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Archive for December, 2014


Norwegian offers BIG New Years’ savings!

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 31 - 2014

 Norwegian Cruise Line is helping guests ring in the New Year with a limited time offer in celebration of the start to 2015. For two days only, guests who book a new cruise vacation on Thursday, January 1and Friday, January 2, 2015, on select sailings of Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway or Pride of America will receive $100 in onboard credit. Onboard credit can be used towards a wide variety of activities and amenities, from thrilling shore excursions to indulgent spa treatments, gifts on board, specialty dining and handcrafted cocktails, and much more.

Best of all, this spectacular New Year’s offer is also combinable with Norwegian’s Freestyle Choice, which provides guests who book a new five-day or longer cruise vacation in an oceanview stateroom or higher* with the choice to select one, two or three offers—a free Ultimate Dining Package, a free Ultimate Beverage Package and up to $300 to spend on board. During Norwegian’s Freestyle Choice, now through January 31, guests who book any destination in an oceanview Stateroom or higher can select one offer. Guests who book a cruise vacation in Europe or Hawai’i** in an oceanview stateroom or higher can choose any two offers. Norwegian guests who book a suite or The Haven by Norwegian™ will receive all three offers, valued at up to $2,000.

Norwegian Getaway, recently voted best new ship by the readers of Travel Weekly, is Miami’s Ultimate ship, featuring ship-wide influences from the Magic City including stunning hull-artwork designed by Miami’s own David “LEBO” Le Batard. This spectacular ship features 28 dining options, two Broadway Shows, the largest Aqua Park at sea with five thrilling slides, Nickelodeon and Splash Academy for families and much more. She sails seven-day Eastern Caribbean itineraries each Saturday from Miami to tropical ports of call including Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas.  Fares for 2015 cruises on Norwegian Getaway begin at $499***.

The best of New York goes to sea aboard Norwegian Breakaway, where guests can enjoy 29 dining options, three Broadway shows including smash hit Rock of Ages; an ice bar; a weekly fireworks show at sea; and the largest Aqua Park and ropes course at sea. New Yorkers can escape the cold this winter aboard Norwegian Breakaway, as she sails three 12-day Southern Caribbean itineraries to San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Castries, St. Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Basseterre, St. Kitts; in addition to several seven-day Bahamas & Florida cruise vacations to Port Canaveral, Florida; Norwegian’s private island Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau, Bahamas. Fares begin at $699***.

Vacationers looking to cruise around the majestic state of Hawai’i can do so aboard the recently-refurbished Pride of America. This port-packed itinerary gives guests the opportunity to explore the islands of Hawai’i on seven-day inter-island cruises, year-round from Honolulu. Offering nearly 100 hours of port time, Pride of America visits Hawai’i’s four main islands, including an overnight in Kahului, Maui; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kauai; stops in Hilo, Hawai’i and Kona, Hawai’i; as well as an afternoon cruise by the spectacular Nãpali Coast. Fares begin at $1,029***.

To book a cruise with Norwegian this New Year, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruise sales, gallery

Love Boat cast to ride on Princess Cruises’ Rose Parade float

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 31 - 2014

The original cast of “The Love Boat” gathered to decorate Princess Cruises’ Rose Parade float today, as well as participate in a myriad of national and local media interviews which celebrated the reunion of this beloved cast.

Princess Cruises, one of the most famous names in cruise vacations, is widely known for its starring role in one of television’s most iconic shows, “The Love Boat.” Their float in the Rose Parade launches Princess’ 50th anniversary year and pays tribute to the light-hearted TV show which played such an integral role in the cruise line’s early history.

PrincessRoseBowlLoveBoat

The original cast of “The Love Boat” will ride on the float, which comes on the heels of this ensemble christening Princess’ newest cruise ship Regal Princess to kick off the company’s golden anniversary year.

Named “50 Years of Inspiring Travel,” the float depicts Regal Princess symbolically sailing through the world’s most fascinating cruise destinations and iconic landmarks that guests have experienced with Princess over the past 50 years. Viewers will recognize the Sydney Opera House, the leaning tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, a traditional Japanese pagoda, the Golden Gate Bridge and the tropical flowers and water falls of the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico, as well as the majestic mountains and wildlife as featured on Alaska cruises – just some of the sights travelers will see when sailing with Princess, whose ships visit 350 destinations around the globe.

The float is 60 feet long and 24 feet high with more than 24,000 flowers and natural materials. Flowers include roses, orchids and carnations, dendrobs, tulips, cymbidiums, delphiniums, and gerbera daisies. Regal Princess will be covered in large white navy beans, white mums and button mums. The water will be accented by dark blue and white iris. Potatoes, green grapes and seaweed will also be used on parts of the float.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at http://www.princess.com.

Filled Under Blog, gallery

Merry Cruise-mas! Carnival and Holland America announce new ship orders

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 19 - 2014

Carnival, the world’s largest travel and leisure company, today announced new cruise ship orders for two of its brands with Fincantieri S.p.A., the world’s largest cruise ship building company.

The new cruise ships will be constructed by Fincantieri for Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line, two of Carnival Corporation’s nine industry-leading brands.

Carnival Cruise Line’s as-yet-unnamed 3,954-passenger vessel, which is the 26th ship in the line’s fleet, will offer many of the newest and most popular features from Carnival’s current ships, along with several innovations that will be exclusive to this vessel. The delivery date for the new cruise ship is scheduled for March 2018. Homeport and itinerary information will be announced at a later date.

The new ship will be a sister ship to Carnival Vista, which is slated for delivery in spring 2016.  Carnival plans to announce details on the many unique features and innovations of Carnival Vista during a three-day event for media, travel agents and consumers in New York Jan. 22-24, 2015.

For Holland America Line, the new order adds a second Pinnacle class ship to the fleet, a new class of vessels that will debut with the delivery and launch of the ms Koningsdam in February 2016. The new ship, scheduled for delivery in late November 2018, will accommodate 2,650 guests and 1,025 crew. The new as-yet-unnamed ship will feature new public spaces and venues that will debut on Koningsdam. In addition, many of the familiar spaces that are currently featured across the Holland America Line fleet will be included.

“These beautiful new ships on order from Fincantieri signify our ongoing commitment to provide the best possible guest experience across our industry-leading brands,” said Arnold Donald, President & CEO of Carnival Corporation. “New ships with the latest in features, accommodations and innovations really bring the modern cruise experience to life and will help us continue to grow new demand for cruising.”

“To have been once more chosen for such an important order is the best recognition for our skills,” said Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri Chief Executive Officer. “This is an extremely important sign, especially if we consider the shipbuilding industry’s present period of evolution, both in Europe and Asia.”

Bono added, “Today Fincantieri can count on a solid order book, without equal in terms of diversification and quality of the product, which is a testament to our leadership in the cruise ship business sector. This position has been solidified over the years also thanks to our relationship with Carnival, a partnership which has allowed us to grow and which is now strengthened by our recent agreement involving the Chinese market and by today’s orders. We are hopeful that many others will follow in the future.”

All told, Carnival Corporation has refreshed its global fleet – the largest in the world – with more than 30 new ship additions since 2007, including its two newest ships, Regal Princess and Costa Diadema, with another 10 ships scheduled to be delivered between 2015 and 2018.

In March, P&O Cruises UK plans to introduce Britannia, which is the largest ship ever built for the British cruise market. In the fall of 2015, AIDA Cruises will christen its new flagship, AIDAprima.

In 2016, Carnival Cruise Line is scheduled to debut Carnival Vista, a stunning 133,500-ton ship that will be the largest ever in its fleet, and Holland America Line will launch its newest ship, the 99,500-ton ms Koningsdam, a new Pinnacle Class ship that can carry 2,650 passengers. Also in 2016, AIDA will introduce a new sister ship to the 2015 AIDAprima with capacity for 3,250 passengers, while Seabourn will unveil its newest luxury ship, expected to be the biggest ever built by the brand with the ability to serve 604 passengers.

Looking forward to 2017, Princess Cruises is working with Fincantieri to build a 143,000-ton vessel featuring the highly popular design elements introduced by the brand’s two newest ships, sisters Royal Princess and Regal Princess.

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

Filled Under cruisenews, new ships

Norwegian Escape to have largest Aqua Park at sea

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 16 - 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest ship ever, Norwegian Escape, will offer the most exhilarating and action-packed activities for families and thrill seekers alike when she sets sail from her homeport of Miami in November 2015. The ship will feature the largest ropes course at sea, a three-story multiplex of heart-pounding challenges complete with two planks and five Sky Rails, zip tracks that allow guests to soar through the air.  Norwegian Escape’s Aqua Park will be the largest at sea and includes a new Aqua Racer slide, while the expansive sports complex boasts a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle miniature golf course.  Adding to the family fun, Norwegian Escape will also feature an expanded Kids’ Aqua Park; entertainment from Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids; along with the line’s first dedicated nursery for young cruisers two and under.

NCLEscapewaterpark“Building on the tremendous success of our Breakaway-class ships, we are delivering bigger thrills and more action-packed activities for our largest ship to date,” said Drew Madsen, president and chief operating officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “From the extraordinary Sky Rails on the expanded Ropes Course to the exciting Aqua Racer slide, guests sailing on Norwegian Escape will have the family adventure of a lifetime. We can’t wait for our guests to experience these incredible new activities.”

 Sports Complex and Aqua Park

The Ropes Course soars to new heights on Norwegian Escape and dares guests of all ages to conquer 99 different elements. The three-story elevated ropes course will span the entire width of the ship with features on both the port and starboard sides. The course tests the mettle of guests with two Planks, six-inch wide beams that extend eight feet from the side of the ship. The course’s exhilarating Sky Rails will put the wind in guests’ hair and smile on their faces as they glide through the air on zip tracks, with the longest one bringing guests out over the side of the ship, offering a bird’s eye view of Norwegian Escape that is a must-see. There are three Sky Rails on the main Ropes Course and two on the Kids’ Ropes Course, which offers kid-size fun, challenges and feats.

The Aqua Park on Norwegian Escape will be the largest at sea and feature four multi-story water slides, a dedicated Kids’ Aqua Park, two pools and four hot tubs. All-new on Norwegian Escape is the Aqua Racer slide, the newest tandem waterslide at sea where competitors can race side-by-side on tubes as they twist and turn to the finish line.  Back by popular demand, Norwegian Escape will also feature the Free Fall, which first debuted on Norwegian Breakaway. These side-by-side slides offer adventurous guests the chance to literally free fall, as the floor drops from underneath, propelling them into a thrilling loop. For those who prefer a more relaxing ride, there is a family-friendly open-flume body slide.

Norwegian Escape will also bring the Kid’s Aqua Park to a new level, with enhanced attractions, an enclosed tube slide and a two-story climbing structure for kids to explore. This watery wonderland offers an incredible array of new features for kids including a multitude of interactive wet elements such as water cannons and elevated buckets that deliver surprise drenchings.  Cranks and spray features, along with a multi-story tower, a rope bridge and lookout platform, equal endless fun for children and are sure to leave the littlest guests delighted.

Both kids and kids-at-heart can test their skills on the new nine-hole, Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Rooftop 9, miniature golf course. Inspired by the Nickelodeon hit-animated television series, this first-of-its-kind miniature golf course will have guests saying “turtle power” when they sink a hole in one alongside favorite characters Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo.

Norwegian Escape’s sports complex will also include a full-size basketball court for family-friendly competition and a new bocce ball court, a first for the line.

Nickelodeon™ Entertainment

Norwegian Escape will be the sixth Norwegian ship to offer Nickelodeon branded entertainment, which will delight families with the latest in Nickelodeon activities and events that kids of all ages will enjoy, including an opportunity to meet SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star and Dora the Explorer, among other favorite Nickelodeon characters; as well as participate in a variety of exciting interactive Nickelodeon experiences. At the popular Nickelodeon Pajama Jam Breakfast, kids will have the opportunity to enjoy an action-packed experience with their favorite Nickelodeon characters; and at Dora’s Dance Party, young cruisers will sing and dance to their favorite songs with Dora the Explorer and Team Nick. Rounding out the fun, additional activities will include Story Time with Dora and Nickelodeon arts and crafts.

Youth Programming

In a first for the line, as part of the Guppies program, Norwegian Escape will offer childcare services for children ages six months to three years. The nursery will include an active area for play time and age-appropriate activities and a separate space for napping.  In addition to the nursery services, Norwegian Escape’s Guppies program will offer a dedicated open play area for parents and babies to play together, featuring sensory-based games, interactive media and themed activities hosted by an early years coordinator.

Norwegian Escape features a centrally-located, expansive Splash Academy complex on Deck 5, offering age-appropriate supervised activities for children ages three to 12. It is also adjacent and easily accessible to the ship’s family-friendly oceanview staterooms, accommodating up to five guests.  As on all Norwegian vessels, when parents enter they will utilize Norwegian’s e-Youth tablet-based electronic registration system, which allows them to swipe their keycard to register their children and input a password for additional safety to sign in and pick-up their children.  Once children sign-in at the colorful and welcoming reception area, a forest-themed play zone offers space for creative games and play time, while an interactive dance space with a corresponding large video screen encourages lots of activity in this central space.

Splash Academy, the ship’s youth program, will once again have spaces for specific age groups, along with a Nickelodeon themed night and activities.  New on Norwegian Escape, children participating in Splash Academy will enjoy an enhanced version of the popular Circus program, with additional skill options and an innovative grand finale.  Children will also have an opportunity to participate in Officer Snook Theme Day, an expansion of Norwegian’s current program that will share an interactive environmental message through games and activities.

Three to five year olds can explore in their own space decorated with vibrant, engaging colors, along with child-sized furniture and open space for active games and an activity center to encourage creativity.  Magnetic white board walls will keep little hands busy in between organized programming.

In a separate area decorated with fun graphics to captivate children’s imaginations, the six to nine year olds will enjoy a “hang out” area for lounging with new friends that also features dedicated gaming stations with the latest video games. An activity zone will have space and supplies to create cool arts and crafts.

Children ages 10 to 12 years old will also have their own hangout, with access to the central multipurpose visual dance space and corresponding large video screen, open space for active activities and comfortable bean bags for lounging. In addition, within this space are dedicated stations for video games for individual or group competition.

Rounding out Splash Academy is a cool and comfortable “open zone” lounge area, with sofas and chairs in vibrant colors creating the perfect atmosphere to chill out, and a separate full-size cinema and bean bags for casual lounging and viewing favorite flicks.

Entourage, located on Deck 17, is Norwegian’s high energy, exclusive teen zone for ages 13 through 17. This hip area gives teens their own unique space that includes trendy lounge furniture and a central gaming station.  Complete with sleek, neon lighting, the space also includes favorites like air hockey and foosball. In the evening, Entourage transitions into a teens-only nightclub featuring a nightly teen theme complete with team challenges and giveaways. Entourage is conveniently located adjacent to the ship’s video arcade.

Norwegian Escape

Currently being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Escape will sail weekly seven-day cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean beginning on November 14, 2015. The 164,600 gross ton  ship will be the largest ever to home port year-round in Miami, carrying 4,200 guests to tropical Caribbean destinations including St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas. Norwegian Escape’s signature hull artwork is designed by marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, Guy Harvey.

Accommodations include the company’s signature luxury ship–within-a-ship complex: The Haven by Norwegian; along with Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; and many options for families, multi-generational groups, spa enthusiasts and more.

Norwegian Escape’s dining and entertainment will include outposts of several popular land-based outlets, including the first-ever floating Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant and Miami’s oldest and most legendary bar, Tobacco Road. Norwegian Escape will also feature the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar, a music venue and outdoor bar on The Waterfront that will feature live nightly performances where guests can enjoy the sounds of the tropics.

To book a cruise on Norwegian Escape, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, gallery

Windstar launches 12 days of savings – save up to 78 percent!

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 12 - 2014

Windstar Cruises is counting down the holidays with the year’s most spectacular deals. From now until December 23rd, guests can save up to 78% on select voyages in Europe, Tahiti, Caribbean, and Asia, in addition to a bonus gift on the featured voyage of the day. Guests can sail for as low as $1,499 per person.

Today’s deal spotlights Classic Italy & the Dalmatian Coast, an eight-day voyage from Venice to Rome that stops at some of the most beautiful places on the Dalmatian coast, including Dubrovnik, Croatia; Capri, Italy; and Kotor, Montenegro.

No matter which voyage they choose, in 2015 all guests will experience Windstar’s new Private Events, a spectacular onshore event created exclusively for them. These complimentary events are crafted to give guests an in depth local experience on each cruise. Some examples include Messina: Tastes of Sicily, an interactive experience that samples wines and olives oils from the locally produced Vinicola Benanti; and Bora Bora, Dinner on Your Private Motu, a traditional Tahitian feast complete with fire dancers.

To learn more about the featured voyages and celebrate the 12 Days of Windstar, contact a travel professional, visit the website or call Windstar Cruises at 800.258.7245.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruise sales, gallery

2015 Theme Cruises on MSC Divina announced

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 8 - 2014

MSC Divina, one of the most elegant and ultramodern ships sailing from Miami to the Caribbean – is offering travelers a series of themed cruises in Winter/Spring 2015.

“MSC works hard to create the best vacation experience possible,” said Hans Hesselberg, senior vice president of hotel operations for MSC Cruises. “These special themed cruises add an extra layer of fun and excitement and promise to make the cruise even more memorable for our guests.”

2015 themed cruises on MSC Divina include:

Post-New Year Extravaganza (2-night) – Jan. 11 departure to Nassau, Bahamas

MSC Divina is continuing the New Year’s celebrations and helping guests start 2015 off right! The ship’s festivities will include a New Year’s Party on the pool deck, complete with a countdown to midnight, and New Year’s themed decorations and noisemakers. Prices start at $99 per person for double occupancy.

Valentine’s Day/Mardi Gras Celebration (4-night) – Feb. 14 departure to Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas:

MSC Divina’s Valentine’s Day cruise is the perfect getaway for couples and singles looking for romance. The cruise will feature a special Valentine’s Day party where guests can send secret messages to their Valentine; Valentine’s Day-themed couple competitions; special arts and crafts activities for kids; a special ‘Tulip of Love’ dessert and dedicated list of Love Potions; and a Valentine’s Day package that guests can purchase for their significant other. In addition, for those looking for love, MSC will host a fun “singles mingle” party and is offering a special single occupancy rate. Adding to the fun, on Feb. 17 MSC will celebrate Fat Tuesday with a festive Mardi Gras themed party. Prices start at $369 per person for single occupancy and $299 per person for double occupancy.

Songs of the 60s: (4-night) – April 22 departure to Cozumel, Mexico

Guests sailing aboard MSC Divina will be transported back in time, with groovy 60’s and 70’s music from the Mellow Yellow band. The band will pay tribute to the 60’s and 70’s with truly authentic renditions of some of the genre’s greatest songs during an immersive musical theater show. In addition, throughout the 4 nights, guests will participate in 60’s and 70’s themed activities including a Saturday Night Fever Disco & Costume Party; Mellow Yellow Deck Concert and Deck Party; Summer of Love Prom Formal; 60’s/70’s trivia; and 60’s/70’s karaoke. Prices start at $299 per person for double occupancy.

Baseball Greats (7-nights): Feb 7, Feb. 21, and March 7 departures to Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas

Awarded “Best Themed Cruise” by Porthole Magazine’s 2014 Reader’s Choice Awards, MSC’s 7-night Baseball Greats cruises feature instructional clinics, Q&As, story-telling sessions, passenger pitching contests, baseball trivia games, and a complimentary autograph session with the baseball stars on board. Hosted by former Yankee star Stan Bahnsen, 2015 itineraries will feature former baseball pros such as Art Shamsky (New York Mets), Gorman Thomas (Milwaukee Brewers), Randy Hundley (Chicago Cubs), and Ken Griffey (Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine”). Prices start at $349 per person for double occupancy.

For more information on MSC Divina’s themed cruises visit: https://bit.ly/themecruises.To book, guests can contact their local travel agency, call 844-811-1712, or visit MSCCruisesUSA.com.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruise sales, cruisenews