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Carnival To Offer 10 to 14 Night Cruises From Baltimore

Written by: Cruise News

August 20, 2014 – For the first time, Carnival Pride will operate a series of 10- to 14-day Caribbean cruises round-trip from Baltimore and one-way between Baltimore and San Juan featuring some of the region’s most breathtaking destinations, as well as new five-day Bermuda cruises and unique six- and eight-day Caribbean/Bahamas voyages, beginning in October 2015.

“Our guests and travel agent partners have been seeking more varied options from the Northeast – particularly longer length voyages – and we’re delighted to expand our schedules from Baltimore and San Juan to provide these attractive ‘Fun Ship’ cruise offerings from these ports,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “These new voyages not only provide vacationers with an abundance of five- to 14-day cruise choices but also feature a wide range of spectacular island destinations throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda,” he added.

One-of-a-Kind 10- to 14-Day Caribbean Cruises

Carnival Pride will operate a series of 10-, 11- and 14-day cruises either round-trip from Baltimore or one-way between Baltimore and San Juan in 2015 and 2016. The voyages include an 11-day exotic southern Caribbean cruise from Baltimore to San Juan departing Jan. 17, 2016, with stops at Grand Turk, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, and St. Croix; a 10-day exotic eastern Caribbean cruise from San Juan to Baltimore departing Jan. 28, 2016, calling at St. Thomas, Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia; St. Kitts and St. Maarten; and a 14-day eastern Caribbean cruise round-trip from Baltimore March 13, 2016, featuring eight different island destinations: Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua and St. Maarten.

During these voyages, guests can relax on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, enjoy a host of shopping, dining and sightseeing opportunities, experience unique Caribbean cultures and visit centuries-old landmarks and attractions.

New Five-Day Bermuda Cruises, Six- and Eight-Day Sailings
Carnival Pride will also offer two five-day Bermuda cruises in 2015-16 – one departing Oct. 26, 2015, and another April 10, 2016. These cruises spend two full days at Heritage Wharf, where guests can marvel at the island’s legendary pink sand beaches, enjoy a variety of watersports and visit historic sites such as the Royal Naval Dockyard and Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse, the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the Western Hemisphere.

Additionally, three six-day Bahamas cruises operating round-trip from Baltimore and featuring visits to Freeport and Nassau will be offered. These value-packed cruises, which depart Nov. 30 and Dec. 20, 2015, and Feb. 14, 2016, provide consumers with a new short duration cruise option from Baltimore at an incredible value.

Carnival Pride will also offer a new series of eight-day exotic eastern Caribbean voyages departing from Baltimore and featuring Grand Turk, the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Nassau, each offering gorgeous beaches and excellent watersports. Departure dates for these voyages include Oct. 18 and 31, and Dec. 26, 2015, and Feb. 20, and April 15 and 23, 2016.

A special six-day East Coast U.S. and Bahamas cruise from Baltimore featuring the line’s first-ever scheduled in-transit call to Charleston, S.C., as well as Port Canaveral, Fla., Nassau, and Freeport, will be offered Nov. 22, 2015.

Exciting Fun Ship 2.0 Innovations
This fall, Carnival Pride will undergo a multi-million-dollar makeover that will add a variety of dining, bar and entertainment innovations that are part of the line’s Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative. New features will include Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, BlueIguana Cantina serving authentic Mexican fare, EA SPORTS Bar with a 16-monitor video wall and 24/7 sports ticker, and two poolside watering holes – RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar.

Sure to be a hit with guests of all ages will be WaterWorks featuring Green Thunder, the fastest and steepest slide at sea, as well as the line’s signature Twister slide and a water spray park. Also added will be Bonsai Sushi serving authentic Asian specialties, RedFrog Pub serving Carnival’s own private label draft beer, ThirstyFrog Red, Library Bar with self-service wine dispensers, and Cherry On Top, offering bulk candy, apparel and other items. New entertainment options such as Hasbro, The Game Show with larger-than-life adaptations of the company’s iconic games, and Playlist Productions where talented performers interact with spectacular staging and special effects, will be added, as well.

Posted: August 20th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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MSC Cruises Offering Grand Voyage & Special Wine Theme Cruises This Fall

Written by: Cruise News

August 18, 2014 – MSC Cruises is offering special fall cruise departures featuring a Grand Voyage that explores the capitals of Europe and South America and a series of themed “On The Wine Routes” cruises.

Grand Voyage of MSC Magnifica

The 20-night Grand Voyage of MSC Magnifica departs Hamburg (Germany) November 8, 2014, and includes 12 relaxing days at sea with calls in eight diverse destinations. Following calls at Le Havre (France), and Southampton (England), gateways to Paris and London, the ship will visit Lisbon (Portugal), before setting sail for Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

While MSC Magnifica is docked at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, guests are invited to take part in the first Tenerife Marathon on November 16, 2014. Three scenic options of varying difficulty level are available, including an 8K through the city streets; a half marathon around the town of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and along the coastal road; and, a full marathon that starts at the harbor of Santa Cruz, cuts through the city center and along the coastal road. (Application deadline is October 25, 2014.)

Following the Canary Islands is a five-night transatlantic crossing to Brazil, with visits to Recife, Salvador, and Rio de Janeiro; before reaching the final port of Buenos Aires (Argentina). Departures for the Grand Voyage of MSC Magnifica start at $2359 per person for a balcony stateroom.

Wine Themed Cruises on MSC Splendida

Also beginning in November, the MSC Splendida will host three “On The Wine Routes” departures designed to provide immersive wine experiences in ports along the Mediterranean such as charming Provence, buzzing Barcelona or the historic Roman port of Civitavecchia.

The eight-day/seven-night cruises on MSC Splendida will depart from Genoa, Italy, on November 2 and 9, with calls in Naples and Messina (Italy); Tunis (Tunisia); Barcelona (Spain), and Marseille (France); and December 14, making stops in Civitavecchia, near Rome, and Palermo, Sicily (Italy) as well as Tunis; Barcelona, and Marseille. On the Wine Routes sailing packages start at $583 per person.

Every On The Wine Routes cruise includes city tours, enlightening talks, tastings of a wide range of fine local wines and qualified insights by Masters of Wine, leading experts on the art, science and business of wine.

The cruise package includes one excursion to a wine producer or cellar in France, Spain or Italy, and a high quality beverage package, comprising superior wines served with onboard meals* and a bottle of fine sparkling wine on Gala Night.

*Wines will vary between departures but will always reflect the itinerary.

Posted: August 18th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Carnival Takes On #ICEBUCKETCHALLENGE, Also Donates $100,000 To ALS

Written by: Cruise News

August 15, 2014 – Leave it to Carnival Cruise Lines to take the #IceBucketChallenge to another level!

The world’s most popular cruise line enlisted all 24 of its “Fun Ships,” as well as President and CEO Gerry Cahill, to participate in the #IceBucketChallenge, designed to raise much-needed awareness and funds for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Carnival is also making a $100,000 donation to the ALS Association.

The way the #IceBucketChallenge works is simple: participants are encouraged to pour a bucket of ice water over their head and then challenge others to do the same or make a donation to fight ALS within 24 hours.

Carnival’s newest ship, Carnival Breeze, was the first ship to rise to the challenge with Cruise Director Matt Mitcham throwing down the gauntlet by dumping the entire contents of the 150-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket and then challenging the line’s other 23 ships to take up the cause.

Team members from the 23 ships – which are sailing in regions spanning the Caribbean, Alaska, the West Coast and Australia – were up to the task, with shipboard personnel undergoing their own below-freezing drenching to support ALS research, treatment and education efforts.

The #IceBucketChallenge was then extended to Senior Cruise Director and Brand Ambassador John Heald who is sailing, appropriately enough, in the icy waters of Alaska on the Carnival Miracle.
Fresh from his drenching, Heald then challenged President and CEO Gerry Cahill who, surrounded by dozens of the company’s employees, underwent his own frigid encounter at the company’s Miami headquarters.

A three-minute video of Carnival’s #IceBucketChallenge can be viewed here.

And just to keep the momentum going, Cahill challenged popular comedian and TV personality George Lopez – the line’s “curator of comedy” who helped create the fleetwide Punchliner Comedy Clubs – along with Food Network star Guy Fieri whose namesake Guy’s Burger Joints are on several ships and DJ IRIE, the line’s official DJ whose Spin’Iversity trains Carnival DJs fleetwide. All three gentlemen gladly accepted the challenge!

Those who wish to donate to the ALS Association may do so by going to http://www.alsa.org/

Posted: August 15th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Royal Caribbean Announces Unprecedented 5-Day WOW Sale

Written by: Cruise News

August 15, 2014 – Just because summer is drawing down doesn’t mean that vacationers should forget sunny days, blissful beaches, and surprising cultures. To help ease the transition into autumn, Royal Caribbean International today announced an unprecedented five-day WOW Sale – happening Aug. 16 through 20, 2014 – to help consumers plan for their next vacation and have an unforgettable experience to look forward to. During the WOW sale, vacationers can receive up to $200 onboard credit per stateroom when making a new booking on itineraries through spring 2016 aboard Royal Caribbean’s currently sailing fleet. For more information, please visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/WOWSale.

“Royal Caribbean’s WOW Sale is the best time for vacationers to plan their next adventure and enjoy great bonuses when they sail with us,” said Carol Schuster, senior vice president of Marketing for Royal Caribbean International. “Consumers can take their pick among our fleet of the industry’s 21 most innovative ships that calls at more than 230 exciting destinations in nearly 70 countries worldwide. Our world-renowned friendly and engaging staff and crew will deliver WOW after WOW, creating memories for a lifetime.”

For all new individual U.S. and Canadian bookings made from Aug. 16 through 20, 2014, vacationers will receive $50 onboard credit per stateroom for five-night or shorter itineraries; $100 onboard credit per stateroom for six- to nine-night itineraries; and $200 onboard credit per stateroom on 10-night and longer itineraries. As part of the WOW Sale, vacationers also can make a reservation with only a 50 percent reduced deposit, starting as low as $50 per guest, based on double occupancy. The offer is applicable to staterooms that are part of group space booked by U.S. and Canadian travel agents, provided those staterooms become named berths during the offer window, and excludes Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.

Vacationers who make a new individual booking also can combine the upcoming WOW Sale offer with some existing Royal Caribbean promotions below, including up to $1000 savings per stateroom. For details about each offer, please visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/DealsAndMore.

•Bahamas Upgrade (valid Aug. 1 through 31, 2014): Vacationers can enjoy an oceanview stateroom at the price of an interior stateroom aboard Majesty of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas’ three- and four-night Bahamas cruises, departing from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, 2014.

•Choose Your WOW (valid Aug. 1 through Sept. 15, 2014): Aboard any sailing departing on or after Oct. 15, 2014 (except sailings from Dec. 15 through 31, 2014), vacationers have a choice of Buy One Guest, Get Second Guest 50 percent off; third and fourth guests sail free; or receive up to $1,000 savings per stateroom when they book their flights with Royal Caribbean’s ChoiceAir flight booking system.

•Holiday Travel Our Way (valid Aug. 8 through Sept. 15, 2014): Buy one and get the second guest at 50 percent off on three- to eight-night Bahamas and Caribbean holiday itineraries. The offer is applicable for sailings departing Dec. 15 through 31, 2014.

All offers above are only applicable for new bookings during their applicable promotional window; exclude sailings aboard Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas; and have additional restrictions.

Posted: August 15th, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Princess Cruises Introduces Regional Menus Showcasing Destination Specialties

Written by: Cruise News

August 14, 2014 – When the new Regal Princess sails to Florida this November to begin her maiden Caribbean cruise season, she will debut a new Princess Cruises dining program that will showcase regional culinary specialties designed to reflect the destinations its ships visit around the world.

The new program will enable guests to enjoy regional menu items created with local produce, spices and seafood. The first special menus are inspired by the Caribbean in keeping with the ship’s fall itineraries. The regional cruise ship menus will eventually roll out across the fleet, and will include culinary specialties from an array of vacation destinations including the Mediterranean, Alaska and Hawaii.

“One of the joys of travel is experiencing the culinary specialties for which a destination is known,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “So now when our guests cruise with Princess around the world, they’ll be able to enjoy some of the most celebrated local dishes onboard as well as ashore.”

Beginning with Regal Princess, regional cruise menus will introduce guests to the exotic fusion of flavors found in island cuisine, including such offerings as:

Arawak’s Caribbean-Style Pork Chop – Prepared with traditional Jamaican jerk spice and curry, and served with red beans, rice and rum sauce, this extraordinary dish earned Princess Cruises Corporate Executive Chef Alfredo Marzi the top prize at the 8th Annual Bacardi Bartender and Chef Cruise Competition.

Red Snapper Mojito – Featuring ceviche accented with fresh mint, mango and avocado, and finished with a splash of rum, this was the winning dish created by Princess Cruises Executive Chef Antonio Cortese at the 6th Annual Bacardi Bartender and Chef Cruise Competition

Island-Spiced Jerk Chicken – A marinade of rum, molasses, tangy lime juice and thyme, plus sweet-and-fiery Scotch Bonnet peppers, infuses this tender chicken dish with the spirit of the islands.

Caribbean Cocktails – The Caribbean Cooler is the perfect poolside cocktail, with coconut rum, melon liqueur, banana liqueur, citrus mix and pineapple juice. The West Indies Yellow Bird offers a classic taste of the region, featuring a shaken melody of rum, galliano and banana liqueur with orange and pineapple juice. The Cool Runnings cocktail, a favorite of the Caribbean Islands, features a delicious combination of rum, banana liqueur, blackberry brandy and grenadine, blended with coconut and pineapple.

Regal Princess begins her Caribbean cruise season on November 6 with a short preview sailing, followed by a schedule of seven-day cruises to ports in the Eastern Caribbean including St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Princess Cays in the Bahamas.

Posted: August 14th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Holland America’s ‘Explore 4’ Program Offers Extra Perks and Savings for Suite Guests

Written by: Cruise News

August 14, 2014 — From cozy inside cabins to grand luxury suites, Holland America Line offers a variety of stateroom options to suit every desire. For guests looking to indulge, the suites on Holland America Line ships range from comfortable Vista Suites with floor-to-ceiling windows to sprawling 1,296-square-foot Pinnacle Suites. And despite popular belief, not every suite is a budget-breaker.

To make cruising in one of these spacious accommodations even more affordable, guests who book a suite on qualifying “Explore 4” itineraries receive a $300 onboard spending credit per stateroom ($150 per person) and a free Canaletto dinner in addition to the other four perks featured in the recently launched savings program: a free Signature Beverage Package and free Pinnacle Grill dinner for guests booking an ocean-view and higher category stateroom, free or reduced cruise fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom on select sailings and 50 percent reduced deposits.

“People hear the word ‘suite’ and think it’s going to be expensive, but with four different categories to choose from and our ‘Explore 4’ benefits and savings Holland America Line’s suites can be a great value for guests,” said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line’s executive vice president, sales, marketing and guest programs. “All of our staterooms include pampering touches and special amenities, but the suites offer extra indulgences to enhance the cruise experience.”

Imagine watching glaciers calve, whales breech or the intricacies of transiting one of the world’s canals from a private verandah. Holland America Line features four suite categories that are an ideal way to cruise in luxury: Vista Suite (Verandah Suite), Signature Suite (Verandah Suite with additional sofa bed), Neptune Suite (Deluxe Verandah Suite) and Pinnacle Suite (Penthouse Verandah Suite).

After a long day ashore exploring the ruins of Ephesus or the Amazon jungle, suite guests can retreat to their accommodations and relax in a spacious sitting area. Pinnacle Suites, available on five Holland America Line ships, even have a full-sized dining room capable of seating eight guests – perfect for hosting a dinner for the whole family or newfound friends. Guests looking to unwind even further can take advantage of a full-sized bathtub, and Pinnacle Suite guests are spoiled with an oversized whirlpool tub.

A hallmark of the Holland America Line experience for all Pinnacle and Neptune suite guests is exclusive access to the Neptune Lounge. An exclusive retreat, the Neptune Lounge is found on all 15 ships in the fleet and is a private place to relax, socialize with other suite guests and enjoy the personalized service of a concierge who can make shipboard reservations and provide guidance about Holland America Line experiences. The lounge provides worktables, a large screen television, library, sofas and chairs, complimentary refreshments throughout the day and Wi-Fi for a small charge. One-Touch 24-hour concierge service even is available when the Neptune Lounge is closed.

Amenities are enhanced for suite guests, and depending on suite category include perks such as a wide selection of pillows, fresh flowers, personalized stationery, a premium duvet, oversized bath towels, and soft, cotton bathrobes and slippers.

Pinnacle and Neptune suite guests receive extra-special amenities such as corsages and boutonnieres for the first formal night, cold hors d’oeuvres served before dinner each evening on request, binoculars and umbrellas for use on the cruise, priority tender boarding, complimentary laundry service, and in-suite high tea service on request.

Posted: August 14th, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Tauck Boosts Capacity by Two-Thirds For 2014 Christmas Market River Cruises

Written by: Cruise News

August 14, 2014 – Tauck will continue to increase its presence in European river cruising later this year, when it dramatically boosts the capacity of its Christmas market cruises along the Danube and Rhine rivers. The move is the latest in an eventful year for Tauck’s river cruising efforts, following the launch of the company’s two new Inspiration Class ships (the ms Inspire and ms Savor, christened in April and June respectively) and the addition of four new river cruise itineraries. Tauck was also recently named the “World’s Best River Cruise Line” by the readers of Travel + Leisure for the second consecutive year, with the results appearing in the magazine’s current issue.

For the coming holiday season Tauck will boost its Christmas market river cruise departures by 67%, and increase the number of ships sailing on its two Christmas-themed itineraries from three to four. The new ms Inspire and ms Savor will both make their Christmas market cruise debuts, joining the ms Treasures and the ms Swiss Jewel.

Tauck offers two different eight-day Christmas market river cruises, “Christmas Markets Along The Rhine” and “Christmas Markets Along The Danube.” “Christmas Markets Along the Rhine,” (from $2,550 per person plus airfare) visits markets in Germany and France as it travels south from Cologne to Basel aboard Tauck’s ms Inspire on December 7 and aboard the ms Swiss Jewel on December 13. Northbound departures following a reverse itinerary begin in Basel on November 30 and December 14 aboard the ms Inspire, and aboard the ms Swiss Jewel on December 6.

“Christmas Markets Along the Danube” (from $2,590 per person plus air) sails eastward from Nürnberg to Vienna aboard the ms Savor on November 29 and December 13, and aboard the ms Treasures on December 7. A reverse (westbound) itinerary begins in Vienna on December 6 aboard the ms Savor, and on November 30 aboard the ms Treasures.

Special Tauck touches include onboard cultural performances and local crafts demonstrations, lectures and walking tours, and culinary demonstrations highlighting traditional gingerbread and cookies. Guests will also enjoy select meals ashore, including an Austrian lunch at the iconic Stiftskeller St. Peter restaurant in Salzburg, and lunch with beer produced on-site at the award-winning Brauhaus Vetter restaurant and brewery in Heidelberg. In addition, Tauck will host a tree-trimming party aboard each riverboat and each ship will feature festive holiday decorations and seasonal treats including glühwein, the traditional mulled wine of the region. Tauck’s Christmas market cruises, like their other river cruises, are virtually all-inclusive, with all gratuities, meals, shore excursions, unlimited onboard beer, wine and premium spirits, airport transfers and more included in the cruise price.

OVERALL CAPACITY SET TO MORE THAN DOUBLE IN TWO YEARS
The jump in capacity for Tauck’s Christmas market river cruises reflects a larger, ongoing effort by the company to boost its overall river cruising capacity to meet strong demand and better serve its guests and travel agent partners. Within a two-year period, from mid-2014 through mid-2016, Tauck will have expanded its fleet from four ships to nine, representing a 125% increase in fleet size. The expansion will include the two Inspiration Class ships launched this year, an additional two as-yet-unnamed Inspiration Class ships launching in 2016, and a fifth Jewel Class ship – the ms Esprit – set to join Tauck’s fleet in early 2015.

Tauck and its maritime partner, Scylla, originally ordered the ms Esprit in 2008, and it was scheduled to enter Tauck’s fleet in 2010. However, as the U.S. remained mired its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Tauck deferred delivery of the ship – then little more than a hull – until 2015. Scylla completed construction and has operated the vessel in the interim under another flag. This winter the riverboat will undergo renovations and other upgrades to make the Esprit identical to Tauck’s four other Jewel Class vessels.

Like the other Jewel Class ships, the Esprit will accommodate just 118 guests, compared to the typical capacity of 140 or more on other ships of similar size. The Esprit boasts 14 spacious, 300-square-foot suites, each equipped with walk-in closets and marble baths with full-size tubs. The ship also has seven junior suites and 38 cabins (183 and 150 square-feet, respectively), with all suites, junior suites and cabins featuring sumptuous bedding including 400-thread-count linens, soft duvets, Mako cotton pillows with hypoallergenic 90% down filling, 100% cotton blankets, and pillow-top mattresses. All cabin categories also have televisions with in-room movies, mini-bars, terry cloth robes and slippers, radios, safes, adjustable air conditioning and luxury toiletries. Full floor-to-ceiling windows and French balconies are featured on 85% of all accommodations, and the Esprit also boasts the Compass Rose restaurant, a lounge, boutique, massage studio and a second, more casual dining venue in The Bistro restaurant.

Posted: August 14th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Original Love Boat Cast Will Be Godparents For Regal Princess

Written by: Cruise News

August 13, 2014 – It’s been nearly forty years since the iconic television show The Love Boat went on the air and introduced viewers to modern day cruising and, in the process, made Princess Cruises and its ships synonymous with vacations at sea.

As Princess prepares to celebrate its milestone 50th anniversary year in 2015, the company is honoring the role that The Love Boat played in its history by selecting the original Love Boat cast members to serve as godparents for its new cruise ship Regal Princess. All six Love Boat cast members – who played the roles of Captain Stubing, Gopher, Isaac, Doc, Julie and Vicki – will reunite to christen the new ship on November 5 in Fort Lauderdale.
 Original Love Boat Cast Will Be Godparents For Regal Princess
The ceremony will officially launch the golden year anniversary celebrations for Princess Cruises, which will celebrate five decades of operation throughout 2015.

The actors include Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing) Fred Grandy (Gopher, the chief purser), Ted Lange (Isaac, the bartender), Bernie Kopell (Doc, the ship’s doctor), Lauren Tewes (cruise director Julie) and Jill Whelan (Vicki, the captain’s daughter).

“We can think of no more suitable godparents for our newest ship than the cast of the show that put Princess Cruises on the map,” said Jan Swartz, the line’s president. “The show has been such a visible part of our company’s history, it made sense to kick off our anniversary celebrations with this special tribute.”

The pilot episode of The Love Boat, shot aboard Princess’ 730-passenger original Sun Princess in 1977, began the relationship between Princess Cruises and the show, which for ten seasons eventually 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 many of Princess’ other cruise ships in destinations around the globe.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that my former cast mates and I will be part of Regal Princess’ U.S. debut,” said Gavin MacLeod, who has been Princess Cruises’ ambassador since the show ended in 1986. “The fact that The Love Boat continues to air in international syndication around the globe is a testament to the show’s longevity and the world’s fascination with romance on the high seas.”

The 3,560-guest Regal Princess, which entered service in May of this year, is arriving in Fort Lauderdale to begin her maiden season of Caribbean cruise vacations. Among the special features found on board 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; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water; the Princess Live! television studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.

“The ship’s naming ceremony is just the beginning of the celebrations that will mark our company’s golden anniversary,” said Swartz. She added that beyond the Regal Princess festivities, guests sailing on any of the line’s fleet of 18 cruise ships during 2015 will enjoy a wide range of anniversary experiences.

Posted: August 13th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Holland America Line Launches ‘Discover Canada & New England’ Pinterest Sweepstakes

Written by: Cruise News

Aug. 12, 2014 – Holland America Line launched a “Discover Canada & New England Sweepstakes” that will award five of the line’s Pinterest followers a $500 American Express gift card. The sweepstakes runs through Sept. 20, 2014, and the winners will be selected in a random drawing at the end of September.

Participants can visit the Discover Canada & New England tab on Holland America Line’s Facebook page and choose their favorite Canada & New England highlight photo from a selection of six colorful and captivating images. Entrants then provide the required information and click submit, which will pin the image to one of their personal Pinterest boards. In order to be eligible to win, entrants must also follow Holland America Line’s Pinterest Page (www.pinterest.com/halcruises).

“Pinterest continues to be an exciting and very visual social media network that is an easily accessible way to show off the destinations we visit,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Canada/New England is one of the most scenic parts of the world that really comes to life in photos, and perhaps the imagery will entice the winners to use their gift card toward one of our Canada/New England cruises.”

Participants can enter once through Sept. 20 for a chance to win a gift card. (The sweepstakes is limited to persons 18 years of age or older who are legal residents of the United States, District of Columbia or Canada — except Quebec).

Holland America Line’s Pinterest page is a community of thousands of fans who appreciate beautiful photos and have a passion for the company. Followers can browse dozens of boards that virtually travel around the world to the destinations Holland America Line’s 15 ships visit throughout the year. Followers also can peruse more whimsical boards that feature topics like wine, cruise towel animals, packing and photography, as well as boards that showcase Holland America Line’s entertainment partners like “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” and B.B. King’s Blues Clubs.

For more information about the sweepstakes and official rules, visit: https://www.facebook.com/HALCruises/app_363845683737502?ref=ts.

Posted: August 12th, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Holland America Line’s 2015 Grand Voyages Offer Three Global Itineraries

Written by: Cruise News

August 6, 2014 – Holland America Line’s ms Prinsendam kicks off the new year on Jan 3, 2015 with a 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage followed by a 55-day Grand Mediterranean Voyage. These two itineraries are designed to take guests on longer explorations that visit some of the most interesting and exciting ports in the world. This is an addition to ms Amsterdam’s 114-day Grand World Voyage that calls at 45 ports in 25 countries.

“A Grand Voyage is like no other cruise experience. We asked our guests and travel agent partners which destinations they would like to visit on a Grand Voyage to be sure we included what was important to them,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “We took their suggestions and carefully crafted these three exceptional itineraries with more overnight visits and more ports of call, making these the most exciting and in-depth Grand Voyages we’ve ever offered.”

Holland America Line’s Grand Voyages make taking a longer vacation easier and more affordable —with little or no international air travel. Whether visiting one or several global destinations, the voyages feature famous landmarks, new destinations and extended time in port with late departures, overnight calls and overland tours.

Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage
Prinsendam returns to South America, Antarctica and the Amazon in 2015 on a 68-day itinerary sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale that departs Jan. 3. After passing through the Panama Canal, the ship will reach South America’s Pacific coast and continue on to circumnavigate the continent.
 Holland America Line’s 2015 Grand Voyages Offer Three Global Itineraries
During the voyage, Prinsendam will call at 31 ports in 11 countries, including spending seven full days cruising the Amazon River and three days of dramatic scenic cruising in Antarctica. The 2015 itinerary also features overnight calls at Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Manaus, Brazil, in the heart of the Amazon; and two full nights at Callao (Lima), Peru.

Guests sailing on this voyage also will enjoy scenic cruising past the Romanche and Alemania glaciers in Chile, Drake Passage, Cape Horn and Argentina’s Glacier Alley. Segments of 31 and 37 days between Fort Lauderdale and Buenos Aires are available.

Grand Mediterranean Voyage
Immediately following its Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage, Prinsendam departs March 12 on a 55-day Grand Mediterranean Voyage that sails from Fort Lauderdale to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, visiting 32 ports in 12 countries. The voyage features many “boutique” ports of call in the Mediterranean and Balkan Peninsula.

The ship visits Caribbean destinations before crossing over to the Canary Islands and spending the night alongside at Tenerife. Prinsendam then explores Spain with five calls, including overnights at Cadiz (Seville) and Barcelona. Following an overnight at Valletta, Malta, the ship makes way for Crete, Greece and the Holy Land of Israel.

Prinsendam continues exploring the eastern Mediterranean with calls throughout Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Greece and Italy. Overnights at Istanbul, Turkey, and Piraeus (Athens), Greece, allow for ample time for shopping, exploring and experiencing the culture and history of the cities.

A 17-day segment Istanbul to Civitavecchia (Rome), 24-day segment from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona, 31-day segment from Barcelona to Civitavecchia (Rome), and a 38-day segment Ft. Lauderdale to Istanbul is available. Guests looking to explore both South America and the Mediterranean can combine the Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage with the Grand Mediterranean Voyage to form an extended 123-day exploration.

ms Amsterdam’s Grand World Voyage
When ms Amsterdam departs Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Jan. 5, 2015, the cruise will span 114 days and call at 45 ports in 25 countries on six continents. Offering a refined and elegant “home away from home,” the around the world journey is the pinnacle in travel, and this cruise truly is the grandest of the Grand Voyages.

A Grand Onboard Experience
On each Grand Voyage, Holland America Line ships provide gracious service, superior amenities and unexpected experiences. Guests can relax during leisurely days at sea, taking advantage of the extra time to do many activities, including indulging in a massage at the Greenhouse Spa, watching a movie in the theater, taking in a lecture by a renowned expert, enjoying a cooking demonstration by a famous chef in the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine, learning how to share photos at a class in the Digital Workshop powered by Windows or lounging on deck and taking in the view.

Evening shipboard activities shine as well with local cultural entertainment and special guest headliners. Festive gala balls and formal nights create memorable moments, along with an exclusive Captain’s Grand Voyage Dinner for full-cruise guests. Dining is elevated to a new level on each Grand Voyage with menus that change daily and are seldom repeated, featuring local ingredients and regional cuisine.

Through the line’s “On Location” enrichment program, local traditions and culinary and cultural experiences come to life both onboard and ashore to deepen guests’ appreciation of the destinations. During a Grand Voyage, that might mean illuminating speakers, galas and local cultural and folkloric shows such as a didgeridoo player on deck while in Australia or belly dancing lessons in the Mediterranean.

Reservations can now be booked for 2015 Grand Voyages
Rates start at $19,999 for Amsterdam’s full 114-day Grand World Voyage, $13,999 for Prinsendam’s 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage and $6,999 for Prinsendam’s 55-day Grand Mediterranean Voyage. Cruise fares are per person, double occupancy. The three grand voyages are available to book for the full cruise or in segments ranging from 17 to 57 days. Purchase roundtrip air using Holland America Line’s Flight Ease and receive a $1,000 are savings per person when booking an ocean-view or above category staterooms for select segments of Holland America’s 2015 Grand Voyages. Air offer is applicable to all U.S. and Canadian gateways only. In addition, book the Grand Mediterranean Voyage by September 30, 2014 and enjoy early booking amenities.

Posted: August 6th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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