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March 10, 2012

OCEANIA CRUISES UNVEILS SUMMER 2013 EUROPEAN VOYAGES

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2013 European Cruise Season with Oceania Cruises Features New Ports, Itineraries and More Sea Days!

Oceania Cruises' summer 2013 itineraries feature three ships - Riviera, Marina and Nautica - deployed to cultural, scenic and exotic ports throughout Europe. Including voyages from April through September, the summer 2013 European season is available for booking on March 7, 2012, and features first-time ports, new itineraries and the addition of extra sea days, allowing guests to fully indulge in the line's onboard culinary and enrichment experiences.

All summer 2013 voyages booked by June 30, 2012, feature two-for-one cruise fares and free air transportation, bonus savings of up to $3,500 per stateroom and, for added value, two-for-one deposits on bookings made by March 31, 2012.

With the upper-premium line's recently introduced beverage packages, priced from $29.95 per guest, per day, and new shore excursion options with savings up to 40 percent for an unlimited package of tours, guests can enjoy enhanced value and convenience to further customize the ideal cruise vacation.

"Oceania Cruises' 2013 Europe schedule offers extraordinary experiences in spring, summer and fall," stated Kunal S. Kamlani, the line's president. "With Riviera returning for a full season, we continue to provide our guests with the most exciting and unique itineraries throughout the Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Black Sea and Scandinavia."

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Explore the Mediterranean & Black Sea

Riviera, which makes her debut in Europe in May 2012, returns in 2013 to explore the Western and Eastern Mediterranean with new 7-, 10- and 12-day cruises, from vibrant Barcelona to exotic Istanbul. Featured itineraries include the 10-day Italian Escapade (July 3 and August 28, 2013) from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Venice with stops in Florence (Livorno), Sorrento and Amalfi along the Amalfi coast, Taormina (Sicily), Corfu, Montenegro and Dubrovnik (Croatia) and a full day at sea before reaching Venice for an overnight stay.

Marina offers a new 10-day Treasures of the Ancients itinerary, that sails round-trip from Barcelona (November 10) calling at Valencia and Palma de Mallorca in Spain; Algiers, a new port for Oceania Cruises; Palermo, Rome (Civitavecchia) and Florence (Livorno), Italy; Monte Carlo and Provence (Marseille).

Discover Northern Europe & Baltic Capitals

Marina and Nautica venture throughout Scandinavia and the Baltic, including a visit to the Polar Ice Barrier. Marina's Baltic Odyssey, a new 10-day itinerary from Stockholm to Copenhagen with visits to Helsinki, St. Petersburg (three full days), Tallinn, Gdansk, and Berlin, departs June 25, July 5 and September 3, with a special Oceania Club Reunion Cruise on August 24.

On July 4, Nautica will offer an 18-day Voyage of the Midnight Sun from London to Copenhagen visiting 12 ports in Norway with overnight stops in Honninsvag (North Cape) and four sea days. Nautica's July 22 Medieval Marvels, a 10-day cruise from Copenhagen to Stockhom, features the new port of Klaipeda, Lithuania, a picturesque seaside city at the mouth of the Dange River and Baltic Sea.

Cruise Continental Europe in Grand Style

Rounding out the European itineraries, Marina and Nautica feature 7-, 10- and 12-day itineraries that capture "the best of the best" ports of call. "Cultural Connoisseur" - which departs September 27 - on Marina is a 12-day voyage from London to Barcelona, and on June 6, European Treasures on Nautica is a 14-day cruise from Rome to London.

Oceania Cruises European Cruise Sale From $1650 US!

Posted by Denise at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2012

CARNIVAL LEGEND TO OPERATE WIDE ARRAY OF EXCITING EUROPEAN CRUISES IN 2013, INCLUDING LINE?S FIRST EXTENDED PROGRAM FROM UK

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Schedule Features Variety of Itineraries, Including Baltic, Mediterranean, British Isles, and Norway

MIAMI (February 14, 2012) - Carnival Cruise Lines will launch its widest array of European itineraries ever with Carnival Legend offering an exciting choice of options, including the line's first Norwegian fjords itinerary and its first extended program from the UK, as well as cruises to the Baltic, Mediterranean and British Isles, beginning in spring 2013.

Carnival Legend's schedule will encompass 12-day voyages to Norway/Western Europe, the British Isles and the Baltic departing from Dover (London), along with 12-day Mediterranean cruises departing from Venice, Barcelona and Dover.

In total, Carnival Legend will operate 17 European cruises between April 22 and Oct. 31, 2013, visiting 34 ports across 18 countries.

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"For the Carnival Legend's 2013 European season, we've assembled a truly outstanding collection of ports that offer our guests an exciting diversity of experiences, from viewing breathtaking Norwegian fjords and the lush Irish countryside to visiting centuries-old landmarks and exploring UNESCO World Heritage cities such as St. Petersburg and Tallinn," said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.

Norway/Western Europe, British Isles Cruises Round-Trip from Dover
For the first time, Carnival Legend will offer an extended series of voyages from Dover (London) with 12-day cruises to Norway/Western Europe, the British Isles and the Baltic, each offering a spectacular array of interesting and awe-inspiring ports of call, from quaint villages to cosmopolitan cities.

The program includes a "Norway & Western Europe" cruise offering a unique combination of ports, as well as the unforgettable experience of sailing the Norwegian fjords. The voyage will operate Sept. 1-13, 2013, and visit Alesund, Bergen, Stavanger, and Oslo, Norway; Hamburg, Germany; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Zeebrugge (Bruges), Brussels, Belgium; and Le Havre (Paris), France.

A "British Isles, Norway & France" voyage will depart Sept. 13, 2013, and feature stops at Stavanger, Norway; Edinburgh, Invergordon, and Glasgow (Greenock) Scotland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; and Le Havre (Paris), France.

Six "Baltic Wonders & St. Petersburg" cruises will also be offered, visiting Copenhagen, Denmark; Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia (overnight call); Tallinn, Estonia; and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Departure dates include June 21, July 3, 15 and 27, and Aug. 8 and 20, 2013. The June 21 departure will visit Zeebrugge (Bruges), Brussels, Belgium, instead of Amsterdam.

12-day Mediterranean Cruises
Several different Mediterranean cruises will also be offered, providing guests an opportunity to experience and explore some of the region's most popular and picturesque ports of call and enjoy a wide variety of dining, shopping and sightseeing choices.

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The schedule includes 12-day cruises from Venice to Barcelona departing May 4 and 28, and Oct. 31, 2013. On these voyages, guests can tour medieval castles, sample delicious local cuisine, and marvel at ornate churches and other historic architecture as they visit Dubrovnik, Croatia; Messina, Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome), and Livorno, Italy; and Marseilles, France. The May 4 and Oct. 31 departures also include Athens, Greece; and Izmir, Turkey; while the May 28 voyage stops at Monte Carlo, Monaco; and Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Carnival Legend will also operate 12-day Western Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona to Dover June 9-21 and from Dover to Barcelona Sept. 25-Oct. 7, 2013. These cruises offer guests the chance to sample all the region has to offer with extended visits to stunning seaside destinations in five countries, including Marseilles, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Livorno and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Malaga, Spain; and Lisbon, Portugal.

Also featured are three "Grand Mediterranean" voyages sailing from Barcelona to Venice April 22, May 16 and Oct. 19, 2013. These voyages feature stops at Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Marseilles, France; Livorno, Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Messina, Italy; and Dubrovnik, Croatia, along with an overnight call in Venice to provide guests with ample opportunities to explore this world-class city. The Oct. 19 voyage will include a stop at Olbia (Sardinia), Italy, instead of Monaco.

Rounding out Carnival Legend's 2013 Europe program is a 12-day voyage round-trip from Barcelona Oct. 7-19, 2013, with calls at Marseilles, France; Livorno, Civitavecchia (Rome), and Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Venice (overnight call) and Messina, Italy.

15-Day Transatlantic Crossings in April and November 2013
Carnival Legend will operate a 15-day transatlantic crossing departing Tampa on April 7 and arriving Barcelona April 22, 2013. Featured ports on this voyage include King's Wharf, Bermuda; Ponta Delgada (Azores), Portugal; and Malaga and Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Following its European schedule, the ship will operate another 15-day transatlantic crossing from Barcelona to Tampa Nov. 12-27, 2013, calling at Palma de Mallorca and Malaga, Spain; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.

From Tampa, Carnival Legend will sail on a special four-day cruise before resuming seven-day Caribbean service Dec. 1, 2013. The week-long cruises call at Half Moon Cay; Nassau, The Bahamas; and Key West, Fla.; or George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; Mahogany Bay, Roatan; and Belize City, Belize.

For more information please contact a Europe Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

View Carnival Cruises Europe Cruise Specials

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

February 01, 2012

Oceania Cruises Launches Wave Season Promotion

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MIAMI, January 30, 2012 - Oceania Cruises launches high-value Wave Season promotion today, offering Business Class air upgrades from just $999 per person, one-way, on select 2012 summer sailings, plus two-for-one deposits on all sail dates. The offer is good on new cruise reservations booked now through March 31, 2012.

The Business Class air upgrade is available for those guests booked in Category A to Owner's Suite category.

"Oceania Cruises' guests have come to appreciate our two-for-one fares and free airfare. This reduced deposit and Business Class upgrade Wave promotion is yet another way that we provide extraordinary value," stated James Rodriguez, the line's senior vice president of sales and marketing.

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Oceania Cruises is renowned for intriguing itineraries, gourmet cuisine and gracious and friendly service onboard elegant, mid-size ships. Oceania Cruises' newest ship, Riviera, will debut in May 2012.

"Wave Season is off to a record start and we strongly encourage guests to book early to secure the stateroom of their choice before prices increase on April 1," added Rodriguez.

For more information, contact a Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837 or online at www.cruising2europe.com.

Oceania Cruise Specials From $1650 US!

Posted by Denise at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2011

Readers Name MSC Cruises a Repeat Winner for ?Best Onboard International Experience? in Annual Porthole Poll

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Nov. 28, 2011) - For the second year in a row, MSC Cruises has received Porthole Cruise Magazine's Readers' Choice Award for "Best Onboard International Experience."

For the 13th consecutive year, readers of Porthole Cruise Magazine, a leading cruise publication, voted via mail, fax and online in a variety of categories.

"With a great mix of guests, cuisine and entertainment on board, MSC Cruises offers a unique international ambience," said Bill Panoff, publisher and editor-in-chief of Porthole Cruise Magazine. "Our readers who have experienced the product clearly recognize this, and I congratulate MSC on its win."

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"This award is especially significant because it was decided by the magazine's readers - our guests. It is rewarding to know that our guests continue to recognize and enjoy the unique international flavor of an MSC Cruises experience," said Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc.

"MSC Cruises has always prided itself on the international experience we offer our guests, from the cuisine and entertainment to the crew and overall ambiance, whether they cruise with us in the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South Africa or South America," Sasso said.

For more information about MSC Cruises, contact an MSC Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

Posted by Denise at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2011

SPLENDOUR OF THE SEAS BECOMES THE FIRST CRUISE SHIP TO FEATURE IPADS IN ALL STATEROOMS

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Five-Week Bow-to-Stern Revitalization on Royal Caribbean Ship Also Brings 124 New Balcony Staterooms

MIAMI, Nov. 22, 2011 - Royal Caribbean International will mark another industry first with the introduction of iPad mobile digital devices in every stateroom onboard the newly revitalized Splendour of the Seas. The hottest tablet on the market empowers guests with an additional medium by which to receive, retrieve and use information on their cruise vacation. With a touch of the screen, guests will be able to access the daily Cruise Compass of events and activities; personal daily itineraries, including shore excursions; monitor their onboard account; order room service; view restaurant menus; access the internet; and watch movies. The iPads will be available beginning mid-February 2012 on Splendour of the Seas before being extended to all Vision-class ships when each undergoes revitalization in the following two years.

"Based on consumer research, we added the iPads to greatly enhance guest communication, interactivity and to continue to offer industry leading technology that helps enhance the guest experience," said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. "This is just one of the many exciting ways that Royal Caribbean continues to provide our guests with the ultimate cruise experience."

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The iPads, which will feature English and Portuguese when they debut on Splendour of the Seas, will offer guests the opportunity to access all of their information not only from the comfort of their staterooms, but through the pervasive WIFI also being installed throughout the ship, which will enable guests to enjoy the iPads wherever they go onboard.

In addition to the iPads, Splendour of the Seas, which emerges from dry dock on Nov. 25, 2011, also will have an array of new stateroom amenities such as flat screen televisions, new bathrooms, and completely remodeled interiors, including luxurious new linens and furniture, as well as an additional 124 balconies. The ship also will be outfitted with the award-winning digital wayfinding technology that can be found on the line's acclaimed Oasis-class ships.

The newly revitalized Splendour also will debut new dining options including the Asian Izumi restaurant; the line's signature steakhouse, Chops Grille; the Boardwalk Dog House hotdog counter; the Park Cafe deli-style restaurant; and the exclusive Chef's Table dining experience. Royal Caribbean also will introduce a new a la carte menu in the Viking Crown Lounge that will offer guests the opportunity to enjoy bite sized portions of their favorite classics. Additional Royal Caribbean signature innovations debuting on the ship will be the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, a Diamond lounge, a Concierge Lounge, a Britto Gallery featuring works from Brazilian pop-artist Romero Britto, the new R-Bar as well as a reinvented Centrum experience.

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Upon completion of the refurbishments, Splendour of the Seas will sail a trans-Atlantic voyage on November 25 from Lisbon, Portugal to her seasonal homeport of Sao Paulo (Santos), Brazil. From there, she will offer a variety of South American itineraries that take advantage of the summer season in Brazil.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.

Royal Caribbean provides a world-class vacation experience with a wide range of signature onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming. The cruise line has a 40-year history of giving guests the Royal Advantage - the most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service. Royal Caribbean has been voted "Best Cruise Line Overall" for eight consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers' Choice Awards. For additional information or to make reservations, contact a Royal Caribbean Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com at #1-800-738-8837.

Royal Caribbean Europe Cruise Specials

Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruise Specials

Posted by Denise at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2011

OCEANIA CRUISES' 'MARINA' EARNS 5-STAR RATING FROM BERLITZ

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MIAMI, November 16, 2011 - Oceania Cruises' Marina has been named one of the top 10 mid-size ships in the world in the 2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships. With a total score of more than 1,700 points, which translates to a 5-star rating, Marina has joined an elite group of vessels that belong to the Berlitz "Five-Star Club," representing the highest rated ships in the world.

"We are honored that Marina has been recognized in the 2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships," said Kunal S. Kamlani, the line's president. "We continue to raise the bar and redefine the upper-premium cruise category and Berlitz' rigorous rating system demonstrates that we are succeeding."

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Marina set cruise industry standards with elegantly appointed lounges and restaurants and verandah staterooms that are the largest at sea. Designed for epicureans, the ship features a total of 10 dining venues, six of which are open-seating gourmet restaurants; all at no additional charge. Riviera, a sister ship, will debut in April 2012.

"It is really good to see a new entry into the Berlitz 'Five-Star Club' due to Oceania Cruises' major investment and focus on the finely detailed furnishings aboard this new mid-sized ship, combined with the highest regard for and attention to the dining and culinary aspects of the cruise experience," said Douglas Ward, author of the prestigious guidebook.

For more information, contact a Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

About Oceania Cruises
Oceania Cruises® offers unrivaled cuisine, luxurious accommodations, exceptional personalized service and extraordinary value. Award-winning itineraries visit more than 330 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard the 684-guest Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. The 1,250-guest Marina joined the fleet in January 2011 and will be followed by Riviera ? a sister ship ? in April 2012.

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 5,200 berths between the Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow to approximately 6,500 berths by 2012.

Berlitz 2012 Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships
When it comes to life on the ocean waves, Douglas Ward is the world's top authority on cruising and cruise ships, with more than 45 years of experience. He continues to spend up to 200 days a year aboard cruise ships, inspecting and evaluating their facilities. The cruise industry consists of more than 70 ocean-going cruise ship operators carrying over 21 million passengers a year. Although the choice can be almost over-whelming, the Berlitz 2012 Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships will help readers identify the X-factor ? that special quality that makes a ship stand out for them. Fully updated and revised and now in its 27th year, the Guide (688 pages, $24.99) is available from all good bookstores. The Berlitz Cruise Ships 2012 App will also be available during October.

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

July 29, 2011

Norwegian Cruise Line Enhances Pre-Cruise Shore Excursions and Dining Reservations

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MIAMI - July 28, 2011 - Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that it has enhanced its reservation system adding the convenience of pre-purchasing shore excursions fleet-wide and the flexibility of pre-purchasing specialty dining on Norwegian Epic. The company also plans to add the ability to make Freestyle Dining reservations for specialty restaurants fleet-wide in the coming months. This enhanced system gives booked guests the opportunity to plan their cruise vacation prior to boarding the ship.

"Freestyle Cruising is about freedom and flexibility, and therefore we wanted to provide our guests with the choice and convenience of purchasing their shore excursions prior to their cruise, as well as making their specialty dining choices in advance, especially if they are celebrating a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "Of course, they also have the option of waiting until they are on board to book shore excursions and reserve specialty dining choices."

The more robust reservation system gives guests the option to pre-purchase a large variety of shore excursions in all the destinations Norwegian's ships visit around the world. Whether it's dogsledding in Alaska, surfing in Hawaii, or wine tasting in Italy, guests can secure their spot on the excursion that works best for their vacation.

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Among the 20 dining options that Norwegian Epic offers, guests can make reservations and pay for specialty dining cover charges which range from $10 to $25 per person in all of the ship's specialty restaurants including Moderno Churrascaria and Shanghai's, among others. Norwegian Epic guests also have the ability to purchase tickets to Cirque Dreams and Dinner, as well as The Second City's Presumed Murdered interactive experience. Once the reservation system is available fleet-wide, guests will be able to pre-book and pay for all specialty restaurants such as guest favorites like Teppanyaki, Cagney's Steakhouse and Le Bistro. Reservations are not required at the many complimentary dining venues on each ship.

Guests also have the option of booking shore excursions and making specialty restaurant reservations once they are on board. The ability to purchase activities in advance is only applicable to cruise bookings made in US dollars. All shore excursion and dining purchases can be adjusted up to one day prior to sailing.

Guests with cruise reservations can log on to www.ncl.com/myncl to view shore excursions and dining (on Norwegian Epic) available for pre-purchase. To book, guests can contact a Freestyle Certified Agent at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

View Cruise Deals with Norwegian Cruise Line to Alaska!

View Cruise Deals with Norwegian Cruise Line to the Mediterranean!

Posted by Denise at 10:51 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2011

Princess Cruises Announces Special Speakers to Appear During World Cruise

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Screen Idol Tab Hunter, a Space Shuttle Astronaut and "Leave it to Beaver" Star Among Those Joining Pacific Princess 2012 Global Voyage

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 25, 2011) -- Globetrotting Princess Cruises passengers will be joined by a variety of intriguing special guests aboard Pacific Princess during its 107-day World Cruise departing January 13, 2012. Whether they want to hear about the golden age of Hollywood, get the scoop on modern-day filmmaking, or find out what it's really like in outer space, world cruise travelers can get first-hand stories throughout the sailing.

Among the celebrated speakers scheduled to appear onboard are screen idol Tab Hunter; "Leave it to Beaver" star Jerry Mathers; "The Love Boat's" Gavin MacLeod; legendary Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump; Suzanne Lloyd, granddaughter of silent film star Harold Lloyd; Oscar-nominated Filmmaker Leslie Iwerks and Space Shuttle Astronaut Robert C. Springer. In addition, a variety of expert lecturers will join the cruise to inform passengers on topics such as World War II history and computer forensics.

The special guest appearances are part of an enrichment program designed especially for the Ft. Lauderdale to Venice cruise, which will visit 38 destinations in 28 countries, with calls on six continents as it sails through Latin America, the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and Egypt, finally ending in the Mediterranean.

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Special guests scheduled to appear aboard Pacific Princess include:

Rolly Crump -- Disney Imagineer (January 13-28: Ft. Lauderdale to San Diego)
One of the original Disney Imagineers, Crump joined Disney in 1952, first in animation, contributing to legendary films such as "Lady and the Tramp," but soon moved to the new group of designers who were creating Disneyland's groundbreaking latest attractions. Crump worked alongside Walt Disney himself to create the Haunted Mansion, Enchanted Tiki Room and other attractions, and later designed projects for Disney's EPCOT Center. Crump will talk about Walt Disney the man and the early days of designing iconic Disneyland rides.

Gavin MacLeod -- TV and Film Actor (January 28-February 10: San Diego to Pago Pago)
Perhaps best known as "Captain Merrill Stubing" from the long-running television show The Love Boat, MacLeod also earned acclaim for his role in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, as well as numerous film roles. A long-time fan of cruising, MacLeod has served as an ambassador for Princess Cruises since 1986. He will present a selection of his favorite episodes from these classic series for passengers, and will reminisce about his career and famous co-stars.

Colonel Robert C. Springer -- Space Shuttle Astronaut (February 10-18: Pago Pago to Auckland)
A two-time space shuttle astronaut, Springer has spent more than 237 hours in space. After joining NASA in 1981, Springer served as a mission specialist on shuttle flights in 1989 and 1990. Now retired from NASA and the U.S. Marine Corps, Springer currently works for The Boeing Company as director of quality systems, Integrated Defense Systems. Springer will talk about the shuttle program, his adventures in space, and the future of NASA.

Jerry Mathers -- Former Child Star (February 18-26: Auckland to Sydney) Although best known for his role as "Beaver" Cleaver in the television sitcom series Leave It to Beaver, Mathers also had roles in films such as Hitchcock's "The Trouble with Harry" and "The Seven Little Foys" with Bob Hope. More recently, he made his Broadway debut with a starring role in the Tony Award winning play "Hairspray." Mathers will screen favorite episodes from his TV series, plus several of his films, and will talk about working with legends such as Alfred Hitchcock, Bob Hope and Shirley MacLaine.

Suzanne Lloyd -- Granddaughter of Harold Lloyd (March 12-20: Tokyo to Hong Kong)
The granddaughter of one of Hollywood's founding fathers and silent film legend Harold Lloyd, Suzanne Lloyd will screen a mini film festival of her grandfather's silent comedy classics and talk about growing up on her grandfather's legendary Bel Air estate: Green Acres.

Leslie Iwerks -- Oscar Nominated Filmmaker (March 29-April 12: Singapore to Dubai)
A noted documentary filmmaker, Iwerks is also the daughter and granddaughter of Disney legends. Her first feature documentary, "The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story," chronicled the life of her grandfather, Ub Iwerks, the animator who designed Mickey Mouse. Her 2006 Academy Award-nominated film, "Recycled Life," documents the lives of Guatemalans who live and work on a landfill. In addition, her 2007 film, "The Pixar Story," was nominated for a Primetime Emmy. Onboard, Iwerks will introduce a showing of "Recycled Life," and discuss her work with George Lucas' special effects company, and the computer animation work of Pixar Entertainment.

Tab Hunter -- Actor, Screen Idol (April 12-30: Dubai to Venice)
A screen idol from Hollywood's golden age, Tab Hunter starred in more than 50 major films, including the Academy Award-nominated "Damn Yankees." Hunter also reached the top of the music charts with the hit song Young Love, and starred in his own television series. In the 1980s and '90s, Hunter starred in several John Waters films as well as the comedy Western "Lust in the Dust." The ship will screen several of Hunter's films, and he will talk about his career, his famous co-stars, and his autobiography.

In addition, World Cruise passengers will also have the benefit of a variety of expert lecturers who will share their knowledge on diverse topics, including:

Concorde Pilot -- A former British Airways Concorde pilot will speak about the glamour and technology of the Concorde. (January 13-28: Ft. Lauderdale to San Diego)

World War II Historian -- Bruce Petty, the author of several books about World War II in the Pacific, will talk about topics such as Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Iwo Jima, and aircraft carriers in the Pacific. (January 28-February 18: San Diego to Auckland)

South Pacific Naturalist -- Ann Burgess, an expert on the natural history of the South Pacific region, will talk about a variety of related topics including Polynesian explorers and indigenous wildlife in the area. She will also host animal spotting sessions on the top deck to help passengers catch a glimpse of sea life such as dolphins and whales. (February 18-March 12: Auckland to Tokyo)

Ambassador/Diplomat -- Douglas Hartwick, a former ambassador to Laos and State Department diplomat, will talk about the life of a diplomat living abroad. (March 12-29: Tokyo to Singapore)

Computer Forensics Expert -- Mark Harrington, computer forensic company executive, will lecture on how computer footprints can find terrorists and criminals. (March 20-29: Hong Kong to Singapore)

Astronomer -- An astronomer will join the ship to teach passengers about the night sky, the solar system and the latest space exploration from NASA, plus will host stargazing sessions on deck. (March 29-April12: Singapore to Dubai)

United Nations Official -- John Renninger, a UN official and adjunct professor at NYU, will talk about the UN's peacekeeping role and Middle East topics. (April 12-30: Dubai to Venice)

"World cruise passengers will not only get to experience amazingly diverse parts of the globe, they'll also have access to a wide range of knowledgeable special lecturers," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "Our goal is to enrich and entertain passengers throughout their entire time onboard with us."

All special guests and expert lecturers are currently scheduled to appear, but modifications may be made subject to changes in speaker availability.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent at Cruising2Paradise.com, by calling 1-800-738-8837.

View Princess Cruises Europe Cruise Deals!

View Princess Cruises Alaska Cruise Deals!

View Princess Cruises Mexico Cruise Deals!

View Princess Cruises Tahiti Cruise Deals!

Posted by Denise at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2011

Princess Cruises Passengers to Experience the Flavor and Culture of Hawaii on Sailings to the Islands

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Hawaiian Islands Cruises Offer Leisurely Roundtrip Voyages from Los Angeles and San Francisco

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 20, 2011) - The "Islands of Aloha" have a special appeal as a cruise destination, and Princess Cruises is offering a choice of more than 50 sailings to the Hawaiian Islands in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. These culture-filled cruises depart from both Los Angeles and San Francisco, offering time to relax on the open ocean combined with visits to each of the major four islands in Hawaii.

While at sea, passengers will experience a special "Aloha Spirit" program with Hawaii-themed activities, parties, menu items and learning opportunities. Whether they choose to enjoy an Aloha sailaway party, learn about local wildlife and volcanoes, or simply want to relax and enjoy the poolside Hawaiian melodies or an island-themed Movies Under the Stars selection, cruisers will find numerous ways to feel the Hawaiian spirit.

Included in the program are a number of hands-on ways for passengers to immerse themselves in all things Hawaii, such as:

  • Hawaiian language lessons
  • Lei making
  • Playing the ukulele
  • Hula dance lessons
  • Hawaii-themed culinary demonstrations
  • Kona Coffee tastings

    Special in-port artisans will demonstrate traditional Hawaiian arts, including a special Ni ihau shell lei making presentations by artists providing a unique look at the culture of the "forbidden island." While in Honolulu, passengers will also enjoy an entertaining hula show by children from one of the most-respected local hula halaus (schools). The onboard naturalist will also help cruisers identify local whales and dolphins with top-deck animal-spotting sessions.

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    Passengers will also dine on dishes inspired by Hawaii's bountiful fare -- including fresh fruits such as pineapples and mangos, unique fish and seafood, luau staples such as roast pig, and treats like coconut and macadamia nuts. Princess' special Hawaiian food and beverage selections include:

  • Appetizers: Hawaiian-Style Red Snapper Ceviche and Caramelized
  • Maui Onion Soup
  • Main dishes: Grilled Tiger Shrimp Kebabs with Mango Lime Relish, and Luau Pork with Apricot Drippings
  • Desserts: Coconut Haupia Pudding or Flourless Macadamia Nut Chocolate Cake.
  • Cocktails: Blue Hawaiian Punch and the Ultimate Mai Tai

    "Our Hawaii sailings offer a wonderful way to enjoy both the spirit of the islands and opportunity to unwind with a leisurely ocean voyage," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "And our onboard programs will give them a true taste of Hawaii even as they sail."

    Hawaiian Islands sailings begin a new season on September 28, sailing roundtrip from Los Angeles through April 25. Golden Princess and Sapphire Princess offer 14-day cruises, departing on Wednesdays and Saturdays, respectively, to the volcanic wonder of the Big Island (Hilo), the capital city of Honolulu on Oahu, the beautiful beaches of Maui (Lahaina) and the lush Garden Isle of Kauai (Nawiliwili). Departures continue in the 2012-13 season between September 26 and April 24.

    In addition, in 2012 Star Princess and Grand Princess will begin offering 15-day roundtrip voyages from San Francisco, also calling at all four islands. The ships will offer 10 departures between March 19, 2012 and April 25, 2013.

    For those looking for a longer tropical vacation, a new 28-day Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa itinerary offers the opportunity to sail not only to Hawaii, but also visit the South Pacific islands of Pago Pago, Apia, Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahiti. These cruises sail roundtrip from Los Angeles aboard Sapphire Princess on October 20, 2012 and on Star Princess on March 26, 2013.

    Hawaii is a featured destination on the Princess Cruises blog, "50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List." Read this inspirational travel story here.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises' Hawaii programs is available through a professional travel agent at Cruising2Tahiti.com by calling 1-800-738-8837.

    Tahiti & Hawaii Cruise Specials with Princess Cruises!

    Posted by Denise at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)
  • May 23, 2011

    Norwegian Dawn Receives Major Enhancements

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    New staterooms, a new restaurant and flat screen televisions among many updates

    Miami - May 23, 2011 - Norwegian Dawn is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar refurbishment while the ship is in dry dock in Freeport, Bahamas. The 2,224-passenger ship is receiving extensive renovations including the addition of 28 suites; Moderno Churrascaria, the popular Brazilian steakhouse restaurant introduced on Norwegian Epic; the relocation of the Spinnaker Lounge; and flat screen televisions in all guest and crew staterooms, along with many other exciting updates. The ship will re-enter service on May 27, 2011 in Boston, her new seasonal homeport.

    "Norwegian Dawn's refurbishment is very similar to those enhancements made to Norwegian Star last year," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "We have found Norwegian Star's updates very well received and we expect our guests will appreciate the changes made to Norwegian Dawn as well."

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    Norwegian Dawn's refurbishment includes:

  • 58 new suites and staterooms (available beginning on the September 16, 2011 sailing) including:
  • Four Deluxe Owner's Suites ranging from 667 to 732 square feet;
  • 14 Family Suites from 408 to 452 square feet, most sleeping six guests;
  • 10 Family Suites with balcony from 409 to 495 square feet, most sleeping six guests;
  • 18 Inside staterooms.
  • Moderno Churrascaria specialty restaurant (in the space previously occupied by Salsa, the Tex Mex restaurant) which features a large salad bar and tableside passadors serving a variety of skewered meats;
  • Upgraded flat screen televisions in all guest and crew staterooms broadcast on a digital signal;
  • Relocation and total renovation of the Gift Shop, Art Gallery, Photo Gallery, Conference Center, Spinnaker Lounge and Blue Lagoon Restaurant;
  • Enhancements to the Dawn Club Casino including new layout, fixed furniture and carpet;
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  • Complete renovation of the Kid's Crew and Teen Club to offer a more versatile layout and cater to the range of children's ages and interests. Updates include new game systems, activities and sound and light. There will also be a room dedicated for the Under 2 Zoo where parents can accompany their children under two and enjoy age appropriate activities;
  • Aesthetic improvements in the Fitness area and Garden Cafe;
  • Atrium Lobby refresh including new furniture in Java Cafe and plant replacement
  • Complete refurbishment of crew dining and recreation areas.
  • Technical modifications include the replacement of one engine, as well as preventative maintenance, removal and replacing of both bearings on the port and starboard azipods; application of a new hull coating; and an upgrade to the hot temperature regulation which will reduce energy consumption.

    Beginning on May 27, 2011, Norwegian Dawn will sail a series of seven-day Bermuda itineraries departing from Boston every Friday with three days in Bermuda through October 21, 2011, followed by a two-night cruise on October 28, 2011. The ship will reposition to Miami and begin sailing 10 and 11-day Southern Caribbean itineraries through April 8, 2012.

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    Norwegian Dawn is the second of three Freestyle Cruising ships scheduled for improvements this year. Norwegian Sun completed her dry dock renovations in March and Norwegian Spirit will enter dry dock on September 26, 2011.

    For more information or to book a sailing on Norwegian Dawn, call a FreeStyle Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company has two 4,000-passenger vessels on order for delivery in spring 2013 and spring 2014.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, appearing for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    NCL Mediterranean Cruise Specials From $449 US!

    NCL Alaska Cruise Specials From $399 US!

    Posted by Denise at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

    April 07, 2011

    Celebrity Cruises adding exotic escapes to premium vacation line-up with introduction of new Asia itineraries. First-ever Asia season for premium cruise brand Celebrity Cruises

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    Miami - (April 06, 2011 ) - From the Great Wall to the river markets of Vietnam, Asian culture has long intrigued vacationers who seek exotic lands and exquisite cultural experiences. Premium cruise brand Celebrity Cruises will give vacationers a way to enjoy Asia in style when it introduces its first-ever season in the region, during the winter of 2012-13, on Celebrity Millennium, which Celebrity plans to "Solsticize" in April 2012.

    "Visiting the Far East for the first time is the result of constantly listening to consumers, who have told us they're eager to vacation in the region with Celebrity," said Dan Hanrahan, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "We know that vacationers' time is precious, and by delivering a destination as culturally rich and compelling as Asia, with a luxurious shipboard environment that offers truly extraordinary accommodations, service, cuisine and activities, we are offering them the opportunity to experience a deeply rewarding, memorable holiday."

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    More luxury, new verandas
    Celebrity Cruises coined the word "Solsticize" last year, referring to the addition of some of the most popular venues on the line's widely heralded Solstice Class ships, to its Millennium Class ships. In keeping with those plans, when Celebrity Millennium becomes the first Celebrity Cruises ship to sail an Asia season, she will do so with a new slate of AquaClass staterooms. In a drydock scheduled for April 2012, 70 of the ship's existing Concierge Class staterooms will be converted to Celebrity's signature, industry-first, spa-inspired AquaClass staterooms, and an additional 37 will be built. Guests who book sumptuous "Celebrity Suites" in which to enjoy Celebrity's Asia cruises will also enjoy more time outdoors on a new veranda, as Celebrity plans to add these to Celebrity Millennium's eight existing suites in this category. Celebrity also plans to add six inside staterooms and 17 oceanview staterooms, increasing the total number of available staterooms to 1,079.

    New countries, exotic cultures
    During the 2012/13 winter season, Celebrity Millennium will visit nine countries new to the brand, including Vietnam, Thailand and China, among others. Celebrity's inaugural Asia season will consist of a series of 14-night open-jaw cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong. Overnight stays in ports like Singapore; Bangkok, Thailand; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Halong Bay, Vietnam and Hong Kong, China offer more opportunities for travelers to immerse themselves in Asian culture. The season also will include two 14-night sailings roundtrip from Singapore with overnight stays in Bali, Indonesia, in January 2013.

    Bookending Celebrity Millennium's core Asia season will be two transpacific voyages offering unique experiences. The westbound cruise will coincide with the total solar eclipse in November 2012. Guests will be able to view the eclipse while at sea, when sailing from Fiji to New Zealand. In April 2013, Celebrity Millennium will reposition from Hong Kong to Shanghai on a cruise featuring overnight calls in Hong Kong and Beijing (Tianjin), China. The ship will then continue eastbound across the North Pacific to Alaska and will call at various ports in China, Japan, and Russia.

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    Guests who wish to deepen their experience in Asia can take advantage of one of Celebrity's cruisetours, which combine a cruise with a five-night pre- or post-cruise escorted land package out of Hong Kong. The cruisetours will feature trips to Xian and Beijing to view the famed Terra Cotta Warriors and the Great Wall of China. All of these packages are escorted by a local tour director and include hotel accommodations, transportation, select activities, breakfasts and some additional meals.

    While sailing, a variety of shore excursions are available to travelers who wish to immerse themselves in the region. A number of overnight stays in port during the Asia cruises will offer guests the opportunity to enjoy two- or three-day excursions. Examples of these include a two-night/three-day overland experience from Bangkok to Siem Reap to visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The tour focuses on the temples of Angkor to see the best examples of stone carvings recovered from temples across Cambodia. During cruises that include an overnight stay in port at Halong Bay (Hanoi), Vietnam, an overnight shore excursion includes a visit to the Old Quarter of Hanoi; an opportunity to witness unique Vietnamese performing arts at the Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre; enjoy dinner at a traditional Vietnamese restaurant; and an overnight stay in a leading hotel in Hanoi. Guests also will experience the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, Hoa Lo Museum, as well as a gentle ride on a traditional street cyclo, and lunch at Vietnamese restaurant.

    Celebrity also recently announced additional expansion in the Eastern Hemisphere - the award-winning, 2,850-guest Celebrity Solstice, will be the newest Celebrity ship to sail a full winter season in Australia/New Zealand in 2012-13.

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    More details will be available on April 8, when bookings for Celebrity's new 2012-13 Asia itineraries will open for sale.

    Members of Celebrity's Captain's Club loyalty program are eligible to receive up to $600 savings per stateroom when booking 2012-13 Asia itineraries before July 29, 2011.

    Shore excursions and cruisetours are not included in cruise fare.

    Celebrity Cruises' iconic "X" is the mark of the world's top-rated premium cruise line, with spacious, stylish interiors; dining experiences elevated to an art form; personalized service, with a guest-to-staff ratio of nearly 2:1; unexpected, trendsetting onboard activities, all designed to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers' precious time. Celebrity sails to Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. One of the fastest-growing major cruise lines, Celebrity's fleet currently consists of nine ships, with two additional Solstice Class ships scheduled to join the fleet: Celebrity Silhouette in July 2011, and Celebrity Reflection in Fall 2012. For more information, contact a Celebrity Five Star Agent at Cruising2Paradise.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 04:06 PM | Comments (0)

    April 01, 2011

    FREEDOM OF THE SEAS REEMERGES FROM DRYDOCK WITH ENHANCEMENTS TO DELIVER THE ROYAL ADVANTAGE TO VACATIONERS

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    MIAMI, March 28, 2011 - Freedom of the Seas returns into service this week after completing a week-long drydock at the Grand Bahama Shipyard. As part of the Royal Advantage revitalization and enhancement program, Freedom of the Seas received new dining concepts, entertainment options, children's programming and technology advancements that were introduced to wide industry acclaim aboard Royal Caribbean's new Oasis-class ships. The Royal Advantage program comprises approximately $70 million of enhancements aboard five of the world's most innovative cruise ships in 2011 to expand unparalleled onboard experiences across the cruise line's fleet. Freedom of the Seas alternates an Eastern and a Western Caribbean seven-night, round-trip itinerary from Port Canaveral on Florida's Space Coast.

    "Royal Caribbean is rooted in providing our guests with incredible vacation experiences across the fleet and around the world," said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president of Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. "The outdoor video screen installed aboard Liberty of the Seas in January has already been so well received that we have decided to deploy it aboard all the ships scheduled to undergo the Royal Advantage revitalization in 2011. Making the investment on these ships as a way of extending the reach of the Oasis-class innovations to more of our guests is a natural progression for the fleet as a whole and how we are delivering the Royal Advantage to vacationers."

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    In drydock, Freedom of the Seas received new technology enhancements, such as enhanced Wi-Fi, interactive televisions, electronic waivers for sports activities, and electronic mustering (as well as ticketing for shows later in the year) that offer greater convenience to Royal Caribbean guests on their cruise vacation. The ship also offers a new BRITTO Gallery, featuring a variety of merchandise designed by pop-art icon Romero Britto.

    Other newly acquired Oasis-class signatures aboard Freedom of the Seas include:

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  • The DreamWorks Experience: The next generation of family programming is now available onboard Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas, as well as on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, with activities and shows including the DreamWorks parade down the Royal Promenade and interactive Character Breakfasts in the Rembrandt (Liberty of the Seas) and Leonardo (Freedom of the Seas) Dining Rooms with the animation movie studio's "celebrity" characters.

  • 3-D Movie Screens: The phenomenon of 3-D technology adds a new dimension to Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas' Platinum and Arcadia Theaters respectively, where guests can screen newly released and long-time favorite movies in 3-D, available starting next week.

  • Outdoor LED Video Walls: Measuring approximately 18.5 feet, the video screens - similar to those found in the Oasis-class AquaTheater - will overlook the main pool area, featuring movies and entertainment programs throughout the cruise for families, friends and couples to enjoy during the day and for an evening under the stars.

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  • The Cupcake Cupboard: A runaway hit for sweet treats aboard Oasis of the Seas, the 1940's-style shop charms guests with a broad assortment of fresh gourmet cupcakes offered daily at a la carte pricing and memorable family experiences including hands-on decorating classes; specialty cupcakes and custom cupcakes cakes also are available. Beyond its tempting and innovative menu, the specialty bakery boutique, takes the place of A Clean Shave on Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas' Royal Promenade.

  • Vintages: The popular wine lounge aboard Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas features a new trendier decor where patrons can enjoy a wide range of fine wines. A new automated serving system, which will be stocked with 48 notable wine selections, offers a self-pour option for guests wanting to explore a variety of tastes and varietals.

  • Imaginocean! Puppet Show: Conceptualized and produced by Emmy and Tony Award nominee John Tartaglia, exclusively for Royal Caribbean, this family musical geared towards children stars glow-in-the-dark underwater puppet characters will debut next month aboard Freedom of the Seas.

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  • Royal Babies and Tots Nursery: A huge hit aboard Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, the nursery care program (starting next week aboard Freedom of the Seas) is expanding across all four ships being revitalized this year. Designed for babies and tots six through 36 months old, it offers parents a safe, fun and interactive vacation environment for their toddler. Royal Caribbean's trained professionals carefully maintain an optimum staff to child ratio, offering various playgroups and activities developed exclusively for Royal Caribbean with partners Fisher Price and Crayola.

  • Digital Wayfinding system: Groundbreaking technology launched on the Oasis-class ships makes it easier than ever to navigate Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas. Onboard activities, real time updates, customized directions and routing, as well as ship factoids are at guests' fingertips with new plasma and LCD touch screen signs prominently placed throughout each of the ships.

    The ships undergoing revitalizations in 2011 are Liberty of the Seas earlier this year, Freedom of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas in May, and Splendour of the Seas in October. Each ship will come out of service and reemerge outfitted with the most highly guest-rated features introduced on Royal Caribbean's new Oasis-class ships. Even Oasis of the Seas, the first Oasis-class ship, now boasts new features with the recent addition of the DreamWorks Experience and 3-D movies which first debuted on Allure of the Seas.

    royal_caribbean_freedom_of_the_seas.jpg

    Liberty of the Seas was the first to showcase the revitalization enhancement when she arrived to her homeport of Port of Miami on January 30. Liberty of the Seas is sailing six-night Western Caribbean and eight-night Eastern Caribbean itineraries before repositioning to Barcelona for the summer season where she will debut the energetic West End musical "Saturday Night Fever" in the Platinum Theater. Starting April 16, Liberty of the Seas will join sister-ship Independence of the Seas in Europe to offer four- and five-night short Western Mediterranean cruises.

    Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 ships currently in service. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. For additional information or to make reservations, contact a Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Mexico.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 04:37 PM | Comments (0)
  • March 26, 2011

    Norwegian Cruise Line Selects A New Advertising Agency

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    On Friday, March 25th Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced they have selected a new advertising company. This is big news for the cruise line and cruise retailers.

    The Martin Agency is NCL's choice. If you are unfamilar with their company name think back to the last GEICO television advertisement you saw. It is funny, thoughtful and has a simple message which is memorable. View the commercial on their website www.martinagency.com

    Cruise vacations are known for being a good value, but how does the industry attract new vacationers? The majority of the population in the world have not taken a cruise vacation and many people have thoughts (stereotypes) in their head. I'm hopeful The Martin Agency will bring new ideas, thoughtful commercials and memorable advertising. Below is the press release from NCL.

    Written by Denise Blackmore, MCC

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    Miami - Mar 25, 2011 - Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it has chosen The Martin Agency of Richmond, VA, as its new Agency of Record following a four month review process.

    "We were looking for an agency partner to help us create brand desire for our unique proposition in a highly engaging and relevant way," said Maria Miller, Norwegian Cruise Line's senior vice president of marketing. "The Martin Agency impressed us with their creative and thoughtful approach to our brand."

    The Martin Agency was among four finalists in the review along with McCann and Grey, both of New York, and incumbent agency GSD&M of Texas. The assignment will include strategic and creative development, media planning and buying and an assortment of digital responsibilities.

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    "Our team is fired up to work with Norwegian Cruise Line," said Michael Chapman, VP/Group Planning Director who led The Martin Agency's review effort. "Few things in our business are more invigorating than working with a brand with great ambition. Norwegian was looking for much more than a campaign. They wanted a creative platform that could raise both revenue and awareness. We can't wait to get started."

    The first work from the agency is slated to appear later this year and billings are undisclosed.

    "While we're excited about this new journey with The Martin Agency, we want to commend GSD&M for all that they've done during the past five years to help build and promote our brand," added Miller. "They have been a great partner and we wish them well."

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    About The Martin Agency
    The Martin Agency offers unified advertising, strategic planning, media, direct response, interactive, data analytics, design and content creation. Clients include the American Cancer Society, BFGoodrich, Discover Financial, ESPN3.com, Expedia, GEICO, Hanes, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, PING, Pizza Hut, Sun Life Financial, Tylenol and Walmart. www.martinagency.com.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company contracted for two 4,000-berth vessels for delivery in spring 2013 and spring 2014.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City® Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams" & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    Posted by Denise at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

    March 22, 2011

    Crystal to Go All Inclusive in 2012 - Gratis Gratuities, Wines and Bar Service Added

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    LOS ANGELES, March 22, 2011 - Crystal Cruises is enhancing its already expansive host of luxury services and amenities. Effective spring 2012, vacations on the award-winning Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will include complimentary fine wines and premium spirits throughout the ship, open bar service in all lounges, and pre-paid gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff. The complimentary gratuity amenity also includes Penthouse butler service as well as service in all of Crystal's fine specialty restaurants and sushi bar.

    "Our 'All Inclusive' is an evolution of Crystal's luxury services and responds to the desires of today's upscale cruise traveler," says Gregg Michel, president of Crystal Cruises. "As many lines throughout our industry have itemized their services for additional charges, Crystal is maximizing the guest experience by eliminating additional transactions - further enhancing the ease and luxury of a Crystal cruise. We believe this service will offer greater convenience, simplicity and comfort."

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    The new benefits begin with each ship's first Trans-Atlantic cruise next year: Crystal Symphony's "Beyond the Sea" sailing from Miami to Lisbon on March 19, 2012, and Crystal Serenity's "New World to Norway" voyage from New York to London on May 8, 2012.

    A complete list of 2012 Crystal itineraries, with fares, for all cruises is now posted on Crystal's website, www.crystalcruises.com, and all cruises are now open for booking. Also included with all cruises is free round-trip air transportation from two dozen North American gateways (or a generous air credit), with airport/ship transfers included.

    Since its inception, Crystal Cruises has added to its award-winning luxury vacation experience each year with more and more complimentary amenities, services, workshops and dining opportunities.

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    Always included at no additional cost are: all non-alcoholic beverages such as bottled water, specialty coffee drinks, soft drinks and fresh juices; all meals, including dining in specialty restaurants that feature the cuisine of Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio; high tea; ice cream and frozen yogurt bar; gym, steam, saunas and whirlpools; numerous fitness classes such as Spinning and group Pilates Reformer instruction; golf lessons with PGA pros; Walk-on-Water weighted vests and Nordic Pole walking equipment; Yamaha keyboard classes; Berlitz language classes; paddle tennis; dozens of computer/technology classes; art classes; Crystal Visions lecture series, featuring Crystal Visions lecture series featuring distinguished speakers; award-winning entertainment; in-stateroom movie and CD rentals; film screenings in the onboard cinema; dance lessons; dedicated junior cruiser facilities; early embarkation luncheon; welcome champagne; comfortable shuttles to town; pillow menus; self-service laundries; twice-daily housekeeping with nightly turndown service; and 24-hour room service.

    Penthouse accommodations also include personal butler service, pressing, stocked bar, and other amenities and services.

    All guests enjoy Six-Star service from gracious European-trained wait staff, concierges who belong to the prestigious "Les Clefs d'Or," and sommeliers certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Crystal's passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more "World's Best" awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history.

    For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a Crystal Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

    March 12, 2011

    Camillus House Names New Campus After Norwegian Cruise Line, In Recognition of $5 Million Gift

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    Miami - Mar 10, 2011 --- Camillus House is one step closer to their goal of ending chronic homelessness in Miami-Dade County after receiving a $5 million pledge today from Norwegian Cruise Line to support ongoing construction of its new three-acre Campus on Northwest 7th Avenue in Miami's Health District. In recognition of this gift, which represents the largest corporate contribution to Camillus House's capital campaign, the new home of the prominent not-for-profit organization was named the Norwegian Cruise Line Campus of Camillus House.

    "We are profoundly honored and grateful to Norwegian Cruise Line for this generous gift to our campaign," said Dr. Paul Ahr, Camillus House President and Chief Executive Officer. "Thanks to their support, we have taken a giant step toward achieving our goal of ending chronic homelessness in our community."

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    During the naming ceremony held today at the construction site, Camillus House and Norwegian Cruise Line representatives unveiled renderings of Miami's newest landmark -- a 120-foot tower -- displaying the Campus' new name. Once erected in October 2011, the tower will be visible from Interstate 95 and the Dolphin Expressway. Community leaders and guests also had the opportunity to tour the $84 million construction site, getting a first glimpse of the nearly completed Shepherd's Court permanent housing apartments.

    "As a long standing member of the Miami community, Norwegian Cruise Line is proud to support Camillus House," said Kevin Sheehan, Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "Camillus House has long been a leader in this community and has helped thousands of people in need. We are proud to have our name associated with this shining example of their strong positive force in Miami, our hometown."

    The new eco-friendly Campus, which is expected to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, will feature seven buildings surrounding two open courtyards. Once fully operational, the Norwegian Cruise Line Campus will provide services to more than 3,000 people in need each year integrated with a variety of employment, social service and clinical treatment programs, including an expansion of emergency housing and a residential treatment for women and Spanish-speaking individuals. In addition, the Campus will provide the following services: emergency, treatment and permanent housing beds; basic human services of food, clothing, showers and overnight shelter; primary health care; residential and outpatient treatment for mental illness and addiction; employment training and job placement. In addition, there will be a kennel for pets.

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    The first phase of the construction began in mid-2010, and it is expected to be completed in 2012. The construction has simulated the local economy with the creation of 200 construction jobs. In addition, 100 new full-time positions will be created once the Campus is completed.

    About Camillus House
    Camillus House provides humanitarian services to persons who are poor and homeless in Miami-Dade. Established by the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd in 1960, Camillus House has grown steadily over the years from a small overnight shelter into a full-service center for persons who are poor and homeless. For more information on Camillus House, visit www.camillus.org or www.facebook.com/camillus.house.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company contracted for two 4,000-berth vessels for delivery in spring 2013 and spring 2014.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City® Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams" & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    Posted by Denise at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

    March 11, 2011

    Princess Cruises to Return to Port of Galveston for 2012-13 Caribbean Season

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    Crown Princess to Sail on Western Caribbean Itineraries from Texas

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. --- For the first time since 2007, a Princess Cruises ship will again set sail from the port of Galveston, offering cruises to the sunny Western Caribbean.

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    Crown Princess will offer 19 departures from Galveston between December 22, 2012 and April 27, 2013. The seven-day roundtrip Western Caribbean itinerary features ports of call at Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico.

    "We've received a great deal of feedback from cruisers interested in sailing from Galveston again," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "So we're excited to be returning in 2012 to bring our Western Caribbean sailings back to Texas."

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    The 3,070-passenger Crown Princess offers greater capacity than Princess ships previously based in Galveston. The 113,000-ton vessel debuted in 2006 and offers the line's popular signature features, including a piazza-style atrium with International Cafe and Vines wine bar; the 300-square-foot Movies Under the Stars poolside theater; The Sanctuary, an adults-only "oasis of tranquility"; and a variety of dining, recreation and entertainment options.

    "Welcoming back Princess Cruises and hosting Crown Princess is a great addition to the Texas cruise market. We're excited that the return of Princess Cruises will offer our passengers additional options of cruise vacations sailing from Texas' premiere cruise port," said Steven M. Cernak, Galveston port director. The remainder of the Princess Cruises Caribbean schedule will be announced later this month.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Mexico.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

    March 01, 2011

    Norwegian To Increase Cruise Fares On April 1, 2011

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    Line extends Wave Season promotion

    Miami - Mar 1, 2011 - Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that it plans to raise cruise fares up to ten percent on April 1, 2011. The company also announced it will extend its "Free Upgrades For All" Sales Event through March 31, 2011. This popular Wave Season promotion provides up to a four-category upgrade on select sailings, along with e-coupons in on-board savings of up to $400. This extension will give those planning to book a cruise extra time to take advantage of this offer prior to price increases which will take effect on April 1, 2011.

    "We've seen exceptional demand spurred by our Wave Season promotion, particularly for the popular summer destinations. In fact, we surpassed our weekly booking record three times in the last eight weeks," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "Based on this demand, we will increase our fares on April 1. We wanted to give consumers and travel agents the opportunity to take advantage of these offers before the price increase."

    Norwegian's signature Freestyle Cruising provides extraordinary value by offering premium deployments on one of the youngest fleets in the industry, and includes an unparalleled variety of dining options along with non-stop entertainment experiences.

    Travel partners should take advantage of the current pricing environment for their individual bookings and to block group space up to four months prior to sailing without paying a deposit.

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    For more information on Norwegian or to book a cruise, contact a FreeStyle Certified Agent at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company has reached an agreement for two 143,000-gross ton vessels for delivery in 2013 and 2014.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams" & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    NCL Mexican Riviera Cruises From $459 US!

    NCL Alaska Cruises From $509 US!

    NCL Baltic Cruises From $959 US!

    Posted by Denise at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)

    February 28, 2011

    Celebrity Cruises expands premium culinary offerings

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    'Champagne High Tea' and industry-first premium kosher meals join line's breadth of differentiated dining experiences

    Miami - (February 25, 2011 ) - The dining experience has always been central to a Celebrity Cruises vacation, and the line has proven it once again with its latest culinary introductions: an authentic, world-class high tea experience called "Champagne High Tea," and industry-first premium kosher meals.

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    "We know how precious consumers' vacation time is, and we're committed to offering an exceptional dining experience to make those rare vacations even more special," said Celebrity's Vice President of Culinary Operations Jacques Van Staden. "Our Champagne High Tea is designed in the tradition of the most highly regarded afternoon tea experiences in the world."

    Celebrity's Champagne High Tea takes place once on every seven-night sailing, and at least twice on an eight-night or longer cruise. Held in Celebrity's highly acclaimed, elegant specialty restaurants, amidst live music performed by a string quartet, the event's delectable selections include premium Forte' teas; Lavazza coffees, including espressos, lattes and cappuccino; savory sandwiches and desserts - including pastries, scones, truffles and pate de fruit - all served on Wedgewood china and in Riedel Crystal.

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    Celebrity's Champagne High Tea cover charge of $25 per person - an exceptional value when compared with land-based high tea experiences - includes all culinary selections and a glass of champagne. Reservations for Celebrity's Champagne High Tea can be made onboard by dialing the ship's "dining reservation" number. The experience - in addition to the line's longtime, complimentary tea service in the main dining room - is offered across the Celebrity fleet, with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition, the line's megayacht sailing year-round in the Galapagos Islands.

    Meanwhile, for guests interested in kosher meals, Celebrity has introduced another industry first: premium kosher meals, offered as an option amidst the brand's vast array of other dining selections. Among Celebrity's premium kosher entrees are herb-roasted salmon, BBQ quartered chicken, beef brisket, citrus-glazed chicken breast, and citrus-glazed tilapia, while breakfast items include traditional lox and bagels, Belgian waffles, wild mushroom omelettes, or pancakes. Kosher wines and champagne also are available, with Celebrity's highly skilled sommeliers poised to offer recommendations.

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    All selections are Glatt Kosher certified and made from scratch in kosher kitchens under the strict supervision of the O.U. and USDA. Celebrity's premium kosher meals are available for a fee, and the line's more limited, complimentary kosher selections will continue to be offered.

    Vacationers interested in kosher meals are asked to notify Celebrity of their interest 60 days in advance of departure. Guests participating in the premium kosher program then can make their specific menu selections for each day onboard, 24 hours in advance of dining.

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    Guests with bookings on any Celebrity vacation are invited to submit requests for kosher meals or any special dietary needs in advance through their travel agent.

    Celebrity Cruises' iconic "X" is the mark of the world's top-rated premium cruise line, with spacious, stylish interiors; dining experiences elevated to an art form; personalized service, with a guest-to-staff ratio of nearly 2:1; unexpected, trendsetting onboard activities, all designed to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers' precious time. Celebrity sails to Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. One of the fastest-growing major cruise lines, Celebrity's fleet currently consists of 10 ships, with two additional Solstice Class ships scheduled to join the fleet: Celebrity Silhouette in July 2011, and Celebrity Reflection in Fall 2012. For more information, contact a Five Star Agent at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

    February 24, 2011

    Norwegian First In The Cruise Industry To Be Awarded With Travel + Leisure Design Award

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    Norwegian Epic's Studio staterooms recognized for innovative design

    Miami - Feb 17, 2011 - Norwegian Cruise Line is the first in the cruise industry to be honored by Travel + Leisure, the popular guide for world travelers with the largest audience of any travel magazine, with its distinguished Design Award. The recipients of the seventh annual award represent the best new examples of design in a range of categories from hotels and transportation to luggage and travel fashion.

    Norwegian Epic was awarded "Best Transportation" for its innovative Studio staterooms, a private key-card access complex on two decks consisting of 128 staterooms and the Studio Lounge. The concept was pioneered by Norwegian and designed and priced specifically for solo travelers, allowing them the comfort and convenience to travel without the industry's single supplement cruise price. Priestmangoode, a design firm in the United Kingdom, designed the Studios for Norwegian.

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    "The Studio staterooms on Norwegian Epic have been extremely well received and we are pleased to be able to offer solo traveler's an opportunity to visit great destinations while experiencing Freestyle Cruising on board our most innovative ship," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer.

    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.

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    Norwegian Epic is currently featured on www.TravelandLeisure.com and is highlighted in the magazine's March issue, on newsstands February 21. Winners of the 2011 Travel + Leisure Design Awards were selected by an esteemed panel of judges, including Henry Urbach, curator of architecture and design for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Norma Kamali, fashion designer; Danny Meyer, restaurateur; Paulette Cole, CEO and creative director of ABC Carpet & Home's; and David Childs, Chairman of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company has reached an agreement for two 143,000-gross ton vessels for delivery in 2013 and 2014.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams" & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    Posted by Denise at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)

    February 17, 2011

    Princess Cruises Chefs Take Home Culinary Prizes at Bacardi Bartender and Chef Cruise Competition

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    Pacific Princess and Coral Princess Passengers Can Taste Winning Creations

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (February 16, 2011) - Thanks to creative use of red snapper and deep-fried sushi, two Princess Cruises chefs have taken first place in two culinary categories at the Sixth Annual Bacardi Bartender & Chef Cruise Competition.

    Pacific Princess Executive Chef Antonio Cortese received top honors in the "Heart Healthy" category for his Red Snapper Mojito, while Coral Princess Sous Chef Abelardo Alvarez won the "Vegetarian" category with his Deep Fried Sushi with Bacardi Wasabi Emulsion and Spicy Kimchi.

    The award-winning recipes were selected from more than 1,600 entries submitted for the prestigious beverage and culinary competition. Using criteria such as presentation, taste, creativity, appeal and ease of preparation, a judging panel of culinary experts winnowed down the field and chose the best recipe in each of five categories.

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    Passengers aboard Pacific Princess during her just-launched world cruise will have an opportunity to sample Executive Chef Cortese's Red Snapper Mojito when it is served as a special heart-healthy appetizer. Chef Alvarez's winning entry, Deep Fried Sushi with Bacardi Wasabi Emulsion and Spicy Kimchi will also be served to passengers on a regular basis on board Coral Princess.

    "We're tremendously proud of both chefs for demonstrating such culinary excellence," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "It's always a great honor to be singled out from one's peers and receive industry acknowledgement of the creativity that enhances our passengers' experience. We congratulate them on this achievement."

    The Bacardi Bartender & Chef Cruise Competition, an international event open to all bartenders and chefs in the cruise and ferry industry, requires bartenders and chefs to create original recipes using Bacardi products. The goals of the competition are to "support the cruise industry and its talented artisans, recognize innovation onboard the world's best cruise and ferry lines, and foster a path for staff to further their trade expertise".

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)

    February 16, 2011

    Princess Cruises Ships to Broadcast Historic Royal Wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton

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    Passengers Can Watch the Future Princess Walk Down the Aisle with BBC World Coverage on "Movies Under the Stars" Screens

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (February 14, 2011) - The highly anticipated Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton will be televised live on Princess ships on April 29. Passengers will be able to follow along with full coverage of the pomp and majesty of the historic wedding through BBC World's broadcast of the event.

    Not only can passengers follow along as the future princess walks down the aisle, but they'll enjoy viewing parties on board as they watch the most extensive coverage of this royal event. BBC is the official wedding broadcaster and has exclusive access inside Westminster Abbey during the ceremony.

    The onboard viewing parties will add a celebratory flair to the event with British-style refreshments and special royal-themed cocktails. Passengers can also test their knowledge with royal wedding trivia competitions and participate in a William and Kate look-alike contest.

    "As this is the first British royal wedding in years we know there will be wide interest among our passengers," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "We at Princess also feel a connection with Prince William because his mother, Princess Diana, christened our original Royal Princess back in 1984."

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    Royal Wedding broadcasts are planned for all ships in the Princess fleet, subject to satellite availability. In some time zones the broadcast may be delayed for viewing at a convenient hour.

    The Royal Wedding is one of several special events shown on the Movies Under the Stars screens, including the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. The giant LED screens are more than 300 square feet in size with a 69,000-watt sound system and have sufficient lighting power to be seen clearly at mid-day and heard even while the ship is moving at full speed - offering cruise passengers a movie experience comparable to the best shoreside movie theater.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

    February 11, 2011

    Crystal Serenity to Undergo Major Redesign in May

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    LOS ANGELES, February 9, 2011 - While Crystal Cruises' ocean resorts have racked up countless awards since entering service, the ultra-luxury line has never been one to rest on its laurels. This spring, Crystal will be spending $25+ million dollars to keep its largest ship, Crystal Serenity, on the cutting edge of luxury style.

    More than 400 expert technicians flown from around the world, working round the clock for just 14 days, are scheduled for the massive redesign of her 531 Deluxe Staterooms, Penthouses and Penthouses Suites; retail centers; expansive outdoor pool deck and other design projects during a May 8-22 dry dock at Hamburg's Blohm + Voss shipyard.

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    "In the past two years, we have invested well over $50 million in our ships," says Gregg Michel, president, Crystal Cruises. "Our guests can look forward to dazzling new spaces, which will serve as a stunning backdrop to the incomparable service and choices that always characterizes a Crystal vacation."

    Interior designer, Keith Rushbrook, principal at the Toronto-based II BY IV Design Associates, summarizes the vision: "We wanted modern classic elegance. We wanted Fifth Avenue - creme de la creme New York-inspired living and retail spaces that people love and look forward to spending time in."

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    New Deluxe Stateroom and Penthouse Accommodation Decor
    All of Crystal Serenity's Deluxe Outside Staterooms, Penthouses, and Penthouse Suites will sport new, floor-to-ceiling tufted headboards, bedside cabinets, wallpaper, sofas, curtains, pillows, and custom carpets in contemporary lines and classic stone, silk, velvet, leather, and crisp linen textures. New modern lighting features and electronic "do not disturb" and doorbell system will allow guests greater personalization of their home-away-from-home.

    New Shops
    Serenity's retail shops will receive a similar, sophisticated metamorphosis. The Facets fine jewelry store will mirror a jewelry box, with mother-of-pearl feature wall, beveled chrome vitrines, and new, private sales area. The Apropos boutique will become three-shops-in-one, with a flagship Christian Dior cosmetic/skincare area showcased amongst rich Zebrano wood and herringbone rosewood, arresting black-plum-magenta carpeting, and tufted leather seating.

    New Chic Pool Deck
    Inspired by Crystal Symphony's recent transformation, the Seahorse Pool teak deck will be refashioned with circular pod beds, plush sofa groups, and lounge chairs in a kaleidoscope of lime green, azure, and mango.

    New Lighting and Furniture
    The corridors throughout the ship will be transformed with new, custom carpeting, inspiring artwork, and mood lighting. Dramatic new lighting will also be installed in the Crystal Dining Room, as will new furniture on all stateroom verandahs.

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    Following the dry dock, Crystal Serenity will embark on a series of Baltic, North Cape and British Isles cruises before heading to the Mediterranean for late summer and fall cruise series, where guests cannot only enjoy the resort's new look but exceptional value with verandah savings and a new fall fare sale.

    Crystal Cruises' ethos of warm and friendly attentiveness, proffered by top-trained service staff from around the world, has earned the line a reputation for elevating hospitality to an art form. With no guest request left untended, Crystal Cruises has been the perfect choice for luxury travelers for over two decades.

    For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a Crystal Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 01:48 PM | Comments (0)

    February 10, 2011

    Grand Princess to Undergo Dramatic Transformation During Spring Drydock

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    Grand Princess to Undergo Dramatic Transformation During Spring Drydock
    Makeover Will Include Piazza Atrium, Tea Lounge, Pizzeria and Nightclub

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (February 10, 2011) - The most significant transformation ever of a Princess Cruises ship will occur this spring aboard Grand Princess. During a 24-day makeover the ship, which was the prototype for the line's "Grand Class" vessels, will undergo a remarkable renovation to receive many of Princess' trademark features introduced since the ship's 1998 debut including the signature Piazza atrium. Several new features will be also be added including a unique tea lounge and library called "Leaves"; and "Alfredo's," a full-service pizzeria showcasing this renowned Princess dish.

    A brand new nightclub called One5, inspired by its deck location, will be created on the top deck of the ship, replacing its iconic Skywalker Nightclub, which has given the ship its distinctive profile. Skywalkers will be removed from its 18th deck perch, with its replacement located on deck 15. This change will significantly improve the operational performance of the ship, including greater fuel efficiency.

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    "This is the largest makeover we've ever undertaken for any of our ships," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "When Grand Princess was launched she was the most innovative ship at sea, and now we're adding some of the later innovations we introduced on subsequent ships."

    Artist renderings of the Grand Princess changes are available in a Flickr gallery at: http://bit.ly/g0JA8I.

    The changes will be made during a drydock from April 11 to May 4 at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas. Highlights of the dramatic makeover include:

  • New Piazza atrium - The atrium space of Grand Princess will be completely rebuilt to include this signature Princess feature - a multi-faceted social hub of the ship combining always-changing quick bites and light meals, beverages, entertainment, shopping and guest services. The Piazza will feature the International Cafe for pastries, grilled panini sandwiches, salads, fresh-baked cookies and a variety of coffee drinks. Passengers will also enjoy a new Vines wine bar offering a selection of more than 30 wines by the glass, plus a selection of tapas and sushi, and a wine shop where passengers can purchase their favorite bottle.

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  • Leaves Tea Lounge and Library - A fusion of tea lounge and library, the new Leaves offers a distinctive opportunity for passengers to custom-blend a variety of base teas with herbs, fruits and spices to create a personalized tea blend. Created in partnership with Mighty Leaf Tea Company, one of the world's premier maker of artisan teas, Leaves will give passengers an impressive choice of up to 500 different tea blends to suit their palates. A trained tea sommelier will assist passengers in blending a personalized tea creation, which they can enjoy in the midst of the library and a good book.

  • Alfredo's Pizzeria - Known for serving the best pizza at sea, Princess will introduce Alfredo's, a new sit-down pizzeria with an enticing menu of freshly prepared individual-size pizzas. Named for the line's master executive chef, Alfredo Marzi, the pizzeria will feature an open kitchen where passengers can watch chefs create the pizzas they'll enjoy with a glass of wine or other beverage.

  • One5 Lounge - The new One5 lounge will replace Skywalkers as the place to be for nighttime dancing and relaxing. The new lounge on deck 15 (hence its name) takes its inspiration from the chicest urban nightclubs, and will offer a cool vibe, contemporary seating and lighting, and a dramatic back-lit bar.

  • Crown Grill - A classic steakhouse with rich wood surroundings, this specialty restaurant features an open, theater-style kitchen where chefs custom-prepare premium aged beef and fresh seafood items, including live lobsters.

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    Also part of the renovation will be 10 new suites; remodeled casino, boutiques and art gallery; enhancements to the Horizon Court, Lotus Spa, and wedding chapel; and the addition of Crooner's Martini Lounge.

    The newly renovated Grand Princess will debut on May 5 in Ft. Lauderdale where the ship will depart on a transatlantic crossing for her summer and fall homeport of Southampton, from which she will cruise a variety of European itineraries.

    For more information about Princess Cruises contact a Princess Expert at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 10:57 AM | Comments (0)
  • February 09, 2011

    Norwegian Cruise Line Opens New Marina And Dining Facility At Great Stirrup Cay

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    Miami - Feb 8, 2011 - Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it has completed the first phase of enhancements at Great Stirrup Cay, the line's 250-acre private island in the Bahamas. On Thursday, February 3, the company opened the new marina and dining facility on the island, representing a significant milestone in the more than $20 million enhancement project currently underway. Norwegian Sky's 2,000 guests were the first to experience the opening of the marina basin with four docks for the island's tenders and the new 8,500 square foot dining facility, complete with two bars and four picnic pavilions.

    "Both the new marina and the dining facility greatly enhance the guest experience on Great Stirrup Cay which is our second busiest port of call this year," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's president and CEO. "By moving the tenders' arrival to the marina and away from the beach, we have now opened up a great expanse of beachfront for our guests to enjoy and relax. We've also built a new large dining facility that is similar to the action station restaurants we have on board our Freestyle Cruising ships."

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    The marina is approximately 12 feet deep at low water and is home to the island's four tenders. It took more than eight months to excavate the basin and the entrance channel. The dining facility includes a central pizza making station, two grills, hot and cold food stations, as well as fresh fruits and breads. There are two full bars on either side of the facility for added convenience. The four pavilions, each more than 1800 square feet, offer picnic tables with a total seating capacity for more than 500 guests.

    Enhancements to Great Stirrup Cay have been underway since January of 2010 and will continue through the end of this year. Several new island activities have been added since the project began including more than 16 wave runners, kayak rentals and an eco-adventure boat tour around the island. These are in addition to the existing snorkeling; floats; inflatable hippo slide; and parasailing.

    The second phase of enhancements includes an arrival/departure pavilion, additional bar facilities; several comfort stations; a band stand; cruise program activity area; private beachfront cabanas; a kid's play area; straw market; and beach volleyball courts. The beachfront will continue to be expanded on the island's west end.

    Norwegian has owned the island since 1977 when it became the first cruise line to offer an uninhabited tropical island experience exclusively for its guests. Great Stirrup Cay offers magnificent white sand beaches, majestic palms and calm, pristine waters where an abundance of colorful marine life inhabits the surrounding coral reefs.

    Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Pearl regularly call on Great Stirrup Cay throughout the year.

    For more information on Norwegian or to book a cruise, call a Freestyle Certified Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

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    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company has reached an agreement for two 143,000-gross ton vessels for delivery in 2013 and 2014.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams" & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    Posted by Denise at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

    February 04, 2011

    Super Bowl XLV to Star on Princess Cruises "Ultimate Big Screen"

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    Poolside Parties Offer Top-Deck Tailgating Combined with Dramatic Viewing Experience on Giant "Movies Under the Stars" Screens

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (February 3, 2011) - Football fans aboard all Princess Cruises ships around the world will have the opportunity to enjoy a super tailgate party at sea this Sunday February 6, with prime viewing of the match-up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. The "Big Game" will be broadcast fleetwide to passengers, including viewing on the ships' 300-square-foot super-size "Movies Under the Stars" screens.

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    Passengers will be able to follow the action between the AFC and NFC Champions, plus see the halftime show with a performance by the Black Eyed Peas. Fans can enjoy the game with an array of tailgate treats including specially prepared chicken wings, pizza, pigs-in-a-blanket and other game day "munchies," plus beer specials.

    "The Super Bowl has become one of the favorite special events we show on our Movies Under the Stars screens each year," said Jan Swartz, Princess' executive vice president. "Passengers can also enjoy the exciting halftime show, so we expect a festive party around our poolside big screens."

    Super Bowl broadcasts are planned for all ships in the Princess fleet, subject to satellite availability.

    The Super Bowl is one of several special events shown on the Movies Under the Stars screens, which will also broadcast the Academy Awards on February 27. The giant LED screens are more than 300 square feet in size with a 69,000-watt sound system and have sufficient lighting power to be seen clearly at mid-day and heard even while the ship is moving at full speed - offering cruise passengers a movie experience comparable to the best shoreside movie theater. In addition to regular movie showings, other special programs presented on the giant screens include sporting events such as the college football Bowl Championship Series, video game contests, a variety of event concerts, and even midnight showings of cult films such as "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

    February 03, 2011

    Scenes from Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked! Filmed During Caribbean Cruise on Carnival Dream Last Week

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    Fox 2000 Pictures began production on ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED!, the third installment of the blockbuster movie franchise, on January 22 during a Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Dream, the newest and largest ship in Carnival Cruise Lines' fleet. Filming took place primarily on the ship's upper, open decks with scenes featuring actor Jason Lee (reprising his role as Dave Seville) and the antics of the beloved chipmunks in the Carnival Dream's expansive outdoor recreation areas.

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    Stops on the itinerary included Cozumel, Roatan, Belize and Costa Maya, which provided a stunning tropical backdrop for many of the movie's shipboard scenes. Twentieth Century Fox releases ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED! in theaters everywhere on December 16, 2011.

    The first two films grossed over $804 million worldwide. Alvin and the Chipmunks was the number-one grossing family live-action DVD of 2008, while Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel has been the best-selling family DVD since its release in March 2010.

    The 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream operates year-round, alternating seven-day eastern and western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, Fla.

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    Posted by Denise at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)

    February 01, 2011

    Celebrity Infinity to Present Engaging 'Qsine' Specialty Venue

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    Future-forward restaurant is new addition in ship's expanded revitalization

    Miami - (February 01, 2011 ) - The rules say you shouldn't play with your food. But it's quite the contrary in "Qsine," the novel restaurant introduced on Celebrity Cruises' stylish Celebrity Eclipse last year. The award-winning venue - the first at sea to present its menu and wine list on an iPad - has met with such phenomenal response that Celebrity plans to add it to Celebrity Infinity during the ship's revitalization, designed to complement the already award-winning Millennium Class ships' style and design with some of the most popular venues on the line's widely heralded Solstice Class ships.

    "Qsine is designed to bring out our guests' 'inner foodie' through a uniquely unordinary approach, elevating the dining experience to a performance art," said Celebrity's Vice President of Culinary Operations Jacques Van Staden. "We've been absolutely thrilled with the response to Qsine from our guests on Celebrity Eclipse, and look forward to offering the same engaging experience when Celebrity Infinity presents the venue later this year."

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    Van Staden says the only serious thing in Qsine is the food, such as a vertical selection of savory tapas and mezze served individually in custom-made frames, a trio of chilled soups delivered shot-style, and spring rolls served in springs, all of which are described in detail on the iPad-housed menu and wine list, which offers a full scan of wine labels, an interactive cocktail menu, and the ability for guests to enter tasting notes and e-mail their favorite wine selections.

    The first in the Millennium Class series to be revitalized was Celebrity Constellation in April 2010. Rave reviews from guests sailing on the "new" vessel led the brand to expand the process further on Celebrity Infinity, which will emerge from drydock December 3, 2011, with Qsine housed in the space where Tuscan Grille delights guests on Celebrity Constellation.

    Joining Qsine in the expanded revitalization of Celebrity Infinity will be:

  • AquaClass accommodations - marking a Millennium-Class 'first' - allowing guests on Celebrity Infinity to experience the brand's popular spa-inspired accommodations and amenities

  • the chic, Mediterranean-themed specialty restaurant, "Blu," offered exclusively for AquaClass guests

  • the hip Celebrity iLounge, which debuted on Celebrity Eclipse and made Celebrity Cruises the industry's first Authorized Apple Reseller, and where guests can participate in Celebrity's "iLearn" enrichment series

  • more private luxury havens with entirely new verandas added to the ship's spacious, sumptuous Celebrity Suites

  • additional new oceanview and inside staterooms

  • an expanded collection of original, contemporary art
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    As on Celebrity Constellation, the following venues also will be incorporated on Celebrity Infinity during the ship's scheduled drydock period:

  • a "cool" new ice-topped Martini Bar and Crush

  • the vibrant creperie, Bistro on Five

  • the inviting Cafe al Bacio and Gelateria

  • Cellarmasters wine bar, complete with the "Enomatic" state-of-the-art wine serving system - an industry-first when it debuted on Celebrity Solstice - allowing guests to select wines by the glass, at the touch of a button

  • more sumptuous suites, 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 the Solstice Class' stylish, modern design in every public venue
  • "Everything we've introduced on our award-winning Solstice Class fleet, and everything we're adding to our popular Millennium Class ships, has been created to enhance that all-important feeling of getting away," said Celebrity's President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. "All of our new venues and onboard experiences - paired with the spectacular service of our dedicated crew - are designed to ensure our guests can make the most of their precious vacation time."

    Celebrity currently plans to similarly refurbish Celebrity Summit in January 2012, followed by Celebrity Millennium in April 2012. The already-revitalized Celebrity Constellation will be further refitted with the additional offerings in April 2013.

    Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning vacationers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and award-winning cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's mega-series of honors include being named the top mega-ship line in Conde Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Awards (November 2009). Celebrity's fleet currently consists of 10 ships. Its $3.7-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest five-year investment in premium cruising. For more information, contact a Five-Star Agent at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

    January 28, 2011

    Norwegian Sun Shines Brighter With Recent Renovations

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    Two additional Freestyle Cruising ships to receive updates this year

    Miami - Jan 25, 2011 - Norwegian Sun re-entered service today after undergoing a multi-million dollar 12-day dry dock during which the 1,936-passenger ship received extensive renovations focused on enhancing the guest experience. The Freestyle Cruising ship received enhancements to its public areas, suites and restaurants. Following on the popularity of the Brazilian steakhouse that debuted on Norwegian Epic, the Moderno Churrascaria has been added as a new on-board restaurant. Guests can sample a variety of skewered meats presented by tableside passadors, as well as a salad bar. Additional updates and enhancements were made to some of the back-of-house areas of the ship to increase efficiencies.

    "We have a company-wide commitment to ensuring our ships are in excellent condition. Therefore, Norwegian Sun is the first of three ships this year that will enter dry dock for enhancements, along with several that will take place in 2012," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "We will continue to enhance and refresh Freestyle Cruising for our guests and are pleased to now offer a new restaurant choice on Norwegian Sun."

    Additional ships undergoing dry dock improvements this year are: Norwegian Dawn in May and Norwegian Spirit in September.

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    Norwegian Sun's refurbishment to guest areas includes:

  • Updated decor in all 33 of the ship's suites;
  • Improvements to the Kids Crew area which offers complimentary children's programs;
  • The addition of Moderno Churrascaria, the line's new and popular Brazilian steakhouse (in the space previously occupied by Pacific Heights);
  • Overall replacement of carpets and wall coverings in public areas.

    In addition, back-of-house enhancements include:

  • An energy conservation project focused on the ship's HVAC system to save an estimated six million kilowatts per year (when complete in May 2011);
  • Replacement of all potable water piping (continuing over the next 12-18 months);
  • Propeller and rudder modifications to decrease power consumption by six percent;
  • Removal and replacement of all lifeboat davit hooks with new state-of-the-art hooks to further ensure guest safety.

    Norwegian Sun sails alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, departing every Saturday through April 7, 2011. The ship's seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise stops in Nassau, Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. On the seven-day Western Caribbean cruise, the ship will call in Cozumel, Mexico; Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala; Belize City, Belize and Key West, Florida. The two itineraries can be easily combined to create a port-rich 14-day Caribbean tour for guests looking for a longer cruise escape.

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    Beginning May 8 2011, Norwegian Sun will spend her summer in Europe sailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, for the first time in the company's history, embarking on 15 nine-day Baltic Capitals cruises. Ports of call include: Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm (Nynashamn), Sweden.

    Norwegian Sun has a variety of stateroom options, a choice of 14 dining venues, 10 bars and lounges, multiple entertainment venues, a luxurious spa and salon, state-of-the-art fitness center, a complimentary kid's club and teen lounge, a sports deck and several spacious public rooms.

    For more information or to book a sailing on Norwegian Sun, call a travel professional.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company has reached an agreement for two 143,000-gross ton vessels for delivery in 2013 and 2014.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams" & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    Norwegian Sun Scandinavia & Russia Cruises From $959 US!

    Posted by Denise at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)
  • January 21, 2011

    The Original Love Boat Comes to Life - in 250,000 LEGO Bricks

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    Master LEGO Builder Immortalizes Princess Cruises Ship Pacific Princess, Complete with Interior Details

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 19, 2011) - A love of cruising has led to a remarkably creative version of Princess Cruises' famous "Love Boat" - Pacific Princess - as reincarnated in LEGO by a fan in Melbourne, Australia.

    Measuring 10.5 feet long and nearly 5 feet high and made from more than 250,000 LEGO bricks, the extraordinary model took six months to build and is the largest single project ever undertaken by professional LEGO builder, Ryan McNaught. Images of the LEGO Love Boat can be seen on www.flickr.com/photos/ryanmcnaught.

    The son of Melbourne travel agent Lyn McNaught, the 36-year-old McNaught was inspired by the many cruises he has enjoyed over the years.

    He also recently built a giant Airbus 380 LEGO model, so he decided the time had come to tackle a ship.

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    "I wanted to do something with character so I chose the original Love Boat, Pacific Princess, and studied photos and deck plans to capture her features and her beauty," McNaught said.

    While one side of the model features the exterior of the famous ship, the other side is an open cutaway revealing all the action inside -- from chefs in the kitchen to passengers working out in the health club.

    McNaught has also brought the cast of the famous Love Boat TV show to life with LEGO models of the legendary Captain Stubing, Gopher and cruise director Julie, along with some of the show's most famous guests such as David Hasselhoff.

    Flashing LED lights for the disco and tiny motors powering the propellers and elevators complete the picture.

    McNaught (www.thebrickman.com) is one of only 12 certified LEGO builders in the world.

    Having shown his Love Boat model at Australia's LEGO Convention - Brickvention - in Melbourne this month, he now plans to move it to Chicago for Brickworld. Held in June, Brickworld is one of the largest LEGO conventions in the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors and featuring 700 exhibitors.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Princess Cruises Alaska Cruise Specials

    Princess Cruises Europe Cruise Specials

    Posted by Denise at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

    January 20, 2011

    OCEANIA CRUISES TAKES DELIVERY OF NEW FLAGSHIP ?MARINA?

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    SESTRI PONENTE, Italy, January 19, 2011 - Oceania Cruises officially took delivery today of Marina, the line's first newly built ship which measures 66,000 tons and accommodates 1,250 guests. The handover took place at Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente shipyard near Genoa, where Marina officially became a part of the Oceania Cruises' fleet joining Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. Her sister ship, Riviera, is currently being built in the same shipyard and will debut in April 2012.

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    A ship of firsts, Marina features the Bon Appetit Culinary Center, the first hands-on cooking school at sea, Master Chef Jacques Pepin's first namesake restaurant at sea, Ralph Lauren Home-furnished Owner's Suites, luxurious accommodations by designer Dakota Jackson, Wine Spectator wine program, a Lalique grand stairway and Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Moreover, Marina has been designed for epicureans offering an unprecedented 10 dining venues - comparable in quality to the very best shore-side restaurants.

    According to Frank Del Rio, the founder of Oceania Cruises and chairman & CEO of parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings, "Marina is unlike any ship built in the past 50 years and is destined to be a game-changer in the industry. The superb gourmet restaurants and exquisite residential interiors reflect the best of what makes Oceania Cruises such an unrivaled experience."

    "The new Marina is not only beautiful, but one of the most elegant ships we have built in the last years," stated Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. "Today is a proud day for all of our employees and partners associated with this first new build for Oceania Cruises. We are honored to have been chosen to build the first ships from the vision of Mr. Del Rio."

    The new flagship of the Oceania Cruises fleet will set sail on her maiden voyage from Barcelona, Spain, on January 22. When she arrives in Miami on February 4, she is expected to receive a celebratory welcome that will last through the weekend. ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT Icon Mary Hart will name Marina at a lavish gala ceremony on February 5 and christen her with a 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar of Champagne, custom-made by Armand de Brignac, commemoratively crashing against the hull. The evening will be capped by an extravagant fireworks display, a gift from Oceania Cruises to the ship's US home port.

    After the christening festivities in Miami, Marina sets sail Feb. 8 on the first of two 18-day Panama Canal transits that visit San Francisco or San Diego, both new ports for Oceania Cruises. Marina then operates a 12-day Caribbean cruise, round-trip from Miami, departing March 16, before sailing along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and on to Europe to begin her inaugural Mediterranean season.

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    Oceania Cruises' new Marina has been purposefully designed to carry 1,250 guests to the world's most alluring ports in elegance and style. Rich woods, marble and granite, fine wool carpets and illustrious leathers adorn public rooms. Facilities include 10 dining venues including six open-seating gourmet restaurants, an array of bars and lounges, a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub and fitness center, swimming pool and hot tubs.

    For more information contact an Oceania Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Alaska.com #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 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

    Posted by Denise at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

    January 19, 2011

    Princess Cruises Launches Facebook Contest for Best Travel Bucket List Story; Winner Picks Their Dream Cruise Destination

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    Most Inspiring Video or Essay Submissions Determined by Popular Vote

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (January 17, 2011) - Princess Cruises is today launching a Facebook contest inviting its fans to share their most essential travel experience for a chance to check another place off their travel bucket list. The contest winner, to be determined by popular vote, will receive their choice of eight remarkable cruise destinations - Europe, Asia, Tahiti, Australia/New Zealand, the Holy Land, Panama Canal, Alaska or South America.

    The cruise vacation choices range from 10 to 16 days in length in a balcony stateroom, and include roundtrip airfare for two people.

    Travelers can submit their compelling tales through the special contest tab on the line's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/PrincessCruises) either as a written story or video. The public will then have the opportunity to vote on the experience that inspires them the most, and the eligible entrant with the highest number of votes will win their dream cruise vacation.

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    "We're encouraging our Facebook fans to share an inspiring travel experience they think everyone should do at least once in their lifetime," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "And the unprecedented aspect of this contest is that the winner gets to choose from among eight incredible cruise destinations, and cross yet another experience off their travel bucket list."

    There are two ways to enter the Princess Cruises Travel Bucket List Contest - with a written story up to 300 words and up to five photos, or with a video up to two minutes in length. Entries can be submitted any time until February 7, 2011. Fans can vote for the story that inspires them most between February 11-25, 2011 and the winner will be announced on or around March 11, 2011.

    The contest is inspired by Princess' popular blog, 50 Essential Experiences, which chronicles bucket list travel experiences from the company's most-traveled employees. The blog, which has attracted over half a million page views since it launched in October, has motivated many travelers to think about their own travel bucket lists and plan essential travel experiences.

    "We know our passengers are passionate about travel, so we're looking forward to reading some wonderful stories," said Swartz.

    The eligible top vote-getter will receive his or her choice of one of the following eight cruise itineraries:

    13-day New Zealand
    Sydney, Bay of Islands, Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch (Lyttelton), Dunedin (Port Chalmers), Fiordland National Park Scenic Cruising, Sydney

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    12-day Holy Land
    Rome (Civitavecchia), Sorrento (for Capri & Pompeii), Patmos, Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Galilee/Nazareth (Haifa), Jerusalem (Ashdod), Port Said (for Giza/Cairo), Alexandria, Santorini, Athens (Piraeus)

    16-day Southeast Asia & China
    Beijing (Tianjin), Busan, Nagasaki, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Singapore

    12-day Grand Mediterranean
    Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii), Mykonos, Istanbul, Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Athens (Piraeus), Venice (Overnight)

    14-day Panama Canal
    Ft. Lauderdale, Aruba, Cartagena, Full transit of the Panama Canal, Fuerte Amador, Costa Rica (Puntarenas), Los Angeles

    12-night Alaska Connoisseur Deluxe Escorted Cruisetour
    Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, College Fjord, Whittier/Denali, Denali, Denali/Mt. McKinley, Mt. McKinley, Anchorage/Mt. McKinley, Anchorage

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    10-day Tahiti & Polynesia
    Tahiti (Papeete), Huahine, Rangiroa, Raiatea, Bora Bora (Overnight), Moorea, Tahiti (Papeete)

    14-day Cape Horn Route to Rio
    Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Falkland Islands (Stanley), Cape Horn scenic cruising, Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), Punta Arenas (Strait of Magellan), Chilean Fjords scenic cruising, Santiago (Valparaiso)

    The Princess Travel Bucket List contest is open to all residents of the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada (excluding Quebec), the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, aged 21 years or older. Official rules can be found at http://tinyurl.com/4ap4mdz.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a a Princess Expert at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

    January 18, 2011

    OCEANIA CRUISES' NEW 'MARINA' TO FEATURE 10 DINING VENUES, INCLUDING 6 GOURMET RESTAURANTS

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    First-Ever Ship Built for Epicureans Details Culinary Offerings

    Miami, January 10, 2011 - Oceania Cruises' new Marina is destined to set new standards for culinary excellence at sea with 10 dining venues, six of which are no-charge, gourmet restaurants. The 1,250-guest ship, which debuts later this month, was designed for food and wine lovers with an ambitious goal to offer dining experiences comparable to the very best shore-side restaurants.

    According to Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises' president, "Marina is the first ship purpose-built for epicureans. Unlike many cruise lines, all of our meals are cooked to order, a la minute. We are committed to serving cuisine that rivals some of the world's very best restaurants."

    Continental Cuisine, Asian Fusion & American Favorites
    Marina will offer six, open-seating gourmet restaurants, two private-dining venues and two casual eateries. The decor of each is distinctive, yet a common design thread is evident in the extensive use of rich woods, marble and granite, fine wool carpets and supple leather. Below is an outline of the ship's eight no-charge dining venues and two exclusive options:

    The Grand Dining Room - Tuxedo-clad wait staff serve a six-course menu in a classic setting reminiscent of a five-star restaurant at one of Europe's grandest hotels. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Toscana - Three, illuminated etched-glass panels provide a dramatic backdrop to savory specialties, many of them family recipes handed down from Oceania Cruises' staff and crew. Open for dinner, reservations suggested.

    Polo Grill - Plush and supple leather upholstery, a rich palette of crimson, gold and green, and gold-edged mahogany wall panels evoke the glamour of a vintage Hollywood steakhouse. Fine cuts of Prime, dry-aged beef, as well as chops and fresh seafood, are featured. Open for dinner, reservations suggested.

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    Jacques - The first-ever restaurant at sea for its renowned namesake, Jacques Pepin, draws inspiration from fabled brasseries of Paris and his hometown of Lyon. Open for dinner, reservations suggested.

    Red Ginger - Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese flavors are showcased in a contemporary setting that features three Buddhas carved from a single piece of backlit glass as a dramatic centerpiece. Open for dinner, reservations suggested.

    Terrace Cafe - Shades of burgundy, burnt orange, gold and lemon create a bright and pleasant ambiance or guests may dine al fresco. Regional delicacies and sumptuous buffets are served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Waves - This relaxed, open-air bistro serves gourmet burgers, swordfish, chicken and other grilled items, and features a salad bar and homemade ice cream bar. Open for lunch, weather permitting.

    Baristas - This coffee bar adjoining the library is the place throughout the day to enjoy Illy espresso and cappuccino, plus homemade biscotti and coffee cake.

    Optional Wine Dinners & the Ultimate Chef's Table
    La Reserve by Wine Spectator - This intimate venue hosts tastings and seven-course pairing dinners with premium wines selected in consultation with Wine Spectator editors. Extra charge for wines; reservations required.

    Privee - This posh private dining room offers the ultimate Chef's Table. Eight fortunate guests can create a personalized menu featuring such specialties as Kobe beef, Brittany lobsters, foie gras, caviar and truffles. Room charge is $1,000. Open select evenings, reservations required.

    Oceania Cruises' new Marina also features a Bon Appetit Culinary Center and full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Interior design highlights include a Lalique-designed grand lobby, luxurious suites designed by Dakota Jackson as well as Owner's Suites furnished exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home.

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    For reservations or to order a brochure, contact an Oceania Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com at #1-800-738-8837.

    Additional information about Marina dining venues, including sample menus, can be found online. For more information on Oceania Cruises or to order a brochure, see a travel agent.

    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 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

    Posted by Denise at 03:04 PM | Comments (0)

    January 11, 2011

    Celebrity Cruises celebrates new yearby offering new ways to save

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    Destination-focused booking promotion aims to help consumers enjoy precious vacation time

    Miami - (January 06, 2011 ) - Premium vacation brand Celebrity Cruises has kicked off a "New Year, New Cruise" booking promotion aimed at helping vacationers to make the most of their time off. Each week this month, Celebrity is offering up to $150 in stateroom credit, for select cruises in particular destinations.

    The savings will be issued in the form of a shipboard credit. Offered to help vacationers make the most of their time onboard, the credit can be used for spa treatments, specialty dining, shopping, shore excursions and more. The promotion is intended to offer guests an added opportunity to enjoy Celebrity's line-up of onboard experiences as well as to get to know the destinations on the itinerary through shore excursions.

    Exotic experiences in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii

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    This week (through January 9), guests booking 2011 Australia/New Zealand, Panama Canal and Hawaii sailings are eligible to take advantage of the promotion. Not only do Celebrity's cruises in these regions introduce numerous new ports of call, but sailings in Australia and New Zealand also will feature a line-up of onboard activities such as local speakers/entertainers and destination-focused food and beverage menus, all geared toward immersing guests in the region. While in port, Celebrity offers shore excursions that give guests the opportunity to observe local wildlife such as kangaroos, koalas, Tasmanian devils and kiwis, learn more about the Aboriginal and Maori cultures, climb the Sydney Bridge, explore the New Zealand countryside by train, and more.

    Seven ships in the Caribbean

    From January 10 through January 16, 2011, guests who book Caribbean cruises sailing from March through December 2011 are eligible. Seven Celebrity Cruises ships will present Caribbean cruises in 2011, including Celebrity Constellation, which was "Solsticized" last year, and four Solstice Class ships. Among these is the forthcoming Celebrity Silhouette, which will debut this summer in Europe before transitioning to Cape Liberty (Bayonne), New Jersey for a fall and winter Caribbean season offering Northeast travelers an easy way to escape the cold weather in style. With multiple specialty restaurants, hip, stylish bars and coffee lounges, a variety of fun activities in its Celebrity Life program and more, Celebrity's Solstice Class is a popular choice for upscale travelers seeking a Caribbean getaway. While ashore, travelers can opt to zipline through the trees in St. Maarten, enjoy a sailing trip by catamaran in St. Thomas, visit a rainforest in Puerto Rico, explore Mayan ruins in Mexico, or snorkel with stingrays in Grand Cayman.

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    Cultural exploration in Europe

    Europe and transatlantic cruises departing from April through November of 2011 are the focus of the offer for those guests booking cruises from January 17 through January 23, 2011. The five ships that Celebrity will sail throughout Europe in the summer of 2011 will offer travelers the Solstice Class experience; one of these is Celebrity Constellation. Visiting a total of 63 ports in 23 countries, Celebrity's Europe lineup in 2011 will feature seven new ports: Leknes (Lofoten) and Longyearbyen, Norway; La Spezia, Italy; Bodrum and Marmaris, Turkey; Chania (Souda Bay), Greece; and Kotor, Montenegro. Shore excursion options in Europe include Celebrity's private car/van arrangements available in over 20 ports, a visit to the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, a trip to explore the ruins of Pompeii in Naples, a rare opportunity to visit the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, and more.

    Scenic views in Alaska

    From January 24 through January 30, guests who book Alaska sailings taking place from May through September of 2011, will be eligible for the onboard credit offer. Highly appealing to families and first-time cruisers, Celebrity's Alaska itineraries include seven-night Tracy Arm Fjord and 10-night "Ultimate Alaska" voyages, among others. Guests seeking the opportunity to view Alaska's Inside Passage and other points of interest from the privacy of their stateroom veranda will have more opportunities to do so in 2011, with the introduction of Celebrity Century to the region; the ship was refurbished in 2006 to include 314 new veranda staterooms. Guests who book during the January promotion and earn onboard credit can opt to use it toward popular shore excursions such as whale watching, The Great Alaska Lumberjack show, a trip on the White Pass Scenic Railway, salmon bakes and more.

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    The shipboard credit earned during the promotion is valid only during the cruise booked during the promotion. The offer is valid only for new, individual bookings, and bookings within a group that are named and deposited within the booking window, paid partially or in full. Incentive contracted groups and charters are not eligible. The amount of onboard credit offered is based on stateroom category and sailing length; for example, select sailings of seven nights, such as those on Celebrity's award-winning Solstice Class ships, will offer vacationers onboard credit in the amount of $50 per stateroom for inside and oceanview staterooms; $100 per stateroom for standard verandas; and $150 per stateroom for Concierge Class, AquaClass and suites. Click here for additional details.

    Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning vacationers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and award-winning cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's mega-series of honors include being named the top mega-ship line in Conde Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Awards (November 2009). Celebrity's fleet currently consists of 10 ships. Its $3.7-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest five-year investment in premium cruising.

    For more information, contact a Celebrity Five-Star Agent at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)

    January 07, 2011

    Alaska Tops Bucket Lists in 2011 Travel Resolutions Poll; Consumers Cite Oprah as Most Desired Celebrity Travel Companion

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    Princess Cruises Surveys Travelers to Learn Most Desired Destinations, Experiences, and Travel Styles for 2011

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif., January 6, 2011 - With New Year's resolutions fresh in consumers' minds, Princess Cruises fielded a poll to its Facebook fans to learn which destinations and travel experiences top their bucket lists in 2011. And respondents decisively answered that their number-one destination choice for the coming year is Alaska.

    One-fourth of respondents resolved to travel to the 49th state in the coming year. Other questions revealed that most are looking for a relaxing vacation and plan to travel with their spouse or significant other - but would be quite willing to travel with Oprah as their choice for celebrity travel companion.

    Princess' own Essential Experiences blog also offered travelers inspiration for their bucket lists, with most respondents eager to try dog sledding on an Alaskan glacier or to plan a visit to the "lost city of the Incas," Machu Picchu, in Peru.

    "Most people have a travel bucket list," said Princess executive vice president, Jan Swartz, "and with New Year's resolutions top-of-mind right now, we wanted to learn which destinations and experiences our fans are most excited about this year."

    Domestic vs. International Travel
    Surprisingly, more than one-fourth of consumers chose a U.S. destination over an exotic international location, citing Alaska as their first choice. The Caribbean (15%) and Europe (14%) also made many people's lists this year, with fewer folks choosing Hawaii (8%); Panama Canal (7%); Africa (5%); Australia (5%); Amazon (4%); Asia (2%); Canada/New England (2%); Mexican Riviera (2%); New Zealand (2%); South America (2%), and India (1%).

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    Ultimate Travel Bucket List Experience
    Alaska was also popular for future bucket list experiences. Seventeen percent of respondents chose dog mushing on an Alaskan glacier as their top pick inspired by a growing list of essential experiences shared by destination experts on Princess' recently launched blog, 50 Essential Experiences:The Travel Bucket List.

    Equally inspiring was the dream of discovering the lost city of Machu Picchu in Peru, which also got 17% of the vote, as did visiting historic castles in Scotland (17%). Other travelers selected climbing the cliffs of Santorini, Greece (14%); traveling the golden circle in Iceland (7%); exploring the ancient city of Petra, Jordan (7%); journeying to Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (7%); visiting Vietnam (6%); bobsledding in Jamaica (5%); and visiting art deco treasures in Napier, New Zealand (4%) for their bucket lists.

    Most Desired Travel Companions
    Spouses and significant others won the popularity contest for most desired travel companions in 2011, with 68% of respondents planning to take along their "other half." The next most common co-travelers are good friends (15%); while kids garnered only 6% of the vote as did extended family groups. Only a few people resolved to travel with their siblings (3%) and parents (2%) this year.

    Celebrity Fancy
    However, if they could choose a celebrity instead of their spouse, most travelers want to pack their bags with Oprah, who outranked 11 other notable figures as the most desired celebrity travel companion with 19% of the vote. Other famous folks that travelers wanted to take along included Jack Black (17%); Tina Fey (14%); Bono (12%); Heidi Klum (10%); Mario Batali (8%); Michelle Obama (6%); and Peyton Manning (5%). However, future princess Kate Middleton only received 3% of the vote and surprisingly few people chose Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (2%). Teen sensation Justin Bieber (1%) and Mike 'The Situation' from reality show "Jersey Shore" (1%) were the least popular choices.

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    Travel Experiences
    Despite the adventurous nature of many of their favorite destinations, what Princess fans really want on vacation is relaxation. Nearly 50% of respondents chose this as an essential component to culling a travel bucket list, followed by adventure (19%); entertainment (17%); culture (12%); and romance (12%).

    About the Poll
    Results are based on findings from a poll fielded on the Princess Cruises Facebook page from December 27, 2010 to January 3, 2011.

    For more information about a cruise vacation or Princess Cruises contact Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    View Alaska Cruise & Cruisetour Specials!

    Posted by Denise at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

    January 06, 2011

    Oceania Cruises Announces Travel Agent Contest

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    Miami, January 3, 2011 - Oceania Cruises has announced the Ultimate Alaska Getaway sweepstakes in celebration of its inaugural Alaska season in 2011. For each Alaska booking made between now and March 31, 2011, travel agents will automatically be entered to win one of three vacations for two onboard the line's Regatta. Each Ultimate Alaska Getaway prize includes free round-trip air for two, pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodations and a choice of the following itineraries:

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    Alaskan Grandeur - 12 days between San Francisco and Vancouver. Ports include Astoria and Victoria, as well as Wrangell, Juneau, Hoonah, Sitka and Ketchikan. Departures: May 26 and August 14.
    Glacial Wilderness - 12 days between Vancouver and Anchorage, with visits to Ketchikan, Wrangell, Juneau, Hoonah, Skagway, Sitka, Seward and Homer. Departures: June 17 and 29, July 11 and 23.

    Winning agents will additionally receive free shore excursions valued at up to $4,598, which include a five-day "Discover Denali Experience," three-day "Wild Bear Experience" or a $1,000 shore excursion credit.

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    "Our travel partners have played a vital role in creating a strong demand for our inaugural season in Alaska," states Bob Binder, president of Oceania Cruises. "We are thrilled at the response and delighted to offer the Ultimate Alaska Getaway sweepstakes."

    For more information, contact an Oceania Specialist at Cruising2Alaska.com #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. Riviera, a sister ship to Marina, is scheduled to join the fleet in April 2012.

    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 Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow to approximately 6,500 berths by 2012.

    Posted by Denise at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

    January 03, 2011

    Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Shows His Appreciation To Crew During Undercover Boss

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    Sheehan rewards crew fleet-wide with a $100,000 addition to crew enrichment program

    Miami - Jan 3, 2011 - Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Kevin Sheehan made the most of his undercover journey on the Emmy-nominated hit reality series "Undercover Boss" that aired in the U.S. and Canada on Sunday, January 2, 2011 on the CBS Television Network.

    Not only did he reward each of the four crew members with whom he worked alongside, but he also showed his appreciation for the crew across the line's 11 ships by making a $100,000 addition to the crew enrichment program during the show's finale which took place in front of more than 800 crew members on Pride of America in Hawaii. The enrichment program is a fleet-wide initiative to support and enhance the welfare of the company's more than 14,000 crew members. This includes a variety of activities, equipment and events for the crew of each ship, such as DVD movies, sports equipment, parties, karaoke and entertainment, video game equipment and much more.

    "Each of the four crew members that I worked with had incredible passion for their jobs, along with interesting personal stories and I enjoyed getting to know each of them," said Sheehan. "However, it's not just these four individuals that make Norwegian Cruise Line special. It's all of our employees, particularly the 14,000 crew members who are working hard every day to make our guests' experiences onboard special, so I wanted to make sure to do something that would benefit all the crew."

    On Pride of America, Sheehan worked with John Nersten, a deck repairman in the Deck and Engine department. Nersten was very appreciative of Sheehan's offer to fly him, his wife and new baby from his home in Saipan (near Guam) to visit his parents and extended family in New York. While there, they will be treated to a seven-day cruise from New York. In addition, Sheehan made a $10,000 donation in Nersten's name to the Families of September 11, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about terrorism, as a tribute to John's patriotism following the September 11 tragedy. Despite being over the age limit, Nersten enlisted in the military following September 11 and served his country for two years.

    "I cannot begin to express how happy you have made my wife, my family in New York and me," said Nersten.

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    On Norwegian Epic, Sheehan worked with Recreation Host Jessica Barnes, a Pittsburgh native and recent college graduate. Sheehan was impressed with Barnes' guest service skills and invited her to join the company's management training program. Barnes begins her new position at the corporate headquarters in Miami this week. In addition, Sheehan treated Barnes' parents to a cruise on Norwegian Epic so they could see their daughter at work. While working with Barnes, Sheehan also decided to remove the ship's ice skating rink and change the rappelling wall waiver system to an electronic version.

    Also on Norwegian Epic, Sheehan's true identity was revealed by Silvia Veigas, a waitress in the Manhattan Room restaurant. Veigas is on her seventh contract with Norwegian and is originally from India. Sheehan was impressed with Veigas' work ethic, dedication and good rapport with guests. During their conversations, Veigas had many suggestions for enhancements to the Manhattan Room and to the overall crew experience. Sheehan recognized her hard work and commitment by promoting her to senior waitress and giving her a position on the ship's advisory board to help implement crew suggestions. In addition, he offered to give her and her partner a wedding on board where they could celebrate with family and friends.

    Remarking on her favorite part of the experience, Veigas said, "The most important thing is knowing that I had been heard. It was wonderful to have a voice and be able to make a change."

    Sheehan also donned angel wings and led 1,000 party-goers at the company's signature White Hot Party in a line dance with the assistance of Michael Guida, a member of the cruise staff and a native of Buffalo, New York. Sheehan recognized Guida's commitment to excellence by promoting him to assistant cruise director on Norwegian Epic. In addition, Sheehan, who had lost a brother unexpectedly, sympathized with Guida whose mother passed away suddenly from brain cancer. Guida and his family had made a commitment to raise money for cancer research and are in the midst of planning their next fundraiser. Sheehan pledged to match dollar for dollar the money that Guida and his family raise at their next event.

    "It was shocking how everything turned out," said Guida. "When Kevin told me about the donation, I was stunned, it was completely unexpected."

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    About Kevin Sheehan
    Since taking the helm of Norwegian Cruise Line in 2008, Kevin Sheehan has overseen major company initiatives including vastly improving on-board service and amenities across the fleet; expanding the line's European presence; repositioning two of the line's Hawaii-based ships creating a profitable business model; revitalizing top management with a mixture of cruise industry and outside expertise; and using his extensive 30-year background in the business world to help Norwegian post a sharp turnaround in profitability in the midst of a tough economic climate.

    Sheehan comes from a diverse professional background that includes helping to found Spanish-language television network Telemundo; taking several companies public including rental car giant Avis; aiding in the inception and launch of the Sega Channel, the first interactive game platform over cable; teaching full-time at Adelphi University in New York and consulting for a variety of private equity firms, including Apollo Management, a Norwegian shareholder. Sheehan's tell-it-like-it-is persona and personal philosophy of leading by example has allowed him to reinvigorate the organization by opening lines of communication and creating a positive corporate culture.

    Before joining Norwegian in 2007, Sheehan was Chairman and CEO of Cendant Corp Vehicle Services Division where he was responsible for Avis Rent A Car, Budget Rent A Car, Budget Trucks, PHH Vehicle Management, First Fleet and Wright Express. While there, he integrated the Avis and Budget rental car brands into one network and also successfully completed a 100 percent initial public offering of Wright Express.

    Prior to joining Cendant Corp, Sheehan served in leadership positions at STT Video Partners LLP and Telemundo Group, Inc. He also spent two and a half years consulting to private equity firms and lecturing full-time at Adelphi University in New York as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Accounting, Finance, and Economics.

    Sheehan, a native New Yorker and avid basketball fan, is married with two children.

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    About Undercover Boss
    CBS's reality series UNDERCOVER BOSS is an Emmy-nominated series in its second season and has featured such companies such as Choice Hotels International, DIRECTV, Frontier Airlines, NASCAR, The Chicago Cubs, and SUBWAY Restaurants.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company has reached an agreement for two 143,000-gross ton vessels for delivery in 2013 and 2014.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams" & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    For more information about a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise vacation contact a Freestyle Certified Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

    December 27, 2010

    Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO, Richard D. Fain, honored with a Travel Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award

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    Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises Recognized at Annual Reader's Choice Awards

    Miami - (December 20, 2010 ) - Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Travel Weekly, the national newspaper of the travel industry. Fain accepted the prestigious award December 16, in front of a full house of travel industry insiders during the annual Reader's Choice Awards black tie gala dinner held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

    "The Travel Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual whose efforts have led to extraordinary results within an enterprise and who also has made significant contributions to the industry as a whole," said Arnie Weissmann, vice president, editor-in-chief, Travel Weekly. "Richard Fain's career has provided a model of vision and accomplishment to inspire tomorrow's leaders."

    "I am humbled and honored to be the recipient of this award especially because it was awarded by Travel Weekly's readers, most of whom are travel agents. The growth of our industry and its many exciting changes would not have been possible without the biggest driver of Royal Caribbean's overall success - our people - our shipboard teams, as well as our shoreside employees. Accepting this award is especially meaningful as our company is being recognized by the travel agent community with nine awards overall," said Fain. "For 30 years, I've had the privilege to participate in the travel industry, working with talented people while helping travelers experience the world. The legacy of the recipients of the Travel Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award collectively defines the environment that the travel industry operates in today and it is an honor to join such a distinguished group of recipients."

    Fain first joined Royal Caribbean in 1979 as an outside director on the company's Board of Directors. He became Chairman and CEO in 1988, and now oversees the global cruise company operating 40 ships under the Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF Croisieres de France brands. Prior to joining Royal Caribbean, Fain spent 13 years as treasurer, chief financial officer and joint managing director of Gotaas-Larsen Shipping Corp., a London-based owner and operator of cargo ships.

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    He serves as a member of the Florida 100, the national board of the Posse Foundation and the University of Miami's Board of Trustees. Fain also is former chair of the United Way of Miami-Dade, the Miami Business Forum, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

    He also is a past chair of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and industry trade association representing nearly 17,000 affiliated travel agencies and the bulk of the world's cruise lines. He holds a B.S. degree in economics from the University of California Berkeley and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Previous recipients of the Travel Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award have included: Bill Marriott, Gordon Bethune, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Arthur Tauck, Tim and Nina Zagat and Bob Dickinson.

    Royal Caribbean International won six awards - that's more than any other cruise line in this year's Reader's Choice Awards:

  • Best Domestic Cruise Line
  • Best Cruise Line in the Caribbean
  • Best Rookie Cruise Ship: Oasis of the Seas
  • Best Cruise Ship Overall: Oasis of the Seas
  • Best Sales & Service

    Sister cruise line Celebrity Cruises won three of the Reader's Choice Awards in the following categories:

  • Best Premium Cruise Line
  • Best Premium Cruise Ship: Celebrity Solstice
  • Best Cruise Line in Europe

    Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF Croisieres de France. The company has a combined total of 40 ships in service and two under construction. It also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Dubai, Europe and South America.

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    For more information contact a Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruises Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)
  • December 23, 2010

    Norwegian Announces Largest European Deployment in Company's History

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    Four Freestyle Cruising Vessels to Set Sail In Europe, Including Two Year-Round, in 2012/13

    Miami - Dec 15, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line today announced its largest European deployment ever for the 2012/2013 season with four Freestyle Cruising ships, including two year-round. Norwegian Spirit will join Norwegian Jade sailing year-round in Europe beginning in April 2012. This is also the first time Norwegian Spirit will sail in Europe offering 12-day Grand Mediterranean voyages in the summer and fall, along with nine-day Canary Islands in the winter and spring. The company's largest and most innovative ship, Norwegian Epic, and Norwegian Sun will continue cruising seasonally from Barcelona and Copenhagen respectively.

    These cruises go on sale to Norwegian's top travel partners and Latitudes members (past guests) today, December 15, 2010 and to the general public on Thursday, December 16.

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    "Europe is one of the world's fastest growing cruise markets and one where Freestyle Cruising is very well received. Given this, we felt it was the right time to deploy four ships, including two year-round, in Europe, marking our largest European deployment in the company's history," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian's chief executive officer. "Guests now have the flexibility of embarking from four homeports in Europe sailing to some of the most exciting destinations in the world."

    The 2,018-passenger Norwegian Spirit will make her European debut with two memorable itineraries including a 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruise from Venice, Italy and Barcelona, Spain during the summer, and a nine-day Canary Islands cruise from Barcelona through the fall and winter. The 12-day Grand Mediterranean sailings run from April 28, 2012 to October 25, 2012 and begin in either Barcelona or Venice and call on Provence (Toulon), France; Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples, Italy; Mykonos and Athens (Piraeus), Greece; and Istanbul and Ephesus (Izmir), Turkey. The nine-day Canary Islands cruises from Barcelona will sail from November 6, 2012 to April 8, 2013 and call on Funchal, Madeira; Santa Cruz de Tenerife; and Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands; and Granada (Málaga), Spain. Norwegian Spirit will also sail an 11-day Grand Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona to Venice on July 9, 2012 and a 13-day Grand Mediterranean from Venice to Barcelona on July 20, 2012.

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    Continuing her year-round sailings in Europe, the 2,402-passenger Norwegian Jade will sail seven unique itineraries with ports of call in Greece, Italy, Turkey, Croatia, Israel, and Egypt from her homeports of Rome (Civitavecchia) and Venice, Italy. Norwegian Jade will continue her popular alternating seven-day Greek Isles and Greece and Turkey cruises departing on Saturdays from Venice from April 28, 2012 to October 6, 2012. The Greek Isles cruises call on Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Olympia (Katakolon), Greece. The Greece and Turkey sailings call on Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; and Ephesus (Izmir), Turkey. Since there is no port repetition between the two itineraries, they can be easily combined on most sailings to create a port-rich 14-day European tour.

    Also from Venice, Norwegian Jade will sail a six-day Croatia and Greece cruise on July 14, 2012; and an eight-day Greek Isles and Turkey cruise on July 20, 2012, as well as a seven-day Adriatic and Italy cruise on October 13, 2012 with disembarkation in Rome (Civitavecchia).

    From Rome, Norwegian Jade will sail alternating 11-day Mediterranean & the Holy Land cruises departing on Saturdays and 10-day Eastern Mediterranean cruises departing on Wednesdays from October 20, 2012 to April 17, 2013. The Mediterranean and the Holy Land cruises call on Alanya, Turkey; Limassol, Cyprus; Haifa and Ashdod, Israel; and Port Said and Alexandria, Egypt. The Eastern Mediterranean cruises call on Olympia (Katakolon) and Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Ephesus (Izmir), Turkey; and an overnight stay in Alexandria, Egypt.

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    Norwegian's newest and most innovative ship, Norwegian Epic, will return to Barcelona sailing a series of 25 seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises from April 29 to October 14, 2012. The ship will call on Naples, Rome (Civitavecchia), and Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy; and Nice (Villefranche) and Provence (Marseille), France. In addition, Norwegian Epic will sail one four-day Western Mediterranean cruise on April 25, 2012.

    Norwegian Sun will continue sailing her nine-day Baltic Capital cruises from Copenhagen, Denmark from May 4 to September 7, 2012 calling on Berlin (Warnemünde), Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; an overnight stay in St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden. Norwegian Sun will also sail one 14-day Norway, Iceland & Faroe Islands cruise on September 16, 2012 calling on Bergen, and Alesund, Norway; Lerwick, Shetland Islands; Thorshavn, Faroe Islands; Reykjavik, Iceland; Glasgow (Greenock), Scotland and Dublin, Ireland.

    In addition, there are five opportunities for guests to have an experience of a lifetime crossing the Atlantic with Norwegian's Transatlantic cruises. Norwegian Epic offers two options: an 11-day Transatlantic from Miami to Barcelona on April 14, 2012 and a 13-day Transatlantic from Barcelona to Miami on October 21, 2012. Norwegian Spirit offers a 13-day Transatlantic from New Orleans to Barcelona on April 15, 2012. Norwegian Sun crosses the Atlantic on April 21, 2012 from Orlando (Port Canaveral) to Copenhagen and back to Miami from Copenhagen on September 30, 2012.

    To book these new sailings, please contact a Freestyle Certified Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company has reached an agreement for two 143,000-gross ton vessels for delivery in 2013 and 2014.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams" & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    Norwegian Cruise Line Alaska Cruise Deals

    Norwegian Cruise Line Europe & Mediterranean Cruise Deals

    Norwegian Cruise Line Mexican Riviera Cruise Deals

    Norwegian Cruise Line Canada & New England Cruise Deals

    Posted by Denise at 02:17 PM | Comments (0)

    December 15, 2010

    Food Network Challenge Competitors Face of After Cruise on the Carnival Dream; Show to Air Sunday, December 19th at 8 p.m. EDT/PDT

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    FOOD NETWORK CHALLENGECOMPETITORS FACE OFF AFTER CRUISE ON THE CARNIVAL DREAM; SHOW TO AIR SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19 AT 8 P.M. EDT/PDT

    Carnival Cruise Lines hosted four of the country's top pastry chefs on a seven-day cruise aboard the Carnival Dream during which they experienced a series of exhilarating and memorable shore excursions that provided inspiration for their extraordinary creations featured on the December 19 episode of Food Network Challenge: Sugar Destinations.

    Food Network Challenge is a highly popular, long-running show on Food Network, which pits professional-chef competitors against each other to create incomparable feats in their food specialty.

    This episode's competition has the chefs experiencing four of Carnival Dream's signature shore excursions and then creating edible sugar masterpieces that bring them to life. The featured shore excursions include a Catamaran and Snorkel adventure in the crystal blue waters off Cozumel, Mexico; a Dolphin Encounter experience in lush Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras; an exotic Lost World Canopy Tour and Zipline adventure in Belize, and a fascinating visit to the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins deep in the tropical rain forest near Costa Maya, Mexico. Each excursion provided inspiration for one of the astonishing feats of confectionary and sugar created by the competing chefs.

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    Contestants Chris Hanmer, owner of The School of Pastry Design, Las Vegas, Nev.; Matt James, from the Everglades Country Club, Palm Beach, Fla.; Orlando Santos, from The Duquesne Club, Pittsburgh, Penn., and Tracy Dewitt from Le Cordon Bleu College, Scottsdale, Ariz., are judged by Carnival Cruise Lines' Director of Advertising Jennifer Vandekreeke, as well as two highly-esteemed sugar-crafting experts.

    To be successful, each chef must capture the extraordinary beauty and tropical ambiance of the Caribbean while evoking the magic of their own personal experience during their Carnival Dream shore excursion. The first prize winner receives $10,000.

    "Judging the competition was fascinating," says Vandekreeke. "I never knew you could do such amazing things with a raw ingredient like sugar. It was exciting to hear how much they enjoyed their Carnival cruise and all the new experiences they had during their week. The hardest part was choosing a winner."

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    See how the competing chefs' sugar depictions of the Carnival Dream's shore excursions fare at the judging table by tuning in to Food Network Challenge: Sugar Destinations on December 19th at 8 p.m. EDT/PDT.

    The 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream operates seven-day eastern and western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, Fla. Carnival Dream is currently the newest ship in Carnival's fleet and offers a wide range of innovative on-board amenities and facilities, including Carnival Cruise Lines' first comedy club, elaborate outdoor recreation areas including a water park, several exhilarating water slides, an adults-only Serenity Deck, a delectable array of complimentary dining options and a 23,750-square-foot spa and health club.

    For additional information, contact a Carnival Specialist at Cruising2Mexico.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is a proud member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises, and Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, our member lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. Together, we offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world?s most desirable locations.

    Carnival Spirit Alaska Cruises From $709 US!

    Carnival Cruises Baja Mexico Cruises From $399 US!

    Posted by Denise at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

    December 13, 2010

    Norwegian Declares 'Free Upgrades For All' During Wave Promotion

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    Special offer also includes up to $400 in on-board savings and targeted offers to select destinations

    Miami - Dec 13, 2010 - To celebrate Wave Season, Norwegian Cruise Line is launching its "Free Upgrades For All" Sales Event. All new reservations booked from today through March 27, 2011 on select sailings on any of the line's 11 Freestyle Cruising ships will receive an up to a four-category upgrade, along with e-coupons in on-board savings of up to $400. In addition, bi-weekly promotions beginning January 3, 2011 will feature special offers on select ships and destinations.

    "Our special Wave season offers make this the perfect time to book a cruise for 2011 and beyond," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "A cruise vacation already represents a great value and now when combined with our Wave offers and signature Freestyle Cruising, there's no better time to plan a cruise vacation."

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    In addition, Norwegian's travel partners can take advantage of a variety of customizable resources and downloadable marketing tools for the "Free Upgrades For All" sales event at www.nclagentsalesevent.com, complete with e-mail blasts, banner ads and flyers. The portal also integrates customizable e-cards and sharable content for Facebook and Twitter allowing agents the convenience to continue to socialize with clients easily and frequently. In addition, beginning in January, Norwegian will launch agent contests during each bi-weekly promotion.

    To book an NCL cruise, call a Freestyle Certified Agent at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company has reached an agreement for two 143,000-gross ton vessels for delivery in 2013 and 2014.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams" & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    Norwegian Cruise Line Alaska Cruise Deals

    Norwegian Cruise Line Europe & Mediterranean Cruise Deals

    Norwegian Cruise Line Mexican Riviera Cruise Deals

    Norwegian Cruise Line Canada & New England Cruise Deals

    Posted by Denise at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

    December 12, 2010

    Norwegian Positions Two New Ships In Alaska And Bermuda For 2012 / 2013 Season

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    Alaska, Bermuda, Hawaii and Bahamas 2012/2013 itineraries open for sale

    Miami - Dec 8, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line today announced its 2012/2013 deployment and itineraries for Alaska, Bermuda, Hawai'i and short cruises to the Bahamas. For the first time, the 2,376-passenger Norwegian Jewel will sail Alaska's Inside Passage joining Norwegian Pearl which is sailing to Glacier Bay from Seattle. In Bermuda, the 2,348-passenger Norwegian Star will sail to Bermuda for the first time from her new homeport in New York City.

    These cruises go on sale to Norwegian's top travel partners and Latitudes members (past guests) today, December 8, 2010 and to the general public on Thursday, December 9.

    "The 2012/2013 season is filled with new and exciting Freestyle Cruising choices. Whether it's our ships cruising different destinations, disembarking from new homeports or sailing new itineraries, we offer the most freedom and flexibility when it comes to cruise travel," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian's chief executive officer. "We are pleased to bring Norwegian Jewel to Alaska and Norwegian Star to Bermuda, along with continuing our popular Hawai'i inter-island cruises and short cruises to the Bahamas through early 2013."

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    In Alaska, Norwegian Jewel will replace Norwegian Star and cruise from Seattle for the first time on a seven-day Sawyer Glacier itinerary. Norwegian Jewel's weekly Sawyer Glacier cruises will depart on Saturdays from May 26, 2012 to September 8, 2012 sailing through Alaska's Inside Passage with ports of call including: Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia. Norwegian Jewel will also sail a seven-day Sawyer Glacier cruise from Vancouver to Seattle on May 19, 2012 and a seven-day Sawyer Glacier from Seattle to Vancouver on September 15, 2012. Families will have the slime of their lives on board with Norwegian Jewel's Nickelodeon at Sea year-round programming which includes live Nickelodeon-themed interactive shows, including: SlimeTime LIVE! with Nick's signature slime; Nick Live! Poolside entertainment; character breakfasts and meet and greets; Nick-themed dance parties; and more. Nickelodeon-themed elements are also incorporated into Norwegian's Kids' Crew program.

    Norwegian Pearl, another great ship for families, will return to Seattle sailing her weekly seven-day Glacier Bay cruises departing on Sundays from May 13, 2012 to September 9, 2012 and will sail through Alaska's Inside Passage with ports of call including: Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia. Norwegian Pearl will also sail a seven-day Glacier Bay cruise from Vancouver to Seattle on May 6, 2012 and a Seattle to Vancouver cruise on September 16, 2012.

    Norwegian will continue its commitment to Bermuda, sailing two ships from the Northeast to Bermuda weekly from April through October calling on King's Wharf. Norwegian Star will sail from New York on Sundays to Bermuda, staying for three full days. The 2,224-passenger Norwegian Dawn will sail her Bermuda itinerary departing on Fridays from Boston with three days in Bermuda.

    Pride of America will continue as the only US-flagged vessel sailing among all four of Hawai'i's main islands. Pride of America's seven-day Hawai'i inter-island cruises departing from Honolulu are now available through April 7, 2013. Ports of call include: an overnight in Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawaii; an evening sail by the Kilauea Volcano (weather permitting); Kona, Hawai'i; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kaua'i; and an afternoon cruise of the breathtaking Nãpali Coast.

    For a shorter cruise option, Norwegian Sky will continue sailing three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas year-round from Miami through April 15, 2013. The three-day Bahamas cruise departs on Fridays and includes stops in Nassau, Bahamas and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian's private island in the Bahamas. On Mondays, the ship departs Miami on a four-day Bahamas cruise with stops in Grand Bahama Island, Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian's private island; and Nassau, Bahamas.

    To book these new sailings, contact an Alaska Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company has reached an agreement for two 143,000-gross ton vessels for delivery in 2013 and 2014.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams" & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    Alaska Cruises with Norwegian Cruise Line

    Europe & Mediterranean Cruises with Norwegian Cruise Line

    Mexican Riviera & Panama Canal Cruises with Norwegian Cruise Line

    Canada & New England Cruises with Norwegian Cruise Line

    Posted by Denise at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

    December 10, 2010

    Carnival Cruise Lines Announces Year-Long Partnership with MUSC Children's Hospital

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    Expanding their commitment to the Charleston area community, Carnival's partnership with the MUSC Children's Hospital includes a series of in-kind and monetary donations and fundraisers

    Carnival Cruise Lines and the Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital are proud to announce a partnership for 2011.

    The year-long partnership will include several in-kind and monetary donations and fundraisers, as well as bringing smiles and fun to the patients of the MUSC Children's Hospital. Under the partnership, Carnival's involvement includes:

  • Four Fun Centers, mobile entertainment units that include a Nintendo Wii console, flat panel television and DVD player. Each Fun Center can be rolled up to the side of patients' beds or throughout the hospital. Two laptops will also be donated, both items helping to improve the quality of the child's life in the hospital setting.
  • Quarterly shows for the children in the MUSC Children's Hospital Atrium, by a Carnival cruise director, Fun Ship Freddy and other talent.
  • A total of 1,000 Towel Pals delivered throughout the year to provide companionship and comfort to the children.
  • A donation to the Children's Hospital through fundraising efforts at the Cooper River Bridge Run.
  • A spring fund-raising effort, currently in the planning stages.

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    "We are excited to expand our partnership with MUSC Children's Hospital after a fun tie-in at last year's Cooper River Bridge Run," said Mike Julius, managing director U.S. sales for Carnival. "This hospital makes a positive impact on these children's lives. It is extremely important to Carnival Cruise Lines, and part of our ongoing corporate philosophy, to give back to the Charleston area community in a meaningful way while bringing smiles to children's faces."

    "We are looking forward to the positive impact of this partnership," said Dr. Ray Greenberg, MUSC president. "Since becoming a greater part of our business and tourism community this year, Carnival Cruise Lines is continuing to demonstrate its commitment to the Charleston area."

    In May 2010, Carnival Cruise Lines officially launched the first, year-round cruise service from Charleston on the Carnival Fantasy, with destinations to The Bahamas and Key West, Fla. In 2011, Carnival will also offer a series of Bermuda cruises for the first time from Charleston.

    "We are thankful for the positive reception Carnival has received since the launch of our year-round cruise service," added Mike Julius. "The Port, the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, area travel agents and many other business and community leaders and residents have provided support and partnership, enabling Carnival to truly feel a part of this great community."

    The partnership will begin December 2010 with the first of the quarterly entertainment shows occurring on December 17. The goal for the partnership is to provide $50,000 through a combination of monetary and in-kind donations and fundraising efforts. The Fun Centers are expected in the first quarter of 2011. Information for the upcoming entertainment events, fundraisers and Cooper River Bridge Run involvement will be announced at a later date.

    For more information about a Carnival cruise contact Cruising2Mexico.com at #1-800-738-8837.

    About Carnival
    Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is the most popular cruise line in the world with 22 "Fun Ships" operating voyages from three to 16 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Europe and Bermuda. The company has earned its leadership position by offering more of what consumers desire in a vacation - a wide variety of choices in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, along with outstanding value and beautiful destinations - at one all-inclusive price.

    About MUSC
    Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 11,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit www.musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit www.muschealth.com.

    Posted by Denise at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)
  • December 08, 2010

    Celebrity Cruises to present more avant-garde industry firsts on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection

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    AquaClass Suites, The Lawn Club Grill, The Porch, The Alcoves and new Michael's Club concept among innovative new offerings

    Miami - (December 08, 2010 ) - How do you make the best even better? Celebrity Cruises believes you break the rules, stay ahead of the curve, and provide what vacationers want most - often before they even say they want it. That belief is vividly reflected in the distinctive, luxurious, vacation-enhancing venues Celebrity will introduce on the fourth and fifth ships in its award-winning Solstice Class fleet, Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection.

    "We recognize that consumers' vacation time is precious, and that's what drives us to continually create new and unique experiences that enhance their rare time away," said Celebrity Cruises President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. "The host of honors our Solstice Class and Millennium Class have won have been incredible validation of that commitment, and on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection, we're capitalizing on the opportunity to further elevate our onboard offerings, particularly in our Solstice Class' iconic Lawn Club, and with our wildly popular AquaClass category of accommodations and its exclusive specialty restaurant, Blu. Initially, we planned to introduce these exciting new enhancements only on Celebrity Reflection, but to our delight, our outstanding partners at Meyer Werft were able to also deliver every new feature with the exception of AquaClass Suites on Celebrity Silhouette."

    New Aquaclass Sky suites highlight expanded accommodations

    Driven by high demand for Celebrity's industry-first AquaClass category of spa-inspired accommodations, and by way of an additional deck being added to Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity will introduce on that ship the line's first AquaClass Suites, each offering 251 square feet of luxurious interior space and spacious 57-square-foot verandas, and all the amenities associated with Celebrity's AquaClass accommodations, including exclusive and complimentary access to the highly-rated specialty restaurant, "Blu," noted for inviting, modern design and flavorful, healthy, clean cuisine. The new suites also will offer the luxurious 24/7 butler service that is a hallmark of every suite across the Celebrity fleet. In addition to the 34 new AquaClass Suites, Celebrity Reflection also will present an additional eight luxurious new Sky Suites, 19 additional plush ConciergeClass staterooms, and 11 additional inside staterooms, bringing the stateroom/suite total to 1,515.

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    Maintaining Celebrity's best-in-class, premium space ratio and lauded traffic flow, Celebrity Reflection will offer an additional 245 loungers on the expanded pool deck to suit the increased overall guest capacity, as well as 45 additional seats in the Celebrity Theater, 118 in Oceanview Cafe, 24 additional seats each in Blu and in Tuscan Grille, four more in Qsine, and 40 additional seats in the main dining room, where Celebrity also offers Celebrity Select Dining, the industry's first flexible dining option allowing guests to choose when they wish to dine on a flexible, day-by-day basis.

    The Lawn Club

    Inspired by the popularity of its iconic, industry-first Lawn Club, Celebrity will leverage its brand pillars of outstanding dining experiences, enriching activities, relaxation and pampering, and modern design to offer vacationers on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection significantly expanded opportunities to eat and drink, relax and lounge, and participate and socialize within the inviting space.

    The Lawn Club Grill

    Both Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection will present "The Lawn Club Grill," the industry's first outdoor, interactive grill venue. A new, exceptionally social specialty dining option overlooking the lush lawn and soothing sea, The Lawn Club Grill will boast a design likely to be the envy of novice and experienced chefs alike, with gleaming stainless steel grills and other appliances, custom pizza-making tables and large ovens.

    By day, in addition to a casual lunch menu highlighted by a variety of high-end burgers, the venue will present interactive demonstrations and classes focused on pizza-making - including the art of dough-tossing - grilling secrets, mouth-watering marinades and more, led by Celebrity's own chefs, as well as guest chefs participating in Celebrity's "Savor Your Destination" program.

    By night, in a particularly unique twist, guests will have their choice from an array of top-quality meats to either grill themselves, side-by-side with Celebrity's chefs, or have grilled to order. A nominal surcharge will apply. Complementing the dinner experience will be libations ranging from wines, beer and sangria, all consistent with the casual nature of the 56-seat restaurant.

    The Porch

    With its chic, Hamptons-style design, modern furnishings, and creative use of natural light, all complemented by the enticing aroma of fresh-baked breads and pastries, The Porch will be the idyllic spot for quick, simple, casual and complimentary breakfasts and lunches. The intimate, 48-seat venue will be the perfect place to enjoy complimentary fresh pastries, salads, paninis and other sandwiches, in addition to specialty coffees, beer and wine, all enhanced by views of the lawn and sea.

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    The Art Studio

    With one of the world's largest corporate collections of contemporary art exhibited across its fleet, and given the enthusiasm guests expressed when the line introduced the industry's first art tours to be offered on an iPad, Celebrity will further appeal to its guests' love of art in "The Art Studio" within the area of The Lawn Club. There, experienced and novice artists alike can participate in intimate, hands-on instruction from experts in drawing, painting and beading, as well as the art of food, with plating, tastings, mixology and other culinary-themed classes.

    The Art Studio also will present exclusive, intimate pairing dinners hosted by guest chefs participating in Celebrity's Savor Your Destination program.

    The Alcoves

    For a private retreat overlooking the lawn, ocean and coastlines, Celebrity also will present within The Lawn Club "The Alcoves," eight exclusive, cabana-style settings, each designed for two to four guests. Each of The Alcoves on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection will offer WiFi for guests who want to stay connected while relaxing, themed picnic baskets and an a la carte beverage menu. The Alcoves will be available as partial or all-day rentals.

    Adjacent to The Alcoves, guests will find eight inviting hammocks and two whimsical, oversized Adirondack chairs, each offering complimentary, additional opportunities to relax amidst the atmosphere of the lawn and sea.

    Michael's Club

    Celebrity's history and future will converge in Michael's Club - a venue found on every Celebrity ship - where the line will present on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection a restyled, casually elegant bar where vacationers can sit back and enjoy the comfortably sophisticated atmosphere while watching the World Cup games and sipping a Chimay Blue.

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    Across the Celebrity fleet, Michael's Club offers an impressive selection of rare malts, whiskies and scotches. Building on that tradition, the "new" Michael's Club on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection will add an equally impressive selection of more than 50 beers, including flavorful craft beers, and will allow guests to participate in engaging experiences such as ideal food and beer pairings, how to pour the perfect draft, or how to select the proper beer glass, all while snacking on homemade, gourmet potato chips and bread sticks, and fresh, lightly-spiced caramel popcorn, amidst a vibe of live music and cool playlists, or major international sporting events airing on the venue's large, 46" TV screens.

    The Hideway

    Guests seeking a particularly quiet spot to get away from it all can do so in a new venue inspired precisely by that interest. "The Hideaway" on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection will provide a high-tech escape for vacationers relaxing with their iPads or perhaps trying out a new Apple product from the Celebrity iLounge, or a low-tech retreat for reading a good book. Inspired by the live trees suspended within the Grand Foyer of every Solstice Class ship, the design of The Hideaway reflects that of an upscale, avant-garde tree house, with cozy, intimate lounging "nests," or niches.

    The Solstice Class Difference

    "We are constantly dedicated to building every aspect of the Celebrity vacation experience around what vacationers want most during their precious time away, and the greatest validation of that commitment has been the response to our stunning Solstice Class," said Hanrahan. "We're eager to have our guests continue to experience all the distinctive attributes of those stunning ships, as well as the new offerings they have inspired on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection. We are confident all of this will further solidify our leadership role in the industry and keep vacationers coming back."

    In addition to the innovative new venues and experiences, Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection will join sister ships Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Eclipse in offering:

  • The hip "Celebrity iLounge" that made Celebrity Cruises the industry's first Authorized Apple Reseller
  • Uniquely unordinary "Qsine," the first seagoing restaurant to feature a menu and wine list on an iPad, and an engaging food-as-theater dining experience
  • Ten unrivaled restaurants - in addition to "The Lawn Club Grill" and "The Porch"
  • Modern, stylish interiors designed by some of the world's best architects and designers, including Adam Tihany
  • Cool nightclubs and lounges, including CellarMasters, complete with the industry's first installation of the innovative Enomatic wine serving system
  • One of the broadest and best wine offerings in the industry, served by one of the world's largest staffs of certified sommeliers
  • One of the world's largest permanent collections of original contemporary art, and the industry's first self-guided art tours to be presented on an iPad
  • Top-tier entertainment, including custom aerial production shows and live music
  • The extensive array of fun, entertaining and enriching onboard programming offered through "Celebrity Life," including games, instruction on the latest iPods, MacBooks and iLife classes; language learning through Rosetta Stone; comparative wine tastings with Riedel Crystal, and enrichment presentations with Smithsonian Journeys

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    Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning vacationers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and award-winning cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's mega-series of honors include being named the top mega-ship line in Condé Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Awards (November 2009). Celebrity's fleet currently consists of 10 ships. Its $3.7-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest five-year investment in premium cruising. For more information, contact a Celebrity Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)
  • December 07, 2010

    Mary Hart Named Godmother For Oceania Cruises' New Marina

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    ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT host Mary Hart is confirmed as the godmother of Oceania Cruises' new cruise ship Marina. Hart will name the ship in Miami at a lavish, invitation-only christening ceremony February 5, which will culminate with a 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar of champagne, custom-made by Armand de Brignac, commemoratively crashing against the hull.

    A beloved television personality, this year marks Hart's final season as host of ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT - the number one syndicated entertainment newsmagazine show in the world, which enters its 30th season this year. Hart joined the popular show as a correspondent in June 1982, and within weeks was named co-anchor.

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    In her personal life, Hart has been involved with philanthropic causes devoted to children. A member of the board of trustees for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, she currently serves as Leadership Chair of the New Hospital Campaign. Hart is also an ambassador for Childhelp USA, which combats child abuse. For many years she served on the board of directors for the National Childhood Cancer Foundation and continues her affiliation with the Children?s Miracle Network, for which she was telethon co-host for 15 years. Hart is the recipient of the Samaritan Award from the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation for her work on behalf of several children's charities. In 2001, she was honored with the first-ever Children's Miracle Achievement Award for her "long-standing commitment to children and contributing in many ways to bettering the lives of children everywhere."

    "It's very exciting, and a bit humbling," said Hart, "I'm truly honored to serve as the Godmother for Marina - she will be a very special ship. And, I look forward to smashing a great bottle of champagne as we let the celebration begin!"

    "Mary Hart personifies elegance and style, just like our magnificent Marina," stated Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Prestige Cruise Holdings, the line's parent company. "We especially salute her philanthropic work devoted to children's causes and we are proud to welcome her to the Oceania Cruises family."

    After christening festivities in Miami, Marina sets sail Feb. 8 on the first of two 18-day Panama Canal transits that visit San Francisco or San Diego, both new ports for Oceania Cruises. Marina then operates a 12-day Caribbean cruise, round-trip from Miami, departing March 16, before sailing along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and on to Europe to begin her inaugural Mediterranean season.

    At 66,000 tons and carrying 1,250 guests, Marina features 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 Chef Jacques Pepin. Other highlights include a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub, Bon Appetit Culinary Center, Owner's Suites furnished exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home, and a grand stairway custom-crafted by renowned French glass master, Lalique.

    Oceania Cruises Alaska Cruise Specials

    Oceania Cruises Europe & Mediterranean Cruise Specials

    Posted by Denise at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

    December 03, 2010

    ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL'S ALLURE OF THE SEAS INAUGURATED WITH A NAMING CEREMONY MARITIME FIRST AND SURPRISE GODMOTHER

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    DreamWorks Animation's Princess Fiona Becomes World's First 3-D Animated Godmother

    MIAMI, Nov. 28, 2010 - Royal Caribbean International once again makes maritime history. At the official naming ceremony for the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, guests were enchanted when her larger-than-life godmother was unveiled - Princess Fiona. This is the first time that a 3-D animated character is the godmother of a cruise ship. The 3-D star of DreamWorks Animation's megahit film series, "Shrek," presided over the celebration, joining and interacting in 3-D with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s Chairman and CEO, Richard D. Fain, during the ceremony. This naming is further testimony of the cruise line's reference to Allure of the Seas as the "Entertainment Ship" and to Royal Caribbean's new partnership with the DreamWorks Animation film studio.

    "It's never easy choosing the right godmother, but we realized we had the perfect candidate right in front of us. Princess Fiona is not only a Royal, but we felt such a unique ship deserved a unique godmother and Princess Fiona symbolizes the fun and entertainment that is so extraordinary on Allure of the Seas," said Fain.

    Attended by approximately 3,500 guests, the event was part of a one-night inaugural celebration-fundraiser, benefiting United Way of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, Haitian relief efforts and other charity partners. The naming ceremony took place in Allure's main Amber Theater and was broadcasted live throughout the ship, as well as via streaming video on the internet. The ceremony included the customary bagpipe-and-drums procession, the U.S. national anthem performed by international recording artist and West End- and Broadway-star MiG Ayesa, and a scene from Royal Caribbean Productions' new aerial production Blue Planet. The ceremony culminated with the traditional breaking of a Champagne bottle - featuring a festive label specially created by pop-artist Romero Britto, who also has an onboard gallery - on the ship's hull, electronically activated by one swift karate-chop by Princess Fiona herself. Video of the event is available on the ship's dedicated website, www.AllureOfTheSeas.com.

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    The sister ship to Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas boasts a refreshing new array of features and onboard amenities, many of which have never before been seen at sea. In addition to the signature Oasis-class neighborhood design which provides guests with the opportunity to seek out relevant experiences based on their personal style, preference or mood, Allure measures 5 centimeters longer than Oasis. Allure is often referred to as the Entertainment ship due to her many new entertainment options, including the DreamWorks experience, Blue Planet, Chicago: the Musical and OceanAria.
    With a cache of distinct new onboard activities and amenities, Allure of the Seas offers one-of-a-kind entertainment performances, culinary concepts, retail venues and technology innovations. An architectural marvel at sea, Allure's neighborhoods are divided into seven distinct themed areas, which include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. She spans 16 decks, encompasses 225,282 gross registered tons, carries 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,700 staterooms. Allure of the Seas alternates a Western Caribbean with an Eastern Caribbean seven-night itinerary from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Photos and video of the Naming Event and additional information are available at www.AllureoftheSeas.com.

    Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 ships currently in service. The line also offers unique cruisetour land packages in Alaska, Dubai, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and South America. For additional information or to make reservations, contact a WOW Specialist at Cruising2Mexico.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Allure of the Seas Caribbean Cruise Deals!

    Posted by Denise at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

    December 02, 2010

    HSMAI TO HONOR OCEANIA CRUISES WITH TWO AWARDS IN ITS ANNUAL ADRIAN AWARDS COMPETITION

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    Awards to be Presented on Jan. 31, 2011 in New York City

    NEW YORK, November 29, 2010 - The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) will recognize Oceania Cruises with two Adrian Awards for public relations excellence in the 54th annual Adrian Awards competition, the largest and most prestigious travel marketing competition globally.

    HSMAI will pay tribute to Oceania Cruises during its annual Adrian Awards Gala, a black-tie affair attended by more than 1,000 hospitality, travel and tourism marketing executives on January 31, 2011, at the New York Marriott Marquis.

    Oceania Cruises' winning entries included:

  • GOLD - Marina Road Show & Pre-Launch Campaign. In anticipation of introducing its new ship cruise, Marina, in January 2011, a sampling of activities included facilitating a partnership with Ralph Lauren Home; introducing Jacques Pepin's first restaurant at sea; debuting the Bon Appetit Culinary Center; organizing a hard-hat shipyard visit for key media; announcing partnerships with Wine Spectator and Lalique of Paris; and orchestrating a 200-guest, multi-media road show in seven U.S. and Canadian cities.

  • BRONZE - Feature story in The Miami Herald by Cruise Writer Martha Brannigan entitled "The Next Level: The young Miami-based Oceania Cruises, which has carved out a niche as an upper premium line with its focus on fine food and exotic itineraries, is on a fast growth track."

    "We are so pleased to be recognized by HSMAI for our collective endeavors in introducing the highly anticipated Marina and showcasing the exciting future of the Oceania Cruises brand," states James Rodriguez, the line's senior vice president of marketing.

    This year's contest attracted nearly 1,100 entries from around the world, with entries judged by top executives from all sectors of the industry.

    "The quality of the entries submitted in this year's HSMAI Adrian Awards competition was truly outstanding," said Fran Brasseux, HSMAI executive vice president. "This year's winners represent the most inspiring examples of travel advertising, public relations, and digital marketing. We look forward to sharing this great work with the industry at the Adrian Awards Gala."

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    About HSMAI
    HSMAI is the hospitality industry source for knowledge, community, and recognition for leaders committed to professional development, sales growth, revenue optimization, marketing, and branding. HSMAI has a strong focus on education which has helped them become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry while bringing together customers and members at annual events, including HSMAI's Affordable Meetings. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. For more information, visit www.hsmai.org or call 703-506-3280. Join our social networking communities on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

    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. Riviera, a sister ship to Marina, is scheduled to join the fleet in April 2012.

    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 Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow to approximately 6,500 berths by 2012.

    View Oceania Cruises Europe Cruise Deals

    View Oceania Cruises Alaska Cruise Deals

    Posted by Denise at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)
  • November 30, 2010

    Holland America Line Partners With Legendary Le Cirque Restaurant

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    Famed Dining Experience Offered to Guests on All Sailings

    Holland America Line is adding another famous partnership to its innovative culinary program as it enters into an exclusive agreement with the illustrious Le Cirque restaurant to offer "An Evening at Le Cirque" in the Pinnacle Grill aboard its fleet of 15 ships.

    Holland America Line's Master Chef Rudi Sodamin is working with Le Cirque's Executive Chef Craig Hopson to re-create the legendary eatery's whimsical ambiance and award-winning dining experience on board - from serving the cuisine on fanciful orange Le Cirque china to featuring the restaurant's famous creme brulee.

    "Le Cirque epitomizes the best of the best, further expanding our culinary program with innovative partnerships and world-renowned names," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "To be able to extend one of the most exceptional dining experiences in the world to our guests is another exclusive element that we're excited to be able to offer, and even the most discerning foodie will be impressed."

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    On virtually every voyage, the Pinnacle Grill will be transformed for at least one night into a Le Cirque?like atmosphere. On those special evenings, menu offerings, wine selections, table decorations and the restaurant setting will be tailored to create an authentic Le Cirque dining experience that is sure to impress both the eyes and palates of Holland America Line guests. Reservations can be made for "An Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill" for a charge.

    Not only will guests have the opportunity to dine on unique Le Cirque dishes including Lobster Salad "Le Cirque," Sweet Corn Soup and Cote de Boeuf, they also will be able to learn how to cook a dish or two during special Le Cirque demonstrations in the on-board Culinary Arts Center.

    "My family and I are excited to enter into a partnership with a cruise line that has such a celebrated and highly regarded reputation," said Sirio Maccioni, founder of Le Cirque. "I recently sailed with Holland America Line and was very impressed with their cuisine, impeccable service and high level of hospitality. I look forward to putting my own culinary touch on the dining experience and sharing Le Cirque with Holland America Line guests."

    Additional enhancements to the program include screenings of the HBO documentary "Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven" on in-stateroom television, as well as the opportunity to purchase a Le Cirque creme brulee dish and Le Cirque founder Sirio Maccioni's book, "Sirio: The Story of My Life and Le Cirque."

    A recipient of the coveted James Beard Award for restaurant of the year, Le Cirque has been ranked among the best in the world for decades by food experts, celebrities and high society. Le Cirque restaurants are located in New York, Las Vegas and the Dominican Republic and its founder, Sirio Maccioni, is a legend and one of the industry's most-respected restaurateurs.

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    While the restaurant attracts many celebrity customers, Le Cirque and Maccioni also have helped launch the careers of many illustrious chefs, including Daniel Boulud, Christophe Bellanca, Alain Sailhac, Rick Moonen and Holland America Line Culinary Council Member Jacques Torres.

    Posted by Denise at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

    November 26, 2010

    Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Sails Into Unchartered Waters ON CBS's Hit Show "Undercover Boss"

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    Miami - Nov 23, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line and CBS jointly announced today that Norwegian's CEO Kevin Sheehan will appear on an upcoming episode of the Emmy-nominated hit reality series "Undercover Boss" on the CBS Television Network.

    "With 11 Freestyle Cruising ships in our fleet and more than 16,000 employees both shipboard and shoreside, it's challenging to keep in tune with our crew who are the face of the company and interacting with guests on a daily basis," said Sheehan. "When I joined the company, one of my goals was to ensure consistency across our fleet and make sure that we are delivering exceptional cruise vacations for our guests. Participating in 'Undercover Boss' helped me to see that we have phenomenal crew members who are working extremely hard to deliver on that promise, but it also shed some light on areas that could be improved."

    Each week, "Undercover Boss" follows a different executive as he or she leaves the comfort of the corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their companies. While working alongside their employees, they see the effects that their decisions have on others, where the problems lie within their organizations and get an up-close look at both the good and the bad while discovering the unsung heroes who make their companies run.

    During the episode, Sheehan went undercover on two of the company's Freestyle Cruising ships: Norwegian Epic, the company's newest, largest and most innovative vessel; and Pride of America, the only US-flagged passenger cruise ship sailing inter-island cruises in Hawaii. While on board, Sheehan worked alongside crew members in various departments.

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    "It definitely was an eye-opening experience," added Sheehan. "I've always had the utmost admiration for our crew, but after this experience, I can proudly say we have truly remarkable crew members throughout our fleet."

    For more information on Norwegian Cruise Line contact a Freestyle Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Mexico.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Kevin Sheehan
    Since taking the helm of Norwegian Cruise Line in 2008, Kevin Sheehan has overseen major company initiatives including vastly improving on-board service and amenities across the fleet; expanding the line's European presence; repositioning two of the line's Hawai'i-based ships creating a profitable business model; revitalizing top management with a mixture of cruise industry and outside expertise; and using his extensive 30-year background in the business world to help Norwegian post a sharp turnaround in profitability in the midst of a tough economic climate.

    Sheehan comes from a diverse professional background that includes helping to found Spanish-language television network Telemundo; taking several companies public including rental car giant Avis; aiding in the inception and launch of the Sega Channel, the first interactive game platform over cable; teaching full-time at Adelphi University in New York and consulting for a variety of private equity firms, including Apollo Management, a Norwegian shareholder. Sheehan's tell-it-like-it-is persona and personal philosophy of leading by example has allowed him to reinvigorate the organization by opening lines of communication and creating a positive corporate culture.

    Before joining Norwegian in 2007, Sheehan was Chairman and CEO of Cendant Corp Vehicle Services Division where he was responsible for Avis Rent A Car, Budget Rent A Car, Budget Trucks, PHH Vehicle Management, First Fleet and Wright Express. While there, he integrated the Avis and Budget rental car brands into one network and also successfully completed a 100 percent initial public offering of Wright Express.

    Prior to joining Cendant Corp, Sheehan served in leadership positions at STT Video Partners LLP and Telemundo Group, Inc. He also spent two and a half years consulting to private equity firms and lecturing full-time at Adelphi University in New York as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Accounting, Finance, and Economics.

    Sheehan, a native New Yorker and avid basketball fan, is married with two children.

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    About Undercover Boss
    CBS's reality series UNDERCOVER BOSS was the Emmy-nominated No. 1 new series of the 2009-10 season and, in its second season, has featured companies such as Choice Hotels International, Great Wolf Resorts, DIRECTV, Frontier Airlines, NASCAR, Chiquita Brands International, The Chicago Cubs, Lucky Strike Lanes and SUBWAY Restaurants.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company has reached an agreement for two 143,000-gross ton vessels for delivery in 2013 and 2014.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams" & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    Posted by Denise at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

    November 25, 2010

    OCEANIA CRUISES UNVEILS 'PILLARS OF DISTINCTION' PHASE TWO

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    iPads, Jacques Pepin Specialties, Bulgari Amenities Among the Highlights

    MIAMI, November 2, 2010 - As part of its ongoing Pillars of Distinction initiative - the most significant product investment in the company's history - Oceania Cruises has announced the second phase of innovative fleet-wide enhancements. These multi-million-dollar updates are in addition to the previously announced physical enhancements being made during the regularly scheduled dry-docks for Regatta, Insignia and Nautica.

    "As the leader in upper-premium cruising, we continually raise the bar to exceed our guests' expectations and offer unrivaled value," stated Bob Binder, president of Oceania Cruises. "This latest phase of our Pillars of Distinction program reinforces the three hallmarks of the Oceania Cruises experience: cuisine, service and comfort."

    CUISINE

  • An expanded menu of "Jacques Pepin Signature Items" in the Grand Dining Rooms, which include Cotes d'Agneau Grillees - grilled lamb chop served with ratatouille and lamb gravy with thyme, and Gambas Saute Provencal - sauteed shrimp in olive oil from Nice with garlic, parsley and tomatoes
  • Evening menus in the Terrace Cafe will focus on regional specialties from the area the ship is sailings in addition to each evening's ever changing range of traditional favorites
  • Gourmet VIP canape service for all suite guests now includes a wider array of specialty, gourmand-inspired delicacies which are presented on new, custom designed china
  • Espresso and Cappuccino from the famed Illy Coffee of Italy

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    SERVICE

  • Free shuttle service in more than 90 ports worldwide where the ship is docked away from the city center
  • Introduction of production shows created by the legendary Gary J. Musik company that feature a full ensemble, original choreography, lavish costuming and rousing musical numbers
  • Dramatically faster internet speeds as a result of new partnership with MTN
  • Complimentary in-suite newspaper delivery for Owner's, Vista and Oceania suites

    COMFORT

  • Upgraded bath amenities and toiletries in all accommodations, including Bulgari for Concierge-level and suite guests.
  • Laptops, currently featured in all Owner's and Vista suites on Regatta, Insignia and Nautica, will be added to all Penthouse Suites
  • iPads for all Owner's, Vista and Oceania suites

    Pillars of Distinction amenities will be featured on Oceania Cruises' new Marina, scheduled for delivery in January 2011, and sister ship Riviera, which joins the fleet in April 2012 and be introduced aboard Regatta, Insignia and Nautica in the spring of 2011.

    The line's Pillars of Distinction is an ongoing initiative, with more enhancements and updates to be announced. For reservations or to order a brochure, contact a travel professional at Cruising2Paradise.com #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. Riviera, a sister ship to Marina, is scheduled to join the fleet in April 2012.

    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 Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow to approximately 6,500 berths by 2012.

    Posted by Denise at 05:29 PM | Comments (0)
  • November 11, 2010

    Princess Cruises Honors Veterans Day with Military Onboard Credit Program

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    Active Personnel and Veterans Eligible for Shipboard Credit

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (November 11, 2010) - In recognition of Veterans Day, Princess Cruises is promoting the line's military onboard credit program for active and retired military personnel. The credit, which ranges from $50 to $250 per stateroom depending on the length of the cruise, is available to members of the United States and Canadian armed forces with appropriate service identification.

    "As I discovered when I recently wrote about my own military experience on our company blog, we have a large number of veterans among our passengers," said Alan Buckelew, Princess Cruises president and CEO. "We want to honor all military personnel this Veterans Day and thank them for their service."

    The line's military personnel onboard credit program is available to active military personnel plus retired and disabled military veterans with proper verification as follows:

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  • Active personnel currently serving in the following service divisions: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserves, Canadian National Defense (military verification certificate)

  • Retired personnel defined as: Enlisted personnel or officers with a minimum of 20 years of service, medically retired or 100% disabled (blue or tan uniformed ID card/Canadian white N.D. 21 ID card)

  • Veterans with an Honorable Discharge serving a minimum of 2 years or 6 months in an active war zone in any of the United States service divisions listed above or Canadian National Defense (DD 214 plus current photo ID)
    The onboard credit amount is $50 for cruises 6 days or less, $100 for cruises of 7-13 days, or $250 for cruises of 14 days or longer, offered on a per stateroom basis.

    To request the military personnel onboard credit, eligible persons should apply no later than one week prior to the cruise departure date. Passenger and sailing information should be accompanied by proof of eligibility and provided to either the passenger's travel agent or to Princess Cruises. For more information about how to submit information, contact 1-800-738-8837.

    Buckelew's story about his return to Vietnam, "A Soldier Returns . . . as a Tourist" (along with many comments from veterans) can be found on Princess' blog: www.50EssentialExperiences.com.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by contacting a Princess Expert at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)
  • November 10, 2010

    PRESTIGE CRUISE HOLDINGS APPOINTS GARY GERBINO VICE PRESIDENT OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS

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    MIAMI, November 8, 2010 - Prestige Cruise Holdings (PCH), the parent corporation of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, has named Gary Gerbino as vice president of corporate communications, effective today.

    A 25-year public relations veteran, Gerbino's vast cruise industry experience covers ships carrying as few as 250 to as many as 2,620 guests, and includes three highly successful new-ship launches.

    In his new position, he will oversee media relations and marketing communications for both Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, including spearheading the launch of the company's magnificent new Marina in January 2011 and Riviera in April 2012.

    "Gary has been a great asset in introducing Marina to media and our travel partners, both here and abroad," said Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO, Prestige Cruise Holdings. "We are pleased to welcome him to the PCH family and believe his expertise will prove invaluable to the continued success of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises."

    Gerbino joins PCH from the public relations agency Lou Hammond & Associates, where he directed external communications for both Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruise, in addition to boutique luxury resorts in Florida.

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    Prior PR agency experience includes serving as a vice president at M. Silver Associates, where he managed the Cruise Lines International Association account team and led the firm's award-winning launch of Queen Mary 2 for Cunard Line. Previously, Gerbino held management posts at Seabourn, Orient and Ocean/Pearl/Paquet cruise lines.

    "Oceania Cruises is an innovator and industry pioneer and Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the most luxurious line at sea," stated Gerbino. "At this point in my career and I am very proud and excited to be working with the best of the best in the cruise business."

    Gerbino earned a bachelor's degree from The American University in Washington, D.C., and resides in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. For more information about Oceania Cruises contact an Oceania Specialist at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    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 Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow to approximately 6,500 berths by 2012.

    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. Riviera, a sister ship to Marina, is scheduled to join the fleet in April 2012. For more information, visit OceaniaCruises.com.

    About Regent Seven Seas Cruises
    Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the world's only cruise line that includes award-winning service, acclaimed cuisine, premium spirits and fine wine, gratuities and sightseeing excursions in every port for the ultimate ultra-luxury vacation. A fleet of perennially praised and elegantly appointed, all-suite ships operate seven- to 119-night voyages to more than 300 destinations worldwide.

    Posted by Denise at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

    November 08, 2010

    Princess Cruises Introduces Two New Europe Cruisetour Options for 2011

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    Passengers Can Experience the Ancient Wonders of Petra or Cruise by Castles on the Rhine

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (November 4, 2010) - Princess Cruises has unveiled two new cruisetour options for passengers on Europe cruises next year, providing them the opportunity to explore the mysteries of ancient Petra in Jordan or to enjoy a cruise up the dramatic Rhine River. The new itineraries join the line's previously announced cruisetours giving passengers a total of five land/sea vacation choices in the 2011 season.

    The 16-night Ancient Petra and the Dead Sea cruisetour steeps travelers in the history of the ancient world with visits to Jerash, Petra and the Dead Sea in Jordan in addition to the wonders of a Holy Land cruise to Israel and Egypt. The new 20-night Timeless Cities of the Rhine River cruisetour offers passengers a week-long cruise up the scenic Rhine River by riverboat combined with a Princess sailing to Scandinavia and Russia.

    In addition, Princess has added a new Rome and Venice tour combination that enables passengers on itineraries traveling between the two Italian cities to simplify their air travel with roundtrip flights.

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    "These new cruisetours add two significant new destinations to our Europe lineup," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "The Petra and Dead Sea tour makes a fascinating addition to the wonders already included on our Holy Land sailings such as Jerusalem and the pyramids of Egypt, while the Rhine offers outstanding scenery and history around every bend.

    Ancient Petra and the Dead Sea -- This four-night tour combines with 12-night Holy Land cruises on Pacific Princess for a 16-night vacation through some of the most marveled at wonders of the ancient world. The fully escorted tour takes travelers to the ancient city of Jerash, one of the best-preserved Roman provincial towns in the world; Petra, a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site with a vast city carved into a sheer rock face that became a vital trade route junction; Mount Nebo, home to a number of remarkable mosaics; and the extraordinary Dead Sea. The tour features two nights in Amman, one night in Petra and one night at the Dead Sea. Cruisetour departures include May 15, June 20, July 26, September 24, October 18, and November 11, 2011.

    Timeless Cities of the Rhine River -- This 20-night cruisetour adds a nine-night tour, including a Rhine River cruise, to an 11-night Scandinavia and Russia cruise on Emerald Princess. The seven-night riverboat cruise from Basel to Amsterdam aboard Avalon Felicity, sails by the castles and vineyards of one of Europe's greatest rivers, and includes guided excursions in Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Mainz, Rüdesheim, Koblenz and Cologne. Passengers will also sail through the captivating Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, considered the river's most beautiful stretch. After the river cruise passengers will enjoy overnights in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. The cruisetour departs on July 31, 2011.

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    Rome and Venice -- Because of popular demand, Princess will now offer the opportunity to include extra time in Venice and Rome to cruises that begin in one city and end in the other. These packages give passengers the advantage of booking roundtrip flights from either city for more convenient air travel. Combinable with a variety of Greek Isles and Mediterranean Collection itineraries, the tours offer two nights in storied Rome as well as two nights among the magical canals of Venice, plus first-class rail travel between the cities.

    These tours join the line's three other European cruisetour options: Europe's Imperial Treasures which visits the enchanting cities of Budapest, Vienna and Prague; Classic Italy, exploring the Eternal City of Rome, the Renaissance masterpiece of Florence and the stunning Tuscan countryside; and Ring of Kerry, a chance to discover the beautiful landscapes and charming villages of Ireland.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

    November 05, 2010

    Norwegian Spirit Arrives to Homeport in New Orleans

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    Freestyle Cruising ship to sail seven-day cruises from New Orleans to the Western Caribbean through April 2012

    Miami - Nov 4, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line's 2,018-passenger Norwegian Spirit will arrive in her new homeport of New Orleans on Sunday, November 7, 2010. This marks the first time Norwegian is homeporting a ship year-round in New Orleans with weekly seven-day Western Caribbean cruises departing every Sunday through April 8, 2012. Norwegian has homeported cruise ships in New Orleans seasonally since 2003 and was the first line to return to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

    "We are thrilled to return to the Crescent City, which has been a popular seasonal homeport for us," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "By bringing Norwegian Spirit to New Orleans year-round, we are able to open up the cruise market to more people that may not have experienced the incredible value of a Freestyle Cruising vacation."

    "The Port of New Orleans and the City thanks Norwegian Cruise Line for their ongoing commitment and investment in Louisiana," said Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange. "Norwegian plays a critical role in Port-related activity and our tourism industry as a whole. We are extremely excited about Norwegian's increased presence here and look forward to a long and successful partnership."

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    The strong sense of community in New Orleans matches that of Norwegian Spirit's crew members, often recognized for their outstanding community service work. In recent years, they have come together to donate goods and supplies to local orphanages and continue to assist with charitable activities in the ports they visit. Earlier this year, the ship led the first Tweetup for Good conducting humanitarian activities throughout the Western Caribbean which was simultaneously broadcast live via Twitter.

    Norwegian Spirit features 12 Freestyle Dining options including Norwegian's signature steak house, Cagney's; 10 bars and lounges; two swimming pools with four hot tubs, a kid's pool area with two water slides; a complimentary kid's club and video arcade for teens; a casino; a full-service spa and salon; and a fitness center offering state-of-the-art exercise equipment. For those looking to experience the suite life on board Norwegian Spirit, luxurious amenities with exclusive butler and concierge service await. Two owner's suites feature private bedrooms with queen-size beds, a living room and dining area, full bath with whirlpool tub and shower, and private balconies. For large families cruising together, penthouse suites can interconnect to create multiple bedroom configurations, with a separate bathroom and shower.

    Norwegian Spirit's seven-day Exotic Western Caribbean cruises will depart New Orleans every Sunday with ports of call including: Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan (Bay Islands), Honduras; and Belize City, Belize. Cruises are priced from $349 per person, based on double occupancy and excluding taxes and fees.

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    Guests can experience the rich history of the Crescent City on the "Past, Present and Perfect" shore excursion either before or after their cruise. The narrated bus tour takes guests to century-old landmarks through the French Quarter and follows the traditional route of Mardi Gras parades. While in the Caribbean, guests can tour ancient Mayan ruins in Costa Maya and Cozumel; or stroll through the popular Gumbalimba Park in Roatan for a close look at native wildlife. In Belize, those looking for a one-of-a-kind adventure can zip-line through the forest followed by cave tubing in the undergrounds of the jungle.

    To book a cruise on Norwegian Spirit, contact a Freestyle Certified Specialist at Cruising2Mexico.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is a cruise travel company with a 44-year history. Today, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation. Norwegian's largest Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon. Cirque Dreams & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    7 Day Western Caribbean Cruises on Norwegian Sun Roundtrip Orlando From $299 US!

    Posted by Denise at 09:56 AM | Comments (0)

    November 01, 2010

    "Happy Birthday" Gift from MSC is a Free, 7-night Caribbean Cruise

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    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (October 28, 2010) - MSC Cruises presents guests with a free, 7-night Caribbean cruise for those celebrating birthdays onboard between Nov. 14 - Dec. 19; companions pay from only $529 per person plus government fees and taxes (GFTs). Guests celebrating a birthday onboard MSC Poesia for a Caribbean cruise can choose from select dates and itineraries on bookings made by Dec. 12, based upon availability. Additional guests, up to two staterooms, travel for the same family and friends rate of $529 plus GFTs. This special birthday gift is valid for new bookings, while space is available, on the following 7-night, Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises departing from Fort Lauderdale:

  • Eastern Caribbean cruise, calls in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau Bahamas; departs Nov. 14, 28, and Dec. 12, 2010; rates from $264.50 for traveling companion plus GFTs, for all guests, of $69.62 each;

  • Western Caribbean cruise, calls in Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica;Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico; departs Nov. 21 and Dec. 5, 2010; rates from $264.50 traveling companion plus GFTs, for all guests, of $81.35.

    At least one person per stateroom must be celebrating his/her birthday during the chosen cruise as it will be requested at the time of booking. Rates are based on double occupancy for U.S. and Canadian residents. Government fees and taxes for all guests are additional; restrictions apply. Suites are excluded from this offer. MSC Cruises reserves the right to pass on any fuel surcharge without notice to all guests.

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    Kids ages 17 and younger cruise for just $99 (GFTs are additional) when sharing a stateroom with two adults offering affordable family vacations. All cruises offer just a $100 deposit. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit www.MSCCruisesUSA.com, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

    ABOUT MSC CRUISES:
    MSC Cruises has the most modern fleet in the world with 11 ships: MSC Magnifica, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia, 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, Canada & New England.

    Posted by Denise at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)
  • October 29, 2010

    Norwegian Cruise Line Files Registration Statement For Proposed Initial Public Offering

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    Miami - Oct 26, 2010 -
    NCL Corporation Ltd. announced today that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") relating to a proposed initial public offering ("IPO") of its ordinary shares.

    The registration statement relating to these securities has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. The offering will be made only by means of a prospectus, when available. The registration statement on Form S-1 may be accessed through the SEC's website at edgar.sec.gov.

    This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

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    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is a cruise travel company with a 44-year history. Today, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation. Norwegian's largest Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon. Cirque Dreams & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    For more information about an NCL cruise please contact a Freestyle Certified Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    NCL Cruise Deals:

    7 Day Western Caribbean Cruise, Roundtrip Orlando From $349 US!

    12 Day Eastern Mediterranean Cruise, Roundtrip Barcelona From $699 US!

    9 Day Southern Caribbean Cruise, Roundtrip Miami From $599 US!

    Posted by Denise at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

    October 28, 2010

    Americans Work Hard At Relaxing - Vacationers More Likely To Get Up Early Than Sleep In

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    New Survey Reveals Relaxation Habits

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (October 25, 2010) - Most relaxing Americans put a priority on having fun rather than sleeping while they are vacationing, according to a recent relaxation survey commissioned by Princess Cruises. With the busy holiday travel season upon us, many Americans may be looking for a little rest and relaxation in between, which, according to the survey findings, means different things to different people.

    The Princess Cruises "Relaxation Report" uncovered some surprising insights as to how Americans pursue leisure. The "Report" showed that 55% of vacationers preferred to get up early rather than sleep in on vacation, while 44% chose to sleep late.

    Besides putting a priority on leisure time versus sleep time, the "Relaxation Report" also reveals that 6 out of 10 Americans prefer a spontaneous, go-with-the-flow itinerary rather than a set-schedule of activities while on vacation (selected by 38%). And, two-thirds (67%) of Americans prefer to relax on the beach rather than at the pool (26%). To aid in relaxation, Americans choose reading (25%), having a drink (20%) and listening to music (19%).

    Princess Cruises, one of the best-known names in cruising, fielded the survey to gain some insights into relaxation habits while on vacation. "Because Princess is committed to providing our passengers a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation experience, we thought it would be fun to get some feedback about just what helps people relax during their precious time off," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.
    Men vs. Women
    The "Relaxation Report" also uncovered clear differences between how men and women relax. Men prefer to start their vacation day by getting up early (58%) rather than sleeping in (41%), while women are divided, with 51% preferring to rise early and 47% preferring to sleep in and catch some Z's. Men prefer to relax by having a drink (25%), reading (18%) and listening to music (17%). Women, on the other hand, prefer to relax by reading (32%), listening to music (21%) and by having a drink (15%). When drinking on vacation, men prefer beer over wine (41% vs. 27%, respectively), while women prefer a glass of wine over a beer (45% vs. 27%, respectively). Also, more men than women choose watching TV (15% vs. 11%, respectively) and exercising (15% vs. 9%, respectively) as ways to aid in their relaxation.

    Despite their differences, men and women have their agreements too. Both men and women choose country music as their favorite vacation tunes (25% and 22%, respectively), both prefer viewing a sunset (65% and 67%) over a sunrise (30% among both genders) and would rather relax on the beach (68% vs. 60%) than at the pool (25% vs. 26%).

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    Country is King
    When it comes to tunes, country music was the clear winner with 24% of Americans preferring those songs over all else, followed in popularity by soft rock (21%), classical (17%), jazz (13%) and pop (12%).

    Turn Off and Power Down
    Contrary to popular belief, while mindlessly surfing the Internet or flipping through the television may sound like good ways to relax, in reality Americans couldn't disagree more. Most Americans (97%) do not choose the Internet or the television (87%) as primary ways to relax while on vacation.

    East vs. West
    When asked to choose between viewing a sunset or a sunrise while on vacation, the responses varied based on where Americans reside. While 4 in 10 adults from the Northeast (40%) would rather see a sunrise, less than 1 in 3 of those in the Midwest (29%), in the South (27%) or in the West (27%) would choose dawn over dusk. There are also some regional differences when it comes to vacation reading preferences. A larger proportion of adults from the Midwest would rather read a magazine (47%) than would adults from the West (37%), the South (36%) and the Northeast (35%). Conversely, those from the Northeast (59%), the West (56%) and the South (54%) are more likely to choose a book than those from the Midwest (45%).

    Vacation Barometer
    How do you know when it's time to take a vacation? Americans identified three key factors that lead to a getaway: being tired (30%), cranky (28%) and restless (22%).

    About the Survey
    The "Relaxation Report," commissioned by Princess Cruises, is based on findings from an Ipsos poll conducted Aug. 26, 2010 - Sept. 12, 2010 (due to the Labor Day holiday, no interviews were conducted between Sept. 1 and Sept. 8). For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 2,000 randomly-selected adults aged 18 and over residing in the U.S., was interviewed by telephone via Ipsos' U.S. Telephone Express omnibus. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been polled.

    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 carries 1.3 million passengers each year to destinations around the globe on cruises ranging in length from seven to 107 days. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE:CCL; NYSE:CUK).

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    About Ipsos
    Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. Ipsos conducts strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises contact a Princess Expert at Cruising2Tahiti.com #1-800-738-8837.

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    Posted by Denise at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

    October 27, 2010

    Celebrity Cruises and Miami Dolphins Team Up to Win Fight Against Breast Cancer 25 survivors to be honored on field and on stylish new 'Celebrity Eclipse'

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    Miami - (October 20, 2010 ) - Two leading Miami-based organizations - one which entertains and energizes consumers on land, the other which entertains and offers restorative premium vacations at sea - have united in the fight against breast cancer. Top-rated premium cruise line Celebrity Cruises has teamed with the Miami Dolphins to raise awareness of the importance of finding a cure for the devastating disease.

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    The two organizations - each recognized for their ongoing efforts for and devotion to the cause - will identify through the UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center 25 breast cancer survivors in South Florida and honor them with some of the best experiences both Celebrity Cruises and the Dolphins have to offer.

    This Sunday, these women will be honored by Celebrity Cruises and the Miami Dolphins in a special pre-game ceremony at the Dolphins' home game, walking the orange carpet at Sun Life Stadium and being individually introduced to the tens of thousands of "Finatics" in attendance. At game time, they will be hosted by Celebrity Cruises and Miami Dolphins executives at an exclusive reception in the stadium's Ford Sideline Club & Lounge to cheer on the Dolphins as they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then, when Celebrity's newest Solstice Class ship - Celebrity Eclipse - debuts in Miami in November, the 25 honorees will be treated to a complimentary, celebratory cruise experience hosted by Celebrity's President & CEO Dan Hanrahan and the ship's Godmother, highly accomplished ocean-racing yachtswoman and author Emma Pontin, herself a survivor of the disease and outspoken advocate for the cause. "All of us at Celebrity Cruises are honored to have the opportunity to host these incredible women who have endured so much, and have emerged victorious. These 25 represent all of the women who are winning this difficult battle daily, and we salute their bravery," said Celebrity's President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. "We also are honored and thrilled to partner with the Miami Dolphins in extending both of our organizations' continuing commitment to raise awareness of the great importance of finding a cure for this disease."

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    "We salute Celebrity Cruises for their generosity toward these valiant women who are an inspiration to all of us," said Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee. "We look forward to celebrating their triumph against this insidious disease by rolling out the orange carpet for them at our next home game."

    Prior to game day, check out the 25 women's heroic personal stories and profiles in a web-based pictorial tribute at Miami Dolphins website and on social media channels.

    On Celebrity Eclipse, the honorees will enjoy the host of attributes that have become synonymous with Celebrity's Solstice Class ships, including the hip "Celebrity iLounge" that made Celebrity Cruises the industry's first Authorized Apple Reseller; "Qsine," the first seagoing restaurant to feature a menu and wine list on an iPad, and an engaging food-as-theater dining experience; Celebrity's iconic half-acre Lawn Club, with real, growing grass; 10 unrivaled dining venues, including Qsine; modern, stylish interiors designed by some of the world's best architects and designers; hip, cool nightclubs and lounges, including CellarMasters, with the industry's first installation of the innovative Enomatic, by-the-glass wine serving system; one of the broadest and best wine offerings in the industry, served by one of the world's largest staffs of certified sommeliers; one of the world's largest permanent collections of original contemporary art, and the industry's first self-guided art tours to be presented on an iPad; widely varied entertainment, including custom aerial production shows and live music; the extensive array of entertaining and enriching onboard programming offered through "Celebrity Life," including instruction on the latest iPods, MacBooks and iLife classes; language learning through Rosetta Stone; comparative wine tastings with Riedel Crystal, and enrichment presentations with Smithsonian Journeys.

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    Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning cruisers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and award-winning cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's mega-series of honors include being named the top mega-ship line in Conde Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Awards (November 2009). Celebrity's fleet currently consists of 10 ships. Its $3.7-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest five-year investment in premium cruising. For more information, contact a Celebrity Five Star Agent at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

    October 26, 2010

    Pop2Life sets the stage for "The Allure of Taylor Swift" Onboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas

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    Creative Marketing & Promotion Company Presents Special Performance Onboard the World's Largest and Most Revolutionary Cruise Ship

    October 21, 2010 (New York, NY) - While global audiences eagerly await Taylor Swift's third album Speak Now, launching on Monday, Oct. 25, 2010, dedicated fans also can look forward to seeing Taylor Swift perform live onboard the world's newest and largest ship. The four-time Grammy award-winner Taylor Swift will perform onboard Royal Caribbean International's highly anticipated Allure of the Seas in the ship's signature AquaTheater, an amphitheater-style space with an ocean view, on Friday, Jan. 21, 2011. To date, the first single released from Speak Now, entitled "Mine," has sold more than 1 million copies.

    Big Machine Records, Clear Channel Radio, Pop2Life and Royal Caribbean International are banding together to give 100 lucky winners (and their invited guests) access to a rare performance by Taylor Swift and an unparalleled cruise vacation onboard Allure of the Seas, seven-night Western Caribbean cruise, Sunday Jan. 16 - Jan. 23. Debuting December 1, Allure of the Seas will share the title of the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship with sister-ship Oasis of the Seas, and boast Royal Caribbean's unique neighborhood concept - seven themed areas providing guests with the opportunity to seek out a variety of relevant experiences based on their personal styles, preferences or moods. The ship also will bring to life one-of-a-kind onboard entertainment, including a DreamWorks experience complete with parades, ice shows and a "Madagascar" themed AquaTheater show, in addition to the Broadway hit "Chicago: The Musical." Additional perks of this grand prize for Taylor enthusiasts and their guests include VIP seating in the AquaTheater for the concert, a special welcome reception onboard Allure of the Seas, roundtrip flights and transportation to the ship's homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as well as the coveted confirmed accommodations for Allure's one-of-a-kind vacation.

    To enter "The Allure of Taylor Swift" radio and online sweepstakes, listeners need to tune-in to participating Clear Channel radio stations across the country, weekdays, Monday, Oct 18 - Friday, Oct. 29; pay attention for the "The Allure of Taylor Swift" keyword; and submit the keyword via text message or online at the local station's Web site. National radio show "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" is also rallying audiences for this one-of-a-kind concert and inviting hopeful concert-goers to enter online at www.ryanseacrest.com, Monday, Oct. 18 - Sunday, Oct. 24. Lastly, consumers can enter online at www.TheAllureofTaylor.com. Fans wanting to book their Taylor Swift experience aboard Allure of the Seas' January 16th sailing, can visit www.royalcaribbean.com and click on "The Allure of Taylor Swift" banner, or call (877) 722-5266. Complete list of participating stations is available at www.theallureoftaylor.com/stations and www.royalcaribbean.com.

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    Taylor Swift is a four-time GRAMMY winner, the top-selling digital artist in music history, has had singles top both the Country and Pop radio charts, and had the #1 best-selling album in any genre of music in 2009. This year, at the age of 20, she became the youngest artist in history to win the music industry's highest honor, the GRAMMY Award for Album of the Year. Also at the 2010 GRAMMYs, she took home the awards for Country Album of the Year, Best Country Song, and Best Country Female Vocal Performance. Her 6x-Platinum FEARLESS album is the most awarded album in Country music history.

    In 2009, she was named Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards, and also became the youngest artist in the 43-year history of the Country Music Association to be awarded country music's top prize when she took home the CMA Award for Entertainer of the Year.

    Taylor, whose career record sales now top 13 million albums and 25 million song downloads, just this month set a new Billboard record for the most Top 10 Hot 100 debuts in the chart's history. She also holds the Billboard all-genre records for most first-week downloads by a female artist, for the longest charting album of this century and for most Top 20 debuts in a calendar year, as well as the Billboard record for the largest overall airplay audience for a country-based act.

    About Allure of the Seas Allure of the Seas shares the title of the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship with sistership Oasis of the Seas. With a cache of new distinct onboard activities and amenities, Allure of the Seas offers one-of-a-kind entertainment performances, culinary concepts, retail venues and technology innovations. An architectural marvel at sea, Allure's neighborhoods are divided into seven distinct themed areas, which include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. She spans 16 decks, encompasses 225,282 gross registered tons, carries 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,700 staterooms. Allure of the Seas alternates a Western Caribbean with an Eastern Caribbean seven-night itinerary from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at www.AllureoftheSeas.com.

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    About Pop2Life
    With its core business in the entertainment industry, Pop2Life, based in New York City, specializes in creating exciting promotion and marketing initiatives that integrate music, television, radio, movies, sports and other pop culture brands to create unique consumer experiences that drive brand awareness and priceless word-of-mouth buzz. Clients include MTV Networks, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Clear Channel, Showtime Networks, FOX, Warner Brothers, Comedy Central, CBS Radio, and virtually all of the major record labels. www.pop2life.com.

    About Royal Caribbean International
    Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and one under construction. The line also offers unique cruisetour land packages in Alaska, Dubai, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and South America. For additional information or to make reservations, contact a Royal Caribbean Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Paradise.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

    October 25, 2010

    Norwegian To Build Two New Next Generation Freestyle Cruising Ships

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    MEYER WERFT to deliver ships in spring 2013 and 2014

    Miami - Oct 25, 2010 - Following the successful launch of Norwegian Epic, the Company's largest and most innovative ship to date, Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it has reached an agreement with MEYER WERFT GMBH of Germany to build two new next generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery in spring 2013 and spring 2014, respectively. Each of the 143,500 gross ton vessels, the largest passenger/cruise ships to be built in Germany, will have approximately 4,000 passenger berths and a rich cabin mix. Additional details about each ship's new and exciting features will be released as construction progresses. The contract price for the two vessels is approximately 1.2 billion. The Company has committed financing in place from a syndicate of banks for export credit financing in connection with this project.

    "We have always been focused on a disciplined approach to capacity growth. Our decision to add two new ships reflects the significant progress we have made in improving our operating performance and repositioning the Company over the last several years, as well as the strong market demand we are seeing for Norwegian Epic and our other ships," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "Building on the incredible success and popularity of Norwegian Epic, we are taking the best of what our newest ship has to offer, as well as drawing on our legacy of innovation in the cruise industry, in creating a new class of Freestyle Cruising vessel that is sure to provide our guests with the unparalleled freedom and flexibility they have come to expect on a Norwegian cruise."

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    "We are excited to be returning to MEYER WERFT and are confident that their rich ship building history and expertise will bring our vision to fruition," added Sheehan. MEYER WERFT, based in Papenburg, Germany, most recently built Norwegian's four Jewel-class ships Norwegian Gem delivered in 2007, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Jade delivered in 2006, and Norwegian Jewel delivered in 2005. These new vessels are the eighth and ninth that the Company will build with MEYER WERFT.

    "Norwegian Cruise Line and MEYER WERFT have a long history of working together. We are thrilled to continue our partnership. Our teams work very well together and we are looking forward to building this new, exciting and innovative class of vessels," said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of MEYER WERFT. "In addition, the 21,000 employees of the yard and its supplier companies involved in the construction of the ships appreciate the new project from one of our longstanding customers."

    Norwegian Cruise Line pioneered the concept of Freestyle Cruising and currently offers guests the freedom and flexibility to enjoy their cruise vacation on their own terms, including multiple dining venues, relaxed attire, a variety of accommodations and world-class entertainment. The Company took Freestyle Cruising to the next level with the introduction of Norwegian Epic in June 2010. The 4,100 passenger vessel has been called the "entertainment ship" with a variety of shows and venues that trump land-based resorts like those found in Las Vegas. Headliners include Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams & Dinner, Legends in Concert, The Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos and Slam Allen Blues Band. In addition, the ship features Nickelodeon at Sea as part of its wide-range of family offerings. Further innovations include the largest spa at sea, the first true ice bar at sea and The Studios, which are staterooms designed and priced for solo travelers, along with The Villas, the largest suite complex at sea.

    "We are bringing this spirit of innovation to these two new build ships, as Norwegian continues to offer our guests new and exciting ways to enjoy their Freestyle Cruising vacation," said Sheehan.

    *Source: Economic Research Institute of Lower Saxony, Hanover 2010


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    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

    For further information on Norwegian Cruise Line, contact a Fresstyle Certified Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About MEYER WERFT GmbH Founded in 1795, Papenburg-based MEYER WERFT has been owned by the sixth generation of the Meyer family. This well-established company has approximately 2,500 employees. MEYER WERFT's extensive production program covers a wide range of ship types, from cruise ships, gas tankers, livestock carriers to car and passenger ferries. In order to stay successful in worldwide competition, production technology has been continuously improved and extended. Today, MEYER WERFT has the most modern production premises in the shipbuilding industry. For more information, go to www.meyerwerft.com.

    View Mediterranean Cruise Specials This Winter On NCL. 10 Days From $549 US!

    Posted by Denise at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

    October 22, 2010

    Norwegian Cruise Line Launches Epic Moments Video Contest

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    Winning video receives a cruise for two on Norwegian Epic

    Miami - Oct 21, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line announces the launch of its "Epic Moments" video contest (www.ncl.com/myepicmoment), where cruisers create short YouTube videos of their vacation on board the line's newest and most innovative ship Norwegian Epic for a chance to win a Caribbean cruise for two in a balcony stateroom on board the ship.

    Cruisers can enter by uploading their vacation videos to YouTube as a video response to the contest overview video by Julie Valeriote, Norwegian Epic's entertainment director. Every two weeks for the next nine weeks, Norwegian will choose which video is the Epic Moment Semi-Finalist for that period. In mid-February, the 10 semi-finalists will be featured on Norwegian's YouTube channel and www.ncl.com and the public will have a chance to vote for their favorite Epic Moment. The video with the most number of thumbs-up on YouTube will win a seven-day Caribbean cruise for two in a balcony stateroom on Norwegian Epic.

    "Freestyle Cruising gives our guests incredible freedom and flexibility on board our ships to enjoy their cruise vacation on their own terms," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line chief executive officer. "Our newest ship, Norwegian Epic, takes Freestyle Cruising to the next level giving countless opportunities for couples, families and solo travelers alike to indulge in vacation moments of a lifetime. We look forward to seeing them come to life through our Epic Moments video contest."

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    The first of 10 semi-finalist videos will be chosen on or around November 8, 2010 and will follow with nine more semi-finalists being announced every two weeks. To submit an Epic Moment video, head to www.ncl.com/myepicmoment.

    Norwegian Epic sails alternating seven-day cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean from Miami, Florida from July 2010 through April 2011. Eastern Caribbean ports of call include Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas. Western Caribbean ports of call include Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico.

    To book a cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line contact a Freestyle Certified Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

    norwegian_cruise_line.jpg

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    View Alaska Cruise Deals on NCL From $359 US!

    View Norwegian Epic Mediterranean Cruises From $469 US!

    Posted by Denise at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

    October 21, 2010

    Travel Agent and Cunard Set the Stage for First Marriage Proposal On Board Queen Elizabeth

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    20 October 2010 - The Theatre Boxes in Queen Elizabeth's Royal Court Theatre were packed for the dazzling new production show, "A Slice of Saturday Night," on a recent evening during the ship's current Maiden Voyage. And as Entertainment Director Alastair Greener recounts in the latest edition of his blog, WeAreCunard.com, guests seated in box number six were about to enjoy an especially memorable night.

    A few months ago, Greener was contacted by Susan Mirabito, travel operations manager for Travel Network in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to enlist the ship's assistance with a special request. Jim McCracken, mayor of neighboring Freedom Township, wanted to propose to his girlfriend, Lisa Lehman from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, during the voyage.

    The ship happily complied and reserved a table in The Verandah, to be followed with a reserved Theatre Box later that evening. Jim shared that he had met Lisa at a business conference and that they were partnered in a group leadership class. As part of an exercise, they were directed to look into each other's eyes for fifteen seconds. Jim said it was definitely love at first sight, and so he wished to recreate the moment as part of his proposal.

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    As the performance in the theatre came to an end, Jim asked Lisa to look into his eyes for fifteen seconds - at which point he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Of course, she said yes.

    "I cannot say enough about the Cunard staff and how responsive they were to my requests for Jim. Great lengths were taken to insure that Lisa was truly surprised," said Mirabito. "The evening was beyond the expectations of Jim and me, and I am most appreciative of the attention Cunard provided to facilitate this memorable occasion. This is a story that I am certain will be passed down from generation to generation," she added.

    Jim and Lisa have their first job as an engaged couple this Friday, as they have been asked to witness the Renewal of Vows Ceremony of another couple at their dinner table!

    Cunard wishes the couple every happiness, and is proud that the Line's Queen Elizabeth could be a part of this wonderful new beginning in their life together.

    For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Elizabeth, contact a Cunard Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    View Cunard Line Cruise Deals To Europe!

    Posted by Denise at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

    October 20, 2010

    Top Producing Travel Agents Celebrate the Royal Naming of Cunard's Queen Elizabeth

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    19 October 2010 - Thirty-seven top producing U.S. travel agents travelled to Southampton, England to attend the Royal Naming Ceremony and related festivities of Cunard Line's new Queen Elizabeth on 11 October. The group gathered in the ship's Grand Lobby shortly after Her Majesty The Queen christened the liner in front of more than 1,500 invited guests.

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    Joining some of the top Cunard agents are Cunard executives Jan Swartz, executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service; as well as Elena Rodriguez, director of charter and incentive sales/national accounts, and Anthony Viciana, regional sales director.

    The group posed under the Grand Lobby's signature art installation depicting the original Queen Elizabeth. The 18 and a half foot panel was crafted by renowned marquetry artist David Linley, son of the late Princess Margaret and famed photographer, Lord Snowden, and also the only nephew of
    Her Majesty The Queen.

    Also pictured are Valerie Wilson of Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc. with the commissioned portrait of Her Majesty The Queen, and Mark Kammerer of Virtuoso with the Linley marquetry panel.

    For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Elizabeth, contact a Cunard Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    View Cunard Line Cruise Deals To Europe!

    Posted by Denise at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

    October 19, 2010

    Norwegian Parties in Pink to Promote Breast Cancer Awareness

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    Norwegian's fleet-wide White Hot Party turns pink for the month of October

    Miami - Oct 14, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that their popular fleet-wide White Hot Party, the line's signature dance party, on board its Freestyle Cruising ships turns pink for the month of October to help commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    The White Hot Party is a heavenly theme party held on board Norwegian's ships where guests come dressed in head-to-toe white. The party's Angel Dancers keep the crowd moving late into the night in spectacular venues including the aft outdoor beach club Spice H2O on Norwegian Epic; Norwegian Sky's vast pool deck, as well as the Bliss Ultra Lounge. The party takes place once per cruise and features specialty cocktails such as the Angeltini and the Heavenly Coladatini.

    The usual White Hot Party t-shirts sold in the on-board gift shops will be available in the well-known pink color to help spread the word on fighting breast cancer. The limited edition Pink Hot Party t-shirts will be available on board throughout the month of October for $18 each with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure Miami/Ft. Lauderdale.

    "Breast cancer affects more than 1.3 million women a year, so it is a cause that continues to need attention and one that everyone can support," said Kevin Sheehan, chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "It's a great way for our ships, crew and guests to all be a part of spreading awareness."

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    Nine of the line's 11 Freestyle Cruising ships are participating, including: Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Star, Norwegian Sun and Pride of America.

    The Susan G. Komen Foundation is dedicated to the education and research about causes, treatment and the search for a cure. They have invested over $1.5 billion in finding a cure for breast cancer.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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.

    norwegian_cruise_line.jpg

    Today, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    For more information or to book a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise vacation, contact a Freestyle Certified Specialist at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:49 AM | Comments (0)

    October 18, 2010

    Azamara Quest Observes 500-year old tradition in Kotor Bay

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    Miami - (October 14, 2010 ) - MIAMI, September 23, 2010 - As Azamara Quest departed Kotor, Montenegro, on Sept. 17, the ship's crew revived a 500-year old tradition - the placing of a stone on the island of the Lady of the Rock. Cheered on by guests, Azamara Quest's landing party, led by Staff Captain Panos Panagopoulos and Hotel Director Ryszard Gussman, exchanged gifts with Monsignor Srecko Majic, who presides over the church, and placed within the church a stone, painted Azamara Blue depicting the ship and inscribed with its name and the date.

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    "This tradition observed by our crew reflects Azamara's core mission of destination immersion," said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO Azamara Club Cruises. "We offer guests the opportunity to 'live' unique destinations and we deliver those destinations uniquely."

    The endeavor began when the Azamara Club Cruises' crew learned the origins of the island, where local fisherman from Perast found an icon of the Virgin and Christ on what was then a small rock in 1452. Since then, sailors venturing to sea made an offering for a safe voyage by adding a stone or small rock, leading to the formation of the only artificial island in the Adriatic and the base of the current Church of the Lady of the Rock.

    Azamara Club Cruises is a destination-immersive cruise line for up-market travelers who want to not only see the places and cultures they visit, but to live them. Azamara's two intimate, 694-guest ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, with a combination of 347 suites and staterooms, offer a European-boutique hotel ambience with extraordinary service, fine cuisine and wines from around the world, and wellness and vitality programs, all while sailing to a host of destinations larger ships cannot reach.

    View European Cruise Deals with Azamara Club Cruises!

    Posted by Denise at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)

    October 17, 2010

    Regent Seven Seas Cruises Best Cruise Line Says Condé Nast Traveler Readers

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    Fort Lauderdale, FL - October 13, 2010 - Regent Seven Seas Cruises has been voted the world's best cruise line in the "large-ship" category in the 2010 Conde Nast Traveler readers' poll. The ultra-luxury line's overall score of 92.3, tied with Crystal Cruises.

    Regent Seven Seas is the world's only cruise line to include airfare, all-suite accommodations, acclaimed cuisine, open bars, sightseeing excursions, gratuities and taxes for the ultimate, ultra-luxury vacation.

    "We are proud to be recognized as the best of the best by discerning Conde Nast Traveler readers," stated Mark Conroy, president, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "As the world's most inclusive ultra-luxury cruise line, we take great pride in exceeding our guests' expectations every day. I'm biased, for sure, but our shipboard and shore-side staff is without question the finest at sea."

    Considered among the travel industry's most coveted honors, the Readers' Choice Awards from Conde Nast Traveler celebrate the best-of-the-best cruise lines, hotels, airlines, cities, rental car companies and islands. Travelers evaluated cruise lines on their Itineraries and Shore Excursions, Accommodations, Food/Dining, Crew/Service, Design/Layout and Activities/Facilities to determine the overall score.

    Travel + Leisure magazine readers also ranked Regent Seven Seas among the "Top 10 Large-Ship Cruise Lines" in the world. The results of the magazine's 15th annual World's Best" survey were published in the August issue.

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    Regent Seven Seas' fleet is comprised of three all-suite ships that carry from 490 to 700 guests in luxury to ports in Australia, Europe, Asia, Alaska and the Caribbean. Public areas are resplendent with rich fabrics, textures and elegant furnishings. Suites, among the most spacious at sea, measure from 300 to 1,200 square feet and offer elegantly appointed living and sleeping areas, marble bathroom, walk-in closet, flat-screen TV, fully stocked bar and private balcony. Facilities include several bars, a show lounge, intimate casino, library, Internet center, card room, outdoor pool, hot tubs and Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Depending on the ship, guests can choose from up to four, open-seating gourmet restaurants, including Prime 7, a superb, new steakhouse.

    To make a reservation, contact a Regent Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Regent Seven Seas Cruises
    Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the world's only cruise line that includes award-winning service, acclaimed cuisine, premium spirits and fine wine, gratuities and sightseeing excursions in every port for the ultimate ultra-luxury vacation. A fleet of perennially praised and elegantly appointed, all-suite ships operate seven- to 119-night voyages to more than 300 destinations worldwide.

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    About Prestige Cruise Holdings
    Prestige Cruise Holdings 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 Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow to more than 6,500 berths by 2011.

    Posted by Denise at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

    October 15, 2010

    Princess Cruises Will Add Alaska Ship in 2012

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    New Optimism about State's Business Climate and Reduced Head Tax Prompts Line to Return Fourth Vessel to Gulf of Alaska Route

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (October 14, 2010) - After two years operating just three ships on its Voyage of the Glaciers route, today Princess Cruises announced that it will be returning a fourth ship to its signature itinerary for the 2012 summer season.

    The decision by Princess to increase its Alaska capacity was prompted, in part, by recent changes to the head tax structure in the state and the more balanced approach to doing business in Alaska, according to the line.

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    "We are particularly appreciative of the efforts of Governor Sean Parnell and the Alaska state legislature that have resulted in meaningful progress toward resolving the challenges facing Alaska's recovery as a cruise destination," said Alan Buckelew, president and CEO of Princess Cruises. "We still have work to do, but the recent changes definitely played a part in this decision."

    Buckelew pointed out that bringing a fourth ship back to the Gulf of Alaska route has wide economic impacts from Southeast Alaska to Prudhoe Bay. "Because the one-way route lends itself to longer visitor stays, with visits to both the interior and Southeast Alaska, we calculate it has twice the potential economic impact of roundtrip cruises," he said.

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    "We are especially pleased to be able to announce this additional capacity to our business partners and supporters throughout Alaska who have worked tirelessly to advocate for a more positive business climate," Buckelew added. "They have improved the investment environment for all cruise lines and for all cruise dependent businesses throughout the state."

    Princess' Voyage of the Glacier itinerary is the line's most popular Alaska itinerary, taking passengers between Vancouver and Whittier across the Gulf of Alaska with a visit to Glacier Bay and ports of call in the state's southeast. Because many passengers on this one-way route usually spend extra time in Alaska's interior utilizing Princess' lodges, rail and motorcoaches, this itinerary provides significant tourism benefits to the state.

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    Full details of Princess' 2012 Alaska deployment will be announced in spring 2011, including which ship will be added to the lineup.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

    October 14, 2010

    Norwegian Sun to Homeport in Port Canaveral

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    The ship will offer seven-day cruises to the Caribbean through 2012

    Miami - Oct 13, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line's 1,936-guest Norwegian Sun will call Port Canaveral (Orlando) home when the ship arrives on Saturday, October 16, 2010. The ship, purpose-built for Freestyle Cruising, will sail alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises departing every Saturday from October 16, 2010 through April 7, 2011. The ship then heads to Copenhagen, Denmark to sail nine-day Baltic Capitals cruises from May through September 2011 after which Norwegian Sun sails her cruises from Port Canaveral through April 2012.

    Guests can extend their vacation in Florida with easy access to pre- and post-cruise shore excursions. Those looking for an outdoor adventure can enjoy a scenic airboat tour within the heart of the Central Florida Everglades, kayak through the eco-trails of the Indian River, or spot native wildlife from a pontoon boat. Fast-paced excitement can be found at any number of amusement parks from Universal Studios to Walt Disney World Resort, or by spending a day learning how to surf at Cocoa Beach.

    "We are always looking for new home ports where it's easy for our guests to be on vacation in a matter of moments. By adding Port Canaveral as one of our home ports, we're able to offer our Freestyle Cruising experience to the millions of residents who live in Central Florida and surrounding areas," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "In addition, Port Canaveral's close proximity to the myriad of theme parks and beaches makes it perfect for a pre- or post-cruise experience."

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    "Norwegian Sun represents the next step in a successful, well-established relationship between Norwegian Cruise Line and Port Canaveral that already provides passengers from the Northeast a day to explore the many attractions of Central Florida," said Stan Payne, Port Canaveral CEO. "We are excited about having Norwegian Sun as a homeported vessel so we can proudly show Norwegian passengers the ease of sailing from Port Canaveral."

    Norwegian Sun features 14 Freestyle Dining options including Norwegian's signature French restaurant, Le Bistro; 10 bars and lounges; a swimming pool with a kid's pool and five hot tubs; a complimentary kid's club and teen lounge; a casino; a full-service spa and salon; and a fitness center offering state-of-the-art exercise equipment.

    Norwegian Sun's extensive choice of accommodations is suitable for families on vacation to couples on a romantic getaway. Families of all sizes can choose from a large number of staterooms (including suites and mini-suites) that can interconnect to create multiple bedroom configurations, with a separate bathroom and shower. Couples may unwind in the luxurious Romance Suite with floor-to-ceiling doors that open to a private balcony, bedroom with queen-sized bed, and full bath with tub and shower.

    Norwegian Sun's seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise will stop in Nassau, Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. The ship's seven-day Western Caribbean cruise will call in Cozumel, Mexico; Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala; Belize City, Belize and Key West, Florida. The two itineraries can be easily combined to create a port-rich 14-day Caribbean tour for guests looking for a longer cruise escape. Beginning May 2011, Norwegian Sun will spend her summer in Europe sailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, for the first time in the company's history, embarking on 15 nine-day Baltic Capitals cruises. Ports of call include: Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm (Nynashamn), Sweden.

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    To book a cruise on Norwegian Sun contact a Freestyle Certified Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    View Norwegian Sun's 2011 Scandinavia & Russia Cruise Special . . . 10 Days From $1109 US!

    View Norwegian Epic's 2011 Mediterranean Cruise Special . . . 7 Days From $469 US!

    Posted by Denise at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)

    October 13, 2010

    Princess Cruises Introduces 16 New Shore Excursions for 2010/2011 Caribbean and Panama Canal Cruise Seasons

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    Passengers Can Explore Caves, Watch for Monkeys or Visit a Cocoa Plantation

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (October 11, 2010) - As Princess Cruises ships begin to return to the Caribbean this month for the fall cruise season, they will also introduce 16 new shore excursion options for passengers, including a series of "Connoisseur" tours with smaller groups for a more personal experience. Options range from hiking mountains to exploring caves, and watching monkeys to discovering a cocoa plantation.

    The new tours are part of the approximately 550 shore excursion options available in 38 Caribbean ports during the season. Among the new offerings are a selection of Connoisseur excursions, special tours with smaller groups and unique experiences, including visits to exclusive resorts, tours of private estates and even the experience of sailing in a yacht race. Family groups will also find new tours designed especially with kids in mind, including a pirate ship adventure and boogie boarding lessons.

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    "The local tour operators we work with continue to develop such wonderful ways for passengers to make the most of their time in the islands, and we're happy to be able to offer these new options," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.

    Some of the new excursion options include:

    Tobago Cocoa Discovery (Tobago)
    At its peak, Trinidad and Tobago produced 75 million pounds of cocoa annually, 20 percent of the world's supply. This new agro-tourism heritage excursion takes passengers on a walking tour through the Tobago Cocoa Estate overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Participants can learn about the history of the cocoa industry plus visit a mud oven and a cocoa house where the cocoa is dried.

    Harrison's Cave & Scenic Drive (Barbados)
    Considered one of the Caribbean's top natural attractions, Harrison's Cave was recently redeveloped for easier access. The magnificent crystallized limestone cavern surrounds visitors with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Passengers will see the 50-foot "Great Hall" chamber and the cave's thunderous 40-foot waterfall that cascades into a blue-green lake.

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    Bonaire Exploration (Bonaire)
    They look like mountains of snow ... but they are actually mounds of salt. The Bonaire salt flats are one of the dramatic attractions on this new island tour. Passengers take an eye-opening trip along the south coast where they can enjoy the view. After a tour of the salt flats, the adventure continues as passengers explore the area of Washikemba with its giant cactus, wild donkeys, iguanas and birds.

    Hiking Christoffel Mountain (Curacao)
    Curacao's largest national park and conservation area, Christoffel Park consists of three former plantations and is filled with flora and fauna ... and numerous hiking trails. The park's most challenging hike is a three-hour trek to the island's highest point (1,239 feet) where hikers can enjoy dramatic views across the island.

    Monkey Watch & Canal Nature Cruise (Fuerte Amador, Panama)
    From the Panama Canal's Gatun Lake passengers travel into a labyrinth of islands in search of monkeys and other native animals. In this protected area visitors will likely encounter capuchin monkeys, three-toed sloths, howler monkeys, various kinds of toucans, as well as caimans, crocodiles, turtles, and a wealth of butterflies. Trained naturalist guides ensure that participants see and understand all that they spot.

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    Fort San Lorenzo & Gatun Locks (Panama Canal)
    Fort San Lorenzo is one of the most complete and largest of the forts built in Panama, full of pirate history and amazing views. The 16th-century fortress sits high on the cliff that overlooks both the Atlantic and the entrance to the Chagres River. Passengers will learn the history of the buccaneers and Captain
    Morgan's attack. Passengers will also get to visit the Gatun Locks observation area where they have a close-up look at the operation of the Canal's largest set of locks.

    Playa El Coco Beach Break (San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua)
    Secluded, unspoiled Coco Beach is one of Nicaragua's best beaches. Passengers will enjoy a day of fun in the sun, plus get to taste the national drink - Macua, made with white rum and fruit juices. Active passengers can rent boogie boards, surf boards and bicycles.

    Jost Van Dyke Beach Adventure (Tortola, BVI)
    Just four miles long, with fewer than 200 inhabitants, Jost Van Dyke is truly the "barefoot" island known for its laid-back lifestyle and white-sand beaches. Passengers will land on the glorious beach of White Bay just as the early settlers did - directly onto the sand. The beach is lined with bars but the most notable is the Soggy Dollar Bar, named for the condition of the money from sailors who swam ashore.

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    New Family Tours - Perfect for family groups, these tours include special activities just for young cruisers.

    Family Fun, Beach & Nature Walk (St. Maarten)
    This family-friendly outing visits unspoiled Guana Bay Beach, located on the Atlantic coast of St. Maarten. Wave action here is ideal for body surfing and boogie-boarding, and one of the guides will take charge of the young ones boogie board lessons. Adults can participate as well or watch the action. The whole family then sets off on a sightseeing nature walk along an old plantation trail offering panoramic views.

    Pirate Schooner to Turtle Cove (St. Thomas, USVI)
    Do pirates really say "Arrgghhhh?" Family members can find out when they step aboard the classic schooner "Bones" for some high seas fun. All swabbies are invited to take a nice long walk down the short plank for a "wee" dip in Turtle Cove. The friendly, motley crew provides snorkel equipment. On the fun sail back to St. Thomas kids can become an honorary captain and take a turn at the wheel. "Pirates" will come home with a tattoo, eye-patch and a souvenir photo.

    New Connoisseur Tours - These special excursions offer intimate, exclusive experiences to groups no larger than 20 passengers. Each includes unique experiences not offered on other tours, with some also including an upscale dining experience.

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    "America's Cup 12-Metre" Yacht Race (Cozumel)
    Passengers can "compete" in an actual simulated race around a shortened "America's Cup" course, and under the watchful eyes of the experienced crew, are invited to participate in the thrill of sailing these fabulous "greyhounds of the sea." Each guest is offered a small task and is given instruction by the crewmembers.

    A Hacienda Experience (Limon, Costa Rica)
    This memorable cultural experience features a visit to a unique family-owned, century-old hacienda, nestled in the mountains near San Jose, Costa Rica. The hacienda serves as a home and boutique guest house capturing expansive views of the Central Valley and magnificent Reventazon River. Participants will learn about the colonial days and the processing of sugarcane, coffee, and macadamia nuts.

    Carara National Park & Villa Caletas (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)
    This tour combines a nature walk through a national park and lunch at a superb mountain retreat. Carara National Park, one of the most famous in Costa Rica, has one of the world's largest populations of wild scarlet macaws. Naturalists lead passengers on a two-hour walk filled with a variety of bird life. Next is lunch at Villa Caletas, a one-of-a-kind mountain boutique resort nestled 1,150 feet above the Pacific.

    The Magnificent Pitons at Ladera Resort (St. Lucia)
    Views of the awe-inspiring Pitons are combined with an unforgettable lunch at the Caribbean's #1 resort hotel in this excursion option. Passengers will travel through the rolling countryside of St. Lucia's lush western coast, including a UNESCO World Heritage Site management area. Participants visit the famous Ladera Resort, where they'll have lunch enjoying the commanding view of the twin Pitons mountains.

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    Six Princess ships will visit more than 25 ports throughout the idyllic Caribbean in 2010-11, with 14 itinerary choices. In addition three ships sail on Panama Canal routes, with a variety of itinerary options, including the two-day Canal Experience for more time to explore Panama.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by contacting a Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Paradise.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)

    October 11, 2010

    More Exotic Routes Set for Crystal's 2012 Itineraries

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    Celebrating an unprecedented 16 years of awards as the #1 cruise line in the world, luxury specialist Crystal Cruises announces its 2012 deployment with an increased presence abroad.

    Among 68 global itineraries for the award-winning Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are such new offerings as:

    94-day "Epic Islands and Empires" Pacific Rim World Cruise through Hawaii, the South Pacific, eastern and western Australia, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Russia, Alaska, British Columbia and San Francisco, including a three-day inclusive overland adventure in Beijing; a maiden call in Newcastle, Australia; and a return to South Korea for the first time since 1994;

    Christmas/New Year cruises in Australia/New Zealand and the Mediterranean;

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    Expanded collection Mediterranean itineraries including late fall options;

    Expanded collection of Baltic and Northern European cruises;

    More seven-day cruises in the Mediterranean and New England/Canada, as well as a seven-day Thanksgiving voyage through the Mexican Riviera;

    Transatlantic cruises from New York to London and from Miami to Lisbon, which can be combined with European cruises;

    Late fall cruises in the South Pacific and New Zealand;

    More overnight stays in destinations including Ashdod, Reykjavik, Odessa, Honfleur and Hamburg, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Istanbul, Venice, Sorrento, Bordeaux, as well as destinations throughout Asia, Australia and South America.

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    "Each year we meticulously craft future itineraries for our huge base of repeat guests, as well as the most discerning luxury travelers who are new to Crystal and new to luxury cruising," says Crystal President Gregg Michel. "Whether one is planning a single vacation getaway, a family reunion, or several weeks or months of Crystal experiences, our 2012 cruise collection offers a wealth of intriguing - and even unexpected - choices for today's global cruise market."

    Complete day-by-day itineraries for 2012 will be available after October 30, 2010.

    Distinguished by unparalleled service, abundant space, extensive choices, superior quality, and exceptional value, Crystal Cruises has been voted "World's Best" by the readers of Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler more than any other cruise line, hotel or resort in history.

    For more information and reservations for 2010, 2011 and/or pre-reservations for 2012, please contact a Crystal Specialist at Cruising2Paradise.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

    October 08, 2010

    MSC Poesia Earns a Perfect Score during her Maiden-Call in Quebec

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    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (October 4, 2010) - Health Canada made a surprise inspection of MSC Poesia during her recent maiden-call in Quebec where she received a perfect score of 100 after the rigorous examination during her inaugural sanitation inspection.

    The inspection team from the Workplace Health and Public Safety Program (WHPSP), the Canadian equivalent to the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), said the 100-point score was awarded because of the outstanding state of sanitation, safe food handling, and the general high level of understanding and compliance in the areas of food, water, air and general hygiene onboard MSC Poesia.

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    Health Canada officers conducted intense inspections of the food provisioning, storage and preparation areas, the ship's laundry, bars, self-serve buffets, restaurants, warewashing machinery, room service operations, medical and children's centers, as well as its Integrated Pest Management Program, waste management, housekeeping and public area cleanliness, recreational and potable water protection and supply system, air purity controls, and the ship's general procedures to prevent or control illnesses.

    Over the years, MSC Cruises' ships sailing in Caribbean waters have consistently earned "Superior" scores on USPH inspections. The last 100-point score for a ship in the Caribbean was earned on the MSC Poesia in May. She earned several during the past Caribbean season.

    MSC Cruises practices this policy of going above and beyond daily. One example of MSC's detailed approach to cleanliness involves crew members who empty, disassemble, clean and sanitize every ice machine, 60 per ship, on all of our 11 ships weekly.

    Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), said, "Why do we perform so well on these inspections? It's our corporate philosophy to be the most responsible we can be in both safety and environment."

    For more information about MSC Cruises, contact an MSC Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

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    View MSC Cruises Cruise Specials . . .

    New England & Canada Cruises From $499 US!

    Caribbean Cruises From $199 US!

    Posted by Denise at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

    October 07, 2010

    Cunard's Grand Celebration of Queen Elizabeth Available to Cruise Fans Worldwide

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    Cruise Critic to feature a special highlights video exclusively from Cunard

    4 October 2010 - As the world awaits Queen Elizabeth, Cunard Line announces today that Cunarders and cruise enthusiasts will be able to experience the grand celebration of its newest liner, all at the click of a mouse. Cunard and Cruise Critic - one of the most visited online cruise resources - developed a dedicated Queen Elizabeth web page that will feature multimedia content from the Royal Naming Ceremony, including a special highlights video exclusively from Cunard. Visitors to the dedicated page will also have the opportunity for a chance to win a luxury cruise vacation aboard the new liner.

    Queen Elizabeth is the second largest Cunarder ever built and joins her sister ship Queen Victoria and flagship Queen Mary 2 as the youngest fleet at sea. Her Majesty The Queen will name the newest Cunard ship in a ceremony that will take place on 11 October 2010 in Southampton, England. Visitors to the dedicated web page will be able to view the grand celebration and intimately experience the newest Queen as videos on her progress and extraordinary features will be available on the web page, along with special highlights footage from the naming ceremony, which will be available following the launch.

    "The naming of Queen Elizabeth is a most momentous occasion, and we wanted
    to provide Cunard fans worldwide with special access to this historic Cunard and cruise industry milestone," said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line.

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    Beyond exploring all the grandeur Queen Elizabeth has to offer, U.S. visitors to the dedicated web page can enter for a chance to win a luxury cruise vacation aboard the elegant new liner through Cunard's Queen Elizabeth Grand Celebration Sweepstakes. The Grand Prize is a five-day roundtrip Southampton England Getaway voyage for two on board Queen Elizabeth. The sweepstakes runs until 18 October and is available on www.cunard.com/QEGrandSweepstakes. One grand prize will be awarded by random drawing by the end of October.

    Queen Elizabeth will feature many unique Cunard traditions linking her with her sisters and their predecessors, together with all the modern-day luxuries Cunard's guests have come to expect. There also will be features that will give the vessel her own style and personality.

    From the outside, her distinctive black and red livery will hint at an experience that differentiates a Cunard liner from a modern-day cruise ship. This will be most evident in the ship's adherence to liner traditions, with elegant double- and triple-height public rooms on a grand scale, luxuriously endowed with rich wood paneling, intricate mosaics, hand-woven carpets, gleaming chandeliers and cool marbles. Art Deco features will pay homage to the original Queen Elizabeth, reflecting The New Golden Age of Ocean Travel.

    Fans and cruise enthusiasts are invited to bookmark the Cruise Critic Queen Elizabeth web page now in order to return on 11 October to view the special highlights video.

    For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Elizabeth, contact a Cunard Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    View Cunard Line Cruise Specials Here!

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

    October 06, 2010

    Princess Cruises to Welcome Renowned Film Critic Leonard Maltin Aboard Coral Princess

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    Celebrated Movie Expert to Present Favorite Movies of the Year During December 15 Sailing

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (October 1, 2010) - Renowned Film Critic Leonard Maltin will be sailing aboard Coral Princess' December 15 holiday sailing, and will be presenting his favorite films of 2010 throughout the cruise especially for Princess Cruises passengers.

    During this 15-day Panama Canal cruise, movie buffs will be able to view the four films Maltin has dubbed "Leonard's Unsung Favorites of 2010," which he will personally introduce to the audience. Maltin will also lead a discussion of some of the films, will challenge passengers to a film trivia contest and will offer a talk focusing on Hollywood of yesteryear.

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    Passengers will be able to view the films on Coral Princess' giant poolside Movies Under the Stars screen or in the Princess Theater.

    "Leonard Maltin's wealth of knowledge about the world of film has made him one of the most recognizable movie experts today," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "Passengers on this Coral Princess voyage are in for a special treat as he shares these hand-picked films with them."

    Maltin's appearance is an extension of Princess' exclusive Leonard Maltin Movie Club. This fleetwide club invites passengers to view a specially selected film onboard. Each month, a new movie is featured, with a special video introduction from Mr. Maltin. Later, cruise staff members host a gathering for passengers featuring a group discussion of the film, guided by questions and trivia from Mr. Maltin. The one-hour club meeting is open to all passengers.

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    For passengers who want to further enjoy films in their stateroom, the Leonard Maltin Movie Channel on the ship's television system will feature a selection of contemporary, classic and animated movies specially selected by Mr. Maltin.

    Leonard Maltin is one of the country's most recognized and respected film critics and historians. He may be best known as the resident film buff on the popular syndicated program "Entertainment Tonight," where he has appeared since 1982. However, long before he became a familiar face on television, his annual paperback "Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide" established his reputation; he was 18 when the first edition was published. He has also published numerous other books and articles, and teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. In addition, Mr. Maltin has created television specials and DVDs on film topics, currently hosts the weekly program "Secret's Out" on ReelzChannel, and introduces movies on DirecTV.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by contacting a Princess Expert at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)

    October 05, 2010

    Princess Cruises Announces Winners of 2010 Alaska Shore Excursion Awards

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    11th Annual C.R.U.I.S.E. Service Awards Recognize Top Local Tour Operators as Rated by Passengers

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (September 30, 2010) - Princess Cruises is marking the end of the Alaska season with shipboard awards ceremonies celebrating the year's top-rated local tour operators. The line's 11th annual C.R.U.I.S.E. service awards used passenger feedback throughout the season to determine the best shore excursion experiences and guides in each port on Alaska itineraries.

    Award winners were chosen from Princess' extensive line-up of more than 200 Alaska shore excursion options, and recognize the most popular tours, individual guides and dock representatives in the communities where Princess ships call. The awards underscore the important role that local tour operators in each community play in a passenger's cruise experience, and winners are determined primarily by tour scores and comments made on passenger surveys throughout the season.

    "A passenger's adventures in port significantly contribute to the cruise experience, especially in such a vast and amazing place as Alaska," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "So the local tour operators who provide these unforgettable excursions definitely deserve our recognition and thanks for making our passengers' visits so memorable."

    The C.R.U.I.S.E. program is the longest running customer service program in the cruise industry. The Alaska awards were begun in 2000 and cap off a season-long effort to recognize the role that Alaskan-owned tour partners play in passengers' cruise experiences. Tour Guide of the Season and Dock Representative of the Season award winners receive $100, a letter of commendation, a plaque, a ship tour and lunch onboard with their family. Operators of the Shore Excursion of the Season receive a plaque and a letter of commendation, a tour of the ship, and lunch onboard for company officials.

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    The 2010 winners are:

    Icy Strait Point:
    Shore Excursion: Whale & Wildlife Cruise, Icy Strait Point Tour
    Guide: Annette McLaughlin, Icy Strait Point

    Juneau:
    Co-Shore Excursions:
    Helicopter Glacier Trek, Northstar Trekking
    Rainforest Canopy & Zipline Expedition, Alaska Canopy Adventures
    Taku Glacier Lodge Flight & Feast, Wings Airways and Taku Lodge
    Co-Tour Guides:
    Collin Pilcher, Gastineau Guiding Company
    Joel Kersting, Gold Rush Tours
    Dock Representative:
    Dawn Dulebohn, Dolphin Jet Boat Tours

    Ketchikan:
    Co-Shore Excursions:
    Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour, Commercial Fishing Adventures
    Moutain Point Snorkeling Adventure, Snorkel Alaska
    Rainforest Canopy & Zipline Expedition, Alaska Canopy Adventures
    Co-Tour Guides:
    Joe Williams, Where the Eagle Walks
    Rob Holston, Lighthouse Excursions
    Dock Representative:
    Jill Gates, The Great Alasakan Lumberjack Show

    Kodiak:
    Shore Excursion:
    Best of Kodiak, First Group
    Tour Guide:
    Dee Ann Valdivia, Kodiak Tours

    Seward:
    Shore Excursion:
    Alaska SeaLife Center & Puffin Experience, Alaska SeaLife Center
    Tour Guide:
    Danny Seavey, IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours

    Skagway:
    Co-Shore Excursions:
    Glacier Discovery by Helicopter, TEMSCO Helicopters
    Glacier Point Wilderness Safari, Chilkat Guides
    White Pass Bennett Lake Adventure, White Pass & Yukon Route
    Co-Tour Guides:
    Steve Merrow, Chilkat Guides
    Tyler Geist, Alaska Mountain Guides
    Dock Representative:
    Jeff Neis, Skagway Street Car Co.

    Vancouver:
    Shore Excursion: Capilano Canyon's Natural Beauty, Rockwood Adventures
    Tour Guide:
    Bill Reaugh, TMS Gateway Tours

    Victoria:
    Shore Excursion:
    Butchart & Butterfly Gardens, Gray Line West
    Tour Guide:
    Norman Archer, D'Costa Ports of Call

    Whittier:
    Shore Excursion:
    Wilderness Explorer Glacier Cruise, Prince William Sound Cruise & Tours
    Tour Guides:
    Richard DiJulia, Alaska Sea Kayakers

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

    September 30, 2010

    ROYAL CARIBBEAN AND USA TODAY KICK OFF "REPORTERS AT SEA: FAMILY STYLE" CONTEST

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    Contest Invites Families to Try Their Hand As 'Reporters At Sea' Aboard Cruise Line's Newest Ship, Allure of the Seas

    MIAMI (September 22, 2010) - Calling all families! Royal Caribbean International and USA TODAY announced today a search for America's best and brightest family to cover the unveiling of Allure of the Seas, which will share the title of the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship along with sister ship, Oasis of the Seas. Today through October 29, 2010, families are invited to enter to win the coveted role of field correspondents alongside USA TODAY'S own cruise editor, Gene Sloan. Once onboard the ship, the lucky winning family of up to six will receive behind-the-scenes access to file reports that will appear at USA TODAY's Cruise Log about one of the most buzzed-about hospitality and entertainment stories of the year.

    While embarking on a four-night preview sailing, the winning family will enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at The DreamWorks Experience featuring the "How To Train Your Dragon On Ice" show, an aqua show featuring "Madagascar", character breakfasts, activities for the kids in Adventure Ocean, character meet-and-greets, parades, sail-away parties, 3D films in the ship's 3D theater, as well as backstage access to Chicago: The Musical. In addition to the United States, the "Reporters at Sea: Family Style" contest is searching for family journalists in Canada, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, South Korea, China and Venezuela.

    Reporters-to-be can audition for the assignment of a lifetime by submitting a creative video of 45 seconds or less in length and no more than 100 MB in size at www.allureoftheseas.usatoday.com. The video should showcase the family's best reporting skills and tout why Royal Caribbean should select them to be USA TODAY's correspondents onboard Allure of the Seas. Videos will be judged on the entrants' ability to entertain, as well as effectively bring to life and clearly explain innovative and imaginative travel or cruising concepts.

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    Once the entry period ends, judges will select three finalists per country, and Americans will vote for their favorite U.S. video between October 15 and October 29, 2010. Multiple generations are encouraged to enter. The individual who enters the contest on behalf of his or her family must be 18 years of age. Winning families of up to six members from each country will be simultaneously announced on November 15, 2010, and will be flown to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to cover two exclusive preview cruises onboard Allure of the Seas from November 19 to November 23, 2010.

    Allure of the Seas shares the title of the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship with its sister ship, Oasis of the Seas. An architectural marvel at sea, she will span 16 decks, encompass 225,282 gross registered tons, carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Allure of the Seas will tout Royal Caribbean's exclusive neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which will include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship will alternate a Western Caribbean with an Eastern Caribbean seven-night itinerary from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at www.AllureoftheSeas.com.

    The Reporters at Sea: Family Style contest builds on the success of last year's Reporter at Sea contest, in which winners from five countries reported individually about the launch of the groundbreaking Oasis of the Seas. For more information about the Reporters at Sea: Family Style contest, how to enter and vote, the official rules and details on the prize, please visit www.allureoftheseas.usatoday.com.

    Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 20 ships currently in service and two under construction. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. For additional information or to make reservations, call a Royal Caribbean WOW Specialist at Cruising2Paradise.com #1-800-738-8837.

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    USA TODAY is a multi-platform news and information media company. Founded in 1982, USA TODAY's mission is to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation. Today, through its newspaper, website and mobile platforms, USA TODAY connects readers and engages the national conversation. USA TODAY, the nation's number one newspaper in print circulation with an average of more than 1.8 million daily, and USATODAY.com, an award-winning newspaper website launched in 1995, reach a combined 5.9 million readers daily. USA TODAY is a leader in mobile applications with more than five million downloads on mobile devices. The USA TODAY brand also includes USA TODAY Education and USA TODAY Sports Weekly. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).

    Posted by Denise at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)

    September 29, 2010

    DOUBLE BONUS SAVINGS ON 2011 ALASKA SAILINGS | Boutique Ports, 2 Full Days of Glacier Cruising, Alaskan Cuisine Highlight Oceania Cruises' Inaugural Season

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    MIAMI, Sept. 28, 2010 - To celebrate its inaugural Alaska season, Oceania Cruises has announced Double Bonus Savings on 10 exciting, new voyages for summer 2011. The limited-time promotion offers per stateroom savings of $1,000 off cruise fares plus a $1,000 shipboard credit on top of two-for-one prices and free airfare. In addition, third and fourth guests in a stateroom may travel for only $999 per person, cruise-only.

    Depending on the cruise, scenic highlights encompass Hubbard Glacier, the Gulf of Alaska, Tracy Arm and College Fjord. With two-for-one cruise fares and Double Bonus Savings, a 10-day Alaska cruise starts at just $2,999 per person, based on double occupancy. This special offer expires Dec. 31, 2010.

    "We are offering our best fares ever on our inaugural Alaska sailings as we kick-off the traditional Alaska selling season," stated Bob Binder, president of Oceania Cruises. "We have a long-standing tradition of offering the best fares and promotions up-front to reward our loyal guests and encourage them to book their preferred voyage and accommodations as early as possible."

    Distinctly Different Alaska Cruises
    Known for its award-winning itineraries to the world's most alluring ports, Oceania Cruises inaugural Alaska cruises explore the Inside Passage in depth. Itinerary highlights include at least one full day exploring the Inside Passage and one or two complete days of glacier viewing on every cruise, as well as a mix of marquee as well as off-the-beaten-path ports. In addition to Sitka, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, itineraries feature quaint, less-visited outposts, such as Kodiak, Homer and Hoonah.

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    For example, Oceania Cruises' 12-day Glacial Wilderness voyages, between Anchorage and Vancouver, sail directly to Anchorage, affording spectacular scenery and convenience. The line?s 10-day Frontiers and Glaciers cruises, roundtrip from Vancouver, not only offer guests the best of the Inside Passage, but also a taste of the Gulf of Alaska with a visit to remote Kodiak. Majestic Alaska cruises, which operate round-trip from San Francisco, present a comprehensive Alaska experience in 14 days. Oceania Cruises' 12-day Alaskan Grandeur sailings between San Francisco and Vancouver combine the Inside Passage with the charm of coastal towns in the Pacific Northwest.

    "We offer the most in-depth experience possible on each and every cruise," added Binder. "Our mid-size ships and extended voyages are the perfect way to explore Alaska."

    Choose From Four Intriguing Itineraries

    Majestic Alaska - 14 days roundtrip from San Francisco, a maiden port for Oceania Cruises, visiting Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia; Sitka, Hoonah, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska; and Astoria, Ore. Departures: May 12, Aug. 26.

    Alaskan Grandeur - 12 days between San Francisco and Vancouver. Ports include Astoria and Victoria, as well as Wrangell, Juneau, Hoonah, Sitka and Ketchikan. Departures: May 26, Aug. 14.

    Frontiers and Glaciers - 10 days roundtrip from Vancouver, calling at Sitka, Hoonah, Kodiak, Wrangell and Ketchikan. Departures: June 7, Aug. 4.

    Glacial Wilderness - 12 days between Vancouver and Anchorage, with visits to Ketchikan, Wrangell, Juneau, Hoonah, Skagway, Sitka, Seward and Homer. Departures: June 17 and 29, July 11 and 23.

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    Enjoy Gourmet Pacific Northwest Specialties
    Travelers will discover Alaska aboard Oceania Cruises' 684-guest Regatta - an intimate ship known for its gourmet cuisine, luxurious public rooms and accommodations, and attentive service. As a special highlight, Pacific Northwest specialties will be featured during lunch in the casual Terrace Cafe and in the ship's elegant Grand Dining Room. Regional specialties will also be showcased in all four of the ship's open-seating restaurants; all of which are available with no surcharge.

    When provisioning locally, the ship's executive chef seeks the freshest catch and shellfish, making on-the-spot decisions. Consequently, not all selections will always be available and there may be surprise menu additions. Depending on the voyage and venue, appetizers might include Fresh Halibut Veloute - a creamy fish soup with saffron rice and julienne leeks - or Alaskan King Crab Legs, sure to be a guest favorite.

    For reservations or to order a brochure, contact an Alaska Specialist at Cruising2Alaska.com #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. Riviera, a sister ship to Marina, is scheduled to join the fleet in April 2012.

    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 Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow to approximately 6,500 berths by 2012.

    View Oceania Cruise Specials to Alaska . . .

    10 Days Roundtrip Vancouver June 7 or August 4, 2011 From $2999 US!

    15 Days Roundtrip San Francisco May 12, 2011 From $3499 US!

    Posted by Denise at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

    OCEANIA CRUISES' NEW MARINA COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL SEA TRIALS

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    Miami, September 27, 2010 - Oceania Cruises' 1,250-guest Marina, scheduled to launch in January 2011, successfully completed sea trials on Sept. 26, which included three days of sailing the Mediterranean for the first time.

    During the sea trials, technicians and engineers from the Fincantieri shipyard along with Oceania Cruises' marine and technical teams evaluated the vessel's speed, maneuverability, hydrodynamics and propulsion, among many other aspects of the ship's performance.

    "She is a beautiful ship. Marina was extremely maneuverable with virtually no vibration to be felt, even at high speeds," stated Captain Dimitrios Flokos, the ship's master. "Marina exceeded all expectations. In fact, shipyard representatives commented this was the most successful sea trial in recent history for technical performance."

    A second and final round of trials will be run just prior to the ship's delivery. The 65,000-ton ship ? being built at Fincantieri in Sestre Ponente, Italy ? is scheduled for delivery Jan. 17, 2011. Photos from the sea trials and new construction photos can be seen at www.oceaniacruisesblog.com.

    "Her first foray at sea was a resounding success. Marina exhibited exceptional sea-keeping abilities, is amazingly agile and cruised at more than 22 knots with plenty of power in reserve," said Robin Lindsay, the line's executive vice president of vessel operations, who was on board during the sea trials. "Now that sea trials were successfully concluded, we will focus on finishing her magnificent interiors."

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    The ship's inaugural schedule includes a 13-day Maiden Voyage Jan. 22 from Barcelona to Miami, where inaugural activities are planned. On Feb. 8, Marina departs on the first of two 18-day Panama Canal transits that visit San Francisco or San Diego, both new ports for Oceania Cruises. Marina operates a 12-day Caribbean cruise, round-trip from Miami, departing March 16, before sailing along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and on to Europe to begin her inaugural Mediterranean season.

    To learn more about Marina, contact a Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Oceania Cruises
    Oceania Cruises offers an unrivaled combination of fine cuisine, luxurious accommodations, exceptional personalized service and extraordinary value. Award-winning itineraries visit more than 330 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard the 684-guest Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. The line's 1,250-guest Marina joins the fleet in January 2011, followed by Riviera - a sister ship - in April 2012.

    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 Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow to approximately 6,500 berths by 2012.

    Looking At These Great Pictures Of The Ship!

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    Posted by Denise at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

    September 27, 2010

    Three New "Legends in Concert" to Debut on Norwegian Epic: Britney Spears, Rod Stewart and Michael Jackson

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    Miami - Sep 24, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line announced that three new "legends" will perform as part of the Legends in Concert show on Norwegian Epic beginning Saturday, September 25, 2010. The three are some of the world's most recognized entertainers: Britney Spears, Rod Stewart and Michael Jackson. A staple on the Las Vegas' center strip for over 25 years, Legends in Concert is known as the pioneer of live tribute shows and has assembled the greatest collection of live tribute artists and celebrity look-alikes in show business.

    "The Legends in Concert shows in both the Manhattan Room and in the Epic Theater are extremely well received by our guests," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "With the arrival of these three new legendary entertainers, we are offering Norwegian Epic guests fresh and exciting performances from some very talented and well known performers."

    Portraying a pop princess is no easy feat, but Katy Draper, originally from Utah, dreamed about it from a young age and was also told that she bore a striking resemblance to Britney Spears. She joined the world famous Legends in Concert show in 2006 at the young age of 22, and has gone on to perform as a "Legend" on the Ellen Degeneres show and has toured with Legends in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Branson, Missouri.

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    John Anthony is an accomplished performer, musician and popular entertainer who continues to captivate audiences around the world with his tribute to Rod Stewart. While covering a few Rod Stewart songs with his Boston-based band, Anthony discovered the ability to emulate Stewart's voice and mannerisms. Anthony has been performing as Stewart with Legends in Concert for the past 14 years. He has toured America, Canada and Japan and is well known as one of the best and unmatched celebrity tribute artists in the world.

    William Hall always knew he would be an entertainer. This San Antonio, Texas native has been performing since he was three years old. Hall attributes his love for music and dancing, along with the influence of his family and friends, as contributing to his decision to perform his tribute to Michael Jackson. Noteworthy career highlights include performing with Diana Ross and for much of the Jackson family in 2004 at father Joe Jackson's birthday party. He is looking forward to performing on Norwegian Epic and sharing his love and respect for Jackson with his many adoring fans.

    Legends in Concert is a live musical celebration featuring the world's greatest celebrity tribute artists. Legends in Concert on Norwegian Epic features three celebrity tribute performers taking the stage in the Epic Theater for six 45-minute shows over three days during a seven-day cruise. In addition, a Legends "Unplugged" show is performed on three additional nights in the Manhattan Room, the ship's New York-inspired supper club, providing an unprecedented dining and entertainment experience. The celebrity performers change every four months, keeping the show fresh and exciting. The initial performers were Madonna, Tina Turner and Elvis Presley.

    Legends in Concert
    Internationally acclaimed Legends in Concert is known as the pioneer of live celebrity impersonator shows and possesses the greatest collection of celebrity impersonators ever assembled. Featuring live concert shows of famous musicians and celebrities of yesterday and today with concert venues in Myrtle Beach, Branson, Las Vegas, Seattle, Atlantic City, Foxwoods Resort Casino and Coushatta Casino. The live impersonator show with music legends such as Elvis Presley, The Blues Brothers, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Cher, Madonna, Michael Jackson and many more celebrities that appeal to music fans of all ages, makes Legends in Concert a must see live concert show. With an always-evolving cast of legendary superstars with original choreography and extravagant costumes, Legends in Concert is the original and largest live celebrity tribute show in the world. For more information, visit legendsinconcert.com.

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    For more information on Norwegian Epic and to book a cruise, please call a FreeStyle Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    Posted by Denise at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

    September 23, 2010

    Celebrity Cruises Celebrates Autumnal Equinox by Naming Fifth Ship in Widely Heralded Solstice Class Fleet

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    In light of the images of sun and shadow conveyed in the names of Celebrity Cruises' stylish Solstice Class ships, the world's top-rated premium brand is marking autumnal equinox by announcing the name of the fifth in its 'Xceptional' series: Celebrity Reflection.

    "Selecting the name of the fifth ship in the class led us to reflect back on the significant impact the Solstice Class has had on the cruise industry," said Celebrity's President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. "Our Solstice Class ships offer the finest in premium cruising, with service provided by the best men and women in the hospitality business, as evidenced by the tremendous response from our guests, travel partners and the press, and a continuously expanding series of prestigious awards. There is no question that Celebrity Reflection will deliver an equally outstanding vacation experience for our guests."

    Following delivery in November 2012, Celebrity Reflection will join Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Silhouette, rounding out the $3.7-billion class.

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    Celebrity Reflection will present vacationers with some new features, yet to be announced, along with many of the hallmarks found on some or all of her sister ships, including:

  • The hip "Celebrity iLounge" that made Celebrity Cruises the industry's first Authorized Apple Reseller

  • Uniquely unordinary "Qsine," the first seagoing restaurant to feature a menu and wine list on an iPad, and an engaging food-as-theater dining experience

  • Celebrity's iconic half-acre Lawn Club, with real, growing grass

  • Ten unrivaled dining venues, including Qsine

  • Modern, stylish interiors designed by some of the world's best architects and designers

  • Hip, cool nightclubs and lounges, including CellarMasters, complete with the industry's first installation of the innovative Enomatic by-the-glass wine serving system

  • One of the broadest and best wine offerings in the industry, served by one of the world's largest staffs of certified sommeliers

  • One of the world's largest permanent collections of original contemporary art, and the industry's first self-guided art tours to be presented on an iPad

  • Widely varied entertainment, including breathtaking aerial acts

  • The extensive array of entertaining and enriching onboard programming offered through "Celebrity Life," including instruction on the latest iPods, MacBooks and iLife classes; language learning through Rosetta Stone; comparative wine tastings with Riedel Crystal, and enrichment presentations with Smithsonian Journeys

    Posted by Denise at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)
  • September 17, 2010

    YouTube Launches New Travel Channel Powered by Norwegian Cruise Line

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    Robust channel provides travel ideas and inspiration from experts along with ability to create personalized Freestyle Cruising videos

    Miami - Sep 8, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line today announced it is working with YouTube to power the first-ever YouTube Vacationer, a travel-specific channel within the world's largest online video site providing vacation inspiration with ideas and advice from well-traveled experts, such as Lonely Planet, National Geographic and Travel Channel. The YouTube Vacationer, www.youtube.com/vacationer, is also interactive, offering visitors a first of its kind opportunity to create their own "Vacation You" video experience and share it with others.

    Norwegian Cruise Line's signature Freestyle Cruising approach is at the heart of this site, providing users the freedom, flexibility and choice to interact with more than two million combinations of video content enabling them to create and share their own unique Freestyle vacation experience.

    When interacting within Norwegian's "Vacation You" section of the YouTube Vacationer channel, visitors will select from a series of short video clips that tap into their vacation mindset to produce a customized 60-90 second montage of their ideal Freestyle Cruising vacations. Visitors can then share their personalized "Vacation You" video with friends and family through Facebook, Twitter or email.

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    "By working with YouTube on their first-ever travel-specific channel, we are giving visitors the opportunity to experience our brand and all the options that Freestyle Cruising offers," said Maria Miller, Norwegian Cruise Line's senior vice president of marketing. "From a marketing perspective, this opportunity is compelling because it provides a truly organic user experience and represents another great way for brands to work with YouTube."

    "We are pleased to be working with Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovators in cruise travel, on our first branded travel channel," said Mark Day, Sales Development at YouTube. "The YouTube Vacationer channel brings the best of our partners' travel videos into a single destination to help users explore, plan and dream about their next vacations, and it gives users a way to see themselves in a customized vacation video with Norwegian's 'Vacation You' application."

    To experience the YouTube Vacationer channel, visit www.youtube.com/vacationer.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    Posted by Denise at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

    September 14, 2010

    Cunard's Queen Victoria Bids "Aloha" to Hawaiian Voyages in 2011

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    American Entertainment News Pioneer Rona Barrett Joins 17 February Voyage to Raise Awareness for the Needs of Seniors

    13 September 2010 - In late January 2011, as part of Queen Victoria's debut Americas Season, Cunard Line will offer guests the opportunity to experience The New Golden Age of Ocean Travel with luxury cruise vacations to the tranquil islands of Hawaii. Additionally, guests sailing on the 17 February voyage will enjoy a very special Cunard Insights programme presented by Rona Barrett, recognized as the "first lady of entertainment news."

    The Hawaiian Adventure cruises depart round-trip from Los Angeles for two relaxing weeks sailing the Hawaiian Islands; starting 30 January and again on 17 February, guests aboard Queen Victoria will visit Hilo (Hawaii), Honolulu (Oahu), Nawiliwili (Kauai) and Lahaina (Maui), as well as a quick visit to Ensenada (Mexico).

    "Enjoying the tropical paradise of the Hawaii Islands is one of the many ways guests can create memorable experiences aboard Queen Victoria," said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. "We look forward to welcoming Rona Barrett as part of our Cunard Insights enrichment programme and know our guests are eager to hear her up close and personal stories about some of Hollywood's most intriguing celebrities."

    Barrett is one of the pioneers and innovators in entertainment news reporting and publishing in the United States. She developed the first in-depth personal TV specials about the celebrities of film, television, music, sports and politics, and published a series of magazines on the entertainment industry for consumers and for industry insiders, including Rona Barrett's Hollywood. She was also one of the original reporters for "Good Morning America" on ABC. Barrett recently returned to the spotlight, now appearing in a one-woman show, "Rona Barrett: Nothing But the Truth," which premiered at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills in June. Elements of this stage show will be performed for guests on board Queen Victoria as part of her enrichment programme. Barrett created the show to tour and raise funds in support of The Rona Barrett Foundation on behalf of senior citizens in need.

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    Proceeds from Barrett's show appearances will support her foundation's project of building The Golden Inn and Cottages, a pilot facility that can be constructed in communities throughout the U.S. to provide affordable housing and care, among many other elderly needs.

    Delving deeply into a variety of compelling and relevant topics, Cunard Insights introduces guests to stimulating experts and accomplished visionaries who reflect the Line's heritage of adventure and prestige. Through a series of lectures, Q&A's, social gatherings and workshops, guests connect with personalities who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, arts and literature. The award-winning Insights programme underscores Cunard's longstanding view that on board entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience.

    Barrett joins Cunard's illustrious legacy of welcoming world-famous guests, experts and intriguing presenters including Winston Churchill, President Nelson Mandela, Jean Chatzky, Tina Brown & Sir Harold Evans, Lady Margaret Thatcher, Elizabeth Taylor, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Buzz Aldrin.

    Queen Victoria will spend more time on the west coast in winter 2011 as she comes off Cunard's historic Royal Rendezvous in New York - where all three Queens will be docked on 13 January. Continuing to sail her Americas voyages, she will make three visits to the Panama Canal - including two transits, multiple visits to the port of Los Angeles, and her first short Getaway voyage to Mexico.

    For more information about Queen Victoria or to book a voyage, consult a Cunard Specialist at Cruising2Mexico.com #1-800-738-8837.

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

    September 13, 2010

    Natural Beauty of the South Pacific Shines on Crystal Voyage

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    From soaring high over Bora Bora by helicopter to swimming with - or simply viewing - the diverse sea life that inhabit the clear waters of the Blue Lagoon, Crystal Cruises is offering nearly three dozen Crystal Adventures revealing the South Pacific's breathtaking natural beauty. Crystal Serenity's 12-day, January 30 voyage sails from Papeete to Auckland, featuring different perspectives on the region's famous tropical culture.

    Visiting the Society and Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga and Auckland, shoreside adventures highlight the untouched landscapes and lush vegetation, indigenous wildlife and even 3,000-year-old local villages, including:


    Hike into Rarotonga's Takitumi Rainforest, where conservation efforts continue to preserve the island's native plants and animals like the rare ground orchid and the long-tailed cuckoo;

    Climb to Bora Bora's Pahonu Hill for panoramic views of the island's reefs and lagoons, or snorkel on the barrier reef past Toopua Point;

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    Experience Auckland's west coast, with forests teeming with native wildlife, one of the world's most awe-inspiring black-sand beaches and cascading waterfalls pouring into a rainforest; and

    Meet local families and join a traditional kava ceremony at the Viseisei Fijian Village, where the first settlers of Fiji landed 3,000 years ago.

    "This itinerary offers so many opportunities for nature lovers," says John Stoll, vice president, land and port operations. "Choices are a key component of the Crystal Experience, and we strive to offer numerous choices ashore to suit most any interest, from spectator activities to the most adventurous."

    Guests can also expand their awareness with onboard presentations from acclaimed earth and environmental scientist David J. Drewry.

    Promotional Two-for-One segment fares start at $6,910, per person, double occupancy, including complimentary air transportation from many North American gateways and up to $1,000 per person "All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard credits. Crystal's Save Now, Save Later promotion offers guests who book any World Cruise segments by September 30 two-for-one fares, plus 20% savings on virtually any 2011 or 2012 cruise. Guests can also earn $400 in shipboard credits for each new-to-Crystal guest they refer who sails on the same voyage with Crystal's new Bonus Share the Experience program.

    For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a Crystal Specialist at Cruising2Tahiti.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 09:59 AM | Comments (0)

    September 12, 2010

    CARNIVAL INSPIRATION TO REPOSITION TO LONG BEACH, CARNIVAL PARADISE TO TAMPA IN FALL 2011

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    Both Ships to Offer 14-Day Panama Canal Cruises Featuring Five Magnificent Destinations in the Americas and Caribbean

    MIAMI (September 2, 2010) - Carnival Cruise Lines has announced two exciting year-round homeport deployments for fall 2011, with the 2,052-passenger Carnival Inspiration repositioning to Long Beach, Calif., for three- and four-day Baja departures and the 2,052-passenger Carnival Paradise to Tampa, Fla, on four- and five-day Caribbean voyages. Carnival Inspiration is currently based in Tampa while Carnival Paradise operates from Long Beach.

    To reposition to their new homeports, each ship will offer a 14-day Panama Canal voyage that will provide consumers with a highly attractive longer length "Fun Ship" cruise option, as well as the unforgettable experience of transiting the Panama Canal.

    Carnival Paradise Panama Canal cruise will sail from Long Beach to Tampa departing Nov. 28, 2011, while Carnival Inspiration Panama Canal voyage will depart Dec. 3, 2011, and operate from Tampa to Long Beach.

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    These voyages will be highlighted by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of transiting the Panama Canal, one of the great technological achievements of the 20th century, where ships are raised 85 feet in the air via a series of three locks and then gently lowered back again. The transit also includes the crossing of 163-square-mile Gatun Lake, the world's largest man-made lake, which is surrounded by a variety of native tropical foliage and interesting sites.
    Each voyage will also feature visits to five magnificent ports of call: Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco, Mexico; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Cartagena, Colombia; and George Town, Grand Cayman.

    Cabo San Lucas is a world-class resort destination distinguished by rugged rock formations, lush landscape and gorgeous beaches. Known for its death-defying cliff divers, Acapulco boasts excellent beaches, and a variety of fine restaurants and shops. Located on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, Puntarenas is a tropical paradise with beautiful beaches and an abundance of wildlife and eco-tourism opportunities. Cartagena features centuries-old architecture and historical sites, including a colonial walled city and fortress designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The capital of the Cayman Islands, George Town offers outstanding duty-free bargains as well as world-renowned Seven Mile Beach.

    Early Saver rates for these voyages start at $949 per person based on double occupancy.

    Carnival Inspiration to Long Beach
    Carnival Inspiration will bring an exciting new dimension to West Coast cruising when it launches year-round three- and four-day Baja cruises from Long Beach Dec. 19, 2011. On this route, three-day cruises depart Fridays and visit Ensenada while four-day voyages depart Mondays and call at both Ensenada and Catalina Island. The ship will operate a special one-time two-day cruise to Ensenada Dec. 17-19, 2011.

    Carnival Inspiration was the first ship to undergo the line's extensive "Evolutions of Fun" refurbishment and includes a WaterWorks aqua park with a 300-foot-long Twister water slide, a tropical resort-style main pool area, and an exclusive adults-only retreat.

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    Carnival Paradise to Tampa
    In turn, Carnival Paradise will assume Carnival Inspiration's popular year-round four- and five-day western Caribbean cruise schedule from Tampa beginning Dec. 12, 2011. On this route, Carnival Paradise will depart Thursdays on four-day cruises to Cozumel and on Mondays and Saturdays on five-day voyages to Cozumel and Grand Cayman.

    Carnival Paradise offers a distinctive decor with dramatic public spaces that pay homage to great ocean liners of the past, with memorable venues such as the Queen Mary Lounge, Normandie Theater, and Rotterdam Bar. The ship also offers Serenity, an exclusive adults-only retreat.

    Reservations
    Reservations are currently being accepted for the new schedules of the Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Paradise as well as the 14-day Panama Canal cruises.

    For additional information and reservations, contact a Fun Expert at Cruising2Mexico.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is a proud member of World's Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, World's Leading Cruise Lines inspires people to discover their best vacation experience. Together, we offer a variety of exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations. Visit us at www.worldsleadingcruiselines.com

    Posted by Denise at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

    September 10, 2010

    Princess Family Cruisetours to Alaska Return for Second Season

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    Specially Designed Tours Add a Variety of Included Extras Especially for Families

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (September 9, 2010) - After a popular debut last year, Princess Cruises is once again offering special Alaska cruisetours designed just for families. These unique tours incorporate a variety of features not usually included in a cruisetour package, such as the opportunity to learn about dog mushing at the Iditarod Headquarters, pan for gold, take an interactive tour of Denali National Park, and enjoy a fun campfire experience.

    The 12-night family cruisetours include a seven-night Voyage of the Glaciers cruise plus a five-night land tour. The land segment also features such family-friendly extras as daily breakfasts, a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and a dinner theater performance. At sea, families can also take advantage of Princess' many onboard programs especially for children, including a special Junior Ranger program in Glacier Bay National Park.

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    "Alaska is the perfect place for a family vacation," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "There are amazing wildlife viewing opportunities, awesome scenery and lots of active adventures. With this in mind, we wanted to make it easier for family groups to plan the perfect Alaska experience with activities that will appeal to many ages and interests."

    Passengers can choose to sail aboard Diamond Princess or Coral Princess, and the cruisetour land itinerary includes stays at three of Princess?'own wilderness lodges ? one night at Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, two nights at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and two nights at Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. The tours are offered on 34 departures with both northbound (#FUN) and southbound (#WOW) itinerary options.

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    The following special extras are included in the 2011 season tours:

    Daily Breakfast - Everyone in the family can start their morning off with the most important meal of the day.

    Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center - Wildlife appeals to all ages, and families will be able to see a variety of animals such as bears, elk, bison, moose, caribou, musk ox, coyotes and eagles with a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. This non-profit organization takes in injured and orphaned animals and gives a permanent home to those that can?t be returned to the wild.

    Iditarod Headquarters with Dog Sled Ride - En route to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, family members will enjoy a stop at the Iditarod Headquarters in Wasilla. Here travelers can learn about mushing and its importance in Alaskan culture. The center offers the opportunity to meet sled dogs and see them at work with wheeled cart rides.

    Evening Campfire Experience (Mt. McKinley) - An evening campfire near the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge is the perfect way for families to end the day, complete with treats such as s?mores and hot chocolate, plus unique Alaska stories and songs.

    Music of Denali Dinner Theater (Denali) - This rollicking musical comedy tells the legend of the first expedition to the summit of Mt. McKinley, accompanied by a hearty, family-style meal featuring smokehouse ribs and Alaska salmon.

    Experience Denali with Alaska Geographic Tour (Denali) - A more intimate tour of Denali National Park, this special excursion includes a variety of interactive experiences, including an enhanced view of the Denali ecosystem and current research taking place. The narrated bus tour takes guests 15 miles into the park to a beautiful river valley where they embark on a short walk to the historic Savage River Camp, where they can participate in a number of hands-on activities.

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    Sourdough Expedition Breakfast (Denali) - While fueling up for the day with an Alaskan roadhouse-style breakfast, guests experience an unforgettable journey up Denali through breathtaking images in Laurent Dick's Climb Denali. Participants have the opportunity to meet this real mountain climber and ask questions about mountain climbing.

    Riverboat Cruise and El Dorado Goldmine Tour (Fairbanks) - Families can enjoy traveling on an authentic sternwheeler for a fully-narrated cruise along the Chena River and try their hands at gold panning at the El Dorado Gold Mine, where they will learn about Alaska's gold mining history.

    Fares for the Alaska Family Cruisetours start at $1,648 per person for the first and second berths, and $1,246 per person for the third and fourth berth passengers.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 03:52 PM | Comments (0)

    September 09, 2010

    Cruise West Continues Restructuring Efforts

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    SEATTLE, WA (September 8, 2010) Cruise West, a global leader in small-ship explorations, today announced that they continue to work towards a restructuring of the company and its operations. The first move in this restructuring is the termination of the Spirit of Oceanus Voyage of the Great Explorers. Additional assets may be sold and other steps are being pursued towards a restructure. As part of this process, Cruise West has suspended accepting any new bookings.

    The Spirit of Oceanus voyage ended at its scheduled port of disembarkation so as to minimize any negative impact to our guests. Cruise West plans to continue to operate its US flag ships and itineraries through October, 2010; Spirit of Endeavour will sail from Seattle on the British Columbia Cruise and the Spirit of 98 from Portland, OR along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Cruise West will also complete cruises or land tours already underway in Alaska.

    For those booked Spirit of Oceanus guests who may be affected by this news and who have not yet travelled, we recommend that you take the following steps:

    1. If third-party travel insurance was obtained, a claim should be placed immediately with the insurer.

    2. If payment was made by credit card, a claim should be placed immediately with the card issuer.

    3. If the payment was made by cash or check, and you have no travel insurance, please send an email to info@cruisewest.com.

    Cruise West executives will not respond to media inquiries or accept interviews at this time.

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    About Cruise West
    Cruise West believes that small is beautiful. Small-ship explorations allow up-close and personal experiences unmatched by the traditional larger cruise lines. For nearly 64 years, Cruise West has provided authentic travel experiences.

    UPDATE September 16, 2010: Cruise West has reportedly sold the Spirit of Oceanus to a Danish company. The ship is planned to be renamed Sea Spirit and will be make available for long-term charter.

    Posted by Denise at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

    September 07, 2010

    Carnival's Cruise Ship?Themed Exhibit Sets Sail at Miami Children?s Museum with a Host of New Hands-On Activities

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    In a nod to maritime tradition, Miami Children's Museum and Carnival Cruise Lines today uncorked a confetti-filled bottle to launch a redesigned cruise ship-shaped exhibit where kids can sail on a sea of discovery and learn the secrets behind one of South Florida's leading industries.

    The two-level 1,850-square-foot exhibit - the country's only cruise-themed children's museum attraction - has been completely renovated and now offers a host of new hands-on, interactive activities that promise oceans of fun while educating kids about seagoing travel and maritime careers.
    New features on the exhibit's first level include Puppet Ship Theater, where kids can learn about different maritime careers while putting on a puppet show with a cast of miniature captains, engineers, chefs and other shipboard personnel. Young visitors also have their moment in the spotlight dressing up and performing as Carnival entertainers with dazzling, sequin-festooned costumes-

    A new "What You Can Do On A Cruise" activity includes spinning and matching games that teach kids about the variety of fun on-board happenings as well as sights they might see along the way. Positioned in the "bow" of the ship-shaped exhibit is a cozy seating area where kids and parents can read a book or enjoy a quiet activity. Also located throughout the first level are hands-on tabletop activities and games, interactive wall bubbles and "fun facts" about the Carnival vacation experience and what shipboard life is like.

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    The exhibit's second level, which replicates the equipment and technology found on a cruise ship bridge, is just as engaging. Here, children can plot a course in the Caribbean with authentic maps and charts, and listen to actual recordings of officers, harbor pilots and quartermasters as they bring a vessel into port.

    Kids can also see "how low can they go" with a fun limbo exercise, create their own Calypso music with bongos and steel drums that are typically associated with a "fun in the sun" Caribbean cruise or learn about shipbuilding through fun, interactive puzzles. Appropriately, the second level bridge overlooks an adjacent exhibit which replicates the Port of Miami.

    Carnival partnered with Atlanta-based Purpose Studios to completely renovate, redesign and re-engineer the exhibit to offer a more nautical feel with teak-like flooring, ship railings, portholes and other design elements. The renovation also includes dramatic lighting effects and a colorful mural that re-creates the vantage point of a cruise ship on the ocean, depicting a sea of aqua-blue waters and a Carnival ship on the horizon.

    Carnival's exhibit debuted in conjunction with the Miami Children's Museum's Watson Island grand opening in 2003 and over the past seven years thousands of kids have learned about cruising and maritime careers interacting with the ship-shaped attraction.

    "This exhibit embodies the museum's mission of making learning fun by allowing kids to immerse themselves in the world of cruising and discover the important role the maritime industry plays here in South Florida," said Jim Berra, Carnival's chief marketing officer. "And on a personal note, the Miami Children's Museum is one of my family?s favorite places to beat the heat during the summer."

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    "From the beginning, Carnival has been a valuable partner with the Museum, providing a quality exhibit where children and families can play, learn, imagine and create," said Deborah Spiegelman, the museum?s executive director. "These fantastic new enhancements to the exhibit continue to provide a first class experience for everyone. I don?t know of any other museum that can boast about having its own cruise ship inside."

    The updated Carnival exhibit is one of 14 fun-filled galleries at the Miami Children's Museum, located at 980 MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island in Miami. Entrance to the exhibit is included with each regular admission to the museum. Admission is $15 for adults and children, $12 for Florida residents, free for children under 1 year old and admission for museum members is complimentary. For more information contact the Museum at 305/373-KIDS (5437) or visit www.miamichildrensmuseum.org.

    About Miami Children's Museum
    Founded in 1983, Miami Children's Museum is dedicated to enriching the lives of all children by fostering a love of learning and enabling children to reach their highest potential. Visitors of all ages are encouraged to play together, learn, imagine and create. The 56,500-square-foot facility includes 14 galleries, classrooms and a 200-seat auditorium. The museum offers hundreds of bilingual, interactive exhibits; programs and classes, including special needs classes; Subway restaurant; KidSmart educational gift shop and learning materials related to arts, culture, community and communication. To learn more about the museum, please visit the website: www.miamichildrensmuseum.org. Miami Children's Museum receives both private and public funding. MCM is sponsored in part by the City of Miami, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners.

    About Carnival Cruise Lines
    Carnival is the most popular cruise line in the world, with 22 "Fun Ships" operating voyages ranging from three to 16 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Europe, and Bermuda. The line currently has two new 130,000-ton ships on order - Carnival Magic, set to debut from Europe May 1, 2011, and Carnival Breeze, scheduled to enter service in spring 2012. For additional information and reservations on the "Fun Ship" vacation experience, contact Cruising2Mexico.com at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

    September 06, 2010

    Princess Cruises Reveals 2011-12 Panama Canal Season

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    Line's Unique Two-Day Canal Experience Offers Extra Time in Panama

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (September 2, 2010) - Since its debut nearly a century ago, the Panama Canal has been considered one of the world's most important engineering marvels. This 51-mile passageway between oceans can save a ship more than 7,000 transit miles around South America, and never ceases to amaze cruise passengers. Princess Cruises' ships have long offered a front-row view of the Panama Canal, and in 2011-12 the line will offer 38 cruises to this signature destination, with five different itinerary options.

    The Panama Canal's history adds to its status as a "must see" destination. The single most expensive construction project in United States history at the time, "big ditch" took more than 30 years to build at a cost of about $375 million. The Canal's lengthy history included construction efforts by two different nations and the creation of an independent Panama. In total, Canal construction involved as many as 80,000 workers and the excavation of around 268,000,000 cubic yards of earth.

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    Today the Canal offers passage to approximately 14,000 ships a year. Princess passengers sailing the Canal will enjoy the amenities of two vessels specifically built for Panama Canal cruising - Coral Princess and Island Princess. The sides of these ships just clear the massive locks that use an average of 52 million gallons of water in each chamber as they eventually lift and lower vessels a total of 170 feet as they pass from the Caribbean to the Pacific during the nine-hour transit.

    "Our ships have been transiting the Panama Canal for more than 40 years and, in fact, we even christened Coral Princess as it moved through the Canal," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "There really is no better way to watch the fascinating process as the ship transits each lock than from the decks of our ships - it's an exceptional way to experience this wonder of engineering."

    Princess' unique Two-day Canal Experience, available on many longer sailings, combines a full transit of the Canal, including the Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun Locks, with a second day in Panama at Fuerte Amador. This extra day gives travelers time to explore Panama further with excursions such as riding the Panama Canal Railway, exploring a rainforest, visiting an authentic Embera Indian village or touring bustling Panama City.

    Beyond the Panama Canal, these itineraries offer calls in Caribbean Islands, Mexican Riviera resort towns, and a number of intriguing ports in Central America. In Costa Rica, passengers will discover a land of tropical rain forests, lush coffee plantations and white sand coastlines set against a backdrop of majestic mountains. In San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, this scenic fishing village offers beautiful white-sand beaches and ecological richness, while the nearby city of Granada is the oldest city in Central America.

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    Panama Canal itineraries include:

    Panama Canal Two-Day Experience Cruises - Coral Princess and Island Princess will feature three itineraries offering Princess? Two-Day Canal Experience - a full Panama Canal transit combined with a full day at Fuerte Amador on the Pacific side of Panama. The 14-day itinerary sails between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles with calls at Aruba, Cartagena, and Puntarenas (Costa Rica) in addition to the Two-Day Canal Experience. A 15-day option offers an additional call in Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala). And another 15-day option sails from San Francisco to Ft. Lauderdale with calls at Cabo San Lucas, Puntarenas (Costa Rica), Cartagena, and Aruba. Sailings on these itineraries depart between September 25, 2011 and April 27, 2012. Coral Princess and Island Princess also offer longer Grand Adventures of 17, 18 and 19 days, sailing to and from Vancouver.

    Full Panama Canal Transit Sailings - A new 14-day itinerary between Los Angeles and Ft Lauderdale, offering a full Panama Canal transit plus visits to Cabo San Lucas, San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua), Puntarenas (Costa Rica), Cartagena and Aruba. Coral Princess offers four sailings on this route, with departures on October 25, November 8, 2011, February 28, and March 13, 2012.

    Roundtrip Panama Canal Cruises - Island Princess will sail on this classic 10-day roundtrip itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale, which offers a partial Panama Canal transit to Gatun Lake followed by a call in Colon, plus calls in the Caribbean ports of Aruba, Cartagena, Limon (Costa Rica), and Grand Cayman or Ocho Rios. The ship offers 20 departures between October 10, 2011 and April 17, 2012.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by calling a Princess Expert at Cruising2Mexico.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)

    September 03, 2010

    CELEBRITY CRUISES HELPS DRIVE BUSINESS TO TRAVEL PARTNERS WITH NEW AD CAMPAIGN

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    Multiple new print ads and billboards encourage consumers to ask a travel agent

    Celebrity Cruises is constantly seeking new ways to support its travel partners, and the latest outgrowth of that commitment is bound to raise questions, by design. The line has launched a new campaign designed to drive consumers to travel agents through ads featuring the headline: "Go ahead. Ask your travel agent."

    "Since our brand was founded 20 years ago, we've publicly acknowledged that travel agents are invaluable to the Celebrity brand," said Celebrity's Senior VP of Sales Dondra Ritzenthaler. "We could never achieve the levels of success we continue to achieve without them, and we're putting our money where our mouth is, making a significant investment in a robust ad campaign devoted to them. By creatively encouraging consumers to ask an agent specific questions, we'll help consumers learn more about our brand, and help drive business for agents."

    Among the questions, each of which reflect premium attributes unique to Celebrity Cruises:

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  • "Ask who provides the best premium Caribbean cruise vacation," supported by Celebrity's host of accolades, including "Best Mega-Ship Line" in the most recent annual Conde Nast Traveler readers' poll, and 15 consecutive years in the top 10 in Travel + Leisure magazine's annual poll ranking the best cruise lines in the world.

  • "Ask about the largest staff of sommeliers in the Caribbean - or in the world, as a matter of fact."

  • "Ask about a place where your stateroom attendant calls you by name. And your waiter, too."

  • "Ask about activities that push the envelope and redesign traditional onboard programming by partnering with well-known experts such as Apple, Smithsonian Journeys, Bacardi, Rosetta Stone and Riedel Crystal."

  • "Ask where you can be pampered from head-to-toe in one of the most celebrated spas at sea": Celebrity's AquaSpa by Elemis.

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  • "Ask where your stateroom is full of so many thoughtful details, even the stationery has your name on it."

  • "Ask about a place at sea where world-renowned architects designed stunning spaces that create uncontrollable smiles of approval."

  • "Ask where you can feel like a million dollars, while being spoiled with a 24-karat gold facial, among other rejuvenating indulgences."

    Celebrity's new campaign is running in select national magazines, major daily newspapers and on billboards.

    Posted by Denise at 02:18 PM | Comments (0)
  • August 31, 2010

    ROYAL CARIBBEAN ANNOUNCES SALES EXECUTIVE PROMOTIONS

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    MIAMI, August 30, 2010 - Royal Caribbean International today announced two executive promotions within the cruise line's Sales, Trade Support and Services department. Ken Muskat is named Vice President to oversee the growth of the cruise line's consumer outreach efforts and Joanne Schimelman is appointed Vice President of Sales and National Accounts. Ms. Schimelman now manages the day-to-day functions of the entire North American sales force and Mr. Muskat leads the dedicated team of Certified Vacation Planning agents, who help those vacationers whose channel of choice is to plan their vacations with the cruise line.

    "I am delighted with Joanne and Ken's promotions, which will further Royal Caribbean's success in selling the world's most innovative cruise line," said Vicki Freed, senior vice president of Sales, Trade Support and Services, Royal Caribbean International. "We are fortunate that Ken will bring with him to his new role a firsthand perspective and sensitivity to the crucial role that travel agents play in our business, as well as have Joanne's industry expertise brought to the entire North American sales force. I thank Joanne and Ken for their leadership and wish them continued success in their new roles."

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    With more than 15 years at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Muskat has served in a variety of positions in Royal Carbbean's Hotel Operations, Strategic Planning, Marketing and Sales, and most recently has been integral in leading the continuous success of the cruise line's North American sales force as Vice President. Throughout, he has spearheaded many new and innovative programs to engage the cruise line's valued travel agent partners, such as initiating and starring in the industry's first weekly online radio show for travel trade and consumers, 'Why Not Talk Cruise,' and helped foster closer relationships with our valued travel agent partners."

    In her former position as Vice President of National Account Sales, Ms. Schimelman has succeeded in managing some of the cruise line's largest accounts, including consortia, home-based networks, franchise organizations and online channels. She too has an extensive track record, with more than 15 years of cruise line sales and marketing experience.

    Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and one under construction. The line also offers unique cruisetour land packages in Alaska, Dubai, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and South America. For additional information or to make reservations, contact a Royal Caribbean WOW Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

    August 25, 2010

    Have the Slime of Your Life on Two Exclusive Nickelodeon All Access Cruises

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    Guests who book now receive up to $250 in on-board credit and half off deposit

    Miami - Aug 23, 2010 ---
    Norwegian Cruise Line and Nickelodeon are offering the ultimate family cruise vacation with two "Nickelodeon All Access Cruises" setting sail in 2011. These special Nickelodeon-themed cruises give guests access to seven days of slime-filled entertainment all day, every day aboard Norwegian Jewel, sailing from New York on February 20, 2011; and on the cruise line's newest and most innovative ship, Norwegian Epic, sailing from Barcelona on July 24, 2011. Families who book an All Access Cruise between August 23, 2010 and September 13, 2010 will receive a special offer of up to $250 in on-board credits, based on stateroom category; and half off the deposit (excluding the Garden Villa and other suite categories).

    Norwegian and Nickelodeon have partnered to provide families with a once-in-a-lifetime cruise vacation that is all Nickelodeon, all week long. Exclusive Nickelodeon family programming featured on the two "Nickelodeon All Access" cruises includes:

    - Ultimate sliming experience offers a chance for the whole family to get slimed together.

    - Meet & greets with the stars of Nickelodeon's hottest live-action shows. Special cruise guests have included stars from iCarly, True Jackson VP, and the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants.

    - This year's star line-up is still to be announced, but promises to be just as exciting.

    - Special viewings and premieres of never-before-seen episodes of Nickelodeon's hit TV shows like iCarly, Victorious and SpongeBob SquarePants.

    - Meet & greets with some of your favorite Nickelodeon characters including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Aang the Last Airbender and many more!

    - Nickelodeon's signature messy game shows like Slime Time LIVE! and poolside events.

    - Breakfast with Nickelodeon characters every day of the cruise.

    - And much more!

    - Plus, families can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of Norwegian Cruise Line's Freestyle Cruising®.

    The non-stop excitement and thrills of the "Nickelodeon All Access Cruise" are only available on: Norwegian Jewel sailing President's Day holiday, February 20, 2011, round-trip from New York to Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian's private island or Norwegian Epic departing on July 24, 2011 from Barcelona with ports of call including Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), and Naples, Italy; and Palma, Majorca, Spain. Starting rates are from $899 per person double occupancy on Norwegian Jewel and from $1299 per person double occupancy on Norwegian Epic.

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    The on-board credit limited time offer includes $250 per stateroom when sailing in a Garden Villa, available on Norwegian Jewel; $150 for suites; $100 for mini-suites and deluxe balcony staterooms; $75 for balcony staterooms; $50 for ocean view and $25 for inside staterooms.

    To book one of the only two "Nickelodeon All Access Cruises" in 2011, call a Freestyle Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Nickelodeon

    Nickelodeon, now in its 31st year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

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    About Norwegian Cruise Line

    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City® Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams" & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    For further information on Norwegian Cruise Line, visit the Freestyle Specialists at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:05 AM | Comments (0)

    August 22, 2010

    Celebrity Cuises New Pre-Cruise Booking Opportunities

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    Celebrity Cruises "massages" convenience and pampering into new pre-cruise spa, salon and personal fitness appointment booking tool. Latest pre-cruise offering represents another convenient way for cruisers to plan experience in advance and have more time to relax onboard

    Miami - (August 18, 2010 ) - Celebrity Cruises is adding spa, salon and personal fitness appointments to its ever-growing line-up of onboard experiences available for pre-cruise booking. In today's fast-paced world, vacationers are looking to make the most of their time away from daily pressures, and Celebrity aims for this latest offering to present cruise guests with yet another way to make the most of their time onboard.

    "One of the most valued elements of a Celebrity Cruises vacation is the outstanding service that we offer to our guests," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations. "Even the process of planning for specific experiences such as spa and salon appointments reflects our commitment to service and our 'Designed for you' brand platform. Our guests tell us that the more they can arrange in advance, the less they have to think about once they step aboard our award-winning ships. We've designed our more than 100 AquaSpa, salon and fitness offerings to help our guests enjoy relaxation and renewal, from men's barber services to hot stone massages, from the Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial to Brazilian Blowout Keratin treatments for hair, and more."

    Celebrity's pre-cruise spa, salon and personal fitness appointment booking option joins a series of experiences available for guests to book online in advance of their cruise, including beverage packages, shore excursions, specialty dining reservations, and complimentary "Celebrity Select Dining" main dining room preferences.

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    With the new pre-cruise spa, salon and personal fitness booking option, Celebrity aims to give its guests the peace of mind associated with knowing that their spa, salon, and personal fitness appointment times are secured. The option to pre-book these appointments online can help guests avoid disappointment after boarding by discovering that desired times are already taken by other guests. Among those who tend to seek specific appointment times are guests who regularly undergo acupuncture or treatments of elective injectables such as Botox, Restylane, Perlane and Dysport. With Celebrity's newest offering, guests can book these and other appointments in advance of their cruise, no longer having to worry about finding available times after they board the ship.

    By mid-November, guests will be able to book spa, salon and personal fitness appointments prior to their cruise on six of the nine Celebrity ships that will offer this option. The first ship to offer this option is Celebrity Solstice, the flagship of the premium cruise line's stylish new Solstice Class ships. Guests sailing on Celebrity Solstice can currently book and pay for spa, salon and personal fitness appointments up to four days prior to their sailing date. Guests booked on voyages departing on August 21 or later on Celebrity's newest Solstice Class ship, Celebrity Eclipse, can also book these appointments. On August 26, guests sailing on Celebrity Equinox's voyages of September 9 or later can book these appointments. The rollout will continue through 2011, when Celebrity Cruises will launch its fourth Solstice Class vessel, Celebrity Silhouette. A complete list of dates is available at AquaSpa Page.

    Guests can access the ordering system via Celebrity Cruises' website, in the "Before Your Cruise" section. Celebrity's electronic pre-cruise documents provide links that facilitate the pre-cruise booking of all of Celebrity's pre-cruise booking offerings, including beverage packages, shore excursions, specialty dining reservations, and complimentary "Celebrity Select Dining" main dining room preferences. Guests also can book spa, salon and fitness services once onboard. Guests seeking to amplify special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries by lining up experiences such as a day of pampering leading up to a romantic dinner in a specialty restaurant, also can consult with Celebrity's onboard personal concierges to book spa, salon and fitness services.

    The pre-cruise spa, salon and fitness appointment booking option is available to all guests 18 years of age and older, worldwide. Modifications and cancellations can be made online anytime up to four days prior to sailing or onboard at least 24 hours prior to the appointment. Certain terms and conditions apply.

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    Guests sailing on Celebrity Xpedition, the 92-guest mega-yacht sailing year-round in the Galapagos Islands, can book massage treatments after boarding the ship. Pre-cruise booking of this service is not available.

    Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning cruisers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and world-class cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, California, Canada/New England, Europe, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's mega-series of honors include being named the top mega-ship line in Conde Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Awards (November 2009). Celebrity's fleet currently consists of 10 ships. Its $3.7-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest five-year investment in premium cruising. For more information, call a Celebrity Five-Star Specialist at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

    August 19, 2010

    New Pacific Coast Voyages Added to Crystal Spring Calendar

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    LOS ANGELES, August 11, 2010 - Luxury specialist Crystal Cruises announces two brand new seven-day getaways exploring the Pacific Coast for April 2011. Sailing between Los Angeles and Vancouver aboard the award-winning Crystal Symphony, the northbound and southbound 'Pacific Escape" and "Coastal Exploration" itineraries visit Santa Barbara and San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; Astoria, Oregon; and Victoria, British Columbia.

    "Crystal's Pacific Coast cruises showcase a stunning and remarkably diverse blend of iconic West Coast highlights, from the California beaches and the Golden Gate Bridge to the plush forests of Oregon and British Columbia," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales & marketing. "The itineraries offer our guests new destinations, the opportunity to sail with the World's Best at an incredible value and great convenience for North American travelers. Even international guests can enjoy this sampler of some of the most beautiful places in the western U.S. and Canada."

    Departing on April 10 and 17, the new voyages replace two Mexican Riviera itineraries. "The beauty of a floating resort is that you can move your hotel to other destinations when there is demand. We are keeping several fall 2010 itineraries through the Mexican Riviera, in addition to others in spring and fall 2011; the West Coast and Northwest itineraries add dimension and scope to the worldwide destinations we're offering in 2011," says Smith.

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    Promotional Two-for-One cruise fares start at $2,695 per person, and include $500 per person, 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard spending credits. For bookings by September 30, 2010, guests also enjoy complimentary air transportation from more than 20 North American gateway cities.

    Also new in 2011 is Open Dining by Reservation evening dining that adds more choices, convenience and flexibility - or Perfect Choice - to the line's acclaimed classic main and late dinner seatings. The Crystal Experience is distinguished by unparalleled service, abundant space, extensive choices and superior quality - at an exceptional value. Celebrating 15 and 16 years as "World's Best" in its category by the readers of Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler, respectively, among many other coveted hospitality awards, Crystal has been recognized as #1 more than another cruise line, hotel or resort in history.

    For more information and Crystal reservations please contact a Crystal Specialist at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

    August 17, 2010

    PAUL GAUGUIN CRUISES APPOINTS DIANE MOORE AS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

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    BELLEVUE, WA - August 11, 2010 ? Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest rated and longest continually-sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, proudly appoints Diane Moore to its management team as Executive Vice President at the company's Bellevue office.

    A seasoned veteran of the cruise industry, Moore joins Paul Gauguin Cruises with 36 years of cruise experience. Moore began her career as a member of Royal Cruise Line, then run by her father, Richard Reynes. Here Moore served as Senior Vice President of Passenger Services, until she left the company in 1996 to join forces with Holland America Line as Vice President of Passenger Programs. During her time with Holland America Line, Moore immersed herself in client and passenger relations, assisting with reservations, air and sea bookings, inventory, hotel programs, and documentation. She spent four years handling the guest services for Holland America Line, before joining Crystal Cruises in Los Angeles as Senior Vice President of Guest Services. She shared her expertise with Crystal Cruises for four years before joining Virtuoso as Executive Vice President of Supplier Relations, where she was in charge of negotiating agreements with all the suppliers in the network.

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    In 2005, Moore joined Windstar Cruises as Vice President of Sales & Marketing, and continued to further her experience in the cruise industry for the past five years as President of the cruise company. Joining Paul Gauguin Cruises is a natural shift for Moore, as she is able to expand upon her extensive knowledge and experience of the cruise industry and help lead the company in its second year under the Pacific Beachcomber umbrella.

    "We are delighted to welcome Diane Moore to this leadership position on the Paul Gauguin team. She brings a wealth of experience and joins the group of highly skilled and energetic individuals who comprise Paul Gauguin Cruises," comments Richard Bailey, President of Pacific Beachcomber, S.C.

    Moore was born in Chicago, Illinois, and received her Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Purdue University.

    About Paul Gauguin Cruises
    Owned by Pacific Beachcomber S.C., the leader in French Polynesia luxury destination resorts, Paul Gauguin Cruises operates the award-winning luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin, providing a luxury cruise experience tailored to the unparalleled wonders of Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific. The m/s Paul Gauguin was built at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France. The ship is 513 feet long, 71 feet wide and has a draft of 16.9 feet. The ship can accommodate 332 guests with a staff of 215 and is one of the top Exclusive Charter and Incentive Group venues in the industry. The m/s Paul Gauguin has undergone more than $25 million in enhancements since its inaugural sail in 1998. Since 1998, the m/s Paul Gauguin has completed more than 500 South Pacific cruises and served more than 140,000 guests, including more than 12,000 honeymooners.

    For additional information on Paul Gauguin Cruises, please contact a Tahiti Tiare Agent at Cruising2Tahiti.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 04:49 AM | Comments (0)

    August 16, 2010

    Princess Cruises Passengers to be Among First to View New FOX Television Shows

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    Ships to Host Preview Viewings of "Lone Star" and Raising Hope" Ahead of Upcoming TV Season

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (August 11, 2010) -- In an industry first, Princess Cruises and FOX Television have joined together this summer to premiere two of FOX's fall primetime shows across the line's 17-vessel fleet. Throughout August, passengers on Princess ships will be among the first to view the new programs, "Lone Star" and "Raising Hope" -- the only primetime network television shows to premiere at sea prior to their network debut in September.

    Passengers can view the pilot episodes of both shows at special screenings on the ships' Movies Under the Stars poolside screens or in the Princess Theater, and can later also watch the shows on their stateroom televisions. Passengers attending the screenings will also receive a FOX tote bag to use throughout their cruise. In addition, two lucky passengers at each screening will have the chance to win a large tote bag full of FOX items.

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    "These screenings are an exciting first for us, and we're pleased to partner with FOX to host the first TV & screening room' at sea," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "No cruise line has ever offered the opportunity to see primetime premieres a month before they're broadcast at home."

    "Princess Cruises is one of the most popular travel and leisure brands in the world, so we're thrilled to give their passengers a first look at our new fall shows this summer," said Laurel Bernard, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Fox Broadcasting Company. "Our provocative new drama;Lone Star' and the hilarious fun of;Raising Hope' offer Princess Cruises vacationers the ultimate TV getaway."

    The two shows premiering onboard are:

    LONE STAR premieres Monday, Sept. 20 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. The series centers on a charismatic and brilliant schemer -- Robert Allen (newcomer James Wolk) -- who has meticulously constructed two lives in two different parts of Texas. In Houston, he's a devoted husband charming his ultra-wealthy in-laws to cement his position in the rich family business he aims to clean out. More than 400 miles away in the suburban west Texas town of Midland, he lives a second life with his sweet, naive girlfriend, playing the perfect boyfriend while secretly bilking local investors of their savings.

    As he tries to hold his two lives together, while fending off angry investors and the growing suspicions of those around him, Robert puts it all on the line hoping he can beat the odds, leave the schemes behind and keep two separate relationships afloat.

    LONE STAR is a production of 20th Century Fox Television, Depth of Field Productions and Keyser/Lippman Productions. The series stars James Wolk, Adrianne Palicki, Eloise Mumford, Bryce Johnson, Mark Deklin, David Keith and Jon Voight, and is written and executive-produced by Kyle Killen. Chris Keyser, Amy Lippman, Kerry Kohansky, Paul Weitz and Peter Horton also serve as executive producers. Marc Webb directed the pilot.

    RAISING HOPE premieres Tuesday, Sept. 21 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. The half-hour comedy follows the Chance family as they find themselves adding an unexpected new member into their household. At 23 years old, Jimmy Chance (Lucas Neff) is going nowhere in life. He skims pools for a living, parties every night and still lives at home with his family.

    Jimmy's life takes a drastic turn after a chance romantic encounter with a wanted felon. Months later, Jimmy learns his one-night stand is pregnant with their baby, and after she gives birth, he is charged with raising their daughter.

    RAISING HOPE is produced by Amigos de Garcia Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The series stars Lucas Neff, Garret Dillahunt, Martha Plimpton and Shannon Woodward, and guest-stars Cloris Leachman. The pilot was written by Greg Garcia and directed by Michael Fresco. Garcia serves as executive producer on the series.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 03:40 AM | Comments (0)

    August 06, 2010

    Norwegian Cruise Line Reports Results For Second Quarter 2010

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    Company posts eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year EBITDA growth; 12.6% improvement in EBITDA over prior year; Net Yield increases 6.6% over prior year

    Miami - Jul 26, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL Corporation Ltd., "Norwegian" or "the Company") today reported results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2010.

    EBITDA for the second quarter of 2010 improved 12.6% to $94.7 million versus $84.2 million for the same period in 2009 (a 12.1% increase on an adjusted basis, to $95.7 million from $85.4 million). An improvement in Net Yield of 6.6% in the quarter resulted in Net Revenue increasing to $364.7 million from $353.9 million despite a 3.3% decrease in Capacity Days in the quarter due to the departure of Norwegian Majesty from the fleet in October 2009. The increase in Net Yield came from both improved passenger ticket pricing and increased onboard revenue per Capacity Day. Occupancy Percentage for the quarter was 109.2%. Net loss for the quarter was $14.9 million on revenue of $477.9 million compared to net income of $15.4 million on revenue of $478.4 million in 2009. The net loss in 2010 included a non-recurring charge of $33.1 million related to foreign exchange contracts associated with the financing of Norwegian Epic. Excluding this non-recurring charge, net income for the period was $18.2 million.

    Net Cruise Cost for the second quarter was essentially flat year over year. On a per Capacity Day basis, Net Cruise Cost increased 3.5% primarily due to higher average fuel costs in the period and fewer capacity days as a result of the departure of Norwegian Majesty. Average fuel cost per metric ton in the period climbed to $508 in 2010 from $356 in 2009. Net Cruise Cost Excluding Fuel per Capacity Day decreased 2.3%.

    "The results for the quarter demonstrate that we are continuing to build momentum," said Kevin Sheehan, chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "Our improved results over last year were achieved while absorbing a 43% increase in the price of fuel," said Sheehan.

    Interest expense, net of capitalized interest, increased to $37.0 million in the quarter compared to $26.6 million in 2009 due to higher average interest rates in the period. Other expense increased to $33.8 million in 2010 versus $4.3 million in 2009 primarily due to the aforementioned loss on foreign exchange contracts.

    Updates and Outlook
    Last month the Company took delivery of Norwegian Epic, its largest, most innovative Freestyle Cruising vessel to date. With 21 dining options, an equal number of bars and lounges, and an entertainment lineup which includes venues housing world-renown acts such as Blue Man Group and Legends in Concert in the Epic Theater, Cirque Dreams and Dinner in the Spiegel Tent, The Second City Comedy Troupe and Howl at the Moon at Headliners and Nickelodeon at Sea entertainment throughout the ship, Norwegian Epic has brought the Company's Freestyle Cruising offering to a new level. "The depth and breadth of choices and activities on board Norwegian Epic is unparalleled in the industry," said Sheehan.

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    After inaugural events in Rotterdam and Southampton, Norwegian Epic took guests on a maiden transatlantic voyage to New York City, where she became the largest vessel ever to dock in Manhattan. In a spectacular ceremony, Norwegian Epic was formally christened by her Godmother, country music icon and Freestyle Cruising fan Reba McEntire. After a successful two-night christening voyage, Norwegian Epic returned to Manhattan to serve as the host site for NBC's top-rated broadcast of the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular on the Hudson River. Added Sheehan, "We could not have asked for a better way to introduce Norwegian Epic to the world. From the delighted looks on guests' faces and the tremendous positive feedback we've received from those who sailed on her, we know that all the hard work and dedication by all of Norwegian's team members has created something truly special." Regarding her bookings, Sheehan commented, "Norwegian Epic has been booking extremely well, setting records week after week since her introduction in Europe and subsequent inaugural events in New York and Miami." Norwegian Epic is currently sailing alternating 7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries on Saturdays from the Port of Miami through April 2011, when she will then reposition to start her summer Mediterranean season out of Barcelona.

    The second half of 2010 is showing solid improvements in pricing from 2009 levels with load factors consistent with prior year. Unlike this same time last year, the Company has been successful at holding price while balancing load factor. The booking curve continues to be healthy, but has narrowed from the highest levels achieved in the first quarter of 2010.

    Terminology and Non-GAAP Financial Measures
    Berths. Double occupancy per cabin even though many cabins can accommodate three or more passengers.

    Capacity Days. Berths multiplied by the number of cruise days for the period.

    EBITDA. Earnings before interest, other income (expense) including taxes, impairment loss, and depreciation and amortization.

    Gross Cruise Cost. The sum of total cruise operating expense and marketing, general and administrative expense.

    Gross Yield. Total revenue per Capacity Day.

    Net Cruise Cost. Gross Cruise Cost less commissions, transportation and other expense and onboard and other expense.

    Net Cruise Cost Excluding Fuel. Net Cruise Cost less fuel expense.

    Net Per Diem. Net Revenue per Passenger Cruise Day.

    Net Revenue. Total revenue less commissions, transportation and other expense and onboard and other expense.

    Net Yield. Net Revenue per Capacity Day.

    Occupancy Percentage or Load Factor. The ratio of Passenger Cruise Days to Capacity Days. A percentage in excess of 100% indicates that three or more passengers occupied some cabins.

    Passenger Cruise Days. The number of passengers carried for the period, multiplied by the number of days in their respective cruises.

    Non-GAAP Information

    To supplement the Company's consolidated financial statements presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S., the Company also provides certain non-GAAP financial measures, including EBITDA, Net Revenue, Net Yield, and Net Cruise Cost.

    We define EBITDA as earnings before interest, other income (expense) including taxes, impairment loss, and depreciation and amortization and is used by management to measure operating performance of the business. Management believes EBITDA, when considered along with other performance measures, is a useful measure as it reflects certain operating drivers of the Company's business, such as sales growth, operating costs, marketing, general and administrative expense and other operating income and expense. EBITDA is also one of the measures used by the Company to calculate incentive compensation for management-level employees. This non-GAAP financial measure has certain material limitations, including: .

    -it does not include net interest expense. As the Company has borrowed money for general corporate purposes, interest expense is a necessary element of its costs and ability to generate profits and cash flows; and

    -it does not include depreciation and amortization expense. As the Company uses capital assets, depreciation and amortization are necessary elements of its costs and ability to generate profits and cash flows.

    Management compensates for these limitations by using EBITDA as only one of several measures for evaluating the Company's business performance. In addition, capital expenditures, which impact depreciation and amortization, interest expense and income tax expense, are reviewed separately by management. Management believes EBITDA can provide a more complete understanding of the underlying operating results and trends and an enhanced overall understanding of the Company's financial performance and prospects for the future. EBITDA is not intended to be a measure of liquidity or cash flows from operations or measures comparable to net income as it does not take into account certain requirements such as capital expenditures and related depreciation, principal and interest payments and tax payments.

    We define Adjusted EBITDA as EBITDA with supplemental adjustments. Each adjustment and the reasons we consider them appropriate for supplemental analysis should be evaluated. In evaluating Adjusted EBITDA, be aware that in the future we may incur expenses similar to the adjustments in this presentation. Our presentation of Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by unusual or non-recurring items. Adjusted EBITDA is not intended to be a measure of liquidity or cash flows from operations or measures comparable to net income as it does not take into account certain requirements such as capital expenditures and related depreciation, principal and interest payments and tax payments, and it is subject to certain additional adjustments. Our use of Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to other companies within our industry.

    We use certain non-GAAP financial measures, such as Net Revenue, Net Yield and Net Cruise Cost to enable us to analyze our performance. We utilize Net Revenue and Net Yield to manage our business on a day-to-day basis and believe that they are the most relevant measures of our revenue performance because they reflect the revenue earned by us net of significant variable costs and are commonly used in the cruise industry to measure revenue performance. In measuring our ability to control costs in a manner that positively impacts net income, we believe changes in Net Cruise Cost and Net Cruise Cost Excluding Fuel to be the most relevant indicators of our performance and are commonly used in the cruise industry as a measurement of costs. Accordingly, we do not believe that reconciling information for such projected figures would be meaningful. Our use of non-GAAP financial measures may not be comparable to other companies within our industry.

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    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams" & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

    Forward-Looking Statements
    This release may contain statements, estimates or projections that constitute "forward-looking statements" as defined under U.S. federal securities laws including the statements made under the "Outlook" section of this release. Generally, the words "expect," "anticipate," "goal," "project," "plan," "believe," "seek," "will," "may," "forecast," "estimate," "intend," "future," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, which are not historical in nature. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct. Risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the adverse impact of the worldwide economic downturn and related factors such as high levels of unemployment and underemployment, fuel price increases, declines in the securities and real estate markets, and perceptions of these conditions that decrease the level of disposable income of consumers or consumer confidence; changes in cruise capacity, as well as capacity changes in the overall vacation industry; intense competition from other cruise companies as well as non-cruise vacation alternatives which may affect our ability to compete effectively; our substantial leverage, including the inability to generate the necessary amount of cash to service our existing debt, repay our credit facilities if payment is accelerated and the incurrence of substantial indebtedness in the future; the continued availability under our credit facilities and compliance with our covenants; our ability to incur significantly more debt despite our substantial indebtedness; our ability to generate sufficient cash flow from operations or draw on our credit facilities may be limited and not in an amount sufficient to fund our liquidity needs; the impact of volatility and disruptions in the global credit and financial markets which may adversely affect our ability to borrow and could increase our counterparty credit risks, including those under our credit facilities, derivative instruments, contingent obligations, insurance contracts and new ship progress payment guarantees; adverse events impacting the security of travel that may affect consumer demand for cruises such as terrorist acts, acts of piracy, armed conflict and other international events; the impact of any future changes relating to how travel agents sell and market our cruises; the impact of any future increases in the price of, or major changes or reduction in, commercial airline services; changes in fuel prices or other cruise operating expenses; the risks associated with operating internationally; the impact of the spread of contagious diseases; changes in general economic, business and geo-political conditions; accidents causing damage to ships and other accidents/incidents affecting the health, safety, security and vacation satisfaction of passengers and causing damage to ships, which could cause the modification of itineraries or cancellation of a cruise or series of cruises; our ability to attract and retain qualified shipboard crew, maintain good relations with employee unions and maintain or renegotiate our collective bargaining agreements on favorable terms; the continued availability of attractive port destinations; the loss of key personnel or our ability to recruit or retain qualified personnel; the control by certain of our shareholders whose interest may not be aligned with ours; the impact of problems encountered at shipyards, as well as, any potential claim, impairment loss, cancellation or breach of contract in connection with our contracts with shipyards; future changes in the applicable tax laws; changes involving the environmental, health, safety, security and other regulatory regimes in which we operate; general industry trends, including the introduction of competing itineraries and other products by other companies; the ability to obtain financing and/or insurance coverage on terms that are favorable or consistent with our expectations; the lack of acceptance of new itineraries, products or services by our targeted customers; our ability to implement brand strategies and our shipbuilding programs, and to continue to expand our brands and business worldwide; the costs of new initiatives and our ability to achieve expected cost savings from our new initiatives; changes in interest rates, fuel costs, or foreign currency rates; increases in our future fuel expenses related to implementing recently proposed IMO regulations, which require the use of higher priced low sulfur fuels in certain cruising areas; the delivery schedules and estimated costs of new ships on terms that are favorable or consistent with our expectations; changes in other operating costs such as crew, insurance and security; the impact of pending or threatened litigation and investigations; the impact of changes in our credit ratings; the possibility of environmental liabilities and other damage that is not covered by insurance or that exceeds our insurance coverage; our ability to attain and maintain any price increases for our products; the impact of delays, costs and other factors resulting from emergency ship repairs as well as scheduled maintenance, repairs and refurbishment of our ships; the implementation of regulations in the U.S. requiring U.S. citizens to obtain passports for travel to additional foreign destinations; the impact of weather and natural disasters; and other risks discussed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in expectations or events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based. In addition, certain financial measures in this release constitute non-GAAP financial measures as defined by Regulation G. A reconciliation of these items can be found attached hereto and on the Company's web site at www.ncl.com/investors.

    Posted by Denise at 04:10 AM | Comments (0)

    July 27, 2010

    Carnival Cruise Lines Punches Up the Fun with Fleetwide Comedy Clubs

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    New Carnival Punchliner Comedy Clubs to Offer Diverse Array of Comedians, Five Shows on Multiple Nights Each Voyage

    Carnival Cruise Lines is adding more laughs and upping the fun quotient at sea with the introduction of Carnival Punchliner Comedy Clubs ? dedicated comedy lounges rolling out fleetwide on all 22 "Fun Ships" by the end of the year. Building on the tremendous success of its first comedy club, which debuted on the new Carnival Dream last fall, Punchliner Comedy Clubs will feature a wide variety of side-splitting comics.
    Located in the ship's aft lounge, each Punchliner Comedy Club will offer guests loads of laughs with five 35-minute shows on multiple nights during each voyage, with at least two comedians performing each night. The two early-evening shows offer fun for the whole family while the later performances will feature adult-oriented comedy.

    Carnival Punchliner Comedy Clubs will feature hilarious, laugh-out-loud performances from established comedians as well as rising stars, with approximately 10 shows per voyage offered on short cruise itineraries and approximately 20 shows per cruise on longer length departures.

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    "Laughter is the most public, most infectious expression of fun, so we're excited to provide our guests with an expanded offering in comedy with our new Punchliner Comedy Clubs," said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. "Given that laughter has been shown to have a positive effect on mood, stress reduction and overall happiness, our new clubs and performance line-up will only further enhance the spirited fun of a Carnival vacation."

    While comedy shows have always been part of Carnival's diverse entertainment lineup, the concept was taken to another level aboard the Carnival Dream, which offered the line's first dedicated comedy club last fall. Comedy clubs are currently also featured on Carnival Glory, Carnival Pride and Carnival Sensation - with the concept being incorporated into the remainder of the fleet over the next several months. When Carnival Magic enters service in May 2011, a Punchliner Comedy Club will also be featured on the line's newest "Fun Ship."

    All of Carnival's aft show lounges will be converted to comedy clubs with a special stage and branded glassware, menus, employee uniforms and other items featuring the Punchliner Comedy Club logo. Guests can learn about the performer lineups and schedules in the ship's Fun Times newsletter.

    Carnival is the most popular cruise line in the world with 22 "Fun Ships" operating voyages from three to 16 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Europe and Bermuda. The line currently has two new 130,000-ton ships on order - Carnival Magic, set to debut in Europe May 1, 2011, and Carnival Breeze, scheduled to enter service in spring 2012.

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    For additional information and reservations, contact a cruise specialist at Cruising2Alaska.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is a proud member of World's Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, World's Leading Cruise Lines inspires people to discover their best vacation experience. Together, we offer a variety of exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations.

    Posted by Denise at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

    July 23, 2010

    MSC Offers Caribbean Cruise ?Balcony Blowout? from $599

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    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (July 8, 2010) - MSC is offering balcony staterooms on select 7-night, Caribbean cruises for bookings made by August 31, 2010, providing savings of more than 25 percent on an affordable Caribbean cruise vacation where kids 11 and younger cruise free.

    Rates begin at $599 per person for balcony staterooms on select 7-night cruises to the Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean on MSC Poesia when she returns to the U.S. for her inaugural Fall foliage cruises to Canada/New England in September.

    The special rates are for new bookings for balcony stateroom, while space is available, on the following 7-night, Caribbean cruises departing from Fort Lauderdale:

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    -Eastern Caribbean cruise, calls in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St.
    Maarten; and Nassau Bahamas; departs November 28 and December 12, 2010; rates from $629 and $599, respectively, (originally started from $879) for a $250 savings or more than 25 percent plus government fees and taxes (GFTs) of $69.62;
    -Western Caribbean cruise, calls in Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica;
    Gerogetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico; departs December 5, 2010; rates from $599 (originally started from $879) for a $250 savings or more than 25 percent plus GFTs of $81.35;

    Cruise-only rates are per person based on double occupancy for U.S. and Canadian residents. Government fees and taxes for all guests are additional; restrictions apply.

    Kids ages 11 and younger cruise free (GFTs are additional) when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults. All cruises offer just a $100 deposit.

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    For more information about MSC Cruises, contact an MSC Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Paradise.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About MSC Cruises:
    MSC Cruises is the fastest-growing cruise line in the world with the youngest fleet of 11 ships: MSC Magnifica, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia, MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia, MSC Opera, MSC Lirica and MSC Melody. The fleet cruises year round in the Mediterraneanand seasonally in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean,US and Canada, (Fall 2010), South America, the Indian Ocean, and South and West Africa.

    Posted by Denise at 05:20 PM | Comments (0)

    July 22, 2010

    Princess Details 2011-12 South America Cruise and Cruisetour Season

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    Latin-Flavored Cruises Explore Pulsating Rio de Janeiro, the Mighty Amazon, Mysterious Machu Picchu, and Legendary Cape Horn

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 21, 2010) -- With a rhythmic samba beat and colorful cultures, South America appeals to all the senses. Detailing its fall 2011-spring 2012 cruise season, Princess Cruises will offer travelers an alluring selection of South American cruises and cruisetours, taking passengers down the Amazon River, around Cape Horn, on a Brazilian Adventure, or up to the fabled Machu Picchu.

    Whether they want to tango in Buenos Aires or watch for wildlife at the end of the Earth, passengers can choose from 10 Latin-flavored departures aboard Star Princess and Pacific Princess, encompassing 31 destinations. Passengers can also extend their South American cruise vacation with a cruisetour itinerary to two of the continent's most famed attractions, Peru's Machu Picchu or Brazil's Iguazu Falls.

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    "South America offers some of the most magnificent travel experiences in the world, and many of its attractions are best navigated by ship," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "We make it easy and convenient to travel between countries, and offer the perfect venue for viewing the scenery around Cape Horn, the dramatic fjords of Chile, and the amazing Amazon River."

    Rio de Janeiro figures prominently on several cruise and tour itineraries. Pulsing with life, Rio offers an experience like no other. A dazzling amalgam of Latin and African cultures, the city offers an array of attractions, including the dramatic peak of Sugarloaf Mountain, the landmark Christ the Redeemer statue who embraces the city below, dazzling white sand beaches and famous beachfronts of Copacabana and Ipanema.

    Cruises rounding Cape Horn take in one of sailing's most legendary passages that has drawn explorers throughout the ages. Today Princess passengers enjoy sailing in comfort around this once-difficult but fabled point where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans meet. On this route travelers can explore Tierra del Fuego at the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia.

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    Scenic cruising through the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel leads to the towering Chilean Fjords where Southern Patagonia's ice fields rival those of Alaska's Inside Passage. Passengers have a front-row view of the spectacular glaciers and can watch out for the area's myriad marine birds.

    Passengers choosing to travel up the mighty Amazon will enjoy an adventure into the Brazilian jungle, where they can visit colorful villages and learn about the unique cultures along the river's route.

    Cruisetour passengers can visit the mysterious land of the Incas, Machu Picchu. This unforgettable journey high into the Peruvian Andes defies description as visitors travel from Lima to the ruins of this terraced "City in the Clouds."

    One of the continent's most dramatic natural wonders, Iguazu Falls is both taller and wider than Niagara Falls and spreads along nearly a two-mile stretch of the Iguazu River. Cruisetour passengers can spend several days viewing the magnificent scene from multiple vantage points.

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    Throughout their South America voyages passengers can visit a variety of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including not only Iguazu National Park, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon River basin, but also Olinda Historic Center (near Recife), Salvador Historic Center, and the Historic Quarter of Valparaiso, Chile.

    South America Cruises
    Princess offers travelers an array of South American ports and activities on a variety of itinerary options. Ships large and small travel around the continent, giving passengers the opportunity to encounter many colorful South American cultures.

    Amazon River Cruise -- The intimate Pacific Princess sails up the mysterious Amazon River on a 14-day cruise that includes calls to St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Tobago, and Devil's Island in addition to traveling along the world's second longest river. Stops along the Amazon include Santarem, Boca da Valeria and Parintins with an overnight stay in Manaus. The ship sets sail on December 16 and 30, 2011.

    Cape Horn Route to Rio -- Star Princess takes passengers on an unforgettable 14-day day cruise vacation around the fabled Cape Horn as they travel between Rio de Janeiro and Santiago. Passengers will visit many South American highlights with calls to Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Falkland Islands, Ushuaia and Punta Arenas. The voyage includes a variety of spectacular scenic cruising opportunities around Cape Horn, including Beagle Channel, the Strait of Magellan and the dramatic Chilean Fjords. Sailings depart on December 24, 2011, January 7 and 21, February 4 and 18, and March 2, 2012.

    Brazilian Adventure Cruise -- Passengers can experience a combination of Brazilian flavor and Caribbean fun on this 15-day sailing from Rio de Janeiro to Ft. Lauderdale. Star Princess starts with an overnight in Rio, then calls at the Brazilian ports of Salvador and Recife, plus visits the islands of Barbados, Antigua and St. Maarten. The sailing departs March 17, 2012.

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    Passage to Rio -- Travelers can visit three continents on this 16-day journey across the Atlantic with this voyage from Venice to Rio de Janeiro, which includes an overnight stay in Venice and calls at Dubrovnik, Corfu, Malta (Valletta), Tunis/Carthage (La Goulette), Gibraltar, and Recife (Brazil). Star Princess sets sail on December 8, 2011.

    Cruisetours
    To go beyond South America's ports and visit some of the continent's inland wonders, Princess offers land and sea cruisetours featuring the famed Machu Picchu or stunning Iguazú Falls. These seamless vacation options combine easily with Princess' cruise offerings.

    The five-day Machu Picchu Explorer tour offers the opportunity to explore Peru's magnificent ruins. From Lima, travelers will not only enjoy a guided tour of the fabled site of Machu Picchu, but also the historic city of Cusco and the nearby Sacred Valley and Sacsayhuaman Fortress, as well as enjoy rail travel up into the mountains. The package combines with Princess' Cape Horn Route to Rio cruise.

    The four-night Iguazu Falls Experience cruisetour features extra time to explore lively Rio de Janeiro, plus two days to take in one of the continent's most spectacular natural wonders, Iguazu Falls. Travelers will not only experience the drama of the falls from several vantage points, but also enjoy excursions on an Ecological Jungle Train and a boat ride to see the falls from the river. Travelers will spend two nights in Iguazu Falls and two nights in Rio on a package that combines with Princess' Cape Horn Route to Rio or Brazilian Adventure cruises.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Paradise.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 05:11 PM | Comments (0)

    July 21, 2010

    Norwegian Epic Sets Booking Records

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    Norwegian Cruise Line's newest and most innovative ship launches with record breaking booking levels for the past two weeks

    Miami - Jul 12, 2010 - Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line's newest and largest Freestyle Cruising ship ever, has set record-breaking booking levels for the past two weeks on the heels of its successful inaugural activities in Europe, New York and Miami. The booking volume for the week ended July 10, 2010 is the highest this year, second only to the previous week ended July 3, 2010. Media exposure during the inaugural activities and positive reviews from both travel partners and the press are helping to fuel the demand.

    "Now that we have shown Norwegian Epic to the world and she has been so well received by all, we are more than pleased with the record-breaking booking volumes for this incredible new ship," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "Given the trends so far this week, we expect the booking volumes to continue and we may even break another record this week."

    The 153,000 gross tons, 4,100-passenger Norwegian Epic, billed as the world's largest floating entertainment venue with world-class entertainment unlike anything before seen at sea, was christened by country music superstar Reba McEntire on July 2 in a Christening Ceremony hosted by Curb Your Enthusiasm star and comedian Jeff Garlin. The ship served as the venue for the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular broadcast live on NBC television. The hour-long broadcast was the #1 program across all networks for the evening, hitting a three year high in ratings. The Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular show also won the coveted 18-49 demo and had a significant +82% gain in women, ages 25-54, versus last year.

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    Norwegian Epic is currently sailing her first Eastern Caribbean cruise which departed Miami on July 10, 2010. The ship is sail alternating 7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries every Saturday from Miami through April 2011. This week, Norwegian Epic will make stops in St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau, Bahamas. On her Western Caribbean sailings, Norwegian Epic will visit Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico and Roatan, Honduras.

    Norwegian Epic
    World-class entertainment is Norwegian Epic's hallmark. For the first time at sea, Blue Man Group performs their exhilarating fusion of comedy, theatrics and paint, exclusively on Norwegian Epic. In the only "big top" at sea, Cirque Dreams and Dinner presents 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, is 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 4,100-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. Kids will have a blast with Nickelodeon at Sea" offering Nickelodeon-themed family entertainment and programming including: character meet and greets; interactive game shows; and more.

    The ship also boasts unique nightlife options with the first SVEDKA 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; 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 offers the next generation of Freestyle Dining with more than 20 dining choices and 20 bars and lounges.

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    For more information on Norwegian Epic, as well as to book a cruise on the ship, please contact a Freestyle Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuts in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids.

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    High resolution, downloadable images are available at www.ncl.com/pressroom. For further information on Norwegian Cruise Line, visit www.ncl.com, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or contact us in the U.S. and Canada at 888- NCL-CRUISE (625-2784).

    Posted by Denise at 04:36 PM | Comments (0)

    July 09, 2010

    MSC Offers Canada/New England Cruise Special: Less than $70 per day

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    MSC is offering a roundtrip, 13-night, fall foliage cruise from New York, NY for less than $70 per day or $899 per person (plus government fees and taxes, GFTs) through August 31.Guests interested in shorter fall foliage cruises can sail from $499. Plus, it's an affordable family vacation because kids 17 and younger cruise free (only pay GFTs starting from $79.25 per child) on all Canada/New England cruises when sharing a stateroom with two paying adults. This 13-night, roundtrip cruise from New York, NY on October 16 calls in the Coastal Atlantic ports of Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island known for their seafood and national parks and featuring a special overnight stay in Quebec City, Quebec.

    The voyage continues through historical Boston, Massachusetts to explore such sites as the Freedom Trail. Then, onto Newport, Rhode Island where the Vanderbilt and other well-known family mansions are located, prior to MSC Poesia's return to New York, NY.

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    Other 6, 7, and 9-night Canada/New England cruises include:

    7-night "Captivating Colors of Canada," cruise from New York City and calling in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Quebec City, Quebec. October 16; rates begin at $499 (plus $79.25 pp. GFTs);

    6-night "Maple Leaves & Mansions," cruise from Quebec City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; and New York, New York. October 23; rates begin at $899 (plus $81.40 pp. GFTs).

    9-night "Autumn Leaves to Palm Trees," cruise from Quebec City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; New York, New York; and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. October 23; rates begin at $1,199 (plus $102.40 pp. GFTs);

    Rates are available for residents of the US and Canada; offer is per person, based upon double occupancy, cruise only, and subject to availability.

    For more information, contact a MSC Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Paradise.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About MSC Cruises:
    MSC Cruises has the most modern fleet in the world with 11 ships: MSC Magnifica, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia, MSC Poesia,MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia, MSC Opera, MSC Lirica and MSC Melody. The fleet cruises year round in the Mediterraneanand seasonally in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean,US and Canada, (Fall 2010), South America, the Indian Ocean, and South and West Africa.

    Posted by Denise at 03:55 PM | Comments (0)

    July 08, 2010

    Princess Cruises Details "Down Under" Cruises and Cruisetours for 2011-2012

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    Australia and New Zealand's Delights Range from Stunning Sydney to the Colorful Great Barrier Reef; The Beauty of Fiordland National Park to Fascinating Maori Culture

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 7, 2010) - Among the world's most unique destinations, Australia and New Zealand hold a special allure for travelers who hope to journey "down under" at least once in their lives. Drawn by some of the world's most beautiful landscapes, exciting cities, unique native cultures and a population of iconic animals found nowhere else in the world, passengers have found that these "must see" countries are perfect for an action-packed cruise vacation. For these travelers, Princess Cruises has unveiled its 2011-2012 Australia and New Zealand season, offering a range of cruise and cruisetour options for exploring these dynamic destinations.

    As the largest cruise operator in the region, Princess will provide myriad ways to explore the sixth largest country in the world (Australia) and the youngest country on earth (New Zealand). Princess itineraries range from classic Australia & New Zealand sailings to Australia & Asia adventures, aboard ships both large and small. Travelers can also opt to add a land tour to one of these voyages for a full land/sea adventure. Passengers can also choose to cruise "Aussie style" aboard Princess' three locally-based ships.

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    "Australia and New Zealand have been long-time favorite destinations for us, that our passengers rave about every year," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "Because we have such an extensive local operation in the region, we have a unique understanding of these remarkable countries, and strive to present a rich 'down under' onboard program as well."

    The delights of Australia range from distinctive Sydney Harbour and its iconic Opera House - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - to the expanse of the outback and the world?s largest reef, the Great Barrier Reef. This unique land, famous for the unmistakable sound of the didgeridoo, also features the lowest population density in the world - only two people per square kilometer - plus more than 10,000 beaches, the most of any country.

    Cruise passengers can explore the country's wineries, history and wildlife with calls in Melbourne and Hobart, Tasmania. Here travelers may catch a glimpse of Australia's many unique creatures, including kangaroos, koalas and the Tasmanian devil; ride horseback through the region's finest vineyards; or even visit the country's last penal settlement, the infamous Port Arthur.

    If travelers choose to extend their time with an Australian cruisetour, they can experience much more of this surprising land. Highlights include the outback landmark Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, Australia's sacred Aboriginal site and the world's largest monolith. The Great Barrier Reef is famous throughout the world for its outstanding diving and snorkeling, brilliant tropical fish and scores of sea life. Northern Australia?s Kakadu National Park surprises guest with everything from aboriginal rock art formations to an amazing habitat of birds and other wildlife.

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    When cruising through New Zealand, the one attraction guaranteed to get everyone up on deck is the scenic sailing through Fiordland National Park. This must-see attraction is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the striking Fiordland crested penguin, as well as 14 towering fjords and five icy-blue lakes.

    In "The Land of the Long White Cloud" passengers will also learn about the fascinating Maori culture and may take in an entertaining "haka" performance, a native dance. Near Tauranga, Rotorua's geothermal wonders also get attention with fascinating steaming craters, exploding geysers and boiling mud. In a country where there are nine sheep to every person, a trip to a farm for a sheep shearing or dog herding demonstration is also a popular option; and daredevils will fit right in with bungee jumping, which originated here. And New Zealand's spectacular scenery will make travelers feel as though they are in one of the many movies filmed here, such as "Lord of the Rings."

    Passengers are sure to see a kiwi, whether it be the national bird; a delicious fruit (which were originally known as Chinese gooseberries, but renamed by enterprising New Zealand farmers once they started cultivating them for export), or simply the local people, who have become known as Kiwis themselves.

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    Cruises
    Princess offers several cruise options for exploring these dramatic countries, including voyages between Australia and New Zealand or Asia. Travelers can choose either a large amenity-filled vessel or small intimate ship, or they can opt to sail aboard one of Princess' three ships based in Australia year-round.

    Australia & New Zealand sailings - Princess offers exploring "down under" with a season of Australia & New Zealand sailings aboard Diamond Princess. These 12- or 13-day voyages travel between Sydney and Auckland, calling at Melbourne, Hobart (Tasmania), Fiordland National Park scenic cruising, Dunedin, Christchurch, and Tauranga along the way, with a call in Wellington, New Zealand also on the 13-day voyages. Sailings run from December 2011 to January 2012.

    Australia & Asia sailings - Travelers can visit the best of two continents aboard Diamond Princess with sailings between Sydney and Singapore or Beijing. The Australia & Asia itinerary takes passengers on a 19-day journey from Singapore to the Asia ports of Ko Samui, Bangkok, Ho Chi Mihn City, and Bali; plus Australian calls at Darwin, Port Douglas and Airlie Beach for the Great Barrier Reef. The 23-day Australia & China route also sails via northern Australia and adds ports such as Taipei, Nagasaki, Busan (South Korea), Shanghai and Dalian. Sailings depart November 27, 2011 and February 4, 2012.

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    Small Ship Experience - Ocean Princess offers several journeys between Australia and the wonders of Asia or the beautiful islands of the South Pacific, featuring the intimate, classic cruising atmosphere of a small ship. The 20-day Australia & Asia voyages sail to northern Australia, including the Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef and Darwin; plus call in Bali, Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), and Bangkok and Ko Samui in Thailand. Ocean Princess sets sail on November 12, 2011 and March 17, 2012. The ship's 16-day South Pacific & New Zealand voyages travel between Sydney and Papeete, Tahiti, with calls in Tauranga, Auckland, and the island paradises of Suva (Fiji), Apia (Samoa), Pago Pago, Bora Bora, and Moorea. Sailings depart on December 2, 2011 and February 29, 2012.

    "Aussie Experience" sailings - Locally based ships Sun Princess, Dawn Princess and Sea Princess offer "Aussie-style" cruising to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific from Sydney, Melbourne and now Brisbane. Featuring Australian dollars as the onboard currency plus dining and entertainment options geared to Australian tastes, these sailings offer a true local experience to passengers from all over. Itineraries include voyages to Tasmania, New Zealand, Northern Australia and Round Australia sailings that circumnavigate the continent. These ships also feature sailings from Australia to the South Pacific, Asia and World Cruise options roundtrip from Sydney. Sailings depart throughout the May 2011 to May 2012 season.

    Cruisetours
    Three guided land tours of Australia can be added to a cruise to create a full land and sea vacation, covering some of the continent's undisputed wonders. All cruisetours include a 12- or 13-day Australia and New Zealand cruise, plus time in cosmopolitan Sydney, including its world-famous Opera House and Bondi Beach.

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    Those who want to explore the extensive Great Barrier Reef will enjoy a high-speed catamaran tour of this living marvel with the Tropical Highlights tour, featuring four nights on land, including two nights in Sydney and two in Carins. Travelers will spend a day Great Barrier Reef, plus visit with some crocodiles, explore Kuranda Rainforest Village, and learn about the locals at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.

    The six-night Australian Outback Adventure visits the Great Barrier Reef and ventures into the vast Australian Outback with two nights in Sydney, one night at Ayers Rock, one night in Alice Springs and two nights in Cairns. In the outback, travelers will visit the famed Uluru (Ayers Rock), touring the Olgas and 36 mysterious domes plus viewing Ayers Rock at sunset. They'll also enjoy an Aboriginal cultural experience. In the town of Alice Springs travelers have the option to ride a camel and visit Desert Park to experience local wildlife.

    The seven-night Ultimate Australia tour features the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock plus visits to Darwin and the majestic Kakadu National Park. This land itinerary offers two nights in Sydney, one night at Ayers Rock, one night at Kakadu, one night in Darwin and two nights at Port Douglas for the Great Barrier Reef. Travelers will experience Kakadu's extensive wetlands, diverse wildlife and the largest number of accessible Aboriginal sites in Australia. In Darwin, visitors will explore the city, including the Darwin Museum and Windows of the Wetlands visitor center.

    For additional information about Princess Australia & New Zealand itineraries, contact a Princess Expert at Cruising2Paradise.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 04:06 PM | Comments (0)

    July 06, 2010

    Celebrity Cruises gets personal with enhanced concierge service. Program designed to offer even more personalized service

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    Miami - (June 30, 2010 ) - Celebrity Cruises has introduced a new "Personal Concierge" program aimed at further enhancing the brand's "Designed for you" reputation, by emphasizing the extraordinary customized onboard service that has long set Celebrity Cruises apart from its competitors. By individually communicating with guests to learn their personal preferences, tastes and needs, Celebrity's new Personal Concierges deliver individualized attention - much like that of a personal assistant - for any guests who wish to heighten special occasions and create new ones.

    "Our guests cruise for many reasons, whether they're seeking an unforgettable vacation or celebrating life's most precious milestones," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations. "We have designed the new Personal Concierge position in order to help guests make their vacation with us a truly personalized experience, in a way that minimizes their effort but maximizes their enjoyment."

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    The Personal Concierge on each ship is an expert in matching Celebrity's onboard offerings to guests' individual desires for a particular event or experience. Guests don't have to be celebrating any special occasion to enjoy the Personal Concierge service. Personal Concierges also help guests to arrange private shore excursions, book spa and specialty dining experiences and more, for no other reason than to make the most of their vacation. Personal Concierges also handle the fine details of arranging onboard celebrations of personal milestones such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, retirement and graduation. The consultative services of the Personal Concierge are free of charge; guests only have to pay for the services and events arranged.

    "Recently, a guest sailing on Celebrity Summit asked the Personal Concierge to assist in planning a special evening during which he intended to propose to his girlfriend," Lutoff-Perlo said. "The Personal Concierge spent time discussing the guest's ideal evening, and then created an unforgettable romantic experience. The Personal Concierge arranged for a table in the ship's specialty restaurant's exclusive wine cellar for dinner that evening, ordered a dozen red roses to be delivered to the table, reserved a table in the ship's nightclub and arranged for a bottle of chilled champagne to be ready for the guests upon their arrival there after dinner, and, while they were enjoying the evening, sent Celebrity's "Classic Romance" package of strewn rose petals, champagne, and chocolate-covered strawberries to their stateroom in order to continue the romantic theme throughout the evening. Throughout the evening, the Personal Concierge ensured that everything went smoothly, and the next day, the guest - whose proposal was accepted - expressed his sincere thanks."

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    This example illustrates the range of experiences designed for discerning cruisers who vacation on Celebrity Cruises' award-winning ships, which are known for outstanding cuisine and engaging, life-enhancing activities set against a backdrop of stunning spaces and compelling destinations.

    Celebrity's Personal Concierges also can assist guests with the fulfillment of pre-cruise purchases of onboard experiences made through the line's online store, www.celebritycruises.com/shopcelebrity.

    Celebrity's Personal Concierge program will be fleetwide by September 1 of this year (with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition, the 92-guest megayacht sailing year-round in the Galapagos Islands).

    Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning cruisers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and world-class cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, Europe, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's mega-series of honors include being named the top mega-ship line in Conde Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Awards (November 2009). Celebrity's fleet currently consists of nine ships. Its $3.7-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest newbuild commitment for a single brand in industry history. For more information, contact a Celebrity Cruises Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

    July 05, 2010

    Special Rates for AARP Members on MSC Caribbean Cruises for 2010/11 Season Plus Two-Category Stat

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    MSC Cruises is making available to AARP members savings of up to $50 per person, per stateroom, and up to a two-category upgrade with rates starting from $179, for a two-night cruise, onboard MSC Poesia, through February 28, 2011.

    Kids cruise free, as the third/fourth guests, which is ideal for an extended-family vacation with grandparents and their grandchildren.

    These special rates for AARP members are available on select Caribbean cruises. Cruise prices are per person, based upon double occupancy.

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    All cruises depart from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and vary in length from 2-10 nights. Government fees and taxes for all guests are additional. Cruise itineraries include:

  • 2-night Caribbean cruise calling in Nassau, Bahamas. January 2, 2011; rates from $179 plus $81.35 pp.;

  • 3-night Caribbean cruise calling in Key West, Fla. and Nassau, Bahamas. November 11, 2010; rates from $209 plus $67.63 pp;

  • 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise calling in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. In 2010, November 14 and 28, December 12 and 26. In 2011, January 9 and 23, and February 6 and 20; rates from $479 plus $69.62 pp;

  • 7-night Western Caribbean cruise calling in Key West, Fla.; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. In 2010, November 21 (Thanksgiving cruise), December 5 and on December 19 (Christmas cruise). In 2011, on January 16 and 30 and February 13 and 27; rates from $479 plus $81.35 pp;

  • 10-night Panama Canal and Southern Caribbean cruise calling in Cozumel, Mexico; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Cristobal, Panama; Cartagena, Columbia; and Montego Bay, Jamaica. November 1; rates from $699 plus $73.68 pp.
  • Restrictions apply. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion including standard AARP member offers.

    For more information, call an MSC Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

    July 01, 2010

    Biggest Penthouse & Verandah Sale for Crystal's Christmas/New Year and Fall Mexican Riviera Cruises

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    LOS ANGELES, June 29, 2010 - Luxury specialist Crystal Cruises announces its best ever fall/winter sale for Penthouses and verandah staterooms offering savings of $1,000 or $500 per person for a Christmas / New Year cruise, Thanksgiving cruise and fall Mexican Riviera cruises on the highest rated cruise ships in the world.

    For Penthouse and verandah bookings made by September 30, 2010, guests can enjoy the following new savings:

    $1,000 per person off - Crystal Serenity, Caribbean Holiday: Calls at St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten, Curacao, and Turks & Caicos.

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    December 21 - 14 days round-trip Miami, over Christmas and New Year's

    $500 per person off - Crystal Symphony, Mexican Riviera: Call at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta, plus, La Paz, Loreto and a maiden visit to Topolobampo on the December 12 itinerary.

    November 21 - seven days round-trip Los Angeles
    November 28 - seven days round-trip Los Angeles
    December 5 - seven days round-trip Los Angeles
    December 12 - 10 days round-trip Los Angeles

    The new savings are in addition to the line's Two-for-One promotional fares and $500 per person 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard credits.

    "Savings this significant on high-category accommodations and for such popular itineraries, are rare," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales and marketing. "The added value together with our attractive 2010 pricing just makes the Crystal vacation experience all the more enticing."

    The three latter Crystal Symphony Mexican Riviera voyage feature stimulating Experiences of Discovery programming, while the November 21 cruise and the Crystal Serenity cruise offer lavish holiday feasts and celebrations.

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    Crystal Cruises is consistently voted "World's Best" by sophisticated travelers worldwide. In February, Conde Nast Traveler readers again named Crystal Serenity the best medium-sized ship in the world.

    For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a a Crystal Specialist at Cruising2Mexico.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

    June 30, 2010

    Comedian And "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Star Jeff Garlin To Headline Norwegian Epic Inaugural Festivities

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    Miami - Jun 29, 2010 - In celebration of the world-class entertainment on board Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship ever, the line has selected comedian and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Jeff Garlin, also a Second City alumnus, to host the ship's inaugural Christening Ceremony in New York on July 2, 2010. The ceremony will also be webcast live so that Norwegian Cruise Line fans around the world can view the Christening of the ship that has been named the hottest, most anticipated of 2010.

    "Jeff Garlin is an extremely entertaining performer. It's very fitting that the host of our inaugural festivities is an alumnus of one of our on-board entertainment partners," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "And having such a great comedian will make it a fun and enjoyable event and set the stage for our spectacular inaugural festivities."

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    Garlin both co-stars and executive produces the HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm" starring "Seinfeld" creator Larry David. The unique comedy features Garlin as David's loyal manager. The critically acclaimed series, which returns for its eighth season this summer, has won the Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy, the Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award from the Producers Guild of America and the AFI Comedy Series of the Year Award. Garlin, a Chicago native, studied filmmaking and began performing stand-up comedy while at the University of Miami. A Second City Theatre alumnus, Jeff Garlin has toured the country as a stand-up comedian. Garlin's first film as a director, "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With," was released to critical acclaim. Most recently, he was the voice of The Captain in Disney"Pixar's "Wall-e" and is Buttercup the Unicorn in this summer's "Toy Story 3."

    Norwegian Epic's inaugural festivities will take place from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET on Friday, July 2, while the ship is docked at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City. Joining Garlin will be country music icon Reba McEntire, who will serve as the ship's Godmother. To register for the live webcast of the Christening Ceremony, click here.

    Norwegian Epic
    World-class entertainment is Norwegian Epic's hallmark. For the first time at sea, Blue Man Group performs their exhilarating fusion of comedy, theatrics and paint, exclusively on Norwegian Epic. In the only "big top" at sea, Cirque Dreams and Dinner presents 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, is 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 4,100-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. Kids will have a blast with Nickelodeon at Sea" offering Nickelodeon-themed family entertainment and programming including: character meet and greets; interactive game shows; and more.

    The ship also boasts unique nightlife options with the first SVEDKA 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; 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 offers the next generation of Freestyle Dining with more than 20 dining choices and 20 bars and lounges.

    For more information on Norwegian Epic as well as to book a cruise on the ship, visit http://epic.ncl.com, or contact a travel professional.

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    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuts in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids.

    Posted by Denise at 04:29 PM | Comments (0)

    Norwegian Cruise Line Partners With SVEDKA Vodka on First True Ice Bar At Sea

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    Norwegian Epic's Ice Bar is even cooler with special SVEDKA vodka martinis and ice wine

    Miami - Jun 28, 2010 - In another first, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced an exclusive partnership with SVEDKA Vodka and Inniskillin ice wine to be introduced on board Norwegian Epic, its largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship ever. As part of the partnership, this unique frozen bar will be called the SVEDKA Ice Bar and will feature specialty SVEDKA and Inniskillin ice wine drinks.

    Inspired by the original ice bars and ice hotels in Scandinavia, the cruise industry's first true ice bar is the ultimate chill. This frozen chamber is set in changing hues of blue, green and purple LED lighting that simulates the Northern Lights and creates a distinctive arctic atmosphere. The SVEDKA Ice Bar features a bar, walls, tables, stools, glasses and life-size sculptures all made from ice. Guests are given hooded coats and gloves to keep them warm, since the room's temperature does not rise above 17 degrees Fahrenheit.

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    The SVEDKA Ice Bar accommodates 25 people and can be reserved from 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. nightly. The cost is $20 per person and includes two signature cocktails. There are six specialty drinks made from SVEDKA vodka and Inniskillin ice wine including:

    - Polaris: SVEDKA Citron, Inniskillin ice wine, and lemon/lime soda;
    - Cobalt Blue: Inniskillin ice wine, SVEDKA vodka and Blue Curacao;
    - Nordic Apple Juice: SVEDKA vodka, Sour Apple Schnapps, Midori and a splash of fresh sour;
    - Caribbean Dreams: SVEDKA Citron, Triple Sec and lemon juice;
    - Sunburst Yellow: SVEDKA vodka, peach liquor and orange juice; and
    - Northern Lights: SVEDKA Citron, Cointreau and Blue Curacao.

    There are also two non-alcoholic drinks the Strawberry Eskimo Kiss made of strawberry puree, pineapple juice and lemon juice and the Creamsickle, with orange juice, vanilla ice cream and milk - in case children want to partake in the chilling fun. All drinks are served in specially-created glasses made entirely of ice.

    Imported from Sweden, SVEDKA Vodka is premium vodka that is distilled five times. Inniskillin ice wine is made from grapes that are produced in the Niagara Peninsula. Pearl ice wine, which is used in the SVEDKA Ice Bar cocktails, is an intensely concentrated sweet wine made from grapes naturally frozen on the vine. Grapes for this ice wine are harvested at a temperature of 14ºF.

    In addition to the SVEDKA Ice Bar, SVEDKA vodkas and Inniskillin ice wines are served throughout Norwegian Epic, in all bars and restaurants. Also starting in July, SVEDKA Vodka products will be served on other Norwegian ships in the fleet. To get a preview of the SVEDKA Ice Bar, visit the Norwegian Epic channel on YouTube at www.ncl.com/youtube.

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    Norwegian Epic's inaugural festivities will take place from 2:00-3:00 p.m. on July 2 in New York, with legendary entertainer Reba McEntire christening the ship. Norwegian Epic will be the host venue for the 34th Annual Macy's 4th of July Fireworks event taking place on Sunday, July 4. The event includes a national, one-hour, live entertainment broadcast on NBC-TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Norwegian Epic arrives in Miami on Wednesday, July 7 where a welcome event will be held at Bicentennial Park from 2:00-4:00 p.m. For more information on the event, head to http://epic.ncl.com/epicmiami.

    Following her inaugural activities, Norwegian Epic will sail alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami from July 10 through April 30, 2011. Ports of call on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary include Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. The Western Caribbean cruises visit Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico. The 2011 cruise season from May-October will have Norwegian Epic sailing a series of seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona. When she returns to Miami on November 5, 2011, she will sail a series of seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises through April 7, 2012.

    About SVEDKA Vodka and Inniskillin Ice Wine
    Established in 1998, SVEDKA Vodka launched with a brand vision: to put fun back into the vodka category. SVEDKA is a premium vodka imported from Sweden and distilled five times. It is the one brand that lets consumers have it all: a high-quality, premium import with a hip, fun brand image at an affordable price. The brand is the fastest-growing premium spirits brand worldwide. SVEDKA has staked its claim on the future with the tagline "Voted #1 Vodka of 2033." Inniskillin was founded upon and is dedicated to the principle of producing outstanding ice wines from grapes grown in the Niagara Peninsula. It is the number one selling ice wine in the world. The wine is a brilliant golden color with aromas of lychee, apricot and pears with flavors of honey, mango and tropical fruits on the palate.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuts in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids.

    Posted by Denise at 04:27 PM | Comments (0)

    June 23, 2010

    CELEBRITY CRUISES DESIGNS MORE WAYS FOR GUESTS TO ENJOY EUROPE

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    From award-winning ships to world-class cuisine, from extraordinary service to inspiring activities, the "Designed for you" brand platform exemplifies the way Celebrity Cruises creates experiences based on what discerning cruisers want most. Now, as a result of research into what would enhance its guests' Europe experience, Celebrity has expanded its already dynamic shore excursion line-up by designing several new ways for guests to explore the region. An expanded private tour offering allows guests to explore Europe's fascinating ports in a way geared toward their individual interests, and enhancements to the line's "easy" shore excursions aim to expand the number of in-port tour options available to guests with mobility issues. Also new this summer, for guests visiting Venice, Italy while sailing on Celebrity Century, Celebrity Equinox, and the brand-new Celebrity Eclipse, is a twist on "voluntourism": anyone purchasing a shuttle bus pass from Celebrity in Venice can enjoy a free ticket to 16 of Venice's most revered and historically relevant churches. This offering is unique to Celebrity and sister line Royal Caribbean International.

    Celebrity's new private tour arrangements program gives cruisers a way to see many of Europe's most compelling ports the way they personally would like to do so and at their own pace, from the exclusive comfort of a private car or van. While its group excursions remain extremely popular, particularly for giving cruisers a comprehensive taste of a region's highlights, Celebrity?s private arrangements are designed for the discerning cruiser who prefers a more exclusive and customized in-port experience that takes them more deeply into a region, with the added bonus of a more flexible timetable.

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    In St. Petersburg, Russia, in addition to its regular shore excursion program, Celebrity has long offered private arrangements, given the country's visa requirements, which allow guests on a cruise-line sponsored excursion or private arrangement an exemption from obtaining a tourist visa. In addition to the 30 private arrangements offered in St. Petersburg, Celebrity also is offering private arrangements in Rome (Civitavecchia), Florence (Livorno), Cagliari (Sardinia), and Naples, Italy; Athens (Piraeus) and
    Corfu, Greece; Ashdod and Haifa, Israel; Istanbul, and Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Alexandria, Egypt; Stockholm, Sweden; and Helsinki, Finland.

    The program accommodates anywhere from one to eight guests traveling together; groups of more than eight can make arrangements through Celebrity's groups shore excursion program. Like Celebrity's other shore excursions - as well as beverage packages and specialty dining arrangements - the private arrangements are available for pre-cruise booking via the line's website, www.celebritycruises.com. When pre-booking online, one guest in the party reserves the vehicle for a single price that covers one to three guests in a car or four to eight guests in a van. Guests whose native tongues differ from English may request a guide who speaks other languages, such as German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, among others.

    Guests can request that an existing tour be offered as a private arrangement, or design a custom arrangement featuring his or her own in-port experience. To pre-book a custom arrangement, guests can visit www.celebritycruises.com to complete a custom arrangement form. After submitting the form, the guests will be contacted to create their specific agenda for the day in conjunction with their tour guide and/or driver.

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    Celebrity has also designed expanded shore excursion offerings in Europe, to make it simple for cruisers who face mobility challenges to enjoy the region. In its 2010 summer Europe season, Celebrity will offer at least 35 "easy" shore excursions - 15 of them brand-new - catering to guests who have walking difficulties and are not able to handle steps or extended periods of walking or standing, or for guests who are full-time wheelchair users. One of these new tours, offered in Dubrovnik, Croatia, is "Easy Seaside Resort of Cavtat and Dubrovnik." During this tour, guests will visit the quaint seaside town of Cavtat and explore the fascinating walled city of Dubrovnik. In Helsinki, Finland, "Easy Helsinki" offers guests the opportunity to experience the Finnish capital's highlights, including Embassy Park, Mannerheim Street and the Olympic Stadium.

    Because Celebrity's "easy" shore excursions utilize special equipment such as access ramps and lifts on vehicles and space is limited, guests are encouraged to book Celebrity's "easy" shore excursions by contacting shorexaccess@rccl.com in advance of their cruise.

    Also new this summer, for guests visiting Venice, Italy while sailing on Celebrity Century, Celebrity Equinox, and the brand-new Celebrity Eclipse, is a twist on "voluntourism." Anyone purchasing a shuttle bus pass from Celebrity in Venice can enjoy a free ticket to 16 of Venice's most revered and historically relevant churches. Celebrity Cruises and sister line Royal Caribbean International are the only two cruise lines to have partnered with Venice church preservation group "The Chorus Association" to offer this benefit during cruises that visit the historic city. The Chorus Association will invest the $13-per-person ticket value in the restoration and maintenance of the priceless churches and the cultural heritage represented in the more than 1,000 pieces of art that reside in the churches.

    The Chorus Association's aim is to contribute to the safeguarding, conservation and restoration of the architectural and artistic heritage of churches in Venice.

    Posted by Denise at 03:29 PM | Comments (0)

    June 20, 2010

    Norwegian Epic Features Many Hi-Tech Advancements

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    Interactive television features in-room gaming, entertainment and shore excursion booking and on demand movies New facial recognition system allows guests to identify all photos taken on board

    Miami - Jun 18, 2010 - High tech advancements abound on Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date. The features include in-room interactive television capabilities, which will allow guests to book entertainment shows and shore excursions; select on demand movies; and even play slots and video poker through a DigiCasino" capability; to a cutting edge facial recognition system that links all guests' onboard photographs.

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    Digi HD" Interactive Television
    Norwegian Epic's Digi HD" Interactive Television, or ITV, was created by Allin Interactive. Using the in-room television, guests scroll through a wheel of options to make reservations for entertainment performances, book shore excursions, check their shipboard account, and select from a large library of first-run on-demand movies. A highlight of Norwegian Epic's ITV is the DigiCasino", which extends the casino into guest staterooms, allowing them to play popular games such as slots and video poker. An interactive cashier enables guests to purchase and redeem gaming credits that can be used for interactive play. All purchases made through ITV are applied to the guest's shipboard account.

    Youfinder Facial Recognition System
    Another hi-tech innovation on board Norwegian Epic is the Youfinder facial recognition software, created by Image. When guests board Norwegian Epic, their picture is taken and linked to their cruise card. This provides Image's proprietary indexing system, YouFinder, with the ability to match guests' faces and identification details anytime a photo is taken afterwards. Using both facial recognition and patented indexing techniques, Youfinder provides the most accurate linking of guests to their photos. When guests want to view and purchase their photos, they go to an on-board kiosk, swipe their cruise card and they can immediately view their cruise memories. From this, they can order select images and have them printed out by the ship's photo team or they can order a CD with all images and take it home.

    For more information about Norwegian Epic, call a Freestyle Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Allin Corporation
    Allin Corporation is a leading provider of solutions-oriented application development technology consulting and systems integration services. Allin specializes in interactive media and Microsoft-based technologies. Allin interactive television has been installed on over 70 cruise ships, in over 80,000 cabins. Allin delivers services through the trade names Allin Interactive, Allin Consulting and the CodeLab Technology Group. The Company maintains offices in Pittsburgh, PA; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; and Wakefield, MA.

    About Image
    Image is the largest and most successful photo concessionaire in the cruise industry, serving over 40 ships carrying more than 80,000 guests per week on worldwide itineraries. In addition to taking over 20 million photos of guests per year, the company also provides dvd production, guest film processing, custom digital photo kiosks and onboard retail sales of cameras and other photography-related products. Image sets the industry's highest standards of customer service, product quality and revenue generation for its cruise line partners. For more information about Image, visit www.image.com.

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    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuts in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids.

    Posted by Denise at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

    June 17, 2010

    Celebrity Cruises and Florida International University Annoucement

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    Celebrity Cruises and Florida International University put the 'SHIP' IN Internship with groundbreaking program focusing on design. Students from master's degree program to design venue on fifth Solstice-class ship

    Miami - (June 17, 2010 ) - Celebrity Cruises, the cruise brand known for designing award-winning, stylish ships with stunning onboard spaces that cater to the tastes of discerning cruisers, is tapping into a new resource: the fresh, eager minds of Florida International University (FIU) design students. Last week marked the start of a groundbreaking internship program focused on giving students the opportunity to participate in Celebrity's ability to create aesthetic beauty in its onboard interior design. Four graduate-level interior design students have the opportunity to make their mark - literally - on Celebrity's widely anticipated fifth Solstice-class ship, which will set sail in 2012.

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    The students are tasked with working together to update the design of one of the venues on the fifth Solstice-class ship, which will debut in 2012. Their team-based assignment will mirror that of any professional cruise-ship design process, and will include brand immersion, concept development, analysis of the space as a stand-alone venue and as part of the larger ship design. By the end of the program, the students will deliver a full design package for the venue, including all required documentation to secure the successful development, engineering and execution of the design concept. This documentation ranges from the initial inspirations in sketch format to the fully realized accurate computer-generated designs. The project envelope will include not only components related to spatial requirements such as representations of floor layout, walls, ceilings, furniture, finishes and equipment, but also include those components which enhance the unique ambience of every venue, such as signage design, artwork concept, decorative lighting, among others. Celebrity's own Newbuilding Architectural Design team will then partner with the shipbuilder, Meyer Werft, to bring the students' plans to life. Construction on the ship is slated to begin in early 2011 at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

    When Celebrity Cruises launched Celebrity Solstice in 2008, it introduced a new era in cruise ship design. Along with Celebrity's signature extraordinary service and award-winning cuisine, Celebrity Solstice and her four Solstice-class sister ships - two of which are already at sea, with the other two launching in 2011 and 2012 - feature hip, stylish public rooms; larger staterooms inspired by a panel of five women representing a diverse cross-section of discerning travelers; the first solar panels at sea; and the first dedicated glassblowing studio at sea, presented in partnership with the world-renowned Corning Museum of Glass.

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    The ships also offer discerning cruisers the opportunity to enjoy "The Lawn Club," the first lawn of real, growing grass, where guests can practice their golf putting, play croquet and bocce, or simply feel cool grass beneath their feet while miles out at sea; the first Celebrity iLounge, equipped with MacBook Pros; AquaClass, a category of staterooms inspired by the spa lifestyle; five specialty restaurants; and Team Earth.

    "Every element of the Solstice-class ships, from the way we laid the staterooms out on each deck to interlock rather than reside side-by-side, to the height and texture of the chairs in the Murano specialty restaurant, is carefully designed to offer our guests an inimitable cruise vacation experience as well as to serve as a functional element of a working, premium hotel," said Harri Kulovaara, Executive Vice President, Newbuilding and Fleet Design for Celebrity's parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "When we first designed these industry-changing ships, we engaged a panel of women to help us maximize stateroom innovations. Now, we are tapping into the freshest, brightest minds around - those of students at the FIU Master of Interior Design Program - to take one of the venues on our fifth Solstice Class ship to the next level. We welcome their ideas and our team is poised to guide them through this career-enhancing experience."

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    "We are thrilled that Celebrity Cruises offered our students the first opportunity of this kind," said Janine King, IIDA IDEC, Chair of Florida International University's Department of Interior Design. "Not only will these future designers have hands-on experience, but they will also end up with real plans and real photos of an actual cruise ship venue, when all is said and done, and that's priceless."

    The four students are participants in Florida International University's School of Architecture Master of Interior Design program, which soon will offer a 15-credit certificate in cruise ship interior design - the only one of its kind in the nation - in its line-up. The school currently offers a six-credit cruise ship design studio taught by Greg Walton of RTKL, one of the design firms that helped to create the Solstice-class ships.

    The students participating in the project are all second-year graduate students in the interior design master's degree program. Their international backgrounds illuminate Florida International University's diverse student makeup. All reside in Miami, but Andrea Leano and Jenny Valencia hail originally from Bogota, Colombia. Sabrina Ocner is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Ismabys Senra is from Havana, Cuba.

    "We are proud to not only represent FIU and help generate awareness of its great interior design program, but we also are honored to be chosen to share the fresh perspective that so many young people have, and to represent our individual countries," said Valencia.

    "It's really remarkable, being exposed to this opportunity," said Leano. "We are actually creating something that will be valued by Celebrity's guests, and that's something great."

    About Celebrity Cruises
    Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning cruisers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and world-class cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, Europe, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's mega-series of honors include being named the top mega-ship line in Conde Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Awards (November 2009). Celebrity's fleet currently consists of 10 ships. Its $3.7-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest newbuild commitment for a single brand in industry history. For more information, call your travel professional, dial 1-800-437-3111.

    About FIU:
    Florida International University is one of the 25 largest universities in the nation, with over 40,000 students. Nearly 130,000 FIU alumni live and work in South Florida. Its colleges and schools offer more than 200 bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations and law. As one of South Florida's anchor institutions, FIU is worlds ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission. The opening of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in August 2009 has enhanced the university's ability to create lasting positive change in our community. For more information about FIU, visit FIU website.

    Posted by Denise at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)

    June 16, 2010

    Norwegian Epic Ready To Set Sail

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    Final sea trials completed for Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship

    Miami - Jun 15, 2010 - Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, returned from her final successful sea trials on Sunday, June 13, 2010, after three days of sailing the Atlantic Ocean before she is delivered on June 17. During the sea trials, technicians and engineers from STX FRANCE, along with Norwegian Cruise Line representatives, checked more than 60 different aspects of the ship's performance by running trials of the vessel's speed, maneuverability, hydrodynamics and propulsion, amongst others. Overall, the ship performed very well and exceeded expectations. Additional photos are posted to the cruise line's Facebook page at www.ncl.com/facebook.

    On June 17, Norwegian Epic will depart the STX FRANCE shipyard and sail to Rotterdam for a two-day inaugural cruise. On June 21, the ship will sail a one-night preview cruise to Southampton, arriving on June 22 for a two-day inaugural sailing. On June 24, the ship will depart Southampton on a sold-out seven-day transatlantic crossing to New York arriving on July 1. The ship will be christened by legendary entertainer Reba McEntire on July 2 followed by a two-day inaugural cruise. Norwegian Epic will be the host venue for the 34th Annual Macy's 4th of July Fireworks event taking place on Sunday, July 4. The event includes a national, one-hour, live entertainment broadcast on NBC-TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Norwegian Epic arrives in Miami on Wednesday, July 7 where a welcome event will be held at Bicentennial Park from 2-4 pm. For more information on the event, head to http://epic.ncl.com/epicmiami. Inaugural festivities conclude with a two-day sailing on July 8.

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    Following inaugural activities, Norwegian Epic will sail alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami from July 10 through April 30, 2011. Ports of call on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary include Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. The Western Caribbean cruises visit Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico. The 2011 cruise season from May-October will have Norwegian Epic sailing a series of seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona. When she returns to Miami on November 5, 2011, she will sail a series of seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises through April 7, 2012.

    For more information on Norwegian Epic and to book a cruise, please call a Freestyle Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

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    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-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, Norwegian has 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuts in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids.

    Posted by Denise at 07:26 PM | Comments (0)

    June 14, 2010

    Princess Cruises Addresses Israel

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    A Letter to Those Concerned About Our Cruises to Israel

    A false rumor has been spreading that Princess Cruises is boycotting Israel. This totally fictitious claim appeared to stem from a cancelled cruise call to Ashdod, Israel by our ship Pacific Princess on June 2.

    We need to set the record straight. Our company is not boycotting Israel, nor was our recent cancellation of a visit to Ashdod politically motivated.

    Here are the facts:
    Pacific Princess was scheduled to call at Haifa and Ashdod during its last cruise, as part of its 12-day Holy Land itinerary.

    At the time we were closely monitoring the events of May 31, where an incident occurred between the Israeli Defense Forces and a Gaza-bound flotilla that resulted in a number of deaths.

    Pacific Princess did call at Haifa on June 1 for a full day of touring Galilee and Nazareth for our passengers.

    Based on careful review of the situation and information provided by the US State Department and other sources, we were concerned about potential violence in Ashdod in reaction to the incident.

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    We made the decision strictly in the best interest of the safety of our passengers and crew, to cancel the call in Ashdod the following day.

    A competing cruise line also cancelled its call to Ashdod the same week.

    It is important to understand that Princess has been bringing passengers to the Holy Land for over two decades, and this region is one of our notable destinations for passengers who want to experience historic destinations around the world. This year alone we have 12 Holy Land voyages on our cruise schedule operating between May and November, and Princess has more calls to Israel than any other major North American cruise line.

    Pacific Princess is once again scheduled to call in Israel at the end of June, and we fully expect to maintain the published visits to both Haifa and Ashdod during this and subsequent cruises.

    The following sources also confirm that this rumor is false, and we encourage you to look at them: Boycott Watch, Anti Defamation League, Jewish Journal, and Haaretz Daily Newspaper.

    We hope that this sets the record straight, and that you will share this information with others who may have questions.

    Sincerely,

    Alan Buckelew
    President & CEO
    Princess Cruises

    Questions and Answers:

    What was the process by which Princess Cruises made the decision to cancel the call at Ashdod?

    Our internal Security Department continuously monitors the ports of call our ships visit around the world to ensure the safety and well-being of our passengers and crew. On May 31 when the incident surrounding the flotilla occurred, our security team evaluated the information that was available from many sources, and became concerned about potential shoreside violence in reaction to the incident. Upon subsequently making the decision to cancel the call at Ashdod, we immediately informed the passengers onboard Pacific Princess with an announcement by the Captain and a letter, both of which explained our decision.

    We are always disappointed when we have to alter an itinerary due to unforeseen circumstances, and such decisions are made only when deemed necessary.

    Why didn't Princess just remain in Haifa for an additional day rather than sailing to the next scheduled port of call, which was Port Said, Egypt?

    Our itineraries are designed with specific sailing times in between ports, and in order to make the next port as scheduled, we were not able to spend additional time in Haifa.

    Why did you deem it safe for passengers to visit Haifa but not Ashdod?

    The flotilla of ships was redirected to the port of Ashdod, whereas Haifa was not in the vicinity of the incident.

    Why did the ship go to Egypt instead of Ashdod?

    The next port of call on the cruise after Ashdod was Port Said, Egypt. We were simply maintaining the ship's published itinerary.

    What was the itinerary of the ship?

    Pacific Princess sailed on a 12-day cruise between Rome and Athens that included calls at Haifa and Ashdod, Israel; Port Said and Alexandria, Egypt; Sorrento, Italy; Patmos and Santorini, Greece; and Kusadasi, Turkey.

    Does Princess Cruises support Israel?

    Princess Cruises doesn't take political positions, and where we deploy our ships is not motivated by political considerations. Instead, Princess is devoted to bringing our passengers to the most intriguing destinations around the globe, and doing this in a safe manner. That being said, for more than two decades we have been bringing passengers to visit Israel -- which we believe is a dream destination for many -- and we have a close tourism relationship with Israel.

    Are you planning on cancelling any other calls to Israel in the future?

    No. However as with all of our ports of call, we continuously monitor information that may affect our ships' routings, especially those situations that could potentially impact the safety of our passengers and crew. Should it be necessary to make any adjustments, affected passengers would be advised as soon as possible.

    Posted by Denise at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

    June 09, 2010

    Save BIG with MSC Cruises on their New England & Canada Cruises!

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    Save on Balcony Staterooms for Fall Foliage, Canada/New England Cruises with MSC

    Now is the ideal time to book a fall foliage vacation with MSC Cruises onboard MSC Poesia while taking advantage of rates beginning at $899 on balcony staterooms through June 21.

    MSC Cruises is offering new, reduced rates for guests who book a balcony stateroom on select fall foliage cruises from New York City and Quebec City.

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    10-night "Dazzling Fall Foliage" cruise roundtrip from New York City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Quebec City, Quebec; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Newport, Rhode Island; and New York, New York. September 22; rates begin at $1,399 [(plus $72.90 pp. government fees and taxes (GFT's)];

    7-night "Scenic Splendors of Fall" cruise from New York City and calling in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Corner Brook, Newfoundland; and Quebec City, Quebec; October 2; rates begin at $999 (plus $78.50 pp. GFT's);

    7-night "Brilliant Colors of Fall" cruise from Quebec City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia; Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; and New York, New York. October 9; rates begin at $1,089 (plus $67.80 pp. GFT's);

    7-night "Captivating Colors of Canada" cruise from New York City and calling in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Quebec City, Quebec. October 16; rates begin at $999 (plus $79.25 pp. GFT's);

    9-night "Autumn Leaves to Palm Trees," cruise from Quebec City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; New York, New York; and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. October 23; rates begin at $1,199 (plus $102.40 pp. GFT's);

    6-night "Maple Leaves & Mansions" cruise from Quebec City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; and New York, New York. October 23; rates begin at $899 (plus $81.40 pp. GFT's).

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    Rates are available for residents of the US and Canada; offer is per person, based upon double occupancy, cruise only, and subject to availability.

    For more information, contact a MSC Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Paradise.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About MSC Cruises:
    MSC Cruises has the most modern fleet in the world with eleven ships: MSC Magnifica, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia, MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia, MSC Opera, MSC Lirica and MSC Melody.

    Newly Reduced Single Supplement on New England & Canada Cruises!

    Reduced from 180% to 120%.
    Solo Travelers don't miss this amazing opportunity to set sail on our first-ever Fall Foliage cruises. From our new departure ports of New York City and Quebec City you will discover the colonial history of the New England coast. Experience the French charm of Quebec. Explore the quaint shops and beauty of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia and so much more.

    View more information about these Canada & New England Cruise Deals Here!

    Posted by Denise at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

    June 08, 2010

    Largest Chandelier At Sea Installed On Norwegian Epic

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    Miami - Jun 4, 2010 - In another "first" for Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Epic, the largest LED chandelier at sea is now installed in the ship's Epic Casino, which is also the largest at sea. The chandelier, which will change colors to all in the spectrum - up to 255 possible variations - has a height of 21 feet, diameter of nearly 11 feet and weighs two metric tons. Built in Vienna, Austria by Kalmar, a leading glass crystal maker who has designed some of the largest chandeliers for hotels and palaces around the world, and designed by UK-based SMC Architects and Lighting Design, it is fitted with approximately 40,000 crystal glass pieces of various shapes and sizes - and spans vertically to three decks, with vantage points from the casino, Teppanyanki restaurant, Wasabi Sushi Bar, Malting's Whiskey Bar, Shaker's Martini Bar, and the Atrium. The design is of spiraling oval discs, each up to 30 feet in circumference, and 112 suspended crystal encrusted balls of up to one foot in diameter, which orbit the main structure at varying heights.

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    The chandelier is the most energy efficient at sea. It is completely illuminated by LED technology, using over 10,000 diodes. It is fully dimmable to most effectively enhance the lead crystals and is currently being programmed by UK-based Project International. The impressive structure, which will be the focal point of the ship's Atrium, took a team of people three weeks to install it.

    For more information on Norwegian Epic and to book a cruise, call a Freestyle Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

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    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 43-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, Norwegian has the youngest fleet in the industry with 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian is presently building Norwegian Epic, the company's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, for delivery in June. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert.

    Posted by Denise at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

    June 07, 2010

    Princess Cruises Announces 2011-12 Worldwide Sailing Schedules

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    "Exotics" Voyages Explore the Globe with Journeys to Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (June 7, 2010) ? True to its destination cruising heritage, Princess Cruises has just released its 2011-2012 schedule for worldwide voyages featuring intriguing itineraries to Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Tahiti, India, and South America.

    The "Exotics" program will give passengers the opportunity to explore these fascinating destinations aboard intimate small ships or spectacular larger vessels.

    Among the program highlights is a new roundtrip 28-day Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa itinerary from Los Angeles aboard Sapphire Princess, giving passengers an extended South Pacific experience. In South America, the line will expand capacity on sailings around Cape Horn by 50 percent, enabling more travelers the opportunity to make this fabled passage.

    The Exotics season runs from September 2011 to May 2012 and includes:

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    Asia, Africa & India - A passenger favorite, the 16-day Southeast Asia itinerary between Beijing and Singapore returns in the fall and spring aboard Diamond Princess. Travelers can also choose to sail between Asia and Alaska or Australia, for two-continent adventures. Passengers can explore further with a collection of connoisseur voyages aboard Ocean Princess, visiting unique locations in Asia, the Indian Ocean and West Africa.

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    Australia & New Zealand - Princess offers a wide range of options for exploring "down under" with a season of Australia & New Zealand sailings aboard Diamond Princess, connoisseur cruises on Ocean Princess, and "Aussie-style" cruising aboard Sun Princess, Dawn Princess and Sea Princess to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific from Sydney, Melbourne and now Brisbane.

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    South America - Princess offers even more opportunities in 2012 for a sailing rite of passage - rounding Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America. Star Princess departs on more cruises for a 50 percent increase in capacity on this celebrated route. The ship also sails on a Brazilian Adventure from Rio, and Pacific Princess takes passengers exploring down the mighty Amazon River.

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    Hawaii & Tahiti - A new 28-day roundtrip Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa cruise debuts on Sapphire Princess, offering a new option from Los Angeles. Sapphire Princess joins Golden Princess sailing to the Hawaiian Islands on the line's popular 14-day roundtrip Los Angeles itinerary. Ocean Princess also sails on a series of 10-day Tahiti & Polynesia and 11-day Hawaii & Tahiti voyages.

    Princess' Exotics program cruises open for sale on June 17, 2010.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Paradise.com at #1-800-738-8837.

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    Cruising2Paradise.com is having a special 1 Day Cruise Sale with Princess Cruises on Saturday, June 19, 2010. During this sale when booking a Summer 2011 cruise and beyond you will receive Shipboard Spending Money, Princess Coupon Booklets, Pay a Reduced Deposit to Book and Captain Circle Members will receive special Launch Savings! Contact Cruising2Paradise.com now to pre-reserve your cruise at the best pricing of the year.

    Posted by Denise at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

    June 03, 2010

    GUESTS CAN DISCOVER THEIR INNER ROCK STAR ON BOARD NORWEGIAN EPIC

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    Exclusive program with Gibson Guitar lets guests "Check in and Rock out" on Norwegian's most innovative cruise ship

    Miami - Jun 3, 2010 - In addition to offering guests world-class entertainment options on board Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced a partnership with Gibson Guitar to let guests discover and explore their inner rock star  in the privacy of their stateroom. The "Check-In-Rock-Out" program gives guests the opportunity to borrow a Gibson guitar, companion pod, and a private amplifier with headphones to take to their staterooms and rock out without disturbing other guests.

    Guitars, pods and accessories will be available to guests at a cost of $10 per day rental every day except on embarkation/disembarkation. The Check-In-Rock-Out program will be available in Norwegian Epic's Fat Cats Jazz and Blues Club. Each pod includes controls and special effects so that guests can select the type of sound they want to create, from classic rock to heavy metal, blues, classic and country - and then choose their own song to play. The pods are supplied by Line 6 and the headphones and cables are supplied by Monster Cable.

    "We are so excited about this program," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "We've brought world class performers to our guests on Norwegian Epic. Now, we're letting our guests be the superstars and play on world class Gibson guitars. Whether you're an expert guitarist or an air guitar fan like me, the 'Check-In-Rock-Out' program will let you play like a rock star, in the privacy of your stateroom."

    "Our partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line will offer fans from around the world the opportunity to experience music like never before on the high seas," said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. "We are delighted to be part of the global excitement surrounding the launch of Norwegian Epic and share in our mutual goals for world class entertainment."

    For more information about Norwegian Epic, contact an NCL Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

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    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, written and directed by Neil Goldberg, 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 Comedy Troupe and Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos Show.

    In addition to world-class entertainment, the 4,100-passenger Norwegian Epic will incorporate 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. Kids will have a blast with Nickelodeon" at Sea offering Nickelodeon-themed family entertainment and programming including: character meet and greets; interactive game shows; and more.

    The ship also boasts unique nightlife options with the first Ice Bar at sea and Spice H2O 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 more than 20 dining options and 20 bars and lounges.

    About Gibson Guitars
    Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, and banjos. The Gibson Les Paul guitar is the best selling guitar of all time and bears the name of the late, great Les Paul. Gibson's HD.6X-PRO Digital Guitar, the Gibson Robot Guitar, Gibson's Dark Fire and the Gibson Dusk Fire represent the biggest advances in electric guitar design in over 70 years. The Gibson Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Gibson Guitar Corp., and dedicates its time and services to making the place a better world for children through its support of music, education, health and human services. Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and headquartered in Nashville since 1984, Gibson Guitar Corp.'s family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Echoplex, Electar, Flatiron, Slingerland, Valley Arts, Maestro, Oberheim, Baldwin, Sunshine Piano, Take Anywhere Technology, J&C Fischer, Chickering, Hamilton, and Wurlitzer. Visit Gibson's website at www.gibson.com. Follow Gibson Guitar at www.twitter.gibsonlifestyle.com or www.facebook.gibsonguitar.

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    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 43-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, Norwegian has the youngest fleet in the industry with 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian is presently building Norwegian Epic, the company's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, for delivery in June. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert.

    Posted by Denise at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)

    May 29, 2010

    Celebrity Mercury to Become Second Ship in TUI Cruises Fleet

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    Miami - (May 27, 2010 ) - Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Mercury will become the second ship in the fleet of TUI Cruises, a cruise brand established in 2008 through a joint venture between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and TUI AG, tailored for the German market. The new ship, to be named Mein Schiff 2, will become sister ship to Mein Schiff (the former Celebrity Galaxy), which set sail in May 2009.

    "Celebrity Mercury has been a cherished member of the Celebrity family since she entered service in 1997, and has offered countless guests outstanding vacation experiences," said Celebrity Cruises President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. "We are dedicated to offering the same impeccable service our brand is known for right up until the ship transitions to TUI Cruises, and we are confident that the ship's future with TUI Cruises is very bright."

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    Hanrahan assured that the future for the crew on Celebrity Mercury is equally bright. "With the rapid growth and momentum of the Celebrity brand, and the fourth member of our five-ship Solstice Class fleet, Celebrity Silhouette, launching in July 2011, we have abundant opportunities for the fine crew on Celebrity Mercury to transfer to another Celebrity ship."

    Celebrity Mercury joined the Celebrity Cruises fleet in November 1997, and was built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany - builder of Celebrity's widely heralded, new Solstice Class fleet. The 77,713-ton ship carries 1,898 guests (double occupancy) and 909 crew.

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    "The timing for expanding the TUI Cruises fleet could not be better," said TUI Cruises CEO Richard J. Vogel. "Mein Schiff has firmly established its place in the German market, and now, it is time to broaden and further develop the concept. The cruise industry has shown its resilience in the midst of the economic crisis, and we look forward to growing it further, with our expanded fleet and our unique 'premium all-inclusive' concept."

    Celebrity Mercury will complete its scheduled sailings through the February 14, 2011, itinerary. Guests with individual bookings and named group bookings on Celebrity Mercury on or after February 26, 2011 have the option to either cancel their booking or move to any Celebrity Mercury sailing from Baltimore from October 18, 2010, through February 14, 2011, with the exception of the December 20, 2010 itinerary.

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    Guests who pursue this option will receive an onboard credit of $75 per stateroom for inside or ocean-view accommodations; $100 per stateroom for veranda or Concierge Class, and $200 per suite.

    Guests with reservations affected by the transition will be proactively contacted by Celebrity Cruises. Guests with questions specific to impacted bookings are welcome to call their travel agent.

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    Celebrity Mercury will enter service with TUI Cruises in May 2011, as Mein Schiff 2, following an extensive refurbishment resulting in additional verandas, an expanded spa and fitness area, inclusion of a teen bar, and a host of design elements and other attributes consistent with those found on Mein Schiff.

    Mein Schiff 2 will spend her first cruising season in the Baltic and Nordic regions. Full itinerary details will be published when bookings open June 1, 2010.

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    Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. has agreed to provide seller's financing in the event that alternative financing is not fully available at the time of delivery. Additionally, the company will recognize a gain related to the sale of the Celebrity Mercury, but the gain is not expected to have a material effect on the company's annual earnings.

    Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises, CDF Croisieres de France, and TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture. The company has a combined total of 39 ships in service and three under construction. It also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, Latin America and New Zealand. Additional information can be found on Royal Caribbean website, Celebrity Cruises website, Pullmantur website, Azamara Club Cruises website, CDF Croisieres de france website, TUI Cruises website or Investor Relations website.

    Specials on the Celebrity Mercury:

    9 Day Bahamas Cruise December 11, 2010 From $549 US!

    11 Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise October 18, 2010 From $699 US!

    7 Day Alaska Cruise July 4, 2010 From $749 US!

    12 Day Caribbean Cruise November 8, 2010 From $799 US!

    For more information about Celebrity Cruises or one of these deals on the Celebrity Mercury call Cruising2Paradise.com at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

    May 10, 2010

    Princess Cruises Adds a Kiwi Flavor to New Zealand Voyages

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    Local Tastes, Entertainers and Cultural Programs Highlight Upcoming
    Sun Princess and Dawn Princess Sailings

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 10, 2010) ? " target="_blank">Princess Cruises will introduce a distinct Kiwi flavor on its upcoming season of cruises to New Zealand, with passengers experiencing a taste of the local cuisine, entertainment and culture as they explore the North and South islands.

    Passengers on Sun Princess and Dawn Princess? New Zealand cruises will be able to feel the spirit of Aotearoa the ?Land of the Long White Cloud? throughout their voyage, enjoying features such as Maori dance performances, local cuisine and seminars on the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fiordland National Park.

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    The new programs and menus will be featured on 18 New Zealand sailings, beginning on Sun Princess October 13 and starting on Dawn Princess December 8.

    ?Our goal is for passengers to feel the essence of New Zealand throughout their time onboard,? said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. ?We hope our passengers will gain a deeper understanding of what makes New Zealand so special.?

    Highlights of Princess? New Zealand cultural program include:

    New Zealand Cuisine ? New Zealand?s cuisine will be a focus on each sailing, with Kiwi dishes marked on the menu with the country?s iconic silver fern. Dinner will include items such as Braised New Zealand Lamb Shanks on Lentil Ragout, while lunch menus will feature the country?s Colonial influence with Fish & Chips and Shepherd?s Pie. Passengers can even start their day with a new breakfast selection ? famous NZ Bacon & Egg Pie.

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    Wine and Beers ? Bars will feature local Steinlager and Rheineck beers, while the wine lists will include a selection of New Zealand?s acclaimed wines.

    New Zealand Island Night ? This festive evening will feature a New Zealand theme, with local food (Lolly Log Cake, for instance) and drink selections (Kiwi Caipirinha among them).

    Chef and Bartender Challenge ? A new activity debuting on New Zealand sailings, this TV-style challenge features the ship?s chef and bartender facing off in a competition to make two dishes or five drinks with a secret New Zealand ingredient in just 30 minutes.

    Enrichment and Education ? Destination experts will travel with each ship to give passengers information about ports of call, while a park ranger will provide narration as the ship sails through Fiordland National Park. Princess is also working with Tourism New Zealand to present an onboard exhibit where passengers can learn more about local history and culture.

    In Port Cultural Programs ? In select New Zealand ports, Maori cultural performers will offer afternoon presentations demonstrating aspects of their culture and heritage. Maori masters will offer workshops in Kapa Haka dance traditions, tiki warrior rituals, Waiata chants, and lessons in Maori language.

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    Entertainment ? While the ships are in port in Tauranga and Auckland, passengers can enjoy performances from local entertainers. Maori bands and other local performers are also being added to the lineup. The ships? movie and TV screens will be showing films with a local twist, such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Piano as well as NZ documentaries and sporting events.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Paradise.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 06:59 PM | Comments (0)

    May 06, 2010

    Princess Cruises' Medical Departments Earn Unique Distinction with Prestigious Quality Certification and Accreditation

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    Medical Services Attain an Industry First in Healthcare Awards

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 6, 2010) - The Princess Cruises Medical Departments have once again been credited with meeting the quality health standards of an internationally recognized healthcare organization.

    Following a comprehensive survey of both its shipboard and shoreside medical departments, Princess Cruises has achieved an industry first by being awarded accreditation and ISO 9001:2008 certification for quality in health care. These awards recognize the excellent standards of medical care provided on board Princess' vessels.

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    CHKS accreditation was first awarded to Princess in 2006 and, following comprehensive annual external surveys of its medical facilities, staff and procedures, in 2009 was re-accredited for a further three years. CHKS also certified that the Princess medical program meets the International Organization for Standardization's quality standards (ISO 9001:2008) and has a management system in place that consistently meets customer and regulatory requirements. Princess is shortlisted to receive the CHKS Quality Improvement Award.

    "I think many people would be surprised and reassured to know that our medical centers achieve similar quality standards to medical facilities ashore," said Dr. Grant Tarling, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Princess Cruises. "We've worked extremely hard to attain these outstanding achievements which demonstrate our dedication to providing the highest standards of medical care for our patients on board our ships."

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    CHKS is a major UK based organization which works with public and private health care providers worldwide. They develop best practice standards and are accredited by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua), the leading international healthcare quality policy and research organization, as well as by the UK Accreditation Services (UKAS) to award certification to the standards of ISO 9001:2008.

    Princess Cruises? medical department offers one of the industry's most advanced sea-going medical programs, featuring a staff of qualified, full-time maritime professionals who work within well equipped facilities suited to the practice of medicine in a maritime environment. In addition to the CHKS accreditation and ISO 9001:2008 certification, Princess' medical program meets or exceeds the cruise ship medical guidelines issued by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

    Princess ships are registered in Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory. Princess? certification also applies to the medical programs of its sister lines Cunard Line, P&O Cruises UK, Ocean Village and P&O Cruises Australia, which are also operated by the Princess shoreside medical department.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Europe.com at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

    May 03, 2010

    Launch of Celebrity Cruises' Newest ship 'Eclipses" Others Newest Solstice Class ship named by courageous yachtswoman Emma Pontin

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    Miami - (April 26, 2010) - On the heels of her formal naming ceremony, Celebrity Eclipse today officially entered service, following pre-inaugural activities that "eclipsed" others.

    Just prior to being named on April 24, Celebrity Eclipse - the latest in a series of five stunning Solstice Class ships from Celebrity Cruises - replaced a previously-planned two-day promotional cruise to instead transport from Bilbao, Spain, to Southampton, England, approximately 2,200 vacationers who had been stranded by the travel disruption caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland.

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    "What a rare and notable way for Celebrity Eclipse to begin her sailing career," said Celebrity Cruises Chairman Richard D. Fain. "Who knew that a $700-million ship would start her career as emergency transport? One of the particular pleasures was seeing how responsive our exceptional crew was, and how much effort they contributed to make sure that these unexpected guests had the time of their lives."

    Celebrity Cruises President & CEO Dan Hanrahan shared a similar sentiment with the nearly 2,000 primarily UK-based travel agents, press and other special guests at Saturday's naming ceremony in Southampton: "This truly has been a unique inaugural for Celebrity Eclipse. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we could be so impacted by a volcano whose name I can't even begin to pronounce."

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    Presiding over the naming ceremony was Godmother Emma Pontin, ocean-racing yachtswoman and breast cancer survivor. Prior to her remarks, Hanrahan shared an emotional and personal comment: "Like far too many mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, sisters and brothers, I, too, have lost a loved one to breast cancer. It is therefore especially poignant for me that we have such a noble champion in the fight against breast cancer serving as our Godmother."

    "We are indeed privileged to have someone as courageous and abundantly inspiring as she to serve in this revered, time-honored role," said Fain. "In a lovely alignment with Celebrity Cruises, our Godmother, too, makes her living sailing across the world's oceans. But, she does so as an adventuresome, ocean-racing yachtswoman."

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    Fain described Pontin's continued devotion to the sport, even in the midst of treatment for breast cancer, from which she emerged victorious: "Her determination to make every day count, her courage, and her positive attitude, even during times of adversity, are tremendously inspiring for everyone - whether battling this disease or overcoming other challenges large or small."

    Celebrity Eclipse Godmother Emma Pontin then took the stage, sharing with the audience how honored she felt to be invited to serve in the role, and the special connection she felt with the ship.

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    "As someone who has confronted her own mortality through breast cancer, life for me has become more precious than ever," said Pontin. "Every moment counts. I now want memories, not just dreams. And memories are what will be created on this magnificent ship. One of the many dictionary definitions of 'eclipse' is a performance that outshines all that went before.' And eclipse she will. She will unquestionably exceed the expectations of all those who step aboard, and she is without doubt a place where memories will be created by the millions of guests who will experience her delights."

    The Celebrity Eclipse naming celebration coincided with a marathon walk in Southampton, the "Celebrity SunWalk," raising funds for the breast cancer charity, "Walk the Walk." The charity was founded by Nina Barough, who served as Godmother of Celebrity Eclipse's sister ship, Celebrity Equinox.

    Celebrity Eclipse departed Southampton today on a three-night Paris (Le Havre) cruise. She returns to Southampton to embark on the ship's official maiden voyage departing April 29 with a four-night cruise to Cork (Cobh), Ireland, followed by a series of Mediterranean and Russia and Scandinavian cruises throughout the summer. Celebrity Eclipse will offer Caribbean sailings from the Port of Miami, Florida, beginning this winter.

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    Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning cruisers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and world-class cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's mega-series of honors include being named the top mega-ship line in Condé Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Awards (November 2009). Celebrity's fleet currently consists of 10 ships. Its $3.7-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest newbuild commitment for a single brand in industry history.

    Posted by Denise at 05:50 PM | Comments (0)

    April 25, 2010

    MSC Cruises Leads the Way When Protecting the Environment on Earth Day and Every Day

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    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (April 22, 2010)--Earth Day is upon us, and at MSC Cruises, its Eco ships were designed to preserve and protect the environment with high standards in place for disposing of waste materials while monitoring energy usage and minimizing the impact of its ships to the ocean.

    MSC Cruises has implemented the Advanced Water Treatment (AWT) System which recycles and treats waste water according to the highest legal and eco friendly standards.

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    An Energy Saving System is installed in all of the staterooms and public rooms to automatically monitor electricity usage. This reduces fuel consumption and gas emissions harmful to the environment by powering down unused systems.

    Also, there?s an optimization of air-conditioned areas onboard through stateroom monitoring which manages climate conditions in the stateroom at all times and automatically adjusts the air-condition temperature in any instance of excessive or wasteful use.

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    MSC has received numerous awards, certifications, and recognition for its Eco Ships.

    MSC Magnifca, the newest ship in the MSC fleet, received The Green Planet Award, which aims to raise awareness about the critical situation the environment is currently facing, and human actions that adversely influence climate change.

    MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia, sister ships both new to the fleet, received the prestigious ?Six Golden Pearls? award by the international classification society Bureau Veritas, the only ships in the world to achieve this coveted title. MSC Splendida also received the first Energy Efficient Design designation by Bureau Veritas.

    Six Golden Pearls is an integrated voluntary program that certifies corporate compliance with the three highest international standards in the areas of environment (ISO 14001), health and safety (OHSAS 18001) and food safety (ISO 22000). It includes an extra notation Cleanship 2 AWT, for the 3 domains ?potential pollution?: air, water, and waste.

    MSC Cruises entered into an agreement with CiAl (Consorzio Nazionale per il Recupero e il Riciclo di Imballaggi in Alluminio) in the spring of 2007 for a collection of the boxes storing large quantities of aluminium that had been collected between May to December 2007. The company accumulated more than 22,000 pounds of aluminium, which was subsequently picked up in the port of Genoa.

    Drink cans, other cans, aluminium foil, boxes and aluminium packing were all collected and given to CiAl, which recycles the aluminium to be reused in new items such as household goods, furnishings, structures for the construction of houses and transportation and more.

    In an effort to both embrace the advances in technology and continue its commitment toward preserving the environment, MSC Cruises has updated its e-ticket policy this month as well to issue e-tickets for its bookings.

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    MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia, and MSC Poesia have their hulls painted with the new revolutionary paint ?foul release? with fluor-polymers, a non toxic substance which helps reduce CO² emissions through the reduction of fuel.

    MSC Cruises was one of the first cruise companies to adhere to the Venice Blue Flag agreement, which governs ships transiting the canal of Venice using diesel oils and is designed to reduce their sulphur emissions. The company has received the most prestigious environmental certificates from recognized bodies, both national and international.

    About MSC Cruises:

    MSC Cruises has the most modern fleet in the world with eleven ships: MSC Magnifica, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia, 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, US and Canada, (Fall 2010), South America, the Indian Ocean, and South and West Africa. 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 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

    April 23, 2010

    Princess Cruises Expands Canada & New England Program to Include Summer Sailings in 2011

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    Nearly 30 Percent Increase in Capacity for Princess? Largest Season Ever in the Region
    Next Summer also Features Bermuda & Eastern Caribbean Voyages from New York

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (April 23, 2010) ? Princess Cruises will launch its largest Canada & New England program ever in 2011, with a new itinerary and an expanded season, offering nearly a 30 percent increase in capacity over the previous season. These summer cruises will sail between the line?s Caribbean sailings from New York, offering a selection of summer destinations from the ?Big Apple.?

    The expanded Canada & New England season begins May 17 and introduces a new nine-day itinerary that adds calls in Sydney (Nova Scotia) and Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) plus features many favorite ports in the region. Caribbean Princess will offer four sailings on this roundtrip New York route between departures on its nine-day Bermuda & Eastern Caribbean itinerary, giving passengers the choice of sailing north or south (or both) for their summer vacation.

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    In autumn, the Canada & New England program continues with 14 sailings on two different itineraries ? weeklong roundtrips from New York on Caribbean Princess and the classic 10-day route between New York and Quebec City aboard Crown Princess. In addition, Crown Princess will offer a 12-day Canada and Colonial America sailing.

    These sailings also feature opportunities to visit several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, unique places that represent the planet?s cultural and natural heritage. In Canada, travelers can visit the town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (from Halifax), and Crown Princess passengers can explore the historic old city of Quebec. In Bermuda, the historic town of St. George is designated a UNESCO site.

    ?The charm and natural beauty of the Canada and New England region have made these sailings so popular each fall, that we?re now expanding our season into the summer,? said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. ?It?s our largest season ever, with the widest range of departures to choose from, so passengers should be able to find the perfect cruise to explore these scenic ports.?

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    The 2011 Canada & New England and Summer Caribbean program includes:
    Canada & New England ? During the summer months, Caribbean Princess will feature four sailings of a new roundtrip New York itinerary with calls at Sydney (Nova Scotia), Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston and Newport. Sailings depart May 17, June 13, June 22 and July 19. In August, the ship resumes its popular seven-day sailings featuring Halifax, Saint John, Bar Harbor, Boston and Newport, with eleven departures between August 6 and October 15.

    Classic Canada & New England ? Crown Princess sails on three Classic Canada & New England 10-day cruises between New York and Quebec City, featuring calls in Newport, Boston, Saint John, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown and an overnight in Quebec. Crown Princess departs on these sailings between September 14 and October 4. The ship also offers one 12-day Canada & Colonial America sailing from Quebec City to Ft. Lauderdale on October 14, also featuring an overnight in Quebec and calls along the Eastern seaboard in Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, New York and Charleston.

    Bermuda & Eastern Caribbean ? Caribbean Princess will also offer six sailings to the crystal waters of the Caribbean with a nine-day Bermuda & Eastern Caribbean itinerary roundtrip from New York that includes calls at Bermuda (West End), San Juan, St. Thomas, and Grand Turk. Sailings depart on May 8, May 26, June 4, July 1, July 10, and July 28. The ship will also feature one seven-day sailing from San Juan to New York with calls in St. Thomas, Antigua and Bermuda, departing on May 1.

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    Fares for seven-day Canada & New England sailings begin at $799 per person, and nine-day Caribbean sailings begin at $999 per person. Sailings open for booking May 6, 2010.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Expert at Cruising2Paradise.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 03:04 PM | Comments (0)

    April 22, 2010

    Norwegian Offers Kids From $99 With Summer Blockbuster Event

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    Miami - Apr 16, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line kicks off its Summer Blockbuster event on Monday, April 19, 2010 with a three-day preview for its Latitudes members (past guests) beginning on Friday, April 16, 2010. Kid's cruise on Norwegian from $99 each when booked as third through eight guests on select 2010 sailings for new reservations made now through May 31, 2010. In addition, reduced cruise deposits are offered on new summer bookings from now through May 2, 2010. Norwegian will announce several other promotional offers over the six-week Summer Blockbuster event which ends on May 31.

    Guests can experience the ultimate summer vacation on any of Norwegian's Freestyle Cruising ships to popular destinations such as: Alaska; Canada & New England; Bahamas & Florida; Bermuda; the Caribbean; Hawai'i and Europe.

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    "When you're Freestyle Cruising on Norwegian Cruise Line, you get what you want and so do your kids. With plunging waterslides, a two-story Wii wall, and Nickelodeon at Sea, there's something for everyone, no matter what their age," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "With Norwegian's complimentary Kid's Crew supervised children's program, parents are able to sneak away to the spa for a few hours or even a romantic dinner. We also offer family-friendly accommodations including interconnecting staterooms and multi-room Suites and Villas."

    On April 24, 2010, Norwegian Jewel will begin offering its exclusive Nickelodeon at Sea activities and shows on board each and every cruise year-round, in addition to all the current on-board programming already offered. This programming will also be available on Norwegian Epic when the ship launches this summer. Hints of Nickelodeon will be discovered ship-wide with programs that include signature Nickelodeon activities, popular characters and interactive game shows the entire family can enjoy together.

    Specifically, Nickelodeon will offer its Slime Time Live! and Nick Live! Poolside interactive shows; Story Time with Dora where guests are invited to gather around to hear stories about some of their favorite Dora the Explorer characters; Dora's Dance Party where kids will join Dora and the Nickelodeon cast to dance and sing along with all of Dora's favorite party songs; character breakfasts; meet and greets around the ship with Nickelodeon characters; Nickelodeon-themed arts and crafts, along with special enhancements to Norwegian's Kids Crew programming.

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    For more information on Norwegian Cruise Line contact an NCL Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com at #1-800-738-8837.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line(Norwegian)is the innovator in cruise travel with a 43-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, Norwegian has the youngest fleet in the industry with 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian is presently building Norwegian Epic, the company's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, for delivery in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic.

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

    April 08, 2010

    AARP Selects Norwegian Cruise Line As A Preferred Cruise Line Provider

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    Relationship gives AARP's millions of members access to preferred rates on cruise line's signature Freestyle Cruising fleet, the youngest in the cruise industry

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Apr 8, 2010 - AARP and Norwegian Cruise Line today announced a new relationship that will give AARP members access to special rates on the cruise line's fleet of Freestyle Cruising ships, including the line's newest and most innovative ship, Norwegian Epic. Norwegian Cruise Line has the youngest fleet in the industry and sails to destinations around the world, including the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, Bermuda and more.

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    "AARP members live active lives and want options when it comes to travel," said John Wider, president and chief executive officer of AARP Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of AARP. "Cruising is popular among our members, so we are pleased to make more options available to them through this new relationship with Norwegian Cruise Line."

    When booking a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line, AARP members will receive a five percent savings for reservations made at least nine months prior to sailing. Norwegian also is making available a limited time offer to AARP members who book a cruise from April 1 through April 30, 2010 for travel anytime in 2010. The offer includes a $50 on-board credit per stateroom and a 50 percent reduced deposit on select cruises to Bermuda, Canada & New England, Western Mediterranean and the Bahamas from New York.

    "When looking at travel options, AARP members should consider the incredible vacation experience that cruising offers," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "Add to that our signature Freestyle Cruising experience, along with the newest, most contemporary ships at sea, and I am confident that AARP members will have the vacation of a lifetime when choosing to sail with us."

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    Norwegian Cruise Line's Freestyle Cruising experience gives guests the opportunity to customize their cruise vacation to suit their needs. This includes the choice of up to 21 restaurants offering traditional and contemporary options and a wide variety of cuisine styles; a variety of amenities including world-class entertainment; and the widest selection of accommodations at sea, including more family-friendly interconnecting staterooms and suites than anyone else.

    For more information on Norwegian Cruise Line or to book a cruise, contact Cruising2Paradise.com at #1-800-738-8837.

    ABOUT AARP
    AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.7 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    ABOUT AARP SERVICES, INC.
    AARP Services, Inc., founded in 1999, is a wholly-owned taxable subsidiary of AARP. AARP Services manages the provider relationships for and performs quality control oversight of the wide range of products and services that carry the AARP name and are made available by independent providers as benefits to AARP's almost 40 million members. The provider offers currently span health products, travel and leisure products, and life event services. Specific products include Medicare supplemental insurance; member discounts on rental cars, cruises, vacation packages and lodging; special offers on technology and gifts; pharmacy services; legal services; and long-term care insurance. AARP Services also engages in new product development activities for AARP and provides certain consulting services to outside companies. In 2005, AARP Services founded AARP Financial Inc., a wholly-owned taxable subsidiary that manages the provider relationships for and performs quality control oversight for the financial products that carry the AARP name, including credit cards, auto and home, mobile home and motorcycle insurance, and life insurance and annuities. AARP Financial also provides access to proprietary investment products and services, including mutual funds and financial guidance, designed to meet the needs of investors at any life stage.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line(Norwegian)is the innovator in cruise travel with a 43-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, Norwegian has the youngest fleet in the industry with 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian is presently building Norwegian Epic, the company's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, for delivery in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic.

    Posted by Denise at 05:02 PM | Comments (0)

    April 06, 2010

    Contemporary new venue allows guests to 'stay social,' shop and learn

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    Just two months ago, in a vivid reinforcement of its new brand platform, "Designed for you," Celebrity Cruises announced plans to introduce on Celebrity Eclipse ? the third in Celebrity Cruises' stylish Solstice Class fleet of ships ? the first "Celebrity iLounge." The announcement met with such positive response from guests, travel agents and press that today, the brand announced plans to introduce the hip, modern lounge on Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Summit next month.

    Dubbed by members of the press as "a hipster haven," "a nifty app for tech junkies," and an illustration of "how much thought some cruise lines are putting into their Internet offerings, while others treat it as an afterthought," the Celebrity iLounge on Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Summit will ? as on Celebrity Eclipse ? offer what the line's guests said they wanted most in an Internet café: easy access to the Internet, inspiring classes and new products.

    The Celebrity iLounge on each ship will consist of three main areas: a series of contemporary MacBook workstations where guests can check their e-mail, retain their social media connections, or print boarding passes; a retail space offering cruisers the opportunity to check out the latest MacBooks, iPods and accessories; and an enrichment center where certified staff will offer guests tips on Mac or iPod® usage.

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    "Our 'Designed for you' brand platform is built on Celebrity's commitment to listen to our guests and offer experiences and programs inspired by them," said Celebrity's President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. "The reaction we received after announcing the new venue on Celebrity Eclipse made it clear that our guests would appreciate more opportunities to experience the Celebrity iLounge, and now, they can do that while sailing year-round in the Caribbean on our stunning Celebrity Solstice, or while visiting the sophisticated island of Bermuda on Celebrity Summit."

    Cruisers themselves can become more sophisticated with new applications for creatively preserving meaningful vacation moments. Within the ?Discover? component of its "Celebrity Life" series of inspiring enrichment and entertainment experiences, Celebrity will offer in each Celebrity iLounge a series of engaging new courses, including movie editing and web design, through programs including iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD and iWeb. And Celebrity's certified staffers will be well-equipped to assist, having completed more than 125 hours of training in operating systems, applications and products.
    Technophiles and collectors of cool merchandise alike will find the Celebrity iLounge an enticing venue. As an Authorized Apple Reseller, Celebrity will offer a variety of products in each Celebrity iLounge for guests to purchase, including iPods, MacBooks and essential accessories.

    Located on deck six of Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Eclipse, the Celebrity iLounge will house the 26 MacBook Pro?s, classroom and retail area, in addition to display pods, a 56-inch flat-screen TV for use during classes, and an accessible workstation.
    On Celebrity Summit, the Celebrity iLounge will replace the current computer classroom on deck six, with the same new products and technologies as on Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Solstice. Even the ?Online@Celebrity? cybercafé on deck four of Celebrity Summit will be retrofitted with entirely new MacBook workstations.

    The new Celebrity iLounge will be 'live' on Celebrity Summit by May 16, on Celebrity Solstice by May 30, and on April 26 on Celebrity Eclipse, when the new ship enters service. The Celebrity iLounge also will be presented on Celebrity Silhouette, which launches in 2011, and the fifth ship in the Solstice Class fleet, which sets sail in 2012.

    Posted by Denise at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

    April 02, 2010

    MSC Cruises Sends Additional Ship to South Africa for 2010/11 Summer Cruise Season

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    FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (March 31, 2010) - MSC announced it will be operating two cruise ships simultaneously out of South Africa during the upcoming 2010/11 season in order to meet increased market demand and offer variety to the South African cruise market.

    MSC Sinfonia, with a capacity of 1,544 guests, has enjoyed a highly successful maiden season operating out of Durban. She returns for a second extended cruise season from November 2010 until May 2011. MSC Melody, with a capacity of 1,064 guests, accompanies her to the South African market.

    The decision to operate two ships simultaneously shows MSC Cruises' commitment to the South African market. MSC Cruises will also make important investments into improving embarkation facilities at the Port of Durban as well as developing and enhancing areas of Portuguese Island in Mozambique.

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    Stefano Vigoriti, newly appointed managing director of MSC Cruises in South Africa, said, "The introduction of a second vessel will increase our capacity to over 100,000 guests for the season providing the general public, and especially the conference and incentive corporate market, greater options, competitive pricing, and more destinations from which to choose."

    MSC Sinfonia will continue its itinerary in and around the Indian Ocean islands while MSC Melody will offer South African and international travelers new and varied cruise options and experiences. Itineraries will feature cruises from Cape Town and offer longer cruises in Durban with ports of call in Madascar, Mauritius, Reunion, and Seychelles.

    For more information about MSC Cruises, visit www.cruising2europe.com, call 800-738-8837.

    About MSC Cruises:
    MSC Cruises has the most modern fleet in the world with eleven ships: MSC Magnifica, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia, MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia, MSC Opera,MSC Lirica and MSC Melody. The fleet cruises year round in the Mediterraneanand seasonally in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean,US and Canada, (Fall 2010), South America, the Indian Ocean, and South and West Africa. 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)

    March 30, 2010

    New Caribbean Cruise Deals with Celebrity Cruises!

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    The Caribbean has never been hotter.

    Sail the Caribbean aboard Celebrity Solstice for 7-nights, from April 4 to October 31, 2010 and save with three special offers:

    FREE UPGRADE from Oceanview to veranda
    +
    REDUCED 3RD AND 4TH PERSON RATES on 2010 sailings
    +
    $100 SAVINGS PER SAILING per stateroom on two or more consecutive cruises

    Also, enjoy a $50 Onboard Credit on Celebrity Solstice sailings from June to August. Offer valid from March 25th to April 13th.

    7 Days From $599 US

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    Choose From One Of These Cruise Itineraries:

    7-nights Roundtrip Fort Lauderdale including San Juan, St. Kitts & St. Maarten

    7-nights Roundtrip Fort Lauderdale including San Juan, St. Maarten, Tortola & Labadee

    7-nights Roundtrip Fort Lauderdale including San Juan, St. Thomas & St. Maarten

    7-nights Roundtrip Fort Lauderdale including Grand Caymen, Cozumel, Puerto Costa Maya & Roatan


    *Prices are in US dollars, cruise only, per person, based on double occupancy, on select sailings and subject to availability. Back to back savings offer is $100 per sailing per stateroom for two consecutive sailings. Back to back offer is combinable, with upgrades and one other savings or OBC offer. Upgrade offer is subject to availability and applies to select cruises. Upgrade offers are for Veranda staterooms for the price of an oceanview. All offers are subject to availability. Government taxes and fees are additional. Onboard credit is not redeemable for cash and any unused amounts will expire at 10 pm on the last night of the cruise. Onboard credit offer is valid only on new individual bookings made March 25th to April 13, 2010 on select sailings, applied on a per stateroom basis. Offer is applicable to veranda and suite staterooms and is subject to availability. Offer does not apply to groups. Onboard credit is not combinable with any other savings or onboard credit offer except Celebrity Solstice back to back offer.

    Posted by Denise at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)

    March 26, 2010

    Cunard Line Welcomes Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Celebrated Activist Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu aboard Queen Mary 2

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    Archbishop Tutu arrives into Cape Town as flagship makes her maiden call

    25 March 2010 - The Most Reverend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu arrived in Cape Town, South Africa today after enjoying a segment of Cunard Line's 2010 World Voyage onboard the legendary Queen Mary 2. Upon the flagship?s arrival - her maiden call to Cape Town - Archbishop Tutu, flanked by Captain Nick Bates and Cunard Line President Peter Shanks, unveiled a plaque that read: "This plaque was unveiled by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to commemorate his voyage onboard Queen Mary 2 between Port Louis and Cape Town from 20 March to 25 March 2010."

    During the voyage, guests enjoyed a standing room only Cunard Insights Q&A session and lecture with ArchbishopTutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism, the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Additionally, guests had the opportunity to participate in a silent auction and bid on advanced copies of Archbishop Tutu's new book, "Made for Goodness," co-written by his daughter Mpho Andrea Tutu. Proceeds from the silent auction benefited his charity, the Zithulele Hospital based in Eastern Cape province.

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    "It was an honour to have Archbishop Tutu onboard Queen Mary 2 during this World Voyage, especially as the ship sailed into Cape Town for the first time," said Peter Shanks. "Our guests were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet this living luminary, and I am delighted to say that he now holds a very special place in Cunard's 170-year history."

    Archbishop Tutu joins Cunard's illustrious legacy of welcoming world-famous guests and politicians, including Winston Churchill, President Nelson Mandela, Lady Margaret Thatcher, Elizabeth Taylor, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart and Buzz Aldrin.

    Cunard Insights is the company's award-winning onboard enrichment programme that introduces guests to stimulating experts and accomplished visionaries who reflect the Line's heritage of adventure and prestige. Through a series of lectures, Q&A's, social gatherings and workshops, guests connect with personalities who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, arts and literature. The Insights programme underscores Cunard's longstanding view that onboard entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience.

    For more information about Queen Mary 2 or to book a voyage, consult a Cunard Expert at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

    March 25, 2010

    Princess Cruises Debuts New Land Excursion Options for Alaska Cruisetour Passengers

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    Travelers Can Learn How Locals Live, Explore by ATV or Get a Taste of Local Cuisine

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (March 25, 2010) - Princess Cruises has added nine new choices to its lineup of optional land excursions for Alaska cruisetours, giving travelers opportunities for fresh adventures, including discovering how local hunters and trappers live, exploring by ATV, riding a dog cart, visiting a true Eskimo village or learning to cook Alaska cuisine.

    In total; the optional land excursion program features 96 tour choices that cruisetour travelers can add to the land portion of their trip. These activities are currently open for purchase and offer a range of experiences from easygoing to exhilarating - including cultural tours, nature hikes, kayak adventures and flightseeing tours.

    Cruisetour passengers can get additional information about the land excursions from a new section on Princess? web site, http://www.princess.com/learn/cruisetours/alaska/land_excursions, offering full details on the program and tour listings.

    "Just like shore excursions from our ships, these optional land excursions are selected to give cruisetour guests some uniquely Alaska adventures and experiences," said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. "And because these tours are all operated by Alaskan companies, travelers will be able to experience the state from a true local perspective."

    Land excursions operate from each of Princess' own wilderness lodges ? Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge and Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge - as well as from additional locations featured on some cruisetours, such as Anchorage and Coldfoot (for Arctic Explorer cruisetours).

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    New land excursion options debuting this season include:

    Wilderness Living Adventure & Dog Cart Ride (Denali) ? How did the hunters, trappers and woodsmen of old travel and live in the wilderness of Alaska? This tour provides a look at many Alaskans who make their living in the wilderness near Denali. The hosts share stories about their lives, particularly what winters are like in Denali. A dog cart ride takes travelers down a rustic trail for a taste of sledding and possible views of Mt. McKinley.

    Anaktuvuk Pass Adventure (Coldfoot) - Guests can visit a true Eskimo village with this tour to the Nunamiut village of Anaktuvuk Pass. Travelers fly northwest from Coldfoot to Anaktuvuk Pass, nestled in the heart of the majestic Brooks Mountain Range and the Gates of the Arctic National Park. Once in the village, guests will get a first-hand look at life in Anaktuvuk Pass as it exists today.

    A Taste of Fairbanks - An evening at Chez World Cooking School will show travelers how to prepare food the Alaskan way. Whether they fully experience the class with hands-on participation or simply watch the overhead monitors, students will learn the secrets behind Alaskan delicacies such as salmon, reindeer sausage, halibut, crab, moose, and caribou, as well sourdough bread and pancakes. Students will get to taste the entrees of the day plus take home recipes and a chef's apron.

    Susitna River Airboat Adventure (Mt. McKinley) - Travelers can experience parts of the lovely Susitna River that others can?t with this airboat excursion. Piloted by a captain who knows the waters well, the airboat can navigate through narrow channels, moving through inches of water and in some cases no water at all. Participants will enjoy the beauty of the Susitna while looking for wildlife and their tracks, and can even bring home a souvenir animal track casting. On clear days, they can also marvel at spectacular views of Mt. McKinley.

    Sea Kayaking at Columbia Glacier (Copper River) - This opportunity to paddle into the massive Columbia Glacier icefield offers an experience that travelers will never forget. From Valdez participants take a scenic ride to Columbia Glacier for a kayaking expedition up close to the glacier, plus lunch on the beach. The excursion could also result in sightings of wildlife such as seals, sea otters, bald eagles, sea lions, whales and bears.

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    Chatanika Gold Camp & ATV Ride with Dinner (Fairbanks) - The early miners never traveled like this! Following a hearty dinner at Chatanika Gold Camp, travelers take a 2.5 hour ATV ride along a mining trail used by early miners to access the surrounding gold fields. The approximately 15-mile route follows a ridge line and offers beautiful views of the distant mountains and valleys.

    Explore Historic Seward (Kenai) - From Kenai, travelers can enjoy a drive down one of the nation?s most scenic highways and past parts of the Iditarod National Historic Trail. At the end of the road at Resurrection Bay is the historic city of Seward, gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Travelers will have plenty of time to see the town, visit local attractions or browse the quaint shops and art galleries.

    South Denali 65-Mile ATV Adventure (Mt. McKinley) - An ATV adventure along dirt roads carved out of the wilderness by the area?s first prospectors, this tour takes travelers far into the back-country of south Denali with its cascading waterfalls and scenic wonders. Participants can also try their hand at panning for gold in Peters Creek.

    Scenic Koyukuk River Float (Coldfoot) - It's not too often that travelers can enjoy a scenic float trip 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle! This tour takes passengers down the Middle Fork Koyukuk River through the Brooks Mountain Range, where they can relax as their raft floats through the vast wilderness of Alaska and a guide shares the rich history of the region.

    Optional land excursion information is available through the passenger's online Cruise Personalizer. Tours are currently available for pre-purchase by calling 1-800-426-0442. As many tours fill up quickly, passengers are encouraged to make excursion selections as early as possible.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Alaska Expert at Cruising2Alaska.com by calling #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

    March 23, 2010

    Dance With the Crystal Stars - and the Glenn Miller Orchestra - On Big Band Transatlantic Voyage

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    LOS ANGELES, March 22, 2010 - As dance pros, celebrities and hopeful champions samba into living rooms worldwide, Crystal Cruises announces its own "Dancing with the Crystal Stars."

    Featured on Crystal Serenity's December 1 Big Band and Ballroom Dance Experiences of Discovery Transatlantic voyage, Crystal's 'That?s Ballroom!' specially-themed production showcases crew members who will perform with professional dance instructors after completing an intense Ballroom Boot Camp to master the steps, grace and nuances of various dance styles. Given the increasing number of dance enthusiasts, the ultra-luxury line is also adding advanced level classes in American Rhythm, American Smooth, International Latin and International Standard for more experienced dancers. Beginning classes (also complimentary) and private instruction (for a fee) are also available.

    "The emergence of hit shows like Dancing With the Stars has created a renewed interest and excitement for dancing. Crystal's dance classes have been increasingly popular for guests of all ages with and without partners. The days at sea on this southern Atlantic route presented an ideal opportunity for us to expand the music and dance theme," says Bret Bullock, vice president, entertainment.

    Headlined by the famed Glenn Miller Orchestra, the ocean crossing will feature more dance classes, added Ambassador Hosts for ladies without dance partners, live music and nightly dancing and performances by championship dancers.

    Bullock adds, "Even non-dancers will enjoy the timeless music and energetic dance performances lined up for Crystal's Big Band and Ballroom Dance cruise."

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    The 68,870-ton, 1,070-guest, award-winning Crystal Serenity is distinguished for its smooth sailing, spaciousness, multiple stylish venues for dancing and live music and extensive enrichment including Computer University@Sea classes, expert guest lecturers, Yamaha keyboard and Berlitz language classes (all complimentary).

    The 10-day cruise departs Lisbon for Ponta Delgada, Grand Turk, and Miami. Promotional per person Two-for-One cruise fares start at $4,000, double occupancy, including free air transportation from more than 20 North American gateways and $500 per person 'All Inclusive' As You Wish' shipboard credits.

    Crystal Cruises is consistently voted "World's Best" by sophisticated travelers worldwide. In February, the readers of Conde Nast Traveler again named Crystal Serenity the best medium-sized ship in the world.

    For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 10:44 AM | Comments (0)

    March 18, 2010

    Norwegian Epic To Offer 11 Complimentary Dining Options

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    Miami - Mar 17, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that its largest, most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, Norwegian Epic, will feature an extensive number of complimentary Freestyle dining options - 11 out of 21 total - that are included in the cruise fare. The additional 10 dining options will have a nominal cover charge.

    Guests on board Norwegian Epic can select from a variety of cuisines, dining styles and atmospheres on board with a total of 21 dining options. Those that will be free of charge are:

    -Taste, the atrium restaurant serving traditional and contemporary cuisine;
    -Manhattan Room, reminiscent of an elegant supper club complete with music, dancing and entertainment;
    -O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar & Grill, serving American favorites and comfort food, 24 hours;
    -Garden Café, Norwegian's signature action station casual restaurant;
    -Great Outdoors, the pool-side grill;
    -Spice H20, serving Latin and Asian-influenced cuisine in the adults-only complex;
    -Atrium Cafe and Wine Bar;
    -Studio Lounge, serving snacks and light fare;
    -Epic Club, the elegant, exclusive eatery available to Norwegian Epic's Suite and Villa guests;
    -Courtyard Grill, the more casual, outdoor area of the Epic Grill, open for breakfast and lunch; and
    -24-hour room service.

    "It's important for our guests to know that Freestyle Cruising on Norwegian Epic will offer the ultimate in freedom and flexibility, especially when it comes to dining," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "With that flexibility comes a wide-range of complimentary dining venues and options."

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    In addition, Norwegian also announced the cover charges for Norwegian Epic's specialty dining/entertainment venues:

    -La Cucina, Tuscan-style eatery serving regional Italian specialties, $10 per person;
    -Cirque Dreams & Dinner, two shows nightly including a three-course meal, $15 for general seating/$20 per person for preferred seating;
    -Shanghai's, Norwegian Epic's new Chinese restaurant serving a delicious mix of Chinese dishes and noodle bar specialties, $15 per person;
    -Shanghai's Noodle Bar, a la carte pricing;
    -Wasabi, expansive sushi and sake bar, a la carte pricing;
    -Le Bistro, Norwegian's elegant bistro serving classic French cuisine with an American flair, $20 per person;
    -Moderno Churrascaria, expansive salad bar and choice of a variety of meats served by tableside passadors, $18 per person;
    -Cagney's Steakhouse, the line's signature American steakhouse, $25 per person;
    -Teppanyaki, the largest signature Japanese experiential restaurant at sea, $25 per person; and
    -Pizza delivery, $5, available 24 hours around the ship.

    "With our specialty restaurants, some guests may choose to dine in one of these venues just once or twice during their cruise to celebrate a special occasion," added Kevin Sheehan. "At the same time, others may want to sample a different specialty restaurant each evening to experience a new type of cuisine. That's the great thing about Freestyle Cruising  the choice is up to our guests to decide how they want to customize their trip."

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    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. Kids will have a blast with Nickelodeon at Sea" offering Nickelodeon-themed family entertainment and programming including: character meet and greets; interactive game shows; and more.

    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 the ship call Cruising2Paradise.com at #1-800-738-8837.

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    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line(Norwegian)is the innovator in cruise travel with a 43-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, Norwegian has the youngest fleet in the industry with 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian is presently building Norwegian Epic, the company's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, for delivery in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic.

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

    Norwegian Cruise Line To Signficantly Enhance Its Private Island Great Stirrup Cay

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    Company plans in excess of $20 million in improvements with completion by late 2011

    Miami - Mar 17, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line announced today at Cruise Shipping Miami that it will make major enhancements to its private island, Great Stirrup Cay, located 120 miles east of Ft. Lauderdale in the Berry Island chain of the Bahamas. The 250-acre island will undergo a two-phase renovation, totaling in excess of $20 million, spanning 22 months and scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011.

    "We have one of the best private islands, particularly for swimming and snorkeling. With these improvements, we can provide an even more enjoyable island experience for the more than 9,000 guests who visit Great Stirrup Cay weekly during the height of the season," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "Highlights of the enhancements include an expanded beach front, exciting island excursions, additional dining facilities, private beachside cabanas and a new kid's area."

    The first phase of improvements to Great Stirrup Cay is already underway. This includes the excavation and formation of a new entrance channel for tenders, marina basin and arrival area with welcome pavilion that will be the site for new tender landings and docks. Once this is complete, the island's current beach front will be expanded significantly to accommodate more guests.

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    New infrastructure and landscaping to enhance the guest experience is planned in the second phase including new dining and bar facilities; several comfort stations; a band stand; cruise program activity area; private beachfront cabanas; a kid's play area; straw market; and beach volleyball courts. Several new island activities and shore excursions will be added including wave runners, a floating Aqua Park with a variety of water toys, kayak tours through man-made rivers within the island, an eco-cruise, and a stingray encounter experience. These are in addition to the existing snorkeling; floats; inflatable hippo slide; and parasailing that are currently offered.

    Norwegian has owned the island since 1977 when it became the first cruise line to offer an uninhabited tropical island experience exclusively for its guests. Great Stirrup Cay offers magnificent white sand beaches, majestic palms and calm, pristine waters where an abundance of colorful marine life inhabits the surrounding coral reefs.

    Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Pearl regularly call on Great Stirrup Cay throughout the year.

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    For more information on Norwegian or to book a cruise call a Norwegian Cruise Line Specialist at Cruising2Paradise.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line(Norwegian)is the innovator in cruise travel with a 43-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, Norwegian has the youngest fleet in the industry with 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian is presently building Norwegian Epic, the company's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, for delivery in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic.

    Posted by Denise at 12:56 PM | Comments (0)

    March 17, 2010

    Princess Cruises Honors Copenhagen as 2009 "Port of the Year"

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    Scandinavian Port Receives Highest Satisfaction Marks from Passengers

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (March 16, 2010) ? Princess Cruises has named Copenhagen as its ?Port of the Year? for 2009 ? a distinction awarded as the result of passenger satisfaction surveys. Copenhagen is the first port outside of North America to earn this honor.

    The annual award is given to one of Princess? 33 worldwide turnaround ports that earn the highest scores for the year, as rated by passengers on each cruise. A turnaround port is where a cruise ends and the next one begins.

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    The honor recognizes that a port has provided the service, facilities and personnel that have enhanced the passenger experience while boarding or disembarking the ship. In total, the voting measured passenger satisfaction scores from 14 calls in Copenhagen during the summer 2009 season.

    ?A turnaround port offers passengers their first or last impression of their cruise with us, so it?s very important that they have a good experience as they travel through the local facilities,? said Dean Brown, Princess executive vice president of corporate services. ?Copenhagen has been recognized as the highest ranked port for 2009, but they?ve also been one of the highest ranked ports in years past. It?s clear that our passengers appreciate the level of service and efficiency that the port and their staff provide.?

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    This is the fifth year for the award, and previous Port of the Year designations have gone to Los Angeles, Whittier, Vancouver and Brooklyn.

    Copenhagen serves as home port for Princess Scandinavia & Russia itineraries. Star Princess will begin the 2010 cruise season on these popular itineraries on May 12.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a Princess Cruise Expert at Cruisign2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Megan at 05:15 PM | Comments (0)

    March 16, 2010

    MSC Magnifica Joins MSC Cruises as 11th Ship in Fleet

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    FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (March 8, 2010)- MSC Magnifica - the fourth Panamax cruise ship in the MSC Cruises Musica class - joins MSC Cruises as the 11th ship in the fleet after being christened in Hamburg, Germany on March 6.

    Renowned Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti, adult contemporary/soft rock/pop artist, performed on stage during the christening while Italian screen legend and icon Sophia Loren, participated in the ribbon cutting as the godmother of her eighth MSC ship.

    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.

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    A magrodome or retractable roof covers the pool, La Grotta Azzurra, making it possible to enjoy one of the four pools 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 16 bars and lounges, four restaurants, and a large new buffet area?Sahara - will serve Italian and international cuisine; an a la carte restaurant, L'Oasi, will provide fine dining in an exotic Moroccan atmosphere.

    Culinary masterpieces by Mauro Uliassi, the Michelin Star Chef, recipient of three prized Gambero Rosso forks, and winner of the prestigious Kungsfenan Award for the best seafood, are available in the L?Oasi restaurant; soon, they'll be offered in all of MSC Cruises' Musica Class à la carte restaurants.

    There's even a Tiger bar, themed after the striped feline, serving up cocktails and musical acts. Other entertainment features on board include a high-tech 4D cinema, mini-bowling alley and a billiard table in the L'Olimpiade sports bar. L'Olimpiade is the first sports bar featured in the Musica class of ships, and its theme is inspired by the Olympics.

    Relaxation opportunities await guests in the MSC Aurea Spa wellness center for massages, facials, and other specialty spa treatments in a resort-standard setting. Two treatments created just for MSC and are being offered on the MSC Magnifica - Aurea Papaveris, a 60-minute slimming and cellulite treatment, and a Himalayan massage.

    MSC Magnifica sails 7-night Eastern Mediterranean itineraries departing Venice, Italy and calling at Bari, Italy; Katakolon (Olympia) Greece; Izmir, Turkey; Istanbul, Turkey; and Dubrovnik, Croatia.

    For more information about MSC Cruises call a Cruise Expert at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    About MSC Cruises:
    MSC Cruises has the most modern fleet in the world with eleven ships:MSC Magnifica, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia, MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia, MSC Opera, MSC Lirica and MSC Melody. The fleet cruises year round in the Mediterraneanand seasonally in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean,US and Canada, (Fall 2010), South America, the Indian Ocean, and South and West Africa. 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 05:03 PM | Comments (0)

    March 14, 2010

    Celebrity Cruises Presents an 'Eclipse' That's Easy on the Eyes

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    Miami - (March 11, 2010 ) - Conventional wisdom advises the use of special eye protection when viewing an eclipse. But none of that was necessary for the thousands of individuals who lined the banks of Germany's River Ems today to see Celebrity Eclipse embark on a fascinating adventure in cruising.

    The third of five in Celebrity Cruises' stylish, $3.7-billion Solstice Class fleet, Celebrity Eclipse today made her first departure from the innovative Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, to embark on what is very likely to be the most challenging ride of her life: an event known as the "conveyance."

    At the tightest points along the way, there are as few as two feet between each side of the 1,040-foot-long, 121-foot-wide Celebrity Eclipse and the locks. The depth of the river and the draft of the ship allow for mere inches - or less - beneath the ship. These factors and others led Celebrity Cruises and Meyer Werft to essentially create a science all their own, carefully monitoring the position of the moon and tidal conditions to identify the precise moment when the depth of the river is ideal for the ship to set sail from the shipyard.

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    "Cruise ship captains generally do not expect to encounter the challenges the conveyance presents," said Celebrity Eclipse Captain Panagiotis Skylogiannis. "Although I am accustomed to docking in tight ports, I prefer to be chasing sunshine in the open sea. Celebrity Eclipse is only a few feet slimmer than the narrowest lock we have to navigate, which isn't much room, particularly when the president of the company is onboard, keeping a close watch! But we've done this twice before, and I am entirely confident of another smooth and successful passage."

    Celebrity's President & CEO Dan Hanrahan and the Captain are far from alone on the ship. This year, among those experiencing the once-in-a-lifetime conveyance are a host of winners of the line's global "Eclipse of a Lifetime" sweepstakes. "This event is a vivid example of our 'Designed for you' brand platform, as it's an experience ideally suited for discerning cruisers like those who entered our sweepstakes," said Hanrahan. "Our sweeps in North America alone generated more than 200,000 entries, which attests to the appeal of this very unique experience."

    Before setting sail, the lucky winners - as well as a select group of travel agents and elite members of the press - had the exclusive opportunity to press the button activating the very first cuts of steel that will become a permanent part of the next ship in Celebrity's Solstice Class fleet, Celebrity Silhouette, during a customized, private tour at Meyer Werft shipyard. After arriving in Emshaven, Netherlands, where those fortunate first few individuals to experience Celebrity Eclipse will depart, the ship will embark on sea trials, followed by a series of promotional events in Hamburg, Germany, and Southampton, England, where the vessel will be the first in the Celebrity fleet to be dedicated to the UK market. During her inaugural season, Celebrity Eclipse will offer cruises in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Scandinavia and Russia, as well as short cruise options to Le Havre (for Paris), France, and Cork, Ireland, all roundtrip from Southampton. The ship will present Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Miami, Fla., after crossing the Atlantic in November.

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    Celebrity Eclipse will be the industry's first to offer the "Celebrity iLounge," complete with a retail area offering the latest products through Celebrity's Authorized Apple Reseller status, and the first to present "Qsine," a "uniquely unordinary," interactive dining venue complete with wine menus on a personal touchscreen.

    Like her sister ships - Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox - Celebrity Eclipse will present The Lawn Club, with real, growing grass; The Hot Glass Show, a glassblowing show and studio developed with The Corning Museum of Glass; 10 unrivaled dining venues, including Qsine; and widely varied entertainment, including shows with breathtaking aerial acts.

    Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning cruisers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and world-class cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, California, Canada/New England, Europe, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's mega-series of honors include being named the top mega-ship line in Condé Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Awards (November 2009). Celebrity's fleet currently consists of nine ships. Its $3.75-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest five-year investment in premium cruising. For more information, call a Celebrity Cruises Specialist at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

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

    March 10, 2010

    Fares will increase 04/02/2010, Book Now.

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    Miami - Mar 8, 2010 - Norwegian Experiences Exceptional Booking Volumes During Wave Season

    Norwegian Cruise Line experienced an unprecedented year-to-date increase in booking volume during its "Year of the Freestyle Vacation" wave season promotion in January and February. In addition, group business was up close to twofold. The company also saw a strong interest in its new ship debuting in June, Norwegian Epic, and for its Hawaii-based ship, Pride of America. Because of this demand, prices are set to increase fleet wide up to seven percent as of Thursday, April 2, 2010.

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    "Our first quarter wave season promotion definitely persuaded consumers to book a Norwegian cruise vacation as we saw heavy call volumes translating to exceptional bookings," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line chief executive officer. "As we move out of wave season, consumers and travel partners can expect to see our prices rise across the fleet, especially for our new, highly anticipated ship Norwegian Epic."

    Travel partners should take advantage of the current pricing environment for their individual bookings and to block group space up to four months prior to sailing without paying a deposit.

    For more information on Norwegian or to book a cruise, call 1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)

    March 05, 2010

    NORWEGIAN EXPERIENCES EXCEPTIONAL BOOKING VOLUMES DURING WAVE SEASON

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    Cruise fares set to increase on April 2

    MIAMI - March 4, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line experienced an unprecedented year-to-date increase in booking volume during its "Year of the Freestyle Vacation" wave season promotion in January and February. In addition, group business was up close to twofold. The company also saw a strong interest in its new ship debuting in June, Norwegian Epic, and for its Hawaii-based ship, Pride of America. Because of this demand, prices are set to increase fleet wide up to seven percent as of Thursday, April 2, 2010.

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    "Our first quarter wave season promotion definitely persuaded consumers to book a Norwegian cruise vacation as we saw heavy call volumes translating to exceptional bookings," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line chief executive officer. "As we move out of wave season, consumers and travel partners can expect to see our prices rise across the fleet, especially for our new, highly anticipated ship Norwegian Epic."

    Travel partners should take advantage of the current pricing environment for their individual bookings and to block group space up to four months prior to sailing without paying a deposit.

    For more information on Norwegian or to book a cruise call a Cruise Specialist #1-800-738-8837.

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    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 43-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, Norwegian has the youngest fleet in the industry with 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian is presently building Norwegian Epic, the company's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, for delivery in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic.

    Posted by Denise at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

    March 02, 2010

    Celebrity Eclipse Makes First Public Appearance

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    Miami - (March 02, 2010 ) - To witness the next solar eclipse, you have to wait until July 11, 2010. But if you're in the area of Papenburg, Germany, you can see Celebrity Eclipse right now.

    The third in Celebrity Cruises' stylish, $3.7-billion Solstice Class fleet, Celebrity Eclipse showed off her sleek profile Sunday as she emerged for the first time from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Celebrity Eclipse will enter service April 26 and, following two "short break" cruises, will offer a series of Canary Islands, Scandinavia/Russia and Spanish Mediterranean sailings roundtrip from Southampton, England. The new vessel will present Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Miami beginning in November.

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    Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning cruisers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and world-class cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, California, Canada/New England, Europe, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's mega-series of honors include being named the top mega-ship line in Condé Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Awards (November 2009). Celebrity's fleet currently consists of nine ships. Its $3.7-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest five-year investment in premium cruising. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111.

    Posted by Denise at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

    March 01, 2010

    WORLD TRAVEL HOLDINGS AND EXPEDIA CRUISESHIPCENTERS NAMED CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES' 'TRAVEL AGENCIES OF THE YEAR'

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    MIAMI (March 1, 2010) - Boston-based World Travel Holdings and Vancouver-based Expedia CruiseShipCenters have been named Carnival Cruise Lines' "Travel Agencies of the Year" for 2009.

    World Travel Holdings and Expedia CruiseShipCenters were selected from more than 30,000 cruise-selling travel agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to grow as a business partner, as well as exhibit exceptional professionalism, enthusiasm and innovation in sales and marketing techniques.

    Joni Rein, Carnival's vice president of worldwide sales, noted that the two winners, while equally deserving candidates, follow distinctly different business models.

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    World Travel Holdings, co-founded by Brad and Jeff Tolkin in 2005, takes a multi-faceted approach, owning and/or operating some of the top cruise Web sites, including Cruise411.com, CruisesOnly.com, and Cruises.com, as well as two of the most successful home-based agencies in Cruise One and Cruises Inc.

    Established in 1987, Expedia CruiseShipCenters leverages one of the most recognizable names in travel and is highly regarded for its wide-ranging technology expertise. In addition to its top-rated booking engine, Expedia CruiseShipCenters operates 116 retail locations in Canada as well as a franchise model in the U.S. and a successful home-based agency network with more than 2,600 highly trained cruise consultants.

    Rein noted that while World Travel Holdings and Expedia CruiseShipCenters take varying business approaches, one constant is their commitment to innovation and superior service provided to their clients. Because of this, both companies reported record Carnival bookings for the past year.

    "Despite a challenging economy, these two agencies continue to thrive, investing in the latest technology and training and employing knowledgeable cruise professionals who go the extra mile to offer personalized, hands-on service to their clients," she said. "The entrepreneurial spirit, keen understanding of consumer trends, and strong support of the cruise industry have enabled World Travel Holdings and Expedia CruiseShipCenters both to become leaders in our industry," she added.

    David S. Crooks, World Travel Holdings' senior vice president, product and operations, said, "Carnival Cruise Lines has always had a strong partnership with WTH but most importantly has consistently delivered a terrific product at extraordinary value for our customers. In spite of a difficult economic climate, Carnival continued to deliver on their winning formula. CruiseOne and Cruises Inc., as well as all the WTH brands, value our partnership with Carnival. We sell the product with great confidence that our customers will have an experience that exceeds their expectations."

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    Commented Michael Drever, CEO and founder of Expedia CruiseShipCenters, "Carnival is an important part of our Customers For Life strategy and receiving this award is a result of the strong partnership we have enjoyed for over 22 years. In 2009, Expedia CruiseShipCenters significantly increased our investment in marketing, training and technology, which is why we continue to experience record sales growth and recognition as industry leaders."

    Carnival Cruise Lines is the largest and most popular cruise line in the world, with 22 "Fun Ships" operating voyages ranging from three to 15 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England and Europe. Carnival also has two new ships on order -- the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic, which is scheduled for delivery in 2011, and a sister ship set to debut in 2012.

    Posted by Denise at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

    February 26, 2010

    Mexico Travel Alert Revision

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    February 23rd, 2010 - Travel Alert Revision Overview

    The US Department of State has extended a travel alert to Mexico. The text of the alert has remained virtually unchanged, with a few additional border areas being added to the list of those where extra caution is recommended.

    The travel alert expresses no concern whatsoever regarding Mexican beach resorts and key tourist and business destinations. Tourist areas are safe to travel to, which means that the vast majority of U.S. citizens visiting Mexico should not have any hesitation in doing so.

    Mexico's tourist destinations and resort properties remain fun, safe, affordable and popular vacation destinations. Indeed, Mexico remains the number one international destination for U.S. tourists.

    Regarding the alert renewal, here are a few points that we consider is important to know, in case your costumers or partners ask about it:

    This is not a new alert. It is an extension of an alert already in place.

    What has been extended is a travel alert, not a warning. Travel warnings are issued to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable, and/or when the U.S. Government's ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff.

    A travel alert, on the other hand, disseminates information about short-term conditions of which U.S. citizens abroad should be aware to maximize their safety.

    The alert for Mexico does not discourage U.S. citizens from traveling to the country's tourist destinations.

    The main tourist destinations for U.S. citizens are geographically far from the very specific areas included in the alert. For example, Cancun and Acapulco are at least a two-hour flight away from the main areas identified in the alert. The distance from Cancun to Ciudad Juarez is 1,312 miles ? approximately the same distance between New York and Miami (1,290 miles), Chicago and Laredo, Texas (1,395 miles), or Los Angeles to Oklahoma City (1,328 miles).

    More than 21.5 million international tourists visited Mexico in 2009. Air arrivals from the U.S. in December 2009 were up approximately 6.2% from December 2008, demonstrating that U.S. travelers view Mexico's unique vacation destinations and attractions as safe and violence in northern Mexico as unrelated to Mexico's principal tourist destinations.

    More than one million Americans reside in Mexico.

    Please feel free to contact the Mexico Tourism Board if you have any questions or doubts.

    Posted by Denise at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

    February 25, 2010

    Carnival Cruise Lines Reports Record Wave Season Activity

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    Carnival Cruise Lines is reporting record wave season bookings, with strong reservations activity for 2010 departures. As a result of the strong booking volumes, a general price increase will be implemented effective March 22 for all summer sailings in June, July and August.

    For the period of Jan. 1 through Feb. 21, 2010, bookings were at unprecedented levels for the line's 22 ships which operate three- to 15-day voyages from a variety of convenient North American home ports.

    Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill said, "We're seeing significantly increased volume as consumers are taking advantage of the incredible value that a Carnival cruise provides. And while pricing hasn't fully recovered to 2008 levels, we are increasing prices and will implement an across-the-board increase effective March 22."

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    He said that the price increases will vary by departure date but will be up to 5 percent.

    Cahill attributed the record booking activity to a wide range of factors, including strong travel agent partner support, targeted marketing initiatives, itinerary enhancements and the wide variety of close-to-home departure points.

    Wave season typically runs from about mid-January through early spring and is traditionally the busiest, most important booking period in the cruise industry.

    Carnival Cruise Lines is the largest and most popular cruise line in the world, with 22 "Fun Ships" operating voyages ranging from three to 15 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England and Europe.

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    Carnival also has two new ships on order - the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic, which is scheduled for delivery in 2011, and a sister ship set to debut in 2012.

    For additional information on the Carnival vacation call a Carnival Cruise Specialist at Cruising2Mexico.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

    February 19, 2010

    Carnival Glory Returns to Service Following Extensive Multi-Million-Dollar Refurbishment

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    New Features Include Adults-Only Retreat, Seaside Theatre LED Screen, 18 New Balconies

    MIAMI - (February 15, 2010) - The 2,974-passenger Carnival Glory has resumed Caribbean service from Miami following a multi-million-dollar renovation that added a host of new facilities and features, including a Serenity adults-only retreat, a 270-square-foot Seaside Theatre poolside LED screen, and a Circle "C" facility for 12- to 14- year olds.

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    Eighteen new balconies were also incorporated onto existing ocean view staterooms and a new Mongolian wok venue was added to the casual poolside restaurant. Bow-to-stern Wi-Fi access was added, as well.

    From February to May, Carnival Glory operates seasonal seven-day cruises from Miami, alternating weekly to the eastern and western Caribbean. Seven-day eastern Caribbean cruises visit Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk, while the western route features Grand Cayman, Isla Roatan, Belize and Cozumel.

    The ship will then be deployed to New York where it will offer a series of four- and five-day Atlantic Canada voyages from June 6 - September 6, 2010, followed by a series of seven-day Canada/New England cruises, from September 11 - October 9.

    "We are constantly looking for ways to improve and expand our product to deliver fun and memorable vacations to our guests while at the same time offering exceptional value," said Gerry Cahill, Carnival's president and CEO. "The new Seaside Theatre, adults-only area and Circle ?C? facility, which are all available to our guests on a complimentary basis, serve to enhance an already terrific, value-packed vacation choice," he added.

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    New Seaside Theatre
    Located poolside on Lido Deck is the Carnival Glory's new "Seaside Theatre," a massive 270-square-foot LED screen displaying movies, concerts, sporting events, and other programming, including the popular "Morning Show" hosted by the ship's cruise director. Utilizing the same technology featured in large stadiums and New York's Times Square, the state-of-the-art entertainment system includes a 70,000-watt sound system, providing concert quality sound, even outdoors.

    New Balcony Accommodations
    During dry dock, 18 new balconies were added to existing Spa Deck accommodations, creating spacious 220-square-foot verandah staterooms. They are conveniently located next to the ship?s 14,500-square-foot "Spa Carnival" facility offering sophisticated exercise equipment, expansive workout facilities and a variety of soothing European-style treatments.

    With the addition of these newly reconfigured staterooms, nearly 40 percent of the Carnival Glory's 1,487 cabins now feature private balconies.

    New Adults-Only Retreat
    Another popular feature added during the dry dock is Serenity, a two-level adults-only retreat located forward on Sun Deck and Sky Deck. Designed as an oceangoing oasis for relaxation, with decorative latticework and teak-style decking, this area features different styles of seating, including shaded sun loungers and hammocks, a full bar, and two oversized whirlpools.

    Circle "C" Facility for 12- to 14-Year-Olds
    A new Circle "C" facility catering to 12- to 14-year-olds has been added as part of the line's unique offerings for kids. The center features a high-tech sound and lighting system, plasma-screen TVs displaying movies and music videos, and gaming pods with the latest video games and consoles.

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    Dining Enhancements
    A new Mongolian wok option was added to the Carnival Glory's Red Sail casual restaurant located poolside on Lido Deck. At the new venue, guests can select their favorite meat, sauce, vegetables and other ingredients and watch as a chef creates their custom-designed stir fry dish right before their eyes.

    Additionally, the Golden dining room, located forward, was reconfigured for Your Time Dining providing guests the option of open seating between 5:45 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. nightly.

    For additional information and reservations on the Carnival Glory or any other vessel in the "Fun Ship" fleet, contact a Carnival Specialist at Cruising2Mexico.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 09:33 AM | Comments (0)

    February 18, 2010

    Cunard Welcomes Filmmakers Dori Berinstein and Judd Ehrlich on 29 April

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    Film industry documentarians to be featured Cunard Insights speakers

    18 February 2010 ? In association with Cunard's partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival, which included the sponsorship of the 2009 World Documentary Feature competition and recognition as the 2009 Official Cruise Line of the Tribeca Film Festival, the iconic ocean liner company welcomes acclaimed documentary filmmakers Dori Berinstein and Judd Ehrlich on the 29 April Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton aboard Queen Mary 2. With this upcoming sailing, Berinstein and Ehrlich join a distinguished list of luminaries and tastemakers that have sailed this legendary voyage with Cunard, operator of The Most Famous Ocean Liners in the World.

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    April marks the start of Cunard's Transatlantic Crossing season, and the 29 April voyage is one of more than 21 six-, seven-, eight- or nine-day Crossings between New York and Southampton, Cherbourg or Hamburg offered by Cunard until mid-November this year.

    During the Crossing, Berinstein and Ehrlich will participate in Cunard Insights, the line's award-winning onboard enrichment programme, and will each screen one of their films. Berinstein will discuss "Gotta Dance," a documentary focusing on a unique dance team made up entirely of senior citizens. Ehrlich will screen ?Run for Your Life,? a feature-length documentary about the enigmatic running guru and founder of the NYC Marathon, Fred Lebow. In addition, they will engage in a panel conversation with the ship?s entertainment director where they will share stories about their multi-faceted careers and the many roles they play in the entertainment industry ? from director to producer to writer. All programmes will be held in Queen Mary 2?s spectacular 450-seat, stadium-style theatre, Illuminations, which is also the only planetarium at sea.

    "Cunard's partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival represents our commitment to celebrating the art of filmmaking," said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. "We welcome these distinguished documentarians aboard Queen Mary 2 and are confident that the real-life stories they capture through their work, and in turn share through the Insights programme, will thoroughly entertain and engage our guests."

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    Dori Berinstein is an award-winning director, producer and writer of film, theater and television. Her first feature film, "Show Business: The Road to Broadway," about Broadway behind-the-curtain, was named one of the top five documentaries of 2006 by the International Documentary Association. Berinstein's second feature, "Some Assembly Required," about kids nationwide competing in a toy invention competition, will be released in 2010. Her most recent film, "Gotta Dance," was released theatrically during the summer of 2009; a Broadway adaptation is underway. Berinstein is a three-time Tony-winning Broadway producer ("Thoroughly Modern Millie," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Fool Moon"). Her 11th Broadway show, "Legally Blonde: The Musical," currently is playing in London and on tour across the United States. Berinstein has served as an executive and/or consultant at DreamWorks, Walt Disney Imagineering, Paramount and Sony Pictures.

    Judd Ehrlich, a native of New York City, most recently directed and produced "Run for Your Life." The film, which features interviews with notables from Olympian Frank Shorter to Mayor Ed Koch, premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, was acquired by Screen Media Films/Universal Studios and was released theatrically. Ehrlich's directorial debut, "Mayor of the West Side," the coming-of-age story of a teenager with multiple disabilities, was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Documentary and is airing on PBS nationwide through 2010. Ehrlich collaborated on the editing of Ric Burns' epic PBS series and Emmy Award-winner, "New York," and worked for acclaimed PBS independent documentary series "POV" and edited for CBS News. Ehrlich has also created and curated multiple film series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Museum and the JCC in Manhattan. He currently is completing a documentary, following young magicians at the country's premier magic camp.

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    "It has been wonderful to again share our commitment to providing quality entertainment and engaging thoughtful experiences for audiences with Cunard," said Nancy Schafer, executive director of the Tribeca Film Festival. "Both Dori and Judd?s crowd pleasing films played to sold out audiences at the Tribeca Film Festival and I know that Cunard guests will enjoy the experience of not only screening their films but having the rare opportunity to connect with the filmmakers directly."

    Delving deeply into a variety of compelling and relevant topics, Cunard Insights introduces guests to stimulating experts and accomplished visionaries who reflect the line's heritage of adventure and prestige. Through a series of lectures, Q&A's, social gatherings and workshops, guests connect with authors and intellectuals who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, politics, arts and literature. The Insights programme underscores Cunard's longstanding view that onboard entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience.

    Widely considered the definitive ocean travel experience, a Cunard Transatlantic Crossing offers guests myriad opportunities for intellectual interaction, leisurely pursuits, health and wellness activities and gourmet dining. Unique Cunard amenities found aboard Queen Mary 2 include the famed Princess and Queens Grill accommodation, the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea and the first Todd English restaurant at sea.

    For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Mary 2, consult a travel professional at Cruising2Europe.com #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 03:43 PM | Comments (0)

    February 15, 2010

    Norwegian Epic Sea Trials A Triumphant Success

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    121 days until Norwegian Cruise Line's largest ship is delivered

    Saint-Nazaire, France - Feb 15, 2010 - Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line's largest and most innovative ship to date, returned from her first successful sea trials on Sunday, February 14, 2010, after four days of sailing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. During the sea trials, 300 technicians and engineers from STX FRANCE SA, along with 30 Norwegian Cruise Line representatives, checked more than 60 different aspects of the ship's performance by running trials of the vessel's speed, maneuverability, hydrodynamics and propulsion, amongst others.

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    "During her first time ever at sea, Norwegian Epic performed above expectations with excellent marine behavior," said Roberto Martinoli, Norwegian's president and COO, who was on-board during the sea trials. "All tests were conducted with positive results. She is a beautiful ship with outstanding performance. Now that sea trials are completed, we can concentrate on finishing the ship and showing her to the world in June."

    A second round of sea trials is scheduled for mid-April in order to finalize all tests, including final speed measurement. The 153,000-gross ton, 4,200-passenger ship - the largest ship ever built in Saint-Nazaire - is scheduled for delivery on June 15, 2010.

    Photos from the sea trials along with new construction photos can be seen on Norwegian's Facebook page at www.ncl.com/facebook.

    Following her seven-day transatlantic crossing from Southhampton to New York on June 24, 2010 and inaugural activities in New York and Miami, Norwegian Epic will sail alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami from July 10, 2010 through April 30, 2011. Ports of call on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary include Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. The Western Caribbean cruises visit Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico. The 2011 cruise season from May-October will have Norwegian Epic sailing a series of seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona. When she returns to Miami on November 5, 2011, she will sail a series of seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises through April 7, 2012.

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

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line(Norwegian)is the innovator in cruise travel with a 43-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, Norwegian has the youngest fleet in the industry with 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian is presently building Norwegian Epic, the company's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, for delivery in summer 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic.

    Posted by Denise at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

    February 11, 2010

    Princess Revives Nostalgic Cruising Tradition with New Bon Voyage Experience

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    Passengers Can Once Again Invite Friends and Family Aboard Ship On Embarkation Day

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (February 11, 2010) -- Reviving a signature tradition from the early days of cruising, Princess Cruises is debuting an innovative, new program giving passengers the opportunity to invite their friends and family aboard their ship on embarkation day to wish them "bon voyage" and get a taste of the onboard experience.

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    Called the "Bon Voyage ExperienceSM," the program is a new twist on the departure celebration of bygone days, when friends and family would routinely come aboard to see off passengers. Because of increasingly tighter security procedures, this practice disappeared more than two decades ago, but it's now back -- complete with lunch in the dining room and tour of the ship.

    Unique in the cruise industry, the Bon Voyage Experience enables passengers to extend an invitation to their guests to join them onboard during sailing day for a four-course dining room lunch with wine, a ship tour and even a souvenir photo. Passengers and their guests can enjoy priority embarkation and will be able to spend approximately four hours together on the ship before it sets sail. The cost for the program is $39 per person, which can be applied toward a future Princess cruise.

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    The program will debut in March in the ports of Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale, and then roll out to New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

    "Long-time cruisers will recall the fun of the bon voyage send-off with their family and friends, and we're excited to re-introduce a new, modern version of this experience," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.

    Cruise passengers will be notified about the program through the pre-cruise emails they receive from Princess as their cruise date approaches. In-port guests can be booked through a travel agent or by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, beginning 120 days before the cruise and up to six days before the sailing date. Once registered, guests will be able to input their required security information through the line's Cruise Personalizer.

    The number of guests who will be able to participate in the Bon Voyage Experience on any given embarkation day will be approximately 50.

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    The roll-out schedule for the launch of the Bon Voyage Experience is:

    Sapphire Princess -- March 6 in Los Angeles
    Crown Princess -- March 6 in Fort Lauderdale
    Coral Princess -- March 7 in Los Angeles
    Emerald Princess -- March 7 in Fort Lauderdale
    Island Princess -- March 10 in Los Angeles
    Ruby Princess -- March 10 in Fort Lauderdale
    Golden Princess -- March 14 in Los Angeles
    Royal Princess -- March 27 in Fort Lauderdale
    Star Princess -- April 10 in Fort Lauderdale
    Caribbean Princess -- May 18 in New York
    Sea Princess -- June 1 in San Francisco

    During the Alaska season, Sapphire Princess, Golden Princess and Royal Princess will offer the program in Seattle, beginning in May.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by calling Cruising2Paradise.com at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

    February 09, 2010

    Norwegian Cruise Line Sails Into Summer With New Deployment For 2011/2012

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    Deployment includes several firsts, including homeporting in Copenhagen; deploying Norwegian Gem to Bermuda; and sailing year-round from New Orleans

    Miami - Feb 9, 2010 - Norwegian Cruise Line today announced its 2011/2012 summer deployment and itineraries with highlights including a new homeport in Europe; more capacity and newer ships to Bermuda from the Northeast; and a year-round commitment to New Orleans. In a first for the line in Europe, Norwegian Sun will homeport in Copenhagen offering nine-day cruises to the Baltic. Continuing its ongoing commitment to Bermuda, the company is deploying Norwegian Gem from New York for the first time and Norwegian Dawn from Boston. In addition, Norwegian Spirit will homeport year-round in New Orleans, home to the 2010 Super Bowl Champions the New Orleans Saints, representing the first time the company will homeport a ship year-round in the Crescent City.

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    These cruises go on sale to Norwegian's top travel partners and Latitudes members (past guests) today, February 9, 2010, and to the general public on Thursday, February 11. Norwegian is currently offering a 50 percent reduced deposit for all bookings made fleetwide through February 14, 2010. In addition, for all cruises booked to Europe, the line is offering up to a six category upgrade, if booked by February 14, 2010.

    "Our summer 2011 deployment is filled with exciting itineraries and new choices, so that our guests can enjoy Freestyle Cruising to a variety of destinations around the world during the popular summer travel season," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian's CEO.

    In the Baltic, Norwegian Sun will sail from Copenhagen, Denmark, a new homeport for Norwegian, on 15 nine-day Baltic Capitals cruises. Ports of call include: Berlin (Warnemünde), Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm (Nynashamn), Sweden.

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    In addition to Norwegian Epic's deployment from Barcelona to the Western Mediterranean in the summer of 2011, Norwegian Jade, which currently sails year-round in Europe, will replace Norwegian Gem sailing from Venice on a seven-day Greek Isles cruise with ports of call including: Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Olympia (Katakolon), Greece. The ship will also sail a seven-day Adriatic, Greece and Turkey cruise with ports of call including: Dubrovnik, Croatia; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Ephesus (Izmir), Turkey and Split, Croatia. These sailings can be booked back-to-back for a 14-day cruise with no port repetition sailing to Greece, Italy, Croatia and Turkey.

    Norwegian will continue its commitment to Bermuda, sailing two ships from the Northeast to Bermuda weekly from May through October calling on King's Wharf. Norwegian Gem, one of Norwegian's newest and largest Freestyle Cruising ships carrying 2,400 guests, will replace Norwegian Dawn sailing from New York on Sundays to Bermuda, staying for three full days. In Boston, the 2,224-passenger Norwegian Dawn will homeport there for the first time, replacing Norwegian Spirit which sailed from Boston for two years. The ship will depart on Fridays with three days in Bermuda.

    For the first time in Norwegian's history, the line will homeport year-round in the Big Easy with Norwegian Spirit sailing weekly seven-day Western Caribbean cruises from April 2011 through April 2012. The 2,000-passenger Norwegian Spirit will depart New Orleans every Sunday. Ports of call include Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Belize City, Belize. Norwegian has homeported cruise ships in New Orleans seasonally since 2003 with Norwegian Spirit there in the winter since 2007.

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    Norwegian Jewel, carrying 2,400 passengers, will continue her year-round deployment in New York sailing seven-day Bahamas & Florida cruises departing on Saturdays through April 2012. Ports of call include: Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida; Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian's private island) and Nassau, Bahamas. Norwegian Jewel will offer Nickelodeon" at Sea, exclusively on Norwegian Cruise Line, with Nickelodeon-themed family programming on all of its sailings. Guests will have the opportunity to experience character meet and greets; interactive game shows; and more.

    Also from New York beginning in December 2011 through April 2012, Norwegian Gem will sail a series of weekly seven-day Bahamas & Florida cruises, departing on Sundays, with stops in Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida; Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian's private island) and Nassau, Bahamas.

    In Alaska, both Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Star will return, sailing seven-day Glacier Bay and Sawyer Glacier cruises respectively, both from Seattle, Washington. Norwegian Pearl's weekly Glacier Bay cruises depart on Sundays and will sail through Alaska's Inside Passage with ports of call including: Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia. Norwegian Pearl will also sail a seven-day Alaska & Sawyer Glacier cruise from Vancouver to Seattle on May 8, 2011 and a seven-day Glacier Bay cruise from Seattle to Vancouver on September 18, 2011. Norwegian Star's weekly Sawyer Glacier cruises depart on Saturdays sailing through Alaska's Inside Passage with ports of call including: Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska; and Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Norwegian Star will also sail a seven-day Sawyer Glacier cruise from Vancouver to Seattle on May 14, 2011 and a seven-day Sawyer Glacier from Seattle to Vancouver on September 17, 2011.

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    For the shorter cruise option, Norwegian Sky will continue sailing three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas year-round from Miami through April 20, 2012. The three-day Bahamas cruise departs Fridays and includes stops in Nassau, Bahamas and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian's private island in the Bahamas. On Mondays, the ship departs Miami on a four-day Bahamas cruise with stops in Grand Bahama Island, Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian's private island; and Nassau, Bahamas.

    To book one of these new itineraries, guests should contact a travel professional at Cruising2Europe.com or Cruising2Alaska.com at #1-800-738-8837.

    About Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line(Norwegian)is the innovator in cruise travel with a 43-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, Norwegian has the youngest fleet in the industry with 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

    Norwegian is presently building Norwegian Epic, the company's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, for delivery in summer 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic.

    Posted by Denise at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

    February 08, 2010

    Cunard to Launch Special Relationship Enrichment Programme

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    New speaker series aboard Queen Mary 2 to focus on close political and cultural ties
    between the United States and the United Kingdom

    2 February 2010 - In keeping with its longstanding tradition of offering guests award-winning enrichment programmes, Cunard Line announces the Special Relationship speaker series. Guests sailing on select 2010 Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossings will have the unique opportunity to attend lectures by ambassadors, statesmen, politicians, journalists, academics and broadcasters with a shared interest between the United States and United Kingdom, an association first referenced as a "special relationship" by Winston Churchill in 1946. The programme was developed in direct response to guests noting their interest in hearing about politics and contemporary issues while onboard.

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    "When Cunard began its Transatlantic liner service 170 years ago, it began a tradition of bridging the United Kingdom and the United States. With this programme, we will bring to life and explore the historical connection between these two countries with our guests, who have expressed great interest in the subject," said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. "Additionally, the Special Relationship series further underscores Cunard's commitment to bringing its guests not only legendary voyages aboard the most famous ocean liners in the world, but also engaging and intellectual pursuits during their journey."

    Joining the 15 April Crossing will be Iwan Morgan, professor of U.S. Studies and head of U.S. Programmes at the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London. The political scientist also has been published widely in various fields of modern U.S. political history and economy. His latest book, The Age of Deficits Presidents and Unbalanced Budgets from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush, was published at the end of 2009.

    Kenneth T. Walsh, chief White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, is scheduled to sail on the 1 June Transatlantic Crossing. He has covered the residencies of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and, currently, Barack Obama. Walsh is the author of four books focused on presidential topics and has won the two most prestigious awards for White House coverage ? the Aldo Beckman Award in 1991 and the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency in 1992 and 1998.

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    Sailing aboard the 22 April and 25 June Crossings is Jeffrey Weinberg, who has served each of the last seven U.S. presidents as a legislative attorney at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Executive Office of the President. While onboard, Weinberg will be leading discussions on the following topics: insights into the Obama Administration, strengths and weaknesses of the governments of the U.S. and the U.K., and "tools" that are available to the President to enhance his effectiveness.

    Additional programme participants will be announced in the coming months. Other scheduled voyages featuring Special Relationship speakers include:

  • 12 September
  • 1 October
  • 10 November
  • The Special Relationship series is part of Cunard Insights, the enrichment programme that introduces guests to stimulating experts and accomplished visionaries who reflect the Line's heritage of adventure and prestige. Through a series of lectures, Q&A's, social gatherings and workshops, guests connect with personalities who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, arts and literature. The Insights programme underscores Cunard?s longstanding view that onboard entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience.

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    In 2010, Cunard offers guests more choices of Transatlantic Crossings, sailing classic six- and seven-day voyages between New York and Southampton, as well as new extended seven-, eight- and nine-day Crossings to Cherbourg, France, and Hamburg, Germany, between April and November. Widely considered the definitive ocean travel experience, a Transatlantic Crossing offers guests a myriad of opportunities for intellectual interaction, leisurely pursuits, health and wellness activities and gourmet dining. Unique Cunard amenities found aboard Queen Mary 2 include the famed Princess and Queens Grill accommodation, the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea and the first Todd English restaurant at sea.

    For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Mary 2, consult a travel professional at Cruising2Europe.com by calling #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

    February 06, 2010

    Tropical Strom Oli in the South Pacific

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    February 3, 2010 - We would like to inform you that tropical Storm "Oli" is currently heading towards French Polynesia.

    The office of the High-Commissioner has upgraded the alert status to the red level for the Leeward Islands (Bora Bora, Maupiti, Taha'a, Raiatea, Huahine, Tupai), as tropical storm "Oli" has come closer to the archipelago.

    Currently, the orange alert level is maintained for the rest of the Society Islands (Tahiti and Moorea), the Tuamotu Atolls and the Austral Islands. However, it is expected to rise to the red level in the coming hours for the islands of Tahiti and Moorea.

    As a result, all traffic is stopped and all airports are closed. In addition, all maritime traffic has been halted until further notice.

    Please note that the hotels have taken measures to protect their guests and have been sending out individual updates.

    We will keep you informed as we receive information.

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    February 4, 2010 - We would like to follow up on our Special Update sent out yesterday afternoon in regards to the Tropical Cyclone "Oli." We received information from NASA this morning, which we have included below.

    As of 03:00 UTC (7:00 PM PST and 5:00 PM Tahiti time) on February 3, "Oli" was about 250 nautical miles WSW of Bora Bora. It then moved southeast by about 100 nautical miles, placing its center southeast of the main island of Tahiti. The tropical cyclone has now completely passed through the Society Islands including Tahiti and Moorea; the heaviest rains and strongest winds have passed.

    The airports in the Society Islands are all still closed.

    We have not yet received information in regards to damages that may have been caused throughout the Society Islands due to the high wind levels and rain, however we will be keeping our partners updated as we receive more information.

    The office of the High Commissioner has upgraded the alert status to the red level for the southernmost Austral Islands of French Polynesia including Rurutu, Tubuai, Raivavae, Rapa and Maria. You can access a forecast for the system on the CIMSS (Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies) by clicking here.

    You can also find up-to-date information on the High Commissioner's website, however it is all in French.

    We will keep you informed as we receive information.

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    February 4 - Here is the latest news that I received from our office in Papeete less than an hour ago regarding the Cyclone Oli.

    Tahiti and the Leeward Islands are still in a red alert level, meaning everyone must stay at home. Uncertain if the weather alert warning will drop to orange level by noon or this evening. The cyclone is reported going south towards Rurutu. The wind is weakening in Tahiti and the Leeward Islands but still strong and up to 100-150 km per hour. At present, rough waters at sea. Information provided to me from Tahiti Tourisme North America mentions that NASA is reporting that the cyclone is veering away from Tahiti.

    Regarding the Pearl Resorts, everyone is safe and there has been no damage to report. The hotel staff is taking good care of all guests and accommodating their individual needs as best as possible.

    There is still no flights between the islands as the Air Tahiti fleet has been sent to the Marquesas.

    We do hope that normal operations will resume by tomorrow.

    For More Informatin About A Vacation In French Polynesia Contact Cruising2Tahiti.com at #1-800-738-8837 or visit www.Cruising2Tahiti.com!

    Photos Courtesy Of Tahiti Tourisme

    View Tahiti Cruise Deals Here!

    Posted by Denise at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)

    February 03, 2010

    Olympic Ship Charter Cancelled

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    NEWWEST SPECIAL PROJECTS LP
    STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF NEWWEST SPECIAL PROJECTS

    February 2, 2010. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

    It is with regret that Newwest Special Projects LP is announcing the cancellation
    of its charter of the Norwegian Star. The cancellation includes the pre cruise,
    scheduled for 6-10 February from LA to Vancouver, the post cruise, scheduled
    for 2-6 March from Vancouver to LA and the Vancouver stay for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

    We sincerely apologize to the guests who have booked with us for this
    inconvenience. Newwest will be issuing refunds. Guests who have booked should contact us at 877.254.2010 or 780.450.1555.

    FAQ
    How many staterooms were available on board the ship?
    1108 staterooms were for sale, including the pre, post and Vancouver portion of the charter.

    Will Newwest issue a refund for passengers?
    Yes, Newwest will refund money to passengers in a timely manner. Passengers who had booked with us should contact our Edmonton office at 877.254.2010 or
    780.450.1555.

    Will Newwest assist guests? in finding alternative accommodations?
    Yes, we will make every effort to assist in finding alternative accommodations for guests attending the Olympics.

    Why did Newwest cancel the charter?
    Newwest made the decision to cancel the charter due to slower than expected sales.

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    Norwegian Cruise Line had these comments:

    "Norwegian Cruise Line was notified today, February 2, 2010, that Newwest Special Projects Limited Partnership has cancelled its agreement with the cruise line for Norwegian Star to be based in Vancouver from February 6 through March 6 for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Newwest cited the reason for cancelling their charter as a lack of funding due to poor sales.

    The cancellation covers the full 28-day charter, including a four-day sailing from Los Angeles to Vancouver on February 6 and a four-day cruise from Vancouver to Los Angeles on March 2.

    As the ship was chartered to Newwest for the entire 28 days, Newwest customers should contact them directly at 877-254-2010 or 780-450-1555 for further information. The statement issued by Newwest Special Projects is listed below if you have any further Q&A."

    Posted by Denise at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)

    New Crystal Cruise Culminates in Venetian Fireworks

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    LOS ANGELES, February 1, 2010 ? This July, guests aboard Crystal Cruises' award-winning Crystal Serenity will be treated to one of Italy's most popular Venetian traditions. The ultra-luxury line is introducing a new cruise for 2010 that sails into Venice just in time for the annual Redentore Festival, a spectacle of brightly colored boats, gondola races, costumes and traditional feasts culminating with a magnificent fireworks display. The 12-day Mediterranean/Adriatic voyage, departing from Athens on July 7, marks Crystal Cruises' first ever itinerary with two shipboard overnights in Venice.

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    Dating back to the 16th century, the Redentore Festival commemorates the church of the same name, built on the island of Giudecca to mark the end of a plague that had stricken the city. Each year on the third Saturday in July, Venetians gather in San Marco Basin to celebrate, where they remain until late-night fireworks are set off in the bay of San Marco.

    On board, guests can celebrate with an al fresco champagne reception, local entertainment, Venetian dinner and view of the fireworks from the spacious open deck.

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    "Venice is one of the most magical cities in the world; to be there during this festival adds yet another layer to the authentic experience that our guests seek and expect with a Crystal vacation," says Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president, hotel operations. "We're thrilled to be a part of the celebration and to offer our guests more time to immerse themselves in the culture."

    In addition to dozens of shoreside activities offered in the seven ports included in the itinerary, guests can maximize their stay in Venice with extravagant experiences like exclusive cooking lessons and lunch with Countess Lelia Passi or a bird?s eye view of Padua from a hot air balloon.

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    The voyage visits Athens, Santorini, Crete and Patmos, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey; Kotor, Montenegro; Split, Croatia; and Venice, Italy. Two-for one cruise fares start at $6,465 per person, double occupancy. Complimentary air transportation from more than 20 North American gateways, including Business Class air for Penthouse guests, plus a $1,000 per person 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard credit are included.

    For more information and Crystal reservations contact Cruising2Europe.com at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 08:51 AM | Comments (0)

    February 02, 2010

    Mayor Gavin Newsom Gives Cunard?s Queen Victoria a Golden Gate Welcome during Maiden Call to San Francisco

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    27 January 2010 ? Wrapping up her Expedition of the Americas segment, a part of her current world voyage, Cunard Line?s Queen Victoria made her inaugural visit to San Francisco today. Welcoming her to this historic maritime port was the honourable Mayor Gavin Newsom, along with travel agents, media and local dignitaries - including the British Consul-General of San Francisco, Julian Evans. In addition, by official order of proclamation, Mayor Newsom declared today as "Cunard Queen Victoria Day" in San Francisco.

    "The City is proud to welcome Queen Victoria to San Francisco's waterfront as we so warmly welcomed her sister ship, Queen Mary 2, in 2007. Her arrival creates work for our longshoremen and women and business for our hotels, restaurants and shops," said Mayor Newsom. "As part of our commitment to create jobs and economic vitality, the City is working diligently to renovate San Francisco's Pier 27 into an international cruise terminal. We invite Cunard and all the lines to return often to this world-renowned cruise destination," added Mayor Newsom.

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    Queen Victoria's Panama Canal Transit

    "We are once again delighted by the warm welcome we received today, and it is with great pride that we now add San Francisco to the list of more than 150 different ports visited since Queen Victoria began service two years ago," said Captain Paul Wright, Master, Queen Victoria. "Our maiden call today marks Queen Victoria's third maiden call on this world voyage and our only U.S. maiden call of the eight in total on this around-the-world-journey," he added.

    Also welcoming Queen Victoria to the City by the Bay was the CEO and President of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, Joe D'Alessandro; President of the San Francisco Port Commission, Rodney Fong; and the President and CEO of Nautilus International Holding Corporate (parent company of Metro Cruise Services), James Callahan.

    Queen Victoria continues her third World Voyage upon departing San Francisco this evening at approximately 6:00pm, crossing the Pacific en route to her next port of call: Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.

    Queen Victoria will spend more time on the west coast in winter 2011, sailing her Americas voyages, when she will make two transits through the Panama Canal, two roundtrip voyages from Los Angeles to Hawaii, and her first short Getaway voyage to Mexico.

    For more information about Cunard call a Cruise Consultant at Cruising2Mexico.com at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

    Line Celebrates Announcement of Newest Members of Its "Department of Romance" With Theme Cruise Featuring Lectures, Vow Renewal and Romance Gala

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    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (February 1, 2010) ? In celebration of the most romantic holiday of the year, and to usher in the newest members of its Department of Romance, Princess Cruises is hosting the first-ever Romance Summit cruise.

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    The Summit, which will be held on board Crown Princess during Valentine's week, February 13-20, will feature a host of themed activities and presentations by the line's Department of Romance members. Designed to celebrate the many aspects of cruising with Princess that can help couples reconnect, these special events will give passengers insight and inspiration on infusing romance into their everyday lives.

    The entire Department of Romance will be aboard the special sailing. In addition to current members "Love Boat" captain Gavin MacLeod, "The Bachelorette's" Trista and Ryan Sutter, and destination wedding expert Lisa Light, three new members will join the department. The new love experts are Anna Post, the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post who will be discussing romance etiquette; "The Dating Diva" Dee Frazier of The University of Dating, an authority on finding love at any age; and Princess Cruises comedian Kevin Hughes, who keeps audiences laughing with his comedic and insightful take on relationships.

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    "Hosting the first-ever Romance Summit seems like the perfect way to celebrate Princess' legacy of romance in a fun, unique way with something for everyone onboard," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises' executive vice president. "It's also the perfect way to introduce the newest members of our Department of Romance. We look forward to starting some lively conversations, as well as provide our passengers with great relationship tips, and a lot of fun."

    During the Romance Summit passengers will be treated to an abundance of romantic events, including an opportunity to meet all the Department of Romance members at a group panel discussion, plus attend individual presentations where each member will offer expertise on a particular aspect of love and relationships. Additionally, passengers will enjoy a variety of romance-themed activities, including a group renewal of vows for all couples on the ship and a Valentine's Gala where passengers are invited to dress up in their best red attire for an evening of romantic dining and entertainment.

    Throughout the sailing, passengers will enjoy themed food and beverage, entertainment, movies, and daytime activities.

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    Crown Princess is sailing on a western Caribbean itinerary during the Romance Summit, with calls at Grand Cayman, Roatan, Cozumel and Princess Cays.

    Further information about Princess is available through Cruising2Mexico.com at #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

    February 01, 2010

    MANAVA SUITE RESORT TAHITI honored as best hotel in the 2010 TRIPADVISOR TRAVELERS? CHOICE AWARDS

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    TAHITI - FRENCH POLYNESIA, MANAVA SUITE RESORT TAHITI was chosen as a Best Relaxation/Spa Hotel by TripAdvisor in its 2010 Travelers' Choice awards. Now in its eighth year, the annual TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards honor the world's best hotels, earning their distinction from those who know them best - real travelers.

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    Unlike any other hotel awards programs in the world, TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice winners are based on the millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions about hotels on tripadvisor.com and content from across the web.

    "Inspired by the millions of trusted traveler reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor.com, the Travelers' Choice awards have once again highlighted the finest hotels in the world," said Christine Petersen, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. "From remarkable bargains to the trendiest hotels, travelers worldwide are recognizing more than 700 hotels for their outstanding service, value and quality."

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    Located on the west coast of the island in the community of Punaauia, five minutes from the international airport of Faa'a, lies the four-star Manava Suite Resort Tahiti, geared for both business and leisure travelers. The hotel has 121 rooms, suites and duplexes as well as a restaurant, two bars, a conference room, a spa and a fitness center. Designer Bruno Hervochon?s theme was inspired directly by the Polynesian culture, but equipped with the most modern amenities. Most rooms feature modern kitchenettes.

    For more information and reservations contact Cruising2Tahiti.com at #1-800-738-8837. All our their agents are Tahiti Tiare Certified!

    Posted by Denise at 05:24 PM | Comments (0)

    January 28, 2010

    Norwegian Epic to set sail in Europe in 2011

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

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    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."

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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

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    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."

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    "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.

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    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.

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    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:

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

    January 16, 2010

    NEW MARINA BREAKS BOOKING RECORDS FOR OCEANIA CRUISES

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    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."

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    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.

    OCEANIA CRUISES PREVIEWS ACCOMMODATIONS ABOARD NEW 'MARINA' FLAGSHIP

    Spacious, Elegant, Glamorous Describe Staterooms and Suites

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    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."

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    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!

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    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."

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    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

    CELEBRITY CRUISES MARKS 20th ANNIVERSARY WITH NEW PLATFORM; UNVEILS PLAN TO ADD SOLSTICE CLASS ELEMENTS TO ENTIRE MILLENNIUM CLASS QUARTET

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    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

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    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.

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    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

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    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:

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    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."

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    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

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    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."

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    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 |