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Carnival Corporation Enters into Strategic Partnerships to Add Nine Cruise Ships to its Fleet over a Four-Year Period Starting in 2019

Written by: Cruise News

March 26, 2015 – Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest travel and leisure company, today signed two strategic memorandums of agreement that will add a total of nine new cruise ships to the company’s industry-leading fleet over a four-year period from 2019 – 2022. The shipbuilding agreements, which include options for additional ship builds in the coming years, are subject to several conditions, including satisfactory financing.

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A and German shipbuilder Meyer Werft will each build new ships based on Carnival Corporation’s next-generation ship designs, which will produce the most efficient ships in the company’s history. The new ships are expected to serve established cruise markets in North America and Europe, as well as newer markets, including China. Each new ship will be specifically designed and developed for the brand and guests it will serve, and support the company’s overall goal of exceeding guest expectations and further elevating every aspect of the guest experience.

“We’re excited to take this next step in our fleet enhancement plan with these two new agreements that are consistent with our long-term strategy of measured capacity growth over time,” said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation. “Our goal as a company is to exceed the expectations of every guest on every ship every day, and these new ships will further enable us to do just that. These will be the most efficient ships we have ever built and the great guest experience will create even more excitement around cruising – helping new cruisers realize the superior vacation experience and value that cruising offers versus land-based vacations.”

Fincantieri, the world’s largest cruise ship building company, will develop and construct five ships at its shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy.

“I am extremely proud on this truly memorable day for us. Today’s announcement provides us with a long-term strategic prospective, and reinforces the extraordinary partnership between us and Carnival Corporation, developed over time thanks to the confidence the group has always shown in us, which we assure will be once again well placed,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “This agreement reflects the exceptional business vision of the world’s most important cruise operator, and our readiness and flexibility in interpreting its demands.”

Bono added, “This agreement is the best reward for our hard work over all these years, and in fact, our organizational, design and production skills have allowed us to consolidate our market leadership, confirming us at the top of such an exclusive and complex industry.”

Meyer Werft, a leading global shipbuilder founded in Germany in 1795, will build its four ships at its shipyards in Papenburg,Germany, and Turku, Finland. Now in its seventh generation of family ownership, Meyer Werft has become well known for constructing large, modern and sophisticated cruise ships, including 39 luxury ships the company has built for its customers around the world.

Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft, said, “We are very happy and honored that Carnival Corporation trusts our strength to bring this ambitious newbuilding program to life in Turku and Papenburg.”

As part of each company’s long-term strategic partnership with Carnival Corporation, additional new ship orders are being explored over the coming decade.

Additional information on Carnival Corporation’s cruise ship design, and which of the company’s nine leading global brands will add these next-generation vessels to their fleets will be made available at a later date.

Carnival Corporation’s fleet enhancement strategy will add two new ships to its fleet in 2015 and remove four ships from the fleet. P&O Cruises UK officially launched Britannia, the largest ship ever designed exclusively for Britain, in a majestic naming ceremony earlier this month. Later this year, the AIDA Cruises fleet will welcome AIDAprima, which is expected to be one of the most technically advanced and sustainable cruise ships ever built.

In addition to these new ships, Carnival Corporation continues to enhance its guest experience on existing ships. The overall fleet enhancement strategy combines new ship builds with an ongoing program to further elevate guest experience across the company’s existing fleet and nine brands.

Posted: March 27th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Royal Caribbean To Homeport Ovation Of The Seas In China

Written by: Cruise News

March 25, 2015 – Make that two out of three Quantum-class ships sailing from China. Royal Caribbean International today announced that Tianjin, China, will be the new home for its third Quantum-class ship, Ovation of the Seas. The news was given today by Royal Caribbean’s President and CEO, Michael Bayley, in a Beijing press conference of media, travel agents and officials. Launching in April 2016, Ovation of the Seas will be the cruise line’s fifth cruise ship based in the region.

“Cruising has become very popular for Chinese consumers and Royal Caribbean is already capturing their imaginations with our industry-leading cruise ships,” said Bayley. “We are furthering our commitment by bringing two of the world’s newest and most advanced Quantum-class cruise ships to the region. In addition, we are significantly expanding our investment in the training and employment of Chinese talent so they can join us in delivering our amazing and distinctive vacations to Chinese travelers.”

Anticipating the disappointment by North American vacationers at their losing out on another Quantum-class vessel, Bayley said “While China gets the newest Quantum Class, North America is getting the newest Oasis Class, Harmony of the Seas. There will be three Oasis-class ships sailing from two Florida ports starting in 2016, in addition to Anthem of the Seas from Cape Liberty, giving vacationers plenty of options for a truly memorable Royal Caribbean cruise.”

Currently under construction, Ovation of the Seas will join Quantum of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Legend of the Seas in the China seas. The five ships will comprise the largest fleet deployment for any cruise brand in China, homeporting in four metropolitan Chinese cities – Shanghai, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Xiamen – and primarily sailing three- to 12-night itineraries to destinations in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Royal Caribbean’s summer 2016 Asia adventures will open for booking in August 2015.

In addition to committing ships to the region, Royal Caribbean is investing in people shoreside. The cruise line created a curriculum with the Tianjin Maritime College in August 2014 in order to attract, train and employ more Chinese talent. In the 13,000 sq. ft. school, students are instructed in the skills needed for a successful culinary or restaurant service career with Royal Caribbean. The cruise line has already hired more than 3,000 graduates and hopes to expand the program to accept more students and work with colleges in other Chinese cities.

Royal Caribbean also is exploring new ways to engage the Chinese economy and help create more Chinese jobs. The cruise line is investigating potential Chinese drydock facilities to revitalize Legend of the Seas as early as 2018; logistics centers in China to supply its ships deployed in the region; and an inbound-tourism business model to bring thousands of North American vacationers to experience China.

Once launched, Ovation of the Seas’ maiden sailings will include a 52-night Global Odyssey from Southampton, U.K. to Tianjin. Vacationers can be among the first to experience the new ship on the 2016 Ovation Global Odyssey, which will open for sale on Thursday, March 26, 2015. Five itineraries will take guests to some of the world’s most iconic cities:

- A seven-night England to Barcelona cruise, departing May 3, 2016 from Southampton
- 16-night Barcelona to Dubai cruise, via the Suez Canal, departing May 10
- 14-night India and Southeast Asia cruise, departing May 26 from Dubai to Singapore
- Three-night Malaysia cruise, departing June 9 on a roundtrip sailing from Singapore
- And 12-night Exotic Asia cruise, from Singapore to Tianjin.

For its inaugural season, Ovation of the Seas will homeport in Tianjin – approximately 70 miles southeast of Beijing, while Quantum of the Seas will complete a full year of sailings from Shanghai. Mariner of the Seas will join Quantum of the Seas in Shanghai, while Voyager of the Seas will sail regularly from Hong Kong’s new Kai Tak Cruise Port. In addition to Japan and Korea itineraries, Voyager of the Seas will offer four- and five-night Taiwan and Vietnam cruises. For its part, Legend of the Seas will offer a set of sailings from Tianjin and then reposition to its new homeport of Xiamen for the remainder of the season.

Posted: March 25th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Norwegian Star Re-enters Service With New Dining & Entertainment Venues

Written by: Cruise News

March 24, 2015 – Norwegian Cruise Line welcomed Norwegian Star back into service on March 17, 2015, following a two-week dry dock where the ship received numerous enhancements and new dining and entertainment venues as she readies for her busy summer season sailing the Baltic Capitals and Norwegian fjords from Copenhagen.

As a part of Norwegian Cruise Line’s NEXT Program, Norwegian Star follows Norwegian Jewel as the third ship in the Norwegian fleet to receive updates since the program launched in 2014. Highlights of the ship’s new features include two complimentary dining outlets, enhanced offerings in the popular Ginza Asian restaurant and Norwegian’s first Five o’Clock Somewhere Bar.

“Our guests can dine like nowhere else at sea with Norwegian’s Freestyle Dining and these exciting new venues on Norwegian Star make it even easier, more exciting and more fun for guests to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that only a Norwegian cruise can offer,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief operating officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Parrotheads and patrons looking to escape and unwind can enjoy the fleet’s first Five o’Clock Somewhere Bar, in an exclusive partnership with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville®.  The newest watering hole will serve up signature margaritas and “boat drinks” such as the “Who’s to Blame® Margarita,” ice cold LandShark Lagers and more, coupled with nightly live musical performances.

Norwegian Star’s popular guest favorite Asian fusion restaurant, Ginza, can now be enjoyed on a complimentary basis, as the previous $15 cover charge has been eliminated. In addition to a full complimentary menu that now includes delicious dishes from a dedicated Noodle Bar such as traditional Chinese noodles, wok-fried specialties, and dim sum favorites, Ginza Asian Restaurant will now also feature exciting new à la carte offerings such as Japanese Hot Rock Ishiyaki for a nominal fee and a sushi menu developed by expert Sushi Chef Yuki Ieto. The new mouth-watering sushi and sashimi pieces such as the Sashimi Hamachi Poblano, Ten Shades of Grey Roll and more will be served at the restaurant’s sushi bar or guests can also choose from four specialty rolls directly from a moving sushi belt, a first for the cruise industry.

Norwegian Star has also been retrofitted with the popular O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill, a 24-hour complimentary restaurant that serves up local traditional pub fare in a friendly neighborhood-pub setting. In addition, the ship’s Moderno Churrascaria, the Brazilian-style steakhouse, was relocated to a more intimate setting on Deck 13 and Sugarcane Mojito Bar, first introduced on Norwegian Getaway, was added adjacent to the new restaurant.

A number of additional guest area enhancements included: updates to the Casino and Photo Gallery, new carpets and flooring throughout guest areas, window replacements, upgrades in galley areas and updates to the pool deck. Norwegian’s innovative digital signage, first introduced on Norwegian Breakaway, has also been added to the ship. The interactive touch screen signs allow guests to order specialty items, get directions and reserve dining and shore excursions simply with a scan of their stateroom key, providing even more freedom and flexibility for guests to create their ideal vacation experience.

Technical modernizations also took place during the dry dock.  The ship is being outfitted with Green Tech Marine Scrubbers, in order to reduce fuel emissions, overall energy consumption, and the company’s environmental footprint. In addition, the ship received an Azipod hydrodynamic upgrade and state-of-the-art silicone paint on the hull, in order to further improve fuel efficiency. Norwegian Star will also benefit from the installation of shore power connectivity.  Additional significant technical and safety updates include: lifeboat and tender boat release systems upgrade; thrusters and stabilizer maintenance; and ballast and bilge piping replacement.

Norwegian Star will spend her summer season sailing from Copenhagen with a number of seven to 14-day itineraries through the Baltic Capitals and Norwegian fjords. Norwegian Star’s nine-day sailing through the Baltic Capitals will feature culture-rich exotic ports of call including Berlin, Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; and Stockholm, Sweden. Fares starting at $1,059.

Posted: March 24th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Disney Cruise Line to Sail First British Isles Itinerary in 2016

Written by: Cruise News

March 24, 2015 – In 2016, Disney Cruise Line is sailing its first British Isles itinerary, visiting Scotland, England, Ireland and France. Throughout the summer of 2016, Disney Cruise Line also will return to Norway, Iceland and ports of call in more than 15 European countries.

In addition to the tour of Europe with limited engagements in the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, British Isles, Greek Isles and the Mediterranean, Disney Cruise Line will revisit favorite destinations elsewhere around the globe including Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Bookings for the new itineraries open to the public on March 26, 2015. More details can be found on the Itineraries and Ports for 2016 page of disneycruise.com.

New British Isles

On June 5, 2016, Disney Cruise Line will sail from Dover, England on its very first British Isles itinerary. The 12-night cruise on the Disney Magic will sail to Invergordon, Kirkwall and Greenock (Glasgow), Scotland; Newcastle and Liverpool, England; Dublin, Ireland; Le Havre (Paris), France; and Guernsey; one of the Channel Islands. All of these, except Kirkwall, are first-time ports of call for Disney Cruise Line.

On this itinerary, guests can explore the majestic beauty of Scotland, experience Highland culture, sample traditional cuisine and spirits, and discover the country’s iconic castles. Elsewhere on the itinerary, guests will experience the merry, cosmopolitan city of Dublin, the culturally rich and romantic Paris, the birthplace of the Beatles and the British Invasion in Liverpool, and the charming countryside of Guernsey.

New Iceland and Norway

Disney Cruise Line guests can explore the natural wonders of Iceland with two new 12-night Disney Magic sailings. Each itinerary includes two days in Reykjavik and a stop in Akureyri, Iceland; Bergen, Norway; and Kirkwall, Scotland. Departing from Dover, England and concluding in Copenhagen, Denmark, the June 17 cruise also visits Stavanger, Norway and Newcastle, England. The July 13 cruise departing from Copenhagen, Denmark and concluding in Dover, England also visits Oslo and Kristiansand, Norway and Invergordon, Scotland.

On this itinerary, three days in Iceland provides time to explore the country’s rich natural wonders such as volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers and thermal springs. In Norway, guests are immersed in the splendor and charm of the country with exciting ports steeped in Viking history.

New Norwegian Fjords from Dover

For the first time, Disney Cruise Line will sail from Dover, England on a seven-night cruise to the majestic Norwegian fjords. Departing on May 29, the Disney Magic will visit Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger and Bergen, Norway.

In Norway, Disney Cruise Line guests will discover breathtaking natural wonders such as magnificent mountain ranges, massive glaciers and majestic fjords. The enchanting Scandinavian culture of the region comes to life through local attractions, stunning architecture, storybook villages and historic city centers.

More Summer 2016 Itineraries

During the summer of 2016, the Disney Magic will return to favorite destinations in northern Europe, the Greek Isles and the Mediterranean with a variety of seven-night and longer sailings.

From May through August 2016, the Disney Wonder will return to Alaska, sailing from Vancouver, Canada to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan.

In 2016, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy will sail from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas and Caribbean on a variety of itineraries. All of these cruises include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Posted: March 24th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Holland America Line’s new ms Koningsdam to Showcase The World Stage Concept with 270-Degree Panoramic LED Screens

Written by: Cruise News

March 19, 2015 — On Holland America Line’s new ms Koningsdam, entertainment meets innovation with a new main theater design that surrounds the audience with a 270-degree LED screen. Breaking from the line’s traditionally styled theaters, The World Stage is a flexible space that can have multiple stage configurations, ranging from in-the-round to the more conventional proscenium staging.  The theater will initially host five new productions performed in repertory by a cast sourced from around the world.

At two stories high and 250 feet long, the high-definition LED screens will make The World Stage a trend-setting theater at sea capable of showcasing an exciting array of performances and productions. Enhanced by state-of-the-art lighting, projection and sound systems, the screens enable the environment of The World Stage to change throughout the day to present anything the designers can imagine. For example, the room can evolve effortlessly from an Italian palazzo for a concert performance to an imaginary world for innovative production numbers.

“The World Stage on Koningsdam will enable us to debut new entertainment concepts to delight our guests with shows they’ve never seen before,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Having the flexibility to configure the room into many different and vibrant settings enables us to set new heights for cruise entertainment in this extraordinary theater at sea.”

About ms Koningsdam
Currently under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy, Koningsdam represents a new Pinnacle Class of ship for Holland America Line. When it sets sail on its Premier Voyage April 8, 2016, the vessel will debut several innovative concepts and new public venues while still featuring popular amenities guests associate with Holland America Line.

Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy fine dining in several alternative restaurants including Sel de Mer, a new French seafood brasserie; a new immersive farm-to-table dinner experience in the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine; a re-designed casual Lido Market with themed serving stations; a stunning main dining room; and favorites such as Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto Italian restaurant and pan-Asian Tamarind. The ship also will feature Holland America Line’s first purpose-built staterooms for families as well as single staterooms among its 1,331 guest accommodations.

Entertainment is taken to a new level with the energetic Music Walk area featuring all genres of music showcased in venues including Lincoln Center Stage performing chamber music nightly; Billboard Onboard where live musicians rock the crowd with chart-topping hits; and the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club in the Queen’s Lounge bringing the best of Memphis music to sea. World Stage brings 270-degree LED projection to the main showroom, enabling new concepts for showtime performances and immersing the audience in a panorama of sight and sound.

To bring a fresh vision to Koningsdam, Holland America Line tapped Adam D. Tihany, one of the world’s pre-eminent hospitality designers. Tihany joins distinguished maritime designer and architect Bjørn Storbraaten, who worked with the cruise line on Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam. The two firms will create an interior that blends a fresh, contemporary styling in perfect harmony with the line’s renowned classic elegance.

Posted: March 20th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Royal Caribbean 5-Day WOW Sale Offers Immense Value For Vacationers

Written by: Cruise News

March 20, 2015 – Spring break is right around the corner and Royal Caribbean is making it irresistible for families to plan their next adventure now. Starting Saturday, March 21, 2015, U.S and Canadian vacationers can take advantage of Royal Caribbean International’s five-day WOW Sale, and receive up to $200 onboard credit and enjoy 50 percent off the cruise fare for the second guest in the same room with a full-fare guest on nearly all open sailings, departing on or after May 15, 2015. Vacationers also can save an additional 50 percent for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom if they make a new booking for a 2016-17 sailing. Furthermore, guests who make a new booking on a five-night or longer itinerary in an Oceanview or higher-category stateroom can receive 50 percent off a second Premium Beverage Package when they purchase one at full price by mentioning promo code ‘BOGOBEV’ at the time of booking. For more information about the WOW Sale, please visit www.royalcaribbean.com/wowsale on March 21.

The WOW Sale combines an onboard credit offer with the current BOGO50 offer for nearly all new bookings made between March 21 and 25, 2015. Additional to the half off second, third, and fourth guests’ cruise-fare offer mentioned above, guests will receive $50 onboard credit per stateroom on five-night or shorter itineraries; $100 onboard credit per stateroom for six- to nine-night itineraries; and $200 onboard credit per stateroom for 10-night or longer cruises. Vacationers also can take advantage of the offer’s 50 percent reduced deposit and make a reservation for as low as $50 per person. Guests can apply their onboard credit toward a heart-pumping shore excursion, an intimate specialty dining experience to celebrate a special occasion, or a dazzling memento from Royal Caribbean’s fine onboard boutiques.

New bookings for sailings departing prior to May 15, 2015, and for all Anthem of the Seas, trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific and China sailings will only receive the onboard credit and 50 percent reduced deposit. The WOW Sale does not include Quantum of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas.

Outside of the WOW Sale period, BOGO50 is valid for new bookings, made between March 11 and April 30, 2015, in Oceanview and higher-category staterooms on five-night or longer itineraries, departing on or after May 15, 2015. The offer does not include bookings on Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, and trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, and China sailings.

Posted: March 20th, 2015 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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MSC Cruises Reveals First Details Of New “Seaside” Class Ships

Written by: Cruise News

March 17, 2015 – MSC Cruises has announced that the first of its next generation “Seaside” class of ships — set to debut in November 2017 — will be named MSC Seaside and sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean.

In addition, MSC Cruises announced that its Miami-based cruise operations will benefit from a newly renovated and expanded dedicated berth and terminal at PortMiami — a testament to the company’s growing ambitions in the North American market and to providing guests with the best service possible.
 MSC Cruises Reveals First Details Of New Seaside Class Ships
Following the first ship’s delivery from the shipyard, MSC Seaside will make her way to Miami for MSC Cruises’ first ever christening ceremony in the U.S. to take place in late 2017.

“The Seaside class of ships is part of MSC Cruises’ $5.3 billion fleet expansion plan that will allow the company to double its capacity by 2022,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. “Today is a very exciting day for the company as this is the first major announcement related to the company’s new builds and demonstrates our enthusiasm and long-term commitment to continuing to expand our presence in North America.”

With a gross tonnage of 154,000 tons and the ability to accommodate up to 4,140 guests at double occupancy, MSC Seaside will be the largest cruise ship ever built by Fincantieri shipyards. The ship will offer a vast range of popular itineraries from Miami to the Caribbean.

“MSC Cruises has the unique opportunity to provide North American guests with a ‘Mediterranean Style Cruise’ experience that no other line is able to offer, and guests from around the world a unique setting as it sails to the most sought-after destinations in the Caribbean” added Onorato. “Since bringing MSC Divina to Miami in November 2013, we’ve seen significant demand from consumers in the product, excellent support from our travel agent partners and the growing need for additional MSC Cruises’ ships in the market.” MSC Cruises Reveals First Details Of New Seaside Class Ships

As part of a first look at what MSC Seaside will offer on board, the company also unveiled that the ship will boast the most interactive and originally-designed aqua park at sea with five water slides and attractions for all ages. The park is being built by WhiteWater West Industries of Canada, the award-winning designer and manufacturer of waterpark attractions globally.

Highlights of the multi-story aqua park will include:

Slideboarding™
In an industry first, MSC Seaside will add to the thrills of traditional waterpark fun by offering guests the chance to participate in “Slideboarding™” – a unique waterslide and interactive video game all-in-one. Guests race down a two-story, 367 foot slide on a sleekly designed raft that includes an embedded game controller with colored buttons. The end goal – match the color of the flashing strobe lights seen on various sections of the slide with the colored buttons on the raft. The slide uses a smart gaming system that knows who riders are and tracks their progress and scores over the run down the waterslide.

Duelling High-Speed AquaTubes™
In a high energy competitive setting, guests race against other guests through a combined 525 feet of twists, turns and drops, on slides that partially extend over the side of the ship and give riders a look a quick look at the sea below.

AquaPlay™& AquaSpray™
To cater to its youngest guests, a portion of MSC Seaside’s aqua park will be designed specifically for tots, featuring an active and colorful water play structure that is an experience all on its own. The AquaPlay™ area will be complete with tipping buckets, various spray cannons, solid stream jets, a raintree and a mini-slide.

In addition, various interactive AquaSpray™ activities, such as jets, falls, forts and more will be found throughout the water park for all ages to enjoy.

Adventure Trail
Directly connected to the aqua park is the Adventure Trail, a ropes course which allows guests to cross-cross between soaring towers, rope bridges, climbs, crawl-throughs and slides as they enjoy an amazing bird’s eye view of the water. Explorers on the trail will need to move quickly though as guests below will be able to use water spray cannons to soak their friends and family.

Posted: March 18th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Carnival Sunshine To Operate Unique Series Of Cruises From NYC, Charleston, Norfolk, & Port Canaveral

Written by: Cruise News

March 16, 2015) – Carnival Sunshine – the first ship to feature all of the line’s spectacular Fun Ship 2.0 dining, bar and entertainment innovations – will offer a unique schedule from New York in 2016 encompassing 20 voyages departing between June and October 2016.

This marks the first time that a Fun Ship 2.0-equipped ship will offer such a diverse itinerary schedule from the Big Apple with options ranging from value-packed two-day cruises to exciting 10-day Caribbean voyages.

Carnival Sunshine will also offer a series of sailings from Charleston, S.C., and Norfolk, Va., in summer and fall 2016, providing exciting new cruise choices in these markets. Following these departures from New York, Charleston and Norfolk, Carnival Sunshine will return to its current homeport of Port Canaveral, Fla., to offer a schedule of five- to eight-day Caribbean voyages from the Space Coast beginning in November 2016.

Guests sailing on these voyages can experience all that Carnival Sunshine has to offer, including a stunning three-deck-high Serenity adults-only retreat with its own pool and waterfall. The ship also features one-of-a-kind dining experiences like JiJi Asian Kitchen, a massive WaterWorks aqua park featuring the longest slide in the fleet, a SportSquare outdoor recreation area with a suspended ropes course, and innovative bar concepts like Havana Bar, all of which were added during a groundbreaking $155 million makeover.

“Carnival Sunshine has an extraordinary array of guest features and facilities and will provide consumers and our valued travel agent partners with a wide range of itinerary choices from these highly attractive East Coast homeports,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president.

Carnival Sunshine’s 2016 schedule includes:

New York
· Two-day cruises departing June 18 and Oct. 8, 2016
· Four-day cruises to Saint John departing June 30 and July 28, 2016
· Five-day sailings to Saint John and Halifax departing June 20 and 25 and Oct. 10, 2016
· Seven-day Canada/New England cruises to Boston, Portland, Saint John and Halifax departing Sept. 3, 10, 17 and 24 and Oct. 15, 2016
· Seven-day Bermuda cruise featuring a three-day stay in King’s Wharf departing Oct. 1
· Eight-day Exotic eastern Caribbean voyages to San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk departing July 4 and 20 and Aug. 17, 2016
· Eight-day Exotic eastern Caribbean voyages to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau or Amber Cove (Dominican Republic) departing July 12 and Aug. 1 and 9, 2016
· Nine-day Carnival Journeys voyage departing Aug. 25 and featuring San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk

Charleston
· Two-day cruise departing Nov. 11, 2016
· Four-day voyage to Nassau departing May 26, 2016
· Five-day Bahamas cruises to Nassau and Freeport departing May 21 and Nov. 6, 2016
· 10-day Carnival Journeys cruise departing May 30, 2016 and featuring St. Thomas, Antigua, Martinique, St. Kitts and San Juan

Norfolk
· Two-day cruises departing June 10 and Oct. 28
· Five-day voyage to Nassau and Freeport June 12
· Five-day Bermuda cruise overnighting in King’s Wharf Oct. 23
· Six-day Bahamas cruise to Nassau, the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Freeport departing Oct. 30

Port Canaveral
· Five-day cruises to Freeport, Nassau and Half Moon Cay departing Nov. 14, 2016, Jan. 8, Feb. 19 and April 2 and 23, 2017
· Five-day cruises to Amber Cove and Grand Turk departing Dec. 26, 2016, Jan. 19 and March 12, 2017
· Seven-day eastern Caribbean sailings to Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk departing Nov. 19 and Dec. 3, 2016
· Seven-day western Caribbean cruise to Costa Maya, Mahogany Bay, Belize and Cozumel departing Nov. 26, 2016
· Eight-day southern Caribbean cruises visiting Aruba, Curacao and Grand Turk departing Dec. 31, 2016, Jan. 21, March 4 and 25, and April 28, 2017
· Eight-day southern Caribbean voyages to Aruba, Bonaire and Grand Turk departing Dec. 10, 2016, Feb. 3 and April 15, 2017
· Eight-day eastern Caribbean cruises to Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts and St. Maarten departing Dec. 18, 2016, Jan. 13, Feb. 11 and 24, March 17 and April 7, 2017
· Nine-day Carnival Journeys voyage visiting St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Maarten departing April 29, 2016

In 2015, Carnival Splendor will operate a series of four- to eight-day voyages from New York to the Caribbean, New England and eastern Canada and two- to seven-day departures from Norfolk to The Bahamas and Bermuda. Carnival Sunshine replaces Carnival Splendor on the line’s departures from New York and Norfolk in 2016. Additional information on the future homeport of Carnival Splendor will be provided in the near future.

Unforgettable Experiences Onboard and Ashore
Each of these destinations offers a variety of exciting landside experiences, including world-class beaches, unique dining, shopping and sightseeing opportunities, interesting landmarks and attractions and a rich history and cultures.
While aboard Carnival Sunshine, guests can enjoy the ship’s luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, savor delicious culinary choices like the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, and Guy’s Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network personality Guy Fieri. Guest can also enjoy fun entertainment options like the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez, audience favorite Hasbro, The Game Show, and high-tech Playlist Productions shows.

In addition to unforgettable experiences both on board and ashore, these sailings depart from three highly convenient homeports, providing consumers with an easy and affordable means for getting to and from their “Fun Ship” cruise.

Three Carnival Sunshine voyages – the nine-day cruise departing Port Canaveral April 29, 2016, the 10-day cruise departing May 30, 2016 from Charleston and the nine-day voyage departing Aug. 25, 2016 from New York – are part of the line’s recently announced Carnival Journeys series that feature exceptional ports and unique on-board experiences showcasing local cuisine, entertainment and cultural opportunities. Enrichment seminars focusing on photography, cooking, arts and crafts, social media and celestial navigation, along with a 1980s-themed “Throwback Sea Day” and question and answer sessions with shipboard personnel, will also be offered.

Carnival Sunshine will operate three previously announced Carnival Journeys adventures in 2015-16 – an 11-day voyage departing Port Canaveral Nov. 28, 2015, a 10-day cruise departing San Juan Dec. 9, 2015, and a 13-day voyage departing Port Canaveral Feb. 21, 2016. The six Carnival Journeys cruises operated by Carnival Sunshine are the most of any Carnival ship.

Posted: March 16th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Azamara Club Cruises Debuts New Brand Campaign: “The Voyage For Those Who Love To Travel”

Written by: Cruise News

March 13, 2015 – Whenever I ask my well-traveled friends and media acquaintances about Azamara Club Cruises, they inevitably start smiling and extol the brand as being a favorite, offering “something different” from other cruise lines. I’ve not cruised with Azamara yet, but I hope to do so one day. Meanwhile, the up-market boutique line debuted its new brand campaign amidst the industry’s popular WAVE booking season. Set to original music, the multi-million dollar campaign introduces the line’s first ever TV commercials while also being integrated into print ads, social media, digital platforms to website, direct mail, eMarketing and brochures. The new campaign, “The Voyage For Those Who Love Travel,” focuses almost entirely outside the ships as Azamara affords its guests longer stays, more overnights and night touring while in the world’s most intriguing ports of call. A new hash tag, #LoveTravel, has been introduced to support the campaign across platforms to further ignite the community’s social media discussions.

See a sample commercial here: Azamara Club Cruises: The Voyage For Those Who Love To Travel

Spots can be seen on CNN’s “Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown” and CBS Sunday Morning in major markets such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Tampa, West Palm Beach and Boston. The national print schedule includes AFAR, Departures, Virtuoso Life and Virtuoso Traveler.

“Over the last few years, we have invested in and refined our Land Discoveries programs to ensure our guests are experiencing something truly unique when it comes to destination immersion. That’s not just a marketing term. It’s what has been resonating with our guests and ultimately has moved our business needle,” says Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “We deliver on our promise to provide our guests with authentic, local, and in most cases exclusive, experiences in each country and port of call we visit, allowing them to return home feeling enriched, educated and enlightened. As these programs have taken off and matured, we felt it was the right time to launch this new campaign. It will ring true for those who know us and is the right time to pique curiosity and excitement for those discovering us for the first time.”

“Simply put, it’s a cruise that is about discovering lands,” said Seth Werner, creative director at big (big idea group Inc.) “After taking our voyage, we knew we needed to bring consumers along for the journey; take them on a worldwide vacation. Using a combination of original music paired with footage shot in a variety of styles – hyper lapse, time lapse, slow motion and some footage shot with drones – we mixed together the Azamara story that visually enhanced the copy. It’s not your typical cruise line look or feel, but then again, Azmara is not your typical cruise!”

Join the Conversation #LoveTravel
With more travelers using digital platforms to research and discuss travel, Azamara’s new campaign has a strong presence across its social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram) as well as website and online advertising using a dedicated hash tag – #LoveTravel. To further capture the attention of Azamara’s core community and enable frequent and new cruisers to join the conversation, #LoveTravel is also featured in blog posts and communications to bloggers.

One Stop Booking
Ah, an easier path to purchase! The new brand campaign is also featured on the line’s new website. More than wrapping, the new site is fit for all types of mobile devices and tablets and features a new booking engine allowing guests to one-stop-shop. In addition to booking voyages, vacation elements including flights, airport transfers and pre-and-post cruise accommodations can also be reserved.

For more information, travelers can call their travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit www.AzamaraClubCruises.com. Connect with Azamara Club Cruises on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AzamaraClubCruises, on Twitter @AzamaraVoyages or follow President and CEO @LarryPimentel. Travel agent professionals can access more information and make reservations at www.CruisingPower.com.

About Azamara
Azamara Club Cruises is a brand of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSX: RCL), a global cruise vacation company that also owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, and CDF Croisières de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture. Together, the six brands operate a combined total of 41 ships with four under construction. They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on approximately 460 destinations on all seven continents.

Posted: March 13th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Royal Caribbean Announces 2016 Europe & Alaska Adventures

Written by: Cruise News

March 12, 2015 – Royal Caribbean International today announced new 2016 Europe vacations, totaling eight ships that will sail from six European homeports and call at 80 destinations in 27 countries throughout the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Scandinavia and the Baltic. Four of the Europe ships will be new to the region, and Royal Caribbean’s most-anticipated, third Oasis-class ship, Harmony of the Seas, will sail its inaugural season from Barcelona, while Independence of the Seas returns to Southampton as the U.K.’s largest and most favorite cruise ship. Perfect for family travel in Alaska, Explorer of the Seas will make history as the largest cruise ship to ever sail the region, and join Radiance of the Seas for the cruise line’s 27th consecutive season in the Great Frontier. Royal Caribbean’s 2016 Europe itineraries will open for booking starting March 19, 2015, and 2016 Alaska will open on March 26.

As part of all the new deployment openings, Royal Caribbean is announcing a new early booking BOGO50 offer. Vacationers can save 50 percent on the cruise fare of a second guest in the same stateroom with a full-fare guest, when making a new booking aboard sailings departing on or after May 15, 2015. Vacationers also can enjoy additional 50 percent savings on the fare of a third and fourth guest on nearly all 2016-17 itineraries, including the recently opened 2016-17 Caribbean itineraries. Additionally, guests can take advantage of the offer’s buy-one-get-one-half-off the second Premium Beverage Package by noting promo code ‘BOGOBEV,’ and complete their new booking with 50 percent reduced deposits. For more information about BOGO50, please visit www.Royalcaribbean.com/BOGO50.

BOGO50 is valid for new bookings, made between March 11 and April 30, 2015, in Oceanview and higher-category staterooms on five-night or longer itineraries. The offer does not include bookings on Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, and trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, and China sailings.

New Oasis-class Vacations from Barcelona
- After its delivery in May 2016, the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, will homeport at Barcelona and sail a round-trip, seven-night Western Mediterranean itinerary. Vacationers also can embark Harmony of the Seas at Rome (Civitavecchia), but guests must sail round-trip for seven nights.

- Brilliance of the Seas also will alternate 12-night Italian Mediterranean and Greek & Italian Mediterranean cruises.

British and Scandinavian Cruises
- The U.K. welcomes back Independence of the Seas in summer 2016. The ship will sail mostly 10- to 14-night Mediterranean or Canary Island cruises from Southampton, while Navigator of the Seas will offer British vacationers a wide range of new six- to 14-night Norwegian Fjords, Baltic, Mediterranean or Canary Island itineraries.

- Serenade of the Seas will sail seven-night Norwegian Fjords and seven- to 13-night Scandinavia and Russia itineraries, round-trip from Copenhagen, Denmark, in early summer and August, and from Stockholm, Sweden, in June and July.

Italy and Greece Adventures from Venice and Rome
- Jewel of the Seas will alternate brand new 10-night Greece & Adriatic and 11-night Greece, Turkey & Croatia itineraries from Venice, while Vision of the Seas will alternate seven-night Greek Isles and Greek Isles & Turkey cruises. Jewel of the Seas will double the cruise line’s capacity at this unique, iconic and most desirable world-class city.

- Rhapsody of the Seas will homeport at Rome (Civitavecchia) and sail nine-night Greek Isles cruises in early summer and autumn months. From late June through August, the ship will alternate seven-night Greek Isles and Greek & Turkey cruises.

Royal Caribbean’s 27th Alaska Season
- Explorer of the Seas will be unmatched in onboard amenities when the ship debuts in Alaskan waters. Guests on the ship’s seven-night round-trip itineraries from Seattle, Wash., will sail up Tracy Arm Fjords for an incomparable view of Sawyer Glacier. In September, the ship will sail three Pacific Coastal cruises, seven nights in duration, which feature an overnight in San Francisco, Calif.

- For its part, Radiance of the Seas will alternate seven-night northbound and southbound Alaska cruises between Vancouver, B.C., and Seward. On these itineraries, guests will venture into Disenchantment Bay for a close-up view of Hubbard Glacier.

Vacationers also can choose a wide range of trans-Atlantic cruises, which bookend each ship’s 2016 Europe season and combine Europe and the Caribbean on 13- to 16-night itineraries aboard the aforementioned ships. For their part, Explorer of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas will reposition to Australia, via Hawaii.

Posted: March 12th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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