Sep 24

A Frightfully Good Time Awaits Disney Cruise Line Guests this Halloween

 

CELEBRATION, Fla. – Disney Cruise Line will treat guests sailing this fall to a wickedly good time as the ships transform into a ghoulish wonderland filled with frightfully fun events and activities, special decorations, unique menu items in the restaurants and themed parties.

In 2017, Halloween on the High Seas takes place on most voyages aboard the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Wonder and Disney Magic from September through October. This extra-spooky celebration features Halloween-themed parties, lively entertainment and elaborate décor, including The Pumpkin Tree, which magically transforms throughout the cruise. Other special experiences include:

  • Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party, a celebration with games, dancing and lots of candy! Beloved Disney characters, wearing special Halloween costumes just for the occasion, will join guests for this fun-filled costume party.
  • A Nightmare Before Christmas—Sing and Scream, an interactive movie experience where guests are part of the action, followed by a meet-and-greet with Jack Skellington and Sally.
  • Haunted Stories of the Sea, where the bravest cruisers gather under the stars to hear some true—or not so true—tales of the sea told by a mysterious sea captain storyteller.
  • Creepy Cabaret, Halloween-themed music performed live in the atrium by a band of ghostly musicians.
  • Halloween Isn’t Just For Kids: For adults, the nighttime entertainment district becomes the ghoulish setting for a costume contest and a Villainous Takeover on the dance floor.
  • Spooky Movies: To get guests into the spirit of the season, Halloween-themed movies will be shown on Funnel Vision by the family pool and in staterooms.
  • Ghoulish Delights: Disney Cruise Line chefs have conjured some very special treats for Halloween, including chocolate cake with pumpkin filling, spider cakes and “Spooky Juice.”
  • More spooky fun includes mask-making and a ghostly takeover of ship announcements!

To celebrate Halloween, the Disney Dream sails three- and four-night Bahamian cruises departing Sept. 4 to Oct. 30; the Disney Fantasy sails seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises departing Sept. 2 to Oct. 28; the Disney Wonder sails two-, three-, four- and five-night Baja cruises, a seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise and a fourteen- night Panama Canal cruise departing Sept. 15 to Oct. 27; and the Disney Magic sails four-, five- and seven-night Canadian Coast cruises, and seven- and eight-night Bahamian cruises departing Sept. 27 to Oct. 28.

Sep 24

Disney Cruise Line – Next Phase of Expansion Nearly Doubles Size of Fleet

CELEBRATION, FL (July 15, 2017) – Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced plans today at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif., to add a seventh ship to Disney Cruise Line’s award-winning fleet, giving families even more opportunities to create magical memories at sea and visit spectacular destinations around the globe.

Last year, the leader in family cruising announced plans to build two new ships at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany with scheduled completion dates of 2021 and 2023. The seventh ship will be built at the same shipyard and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

“We decided two ships wouldn’t be enough to hold all of the exciting new experiences we have been dreaming up to take family cruise vacations to a whole new level with immersive Disney storytelling, world-class family entertainment, and imaginative innovations that are fantastically fun and uniquely Disney,” Chapek said. “By the time all three new ships are sailing, we’ll have nearly doubled the size of our existing fleet.”

All ship names, design plans and itineraries are still in development, with each of the ships expected to have their own unique experiences. The three new ships will be powered by clean-burning liquefied natural gas and be the same size – approximately 135,000 gross tons with about 1,250 guest staterooms planned – which is slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

Since first setting sail in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has provided a quintessential family cruise vacation experience that combines the magic of Disney with the wonder of exploring different parts of the world. Guests step aboard majestic and beautiful ocean liners to enjoy legendary Disney entertainment, exquisite dining, spacious and well-appointed staterooms and magnificent public spaces.

With the launch of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy in 2011 and 2012, the company introduced several firsts for the industry, including a water coaster at sea (AquaDuck) and virtual portholes in interior staterooms (Magical Portholes) that provide real-time views of the sea as well as sightings of animated Disney characters. With a legacy of revolutionary design, Disney Cruise Line’s new ships will usher in the next generation of innovative cruise experiences designed especially for families that will transform the art-of-cruising and take guests on adventures in a way never dreamed of before.

 

Sep 24

Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils Features For Norwegian Bliss

 

Norwegian Cruise Line today revealed features and amenities for Norwegian Bliss, the line’s sixteenth ship, which has been designed for the ultimate cruising experience and will sail to Alaska and the Caribbean with select voyages to the Mexican Riviera beginning in June 2018. Custom-built for the spectacular, Norwegian Bliss will boast many firsts at sea for the global market including the largest competitive race track at sea and an open-air laser tag course. The ship’s exciting new features will join the brand’s signature elements of freedom and flexibility that Norwegian is known for across the globe including a myriad of mouthwatering dining options and a vibrant onboard atmosphere fueled by dynamic intimate spaces and a multitude of bars and lounges, award-winning youth programs and more. Many of the ship’s amenities were announced today by Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief executive officer, at an exclusive event at Virtuoso Travel Week at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, where media and travel partners were able to Imagine Bliss through interactive 3D virtual reality experiences of the ship’s race track, Observation Lounge, The Waterfront, pool deck and a waterslide.

“Norwegian Bliss will no doubt be our most incredible ship to date,” said Stuart. “We have elevated Norwegian Bliss’s onboard experience to new heights, bringing the best features from across our fleet plus exciting new first-at-sea activities like the largest race track and new dining concepts to create the ultimate cruising experience.”

At approximately 167,800 gross tons and accommodating 4,000 guests, Norwegian Bliss is currently being constructed at MEYER WERFT in Papenburg, Germany and is scheduled for delivery in Spring 2018. 

Imagine Exhilaration

Norwegian Bliss will boast excitement around every corner and delight guests with thrills, with activities spanning the entirety of the ship’s top deck. Following overwhelming popularity aboard Norwegian Bliss’ sister ship in China, Norwegian Joy, guests will be able to put the pedal to the metal for the first time aboard a North American-based cruise ship with a two level electric-car race track. The competitive track, the longest at sea at nearly 1,000 feet, will rev up the hearts of all who race around her many twists and turns with four speed settings accommodating novice, intermediate and advanced drivers, reaching up to 30 miles per hour — with a special “turbo boost” available on each lap. The electric cars run silent so as to not disturb those seeking to enjoy the serene environment.  But guests will have the full racing experience while they channel their inner Andretti, as the sounds of a race car engine are piped in through speakers located in the car’s headrest.  

After burning rubber at the race track, guests can test their agility at the open-air laser tag course. Themed as an abandoned space station, the course comes to life both day and night as guests go into stealth-mode and compete against family and friends with state-of-the art laser guns. 

After working up a sweat, guests aboard Norwegian Bliss can cool down at the ship’s expansive pool and sundeck featuring two spacious pools and six infinity hot tubs that scale the side of the ship. The ship’s Aqua Park also includes two multi-story waterslides. Not for the faint of heart, the high-speed Ocean Loops free fall slide includes two exhilarating loops, one that extends out over the side of the ship and a second see-through loop that stretches down to the deck below, sure to offer a wet and wild ride. The tandem Aqua Racer slide allows guests to race side-by-side on inner tubes for more than 360 feet, with a translucent section that provides stunning ocean views as guests twist and turn to the finish line. 

Junior cruisers can splish, splash and have a blast at the Kids’ Aqua Park, a watery wonderland of splash pads, water cannons, tipping buckets and slides. The little ones will also have a blast at Splash Academy, the fleet’s award-winning complimentary youth program. Centrally-located on Deck 5, Splash Academy will offer age-appropriate supervised activities for children aged three to 12 with fun and energetic programming including games with the conservation-minded Officer Snook, a circus spectacular celebration, jungle-themed nights and more. Teens aged 13 through 17 will enjoy their own space aboard Norwegian Bliss on deck 5, Entourage, adjacent to the ship’s arcade. The exclusive teen space features plush lounge furniture, gaming stations, foosball, air hockey and a dancefloor with neon lighting, as the space transitions to the hottest teen nightclub at sea in the evening hours. Even tiny cruisers, ages six months to just under three years old, will have an dedicated space to enjoy aboard Norwegian Bliss with the fleet’s largest Guppies playroom, where Early Years Coordinators will host sensory-play activities for parents and babies including messy play, exploration, music and movement. In line with its youth programming across the fleet, Norwegian Bliss will offer a wide range of family-friendly activities for guests to enjoy including family balloon twisting, interactive games and the Family Glow Party. 

Imagine Delectable

Foodies and cocktail connoisseurs will be able to dine, sip and savor to their heart’s delight with a breadth of dining and bar options aboard Norwegian Bliss, including signature Norwegian favorites as well as exclusive new concepts that will debut aboard the line’s newest ship. 

Modern décor and premium ingredients will meet southern flavors at the all-new Texas Smokehouse, Q, where guests will be able to tap their boots to the beat of live contemporary pop country music each night as they indulge in authentic Texas barbeque in a sleek urban setting. The new à la carte specialty restaurant will infuse an explosion of flavors in every bite with a selection brisket, ribs, chicken and sausages and more freshly smoked over hickory, oak and pecan woods. Q will offer generous portions of sides and starters including deviled eggs with natural air cured ham, pickled jalapeños, fresh cheddar and breadcrumb-crusted mac-n-cheese, baked sweet potatoes smothered in pecan honey butter and cinnamon and more. Guests can round out their meal at Q with a mason jar of fresh banana pudding or indulge in bread pudding in whiskey sauce. 

The flavors aboard Norwegian Bliss will travel south-of-the-border with Los Lobos, an outpost of the brand’s new restaurant serving elevated Mexican cuisine that made its debut in 2016 aboard Norwegian Dawn during her extensive dry dock enhancement under the Norwegian Edge, the brand’s investment program that encompasses the entire guest experience. Los Lobos will offer an upscale, modern take on traditional favorites like fresh guacamole prepared tableside, al pastor tacos, enchiladas de mole, handcrafted margaritas featuring private-label Patron Barrel Select, Norwegian’s own tequila blend, and more. Featuring indoor and outdoor seating located on deck 8 aft, Los Lobos will be adjacent to Cagney’s Steakhouse, Norwegian’s incredibly popular signature American-style steakhouse that serves up choice cuts of Hartley Ranch Premium Black Angus Beef including the larger-than-life 20 oz. Porterhouse, an incredibly tender 8 oz. filet mignon and signature ribeye. Between Los Lobos and Cagney’s Steakhouse, The A-List Bar, named for Norwegian President & CEO and 30-year veteran Andy Stuart, will serve handcrafted cocktails, wines and premium spirits.

Sweets and treats will be served up day and night at Coco’s, a completely new à la carte dessert venue located on deck 6 in the heart of the ship, 678 Ocean Place, where liquid chocolate  in an enclosed oversized chocolate fountain will adorns its entranceway, delighting kids and kids at heart. The chocolate-themed dessert restaurant will feature handmade pralines, truffles, crepes and other decadent treats paired with fine coffees and teas. 

In a nod to the ship’s homeport of Seattle, guests aboard Norwegian Bliss can warm up for their glacier walk with a Caramel Macchiato or grab a Teavana® Shaken Iced Green Tea Lemonade to sip on while lounging on a pristine Caribbean beach with a full service Starbucks® store on board. Guests can start their day with Starbucks® coffees, teas and bites available à la carte.

Norwegian will bring together the best of its specialty dining experiences aboard Norwegian Bliss with signature à la carte restaurants including French cuisine at Le Bistro; the tastes of Tuscany at La Cucina; the finest fresh seafood at Ocean Blue; global fusion cuisine featuring sushi, dumplings, handhelds and more at Food Republic; Cheeseburgers in Paradise® at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville® at Sea; and handmade cupcakes and macarons at The Bake ShopTeppanyaki, the brand’s family-favorite Japanese hibachi steakhouse will also be onboard at cover charge pricing. 

Norwegian Bliss will serve up premium quality cuisine with fresh ingredients in all complimentary dining venues with rotating menus curated by the brand’s coveted culinary team.  In a new complimentary dining concept, The Local will offer guests pub fare in a relaxed neighborhood atmosphere 24 hours a day. 

Norwegian’s original beverage concepts will round out the ship’s culinary offerings. The District Brew House will serve 24 beers on tap and more than 50 bottled beers, along with bites  from the adjacent Food Republic. Local favorites on tap at The District will include craft beers from Red Hook Brewery and Elysian Brewery in Seattle as well as Wynwood Brewery and M.I.A. Beer Company in Miami. The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar will offer a curated wine list featuring 35 grape varietals including top selections from Washington-area vineyards, Tuscany and Michael Mondavi’s own Napa Valley Estate, as well as light bites from La Cucina. Wine will come to life at The Cellars with interactive educational seminars and tastings daily. Paying homage to her homeport cities, Norwegian Bliss’ beverage program will also feature a selection of local craft cocktails developed by Seattle-based celebrity mixologist and chef Kathy Casey as well as Miami-based Gabe Orta, one of the master curator’s behind the city’s ultra-popular BarLab concepts.

Imagine Tranquility

After glacier trekking in Alaska or discovering hidden caves and sea pools at the Baths of Virgin Gorda in the Caribbean, Norwegian Bliss guests will be able to revive, refresh and recharge at the ship’s Mandara Spa. Located on deck 16 aft, the Mandara Spa will offer the ultimate pampering experience with 24 treatment rooms, a full-service salon and barber shop, fitness center and thermal suite. The Fitness Center will offer latest state-of-the-art TechnoGym® cardiovascular and strength training equipment, as well as personal training and group fitness classes including  TRX, Norwegian Fight Club, RYDE Cycle and more. The ship’s expansive thermal suite will be an exclusive enclave of relaxation where guests can soothe aching joints in the vitality pool and heated whirlpool; rinse off and clear mind and spirit in special experience showers; reduce inflammation and improve respiratory functions in the salt room; cleanse the body in the steam room or sauna; cool down in the snow room; or catch up on their latest reading on one of the 17 heated stone loungers. Passes to the exclusive enclave of relaxation will be available for purchase for a limited number of guests each sailing. 

In addition to the luxurious spa, adults will be able to unwind in two private lounge spaces while cruising aboard Norwegian Bliss at Vibe Beach Club and Spice H2O

Imagine a New Scene

During her inaugural summer season, Norwegian Bliss will sail weekly seven-day Alaska cruises each Saturday from Pier 66 in Seattle, where she will be the largest and most innovative ship to ever seasonally homeport on the West Coast. Unlike any other ship sailing the West coast, Norwegian Bliss will feature the brand’s most celebrated elements of freedom and flexibility including 678 Ocean Place, a three-deck central hub where the pulse of the ship’s action takes place with restaurants, shops, entertainment and guest services all conveniently located in one area.  Also a first for a ship on the West coast will be The Waterfront, a popular feature that debuted on Norwegian Breakaway in 2013; the outdoor promenade is designed to enhance guests’ connection to the ocean with al fresco dining, bars and lounge spaces and offer spectacular views of Alaska’s breathtaking scenery and wildlife or the Caribbean’s stunning turquoise waters.

Norwegian’s vibrant nightlife scene will be taken to the next level aboard Norwegian Bliss with live entertainment, electrifying deck parties at Spice H2O and an expansive casino featuring hundreds of slot machines and table games to suit the likes of novice and pro gamblers alike.  In a first for Norwegian, the casino will now offer a smoking and a non-smoking casino to cater to all guest preferences.  

 

Norwegian Bliss’ custom design will offer guests the freedom and flexibility to “imagine Bliss” and create their ideal experience at sea, with a wide variety of accommodations including luxurious suites in The Haven by Norwegian®, Studio staterooms for solo travelers with virtual ocean views, and new connecting staterooms ideal for large groups and families traveling together. Norwegian Bliss will also feature an incredible lineup of entertainment offerings including the Tony-Award winner for “Best Musical” Jersey Boys and two observation lounges, including the exclusive Horizon Lounge for guests of The Haven®, perfect for whale watching in Alaska or taking in sunsets in the Caribbean, and more. Continuing its tradition of featuring original artwork on its ship’s hulls, Norwegian Cruise Line has commissioned Wyland, one of the world’s premier marine life artists, to design the hull art for Norwegian Bliss. 

 

The ship’s itinerary will feature calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia, along with scenic glacier cruising. Norwegian Bliss will sail her inaugural Winter season beginning in November 2018, sailing seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises each Saturday from PortMiami, featuring calls in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas. For more information on Norwegian Bliss, please visit bliss.ncl.com. To book a cruise aboard one of Norwegian’s newest ships, contact a travel professional or visit www.ncl.com.

 

Sep 24

ROYAL CARIBBEAN MARKS FIRST MAJOR CONSTRUCTION MILESTONE OF THE NEW QUANTUM ULTRA

 

World’s Most Innovative Cruise Line Celebrates Steel Cutting and Reveals Name of Newest Ship For China

 

MIAMI, August 15, 2017 – Excitement was in the air today at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, as Royal Caribbean International marked the official start of construction by cutting the first piece of steel for its new Quantum Ultra ship. The next engineering marvel in the innovative cruise line’s lineup will officially be named Spectrum of the Seas.

Set to debut in 2019, Spectrum will be the next evolution of the cruise line’s groundbreaking and high-tech Quantum class of ships placing the ship in a new class of her own. The revolutionary Quantum Ultra ship will specifically be designed for guests in China and the Asia-Pacific region, and will feature cutting-edge and unprecedented experiences and amenities.

“Today is a very special day in the development of our new Quantum Ultra ship, Spectrum of the Seas. We are now one step closer to delighting our guests in Asia Pacific with this remarkable ship,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Spectrum will be another giant leap forward in vessel design and guest experiences that will provide travelers with ample opportunities to create unforgettable memories.

Sep 24

CELEBRITY CRUISES REVEALS CELEBRITY EDGE

 

Celebrity Cruises Reveals Celebrity Edge, A Ship Designed to Transform Expectations

Stunning design and breakthrough staterooms set a new standard for modern luxury travel

Today, Celebrity Cruises delivers a first look at the 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

A-List Global Designers Bring Their Best to Celebrity Guests

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 design adds 23 percent more square footage and 10 percent larger bathrooms than Celebrity’s Solstice Class.

“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

Jun 05

MSC CRUISES AND STX FRANCE CONFIRM ORDER FOR LNG-POWERED WORLD CLASS CRUISE SHIPS

 

Today at the MSC Meraviglia Flag Ceremony, where MSC Cruises took delivery of the latest next-generation cruise ship built by STX France, the two companies signed a new memorandum of understanding firming up the order of two 200,000 GRT, LNG-powered mega cruise ships, with options for two additional vessels. The four ships will become MSC Cruises’ World Class. The signing took place in the presence of Mr Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, and Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy.

In connection with the signing, MSC Cruises and STX France today also unveiled several key features of the World Class. Among other innovations, they will be equipped with a completely new generation of LNG-powered engines as well as a new generation waste water treatment system.

 
MSC Cruises’ World Class cruise ships will feature 2,760 staterooms and a maximum occupancy of 6,850 guests, the highest passenger capacity in the global cruise fleet. The vessels, which will be delivered in 2022 and 2024 – the options are for 2025 and 2026 – will have a length of 1,083 ft. and 154 ft. of beam.
 
Speaking at the MSC Meraviglia Flag Ceremony, Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said: “Today, as we unveil MSC Meraviglia, a new vessel that marks the start of the next phase of our growth, we are delighted to confirm another key component of our ten-year investment plan: the World Class. These new vessels will further expand our partnership with STX France all the way to 2026, with up to seven additional innovative ships to be built during this period.”
 
STX France’s CEO Laurent Castaing commented: “Once again, MSC Cruises has chosen to put their trust in our capacity to support their growth and expansion as well as in our ability to conceive, develop and build the world’s most modern and technologically-advanced cruise ships. By adding the new World Class to the four previous ship classes that we have delivered over the past 15 years, the number of vessels in their fleet built by STX France in Saint-Nazaire is set to reach 20. Our exceptional industrial partnership continues to benefit an entire region.”
 
The World Class’ futuristic “Y” shape structure will enable panoramic sea views and increase the proportion of balcony cabins. The ships’ G bow (vertically positioned at a 90 degree angle) has been designed to improve stability, hydrodynamics as well as to enhance guest comfort. Other guest-centric innovations include family-friendly villages, a panoramic aft, and a glass pool lounge.
 
The announcement of the World Class was made as MSC Cruises officially took delivery of MSC Meraviglia. During the ship’s flag ceremony, which pays tribute to centuries-old maritime tradition, the Company’s newest flagship received her official flag and blessings for good fortune. MSC Meraviglia is due to set sail towards the Port of Le Havre for her christening ceremony on June 3.

Dec 17

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces 2018 and 2019 Deployment

 

Highlights include Norwegian Escape sailing to the Caribbean and Bermuda from New York; Norwegian Breakaway cruising to bucket list destinations in Scandinavia & Russia from Copenhagen; Norwegian Bliss sailing to Alaska from Seattle; plus new ships in several seasonal homeports sailing to the Caribbean

Miami, FL – Dec 14, 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced its summer 2018 and fall/winter 2018/19 itineraries, featuring exciting new opportunities for guests to set sail to their dream destinations, while unpacking just once and enjoying the most free and flexible cruising experience at sea. Norwegian’s 2018/2019 deployment spans across the globe, with sailings journeying to the warm waters of the Caribbean, the adventure-filled coasts  of South America, the awe-inspiring glaciers of Alaska, Norway and beyond. The new itineraries are on sale now for all guests. 

Alaska

In summer 2018, Norwegian will once again offer guests the opportunity to sail through the glacier-filled waters and gaze upon the snowy mountain-tops of Alaska on three unique ships, the youngest fleet sailing to the region. The brand-new Norwegian Bliss, arriving in June 2018, will lead Norwegian’s 2018 Alaska fleet with her inaugural season to the region, offering seven-day voyages departing each Saturday from Seattle. The largest and most innovative ship to sail to Alaska, Norwegian Bliss will be the first cruise ship custom-built with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruise experience and will be the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship to make its debut in Seattle*. Following an extensive renovation in 2017 as a part of the Norwegian Edge program, Norwegian Pearl will sail seven-day Glacier Bay Alaska cruises from Seattle departing on Sundays. Rounding out the Alaska fleet, Norwegian Sun will return to Vancouver and Seward to offer her incredibly popular northbound and southbound seven-day Alaska highlights voyages, offering guests the opportunity to combine back-to-back sailings for an immersive 14-day roundtrip cruise. 

Europe

Guest sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line can immerse themselves in the sights, sounds and flavors of Europe with five ships based in the region in summer 2018. Norwegian Breakaway will depart her New York homeport on April 15 for the first time since her inaugural season in 2013 for a 12-day transatlantic voyage to London (Southampton). Following her arrival in Europe, Norwegian Breakaway will undergo enhancements in dry dock and then journey to her new seasonal homeport of Copenhagen, where she will sail nine-day Scandinavia & Russia cruises through the summer season.  Norwegian Jade will return to Europe in summer 2018 and sail a series of Norway, Iceland, and North Cape cruises from London (Southampton) and Hamburg, showcasing the spectacular Norwegian fjords, along with British Isles cruises on select dates. Norwegian Spirit will return as well, sailing longer 10-day Western Mediterranean and 11-day Eastern Mediterranean & Adriatic cruises from Civitavecchia. Norwegian Star will reposition from the West Coast to Venice, sailing a series of seven-day Greek Isles and Adriatic & Greece cruises from The Floating City. Norwegian Epic, which received ship wide enhancements earlier this year during an extensive dry dock, will once again sail seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona and Civitavecchia, showcasing the best of Italy, France and Spain.  

In winter 2018/2019, Norwegian Spirit will set sail from Barcelona to the Canary Islands & Morocco, on a series of 10- and 11-day cruises that will bring guests looking to escape winter weather to the exotic bazaars of Northern Africa and Tenerife, which boasts the world’s third largest volcano and the highest elevation in all of Spain. 

Bermuda

Norwegian will continue its tradition of sailing from both New York City and Boston to the pink sand beaches of Bermuda between April and September 2018. Norwegian’s newest ship, Norwegian Escape, will reposition for the first time since she was christened in 2015, and will sail from New York City to Bermuda on seven-day cruises to every Sunday, offering NY-area guests a new ship to enjoy, featuring Norwegian’s first brew pub at sea, the Tony-award winning After Midnight and critically-acclaimed For the Record: The Brat Pack, along with two restaurants from Iron Chef Jose Garces and The Cellars, a Michael Mondavi Family Wine bar. Norwegian Dawn, essentially a new ship after bow to stern enhancements this year, will sail seven-day cruises from Boston to Bermuda, departing every Friday.

Bahamas & Florida

In summer 2018, Norwegian Gem will set sail for the Bahamas and Florida each Saturday from New York City, bringing guests the best of beaches, theme parks and sunshine.  Norwegian Sky will continue to sail three- and four-day Bahamas cruises from Miami year-round, providing guests a private island escape to Great Stirrup Cay, which is currently undergoing enhancements that include a luxury lagoon area for Haven guests, along with enhanced facilities, premium cabana furnishings and more family-friendly amenities.  

In winter 2018/2019, Norwegian Escape will remain in New York, and bring guests to the tropical beaches of the Bahamas & Florida on seven-day cruises. Norwegian Breakaway will return to New York from Europe and will also sail seven-day Bahamas & Florida cruises from Manhattan during winter 2018/2019.

Caribbean

Guests can set sail to the Caribbean on seven Norwegian ships in 2018 & 2019, sailing from convenient departure ports including New York, Boston, Port Canaveral, San Juan, Miami, New Orleans and Tampa.   

From December 2018 – February 2019, Norwegian Escape will set sail from New York on extended 12- and 14-day Southern Caribbean cruises, as well as 14-day Western Caribbean cruises, which will include a call at Harvest Caye, Belize’s newest resort-style port of call featuring a cruise ship pier for easy access, seven acre white sand beach and 15,000 square foot pool, among other eco-friendly adventures. Norwegian Breakaway will also sail 10- and 11-day Eastern Caribbean cruises from New York, for a sunshine-filled extended getaway including calls in the Virgin Islands during the heart of winter. New for 2018, guests cruising from New England can set sail to the Caribbean from Boston on Norwegian Dawn for a 14-day Eastern Caribbean cruise in October 2018.

Norwegian Gem will reposition to New Orleans, sailing to the Western Caribbean on seven-, 10- and 11-day cruises from the Crescent City.  Guests sailing from Miami in winter 2018 can cruise to the Western Caribbean on Norwegian Getaway, which will sail seven-day cruises that will also include a call to Harvest Caye.  Norwegian Pearl will homeport in Tampa during winter 2018, sailing seven-day cruises to the Western Caribbean.  

Norwegian Dawn will seasonally homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico during the winter 2018/2019 season, sailing to the heart of the Southern Caribbean on seven-, 10- and 11-day cruises, with calls in  Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and more. Guests can also sail to the Southern Caribbean from Miami on Norwegian Jade, on a 10-day cruise on select dates from November 2018 – April 2019. 

Norwegian Epic will again return to Port Canaveral in fall 2018, sailing alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises, along with select longer 10- and 11-day Western Caribbean cruises from November 2018 – January 2019 that will include a call at Harvest Caye. Guests who wish to visit Norwegian’s private island Great Stirrup Cay can do so from Port Canaveral in March 2019, as Norwegian Epic will also offer a four-day Bahamas cruise from Port Canaveral and a five-day Western Caribbean cruise that calls in Cozumel and Great Stirrup Cay.

Canada & New England

Norwegian will offer guests the opportunity for prime “leaf peeping” in Canada & New England on three vessels in fall 2018. Norwegian Escape will be the company’s largest vessel to bring guests on spectacular fall foliage cruises, sailing seven-day Canada & New England cruises from New York on select dates in September 2018.  For those looking for a summer cruise to the Pinetree State and Great White North, Norwegian Gem will also sail north from the Big Apple in June 2018 on two seven-day cruises, calling in Maine, St. John and Halifax. For those guests looking to explore Canada & New England further, Norwegian Gem will sail extended 10-day cruises from New York that include an overnight in Québec City, while Norwegian Dawn will sail a series of northbound and southbound seven-day cruises between Boston and Quebec, offering the opportunity to combine for the ultimate fall getaway with a 14-day roundtrip cruises.  

Hawaii

The recently-refurbished Pride of America will continue to sail her very popular seven-day Hawaii itinerary departing from Honolulu every Saturday through May 2019. Offering more than 100 hours of in-port sight-seeing time, the only ship to sail the islands features an itinerary with calls that include an overnight in Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawai`i; Kona, Hawai`i; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kaua`i; and an afternoon cruise past the breathtaking Nãpali Coast. 

Panama Canal and Mexican Riviera

A true bucket-list experience, Norwegian will offer one-way and roundtrip Panama Canal cruises on three ships in 2018/2019.  Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Pearl will sail 11-day and 14-day roundtrip canal cruises from Tampa and Miami in 2018/2019, providing guests with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see one of the seven wonders of the modern world. For guests looking for an extended Panama Canal cruise, they can embark Norwegian Star from either Miami or Los Angeles during select dates in January – March 2019 for a 14-day one way cruise that includes a day-time transit of the canal.  Norwegian Pearl will also sail a one-way 15-day Panama Canal cruise from LA to Tampa in October 2018.

West coast guests looking for a sun and fun cruise can embark on a seven-day Mexican Riviera sailing from Los Angeles on select dates in December 2018 and March 2019 that features calls in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas.

South America

Norwegian Sun will once again return to South America, sailing a series of alternating westbound and eastbound 14-day itineraries between Valparaiso, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina in Winter 2018/2019, featuring a sail around Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego’s splendid fjords. 

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. 

Dec 17

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL OPENS SAILINGS TO CUBA

 

Adventure Seekers Can Now Visit Havana On Empress of the Seas from Miami or Tampa

MIAMI, Dec. 9, 2016 – Salsa music, dominoes, Mojitos and historic Havana neighborhoods are easier to reach than ever before for guests on Royal Caribbean International. The newly revitalized Empress of the Seas will make history for the cruise line with its first visit to Cuba during a 5-night sailing departing Miami on April 19, 2017. The ship will then reposition to Tampa offering two itineraries with calls to Havana on April 30 (7-night sailing) and May 20 (5-night sailing). These Empress of the Seas sailings are now open for sale.

               Empress of the Seas will homeport in Tampa for the 2017 summer season – the cruise line’s first-ever summer program from the destination – offering a series of 4- and 5-night sailings, including port calls to destinations in Cuba. The largest ship to sail to Cuba from the United States, Empress will provide vacationers with the opportunity to discover the timeless sights, sounds and culture of this island nation. Details of the summer itineraries will be released at a later date.

               “Royal Caribbean is the world’s most exciting adventure company, and we’re thrilled to introduce culture-seeking travelers to Cuba. As the unrivaled innovators of the cruise experience, no company is better positioned to help adventurers explore and experience this culturally rich destination,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

               Guests sailing onboard Empress of the Seas and visiting Cuba can enjoy curated people-to-people experiences created to immerse vacationers in the natural beauty of Cuba, its architecture, cuisine, music and art.  All cruises will be designed in accordance with current U.S. to Cuba travel regulations. 

               While in Cuba, guests will explore Old Havana – a UNESCO World Heritage site – some of the city’s most notable squares, historic neighborhoods, a local artisan market, Havana’s rum museum as well as Hemingway’s former residence and favorite haunts. Local experts will immerse guests in the history, culture and people of Cuba. These authentic encounters will give guests an unforgettable taste of what has made Cuba the gem of the Caribbean.

               The authentic experiences aren’t limited to land. The vibrant culture will extend to Empress of the Seas, from cortaditos and café con leche in Café Royal to salsa music, guests will have a range of onboard activities developed to bring the spirit of the island to life during the entire journey. The revitalized Empress will bring the shipboard Cuban flair together with signature amenities, such as a thrilling rock-climbing wall for adrenaline seekers; updated pool and whirlpools; a Vitality Spa with an extensive treatment menu; and a complimentary Adventure Ocean youth program. Empress also will offer a variety of dining options with the casual atmosphere of the Windjammer Café and fine dining at Royal Caribbean’s signature steakhouse Chops.

               The summer program on Empress of the Seas provides travelers with more opportunities to sample the unique Royal Caribbean experience from Tampa. Two other Royal Caribbean ships, Rhapsody of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas, will offer Caribbean itineraries from the homeport during the winter season. Guests interested in being one of the first to experience Cuba with Royal Caribbean can contact their travel professional, call Royal Caribbean at 1-866-562-7625 or visit RoyalCaribbean.com/Cuba.

 

Dec 17

New 133,500-Ton Vista Class Ship To Join Carnival Cruise Line Fleet In 2019

 

 

MIAMI, Dec. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — A new 133,500-ton cruise ship, which will be the third vessel in the company’s Vista class series, will join the Carnival Cruise Line fleet in late 2019.  The ship, under contract with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, was originally designated for the P&O Cruises Australia brand. In conjunction with this change, Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Splendor will be transferred to P&O Cruises Australia in late 2019.

The ship will offer many of Carnival’s most popular guest features, a wide range of accommodation types and a number of new innovations unique to this vessel.  The ship’s name, homeport and itinerary details will be announced at a later date. 

“We are truly thrilled to have another Vista class ship joining our fleet,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Carnival Vista, which was named the best new ship of 2016 in the Cruise Critic Editors Picks awards, has proven to be the most innovative and popular ship we’ve ever introduced. Consumer, travel agent and media reaction to the Vista class design has been extraordinary and we are elated to have two additional ships in this spectacular series now joining our fleet – Carnival Horizon, which is scheduled to be delivered in March 2018, and now a third in 2019.”

Duffy added that the introduction of these ships to the Carnival fleet provides the opportunity to offer the Vista class experience from a variety of homeports in addition to creating exciting new itinerary options across the balance of the Carnival Cruise Line fleet as this additional capacity is integrated into the deployment mix.

Dec 17

Carnival Corporation Earns Perfect Score in Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index

 
World’s largest leisure travel company earns perfect score of 100 and designation for third straight year as 2017 best place to work for LGBTQ equality

MIAMI, Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest leisure travel company, today announced that it has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) with a perfect score in the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which rates U.S. companies on their treatment of LGBTQ consumers, investors and employees.

This is also the third consecutive year that HRC – the largest LGBTQ civil rights organization in the U.S. – named Carnival Corporation among the top companies and recognized it as a best place to work for LGBTQ equality, acknowledging the company’s efforts to be fully inclusive.

“A perfect score from the HRC is a major achievement and reflects our efforts to promote a positive work environment that respects people from all walks of life,” said Jerry Montgomery, chief human resources officer for Carnival Corporation. “To be recognized by the largest LGBTQ civil rights organization in the country underscores that our commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming company has never been stronger.”

Carnival Corporation’s 2020 sustainability goals include a commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce and providing all employees with a positive work environment and opportunities to build a rewarding career to further drive employee engagement.

The company has also shown its support of LGBTQ equality and inclusion through:  

  • Offering welcoming environments with LGBTQ cruises, onboard activities and special events, including hosting the 2015 Director’s Circle Summer Luncheon for the Seattle Men’s and Women’s choruses on Holland America Line;
  • Participating in the Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce coalition to end LGBTQ discrimination in the state’s businesses; and
  • Partnering with equal opportunity champions such as the Human Rights Campaign

“At Carnival Corporation, all of our 10 cruise line brands have unique cultures that reflect the diversity of their employees, guests and suppliers,” said Montgomery. “Our ability to be competitive, foster innovation and thrive globally is in part a result of our diversity and our belief that diversity of thinking plays an important role in our success and passion to provide our guests with great cruise vacations.”

Available online, the CEI has been the nation’s preeminent benchmarking tool for LGBTQ equality in the workplace since 2002. This year, the top score was awarded on the basis of detailed criteria in five key categories: non-discrimination policies, employment benefits, public commitment to LGBTQ equality, responsible corporate citizenship and demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBTQ diversity and inclusion.

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