Win a 7-Day Cruise on Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam Sets Sail Sweepstakes

April 30, 2018.


Participants can enter online to win; share on social media for a second entry

To celebrate the upcoming debut of its newest ship in December 2018, Holland America Line has launched the Nieuw Statendam Sets Sail sweepstakes for the chance to win a seven-day cruise for two in 2019 aboard the new ship. The sweepstakes runs through June 15, 2018, and the winner will be announced June 30, 2018.

To enter the Nieuw Statendam Sets Sail sweepstakes, participants must visit HALNieuwStatendamSweeps.com and fill out the entry form. Once that form is complete, one additional entry can be earned by sharing the sweeps on Facebook or Twitter, for a total of two entries.

The grand prize winner will receive a seven-day cruise in 2019 for two to the Caribbean or Europe in a verandah stateroom aboard Nieuw Statendam. The new ship will be exploring the golden beaches and sun-kissed skies of the Caribbean on roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Florida, cruises through April.  Following an inaugural season in the Caribbean, Nieuw Statendam will cross the Atlantic Ocean and spend the summer and fall exploring northern Europe and the Mediterranean. The ship returns to the Caribbean in October 2019.

Nieuw Statendam Sets Sail sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Québec) who are 21 years of age or older as of the date of entry.

MSC Meraviglia Begins Northern Europe Summer Season

April 30, 2018. 

MSC Meraviglia

MSC Meraviglia officially made her maiden call at the port of Hamburg yesterday, marking the start of her new season in Northern Europe. At the traditional exchange of crests attended by Senator Horch from the City of Hamburg as well as representatives from the Ports and other institutions, media and travel partners, MSC Cruises announced that MSC Grandiosa will be christened in Hamburg on November 2, 2019.

The stunning Galleria aboard MSC Meraviglia

This summer, MSC Cruises is opening up Northern Europe to even more cruise guests and, with the addition of MSC Meraviglia, is offering four ships, 36 different itineraries and six possible embarkation ports across Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Denmark.

Designed for all seasons, MSC Meraviglia will spend her first season in Northern Europe offering world-class entertainment with Cirque du Soleil at Sea, a wide choice of dining options, serving a range of international and Mediterranean-inspired cuisines, comfortable and innovative accommodations and a Mediterranean-style promenade featuring multiple bars, restaurants and shops. Home-porting in Hamburg, the ship offers 10, 11 and 14-night itineraries that include the British Isles and Iceland or the  North Cape and the Norwegian archipelago, Spitzbergen.  In September, an 11-night itinerary takes guests through the Baltic Capitals of Oslo, Nynashamn/Stockholm, Tallinn, and Helsinki with an overnight in St. Petersburg.

 

Military Couples Saluted On Carnival Miracle At Port Tampa Bay

April 30, 2018.

Carnival and Operation Homefront host 100 couples for a ‘day date’ with fun and laughs

Carnival Cruise Line, which carries more active and retired military personnel than any other cruise operator, joined forces with Operation Homefront Sunday, April 29, 2018, to host a “day date” event for 100 military couples aboard Carnival Miracle at Port Tampa Bay in Florida.

The red carpet was rolled out for the couples who came on board for a day-long escape that included lunch and a comedy show with sets by Carnival Cruise Line comedians Jim Brick and Chase Elstner. To honor the attendees for their service to our country, Carnival also presented their Military Appreciation Salute, a tribute that is held for active and retired military personnel and their families who sail on every cruise. The salute features the showing of the colors (flags), the branch songs and National Anthem, concluding with all members of the military being invited on stage for a group photo.

This event is part of a continuing partnership between Carnival and Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization that builds strong, stable and secure military families. During its Honor.Family.Fun. program, Carnival focused on the importance of deployed military moms and dads re-learning how to play with their families once they’re back home. Since 2017, these programs have helped raise awareness and funds for Operation Homefront. Carnival will be hosting a series of these events at different home ports this year with locally based military personnel.

Tampa is an important homeport for Carnival Cruise Line and home to Macdill Air Force Base. Carnival operates two year-round ships out of Port Tampa Bay — Carnival Miracle and Carnival Paradise — carrying an estimated 280,000 passengers annually from Tampa, the most of any cruise operator.

Carnival Cruise Line Celebrates Grand Opening of St. Maarten Eco-Adventure Park

April 26, 2018.

Carnival Cruise Line recently celebrated the grand opening of Rainforest Adventure’s Rockland Estate with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new eco-park attraction.

With financing from Carnival Corporation and built by Rainforest Adventures, Rockland Estate is a one-of-a-kind attraction that offers something for everyone with a variety of thrill-seeking adventures, including the world’s steepest zip line, a mountain chair lift with breathtaking views, a heart-racing tube ride and a museum showcasing the rich history and culture of St. Maarten and its people.

Rockland Estate is considered an eco-adventure park committed to preserving native eco-systems while ensuring the sustainability of the estate’s physical and intangible attributes. The overall goal of the Rainforest Adventures team in building the attraction was to enhance and preserve St. Maarten’s natural and built environments and endorse its cultural and historical significance, while also promoting education through adventure.

Located on the historic Emilio Wilson Estate a short ride from St. Maarten’s Port of Philipsburg Cruise Terminal, Rockland Estate eco-park encompasses the widest variety of thrill rides and attractions in the Caribbean. The lineup features:

  • Soualiga Sky Explorer: Soualiga Sky Explorer encompasses 68 four-passenger chairs that take guests to a transfer station for zip line and tubing rides, and then on to the top of one of St. Maarten’s highest points at 1,125 feet where they can take in spectacular panoramic views.
  • Sentry Hill Zip Line: From the transfer station at the midpoint of the Soualiga Sky Explorer, guests can experience the exciting Sentry Hill Zip Line, where riders traverse a 1,600-foot, four-span line that provides unforgettable vistas of the mountain ridge.
  • Schooner Ride: The Schooner Ride at the midway point of the Soualiga Sky Explorer gives guests the chance to surf down the mountain in large 40-inch inner tubes across a specially designed 657-foot track of heart-pounding curves mixed with fast straightaways.
  • Top of Sentry Hill: One of Maarten’s highest elevations, Sentry Hill, offers walkways and platforms that encircle the mountaintop, showcasing 360-degree vistas of the island with views of neighboring Saba, St. Barts, St. Eustatius and Anguilla.
  • Flying Dutchman: The Flying Dutchman is Rockland Estate’s main attraction and the world’s steepest zip line. It guarantees thrill-seekers the ride of a lifetime while securely harnessed in a chair, dropping them 1,050 feet in elevation from the top of Sentry Hill down the mountain over a 2,800-foot span.
  • Emilio Wilson Museum: Originally built as a plantation home in the 1700s, the museum tells the powerful story of Trace Wilson, who was born into slavery on the property, and her direct descendant, St. Maarten pioneer and preservationist Emilio Wilson. It also highlights the customs, traditions, lifestyle and stories that have earned St. Maarten the moniker “The Friendly Island.”

Guests from eight Carnival Corporation’s brands with itineraries visiting the island will have the opportunity to experience the new shore excursion, recently named a top Caribbean attraction by USA Today 10Best.

Norwegian Bliss Delivered

 

April 19, 2018. 

 

Norwegian Cruise Line has taken delivery of the 168,028-gross-ton Norwegian Bliss from Meyer Werft during a ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany, marking the conclusion of an 18-month building period.

Before cruising to Southampton, England to begin her transatlantic journey on April 21, Norwegian Bliss will do a two-day European inaugural preview cruise hosted by NCL CEO Andy Stuart and Harry Sommer.

Bernard Meyer, Managing Director of Meyer Werft, Captain Karl Staffan Bengtsson, Andy Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line

Upon her arrival to the U.S. on May 3, the festivities for her U.S inaugural tour will commence with two-night preview events in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, and will conclude with a grand christening ceremony and sailing from her first homeport at Pier 66 in Seattle, Washington on May 30. Following a three-day inaugural voyage with a call into the port of Victoria, British Columbia, she will return on June 2 and will then embark on her first seven-day voyage to Alaska.

Norwegian Bliss, the third ship in the line’s Breakaway Plus class is the first cruise ship specifically designed with features and amenities for Alaska cruising.  On board, guests will be able to experience their favorite amenities by Norwegian Cruise Line, plus some new first-at-sea offerings.  Norwegian Bliss features the largest competitive race track at sea, a first for any North America-based cruise ship. The two-level electric-car race track sits at the top of deck 19, offering guests amazing views while twisting and turning at a speed of up to 30 miles per hour.  After a ride, guests can then test their agility at the open-air laser tag course, or race side-by-side on the Aqua Racer waterslide at the expansive Aqua Park, with two multi-story waterslides, one of which extends over the edge of the ship and loops down to the deck below.

Culinary offerings include new exclusive specialty dining and bar concepts such as the debuting Texas smokehouse – Q, the cruise line’s first full-service Starbucks® store at sea, and Coco’s– a chocolate and sweet treats shop.  At The District Brew House, guests can enjoy a variety of craft cocktails and beers, including local Seattle favorites from Red Hook Brewery.

Continuing with Norwegian’s commitment to offering top entertainment across the fleet, Norwegian Bliss features new programming that includes the Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical, Jersey Boys, and ¡Havana! – an original musical theater show created and produced specifically for Norwegian Bliss.  The creative group behind ¡HAVANA! include Tony Award®-winning director and choreographer Warren Carlyle, Cuban-American design duo Isabel and Ruben Toledo and features original songs by Cuban-American, Grammy-winning singer – Albita. Norwegian Bliss also features a new theatrical cocktail hour experience, Happy Hour Prohibition The Musical that will transport guests to a New Orleans speakeasy on the eve of the Prohibition era. At The Cavern Club, guests can enjoy their favorite songs from The Beatles live with a talented cover band, in a setting inspired by the Liverpool Club where The Beatles famously performed countless times.

Beginning June 2018, Norwegian Bliss will spend her summer cruising seven-day voyages to Alaska, and fall season cruising to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles.  In winter of 2018, she will sail the Caribbean from Miami, and in the 2019 fall/winter season she will cruise from New York City to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean.

Carnival Adding Late Night Lido Buffet Snack Menu

April 9, 2018.

Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald announced today that the cruise line is rolling out a new late night snack menu, offering a small selection of sandwiches, pasta, a soup, and some cookies.  John said it will be offered in the Lido Buffets and will be available from 11:30pm until 1:00am.  This is in addition to the 24 hour Pizza Pirate which will continue to serve made-to-order pizzas.

This comes on the heels of Carnival announcing fees for late night room service orders, which didn’t go over well with many Carnival fans.  This offers another option that is included in the cruise price.

New Menu

 

Carnival Horizon Retail Venues Are Most Expansive In Fleet

April 9, 2018. 

Two-Deck-High, Mall-Style Space Features World-Renowned Brands Such as Kate Spade, Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Hublot and More

Carnival Cruise Line has dramatically expanded its retail offerings with its newest ship, Carnival Horizon, featuring the fleet’s most expansive retail space showcasing major brands like LeVian, Victoria’s Secret and, for the first time, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Breitling and Hublot.

The venues are two-level, mall-style shops and are located along the ship’s atrium on decks 4 and 5.  The retail space is unique in that it is divided into areas dedicated to a particular shopping experience, each designed around guests’ interaction with the various interests.

The areas include:

  • Hip Fish: fashion jewelry, accessories, beauty and fragrances
  • Front Street: fine jewelry and  timepieces
  • Cherry on Top: the “sweetest spot on board” with an assortment of candies, novelty items and fanciful gifts
  • Carnival Store: the latest logo items and Carnival Horizon inaugural season memorabilia, as well as Carnival Adventures merchandise offering everything guests need for fun onboard and ashore, such as sunscreen and apparel
  • Portside Liquor & Tobacco: popular duty-free items, including the most extensive spirits display at sea 

Carnival Horizon brings these areas to life by offering an immersive shopping experience including a Beauty and Fragrance Bar that allows guests to try out cosmetics, skincare and fragrances and even get a makeover before a night out on board.  Port Side Liquor & Tobacco features a Spirits Tasting Bar where guests can sample and purchase the liquors, including the coveted Hennessey White currently not available outside of travel retail. Guests can also take home their own personal keepsake at the Create Your Own jewelry experience within the Hip Fish outlet where they can custom-design jewelry made of Swarovski crystals. There’s also the Wearable Tech outlet featuring the latest wearable technology with onboard experts on hand to match guests’ style with a variety of watch brands tied to fitness tracking.

There will be special events, giveaways, in-store parties and entertainment, among other promotions. Promotions change daily with flexible pop-up spaces that showcase new fashion and jewelry.

Carnival Horizon is currently sailing on its inaugural voyage which departed April 2 from Barcelona – the first of four voyages from that port.  The ship repositions to New York in May to launch a summer schedule of four-day Bermuda and eight-day Caribbean departures then shifts to Miami for year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning in September.

Carnival Paradise Adds 20 Cuba Cruises From Tampa In 2019

April 6, 2018.

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

This News Follows Recently Announced Series of 17 Cuba Voyages Aboard Carnival Sensation from Miami in 2019-20

Carnival Cruise Line announced today it has added another 20 voyages to Cuba aboard Carnival Paradise from Tampa in 2019, complementing the 11 cruises to the island taking place aboard the vessel through next year.

The new voyages aboard Carnival Paradise are in addition to the 17 recently announced Cuba cruises aboard Carnival Sensation departing from Miami in 2019, indicating that more and more travelers view cruising as a great way to experience Cuba.

The newly added five-day voyages will depart Tampa on Saturdays and feature a day-long or a full day and overnight call in the Cuban capital of Havana, along with stops at tropical destinations Key West and Cozumel.

Carnival Paradise’s new Cuba cruise schedule includes:

  • 10, five-day cruises overnighting in Havana with a visit to Key West – departing March 2, April 13, May 25, June 22, July 6, Aug. 3 and 17, Sept. 14 and 28 and Oct. 26, 2019;
  • Six, five-day voyages featuring a day-long call in Havana and a visit to Cozumel – departure dates include Jan. 5, March 16, May 11, Aug. 31, Nov. 9 and Dec. 7, 2019;
  • Four, five-day sailings featuring day-long calls to Havana, Key West and Cozumel – departing Feb. 16, June 8, July 20 and Oct. 12, 2019.

Guests sailing on Carnival’s Cuba cruises can select from nearly 20 different shore excursions.  A variety of Cuban-themed activities and entertainment, including the excellent Amor Cubano:  A Caribbean Dance Romance Playlist Productions show, Havana-inspired deck parties, trivia contests and salsa lessons, are also offered.  There’s also an onboard Cuba expert who discusses the country’s rich history and culture.

Carnival Paradise just completed an extensive, multi-million-dollar refurbishment last month that added a water park, 38 new cabins, 98 balconies to existing staterooms, and an a host of food and beverage venues.  New spaces include Guy’s Burger Joint, RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar, the BlueIguana Cantina Mexican eatery,  a new Camp Ocean marine-themed play area, a nine-hole miniature golf course, a Pixels-branded digital photo platform and enhanced retail offerings including boutiques from Pandora and Guess.

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.  Carnival’s shore excursions meet all U.S. government regulations and provide a convenient means for complying with the people-to-people requirements of cruises to Cuba.

MSC Cruises Offering “Drinks On Us” Promotion

April 5, 2018.

 

Guests sailing on MSC Seaside and MSC Divina Caribbean Cruises to enjoy complimentary beverage package included with their cruise 

MSC Cruises USA has launched a new “Drinks on Us” promotion for MSC Seaside and MSC Divina Caribbean sailings that includes a wide-selection of complimentary drinks included with their cruise fare.

For new bookings made now through May 31, guests sailing in the Caribbean can stay refreshed with a selection of free unlimited non-alcoholic beverages including canned or fountain soda, bottled or canned juices and bottled water as well as alcoholic drinks including bottled and draft beers, wines by the glass and house brands of vodka, rum, gin, and whiskey (a value of more than $250 per person).

Specific details related to the Drinks on Us promotion include: 

Ships included in Promotion: MSC Seaside and MSC Divina

Itinerary: Caribbean itineraries only

Eligible sail dates: April 14, 2018 forward

Pricing: Eligible MSC Seaside and MSC Divina Caribbean sailings start at $509 per person for an interior stateroom, with the Drinks on Us package included as part of the cruise fare

Booking instructions: Guests must book by May 31, 2018. Guests can book by contacting their travel agent, calling MSC Cruises at 844-311-6465, or visiting the web site at msccruisesusa.com

Web page for more info: For more information on the Drinks on Us promotion and to view all eligible sailings visit: https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Cruise-Deals/Drinks-On-Us.aspx

Norwegian Cruise Line “Tax-Free Spree” Promotion

April 3, 2018.

Norwegian Cruise Line invites guests to take advantage of a Tax-Free Spree* available now through April 17.  For a limited time only when guests book select three-day or longer cruise in an ocean view category stateroom or above, government taxes, fees and port expenses will be waived.  This  offer is available on over 430 cruises and combinable with the Free at Sea promotion, which offers guests even more value for the amenities of their choice.

Additional April value offers include:

  • FREE AT SEA – EXTENDED: Guests can take advantage of Norwegian’s Free at Sea promotion, now extended through April 30. This value-added promotion provides guests who book a new three-day or longer cruise their choice of up to five free offers that feature onboard amenities, including free unlimited open bar, $50 credit per stateroom that can be applied towards shore excursions in each port, a free specialty dining package, 250-minute internet package, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer which allows the third and fourth guests to sail for complimentary on select cruises.

The number of offers available is based on the stateroom category selected.

o   Reserve an inside cabin or Norwegian’s studio staterooms – designed specifically with the solo traveler in mind – and receive one free offer.

o   Book an ocean view, balcony or mini-suite category stateroom and choose up to two free offers.

o   Book a suite and receive all five free amenities†, providing them up to $2,700 in overall value on their cruise.

  • DISTINCTIVE VOYAGES OFFER – EXTENDED: Guests looking to cruise to new and exotic destinations can take advantage of Norwegian’s Distinctive Voyages** offer, now extended through May 31, 2018. On select seven-day or longer cruises, guests receive five additional amenities that include 120-minute phone call package, 250-minute Internet package, $50 credit per stateroom that can be applied towards shore excursions in each port, up to $400 in air credit and $100 hotel credit for a pre- or post-cruise stay. The offer is also combinable with Free at Sea, providing up to $5,000 in value on their next cruise vacation.

 

  • FREE AT SEA ALL-INCLUSIVE – EXTENDED: Now through April 30, guests who reserve a new three, four or five-day Bahamas or Cuba voyage on Norwegian Sun or Norwegian Sky can take advantage of Norwegian’s Free at Sea All-Inclusive** promotion, in addition to the already included complimentary unlimited open bar. With this incredible offer, guests will choose up to five onboard amenities including a $50 specialty dining credit per stateroom, $50 credit per stateroom that can be applied towards shore excursions in each port, 100-minute Internet package, a photo package with ten free images, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer that allows the third and fourth guests to sail complimentary on select sailings.

 

  • FREE AT SEA HAWAII – EXTENDED: Guests looking to find their paradise in the South Pacific can take advantage of Norwegian’s Free at Sea Hawaii offer, now extended through April 30. For those who book a new cruise vacation aboard Pride of America, the only ship to sail an incredible seven-day inter-island itinerary roundtrip from Honolulu all year, have the freedom to choose from five offers†* to enrich their cruising experience, including a free one-night pre-cruise hotel stay with an option to select reduced airfare starting at $399 from select gateways, a free specialty dining package, free pre-paid service charges for the first and second guest in the stateroom, free $50 credit per stateroom that can be applied towards shore excursions in each port, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer, allowing the third and fourth guests in each stateroom to sail for free on many 2018 sail dates. Guests who book a suite aboard Pride of America will enjoy all five offers.

All offers are subject to availability at the time of reservation. Additional terms and conditions may apply.


*Offer only applicable to the first and second guest and not applicable to Sail Away Categories (categories IX, OX, BX or MX).

**Offer not applicable to Sail Away Categories (categories IX, OX, BX or MX).

All sailings 3 nights or longer. Offer is not applicable to categories IX, OX, BX, MX (Sail Away Categories). Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Joy, Pride of America, and Norwegian Sun’s all-inclusive sailings from Port Canaveral are not eligible for this offer. Friends & Family sail free applicable only on select sail dates.  Guests are responsible for the service charges on Specialty Dining Package, Unlimited Beverage Package, and/ or the Soda Package, with pricing based on number of cruise nights. Number of meals for specialty dining package based on length of itinerary. $50 USD per port shore excursion credit is per stateroom and is applicable for each port; it is not transferable to other ports. Overnight stays count as one port, except Bermuda sailings which can receive up to 3 individual days of shore excursion credit. Wifi package offers one login per stateroom. On Norwegian Breakaway, stateroom receives an internet package of 250 minutes or 1000 MB of data.

†*Pride of America offer available for bookings for cruises through April 27, 2019. Offer is not applicable to categories IX, OX, BX (Sail Away Categories). Cruises must be booked more than 30 days prior sailing, when selecting hotel option; if choosing hotel option with air option cruises must be made more than 60 days prior to sailing. Offer valid for Waikiki Marriott Resort-city view room. In the event that the hotel scheduled to be used in package is unavailable, for any reason, Norwegian Cruise Line reserves the right to substitute the hotel included in package. One night pre-hotel offer is available on reservations with 4 guests or less.