‘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.