299) including a 15% discount, and also includes £60 per person free on board spending money.

Departing from and returning to Southampton, ports of call are Cadiz, Barcelona, Villefranche, Florence/Pisa (from Livorno), Rome (from Civitavecchia), Alicante and Gibraltar.

The maximum saving on seven night cruises is £100 per person (all seven night southern and northern cruise breaks) and £40 free on board spending money.

P&O Cruises can trace its roots back to 1837 and will be celebrating 175 years of ocean travel in 2012. On July 3 2012 all seven ships will be together in Southampton for the first time ever for The Grand Event and the subsequent seven Grand Event cruises will be heritage themed with special on board entertainment including a 175th Anniversary Gala dinner, heritage art display, guest speakers and more.

Limited spaces are still available on four of the Grand Event cruises:

· Adonia – a 21-night Central Mediterranean cruise (D208) priced from £3,729
· Arcadia – a 14-night Norway and Iceland cruise (J208) priced from £1,889
· Aurora – a 17-night Baltic cruise (R208) priced from £2,599
· Ventura – a 17-night Central Mediterranean cruise (N216) priced from £1,939

Managing director, Carol Marlow, said: “We have an exciting year in 2012 and we are offering one of our most diverse and adventurous programmes yet, with the greatest choice of ex-UK cruises including 148 round-trip cruises from Southampton.

“Cruising with us is excellent value for money and those who book early get the best choice of ship, cabin, destination and date with the added bonus of early booking discounts and incentives. Plus, if you book now, there is still time to be part of a once in a lifetime historical occasion, with our Grand Event on July 3, 2012.”

For more information or to book call P&O Cruises on 0845 3 554 444, visit www.pocruises.co.uk or see an ABTA travel agent.

Highlights of the 2012 cruises available in the Second Edition 2012 brochure are:




Adonia

· Sailing 12 ex-UK cruises from April to October 2012 and six Mediterranean fly cruises from October to December 2012
· Itineraries range from seven night Fjords to 23 night Eastern Mediterranean cruise
· New ports: Ancona, Brindisi, Durres, Honfleur, Kalmar, Portimao, Pula, Rapallo, San Sebastian, Sanary Sur Mer and Trapani
· Cruising to the Mediterranean, Northern & Western Europe and Round Britain
· Prices from £899 per person for a seven night northern cruise break departing in August 2012
· Highlight cruises include a 14 night Central Mediterranean fly cruise departing in October 2012 with prices starting from £1,819 per person

Arcadia

· Sailing 17 ex-UK cruises from April 2012 to January 2013
· Itineraries range from seven night Fjords to 24 night Canada & New England
· New ports: Charlottetown
· Overnight calls in Venice, Istanbul, New York, Quebec and St Petersburg
· Cruising to Mediterranean, Northern Europe, North America, Atlantic coast and Caribbean
· Prices from £779 person for a seven nights Fjords cruise in May 2012
· Highlight cruises include a 20 night Black Sea cruise departing in August 2012 with prices starting from £2,249 per person

Aurora

· Sailing 18 ex-UK cruises from April 2012 to January 2013
· Itineraries range from two night cruise break to 24 night Canada & New England
· New ports: Charlottetown
· Overnight calls in New York, St Petersburg and Quebec
· Cruising to the Mediterranean, Northern & Western Europe, the Caribbean and North America
· Prices from £279 per person for a two night cruise break in August 2012
· Highlight cruises include a 24 night Canada & New England roundtrip from Southampton departing in September 2012 with prices starting from £2,599 per person

Azura

· Sailing 24 ex-UK cruises from March 2012 to January 2013
· Itineraries range from two night cruise break to 24 night Black Sea or Caribbean
· Cruising to the Mediterranean, Northern & Western Europe, Atlantic Islands and the Caribbean
· Prices from £219 per person for a two night cruise break departing December 2012
· Highlight cruises include an 11 night Atlantic Coast cruise departing in December 2012 with prices starting from £819 per person

Oceana

· Sailing ex-UK all year, 30 cruises from April 2012 to March 2013
· Itineraries range from two night cruise break to 35 night Caribbean cruise. Also including a seven night Christmas cruise to Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, and a four night New Year cruise to Belgium and The Netherlands
· Cruising to the Mediterranean, Northern & Western Europe, Atlantic Islands and the Caribbean
· Prices from £219 per person for a two night cruise departing in either September or December
· Highlight cruises include a 35 night Caribbean round trip departing January 2013 with prices from £2,789 per person

Oriana
· Sailing 24 ex-UK cruises from March 2012 to March 2013
Itineraries range from three night cruise break to 35 night Caribbean
· New ports: Rijeka
· Cruising to the Mediterranean, Northern & Western Europe, Atlantic Islands and the Caribbean
· Prices from £309 per person for a three night cruise break in May 2012
· Highlight cruises include a 14 night Music Festivals at Sea cruise to the Baltic departing in August 2012 with prices from £1,599 per person

Ventura

· Sailing 21 ex-UK cruises from March to November 2012 and eight Caribbean fly cruises from November 2012 to March 2013
· Sailing two Caribbean transatlantic fly cruises in November 2012 and March 2013
· Itineraries range from two night cruise break to 21 night Caribbean transatlantic cruise
· Cruising to the Mediterranean, Northern & Western Europe, Atlantic Islands and the Caribbean
· Prices from £229 per person for a two night cruise break departing in October 2012
· Highlight cruises include a 14 night Icelandic cruise departing in June 2012 with prices from £1,599 per person
Ends

Note:
Lead in cruise fares are per person and based on two adults sharing an inside twin cabin.

--------------------------------------

Additional Links:

Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Main Page
Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Cruise News

Cruises From Boston
Cruises From Baltimore
Cruises From Norfolk

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Royal Caribbeans Radiance of the Seas Emerges From Significant Refit

June 14, 2011 - After a 21-day dry-dock, Royal Caribbean International's Radiance of the Seas reemerged from one of the most extensive revitalizations of the cruise line's approximately $70 million Royal Advantage enhancements program for 2011. The new variety of dining concepts, entertainment options, children's programming and technology advancements originally introduced to industry-wide acclaim aboard Royal Caribbean's new Oasis-class ships, debuts onboard Radiance of the Seas. The enhancements to Radiance of the Seas delivers on the global cruise line's Royal Advantage, a commitment to provide guests with the industry's most innovative cruise ships, exciting destinations and superior Gold Anchor service for an extraordinary cruise vacation. This summer Radiance of the Seas sails alternating, seven-night Southbound and Northbound Alaska itineraries before repositioning for its first winter 2011 season to Australia and New Zealand.

"Radiance of the Seas' drydock is part of Royal Caribbean's multi-ship enhancement and revitalization strategy to deliver the Royal Advantage to our guests," said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. "The Royal Advantage comprises some of the industry's most innovative onboard amenities, programs and Gold Anchor Service that make up the most contemporary cruise vacation. By introducing almost all of the same specialty restaurants that can currently be found onboard Allure of the Seas as well some of the Oasis-class ships' most popular concepts to Radiance of the Seas, guests can enjoy a variety of brand new onboard experiences."

Guests eager to relish in Royal Caribbean's signature innovations while experiencing more exotic destinations, will find that balance onboard Radiance of the Seas. The all-encompassing revitalization introduces a range of amenities and experiences from the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery designed for children, 6 - 36 months old, to 12 newly added accommodations - one family, five interior and six exterior staterooms - and technology enhancements that include Wi-Fi availability throughout the ship and flat-panel interactive televisions in all staterooms.

The ship also features a new Concierge Lounge for suite guests, a Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members, the Quill and Compass Pub and an outdoor LED video wall overlooking the main pool area where families, friends and couples can enjoy movies under the stars and entertainment programs during the day.

Dining options onboard Radiance of the Seas have nearly doubled with the addition of seven of the most highly acclaimed dining concepts in the fleet, including Samba Grill a Brazilian steakhouse, the Asian Izumi restaurant, the Mexican-themed Rita's Cantina and the Italian family-style restaurant Giovanni's Table, as well as the Boardwalk Dog House hotdog stand, Park Café deli-style restaurant and the exclusive Chef's Table dining experience. Concept overviews and pricing are as follows:

  • Boardwalk Dog House: Guests can choose from traditional hot dogs, wieners, brats, sausages and other delicious linked meats and a variety of toppings to split a long bun (open for lunch and dinner, complimentary)
  • Giovanni's Table: An Italian trattoria featuring Italian classics served family-style (open for lunch, $15, and dinner, $20)
  • Izumi: Featuring mouthwatering flavors and a sushi bar with hot-rock cooking, the pan Asian cuisine restaurant is a no-hassle, authentic dining experience (open for lunch and dinner, $3.00 cover charge for lunch and $5.00 for dinner plus a la carte menu pricing)
  • Park Café: An indoor/outdoor gourmet market featuring salads, sandwiches, soups and pastries (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, complimentary)
  • Rita's Cantina: A casual yet vibrant indoor/outdoor restaurant, catering to families by day, and adults by night; offering traditional Mexican fare, a comprehensive selection of margaritas and live guitar music and dancing for evening entertainment (open for lunch and dinner, $3 cover charge and a la carte menu pricing)
  • Samba Grill: Styled after popular Brazilian steakhouses, the churrascaria is an interactive experience where guests choose from a variety of meats, chicken and seafood brought table-side by servers, ready to slice and serve upon request (open for dinner, $25 per person)
  • Chef's Table: An exclusive and private experience co-hosted by the executive Chef and Sommelier for a wine pairing dinner of five courses (open for dinner, $95 per person).
Four ships are undergoing revitalizations in 2011 including Liberty of the Seas (January), Freedom of the Seas (March), Radiance of the Seas, and Splendour of the Seas (October). Each ship will reemerge outfitted with the most highly guest-rated features introduced on Royal Caribbean's new Oasis-class ships. Even Oasis of the Seas, the first Oasis-class ship, now boasts new features with the recent addition of the DreamWorks Experience and 3-D movies which first debuted on Allure of the Seas.

--------------------------------------

Additional Links:

Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Main Page
Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Cruise News

Cruises From Boston
Cruises From Baltimore
Cruises From Norfolk

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Norwegian Cruise Lines New Ship Cabin Layout

Norwegian Cruise Line (“Norwegian”) today unveiled the first look at its new balcony and mini-suite stateroom designs for Project Breakaway, the project name for the company’s two new next generation Freestyle Cruising ships scheduled for delivery in April 2013 and April 2014. Each of the 144,017 gross ton vessels will have approximately 4,000 passenger berths. Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer, presented the designs to more than 1,000 travel partners attending Vacation.com’s annual conference in Las Vegas .

“The overall design theme for Project Breakaway’s staterooms is ‘modern boutique hotel meets the sea.’ We strongly considered the overall needs of our guests when designing these staterooms and wanted them to be greeted with an ambiance that is warm and inviting and has a very contemporary feel with clean, modern lines,” said Sheehan. “We also wanted to maximize the use of space within the staterooms, so that our guests are as comfortable as possible and storage space is well planned throughout.

Ultimately, our goal is to achieve a really good balance of form and function – well designed, beautiful, comfortable and sensible living space.”

Project Breakaway ships represent an opportunity for the Norwegian guest to “break away” from the routine of work, school, and daily stress, and find a true respite at sea. These new ships will take the best of the best from all of Norwegian’s existing ships drawing on the line’s experience of having launched 10 ships in the past 10 years – starting with Norwegian Star and Sun in 2001 and culminating with the launch of Norwegian Epic in 2010.

Norwegian commissioned design group Priestmangoode of the United Kingdom , working in conjunction with Tillberg Design of Sweden , to design the staterooms for Project Breakaway. Priestmangoode won accolades and awards for designing the Studios, the first staterooms designed specifically for solo travelers, on Norwegian Epic. Project Breakaway staterooms combine the form and function of the line’s Jewel class ships’ staterooms with the modern and contemporary design touches of Norwegian Epic.

Project Breakaway ships will each have 1,024 balcony staterooms and 238 mini-suites set in rich paneling with warm tones and accent colors. Each balcony stateroom has a king-size bed (that can be separated) with a pillow top mattress set against a chestnut leather headboard cushioned and tufted to make reading and sitting up in bed more comfortable. There is a convenient lighted recess above the bed to hold books, magazines, tablet computers or electronic reading devices. Each room has a sofa bed with additional storage. A built-in 26-inch flat screen television is mounted on the wall and tilts so it can be seen from the sofa or the bed. Underneath the television is another recessed nook to hold cruise information, books and magazines. There is also a built-in vanity area with shelving and lots of storage space. LED lighting surrounds the perimeter of the ceiling to give the room warmth. There is also a full-size closet that is easily accessible with sliding doors. The staterooms are energy efficient, utilizing key card access to control lighting in the room.

The balcony bathroom features a contemporary, clean design, ensuring more generous and comfortable space. There are multiple rich-wood shelving areas to help reduce clutter and keep everything within easy reach for guests. There is an enclosed vanity underneath the sink that hides the trash bin, along with more storage. The built-in sink is generous in size and has an easy to use faucet. A private shower with a shaving bar for ladies completes the room.

The mini-suites are a roomier version of the balcony stateroom with a larger, more luxurious bathroom that incorporates a large, modern double sink with two faucets complete with a mosaic glass tile backsplash. There are open and enclosed storage spaces under the sink. The bathroom also features an oversized spa-like shower with a rain shower head and multiple body spray jets, along with a separate handheld shower head.

More exciting announcements will happen throughout the summer, fall and beyond with the first ship scheduled to open for reservations this October. Information on Project Breakaway can be found at www.ncl.com/breakaway.

--------------------------------------

Additional Links:

Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Main Page
Cruises From New York and New Jersey - Cruise News

Cruises From Boston
Cruises From Baltimore
Cruises From Norfolk