Princess Cruises Announces 3rd Annual Culinary Cruise Series

October 17, 2017.

Princess Cruises has officially announced its third annual Culinary Cruise Series, featuring famed Miami-based chefs Brad Kilgore and Scott Linquist.

Sailing on Regal Princess out of Fort Lauderdale from February 11 – 18, 2018 to the Western Caribbean, these two chefs will team up to offer guests a variety of curated culinary experiences and demonstrations for travelers looking for an exclusive foodie experience.

This seven-day, four-port Western Caribbean cruise will include a selection of daily activities and adventures for cruisers to participate in with the acclaimed chefs. Guests will be able to participate in chef-led cooking demonstrations, cookbook signings, Q+A sessions, experience special menus featured throughout the ship’s restaurant and bars, and learn valuable cuisine skills to bring home with them.

Guests will also be able to explore parts of the Caribbean and Mexico alongside these chefs as each lead a customized excursion. Noted for his Mexican cuisine, Chef Linquist will lead the Cozumel excursion in Mexico, while Chef Kilgore will lead the Jamaican excursion. Other port stops include Princess Cays Bahamas and Grand Cayman.

Named Food & Wine’s 2016 Best New Chef, Brad Kilgore launched onto Miami’s culinary scene in 2015 with the opening of Alter in Miami’s hottest new neighborhood – Wynwood. After winning countless awards with Alter including Restaurant of the Year by Eater, he set his sights on Downtown Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center and opened BRAVA by Brad Kilgore inside the famed cultural institution. Showing no signs of slowing down, Kilgore plans to debut two new restaurants in Miami in the next coming year. Bringing his progressive American cuisine to Regal Princess, Kilgore will showcase some of his favorites including Short Rib Wellington with Truffled Mushrooms and Free-Range Chicken, with Popcorn Hollandaise.

Joining Chef Brad Kilgore will be fellow Miami-based Chef Scott Linquist. Linquist, founder of the wildly successful Coyo Taco located in Miami’s buzzing Brickell Financial District, as well as famed Wynwood arts district, will bring his upscale Mexican flair to the seven-day excursion featuring some of his most unique taco creations such as Coyo’s charred octopus tacos with salsa veracruzana and pickled jalapeños. Chef Linquist plans to expand the success of Coyo Taco with new locations coming in Miami Beach, West Palm Beach and Panama.

Adding a touch of sweetness to this cruise will be one of Princess Cruises culinary partners, Norman Love, owner of Norman Love Confections, based in Fort Myers, FL. Trained in France, and named the Inaugural Inductee into the Chocolatier Hall of Fame by Dessert Professional Magazine, Love’s creations blend premium quality chocolate, unique flavors and artful designs that are perfect for chocolate lovers. Love will be leading several cooking demonstrations and curate chocolate tastings.

Guy Fieri’s ‘Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse/Brewhouse’ To Debut Aboard Carnival Horizon

October 11, 2017.

Guy Fieri – a member of the American Royal National Barbecue Hall of Fame whose namesake burger joints are featured on 19 Carnival Cruise Line ships – will introduce a brand new full-service barbecue venue aboard Carnival Horizon when it debuts in spring 2018.

An expansion of Fieri’s casual barbecue eateries on several Carnival ships, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse combines the best of both worlds: authentic, down-home smoked-on-board barbecue and traditional sides created by the renowned chef, along with a selection of distinctive craft beers brewed on board at a brewery located within the restaurant.

The announcement will be made by Fieri at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas during the “Carnival’s BBQ Challenge with Guy Fieri” event during which kids from the local 4H Club were tasked to come up with unique barbecue recipes inspired by Pig & Anchor.

The three finalists will each receive a free cruise and Carnival is making a $20,000 donation to the 4H Club of Texas in support of its mission of engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development.

The new dining venue will feature Guy’s favorites such as brisket custom-smoked for 12 hours, Memphis-style baby back ribs, dry-rubbed and grill-finished chicken, pulled pork, and cedar-smoked salmon with an apricot glaze.  All Smoke House items are served with coleslaw, sweet pickles, and golden honey cornbread or Texas toast.

The restaurant will also offer Fieri’s signature dishes like Dragon Chili Cheese Fries featuring smoked beef brisket, cheddar cheese, onions and jalapenos; Trash Can Nachos topped with pulled pork, Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ sauce and melted cheese; and The Smokehouse Melt, with pulled pork, sliced brisket, double smoked pork belly bacon, two slices of cheddar cheese, homemade pickles and donkey sauce.

Side dishes feature Longhorn Cheddar Mac & Cheese, Beer-Braised Cowboy Pinto Beans, Sweet Potato Bourbon Mash, Mashed Potatoes with Red Eye Gravy and Burnt Ends, and Buttermilk Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Almonds.

BBQ fans can spice up their dishes with the chef’s own sauces, including Kansas City (smoky and sweet), Sriracha BBQ (spicy and tangy), Carolina #6 (tangy and sweet heat) and award-winning Bourbon Brown Sugar (sweet and sticky), along with exclusive-to-Carnival sauces like Smokey Chipotle, Gold Coast Yellow Mustard, Black Pepper, and Burning Tomato.

Paired perfectly with barbecue is a delicious and refreshing craft beer created by Carnival’s award-winning beverage team which includes Colin Presby, the only brew master in the North American cruise industry. Presby and team are developing four distinctive micro-brews specifically designed to pair with the venue’s wide-ranging menu. Specific details will be announced at a later date.

Classic desserts like freshly baked cobbler,  banana cream pie, and pecan pie will top off the meals.

indoor seating

The new 138-seat BBQ venue will be located along the ship’s Promenade with indoor and outdoor seating and authentic touches like ceiling tiles made of weathered galvanized siding, red brick walls, hardwood floors and booth and high-top seating with Fieri’s signature FLAVORTOWN catch phrase illuminating the full-service bar.

The restaurant will be open from 5 pm ‘til late every night of the cruise with menu items offered on an a la carte basis and live music nightly. Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse will offer a free-of-charge self-service BBQ lunch buffet from noon to 2:30 p.m. on embarkation day and sea days.

outdoor self-service BBQ lunch buffet

Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse will be among the dozens of different dining and beverage venues available aboard Carnival Horizon. These include the line’s first teppanyaki restaurant, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, the Mexican-themed BlueIguana Cantina serving authentic tacos and burritos, the 24-hour Pizzeria del Capitano, and the New England-inspired Seafood Shack.

Other features include the groundbreaking bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction called SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre, and the first Dr. Seuss-themed water park at sea

A wide range of accommodations will also be offered, including spa cabins with exclusive privileges at the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, extra-roomy staterooms in Family Harbor, and tropics-inspired Havana staterooms and suites with exclusive daytime access to a Cuban-themed bar and pool.

Carnival Horizon is scheduled to make its maiden voyage April 2, 2018, with a 13-day Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona – the first of four round-trip departures from that port. Carnival Horizon will reposition to the U.S. with a 14-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to New York May 9-23, 2018.

Following its summer schedule of four-day Bermuda and eight-day Caribbean departures from the Big Apple, Carnival Horizon will shift to Miami and kick off a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning Sept. 22, 2018. Carnival Horizon will also offer a special two-day cruise to Nassau from Miami Sept. 20-22, 2018.

Carnival Elation Getting Extensive Renovation

October 4, 2017.

Carnival Elation is in the final stages of a multi-million-dollar makeover that includes the addition of an expansive new WaterWorks park, 38 new cabins, 98 balconies added to existing staterooms, and a variety exciting food and beverage concepts.

Following the extensive renovation, Carnival Elation will resume its year-round schedule of four- to eight-day cruises from Jacksonville, Florida, on October 7.  The ship’s new features include:

  • Guy’s Burger Joint: In my opinion the best burger at sea regardless of the cruise line, Guy’s is a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries enjoyed amidst a décor that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture.
  • RedFrog Rum Bar: a poolside watering hole offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draft beer, ThirstyFrog Red. (excellent beer)
  • BlueIguana Cantina: a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar.  There is also a breakfast menu that offers made-to-order burritos filled with eggs, sausage, cheese, and many other things.
  • BlueIguana Tequila Bar: a fun and festive outdoor bar offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers.
  • Camp Ocean: a colorful marine-inspired play area designed for kids ages 2-11 that showcases the wonders of the sea through fun and engaging interiors and more than 200 ocean-themed activities, including arts and crafts, science-oriented  programming, and more.
  • New Cabins, Stateroom Enhancements: Thirty-eight cabins have been added – two Grand Vista suites offering floor-to-ceiling windows, 22 junior suites, two scenic ocean view cabins and 12 interior accommodations.  Additionally, private verandahs have been added to 98 existing staterooms, creating spacious new 230-square-foot balcony staterooms. All staterooms will offer new island-inspired interiors with bright colors and soothing pastels inspired by Carnival Elation’s tropical itineraries.
  • WaterWorks: Located on Verandah Deck, this expansive all-ages water park features an enclosed 300-foot-long Twister water slide full of exhilarating twists and turns, two 82-foot-long racing slides, and a splash zone for kids.
  • Mini-Golf Course: A nine-hole miniature golf course has been relocated to Deck 14, providing a fun and relaxing pastime for families to enjoy in the fresh sea air.

Carnival is Jacksonville’s only year-round cruise ship offering four- and five-day cruises to The Bahamas featuring stops at Freeport, Nassau and the private destinations of Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays.  Carnival Elation will also offer a special six-day Bahamas cruise and an eight-day Bermuda voyage in April 2018 as well as a one-time seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise the following month.

Carnival Corporation ‘MedallionNet’ Broadband Wi-Fi Announced

September 28, 2017.

Carnival Corporation today announced a major upgrade to the company’s shipboard internet service with MedallionNet, a connectivity service enabled by SES Networks that they say will deliver the best Wi-Fi experience in the cruise industry.

MedallionNet will provide guests with easy-to-access Wi-Fi that features exceptional speeds and bandwidth, pervasive stateroom signal strength and unprecedented service consistency.

The connectivity service – to be delivered in connection with SES Networks – will collectively leverage the leading global satellite operator’s geostationary earth orbit (GEO) and medium-earth orbit (MEO) constellations, managed services, antenna and shipboard technology to significantly enhance the guest experience by providing high-performance and reliable broadband connectivity at sea. This innovative service is enabled by hardware and software shipboard technology advances associated with Carnival Corporation’s proprietary O·C·E·A·N Experience Platform.

MedallionNet is another development to emerge from Carnival Corporation’s Global Experience and Innovation Center located in Miami and is the first end-to-end Wi-Fi service development formulated with a focus on exceeding guest expectations through “GuestCentricity” – an initiative to enhance all aspects of the vacation experience by delivering guests what they want, when, where and how they want it.

MedallionNet leverages multi-band antennas uniquely configured in an innovative shipboard formation to minimize any potential impact to guest connectivity due to seasonal weather or ship positioning, and it fuses multi-orbit satellite bandwidth to deliver a truly immersive guest connectivity experience.

By combining multiple sources of bandwidth to achieve the highest capacity shipboard network ever brought to a cruise ship with an unprecedented volume of shipboard access points, MedallionNet introduces a level of service reliability and signal pervasiveness not previously achieved on ships sailing at sea.

More specifics about MedallionNet and cruise brand implementation will be announced later this year.

MSC Cruises Celebrates “Plan A Cruise Month”

September 28, 2017.

Plan a Cruise Month is a campaign by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the voice and leading authority of the global cruise community and takes places every October.

MSC Cruises USA  is celebrating the month by offering travelers 50% savings until October 31 on brochure rates in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe and United Arab Emirates, plus bonus perks in the Caribbean like onboard credit, internet and drink packages. And a big bonus for many families – Kids 11 and under sail free on select sailings.

MSC Cruises Two for One Plus Deal For Caribbean

Guests have the chance to enjoy half off  7+ night sailings in the Caribbean between December 2017 and March 2019 on MSC Divina and the hottest new ship to sail the Caribbean, MSC Seaside, arriving to Miami in December 2017. Plus, cruisers can enjoy perks like $50-$150 onboard credit, free WiFi packages and drink packages, depending on category of stateroom booked.

Sample itineraries for sailings on MSC Seaside and MSC Divina include:

  • MSC Seaside: December 23, 2017 – Guests can experience the first 7-night Caribbean sailing of the revolutionary MSC Seaside as she departs for the first time from Miami, Fla with ports of call in St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Nassau, Bahamas. Prices start at $958 per person.
  • MSC Seaside: January 27, 2018 – 7-night cruise departing from Miami, Fla with ports of call in Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; and Cozumel, Mexico. Prices start at $589 per person.
  • MSC Divina: February 15, 2018 – 11-night cruise departing from Miami, Fla with ports of call in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadaloupe; Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis; Fort de France, Martinique; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Bridgetown, Barbados; and Freeport, Grand Bahama. Prices start at $829 per person.

MSC Cruises Two for One Mediterranean, Northern Europe and United Arab Emirates Cruise Deals

Cruisers can save 50% off brochure rates, and reduced deposits of $99 for all Mediterranean, Northern Europe and United Arab Emirates sailings.

Mediterranean:

For those looking to explore the Mediterranean, 50% savings apply to all sailings between November 2017 to November 2018, including MSC Cruises’ newest ships — the sparkling new MSC Meraviglia, which debuted in June 2017, and MSC Seaview, which will debut in June 2018 — as well as MSC Orchestra, MSC Divina, MSC Fantasia, MSC Musica, MSC Opera, MSC Poesia, and MSC Sinfonia.

Sample itineraries for sailings in the Mediterranean include:

  • MSC Meraviglia: January 19, 2018 – 7-night cruise departing from Barcelona, Spain with ports of call in Marseille, France; Genoa, Italy; Civitavecchia, Italy; Palermo, Italy; and Valleta, Malta. Prices start at $439 per person.
  • MSC Seaview: June 17, 2018 – 7-night cruise on MSC Cruises’ newest Seaside-class ship, arriving June 2018, departing from Genoa, Italy with ports of call in Naples, Italy; Messina, Italy; Valleta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain; and Marseille, France. Prices start at $908 per person.

Northern Europe:

Northern Europe sailings from March 2018 through October 2018 are eligible for half off, including MSC Meraviglia, which after sailing her inaugural season in the Mediterranean will be repositioned to Northern Europe for the summer 2018 season. Sailings are also available on board MSC Magnifica, MSC Orchestra and MSC Preziosa.

Sample itineraries for sailings in Northern Europe include:

  • MSC Meraviglia: May 20, 2018 – 11-night cruise departing from Hamburg, Germany with ports of call in Kirkwall, United Kingdom; Akureyri, Iceland; Isafjordur, Iceland; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Invergordon, United Kingdom. Prices start at $1,329 per person.
  • MSC Magnifica: April 23, 2018 – 7-night cruise departing from Southampton, United Kingdom with ports of call in Le Havre, France; Zeebrugge, Belgium; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Hamburg, Germany. Prices start at $429 per person.

United Arab Emirates:

Cruises to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and MSC Cruises’ newest private destination, Sir Bani Yas Island Beach Oasis, are also reduced by 50% between December 2017 and March 2019 on the magnificent MSC Splendida.

Sample itineraries for sailings in the United Arab Emirates include:

  • MSC Splendida: February 3, 2018 – 7-night cruise departing from Dubai with ports of call in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates; Muscat, Oman; and Khor al Fakkan, United Arab Emirates. Prices start at $499 per person.
  • MSC Splendida: February 10, 2018 –   7-night cruise departing from Dubai with ports of call in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates; Bahrain; and Doha, Qatar. Prices start at $499 per person.

For more information on all of MSC Cruises’ Plan a Cruise Month 2 for 1 deals, see here.

 

 

 

Carnival, Miami HEAT & Arison Family Pledge up to $10 Million for Hurricane Irma Relief

September 14, 2017.

Carnival Corporation & plc, the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund, and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation are pledging up to $10 million in funding and support for relief and rebuilding efforts in Florida and throughout the Caribbean following Hurricane Irma.

The Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation will make an immediate donation of $2.5 million to Direct Relief, UNICEF and the United Way of Miami-Dade County to support the most timely and urgent relief needs in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Carnival Foundation — the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation — and the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund are each pledging to raise a combined $5 million in funding for relief and recovery efforts. Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine will match that commitment up to a total of $5 million from the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, including the organization’s initial donation aimed at supporting the most immediate needs in Florida and the Caribbean.

Carnival Cruise Line is embarking on efforts to deliver critical supplies to the most deeply affected areas of Florida and the island nations in the Caribbean.   11 ships will be delivering crucial supplies and the most immediate necessities, including food, water, clothing, diapers, medical supplies and generators, among other items.

Scheduled as part of ongoing cruise itineraries, the efforts will benefit Grand Turk, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Antigua- Barbuda and affected Bahamian islands.

Carnival Corporation remains in touch with leaders throughout the Caribbean to be able to support each country’s quickly evolving recovery needs. The company also initiated a multi-faceted plan to begin providing relief to areas of the U.S. mainland, including Florida and the Florida Keys, which will begin as soon as all impacted areas are accessible.

Carnival Corporation’s cruise brands are contributing additional global fundraising efforts. Carnival Cruise Line set up a relief program enabling guests to donate directly to Hurricane Irma recovery efforts through its donation page available at Carnival Hurricane Relief.

Princess Cruises’ Princess Foundation has also pledged to match donations made through its donation page, which will be available soon through the brand’s website.

Additionally, P&O Cruises UK is setting up a campaign to support hurricane relief through donations directly to UNICEF.

Carnival Corporation and its global brands are also encouraging employees to support the recovery efforts in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, while also matching some individual donations.

The Hurricane Irma support and relief efforts follow the recent announcement that Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation provided a minimum of $2 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery across the Gulf Coast region.

Support following Hurricane Harvey has been committed to Direct Relief, Houston Food Bank, Operation Homefront, Save the Children and the United Way of Greater Houston.

Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation and Micky Arison’s Family Foundation Donate $2 Million to Hurricane Harvey Relief

August 30, 2017.

 

Carnival Cruise Line, and its parent company, Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation are pledging a minimum of $2 million to relief and rebuilding efforts in the Gulf Coast region in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2004.

Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation, are each donating $500,000 to Harvey disaster relief efforts, for a total donation of $1 million from the company. Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine are matching the corporation’s commitment with a $1 million donation from the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation.

To help generate additional relief funds, cruise guests sailing on certain Carnival Cruise Line cruises will have the option to make a donation when they check in for their cruise, while the corporation’s brands and employees will be participating as well.

Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival Corporation are working together with emergency response authorities, community leaders, and key relief and recovery organizations to identify the most urgent needs and immediate allocations for the donated funds. The donation will be used to maximize positive impacts on recovery efforts and support on-the-ground teams that are distributing emergency supplies and aiding rebuilding efforts targeting the most affected families in the region

MSC Seaview Floated Out

August 23, 2017.

The second ship in MSC Cruises’ innovative Seaside class enters the final phase of construction, ramping up for her inaugural season in the Mediterranean

MSC Cruises today celebrated the float out of MSC Seaview. The ceremony, held at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard in Italy, officially marked the first time that the vessel has touched water since beginning construction.

As the second of MSC Cruises’ Seaside generation of cruise ships, MSC Seaview is based on a highly-innovative prototype — bringing guests closer to the sea than ever before; designed specifically for warmer climates; and providing the ultimate sun and sea cruise experience. The revolutionary ship is set to come into service in June 2018, just six months after her sister ship MSC Seaside debuts and arrives in Miami in December 2017, following a Grand Voyage from Trieste, Italy to Miami, Florida.

MSC Seaview will sail her inaugural 2018 summer season in the Mediterranean, offering travelers dynamic itineraries and the chance to explore a variety of unique destinations, while only having to unpack once. Guests can discover seven lively ports from four different countries, including Genoa, Naples, Messina, Valetta, Barcelona and Marseille. Specific itineraries can be viewed here.

Following her inaugural season, MSC Seaview will follow the sun to Brazil and the Southern hemisphere for the winter 2018-2019 season, with ports of call in Santos, Ilha Grande, Buzios, Porto Belo and Camboriu.

The float out is a key milestone in the construction of a cruise ship, marking the completion of the ship’s exterior. The dry dock is flooded and the vessel meets water for the first time before being moved to a wet dock. Now, in the final phase of construction, work begins to complete the interiors, fixtures and furnishings.

MSC Seaview is the second of two identical ships in the Seaside class — at 1,060 ft. long and 154,000 GRTs — and holding a maximum capacity of 5,179 guests (4,134 at double occupancy).

The launch of MSC Seaview will mark the third next-generation ship from MSC Cruises to come into service in just 12 months, following MSC Meraviglia (June 2017) and, her sister ship, MSC Seaside (December 2017).

Carnival Paradise To Offer 5 Additional Cuba Cruises in 2018

August 16, 2018.

The Carnival Paradise arrives in Havana Harbor in Havana, Cuba. (Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line)

Following strong response to its first-ever cruises to Cuba this year, Carnival Cruise Line has added five more voyages featuring extended calls in Havana in 2018.

The new voyages include three five-day cruises to Havana and Cozumel or Key West departing Feb. 17, July 2 and Sept. 5, 2018; a six-day sailing featuring Havana and Grand Cayman departing Aug. 26, 2018; and an eight-day voyage with stops at Havana, Grand Cayman and Cozumel departing Aug. 18, 2018.

All of the voyages include a day-long call and overnight in Havana with the eight-day cruise of Aug. 18, 2018, offering two full days at the historic Cuban capital.

Earlier this year, Carnival announced a series of four- and five-day voyages to Havana that kicked off in late June.  (Editor’s Note:  I was on the inaugural voyage on June 29 and it was a wonderful cruise)

Upcoming voyages in the initial roll-out include four-day cruises departing Aug. 24, Sept. 7 and 21, and Oct. 5 and 19, 2017 as well as May 3, 2018 and five-day voyages departing Aug. 28, Sept. 25 and Oct. 9, 2017.

Carnival Paradise guests can select from nearly 20 different shore excursion experiences that showcase Cuba’s vibrant culture, majestic beauty and centuries-old architectural landmarks.

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

Aboard Carnival Paradise, guests enjoy an array of amenities and a full schedule of daytime activities and nighttime entertainment, including newly added Cuban-themed entertainment and activities. Dining options include two full-service main dining rooms and expansive poolside eatery with a 24-hour pizzeria.

The ship also features a 12,000-square-foot Spa Carnival health and wellness facility and an exclusive Serenity adults-only retreat.  Family-friendly programming includes Seuss at Sea in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises as well as fun, supervised activities for kids in three age groups.  Four swimming pools and a 115-foot-long cascading water slide are also featured.

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.

Azamara Club Cruises Announces More Cuba Sailings

August 10, 2017.

Azamara Club Cruises just announced additional Cuba sailings with more overnights, new shore excursions at night and an ‘AzAmazing Evenings’ event in 2018 and 2019!  The new itineraries range from four to fourteen nights and visit some of the most diverse Cuban ports like Cienfuegos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The voyages also include new onboard Cuban-themed programming, two overnights in Havana and shore excursions to Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos.  Three new Cruise Global, Nights Local shore excursions include a musical evening at Fusion Havana, a Jewish Heritage Tour in Havana and an entertaining evening at Cabaret Parisien. 

Three New Cruise Global, Nights Local Shore Excursions

As part of Azamara’s commitment to Destination Immersion®, Cruise Global, Connect Local will introduce guests to the culture and people of Cuba in the most authentic way. From locally inspired small-group excursions by day and night to the signature AzAmazing Evening in Cuba, there are three new night experiences, including:

  • Cabaret Parisien, Havana: Visit the Nacional Hotel de Cuba and marvel at the cabaret show “Cuban, Cuban,” a true sensation based entirely on island culture.  This colorful performance features stunning costumes, lively music and captivating dance moves reflecting Indo-American, Hispanic and African influences.  Before the performance, wander the lovely hotel gardens and gaze out at the sparkling nighttime views of the Havana Malecón.
  • Musical Evening at Fusión Havana, Havana: Embark on a truly captivating evening filled with the excitement of sultry music and dances of Havana, as Cuban rhythms, Latin Jazz, and Flamenco resound through the Fusión Havana, a local showplace and restaurant.  Cuba Libres and other favorite local cocktails will be served at a two-hour open bar with local delicacies like savory croquettes and stuffed tostones.
  • Jewish Heritage Tour, Havana: Embrace Cuba’s rich Jewish heritage with a guided tour that takes you through the streets of Old Havana’s Jewish Quarter. With plenty of local encounters to hear firsthand stories about the Jewish community, the tour includes a visit to the spectacular Hotel Raquel, a breathtaking example of Havana’s Jewish influence, and to a local synagogue for an authentic look at how locals worship. Pay moving visits to a historic Jewish cemetery and Havana’s Holocaust Museum, a solemn reminder of World War II, curated by the local community.

Additionally, a number of experiences are being developed throughout Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba to give Azamara guests immersive and localized experiences outside of Havana including:

  • Santiago de Cuba: Guests will explore a variety of well-known and off-the-beaten track historical sites including the Colonial Historic Center of San Juan Hill, where an instrumental battle in the Spanish – Cuban – American war occurred.  Then travel to the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, where notable Cuban national hero and literary import Jose Marti is laid to rest.
  • Cienfuegos: After starting their tour in Cienfuegos, guests will travel to Trinidad, where they can explore the colonial old town and quaint cobblestone streets.  A stop at Potter’s House gives guests the chance to discover the artwork of Cuban craftsmen and learn about their technique passed down through generations.  Guests will round out their visit to Cienfuegos to view a performance at the Teatro Tomas Terry followed by shopping the Santa Isabel Boulevard.