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July 28, 2009

Guests of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Cruises enjoy more options, peace of mind with New Choiceair

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Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Cruises today announced ChoiceAir, a convenient new way for guests to purchase air transportation to and from their cruise. With ChoiceAir, guests will enjoy greater peace of mind; be able to select their preferred airline and a specific itinerary; and shop for the best prices among published fares and exclusive ChoiceAir specials. Unlike traditional programs, guests will know their airline itinerary as soon as they are ready to choose it, and - as with traditional air programs - there is a support team available to support guests before, during, and after they travel. ChoiceAir will be available to guests from the U.S. and Canada beginning August 3, 2009.

"The new ChoiceAir is a best-in-class program that will provide guests with convenience, flexibility, value, and support when it comes to the air transportation portion of their vacation," said Doug Santoni, senior vice president of Revenue Management, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Our guests and our travel partners have told us they value the support we provide as part of our traditional air programs, but that they would also like a full choice of competitive air fares and schedules, and to be able to select their itinerary at the time they book their cruise. With ChoiceAir, we are responding to our customers' wishes."

Guests will be able to purchase ChoiceAir through a travel agent, directly from Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises contact centers, and online through a new ChoiceAir website. Travel agents will be able to purchase ChoiceAir for their clients through CruisingPower.com, the three cruise lines' dedicated site for travel professionals. A cost of $15 per person for domestic and $25 per person for international air travel will apply to ChoiceAir bookings, and will include access to the ChoiceAir support desk, aid in cases of flight delays, and assistance in making alternative flight arrangements in the event of missed embarkation. Guests' cruise and air arrangements will both be present in a single consolidated booking record, creating greater convenience for travel agents, who would no longer need to manage two separate and independent bookings.

Posted by Denise at 09:14 AM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2009

WORLD RENOWNED MASTER CHEF JACQUES PÉPIN TO OPEN FRENCH BISTRO ONBOARD OCEANIA CRUISES' NEW MARINA

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NEW YORK, July 22 2009 - World-renowned Master Chef Jacques Pepin will open Jacques - his first ever restaurant at sea - onboard Oceania Cruises' new 1,258-guest Marina, scheduled to launch in late 2010.

Pepin?s namesake restaurant will draw inspiration from bistros in his home town of Lyon and the fabled bistros of Paris. "The cornerstone of any great dining experience is freshly prepared, simple dishes that are as visually pleasing on the plate as they are on the palate," according to Pepin.

Guests entering the restaurant will be greeted by the aroma of freshly roasted chicken, duck and lamb wafting from the grand rotisserie. Custom Jacques Pepin signature china, antique flatware and Lalique glassware adorn the tables while chandeliers fashioned from crystal decanters add a whimsical shimmer to the room. An art collection comprised of some of Pépin?s favorite personal pieces and original works Pepin created especially for Marina, grace the room and adds a warm, personal touch.

"As we designed the culinary experience aboard Marina, a restaurant by Jacques Pepin was at the top of our guests? wish lists," stated Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises? president. "Jacques will present a traditional French dining experience in a casually elegant fashion."

Jacques Pepin is the host of award-winning cooking shows, author of more than 20 cookbooks and has served as personal chef to numerous heads of state. As the Executive Culinary Director for Oceania Cruises, Pepin has brought his legendary cuisine and unique artistry to the gourmet restaurants onboard Marina?s sister ships Regatta, Insignia and Nautica.

"Jacques Pepin has been a member of our team since the line's inception and we are honored that he is debuting his signature restaurant aboard our magnificent new Marina," added Binder.

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A Dining Experience to Be Savored
Dining in Jacques will be reminiscent of dining in a favorite bistro that is run by a long-time friend. The service, while professional and polished, is friendly and endearing and in the tradition of fine French dining, a leisurely pace is de rigueur, thus ensuring a relaxing dining experience.

Upon arrival at the table, guests are greeted with a bread basket of "Les Trois Baguettes" with three different freshly baked French baguettes along with Country Petit Pate with gherkins and traditional Rillettes of salmon and foie de volaille.

Highlights of the menu include an appetizer of homemade Pumpkin Soup a l'Anglaise served in a pumpkin shell, fresh Mussels Mariniere, freshly roasted free range chicken, duck, lamb and other specialty cuts of fine meat.

In addition, the chef's "specialites de la maison" are presented each day, having been hand-selected from local markets in the ports that Marina visits.

To cap off the evening, a choice of nine classic French desserts and a cheese tray with 12 AOC French cheeses that locally procured in the regions they are produced serve as a fitting finale to an unforgettable dining experience.

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A Ship for Food Lovers
Oceania Cruises? new Marina has been purposefully designed for epicureans with 10 dining venues, including six open-seating, gourmet restaurants. Public spaces awash in rich woods, marble and granite, fine wool carpets and lustrous leather retain the intimacy and signature design elements of the line?s three sister ships while affording an increased level of space, comfort, convenience and luxury amenities. Featuring a total of 10 dining venues, Marina guests may choose to dine in any of six distinctly different gourmet restaurants, including Jacques and Red Ginger, all at no additional charge. Guest accommodations are comprised of 629 staterooms and suites, 96 percent of which have private verandas. Facilities include an array of elegant bars and lounges, a CanyonRanch SpaClub, state-of-the-art fitness center, outdoor swimming pool and hot tubs.

Additional information about Jacques - including sample menus - will be uploaded to Oceania Cruises' website in the coming months. Reservations for Marina are scheduled to open in late 2009. For more information or to order a brochure, contact a travel agent at 1-800-738-8837.

About Oceania Cruises
Oceania Cruises is the world?s only upper-premium cruise line and offers an unrivaled combination of the finest cuisine at sea, elegant accommodations, exceptional personalized service and extraordinary value. Award-winning itineraries visit more than 200 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard three luxurious, 684-guest ships: Insignia, Nautica and Regatta. The 1,258-guest Marina joins the fleet in winter 2010.

About Prestige Cruise Holdings
Prestige Cruise Holdings (PCH) is the parent corporation of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Formed in 2007 to manage select assets in Apollo Management's cruise investment portfolio, PCH is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank Del Rio, the founder of Oceania Cruises. PCH is the market leader in the upper-premium and luxury segments of the cruise industry with more than 4,450 berths between the Oceania and Regent brands, a number the company expects will grow to more than 6,700 berths by 2011.

Posted by Denise at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2009

One-Week Only: MSC Cruises 'Europe Blowout' Savings On Mediterranean and Northern Europe Sailings

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Book by July 31 to Save - Plus Kids 17 and Younger Sail Free

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (July 24, 2009) - MSC Cruises is offering travelers planning to cruise "Europe the opportunity to take advantage of a special one-week only "Europe Blowout" savings promotion today through July 31, 2009.

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"Europe Blowout" rates begin at $499 per person on select 7-night cruises and $799 for 10-night positioning cruises visiting some of Europe's most exotic ports. Experience the line's elegant ships including two of the newest in the cruise industry - sister ships MSC Splendida, which launched this month, and MSC Fantasia, which debuted in December of 2008.

Some of the itineraries featuring special "Europe Blowout" rates on new bookings offer the best available staterooms for early bookings, while space is available, on select 7-night sailings of:

  • MSC Splendida: Western Mediterranean roundtrip from Barcelona, Genoa, Civitavecchia, or Marseille, starting at $549;

  • MSC Fantasia: Western Mediterranean roundtrip from Genoa, Barcelona, Naples or Marseille, starting at $599;

  • MSC Armonia: "Wonders of the Aegean" Eastern Mediterranean roundtrip from Venice or Bari, starting at $529;

  • MSC Orchestra: Baltic or Norwegian Fjords roundtrip from Copenhagen or Kiel, starting at $1,099; Western Mediterranean roundtrip from Barcelona or Genoa, starting at $549;

  • MSC Musica: "Greek Islands in the Sun" Eastern Mediterranean roundtrip from Venice or Bari, starting at $649;

  • MSC Lirica: "Mediterranean Marvels" Western Mediterranean from Genoa or Rome, starting at $499.

    "Europe Blowout" rates on select 10- or 11-night positioning cruises include:

  • MSC Lirica: Dover or Amsterdam to Genoa starting at $799;

  • MSC Orchestra: Copenhagen or Kiel to Genoa from $899.

    Children ages 17 and younger sail free when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults.

    Cruise-only rates are per person, based on double occupancy (government fees and taxes for all guests are additional) and cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion.

    For more information about MSC Cruises call #1-800-738-8837.

    ABOUT MSC CRUISES:
    MSC Cruises has the most modern fleet in the world with ten ships:MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia(the largest ships built for a European ship owner), MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia, MSC Opera, MSC Lirica and MSC Melody. The fleet cruises year round in theMediterranean and seasonally in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, North America and Canada, South America, the Indian Ocean, South and West Africa. MSC Magnifica launches in 2010. MSC Cruises recently forged a three-year, million-dollar partnership with UNICEF to fund a community project in Brazil while increasing awareness of this cause onboard its ships.

    Posted by Denise at 01:39 PM | Comments (0)
  • Crystal is World's Best Again - For Record 14th Year!

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    Highest Score of Any Large-Ship or Small-Ship Cruise Line

    LOS ANGELES, July 13, 2009 - For a record 14th year, Crystal Cruises has been voted "World?s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line" by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. The ultra-luxury line is the only cruise line, resort or hotel to have won the prestigious award each year since the awards' inception. Crystal Cruises' 2009 World's Best Score of 88.94 is the highest of any cruise line - large or small. A Crystal cruise is the only vacation experience to have been voted #1 by Travel + Leisure readers for 14 years.

    The World?s Best Awards are featured in the magazine's August 2009 issue based on a first quarter 2009 survey of thousands of discerning world travelers. Subscribers were only permitted one vote each, and were asked to rate cruise lines on cabins, food, service, itineraries/destinations, activities and value, plus an optional vote for families.

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    "We are so honored and gratified that Crystal's winning formula of superior service, choices, space, quality and value was treasured by so many discerning Travel + Leisure readers," says Crystal Cruises' President Gregg Michel. "This award continues to be a tremendous validation of the authentic warmth and professionalism of Crystal?s extraordinary staff and our unparalleled attention to detail."

    Crystal's luxurious, award-winning fleet comprises the 922-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Symphony and the 1,070-guest, 68,870-ton Crystal Serenity, which sail worldwide itineraries of seven to 100+ days. In September, Crystal Symphony will undergo a major multimillion dollar redesign. By the fall of 2009, Crystal Cruises will have invested more than $65 million in its two ships within a three-year period.

    Inspired innovative features like restaurants with cuisine by Nobu Matsuhisa, ultimate wine experiences, tech concierges, over-the-top Crystal Adventures ashore, and relentless attention to detail continues to distinguish the Crystal experience.

    "We continue to invest in our ships, with sophisticated design, product features and services that obviously reap high marks from astute travelers," adds Michel. "In this challenging, competitive travel environment, we know this rating means a lot to travelers. When they part with their hard-earned vacation dollars, they want the assurance that they are getting the best at a great value."

    For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

    July 14, 2009

    Norwegian Epic Float Out Ceremony

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    MIAMI July 13, 2009 - In the early morning hours of Saturday, July 11, Norwegian Epic made her first journey on water, cruising out of her construction quay at STX Europe in Saint-Nazaire, France where the 153,000-ton ship has been under construction since October 2007. Beginning at approximately 7 am, the massive 4,200 passenger ship was accompanied by a fleet of six tugboats and taken a short distance down the Loire Estuary. Within about one and a half hours, the ship was moored at the outfitting dock. Norwegian Epic?s float out represented a major milestone in the vessel?s construction as it indicates that the ship has now moved into the final phase of construction and work will begin immediately on the vessel?s interiors.

    "Watching Norwegian Epic make her first journey on the water was a very moving experience," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "Norwegian Epic epitomizes our continued commitment to innovation and represents the next generation of Freestyle Cruising, so we are thrilled to be celebrating her float out and looking forward to her delivery in less than a year."

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    On hand for the occasion were Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, chairman of the board of directors for Norwegian Cruise Line and chairman, president and chief executive of the Genting Group; Norwegian Cruise Line executives: Kevin Sheehan, chief executive officer; Roberto Martinoli, president and chief operating officer; and Andy Stuart, executive vice president, global sales and passenger services, as well as Sang-Ho Shin, president and chief executive officer, STX Europe; and Jacques Hardelay, general manager, STX Europe, France.

    Norwegian Epic is scheduled to be delivered in late May 2010, and will take part in inaugural events before beginning her Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from her year-round homeport in Miami. The first Eastern Caribbean sailing from Miami is scheduled for July 17, 2010 and the ship?s alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries are scheduled through April 2011.
    Norwegian Epic?s Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes calls in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas. The ship?s Western Caribbean itinerary includes calls in Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico. Guests can make a reservation by contacting a travel professional at 1-800-738-8837. More information about the ship, her itineraries and offerings can be found at epic.ncl.com.

    Norwegian Epic's Innovations & Features
    Norwegian Epic is changing the face of cruise line entertainment. In another industry first, Blue Man Group will perform in the ship?s 685-seat Epic Theater. Blue Man Group is best known for their wildly popular theatrical shows and concerts which combine music, comedy and multimedia theatrics to produce a totally unique form of entertainment. The blissful party atmosphere created at their live events has become the trademark of a Blue Man Group experience and will be seen for the first time ever at sea only on Norwegian Epic.

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    Norwegian Epic will have multiple, specially-designed entertainment venues throughout the ship so that guests can choose from a wide variety of entertainment each evening of their cruise. No longer will entertainment be focused on two nightly shows in one large main theater. Norwegian Epic will offer a number of entertainment options in specially-designed venues, some offered for the first time ever at sea, with choices to appeal to a broad audience.
    On this ship, guests will find the only "big top" at sea. In this intimate 265-seat theater-in-the-round, famed producer/director Neil Goldberg will present Cirque Dreams and Dinner. This one of a kind interactive theatrical dining experience will be performed in the air, while juggling dinner courses, with music, mayhem and acrobatic imagination. During this two-hour show, guests will marvel in amazement and become part of a celebration of spectacle and fantasy. The entire experience will be unlike anything else at sea.

    Norwegian Epic will offer the next generation of Freestyle Dining with 14 restaurant choices - the most at sea - and 18 bars and lounges. The ship also boasts unique nightlife options with the first Ice Bar at sea and Spice H20 with non-stop entertainment day and night; an expansive Aqua Park with the only tube slide and largest bowl slide at sea -- The Epic Plunge; seven decks of Freestyle Family Fun with highlights including a 33-foot high, 64-foot wide extreme rock climbing wall and the first ever rappelling wall at sea; the most bowling lanes at sea with six in two venues; a mixed-use sports deck with the ability for guests to engage in eight different athletic activities; as well as three separate kids' and teen activity areas and the first squash court at sea.
    Norwegian Epic incorporates several new types of accommodations - the curved New Wave staterooms; the largest ship-within-a-ship suite complex at sea, comprising 60 suites and villas on two private decks at the top of the ship; a new category of inside staterooms for the value-conscious traveler - The Studios and Living Room; and spa and family-friendly accommodations.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is the innovator in cruise travel with a 42-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising, most notably with the introduction of Freestyle Cruising which has revolutionized the industry by allowing guests more freedom and flexibility. Today, NCL has the youngest fleet in the industry with 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

    NCL is presently building Norwegian Epic, a third generation Freestyle Cruising ship, for delivery in 2010.

    Posted by Denise at 06:07 PM | Comments (0)

    July 13, 2009

    NEWEST MSC CRUISES SISTER SHIPS MEET IN MALLORCA

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    MSC FANTASIA WELCOMES MSC SPLENDIDA TO THE FLEET

    FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (July 10, 2009) - MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia, the newest ships in MSC Cruises' fleet, met July 9 in Mallorca, Spain, as MSC Splendida sailed to her christening in Barcelona on July 12.

    This was the first meeting between the two 137,936-gross registered ton sister ships, the largest ever commissioned by a European owner, since late last year when MSC Fantasia sailed from the STX Europe shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France, where both were built.

    MSC Fantasia, calling in Mallorca during her regular 7-night summer Mediterranean cruise itinerary, welcomed her soon-to-be-christened sibling MSC Splendida to the MSC Cruises family during their joint visit to the Spanish port.

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    The sister ships sailed from the port together, escorted by two tugboats. MSC Fantasia set a course for Barcelona, where she will call before continuing her cruise to Marseille and Genoa. MSC Splendida will sail to Marseille before embarking on the final leg of her journey from the shipyard to Barcelona for her christening by legendary film star Sophia Loren, who is godmother to both the MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia. Spanish operatic lyric tenor Jose Carreras will also join in the celebration, entertaining guests from throughout the world with his internationally renowned voice.

    The MSC Splendida, like her sister MSC Fantasia, epitomizes the elegant style, traditional European service and innovative features that have established MSC Cruises' reputation for excellence. Each ship gives guests their choice of four distinctive restaurants serving outstanding cuisine and a remarkable array of recreational, shopping and entertainment venues featuring the best entertainment at sea to enhance the cruise experience. Both ships also feature the exclusive MSC Yacht Club where guests enjoy the ultimate in luxurious suite accommodations, amenities and service in a private enclave.

    For more information about MSC Cruises visit us online at Cruising2Europe.com.

    Posted by Denise at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

    July 09, 2009

    Cunard?s Long Haul Voyages Defy the Recession

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    Travellers' Interest Piqued by Queen Elizabeth Maiden World Voyage and Queen Mary 2 East-West Passage

    9 July 2009 - Cunard achieved recession-defying record bookings when its 2011 World Voyage programme for Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth went on sale last Wednesday (1 July). Sales were up by more than 150% compared with the first day on sale of the 2010 World Voyage programme last year.

    "We are delighted with this great response to our World Voyages for Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth," said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line. "We were the first company to offer a World Cruise back in 1922, and it is gratifying that people are still seeking out that civilized and authentic Cunard experience - even in a time of economic turbulence such as we have at present. Queen Elizabeth, whose keel was laid in Trieste last week (2 July), will make her maiden World Voyage in 2011," Marlow added.

    Cunard's two ships will visit 57 destinations in 34 countries. In addition to Queen Elizabeth making her maiden World Voyage, Queen Mary 2 will again sail the intriguing east-west passage for her fourth World Voyage. This popular route takes the ship from New York to Southampton via the Caribbean, South America, South Africa, Australia, Asia, the Middle East and Southern Europe before completing the 103-day circumnavigation.

    Prices for a full World Voyage start at $19,995 per person - or just under $200 per day!

    For more information and to book a voyage aboard the new Queen Elizabeth, consult your travel professional toll-free at 1-800-738-8837 or view Cunard Cruises on our websites:

    Cunard European Cruises
    Cunard Canada/New England Cruises

    Posted by Denise at 04:18 PM | Comments (0)

    Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Equinox to raise a few eyebrows

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    New 2,850-guest ship to feature AquaClass staterooms, indulgent spa offerings including "24-Karat Gold Facial" and "Lash and Brow bar"

    Miami - (July 01, 2009 ) - When Celebrity Cruises' newest Solstice-class ship, the 2,850-guest Celebrity Equinox, sets sail for the first time this summer, her sleek exterior and critically acclaimed interior design won't be the only features raising eyebrows among cruise and travel enthusiasts. Playing off the success of the launch of her sister ship, Celebrity Solstice, the newest vessel in Celebrity's fleet will also offer AquaClass staterooms designed to offer a soothing, spa-focused ambiance, as well as several indulgent new offerings in the onboard spa.

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    Celebrity's AquaClass veranda staterooms, introduced as a Solstice-class exclusive feature last year, are located in close proximity to the ships? two-story spa, known as "AquaSpa by Elemis." AquaClass is the only stateroom category in Celebrity's fleet that offers no third and fourth guest berthing, making the area quieter and more exclusive for guests wishing to relax in an utterly serene environment.

    Guests in Celebrity's AquaClass enjoy a host of spa-inspired amenities and perks. These include unlimited access to the AquaSpa?s Persian Garden aromatherapy steam room, featuring heated ceramic loungers, and the Relaxation Room, which offers stunning vistas from comfortable loungers and a peaceful ambiance. AquaClass guests also enjoy unlimited, complimentary access to the ship?s exclusive, "clean-cuisine" and Mediterranean-influenced specialty restaurant, Blu. The dinner menu features savory appetizers along the lines of roasted beet salad with goat cheese; Mediterranean chopped salad with pita chips and pomegranate vinaigrette; and entrees including blackened ahi tuna, pan-seared filet mignon, and herb-crusted rack of lamb; Blu is also open for breakfast, exclusively for AquaClass and suite guests.

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    AquaClass guests enjoy in-stateroom amenities that include a pillow menu featuring Swedish Isotonic, body and hypo-allergenic pillows; carafes of unsweetened iced tea; soothing, calming lavender oil in a reed diffuser; and a five-jet shower by Hansgrohe, designed to invigorate and relax. AquaClass guests on Celebrity Solstice have been enjoying the convenience of accessing free, exclusive, on-demand video programming that introduces them to wellness-themed activities such as meditation, yoga, etc., in the comfort of their stateroom. AquaClass will comprise 130 of the ship's 1,426 staterooms. A full 85 percent of all staterooms on Celebrity Equinox will have verandas, and all staterooms will be equipped with flat-screen TVs, smarter storage and closet space, spacious bathrooms, and plush European bedding. The ship will offer wireless Internet access throughout.

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    All guests on Celebrity Equinox are welcome to treat themselves to indulge in the ship?s AquaSpa by Elemis, which will offer its standard line-up of revitalizing, restorative experiences for individuals and couples. Renowned for its exotic therapies focused on beauty and wellness, Celebrity's AquaSpa - offering full service on all ships except the 92-guest mega-yacht, Celebrity Xpedition, which offers limited options - will offer new treatments on Celebrity Equinox, including an opulent, restorative new treatment: "4-Karat Gold Facial." The treatment, which uses an alchemy of expert touch, medicinal plants, Rose Quartz and a pure 24-karat gold leaf mask, speeds up cell renewal and results in a rebalanced, nourished, brighter and more clarified skin texture and complexion. The new ship will offer "red carpet make-up" application after every facial in its line-up, featuring a natural touch of Colorscience mineral powder and lip gloss to keep skin and lips glowing.

    Guests who experience the 24-Karat Gold Facial on Celebrity Equinox will also be able to enjoy a special cocktail inspired by the treatment itself. The "Golden Kiss Martini" will feature Golden Supreme vodka, cucumber juice, agave syrup and lemon juice, muddled with fresh mint.

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    Celebrity Equinox will also offer a "lash and brow bar," where guests can add glamour to their look by selecting from a variety of eyelash enhancements, offered in three styles: Natural Lashes, Evening Eyes or Ultra Glam, which features a sparkling touch of glitter. Brow sculpting will be offered by expert aestheticians who carefully shape and define the eyebrows to give the face an instant lift and a polished appearance. Brow tinting, which can cover gray hairs or enhance one's natural look, will be available in various shades. Lash tinting, ideal for guests whose eyelashes are light in color, will also be available. Celebrity Equinox's AquaSpa will offer a full slate of massages, wraps, couples treatments, rituals and facials. The ship also offers men?s barber services, including traditional barber shaves.

    Celebrity also presents a comprehensive slate of "medi-spa" offerings onboard. As the first cruise line to offer onboard acupuncture, Celebrity will continue to offer this popular treatment on Celebrity Equinox, in a space located within the AquaSpa. Celebrity Equinox will also offer BOTOX Cosmetic treatments, which soften fine lines and wrinkles to result in a more youthful appearance; Restylane and Perlane treatments, Elemis Oxydermy facials and teeth whitening.

    A full-service fitness center, located in the AquaSpa area of the ship, will offer guests the option to exercise on state-of-the-art equipment at their own pace or participate in group fitness classes. An outdoor walking/jogging track gives guests the opportunity to take in the sea air while staying healthy. Celebrity also offers guests the option to purchase personal training services onboard. The 122,000-gross-registered-tons Celebrity Equinox is scheduled to enter service July 31 from Southampton, England, on an eight-night cruise through the majestic Norwegian Fjords, followed by a series of romantic Mediterranean sailings from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, beginning August 8.

    Like Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox will present guests with brand-defining, industry-first features, including a half-acre Lawn Club with real, growing grass; a glassblowing show and studio developed and presented in collaboration with The Corning Museum of Glass; 10 unrivaled dining venues, and widely varied entertainment, including shows with breathtaking aerial acts. Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale vacation experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal and South America. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Noted for four of the top 10 "Top Cruise Ships in the World" in the large-ship category, as voted by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler (February 2009 readers' poll), Celebrity's fleet - including the new Celebrity Solstice - will be joined by Celebrity Equinox this year, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011, and a fifth in 2012. For more information call a travel agent 1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)

    July 08, 2009

    CELEBRITY CRUISES LAUNCHES NEW CAPTAIN'S CLUB AS MEMBERS BECOME THE "CENTER OF ATTENTION"

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    Celebrity Cruises' Captain's Club - the top-rated premium brand's three-tiered recognition and benefits program designed exclusively for its most loyal guests - has been redesigned and relaunched based on a series of member-inspired enhancements. Several of these new features are rolling out across the fleet on sailings beginning in July, while others will be introduced in intervals over the course of the year.

    "Our most loyal guests deserve our loyalty in return, so we?re thrilled to offer them a vastly improved program," said Celebrity Cruises President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. "Our new Captain?s Club gives them greater recognition, exclusive benefits, and a number of enhancements designed to make them feel like the center of our attention every time they sail with us."

    New features launching in July include the Captain?s Club Celebration, a one-of-a-kind social and entertainment event available to all members; significantly improved Internet and laundry benefits for Select and Elite tier members; and a new onboard lounge exclusively for Elite members. The brand has even introduced a new theme for Captain's Club, which doubles as its ongoing commitment to members: ?The center of our attention.?

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    But these improvements are only the beginning. During the second half of 2009, Celebrity will expand the Captain's Club with a variety of other new features, all of which will be announced prior to taking effect.

    "Our new Captain's Club was designed based on a tremendous amount of research, feedback from our members, and advice from our travel partners," said Hanrahan. "We want to ensure that we deliver every aspect to our guests' utmost satisfaction, so we?re choosing to roll out the enhancements in intervals, beginning with improvements to the member experience onboard."

    A highlight of the onboard experience is likely to be the Captain's Club Celebration. Soon available across the fleet, with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition, all members will be invited to this exclusive event once per sailing. Redesigned to be a highlight of every cruise, the spirited affair will provide the perfect opportunity to meet fellow members, chat with the Captain and senior shipboard officers, experience interactive cooking demonstrations, and enjoy the unique "CC Jams" performance by a variety of shipboard musicians.

    For members interested in a quiet haven of their own, Celebrity is pleased to introduce the Captain's Club Lounge at Michael?s Club, exclusively for Elite members and their stateroom/suite companions each morning and early evening. The new Lounge will offer a casual coffeehouse-style experience from 8AM to 10AM, with complimentary espressos, teas and other menu items, a variety of reading materials, and, on Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, wi-fi access.

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    Every evening from 4PM to 6PM, Captain's Club Elite members and their stateroom/suite companions can return to the Lounge to enjoy socializing with fellow members, participate in a wine tasting event, or simply relax and enjoy a quiet, complimentary drink before dinner.

    In recognition of their desire to stay in touch with family and friends while vacationing, Elite members will now receive complimentary Internet packages, while Select members will receive a significantly discounted rate on any Internet package. Also within the new program, Captain's Club Select- and Elite-level members can now enjoy new laundry, dry cleaning, and pressing benefits, based on the length of their cruise.

    Celebrity also is extending its pledge to make members the center of attention by engaging many in the entirely new Captain's Club Advisory Board, to ensure its most loyal guests always have a voice in shaping the program. Participation on the Advisory Board will offered online on a rotating basis to a selection of members across all tiers.

    In addition to focusing on effectively delivering the new features of Celebrity's Captain's Club, Celebrity will continue to ensure that members enjoy all the program benefits currently available as well, and that they continue to have more opportunities to achieve higher-tier status.

    "We will continue to provide members in every tier of the Captain's Club with the recognition and rewards they've come to expect, while adding several new enhancements over the course of this year," said Hanrahan. "We also want to ensure that our members have the opportunity to quickly advance to the next tier. That's why we count tier credits versus purely counting cruises. Tier credits are earned simply by sailing with us, but we also award additional credits for cruises of 12 or more nights, and for booking certain stateroom and suite categories. As a result, members can more quickly advance to the next tier."

    "What we?re rolling out today, combined with everything we'll be adding to the program over the course of this year, will add up to what I'm confident will be the best loyalty program at sea," Hanrahan added.

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    Prior Captain's Club benefits and new enhancements available at launch include:

    For Classic members (1-4 tier credits): Access to the loyalty desk and loyalty host; a premium onboard discount booklet; access to the new Captain's Club Celebration event; a complimentary custom air request; pre-cruise specialty restaurant reservations; member reunion cruises; one-category upgrades; and an online newsletter.

    For Select members (5-9 tier credits): All of the benefits of Classic membership, plus priority embarkation, a complimentary wine seminar, priority status to shore excursion waitlist, an invitation to the senior officers' cocktail party, 25% off any Internet package, complimentary pressing of two clothing items, and discounted laundry on cruises of 12 nights or more.

    For Elite members (10 or more tier credits): All of the benefits of Select membership, plus a private shipboard departure lounge with continental breakfast, priority tender service, priority waitlist for dining room seating, elegant tea service, complimentary use of Thalassotherapy pool use on Celebrity Mercury, complimentary access to the Persian Garden (port days only), access to the new Captain's Club Lounge at Michael's Club, 90 free Internet minutes, one free item of dry cleaning, a complimentary bag of laundry (wash, dry, fold) and additional discounted laundry on cruises of 12 nights or more.

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