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MSC Splendida Arrives at New Homeport of Hamburg

Written by: Cruise News

May 1, 2015 – MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line, today celebrated the maiden call in Hamburg of MSC Splendida – the largest cruise ship to ever to call at Germany’s top cruise port.

An indication of MSC Cruises’ increasing investment in the German market, and in Hamburg in particular, MSC Splendida is the first “Fantasia” class ship – the line’s largest and newest class of ships – to be based at the northern German port for a season.

MSC Splendida will homeport in Hamburg for the summer season, making 13 sailings around northern Europe, encompassing the British Isles, the Norwegian fjords and Iceland.

In addition to featuring the MSC Yacht Club – MSC’s exclusive ship within a ship luxury offering – MSC Splendida offers comprehensive dining choices, entertainment and relaxation choices. Her amenities include twenty bars, six restaurants, five swimming pools – including a large aqua park, 4D cinema, F1 simulator and a variety of wellness, sports, and family options. With 1,637-staterooms, the ship is 137,936 GRT, 1092 feet-long, and 125 feet-wide.

MSC Splendida’s arrival in Hamburg was marked by a ceremonial crest exchange between the ship’s Captain, Giuseppe Maresca, and the Harbourmaster of Hamburg, Jörg Pollman, with MSC Cruises Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, Hamburg Senator, Frank Horch, and a large international media contingent in attendance.

Addressing the event, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “Home-porting MSC Splendida – one of our largest and finest ships – here is a natural progression for us, following four years of increasing investment in Hamburg.”

He added: “MSC Cruises has already brought around 350,000 vacationers through Hamburg. And this summer MSC Splendida will make 13 sailings – adding more than 100,000 to that total. Our decision to bring MSC Splendida here is rooted in a concrete commitment to this world-class destination.”

That commitment began in 2010 when the Company christened MSC Magnifica in Hamburg, dubbed Germany’s “Gateway to the World.” In addition to deploying MSC Splendida from Hamburg, MSC Cruises will this month base MSC Orchestra in Kiel and MSC Sinfonia in Warnemünde, enabling thousands of German and international travellers to discover the Baltic capitals and the rugged coastlines, islands and fjords of Norway. Additionally, MSC Orchestra and MSC Sinfonia will also offer northern European “Grand Tours,” where two back-to-back cruises combine to create one unforgettable 14-night voyage.

Posted: May 1st, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Princess Cruises Unveils 2016-2017 Americas Season

Written by: Cruise News

May 1, 2015 – Princess Cruises has announced its 2016-2017 Americas cruise itineraries including sailings to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii, the West Coast and Canada & New England, as well as land and sea vacations. The array of cruise vacations departing from U.S. ports range from three to 28 days and go on sale May 21.

Highlights include brand-new six- and eight-day Caribbean itineraries, evening and overnight stays in certain destinations to allow guests to see even more of these special locations, the first roundtrip Panama Canal voyage for Princess Cruises departing from Los Angeles since 2009, shorter five-day fall Canada & New England getaways, a more expansive 14-day Canada & New England itinerary and new land and sea vacations to explore the East Coast.

“This season we’re thrilled to sail to so many inspiring destinations with close-to-home departures and offer new longer and overnight stays in some spectacular ports, giving our guests more time to explore and discover new places,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president.

Full details of Princess Cruises’ 2016-2017 Americas cruise season include:

Caribbean
With more than 21 distinct Caribbean itineraries ranging from six to 21 days on four ships, including the lines newest ships Royal Princess and Regal Princess and joined by Caribbean Princess with new itineraries, there will be a variety of offerings sure to suit every Caribbean explorer. A new port of call in the Dominican Republic – Amber Cove – will be included on every seven-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary aboard Regal Princess.

Caribbean Princess will have a brand-new deployment this season with six- and eight-day voyages departing from Ft. Lauderdale, which can be combined for a longer 14-day Caribbean Adventurer voyage spanning both the Western and Southern Caribbean. Caribbean Princess’ eight-day Southern Caribbean sailings will visit Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba and as a new offering for the 2016-2017 season will include an evening stay in Aruba – home to Eagle Beach, which has been named one of the Travel Channel’s Top 10 Caribbean Beaches. Caribbean Princess’ six-day itinerary will feature visits to the Western Caribbean destinations of Cozumel, Belize and either Roatan, Honduras or Costa Maya, Mexico.

Regal Princess will return to alternating the line’s popular seven-day Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean voyages departing from Ft. Lauderdale, which can also be combined for 14 days onboard Princess’ newest vessel in the Caribbean. The seven-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary offers a new port of call – Amber Cove – in the Dominican Republic and choices between stops in St. Kitts, Antigua or St. Maarten with every sailing featuring St. Thomas, including a new evening stay at this port – which is home to Magens Bay, one of the most highly rated beaches in the Caribbean. Seven-day Western Caribbean voyages will visit Princess Cays, Jamaica and Grand Cayman and include a full day and evening stay in Cozumel – rated by US News & World Report as having one of the best beaches in Mexico.

Royal Princess returns on the line’s most popular Caribbean itineraries – a 10-day Southern Medley and 10-day Eastern Voyager which can be combined for a 20-day cruise vacation. These sailings offer the best of the Caribbean, including St. Kitts, Barbados and St. Lucia as well as off-the-beaten-path ports such as Dominica, Grenada and Bonaire.

For a shorter weekend getaway, Princess will offer two voyages. Royal Princess will sail a four-day Eastern Caribbean Getaway, visiting Grand Turk and Princess Cays, while Crown Princess will depart on a five-day cruise with stops in Princess Cays and new port Amber Cove.

Guests will also be able to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and ring in the New Year with Princess as all three ships will offer a variety of holiday sailings ranging from seven to 21 days. All holiday voyages of seven days and 10 days offer a choice of Eastern, Western or Southern regions, while the longer voyages from 14 to 21 days include two of these regions spanning the Caribbean.

Pacific Princess will sail on a special two-week Caribbean Connoisseur voyage over the holidays that visits remote islands that are perfect for Pacific Princess’ intimate size including the Grenadines, Tobago, the British Virgin Islands, as well as a maiden call to Cruz Bay, on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. John.

Hawaiian Islands, Mexican Riviera and the West Coast
On the West Coast, four ships will be deployed from three homeports – Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver – to the tropical waters of Hawaii and Mexico, as well as the beautiful Pacific Coast with voyages ranging from three to 28 days.

Guests can escape the everyday on a quick West Coast cruise getaway on three-, four- and five-day departures from Los Angeles offered throughout the season on Crown Princess, Ruby Princess and Star Princess, with visits to Santa Barbara, Catalina, San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico. Ruby Princess will depart on a five-day Baja Getaway featuring an overnight in Cabo San Lucas – one of the premier resort destinations in the Western Hemisphere.

Crown Princess will offer a fall departure of the increasingly popular 28-day Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa itinerary which allows guests departing from Los Angeles to visit the idyllic South Pacific islands of French Polynesia and Samoa without the need to take a flight.

Grand Princess continues year-round cruising from San Francisco to Hawaii, Mexico and the California Coast after the Alaska season.

Panama Canal
Coral Princess and Island Princess return to the Panama Canal to offer either 10-day partial transit or 15-day full transit Panama Canal voyages through the famed locks.

Island Princess will also offer 15-day voyages with two-day Canal experiences that combine the thrill of a Canal transit with a day at Fuerte Amador, where guests can either tour Old Panama City and visit the surrounding rainforests, or tour the Gatun Locks to learn the history of the world’s 8th wonder and visit the Expansion Observatory Platform overlooking the waterway.

On November 20, 2016, Island Princess will embark on the line’s first roundtrip Canal voyage from Los Angeles since 2009. This 19-day cruise offers guests various adventures including Mayan ruins, Mexico’s largest ecological preserve, the rainforests of Costa Rica, the volcanoes of San Juan Del Sur, the cobblestone streets and colonial architecture of Antigua, Guatemala – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and an overnight stay in Panama.

Pacific Princess will also join the Panama Canal line-up on several 17-day itineraries offering guests a choice of ship size to see the impressive man-mad marvel.

Canada & New England
Guests will be able to enjoy the fall foliage on sailings from the East Coast with both Regal Princess and Caribbean Princess returning to the destination, but with even more itinerary options to choose from.

Regal Princess will continue on her popular seven-day Canada & New England itinerary departing on Saturdays from New York, visiting cities rich in colonial history including Newport, Boston and Bar Harbor as well as the North Atlantic Canadian port cities of Saint John and Halifax. Regal Princess will also sail on a brand-new shorter five-day fall getaway itinerary sailing from New York to Saint John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Caribbean Princess will sail between Quebec City and New York on the line’s popular 10-day Classic Canada & New England itinerary, featuring an overnight stay in Quebec and calls to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as well as Boston, Massachusetts and Newport, Rhode Island. Caribbean Princess will also offer a more expansive 14-day Canada & Colonial America itinerary from Quebec City to Ft. Lauderdale including visits to Bar Harbor, Maine; Norfolk, Virginia as well as more off-the-beaten-path destinations including Port Saguenay and Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Land and Sea Vacations
Princess offers a choice of two options to combine a land tour with an East Coast cruise to allow guests to enhance their vacations, and see the sites of colonial America or Niagara Falls and the best of Eastern Canada.

The Historic America Land and Sea Vacation brings guests to iconic sites such as Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate, Colonial Williamsburg, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and Gettysburg Battlefield. The Maple Explorer Land and Sea Vacation take guests to exciting destinations like the capital of Ottawa and Montreal and includes guided tours of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, dazzling cathedrals and the historic 19th century Rideau Canal – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tour guests are also treated to a cruise through the picturesque Thousand Island during the land portion of their vacation.

Posted: May 1st, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Norwegian Expands Freestyle Choice Promotion

Written by: Cruise News

May 1, 2015.

Norwegian Cruise Line has expanded its Freestyle Choice promotion through the month of May, providing guests with up to $1,200 in value. Guests who book a new three-day or longer cruise vacation now through May 31, 2015 have the freedom to select up to four offers† including a newly added option of free wifi, along with a free specialty dining credit, free shore excursion credit, and free onboard credit. These offers are in addition to Friends & Family Savings, where the third through eighth guest in each stateroom can even sail for free*.

Cruisers who book a suite or The Haven by Norwegian™ will receive all four offers, valued at up to $1,200. Guests who cruise an oceanview, balcony or mini-suite stateroom are free to choose one great offer and will receive Friends & Family Savings. Norwegian guests who opt to book an inside or Studio stateroom will receive $25 in onboard credit and Friends & Family Savings. Norwegian’s 13 Freestyle ships allow guests to visit the destinations of their dreams with the freedom and flexibility to dine when they want, indulge how they want, laugh how they want or relax how they want.

During Norwegian’s Freestyle Choice, guests can now opt to surf the web at their leisure with a free 250 minute onboard internet package**. Norwegian wifi packages can be used on laptops, tablets and mobile devices while on board.

Culinary enthusiasts can choose a free specialty dining credit to enjoy the many delicious specialty dining choices on board, such as sushi rolls at Wasabi, Certified Angus Beef at Cagney’s Steakhouse or classic French favorites at Le Bistro. Guests opting for the specialty dining credit on a three to six night sailing will enjoy $50 per person; guests sailing on seven to nine night itineraries will receive $75 per person; while guests sailing on itineraries 10 nights or longer will enjoy $110 in specialty dining credits during their cruise.

Adventure seekers are free to go for their bucket-list experience in up to four different ports with a free $50 shore excursion credit per port, per stateroom during Norwegian’s Freestyle Choice.

Those who prefer exploring the ship in greater detail can opt for free onboard credit***, which can be used for amenities including pampering spa treatments at the luxurious Mandara Spa, gifts for everyone back home from the gift shop and more.

To book a cruise during Norwegian’s Freestyle Choice, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com

† Offer terms based on itinerary and stateroom category booked. All Pride of America sailings are not eligible for offer. All Norwegian Sky cruises beginning January 1, 2016 are not eligible for offer.

*Select sailings offer third through eighth guests free; select sailings offer 50% off fare for third through eighth guest.

**Guests sailing on Norwegian Breakaway can opt for 250 minutes or 1000 MB of data.

***Onboard credit amount based on stateroom category

Posted: May 1st, 2015 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Video Tour of Carnival Vista Offers Fast-Paced Sneak Peek

Written by: Cruise News

April 29, 2015 – Produced in a style that expresses the fun and awe-inspiring features of Carnival Cruise Line’s newest, largest and most innovative ship, Carnival Vista’s new video tour is a distinct departure from most new ship overviews.

Narrated by the ship itself in a carefree, sassy female voice that mirrors Carnival Vista’s online social media persona, the video ranges from bird’s-eye overhead views of the vessel to swooping careens through engaging public spaces and expansive outdoor decks. The video also highlights the spaciousness and indoor-outdoor integration of Carnival’s newest ship, set to debut in Europe in May 2016.

The video can be viewed here.

The video opens with a three-quarter exterior panoramic view of Carnival Vista plying sunny seas as the voice-over introduces herself and sets the casual, conversational tone the narration employs throughout the five-minute segment. The tour begins with a fly-through of the atrium, anchored at its center by a three-deck-high LED column with ever-changing colors and shapes extending from the center of the atrium bar.

From there, it’s on to the main pool area where the RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar are situated on a bright yellow deck filled with blue deck chairs. The video sweeps up to SportSquare, Carnival’s top-deck center of physical activities ranging from a jogging track and mini-golf to a ropes course and SkyRide — Carnival’s groundbreaking suspended cycling experience which Carnival Vista describes as “mind-blowing.” Still on the outer decks, the video swoops in on WaterWorks and its colorful Kaleid-O-Slide, the line’s first raft-riding water tube slide.

The pace slows down for a look at the relaxing Tides Pool on the aft deck that provides a panoramic ocean view and a great place to, as the Carnival Vista says, get lost in a “deep-sea thought.”

The video then plunges into the Lido dining area with its 24-hour pizzeria, New England–inspired Seafood Shack serving lobster rolls and other fare, and Guy’s Burger Joint, designed by celebrity chef Guy Fieri. That’s followed by a visit to RedFrog Pub featuring the line’s first-ever brewery.

Carnival Vista then gives us a first look at the Family Harbor staterooms and suites, along with the Family Harbor Lounge where kids and parents can hang out, play games or help themselves to the cookie and snack bar. Then it’s on to another exceptional accommodations category — tropical-themed Havana staterooms and suites, which feature outdoor sitting areas complete with hammocks. Nearby is the Havana Bar and Pool, which our narrator describes as “a slice of Old Cuba magically transported to the middle of the ocean.”

A quick tour of Carnival Vista’s kids’ facilities, including the marine-themed Camp Ocean and Dr. Seuss Bookville, a family reading venue that’s part of the line’s exclusive Seuss at Sea program, is followed with a zoom through the Serenity adults-only retreat.

But, as the voice of Carnival Vista informs us, “vacation isn’t just about relaxing,” as she introduces us to the ship’s multiplex featuring the first IMAX Theatre at sea.

There’s also a whirlwind tour of indoor-outdoor dining venues including the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, and the Far East-inspired JiJi Asian Kitchen.

The video tour ends on a “sweet note,” our narrator suggests, at Cherry On Top, a candy shop and ice cream bar featuring outdoor seating, too.

Carnival Vista is scheduled to enter service from Europe May 1, 2016, then reposition to New York for a series of voyages in November 2016 followed by the launch of year-round Caribbean service from Miami later that month.

Cruise fans, those new to cruising and travel partners can get a preview of Carnival Vista at www.carnival.com/carnivalvista and follow @CarnivalVista for regular Twitter updates.

Posted: April 29th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Florence Henderson to Headline Holland America’s ‘Dancing with the Stars: At Sea’

Written by: Cruise News

April 28, 2015 — Here’s the story of a lovely lady who took her dancing shoes on two Holland America Line “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” theme cruises. Florence Henderson — best known as matriarch Carol Brady on the classic hit TV series “The Brady Bunch” and “Dancing with the Stars” Season 11 contestant — is scheduled to join the June 6 and June 13, 2015, theme cruises aboard ms Veendam to Bermuda and Canada and New England, respectively.

The special “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” theme sailings also will feature television personality Carson Kressley and “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancers Tristan MacManus and two-time Mirrorball Trophy winner Kym Johnson who is hot off the current season of the hit ABC television show.

“Florence Henderson is one of the greatest pop culture icons of all time, and we’re excited to welcome her to our stage,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Her vibrant personality and infectious smile are sure to bring joy to our guests, along with the other talented celebrities and pro dancers on board.” Florence Henderson to Headline Holland Americas Dancing with the Stars: At Sea

The June 6 departure is a seven-day Bermuda cruise that sails roundtrip from Boston, Mass, and spends three nights at Hamilton, Bermuda. The seven-day June 13 cruise explores Canada and New England and sails from Boston to Montreal, Québec, Canada.

“Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” Theme Cruises
Each theme cruise features lively guest performances from the professional dancers and celebrities, who dazzle the audience with routines from the television show and exciting new choreographed dances. Additional events on theme cruises include dance lessons with the ship’s professional dancers; a special fashion show featuring glamorous show costumes; and a chance to meet the dance pros and celebrities, ask questions and take photos with them.

“Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” Dance Competition for Guests
Beginning with cruises that departed on or after Sept. 21, 2014, and continuing with sailings departing through Nov. 24, 2015, every sailing on all 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet will feature exclusive “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” programming. Included are complimentary dance lessons with the ship’s dance pros and a dance competition that gives guests an opportunity to compete for a chance to represent their ship on the Champions Cruise.

Winners of the guest competitions with the highest scores from each of Holland America Line’s ships will win a free ocean-view stateroom for two on the Champions Cruise to compete for the coveted Mirrorball Trophy and title of Holland America Line’s “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” Champion. There will be one winner from each ship on the Champions Cruise sailing aboard ms Nieuw Amsterdam Jan. 10, 2016.

Fares for the June 6 Bermuda cruise begin at $699 per person, double occupancy. The June 15 Canada and New England sailing starts at $599 per person. Taxes are additional.

“Dancing with the Stars” airs on Mondays (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT). “Dancing with the Stars: 10th Anniversary Special” airs on Tuesday April 28 (8:00-9:00 p.m., EDT/PDT) on the ABC Television Network.

For more information about the “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” program and Holland America Line, contact a travel professional or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com. Complete rules for the “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” dance competition are posted at www.hollandamerica.com.

Posted: April 28th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Carnival Repositions Three Ships in 2016

Written by: Cruise News

April 28, 2015 – Carnival Cruise Line will reposition the 102,000-ton Carnival Victory on the line’s popular five-port, seven-day southern Caribbean cruise schedule from San Juan beginning in November 2016.

In addition, Carnival announced new ships in two key homeports with Carnival Ecstasy shifting to Charleston, S.C., and Carnival Fantasy to Miami in February 2016, providing exciting new “Fun Ship” cruise options in those markets.

Carnival Victory will reposition to San Juan to offer a week-long southern Caribbean cruise schedule beginning November 6, 2016. The itinerary features day-long calls at five destinations: St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten.

Beginning February 6, 2016, Carnival Ecstasy will launch year-round four- to seven-day departures from Charleston, S.C., providing an array of itinerary and cruise duration choices from this popular homeport. On its new schedule, four-day cruises will sail to Nassau and five-day cruises will visit Nassau and Freeport or the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay. Two different seven-day options will be available featuring either Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau or Amber Cove (Dominican Republic), Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay. There will also be three special six-day cruises departing May 23 and Oct. 2 and 30, 2016, and visiting Freeport, Nassau and Half Moon Cay.

Carnival Fantasy, currently based in Charleston, will shift to Miami to operate the line’s popular three- and four-day cruise schedule beginning Feb.22, 2016. On this route, three-day weekend cruises depart Fridays and overnight in Nassau, while four-day voyages depart Mondays and feature Key West and Cozumel. Prior to the start-up of three- and four-day service from Miami, Carnival Fantasy will offer a special five-day cruise to Amber Cove and Grand Turk departing Feb. 17, 2016. Carnival Fascination will assume this route from the Carnival Fantasy beginning Nov. 7, 2016. Details on the Carnival Fantasy’s future deployment will be provided at a later date.

In preparation for their new homeport deployments, Carnival Fascination and Carnival Victory will offer seven- and eight-day Caribbean cruises, respectively, departing in October 2016. Carnival Victory will operate a special seven-day cruise departing Port Canaveral, Fla., Oct. 30, 2016, and arriving in San Juan Nov. 6, 2016. Featured ports on this itinerary include St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Antigua and St. Maarten. Carnival Fascination will offer a one-time eight-day cruise from San Juan to Miami Oct. 30 – Nov. 7, 2016, featuring extended calls at St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and Grand Turk.

Posted: April 28th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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MSC Divina Will Again Sail Year-Round From Miami

Written by: Cruise News

April 22, 2015 – MSC Cruises has announced that when MSC Divina returns from her season in the Mediterranean, she will once again sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean starting November 2015.

“North America is a key market for MSC Cruises as the company works to double its capacity by 2022,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. “Since the arrival of MSC Divina in Miami in November 2013, we’ve seen significant growth in the market and strong demand by consumers and travel agents for MSC Divina to sail from North America year-round. We’re thrilled to be able to meet this demand, providing more opportunity for North American guests to enjoy the unique ‘Mediterranean Style Cruise’ experience that only MSC Cruises can offer.”

MSC Divina’s already published November 2015 through April 2016 itineraries will remain unchanged. New itineraries from April 2016 through March 2017 will rotate between Eastern and Western Caribbean routes and include stops in St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico, and the Bahamas.

A testament to the company’s long-term commitment to North America, MSC Cruises’ also recently announced that MSC Seaside, set to debut in November 2017, will sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean.

“MSC Cruises has received extremely positive ratings from travel agents and guests, who rave about the beauty of our Mediterranean-inspired décor, quality of international cuisine, and world-class, standing-ovation quality entertainment,” said Rick Sasso, President of MSC Cruises USA. “Keeping MSC Divina in North America year-round will help us expose even more travel agents and consumers to the MSC Cruises’ brand as well as build excitement for the arrival of MSC Seaside in 2017.”

“PortMiami welcomed MSC Cruises for the first time in November 2013 with MSC Divina,” said PortMiami Director and CEO Juan M. Kuryla. “MSC Divina is among the most modern and elegant ships in the industry today. We are extremely proud to welcome her back home for year-round sailings starting November 2015 and are excited for MSC Seaside to join her at PortMiami a few years later.”

In addition, MSC Cruises’ Miami-based operations will benefit from a newly renovated and expanded dedicated berth and terminal at PortMiami.

Booking Information and Special Launch Promotion
April 2016 through March 2017 sailings on MSC Divina will open for booking on Friday, May 1. As a special launch promotion, MSC Cruises will offer consumers a value-added offer that includes shipboard credit, a beverage package and a WiFi package, depending on the category of stateroom booked.

Summer 2016 in the Mediterranean
Due to the success of MSC Divina in the Mediterranean in summer 2015 and to meet strong demand for the unique MSC Cruises’ product in the region, MSC has created a highly appealing Mediterranean itinerary on the same class, 3,274 passenger, MSC Fantasia. She will sail Mediterranean cruises with seven ports in seven days from Genoa. This itinerary includes a visit to one of the French Riviera’s most iconic destination – Cannes – followed by a call to Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, two iconic destinations in the Med. From Barcelona, MSC Fantasia will set sail towards one of France’s most beautiful islands and a new destination on this itinerary: Corsica and the city of Ajaccio. The next call will offer MSC Cruises’ guests the chance to visit Pompeii and see Mount Vesuvius for themselves, with a call in Naples, followed by a unique opportunity to see Cinque Terre or Florence and Tuscany through a call in La Spezia, before returning to Genoa.

In addition, to make it even easier to plan a vacation in the Mediterranean, MSC Cruises will once again offer its popular all inclusive fly & cruise packages to Barcelona for summer 2016.

Posted: April 22nd, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Norwegian Sky Moving To All-Inclusive Cruising In 2016

Written by: Cruise News

April 22, 2015 – This is huge news and perhaps a hint at things to still to come. Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that beginning January 2016 all guests sailing aboard Norwegian Sky from Miami will enjoy an even more all-inclusive cruise experience with dining, entertainment and now free unlimited beer, wine and premium spirits included. Whether they choose white or red, shaken or stirred, on the rocks or straight up, Norwegian Sky guests will revel in the freedom and flexibility of the most inclusive contemporary cruise vacation at sea.

“We’re taking Freestyle Cruising to the next level to provide our guests with an experience unmatched by any other contemporary cruise line,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief operating officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “Norwegian Sky guests will have the freedom to enjoy a cruise vacation the way they desire—whether it’s lounging by the pool with a margarita, having a laugh at a comedy show, catching up on their favorite book on their balcony, or indulging in fine dining— all included in their cruise fare.”
Guests will enjoy for free a variety of unlimited premium spirits, innovative cocktails curated by the award-winning mixologists from Miami’s Bar Lab, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer up to $11 aboard Norwegian Sky in 2016 and beyond*. Guests 3 to 20 years of age will enjoy unlimited sodas and juice throughout their cruise.

Norwegian Sky sails port-packed three- and four-day roundtrip cruises from Miami to the Bahamas year-round. The new all-inclusive experience will also provide guests with the freedom to enjoy unlimited premium beverages while soaking up the sun on Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas.

In addition to the wide variety of inclusive offerings onboard, Norwegian Sky guests also have the option to indulge in a variety of extra onboard experiences such as specialty restaurants and pampering Mandara Spa treatments. While in port, Norwegian Sky guests can also opt to choose from a wide array of shore excursions offering leisure, adventure and cultural experiences including swimming with dolphins, historical island tours, beach time and more.

Norwegian Sky offers a broad selection of staterooms options including spacious suites and penthouses that accommodate up to five guests, balcony staterooms, oceanview staterooms and moderately priced inside staterooms designed with families in mind to accommodate up to four guests. The ship features 13 dining options, 12 bars and lounges, two pools, five hot tubs, an onboard spa, casino and children’s programming.

* Guests must be at least 21 years of age at time of sailing to enjoy premium beverages

Posted: April 22nd, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Anthem Of The Seas Officially Named By Travel Agent Godmother Emma Wilby

Written by: Cruise News

April 20, 2015 – Royal Caribbean International has marked the launch of Anthem of the Seas, the world’s newest, most technologically advanced cruise ship. The ship hosted a spectacular naming ceremony led by Godmother Emma Wilby who took center stage during the ceremony together with Welsh choir Only Boys Aloud to deliver the performance of her life. Welby is a British travel agent who was selected for the honor in a singing competition for travel agents.

Anthem of the Seas is setting sail on the next great adventure. Unprecedented innovations in ship design, thrilling activities, game-changing technology, multidimensional entertainment and robust, flexible dining opportunities come together onboard Anthem to create the ultimate, contemporary cruising experience found only on Royal Caribbean. She spans 18 decks, encompasses 167,800 gross registered tons, carries 4,180 guests at double occupancy and features 2,090 staterooms. Anthem of the Seas will sail out of Southampton, U.K. for her inaugural season before departing for New York Harbor and her new homeport of Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J.low 1429556086 sbw an 2475 Anthem Of The Seas Officially Named By Travel Agent Godmother Emma Wilby

Posted: April 20th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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MSC Cruises To Name 1st Vista-class Ship “MSC Meraviglia”

Written by: Cruise News

April 20, 2015 – MSC Cruises marked a key milestone in its $5.4 billion growth plan today as the first steel for its new Vista generation of megaships was cut at STX France, during a ceremony in Saint-Nazaire.

At the steel-cutting ceremony, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago told assembled press and dignitaries that the cutting-edge 4,500 guest (double occupancy), 167,600-GRT ship — due to be delivered in May 2017 and open for bookings from June 2015 — will be named MSC Meraviglia. She will spend her first summer sailing the western Mediterranean, and will be the first ship to have three homeports: Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona.

“MSC Meraviglia will be the biggest and most innovative cruise ship ever built by a global European-based cruise line,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman. “We chose a name that denotes the sense of awe and wonderment felt when you experience the ship’s stunning features, which only an MSC cruise, with its unique Mediterranean-style, can deliver. MSC Meraviglia brings together the industry knowhow of MSC Cruises, a young, bold company built upon 300 years of seafaring tradition and the expertise of one of the most advanced shipyards in the world. Today, building started on a true maritime marvel.”

STX France General Manager Laurent Castaing added: “Since March 2014, more than 400 people from our various teams have been working tirelessly to define the special features of a ship that, I am certain will set the standard for its generation. This extraordinary project is testament to MSC Cruises’ visionary approach, and we are proud to collaborate with them through our capacity for innovation and know-how.”

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer said: “This steel-cutting event marks a decisive milestone in the company’s development plan, one that will see MSC Cruises double its capacity by 2022 through up to seven new ships and a $5.4 billion investment plan.”

He added: “MSC Meraviglia will be one of the greenest and safest ships in the industry, as well as one of the most technologically advanced. We are thrilled that in just a few weeks guests can start booking this truly remarkable ship, which will bring cruise travellers to the most exciting destinations around the world in outstanding comfort and style.”

Designed for unrivalled agility, MSC Meraviglia and the other upcoming Vista project ships will be perfectly able to call at any cruise port in the world, meaning guests from around the world will now be able to explore more of the best destinations on one of MSC Cruises’ next generation ships.

Among the ships’ features will be specially crafted ‘cluster cabins’ for families, and an extended MSC Yacht Club, which will be enhanced with duplex suites, a vast solarium and a private lounge and restaurant. They will be packed with features for cruising in summer and winter, including wide dining options and entertainment choices, stunning panoramic spaces, a large theatre and a spectacular amusement park linked to an outdoor aqua park, as well as a three-deck interior promenade.

MSC Meraviglia will also feature a range of technological advancements, such as ‘Near Field Communication’ technology, enabling guests to do things like make onboard payments, access their staterooms or geo-locate children, simply by using their cruise card, bracelet or smartphone. Another jaw-dropping feature will be a 5,167 square foot LED screen, which forms the entire ceiling of the ship’s interior promenade. Like a digital sky, this LED image vault will beam out compelling images and vistas day and night – including scheduled visual events – creating a variety of powerful atmospheres at all times.

MSC Meraviglia is the first of two identical ships on order from STX France, the second of which will be entered in to service in 2019. In addition, MSC Cruises has options for two further Vista project ships to be delivered by 2022.

The Vista project is the result of a lengthy development process under STX’s ECORIZON® program to create cleaner, smarter, more efficient ships. They will be water emission free, and their hulls and propulsion systems will be optimized for extreme energy efficiency. Scrubber technology will neutralize fumes and CO2 emissions in accordance with the latest international maritime regulations. In addition, the ship is fully compliant with the Safe return to Port requirement.

Posted: April 20th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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