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Latest Cruise news articles

Star Ships: New sciences cruises offer pristine cosmic views

October 30, 2015

From www.space.com via Scoop.it:

A new line of science-themed cruises lets passengers stargaze from the open ocean, a unique location far away from city lights.

Princes Cruises and Discovery Channel have created a line of science-themed cruises called "Discovery at Sea." The excursions feature activities like diving with sharks, spending time with exotic wildlife, looking at auroras and stargazing.

Viewing the night sky from a location far away from city lights can be a magical experience, but it usually requires traveling to very remote locations (which, for some people, is part of the fun). But stargazing on a cruise ship is unique, because the vessel can travel to locations completely devoid of light pollution, and yet viewers are never more than a few steps away from the ship's accommodations

Walter Christen's insight:

I have always enjoyed looking up on a cruise ship to see the stars. If you can get to a upper level on the ship where there are no lights above you, the views are amazing. Princess Cruises has the right idea to offer guided tours of the heavens.

Although I do not think a telescope would work (the ship is moving), a pair of binoculars could come in handy.

 

Porthole writes about the Cruiseable app in its October 2015 issue.

Cruiseable gets a shoutout from Porthole

October 30, 2015

We're big fans of Porthole magazine. So it was a pleasant surprise the other day when I opened the latest issue while on the treadmill in the gym and spotted their app roundup.

No. 1 on their hit list this week: the free Cruiseable app for iOS (iPhone and iPad). Check out the highlights on Cruiseable or download it from Apple's App Store

Cruiseable — both the app and the website — helps people discover, plan and book a great cruise vacation through the use of one-of-a-kind technologies, like our Bliss Filters and Compare Cruises tool, and independent travel journalism.

Whether you're a first-time cruiser or have hundreds under your belt, Cruiseable offers the following:

  • Hundreds of travel guides to all the major ports in the world;
  • Hundreds of feature articles from our crackerjack team of travel writers and cruise bloggers; 
  • More than 10,000 gorgeous high-quality photos of ships and destinations; 
  • Lots of special offers from our alliance with 32 major cruise lines (all the ones you've heard of and more) and travel partners
  • Lots more on the way, and we'd love to hear from you what you'd like to see. 

Porthole is a 95% offline publication — remember print? The next issue arrives Nov. 10. If you're a cruise enthusiast, you should subscribe (like we do); it costs $19.95 a year. 


NorthStar lifts guests 300 feet above sea level to offer stunning views on Anthem of the Seas.

Top five coolest things about Anthem of the Seas

October 28, 2015

From www.royalcaribbeanblog.com via Scoop.it:

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas is less than two weeks away from her arrival in the New York City area and many  fans are excited to check out what this brand new ship offers.

Royal Caribbean has packed Anthem of the Seas with innovations, activities and technology that all contribute to give guests that "WOW" factor the company is well known for.

There is a lot of exciting options onboard and in anticipation of Anthem of the Seas' arrival, we are counting down the top five coolest features onboard.

Walter Christen's insight:

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Sea is one of the new ship that I am personally excited about. Here are five of the highly anticipated options:

Virtual Balcony - live outside views on 80 inch LED screens on inside cabins.

Voom high speed internet - For when disconnecting is not an option.  High Speed at a reasonable cost.

Two70 - Looks like a exciting show venue.

Ripcord  - Looks like a lot of fun but I am not sure I am up for the sky diving experience.

North Star - I would love to experience the panoramic views from the North Star.

 

This is only a small part of the exciting attractions and venues on this new ship.

 

 

A trend? New Norwegian cruise ship is the latest with a 'snow room'

October 28, 2015

From www.usatoday.com via Scoop.it:

ON BOARD THE NORWEGIAN ESCAPE -- It's the coolest new attraction at sea. Literally.

The new Norwegian Cruise Line ship debuting this weekend in Europe is home to a super-chilled "snow room" that is the first of its kind on a mass-market cruise ship catering to North Americans.

The frosty spa retreat on the Norwegian Escape is kept at a nippy 14 degrees Fahrenheit and boasts flurries of powdery snow descending from the ceiling. It's part of a sprawling thermal suite within the ship's Mandara Spa.

"It's very good for aches and pains," says Courtney Neumann, the spa manager on the Norwegian Escape, who recommends lounging in the thermal suite's super-heated sauna before entering the snow room. "The idea is to go from hot to cold, which makes your blood vessels constrict and dilate, which is extremely good for your immune system and blood circulation."

Walter Christen's insight:

What a interesting attraction on Norwegian's newest ship the Norwegian Escape

I know my daughter would love this as the last time she saw snow was when she was three years old. I would love to experience this "snow room" as long as they did not expect me to shovel it.

 

At  Pont du Gard, an ancient aquaduct system in Vers-Pont-du-Gard in the South of France.

Tauck targets solo travelers by trimming the single supplement

October 27, 2015
From Cruiseable news services:
 

Tauck is trying to get solo travelers to reconsider their choices if the cost of singles supplements for traveling alone has been holding them back.

The tour operator is targeting single travelers with a broad-based reduction or elimination of singles supplements across a wide range of its tours in Europe and North America and on river cruises in Europe.

Tauck completely removed its singles supplements on all of its Category 1 cabins on all of its riverboats in Europe, a total of 220 departures, according to the company. The company is also cutting the singles supplements by as much as $1,000 on Category 4 and 5 cabins on 15 river cruise programs.

Tauck also cut up to $400 off the price of a number of its European land tours and up to $300 off North American land tours.


MSC Lirica will home-port in Shanghai starting next year.

MSC Lirica Heads to China in 2016

October 27, 2015
From Cruiseable news services:
 

Following last week’s roundup of cruise lines entering the Chinese cruise market, MSC Cruises today joins the fold with the announcement that its MSC Lirica will be home-ported in Shanghai beginning in May 2016. The development is a partnership between the private family-owned cruise company and Chinese outbound tourism provider, CAISSA Touristic Group. Dining, entertainment and service will be tailored specifically to Chinese guests.

“MSC Cruises’ distinctive European flavor resonates well with CAISSA Touristic’s brand spirit, which also originates from Europe,” said CAISSA Touristic’s President Chen Xiaobing. “Additionally, what makes this partnership stand out from other traditional agreements between China-based tour agencies and cruise lines is the emphasis that will be placed on the training of the entire onboard staff to ensure guests receive the best-in-class MSC Cruises’ experience and service, as well as the degree of the adaptation of the ship’s hardware and software, such as facilities renovation, service design and operation, to fit the customs and tastes of the Chinese guests it is designed to serve.”


 Carnival Victory sails to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Grand Turk, the Bahamas and other tropical destinations.

Carnival hosts first ship at Amber Cove port

October 26, 2015

From www.travelpulse.com via Scoop.it:

Carnival Corporation has officially opened its new cruise port at Amber Cove, Dominican Republic, welcoming the Victory as the first ship to dock.

The Amber Cove port is located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, and it will serve as a gateway to the exotic city of Puerto Plata. Victory arrived Tuesday morning with its nearly 3,000 passengers to help celebrate the new port.

For the first time in nearly 30 years, a cruise ship will regularly tour Puerto Plata's beautiful beaches and diverse historical landmarks. The cruise line has invested more than $85 million into the facility.

Walter Christen's insight:

On October 6th the Carnival Victory was the first ship to dock at this new ort in the Dominican Republic. The official ribbon cutting ceremony is slated for November 2nd.

From the list of excursions available and the amenities available at the port, this will be a great stop for cruise passengers on Carnival cruise ships.  In addition, The Carnival Fathom brand will be using this port for it's unique volunteerism cruises to the island.

 

 

The finer things aboard Royal Caribbean

October 20, 2015

From thetravelinggals.com via Scoop.it:

In the world of cruising, family and budget friendly usually come to mind when thinking of Royal Caribbean cruises, not the finer things.  I want to share with you two experiences I recently had on the Vision of the Seas that were quite grand events and elevated my perception of service and epicurean significance.

Walter Christen's insight:

This article hit upon two of the things my wife and I like to do on a Royal Caribbean cruise (actually on any cruise line). Wine tasting and having a memorable dining experience involving steak.

Wine tasting is a lot fun and informative. I like understanding the different types of wine and why you would select one over another to pair with a meal. My tastes lean more to dry red wines where my wife likes lighter white wines. I recommend that if you do want to do wine tasting that you book it early.  On our last cruise we did not and found out that it was completely booked.

Chops Grille is also a favorite of ours and usually book as soon as we board the ship. We usually book Chops Grille for our last night on the cruise. The steaks are outstanding and the service is fantastic.

 Be warned that these finer things on Royal Caribbean are at an additional cost and do tend to sell out, but I feel that they are worthy.

 

Tweens ages 8-12 have access to Xbox and Wii tournaments, relay races, scavenger hunts and karaoke disco parties at Club HAL aboard your Holland America cruise.

The big question: Can you take kids on a Holland America cruise?

October 19, 2015

From travelwithbender.com via Scoop.it:

This was a common response to the announcement of our cruise to Alaska in September with Holland America Line.

It had long been on my dream list. I yearned to visit Alaska and a cruise seemed like a fabulous way to see it. There were so many choices, but we left things really late and all of a sudden it was the end of the season with only 4 more ships heading to Alaska. Two of those were the Westerdam and Noordam.

So when Holland America suggested we take their final cruise of the season from Vancouver to Alaska aboard the ms Noordam, it fit in perfectly to our schedule. Alaska would be sandwiched between our archery tournament in sunny Spokane, Washington and a housesitting assignment in Kelowna, Canada. 

Walter Christen's insight:

I have not sailed on a Holland America cruise ship and I did not know the answer to this.  When you talk about taking the kids on a cruise you normally think of DisneyRoyal Caribbean, and Carnival.

 Sounds like Holland America has most of the bases covered for family cruises. A kids program, excellent food and service, and first rate entertainment go a long way to providing a memorable vacation.

 I especially liked the description of the room with the curtain between the beds giving a little privacy. 

 

Seabourn Quest at sea.

Seabourn wins ‘Finest Cruise Line Dining’ award

October 17, 2015

From www.travelpulse.com via Scoop.it:

Seabourn Cruise Line has been awarded the 2015 Good Taste Award for “Finest Cruise Line Dining” by culinary magazine Saveur.

The inaugural Good Taste Awards were celebrated by the magazine at a reception in New York City on Oct. 13, and Seabourn — along with all of the other winners — will appear in the October issue.

This is not the first award Seabourn has won from Saveur, either, as the company was also named the "Best Culinary Cruise Line" in the magazine's Culinary Travel Awards in 2013 and 2014.

 

Walter Christen's insight:

This is a well deserved award for Seabourn Cruise Line.  They do know that the dining experience on a cruise is very important.

 

Explore the sun-drenched tropics aboard a Seven Seas Navigator cruise. The British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, St. Barts, St. Maarten, Turks & Caicos, Puerto Rico, Costa Maya and the Panama Canal are just a few of the destinations visited.

Free unlimited WiFi on cruise ships? It just might be a trend

October 15, 2015

From www.usatoday.com via Scoop.it:

Luxury line Regent Seven Seas Cruises is getting even more all-inclusive with the addition of free unlimited WiFi access for every passenger.

Regent on Wednesday announced the new perk would be available fleetwide starting in late 2016. The company currently offers free unlimited WiFi only to passengers in top suites. Passengers in lesser cabins get 200 to 500 minutes of free WiFi access per cruise, with the time depending on the voyage length.

Regent's move comes just six months after the debut of Viking Ocean Cruises, a new upscale line that has been making waves in the industry with a "no nickel-and-diming" mantra that includes the promise of free Wi-Fi for every passenger. Viking's free Internet offering is similar to Regent's in that there is no time limit for any passenger.

Walter Christen's insight:

When I first started cruising, one of the benefits I saw was that I would be totally unplugged from work and could relax completely. Unplugging is not stress reducing anymore as more as more of our lives require the internet. Sometimes you just need to check in to make sure everything is OK at home or work.

Just last year I had to purchase a internet package for my son on a cruise we took because he was taking a online class and could not afford to not keep up with the work involved.

I imagine within the next few years, internet access will be free or very inexpensive on all the major cruise lines. Congratulations should go out to Regent Seven Seas and Viking Ocean Cruises for offering free Wi-Fi to all their passengers. 

 

 

 

Independence of the Seas' highlights include the FlowRider surf simulator, a rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink, cantilevered whirlpool and mini golf course.

Why you should use a travel agent when booking a cruise: Hint it will save you money!

October 14, 2015

From eatsleepcruise.com via Scoop.it:

So, you have decided to take a cruise and are ready for the best vacation of your life. All you need to do is actually make a reservation and put a deposit down on this trip.  You decide to go to the cruise line’s website to find an available cabin and book it online or call that nice lady pictured on the company’s website. You will make a reservation and be on your way. Even though they are telling you that you are getting a good deal on the cruise, how can you be sure?

In fact, it is more than likely that you are NOT getting the best possible deal!  Why? Because you are not taking advantage of the best ally you have when trying to score a great cruise deal, a travel agent.  Here, we outline why we use a travel agent and why you should too.

Walter Christen's insight:

I whole heartedly agree that that you should consider using a travel agent to help you book a cruise.  I also have found that the prices the cruise lines show and what a good travel agent can get for the same cruise are vastly different.

I have booked cruises both directly with the cruise line and also with a travel agent.  I know better now and only use a travel agent.  I like saving money and many times the travel agent has additional perks available like onboard credit or free room upgrades.

You should give the travel experts at Cruiseable a try and see what they can do for you.