Jul 23

Kate McCue Advances Women’s Leadership in Cruising as Celebrity Cruises Names Her the Industry’s First-Ever American Female Captain

 

For the first time in the cruise industry – and in Celebrity Cruises’ history – an American female will take the helm of a mega-ton cruise ship. At 37 years of age, San Francisco native Kate McCue will command Celebrity Summit– a 91,000-ton, 965-foot ship in the Celebrity Cruises fleet, sailing between the eastern United States and Bermuda. As Captain, she will be responsible for the safe navigation of the ship and the onboard experience of its 2,158 guests and 952 crew members.

The modern luxury cruise brand, which operates a fleet of 10 ships, has elevated McCue to the position of Captain based on her 15 years of successful experience and leadership in the maritime industry. During her tenure, McCue has managed ship logistics while sailing worldwide itineraries, including Europe, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and along the Panama Canal. Captain McCue has also served as a maritime leader while sailing several transatlantic and repositioning cruises, and played a notable role in the revitalization of ships in Singapore.

Continuing Celebrity Cruises’ dedication to advancing the role of women in leadership, Kate McCue’s appointment follows that of Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, who was named President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises in December 2014.

“From the first time I met Kate, I looked forward to this moment, when I could extend my congratulations to her for being such a dynamic and highly respected leader who will continue to pave the way for women in the maritime industry,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “Of all the great moments throughout my career, this is at the top of my list. I am both honored that Kate accepted this position, and proud of the way our team continues to transform the way people think about Celebrity, and about cruising in general.”

A graduate of California State University’s California Maritime Academy, Captain McCue has held a variety of roles in the maritime industry, beginning as a cadet and deck officer, then working through a series of successively more responsible positions to her most recent role as Master Mariner with Royal Caribbean International. McCue has earned numerous certifications in a variety of areas pertaining to leadership navigation, ship management and security.

“Becoming the first female American captain of a cruise ship has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember,” says McCue. “The honor is amplified by being the first at a company like Celebrity Cruises. The cruise industry is ever-evolving, from the ships and the itineraries, to our guests’ expectations for vacation experiences. Celebrity has a history of delivering on each of these, and I am thrilled to be a part of it. I look forward to working with an amazing team and the exceptional leadership who bring the Celebrity Cruises vision to life every day.”

McCue will begin her new role onboard Celebrity Summit in August 2015.

Jul 23

Carnival Corporation Signs Agreement with Port Authority of Barcelona to Build and Operate New Cruise Terminal in Europe’s Largest Port

World’s largest travel and leisure company will invest more than 30 million euros to construct and operate its second private cruise terminal at Port of Barcelona
Expanding one of five global ports operated by Carnival Corporation, the new Barcelona cruise terminal will be ready to accommodate the company’s new class of cruise ships arriving in 2018 and 2019

MIAMI, July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest travel and leisure company, today announced it has signed an agreement with the Port Authority of Barcelona to invest more than 30 million euros to build and operate its second private cruise terminal at the Port of Barcelona, which is used by seven of the company’s 10 cruise line brands as both a destination and home port. As part of the agreement, the Port Authority granted Carnival Corporation administrative concessions to operate the cruise terminal and all-new parking facility atEurope’s largest port and the fourth busiest port in the world.

With the agreement, Carnival Corporation has been granted approval to begin the final design process and start construction of the new terminal in 2016. Scheduled to open as early as 2018 in the Port’s Adossat wharf, the new terminal will be one of Europe’s largest at 11,500 square meters.

In addition, Carnival Corporation will collaborate with the Port to build and open the first public parking facility located on the cruise pier, providing guests embarking on cruises convenient access to over 300 parking spaces.

“As an all-new, next-generation cruise facility, the terminal will be designed to enhance the overall cruise experience for Carnival Corporation’s guests,” said Michel Nestour, managing director of Carnival Corporation terminal operations in Barcelona. “This will include making it easy and convenient for guests, whether they are arriving at the terminal to begin a cruise vacation, disembarking following the completion of a cruise or visiting Barcelona as one of the ports of call on a cruise. In all cases, our goal is to exceed guest expectations through every stage of the cruise experience, and this new terminal will be built to meet that goal.”

“We are excited about our ongoing partnership with Carnival Corporation to enhance our facilities at the Port of Barcelona and continue our momentum as one of the top cruise destinations in the world,” said Sixte Cambra, president of the Port Authority of Barcelona. “This new agreement ensures that we will continue to meet the growing popularity of cruising to and from Barcelona, accommodate the latest in cruise ship designs and most importantly provide cruise passengers with the highest levels of quality and service.”

Added Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corporation: “In the past several years Barcelona has seen a consistent surge in growth as a very popular destination for our cruise guests. And as the largest port in Europe, it continues to be a great city and port for both our guests and our cruise line brands. We are excited to expand our operations at the Port of Barcelona with our second private terminal, as it enhances our ability to provide a great experience for our guests. Based on our very positive working relationship with our partners inBarcelona, we see a truly bright future for the cruising industry in Barcelona and look forward to continuing to work with the Port and the city ofBarcelona to welcome our cruise guests to one of the most beautiful, vibrant and popular cities in Europe and the Mediterranean.”

Across its six existing terminals in 2014, the Port of Barcelona had 764 cruise calls and over 2.36 million passenger movements. Overall, according to studies by the Barcelona’s Tourist Office in 2013, cruise passengers had an economic impact of nearly 257 million euros in Barcelona based on spending on restaurants, transport and trade in the city. A large percentage of cruise passengers are experienced travelers who take vacations as couples, single-unit families, multi-generational and extended families and friends, and who enjoy exploring cities such as Barcelona on their own or on organized shore excursions to visit museums, churches, restaurants, shops and more.

When Carnival Corporation’s terminal is launched in 2018, it will represent a significant expansion of the company’s presence in the Port of Barcelona.Carnival Corporation operates four additional global ports, including Puerta Maya in Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Turk Cruise Center in Turks and Caicos Islands; Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras; and Long Beach in California. Carnival Corporation also operates two private island destinations in theCaribbean, Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay.

Carnival Corporation will open Amber Cove in October 2015 in the Puerta Plata region of the Dominican Republic, which will be the company’s sixth global port operation. The company is also expanding operations at its Puerta Maya port in Cozumel, adding a third pier to be able to receive three ships simultaneously starting with the upcoming winter cruising season. In total, Carnival Corporation cruise ships visit over 725 ports of call around the world.

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New slides on Harmony of the Seas

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ESCAPE FROM THE FUTURE: PUZZLE BREAK CHALLENGES ROYAL CARIBBEAN GUESTS

Jul 21

STOWAWAY DISCOVERED ONBOARD ANTHEM OF THE SEAS: SPOTTING ROYAL CARIBBEAN’S MOST INFAMOUS ENTERTAINER

Jul 21

NEW YORK COUNTS DOWN TO ARRIVAL OF NEW SMARTSHIP, ANTHEM OF THE SEAS

High-Tech Adventures are Just 100 Days Away

MIAMI – Royal Caribbean International’s newest and most technologically advanced ship, Anthem of the Seas is set to arrive in the New York area on November 4, 2015, bringing with her a lineup of thrilling adventures for guests of all ages. From the RipCord by iFLY sky diving experience and the North Star, a glass observation capsule that takes guests more than 300 feet above the ocean, to futuristic entertainment, a robust culinary experience and game-changing technology that encompasses everything from robotic bartenders to the fastest wireless connectivity at sea, Anthem of the Seas allows guests to vacation like never before.

Anthem of the Seas will make Cape Liberty Cruise Port in New York Harbor her permanent home, sailing to the Caribbean and The Bahamas, and treating guests to an incomparable vacation experience that can only be found on Royal Caribbean. Highlights ofAnthem of the Seas include:

Unexpected at Sea Adventures

Endless experiences await guests onboard Anthem of the Seas, with unexpected thrills. From North Star,providing guests breathtaking, panoramic views from 300 feet above sea level, to RipCord by iFLY, the first skydiving experience at sea, andSeaPlex, the largest indoor active space at sea complete with bumper cars, a circus school, roller skating, and more, there is no end to the fun that can be found onboard.

Multi-Dimensional Entertainment

Be it day or night, Anthem of the Seas keeps guests inspired and entertained. An extraordinary lineup of multidimensional entertainment onboard Anthem of the Seas delights guests of all ages in a variety of state-of-the-art venues, including Two70, where a combination of live performers and technology come together to deliver spectacular, multidimensional shows and events that have never before been seen on land, let alone at sea. The Royal Theater is home to the ship’s two main shows, “We Will Rock You” and “The Gift,” while Music Hall, the hottest live music venue at sea, keeps guests rocking and dancing the night away.

A Delectable Menu of Choice and Flexibility  

Anthem of the Seas features a revolutionary approach to cruise ship dining, thanks to a robust culinary experience that allows guests to customize their onboard dining experience to best meet their varying palates and preferences. An all-new Dynamic Dining experience gives guests a selection of 18 restaurant concepts, including five complimentary main dining restaurants, as well as a lineup of specialty dining venues.  Partnerships with world-renowned chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Michael Schwartz, and Devin Alexander round out the options.  Guests have the flexibility to choose between Dynamic Dining Choice, which allows them to decide when, where, and with whom to dine each evening, and Dynamic Dining Classic, which is designed for those who prefer a more traditional experience.

The Ultimate Hi-Tech Vacation

From ultrafast Wi-Fi – the fastest at sea – and RFID technology, to virtual balconies in every interior stateroom, and robots that can mix up a mean cocktail, Anthem of the Seas, is packed with a bold lineup of technological advancements that will impress even the most tech-savvy modern traveler. Designed to seamlessly deliver unprecedented guest vacation experiences at sea, technology is prevalent throughout the ship, substantially increasing guest convenience and efficiency and ensuring a cruise onboard Anthem of the Seas is nothing but smooth sailing.

The world’s most revolutionary cruise ship, Anthem of the Seas is setting sail on the next great adventure. Unprecedented innovations in ship design, thrilling activities, game-changing technology, multidimensional entertainment and robust, flexible dining opportunities come together onboard Anthem to create the ultimate, contemporary cruising experience found only on Royal Caribbean. She spans 18 decks, encompasses 167,800 gross registered tons, carries 4,180 guests at double occupancy and features 2,090 staterooms. Anthem of the Seas will sail out of her new homeport of Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J. beginning Nov. 10.  More information on Quantum class is available at www.RoyalCaribbean.com/AnthemoftheSeas. Media can find more details, images and videos at www.RoyalCaribbeanPressCenter.com/Anthem.

Jul 21

Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces á La Carte Specialty Dining

Norwegian Cruise Line announced today the introduction of à la carte specialty dining at the line’s signature specialty restaurants, providing guests the freedom to savor an array of tastes and gourmet dishes and the flexibility to choose how many courses they wish to enjoy during their meal.

Guests will experience the ultimate in Freestyle Cruising beginning this October on the all-new Norwegian Escape, where they can choose to dine at any of 11 complimentary dining options or experience new flavors at Norwegian’s signature specialty restaurants La Cucina, Le Bistro, Cagney’s Steakhouse and the new Bayamo by James Beard Award winning chef Jose Garces, on an à la carte basis.

Norwegian’s signature specialty restaurants on Norwegian Escape will feature enhanced menus that include favorite dishes and new tastes alike, offering guests the freedom to select how many courses they’d like to enjoy during their dinner, with per-item pricing. Whether guests wish to have a light meal of a favorite appetizer and soup or salad, or indulge in a multi-course dinner featuring Maine lobster, with Norwegian’s new à la carte options, guests will now have the opportunity to create their desired dining experience, just as they would at any land-based restaurant.

At Cagney’s Steakhouse, starters on the new à la carte menu range from $4.99 to $7.95 and main courses from $17.99 to $29.99, featuring Certified Angus Beef® brand steaks, the world’s leading Angus brand and consumers’ top choice for premium beef. At Le Bistro, guests will find delicious new main courses in addition to traditional French favorites, including Bouillabaisse, Pan-Seared Jumbo Bay Scallops and Veal Medallions with Sauce Morrel, starting at $15.99. And guests looking to find a taste of “la dolce vita” will be transported to the Mediterranean when they choose from an expanded menu at La Cucina, featuring antipasti, pasta, risotto and traditional secondi courses starting at $12.99 including Osso Buco alla Milanese, Free-Range Chicken with Prosciutto or Pan-Seared Sea Bass Filet.

Moderno Churrascaria and Teppanyaki will remain at a cover charge of $19.95 and $29.95 respectively, as will entertainment dining including Wine Lovers The Musical and For The Record™: The Brat Pack.

Guests who purchase a Norwegian Specialty Dining Package have the freedom to indulge as they wish, as Specialty Dining Packages will allow guests to enjoy La Cucina, Le Bistro and Cagney’s Steakhouse at no additional charge. Guests with a Specialty Dining Package can dine in Bayamo by Jose Garces for an additional fee of $15.

In addition to Norwegian Escape’s specialty restaurants, Ocean Blue on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway will also begin offering à la carte options on October 3, 2015, and the new à la carte dining will be available fleetwide beginning January 1, 2016. Other entertainment dining across the fleet, including Cirque Dreams & Dinner and The Illusionarium, will remain at a cover charge. For those guests who wish to reserve their dining times ahead of time, they can continue to do so via MyNCL; there is no charge to make a reservation and guests will have any à la carte selections added to their onboard account at the time of dining.

For more information on Norwegian Cruise Line’s specialty dining, visit http://www.ncl.com/why-cruise-norwegian/cruise-dining#specialty. To book a cruise on Norwegian, guests can contact their travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

Jul 17

ROYAL CARIBBEAN DELIVERS NEW ADVENTURES AND EXCLUSIVE SHORE EXCURSIONS PROGRAM

Cruise Line Offers New Tours Designed For Action Lovers, Families, Culture Seekers and Foodies in Mind

MIAMI – Designed to meet every travel passion, Royal Caribbean International is tapping into what guests really want to do on their next vacation with an enhanced shore excursion program featuring exclusive new options. From playing five-on-five soccer in Spain to exploring Buddhist temples in Bangkok, these new excursions allow guests to discover a destination through activities which appeal to their sense of adventure. The cruise line’s more than 2,800 shore excursions worldwide also have been grouped into seven special interest categories designed based on guest’s interest and vacation needs: Active Adventures, Family Connections, Royal Tour Challenge, Culture and Sights, Culinary Delights, Caring Discoveries and the Royal Premium Tour Collection.

Active Adventures

Guests can get their hearts pumping with activities at every level, from riding a dune buggy and boat rides to high-energy excursions that will take their vacation’s adrenaline factor to the next level. From tackling six exhilarating zip lines and two skybridges in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, to rappelling through small waterfalls, sliding toboggan-style down boulders and jumping off cliffs into natural pools at a thrilling watercourse in Madeira, Portugal, adventure seekers can test their metal on any one of these excursions.

Family Connections

Creating lifelong memories are what family vacations are all about. What better way to ensure that than with shore excursions that kids, parents and even grandparents can enjoy together. Families can share exciting experiences while attending gladiator school in Rome, Italy, where families will learn Roman gladiator combat skills with a hands-on fighting lesson and earn a certificate of Roman citizenship. Or join a wilderness kayak experience at Chilkoot Lake in Skagway, Alaska, where adventure seekers might spot bald eagles, brown bears, seals, sea lions or even whales.

Royal Tour Challenge

In the spirit of good fun and some friendly competition, guests can spend their days in port with challenge-based activities designed especially for families and groups. Families and friends can spend some quality time together with a half-day laser tag adventure in Cozumel, Mexico, where participants will hit targets to gather points by following a jungle path filled with Mayan ruin replicas. Or better yet, guests can enjoy a five-on-five soccer game in Gijon, Spain, followed by a game of paddle tennis, a raquet sport played extensively in Spain.

Culture and Sights

      For travelers looking to explore history and culture with local experts and enrich their understanding of the world they can select classic sightseeing tours, guided visits to archaeological sites and museums, live performances, and more. Guests can enjoy asprawling Buddhist temple complex in Bangkok, Thailand, which was built in honor of two famous kings, or exploring Rome, Italy, in an Ape Calessino, the little vehicle eponymous to Italian style which launched in 1948 to help with post-WWII reconstruction.

Culinary Delights

Want to know what’s on the menu, in the fields or on tap? Discover a destination’s authentic, essential flavors through excursions that introduce guests to local chefs, specialties and purveyors. Visit Graycliff Chocolatier in Nassau, Bahamas, and delight in making truffles, bonbons and bars with a tropical flair, or learn pizza-making from the experts in Naples, Italy, where the Italian favorite was invented in 1830.

Caring Discoveries

Guests wanting to make a difference in the places they visit can select tours that help wildlife, the environment and local communities. Save a sea turtle in Cozumel, Mexico, where approximately 20 percent of turtles aren’t quite ready to head for the seas or meet an Iditarod musher and their racing dogs at a dog sled camp in Skagway, Alaska.

For full details about Royal Caribbean’s shore excursions program visit www.royalcaribbean.com/shoreexcursions.

Jul 14

MSC CRUISES TO INAUGURATE CUBA AS A DESTINATION IN DECEMBER 2015

Geneva, Switzerland, 3 July 2015 – MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned global cruise line and the market leader in the Mediterranean and South America, announced today that, starting in December 2015, its 2,120-guestMSC Opera will homeport in Havana for the winter 2015-16 season to offer guests 16 Caribbean cruises of relaxation and discovery.

MSC Cruises will give cruise travellers from around the world a unique chance to get aboard the completely renovated 65,542 GRT MSC Opera, part of the Company’s €200 million Renaissance programme, and cruise to Jamaica, theCayman Islands and Mexico with two nights and two and a half days in the Cuban capital.

Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer of MSC Cruises, commented: “We are particularly proud to make this exciting new destination available to our guests. For this, I wish to personally thank all those who worked with us over these past several months to make it possible for MSC Cruises to launch Cuba as a destination to its guests. In particular, I wish to thank the Ministers of Transportation and Tourism of the Cuban Government and their representatives for their continued highly professional contribution.

Mr. Onorato added: “The move to Cuba attests to our steadfast commitment to offer our experienced guests and holiday-makers the best and most sought-after destinations as they become accessible – thus further enhancing our global offering while providing travellers best-in-class experiences and service.”

“The inaugural cruise will take place in less than six months from now,” concluded Mr. Onorato, “but we can definitely attest of the strong demand for the product, due to the combination of the attractiveness of Cuba as a culture-rich destination, coupled with the fact that it is offered through our distinctive MSC Cruises experience.”

The seven-night cruises will be available to MSC Cruises travellers with a combination of packages. In particular, from Spain, Italy, France and Germany, as well as Canada, Brazil and Argentina these will include of fly and cruise combinations. The Company is also pleased to announce that the opening of the sales across all channels for cruises on MSC Opera will be on Thursday 9 July.

To offer local ground services and shore excursions MSC Cruises will partner with Cubanacan, the Cuba-based group created more than 20 years ago known for its experienced professionals and high quality of service.

The first cruise will start from Havana on 22 December 2015, following MSC Opera’s Grand Voyage to Cuba from Genoa, departing on 2 December 2015. To ensure that guests can enjoy and discover the capital city, the Grand Voyage will include a call in Havana on 18 December, and resume its itinerary in the region before heading back to Cuba for its final call of the journey on 22 December. On 12 April 2016, the ship will leave Havana for a Grand Voyage back to Europe, with Warnemünde (Germany) as its final destination, arriving on 7 May 2016.

Explore and unwind

During their two-and-a-half-day stay in Havana, MSC Opera’s guests can explore the city’s stunning old centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and discover its history, culture and architecture. No visit to Havana is complete without a stroll along the famous Malecón seafront promenade, where the island’s renowned laid-back lifestyle is in full effect.

The island of Cozumel, on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, offers some truly spectacular Mayan ruins, at Tulum. Travellers can snorkel with sea turtles and bathe in refreshing cavern waters, explore ancient Mayan caves or bask in the natural beauty of this island, which lies just off the coast of Quintana Roo.

In Montego Bay, on the north-western coast of Jamaica, guests can go white-water rafting in the Martha Brae River, tour an old plantation at the Good Hope Estate or learn about the mysteries of Rose Hall Great House – a fascinating colonial relic imbued with rumour and intrigue.

In Georgetown, the Cayman Islands, guests can snorkel in Stingray City, take a catamaran cruise to the coral reefs or just unwind on the pristine white Seven Mile Beach, on Grand Cayman’s western shore, famed for its gorgeous cobalt waters and coral sands.

Jul 14

Princess Cruises’ New Ship Begins Countdown to Summer 2017 Debut China Year Round Cruising

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 10, 2015) – Carnival plc marked the beginning of construction of Princess Cruises’ third new generation of ships with the official keel laying ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. As the keel – the bottommost part of the ship – was ceremoniously lowered into position, and shipyard officials celebrated the occasion with a traditional Chinese lion dance. This, yet to be named ship, will be customized to appeal to the China market when it debuts in summer 2017.

Following the lion dance and a traditional blessing by a priest, the ship’s keel – which weighs approximately 500 tons – was moved into position by crane onto the keel blocks. The computer-guided maneuver took only minutes, belying the more than two million man-hours that will ultimately go into building the vessel. The 3,600-passenger, 141,000-ton ship will remain in the building dock until float out next summer.

“We’re incredibly excited to mark this step in the ship’s construction,” said Anthony Kaufman, Princess Cruises senior vice president of Asia operations, who traveled to Italy for the ceremony. “We’re very pleased to be working with our long-term partner, Fincantieri, on our newest ship and we appreciate their partnership and collaboration to customize and tailor the ship for the Chinese market.”

“The lion dance has been part of the Chinese culture for thousands of years and is performed on various auspicious occasions and celebrations. According to traditional Chinese belief, the lion signifies courage, wisdom, and good fortune and brings happiness, longevity, and good luck. We believe this special ceremony will bring prosperity and good fortune to Princess Cruises and our guests in China,” said Cherry Wang, country director of Carnival China, who also traveled to Italy for the ceremony.

The new Royal Class ship will offer many of the same special features as Royal Princess and Regal Princess,which have been so well-received by the industry. These include a dramatic multi-story atrium serving as the social hub of the ship; an over-the-ocean SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; the Princess Live! interactive studio; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light.

Guests will enjoy the international flavor of cruising with Princess, including experiencing cuisines from China, Japan, South-East Asia, Italy, France, and North America among other regions; as well as an array of international festivals re-created to celebrate cultures around the world; Princess Watercolor Fantasy, a fountain and music show; Movies Under the Stars featuring the largest outdoor screen at sea; and balconies on all outside staterooms. Accommodations will be configured to appeal to families and multi-generational travelers.

In addition, the new ship will showcase the exclusive Princess Class experience designed specifically for the Chinese market. Delivered by the ship’s dedicated and caring crew, Princess Class enriches the travel experience of each cruise guest, enabling them to participate in unique cultural, culinary, entertaining and inspiring programs including the World Leaders Dinner, traditional English afternoon tea, a Lobster Grill, Ultimate Balcony Dining, an ocean-view hot pot dinner option, ballroom dancing, and an unparalleled duty-free shopping experience.

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