Archive for the ‘Caribbean cruising’ Category

Crystal Cruises Sets New Standard of Voluntourism Excursions for Fall New England, Canada, and Caribbean Sailings

July 12, 2011

This September/October, Crystal Cruises’ guests and staff will help international refugees resettle in Canada, Massachusetts children-in-need survive winter, feed the hungry in Halifax, and care for stray/rescued donkeys in Antigua—all as part of the ultra-luxe cruise line’s “You Care, We Care” program in New England, Canada, and the Caribbean this fall.

This September/October, Crystal Cruises’ guests and staff will help international refugees resettle in Canada, Massachusetts children-in-need survive winter, feed the hungry in Halifax, and care for stray/rescued donkeys in Antigua—all as part of the ultra-luxe cruise line’s “You Care, We Care” program in New England, Canada, and the Caribbean this fall.

Volunteer opportunities are offered gratis on every 2011 sailing, giving guests and crew an easy, hands-on way to “give back” to local communities, while simultaneously providing an alternative cultural perspective to traditional shore excursions.

Participants may assist four aid organizations on five east coast Crystal Symphony voyages:

  • Cradles to Crayons (9/16 and 10/8—Boston): Prepare vital winter items for homeless/low-income children, from schoolbags to warm coats and shoes.
  • Romero House (9/30—St. John, New Brunswick): Provide kitchen aid for a housing community that assists less-fortunate locals and resettling refugees.
  • Feed Nova Scotia (10/20—Halifax): Help food bank preparation/distribution.
  • Donkey Sanctuary at the Antigua & Barbuda Humane Society (10/31—Antigua): Feed, clean, or walk the shelter’s stray donkeys, dogs and cats. Launched in January, 2011,

Launched in January, 2011, Crystal’s “You Care, We Care” program has been widely recognized as a trailblazing effort for socially responsible tourism.

“While we always seek unique adventures for our guests, we created this program as a very personal way for Crystal travelers to give back to the many destinations that have given us so much through the years,” says Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president operations. “We’ve already seen incredibly positive ripple effects in peoples’ lives, and we can’t wait to continue our efforts through the year.”

Crystal’s voluntourism efforts thus far in 2011 have helped orphans, animals and the environment. June/July projects include caretaking cats and birds at the oldest independent animal protection organization in Norway and a summer-long project of rehab-ing an eco-friendly salmon hatchery and education facility in Alaska.

A cornerstone of Crystal Cruises’ culture is its genuine hospitality and service that has been internationally-celebrated for two decades. This spirit of generosity extends to its respectful treatment of the environment, oceans and communities in which it travels.

For more information/Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit www.crystalcruises.com.

For more cruise features, visit

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

Crystal Cruises Slashes Fares on ‘Symphony’ Oct. 25 NY-Caribbean Cruise

July 7, 2011

The ultraluxe cruise line Crystal Cruises has marked down its October 25 New York-Miami Caribbean cruise even further, with savings of up to 67% off brochure fares. Fares for the 12-day sailing on Crystal Symphony now start at $2,995 per person, including $1000/couple “As You Wish” shipboard spending credits.

Crystal’s “Pink Sands and White Beaches” voyage begins with a scenic sail-away from New York followed by visits to Bermuda; St. Maarten, Antigua, Aruba, and the Cayman Islands.

Throughout, guests will be stimulated and enriched with an array of complimentary workshops and classes:

  • · A “Digital Filmmaking” theme offers camera buffs hands-on tutelage in travel video production from Travel Channel Academy founders throughout the sailing.
  • · News junkies will relish insights from Shelby Coffey, formerly editor of the L.A. Times, president of CNN Business News and executive vice president of ABC News.
  • · Veteran U.S. State Dept Senior Foreign Service Officer, Robert Warne will enthrall world affairs enthusiasts with his vast experience in international economics
  • · Animal lovers can help care for stray donkeys via Crystal’s gratis “You Care, We Care” voluntourism excursion in Antigua.

“This unique Crystal departure from New York was designed with an appealing balance of sea and port days – the perfect resort from which to enjoy inspiring enrichment, complimentary classes, a spacious spa, exquisite dining, and non-stop fitness opportunities, says Nitsa Lewis, vice president, marketing. “One’s vacation can be as stimulating or relaxing as one prefers, while newly reduced fares make this an extraordinary value.”

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. With a host of complimentary amenities, from enlightening speakers and fitness classes to pampering pillow menus and specialty restaurant dining, featuring the cuisine of Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio, a Crystal cruise always offers tremendous value in luxury resort vacationing.

Availability is limited; special fares are capacity controlled and subject to change.

For more information/Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent. Call 888-799-4625 or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

For more travel features, visit

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

CRYSTAL’S CRUISE SALE OFFERS NEW REDUCTIONS ON ALL FALL DEPARTURES

January 29, 2011

The Crystal Serenity at Sea. Crystal Cruises’ fall voyages are now on sale with newly reduced fares from as low as $2,400 per person (photo supplied by Crystal Cruises).

Crystal Cruises’ fall voyages are now on sale with newly reduced fares from as low as $2,400 per person and new Penthouse and Verandah savings up to $8,000 per couple.  Beginning with its August 26 Mediterranean cruise on Crystal Serenity and its first 2011 Canada/New England cruise on Crystal Symphony, Crystal is offering new savings on every one of its 22 fall cruises, including both Christmas/New Year departures.

Guests will still receive up to $2,000 per couple “All Inclusive–As You Wish” shipboard credits and free air from 20+ North American gateways, now including Honolulu.

Crystal’s fall cruise collection includes a first-class array of prime overseas and domestic vacations, including the romantic Mediterranean; culturally-rich Black Sea; exotic Canary Islands including Morocco; historic Holy Land; swinging Big Band Transatlantic sailing; fascinating Panama Canal; tropical Mexican Riviera and Caribbean; crisp, colorful New England and Canada; new luxury Pacific Coast escapes; and end-of-year holiday cruises to Hawaii and the Caribbean, with Panama Canal highlights.

The Crystal Experience offers a plethora of all-inclusive fine dining options, now incorporating new, flexible “Perfect Choice Dining” for choose-your-own-time dinner reservations.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

 

MSC Celebrates Holidays with Buy One, Get One Offers

November 23, 2010

MSC is celebrating this season with savings as guests can ring in the holidays on buy one, get one offers on 7-night Caribbean cruises during Thanksgiving and Christmas starting at $529 per person plus government fees and taxes (GFTs).

Get the second week free with the purchase of a 7-night Caribbean cruise for a 14-night, back-to-back, Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean cruise experience on bookings made by Nov. 30, which includes the Thanksgiving cruise on Nov. 21.

During this buy one, get one free offer, rates are as low as $40 per day on select 14-night, back-to-back Eastern Caribbean cruises and Western Caribbean cruises onboard MSC Poesia and departing from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Cruise itineraries include:

 

Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau Bahamas; Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica;

Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico departs Nov. 14, 28, and Dec. 12,   2010; rates from $529 (originally started from $1,058) for a $529 savings or more than 50 percent plus government fees and taxes (GFTs) of $117.07;

 

Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Nassau Bahamas; Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica;

Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico; departs Nov. 12 and Dec. 5, 2010;  rates from $529 (originally started from $1,058) for a $529 savings or more than 50 percent plus GFTs of $117.07.

A Christmas cruise is another holiday sailing option with “The More the Merrier” offer where guests obtain a second stateroom at 50 percent off when they purchase one at the regular price. Rates for the Dec. 19 cruise begin at $649 per person for the first stateroom and $324.50 per person for the second stateroom plus GFTs. Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. Offer expires Dec. 15.

Cruise-only rates are per person  based on double occupancy for U.S. and Canadian residents.

All cruises offer just a $100 deposit, and kids 17 and younger sail for just $99 as the third/fourth guest in a stateroom.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit www.MSCCruisesUSA.com, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

Tis The Season to Book a Royal Caribbean Cruise for a Stress-Free Holiday

September 1, 2010
RCL Freedom of the Seas Flowrider

Families enjoy RCL's Freedom of the Seas signature attraction, the Flowrider. Royal Caribbean is offering special deals on holiday cruises © 2010 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This winter, Royal Caribbean International is inviting families to start a new tradition and spending the holidays at sea, with special deals and festivities from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. After all, “Why Not?” as the line’s slogan goes.

“There is really no better holiday value than spending yours aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise with family and friends,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International.  “All too often, people get stressed out with holiday preparation and entertaining. Royal Caribbean takes care of all this work, providing guests the opportunity to relax and truly enjoy the holiday season with their loved ones. Additionally, the Diamond Celebration in December will offer exclusive benefits and programs to our Diamond-status Crown & Anchor Society members to recognize our most loyal guests.”

To kick off the holiday season, Royal Caribbean is pulling out all the stops for guests to enjoy a bountiful and memorable Thanksgiving.  Not only will the chefs in the cruise line’s main dining room feature a gourmet turkey dinner (and take care of the grocery shopping, cooking and dishes too), but the award-winning Adventure Ocean program will provide kids with themed activities including Thanksgiving story time and arts and crafts.

What better way to alleviate the stress that typically comes along with the holiday season than indulging in the Royal treatment?  Guests this winter can enjoy a wide range of exclusive and innovative onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming, while observing the season’s traditional festivities.  Most travelers won’t even have to wander much further than their own backyards to find a holiday cruise vacation to suit their interests.  Royal Caribbean’s fleet offers a diverse number of holiday itineraries departing from nine easy-to-reach domestic home ports, including Bayonne, NJ, Baltimore, MD, Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale), Miami, Port Canaveral, and Tampa, Fla., Galveston, TX, Los Angeles, Calif. and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A seven-night Eastern Caribbean Thanksgiving sailing is available aboard Freedom of the Seas, departing November 21, 2010, from Port Canaveral, Fla..  Freedom of the Seas offers innovative onboard amenities and entertainment options, such as the FlowRider surf simulator, an ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall, and street parties and parades in the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that runs nearly the length of the ship, lined with boutiques where guests can get a head start on their holiday shopping.

Royal Caribbean will deck its ships with seasonal decorations to embrace the holiday spirit at sea throughout the month of December.  Royal Caribbean offers Hanukkah-themed festivities lasting all eight days of the holiday, including a Rabbi aboard every ship to conduct a nightly menorah lighting ceremony and services.  For those celebrating Christmas, a Catholic priest also will be aboard to lead the holiday’s observances including a midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

Other Christmas festivities sure to get families bonding and into the spirit include: classic movie screenings, guest and crew caroling, cookie decorating, special Christmas-themed Adventure Ocean programming, and holiday ice skating aboard select ships.  Families may still book staterooms aboard the new Allure of the Seas for the seven-night roundtrip Western Caribbean Holiday itinerary departing from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. sailing on December 18, 2010.

In November, Allure of the Seas will join sister-ship Oasis of the Seas, as one of the two world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships.  Allure of the Seas featuring seven themed neighborhoods and unrivaled entertainment options, featuring the DreamWorks Experience, which include characters from hit movies such as Shrek and Madagascar, as well as the Tony Award-winning Broadway production “Chicago: The Musical.”

Ring in the New Year at sea with the Cruise Director and Captain’s Countdown and themed parties in every onboard lounge.  Young cruisers will enjoy the extended late night party zone where kids and teens will be celebrating at their own New Year’s festivities. West Coast vacationers can celebrate the New Year aboard Mariner of the Seas’ December 26, 2010, sailing on a seven-night Mexican Riviera itinerary from Los Angeles, Calif. Mariner of the Seas is the largest and most revolutionary ship to ever sail from the west coast.

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, call your travel agent, visit www.royalcaribbean.com or call 800-ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

See our coverage:

RCL’S DAZZLING FREEDOM OF THE SEAS:
Biggest, Most Innovative Cruise Ship Afloat Offers Everything & More

MSC Cruises Introduces Family Plan for Holiday Sailings

September 1, 2010
MSC Poesia in NYC

The MSC Poesia in New York City. The cruise line is offering a Family Plan for holiday sailings to the Caribbean © 2010 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

MSC Cruises is making it easy and affordable for families of four to cruise for the holidays. The line is offering a Family Plan for 7-night holiday sailings to the Caribbean onboard MSC Poesia through December 31, 2010.

Guests who book a balcony stateroom during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve Caribbean cruises can save up to 50 percent off a connecting balcony stateroom for an affordable family vacation.

This special Family Plan offer applies for adjoining Category 9, 10 or 11 Balcony Superior staterooms (accommodating up to four guests) on 7-night, Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises departing from Ft. Lauderdale. These cruises sail November 21 (Thanksgiving), December 19 (Christmas), and December 26 (New Year’s).  Family Plan rates for four begin at $697 per person plus $81.35 per person government fees and taxes (GFTs).

Destinations on the Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises including ports like Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; St. Thomas, Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau, Bahamas.

Family-friendly activities to enjoy during this affordable family vacation include miniature golf, tennis and basketball. MSC Poesia features a pool for children and outdoor play area. MSC Cruises also offers a complimentary kids program filled with entertainment, fun, and games from crafts to treasure hunts. Children’s programs are available for children 3-17 years old and are divided into age-specific groups.

Not only does MSC Cruises offer authentic Italian favorites like pasta and pizza, but also All-American kid-friendly staples like hamburgers, hot dogs, and delicious pastries and desserts.

Rates are cruise only, and subject to availability.

MSC Cruises also has a policy of kids 11 and under sailing free when sharing adults” cabin.

MSC Cruises is one of the fastest-growing cruise lines in the world  with a fleet of 11 shipsMSC Magnifica, MSC Splendida, 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.

For more information, call 877-665-4655, visit www.MSCCruisesUSA.com, or contact a local travel professional.

See cruise coverage at http://www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

OPRY COUNTRY CLASSICS CRUISE TO SAIL ON RCL’S FREEDOM OF THE SEAS JAN. 30

August 7, 2010
RCL Freedom of the Seas

Opry Country Classics Cruise sails Jan. 30 – Feb. 6, 2011 aboard Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas to the Eastern Caribbean © 2010 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Fans of the most treasured songs in country music history are in for a treat when the Opry Country Classics Cruise sails Jan. 30 – Feb. 6, 2011 aboard Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas to the Eastern Caribbean.

The music-filled, seven-night adventure features Grand Ole Opry stars Charley Pride, Jim Ed Brown and Jeannie Seely. Additionally, newcomer Chris Young, nominated for the Top New Solo Vocalist award by the Academy of Country Music, will be part of the line-up along with special guest Helen Cornelius. This marks the Opry’s 14th annual cruise and its first on Royal Caribbean International.

A full casino, deck activities including a FlowRider surf simulator, nine-hole miniature golf course, dancing, first-run movies, and gourmet dining also are included. All meals in Freedom of the Seas’ main dining room and Windjammer Café, including a special “Welcome Aboard” party with the Captain and a gala Bon Voyage Dinner are included.

Departing from Port Canaveral, the cruise visits three ports of call: St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island destination in the Bahamas.

“We always have the time of our lives meeting the fans and enjoying our fellow artists’ music on board the Opry Cruise,” Pride said. “It looks like the 2011 cruise is going to be better than ever.”

“Royal Caribbean International looks forward to welcoming the stars of the Grand Ole Opry and guests aboard Freedom of the Seas,” said Vicki Freed, senior vice president of Sales, Trade Support and Services, Royal Caribbean International. “In addition to the exciting Opry Country Classics line-up, guests will enjoy a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean aboard one of the world’s most innovative cruise ships.”

At 160,000 gross registered tons, Freedom of the Seas has a capacity of 3,634 guests at double occupancy. In addition to the exclusive Freedom-class amenities, the ship also features the cruise line’s exclusive amenities such as the Studio B ice-skating rink; full-size basketball and sports court; iconic rock-climbing wall; and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that runs nearly the length of the ship, lined with boutiques, restaurants, and bars and lounges.

Prices for the Opry Country Classics Cruise start at $1,158 per person, government taxes and fees are additional. To book this cruise and participate in all the private Opry functions, contact Corporate Travel Service Inc. at 866-653-OPRY (6779). For more information on each artist on the cruise, details about ports of call, on board activities, visit oprycruise.com.

For full coverage of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, see:

RCL’S DAZZLING FREEDOM OF THE SEAS:
Biggest, Most Innovative Cruise Ship Afloat Offers Everything & More

MSC Offers Deal on Balcony Staterooms on Caribbean Cruises from $599

July 9, 2010

MSC Cruises 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:

    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.

MSC Cruises makes a claim to being 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 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.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit www.MSCCruisesUSA.com, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.