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Follow ExpertCruiser on Viking Ocean’s Viking Sea

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 3 - 2016

ExpertCruiser is off to check out Viking Ocean’s newest ship, Viking Sea.  Follow ExpertCruiser at @ExpertCruiser on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for the next 12 days with updates from Greece, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy.  You can also follow the hashtag #MyVikingStory.  Updates may be sporadic due to the connectivity issues, thanks!

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


Norwegian Cruise Line ‘Free at Sea’ promotion

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 1 - 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line is encouraging its guests to go out and explore the world and their dream destinations with a new Free at Sea promotion that now includes an option to select free shore excursion credits in unlimited ports of call. From now through January 16, guests can choose from up to five free offers† when they book a new cruise vacation, to experience the trip of a lifetime with the most freedom and flexibility available at sea.

With Norwegian’s Free at Sea, guests who book a new three-day or longer sailing in an oceanview, balcony or minisuite category stateroom† can select their preference of two free choices from five incredible onboard amenity offers*, including free unlimited open bar, free Specialty Dining package, $50 towards shore excursions in each port per stateroom, a free 250 minute WiFi package, or Norwegian’s Kids Sail Free offer that allows third and fourth guests, whether they are kids or kids at heart, to sail for free on almost 400 cruise departures dates. Inside staterooms, as well as Norwegian’s Studio staterooms for solo travelers, can choose one free offer. Guests who book a sailing in a suite or The Haven by Norwegian® will enjoy all five free amenities, providing up to $2,800 in added value to their cruise.

Those looking to soak up the warm sun of the South Pacific while gazing upon the lush island seascapes of the Hawaiian Islands can do so on a on a one-of-a-kind cruise vacation aboard the recently renovated Pride of America, the only ship to sail roundtrip from Honolulu year-round and who also has her own exclusive Free at Sea offer^. Guests who book a new seven-day inter-island Hawaii cruise now through January 16 aboard Pride of America in any stateroom^ category will have the freedom to select one of five offers to enhance their cruising experience including a free one-night pre-cruise hotel stay*** with an option to select reduced airfare starting at $399 from select gateways, a free Specialty Dining Package**, free pre-paid service charges for the first and second guest in the stateroom, free $50 per port shore excursion credit per stateroom, or Norwegian’s Kids Sail Free, where the third and fourth guests in each stateroom sail for free on select dates. Guests who book a suite aboard Pride of America will receive all five offers†.

Norwegian will transport guests on an immersive cultural quest during the summer of 2017 with five ships sailing in Europe. Norwegian Getaway will cruise the Baltic Capitals from Copenhagen and Berlin (Warnemunde). Norwegian Jade will sail the Norwegian Fjords from Hamburg, Germany and London (Southampton). Norwegian Epic will return to her seasonal homeports of Barcelona and Rome (Civitavecchia) to sail the spectacular Western Mediterranean on seven-day cruises that offer calls in Pisa, Cannes and Palma, Majorca. Norwegian Star will cruise the crystal blue waters of the Greek Islands and Norwegian Spirit will sail 10-day and 11-day Mediterranean sailings from Rome (Civitavecchia).

Only Norwegian allows guests to visit the destinations of their dreams and invites guests to Feel Free to enjoy premium entertainment, action-packed adventure, a wide variety of dining options and the freedom to do it all or absolutely nothing, all on their own timetable. To book a cruise aboard a Norwegian ship, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

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


Princess Cruises statement on DOJ fine

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 1 - 2016

We are extremely disappointed about the inexcusable actions of our employees who violated our policies and environmental law when they bypassed our bilge water treatment system and discharged untreated bilge water into the ocean.

When we became aware of this back in August 2013, our headquarters management cooperated with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and at the same time we launched our own internal investigation to learn all that we could about what happened.

As a result of our investigation we discovered practices, on some other ships, where we were operating out of policy and in violation of environmental law. We have reached a plea agreement with the DOJ, which was announced today.

Although we had policies and procedures in place, it became apparent they were not fully effective. We are very sorry that this happened and have taken additional steps to ensure we meet or exceed all environmental requirements.

In fact, over the past three years we have implemented a number of corrective measures to improve our oversight and accountability. For example, we completely restructured our entire fleet operations organization including new leadership. We also increased the scope and frequency of our training, and proactively invested millions of dollars to upgrade our equipment to new ship standards to ensure compliance with all environmental regulations.

The marine environment is incredibly important to us and we are using this experience to further improve our operations. Princess Cruises stands committed to environmental practices that protect our oceans.

Visit Princess.com/response for more detailed information.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, News, What's New?

Princess Cruises launches new celebrations packages

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 29 - 2016

One in four guests is celebrating a special occasion with Princess Cruises and now the cruise line is making it even easier to turn “Sailabrations” into lasting memories with new packages and convenient online ordering.

With savings of up to 25 percent off of retail prices, “Sailabration” packages are a great value and can be added by a guest through the online booking management tool, Cruise Personalizer. Now, Princess Cruises has made it easier than ever for friends and family to browse and order gifts for Princess guests via the new Princess online gifting webpage found at princess.com/gifts.

New packages such as “Pamper Me” with a day at the Lotus Spa, named the Best Spa on a Cruise Ship by Spa finder Wellness 365TM and “Breakfast Lovers” with a deluxe balcony breakfast are available for those looking to relax and recharge or celebrate the joy of mornings at sea. In addition, “For the Birthday Guy,” featuring a men’s shave in the Lotus Spa, bucket of beers and casino credit and “For the Birthday Girl,” a manicure, flowers and coffee card are sure to delight guests.

Packages built around guest favorite specialty dining and culinary offerings include “Share the Love,” with dinner for two at SHARE by Curtis Stone, a box of decadent Norman Love chocolates and champagne, as well as “Salty Sea Days,” with dinner for two and whiskey flights at the Salty Dog Gastropub.

“Celebrating any of life’s big or small occasions is even more special aboard a cruise,” said Jill Whelan, Celebrations Ambassador for Princess Cruises. “These new ‘Sailabration’ packages add special touches that help reconnect guests and offer new experiences that inspire the senses.”

Princess, named the Best Cruise Line for Romance by Cruise Critic, has also refreshed classic romance packages for guests celebrating honeymoons and anniversaries to include new experiences such as deluxe balcony breakfast or specialty dining for two.

Guests with package purchases on their bookings will receive most items directly to their stateroom on the requested delivery date, which is either embarkation or the day they specify to celebrate. They will also receive a letter from the Customer Service Manager with a summary of the package and instructions for redeeming services.

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

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

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, Miscellaneous, News

Carnival Vista launches year round service from Miami

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 29 - 2016

 

PortMiami welcomed Carnival Cruise Line’s newest, largest and most innovative ship, Carnival Vista, when it arrived yesterday to kick off a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day cruises to the Caribbean.

To officially welcome Carnival Vista to its Miami homeport, Carnival Vista Captain
Stefano Battinelli and PortMiami Assistant Director Fred Wong participated in a traditional maritime plaque exchange prior to the ship’s inaugural departure from Miami.

As the line’s newest ship, Carnival Vista takes cruising to new heights, introducing groundbreaking features such as SkyRide, a suspended open-air cycling experience; the world’s first IMAX® Theatre on a ship; Kaleid-O-Slide, the line’s first water tube slide, part of the ship’s massive WaterWorks aqua park; and the RedFrog Pub & Brewery featuring the first brewery on a North American-based cruise ship.

“Miami has been our home since our company’s inception in 1972 and homeporting the new Carnival Vista here not only provides consumers with a convenient homeport with renovated facilities and numerous operational enhancements but speaks volumes about our confidence in growing this important market,” and said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president.

“We are thankful for Carnival Cruise Line’s continued growth at PortMiami,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “The arrival of new and innovative cruise ships such as Carnival Vista helps solidify our place as a global hub for travel and tourism, vital to the continual growth and development of our community.”

“It’s an exciting day at PortMiami,” said PortMiami Director/CEO Juan M. Kuryla.  “There’s no doubt that the arrival of the Carnival Vista, Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and largest cruise ship, represents a new vacation option for passengers sailing out of the Cruise Capital of the World.  We’re grateful to have this opportunity, and we look forward to continue strengthening our partnership with Carnival,” he added.

 Island-Intensive Caribbean Cruises from Miami

Carnival Vista kicked off its new schedule from PortMiami with a special six-day cruise to Grand Turk, Ocho Rios and Nassau that departed yesterday.  The ship will then launch a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day cruises beginning with an eight-day voyage departing Dec. 3, 2016.  Six-day cruises feature Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, while a mix of different eight-day itineraries visit some of the Caribbean’s most sought-after destinations, including Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and La Romana (Dominican Republic).

The ship will also offer a combination of one-time voyages, including a five-day cruise departing Dec. 11 and seven-day voyages departing Dec. 17 and 24, 2016, that offer an exciting selection of ports including the Caribbean’s newest destination, Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, as well as Mahogany Bay, Grand Turk, Belize, San Juan, St. Thomas and Cozumel, depending on the itinerary.

In addition to visiting breathtaking Caribbean destinations, guests can experience all the Carnival Vista has to offer – from the colorful Havana area with tropics-inspired staterooms and suites and Family Harbor with special accommodations and a new family concierge to delicious choices like Seafood Shack and new al fresco options at the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi and Cherry On Top, featuring a mixed-to-order premium ice cream bar.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, Destinations, News

Leave the crowds behind on 12 new cruises through Asia and Arabia on Windstar

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 28 - 2016

Boutique cruise line Windstar Cruises is sailing to Arabia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia in winter/spring 2017-18. The elegant, all-suite yacht Star Legend embarks just 212 guests on new itineraries with 12 sailing dates from 10 to 18 days in length departing Oct. to April and including dozens of maiden port calls, many off the tourist path. These small ship cruises are designed to immerse travelers into the heart of local cultures, indulging guests with the exclusive comforts and culinary delights of a private yacht.

Windstar’s Asia and Arabia cruises offer larger-than-life adventures and exceptional experiences only possible on a small ship. Star Legend will proudly sail into the hub of must-see Asian cities where larger ships typically dock on the outskirts. The agile yacht sails on routes less traveled, visiting out-of-the-way islands, and charming harbors that big ships skip. Itineraries are carefully crafted with scenic cruising and active exploration in mind.

The new itineraries span cosmopolitan marvels like Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo but also explore the smaller ports and villages, unspoiled islands, and exotic shores of Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Borneo and the Philippines.

“Planning the perfect voyage for our guests is a passion. Our team is thrilled to introduce a remarkably diverse collection of cruises to Asia and Arabia. Our guests will experience firsthand the wonderful people and compelling cultures of this incredible region, all in Windstar’s true small ship style, that is intimate and inviting. We create bespoke travel experiences that I call — destination authenticity,” remarked Windstar President John Delaney.

By day, the yacht may anchor at hidden harbors and tropical islands of the South China Sea where cruisers swim, snorkel, water ski, and stand-up paddle board right from the ship’s Watersports Platform. By night, guests gaze at star-filled skies from the unique Open Bridge, learning from the Captain where their yacht will navigate next. Adventures include sailing the majestic Yangtze River, “selfies” set off by glimmering skylines, tasting authentic Asian cuisine, chasing Japanese cherry blossoms, and kayaking amidst towering limestone pillars in Halong Bay.

New journeys of discovery center on the romantic, the exotic, and the cultural wonders of Arabia. Two one-time-only repositioning sailings visit Egypt, Arabia and the Indian Ocean in fall of 2017. Choose Athens to Dubai via the Suez Canal with a chance to see Petra and Luxor; or Dubai to Singapore via India and Malaysia with a visit to the beautiful beaches of Phuket. Combine the two for an incredible 34-day cruise without repeating ports.

Windstar’s 6 destination-centric Asian itineraries offer a choice of 10 departure dates and include a round trip Singapore cruise to Malaysia and Thailand; three cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong via Malaysian Borneo, Brunei and the Philippines; two Hong Kong to Bangkok (or reverse) cruises via Vietnam; one Hong Kong to Beijing cruise via Taiwan, islands of Japan and mainland China; a Beijing to Tokyo sailing via South Korea; and two Tokyo to Osaka (or reverse) cruises. Guests can combine cruises for an extended voyage of up to 43 days.

In conjunction with the new Asia and Arabia cruises, the line launched the Star Perks Event with reduced fares and a choice of one FREE perk when booked by December 9, 2016. Free perks include a choice of up to 2 free pre/post hotel nights; premium beverage package; unlimited Wi-Fi package; or up to US$1,000 shipboard credit.

Star Perks Event reduced fares start at US$3,999 per guest for a 10-day Grand Japan cruise sailing either April 14 or 24, 2018. The Grand Japan itinerary sails between Yokohama (Tokyo) and Osaka, with scenic cruising and visits to Shimizu, Shingu, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Hakata and Hiroshima, Japan; as well as Busan, South Korea. Twelve departure dates on Asia and Arabia cruises are offered from October 2017 through April 2018; book by December 9, 2016 to select a FREE perk.

Exploring Asia aboard the all-suite 212-guest Star Legend

All Windstar sailings in Arabia and Asia in 2017 and 2018 will take place aboard the 212-guest Star Legend, boasting all-suite accommodations and beautifully-appointed public spaces such as the elegant AmphorA restaurant. The delightful Veranda restaurant doubles in the evening as romantic Candles with an eclectic menu and open air dining. The marquis Yacht Club lounge located on the top guest deck is a favorite spot for cruisers to relax, mix and mingle while enjoying 270-degree indoor/outdoor viewing opportunities from a comfortable living-room-style venue. Wi-Fi hotspots, specialty coffee/tea bar and á la carte light bites refreshed throughout the day, draw in cruisers, and the full-service open-air Star Bar is close-by.

Guests may choose from 106 suites, including 36 popular Balcony Suites with French balconies that invite cruisers to step out and enjoy ocean scenery up close; or choose one of 64 Ocean View Suites with large picture windows. Windstar suites offer more room than many hotels, with stylish décor, walk-in closets, marble bathrooms with tub or shower, top-of-the-line L’Occitane® toiletries, and a tranquil seating area with a view. Splurge on one of two luxurious Owner’s Suites just below the yacht’s Open Bridge, with a stunning view from the private veranda, living/dining room, separate bedroom, walk-in closet and marble bath. Or, engage one of four spacious Classic Suites, two forward with sweeping views, and two located near the Atrium, both with private verandas.

Tailored (optional) shore excursions offer numerous chances to experience awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and learn about the local history, cuisine, and art of both ancient and modern ports. Specialized programming on board by expert guest lecturers expounds on the individuality of the cultures and intricacies of the history of the region. On board Star Legend, yacht guests will enjoy regionally-themed cuisine, exotic libations, entertainment and activities with a local flair, and always gracious and attentive service.

For additional information on Star Legend, Star Perks and new Asia and Arabia cruises contact a travel professional or Windstar Cruises by phone at 877-958-7718, or visit www.windstarcruises.com.

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

Filled Under Blog, Destinations, News