Carnival Radiance Will Sail To Europe, Bermuda, Canada, AND Cuba In 2020 Inaugural Season

November 13, 2018.

At first glance, you’ll think that the Carnival Radiance is sailing to every port in the northern hemisphere when the totally rebuilt ship returns to service in 2020.  And, you won’t be far off.

Carnival Cruise Line today announced the diverse inaugural schedule for the transformed Carnival Radiance, including 9- to 13-day European voyages, the line’s first to Cuba from New York and Norfolk, four- to nine-day sailings to the Caribbean, Canada/New England from New York, and a winter season of voyages to the Caribbean and Cuba from Port Canaveral.

Additionally, the company revealed details of Carnival Sunrise’s 2020 schedule, including an expanded series of New York to Cuba cruises, as well as four- to nine-day voyages to the Caribbean from New York and Norfolk, Virginia.

Carnival Radiance’s Diverse 2020 Inaugural Season
Following a $200 million dry dock that will take place in Cadiz, Spain, Carnival Radiance will debut April 29, 2020, with a 10-day Mediterranean sailing from Barcelona followed by nine-and 12-day departures visiting top destinations throughout the region, including Italy, France, Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain. The ship will then embark on a 13-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to New York June 11-24, 2020, positioning the vessel for its inaugural season in New York.

Once in New York, Carnival Radiance will offer a series of four- and six-day Bermuda cruises as well as a four-day cruise to Saint John, New Brunswick, eight-day eastern Caribbean voyages and the line’s first Cuba cruises from New York – nine-day sailings that include a full-day and overnight stay in Havana and two Bahamian ports of call.  The New York program will conclude with a series of Canada/New England voyages featuring stops in Boston, Portland, Saint John, and Halifax.

The ship will also offer four five- to seven-day voyages from Norfolk in October and November 2020, including the line’s first Cuba cruises from that port.  The week-long Cuba cruises will feature an extended stop in the capital of Havana along with visits to two Bahamian ports.  There will also be a five-day and a six-day Bahamas cruise.

Following the cruises from the Northeast, Carnival Radiance will reposition to Port Canaveral to operate a winter schedule of six- to eight-day voyages to the Caribbean and Cuba beginning Nov. 8, 2020.  The program includes six-day voyages featuring a day-long visit and overnight call in Havana and two Bahamian ports; a six-day sailing to Grand Turk, Amber Cove, Dominican Republic and Nassau, The Bahamas; and seven-and eight-day Caribbean voyages visiting Aruba, Curacao, St. Kitts and Grand Turk.

Carnival Sunrise to be Major Player in Bermuda and Cuba

Building upon the popularity of short Bermuda cruises introduced on Carnival Horizon, Carnival Sunrise will offer a series of “long weekend” getaways to Bermuda as well as longer length Caribbean voyages and cruises to Cuba from New York beginning May 21, 2020.

The program includes eight, nine-day voyages to Cuba featuring a full day and overnight call in Havana along with stops at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Nassau.  Eight, four-day “long weekend” voyages to Bermuda will also be offered, departing Thursdays and returning Mondays and spending a full day on the island.  Seven, eight-day voyages visiting beautiful ports in the Caribbean and Bahamas will be offered as well. The program concludes with a 12-day Carnival Journeys partial Panama Canal transit from New York to Fort Lauderdale Oct. 19-31, 2020.

Carnival Sunrise will also sail from Norfolk, Va., in May 2020, offering a pair of five-day cruises to Nassau and Freeport, along with a three-port, six-day voyage featuring Half Moon Cay, Nassau, and Freeport. 

The Changes Being Made To The Ships

Carnival Sunrise and Carnival Radiance will each undergo extensive dry docks in 2019 and 2020, respectively, that will add an array of food, beverage and entertainment choices.   New culinary and beverage offerings will include Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse developed by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, a classic American steakhouse called Fahrenheit 555, and the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub.   Carnival Radiance will also feature Big Chicken, a seagoing version of a landside restaurant operated by the line’s Chief Fun Officer, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.

A sprawling new WaterWorks aqua park featuring the new AquaTunnel slide as well as a SportSquare open-air recreation complex with a suspended ropes course will be added, as well.   All staterooms will be renovated with a tropical color palette reminiscent of the ships’ Caribbean itineraries.

Princess Cruises Gift Cards Now Sold in Select Grocery Stores Nationwide

November 12, 2018.

 

Wondering what to give the cruisers on your gift list?  Just in time for the holidays, Princess Cruises announced today that it will  distribute its gift cards through brick and mortar retail stores across the country.

You can purchase Princess Cruises gift cards in more than 3,500 Kroger, Harris Teeter and Giant Eagle locations nationwide. Available in denominations between $50 and $500, cards can be used to purchase cruises or be used toward onboard products and services. Princess Cruises gift cards will be activated upon payment and checkout at these locations.

Princess is also pleased to announce the release of its annual holiday e-gift cards, which can be purchased at princess.com/giftcard. This year more than five new original designs are available from which to choose, including cards with Christmas and Hanukkah-specific themes, Princess-branded options including Stanley the bear, and Happy Holidays greeting in the languages of some of the destinations we sail.

Princess Cruises gift cards can be redeemed on princess.com, through travel agent advisors and by calling 1-855-426-0168. For more information and to view Princess Cruises gift card options, visit www.princess.com/giftcard.

Holland America Debuts ‘Club Orange’ Program

November 12, 2018.

Holland America Line is introducing the unique Club Orange program that provides exclusive benefits and amenities to guests looking to elevate their cruise experience. From a private dining venue to priority services and a dedicated concierge hotline, Club Orange allows guests to opt in to extra privileges that are available to a limited number of guests on each cruise.

Club Orange will be included for all guests in Neptune and Pinnacle Suite categories.  The program will also be available to purchase for a small number of non-suite staterooms on each sailing.  The program is slated to launch on Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam in December 2018, with a rollout to the rest of the fleet in 2019.

The name Club Orange pays homage to Holland America Line’s rich Dutch heritage. The company was founded in the Netherlands more than 145 years ago and it’s the color of the Dutch Royal Family, which hails from the House of Orange.

Private Dining
Aboard Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, the Culinary Arts Center dining venue is being transformed into an exclusive Club Orange restaurant that will be open every day for breakfast and dinner. The complimentary venue will serve the same menu featured in Pinnacle Grill (breakfast) and the Dining Room (dinner) and also include additional daily dishes exclusive to the Club Orange restaurant. When Club Orange is introduced on other ships of the fleet in 2019, a dedicated section of the Dining Room will be set-aside for the exclusive use of Club Orange guests for breakfast and dinner. Reservations in the private dining venue are not required but welcome.

Priority Access
Amenities that come with the exclusive Club Orange program include priority check-in and disembarkation, priority tender service and priority alternative restaurant reservations made on board. Club Orange guests also have a dedicated line at Guest Services and the EXC Tours shore excursion desk, as well as a dedicated concierge hotline on board for dining reservations, shore excursion assistance, general questions and support.

Additional benefits to Club Orange include an enhanced in-stateroom à la carte breakfast dining menu with complimentary premium selections such as steak and eggs or smoked salmon Eggs Benedict, a welcome glass of sparkling wine at dinner on embarkation day, premium bathrobe for use in stateroom (and available for purchase and monogramming), and an exclusive Club Orange tote bag.

The cost of Club Orange is $50 per person per day, and the first and second guest in the same stateroom are both required to purchase the program. Club Orange is included for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom. Club Orange must be purchased prior to cruise departure and is not available for purchase on board.

The fee for Club Orange will be commissionable to travel agents.

Carnival Radiance To Offer Shaquille O’Neal’s ‘Big Chicken’ Restaurant

November 12, 2018.

Carnival Cruise Line announced today that the totally transformed Carnival Radiance will be the first cruise ship to feature “Big Chicken,” a seagoing version of a new restaurant created by the line’s Chief Fun Officer, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.

The menu will feature a variety of fried chicken sandwiches and fries, with flavors to match Shaq’s larger than life personality, all free of charge.  The new food venue will be located on Lido Deck aft.

O’Neal opened his first land-based Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas in late October.  The Big Chicken aboard Carnival Radiance will be among the many food, dining and entertainment innovations incorporated into the 102,000-ton ship following a $200 million refurbishment in Cadiz, Spain, in 2020.

Breakfast will be offered as well with choices such as chicken and egg biscuits and omelets.  Patrons will place their order at the counter and pick up their items right away.  And as previously mentioned, there is no extra charge.

Big Chicken is among the many new culinary and beverage offerings that will be available on Carnival Radiance when it debuts in 2020.  Other outlets include Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse developed by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri,  the  Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, the Cucina del Capitano Italian restaurant, and the RedFrog Pub.

A new WaterWorks aqua park featuring the new AquaTunnel slide as well as a SportSquare open-air recreation complex with a suspended ropes course will be added as well.   All of the ship’s staterooms will be renovated with a tropical color palette and new décor.

Itinerary and homeport details for Carnival Radiance will be announced shortly.

Princess Cruises Continues Year-Round Caribbean Cruises with Summer 2020 Program

November 7, 2018.

Princess Cruises continues to offer year-round Caribbean cruising from Florida with family-friendly summer vacations in 2020, featuring  Eastern  and Western Caribbean itineraries aboard Caribbean Princess, the first OceanMedallion activated ship.

The April through July 2020 summer season features 15 cruise departures roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, visiting seven destinations on alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages, with the option to combine two cruises for a 14-day Caribbean East/West Adventurer.  Eastern Caribbean voyages visit St. Thomas, St. Maarten and the cruise line’s top-ranked private island Princess Cays. Western Caribbean cruises sail to Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize City and Cozumel. A 21-day Circle Caribbean Adventurer also visits off-the-beaten path, southern ports including Antigua, St. Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad, Curacao and Aruba.

With OceanMedallion guests use their wearable medallion to discover how a personalized vacation can elevate their experience to a higher level by removing friction points, delivering enhanced levels of personalization and guest service all the while staying connected with land-like internet streaming speeds.

OceanMedallion-enabled features include:

Keyless Stateroom Access: Stateroom entry is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated and the door automatically unlocks, with personalized greetings launching soon.
OceanNowTM: Using smart devices, guests have the ability to place a food or drink order and have it delivered directly to them in food and beverage locations throughout the ship.
OceanCompass™ featuring OceanNav™ and ShipMates: On select portals guests can use OceanNav for point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship via an intelligent navigation assistant, and utilize ShipMates to easily locate friends, family and kids.
MedallionNet: Wi-Fi connectivity that is fast, reliable, unlimited and affordable. Guests on MedallionClass ships experience land-like connectivity for streaming sports, movies, music and videos, communicating on video phone calls from anywhere on the ship, and sharing their vacation experiences in real time with friends and family back home on social media platforms.

While guests enjoy their personalized experience aboard Caribbean Princess, they will continue to feel the destination with “Rhythm of the Caribbean,” an authentic regionalized program offering concerts, crafts and even presentations by local guests, such as shark experts, treasure hunters and more. The regional cuisine is also brought to life with a diverse fusion of flavors drawn from the Caribbean’s coasts with dishes like Jamaican jerk chicken, delicious red snapper, Creole black mussels, Puerto Rican mofongo or fried plantains, and pineapple crème brulée.

The cruise line also offers “More Ashore” ports calls (9 pm or later departures) in Cozumel or St. Thomas on all summer cruises.

Captain’s Circle Savings and Early Booking Deposit

Princess Past Guests are eligible for a special promotion when they book early. The special promotion consists of a $50 per person discount off the public fare, based on itinerary. This can be combined with launch and group promotions. These discounts do not apply to third or fourth berth guests. Additionally, a reduced deposit is available for Captain Circle guests when they book early.

Norwegian Breakaway Debuts In New Orleans

November 7, 2018.

NCL Breakaway

On Sunday, November 11, 2018, Norwegian Cruise Line returns to New Orleans with Norwegian Breakaway doing 5 to 11-night cruises to the Caribbean.

At 1,068 feet and 145,655 gross register tons, the recently renovated ship is the largest cruise ship to homeport in the city of New Orleans

 

Following the renovation in May 2018, Norwegian Breakaway debuted refreshed staterooms and public areas and introduced a new bar and lounge concept to the fleet with Syd Norman’s Pour House.  Modeled after influential rock houses such as CBGB’s, The Rainbow and The Fillmore, Syd Norman’s is a tribute to the grandfather of “Rock of Ages” playwright Chris D’Arenso and features vintage décor, diner-style seating, signature cocktails and an unforgettable playlist of classic rock from the late 1960s to 1980s. Additional entertainment options on board include the Tony Award®-nominated Rock of Ages, Burn the Floor and Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, all of which attest to the company’s commitment to providing world-class entertainment at sea.

Norwegian Breakaway will sail from New Orleans through April 12, 2019, offering five, seven, ten and eleven-day Western Caribbean cruises with calls to some of the top Caribbean destinations, including Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; Belize City and Harvest Caye, the company’s resort-style experience in Belize.

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve Enters Final Phase

November 7, 2018.

MSC Cruises is entering the final phase of developing the cruise line’s private island in The Bahamas.

With just one year to go until Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve welcomes its first guests, MSC Cruises marked an important milestone in the island’s transformation with the planting of the island’s first trees.  Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will transform a former industrial sand extraction site into a flourishing marine reserve and private island destination exclusively for MSC Cruises guests, existing in harmony with the local ecosystem. 

With the landscaping work underway, over 75,000 native shrubs and plants will be planted including more than 60 types of indigenous Caribbean trees, grasses, flowers and shrubs to create a lush, tropical environment.

Work on over 100 environmentally-friendly structures will soon begin, which will include bars and restaurants as well as housing for employees and staff who will live on the island. Work on the lighthouse will also be underway shortly – set to become an iconic landmark of the island and a focal point of the evening’s entertainment for guests.

One of the island’s most distinguishing features will be a pier that allows the ship to dock alongside the island so that guests can simply walk on and off at their leisure throughout the day and evening. MSC Cruises has designed each aspect of the island to create an authentic, immersive Bahamian experience that will allow visitors to immerse themselves in this beautiful environment. 

During the island’s clean-up, over 500 tons of industrial waste and scrap metal have been removed, with the final underwater debris clean-up about to begin. To create a solid foundation, over 500,000 tons of sand and soil have been moved and work has been carried out to shape the island itself. A shallow water lagoon will be created in the center of the island to provide a fun area for families to relax. The island will feature eight world class beaches each with a different character and ambience. The beaches are formed from aragonite sand, which is distinguished not only by its stunning white color but also by the key role it plays in the growth of coral reefs by maintaining the pH levels of the water.

MSC Cruises is working in close collaboration with environmental auditors, Bahamian environmental experts and other entities to ensure that best practices are followed. Plans are underway for a marine laboratory to be situated on Ocean Cay, which will research climate change-resistant coral in hopes of providing insights to similar island habitats.

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will open November 2019 with four MSC Cruises ships calling at the island on different days. More information about the guest experience will be revealed in the coming months.

 

Royal Caribbean Will Have Three Ships Sailing Alaska In 2020

November 7, 2018.

Royal Caribbean International just announced they will have three ships sailing Alaska in the 2020 summer season. The return of Ovation of the Seas, alongside two Radiance Class ships – Serenade of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas – will mark the cruise line’s biggest presence in the region yet. Before positioning for Alaska, Ovation and Radiance will island-hop along Hawaii, while Serenade sails the Panama Canal and Golden Coast on her way west. Royal Caribbean’s 2020 Alaska cruises open for bookings on Thursday, Nov. 8; Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members are able to book one day prior.

Ovation of the Seas
Ovation of the Seas will return for its second consecutive season to offer   7-night itineraries from Seattle. With the highest vantage point on any cruise ship, the North Star – the ship’s signature glass observation capsule with panoramic views from 300 feet above sea level – Ovation will be a great choice for sightseeing.

Radiance Class Views of Alaska
For the first time since 2009, Serenade of the Seas will head west as it repositions from a winter in the Southern Caribbean to Vancouver, British Columbia.  Serenade will sail 7-night itineraries through the 500 miles of shoreline that is the Inside Passage, calling on Ketchikan, Juneau and Icy Strait Point, Alaska.

Radiance of the Seas will once again offer 7-night, open-jaw itineraries between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska. A veteran at plying the Gulf of Alaska, Radiance will cruise alternating Southbound Alaska and Northbound Alaska routes, offering guests the opportunity to uncover the myriad of adventures of the Great Land.

On the Way West
Serenade of the Seas will sail through from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles on a 15-night Westbound Panama Canal sailing departing May 4, 2020.  On May 19, 2020, Serenade will then head over to Vancouver, British Columbia to navigate the Pacific Coast on a 7-night sailing.

Both Ovation and Radiance of the Seas will say aloha to Hawaii as they sail to Alaska.  Ovation will embark on its 12-night cruise from Honolulu, visiting Maui (Lahaina), Kailua Kona and Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, on May 7, 2020. Also sailing from Honolulu and departing on May 5, 2020, Radiance will offer a 10-night itinerary to the Last Frontier with ports of call including Maui (Lahaina), Kailua Kona, Hilo and Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii.

Princess Cruises Unveils New Features and Itinerary for Enchanted Princess

November 5, 2018.

New Sky Suites and Enhanced Eateries are Highlights

(Photo clockwise: Salty Dog Gastropub, Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria, new Sky Suites and Princess Live! and Café

Princess Cruises has announced that when its next new ship, Enchanted Princess, debuts in June 2020, it will be named in Southampton, UK and sail its inaugural season in the Mediterranean. Princess has also unveiled new details revealing innovative features on board the ship.

As previously announced for its sister ship Sky Princess, Enchanted Princess will also feature the new Sky Suites, centrally located on the top deck of the ship and featuring the largest private balconies ever offered by Princess Cruises. Measuring 700 square feet, the balconies will provide a private vantage of the ship’s Movies under the Stars screen and create the ultimate space for entertaining. The two suites will also offer a 270-degree panorama and have sleeping capacity for five guests, and more for entertaining – making them ideal for families.

The 143,700-ton ship will include the best of the new features found on Sky Princess including a Wakeview pool on its aft decks and relaxing Sanctuary area offering a new contemporary design with more private cabanas than ever before. In addition Enchanted Princess will offer features from its three other sister ships – Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess – including an Italian-inspired Piazza, dramatic over-the-ocean glass, Seawalk and Broadway-caliber shows performed in the Princess Theater.

Some exciting new offerings that represent another evolution of the current ships’ designs on Enchanted Princess will be a reimagined Salty Dog Gastropub. The rustic pub space will be an exciting new venue where guests can watch sporting events, gather with friends over drinks and small bites, and partake in the award-winning Ernesto Burger, created by chef partner, Ernesto Uchimura, a founding chef of the original Umami Burger and owner of the new Los Angeles based neighborhood restaurant and bar, Electric Owl.

Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria, Princess Cruises acclaimed specialty restaurant, will also be transformed. The space will blend classic Italian accents with the spaciousness of a modern, contemporary setting featuring unique handmade pasta courses developed in collaboration with Los Angeles chef Angelo Auriana that will be prepared fresh daily.

The Princess Live! and Café will have a new art deco-style décor where guests can enjoy their favorite drinks and small bites while watching live performances or enjoying an intimate gathering.

Enchanted Princess sailings go on sale November 8.

Carnival Salutes Military With New Perks Plus A November Promotion

November 5, 2018.


In honor of Veterans Day, Carnival Cruise Line is offering special savings and bonuses in November to members of the U.S. and Canadian Armed Forces. 

The promotion, which provides up to $50 onboard credit per stateroom, a complimentary two-category upgrade, and 50 percent reduced deposits, can be combined with Carnival’s highly attractive Early Saver rates*.  In addition, guests who qualify for the promotion can book up to two additional staterooms with the same bonuses and pricing. The promotion can be booked from Nov. 5-12, 2018, and is applicable for a wide range of three- to 24-day sailings departing through 2021 from a multitude of North American homeports.

Later this month, the company will be rolling out a new Military Meet & Greet event on cruises of six days and longer, providing members of the Armed Forces an opportunity to connect with their fellow service members. This will be in addition to the military appreciation reception hosted on every cruise. The company is also introducing special commemorative pins that will be given to military members acknowledging their service.

Carnival is a partner of Operation Homefront, an organization whose goal is to build strong, stable and secure military families. The line also hosted Humor for Heroes at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego this summer that included an on-site comedy performance for 500 military members and their families in support of Operation Homefront.