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Royal Caribbean Signs Agreement with Miami-Dade County For New Cruise Terminal

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Cruise Line Plans to Sail an Oasis-Class Ship Out of the State-Of-The-Art Terminal

June 28, 2016 – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) today announced an agreement with Miami-Dade County to construct and operate a new cruise terminal at PortMiami, on land leased from the County. The new terminal will be a major addition to PortMiami, and will serve as homeport to Royal Caribbean International ships, including a 5,400-passenger Oasis-class ship.
The agreement will come before the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners on July 6, 2016.

New Terminal Conceptual Image


Broadway Malyan has been selected as the firm to design the new terminal, after a global competition was held between five of the world’s leading architectural firms. The firm was selected because of their creative thinking and cutting-edge design.

The 170,000-square-foot terminal is nicknamed the ‘Crown of Miami’ because of its distinct shape. The design evokes the points of the symbolic headgear when viewed from the water; the ‘M’ of Miami when viewed from the east or western approaches; and a sense of waves rising or ships passing when viewed from the terminal side. At night, the terminal’s facade will be lit ensuring that the building makes a striking impression and providing a dynamic addition to the PortMiami landscape.

The new terminal will not be the only addition for Royal Caribbean in the coming year. The company has committed to add a 20,000-square-foot Innovation Lab to its corporate headquarters located at PortMiami. The Innovation Lab will continue to generate Royal Caribbean’s industry-leading, innovative vessels.

Currently, PortMiami welcomes approximately 750,000 Royal Caribbean passengers annually, representing about 15 percent of its overall passenger traffic. Once the new cruise terminal is completed, it is anticipated that Royal Caribbean will generate at least 1.8 million passengers at PortMiami – representing no less than 30 percent of the port’s projected passenger traffic.

Posted: June 28th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Royal Caribbean’s “Ticket To Adventure” Promo for Harmony Of The Seas With Free Cruises and More!

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June 23, 2016 – There are approximately 214 million registered drivers in the United States, all of whom inevitably find themselves circling the block or lot looking for a parking spot. Seems easy enough to park a car, but who hasn’t returned to their vehicle to find a ticket affixed to their front windshield, or even worse, discovered that it’s been towed? Frustrating? Yes, but there is always a silver lining. As part of its recently launched “Ticket to Adventure” promotion, Royal Caribbean International is on a mission to turn some of the worst tickets in America into the best ones.

Harmony Of The Seas


Royal Caribbean is inviting plagued drivers to “park it” aboard the cruise line’s newest ship Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship that will make her U.S. debut in November. Consumers from across the country can enter to win one of 55 trips for two onboard Harmony during an exclusive preview sailing out of Fort Lauderdale in November. To enter, simply visit the Ticket to Adventure site between now and October 1 and enter the code “PARKINGTICKET.” While at the promotion site consumers can also virtually discover and explore Harmony’s thrilling features and seven neighborhoods, and enter for their chance to win other exciting prizes that range from a seven-night Caribbean cruise for four, to more than 150 GoPro HERO4 cameras, over $40,000 in cash gift cards, and more.

Harmony of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship with exciting features and venues that have all of us in the travel media buzzing about it. From The Ultimate Abyss, a thrilling 10-story tall slide, to the impressive entertainment that is a hallmark of Royal Caribbean, including Broadway’s hit musical Grease, high diving and acrobatic performances in the ship’s trademark Aqua Theater, exquisite dining in venue’s ranging from Jamie’s Italian Cuisine by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to Royal Caribbean’s whimsical restaurant Wonderland (I personally love this venue) which is a unique culinary adventure for the senses, and of course the robotic bartenders.

Harmony of the Seas spans 16 guest decks, encompasses 227,000 gross registered tons, carries 5,497 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,747 staterooms. For more information about Harmony of the Seas, please visit RoyalCaribbean.com/HarmonyoftheSeas.

Posted: June 24th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Norwegian Dawn Returns to Boston for Bermuda Cruises After Extensive Renovation

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June 17, 2016 – Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn sailed into her seasonal homeport of Boston this morning as an essentially new vessel, following a month-long dry dock where she received enhancements to every part of the onboard experience, from two brand new restaurants and three new bars and lounges, updated design and décor in all public spaces, to a refurbishment of all staterooms including a complete makeover of the ship’s signature Garden Villas, some of the largest suites at sea. Norwegian Dawn’s extensive renovation is a of The Norwegian Edge™ program, a $400 million investment that sets a new standard of excellence for the Norwegian brand, encompassing the entire guest experience.

Guests will have several new restaurants, bars and lounges to enjoy after the ship’s refurbishment. A new concept for the Norwegian fleet, Los Lobos Cantina is an upscale Mexican restaurant that offers a modern take on traditional favorites like guacamole prepared tableside, al pastor tacos, enchiladas de mole and hand crafted margaritas, all available à la carte. Los Lobos Cantina will open on July 1.

A guest favorite, O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill is making its debut on Norwegian Dawn today, and features signature sports bar décor while offering favorite pub fare and beers on tap. Wine lovers now have a chance to sip and savor their favorite vintages at The Cellars, a Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar as the former Pearly King Pub has been completely transformed into a modern, upscale wine bar offering tastings and engaging educational events.

O’Sheehan’s Bar and Grill


Sugarcane Mojito Bar will serve up more than 15 varieties of mojitos in a modern lounge area on Deck 13 adjacent to the new location for Moderno Churrascaria. Finally, Spinnaker Lounge was transformed into the Bliss Lounge, offering a larger space for guests to relax and enjoy a cocktail, with refinished bar fronts, new contemporary accents, furniture and carpeting.

The dining experience onboard Norwegian Dawn will be further enhanced with extensive renovations to all of the existing complimentary dining venues. The Venetian and Aqua both feature a completely new look, with enhancements including new wall coverings, carpet and hardwood flooring, entry signage, artwork, ceiling finishes, reupholstered furniture, lighting, and window treatments. Bamboo Asian Restaurant also has undergone a complete refurbishment with fresh carpet and hardwood flooring, new furniture including tables, barstools and chairs, updated artwork throughout the space, new decorative and architectural lighting, along with window treatments and wall finishes. The Garden Café has undergone a redesign with new layout for smoother service that features upgraded flooring, artwork, decorative lighting, wall finishes, signage and furniture.

Garden Cafe


Le Bistro and La Cucina have exchanged locations, with each space presenting a premium dining experience that is brought to life with new décor including updated carpet, furniture, decorative lighting and signage. Moderno Churrascaria resides in a new location on Deck 13 adjacent to Sugarcane Mojito Bar and features all new décor, furniture, window treatments, wall coverings and artwork that evokes the restaurant’s Brazilian theme. Teppanyaki restaurant was completely renovated and doubled in size with two additional tables, new flooring and décor and the addition of a divider between Bamboo and Teppanyaki for a more private experience. Cagney’s Steakhouse showcases a modern look with new décor, furniture, updated artwork, new carpet, wall finishes, decorative lighting and modified, more open layout where guests can enjoy Certified Angus Beef® steaks and those delectable truffle fries.

The ship’s existing bars and lounges will also offer a fresh experience, with Gatsby’s Champagne Bar debuting with brand new furniture, flooring, decorative lighting, artwork, window treatments and an art deco-inspired chandelier. The Cigar Bar will feature new tile flooring, draperies, furniture, plus an enhanced new humidor.

Every stateroom on the ship was enhanced during this renovation, receiving new carpets, bedding, drapery, artwork, flat screen TVs and furniture. The dry dock also allowed for a complete makeover of the ship’s two Garden Villas, now featuring a more clean and modern look with brand new flooring and furniture inside and out, new ceilings, lighting, bedding, décor and 42” flat screen TVs.
As with the recent enhancements to several other Norwegian ships, Norwegian Dawn’s public spaces, elevators and restrooms were refreshed from top to bottom to receive an updated look with new contemporary design, as well as new lighting, flooring, wall coverings and wall sconces to give the full ship that “new ship” look and feel.

The ship’s Atrium features a new modern and clean look with plush carpet and new lighting, chic furniture and a new lounge seating area, as well as enhancements to the Guest Services reception desks. Tides, a brand new shopping venue offering a wide selection of fine jewelry, was added to the Atrium. The ship’s existing shopping venue Ports O’Call has been renamed Tradewinds and also received a complete makeover with new finishes, lighting and flooring, as did the ship’s Library.

Norwegian Dawn Atrium


The ship’s pool deck was completely refurbished to create a brighter and livelier atmosphere for sun-seekers with new decking and new white awnings to give the open deck a sleek, yacht-like feel. Additionally, the main pool deck received new exterior showers, upgraded pool loungers, and a fresh look to all exterior corridors. The Bimini Bar overlooking the main pool deck was completely refurbished and now features a completely new design and look. Kids and kids at heart sailing aboard Norwegian Dawn can now enjoy an upgraded Entourage teen space and video arcade with built-in entertainment areas, new carpeting and wall finishes and new modern furniture.

Entertainment venues such as the Dawn Casino and Stardust Theater were also touched by this extensive renovation. The Dawn Club Casino now incites an air of excitement with more colorful signage, new artwork, wall finishes, carpets, bar tops and a more luxurious and exclusive VIP area. Guests sailing aboard Norwegian Dawn will now be able to enjoy headlining shows Band on the Run, Showdown and Elements in a refreshed Stardust Theater with reupholstered and re-cushioned seating, as well as new carpets and drapery throughout the expansive theater.

Guests looking to unwind after enjoying all that the new Norwegian Dawn has to offer can do so in the completely redesigned Mandara Spa and Pulse Fitness Center, offering state-of-the-art Techno Gym equipment. The Mandara Spa received a new look and layout– elevating the spa experience with refreshed sleek décor, updated treatment rooms and newly added spaces including a barber shop, nail salon, spa pool and eight heated loungers in the luxurious thermal suite.

Norwegian Dawn will sail from Boston to Bermuda each week through October, spending three nights in port, and from New Orleans to the Western Caribbean — including a call at Harvest Caye, Belize, the Caribbean’s premier resort-style port of call — during the winter season, beginning in November.

Posted: June 17th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Windstar Cruises’ Star Pride Re-enters Fleet with $4.5 Million Renovation

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Upgrades Include Two Rebuilt Owner’s Suites and 12 New Triple Suites

June 16, 2016 – Luxury cruise line Windstar Cruises announces the debut of Star Pride as it re-enters the six-yacht fleet. The 212-guest Star Pride is back in action after receiving a scheduled $4.5 million transformation, including a complete renovation of two exclusive Owner’s Suites featuring enhancements to an expansive private deck that commands a sweeping ocean view over the yacht’s bow. Also included were nautically-inspired remodeling of public spaces, dining venues and more throughout the yacht.

Windstar Cruises’ Star Pride

The 2016 Star Pride $4.5 million transformation builds on earlier renovations now matching all guest accommodations and features of sister yachts, Star Breeze and Star Legend. Total investment in refurbishing the three yachts is over $21.5 million dollars in the last two years.

Star Pride 2016 Transformation Highlights:

Suite Upgrades: Two Owner’s Suites were completely rebuilt with a new indoor-outdoor floor plan and interior design featuring new linens, towels, furnishings, windows and drapery. Guests staying in one of the two suites will enjoy a new, extended private deck area with spectacular views over the bow of the ship.

In addition, all suites on the Star Pride received new coffee tables, and new flat screen televisions. Sofa beds were added in the living rooms of 12 select suites now offering triple accommodations.

Public Spaces: All guest stairways and hallways were redone in Windstar blues and earth tones, conveying a unified nautical theme throughout. New carpets and tile flooring were also added to stairwells and all indoor public spaces.

The Lounge: the former entertainment lounge now includes new flooring, lighting, sound system, and furniture.

Veranda: the restaurant in the aft of the yacht expands its outdoor seating to a new courtyard area, complete with a garden wall.

Star Deck:
the top outdoor deck expanded by four feet on each side, giving additional space for guests to relax on deck chairs. The Star Deck also offers a new counter-current pool and whirlpool.

Library: the Library has been updated with softer colors, new furnishings and new artwork.

Star Screening Room: the space transformed from a card room to an intimate screening room where guests can watch the latest movies and play video games.

Fitness Center: the new gym layout includes new flooring, wall coverings and window treatments for a cooler and more refreshing wellness atmosphere.

Dining Venues: AmphorA Restaurant, the main dining room on board, completes its redesign with new flooring, wall coverings, lighting and seating layout. A new public bathroom was added adjacent to the entrance.

Veranda restaurant has opened up a 180 degree view of the ocean by adding sliding glass doors and an aft glass wind screen. Veranda also offers expanded outdoor seating in the new courtyard which is complete with a virtual garden wall.

Posted: June 16th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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2nd Annual Walker Stalker Cruise on Norwegian Pearl February 3-6, 2017

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NORMAN REEDUS, CHANDLER RIGGS, MICHAEL CUDLITZ AND GREG NICOTERO TO SET SAIL

June 14, 2016 – Skybound’s The Walking Dead will come alive aboard Norwegian Pearl February 3-6, 2017 with Norman Reedus (Daryl), Chandler Riggs (Carl), Michael Cudlitz (Abraham), Tom Payne (Jesus), Michael Traynor (Nicholas) and more. Special effects guru, director, producer, and writer, Greg Nicotero, will also join 2,600 undead devotees for the second annual Walker Stalker Cruise.

Sailing round-trip from Miami, Florida to the Norwegian Cruise Line private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, Walker Stalker Cruise guests will vacation for three days with Reedus, Riggs, Cudlitz, Payne, Nicotero and more cast members from The Walking Dead, while taking part in panels, photo ops, autograph sessions, cosplay contests, theme nights, and more to be announced.

Double occupancy staterooms on Walker Stalker Cruise begin at $790 per person, plus taxes and fees. For the best selection of cabins, join the pre-sale here: walkerstalkercruise.com/presale

Posted: June 14th, 2016 under Uncategorized.
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Holland America Line Collaborates with Top Sushi Chef, Andy Matsuda of the Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles

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Matsuda to train shipboard chefs

June 13, 2016 — Holland America Line’s shipboard chefs are learning from the best in a collaboration with renowned Sushi Chef Andy Matsuda. Not only will Matsuda share his knowledge and train the shipboard chefs to ensure that the cruise line’s staff is at the forefront of sushi trends and techniques, but four of his signature rolls will be featured on the dinner menu at Tamarind, the award winning Asian-fusion restaurant on board several Holland America Line ships.

Sushi Chef Andy Matsuda


The Japanese-born chef brings more than 35 years of sushi-making experience and 15 years of teaching to the premium cruise line, and he began his collaboration and training aboard the line’s newest ship, ms Koningsdam. At Matsuda’s Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles, California, he teaches aspiring chefs and professionals from all over the world about sushi and Japanese cuisine. More than 1,300 graduates of the institute have gone on to careers in sushi restaurants or have become restaurateurs themselves.

Guests can enjoy Matsuda’s four signature rolls on Tamarind’s dinner menu. They are a Tempura Lobster Roll with lobster tail, unagi sauce, avocado and asparagus; Nigiri Seared Salmon with green olives and capers; Dragon Roll with tempura shrimp, unagi sauce, avocado and asparagus; and Nigiri Tuna Zuke with yuzu-flavored tuna and guacamole sauce. Tamarind is on board ms Koningsdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam and ms Eurodam.

The Asian-fusion Tamarind restaurant also serves sushi selections on the full dinner menu. Selections feature Spider Roll with soft shell crab tempura, California Roll, Tsutsumi Roll with snapper and avocado, Spicy Tuna Roll, Veggie Rainbow Roll, Volcano Roll with sesame-marinated salmon and Thai chilis, and Nigiri sushi with tuna, salmon and ebi shrimp. Tamarind on ms Koningsdam also features a sushi counter with eight seats where guests can enjoy watching the chefs prepare the fresh sushi.

Matsuda learned the joy of cooking at his family’s Japanese restaurant when he was a child, and he went on to have an apprenticeship at Genpachi, one of the most famous restaurants in Osaka, Japan, before bringing his sushi skills to Los Angeles. Following a battle with cancer he sought a deeper understanding of the relationship between food, health, people and the environment, which he then parlayed into becoming one of the world’s foremost sushi experts.

Posted: June 13th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Princess Cruises Adds Trinidad & Tobago To 2017-2018 Cruise Destinations

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June 13, 2016 – Trinidad & Tobago’s popularity as a port of call continues to grow as Princess Cruises announces its 2017-2018 Americas cruise calendar that includes sailings to the dual-island nation.

Princess Cruises will offer several Caribbean vacation packages in 2017-2018 and will launch a new 14-day Circle Caribbean itinerary out of Fort Lauderdale that includes stops in Trinidad and other Caribbean islands in addition to a stop at the cruise line’s private beach resort, Princess Cays. Princess Cruises will also be returning its seven-day Caribbean routes with visits to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean regions on Regal Princess, while Crown Princess will alternate eight-day Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries and five-day getaways to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Pacific Princess will also launch a 14-day “Caribbean Connoisseur” voyage with stopovers in Tobago, St Croix, Nevis, Guadeloupe and Virgin Gorda.

“As the amount of visiting ships grow in number, so too are the variety of on-shore activities and tours available for cruise passengers on both islands.” explains Keith Chin, Chief Executive Officer at the Tourism Development Company of Trinidad & Tobago. “Cruise ship passengers disembarking on our unique islands can enjoy live local entertainment, a variety of island and community tour options and free Wi-Fi, all in a safe and secure environment.”

Posted: June 13th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Royal Caribbean Announces $61Million Renovation of Adventure Of The Seas

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June 10, 2016 – Royal Caribbean International will debut an array of enhancements onboard Adventure of the Seas this November, including new dual racer waterslides – Cyclone and Typhoon, the signature FlowRider surf simulator, and a children’s aquapark, Splashaway Bay. In addition, guests will enjoy a new lineup of culinary and entertainment venues with Izumi Japanese Cuisine, Chops Grille steakhouse, and Boleros Latin Lounge. The ship also will receive more than 100 new staterooms, a refreshing of all existing staterooms and a brand new Suites Lounge.

Adventure is Royal Caribbean’s fifth ship to undergo revitalization, and at $61 million this will be the brand’s largest investment yet. The project will introduce some of the trademark innovations the cruise line is known for, bringing the best of Royal Caribbean onboard.

Adventure of the Seas sails from San Juan, Puerto Rico to the Southern Caribbean, with port calls at Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; St. Johns, Antigua; Basseterre, St. Kitts; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

Other features offered on the Voyager-class ship include the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, three pools including the adults-only Solarium, a rock climbing wall, basketball court, Windjammer Café, Johnny Rockets and the three-story Main Dining Room. Adventure also delivers exhilarating entertainment options, with complimentary Broadway-style entertainment in the main theater, ice-skating shows in Studio B, and the lively Royal Promenade with its parties, parades, dance and shopping outlets.

A video of the Royal Caribbean fleet revitalization project can be seen here

Posted: June 10th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Holland America’s Veendam Gets Perfect Health Scores From U.S. & Canada

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Veendam earns second consecutive perfect U.S.P.H score

June 9, 2016 — Holland America Line’s ms Veendam earned its second consecutive perfect score of 100 on a recent United States Public Health inspection conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ship also earned a perfect score of 100 on an inspection conducted by Health Canada.

Veendam’s unannounced U.S.P.H. inspection was held May 21, 2016, during a turnaround call at Boston, Massachusetts, at the start of a seven-day Bermuda cruise. The ship also received a score of 100 on a Health Canada inspection held May 12 at Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the middle of a Canada/New England voyage. Prior to those inspections, Veendam received a perfect U.S.P.H. score in August 2015 during a call at Boston.

“The continuing streak of perfect health inspection scores across the fleet shows Holland America Line’s focus and commitment to the highest standards,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Congratulations to the officers and staff aboard Veendam who worked hard and diligently to earn two perfect scores within two weeks.”

In March 2016, ms Eurodam earned its 10th consecutive score of 100, making it the first ship in company history to receive as many consecutive perfect scores. In 2015, seven Holland America Line ships received a total of 10 perfect scores: Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Ryndam, ms Statendam and Veendam.

CDC inspections are part of the Vessel Sanitation Program, which was introduced in the early 1970s and is required for all passenger ships that call at a U.S. port. The inspections are unannounced and are carried out by officials from the United States Public Health Service twice a year for every cruise ship. Health Canada’s Cruise Ship Inspection Program harmonizes with the United States’ CDC Vessel Sanitation Program, and inspections are conducted once a year when cruise ships visit Canadian ports.

The score, on a scale from one to 100, is assigned on the basis of a checklist involving dozens of areas of assessment, encompassing hygiene and sanitation of food (from storage to preparation), overall galley cleanliness, water, shipboard personnel and the ship as a whole.

Posted: June 9th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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Harmony Of The Seas Sets Sail On Inaugural Voyage From Barcelona

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June 8, 2016 – Royal Caribbean International’s brand new Harmony Of The Seas left Barcelona today on it’s official inaugural cruise. Here at cruisereviews.com we are big fans of this class of ship, and Harmony combines some great features of both the Oasis and Quantum class ships to make it a truly amazing vessel.

The new holder of the title “world’s largest cruise ship” is sailing an exclusive five-night Western Mediterranean itinerary with visits to Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples, Italy at full capacity, with guests representing more than 34 countries.

The ship combines the distinct seven-neighborhood concept that Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class of ships are known for with some of the most modern and groundbreaking vacation amenities, including the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea with a 10-story plunge; robot bartenders at The Bionic Bar, powered by Makr Shakr; interior staterooms with virtual balconies that provide real-time views of the destinations, and VOOM high speed internet so that guests can stay connected, stream their favorite entertainment and share their vacation with family and friends back at home.

Splashaway Bay and Pool Deck


Harmony of the Seas’ inaugural summer season will offer seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries, showcasing Europe’s most popular destinations – Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence (Marseilles), France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy. The adventure-packed ship will reposition to the U.S. in November, where she will make Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL her permanent homeport.

Ultimate Abyss

Posted: June 8th, 2016 under Cruise Ship News.
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