Friday, March 29, 2013

Windstar Opens 2014 Tahiti Voyages

Windstar's Wind Spirit Will Sail in Tahiti in 2014

Windstar Cruises announces 2014 Dreams of Tahiti voyages open for sale. Wind Spirit, the line’s newly renovated 148-passenger sailing yacht, will sail seven-day voyages from the capital city of Papeete, Tahiti, beginning May 2, 2014, with stops through the Society Islands of Moorea, Tahaa, Raiatea, Huahine, and Bora Bora. Dreams of Tahiti will sail through to November 7, 2014, with voyages starting from $2,799 per person.
“There is no better way to experience the true wonder of Tahiti than from on board our sailing yacht Wind Spirit,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “Our guests can enjoy the beauty of Polynesia as we voyage from one island to the next, staying overnight in most ports to give guests time to savor paradise.”
The week-long voyage on Wind Spirit begins in Papeete, Tahiti and sails to:
  • Moorea (overnight) – the beauty of this unforgettable island of love lies in drama and adventure.
  • Tahaa – this fragrant island is known for its abundance of vanilla and offers a glimpse of the traditional tranquil life of the Tahitians.
  • Raiatea (overnight) – recognized through French Polynesia as the ‘Sacred Island,’ it also serves as the cultural heart of French Polynesia.
  • Huahine (overnight) – known as the Garden of Eden, with lush forests, untamed landscapes and quaint villages.
  • Bora Bora (overnight) – an island paradise in the South Pacific, known worldwide for its natural beauty.
While on board, guests will delight in the engagement of the island culture brought to life in Windstar style. Traditional Tahitian dancers will come on board for a magical evening to remember, while regional dishes are served during Windstar’s signature deck barbecue, held under the sails and stars one night per cruise. Windstar will also be running an onboard scuba program allowing for the ultimate dive experience. In addition, guests can soak up the crystal-clear lagoons from Wind Spirit’s Water Sports Platform, which offers paddle boards, kayaks, Hobie Cats, wind surfing, snorkeling equipment, and more. 
On shore, excursions are delivered in true French Polynesian style. Vacationers can hop on a colorful Le Truck in Papeete for a scenic drive and cultural experience all in one; watch villagers on Tahaa wade into the lagoon and beat the water with rocks in the ancient practice of stone fishing; experience life in a traditional Tahitian village at the Tiki Village Cultural Center on Moorea; or just simply gaze into a fiery sunset and watch for the green flash as the sun melts below the horizon.


 Check Out Our Other Sites Website    
Blog on Cruises From New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk & the Northeast

Free Cruise Newsletter


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Royal Gerographical Society and Silversea Form a Partnership

The renowned Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers), founded nearly 200 years ago to advance geographical science, is to enhance Silversea voyages even further by providing detailed scientific and historical information to guests embarking on some of the greatest journeys around the globe.

The Society, based in London, and whose Royal Patron is Queen Elizabeth II, is partnering with leading luxury expedition cruise operator Silversea to share some of the world's most important geographical research and archive material with guests traveling on Silversea expedition ships, including Silver Explorer and Silver Galapagos.

There are more than two million items in the Society's historic Collections, including over one million maps, 500,000 photographs, 250,000 books and journals, manuscripts, and iconic artifacts which date back as far as 1482.

The Society has always been a notable supporter and communicator of the work of geographical explorers and scientists, including that of Charles Darwin, Dr. David Livingstone, Robert Falcon Scott, Sir Ernest Shackleton and Sir Edmund Hillary. Its support for geographical research to understand our changing world -- its environments, peoples and places -- continues actively today, informing issues that range from sea level change to migration.

Silversea guests will benefit from a wide range of specialist visual and written content from the Society, enabling guests to learn even more about their expeditions to destinations including Antarctica, the Arctic, the Galápagos, South America, Africa and Europe.

Founded in 1830, the Royal Geographical Society is a respected professional body for geography and geographers and is one of the largest and most innovative geographical societies in the world, as well as the biggest in Europe. Its objective is to advance geographical science. To do so, it champions and supports field research and scientific expeditions, enhances geographical and environmental education, and raises public understanding of the world.

"This is a partnership which will bring incredible historic and current geographical information to our guests, as well as unite two experts in their respective fields," said Enzo Visone, CEO of Silversea Cruises. "Silversea Expeditions are known for being the best exploration voyages worldwide -- they will retain their world-class position with this valuable partnership with the Royal Geographical Society."

"We are delighted to enter into partnership with Silversea, extending the Society's work to embrace and enthuse Silversea guests with our understanding of the wonderful and changing world in which we all live and that they will experience, enjoy and discover through their travel experiences," added Dr. Rita Gardner, director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

 Silversea recently announced the introduction of voyages to Galápagos. Its year-round schedule of 7-day expedition voyages aboard the 100-guest, all-suite Silver Galapagos will begin operating in late September 2013 and feature the following options:

 Western Itinerary: Sailing Saturday to Saturday roundtrip from Baltra Island, Silver Galapagos will trace a path across the western, southern and eastern islands, including  Santiago, Bartolomé, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, San Cristóbal, and Santa Cruz.

    North Central Itinerary: Sailing Saturday to Saturday roundtrip from Baltra Island, this itinerary encompasses the northeast, central and southeast islands of Santa Cruz, Genovesa, Seymour Norte, San Cristóbal, Española, and Plazas Sur.


 Check Out Our Other Sites Website    
Blog on Cruises From New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk & the Northeast

Free Cruise Newsletter


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Princess Cruise New Royal Princess Offers a Range of Lively Entertainment Options

Club 6 on Royal Princess will offer a vibrant new nightlife spot with an intimate atmosphere.
Evenings aboard Royal Princess will offer a range of lively options for passengers aboard Princess Cruises newest vessel. When the ship debuts in June, cruisers can enjoy four new production shows in the Princess Theater, try their luck in the casino, and dance for hours in the brand-new Club 6.

These and many other entertainment features are showcased in the latest Royal Princess preview video, available at

“Royal Princess will feature the widest variety of entertainment we have ever offered at sea,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “No matter how passengers like to spend their evenings at sea, we’ll have an exceptional array of options to keep passengers entertained.”

Among the entertainment features of Royal Princess are:
Club 6Royal Princess’ energetic new dance club, conveniently located on Deck 6 near the Atrium, Club 6 offers a vibrant space with an intimate atmosphere and contemporary decor. Passengers can grab a cocktail and dance to their favorite hits. The resident DJ keeps the party going whether passengers just want to people-watch or get up and move to the beat.

Production Shows – With high-definition screens and a brand new lighting system to enhance each show, the Princess Theater will offer a larger and more spectacular space for the line’s original production shows and entertainers. Four new productions will debut aboard Royal Princess, including “Colors of the World,” an experiential journey through the destinations visited by Princess ships; “Spectacular!” a musical revue extravaganza; “Sweet Soul Music,” an upbeat tribute to Rhythm and Blues; and “What the World Needs Now,” a timeless, elegant show celebrating the music and style of the ‘60s.

Vista Lounge – A more intimate entertainment setting, the Vista Lounge will host a variety of top-notch entertainers each night, from live bands to comedians and illusionists, plus themed parties and special events.

Casino – The Princess Casino aboard Royal Princess will feature the latest new slots and table games. Passengers can indulge in their favorite games of chance, from blackjack to Texas Hold’em and roulette, or participate in the excitement of slot tournaments. Standing at the heart of the casino is a stunning spiral staircase which leads up to Deck 7 and the onboard boutiques, while an adjacent bar makes it easy to pop in for drinks between games.

Water & Light Show – Dazzling new water and light shows bring intrigue, beauty and excitement to the top deck pools with fountains that shoot plumes of water to delight and amaze all members of the family. Royal Princess also boasts a second-level stage above the pool area where live bands will play during unforgettable evening parties.

Crooners – The resident entertainer in Crooners will keep the crowds singing along while passengers try to choose their favorite from the bar’s famous selection of more than 50 martini varieties.

Bellini’s – The new Bellini’s bar offers a prime location for watching the action in the Piazza below. This hotspot serves up a variety of Bellini-inspired drinks, including the new signature “Royal Bellini.”

Movies Under the Stars – Naturally Princess’ signature poolside theater will have a variety of movies and concert playing on the big screen. Featuring the largest Movies Under the Stars screen yet, Royal Princess offers passengers a great view while they relax on a comfortable lounger snuggled under a cozy fleece blanket and snack on complimentary fresh-popped popcorn or delicious cookies and milk.

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship for Princess Cruises. Among the special features found on board will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; a dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water; the new Princess Live! television studio; a pastry shop; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms. The ship’s 2013 maiden season will include cruises on the line’s signature Grand Mediterranean itinerary throughout the summer, followed by Eastern Caribbean cruises beginning in the fall.



 Check Out Our Other Sites Website    
Blog on Cruises From New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk & the Northeast

Free Cruise Newsletter

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth and Cunard's Former Queen Mary Meet in Long Beach California

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth and Cunard's Former Queen Mary Meet in Long Beach California
For the first time since 1967 a Cunard Queen Elizabeth met with the long-retired Queen Mary in Long Beach on March 12, 2013 - an event celebrated with an exchange of whistle salutes, fireworks and fanfare.
In addition, a narrative of the ships’ histories was simulcast by Everette Hoard, speaking from the Bridge of Queen Elizabeth which was also heard by guests on Queen Mary.  

The last meeting of an Elizabeth and Mary took place when both ships passed each other mid-Atlantic on 25 September 1967 with Queen Mary on her final Atlantic crossing. 

 About the Queen Mary
Located in the Port of Long Beach, the Queen Mary features a rich maritime history, authentic Art Deco décor, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Long Beach city skyline. At the time of her maiden voyage in May of 1936, she was considered the grandest ocean liner ever built. The Queen Mary’s signature restaurants include the award-winning Sir Winston’s and Chelsea Chowder House & Bar as well as a weekly Champagne Sunday Brunch served in the ship’s Grand Salon. History buffs enjoy the ship’s museum and Glory Days tour, guests of all ages love the Ghosts and Legends show, and the ship is currently featuring the renowned Diana: Legacy of a Princess exhibit and Tea Room. The Queen Mary features 80,000 square feet of event space in 17 remarkable Art Deco salons as well as a tri-level, 45,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall. The Queen Mary boasts 314 staterooms including nine full suites. For more information or for reservations, visit: or call (800) 437-2934. The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queens Highway in Long Beach, CA.

About Cunard Line
Cunard Line, operator of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries and the epitome of British refinement since the company's first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840.  Cunard voyages bring together like-minded travellers who seek a civilized adventure and relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining and world-class entertainment.  Today, Cunard offers the only regularly scheduled Transatlantic liner service and continues the legacy of world cruising which it began in 1922.


 Check Out Our Other Sites Website    
Blog on Cruises From New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk & the Northeast
Free Cruise Newsletter

Monday, March 25, 2013

Crystal Cruises Release Its 2014/15 Cruise Brochure

Crystal Cruise 2014/2015 Cruise Atlas

Luxury cruise supplier, Crystal Cruises, has released its complete 2014/early 2015 Worldwide Cruise Atlas, marking the annual planning guide’s earliest-ever publication.  With 2015 kicking off the line’s 25th year of cruising, the glossy, 170-page tome profiles 78, seven- to 108-day itineraries in more than 75 countries and 220 ports, in the colorful travel journal style of Crystal’s award-winning brand campaign, “Begin a New Story.”

We understand that the meaningful stories our guests collect with Crystal are inspired by the places we visit together, and that, yet, the discovery of each destination is a very personal experience,”  says Nitsa Lewis, Crystal’s vice president of marketing.  “This year’s Atlas details so many ways Crystal makes those vacations personal and memorable for everyone, from innovative itineraries and shore excursion options to onboard entertainment and the most attentive service possible.”

Highlights of the book include:

·         Visual and written showcasing of Crystal’s award-winning service, space, quality and choices, including chic accommodations; environmental and voluntourism commitments; and overall luxurious value, from Crystal Family Memories and Book Now savings to all-inclusive fine wines, premium spirits, and dining (including Nobu Matsuhisa cuisine).

·         95 pages of itineraries, grouped by region:

Ø  World Cruises:

      o    2014 -- LA to London

      o    2015 Silver Celebration/20th annual -- Miami round-trip, Crystal’s first-ever global circumnavigation

 Ø  Tropical Escapes: Panama Canal & Caribbean

Ø  Exotics: Australia, New Zealand & Pacific, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Japan & China

Ø  Europe & the Mediterranean

Ø  New England & Canada

·         New Insider’s Guides to worldwide destinations, local tips, and must-see highlights of places both popular and unexplored, from can’t-miss vineyards in Bordeaux to hiking trails in Australia.

·         Theme Cruises, including six new Experiences of Discovery: Extreme Thrill Seekers; Explorations in Elegance; Gladiators & Empires; Maritime: Past, Present, & Future; Up Close & Magical; and Wine & Food: Microbrews

·         New innovations, from upcoming culinary enhancements in Prego and Tastes restaurants to production shows, including iLuminate, a cutting-edge America’s Got Talent musical showstopper of light and movement.

·         Crystal Adventures options, from the line’s exclusive new Boutique Adventures to the various private choices available in port.

·         Photos, maps, and detailed amenities of Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, including the ships’ $100+ million extreme makeovers and recent design awards.

·         New Crystal Society benefits beginning April 2014, with rewards for returning Crystal cruisers ranging from shipboard credits to free cruises.

·         More shorter cruises (34% 10 days or less in 2014 alone), port-intensive voyages, and Caribbean and Asian offerings.

·         New cruises in the North Cape, Andaman Sea,Polynesia, to and from San Diego, Bangkok, Québec City, Boston, and more.

·         14 new/maiden calls, plus returns to less-visited ports-of-call, such as Galway, Ireland; Luanda, Angola; Lombok, Indonesia; Ibiza, Spain; Brunei; Ghana; Ko Samui, Thailand; Zihuatanejo, Mexico; Tokyo, Japan; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Tôlanaro, Madagascar; Sanya, China; Alter do Chão, Brazil; Yangon; Myanmar; and Maputo, Mozambique.

Fare Guides for cruises through April 2015 are conveniently located in the Atlas’ back pocket, and shall be re-issued every 60 days due to Book Now fare changes.  Atlases are being shipped to agents, Crystal Society members, and Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity over the next two weeks, with delivery expected by early April.  Others interested in receiving their own Atlas can request one from their Crystal travel agent; view or download from Crystal’s website; or call Crystal’s toll free brochure line, 1-866-446-6625. 

Crystal’s passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history. 


 Check Out Our Other Sites Website    
Blog on Cruises From New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk & the Northeast

Free Cruise Newsletter


Friday, March 22, 2013

Princess Cruises Unveils 2014 European Cruises

Princess Cruises' Royal Princess will Sail Europe in 2014.

Princess Cruises opened its 2014 Europe cruise season for sale today, including the debut of the new Regal Princess which will set sail on its inaugural cruise in June from Venice. In total, five ships – including the line’s two newest vessels – will sail on a variety of cruise itineraries throughout the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.

A sister ship to the upcoming Royal Princess, Regal Princess, will debut on June 2, 2014 with a seven-day inaugural voyage from Venice to Barcelona – including calls in Kotor (Montenegro), Rome, Florence/Pisa, and Toulon (France, for Provence). The ship will then sail on a 10-day Mediterranean & Aegean cruise, followed by a season of Princess’ signature Grand Mediterranean cruises, with two itinerary choices.

Other highlights of the season include Royal Princess sailing on the line’s popular Scandinavia & Russia cruises, featuring two days in the dramatic city of St. Petersburg; more sailings than ever before to the British Isles aboard Ruby Princess and Ocean Princess; and a variety of seven-day Interlude sailings in the Mediterranean aboard the intimate Ocean Princess.

“With Regal Princess’ debut we will have our two newest and largest vessels sailing on our most popular routes in Europe,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Throughout the season, whether passengers want to explore the diverse cultures and expansive history of the Mediterranean, visit the favorite ports of the Baltic Sea on a Scandinavia and Russia voyage, or conveniently circle the British Isles, they can do so in an environment of a relaxing retreat aboard one of our ships.”

The 2014 Europe program features five ships sailing on 94 departures on 48 itineraries to more than 120 destinations:
  • Regal Princess will debut with Princess’ signature 12-day Grand Mediterranean itinerary between Venice and Barcelona, with two itinerary options.
  • Royal Princess will sail for the first time on the line’s popular 11-day Scandinavia & Russia cruises, featuring two days in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Ruby Princess will be based in Southampton for 12-day British Isles cruises as well as one North Cape & Summer Solstice cruise.
  • Emerald Princess will also be based in Southampton for sailings to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and the Canary Islands.
  • Small ship Ocean Princess will feature cruises to both Northern Europe and the Mediterranean including eight-day British Isles cruises, a series of seven-day interlude sailings in the Mediterranean, and new Black Sea and Holy Land voyages, all of which can be combined for a longer voyage.
Mediterranean – Passengers wanting to visit the best of the Mediterranean now have a choice of two itinerary options on the line’s signature 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruises aboard Regal Princess – both feature an overnight stay in Venice, plus calls in Rome, Florence/Pisa, Naples (for Capri & Pompeii), Athens, Mykonos, Kusadasi (for Ephesus) and Toulon (for Provence). One version of the cruise features a call at the intriguing Turkish port of Istanbul and the other calling at medieval Dubrovnik, Croatia. Additional options in the Mediterranean include seven-day Interlude voyages aboard the intimate Ocean Princess, 11-day sailings to the Holy Land or Black Sea on Ocean Princess, and 14-day Mediterranean Medley cruises from Southampton aboard Emerald Princess.

Scandinavia/Russia – Princess’ 2-Day Experience in St. Petersburg – featuring two full days and an overnight stay in the Russian city – will now be is offered on three different Baltic itineraries – Royal Princess on an 11-day itinerary from Copenhagen, Emerald Princess with a 14-day Baltic Heritage route from Southampton and Ocean Princess with a 14-day Scandinavia & Russia collection cruise from Dover.

British Isles – Princess will offer more departures on British Isles sailings than ever before with two itinerary options – a 12-day route on Ruby Princess from Southampton and an eight-day option from Dover aboard Ocean Princess. Five departures will include the option to see the famed Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Iceland & Norway – Several options will take passengers to the northern reaches with a 16-day Land of the Midnight Sun cruise and a 14-day Iceland & Norway journey both aboard the intimate Ocean Princess, as well as a 12-day North Cape & Summer Solstice cruise on Ruby Princess. Two fall transatlantic voyages also feature calls in Iceland – Royal Princess will sail from Copenhagen to New York on a 17-day Iceland & British Isles Explorer cruise, and Ruby Princess will offer a 15-day Iceland & Norway Explorer cruise from Southampton to New York.

Transatlantic Voyages – In addition, passengers can enjoy a variety of other itineraries that travel across the Atlantic in spring and fall, including a 17-day Maiden Passage cruise on Regal Princess from Venice to Ft. Lauderdale. Royal Princess will sail from Ft. Lauderdale to Copenhagen in spring on a 15-day Northern Europe Passage. Emerald Princess will offer a 15-day British Isles Passage from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton and a 17-day Western Europe Passage from Southampton to Houston. Ruby Princess sails on a 14-day Western Europe Passage from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton. Ocean Princess ends its extended Europe season with an 18-day Renaissance Passage from Rome to Ft. Lauderdale.

New Ports: Maiden calls for the season include Alta, Norway; Salerno, Italy; and Jersey, Channel Islands.

Cruisetours: Princess also offers a selection of European cruisetours which combine certain sailings with a fully-escorted land tour, including a new Paris and the French Countryside vacation option. Passengers can also choose to explore Ireland’s Ring of Kerry; the imperial treasures in Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin; or the remarkable Swiss Alps and Lake Como.

Regal Princess and sister ship Royal Princess are new-generation ships for Princess Cruises. Among the special features found on board the 3,600-passenger vessels will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; a dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water; the new Princess Live! television studio; a pastry shop; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.



 Check Out Our Other Sites Website    
Blog on Cruises From New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk & the Northeast

Free Cruise Newsletter

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Royal Caribbean Unveils 2014 Alaska Cruise Season

Royal Caribbean Unveils 2014 Alaska Season
Royal Caribbean International today announced its 2014 Alaska cruise and cruisetour season, which will mark 25 years of delivering the magnificence of the Alaskan frontier on land and sea. Recently revitalized Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas will return to Alaskan waters and offer 34 sailings on exciting seven-night itineraries from Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington. On board, guests can enjoy up to 11 dining options, new and breathtaking entertainment, as well as family programming such as the award-winning Adventure Ocean kids and teen program, and the new Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, catering to Royal Caribbean’s youngest guests, age six to 36 months old.

            In ports of call, guests can choose from an extensive menu of shore excursions to further explore the untamed Alaskan frontier. At Icy Strait Point, for instance, adventure seeking guests can ride the world’s longest ZipRider zip line – 5,300 ft. long – that accelerates up to 60 miles an hour over a lush forest to the beach 1,300 ft. below, or mush their own dogsled team on Dog Sledding on the Mendenhall Glacier by Helicopter from Juneau. For the whole family, the Gold Rush Sled Dogs & White Pass Train Adventure in Skagway offers an exciting ride on the world-famous, narrow-gauge White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, followed by meeting a veteran Iditarod musher and his dogsled team with a chance to pet some pups, or the opportunity to go off-roading through Tongas National Park and canoeing in Lake Harriet Hunt on Backcountry Jeep & Canoe Safari from Ketchikan.

            “Royal Caribbean has been unfolding the wonders of the Alaskan frontier for a quarter century and we continue to deliver this amazing destination like no other cruise line,” said Lisa Bauer, executive vice president of Global Marketing and Sales, Royal Caribbean International. “Guests can explore this awe-inspiring destination while sailing aboard our recently revitalized ships that are Designed for WOW and enjoy Royal Caribbean’s friendly and engaging GOLD Anchor service from every staff and crew member. To further immerse themselves, vacationers also can choose an unforgettable Royal Caribbean Alaska cruisetour combining the best of land and sea in the region and without having to worry about any of the planning.”

            In addition to witnessing the majesty of Alaska by ship, vacationers also can explore Alaska’s interior on a variety of exciting Royal Caribbean Cruisetours, which combines a sailing aboard Radiance of the Seas with a three- to six-night land tour adventure. Royal Caribbean takes care of all the planning, transportation and lodging on fully escorted tours that spend at least one night in Denali National Park and one leg on the Wilderness Express, a plush, glass-domed train cars that offer panoramic views of the grand Alaskan frontier. A 10-night, family-geared cruisetour will feature a three-night land tour that includes a behind-the-scenes visit to the Alaska Sea Life Center to learn about the region’s natural habitat and the center’s wildlife rehabilitation and conservation efforts, and wildlife spotting in Denali National Park at the Murie Science and Learning Center.

            Vacationers also can combine a Radiance of the Seas or Rhapsody of the Seas’ Alaska cruise with one of four pre- or post-cruise land tours throughout the Canadian Rockies and – new for 2014 – the Okanagan Wine Valley. For a comprehensive Alaska and the Canadian Rockies adventure, the Ultimate Cruisetour combines both region’s land tour programs with a seven-night cruise aboard Radiance of the Seas for a 19-night grand adventure on land and sea.

            Recently revitalized in 2011 and 2012, respectively, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas now offer guests a range of new dining options, breathtaking entertainment, and contemporary amenities that are Designed for WOW. Each ship now features some of the most popular dining options and amenities that were first introduced aboard the world’s largest and most revolutionary ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. New signature concepts aboard these ships include a new dance club experience in the contemporized Viking Crown Lounge. On Rhapsody of the Seas guests are surprised and delighted throughout the day by a series of heart-pounding, aerial-acrobatic entertainment experiences in the four deck-high Centrum which also features the new retro R Bar. Guests enjoy choices from 11 delectable dining options on Radiance of the Seas and nine on Rhapsody of the Seas, including the Park Café gourmet deli, Izumi Asian Cuisine, Giovanni’s Table Italian restaurant, and the exclusive Chef’s Table, some for an additional cover charge. Both ships offer bow-to-stern WiFi service, a refresh of all public spaces and updated staterooms with flat-panel televisions. An oversized LED movie screen overlooking the main pool provides entertainment to guests taking a brisk dip on a warm Alaskan day, and new Concierge and Diamond lounges aboard each ship further recognize Royal Caribbean’s loyal Crown & Anchor Society members and suite guests.

            Radiance of the Seas will alternate North- and Southbound seven-night itineraries from Vancouver and Seward, respectively. Guests will cruise the Inside Passage and the monumental Hubbard Glacier, as well as call at Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska. Radiance of the Seas’ Alaska season will be bookended with a seven-night itinerary, sailing roundtrip from Vancouver on May 9 and Sept. 5, calling at Icy Strait Point, Juneau, and Ketchikan, and cruising up Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glacier.

            For its part, Rhapsody of the seas will sail seven-night, roundtrip itineraries to Sawyer Glacier from Seattle, Wash. Guests will cruise the Inside Passage and call at Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, British Columbia. Two similar seven-night itineraries that call at Ketchikan instead of Victoria will sail from Vancouver to Seattle on May 16 and vice versa on Aug. 29.

            Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. Royal Caribbean provides a world-class vacation experience with a wide range of signature onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming.


 Check Out Our Other Sites Website    
Blog on Cruises From New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk & the Northeast
Free Cruise Newsletter


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Carnival Cruises to Install Redundant Systems on Cruise Ships

Carnival Cruises Carnival Triumph in Mobile Alabama Drydock
Carnival Cruises Carnival Triumph in Mobile Alabama Drydock

Carnival Cruise Lines has announced the first implementation phase of its fleetwide comprehensive operational review, focused on Carnival Triumph, as well as Carnival Sunshine, which is currently undergoing a previously scheduled dry dock for product enhancements.  The cruise line is making significant investments to enhance the level of operating redundancies and the scope of hotel services that can run on emergency power, and further improve each ship’s fire prevention, detection and suppression systems. 
            Given the necessary lead time to source needed materials and implement the enhancements, Carnival will extend the current out-of-service period for these two ships.

            Carnival Triumph will now return to service on June 3, 2013, with a total of 10 additional cruises being canceled.  Guests on the affected voyages will receive a full refund, reimbursement for non-refundable transportation costs and a 25 percent discount on a future four- to five-day cruise.

            Carnival Sunshine, which is currently undergoing a multi-week dry dock to complete a comprehensive full-ship makeover, will now enter service May 5, 2013, following the cancellation of two European cruises.  Guests on the canceled Carnival Sunshine voyages will receive a full refund, plus reimbursement for any non-refundable travel costs.  Additionally, they will receive a 25 percent discount on a future cruise.  The additional time out of service will allow for implementation of the enhanced operating redundancies and other measures.

            “We sincerely regret canceling these cruises and disrupting our guests’ vacation plans,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival Cruise Lines’ president and CEO.  “We are fully committed to applying the recommendations stemming from our fleetwide review and to make whatever investments are needed despite the difficult decision to impact people’s vacations.”

            Cahill continued, “Our team of experts has worked virtually around the clock to determine the best set of solutions and rapidly develop an effective implementation plan for both of these ships. Moving forward, we will have the ability to source materials and schedule improvements much more expediently, thus minimizing the scheduling impact on other vessels.   

“I would like to provide continued assurances that all of our vessels have fully effective safety systems, equipment and training in place.  Additionally, our ships receive regular inspections from the United States Coast Guard and other regulatory authorities. The changes we are implementing are focused primarily on improvements to better support continued power and hotel services should unexpected issues arise. In addition, we are applying new learnings and making enhancements in the area of fire suppression and extinguishing.  Going forward, the review will focus on the balance of our fleet.  While this process will take time, it is our highest priority and has the full support and resources of Carnival Cruise Lines and Carnival Corporation,” Cahill said.

Carnival Triumph operates year-round four- and five-day Mexico cruises from Galveston, Texas.  Four-day cruises depart Thursdays and visit Cozumel while five-day cruises depart Mondays and Saturdays and call at Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico. 

Carnival Sunshine is scheduled to operate a series of nine- and 12-day Mediterranean cruises May 5 to Oct. 20, 2013, either round-trip from Barcelona or sailing between Barcelona and Venice.  The ship will sail on a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to New Orleans Nov. 1-17, positioning the vessel for a special six-day Caribbean cruise departing Nov. 18 followed by the launch of year-round seven-day Caribbean service from New Orleans Nov. 24, 2013. 


 Check Out Our Other Sites Website    
Blog on Cruises From New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk & the Northeast

Free Cruise Newsletter


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Grand Princess Kicks Off Year-Round Sailings From San Francisco

Princess Cruise Grand Princess in San Francisco

 The first cruise ship to be based year round in San Francisco, Grand Princess, sailed through the Golden Gate for the first time on March 16, 2013. The city celebrated the Princess Cruises vessel’s arrival by declaring the day “Grand Princess Day.”

The ship departed from Pier 35 on a voyage to the Hawaiian Islands. The 2,600-passenger Grand Princess will be based at the Port of San Francisco through spring 2014, offering 37 roundtrip sailings to Alaska, Mexico, and the California coast in addition to Hawaii. Grand Princess will accommodate approximately 96,200 passengers during the inaugural season.

Princess Cruises has a 40-year history of operating cruise ships from the Port of San Francisco.


 Check Out Our Other Sites Website    
Blog on Cruises From New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk & the Northeast

Free Cruise Newsletter


Monday, March 18, 2013

Norwegian Cruise Line Offers Kids Cruise Free on Select 2013 Cruises.

Norwegian Cruise Line Kids Sail Free Select 2013 Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line is launching its popular Kids Sail Free limited time offer on Monday, March 18, 2013, giving children (17 and younger), who are sailing in third and fourth berths, the opportunity to cruise for free when their parents make a new reservation before March 23, 2013. Kids will love cruising for free on select fall sailings to Alaska, Bahamas & Florida, Bermuda, Canada & New England, the Caribbean, Europe, or Hawaii. In addition, select sailings are also eligible for free balcony upgrades, up to $1,000 in air credits, military and AARP discounts.

Families can embark on the ultimate vacation to one of Norwegian’s exciting cruise destinations, such as Hawaii. For a vacation with a view, the entire family will enjoy exploring four spectacular Hawaiian Islands, with more than 100 hours in port, on a seven-day cruise aboard Pride of America. Sailing round-trip from Honolulu, kids can sail free in the fall on sailings from September 28 through December 14, 2013, with fares starting at $1299*.

Norwegian’s award-winning European cruise vacations, give families the opportunity to visit multiple European destinations while only having to unpack once. Families can set sail on Norwegian Jade on seven-day Greek Isles and Adriatic itineraries from Venice, Italy from September 7 through December 7, 2013. For a longer Europe vacation, families can embark on a nine-day Canary Islands cruise on Norwegian Spirit from Barcelona, with ports of call including Funchal, Madeira; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Arrecife (Lanzarote), Canary Islands; and Granada (Malaga), Spain, between September 8 and December 10, 2013, with fares from $599*.

Guests of all ages will enjoy exclusive Nickelodeon-themed activities and entertainment as well as the array of other exciting entertainment and dining options while cruising through the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean on board Norwegian Epic. Named “Best Ship for Sea Days” by Cruise Critic and “Best Overall Cruise Ship” by the readers of Travel Weekly two years in a row, Norwegian Epic sails a series of seven-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean, roundtrip from Miami, Florida, with stops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas from September 1 through December 7, 2013. Fares start at $549*.

For more fun in the sun, families can set sail on a seven-day cruise to the Bahamas & Florida on Norwegian’s brand new ship, Norwegian Breakaway. Setting sail from New York City, guests will enjoy stops in Orlando & Beaches (Port Canaveral); Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau, Bahamas. Also known as “New York’s Ship” for its New York inspired amenities and features, Norwegian Breakaway will bring the best of NYC to sea when she arrives to her year-round homeport in early May 2013, offering the high-caliber dining and entertainment options that New York is known for worldwide. Kids of all ages will be thrilled to experience the top decks of Norwegian Breakaway which feature the largest Aqua Park at sea with five full-size water slides, including twin Free Fall slides, the first ever at sea, and a three-story sports complex that includes the largest ropes course at sea, a nine-hole miniature golf course, basketball court, rock climbing wall and more.

Families also have the opportunity to experience the beauty of Alaska before the season ends by setting sail on a seven-day cruise on board Norwegian Pearl or Norwegian Jewel from Seattle or on board Norwegian Sun from either Vancouver, British Columbia or Whittier, Alaska, with rates starting at $429*. Norwegian Sun’s northbound itinerary departs Vancouver and cruises the Inside Passage, Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier and make stops in the Alaskan favorites of Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau. On her southbound itineraries from Whittier, the ship will cruise the Inside Passage, Sawyer Glacier and Hubbard Glacier, as well as make stops in Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau and Icy Strait Point.

The line recently enhanced its youth program, Splash Academy, and teen program, Entourage, and this limited time offer is the perfect opportunity for families to experience these new programs, which have received rave reviews from parents and kids alike. Both Splash Academy and Entourage feature a different theme every day. Whether it’s ocean-related, pirates, space cowboys, jungle fever or circus, every day offers kids a new surprise - tailored to their specific age group - Guppies for ages up to 2; Turtles for ages 3 to 5; Seals for ages 6 to 9; and Dolphins for ages 10 to 12. The enhanced curriculum focuses on team building and assisting in developing children’s interpersonal and confidence-building skills. With activities that are tailored specifically to each age group, the new youth and teen programs focus on creative and unique activities, along with more sporting events, through a partnership with King’s Foundation and Camps. Another highlight of the program is a circus school in partnership with Hilario Productions’ Cirque du Jour, a New York-based company that specializes in teaching children real circus skills. Splash Academy also offers activities for cruisers under three and their parents who can enjoy sensory play classes which include baby art featuring “Wee Can Too” organic art products. 

To book a family cruise vacation with Norwegian during the “Kids Sail Free” limited time promotion, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit
*All cruise fares are per person, based on double occupancy.


 Check Out Our Other Sites Website    
Blog on Cruises From New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk & the Northeast

Free Cruise Newsletter