Carnival Returns To It’s Roots: New Ship To Be Named ‘Carnival Mardi Gras’

December 5, 2018.

In a nod to Carnival Cruise Line’s rich history, the line announced today that it will name its new XL-class ship Mardi Gras, bringing back to the fleet the name of the first Carnival Cruise Line ship that entered service in 1972 and started the wave of cruise vacation popularity in the United States.

In keeping with its tradition of fun, Carnival revealed the name to a nationwide television audience on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune on its signature Puzzle board at the conclusion of the broadcast.

Mardi Gras will be the largest Carnival Cruise Line ship ever constructed and the first in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s green cruising platform.  At 180,000 tons, the new Mardi Gras will be more than six times the size of its namesake.

Currently under construction at Meyer Turku in Finland, the 5,200-plus lower berth vessel will offer a variety of new innovations and attractions.

Itineraries for Mardi Gras will be announced in January and go on sale later that same month.  Carnival Cruise Line fans who want to be the first to book on Mardi Gras can get a head start by clicking here where they can register to get a “first to know” alert and special promotional offer when itineraries are opened for sale.

The original 27,000-ton TSS Mardi Gras, a converted trans-Atlantic ocean liner  purchased by entrepreneur and Carnival founder Ted Arison, ushered in the modern-day cruise industry when it set sail on its inaugural voyage in 1972, helping to transform cruising from an experience once reserved for the elite into a mainstream vacation accessible and affordable to everyone.

Carnival previously announced that the ship will be based in Port Canaveral, Fla., which will feature a new state-of-the-art terminal.  A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding.

MSC Cruises 2019 World Cruise To Have Line-up Of Nine All-Star Chefs

December 3, 2018.

MSC Cruises today revealed the all-star cast of international chefs on board its first ever World Cruise in January 2019. Delivering a one-of-a-kind gourmet dining experience on board, the line-up includes current as well as former Michelin-starred chefs, chefs of the year, award-winning cookbook authors as well as recipients of other international culinary recognition.

MSC Magnifica will depart for the 2019 World Cruise on January 5, 2019 from Genoa, Italy.

Bringing flavors and inspiration from their native countries and beyond, the impressive group of all-star chefs will create their own special dishes for MSC Cruises guests while also joining for a portion of the cruise. The roster includes chefs from every corner of the globe representing some of the world’s most popular cuisines, including:

–          Michelin-starred Spanish chef, Ramón Freixa

–          Decorated Indian-American chef, Vikas Khanna

–          Award-winning Italian chef, Carlo Cracco

–          Two-time World Champion in pastry, French chef Jean-Philippe Maury

–          Restauranteur, cookbook author and chef, Roy Yamaguchi

–          Expert in all four schools of Chinese cooking, Chef Jereme Leung

–          Veteran chef and restauranteur, Brazilian chef, Allan Vila Espejo

–          MasterChef Colombia jury member Chef Jorge Rausch

–          And, Sydney Morning Herald’s “Chef of the Year,” French-Canadian chef, Serge Dansereau

Each acclaimed chef will develop a three- or four-course menu for guests to savor during a dedicated evening, each reflecting the chef’s own particular skill and flair. For his exclusive evening on board, Pastry Chef Jean-Philippe Maury will instead prepare a decadent dessert. Most of the chefs will embark on board with a select team for a portion of the cruise, working with the on-board chefs to prepare their personalized creations. During these uniquely exclusive meals, the chefs will be able to greet and interact with guests in person while they enjoy their dishes.

The next MSC World Cruise in 2020

While the 2019 World Cruise is long sold out, for those who wish to join the ship for her next journey around the globe, a few choice staterooms are still available on the 2020 World Cruise departing January 5, 2020.

The 2020 World Cruise will visit 43 destinations across 23 countries, with many brand new and exotic destinations including, among others:

  • Ushuaia, Argentina: The most southern city in the world, this Argentinian fishing village offers stunning water scenery with often snow-topped mountains.
  • Rapa Nui, Easter Island: This storied island is famed globally for its unique collection of carved-stone figurines dating back to the 13th century.
  • Darwin, Australia: Located at the northern tip of the country, the region allows guests to experience the true Australia, with beaches, lagoons, sports and local wildlife in close proximity.
  • Valparaiso, Chile: Recognized for its small, bright-colored houses on its coastal hills, Valparaiso offers visitors spectacular views out to the Pacific or exploration in the city, marveling at photo-worthy walls of art
  • Mumbai/Bombay, India: The bustling city of Mumbai (previously called Bombay) offers endless tastes, scents and sights around every corner.
  • Salalah, Oman: With multiple waterfalls, exotic lush flora and unusual animals, Salalah is an unforgettable destination.

 

 

 

Princess Cruises Readies Full Activation of Second MedallionClass™ Ship

December 3, 2018.

Princess Cruises announced today that it is now preparing Regal Princess as the second ship fully activated with the Princess MedallionClassTM technology.  Regal Princess will be fully activated for her Caribbean Season starting February 17, 2019. The Princess OceanMedallion, included complimentary, is a wearable device that elevates the guest experience by delivering enhanced experiences and personalized service resulting in high guest satisfaction scores.

Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and recently honored with a CES® 2019 Innovation Award, the OceanMedallion features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, eliminates friction points and enables interactive entertainment.

Princess MedallionClass vacations offer guests a portfolio of experiences specifically designed to enhance their cruise vacation, including:

  • Fast ship boarding with OceanReady™ – guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile have a personalized check-in process that starts their vacation with ease. Personalization starts pre-cruise by guests becoming OceanReady while at home.
  • On demand beverage delivery: Using smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks using OceanNowTM and have them delivered directly to them throughout the ship and even in their stateroom.
  • The best Wi-Fi at sea: MedallionNet™ is fast, reliable, affordable and unlimited. MedallionNet provides land-like speeds that allow guests to stay connected from anywhere on the ship including staterooms which are each equipped with a Wi-Fi access point.  With MedallionNet guests easily share vacation experiences with friends and family back home, stream TV shows, movies and sports events, and even make voice and video calls.

Other innovative features of the Princess MedallionClass experience include:

  • Keyless Stateroom Entry: Access to staterooms is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated and the door automatically unlocks with personalized greetings displayed on the door portal.
  • OceanCompass™: OceanCompass leverages the Princess Medallion to enable point-to-point wayfinding through-out the ship. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest.
  • MedallionPay™: An easy to use payment feature, enabling crew members to focus on meaningful guest interactions.
  • OceanCasino™: On smart devices and select portals, guests can wager real money on games, including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board.
  • OceanViewTM: Guests can stream more than 100 hours of award-winning Ocean Original travel shows to their smart device anywhere on the ship at no cost – content which airs nationally on weekends on ABC and NBC.
  • PlayOceanTM: On portals located throughout the ship, guests play family games, including trivia, word jumble, a matching game and Ocean Treks Adventure – an interactive, ship wide digital scavenger hunt. PlayOcean also transforms guests’ mobile devices into game controllers for interactive gaming on the massive Movies Under the Stars screen. And, guests can enjoy big screen interactive fun with Games Under the Stars where players enjoy arcade and trivia fun on our “Movies Under the Stars” screen.

 

Carnival Legend To Sail Extensive European Schedule In 2020

December 3, 2018.

Carnival Cruise Lines’ new Carnival Legend departs Harwich, England, on its inaugural cruise Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2002. Photo by Andy Newman/CCL

Carnival Legend will operate Carnival Cruise Line’s most diverse European season to date with 9- to 16-day voyages visiting 34 ports in 14 countries including Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Croatia, Portugal, Greece, Greenland and Iceland in the summer and fall of 2020.

Available through the Carnival Adventures program, hundreds of shore excursions will be offered where guests can explore centuries-old historic sites and landmarks, savor local cuisine and view spectacular scenery, including the majestic Norwegian fjords.

European Itineraries on Carnival Legend

Highlights include:

  • A 16-day Northern trans-Atlantic crossing from New York to London (Dover) June 3-19, featuring day-long visits to these spectacular destinations: Qaqortoq, Greenland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Lerwick, Shetland Islands; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Cork (Cobh), Ireland.
  • A nine-day Norwegian Fjords cruise round-trip from London June 19-28, visiting six scenic Norwegian ports:  Bergen, Olden, Molde, Trondheim, Alesund, and Stavanger, with ample opportunities to view the majestic Norwegian fjords.
  • A nine-day Western Europe cruise June 28 – July 7 from London to Barcelona, visiting Le Havre (Paris), France; La Coruña, Spain; Leixoes and Lisbon, Portugal; Gibraltar; and Malaga, Spain.
  • Nine- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises between Venice and Barcelona with stops at some of Europe’s most beautiful and sought-after destinations, including Marseilles, France; Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Greece; Valletta, Malta; and Dubrovnik and Rijeka, Croatia.
  • A 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to Tampa Oct. 30 – Nov. 15, highlighted by visits to Malaga, Spain; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands; Antigua; San Juan; and Amber Cove (Dominican Republic).

Carnival Legend Voyages from Tampa, New York

Before her summer in Europe, Carnival Legend will operate a 13-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal voyage from Tampa to New York May 3-16, 2020, with calls in Cozumel, Mexico and Limon, Costa Rica prior to a partial Panama Canal transit followed by visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Aruba; and Grand Turk.

Once in New York, Carnival Legend will operate two nine-day Caribbean sailings departing May 16 and 25, 2020 and featuring San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk.

Carnival Legend will also offer a schedule of six- and seven-day Caribbean sailings featuring calls at a variety of tropical islands, including Grand Cayman, Belize, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), as well as eight-day partial Panama Canal voyages, round-trip from Tampa in winter 2020-21.

A full schedule of Carnival Legend’s 2020 European schedule can be viewed at https://www.carnival.com/cruise-to/europe-cruises.aspx