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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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Norwegian Dawn sets sail for Bermuda as a new ship


Norwegian Cruise Line’s ship returns to Boston for the summer season after an extensive month-long renovation that virtually rebuilt the vessel, adding new restaurants, bars and lounges, including the popular O’Sheehans Bar & Grill, Sugarcane Mojito Bar, Bliss Lounge and The Cellars, a Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar, along with new upscale Mexican dining venue Los Lobos Cantina

BOSTON, MA (June 17, 2016) – Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn sailed into her seasonal homeport of Boston this morning as an essentially new vessel, following a month-long dry dock where she received enhancements to every part of the onboard experience, from two brand new restaurants and three new bars and lounges, updated design and décor in all public spaces, to a refurbishment of all staterooms including a complete makeover of the ship’s signature Garden Villas, some of the largest suites at sea. Norwegian Dawn’s extensive renovation is a part of The Norwegian Edge™ program, a $400 million investment that sets a new standard of excellence for the Norwegian brand, encompassing the entire guest experience.


            “As with each of the ship refurbishments in the Norwegian Edge program, this was not your average dry dock,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief operating officer. “Norwegian Dawn was brought down to the steel in many spaces and rebuilt to evoke the look and feel of the newest Norwegian ships, allowing guests sailing on her to enjoy all of the freedom and flexibility that only Norwegian offers, along with a more premium experience from bow to stern.”

New Carnival Vista offers huge array of entertainment, thrill features and new activities

First IMAX Theatre at Sea, Sizzling New Playlist Productions Shows, SkyRide Suspended Aerial Cycling Experience and Multi—Sensory Kaleid-O-Slide Among the Ship’s Many Attractions
 

MIAMI – The stunning new Carnival Vista features an unparalleled array of entertainment and adrenaline-inducing thrill experiences, including the cruise industry’s first IMAX Theatre at sea, SkyRide, an open-air cycling experience suspended high above the ship’s top deck, as well as a multi-sensory, 455-foot-long water tube slide called Kaleid-O-Slide. Additionally, spectacular new Playlist Productions shows and a number exciting new activities are being introduced to provide an unprecedented variety of entertainment choices. 

Carnival Vista also features a suspended 270-foot-long ropes course, an exhilarating, high speed Twister slide, an aqua spray park with a 300-gallon tipping bucket and a huge array of other outdoor and indoor entertainment options.

Carnival is also introducing several new activities including the South Beach-inspired Serenity Nights, a Rock-N-Glow 80s Deck Party and an Island Deck Party as well as a murder mystery experience.

Entertainment offerings also include popular comedians at the Punchliner Comedy Club, family-favorite Hasbro, The Game Show, which is a live action game show incorporating popular Hasbro games, and Thrill Theater, among others.

Celebrity Cruises completes newest modern luxury makeover


Celebrity Millennium emerges from drydock refresh more luxurious and stunning than ever, joining Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Infinity in offering new onboard venues and experiences

 MIAMI, Fla.  – Movies viewed under the stars and paired with a specially curated menu of delectable food; freshly redecorated suites; a modernized, fully realized Italian steakhouse -- modern luxury vacationers need look no further than Celebrity Millennium to understand what all of these experiences have in common.

The 2,138-guest vessel has emerged from a drydock refresh reenergized and more luxurious than ever, with the same lineup of stunning enhancements that Celebrity Summit andCelebrity Infinity have received in recent months. Guests sailing on Celebrity Millennium in Alaska this summer will be among the first to enjoy her new spaces and experiences.

“We are beyond thrilled that Celebrity Millennium will soon be even more stunning than ever before as a result of the $8 million that we’re investing in this drydock,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President & CEO, Celebrity Cruises.

Disney Cruise Line brings new experiences and enhancements to the Disney Wonder this fall



CELEBRATION, Florida – Exciting new entertainment and experiences are in store for Disney Wonder guests after the Disney Cruise Line vessel is transformed this fall. Headlining the enhancements are imaginative spaces for children, a jazzy restaurant and an English pub.

Marvel Super Hero Academy: Exclusively to the Disney Wonder, the Marvel Universe comes to life in Marvel Super Hero Academy. In one mission, Spider-Man will appear in person to help children hone their spider senses by perfecting their skills of reflex, speed and sharp minds. Children will work on their web-slinging and then get to see themselves in the headlines of the Daily Bugle.

More Fun for Young Guests: In Disney’s Oceaneer Club, children will have more live and in-person interactions than ever before including special visits from Anna, Elsa, Doc McStuffins, Jessie and Woody.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Princess Cruises announces thirst-quenching Sip & Sail Cruise promotion

Sale Features Free All-Inclusive Beverage Package and Specialty Dining for Two

 

 

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (June 21, 2016) – Princess Cruises today announced a thirst-quenching deal with the Sip & Sail cruise promotion offering free all-inclusive beverages, plus an early booking bonus offer of free specialty dining for bookings made before July 5, 2016.

 

More than 350 cruise vacations for Summer 2017 to Spring 2018 are on sale to destinations around the globe.


In addition to great fares, Sip & Sail includes unprecedented offers to sweeten the deal. Guests booking a balcony, mini-suite or suite staterooms will receive a free All-Inclusive Beverage Package for two people. Plus, reduced fares as well as free Unlimited Soda & More Packages for third and fourth guests.

Wine afficionados enjoy wine by the glass from Cunard’s ultimate luxury wine list, Chateau Petrus $580

(News Release from Cruises-N-More)

Family Owned and Operated for Almost 20 Years, Cruises-N-More Offers Respected Expertise and Superior Deals, Prices & Amenities

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 22, 2016) – Cunard Line never disappoints. Cruises-N-More has found that all the Cunard beautiful and luxurious ships capture glamour of days gone by.

One way they achieve this ambiance is through luxury offerings, and latest is the option to taste some of the world’s finest wines by the glass.
 
For wine aficionados and those who want to taste the very best the wine world has to offer, Cunard is now offering a by-the-glass feature on their flagship, the Queen Mary 2.

They are able to do this by without compromising the quality of these outstanding vintages by using the new Coravin wine pouring system. This revolutionary system uses a needle to remove the desired amount of wine from a bottle without removing the cork.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Carnival Vista's two-deck Cloud 9 Spa: A sea-going oasis of tranquility and relaxation



Infrared Sauna and Hammam Chamber Among Array of Options for Personal Pampering and Rejuvenation



            MIAMI (May 26, 2016) – For those looking to unwind and relax, the new Carnival Vista has a lot to ahhh about. The luxurious two-level Cloud 9 Spa features an array of chill-worthy amenities, including Carnival’s first infrared sauna and Hammam Chamber, as well as special “experience showers” that provide a soothing fragrance element, a large heated whirlpool, four steam chambers and a high-tech indoor cycling studio.   


Carnival Vista – the line’s newest, largest and most innovative ship – debuted earlier this month in Europe. 


Exclusive to Carnival Vista is the Infrared Heat Chamber.  The chamber’s heating system is built into the walls with 80 percent of the heat gently warming the body and the remaining 20 percent of infrared heat released into the air, providing cooler, more consistent temperatures than traditional saunas.

The beneficial effects of a sauna remain the same: body detoxification to increase energy, burn calories, decrease inflammation, relieve pain and improve blood circulation in the skin to enhance delivery of oxygen and nutrients.

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands named Holland America Line’s new ms Koningsdam at a ceremony in Rotterdam

Elegant event celebrated Holland America Line’s rich Dutch history steps from where the company was founded more than 143 years ago
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Seattle, Wash. -- In a ceremony rich with history and meaning, Holland America Line held a Dedication Ceremony for ms Koningsdam May 20 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands officially blessed the bell and named Koningsdam on board the ship in front of invited dignitaries, cruise guests, travel partners and media.

The celebration began with Her Majesty Queen Máxima performing the ceremonial honors of blessing the ship’s bell in the Lido pool area by pouring a glass of champagne over the bell. The blessing of the bell is a hallowed Holland America Line tradition when welcoming a new ship to the fleet. Her Majesty also was the first to sign Koningsdam’s commemorative wall that will become a permanent installation on the ship.

Next, the ship was officially christened during a ceremony in the World Stage theater when Her Majesty Queen Máxima pulled a rope to trigger the traditional champagne bottle break on Koningsdam’s hull.

Windstar Cruises' Year-Round Tahiti Sailings Marry Yacht Romance and Glamour with Vacation Value

Boutique, luxury yachts named a Top Cruise Line for Couples
In the 2016 BRIDES Best Honeymoons Awards
Boutique luxury cruise line Windstar Cruises, recently named a Top Cruise Line for Couples in the 2016 BRIDES Best Honeymoons Awards as voted by thousands of top Virtuoso travel agents, is making a Tahiti vacation more than a bucket-list proposition.

With new lower pricing on select sailings starting at $3,999 per guest including cruise, airfare, and hotel, Windstar offers extraordinary value for those looking to experience romantic paradise in the South Pacific.

“Our private yacht style of cruising brings guests closer to the worlds they want to discover, and there’s perhaps no better example of that than on board our elegant sailing yacht MSY Wind Spirit, designed to sail throughout beautiful French Polynesian waters while catering to just 148 pampered guests,” says Joe Duckett, vice president of sales and marketing at Windstar Cruises.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Norwegian Jewel set to call Australia home in fall 2017


Norwegian announces select Fall/Winter 2017/18 itineraries, including a full season in Australia and New Zealand for Norwegian Jewel; San Juan as a seasonal homeport for Norwegian Dawn; Norwegian Pearl sailing from New Orleans to the Western Caribbean; and a new Western Caribbean itinerary from NYC on orwegian Breakaway
 
MIAMI, Fla (June 7, 2016) – Norwegian Cruise Line today announced several itineraries for the company’s Fall/Winter 2017/2018 deployment, featuring a wide array of itineraries from convenient U.S. ports of departure, as well as exciting new Australia & New Zealand itineraries from Sydney and Auckland, all offering Norwegian’s signature freedom and flexibility onboard. 

New for 2017/18, Norwegian Jewel will be based in the Asia Pacific region with departures to and from Australia beginning November 2017; San Juan, Puerto Rico returns as a seasonal homeport, with Norwegian Dawn sailing from the Caribbean port, as well as Tampa, Florida; along with a new 14-day Western Caribbean sailing from New York on Norwegian Breakaway. The new itineraries go on sale on June 28, 2016 for Latitudes Rewards guests and travel partners and on June 29, 2016 for all reservations. 

Princess Cruises Reveals Next Stephen Schwartz Musical Production “Born to Dance”


Next Show in Industry-First Partnership Celebrates Broadway Dance Through Song Hits from Greatest Broadway Shows of All Time
 


“Born to Dance” is the second musical created exclusively for Princess Cruises in partnership with award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz.

A CLARITA, Calif. (June 9, 2016) – Princess Cruises today revealed the second musical production show created in collaboration with Oscar-, Tony- and Grammy-winning composer Stephen Schwartz and his team of professional creators, entitled – “Born to Dance” - a tribute to Broadway choreography featuring inspired performances that celebrate some of Broadways most-famous hits. The new show, created and directed by Daniel C. Levine, is scheduled to debut exclusively on Princess Cruises, fall 2016.  

“Born to Dance” is a is a high energy nod to dance, highlighting some of Broadway’s most acclaimed choreographers and brought to life through the most memorable songs from iconic shows includingWest Side Story’, “A Chorus Line”, “Chicago” and more.

 Born to Dance celebrates many of Broadway’s most acclaimed choreographers and dancers, giving viewers a glimpse into what it takes to be a professional dancer. The show pays tribute to many of Broadway’s trail-blazing choreographers, including Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins and Gower Champion. In addition, some of today’s hottest choreographers and dancers make virtual appearances in the show through video and multi-media projection, including Tony winners Andy Blankenbuehler (“Hamilton”), Rob Ashford (“Evita”) and Karen Ziemba (“Chicago”).

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Princess Cruises announces 2017-2018 Americas season

 
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Featuring New Itineraries, Longer Port Stays, More Short Cruise Getaways and Transits Through New Panama Canal Locks
  
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 31, 2016) –  Princess Cruises has announced its 2017-2018 Americas cruise itineraries from Fall 2017 to Spring 2018 including sailings to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii, and the California Coast. The array of cruise vacations range from three to 28 days and went on sale May 19. 
 
In total, 11 ships with 230 departures on more than 30 unique itineraries visiting 70 destinations will sail between September 2017 and April 2018. Cruises will offer guests a variety of choices ranging from a short-cruise getaway to week-long vacations, as well as voyages of 10 days and longer on the line recognized as “Best Cruise Line in the Caribbean” by U.S. News and World Report in 2015 and “Best Cruises from the West Coast” by Cruise Critic.

Highlights include the maiden season of Caribbean Princess on 10-day cruises sailing through the new Panama Canal locks.Roundtrip California Coast voyages from Los Angeles will now include the port of Monterey. A Princess first, Emerald Princess offers a 12-day roundtrip Alaska voyage from Los Angeles in Spring 2018. Princess guests can choose from moreshort-cruise getaways on both coasts with Crown Princess introducing new five-day departures to the Eastern and Western Caribbean from Ft. Lauderdale while Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess sail four- or five-day options from Los Angeles – with overnight stay in Cabo San Lucas on our five-day!.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Sail away on this year's newest ships at sea



   Out to Sea for June 4/16

   (c) By Jim and Barb Fox

   There’s nothing quite like that “new ship” smell and feel.
   For cruise vacation lovers, this is a big year as the 2016 fleet of the major lines recently increased by three huge shining gems.
   These include the world’s largest vessel and another upcoming that’s billed as the most luxurious that ever sailed.
   Ranging from fun times to savouring the opulent, here’s a look at this year’s hottest vessels setting sail.

Carnival Vista has fun on top with an aqua park and multi-sensory water tube slide called Kaleid-O-Slide.
   Holland America’s ms Koningsdam
   The premium cruise line’s largest ship and first in a new Pinnacle class of vessels has begun its summer season of European cruises.

Norwegian Cruise Line unveils new luxury features and more family-friendly amenities at privat island


Extensive upgrades to Norwegian’s private Bahamian island Great Stirrup Cay include a new family recreation area; addition of a 1,000 foot-long zip line; expanded dining options; and an exclusive access lagoon retreat with private air-conditioned villas to open by Summer 2017

Miami, Fla (June 2, 2016) – Norwegian Cruise Line has revealed details of the new experience that awaits guests at the company’s 250-acre private island oasis, Great Stirrup Cay. As the first cruise line to acquire a private island in 1977, Norwegian Cruise Line has invested in several significant updates throughout the years in order to continually enhance the amenities at Great Stirrup Cay, located in the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas.

Now, as a part of Norwegian’s $400 million investment program The Norwegian Edge™, the cruise line is revolutionizing the destination now through summer 2017 to provide new luxurious amenities, new adventure activities, enhanced and expanded dining options that, together, will present an upgraded atmosphere for guests visiting the island.
 

Windstar announces 2017 voyage collection


2017 Yacht Vacations Spotlight New Cruises to Croatia, Northern Europe Sailings,
13 New Ports of Call, Panama Canal Private Event, UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  
SEATTLE, WA – JUNE 2, 2016 – Luxury cruise line Windstar Cruises announces its 2017 Voyage Collection. Known for in-depth cultural exploration, the line’s broad spectrum of worldwide cruise vacations includes two new cruises added to dozens of itineraries visiting more than 150 ports of call — including 13 new ports for 2017 — in 50 countries.

Cruise offerings span the globe from exotic Dreams of Tahiti cruises offered year-round to popular summer sailings in Europe such as Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast and Lands of the Midnight Sun voyages. Two new 2017 itineraries in the Mediterranean feature the picturesque ports of Croatia, and due to popular demand, the award-winning line is deploying a second all-suite yacht to sail Around Iceland next summer.