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

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 d├ęcor 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

Celebrity Cruises rings (and sings) in the holidays with a spectacular Caribbean concert, starring Demi Lovato

Celebrity Cruises offers an unforgettable musical experience for guests and their
families bound to the Caribbean
MIAMI Pop! Fizz! Clink! Nothing says celebration like the pop of a champagne cork, and this year Celebrity Cruisesholiday guests can enjoy effervescent cocktails with a dazzling performance by pop sensation, Demi Lovato.

In the name of holiday cheer, the modern luxury cruise line will host an exclusive concert starring the award-winning singer and songwriter, just steps outside of Port St. Maarten, on December 28, 2016.

At Celebrity’s once-in-a-lifetime concert, guests and their families can relish in the upbeat, sultry sounds of the “Confident” songstress, in a vibrant Caribbean backdrop. The unforgettable experience will leave vacationers dancing, singing and celebrating the night away. This is the Celebrity Distinction.

Windstar wins gold for small ship cruising, best itinerary, and best excursions

Boutique Cruise Line Recognized in Travel Weekly Magellan Awards as Leader in Small Ship Cruising; Best Itinerary (Around Iceland); Best Shore Excursion (Destination Discovery); and Leading Marketing Campaigns (Star Promise)
Seattle, WA, September 27, 2016 — Boutique cruise line Windstar Cruises is thrilled to receive three Gold Magellans and one Silver Magellan in the 2016 Travel Weekly Magellan Awards which recognized the travel company as a leader in small ship cruising. Windstar also earned accolades for its winning shore excursions, inventive itineraries, and unique advertising and marketing campaigns.

Officially announced in the October 31 issue of the magazine, the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards honor the best in travel and salute the outstanding travel professionals behind it all. The awards are judged by a panel consisting of top-notch travel experts, bringing more weight to the award than the five-pound gold and silver statuettes that accompany the titles.

“I’m particularly proud of these awards, as they are all at the heart of our business and what makes us unique in the cruise industry,” said Windstar’s President John Delaney. “We are all about small ship cruising – focusing on unique destinations and itineraries that only a small yacht can access.

Norwegian Cruise Line heas up fall with "Endless Summer Free at Sea" promotion

Now through October 31, 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.

       There may be a chill in the air this October but Norwegian Cruise Line is inviting guests to make the most of Norwegian’s Endless Summer with an extended Free at Sea offer. From now through October 31, 2016, guests can choose from up to five free offers when they book a new cruise vacation, offering even more freedom, flexibility and value to those looking to enjoy a warm weather winter escape or a cultural holiday adventure. 

Queen Mary 2 remastered lauded with accolades and awards

VALENCIA, Calif. – Since re-entering service after her remastering in June 2016, Queen Mary 2 has received several accolades and awards which underline the success of the significant work completed on the Cunard flagship including:

Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships Guide 2017 awarded Queen Mary 2 ‘Top Large Resort Ship 2017’, ‘Most Luxurious Suites 2017’ and ‘Best Cruise Ship Spa 2017’
Cruise Critic’s 2016 Editors’ Pick awarded Queen Mary 2, ‘Best Cruise Ship Refurbishment’
Town & Country Magazine’s 2016 Cruise Awards awarded Cunard ‘Best for Onboard Activities, Mainstream Luxury’ and Queen Mary 2 ‘Best for Pet Lovers, Mainstream Luxury’

“Today we are proud not only of our great flagship Queen Mary 2 and the enhancements from over one-million man hours during the refurbishment, but we are also proud of the crew and staff who continue to deliver the highest standards of Cunard’s famed White Star Service,” said Richard Meadows, President, Cunard North America.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Fun, fun, fun in the Caribbean sun with Carnival Cruise Line

   Out to Sea for October 1/16

   (c) By Jim and Barb Fox

   Turquoise waters, coral reefs, exotic blooms, cooling trade winds and bright sun with clear skies make the Caribbean the top warm-weather tourist destination in the world.
   There are 33 island nations – each with their distinctive culture and customs – making up this tropical paradise that’s easily accessible.
   Cruise ships are a great way to take in these sun-drenched lands, lapped by the azure waters on their white sand beaches with palm trees swaying in the breeze.
Parking your ship -- the Carnival Pride -- right at the beach (Jim Fox photo)
    The Caribbean – east, west and south – is, not surprisingly, the world’s most popular cruising region, says Terry Thornton, senior vice-president, fleet deployment at Carnival Cruise Line.
   He notes as well the “world-class beaches, excellent dining and shopping opportunities and unforgettable landside experiences,” that ship passengers have the opportunity to explore at each port.
   Carnival is the Caribbean cruise leader with 20 of its 25 ships operating in the region on a year-round or seasonal basis and carrying millions of guests.
   After Americans, Canadians make up a good percentage of passengers.
The Carnival Pride tied up at the pier in Grand Turk. (Jim Fox photo)