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Archive for May, 2012

Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest ship, the Carnival Breeze, is about to set sail! To celebrate the official handover, Carnival’s PR department (@CarnivalPR) is hosting a fun Twitter chat today, Thursday, May 31, at 2 p.m. EDT. Answer questions about what’s new on the Carnival Breeze — anything from dining and entertainment, to all the new fun family features — and at the end of the chat, you could win a beach tote filled with Carnival Fun Ship items, including autographed bottles of sauces from Guy Fieri, whose Burger Joint is just one of the many new food choices onboard Carnival Breeze.

carnivalbreezegalleryI hope you will join me (@ExpertCruiser), along with a number of other cruise bloggers by following hashtag #CarnivalBreeze and @CarnivalPR. Happy Tweeting!

About Carnival Breeze:

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Breeze is one of the line’s biggest ships. The ship will offer several new features including a full-service sushi restaurant and an immersive, special effects-laden theater experience to be called the Thrill Theater. As sister ship to the year-old Carnival Magic, Breeze will also offer an expansive deck-top sports complex called SportSquare and a water slide area called WaterWorks. Embarking on its inaugural cruise on June 3, the Carnival Breeze will operate a series of Mediterranean voyages out of Barcelona through Oct. 25 before heading across the Atlantic on a 15-day repositioning cruise to Miami. On Nov. 24, the vessel will begin year-round, six and eight-day Caribbean cruises out of Miami.

Reported by Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

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Silversea’s Silver Spirit voted top spa at sea by Condé Nast Traveler

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On May - 23 - 2012

The Spa aboard Silversea’s Silver Spirit was chosen by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler as the top spa at sea in the magazine’s 2012 Spa Poll. Silver Spirit was the only ship to score a perfect 100 for its treatments. The results are published in the magazine’s June issue.

“We are delighted to receive this accolade,” said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea’s president of the Americas. “The Spa aboard Silver Spirit was designed to be the ultimate retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation. This award is validation that we are succeeding in providing a spa experience of unsurpassed quality, and one that we hope will foster a truly holistic sense of balance and well-being for our guests.”

SilverSpiritArrivalAt 8,300 square feet, The Spa aboard Silver Spirit is a sanctuary of pure bliss, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, nine treatment rooms, indoor/outdoor relaxation areas, and an outdoor whirlpool. Guests may indulge in a wide range of restorative therapies including facials, body wraps, massages and acupuncture. The ceramic-tiled Thermal Suite is an exclusive spa area furnished with heated lounge chairs. With its connecting private Hammam (Turkish bath) Chamber, it serves as the setting for the Private Hammam Experience, one of several unique Silver Spirit treatments.

The Spa is operated by Steiner Leisure Limited, a leading provider of spa services.

Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Spa Poll results were derived from its 2011 Readers’ Choice survey. Spas were rated excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor on three criteria: Spa Facilities, Spa Staff, and Spa Treatments.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

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Riviera sets sail on maiden voyage

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On May - 16 - 2012

Riviera, Oceania Cruises’ sparkling new entry in the upper-premium cruise segment, set sail today on her 10-day Pearls of the Aegean maiden voyage, from Venice to Athens.

The 1,250-guest vessel, which launches just 16 months following the debut of her highly acclaimed sister ship, Marina, arrived in Venice fresh from a gala christening ceremony in Barcelona presided over by godmother Cat Cora, who is a well-known American chef, restaurateur, humanitarian, author, and co-host of the new Bravo network television show: “Around the World in 80 Plates.”

“As Riviera embarks on her maiden voyage, our guests will no doubt be warmly welcomed by her officers and crew and they are also sure to be impressed by the sophistication and style of this magnificent ship,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, president of Oceania Cruises. “Riviera is a proud addition to the award-winning Oceania Cruises’ fleet.”

riviera

Riviera is purposely designed for epicureans and features 10 dining venues – six of which are open-seating, gourmet restaurants – including a French bistro by Master Chef Jacques Pépin. Facilities also include a Canyon Ranch SpaClub® and Bon Appétit Culinary Center and Artist Loft enrichment center.

Building on Oceania Cruises’ reputation as destination specialists, Riviera’s guests will find ample opportunities for exploration. Oceania Cruises is introducing more than 1,000 new tours and excursion packages that allow guests to custom design their destination experience and enjoy significant savings.

Signature design features of Riviera are apparent the moment guests enter the grand lobby where they will see the Lalique Grand Staircase lit from above by the 380 crystal spheres of a custom-crafted Italian chandelier weighing 1,300 pounds. Each of Riviera’s 625 suites and staterooms – including the largest veranda staterooms at sea, measuring 282 square feet – are imbued with a warm and smart contemporary look.

Oceania Cruises partnered with preeminent American designer Dakota Jackson, who fashioned more than 40 exquisite pieces of furniture and lighting to lend the Vista and Oceania suites the feel of a chic city apartment. Three Owner’s Suites measure more than 2,000 square feet, spanning the entire beam of the ship, and feature furnishings from the acclaimed Ralph Lauren Home collection.

During her inaugural Europe season from May 16 through November 29, 2012, Riviera will offer a total of 20 voyages, calling at ports in France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Turkey as well as Israel, Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro, Morocco and Monaco.

To learn more about Riviera, contact a travel professional, visit OceaniaCruises.com or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

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Carnival offers military discount, Fun Ship cruises start at $299

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On May - 1 - 2012

In honor of Memorial Day, Carnival Cruise Lines is offering a promotion throughout May that allows active and former military personnel to book up to three “Fun Ship” staterooms at discounted rates for themselves and their friends and family members. Reservations must be made between May 1-31, 2012, to qualify for this special offer, which is available in conjunction with a variety of three- to eight-day “Fun Ship” departures through April 30, 2014, including voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico and Europe.

Rates start at $299 per person for three- to five-day cruises; $334 per person for six-day departures; and $534 per person for seven- and eight-day voyages. Also included are 12-day Europe voyages starting at $949 per person. Voyages to the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico operate from 12 convenient year-round North American homeports along the east and west coasts and Gulf of Mexico. Europe cruises depart from Barcelona, Spain.

The promotion is valid for individual bookings only. Military personnel must provide proof of service. Eligible military personnel must sail to take advantage of this offer. Certain other restrictions apply. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

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