Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category


Groupies unite! – Carnival offers big group savings

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 9 - 2014

As part of a new “Reuniting for Fun” group promotion, Carnival Cruise Lines is waiving its initial deposit requirement for group bookings, as well as offering an enhanced free cruise berth program, through September 30, 2014.

Through the new promotion, an initial deposit will not be required for group bookings on departures between March 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016.

In addition, Carnival is offering travel agents one free cruise berth for every 10 full fare guests berthed, compared to the line’s current policy of one free cruise berth for every 15 full fare guests berthed.  As a special bonus, Carnival is offering one free cruise berth for every eight full fare guests berthed on select five- to 14-day sailings from a number of U.S. homeports, including Galveston, Baltimore, New York, San Juan and Port Canaveral.

“From family and friend gatherings, destination weddings or even high school and college reunions, our wide variety of sailings departing from 13 convenient homeports offer the perfect group reunion cruise option,” said Joni Rein, Carnival’s vice president of worldwide sales. “This is an excellent incentive for reunion groups to book their cruise and take advantage of the many fantastic elements of this promotion.”

Group fares applicable to this promotion, which are available between now and September 30, 2014, begin at $249 for three- to five-day cruises and $449 for voyages of six-days or longer. Certain restrictions apply.

For a complete list of terms and conditions, travel agents may visit GoCCL.com.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruise sales

Norwegian launches ‘Cruise Event Week’ offering big onboard perks

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 9 - 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line is launching Cruise Event Week offering up to $270 in on-board perks to guests who book a new five-day or longer cruise vacation on any of its upcoming sailings. Guests who take advantage of this limited time offer by Sunday, September 14, 2014, will receive luxurious perks such as specialty dinners, a spa credit and more, based on the stateroom category. In addition, those who want to cruise in 2015 can opt to save more through Norwegian’s All-Inclusive package**, valued at more than $2,400, for $899 per person for a seven-day cruise.

Guests who book a new cruise vacation during Norwegian’s Cruise Event Week will receive special on-board perks just for booking their cruise.  Solo travelers cruising in a studio stateroom or those in an inside or oceanview stateroom will receive a bottle of wine and decadent chocolate-covered strawberries. Guests cruising in a balcony stateroom will also receive a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries, along with a complimentary dinner for two in Norwegian’s signature Italian restaurant. Mini-suite guests will enjoy all of the amenities received by those in a balcony stateroom, with an additional dinner for two at Cagney’s Steakhouse, a guest favorite specialty restaurant. Suite guests will receive all of the amenities entitled to guests sailing in a mini-suite, plus a $50 spa credit to use towards any treatment in the fleet’s Mandara Spas.

Guests staying in Norwegian’s luxurious suite complex, The Haven™ by Norwegian – available on board Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Jade or Norwegian Escape launching fall 2015– will enjoy all of the amenities received by suite guests, plus dinner for two in Norwegian’s signature French restaurant, Le Bistro, and an additional $75 dollar on-board credit to use towards a thrilling shore excursion, a delightful dinner in another specialty restaurant or towards beverages in one of the many bars and lounges on board.

Available for all 2015 sailings from three to 14 days, the All-Inclusive package allows the ultimate freedom of choice experience when cruising, is priced by the number of days, and is available for all stateroom categories, including the Haven by Norwegian.  When adding the All-Inclusive to a selected cruise, guests receive 10 percent off the cruise fare. The All-Inclusive includes the Ultimate Dining package; the Ultimate Beverage package; shore excursion credit of up to $200 per person, pre-paid daily service charges; a 250-minute Internet package per person; 20 photos of any size; chocolate-covered strawberries; a bottle of wine; one bingo session and up to 12 bottles of water. The All-Inclusive package is a limited time offering available through September 30, 2014.

Sun-seeking travelers can set sail from Houston to the Western Caribbean from October 11, 2014 through April 11, 2015 aboard the newly-refurbished Norwegian Jewel for seven-day sailings, with rates starting at $419 per person, double occupancy.  for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city,  Norwegian Breakaway sails seven day New York to the Bahamas & Florida cruise vacations from October 5, 2014 to April 19, 2015, with fares starting at $599.

With two incredible offers available, there’s never been a better time to experience Miami’s newest ship, Norwegian Getaway, as she sails seven-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean from her year-round homeport of Miami, Florida. The youngest ship in her fleet, Norwegian Getaway brings all of the flair of Miami to sea with exceptional dining and entertainment options, offering the best of Freestyle Cruising to guests with rates starting at $549.

To book a cruise during Norwegian’s Cruise Event Week now through September 14, along with the All-Inclusive package now through September 30, 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

Norwegian offers Hawaii savings

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 9 - 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line is offering limited time savings on Norwegian’s spectacular seven-day inter-island cruises in Hawai`i on board Pride of America. Guests who book a new Hawai`i cruise reservation, on September 5 and 6, 2014, will receive up to $200 to spend on board. On-board credits can be used on a wide array of amenities to get into the Aloha spirit from spa treatments, to Norwegian’s signature specialty dining, to shore excursions to explore the beautiful islands and much more.

Vacationers looking to cruise around the majestic state of Hawaii can do so aboard the newly-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, with fares starting at $1,199.*

To book a Hawai`i cruise on board Pride of America, 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

Princess Cruises launches 3 For Free sale event

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 3 - 2014

Princess Cruises has three free offers for guests booking Alaska, Europe or Japan cruises and cruisetours sailing in 2015. The “3 For Free” sales event not only includes free stateroom location upgrades, a free shore excursion credit and free onboard spending credit, but also features a refundable deposit of only $100 per person.

Running through November 20, the cruise sale enables guests to get the best stateroom available within that stateroom type for the lowest possible fare. In port, a free shore excursion credit will give guests on Europe and Japan sailings $200 ($100 per person) to spend on shoreside tours such as a visit to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg or a stroll through Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion in Japan. In Alaska, guests will receive $100 ($50 per person) to spend on glacier hiking, dog sledding or other Alaskan shore excursions.

In addition, those guests booking Europe or Japan cruises will receive up to $100 per stateroom in free onboard spending money and up to $50 per stateroom for those booking Alaska cruises and land and sea vacation packages, to use toward a relaxing massage, refreshing poolside cocktails, or even limited 50th Anniversary keepsake items.

Guests can also book third and fourth berth guests from as low as $199 and receive up to $100 bonus shore excursion spending money per stateroom and up to $50 bonus onboard spending money per stateroom.

More information about the Princess Cruises “3 For Free” sales event can be found at princess.com/free. Additional cruise deals can be found at princess.com/topcruisedeals.

Examples of cruise deals include:

  • Alaska cruise – 7 days: $548 interior; $1,298 balcony
  • Alaska Denali Explorer cruisetour – 10 nights: $1,147 interior; $1,897 balcony
  • Grand Mediterranean cruise – 12 days: $1,899 interior; $2,599 balcony
  • British Isles cruise – 12 days: $1,999 interior; $2,549 balcony
  • Japan cruise – 8 days: $1,399 interior; $2,199 balcony

All cruise prices are per person, based on double occupancy. The “3 For Free” sale begins at 12:01 a.m. PDT on September 3 and runs through 11:59 p.m. PDT on October 16 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 princess.com.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruise sales, gallery

Norwegian Getaway Bonus Days offers onboard credits and stateroom upgrades

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 2 - 2014

With so much to do on Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Norwegian Getaway, more on-board credit means more fun for guests who book during Norwegian Getaway Bonus Days from September 3-4, 2014. Guests who book any seven-day Eastern Caribbean sailing on Norwegian Getaway will receive a $100 on-board credit plus free balcony upgrades. Guests who take advantage of this limited time offer can use the credit towards an array of shore excursions in the Caribbean; treatments in the ship’s award-winning Mandara spa; dinner in any of Norwegian Getaway’s delicious specialty restaurants, including Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian; and much more.

Setting sail from Miami year-round, this spectacular new vessel calls on some of the Caribbean’s most popular ports of call including: Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. Embodying the essence of the Magic City, the ship’s hull artwork was designed by Miami’s own David “LEBO” LeBatard and offers 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.

Whether guests are embarking on a family vacation, romantic escape or a solo getaway, Norwegian Getaway offers a variety of flexible accommodations ranging from Studio staterooms specially designed for solo travelers, to balcony staterooms and opulent suites in The Haven, the ultimate in luxury accommodations. With fares starting at $429 per person (double occupancy) and $100 in on-board credit plus free balcony upgrades on all new bookings, there’s never been a better time to sail on Miami’s Ultimate Ship, Norwegian Getaway.

To book a cruise during Norwegian Getaway Bonus Days sales event, 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.

Filled Under Blog, cruise sales, gallery

Freestyle merging – Norwegian acquires Oceania and Regent Seven Seas

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 2 - 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announced this morning that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Prestige Cruises International, Inc., the market leader in the upscale cruise segment and parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, in cash and stock for a total transaction consideration of $3.025 billion, including the assumption of debt.

“The acquisition of Prestige represents an extraordinary opportunity for Norwegian Cruise Line to expand our market presence by adding two established, award-winning brands in the upscale cruise segment with loyal followings,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Not only does this acquisition immediately enhance our financial performance, but it also deepens the bench of talent that we have been developing over the years.  Our complementary strengths and skillsets will pave the way for new cross-selling opportunities, cross-brand collaboration, cross-business support, as well as joint partnerships which, coupled with meaningful synergies that can be quickly implemented, will provide solid accretion to earnings per share and drive long-term shareholder value,” added Sheehan.

“We are excited to become part of the Norwegian family and start a new chapter for our company,” said Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Prestige. “With Oceania and Regent, we have built iconic brands with distinctive product offerings and strong customer loyalty. The combination is very compelling and will allow us to further enhance our renowned guest experience.  We are looking forward to joining the Norwegian team and building upon the success that our three brands have already achieved.”

Prestige operates eight ships and approximately 6,500 berths under two segment-leading brands.  Oceania Cruises is the market leader in the upper-premium cruise segment with five ships offering destination-oriented cruise vacations to more than 330 ports around the globe, gourmet culinary experiences, elegant accommodations and personalized service.  Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the market leader in the luxury cruise segment and operates three award-winning, all-suite ships, with an additional ship on order for delivery in summer 2016. Regent offers the industry’s most inclusive luxury vacation experience visiting over 250 destinations worldwide.  Frank Del Rio will remain chief executive officer of Prestige.

“The combination of three distinct brands, each serving a different market segment, under one umbrella immediately creates an industry-leading cruise operator with an unmatched growth trajectory and a portfolio of products that allows us to appeal to guests at every stage of their life cycle,” added Sheehan.  “We are fully committed to retaining the brand propositions, guest experiences and cultures of the Norwegian, Oceania and Regent brands that have allowed each to realize such success.”

Transaction Rationale

The compelling rationale to acquire Prestige includes:

  •  The diversification of cruise market segments by adding upper premium and luxury brands;
  • The further enhancement of industry-leading financial metrics;
  • Opportunities for synergies and the sharing of best practices among brands;
  • An increase in economies of scale providing greater operational leverage;
  • The expansion of growth trajectory and global footprint; and
  • The opportunity to complement Norwegian’s new build program with the existing Regent order that provides measured, orderly capacity growth through 2019.

Transaction Details

The total transaction consideration of $3.025 billion includes the assumption of debt.  Additionally, a contingent cash consideration of up to $50 million to Prestige shareholders would be payable upon achievement of certain 2015 performance metrics.

In early July, Norwegian’s Board of Directors formed a Transaction Committee and delegated it full authority to negotiate and approve a transaction.  The Committee consisted entirely of disinterested directors.  Genting Hong Kong Limited and certain funds affiliated with TPG Capital, each of whose consent was required pursuant to Norwegian’s existing shareholders’ agreement have consented to the transaction.  The Transaction Committee, who retained its own financial and legal advisors, has unanimously approved the transaction.  The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Norwegian will finance the acquisition with existing cash, new and existing debt facilities and the issuance of approximately 20.3 million shares of its common stock.  Pursuant to the requirements of NASDAQ Rule 5635, holders of a majority of Norwegian’s common stock have consented to the issuance of such shares.

Barclays is acting as lead financial advisor to Norwegian, Deloitte Consulting, LLP is acting as diligence advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is providing legal counsel.  UBS Investment Bank is acting as financial advisor to Prestige and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is providing legal counsel.  Perella Weinberg Partners is acting as financial advisor to the Transaction Committee of the Norwegian Board of Directors and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is providing legal counsel.  J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Deutsche Bank are also serving as financial advisors to Norwegian.  Barclays, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Deutsche Bank have provided committed financing to Norwegian to support the acquisition.

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

Filled Under Blog, News