Carnival Victory To Be Transformed And Renamed Carnival Radiance

October 21, 2018.

Carnival Victory will undergo a bow-to-stern refurbishment in 2020 that will add a wide variety of popular branded food, beverage and entertainment innovations.  A surprise new dining option will make its debut on Carnival Radiance as well, to be announced later.

The renovation will complete a $200 million enhancement program and the ship will be renamed Carnival Radiance following a 38-day dry dock which will take place in Cadiz, Spain, from March 18 to April 26, 2020.

Itineraries for the newly renamed Carnival Radiance will be announced and go on sale in mid-November.  Carnival Cruise Line fans who want to be the first to book on Carnival Radiance can get a head start by clicking here where they can register to get a “first to know” alert and special promotional offer when itineraries are opened for sale.

The announcement follows previously announced plans to transform Carnival Triumph into Carnival Sunrise next year, part of the company’s eight-year, $2 billion fleetwide modernization program – the largest in cruising.

Carnival Radiance’s wide-ranging enhancements will include the following:

  • Cucina del Capitano: offering delicious Italian favorites and new Carnival classics served family-style in an engaging atmosphere reminiscent of a cozy Italian home.
  • JavaBlue Café: this expanded version of the line’s popular coffee bars will offer lattes, cappuccinos and other caffeinated favorites, as well as “spiked” coffees made with liqueurs, and decadent confections.
  • Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse: a classic American steakhouse offering mouth-watering steaks, gourmet appetizers, entrees and desserts, with impeccable service and understated ambiance.
  • Bonsai Sushi: a full-service Asian restaurant offering a mouth-watering array of sushi, sashimi, rolls and other delicacies from the Far East.
  • The Chef’s Table: a new multi-course dining experience hosted in a special glass-enclosed venue in the forward dining room.
  • Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse: a open-air eatery featuring “real deal” BBQ favorites created by Food Network start and longtime partner Guy Fieri.
  • Lido Marketplace:  a casual poolside eatery boasting favorites like Seafood Shack offering lobster rolls and other New England-inspired fare; Pizzeria del Capitano serving hand-tossed artisanal-style pies free of charge 24/7, and an expanded Swirls venue with complimentary ice cream and frozen yogurt.
  • RedFrog Pub: featuring the Caribbean’s best rums and beers – including Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red – enjoyed in a distinct British-West-Indies-meets-Key-West atmosphere.
  • Piano Bar 88: a new twist on Carnival’s popular piano bar concept that amps up the excitement with themed nights, engaging new décor and spontaneous sing-along fun.
  • Limelight Lounge: home to the Punchliner Comedy Club featuring a hilarious line-up of comics which later transforms into a sizzling night club where guests can dance the night away.
  • New Multi-Purpose Liquid Lounge: an expansive theater that’s home to captivating daytime and nighttime entertainment, including the line’s high-tech Playlist Productions revues and audience participation favorite Hasbro, The Game Show.
  • SportSquare: a suspended ropes course offering heart-racing views to the sea 150 feet below, basketball court, jogging track, ping pong, foosball, pool tables, and a nine-hole miniature golf course highlight this open-area recreation complex.
  • WaterWorks: featuring a 203-foot-long AquaTunnel slide and Carnival’s signature 212-foot-long Twister slide along with a 75-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket and kiddie area.
  • Serenity Adult Only Retreat: an adults-only oasis offering plush chaise lounges, whirlpools and oversized umbrellas, enhanced by dramatic sea views.

Wait, There’s More!

  • Cloud 9 Spa:  designed as the ultimate refuge for rest and relaxation, the health and wellness center offers an elaborate thermal suite, private treatment rooms, and the latest cardio and weight-training equipment.
  • The Warehouse:  promising fun for all ages with a variety of the latest video and arcade games.
  • Expanded Retail Spaces:  a mall-style shopping experience featuring reimagined retail outlets with an expanded assortment of jewelry, watches, fragrances, along with the line’s own branded spaces including The Carnival Store.

These new spaces will complement a wide variety of existing food and beverage outlets, including Guy’s Burger Joint offering hand-crafted burgers and fries, The Deli serving piled-high sandwiches and traditional sides, the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar, BlueIguana Cantina offering authentic Mexican tacos and burritos, an expanded Cherry on Top sweets shop, and the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar.  The ship’s staterooms were also recently renovated with a new tropical color palette and new accommodation choices, including luxurious Captain’s Suites with floor to ceiling windows.

Carnival Recognized By The Honor Network For Support of Military Personnel

October 4, 2018.

 

First Cruise Line Presented with Prestigious ‘U.S. Honor Flag’ That Flew Over Ground Zero Following Sept. 11 Attacks and Pays Tribute to Fallen Heroes

Carnival Cruise Line carries more military personnel and their families than any other cruise operator and is steadfast in their support of the troops and their families.  As a military veteran myself,  this means a great deal to me personally.

To recognize this, the company has been presented with the prestigious U.S. Honor Flag bestowed by the Miami-Dade Police Department Honor Guard.

Carnival is the first cruise company to receive this honor.

The U.S. Honor Flag flew over Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 attacks and since then has traveled 7 million miles, flying on the space shuttle Atlantis, and over the Pentagon, state capitols, presidential libraries, state and national memorials as well as funerals and tributes to fallen soldiers, police officers and first responders.

The presentation was made during a ceremony today at the cruise line’s Miami headquarters during which The Honor Flag was ceremoniously escorted by the Miami-Dade Police Department Honor Guard and positioned prominently on stage.  

Following the official presentation of The Honor Flag and a poignant tribute to fallen heroes, The Honor Network President Chris Heisler presented Carnival President Christine Duffy with a pair of U.S. Honor Foundation embroidered gloves that are used every time the U.S. Honor Flag is handled.  The custom gloves are now on permanent display at the company’s offices.

Carnival has been a longtime supporter of the military, hosting a military appreciation reception on every cruise and a proud partner of Operation Homefront, an organization whose goal is to build strong, stable and secure military families.   The line recently hosted Humor for Heroes at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego that included an on-site comedy performance for 500 military members and their families and a sizable donation to Operation Homefront.   Earlier this year, Duffy participated in the 88th Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, an intensive weeklong exercise that is the oldest and most prestigious public liaison program in the Department of Defense.

Norwegian Cruise Line Hosting Jon Bon Jovi’s ‘Runaway To Paradise’ Cruises In 2019

October 4, 2018.

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced it will host Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and Grammy® Award-winner Jon Bon Jovi’s Runaway To Paradise cruise vacations in partnership with Runaway Tours, creators of world-class intimate artists experiences, and Sixthman, the industry leader in music festival vacation experiences.

Norwegian Jade will be hosting Runaway To Paradise’s Caribbean cruise, which will be sailing from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas on April 12-16, while Norwegian Pearl will host the Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona to Palma, Majorca on August 26-30.

The Runaway To Paradise immersive fan experience will feature Jon Bon Jovi joining cruisers on board the ship at each destination port. Guests will be treated to a full rock show on the pool deck starring Jon Bon Jovi and the 11-piece Kings of Suburbia band, a second acoustic storyteller set where cruisers can ask Jon all of their burning questions, multiple shows from support artists (to be announced), and panels with key figures from Bon Jovi’s history, all the while sipping Jon and Jesse Bongiovi’s new wine, Hampton Water rosé and enjoying the amenities of Norwegian Cruise Line Jewel class ships.

Guests will get up close with historic memorabilia in the Jon Bon Jovi Gallery, shop for new looks in the Hart N Dagger pop up shop, and even enjoy a meal while giving back to those in need at The JBJ Soul Kitchen that will be brought to life on board. All guests will take home an autographed event lithograph, and fans who book in the first 400 staterooms on each cruise will get an opportunity to take a picture with Jon Bon Jovi.

Double occupancy staterooms on Runaway To Paradise begin at $1,895 (USD) per person for the Caribbean sailing, and $2,221 (USD) per person for the Mediterranean sailing, plus taxes and fees. Low deposits and flexible payment plans are available. For the best selection of staterooms, fans are encouraged to register for the cruise pre-sale at runawaytoparadise.com

Disney Cruise Line Announces Sailings from New Orleans for 2020

September 27, 2018.

Disney Cruise Line guests sailing aboard most Caribbean and Bahamian voyages in early 2020 will spend a day ashore at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. In a setting of crystal-clear turquoise waters, powdery white-sand beaches and lush landscapes, the island offers activities for every member of the family. (David Roark, photographer)

In early 2020, Disney Cruise Line will offer a brand-new home port in New Orleans and a highly anticipated return to the Hawaiian Islands. Disney Cruise Line will also return to Puerto Rico for a limited time and continue  itineraries to tropical destinations from Florida and California.

Bookings open to the public on Oct. 4, 2018. More details on 2020 itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2020 page of disneycruise.com.

First-time Home Port in New Orleans

In 2020, the Disney Wonder will embark on a variety of Caribbean and Bahamian cruises from New Orleans – the first time Disney Cruise Line will have a home port in Louisiana.

The Disney Wonder will embark on six cruises during this limited-time season from New Orleans, including four-, six- and seven-night Western Caribbean sailings; a seven-night Bahamian cruise; and a 14-night Panama Canal voyage, departing Feb. 7 through March 6.

Long-Awaited Return to Hawaii

After a five-year hiatus, the Disney Wonder will return to Hawaii in early 2020 for two special cruises: a nine-night voyage to Honolulu from Vancouver, Canada, on April 29, and a 10-night sailing back to Vancouver on May 8.

Itineraries from Puerto Rico and California

The Disney Wonder continues its season with returns to home ports on both coasts. First, the ship sets sail for the Southern Caribbean during two seven-night voyages departing Jan. 19 and 26 from San Juan, Puerto Rico, followed by a five-night Bahamian cruise. Then beginning on March 20, the ship embarks on seven sailings to Baja and the Mexican Riviera, ranging in length from two to seven nights, from San Diego, California.

Tropical Getaways from Florida

Disney Cruise Line will have three ships sailing to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida in early 2020, and every cruise includes a day of fun in the sun on Disney’s private Bahamian island reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests, Castaway Cay.

  • From Miami, the Disney Magic will sail three-, four- and five-night Bahamian cruises and five-night Western Caribbean cruises.
  • From Port Canaveral, the Disney Fantasy will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, plus two special sailings at six- and eight-nights each.
  • From Port Canaveral, the Disney Dream will sail three- and four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay.

Carnival Vista Arrives At New Homeport Of Galveston

September 23, 2018.

Together with Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor, Carnival Cruise Line Now Carries More Than 600,000 Passengers from Port of Galveston Annually– The Most of Any Cruise Operator

Carnival Cruise Line solidified its place as the cruise leader in Texas with Sunday’s arrival of Carnival Vista – the largest ship ever homeported in Galveston. The arrival was celebrated with Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy and ship Godmother Deshauna Barber, the first member of the U.S. military to be named Miss USA, before the ship left on its first voyage from Galveston Sunday afternoon.

Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown presents the key to the City to Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Lines and Deshauna Barber, Godmother of Carnival Vista.

Carnival Vista offers two different week-long western Caribbean itineraries from Galveston.  The first itinerary includes calls at Montego Bay; Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, while the other features visits to Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan); Belize; and Cozumel.

The homecoming event was attended by local officials, travel agents and military families supported by Operation Homefront.  Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown presented Duffy with a key to the city and proclaimed Sept. 23 “Choose Fun Day” in recognition of Carnival’s brand campaign.  In support of the local community, Carnival made a $10,000 donation to Houston SPCA and an additional $10,000 to the Houston Food Bank.

“Choose Fun” is a key component of Carnival’s ongoing Homeport Advantage campaign designed to heighten awareness of new ship deployments.  A bumper sticker adorned with the “Choose Fun” tag line was unveiled on Carnival Vista’s stern during the event.

The Homeport Advantage campaign also included a flyover in Houston, Galveston and the surrounding area earlier this month by the Carnival AirShip, a 128-foot long red, white and blue blimp emblazoned with #ChooseFun. Consumers who posted a photo of the AirShip in social media with #ChooseFun were entered into a sweepstakes awarding free cruises and other prizes and triggering a donation to St. Jude.

Holland America’s Mexican Riviera Cruises In 2019

September 20, 2018.

Cabo San Lucas

Holland America Line has three ships  doing 2019 Mexico cruises.  From January through December 2019, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Oosterdam will sail a series of seven- and 11-day cruises roundtrip from San Diego, California, that include calls at Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Mexican Riviera Sailings Roundtrip from San Diego
All Mexican Riviera cruises will call at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.  Three sea days provide time to relax and explore the abundance of amenities on board.

Guests can expand their cruise to include more of the West Coast aboard Eurodamsailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Oct. 15, on a unique 11-day itinerary down to San Diego that also calls at Santa Barbara, California. For those with less time, this cruise can be taken as a seven-day itinerary departing San Diego Oct. 19. Eurodam offers eight additional seven-day cruises through 2019, and its sister ship, Nieuw Amsterdam, will also explore the region on six sailings starting March 17. Oosterdam will sail into the region Oct. 6 on its first of eight seven-day sailing, including two festive Mexican Riviera Holiday voyages departing Dec. 21 and Dec 28.

Holland America’s 2019 Panama Canal Cruises

September 20, 2018.

Travelers interested in transiting the famous lakes and locks of the Panama Canal will have five Holland America Line ships and 30 cruises to choose in 2019. In addition to the full transits, guest can embark on Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries that feature a partial transit in combination with southern Caribbean ports of call.

Connect Two Oceans on a Full Panama Canal Transit
From January through December 2019, Amsterdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Eurodam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam and Volendam will make 17 transits between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from four departure cities. Guests can sail to or from Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, California; and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Each itinerary includes a diverse collection of ports along with the exploration of the Panama Canal. On full transits, guests will visit cities in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and islands in the Caribbean. In addition, some of the sailings include a visit to Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas.

Combine the Caribbean and Central America on a Partial Transit
In addition to the full transits, Zuiderdam and Eurodam will make 13 partial transits between January and December 2019. Conveniently cruising roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, the 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries include an exploration of the Canal’s Gatún Lake with a combination of southern Caribbean calls in Aruba, Curaçao, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Half Moon Cay.

Full Panama Canal transit cruise fares start at $1,329 and Sunfarer cruise rates start at $949, all per person, double occupancy.

Several Panama Canal sailings are eligible for Holland America’s Explore4 promotion where travelers looking to plan ahead for next year or beyond can take advantage of perks to sip, dine, sail and save.

The Explore4 promotion for guests booking any category stateroom includes a Signature Beverage Package valued at $1,400 per stateroom (based on a 14-day cruise), dinner at the Pinnacle Grill for two, free or reduced cruise fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom, and 50 percent reduced deposits. Guests receive all benefits when bookings are made by Nov. 19, 2018.

Explorations Central (EXC) Makes Panamanian Culture Come to Life on Board
Throughout the voyages, EXC programming brings Panama’s local customs, culinary creations and cultural experiences on board. Through the EXC Encounters program, guests can practice their language skills, learn about local traditions or enjoy the simple pleasure of storytelling. Those who want to immerse themselves even further can attend an EXC Talk where a Panama Canal expert recounts the history and drama of the historic construction of the waterway. The EXC Team provides further guidance in customizing each visit for the port calls, while the in-stateroom EXC Channel features a selection of curated films, documentaries and TV shows exploring the destinations on the itinerary.

Carnival Elation Captain & Crew Receive Award For Maritime Rescue During Hurricane Irma

September 14, 2018.

Captain Gaetano Gigliotti (left) and rescued shrimp boat Captain Edward Potter (right) display award

Captain Gaetano Gigliotti and the crew of the cruise ship Carnival Elation have been recognized with the Cruise Line Humanitarian Assistance Award from the Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS), an organization whose mission is to provide worldwide support and assistance to volunteer maritime rescue services and recognize and honor extraordinary maritime rescues.

Presented during AFRAS’ annual reception in Washington, DC, the award honors Captain Gigliotti and his team for their incredible bravery in the rescue of a stranded fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Irma last year.   In addition to the AFRAS Award, Captain Gigliotti was presented with a framed copy of the entry into the Congressional Record by Florida Congresswoman Federica Wilson commending the life-saving actions of the captain and his team.

The rescued mariner, Edward Potter of Tampa, was reunited at the ceremony with Captain Gigliotti in a poignant and heartfelt meeting of the two seamen.

While undergoing a scheduled dry dock in Freeport, Bahamas, Carnival Elation began monitoring a storm off the coast of Africa that quickly developed into a major Category 5 hurricane.  When it became clear that the storm’s path was projected directly over the Bahamas, the decision was made to move the 70,000-ton ship and seek shelter in the Gulf of Mexico.

As Carnival Elation was sailing from Hurricane Irma’s path, the ship received a relayed distress message from the U.S. Coast Guard alerting them that a fishing boat, the Captain Eddie, was taking on water approximately 60 nautical miles to the east.  With Captain Eddie’s two crewmembers in dire need of assistance, Carnival Elation Captain Gigliotti and his crew immediately set out to assist in the rescue, with the U.S. Coast Guard planning to provide a helicopter to assist in the search and rescue efforts.

Navigating through treacherous conditions, 15 to 20 foot waves and sustained winds of 40 knots gusting to 60 knots, Carnival Elation, without the aid of its normal bridge systems and communication equipment due to the early departure from dry dock, stayed the course, only to be informed that the USCG could no longer provide helicopter assistance because of the dangerous wind conditions.

Nearing the fishing boat, Captain Gigliotti, using the knowledge and experience gleaned from more than three decades at sea, deemed it was too dangerous to allow a Carnival Elation rescue boat to pick up the fishermen.  Instead, he chose to maneuver the ship closer to the life raft to facilitate a rescue through an open shell door in the hull.  Despite high winds and heavy seas, Captain Gigliotti successfully positioned the ship alongside the life raft and several team members, ignoring the potential risk to their own lives, brought the sole survivor, Edward Potter, on board using a harness and hoisting line.

Unfortunately, Potter informed Carnival Elation team that his fellow crew member refused to abandon ship and was lost when the fishing vessel rapidly sank. Carnival Elation medical team took excellent care of him, facilitated contact with his family members and coordinated with the U.S. Embassy to ensure his timely return to the United States after the ship returned to the Bahamas.

Holland America Partners with Rolling Stone to Launch Rock Room Live Music at Sea

September 13, 2018.

Holland America Line is introducing Rolling Stone Rock Room, a new classic rock club developed in partnership with Rolling Stone, the world’s leading authority in music. Rolling Stone Rock Room lets cruisers step into a unique experience as a live band chronicles rock history as they kick out iconic hits by favorite rock stars.

Rolling Stone Rock Room will debut as part of the innovative Music Walk area on Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam when it joins the fleet in December 2018 and Koningsdam that same month.

Rolling Stone Rock Room will feature a live five-piece band playing a collection of hits inspired by the magazine’s top song lists.

The innovative Music Walk on Holland America Line ships offers a variety of musical experiences and genres to create a live experience.  In addition to Rolling Stone on Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam, venues in Music Walk include Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard and B.B. King’s Blues Club.

Limited Time Offer From Norwegian Cruise Line: Free Air For Norwegian Joy Alaska Cruises

September 13, 2018.

Norwegian Joy

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced a free and reduced roundtrip airfare offer for new reservations on Norwegian Joy’s seven-day Alaska itineraries beginning April 2019 through September 2019.

The offer will be available to the general public for one day only on September 14.   So since you are receiving this on the 14th, you need to act today if you want this offer.

New bookings for a balcony or better will be eligible for free or reduced round trip economy class airfare for up to two guests from over 100 airports across the U.S. and Canada. Guests reserving The Haven or Concierge level will receive complimentary airfare at all eligible airports.  Guests may opt for a discount up to $1,000 per stateroom instead of the airfare offer. The Free Air promotion is also combinable with Norwegian’s Free at Sea offer, where guests can select up to five amenities of their choosing.

The promotion celebrates the repositioning of Norwegian Joy to the U.S. for year-round sailings on the west coast.  Prior to her arrival in Seattle, Norwegian Joy will undergo approximately $50 million in upgrades to enhance her already popular features and bring her designs and offerings to be virtually identical to those of her sister ship, Norwegian Bliss, the newest and most successful ship in the line’s 51-year history.  From dining and entertainment to recreational activities, guests will have more opportunities to experience the innovative features expected of the modern and dynamic fleet while discovering the natural beauty of Alaska.

Norwegian Joy will cruise a variety of itineraries featuring Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Holkham Bay and Icy Strait Point.

The Free Air promotion is only available with seven-day Alaska itineraries on Norwegian Joy and is based on availability.  The offer includes roundtrip economy class airfare from select airports.  It is not applicable with Sail Away categories.  Additional terms and conditions may apply.