Construction Of First Carnival XL-Class Ship Begins

November 15, 2018.

Carnival Cruise Line and Meyer Turku shipyard have officially started construction for the line’s newest class of ship.  Also, Carnival revealed the new livery (paint job) for the 180,000-ton XL vessel that will be the first-ever ship operating in North America to use liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The traditional steel-cutting ceremony held at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, signified the official start of construction of the largest Carnival cruise ship ever constructed, to be delivered in 2020.  A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding.

At the ceremony, the company also revealed a dramatic new red, white and blue hull design that celebrates its legacy as “America’s Cruise Line” and pays homage to maritime tradition.  Developed by New York-based Bluarch Architecture, the design builds upon the company’s iconic color scheme that has made Carnival one of the most recognizable brands in travel and is highlighted by a navy blue hull with red and white accents running the entire length of the 1,130-foot-long ship.

Following the steel-cutting ceremony, construction began on the 5,200-plus lower berth ship which will offer a variety of new innovations.

As previously announced, the as-yet-unnamed ship will operate from Port Canaveral beginning in 2020.  The ship’s name is scheduled to be revealed in early December.  Details on the ship’s inaugural season are planned to be announced in January, with information on the vessel’s culinary, beverage and entertainment options to be revealed later in 2019.

Princess Cruises Continues Year-Round Caribbean Cruises with Summer 2020 Program

November 7, 2018.

Princess Cruises continues to offer year-round Caribbean cruising from Florida with family-friendly summer vacations in 2020, featuring  Eastern  and Western Caribbean itineraries aboard Caribbean Princess, the first OceanMedallion activated ship.

The April through July 2020 summer season features 15 cruise departures roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, visiting seven destinations on alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages, with the option to combine two cruises for a 14-day Caribbean East/West Adventurer.  Eastern Caribbean voyages visit St. Thomas, St. Maarten and the cruise line’s top-ranked private island Princess Cays. Western Caribbean cruises sail to Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize City and Cozumel. A 21-day Circle Caribbean Adventurer also visits off-the-beaten path, southern ports including Antigua, St. Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad, Curacao and Aruba.

With OceanMedallion guests use their wearable medallion to discover how a personalized vacation 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-enabled features 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.
OceanNowTM: Using smart devices, guests have the ability to place a food or drink order and have it delivered directly to them in food and beverage locations throughout the ship.
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.
MedallionNet: Wi-Fi connectivity that is fast, reliable, unlimited and affordable. Guests on MedallionClass ships experience land-like connectivity for streaming sports, movies, music and videos, communicating on video phone calls from anywhere on the ship, and sharing their vacation experiences in real time with friends and family back home on social media platforms.

While guests enjoy their personalized experience aboard Caribbean Princess, they will continue to feel the destination with “Rhythm of the Caribbean,” an authentic regionalized program offering concerts, crafts and even presentations by local guests, such as shark experts, treasure hunters and more. The regional cuisine is also brought to life with a diverse fusion of flavors drawn from the Caribbean’s coasts with dishes like Jamaican jerk chicken, delicious red snapper, Creole black mussels, Puerto Rican mofongo or fried plantains, and pineapple crème brulée.

The cruise line also offers “More Ashore” ports calls (9 pm or later departures) in Cozumel or St. Thomas on all summer cruises.

Captain’s Circle Savings and Early Booking Deposit

Princess Past Guests are eligible for a special promotion when they book early. The special promotion consists of a $50 per person discount off the public fare, based on itinerary. This can be combined with launch and group promotions. These discounts do not apply to third or fourth berth guests. Additionally, a reduced deposit is available for Captain Circle guests when they book early.

Royal Caribbean Reveals New Features Coming To Navigator Of The Seas

November 1, 2018.

Royal Caribbean International is definitely amping things up on 3- to 4-night Caribbean cruises.  I was recently on Mariner Of The Seas, which received a major refit earlier this year and I was highly impressed with the reborn ship in every way.  Now comes news of the  new experiences coming to a reimagined Navigator of the Seas.

With a $115 million modernization, Navigator will offer vacationers a lineup of firsts and Royal Caribbean favorites, including a Caribbean poolscape, two waterslides, the first blow dry bar at sea, Insta-worthy nightlife and dining, and activities for the whole family.  Travelers can experience the new features starting on February 24, 2019, when the amplified ship sets sail on her first cruise from Miami.  Beginning May 2019, Navigator will offer short Caribbean itineraries that will visit the cruise line’s highly anticipated private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Over-the-Top Deck
Navigator’s top decks will be the center of this weekend escape with adrenaline-inducing and feel-good moments from bow to stern.

The Perfect Storm brings a new wave of excitement with the boldest duo of waterslides yet, featuring The Blaster, the cruise line’s first-ever aqua coaster and the longest waterslide at sea.  Guests will hop on a two-person raft that will propel them through more than 800 feet of hills, drops and straightaways, which includes extending over the side of the ship for a rush of ocean air. On its counterpart, Riptide, guests will plunge down the industry’s only headfirst mat racer and reach an exhilarating finish through a translucent tube with endless ocean views. Signature Royal Caribbean features like the FlowRider surf simulator and rock-climbing wall will round out these next-level feats. 

Travelers can take a beat or the whole day to unwind under the sun with a completely reimagined poolscape infused with Caribbean vibes. The standout resort-style deck takes on a new look with more pool for everyone – even a Splash Pad for tots – and all the ingredients that make for a perfect weekend. New to the scene is The Lime and Coconut. The two-level signature bar will sweeten sunsets with cocktails as pool days transform into pool nights with extended hours, live music and a “rooftop” deck for a bird’s-eye view. When hunger strikes, the weekend goes uninterrupted with casual grab-and-go spots on deck. Guests can conveniently choose from tasty Mexican street fare at El Loco Fresh and American classics at the first Johnny Rockets Express.

Hooked On Seafood

Elevated Dining and Nightlife
Having originally debuted on Voyager Class, the cruise line’s signature Royal Promenade will tout new restaurants, retail and nightlife. After a day in the sun, travelers can swing by To Dry For, the first standalone blow dry bar at sea. Offering blowouts, hairstyling and polish changes, plus a selection of wines and champagnes, the new space is the perfect stop for a quick beauty fix before a night out. The Bamboo Room, first introduced on Mariner of the Seas, is the cruise line’s Polynesian-themed watering hole with kitschy-cool cocktails and unique tiki-chic décor. For those looking to catch the big game or host game night, Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade features 50 big-screen TVs, tabletop games, tournaments, trivia, a new Owner’s Box VIP room, and a menu of classic bar fare with a twist alongside ice-cold brews.

Every palate will be pleased when popular Royal Caribbean restaurants join a refreshed Chops Grille steakhouse. Guests can go for Jamie’s Italian to get a taste of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s rustic Italian dishes made with seasonal ingredients and homemade pastas crafted in-house daily. Foodies angling for fresh seafood and ocean views in a casual setting will find New England-inspired dishes, from lobster and crab claws to local fish and just-shucked oysters, at Hooked Seafood. Also new on board will be Starbucks, with an extensive menu of drinks and pastries.

Amped-up Family Adventure
A getaway on board Navigator means time off for the parents and kids, with activities and experiences to thrill every member of the family. Beyond the action-packed top decks are more Royal Caribbean hits, including glow-in-the-dark laser tag with Battle for Planet Z in Studio B, mini-golf and the Royal Escape Room: The Observatorium, where family, friends and foes team up to solve new mind-bending puzzles before time runs out.

Younger kids will enjoy Royal Caribbean’s new take on the Adventure Ocean youth program in a newly designed open, free play space. With trained staff and the cruise line’s award-winning programming, the modern concept will let imaginations roam free with activities organized by interests at every corner. The teen areas will also sport updates with a redesigned Living Room, the teen-only laidback hangout, as well as a new “hidden” entrance and outdoor deck that serves up nothing but chill vibes.

When Navigator arrives in Miami after her modernization, she will sail a series of 5- and 9-night Caribbean itineraries. The amped-up ship will then offer vacationers 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday sailings to The Bahamas starting May 2019, becoming the first to visit Perfect Day at CocoCay – the debut destination in the cruise line’s recently announced private island collection. With a $200 million makeover, the ultimate family destination will feature Thrill Waterpark with 13 jaw-dropping slides, like Daredevil’s Peak – the tallest waterslide in North America; Oasis Lagoon, the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool; Up, Up and Away, the helium balloon that floats up to 450 feet in the air for the highest vantage point in The Bahamas; Chill Island for some R&R on the beach; and the action-packed South Beach with sports, paddle-boarding, glass-bottom kayaking and more.

 

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.

 

Eight Holland America Ships Sailing The Caribbean From Florida In 2018-19

September 10, 2018.

Holland America will have more than 100 Caribbean cruises to choose from between October 2018 and April 2019, sailing from Fort Lauderdale and Tampa.  Ranging from 3 to 21 days, vacationers will have their pick of eight of the line’s mid-sized ships including the newest addition to the fleet, Nieuw Statendam.

Holland America Line’s Caribbean: Best. “Nieuw.” Most. More.
A variety of itineraries explore the eastern, western and southern regions of the Caribbean; some sail to Cuba and others spend a day discovering the Panama Canal. Seven ships will sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, while Rotterdam takes over the roundtrip Tampa, Florida, departures.

Most Fort Lauderdale departures include a visit to what has been called the best private island in the cruise industry: Half Moon Cay, the line’s award-winning private Bahamian island known for its pristine beaches, exciting shore excursions, exclusive beach cabanas and child-friendly activities. Caribbean itineraries this season also introduce Nieuw Statendam on its premier season with cruises from three to 17 days.

From October 2018 through April 2019, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam, Veendam and Zuiderdam sail more than 100 three- to 14-day cruises that can be combined into longer, back-to-back Collectors’ Voyages ranging from 13 to 21 days.

Seven Ships Sail Roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale to Cuba and Beyond
In October 2018, Veendam kicks off the Caribbean season with a series of Cuban Explorer cruises. Guests can immerse themselves in Cuba’s natural beauty and rich cultural history on a variety of seven-, 10-, 11- and 12-day itineraries through March 2019. Along with Havana and Cienfuegos, Cuba, the ship will call at several other Caribbean ports in Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Mexico. Veendam also offers a seven-day eastern Caribbean Holiday cruise in December and an 11-day southern Caribbean itinerary in January that do not visit Cuba.

Nieuw Statendam will kick off its maiden Caribbean season with a four-day cruise to the Bahamas in December. Following its inaugural Caribbean sailing, the ship will feature seven-day itineraries that offer both eastern and western routes. Nieuw Statendam also will offer a 10-day itinerary in January for guests interested in exploring lesser-visited ports in the southern Caribbean such as Kralendijk, Bonaire; Amber Cove, Domincan Republic; and Barbados. Other southern Caribbean itineraries will be available on Nieuw Statendam’s sister ship, Koningsdam, beginning in November 2018. Cruisers can choose seven-, 10- and 11-day itineraries.

Guests looking to experience the eastern or western regions of the Caribbean can do so aboard Nieuw Amsterdam on a series of seven-day cruises that showcase each region, featuring calls at St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk, Cozumel, Georgetown, Ocho Rios and more. Similarly, Oosterdam will offer a series of seven-day cruises that spotlight both eastern and western routes, as well as seven-day Tropical Caribbean itineraries that feature calls at ports in the Bahamas and Dominican Republic.

Partial Panama Canal Transits Explore Gatún Lake
Guests looking to explore the Panama Canal can experience a partial transit aboard Zuiderdam, sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on 10- and 11-day cruises. The ship visits several Caribbean ports as it makes its way to Gatún Lake, where cruisers will enjoy a day of spectacular scenic cruising throughout the canal.

Roundtrip Tampa Itineraries
From October 2018 through April 2019 Rotterdam will sail roundtrip from Tampa on eight seven-day western itineraries and five 14-day southern itineraries. The ship visits some of the most beautiful ports and islands in the region including Key West; Curaçao; Mahogany Bay, Honduras; Costa Maya, Mexico; Aruba and St. Lucia.

Combine Back-to-Back Cruises to Form Longer Collectors’ Voyages
Many of the cruises can be extended into Collectors’ Voyages, which offer the ultimate Caribbean exploration with more economical fares than if booking the cruises individually. Ranging from 14 to 21 days, these artfully crafted longer journeys combine back-to-back itineraries, enabling guests to span more than one Caribbean area and have the ultimate island-hopping journey.

Celebrate the Season with a Festive Holiday Cruise
For travelers who like to get away for the winter holidays, a total of 14 holiday sailings will ply the warm waters of the Caribbean on far-reaching itineraries that range from seven to 14 days. Several non-repeating itineraries can be combined to form a longer Holiday Collectors’ Voyage that can be extended up to 21 days.

Guests in search of a unique and extended itinerary can opt for Prinsendam’s 14-day Caribbean Holiday cruise departing Dec. 21, 2018. The ship calls at ports in the British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Barbados, Half Moon Cay, the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

During the holiday cruises, guests can take part in a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, enjoy traditional holiday meals with all of the trimmings and indulge in special holiday events, many with fanciful holiday cookies and pastries. Kids will delight in a visit from Santa Claus and holiday-themed crafts. Hanukkah activities will be available on early December cruises.

The New Year’s Eve sailings are the ideal setting to ring in a new year, featuring a festive holiday ball with a Champagne toast.

Cruise fares for Caribbean cruises begin at $499. All rates are per person, double occupancy. Several dates are eligible for the Explore4 promotion: Guests booking any category stateroom will receive 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. Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional.

Explorations Central Brings Caribbean and Cuban Culture on Board
Throughout the voyages, EXC programming brings the region’s local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life on board. Through EXC Encounters and EXC talks, guests can participate in activities to learn unique practices to the ports of call and attend discussions on history, culture and attractions. The EXC Team will provide further customized guidance as well as online EXC Port Guides. For guests who enjoy exploring on their own, printed EXC Port Maps present a simple view of the best each port has to offer.

Carnival To Transform Carnival Triumph Into A New Ship (ala Carnival Sunshine)

July 31, 2018.

Carnival Cruise Line today revealed plans for a nearly $200 million bow-to-stern makeover for Carnival Triumph in the spring of 2019 that will include renaming the ship to reflect its significant transformation.  The ship will join Carnival’s Sunshine class and will be named Carnival Sunrise after a two-month-long refurbishment that will take place in Cadiz, Spain, starting March 1. The dry dock makeover will add all of Carnival’s popular branded food, beverage and entertainment innovations, as well as update all staterooms in a broad spectrum of new accommodations providing guests fresh and exciting seagoing vacation choices.

Following a renaming ceremony, Carnival Sunrise will re-enter service with a series of five- to seven-day voyages from Norfolk, Va., beginning April 29, 2019, a summer schedule of four- to 14-day departures from New York commencing May 23, 2019, then move to Fort Lauderdale in October.

Carnival Sunrise enhancements include the redesign of two luxury Captain’s Suites adjacent to the navigational bridge offering floor-to-ceiling windows and extended balcony grand suites.  All of the ship’s staterooms will be updated to offer island-inspired interiors with bright colors and soothing pastels inspired by the line’s Caribbean itineraries.  Other new features will include:

Cucina del Capitano

Food Glorious Food!

  • Cucina del Capitano: offering delicious Italian favorites and new Carnival classics served family-style in an engaging atmosphere reminiscent of a cozy Italian home.
  • JavaBlue Café: this expanded version of the line’s popular coffee bars will offer lattes, cappuccinos and other caffeinated favorites, as well as “spiked” coffees made with liqueurs, and decadent confections.
  • Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse: a classic American steakhouse offering mouth-watering steaks, gourmet appetizers, entrees and desserts, with impeccable service and understated ambiance.
  • Bonsai Express: the success of the full-service Bonsai Sushi restaurants has spawned this casual spot, featuring a mouth-watering array of sushi, sashimi, rolls and more.
  • The Chef’s Table: a new multi-course dining experience hosted in a special glass-enclosed venue in the forward dining room.
  • Cherry on Top: The “sweetest spot on board,” an expanded Cherry on Top features bulk candy, fanciful gifts, custom apparel and a Carnival Adventures shop.
  • Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse: a casual open-air eatery featuring “real deal” BBQ favorites created by Food Network star Guy Fieri.
  • Lido Marketplace: A casual poolside eatery boasting favorites like Seafood Shack offering lobster rolls and other New England-inspired fare; The Deli with sandwiches and paninis; Pizzeria del Capitano serving hand-tossed artisanal-style pies free of charge 24/7, and an expanded Swirls venue with complimentary ice cream and frozen yogurt.

 

RedFrog Pub

Raising the Bar

  • RedFrog Pub: Featuring the Caribbean’s best rums and beers – including Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red – enjoyed in a distinct British-West-Indies-meets-Key-West atmosphere.
  • Piano Bar 88: A new twist on Carnival’s popular piano bar concept that amps up the excitement with themed nights, engaging new décor and spontaneous sing-along fun.
  • Limelight Lounge: Home to the Punchliner Comedy Club featuring a hilarious line-up of comics which later transforms into a sizzling night club where guests can dance the night away.
  • New Multi-Purpose Liquid Lounge: an expansive theater that’s home to captivating daytime and nighttime entertainment, including the line’s high-tech Playlist Productions revues and audience participation favorite Hasbro, The Game Show.

Open-Air Fun and Relaxation

  • SportSquare: A suspended ropes course offering heart-racing views to the sea 150 feet below, basketball court, jogging track, ping pong, foosball, pool tables, and a nine-hole miniature golf course highlight this open-area recreation complex.
  • WaterWorks: Featuring a 203-foot-long AquaTunnel slide and Carnival’s signature 212-foot-long Twister slide along with a 75-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket and kiddie area.
  • Serenity Adult Only Retreat: An adult only oasis offering plush chaise lounges, whirlpools and oversized umbrellas, enhanced by dramatic sea views.

Expanded Cloud 9 Spa and More

  • Cloud 9 Spa:  Designed as the ultimate refuge for rest and relaxation, the health and wellness center offers an elaborate thermal suite, private treatment rooms, and the latest cardio and weight-training equipment.
  • Modern, Spacious Facilities for Kids and Teens: including a new Camp Ocean, a colorful marine-inspired play area designed for kids ages 2-11, along with new spaces for Circle “C” aimed at 12- to 14-year olds and Club O2 geared to those 15-17.
  • The Warehouse:  promising fun for all ages with a variety of the latest video and arcade games.
  • Expanded Retail Spaces:  a mall-style shopping area lined with retail outlets offering fine jewelry, watches, fragrances, and more along with the line’s own branded spaces like Hip Fish and The Carnival Store.

Carnival Sunrise’s Inaugural Season from Norfolk, New York and Fort Lauderdale

Carnival Sunrise’s inaugural schedule from Norfolk kicks off with a seven-day cruise departing the Half Moone Cruise Center visiting Grand Turk, the private island of Half Moon Cay and Freeport departing April 29, 2019.   A pair of five-day voyages departs May 12 and 17, 2019 calling at Nassau and Freeport and three six-day cruises departing May 6, and Oct. 14 and 20, 2019, visiting Half Moon Cay, Nassau and Freeport.

The ship will then reposition to New York for a series of four- to 14-day voyages beginning May 23, 2019. The program includes four- to eight-day Bermuda cruises, including long weekend sailings to the island departing Thursdays and returning Mondays, along with seven-day fall foliage cruises to New England and the Canadian Maritimes, and two different eight-day Caribbean itineraries with stops at the region’s top destinations.  Several longer voyages will also be offered, including a 10-day exotic eastern Caribbean itinerary and a 14-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal cruise highlighted by local dining and entertainment experiences and unique shipboard enrichment activities.

Carnival Sunrise will then reposition to Fort Lauderdale for four- and five-day cruises beginning Oct. 28, 2019.  Four-day long weekend cruises will call at tropical ports like Half Moon Cay, Princess Cays, Grand Turk and Nassau, while five-day cruises will visit Cuba, as well as seaside destinations in The Bahamas, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Grand Turk.

Carnival Horizon Officially Named By Godmother Queen Latifah In New York City

May 24, 2018.

Carnival Horizon Godmother, Queen Latifah, officially names Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship at a ceremony on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 in New York.

Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Horizon, was officially named by godmother Queen Latifah in a ceremony in New York yesterday that showcased the talented young artists from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital whose artwork adorns the Dreamscape, a three-deck-high LED sculpture in the ship’s atrium.

Following the ceremony, Latifah squared off against Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl champion Jake Elliott in Lip Sync Battle: Horizon modeled after the Paramount Network TV series and rolling out across the Carnival fleet.

Latifah rocked the house with the Weather Girls classic “It’s Raining Men,” while Elliott performed Whitesnake’s arena anthem “Here I Go Again,” all performed with back-up dancers from Carnival Horizon’s Playlist Productions to a full house in the Liquid Lounge.

The big winner was St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which received a $100,000 donation from Carnival representing monies raised from various fundraisers, both onboard and ashore.  The funds continue the line’s ongoing support of St. Jude with more than $16 million raised in the fight against childhood cancer since the partnership began in 2010.

As the newest ship in the fleet, Carnival Horizon introduces several innovations, including the first-ever Dr. Seuss water park, a new teppanyaki venue, and Smokehouse Brewhouse, a unique dining concept that combines real deal BBQ favorites created by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, along with four craft beers brewed on board by brewmaster Colin Presby.

The second in the line’s Vista-class series, Carnival Horizon also includes features like the bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction called SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre, a Havana section with its own Cuban-themed bar and pool, and Family Harbor with extra-roomy staterooms and the Family Harbor Lounge.

Carnival Horizon kicks off a summer schedule from New York with a four-day cruise to Bermuda departing later today.  The ship will operate four-day Bermuda and eight-day Caribbean departures from New York through September then reposition to Miami for year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning later that month.

Princess Cruises Announces 2019-2020 Caribbean Season

May 17, 2018.

Princess Cruises has announced the fall 2019 to spring 2020 Caribbean sailings, which go on sale today.  They feature the maiden season of Sky Princess, debuting in December 2019 on a three-day inaugural cruise, followed by a series of seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages.  Sky Princess also will debut new staterooms that can accommodate up to 5 guests.

The cruise line’s fourth Royal-Class ship, Sky Princess, sets sail out of Ft. Lauderdale on a three-day, roundtrip cruise departing Dec. 4, 2019, visiting Princess Cays, recognized as one of the top cruise line private islands in the Bahamas. The ship then sails on alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale Dec. 7, 2019 – April 4, 2020. Voyages offer late-night stays, during every visit to St. Thomas and Cozumel so guests can enjoy more time in these popular destinations.

Itinerary highlights for the 2019-2020 Caribbean season include:

  • Five ships offering 10 itineraries and 119 departures onboard Caribbean Princess, Crown Princess, Pacific Princess, Regal Princess and the new Sky Princess.
  • Regal Princess also offers seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages from Ft. Lauderdale with “More Ashore” stays in St. Thomas and Cozumel.
  • Longer and more destination-rich itineraries to the Southern Caribbean aboard Caribbean Princess and Crown Princess, featuring 10- or 14-day cruises.
  • Princess Cruises visits 25 Caribbean islands and six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Belize Barrier Reef System and Antigua Naval Dockyard and related archeological sites.
  • Calls to Princess Cays on every seven-day Eastern Caribbean voyage, and select Western and ten-day Southern Caribbean voyages.
  • A unique 14-day holiday cruise aboard Pacific Princess visiting Southern Caribbean island Mayreau for the first time. Mayreau is the smallest inhabited island of the Grenadines, with an area of around 1000 acres and a population of less than 300.

As mentioned above, Sky Princess introduces the line’s new Sky Suites, offering guests the largest staterooms on the ship, and best views with their most premium suite ever. With 270 degree views from the top of the ship and exclusive views of the ship’s Movies Under the Stars screen, guests will enjoy a variety of new amenities exclusive to the Sky Suites. The Princess Cruises Sky Suites will be the first staterooms to accommodate up to five guests, and offer the largest balconies in the fleet with luxury furnishings. More details on the suites to be announced in the coming months.

 

Independence Of The Seas Completes Makeover

May 13, 2018.

Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas arrived today at her new home in Southampton England, featuring a plethora of new experiences and  features after a family-focused multi-million dollar makeover.

Newly dubbed as ‘the ultimate family ship’, Independence has an array of  new features such as the Sky Pad, a new virtual reality bungee trampoline experience, and the interactive aqua park, Splashaway Bay, which is bigger and better than ever before.

The reimagined ship also includes a host of other new features:

  • The Perfect Storm, a duo of racing waterslides called Cyclone and Typhoon.
  • Glow-in-the-dark laser tag, an experience in Studio B unlike any other, where friends and family can team up to play “Battle for Planet Z”.
  • Puzzle Break, a new escape room experience where competitors can put their minds to the test, working together to find hidden clues and solve a series of high-tech riddles to unravel a mystery. With only 60 minutes of play, the excitement builds with each tick of the clock.
  • New lounges and Panoramic Oceanview staterooms. With wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling views looking forward above the bridge.
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, enables sports fans to enjoy all the biggest live sporting events over ice-cold beers, wings, sliders and more.
  • Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, the exotic Asian-inspired dining experience gives guests the chance to enjoy fresh sushi and experience skilled chefs cooking tableside on teppanyaki grills.
  • Fish & Ships, a poolside eatery where guests can grab quintessentially British seaside treats.
  • Sugar Beach candy shop, a wondrous world of delicious delights, along with a few exciting surprises.

Guests will be welcomed onboard for her first new sailing on  May 15, 2018.

Following her inaugural sailing, the ship will call at destinations across Europe and the Mediterranean until November 2018, when it repositions to Fort Lauderdale for the winter season.

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

April 30, 2018.


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

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

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

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

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