December 7, 2013
Princess Cruises will launch its largest Canada & New England program ever in 2011, with a new itinerary and an expanded season, offering nearly a 30 percent increase in capacity over the previous season. These summer cruises will sail between the line's Caribbean sailings from New York, offering a selection of summer destinations from the …View full post
MIAMI, June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — One expert driver is breathing a big sigh of relief after completing the initial stages of a 26-mile navigation â€“ in reverse â€“ on a luxurious, multimillion-dollar cruise ship, Celebrity Cruises’ sleek new Celebrity Silhouette. Â With less than five feet of room to maneuver at certain points, the challenging …View full post
MIAMI and PAPENBURG, Germany, Feb. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. has signed a letter of intent with shipyard Meyer Werft to build the first of a new generation of Royal Caribbean International cruise ships. Â Developed under the code-name “Project Sunshine,” the new vessel design incorporates new and exciting features that take advantage …View full post
Sydney’s port facilities could hit capacity as early as 2013 if a new terminal isn’t built to cope with growing demand, an international cruise company is warning. Australia’s cruise market is expanding so quickly that existing facilities won’t be able to accommodate the increasing number of large ships wanting to enter Sydney Harbour, says Royal …View full post
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (December 4, 2013) – Princess Cruises is getting ready to again crown its top guest entertainer during the cruise line’s third annual Entertainer of the Year competition. Four finalists have been selected from the vast array of talented performers – comedians, magicians, tribute bands and other specialty acts – who grace the Princess stages each year, and they will compete for the title during Princess’ upcoming Entertainer of the Year cruise.
Passengers will also be able to get in on the act by casting their ballots for their favorite performer aboard Caribbean Princess during the ship’s March 22, 2014 Western Caribbean cruise.
The four finalists competing to hold the title of “Entertainer of the Year” are:
Troy Thirdgill – Comedian Troy Thirdgill has not only performed for audiences on cruise ships, but also entertains at comedy clubs, military bases, colleges and large corporate events. His busy schedule has taken him to more countries than almost any comic in the world. His act features witty material and very real characters, evoking laughs by presenting a unique perspective.
Zach Winningham – Vocalist Zach Winningham hails from the Midwest farm town of Belleville, Indiana, where long country drives with his father introduced him to 50s and 60s rock n’ roll, country, and bluegrass music. His passion to keep this music alive has driven his musical career and blossomed into a love of performing, which has taken him to stages across America and cruise ships all over the world.
Hawley Magic – Illusionist Jonathan Hawley has performed around the world with his wife, Trisha, by his side as his featured assistant. Together as Hawley Magic they make a powerful team, offering audiences much more than just a few tricks. Their artistic act leaves a lasting impression on audiences of any age.
Walk Like a Man – This dynamic tribute show captures the feel of a live concert performance from one of America’s living legends, Frankie Valli. The world-class entertainers who make up the cast have collectively performed on television, in national shows and on major recordings. One of the lead vocalists, Val Martinez, even toured with Frankie Valli himself.
Each finalist will offer several live performances during the cruise, after which passengers vote for their favorite entertainer. The winner will be announced on the final night of the cruise at a celebratory event in Princess’ signature venue, The Piazza.
“We look forward to another show-stopping competition for our third Entertainer of the Year cruise, showcasing the remarkable caliber of the guest entertainers who perform throughout our fleet,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We know passengers love the opportunity to have their voice heard when crowning a winner, but with these dynamic performers, they may have a tough time choosing.”
The finalists have been determined by the Princess Cruises Entertainment department based on passenger surveys and onboard audience response.
The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and will hold the title of “2013 Princess Cruises Entertainer of the Year.”
If you are the parent of a teen, you know the years from 13-20 can be an angsty time where iPods seem more important than family dinners. But, when it comes to vacations, what teen wouldn’t want a break from the school cafeteria and hours of homework? Especially on the beach (and on their parents dime).
Planning on taking some time off with your teen or tween? Here are some tips to keep everyone satisfied and your vacation drama-free.
Compromise is key. While you’re paying for the vacation, you have to remember it’s your teen’s break from the grind, too. Choose your battles wisely, suggests HomeAway.com. Being flexible with your teen helps you avoid petty arguments like whether or not they have to wake up at the crack of dawn for a “family breakfast.”
Let them sleep in. Really. Teens love sleep. Maybe a little too much. But a vacation is a great time for them to catch up on their Z’s. Use the time that they’re still in bed to do things that are on your list, like visiting the spa or doing a little souvenir shopping.
Set them free. Independence is a teen’s middle name. Cheryl-Anne Millsap of The Spokesman Review recommends that you give your teen freedom to wander and explore. This will only help them further develop their traveler skills for the future. And, as you know, teens value their alone time and need their space. If it’s in the budget, look into getting them a separate (but nearby) room. It’s a good way to maintain the peace for the whole family. Jeanette Lowry, Consultant for Entertainment and Guest Activities at Royal Caribbean, also suggests having a communication plan in place so teens know when to meet up for dedicated family time.
Choose your trip wisely. Genevieve Brown of Independent Traveler recommends that you think outside the box a bit when choosing your next vacation destination. Visiting the same national landmarks gets a bit old. And let’s be honest, you’re probably a little over it, too. Why not take a cruise? Today’s ships are packed to the brim with activities for all age groups.
Royal Caribbean ships in particular offer dedicated teen-only spaces for daytime relaxing, as well teen-only sports events and nightclubs. Teens can even gather for dinner together in the Windjammer Café on select nights or participate in DJ lessons where they can collaborate with experts from Scratch DJ Academy. To allow your teen an off-board adventure with his or her own age group, book the Teen Adventure Pack shore excursion, which includes snorkeling on CocoCay in The Bahamas and a visit to one of the island’s largest aqua parks.
Bring a friend. If it isn’t too cost-prohibitive and the friend’s parents agree, have your teen bring a buddy along. It’s almost like having a babysitter that’s the same age as your kid, says Beth Harpaz of NBCNews.com. Doing so may even mean there’s a little more downtime for you and your partner. It’s a win-win.
Whatever the situation, take a cue from your teen and remember to “chill out.” That’s exactly what vacations are for, right?
via Teen Vacations – Parenting Advice.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL TO FEATURE MAMMA MIA! ON QUANTUM OF THE SEAS | Royal Caribbean Press Center
NEW YORK, Nov. 28, 2013 – Royal Caribbean International – the first cruise line to feature fully licensed, Tony Award-winning Broadway productions – today announced that guests onboard Quantum of the Seas will enjoy MAMMA MIA! – the smash hit musical based on the songs of Swedish pop sensation ABBA – when she sails from the New York area in November 2014. The first details of the new ship’s entertainment offerings were revealed to viewers who tuned in to watch the cruise line’s float, “A World at Sea,” set sail down the streets of Manhattan as part of the 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“The debut of Mamma Mia! onboard Quantum of the Seas continues to raise the bar of what we offer our guests onboard our latest groundbreaking ship,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “Since introducing Hairspray onboard Oasis of the Seas in 2009, our Tony award-winning musical productions have been incredibly well-received by guests, and we are proud to expand our Broadway at sea offerings with our fourth licensed main-stage production – more than any other cruise line.”
More than 54 million people around the world have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make MAMMA MIA! the ultimate feel-good show. The sunny, funny tale unfolds on a Greek Island paradise where on the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. ABBA’s greatest hits – including “Dancing Queen,” “The Winner Takes It All,” “Money, Money, Money” and “Take a Chance on Me” – propel this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship.
As the only cruise line to offer Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals at sea, Royal Caribbean guests can enjoy the 60’s-inspired bebop of Hairspray on Oasis of the Seas, the jazz-infused score of Chicago: The Musical on Allure of the Seas, the toe-tapping disco beats of Saturday Night Fever on Liberty of the Seas and now, the storytelling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs in MAMMA MIA! on the new Quantum of the Seas.
BEHIND THE FLOATS
What you didn’t know about this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
November 26, 2013
It all started in 1924 with a small group of energetic Macy’s employees and live animals from the Central Park Zoo. Now, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a world-renowned holiday event, featuring huge, high-flying balloons and floats, performances by some of today’s most popular artists and over 8,000 volunteers.
Whether you brave the cold to attend the parade in person or catch it on TV while whipping up mashed potatoes and stuffing, you probably recognize that hours of creativity and planning go into it. Did you know that all 26 of the Macy’s Parade Studio staff work on any given float, or that each float must be dismantled pre-parade to fit through a toll booth?
John Piper, Vice President of Macy’s Parade Studio, is gearing up for his 33rd parade this Thanksgiving. The event will feature 30 custom-made and custom-designed floats, which means everyone on staff has had to wear multiple hats to get everything ready.
“Carpenters are also welders and the welders are also sculptors and the painters are sculptors or illustrators and the designers work on the production as well,” he said. “Everyone collaborates together.”
One of the biggest challenges for the Studio staff is ensuring the floats are built to be dismantled for their trip through the Lincoln Tunnel the night before the parade.
“Even though they are three bus lanes wide and three or three and half stories tall, they all have to be engineered so that they’re no more than twelve and a half feet tall, eight and half feet wide in their dismantled aspect,” Piper said.
Once the floats make it through the tunnel, the Studio staff and a team of volunteers work through the night reassembling all the floats to full size so they are ready for their debut on Thanksgiving morning.
In the video above, Piper talks specifically about the making of Royal Caribbean’s “A World at Sea” float, which is debuting this year. Crafted with 50 gallons of paint, three pallet loads of plywood, thirty-six inverted casters and more, the float features a giant turntable with three scenes from the cruise line’s newest ship, Quantum of the Seas: the zip-line, rock wall and FlowRider surf simulator.
Riding on “A World at Sea” and singing Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York during the parade will be Quantum’s godmother, Kristin Chenoweth. According to Piper, Chenoweth already provided some help with the float – and kept his team organized in the process.
“She came to the studio and was here directing my team and making sure everything was shipshape and just the way she wanted it to be for this brand new float,” he said. “And the end of the day, I was like ‘Do you really have to go? We got an awful lot done today with you kind of cracking the whip…’”
To see Chenoweth and the Studio staff’s float handiwork WOW the crowd, tune into watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC-TV on Thursday, November 28, from 9 a.m. to noon, or head to Manhattan’s 6th Avenue for some in-person viewing. You’ll be the most float-savvy person there
via Behind the Floats.
November 28, 2013
Disney Fantasy Presents Delightful Royal Court Royal Tea for Young Princes and Princesses | Disney Cruise Line News
CELEBRATION, Fla. – The Disney Fantasy is celebrating the “Royal” in everyone, and whisking children and parents off to a magical affair during the Royal Court Royal Tea.
This royal teatime provides families with classic Disney entertainment and exclusive meet and greet opportunities that evoke nostalgia in even the biggest “kids” who attend.
In the Royal Court, children are greeted by Lady Chamomile, the Royal Tea Hostess, and are crowned as young princesses or dubbed as royal knights before they are escorted to their seats where more surprises await them. Lady Chamomile hosts the stately celebration with Chef Brule, the Royal Pastry Chef, and the pair presents the young princes and princesses with some of their most delightful culinary specialties during the merriment.
Of course, no royal celebration would be complete without a visit from classic (and modern) Disney Princesses, dubbing this fantastical affair a truly unique and unforgettable family moment for all who attend. Each Princess will enter the Royal Court by invitation from Lady Chamomile and Chef Brule, with a little help from the royal guests. Escorted by a Royal Page, the Princesses will visit each table to meet guests and welcome them to the tea party.
Lady Chamomile and Chef Brule prove to be welcoming and entertaining hosts of the event, telling stories, singing renditions of classic Disney tunes and dancing—encouraging children to participate. Served with tea sandwiches, pastries, cupcakes and tea, this courtly reception showcases some of Lady Chamomile’s and Chef Brule’s most delicious confections.
Tea party guests soon discover that the Royal Court Royal Tea is full of surprises—young princesses receive a My Disney Girl doll dressed as their favorite princess, as well as a memory book, a jewelry box and more, including very special gifts from each of the Princesses! Daring young princes complete their knightly fashions with a stately shield, seafaring Duffy bear and more great surprises throughout the event. All royal guests also receive a memorable photograph and meet and greet opportunity with the Princesses, making this event a stand-out experience for both children and families.
Now offered during 7-night itineraries onboard the Disney Fantasy, the Royal Court Royal Tea can be enjoyed by all.
Rosen students have the chance to experience Disney magic while cruising the sea — and earn course credit, too.
This will give students a firsthand look at the cruise industry through Disney Cruise Line, according to a release from UCF Today.
The release said the students will see what goes on behind the scenes of a cruise, experience the inner workings of a cruise ship and attend educational seminars offered by Disney Cruise Line executives.
“The cruise industry is the most exciting growth category in the entire leisure market,” course instructor Suzan Bunn said in the release. “Over 50 million North Americans indicate an interest to take a future cruise … Cruising affords a way to sample destination areas in a way no other travel does.”
Not all the time will be spent at sea, of course.
Students will be attending regular class lectures at the Rosen campus before they say bon voyage for a five-night trip to the Caribbean.
While it may seem like a great way to spend spring break, the students see it as more of an educational opportunity and a way to prepare for their careers than a vacation.
“I’m very passionate about the cruise industry and that is the reason why I am going to school here at Rosen,” sophomore Jessica Getlik said in the release.
Anthony Connelly, the senior vice president of Disney Cruise Line operations and a UCF alumnus, said in the release that working with Rosen students gives Disney the opportunity to share its expertise with the next generation of hospitality and tourism professionals.
“We strive to make a positive impact in the lives of our neighbors in all of our homeports and destinations around the world, and it is especially meaningful to be able to do that right here at home in Central Florida,” Connelly said in the release. “We believe these efforts will ultimately benefit the cruise industry, which is a significant segment of tourism in Florida.”
The course is only offered to Rosen degree-seeking students who have valid passports
MIAMI, Nov. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – ‘Black Friday’ will be very bright for consumers shopping for the perfect cruise vacation. That’s when modern luxury line Celebrity Cruisesbrings back the brand’s most popular promotion: “123go!” The promotion’s three powerful features will be joined by two entirely new offers, and will allow consumers to select what they value most in a Celebrity vacation, from any of the following exceptional options:
The promotion will be even more enticing for guests booking a Celebrity vacation in Europe, as they’ll have the opportunity to select two of the three special options.
And, Celebrity has further enriched the promotion with an entirely new, family-inspired feature: Free Classic Non-Alcoholic Beverage Packages for third and fourth guests in staterooms, as well as complimentary Internet packages for those guests.
Celebrity’s 123go! offer is valid on all ships (with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition), and cruises from February 2014 through March 2015 (excluding Transatlantic and Transpacific voyages) – with more than 400 sailings to choose from – when the cruise is booked between November 29, 2013 through February 28, 2014. Full details can be found beginning at 12:01 am ET November 29 at www.celebritycruises.com/123offer.
Celebrity also is inviting Classic tier and above members of the brand’s newly enhancedCaptain’s Club loyalty program to take advantage of exclusive benefits: When bookingNovember 29 – December 31, 2013, members will receive 25 bonus Club Points, in addition to the usual Club Points earned for their bookings. They also will enjoy 50 percent reduced deposits when booking.
As another facet of ’The Celebrity Commitment,’ Celebrity also has introduced a corresponding 123go! incentive program exclusively for travel partners.
“The Celebrity Commitment is our genuine, ongoing pledge to our travel partners to constantly identify opportunities to help them achieve greater levels of success, and our 123go! incentive program is an exciting new illustration of that commitment,” said Celebrity’s Senior Vice President of Sales Dondra Ritzenthaler. “We’re giving our travel partners the opportunity to reward their hard work with cash prizes and to earn entries into a sweepstakes with the Grand Prize being any Celebrity cruise in 2014 in our luxurious, spa-inspired AquaClass accommodations, paired with $2,000 to apply to air travel.”
Travel partners can earn an entry into Celebrity’s 123go! trade sweepstakes by booking clients in any stateroom category on a Celebrity cruise departing between January 1, 2014and April 30, 2015.
In addition to the Grand Prize, Celebrity’s 123go! trade incentive prizes include:
Eligible bookings must be registered from November 29, 2013 through February 28, 2014. To enter the sweepstakes and valid bookings, agents are invited to visit www.Celebrity-TradeIncentives.com.
Holiday shoppers seeking Celebrity’s best Caribbean vacation values of the year – on getaways departing between December 9, 2013 to January 26, 2014 – are encouraged to check out Celebrity’s Caribbean “CyberSale,” and to act quickly: The sale begins and ends on “Cyber Monday,” December 2, 2013, with rates as low as $199 per person on select 4- and 5-night getaways, with additional guests in the stateroom enjoying entirely free cruise fares. To learn more about Celebrity’s CyberMonday, consumers on December 2 can visit www.celebritycruises.com/cybermonday, contact their travel agent, or call Celebrity Cruises at 1-800-CELEBRITY. Celebrity’s one-day offer will be limited to residents of the U.S. and Canada only, and cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions.
MIAMI, Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Celebrity Cruises is excited to announce improvements to its Captain’s Club loyalty program.
Guest feedback helped define the new program features, which include two new, additional levels of status and rewards beyond the existing “Elite” level, which is the highest level of membership in the brand’s current four-tiered program.
Effective on sailings commencing after November 25, 2013, the new Captain’s Club will offer a six-tier program. The Club’s current levels of “Preview,” “Classic,” “Select” and “Elite” will remain, with two new tiers — “Elite Plus” and “Zenith” — each with their own unique set of benefits and privileges.
Members who achieve the new Elite Plus status will receive an even higher level of recognition and broader benefits, including additional beverage and specialty dining discounts, complimentary 200-minute Internet packages, complimentary cappuccinos, lattes and more.
Members who achieve Zenith status will receive benefits and perks befitting this ultimate level of membership, such as access to Michael’s Club Lounge (available fleetwide in 2014), a complimentary premium alcoholic beverage package, complimentary laundry, a 1,600-minute Internet package, and other benefits.
Celebrity’s guests now can accelerate their progression through the loyalty tiers with a new Club Points system which recognizes the stateroom category as well as the days spent onboard. Members’ previous cruise credits will be automatically converted into Club Points, and members will retain all of the benefits they earned in the program to-date – with no expiration. In many cases, guests may automatically become charter members of Celebrity’s new Elite Plus or Zenith tier. It is important to note that no current members will lose any of the benefits they have come to expect and enjoy today. Full program details are available at www.celebritycruises.com/captainsclub.
Another new enhancement is the ability to quickly access special pricing exclusively for Captain’s Club members through the Captain’s Club portal on the Celebrity Cruiseswebsite, www.celebritycruises.com. By simply entering their name and Captain’s Clubmember number on the site, they can instantly see available loyalty pricing.
“At a time when many loyalty programs are cutting back on benefits or making it more difficult to redeem rewards, we’re thrilled to do just the opposite,” said Celebrity’s Director of Loyalty Lee Moreau. “Guest loyalty is the cornerstone to any successful business, and that’s why, at Celebrity Cruises, we make our guests the center of our attention. We hope this reinvigorated program will even more vividly show our guests how much we appreciate their loyalty, and allow us to welcome them back onboard even more frequently.”