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Archive for September, 2009


BIG NEWS! Carnival announces year-round cruises from Charleston

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 17 - 2009

Carnival Cruise Lines announced it will operate the Carnival Fantasy year-round from Charleston, South Carolina. The 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy will operate five-, six- and seven-day voyages to The Bahamas and Key West, Fla., beginning May 18, 2010.

Here’s the announcement that just appeared on John Heald’s blog:

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Which cruise lines are the biggest polluters?

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 17 - 2009

Friends of the Earth issued its first-ever Cruise Ship Environmental Report Card, an assessment of the environmental and human health footprint of cruise lines and ships operating in the United States.

Millions of Americans take cruise vacations every year. Travelers may not realize that taking a cruise is more harmful to the environment and human health than many other forms of travel.

“For the first time, vacationers can decide which cruise to take based on a ship’s environmental and human health impacts,” said Marcie Keever, Clean Vessels Campaign Director at Friends of the Earth. “Typically, cruise ship passengers are attracted to cruise vacations with pictures of pristine waters and promises of unspoiled scenery and abundant wildlife, but these passengers are never told that their vacation could leave a dirty mark on the places they visit. This is something travelers should pay close attention to: half of the cruise lines we evaluated earned grades of C- or below.”

Cruise ships carrying up to 7,000 passengers and crew are like floating cities that release substantial amounts of pollution into the air and water. Cruise ships have the potential to despoil the very areas they visit and passengers often ask whether there are any cruise lines or ships that are environmentally friendly.

Friends of the Earth’s report card ranks 10 major lines—Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean Int’l, and Silversea Cruises—according to three environmental criteria: sewage treatment technology, air pollution reduction, and water quality compliance in Alaskan waters. Holland America, Norwegian and Princess come out on top, and Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney are rated the worst.

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An explanation of Friends of the Earth’s grading system, information about the environmental impact of individual cruise ships, and actions people can take to pressure cruise lines to clean up their act can be found at http://www.foe.org/cruisereportcard.

A PDF of the report can be found at http://www.foe.org/sites/default/files/CruiseReportCard.pdf.

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Tauck announces first-ever Iceland cruise using new ship Le Boreal

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 16 - 2009

Tauck has unveiled its line-up of small ship ocean cruises for 2010 and the company’s offerings for the coming year are highlighted by a new 8-day voyage in Iceland aboard the all-new Le Boreal, a sleek 264-person yacht slated to launch next May.

The new Iceland cruise, “Iceland: Land Of Fire And Ice” (from $5,790 per person, plus air), serves a destination that Tauck’s customers have expressed strong interest in visiting, said company CEO Dan Mahar. “Our guests have been asking us for years to offer a program in Iceland, but until now we couldn’t do it – the country’s hotel infrastructure wouldn’t allow us to provide the level of quality, comfort and amenities that people have come to expect from Tauck,” said Mahar. “However, with the upcoming launch of Le Boreal, we’ll be able to bring the necessary infrastructure along with us.”

Le_boreal“And although this is a new ship and a new destination, our Iceland cruise will still reflect Tauck’s signature style of cruising,” added Mahar, who explained that the most distinguishing characteristic of Tauck cruising is the company’s all-inclusive pricing policy. Included in the price of the new Iceland cruise, for example, are all shore excursions (a $1,355 value, per person), all meals, all gratuities, wine with dinners, nightly cocktail hours, taxes, port charges and much more.

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Carnival Pride takes the cake

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 16 - 2009

A ship-shaped cake modeled after a Carnival Cruise Lines vessel is set to star in an upcoming episode of Food Network’s hit reality series “Ace of Cakes.” Premiering Thursday, Sept. 17, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, the episode features Chef Duff Goldman presenting the cake to Captain Alessandro Galotto, master of Carnival Pride.

The Carnival Pride operates cruises year-round from Baltimore, Md., also home to Goldman’s Charm City Cakes bakery, where Chef Duff and his eclectic staff of culinary experts, artists and architects use drills, saws and blowtorches as they bake, construct and frost the most elaborate and unconventional cake creations imaginable.

“Food Network is one of the most popular channels on television and is seen in over 90 million households each week,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer for Carnival Cruise Lines. “Having Carnival’s Baltimore connection highlighted on such a widely watched national broadcast enables us to have our cake and eat it, too, as it were.”

From the festive balloons flying off the top deck to the signal flags swaying in the wind, from the ship’s giant funnel to the twisting waterslide, the latest creation by the Charm City Cakes team looks exactly like Carnival Pride in miniature. The cake measured about two feet long and featured Baltimore’s skyline in the background.

Ace of Cakes creates edible Carnival Pride

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Hissy fit! Sexy cougar cruise the talk at USA Today

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 15 - 2009

My colleague Gene Sloan at USA Today has quite a story on a single’s group that has blocked group cabin space onboard a Carnival Cruise Lines vessel. Sloan reports that Los Gatos, California-based Singles Travel Company and singles group The Society of Single Professionals are co-sponsoring a three-night getaway aboard the Carnival Elation, which is geared towards older women who like younger men – aka “cougars”.

Sloan says the article is drawing more comments than another front page story on the recession. Check out Sloan’s story at http://www.usatoday.com/travel/cruises/item.aspx?type=blog&ak=68499038.blog to get the scoop on this real “Fun Ship” cruise.

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It’s official! Disney Cruise Line is going to Alaska in 2011

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 11 - 2009

It’s official – Disney is headed to Alaska in 2011. The line announced the news from the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California that the Disney Wonder will be sailing round trip from Vancouver.

Starting May 3 thru September 6, 2011, the Disney Wonder will do seven-night, round-trip Alaska itineraries out of Vancouver with stops at Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Fares will start at $939 per person, based on double occupancy.

Between January 23 and April 17, 2011, and again between September 25 and December 18, 2011, the Wonder will do seven-night, round-trip Mexico itineraries from Los Angeles with stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Fares will begin at $639 per person, based on double occupancy.

Meanwhile, the Disney Magic will return to the Mediterranean in 2011, sailing 10- and 11-night itineraries out of Barcelona during the summer season. Fares will begin at $1,739 per person, based on double occupancy.

Adventures by Disney is teaming up with the cruise line for a number of neat tours. Stay tuned for more information.

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