MSC Cruises Celebrates “Plan A Cruise Month”

September 28, 2017.

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

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

MSC Cruises Two for One Plus Deal For Caribbean

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

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

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

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

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

Mediterranean:

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

Sample itineraries for sailings in the Mediterranean include:

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

Northern Europe:

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

Sample itineraries for sailings in Northern Europe include:

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

United Arab Emirates:

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

Sample itineraries for sailings in the United Arab Emirates include:

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

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

 

 

 

Holland America’s Popular ‘Explore4’ Promotion Is Back

August 7, 2017.

Holland America Line’s popular Explore4 promotion is back with four offers on more than six hundred cruises from March 2018 through April 2019. Travelers looking to book a cruise or Alaska Land+Sea Journey for next year or beyond can take advantage of all the benefits, which include complimentary beverages and specialty dining aboard ship as well as reduced deposits and free or reduced fares for friends and family. Suite bookings also receive onboard spending money.

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 friends and kids in the same stateroom, and 50 percent reduced deposits. Guests receive all benefits, and bookings must be made by Nov. 17, 2017.

Suite Travelers Receive Added Perks
Guests who book a cruise in a suite category stateroom will receive the four offers plus an additional $200 onboard spending money per stateroom ($100 per person).

Beverage, Dining and Other Onboard Amenities Add to Cruise Value
The beverage package includes wine, beer, spirits, cocktails, sodas and coffee. The beverage offer is only applicable on the cruise portion of Alaska Land+Sea Journeys.

Explore4 offers also include a complimentary dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, featuring a menu highlighting steak and seafood dishes like filet mignon and broiled Alaska king salmon, Pinnacle Grill also includes favorites like roasted pumpkin risotto and double-cut Kurobata pork chops.

With reduced cruise fares on select sailings for friends and kids sharing a stateroom with two other guests, a group of four can take an affordable vacation to the Caribbean or a longer journey to an exotic destination. For example, in the Caribbean, fares for seven-day cruises start from US$799 for the first and second guests in an interior stateroom, and free or reduced fares apply for the third and fourth guests. A seven-day European cruise starts at US$1,199 for an interior stateroom for the first and second guests, with free or reduced fares for third and fourth guests. Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional.

By taking advantage of the 50 percent reduced deposit offer, guests will have more flexibility and time before paying the final deposit on their cruise.

Global Itineraries Available with Explore4
Guests looking to take advantage of the Explore4 program can choose select itineraries to nearly all of Holland America Line’s global destinations, including Alaska and Alaska and the Yukon Land+Sea Journeys, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, the Baltic, Bermuda, Canada and New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, Mexico, the Panama Canal and South America. Grand Voyages and Grand Voyage segments are excluded.

Carnival Fantasy Hosts ‘Seuss-A-Palooza’ For YMCA Of South Alabama

 

July 24, 2017.

It’s always a delight to post news about Alabama’s favorite cruise ship, and “my” homeport of Mobile.

Carnival Cruise Line today celebrated its partnership with the Port of Mobile and greater Mobile community by hosting a Seuss-a-Palooza event for kids attending the YMCA of South Alabama Summer Camp program. The event aboard Carnival Fantasy, which is homeported year-round in Mobile, was highlighted by a Green Eggs and Ham brunch with The Cat in the Hat and Friends, a Seuss-a-Palooza Story Time and Parade and other Dr. Seuss–inspired activities that are featured on Carnival cruises.

During the event, Carnival made a $20,000 donation to the YMCA of South Alabama, reinforcing the cruise line’s commitment to supporting its homeport communities.

Carnival Fantasy sails from Mobile on four- to 10-day cruises to destinations across The Bahamas, eastern and western Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. The ship carries approximately 170,000 guests a year from Mobile.

“The event today was a terrific opportunity to celebrate our long-standing relationship with the Port of Mobile and demonstrate that we’re proud to be community partners,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “The partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises is unique to Carnival and we were happy to share this fun experience with such a great group of kids from the Mobile area.”

Today’s festivities are part of Seuss at Sea, Carnival’s exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises that features fleetwide activities like the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Friends, the Seuss-a-Palooza Parade and Story Time, Dr. Seuss Bookville, a family reading venue on select ships, character interactions, Dr. Seuss toys and games, and popular movies shown on board.

 

Oasis Of The Seas “Great American Eclipse” Cruise Sails August 20, 2017

June 1, 2017.

The “Great American Eclipse,” is already booking up hotels across the country, and Royal Caribbean International is featuring the event on a 7-night Caribbean sailing on Oasis of the Seas.  The ship will cruise to the optimal spot at sea for guests to witness the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017.

The Total Eclipse Cruise will feature a bucket-list-worthy viewing party with a live concert performed by a major headliner – to be revealed at a later date – to celebrate the celestial phenomenon.

Guests will be treated to a full slate of eclipse-themed activities, including dance parties, trivia, enrichment lectures, interactive science fun for kids, and cocktails and dishes with names like the Cosmic Cosmo, Planetary Punch and Moon Pie.

The 7-night Total Eclipse Cruise will set sail on Aug. 20, 2017 from Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida and visit Eastern Caribbean destinations: Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas;  and Nassau, Bahamas. You can learn more and book now to witness this historic event at sea by visiting RoyalCaribbean.com/TotalEclipse, calling (800) ROYAL- CARIBBEAN or by contacting your travel agent.

Seven other Royal Caribbean ships will be in the Caribbean during the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, on itineraries ranging from 3 to 9 nights, offering guests partial views of the event. The seven ships are Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Empress of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas.

 

Norwegian Bliss Keel Laying Ceremony Held

 

May 24, 2017.

Norwegian Cruise Line and MEYER WERFT today celebrated the keel laying of Norwegian Bliss at the yard’s facility in Papenburg, Germany. During the ceremony, one of the keel blocks of the 167,800 gross ton vessel was lifted into the covered building hall, signifying a major milestone in the ship’s construction. Norwegian Bliss is due for delivery in April 2018 and will be the first cruise ship custom built with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruise experience.

Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and chief executive officer, was present in the hall and laid the traditional “lucky coin”, etched with the outline of the ship’s signature hull designed by wildlife artist Wyland, before the block was lowered into place.

The third ship in the line’s Breakaway-Plus class, Norwegian Bliss will accommodate 4,000 guests and will be the 12th ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet to be built by MEYER WERFT.

During her inaugural summer 2018 season, Norwegian Bliss will sail weekly seven-day Alaska cruises each Saturday from the recently expanded Pier 66 Cruise Terminal in Seattle.

The ship will sail her inaugural Winter season beginning in November 2018, sailing seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises each Saturday from PortMiami, featuring calls in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.

Norwegian Bliss will feature 2006 Tony Award® winner for “Best Musical,” Jersey Boys, and a completely new and original show created by Tony Award®-winning director and choreographer Warren Carlyle, headlining on the ship’s main stage, the Bliss Theater. Norwegian Bliss will also feature a new theatrical cocktail hour experience, Happy Hour Prohibition-The Musical. Alibi, the ship’s reimagined comedy club and nightlife venue will feature two comedy performances six nights a week. Rock and roll will take center stage at The Cavern Club, an outpost of the legendary Liverpool club where the Beatles’ performed frequently in the 1960s, with nightly live performances and a Beatles cover band singing hits like “Penny Lane,” “Yellow Submarine,” and more.

Continuing its tradition of featuring original artwork on its ships’ hulls, Norwegian Cruise Line has commissioned Wyland, one of the world’s premier marine life artists, to design the hull art for Norwegian Bliss; the artwork will feature images of humpback whales, found in every ocean around the world. The ship’s hull will serve as a large canvas to showcase the importance of ocean conservation and preservation.

For more information on Norwegian Bliss, including an animated video of the ship’s accommodations and features, please visit bliss.ncl.com. Additional details on the ship’s dining and recreational activities will be shared in the coming months.

ms Nieuw Statendam’s Premiere Voyage and Inaugural Caribbean Season Open For Booking

May 17, 2017.

Bookings are open for the Premiere Voyage and 2018-19 inaugural Caribbean cruise season of Holland America Line’s ms Nieuw Statendam. Due for delivery Dec. 1, 2018, the second Pinnacle Class ship in the fleet currently is under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy.

When Nieuw Statendam departs the yard, it will be delivered in Venice, Italy. The ship will then sail to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, and departs Dec. 5, 2018, on its first revenue voyage — a 14-day transatlantic crossing to Fort Lauderdale. The ship will then spend the winter season cruising roundtrip from the South Florida port on seven-day Caribbean itineraries, with select three-, four- and 10-day options.

Premiere Voyage Repositions to Caribbean Winter Home Port
When Nieuw Statendam departs Civitavecchia Dec. 5 on its Premiere Voyage, it will spend 14 days crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Fort Lauderdale. After leaving Italy, the ship will call at Cartagena and Málaga, Spain, and Funchal, Madeira, before spending seven days at sea where guests can experience all the newbuild’s amenities. Guests will enjoy an overnight call at Fort Lauderdale before leaving the ship Dec. 19.

Nieuw Statendam to Offer a Variety of Caribbean Cruises in Winter/Spring 2018-19
From December 2018 through April 2019, Nieuw Statendam will spend its inaugural season exploring the golden beaches and sun-kissed skies of the Caribbean on roundtrip Fort Lauderdale cruises. All Caribbean itineraries include a call at Half Moon Cay, the line’s award-winning private Bahamian island known for its pristine landscapes, exciting shore excursions, exclusive beach cabanas and child-friendly activities.

Nieuw Statendam’s first Caribbean cruise is a four-day itinerary that calls at Half Moon Cay and Key West, Florida, departing Dec. 19. The ship then embarks on a series of seven-day sailings, including a Dec. 23 Holiday cruise that calls at Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Half Moon Cay. A Dec. 30, 2018, New Year’s cruise departure calls at Half Moon Cay; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. A similar Jan. 6 cruise replaces Ocho Rios with Montego Bay, Jamaica. The ship then sets sail Jan. 13 on a seven-day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas; San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay.

Guests looking for an extended Caribbean adventure on Nieuw Statendam can depart Jan. 20 on a 10-day cruise to the ABC Islands with calls at Half Moon Cay; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Willemstad, Curaçao; and Oranjestad, Aruba.

For a quick get-away, a three-day cruise departs roundtrip Fort Lauderdale Jan. 30 and includes a call at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

For the remainder of the season, the ship will feature western and eastern Caribbean itineraries: the first calls at Half Moon Cay, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, while the second features calls at Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay — with the March 17 departure swapping Amber Cove for Grand Turk.

Fares for the first Nieuw Statendam cruises begin at $499 per person, double occupancy, for a three- or four-day Caribbean sailing, and $799 for a seven-day cruise.  The Premiere Voyage begins at $1,199 per person, double occupancy. Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional.

MSC Cruises Offers Helpful Tips & Experiences

 

May 17, 2017.

According to the Cruise Line International Association’s 2017 State of the Industry Report, the demand for cruising has increased 62 percent from 2005 to 2015 and nearly half (48%) of non-cruisers expressed interest in taking an ocean cruise.

Looking ahead to the busy summer travel season, our friends at MSC Cruises USA — the North American arm of MSC Cruises has provided some helpful tips and experiences to help every type of traveler make the best of their summer vacation.

THE FAMILY TRAVELER

Tip: People often have very different ideas of what makes a great vacation. Cruising makes it easier to choose a family vacation by offering activities and amenities that appeal to everyone in your group.  Do your research on family friendly activities the cruise line offers ahead of time so you have an idea of what to expect. Once on board, don’t forget to check the daily program highlights.

Experience on MSC Cruises: Kids sail free on MSC Cruises making traveling as a family extremely affordable. In addition, fleet wide, the cruise line offers dedicated activities for kids of all ages – from infants to teens.  Highlights include: cooking classes, where kids are taught basic cooking skills; language courses, where children learn basic sentences in 6 different languages; themed costume parades and shows; sports tournaments; scavenger hunts; arts and crafts; and teen disco and karaoke parties. In addition, MSC Cruises offers a unique LEGO Experience Day in which kids and their parents can compete in LEGO themed competitions and games where kids earn their LEGO Junior Master Builder Diploma. While the kids are off having fun with their new friends, adults can enjoy a relaxing treatment in the MSC Aurea Spa, catch one of the cruise lines award-winning Broadway style production shows, try their luck in the on-board casino, or dine in one of the many restaurants and bars.

THE ADVENTURER

Tip: If exploring or mingling with the locals is your thing, make sure to research and plan excursions ahead of time to maximize new cultural opportunities – and so you don’t miss out.

Experience on MSC Cruises: Excursions vary from port to port, but each tour is provided by certified partners with carefully selected, multilingual guides. From culinary tours of Italy, to experiencing the magnificent Tulum Mayan Ruins in Cozumel, walking tours of Split, Croatia, jeep adventures in Iceland, and exploring the interiors of the mosques in Abu Dhabi – MSC Cruises offers up to 2,000 shore excursions that have been specially created to satisfy every need and giving you the freedom to make the most of every moment ashore.

THE FIRST-TIMER                              

Tip: Make the most of your time at sea! Cruise ships are essentially floating cities – they are considered destinations in themselves. Guests should take the time to utilize and explore the various amenities and numerous choices of activities available to them on-board.

Experience on MSC Cruises: MSC Cruises offers unique, unexpected experiences on every voyage. On MSC Divina, guests can try out the Virtual Winery at Sea, a unique BlendCraft wine experience with professional winemakers where participants learn how wines are mixed and then are able to create, bottle and label their own blend of wine to enjoy on board, or take home! MSC Cruises also features 4D motion theaters, AquaCycling, Formula One race car simulators, state-of-the-art fitness facilities featuring Technogym equipment, bowling alleys, and most exclusively, Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows debuting this summer on MSC Meraviglia.

THE FOODIE 

Tip: Cruises offer a multitude of both casual and fine dining options while on board, so it’s important for food lovers to take advantage of as many as possible. Pre-purchase a dining package to venture out of your foodie comfort zone and try new cuisines at the best prices – your wallet and your taste buds will thank you for it.

Experience on MSC Cruises: Specialty restaurants are a standout feature on MSC Cruises’ ships, offering guests the opportunity to experience quality cuisines from around the world, even while at sea. On MSC Meraviglia, debuting in June in the Mediterranean, these exquisite dining experiences range from the freshest sushi, sashimi and tempura created by expert sushi chefs at Kaito Sushi Bar, an open chocolate atelier and sweet treats from award-winning French chocolatier and pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury, and delectable Italian dishes at Eataly’s Ristorante Italiano. The elevated dining experience will also be found on MSC Seaside, debuting this December in Miami, where guests can enjoy a variety of savory pan-Asian fare at the Asian Market Kitchen by Roy Yamaguchi and American-style fish dishes with a Mediterranean twist served at the signature seafood restaurant Ocean Cay.

THE SMART SPENDER

Tip: When booking, make sure you cruise for “deals!” If you book your trip far enough in advance, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars. Also, make sure to do your research and take advantage of package offerings that provide a great value.

Experience on MSC Cruises: With MSC Cruises’ unique “Inclusive Experiences” pricing, guests can select from five different vacation packages that range from best price to nearly all inclusive, based on their own personal vacation desires. By bundling various services and activities into a package, consumers get an excellent value for price and are able to pay for all the amenities they want upfront – a highly recommended option for travelers looking to save money and stick to a budget.

Looking for a great summer deal? With MSC Cruises’ Two for One cruise deal going on now, guests can save 50% off brochure rates.  Sample summer cruise itineraries and prices on MSC Divina, departing from Miami and sailing the Caribbean include:

August 19 Eastern Caribbean Cruise

  • Length: 8-days/7-nights
  • Itinerary: Departing from Miami and sailing to Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Nassau, Bahamas
  • Cost: Prices start at $449 per person

July 8 Mini Cruise

  • Length: 4-days/3-nights
  • Itinerary: Departing from Miami and sailing to Freeport, Grand Bahama and Nassau, Bahamas
  • Cost: Prices start at $299 per person

THE WELLNESS GURU

Tip: Don’t let a vacation trip up your healthy lifestyle – keep it going and utilize the available health and wellness amenities. Select healthy options such as the salad bar in the buffet, choose an active shore excursion such as hiking or horseback riding, or choose the stairs over the elevator. Your body will thank you for it.

Experience on MSC Cruises: Fleet wide, MSC Cruises offers a one of a kind Wellness Experience by Technogym – the first completely personalized 360° wellness experience at sea that incorporates wellness into every aspect of the cruise experience including: on-board fitness classes and activities, dedicated healthy food and beverage offerings, exclusive shore excursions, and stateroom amenities. The experience starts before the cruise even begins with a pre-cruise questionnaire designed to understand each guest’s specific goals. Once on board, the guest then meets with a MSC Master Trainer, trained by Technogym, who reviews the results of the questionnaire and helps them create a personalized wellness plan for the duration of the cruise shaped around the individual needs of the guest. As part of the experience, the self-service buffet on board includes a dedicated wellness corner and menus in the main restaurants include special icons to help guide guests’ food selection.

MSC Cruises is also the first cruise line in the world to offer AquaCycling classes to its passengers on board MSC Divina. Designed for all ages, AquaCycling is a full body workout allowing participants to burn up to 800 calories per hour! For MSC Cruises’ guests, it’s truly a unique experience, allowing them to cycle under water to upbeat music, while enjoying an amazing view at sea, and most importantly, having fun!

THE LUXURY LOVER

Tip: No vacation shaming allowed. You earned it. Indulge.

Experience on MSC Cruises: Guests looking for a more upscale, luxurious experience can opt stay in the MSC Yacht Club, which includes 24-hour butler service, concierge reception, dedicated MSC Yacht Club fine dining venues, a private pool, and a private elevator to take guests directly to the MSC Aurea Spa. With an innovative “ship within a ship” design, the MSC Yacht Club is an entirely self-contained private club area (accessed by key card only) that provides guests the best of both worlds — the privacy and exclusivity of a smaller ship with the bountiful choices and amenities only found on a larger ship, such as world-class entertainment like Cirque du Soleil, on board casinos, and specialty dining experiences like Eataly’s Chef’s Table.  Guests booking on MSC Cruises’ new builds – including MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside – will enjoy an enhanced MSC Yacht Club with additional suite options and enlarged public areas within with MSC Yacht Club.

Azamara Quest Arrives in Cuba

March 31, 2017.

Cuban Officials and Azamara Executives Celebrate Historical Event with a Keys & Plaques Ceremony

 

Azamara Quest arrived at Cuba’s Sierra Maestra terminal for the first time today.  The ship sailed down the Bahía de la Habana alongside Havana’s famous El Malecón providing guests magnificent views of the local shoreline before turning alongside Cuba’s Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro through the Canal de Entrada to dock.

Azamara Club Cruises President & CEO, Larry Pimentel, Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD. President & COO Adam Goldstein, and Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD. Vice President of Business Development, Global Government and Community Relations, Jorge Delgado joined Captain Angel Albertini, Chief of Havana Cruise Terminal and a contingent of Cuban Dignitaries to toast the arrival of Azamara Quest, and this important moment in the brand’s history, during a Keys & Plaques ceremony.

Azamara created a variety of unique people-to-people land programs, by night and by day, to enable guests a fully immersed experience in the destination and have the opportunity to connect with the great culture and people of Cuba.  Azamara is able to do this because of our overnight stay in Havana.  All tour programs offered by Azamara are designed to meet United States’ requirements for travel to Cuba.  Highlights include:

  • Tropicana Cabaret Extravaganza:  The most spectacular of the open-air cabarets showcase Caribbean rhythms and sultry dancers.  An English speaking guide shares history of the famous show while on the ride to the Tropicana.  Once there guests sip on rum cocktails surrounded by lush tropical gardens and enjoy the folklore and music of Cuba.
  • Nelson Dominguez Art Gallery Tour: Located next to the pier, guests can join Larry Pimentel for a private gallery tour of renowned artist Nelson Dominguez followed by the chance to browse and shop artwork to take home as a souvenir.
  • Evening Stroll and El Cañonazo Ceremony: A guided walk through the cobblestone streets of Old Havana at night allows travelers to appreciate the city’s rustic charm and rich history.  A brief bus ride transports the group to the nearby Morro Castle with a ceremonial firing of the cannon at 9 pm.
  • Best of Havana – a full-day, all-encompassing trip through Havana exploring the city’s beautiful sprawling cemetery, notable squares, artsy neighborhoods, literary connections and authentic cuisine.
  • Havana By Classic American Car – Guests can venture back to 1950’s Cuba in a vintage American automobile for a panoramic ride to a historic luxury hotel and along the quintessential Malecón waterfront.
  • Hemingway’s Havana – Guests get to explore the literary connections between Cuba and the late American novelist Ernest Hemingway on a dynamic four-hour tour that offers the chance to see where he lived, dined and sipped his favorite cocktails. 

Following this Hemingway Hideaways voyage which also visits ports in New Orleans and Florida, Azamara is offering two additional sailings for 2017:

  • Havana Discovery: Departing on November 20, 2017, the Havana Discovery voyage begins and ends in Miami with a journey that visits laid-back Key West, followed by an overnight stay in the bustling city of Havana with a historic exploration of Vieja Havana (Old Havana) and dive into the aquamarine waters of Cozumel, the Caribbean jewel.  Rates start at $1,699.00 USD.
  • Havana Getaway: Departing November 27, 2017, the four-night Havana Getaway packs a lot of adventure into a little time.  The voyage explores the colorful buildings and eclectic plazas of Havana with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site and overnight stays allow for guests to experience the quintessential Cuban nightlife.  Rates start at $1,499.00 USD.

 

Norwegian Jade Completes Extensive Refurbishment

March 30, 2017.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jade sailed into her seasonal homeport of Tampa as an essentially new vessel this morning, following a three week dry dock period that added numerous enhancements to every part of the ship.

Norwegian Jade’s extensive renovation is a part of The Norwegian Edge™, an investment program that sets a high standard of excellence encompassing the entire guest experience across Norwegian’s fleet.

O’Sheehan’s Bar and Grill

Norwegian’s 24-hour neighborhood pub-style restaurant, O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill, has been added to deck eight. Serving up cold brews and snack-time favorites in a relaxed atmosphere, the new venue features modern flooring, refurbished front and back bars and new banquet seating.

The Pit Stop, a newly installed concept for Norwegian Jade, will serve up poolside fare in a 1950s-style American diner atmosphere, clad with vintage license plates, gas station signage and classic car elements.

Moderno Churrascaria

Moderno Churrascaria received a new home on deck 13 and features a new glass door entrance, floor-to-ceiling windows, new flooring, wall coverings and upgraded furniture.

Cagney’s Steakhouse

Cagney’s Steakhouse has added additional seating to the completely refurbished space, which offers a new color scheme, upgraded flooring, new wall linings and a new virtual fireplace.

La Cucina Italian Restaurant

La Cucina Italian specialty restaurant received a modernization with several new features including updated décor and furniture, flooring, a new decorative bar and a wine display wall.

Teppanyaki Japanese Hibachi Restaurant

Teppanyaki Japanese hibachi grill restaurant was enhanced with updated furnishings and fittings while complimentary favorites Jasmine Garden and the Garden Café also received extensive enhancements including newly designed spaces with upgrades to furniture, new flooring and much more.

Those looking to dance the night away can now do so in the new Bliss Ultra Lounge on deck seven, which has the feel of an upscale Miami nightclub and features a cool color palette of silvers, greys and black.

Sugarcane Mojito Bar

Guests can enjoy a favorite mojito, or opt for a flight and try them all, at the new Sugarcane Mojito Bar on deck 13 adjacent to Moderno Churrascaria. Sugarcane features granite bar fronts, as well as new furnishings and finishes.  Spinnaker Lounge also received a complete redesign of the entire space to include new flooring and window treatments, decorative chandeliers, re-upholstered seating and refurbished bars with contemporary mosaic tiling and LED lighting.

Every stateroom on the ship was enhanced during this renovation, with all receiving new carpets, furniture, flat screen TVs, new larger headboards with USB charging outlets and more than 2000 new pieces of artwork.

Penthouse Balcony Suite

Guests sailing in The Haven®, Norwegian’s ship-within-a-ship luxury suite concept, will now enjoy a more modern chic atmosphere in all suites and villas, as they now feature new finishes to walls and ceilings, new flooring throughout the suites and balconies, plus new soft goods and drapery. Norwegian Jade’s villas and suites also received more than 250 new pieces of artwork alone.

Luxury has been taken to the next level aboard Norwegian Jade with a complete refurbishment of the ship’s Haven Courtyard. Guests of the ship’s top villas and suites can soak up the sun in style one of the Haven’s four new plush cabanas nestled at the top of the ship or take a dip in the newly refinished pool surrounded by modern furnishings and new artwork.

The Atrium

Other enhancements were made to The Atrium, with a new look and custom-designed marquee chandelier.

Norwegian Jade will also now offers guests easier ways to view and purchase mementos of their cruise vacation with an upgraded Photo Gallery featuring new individual digital monitors.

Norwegian Jade has all-new TechnoGym fitness equipment and new rubber flooring, ideal for weightlifting and plyometric workouts.

Junior cruisers can now enjoy playtime with new floorings in Splash Academy that include new noise reducing mats so kids are free to play into the evening hours. The ship’s elevator landings were also all refurbished with updated interior finishes and flooring, new wall coverings, new carpet and updated light fixtures. In addition, the ship’s stairways all received new carpeting featuring a new contemporary designed featuring new modern artwork in in all mid-stairwell landings.

Norwegian Jade is currently sailing the final part of her winter season, cruising from Tampa to the Western Caribbean. On April 30, she will relocate to her summer homeports of Southampton and Hamburg, where the ship will visit the Norwegian Fjords as well as Norway & North Cape itineraries.

Royal Caribbean Sets 2018-19 Caribbean, Alaska & Northeast Itineraries

 

March 16, 2017 – Royal Caribbean has unveiled an extensive list of North American itineraries in 2018-19. (There is a lot to read here)

Alaska itineraries are available to book starting today, March 16, 2017, while year-round Caribbean & Bahamas sailings will begin opening on March 17 and continue to open on a rolling basis, shortly followed by seasonal Caribbean and Northeast itineraries beginning on March 30.  All itineraries are available to book one day in advance for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members. 

Symphony of the Seas 

Available to book now

After spending the summer in the Mediterranean, Symphony will homeport at Royal Caribbean’s brand new Terminal A at PortMiami. Beginning November 17, 2018, she will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, adding Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis to other Oasis-Class ports of call.   

Alaskan Expeditions

Available to book now

Explorer of the Seas will sail seven-night itineraries departing from Seattle, Washington with ports of call in Victoria, British Columbia, Juneau, Alaska and the Inside Passage.

  • Radiance of the Seas will sail seven- and nine-night open-jaw itineraries between Seward, Alaska and Vancouver, British Columbia.

South Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico Offer Year-Round Caribbean Adventures

Select Ships available to book starting March 17, 2017

  • Allure of the Seas will reposition from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale to PortMiami for the winter season, where she will continue to offer seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.
  • Harmony of the Seas will continue to sail year-round seven-night Caribbean itineraries from Port Everglades Cruise Port in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, switching from Saturday to Sunday departures for the winter.
  • Oasis of the Seas will continue year-round seven-night itineraries from Port Canaveral, east of Orlando, Florida to the Caribbean, while Majesty of the Seas will offer three- and four-night getaways to The Bahamas.
  • Liberty of the Seas will continue her year-round deployment from the Port of Galveston in Texas, offering seven-night Mexico and Western Caribbean itineraries.
  • Enchantment of the Seas will sail three- and four-night getaways to The Bahamas, year-round from PortMiami.  

Northeast U.S. and Seasonal Caribbean Escapes

Available to book March 30, 2017

  • Anthem of the Seas will continue year-round itineraries from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey sailing five to twelve-night itineraries to Bermuda and the Caribbean and seven-night itineraries to The Bahamas. For the fall season, Anthem of the Seas will offer nine-night itineraries to Canada and New England.
  • Adventure of the Seas will call the Northeast “home” for the first time since her debut, sailing a variety of seven-night itineraries from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey to The Bahamas and New England & Canada throughout the summer season. In the fall 2018, the ship will feature three open-jaw 10- and 11-night Fall Foliage sailings to Quebec, Canada. Adventure of the Seas will reposition to Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale for the winter season, offering six- and eight-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.
  • Grandeur of the Seas will continue to offer a variety of destinations and experiences for guests sailing from Baltimore, including nine-night itineraries to The Bahamas and 12-night itineraries to the Southern Caribbean in the winter; and nine-night journeys to Canada and New England and five-night getaways to Bermuda in the summer.
  • Vision of the Seas will join Liberty of the Seas in Galveston, Texas for the winter season offering shorter four- and five-night Western Caribbean getaways.
  • Rhapsody of the Seas will sail round-trip seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries out of Tampa, Florida during the winter season.
  • Jewel of the Seas will make San Juan, Puerto Rico her homeport for the winter season, sailing seven-night Southern Caribbean itineraries.
  • Brilliance of the Seas will sail from Tampa in the winter, alternating four- and five-night itineraries to the Western Caribbean.
  • Serenade of the Seas will homeport in Boston for September and October, offering seven-night itineraries to Canada and New England and seven-night itineraries to Bermuda. She will then reposition to Ft. Lauderdale for longer winter sailings to the Southern and Eastern Caribbean on 10- and 11-night itineraries.
  • Navigator of the Seas will sail five- and nine-night Southern and Western Caribbean itineraries from PortMiami throughout the winter season.
  • Independence of the Seas will make her way to Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida offering four- and five-night itineraries to the Western Caribbean throughout the winter.