Jan 04, 2016

Cruise vacations - where reality and fantasy trade places!

Cruise Vacations Guide is a website designed to offer tips and information on how to plan and get the most from a cruise vacation.

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Oct 23, 2013

Highlights on Casino Cruises

Casino cruises information

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Apr 04, 2013

Perfect River Cruises - Tip Toe Through The Tulips

River cruises are becoming increasing popular.

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Oct 20, 2012

Live Cruise Ship Web Cameras

Live pictures from cruise ship web cameras and live web cams from land

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Mar 13, 2012

Cruising - Don't Knock It Until You Try It

All our friends seem to hate cruising. My husband and I have been on more than 10 cruises to some of the most amazing places in the world – Australia and

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Nov 09, 2011

Carnival Increases Gratuities

On November 1, 2011, Carnival Cruise Line gratuity guidelines increased from $10.00 per person per day to $11.50 per person per day effective voyages departing December 1, 2011 and onward. Guests who have already pre-paid their gratuities on their booking will not be affected by this change.

Gratuities are automatically charged to guest’s onboard Sail & Sign account. The breakdown for the new amount will be as follows:

$ 3.70 - Per Day Stateroom Services

$ 5.80 - Per Day Dining Room Services

$ 2.00 - Per Day Alternative Services: distributed to kitchen, entertainment, guest services and other hotel staff members.

For Cruises-To-Nowhere, gratuities of $11.50 per guest, per day must be prepaid.

Should a guest not be satisfied with the service they receive, they can contact the Guest Services desk while onboard. This will allow us to address their concerns in a timely and appropriate fashion. At the discretion of the guest, they may adjust the gratuities at any time while onboard. Gratuities will be deemed undisputed unless a request to modify is received prior to disembarking the ship.

For beverage purchases, fifteen percent of the bill is automatically added to the Sail & Sign charge. Room Service staff may be tipped as service is rendered.

NOTE: BARBADOS CRUISES - All gratuities are pre-paid and automatically added during the booking process for Barbados itineraries.

Source: Carnival Cruise Lines

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Oct 08, 2011

Cruise Vacations News

Cruise vacations news from around the world

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Sep 22, 2011

Norwegian Starts Construction of New Breakaway Ship

Norwegian Cruise Line said the first piece of steel was cut on Sept. 21 for its new 144,017-ton Norwegian Breakaway at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The first of two ships in the order, the new vessel is set for delivery in April 2013. The first plate of steel took four minutes to cut by a plasma torch in the yard’s facility. This plate will become a supporting part of the double bottom in the middle of the new ship.

The Breakaway-class ships, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, will each accommodate about 4,000 passengers. Attending the steel-cutting ceremony were the shipyard’s managing directors Bernard Meyer and Lambert Kruse, as well as project manager Aloys Meemann. The ship will have a mix of accommodations, including Studios designed and priced for solo travelers, the re-introduction of ocean-view staterooms, balcony and mini-suites, along with Spa Balcony, Mini-Suites and Suites in close proximity to the spa. The ship also features The Haven by Norwegian, comprised of 42 suites at the top of the ship and 18 additional suites located throughout the ship.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Sep 18, 2011

Paul Gauguin to Undergo $7 Million Renovation

Paul Gauguin Cruises will spend $7 million to renovate its luxury ship, the Paul Gauguin, which is based in French Polynesia year-round. The project, the largest in the ship’s 14-year history, is scheduled for completion in January.

The renovations will take place during the ship’s 10-night crossing from Tahiti to Brisbane and 11-night dry-dock in Brisbane. The work is scheduled to be finished when the “South Pacific Discovery” sailing departs Jan. 26.

All suites and staterooms will get new carpeting, refinished furniture with new fabrics, new teak balcony railings, decorative side panels around the windows, and new bathroom flooring. Renovations throughout the ship will include new flooring and carpeting, new furniture, new window treatments and decorative wall panels, and new signage.

La Veranda will get a redesigned entrance, refinished indoor and outdoor furniture, and solar shades. Le Grill will receive new decorative partitions and divider walls, as well as a new buffet area and new lighting. L’Etoile will also feature a redesigned entrance in addition to video equipment for conferences.

Promenade Deck 5 will get a new built-in banquette and the casino will be expanded. Deck 6 will receive a new display case for books and art. La Palette will get a decorative stone band along the front of the bar and an updated lighting system, as well as new outdoor furniture. Also, the dance floor in Le Grand Salon will be refurbished.

The Gauguin’s previous renovation, totaling $6 million, was completed in January 2009.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Aug 04, 2011

Carnival Corp. Orders One Ship for Costa, Two for Aida

Carnival Corporation & plc, in a new round of ship building after what seemed to be a short lull during the recent recession, said it has reached agreements to construct three new cruise ships – including one 132,500-ton vessel for its Costa Cruisesbrand and two 125,000-ton ships for its Aida Cruisesbrand, which focuses largely on the German market. The company said the ships will be the largest ever constructed for these two cruise lines.

Carnival has contracted with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build a 3,700-passenger ship for Costa scheduled for delivery in October 2014. The all-in cost for this vessel will be approximately 150,000 euros per lower berth. Carnival also signed a memorandum of agreement with Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to build two 3,250-passenger ships for Aida. These ships are scheduled for delivery in March 2015 and March 2016. The all-in cost for these vessels is roughly 140,000 euro per lower per lower berth.

The order for the two Aida ships marks a return by Carnival to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which previously built two ships for Princess Cruises, both of which were delivered in 2004. The contract with Fincantieri continues the company’s longstanding relationship with the Italian shipbuilder, which dates back nearly 20 years.

Carnival said the new Costa ship order is subject to financing. The memorandum of agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is subject to customary closing conditions, including execution of shipbuilding contracts and financing. Additional design and itinerary details for the three new vessels will be announced at a later date by Costa and Aida.

According to Carnival, the Aida order marks its first new ship delivery for 2016 and continues the company’s strategy of introducing two to three ships per year. Including the new orders for Costa and Aida, Carnival currently has 10 ships on order – three for 2012, two for 2013, two for 2014, two for 2015 and one for 2016.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Aug 04, 2011

Oceania Cruises Delays Riviera Maiden Voyage by 10 Days Share Oceania Cruises Delays Riviera Maiden Voyage by 10 Days

Oceania Cruises said its new Riviera will now sail her maiden voyage from Athens on April 24, 2012, which is 10 days later than originally planned. The line said it is delaying Riviera’s first revenue cruise to allow additional time for the staff to familiarize themselves with the ship’s facilities and fine-tune the details required to deliver an Oceania experience.

The new maiden voyage is a 12-day Ancient Grandeur itinerary that visits Alexandria and Port Said, Haifa and Ashdod (Jerusalem), Alanya, Rhodes, Patmos and Kusadasi (Ephesus) before ending with an overnight stay in Istanbul. Oceania Cruises guests who were booked on the original 10-night maiden voyage will be moved to the new, longer sailing at no additional cost. Guests will also receive a $250 per guest shipboard credit as a gesture of goodwill from Oceania Cruises.

Guests who want to sail on a different voyage can book any other Oceania itinerary and enjoy a $250 per guest future cruise credit. In the event guests wish to cancel, they will receive a full refund. Travel agent commissions are being protected.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Jul 20, 2011

Oceania Cruises’ Riviera Floated Out at Fincantieri Shipyard

Oceania Cruises celebrated a milestone on July 16 as the line’s 1,250-guest Riviera floated for the first time and moved from the construction dock to a fitting-out berth. The shipyard will now focus on fitting out and finishing Riviera’s interiors, which were designed with the team from Y&S of Oslo, Norway.

Riviera will offer accommodations that range from 174 to 2,000 square feet. Top suites will feature furnishings from Ralph Lauren Home and designs by Dakota Jackson of New York City and S.B. Long Interiors of Greenwich, Conn. The ship will also feature a Lalique-designed lobby, 10 dining venues and numerous bars and lounges. Facilities include a Canyon Ranch SpaClub and fitness center, Bon Appétit Culinary Center, swimming pool and hot tubs.

In its inaugural year, Riviera will cruise the Mediterranean and then cross the Atlantic to spend the winter in the Caribbean.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Jul 20, 2011

Celebrity to Broadcast Silhouette Naming Ceremony on Facebook

The naming and ribbon cutting for Celebrity Cruises’ new Celebrity Silhouette will be streamed live on Facebook from Hamburg, Germany, on July 21 at 11 a.m. ET. Facebook browsers can watch the naming by visiting www.facebook.com/celebritycruises, and then clicking on the Livestream link along the left side of the page.

The interactive experience will allow online viewers to post comments throughout the naming. The ceremony will also be broadcast across the Celebrity Cruises fleet. An archived version of the event will be available after the ceremony.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Jul 20, 2011

Norwegian Launches Contest to Name Two New Ships

Norwegian Cruise Line has partnered with USA Today to launch a naming contest for the two new ships scheduled for delivery in April 2013 and April 2014. The contest runs through Aug. 14. The winners, who will be announced in mid-September, will receive a trip for two to the first ship’s inaugural festivities.

To enter, visit www.cruisingfornames.usatoday.com, fill out the entry form and submit a name that starts with Norwegian. There is no maximum amount of entries per person. The winners will receive a trip for two to the christening ceremony (date and location yet to be determined). The trip includes roundtrip coach airfare for two, ground transportation, balcony stateroom accommodations and government taxes and fees.

The Project Breakaway ships will measure 144,017 gross tons each and accommodate 4,000 passengers. For more information, visit www.ncl.com/breakaway.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Jul 14, 2011

Royal Caribbean to Spend $300 Million in Fleetwide Upgrade Program

Royal Caribbean International said it will invest approximately $300 million over the next three years to upgrade its fleet and add innovations introduced on its Oasis-class ships. The revitalizations will include new onboard dining and entertainment options, as well as Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations and more.

The investment effectively expands Royal Caribbean’s Royal Advantage project, which began with Radiance of the Seas in May and will be followed by Splendour of the Seas in November. With the expansion, revitalizations now are scheduled for Vision-class ships, including Rhapsody of the Seas in March and Grandeur of the Seas in May, followed by Radiance-class Serenade of the Seas in November 2012. Each ship will enter dry dock for about a month.

Among the additions will be new technology, including Wi-Fi, interactive flat-panel televisions in staterooms and electronic mustering. Digital way-finding systems will allow guests to get customized directions and routing at new plasma and LCD touch-screen signs throughout the ships. Oversized outdoor LED video screens will be installed on the pool decks. Nurseries will be added to care for babies and tots ages six through 36 months. In addition, new levels of accommodations, including staterooms ideal for families, will be added.

Additional dining options will include Chef’s Table, an intimate wine pairing dinner of five courses hosted by the executive chef and sommelier; Izumi, a pan-Asian restaurant with a sushi bar and hot-rock cooking; Chops Grille, the line’s steakhouse; the casual Park Café; Rita’s Cantina, a Mexican eatery; and Boardwalk Doghouse, which serves brats, links, wieners and dogs.

In 2013 and 2014, additional Royal Advantage revitalizations will take place on Vision-class ships, including Legend of the Seas and Vision of the Seas; four Voyager-class ships - Navigator of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas - and the Radiance-class Brilliance of the Seas. Less extensive renovations are planned for Freedom-class Independence of the Seas, Voyager-class Mariner of the Seas, and Vision-class Enchantment of the Seas.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Jul 14, 2011

Celebrity’s Silhouette to be Christened By Signature’s Michelle Morgan

Signature Travel Network President and CEO Michelle Morgan will serve as godmother of Celebrity Cruises’ new Celebrity Silhouette, which will be named in Hamburg, Germany, on July 21. A 33-year travel marketing executive, Morgan joined Signature in 1991, when the company had 30 locations in Southern California. Today, its membership has grown to 350 locations in 38 states and two providences in Canada, with sales exceeding $5 billion.

Morgan has been named one of Forbes’ “25 Most Influential Women in Travel” and this year was inducted into Cruise Line International Association’s Hall of Fame. “It’s not about me” she said. “It’s about the incredible staff at Signature - many of whom have been with me as long as 15 years - and the hand-selected agencies that are members of our organization. Their commitment to the highest service standards, ethical practices and professionalism is at the core of what makes Signature extraordinary. I’ve worked tirelessly over the past 20 years to ensure these small business owners can compete and prosper. Their success is my success. Signature is my second family.”

Morgan’s has raised two daughters, Deirdre and Alisa, as a single parent from the time they were ages three and six. The two, both now mothers themselves, and a veterinarian and a director of Internet business solutions, respectively. Morgan has four grandchildren. Her mother, 85, is a breast cancer survivor. Morgan, too, has battled breast cancer, enduring two series of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. “I learned many lessons as I went through the treatment,” she said. “I found that if I continued with my life and work, and behaved positively - showing unflinching confidence and optimism to my family, friends, co-workers, and doctors, and banishing any doubts or negative thoughts - it would take over the core of my belief system, and it did. More importantly, my family, friends and industry friends brought me endless joy and hope.”

Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Dan Hanrahan said Morgan “personifies all of the qualities we seek in our Solstice-class godmothers: remarkable strength and courage in both her professional and personal life, along with optimism, warmth and a very engaging personality, all of which have made her so admired throughout the industry.”

Morgan shares Celebrity’s devotion to the breast cancer cause through Signature’s participation in the travel industry’s breast cancer awareness month in October. She says Signature’s board will be exploring fund-raising programs for breast cancer research this year. Meanwhile, Celebrity plans to extend its efforts to support the cause, which began in 2008 with its Celebrity Solstice event to raise funds for breast cancer screenings for low-income women and sponsorship of the first “Celebrity Sunwalk,” in association with Walk the Walk, a breast cancer charity founded by the godmother of Celebrity Equinox, Nina Barough. In addition to continuing to work with Walk the Walk in the U.K., Celebrity also will introduce a variety of year-long fund-raising activities to further support breast cancer research this year.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Jul 01, 2011

Celebrity Silhouette to Feature Open-Air Grilling Restaurant

Celebrity Cruises’ new 2,886-guest Celebrity Silhouette will feature an open-air grilling restaurant called “The Lawn Club Grill.” The eatery is located on the top deck of the ship, surrounded by live grass. The 58-seat Lawn Club Grill will allow guests to serve as their party’s “Grill Master.” The Grill Master will be paired with a Celebrity chef who can help prepare the menu and essentially offer advice on proper grilling techniques.

Guests choose from a gourmet salad bar, a la carte build-your-own pizzas and more than 12 grilled specialties. Grill Masters will receive a complimentary apron as a memento. The Lawn Club Grill -- now available for online pre-cruise bookings for ticketed guests -- will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. nightly and from noon to 2 p.m. on one sea day during each cruise. A reservation fee of $30 per person is required.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Jul 01, 2011

Costa Takes Delivery of New 114,500-Ton Flagship Favolosa

Costa Cruises’ new flagship, the 114,500-ton Costa Favolosa, was delivered June 30 at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Venice, Italy. The ship cost approximately 510 million euros. The 3,800-passenger Costa Favolosa is the largest ship to fly the Italian flag. Its naming ceremony will take place July 2 in the Piazza Unità d’Italia in Trieste, Italy.

“For us, the delivery of the Costa Favolosa is a twofold source of pride,” said Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Costa Crociere SpA. “She’s a wonderful ship, a real ‘contemporary enchanted castle’ with incredible technological features where our guests will experience a ‘fairy-tale holiday.’ But it also confirms the soundness of our company.”

Costa Favolosa is the next to last of nine new ships that Costa Cruises ordered from Fincantieri. The next ship to enter service will be Costa Fascinosa, also under construction at Marghera, to be delivered in spring 2012.

Costa Favolosa features includes a new entertainment area for teenagers and adults with a 4-D cinema, PlayStation World and a bar with ice cream, drinks and popcorn. There’s also a new outdoor Acqua Park, with water games and a pirate galleon.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Jul 01, 2011

Viking River Cruises Christens New Viking Prestige in Amsterdam

Viking River Cruises christened its new 188-passenger Viking Prestige in Amsterdam on June 30. Janice Farrar-Titus, wife of the late cruise industry innovator Warren Titus and the ship’s godmother, officially named the 443-foot vessel with a traditional breaking of a bottle of champagne while blessing it. “May you begin your cruising days under a rainbow and sunny skies, and may you follow that rainbow around the bends in the river to the pot of gold,” Farrar-Titus said.

Viking River Cruises Chairman and CEO Torstein Hagen called the events especially moving since it was held on what would have been Warren Titus’ 96th birthday. Hagen said Titus set a standard of excellence in all areas of cruising. “Warren influenced three cruise lines during his lifetime -- Royal Viking Line, Seabourn and, indirectly, Viking River Cruises,” Hagen said.

The Viking Prestige will embark on its inaugural voyage, the 15-day “Grand European Tour,” on July 2. It then will begin its regular service on the eight-day “Romantic Danube” itinerary which travels between Budapest and Nuremberg, visiting ports in Hungary, Austria and Germany.

The launch of the Viking Prestige represents the first phase of Viking’s $250 million fleet development program and will be the first European ship in a series of 10 newbuilds to follow for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Reminiscent of the design philosophy of the storied Royal Viking Line, the concepts have been realized by renowned Norwegian maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten, designers of Seabourn, Oceania and Disney vessels, among others. Viking Prestige is the first ship in the fleet to feature the open-air Aquavit Lounge at the bow. With all-outside staterooms and French balconies on both the Upper and Middle decks, the ship will feature Viking’s signature sophisticated, understated décor.

Built at the Neptun Shipyard in Rostock, Germany, Viking Prestige is the company’s second “green” river cruise vessel powered by a hybrid propulsion system. Using significantly less fuel and producing less vibration, this technology offers a smoother, quieter ride.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Jun 24, 2011

Celebrity Cruises Unveils Plans to “Solsticize” Three More Ships

Celebrity Cruises will renovate the Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Millennium in a five-month period beginning in November. The company said the trio will be “solsticized,” a term Celebrity coined for its more than $120 million initiative to give the Millennium-class ships the popular attributes on the newer Solstice-class ships.

The three ships will get AquaClass, Celebrity’s spa-inspired veranda-category accommodations, which is paired with the Mediterranean-themed specialty restaurant, Blu. They also will get the Qsine specialty restaurant and the Celebrity iLounge.

AquaClass staterooms include complimentary access to the Persian Garden and Relaxation Room in the AquaSpa, a personal spa concierge to book treatments; use of plush Frette bathrobes and slippers; enhanced personal care products; and in-room amenities such as Hansgrohe shower heads, fog-free bathroom mirrors, aromatherapy selections, and daily deliveries of complimentary bottled water and teas.

Qsine, which was introduced on Celebrity Eclipse last year, presents a menu and wine list on an iPad. It serves spring rolls in vertical springs and popcorn shrimp in theater-style popcorn boxes.

Other additions to the three ships are the ice-topped Martini Bar and Crush; the creperie Bistro on Five; Café al Bacio and Gelateria; Cellarmasters wine bar with the wine serving system; new verandas on the Celebrity Suites; additional ocean-view and inside staterooms; and an expanded collection of original contemporary art.

Celebrity Infinity will emerge from the work Dec. 3, followed by Celebrity Summit in January and Celebrity Millennium on May 12, 2012. Each will enter the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas, for the project.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Jun 24, 2011

Windstar Cruises Adds Bike Program to Yachts

Windstar Cruises has added a bike program to its fleet, equipping its ships with 7000-series, aluminum-frame Dragon Marine folding bikes. Wind Surf has eight bikes and Wind Spirit and Wind Star each have four bikes. Rates are $39 for a half-day rental (four hours), or $59 for a full-day rental (eight hours). Bike helmets, locks and chains are provided.

Bikes are available for rental in most ports and guests can reserve them through the ship’s destination manager.

Windstar, which recently released its 2012 Collection of Luxury Sailings, is offering $200 shipboard credit per cabin to guests who book by June 30. Those who book their sailing 180 days or more receive an additional 15 percent discount. Windstar’s Foremast Members receive an additional 5 percent discount on all itineraries.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Jun 15, 2011

No Stateroom Smokong On Carnival And Princess

Starting Dec. 1, Carnival Cruise Lines passengers won’t be allowed to smoke in their staterooms, but passengers will be permitted to smoke on their balconies.

Spa staterooms on the Splendor, Dream and Magic will continue to remain smoke-free, including on the balconies.

Sister cruise line Princess won't allow smoking in staterooms or on balconies, starting Jan. 15.

"Our consumer studies now show that smokers are a small minority of our passengers, and that the large majority of passengersvalue having their primary living space onboard smoke-free," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ executive vice president.

Swartz said Princess included balconies in the new policy because they are a hallmark feature of Princess ships, and that it's important to keep that "peaceful space clear of smoke."

Princess will continue to provide spaces for smokers. Smoking will continue to be allowed in the Churchill's cigar lounge, a section of the disco and casino, and a portion of the open decks.

On June 15, Carnival Cruise Lines will restrict smoking to the dance clubs, designated areas within the casino and casino bar, certain sections on the open decks on all vessels and in the jazz clubs on the following ships: Triumph, Victory, Spirit, Pride, Legend, Miracle, Conquest, Glory, Valor, Liberty, Freedom and Splendor.

On other vessels in Carnival's fleet, smoking will be permitted in designated areas on deck.

Source: Travel Weekly

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Jun 15, 2011

Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas Completes Extensive Renovation

Royal Caribbean International’s Radiance of the Seas emerged from dry dock after a 21-day renovation. The work is part of the line’s $70 million Royal Advantage enhancement program that is making improvements to five ships this year.

The renovation added to the ship new restaurants, entertainment, children’s programming and technology introduced on the line’s Oasis-class ships.

This summer Radiance of the Seas sails alternating, seven-night southbound and northbound Alaska itineraries before repositioning for its first winter season to Australia and New Zealand.

Among the additions is the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery designed for children, 6 to 36 months old. Also added were 12 new accommodations, including three single staterooms. Technology enhancements include Wi-Fi availability throughout the ship and flat-panel interactive televisions in all staterooms.

The ship also features a new Concierge Lounge for suite guests, a Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members, the Quill and Compass Pub and an outdoor LED video wall overlooking the main pool area that will show movies and entertainment programs.

Seven new restaurants were added, including the Samba Grill Brazilian steakhouse, the Asian Izumi restaurant, the Mexican-themed Rita’s Cantina, the Italian family-style restaurant Giovanni’s Table, the Boardwalk Dog House hotdog stand, Park Café deli-style restaurant and the Chef’s Table dining experience.

The Boardwalk Dog House and Park Café are complimentary eateries. Cover charges for the other new restaurants are Giovanni’s Table, $15 for lunch and $20 for dinner; Izumi, $3 for lunch and $5 for dinner plus a la carte menu pricing; Rita’s Cantina, $3 cover for lunch and dinner charge plus a la carte menu pricing; Samba Grill churrascaria, $25 for dinner; and Chef’s Table, a five-course wine-pairing dinner limited to 16, $95 per person.

In the Royal Advantage program, Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas have already completed the upgrades. Splendour of the Seas is entering dry-dock in October. And Oasis of the Seas, the first Oasis-class ship, now has the DreamWorks Experience and 3-D movies, which first debuted on Allure of the Seas.

Source: Travel Pulse

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May 31, 2011

Twelve Royal Caribbean Passengers Hurt in Gibraltar Pier Explosion

Twelve passengers on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas suffered minor injuries when a fuel tank exploded on a pier in Gibraltar near the ship. “Immediately after the explosion, the ship retracted the gangway and moved a safe distance from the dock,” a Royal Caribbean spokesperson said in a statement. The Gibraltar Chronicle reported that the explosion occurred in a fuel tank on the pier. There's no word yet on the cause of the explosion.

The 12 injured passengers received treatment onboard for minor injuries, the spokesperson added. The ship, which is carrying 4,000 passengers, was not damaged, although passengers felt the force of the blast. The ship has since departed Gibraltar and will be at sea tomorrow before calling at Cannes, France, on Thursday. It is sailing on a 14-night Mediterranean cruise from Southampton, England.

Two Independence of the Seas passengers were still on shore when the explosion happened, according to CNN. They were not injured, the cruise line said, and Royal Caribbean is assisting them with travel arrangements to rejoin the ship Thursday in France.

There also were two injuries ashore, according to press reports. A Spanish worker was seriously injured, and a policeman sustained burns while trying to rescue him. Flights in and out of Gibraltar’s airport were suspended as the tank continued to burn.

Source: Travel Pulse

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May 31, 2011

Royal Caribbean Set to Resume Calls to Japan This August

Royal Caribbean International said that because of what it calls the “stabilization of the situation” in Japan and the recent lifting of travel advisories on that country by Singapore and China, it plans to deploy its cruise ship Legend of the Seas back to Japanese ports of call starting with Okinawa on Aug. 1, following the ship’s Hong Kong summer season.

Legend of the Seas will operate 11 sailings, including a number of charters to various Japanese ports of call such as Okinawa, Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Beppu, Nagasaki and Hokkaido, out from Hong Kong, Tianjin and Shanghai, from late July to early October. Royal Caribbean said these sailings are mostly based on the ship’s itineraries originally planned for this year, which do not call at the areas affected by the tsunami and nuclear crisis.

“Judging from the current situation in Japan, we are well-assured of the safety of travelling to Japan,” said Kelvin Tan, regional director, Asia Pacific for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Japan has always been an attractive tourist destination and its show of great resilience in the face of the recent crisis has given travelers the confidence to visit the country again. Travelers also understand that visiting these cities on a cruise ship is a safe and hassle-free option.”

Besides the North Asian cruises to Japan and Korea, Legend of the Seas is also offering cruises to Taiwan, Vietnam and Sanya from Hong Kong from June to July and from October to November.

Source: Travel Pulse

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May 31, 2011

Seabourn Takes Delivery of New Seabourn Quest in Genoa

Seabourn took delivery of the new 450-guest Seabourn Quest on May 31 at the T. Mariotti shipyard in Genoa, Italy. The all-suite ship is the third vessel constructed by Mariotti for Seabourn's fleet, completing a three-year expansion that increased the ultra-luxury line's capacity by more than 200 percent.

“We are very pleased and excited to take delivery of Seabourn Quest," said Richard Meadows, Seabourn’s president. “She is a beautiful vessel, and I have no doubt she will earn as much praise from the experts, and as much affection from our guests as her two sister-ships. Her officers, staff and crew are ready to welcome travelers on board to experience Seabourn-style cruising on our newest ship.”

Blythe Danner, the Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress, will serve as godmother and name the ship during a sunset ceremony at the port of Barcelona on June 20, 2011. The ship will then depart that evening on a 14-day maiden voyage to Athens, stopping at seaside towns in France, Italy, Greece and Turkey.

Seabourn Quest's maiden season includes seven-day Eastern Mediterranean cruises, operating alternately between Athens and Istanbul, and Venice and Athens, as well as a seven-day Black Sea voyage. In the fall, the ship will sail across the Atlantic Ocean from Malaga, Spain, to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where it will sail on a series of roundtrip voyages in the Caribbean. On Jan. 5, 2012, Seabourn Quest will begin a 109-day maiden world cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Venice on an eastbound course via South America, South Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean.

Seabourn Quest is the third in a line of ships that began with Seabourn Odyssey in June 2009. The second sister-ship, Seabourn Sojourn, entered service in June 2010.

Source: Travel Pulse

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May 15, 2011

VIKING PRESTIGE CHRISTENING SET FOR AMSTERDAM

Continuing its major fleet expansion, Viking River Cruises today announced that the celebratory christening of its second state-of-the-art “green” ship, Viking Prestige, will be in Amsterdam June 30, 2011. Viking is honored that Janice Farrar Titus, wife of the late renowned cruise industry innovator Warren Titus, will be the ship’s godmother.

“This is a proud time for everyone at Viking River Cruises,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking River Cruises. “Viking Prestige will mark the first ship in our fleet expansion program which will see four Viking Longships in 2012 followed by another three each in 2013 and 2014, for a total of ten new ships in three years.”

Making its debut in Europe in July 2011, Viking Prestige will be a 188-passenger, state-of-the-art river cruise ship. Building upon the standard set by Viking Legend, the industry’s first “green” river cruise vessel, Viking Prestige will have the same efficient, hybrid propulsion system. Using significantly less fuel and producing less vibration, this cutting-edge technology offers a smoother, quieter ride than other ships and represents the environmentally responsible future of Viking’s European vessels.

With all-outside staterooms and French balconies on both the Upper and Middle decks, the ship will feature Viking’s signature décor: sophisticated, understated elegance. Reminiscent of the design philosophy of the storied Royal Viking Line, the concepts have been realized by renowned Norwegian maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten, designers of The Yachts of Seabourn, Oceania and Disney vessels, among others. The ship’s public areas, including a single-seating restaurant, observation lounge and bar, and library as well as an expansive sun deck, provide unobstructed panoramic views throughout.

The debut of Viking Prestige marks the next step in the company’s $250 million fleet development program, announced in May 2010, and will represent the first European ship in a series of ten new builds to follow for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons.

“I also find great significance in having Mrs. Titus as the ship’s godmother,” adds Mr. Hagen, “considering my unparalleled respect for Warren Titus and his contributions to our industry with Royal Viking Line and Seabourn. It is additionally appropriate because June 30, our christening date, would have been Warren’s 96th birthday.”

Mrs. Titus, a former advertising and public relations executive, has an extensive background in the cruise industry as well. In addition to working with such clients as American President Lines, Seabourn and Pearl Cruises, she was involved from the inception with the formation of Royal Viking Line.

Currently being built at the Neptun Shipyard in Rostock, Germany, part of the esteemed Meyer Neptun Group, Viking Prestige will make its maiden voyage on the 15-day Grand European Tour. It then will host guests throughout the 2011 season on the popular 8-day Romantic Danube itinerary which travels Budapest to Nuremberg (or reverse), visiting ports in Hungary, Austria and Germany.

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May 15, 2011

Norwegian Epic Nickelodeon Cruise to Feature “Victorious” Stars

Norwegian Cruise Line and Nickelodeon announced the addition of Daniella Monet and Leon Thomas III, stars of Nick’s live-action series “Victorious,” to the roster for this summer’s “Nickelodeon All Access Cruise.”

Monet (Trina) and Thomas (Andre) will sail aboard Norwegian Epic on July 24, joining Jennette McCurdy (Sam), and Nathan Kress (Freddie) from “iCarly,” and Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants. Departing from Barcelona, the seven-day cruise stops at Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy; and Palma, Majorca, Spain.

The “Nickelodeon All Access Cruise” includes a family sliming experience, meet-and-greets with the stars of Nickelodeon shows and characters, viewings and premieres of never-before-seen episodes of shows and breakfast with Nickelodeon characters every day of the cruise.

Source: Travel Pulse

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May 15, 2011

Avalon Waterways Launches New Suite Ship - Avalon Panaorama

Avalon Waterways, on Saturday, May 14, officially unveiled what the company is calling the industry’s first “Suite Ship,” the Avalon Panorama, in Mainz, Germany. Australian TV host and journalist Lisa Wilkinson served as the vessel’s godmother.

More than 100 crew and guests, including travel agents and media from Australia, Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom and United States watched the christening event. Also in attendance and making speeches were Jacques den Breejen, owner of Den Breejen, shipyard; Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways; and Stewart Williams, president of Avalon Australia.

With Avalon Panorama, Avalon is introducing a proprietary Panorama Suite design to maximize the river cruise experience for customers. According to the company, the Panorama redefines space: Space that was inspirationally designed to enhance traveler comfort and views, while also bringing an indoor/outdoor living experience on board. In addition 17 Avalon Deluxe Staterooms on the lower deck, the Panorama features 64 newly designed Panorama Suites positioned on the top two decks, each with 200 square feet of living space. This space comes complete with a large seating area adjacent to a wall-to-wall panoramic window. When opened, this 10 ft. x 7 ft. floor-to-ceiling window transforms the entire suite into the category’s first open-air balcony.

Avalon’s open-air balconies offer a panoramic cruising experience in every weather condition without compromising room space. When each room’s wall-to-wall panoramic window is closed, the open-air balcony is transformed into a sitting room. Avalon Panorama also offers guests a club, main lounge and dining room with sweeping views, hair salon, Sky Deck whirlpool and open-air bistro. In addition, the Panorama’s fitness room is more expansive, featuring additional equipment and more space.

“With our Suite Ship, we’re pioneering the new look of river cruising,” said Clark. “Not only are our staterooms and views 30 percent larger than any other small ship in Europe, providing cruisers a renewed feeling of freedom and space, every component of the experience, from bed and bathroom positioning and color palette to storage space and sound-proof insulation, was thoughtfully designed for our cruisers to ensure they enjoy all that river cruising has to offer.” Panorama Suites also are available at a price similar to that of ordinary staterooms of other river cruise lines.

Source: Travel Pulse

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May 02, 2011

Royal Caribbean’s Liberty Debuts “Saturday Night Fever”

The West End show “Saturday Night Fever: The Musical” has made its debut aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Liberty of the Seas.

“Saturday Night Fever: The Musical” premiered in the West End at the London Palladium in 1998 and has been seen by more than 10 million people worldwide. On Liberty of the Seas, the show is performed on stage in the 1,320-seat Platinum Theatre. The show has been created by Royal Caribbean Productions in association with Robert Stigwood Organization Ltd. as part of the ship’s recent Royal Advantage revitalization and onboard enhancements.

Based on the hugely popular 1970s feature film, “Saturday Night Fever,” the story line and music that created the worldwide disco phenomenon includes cult-classic songs from The Bee Gees including “Stayin’ Alive,” “Tragedy,” and “More Than a Woman,” and KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Boogie Shoes.”

Liberty of the Seas also has received some popular features that debuted aboard the Oasis-class ships as part of the Royal Advantage revitalization program. Liberty of the Seas got the DreamWorks Experience, 3-D movie technology in the main theater and an oversized outdoor video screen on the main pool deck. Other new amenities include iPod docks in every stateroom; the Wayfinder system, with its interactive touch-screen to direct guests, venue and restaurant descriptions, and the day’s schedule of programs; and the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, which provides nursery care for babies and tots from six to 36 months. Guests also can visit the Cupcake Cupboard and Vintages with its new automated wine serving system.

Source: Travel Pulse

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May 02, 2011

Carnival Cruise Lines Christens Carnival Magic in Venice, Italy

Carnival Cruise Lines christened the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic in Venice, Italy, on May 1. Guests watched the ceremony in the ship’s Showtime Theater as godmother Lindsey Wilkerson pushed the button that sent a champagne bottle outside smashing into the hull. The bottle breaking was shown on video screens in the theater.

Wilkerson is a representative of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, where she received treatment at age 10 for cancer. Now married and the mother of two, she thanked Carnival for its support of the hospital and its pledge to donate $3 million over three years. “Thank you, Carnival, for having hearts as big as your ships,” she said in a video showcasing the hospital.

Wilkerson walked onto the stage to a standing ovation and then accepted a $50,000 check to St. Jude’s from Carnival Senior Cruise Director John Heald.

The ceremony started with Carnival President and CEO Gerald Cahill turning up during a song-and-dance show sitting in a small red helicopter used in the ship’s magic show. Cahill highlighted the ship’s Red Frog Pub, the first pub on a Carnival ship, as well as its outdoor ropes course and new Italian restaurant.

Cahill also noted that the ship is the 100th for Carnival Corporation, and that all passengers throughout the fleet enjoyed a champagne toast as the company accepted the Magic on April 29. He also noted that it is the 23rd ship designed by architect Joe Farcus, who is now designing ships for sister company Costa Cruises.

The Carnival Magic departed on its inaugural voyage after the ceremony, a repositioning to Barcelona, where it will be based through mid-October. Then, it will head for its new year-round homeport of Galveston, Texas.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Apr 18, 2011

MSC Cruises to Broadcast Royal Wedding April 29

MSC Cruises will broadcast the Royal Wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29. The event is expected to draw a global audience of 2.4 billion people. With the exception of the MSC Sinfonia and the MSC Opera, which will not be sailing in European waters, the Royal Wedding will be broadcast in English across the entire MSC fleet. Bars onboard will serve a variety of champagnes and Prosecco, an Italian white wine, with a special commemorative royal cocktail (sparkling wine, cognac and Grand Marnier).

Source: Travel Pulse

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Apr 18, 2011

Princess Cruises Reinstates Calls to Egyptian Ports

Princess Cruises has reinstated calls to Egyptian ports on all itineraries where they were previously removed. In February, due to political unrest, Princess modified itineraries for 18 sailings scheduled to call in Egypt through November. The cruises aboard Star Princess, Dawn Princess, Ocean Princess and Pacific Princess have now returned to their originally published itineraries. Princess’ first Egypt call is scheduled for May 15.

“The situation in Egypt has calmed considerably since wide-spread protests earlier this year, and the tourist areas aren’t currently being affected,” said Jan Swartz, Princess’ executive vice president. “So we’re pleased to tell passengers they can once again plan to experience this country’s iconic pyramids and other ancient wonders.”

The Egyptian ports of Alexandria and Port Said are part of the two-day Egypt experience included on the line’s 12-day Holy Land sailings. Sailings depart from May 7 through Nov. 15.

Passengers currently booked on Holy Land sailings are being contacted with the revised itinerary information. Princess will continue to monitor the situation in Egypt and consult with various authorities to obtain the latest information and advice.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Apr 18, 2011

American Cruise Lines to Enter Alaska Market in 2012

American Cruise Lines will begin operating its small-ship cruises in Alaska in June 2012. Seven- to 11-night cruises will operate roundtrip from Juneau and visit Skagway, Glacier Bay, Icy Strait/Hoonah, Sitka, Petersburg, and Tracy Arm/Dawes Glacier. The company also will offer two 11-night repositioning cruises between Juneau and Seattle before and after the season.

The company has not decided which ship will operate in Alaska, but President Charles A. Robertson said it will probably be the 100-passenger American Star. Sales opened a few days ago through top-producing agents and performed well, he said.

Shore excursions will be included in the Alaska cruises, as is generally done on other small-ship cruises, he said. The ship will carry kayaks for passenger use.

American, which offers many cruises along the East Coast, decided to expand into Alaska because “it surveyed very well” with past passengers, Robertson said. The company has, he said, “as far as we can tell, the highest repeat rate of anybody.” On any given cruise, he said, about 35 percent of passengers have sailed with American before.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Mar 22, 2011

VIKING RIVER CRUISES ANNOUNCES FOUR NEW BUILDS FOR 2012

Viking River Cruises, the world’s leading river cruise line, today announced the next phase of its $250 million fleet development program as it unveils details of four, state-of-the-art vessels set to launch at the start of its 2012 sailing season. This is the second time in a decade that Viking River Cruises has engaged in four new ship builds in one season—an accomplishment that no other river cruise company has matched since Viking did it in 2001.

Building on the company’s reputation as the industry innovator—Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and Viking Odin—are the first of Viking’s Longships, anew class of vessel within the fleet that is marked by sophisticated and inviting design coupled with high-tech and patent-pending features. Designed by celebrated maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten—the team behind the Disney Dream and the Yachts of Seabourn—the new ships are characterized by the long and graceful design of ancient Scandinavian vessels and were named after key members of the Norse pantheon.

Integrating cutting-edge technology with amenities that reflect guest preferences and travel trends, Viking River Cruises is changing the industry once again with this class of vessels by setting a new standard in onboard amenities, energy efficiency and guest comfort. By shifting the corridor one meter and reorienting the staterooms to create additional space,the new Viking Longships will boast the largest real suites in Europe—featuring separate sleeping and living rooms in each of its Explorer Suites and Veranda Suites—as well as more full-size rooms and full-size verandas than other European river cruise vessels. Plus, three-quarters of staterooms will feature a veranda, French balcony or both.

Scheduled to sail four of Viking’s most popular European itineraries, including the 10-day Tulips & Windmills, 8-day Romantic Danube, 15-day Grand European Tour and 8-day Danube Waltz, each of the new Viking Longships will be 443 feet (135 meters) long, and feature 95 staterooms per ship. Representing a $120 million investment, each of the new ships will boast key innovations such as:

  • Two Explorer Suites, which will be the largest river cruise suites in Europe at 445 square feet, each featuring a separate living room, bedroom, bathroom and private wraparound veranda, offering 270-degree views.
  • Seven 270-square-foot Veranda Suites with full-size verandas in the living room and French balconies in the bedroom.
  • 39 Veranda Staterooms with full-size verandas at 205 square feet.
  • Sustainability upgrades such as energy-efficient hybrid engines, solar panels and an onboard organic herb garden.
  • A new all-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace that reinvents the lounge by bringing the outdoor river scenery indoors with retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors.
  • Al fresco dining areas on the Upper deck, adjacent to the lounge to present more dining choices to guests.


Source: Viking River Cruises

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Mar 22, 2011

New Princess Ship to be called Royal Princess

Princess Cruises said its new ship, slated to launch in May 2013, will be named Royal Princess.

The 3,600-passenger ship will feature several new public areas, including a glass-enclosed Seawalk 128 feet above the water. Its glass-paneled floor will enable guests to view the ocean under the walkway.

The ship details were announced at the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention by Princess CEO Alan Buckelew.

A sister ship to Royal Princess will debut in 2014. Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri will construct both ships.

Source: Travel Weekly

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Mar 22, 2011

Crystal to Include Drinks, Gratuities Starting in March 2012

Crystal Cruises will include wine, spirits and gratuities for housekeeping, bar, butler and dining room staff in cruise fares starting in March 2012.

“Crystal is going all-inclusive in 2012,” said Bill Smith, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the luxury line. “This makes the messaging simpler for travel agents, particularly when selling against other luxury and premium players. When agents are doing comparisons and selling up, it makes it so much simpler to say gratuities and beverages are included throughout the ship.”

The new policy will go into effect after the 2012 World Cruise when both ships head for Europe on trans-Atlantic voyages: Crystal Symphony’s “Beyond the Sea” sailing from Miami to Lisbon on March 19, 2012, and Crystal Serenity’s “New World to Norway” voyage from New York to London on May 8, 2012. The company is waiting until then because the cruise schedules are already published through the first quarter of 2012.The company is doing away with the suggested $7-per-person gratuity for waitstaff in the Prego, Silk Road and The Sushi Bar specialty restaurants, but there still will be charges for Vintage Room wine dinners because they include high-end wines and liquors. Gratuities will still be accepted in the salon and spa.

Crystal will end the “All-Inclusive-As You Wish” promotion, which gave onboard credit of up to $2,000 per couple, although some shipboard credits still will be available through agreements with national accounts and for Crystal Society members who reach certain levels.

Smith said Crystal is becoming more inclusive, not because of competitive pressures, but because it is the “next step in Crystal’s evolution as a luxury leader.” The company has also instituted a Personal Choice dining program that allows guests to dine whenever they choose, as well as the traditional two dinner seatings.

Always included at no additional cost are: non-alcoholic beverages such as bottled water, specialty coffee drinks, soft drinks and fresh juices; high tea; ice cream and frozen yogurt bar; gym, steam, saunas and whirlpools; fitness classes such as Spinning and group Pilates Reformer instruction; Walk-on-Water weighted vests and Nordic Pole walking equipment; dozens of computer/technology classes; art classes; Crystal Visions lecture series; welcome champagne; shuttles to town; pillow menus; self-service laundries; twice-daily housekeeping with nightly turndown service; and 24-hour room service. Penthouse accommodations also include personal butler service, pressing, stocked bar, and other amenities and services.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Mar 16, 2011

Princess’ New Royal Princess to Feature Glass-Bottomed Walkway

Princess Cruises named its next newbuild Royal Princess. The 141,000-ton, 3,600-passenger ship, due out in spring 2013, will feature a glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet from the ship’s hull, 128 feet above the sea, on the starboard side. On the port side, there will be a bar also extending over the sea, with a glass bottom

Princess executives announced the name and features at Cruise Shipping Miami in Miami Beach on March 15, the day construction officially began on the newbuild with the steel-cutting at Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

This will be the third time the name Royal Princess has been given to a Princess ship. The fleet has a Royal Princess now, but it will be transferred to the sister P&O fleet in April.

The Royal Princess is the first of two new-generation Princess ships. The prototype design is an evolution of the line’s classic style of ships, while including some new features and expanded signature spaces.

Royal Princess will feature a new adults-only pool surrounded by seven private cabanas that will require a fee to rent. Two additional pools will flank a tropical island that will offer pool seating by day and by night will become an outdoor dance club, complete with a water and light show. Princess’ signature adults-only area, The Sanctuary, will be expanded both in size and amenities.

Also, the ship will get an even larger outdoor movie screen for poolside Movies Under the Stars. The new high-definition screen will be about 15 by 30 feet in size.

Inside the ship, one of the line’s hallmark venues, the Piazza atrium, will be significantly expanded. This area will be the multi-faceted social hub of the vessel, offering quick bites and light meals, beverages, entertainment, shopping and guest services.

All outside staterooms on Royal Princess will have balconies, which means that 80 percent of the ship’s staterooms will have balconies.

Royal Princess will include 260,000 square feet of inside public space with multiple dining and entertainment venues, as well as other special features and amenities which will be revealed over the coming months. A video preview of Royal Princess is available at www.princess.com/royalprincess. A sister ship to Royal Princess will be launched in spring 2014.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Mar 14, 2011

Cruise ships stay out of harm’s way in Pacific

The major U.S. cruise lines operating across the Pacific are experiencing virtually no effects from the massive earthquake that struck 80 miles off the coast of Japan March 11 and the tsunami waves that followed.

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is in Japanese waters, sailing between Osaka and Nagasaki, where it is due to arrive on Saturday, March 12.

A statement from the line said that the ship is 450 miles southwest of the epicenter of the earthquake, "and it is extremely unlikely that the ship will be affected in any way by the earthquake or its aftershocks."

The Queen Mary 2 is operating a 102-night World Voyage, which departed New York on Jan. 13.

Royal Caribbean International said that none of its brands’ ships were affected by the earthquake or tsunami and that no modifications have been made to itineraries that include Japan.

The company, which operates the Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara Club lines, said it was continuing to monitor the situation.

Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Quest, departed a port call in Nagasaki, Japan, March 11 as scheduled. The line said that Azamara Quest was hundreds of miles from the epicenter of the earthquake, and the ship as well as all of its guests and crew are safe and sound.

"We are extremely saddened by the destruction in Japan caused by the massive earthquake. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan and their family members," Royal Caribbean said in a statement.

Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity is operating a 14-night sailing from Sydney to Singapore and has completed a scheduled call in Bali, Indonesia. According to the line, the ship now is enroute to Singapore, as planned.

"Earlier this morning the captain reported the seas are smooth, and he doesn't expect any impact on our route. Indonesia has lifted its tsunami warning," said a spokeswoman for Crystal.

In Hawaii, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America left Nawiliwili, on the island of Kauai, at 1 a.m. March 11 and is at sea, where the line said conditions are safe for the vessel. The tsunami warning prompted the closure of Kauai’s port, where the ship was calling, but it is expected to reopen later today. When it does, NCL said, the ship will return to the island.

The Pride of America operates six-night sailings roundtrip from Honolulu. NCL said the ship would return to Honolulu on March 12, and the next cruise is expected to operate as scheduled.

The line’s Norwegian Star is operating a six-night Mexican Riviera cruise roundtrip from Los Angeles, where a tsunami warning also is in place. The ship is at sea today and will arrive as scheduled in Los Angeles Saturday, NCL said.

The line added that it continues to monitor the tsunami advisory for Hawaii and the West Coast.

Source: Travel Weekly

Mar 14, 2011

Princess Cancels Calls at Mazatlan Through April

Citing continuing security concerns, Princess Cruises has removed Mazatlan calls from all Mexico itineraries through the remainder of the spring cruise season. Itineraries for the six remaining sailings have been modified to include an extra day in Cabo San Lucas. Affected sailings are Sapphire Princess departures on March 12, March 19, April 9, April 16, April 23 and April 30. Passengers on these sailings have been notified of changes to their itineraries.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and our decisions will be guided by information and recommendations from a variety of U.S. government and security agencies,” Princess said.

Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line previously removed Mazatlan from upcoming itineraries for the Carnival Splendor, Carnival Spirit and Norwegian Star as well as Holland America. The moves came after a Feb. 22 shooting in the tourist zone.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Mar 14, 2011

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 Cancels Call at Nagasaki

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 cancelled its March 12 call at Nagasaki, Japan, because the March 11 earthquake closed all ports in Japan. The liner instead proceeded to its next scheduled port, Xingang, China.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Mar 14, 2011

Uniworld Announces New Ship to Sail Mekong River

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has announced that it will operate a new, 60-passenger river cruise vessel along Southeast Asia’s Mekong River, starting in January. The ship, the River Saigon, is being built by Pandaw River Cruises, which is leasing it to Uniworld under an exclusive, three-year charter agreement. The seven-night “Mekong River Exploration” cruise between Saigon, Vietnam, and Siem Reap, Cambodia, will be paired with a seven-night land tour for a 14-night vacation, according to Janice Tully, CTIE, Uniworld’s senior vice president, sales.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Mar 09, 2011

Costa Replaces 2011 Port Calls In Egypt, Tunisia and Israel

Costa Crociere has cancelled all calls in Tunisia, Egypt and Israel for the balance of 2011 due to recent unrest.

For the current season, all seven-day Mediterranean cruises of Costa Concordia, Costa Serena and Costa Magica will replace a call at Tunis, Tunisia, with a visit to Malta, Palma de Mallorca or Cagliari, Italy.

All Mediterranean itineraries with scheduled calls at Alexandria, Egypt, and Haifa and Ashdod, Israel, will be modified and instead call at Limassol, Cyprus; Rhodes, Greece; Marmaris, Turkey; or the newly added ports of Alanya and Antalya, Turkey.

At this point, Costa is keeping Egypt, Tunisia and Israel on itineraries for 2012.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Feb 25, 2011

NCL Plans to Add 58 Staterooms, Suites to Norwegian Dawn

Norwegian Cruise Line will add 58 new staterooms and suites to the Norwegian Dawn when it enters dry dock in May. The 28 new suites include two categories of family suites that can sleep up to six, executives announced during a Feb. 23 conference call with travel agents and press.

There will be 14 Family Suites (category SJ) measuring 408 to 452 square feet, while 10 Family Suites with Balcony (category SD) will measure 409 to 495 square feet. The family suites will be located on a high deck, near the pool, and feature a larger bathroom and more storage space.

There will be four Deluxe Owner’s Suites (category SA) added right below the bridge. They will measure 667 to 732 square feet. Also added will be 30 inside staterooms measuring 142 to 174 square feet.

The new accommodations will take the current location of the Spinnaker Lounge and cinema, which will be upgraded and moved to a spot that executives said improve the flow of the ship.

Though the dry-dock project is in May, finishing work on the new accommodations will continue until Sept. 16. They are on sale now, however, for departures after Sept. 16.

In other news, NCL said a new built-in air purifying system was installed last week in Norwegian Epic, near the casino area, which some guests complain is too smoky. The built-in system replaces floor models.

Also, Executive Vice President Andy Stuart said the company is working to install an online system that will allow passengers to pre-book restaurant reservations. He said he expects the roll-out of the new system to start in April.

In other fleetwide additions, executives said the company now offers Welcome Back Stations near the gangways on port days with cool face towels (warm ones in Alaska), complimentary water and a place to relax.

The company also now offers a Dear Hotel Director suggestion box at the front desk for guests with complaints or comments. A sign also lists the phone extension for the hotel director’s office. The company promises feedback or a response within 24 hours.

Source: Travel Pulse

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Feb 25, 2011

North India Tours with Best Tourist Destination

The Beauty of North India is irresistible and offers its visitors lot of opportunities to explore the wide range of majestic, mesmerizing and mystic tourist

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