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‘Carnival Journeys’ Offer One-Of-A-Kind Longer Voyages

Written by: Cruise News

March 5, 2015 – Carnival Cruise Line has launched Carnival Journeys — a unique collection of nine- to 15-day seagoing adventures that kick off this fall and feature spectacular ports throughout the Caribbean, Central America, Hawaii and Mexico, along with unique shipboard experiences created especially for this one-of-a-kind cruise program.

Carnival Journeys is designed to provide guests with exciting new itinerary choices that will feature less traveled, more exotic ports of call.  Carnival Journeys itineraries have been specifically designed for guests who are looking for a longer cruise vacation that will provide the opportunity to visit a wide variety of great destinations and more time to fully enjoy all of the features and facilities available on a selection of the line’s newest and most innovative ships.  Carnival Journeys cruises will also include exciting shipboard activities to provide a truly unique Carnival vacation experience.

“We have received a tremendous amount of feedback from our guests and travel agent partners about the importance of consistently offering new Carnival cruise experiences,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president.  “Carnival Journeys was created to offer our existing customers even more options while helping us to attract those guests who have not had the opportunity to sail with Carnival and may be enticed by these longer, more exotic itineraries.  These new cruises also offer our valued travel agent partners a tremendous new sales opportunity and a great way to earn enhanced commissions based on the longer cruise duration,” she added.

Incredible Itineraries
Carnival Journeys will debut with an 11-day cruise aboard Carnival Dream from New Orleans to San Juan Oct. 4, 2015.  The program will run through Nov. 27, 2016, encompassing 28 departures from eight convenient North American homeports including Los Angeles, Galveston, New Orleans, Miami, Port Canaveral, New York, Baltimore and San Juan.  Cruises will operate either round-trip from these homeports or one-way between these ports and San Juan.  The itineraries are unique and not available on any other cruise line. A detailed listing of all 28 Carnival Journeys sailings is available here.  Additional Carnival Journeys sailings will be announced in the near future.

On Carnival Journeys, guests can experience and explore nearly 40 different tropical destinations, including less visited ports like Tobago, Grenada, La Paz, Martinique, Bonaire and Ixtapa, each home to diverse cultures, centuries-old landmarks and historical structures, and unforgettable natural attractions.

Memorable Activities

Carnival Journeys participants can also enjoy unique shipboard experiences that will be tailored to each itinerary in the areas of dining, entertainment, team member connections and enrichment, all infused with the line’s spirited brand of fun.

These experiences will include:
·         Authentic Eats:  Partnering with local restaurants and chefs, Carnival Journeys participants can enjoy on-board cooking demonstrations where these culinary artists will recreate their signature dishes and traditional cuisines from their country.  Participants will also have an opportunity to dine at the chef’s restaurant ashore for a nominal fee and accompany the chef as he or she visits local markets for delectable regional specialties.

·         “Local”-tainment:  From calypso, soca and Goombay to colorful folkloric entertainment, Carnival Journeys participants will get an up close and personal look at their destination through local entertainment performances taking place outside the ship or on board.

·         Academy of Fun:  Through these educational enrichment sessions, Carnival’s shipboard experts will instruct guests in topics ranging from cooking and arts and crafts to digital photography and social media, even celestial navigation.  All of these activities will be performed with the fun and entertaining style that only Carnival can provide.

·         Throwback Sea Day:  Carnival will set the “way back machine” to 1987 and recreate a fun day at sea with retro pool and deck games, old school dining options like Baked Alaska and the gala midnight buffet, a white glove Captain’s Celebration, popular movies from that era, a circa 1987 version of the Carnival Capers shipboard newsletter, and more.

·         Shipboard Team Member Connections: Here, Carnival Journeys participants can learn more about shipboard life through informative question and answer sessions hosted by the ship’s captain, cruise director, hotel director and others, held at different times throughout the voyage and providing an opportunity to engage and interact with the Carnival team in a fun and casual setting.  There will also be an unforgettable show performed by the ship’s crew during the voyage.

All Carnival Journeys adventures are currently open for reservations.

Posted: March 5th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Royal Caribbean International Announces 2016-17 Caribbean ‘Adventure Collection’

Written by: Cruise News

March 5, 2015 – Royal Caribbean International today announced the upcoming Caribbean options for the cruise line’s new 2016-17 Adventure Collection. Vacationers can book a Caribbean cruise aboard 15 of the most innovative cruise ships, sailing from nine U.S. homeports to 39 ports of call in 18 Caribbean countries, as well as Bermuda and Canada. The new Caribbean adventures will mark the Quantum class’ maiden call and season in Bermuda with Anthem of the Seas, and offers a choice of three amazing Oasis-class ships, including the new Harmony of the Seas. Royal Caribbean’s new 2016-17 Caribbean Adventures Collection will open for booking starting March 11, 2015.

Royal Caribbean’s new Adventure Collection encompasses the cruise line’s 2016-17 cruise vacations aboard unrivaled ships, which will sail exciting itineraries across six continents. Vacationers can choose between the industry’s newest, biggest, and best ships, which sail in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska and beyond. On most Caribbean cruises, guests will enjoy more than 400 total acres of pristine beaches, exhilarating thrill rides and activities, and plenty of opportunities to relax under the Caribbean sun during a call at Royal Caribbean’s private island CocoCay or its exclusive beach destination Labadee.

Caribbean, Bermuda, and Canada & New England Adventures from Northeast U.S.

- Quantum-class Anthem of the Seas will continue year-round sailings from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., and make its maiden season at Bermuda. Vacationers have a choice of five-night Bermuda or nine-night Bermuda and Caribbean itineraries throughout the summer, and eight- to 12-night Bahamas, Eastern, Western or Southern Caribbean cruises during the winter.

- Throughout September and October, Anthem of the Seas will sail nine-night Canada and New England cruises from Cape Liberty, and Serenade of the Seas will offer seven-night Canada and New England cruises from Boston, Mass.

- Grandeur of the Seas will sail five-night Bermuda, nine-night Bermuda and Bahamas, and nine-night Canada and New England cruises throughout the summer. In the winter, the ship will sail nine-night Southeast Coast & Bahamas and 12-night Southern Caribbean cruises.

Everywhere in the Caribbean, conveniently from South Florida

- From Miami, Enchantment of the Seas will sail three- and four-night short Bahamas getaways year-round, while Navigator of the Seas will alternate five-night Bahamas and Mexico with nine-night Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Labadee cruises in the winter.

- Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will sail a Western Caribbean and two new Eastern Caribbean itineraries in summer 2016, all seven nights in length and departing from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Allure of the Seas will then be joined by the next groundbreaking, Oasis-class cruise ship Harmony of the Seas to offer a seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itinerary for winter 2016-17. Oasis of the Seas, meanwhile, will reposition to its new winter home of Port Canaveral along Florida’s Coast.

- In the winter, Independence of the Seas will follow a sequence of four- and five-night short Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Everglades, while sister-ship Freedom of the Seas will alternate a six-night Western Caribbean with an eight-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary. For a longer vacation, Serenade of the Seas alternates a 10- and 11-night Southern Caribbean itinerary.

‘Out-of-this-world’ Caribbean Vacations from Florida’s Space Coast

- Freedom of the Seas will continue alternating seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries during the summer 2016, and then reposition to Port Everglades for its new winter season.

- For the winter 2016-17, Oasis of the Seas will inaugurate Oasis-class adventures from Port Canaveral, alternating a seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itinerary. Rhapsody of the Seas will take over three- and four-night Bahamas cruises from Enchantment of the Seas.

- Vacationers also can choose quick four- and five-night Western Caribbean cruises throughout winter aboard Brilliance of the Seas from Tampa, Fla.

Mexico and Southern Caribbean from Galveston and Puerto Rico

- Liberty of the Seas will continue its year-round deployment sailing from Galveston, Texas, offering vacationers a wide selection of seven-night Mexico and Western Caribbean cruises.

- Vacationers also can choose seven-night, Southern Caribbean itineraries, sailing year-round from San Juan, Puerto Rico, aboard Adventure of the Seas. In the winter, Jewel of the Seas also will homeport at San Juan and sail to the Southern Caribbean.

Posted: March 5th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Andy Stuart Appointed President & Chief Operating Officer For Norwegian Cruise Line

Written by: Cruise News

March 4, 2015 – Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: NCLH) has announced that company veteran Andy Stuart has been named President and Chief Operating Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line effective today,  following the resignation of Drew Madsen.  Stuart has been with Norwegian Cruise Line since 1988 and has held a number of leadership positions, most recently as Executive Vice President of Sales.
AStuart photo 1 Andy Stuart Appointed President & Chief Operating Officer For Norwegian Cruise Line
“Given the recent restructuring of the role and job responsibilities, Drew has decided to step down. We thank him for his contributions and wish him well,” said Frank Del Rio, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “As we continue to build the newly merged organization, we are tapping into the tremendous company and industry knowledge that Andy has, along with the strong relationships he has built with our travel partners.”

“Andy and Norwegian are virtually synonymous. He is very well known and respected by our guests, travel partners, officers, crew, and team members. I am extremely confident that he is the perfect leader for the next phase of Norwegian’s growth,” added Del Rio. In this role, Stuart will report to Del Rio.
Stuart has been instrumental in building the Norwegian brand, particularly in the roll out and marketing of the line’s signature Freestyle Cruising. He also greatly strengthened relationships with travel partners with the introduction of Partners First, the company’s corporate philosophy of always putting its travel partners first.  During his 27-year tenure with the company, he has held responsibility for a number of key areas including: Global Sales, Passenger Services, Revenue Management, Marketing and Public Relations. He also served as Chief Product Officer, responsible for delivery of the Freestyle Cruising product across the Norwegian fleet, ensuring that it provided exceptional value and quality for guests and was consistent with the marketing and brand positioning of the company.

“Having seen Norwegian Cruise Line grow significantly during the course of my career, I am thrilled and proud to lead this incredible company as we continue to enhance and build the brand,” said Stuart. “The future is extremely bright and I am looking forward to continuing to work with our travel partners through our expanded sales team, delivering an exceptional product to our guests in conjunction with our hard-working officers and crew and ensuring that our team members are motivated and engaged, all the while building value for our shareholders.”

Posted: March 4th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Carnival Moving Ships To Increase Presence In New Orleans

Written by: Cruise News

March 2, 2015 – Carnival Cruise Line will expand capacity on its four- and five-day short cruise program from New Orleans by 34 percent when Carnival Triumph replaces Carnival Elation on this schedule next spring.

In turn, Carnival Elation will reposition to Jacksonville, Fla., for year-round four- and five-day cruises and Carnival Fascination will shift to San Juan for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in spring 2016, providing consumers with fresh and exciting new choices in these markets. As previously announced, Carnival Liberty will replace Carnival Triumph on the line’s year-round four- and five- day cruise program from Galveston next spring.

“Repositioning these ships to New Orleans, Jacksonville and San Juan provides our guests and valued travel agent partners with fresh and exciting new ‘Fun Ship’ choices in three important and highly attractive cruise markets,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president.

New Choices in the Big Easy
Carnival Triumph will shift from Galveston to New Orleans to launch year-round four- and five-day cruises to Mexico beginning April 4, 2016. On this route, four-day “long weekend” cruises depart Thursdays and call at Cozumel while five-day cruises depart Mondays and Saturdays and visit Cozumel and Progreso. During these fun and affordable getaways, consumers can relax on world-class beaches, enjoy a variety of dining, shopping and cultural opportunities and visit centuries-old Mayan ruins including Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Carnival Triumph will also offer a special three-day cruise round-trip from New Orleans April 8-11, 2016.

Carnival Triumph will join Carnival Dream which operates year-round seven-day cruises from New Orleans. Together these two ships are expected to carry 450,000 guests annually from New Orleans – the most of any cruise operator. Carnival is the only cruise line to operate two year-round ships from New Orleans and offers the widest variety of cruise durations and itinerary choices from the Big Easy.

Carnival Triumph has undergone an extensive dry dock that added a number of Fun Ship 2.0 innovations, including Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri, poolside watering holes BlueIguana Tequila Bar and RedFrog Rum Bar, the BlueIguana Cantina Mexican eatery, cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, and Cherry On Top, a “candy and more” store. Carnival Triumph also features more than 500 staterooms and suites with private balconies that are not generally available on other short cruises and are highly coveted by Carnival guests.

Carnival Elation to Jacksonville, Carnival Fascination to San Juan
Carnival Elation will shift from New Orleans to Jacksonville to operate year-round four- and five-day cruises from Jaxport beginning April 23, 2016, providing a newer ship on this highly attractive cruise program.

Carnival Elation will assume Carnival Fascination’s four- and five-day schedule from Jacksonville and continue cruising’s only year-round program from that port. Four-day cruises depart Thursdays and visit Freeport and Nassau and five-day voyages depart Mondays and Thursdays and visit the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Nassau.

In turn, Carnival Fascination will reposition to San Juan to operate year-round seven-day southern Caribbean cruises beginning April 24, 2016. These week-long adventures feature five breathtaking Caribbean islands: St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. In addition to some of the world’s best beaches, these tropical seaside destinations are known for their exceptional snorkeling, scuba diving and water sports.

Exciting Six- to 11-day Voyages from New Orleans and San Juan
In anticipation of its new homeport, Carnival Elation will offer two exciting longer length cruises visiting some of the Caribbean’s most stunning ports of call. An 11-day cruise will depart New Orleans April 2 and arrive in San Juan April 13, 2016, with port calls at Aruba, Curacao, Grenada, Barbados, Antigua, and St. Thomas, while a 10-day cruise will sail from San Juan to Jacksonville April 13-23, 2016, featuring Barbados, Grenada, Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Thomas.

Carnival Fascination will also offer a special six-day cruise departing Jacksonville April 18 and arriving in San Juan April 24, 2016. Featured ports on this one-time voyage will include St. Thomas, St. Kitts and St. Maarten.

All of these cruises have been specially designed to offer our guests who have previously sailed with Carnival from New Orleans or Jacksonville, with new itineraries that visit more exotic ports of call. The unique appeal of these voyages should provide first-time cruisers with even more incentive to experience a Carnival cruise vacation. The 10- and 11-day cruises also offer our valued travel agent partners with the ability to earn higher commissions due to the longer cruise duration.

Posted: March 2nd, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Harmony Of The Seas Will Feature New Thrills & Adventures

Written by: Cruise News

February 25, 2015 – Royal Caribbean International’s new generation Oasis-class ship, Harmony of the Seas, is set to launch in April 2016. The third in the Oasis class of ships – currently the largest cruise ships in the world – will continue the cruise line’s philosophy of innovation and imagination to offer a unique vacation adventure for guests.

“We are orchestrating a medley of new exciting concepts with the best Royal Caribbean innovations to strike the perfect chord for adventurous vacationers. That is why we are calling our third Oasis-class ship Harmony of the Seas,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

Harmony of the Seas, featuring the cruise line’s design of seven distinct neighborhoods for which Oasis class is known, will offer the most amazing collection of experiences, amenities and activities at sea. Guests can test their mettle on the ship’s three multi-story waterslides, all of which twist and turn over Central Park 10 decks below. One of the slides also will feature a champagne bowl that swirls guests around as they make their approach to the end of the ride.

“The Oasis class ships continue to astound and delight both new and experienced cruisers. They shatter preconceived notions of what cruising can be and continue to stand in a category by themselves,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “With Harmony of the Seas, we are making the most exciting experience at sea even better.”

Harmony of the Seas also will feature a new Bionic Bar on the Royal Promenade. The Bionic Bar was first introduced aboard Quantum of the Seas, and feature robot bartenders serving up one-of-a-kind crafted cocktails while dancing to a fluid beat. Additionally, guests onboard Harmony of the Seas will enjoy RFID technology with Royal WOWBands that provide them access to their staterooms as well as make onboard purchases and reservations. Like her sisters, Harmony also will feature the fastest Internet connection at sea where guests can stream video; Skype with family and friends back at home; and share their vacation memories through social media instantly while at sea.
 Harmony Of The Seas Will Feature New Thrills & Adventures
While Oasis and Allure offered some of the largest staterooms in the fleet, on Harmony of the Seas the company has made some stateroom categories even larger. Interior accommodations also will be outfitted with Royal Caribbean’s exclusive Virtual Balconies which offer a view in every stateroom, while single travelers will have studio stateroom choices. Suite guests also will have exclusive new areas to enjoy, from a well-appointed suite lounge and a private suites-only restaurant called Coastal Kitchen to an exclusive full-service Suite Sun Zone sun deck.

Younger and young-at-heart guests can take a spin on the handcrafted carousel or enjoy a new classic games arcade on the ship’s Boardwalk neighborhood. While parents enjoy the newly relocated Starbucks café on the Boardwalk, kids can meet new friends at a new climbing play area.

Royal Caribbean’s Dynamic Dining will give Harmony of the Seas’ guests a culinary experience as vast and varied as dining in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities with more choice and flexibility than ever before. Those preferring a more traditional cruise dining style may select the “Classic” option which will offer two set seating times. Dynamic Dining’s “Classic” option allows guests to rotate through each of the main complimentary restaurants at an early- or a late-seating time throughout their cruise with their dining group and the same assigned waiter each evening.

New specialty restaurant concepts will provide even more variety for guests including Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, with a new teppanyaki menu, and the Sabor Modern Mexican restaurant. The new Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine will give guests the chance to experience a unique culinary adventure for the senses when Royal Caribbean chefs twist their culinary kaleidoscopes in a whimsical setting that challenges the imagination with never-before-seen fare.

Posted: February 25th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Anthem Of The Seas Will ‘Rock You’ With Groundbreaking Entertainment

Written by: Cruise News

February 13, 2015

Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, Anthem of the Seas, will wow audiences with a show-stopping lineup of entertainment offerings that push the envelope far beyond imagination. From stage shows to multidimensional entertainment that seamlessly fuses technology with highly trained live performers, stunning visuals and special effects, Anthem of the Seas delivers an array of productions and performances that will leave audiences spellbound.

Seating 1,300 guests, the Royal Theater is home to Royal Caribbean’s two main shows:
 Anthem Of The Seas Will Rock You With Groundbreaking Entertainment
We Will Rock You – the smash hit musical featuring the greatest hits of legendary British rock group, Queen. Written by British comedian Ben Elton, the hilarious award-winning, record-breaking phenomenon is built around 24 of Queen’s greatest hits and tells the story of a group of Bohemians who struggle to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion and live music in a distant future where everyone dresses, thinks and does the same. Musical instruments and composers are forbidden, and rock music is all but unknown.

The Gift – an original Royal Caribbean production created exclusively for Anthem, The Gift is a musical journey of fantasy and illusion that begins one stormy night with the arrival of a “Magical Gift”. A beautiful production that is sure to delight, inspire and touch the hearts of all who come to see it.

Two70, which is named for its magnificent 270-degree panoramic sea views provided by vast, floor-to-ceiling glass walls that span almost three decks high at the stern of the ship, is a multi-level great room that seamlessly fuses entertainment and technology to create a transformative journey for guests from morning to night. With the integration of Vistarama and Roboscreens, highly trained live performers, music and special effects, Two70 provides an endless landscape for Royal Caribbean to create stunningly visual, first-of-their-kind shows that can only be seen on Anthem of the Seas. Main shows include:

Spectra’s Cabaret – an original Royal Caribbean Production created by Moment Factory, exclusively for Two70 on Anthem of the Seas, features the Maestro and his Agents of Rhythm as they invite you to an electric multi-dimensional cabaret where you will be transported into invisible realms. Each night, the portal opens for a limited period of time and the audience immerses themselves in a multi-media show brimming with kaleidoscopic sounds, effervescent colors and dazzling movement. Spectra’s Cabaret blends live performance and experiential cinema along with music from popular culture. It creates a world seen through the lens of music and technology, all the while exploring the deepest recesses of the heart.

Posted: February 17th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Coming In 2016: Carnival Vista To Homeport In Miami, Carnival Breeze & Carnival Liberty Will Move To Galveston

Written by: Cruise News

February 12, 2015 – PortMiami will be the year-round homeport for Carnival Cruise Line’s largest ship to date, the 133,500-ton Carnival Vista, when it launches six- to eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning in December 2016.

Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, Carnival Vista will take cruising to new heights, introducing groundbreaking features such as SkyRide, a suspended open-air cycling experience; the world’s first IMAX® Theatre on a ship; Kaleid-O-Slide, the line’s first water tube slide; and RedFrog Pub, including the line’s first onboard brewery.

Carnival will further bolster its leadership position in Galveston, repositioning Carnival Breeze and Carnival Liberty to Texas in 2016, joining Carnival Freedom which arrives in Galveston this Saturday. Carnival Breeze and Carnival Liberty will replace Carnival Magic and Carnival Triumph, respectively, in Galveston.  Details on new homeports for Carnival Magic and Carnival Triumph, as well as year-round departures from San Juan, will be provided over the coming weeks.

With Carnival Breeze, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom, Galveston will be home to three of the line’s most innovative ships offering the widest array of cruise durations and itineraries to top destinations in Mexico, Belize, Isla Roatan and The Bahamas. These three ships will carry 600,000 passengers annually from Galveston – more than any other cruise operator.

“Miami and Galveston are among our most popular points of embarkation and deploying our newest, most innovative ships to these homeports speaks volumes about our confidence in growing these markets,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “These ships not only offer our guests incredible on-board experiences but also provide our valued travel agent partners with exciting new choices to market to their clients,” she added.

Island-Intensive Caribbean Cruises from Miami on Carnival Vista
Carnival Vista kicks off its new schedule from PortMiami with a special four-day cruise to Grand Turk departing Nov. 29, 2016.  The ship will then launch year-round six- and eight-day cruises beginning with an eight-day voyage departing Dec. 3, 2016.  Six-day cruises feature Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, while a mix of different eight-day itineraries visit some of the Caribbean’s most sought-after destinations, including Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and La Romana (Dominican Republic).

The ship will also offer a combination of one-time voyages, including a five-day cruise departing Dec. 11 and seven-day voyages departing Dec. 17 and 24, 2016, that offer an exciting selection of ports including the Caribbean’s newest destination, Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, as well as Mahogany Bay, Grand Turk, Belize, San Juan, St. Thomas and Cozumel, depending on the itinerary.

In addition to visiting breathtaking Caribbean destinations, guests can experience all the Carnival Vista has to offer – from the colorful Havana area with tropics-inspired staterooms and suites and Family Harbor with special accommodations and a new family concierge to delicious choices like Seafood Shack and new al fresco options at the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi and Cherry On Top, featuring a mixed-to-order premium ice cream bar.

Three- to 11-Day Carnival Vista Sailings from the Big Apple
Prior to the start-up of year-round service from Miami, Carnival Vista will operate a pair of voyages round-trip from New York beginning with a three-day cruise November 4-7, 2016, followed by an 11-day voyage departing Nov. 7, 2016, and visiting Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua and St. Maarten.  Carnival Vista will then offer a spectacular 11-day cruise from New York to Miami Nov. 18-29, 2016, with calls at Grand Turk, Bonaire, Aruba and St. Maarten, an unmatched combination of great destinations not available on any other cruise from New York.

Carnival Vista is slated to operate an inaugural season of European cruises May to October 2016 before repositioning to New York, then launching year-round Caribbean cruises from Miami in November 2016.

Exciting New Options in Galveston
Carnival Liberty and Carnival Breeze will shift to Galveston in 2016, providing consumers with Texas-sized fun on departures from the Lone Star State.

Carnival Liberty will launch year-round four- and five-day cruises to Mexico from Galveston beginning March 21, 2016.  Four-day “long weekend” cruises depart Thursdays and feature a stop at Cozumel, while five-day voyages depart Mondays and Saturdays visiting Cozumel and Progreso. Prior to the start-up of its new Texas-based program, Carnival Liberty will offer a special three-day cruise round-trip from Galveston March 18-21, 2016.

Carnival Breeze – the line’s newest ship – will offer three different week-long itineraries visiting popular ports in the Caribbean, Mexico and Florida beginning Dec. 11, 2016.  Western Caribbean voyages call at either Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel or Belize, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan) and Cozumel, while a Bahamas/Florida route includes Nassau, Freeport, and Key West. Carnival Breeze will also offer a special two-day cruise from Galveston Dec. 9-11, 2016, before kicking off its new year-round seven-day schedule.

Carnival Breeze and Carnival Liberty bring exciting new choices to Galveston, each with an array of on-board features.  Carnival Breeze offers such innovations as a multi-dimensional cinema experience called Thrill Theater, Bonsai Sushi full-service Asian restaurant and WaterWorks highlighted by a 312-foot-long slide, while Carnival Liberty offers a classic American steakhouse, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar and a 14,500-square-foot spa.

New Value-Packed 12-day Cruises Offer Exciting Destinations
In preparation for their new deployments, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Breeze will each operate a unique 12-day cruise in 2016, visiting a variety of exotic Caribbean destinations.  These departures have been created especially for those guests who are looking for a longer-length cruise vacation providing more time to enjoy the ships’ wide range of amenities while visiting less frequently traveled islands throughout the Caribbean.

Carnival Liberty will offer a 12-day cruise from San Juan to Galveston March 6-18, 2016, calling at St. Thomas, Barbados, Tobago, Grenada, Aruba and Grand Cayman. Carnival Breeze will operate a 12-day cruise departing Miami Nov. 27, 2016, and arriving in Galveston Dec. 9, 2016.  Featured ports on this one-time voyage include St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Curacao, Aruba and Cozumel.

Reservations are currently being accepted for these new deployments.

Posted: February 12th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam to Feature New, Innovative and Reimagined Culinary Experiences

Written by: Cruise News

February 11, 2015 — When ms Koningsdam joins the Holland America Line fleet in February 2016, the ship will debut the cruise line’s evolving culinary vision with new dining and eatery concepts, reimagined venues and innovative features that incorporate the essence of the line’s renowned and award-winning dining experience.

Although the ship is still under construction, travelers already can come “onboard” through a new video at ms Koningsdam that explores the culinary experience through sweeping visuals and vibrant renderings.

“Koningsdam allows us to leverage our culinary creativity and debut new brand-exclusive venues and magnificent food concepts as well as enhance our current successful offerings,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We know that guests are going to be excited with our many creative dining choices and appealing new experiences aboard Koningsdam.”

Guests will have the opportunity to embark on a culinary adventure that features cuisine from around the world in several alternative restaurants; an immersive dining experience in the reimagined Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine; a re-designed casual Lido Market with themed serving stations; relaxing cafes; and an exciting, interactive culinary-themed walkway — all in addition to the main dining room. All menus are developed by award-winning Holland America Line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, working closely with the line’s team of highly regarded international chefs.

“With Koningsdam, we are building upon our outstanding culinary foundation,” said Sodamin, who recently was named Best Cruise Line Chef by Porthole Magazine.  “Our guests will truly appreciate the many inventive menu choices and the visionary innovations that will be delivered with our first Pinnacle Class ship.”

Take a Stroll Through the Heart of ms Koningsdam’s Culinary Experience
Deck 2 will showcase several of the ship’s dining venues along one central promenade. In addition to the Main Dining Room, guests will find the Culinary Arts Center, alternative venues the Pinnacle Grill and Sel de Mer — the new French seafood brasserie — and interactive displays presenting icons of the food and wine world.

A central bar area overlooking the atrium enables guests to check in for their alternative-dining reservation at a hosted central podium, relax with a pre-dinner cocktail and peruse the menu before ordering prior to being escorted and seated at the restaurant.

Reimagined Culinary Arts Center Now Also a Dinner Venue
As guests make their way along Deck 2, they’ll pass the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine. On Koningsdam, the center becomes a dedicated shipboard setting with a dramatic show kitchen and individual cooking stations that will be used exclusively for Culinary Arts Center activities such as cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes by visiting celebrity chefs and the ship’s own experts. Regionally inspired workshops, as well as kids’ and teens’ cooking classes, also will be featured. Large mirrors, viewing screens and an open kitchen make it possible for everyone to watch the food preparation and learn from the comfort of their table.

In the evening, the room transforms into a new dining concept called Dinner at the Culinary Arts Center, an immersive farm-to-table experience where the chefs prepare simple, artisanal dishes in the show kitchen and guests enjoy each course as it’s freshly prepared. Every meal will emphasize fresh, thoughtfully sourced selections while incorporating select ingredients harvested from a glass-enclosed growing area just off the kitchen.

Lining the entry to the Culinary Arts Center are nine interactive displays that allow guests to explore the lives of food and wine luminaries, their culinary secrets, recipe tips, favorite dishes and more.

Indulge in the Freshest Seafood at Sel de Mer
New to Koningsdam is an intimate French seafood brasserie called Sel de Mer. Located next to the popular Pinnacle Grill, Sel de Mer, or “salt of the sea” in French, will serve a classic selection of French seafood dishes with a contemporary twist — from fresh oysters, seafood chowder and fruits de mer to salt-crusted whole fish, scallops and bouillabaisse. Sel de Mer will re-create a setting reminiscent of the finest French brasseries where waiters are traditionally dressed and guests may choose their evening meal from a selection of fresh fish and shell fish displayed on ice in the center of the room. The Koningsdam’s chefs also will go ashore whenever possible and bring back the catch of the day as a daily special for the evening’s menu. Sel de Mer will be available for a modest charge.

Pacific Northwest Dishes Featured at the Pinnacle Grill
The award-winning Pinnacle Grill is located beside Sel de Mer. The popular alternative restaurant will continue to feature Pacific Northwest cuts of beef and other traditional steakhouse favorites. The centerpiece of the Pinnacle Grill is a dramatic glass-enclosed wine room situated between the two restaurants. Guests will be able to view all of the wines from both venues and chose their favorite vintage from among hundreds of selections. As on all the ships, a fee is charged for the Pinnacle Grill.

A Rich Selection of Options and New Innovations Abound
Koningsdam will feature a selection of additional dining options throughout the ship. From the casual Lido Market and new Grand Dutch Cafe to Tamarind and Canaletto, guests will be delighted with the variety of venues.

Lido Market Evolves with Themed Stations
When guests head to Lido Market on Koningsdam, they’ll notice a transformation from traditional Lido dining areas into a modern marketplace, offering a curated selection of delicious options guests can grab either on-the-go or have quickly made to order.  Different themed stations with walk-up service will showcase specific types of food, such as fresh-made innovative sandwiches, salads, international fare, comfort-style dishes, desserts and more. The area will have a market-like atmosphere with display shelves, daily specials highlighted on menu boards, servers in distinct uniforms and market-style signage.

Stations will feature:
-“Breadboard,” serving freshly baked breads, pastries, and delicious signature sandwiches.
-“Wild Harvest,” offering a bountiful selection of salads, fruits and health-conscious options.
-“Homestead,” serving home-style scrambled eggs at breakfast and herb-roasted chicken and other comfort classics at lunch and dinner.
-“Distant Lands,” presenting great tastes from around the globe as well as from the regions visited by the ship.
-“Sweet Spot,” offering delicious desserts and treats.

New Grand Dutch Cafe Reflects the Company’s Rich Heritage
Vibrant shades of Delftware’s blue and white converge with the silhouettes of charming Amsterdam buildings in the whimsical Grand Dutch Cafe. Located on Deck 3 at the top of the Atrium, the new venue is a nod to Holland America Line’s rich heritage and the ideal place to grab Dutch-themed snacks or beverages, with Heineken beer on tap.

Tamarind Brings the Flavors of Asia Onboard
Tamarind carries on the success found aboard ms Eurodam and ms Nieuw Amsterdam with an enhanced experience on Koningsdam. Featuring the culinary traditions of Southeast Asia, China and Japan, Tamarind will be located on the uppermost deck, providing guests with stunning panoramic views. New to Koningsdam will be an intimate sushi bar inside Tamarind with select seating for seven guests for lunch and dinner. Dining at Tamarind is available for a nominal fee.

Indulge in Italian Delicacies at Canaletto
Adjacent to the Lido dining area, every eve
ning the festive Canaletto features an authentic Italian “sharing” dinner experience that offers a variety of dishes to enjoy and share with family and friends. The small-plate menu was conceived out of the desire to slow down the meal and create a more authentic Italian experience. Dining at Canaletto carries a minimal fee.

The Culinary Adventure Continues
Guests will find additional venues on Koningsdam, including the outdoor Dive-In at the Terrace Grill by the ship’s Lido pool that features signature burgers, hot dogs and fries; and the Main Dining Room that will continue to offer two seatings and menus that highlight the dishes of Holland America Line’s Culinary Council — Master Chef and Council Chairman Rudi Sodamin and renowned international chefs Mark Best, Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Elizabeth Falkner and Jacques Torres. A grand wine tower that stretches between the two decks of the restaurant will be the focal point.

Posted: February 11th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Disney Cruise Line Introduces Star Wars Day at Sea on Select Disney Fantasy Sailings

Written by: Cruise News

February 11, 2015 – In 2016, Disney Cruise Line guests can celebrate the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga during a brand-new, day-long celebration aboard eight special sailings on the Disney Fantasy: Star Wars Day at Sea.

Marking the first official appearance of the heroes and villains of Star Wars aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship, Star Wars Day at Sea combines the power of the Force, the magic of Disney and the excitement of cruising for an out-of-this-galaxy experience unlike any other.

Occurring one day during each of eight Disney Fantasy sailings, Star Wars Day at Sea will transport guests to a galaxy far, far away — in the Western Caribbean. The event features a full day of Star Wars celebrations, including a deck party, meet-and-greets with favorite characters, Star Wars-themed youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings, and special merchandise.

Also featured will be exclusive at-sea screenings of the Star Wars films and the new Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.

Throughout the day, Star Wars Younglings, Padawans and Jedi Masters alike will enjoy the immersive entertainment. Intergalactic highlights include:

Force-filled Fun for Everyone

Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Stormtroopers and other characters from across the Star Wars galaxy will be onboard for scheduled meet and greets, as well as roaming on deck and elsewhere around the ship. Guests also are encouraged to dress up in their own stellar costumes.

A shipboard version of the popular Jedi Training Academy experience invites young Jedi hopefuls – known as “Padawans” – to learn lightsaber moves from a Jedi Master. They can then use the Force and face off in a final test against the evil Darth Vader.

Kids and families enjoy friendly competition during Star Wars trivia games, covering fun facts from the film and television sagas.

For Younglings, Star Wars-themed arts and crafts, games and activities will be offered throughout the day in Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab youth clubs.

In the evening, adults entering the night club will feel like they stepped into the Mos Eisley cantina scene. Characters and cantina music set the mood as Star Wars-themed specialty cocktails are served.

Film Screenings and Celebrities

Guests can watch the first six Star Wars films and follow Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke and Leia along their epic journey.

Also showing will be episodes of the new Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.

On each of the special sailings, celebrities and insiders from the Star Wars galaxy will share their experiences, meet fans and sign autographs.

Star Wars Deck Party and Fireworks

There’s intergalactic fun when the Star Wars deck party blasts off to an exciting evening filled with music, dancing and games.

Star Wars characters converge on the deck stage for a celebration of the Star Wars saga in a show featuring special effects and guest participation.

The deck party culminates in a spectacular display of themed pyrotechnics, lighting, sound effects, lasers and Star Wars

Star Wars Day at Sea will be on Disney Fantasy cruises sailing on Jan. 9, 23; Feb. 6, 20; March 5, 19; April 2 and 16, 2016. Departing from Port Canaveral, the seven-night Western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.

Posted: February 11th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Holland America Line Tops $4.3 Million Donated for Cancer Support

Written by: Cruise News

February 4, 2015 – In honor of World Cancer Day, Holland America Line is proud to announce that to date, the guests and employees of the company have raised more than $4.3 million for cancer support through “On Deck” programming that began in 2006. Currently, the “On Deck for a Cause” program benefits six international cancer organizations located in the United States, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom.

On Deck for a Cause invites guests to participate in a noncompetitive 5k fundraising walk on every sailing aboard each of the line’s 15 ships, with proceeds distributed among the American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Cancer Council Australia, Cancer Research UK, Deutsche Krebshilfe (German Cancer Aid) and KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society).

“Giving back is part of our corporate culture at Holland America Line, and On Deck for a Cause allows our guests and employees to join together for and make an impact for an important cause that touches us all,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “To have surpassed $4.3 million is a huge milestone for our On Deck program, and with fundraising walks happening every cruise – more than 500 cruises a year – we are looking forward to raising even more to help fight cancer.”

Guests of all ages are invited to donate $20 to the Holland America Line Foundation. On a day at sea, participants join in a 5k walk around the ship’s decks. Guests may walk less or not at all, as they prefer. Participants also receive an On Deck for a Cause T-shirt, wristband and a reception following the walk. Depending on the ship, the distance to reach 5k ranges from nine to 12 laps.

In 2015, more than 500 On Deck for a Cause events will be held across the Holland America Line fleet, with walks taking place globally on cruises to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, South Pacific, Alaska’s Inside Passage, Mexico, Asia, the Baltic, Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and South America.

Each year Holland America Line hosts more than 25 shipboard charity luncheons for nearly 5,000 guests in its homeport cities. In addition to the luncheons and events, Holland America Line and its corporate foundation’s charitable-giving programs include cash sponsorships, in-kind donations, free- and reduced-fare cruise donations for nonprofit fundraising events, donations of usable shipboard items around the world, employee volunteerism and other philanthropic activities.

Posted: February 4th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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