Holland America Offering Up to $400 Onboard Credit in Celebration of Choose Cruise Month

October 2, 2018.

Holland America Line is supporting October’s Choose Cruise Month organized by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) with an offer on more than 800 cruises sailing to all destinations that features up to $400 onboard spending money.

The month long event that runs Oct. 1 – 31, 2018 and applies to select sailings from fall 2018 through spring 2020.

For the Choose Cruise offer, travelers making a booking on select fall and holiday 2018 through spring 2020 cruises (excluding Grand Voyages) in ocean view and above staterooms receive onboard spending money up to $400, depending on the length of the cruise and type of stateroom (ocean view or higher) booked. This offer can be combined with the cruise line’s Explore4 promotion that provides four added-value extras for guests booking any category stateroom, including a Signature Beverage Package, 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.

With Explore4 suite bookings also receive $200 onboard spending money per stateroom ($100 per person) in addition to the four offers and exclusive Choose Cruise Month onboard spending money, making it possible to receive a total of up to $600 in onboard spending money.

Through the combined Choose Cruise and Explore4 promotions, for example, guests can book a seven-day western Caribbean sailing aboard Nieuw Statendam Feb. 10, 2019, for $849 per person for an ocean view stateroom with a 50 percent reduced deposit required. Each stateroom would receive a total $50 shipboard credit in addition to Pinnacle Grill dinner for two ($70 value) and Signature Drink Package for two ($700 value). Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional.

Guests looking to take advantage of the Choose Cruise offer can book select itineraries to all of Holland America Line’s global destinations, including Alaska and Alaska Land+Sea Journeys (Explore4 applies to cruise portion only), Asia, Australia/New Zealand, the Baltic, Canada and New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Holiday, the Mediterranean, Mexico, the Panama Canal and South America. Grand Voyages and Grand Voyage segments are excluded.

Carnival’s ‘Frightfully Fun’ Halloween Events On All October Sailings

October 2, 2018.

Carnival Cruise Line is hosting “Frightfully Fun” festivities during all sailings throughout the month of October.

Patch the Pumpkin Pirate

The month-long “spook-tacular” is highlighted by the debut of Patch the Pumpkin Pirate, a colorful swashbuckling seafarer who towers 12 feet tall and greets guests as they board each ship.  Kids can gather around Patch as they listen to Scary Story Time hosted by the cruise director.

And what’s Halloween without trick or treating where guests of all ages can stock up on candy and other goodies from costumed crew members at different venues throughout the ship.  The event concludes with a costume contest with prizes for the most creative get-ups.

All-ages activities including Thriller dance classes, Patch’s Deck Party, Halloween-themed trivia and bingo, and pumpkin-carving contests, along with poolside DiveIn Movies showing scary (and not so scary) films like Hotel Transylvania 3:  Summer Vacation, Dracula Untold and It, are also featured.  Guests can also enjoy tasty Halloween treats and custom libations like Witches Brew and the Green Goblin.

Ocean Medallion Now Operating Ship-wide on Caribbean Princess

September 27, 2018.

Caribbean Princess Bar Harbor, Maine

For guests sailing on Caribbean Princess since early September, satisfaction scores indicate they thoroughly enjoy using their OceanMedallion™ to discover how the technology can elevate their experience to a higher level by removing friction points, delivering enhanced levels of personalization and guest service all the while staying connected with land-like internet streaming speeds.

OceanMedallion, the wearable device guests use to access enhanced experiences, continues to roll out as part of a phased activation plan that since early September has been used by all of the 3,100 guests on Caribbean Princess. OceanMedallion features leading-edge technology that enhances guest-crew interactions, enables interactive entertainment, and delivers personalized service.

OceanMedallion-enabled features specifically designed to enhance the vacation experience. They currently include:

  • Keyless Stateroom Access: Stateroom entry is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated and the door automatically unlocks, with personalized greetings launching soon.
  • MedallionPay™: All guests use an easy and hassle-free, payment experience enabling crew members to focus on guest service interactions.
  • OceanCasino™: On smart devices and select portals, guests can wager real money on a portfolio of games, including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board.
  • OceanCompass™ featuring OceanNav™ and ShipMates: On select portals guests can use OceanNav for point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship via an intelligent navigation assistant, and utilize ShipMates to easily locate friends, family and kids.
  • JourneyView: On portals throughout the ship, guests can access a real-time look at their itinerary, along with events and activities taking place during their cruise.
  • OceanViewTM: Guests can stream more than 100 hours of award-winning Ocean Original travel content – which airs nationally on weekends on ABC and NBC – to their smart device anywhere on the ship at no cost.
  • PlayOceanTM: On portals located shipwide, guests are able to play family games, including trivia, word jumble, a matching game, and Ocean Treks Adventure – an interactive, shipwide digital scavenger hunt.

OceanMedallion was first unveiled by Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald at CES 2017 and was a key factor in Fast Company recognizing the corporation with two Innovation as Design Awards that same year.

 

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 Says Goodbye To Tenders

September 27, 2018.

No, this doesn’t mean Carnival will be docking everywhere from now on.  The cruise line is replacing the word ‘tender’ with ‘water shuttle’.

According to Brand Ambassador John Heald on his Facebook page this morning:

“It seems many first time cruisers did not quite understand what a tender is and this caused confusion and therefore hindered the smooth operation of the operation.”

“This means you will be taking a water shuttle ashore and will collect a water shuttle ticket and will hear the CD’s reference the same in their announcements”

The change takes effect immediately.

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.

Carnival Horizon Arrives At PortMiami

September 21, 2018.

Carnival Horizon’s arrival at PortMiami, its new year-round homeport, was marked with a larger-than-life celebration highlighted by a fun basketball-themed event featuring the company’s Chief Fun Officer – NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal – along with Miami HEAT legends Alonzo Mourning, Shane Battier and Glen Rice.

The festivities, which took place prior to Carnival Horizon’s inaugural two-day cruise, included the unveiling of a large Choose Fun bumper sticker on the ship’s stern, as well as a flyover from the Carnival AirShip – a massive 128-foot-long red, white and blue blimp that has been traveling the Southeast to bring awareness of new ship deployments in several key markets as part of the line’s monthlong Homeport Advantage campaign.

The Carnival Airship floats over Carnival Vista, bottom, and Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Horizon, second from top, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Miami. Following a two-day cruise, Horizon is to kick off kicks off a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises from PortMiami beginning Saturday, Sept. 22. The 128-foot-long red, white, and blue blimp is traveling the southeast to promote ship deployments in several key markets including in Miami. Vista and Horizon have “Choose Fun” stern signage promoting the line’s newest marketing campaign. Carnival Sensation is at top. (Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line)

During the event, Carnival presented a $25,000 donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital representing funds from an online promotion in which consumers who posted a photo of the AirShip in social media with the hashtag #ChooseFun triggered a donation to the hospital and entered them in a drawing for free cruises and other prizes.

Following the two-day cruise, Carnival Horizon kicks off a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises from PortMiami beginning Sept. 22, 2018.

 

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.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Summer 2020 Itineraries

September 18, 2018.

Norwegian Encore

 Norwegian Cruise Line today opened for sale the summer 2020 itineraries for 11 of its 17 ships, including upcoming voyages for Norwegian Encore, the debuting in 2019. The cruise line also opened summer 2021 through spring 2022 sailings on its Hawaii-based Pride of America.

The summer 2020 schedule includes three ships cruising to Alaska, four ships in Europe and two sailing to Bermuda from New York City and Boston, including Norwegian Encore, which begins sailing from the city that never sleeps on April 22, 2020.

Alaska – Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Jewel

Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Jewel will sail to Alaska in summer 2020. Sister ships, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss, return to the state with seven-day cruises from Seattle, Washington beginning May 9 and May 10 respectively. In Alaska, Norwegian Joy will call to Holkham Bay, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Ketchikan, and in British Columbia, she will call in Victoria. Norwegian Bliss will call to Glacier Bay, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, Alaska as well as Victoria, British Columbia.

Rounding out the Alaskan fleet, beginning May 11, Norwegian Jewel returns to Vancouver, British Columbia and Seward, Alaska to sail her popular seven-day Glacier Bay Northbound and Inside Passage itineraries.

Europe – Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Epic

Norwegian Escape will make her European debut on May 29 offering nine-day cruises to the Baltic region from Copenhagen, Denmark with calls to Warnemünde, Germany; Tallinn, Estonia, Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm(Nynashamn), Sweden and an overnight in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Norwegian Escape will be one of the newest and largest Norwegian ships to homeport in Europe offering guests flexibility and choice with over 27 dining options, 21 bars and lounges, Broadway-style entertainment and more.

For the first time, beginning May 15, Norwegian Dawn will cruise from Europe offering seven-to-eleven-day sailings to the Greek Isles from Venice, Italy. From May 8, Norwegian Getaway will offer ten-and-eleven-day cruises to the Greek Isles and Italy from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy. Both Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Getaway will visit Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu, Santorini and Mykonos, Greece, among other Mediterranean cities. Norwegian Epic’s European summer 2020 itineraries will open for sale on October 16, 2018.

Bermuda – Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Gem

Following her inaugural season in the Caribbean, Norwegian Encore will reposition from Miami, Florida to New York City offering seven-day cruises to Bermuda beginning April 22, while Norwegian Gem will offer seven-day voyages from Boston to Bermuda beginning May 1. Both ships’ seven-day itineraries overnight in port offering guests three days in Bermuda.

Caribbean – Norwegian Breakaway

Beginning April 23, Norwegian Breakaway returns to Miami with a selection of five-and-seven-day cruises to the Western Caribbean visiting Roatan and Bay Islands, Honduras; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; and the resort-style island destination of Harvest Caye in Southern Belize. She will also sail a variety of three-and-four-day cruises to the Bahamas calling to Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island.

Bahamas & Florida / Canada & New England – Norwegian Pearl

As of May 23, for the first time, Norwegian Pearl will homeport in New York City offering select seven, ten and eleven-day cruises to Canada and New England with calls to Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; and Newport, Rhode Island. She will also offer seven-day voyages to Bahamas and Florida with visits to Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau and Norwegian’s private island paradise, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, which will have recently undergone enhancements as part of Norwegian Edge®, the company’s commitment to elevating the standard of excellence across its fleet and resort-style destinations.

Hawaii – Pride of America

Pride of America will continue cruising her seven-day inter-island itinerary that offers nearly 100 hours of port time in Hawaii’s main islands, including calls in Hilo, Kona, and overnight stays in Kahului, Maui and Nãwiliwili, Kauai with an afternoon cruising past the breathtaking Nãpali Coast. Norwegian’s Pride of America will depart from Honolulu every Saturday beginning May 1, 2021 through April 2022.