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Latest Cruise news articles

The Northern lights in Norway's Lofoten Islands, captured in 2011.

Hurtigruten adds new expedition ship, MS Norway Explorer

July 21, 2015

From www.travelweek.ca via Scoop.it:

Hurtigruten will be adding one more ship to its current fleet of 13 with the purchase of a new expedition ship that will temporarily be named MS Norway Explorer.

“The new ship’s maneuverability and optimal size will bring Hurtigruten’s guests even closer to nature,” says CEO Daniel Skjeldam. “We invest in our fleet to ensure that Hurtigruten remains a world leader in sustainable explorer travels along the Norwegian coast and polar destinations as well as enrich our guests’ unique experiences by expanding our service at destinations such as Greenland, Svalbard and Antarctica.”

The ship was built in Portugal in 2009 at the Viana do Castelo shipyard and is now making its way to Scandinavia. The ship will undergo a total reconstruction including adapting for polar waters; upgrading the cabins, suites and public spaces for the 320 passengers; and adjusting the power plants and emissions so as to meet Hurtigruten’s high standards, the ship will then join the fleet along the Norwegian Coastal Voyage route. The new ship will replace the Midnatsol, which will join the MS Fram in Antarctica for the 2016/17 season.

Walter Christen's insight:

Adventure Expedition Cruise Line Hurtigruten is adding a new ship to their fleet and will be sailing the Norwegian coast after a complete overhaul and upgrade. The beautiful landscapes, ports of call rich in culture and history are only a few of the reasons to consider Hurtigruten.  Don't forget about the northern lights.

See what the Cruiseable Team think about Hurtigruten:

https://cruiseable.com/cruise-line/hurtigruten

  • Hurtigruten’s Norwegian Coastal Cruises cover more than 1,100 miles between Bergen and Kirkenes.
  • Hurtigruten offers shore excursions ranging from coastal city tours to snowmobiling across the Tundra, viewing the Northern Lights or getting up close to Arctic birds on birding expeditions.
  • Ships visit 34 ports of call along the Norwegian coast, with some calls just 30 minutes and others as long as six hours.
  • Every Norwegian Coastal Cruise crosses the Arctic Circle.

 

 

Royal Caribbean dares you to try a 10-story waterslide on its new cruise ship

July 20, 2015

From www.inthelooptravel.com via Scoop.it:

Never afraid to make a splash with its cruise innovations, Royal Caribbean is going bigger with a 10-story waterslide on Harmony of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas is the line's third Oasis-class ship and will be even bigger than sisters Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas when it launches in spring 2016. Harmony of the Seas will homeport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, beginning in November 2016.

The big new ship will have a big new waterslide, too. Harmony of the Seas is going to feature a 10-story slide called The Abyss, which plunges passengers from the AquaTheater area to the Boardwalk neighborhood at the back of the ship, Royal Caribbean said.

Walter Christen's insight:

Royal Caribbean is upping the ante.  I too enjoy a good water slide although I am not so sure about a 10 story water slide called The Abyss.  I may have to work my way up to it by using the smaller 3 story water slides onboard called Cyclone, Typhoon and Monsoon.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas will homeport out of Fort Lauderdale starting November 2016.  I cannot wait.

 

The Best of Juneau Alaska

July 19, 2015

From www.mommymusings.com via Scoop.it:

Majestic. Breathtaking. Awe-inspiring. Those are the first words that come to my mind when I think of Alaska. I’ve been lucky to have experienced two Alaskan cruises, and with each I was simply blown away by the scenery.

 If there was one excursion that I’ve been on that highlighted Alaska’s great est assets it was the Best of Juneau — a full day of sightseeing with a visit to Mendenhall glacier, a whale-watching cruise and salmon bake.

This shore excursion was booked directly through Carnival Cruise Line which maximized our time while we were in the port of Juneau. I’m a big fan of booking through the cruise line because there’s never any waiting and there are guarantees you don’t get when booking independently, like getting back to the ship on time!

Walter Christen's insight:

Juneau Alaska is one of the best places on a Alaskan cruise to see the beautiful scenery and wildlife that is Alaska.

 Stefanie Fauquet details her experiences while on a Carnival Cruise to Alaska and the full day "Best of Juneau" tour she took there.  

 On this tour she was able to go to Mendenhall Glacier and also go on a “Whales Guaranteed” Wildlife Cruise.  She has some pretty spectacular pictures of the glacier, whales and sea lions.  The ending of the tour was also fitting, a salmon bake.

 

I have been on a Alaskan cruise, and do plan on going again.

 

 

Anthem of the Seas at sea.

Royal Caribbean Sets the Stage for Anthem of the Seas' US Debut

July 16, 2015

From www.travelpulse.com via Scoop.it:

With roughly 100 days to go before Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas begins sailing out of Port Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey, the cruise line is working to build excitement around the Nov. 5 arrival in the U.S. of its newest and most high-tech ship.

At an evening event for media and travel agents on July 15 at the New York Times Center in New York City, Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean’s president and CEO, and Mark Tamis, senior vice president of hotel operations, gave a multimedia presentation on Anthem’s innovative features. They also unveiled even more innovations and plans for the rest of the fleet.

 

Anthem’s U.S. Debut: The focus for this event was the 4,180-passenger (double occupancy) Anthem of the Seas and its impending arrival in the U.S. Starting Nov. 4 and for the foreseeable future, it will homeport at Port Liberty in Bayonne, just across the harbor from Manhattan.

 

The vessel, which Bayley and Tamis joked still has a “new ship feel,” since it was christened in April, has been sailing in Europe out of Southampton. As the newest and most technologically advanced vessel in the Royal Caribbean fleet, Anthem has all the features that are already on its sister ship Quantum of the seas, currently sailing out of Shanghai, but the line has made adjustments to make the guest experience even better.

Walter Christen's insight:

Royal Caribbean has announced a large number of enhancements and additions to their fleet of cruise ships. For me it is nice to see that they continue to move forward and provide new and upgraded cruise experiences to enjoy.

 

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas will start sailing out of Port Liberty in Bayonne, NJ in November.  The ship is the sister ship to the Quantum of the Seas.  Starting November 10th the Quantum of the Seas will be sailing from Port Liberty to Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

 

Some of the features of the ship include:

  • Ripcord by iFly sky diving experience
  • Northstar glass enclosed capsule offering scenic views high above the ship
  • robotic bar
  • State-of-the-art venue, Two70, where a combination of live performers and technology deliver multidimensional shows
  • The Royal Theater, home to the ship’s two main shows, “We Will Rock You” and “The Gift.”
  • Dynamic Dining experience allows guests to select from among 18 restaurant concepts
  • Fast internet service will be available

 

Royal Caribbean also announced some upgrades and enhancements to their other ships, including more virtual balcony staterooms, which are inside staterooms with a video wall projecting a live feed of the ocean outside. Royal Caribbean also will debut more new studio staterooms for solo passengers, new family connected staterooms which can hold up to 10, and a four-bedroom penthouse suite. 

 

Royal Caribbean is also working on a  program to better promote their two private islands Labadee and CocoCay.  I have been to both of these islands and can say there is something for everyone on these islands.  From relaxing in a beach chair to zip lining over the water.

 

Other ships on the Royal Caribbean fleet will also be upgrade.  Liberty of the Seas is to be upgraded with a new water park and slides, Majesty of the Seas will see a host of new features including water slides, poolside movie screen,  DreamWorks Experience featuring activities and entertainment with Shrek, Fiona and other favorite characters from the animation studio’s movies, and free high speed internet.

 

Last but not least, Royal Caribbean is also building new Quantum-class and Oasis-class ships to be placed into service over the next few years.

 

 

Majesty of the Seas sails out of Miami, Florida, for three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas.

Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas to be upgraded and adding Free Internet

July 16, 2015

From cruisefever.net via Scoop.it:

Royal Caribbean has announced that Majesty of the Seas will stay in their fleet after all and will add a host of upgrades including fast, free internet.  This reverses a decision last fall that had the cruise ship leaving Royal Caribbean in 2016.
Walter Christen's insight:

Instead of removing Majesty of the Sea from their fleet, Royal Caribbean, will dry dock and upgrade the ship.  Homeport in 2016 will be Port Canaveral and sail 3-4 night cruises to the Bahamas.  Upgrades to include Free Wi-Fi, water slides, DreamWorks Experience, and a host of new dining experiences.

 

Hans Kiendl, pastry chef, Crystal Symphony

July 15, 2015

From blog.crystalcruises.com via Scoop.it:

He’s the swami of sweets. The master of meringue. The guru of ganache. He is Hans Kiendl, pastry chef of Crystal Symphony. And his delectable creations are served at every meal, daring even the staunchest dieter to have just one bite.

The Germany-born chef, who has been with Crystal almost since the luxury cruise line launched its first ship 25 years ago, is serious about his work. And it shows in his beautifully presented desserts, using the freshest, purest ingredients. “It only tastes good when you use good ingredients,” he says, adding that he doesn’t use alternatives, like corn syrup. And everything is made from scratch.

 That’s quite a feat for Kiendl and his staff, who start preparing early in the morning for the day’s meals, which start with the Early Risers Continental Buffet in the Lido Café at 6:30 a.m. Pastries and other baked goods are also served at the full buffet breakfast, as well as in the Crystal Dining Room and The Bistro. After breakfast, his staff supplies sweets for lunch, afternoon tea in the Palm Court, dinner, and late-night snacks in The Bistro. And then, there’s 24-hour room service. “The food operation is the biggest entertainer on board,” he says.

Walter Christen's insight:

Yes, food is a important part of cruising.  I was amazed at some of the creations presented here and my mouth watered.  Luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises knows how to prepare and present delectable pastries from fresh ingredients.

I especially liked the observation that "The food operation is the biggest entertainer on board."  

 Hans Kiendl is the pastry chef for the Crystal Symphony cruise ship.  Some Crystal facts:

  • Crystal’s hotel and dining staff are schooled in the fine art of European service.
  • Cuisine by renowned chefs Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio, included at no extra charge.
  • Recently emerged from a two-week, $20 million-plus dry dock redesign
  • All-inclusive cruissing that includes specialty restaurants, all beverages and pre-paid gratuities
  • Engaging onboard enrichment programs
  • Impressive wine cellar including Crystal's exclusive "C" label
  • One of the highest space per guest ratios at sea, offering Crystal Cruises' unparalleled service in luxurious comfortable surroundings
  • The only Feng Shui-inspired spa at sea

 

 

Houses and hotels line the shoreline on Grand Turk in Turks and Caicos.

Winter break on Holland America

July 15, 2015

Cruise package summary

Enjoy a 7-day Caribbean Cruise to escape the winter blues in January 2016 aboard the classy Holland America Line ship Nieuw Amsterdam.

Why this cruise is special: We're fans of Holland America's Dancing With the Stars at Sea feature, and these voyages combine nights of fun-filled dance entertainment with days of carefree frolicking on sun-kissed beaches, at a great price, starting at $699. 

Details of this sailing

If you're new to cruising, now's the time to book a cruise for winter 2016 (these sailings fill up fast!). Enjoy a weeklong voyage on Nieuw Amsterdam, rated 4½ stars by Cruiseable.

In the mood for refined, romantic and intimate dining? Head to the Pinnacle Grill on Niew Amsterdam.
Courtesy of Holland America LineIn the mood for refined, romantic and intimate dining? Head to the Pinnacle Grill on Niew Amsterdam.

This cruise features guest performances from the professional dancers and celebrities who dazzle the audience with routines from TV's “Dancing with the Stars.” Events include dance lessons with the ship's professional dancers, a special fashion show and a chance to meet the dance pros and celebrities. The events are included in your base fare. 


Colleen Hilker: "That's me and my mom on our first sled dog excursion. We started out with a helicopter ride to see the sights around Juneau."

Alaskan cruise excursions: From glaciers to dog-sledding

July 15, 2015

From www.sunherald.com via Scoop.it:

The entire scenic trip seemed like an epic film rolled out on grand scale on this 1,945-nautical mile trip up and down Alaska's Inside Passage. The 82,000-ton Noordam ship, with its 2,000 guests and 800 crew, may have looked to the humpback whales and orcas like their prehistoric parent as it cruised grandly northward from Vancouver, British Columbia. At 6:30 am on the first morning at sea, as I lounged on my perfectly wonderful veranda, a humpback sounded with a wave of his gigantic tail. I was sure that Holland America had staged it, on cue.

We traveled north by northwest and the natural setting of mountain ranges, sea and islands were draped in layers and tones of dark grey, silver grey and black by the mist and soft cloud cover. It was a day for taking in the vista but also to explore the ship: 11 decks high, two swimming pools, four hot tubs, 14 passenger elevators, 1 Promenade deck for leisurely walks, a Culinary Arts Center, The Destinations Cafe with computer stations (need better and faster connections), library and game rooms, clothing and jewelry shops, casinos, entertainment venues, the ever busy Greenhouse Spa with its myriad body and face treatments (I indulged in the hot stone massage).  

 

Walter Christen's insight:

Alaska is a must see cruise destination. This article covers Juneau, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and Glacier Point Wilderness Safari in Haines during the writer's sailing on Holland America's Noordam


Try your luck at Casino Royale's games of chance, on deck 5 of Grandeur of the Seas.

Cruising for the first time? Here are things you need to know

July 13, 2015

From www.holysmithereens.com via Scoop.it:

I went on my very first cruise with Celebrity Cruises in April, onboard the Celebrity Constellation and it sure was both an indulgent and enlightening experience for me.
 

1.) There is a check-in process  

2.) There is no luggage weight allowance

3.) It’s a cashless transaction all throughout

4.) Rooms are cleaned twice a day

5.) WiFi is expensive

6.) The Cruise Casino is open only during sea days

7.) Sea Days can be full on

8.) The performances are spectacular ...

Walter Christen's insight:

First time Cruising in the Mediterranean.  Holy Smithereens gives a good overview on what to expect. Here are some other cruising 101 articles on Cruiseable:

 

Seabourn Voted the 'World's Best Small-Ship Cruise Line'

July 8, 2015

From www.luxurytravelmagazine.com via Scoop.it:

The discerning readers of Travel + Leisure have voted Seabourn as the "World's Best Small-Ship Cruise Line" in the prestigious magazine's 2015 annual survey. The ultra-luxury line has dominated the top spot in the "Small-Ship Cruise Line" category over the last decade.

"Our focus is always on the guest experience. As a leader in ultra-luxury and innovation, it takes the expertise of all of Seabourn's employees - on shore as well as at sea - to bring everything together and consistently deliver travel experiences that exceed our guests' expectations," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "This award is recognition of the extraordinary commitment, dedication and expert delivery of highly personalized vacation experiences that we deliver every day, and I would like to thank the readers of Travel + Leisure for honoring our entire team that makes this possible."

Seabourn's all-suite ships have earned many honors over the years, including a string of five awards as the "Best Small-Ship Cruise Line" in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards, as well as "Best Culinary Cruise Line" from the editors of Saveur in its Culinary Travel Awards for two consecutive years.

Walter Christen's insight:

For more information from the Cruiseable team please see our overview of Seabourn at https://cruiseable.com/cruise-line/seabourn

Some things that impress us about the Seabourn brand:

  • All-suite accommodations offering intuitive, gracious service
  • Five intimate ships with just 104 or 229 suites
  • Gourmet dining experiences as fine as the best restaurants anywhere
  • Open bars throughout the ship and fine wines poured with lunch and dinner
  • Signature events, like "Rock the Boat" dance party with the entertainment team
  • Caviar in the Surf Beach Party on select sailings
  • Marina Day with complimentary water sports on select sailings  

Antarctica Cruise | Travel to the Southern White Continent

July 7, 2015

From www.hurtigruten.com via Scoop.it:

Explore the White Continent with Hurtigruten and MS Fram. Take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints.

Walter Christen's insight:

Hurtigruten cruises to Antarctica.  Possibly the greatest adventure. 

 

The Cruiseable app on the iPhone 6.

Cruiseable releases iPhone 6 app

June 29, 2015

After six months of development, we're jazzed to announce that we've released the Cruiseable app for the iPhone.

Download it for free from the App Store.

Since Cruiseable's launch in March, we've been focused on giving people a much easier and visually rich way to discover, plan and book a great cruise vacation. Now, the new Cruiseable app for iPhone 5 or 6 allows users to research and book their perfect cruise vacation while on the go.

We designed the Cruiseable app to make it fun, informative and easy to use. As travelers search a variety of itineraries and guest experiences, our gorgeous, high-quality images whisk them away to ports from Juneau to Hong Kong