Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Costa Concordia finally towed from Giglio

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On July - 23 - 2014

It took over two-and-a-half-years, but the residents of the small Italian island of Giglio finally have their island back. Earlier today the wreck of the Costa Concordia was towed out to sea by several tugboats. Concordia is being towed at a speed of two knots north to the Italian port of Genoa where it will be dismantled into scrap. The Concordia convoy is expected to arrive sometime between Saturday and Sunday. Watch this amazing YouTube video to see the final hours of the raising and tow of Concordia from Giglio

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Princess Cruises is offering the ultimate cruise deal with the Suite & Balcony Bonus Sale, running July 22 – August 19, on select cruises. During this cruise sale, guests who book a mini-suite or suite will receive up to $400 free onboard spending money per stateroom and guests booking an oceanview stateroom will receive a free balcony upgrade.

Several spring and winter cruises are featured in the summer sale to vacation destinations such as the Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe and Transatlantic voyages. Cruises depart between December 2014 and May 2015.

Guests booking a mini-suite or suite will receive an onboard credit of $50 per person for six- to nine-day cruises, $100 per person for 10-11-day cruises or $200 per person for 12 days or longer.

More information about the cruise sale and pricing can be found at

Princess Mahogany Bay

Example cruise deals during the Suite & Balcony Bonus Sale include:

  • Caribbean cruise — 7 days: $1,999 suite; $899 mini-suite; $699 balcony
  • Mexico cruise — 7 days: $1,999 suite; $899 mini-suite; $699 balcony
  • Alaska cruise — 7 days: $2,079 suite; $1,349 mini-suite; $1,149 balcony
  • Panama Canal cruise — 11 days: $2,999 suite; $1,699 mini-suite; $1,299 balcony
  • Transatlantic cruise — 14 days: $4,599 suite; $2,399 mini-suite; $1,799 balcony

Information about other cruise deals and promotions can be found at

All cruise prices are per person, based on double occupancy. The Suite and Balcony Bonus Sale runs from 12:01 a.m. PDT on July 22 through 11:59 p.m. PDT on August 19, 2014 and is available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

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

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Oh baby! Disney increases infant age for most sailings

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On July - 21 - 2014

Disney Cruise Line informed its travel agent partners last week that the line is changing their infant policy by increasing the minimum age to sail from 12 weeks to 6 months for most itineraries. Disney’s new minimum age requirements became effective on Friday, July 18, 2014 for all new reservations with sail dates after January 1, 2015.  The minimum age for longer cruises (Transatlantic, Hawaii, Panama Canal) will increase to 1 year of age.


According to the Disney Cruise Line blog, “The infant policy change is consistent with the age restrictions of other cruise lines”.  Customers booked on cruises prior to the July 18 changes will be allowed to sail under the previous age rules, which was 12 weeks and 1 year.  All new bookings for 2015 sailings must adhere to the new age limits.

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No more Freestyle puff puff – Norwegian bans balcony smoking starting Nov. 1

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On July - 18 - 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line is the latest cruise company to ban smoking on balconies and other areas of the ship starting this fall.  The line’s policy was changed on its website and now states the following:

“As the health and well-being of our guests and crew is of the utmost importance, Norwegian Cruise Line will institute changes to its smoking policy for all sailings on or after November 1, 2014. The specific changes prohibit smoking on stateroom balconies and limit smoking in the casino to players. On Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway, smoking on The Waterfront will be permitted on the starboard side, except by the outdoor dining areas.

Public areas throughout all our ships are smoke-free. If you smoke regular or electronic cigarettes, you can do so in designated areas only. If you prefer pipes or cigars, you can smoke in the Cigar Bar or designated smoking lounge. Smoking cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars and pipes is permitted in outdoor public guest spaces and open decks where designated by the ship’s management based on the ship’s specific characteristics and arrangement. Smoking, including electronic cigarettes, is prohibited in or near venues serving food, the jogging track, outdoor sporting venues, The Haven outdoor areas and children’s pool areas. On ships with The Waterfront, smoking is permitted on the starboard side excluding any food service areas. Active Casino players may smoke cigarettes in the Casino during gaming hours. Cigarette smoking is not permitted in any other indoor venue or location.

Guests are not permitted to smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars or pipes in their staterooms or on their balconies. Cigar and pipe smoking in staterooms and on balconies is prohibited. Smoking inside your stateroom or on your balcony will result in a $250 cleaning charge added to your onboard account. If cigarette burns on furniture, linens, towels or carpeting are detected; guests will be advised and charged for the damages.

Electronic cigarettes cannot be used in public areas where there is a No Smoking policy in force; simply because these cigarettes look so realistic and therefore other guests’ perception is that we are not enforcing the No Smoking rule.”

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Oceania Cruises offers ‘Around the World in 180 Days’ sailing in 2016

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On July - 17 - 2014

Oceania Cruises announced an additional 180-day journey aboard the newly refurbished Insignia, scheduled to depart on January 4, 2016.  Encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response by guests to the first two 180-day cruises offered by Oceania Cruises, this newest voyage is the latest in a series that represents the longest and most comprehensive world exploration itineraries available in the cruise industry.  Reservations open for the new Around the World in 180 Days itinerary on July 30, 2014.

“Oceania Cruises provides guests with the opportunity to explore the world on their terms by offering an incredible array of diverse itineraries and unique destinations,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, president of Oceania Cruises. “The Around the World in 180 Days itinerary is a dream come true for those looking to traverse the globe in comfort and style.  Not only do we offer the most destinations, but we also have the added luxury of time, providing our guests with longer port days and more overnight stays to fully appreciate the breadth and diversity of art, architecture and cuisine found around the world.”

Oceania Insignia photo courtesy of Oceania Cruises

Embarking from Miami on January 4, 2016, Insignia will set sail for the Caribbean before continuing on a southern course to South America where the ship will visit ports in Trinidad and Tobago, French Guiana and Brazil.  The ship then heads to Africa where guests will enjoy some of the most incredible scenery the world has to offer in countries such as Angola, Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique.  After traveling around the African continent, Insignia sails for Asia where guests will enjoy two-night stays in Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar), and Shanghai, China, as well as visits to a myriad of exotic and alluring locales. Insignia then heads to the South Pacific for a number of stops, including Oceania Cruises’ first call on the Australian port of Cooktown, serving as a gateway for the Great Barrier Reef and the Aboriginal community of  Hopevale.  After sailing through the azure Hawaiian waters, Insignia stops in Los Angeles before heading down the west coast, through the Panama Canal and completing the journey in Miami on July 1.


As the leader in destination-rich itineraries, Oceania Cruises designed the Around the World in 180 Days voyage with 14 overnight stays and visit a total of 92 ports of call. The full list of overnights includes:

  • Cape Town, South Africa – February 9-10
  • Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar) – March 8-10 (Two nights)
  • Singapore, Singapore – March 14-15
  • Bangkok, Thailand – March 18-19
  • Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam – March 22-23
  • Hanoi (Ha Long Bay), Vietnam – March 25-26
  • Hong Kong, China – March 28-29
  • Xiamen, China – March 30-31
  • Shanghai, China – April 2-4 (Two nights)
  • Beijing (Tianjin), China – April 6-7
  • Bali (Benoa), Indonesia – April 26-27
  • Sydney, Australia – May 9-10

Bookings for the Around the World in 180 Days cruise open at 8:30 a.m. EST on July 30, 2014, and guests reserving their suite or stateroom by Oct. 31, 2014, will receive 2 for 1 cruise fares, free First Class roundtrip airfare from major U.S. and Canadian gateways and early booking savings of up to 71%.  In addition, guests will receive the Exclusive Prestige Package, which includes:

  • Free pre-paid gratuities – a value up to $8,300
  • Free onboard medical services
  • Free unlimited Internet
  • Free laundry services
  • Free exclusive shoreside events
  • Free visa package
  • Free luggage delivery for up to two bags 50 lbs. or less
  • Free one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay
  • Free roundtrip transfers from pre-cruise hotel or 50-mile radius of PortMiami

For more information visit, call 855-OCEANIA or contact a professional travel agent.

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Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, gallery

Construction begins on Regent’s Seven Seas Explorer

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On July - 15 - 2014

Construction began this morning on Seven Seas Explorer at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy. The crisp pop of a cork being freed from a Krug Grande Cuvée magnum initiated a laser, which cut the ceremonial first piece of steel for the new ship. Incorporating a bottle of the world’s finest champagne to start the building process is symbolic of the high level of sophistication and design being developed for Seven Seas Explorer, which is scheduled to debut in summer 2016.

The ceremonial first piece of steel cut this morning will serve as the foundation for an opulent, one-of-a-kind owner’s suite unlike any other at sea. The suite, resplendent with exquisite stonework and luscious fabrics, will serve as a hallmark for the superior level of elegance found throughout the ship. When it debuts, Seven Seas Explorer will establish a new benchmark for style and service and perfectly complement the all-inclusive luxury experience currently enjoyed by guests sailing with Regent Seven Seas Cruises.  During the ceremony, Kunal S. Kamlani, president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Gabriele Cocco, senior executive vice president of merchant ships for Fincantieri, began a countdown that culminated with Maison Krug Italy’s master sommelier, Michela Cimatoribus, releasing the cork from a magnum of Krug Grande Cuvée. As the cork soared and the champagne flowed, confetti cascaded down and the laser cut the first piece of steel for the 750-passenger ship.

“We’re one step closer to fulfilling our dream of building the most luxurious ship in the world and giving our guests another exciting option to explore inspired global destinations with our special brand of all-inclusive luxury,” noted Kamlani. “Seven Seas Explorer will surpass the current standard in luxury cruising, offering a new level of grandeur throughout the ship from its lavish suites to its elegant public spaces and gourmet restaurants.”
“We are extremely excited to welcome a new partner in Regent Seven Seas Cruises and to start construction of this brilliant new ship,” commented Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “As a global leader in cruise ship construction, we’ve built some of the finest ships at sea. Building the most luxurious ship ever built is quite a challenge, but with our craftsmanship and experience building luxury ships we feel that Seven Seas Explorer will become the definition of excellence.”

At 54,000 gross-registered tons and carrying only 750 guests, Seven Seas Explorer will boast the highest space ratios and staff-to-guest ratios in the cruise industry and further strengthen Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ widely recognized position as the most inclusive luxury cruise line. Seven Seas Explorer will join the rest of the award-winning Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet in the summer of 2016.  Regent Seven Seas Cruises will begin taking reservations for the maiden voyage and inaugural season for Seven Seas Explorer in early 2015. For more information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises or to receive a brochure, guests can visit, call 1-844-4REGENT (1-844-473-4368) or contact a professional travel agent.

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