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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sea air and cruise programs good for what ails you

   Out to Sea for Feb. 27/16
   (c) By Jim and Barb Fox

   In bygone days, it was felt that a sea voyage was good for what ails you.
   Believing that sea air and the motion on the ocean had restorative qualities, days or weeks at sea were prescribed as a proverbial cure-all.
   While it might be tough these days to have a doctor prescribe that remedy, there is something to be said about sailing away from the stress and strains of daily life.
   Serenity now at Carnival Pride’s adults-only retreat offering peace, sea breezes, swaying hammocks, hot tubs and a pool. (Barb Fox photo)
   Cruising doesn’t have to just be about overindulging at the around-the-clock, all-you-want buffets or simply lounging by the poolside bars.
   “For years, there has been a misconception that going on a cruise meant leaving your healthy living regimen at home,” said Cindy D’Aoust, acting CEO of Cruise Lines International Association.
   Cruisers will find a variety of options to “customize their experience” with a focus on health, relaxation and indulgence, she added.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Star Breeze, small ship cruise line’s newest ship, takes top service prize


 Seattle, February 11, 2016 – Yesterday, Cruise Critic released its 2016 Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards, with Windstar Cruises winning the top honor for Best Service for Star Breeze. Star Breeze debuted in May 2015, and is one of Windstar’s newest yachts. Windstar was also honored with the top award for Best for Embarkation in the small ship category for Wind Surf.

“At Windstar, we are committed to excellent service,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “One of our primary goals is to exceed service standards across the industry, and really give guests the feeling of being among family.

Princess Cruises Wilderness Lodge named one of the Top 12 resorts in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest by Condé Nast Traveler magazine

Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge Receives Prestigious Accolade
in Annual Readers’ Choice Awards
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, a Princess Cruises Land & Sea Vacation destination, has been named one of the top-12 resorts in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest for 2015 by Condé Nast Traveler.
This recognition is part of the publication’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards, which garnered responses from more than 128,000 travelers worldwide.

Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge is located in Cooper Landing near the banks of the Kenai River, one of the world’s most famous fishing, rafting, wildlife viewing and hiking destinations. A two-hour drive south of Anchorage, the Alaska wilderness retreat offers amenities such as bungalow-style guestrooms, a main lodge, world-class dining, magnificent views of the Kenai River and a tour desk to help guests arrange a variety of exciting excursions.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Norwegian invites guests to choose up to two free offers

New mini-suite category bookings allow guests to choose two offers plus Friend & Family Sail Free** 

  Norwegian Cruise Line has introduced an all-new offer in conjunction with their Free at Sea promotion, inviting guests who book a new cruise vacation in a mini-suite stateroom now through February 21, 2016 to choose two valuable amenities to enjoy complimentary during their cruise. 
From now until February 21, 2016 with Norwegian’s Free at Sea, guests who book a new five-day or longer sailing in a mini-suite category stateroom on sailings more than 30 days prior to departure can select their preference of two choices from four incredible offers, including free Unlimited Beverages*, free Specialty Dining*, free $50 per port shore excursion credits in up to four ports, or a free 250 minute WiFi package**.  Additionally, Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer allows 3rd and 4th guests to sail for free on select dates.

Captain Dino Sagani named master of Majestic Princess

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (February 3, 2016) – Princess Cruises announced today that Captain Dino Sagani has been named master of its next new ship, Majestic Princess. He will lead a senior officer team with more than 100 years of seagoing experience among them.

The relief Captain appointed to Majestic Princess is Princess Cruises’ veteran, Captain Craig Street.

Were thrilled to appoint such experienced captains to our new cruise ship destined for China,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “These skilled officers bring considerable seagoing and management skills and we know they will deliver an exceptional and memorable cruise vacation experience to all Majestic Princess guests.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Private islands: “Next level” adventure and living like a rock star

Writer Jim Fox at Holland America's Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas: Barbara Fox photo
Five Incredible Things That Happen to Humans While Relaxing in a Secluded Paradise

(Feb. 2, 2016) – One of the greatest indicators of luxury is exclusivity, and most vacationers long for an experience that is set apart from all others.

A visit to a private island certainly fits the bill; in fact, according to cruise experts CruiseCompete, the cruise lines’ private islands are the “Number One” port of call for their consumers. What makes these private island experiences so special, and what are the amenities of each?

Following are the top five amazing things that will happen when you visit a private island:

  1. You will come to a state of total and complete relaxation. A visit to a private island affords a unique opportunity for relaxation; one that whisks you away from all the pressures of everyday life. Gone are routines and obligations, replaced by beach umbrellas, cabanas and shady spots to relax. Take these moments to treat yourself to a beachside massage, or gain a little extra privacy in the seclusion of one of the islands’ quieter beaches … whatever it takes to let yourself totally unwind.
  2. You will find out what it means to “Live like a rock star”! On a private island like Holland America’s Half Moon Cay, the staff sees to it that your wish is their command! For a fee, cruise passengers can reserve a private cabana (which includes an outdoor freshwater shower/misting station and indoor dining room and changing area) in advance. Once on site, guests are attended to by private butlers; they fill beverage glasses, prepare hot and chilled appetizers, and even offer cool cucumbers to soothe eyes against the hot, tropical sun. So Hollywood!

Norwegian Cruise Line unveils "The Norwegian Edge"

New program will invest $400 million in enhancing the guest experience through a full fleet refurbishment, a new culinary program and two premier private island destinations

MIAMI – January 21, 2016 – Norwegian Cruise Line revealed today The Norwegian Edge™, an innovative program that promises to introduce a new standard of excellence that encompasses the entire guest experience, from ship hardware to culinary enhancements and exclusive private destination developments.

The Norwegian Edge™ reflects a significant two-year $400 million investment by the company through 2017 and demonstrates the line’s commitment to exceptional quality and extraordinary experiences. The centerpiece of the program is an extensive ship refurbishment initiative that will elevate the experience on board the Norwegian fleet to this new standard.

“Norwegian has a long history of investing in its fleet to offer guests the latest and greatest innovations, but the investment to raise our ships to The Norwegian Edge™ standard of excellence takes it to new levels,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief operating officer.
“The new standards of The Norwegian Edge program will entice our guests to return again and again to ships that will look and feel as if they were just delivered, with all new menus and new dining experiences, visiting incredible exclusive destinations that reflect the quality finishes, amenities and outstanding service found across the Norwegian fleet.” 

Princess Cruises debuts SHARE by Curtis Stone

Award-Winning Chef Curtis Stone Introduces First Restaurant at Sea Inspired by the Joy of Coming Together with Shared Plates and Charming Setting to Create Lasting Memories

Chef Curtis Stone was joined by Princess Cruises' Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan and Captain Craig Street for the grand opening of SHARE by Curtis Stone, his first restaurant at sea, aboard Ruby Princess.
 SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 27, 2016) – Princess Cruises celebrated the grand opening of SHARE by Curtis Stone, the award-winning chef’s first restaurant at sea aboard Ruby Princess.

SHARE offers an exclusive specialty cruise dining experience for guests with a menu of signature dishes imagined for sharing, in an environment designed for conversing and creating memories. SHARE is now available exclusively to Princess Cruises guests aboard Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess, and soon will debut aboard Sun Princess in Stone’s native Australia in April 2016.

Previously announced, this exclusive partnership with Chef Stone adds to the line’s $450 million multi-year product innovation and cruise ship renovation "Come Back New Promise" campaign that will continue to enhance the line’s onboard guest experience. The partnership includes “Crafted by Curtis” menu items available in the main dining rooms fleetwide while Curtis Stone’s Chef’s Table experience will debut in SHARE venues in spring 2016.