Princess Cruises 2019 Europe Season Announced

November 29, 2017.

Program Highlights include New Dublin Departures, Return to Greenland, Grand Mediterranean and Access to More Than 50 Must-See UNESCO World Heritage Sites

New Elite Member Benefit Allows Booking a Day Earlier than Public Sale Date

 

Princess Cruises today announced its 2019 cruises and cruisetours, open for sale December 14, 2017.

Noteworthy itineraries for the 2019 season include Northern Europe, with the cruise line’s return to Greenland on Pacific Princess, new departures out of Dublin on the popular British Isles itineraries aboard Crown Princess and the opportunity to search for the Northern Lights in Norway on Sapphire Princess, sailing the longest season ever out of London (Southampton), England.

All cruises also include the cruise line’s exclusive and award-winning Local Connections program, bringing storytellers aboard to share their personal insights about upcoming ports, offering guests an insider’s guide to their next destination.

The 2019 season features five ships sailing to 130 destinations from the corners of the Mediterranean to the northernmost tip of Europe.Guests can choose from 85 unique itineraries on 211 cruise departures, visiting 37 countries, featuring 30 ports with longer time ashore, including five ports with overnight stays.

Highlights of the 2019 Europe season include:

New Itineraries and Cruisetours

  • Greenland & Iceland (with Optional Edinburgh Military Tattoo) 18-day voyage on Pacific Princess, roundtrip from London (Dover), calling to Greenland, Iceland, and Edinburgh (Rosyth) for the opportunity to see the world-famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo
  • Search for the Northern Lights 12-day voyage on Sapphire Princess, roundtrip from London (Southampton), with an overnight in Alta and a late-night stay in Tromso, to enhance the chance of seeing one of Mother Nature’s greatest wonders
  • Scandinavia & Russia 11-day sailings from Helsinki (in addition to Copenhagen and Berlin (Warnemunde)
  • British Isles 12-day cruises departing from Dublin (in addition to London (Southampton) and Paris/Normandy (Le Havre)
  • Grand Mediterranean and Grand Western Mediterranean 11-day voyages on Emerald Princess, combinable for a 22-day Grand Mediterranean Collection voyage
  • Spanish Passage & Panama Canal 29-day Adventure from Barcelona to Los Angeles on Emerald Princess
  • Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Wales on 14-day cruises aboard Pacific Princess, with maiden calls to Portland (for Stonehenge), Portree (Isle of Skye), and Aberdeen

Northern Europe

  • Scandinavia & Russia 11-day sailings from Copenhagen, Berlin (Warnemunde), or Helsinki on Ocean Medallion-enabled Regal Princess, featuring overnights in St. Petersburg and late evening stays in Berlin (Warnemunde)
  • Scandinavia & Russia 14-day sailings from London (Southampton) on Sapphire Princess or from London (Dover) on Pacific Princess, featuring overnights in St. Petersburg
  • British Isles 12-day sailings on Ocean Medallion-enabled Crown Princess, with round-trip departures from London (Southampton), Paris/Normandy (Le Havre), or Dublin
  • Overnight stays in Dublin on select British Isles sailings, in addition to late departures from Belfast on every 12-day British Isles sailing
  • Two opportunities on Pacific Princess and three opportunities on Crown Princess to see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo from either Greenock, Rosyth, or South Queensferry
  • Round-trip London (Dover) sailings on Pacific Princess, visiting a variety of boutique Northern Europe destinations, including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, the Shetland Islands, and the Faroe Islands
  • Additional opportunity to visit Greenland on a 16-day Greenland & Canada voyage on Ocean Medallion-enabled Caribbean Princess, roundtrip New York

Mediterranean

  • Emerald Princess offers 58 sailings in the Mediterranean, ranging from seven to 22 days and departing from Barcelona, Rome (Civitavecchia), and Athens (Piraeus)
  • More Ashore late-night stay in Chania (Crete) and Mykonos on every seven-day Mediterranean & Aegean and late-night stay in Barcelona and Genoa on every seven-day Mediterranean on Emerald Princess
  • Two unique 14-day itineraries from London (Southampton) to the Western Mediterranean on Sapphire Princess
  • Pacific Princess 11- to 28-day voyages, visiting a variety of destinations throughout the Mediterranean such as Croatia, Greece, Malta, and Corsica, with overnight stays in Venice on all 12-day voyages between Rome (Civitavecchia) and Venice
  • European Explorer 10-day sailings between Rome (Civitavecchia) and London (Southampton) on Sapphire Princess, combinable with the 27-day Mediterranean & Southeast Asia voyages between Rome (Civitavecchia) and Singapore for an epic 37-day Indian Ocean & Europe Grand Adventure
  • Opportunity to visit one of the newly inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Sites of 2017, the “Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries: Stato da Terra – Western Stato da Mar,” which include the Fort of St. Nikola in Sibenik and the Fortified City of Kotor

Europe Cruisetours

To further enhance guests’ European vacation, Princess Cruises is offering four unique cruisetours to choose from in 2019:

  • NEW – Highlights of Spain: Offered with the seven-day Mediterranean or 11-day Grand Western Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona, visiting Madrid, Valencia, Toledo and featuring the sights and tastes of Spain
  • Ring of Kerry: offered with the 12-day British Isles cruise, includes a traditional Ceili dinner and highlights the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney and Cork
  • Classic Italy: visit Venice, Florence and Rome’s greatest sights: Venice’s St. Mark’s Square and Doge’s Palace, Rome’s Coliseum and Vatican museums, the Duomo and Michelangelo’s sculpture of David in Florence. All sights are offered with the seven-day Mediterranean & Aegean cruise or the 11-day Grand Central Mediterranean cruise
  • Imperial Treasures: brings guests to Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin for a memorable introduction to these historic European cities and is offered with the 11-day Scandinavia & Russia cruise.

Captain’s Circle Savings and Early Booking Deposit

As new benefit under the Princess Cruises Captain’s Circle loyalty program, guests who have reached Elite status will have the opportunity to secure their booking a day earlier than the general public, which goes on sale December 14, 2017. A reduced deposit of 10 percent is available for bookings made by August 31, 2018.

Disney Cruise Line Adds New Spaces and Experiences For All Ages to Disney Magic in 2018

November 14, 2017.

The Disney Magic embodies the Disney Cruise Line tradition of blending the elegant grace of early 20th century transatlantic ocean liners with contemporary design to create a stylish and spectacular cruise ship. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)
A Tangled-themed family restaurant, a fresh new space for teens and a redesigned café for adults means something new for every member of the family aboard the Disney Magic

Exciting new spaces and new experiences designed for guests of all ages are coming to the Disney Magic in March 2018.

The ship’s newest highlights include:

An Enchanting Dining Experience for Families

At Rapunzel’s Royal Table, families will delight in an all-new dining experience inspired by the beloved story of Disney’s “Tangled.” The first table service restaurant themed to “Tangled” that features characters and live entertainment will transport Disney Magic guests to the kingdom of Corona for an evening of music and interactive fun featuring Rapunzel and the mischievous Snuggly Duckling Thugs.

Guests will step inside a regal ballroom in the royal castle, lit by glowing wish lanterns and adorned with colorful drawings that reflect Rapunzel’s artistic talents. Here, the King and Queen of Corona invite everyone to take part in a festive celebration of Rapunzel’s birthday and the anniversary of her return to the kingdom.

Throughout dinner, guests of all ages will be treated to live entertainment, including spirited singing and dancing led by the maître d’, a merry band of musicians, the mischievous Snuggly Duckling Thugs and of course, Princess Rapunzel herself.

The family fun is complete with themed menus, special activities and a lively parade to cap off the evening in Corona. The charm and enchantment of “Tangled” in Rapunzel’s Royal Table is the perfect pairing to “Tangled: The Musical” – the spellbinding original production that delights guests during each Disney Magic sailing.

Redesigned Retreat Just for Teens

Vibe, the space on the ship reserved for teens ages 14-17, is being transformed into a trendy urban loft environment. At Vibe, teens can enjoy a new coffee and smoothie bar, play video and virtual reality games, and check out other cool activities like a DJ spin-off and movie making. Activities at Vibe are organized and hosted by trained Disney counselors who facilitate the fun and interaction among teen guests.

Refined Escape Exclusively for Adults

Adults can relax at Cove Café, an adult-exclusive retreat that will be redesigned in a sophisticated tropical style. It’s the perfect place to sip a specialty coffee or tea throughout the day, or indulge in wine or a cocktail and light bites during the evening hours.

In this serene setting by the Quiet Cove Pool, adult beverage tastings are also available at select times for an additional fee. Just steps away, the adjacent Signals Bar will also be transformed with a similar look.

Elsewhere around the Disney Magic, other enhancement highlights include the addition of Club Disney Junior in Disney’s Oceaneer Club for children and a redesigned Rainforest Room with steam and hydrotherapy in Senses Spa for adults.

The new enhancements debut on Disney Magic starting March 9, 2018, on sailings from Miami, Fla. The four- and five-night Disney Magic sailings from Miami visit Key West, Fla.; Nassau, Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Beginning on May 14, 2018, the Disney Magic repositions to Europe for the summer season.

The Frustration-Free Cruise is Arriving on Royal Caribbean

November 8, 2017.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  is rolling out an unprecedented wave of digital innovations touching every aspect of its business, charting a course for a world where travel frustrations have disappeared, erased by technology that is transforming cruise ships from stem to stern.

Most visible to consumers through a guest-empowering app that will blanket the company’s 48-ship fleet over the next two years, the surge of innovation will also banish check-in lines at ports, equip crew members to anticipate guests’ needs, and enable giant cruise ships to sail through the water on a fuel-saving curtain of air.

Jay Schneider, RCL’s senior vice president, digital, said one focus of RCL’s company-wide innovation initiative is zeroing in on wasted effort and wasted energy. “We are finding ways to eliminate friction and frustration, giving guests more time to make the memories that make vacations special,” said Schneider. For example, guests will:

  • Board ships in the time it takes to order fries from the drive-through, skipping check-in lines thanks to facial recognition technology that knows who they are on arrival.
  • Sign up for shore excursions, order drinks and make dinner reservations without ever leaving their chairs by the pool thanks to an intuitive app on a device most of them already have—a smartphone.
  • Indulge in VR and AR experiences that transform ship spaces into virtual environments and interactive games, where stateroom ceilings might be replaced by starry skies, the walls of a restaurant can transform into the sights and sounds of an outdoor café and digital signs challenge you to play an arcade game.

The technological transformation also encompasses areas beyond the guest experience, including innovations to make ships more energy-efficient, enhance ship management and put more connectivity into the hands of crew members than ever before.

 

For guests: less friction, more time to make memories

One specific focus is removing time-stealing moments from the cruise experience. “Time spent in line—whether you’re waiting for your food, waiting for your bags to arrive, waiting on a table, or booking an excursion—is time stolen from your time off,” Schneider said. To return that time to guests, the company is combining technologies ranging from facial recognition to RFID tagging to GPS mapping to Bluetooth-enabled beacons to streamline boarding, manage check-ins automatically and improve wayfinding.

Many of these same technologies are being deployed to put the power to manage your vacation in the palm of your hand, said Schneider. “Our new app will make it simpler than ever to book and plan your cruise vacation from home or with a travel agent. Once on board, you can navigate our ships with interactive maps and guides, explore the ship with cool features like x-ray vision, or order drinks that can be delivered to you wherever you are on the ship.” The app, along with the next generation of the company’s WOW Bands, will also unlock guest staterooms and enable guests to control stateroom lighting and temperature.

An initial release of the cruise guest app is already available on selected ships in RCL’s fleet. Schneider said RCL will continue to refine the app, adding new ship-specific features and capabilities, with each subsequent release.

For crew: better interaction with guests and home

The innovations enriching the cruise guest experience will be complemented by a suite of tools for crews, as well. For example, the app-enabled offerings for guests will be mirrored on the crew side by mobile applications that help crew members check-in guests, complete required paperwork, track delivery of guests’ bags to their staterooms, and interact with guests and anticipate their needs throughout their vacations.

In addition, crews will have access to easier means to manage their own schedules, stay connected to friends and family while onboard, and stay connected to RCL during their off-contract periods.

For the RCL fleet: smarter, safer ships and a reduced environmental footprint

Forthcoming command centers will use augmented reality to assist with navigation and maneuvering.

In addition, in a safety-related application of the same technologies that will help servers deliver a drink to a guest anywhere on board, next generation bridge technology will allow officers to track guests on their way to muster stations to ensure all are accounted for and locate stragglers.

RCL is also innovating to reduce fuel consumption across its fleet, which not only lowers operating costs but also lightens stack emissions that are part of cruising’s environmental footprint. Historically, each new class of RCL ships is significantly more fuel efficient than its predecessors as new high efficiency appliances, window tinting and improved lighting, heating and cooling technologies help reduce energy needs. The company continues to evolve hull designs to reduce drag, an evolution most evident in the “bulbous bows” now common on cruise ships. In addition, RCL is pioneering the use of an air lubrication system that coats the hulls of its ships with millions of microscopic air bubbles to further reduce resistance and drag. In initial uses, air lubrication has reduced fuel consumption at speed by 7 to 8 percent.

Complementing RCL’s energy conservation efforts are initiatives to use alternative energy sources. Some RCL ships are already equipped with solar panels that generate sufficient power for limited onboard needs. At Sea Beyond, RCL will be previewing the use of fuel cells for power generation. Fuel cell use could fundamentally change ship design by distributing power sources throughout the ship. Furthermore, adoption of fuel cells would also mean producing less energy from diesel generators, reducing ships’ environmental footprints. The company is planning fuel cell experiments on existing ships, with an eye to extensive use of fuel cells and liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion on its upcoming Icon class of ships. “We are fully embracing the expectation that we run an environmentally sustainable business,” said Fain. “Experimenting with new ways to power our ships is just part of our broad commitment to being a responsible environmental steward.”

 

Carnival Horizon Completes Final Sea Trials

November 7, 2017.

Photo by Filippo Vinardi

Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, the 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon, successfully completed its final sea trials in the Adriatic Sea earlier this week in anticipation of its inaugural cruise from Barcelona on April 2, 2018.

Currently in the final stages of construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, the 3,974-passenger vessel had a full contingent of officers, technicians and engineers on board who thoroughly tested Carnival Horizon’s sophisticated technical, mechanical and navigation systems.

As the newest ship in the fleet, Carnival Horizon will offer a number of unique innovations, including the first-ever Dr. Seuss WaterWorks aqua park, a new teppanyaki dining venue, and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse Brewhouse, a new BBQ restaurant offering mouth-watering favorites created by Food Network star Guy Fieri along with a four different kinds of craft beer brewed at a brewery on board.

Carnival Horizon will also offer such popular Vista-class features as an IMAX Theatre, a groundbreaking bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction called SkyRide, the tropics-inspired Havana section with colorful staterooms and its own Cuban-themed bar and pool, and Family Harbor with extra-roomy accommodations and the Family Harbor Lounge.

Carnival Horizon is set to debut 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.

Holland America Receives 8 Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards

November 6, 2017.

Holland America Line dominated  Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards, garnering  eight honors.  Readers from Porthole recognized Holland America Line in areas that covered everything from destinations to onboard and shoreside experiences.

The awards include Best Canada/New England and Northern Europe Itineraries; Best Shore Excursions; Best Spa Facilities; Most Eco-Friendly Line; Best Medical Facilities; Best Facilities for Guests with Disabilities; and Best Private Island for Half Moon Cay, the line’s exclusive island in the Bahamas.

Porthole Cruise Magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards are determined by thousands of the publication’s readers who vote both online and via paper ballot on their favorite cruise lines in more than 50 categories.

Half Moon Cay: Best Private Island in its 20th Anniversary Year
For the past 17 years, Porthole Cruise Magazine’s readers have named Half Moon Cay the industry’s Best Private Island. In 2017 the island is celebrating its 20th anniversary with special events, upgrades and new facilities. Half Moon Cay features lovely beaches, a natural 700-acre lagoon,  two-story villas and private cabanas, as well as a variety of shore excursions.

Best Shore Excursions
Holland America Line guests can participate in EXC Tours (shore excursions) that are designed to help guests deeply connect with the people and places they are visiting. To help make the most of time ashore, Holland America Line’s expertly curated EXC Tours provide a wide variety of ways to explore and learn about the cultures of each port of call. Guests looking for a more tailored experience can delve deeper into The Collections tours and choose a shore excursion that has a particular focus.

Top Itineraries Earn Top Honors
Holland America Line earned a win for its Canada/New England itineraries. Stretching from April through October, the line offers the longest Canada/New England season in the industry. In 2018, four ships will feature cruises from seven to 15 days, with many able to combine with a Bermuda, Cuba or back-to-back Canada/New England cruise to form a longer Collectors’ Voyage.

The line’s northern Europe cruises garnered an additional honor for top itineraries. While visiting some of the most charming, scenic and historic ports, guests can marvel at the fjords of Norway, attend an evening ballet at St. Petersburg, Russia, or traverse the Arctic Circle to welcome the splendor of the midnight sun. In 2018, Holland America Line will have four ships sailing throughout the region from April through September.

Best Spa Facilities
Holland America Line’s Greenhouse Spa and Salon is a retreat that nurtures every aspect of well-being with renowned spa rituals and healing touches. Guests can relax and rejuvenate their mind, body and soul with a massage, facial or a dip in the hydropool. With the introduction of the two-story spa on ms Koningsdam, Holland America Line took the shipboard spa experience to a whole new level of pampering. It is the first in the fleet to feature a Medi-Spa and Barber Shop. The serene Spa Staterooms and Suites on select ships are spacious havens of peace and quiet, conveniently located steps away from the spa facilities.

Most Eco-Friendly Cruise Line
Holland America Line understands the great responsibility in safeguarding the oceans and environment. Through the “Our Marvelous Oceans” partnership with Marine Conservation Institute that began in 2010, Holland America Line educates guests and crew about marine conservation issues, including marine protected areas. Responsible energy, water and waste management are important components of the company’s sustainability strategy. Six of the 14 Holland America Line ships use shore power at the ports of Quebec, Seattle, San Diego and Vancouver.

State-of-the-Art Medical Facilities and Facilities for Guests with Disabilities
Once again, Holland America Line received recognition for its accessibility and medical facilities. Holland America ships accommodate guests with a variety of special needs and feature state-of-the-art shipboard medical facilities and equipment.

About Porthole Cruise Magazine
Porthole Cruise Magazine is published bimonthly in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The nation’s leading consumer cruise publication, it features cruise and destination articles for both first-time and experienced cruisers. Available on newsstands as well as by both print and digital subscriptions, each issue includes ship reviews, cruise destination features and other editorial about cruise trends, food and wine, spas and well-being, entertainment, kids’ activities, and other onboard amenities. To learn more, visit Porthole.com.

Carnival Garners 6 Readers Choice Awards From Porthole Cruise Magazine

November 6, 2017.

Carnival Cruise Line has earned six Porthole Cruise Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards, including Best Value for the Money Line for the 19th consecutive year.

Since the awards were established in 1999, Carnival Cruise Line has earned an unprecedented 152 individual honors – the most of any cruise operator.

Carnival’s six Porthole Cruise Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards include:

  • Best Value-For-The-Money Line
  • Best Cruise Line for Teens
  • Best Computer Facilities
  • Best Website
  • Best Nightlife
  • Best Mexican Riviera Itineraries

Carnival’s six Porthole Awards encompass a variety of categories, everything from providing a superior value with an array of free-of-charge dining and entertainment options to the line’s legendary nightlife, which includes fun-filled deck parties, sizzling dance clubs, high energy production shows and live music throughout the ship.

The line’s top-rated Club O2 teen program, which features designated facilities, enthusiastic counselors and activities aimed at 15-17 year olds, along with its immersive www.carnival.com web site that makes planning for a cruise vacation fun and easy, were also recognized as was the line’s fleetwide computer facilities with standalone workstations that provide convenient access for keeping in touch with friends and families back home.

Carnival is also the West Coast cruise leader, with three year-round ships operating 250 three- to 15-day cruises annually from Long Beach, Calif., visiting spectacular ports in Mexico and Hawaii. The line will increase capacity by more than 40 percent on its longer length cruises from Southern California when the 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor repositions to Long Beach in January 2018.

“Considering our awards cover such a diverse array of areas – from our teen program and nightlife to onboard computer facilities and itineraries – it’s truly gratifying to be recognized for the efforts we put forth in providing fun and memorable cruises for our guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.  “Plus, exceeding guests expectations is one of our brand pillars and earning Best Value honors for the 19th consecutive year is a testament to the value and affordability of the Carnival vacation experience.”

2018/19 Sailings For Azamara Pursuit Announced

October 25, 2017.

Azamara Club Cruises today revealed its 2018-19 sailings for the brand’s newest addition, Azamara Pursuit.

Azamara Pursuit will increase the brand’s destination offerings by 40% and will add 61 more destinations. Guests will also stay longer and experience more with 48 late nights and 26 overnights. Guests will get to experience some of the most unique destinations worldwide, including 15 maiden calls:

  • Agadir, Morocco
  • Antofagasta, Chile
  • Chilean Fjords
  • Cruising Beagle Channel
  • Fowey, United Kingdom
  • Laguna San Rafael, Chile
  • Lima (Callao), Peru
  • Maceió, Brazil
  • Monemvasia, Greece
  • Pisco (San Martin), Peru
  • Salaverry (Trujillo), Peru
  • Samos, Greece
  • San Antonio, Chile
  • Seyðisfjörður, Iceland
  • Spetses, Greece

South America Featured Experiences

Travelers sailing through South America will dock in marquee destinations such as Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, while also traversing through scenic channels such as the Fjords of Chile and Ushuaia, Argentina, the furthest south deep-water port.  Guests can also expect holiday stops in Rio de Janeiro for New Year’s Eve 2018 and for Carnaval in 2019. Like all Azamara voyages, the South American voyages will fully immerse guests in the most photo-worthy experiences, including:

Stargazing in Atacama Desert (Antofagasta, Chile): Sit back, look up and enjoy the peace, vastness and beauty of the stars in the Atacama Desert, the world’s driest desert.  Our three-day/two-night stargazing experience offers unparalleled views of millions of tiny diamonds against a black sky. Considered one of the best locations on earth to appreciate the Milky Way’s brilliant collection of stars. Azamara will take you via chartered plane from Antofagasta to San Pedro de Atacama for a two-night stay at the 5-star Tierra Atacama (or similar). You’ll visit Moon Valley, Quitor Fortress, Toconao Village & Chaxa Lagoon, then fly from Calama to La Serena via Santiago (on commercial air).

Casa de Aliaga (Lima, Peru): Guests will explore and embrace Peru when they dine in the oldest inhabited house in all of the Americas. This manor was built in 1536 during the Spanish conquest expedition of Peru. Your 17th generation family member and host will share this rich history of her family’s manor and the experiences of living there since she was seven.

A Culinary Experience in Bohemian Barranco (Lima, Peru): As one of the world’s top culinary destinations, guests will join a local foodie in Bohemian Barranco for a truly local experience. Walk through a typical Peruvian market, experience inspiring flavors and even prepare their own trademark Peruvian dishes like ceviche, while sipping Pisco Sours.

Yoga in the Paracas Desert (Pisco, Peru): While sailing on Azamara’s South American itineraries through its Cruise Global, Connect LocalSM experience, travelers are in touch with nature and oneself as they take part in open-air yoga classes at Atenas Beach in the Paracas National Reserve.

Europe Featured Experiences

Inside the Volcano (Reykjavik,Iceland): Take an elevator into the magma chamber of dormant volcano, Thrihnukagigur – once filled with hot lava. The Three Peaks Crater erupted 4,000 years ago and is truly a unique natural phenomenon.

Cruise Global Stay Local – (Akureyri, Iceland to Seydisfjordur, Iceland): In a 2days/1 night excursion, guests can enjoy spectacular views of the Godafoss waterfall (the “Waterfall of the Gods”). See the natural wonders of Lake Mývatn including Skútustaðir craters, Dimmuborgir lava labyrinth and Námaskarð thermal field before ending the day in total relaxation at Mývatn Nature Baths health spa. Float in the bubbling warm lagoon or relax with a natural sulfur-free steam bath as you experience true calm. On day two, guests will also travel alongside Jökulsárgljúfur Glacial canyon to Seyðisfjörður, to see the most powerful waterfalls in Europe. Passing Húsavík village, they’ll visit Hljóðaklettar and their echoing cliffs known for basalt columns. This place is known to be the meeting place of the pagan Gods. The last stop on this one-night excursion will be at Dettifoss waterfall, the biggest waterfall in Iceland and believed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe.

Greece Day Tour (Nauplion, Greece): Guests will visit the Monastery of St. John (Prodromos), built on the side of a rock face around 1167. They’ll enjoy a spectacular Greek lunch at a wealthy Arcadian mansion of the 1840’s, where guests will meet with the hotel owners.

Followed by a complimentary AzAmazing Evening in Rhodes, Greece where they’ll spend the evening at Tafros Theater seeing an exclusive performance of the ancient Greek drama, Antigone by Sophocles (in English).

Azamara Pursuit is comparable in size to the Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, allowing guests access to unique ports that larger ships are unable to reach. Together, the three ships will now offer guests the opportunity to visit 7 continents and 217 ports from August 28, 2018 to April 5, 2019.

Carnival & Brees Dream Foundation Team Up for Fun Sweepstakes

October 19, 2017.

Awarding Free Cruise Each Game Saints Throw for 300 Yards This Season

Carnival Cruise Line – the Official Cruise Line of the New Orleans Saints – and the Brees Dream Foundation have teamed up for a fun sweepstakes awarding a different lucky fan a free cruise each time the Saints pass for more than 300 yards in a game during the 2017 season.

A 17-year veteran and the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV, Brees is one of the most prolific passers in NFL history with an NFL record 113 career 300-yard passing games, including the playoffs.

Fans who register at www.carnival.com/saints are automatically entered into the promotion which runs for the entire 2017 regular season.

The contest is designed to raise funds and bring awareness to the mission of the Brees Dream Foundation which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for cancer patients and providing care, education and opportunities for children and families in need. Since its inception 12 years ago, the Foundation has contributed over $25 million to charitable causes globally. Carnival will make a cash donation to the Brees Dream Foundation.

The sweepstakes also continues Carnival’s ongoing support of the New Orleans community.  Carnival is the city’s number one cruise operator with two year-round ships carrying more than 400,000 passengers annually from the Erato Street Cruise Terminal – the most of any cruise line.

For full sweepstakes rules and regulations, visit www.carnival.com/saints.  Additional information on the Brees Dream Foundation is available at www.drewbrees.com.

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.