Holland America Line Doing Extended Cruises To Hawaii in 2018-19

July 12, 2018.

 

From fall 2018 through spring 2019, two Holland America Line ships will say “Aloha” to Hawaii.  Guests can choose from nine cruises with itineraries ranging from 16 to 20 days aboard Eurodam and Amsterdam.  Hawaii sailings depart from Seattle, Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia; and San Diego and Los Angeles, California.

Most itineraries feature an overnight call in Honolulu, which is huge since it allows guests to have extra time to do it all – visit Pearl Harbor, relax on Waikiki Beach, take in Diamond Head State Monument or spend the evening at an authentic luau. The cruises also call at Hilo, Nawiliwili and Lahaina, with most adding a call at Kona.

To kick off the season, Eurodam departs Seattle Sept. 29, 2018, for an 18-day Circle Hawaii cruise that calls at Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, before heading to the Hawaiian ports of Nawiliwili, Honolulu, Lahaina and Hilo. Guests also can choose to embark two days later, Oct. 1, and sail roundtrip from Vancouver on a 16-day sailing.

A second 18-day voyage is available aboard Eurodam Nov. 11, 2018, conveniently sailing roundtrip from San Diego. Guests will visit the same Hawaiian ports, as well as calls at Kona, Hawaii, and Ensenada, Mexico. Those planning for a holiday getaway can enjoy a comparable itinerary on Amsterdam’s 17-day Hawaii Holiday cruise, sailing roundtrip from Los Angeles Dec. 21, 2018.

In 2019, three similar itineraries are available aboard Eurodam, including two 17-day sailings departing Feb. 3 and Feb. 20, as well as a 16-day sailing, embarking April 13. Cruisers interested in extending their vacation can lengthen the April 13 cruise and disembark in Vancouver after visiting Victoria for a 20-day voyage.

Guests who wish to dive deeper into the South Pacific can select Eurodam’s 28-day Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas voyage March 9, 2019. Sailing roundtrip from San Diego, cruisers will enjoy visits to six ports in French Polynesia – including overnights in both Bora Bora and Papeete – as well as two ports in Hawaii and a call at Fanning Island. Cruisers can further their exploration of the region on the Amsterdam’s 51-day Tales of the South Pacific voyage Oct. 28, 2019. Sailing roundtrip San Diego, the ship will visit Hawaii, Tahiti, as well as calls in America Samoa, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga.

Cruise fares for the 16-, 17- and 18-day Hawaii cruises begin at $1,999; fares for the 20-day Hawaii cruise begin at $2,399; and fares for the 28-day Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas Voyage begin at $5,179. Cruise fare for the 51-day Tales of the South Pacific voyage begin at $6,899. All rates are per person, double occupancy.

Explorations Central Brings Hawaiian Culture on board
Throughout the voyages, Explorations Central programming brings Hawaii’s local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life onboard. Guided by locals, guests can immerse in Polynesian culture through lei making, ukulele lessons, hula dancing classes and Hawaiian language classes. EXC Talks, led by resident EXC Guides provide new perspectives on the region’s stories, while those with an adventurous palate can head to America’s Test Kitchen for a cooking demonstration, cooking class or themed mixology class featuring local fare. The Dining Room and Lido Market will showcase the flavors of Hawaii, while a poolside Hawaiian Luau and Hawaiian beer tastings add to guests’ experience of regional fare.

When journeying ashore, the EXC Team’s insider knowledge of each port helps guests to tailor their experiences, whether exploring independently or on an EXC Tour. Printed EXC Port Maps present a simple view of the best each port has to offer, while EXC Port Guides, featuring tips and information from AFAR Media, allow for a deeper examination of each destination. The in-stateroom EXC Channel features a selection of curated films, documentaries and TV shows that explores the destinations on the ship’s itinerary.

Princess Cruises MONOPOLY Cruise for Cash Promotion – a Chance to Play Slots to Win $200,777 in Cash and Prizes

July 11, 2018.

Princess Cruises has announced it will be offering the cruise line’s largest hosted slot tournament with the highest cash and prizes ever offered through a partnership with Scientific Games Corporation. The MONOPOLY Cruise for Cash promotion will be available on hundreds of cruises throughout 2018, culminating in a $200,000 slot tournament onboard Regal Princess departing Dec. 9, 2018.

Princess Cruises guests have two ways to qualify for a chance to win a seat in the final slot tournament:

  • Winner’s Wheel Promotion – Open to everyone who plays in Princess casinos. For every 100 points earned in gaming, each guest earns one e-ticket. Guests are then automatically entered into the raffle for a chance to spin the Winner’s Wheel. A total of three winners will be selected on each cruise to spin the wheel for a prize, with a chance to win a seat on the Dec. 9 cruise, among other cash and prizes, including a lucky sevens $777 Princess Cruises MONOPOLY-themed gift card.
  • Cruises with Qualifying Tournaments – Qualifying slot tournaments are available now to all guests sailing aboard Princess cruise ships with the MONOPOLY Millionaire slot machines, which include Crown Princess, Caribbean Princess, Emerald Princess, Island Princess, Ruby Princess, Royal Princess, Regal Princess, Star Princess and Grand Princess. Winners will receive a seat certificate for the Dec. 9 grand finale event aboard Regal Princess.

The final tournament onboard Regal Princess, which has the largest slot floor throughout the fleet, departs Ft. Lauderdale on Dec. 9 for a seven-day, Eastern Caribbean cruise. Stops include Princess Cays, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. In addition to the MONOPOLY Cruise for Cash tournament, guests have other chances to ‘win big,’ including the popular Paradise Lotto and MONOPOLY scratch tickets.

 

Holland America Line’s Prinsendam to Leave the Fleet July 1, 2019

July 2, 2018.

Holland America Line announced that Prinsendam has been sold and will transfer to the German cruise company Phoenix Reisen.   But fear not if you are booked for a cruise in the next year.  Following the sale, the 37,983-ton, 835-guest Prinsendam is being chartered back to Holland America Line to continue sailing its planned voyages through July 1, 2019.

Prinsendam’s itineraries from July 1, 2019, onward are scheduled to be assimilated by Rotterdam, Volendam and Veendam. Holland America Line is reaching out to booked guests and their travel professionals to re-accommodate guests on these cruises.

Prinsendam was built in 1988 as Royal Viking Sun for Royal Viking Line.  At that time it was often listed as the highest rated ship in the world by various travel experts.  The ship was operated by Cunard Line from 1994 through 1998 and then transferred to Seabourn Cruise Line, where it became Seabourn Sun in 1999. In 2002 the ship joined the Holland America Line fleet and was renamed Prinsendam.

Phoenix Reisen is a Germany-based travel agency that also operates a fleet of cruise ships and first began operating cruises under its own brand in 1988. Today, its ships include ms Amadea, ms Artania, ms Albatros and ms Deutschland, and the company also operates approximately 50 riverboats.

Carnival Glory Rescues NCL Crew Member

July 1, 2018.

On Sunday, July 1 at approximately 2:15 pm EDT, the crew of Carnival Glory rescued a 33-year-old crew member from Norwegian Getaway who had been drifting in the water approximately 21 miles north of Cuba.  Norwegian Cruise Line had reported him missing on Saturday.  The NCL crew member is being treated by Carnival Glory’s shipboard medical team.

Carnival Glory departed Miami on Saturday, June 30 and was at sea en route to Cozumel.  At 1 pm EDT, a hotel steward aboard the ship reported seeing a person in the water and notified bridge officers who quickly started rescue operations, including reducing speed, reversing course, and lowering a lifeboat to retrieve the man.  The Coast Guard said the Filipino crew member fell overboard around 3:30 p.m. Saturday about 28 miles northwest of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, so he had survived almost 24 hours floating in the Caribbean.

“This is nothing short of miraculous,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.  “Kudos to the Carnival Glory team for this amazing effort to rescue a fellow seafarer.”

Carnival Glory is on a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise

Carnival Hosts ‘Humor For Heroes’ Event At Naval Base Point Loma

June 29, 2018.

 

Carnival Cruise Line – which carries more active and retired military personnel than any other cruise operator – last night partnered with Operation Homefront to honor the brave men and women of the Armed Forces to host “Humor for Heroes” at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego featuring stand-up comedy performances, BBQ, fun activities and more.

(I’m former military so I’m not sure what’s going on with the ribbon location on the sailor to the left. They are supposed to be on the left side)

Featured comedians included “Workaholics” star Adam Devine, who last year performed several shows overseas for the USO, as well as two comedians from Carnival’s Punchliner Comedy Clubs, keeping the crowd of 500 service members and families laughing throughout the show.

In recognition of its long standing partnership with Operation Homefront, Carnival Cruise Line donated $25,000 to help the organization fulfill its mission of building strong, stable and secure military families.

 

Carnival Miracle To Do Winter Sailings From San Diego in 2019-20

June 28, 2018.

Carnival Cruise Line today announced that it will return to the Port of San Diego for the first time in seven years when Carnival Miracle arrives in late 2019.

The ship will operate a winter schedule of three- to 15-day voyages from San Diego from December 2019 to February 2020. The schedule kicks off with a seven-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera departing Dec. 1, 2019, and also includes two longer-length Carnival Journeys voyages – 14- and 15-day Hawaii adventures visiting popular destinations throughout the Aloha State departing Dec. 8, 2019 and Jan. 17, 2020, respectively.

Carnival Miracle’s San Diego-based program also includes two five-day voyages that spend two days in Cabo San Lucas departing Dec. 22, 2019 and Jan. 12, 2020, along with two three-day getaways visiting Ensenada Dec. 27, 2019 and Jan. 3, 2020.

There’s also a special four-day New Year’s Baja Mexico cruise departing Dec. 30, 2019, as well as a six-day cruise that includes two days in Cabo San Lucas and a day-long visit to Ensenada departing Jan. 6, 2020.

The schedule concludes with a 13-day Panama Canal Carnival Journeys cruise that departs San Diego Feb. 1 and arrives in Miami Feb. 14, 2020.
In addition to visiting some of the world’s most beautiful destinations, guests sailing on Carnival Journeys cruises enjoy unique on-board activities during which they can sample local cuisine and enjoy entertainment and cultural opportunities within the various ports of call. Activities focusing on topics such as photography, cooking, arts and crafts and celestial navigation, along with a 1980s-themed “Throwback Sea Day,” are also offered.

Princess Cruises 2019-2020 California Coast Sailings

June 27, 2018.

Cruises that visit U.S. ports are unique and they have a distinctively different feel to them that I like.  Princess Cruises has been a leader for them on the west coast and they continue this effort in 2019-2020 with itineraries visiting Monterey, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and San Diego.

Highlights for the 2019-2020 season include the introduction of one of the line’s newest ships to the California Coast, Royal Princess, for her first full season based in Los Angeles. Royal Princess will offer nine coastal departures including the Classic California Coast itinerary. Royal Princess itineraries offer guests a variety of More Ashore opportunities, allowing guests to spend more time in port , as well as the opportunity to enjoy evenings in San Francisco and San Diego.

As the only cruise line to sail year-round out of San Francisco, Princess offers Grand Princess sailing along the west coast once again in 2019. San Francisco departures for the season include a new five-day West Coast Getaway itinerary featuring a late night departure in San Diego, and a call to Ensenada, Mexico (to comply with the Passenger Vessel Services Act).  The ship will also offer two variations of coastal sailings including the Classic California Coast itinerary featuring More Ashore late night calls in Los Angeles and San Diego, and the Pacific Northwest Coast itinerary featuring More Ashore late night calls in Seattle and Vancouver, Canada.

Star Princess will make her return to the west coast in 2019 featuring departures from Seattle and Vancouver. Itineraries include a seven-day Northern California Coast sailing from Seattle with late night calls in San Francisco and Victoria,Canada and a 10-day Coastal sailing from Vancouver with a late night call in Los Angeles and overnight stay in San Francisco.

Other west coast cruises offered in 2019 include six or seven-day Pacific Wine Country voyages between Los Angles and Vancouver aboard Royal Princess, Ruby Princess, Star Princess, and Island Princess. For those guests with less time to get away, Princess also offers shorter coastal sailings of less than five days on eight ships in the region.

Princess has also developed enhanced shore excursion offerings in collaboration with Bill Esparza, noted author and leading expert on Latin American cuisine. Guests sailing the California coast are invited to sample local cuisine, specifically focused on the Latin American influence in California. Esparza has developed exclusive culinary shore excursions for Princess in Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Ensenada. In addition, Princess offers excursions to the California wine country, visiting local vineyards and winemakers throughout the region.

More details about California Coast offerings can be found at https://www.princess.com/learn/cruise-destinations/california-coastal-cruises/

Royal Caribbean’s Mariner Of The Seas Arrives Home In Miami

June 21, 2018.

Coinciding with the first day of summer, Royal Caribbean International’s much-hyped reimagined Mariner of the Seas sailed into its new home at PortMiami today amped up with $120 million of new attractions, restaurants, staterooms and entertainment.  The ship will begin doing short getaways of 4-night weekday and 3-night weekend cruises from Miami to The Bahamas.

New Ways to Play

  • Sky Pad – The gravity-defying bungee trampoline experience amped up with virtual reality
  • The Perfect Storm – An exhilarating  pair of three-story-high racer waterslides called Cyclone and Typhoon
  • Laser Tag: Battle for Planet Z – A glow-in-the-dark battle for the last planet in the galaxy
  • Escape Room: The Observatorium – Royal Caribbean’s newest escape room challenge
  • FlowRider – The cruise line’s signature 40-foot-long surf simulator

    Perfect Storm, Flowrider and Sky Pad on the new amped up Mariner of the Seas.

New Ways to Dine and Drink

Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade is the go-to spot for live sporting events on the new amped up Mariner of the Seas.
  • The Bamboo Room – A quiet Polynesian watering hole with a throwback vibe and kitschy-cool craft cocktails like the Island Old Fashioned and Tiki Tea – the first in Royal Caribbean’s fleet
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade – For fans watching their home team on one of more than 25 TV screens, making their own plays at the arcade, or refueling on game-day favorite drinks and bar food
  • Jamie’s Italian – Serving fresh, handmade and rustic Italian fare by Chef Jamie Oliver, one of Britain’s most famous celebrity chefs
  • Izumi Hibachi and Sushi – Asian-inspired dining featuring hibachi, sushi and sashimi and more – made to order with authentic flavors, the freshest ingredients and impeccable presentation

After a long weekend of travel agent and media access, Mariner of the Seas will welcome guests for the first time on Monday, June 25, as it sets sail on a 4-night cruise to The Bahamas. The newly reimagined ship will continue to offer 4-night weekday and 3-night weekend itineraries from Miami, with visits to Nassau and CocoCay. Beginning May 2019, Mariner will sail to the new Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first destination in Royal Caribbean’s recently announced collection of private island experiences around the world.

Along with the recently enhanced Independence of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas is part of Royal Caribbean’s $900 million commitment to reimagine its fleet through a new effort called Royal Amplified. The program spans 10 ships in four years.

Carnival Is ‘Corporate Partner Of The Year’ For St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

June 20, 2018.

Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy accepts the St. Jude Corporate Partner of the Year award Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

Carnival Cruise Line has raised more than $16 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital over the past eight years and serves as its Official Celebration Partner .  Given this amazing effort, it’s a well deserved honor for the cruise line to be named the St. Jude  “Corporate Partner of the Year”.  Beyond the significant amount of monetary donations, Carnival’s support includes innovative fundraising activities and engaging on-site events for the patients at St. Jude.

The award was presented yesterday to Carnival President Christine Duffy by Richard Shadyac, Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Since the partnership began in 2010, Carnival Cruise Line has developed a variety of creative and unique ways to promote St. Jude’s amazing lifesaving work, part of its comprehensive Care to Play: Carnival for St. Jude Kids fleetwide program.

Most recently, St. Jude was prominently featured in the naming ceremony of the new Carnival Horizon whose Dreamscape LED atrium sculpture features colorful original artwork created by 33 St. Jude patients.  Some of the talented artists and their families were recognized during the festivities which included poignant and moving comments from Shadyac and godmother Queen Latifah, a longtime supporter of St. Jude.

Carnival’s fundraising efforts encompass initiatives like the Groove for St. Jude shipboard dance activity and the sale of sweets on board, including the Brownie Buoy ice cream flavor hand-picked by the kids of St. Jude and sold at the Carnival Vista’s Cherry on Top shop.  The line also engages its guests in its St. Jude fundraising efforts through the annual Thanks and Giving campaign at its U.S. embarkation ports, doubling monies raised over the past two years.

Carnival also hosts an annual Day of Play, a themed in-hospital event with fun activities for kids and their families and while providing ongoing support through cruise giveaways, employee participation in the St. Jude Walk, event sponsorships and other initiatives.

Carnival’s employees and senior leadership are dedicated to supporting St. Jude as well, with Duffy serving on ALSAC’s Professional Advisory Board and personnel traveling to Memphis to host events and spend time with the children.

Royal Caribbean Invests in Ultra-Luxury Line Silversea Cruises

June 14, 2018.

Manfredi Lefebvre D’Ovidio and Richard Fain sign agreement

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE: RCL) and Manfredi Lefebvre D’Ovidio today announced an agreement for RCL to acquire a stake in privately-owned Silversea Cruises, bringing together two companies with bold, long-term visions for the cruise industry.   .

Under the agreement, Royal Caribbean will acquire a 66.7% equity stake in Silversea Cruises based on an enterprise value of approximately $2 billion.  The purchase price of the equity being acquired is approximately $1 billion.  RCL plans to finance the purchase through debt.  In addition, Lefebvre will qualify for an estimated contingent consideration of approximately 472,000 RCL shares, payable upon achievement of certain 2019-2020 performance metrics.

The strategic rationale for the partnership includes:

  • Driving long-term capacity growth in the burgeoning luxury and expedition markets at a much larger scale than what Silversea would achieve independently;
  • Diversifying Royal Caribbean’s portfolio and increasing its expedition offerings by adding a premiere ultra-luxury brand;
  • Leveraging the global footprint of the combined companies to generate demand and increase vacation and destination options for the guests of both companies;
  • Realizing significant synergies related to global market access, supply chain, purchasing power and other economies of scale.

Lefebvre said he is confident that the significant investment stake he is retaining will sizably increase its value through the growth this long-term partnership will enable.

Lefebvre and Fain also confirmed that Silversea’s CEO Roberto Martinoli will continue in his role, working with the existing Silversea management team.

Silversea, with its intimate, all-suite ships, full spectrum of global cruise offerings sailing to more than 1000 global destinations, and unique luxury expedition vessels, adds a pioneering ultra-luxury brand to RCL’s industry-leading brand lineup. RCL’s largest brand, Royal Caribbean International, is a contemporary brand focused on adventure-seeking families, Celebrity Cruises is a premium brand providing a modern luxury experience to discerning global travelers, and Azamara Club Cruises is a destination immersive brand offering luxury voyages to unique ports. The company also operates the regional TUI Cruises and Pullmantur brands as part of long-term joint ventures.

The closing is expected to be completed later in the year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Regarding 2018, Royal Caribbean reconfirmed its latest adjusted EPS guidance of $8.70 to $8.90 per share. This updated guidance does not include any potential impact from the transaction, although RCL does not expect the transaction to materially impact near-term adjusted earnings per share.

Operationally, the company’s forecast for the third and fourth quarters has remained unchanged, but increases in the market price of fuel and the strength of the dollar are expected to cost the company roughly 25 cents per share.  Fortunately, strong close-in demand for core products and better than expected performance below the line is expected to drive improved results for the second quarter.  These improved results are expected to completely offset the impact of the FX and fuel headwinds in the second half of the year, which allows the company to maintain its guidance for 2018.