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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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Windstar Cruises Launches New Cruisetours

Written by: Cruise News

July 30, 2014 – Windstar is launching its first-ever series of Cruisetours, premiering in Asia and Arabia. For those wanting to extend their cruise vacation with a land experience, the Cruisetour collection allows guests to experience the wonders of the Far East without the stress of planning the travel. Starting at $5,299 Cruisetours include: the cost of the cruise, flights to the Cruisetour city, accommodations in a luxury hotel, excursions with an expert guide in each new city, select meals, and transfers.

Guests who book by August 29, 2014 will receive up to a $1,000 airfare credit per person, free hotel and transfers on arrival, a complimentary exclusive Private Event on the voyage crafted solely for Windstar guests, and savings of up to 50% of the cruise fare.

“We’ve applied our philosophy of exploring hidden harbors and secluded coves to our land experiences, handpicking the best excursions to taste the local culture,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “Our Cruisetours take care of all the logistics, so our guests can truly relax and enjoy the destination at hand in exclusive Windstar style, both on land and at sea.”

Singapore, the Malay Peninsula, & Myanmar Cruisetour


Cruisetour Experience:
Travel to a world long closed to western eyes to enjoy the mystical beauty of Myanmar on this 4-day journey. Guests will visit Yangon and Bangan to explore one of the world’s most revered UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Bagan Archaeological Zone. Highlights include a trip to Phwar Saw Village where locals welcome participants into their homes and share cooking secrets, using the market’s fresh ingredients.

Cruise: Singapore & the Malay Peninsula, 10-day round trip voyage from Singapore

Hotels: 5-Star Sule Shangri-La and 5-star Bagan Lodge

Special Tip:
For a limited time receive a FREE hot air balloon ride in Bagan.

Southeast Asia Unveiled & Angkor Wat Cruisetour

Cruisetour Experience: Journey to the ancient temples in Cambodia on this 3-day excursion. Guests will start in Siem Ream, with visits to Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Tonle Sap Lake, and Les Artisans d’Angkor. Highlights include a traditional Cambodian feast with a cultural dance performance and a guided tour on board a small shaded vessel moving between floating homes and small fish farms.

Cruise:
Southeast Asia Unveiled, a 10-day voyage from Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City.

Hotels:
Le Meridien Angkor in Siem Reap and Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

Special tip:
The Angkor Wat Cruistour can be booked either pre- or post- cruise.

Wonders of Civilization Cruisetour

Cruisetour Experience:
Explore the ancient city of Cairo on this 5-day excursion. Guests will leave the ship in Luxor before traveling to Cairo to tour the ancient Pyramids of Giza and the mysterious Sphinx. Local highlights include a tour of the Solar Boat, the ritual vessel believed to provide transport for the Pharoah’s soul to the afterlife, as well as a camel ride through the desert.

Cruise:
Wonders of Arabia, a 6-day voyage from Athens to Safaga

Hotels: Hilton Luxor, and 5-Star Mena House Hotel in Giza

Special tip:
Join Windstar CEO Hans Birkholz as he hosts this Wonders of Arabia voyage.

To learn more about Windstar’s Cruisetours, contact a travel professional, visit the website or call Windstar Cruises at 800-258-7245

Posted: July 30th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Princess To Add Third Royal Princess-Class Ship In 2017

Written by: Cruise News

July 30, 2014 – Today Princess Cruises announced that it has reached an agreement with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build a new ship, which will enter service in 2017.

The as-yet unnamed 143,000-ton vessel, which will be built at an all-in cost of approximately 600 million euros ($800 million dollars), will carry 3,560 passengers, and feature the successful design platform introduced by sister ships Royal Princess in 2013 and Regal Princess which entered service this past May.

The new ship will include the signature elements that have become synonymous with the Princess Cruises guest experience such as a soaring central atrium hub with multiple dining, entertainment and retail venues; the adults-only Sanctuary; Movies Under the Stars cinema experience, and 80 percent of all staterooms with balconies. The ship will also include some brand-new innovations to enhance the guest experience even further.

“We are incredibly excited to add this fabulous new ship to our already formidable fleet,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Royal Princess and Regal Princess have been exceptionally successful for us and have received numerous accolades from guests, travel agents and media, so adding another sister ship will enable us to continue to expand our innovative vacation experiences. We’re very pleased that this new ship order is an indication of the confidence that our parent Carnival Corporation has in the future of the Princess brand.” She added that this is the only new order Carnival Corporation & plc anticipates for 2017.

Specific features and amenities for the ship, along with deployment details, will be revealed in the coming months.

Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri Chief Executive Officer, commented: “All the orders we win are important for our Group, but some are more special than others. The one we’re announcing today certainly belongs to this select category. In fact, it’s no coincidence that Fincantieri is the universally recognized leader among the builders of cruise ships. It’s a source of great pride to be able to immediately build another ship for a prestigious brand like Princess Cruises following the successful deliveries of two jewels like “Royal” and “Regal,” which have already become part of maritime history.” Bono ended by saying, “Our objective has always been to build ships of the future, and thanks to the Carnival Group, the leading market player, which has reconfirmed its well-founded confidence in us, we have proven over time not only to have kept faith with this ambitious goal but also to have been able to consolidate our world leadership in a sector of absolute technological excellence, like cruise ships.”

Posted: July 30th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Norwegian Introduces All-Inclusive Package For 2015 Sailings

Written by: Cruise News

July 30, 2014 – Ever wish you could have an all-inclusive cruise vacation on a large action-packed ship that appeals to the whole family? Well now you can. Norwegian Cruise Line is debuting a new All-Inclusive package that takes the line’s signature Freestyle Cruising to a new level, providing guests yet another way to customize their cruise vacation. Representing more than $2,400 in value per stateroom, Norwegian’s All-Inclusive package is a first for major cruise lines, and is available for a limited time for all 2015 sailings* fleetwide**, on new reservations made from August 4, 2014 through August 29, 2014. The comprehensive package includes signature dining, alcoholic beverages, unlimited soda, shore excursions, internet access, service charges and more.

“Based on the popularity of our Fly, Cruise and Stay vacations, along with our onboard dining and beverage packages, we are now offering the first All-Inclusive package for our guests who want to experience all that the freedom and flexibility of Freestyle Cruising has to offer,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Always an innovator, we are making it easy for those that want everything included in their cruise vacation with the option of our All-Inclusive package.”

The All-Inclusive package is available for 2015 sailings from three to 14 days in length, is priced by the number of days, and is available for all stateroom categories, including the Haven by Norwegian. When adding the All-Inclusive to a selected cruise, guests receive 10 percent off the cruise fare. For a seven-day cruise, the $899 package includes the Ultimate Dining package; the Ultimate Beverage package; shore excursion credit of $200 per person, pre-paid daily service charges; a 250-minute Internet package per person; 20 photos of any size; chocolate-covered strawberries; a bottle of wine; one bingo session and six bottles of water. For cruises from three to five days, the shore excursion credit is $100 per person; and for sailings from 9-14 days, the package includes 12 bottles of water.

As part of the All-Inclusive offer, Norwegian’s Ultimate Dining package provides complimentary access to one of the line’s specialty restaurants every night of the cruise, including Cagney’s, the popular steakhouse; French bistro, Italian restaurant, Moderno Churrascaria, Asian-Fusion restaurant and more. The Ultimate Beverage package includes a variety of spirits, cocktails, draft beer, bottled beer and glasses of wine up to $10 and unlimited fountain soda and juices at all bars, lounges, restaurants and on Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay.

Beginning August 4, for more information or to book a 2015 cruise with the All-Inclusive package, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

*Includes all scheduled 2015 sailings from three to 14 days (excludes back to back sailings)

**Does not include Pride of America; not applicable to bookings made in Continental Europe or United Kingdom.

Posted: July 30th, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Princess Cruises Debuts “Chocolate Journeys” in Partnership with World-Renowned Chocolatier Norman Love

Written by: Cruise News

July 29, 2014 – Princess Cruises today announced a delectable new partnership with internationally acclaimed master chocolatier and pastry designer Norman Love. “Chocolate Journeys,” the line’s new onboard chocolate experience will entice guests with an impressive array of onboard chocolate offerings among which are custom-crafted desserts, chocolate and wine pairings, and exquisite chocolate bites created by one of the top names in artisan chocolate.

Since debuting Norman Love Confections in 2001 after a notable career as a pastry chef for many luxury resorts, Love has since received wide-spread recognition for his hand-crafted, chocolate-making artistry including being named as one of the “top 10 chocolatiers in North America” and creating “the best ultra-premium chocolates in the nation.” His sea-going chocolate creations will debut this fall aboard the new Regal Princess for her inaugural Caribbean season, and will continue to roll out to the rest of the Princess fleet throughout the next year.
 Princess Cruises Debuts “Chocolate Journeys” in Partnership with World Renowned Chocolatier Norman Love
“Around the world there’s incredible passion for chocolate, as evidenced by ever-growing consumption and the plethora of specialty varieties,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “So we’re excited to partner with one of the best chocolatiers in the world to bring some additional moments of decadence and delight to our guests with truly amazing chocolate experiences that we know they’ll love!”

Swartz added that she believes the partnership with Norman Love was meant to be, because of the line’s close association with the iconic TV show “The Love Boat” and Princess’ reputation for romance. “Based on his name alone this is a perfect match,” she said.

In a recent national survey conducted by the cruise line about people’s passion for chocolate, Princess found that 58 percent of women would choose chocolate over sex; 69 percent surveyed have frequent chocolate cravings; 53 percent surveyed would turn to chocolate over a friend when feeling sad; two thirds surveyed (67 percent) eat chocolate more often when they’re happy than when they’re stressed; 81 percent agree that chocolate improves their mood; and 84 percent would like to receive chocolate as a gift.

“One thing is for certain, chocolate makes people happy,” said Love. “So what I create and what Princess Cruises offers its guests are quite similar – what could make people smile more than savoring decadent chocolate creations while enjoying their cruise vacation? I think we have a winning combination.”

Love has personally trained Princess Cruises’ pastry team to deliver this unprecedented chocolate experience across the company’s fleet of ships.

“Chocolate Journeys” will offer Princess’ guests the following sweet experiences:

Decadent Desserts – Norman Love has produced 15 chocolate dessert designs for Princess Cruises that will be offered on a rotational basis in the ships’ main dining rooms, specialty restaurants (Sabatini’s and Crown Grill) and Chef’s Table experience. Examples of the desserts include a Chocolate Tart with Vanilla Mousse and Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Pistachio Dome with Almond and Pistachio Nougatine, and a truly unique Chocolate Tiramisu with Mascarpone Cream and Espresso Gelato that shouldn’t be missed. (Complimentary in main dining rooms. Specialty restaurants carry a cover charge.)

Chocolate & Wine Pairings – In Vines, Princess’ signature wine bar, wine and chocolate enthusiasts alike can sample Norman Love’s exquisite Black™ Single Origin Dark chocolates paired with specific wine varietals designed to enhance the tasting experience, all selected by Love. (Extra charge)

Captain’s Welcome Reception Treats – Guests will be able to toast the start of their cruise with a glass of bubbly along with “Chocolate Love Pop” truffles created by Love, at the signature welcome reception hosted by the Captain. (Complimentary)

Chocolate Libations – Throughout the ships’ lounges and bars, guests can splurge on a number of decadent chocolate drinks including a Chocolate Salted Caramel Hard Shake, Chocolate Bacon Bourbon Bliss or a Chocolate Chile Margarita. (Extra charge)

Chocolate Dessert Demonstrations – Princess pastry chefs will treat guests to entertaining and informative demonstrations so they can learn some simple tips for creating tasty chocolate treats for their family and friends back home. (Complimentary)

Chocolate Petits Fours at Formal Night – Chocolate bites designed by Love will accompany the dessert menu presented to guests following the formal night dinner, for guests to enjoy as they peruse the evening’s sweet endings.

Norman Love Renowned Boxed Chocolates Available for Purchase – Passengers wishing to bring some of Norman Love’s exquisite chocolate confections home to family or friends (or to enjoy themselves during the cruise) will be able to purchase these extraordinary creations in the onboard shops.

Chocolate Spa Treatments – Because chocolate is not only for eating, the ship’s Lotus Spa will offer guests the opportunity to relax with the aroma of pure bliss by offering a Chocolate Indulgence Body Treatment combining a chocolate renewal scrub, whipped chocolate body mask and chocolate massage oil. (Extra charge)

Additional information about Princess’ new Chocolate Journeys experience can be found at www.chocolatejourneys.com.

Posted: July 29th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Norwegian Cruise Line “Caribbean Free For All Bonus Days” – Free Balcony Upgrades, $250 Onboard Credit, & Kids Sail Free!

Written by: Cruise News

July 29, 2014.

Norwegian Cruise Line is launching its Caribbean Free for All Bonus Days, offering exceptional savings on select Bahamas and Caribbean sailings. From now through Saturday, August 2, 2014, guests who book a Norwegian cruise vacation to the Bahamas or Caribbean can take advantage of the line’s popular Kids* Sail Free offer (actually there are no age restrictions), plus receive free balcony upgrades and up to $250 to spend on board. Military, Latitudes Rewards and AARP discounts may also apply to select** sailings.

Guests can extend their summer aboard Miami’s Ultimate Ship, Norwegian Getaway as she sails seven-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean from her year-round homeport of Miami, Florida. The line’s newest ship visits tropical ports of call including Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. On-board guests will be dazzled by the ship’s Miami flair, exceptional dining and entertainment as well as the excitement of 678 Ocean Place and The Waterfront, a variety of interconnected indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that creates a multiplex of dining, activities and more that enhance guests’ connection with the ocean. Fares start at $469***.

Also sailing from Miami, Norwegian Epic, the “Best Ship for Sea Days” by Cruise Critic and “Best Overall Cruise Ship” by the readers of Travel Weekly two years in a row, cruises to sunny Western Caribbean destinations on seven-day sailings between November 9, 2014 and April 19, 2015. Cruisers will explore ports of call including Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Cozumel, Mexico; with fares starting at $389***.

Beginning October 5, 2014 through April 19, 2015, cruisers can set sail from the Big Apple on seven-day Bahamas & Florida cruises on board Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway’s sister-ship and the ship that brings the best of NYC to Sea. Fares start at $499***.

Sailing from Houston between October 11 and April 11, 2015, the newly-refurbished Norwegian Jewel cruises to tropical Western Caribbean destinations. Guests on board will visit Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; and Banana Coast, Honduras. Fares start at $449***.

Guests looking to cruise to beautiful Costa Maya, Mexico, can do so from Tampa aboard Norwegian Sun, starting October 26, 2014 through April 12, 2015. Additional ports of call include Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico. Fares start at $469***.

To book a cruise during Norwegian’s Caribbean Free for All Bonus Days, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

* Kids Sail Free offer valid for all third through eighth guests sharing a stateroom with the first and second guest paying full fare.
**Select sailings.
***All cruise fares are per person, based on double occupancy.

Posted: July 29th, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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