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Cruise-onomics: 12 money-saving tips

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 31 - 2017

Cruising is one of the best vacation values going. The all-inclusive fare includes accommodations, meals and entertainment. But did you know that cruise lines get most of their revenue from the things passengers buy aboard ship? Yep. That’s why they aggressively peddle their photos, spa services, art auctions, shore excursions, jewelry, casino and drinks of the day.

Do you really need that faux-gold-by-the-inch jewelry or another souvenir cocktail glass? If you’re not careful, you can easily spend more for onboard extras than you did on the cruise fare. The key to avoiding a bank-breaking bill is knowing what to expect.

Tipping. Except on a few luxury cruise ships, which have no tipping required policies, you are expected to tip your cabin steward, dining room waiter and assistant waiter. Don’t fight it. These crew members work very hard for low wages, and your tips are necessary to their livelihood. Many lines recommend that each passenger tip on average about $13 per day, as follows: cabin steward, $5.50; dining room waiter and assistant waiter, $6.50 (shared); bistro service waiter and cooks, $1. Bar bills are automatically charged a 15 percent gratuity for the bartender. Special service personnel such as the maitre ‘d, deck stewards and bellmen should be tipped as service is rendered; for other crew tips, payment at the end of the cruise is customary.

Airport transfers. The cost of a round-trip airport transfer purchased through the cruise line is often $60 per person or more. A better (and often faster) way to get to and from the ship is by local taxi or Uber or Lyft. The fare is usually around $30 for a cab and less for Uber and Lyft.  Best of all you can take up to four people.

Photo opps. It starts before you even set foot on the ship, with the obligatory pose by the S.S. Life Preserver. Ship photographers are everywhere — in the dining room, on the pool deck, in the showroom. You’ll feel like you are being stalked by paparazzi before you sit down to your first dinner. But here’s the thing: You don’t have to have your picture taken and you don’t have to buy any photo taken of you. Considering that prices range from $20 to $30 for each picture, you can certainly save a lot of money by bringing your own camera and asking fellow passengers to snap photos for you. On the other hand, professional portraits do make nice souvenirs, especially when you’re all gussied up for the formal night of the cruise.

Art auctions. Shipboard art auctions can be a lot of fun, and they do offer free champagne and that’s the problem. If you’re not careful with the cheap bubbly, you could end up owning a picture that resembles four dogs playing poker. I’ve seen this happen a number of times, and I’ve seen the remorseful bidder go home hundreds of dollars poorer. If you see something you really like, take a picture of it and see if a local art gallery can find it or something like it for you. You usually get better art deals on land, where you can play the competition among art galleries.

Bar bill. Soft drinks, bottled water and alcoholic drinks can really add up. These refreshments are seldom included in the cruise fare, except on luxury cruises, so you have to think ahead. Find out if your ship offers a soda package — a deal that offers unlimited sodas for $44,  a real boon for people traveling with kids. Cruise lines prefer that you buy alcoholic drinks directly from them, but you can bring your own wine aboard to be served to you at dinner. The catch is that you will be charged a corkage fee usually around $10 per bottle. (Do not try to bring bottles of liquor aboard; the cruise line will confiscate them, though they will return them to you at the end of the cruise; however, you might get away with a flask.) One of the easiest ways to save beverage money is to bring a water bottle or coffee mug on board and fill it up in the self-serve buffet. Instead of plopping down $2 for a bottle of water, I fill up a few of my own.

Specialty restaurants. Many mainstream and premium cruise lines now have onboard alternative restaurants, which offer specialty menus with prices ranging from $15 to $75 per person. Sure, the food is interesting, but is it any better than what’s served in the ship’s dining room for free? It depends on your taste and what the cruise line is offering. For example, Norwegian Cruise Line offers a variety of excellent alternative dining choices, including an amazing teppanyaki table experience at a reasonable cost of $25.

Internet access. Most ships have Internet access, but they often charge a fee. Some cruise lines like Viking River and Viking Ocean offer unlimited internet access whereas most offer package deals for a set fee. You can save a lot of money by visiting an Internet facility in port. Ask a crew member where to find an Internet cafe on shore, or check out the local public library, where you can sometimes check your e-mail for free.

Gambling. Shipboard casinos are getting bigger and bigger, which means that more and more money is being lost at sea. If you decide to roll the dice, set a limit on how much you are willing to risk, then leave as soon as you lose it.

Spa services. While pampering should be part of every cruise vacation, frequenting the ship’s spa can be costly. A massage can range anywhere from $80 to $180 per hour not to mention the 18 percent tip. You can save money on spa treatments by looking for discounted spa specials, which are usually offered when the ship is in port. Keep in mind that the spa staff works on commission; this means you will often get a sales pitch for their products after your treatments. Unless you really like the products, don’t feel obliged to purchase them. Many shipboard spas feature products by Steiner Leisure. If you like them, check out the prices on TimeToSpa.com; you can often get a better deal there than on the ship.

Shore excursions. Shore excursions can be pricey, especially on such destination-intensive itineraries as Alaska, Europe and Hawaii. In most cases, it’s easy to arrange your own excursions and save money. Visit the port’s official tourism Web site for up-to-date information on tour operators and pricing. You can find a comprehensive list of worldwide tourism sites at JohnnyJet.com.

Companies that specialize in planning tours for cruise passengers include Viator and Shore Trips. Both allow you to book your shore excursions before you leave home, and the savings can be significant.  If you are going to Alaska, try to get your hands on Alaska TourSaver.  You can order the book or download the App, both offer coupons for free admissions, two-for-one tours, flight-seeing, whale watching, free car rentals, second night free hotels and much more.

Despite the cost, there is one very good reason to purchase your shore excursions through the cruise line: If your excursion runs late, the ship will not leave port without you. Anytime you schedule an independent trip, you lose that safety net, so be sure to leave enough time to get back to the ship before departure because, believe me, the ship will leave without you.

Laundry. Laundry and dry cleaning charges on a cruise can be exorbitant. For example, a T-shirt can cost $4 to wash and a pair of underwear $2. Check to see if there is a self-service launderette. That will be much cheaper typically $3 to $5 per load. If you don’t feel like doing your own laundry and need some clean clothes, don’t despair. Most cruise lines set aside one day on each voyage when they will wash a bag of laundry for a set fee, usually $15 to $25 per bag (the cruise line provides the bag).

Film and sundries. Buy plenty of film and other camera supplies at home, because once on board, the price doubles.  The same can be said for pain relievers, sunscreen and many other small, personal-use items.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating spending nothing aboard ship, just that you stay the course within your allotted budget. If you don’t, your next hard-earned cruise vacation could be at risk.

By Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

© www.expertcruiser.comYour online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Filled Under Advice, gallery, What's New?

Celebrity Cruises reveals its Edge

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 13 - 2017

Today at the Seatrade Convention in Fort Lauderdale Celebrity Cruises gave reporters a sneak peak at the new transformational Celebrity Edge, whose dramatically expanded staterooms, ship-climbing Magic Carpet platform and stunning suites set a new standard for ship design.

Designed completely in 3-D, and featuring the work of A-list global architects and designers, the 2,918-guest Celebrity Edge aims to make discerning global travelers redefine how they experience the world and how intimate a vacation can be.

Celebrity Edge is one of the most exciting, innovative and transformational ships I have ever been involved with,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “The new features and refined design will establish a new baseline for ships from here on out.”

“Our guests don’t want to just skim the world like a magazine – they want to feel a human connection with it,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Every element of Celebrity Edge is meant to make that connection intense and unforgettable. Our new class of ship will allow guests to experience their journeys with the uniqueness and sophistication that marks the rest of their lives.”

Transformational Design

Celebrity made the most of its first new ship class in 10 years, bringing in a design and architectural dream team from around the globe to push the boundaries of ship design and to evolve luxury travel at sea, including internationally renowned interior designer Kelly Hoppen MBE of Kelly Hoppen Interiors and visionary architect Tom Wright of WKK. American designer Nate Berkus serves as Celebrity Edge‘s design ambassador. Together with other designers whose work will be revealed later, the team arrived at designs that are fresh, exciting, current and comfortable – the essence of Celebrity’s Modern Luxury style.

Transformational Accommodations
Design Breakthrough Enables Larger Rooms to Reach the Water’s Edge
Revolutionary staterooms erase the boundaries between the traditional ship stateroom and its veranda, creating a closer connection to the ocean. The new Edge Stateroom with Infinite Veranda turns guest quarters into a seamless space, from the room’s door all the way to the water’s edge. The simple touch of a button gives guests open-air access to the sea, bringing the outside in and the inside out. With the touch of another button, guests can take complete control of their stateroom and personalize everything from lighting, shades, temperature and service – even choosing a setting to tuck them in or gently wake them.

“The Retreat” Offers Spectacular New Experiences and Suite Categories
The ultimate sanctuary for world travelers will be the new private utopia called The Retreat, featuring a private pool on The Retreat Sundeck. Also part of this special space is The Retreat Lounge, which brings heightened levels of style and sophistication to Celebrity Edge and boasts around-the-clock personal butler service, and the exclusive Suite Class restaurant Luminae @ The Retreat.

With Celebrity Edge, Celebrity has more than doubled the number of available suites, adding two spectacular new categories. At the top of the line are two new Iconic Suites situated above the ship’s bridge. These near 2,600 sq. ft., two-bedroom, two-bathroom suites feature mind-blowing views thanks to panoramic windows enveloping the dining room, living room and bedrooms. The 700 sq. ft. veranda offers a 270-degree view of the ocean.

Another new Suite Class comprises six split-level Edge Villas, which offer stunning views from two stories of windows, private plunge pools and direct walk-out access to The Retreat Sundeck. Hoppen also designed the two two-bedroom, two-bathroom Penthouse Suites with large soaking tubs on the veranda, large dual walk-through showers, and expansive walk-in closets, and the 146 large, outward-facing Sky Suites. All suites and double occupancy Edge Staterooms are fitted with exclusively designed plush king-size cashmere mattresses – an industry first – and offer personal butler services and access to The Retreat.

Transformational Destination Experience
An Unexpected Playscape that Engages All the Senses
The Rooftop Garden is one of many spaces aboard Celebrity Edge that will lure guests out to relax and play. Imagined by celebrated architect Tom Wright, the Rooftop Garden, tended daily by a resident horticulturist, is the perfect place for guests to enjoy games and activities through the day. At night, it is home to live music and the outdoor movie-and-meal pairing of “A Taste of Film.”

The World’s First Magic Carpet: Where It Is, Where It’s At
Cantilevered from the side of the ship, the Magic Carpet makes Celebrity Edge‘s distinctive profile recognizable from miles away. The size of a tennis court, this incredible engineering feat scales the 16-deck ship through the day and evening, positioning at four of the ship’s decks, transforming into a new and exciting experience at each one.

At the summit of the ship on Deck 16, the Magic Carpet becomes the ultimate specialty restaurant offering a special “Dinner on the Edge” for 90 guests. Alongside Deck 14, Magic Carpet becomes an open-air expansion of the main pool area. On Deck 5, Magic Carpet extends one of the ship’s specialty restaurants into the most amazing al fresco seating imaginable, and at its lowest position on Deck 2, Magic Carpet is a key component to the Destination Gateway, a luxury embarkation station where guests will be whisked away aboard sleek Edge Launches.SM

>Booking a Transformational Vacation
Celebrity Edge will homeport in Fort Lauderdale, FL., making her first sailing December 16, 2018. Bookings are now open at www.celebritycruises.com/edge, or through a travel agent, for the ship’s two 7-night itineraries. An eastern Caribbean cruise visits San Juan, Puerto Rico; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. The western Caribbean calls on Key West, Florida; Costa Maya, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; and George Town, Grand Cayman. Travelers will also have the option to book back-to-back sailings for a 14-night journey. Celebrity Edge will be joined by three sister ships in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

About Celebrity Cruises:
Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all created to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. Celebrity Cruises’ 12 ships offer modern luxury vacations visiting all seven continents. Celebrity also presents incredible cruise tour experiences in Alaska and Canada. Celebrity is one of five cruise brands operated by global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit www.celebritycruises.com, or call your travel agent.

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


Windstar to sail first-ever itineraries in New England & Canada

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 13 - 2017

Start spreading the news, Windstar Cruises will be sailing into (and out of) Manhattan on its first-ever itineraries in New England and Canada beginning summer/fall 2018. Windstar’s 212-guest all-suite yacht Star Pride will embark on four new sailings (with five sail dates) that span nine to 16 days, offering leisurely opportunities to enjoy fall foliage and discover charming New England coastal towns, historic gems like Boston and Newport, and the seductively old world appeal of the Canadian Maritimes and Quebec. Star Pride will arrive in New York for the first time via Iceland.

This announcement comes on the heels of news that the small ship cruise line, headquartered in Seattle, will be sailing to Alaska and along Canada’s west coast aboard Star Legend, a sister ship to Star Pride, in spring/summer 2018. The company has not sailed in North America in recent years, so the addition of both regions is a major development for the company, which operates primarily in Europe, the Caribbean/Central America, and French Polynesia.

“New York is a city of legendary over-achievers, and we have every intention of over delivering on our brand’s New England and Canada experiences, including our maiden call to Manhattan with Star Pride,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “New York is one of our major markets, a key gateway, and one of the world’s great destination cities in its own right. We are thrilled to make Windstar so easily accessible to such a large national and international audience by being in New York.”

2018 Voyage Collection – Canada & New England

 North Atlantic Odyssey: Reykjavik to New York City – 16 Days

The journey from Iceland to Manhattan is best experienced by small ship, with scenic cruising through fjords in southern Greenland’s Prince Christian Sound – only 1,500 feet wide at some points and aweing visitors with steep granite mountains that stretch from sea to sky. A chance to see polar bears in Nanortalik is followed by time in the quaint towns of Newfoundland, along with the UNESCO sites of Red Bay and L’Anse Aux Meadows and their whaling and Viking pasts. The itinerary will also allow tours to Gros Morne National Park (an UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Acadia National Park, accessed via charming Bar Harbor, Maine. A final day sailing through Cape Cod Canal, inaccessible to larger ships, brings guests into the heart of Manhattan for disembarkation.

The Maritimes & Manhattan: New York City to Montreal (or reverse) – 12 Days

From the spectacular scenery of Gaspe and Saguenay Fjord to vintage towns like Newport and Bar Harbor, the cruise captures the best of New England and Southeast Canada. Guests can explore the Gilded Age mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, and a unique stop in Provincetown, Massachusetts – the site of the landing of the Mayflower. Other highlights include the autumn spectacle of Acadia National Park and an overnight in Quebec City, perfect for taking advantage of the vibrant city’s nightlife.

Southeast Canadian Explorations: Montreal to Boston – 9 Days

Cruising from one postcard-perfect scene to another in waters alive with whales and fishing boats paired with French-Canadian ports oozing Old World charm, this itinerary brings an excellent blend of bucolic and urbane. Guests will enjoy watching for rare beluga whales in spectacular Saguenay Fjord or falling under the spell of historic Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, best seen via horse-drawn carriage to truly understand how it inspired Anne of Green Gables. Time on Portland, Maine’s waterfront and sampling its hot restaurant scene is followed by historic Boston.

Postcard Ports of Cape Cod & Canada: Boston to Montreal – 12 Days

This voyage from Boston to Montreal gives a taste of historic beach towns, quaint lobster fishing villages, and cosmopolitan cities that reflect their French heritage. Stopping in Provincetown means guests can explore the site of the pilgrims’ Mayflower landing and interesting art galleries in town. Other highlights include time in Rockland, Maine, known as the lobster capital of the world; ample opportunity for a visit to a local pub (thanks to Windstar’s late night departure) in vibrant Halifax, which boasts the highest pub to person ratio in Canada; a fascinating transit through the 79-foot-wide Canso Canal; and an overnight in Quebec City.

Exploring Canada & New England Aboard the All-Suite 212-guest Star Pride

All Windstar sailings in Canada & New England in 2018 will take place aboard the 212-guest Star Pride, boasting all-suite accommodations. In 2016, Star Pride underwent a major interior renovation, including the refurbishment of public spaces and revitalization of two stunning Owner’s Suites. The suites underwent million-dollar structural makeovers to offer sweeping views, along with new modern décor. In addition to the Owner’s Suites, guests may choose among four spacious Classic Suites; 36 popular Balcony Suites with French balconies; and 64 Ocean View Suites with large picture windows. The yacht’s WindSpa, Fitness Center, two whirlpools, pool, Lounge, Star Bar, multiple dining options, and casino pamper and entertain guests, while its small size means it can tuck into small ports and hidden harbors that other cruise ships can’t reach.

For additional information on small ship cruising with Windstar, 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.


Norwegian debuts popular ‘Escape Room’ experience

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 8 - 2017

Continuing their history of providing guests with exciting, innovative and cutting edge entertainment, Norwegian Cruise Line has debuted an all-new entertainment experience onboard several of the line’s ships that will surprise and challenge guests:  Escape The Big Top. Guests can experience the magic of an escape room with a twist, as they put their critical thinking skills to the test in a physical adventure game to solve challenges and beat the clock.

An onboard carnival takes an unusual turn when an act goes wrong. It’s then up to the guests to solve the clues and escape the spell before the time runs out.  This complimentary event, which can run up to one hour, is the ultimate combination of intellect and urgency. Escape the Big Top gives guests of all ages the chance to not only compete against the clock, but their fellow guests as well for added fun.

The new entertainment concept is available several times per cruise onboard the line’s four newest ships, including Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Escape. Guests interested in testing their skills and knowledge can make their reservations through the box office once they are onboard and sign up information can be found in the ship’s Freestyle Daily.

Escape the Big Top is one of many engaging and award-winning entertainment offerings available to guests on Norwegian Cruise Line.  Voted Best Entertainment by Cruise Critic, Norwegian features entertainment beyond anything at sea, including Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals, amazing dinner theatre experiences from Cirque Dreams, headline comedians, sing-along fun from Howl At The Moon, live music, over-the-top theme parties, spectacular shows and much more.

For more information on Norwegian’s entertainment experiences or to book a cruise, 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 cruisenews, What's New?

Cunard unveils a fresh lineup of special event cruises

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 7 - 2017

Cunard famed for its award-winning Insights enrichment program in which expert and celebrity speakers join voyages to inform and entertain guests, has created fresh programming for 2017 and 2018. From fashion icons to NASA astronauts, and puzzle masters to family historians, esteemed experts will dazzle like-minded passengers on various itineraries and on all three ships – Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.

FESTIVAL OF FLOWERS (June 8, 2017 | V714): Queen Victoria’s June 8-22, 2017 voyage features shore excursions to the exquisite gardens and flower markets of the Canary Islands including stops in Tenerife and Lanzarote to glimpse into the world of visionary artist César Manrique. Also included is an overnight stay in the floral paradise of Madeira with an evening dinner at Madeira’s Quinta Jardins do Lago botanical garden hotel, plus workshops designed to enhance guests’ appreciation of the floral arts.

ARTS AND LITERARY TOUR (July 1, 2017 | Q723): Queen Elizabeth will sail the British Isles, July 1-14, 2017, to explore the artistic side of ports including Rotterdam, Newhaven, and Liverpool, in the company of actor Robert Powell and Louise West, Trustee of the Charles Dickens Museum and Former Senior Curator of the Jane Austen House. Book Club get-togethers, Cunard Insights talks and events hosted by Clarendon Fine Art will allow guests to gain a deeper understanding of the life and works of popular authors like Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Beatrix Potter and Victor Hugo.

TRANSATLANTIC FASHION WEEK 2017 (August 31, 2017 | M732B): Fashion icon Iris Apfel, known for her individual style and joyful flair, will be featured on Cunard’s second annual Transatlantic Fashion Week, August 31, 2017. A glamorous array of fashion shows, exhibitions, lectures and hosted dinners will be featured on this 2017 Queen Mary 2 voyage including guests Julien Macdonald, Colin McDowell, Gail Sackloff and more. Colin McDowell, Hal Rubenstein, Richard Young, Hilary Alexander and Gail Sackloff have already been announced for the third annual Transatlantic Fashion Week Crossing in September 2018.

 WORLD SPACE WEEK (October 6, 2017 | M737): To celebrate the United Nations International World Space Week, Queen Mary 2’s October 6, 2017 Crossing will feature top space experts including astronaut, scientist and former shuttle pilot, Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman; Charles Barclay, of the Royal Astronomical Society; Stephen Attenborough, Commercial Director of Virgin Galactic; and Ken Taggart, NASA historian.

CELEBRATION OF THE TIMES CROSSWORD (December 8, 2017 | M745): On December 8, 2017, The New York Times crossword puzzle editors will sail on a Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing in celebration of the crossword’s 75th anniversary. Daily game sessions, lectures and crossword-themed activities will fill this voyage for problem-solving passengers.

THE NEW YORK TIMES INSIGHTS SERIES: Cunard has partnered with The New York Times to offer engaging speakers from this national news source on six Eastbound Transatlantic Crossings on Queen Mary 2 from May through December in 2017. Topics will include national security, climate change, economics, sports, politics, and much more.

VOYAGE DU VIN (June 1, 2018 | V819): Queen Victoria’s first dedicated Voyage du Vin, June 1-8, 2018, will introduce guests to some of Europe’s finest wine and port destinations such as Oporto, Lisbon and Vigo. This voyage will also include tastings from Cunard’s wine list, which features more than 400 wines from 23 different countries. Passengers will have the opportunity to join the new Cunard Wine Academy and take the Wines and Spirits Education Trust Level 1. The voyage will feature a bespoke series of dinners, tastings and master classes with leading Iberian wine producers and experts.

A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN (July 1, 2018 | Q820): Guests on Queen Elizabeth’s Norwegian Voyage, July 1-13, 2018, will learn professional tips from esteemed experts such as Ross Hoddinott, one of England’s leading wildlife and landscape photographers, and take a trip to the Arctic Circle to photograph the stunning phenomenon of the “midnight sun.”

 A JOURNEY OF GENEALOGY (November 4, 2018 | M842): For the first time ever Cunard has collaborated with Ancestry.com, the largest online family history resource in the world, to offer guests the opportunity to trace their family trees on a Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing.  Ancestry experts will be on board this November 4, 2018 sailing to help guests follow their family’s journeys, learn about family history, sift through records and discover their ethnic origins with AncestryDNA. One in five immigrants came to the U.S. on a Cunard liner so this collaboration is a perfect fit for passengers who want to trace the steps of their ancestors.

CARTOONISTS AT SEA PRESENTED BY THE NEW YORKER (June – Nov 2018): A unique opportunity to join cartoonists as they host lectures and workshops aboard five select 2018 Eastbound Transatlantic Crossings.

Additional special event cruises include:

Kiel Week (June 10, 2017 | Q721): Queen Elizabeth will call at Kiel, Germany during the middle of Kiel Week, the largest annual sailing event in the world. Featuring both tall ships and modern racers, Kiel Week has also become a popular festival of music, food and fun.

 Fourth of July (July 1, 2017 | M724): An exciting Independence Day Celebration aboard Queen Mary 2 with calls to the historic ports of Halifax and Boston.

 Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria’s “Big Band Ball” (QE: Aug 20-25, 2017 | Q727; QV: Nov 13-18, 2017 | V726): a magnificent 13-piece Big Band Orchestra, for guests who like to dance and sing to the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Michael Bublé and Frank Sinatra.

 Queen Elizabeth celebrating QE2’s 50th Anniversary (September 8, 2017 | Q729): a special cruise honoring the 50th anniversary of Cunard’s best-loved ship, the iconic QE2.

 Le Havre 500th Anniversary (September 14, 2017 | M734): Queen Mary 2 will visit Le Havre during its 500th Anniversary as celebrations take place across the city. The voyage will begin in Southampton, then visit Le Havre, before crossing the Atlantic to New York.

 For more information about Cunard and to book a voyage, contact your Travel Agent, call Cunard toll-free at 1-800-728-6273, or visit www.cunard.com.

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

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

Silversea’s Silver Muse gets her captain

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 6 - 2017

Ahead of its Christening on April 19, Silversea has unveiled details of the crew that will provide a bespoke service for guests on board Silver Muse in its inaugural season. The ship will be led by Captain Alessandro Zanello, the youngest officer ever to be appointed Captain on the Silversea fleet.

Captain Zanello has been working with Silversea since 1999 and in that time has worked on board all ships in the Silversea fleet. Silver Muse will be the second inaugural ship voyage Zanello has worked on during his 18 years with Silversea, having been second-in-command for the launch of Silver Spirit in 2009.

The galley will be led by Executive Chef Anne-Mari Cornelius, who joined Silversea in 2005 and has worked on board two Silver Whisper world cruises as Executive Chef. Cornelius will oversee all galley staff and be responsible for maintaining Silversea’s high culinary standards across the eight on board restaurants.

Additionally, Cruise Director Jimmy Kovel will oversee activities and entertainment on board the ship during its inaugural season. This includes culinary demonstrations and performances by the Voices of Silversea in the theatre, Venetian Lounge, and the smooth jazz and blues entertainment in the intimate Silver Note restaurant. Kovel has worked for Silversea since 2009 on board Silver Shadow, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind.

Roberto Martinoli, CEO at Silversea Cruises, said: “As the launch of Silver Muse draws closer, we are delighted to reveal details of the dedicated and highly experienced crew who will welcome both new and returning Silversea guests on Silver Muse, offering an unparalleled level of personalised and polished service.”

Other key members of the Silver Muse team include Staff Captain, Sergio Topazio; Chief Engineer, Michele Barone and Hotel Director, Paolo Percivale.

Calling at 34 countries and 130 ports in 2017 alone, Silver Muse will redefine ocean travel, enhancing the small-ship intimacy with spacious all-suite accommodations that are the hallmarks of the Silversea experience. The addition of Silver Muse will expand Silversea’s fleet to nine ships and will, once again significantly raise the bar in the ultra-luxury cruise market.

For information on the launch of Silversea’s flagship, Silver Muse, click here

To discover Silversea’s unrivalled list of destinations and itineraries, click here

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