Greetings to the many thousands of readers the past month from across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as well as Russia, France, Germany, Japan, China, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Vietnam and Australia.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Princess Cruises honors military veteran and Purple Heart recipient

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (November 10, 2016) Princess Cruises, the Official Cruise Line of the Seattle Seahawks, honored military veterans Matthew and Brittney Linville prior to kick off on Monday, awarding the couple a free seven day cruise for their service in the United States Army, including deployment to Iraq.
(From left to right) Military Veteran and Purple Heart recipient Matthew Linville, Legendary Seahawks Quarterback Jim Zorn, and Military Veteran Brittney Linville in Seattle on Monday.

Princess Cruises offers up to $250 free onboard spending money for veterans as well as active, retired or disabled military personnel, as a thank you to the brave men and women of the American and Canadian militaries for their service.

This special military benefit is eligible on any cruise, any time of the year and can be used to purchase a wide variety of amenities and experiences including Lotus Spa treatments; dining in specialty restaurants; gifts, jewelry and clothing in onboard boutiques; and Princess Cruises shore excursions.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

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About Princess Cruises: One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, all provided with the experience of exceptional customer service. A recognized leader in worldwide cruising, Princess carries 1.7 million guests each year to more than 360 destinations around the globe on more than 150 itineraries ranging in length from three to 111 days. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

Norwegian Epic sails into Port Canaveral for Caribbean, Bahamas cruises

Norwegian’s most awarded ship will cruise the Western Caribbean and the Bahamas this winter
ORLANDO, FL- November 12, 2016 – One of Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest and most awarded ships, Norwegian Epic, arrived this morning in Port Canaveral, FL to begin her winter season sailing a series of Eastern and Western Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries ranging in length from three, four, six and seven days.

The award-winning Norwegian Epic returns home to the U.S. after having spent a year in Europe, where she underwent an extensive renovation as a part of The Norwegian Edge™ fleet revitalization program.
“We saw great success in Port Canaveral when we returned to the port last year with  Norwegian Spirit, so we felt it made sense to take our commitment to the next level by bringing Norwegian Epic, one of our largest and most awarded ships, to sail from the greater Orlando area,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Carnival Cruise Line earns six Porthole Cruise Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards

(News Release)
MIAMI (Nov. 3, 2016) – Carnival Cruise Line has earned six Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards, including Best Value for the Money Line for the 18th consecutive year.
Since the awards were established in 1999, Carnival Cruise Line has earned an unprecedented 146 individual honors – the most of any cruise operator.
The annual awards are based on online and mail-in surveys of Porthole Cruise Magazine readers who are asked to rate their favorite cruise line in a variety of product- and service-related categories.
Carnival’s 2016 Porthole Cruise Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards include:
·         Best Value-For-The-Money Line
·         Best Cruise Line for Teens
·         Best Theme Cruise
·         Best Cruise Director - John Heald
·         Best Mexican Riviera Itineraries
·         Best Website

Cunard receives top honors by Porthole cruise magazine’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

(News Release)

VALENCIA, Calif., Nov 3, 2016 Cunard has been voted best in two categories in Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards, “Best Transatlantic Itineraries” and “Best World Cruise Itineraries,” which Cunard has been awarded for the 17th consecutive year.

Porthole Cruise’s 18th annual Readers' Choice Awards were determined by thousands of readers and online fans of the magazine, who voted for their favorite cruise lines and ships in 54 different categories. This year garnered a record-breaking number of ballots.

“As the line who pioneered Transatlantic Crossings and World Voyages, we are delighted that the readers of Porthole continue to be equally enthusiastic to experience these legendary itineraries,” said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard, North America. “We are honored to receive this accolade.”

Norwegian Cruise Line brings freedom and flexibility to fall with Free at Sea offer

Now through November 30, new cruise bookings in oceanview, balcony or mini-suite staterooms can choose two free offers and The Haven & Suites receive five offerings valued up to $2,800; additionally, holiday bonus of $100 onboard credit is being offered on new Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s sailings.
Norwegian Cruise Line will color the fall foliage with more freedom, flexibility and fun with an extended Free at Sea offer. From now through November 30, 2016, guests can choose from up to five free offers when they book a new cruise vacation, offering even more value to those looking to enjoy a warm weather winter escape or a cultural holiday adventure.

With Norwegian’s Free at Sea, guests who book a new three-day or longer sailing in an oceanview, balcony or minisuite category stateroom can select their preference of two free choices from five incredible onboard amenity offers, including free unlimited open bar*, free Specialty Dining package*, free prepaid service charges for the first and second guest in the stateroom, a free 250 minute WiFi package**, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer which allows third and fourth guests to sail for free on select dates. Inside staterooms as well as Norwegian’s Studio staterooms for solo travelers can choose one free offer. Guests who book a sailing in a suite or The Haven by Norwegian® will enjoy all five free amenities, providing up to $2,800 in added value to their cruise.

Princess Cruises announces partnership with Three-Michelin Star French Chef Emmanuel Renaut

Chef Emmanuel Renaut partners with Princess Cruises to launch his first restaurant at sea: “LA MER – A French Bistro by Emmanuel Renaut
Award-winning Chef to Bring Fresh, French Bistro Dining Experience to Guests Aboard New Majestic Princess

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2016) Princess Cruises announced a partnership with three-Michelin star Chef Emmanuel Renaut to develop the cruise line’s next specialty restaurant concept. La Mer – A French Bistro by Emmanuel Renautwill debut aboard Majestic Princess in April 2017, the cruise line’s newest ship tailored for the China market.

Followed by the partnership announcement with another Michelin star Chef Richard Chen, serving his interpretation of classic Cantonese dishes at Harmony, Majestic Princess will be the only cruise ship that offers two specialty dinner menus designed by Michelin star chefs at sea in China.

Emmanuel Renaut is the highly acclaimed Executive Chef of three Michelin star restaurant “Flocons de Sel,” located in the French Alps village of Megève. Flocons de Sel was awarded its coveted third Michelin star in 2012, having earned its first Michelin star in 2004 and a second in 2006. Before establishing the restaurant in 1998, Chef Renaut cooked in some of the finest kitchens in Paris and London, including Hotel de Crillon, Claridge’s and three-Michelin star Auberge de l’Eridan as sous chef to the celebrated Marc Veyrat.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Carnival Fantasy begins cruises from Mobile, Alabama

 Festivities Included Fun Competition for Charity Featuring Carnival and Mobile Officials, Traditional Maritime Plaque Exchange

MIAMI (Nov. 9, 2016) — Carnival Fantasy arrived at its new homeport of Mobile, Ala., today to launch a schedule of year-round four- and five-day cruises to Mexico.
The ship’s arrival was marked with a special invitation-only event that included a competition for charity featuring Carnival President Christine Duffy, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, President of the Mobile City Council Gina Gregory, and Carnival Fantasy Captain Bruno Palomba, as well as a traditional maritime plaque exchange between cruise line and port officials.

The competition, part of Carnival’s popular Hasbro, The Game Show activities, included a $20,000 donation each to the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Alabama and Feeding the Gulf Coast.

            Following the event, the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy departs Mobile this afternoon on a sold-out five-day cruise to Cozumel and Progreso, kicking off a year-long schedule of four- and five-day cruises to these stunning Mexican ports.

Cunard announces up to 2-for-1 savings off launch fares for Veterans Day

Cunard offers up to 2-for-1 savings off launch fares and honors active and retired military veterans with up to $250 Onboard Credit
News Release: November 9, 2016 -- Cunard today announced the Veterans Day Sale with up to 2-for-1 savings on launch fares and up to $250 Onboard Credit available to active and retired military veterans on Transatlantic Crossings, Caribbean, South America, South Pacific, Australia & Asia and Panama Canal voyages.

“Through Cunard’s history and into today, military personnel have remained a very important part of the Cunard family,” said Richard Meadows, President, Cunard North America. “On behalf of Cunard, we would like to humbly thank these men and women for the great sacrifices they have made and continue to make every day.”

Guests can reserve a voyage under Veterans Day Sale now through November 14, 2016.

Work begins on fourth Royal Class ship for Princess Cruises

(News Release)

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (November 9, 2016) The steel cutting ceremony of the bow section of the fourth Royal Class ship for Princess Cruises was held Nov. 3 at Fincantieri shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia, Italy. This new build design follows sister ships Royal, Regal, and Majestic Princess, and is scheduled for delivery in 2019.
(From left to right) Firouz Mal, Newbuild Project Manager, Keith Taylor, Executive Vice President of Fleet Operations, Elio Autiero, General Manager of Human Resources and Carlo Febbraro, Director of Shipboard Technical Personnel, at the steel cutting ceremony.
“Today’s steel cutting of Hull 6268 signals the continuation of a 16 year partnership that has delivered some of the most spectacular and innovative cruise ships at sea for Princess Cruises,” said Keith Taylor, Princess Cruises executive vice president of fleet operations. We are delighted with the longevity of our partnership with Fincantieri and know that this next ship will follow on the successful design platform demonstrated with her sister ships.”

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

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About Princess Cruises:
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, all provided with the experience of exceptional customer service. A recognized leader in worldwide cruising, Princess carries 1.7 million guests each year to more than 360 destinations around the globe on more than 150 itineraries ranging in length from three to 111 days. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Carnival Vista's U.S. arrival celebrated with shipboard concert for military families

Overnight Gala Event Also Included Ship’s Official Naming with Miss USA Deshauna Barber –- First Member of the U.S. Military to Hold the Title – Serving As Godmother

MIAMI (Nov. 4, 2016) – To celebrate the U.S. arrival of its newest, largest and most innovative ship, Carnival Cruise Line held an overnight gala event in New York featuring a concert for Operation Homefront military families by the Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year and seven-time GRAMMY award-winning country music super star Carrie Underwood.   
Naming ceremony with Miss USA Deshauna Barber
 The event also included the ship’s official naming ceremony with Miss USA Deshauna Barber – the first woman serving in the U.S. military to hold the title -- presiding over the ceremonies as godmother and releasing the ceremonial bottle of champagne that smashed over the hull of the massive 133,500-ton ship. In addition to the concert, the festivities included overnight accommodations, meals, activities and entertainment for hundreds of military families.

Windstar Cruises defies winter with top of industry-ranked tropical romance on iconic small ships

Seattle, WA, November 7, 2016 — As leaves continue to fall and old man winter prepares his blustery breaths, boutique, small ship cruise line Windstar Cruises defies the impending shiver.

It is relocating its yachts from Europe to the glittering light of the Caribbean and Central/South America for the winter and early spring and continuing its season-defying weekly sailings (year-round) in lovely Tahiti.
  Yachting in the Tropics. It’s the elegant answer to yearly winter blues. While clocks shifting back signal the start of the “dark season,” Windstar is charting a course this month for warmer waters while accepting several awards for its unique style of small ship cruising, making clear that no other cruise line can touch the company when it comes to enjoying the sun-soaked beaches of the tropics in romantic style.  

Now on the newsstands is Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 18th Annual Readers' Choice Awards recognize Windstar Cruises as the Most Romantic Cruise Line, as well as naming the 310-guest sailing yacht Wind Surf the world’s Best Tall Ship for the 8th consecutive year.
Windstar's fleet boasts three motorized sailing vessels and three all-suite yachts

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Carnival Imagination to undergo multi-million-dollar renovation that will add a variety of exciting dining and bar concepts

Guy’s Burger Joint, Cocktail Pharmacy-Themed Alchemy Bar,
BlueIguana Cantina Mexican Eatery, Among Diverse Array of New Shipboard Options
MIAMI – Carnival Imagination will undergo an extensive multi-million-dollar renovation that will add a variety of exciting new food and beverage concepts.
The new spaces will be added during a three-week dry dock taking place Sept. 4-25, 2016.   Following the makeover, Carnival Imagination will resume its year-round schedule of three- and four-day Baja cruises from Long Beach, Calif. 
Carnival Imagination at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
 The new additions will include:
·         Guy’s Burger Joint, a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries enjoyed amidst a décor that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture
·         BlueIguana Cantina, a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic, freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar
·         RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside watering hole offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red 
·         Alchemy Bar, a  “cocktail pharmacy”-themed lounge where mixologists “prescribe” concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients with creative monikers like Forty is the New Twenty and The Restorative Basil Drop
·         BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a fun and festive outdoor bar offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers, perfect for chillin’ by the pool
·         Cherry On Top, the “sweetest spot on board” which celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun fanciful gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more