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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, April 20, 2013

Princess Cruises to enter Singapore market with largest deployment ever by a premium cruise line


More than 40,000 Passengers to Sail Roundtrip from Singapore Aboard Sapphire Princess

Four-Month Season Runs November 2014 to February 2015

SINGAPORE (April 10, 2013) – Responding to the growing interest for cruising in Southeast Asia, Carnival Corporation & plc is introducing the largest deployment ever by a premium cruise line in the region when it brings Sapphire Princess to Singapore for a four-month fall 2014 to spring 2015 season.

Carnival Corporation & plc is launching a program with one of the world’s leading cruise line brands, Princess Cruises, featuring 15 roundtrip departures that can be combined for 25 distinct itineraries.

The unique itineraries have been custom-designed for the broad and diverse Asia vacation market, and will offer more destinations from Singapore on Princess Cruises than on any other cruise line, calling at seven countries and 16 ports. The wide range of cruise lengths will run three, four, five, seven, 10 and 11 days, providing passengers with a wide array of vacation experiences.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Carnival Cruise Lines announces fleetwide $300-million program to enhance operating reliability and guest comfort

MIAMI (April 17, 2013) – Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), today announced that it has implemented a program to significantly enhance emergency power capabilities, introduce new fire safety technology, and improve the level of operating redundancies across its entire 24-ship fleet. 

This enhancement program will cost more than $300 million, and rapid upgrades have already begun. These actions will expand the availability of hotel services for the comfort of guests in the rare instance of a shipboard event that involves the loss of main power.  In addition, the plan will reinforce key shipboard operating systems to further prevent a potential loss of primary power.  The improvement plan is the result of a comprehensive operational review, overseen by parent company Carnival Corporation & plc, initiated immediately after the Carnival Triumph fire in February 2013.  

New seven-night itineraries, six ships calling at 102 ports in 30 countries, overnights at 16 ports, make Celebrity’s 2014 Europe season its biggest ever in the region

CELEBRITY CRUISES’ “WORLD TOUR” TO OFFER VACATIONERS
MORE MODERN LUXURY IN EUROPE THAN EVER BEFORE
 
MIAMI – “Celebrity’s World Tour 2014-15,” the cruise brand’s introduction of guest-inspired, destination-rich, modern luxury vacations to all seven continents of the world, will make a major appearance in Europe.


Celebrity’s 2014 Europe itineraries will offer vacationers an unprecedented range of itinerary lengths from seven to 28 nights in compelling destinations, along with overnight stays in port, the services of a new “Destination Concierge” and the chance to enjoy immersive, unique shore excursions known as “Celebrity Exclusives.”

Celebrity’s six ships that will be sailing in Europe in 2014 are Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection.

Royal Caribbean International casts Kristin Chenoweth in starring role with Quantum of the Seas



Triple-threat, Emmy and Tony award-winning Kristin Chenoweth, is adding yet another accolade to her impressive resume: godmother to Royal Caribbean International’s much anticipated new cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas.

The cruise line announced the appointment, which is steeped in maritime tradition, in an unconventional way during a red carpet-inspired commercial that aired during ABC television network’s broadcast of the Oscars.

Windstar Cruises offers Europe Sail & Stay promotion

Luxury small-ship line features 2-for-1 cruise fare, plus two complimentary hotel nights  
Seattle - Windstar Cruises is offering the last Sail & Stay promotion of the year for 2013 European voyages with 2-for-1 cruise fares, plus two complimentary hotel nights.

This exceptional offer which ends at midnight Saturday, April 27 features two nights in one of Windstar’s hand-picked luxury hotels in some of Europe’s most wonderful cities.

The two complimentary hotel nights can be used before or after the voyage and are offered in the following cities: London, Rome, Dublin, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Stockholm, Istanbul, Cairo, Athens, Lisbon, and Barcelona. In addition, Windstar’s Facebook page will feature an exclusive offer for its fans.

Princess Cruises adds new “Medallion” level to Captain’s Circle loyalty program

Passengers with Four or Five Cruises will Enjoy New Benefits
 
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Princess Cruises has expanded its Captain’s Circle loyalty program with the addition of a new membership category – the Medallion level.

The new tier, for passengers sailing on a fourth or fifth cruise, or between 31 and 50 cruise days, fits between the program’s current Gold and Platinum levels, effective immediately.
 
Medallion level members will now enjoy extra benefits in addition to Gold level perks, including a complimentary upgrade to the Platinum Princess Vacation Protection and a discount on the price of a souvenir Reflections DVD. Medallion cruise cards and pins will feature a deep burgundy color.

Cunard Line announces Europe three-for-all sale, April 15 to May 31

Cunard Line’s Europe Three For All Sale event includes
Mediterranean destinations such as Santorini, Greece.

Special Offers Include $400 off Airfare, $400 in On Board Credit and Free Gratuities
for Two People on Select 2013 Mediterranean and Northern Europe Sailings


Now through Friday, 31 May 2013, Cunard’s Europe Three For All Sale event offers savings of up to $400 on air travel per stateroom (when booked through Cunard® CompleteAir), as well as $400 in On Board Credit and free gratuities for two people, regardless of accommodation, on select 2013 Mediterranean and Northern Europe cruises aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.

Queen Elizabeth offers 10- to 14-day luxury cruise vacations to enchanting destinations throughout the Mediterranean, including overnight stays on select itineraries.  Voyages include the Holy Land Explorer, Greek Isles & Aegean Treasures, Pearls of the Black Sea and Greek Isles & Ancient Wonders.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Celebrity Cruises teams up with American Express Publishing to introduce "Celebrity's Global Insiders" and exclusive destination content



 
Travel, style and culinary luminaries will enhance guest experience; 
Travel + Leisure to offer exclusive insider tips and “must sees” in key destinations
 
MIAMI – April 10, 2013 – Uncovering authentic local finds and having experiences that make you feel like you’ve really connected with a place are important elements in making a vacation extraordinary. Giving travelers the knowledge to make their journeys even better is the inspiration behind a breakthrough collaboration between modern luxury brand Celebrity Cruises and American Express Publishing’s influential brands, Travel + Leisure®, Departures® and Food & Wine®. 

The collaboration of the premium brands – all recognized for their commitment to enabling consumers to enjoy outstanding, authentic vacation experiences – includes the formation of “Celebrity’s Global Insiders, powered by Travel + Leisure,” a distinguished group of travel experts, style luminaries, top epicureans, and prominent writers and editors who will help Celebrity’s guests uncover unique and memorable experiences in key destinations on the modern luxury line’s vacations in all seven continents, as well as a series of Destination Guides created by the editors of Travel + Leisure with insider tips and not-to-be-missed spots in 150 of Celebrity’s destinations.

Azamara Club Cruises’ complimentary night touring events cater to guests’ passion for culture

AZAMAZING EVENINGS CREATE EXCLUSIVE OPPORTUNITIES FOR CULTURE-SEEKERS TO EMBRACE DESTINATIONS
 
MIAMI – Culture encompasses a wealth of experiences to different people, from dining, to music, art or history and from local activities to traditional festivities. Azamara Club Cruises’, soon-to-premiere, exclusive and custom-made night-touring events, AzAmazing Evenings delivers that range of experiences for the passionate up-market traveler.

From an exclusive night at the ballet, to reveling at a waterfront party at Chanai, Crete, guests on a destination-immersive voyage with the cruise line will now not only enjoy longer stays, more overnights and night touring, but also be invited to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime AzAmazing Evenings event.  Launching with each ship’s Europe season, AzAmazing Evenings reflect the culture and nightlife of intriguing destinations around the world and affords guests the opportunity to pursue their passion for culture on a sailing that features experiences they could only dream of.

Disney Cruise Line unveils new 2014 itineraries and ports

First-Ever Venice and San Juan Departures and New Destinations in Greece, Sicily, Spain and Grenada

CELEBRATION, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2013) – In 2014, Disney Cruise Line will offer new itineraries, including an expanded collection of European cruises highlighting the Greek Isles. Plus, Disney Cruise Line will depart for the first time from homeports in Venice, Italy and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Disney Cruise Line was designed to cater to the unique vacation needs of families, and next year will continue to enhance cruise options for guests – from the wonders of Europe to sun and sand in the Caribbean to outdoor adventures in Alaska.

Influential speakers headline Silversea's 2013 "Silver Perspectives" program

Alastair Bruce, historical advisor for 'Downton Abbey,' to share royal insights

Recognizing the importance of mind-enriching experiences for luxury cruise guests, Silversea Cruises has again signed up an impressive array of renowned authors, historians, political analysts and other cultural experts to host the line's popular Silver Perspectives® enrichment program this year.

Fans of the hit television series Downton Abbey will be pleased to know that British royalty expert Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, OBE, a consultant to the PBS Masterpiece Classic program, will be returning to Silversea this year as a Silver Perspectives host.

New 2014 Royal Caribbean Europe Cruisetours unveil region’s top inland attractions and historic landmarks for unforgettable land and sea vacations


ROYAL CARIBBEAN ANNOUNCES 2014 NORTHERN EUROPE CRUISES FROM HAMBURG ABOARD LEGEND OF THE SEAS

 
MIAMI, April 10, 2013 – Royal Caribbean International today announced 2014 Scandinavia and Baltic cruises from Hamburg, Germany, aboard Legend of the Seas, one of nine Royal Caribbean ships to sail European waters in 2014.

The cruise line also announced new 2014 Europe Cruisetours, which combine a cruise with an exclusive land tour program that explores some of Europe’s most vibrant cities and interior regions such as Madrid, Florence, Rome and more.

With the most innovative cruise ships in the region, the cruise line offers families and adventurers a wide selection of exciting Europe vacation options, signature entertainment and exclusive innovative onboard amenities that only Royal Caribbean can deliver. For two short webisodes about the Royal Caribbean Europe vacation experience, please visit http://tinyurl.com/alo87wy.

Norwegian Cruise Line perks for booking quickly


Norwegian Cruise Line is launching its Cruise Event Week limited time offer on Sunday, April 7, 2013, giving guests the opportunity to earn additional on-board amenities when they book a new cruise vacation to any one of Norwegian’s popular destinations, including Europe with fares starting at $599. 
Guests who make a new cruise reservation will receive a variety of on-board amenities, based on stateroom category, plus reduced deposits, when they book any five-day or longer Norwegian cruise by Saturday, April 13, 2013.

In addition, air credits up to $1000, AARP and Military Discount discounts apply to select sailings. Families can also enjoy extra savings as kids, ages 17 and under, sailing in Europe or on Norwegian Sun in Alaska will enjoy an additional 50% off their cruise fare when cruising with two adults in the same stateroom.

The Duchess of Cambridge to name Royal Princess


Ceremony Naming Princess Cruises’ Newest Ship to Take Place
June 13 in Southampton
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge will name Royal Princess
on June 13 at a ceremony in Southampton.
LONDON (April 9, 2013) – Princess Cruises announces that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge will name Royal Princess, the newest addition to the line’s fleet.

The ceremony at which The Duchess will name the ship will take place in Southampton on Thursday, June 13, and will be the highlight of week-long inaugural celebrations to welcome the vessel into service.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cunard announces full details of 2014-2015 cruise program

Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 in New York
Venerable Line Renews Mediterranean Focus, Offers New Land Tours and
Features 10th Anniversary Celebrations for Flagship Queen Mary 2

Cunard Line has announced full details of its 2014-2015 cruise programme, featuring a markedly increased presence in the Mediterranean, new land tours, special Transatlantic Crossings, and celebratory events to mark the 10th birthday of flagship Queen Mary 2.

The new programme commences in spring 2014, following the return of Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria from their extensive 2014 World Voyages.

Windstar Cruises expands horizons with Signature Sailings


Luxury small-ship line offers two new packages to its collection of enhanced voyages 

Seattle, April 9, 2013 – Windstar Cruises is enhancing the luxury small-ship experience by offering two new packages to its Signature Sailings, the company’s unique collection of themed cruise and land experiences.

Tastes & Traditions of the Mediterranean and Enchanting Castles & Gardens, like all of Windstar’s Signature Sailings, are a blend of intimate shore excursions, exclusive onboard experiences, and hotel nights at beautiful properties, pre and post-cruise, all centered around one idea. 

Norwegian Breakaway introduces senior management team

MIAMI – April 9, 2013 – Norwegian Cruise Line today announced the remainder of Norwegian Breakaway’s senior management team, including the ship’s Staff Captains, Chief Engineers, Hotel Director, Assistant Hotel Director, Food and Beverage Director, Cruise Director and key department heads.

These senior officers and managers will work alongside the previously announced ship’s Captains, Evans Hoyt and Hakan Svedung, and Hotel Director Denis Prugda, to deliver the line’s most innovative ship to date.

Norwegian will take delivery of Norwegian Breakaway, the ship that will bring the best of New York City to sea, on April 25, 2013. Following inaugural festivities and a maiden transatlantic voyage, the ship will begin a series of seven-day cruises from New York to Bermuda.

Princess Cruises returns to summer Caribbean sailings

Three- to Seven-Day Sailings from Ft. Lauderdale

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (April 11, 2013) – For the first time in four years, Princess Cruises will offer summertime Caribbean cruising from Florida in 2014.

Caribbean Princess returns to sail on a full season of voyages ranging from a three-day getaway to full week-long tropical cruises, all of which can be combined for a longer vacation of up to 14 days. All summer Caribbean cruises open for sale.
 
The May to September program features 12 departures of the line’s popular seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages, which can be combined for a 14-day Caribbean Adventure sailing. In addition, the ship will depart on 13 three-, four- and five-day getaway cruises for a quick vacation and opportunity to sample the Princess experience.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bottoms up with inclusive drink options on cruise ship vacations



   Out to Sea for April 6/13

   (c) By Jim and Barb Fox

   They’re not exactly “booze cruises,” but drinking on board is becoming more convenient on ships at sea.
Several cruise lines are offering all-inclusive drinks on board ships and at Carnival’s private island, Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. (Jim Fox photo)
   Many cruise lines are catching the wave of all-inclusive vacations at land-based resorts when it comes to alcohol and dining options.
   Royal Caribbean International has two new booze and soft-drink packages while Carnival has the “Cheers” program, known previously as “My Awesome Bar.”