Friday, April 5, 2013

Cunard Line's New Dress Codes Celebrate the Chance to Dress Up - and Relax

Cunard Line Embraces Formal Nights on Transatlantic Cruises

Cunard Line has renewed its commitment to the joy of dressing up on-board “The Most Famous Ocean Liners in the World” with an update to its dress codes, while at the same time encouraging the loosening of ties on its less formal nights.

Research with existing passengers and luxury travelers generally has led Cunard to strengthen the Line’s commitment to special occasion dressing three times a week on its Transatlantic Crossings and twice each week on sailings to the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and beyond.

However, also in response to growing travel trends, Cunard is adjusting its advice on dress codes for other nights.  The result:  along with two or three formal nights each week, there will be four or five “informal” evenings where jackets are required but ties will now become optional, heightening the sense of anticipation for formal nights even more.


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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Princess Cruises Unveils 2014 Alaska Tours and Cruise Season

Princess Cruises' Crown Princess Sails Alaskan Waters in 2014

 Princess Cruises has opened the books on its 2014 Alaska cruise and cruisetour season, which will feature the debut of the line’s largest ship in the state, Crown Princess, plus the return of small-ship cruising aboard Pacific Princess.

Throughout the 2014 season, passengers have the opportunity to explore the best of Alaska by both land and sea, with a selection of sailing options aboard seven ships as well as a variety of Princess’ signature cruisetour options to experience the heart of the state at the company’s own riverside wilderness lodges.

Highlights of the program include Crown Princess’ debut in the 49th state, Princess’ largest ship to sail in the region, which will cruise on the line’s popular “Voyage of the Glaciers” route through the scenic Gulf of Alaska, joined by Coral Princess and Island Princess. Small ship Pacific Princess, which last sailed in Alaska in 2009, will again bring its intimate cruise experience to Inside Passage cruises from Vancouver. Golden Princess and Grand Princess will offer Inside Passage cruises from Seattle, and Star Princess will depart on 11-day Inside Passage journeys from San Francisco.

The cruisetour program combines a seven-day “Voyage of the Glaciers” cruise with three to eight additional nights on land exploring Alaska’s interior. Passengers can pick their perfect Alaska experience with four types of land and sea packages – Denali Explorer, On Your Own, Off the Beaten Path and Connoisseur. All Princess cruisetours include the company’s exclusive wilderness lodges, rail or motorcoach travel, plus the top two attractions in the state – Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park, where visitors spend at least one night exploring the wonders of this area.

“We will once again lead the way in Alaska next year, offering our most diverse choice of ships ever,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “And more than half of our Inside Passage sailings include a visit to Glacier Bay National Park. This number-one Alaska attraction is always a highlight with its dazzling blue glaciers.”

Princess’ 2014 Alaska program includes:

Cruises – Passengers have a variety of options for exploring “The Great Land,” with seven ships sailing on seven itineraries to more than 14 destinations. In total, the line will offer 123 Alaska cruise departures in 2014.

    Voyage of the Glaciers – Princess’ favorite Gulf of Alaska route between Vancouver and Whittier (for Anchorage) features two glacier-viewing experiences on every sailing, with visits to Glacier Bay National Park plus either Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord. Ships also call at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. Crown Princess will join Coral Princess on this signature itinerary for Saturday departures, and Island Princess will set sail on Wednesdays. In total, the ships will offer 54 sailing choices between May 10 and September 17, 2014.
    Inside Passage from Seattle – Golden Princess and Grand Princess offer convenient weekend departures on two different seven-day roundtrip itineraries from Seattle along the scenic Inside Passage. Both visit Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, B.C., and passengers will enjoy dramatic glacier viewing in either Glacier Bay National Park (Golden Princess) or Tracy Arm (Grand Princess). The two ships will sail on 38 departures between May 3 and September 14, 2014.
    Inside Passage from Vancouver – Pacific Princess will offer an intimate cruise experience on a seven-day roundtrip cruise from Vancouver, taking in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan plus dramatic glacier viewing in either Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm Fjord. The ship will offer 19 sailings between May 13 and September 16, 2014.
    Inside Passage from San Francisco – Star Princess will sail from the “City by the Bay” on 11-day roundtrip cruises. The ship offers 12 voyages from San Francisco featuring the scenery of Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm Fjord, with calls at Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria (with some sailings substituting Icy Strait Point). Departures sail between May 12 and September 10, 2014.

Cruisetours – Princess cruisetours offer passengers 23 itinerary options for a complete land and sea Alaska experience ranging from 10 to 15 nights. All cruisetours include a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers sailing including a visit to Glacier Bay National Park, plus up to four nights in the Denali National Park area with stays at Princess’ riverside wilderness lodges.

    Denali Explorer – Princess’ most popular cruisetour option, Denali Explorer packages feature multiple nights at the line’s Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and/or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, plus the exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service between the Whittier cruise terminal and the dramatic Denali National Park area. Most also offer the opportunity to explore Fairbanks or Anchorage.
    On Your Own – An affordable option for independent-minded travelers, these tours offer a flexible way to see the Heart of Alaska. Tours follow similar routes as Denali Explorer options, but do not include any pre-planned excursions, giving travelers the opportunity to customize their own experience.
    Off the Beaten Path – For those who want to explore Denali and beyond, these tours offer options to the Kenai Peninsula with stays at Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge or Wrangell-St. Elias National Park with stays at Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge.
    Connoisseur – These cruisetour options offer the services of a professional tour director and additional time for passengers to experience the Great Land. Offering the highest level of service, these tours include most meals and enhanced sightseeing options.


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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Crystal Cruise Offers Kids Cruise Free On Select European Cruises

Crystal Cruises Allows Kids to Cruise for Free on Select European Cruises.

Due to popular demand, Crystal Cruises is adding17 voyages to the ultra-luxe line’s “Kids Sail Free” program.  With the promotion, kids age 17 and under can sail for free when sharing a third berth stateroom with two adults.  Previously offered on just four luxury European cruises during June and July, familes can now choose from seven- to 15-day voyages in the Mediterranean, Western Europe, North Cape, Baltic, British Isles, Canary Islands, and across the Atlantic from May-December aboard Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.
New Magic Castle at Sea “junior cruisers” shows and classes will be offered on board during summer cruises, in addition to all-ages shows on every cruise.
“While summer break is a key time for a ‘whole family’ vacation, many families enjoy sharing the history, beauty, and educational journey of Europe at non-break times like autumn, when airfares may be more attractive,” says Jack Anderson, Crystal’s senior vice-president of marketing and sales.  “With visits to some of Europe’s most storied and breathtaking locales, such as Monte Carlo, Casablanca, Venice, Dubrovnik, Mykonos, Stockholm, and Edinburgh, the additional savings make these voyages an incredible value, sure to create lifelong memories.”
In addition to the new  Magic Castle at Sea enrichment, every Crystal cruise offers family-friendly learning and entertainment, from iPad Digital Filmmaking classes (in association with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts) to dedicated on-board kids and teens spaces -- a rarity among luxury cruise lines.  During school vacation times, junior activities directors host complimentary supervised activities on board, ranging from behind-the scenes tours to cooking classes and scavenger hunts.  Every cruise also has babysitting services, “finicky eater” foods, movies, library books, family-friendly excursions, and more available.
All-inclusive, “Book Now” fares for “Kids Sail Free” applicable voyages begin at $2,495/person if booked by April 30.  The “Crystal Family Memories” program also offers additional free berths and perks for groups of six or more.
With sophisticated tours worldwide, enriching learning opportunities, international gourmet cuisine, complimentary voluntourism excursions, and a host of other activities for all ages, the Crystal experience gives families exceptional, once-in-a-lifetime access to creating intimate bonds, gleaning a global education, and building lifelong memories while sailing in elegance, making Crystal Cruises the leader in family-friendly luxury cruising.


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Monday, April 1, 2013

Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Getaway to Offer Unique Entertainment Venues

Norwegian Cruise Lines' New Norwegian Getaway

Norwegian Getaway will bring the excitement and allure of the Magic City to sea when she arrives in Miami in February 2014. At Cruise Shipping Miami today, Norwegian Cruise Line (NASDAQ: NCLH) announced an all-new dining and entertainment experience, The Illusionarium. A first of its kind at sea, The Illusionarium will envelope guests in the fascinating world of magic, inviting them to experience the astonishing illusions of world-class magicians and supernatural special effects.
“I am so excited about this new magical experience that will come to life aboard Norwegian Getaway,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “The Illusionarium will be an experience unlike anything at sea today and take adults and children alike on a journey into the mystical world of magic. This is so perfect for the ship that will embody the vibe of the Magic City.”

The new experience is the result of a first of its kind collaboration between Norwegian’s groundbreaking entertainment team and Broadway director/choreographer Patricia Wilcox, Tony Award winning scenic designer David Gallo and veteran magician Jeff Hobson.  The show’s design is inspired by the science fiction of Jules Verne, the artistry of legendary magicians such as Houdini and the popularity of recent blockbusters featuring supernatural characters.
As guests wait to enter the portal of The Illusionarium, they will be surrounded by antique spell books, magical interactive artifacts and relics in a steampunk-inspired environment. The centerpiece of the Illusionarium is a 30’ diameter video dome that will transport audiences to mystical places.
The Illusionarium will offer 12 performances per cruise, two shows per night.

Fireworks Light Up the Night
Adding to the ship’s excitement, Norwegian Getaway will also feature a dazzling display of fireworks on every cruise.  As guests dance the night away under the stars in the open-air Spice H20 venue at the aft of the ship, a mesmerizing color-filled fireworks show will light up the night sky, right above the ship. The fully-produced show is a visual masterpiece that is set to music, creating an incredible finale to the cruise.

Aqua Park
The Aqua Park is one of Norwegian’s biggest and features five multi-story water slides. Norwegian Getaway and her sister ship, Norwegian Breakaway, are the first cruise ships to feature the Free Fall – two side-by-side slides where guests will stand up and have the floor drop from underneath, propelling them into a thrilling loop. Offering another first with a twist are two additional side-by-side twister slides – called The Whip -- that deliver an unforgettable adrenaline rush as they plunge guests on a spiral race to the finish line. For those who prefer a more relaxing ride, there is a family-friendly open-flume body slide.  The Aqua Park also features two swimming pools, four hot tubs and a semi-open air eatery.

The three-story sports complex will feature a multi-level elevated ropes course that will challenge guests to more than 40 different elements, including a zip track. For a thrill like no other, guests will confront The Plank, a platform that extends eight feet over the side of the ship. Those who choose to test their courage on The Plank will be rewarded by having their photo taken after conquering this heart-pounding, yet breathtaking, feat. Kids will be challenged as well with a special ropes course just for them.  In another first for the line, the nine-hole ocean-themed miniature golf course is located beneath the ropes course, offering family fun with friendly competition.  A rock climbing wall, bungee trampoline and spider web, a 24-foot enclosed climbing cage complete with a spiral slide, round out the activities.

Adult Only Areas
Norwegian Getaway will also feature adult-only outdoor enclaves. Spice H2O, located at the back of the ship on deck 16, is an adult-only escape offering day-time relaxation and night-time exhilaration. A bevy of sun loungers surround a huge video screen, complete with two hot tubs and a soothing dual waterfall feature, perfect for cooling off from the sun. At night, guests can dance under the stars or chill at the bar with accompanying lounge area, featuring comfortable seating while admiring the ocean views.

On deck 17, guests ages 18 and over will have the opportunity to enjoy another private retreat – Vibe Beach Club – by purchasing an access pass. Complete with ocean views, an oversized hot tub, luxurious chaise loungers and a relaxing water feature, Vibe Beach Club will be the ideal spot for adults to relax and unwind in a serene, comfortable setting while soaking up the sun. A full-service bar, water spritzers and chilled towels complete the exclusive experience.  

Casual Dining
When hunger strikes, while enjoying all the outdoor activities, guests can venture to the Garden CafĂ©, on deck 15, which will offer an abundant assortment of delicious menu items for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  This is Norwegian’s signature action station casual restaurant where chefs cook fresh, prepared-to-order food as guests watch, featuring seafood, pizza, fruit, soups, pasta, ethnic specialties, burgers and desserts; offering extensive and varied selections.

Currently being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Getaway will be 146,600 gross tons and offer a wide range of accommodations.  The ship represents an opportunity for the Norwegian guest to “get away” from the routine of work, school, and daily stress, and find a true respite at sea that reflects the energy and culture that Miami is known for worldwide.

To date, the company has revealed the ship’s groundbreaking design, including The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place; a wide range of indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that will create a whole new complex at sea that enhances guests’ connection with the ocean.  Celebrity Chef and Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian will also debut three dining concepts on Norwegian Getaway: Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian; Ocean Blue on the Waterfront and The Raw Bar.  Norwegian Getaway will also be the first to have the GRAMMY® Experience at sea which will feature artifacts chosen and curated by the GRAMMY Museum® along with live performances by past GRAMMY winners and nominees, among others.
The 4,000 passenger ship will also feature a rich mix of stateroom options, including The Haven by Norwegian, comprised of 42 Suites at the top of the ship in an exclusive, private key-card enclave and 22 additional Suites located throughout the ship; the innovative Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; a wide range of Oceanview staterooms, Balcony and Mini-Suites; along with Spa Balcony, Mini-Suites and Suites in close proximity to the spa.   Norwegian Getaway’s sister ship, Norwegian Breakaway, will begin sailing from her year-round home port of New York City in May 2013. 

Norwegian Getaway will sail seven-day cruises from Miami to the Eastern Caribbean beginning on February 1, 2014, with ports of call including Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas.  Information on Norwegian Getaway’s accommodations and itinerary can be found at


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