‘Take 5’ Jazz Theater at Sea Coming to Sky Princess & Enchanted Princess

July 30, 2019.

 

Signature jazz evenings will regale guests onboard the new Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess at Take 5, the only jazz theater at sea. Celebrating the sounds, culture, and history of jazz, the new lounge will also feature hand-crafted cocktails by Princess partner and Master Mixologist Rob Floyd in a chic bar setting.

Debuting onboard the cruise line’s newest ships Sky Princess (October 2019) and Enchanted Princess (June 2020), Take 5 will offer curated experiences honoring the roots of jazz, the birth of BeBop, contemporary jazz and iconic female artists, while highlighting how destinations helped shaped this musical genre.

Take 5 celebrates this important American art-form, with live performances by dedicated jazz musicians, dance lessons, engaging speakers and workshops, guest performers and after-hours parties. It will also feature surprise, pop-up performances so no two nights are the same. Carefully curated, custom media content will play on screens including archival footage and iconic imagery.

A selection of the Take 5 afternoon enrichment and themed nights, will include:

A Night in Harlem – sounds of the roaring 1920s will transport guests to the underground world of the speakeasy in the heart of New York City with iconic sounds of the prohibition era. Guests can expect tunes from artists like King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Original Dixieland Jazz Band and Charles “Buddy” Bolden.

The Birth of Big Band and BeBop – heading into the late 1940s, post-war jazz and the birth of BeBop showcases the amazing speed and technical ability of these incredible musicians. Music from artists like Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins and Dexter Gordon will fill the air while costumed bow-tied-wearing staff deliver classic cocktails.

The Way You Look Tonight – celebrates the incredible women of jazz throughout history, and how these legendary vocalists and instrumentalists changed musical history. Guest can expect songs from artists like Ella Fitzgerald to Billie Holiday to Norah Jones.

Toda La Noche – Fiery Afro-Cuban Jazz – an unforgettable journey through the Caribbean celebrates the spicy rhythms of Afro-Cuban jazz with classic beats spanning Latin, European and African American influences. Before the show, guests can take salsa lessons to popular Buena Vista Social Club covers. Featured music includes songs from artists like Tito Puente, Irakere and Dizzy Gillespie. This night ends with an invitation back for a ‘descarga’ jam session.

A Sophisticated Evening of Cool – the cool jazz sounds of the 1950s will fill the space as guests journey on the ultimate American jazz road trip, taking in sounds all the way from New York to California. Guests can expect songs from musical legends like Miles Davis, Chet Baker and John Lewis.

Contemporary Directions – A Festival of Jazz – honors recent decades of jazz music, featuring local artists from the various destinations the ships sail.

Take 5 patrons will never miss a beat as they sit back, relax and order a drink directly to their seat with on-demand service, just one of the features available as part of the Princess MedallionClass experience on Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess.

 

Princess Cruises Earns Wine Spectator 2019 Restaurant Award of Excellence

July 22, 2019.

Wine Spectator Award of Excellence color

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The main dining rooms onboard Princess Cruises ships have been honored for their outstanding wine program in Wine Spectator’s 2019 Restaurant Awards with an Award of Excellence.

The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Wine Spectator began its program to recognize the world’s best wine lists in 1981. There are three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award.

Princess Cruises set a new standard for the best wine list in the cruise industry recently introducing a newly re-imagined wine menu, offering nearly 50 percent more selections for a total of 142 wines, the most extensive in the cruise line’s history, carefully selected in partnership with Master of Wine and Master Sommelier Doug Frost.

Frost is one of four individuals in the world to hold simultaneously the Master of Wine (MW) and Master Sommelier (MS) titles, achieving his MS in 1991 and MW in 1993. He was the second person in history to complete both exams and 25 years later his is still one of only four people in the world to have achieved both of these remarkable distinctions.

The Princess Cruises beverage team, along with Frost, established a new wine philosophy that centers on exploration, discovery and enrichment. With quality and global diversity in mind, the new wine menu, available in the main dining rooms fleet wide, is also approachable, with 30 percent of the list priced at $39 and under and 66 percent at $49 or less. Descriptions on the list also make it easy for occasional wine drinkers to select. For example, white wines are designated as “refreshing,” “light and mild,” “fruity and vibrant” and “rich and textured.”

The new wine list, available across the Princess Cruises fleet, has expanded regional representations from around the world by a staggering 56 percent and adding 42 percent more grape varietals than existed previously. Emerging gems, such as Ao Yun Cabernet Sauvignon from China, along with elites such as Lafite, Petrus, Grange, Masseto and others round out the offerings.   You can see the Princess wine list here.

 

Now Spraying: The Reef Family Splash Zone Onboard Caribbean Princess

July 18, 2019.

The Reef Family Splash Zone, now featured onboard Caribbean Princess, offers guests a fun water play pad, newly refurbished pool, jacuzzi, and bar serving up kid-friendly mocktails. It also features a relaxing lounge area, complete with plush seating, for families to gather, relax and enjoy the sun, shade and water. Winnie the Whale takes center stage in The Reef, spouting and raining from her fluke to cool off cruisers sailing to the sun-drenched Caribbean.

The Reef offers many features, including:

Splashpad featuring Winnie the Whale – this interactive and inviting water playground features a splash pool, assorted water sprays and showers where families can enjoy a day of splashing, laughing and playing. The focal point is an interactive Winnie the Whale featurewhich “rains” from its fluke and sprays from her spout. Winne is also part of the cruise line’s Animal Planet™ endangered species program in the Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Centers where the kids learn about the anatomy of humpback whales.

Whale Fluke Mural Photo Walls – colorful and vibrant murals of a whale’s fluke have been painted at both entrances to The Reef for guests to pose and take fun photos.

Game Zone – bringing family competition to a whole new level with oversized backyard games comfy lounge sectionals, and a kid-friendly bar setting, families can enjoy special drinks while challenging the kids to a game of oversized backyard games like cornhole.

Refurbished Pool, Jacuzzi and Bar – the pool, spa and bar have been updated to match the newly designed space featuring updated signage and contemporary artwork. Morgan’s Bar opened with a new kid-friendly and fruity mocktail menu, including “Crazy Coconut” and “Berry Nice to Meet You” thirst-quenching drinks.

New Outdoor Spaces – with a variety of plush seating and lounging options, from single sun loungers to sectional chairs and couches with tables, The Reef transforms into an inviting space for groups of all sizes aimed to be comfortable and conversational. The space also features new fixtures, finishes and canopies offering plenty of shade.

In addition, just below The Reef on deck 16 in the Camp Discovery outdoor area, kids can interact and explore with a destination themed water table. This educational offering features the many destinations and iconic landmarks Princess visits, including the Sydney Opera House and Golden Gate Bridge and also highlights how a cruise ship moves through water, waves and weather. It even showcases how ships navigate the Panama Canal locks.

Over the last few years Caribbean Princess has undergone a major revitalization, with many family-oriented features and amenities including family accommodations, new dining experiences and entertainment offerings.

Caribbean Princess was the first ship in the Princess Cruises fleet to deliver Princess MedallionClass vacations. Enabled by OceanMedallion, a complimentary wearable device that elevates the guest experience by delivering enhanced experiences and personalized service resulting in high guest satisfaction scores.

Additional programming geared towards younger cruisers includes:

Stanley the Bear Experiences- Princess’ friendly and furry mascot, also inhabits Caribbean Princess and makes several appearances for kid cruisers to interact with and take photos including Stanley the Bear Storytime and Stanley the Bear Breakfast with specially-made bear pancakes in the dining room.

Jr.CHEF@Sea – Princess Chefs host a hands-on food preparation workshop for junior guests, ages 8-12, in the main galley area. Suitedup in mini toques and chef aprons, participants learn how to decorate a cake with a member of the ship’s pastry team and receive a certificate and photo.

With family travelers in mind, Caribbean Princess offers 87 connecting staterooms keeping the whole family together. All stateroom types can accommodate up to 4 guests. Families of 5 or more can also be accommodated in a two-bedroom family suite which feature new sofa beds. Each stateroom features the cruise line’s award-winning Princess Luxury Bed, designed in collaboration with sleep exert Dr. Michael Breus for the ultimate night of sleep at sea.

MSC Cruises Gives Look Inside New Private Island “Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve”

July 18, 2019.

MSC Cruises today released a new rendered video of its exclusive Bahamian island destination, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, ahead of its first guests arriving later this year in November.  You can see the video here.

The new video brings viewers along for a detailed look at what guests can look forward to while visiting the island, which is exclusive to MSC Cruises’ guests as part of itineraries in the Caribbean region.

Just 65 miles from the coast of Miami, Florida, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve is a previous industrial sand extraction site that has been restored to a pristine piece of land in the Bimini chain of islands in the western Bahamas. The 120-square-acre restored island is surrounded by a 64-square-mile marine reserve and four smaller cays.

First guests will step onto the island on November 9, 2019, the private island and marine reserve will immerse guests in the natural beauty of their surroundings with white sand beaches, beautiful blue water and lush Bahamian greenery. Guests can seamlessly pass directly between the ship and island throughout the day and evening to take advantage of all of the facilities available on board and ashore.

In the video, viewers can see some of the island’s key areas including:

-Many of the Island’s beaches including the Great Lagoon Beach: Located in an inlet at the center of the island, this is the largest single beach area and offers a haven with shallow crystal-clear water perfect for swimming and water sports.

The Lighthouse: A 98 ft. tall landmark that is home to a Hemingway-style bar and a terrace where guests can take in the incredible sea view, have a cocktail, and enjoy live music. After sunset, guests can gather to watch a breath-taking light show.

Seakers Food Court: A buffet restaurant that offers freshly prepared meals from a variety of international culinary traditions.

Ice Cream Parlor: An ice cream shop and café that serves a wide variety of ice cream flavors and coffee drinks, the perfect cooldown just a short stroll from the nearby beach.

Ocean Cay is founded on a deep commitment to ecological principles – beliefs that shape everything from how venues are built, to how the island is run, to the kinds of activities featured on the island. One of the priorities for MSC Cruises on Ocean Cay is the restoration of the coral. An integral part of the marine ecosystem, coral needs to be protected as they ensure biodiversity, provide a habitat for marine life and protect coastlines.

From November 2019, all MSC Cruises ships from Miami will call at Ocean Cay as part of the Caribbean itineraries.

Carnival Panorama Completes Sea Trials

July 18, 2019.

Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Panorama, successfully completed its sea trials in the Adriatic Sea earlier this week in anticipation of its inaugural cruise from Long Beach, Calif.,  Dec. 11, 2019, becoming the line’s first new ship on the West Coast in 20 years.

Currently in the final stages of construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, Carnival Panorama had a full contingent of officers, technicians and engineers on board who thoroughly tested the ship’s sophisticated technical, mechanical and navigation systems.

As the newest ship in the fleet, Carnival Panorama will offer innovations such as the first Sky Zone trampoline park at sea and a new ChooseFun WaterWorks aqua park inspired by the line’s Chief Fun Officer, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, as well as popular onboard venues like Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse Brewhouse, featuring BBQ favorites created by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri and craft beers brewed on board.

Carnival Panorama will also offer a variety of accommodation choices, including the tropics-inspired Havana area with colorful staterooms and its own Cuban-themed bar and pool; Family Harbor with extra-roomy staterooms and the Family Harbor Lounge; and luxurious Cloud 9 Spa staterooms with special amenities and privileges.

Following an inaugural three-day voyage to Ensenada, Carnival Panorama will launch year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach Dec. 14. The week-long adventures will visit spectacular seaside resort towns including Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan.

Carnival Reveals More Dining & Beverage News For Mardi Gras

June 19, 2019.

It’s a big week for news about Carnival’s newest ship Mardi Gras, no under construction in Finland.

The new, only-on-Mardi Gras dining and bar spots in the two themed zones include Street Eats, RedFrog Tiki Bar and The Watering Hole, among many other popular branded outlets and a Big Chicken restaurant by Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal.

These venues – which were previewed at an event yesterday in New York featuring an appearance by O’Neal – can be viewed in a new virtual tour here: https://youtu.be/8g8P5kBMqSs

New Food and Beverage Concepts in Lido and Summer Landing Zones

  • Street Eats – This open-air eatery will bring the ready-to-eat nature of street food to the seas with three themed kiosks offering fried, steamed and plancha (skillet) delicacies. Representing a variety of global cuisines and located next to Seafood Shack, the quick, grab-and-go venue will offer a daily rotating menu. Small plates like empanadas or falafel will be available at the fried station; bao buns or siu mai at the steam outlet; and kebabs or satay at the plancha venue. And the best part – Street Eats’ ever-changing options are free of charge.
  • RedFrog Tiki Bar – Designed to transport guests to a South Pacific paradise, the new two-level RedFrog Tiki Bar is a twist on Carnival’s popular poolside bar with playful, rum-based cocktails in an island-inspired atmosphere decked out with tiki heads, floral patterns and vibrant colors. Steps away from Guy’s Burger Joint, guests can wash down hand-crafted burgers with refreshing cocktails – such as the Polynesian Punch, Red’s Rum Runner Jumper and Jungle Bird – creatively presented in pineapples, souvenir tiki glasses and Mai Tai glasses with elaborate garnishes.
  • The Watering Hole – Situated within The Patio at Summer Landing, The Watering Hole is modeled after a fun backyard gathering spot and is the perfect space for guests to unwind, grab a cocktail and enjoy sweeping sea views. The bar will boast a wide beer selection including Carnival’s own canned and draft brews, as well as refreshing summer-inspired sips like the Watermelon Cooler and Tequila Sunset.

Big Chicken Restaurant by Shaquille O’Neal

Mardi Gras will also feature the second Big Chicken restaurant at sea created by Carnival Chief Fun Officer and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal. Already winning over fans on land at its Las Vegas venue and debuting on Carnival Radiance in 2020, Big Chicken will be located aft on Lido Deck.  The all-inclusive breakfast, lunch and dinner menus will also give guests a glimpse into O’Neal’s family traditions as all menu items will be developed and taste-tested by the star himself and based on his favorite recipes.

Additional Dining, Entertainment, Recreation and Relaxation Options

Mardi Gras takes Carnival’s two-deck-high Lido zone to new levels with:

  • The largest Guy’s Burger Joint in the fleet developed by Food Network personality Guy Fieri, New England-inspired Seafood Shack, Mexican-themed eatery BlueIguana Cantina, and the Lido Marketplace with an extensive array of international favorites;
  • Mid-ship Beach Pool and an infinity Aft Tides Pool with a bar, ample seating and sweeping ocean views;
  • Exciting entertainment such as deck parties and Dive-in Movies at the Carnival Seaside Theater.

Designed as the ultimate chill spot for fun in the sun, Summer Landing will be home to:

  • An expansive outdoor deck area with an infinity pool and two whirlpools;
  • A sports bar featuring both indoor and outdoor television screens;
  • Hang-out space with cornhole, trivia, arts and crafts, dance classes and more;
  • Expanded Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse offering smoked-on-board favorites and an assortment of Carnival’s ParchedPig craft beers brewed on site and developed by the line’s in-house beverage team, as well as a large stage for live music.

Further details on other Mardi Gras features and themed zones will be announced in the coming months.

Mardi Gras’ Inaugural Schedule

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

Carnival Names Cruise & Entertainment Directors For Mardi Gras

June 18, 2019.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 18: Matt Mitcham and Hugo Hidalgo attend Carnival Cruise Line’s NYC Cruise Into Summer Event To Celebrate The Arrival Of Mardi Gras In 2020 at Pier 59 on June 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Carnival Cruise Line)

Fun is a huge part of Carnival Cruise Line’s DNA, and with the line’s new ship Mardi Gras offering an unparalleled array of entertainment choices, the company has selected fan favorites Matt Mitcham as cruise director and Hugo Hidalgo as entertainment director to help guests maximize their fun.

The dynamic duo will lead a 125-member team who will amp up the excitement and raise the bar for next-level entertainment when Mardi Gras sets sail in summer 2020.

Entertainment will be at the heart of Mardi Gras’ onboard experience with never-before-seen offerings including a first-in-fleet partnership with Family Feud, new high-tech Playlist Productions shows, a dedicated Punchliner Comedy Club, and new live music and entertainment options to be announced shortly, providing guests with even more ways to Choose Fun.

A native of Birmingham, England, and a 10-year Carnival veteran, Mitcham joined the company as an entertainment host and quickly moved through the ranks becoming a cruise director in 2012. One of the most popular cruise directors in the industry, Mitcham is loved for his engaging personality, friendly demeanor and incredible passion and energy, and chronicles his adventures for his fans on his popular Instagram and Facebook pages which have a combined 100,000 followers.

After working at resorts in his native Mexico, Hidalgo joined Carnival in 2012 as a Fun Squad member and has since held many entertainment positions allowing him to gain a thorough understanding of what it takes to “wow” guests. Known for his hands-on leadership approach and attention to detail, Hidalgo has earned a number of accolades, including Entertainment Director Rookie of the Year and Team Leader of the Month, as well as recognition for his team’s efforts in raising funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Keel-Laying Ceremony Held for Carnival’s New Ship ‘Mardi Gras’

June 18, 2019.

In keeping with maritime tradition, a keel-laying ceremony was held today at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, for Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, which is scheduled to enter service in August 2020.

The ceremony, which dates back hundreds of years, was highlighted by the placement of coins placed on top of a 750-ton keel block called 3C signifying good luck for the ship and the official start of construction.

Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Newbuilds Ben Clement and Mardi Gras Captain Giuseppe Giusa, Chief Engineer Ferdinando Ruocco and Hotel Director Pierre Camilleri joined Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer at the festivities.

Mardi Gras will offer a variety of groundbreaking innovations, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea; the first seagoing restaurant by legendary chef Emeril Lagasse; and six themed zones with a wide range of culinary, beverage and activity choices.   Mardi Gras will also be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” platform.

Mardi Gras is set to debut in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, then reposition to New York for a series of voyages before shifting to Port Canaveral, Fla., for year-round Caribbean departures.

 

Carnival Sunrise Officially Named By Godmother Kelly Arison

May 23, 2019.

Following a $200 million dry dock the transformed Carnival Sunrise was officially named today by godmother Kelly Arison – daughter of Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine – in a ceremony at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City.

As a Carnival godmother, Kelly Arison carries on a family tradition – her mother, Madeleine was godmother to the ship when it first entered service in 1999 as the Triumph, and her grandmother Lin Arison served as godmother to Carnival Sunrise’s sister ship, Carnival Sunshine, in 2013.

In a unique twist, the naming of Carnival Sunrise was commemorated with Arison “uncorking” a custom-made, four-foot-high confetti-filled champagne bottle sculpture designed by world-renowned and Miami-based artist Romero Britto. The one-of-a-kind bottle features Britto’s signature vibrant colors, bold patterns and elements of cubism, pop art and graffiti, as well as Carnival-inspired designs. Smaller versions of the bottle will be sold onboard with proceeds benefiting the Ehlers-Danlos Society (EDS), an organization dedicated to serving those with joint hypermobility spectrum disorders, of which Arison is a strong advocate.  Carnival also made a donation to the organization as part of the naming festivities.

Kathie Lee Gifford, who has had a longstanding 35-year relationship with Carnival, took a moment to address the crowd and extend her best wishes to Arison as godmother, a role that Gifford served for two Carnival ships, Celebration in 1987 and Ecstasy in 1991.

The event included a video featuring players from the Miami Heat, of which Micky Arison is a managing general partner. In the video, Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning, as well as former Miami Heat player and Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal, congratulated Arison.

As part of a fleetwide $2 billion ship enhancement program, Carnival Sunrise features all of Carnival’s popular branded food, beverage and entertainment innovations with new offerings such as Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, in collaboration with Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri; The Chef’s Table fine dining experience; cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar; a new WaterWorks aqua park; SportSquare recreation area; and a Serenity adults-only retreat, among many others.

Carnival Sunrise will spend the summer in New York operating four- to 14-day voyages before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a winter schedule of Caribbean and Bahamian cruises beginning in October. Carnival Sunrise then heads back to New York for another season of cruises beginning in spring 2020.

Carnival Teams Up With Harlem Globetrotters

May 21, 2019.

Carnival Cruise Line announced today an exclusive partnership with the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, serving as the group’s official cruise line sponsor worldwide.

Combining the Harlem Globetrotters’ high-flying athleticism, theatrical stunts and comedic acts with Carnival’s role as the family cruise leader, the two ambassadors of fun will bring a new level of excitement to more than 150 of the team’s shows across the country.

The Harlem Globetrotters’ exhibition games will be enhanced by Carnival’s signature brand of fun through in-game integrations, giveaways and joint marketing efforts such as a designated Choose Fun Zone seating area with branded signage, playful décor, special player interactions and more. This partnership will also provide Carnival with traditional marketing assets to support their charitable partners’ initiatives.

To celebrate the partnership, Carnival is launching an exclusive “Trot the Globe” sales event from May 21 – 23 which can be accessed at https://www.carnival.com/.

A video shot on board Carnival Horizon featuring Harlem Globetrotters stars Hammer Harrison and Dragon Taylor showcases the dynamic duo’s impressive skills as they make shots from high above Carnival’s SkyRide aerial attraction and Lido Deck. The video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/Ke36j-QUMto.