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Carnival To Feature “Cigar City Brewing” Craft Beers On All Florida-based Ships

Written by: Cruise

July 14, 2014 — Capitalizing on the growing popularity of craft beer in the U.S., Carnival Cruise Lines has entered into an exclusive agreement to offer Tampa-based Cigar City Brewing’s craft beers on all of its Florida-based ships.

Cigar City’s Florida Cracker Belgian-Style White Ale and Invasion Pale Ale will be available on 13 Carnival ships sailing from five Florida ports beginning this week. Combined, those ships carry more than two million guests each year.

The agreement — the first partnership of this magnitude between a craft brewery and a major cruise line — was announced Sunday, July 13, at an event aboard Carnival Legend at the Port of Tampa.

“Carnival continues to seek high-quality brands to enhance our guests’ experience, and Cigar City Brewing has been rated among the top craft breweries in the world,” said Eddie Allen, Carnival’s vice president of beverage operations. “Cigar City Brewing craft beers are a fantastic addition to our already extensive beverage menus and will provide our guests a chance to enjoy two delicious and refreshing beers that aren’t available on any other cruise line.” Allen noted that Carnival also offers its own private label draught beer, ThirstyFrog Red, which is available throughout the fleet.

“Cigar City Brewing could not be happier than to partner with another great Florida institution, that being Carnival Cruise Lines. Everyone at Cigar City Brewing is thrilled to start this wonderful partnership,” said Joe Burns, national sales manager for Cigar City Brewing.

Carnival has 13 Florida-based ships sailing three- to eight-day itineraries to the Caribbean, Mexico and The Bahamas, including Carnival Breeze, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Glory, Carnival Victory and Carnival Splendor from Miami; Carnival Sensation, Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Liberty from Port Canaveral; Carnival Freedom from Fort Lauderdale; Carnival Paradise and Carnival Legend from Tampa, and Carnival Fascination from Jacksonville.

Cigar City’s Florida Cracker Belgian-Style White Ale is named for the colonial-era “Cracker” cowboys of Florida. Florida Cracker Belgian-Style White Ale is brewed with unmalted wheat, orange peel and coriander, which ends with a spicy, dry finish. The beer pours cloudy straw in color and has moderate notes of orange peel, coriander and hints of vanilla.

Gold in color, Invasion Pale Ale is Cigar City’s version of a “session” beer (a beer with a relatively low alcohol content), in a hoppy ale that celebrates Tampa’s alleged history of being a pirate hideout. The tropical aroma offers suggestions of peach, mango, lime and papaya. Invasion has a light caramel malt character laced with a slight “breadiness” and the finish offers a bounty of tropical and citrus hop flavor and bitterness.

Unlike most U.S. craft breweries, Cigar City Brewing packages most of its beverages in aluminum cans. Aluminum cans are the most widely recycled containers in the United States, and aluminum may be reused repeatedly without loss of strength or quality. From a beer drinker’s perspective, cans have zero light penetration to better preserve the integrity of the brew, they chill faster, are easier to store and have a longer shelf life than bottles. Cans also are shatterproof and therefore are allowed where bottles are not — such as poolside. Producing new cans from recycled aluminum reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 95 percent.

Florida Craft Brewing Trends

Over the past decade, the number of craft and microbreweries has grown dramatically across the United States and consumer demand for craft brews continues to increase. In 2013 in Florida, the state’s 66 small breweries produced 130,000 barrels (4.03 million gallons) of craft-brewed beer for an economic impact of $875.8 million, ranking the state 12th in the nation.

Nationwide, in 2013 the overall beer market represented total sales of $100 billion, of which $14.3 billion was craft beers. That represented a 20 percent increase in craft beer sales and an 18 percent increase in production volume over 2012, according to the Brewers Association.

Posted: July 14th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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MSC Cruises Becomes The First To Offer 24/7 Pediatric Telemedicine

Written by: Cruise

July 11, 2014 – Those cruising with children can take comfort in knowing that MSC Cruises has become the first cruise line in the world to offer guests a 24/7 multilingual pediatric telemedicine service on board, through a partnership with the Giannina Gaslini Institute, in Genoa, Italy, a world-class center of excellence in pediatric medicine.

MSC Cruises will install new technology across its entire fleet to enable ship-to-shore care of children with onshore support from specialists at the Gaslini Institute. Operational September 1, 2014, fleet-wide, MSC Cruises’ onboard doctors will be able to consult specialist pediatricians at any time to seek a second opinion or carry out procedures such as remote diagnosis, radiology and monitoring.

No other cruise company in the world provides such a service, which will bring peace of mind to the thousands of families that take cruise vacations every year.

The project was announced in Genoa by the CEO of MSC Cruises, Gianni Onorato, the Director General of the Giannina Gaslini Institute, Paul Petralia, and the President of the Liguria Region, Claudio Burlando.

Mr. Onorato said: “MSC Cruises is a family-owned company and we strongly believe in caring for the health and safety of our guests on board, with particular attention to younger travelers, who can require help and treatment quite different from other age groups. We’re really excited about this collaboration, which is particularly adapted to our family cruises, no matter where in the world. Pediatric telemedicine is an addition to other existing services on our ships, such as teleradiology and teleconsultation, for a cruise vacation where we can respond to any need.”

“The expertise of our specialists is being made available beyond the walls of the Gaslini,” said the Director General of the Gaslini, Paolo Petralia. “This enables onboard doctors to confirm their diagnoses and treatments using a cutting-edge system of remote image and data transmission. All this reaffirms the Gaslini Institute’s commitment to offer the best care everywhere while developing the most advanced and efficient means of care and information technology.”

This innovation further improves onboard medical responses through diagnostic and therapeutic functions that were once only possible on land. The link-up, via satellite, will be available on all MSC Cruises itineraries anywhere on the planet.

The telemedicine technology is managed by Carestream, which has developed a platform to enable requests for distance consultation to be made easily from the remotest locations, allowing Gaslini doctors to move quickly with diagnoses and referrals. The process is fully computerized, from the consultation request to the response, and respects the highest of safety standards.

Posted: July 11th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Windstar Cruises to Debut Exclusive Private Events on all 2015 Voyages

Written by: Cruise

July 9, 2014 – Starting in 2015, all Windstar Cruises’ itineraries will feature a spectacular onshore Private Event, created exclusively for Windstar guests. These complimentary events are crafted to give guests an in depth and authentic local experience that compliments their voyage. Private Events include activities such as an after-hours tour and dinner under the stars in the magnificent Celsus Library of Ephesus or a private ballet performance in the famed Odessa National Opera and Ballet Theatre.

“We curated these Private Events with the local experience in mind. Our product managers toured the regions sampling cuisines, talking to locals, visiting the UNESCO sites to create the best experience possible,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “Our guests gain an even deeper involvement into the local culture.”

Windstar debuted its first exclusive Private Event on its Dreams of Tahiti voyage in May. The event, included on all 2014 sailings through the South Pacific, features an evening of entertainment with music and a dazzling performance by local fire dancers on a secluded island or “motu.” The evening also includes a dinner of local Tahitian cuisine with tender suckling pig slowly steamed in a traditional ”ahima’a” earth oven.

New Private Events featured on 2015 voyages:

Asia

Phuket: A Feast for the Senses: Featured on the Singapore & the Malay Peninsula voyage, guests will start the evening with a performance by local dancers and a Long Drum Parade, followed by dinner at the award-winning restaurant, Sala Bua (Pavilion of Lotus), overlooking the Andaman Sea, and a private performance of graceful Thai dance.

Hoi An: Dreams of Floating Lanterns: Featured on the Treasures of Southeast Asia, Southeast Asia Unveiled, and Southeast Asia Unveiled & Angkor Wat Cruisetour voyages, guests will start the evening with a private performance of lion dancers, before dining in the beautiful Nam Long restaurant surrounded by lush gardens on the Thu Bon River. Floating lanterns gliding down the river accompanied by traditional music and dancers will add to the enchantment of the evening. Guests will also have the opportunity to take part in interactive workshops of Vietnamese letter drawing, lantern-making, and wood-engraving.

Arabia

Luxor: Temples and Tombs on the Nile: Featured on the Wonders of Arabia and Wonders of Civilization Cruisetour voyages, guests will travel to Luxor for a two-day tour of the Luxor Temple that includes an evening showing of the Sound and Light display at Karnak Temple, and a one-night hotel stay in the Hilton Luxor. On the second day of the tour, guests will explore the Valley of the Kings – the most important archaeological site in the world that features the tombs of King Tutankhamun and Ramses IV – followed by lunch aboard a felucca, a traditional sailboat, as they float down the Nile.

Greek Isles, Turkey & Black Sea

Rhodes: The Tantalizing Tastes of Greece: Featured on the Greek Isles & Turkish Delights (Athens to Istanbul) voyage, guests will be wined and dined at the award winning Hatzikelis Fish Taverna in Rhodes that will include a sampling of traditional and modern Greek fare and wines from the local Cair Winery, followed by an exhilarating performance by local musicians and dancers.

Kusadasi: Evening in Ephesus: Featured on the Greek Isles & Turkish Delights (Istanbul to Athens) and Pride of the Aegean voyages, guests will enjoy an after-hours tour of the magnificent Celsus Library of Ephesus. The evening includes a five-course, white-glove-service dinner in the courtyard of the Library serenaded by a trio from the Aegean Chamber Orchestra.

Odessa: Artistry in Architecture and Dance: Featured on the Black Sea Tapestry voyage, guests will enjoy an exclusive ballet performance in the Odessa National Opera and Ballet Theatre – one of the most important landmarks of Eastern Europe designed by Viennese architects F. Felner and H. Helmer. The evening also includes champagne and canapés served during intermission, and a chance sighting of the famed ghost of Pavlova.

Caribbean & Panama Canal

Prickly Pear Beach: Island Beach Party: Featured on the Yachtsman’s Caribbean Voyage the event includes a day of relaxation and fun on Prickly Pear Beach, a secluded and uninhabited nature refuge in the British Virgin Islands. Activities include water skiing, kayaking, snorkeling, friendly games of beach volleyball, horseshoes, and bocce ball, and a lunch of freshly grilled local seafood.

Mayreau: Private Beach Getaway: Featured on the Jewels of the Windward Islands voyage, this Private Event includes a day in paradise on the small island of Mayreau. Guests will enjoy music and a Mixology Class to learn how to make favorite local drinks, in addition to an amazing lunch of fresh local food.

St. Lucia:
Getaway in Paradise: Featured on the Classic Caribbean voyage, guests will spend a day of fun and adventure on a secluded beach on Pigeon Island, where the bar is open and the steel drums are playing. Guests can take part in an escorted snorkeling excursion or a number of water sports. After working up an appetite, Windstar chefs will serve a dinner of local fresh fish, lobster, and the uniquely Caribbean specialty, conch.

Isla de Coiba:
Tropical Beach Delights: Featured on the Passage Through Panama voyage, guests will have opportunity to explore the Isla de Coiba, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, accessed only by special permit. Snorkel or take a guided hiking tour through the island’s untouched natural beauty. The day will be accompanied by live music, cocktails, and a beachside lunch.

Italy

Messina: Taste of Sicily: Featured on the Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast voyage, the event begins with a wine tasting and tour of Vinicola Benanti, a family-run winery, followed by lunch featuring traditional Sicilian food paired with a selection of the family’s wines.

Monte Carlo: Glitter & Games: Featured on the Yachting the Riviera, Rivera Enchantment, and Glitter & Glam of the Riveras voyages, guests will enjoy red carpet treatment during an on deck cocktail party set against the glittering backdrop of Monte Carlo. After dinner and cocktails on board, guests will enjoy a champagne and dessert reception in the legendary Grand Casino, followed by an evening of gaming in the city.

Agrigento: Beauty Among the Ruins: Featured on the Sicilian Splendors voyage, guests will enjoy an exclusive tour through the Valley of Temples – one of the most important archaeological sites in the world that features ancient temples and edifices built between 510 and 430 B.C. The day will include lunch at the five-star Hotel Villa Athena.

Mediterranean

Giardini Naxos: Taste of Sicily: Featured on the Enchanting Greece & the Amalfi Coast voyage, the event begins with a wine tasting and tour of Vinicola Benanti, a family-run winery, followed by lunch featuring traditional Sicilian food paired with a selection of the family’s wines.

Mallorca: Bolero, Fandango, and Other Works of Art: Featured on the Islands of the West Med and Spanish Serenade voyages, this event features a private guided tour through the March Palace, which features a renowned works of art collection. At the end of the tour, guests will enjoy tapas on the terrace and a performance by 30 local artists featuring Mallorcan folk dances such as the bolero, the jack, the fandango, and the copeo.

Cádiz: Best of Breed – Andalusian Horses and Sherry: Featured on the Splendors of Southern Spain voyage, this event starts with a tour and sherry tasting at the internationally recognized González Byass Bodega. The day also includes a spectacular equestrian ballet performed at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art Foundation, followed by tapas and a sherry tasting.

Marrakech: Textures and Treasures: Featured on the Casablanca & the Canary Islands voyage, this event starts with a tour of the famed Majorelle Gardens, followed by a private lunch served in the heart of the exclusive Palm Groves neighborhood of Marrakech. Guests will go on to visit the holy site of Ben Youssef Madrasa – a stunning example of 16th century Moorish architecture – followed by treasure hunting in Souk Smarine. Guests will end the day in Djemaa el Fna square, where fireeaters, mime artists, snake charmers, and street musicians perform.

Butrint: Bronze Age to Venetians: Featured on the Venetian Passageways voyage guests will enjoy a day of exploration in Butrint, which features some of the world’s most significant and beautiful Roman ruins. The day will also include a presentation by the former director and founder of Butrint National Park, Auron Tare, followed by a cocktail reception.

Northern Europe

St. Petersburg: Private Reception at the Catherine Palace: Featured on the Baltic Delights voyage, this event includes an exclusive tour through the Palace led by guides and followed by a champagne reception in the Throne Room, accompanied by “Catherine the Great” herself who will take part in a Farewell Dance in the Courtyard before departing in her royal carriage.

Bordeaux: A Perfect Blend: Featured on the Culinary & Wine Delights of Spain & France voyage guests will enjoy a wine tasting and estate tour of the Chateau Giscours. The tour includes a French cooking class at the Halle Suzanne followed by dinner accompanied by a quartet of classical musicians.

Porto: Songs and Spirits of Portugal: Featured on the Gems of France & Iberia and Best of Europe’s West Coast voyages this event includes a guided tour through the historic center of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Ferreira Cellars, where guests will enjoy a glass of port accompanied by a fado performance by the national known singer, Joana Costa.

Nærøyfjord: Dramatic Passage: Featured in the Lands of the Midnight Sun voyage, this event includes a sailing tour of the cascading waterfalls and stunning beauty of Nærøyfjord – a UNESCO World Heritage Site rated by the National Geographic Society as the world’s number one natural heritage site in 2006. The tour will include a picnic of regional delicacies as guests enjoy the vivid scenery.

Ijmuiden: Swords and Dungeons: Featured on the Northern Europe Wonderlands voyage, this event includes a guided tour through Forteiland, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one-of-a-kind fortress built half underground near Amsterdam. Following the day of exploration, guests will also enjoy a candlelit tapas dinner in the Koepelzaal (Dome Hall).

Copenhagen: An Evening with Princes and the Gods: Featured on the Spectacular Scandinavia and Scandinavian Tapestry voyages, this event includes a canal cruise through Copenhagen and a tour through The National Museum, closed to the public for Windstar’s exclusive use. The tour will also feature a classic Danish smorgasbord paired with local beverages.

SAIL Amsterdam: Parade Of Tall Ships: Featured on the Windmills & Tall Sails voyage, guests will have deck-side seats to one of the world’s largest sailing parades on board Wind Surf. Enjoy a lunch and cocktails as the yacht sails with hundreds of sailing heritage craft, modern and naval ships, and historical replicas during SAIL Amsterdam.

Culloden: Fields of the Bonnie Prince: Featured on the Gaelic Explorers voyage, guests will enjoy canapés and champagne at Fort George, during an exclusive after-hours tour with expert guides who will take guests through the history of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Highlanders loss to the Duke of Cumberland during the Battle On The Moor. The event will include the traditional military and musical performance, Beating Retreat, complete with pipes, drums, and marches.

Posted: July 9th, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Carnival Revises Smoking Policy & Increases Automatic Gratuity Amounts

Written by: Cruise

July 8, 2014.

Carnival Cruise Lines rolled out some policy changes this morning in a letter to their travel partners. Starting on October 9, 2014, the cruise line will join most other mainstream lines in prohibiting smoking on stateroom balconies. Those caught violating the policy will be charged a $250 cleaning fee. The ticket contract has been revised to include the new policy and fee. Also, the company is increasing the daily gratuity that is automatically charged to shipboard accounts. The charge will increase by 50 cents per person/per day, going from $11.50 to $12.00. Those guests who have already pre-paid gratuities for upcoming cruises will not be assessed the new fee.

The text of the letter is as follows:

“Effective October 9, 2014, Carnival Cruise Lines will no longer allow smoking on stateroom balconies fleetwide. The company already prohibits smoking within staterooms. Carnival’s updated smoking policy is consistent with most other major cruise lines. Smoking will continue to be allowed in designated open deck areas, as well as night clubs and certain areas within the casino and casino bar.

Guests who smoke in their staterooms or on their balconies will be assessed a $250 cleaning and refreshing fee on their Sail & Sign shipboard account. Information on this fee is included in Carnival’s ticket contract. We appreciate our guests’ understanding of this modification to our smoking policy based on guest feedback.”

Posted: July 8th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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MSC Cruises Having 4th Of July Sale – Guaranteed Balcony Cabin For First 500 Guests!

Written by: Cruise

July 2, 2014.

MSC Cruises is offering a short term sales promotion that offers a guaranteed balcony stateroom to the first 500 bookings, for as low as $349 per person double occupancy. That’s a 7-night cruise for two for just $700.

North American travelers can escape to the refreshing blue waters of the Caribbean with this special one-week Fourth of July Sale on seven-night Caribbean cruises aboard MSC Divina, the first of MSC Cruises’ ships dedicated to North Americans, starting at $349 per person, based on double occupancy.

MSC Cruises’ Fourth of July Sale is available on the following 2014 departures:

· September 6: seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailing visiting Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Starting at $349 per person.
· August 23 and September 20: seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailing visiting Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Starting at $369 per person.
· October 4, October 18, and November 1: seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailing visiting Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Starting at $399 per person.
· August 30: seven-night Western Caribbean sailing visiting Falmouth, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Starting at $369 per person.
· September 13, September 27, October 11 and October 25: seven-night sailing Western Caribbean visiting Falmouth, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Starting at $399 per person.

This special promotion is available now through Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Remember, the first 500 guests to book the Fourth of July Sale are guaranteed a balcony stateroom.

To book, contact your travel agent or call 1-877-665-4655. No online bookings are offered for this limited event.

Posted: July 2nd, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Princess Cruises Offers “Caribbean Getaway Sale” : Book One, Get One For Half Off Pricing

Written by: Cruise

July 2, 2014 – Princess Cruises is offering the ultimate deal on the cruise line’s four- and five-day Getaway Cruises from Ft. Lauderdale. During the “Caribbean Getaway Sale,” guests booking cruises from Ft. Lauderdale that depart between August 23 and October 27, 2014 will receive 50 percent off of the fare for the second guest, plus up to 50 percent off for third and fourth guests.

The special includes cruises aboard Caribbean Princess and Island Princess, where guests will enjoy non-stop poolside entertainment with Movies Under the Stars, live music featuring authentic Caribbean steel drum bands, expertly prepared international cuisine, slot tournaments, a luxurious spa and tax and duty-free shopping.
dave albums press images picture81 caribbean princess Princess Cruises Offers Caribbean Getaway Sale : Book One, Get One For Half Off Pricing
This special deal is available on four- and five-day Eastern or Western Caribbean itineraries visiting the inviting islands of Grand Turk, Cozumel, Princess Cays, Grand Cayman or Costa Maya.

The offer is available to residents of the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older.

Posted: July 2nd, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Carnival Promotion Offers Up To 30% Discounts & Complimentary Upgrades For U.S. and Canadian Military Personnel

Written by: Cruise

July 1, 2014 – Carnival Cruise Lines is hosting a special mid-year promotion during July offering discounts of up to 30 percent and complimentary two-category upgrades to active and retired personnel of the U.S. military and Canada National Defense. Military personnel can also book up to two additional staterooms at these special discounted rates.

The promotion runs from today through July 13, 2014, and is valid on a wide variety of three- to 13-day departures to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Canada, New England and the Panama Canal through December 31, 2014.
Voyages operate from 12 convenient North American homeports along the east and west coasts and the Gulf of Mexico.

The promotion is valid for individual bookings only. Military personnel must provide proof of service. Eligible military personnel must sail to take advantage of this offer. Upgrades are automatically assigned at the time of booking and are based on availability in similar categories only (interior to interior, ocean view to ocean view, balcony to balcony). Certain other restrictions apply. The thirty percent discount is based off Fun Select rates.

Posted: July 1st, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Extend Your Summer Vacation with MSC Divina’s Sizzling Summer Giveaway

Written by: Cruise

July 1, 2014.

Although summer is just starting, it’s a great time to look at an amazing offer from MSC Cruises which offers several 7-night cruises for as little as $42 a day per person, on the stunning MSC Divina.

MSC Divina, the first of MSC Cruises’ ships dedicated to North Americans, tempts travelers to extend their summer vacations with the chance to get a balcony stateroom at an interior rate on seven-night Caribbean sailings August through November.

Guests who book the Sizzling Summer Giveaway offer, starting at just $299 per person, based on double occupancy, are assigned a stateroom at random at least 14 days prior to the sailing and could receive anywhere from an interior to balcony stateroom.

MSC Cruises’ Sizzling Summer Giveaway offer is available on the following 2014 departures:

· August 23 and September 6: seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailing visiting Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Starting at $299 per person.

· August 30: seven-night Western Caribbean sailing visiting Falmouth, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Starting at $299 per person.

· September 13 and September 27: seven-night sailing Western Caribbean visiting Falmouth, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Starting at $349 per person.

· September 20: seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailing visiting Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Starting at $349 per person.

· October 4, October 18, and November 1: seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailing visiting Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Starting at $379 per person.

· October 11 and October 25: seven-night Western Caribbean sailing visiting Falmouth, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Starting at $379 per person.

Bookings for the Sizzling Summer Giveaway offer must be made between July 1 and July 31, 2014.

dave albums press images picture41 msc divina Extend Your Summer Vacation with MSC Divinas Sizzling Summer Giveaway
Named after godmother Sophia Loren, MSC Divina offers several divine new features, including two Eataly restaurants – the upscale Ristorante Italia and spectacular regional Eataly Steakhouse fashioned after the famed restaurant in Eataly’s Manhattan location and artisanal marketplace, and is the first ship to offer Aqua Cycling at sea. The 1,751-cabin ship boasts 322,900 square feet of public spaces including 18 bars and lounges, five swimming pools, a bowling alley, gym and exotic Aurea Spa, 4D Theater, a Formula 1 race car simulator, and new Segafredo Zanetti gourmet coffee bar.

MSC Divina also features the MSC Yacht Club, an innovative “ship-within-a-ship” concept with 69 suites on board. MSC Yacht Club guests can indulge in comfort and convenience, from their own personal Butler and 24-hour concierge service to complimentary wines and spirits available any time of the day throughout MSC Yacht Club’s exclusive lounges and pool area.

To book one of these exceptional offers, contact your cruise travel agent or visit MSC’s USA website.

Posted: July 1st, 2014 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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MSC CRUISES DONATES $4.1 MILLION DOLLARS TO UNICEF

Written by: Cruise

June 30, 2014 – MSC Cruises has donated more than $4.1 million to UNICEF, the United Nations agency that fights for the rights of children around the world, during a handover ceremony at MSC Cruises’ Geneva headquarters.

MSC Cruises and UNICEF joined forces in 2009 under the “Get on Board for Children” initiative, which encourages guests on board the 12 MSC Cruises ships to make a contribution to UNICEF.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is active in more than 190 countries and territories, and since 2009, MSC’s collaboration has provided UNICEF in Brazil with funds to combat poverty and inequality. The money has helped children in 126 vulnerable communities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo gain access to a quality education.

In January of this year, MSC Cruises and UNICEF started a new life-saving partnership to provide assistance to malnourished children by delivering Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) – such as Plumpy’Nut® – to treat severe malnutrition in developing countries and in countries affected by crisis situations.

During a ceremony at the company headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago handed the Executive Director of UNICEF Switzerland, Elsbeth Müller a check for more than €3 million Euro (more than 4.1 million in US dollars).
dave albums press images picture80 msc gives check unicef MSC CRUISES DONATES $4.1 MILLION DOLLARS TO UNICEF
“At MSC Cruises we are honored to be able to assist UNICEF in its endeavor to help starving children around the world. It was our duty to set in place such a concrete partnership that can save the lives of children for whom RUTF is an essential lifeline,” said Vago. “We are proud of the hard work achieved by all our staff, which made it possible to raise such an incredible amount of money. MSC as a group, which means cruises and cargo, is working hard to raise awareness of the project and to provide support to UNICEF through our very extensive network around the world.”

“I would like to thank MSC Cruises sincerely for the valuable longstanding partnership and today’s generous donation,” said Elsbeth Müller. “The donation will be used for purchasing Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food for the treatment of children affected by severe acute malnutrition. Severe acute malnutrition is a major killer of children under five, accounting for more than one million deaths annually. Around 20 million children worldwide are estimated to be suffering from very poor nutrition. Thanks to partners like MSC Cruises, we can make sure that those children will have a future.”

In addition to donations from guests, MSC Cruises also organizes “edutainment” activities for children on board, raising awareness of UNICEF’s work and the needs of children around the world. Each week will see a dedicated UNICEF Day that includes fun games, a children’s parade and the distribution to each participating youngster of a UNICEF World Citizen passport, making them an ambassador for the rights of the child worldwide. In addition, MSC Cruises has launched a new song performed by an Italian children’s choir called “I Can Believe – MSC for UNICEF,” to provide a soundtrack to all UNICEF support efforts on board MSC Cruises ships.

Guests on board each ship of the MSC fleet have the possibility to donate at least $1.50 to the “Get on Board for Children” initiative. More information is available on the following dedicated website http://www.msccruisesusa.com/us_en/Msc-Unicef.aspx.

Posted: July 1st, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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Carnival Freedom Receives Extensive Makeover & Debuts Four New Production Shows

Written by: Cruise

June 27, 2014 – Carnival Freedom has emerged from an extensive multi-million dollar makeover with four brand new production shows that blend live performances with towering LED screens showcasing spectacular staging and special effects. The ship also received the Funship 2.0 upgrades which added several bars and dining venues.

The latest in the line’s high-tech Playlist Productions revues, the four new shows – 80s Pop to the Max, Heart of Soul, Getaway Island, and 88 Keys: The Rock n’ Roll Piano Show – complement the new dining, bar, and entertainment experiences that are part of the Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative. Including the new shows introduced on Carnival Freedom, the company’s entertainment team has created 10 Playlist Production shows which are presented throughout the “Fun Ship” fleet.

Carnival Freedom’s new Playlist Productions shows include:

80s Pop to the Max – This high-energy show channels the era of Day-Glo, Spandex, and big hair with spirited performances of the hottest music video hits from the 1980s. From the pop-rock of Duran Duran and Cindy Lauper to the smooth soul of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson and beyond, 80s Pop to the Max takes audiences back to days when “video killed the radio star.”

Heart of Soul – This mesmerizing show tugs on the heart strings, capturing special romantic moments with recognizable R&B and soul hits from a host of legendary singers, from Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder to Otis Redding, Ray Charles and Al Green. In a unique twist, six lucky couples are chosen for a special night of romance with VIP seats, champagne and flowers.

Getaway Island
– A high-tech re-creation of popular beach movies of the 1960s featuring stunning 3D special effects, Getaway Island invites guests to set their watches to “island time” as they experience the ultimate tropical island bash with music from Jimmy Buffet, Bob Marley, the Beach Boys and others. Getaway Island also features its own version of Carnival Freedom’s new RedFrog Pub with a cocktail glass-spinning bartender and talented guitar soloist keeping audiences entertained. It’s always 5 o’ clock on Getaway Island!

88 Keys: The Rock n’ Roll Piano Show – Goodness, gracious great balls of fire! Highlighted by sing-along hits from Billy Joel, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis and others – as well as an appearance from Carnival Freedom’s own piano bar pianist — 88 Keys: The Rock n’ Roll Piano Show spotlights these talented artists who have taken the term “tickling the ivories” to a whole new level.
dave albums press images picture79 carnfreeshow6 Carnival Freedom Receives Extensive Makeover & Debuts Four New Production Shows
Presented in Carnival Freedom’s 1,400-seat Victoriana Show Lounge — which has been renovated to accommodate Playlist Productions’ sophisticated technology — the new revues were created by Carnival’s in-house entertainment team which has been expanded with three new members hired specifically to concept, develop and roll out these four new shows.

The company has also partnered with some of the most recognized talents in the entertainment industry, including Emmett Murphy, who has developed popular stage performances in Las Vegas, including Sin City at Planet Hollywood and The Beatles LOVE at the Mirage Hotel and Casino; Jennifer Savelli, whose experiences span the gamut from Broadway and Hollywood to Vegas and MTV; and Marcos Santana whose extensive Broadway credits include serving as choreographer for Rock of Ages and dance captain for Guys and Dolls.

Funship 2.0 Upgrades

Carnival Freedom’s makeover includes Hasbro, The Game Show, the cruise industry’s only live game show that features larger-than-life adaptations of the brand’s iconic games.

Also included is Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network personality Guy Fieri, the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, the EA SPORTS Bar where patrons can catch the latest action and play popular video games; Blue Iguana Cantina serving authentic Mexican specialties, and the RedFrog Pub, an island-inspired watering hole offering a distinctive Key West meets British West Indies vibe.

Several new family-friendly features were also added, including a Dr. Seuss Bookville family reading venue, part of Seuss at Sea, an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises featuring exciting youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences inspired by the amazing world and words of Dr. Seuss. Also new is Camp Ocean, an expansive new youth program that immerses children ages 2-11 in the wonders of the sea through more than 200 new engaging and educational experiences and activities.

The new features are available on the Carnival Freedom’s five to eight-day Caribbean departures from Fort Lauderdale. Carnival Freedom will operate from Fort Lauderdale through February 2015 then reposition to Galveston, Texas, to sail year-round seven-day Caribbean departures.

Posted: June 27th, 2014 under Cruise Ship News.
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