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June 30, 2008

Princess Passengers Are First Cruisers to Experience Nintendo's Hugely Popular Wii Fit Game System

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Innovative Fitness Program Debuts This Week Fleetwide; Makes Exercise Fun for the Whole Family

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (June 24, 2008) -- After the much-anticipated Wii Fit system debuted across the country last month, Princess unveils this fitness innovation at sea this week after shipboard staff completed special onboard trainings with Nintendo team members. Princess is the first cruise line to offer passengers the chance to get their hearts pumping with the headline-grabbing new release on Wii.

All Princess ships, which have long featured Nintendo's popular Wii systems onboard, add the revolutionary Wii Fit balance games, challenging passengers of all ages to put their athletic skills to the test with active video game tournaments such as the ski jump, Hula Hoop or heading soccer balls. Exciting family competitions will be held onboard -- including on the dramatic Movies Under the Stars poolside screens. Youth and teen centers will also offer younger cruisers the opportunity to participate in Wii Fit activities throughout their vacation.

"We're very excited to partner with Nintendo to bring the Wii Fit experience to our passengers," said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. "Our onboard team has just finished training with the experts at Nintendo to ensure that we're able to offer passengers the best possible experience with this innovative fitness game."

Wii Fit gets everyone pumped up about making physical activities an enjoyable part of their daily routines. Wii Fit even tracks users' progress, which lets people see how they've improved while challenging them to better their scores and stay motivated to keep going.

The Wii Fit Balance Board is a precisely engineered platform that senses both weight and shifts in movement and balance. It connects wirelessly to the Wii console and serves as the centerpiece for more than 40 fun activities that challenge users in areas like yoga, aerobics, strength training and balance. Helpful virtual trainers in the game talk users through the different motions and makes suggestions for improvements.

The hugely popular Wii system has been instrumental in expanding the video game experience across generations and genders. "Kids" of all ages have enjoyed playing games such as Wii Sports Golf and Tennis using the unique Wii Remote, which enables a player's movements to directly affect what happens on screen.

On ships equipped with Movies Under the Stars screen, the Wii tournaments are shown on the giant poolside screens, offering a unique, larger-than-life gaming experience. The distinctive 300-square-foot screens are featured on Caribbean Princess, Crown Princess, Emerald Princess, Grand Princess, Sea Princess and the upcoming Ruby Princess, offering a variety of movies and events daily, including family films and first run hits, as well as concert footage and other special programming.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent by calling 1-800-738-8837.

Posted by Denise at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2008

NCL Redefines Nightlife at Sea, Reveals Hottest Clubs on its New Ships - F3

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Chic, upscale and one-of-a-kind experiences inspired by the nightlife capitals of the world - South Beach, Ibiza, the Riviera, and, of course, Vegas

Miami - Jun 17, 2008 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has revealed its vision for the future of nighttime experiences at sea designed specifically for its two next generation of Freestyle Cruising ships, F3, set to debut in 2010. From Riviera chic and Ibiza style to Miami trendy and Vegas flair, the nightclubs on NCL's new F3 ships will create never-before-seen experiences at sea and feature multiple uses for day or night, along with exclusive, adult-only venues.

Five of the ships' distinct hotspots were revealed at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas at the hotel's private Venus Pool to press, NCL's Partnership 2.0 Advisory Board, local travel partners and consumers flown in for the event. The five venues include the industry's first true Ice Bar; POSH Beach Club, a first of its kind beach club at sea that offers an exclusive, adults-only setting at the top of the ship; Halo, the Ü ber Bar, a private bar and lounge in the ship-within-a-ship villa complex; Bliss Ultra Lounge, NCL's all-day entertainment and nightclub complex with four-lane bowling alley; and Spice H20, an adults-only aft pool deck experience. With these signature outlets, NCL's nightclub experience will rival even Vegas' energy and passion for nightlife.

"There is nothing ordinary about these ships. The F3's are unconventionally extraordinary," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. "Every experience on board will be unique and like no other. F3 won't have massive void spaces and rooms only used for one thing. What's particularly unique about these spaces is they will have multiple uses - sunning, bowling, dining and, of course, party playgrounds. But this is just the beginning. We have a lot more to reveal in the upcoming months so stay tuned."

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NCL's Ice Bar - chill out and chat up. Inspired by the original ice bars and ice hotels in Scandinavia and one of only 14 ice bars in the world, the cruise industry's first true ice bar is the ultimate chill. This frozen chamber of iced vodka is set in changing hues of blue, green and purple LED lighting that simulates the Northern Lights and creates a distinctive arctic atmosphere. The centerpiece is a giant ice cube that glows and changes colors as the hottest techno beats add to the energy of this unique nightlife attraction. In addition, NCL's Ice Bar features a bar, walls, tables, stools, glasses and life-size sculptures all made from ice. Located on deck seven, Ice Bar will accommodate 25 guests who will be given fur coats, gloves and hats to keep them warm, since the room's temperature will not rise above 17 degrees Fahrenheit - creating the ultimate chill. To enter, guests will pay a cover charge with a drink or drinks included.

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POSH Beach Club - the best nightlife day or night. Adult guests who purchase a POSH pass for the day or the week will take a private glass elevator to enter this luxurious and exclusive outdoor entertainment complex styled with Mediterranean flare and combined with the sizzle of South Beach and the Riviera. During the day, guests can lounge on white-cushioned day beds and in private cabanas in a sun-kissed setting and cool off in the 35-foot long cascading waterfall while the POSH VIP Host and crew cater to every whim. At night, things heat up as POSH Beach Club becomes an open air night club, complete with VIP bottle service, while the DJ sets the vibe for the non-stop party. Four POSH experiences a day are delivered:

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Early Morning (6 to 9 am) - POSH Vive
Guests awake to yoga classes and body-and-soul treatments in private cabanas as the sun rises and the day starts anew.

Morning (9 to Noon am) - POSH Rehab
Guests can relax and recover from a night out with Salty Dogs, Bloody Mary's, and mimosas combined with chill out tunes.

Afternoon (Noon to 6 pm) - POSH Sol
The best nightlife in the daytime with guests lounging on day beds, enjoying funky beach music and spiked POSH snow cones while chilling under a lit waterfall.

Evening (8 pm to whenever) - Pure POSH
A pure, sizzling, sexy, nightlife experience where guests enjoy sparkling drinks and bottle service served on silver trays. Look out Vegas, the vibe here is hot... guests can dance all night under the stars or lounge on a POSH bed... truly Riviera style.

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Halo, the Über Bar - heavenly and very exclusive. Garden and Courtyard villa guests have exclusive VIP access to this Über Bar located at the top of the ship on the private deck 16. This Über Bar showcases the best of the best, from the best liquors around the world to the best art featured and available for purchase with jewelry-clad servers displaying the best jewelry onboard for purchase. LED screens, framed like masterpieces and placed strategically around the room, set the mood with video montages showing the best artwork, music videos, films, iconic images of celebrities, places, fashion and more. Private gaming tables, including baccarat and blackjack, add to the sexy style in this adult-only club.

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Bliss Ultra Lounge and Nightclub - back by popular demand. NCL takes its popular Bliss Ultra Lounge and Nightclub, featured on Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Pearl, to the F3 ships. Bliss features NCL's signature bowling alley at sea as part of this all-day entertainment and nightclub complex with the feel of a decadent Las Vegas nightclub. Located on deck seven, this hotspot is perfect for all-day bowling, dancing or just hanging out. In the evening, Bliss transforms into a hip, high-energy ultra lounge with plasma screens displaying music videos, shadow dancers entertaining the crowd and non-stop music. A dance floor, private VIP areas and mood-lit bowling complete this totally unique seagoing experience. Bliss features NCL's popular White Hot Night, the ultimate dance party set in a wonderland of white. Guests are encouraged to wear white to the party and they can purchase specially designed "white hot" shirts and feather boas. Bliss on the F3 ships feature the addition of gaming tables with dealers.

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Spice H20 - what an aft-pool never dared to be. Infused with Latin and Asian influences, colors and vibes, this adults-only complex located at the back of the ship on decks 15 and 16 features a huge LED screen displaying vibrant video images from charging bulls to flamenco dancers, and synchronized swimmers to tap dancing Geishas all combined with dynamic music to create a truly unique and sensory experience. During the day, guests can soak up the sun in lounge beds around the pool while enjoying chill-out Asian tunes and Asian-inspired cuisine in Chinese to-go containers. As the sun sets, Spice H20 is transformed to an Ibiza-inspired beach club with live entertainment and dinner served tableside or directly on beds. At night, the mood is red-hot with Latin mash-up vibes, dancing and unique entertainment atop the covered pool.

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Spice H20 will serve up four spicy vibes per day:

Morning (8 to 11 am) - Sunny Spice
Spicy Bloody Mary's and Spicitinis combine with breakfast and relaxing tunes.

Afternoon (11 am to 4 pm) - Aqua Spice
Guests enjoy the energy of the in-crowd as they sun the day away with Asian margaritas, bottle service and beers from around the world. Asian-inspired food is served in Chinese to-go containers.

Late afternoon/early evening (4 to 9 pm) - Sunset Spice
A perfect sunset every day - either live or via the big screen. Live entertainment, flowing champagne and an eclectic menu that isn't available anywhere else on the ship. As the sun sets, it becomes a more intimate environment with Spanish guitars and red-hot dancers setting the vibe.

Evening (9 pm to whenever) - All Spice
The entertainment is non-stop throughout the evening in this outdoor amphitheater. A visually captivating aerial ballet video comes to life as the pool floor rises and aerial performers mix dance moves with acrobatic choreography inside a metallic sphere to create a mesmerizing experience. Then guests can dance the night away on the covered pool.

Guests will be able to purchase a Beyond the Velvet Rope package to gain access to the exclusive clubs.

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NCL's F3 ships will incorporate a world of new features. They represent the company's third generation of Freestyle Cruising ships; a further evolution of NCL's progressive dismantling of the structure, regimentation, and constraints of the traditional cruise experience. The 150,000-ton ships will each total 4,200 passenger berths, representing the largest ships in NCL's fleet.

NCL Corporation Ltd. is the holding company for various subsidiary companies involved in owning and operating the ships of Norwegian Cruise Line. NCL today has the youngest fleet in the industry, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea, and has recently added its latest new ship, the 2,400 passenger Norwegian Gem.

Posted by Denise at 08:26 AM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2008

Royal Caribbean Announces Oasis Of The Seas Itineraries

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Ship Opens For Sale September 3, 2008: Maiden Voyage Set for December 12, 2009

MIAMI, June 20, 2008 - With the astounding array of choices and amenities being introduced on Royal Caribbean International's next generation of cruise ships, vacationers will be hard-pressed to find another experience as spectacular as what they will enjoy on Oasis of the Seas. Today, the cruise line renowned for its innovations announced seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries for the new ship's inaugural year, with the inaugural voyage planned for December 12, 2009. Bookings for Oasis of the Seas will open September 3, 2008. The ship's homeport is Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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Oasis of the Seas will begin her inaugural season with 19 consecutive seven-night sailings to the Eastern Caribbean, with ports of call at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau, Bahamas. Starting May 1, 2010, Oasis of the Seas will alternate its Eastern Caribbean itinerary with the Western Caribbean itinerary, which will call at Labadee, Royal Caribbean's private beach destination in Haiti; the new port of Falmouth, Jamaica; and Cozumel, Mexico.

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"Royal Caribbean is fortunate to have taken millions of satisfied guests over 40 years to these highly regarded destinations," said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "We thank the government of Haiti, Port Authority of Jamaica, State Government of Quintana Roo, Island of Cozumel, SSA Mexico, Ministry of Public Works and Port Authority of the Bahamas, Virgin Islands Port Authority, West Indian Company, and Port of St. Maarten for their support and cooperation in working with us to provide such compelling itineraries for our guests."

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Royal Caribbean has been working closely with the ports on the Oasis of the Seas itineraries to ensure the guest experience is seamless when the ship visits. The cruise line and St. Maarten will enhance the guest welcome facilities, while Cozumel's pier will be widened. Approaches to the docks at St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau also will be dredged.

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Royal Caribbean is working in partnership with the Port Authority of Jamaica to complete the new Falmouth Cruise Pier by March 2010, as well as establish the associated infrastructure necessary to welcome cruise ship guests. A historically important 18th-century settlement, Falmouth was a colonial center of Jamaica's sugar and fine rums industry. The town's rich history and Georgian architecture has most recently drawn the attention of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who has been a long time supporter of restoring historic buildings of Great Britain.

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Royal Caribbean also is working with the government of Haiti to construct a pier at Labadee, the cruise line's private beach destination. Additional plans are underway to expand guest offerings with an alpine coaster and fast-boat tours, among others, to complement Labadee's stunning Dragon's Breath Flight Line, which has proven to be one of the destination's most popular attractions.

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Oasis of the Seas will be the world's largest and most revolutionary ship introducing the cruise line's new neighborhood concept, which will provide vacationers with the opportunity to seek out relevant experiences in seven themed areas based on their personal styles, preferences or moods. Boardwalk will be a breathtaking space for families. Inspired by the nostalgic seaside piers of yesteryear, Boardwalk will dynamically engage the entire family in classic fun - whether young or just young at heart - with eateries, retail outlets, and carnival games. An original, handcrafted carousel - the first at sea - will be the centerpiece of this vibrant neighborhood. Off the Boardwalk, the first amphitheater at sea, AquaTheater, will celebrate water with the largest freshwater pool found on a ship offering a full spectrum of activities and performances for guests. Created to offer two unique experiences, AquaTheater will allow guests to swim in the theater's magnificent kidney-shaped pool, relax on sun loungers located on tiered platforms surrounding the pool, and even take SCUBA lessons in the afternoon. At night, it will deliver a complete sensory experience playing on the element of surprise as audience members witness the venue come alive with heart-pounding theatrical performances featuring dramatic acrobatics, synchronized swimming, water ballet, and professional high-diving, as well as elaborate fountain shows synchronized to music and lights. Other surprises include two 43-foot rock-climbing walls on either side of the AquaTheater and the first zip-line at sea suspended nine decks above Boardwalk.

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Enhancements to the cruise line's signature Royal Promenade, the heart of the ship, will include a mezzanine level that overlooks the main promenade below. The Crystal Canopy sculptured-glass domes will allow natural light to cascade down from the sky. There will be a vast array of shopping, dining and entertainment options including, the Rising Tide bar, the first moving bar at sea, which will traverse three decks and allow cruisers to enjoy a cocktail as they slowly ascend into Central Park, the neighborhood above. Central Park, a revolutionary design in which the center of the ship opens to the sky, features lush, tropical grounds spanning the length of a football field. With its serene pathways, seasonal flower gardens and canopy trees, Central Park will evolve from a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere during the day to a gathering space for alfresco dining and entertainment in the evening, where guests will enjoy concerts and street performances.

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With the introduction of the neighborhood concept, Oasis of the Seas will debut a new portfolio of 37 categories of accommodation options, many with views unique to the ship. Park View and Boardwalk View balcony staterooms offer inward facing accommodations overlooking the two open-air neighborhoods. Another industry-first, the introduction of 28 contemporary two-level loft suites will redefine cruise ship accommodations with vibrant, ocean-inspired colors in a sophisticated and spacious setting. The lofts will be the highest accommodations at sea, offering spectacular views of the ocean, and floor-to-ceiling, double-height windows to ensure the view will be enjoyed from every vantage point. Other features among these coveted 28 lofts will be a unique modern design dotted with abstract, modern art pieces; spacious living areas on the lower level with contemporary detailing; and a private balcony with sun chairs and stunning views to help guests unwind. Each loft, which will measure 545 square feet (51 square meters) or larger when combined, and will be fitted in contemporary décor with a Caribbean influence. The impressive design will include an upper-level bedroom that overlooks the living area and extended ocean views. Beds will be outfitted with white, luxurious duvets complemented by tropical blue and green accents that tie into the loft's natural surroundings. The lofts will feature LCD televisions, separate vanity areas, a guest bathroom downstairs and an upstairs master bathroom featuring his and hers shower heads, fog-free mirrors, and limestone mosaic tile accents.

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When she launches in late 2009, Oasis of the Seas will be the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. An architectural marvel at sea, she will span 16 decks, encompass 220,000 gross registered tons (GRT), carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Oasis of the Seas will be the first ship to tout the cruise line's new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which includes Central Park, Boardwalk, and the Royal Promenade. The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at www.oasisoftheseas.com.

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Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and two under construction. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska and Canada, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, and South America.

Posted by Denise at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2008

Crystal 2009 Value Collection ? Broad Savings, Broad Range Of Cruises

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LOS ANGELES, June 17, 2008 - Crystal Cruises, winner of the industry's most distinguished awards, has announced its 2009 Value Collection sailings, allowing savvy luxury travelers the opportunity to plan ahead and realize extraordinary savings of up to 50% off regular cruise fares aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity.

With the launch of each new year's itineraries and fares, the ultra-luxury line identifies cruises that can benefit from pricing incentives in all stateroom categories. While typically offered on shoulder season dates and repositioning cruises, for 2009, Crystal is expanding its Value Collection to more than a dozen sailings of seven to 17 days through the Panama Canal, South America, the Mediterranean, Western Europe, New England and Canada, Caribbean and the Amazon, as well as Atlantic and Pacific Ocean crossings.

"With Value Collection, travelers can enjoy Crystal's superb service and luxurious amenities at significant savings," says Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "This offers a great opportunity to experience Crystal Cruises and understand why we've been voted World's Best by travelers more than any other cruise line, hotel or resort."

Itineraries offering savings of up to 50% in 2009 are:

Panama Canal/Caribbean/Amazon

  • February 16, Miami to Los Angeles, 14 days. From $3,595 on Crystal Symphony.

  • May 7, Los Angeles to Miami, 16 days. From $4,995 on Crystal Serenity.

  • November 22, Round-trip Miami, 7 days. From $2,480 on Crystal Serenity.

  • November 22, Miami to Manaus, 13 days. From $3,990 on Crystal Symphony.

  • November 29, Miami to Caldera, 11 days. From $3,775 on Crystal Serenity.

  • December 10, Caldera to Miami, 11 days. From $3,775 on Crystal Serenity.
  • Western Europe/Mediterranean

  • June 2, Lisbon to Venice, 12 days. From $5,070 on Crystal Serenity.

  • June 7, Rome to London, 12 days. From $4,360 on Crystal Symphony.
  • New England/Canada

  • October 1, Boston to Montréal, 7 days. From $2,575 on Crystal Symphony.

  • October 30, Montréal to New York, 11 days. From $3,835 on Crystal Symphony.
  • Ocean Crossings

  • March 9, Los Angeles to Hong Kong, 17 days. From $3,690 on Crystal Symphony.

  • May 23, Miami to Lisbon, 10 days. From $3,540 on Crystal Serenity.

  • November 12, Lisbon to Miami, 10 days. From $3,540 on Crystal Serenity.
  • Fares quoted are based on per person, double occupancy accommodations. For additional information and Crystal reservations call 800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

    June 22, 2008

    More Posh Penthouses Planned For Ultra-Luxury Crystal Serenity

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    LOS ANGELES, June 16, 2008 - Due to high demand, Crystal Cruises is increasing the number of luxurious Penthouse accommodations on its award-winning Crystal Serenity. During a two-week dry dock beginning November 12, the luxury line is converting 12 category AA Deluxe Staterooms with Verandahs on Deck 10 into eight Penthouses. While most cruise lines have been increasing the size of their cruise ships, Crystal is actually decreasing Crystal Serenity's guest capacity.

    Crystal Serenity's richly appointed 403-square-foot Penthouses boast personal butler service, large private verandah, sizeable living area, bar stocked with complimentary wine and choice of liquor, Jacuzzi® tub and separate shower, walk-in closet, flat screen television, DVD and CD player, Riedel glassware, and complimentary pressing. In addition to 24-hour in-stateroom dining from the Crystal Dining Room, Penthouse guests can order from the specialty restaurants, including signature dishes from Nobu and Piero Selvaggio, during dinner hours.

    "Penthouses are among the most coveted accommodations on our ships," says Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president, hotel operations.

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    Following the conversion, Crystal Serenity will feature 72 Penthouses (category PH), as well as 32 Penthouse Suites (PS) and four lavish 1,345-square-foot Crystal Penthouses (CP). Four of the new Penthouses connect with category AA Deluxe Staterooms with Verandahs.

    On both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, all guest rooms are appointed with such plush amenities as 100% Egyptian cotton sheets, down pillows (and a pillow menu), lavish duvets, feather beds, two hair dryers, fresh fruit and flowers. Large closets house padded and wooden hangers, Frette bathrobes, kimonos, slippers, umbrella, and English mohair lap blankets. Double sinks, make up mirrors, shower and bathtub are standard with every bathroom. Other amenities include laundry and dry-cleaning service twice-daily housekeeping, and complimentary 24-hour in-stateroom dining.

    In February 2008, Crystal Serenity was voted the #1 mid-sized cruise ship by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. For more information or Crystal reservations call 800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

    June 19, 2008

    Innovation And Imagination Are Cornerstones Of The Neighborhood Onboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas

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    Revolutionary Design Creates Boardwalk with AquaTheater, Sky-lit Royal Promenade and Unique Loft Accommodations

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    Miami, June 18, 2008 - Steeped in a philosophy that innovation and imagination contribute to a remarkable cruise vacation, Royal Caribbean has once again raised the bar with the announcement of the latest amenities on its newest ship, Oasis of the Seas. Launching in late 2009, Oasis of the Seas will be the world's largest and most revolutionary ship introducing the cruise line's new neighborhood concept, which will provide vacationers with the opportunity to seek out relevant experiences based on their personal styles, preferences or moods. Boardwalk, will be a breathtaking space for families inspired by the nostalgic seaside piers of yesteryear; the first amphitheater at sea, AquaTheater, will celebrate water with the largest freshwater pool found on a ship offering a full spectrum of activities and performances for guests; and the urban living concept will take to the high seas with the introduction of industry-first loft suites offering expansive ocean views and luxury amenities. Enhancements to the cruise line's signature Royal Promenade will include a new design allowing guests to have a physical connection with the neighborhood above, Central Park, as natural light cascades down from the sky through the Crystal Canopy sculptured glass domes. Other surprises include two rock-climbing walls and the first zip-line at sea suspended nine decks above Boardwalk.

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    The announcement of the new neighborhoods adds to the previously revealed neighborhood, Central Park, which was introduced in April. Reminiscent of the piers that dot the coast of England and amusement parks such as Coney Island, the elements of Boardwalk will dynamically engage the entire family in classic fun - whether young or just young at heart - with eateries, retail outlets and carnival games. An original, handcrafted carousel - the first at sea - will be the centerpiece of this vibrant neighborhood. AquaTheater, created to offer two unique experiences, will allow guests to swim in the theater's magnificent kidney-shaped pool, relax on sun loungers located on tiered platforms surrounding the pool, and even take SCUBA lessons in the afternoon. At night, it will deliver a complete sensory experience playing on the element of surprise as audience members witness the venue come alive with heart-pounding theatrical performances featuring dramatic acrobatics, synchronized swimming, water ballet, and professional high-diving, as well as elaborate fountain shows synchronized to music and lights.

    loft_suite_interior.jpg

    The introduction of 28 contemporary two-level loft suites will redefine cruise ship accommodations with vibrant, ocean-inspired colors in a sophisticated and spacious setting. Never before seen at sea, the lofts will feature spectacular views of the ocean with floor-to-ceiling, double-height windows to ensure the view will be enjoyed from each and every vantage point. The signature lofts will round out a new portfolio of 37 categories of accommodation options many with views unique to Oasis of the Seas.

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    "With our history of introducing game-changing amenities, we're pleased to be able to answer the question of 'what could possibly come next?'" said Richard D. Fain, Chairman & CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We are particularly excited about the neighborhood concept which gives guests compelling choices and the ability to flow seamlessly throughout the ship to meet their individual desires and preferences."

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    Additions to Royal Promenade, the heart of the ship, will include a mezzanine level that overlooks the main promenade below. The Royal Promenade will be home to a vast array of shopping, dining and entertainment options including, the Rising Tide bar, the first moving bar at sea, which will traverse three decks and allow cruisers to enjoy a cocktail as they slowly ascend into Central Park. A focal point will be a giant copper globe sculpture built into the facade above the Globe and Atlas Pub, which will "crack open" to create a spectacular, surprise element for guests, as it unfurls on hinged hydraulics and becomes a bridge platform for performances. Other options include the cruise line's popular Schooner Bar and Champagne Bar; the new Mondo Coffee Bar; Focus, a photo shop and gallery; and the ever-popular Boleros Latin dance club.

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    "Royal Caribbean is proud to introduce a number of industry 'firsts' on a level and scale that the world has never seen before," stated Adam Goldstein, President & CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Oasis of the Seas is the ultimate expression of the creativity and imagination found on all of our ships, providing guests with a collection of experiences that will offer an incredible cruise vacation."

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    When she launches in late 2009, Oasis of the Seas will be the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. An architectural marvel at sea, she will span 16 decks, encompass 220,000 gross registered tons (GRT), carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Oasis of the Seas will be the first ship to tout the cruise line's new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which includes Central Park, Boardwalk, and the Royal Promenade. The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at www.oasisoftheseas.com.

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    Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and two under construction. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska and Canada, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, and South America.

    Posted by Denise at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)

    June 17, 2008

    See Alaska Through the Eyes of a Native: Holland America Line Ships Feature Travel Guides

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    Alaska Native Travel Guides sail on Glacier Bay-bound ships

    Seattle, WA, May 28, 2008 - Cruisers on all Holland America Line ships bound for Alaska in 2008 will see and hear about their surroundings from an expert - an Alaskan Travel Guide. New this year are Alaska Native Travel Guides on Glacier Bay-bound ships.

    Through a partnership with Alaska Native Heritage Center, Alaska Native guides will be on board the majority of Alaska cruises on ships cruising in Glacier Bay-114 sailings in 2008.

    "We are very pleased at how this program has evolved," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest relations. "Our guests visiting Glacier Bay will enjoy having an Alaska Native guide on board the full cruise to provide another perspective on the land they're visiting."

    Alaska Native Travel Guides will bring their knowledge and personal experience of local culture, history, art and flora and fauna to guests on Alaskan cruises. They will give six to seven presentations over the course of the weeklong cruise. Topics include wildlife, gold rush dreams, volcanoes and glaciers, Alaska's early explorers and native people. They will provide narration throughout the trip, sell artwork by Alaska Natives, be on hand to answer questions and interact with guests one-on-one.

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    In addition to the Alaska Travel Guides, a Tlingit cultural interpreter from Hoonah will board ships at Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier and explain the origins of the Huna people. They will give presentations on native life and culture in the region and be available for discussions with guests.

    National Park Rangers are also an important part of the Alaska interpretive program and will continue to board all ships in Glacier Bay National Park and Hubbard Glacier for narration and presentations.

    The leader in Alaska tourism for 60 years, Holland America Line has eight premium cruise ships and twenty-nine cruise tours offering an incredible variety of vacation options in Alaska in 2008.

    About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE: CCL and CUK)]
    Holland America Line's fleet of 13 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to 314 ports of call in 97 countries, territories or dependencies. Two- to 108-day itineraries visit all seven continents, including Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal. A 14th ship, ms Eurodam, will launch in July 2008. For more information, call 1-800-738-8837.

    Fleetwide, the company features Signature of Excellence enhancements, totaling more than $425 million, that showcase the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine - a state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen where more than 60 celebrated guest chefs and culinary experts provide cooking demonstrations and classes - Explorations Café powered by The New York Times, teens-only activity areas and all new stateroom amenities highlighted by flat-panel TVs and plush Euro-top Mariner's Dream Beds.

    Posted by Denise at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)

    June 16, 2008

    Azamara Cruises Invites Travelers to Savor the Tastes of Europe

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    Miami - (June 05, 2008 ) - From Italian "slow food" and Slovenian salt to the French vineyards of Sauternes and Graves, Azamara Cruises? slate of culinary-themed shore excursions offer travelers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the richness of Europe's culture. Azamara also has begun offering packaged shore excursions on certain itineraries.

    This summer and fall, the 694-passenger Azamara ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, are sailing the Baltic and Mediterranean seas, respectively, for the first time. Onboard, guests enjoy complimentary meals in the ships? restaurants, including two specialty restaurants, as well as various wine-themed workshops and activities. On land, the offerings are no less tantalizing. Examples of Azamara Cruises' food- and wine-related Europe shore excursions include:

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  • "Slow food" tours in Livorno, Civitavecchia, and Venice, Italy; designed for those who love tastes that have endured through the ages, and who appreciate traditional ways of preparing and savoring meals, these tours feature wine tastings, olive oil tastings, cooking demonstrations and serene countryside walks.
  • A sampling of Koper, Slovenia's wine, olives and salt during a tour that begins with a drive through the Slovenian Mediterranean coast to the salt plants that date back more than 700 years; there, guests see the salt houses, where raw salt is processed and packaged, and continue their journey to a farmhouse known for its olive-oil production and its depiction of Istrian farm life, as well as to a Slovenian wine cellar for a tasting.
  • A "Vineyards of Sauternes and Graves" tour in the Bordeaux region of France, where guests travel through acres of vineyards before visiting the underground winery at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, known for its red wines; the region of Sauternes, where the world-renowned dessert wine is vented; and chateaux Y'Quem and Suduiraut, which offer outstanding tastes as well.

  • An exclusive cooking workshop at Amsterdam, Holland?s Michelin-2-star Ron Blaauw restaurant, where guests have the opportunity to learn from a culinary master before enjoying a gastronomic four-course lunch paired with select wines.
  • A "pasta party" at Country Relais due Laghi in Civitavecchia, featuring a visit to the medieval village of Anguillara by the lake of Bracciano before a trip to Tuscia, where local chefs demonstrate the traditional art of pasta-making three ways: with water and flour, with eggs, and with potatoes, before inviting guests to try their hand at it before enjoying a five-course gourmet meal.
  • A celebration of the colors, tastes and smells of Turkey in Kusadasi, during which guests experience a visit to Sirince, known for its incredibly fragrant and flavorful apricots and peaches; a trip to the mountainous area of Kirazl Koy, where guests can visit the local primary school, nap beneath a tree, or stroll through the village sipping Turkish coffee; a freshly prepared special lunch of gozleme, keskek and manti; and even a chance to help the locals pick seasonal fruits.
  • Azamara also has introduced select shore excursion packages during its European season, that make it easy for guests to enjoy an in-depth, immersive experience in the region in which they are cruising. "Capitals of the Baltic," for example, offered on some of Azamara?s Scandinavia/Russia sailings, includes a slate of excursions such as "Berlin's Cultural Splendors," "Porvoo, Hirvihaara Manor and Helsinki Highlights," "The Best of St. Petersburg," "Hermitage Splendor," "Moscow and the Mysterious Kremlin," "Historic Stockholm and Sigtuna," and 'Drottingholm Palace, Residence of the Swedish." The packages, which guests can book before sailing, are offered on 18 different sailings. Booking these tours as a package individually costs guests less than it would to book all of them separately.

    Azamara also offers guests the opportunity to extend their European vacation with a cruisetour, exploring destinations inland that are not accessible by ship. Azamara's cruisetours in Europe are offered pre-cruise; ranging from three to eight nights in length, they focus on the regions of Italy, Greece and Eastern Europe.

    Travel enthusiasts are encouraged to visit Azamara Cruises website for more information.

    Azamara Cruises unlocks the hidden corners of the world for those who desire to immerse themselves in the rich details of every voyage. The deluxe ships - Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest - offer an intimate experience, while allowing access to exotic destinations experienced travelers long to reach. For the 694 guests on each Azamara Cruises ship, every moment at sea embodies the pinnacle of luxury, and each footstep on shore accentuates the difference between visiting a place and getting a true sense of place. This year, Azamara Cruises presents the best of enchanting Europe, elite Asia, and the most captivating Caribbean and the Panama Canal. The line also offers unique cruisetours in Europe. For more information call 1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

    June 13, 2008

    New ?Crystal Memories? Plan Available On 2009 Sailings

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    LOS ANGELES, June 10, 2008 - Crystal Cruises is unveiling its largest ever family and multigenerational group promotion, 'Crystal Memories,' which is valid on virtually all the line's 2009 itineraries. The promotion, which was first introduced this year as 'Mediterranean Memories' on select 2008 Mediterranean sailings, has been expanded fleet wide as Crystal continues to tap into unprecedented growth of family and multigenerational travel.

    "This is the first time Crystal has launched a family promotion of this size and scope so far in advance," said Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales and marketing. "Our current 'Mediterranean Memories' program has attracted more than four dozen new family groups to Crystal vacations since its launch. Due to the dramatically growing number of travelers interested in vacationing with family, and friends they consider family, it makes perfect sense to offer prospective guests strong incentives to begin planning their 2009 reunions."

    The program includes:

    • One free sailing for every 10 full-fare, full-paying guests;
    • Prepaid gratuities;
    • $100 per person onboard credit for maximum of two guests per stateroom
    • Third berth guests 17 years old and under sail free;
    • $500 credit for a Crystal Private Adventure shore excursion of $2,500, enabling large multigenerational family groups to custom tailor land experiences, and
    • One 8 x 10 group/family photo and one photograph of guest's choice per stateroom.

    The size and range of accommodations aboard the ultra-luxury Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, coupled with the extraordinary levels of service and diversified onboard amenities and features, make a Crystal Cruise an ideal vacation option for multigenerational groups of discerning travelers.

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    The line features a fully supervised Junior Activities Program for kids 17 and under during summer voyages and other cruises with 12 or more children; Fantasia, the ships' dedicated playroom, with games, crafts, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft's XBox 360 video games, and personal computers with entertainment and educational software.

    The ships also feature dining options for any taste and sensibility, including casual poolside options, specialty restaurants and exceptional dining experiences in the Crystal Dining Rooms.

    The 'Crystal Memories' program is available with all 2009 cruises aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, except the World Cruise, North Cape, Black Sea and Christmas and New Year's cruises.

    For more information or Crystal reservations contact #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)

    June 11, 2008

    Princess Adds 110 New Shore Excursion Options in Europe This Summer

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    New Choices Feature Personalized Experiences and Self-Guided Walking Tours; Plus Fresh Adventures Such as Exploring the Rooftops of Stockholm or Going on a Treasure Hunt

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (June 10, 2008) - This summer Princess passengers in Europe have 110 new ways to enjoy their ports of call, whether they explore Stockholm by rooftop for the ultimate bird's eye view, go on a treasure hunt through the ruins of Herculaneum or streets of Dubrovnik, take an overnight train to Moscow, or explore on their own with the help of an iPod.

    These new options add to Princess' extensive lineup of 849 Adventures Ashore? throughout Europe -- including sailings in Scandinavia and Russia, where they can go aboard a Finish icebreaker; the Mediterranean, which serves up experiences such as a three-course pasta party; and Northern Europe and the British Isles where passengers can explore one of the Concords from the era of supersonic flight. The line also introduces new iPod-guided walking tours in a number of cities, plus begins offering a series of Personalized Experience tours featuring smaller group sizes.

    "We are always on the lookout for new and intriguing experiences for our passengers throughout the world, and this summer's European season is no exception," said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. "There are some exciting new choices, with fun options for so many kinds of passengers, whether they're active travelers, explorers, sports fans, kids or gourmets."

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    Some selected highlights of the new tour options include:

    New Ways to Tour - For passengers who want to set their own pace or those who enjoy a more personalized tour, two new tour options are available in several ports:

    Grab an iPod and Go -The convenience of a do-it-yourself day combined with the expertise of a recorded guide. These walking tours offer the use of a pre-loaded iPod for the day as well as a customized map. Travelers can set their own pace as they listen to a detailed narration about the area's most important points of interest, and can follow a suggested walk route or create their own adventure. Walking tours are available in Amalfi, Athens, Barcelona, Cannes, Capri, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Florence, Lisbon, Monte Carlo, Mykonos, Pisa, Portofino, Rhodes, Rome, and Sorrento.

    Personalized Experiences - Visitors to Berlin, Florence/Pisa, Naples or Rome can opt for a more intimate shore excursion option with a new Personalized Experience tour, featuring smaller tour groups and the opportunity for more personal interaction with the tour's guide. Personalized Experience tours feature Berlin of the 20th Century; Florence & Pisa; Amalfi Coastal Drive & Pompeii; and Rome, The Eternal City

    Grand Overland -Overland tours offer the opportunity to go further afield to visit cities and attractions away from the port area. This new choice adds a Moscow option to select Scandinavia and Russia voyages:

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    Travel to Moscow (Helsinki, Finland to St. Petersburg, Russia) - PRINCESS EXCLUSIVE - This new Grand Overland Tour to Helsinki, Moscow and St. Petersburg offers the opportunity to visit three cities in one tour, including a unique chance to visit the heart of Russia in Moscow. Visitors will tour Helsinki before traveling overnight by train to Moscow, where they will spend a full day and attend a ballet performance. Another overnight train takes them meet back up with their ship in St. Petersburg with time to visit the city's spectacular palaces and museums.

    Other Grand Overland Adventures - In addition to the new Moscow trip, there are a variety of other opportunities to travel overland for a day or two to see parts of Europe and the Holy Land further away from the port. Other Grand Overland tours are available to experience Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Galilee as well as the pyramids and antiquities of Egypt.

    Distinctive Options - From treasure hunting and climbing rooftops to tours through some remarkable forms of transportation, Princess carries a variety of unusual tours:

    Exploring Stockholm by Rooftop (Stockholm, Sweden) - For a view of Stockholm like no other, passengers can set out on a rooftop tour to see the city from 140 feet above street level. Participants are buckled into safety harnesses before they step out onto the roof of the city's Old Parliament Building, where they will navigate the narrow, iron-railed path of the rooftop as a guide narrates stories of Stockholm and points out the views.

    Hunt for Treasure (Dubrovnik, Croatia; Naples, Italy) - Travelers in Dubrovnik and Naples can add a new twist to their touring by participating in a treasure hunt. Passengers can search for hidden treasure through the streets of Dubrovnik or the ruins of Herculaneum. Teams are given tasks in the search of clues and points that will take them to some of the area's most famous landmarks and sights. At the end, the most successful team will win a prize.

    Finnish Icebreakers (Helsinki, Finland) - PRINCESS EXCLUSIVE - Ice breakers are a neccessity to keep Finish ports open in the winter. Passengers can go behind the scenes of these unique vessels with a guided tour of one of two icebreakers - "Urho" or "Sisu." A senior fleet officer will guide visitors through the bridge, engine room, mess hall and crews' quarters.

    The Concorde Experience (Edinburgh, Scotland) - Supersonic Concorde aircraft may no longer cross the Atlantic in record time, but passengers can still experience one of these rare planes with a visit to Scotland's National Museum of Flight. Here, the 'Concorde Experience' includes exhibits and multimedia presentations that trace the history of commercial supersonic flight and chronicle the 1960s' race to build the first SST, culminating in a tour of G-BOAA - the first British Airways Concorde to fly commercially ... at over 1350 mph.

    Culinary Tours -- For passengers who want to experience a true taste of their destination, the following tours are perfect for traveling gourmets:

    A Taste of Bornholm (Bornholm, Denmark) - Passengers can discover why Bornholm is home to the popular TV series "New Scandinavian Cooking" with this tour of the best of the region's food and drink. Visitors will travel to Lille Gadegaard Vineyard to sample their sparkling fruit wines. Passengers will then visit Hallegard, an 80-acre working farm noted for its fine, organic gourmet sausages. For beer lovers, a visit to Svaneke, a village brewery, offers the opportunity to try their award-winning beer that has won top honors in Denmark. To top off the day, the Siemsens Gaard Hotel offers a tasting of St. Clemens, and award-winning blue.

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    Bracciano Lake & Pasta Party (Rome, Italy) - Hungry passengers travel to Lake Bracciano in the heart of Etruscan Italy to explore the quaint lakeside resort of Anguillara, and then a special destination in the Tuscia wine country for a pasta-making demonstration followed by a five-course lunch (three courses of pasta!) accompanied by Tuscian wines. Participants can join in or observe as the hosts demonstrate three types of traditional Tuscian pasta - one made solely with flour and water, an egg pasta, and a potato pasta. After the demonstration participants sit down to a five-course gourmet lunch that features the three pastas accompanied by Tuscian wines.

    A Taste of Cadiz - (Seville, Spain) - An opportunity to learn the secrets of sherry production at an exclusive bodega. Passnengers will view a demonstration of the blender's art and sample a range of sherry from fino to amontillado or oloroso. And of course no visit to Andalusia would be complete without tapas to accompany with the sherry, so visitors can also try these appetizer sized 'little plates.'

    Kids, Art Lovers and Sports Fans - Entertaining options for many types of travelers:

    Swedish Fairytales (Stockholm, Sweden) - A magical tour for kids - and the young at heart - featuring the Junibacken Museum, where the world of award-winning Astrid Lindgren's well-loved books for children come to life. Visitors can meet characters such as Alfie Atkins, Old Man Festus and Mercury the Cat in Storyboook Square, climb aboard the Story Train for a magical tour through Lindgren's stories, and play in Pippi Longstocking's house, the Villa Villekulla. The tour also includes a visit to Stockholm's 17th-century warship Vasa, the oldest fully preserved ship in the world.

    Venitian Churches Chorus Pass (Venice, Italy) -Passengers have the opportunity to purchase a unique "chorus pass" to 16 of the lagoon city's most important churches -- and potentially view more than a 1,000 works of art. The Chorus Project, which offers the Chorus Pass, aims to contribute to the safeguarding, conservation and restoration of the architectural and artistic heritage of Venetian churches. Purchase of this pass supports the group's efforts and entitles passengers to explore the history and faith of the city's monumental churches and the precious paintings, sculptures, goldsmith's works and fabrics preserved within them.

    The Sporting Life (Dublin, Ireland; Liverpool, England) - Sports fans visiting Dublin or Liverpool can go behind the scenes at the local sport stadiums to learn more about the local sporting life. In Dublin, visit Croke Park Stadium, one of the most historic and modern sporting arenas in the world. Tours takes vistors to the dressing rooms, premium and corporate entertaining levels, service areas, and visitors can even test their own skills in hurling and gaelic football in the interactive games area. In Liverpool, fans can visit Anfield Stadium, home to the Liverpool Football Club, for a behind-the-scenes tour of that explores the player areas plus the club museum and the Champions League Trophy.

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    Active Tours - Travelers who want to stretch their legs and test their muscles as they tour have two new ways to explore in Finland:

    Helsinki by Jopo Bike (Helsinki, Finland) - Passengers can join a Finish rage by touring Helsinki by Finland's famed Jopo bike - the gearless, unisex red bicycle created back in the '60s. Jopo bikes are again in fashion, and offer a great way to cycle past many of the city's points of interest, from the main public beach to the striking Sibelius Monument. During the 10 mile tour, participants will enjoy views of the Opera House from Toolo Bay and see the icebreaker fleet at Katajanokka Island.

    Nordic Walking in Finland (Helsinki, Finland) - For another unique way to tour in Helsinki, passengers can try Nordic Walking. Developed in the off-season by Finnish cross-country skiers, Nordic Walking uses specially designed poles to exercise the upper body during a fitness walk. Participants will experience Helsinki in the course of an approximately seven-mile fitness walk that travels to the heart of the city.

    Shore excursions can be reserved in advance through the line's innovative Cruise Personalizer on www.princess.com, providing passengers with the comfort of knowing they're confirmed on their preferred tours before they sail, plus the added convenience of having their tour tickets ready and waiting in their stateroom on arrival. Princess' 2008 Europe season offers something for every explorer's wish list, with six ships callings at over 115 ports throughout the continent - more than ever before. Eight new ports debut - including such untouched locales as Albania - as well as five new itineraries. Princess' six-vessel fleet is the largest in the region, offering 87 departures of 32 unique itineraries, ranging from seven to 23 days in length. The Europe season runs through November 28, 2008. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent by calling 1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)

    June 08, 2008

    SILVERSEA'S NEW EXPEDITION SHIP IS

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    (Monaco -- June 3, 2008) In the heart of Monte Carlo's harbor this morning, the expedition ship Prince Albert II officially joined the Silversea fleet during a naming ceremony in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. As in the time-honored tradition, the dedication included a blessing of the ship by H.E. Monsignor Fabrice Gallo, Prelate of the Pope of Rome.

    Guests listened attentively to heartfelt speeches and then raised their glasses in a toast when the red and white ribbon (representing the heraldic colors of the Grimaldi family) was cut by HSH Prince Albert II, marking the launch of a new era in expedition cruising -- one that will offer authentic and respectful adventures from a base of easy-going luxury.

    "This is a very exciting and proud day for Silversea," said Manfredi Lefebvre, chairman of Silversea. "We are extremely honored that His Serene Highness Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, has personally dedicated the ship that will bear his name. May her many journeys of discovery always honor His Serene Highness through a commitment to responsible travel."

    Added Silversea President and CEO, Amerigo Perasso, "It is indeed a great privilege that His Serene Highness is here with us today and is the namesake of our new ship. In keeping with his legacy of exploration and environmental conservation, it is our hope that by educating and connecting people with distant cultures and wildlife, the
    Prince Albert II can open eyes and foster respect and greater care for our planet and its inhabitants."

    Fresh from a multimillion dollar renovation, the Prince Albert II boasts the largest average size accommodations of any expedition ship. An unmatched selection of 20 premium suites has been created especially for the discriminating traveler with 350 to 675 square feet of luxurious living space. Select suites have double private French balconies or large private verandas, and additional elite amenities including butler service. All 66 ocean-view accommodations are tastefully appointed and have private marble bathrooms with bathtubs.

    The Prince Albert II welcomes her first guests on June 12 as she sets sail from London on an Inaugural Season of voyages of 10 to 22 days focusing on polar adventures. Sailing first to the Arctic Circle, Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland for the summer, the ship will then reposition to South America and Antarctica for autumn and winter voyages.

    Silversea is a provisional member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), dedicated to managing respectable, environmentally friendly and safe expedition cruising in the Arctic. The company has also joined the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO). This important organization promotes and practices safe and environmentally responsible travel to Antarctica. In addition, Silversea plans to voluntarily adopt and apply similar operating procedures in all other destinations where the Prince Albert II will operate.

    Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the addition of the regal expedition ship Prince Albert II, the company's itineraries encompass all seven continents.

    In the U.S., Silversea has been voted "World's Best" by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler nine times and six times by the readers of Travel & Leisure. International awards include "World's Leading Luxury Cruise Line" from World Travel Awards (2007); "Five Star Diamond Award" from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (2007); "Number One" small-ship line in the Readers' Choice" survey conducted by Britain's Condé Nast Traveller magazine (2007); "Best Luxury Cruise Line" by Spain's Cruceros & Destinos magazine (2008); "Best Small Cruise Line" by Australia's Luxury Travel Magazine (2007); and "Best Luxury Cruise Operator" according to Asia's Travel Weekly (2007).

    Posted by Denise at 01:04 PM | Comments (0)

    June 06, 2008

    Carnival Freedom to Operate Year-Round Six- and Eight-Day Caribbean Cruises From Ft. Lauderdale Beginning Nov. 2008

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    Carnival Cruise Lines? 2,974-passenger Carnival Freedom, which was originally scheduled to operate six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on a seasonal basis, will now operate the program year-round, following the conclusion of its 2008 Mediterranean program in October.

    Carnival Freedom?s year-round schedule from Fort Lauderdale begins November 22, 2008, with six-day cruises departing Sundays and visiting Key West, Fla., George Town, Grand Cayman; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica, while eight-day voyages departing Saturdays alternate to the eastern and western Caribbean.

    Eight-day eastern Caribbean voyages visit five ports: San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas/St. John, U.S.V.I.; Antigua, Lesser Antilles; Tortola/Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.; and Nassau, The Bahamas. Western Caribbean cruises include Cozumel, Mexico; Limon, Costa Rica; and Colon, Panama.

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    According to Lynn C. Torrent, Carnival?s senior vice president of sales and guest services, ?The Caribbean is, by far, the most popular cruising region for North Americans. It is easily accessible and affordable, and when combined with attractive, destination-rich itineraries such as these, a Caribbean cruise represents the ideal vacation choice for consumers.?

    Torrent noted that while the plan had been for Carnival Freedom to return to Europe in 2009, the strong performance of the line?s entire Caribbean fleet made the new six- and eight-day deployment a compelling choice.

    Exciting Six- and Eight-Day Cruises
    On Carnival Freedom?s six-day cruises, guests can enjoy three distinctly different island experiences ? Key West, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios ? each of which offers excellent shopping and dining opportunities, along with a variety of ?fun in the sun? activities, including magnificent beaches and watersports.

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    Carnival Freedom?s eight-day eastern Caribbean cruises feature five ports ? San Juan, St. Thomas (optional shore excursion to St. John), Antigua, Tortola (optional shore excursion to Virgin Gorda) and Nassau ? providing consumers a diversity of landside experiences, along with a variety of restaurants, shops and boutiques. A wide range of shore excursions are also offered, including horseback riding, scuba diving, hiking and kayaking. During an extended evening stay in San Juan, guests can also sample that city?s legendary nightlife.

    In addition to historical sites and attractions, including centuries-old ruins, the eight-day western Caribbean cruises to Cozumel, Limon and Colon offer a multitude of dining, shopping and watersports experiences. A number of ?adventure-type? tours, including canoeing, and white-water rafting, are featured, as well. From Colon, guests can experience all the wonders of the Panama Canal and even a unique bi-coastal railroad adventure.

    Both of these eight-day cruises offer visits to ports that are usually available only on cruises of 10 days or longer. In addition, these cruises depart on Saturdays and return on Sundays, which allow them to fit into the consumer?s traditional one-week vacation pattern.

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    Variety of ?Fun Ship? Amenities
    Spanning a length of 952 feet, Carnival Freedom offers a variety of on-board amenities and facilities: a 14,500-square-foot health and wellness facility, a jogging track, a duty-free shopping mall, full casino gambling, and 22 lounges and bars, including a multi-level theater showcasing lavish revues.

    Dining options include two two-level main dining rooms offering extensive menus and wine lists, a 1,200-seat poolside eatery with full breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets and a 24-hour pizzeria, and an elegant reservations-only supper club.

    Family friendly amenities include children?s programs for three different age groups ? ?Camp Carnival? for kids ages 2-11, ?Circle C? for ?tweens, and ?Club O2? for older teens ? with facilities and activities for each.

    Carnival Freedom also offers a variety of accommodations including a wide selection of balcony staterooms and suites ? perfect for scenic cruising. All Carnival Freedom accommodations feature the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality linens and pillows. Carnival Freedom also houses an Internet Cafe, along with ship-wide Wi-Fi access and cell phone service.

    Reservations
    Reservations are currently being accepted for the Carnival Freedom?s year-round six- and eight-day voyages from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom, along with round-trip air supplements from a variety of North American gateways and pre- and post-cruise South Florida land stays, are also available.

    For additional information and reservations call 1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)

    June 05, 2008

    Carnival Cruise Lines to Introduce Baltimore?s First Year-Round Cruise Program in September 2009

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    Carnival Cruise Lines, the world?s largest cruise operator, will launch the first year-round cruise program from the Port of Baltimore with seven-day cruises aboard the 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride beginning in fall 2009.

    The new program kicks off September 13, 2009, and encompasses two different weeklong itineraries departing Sundays from the historic Maryland port.

    Baltimore?s first year-round cruise program will feature a variety of interesting ports on two distinctly different seven-day itineraries. Exotic Eastern Caribbean departures will call at Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay; and Freeport, The Bahamas; while Bahamas/Florida departures visit Port Canaveral, Fla.; and Nassau and Freeport, The Bahamas.

    It is expected that the Carnival Pride will carry more than 115,000 guests annually from the Port of Baltimore. Including its new Baltimore-based program, Carnival Cruise Lines will operate from 17 North American departure points, including 11 year-round homeports ? the most of any cruise operator.

    ?We?re thrilled to introduce the first year-round cruise program from Baltimore aboard the Carnival Pride, a truly magnificent ?Fun Ship? that will visit a wide range of tropical destinations from one of America?s most historic cities,? said Gerry Cahill, Carnival?s president and CEO. ?Today?s consumers are more value-conscious than ever and considering that Baltimore is within a day?s drive for millions of Northeastern U.S. residents, these new seven-day voyages provide a convenient and affordable vacation option,? he added.

    ?This is tremendous news for the Port of Baltimore and our State,? said Maryland Governor Martin O?Malley. ?Year-round cruising will allow the 40 million people that live within a six-hour drive of Baltimore to look beyond the traditional cruising seasons and sail throughout the year. Carnival Cruise Lines is internationally recognized as one of the finest cruise ship operators in the industry and we are happy to welcome their ?Fun Ship? to Maryland.?

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    Year-Round Cruising From Baltimore
    Carnival Pride?s year-round seven-day cruises from Baltimore will visit popular destinations in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.

    Carnival Pride?s Exotic Eastern Caribbean cruises from Baltimore feature Grand Turk, a 10.5-square-mile island paradise which, in addition to a rich history, offers crystal-clear waters that attract snorkelers and divers the world over. Ships dock at the Grand Turk Cruise Center, a modern facility offering an 800-foot-long private beach, a Margaritaville-themed restaurant and a variety of retail shops. Also featured is Half Moon Cay, a crescent-shaped private island offering beautiful beaches and a diversity of watersports opportunities, along with a children?s aqua park and beachside cabanas. The third destination on this itinerary, Freeport, The Bahamas, is the island chain?s second largest city with excellent shopping at the International Bazaar and the Port Lucaya Marketplace, along with stunning beaches and exciting golf opportunities.

    Seven-day Bahamas/Florida cruises call at Port Canaveral, located on Florida?s Space Coast and in close proximity to Orlando-area theme parks and attractions, as well as the world famous Kennedy Space Center. Visitors also enjoy the area?s gorgeous white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Other ports include Nassau, the historic Bahamian capital known for its outstanding duty-free bargains, beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere. During their visit in Nassau, guests can tour a variety of historical sites, including centuries-old forts. A daylong visit to Freeport rounds out this itinerary.

    Special Six-Day Voyage from Baltimore
    Prior to the start-up of year-round seven-day cruises, Carnival Pride will operate a special one-time six-day departure round-trip from Baltimore September 7-13, 2009. Featured ports on this voyage include Freeport and Port Canaveral.

    ?Fun Ship? Carnival Pride
    The 88,500-ton Carnival Pride offers a host of facilities and features, including indoor and outdoor promenades, a wedding chapel, and an elegant reservations-only supper club located at the top of a soaring nine-deck-high atrium and accessible by a glass staircase, just one of several different dining venues on board.

    Other features include a ship-long promenade with a variety of lounges, bars and nightspots, including a multi-level theater showcasing lavish production revues. Family friendly amenities include organized programs for three different age groups ? ?Camp Carnival? for younger kids, ?Circle C? for 12- to 14-year-olds, and ?Club O2? for older teens ? with supervised activities and expansive facilities for each.

    Carnival Pride also offers a variety of accommodations including a wide selection of balcony staterooms and suites ? perfect for scenic cruising. All Carnival Pride accommodations feature the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality linens and pillows.

    Carnival Pride also houses an Internet Café, along with ship-wide Wi-Fi access and cell phone service.

    Reservations
    Reservations are currently being accepted for the Carnival Pride?s new departures from Baltimore. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom, along with round-trip air supplements from a variety of North American gateways and pre- and post-cruise Baltimore land stays, are also available.

    For additional information and reservations call 1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)

    NCL Makes Adjustment to Fuel Supplement

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    Miami - Jun 5, 2008 - As oil prices have continued to rise since NCL's earlier announcement of a fuel supplement, the company announced today an increase to its current fuel supplement. The new fuel supplement will be $11 per person per day for the first and second guests in a stateroom and $5 per person per day for any additional guests in the same stateroom, based on the guidelines below.

    Individual reservations
    The increased fuel supplement applies only to new individual reservations made on or after June 20, 2008.

    Group reservations
    The increased fuel supplement applies to any group reservation booked on or after June 20, 2008. The increased fuel supplement will also apply to group space held prior to June 20, 2008 without specific names and full confirming deposit by June 19, 2008.

    NCL Corporation Ltd. is the holding company for various subsidiary companies involved in owning and operating the ships of Norwegian Cruise Line. NCL is building two new Third Generation Freestyle Cruising ("F3") ships for delivery in 2010.

    NCL today has the youngest fleet in the industry, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships in the market, and has recently added its latest new ship, the 2,400 passenger Norwegian Gem.

    Posted by Denise at 09:05 AM | Comments (0)

    June 04, 2008

    Norwegian Pearl Earns Environmental Award from Port of San Francisco

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    Green award recognizes NCL's environmental standards and practices

    Miami - Jun 3, 2008 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced that Norwegian Pearl recently received the Port of San Francisco's Cruise Ship Environmental Award. In 2007, Norwegian Sun was honored with the same award. The Port's program recognizes annually those cruise ships whose on-board environmental systems help decrease air and water pollution. The three categories evaluated are air emission reduction, wastewater treatment and recycling and disposal programs for solid waste.

    "It's an honor for Norwegian Pearl to be recognized by the Port of San Francisco for the environmental standards and practices we have in place to protect the waters on which we sail and earn our livelihood," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. "We have shown our commitment to maintaining the highest level of environmental protection standards by using low-sulfur fuels, reducing air emissions, efficiently and effectively treating our wastewater and recycling and disposing properly of solid waste while in port." The Cruise Ship Environmental Award was created by the Port of San Francisco's Cruise Terminal Environmental Advisory Committee (CTEAC). Established in 2003, CTEAC advises the Port Commission on cruise ship-related water and air quality issues. Committee members include regulatory agencies, environmental organizations, organized labor, community groups and maritime industry representatives.

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    "The Port of San Francisco is pleased to acknowledge the officers and crew members of Norwegian Pearl for going above and beyond the existing regulations to preserve and protect the air and water quality of San Francisco Bay and beyond," said Peter Dailey, maritime director for the Port of San Francisco. "We sincerely appreciate Norwegian Cruise Line's commitment to safeguarding the environment."

    Norwegian Pearl accommodates more than 2,400 guests and includes a world of innovative features and amenities, including 10 restaurants, 13 bars and lounges, two swimming pools and a casino. The ship also features an industry first - a four-lane, ten-pin bowling alley at sea and an impressive 30 foot rock climbing wall. Norwegian Pearl offers five- and nine-day sailings to the Western and Southern Caribbean, seven-day Alaska and nineteen-day Panama Canal itineraries.

    NCL Corporation Ltd. is the holding company for various subsidiary companies involved in owning and operating the ships of Norwegian Cruise Line. NCL is building two new third generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery in 2010. NCL today has the youngest fleet in the industry, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea, and has recently added its latest new ship, the 2,400 passenger Norwegian Gem.

    Posted by Denise at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

    June 03, 2008

    Norwegian Cruise Line First to Offer BOTOX® Cosmetic and Restylane® Treatments at Sea

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    Miami - Jun 2, 2008 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), in partnership with Steiner Transocean, LLC ("Steiner"), announced today that it is the first cruise line to offer BOTOX® Cosmetic, Restylane® and Perlane® facial aesthetic treatments in its Mandara-operated spas. The treatments, which are part of Mandara's medi-spa program, are currently available on select NCL ships, including Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Spirit, with plans to launch fleet-wide this fall.

    Guests can now return home from their cruise vacation looking and feeling rejuvenated. All of the facial aesthetic treatments are under the supervision of Steiner's Medical Director, Dr. Brad Herman, a Miami-based, board-certified plastic surgeon and his team of medically-licensed doctors who have been trained specifically in the administration of these treatments.

    "Our spas are the best at sea and we are continually looking for ways to enhance the guest experience on board our ships," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. "By being the first to offer these popular medi-spa treatments, we are furthering the tradition of NCL-led innovation in the cruise industry."

    Leonard Fluxman, president and chief executive officer of Steiner Leisure, said, "We believe this expansion of our medi-spa services provides yet another opportunity to perpetuate our philosophy of imparting inner and outer beauty for our guests. As beauty and wellness needs continue to evolve, we always strive to present our guests with a premium selection of treatments that suit their individual lifestyle and preferences."

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    BOTOX® Cosmetic is a simple, non-surgical treatment that can safely and effectively soften lines and reduce wrinkles. BOTOX® Cosmetic has been used therapeutically for over 18 years, and according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, has been the number one non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the US since its FDA approval for cosmetic use in 2002. Guests who want to reduce lines from the nose to the corners of the mouth can opt for the number one selling dermal filler in the United States: Restylane® or its sister product Perlane®. Restylane® and Perlane® treatments can provide volume and fullness to the skin with instantaneous and long-lasting results. Guests can schedule a 30-minute consultation with the medi-spa physician on board who will create an individualized treatment plan.

    These medi-spa treatments supplement NCL's wide-range of skin, body, massage, and hair and nail care already available on board. Other treatments available at sea include GoSmile Tooth Whitening, Microdermabrasion and Ionithermie Cellulite Reduction Program, a body contouring treatment instantly improving the look of cellulite.

    NCL Corporation Ltd. is the holding company for various subsidiary companies involved in owning and operating the ships of Norwegian Cruise Line.

    NCL is building two new third generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery in 2010. NCL today has the youngest fleet in the industry, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea, and has recently added its latest new ship, the 2,400 passenger Norwegian Gem.

    Posted by Denise at 08:27 AM | Comments (0)

    June 01, 2008

    Private Cabanas Offered on Holland America Line's ms Eurodam

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    Guests luxuriate in spa-like setting

    Seattle, May 7, 2008 - Guests on Holland America Line's new ms Eurodam who want to enjoy the outdoors in the comfort of their own private haven will delight in the cabanas on the Observation and Lido decks of the company's first Signature-class ship.

    The airy, tented cabanas are located on Observation Deck in an area called the Retreat and around the mid-ship pool on Lido Deck. Furnished with modern woven chaises, ottomans and upholstered settees, all cabanas come stocked with bathrobes and plush towels, handheld fans, an Evian spray mister and iPods? preloaded with great music. Chilled waters are available and guests can look forward to iced fruit skewers in mid-morning and frozen grapes, chocolate-covered strawberries and a glass of champagne in the afternoon.

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    The Retreat
    The 14 cabanas in the Retreat offer guests a spa-like private area where they can relax and recharge surrounded by healthy refreshments and luxurious leisure amenities. Fresh fruit, salads, wraps and juices are available at the Retreat, with light breakfast options offered as well.

    Lido Cabanas
    Eight cabanas around the Lido pool offer a private respite in a lively area of the ship. Lunch at the Lido cabanas will be served upon request from a menu of poolside favorites from the Terrace Grill or Lido Restaurant.

    Discounted select services from the Greenhouse Spa and Salon are available on port days to guests who book the cabanas. The cabanas may be rented for the day or for an entire cruise. The Retreat cabanas are $45 on port days and $75 on sea days, while the Lido cabanas are $30 and $50 respectively.

    The 2,104-guest Eurodam debuts this summer with European inaugural festivities, including a July 1 naming ceremony in Rotterdam with Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, followed by a maiden voyage in the Baltic region. The ship will offer its first trans-Atlantic cruise and sail Canada/New England in the fall, followed by Caribbean itineraries the remainder of 2008.

    Posted by Denise at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)