Azamara Pursuit Will Offer Unique Mediterranean Voyages in 2019

December 7, 2017.

Our favorite all-inclusive luxury cruise line is Azamara Club Cruises and they have just announced new voyages for their newest ship, the Azamara Pursuit.  Wait to you read about the shore excursions!

Azamara Pursuit was purchased earlier this fall and the brand has been working tirelessly to curate new itineraries to new parts of the world, with longer stays, more overnights and stops in smaller ports.  Given the number of smaller ports in the Mediterranean – ports that only small cruise ships can visit – it is easy to see why Azamara chose to focus on the region for their newest vessel.

In 2019, the Azamara Pursuit will:

  • Visit 74 countries and 276 ports
  • Add 27 ports and 2 countries not offered by other ships in 2019
  • Visit maiden ports in Alghero, Sardinia, Italy; Trieste, Italy; Paula, Croatia
  • Offer Country Intensive Voyages to Greece, Italy, Croatia, Spain, France and Israel
  • Offer 77 late nights and 20 overnights during 176 days in port

Shore Excursions highlights include:

  • Monemvasia, Greece – Cooking Class at Liotrivi Historic Mansion: At Liotrivi Historical Mansion, guests will explore the cultural heritage and enjoy a cooking lesson of 5 traditional dishes under the instruction of an experienced chef set against the backdrop of gardens and olive trees.
  • Portofino, Italy – Rapallo Foodie Experience with Guido: Liguria is home to some of Italy’s most iconic foods and no one is more passionate about ‘pasta, pesto, focaccia & co.’ than local host Guido. Guests meet him at the Musical Kiosk with its fanciful fresco, before continuing on to Rapallo’s vibrant food market to explore the produce and herbs. The tour continues to a nearby artisanal pasta factory, followed by a stop for street food at Guido’s favorite focaccia baker serving the cheesy, decadent treat hot from the iron with a glass of local Vermentino wine. For the final stop, guests follow Guido to his own bottega, a veritable emporium filled with delicacies where guests will have the chance to make pesto alla Genovese.
  • Pula, Croatia – Truffle Hunt: Guests visit the small village of Mala Huba for the special experience of truffle hunting! After the “truffle hunt” experience of almost 60 minutes with a local guide and truffle-sniffing dog, guests return to village of Mala Huba for light repast and wine tasting and the chance to buy truffle products.

Top itineraries include:

  • 5 Night Riviera Weekend Voyage, May 2019: This voyage travels from the heart of the French Riviera to the Eternal City with a late-night stay in Marseilles and Saint-Tropez.
  • 10 Night Greece Intensive Voyage, June 2019: A powerhouse line-up of ancient sites, friendly seaside tavernas and shops and whitewashed villages.
  • 9 Night Italy to Greece Voyage, May 2019: This nine-night sailing showcases the exceptional beauty of the Adriatic and gorgeous Grecian ports with stops for Gondola rides, medieval city tours and a visit to the world’s largest underground canyon.

Carnival Sunshine Repositions To Charleston Starting May 2019

 

December 7, 2017. 

Carnival Cruise Line will position a newer, larger ship to Charleston when the 3,002-passenger Carnival Sunshine kicks off a year-round schedule of four- and five-day cruises in May 2019.

Carnival Sunshine features one of the widest arrays of food, beverage and entertainment options within the Carnival fleet, including the WaterWorks aqua park and SportSquare recreation area, a three-deck-high adults-only retreat featuring a waterfall and adjoining pool, several specialty restaurants and more than 550 staterooms with private balconies.

Carnival Sunshine will commence the four- and five-day cruise program from Charleston on May 18, 2019, and is expected to carry approximately 220,000 passengers annually from that port.

Four-day cruises will visit Nassau while five-day voyages will feature Nassau and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.

Guests sailing aboard Carnival Sunshine can enjoy a array of food and beverage choices, including Ji Ji Asian Kitchen with an extensive menu of Far East favorites, Havana Bar offering refreshing Cuban cocktails and live Latin music, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, and Guy’s Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri.  The ship also features the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and Bonsai Sushi, as well as BlueIquana Tex-Mex cantina.

The ship’s family-friendly options include Seuss at Sea operated exclusively with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Hasbro, The Game Show with larger-than-life adaptations of the company’s iconic games, and complimentary children’s programs for kids in three age groups.  Entertainment and activity choices are just as varied with high-tech Playlist Productions revues, the Punchliner Comedy Club offering adults-only and family-friendly performances, legendary deck parties and live musical performances throughout the ship.

Top-deck attractions include WaterWorks highlighted by Speedway Splash with its dual-racing slides, SportSquare with a suspended ropes course offering breathtaking views to the sea 150 feet below, a miniature golf course, and a three-deck-high Serenity adults-only retreat with oversized umbrellas, and comfortable chaise lounges and chairs, as well as a waterfall and its own pool.

In addition to the short cruise program from Charleston, Carnival Sunshine will operate an 11-day Carnival Journeys cruise round-trip from Charleston Dec. 3-14, 2019, calling at St. Thomas, Aruba, Bonaire, Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay.  In addition to visiting spectacular destinations, the longer-length Carnival Journeys cruises offer unique on-board experiences where guests can enjoy local cuisine, entertainment and cultural opportunities within the various ports of call.  Activities focusing on topics such as photography, cooking and arts and crafts and a 1980s-themed “Throwback Sea Day” will be offered, as well.

Carnival Ecstasy, which currently sails from Charleston, will shift to Jacksonville, Fla., to operate year-round four- and five-day cruises beginning in May 2019.   Carnival Elation, currently based in Jacksonville, will reposition to Port Canaveral, Fla., in May 2019, as well, to operate a new schedule of four- and five-day voyages, providing an exciting new vacation option from the Space Coast.

Princess Cruises Continues Summer Caribbean Cruises in 2019

December 6, 2017.

Princess Cruises will continue offering summer Caribbean cruising from Florida in 2019,  featuring the cruise line’s popular seven-day Eastern Caribbean and seven-day Western Caribbean itineraries aboard Caribbean Princess.

The May through July 2019 summer season features 17 cruise departures roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, visiting seven ports on four unique itineraries including an East/West Adventurer which combines seven-day itineraries into an immersive 14-day voyage.

Princess Cruises is a recognized destination leader in the cruise industry, named “Best Cruise Line in the Caribbean” by U.S. News & World Report for 2015 and the cruise line’s private beach in the Bahamas, Princess Cays, was ranked among the “Top Cruise Line Private Island Destinations” by Cruise Critic for 2017.

Deployment Highlights

  • Seven-day Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean voyages, combinable for a 14-day Caribbean East/West Adventurer
  • Calls to the cruise line’s private beach resort, Princess Cays, in the Bahamas on every seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise
  • More Ashore late-night stays in St. Thomas on every seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise and in Cozumel on every seven-day Western Caribbean cruise
  • Access to the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on every Western Caribbean cruise
  • Other noteworthy sites accessible through shore excursions include Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John, Blackbeard’s Castle in St. Thomas, Stingray City in Grand Cayman, and the Mayan Ruins at Tulum
  • Unique features aboard Caribbean Princess include exciting specialty dining options such as Planks BBQ, Steamers, World Fresh Market, Coffee & Cones as well as Camp Discovery, themed youth and teen center for kids of all ages

Captain’s Circle Savings and Early Booking Deposit

Princess guests holding Captains Circle Elite status will have the opportunity to secure their booking on Dec. 13, a day earlier than the general public, which goes on sale Dec. 14, 2017. A reduced deposit of 10 percent is available for Captain Circle guest’s bookings made by August 31, 2018.

Princess Celebrates 50th Year of Alaska Cruises with Largest Deployment Ever in 2019

December 5, 2017.

Princess Cruises is celebrating 50 years sailing to the Alaska with its largest deployment ever,  featuring the debut of Royal Princess.  With 2019 cruises and cruisetours on sale December 14, 2017, all guests in North America, Asia and Australia can take advantage of a 50 percent reduced deposit for any 2019 Alaska voyage.

Seven ships will sail to Alaska with the inaugural season of Royal Princess, bringing the largest Princess ship ever to sail the region. In addition, 76 percent of all voyages sail to Glacier Bay National Park. To enhance the cruise experience and to see more of Alaska, guests can also choose from more than 23 cruisetour while visiting Princess Wilderness Lodges and another must-see national park – Denali National Park.

While on board, guests will encounter a variety of ways to engage in authentic experiences through the award-winning North to Alaska program, featuring Cook My Catch, an exclusive culinary program allowing guests to return from select Princess fishing excursions to have the chef prepare their very own catch of the day. Also offered, the crowd-favorite Puppies in the Piazza, where real Alaska sled dog puppies are brought on board in Skagway for guests to interact with.

The 2019 program also features the first full season of an exclusive treehouse experience at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge built by Pete Nelson of Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters. In addition, lodge guests will hear first-hand tales from mountain climbers who have conquered Denali as they tell their stories in the Hudson Theater.

Highlights of the 2019 May–September Alaska program include:

Alaska Cruises

  • Voyage of the Glaciers – Princess’ most popular  sailings between Vancouver and Whittier features two glacier-viewing experiences on every voyage, with visits to the UNESCO-listed Glacier Bay National Park plus either Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord. These seven -day cruises are offered aboard Royal Princess and Golden Princess (departing Saturdays) and Coral Princess and Island Princess (departing Wednesdays). Every northbound Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary on Island Princess includes Icy Strait Point.
  • Inside Passage –This awe-inspiring part of Alaska, known for its lush scenery and pristine fjords, will be featured on seven-, 10-and 12-day roundtrip voyages from Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles:
    • Seven-Day Roundtrip Seattle – Ruby Princess departs on Saturdays and sails to Glacier Bay. Star Princess departs on Sundays and visits Tracy Arm Fjord. All Inside Passage voyages from Seattle offer More Ashore late-night calls in Juneau.
    • 10-day Roundtrip San Francisco – Grand Princess
    • 12-day Roundtrip Los Angeles – Three voyages aboard Royal Princess, Ruby Princess and Star Princess Roundtrip Cruises from Vancouver – Four seven-day Inside Passage sailings on Coral Princess, Island Princess and Golden Princess; Two four-day Alaska Samplers on Golden Princess and one five-day Alaska Sampler on Island Princess, .

Alaska Cruisetours

In 2019, Princess offers guests more than 23 cruisetours to experience more of Alaska. Combine a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise with 3 to 8 nights on land with stays at Princess Wilderness Lodges, exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service, plus visits to the top two attractions in Alaska – Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park. Guests also have the option to purchase a pre-paid meal package for the land portion.

Four categories of cruisetour options include:

  • Denali Explorer – As Princess’ most popular and best value cruisetour, these itineraries feature multiple nights at the line’s Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and/or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. Most offer Princess’ exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service between the ship in Whittier and the Denali area all in one day, plus the opportunity to explore Fairbanks and/or Anchorage.
  • On Your Own – An affordable option for independent-minded travelers, these itineraries offer a flexible way to see the heart of Alaska. Tours follow similar routes as Denali Explorer options, but do not include any pre-planned excursions, giving travelers the opportunity to customize their own experience.
  • Off the Beaten Path – These itineraries are designed to take travelers beyond Denali to sought-after, remote regions of the state such as the Kenai Peninsula and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
  • Connoisseur – The line’s highest level of service, these tours provide a truly immersive experience. With a professional tour director, most meals included and enhanced sightseeing; guests experience the best of the Great Land.

Heart of the Rockies Plus Rail – This 14-night cruisetour originates in Calgary and includes daylight Silverleaf rail service on the Rocky Mountaineer. The fully escorted land tour combines with a seven-day northbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise on Royal Princess and Golden Princess and includes most breakfasts and dinners. Spectacular overnight accommodations are offered at Fairmont Calgary Palliser Hotel, Banff , Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and Four Seasons Vancouver

Captain’s Circle Savings and Early Booking Deposit

Princess guests holding Elite status will have the opportunity to secure their booking a day earlier than other past guests and the general public, which goes on sale December 14, 2017. In celebration of the 50 years in Alaska, all passengers in North America, Asia and Australia can take advantage of a 50 percent reduced deposit for any 2019 Alaska voyage. This reduced deposit offer expires April 30, 2018.

 

 

 

Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces New Cruise Norwegian App

 

December 4, 2017

Norwegian Cruise Line announced today the introduction of the next generation of its booked guest mobile application, the Cruise Norwegian app.

With the Cruise Norwegian app, a guest can  preview and book shore excursions, make dining and entertainment reservations, purchase onboard packages such as dining and beverage packages or special occasion packages before they cruise.  Helping provide a stress-free embarkation day, the Cruise Norwegian app provides directions to the port and with mobile online check-in functionality  guests can save time at the pier and have a paperless boarding process with mobile e-docs.

Once on board, guests can use the Cruise Norwegian app complimentary by connecting to the ship’s wifi to stay up-to-date on what’s happening on board. The app allows guests to make reservations for their favorite Broadway-style shows, snag a seat for a  dinner at one of Norwegian’s many Freestyle dining restaurants and book their next in-port adventure on a shore excursion. Friends and family can stay connected on board using the Cruise Norwegian app, which features unlimited onboard calls and messages for a one-time fee of $9.95. Groups can organize meet ups and share their favorite photos with everyone in their party with group messaging through the app. Those wishing to check-in with loved ones back home can make calls through the Cruise Norwegian app for a nominal fee of $0.79 per minute for outbound calls to nearly every country in the world.

Before disembarking the ship, guests using the app can track and review their onboard purchases, as well as view helpful disembarkation information including immigration and Easy Walk-off details. Those thinking of their next cruise can view information about Norwegian’s Cruise Next program and review their Latitudes Rewards points and learn about onboard tier benefits.

The free Cruise Norwegian app is currently available for use on cruises aboard Norwegian Sky. The new app will be available on board Norwegian’s newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, when she launches in summer 2018, and will be available fleet wide by yearend 2018.

Next Carnival Vista-class Ship To Be Named ‘Carnival Panorama’

December 1, 2017.

3,934-Passenger Vessel Scheduled to Enter Service in Fall 2019

Carnival Panorama has been chosen as the name of Carnival Cruise Line’s new 133,500-ton ship scheduled to debut in fall 2019.

Carnival Panorama is the third in the line’s Vista-class series, which are all named to reflect the connection between the vessels and the sea and highlighted by indoor/outdoor spaces that create a truly unique seagoing vacation experience.

Carnival Panorama will join its sister ships – Carnival Vista, which entered service in 2016, and Carnival Horizon, set to debut April 2, 2018.  The three 3,954-passenger Vista-class ships are the largest ever constructed for Carnival Cruise Line.

Like its name implies, Carnival Panorama will offer venues with both indoor and al fresco experiences, including the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Library Bar, and Bonsai Sushi, along with open-air attractions like the groundbreaking bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction SkyRide, a massive WaterWorks aqua park, and the SportSquare recreation area.

Also featured will be a vibrant Havana section with tropics-inspired staterooms and its own Cuban-themed bar and pool, Family Harbor featuring extra-roomy accommodations, the Family Harbor Lounge, a luxurious Cloud 9 Spa and Ocean Plaza, a spacious dining and entertainment venue with indoor and outdoor seating.

“Carnival Panorama is the perfect name to reflect the design inspiration of our Vista-class ships providing more venues and opportunities to connect with the sea,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Carnival Panorama will offer a wide variety of fun indoor and outdoor experiences along with exciting one-of-a-kind features that will provide our guests with a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories,” she added.

Currently under construction at the Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy, Carnival Panorama is scheduled to enter service in November 2019.   Homeport and itinerary, along with other new features of this ship, will be announced at a later date.

Royal Caribbean Expands Sailings To Cuba In 2018-2019

November 30, 2017.

The Malecón in Havana

If anyone thought travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens had been severely curtailed recently, fear not.  Royal Caribbean International will double down on Cuba next summer, with two ships – Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas – and two new destinations added to itineraries.

The added sailings and the new ports of Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos on the southeast coast give cruisers even more ways to immerse themselves in the culture and history of the island.  Cuba’s historic cities of Havana, Santiago and Cienfuegos will be among the destinations on an array of 4- to 8-night Caribbean adventures on Empress of the Seas that open for sale today.

Departing from Miami year-round, Empress cruise vacations will include 7-night Best of Cuba itineraries to Cienfuegos, Havana and Nassau, Bahamas; 5-night sailings visiting Key West, Florida and spending the night in Havana; and an immersive 8-night journey to Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, Grand Cayman, and Labadee, Haiti.   Majesty of the Seas will continue the 4- and 5-night offerings to Havana that include day and overnight stays, departing from Tampa from April to October 2018, and Ft. Lauderdale from November 2018 to March 2019. All sailings to Cuba will offer shore excursions designed for guests to experience the destination and to comply with the people-to-people educational exchange activities requirement as set forth in the U.S. regulations.

Cienfuegos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site established in 1819 with a wide array of visually-stunning attractions, including acclaimed Botanical Gardens with more than 2,000 plant species on display, impressive neoclassical architecture, a 950-seat opera house and the bustling Santa Isabel Boulevard.

Santiago de Cuba is a gateway to Cuba’s revolutionary and religious history, with adventures such as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Castillo del Morroto, the Sierra Maestra foothills, El Cobre – one of the most significant religious destinations in Cuba – and historic sites like Revolution Square.

 

Princess Cruises to Name Next Ship ‘Sky Princess’

November 30, 2017.

Sky Princess Scheduled to Debut in the Mediterranean in October 2019

 

Princess Cruises announced today its fourth Royal-class ship will be named Sky Princess. Sister ship to Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess, Sky Princess is scheduled to debut in October 2019 on a series of Mediterranean voyages.

The 143,700 ton, 3,660-passenger vessel will feature an evolution of the successful design platform used for previous Royal-class ships. Sky Princess will include signature elements that have become synonymous with the brand’s best-in-class guest experience, and bring together the best features found on her Royal-class sister ships – Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess.  Highlights will include a soaring central Piazza-style atrium, Princess Live! entertainment venue, the relaxing adults-only Sanctuary, Camp Discovery youth and teen centers, and a wide variety of guest-favorite dining venues including the Salty Dog Grill, Alfredo’s Pizzeria, Vines Wine Bar, Chef’s Table Lumiere, and World Fresh Marketplace, with updated décor and design throughout the ship. Sky Princess will also feature the outdoor “Movies Under the Stars” theater, and 80 percent of all staterooms will have balconies. Finally, some exciting new innovations which will enhance the guest experience even further will be revealed in the coming months.

The inaugural Mediterranean deployment of Sky Princess features 10 cruise departures on eight unique itineraries. First up, is a seven-day Mediterranean & Adriatic cruise from Athens (Piraeus) to Barcelona departing on October 20, 2019. This voyage is combinable with a seven-day Mediterranean Barcelona to Rome (Civitavecchia) voyage for a 14-day Inaugural Western Mediterranean & Adriatic Medley from Athens to Rome.

In addition, Sky Princess will sail on a new seven-day Mediterranean roundtrip Rome voyage, combinable with a seven-day Mediterranean Barcelona to Rome for a 14-day Western Mediterranean Medley voyage calling in some of the most iconic ports in the Mediterranean Sea.

The culmination of Sky Princess’ inaugural Mediterranean season will be a 14-day Spanish Passage from Barcelona to Ft. Lauderdale, combinable with the seven-day Mediterranean and/or the seven-day Mediterranean roundtrip Rome voyages for a 21-day or 28-day Grand Adventure across the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

Sky Princess Mediterranean inaugural cruise itineraries include:

  • October 20, 2019: Seven-day Inaugural Mediterranean & Adriatic – departs Athens (Piraeus), visiting Kotor, Corfu, Sicily (Messina – for Mt. Etna & Taormina), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii) and arrives Barcelona
  • October 20, 2019: 14-day Inaugural Western Mediterranean & Adriatic Medley – departs Athens (Piraeus), visiting Kotor, Corfu, Sicily (Messina – for Mt. Etna & Taormina), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii), Barcelona, Gibraltar, Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Genoa (for Milan), Florence/Pisa (Livorno) and arrives Rome (Civitavecchia)
  • October 27, 2019: Seven-day Mediterranean – departs Barcelona, visiting Gibraltar, Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Genoa (for Milan), Florence/Pisa (Livorno) and arrives Rome (Civitavecchia)
  • October 27, 2019: 14-day Western Mediterranean Medley – departs Barcelona, visiting Gibraltar, Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Genoa (for Milan), Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Kotor, Corfu, Valletta (Malta), Sicily (Messina – for Mt. Etna & Taormina), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii), arrives Rome (Civitavecchia)
  • November 3, 2019: Seven-day Mediterranean – Roundtrip Rome – departs Rome (Civitavecchia), visiting Kotor, Corfu, Valletta (Malta), Sicily (Messina – for Mt. Etna & Taormina), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii) and returns Rome
  • November 3, 2019: 14-day Western Mediterranean Medley – departs Rome (Civitavecchia), visiting Kotor, Corfu, Valletta (Malta), Sicily (Messina – for Mt. Etna & Taormina), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii), Rome, Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Genoa (for Milan), Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Gibraltar, arrives Barcelona
  • November 3, 2019: 28-day Western Mediterranean Grand Adventure – departs Rome (Civitavecchia), visiting Kotor, Corfu, Valletta (Malta), Sicily (Messina – for Mt. Etna & Taormina), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii), Rome (Civitavecchia), Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Genoa (for Milan), Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Gibraltar, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Seville (Cadiz), Lisbon, Madeira (Funchal) and arrives Ft. Lauderdale
  • November 10, 2019: Seven-day Mediterranean – departs Rome (Civitavecchia), visiting Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Genoa (for Milan), Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Gibraltar and arrives Barcelona
  • November 10, 2019: 21-day Mediterranean Grand Adventure – departs Rome (Civitavecchia), visiting Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Genoa (for Milan), Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Gibraltar, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Seville (Cadiz), Lisbon, Madeira (Funchal) and arrives Ft. Lauderdale
  • November 17, 2019: 14-day Spanish Passage – departs Barcelona, visiting Valencia, Malaga, Seville (Cadiz), Lisbon, Madeira (Funchal) and arrives Ft. Lauderdale

Sky Princess Mediterranean voyages are available for booking starting December 14, 2017. Princess guests holding Elite status in the line’s Captain’s Circle loyalty program will have the opportunity to secure their booking a day earlier than the general public, on December 13, 2017. A reduced deposit of 10 percent is available for bookings made by August 31, 2018.

The fifth Royal-class vessel is also currently under construction at Fincantieri and will debut in 2020.

MSC Cruises Takes Delivery Of MSC Seaside, Announces Two New Seaside EVO Ships Ordered

November 29, 2017.

Today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, MSC Cruises officially took delivery of its new flagship MSC Seaside. The delivery ceremony took place in the presence of Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, Graziano Delrio, Italy’s Minister of Infrastructures and Transports as well as other authorities and dignitaries.

MSC Seaside “the ship that follows the Sun”

During the delivery ceremony of MSC Seaside, the Company’s second newly-built to come into service in 2017, MSC Cruises and Fincantieri also signed firm orders for the construction of two Seaside EVO ships, a further evolution of the Seaside Class prototype, for a total investment of €1.8 billion EUR.

Following the new agreement between MSC Cruises and Fincantieri, the initial slot reservation agreement to build a third Seaside Class ship to be delivered in 2021 has been replaced to instead build the first of two Seaside EVO ships. The second ship is set to come into service in 2023.

Key specs for the new Seaside EVO are as follows:

  • Length/beam: 1,060 ft. / 134 ft.
  • Gross tonnage: 169,380 GRT

In addition to offering even more space, Seaside EVO ships will have greater dimensions, more cabins, an even larger Yacht Club – with an additional deck and larger cabins — and will be hosting up to 5,646 passengers. At the same time, just like the Seaside Class, the Seaside EVO ships will be equipped with the latest advanced environmental technology, including: a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, an advanced active emissions control technology system, that significantly reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) into harmless nitrogen (N2) and water; exhaust gas cleaning (EGC) technology to meet the strictest exhaust regulations in port and in operating areas; state-of-the-art waste management and recycling systems; advanced water treatment systems – going above and beyond regulatory standards and meeting the highest industry standards; and, an advanced energy and heat recovery system.

Across the ships, there will be the latest generation of energy-saving devices and all areas will feature LED lighting. The ships will be ultra-hydrodynamic and thanks to optimized hull lines, propellers and rudders, combined with the latest anti-fouling paint, wave resistance will be further reduced, and greater fuel-efficiency will be achieved.

With the addition of these new ships, the Company’s already industry-unprecedented investment plan will now account for 12 new ships to be built between 2017 and 2026, for an overall investment of EUR 10.5 billion.

MSC Seaside is the first ship in the Seaside Class and a completely new prototype pushing the boundaries of innovative ship building and design. At 153,516 GRT and with a guest capacity of 5,119, she is the second newly-built next-generation mega cruise ship in the MSC Cruises fleet and the first one to be delivered by Fincantieri.

MSC Seaside will be homeporting in Miami and will begin her first sailing in the Caribbean where she will call at various ports in the East and West Caribbean.

Fresh on the heels of MSC Seaside, her sister ship MSC Seaview will come into service in June 2018, starting her summer season in the Mediterranean. Today at the delivery ceremony, Mr Vago also announced thatMSC Seaview will be christened in Civitavecchia, Italy, on June 2, 2018.

Carnival Revamps Specialty Dining & Breakfast Menus, Baked Alaska Returns

November 29, 2017.

As part of its ongoing effort to keep culinary offerings fresh and enticing for its guests, Carnival Cruise Line is revamping the menus for several of its specialty dining venues and reintroducing Baked Alaska across the fleet.

The menus for Carnival’s steakhouses, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurants, and delis, as well as main dining room breakfast offerings, have undergone a transformation with a variety of new items reflecting lighter ingredients, updated preparation techniques and exquisite presentation to keep pace with changing palates.

Baked Alaska – the classic dessert made of cake and ice cream topped with merengue – is also being reintroduced after several years with uniformed waiters performing the time-honored tradition of parading the tasty confection throughout the dining room prior to service.

The updated steakhouse menus, currently available on three ships, offer new appetizers such as Iced and Smoked Fresh Oysters with Apple Mignonette; Tuna Tartare with Yuzu Sphere and Avocado “Leche de Tiger”; Risotto with Crab, Mushroom and Brown Butter, and Heritage Berkshire Pork Belly with Apple Walnut Preserve.  These complement a selection of USDA prime steaks, including new items such as an A-5 Wagyu steak and lighter fare like Farmhouse Chicken with Roasted Honey Vinegar and Dover Sole Pan-Seared with Lemon Potato-Mousseline and Shallot Emulsion.  Four additional ships are expected to get the new menus by early next year.

The new menu for Cucina del Capitano reflects the diversity of Italy’s culinary regions, with dishes like Branzino Al Forno in Crosta Dorata with tomatoes, stewed chickpeas, salmoriglio and mushroom bark, along withRisotto Milanese with saffron and Parmesan cheese, Grande Braciola Di Maiale – a tomahawk pork chop with fennel pollen, shallots and crispy sage – and Costina Di Manzo Con Porcini with salsa verde and young tomato bruschetta.   House-made burrata – an Italian favorite made with mozzarella and cream and distinguished by its rich buttery flavor – has been added to menus as well, with classic Italian favorites like chicken Parmesan, meatballs and fried calamari also available.   The new Cucina del Capitano menus are currently on three ships – Carnival Magic, Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze – with Carnival Sunshine expected to updated next month.

New Breakfast Choices

Breakfast menus in the main dining rooms are just as varied with delicious options such as avocado toast; a Breakfast Bowl featuring kale, spinach, faro wheat berries, sesame seeds, feta cheese, raspberries and a sunny side up egg; and fresh-baked Broccoli and Cheddar Egg Frittata.  There’s also a Broken Egg Sandwich served panini-style with fried eggs, bacon, cheddar, greens and hash browns; and a “Breakfast Board” with a soft boiled egg, house-made yogurt, seasonal jam, baby lettuce salad, pastrami, and grilled sour dough bread.   For those on the go, a new “breakfast express” is available on port days featuring orange juice, eggs, hickory-smoked bacon or sausage and pastries, all “in and out” within 25 minutes.  An assortment of traditional breakfast favorites such as French toast, pancakes and cereals is also offered.   Thus far, 12 ships feature the popular new breakfast items with the balance of the fleet expected to receive the new menus by mid-2018.

Deli Reuben

The line’s delis have undergone a dramatic change, as well, with an updated design and host of new choices, including seven sandwiches such as meatball, buffalo chicken, and The Cubano with roasted pork, ham, pickles, mustard and Swiss cheese, along with Southwest chicken, falafel and turkey wraps.  Diners can enjoy a sweet finish to their meal with a Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie baked fresh every morning.   See the new deli menus here.

Deli BLT

Carnival is also re-branding its 24-hour pizzerias to “Pizzeria del Capitano” offering five kinds of hand-tossed, thin-crusted pies – from Margherita and pepperoni to artisan-style quattro formaggio, mushroom, and prosciutto.   The re-branded delis and pizzerias will be incorporated into additional vessels during scheduled dry docks.

With the popularity of Seafood Shack which debuted on Carnival Vista last year and offering lobster rolls, fried clams, chowder and other New England-inspired fare, the concept has been expanded to nine additional ships.