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Norwegian Escape To Feature Legendary Miami Bar “Tobacco Road”

Written by: Cruise News

October 22, 2014 – In celebration of Norwegian Escape’s one year to launch milestone, Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that Miami’s oldest and most legendary bar, Tobacco Road, will find a new home aboard the line’s newest and largest vessel.
The acclaimed establishment, which was issued Miami’s very first liquor license, is closing its original location this week after 102 years in business. In an effort to preserve the tradition of this iconic Miami landmark, Tobacco Road and Norwegian Cruise Line partnered to bring the Tobacco Road experience onboard Norwegian Escape, which will begin sailing from Miami in November 2015.

“We are thrilled to be able to preserve a piece of Miami’s history and provide this famous Miami institution a home at sea on board the incredible new Norwegian Escape,” said Kevin Sheehan, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

Located within 678 Ocean Place, the new location of the celebrated tavern will incorporate elements of the original Tobacco Road, including the iconic neon sign, memorabilia and photographs that will showcase the history of Miami through the lens of events and happenings at the bar over the past century.
 Norwegian Escape To Feature Legendary Miami Bar Tobacco Road
In addition to favorite beers and spirits, Tobacco Road Bar onboard Norwegian Escape will also feature a selection of cocktails created by Tobacco Road’s resident mixologist, Leo Holtzman. The delicious libations from Holtzman’s Cocktail Collection will include favorites like the Chili Mule, featuring ginger puree, Cointreau and vodka topped with a sliced seranno pepper; and the Gateway, a rum-based drink that incorporates yuzu juice, elderflower syrup and Prosecco.

Norwegian Escape will begin weekly seven-day cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean on November 14, 2015. The ship will be the largest to home port year-round in Miami, carrying 4,200 guests to tropical Caribbean destinations including St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas. The ship’s signature hull artwork is designed by marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, Guy Harvey, which features an underwater scene of marine wildlife.

Accommodations include the company’s signature luxury ship–within-a-ship complex: The Haven by Norwegian; along with Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; and many options for families, multi-generational groups, spa enthusiasts and more.

For more information on Norwegian Escape, visit www.escape.ncl.com. To book a cruise on Norwegian Escape, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

Posted: October 22nd, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Windstar Cruises Named “World’s Best Small Ship Cruise Line” By Condé Nast Traveler

Written by: Cruise News

October 21, 2014 – Condé Nast Traveler has announced the results of its 27th annual Readers’ Choice Awards with Windstar recognized as #1 in the world in the Small Ship Cruise Line category. Windstar’s winning score of 90.065 also garnered the line the #2 spot among all of small, midsize, and large ocean-going cruise lines.

“We are honored to have our unique style of yacht cruising and warm, personal service recognized by our loyal guests and the discerning readers of Condé Nast Traveler,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “Our teams both on board and on shore continually strive to create memorable experiences for our guests, and it’s an inspiration for us to be acknowledged by the people we serve every day.”

The prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.” More than 76,600 dedicated readers cast votes for 7,721 hotels, 642 cities, 453 cruise ships, and 148 islands. The result? The 1,182 best travel experiences in the world.

The past few years have seen Windstar Cruises enter into a period of innovation and expansion. Earlier this year the company launched Private Events, a complimentary, exclusive onshore event, crafted to give an in depth and authentic local experience unique to each voyage. Other product enhancements include a series of Cruisetours through Asia; Local Dining Tips Curated by SAVEUR a one-of-a-kind platform to uncover the world’s most delicious destinations for culinary travelers; as well as a fresh Windstar logo.

In 2013, the line announced it was doubling the size of the fleet from three sailing yachts to six ships. Star Pride, the first of the three power yachts, came on board in May of this year in a celebratory christening ceremony in Barcelona, Spain. Star Breeze and Star Legend will join the Windstar fleet in May of 2015 following a $20 million, three-week dry dock.

Windstar also continues to introduce new global itineraries, focusing on smaller ports that large ships can’t visit and voyages that feature trade winds optimal for sailing. In 2014 Windstar returned to the islands of Tahiti with the 148-passenger sailing yacht Wind Spirit. During October Star Pride will begin its transit to Southeast Asia, visiting ports in Arabia and India along the way, a first for the company.

These changes are being recognized among guests and the travel industry alike. Last month Windstar Cruises won a Gold Magellan Award for Market Leader in Small Ship Cruising from Travel Weekly as well as SAVEUR’s Culinary Travel Awards as an Outstanding Culinary Cruise Line. In July, Windstar was recognized as #2 Small Ship Cruise Line in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards.

Posted: October 21st, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Norwegians Do The $500 Dash

Written by: Cruise News

October 21, 2014.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Freestyle Dash Sale is back by popular demand, offering exceptional savings on select sailings of three days or longer. Guests who book a Norwegian cruise vacation from Tuesday, October 21 through Friday, October 24, 2014, can enjoy reduced deposits and up to $500 in onboard credit* on Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway or Pride of America sailings and up to $250 in onboard credit to spend on other select ship sailings.

Vacationers looking to cruise around the majestic state of Hawaii can do so aboard the recently-refurbished Pride of America. This port-packed itinerary gives guests the opportunity to explore the islands of Hawaii on seven-day inter-island cruises, year-round from Honolulu. Offering nearly 100 hours of port time, Pride of America visits Hawaii’s four main islands, including an overnight in Kahului, Maui; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kauai; stops in Hilo, Hawaii and Kona, Hawaii; as well as an afternoon cruise by the spectacular Nãpali Coast, with fares starting at $1,049**.

Guests can cruise aboard Miami’s Ultimate Ship, Norwegian Getaway, as she sails seven-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean from her year-round homeport of Miami, Florida. The line’s newest ship visits tropical ports of call including Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. Guests will be dazzled by the ship’s Miami flair, exceptional dining and entertainment as well as the excitement of 678 Ocean Place and The Waterfront, a variety of interconnected indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that creates a multiplex of dining, activities and more that enhance guests’ connection with the ocean. Fares start at $419**.

Norwegian Breakaway, the ship that brings the best of NYC to Sea, sails from the Big Apple on seven-day Bahamas & Florida cruises from now through April 19, 2015 to Orlando & the Beaches (Port Canaveral), Florida; Norwegian’s private island Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau, Bahamas, with fares starting at $429**. Starting April 26, 2015, Norwegian Breakaway will sail seven-day cruises to Bermuda through October 18, 2015, offering guests three full days to explore King’s Wharf, Bermuda and unwind on the island’s famous pink sand beaches, with fares starting at $759**.

To book a cruise during Norwegian’s Freestyle Dash sale contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com

*Onboard credit amount based on stateroom category selected
**Fares based on double occupancy

Posted: October 21st, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Holland America Offers All-Inclusive Package For Holiday Sailings

Written by: Cruise News

October 21, 2014 — Holland America is offering an all-inclusive package for select itineraries this coming holiday season.

“The holidays are a magical time on our ships, and these special offers make it even more appealing to take a cruise to the Caribbean with us this season,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “We invite our guests to let Holland America Line do all of the work— just come on board, relax and have a great time.”

All-Inclusive Package
Guests looking to splurge on a verandah cabin or suite can take advantage of the all-inclusive package that starts at just $1,899 per person, double occupancy. The package includes roundtrip air from select U.S. gateways*; transfers between the airport and ship; the cruise fare; taxes; a Signature Beverage Package valued at $50 per person, per day; and a $25 per-person shipboard credit. All-inclusive third and fourth fares for guests in the cabin with two full fares start at $799 per person and include air, transfers, cruise and taxes.

Special Packages for Third/Fourth Guests
In addition to all-inclusive fares, Holland America Line offers special cruise-only ocean-view and interior stateroom fares for third and fourth guests on seven-day Caribbean holiday sailings. Making it affordable for a family of four to set sail for as little as $1,596, double occupancy cruise-only rates start at just $599 per person and reduced third/fourth fares begin at $199 per person.

‘Tis the Season to Cruise to the Caribbean
Holland America Line has six ships cruising the crystalline waters of the eastern and western Caribbean on seven-day itineraries in December 2014 that are included in the packages. Guests can sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Westerdam and ms Zuiderdam. Each ship offers two holiday sailings: one over Christmas and one over New Year’s.

The ships call at a variety of ports including Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Falmouth and Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Key West, Fla.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. All roundtrip Fort Lauderdale itineraries include a call at Half Moon Cay, the line’s award-winning private Bahamian island known for its pristine beaches, diverse shore excursions, exclusive beach cabanas and kid-friendly activities.

The only ship in the fleet sailing roundtrip from Tampa, Fla., ms Ryndam also has two holiday departures and calls at Key West; Banana Coast, Honduras; Santo Tomas, Guatemala; and Costa Maya, Mexico.

Amsterdam, ms Maasdam and ms Prinsendam also will be in the Caribbean during the holidays, but those cruises are not included in the Holiday all-inclusive packages.

‘Deck the Hulls’ Onboard
During the holiday cruises, guests can take part in a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, enjoy traditional holiday meals with all of the trimmings and indulge in a special Royal Dutch High Tea with fanciful holiday cookies and pastries. The ships’ international crew chorus performs a magical holiday show, while caroling and singalongs take place around the ship. Kids will delight in a visit from Santa Claus and holiday-themed crafts.

The New Year’s Eve sailings are the ideal setting to ring in 2015, featuring a festive holiday ball with a champagne toast at midnight.

*Air gateways for the all-inclusive package are Atlanta, Ga.; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas; and New York, N.Y. (JFK only); The all-inclusive package also is available from 21 additional U.S. and Canadian cities for an additional surcharge.

For more information about Holland America Line, contact a travel professional or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.

Posted: October 21st, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Actress Tori Spelling Will Be Master Of Ceremonies For Regal Princess Naming & “The Love Boat” Cast and Guest Star Reunion

Written by: Cruise News

October 16, 2014 – Princess Cruises today announced the celebrity guest list for the Regal Princess naming ceremony and Love Boat cast reunion taking place in Ft. Lauderdale next month. Tori Spelling, actress and daughter of famed Love Boat producer Aaron Spelling, will serve as the official Master of Ceremonies for the ship’s christening and host of the Regal Princess’ gold carpet.

“We’re incredibly excited to host what will be one of the largest Love Boat reunions ever aboard our newest ship Regal Princess,” said Jan Swartz, president, Princess Cruises. “What better way to kick-off our 50th anniversary celebration than reuniting the show’s cast with some of the wonderful guests from its ten year run.”

On November 5 in Ft. Lauderdale, Ms. Spelling will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the ship’s naming ceremony which will feature the original cast ensemble from the iconic television show, The Love Boat, as the ship’s godparents. Performing the naming honors will be Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), Fred Grandy (Gopher, the chief purser), Ted Lange (Isaac, the bartender), Bernie Kopell (Doc, the ship’s doctor), Lauren Tewes (Julie, cruise director) and Jill Whelan (Vicki, the Captain’s daughter).

Ms. Spelling will additionally conduct “gold carpet” interviews with a host of celebrities who all made guest appearances on the show, including: Loni Anderson, Joyce DeWitt, Jamie Farr, Pam Grier, Florence Henderson, Jack Jones, Christopher Knight, Diane Ladd, Lorenzo Lamas, Carol Lawrence, Rich Little, Kristy McNichol, Lee Meriwether, Don Most, Tracy Nelson, Mackenzie Phillips, Doris Roberts, Marion Ross, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Charlene Tilton, Joan Van Ark, Dick Van Patten and Adrian Zmed. In addition to these well-known celebrities, the guest star with the most number of appearances on the show – Charo – will give a classical guitar performance that evening.

The Love Boat first aired on September 24, 1977 and sailed into television history for ten seasons. Viewers began their decade-long love affair with the show and its memorable guests and eventually it became one of the highest rated and longest-running shows on television. The Pacific Princess and Island Princess were the primary floating stars of the show, while later episodes and specials were filmed aboard other Princess ships in cruise destinations around the globe.

The 3,560-guest Regal Princess, which entered service in May of this year, is arriving in Ft. Lauderdale to begin her maiden season of Caribbean cruise vacations. Among the special features found onboard is a dramatic multi-story atrium serving as the social hub of the ship, offering a host of dining and entertainment options; an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28-feet beyond the edge of the ship; the Princess Live! television studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; Princess Watercolor Fantasy, a fountain and music show; the Night Sky Lounge, a new nighttime experience that will enable guests to enjoy a chic and contemporary poolside nightclub under the stars; and balconies on all outside staterooms.

The ship’s naming ceremony is just the beginning of the celebrations that will mark the company’s golden anniversary. Guests sailing on any of the line’s 18 cruise ships during 2015 will enjoy a wide range of 50th anniversary experiences.

Additional information about Regal Princess’ inaugural Caribbean cruise season is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at http://www.princess.com.

Posted: October 16th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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MSC Cruises Offering Air/Sea/Land Package For 2015 MSC Divina Mediterranean Cruises – With Free Cruise* If You Book By October 31

Written by: Cruise News

October 15, 2014 – MSC Cruises is offering inclusive air/land/sea vacation package deals for guests looking to sail on MSC Divina while the ship is in the Mediterranean from May 16 through Sept. 19, 2015.

Starting at $1,899, the 10-night package includes roundtrip airfare to Rome or Barcelona, a seven-night cruise, a two-night post-cruise stay in a four-star hotel, and all transfers needed — including from the airport to the ship, from the ship to the hotel and from the hotel back to the airport.

“As North Americans are becoming increasingly familiar with the MSC Divina, they have expressed a strong interest in sailing aboard the ship when she goes to the Mediterranean next summer,” said Ken Muskat, executive vice president of sales, PR & guest services for MSC Cruises USA. “These package deals offer guests a one-stop shop, making it as easy and convenient as possible for guests who want to sail in the Mediterranean on a brand that knows the Mediterranean best.”
 MSC Cruises Offering Air/Sea/Land Package For 2015 MSC Divina Mediterranean Cruises   With Free Cruise* If You Book By October 31
Travelers interested in the package deals have the option of leaving from Miami, New York, or Chicago, and choosing an itinerary on the MSC Divina that departs from either Civitavecchia (Rome) or Barcelona. Guests will be greeted by MSC Cruises personnel upon arrival at the airport of their port destination as well as at the hotel.

Highlights of MSC Divina’s Mediterranean season include:

· Ability to embark at two marquee ports: Civitavecchia (Rome) on Saturdays and Barcelona on Wednesdays
· Late night stays in La Spezia, enabling guests to visit nearby cities of Pisa, Florence, Portofino and the stunning Cinque Terre region
· Late night stays in Palma de Mallorca, allowing guests to enjoy the lively nightlife of the island
· Call in Naples, allowing time to visit Pompeii, Capri, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast
· An array of shore excursions providing guests a full immersion into the region with experiences such as an architectural tour of the famed works of Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, attending the Pope’s weekly Angelus in St. Peter’s Square in Rome and visiting the ancient ruins of Pompeii

Looking for a unique holiday gift for friends and family? As a special promotion, guests who book the air/land/sea package before October 31 will receive a free*, transferable 7-night cruise on the MSC Divina in the Caribbean for select sailings between now and the end of the year. Those sailings are on October 18, November 1, November 22, and November 29, so if you want to cruise this coming Saturday for free you had better hurry. But you can either use the free cruise yourself or gift it to someone else.

Customers interested in learning more about the air/land/sea vacation package should contact their local travel agency, call 1-877-665-4655, or visit www.msccruisesusa.com.

*Government taxes and fees and airport taxes are not included in the Mediterranean air/sea/land fare. For the free 7-night Caribbean sailing promotion, all incidentals outside of the base cruise fare, including government fees and taxes, fuel surcharges, and service charges, are the responsibility of the guest. In addition, a $500 non-refundable deposit is required for guests booking the air/sea/land package before Oct. 31 in order to receive the 7-night Caribbean sailing.

Posted: October 15th, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Oasis Of The Seas Returns To Service With New Look

Written by: Cruise News

October 14, 2014 – Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas has emerged from a 14-day drydock today with a new look including reimagined dining, game-changing high-speed internet, new retail offerings, a new Broadway show, and new suites with exclusive suite dining and lounge. Sister ship Allure of the Seas will follow suit in May 2015 with nearly identical enhancements. Each ship’s seven neighborhoods will be enhanced as part of the cruises line’s Royal Advantage commitment to deliver the best vacation offerings and to introduce guests to even more new features and personalized experiences that can only be found when sailing with Royal Caribbean.

“Royal Caribbean’s legacy of innovation brought the revolutionary Oasis-class ships to life and in that spirit, during the Oasis of the Seas’ and Allure of the Seas’ drydocks we are adding features and experiences to wow our guests even more,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, executive vice president, Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “One of the many exciting new features is Dynamic Dining, which has received an overwhelmingly positive response from our guests. We are expanding this new dining program, in line with our Royal Advantage commitment, to offer our guests and prospective consumers the amenities that appeal most to them according to the feedback we receive.”

Even More New Culinary Concepts

A key element of any vacation, dining provides vacation-goers with the opportunity to experience new flavors and indulge in old favorites. Royal Caribbean’s Dynamic Dining, allows guests to tempt their taste buds with more choice and flexibility than ever before by offering guests a landscape of 20 restaurants, as vast and varied as dining in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities.

Royal Caribbean has recreated the original Oasis-class three-story main dining room into three distinct complimentary venues introducing bold new concepts each with their own cuisine and ambiance:

American Icon Grill offers guests a take on the classic American road trip pulling together best-loved regional favorites into one comfort-style menu

Silk is a vibrant and exotic destination where the spices of the Far East bring new flavor to adventurous palates through a Pan-Asian menu

The Grande, where every night is formal night, offers an elegant ambiance and refined cuisine

Guests will enjoy menus of the new concepts beginning March 14, 2015, onboard Oasis of the Seas. Guests sailing Oasis of the Seas prior to March 14, will enjoy the traditional dining room experience in the newly designed spaces.

As part of Dynamic Dining guests will have full control of their own epicurean journey with a tantalizing selection of specialty restaurants including four new unique concepts:

Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, a reimagined Izumi Japanese Cuisine offering a full teppanyaki menu as well as fresh and flavorful sushi rolls and sashimi

Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar, first introduced aboard Navigator of the Seas to rave reviews, will feature a mouthwatering menu of authentic, modern and unexpected Mexican dishes including hand-made tableside guacamole. These dishes can be complemented by a curated beverage menu of tequilas, mezcal, and Mexican beers, as well as delicious sangrias and tableside-mixed margaritas

Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, a unique culinary adventure for the senses where Royal Caribbean chefs twist their culinary kaleidoscopes in a whimsical setting that challenges the imagination with never-before-seen fare

Coastal Kitchen is an exclusive restaurant for suite guests and Pinnacle members, that fuses Mediterranean influences with the unmatched riches of California’s bountiful farmlands and features. The experience is complemented by a robust wine list, curated specifically for the venue

Finally guests will continue to enjoy Giovanni’s Table, 150 Central Park and Vintage Wine Bar, the hugely successful specialty dining concepts introduced on the Oasis-class in 2009.

Technology

Royal Caribbean’s commitment to provide the best vacation experience is at the heart of its Royal Advantage program which takes its latest innovations and most popular features and expands them to even its newest ships, such as:

Boatloads of Bandwidth, the game-changing partnership with technology partner O3b that will offer guests onboard Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas connectivity that matches fast broadband connections onshore and is greater than all other cruise ships combined.
These new capabilities, allow the cruise line to offer affordable, easy-to-use Internet packages so that guests may watch streaming video, check email, share images on social media and enjoy face-to-face video conversations – even in the middle of the ocean.

Royal iQ is a new app that puts guests in charge of their vacation choices. Thanks to the dramatically improved connectivity, Royal iQ is able to continue dining reservations, shore excursions and spa appointments onboard, through both a downloadable app and at freestanding iQ stations around the ship. Guests also can use Royal iQ as a convenient calendar that provides at-a-glance views of their program and to keep in touch with one another and home via phone and text capabilities.

New Exclusive Suite Experience

Royal Caribbean is introducing 10 new suites on Oasis-class ships, offering breathtaking views of the ocean or the ships’ signature AquaTheater and Boardwalk neighborhood and includes, two Royal Suites, six Grand Suites and two Royal Family Suites, which can accommodate up to six guests. These suites offer a new level of sophistication when paired with the variety of new exclusive suite amenities that include:

The Suite Lounge, an exclusive lounge area for suite guests to relax offering unmatched expansive views of the ship and sea

The Sun Deck, a new sun deck area that gives suites guests the chance to soak-up and relax in the Caribbean sun with lounge furniture, shaded and seating areas and private service

Coastal Kitchen is a suites only full-service restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner with a Mediterranean flare.

New Broadway Show

Oasis of the Seas’ introduced the first-ever, fully-licensed Broadway show at sea and now, the ship will bring one of the longest running productions on Broadway, Andrew Lloyd Webber’sTony award winning CATS to sea for the first time. Beginning June 2015, sister ship Allure of the Seas will feature MAMMA MIA!, the smash hit musical based on the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs.

Superior Shopping at Sea

Known for its first at sea offerings, Royal Caribbean is introducing the playfully sophisticated designs of kate spade new york to Oasis-class on its popular Royal Promenade, a first at sea. Rounding out the diverse onboard shopping are two guest favorites Michael Kors and the Britto Art Gallery, as well as a whole new line-up of merchandise and fashion jewelry such as, Alexis Bittar, Uno de 50, Lauren G Adams, and Nina Nguyen.

Posted: October 14th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Norwegian Jewel Debuts at Houston’s Bayport Cruise Terminal

Written by: Cruise News

October 13, 2014 – Norwegian Cruise Line returned to the Port of Houston for the first time in more than seven years with the arrival of Norwegian Jewel on Saturday, October 11 at the Bayport Cruise Terminal. This inaugural call marked the beginning of the 2014 Fall Cruise Season for the Port of Houston Authority, where the Houston Ship Channel is celebrating its 100th year. The 2,376-passenger Norwegian Jewel, featuring Norwegian’s signature Freestyle Cruising with 16 dining options; 13 bars and lounges; exclusive Nickelodeon programming and activities; and the largest suites at sea – the almost 5,000 sq. ft. Garden Villas – began sailing the first of 27 Western Caribbean cruises through April 11, 2015.
 Norwegian Jewel Debuts at Houstons Bayport Cruise Terminal
During a ceremony onboard, Norwegian Jewel’s Captain Kenneth Harstrom tipped his new cowboy hat to the great state of Texas, as he welcomed officials from the Port of Houston Commission including Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria.

“We are excited about the impact Norwegian Jewel will bring to the City of Pasadena and the greater Houston region. According to an independent research firm, just one sailing season will create nearly 100 jobs and $50 million economic impact locally,” said Chairman Longoria.

On her inaugural voyage from Houston, Norwegian Jewel will also be the first large cruise ship to call in the Western Caribbean’s newest cruise port of Banana Coast, the deep-water Bay of Trujillo, Honduras, on October 15. Other port calls include Cozumel, Mexico; and Belize City, Belize.

The ship recently underwent an extensive refurbishment and was the first in Norwegian’s fleet to be retrofitted with the popular O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill, a casual pub eatery. In addition, the ship’s Moderno Churrascaria, the Brazilian-style steakhouse, was relocated to a more intimate setting on Deck 13 and the Sugarcane Mojito Bar, first introduced on Norwegian Getaway, was added adjacent to the new restaurant.

While onboard, guests can also enjoy delicious cannoli and cupcakes from Carlo’s Bake Shop by Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s Cake Boss and Next Great Baker, which have been added in the Java Café. Norwegian’s innovative digital signage were also added to the ship, the touch screen signs allow guests to order specialty items, get directions and reserve dining and shore excursions simply with a scan of their stateroom key.

Norwegian Jewel offers guests the opportunity to sail in style in The Haven, Norwegian’s exclusive and luxurious accommodations that include the largest suites at sea – the 5,000 square foot, three-bedroom Garden Villas. Guests can dine around the world with 16 dining options including French, Asian, American and more. Norwegian Jewel also features three swimming pools; six hot tubs; a contemporary spa and fitness center; sports deck with basketball, volleyball and tennis court; the Jewel Club casino; and spectacular stage shows like Le Cirque Bijou and Band on the Run in the ship’s Stardust Theatre.

Onboard Norwegian Jewel, families will delight in the exclusive Nickelodeon programming. Activities include the Pajama Jam breakfast with the characters, where kids – and kids at heart – can eat, sing and play with SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Patrick, Diego and more; meet and greets with popular Nickelodeon characters; and other family activities offered, including Nick Jr. story time, family trivia and special arts and crafts sessions.

Posted: October 13th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Carnival Announces Spring 2015 “Carnival Live Concert Series” Lineup

Written by: Cruise News

October 9, 2014 – Cruising has never sounded so good! Today Carnival Cruise Lines unveiled its new Carnival LIVE Concert Series roster for spring 2015, bringing more of the best live music to sea from some of most popular and highly requested music acts. Coming on board in the first part of next year will be Journey, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, Smokey Robinson, and Styx, back by popular demand for the second season.

The exciting 2015 Carnival LIVE concert lineup continues this one-of-a-kind entertainment option, while building on the success of an inaugural year of high-energy, sold-out on-board performances. In addition to this incredible mix of GRAMMY® Award- and CMA Award-winning artists and nominees, next year the company will announce even more acts scheduled for the latter half of 2015.

Carnival LIVE was created to give guests the opportunity to experience exclusive live entertainment from major music artists, all at a tremendous value and with great convenience. Guests attend shows in the ship’s main theaters – which range in seating capacity from 900 to 1,300 – for an intimate on-board performance where there is never a bad seat in the house.

“Our 2014 Carnival LIVE shows have been tour standouts, so we are thrilled to get on board again to rock the boat next year,” said Tommy Shaw, singer and guitarist for Styx. “The audience of cruisers in a vacation state-of-mind combined with the ship’s theater design creates an incredible energy that’s fun for everyone, including the band.”

Guests will have even more Carnival vessels, homeports and itineraries to choose from with a total of 10 “Fun Ships” departing from six convenient U.S. homeports hosting concerts in spring 2015. Carnival LIVE voyages will originate in Miami, Port Canaveral, Tampa, and Jacksonville, Fla; Charleston, S.C.; and, for the first time, Galveston, Texas, the line’s second largest homeport.

The 2015 Carnival LIVE Concert Series kicks off next March and features one or more major artist each month, performing multiple shows on Carnival vessels docked in one of three ports of call: Cozumel, Nassau and a new port for the program, St. Thomas. Artists board the ship in port, perform in the main show lounge, and then debark following the concert.

· Journey kicks off the 2015 roster with two rock anthem-filled performances on March 18 and 19 in St. Thomas.

· The award-winning Little Big Town brings their unmistakable sound to “Fun Ships” in Nassau for three appearances on (March 30 and 31 and April 1).

· Guests “Cruisin’” to see Smokey Robinson sing timeless classics from his 50-year music career can catch the icon April 21, 22 and 23 in Cozumel.

· In May, country trio Rascal Flatts, one of the top-selling live artists in any genre, will perform a series of three shows for guests in Cozumel (May 5, 6 and 7).

· Rock fans are invited to “Come Sail Away” to see one of four Styx concerts to be performed in Nassau (June 16, 17, 18 and 20).

“We are thrilled to continue our Carnival LIVE Concert Series in 2015 and welcome aboard more fantastic rock, country and R&B artists for our guests to enjoy,” said Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival Cruise Lines. “This program has struck a chord with consistently sold-out shows and a tremendous response from past guests and travel agent partners, as well as those who sailed with us for the first time to catch their favorite performers.”

Carnival LIVE tickets for 2015 range from $35 to $60 for general admission, significantly less than land-based concerts. VIP tickets are available for $125 to $250, offering fans seating in the first four rows, an artist meet and greet, a souvenir photo with the artist and a commemorative concert pass.

For a calendar of spring 2015 Carnival LIVE concerts and to learn more about the Carnival LIVE sailings this fall featuring Lady Antebellum, Trace Adkins, Jewel, Daughtry and more, visit www.carnival.com/CarnivalLIVE.

Posted: October 9th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Three Holland America Line’s Ships Offer a Premium Experience in Mexico and Hawaii From Fall 2014 Through Spring 2015

Written by: Cruise News

October 9, 2014 — From fall 2014 through spring 2015, Holland America Line heads to the tropics of Hawaii and explores the spirit of Mexico with a variety of itineraries ranging in length from seven to 18 days. Two ships will sail the azure waters of Mexico, while ms Veendam weaves among the stunning Hawaiian Islands.

“Holland America Line carefully crafts our itineraries to showcase the best of each region, and the Mexico and Hawaii itineraries are the ultimate journey for any traveler looking to visit these destinations,” said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line’s executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest programs. “From our onboard enrichment programming to the selection of ports, guests cruising on one of our elegant mid-size ships will have the most immersive and memorable experience possible.”

The line’s cruises to Mexico on ms Veendam and ms Statendam from October 2014 through March 2015 visit some of the most beautiful ports in the country and conveniently sail roundtrip San Diego, Calif. Veendam sails seven-day Mexican Riviera itineraries to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan, with scenic cruising in Bahia Magdalena. Statendam offers a 12-day Sea of Cortez adventure that highlights six Mexican ports and an overnight at Puerto Vallarta.

The five sailings to Hawaii in winter and spring 2014-15 aboard ms Veendam feature relaxing days at sea and calls at five Hawaiian ports. These 17- and 18-day itineraries also sail roundtrip from San Diego. Select back-to-back Veendam itineraries in November and December can be combined to form the ultimate 24- or 25-day Mexico and Hawaii Collectors’ Voyage.

Go “On Location” in Mexico and Hawaii
During the longer sailings with more sea days, guests can enjoy all of the onboard experiences that are exclusive to the premium cruise line. On each of these cruises guests will get to take part in cultural activities such as lei making, ukulele lessons, live mariachi band concerts and an extensive lecture lineup as part of Holland America Line’s “On Location” program. The itinerary sets the theme for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time onboard as enriching as visiting the ports of call through lectures, demonstrations and performances.

Posted: October 9th, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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