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Holland America Line Marks $4.7 Million Donated for Cancer Support

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Fundraising walks held on 500 cruises each year

February 4, 2016 –
In honor of World Cancer Day, Holland America Line guests and employees have to date raised more than $4.7 million for cancer support through “On Deck” programming. The current On Deck for a Cause program benefits six international cancer organizations located in the United States, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom.

On Deck invites guests to participate in a noncompetitive 5k fundraising walk during every sailing on each of the line’s 13 ships, with hundreds of thousands of cruisers having walked in support of the program since its inception in 2006. Proceeds are distributed among the American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Cancer Council Australia, Cancer Research UK, Deutsche Krebshilfe (German Cancer Aid) and KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society). Previously the program benefitted Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

On Deck For A Cause


“We sincerely thank all Holland America Line guests and employees who have generously donated to On Deck for a Cause and helped us reach $4.7 million to help fight cancer,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Cancer is a disease that touches too many lives around the world. Through On Deck we will continue to help find a cure.”

Guests of all ages are invited to donate $20 to the Holland America Line Foundation, with a minimum of 75 percent ($15) distributed to the organizations. The remaining 25 percent covers program and administrative expenses. On a day at sea, participants join in a 5k walk around the ship’s decks. Guests may walk less or not at all, as they prefer. Participants also receive an On Deck for a Cause T-shirt and wristband and attend a post-walk reception. Depending on the ship, the distance to reach 5k ranges from nine to 12 laps.

In 2016, more than 500 On Deck for a Cause events will be held across the Holland America Line fleet on every cruise, with walks taking place in Alaska, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Bermuda, the Baltic, Canada and New England, the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Mexico, New Zealand, the Panama Canal, Hawaii and the South Pacific and South America.

Posted: February 4th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Norwegian Offering 2 Free Amenities For Mini-Suite Bookings

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February 1, 2016 –
Norwegian Cruise Line has introduced an all-new offer in conjunction with their Free at Sea promotion, inviting guests who book a new cruise vacation† in a mini-suite stateroom now through February 21, 2016 to choose two valuable amenities to enjoy complimentary during their cruise.

From now until February 21, 2016 with Norwegian’s Free at Sea, guests who book a new five-day or longer sailing in a mini-suite category stateroom on sailings more than 30 days prior to departure can select their preference of two choices from four incredible offers, including free Unlimited Beverages*, free Specialty Dining*, free $50 per port shore excursion credits in up to four ports, or a free 250 minute WiFi package**. Additionally, Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer allows 3rd and 4th guests to sail for free on select dates.

Guests who book a new five-day or longer sailing in any category stateroom on sailings more than 30 days prior to departure can select from one of the four incredible offers. Guests who book a suite or The Haven by Norwegian™ will enjoy all four free offers that, along with Friends & Family Sail Free, provide up to $2300 in value.

Fine Print:
†Offer valid for US residents only and terms based on itinerary and stateroom category booked. All sailings booked less than 30 days prior to sail date are not eligible for offer. Pride of America, Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Sky sailings are not eligible for Pick 2 offer.

*Guests are responsible for an 18% gratuity for retail value for Specialty Dining Package, Ultimate Beverage Package,and/ or the Soda Package, with pricing based on number of cruise nights. Suites or Haven guests will not be responsible for the 18% gratuities related to the Ultimate Dining Package, Ultimate Beverage Package, and/or the Soda Package.

** One login per stateroom. On Norwegian Breakaway, stateroom receives an internet package of 100/250 minutes or 300/1000 MB of data respectively.

Posted: February 1st, 2016 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Azamara Journey Emerges From Dry Dock With Bow to Stern Overhaul

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Overhaul Features Modern Décor, New Technologies as well as New Services and Amenities for Guests


January 29, 2016 – Departing Freeport, Bahamas for Miami, Azamara Journey, the first of Azamara’s two ships undergoing “major upgrades,” has been outfitted with new venues, public spaces and technologies to bring fresh services and amenities to guests.

“There is no area on the ship that has not been touched,” says Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “Known for our land programs to provide our guests with the most personalized Destination Immersion experiences in the industry, Azamara needed to take our onboard product to the next level. Cruise ships are like fine hotels, after wear and tear, upgrades need to be made. We can’t wait to have our new and loyal guests onboard to see what we have done. It’s gorgeous and provides all the modern services and amenities that today’s traveler needs and demands. I think we have exceeded expectations.”

Azamara contracted several of the world’s leading design consultants for the hospitality, leisure and entertainment industries, to help transform its ships into modern oases at sea. As Azamara Journey comes out of dry dock, all stateroom and suites have had an overhaul creating an ambiance that is comfortable as well as timeless and elegant. Authentic materials were used, with beautiful stone and porcelain throughout and custom design. Two new Spa Suites have been built adjacent to the Sanctum Spa featuring an elegant look with organic and muted colors providing exclusive access to unique spa amenities that will be included in the price of these staterooms. And, the Club World Ocean and Owner’s Suites have also been fully redesigned.

The Drawing Room


Additionally, Azamara Journey’s new dining and entertainment enhancements throughout the entire ship are revealed including makeovers to The Patio, Windows Café, Discoveries Restaurant and Discoveries Bar, the Living Room and Cabaret Lounge.

Staircase on Azamara Journey

The Patio
A guest favorite onboard, formerly known as the Pool Grill, The Patio was completely transformed into a sit-down al fresco dining experience. The area now features beautiful tablecloths and candles in the evening creating a fresh ambiance. New lighting, ceilings and fans added modern elements to the renovated look. The décor won’t be the only refresh as The Patio also serves up a new evening menu to be enjoyed amidst some of the most stunning oceanside backdrops in locales around the world. In the evening, interested dinner guests can occasionally enjoy live music alongside their meal. After dinner and a movie, travelers looking to satisfy their sweet tooth can stop by the new Swirl & Top self-serve frozen yogurt station to indulge in a variety of flavors and choice of toppings.

Windows Café
Dining offerings indoors are not to be left out as Windows Café has been reinvigorated with contemporary furniture and place settings. Tables for two were added, allowing more options for couples or the ability to combine tables to accommodate larger parties, or to join a group of friends for a meal. For those looking to dine while watching the sunset, Windows’ outdoor dining area and Sunset Bar is right out the back door, with a rejuvenated look and the same stunning views.

Discoveries Restaurant and Discoveries Bar
Discoveries Restaurant is continuing the reimagination trend. The refreshed restaurant features a warm and inviting atmosphere with new décor, lamps, seating, and sheers. A variety of different sized tables are offered to accommodate groups of all sizes with ease.

Discoveries Bar received a modern makeover as well with new bar stools, sofas, chairs and tables, sheers, painting and wood trim. The bar provides a tranquil and friendly atmosphere with a rich blend of tailored and refined elements for guests.

Living Room
Guests will feel right at home in the new and improved Living Room (formerly the Looking Glass Lounge). The relaxing area offers guests the comfort of a well-furnished space, featuring cozy chairs and sofas and a handcrafted wooden wine table. Passengers can sample tastes and entertainment from morning until night with the following options:

·Daytime Fare:
From 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. enjoy a selection of fine teas and coffees along with delicious breakfast pastries, finger sandwiches, and sweets.
·Afternoon Delight: From 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. each day guests may choose from a variety of tasty hot and cold tapas with a mix of Spain’s eclectic and sophisticated flavors. The onboard sommelier will be happy to suggest the perfect red, white, or rosé wine or champagne to pair accordingly.

In the evenings the Living Room livens up into a space for dancing, karaoke or live music from one of the ship’s onboard musicians followed by a house DJ, playing music to keep the party going well into the night. On occasion, specialty performances will entertain guests while other nights the Chef may surprise Living Room dwellers with delectable featured desserts. Whether stopping by for a light bite or staying for the entire evening, The Living Room serves up entertainment and culinary offerings for guests day and night.

Casino and Spirits
The Casino received new slot machines, sleek carpets, and reupholstered seating with custom-designed fabrics. And, of course, the Casino wouldn’t be complete without a proper location in close proximity for a cocktail, the transformed Spirits bar will available for guests just a stone’s throw away.

The Azamara Quest will enter dry dock in April 2016 in Singapore.

For more information, travelers can call their travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit https://www.azamaraclubcruises.com/ReimaginingAzamara

Posted: January 29th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Carnival, Operation Homefront , & Carrie Underwood Launch “Honor. Family. Fun.” Initiative For Military Families

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Underwood to treat military families to private concert pierside aboard Carnival Vista, at Port of New York in November 2016

Campaign will raise funds for Operation Homefront and highlight personal stories of military families

January 28, 2016 – Today, Carnival Cruise Line announced a new initiative designed to support U.S. military families alongside seven-time GRAMMY-award winning superstar Carrie Underwood and representatives of Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit that builds strong, stable, and secure military families. The year-long “Honor. Family. Fun.” program will help raise funds for Operation Homefront and culminate in a special private pierside concert for service men and women and their families starring Underwood aboard Carnival’s newest ship, the Carnival Vista, when the vessel makes its U.S. debut in New York City at the Port of New York on November 4, 2016.

Carrie Underwood and Operation Homefront


“Military families represent a cornerstone of our country and we are honored by the opportunity to partner with Carrie and Operation Homefront to bring much needed awareness and aid to our troops and their loved ones,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “The partnership will bring to life many of the heartwarming stories our troops have to share while in turn bringing them some fun along the way.”

In 10 cities along the course of Carrie Underwood’s The Storyteller Tour, which kicks off in Jacksonville, Fla on January 30, select military families, chosen in partnership with Operation Homefront, will be treated to a personal meet-and-greet with Underwood before her concerts. A video series highlighting the meet and greets and the families’ individual stories will be featured on carnival.com.

“I’m honored to be able to join Carnival Cruise Line and Operation Homefront to lift up these soldiers and their families,” said Underwood. “I am really looking forward to meeting them on my tour and for the opportunity to personally thank them for all they do for our freedom.”

Driving the effort to raise funds for the cause, fans of Underwood, and of the program, will have the opportunity to donate by clicking on the “Donate Now” button on carnival.com/HonorFamilyFun. Commemorative dog tags will also be available for purchase at merchandise stands at all Storyteller Tour stops as well as on board the fleet of Carnival ships with all proceeds going to Operation Homefront.

“Carnival Cruise Line really knows what it means to support our men and women in uniform and their families,” said retired Brigadier General John I. Pray, Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront. “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the Carnival team and superstar Carrie Underwood to focus on the challenges our military families face as they work tirelessly to protect the freedoms we enjoy daily.”

The final stop in the cross-country “Honor. Family. Fun.” campaign will be New York City, where Carnival, Operation Homefront, and Underwood will treat hundreds of military families to a special concert aboard the new Carnival Vista at the Port of New York on November 4, 2016.

Carnival Vista will set sail in Europe in May 2016 and make her stateside debut as host of the special private pierside concert for military families. Designed to connect guests to the ocean with sweeping views and plenty to do both outdoors and in, Carnival Vista will introduce an array of groundbreaking new features including: SkyRide, a suspended open-air cycling experience; the world’s first IMAX® Theatre on a ship; an expansive water park featuring the colorful Kaleid-O-Slide, the line’s first raft-riding water tube slide; Seafood Shack, a delectable New England-inspired eatery; RedFrog Pub, including the first micro-brewery on a U.S.-based cruise ship, and other new dining, bar and entertainment options.

In the coming weeks, Carnival will launch a new shipboard military appreciation program. Each ship will host a special event on board to recognize active and retired military personnel and their families and will kick off with a welcome video featuring Carrie Underwood.

Finally, it was also revealed that Carrie Underwood will join the Carnival LIVE! roster of artists in early 2017 with further details to be announced at a later date.

Posted: January 28th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Harmony Of The Seas Promises To Be A Great Choice For Families

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World’s Largest Cruise Ship to Feature DreamWorks Experience, All-New Adventure Ocean Youth Programming and New Family Amenities

January 26, 2016 – Royal Caribbean International is taking family fun to new heights onboard its newest ship, Harmony of the Seas. Guests setting sail aboard Harmony will be able to enjoy several family-friendly offerings, such as Royal Caribbean’s signature DreamWorks Experience, enhanced entertainment in the Adventure Ocean youth program, and a new collection of family amenities — two thoughtful collections that highlight what travelers tend to enjoy most on vacation – eat, play, drink – in the unique balcony staterooms along the Central Park and Boardwalk neighborhoods. Combined with The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea, The Perfect Storm trio of water slides and Splashaway Bay interactive aqua park for kids, Harmony of the Seas promises to be a great vacation choice for the entire family.

DreamWorks Animation Characters Set Sail

When Harmony of the Seas debuts in approximately 117 days, she will bring with her a familiar cast of DreamWorks Animation characters including Po of Kung Fu Panda; Shrek, Fiona and Puss in Boots of Shrek; and from Madagascar, Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien and the Penguins. Guests will enjoy events and activities based on DreamWorks Animation’s popular feature-film characters, including a DreamWorks Character breakfast in the main dining room, ‘meet and greet’ experiences throughout the day, as well as photo opportunities that can be immediately shared with family and friends back home thanks to VOOM, the fastest internet at sea.

Royal Caribbean’s younger guests can enjoy a fun line-up of activities, from story time to dance parties, games and adventures rooted in the popular DreamWorks Animation films at the complimentary Adventure Ocean youth program. Only on Royal Caribbean, parents and kids alike can enjoy peace of mind knowing that they have guaranteed seats on “opening weekend” of highly anticipated feature films such as “Kung Fu Panda 3,” which premieres onboard the same day it does in theaters on land. Year-round, guests can watch the latest and long-term favorite DreamWorks Animation films in the ship’s 3D movie theater and on a dedicated DreamWorks TV channel in their stateroom.

Harmony Of The Seas


Enhanced Adventure Ocean Programming

Royal Caribbean’s complimentary Adventure Ocean youth program will continue to offer young guests, ages three to eleven, an entertaining line-up of activities and games rooted in fun and excitement. New in Harmony’s Adventure Ocean Theater is Away We Go!, a black light puppet show created by Tony® award-nominated actors and imaginative producers John Tartaglia by and Michael Shawn Lewis of Gable Grove Productions.

Additionally, programming by “Muffalo Potato” – the popular YouTube show, which teaches kids to draw anything in minutes using only letters and numbers – will round out Harmony’s lineup. Muffalo Potato originally debuted aboard Anthem of the Seas and will expand fleetwide just in time for summer vacations, starting with Harmony of the Seas.

New Family Amenities for Central Park and Boardwalk Staterooms

Families vacationing together on Harmony of the Seas, as well as Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, will be able to take advantage of the new collection of added benefits to balcony staterooms overlooking the Central Park and Boardwalk outdoor neighborhoods. Starting in November 2016, these category cabins will be enhanced with amenities that feature the best of what each neighborhood has to offer. Guests with views of Central Park – a revolutionary design in which the center of the ship opens to the sky, and features lush, tropical grounds spanning the length of a football field – will enjoy lunch for two at Jamie’s Italian, serving rustic Italian favorites from world-renowned chef Jamie Oliver on Harmony of the Seas, or at Giovanni’s Table onboard Oasis and Allure of the Seas; a complimentary bottle of red wine upon arrival; and special perks in the Casino Royale. Guests with Boardwalk views – a neighborhood inspired by the nostalgic boardwalks of yesteryear – will receive lunch or dinner for four at Johnny Rockets featuring old-fashioned burgers and fries; a soda beverage package for two; and private time on the cruise line’s iconic 38-foot tall rock wall.

Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, will span 16 guest decks, encompass 227,000 gross registered tons, carry 5,497 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,747 staterooms. The Oasis-class is an architectural marvel touting Royal Caribbean’s exclusive seven neighborhood concept, including Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. For more information about Harmony of the Seas, please visit RoyalCaribbean.com/HarmonyoftheSeas.

Posted: January 26th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Princess Cruises Announces “The Come Back New Promise”

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$450 Million Multi-Year Product Innovation, Cruise Ship Renovation and Guest Experience Enhancement Campaign



January 26, 2016 –
Princess Cruises announced The Come Back New Promise, a $450 million multi-year product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign that will continue to enhance the line’s onboard guest experience. These enhancements will result in more transformative moments, lifetime memories and meaningful stories for guests to share from their cruise vacation.

“The Come Back New Promise differentiates our approach to cruising and offers our guests enriching vacation experiences by connecting them with each other, nature and different cultures in a new way,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Our promise is to provide guests transformative moments designed to inspire them to discover the world and themselves, ultimately allowing us to declare that a cruise isn’t good enough unless you ‘come back new.’”

Stein Kruse, CEO Princess Cruises (left) and Jan Swartz, President Princess Cruises (right) joined by partners Chef Curtis Stone, Designer Candice Olson, Sleep Expert Dr. Michael Breus and Chef Ernesto Uchimura


The campaign demonstrates a commitment by Princess Cruises to exceed guest expectations while continuously improving upon and delivering a high value cruise vacation experience that inspires guests to return and introduce cruising to their family and friends.

Recently, Princess introduced new initiatives inspired to deliver The Come Back New Promise which further elevate the line’s wellness, culinary/dining experiences and expands the partnership with Discovery Communications.

They include:

Chef Curtis Stone – a partnership with award-winning chef, New York Times best-selling author and restaurateur Curtis Stone brings guests fresh, new culinary creations. All Princess ships will feature “Crafted by Curtis” menu items in the main dining room, while on select ships guests will enjoy “SHARE” a brand new specialty restaurant which will include a new Chef’s Table experience designed by Stone.

The Princess Luxury Bed –
featuring a new specially designed bed to deliver the ultimate night of sleep at sea the Princess Luxury Bed was developed in collaboration with experts in both the science and beauty of sleep — Dr. Michael Breus, “The Sleep Doctor,” and highly acclaimed designer, Candice Olson, star of the hit HGTV shows “Candice Tells All” and “Divine Design” — Princess is installing more than 44,000 new beds, to every stateroom, across the fleet through 2018.

The Salty Dog Gastropub – another new dining option which highlights a variety of small bites inspired by pub favorites, adapted for an upscale culinary experience. Developed in collaboration with Ernesto Uchimura, a founding chef of the original Umami Burger, guests will also enjoy a variety of beer, whiskey and cocktail selections. Currently available on select ships.

Style at Sea with TLC – What to pack, what to wear and how to look stylish are just a few of the many questions guests ask when preparing for a cruise vacation. With the help of TLC’s fashion expert Stacy London, Style at Sea with TLC will provide tips and tricks to help guests feel and look their best while aboard a cruise.

Previously, Princess unveiled these initiatives which became the inspiration for The Come Back New Promise campaign, providing guests new culinary, enrichment and entertainment experiences.

They include:

Chocolate Journeys – An immersive chocolate experience designed by Master Chocolatier Norman Love, exclusive to Princess, was launched offering delectable desserts, wine and chocolate pairings and specialty chocolate cocktails. New chocolate offerings allow guests to indulge in even more custom-crafted signature desserts in new venues throughout the ship, as well as chocolate pairings with tea and more.

Discovery at Sea –
A partnership with Discovery Communications, which brings new, innovative activities and shore excursions to the Princess-guest experience through hit shows like Deadliest Catch and Shark Week.

New Original Musical Productions – Magic to Do, the first of four musical production shows created in collaboration with Stephen Schwartz, award-winning composer and songwriter of Wicked, Godspell and Pippin, combines exhilarating magic with some of Schwartz’s most famous songs. Plus, the show features a brand new song written exclusively for Princess. Magic to Do debuted to critical acclaim and is currently running aboard Crown Princess, Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess.

Festivals of the World – Around the world, in every season, festivals bring people together to celebrate the uniqueness of a culture and its heritage often in the most colorful ways. Princess hosts festivals onboard that originate from nearly every corner of the globe. From Mardi Gras to Rio Carnival, guests enjoy parties, enriching activities, lively musical performances, festival-related movies and specialty shopping.

Craft Beer Series –
Through partnerships with regional breweries that specialize in local flavor, Princess started the series with an award-winning West Coast IPA from Strike Brewing Company in San Jose, Calif., followed it with a special 50th Anniversary blend and have since added the Alaska Denali Red Ale, East Coast Blonde Lager and the Australian Gold Ale.

Princess@Sea Messenger –
Guests have the opportunity to be connected with their fellow cruisers using mobile messenger, an instant message feature offering an easy way to make plans, confirm a meeting location while onboard the ship. The Princess@Sea Messenger is integrated in the complimentary Princess@Sea mobile app, accessed via a smartphone or tablet browser.

More announcements about ship renovations, entertainment and accommodations, in association with The Come Back New Promise campaign, are on the horizon.

Posted: January 26th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Norwegian Bringing Five Ships To Europe For 2017 Cruises

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Plus a first ever complete season from Southampton, Amsterdam and Hamburg on Norwegian Jade

January 26, 2016 – Norwegian Cruise Line has announced its summer 2017 deployment for Europe that, for the first time in company history, features five ships sailing in European waters in the summer season.

Highlights of the new itineraries include cruises to the Baltic Capitals on Norwegian Getaway from Copenhagen and a first ever complete season from Hamburg on Norwegian Jade, with embarkation for those cruises also available in the UK and Amsterdam. In addition to the European sailings, Norwegian also revealed details on Norwegian Escape’s 2017 summer cruises to the Caribbean from Miami.

Norwegian will bring Norwegian Getaway back to Europe for the first time since its delivery in 2014, giving guests the opportunity to experience the ultimate in freedom and flexibility on eight- or nine-night Baltic Capitals cruises from Copenhagen. This spectacular itinerary will allow guests to explore UNESCO World Heritage sites, take in the picturesque Baltic countryside and experience the unique history, cultures and architecture of these famed European cities. The itinerary includes calls in Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; along with an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Marking the first time that Norwegian will homeport a ship in Hamburg, Germany, Norwegian Jade — one of the company’s four Jewel-Class vessels — will feature brand new cruises from Hamburg in 2017. Following an extensive dry dock in spring 2017, she will arrive essentially a new ship featuring Norwegian’s new standard of excellence the Norwegian Edge™ on May 14, 2017. Until October 9, 2017, guests can embark from Hamburg on a series of seven- and nine-day Western Europe cruises; nine- and ten-day Norwegian Fjords cruises; 12-day Norway & North Cape sailings; as well as a 14-day Norway, Iceland & UK cruise.

Norwegian will return to England for the first time since 2010 during summer 2017, as Norwegian Jade will call on Southampton during her cruises from Hamburg. From May 12 – June 20 and August 7 – October 16, 2017, guests can choose to embark from Southampton for either seven- and nine-day Western Europe cruises or nine- and ten-day Norwegian Fjords cruises. Guests can also choose to embark from Amsterdam, The Netherlands on select dates for seven-day Western Europe cruises, providing even more flexibility for guests looking to explore Europe pre- or post-cruise.

Three further ships will sail European waters in 2017, including the recently refurbished Norwegian Epic with her popular seven-night Western Mediterranean itinerary, where guests can choose to depart from Barcelona, Civitavecchia (Rome) or Marseille; Norwegian Spirit sailing alternating 10- and 11-night Grand Mediterranean cruises between Barcelona and Venice; and Norwegian Star, which after her return from Australia, will spend the summer cruising from Venice to the Greek Isles as well as the Adriatic, Greece & Turkey.

Posted: January 26th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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RCCL & World Wildlife Fund Announce Global Partnership For Ocean Conservation

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5-year partnership sets ambitious and measurable goals to reduce company’s environmental footprint

January 25, 2016 – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced today a five-year global partnership to help ensure the long-term health of the oceans.

The partners will set measurable and achievable sustainability targets that will reduce Royal Caribbean’s environmental footprint, raise awareness about ocean conservation among the company’s more than five million guests, and support WWF’s global oceans conservation work.

The targets announced today focus on supply chain sustainability and emissions reductions through 2020. Royal Caribbean and WWF also are working together to develop targets aimed at strengthening the company’s sustainable sourcing strategy and its destination stewardship and sustainable tour operations platforms.

“Our mantra at Royal Caribbean is ‘Continuous Improvement,’ and this partnership with WWF represents a great opportunity to make a big step forward in meeting our special responsibility to protect the oceans,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “It is also gratifying to see that our determination to make a meaningful difference is shared by our employees and our guests. This new partnership aligns all of us at RCL with WWF’s mission to conserve the world’s oceans. Together we are setting aggressive goals and together we will start implementing them right away.”

“The threats that are facing the ocean are greater than ever – in the last 30 years, some ocean wildlife populations have declined by nearly 50 percent. If we are going to reverse the downward trends, we must take serious steps to repair, restore and protect the oceans,” said Carter Roberts, WWF-US President and CEO. “This initiative centers on two core concepts: first, committing to specific and measurable targets to reduce carbon emissions, increase sustainable sourcing and build destination stewardship; and second, comprehensively engaging their millions of travelers to learn about the ocean and then act to help save it.”

Royal Caribbean Cruises and WWF jointly developed new 2020 environmental sustainability targets for the company that includes:

Carbon Emissions 2020 Target:
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2020.

Sustainable Seafood 2020 Target:
Responsibly source 90% of its wild-caught seafood by volume from MSC certified sustainable fisheries, fisheries in full assessment for MSC certification, comprehensive Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), and/or sourced from International Seafood Sustainability Association (ISSA) member companies.

In North America and Europe operations, responsibly source 75% of its farmed seafood by volume from ASC certified responsible farms, farms in full assessment for ASC certification, and/or comprehensive aquaculture improvement projects.

In addition, by June 30, 2016, RCL will set specific traceability goals with targets for obtaining MSC and ASC chain of custody.

In addition, Royal Caribbean and WWF have agreed to develop and announce new targets by June 30 that will address destination stewardship. As part of this, WWF and RCL will collaborate to strengthen RCL’s destination sustainability assessment and selection process.

Royal Caribbean also will financially support WWF’s global ocean conservation work through a $5 million philanthropic contribution during the partnership, and will collaborate with WWF to build global awareness about ocean conservation issues among its millions of passengers.

The organizations made their announcement at an event in Donsol, Sorsogon, Philippines that is home to a model community-based ecotourism program. At the event, RCL also made a separate, $200,000 donation to WWF Philippines in support of conservation programs in the Donsol area.

For more information about the Royal Caribbean’s efforts and the WWF partnership, visit: www.rclcorporate.com/community

Posted: January 25th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Royal Caribbean’s Ovation Of The Seas Will Showcase Chinese Culture

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Countdown to “2016 – Let’s Ovation” Campaign for Ovation of the Seas’ Maiden Voyage in China Begins

January 19, 2016 – Royal Caribbean International and the Imperial Palace Museum (the Palace Museum) held a joint press conference today at a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement in the Forbidden City’s Jianfu Palace. Ovation of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s newest ship that debuts in April, will be the first to homeport in China immediately after its delivery. Her name is interpreted in Chinese as “praising the world and welcoming guests from everywhere” and she will offer a world-class international cruise vacation experience to guests from Tianjin beginning June 2016. The signing ceremony officially launches the “2016 – Let’s Ovation” campaign in China and marks the countdown to Ovation of the Seas’ maiden voyage in China.

As part of the agreement, experts from different research fields selected by the Palace Museum will be invited to give lectures of Chinese history and culture to guests on Ovation of the Seas. The Palace Museum also will provide professional consultation of the ship’s interior décor and art program. In addition, signature pieces from the collections of the Imperial Palace Museum will be on display to promote the traditional culture and arts of China. Paintings and art pieces created by artists from the Palace Museum will be available for guests to purchase at auctions held onboard.

“We are proud of the extensive collection of art and relics that represent the imperial treasures of the Ming and Qing Dynasties and it is our goal at The Palace Museum to showcase the traditional Chinese culture to people all over the world,” said Shan Jixian, Director of the Imperial Palace Museum. “This partnership with Royal Caribbean International and our programs on Ovation of the Seas will help to further these objectives. We are excited to promote the rich heritage of the Forbidden City and China to the guests of the world’s largest global cruise line and we hope to continue to expand on these efforts.”

Dr. Zinan Liu, President of North APAC and China, Royal Caribbean International said: “Cruising is becoming increasingly popular with Chinese travelers and Royal Caribbean’s award-winning and state-of-the-art ships with features found only on Royal Caribbean are very appealing to those consumers looking for a high quality vacation experience. Quantum of the Seas has been very well received by our Chinese guests and we are excited to now bring Ovation of the Seas to Tianjin. Sailing two of the world’s newest and most technologically advanced ships in China demonstrate our leadership and commitment to the market and this partnership with the Palace Museum showcasing China’s rich heritage will bring yet another unique element to our vacation offering.”

Ovation of the Seas will be officially launched in April 2016, when she departs Southampton for Tianjin, China on a 53-day Global Odyssey. She will begin her first homeport sailing season in China from Tianjin in June 2016. Ovation of the Seas, together with Quantum of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Legend of the Seas, will make up the largest fleet of any cruise line sailing in China.

Posted: January 19th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Royal Caribbean’s Harmony Of The Seas To Feature Impressive Entertainment Choices

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All-New Shows, Original Productions and More

Royal Caribbean International’s Harmony of the Seas – sailing the Western Mediterranean, beginning in May 2016, and coming to Florida in November 2016 – is setting the stage for an entertainment ensemble unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in one place.

Considered by many of us in the travel media as the most innovative cruise line, Royal Caribbean is opening the curtain on surprising entertainment options onboard Harmony of the Seas – from Broadway’s hit musical Grease, to high-tech, high-definition ice shows in Studio B and the always jaw-dropping, high-flying, immersive performances at the oceanfront AquaTheater. The cruise line also presents Puzzle Break, an interactive, problem solving group activity, is in a dedicated, fully-produced space, fit for a Hollywood studio where guests are challenged to Escape the Rubicon. And those are just a few of the myriad choices Harmony Of The Seas will feature.

“We are taking entertainment to the next level on Harmony of the Seas with more captivating, immersive entertainment experiences than ever before,” said Nick Weir, Vice President, Entertainment, Royal Caribbean International. “The level of innovation that has gone into our latest lineup is truly mind blowing, and Harmony guests can expect the unexpected with our biggest, most awe-inspiring stage yet.”

The Royal Theater is home to two headline shows presented by Royal Caribbean Productions:

Columbus, The Musical!– an original Royal Caribbean production created in the spirit of “Spamalot” and “Something Rotten,” the story recounts the imagined history of Marvin Columbus, Christopher’s fictional, down on his luck, distant cousin. Banished from his family’s kingdom, Marvin sets sail on a madcap voyage of discovery in the hopes of claiming his own place in history. Unforeseen romance and a “happily ever after” story are on the map as Marvin Columbus crashes into his Caribbean destiny. A breathtaking and revolutionary set design, transporting the audience across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, will awe the entire family and adults will thoroughly enjoy the smart, nuanced humor.

Grease – the all-new, never-before-seen stage production, specially adapted by Royal Caribbean Productions, will boast original choreography, costumes and aerial elements set to amaze the most seasoned theater goers. Featuring a soundtrack of crowd favorites such as “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Born to Hand-Jive,” “Beauty School Dropout” and more, guests will follow the romantic twists and turns of Sandy and Danny as they navigate the tricky social waters of Rydell High School while keeping their reputations – and relationship – together.

New AquaTheater shows include:

The Fine Line – a journey from extreme to extraordinary, The Fine Line is the AquaTheater redefined with high-flying feats, mind blowing stunts and physically demanding acrobatics brought to life by the world’s best extreme-sport athletes. Designed as a 360° immersive entertainment show, guests will be wishing for eyes in the back of their head to take in all the action happening around them.

Hideaway Heist –
a dive into hilarious escapades, guests will steal some laughs and experience amazing wows with Royal Caribbean’s new comedy dive show. This action packed comedy show jumps into the world of a swanky 1950’s holiday resort where guys ‘n’ dolls take the audience on a frolicking escapade in, on and around the pool as an undercover detective, playing the part of a high-rolling vacationer, pursues a crafty burglar. Guests can expect plenty of family-friendly fun and awe-inspiring performance tricks as the staff of the Hideaway Resort solve the crime of a century.


New Studio B ice show performances include:


1887 –
an original Royal Caribbean production about love and adventure that begins in Paris on February 14, 1887 at the height of the career of Jules Verne, renowned author of timeless adventure novels such as “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1864), “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” (1870), and “Around the World in Eighty Days” (1873). Beginning their journey on the frozen River Seine, Juliet and her mysterious time traveling companion, the Tempus, travel in multiple dimensions to discover the wonders of the world, and of the heart. World-class skaters and striking technology combine in a unique way that is guaranteed to leave audiences both breathless and emotionally touched.

iSkate Showcase – a Studio B ice show unlike any other where Royal Caribbean’s talented skaters put their best blade forward in a dazzling showcase of their very best moves set to their own favorite tunes. The cast goes rogue and anything can happen, so I am really looking forward to seeing this!

Fan Favorites Hit a High Note

Puzzle Break: Escape the Rubicon – a puzzle that transports players to another world and another time where they must ESCAPE! Players will collaborate with friends, old and new, as they attempt to find the hidden clues needed to solve a collection of puzzles that will eventually unravel the mystery of the Rubicon. With only 60 minutes of life-support, the suspense builds with every tick of the clock. For the first time, this remarkably popular activity will take place in a dedicated space designed in partnership with ShowFX Inc., a staple for Hollywood studios’ engineering, design and fabrication of custom entertainment equipment.

Red Party – the hottest high-energy party at sea. With DJs, surprise performances, special effects and technology, this all out nightlife extravaganza is an experience not to be missed.

Stowaway Piano – the pop-up piano player, which originally debuted on Anthem of the Seas, heads to Harmony. Behind the door. Around the corner. In the elevator. By the pool. Guests never know where the Stowaway Piano will turn up next.

On the Royal Promenade, Harmony of the Seas continues the tradition of Royal Caribbean’s signature theme nights and parades with:

Totally Awesome 90s – Harmony of the Seas debuts the evolution of Royal Caribbean’s much-loved Promenade 70s Party as the clock is pushed forward to the 90s. Guests can party it up in a new era when soundtracks are dominated by teen pop, dance-pop and the growing popularity of hip hop. A live DJ spinning favorite 90s hits, live pop-up performances and crazy neon track suits set the stage to transport partygoers back to this totally awesome decade.

Let’s Celebrate! – when on a cruise, vacationers really don’t need an excuse to celebrate, but Royal Caribbean is giving guests one anyway with Let’s Celebrate! – the ultimate celebration of celebrations. Halloween, Birthdays, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve will all be celebrated at once, in a wild and crazy parade that’s truly unforgettable.

Guests on Harmony of the Seas also can belt out tunes at the On Air Club, revel in a symphony of brass brilliance with the High Cs Horns, Harmony’s very own horn-led, nine piece orchestra, and take in live comedy and music at Harmony’s brand new nighttime hotspot, The Attic.

Posted: January 14th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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