Saturday, October 30, 2010

MSC Cruises Returns to the Caribbean for 2010/2011 Winter Season

(October 18, 2010) – As MSC Poesia completes her inaugural Canada/New England cruises from New York and Quebec City, MSC is counting down to another exciting Caribbean cruise season featuring memorable destinations, special theme sailings, and an unparalleled onboard experience.

When MSC Poesia sets sail from Quebec City on October 23, she begins a 9-night repositioning cruise taking her through Sydney, Boston, Newport and New York before heading to Fort Lauderdale.

Upon her return to Fort Lauderdale on November 1, MSC Poesia begins a variety of 3-, 7- and 10-night roundtrip Caribbean cruises for MSC:

* 10-night “Remarkable Rainforest & the Panama Canal” departing November 1 and calling at Cozumel, Mexico; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Cristobal, Panama; Cartagena, Colombia; and Montego Bay, Jamaica;
* 3-night “Tropical Getaway” departing November 11, calling at Coco Cay, Bahamas; and Nassau, Bahamas; and
* Alternating 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises through February 27, 2011: “Western Caribbean Wonders,” cruises call at Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico; “Eastern Caribbean Enchantment,” cruises call at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas/Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau, Bahamas.

“Baseball greats” cruises are featured on several MSC sailings this season and offer free guest/player activities including a player-hosted trivia game, question-and-answer session, guest pitching contest, and a lively story-telling session. Players also will host skills clinics and participate in a free autograph session.

“Baseball Greats” will be featured on the November 14, January 9 and 23 and February 6, 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruises and the December 5, 7-night Western Caribbean cruise.

MSC Poesia’s Caribbean cruise season ends with a 17-night Eastbound transatlantic cruise, “Bluewater Adventure,” on March 6, 2011 calling at San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. John’s, Antigua; Port Castries, St. Lucia; Funchal, Portugal; Malaga, Spain; Alicante, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; and Genoa, Italy.


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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Azure of the Seas Features New Restaurants

Showcasing onboard experiences all her own, Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas, the world’s next largest and most innovative cruise ship debuting in December 2010, will introduce new culinary concepts and tempting twists to signature Oasis-class restaurants. A Brazilian steakhouse will be a destination restaurant that comes to life for dinner service in the Solarium, featuring authentic Brazilian-style meats and seafood dishes, from Picanha cut sirloin steak to Atlantic salmon marinated with sea salt and garlic, served table-side and sliced straight off the skewer. In Central Park, recently anointed Chef de Cuisine Molly Brandt will present guests with a one-of-a-kind menu and distinct dining experience at Allure of the Seas150 Central Park, a signature fine dining experience.

“As churrascaria concept restaurants gain popularity on land, Royal Caribbean is taking advantage of having a new ship to introduce a Brazilian steakhouse and bring a new dynamic and colorful nightlife ambiance for adults in the Solarium,” says Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “Guests onboard Allure of the Seas will have a new arrangement of dining experiences throughout the ship, from the Adagio Main Dining Room to new venues on the Boardwalk and Royal Promenade.”

Combining the best of classic Mexican beach bars and Southern California’s famed taquerias, Rita’s Cantina will be a vibrant new restaurant in the Boardwalk neighborhood. Adults and kids alike will enjoy some of their favorite Mexican fare, such as shrimp ceviche tostadas, warm tortilla chips with salsa and fiesta guacamole, as well as entrées, such as fajitas, fish tacos and Chipotle-style flautas. The more casual setting will be a favorite lunch, snack or dinner spot for guests seeking a flavorful fiesta onboard Allure of the Seas. Rita’s Cantina also will boast some of the best and widest selection of margaritas at sea, offering both authentic and signature concoctions mixed with a choice from the extensive list of quality tequilas, served on the rocks or frozen in a variety of fruit-flavor combinations. In addition, the restaurant will introduce new nightlife to Boardwalk with live guitar music, drinks and dancing. Rita Cantina’s design will include large open breezeways and an outdoor seating area complete with high top tables and stools, and will be located in place of Seafood Shack onboard sister-ship Oasis of the Seas.

Also new to Boardwalk’s dynamic and engaging scene will be The Boardwalk Dog House, an outdoor hot-dog specialty counter located where The Donut Shop is on Oasis of the Seas. 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. The Donut Shop will remain on Boardwalk in a new location next to the Ice Cream Parlor.

The following includes a variety of other palate-pleasing options available throughout the neighborhoods on Allure:

- Rita’s Cantina: A casual yet vibrant indoor/outdoor restaurant exclusively on Allure’s Boardwalk, caters to families by day, and adults by night; traditional Mexican fare, comprehensive selection of margaritas and live guitar music and dancing for evening entertainment

- Boardwalk Bar: The main bar on the Boardwalk; offering fruit, salads and sandwiches

- Boardwalk Donut Shop: A classic haunt for casual snacks and delicious treats

- Ice Cream Parlor: A variety of ice cream flavors and toppings take center stage against a backdrop of 1950s kitsch

- Johnny Rockets: ‘50’s-style diner with server-entertainers


- 150 Central Park: A trendy, upscale and intimate restaurant with a tasting menu and customized wine pairings created by Molly Brandt, winner of the Allure of the Seas Culinary Challenge co-hosted with The Culinary Institute of America, as well as Food and Wine’s 2006 best student chef

- Giovanni’s Table: An Italian trattoria with both indoor and alfresco seating featuring Italian classics served family-style

- Park Café: An indoor/outdoor gourmet market featuring salads, sandwiches, soups, pastries and to-die-for fudge

- Vintages: A wine bar with pre-dinner tapas and cheeses along with a robust selection of fine wines

- Chops Grille: Royal Caribbean’s signature steakhouse with views of Central Park, and premium cuts or quality meats


- Exclusive to Allure of the Seas, the new churascarria, styled after popular Brazilian steakhouses, 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

- Solarium Bistro: A health-conscious dining option for breakfast and lunch

- The Wipe Out Café: A casual self-service buffet with pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches and fresh salads

- Izumi Asian Cuisine: Featuring mouthwatering flavors and a sushi bar with hot-rock cooking


- Sorrento’s Pizzeria: Featuring New York style pizza, with both made-to-order pies and by the slice

- Café Promenade: Offering Seattle’s Best coffee, fruit shakes, pastries and sandwiches all day

- The Cupcake Cupboard: Featuring fresh-baked gourmet cupcakes as well as parties and design classes


- The Vitality Café: Offering healthy snacks, sandwiches, wraps, fruit and smoothies

THE CLASSICS, Royal Caribbean hasn’t forgotten the classics of its fleet:

- Adagio Dining Room: The ship’s main restaurant features a three-tier venue with a 1920s Art Deco style; flexible My Time Dining and traditional assigned seatings, as well as the highly anticipated DreamWorks Character Breakfast

- Windjammer Marketplace: A casual buffet fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner

- In-Stateroom Service: Order from the complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, or choose an original Johnny Rockets hamburger or Ghirardelli chocolate cookies from the new Dine In Delights menu

Allure of the Seas shares the title of the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship with sister-ship Oasis of the Seas. An architectural marvel at sea, she will span 16 decks, encompass 225,282 gross registered tons, carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Allure of the Seas will tout Royal Caribbean’s exclusive neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which will include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship will alternate a Western Caribbean with an Eastern Caribbean seven-night itinerary from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Holland America Holiday Cruise Discounts.

This holiday season Holland America Line is providing the ultimate getaway gift for the entire family with 22 signature holiday cruises ranging from seven to 17 days. Whether basking in a Caribbean sunset or reveling in the ultimate Antarctic white Christmas, guests aboard the premium line can leave the hustle and bustle behind and enjoy up to 50 percent savings, plus special reduced rates for third and fourth guests sharing staterooms, on select sailings.

Special rates are geared toward families on several holiday cruises — with six dates offering free or $199 rates for the third or fourth guest in a stateroom. Double-occupancy fares start at $699 per person, plus tax, for a seven-day Caribbean holiday cruise.

“With cruise values starting at $1,598 plus tax for a family of four sharing the same stateroom, ‘tis the season to travel,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Plus, holiday cruises allow guests to celebrate and relax in style with five-star dining, award-winning service and their favorite traditions observed with none of the hassle — letting guests truly enjoy their time with their family.”

On-board festivities include holiday decorations, sumptuous traditional meals, seasonal movies, culinary classes and demonstrations featuring tasty holiday treats, a visit from Santa for the kids, activities and crafts, strolling carolers, a tree-lighting ceremony, eggnog in the Atrium, Christmas brunch, Santa’s milk and cookie late-night snack, and a holiday show by the crew on Christmas Eve.

Those sailing on any ship over Dec. 31 will enjoy a traditional New Year’s Eve Gala Ball with live music, dancing, festive attire and a midnight toast. Select college bowl games also will be broadcast on board. Each holiday voyage features clergy to conduct Catholic, Protestant and Jewish services (for cruises during Hanukkah).

Sail the Caribbean on Seven- to 14-day Cruises

Thirteen Caribbean holiday cruise options are available between Dec. 17 and Dec. 31 aboard seven ships — ms Westerdam, ms Maasdam, ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam , ms Ryndam, ms Prinsendam and ms Noordam — departing from Fort Lauderdale or Tampa , Fla. , over one or both holidays.

Itineraries include a seven-day southern Caribbean cruise with stops at such exotic ports as Aruba and Curaçao. Or try seven days exploring the rich waters of the eastern Caribbean and legendary ports of call such as Nassau , St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Finally, holiday cruisers can choose among western Caribbean options with stops that might include Belize , Georgetown , Grand Cayman; Costa Maya , Mexico , and Key West , Fla.

Travelers with more time can opt for 10- to 14-day Caribbean cruises and usher in the New Year in St. Thomas or St. George’s while sampling the ports of Barbados and Grand Turk.

Most itineraries feature a visit to Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning exclusive private island experience with white sand beaches, aqua waters and shore activities ranging from horseback riding to a stingray adventure.

Sunny Mexican Riviera & Panama Canal for a Festive Occasion

Departing from Fort Lauderdale , San Diego or Los Angeles , Calif. , in mid to late December, five cruises feature distinct itineraries that visit different collections of warm-water ports along the Mexican Riviera, Central America , Panama Canal and Caribbean .

The Sunfarer Caribbean Holiday cruise is a 10-day trip from Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 23 aboard ms Zuiderdam in the southern Caribbean with Christmas Eve at Half Moon Cay, a partial transit of the Panama Canal and New Year’s Eve at sea, returning Jan. 2, 2011.

Two more cruises visit the Panama Canal beginning with a 14-day cruise that departs Los Angeles Dec. 22 aboard ms Amsterdam in time for Christmas Day at sea and stops in Mexico , Guatemala and Costa Rica before traversing the Canal en route to Fort Lauderdale . Or guests can opt for the 14-day Panama Canal Holiday Cruise on ms Statendam departing San Diego on Christmas Eve. Stops in Mexico include Puerto Vallarta and Puerto Chiapas before crossing the canal to reach Fort Lauderdale .

Christmas and New Years holidays along the Mexican Riviera can be particularly memorable on an eight-day cruise from San Diego aboard ms Oosterdam departing Dec. 18, or a seven-day sailing Dec. 26 that visits Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Or guests can opt for a 12-day cruise departing Dec. 22 on ms Rotterdam that features Christmas Eve in Cabo San Lucas, Christmas Day at sea and New Year’s Eve in Mazatlan .

Longer Voyages Sail the Pacific

The warm waters of the far Pacific offer memorable holiday adventures as well. A 14-day Circle Hawaii sailing aboard ms Zaandam departs San Diego Dec. 19 with Christmas Eve in Hilo , Christmas Day in Nawiliwili and New Year’s Day in Ensenada , Mexico . Departing Dec. 17 and with limited space, the 16-day Australia–New Zealand Holiday Cruise aboard ms Volendam explores the southern coast of Australia from Sydney before an extensive tour of New Zealand ports such as Milford Sound and Auckland , and celebrating Christmas Eve in Wellington .

A White Christmas in the Antarctic

Guests who want their holidays adorned with snow and ice will see a white Christmas on the 17-day South America and Antarctica Explorer journey. Departing Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile, Dec. 20, ms Veendam steers south amid the glaciers to spend Christmas Eve cruising Darwin Channel and the Chilean Fjords, Christmas Day sailing Amalia Glacier Canal and New Year’s Eve in the Antarctic Sound.

Onboard Activities for Everyone

When choosing a Holland America cruise for a family vacation, there’s always something for everyone — from kids to grandparents — with a wide variety of exciting activities and venues for the entire family to enjoy the cruise vacation of their dreams. Younger children 3-7 can play games, enjoy arts and crafts and join other supervised activities in Club HAL. Tweens 8-12 have an area featuring arcade games, air hockey, foosball and Sony PlayStations. Older kids 13-17 can often be found at The Loft, a teen-only venue, enjoying karaoke, video games, movies and a teen disco or hanging out at The Oasis, a teens-only sun deck. And daily menus feature kid-friendly choices.

While the kids are busy, adults can enjoy diverse activities and facilities from the Greenhouse Spa & Salon to a lively shipboard casino, wine tasting, cooking classes, afternoon tea, an internet café/library, party-planning classes and complimentary interactive Digital Workshops powered by Windows to learn more about using digital media.


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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Celebrity Cruises Chooses Name for Newest Ship

In light of the images of sun and shadow conveyed in the names of Celebrity Cruises’ stylish Solstice Class ships, the world’s top-rated premium brand is marking autumnal equinox by announcing the name of the fifth in its ‘Xceptional’ series: Celebrity Reflection.

“Selecting the name of the fifth ship in the class led us to reflect back on the significant impact the Solstice Class has had on the cruise industry,” said Celebrity’s President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. “Our Solstice Class ships offer the finest in premium cruising, with service provided by the best men and women in the hospitality business, as evidenced by the tremendous response from our guests, travel partners and the press, and a continuously expanding series of prestigious awards. There is no question that Celebrity Reflection will deliver an equally outstanding vacation experience for our guests.”

Following delivery in November 2012, Celebrity Reflection will join Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Silhouette, rounding out the $3.7-billion class.

Celebrity Reflection will present vacationers with some new features, yet to be announced, along with many of the hallmarks found on some or all of her sister ships, including:

  • The hip “Celebrity iLounge” that made Celebrity Cruises the industry’s first Authorized Apple Reseller
  • Uniquely unordinary “Qsine,” the first seagoing restaurant to feature a menu and wine list on an iPad®, and an engaging food-as-theater dining experience
  • Celebrity’s iconic half-acre Lawn Club, with real, growing grass
  • Ten unrivaled dining venues, including Qsine
  • Modern, stylish interiors designed by some of the world’s best architects and designers
  • Hip, cool nightclubs and lounges, including CellarMasters, complete with the industry’s first installation of the innovative Enomatic by-the-glass wine serving system
  • One of the broadest and best wine offerings in the industry, served by one of the world’s largest staffs of certified sommeliers
  • One of the world’s largest permanent collections of original contemporary art, and the industry’s first self-guided art tours to be presented on an iPad®
  • Widely varied entertainment, including custom aerial production shows and live music
  • The extensive array of entertaining and enriching onboard programming offered through “Celebrity Life,” including instruction on the latest iPods®, MacBooks® and iLife® classes; language learning through Rosetta Stone®; comparative wine tastings with Riedel Crystal, and enrichment presentations with Smithsonian Journeys

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Azarmara Journey Cruise to Commerate theTitantic 100 Anniversary

Willtiger Corporation and Azamara Club Cruises are proud to announce Voyages! Titanic 2012, a once-in-a-lifetime experience aboard Azamara Journey commemorating the historic maiden trans-Atlantic voyage of the RMS Titanic. Departing April 9, 2012, from Boston on a nine-night roundtrip itinerary, the voyage will arrive at the location of the final resting place of Titanic on her 100th anniversary and remain for three days, where Azamara Journey will be the exclusive cruise ship to receive live video feeds from a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) deployed from an expeditionary ship alongside. Throughout, guests will have opportunities to immerse themselves in the history and experience of Titanic. Bookings are now available via Voyages! Titanic 2012 reservation line at 1-800-294-5269.

“This exclusive charter, Voyages! Titanic 2012, will be a unique experience to commemorate the most infamous passenger ship in history on its centennial anniversary,” said Bill Willard, president of Willtiger Corporation. “We’ll be at the exact site at the exact time one-hundred years after the RMS Titanic met its demise to remember those lost and the ship. Throughout, we will offer guests a deeper understanding of what Titanic’s passenger experienced through a great schedule of enrichment programs and memorials.”

Onboard, guests will be able to participate in three memorial services, a wreath-laying ceremony, as well as presentations by a prestigious line-up of maritime and fashion researchers and historians, executives from international Titanic societies, and survivors’ relatives. Dinner menus also will feature dishes from recipes served aboard Titanic and guests can learn the Irish dance with which the ship’s third-class passengers would have celebrated.

“It is truly an honor to charter Azamara Journey to Voyages! Titanic 2012 and help memorialize one of the most well-known maritime events in history,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “Azamara Club Cruises is dedicated to delivering unique voyages coupled with extraordinary service, and Voyages! Titanic 2012 is an example of the many distinctive itineraries and onboard experiences that we offer.”

In addition to three days at the location of Titanic’s wreckage, Azamara Journey also will call at Halifax, Nova Scotia, where guests can choose excursion options that visit the Titanic cemeteries, the Maritime Museum and other memorial sites in the city that played a pivotal role in this historical event.

Guests of Azamara Journey also will enjoy the cruise line’s extraordinary signature service and more inclusive onboard amenities, such as included gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff; complimentary bottled water, sodas, specialty coffee, and teas, as well as complimentary boutique red and white wines to accompany lunch and dinner; and English Butler service for suite guests.

The 682-guest exclusive charter aboard Azamara Journey offers guests a European-boutique hotel ambience with extraordinary service, fine cuisine and wines from around the world, and wellness and vitality programs. For more information, visit To make a reservation, call Wilcox World Travel and Tours at 1-800-294-5269


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