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Travel Blog


Latest Cruise news articles

A typical street in downtown Havana, Cuba.

Survey: Few Americans booking new Cuba cruises

June 12, 2017

From www.usatoday.com via Scoop.it:

The thaw in relations between the USA and Cuba has set off a race among cruise companies to start up sailings between the countries. But so far, few Americans are booking the trips, according to a survey conducted for USA TODAY by one of North America's largest travel sellers.

The survey of 1,034 travel agents who book cruises by Travel Leaders Group found that just 2.9% have taken a booking for one of the recently announced Cuba voyages.

Still, nearly 42% of travel agents queried said they've had a customer express interest in the trips.


Imagine seeing a total solar eclipse like this at sea.

Royal Caribbean features the Total Eclipse Cruise

June 9, 2017

Americans will pause for a moment on August 21, head out its door and look to the sky. A total solar eclipse is set to become one of the summer’s most memorable moments, and many will ask, “Where were you?”

A total solar eclipse hasn’t crossed the continental United States since 1918

This hasn't become a media sensation just yet, but now's the time to plan if you'd like to see it.

A smart bet? Look to Royal Caribbean, which announced that it will offer a special set of events to coincide with the eclipse on a journey dubbed the Total Eclipse Cruise.

“We’re set to take vacationers on an unprecedented experience that is nearly a century in the making,” Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said in a statement. 


Royal Caribbean’s newest smartship, Symphony of the Seas, will debut in April 2018 as the world's biggest cruise ship.

Symphony of the Seas by the numbers (infographic)

May 18, 2017

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Symphony of the Seas, is coming our way in April 2018, and when it debuts it will be the world's biggest cruise ship, slightly larger than Harmony of the Seas.

Here is our preview of the ship with a rundown of its features and amenities. And yes, it's open for booking.

Royal Caribbean shared the following infographic about the smartship, now under construction:


Royal Caribbean chefs will  prepare your meals to your specifications.

First time cruise tips: dining on a cruise

May 17, 2017

From planningformagic.com via Scoop.it:

One of our favorite things about taking a cruise vacation is not worrying about keeping our dining on budget, because it’s included in our cruise fare. Dining on a cruise can be a little confusing for first-time cruisers, so here are some answers to common questions about cruise dining..

Walter Christen's insight:

Dining on a cruise ship need not be confusing or stress inducing. 

 

Dinner Seating Times -Most mainstream cruise lines have 2 set dinner times.  Usually around 6PM and 8PM.  In addition, most have flexible dining (Anytime dining, Freestyle dining, etc.) where you can pick your dinner time. Remember that the reason for the set schedule is that the cruise lines gear the evening entertainment around when dinner is scheduled, so if you pick a odd time, you may miss a show or other activity. My family usually schedules dinner for the late seating.  We are already used to eating later at home.  We also check out table assignment soon after we board the ship and if needed request a change.

Dress Codes and Formal Nights - on many of the mainstream cruise lines, the dress code is much more relaxed than it used to be.  Early in my cruising history, I do remember wearing a suit or rental tuxedo on formal nights and other nights dress slacks and a sport coat.  Not so much anymore.  While there are still plenty of people cruising that dress up for dinner, there are also people like me that for the most part wear dress slacks and a dress shirt (although I have been know for wearing a Hawaiian on occasion) .  The choice is directly up to you.  Still, shorts, swimwear, tee-shirts, tank tops and such are not allowed.

 

Here are some additional pointers I think that were missed.

  • If you find more than one appetizer or entrée on the menu that you would like to try, order them. Also, some entree's are available as a appetizer, ask your server if it is possible.
  • If you have a picky eater, request a children's menu. Although my daughter is older, she still loves Royal Caribbean's chicken strips and fry's.
  • A cruise is a great place to try a new food that you do not know if you will like.
  • Talk to your waiter and staff.  I find it fascinating talking to them and finding out about where they are from and how they started working on a cruise ship.
  • My wife I usually try to have breakfast and lunch in the dining room as well, although depending on if we sleep in, breakfast is sometimes not doable.  Also sometimes lunch is not available when in a port of call.  It is a nice treat to be served your meal.

 

Remember this, you are on vacation, enjoy and relax.

 

Canyon Ranch SpaClub will help you focus on your fitness and well-being during your Regent Seven Seas cruise.

Regent readies Seven Seas Wellness program

May 15, 2017

Regent Seven Seas Cruises will be launching a new "Seven Seas Wellness" program on Seven Seas Voyager starting later this month with the goal of enhancing the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of a cruise for its guests. 

The Miami-based luxury cruise line said the new wellness program will be available on seven- to 10-night Mediterranean itineraries on the Seven Seas Voyager from late May through September 2017.


West Whale Bay in Bermuda features a secluded beach.

Disney Cruise Line adds Bermuda, Quebec City in 2018

May 12, 2017

Disney Cruise Line will make its debut in Bermuda and Quebec City, Canada, next year.

The cruise line revealed new details regarding its fall 2018 itineraries Thursday, including announcing that it will make first-time visits to those ports on new sailings from New York.

Disney also confirmed a trio of special sailings out of the Big Apple that will include stops at Walt Disney World and Disney's Castaway Cay private island in the Bahamas. Plus, the cruise line revealed additional voyages sailing out of California, Texas and Florida late next year.


A screen grab of travel blogger Trey Ratcliff of Stuck in Customs showing off his new Phantom 4 drone on Facebook Live.

Visual storytelling for travel brands

April 25, 2017

Today at the Eye for Travel conference at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco, I'm giving a presentation on the subject "Visual Storytelling to grab your customers."

I spoke at Eye for Travel two years ago when Cruiseable was just about to launch, and the gathering for travel executives has come a long way, with a full-fledged startup alley now as well as speakers and attendees from both the travel sector (Trivago, Hotel Tonight, Viator) and outside the sector (AARP, Google, Facebook). 

As I always do, I've made the presentation available for download on SlideShare and embedded it here. (Susie Conley of Viator, Robecta Ma of Cathay Pacific and moderator Dwight Sholes are also on the panel — if you're at Eye for Travel, come on by at 2:50 pm today!) 


Morro Castle (Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro, named after the three biblical Magi) is a fortress guarding the entrance to Havana Bay, Cuba.

Bookings open today for Norwegian cruises to Cuba

April 20, 2017

Norwegian Cruise Line will expand its Cuba offerings into next year, adding 33 sailings to the Caribbean island during 2018, most of which will feature overnight visits to the Cuban capital of Havana.

The four-day roundtrip cruises from Miami aboard Norwegian Sky went on sale today. 


A view of the scenic Middle Rhine Valley in Germany — prime river cruising country.

Best 2017-2018 wine cruises on AmaWaterways

April 13, 2017

The fast-growing river cruise line AmaWaterways is celebrating the modern epicurean lifestyle aboard its upscale ships with the announcement of its 2017-2018 wine cruise itineraries and release of its new Wine Cruises Through Europe brochure.

With a new luxury ship in its fleet, AmaKristina, and 95 sailings hosted by celebrated North American wine experts, AmaWaterways invites guests to uncork the traditions of the local culture and experience the wonders of wine along Europe’s legendary waterways.


A new survey by MMGY Global debunks travel myths and shows active interest in cruising by young people.

Infographic: Millennials just as jazzed about cruises as seniors

April 12, 2017

Some interesting findings in a new report, "The 5 Most Surprising Shifts in the Travel Industry," from the global travel consultancy MMGY Global.

Above is the portion of the infographic most relevant to cruisers: the finding that young people are just as into cruises as older travelers. 

According to the MMGY findings, millennials, along with "matures" (seniors), now have the same level of interest in cruising at 51 percent. Young millennials find cruising an affordable and convenient vacation option.

Click on the thumbnail below to see the full infographic. You can

find MMGY's insightful research reports here.

The 5 Most Surprising Shifts in the Travel Industry

Infographic by MMGY Global
The 5 Most Surprising Shifts in the Travel Industry

The new Sabatini's

Princess Cruises cooks up a new Sabatini’s

April 12, 2017

My cruise partner Richard and I have many fond memories of dining at Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria, the $30 a person alternative dining venue on Princess Cruises. The inviting Italian restaurant has attracted many other foodie fans since it was introduced in 1998.

And now things are changing with new recipes designed to please the palate and the eye thanks to a fleetwide enhancement in collaboration with acclaimed Italian chef Angelo Auriana, who is creating handmade pasta dishes (like my Mom used to do) as well as family recipes curated from Italian Princess executive chefs across the fleet.  


Millennial travelers pose for a selfie in front of the Erechtheion in Athens.

Uniworld targets millennial river cruisers

April 11, 2017

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has put some clout behind its new brand, U by Uniworld. The new river cruise line devoted to sailings that target the desires of millennial travelers has just announced that bookings are open. 

“Uniworld has always strived to lead innovation in the river cruise industry and we saw a great opportunity with U by Uniworld to reach an entirely new audience,” said Ellen Bettridge, President & CEO of Uniworld. “River cruising is the best and most comfortable way to experience all that Europe has to offer, in an affordable way, and we’re incredibly proud to create a brand that will broaden the interest in this type of experiential travel.”

Nine adventures are now available for reservations by travelers ages 21 to 45 years old looking for a new experience in 2018. These include journeys on the Rhine, Danube and Seine rivers that feature overnight stays in major cities such as Paris, Vienna and Amsterdam