Opinions, Tips on Cruises by the Industry leader! Find out which cruise lines and which destinations are appropriate for you through reading the insight of the industry leaders!
Home Beginners Guide Cruise Destination Guides Cruise Ship Reviews General Tips on Cruises Hotel Reviews Press Releases

January 28, 2010

Norwegian Epic to set sail in Europe in 2011


Norwegian Cruise Line's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date will summer in the Mediterranean


Miami - January 26, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that its largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, Norwegian Epic, debuting this July, will summer in the Mediterranean as part of her 2011/2012 deployment. The ship will sail a seven-day Western Mediterranean itinerary from Barcelona, Spain from May through October 2011. Ports of call include: Florence/Pisa (Livorno); Rome (Civitavecchia); Naples, Italy; and Palma, Majorca, Spain, along with two full days at sea. These cruises, along with the ship's Caribbean and transatlantic sailings for 2011/2012, go on sale to Latitudes members (Norwegian's past guests), and the company's top travel partners on Wednesday, January 27, 2010 and to the general public on Thursday, January 28, 2010. Fares for Norwegian Epic's Mediterranean itinerary are from $699 per person.

"In bringing the ship to Europe during her second season, we are combining the excitement of Norwegian Epic with a very popular European itinerary," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "With her world-class entertainment, wide range of accommodations, incredible amenities and plethora of dining options, Norwegian Epic will offer the best cruise experience for a wide-range of travelers looking to enjoy Europe in a whole new way."


Following her inaugural season, Norwegian Epic will continue sailing her alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami, Florida through April 30, 2011. On May 7, 2011, the ship will depart Miami on an 11-day transatlantic crossing to Barcelona, Spain with one stop in Ponta Delgada, Azores. Upon her arrival in Barcelona on May 18, 2011, the ship will sail a four-day Western Mediterranean sailing with stops in Marseille, France and Palma, Majorca, Spain. She will then sail a series of 22 seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona through October 16, 2011. A 13-day transatlantic sailing from Barcelona to Miami, Florida is scheduled for October 23, 2011 with stops in Ponta Delgada, Azores and St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Once back in Miami, Norwegian Epic will sail a series of 23 seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises from November 5, 2011 through April 7, 2012. Ports of call on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary include: Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas, along with two full days at sea.

To book one of these itineraries or for more information on Norwegian Epic, call Cruising2Europe.com at #1-800-738-8837!

Posted by Denise at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2010

Princess Cruises Named "Weather Cruise Ship Company of the Year" by NOAA


Ships Assist National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with Global Weather Readings

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 21, 2010) - While passengers are relaxing and exploring the world aboard Princess Cruises' ships, little do they know that throughout their vacation the vessels are also helping the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) track global weather patterns. In 2009, Princess ships made 20,139 weather observations - more than any other cruise line - earning the company the distinction of NOAA's "Weather Cruise Ship Company of the Year." Coral Princess led the fleet with 5,142 observations.


The voluntary reporting system helps NOAA track weather patterns in many areas of the world where the organization doesn't have direct access to local information. The ships measure air temperature, humidity, wind direction and strength, sea waves and swells. Ships send information at a minimum of every six hours when at sea to a database which is forwarded to NOAA.

"As long-time participants in this important program, we're happy that our fleet was able to provide so much data this year to help with worldwide weather forecasting," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "With Princess ships sailing around the globe to all seven continents, we're in the unique position to be able to take weather readings in a multitude of destinations where NOAA might not otherwise be able to get information."

This data, which is gathered not only from cruise ships, but from all types of ships worldwide, is used to help NOAA track and forecast weather patterns around the world.

About NOAA:
The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration is a U.S. government agency that enriches life through science. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA's products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America's gross domestic product. NOAA's dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information they need when they need it. NOAA's roots date back to 1807, when the nation's first scientific agency, the Survey of the Coast, was established. Since then, NOAA has evolved to meet the needs of a changing country. NOAA maintains a presence in every state and has emerged as an international leader on scientific and environmental matters.


About Princess Cruises:
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, all provided in an environment of exceptional customer service. A recognized leader in worldwide cruising, Princess offers its passengers the opportunity to escape to the top destinations around the globe, with sailings to all seven continents, ranging in length from seven to 107 days. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE:CCL; NYSE:CUK).

For more information about Princess Cruises contact Cruising2Alaska.com by calling #1-800-738-8837.

Posted by Denise at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2010

MSC Cruises' Newest Ship MSC Magnifica Completes Sea Trials


Flag-changing Ceremony on February 25, Christening on March 6

MSC Magnifica - the fourth Panamax cruise ship in the MSC Cruises Musica class - successfully completed her sea trials on Sunday, January 17, returning to the Forme Joubert, Saint-Nazaire, France dock after 72-hours on the open seas.

Despite inclement weather and 50-knot winds on Saturday, MSC Magnifica performed to the satisfaction of the MSC Cruises' team. The trials involved a team of about 300 performing more than 60 separate tests involving everything from speed and manageability to acoustics and vibrations.

Following the sea trials, MSC Magnifica will participate in a flag-changing ceremony on February 25, in Saint-Nazaire and be christened on March 6 in Hamburg, Germany. The christening celebration includes an evening of entertainment and celebration both onboard and ashore through a live broadcast shown on two giant screens.


Renowned Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti, adult contemporary/soft rock/pop artist, performs on stage during the christening while MSC Cruises' traditional godmother, Italian screen legend Sophia Loren, participates in the ribbon cutting. Ramazzotti is one of the most popular Italian singers and songwriters selling more than 40 million records in his 25-year career.

MSC Magnifica combines the intimacy of her three Musica Class sister vessels - MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra, and MSC Poesia - with the state-of-the-art facilities and comfort of the company's larger flagships, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia.

A magrodome or retractable roof covers the pool area making it possible to enjoy one of the four pools onboard throughout the year regardless of the weather. The Il Bar del Sole area on the top deck boasts its own whirlpools and solarium.

The ship's 17 bars and lounges, four restaurants, and a large new buffet area will serve Italian and international cuisine; an a la carte restaurant L'Oasi will provide fine dining in an exotic Moroccan atmosphere. Entertainment features on board include a high-tech 4D cinema, mini-bowling alley and a billiard table in the L'Olimpiade sports bar.

Relaxation opportunities await guests in the MSC Aurea Spa wellness center for massages, facials, and other specialty spa treatments in a resort-standard setting.

The new addition to the MSC Cruises' fleet will sail the Eastern Mediterranean beginning March 20, for 7-night itineraries departing Venice, Italy and calling at Bari, Italy; Katakolon (Olympia) Greece; Izmir, Turkey; Istanbul, Turkey; and Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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 the Mediterranean 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.

For more information or to book an MSC Cruises vacation contact a cruise specialist at Cruising2Europe.com by calling #1-800-738-8837 or visit their website www.cruising2europe.com

Posted by Denise at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2010

Royal Caribbean Cruises provides humanitarian relief to Haiti after earthquake


Miami - (January 15, 2010 ) - Royal Caribbean Cruises, one of Haiti's largest foreign investors for almost 30 years, today announced its plans to provide at least $1 million in humanitarian relief to Haiti in response to the catastrophic earthquake in Port-Au-Prince. Royal Caribbean will be partnering with charitable organizations - such as Food for the Poor, Pan American Development Foundation, and the Solano Foundation, the company's foundation in Haiti - to provide additional assistance to the people of Haiti. Royal Caribbean will also be delivering much needed goods and supplies to Haiti via their cruise ships.

"The effect of the earthquake on Haiti has been catastrophic, leaving the country in need of not only immediate support, but assistance in their long-term recovery," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Royal Caribbean wants to do its part to help out not only the general response, but also our hundreds of Haitian employees and their families through this disaster."


"In addition to our financial contribution, Royal Caribbean will continue to provide economic support through the continuous business we bring to Labadee," Fain added.

Leslie Voltaire, Special Envoy of the government of Haiti to the United Nations said, "Given the terrible economic and social challenges we now face in Haiti, we welcome the continuation of the positive economic benefits that the cruise ship calls to Labadee contribute to our country."

The benefits start with Royal Caribbean International's Independence of the Seas' call today to Labadee, Haiti, which includes much needed supplies for the country.


The supplies were loaded on the ship during its call in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and include items such as rice, dried beans, powdered milk, water and canned goods. In addition, 100 percent of the company's net revenue from the destination will be contributed to the relief effort.

In the next two weeks, the following ships are scheduled to call on Labadee with additional supplies: Navigator of the Seas on Monday, January 18; Liberty of the Seas on Tuesday, January 19; and Celebrity Solstice on Friday, January 22. When the supplies arrive in Labadee, they will be transported to an offsite location to be distributed by Food for the Poor, a long time partner of Royal Caribbean in Haiti.

In addition to working with Food for the Poor to distribute relief supplies, guests sailing onboard Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises will be able to make a donation to Food for the Poor's Haiti Relief Fund, via a charge to their onboard account. Guests who would like to contribute immediately can visit Food for the Poor website to make a donation. Royal Caribbean also plans to use a portion of the $1 million donation to augment the company's Crew Relief Fund, which can be drawn on by any of the company's more than 200 Haitian crew members for assistance, as well as to match employee contributions to the partner organizations.


As the initial response effort gives way to the long-term recovery effort, Royal Caribbean will consider further support efforts.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Cruises and CDF Croisieres de France. The company has a combined total of 39 ships in service and four under construction. It also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Dubai, Europe and South America. Additional information can be found on Azamara Club Cruises website, Royal Caribbean website, Celebrity Cruises website, Pullmantur website,Croisieres de France website or Investor Relations website.

Support Royal Caribbean and it's other brands by calling Cruising2Europe.com at #1-800-738-8837.

Here is a picture of supplies being dropped off in Haiti by the Independence of the Seas:


Posted by Denise at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2010



MIAMI, January 14, 2010 - Oceania Cruises reported record single day bookings on Wednesday when its new flagship Marina went on sale for the first time exclusively to the line's past guests. Reservations for the day exceeded the line's previous record by 26%. In its booking debut, nearly 50% of Marina's released inventory covering 5 inaugural winter season sailings sold in less than 12 hours. On January 18, reservations for Marina's inaugural season open to the general public.

"The response to Marina's five inaugural sailings has surpassed our greatest expectations," stated Bob Binder, president of Oceania Cruises. "The demand from our loyal past guests underscores the quality and value of the Oceania Cruises brand and is a testament that we are building exactly what our guests want."


Scheduled to debut in January 2011, the 1,258-guest Marina will boast an array of stylish bars and lounges and 10 dining venues - six of which are open-seating gourmet restaurants - including Jacques, the first restaurant at sea for world-renowned Master Chef Jacques Pepin. Other highlights include a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub and fitness center, Bon Appétit Culinary Center, Owner's Suites furnished exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home and a grand stairway custom-crafted by renowned French glass master, Lalique.

For more information or to order a brochure, contact an Oceania Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Paradise.com or call #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 300 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard the luxurious Regatta, Insignia, Nautica and brand new Marina.

About Prestige Cruise Holdings
Prestige Cruise Holdings (PCH) is the parent company 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 CEO 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 nearly 4,000 berths between the Oceania and Regent brands, a number the company expects will grow to more than 6,500 berths by 2011.


Spacious, Elegant, Glamorous Describe Staterooms and Suites


January 6, 2010 - When she debuts in January 2011, Oceania Cruises' new Marina will offer elegantly appointed and custom-crafted accommodations that are reminiscent of a luxurious private estate. The ship's 629 staterooms and suites - among the most spacious at sea - are destined to set new cruise industry standards.

Standard veranda staterooms on Marina are 282 square feet - the largest standard veranda staterooms in the cruise industry. Both Veranda- and Concierge-level accommodations feature a sitting area and private teak balcony furnished with a chaise lounge, armchair and occasional table.

"Marina is the first-ever vessel purpose-built for the upper-premium segment of the leisure market," stated Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises' president. "She is also the first ship we have designed from scratch to deliver the award-winning Oceania Cruises Experience."


Savor the Suite Life
Penthouse Suites measure an industry-leading 420 square feet with living/dining room separate from the sleeping area, walk-in closet and bathrooms with a double vanity.

Oceania Suites, a new category of accommodations for Oceania Cruises, are 1,030 square feet of luxurious living area. The layout is comprised of a large living and dining area, media room and separate bedroom. As a highlight, a large veranda features a hot tub.

Vista Suites range in size from 1,200 to 1,500 square feet and offer the same features as Oceania Suites but with the added benefit of floor-to-ceiling windows affording sweeping views over the ship?s bow.

Owner's Suites offer 2,000+ square feet of palatial luxury. Unlike any luxury suites at sea, Marina is the first ship to offer suites completely appointed from furniture and fabrics to lighting and bedding using the acclaimed Ralph Lauren Home collection. New York-based Tocar, Inc. penned a design that exudes a rich, clubby and refined sophistication.

In addition to the standard stateroom amenities, suite guests enjoy the added luxury of Champagne upon arrival, 1,000-thread-count linens, 42" plasma TV, Hermes and Clarins bath amenities, butler service, and en-suite delivery from any of the ship's restaurants.

Guests Influence Design
Binder, along with Oceania Cruises Founder Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings, sought counsel and direction from past guests and travel agents prior to approving the final design of accommodations. The pair escorted the select group to the Italian shipyard to view full-scale mock-ups of staterooms and suites. There, they had the opportunity to see the layout, sit on the furniture, feel the bed linens, even walk into the stall shower. Suitcases full of clothes were on hand so guests could test whether storage space was sufficient.

According to Del Rio, "The staterooms and suites were universally described as glamorous. Our guests said 'wow' the moment they opened the door." Upon entering they were awed by the upholstered floor-to-ceiling headboard, which serves as a dramatic backdrop for the line's exclusive Tranquility Beds.

Other stateroom amenities include a flat-panel TV, lap-top computer with wireless access, refrigerated mini bar, security safe, writing desk, plush terry robes, bed slippers, and marble and granite bathroom.

Standard bathrooms on Marina are the largest of any vessel in its class. In fact, Del Rio was resolute that each should have a tub and shower, an industry first among upper-premium cruise ships. Moreover, he tasked the design team to fabricate an oversized vanity with drawers so toiletries can be hidden from view.

Casual Elegance Meets High Style
Oceania Cruises' new Marina has been purposefully designed to carry 1,258 guests to the world's most alluring ports in elegance and style. Rich woods, marble and granite, fine wool carpets and lustrous leathers adorn public rooms. Facilities include 10 dining venues - six of which are open-seating gourmet restaurants, an array of bars and lounges, a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub and fitness center, swimming pool and hot tubs.

Reservations are scheduled to open in the coming weeks. For more information or to order a brochure, contact an Oceania Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Paradise.com or call #1-800-738-8837.

Oceania Cruises Specials . . .

14 Day Trans-Atlantic Cruise on Regatta November 13, 2010 From $1834 US!

12 Day Northern Europe on Insignia July 11, 2010 From $2639 US Plus Pre-Paid Gratuities!

12 Day Mediterranean Cruise on Nautica October 30, 2010 From $2747 US!

12 Day Southern Caribbean Cruise on Regatta December 21, 2010 From $2799 US Plus Pre-Paid Gratuities!

Posted by Denise at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2010

Norwegian Epic Will Offer Single Occupancy Rooms!


Norwegian Cruise Line gives solo travelers a reason to cruise on Norwegian Epic Innovative concept focuses on Studios specifically designed and priced for the solo traveler

NEW YORK - January 13, 2010 - Continuing its history of innovation, Norwegian Cruise Line today announced a completely new concept to make cruising more attractive to solo travelers on the company's largest and most exciting Freestyle Cruising ship to date, Norwegian Epic, launching this July. Norwegian Epic's Studios are the first staterooms designed and priced for single occupancy, starting from $799 US on the ship's seven-day alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. These specially designed and priced Studio staterooms available on all of Norwegian Epic's sailings - with no single supplement - go on sale Monday, January 18, 2010.

"Historically, the cruise industry has not embraced the large number of people who enjoy traveling solo," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "We are breaking the mold of traditional cruising once again by offering a stateroom designed and priced specifically for solo travelers, making cruising a more attractive travel option. We invite all solo travelers - whether they are first-time cruisers or cruising veterans - to sail on our incredible new Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic."


The Studios on Norwegian Epic are a private key-card access complex on two decks consisting of 128 staterooms and the Studio Lounge. This unique and thoughtfully designed concept provides comfort and convenience for the solo traveler.

Each Studio stateroom, at approximately 100 square feet of living space, features a contemporary design with a full-size bed and separate areas for the bathroom, sink and shower. In addition, guests in the Studios have private access to the exclusive Studio Lounge. Here, guests can grab a cup of coffee in the morning, meet up with fellow cruisers and plan their day or relax with a drink in the evening. Since many of the Studio staterooms are connecting, there is also the opportunity for friends to travel together while giving each their own private space.

A live interactive web event discussing the Studios and other Norwegian Epic news will take place today at 5 pm ET. To register for the web event, click here.

Norwegian Epic

World-class entertainment is Norwegian Epic's hallmark. For the first time at sea, Blue Man Group will perform their exhilarating fusion of comedy, theatrics and paint, exclusively on Norwegian Epic. In the only "big top" at sea, Cirque Dreams and Dinner will present a one-of-a-kind interactive theatrical dining experience with music, mayhem and acrobatic imagination. Legends in Concert, the original and world?s greatest live tribute show, will be featured for the first time at sea in more than a decade on Norwegian Epic, along with The Second City improvisational comedy and Howl at the Moon, the world?s greatest rock'n roll dueling piano show that encourages audience participation.

In addition to world-class entertainment, the 4,200-passenger Norwegian Epic incorporates many innovations including several new types of accommodations - the curved New Wave staterooms; the largest Villas suite complex at sea, comprising 60 suites and villas on two private decks at the top of the ship; and spa and family-friendly accommodations. 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. In addition, Norwegian Epic will offer the next generation of Freestyle Dining with 20 dining choices and 20 bars and lounges.

For more information on Norwegian Epic as well as to book a cruise on Norwegian Epic to the Eastern or Western Caribbean, call a Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Paradise.com at #1-800-738-8837 or visit their website!

View a brochure on the Norwegian Epic Studios Here!

Posted by Denise at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2010



New year. New look. New brand platform. Celebrity Cruises kicked off 2010 ? and its 20th anniversary - announcing all this and more at a special event last night at Manhattan's Museum of Arts & Design.

"What better time than our 20th anniversary to celebrate Celebrity's history of award-winning service, cuisine, and our new, brand-defining Solstice Class?" said Celebrity's President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. "Everything we've
offered over the course of 20 years, and everything we'll offer in the future, is designed for discerning cruisers ? from our contemporary, new Celebrity Life onboard experiences, to the world-class cuisine of Chef Jacques Van Staden, to our enhanced Captain's Club loyalty program. So, we've summed up our longtime commitment to understanding themand delivering what they want within a new brand platform: 'Designed for You'."

The introduction of Designed for You - pairing Celebrity's commitment to stunningly-designed ships and innovative onboard experiences with its commitment to impeccable guest service - marks the culmination of an extensive, six-month exploration into more deeply understanding the needs of discerning cruisers. The process included an in-depth market research survey of nearly 10,000 international cruisers, numerous focus group sessions with past guests and travel partners, in-home interviews with some of Celebrity's frequent guests and prospects, and exhaustive reviews of cruisers' needs, attitudes and behaviors. All these efforts, combined with Celebrity's 20 years of focusing on guest needs, helped the brand create the ultimate combination of ship design, service, cuisine and programs for cruise lovers.

"We've always been committed to identifying and designing what our guests want, and the awards our brand continues to receive are welcome validation that it?s working," said Hanrahan. "Our new Celebrity Life onboard experiences - inspired by our guests? interest in more widely varied onboard programming - are netting consistently high marks from our guests, as are the enhancements we've made to our Captain's Club loyalty program, built to suit what our members wanted most. But, the greatest validation has been the response to our stunning Solstice Class."

Strength in numbers: $3.7-billion investment Celebrity?s five-ship Solstice Class fleet represents an investment of $3.7-billion - the largest newbuild commitment for a single brand in industry history - offeringmodern cruising "firsts," including The Lawn Club; The Hot Glass Show; AquaClass; the industry's first application of solar technology, and stylish staterooms whose design was influenced by a panel of women with unique travel and hospitality insights.

"Solsticize it:" Celebrity's Millennium Class to receive Solstice Class features
"Through our Designed for You platform, we plan to leverage our Solstice Class ships' stylish, modern design and ambience even further," said Hanrahan, revealing that Celebrity plans to incorporate iconic Solstice Class attributes across the fleet, most notably through a significant revitalization of all four Millennium Class ships. Celebrity Constellation will be the first to receive the new enhancements during scheduled drydock in April of this year.

Among the Solstice Class features to be introduced on the Millennium Class ships:

  • More opportunities to relish Celebrity?s world-class cuisine with the addition of Tuscan Grille, the Napa Valley-meets-Italian-steakhouse venue found on Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox
  • Bistro on Five, the vibrant, popular creperie introduced on Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox
  • A Solstice Class-inspired, ice-topped Martini Bar paired with Crush, whose ice-filled table presents a selection of chilled, top-tier vodkas
  • The cool Café al Bacio and Gelateria, replacing the former Cova Café
  • As introduced on the Solstice Class, an Enomatic wine bar, the state-of-the-art, Italian designed wine serving system allowing guests to select and serve, at the touch of a button, the wines of their choice by the glass
  • More sumptuous suites, on a par with those in themostmodern hotels in Europe, with all new furniture, flat-screen TVs, upholstery, bedding and carpeting
  • Restyled staterooms, with entirely new carpeting, flat-screen TVs, upholstery and bedding
  • New color schemes, carpeting and upholstery reflective of Solstice Class in every public venue, from the Celebrity Theater to Seaside Grill, from the main dining room to Michael?s Club

    The revitalization is just part of Celebrity's full Designed for You platform, which - when combined with the brand's Celebrity Life onboard experience, more robust, well-received Captain's Club, and multiple other brand enhancements- represents a nearly $200-million investment.

    The beauty of Celebrity's Solstice Class also takes center stage in the brand's new ad campaign, with dramatic, distinctive images, a modern, contemporary graphic treatment, a copy voice promoting the brand's differentiating elements, and the tagline, Designed for You. Marking a first for Celebrity, a hip new video shot on Celebrity Solstice to capture the essence of the Celebrity cruise experience will run on multiple travel, video, social, lifestyle and news sites. Print ads will appear in trade and consumermagazines andmajor daily newspapers across North America.

    "We've studied where cruise enthusiasts go to research options for their next vacation, and more than 70 percent go online," said Hanrahan. "So, we?ll have a big presence there, on some of cruisers' favorite sites, to allow them to briefly and virtually immerse themselves in a vacation experience designed for them."

    Celebrity also will continue to ensure its celebritycruises.com web site is designed for cruisers who appreciate online options, such as Celebrity Select Dining, the industry's first pre-cruise, day-by-day flexible dining reservation system; pre-cruise AquaSpa reservations; specialty dining reservations; shore excursion bookings; and online documentation, or "e-docs."

    Celebrity's new Designed for You brand platform, revitalization program and ad campaign are only part of the investment the line is making to continue to offer the best in premium cruising, said Hanrahan, adding, "All this is part of a total package, including our robust, new Celebrity Life enrichment and entertainment programming; our enhanced Captain's Club loyalty program; museum-quality contemporary art collections; our industry-first ConciergeClass accommodations across the fleet and, on the Solstice Class fleet, AquaClass; and guest-inspired partnerships with Riedel Crystal, Rosetta Stone, Smithsonian Journeys and, on the Solstice Class fleet,The Corning Museum of Glass."

    Hanrahan also praised a partnership Celebrity has considered invaluable since its founding. "For 20 years, we have benefited enormously from our relationships with the travel agent community. We look forward to continuing to help them grow their business with new programs and promotions designed for them, and to drive cruisers to capitalize on their expertise when booking their next Celebrity vacation."

    To check out Celebrity?s new Designed for You branding and video, visit the Celebrity web site at www.celebritycruises.com.

    View Celebrity Cruises Alaska Cruises
    View Celebrity Cruises Europe Cruises
    View Celebrity Cruises Alaska Cruisetours

    To book a Celebrity Cruises vacation contact a Five-Star Agent at Cruising2Paradise.com or #1-800-738-8837!

    Posted by Denise at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)
  • January 07, 2010

    Princess Cruises Rings in Year with Two Wave Season Promotions


    Travel Agents Can Maximize Bookings with Free Balcony Upgrades and Alaska Cruisetour Discounts

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 6, 2010) - Princess Cruises is ringing in the new year with two "Wave Season" promotions that travel agents can use to maximize their bookings. With "Balcony Bonanza," agents can upgrade passengers to their own private balcony for the cost of an oceanview stateroom, and with "Denali on Sale," agents can save clients up to 25 percent off a memorable cruisetour to the heart of Alaska.

    "For the all-important Wave Season, these two programs offer agents great ways to get their 2010 business off to a profitable start," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service. She added that Princess has designed customizable sales tools to help communicate these lucrative promotions, available for download.


    Balcony Bonanza

    Travel agents can help clients discover just why a balcony stateroom is the only way to travel for many cruisers. For the price of oceanview stateroom, clients can enjoy the fresh air and sweeping ocean vistas of a private balcony on select summer 2010 cruises and cruisetours to Europe, Alaska or the Caribbean. Balcony Bonanza pricing begins at just $899 per person for a seven-day Caribbean sailing, with balconies on a 12-day Europe sailing starting at $2,799.

    Denali on Sale

    For customers planning to visit "The Great Land," agents can offer savings of up to 25 percent off select Alaska cruisetours featuring the state's spectacular Denali National Park. All Princess cruisetour itineraries include at least two nights in the Denali area, with lodging at Princess' own wilderness lodges, plus a cruise featuring the dazzling ice of Glacier Bay National Park. The promotion features a variety of 10- to 15-night itineraries, including the popular Direct to the Wilderness rail service, which gets travelers to the wilderness faster, plus options in the Kenai and Copper River areas. Passengers can also take advantage of Princess' special roundtrip packages that include air from Seattle or Vancouver, and two family cruisetour options with special amenities and tours included just for family groups. Cruisetour fares for a 10-night vacation begin at $1,274 per person.

    The two promotions run through February 28. Space is limited - agents are encouraged to recommend that clients book early for the best selection of sailing dates, staterooms and special fares.

    For more information call the Alaska Cruise Specialists Cruising2Alaska.com at #1-800-738-8837 or visit their website www.cruising2alaska.com

    Posted by Denise at 05:27 PM | Comments (0)

    January 05, 2010

    Top 10 Ways to Stay - or Get - Healthy on a Luxury Crystal Cruise


    LOS ANGELES, January 4, 2010 - Who says fitness and luxury vacations don't mix? Crystal Cruises' professional fitness directors suggest numerous ways for travelers to maintain or even start a fitness regime on any one of the ultra-luxury line's worldwide vacations. Besides a myriad of healthy dining options, even Crystal's cocktails use only the freshest purees and juices.

    In addition to the obvious - like regularly using the cardio and weight equipment in the fully equipped gym offering dramatic ocean views - Crystal is encouraging guests to enjoy the following on its award-winning ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony:


    1. Walk or jog around the 360-degree promenade deck - in between golf lessons and paddle tennis games. Crystal's Walk on Water weighted vests or brand new Nordic Poles will help maximize your workout.

    2. Enjoy fresh fruit (always available in the Bistro) or one of the freshly prepared salads at the Trident Grill. Regardless where or what you choose to eat, all of Crystal's cuisine is trans fat-free.

    3. Savor Nobu's sushi and sashimi, or daily lighter fare entrees, as a healthy alternative to richer dinner specialties.

    4. Treat yourself to a private training session.

    5. Drink enough water ? there are always large complimentary bottles of water in your stateroom, and virtually anywhere else on board.

    6. Wind up with a complimentary aerobics class or wind down with a complimentary yoga class.

    7. Cleanse the body with detoxifying body wraps at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa.

    8. Kayak, hike, snorkel or walk on Crystal Adventures ashore or explore on your own.

    9. Swim laps in the large heated pool.

    10. Heal and rejuvenate with onboard acupuncture treatments and shiatsu massages.

    "Wellness is important to our well-traveled guests," says Daniel Kontler, Crystal Symphony's fitness director. "Generally active, our guests want to continue their healthy lifestyles on vacation, and even learn something new."


    Additionally, three Mind, Body & Spirit Experiences of Discovery voyages aboard Crystal Symphony feature workshops and classes from experts in Tai Chi, yoga and general health and fitness, and Cleveland Clinic experts offer advice on select sailings.

    For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a Crystal Cruises Specialists at Cruising2Paradise.com or call #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

    January 03, 2010

    Celebrity Cruises Celebrates Winter Solstice Revealing Name of Fourth Ship in Award-Winning Solstice Class


    Miami - (December 21, 2009 ) - The word "silhouette" conjures up images of light and shadow, and sleek profiles in the world of design and fashion, so it's fitting that Celebrity Cruises has named the fourth ship in its stylish Solstice Class fleet Celebrity Silhouette. And what better date to announce it than on winter solstice?

    Like its widely acclaimed sister ships - Celebrity Solstice, which was named "Best Premium Ship" and "Best Rookie Ship" in Travel Weekly's annual awards gala just last week; Celebrity Equinox, which set sail in July 2009; and Celebrity Eclipse, which will enter service in April 2010 - the 122,000-ton Celebrity Silhouette will offer the series of brand-defining, industry-first attributes that guests, travel agents and press have praised about Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, including a half-acre Lawn Club with real grass, a glassblowing show and studio developed with The Corning Museum of Glass, unrivaled dining venues offering trendsetting cuisine and design, and widely varied entertainment. Like its sisters, the 2,850-guest Celebrity Silhouette will have larger staterooms - 90 percent outside, and 85 percent with verandas - and spacious bathrooms, as well as several categories of accommodations, including Celebrity's ConciergeClass and spa-inspired AquaClass staterooms. "Countless guests and travel partners have asked us to reveal the ship?s name over the past few months, which is yet another indicator of the widespread interest in these stunningly designed ships," said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. "The enormous response to our unique new sweepstakes is a powerful indicator, too."


    Cruise lovers interested in being among the very first to see Celebrity Silhouette while under construction in Germany actually have a chance. By entering Celebrity's "Eclipse of a Lifetime" sweepstakes, running through January 14, 2010, 10 winners and their guests will be the first individuals outside of the line's employees to board Celebrity Eclipse when it sets sail for the very first time; the first to have exclusive, up-close-and-personal views of the construction process of Celebrity Silhouette at Meyer Werft, one of the most modern shipyards in the world; first to be led and hosted throughout Celebrity Eclipse by Celebrity's President and CEO Dan Hanrahan; first to nestle into the ship's AquaClass staterooms; first to sample the ship's innovative cuisine created by the line's VP of Culinary Operations and Chef Jacques Van Staden, and the first to have the chance to interact with the ship's senior officers.

    To enter, visit the Celebrity web site and click the "Eclipse of a Lifetime" under the specials tab to access the entry form and sweepstakes rules. Or, click Eclipse of a Lifetime Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes runs through January 14, 2010. Winners will be announced January 28, 2010. This sweepstakes is open only to residents of the U.S. and Canada. See Official Rules on the site for complete information.

    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, 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 and Celebrity Equinox ? will be joined by Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, Celebrity Silhouette in 2011, and a fifth yet-to-be-named ship in 2012. For more information, call a travel agent at Cruising2Paradise.com at #1-800-738-8837.

    Check out these hot deals with Celebrity Cruises . . .

    5 Day Western Caribbean Cruise on Celebrity Century March 1, 2010 From $295 US!

    7 Day Alaska Cruise on Celebrity Millennium May 14, 2010 From $549 US!

    7 Day Bermuda Cruise on Celebrity Summit May 2, 2010 From $579 US!

    10 Day Western Caribbean Cruise on Celebrity Mercury April 9, 2010 From $579 US!

    14 Day Trans-Atlantic Cruise on Celebrity Century May 20, 2010 From $719 US!

    7 Day Mediterranean Cruise on Celebrity Constellation October 23, 2010 From $744 US!

    Posted by Denise at 02:36 PM | Comments (0)