Greetings to the many thousands of readers the past month from across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as well as Russia, France, Germany, Japan, China, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Vietnam and Australia.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Carnival Vista launches year-round service from PortMiami

Six- and Eight-Day Itineraries Visit Spectacular Destinations in the Caribbean
MIAMI -- PortMiami has welcomed Carnival Cruise Line’s newest, largest and most innovative ship, Carnival Vista, when it arrived to kick off a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day cruises to the Caribbean.
To officially welcome Carnival Vista to its Miami homeport, Carnival Vista Captain
Stefano Battinelli and PortMiami Assistant Director Fred Wong participated in a traditional maritime plaque exchange prior to the ship’s inaugural departure from Miami.

As the line’s newest ship, Carnival Vista takes cruising to new heights, introducing groundbreaking features such as SkyRide, a suspended open-air cycling experience; the world’s first IMAX® Theatre on a ship; Kaleid-O-Slide, the line’s first water tube slide, part of the ship’s massive WaterWorks aqua park; and the RedFrog Pub & Brewery featuring the first brewery on a North American-based cruise ship.
            “Miami has been our home since our company’s inception in 1972 and homeporting the new Carnival Vista here not only provides consumers with a convenient homeport with renovated facilities and numerous operational enhancements but speaks volumes about our confidence in growing this important market,” and said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. 

Celebrity Cruises is first to launch North American trade loyalty program for travel agents

Limitless Earning Potential for 85,000⁺ Travel Agents Eligible for Rewards

MIAMI – December 5, 2016 – Celebrity Cruises is once again showing its authentic appreciation to travel agents with the introduction of the first-ever trade loyalty program in North America for the cruising industry, aptly dubbed Celebrity Rewards.


Through the incentive program, the modern luxury brand invites more than 85,000⁺ eligible travel agents, in the U.S. and Canada, to receive rewards for every qualified booking resulting in limitless earning potential. This is the Celebrity Distinction.


Travel agents who enroll in the program and register their Celebrity bookings can earn points and redeem the points for a reloadable gift card. For every qualified booking made on or after January 1, 2017, agents will receive 500 points, when travel agents have 2,500 points, they can redeem them for $25 placed on the reloadable gift card. Those that enroll in Celebrity Rewards today will receive a kick-off bonus incentive of 500 points.

Windstar leaves the crowds behind on 12 new cruises thorugh Asia and Arabia in private yacht style

Windstar’s all-suite Star Legend yacht sails to new harbors in Japan, China,
Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Borneo, Egypt, India and more in 2017-18.
Seattle, WA — Boutique cruise line Windstar Cruises is sailing to Arabia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia in winter/spring 2017-18. The elegant, all-suite yacht Star Legend embarks just 212 guests on new itineraries with 12 sailing dates from 10 to 18 days in length departing Oct. to April and including dozens of maiden port calls, many off the tourist path. These small ship cruises are designed to immerse travelers into the heart of local cultures, indulging guests with the exclusive comforts and culinary delights of a private yacht.

Windstar’s Asia and Arabia cruises offer larger-than-life adventures and exceptional experiences only possible on a small ship. Star Legend will proudly sail into the hub of must-see Asian cities where larger ships typically dock on the outskirts. The agile yacht sails on routes less traveled, visiting out-of-the-way islands, and charming harbors that big ships skip. Itineraries are carefully crafted with scenic cruising and active exploration in mind.

Norwegian Cruise Line reveals new "free at sea" ofer

Now through January 16 (2017), new cruise bookings in oceanview, balcony or mini-suite staterooms can choose two free offers, while The Haven & Suites receive five amenities including shore excursion credits in every port

Norwegian Cruise Line is encouraging its guests to go out and explore the world and their dream destinations with a new Free at Sea promotion that now includes an option to select free shore excursion credits in unlimited ports of call.
From now through January 16, guests can choose from up to five free offers when they book a new cruise vacation, to experience the trip of a lifetime with the most freedom and flexibility available at sea. 
 With Norwegian’s Free at Sea, guests who book a new three-day or longer sailing in an oceanview, balcony or minisuite category stateroom can select their preference of two free choices from five incredible onboard amenity offers*, including free unlimited open bar, free Specialty Dining package, $50 towards shore excursions in each port per stateroom, a free 250 minute WiFi package, or Norwegian’s Kids Sail Free offer that allows third and fourth guests, whether they are kids or kids at heart, to sail for free on almost 400 cruise departures dates. 
 Inside staterooms, as well as Norwegian’s Studio staterooms for solo travelers, can choose one free offer. Guests who book a sailing in a suite or The Haven by Norwegian® will enjoy all five free amenities, providing up to $2,800 in added value to their cruise.

Princess Cruises introduces 'best price guarantee' on shore excursions

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2016) – Princess Cruises today announced its Shore Excursions Best Price Guarantee is available on thousands of the award-winning tours in ports the cruise line visits worldwide. The program launches fleetwide and guarantees if guests find the same shore excursion elsewhere at a lower price, they will receive 110 percent of the difference in the form of non-refundable onboard credit.

“Our new Best Price Guarantee on shore excursions gives guests satisfaction that they are receiving competitive and fair pricing while enjoying an exceptional experience ashore,” said Bruce Krumrine, vice president of shore excursions for Princess Cruises. “We find our guests rate their overall cruise vacation experience higher when they take our shore excursions because we handle every detail for them so they can easily explore the world and take home lifelong memories of the places they visit.”

Cunard offers "Upgrades on Us" on Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth

Free Double Upgrade† from Inside to Balcony, 50% Reduced Deposit
plus Free Drinks in Grill Suitest and Past Guests receive Free Gratuities‡
 2018 Full World Early Booking Benefit extended until February 28, 2017 with up to $700 Onboard Credit per Stateroom††
VALENCIA, Calif., December 7, 2016 -- Luxury cruise line Cunard has announced the Upgrades on Us promotion. Now until February 28, 2017, new bookings on select voyages will receive Free Double Upgrades from Inside to Balcony, 50% Reduced Deposit, Free Drinks in Grill Suites and Past Guests will receive Free Gratuities. Guests can select itineraries on a wide range of voyages on all three Cunard Queens - Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.
The Upgrades on Us offer includes:

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Princess Cruises honors military veteran and Purple Heart recipient

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (November 10, 2016) Princess Cruises, the Official Cruise Line of the Seattle Seahawks, honored military veterans Matthew and Brittney Linville prior to kick off on Monday, awarding the couple a free seven day cruise for their service in the United States Army, including deployment to Iraq.
(From left to right) Military Veteran and Purple Heart recipient Matthew Linville, Legendary Seahawks Quarterback Jim Zorn, and Military Veteran Brittney Linville in Seattle on Monday.

Princess Cruises offers up to $250 free onboard spending money for veterans as well as active, retired or disabled military personnel, as a thank you to the brave men and women of the American and Canadian militaries for their service.

This special military benefit is eligible on any cruise, any time of the year and can be used to purchase a wide variety of amenities and experiences including Lotus Spa treatments; dining in specialty restaurants; gifts, jewelry and clothing in onboard boutiques; and Princess Cruises shore excursions.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

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About Princess Cruises: One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, all provided with the experience of exceptional customer service. A recognized leader in worldwide cruising, Princess carries 1.7 million guests each year to more than 360 destinations around the globe on more than 150 itineraries ranging in length from three to 111 days. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

Norwegian Epic sails into Port Canaveral for Caribbean, Bahamas cruises

Norwegian’s most awarded ship will cruise the Western Caribbean and the Bahamas this winter
ORLANDO, FL- November 12, 2016 – One of Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest and most awarded ships, Norwegian Epic, arrived this morning in Port Canaveral, FL to begin her winter season sailing a series of Eastern and Western Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries ranging in length from three, four, six and seven days.

The award-winning Norwegian Epic returns home to the U.S. after having spent a year in Europe, where she underwent an extensive renovation as a part of The Norwegian Edge™ fleet revitalization program.
“We saw great success in Port Canaveral when we returned to the port last year with  Norwegian Spirit, so we felt it made sense to take our commitment to the next level by bringing Norwegian Epic, one of our largest and most awarded ships, to sail from the greater Orlando area,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Carnival Cruise Line earns six Porthole Cruise Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards

(News Release)
MIAMI (Nov. 3, 2016) – Carnival Cruise Line has earned six Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards, including Best Value for the Money Line for the 18th consecutive year.
Since the awards were established in 1999, Carnival Cruise Line has earned an unprecedented 146 individual honors – the most of any cruise operator.
The annual awards are based on online and mail-in surveys of Porthole Cruise Magazine readers who are asked to rate their favorite cruise line in a variety of product- and service-related categories.
Carnival’s 2016 Porthole Cruise Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards include:
·         Best Value-For-The-Money Line
·         Best Cruise Line for Teens
·         Best Theme Cruise
·         Best Cruise Director - John Heald
·         Best Mexican Riviera Itineraries
·         Best Website

Cunard receives top honors by Porthole cruise magazine’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

(News Release)

VALENCIA, Calif., Nov 3, 2016 Cunard has been voted best in two categories in Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards, “Best Transatlantic Itineraries” and “Best World Cruise Itineraries,” which Cunard has been awarded for the 17th consecutive year.

Porthole Cruise’s 18th annual Readers' Choice Awards were determined by thousands of readers and online fans of the magazine, who voted for their favorite cruise lines and ships in 54 different categories. This year garnered a record-breaking number of ballots.

“As the line who pioneered Transatlantic Crossings and World Voyages, we are delighted that the readers of Porthole continue to be equally enthusiastic to experience these legendary itineraries,” said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard, North America. “We are honored to receive this accolade.”

Norwegian Cruise Line brings freedom and flexibility to fall with Free at Sea offer

Now through November 30, new cruise bookings in oceanview, balcony or mini-suite staterooms can choose two free offers and The Haven & Suites receive five offerings valued up to $2,800; additionally, holiday bonus of $100 onboard credit is being offered on new Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s sailings.
Norwegian Cruise Line will color the fall foliage with more freedom, flexibility and fun with an extended Free at Sea offer. From now through November 30, 2016, guests can choose from up to five free offers when they book a new cruise vacation, offering even more value to those looking to enjoy a warm weather winter escape or a cultural holiday adventure.

With Norwegian’s Free at Sea, guests who book a new three-day or longer sailing in an oceanview, balcony or minisuite category stateroom can select their preference of two free choices from five incredible onboard amenity offers, including free unlimited open bar*, free Specialty Dining package*, free prepaid service charges for the first and second guest in the stateroom, a free 250 minute WiFi package**, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer which allows third and fourth guests to sail for free on select dates. Inside staterooms as well as Norwegian’s Studio staterooms for solo travelers can choose one free offer. Guests who book a sailing in a suite or The Haven by Norwegian® will enjoy all five free amenities, providing up to $2,800 in added value to their cruise.

Princess Cruises announces partnership with Three-Michelin Star French Chef Emmanuel Renaut

Chef Emmanuel Renaut partners with Princess Cruises to launch his first restaurant at sea: “LA MER – A French Bistro by Emmanuel Renaut
Award-winning Chef to Bring Fresh, French Bistro Dining Experience to Guests Aboard New Majestic Princess

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2016) Princess Cruises announced a partnership with three-Michelin star Chef Emmanuel Renaut to develop the cruise line’s next specialty restaurant concept. La Mer – A French Bistro by Emmanuel Renautwill debut aboard Majestic Princess in April 2017, the cruise line’s newest ship tailored for the China market.

Followed by the partnership announcement with another Michelin star Chef Richard Chen, serving his interpretation of classic Cantonese dishes at Harmony, Majestic Princess will be the only cruise ship that offers two specialty dinner menus designed by Michelin star chefs at sea in China.

Emmanuel Renaut is the highly acclaimed Executive Chef of three Michelin star restaurant “Flocons de Sel,” located in the French Alps village of Megève. Flocons de Sel was awarded its coveted third Michelin star in 2012, having earned its first Michelin star in 2004 and a second in 2006. Before establishing the restaurant in 1998, Chef Renaut cooked in some of the finest kitchens in Paris and London, including Hotel de Crillon, Claridge’s and three-Michelin star Auberge de l’Eridan as sous chef to the celebrated Marc Veyrat.