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Princess Cruises “3 For Free” sale offers three special cruise savings

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On August - 27 - 2015

Princess Cruises is offering special savings during the “3 for Free” cruise sale for guests booking Alaska, Caribbean and Europe cruises, as well as Alaska Land & Sea Vacations, with more than 700 cruises on sale in 2016 and 2017.

The “3 for Free” cruise sale includes:

  • Free stateroom location upgrades – enabling guests to get the best stateroom available within that stateroom type for the lowest possible fare
  • Free onboard gratuities
  • Free dining for two in one of the line’s specialty restaurants

In addition, the cruise sale features a refundable, low $100 per person deposit and guests who book a mini-suite or suite will also receive a free bottle of wine.

Examples of “3 for Free” cruise deals include:

  • Caribbean cruise vacations — 6 days: $599 interior; $849 balcony
  • Alaska cruise vacations  — 7 days: $749 interior; $1,349 balcony
  • Alaska Land & Sea Vacations — 10 nights: $1,349 interior; $2,229 balcony
  • Scandinavia & Russia cruise vacations — 11 days: $1,899 interior; $2,499 balcony

More information about the Princess Cruises “3 for Free” sale can be found at princess.com/cruisedeals.

All prices are per person and based on double occupancy. The “3 for Free” cruise sale is available now and runs through 11:59 p.m. PDT on October 29, 2015 and is available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Bermuda.

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.

Hey kids be ‘Captain for a Day’ on Costa Cruises

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On August - 26 - 2015

What kid wouldn’t want a chance to captain a cruise ship? Costa Cruises is making junior cruisers’ dreams come true with a new “Captain for a Day” experience on Costa Diadema and Costa Fascinosa. Kids can see what life is like at the helm on a daylong adventure that begins with donning their captain’s stripes and ends with dinner with the true master of the ship at his personal table in the main dining room.

Youths participating in the program will receive a captain’s uniform for the day to wear to their captain’s training. They’ll learn the ins and outs of the ship, nautical terms and how to navigate with their own map and compass. Instruction also includes getting familiar with signal flags, learning each flag’s particular meaning and how to spell their name and leave secret messages with the flags. They’ll also see how weather affects the behavior of the sea and have a chance to broadcast the day’s weather forecast on the ship’s in-cabin television network.

“Kids get excited when they see the captain and officers walking around our ships and many say they may want to be a cruise ship captain when they grow up,” said Scott Knutson, vice president, sales and marketing, for Costa Cruises North America. “With the Captain for a Day program they’ll get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the role the master fulfills onboard, learn a few tricks of the trade and enjoy an experience unlike anything else they’ve ever done while at sea.”

CostaCruises_Captain1The Captain for a Day program, which can be booked onboard, offers three levels:

The Aspirante Comandante (Captain Trainee) package includes a uniform to wear for the day, the full captain’s training and dinner at the captain’s table in the main dining room with other participants. After dinner, the junior captains graduate and receive a diploma with two 8-by-11 photos to remember their experience. The Captain Trainee package costs 49.99 euros and 29.99 euros for each additional child from the same family.

The Comandante (Captain) package includes all of the perks of Aspirante Comandante, as well as a captain’s hat autographed by the ship’s master for the trainee to keep. Comandantes additionally receive two 11-by-17 photos. The Comandante package is 79.99 euros for the first participant and 49.99 euros for each additional child from the same family.

With the Comandante Superiore (Senior Captain) package, trainees get to keep their uniform, including an autographed captain’s hat, in addition to all of the Aspirante Comandante and Comandante perks. The Senior Captain package costs 124.99 euros and 59.99 euros for each additional child from the same family.

The Captain for a Day program complements Costa’s Princess for a Day program that launched in November 2014. With Princess for a Day, junior cruisers have their hair, nails and make-up done; get to wear a princess costume with a dress, crown and wand; attend a Princess Tea Party and participate in a Princess Parade around the ship.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, gallery, News

Today Cunard released its 2017 Exotic Cruises & Full World Voyages Programme, inviting travelers to embrace exciting new frontiers in magnificent Cunard style. On sale beginning September 10, 2015 (September 9 for Cunard World Club guests), the program will offer three World and Exotic Cruises (with options ranging from three to 132 nights) and will feature 80 unique ports in 42 countries and 15 ship maiden calls – five of which are new to the fleet.

“Since Cunard inaugurated the first world cruise in 1922, our company has carried more guests and made more trips around the world than any other cruise line,” said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard, North America. “This year, Cunard’s Full World Voyage Program brings unique experiences to our guests, whether it be an in-depth exploration of Asia or a trip up the Amazon river, there is an itinerary for both returning world cruisers and for those new to Cunard who wish to revel in Cunard’s legendary grand luxury.”

The 2017 program  will also be the first Full World Voyage Queen Mary 2 undertakes following an extensive 25-day dry dock refurbishment at the Blohm+Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. Cunard guests will enjoy new designs and experiences that reflect the changing needs of today’s passengers, including 15 Single Staterooms, 30 additional Britannia Club Balcony Staterooms, an expansion to the ship’s dedicated kennels, and a host of additional innovations to be announced in the coming months.

Queen Mary 2: To sail a unique set of roundtrip voyages including full world-round trip New York as well as Hong Kong and Shanghai sailings
In addition to a new look, Cunard’s flagship, Queen Mary 2, will also offer for the first time ever a 132-night round trip New York voyage as part of its 2017 Full World Voyage Program.  In its entirety, Queen Mary 2 will travel over 37,000 nautical miles and feature 40 ports in 23 countries, 33 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, nine maiden calls, three overnight stays, and 11 late evening departures.

This East-West voyage, departing New York on January 3, 2017, will travel to Southampton, then on to South Africa, before revealing Australia’s dramatic scenery during an extensive route that will feature 14 calls, including two stops in Sydney and two in Melbourne. Queen Mary 2 will then operate round trip Hong Kong and Shanghai sailings before embarking towards the ancient lands across Arabia and Europe, sailing via the Suez Canal, and heading back to Southampton and New York. Overnight stays will include Cape Town, Singapore and Dubai.

Maiden calls will include: Le Port, Réunion; Kangaroo Island, Australia; Hobart, Australia; Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei; Keelung, Taiwan; Jeju Island, South Korea; Busan, South Korea; and two firsts for the fleet – Busselton and Port Arthur, Australia.

This voyage will also offer travellers the opportunity to enjoy late evening departures in: Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Melbourne, Australia; Sydney, Australia; Hong Kong, China; Keelung, Taiwan; Jeju Island, South Korea; Shanghai, China; Safaga, Egypt; and Aqaba, Jordan.

Queen Mary 2’s Full World Voyages in 2017 include:

Queen Victoria: To Further Explore South America and visit the Amazon for the first time
Queen Victoria’s South America and Australia bound 120-night Full World Voyage will travel more than 41,000 nautical miles and will feature 32 different ports in 17 countries, 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, two maiden calls, three overnight stays and four late evening departures.

Queen Victoria will visit South America, venturing through the Strait of Magellan and deep into Chilean fjords, and continuing on the Amazon River. This five-night exploration will not only be a first for the current Cunard fleet, but will also break the record for the largest cruise ship ever to transit the Amazon. Other firsts for the brand will be Queen Victoria’s maiden calls to Manaus and Santarem in Brazil.

Following South America, Queen Victoria will cross the South Pacific Ocean, sailing past Easter Island and Pitcairn Island before visiting Polynesia en route to New Zealand and Australia. Guests cruising on Queen Victoria’s return journey will transit through the Panama Canal up to Aruba, Florida, Bermuda and then back to the UK.

Other highlights of this voyage include overnight stays in Fort Lauderdale, USA; Sydney, Australia; and San Francisco, USA; as well as late evening departures in Manaus, Rio de Janeiro, Auckland and Charleston.

Queen Victoria’s Full World Voyages in 2017 include:

Queen Elizabeth: The Cunard Classic World Voyage
Queen Elizabeth will offer guests the chance to experience the classic world voyage: a 120-night westbound circumnavigation of the globe featuring a transit of the Panama Canal. This voyage will deliver some of the world’s most iconic cityscapes, including breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Sydney Opera House as seen from the water. Queen Elizabeth will sail over 39,000 nautical miles, visiting 39 different ports in 25 different countries, 29 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, four overnight stays, 9 late evening departures, and four maiden calls.

Guests travelling on Queen Elizabeth will have the opportunity to choose among New York, Fort Lauderdale and San Francisco as a US departure, and will also have the choice of adding on a Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing for a return to New York.

Queen Elizabeth’s maiden calls will feature: Huatulco, Mexico; Port Victoria, Seychelles; St. Vincent, Cape Verde Islands; and Alotau, Papua New Guinea – a first for the fleet.

Additional highlights of this Full World Voyage include scenic cruising through the Kanmon Straits and Inland Sea of Japan, and overnight stays in New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Cape Town. Late night departures are scheduled for Honolulu, USA; Auckland, New Zealand; Busan, South Korea; Hiroshima, Japan; Kobe, Japan; Shanghai, China; Port Victoria, Seychelles; Port Louis, Mauritius; and Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Queen Elizabeth’s Full World Voyages in 2017 include:

Newly expanded Early Booking Benefits and Cunard World Club Members extra benefits
For the first time, Cunard is offering enhanced early booking benefits. Detailed information about these benefits can be found here.

To view Cunard’s 2017 Exotic Cruises & Full World Voyages Program, click here.

For more information or to book a 2017 Exotic Cruise & Full World Voyage aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth, call Cunard toll-free at 1-800-528-6273, or visit www.cunard.com.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruise sales, cruisenews, News

Princess Introduces Specialty Restaurant SHARE by Curtis Stone

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On August - 17 - 2015

Princess Cruises unveiled today SHARE by Curtis Stone, his first restaurant at sea. SHARE offers an exclusive specialty dining experience for guests with a menu of signature dishes imagined for sharing, in an environment designed for conversing and creating memories. SHARE is scheduled to debut aboard Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess this December.

Previously announced, this exclusive partnership with Chef Stone adds to the line’s “come back new” brand promise, designed to elevate the onboard guest experience by introducing new culinary offerings dedicated to fresh, flavorful cuisine aboard all ships. As part of the partnership, “Crafted by Curtis” menu items offered in the main dining rooms will debut aboard Golden Princess in the fall and roll out fleet-wide through the end of 2015. Curtis Stone’s Chef’s Table experience will debut in early 2016.

The SHARE dining experience encourages connecting with family, friends and other cruisers by offering intriguing dishes served family style. Designed by Chef Stone, the menu features dishes such as a Charcuterie starter course; Butter Roasted Lobster with Caramelized Endive and Endive Foam; Twice Cooked Duck Leg with Fennel, Bacon jus and Parmesan Crumb; Tagliatelle with Roasted Alaskan Crab, Chili and Parsley; and Dark Chocolate Cremeux with Toasted Hazelnut Feuilletine and Burnt Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

Working closely with Chef Stone and Princess Cruises, world-renowned hospitality designer Jeffrey Beers International has developed a dining ambiance that is a reflection of Chef Stone’s creative vision and stems from his own childhood mealtime experiences, which were as much about family, community and connection as they were about the food itself. By creating a restaurant with a comfortable, homey atmosphere, the design allows for the important things in life to take center stage – people, and the activity of creating shared moments with one another over a delicious meal.

A signature feature of SHARE is a communal table designed to encourage the sharing of a freshly prepared meal in the company of friends and family. Hand blown glass pendants etched with some of Chef Stone’s favorite recipes cast an intimate glow and create a warm and celebratory experience. Elements not often seen in cruise ship restaurant interiors add to the friendly atmosphere – low-backed banquettes, beautifully upholstered in luxe Chesterfield tufted leather and decorative curios from Chef Stone’s own collection including photographs and travel souvenirs make guests feel even more at home.

“We’re honored that Princess Cruises is the home of Curtis Stone’s first restaurant at sea,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises President. “We know our guests will enjoy the menu Chef Stone has created for SHARE and we’re sure they will also feel right at home dining in his new restaurant, just like we hope they always feel on a Princess cruise vacation. SHARE is an exciting new enhancement adding to our guest experience intended to fulfill our ‘come back new’ brand promise.”

“It’s only natural that my first restaurant at sea is named SHARE, as sharing food family-style with family and good friends is the most enjoyable way to eat,” said Chef Stone. “I love the process of passing plates amongst each other and creating meaningful connections through the food and conversation. I’ve worked feverishly to create elegant, tasty dishes that I’m really proud to serve in a beautiful and relaxed environment, and I’m excited that SHARE is set to become a special part of people’s holiday memories and experience at sea.”

Following the debut of SHARE aboard Ruby Princess sailing from Los Angeles on cruises to Hawaii and Mexico and Emerald Princess sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to the Caribbean this December, the rollout will continue aboard Coral Princess cruising the Panama Canal in January 2016 and then Sun Princess in April 2016, which will bring Chef Stone’s restaurant to his home country, Australia.

For more information about the partnership, visit www.princess.com/curtis-stone.

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.

Norwegian Escape floats out from building dock

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On August - 17 - 2015

Norwegian Escape, soon to be the largest ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, was floated out of MEYER WERFT’s covered building dock II on Saturday, August 15 in Papenburg, Germany, where the 164,600-ton ship has been under construction since September 2014. Beginning at approximately 9:15 AM local time, the 4,200 passenger vessel, with her signature hull artwork designed by famed marine wildlife artist and conservationist Guy Harvey, departed building dock II. Norwegian Escape is the first ship in the line’s Breakaway Plus Class, measuring 1,098 feet in length and 136 feet wide.

Norwegian Escape’s float out represents a major milestone in the vessel’s construction, with the ship being well on her way to completion she will now move into the final phase of construction with delivery taking place on October 22, 2015.

“MEYER WERFT has done an excellent job with the construction of Norwegian Escape,” Norwegian Cruise Line’s President and Chief Operating Officer Andy Stuart said. “The ship’s float out brings us one step closer to bringing the next evolution of Freestyle Cruising to the world and we couldn’t be more excited.”

NorwegianEscapeFloatOutFollowing the ship’s float out, the next milestones will be mounting the ship’s signature Norwegian Cruise Line funnel and taking thrills to new heights by adding a third story to Norwegian Escape’s ropes course—due to be the largest at sea. Norwegian Escape’s conveyance down the river Ems towards the North Sea is scheduled for September 16 (weather permitting).

Following inaugural events in Europe and Miami, Norwegian Escape will sail seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises departing every Saturday from Miami beginning on November 14, 2015.

From the ship’s eye-catching hull artwork to thrilling waterslides and ropes course, Norwegian Escape, as the first ship in the Breakaway Plus Class, represents a true evolution for the Norwegian brand, incorporating guest favourites and providing further freedom and flexibility for guests.

Norwegian Escape

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.

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 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar, a music venue and outdoor bar on The Waterfront that will feature live nightly performances. James Beard Award-Winning Iron Chef Jose Garces will have two concepts onboard, a Latin seafood specialty restaurant and Pincho Tapas Bar, while Miami-based The Pubbelly Restaurant Group will develop the menu for the Food Republic, an upscale food emporium. The District Brew House, a hip, urban craft beer hall featuring an exclusive partnership with Miami’s own Wynwood Brewing Company, will serve up more than 24 draft beers while The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar, features an array of immersive wine experiences, focusing on  tasting, education, and the enjoyment of wine. Norwegian Escape will also feature Miami’s oldest and most legendary bar, Tobacco Road.

Continuing with Norwegian’s commitment to excellence in entertainment, Norwegian Escape will feature two Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals headlining in the Escape Theater: After Midnight, the smash-hit musical that combines the big-band songs of Duke Ellington and the best dancing from Broadway; and Million Dollar Quartet, the smash-hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. In a new concept exclusive to Norwegian Escape, the Supper Club has been re-imagined for an unforgettable dinner and show. For The Record: The Brat Pack™ is a critically acclaimed Hollywood night that celebrates classic soundtracks of motion picture masters in a one-of-a kind 360° post-modern cabaret.

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.  Adding to the family fun, Norwegian Escape will also feature an expanded Kids’ Aqua Park, along with the line’s first dedicated nursery for young cruisers two and under.

Accommodations include the company’s largest 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.

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, new ships, News

Harmony of the Seas to debut new Aquatic Adventure Park for kids

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On August - 17 - 2015

Royal Caribbean International will amp up the adventure when the cruise line debuts Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship and the first to feature Splashaway Bay aninteractive aqua park for kids. The Ultimate Abyss,the tallest slide at sea touting a 100 foot dramatic plunge, The Perfect Storm trio of water slides and Splashaway Bay are the latest in a thrilling collection of activities that will make Harmony of the Seas the ultimate family vacation experience starting next summer.

Harmony of the Seas will be the first in a new generation of Oasis class ships where groundbreaking architectural innovations are combined with breakthrough technologies of the Quantum class. The ship will debut in May 2016 for her inaugural summer season showcasing Europe’s most popular cruise destinations on seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries calling on Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy.  In November 2016, Harmony will arrive to her homeport of Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. offering seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings.

Harmony of the Seas Aqua Park image by Royal Caribbean for use by ExpertCruiser.comSplashaway Bay will be a vibrant waterscape for kids and toddlers with sea creature water cannons, winding slides, a gigantic drench bucket and a multi-platform jungle-gym to keep everyone entertained for hours. Guests of all ages will get the ultimate heart-pounding thrill ride on the Ultimate Abyss, a 10 story slide that begins in the Pool and Sports Zone at the aft of the ship down to the Boardwalk neighborhood below. Spiraling five decks above the lushly landscaped, open-air Central Park in the center of the ship, water slides Cyclone, Typhoon and Supercell come together as The Perfect Storm, inviting travelers to slide into an incredible adventure. Thrill seekers can test their mettle in Supercell, featuring a champagne bowl swirling guests around as they descend into their approach towards a big splash finale.

Harmony of the Seas will be home to the seven distinct neighborhoods for which Oasis class of ships is known and feature technological advancements now synonymous with the award-winning cruise line. Revolutionary features include the Bionic Bar dancing robot bartenders on the Royal Promenade; Virtual Balconies in many interior staterooms offering sea and port views; the Royal WOWBands with RFID technology to simplify the guest experience; and VOOM, the fastest internet at sea found exclusively on Royal Caribbean ships. Catering to every craving, Harmony will offer the most dining options at sea, including new specialty restaurants Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, Sabor Taqueria and Tequila Bar, and Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, a whimsical setting where Royal Caribbean chefs twist their culinary kaleidoscopes.

Harmony of the Seas will span 16 guest decks, encompass 227,000 gross registered tons, carry 5,497 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,747 staterooms. The Oasis class is an architectural marvel touting Royal Caribbean’s exclusive seven neighborhood concept, including Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. For more information about Harmony of the Seas, please visit RoyalCaribbean.com/HarmonyoftheSeas.

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