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.

Total Pageviews

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Holland America adds more pro and celebrity dancers for "Dancing With the Stars at Sea" themed cruises

SEATTLE -- Holland America Line has added even more star power to its 2013 "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" theme cruises featuring professional and celebrity dancers from ABC's smash hit "Dancing with the Stars."

Professionals scheduled to appear are two-time champion Mark Ballas, champion Kym Johnson, Chelsie Hightower, Tristan MacManus and Lacey Schwimmer. Celebrities scheduled to sail are singer Joey Fatone, actress Sabrina Bryan and television personality Carson Kressley.

The theme cruises on select ships are part of the line's recently announced "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" on-board experience that also features an exclusive "Dancing with the Stars" program on all ships in the fleet including dance lessons and an opportunity to dance center stage in a live dance-off performance. These activities will showcase the ships' professional dancers and will be developed in collaboration with the show's dancers and choreographers.

Virtual tour of Carnival Sunshine unveiled


            MIAMI (January 29, 2013) – Carnival Cruise Lines today unveiled a new virtual tour of Carnival Sunshine, the line’s most comprehensive ship transformation project ever encompassing an unprecedented $155 million renovation that will add a host of dining, bar and entertainment innovations and spectacular outdoor spaces. 

            Currently sailing as Carnival Destiny, the ship will emerge as Carnival Sunshine following a 49-day dry dock this spring then launch a schedule of European voyages April 12, 2013, before repositioning to New Orleans for year-round Caribbean departures beginning Nov. 18, 2013.

           The virtual tour is available at www.carnival.com/sunshine where Carnival fun-atics can also check out the “Grab Your Destiny” contest that kicks off today and awards a grand prize European cruise for two on Carnival Sunshine, as well as a variety of keepsake items from the historic Carnival Destiny, the world’s first 100,000-plus-ton cruise ship.

Norwegian Cruise Line receives Maritime Safety Award

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Superintendent of Safety and Training Development, Rick Harper (far right),
accepts the 2012 Quality Ship Management Award from American Maritime Safety
MIAMI – Norwegian Cruise Line has received the 2012 Quality Ship Management Award from American Maritime Safety (AMS). This prestigious honor, which was bestowed during the maritime trade association’s annual safety awards in New York City, recognizes Norwegian’s extensive safety standards and pervasive safety culture.

In presenting the award, AMS praised Norwegian’s strict adherence to safety guidelines and highlighted the implementation of quality controls systems that enhance crewmember efficiency.  The organization focused on two of the line’s top safety projects, Norwegian’s Safety Culture Concept and Kaizen Project.

Cunard holds week-long sale on European voyages & Transatlantic crossings

Significant Savings on European Voyages and Transatlantic Crossings On Board
Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth

30 January 2013 Travellers seeking a sense of history and place when booking a luxury cruise vacation will appreciate Cunard’s weeklong Balcony & Suites Sale*, offering significant savings on European voyages and Transatlantic Crossings.

Starting 1 February 2013, guests can save up to $1,200 per stateroom, and enjoy up to $300 in On Board Credit, a reduced deposit and up to $1,000 per stateroom in airfare on European Voyages.

Additionally, guests booking a Transatlantic Crossing will save up to $1,200 per stateroom, enjoy a reduced deposit and up to $100 in On Board Credit per stateroom during the sale.

Holland America Line adds Canaletto restaurant and enclosed Wintergarden to ms Prinsendam

SEATTLE, Jan. 15, 2013 -- Holland America Line recently completed the addition of the line's casual Italian restaurant Canaletto and transformed the Lido Terrace into an enclosed Wintergarden aboard ms Prinsendam.

Named for the famous 18th-century Venetian artist, the award-winning Canaletto is located in the Wintergarden, which is adjacent to the Lido dining area. The restaurant serves classic Italian fare with tableside service for dinner only, and reservations are encouraged. With the addition of the eatery to Prinsendam, Canaletto is now on all 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet.

Norwegian Pearl hosts the "Best Country Cruise Ever" in 2014

MIAMI – January 22, 2013 – Country music fans everywhere have a reason to celebrate as it was just announced that the second Country Cruising “Best Country Cruise Ever,” will set sail on board Norwegian Pearl from Miami, January 12, 2014, on a seven-day cruise to the Western Caribbean.

Following the incredible success of the first Country Cruising event in 2012, featuring Blake Shelton, the second Country Cruising event will bring another full-blown country music festival to sea when it sets sail in 2014.

This exciting music-filled cruise offers country music lovers the exclusive opportunity to spend a week at sea with some of their favorite country superstars including, Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry, Wynonna, Neal McCoy, Love and Theft, Craig Morgan, Lonestar and many more.

Un-Cruise Adventures returns to Pacific Northwest with new itinerary roundtrip Seattle, more departures

22-guest Safari Quest yacht gunkholes through Washington’s San Juan
and British Columbia’s Gulf Islands

Seattle, WA, January 28, 2013Un-Cruise Adventures’ newly renovated 22-guest yacht Safari Quest returns to the Pacific Northwest in 2013 with 19  Luxury Adventure departures set for spring and fall and a new itinerary sailing roundtrip Seattle.  Known as a yachter’s paradise, Washington’s scenic San Juan Islands and British Columbia’s Gulf Islands are a favorite destination for boaters on leisurely explorations. 

Weeklong Pacific Northwest Passage cruises depart roundtrip from Seattle, WA from March-May and Sept-Nov 2013. Areas visited include Harmony Islands,  Princess Louisa Inlet, Jervis Inlet, Nanaimo, Gulf Islands and Victoria, BC; San Juan Islands and Friday Harbor, WA. Gunkholing is a term widely used in the Northwest to describe a style of boating among the islands—meandering from place to place seeking out isolated anchorages.

Princess Cruises launches five-day super sale

Cruise Deals Offer Up to $1,100 in Savings on West Coast Sailings

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 30, 2013) – Cruise vacations to Alaska, the California coast, Hawaii, Mexico and the Panama Canal are on sale during the Princess Cruises “5-Day Super Sale,” running from January 31 through February 4.

With more than 150 West Coast cruises on sale, the event offers savings of up to $1,100 per person, plus the opportunity to get up to $100 in free spending money per stateroom.

Ride the upgrade wave to Norwegian Hawaii cruise savings

New Hawai’i cruise bookings receive $100 to spend on board plus free upgrades, reduced deposits and an e-coupon booklet 
Norwegian Cruise Line continues their “Upgrade Wave” sales event by launching a special bonus day offer on all Hawai’i cruises beginning today, Thursday, January 31, 2013.

Now through February 1, 2013, all new Hawaii cruise reservations on board Pride of America, the only large US-flagged cruise ship, will receive $100 on board credit per stateroom (regardless of category), plus free upgrades, reduced deposits and an e-coupon booklet with over $300 in on board savings.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Celebrity Cruises stars in Top Chef episode

Award-winning cruise line pairs with award-winning show
to present fast-paced, passion-packed episode

Celebrity Cruises, the modern luxury vacation brand known for award-winning, fresh-from-scratch cuisine and innovative onboard culinary experiences, has provided the unique setting for an episode of Bravo Media’s Emmy® Award-winning Top Chef culinary competition series, now in its 10th season.

Wednesday’s episode (January 30), airing at 10 pm Eastern/9 pm Central, was filmed onboard the 2,158-guest Celebrity Millennium and the 2,170-guest Celebrity Infinity while sailing in Alaska.

During the episode, chef’testants were challenged to navigate the intricacies of Celebrity’s trendsetting, top-quality culinary operation – with multiple galleys and diverse dining options – and prepare dishes served to guests onboard. Three Top Chef judges also were onboard to join in the action and assess the chef’testants’ results.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Norwegian's Pride of America fares have increased for 2013

Pride of America sails past the Nãpali Coast in Hawai`i.

MIAMI – Norwegian Cruise Line says that based on strong demand for its Hawai`i cruise, it will raise fares an average of 10 percent on Pride of America for new bookings beginning January 1, 2013.

The only large US-flagged cruise ship, Pride of America sails year-round from Honolulu on a spectacular seven-day inter-island Hawai`i cruise, featuring close to 100 hours in port and overnights in both Maui and Kaua`i.  Ports of call include Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawai`i; Kona, Hawai`i; Nãwiliwili, Kaua`i; and an afternoon cruise past the breathtaking Nãpali Coast. This cruise was recently voted the “Best Hawai`i” itinerary by Porthole Cruise Magazine in their 13th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

Carnival Cruise Lines launches Vacation Awesome-ation promotion

Sweepstakes to award 100 lucky winners with up to $1,000 in shipboard giveaways and upgrades

            MIAMI (January 25, 2013) – Carnival Cruise Lines is launching a seven-day Vacation Awesome-ation promotion featuring $100,000 in cruise prize giveaways to create the ultimate,  awesome vacation, beginning Sunday, January 27, 2013. 
            Consumers who book during the one-week promotional period can take advantage of 50 percent reduced deposits on the line’s most popular fares, including Past Guest rates and, for the first time, Early Saver rates.  They are also entered to win a variety of spectacular prizes and upgrades on their Carnival cruise vacation. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Save on a Mississippi River paddlewheel cruise

January 10, 2013

History, music, culture and the charms of the largest river steamboat ever built in America. 

These are all combined on the American Queen, which Avalon Waterways is now offering a special sale on its March 21 sailing.  Starting in Music City - Nashville - and ending up in The Big Easy – New Orleans - the 12 day holiday promises to be a relaxing tour to some of America’s most famous destinations.             

The tour starts with a two night stay in at the legendary Opryland Hotel in Nashville and reserved seats at the Grand Old Opry before travelling by coach to Memphis where there’s an overnight stay including a visit to Sun Studios, where Elvis Presley’s career was launched.

Next you’ll set sail from Memphis for a seven night cruise, with iconic ports of call such as Helena, Vicksburg, Natchez, St. Francisville and Baton Rouge  before you dock in New Orleans for an overnight stay and farewell dinner.

Norwegian's Dash to Savings last day

Receive up to $250 to spend on board, free balcony upgrades, reduced deposits and
an e-coupon booklet worth more than $300 in on-board savings 

Norwegian Cruise Line is launching a DASH Sale on all sailings of three days or longer, fleet-wide. Guests who book any Norwegian cruise vacation by Friday, January 25, 2013, can receive up to $250 per stateroom to spend on board (based on cruise length and stateroom category), free balcony upgrades as part of the line’s Upgrade Wave sales event, reduced deposits and an e-coupon booklet worth up to $300 in on-board savings. Air credits up to $1000 are also available on select sailings. 

Vacationers can save on any of Norwegian’s cruise vacations to popular destinations around the world including Alaska, Bahamas & Florida, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Canada & New England, Europe and Hawaii.

Royal Princess preview sailings scheduled for June 9 and 14

Two-Night Cruises will Give Passengers a Taste of Princess Cruises Newest Ship

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 21, 2013) – Princess Cruises has announced two preview cruises aboard Royal Princess, giving passengers a unique opportunity to get a taste of the new ship before its official inaugural voyage.

The June 9 and June 14 cruises will sail roundtrip from Southampton on a two-night itinerary featuring a call in St. Peter Port, on the island of Guernsey.
Passengers on the short sailings will be able to sample Royal Princess’ many ground-breaking features, including the dramatic over-water SeaWalk, Princess Live! television studio, and plush new poolside cabanas before the ship’s inaugural sailing on June 16, 2013.

Norwegian Breakaway gets a new boss

Buddy Valastro, Star of TLC’s “Cake Boss,” to Open Carlo’s Bake Shop on New York’s Ship

MIAMI – Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that Master Baker Buddy Valastro, star of the popular TLC television series “Cake Boss” and “Next Great Baker,” will open an extension of his family business, Carlo’s Bake Shop, on the new Norwegian Breakaway, coming to New York City in May 2013. 

Featuring all of the delicious treats and confections that the original bakery is known for, Carlo’s Bake Shop on Norwegian Breakaway will also give guests the opportunity to pre-order custom specialty cakes for celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries.

For a challenging and fun experience, Carlo’s will offer cupcake decorating classes, where guests can learn some of Valastro’s tricks of the trade.

Azamara returns to Europe with extensive line-up of culturally immersive events and inclusive amenities

Travelers Receive Up To $2,000 per Stateroom Cruise Credit when Booking Air Travel Through ChoiceAir
MIAMI, January 22, 2013 – Azamara Club Cruises clearly strikes a chord among up-market travelers through its distinctive longer stays, more overnights in port to offer guests the opportunity for night touring. And the cruise line’s 2013 Europe season will mark a crescendo in Azamara’s evolution as the best choice for destination immersion.

Beginning March 27 and May 15, newly refurbished Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest will respectively launch AzAmazing Evenings, exclusive, custom-designed events which will immerse guests in the cultures that intrigue them. The inclusive night touring experiences are bespoke, intimate and authentic to the destinations where they take place. Azamara’s upcoming Europe season also marks the inclusion of boutique wines, international beers and select standard spirits in the ships restaurants, bars and lounges when open.

Travelers eager to experience Europe anew also can take advantage of up to $2,000 per stateroom against the voyage fare when booking air through the cruise line’s ChoiceAir feature.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Royal Caribbean announces complimentary premium beverage package offer for select April 2013 sailings

Miami, Jan. 24, 2013 – Embrace the romance and serenity of a classic ocean crossing with Royal Caribbean International, the cruise line known for the world’s most innovative cruise ships.

For a limited time, vacationers enjoy a complimentary Premium Beverage Package for two when they book a balcony- or higher-category stateroom aboard the following four trans-Atlantic cruises, sailing throughout April 2013:

  • Navigator of the Seas’ 15-night sailing from New Orleans to Rome (Civitavecchia), Rome on Apr. 6
  • Independence of the Seas’ 13-night sailing from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to Southampton, U.K. on Apr. 7
  • Brilliance of the Seas’ 11-night sailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Lisbon, Portugal on Apr. 13
  • Adventure of the Seas’ 14-night sailing from San Juan to Southampton on Apr 21

Silversea details 10 exquisite "Grand Voyages"

(Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- January 24, 2013) Silversea Cruises, known for its luxurious cruise ships and exotic destinations, has rolled out 10 exquisitely tailored "Grand Voyages" for 2013. 

Designed for the traveler who relishes a more leisurely pace, this special collection offers extended voyages from 34 to 54 days. These unique odysseys combine the luxury of sailing aboard intimate, elegant ships with expanded journeys to diverse regions of the world, featuring visits to must-see traditional ports, as well as exotic destinations that are off the beaten path.

"Our Grand Voyages are the perfect option for true travel enthusiasts who can spare the time and prefer a more immersive on-shore experience," said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea's president of the Americas. "You can circle South America, sail around Europe or sweep across hemispheres between Asia and the Americas -- all while enjoying the personalized luxury of our intimate ships and all-inclusive shipboard lifestyle."

Celebrity Cruises pumps up its fitness program with Zumba parties

Modern luxury line partners with world’s largest dance-fitness program
to offer wide variety of entertaining specialty classes

Modern luxury brand Celebrity Cruises has announced another illustration of how consumers can keep their New Year’s resolution to stay fit while vacationing. The brand has expanded its already robust portfolio of fitness options by partnering with global lifestyle brand Zumba® Fitness to offer Celebrity guests a variety of its popular classes.
In addition to the original classes, Celebrity will offer guests a range of complimentary specialty classes that vary by ship, including Aqua Zumba®, the ultimate “pool party” workout; Zumbatomic®, Zumba routines for kids, and Zumba Gold®, for active, older adults. Every cruise features a licensed Zumba instructor who leads the various classes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Norwegian Cruise Line to return to Houston in 2014

Norwegian Jewel to sail from Houston to the Western Caribbean in 2014/2015

HOUSTON – Norwegian Cruise Line and the Port of Houston Authority announced they have reached an agreement for Norwegian to sail seasonally from Houston for three years, totaling 75 calls, with an option to extend for up to two years.

Beginning in the fall of 2014, Norwegian will bring the 2,374-passenger Norwegian Jewel to Houston to sail seven-day Western Caribbean cruises. The line’s return to Houston marks the first time Norwegian has had a ship sailing from the city since Norwegian Dream in 2007.

Economic activity from the cruise line each season is expected to generate $50 million* annually, including local purchases of $3.6 million. A total of 222 jobs will be touched, including the creation of almost 100 new jobs. An estimated $941,000 in state and local taxes is anticipated.

Princess Cruises dramatically expands Japan cruise program in 2014

Japan-Built Diamond Princess Joins Sun Princess for Historic Two-Ship Deployment
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 23, 2013) – Underscoring its commitment to the growing Japanese cruise market, Carnival Corporation & plc today detailed a substantially expanded 2014 Japan cruise program for the Princess Cruises brand, which brings a second ship to the market, features sailings from three homeports and plans to significantly expand the size of the cruise market in Japan to approximately 100,000 passengers.

The Japan-built Diamond Princess will join Sun Princess for a cruise program from three homeports – Tokyo (Yokohama), Kobe, and an industry first, Otaru near Sapporo on Hokkaido. Sailing between April and October in 2014, the two ships will offer 42 departures featuring nine unique itineraries ranging from seven to nine days. The two ships will visit more than 20 ports in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Russia.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Norwegian Cruise Line counts down “100 days to Norwegian Breakaway

Announces Inaugural Preview Events in Europe and New York
MIAMI – January 22, 2013 – In anticipation of the upcoming launch of Norwegian Breakaway, one of 2013’s hottest new ships, Norwegian Cruise Line is counting down the days until the arrival of the vessel and has launched a global social media campaign featuring the “100 Days to Norwegian Breakaway” countdown on its social properties – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Princess Cruises passengers inspire new “Celebrations” campaign

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 22, 2013) – Princess Cruises has debuted a new look at how and why passengers cruise – as told through videos from Princess passengers themselves.  Focusing on celebrations, these passenger accounts unveil many reasons for escaping completely on a cruise vacation.

Princess put video cameras in the hands of passengers who then show us what inspired their cruise.  These storytellers, who were sailing in diverse worldwide destinations, including the Panama Canal, Europe, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Australia, describe different occasions that celebrate love, change and life itself. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Silversea announces new shorter voyages to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean

(News Release)

(Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- January 17, 2013) In its continuing mission to provide guests with more choices, ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has just announced a new collection of eight shorter cruises for 2013.

These convenient four- to seven-day voyages to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean are designed for time-strapped working professionals, travelers who like to combine a cruise with a land program, and individuals who may be new to luxury cruising and would like a taste of Silversea's award-winning, all-inclusive experience.

Princess Cruises adds new South America and Tahiti sailings in 2014

Passengers Can Join Crown Princess for Ship’s First Trip “Around the Horn” or Indulge in the Idyllic South Pacific

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 18, 2013) – Princess Cruises has added several new Exotics cruise options in spring 2014, giving passengers additional vacation choices in the popular destinations of South America and the South Pacific.

Options include a new South America grand adventure aboard Crown Princess – the first such voyage for the vessel. In addition, Pacific Princess will add new departures of the line’s signature Tahiti & French Polynesia cruises plus additional Hawaii and South Pacific voyages.

During Crown Princess’ South America debut, passengers can enjoy highlights such as an overnight call in vibrant Rio de Janeiro during the city’s famous Carnaval celebrations, sailing around legendary Cape Horn, an optional overland tour to the dramatic Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, and Princess’ first call to Ilhabela (“beautiful island”) an island that lives up to its name with lovely beaches and natural beauty.

Lynyrd Skynyrd announces seventh sailing of Simple Man Cruise

The Original Southern Rock Reunion Returns to Sea October 20-24, 2013
ATLANTA, GA  - January 21, 2013 – Southern Rock Legends Lynyrd Skynyrd, in partnership with Sixthman, the industry leader in music festivals at sea, will be once again bring fans and bands together for the seventh sailing of the popular Simple Man Cruise.
This southern rock vacation experience at sea will depart from Miami, FL onboard Norwegian Pearl, to port stops in Key West, FL, and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, a private island destination reserved just for the guests of Simple Man Cruise, from October 20 – 24, 2013.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Alabama celebrates 40th anniversary with music festival at sea

Country Music Legends Invite Fans and Bands To Vacation With Them
and Sail To a Private Island in the Bahamas
ATLANTA, GA January 16, 2013: With over 73 million records sold, 43 #1 singles, and more than 150 music industry awards, there is still one thing country music legends Alabama have not accomplished - setting sail on vacation with their biggest fans for a country music festival at sea.

In celebration of the band’s 40th Anniversary of their first show at The Bowery, Alabama is teaming up with Sixthman, the industry leader in music festivals at sea, to invite some of their favorite bands and fans to join them on board Norwegian Pearl for a four-night cruise from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas, on October 24, 2013.

Cooking school series on Silversea

(Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- January 15, 2013) Acclaimed culinary trainer David Bilsland, a former instructor at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London, is again set to host Silversea's exclusive "Relais & Châteaux L'École des Chefs" interactive cooking school in 2013.

On 14 ultra-luxury voyages across the globe, Chef Bilsland will present a program developed in collaboration with Jacques Thorel, a consulting Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux.

Silversea enjoys the privilege of featuring the only "Relais & Châteaux L'École des Chefs" cooking school at sea. The innovative program -- which is offered completely free of charge -- provides guests with a special culinary curriculum, including hands-on instruction, and entertaining events.

Princess Cruises Spring Clearance sale offers cruise deals on warm-weather destinations

January 17-21 Sale Features Savings up to 35 Percent and up to $100 Free Spending Money

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 16, 2013) – Princess Cruises is offering cruise deals on sailings to some of its most popular warm-weather destinations, including the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Hawaii and the California coast, during a Spring Clearance Sale from January 17-21.

Passengers who book during the event can save up to 35 percent per person, plus as a bonus receive as much as $100 in onboard spending money per stateroom.

More than 50 cruises are featured in the sale, including beautiful destinations throughout the Caribbean, the Aloha spirit of Hawaii, the best of the Golden State on a California Coastal, the marvel of engineering of the Panama Canal, and select transatlantic sailings for a springtime journey to Europe.

Steamboat's a-comin' for a Mississippi paddlewheel cruise

Save on Mississippi paddlewheel cruise

             History, music, culture and the charms of the largest river steamboat ever built in America.

             These are all combined on the American Queen, which Avalon Waterways is now offering a special sale on its March 21 sailing.  Starting in Music City - Nashville - and ending up in The Big Easy – New Orleans - the 12 day holiday promises to be a relaxing tour to some of America’s most famous destinations.      
The tour starts with a two night stay in at the legendary Opryland Hotel in Nashville and reserved seats at the Grand Old Opry before travelling by coach to Memphis where there’s an overnight stay including a visit to Sun Studios, where Elvis Presley’s career was launched.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Celebrity Cruises kicks off New Year with “123 Go!”

Modern luxury line’s biggest promotion features three powerful offers;
Corresponding trade campaign helps agents drive business

MIAMI – The countdown to an exceptional modern luxury vacation is just beginning. Celebrity Cruises has launched “123 go!” – the brand’s biggest promotion to-date, featuring three powerful offers allowing consumers to select what they value most in a Celebrity vacation.

The three exceptional options include:
  • Free “Classic Beverage Package” for two, allowing guests to pair Celebrity’s delectable cuisine with their favorite beverages – representing a value of up to $616 for two guests, based on a 7-night sailing, and including coverage of beverage gratuities; or,
  • Free gratuities, allowing vacationers to fully relax, knowing tips for Celebrity’s expert staff are covered – representing a value of up to $210 per stateroom based on a 7-night sailing and includes coverage of stateroom, waiter, assistant waiter and head waiter gratuities; or,
  • An onboard credit of up to $300 per stateroom, depending on the selected itinerary length, and available for guests to apply to shore excursions, specialty dining, wine tastings, spa treatments, boutique items, or any other onboard purchase.

Azamara Journey exits shipyard with new look and refreshed spaces

  MIAMI, January 14, 2013 – Azamara Journey, the second of Azamara Club Cruises’ twin boutique ships to undergo refurbishment, emerged today from an eight-day drydock in Singapore’s Sembawang Shipyard.

Azamara Journey, now complete with a refresh of all public spaces and staterooms and an elegant new “Azamara Blue” exterior hull, continues its Asia season with a 13-night Indonesia voyage round-trip from Singapore.

With its newly refreshed ships, the cruise line that sails to exciting destinations around the world that larger ships are unable to reach is poised to break away from its category.

Princess Cruises unveils new blog with tales of people “Linked by the Sea”

Princess introduces new "Linked by the Sea" blog featuring touching stories of connections forged at sea. 

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 9, 2013) – Princess Cruises today has launched a new blog, “Linked by the Sea,” exploring the many relationships that begin, or are rekindled, at sea.

Featuring touching stories from both passengers and crew members, the blog will recount personal tales of friendship, romance and meaningful connections forged at sea.

On the heels of the line’s two popular yearlong blogs that captured the attention of millions of readers –“50 Essential Experiences” and “Inspired to Cruise,” – this new blog, found at LinkedbytheSea.com, will chronicle a new story each week throughout 2013.

Norwegian named "Europe's Leading Cruise Line" for fifth consecutive year

MIAMI – Norwegian Cruise Line has been named “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line” by the World Travel Awards for the fifth consecutive year.
The 19th annual awards recognize travel companies for delivering an outstanding customer experience and are voted by travel agents and consumers worldwide.
  Norwegian, which has been honored with the accolade in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, has four ships that offer magnificent cruise vacations through Europe ranging from seven to 14 days.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Royal Caribbean offers $400 onboard credit


MIAMI, Jan. 09, 2013 – Make this year’s resolution to travel more and share in more unforgettable experiences with Royal Caribbean International.

With all of 2013 ahead, there is no better time than right now to plan an unforgettable vacation aboard the cruise line known for the most innovative ships, sailing to exciting destinations around the world. Vacationers who act now can enjoy up to $400 onboard credit to spend on their Europe, Caribbean, Bermuda and trans-Atlantic cruise with Royal Caribbean International.

New Carnival Passport provides increased flexibility and customization for travel agent education

Replaces Carnival Cruise Lines University

MIAMI (January 10, 2013) – Carnival Cruise Lines has updated and enhanced its learning tools for travel agents with the launch of Carnival Passport, a comprehensive new learning management system that houses all of the line’s training and education activities in one easy-to-access area within GoCCL.com

Carnival Passport replaces Carnival Cruise Lines University (CCLU) and provides agents with more flexible and customized learning options.

With Carnival Passport, agents may select learning activities that best suit their particular educational needs while earning credits along the way. This differs from the former CCLU program, which outlined set activities for earning credits.

Celebrity launch includes sweeps with opportunity to win “Rock the Red Carpet” tickets


Onboard experience includes game show, music trivia series and theme party
MIAMI – January 10, 2013 –When considering what are the hottest new songs or who are the most popular performers, Billboard is the source that comes to music lovers’ minds. So, when seeking a partner for a series of new musical offerings onboard, that’s exactly who Celebrity Cruises approached, and guests across the fleet are now “rocking” the benefits.

Celebrity today announced that they have joined forces with Billboard to launch a series of innovative, modern luxury musical programs onboard. Based on Billboard’s exclusive charts that track today’s hottest songs and artists, a trivia series, new musically focused game shows and themed parties will offer guests fun and exciting entertainment experiences across the fleet, with a chance to win Billboard prizes.

Norwegian Cruise Line launches Europe cruisetours

Europe’s Leading Cruise Line now offers guests the opportunity to combine cruises with in-depth land tours for the ultimate authentic Italian vacation
MIAMI – Voted Europe’s Leading Cruise Line for five years in a row by the World Travel Awards, Norwegian Cruise Line is launching new Italian Cruisetours to enhance guests’ dream European vacations.

On sale now for cruises this year and beyond, the new Cruisetours can be purchased as part of Norwegian Jade’s seven-day Eastern Mediterranean & Greek Isles or Adriatic cruises from Venice, Italy or Norwegian Epic’s seven-day Eastern Mediterranean cruises from Civitavecchia, Italy.

Ranging in length from 11 to 15 days including the sailing, the Cruisetours transport guests to the heart of Italy, offering the freedom and flexibility to explore the incredible cuisine, history and culture of this beautiful country. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cunard Line to welcome cutting-edge speakers from the worlds of books, business and biology

Lord Digby Jones

9 January 2013 – Renowned for its award-winning Cunard Insights on board enrichment programme, Cunard Line has announced that leading luminaries in their fields – author Bill Bryson, business guru Lord Digby Jones and eminent Professor of Science and Society Lord Robert Winston – are among the featured speakers aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth beginning this spring.

“The quality of our speaker programme on board our ships is something which sets Cunard apart,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line.  “We are delighted to welcome three such pre-eminent and internationally respected figures to our line-up for 2013 who will add an extra dimension to our passengers’ experience on board.”

New York City-inspired advertising campaign promotes Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Cruise Line is also partnering with NYC & Company as an Official Partner of
NYC Restaurant Week® and Broadway Week
NEW YORK – January 7, 2013 – Norwegian Cruise Line today debuts a New York City-inspired advertising campaign themed, “The Best of NYC Sails to Sea” to promote its new ship, Norwegian Breakaway which will be the largest cruise ship to homeport year-round in New York City.

The new campaign includes an eye-catching, state-of-the-art digitally animated television commercial, print advertisements, various out of home elements, online media and new digital experiences on the Breakaway microsite that artfully render the New York City experiences found on board.

InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises unveils new company name: Un-Cruise Adventures

Name change consolidates line’s adventure styles
Seattle, WA, January 8, 2013 –Marking another milestone in its 16 year evolution, adventure cruise line InnerSea Discoveries/American Safari Cruises has officially changed its name to Un-Cruise Adventures. The line operates seven boats carrying 22-88 guests in Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia and Snake Rivers and Coastal Washington and British Columbia.

“We’ve experienced phenomenal growth and success over the last four years,” said Dan Blanchard, principal and CEO.  “What began as yacht cruising under the American Safari Cruises name has now expanded to include more styles of Un-Cruise Adventures, and this name change reflects that growth.”

Princess Cruises named “Best Cruise Line in Alaska” by Travel Weekly

Line Recognized for Sixth Straight Year in Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 8, 2013) – For the sixth year in a row, Princess Cruises has earned top honors as the “Best Cruise Line in Alaska” in the annual Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.

The awards, given by the respected magazine’s travel agent readers, recognized the line for the quality of its Alaska cruises and cruisetours.

“Alaska is a special destination for us, so we’re honored that our program continues to receive accolades year after year,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “It’s especially gratifying that travel agents – the true travel experts – continue to choose Princess as the best way for their clients to experience the breathtaking beauty of this amazing state.”

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cunard Line announces Wave of Savings for 2013 transatlantic crossings and European voyages


Up to $1,000 Savings on Airfare for Select European Itineraries,
Up to $1,200 in Savings on Select Cruises to Europe, and Crossings from $999

7 January 2013 – For those looking to get an early start on planning this year’s travel holidays, Cunard Line today announced significant savings on select Transatlantic Crossings aboard Queen Mary 2, and European cruises  on board Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.  In addition, substantial savings on airfare – up to $1000 per couple – are available on select European cruises.

Transatlantic Crossings
The most storied voyage on the seas, Cunard’s Transatlantic Crossing is the only itinerary for which the voyage itself becomes the destination, offering its guests a true escape from the everyday.  For more than 170 years, the Line’s Crossings have appealed to a broad range of sophisticated travellers who share a love of glamour, elegance and tradition.

Vacationers receive $100 per stateroom to spend on board any Europe cruise, plus additional WAVE season offers


           Norwegian Cruise Line is launching a Europe Bonus Days sales event offering incredible savings on Norwegian’s award-winning vacations in Europe.
           Guests who book a Europe cruise now through tomorrow, January 8, will receive $100 per stateroom to spend on board, plus Wave season offers including free upgrades, e-coupons worth up to $300 in on board savings, and reduced deposits on sailings of three-days or longer.
            In addition, Norwegian is offering additional savings to families who book a new Europe cruise reservation; children ages 17 and younger will receive 50% off their cruise fare on any of Norwegian’s exciting Europe itineraries when traveling with two adults in the same stateroom.

Princess Cruises rings in the New Year with unprecedented wave season sale

Cruise Deals Offer Passengers up to $1,000 Savings, plus up to $1,000 Savings on Airfare

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 7, 2013) – Princess Cruises is starting off the New Year with an unprecedented sale called “Cruise Deals & Air Steals” for wave season, offering passengers savings on both cruise prices and airfare when booking with Princess eZAir. 

Featured cruise deals will save passengers up to $1,000 per stateroom on their sailing, plus up to $1,000 savings per couple on airfare as well.

“This year for wave season, our busiest booking period of the year, we wanted to make sure passengers could take full advantage of the great cruise deals available without being put off by the high cost of airfare,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “So we’re including big savings on both cruise and air costs this year.”

Friday, January 4, 2013

Cunard Line to feature high-profile speakers on select 2013 winter voyages

Renowned for its award-winning Cunard Insights on board enrichment programme, Cunard Line has just announced a new roster of celebrated speakers to complement select 2013 winter voyages aboard its luxury fleet – flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.  

“Cunard was the first cruise line to invite a variety of distinguished speakers aboard its ships nearly 40 years ago,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line.  “We are delighted to continue to welcome internationally respected figures who will add an extra dimension to our guests’ experience on board.”

Delving into a variety of compelling and relevant topics, Cunard Insights introduces guests to accomplished experts and visionaries who reflect the Line's legacy of adventure and prestige while sailing a luxury cruise vacation.  Fascinating speakers aboard Cunard’s fleet of Queens in the coming months will include the following:

10 January 2013 – Martin Bell.  Bell achieved fame as a BBC News Correspondent from 1962 to 1997, reporting from 100 countries and 18 war zones.  He was also the Independent Member of Parliament for Tatton from 1997 to 2001, and is currently a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Bell will sail Queen Mary 2’s 18-day Southampton to Dubai World Voyage Segment departing 10 January 2013.  Ports of call include Barcelona, Athens (Piraeus), transiting the Suez Canal, Sokhna (Egypt, for Cairo/Giza), and Safaga (Egypt, for Luxor/Karnak).  Space for this segment is limited.

Norwegian Getaway 2014 Eastern Caribbean sailings now open for sale

MIAMI Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that the line’s newest ship, Norwegian Getaway, is now open for sale to the public. Starting February 1, 2014, the ship sails seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises year-round from PortMiami.

Norwegian Getaway will be the largest ship to home port year-round in Miami, carrying 4,000 guests, and will embody a unique Miami vibe. Each week, Norwegian Getaway  will transport cruisers to tropical Caribbean destinations including Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas, with fares starting at $799* per person.

ABC's smash hit 'Dancing with the Stars' sizzles on board Holland America Line ships

SEATTLE -- Holland America Line has announced that an exciting new "Dancing with the Stars" experience will be featured on board the premium cruise ships of Holland America Line.

Whether you like to Tango, Quickstep, Paso Doble , or sit back and enjoy watching the sizzling performances, the new program offers guests an entirely unique experience on the seas.

Six theme cruises in 2013 and early 2014 will feature "Dancing with the Stars" events including dance lessons; a chance to meet the dancers, ask questions and take photos; and a dazzling production starring celebrities and the famed dance pros, complete with glamorous costumes and routines from the TV show. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Four Celebrity company employee-Godmothers join senior executives in formal ceremony


Celebrity Cruises’ parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman & CEO Richard D. Fain – together with (from left) Celebrity’s President & CEO Michael Bayley and Celebrity Reflection Captain Nicholas Pagonis – introduce the four employee-Godmothers of Celebrity Reflection as they prepare to ceremoniously name the ship: Special Events Manager Rosey Rodriguez, Community Relations Manager Helen O’Connell, Hot Glass Show Artist Megan Mathie and AquaSpa Manager Jovanka Goronjic.

MIAMI Modern luxury brand Celebrity Cruises has formally named the fifth in its five-ship Solstice Class fleet, Celebrity Reflection.

Presiding over the ceremony December 1 were the ship’s four Godmothers – all employees of the company whose lives have been touched by breast cancer: Celebrity Reflection AquaSpa Manager Jovanka Goronjic; Solstice Class Hot Glass Show Artist Megan Mathie; shoreside Community Relations Manager Helen O'Connell; and shoreside Special Events Manager Rosey Rodriguez. Each took the stage with Chairman & CEO Richard D. Fain, Celebrity's President & CEO Michael Bayley, and Celebrity Reflection Captain Nicholas Pagonis, together with three of the Godmothers of Celebrity Reflection's sister ships, in a naming ceremony tradition unique to Celebrity.

Carnival Corporation & PLC donates $2 million to aid Hurricane Sandy victims

(News Release)

Donation to benefit four charities engaged in relief, rebuilding efforts

MIAMI — Carnival Corporation & plc is donating $2 million to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy that struck the U.S. Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, and devastated New Jersey and New York. The funds are earmarked for four charities providing an array of relief and rebuilding services and support.

The Robin Hood Relief Fund will receive $1 million, Habitat for Humanity International will receive $500,000, and Save the Children and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City — Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts each will receive $250,000.

InnerSea Discoveries’ Wilderness Explorer brings active Un-Cruise Adventures to Hawaiian Islands beginning November 2013

Week-long itineraries sail between Oahu
and Hawaii, the Big Island November 2013-April 2014

Seattle, WA– Hawaii-bound vacationers looking to explore the islands next winter have a new, innovative option at hand with InnerSea Discoveries’ launch of AdventureBound Hawaii—a week-long Active Adventure by expedition vessel.

The multi-island Un-Cruise aboard the 76-guest Wilderness Explorer includes adventure activities by sea and ashore for up-close explorations of sea life and four islands—Oahu, Maui, Lana’i and Hawaii, the Big Island.

From November 2013 through April 2014, the Wilderness Explorer will sail seven-night AdventureBound Hawaii cruises between Oahu and the Big Island and reverse.