Carnival Horizon’s Bonsai Teppanyaki Menu

August 31, 2017.

A few days ago I announced that the new Carnival Horizon will debut the first teppanyaki Japanese restaurant on a Carnival ship.  You can read that article here.

Today Carnival provided me with the menu for Bonsai Teppanyaki, and it looks great.  I’d have to go with a combination entree.

Bonsai Teppanyaki Dinner Menu

Carnival Horizon debuts in Europe next March and then moves to the United States in May 2018.

Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation and Micky Arison’s Family Foundation Donate $2 Million to Hurricane Harvey Relief

August 30, 2017.

 

Carnival Cruise Line, and its parent company, Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation are pledging a minimum of $2 million to relief and rebuilding efforts in the Gulf Coast region in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2004.

Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation, are each donating $500,000 to Harvey disaster relief efforts, for a total donation of $1 million from the company. Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine are matching the corporation’s commitment with a $1 million donation from the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation.

To help generate additional relief funds, cruise guests sailing on certain Carnival Cruise Line cruises will have the option to make a donation when they check in for their cruise, while the corporation’s brands and employees will be participating as well.

Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival Corporation are working together with emergency response authorities, community leaders, and key relief and recovery organizations to identify the most urgent needs and immediate allocations for the donated funds. The donation will be used to maximize positive impacts on recovery efforts and support on-the-ground teams that are distributing emergency supplies and aiding rebuilding efforts targeting the most affected families in the region

Carnival Horizon To Feature Teppanyaki Dining Venue

August 28, 2017.

Carnival Cruise Line will introduce its first-ever teppanyaki dining venue when the new 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon debuts in Europe in spring 2018.

If you’ve ever wondered about the meaning of Teppanyaki,  the name is derived from the combination of the words “teppan” or iron plate with “yaki” meaning grilled or pan-fried.

Located on Carnival Horizon’s Promenade Deck, Bonsai Teppanyaki will offer a wide-ranging menu with authentic delicacies from the Far East prepared by highly skilled chefs who will create tantalizing dishes on custom-built stations that form the center of the venue’s two eight-seat tables.   With only 16 seats available reservations will be highly recommended.  The restaurant will offer both a lunch and dinner service.

In keeping with Carnival’s atmosphere of spirited and participatory fun, dinner at Bonsai Teppanyaki will be a fun culinary experience with chefs engaging with diners and dazzling them with their amazing knife skills and other performance elements.

Each meal will begin with an appetizer sampler of five items such as Miso Soup, Pork Belly Yakitori with Sesame Asparagus Fries,  and Spicy Tuna on the Rocks with Onion Sesame Sauce and Den Miso.  Guests will then choose an entree with choices including Lobster Tail with Yuzu Cream and Citrus Kosho, Filet Mignon with Truffle Salt, Garlic Chips and Champagne Cognac Flambe, and Black Cod with Soy Reduction, plus other items.  For dessert a Chocolate Bento Box with Green Tea Ice Cream will be featured.

“Carnival is all about providing our guests with a wide array of choices and that, of course, includes a seemingly endless array of delicious culinary options,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “The new Bonsai Teppanyaki promises to be a wonderful addition to the Carnival Horizon, offering delectable cuisine from the Far East enhanced by show-stopping performances by our talented and engaging chefs,” she added.

More news on Carnival Horizon soon.

MSC Seaview Floated Out

August 23, 2017.

The second ship in MSC Cruises’ innovative Seaside class enters the final phase of construction, ramping up for her inaugural season in the Mediterranean

MSC Cruises today celebrated the float out of MSC Seaview. The ceremony, held at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard in Italy, officially marked the first time that the vessel has touched water since beginning construction.

As the second of MSC Cruises’ Seaside generation of cruise ships, MSC Seaview is based on a highly-innovative prototype — bringing guests closer to the sea than ever before; designed specifically for warmer climates; and providing the ultimate sun and sea cruise experience. The revolutionary ship is set to come into service in June 2018, just six months after her sister ship MSC Seaside debuts and arrives in Miami in December 2017, following a Grand Voyage from Trieste, Italy to Miami, Florida.

MSC Seaview will sail her inaugural 2018 summer season in the Mediterranean, offering travelers dynamic itineraries and the chance to explore a variety of unique destinations, while only having to unpack once. Guests can discover seven lively ports from four different countries, including Genoa, Naples, Messina, Valetta, Barcelona and Marseille. Specific itineraries can be viewed here.

Following her inaugural season, MSC Seaview will follow the sun to Brazil and the Southern hemisphere for the winter 2018-2019 season, with ports of call in Santos, Ilha Grande, Buzios, Porto Belo and Camboriu.

The float out is a key milestone in the construction of a cruise ship, marking the completion of the ship’s exterior. The dry dock is flooded and the vessel meets water for the first time before being moved to a wet dock. Now, in the final phase of construction, work begins to complete the interiors, fixtures and furnishings.

MSC Seaview is the second of two identical ships in the Seaside class — at 1,060 ft. long and 154,000 GRTs — and holding a maximum capacity of 5,179 guests (4,134 at double occupancy).

The launch of MSC Seaview will mark the third next-generation ship from MSC Cruises to come into service in just 12 months, following MSC Meraviglia (June 2017) and, her sister ship, MSC Seaside (December 2017).

Carnival Testing New Breakfast Menu For Port Days

August 22, 2017.

Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald posted a new breakfast menu on Facebook today, and it looks really good.  The menu is being tested on Carnival Victory presently, and is only used in the main dining room for breakfast on port days.  I hope it proves popular and rolls out fleetwide. The menu includes the currently fashionable ‘avocado toast’ as well as other more up-to-date choices.

Azamara Club Cruises Introduces New Breakfast Menu

August 22, 2017.

Azamara Club Cruises has just introduced a new breakfast menu at their Discoveries restaurant – one of the on-board favorites with lively dining and recently renewed décor.  Known for Destination Immersion programming and commitment to immersion into local cultures, Azamara has curated the menu to be destination focused, reflecting the port stops the voyage is making.

For those looking to avoid rushing breakfast and to enjoy something more than just a buffet, the new menu is brunch inspired with elevated dishes that are completely new, with global flavors and ingredients.  Vegan, gluten free, healthy and vegetarian options are all denoted.  Stand out dishes include:

  • Japanese zucchini noodle breakfast bowl with a fried egg
  • Asian chicken and rice congee with ginger and scallion (I love congee)
  • Arabic Shakshuka with hummus and olives
  • Mediterranean ratatouille toast with scrambled eggs

The full menu:

Carnival Paradise To Offer 5 Additional Cuba Cruises in 2018

August 16, 2018.

The Carnival Paradise arrives in Havana Harbor in Havana, Cuba. (Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line)

Following strong response to its first-ever cruises to Cuba this year, Carnival Cruise Line has added five more voyages featuring extended calls in Havana in 2018.

The new voyages include three five-day cruises to Havana and Cozumel or Key West departing Feb. 17, July 2 and Sept. 5, 2018; a six-day sailing featuring Havana and Grand Cayman departing Aug. 26, 2018; and an eight-day voyage with stops at Havana, Grand Cayman and Cozumel departing Aug. 18, 2018.

All of the voyages include a day-long call and overnight in Havana with the eight-day cruise of Aug. 18, 2018, offering two full days at the historic Cuban capital.

Earlier this year, Carnival announced a series of four- and five-day voyages to Havana that kicked off in late June.  (Editor’s Note:  I was on the inaugural voyage on June 29 and it was a wonderful cruise)

Upcoming voyages in the initial roll-out include four-day cruises departing Aug. 24, Sept. 7 and 21, and Oct. 5 and 19, 2017 as well as May 3, 2018 and five-day voyages departing Aug. 28, Sept. 25 and Oct. 9, 2017.

Carnival Paradise guests can select from nearly 20 different shore excursion experiences that showcase Cuba’s vibrant culture, majestic beauty and centuries-old architectural landmarks.

Vintage cars pass the Carnival Paradise while the cruise ship is docked in Havana, Cuba. (Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line)

Aboard Carnival Paradise, guests enjoy an array of amenities and a full schedule of daytime activities and nighttime entertainment, including newly added Cuban-themed entertainment and activities. Dining options include two full-service main dining rooms and expansive poolside eatery with a 24-hour pizzeria.

The ship also features a 12,000-square-foot Spa Carnival health and wellness facility and an exclusive Serenity adults-only retreat.  Family-friendly programming includes Seuss at Sea in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises as well as fun, supervised activities for kids in three age groups.  Four swimming pools and a 115-foot-long cascading water slide are also featured.

The visits to Havana comply with regulations of the U.S. Department of Treasury that permit travel operators to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in activities as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Azamara Club Cruises Announces More Cuba Sailings

August 10, 2017.

Azamara Club Cruises just announced additional Cuba sailings with more overnights, new shore excursions at night and an ‘AzAmazing Evenings’ event in 2018 and 2019!  The new itineraries range from four to fourteen nights and visit some of the most diverse Cuban ports like Cienfuegos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The voyages also include new onboard Cuban-themed programming, two overnights in Havana and shore excursions to Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos.  Three new Cruise Global, Nights Local shore excursions include a musical evening at Fusion Havana, a Jewish Heritage Tour in Havana and an entertaining evening at Cabaret Parisien. 

Three New Cruise Global, Nights Local Shore Excursions

As part of Azamara’s commitment to Destination Immersion®, Cruise Global, Connect Local will introduce guests to the culture and people of Cuba in the most authentic way. From locally inspired small-group excursions by day and night to the signature AzAmazing Evening in Cuba, there are three new night experiences, including:

  • Cabaret Parisien, Havana: Visit the Nacional Hotel de Cuba and marvel at the cabaret show “Cuban, Cuban,” a true sensation based entirely on island culture.  This colorful performance features stunning costumes, lively music and captivating dance moves reflecting Indo-American, Hispanic and African influences.  Before the performance, wander the lovely hotel gardens and gaze out at the sparkling nighttime views of the Havana Malecón.
  • Musical Evening at Fusión Havana, Havana: Embark on a truly captivating evening filled with the excitement of sultry music and dances of Havana, as Cuban rhythms, Latin Jazz, and Flamenco resound through the Fusión Havana, a local showplace and restaurant.  Cuba Libres and other favorite local cocktails will be served at a two-hour open bar with local delicacies like savory croquettes and stuffed tostones.
  • Jewish Heritage Tour, Havana: Embrace Cuba’s rich Jewish heritage with a guided tour that takes you through the streets of Old Havana’s Jewish Quarter. With plenty of local encounters to hear firsthand stories about the Jewish community, the tour includes a visit to the spectacular Hotel Raquel, a breathtaking example of Havana’s Jewish influence, and to a local synagogue for an authentic look at how locals worship. Pay moving visits to a historic Jewish cemetery and Havana’s Holocaust Museum, a solemn reminder of World War II, curated by the local community.

Additionally, a number of experiences are being developed throughout Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba to give Azamara guests immersive and localized experiences outside of Havana including:

  • Santiago de Cuba: Guests will explore a variety of well-known and off-the-beaten track historical sites including the Colonial Historic Center of San Juan Hill, where an instrumental battle in the Spanish – Cuban – American war occurred.  Then travel to the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, where notable Cuban national hero and literary import Jose Marti is laid to rest.
  • Cienfuegos: After starting their tour in Cienfuegos, guests will travel to Trinidad, where they can explore the colonial old town and quaint cobblestone streets.  A stop at Potter’s House gives guests the chance to discover the artwork of Cuban craftsmen and learn about their technique passed down through generations.  Guests will round out their visit to Cienfuegos to view a performance at the Teatro Tomas Terry followed by shopping the Santa Isabel Boulevard.

 

Holland America’s Popular ‘Explore4’ Promotion Is Back

August 7, 2017.

Holland America Line’s popular Explore4 promotion is back with four offers on more than six hundred cruises from March 2018 through April 2019. Travelers looking to book a cruise or Alaska Land+Sea Journey for next year or beyond can take advantage of all the benefits, which include complimentary beverages and specialty dining aboard ship as well as reduced deposits and free or reduced fares for friends and family. Suite bookings also receive onboard spending money.

The Explore4 promotion for guests booking any category stateroom includes a Signature Beverage Package valued at $1,400 per stateroom (based on a 14-day cruise), dinner at the Pinnacle Grill for two, free or reduced cruise fares for friends and kids in the same stateroom, and 50 percent reduced deposits. Guests receive all benefits, and bookings must be made by Nov. 17, 2017.

Suite Travelers Receive Added Perks
Guests who book a cruise in a suite category stateroom will receive the four offers plus an additional $200 onboard spending money per stateroom ($100 per person).

Beverage, Dining and Other Onboard Amenities Add to Cruise Value
The beverage package includes wine, beer, spirits, cocktails, sodas and coffee. The beverage offer is only applicable on the cruise portion of Alaska Land+Sea Journeys.

Explore4 offers also include a complimentary dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, featuring a menu highlighting steak and seafood dishes like filet mignon and broiled Alaska king salmon, Pinnacle Grill also includes favorites like roasted pumpkin risotto and double-cut Kurobata pork chops.

With reduced cruise fares on select sailings for friends and kids sharing a stateroom with two other guests, a group of four can take an affordable vacation to the Caribbean or a longer journey to an exotic destination. For example, in the Caribbean, fares for seven-day cruises start from US$799 for the first and second guests in an interior stateroom, and free or reduced fares apply for the third and fourth guests. A seven-day European cruise starts at US$1,199 for an interior stateroom for the first and second guests, with free or reduced fares for third and fourth guests. Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional.

By taking advantage of the 50 percent reduced deposit offer, guests will have more flexibility and time before paying the final deposit on their cruise.

Global Itineraries Available with Explore4
Guests looking to take advantage of the Explore4 program can choose select itineraries to nearly all of Holland America Line’s global destinations, including Alaska and Alaska and the Yukon Land+Sea Journeys, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, the Baltic, Bermuda, Canada and New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, Mexico, the Panama Canal and South America. Grand Voyages and Grand Voyage segments are excluded.

Azamara Club Cruises To Feature Venice-Simplon Orient Express Rail Options

August 3, 2017

Today, Azamara Club Cruises announced an enriching new inclusive pre-and-post Land and Sea program in Europe. In partnership with the renowned Venice-Simplon Orient-Express train, this program takes guests deeper into European locales and allows travelers to stay longer and experience even more on land with a unique vantage point.

The iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express travels between London and Venice offering travelers packages designed to extend an Azamara vacation with even more cultural discovery in additional ports. Travelers can relive the golden-era age of travel through the original 1920s vintage carriages, gourmet cuisine and spectacular scenery.

Azamara and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will provide guests the distinct opportunity to combine train, hotel and cruise travel in a personalized way. Guests are invited to indulge in:

  • Timeless Authenticity: The luxurious private cabins on board the 1920s carriages provide inspiring back stories and history; Sleeping Car 3425 is famously associated with King Carol, who escaped Romania with his mistress aboard the train in 1940. Stunning vintage details such as Rene Prou designs and Rene Lalique glass panels make each carriage feel like a time capsule giving travelers the chance to relive history.
  • Gourmet Cuisine: The train line’s Executive Chef Christian Bodiguel has spent the last 33 years creating culinary masterpieces and prepares 3-course lunches and 4-course dinners of classic French dishes.  Menus change seasonally and everything is cooked fresh on board, with Chef Bodiguel selecting local ingredients from the destinations the train visits.
  • Spectacular Scenery: Europe’s most stunning scenery can be viewed through two different routes spanning the Gotthard Route and the Alberg Route boasting the incredible views of the Swiss Lakes as well as the dramatic Dolomites. Both routes offer breath taking mountain views, crystal clear lakes and quant towns and vineyards tucked into the mountainside.

Exploring by train compliments the cruise experience offering a truly unique vantage point to take in Europe’s most famous and romanticized scenery which can be viewed along the journey between London and Venice.  Additional route highlights include:

  • London to Venice Pre-Voyage: Guests will depart London’s Victoria Station aboard the Belmond British Pullman, sister train of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, for the journey to Folkestone. Enjoy a Bellini brunch and silver service as the train passes through the lush Kentish countryside, before transferring across the Channel on the Eurotunnel. Once aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in Calais, a delicious four-course dinner is prepared by skilled French chefs and served in one of the three restaurant cars. Head to the Bar Car ‘3674’ for a nightcap before retiring to your cabin for your overnight stay. Continental breakfast is served in your cabin, followed by lunch in the restaurant car. Relax over afternoon tea as the train makes its way to Venice and then depart the train for an overnight in Venice including luxury accommodations at the Hotel Monaco in the heart of the charming city.
  • Venice to London Post-Voyage: After a relaxing evening spent at the Hotel Monaco guests board the gleaming carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express where they wave goodbye to Venice over a three-course lunch. Afternoon Tea is served in your cabin before guests mingle with fellow passengers in the Bar Car ‘3674’, followed by a dinner in one of the three beautifully unique restaurant cars. Linger over continental breakfast served in your cabin the following morning, followed by a delicious lunch en route to Calais where you will transfer for the Eurotunnel crossing. On the other side, board the Belmond British Pullman, sister train to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, which takes guests from Folkestone to London Victoria Station, with afternoon tea served on the way accompanied by a glass of English Sparkling Wine.

Pre-and post-voyages train packages must be booked in tandem with featured sailings. For more information on the pre-and-post Land and Sea program in Europe visit here.