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Carnival Cruise Lines Introduces “Camp Ocean” Children’s Program

Written by: Cruise News

April 18, 2014 – Carnival Cruise Lines, the leader in family cruising, today unveiled Camp Ocean – an exciting, new marine-themed children’s program coming to its fleet of 24 “Fun Ships.” Set to debut on Carnival Freedom on May 24, the expansive new program will immerse children ages 2-11 in the wonders of the sea through fun, engaging and educational experiences. More than 200 new ocean-inspired activities will range from educational games such as Sea Creature Discovery, Marine Life Trivia, Under the Sea Mad Libs and Ocean Artifacts Memory Tray to creative arts opportunities such as Design Your Own Aquarium, Make Your Own Sailboat, Sea Salt Art, and Create a Penguin from Oreos.

Camp Ocean, which will replace the line’s existing Camp Carnival program, will welcome youngsters in with light blue and white underwater colored spaces and friendly, experienced staff. Three age-related categories will each have their own identity: children ages 2-5 will be dubbed “Penguins,” with those ages 6-8 called “Sting Rays” while 9-11 year olds will be “Sharks.”

Distinctive areas and activities have been custom-created for each of the new age designations – from miniature play igloos for the Penguins to interactive gaming stations for the Sharks. On Carnival Freedom, which begins a multi-million dollar refurbishment tomorrow, and Carnival Vista, which debuts in 2016, a new purpose-built Camp Ocean play area will include Party Reef, a common shared space that brings each of the groups together, as well as Creative Cove, a breakout room for arts and crafts activities.

“While our current children’s program consistently gets very high marks, we’ve challenged ourselves to exceed expectations with a truly dynamic and diverse program for our youngest guests,” said Mark Tamis, Carnival’s senior vice president of guest operations. “With our new highly tailored age groupings and themed activities connected to the oceans and their fascinating underwater habitats, we’re excited to invite kids to Camp Ocean to have an extra special and memorable Carnival vacation experience.”

Camp Ocean also provides travel agents with an exceptional family-friendly feature to market to their clients with children, he noted.

Introduction of Carnival Play Panel
In developing the new Camp Ocean program, the company convened a Carnival Play Panel comprised of experts in child education, media and play to develop and curate the more than 200 new activities to resonate with today’s children and to continually review and guide updates to the children’s programming.

The panel includes:

· Toni Linder, professor emeritus at the University of Denver who consults on child development and education for young children both nationally and internationally and also serves as graduate coordinator at the College of Education at the University of Denver specializing in child engagement and education.

· George Arthur Bloom, who has more than 20 years of experience in children’s media and programming including writing for longtime favorites such as Magic School Bus, My Little Pony and the original Transformers TV series.

· Matt Brown, recognized expert in play who has been vice president of LeapFrog and senior vice president of Scholastic, is an advisor for PBS Kids, and currently works as chief gaming officer of Conteneo.

· Chris Byrne, a 30-plus-year veteran of the toy industry and current partner in aNb Media LLC who also serves as content director for TTPM.com.

· April Norris, loyal Carnival Cruise Lines guest and mother of two who serves as a trusted advisor to the brand.

The new Camp Ocean activities span across 11 key categories of play, including the core themes of active play, games, free play, arts and crafts and digital, coupled with additional categories such as role play, music, party time, science and discovery, social and food fun, all designed to find the ideal combination of activities catering to children’s varied interests.

New Badge Challenge

Carnival will also introduce a Badge Challenge as part of Camp Ocean, which will provide the opportunity for kids to earn and collect badges as a special memento of their cruise. Badge challenges will include a variety of unique activities that provide an original way for kids to learn about their vessel, experience onboard adventures and gain a sense of accomplishment. After completing tasks which may include trying a new food, making an aquatic towel animal or riding the water slide, children will collect corresponding Camp Ocean badges.

Continued Leader in Family Cruising
The new Camp Ocean program builds upon Carnival’s leadership position in family cruising with more than 700,000 kids expected to sail on Carnival ships in 2014. Another recently announced enhancement to the line’s children’s programming is a partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to introduce the family-focused Seuss at Sea, with youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences inspired by the amazing world and words of Dr. Seuss.

Carnival’s popular programs for tweens and teens, Circle C (for 12-14 year olds) and Club O2 (for 15-17 year olds) will continue across the fleet.

Rollout of Camp Ocean will begin aboard Carnival Freedom in May 2014 following a major refurbishment which will also include the line’s first Dr. Seuss Bookville interactive reading venue. Camp Ocean will be introduced on Carnival Magic, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Triumph later this year with the balance of the fleet implemented by 2016, including Carnival Vista which is set to debut in early 2016.

Posted: April 18th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE EXPANDS EAST COAST MOTOR COACH PROGRAM

Written by: Cruise News

April 16, 2014 – Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that the line has expanded their motor coach program throughout the eastern United States, to offer additional ground transportation routes to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal from six new Mid-Atlantic and New England departure cities. The additional transportation options also provide a more convenient schedule for guests on existing routes.

In partnership with Academy Bus, more guests of Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Gem will now be able to purchase transfers right to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, without having to worry about driving into the city or finding and paying for parking. These new routes are in addition to the line’s current program with Yankee Trails World Travel.

Beginning May 3, guests from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire can enjoy direct motor coach service from 11 New England departure cities, including Warwick, RI; New London, CT; New Haven, CT; Bridgeport, CT; Braintree, MA; Worcester, MA; Springfield, MA; Hartford, CT; Woburn, MA; Framingham, MA and new departure city, Salem, NH. As of May 31, guests will be able to purchase motor coach service direct to the port from the following five new Mid-Atlantic departure cities: Arlington, VA; Baltimore, MD; Wilmington, DE; Philadelphia, PA; and East Brunswick, NJ. The transfers are offered for $110 roundtrip per adult and $75 per child.

Guests who select Norwegian’s expanded motor coach service will also be able to take advantage of more convenient departure and return times. Transfers will now depart for the Cruise Terminal one to two hours later than previous schedules and returning transfers will depart at 10 am, saving up to two hours.

Cruisers can set sail from the Big Apple to Bermuda on board Norwegian Breakaway, the ship that brings the best of NYC to Sea. Norwegian Breakaway will sail seven-day cruises to Bermuda, from May 4 through September 28, 2014, offering guests three full days to explore in King’s Wharf, Bermuda. Fares start at $599*.

Vacationers looking to cruise from NYC to the Bahamas & Florida can set sail on board Norwegian Gem on a seven-day itinerary from May 3, 2014 through September 6, 2014, with ports of call including Orlando & Beaches (Port Canaveral); Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; and Nassau, Bahamas. Fares start at $549*.

Posted: April 17th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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CARNIVAL SUNSHINE TO INAUGURATE YEAR-ROUND SERVICE FROM PORT CANAVERAL APRIL 17

Written by: Cruise News

April 17, 2014 — Port Canaveral’s newest ship, the totally transformed Carnival Sunshine, will depart on its inaugural voyage from the Space Coast when it sails on a special two-day cruise to The Bahamas later today.
Carnival Sunshine will then kick off a year-round schedule of five- to eight-day voyages visiting spectacular destinations throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida beginning April 19.

Carnival Sunshine is the first ship to feature all of the line’s fantastic Fun Ship 2.0 bar, dining and entertainment innovations which were added during a massive 75-day, $155 million makeover that was the most comprehensive in the company’s history.
Carnival Sunshine continues the line’s nearly 25-year relationship with Port Canaveral while further bolstering its leadership position at the port. Including Carnival Sunshine, along with Carnival Sensation and a third year-round ship launching service next month, Carnival will carry a record 600,000 passengers annually from Port Canaveral – more than any cruise operator. Carnival’s three Port Canaveral-based ships will operate 200 three- to eight-day voyages a year visiting 18 tropical destinations throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.

“Not only does Carnival Sunshine bring all of our Fun Ship 2.0 innovations to the Space Coast, it offers a lineup of cruises featuring the greatest diversity of destinations and cruise lengths ever offered from Port Canaveral,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “Central Florida is one of our fastest-growing markets and our continued growth at Port Canaveral would not be possible without the tremendous support from the Canaveral Port Authority, numerous community leaders and many highly valued travel agent partners,” he added.

“Port Canaveral is proud to homeport the latest innovative ship from Carnival Cruise Lines and we look forward to the continuation of this long-time successful partnership,” said Port Canaveral CEO John E. Walsh. “Carnival Sunshine will provide our community with expanded business opportunities and more vacation choices for both our residents and visitors.”

Exciting On-Board Innovations

Carnival Sunshine offers an entirely new seagoing vacation experience from Port Canaveral, with on-board features and facilities catering to guests of all ages and interests.

These include a tantalizing variety of dining options – from casual favorites like Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri; the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian eatery and Ji Ji Asian Kitchen to Fahrenheit 555, a reservations-only steakhouse serving gourmet cuisine in an intimate and elegant setting. Guests can also check out the full-service Bonsai Sushi, the 24-hour Pizzeria del Capitano, Lido Marketplace offering an array of international cuisines and only-on-Sunshine choices like ShakeSpot and JavaBlue Café.

And while the youngsters are enjoying fun, supervised activities and play areas designed for three age groups, grown-ups can relax and get some “me” time at Serenity, a stunning three-level adults-only retreat featuring its own pool, a waterfall, oversized umbrellas and comfortable chaise lounges.

Other popular features include the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar and Blue Iguana Cantina, along with top-deck attractions such as WaterWorks, featuring a 334-foot-long Twister water slide – the longest in the fleet – and SportSquare, an outdoor recreation area highlighted by a suspended ropes course offering breathtaking views of the sea 150 feet below.

Entertainment offerings include the high-energy Playlist Productions revues; the family-friendly Hasbro, The Game Show, with larger-than-life adaptations of the brand’s popular games; and hilarious performances at the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez, a partnership with the popular comedian and TV personality offering dozens of adult-oriented and all-ages comedy shows each voyage.

Port-Intensive Caribbean Itineraries
Carnival Sunshine will operate three different five-day eastern Caribbean sailings departing Sundays and featuring calls at Key West, Nassau, and Freeport; Nassau and Grand Turk; or Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Freeport.

Port-intensive seven-day cruises depart Saturdays to the eastern Caribbean and call at Nassau, St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk, while week-long western Caribbean trips depart Saturdays and call at Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan); and Costa Maya.

Two different eight-day eastern Caribbean cruises depart Fridays or Saturdays, and call at Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten; or Grand Turk, St. Thomas, Tortola and St. Maarten. Eight-day southern Caribbean sailings depart Fridays or Saturdays and include Curaçao, Aruba and Grand Turk.

Posted: April 17th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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ROYAL CARIBBEAN ANNOUNCES 2015-16 DEPLOYMENTS FOR NEW YORK AND GALVESTON

Written by: Cruise News

April 17, 2014 – Royal Caribbean International today announced its 2015-16 year-round sailings from the New York-metropolitan area and Galveston, Texas, and seasonal sailings from Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. Liberty of the Seas will homeport at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J. for summer 2015 and offer vacationers cruises from the New York-metropolitan area to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canada and New England. Simultaneously, Navigator of the Seas will continue to sail seven-night Western Caribbean cruises throughout summer 2015 and complete two consecutive years of homeporting at Galveston.

In winter 2015-16, Anthem of the Seas will arrive at Cape Liberty for its first season in North America – after finishing its inaugural season in Southampton, U.K. – and offer vacationers unforgettable Quantum-class experiences to the Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean. At the same time, Liberty of the Seas will take over weekly Caribbean sailings from Galveston, offering Texas vacationers a newer and larger ship, while Navigator of the Seas will sail six- and eight-night Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale. Furthermore, Brilliance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will return to Tampa in winter 2015-16 to offer a variety of Caribbean itineraries that all combine to provide extensive choices for exciting Royal Caribbean cruise vacations throughout 2015 to 2016.

Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, and Vision of the Seas’ 2015-16 cruise seasons are now open for booking. Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members have the exclusive privilege to book Anthem of the Seas’ winter 2015-16 season starting April 25, 2014, in advance of the general opening to the public on April 29.

The Most Advanced Cruise Vacations from New York

Throughout the 2015 summer and autumn seasons, Liberty of the Seas will homeport at Cape Liberty and offer the best family cruise vacation option in the region. The Freedom-class ship will be the cruise line’s newest and largest ship to offer cruises to Bermuda from the New York-metropolitan area. Liberty of the Seas will alternate a five-night, roundtrip Bermuda itinerary with a nine-night Caribbean itinerary in the summer, and then with a nine-night New England and Canada itinerary throughout the autumn season.

For its winter 2015-16 season, Anthem of the Seas will set sail on October 27 for an eight-night Ocean Voyage from Southampton to Cape Liberty and continue Quantum Class cruising for New York-area vacationers. The ship will sail a range of seven- to 12-night roundtrip itineraries and take guests to the Bahamas and throughout the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean. The 12-night Western Caribbean itinerary is brand new, featuring maiden calls for the Quantum Class at George Town, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Roatan, Honduras.

Year-round Caribbean Vacations from Galveston

The recently revitalized Navigator of the Seas will continue weekly sailings from Galveston until November 2015, when Liberty of the Seas repositions there to offer Texans a larger and more advanced cruise ship. Both ships will alternate a pair of seven-night roundtrip itineraries to the Western Caribbean.

Winter Caribbean Escapes from Florida

Completing two full years of homeporting in Galveston, Navigator of the Seas will reposition to Fort Lauderdale in November 2015 and sail six-night Eastern and eight-night Western Caribbean itineraries.

Finally, Brilliance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will return to Tampa for their third and second consecutive winter seasons, respectively. Brilliance of the Seas will offer vacationers four- and five-night Western Caribbean itineraries, while Vision of the Seas will sail seven-, nine-, and 10-night itineraries throughout the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean.

Posted: April 17th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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In A Stunning Move, Royal Caribbean Announces That Quantum Of The Seas Will Homeport In China

Written by: Cruise News

April 16, 2014 – Royal Caribbean International today announced that its newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, will make its home port in Shanghai (Baoshan), China, bringing the company’s most innovative ship to the world’s fastest-growing cruise market. The ship will reposition to China in May 2015, following her inaugural winter season sailing out of New York Harbor to the Caribbean. In China, Quantum of the Seas will join Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas in Asia, increasing the company’s capacity in the region by 66 percent.

“Consumers in China have grown to expect the best the world has to offer, and Quantum of the Seas meets that standard like no other ship,” said Adam Goldstein, President and COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We are ready to accelerate the growth of this vital market with a ship that will capture the imagination of travelers looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation experience.”

“Every trend we are seeing in China tells us we can achieve real long-term competitive advantage and appealing returns on our investments in this fast-growing market by accelerating our presence there,” Goldstein said. “We will have to be nimble, but the ability to move fast is one of our strengths.”

Goldstein said the company was able to make the move because its new-ship pipeline will keep the New York region supplied with top-rate ships as well.

“We are very mindful of the importance of New York, which is why we are bringing Liberty of the Seas and then Anthem of the Seas to this market.”

Quantum of the Seas will debut in November 2014, and will spend its inaugural season sailing from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., before repositioning to China in May 2015. Beginning late June 2015, the ship will sail three- to eight-night itineraries year-round from Shanghai to Japan and Korea. Liberty of the Seas will then arrive to Cape Liberty to sail to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canada and New England for the 2015 summer and autumn seasons. The Freedom-class ship will be the company’s newest and largest ship to offer cruises to Bermuda from the New York-metropolitan area. Finally, Quantum of the Seas’ sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, which launches in April 2015, will complete her inaugural Europe season from London (Southampton), U.K., before arriving to Cape Liberty in November 2015 to continue Quantum-class cruising to the Bahamas and Caribbean for the winter 2015-16 season.

“These incredible ships will meet the sophisticated expectations of consumers in Shanghai, New York and London. Our mantra for the new Quantum class of ships is ‘this changes everything’ – and upping our game in these key markets achieves just that,” said Dominic Paul, Vice President, International, Royal Caribbean International. “Our distinctive style of high quality innovative cruises has become known to travelers around the world and we will continue to deploy our most technologically advanced ships where the demand is, with the expectation of winning new converts to cruising.”

The groundbreaking Quantum-class ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, will debut a new set of first-at-sea onboard experiences, such as Ripcord by iFLY, a heart-pounding skydiving experience; North Star, a thrilling adventure that transports guests more than 300 feet in the air on a breathtaking journey; cutting-edge transformative venues including SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever. Guests also will enjoy the new Quantum-class “Dynamic Dining,” a completely new culinary experience that offers a landscape of 18 restaurant concepts as vast and varied as dining in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, including specialty restaurants created with partner-chefs Jamie Oliver, Devin Alexander and Michael Schwartz.

Posted: April 16th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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3 New Artists Coming To The “Grammy Experience” Aboard Norwegian Getaway

Written by: Cruise News

April 15, 2014 – Norwegian today announced the next three exciting artists that will perform on board Norwegian Getaway’s GRAMMY® Experience at Sea: Sugar Blue, a GRAMMY-Award-winning harmonica dynamo; Carolyn Malachi, a GRAMMY-nominated soul-fusion artist; and Roddie Romero, a GRAMMY®-nominated Louisiana artist.

When Sugar Blue joins Norwegian Getaway on April 12, 2014, he will dazzle guests with his incredible harmonica mastery. Known as the Jimi Hendrix and Charlie Parker of the harmonica, his style is melodically fluid and instantly recognizable. Born in Harlem, New York, Blue grew up listening to performances by some of the world’s most renowned artists at the legendary Apollo Theater. His fate was sealed when he received a harmonica for his 10th birthday and since then he has been performing worldwide; he has recorded and appeared with Willie Dixon, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Prince, Stan Getz, Ray Charles and many others. Blue won a GRAMMY in 1985 for Best Traditional Blues Recording as a featured performer on the album “Blues Explosion,” which was recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Blue feels music deeply, as part of the human experience, and he is excited to share his gift with guests sailing on board Norwegian Getaway through June 14, 2014.

Carolyn Malachi, famous for her popular brand of soul music, emerged as a star following the release of her GRAMMY-nominated single, “Orion,” in 2011. Her unique spoken-word meets hip-hop, R&B and jazz-fusion style of music intoxicates listeners and takes them on an inspiring musical journey. In addition to her musical success, Carolyn is a philanthropic social activist who has used her music to become a force for good by supporting international non-profit organizations such as The School Fund, which has already funded over 10,000 classroom hours for students in Tanzania and East Africa. Guests will be delighted and inspired by Malachi’s incredible sound and inspirational lyrics while cruising on Norwegian Getaway from June 15 through August 1, 2014.

Following Carolyn Malachi, Roddie Romero, a renowned, GRAMMY-nominated Louisiana artist who has been performing internationally at many of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals for over 20 years, will join Norwegian Getaway. Known for his authentic, traditional Cajun and zydeco music, this Louisiana-roots rocker puts on an energetic show that is guaranteed to make guests in Norwegian Getaway’s GRAMMY Experience at Sea get up and dance. Romero is also no stranger to cruising; he has recently performed on board Norwegian Pearl during Cayamo, one of the line’s music festival series events in partnership with Sixthman. Romero will perform on Norwegian Getaway from August 2 through August 30, 2014.

Posted: April 15th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Carnival Dream Begins Cruising From New Home Port Of New Orleans

Written by: Cruise News

April 14, 2014 – New Orleans’ largest year-round cruise ship, the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream, will depart on its inaugural six-day cruise from New Orleans this afternoon, further solidifying Carnival’s distinction of the port’s largest cruise operator with two ships carrying more than 400,000 passengers annually – the most of any cruise line.

The special six-day voyage, visiting Costa Maya, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), and Cozumel, will depart from the newly refurbished Erato Street Cruise Terminal, which has undergone a $2.3 million upgrade to accommodate a ship as large as the 130,000-ton Carnival Dream.

Beginning April 20, Carnival Dream will launch year-round seven-day service from New Orleans offering three distinctly different itineraries – western Caribbean cruises visiting Montego Bay, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman; or Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), Belize and Cozumel; and a Bahamas/Florida route calling at Key West, Freeport and Nassau. Carnival Dream joins Carnival Elation which sails year-round four- and five-day cruises to Mexico.

A study by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) found that spending by Carnival and other cruise operators in Louisiana topped $399 million in 2012, generating 7,548 jobs and $294 million in personal income. CLIA also ranked New Orleans the sixth largest cruise port in the U.S.

The 1,004-foot-long Carnival Dream offers a host of on-board innovations, including WaterWorks featuring a 303-foot-long Twister water slide – among the longest at sea – as well as a luxurious 23,750-square-foot Cloud 9 Spa, a half-mile outdoor promenade with whirlpools that extend out over the ship’s sides, and more than two dozen bars, restaurants and lounges, including the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar.

Also featured is a Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez with nearly two dozen family-friendly and adult-oriented comedy shows per voyage. Carnival Dream also offers fun, supervised activities for children in three age groups and later this year will add Seuss at Sea, part of a fleetwide partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises featuring exciting youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences inspired by the amazing world of Dr. Seuss.

Carnival Dream also includes a stunning indoor/outdoor café/live entertainment venue called Ocean Plaza as well as the Seaside Theatre, a 270-square-foot LED screen displaying concerts, sporting events and nightly Dive-In Movies.

A variety of spacious accommodations are also available, with dozens of suites and a wide selection of balcony staterooms, including unique cove balconies located closer to the water offering outstanding sea views. There are also ocean view staterooms with a full bath plus separate wash room and five-berth staterooms that are ideal for families.

“New Orleans is one of our most popular homeports and Carnival Dream provides vacationers with a spectacular ‘Fun Ship’ cruise option from the Big Easy offering an incredible array of on-board innovations,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “Further, the arrival of Carnival Dream significantly expands our capacity in New Orleans, which is a direct result of the combined efforts of port and local officials and our valued travel agent partners who have been instrumental in supporting our New Orleans cruise program,” he added.

Commented Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange, “The arrival of the Carnival Dream is the culmination of a lot of hard work and a strong commitment by Port of New Orleans officials, tourism leaders and Carnival Cruise Lines to build strong cruising demand from the Crescent City. The ship’s amenities and features are second to none. We’re thrilled to welcome the Carnival Dream as a year-round resident of the Port and City of New Orleans.”

Posted: April 14th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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ROYAL CARIBBEAN ANNOUNCES 2015-16 SHORT AND SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN VACATIONS

Written by: Cruise News

April 2, 2014 – Royal Caribbean International today unveiled its Bahamas, and Southern and short Caribbean program for the 2015-16 seasons.

Independence of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas will sail a variety of itineraries from the homeports of Port Canaveral on Florida’s Space Coast, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Whether for a short getaway or a weekend escape, guests will delight in exciting ports of call aboard some of the industry’s most innovative ships. Royal Caribbean’s 2015-16 Bahamas, and Southern and short Caribbean vacations are now open for booking, except for Majesty of the Seas, which will open next week.

From May through Oct. 2015, Adventure of the Seas will sail seven-night Southern Caribbean itineraries from San Juan. This will be the ship’s first summer program from San Juan since 2009, and shifts from Sunday to regular Saturday departures. Vacationers have a choice among three itineraries, one calling at St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados, while the second replaces St. Kitts with St. Croix. A third itinerary calls at St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba and Curacao. A one-time, six-night itinerary sailing on May 3 will call at Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Maarten. Adventure of the Seas will then alternate two Southern Caribbean itineraries from Nov. 2015 through Apr. 2016. One seven-night, roundtrip sailing will call at St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Dominica, and Barbados, while the second include calls at St. Thomas, St. Croix, Antigua, St. Lucia and Grenada.

A superior Southern Caribbean option for family vacations, Adventure of the Seas is among the Voyager class of ships, which first introduced the active cruise vacation. Guests can enjoy a wide variety of signature Royal Caribbean onboard amenities, such an ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall, full-size basketball and sports court, and mini-golf course and the Royal Promenade, an interior boulevard that runs nearly the length of the ship and is flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques. Guests also can take in a world-class ice show in the Studio B ice rink or join in a street party and cheer on a Promenade parade in the Royal Promenade.

For its part, Jewel of the Seas will join Adventure of the Seas at San Juan in winter 2015-16 and alternate two Southern Caribbean itineraries. Each seven-night, roundtrip sailing every Sunday will call at St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba and Curacao, or at Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Croix. Jewel of the Seas features a dining and entertainment nightspot on deck 6, where guests can take in a delicious dinner in Royal Caribbean’s signature Chops Grille steakhouse or Portofino Italian Ristorante, followed by a round of billiards in the Safari Club’s self-leveling pool tables, live music and entertainment in the Serengeti Card Club or the Zanzibar Lounge, and a nightcap in the Congo Bar.

Also in winter 2015-16, Independence of the Seas will sail roundtrip from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale on four- and five-night short Western Caribbean itineraries. Vacationers can choose among a four-night itinerary, which calls at Cozumel, Mexico, or two five-night itineraries, one that calls at Cozumel and Belize City, Belize, or the other at Falmouth, Jamaica, and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach paradise on the north coast of Haiti. Independence of the Seas features a FlowRider surf simulator, a Royal Caribbean exclusive, and cantilevered whirlpools, as well as all the innovative onboard amenities found on the Voyager class.

Year-round, guests also have a choice of the convenient Floridian ports Miami and Port Canaveral for short Bahamas cruises. Enchantment of the Seas will alternate a three- and four-night Bahamas itinerary, sailing roundtrip from Port Canaveral along Florida’s Space Coast. Guests will call at Nassau, The Bahamas, and spend a day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private tropical Bahamian island.

Majesty of the Seas also will sail three- and four-night Bahamas cruises, year-round and roundtrip from Miami. The three-night itinerary will call at Nassau and CocoCay, while the four-night itinerary also includes a call at Key West, Fla. Guests can enjoy exciting ports of call by day and enjoy spectacular Broadway-style revues, a variety of lounges and world-class gaming in the Casino Royale.

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Zach Winningham Chosen as Princess Cruises’ Entertainer of the Year

Written by: Cruise News

April 1, 2014 – Passengers aboard Caribbean Princess have voted and selected vocalist Zach Winningham as Princess Cruises 2013 Entertainer of the Year. Four finalists were chosen from the hundreds of talented performers – comedians, magicians, tribute bands and other specialty acts – who grace the Princess stages each year. During the cruise these top artists performed to enthusiastic audiences who then cast their ballot to crown the winner.

Winningham hails from the Midwest farm town of Belleville, Indiana, where long country drives with his father introduced him to 50s and 60s rock n’ roll, country, and bluegrass music. His passion to keep this music alive has driven his musical career and blossomed into a love of performing, which has taken him to stages across America and all over the world.

Passengers aboard the March 22-29 Caribbean Princess sailing enjoyed live performances from each finalist. The finalists were determined by the Princess Cruises entertainment department based on passenger surveys and onboard audience response. Along with Winningham the finalists included comedian Troy Thirdgill, illusionist Jonathan Hawley and tribute band Walk Like a Man. Winningham was announced as the winner on the final night of the cruise at a celebratory event in Princess’ signature venue, The Piazza.
dave albums press images picture64 princess entertainer year Zach Winningham Chosen as Princess Cruises Entertainer of the Year
“Congratulations to Zach for being chosen as our 2013 Entertainer of the Year,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We were so proud to showcase the great talents of all our finalists to our passengers, who were thoroughly entertained by their dynamic performances.”

This marks the line’s third annual Entertainer of the Year program, which was created to recognize the high caliber and diversity of guest entertainers that perform on Princess ships each cruise.

As the new holder of the line’s “2013 Entertainer of the Year” title, Winningham also received a cash prize of $5,000.

Posted: April 1st, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Azamara Club Cruises Offering Cabin Double Upgrades On Select Voyages In Special Promotion – Book An Inside, Get A Veranda!

Written by: Cruise News

April 1, 2014 – Azamara Club Cruises is welcoming this much-anticipated spring by offering up-market travelers a double upgrade when booking their next big adventure between, April 1 and May 31, 2014. Guests who book an interior stateroom, on nearly all voyages sailing from October 2014 to December 2015, will be upgraded by two categories to a veranda stateroom. This upgrade not only provides them the luxury of a balcony to enjoy the ocean vistas, but also a private space to take in the spectacular scenic views while sailing in and out of ports.

These saving will allow guests looking to add ports to their collection to delve further into new ports by booking a Land Discoveries shore excursions. Guests will be able to choose from Azamara’s new, more in depth, personalized destination experiences – Insider Access and Nights and Cool Places. Insider Access features exclusive invitations, which allows guests to actively engage with knowledgeable individuals eager to share colorful stories and historic tales of their home destination. The second, Nights and Cool Places, makes the most of Azamara’s longer stays in port and overnights with an intimate night touring program. These custom, evening experiences, give guests exclusive opportunities to visit world-famous museums after hours, such as Malaga’s Picasso Museum; sip cocktails at a local hot spot, such as Rio de Janeiro’s Scenarium; or take a stroll on an intimate guided architectural walk – all with a local guide.

Additionally up-market travelers also may wish to combine a variety of voyages such as Azamara Journey’s seven-night Mediterranean voyage from Rome to Monte-Carlo with the following seven night voyage from Monte-Carlo to Barcelona, for a personalized cruise vacation.

For more information on Azamara’s Spring Double Upgrade offer and a full list of applicable voyages please visit: http://www.azamaraclubcruises.com/special-offers/double-upgrade

Posted: April 1st, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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