Welcome

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.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Vacationers can enjoy up to $200 onboard credit on Royal Caribbean sailings

FOUR-DAY WOW SALE TO DELIVER MORE ‘WOWS’ FOR FAMILY VACATIONS

MIAMI, May 30, 2014 – Families can get into the swing of summer with a Royal Caribbean International vacation and taking advantage of the cruise line’s first WOW Sale of the year, starting June 1, 2014.


Vacationers can enjoy up to $200 onboard credit per stateroom when they book now to make this a family summer to remember. Guests can apply their onboard credit toward an exhilarating shore excursion, dinner in an onboard specialty restaurant to celebrate a family milestone, or the perfect family portrait to commemorate the perfect vacation.

The offer also features a 50 percent reduced deposit and applies to all new U.S. and Canadian individual bookings made from June 1 through 4, 2014. For more information, please visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/WOWSale.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Avalon expands exotic offerings in Southeast Asia including two new all-suite ships; new destination: Myanmar


Book by June 3 and save up to $712 off a 2015 cruise

A journey on one of Asia’s great rivers offers a tapestry of fascinating sights, colourful cultures and ancient traditions.  And in 2015, travellers will have the opportunity to live the “suite life” in Asia.  For the first time, Avalon Waterways is introducing two NEW, 36-guest Suite Ships on the Mekong and the river cruise line’s newest destination, the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar (Burma).

“Next year, we’re introducing our wildly popular Suite Ship design to travellers looking for a more exotic cruise experience in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways.  “With new, intimate ships in Southeast Asia, as well as small group discoveries in China with no more than 20 travellers, the intimacy we offer travellers, paired with our immersive Local Favorites program designed to spotlight the unique stories in each destination, inspire an unparalleled Asia vacation.”

Cunard History: The “Empress Incognito” and her most daring voyage

This article, written by Michael Gallagher, public relations executive and historian for Cunard Line,
is part of an ongoing series of key moments in Cunard Line's history

27 May 2014 – Just after the outbreak of the Second World War, Queen Elizabeth, the pride of the British merchant fleet and the largest liner in the world, was still fitting out at the John Brown & Co. Shipyard on the Clyde with her Maiden Voyage set for April 1940.

Suddenly everything changed. Work on Queen Elizabeth slowed as priority was given to naval contracts and the main concern for the shipyard being the 16 September 1939 scheduled launch of the battleship Duke of York.


Norwegians bask in the sun with savings

For a limited time, receive up to $100 on select Bahamas & Caribbean cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line is launching its Caribbean Bonus Days, offering exceptional savings on select Bahamas and Caribbean sailings beginning this Fall through Winter 2015.

Guests who book a Norwegian cruise vacation from Monday, May 26 through Saturday, May 31, 2014, can receive up to $100 per stateroom to spend on board.  Air credits up to $1000, Military, AARP and Latitudes Rewards discounts, along with reduced rates for solo travelers, also apply to select sailings. 

Guests can extend their summer aboard Miami’s Ultimate Ship, Norwegian Getaway as she sails seven-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean from her year-round homeport of Miami, Florida. The line’s newest ship visits tropical ports of call including Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas.

Princess Cruises debuts 2015-2016 exotics sailings

Worldwide Cruise Vacation Destinations and Largest Australian Deployment Announced

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 27, 2014) – Princess Cruises has debuted its 2015-2016 Exotics program which will take guests to a myriad of fascinating destinations that span the globe.

The diverse deployment includes more than 40 unique itineraries to 140 destinations in 70 countries on six continents. Guests will be able to book cruises to Tahiti and the South Pacific, South America, Australia/New Zealand, Asia and Africa. In addition, cruisers will experience less-traveled ports- available on the line’s small ships, or circumvent the globe on a 111-day World Cruise sailing roundtrip from North America.

Among the highlights of next season’s offerings are the lines’ largest ever deployment of cruises in Australia as Golden Princess becomes one of five ships to sail from the area - more ships than ever before for Princess; the line’s first Perth-based deployment during the Australian summer; longer cruises to Africa, Asia and the South Pacific; and sailings roundtrip from Singapore on Sapphire Princess.

Royal Caribbean Cruises to develop Cape Liberty, N.J. cruise port

New Terminal to Provide Guests with State-of-the-art Experience for Vacations aboard the most Innovative Cruise Ships

MIAMI, May 27, 2014 – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced that it has entered into an agreement with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the cruise company to develop the next phase of Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J.


The $55 million project will include the construction of a new, state-of-the-art guest terminal, with 125,000 sq. ft. of check-in, customs and immigration, and luggage processing space, as well as a 900-car parking structure and pier improvements.

The new facilities will be erected adjacent to the current terminal used to welcome guests and will accommodate the cruise company’s ships, including the next-generation Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, each to start service at Cape Liberty in November 2014 and 2015, respectively. Ground breaking has already occurred and the new terminal is scheduled to be completed in November 2014.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Norwegian expands freestyle dining reservations

Starting today, guests can reserve specialty dining venues 90 days prior to sailing; guests on select ships can also book entertainment, spa reservations

Norwegian Cruise Line is making Freestyle Dining easier than ever for guests sailing aboard the line’s contemporary vessels.

Cruises can now make specialty dining reservations 90 days prior to embarkation, 45 days earlier than the previous reservation window.  Guests staying in The Haven, Norwegian’s exclusive ship-within-a-ship key card access suite complex, or in any suite category, can make specialty dining reservations 100 days prior to their cruise.

As a part of the Norwegian NEXT program, focused on bringing “new enhancements, experiences and transformations” across the fleet, Norwegian is elevating the guest experience onboard and make it easier and more convenient for guests to create the vacation of their dreams.

Sapphire Princess launches cruise season from home port of Shanghai


Carnival plc celebrates Princess Cruises’ Inaugural Homeport China Program  Offering ‘Princess Class’ Cruise Experience

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 22, 2014) – Carnival plc today celebrated the start of the inaugural season of Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess from its new summer home port of Shanghai. This marks the first China homeport cruising program for the line, and brings an entirely new premium cruise experience called Princess Class to the rapidly-expanding China cruise market.

During the four-month season, which runs through August, the line will carry approximately 70,000 guests on 24 unique cruises with itineraries ranging from three to five days. The voyages will visit famous cities in South Korea and Japan, including Seoul (Incheon), Busan, Jeju Island, Fukuoka (Hakata), Kagoshima, Okinawa and Nagasaki.

“We’re excited to be the first line to offer a genuine premium cruise option to Chinese vacationers,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “We know that they are discerning travelers, and have a great desire to explore and learn through travel and unique experiences. We’re well-positioned to provide this to them aboard Sapphire Princess.”

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria to make rare overnight call in Liverpool to celebrate the centenary of the “ship beautiful”



22 May – When Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria arrives in Liverpool on Friday 30 May 2014, she will be celebrating history as well as making a little bit of history herself.

Queen Victoria will be in Liverpool to mark the departure exactly 100 years earlier, on 30 May 1914, of Aquitania, one of the most famous and beloved ships in Cunard history.  Queen Victoria will remain overnight, thus making the first overnight call in Cunard’s “spiritual” home of Liverpool by a Cunard passenger ship since Franconia in January 1968 – almost 50 years ago.

The historic overnight Liverpool port of call will take place during Queen Victoria’s 13-night Around the British Isles cruise which departs Southampton on 23 May.  The cruise will also call at Edinburgh (from New Haven – a maiden call), Invergordon, Kirkwall (maiden call), Glasgow (from Greenock), Dublin, Cobh (Ireland) and St. Peter Port (Guernsey) before returning to Southampton on 5 June.

Activities planned to celebrate this unique call will include local opera singer Danielle Thomas performing both during the afternoon on 30 May and for Queen Victoria’s 31 May departure, and also a Civic Reception and Dinner on board before late-evening fireworks will cap another day of Mersey maritime history.

New York's 'ship' -- Norwegian Breakaway -- celebrates first birthday

Norwegian Breakaway’s Godmothers, The Rockettes (center), along with the ship’s Captain
Hakan Svedung (center right) and Four Stripe officers (from L to R, Hotel Director Prem
Kainikkara, Staff Captain Matko Candrlic and Chief Engineer Zoran Posa) mark one year of
sailing from Manhattan

NEW YORK – May 13, 2014 – Norwegian Breakaway, the ship that brings the best of NYC to sea, celebrates one year of sailing from New York City this week. Since arriving in New York in May 2013, the ship has carried nearly a quarter of a million guests from New York to sunny destinations in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Florida and the Caribbean. 

“Norwegian Breakaway has been hailed as a game-changer with in the cruise industry and we are so proud to celebrate this spectacular ship’s first year sailing from New York,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer.  “The world-class dining, exciting amenities and high-caliber Broadway entertainment onboard are all an extension of the incredible activities this great city has to offer.  Norwegian Breakaway is truly New York’s ship and we invite those who haven’t yet had the opportunity to sail on her to come join us on a future voyage.”

Her anniversary signals the start of the summer season, as the ship is sailing the second of 22 weekly cruises to Bermuda through September 28. Norwegian Breakaway offers seven-day voyages from the heart of Manhattan each Sunday, with three days in port at King’s Wharf, Bermuda. Guests sailing to Bermuda this season have yet another amenity to look forward to onboard, as the casino will now be able to open while the ship is in port, opening at 9 pm each evening while the ship is docked at King’s Wharf.

Carnival Miracle to launch year-round Mexican Riviera sailings; Carnival Legend to operate line's popular Alaska program in 2015

MIAMI (May 22, 2014) -- Carnival Cruise Lines has made two enhancements to its West Coast cruise operations, deploying two highly attractive Spirit-class ships featuring a variety of Fun Ship 2.0 innovations as well as a huge number of balcony staterooms.  

The new deployments include Carnival Miracle introducing year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera departures from Long Beach, Calif., beginning in October 2014, and Carnival Legend operating the line’s Alaska program from Seattle in May 2015.  Carnival Miracle and Carnival Legend will also offer four Hawaii cruises in 2015-16.

Carnival Legend recently underwent an extensive makeover that added a host of new features, including WaterWorks, highlighted by Green Thunder, the fastest and steepest water slide at sea,  and the RedFrog Pub, a Caribbean-inspired watering hole serving the line’s private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red.  The full-service Bonsai Sushi restaurant offering Asian specialties and Cherry On Top, a confections and novelty store, were added, as well. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Disney Cruise Line returning to Hawaii, West Coast and Galveston in 2015


Popular destinations and home ports return for limited-time engagements


CELEBRATION, Fla. (May 19, 2014) ­ In the fall of 2015, Disney Cruise Line is returning to popular destinations and home ports for limited-time engagements. Two Hawaii cruises, a return to the West Coast with departures from San Diego and a Galveston, Texas homecoming make up a season of special sailings.

Disney Cruise Line will explore the Hawaiian Islands with two special 10-night cruises in September.

The Disney Wonder will sail through the breathtaking beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, where guests can experience the famous beaches of Waikiki on Oahu, see the views from high atop the summit of Haleakala Crater on Maui, take in the lush tropical gardens and waterfalls of Kauai and, on Hawaii Island -- the Big Island, explore the natural wonders of the world¹s most active volcano.

For complete news release and hi-res images, please see: Disney Cruise Line Returning to Hawaii, West Coast and Galveston in 2015
###

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and Disney Cruise Line Facebook page, and follow @DisneyCruise on Twitter for updates about exciting new experiences with Disney Cruise Line!

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity's redesigned cruise planner empowers guests to design a customized cruise vacation before even stepping onboard

VACATION PLANNING JUST GOT EASIER: ROYAL CARIBBEAN AND CELEBRITY CRUISES SIMPLIFY PLANNING WITH NEW DIGITAL PLATFORM
MIAMI, May 19, 2014 – Recognizing that vacation time is precious and every moment counts, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have developed an all-new planning tool that allows guests to seamlessly and intuitively plan all aspects of their cruise vacation quicker and easier than ever before. 

The cruise lines are once again leading the industry with the totally revamped Cruise Planner, a tool that makes it possible for all reservations, activities and entertainment to be booked well in advance of departure, ensuring no vacation time needs to be spent on planning. In addition, Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas’ Dynamic Dining reservations also are open and available for guests to book. 
  
With the new Cruise Planner, planning and personalization is simplified with a game-changing approach that eliminates guess work with a modern, user-friendly format enabled for desktops and tablets.

Quantum Global Odyssey to bring Quantum-class cruising to world's top cosmopolitan cities

MIAMI, May 19, 2014 – World Travelers will not need to trek out to New York City to catch Quantum of the Seas, the most anticipated cruise ship to-date.

The ship will come to them. Royal Caribbean International today announced the details of the Quantum Global Odyssey, a 53-night epic journey, departing May 2, 2015, from the New York-metropolitan area to its new home in Shanghai (Baoshan), China.

Quantum of the Seas will take its never-before-seen-at-sea experience globally to savvy vacationers after the ship’s inaugural winter season in New York from Nov. 2014 through Apr. 2015.

Guests sailing the entire Quantum Global Odyssey to the other side of the globe will be a part of history as the arrival of Quantum of the Seas is celebrated at some of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities along the way. The Quantum Global Odyssey will open for sale on May 20, 2014, for Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members and on May 22 for the general public.

Norwegian Cruise Line to further enrich guest experience through fleet enhancement program

Line will invest more than $250 million through 2015
MIAMI – May 20, 2014 – Norwegian Cruise Line announced that it is investing more than $250 million in “Norwegian NEXT,” a program focused on bringing “new enhancements, experiences and transformations” across the fleet, with the goal of elevating the guest experience and building on the success of the line’s two new ships: Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway.  

Norwegian NEXT encompasses ship revitalizations, dining enhancements, new experiences in entertainment and guest activities, along with innovations in technology, new tropical destinations and the line’s continued commitment to the environment. 

Through 2015, the company has plans to revitalize a number of vessels, including Norwegian Jewel, which just re-entered service following dry dock, along with Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Spirit, which were also recently refurbished.      
   
“The youngest fleet at sea continues to get even better with our robust enhancement program taking place over the next two years,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “We want to continue to provide fresh and relevant experiences to our guests every time they sail with us. We are investing significantly in making sure that our guests have the vacation of a lifetime and fully experience what it means to Cruise like a Norwegian.”

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Royal Caribbean International vacations can enjoy half-price savings for second guests

(News Release)

MIAMI – Vacationers can find the best value and the widest stateroom selection when booking a cruise early. With Royal Caribbean International’s “Buy One, Get One 50 Percent Off” promotion, vacationers can enjoy even greater value when they book a cruise that sets sail in 2015 and forward. Guests will sail aboard the industry’s most innovative ships that offer an expansive array of exciting itineraries around the world.

From May 1 through 31, 2014, U.S. and Canadian vacationers will receive 50 percent savings off of the cruise fare for the second guest, booked in the same stateroom with a full-fare guest. The offer applies to new individual and named group bookings in all stateroom categories and sailings departing between January 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016, and excludes Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, as well as third and additional guests. For more details, please visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/BOGO.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 45-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike.

Celebrity Equinox becomes third Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. vessel to feature technology that helps scientists understand effects of climate change

        CELEBRITY CRUISES SHIP JOINS UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI “OCEANSCOPE” PROGRAM TO MONITOR OCEANOGRAPHIC AND ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS

MIAMI – May 13, 2014 – Last week, as Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Equinox completed its scheduled dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, it joined Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas in a program that tracks ocean circulation dynamics and measures atmospheric and oceanographic conditions, on repeated journeys.

Royal Caribbean International recently produced a video about the labs on its two ships: http://bit.ly/1g3P1kn

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s ships are known for providing vacationers with innovative experiences, extraordinary service, and award-winning cuisine as they cross the world’s oceans.

Not as well known – but critically important worldwide – is the scientific research conducted on several of these ships by  the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. The scientists capture and analyze oceanographic and atmospheric data on  the vessels sailing worldwide.

The scientists record ocean temperature, salinity, and chlorophyll concentration, as well as properties of the ocean’s surface, such as reflectance and absorbance. In addition, they measure meteorological properties, such as wind speed, wind direction, barometric pressure and humidity.

Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth enters Blohm & Voss Shipyard for scheduled multi-million dollar refit

16 May 2014 – Cunard Line’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, has arrived at the Blohm & Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, for her first scheduled dry-docking since she entered service in 2010.

As well as conducting standard checks and maintenance, this multi-million dollar refit will create the ship’s first-ever single accommodation options, along with enhanced stateroom and other amenities and improved restaurant facilities. In line with the company’s environmental sustainability thinking, scrubber technology is also being introduced on the ship.

Queen Elizabeth will leave the shipyard on Saturday 1 June and sail for Southampton, ahead of her 4 June cruise to Amsterdam.

“Queen Elizabeth is already a much loved ship and following this multi-million dollar refit, she is sure to shine brightly for years to come,” said David Dingle, CEO for Cunard Line.  “Whilst there has been investment across the ship, we are particularly delighted to announce that following this refit, there will be staterooms for single travellers on board a Cunard ship for the first time since QE2.”

Princess Cruises honored with three Porthole Readers’ Choice Awards

Line Lauded for Itineraries in Europe and Asia, Plus Onboard Shopping

   
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Princess Cruises has won three awards from the readers of Porthole Cruise Magazine, receiving Best Northern Europe Itineraries, Best Asia/Pacific Itineraries, and Best Onboard Shopping in the magazine’s 15th annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

The awards represent the 12th year that the line has been recognized in an itinerary category and the seventh year that Princess took top honors for having the best Northern Europe cruise itineraries. Princess Cruises’ onboard shopping boutiques have been honored with the award for six years in a row.

“We’re so gratified that Porthole readers continue to recognize our expertise with worldwide itineraries,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “And we’re also delighted that the award voters continue to enjoy shopping at our exceptional onboard boutiques.”

Norwegian Dawn kicks off Boston cruise season

Norwegian Dawn Captain Teo Grbic, Condon School student Sinead Mulligan and Boston
Mayor Martin Walsh officially open Cruiseport Boston’s 2014 season at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Norwegian Cruise Line, along with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, officially kicked off the 2014 cruise season at Cruiseport Boston in a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring a number of local and state officials, along with Norwegian Dawn which arrived in Boston for her first cruise to Bermuda.

Norwegian Dawn’s Captain Teo Grbic and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Passenger Services Andy Stuart were on hand for the event held at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. 

Also in attendance were Boston Harbor Association President Vivian Li, Representative Nick Collins, City Council President Bill Linehan and City Councilor At Large Michael Flaherty.  Bermuda’s Ministry of Tourism and Transportation representative Larry Jacobs and Pat Phillip-Fairn, Chief Product and Experiences Development Officer for the Bermuda Tourism Authority were also among the attendees. Following the ceremony, the special guests enjoyed a tour and lunch onboard Norwegian Dawn.
This was the first of Norwegian Dawn’s 22 round-trip cruises to Bermuda.

CruiseCompete offers an assortment of world cruises for 2015 from $18,339 to $211,000

(News Release)

World Cruise Sold Out in Four Days: Limited Availability for 2015

DETROIT (May 14, 2014) World Cruises once were a hallmark of the ultimate traveler. Passengers would board a ship, typically in January, with several steamer trunks in tow and travel for several months, returning to their home port just in time for summer.

Today, world cruises are not quite as sophisticated. They depart from many different ports, cruise for varying lengths of time and cater to people from all walks and life and professions. Suitcases are substituted for steamer trunks (not quite as much formalwear). All are broken up into shorter segments so many only sail a portion of the overall itinerary.

Still, there are those who do book the whole trip. World cruisers tend to be retired, with enough income to afford months at sea and with an adventurous spirit. Most will have years of cruising experience behind them.

World cruises certainly are popular, perhaps because they visit many unusual ports. “Our world cruise sold out in just four hours two years ago and last year in four days,” boasts Scott Knutson, vice president of Costa Cruises.” This year there is still limited availability for one of the most reasonably priced world cruises ever.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Cruising to a remote archipelago of islands off the B.C. coast and a trip along the Saguenay Fjord in Quebec



   Out to Sea column for May 17/14

   (c) By Jim and Barb Fox

   See Canada from the sea just as the explorers did and discover some of the country’s vast but relatively untouched wilderness.
   Maple Leaf Adventures, a “boutique” expedition cruise company, explores Haida Gwaii (Islands of the People), formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands.
  A humpback whale makes an appearance in Juan Perez Sound, Gwaii Haanas, near the schooner Maple Leaf. (Kevin J. Smith/Maple Leaf Adventures)
   Adventurers can visit the new Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole in this remote archipelago of islands along the continental shelf about 115 kilometres off the northern British Columbia coast.
   For the first time in 130 years, a new 12.8-metre (42-foot) carved monumental pole was raised last August at Windy Bay.
   It commemorates 20 years of co-operative management of Gwaii Haanas, the 138 islands that were protected by an agreement in 1993 between the government of Canada and the Haida people.
Maple Leaf guests discover Haida traditions at the UNESCO World Heritage Site SGang Gwaay, formerly known as the village of Ninstints. (Kevin J. Smith/Maple Leaf Adventures)
   For sightseers and adventurers, the area is “renowned for its Haida village sites, cathedral-like ancient rainforests, abundance of whales and seabirds, and its spectacular geography of mountains, islands and sea,” said Maureen Gordon of Maple Leaf Adventures.

New Castaway Cay Challenge added To 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend



LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 14, 2014) - Runners taking part in the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend can add the ultimate finish to their experience - the new Disney Castaway Cay Challenge, a joint venture by runDisney and Disney Cruise Line.

After competing in the 5K, 10K, half marathon and/or full marathon during the Disney Marathon Weekend (January 7-11), runners can compete Jan. 14 in the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge, a special 5K race on Disney Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line's private Bahamian island.

Carnival Cruise Lines to give away the 'ultimate summer party' to the most-spirited office in Houston

Photo Contest with Several Houston-Area CBS Radio Stations Offers Local Businesses
Chance to Win A Work-Free Day of Fun Aboard Carnival Cruise Ship

MIAMI (May 8, 2014) –Carnival Cruise Lines, Texas’ largest cruise operator, and CBS Radio Houston are searching for the most spirited office in Houston for the chance to win the Ultimate Summer Office Party – a day of vacation-inspired fun for up to 100 people aboard one of Carnival’s Galveston-based cruise ships.  

Through a fun and easy photo contest conducted by Carnival and four leading Houston radio stations, those working for local companies in the greater Houston area can enter by submitting a new “vacation-ready” photo with their colleagues until May 23. 

From a team selfie in sunglasses to board shorts in the board room, co-workers are encouraged to submit group shots that demonstrate they are ready for a day of vacation fun with their work friends.

Royal Caribbean orders fourth Oasis-class vessel

Announcement Made as STX France Lays Keel for Third Oasis-Class Ship

MIAMI, May 9, 2014 – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE, OSE: RCL) announced today that it has agreed with STX France to move forward on the order of a fourth Oasis-class ship for delivery in 2018. 

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard D. Fain and President and Chief Operating Officer Adam Goldstein, along with STX France Chief Executive Officer Laurent Castaing, announced the planned ship order at the keel-laying ceremony for the third Oasis-class ship at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

“The Oasis Class was a revolution in maritime design when it was launched in 2009. Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas continue to be in a class by themselves both in terms of guest satisfaction and financial returns. Today’s announcement is a reflection of their success,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We are thrilled to announce the order of a fourth Oasis-class ship during the keel-laying milestone of the third. This announcement is also a testament to the men and women of STX France who have worked so hard and so cooperatively on Oasis III.”

Cunard Line shows love for New York City in first photo of Queen Mary 2's 10th anniversary celebrations


16 May 2014 – Officers, staff and crew of Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2, including (front left) Captain Kevin Oprey, master of Queen Mary 2, showed the company’s love for their U.S. homeport of New York City today,  as they posed on the ship’s bow while she is docked at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. 

The world’s largest, longest, tallest, widest and most expensive ocean liner ever built, and the most famous and fastest passenger ship currently in operation, is in New York today to celebrate her 10th anniversary in Cunard service.  She departed later that afternoon on a celebratory Transatlantic Crossing to Southampton, England.

Azamara Club Cruises announces 2016 worldwide voyages

Destination-Immersive Cruise Line to Sail Inaugural Australia Season in 2016

MIAMI, May 15, 2014 – Not just calling at destinations, but truly visiting them, Azamara Club Cruises today announced the cruise line’s annual deployment for 2016.


Azamara’s twin boutique ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, will take up-market travelers to some of the most intriguing locales in Australia and New Zealand, the Far East and Southeast Asia, the Arabian Gulf, and the West Indies, totaling 204 ports of call in 70 countries.

Delivering more authentic experiences with the cruise line’s hallmark longer stays and more overnights in ports for night touring, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest remain in port when most other ships have departed for the day. The ships will stay past 8 p.m. during more than 175 calls and overnight on more than 100 calls. Azamara also will take guests on new adventures in 2016, with 44 new maiden calls in Australia and New Zealand, United Arab Emirates and Oman, Europe and the West Indies.

Silversea modifies Black Sea voyages

Choice of Complimentary Full-Day Silversea Experience in Bucharest 
or $200 Onboard Credit Offered on Three New Sailings

(Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- May 15, 2014) Taking into account the unsettled situation in Ukraine, Silversea Cruises has modified the itineraries for four Black Sea voyages originally scheduled to call in Yalta, Sevastopol, or Odessa this year.

Silver Spirit's July 21 seven-day sailing will remain entirely a Black Sea itinerary with Trabzon replacing Odessa, while three new nine-day voyages will focus on destinations in Greece and Turkey, and also retain the original Black Sea ports of Constanza and Nessebur.

ADDED PERK: SILVERSEA EXPERIENCE IN BUCHAREST

The new nine-day voyages, Silver Cloud's October 13 sailing and Silver Spirit's voyages of August 20 and September 29, have been enhanced with an added perk. Departing from Constanza, guests may enjoy a complimentary full-day Silversea Experience in Bucharest, renowned as the "Paris of the East" for its tree-lined avenues, elegant architecture, and vibrant atmosphere.

Highlights include a scenic drive through Romania's countryside, a delicious Romanian-style lunch, and an enriching exploration of the capital city's Palace of Parliament, Patriarchal Hill, open-air Village Museum, and Revolution Square. Alternatively, guests may opt for a $200 per guest onboard credit.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Windstar debuts first of three new all-suite yachts

 
Luxury small ship line launches Star Pride

 Barcelona -- Windstar Cruises has launched the all-new, all-suite Star Pride in Barcelona, Spain during a christening ceremony and pier-side fiesta to celebrate the launch of the luxury yacht’s inaugural voyage through Spain, France, and Italy.

Mrs. Nancy Anschutz, wife of Mr. Philip Anschutz, owner of Xanterra Parks & Resorts®, Windstar’s parent company, was honored as Godmother of the yacht, successfully breaking the bottle of Veuve Clicquot in front of a crowd of past guests, media, and trade partners. Mrs. Anschutz was joined on stage by her husband Philip, Andy Todd, CEO of Xanterra Parks & Resorts®; Hans Birkholz, CEO of Windstar Cruises; Captain Alan MacAry, 15-year Windstar veteran who serves as master of Star Pride, and Father Marto Rodriguez. The 200 person intimate gathering also celebrated the launch of Star Pride with a pier-side fiesta, enjoying local entertainment such as a Catalonian Rumba band and street performers from Las Ramblas, as well as Spanish tapas and sangria. 

Star Pride is the first of the three small luxury cruise ships added to the Windstar yacht fleet, and it leads the way as Windstar enters a new era of small ship cruising,” said Hans Birkholz, chief executive officer of Windstar Cruises. “We are honored to have Mrs. Anschutz serve in the prestigious role of Godmother. It’s fitting to have her christen Windstar’s first yacht in 16 years as the Anschutz family and Xanterra Parks & Resorts®,  have been an integral part of Windstar’s transformation the last few years.”

Un-Cruise Adventures increases river cruise departures along the Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers in 2015


Save $400/couple on fall 2014 river cruises booked by June 20

Seattle-based small ship cruise line Un-Cruise Adventures adds more river cruise opportunities in the Pacific Northwest with the S.S. Legacy scheduled for 34 departures on the Columbia, Snake and Willamette Rivers from April-November 2015.  The line is also offering a savings on fall 2014 river cruises. 

An adventure savings of $400/couple is offered for bookings made by June 20, 2014. The savings is applicable for river cruises departing August-November 2014.

“The popularity of USA river cruising is growing,” said Captain Dan Blanchard, CEO. “You don’t have to travel to Europe for a scenic, inclusive river cruise when we have one right here in the United States on the historic Columbia, Snake and Willamette Rivers.  We sail roundtrip Portland, Oregon for convenient air connections.”

Cunard Line to welcome George Takei aboard Queen Mary 2 this July

Guests will have the unique opportunity to hear from the famous actor
at two scheduled presentations as a part of Cunard’s Insights speaker program


Cunard Line is delighted to announce that actor and social media superstar George Takei will join Queen Mary 2 on her 28 July Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton.  Guests and fans on board the eight-day voyage will be treated to two presentations in the Royal Court Theatre, followed by a Q&A session with the multi-talented star and dynamic personality. 

“We are thrilled to welcome George Takei aboard Queen Mary 2 this summer,” said David Dingle, CEO for Cunard Line.  “Mr. Takei is considered an icon among Cunard’s guests, and we know they will thoroughly enjoy this unique opportunity to get to know him during the crossing.  It’s another example of the exceptional programming we feature in our Insights enrichment programme.” 

Norwegian Jewel receives enhancements as it readies for Houston arrival

Norwegian Jewel re-enters service with
O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill and Sugarcane Mojito Bar
MIAMI – May 16, 2014 – Norwegian Cruise Line announced that Norwegian Jewel will re-enter service on May 17, 2014 following a two-week dry dock where the ship received numerous enhancements as she readies for her much-anticipated arrival in Houston, Texas on October 11, 2014, following the summer season in Alaska. 
Norwegian Jewel is the first ship to be retrofitted with the popular O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill (first introduced on Norwegian Epic and also on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway). In addition, the ship’s Moderno Churrascaria, the Brazilian-style steakhouse, was relocated to a more intimate setting on Deck 13 and the Sugarcane Mojito Bar, first introduced on Norwegian Getaway, was added adjacent to the new restaurant.
            “O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill is a huge hit on three of our new ships, so we wanted to ensure that guests sailing on our existing fleet, beginning with Norwegian Jewel, could experience the welcoming atmosphere and the traditional pub fare,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Carnival's third ship from Port Canaveral, Carnival Liberty, launches year-round service


Ship Offers A Wide Variety of On-Board Features and Innovations;
Solidifies Line’s Position as Port Canaveral’s Largest Cruise Operator with 600,000 Passengers Annually

MIAMI (May 5, 2014) – Further bolstering its position as Central Florida’s largest cruise operator, Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Liberty departed on its inaugural voyage from Port Canaveral, Fla., this weekend, becoming the line’s third year-round ship sailing from the Space Coast.

With the arrival of Carnival Liberty, Carnival will increase its annual passenger count from Port Canaveral to 600,000 – more than any other cruise operator. 

On Carnival Liberty’s new schedule from Port Canaveral, vacationers can select from a variety of five-, seven- and eight-day Caribbean itineraries conveniently departing from the Central Florida while enjoying a wide range of dining, bar and entertainment innovations that were added as part of the line’s Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement program.

Legend of the Seas to deliver the wonders and beauty of Southeast Asia, Australia and South Pacific in 2015-16

Ship to inaugurate Seasonal Service from Brisbane and add to Record Australia Deployment

MIAMI, May 7, 2014 – Royal Caribbean International today announced Legend of the Seas’ year-round deployment for 2015-16, offering itineraries to breathtakingly beautiful destinations throughout Southeast Asia from Singapore in the summer season and sailings to idyllic settings in Australia and the South Pacific during the winter season from the cruise line’s new homeport of Brisbane, Australia.


With Mariner of the Seas’ also sailing from Singapore in the winter season, Legend of the Seas’ new summer season will mark the first time that the cruise line will offer year-round sailings from Singapore. Additionally, Legend of the Seas will join Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas to total a record deployment of four Royal Caribbean ships in Australia. Legend of the Seas 2015-16 Southeast Asia, Australia and South Pacific cruises will open for sale on May 21, 2014.

Legend of the Seas will begin its 2015 summer with a 15-night Westbound Panama Canal crossing, departing in April from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to San Diego, Calif. 


From there, the ship will embark on a trio of sailings across the Pacific to Singapore. A 10-night Hawaii cruise from Ensenada, Mexico, will take guests to the islands of Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii – with a cruise by the world famous and still-very active Kilauea Volcano – and conclude at Honolulu, Oahu. From there, Legend of the Seas will sail a 17-night itinerary to Sydney, Australia, via the French Polynesian islands, Fiji and New Caledonia. The ship will then complete its half-way-around-the-world voyage to Singapore via the north coast of Australia.

Vacationers planning ahead for winter getaways on RCI receive double the credit

ROYAL CARIBBEAN USHERS IN SUMMER WITH UP TO $400 ONBOARD CREDIT
 

MIAMI, May 9, 2014 – The care-free days of summer are right around the corner, and Royal Caribbean International is ushering them in with an onboard credit promotion that offers vacationers booking a cruise vacation from May 7- 31 up to a $400 credit.

Excited travelers can choose from any six-night or longer sailing departing to the Caribbean and Bahamas between July 1 and December 31, 2014. For those vacationers looking ahead and booking a holiday season cruise the cruise line is doubling their onboard spending credit. For more details, please visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/MayWow.

There’s no better way to escape the day-to-day grind and refocus on quality family time than on a Royal Caribbean cruise, where guests will sail aboard the industry’s most innovative ships that offer an expansive array of exciting itineraries.

Cunard celebrates Queen Mary 2's 10th anniversary in Southampton with Royal Rendezvous and visit from HRH the Duke of Edinburgh



Cunard Line celebrated the 10th anniversary of its grand flagship, Queen Mary 2 with the arrival of the whole three ship fleet in Southampton, England, on May 9.

This was a rare occasion to see all Three Queens together – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria; and the homeport of Southampton is the only place in the world to have hosted the Three Queens three times.
A fireboat escorts Queen Mary 2 as the Cunard flagship arrives into Southampton,
England, on Friday 9 May 2014 to celebrate her 10th Anniversary
 To view video highlights of Queen Mary 2’s arrival in Southampton, visit: http://bit.ly/1l5IJiY.  For video highlights of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s visit aboard, go to: http://bit.ly/DukeOfEdinburgh.

The ships arrived at first light and began a day of spectacular celebration with an early morning birthday salute to Queen Mary 2 – “Happy Birthday” in ships' whistles (foghorns in common parlance) sounding out across Southampton Water. 

Norwegians get their hula on with onboard credits


Receive up to $200 to spend on board Pride of America
 Norwegian Cruise Line is offering limited time savings on Norwegian’s spectacular seven-day interisland cruises in Hawaii on board Pride of America.

Guests who book a new Hawaii cruise reservation, from May 12 through May 14, 2014, will receive up to $100 to spend on board, plus guests who book a Hawaii Cruise Tour will receive an additional $100 to spend on board. Air credits of up to $400, Military, Latitudes Rewards and AARP discounts may also apply to select sailings.

Fútbol, football, soccer matches to be broadcast RCI fleet-wide throughout June and July 2014

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL TO HOST THE ONLY COCA-COLA PARTY AT SEA CELEBRATING THE 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP

MIAMI, May 12, 2014 – Royal Caribbean International today announced a partnership with Coca-Cola to bring the excitement of the most prestigious soccer competition in the world to its fleet with The Coca-Cola Party at Sea celebrating the 2014 FIFA World Cup.


The cruise line will host the official Coca-Cola Party at Sea complete with broadcast of the games at the official watch party hosted by Coca-Cola and complete with samba dancers.  This summer, there simply will be no better place, outside of Brazil, to watch, to cheer, to celebrate this sport spectacle. 
 
        Soccer is truly a global sport with passionate fans in every country who will want to follow the exploits of their national teams in this most anticipated of tournaments.  As a global cruise line, Royal Caribbean International is focused on providing best-in-class entertainment options which will feature match broadcasts in public viewing areas and in-stateroom.