Princess Cruises Great Getaways Sale

May 16, 2017.

Princess Cruises is offering guests buy one, get one 50% off on voyages of five days or less sailing Fall 2017 through Spring 2018 during the Great Getaways Sale.

Guests can book getaway cruises from both coasts, including those with itineraries to the Caribbean, California Coast, Mexico, Canada, and New England.

Guests can book with reduced deposits of only $50 per person. Third and fourth guests will also save with fares starting at $99 per person.

Great Getaways Sale cruise deals include:

  • 5-day Eastern Caribbean — $549 interior; $749 balcony per guest
  • 5-day Western Caribbean Getaways — $549 interior; $749 balcony per guest
  • 5-day Mexico Getaway — $549 interior; $799 balcony per guest
  • 5-day Canadian Atlantic Provinces Getaway — $599 interior; $899 balcony per person
  • 4-day California Coast Getaways —  $449 interior; $699 balcony per person
  • 3-day Pacific Coastal Getaways —  $349 interior; $509 balcony per person

Additional details about the “Great Getaways Sale” can be found at princess.com/sale.

All cruise prices are per person, based on double occupancy.  The “Great Getaways Sale” is available now through 11:59 p.m. PDT on June 15, 2017 and is open to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Bermuda.

 

 

Carnival Named ‘Most Trusted Cruise Line in America’ By Reader’s Digest

May 16, 2017.

For the third consecutive year, Carnival Cruise Line has been named Most Trusted Cruise Line in America by Reader’s Digest.

The Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand Survey®* is an independent, online survey conducted in partnership with Ipsos Connect. This year’s survey polled 5,500 Americans nationwide who were asked to rate products they trust across 40 different categories in areas such as quality, value and reliability. Carnival received more votes than any other cruise line.

The full list of Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands can be found in the publication’s June issue, which goes on sale today, May 16, and online at rd.com/trustedbrands.

Carnival continues to introduce exciting onboard features and programming to build upon its brand promise of providing fun, memorable vacations at a great value, while keeping up with changing consumer trends and preferences.

Last year marked the launch of the new Carnival Vista, a groundbreaking 133,500-ton ship that introduced such one-of-a-kind features as SkyRide, a bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction, as well as the first IMAX Theatre at sea, the first brewery on a North American-based cruise ship and Family Harbor, with special family-friendly accommodations and a private lounge.

To commemorate Carnival Vista’s U.S. arrival, the company hosted an overnight event aboard the ship in New York for military families in support of Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit that builds strong, stable and secure military families.  The event included a concert by country music superstar Carrie Underwood and the ship’s official naming with Deshauna Barber – the first woman serving in the U.S. military to be named Miss USA – presiding over the ceremonies as godmother.

Throughout its fleet, Carnival continues to build upon its commitment to providing exceptional, friendly and attentive service through initiatives such as the Carnival Service Values, a comprehensive program that has redefined the company’s culture of service and reinforces the importance of  offering a fun, welcoming environment, both on board and ashore.

Additionally, Carnival and its employees support a wide range of charitable and social service agencies and organizations in its homeports throughout the U.S.  The company also serves as the Official Celebration Partner of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, its primary charitable partner. Since launching Care to Play: Carnival for St. Jude Kids program in 2010, Carnival has donated more than $13 million in the fight against childhood cancer.

“We work very hard to maintain our distinction as ‘America’s Cruise Line’ and being named ‘Most Trusted Cruise Line in America’ three years running is a wonderful validation of our efforts at providing fun, quality and memorable vacations our guests,” said  Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Disney Cruise Line Sails to Bermuda for the First Time and Visits Quebec City, Canada, in Fall 2018

May 11, 2017.

Disney Cruise Line returns to New York in fall 2018 with new five-night sailings to Bermuda. Two seven-night Disney Magic cruises between New York and Quebec City, Canada, a new port for Disney Cruise Line, include stops at new Canadian ports Saguenay and Baie-Comeau. Three seven-night sailings from New York take guests to Walt Disney World and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. (Chloe Rice, photographer)

In fall 2018, Disney Cruise Line will sail on new itineraries and to new ports, including first-time visits to Bermuda and Quebec City, Canada – both with multiple days to experience these captivating destinations. In addition to the new itineraries from New York to Bermuda and Canada, three special sailings from New York will take guests to Walt Disney World and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. Sailings from California, Texas and Florida round out the 2018 fall season.

Starting fall 2018, the Disney Magic will sail between New York and Quebec City, Canada, a new port for Disney Cruise Line. These two seven-night Disney Magic cruises will include stops at breathtaking Canadian ports Saguenay and Baie-Comeau. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

Bookings open to the public on May 18, 2017. More details on 2018 itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2018 page of disneycruise.com.

MSC Cruises Offers Kids Chance To Star In Web Series ‘Kelly & Kloe’

May 11, 2017.

MSC Cruises  is offering younger guests the opportunity to star in its popular web series ‘Kelly & Kloe.’ Onboard auditions are now open as the show gears up for its second season.

Following the success of the first series of Kelly & Kloe and accompanying onboard experience, the new series will consist of four episodes, each with its own theme — an episode on the brand new mega ship MSC Meraviglia, seasonal episodes for Halloween and Christmas, and a special themed episode, Masquerade.

To date, the web series and trailer have been enjoyed by over 1.5 million people on the website and social media. More than 40,000 children have taken part in the on board Kelly and Kloe experience day where the fun of the series is brought to life through a range of interactive activities.

MSC Cruises has opened auditions for all children on board between the ages of 8 and 17 for a number of roles in the new series. Auditions will be filmed via a green screen experience, where the children will perform the show’s theme song and dance routine and explain on camera why they would like to be featured. Parents can also purchase this video to take home as a souvenir from their cruise.  (The video is loaded on a USB stick and sells for $22.)

 

All entries across the entire MSC Cruises fleet will be collected and reviewed by a judging panel including members of the MSC Cruises’ entertainment division as well as the writer, series producer and director of the series. Judges include Roberto Cuccarini, Roberto di Napoli and Andrea Parodi, all well known for their TV work and musical theatre productions. Casting will run until January 2018 with characters being selected in June, September, and November 2017, and January 2018.

Fans of the Kelly & Kloe series can stay tuned for four brand new episodes which will be available to watch on the following dates:

  • MSC Meraviglia: September 15, 2017
  • Halloween: October 20, 2017
  • Christmas: December 15, 2017
  • Masquerade: February 9, 2018

For more information on MSC Cruises family offering please visit: https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Discover-MSC/Family-Cruises.aspx

To find out more about Kelly and Kloe and to watch series one, please visit www.kellyandkloe.com

Royal Caribbean Open First Year-Long Program To Cuba

May 10, 2017.

Expanded Sailings Introduce 58 New Cruises, Including 28 Havana Overnights through March 2019

Royal Caribbean International has greatly expanded their sailings to Cuba on Empress of the Seas.  The ship will sail 58 cruises of 4- and 5-night itineraries from January 2018 through March 2019, more than half offering overnight stays in Havana.  The Western Caribbean and Havana sailings are open for bookings as of today.

“Since arriving in Cuba for the first time last month, we’ve seen the excitement of our guests when sailing into Havana and the passion they have for the city at sail away – its people, its architecture, its food, its music. This is the enthusiasm we strive to bring to adventure-seekers who vacation with us,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.  “The positive reaction to our Cuba sailings is very encouraging, and we are thrilled to expand on the number of sailings for our 2018-2019 itineraries.”

Empress of the Seas will return to Tampa for summer 2018, offering a series of 4- and 5-night cruises, calling on Key West, Florida, and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, as well as Havana on most sailings. The ship will reposition to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the winter 2018-2019 season, continuing short Caribbean adventures to the Caribbean destinations. Currently, Empress sails from Tampa through Nov. 4, 2017.  The ship then returns to Miami for the winter 2017-2018 season, adding calls to Royal Caribbean’s private island destination CocoCay and Nassau in The Bahamas.

Forbes Names Royal Caribbean As One Of ‘America’s Best Employers’

May 9, 2017.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) announced today that it has been named to the Forbes List of Best Large Employers for 2017. Forbes surveyed employees at mid-size and large companies or institutions. Respondents were asked to rate their employer on the quality of the work environment and whether they would recommend their company to potential employees as one of the most important factors in the assessment.

“I am extremely pleased that Forbes has recognized Royal Caribbean as one of America’s Best Employers of 2017,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “This recognition would not be possible without our employees.  It is because of their passion, determination and commitment that we are constantly able to push the boundaries of what is possible.”

America’s Best Employers are chosen by Forbes based on an independent survey from a vast sample of 30,000 American employees working for large or midsize companies. The employees participated anonymously through several online panels so they could openly state an opinion without influence from their employer. The survey has been conducted on companies from all industry sectors employing more than 1,000 employees in the United States. The recommended employers have been grouped into one or more of 25 industry sectors.

Azamara Club Cruises Adds More Cuba Voyages

 

May 3, 2017.

Want to see Cuba in style, on an all-inclusive upscale cruise with very attractive pricing?  Look no further than here.  Azamara Club Cruises has added four additional sailings to its lineup of Cuba voyages in 2017 and 2018.

Departing from Miami, the sailings feature overnights in Havana, as well as visits to two maiden ports of call – Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.

 

Azamara has also created a variety of unique people-to-people shore excursions for Cuba.

These shore excursions feature a variety of experiences including a visit to the open air cabaret, Tropicana, a Nelson Dominguez art gallery tour, Havana by classic car along the Malecón waterfront and Hemingway’s Havana, with more experiences coming soon. All tour programs offered by Azamara are designed to meet U.S. requirements for travel to Cuba.

Two New Cuban Ports of Call

  • Cienfuegos:  Known as La Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South), Cienfuegos sits on the south-central coast of Cuba. Cienfuegos translates to “100 fires” and the town adds a bright light to this fascinating country.
  • Santiago de Cuba: Perched on the Caribbean Sea southeast of the capital of Havana is Santiago de Cuba. The soul of Cuba’s second largest city is bustling, diverse and bursting at the seams with fascinating history and cultural life.

Six Opportunities to Experience Cuba

Azamara’s full list of Cuba itineraries for 2017 and 2018 is below. Demand is high, so travelers are encouraged to book early.

 

Carnival To Develop New Cruise Facility On Grand Bahama Island

 

May 2, 2017.

Officials from Carnival Cruise Line and the Bahamian government signed an agreement today during a ceremony in Freeport, Grand Bahama, for the construction of a new cruise port facility to be funded and operated by Carnival Cruise Line on Grand Bahama Island.

The as-yet-unnamed planned port will be the largest purpose-built cruise facility ever constructed in The Bahamas and will take inspiration from the Bahamian people and their islands. Features will include a one-mile stretch of beach, food, beverage and shopping outlets, a wide array of water-based amenities and other recreational facilities. The port will also feature a pier capable of accommodating two of Carnival’s largest cruise ships simultaneously and is expected to eventually host up to 1 million guests annually.

The multimillion-dollar project will provide a significant economic benefit for the country of The Bahamas, including many employment and economic opportunities throughout the development, construction and ongoing operation once completed.

“Carnival Cruise Line is the leader in year-round cruising to The Bahamas and this new development will not only provide a truly extraordinary and one-of-a-kind destination experience for our guests but it will further solidify our partnership with the people of The Bahamas,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “In 2017, along with Carnival’s sister lines, Carnival Corporation will bring close to 3 million guests to The Bahamas via calls to Nassau, Freeport, Grand Bahama, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays, the latter two of which were developed and are operated by Carnival Corporation brands Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.  Collectively, we represent the single largest cruise company investor in The Bahamas,” Duffy added.

During the signing ceremony, Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald said, “When Ted Arison, the founder of Carnival and the modern day cruise industry, embarked on his first cruise, it was to The Bahamas. From that day until now, The Bahamas continues to be one of the most strategic and important destinations for our company.” Donald continued, “Signing this agreement today is especially meaningful to me, as we strive to further contribute to the prosperity of the people of The Bahamas through providing experiences that continue to exceed our guests’ expectations.”

Prime Minister the Right Honourable Perry G. Christie stated, “The Government of The Bahamas has had a long and close association with Carnival which has been of great economic benefit to both parties.” He continued, “This new cruise port initiative in East Grand Bahama will deliver a cruise port in the traditional sense, but more than that, its shore project will create a new ‘destination’ with a distinctive flavour and characteristics that offer the broadest Bahamian entrepreneurial and employment opportunities, representing another phase in the development of Grand Bahama as a viable tourist centre.”

The project is subject to a detailed public discussion process, environmental studies and permitting.

Norwegian Sky Makes Inaugural Call In Havana

May 2, 2017.

Norwegian Sky Enters Havana Harbor

Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ship to sail to Cuba, made her maiden call in the capital city of Havana this morning.  Norwegian Cruise Line executives were onboard to celebrate the voyage, including Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings President & CEO Frank Del Rio and Norwegian Cruise Line President & CEO Andy Stuart.

“Today is a momentous day for Norwegian Cruise Line, our guests and our travel agent partners, as we open our doors to Cuba’s natural beauty, warm people and historical treasures,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “Sailing into the Havana Harbor today, we were welcomed by the Cuban people with open arms and excitement to share their incredible culture with our guests.”

Today’s call was the first of Norwegian Sky’s weekly roundtrip cruises from Miami to Cuba.  The ship will sail a total of 53 four-day voyages to Cuba, with 52 including an overnight stay in Havana. Norwegian offers a selection of 14 half and full-day OFAC-compliant shore excursions, where guests aboard Norwegian Sky will have the opportunity to have a farm to table dining experience, explore the flora and fauna of Soroa, see modern Havana in an American classic car and much more.

The all-inclusive Norwegian Sky will also call on Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas, during her four-day cruises to Cuba.  Great Stirrup Cay was recently enhanced to offer guests new ways to enjoy the island with additional pathways, seating and shaded lounge areas, with additional features still to come, including a private luxury lagoon enclave for suite guests and guests of The Haven.

Guests sailing on Norwegian Sky receive unlimited complimentary beverages as a part of the ship’s all-inclusive program.

For additional information or to book a cruise to Cuba on Norwegian, as well as documentation requirements, Frequently Asked Questions and more, please visit www.ncl.com/cruises-to/cuba-cruises.

Newest Princess Cruises Stage Shows Are Hits With Guests

May 2, 2017.

Two new Broadway-style stage shows offered to Princess Cruises guests are receiving rave reviews – “Born to Dance,” the latest show to debut in the cruise line’s Stephen Schwartz partnership and “Encore,” based on the highly popular opera performance “Bravo”.  I recently saw Encore on Island Princess and it was an excellent production.

“Born to Dance”

Born To Dance

Created in partnership with Stephen Schwartz, the Oscar®, Grammy® and Tony Award®-winning composer of “Wicked,”“Godspell,” and “Pippin,” “Born to Dance” is the second offering in the cruise line’s exclusive partnership. The show celebrates the aspirations, hurdles and triumphs of professional dancers, as told through tributes to Broadway’s greatest choreography in a feel-good story.

“We’re proud of our dynamic collaboration with Stephen Schwartz bringing our second revered show to life with ‘Born to Dance.’ Guests love the high-energy music and dancing,” added Saviss.

Princess audiences get a glimpse of what it takes to be a dancer, the highs and lows and that driving need to dance brought to life by some of Broadway’s most famous hits including “West Side Story,” “A Chorus Line,” “Chicago” and more. A who’s-who of acclaimed choreographers and dancers virtually join the multi-media production, tracing the journey of the great artists and shows that made musical theater history.

Overseeing the creative development of four brand new shows for Princess Cruises, Schwartz brings together a team of Broadway talent to support the productions through direction and design. “Born to Dance” is created and directed by Daniel C. Levine from Broadways’ “Les Misérables” and “Mamma Mia!” and is now showing aboard Golden Princess, Grand Princess and Star Princess. Additional talent includes costume design by six time Tony Award® winner William Ivey Long, musical arrangement by Bryan Perri, conductor for Broadway’s Wicked, choreography by Al Blackstone from the hit show So You Think You Can Dance, and scenic design by Tony Award® winner Beowulf Boritt.

The show will premiere next on Regal Princess in October.

“Encore”

Encore

“Encore” is inspired by the cruise line’s top-rated show “Bravo” and accompanied by an immensely talented onstage orchestra.

The show pays homage to the traditions of pop, opera and musical theater set amidst the romantic splendor of a beautiful Montecito garden. Showcasing new songs performed by a true soprano guest artist and combined with elaborate costumes and stunning sets, the show is conceived, directed and choreographed by American Idol’s Danny Teeson, with musical direction by Academy Awards arranger Nelson Kole and set design by Emmy® award-winner John Iacovelli.

Coral Princess, Island Princess and Sea Princess are currently showing “Encore,” with Royal Princess the next ship to receive the show in December.