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Cool! Silversea offers complimentary streamed movies for guests mobile devices

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On June - 25 - 2013

In a cruise industry first, ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has launched a complimentary service that provides streaming movies and live television news broadcasts to guests’ mobile devices aboard Silver Cloud.

The service can be accessed on any Wi-Fi-enabled laptop, smartphone, tablet, or even e-book reader — anything with a browser. It includes access to an extensive library of classic and recent Academy Award-winning feature films, with more than 80 per cent of the movies offered in five languages: English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish.

“We’re delighted to be able to offer this innovative service to enhance our guests’ onboard experience,” said Fabio Agostini, Silversea’s chief information officer. “Smartphones and tablets are a necessity for today’s travelers, who rely on instant access to information. Jason Cohn, our director of infrastructure, and his valuable team worked closely with RedCell Technologies, HMS, and On-Board Movies to develop a streaming media service that would fit seamlessly with our guests’ increasingly technology-driven lifestyle.”

A limited supply of iPad minis is also available (on a first-come, first-served basis) to Silver Cloud guests wishing to borrow a tablet to view the streamed movies and television during the voyage.

By the end of 2013, the service will be rolled out to four additional ships: Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, Silver Wind and Silver Galapagos. In the coming months, the company is also planning to add an expansive selection of international newspapers to its menu of streamed media offerings, an option currently in the testing phase.

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

Royal Princess christened by Duchess of Cambridge

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On June - 13 - 2013

In a spectacular ceremony today in Southampton, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge named the new ship Royal Princess when she released a bottle of champagne that smashed against its hull. Standing on the naming platform with the ship’s Captain Tony Draper, The Duchess pronounced, “I name this ship Royal Princess. May God bless her and all who sail in her.” She then cut the rope that sent a giant Nebuchadnezzar-size bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne toward the ship, officially welcoming Royal Princess into the fleet of Princess Cruises, one of the world’s largest international cruise lines.

“We can think of no more fitting godmother for our magnificent new Royal Princess,” said Alan Buckelew, Princess Cruises’ president and CEO. “Her Royal Highness is an inspiring ambassador for Britain – with whom Princess Cruises shares strong ties – and she is admired around the world for her style and grace. We’re so honored she accepted our invitation to become godmother to our new ship.” The ceremony included star-studded entertainment that blended maritime tradition with contemporary elements, reflecting the innovative spirit of Princess’s newest class of ship. In addition to the exciting bottle break moment, the quayside festivities included a host of musical performances, including British pop singer Natasha Bedingfield singing her hit “Unwritten,” as well as an original song by British actress and “the first lady of London’s West End,” Kerry Ellis. Internationally renowned percussive orchestra Mass Ensemble performed with its signature “Earth Harp,” an architectural instrument with strings that extended 1,000 feet and was played as it hovered over the nearly 2,000 ceremony guests. The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth and The Pipe Band of 1st Battalion Irish Guards opened the event with the pomp and ceremony of British ship-naming traditions. The Right Reverend Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, conducted the traditional ship’s blessing.

The event capped off a week of festivities to launch the ship, including a special gala last night. Among the guests invited to the Royal Princess naming celebrations were representatives from the charities East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, SkillForce and WellChild, whose Patrons are The Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry respectively.The naming of a ship is a tradition thousands of years old. Different peoples and cultures have shaped the ceremonies surrounding a ship launching but the theme has always been similar – the ritual marks the birth of a vessel, and asks for a blessing of good fortune and safety for the ship and its passengers and crew. Perhaps the most important element of the naming tradition is the godmother selected to christen a ship. In the mid-19th century it became customary for a woman of distinction to be selected for this honor. A godmother is the symbolic patron, or sponsor, of the ship through its entire life and symbolizes the spirit of the vessel. Princess Cruises has a history of illustrious godmothers for past ships, including Diana Princess of Wales (who named the first Royal Princess in 1984), Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Dame Margaret Thatcher and Olivia de Havilland. The Duchess of Cambridge now takes her place among this inspiring group of women.

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship. Among the special features found on board is a dramatic multi-story atrium serving as the social hub of the ship offering a host of dining and entertainment options; an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water; the new Princess Live! television studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms. Following the ship’s maiden voyage to Barcelona on June 16, Royal Princess will sail on Grand Mediterranean cruises throughout the summer, followed by Eastern Caribbean cruises beginning in the autumn.

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

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Bob is back! Dickinson returns to Carnival

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On June - 9 - 2013

Cruise industry publication Seatrade Insider has confirmed that former president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines Bob Dickinson will return to the company as a consultant to parent company Carnival Corporation.

Dickinson, who retired in 2007 after 35 years with Carnival, returns to the line at a very challenging time in the wake of numerous incidents including the February fire onboard the Carnival Triumph. Carnival states that Dickinson will report to Carnival Corporation’s COO Howard Frank and will focus on North American marketing strategies for all Carnival Corporation brands.

ExpertCruiser spoke to several individuals involved in the cruise industry who believe Dickinson is being brought in to placate travel agents, Wall Street analysts, and the line’s investors who are not happy with the current management at Carnival Cruise Lines. “Bringing Bob back is the smartest thing they’ve done in years” one noted.

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

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

Shanks and Marlow step down from Cunard and P&O Cruises

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On June - 4 - 2013

Cunard Line today announces a new commercial leadership structure, reporting into Gerard Tempest, its chief commercial officer, based in Southampton, England.

Key changes are the creation of new marketing director and insight director roles alongside the existing positions of international development director, sales & customer services director, and commercial director.

Gerard Tempest said: “This is an exciting time for Cunard Line, and this new structure has been designed to deliver the many opportunities ahead of us.”

Tempest is a member of an executive team led by CEO David Dingle, responsible for both Cunard Line and its UK-based sister company P&O Cruises, and as part of this organisational change, a similar new structure is also being created for P&O Cruises.

As a consequence, and after very careful consideration, the role of Cunard president & managing director will cease to exist, and Peter Shanks will be leaving the business at the end of September. Peter joined the business in 2002 and has held pivotal leadership roles within Cunard, Ocean Village and Princess Cruises UK. Peter has been instrumental in the growth and transformation of the Cunard business into the success that it is today, overseeing the launches of Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.

P&O Cruises managing director Carol Marlow will also be leaving the business at the end of September. Carol joined the business in 1997 and over her 16 years with the organisation has successfully led a number of brands including Swan Hellenic, Princess Cruises UK, Cunard and P&O Cruises, Britain’s leading cruise line. Carol has directed the launch of five new ships, driving growth and building our brands around the needs of our customers, to whom she is well known.

Tempest continues, “I would like to thank both Peter and Carol for their very significant contributions to the success of the business over many years and wish them every success in their future endeavours.

“North America is a very important market for Cunard and the recent strengthening of our management team there through the appointment of Stanley Birge as vice president, reporting to David Rousham (international development director), demonstrates our deep and longstanding commitment to the North American market.”

The recruitment of the new insight director and of marketing directors for both Cunard and P&O Cruises is already at an advanced stage, and a further announcement will be made shortly.

As a result of these changes David Dingle formally assumes the titles of CEO Cunard Line and CEO P&O Cruises.

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

Filled Under Blog, Twitter, What's New?

Windstar launches 10-day Sale!

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On May - 31 - 2013

Windstar Cruises’ best savings of 2013 are now available in a limited 10-Day Sale. Guests can save up to 74% on select voyages of 2013 through June 7, 2013. In addition, Windstar’s Facebook page will feature an exclusive offer for fans. Take advantage of these savings and cruise in Windstar Style, the perfect pairing of comfort and luxury. Fall in love with hidden gems of the Mediterranean on Windstar’s signature voyage, Greek Isles & Turkish Delights. Let Windstar take you to the world’s most famed coastal wonders, best explored by sailing yacht.

Guests can also savor the beautiful coasts of England, Wales, and Ireland, on Windstar’s Idyllic British Isles. For those looking to experience the glamorous ports of the French Riviera, Glitter & Glam of the Riviera is the perfect fit. No matter which voyage they choose, guests sailing on board Windstar Cruises will always enjoy pampering without pretense, extraordinary destinations, and casual elegance that feels like their own private yacht.

To learn more about the featured voyages and take advantage of Windstar’s 10-Day Sale, 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, Twitter, What's New?

Royal Caribbean orders third Quantum-class ship

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On May - 30 - 2013

Royal Caribbean announced today that they have ordered a third Quantum-class ship from Germany’s Meyer Werft shipyard and the vessel is slated for delivery in mid-2016. Quantum of the Seas is currently under construction and is scheduled to debut in the fall of 2014. Anthem of the Seas is set to follow in 2015. Each Quantum-class vessel is 167,800-tons and accommodates 4180 passengers.

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