Archive for the ‘cruiselines’ Category

The 10 Most Praised Ultra-Luxury Cruise Ships in 2014 – Insider Report from CruiseCompete

December 24, 2014
Crystal Cruises has two ships in CruiseCompete's list of Top 10 Ultra-Luxury ships.

Crystal Cruises has two ships in CruiseCompete’s list of Top 10 Ultra-Luxury ships.

SeaDream I tops the Top 10 List for ultra-luxury cruise vacations, according to CruiseCompete, which analyzed reviews from thousands of cruise travelers, who provide insight into cruise lines, ships, amenities, service, dining and the destinations visited.

CruiseCompete has tabulated the ratings given to ultra-luxury cruise ship category:

 

  Line  Ship  Rating
 1. SeaDream Yacht Club  SeaDream I  5
 2. Crystal Cruises  Crystal Serenity  4.89
 3. Regent Seven Seas Cruises  Seven Seas Voyager  4.83
 4. Paul Gauguin  MS Paul Gauguin  4.81
 5. Regent Seven Seas Cruises  Seven Seas Mariner  4.78
 6. Regent Seven Seas Cruises  Seven Seas Navigator  4.75
 7. Silversea Cruises  Silver Shadow  4.57
 8. Crystal Cruises  Crystal Symphony  4.56
 9. Seabourn  Seabourn Sojourn  4.56
 10. SeaDream Yacht Club  SeaDream II 4.25

 

Read full reviews of these ships, and others, here.

Want to know more about the worldwide ports these ships visit? Read port reviews here.

One of the most significant aspects of the ultra-luxury lines is the amenities included in their cruise packages. These ships are designed to feel like floating country clubs or boutique hotels; one where a passenger’s every whim is indulged and there’s no need to keep a wallet handy for extra expenses.

To see what’s included on the Ultra-Luxury lines, click here.

To learn more about the luxury lines, or to book and Ultra-Luxury Cruise, visit www.CrusieCompete.com.

 

For more travel features, visit:

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

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

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

moralcompasstravel.info

Check out our newest travel site for special deals, insiders’ tips at tidbitts.com: http://www.tidbitts.com/karen-rubin/where-in-the-world

CruiseCompete: Last Minute Requests Soar for Warm Weather Destination Cruises in December

December 5, 2014
A Carnival cruise ship sailing out of Miami. Carnival topped CruiseCompete's December list for most popular Premium/Contemporary line and Miami was the most popular departure port for luxury cruises © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A Carnival cruise ship sailing out of Miami. Carnival topped CruiseCompete’s December list for most popular Premium/Contemporary line and Miami was the most popular departure port for luxury cruises © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Carnival Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises and Viking River Cruises top CruiseCompete’s CruiseTrends™ report for the month of December 2014, sponsored by © EyeforTravel Ltd.

Most Popular Cruise Lines
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each cruise line in the given month)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Carnival Cruise Lines
2. Luxury: Oceania Cruises
3. River: Viking River Cruises

In second place is Princess Cruises for premium/contemporary, Cunard Line for luxury and AmaWaterways for river. More…

Most Popular Cruise Ships
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each ship)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Emerald Princess (changed from Regal Princess last month)
2. Luxury: Queen Mary 2
3. River: MS AmaLyra (changed from Queen of the Mississippi last month)

Next in popularity are Regal Princess for premium/contemporary, Oceania Riviera for luxury and Emerald Waterways ships for river. More…

Most Popular Cruise Regions
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each region)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Caribbean
2. Luxury: Europe
3. River: Europe

Next in popularity are North America for premium/contemporary, Mediterranean for luxury and North America for river. More…

Most Popular Cruise Departure Ports
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each departure port)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
2. Luxury: Miami, Fla.
3. River: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Next in popularity are Miami, Fla. for premium/contemporary, New York N.Y. for luxury and Budapest, Hungary, for river. More…

Most Popular Cruise Ports Visited
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each port visited during cruise itineraries, excluding departure ports)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Cozumel, Mexico
2. Luxury: Bora Bora, Tahiti (changed from Gustavia, Saint Barthélemy last month)
3. River: Cologne, Germany (changed from Vienna, Austria last month)

Next in popularity are Nassau, Bahamas, for premium/contemporary, Gustavia, Saint Barthélemy, for luxury and Vienna, Austria for river. More…

Most Popular Countries Visited
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each country visited during cruise itineraries, excluding countries of departure)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Mexico
2. Luxury: United States
3. River: Germany

Second are Bahamas for premium/contemporary, Greece for luxury and France for river. More…

Most Popular Cabin Types
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each cabin type)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Inside
2. Luxury: Balcony
3. River: Balcony
More…

Number of Cabins Requested
(Based on most popular number of cabins per request)
1. Premium/Contemporary: 1
2. Luxury: 1
3. River: 1

Second are 2 cabins for premium/contemporary, 2 cabins for luxury and 2 cabins for river. More…

Most Popular Cruise Itinerary Lengths
(Based on most requested itinerary lengths)
1. Premium/Contemporary: 7 nights
2. Luxury: 7 nights
3. River: 8 nights

Second are 5 nights for premium/contemporary, 10 nights for luxury and 15 nights for river.
More…

Most Popular Sailing Months Requested
(Based on the most requested months)
1. Premium/Contemporary: December 2014
2. Luxury: December 2014
3. River: May 2015
More…

Other data available at the December 2014 CruiseTrends™ report:
• Number of cabins requested
• Most popular cruise itinerary lengths
• Travel insurance requested
• Cruise line past passenger status requested
• Booking window of time

For purposes of the CruiseTrends™ report, cruise lines recognized as premium or contemporary are grouped together as premium/contemporary. The CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ report is sponsored by © EyeforTravel Ltd. and available monthly from CruiseCompete.

To see 12-months’ of cruise trend data, visit  www.cruisecompete.com/cruise_trends.php.

For more travel features, visit:

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

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

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

moralcompasstravel.info

Check out our newest travel site for special deals, insiders’ tips at tidbitts.com: http://www.tidbitts.com/karen-rubin/where-in-the-world

Royal Caribbean International Takes Delivery of Quantum of the Seas

November 6, 2014
Royal Caribbean International took delivery of the newest addition to the cruise line’s fleet, Quantum of the Seas, from Meyer Werft Yard. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain (pictured right) and Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer (pictured left) attended the official signing ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany

Royal Caribbean International took delivery of the newest addition to the cruise line’s fleet, Quantum of the Seas, from Meyer Werft Yard. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain (pictured right) and Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer (pictured left) attended the official signing ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany

Royal Caribbean International took delivery of the newest addition to the cruise line’s fleet, Quantum of the Seas, from Meyer Werft Yard. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain and Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer attended the official signing ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany.

With Captain Srecko “Felix” Ban at the helm, the ship sailed to Southampton, U.K., where she welcomed her first guests on November 2, for a trans-Atlantic voyage to her home port of Cape Liberty Cruise Port, Bayonne, New Jersey.

Quantum of the Seas will sail from New York harbor to the Bahamas and the Caribbean for her inaugural season before departing for her new homeport of Shanghai (Baoshan), China, in May 2015. Sister-ship Anthem of the Seas will debut in Southampton in April 2015 and sail Mediterranean itineraries.

Quantum-class ships are the world’s most technologically advanced in the world with “boatloads of bandwidth” which allow the cruise line to offer unprecedented connectivity – 500 times more than any other cruise ship; easy-to-use systems that expand guest choices and simplify schedules, plus, RFID technology that speeds up the boarding process and allows guest to track their luggage every step of the way.

The ships offer new unprecedented features, such as RipCord by iFLY, the first skydiving experience at sea; the North Star, an engineering marvel that transports guests more than 300 feet above the ocean; SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; as well as the Bionic Bar powered by Makr Shakr which features the world’s first robotic bartenders.

The ships also showcase the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever, including the industry’s first-ever staterooms with Virtual Balconies, which offer expansive, real-time views of the ocean and exciting destinations from every interior stateroom.

Quantum-class ships span 16 guest decks; encompass 167,800 gross registered tons; carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy; and feature 2,090 staterooms. For more information, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/QuantumoftheSeas.

Fans and enthusiasts are invited to follow Quantum of the Seas’ through daily webisodes on RoyalCaribbeanPressCenter.com and also by following @RoyalCaribPR on Twitter.

For more travel features, visit:

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

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

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

moralcompasstravel.info

Check out our newest travel site for special deals, insiders’ tips at tidbitts.com: http://www.tidbitts.com/karen-rubin/where-in-the-world

Royal Caribbean International Five-Day WOW Sale

September 26, 2014

Royal Caribbean International has launched a five-day WOW Sale.

For all new individual and named group bookings made in the U.S. and Canada with required deposit from Sept. 27 through Oct. 1, 2014, guests can receive $50 onboard credit per stateroom for five-night and shorter itineraries, $100 onboard credit per stateroom for six- to nine-night itineraries, and $200 onboard credit per stateroom for 10-night and longer itineraries. Additionally, vacationers can reserve a stateroom with a 50 percent reduced deposit – as low as $50 per guest. The WOW sale applies for all open Royal Caribbean International sailings, based on availability, except aboard Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas. For more information, visit http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/DealsandMore.

Vacationers can combine the special five-day WOW Sale with additional concurrent offers for even greater value on a Royal Caribbean vacation. All offers exclude Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas and additional restrictions may apply.

•Holiday Cruise Deal: For all new individual and named group bookings made aboard three- to eight-night Bahamas and Caribbean itineraries, sailing Dec. 15 through 31, 2014, the second guest receives 50 percent off with the first guest at full fare.

•Three Ways to Save: For all new individual and named group bookings made aboard itineraries sailing on or after Oct. 15, 2014, vacationers have a choice of the savings to enhance their Royal Caribbean vacation: enjoy 50 percent off for the second guest with the first guest at full fare, or free cruise fare for the third and fourth guests in the same stateroom, or save up to $1,500 per balcony and suite-category stateroom when purchasing air travel through Royal Caribbean’s ChoiceAir. This offer also excludes itineraries sailing from Dec. 15 through 31, 2014.

“This is the best time to plan a multigenerational family vacation and couple’s getaway aboard some of the world’s most innovative cruise ships,” said Carol Schuster, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “Vacationers have choices of nearly every Royal Caribbean ship sailing around the world, plus additional offers to deliver greater value and savings wherever they choose to go. Throughout, our friendly and engaging staff and crew members will deliver the WOW to every guest to help make memories that will last a lifetime.”

For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call their travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter @RoyalCaribbean.
For more travel features, visit:

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

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

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Royal Caribbean Holds WOW Sale, with Up to $200 Credit for Booking Cruises thru Spring 2016

August 19, 2014
Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas at Labadee © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas at Labadee © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Royal Caribbean International is in the middle of an unprecedented five-day WOW Sale – happening through August 20, 2014. During the WOW sale, vacationers can receive up to $200 onboard credit per stateroom when making a new booking on itineraries through spring 2016 aboard Royal Caribbean’s currently sailing fleet. (For more information, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/WOWSale.)

“Royal Caribbean’s WOW Sale is the best time for vacationers to plan their next adventure and enjoy great bonuses when they sail with us,” said Carol Schuster, senior vice president of Marketing for Royal Caribbean International. “Consumers can take their pick among our fleet of the industry’s 21 most innovative ships that calls at more than 230 exciting destinations in nearly 70 countries worldwide. Our world-renowned friendly and engaging staff and crew will deliver WOW after WOW, creating memories for a lifetime.”

For all new individual U.S. and Canadian bookings made from Aug. 16 through 20, 2014, vacationers will receive $50 onboard credit per stateroom for five-night or shorter itineraries; $100 onboard credit per stateroom for six- to nine-night itineraries; and $200 onboard credit per stateroom on 10-night and longer itineraries. As part of the WOW Sale, vacationers also can make a reservation with only a 50 percent reduced deposit, starting as low as $50 per guest, based on double occupancy. The offer is applicable to staterooms that are part of group space booked by U.S. and Canadian travel agents, provided those staterooms become named berths during the offer window, and excludes Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.

Vacationers who make a new individual booking also can combine the upcoming WOW Sale offer with some existing Royal Caribbean promotions below, including up to $1000 savings per stateroom. (For details about each offer, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/DealsAndMore.)

•Bahamas Upgrade (valid through Aug. 31, 2014): Vacationers can enjoy an oceanview stateroom at the price of an interior stateroom aboard Majesty of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas’ three- and four-night Bahamas cruises, departing from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, 2014.

•Choose Your WOW (valid through Sept. 15, 2014): Aboard any sailing departing on or after Oct. 15, 2014 (except sailings from Dec. 15 through 31, 2014), vacationers have a choice of Buy One Guest, Get Second Guest 50 percent off; third and fourth guests sail free; or receive up to $1,000 savings per stateroom when they book their flights with Royal Caribbean’s ChoiceAir flight booking system.

•Holiday Travel Our Way (valid through Sept. 15, 2014): Buy one and get the second guest at 50 percent off on three- to eight-night Bahamas and Caribbean holiday itineraries. The offer is applicable for sailings departing Dec. 15 through 31, 2014.

These offers are only applicable for new bookings during their applicable promotional window; exclude sailings aboard Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas; and have additional restrictions.

For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call their travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter @RoyalCaribbean.
For more travel features, visit:

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

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

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

moralcompasstravel.info

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces All-Inclusive Package for 2015 Sailings Booked by Aug 29

August 6, 2014
Norwegian Cruise Line's 'Getaway,' docked in Bermuda © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Norwegian Cruise Line’s ‘Breakaway,’ docked in Bermuda © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Norwegian Cruise Line is debuting a new All-Inclusive package that takes the line’s signature Freestyle Cruising to a new level, providing guests yet another way to customize their cruise vacation. Representing more than $2,400 in value per stateroom, Norwegian’s All-Inclusive package is a first for major cruise lines, and is available for a limited time for all 2015 sailings fleetwide, for new reservations made from August 4, 2014 through August 29, 2014. The comprehensive package includes signature dining, alcoholic beverages, unlimited soda, shore excursions, internet access, service charges and more.

“Based on the popularity of our Fly, Cruise and Stay vacations, along with our onboard dining and beverage packages, we are now offering the first All-Inclusive package for our guests who want to experience all that the freedom and flexibility of Freestyle Cruising has to offer,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Always an innovator, we are making it easy for those that want everything included in their cruise vacation with the option of our All-Inclusive package.”

The All-Inclusive package is available for 2015 sailings from three to 14 days in length, is priced by the number of days, and is available for all stateroom categories, including the Haven by Norwegian. When adding the All-Inclusive to a selected cruise, guests receive 10 percent off the cruise fare. For a seven-day cruise, the $899 package includes the Ultimate Dining package; the Ultimate Beverage package; shore excursion credit of $200 per person, pre-paid daily service charges; a 250-minute Internet package per person; 20 photos of any size; chocolate-covered strawberries; a bottle of wine; one bingo session and six bottles of water. For cruises from three to five days, the shore excursion credit is $100 per person; and for sailings from 9-14 days, the package includes 12 bottles of water.

As part of the All-Inclusive offer, Norwegian’s Ultimate Dining package provides complimentary access to one of the line’s specialty restaurants every night of the cruise, including Cagney’s, the popular steakhouse; French bistro, Italian restaurant, Moderno Churrascaria, Asian-Fusion restaurant and more. The Ultimate Beverage package includes a variety of spirits, cocktails, draft beer, bottled beer and glasses of wine up to $10 and unlimited fountain soda and juices at all bars, lounges, restaurants and on Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay.

Beginning August 4, for more information or to book a 2015 cruise with the All-Inclusive package, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

For more travel features, visit: www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

moralcompasstravel.info

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Unveils New ‘Poison, Murder & Mystery Cruise’ for Summer 2015

August 6, 2014

Oporto, Portugal, will be one of the stops on the Boudicca's 16-night "Poison, Murder & Mystery Cruise" presented by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Oporto, Portugal, will be one of the stops on the Boudicca’s 16-night “Poison, Murder & Mystery Cruise” presented by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Secrecy and suspense will be aboard 880-guest ship Boudicca for a 16-night “Poison, Murder & Mystery Cruise,” departing Rosyth (Edinburgh) July 10, 2015. The cruise, presented by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines links the Duchess of Northumberland’s ‘Poison Gardens’ at Alnwick Castle – which starred as ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry’ in the Harry Potter films – and that of Mr. Fred. Olsen Senior in Guimar, Tenerife.

Fred. Olsen unveiled this participative ‘murder mystery’ cruise at an exclusive VIP launch at The Tower of London, hosted by The Duchess of Northumberland and Fred. Olsen Senior, on July 24, 2014.

Guests will get to take part in this great adventure as it unfolds on board, whilst Boudicca takes a leisurely cruise to Leixoes (for Oporto, Portugal), Funchal (Madeira), Santa Cruz (Tenerife), Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), Lisbon (Portugal) and Newcastle (UK) – famous as the ‘Agatha Christie Route’.

This intriguing ‘Poison, Murder & Mystery Cruise’ is a first for any cruise line, and is the result of a creative collaboration between Mr. Fred. Olsen Senior and Her Grace, the Duchess of Northumberland. Fred. Olsen is delighted that, as well as hosting the largest participative ‘murder mystery’ event ever held on a cruise ship – which will be officially witnessed on board by ‘Guinness World Records’ – the Duchess will be joining the ship for part of the voyage, along with Mr. Fred. Olsen Senior, it is hoped.

“In Fred. Olsen, I was excited to meet someone with a fellow passion for poison plants, and together we have sown a seed that has flourished into this fascinating cruise experience for Fred. Olsen’s guests next year, linking our two unique gardens,” Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland, said.

“I wanted to create a ‘theatre of poisons and poisoning’, and working with Fred. has allowed me to bring this desire to life aboard a cruise ship, where guests can sample something new, something different and something very special indeed!”

“It seemed to me the most natural thing to undertake such a cruise, with so few ‘Poison Gardens’ in Europe,” said Fred. Olsen Senior, Chairman of the Fred. Olsen group of companies. “For me, it is very special to be able to link these gardens with a unique cruise itinerary, and we know that many of our guests share an enthusiasm for gardening. We also know, from previous experiences such as our Titanic Centenary cruise in April 2012, that they enjoy dressing up and taking part in murder mystery-themed events.”

Highlights of this cruise include:

– Visit to The Alnwick Garden and Alnwick Castle – the grand and magnificent home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. Here, guests will not only see the Gardens – which have been transformed by Her Grace with an investment of over £40 million – but also visit the only ‘Poison Garden’ in Britain.

– In Tenerife, discover the mythical ‘Pyramids of Guimar’ and their own ‘Poison Garden’.

– Throughout the cruise, the subject of poison and mystery will be everywhere, with plays, talks and special tours – and a murder mystery starting as soon as guests get on board, which will run through to a ‘Grand Finale’ at Alnwick Castle.

Felix Francis, younger son of thriller-writing legend, Dick Francis, will be penning a short crime story on board as the intrigue around this cruise unravels.

Guest speakers on this cruise include:

Peter Dean, Her Majesty’s Coroner for Essex and a former Forensic Medical Examiner with the Metropolitan Police, with some fascinating and gruesome insights into his varied and often ‘dark’ career.

Doctor Dan Jones, eminent poison Historian and Archaeologist, who gives a closer look into Rasputin and the Borgias family’s darkest secrets!

Doctor Mark Siddall, curator of ‘The Power of Poison’ exhibition at The American Museum of Natural History, will be cooking up all manner of potions and poisons in a hands-on, interactive demonstration.

The Duchess of Northumberland is the visionary behind The Alnwick Garden, the largest visitor attraction in the North East. It is a registered charity, which aims to raise aspirations and run charitable programmes for the education and well-being of the local community. It offers local people access to projects, events, services and opportunities and it aims to promote a healthy, fulfilled quality of life. Alnwick Castle and The Alnwick Garden welcome over 800,000 visitors each year. She has travelled worldwide and around the UK, giving over 400 lectures about The Alnwick Garden and its charitable ethos.

She is particularly interested in natural poisons and aphrodisiacs and has built one of the only ‘Poison Gardens’ in the world, in which every plant is a killer. She had a trilogy of books published called ‘The Poison Diaries’ and recently a ‘Little Book of Poisons, Potions and Aphrodisiacs’ and one of ‘Jams, Jellies and Preserves’, with her own range of marmalades being commercially made from the oldest known recipe in the world.  The latest book, ‘The Little Book of Cocktails, Cordials and Elixirs’ – just recently launched – features some of the oldest recipes for cocktails and cordials ever recorded.

The cruise returns to Edinburgh on the morning of July 26, 2015, after two weeks of mystery, poison and murder at sea.

Prices start from $4125 per person, based on two adults sharing a twin-bedded, Inside cabin, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment, plus port fees. If guests book by August 31 2014, they can take advantage of free door-to-door travel for guests who live within 250 mainland miles of Rosyth or up to $250 per person free onboard spending credit.

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at www.bortonoverseas.com.

 

For more travel features, visit:

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

examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

moralcompasstravel.info

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Royal Caribbean Is First Cruise Line to Use Google Street-View as Tool to Plan Vacation

July 16, 2014

Royal Caribbean International has become the first cruise line to launch Google Maps Business View using Google’s Street View technology onboard the world’s largest and innovative cruise ship Allure of the Seas.

By using Street View technology, Royal Caribbean International will provide consumers with an immersive and interactive experience when they are searching for a vacation.

Vacationers will be able to access the technology, a first for the cruise industry at
www.royalcaribbean.co.uk/royalview or via Google Search results, Google Maps and Google+ whether they’re using their computers, smartphones or tablets.

With just a few clicks, guests will be able to virtually walk through the various decks of Allure of the Seas including the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that runs nearly the length of the ship, flanked by restaurants, boutiques and lounges; Central Park, an outdoor park longer than a football pitch complete with over 12,000 live plants and trees; the Boardwalk, featuring a hand-crafted carousel, two rock-climbing walls and the AquaTheater, a high-dive aquatic performance venue with the deepest pool at sea; Entertainment Place, with an elaborate theatre, night club, comedy club, jazz club and ice-skating rink, which offers professionally produced ice shows; the Pool and Sports Deck featuring a zip line, twin FlowRider surf simulators, full-size basketball/sports court, nine-hole mini-golf course, 15 pools and whirlpools and 22 restaurants, and many, many more.

“Business View allows people all over the world to explore a range of businesses and organizations in great detail in just a few clicks” said Deborah Schenker – Program Manager at Google UK, “You can check out anything from restaurants to aircraft in Google Maps, and now for the first time you can sail the seas too with the first ever cruise ship coming on board.”

Jo Briody, director of marketing & PR, Royal Caribbean International commented: “We’re thrilled to be at the forefront of the industry when it comes to delivering innovative consumer facing technologies, whether it be Roboscreens and digital shows on our newest ships or Google Street View technology on our website. Consumers go online to research their vacations and this is the closest they can get to actually being onboard. We are confident that once people get virtually immersed in Allure of the Seas’ various decks and features thanks to Google Street View technology, they’ll be eager to experience the real thing.”

Over 20,000 images were taken over the course of 60 man hours and eight days to complete the virtual representation of the ship which stands taller than Nelson’s Column (165 feet) at 240 feet high and can accommodate more guests per sailing than the capacity of the Royal Albert Hall (5,544 seats).

The images were taken using a basic DSLR camera using a fisheye lens and a panoramic head resting on a tripod. This method takes twelve photographs at each point and uses high-dynamic-range imaging to ensure the best exposure for areas of different light.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 45-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea.  The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike. Owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSE: RCL), the cruise line sails 21 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in Bermuda and the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, South America, the Far East, and Australia and New Zealand. World renowned for its friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service, delivered by every staff and crew member, Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 11 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards.

For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call 800-ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter @RoyalCaribbean.

For more travel features, visit:

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

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

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Royal Caribbean Offers up to $400 Onboard Credit for Bookings thru May 31, double for Holiday Cruises

May 10, 2014

Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Royal Caribbean International is offering up to $400 in onboard credit to vacationers booking a cruise vacation through May 31. Cruisegoers can choose from any six-night or longer sailing departing to the Caribbean and Bahamas between July 1 and December 31, 2014. For those vacationers looking ahead and booking a holiday season cruise the cruise line is doubling their onboard spending credit. (For more details, visit http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/MayWow.)

Guests will sail aboard some of the most innovative ships afloat that offer an expansive array of exciting itineraries. Guests can use their bonus spending credit to book an adventurous family shore excursion, a specialty dining experience to celebrate a family milestone, or commemorate the occasion with the perfect family portrait.

The offer applies for all new U.S. and Canadian bookings made from May 7 – 31, 2014, for sailings departing from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2014. Vacationers will receive $50 onboard credit per interior or oceanview stateroom; $100 onboard credit per Jr. suite or stateroom with balcony; and $200 onboard credit per Grand Suite or higher category stateroom.  As an added incentive, the cruise line is also doubling onboard credits up to $400 for all eligible sailings between Dec. 15 and Dec. 31, 2014. The offer is valid fleetwide, excluding Quantum of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 45-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike.

Owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSE: RCL), the cruise line sails 21 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, South America, the Far East, and Australia and New Zealand. World renowned for its friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service, delivered by every staff and crew member, Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 11 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards.

For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call your travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter @RoyalCaribbean.

For more travel features, visit:

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

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

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Royal Caribbean 2015-16 Schedule Includes Year-Round Sailings from New York and Galveston

April 18, 2014
Sailing into the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda. Throughout 2015 summer and fall, Liberty of the Seas will sail from Cape Liberty, NJ to Bermuda. © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Sailing into the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda. Throughout 2015 summer and fall, Liberty of the Seas will sail from Cape Liberty, NJ to Bermuda. © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Royal Caribbean International announced its 2015-16 year-round sailings from the New York-metropolitan area and Galveston, Texas, and seasonal sailings from Tampa and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Still ranked among the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships, Liberty of the Seas will homeport at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J. for summer 2015 and offer vacationers the most advanced cruise options to sail from the New York-metropolitan area to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canada and New England. Simultaneously, Navigator of the Seas will continue to sail seven-night Western Caribbean cruises throughout summer 2015 and complete two consecutive years of homeporting at Galveston.

In winter 2015-16, Anthem of the Seas will arrive at Cape Liberty for its first season in North America – after finishing its inaugural season in Southampton, U.K. – and offer vacationers unforgettable Quantum-class experiences to the Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean. At the same time, Liberty of the Seas will take over weekly Caribbean sailings from Galveston, offering Texas vacationers a newer and larger ship, while Navigator of the Seas will sail six- and eight-night Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale. Furthermore, Brilliance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will return to Tampa in winter 2015-16 to offer a variety of Caribbean itineraries that all combine to provide extensive choices for exciting Royal Caribbean cruise vacations throughout 2015 to 2016.

Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, and Vision of the Seas’ 2015-16 cruise seasons are now open for booking. Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members have the exclusive privilege to book Anthem of the Seas’ winter 2015-16 season starting April 25, 2014, in advance of the general opening to the public on April 29.

Cruise Vacations from New York

New York is among the world’s top cosmopolitan cities where Royal Caribbean is deploying its most technologically advanced ships. Throughout the 2015 summer and autumn seasons, Liberty of the Seas will homeport at Cape Liberty and offer the best family cruise vacation option in the region. The Freedom-class ship will be the cruise line’s newest and largest ship to offer cruises to Bermuda from the New York-metropolitan area. Liberty of the Seas will alternate a five-night, roundtrip Bermuda itinerary with a nine-night Caribbean itinerary in the summer, and then with a nine-night New England and Canada itinerary throughout the autumn season.

“The Bermuda Tourism Authority is delighted at the news that Royal Caribbean International’s Liberty of the Seas will be making visits to Bermuda for the 2015 summer season,” said Bill Hanbury, CEO, Bermuda Tourism Authority. “Royal Caribbean is an extremely valued partner to Bermuda and is considered a leader in the global cruise market. This latest announcement is a welcome endorsement of Royal Caribbean’s continued commitment to Bermuda and its tourism industry.”

For its winter 2015-16 season, Anthem of the Seas will set sail on October 27 for an eight-night Ocean Voyage from Southampton to Cape Liberty and continue Quantum Class cruising for New York-area vacationers. The ship will sail a range of seven- to 12-night roundtrip itineraries and take guests to the Bahamas and throughout the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean. The 12-night Western Caribbean itinerary is brand new, featuring maiden calls for the Quantum Class at George Town, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Roatan, Honduras.

“The New York-metropolitan area is a very important market for us,” said Adam Goldstein, President and COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We are committed to bringing our most advanced ships to this region and delivering our distinctive style of high-quality vacations to our loyal customers, as well as win new converts to cruising. Sailing Anthem of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas from New York fits the bill perfectly.”

Year-round Caribbean Vacations from Galveston

Having just been revitalized in January 2014, Navigator of the Seas offers vacationers the most innovative and modern cruise experience to sail from the Lone Star State. Navigator of the Seas will continue weekly sailings from Galveston until November 2015, when Liberty of the Seas repositions there to offer Texans a larger and more advanced cruise ship for unforgettable vacations. Both ships will alternate a pair of seven-night roundtrip itineraries to the Western Caribbean.

Winter Caribbean Escapes from Florida

Vacationers also have a range of the industry’s most advanced ships for a variety of Caribbean itineraries, sailing from convenient Florida ports during the 2015-16 winter season. Completing two full years of homeporting in Galveston, Navigator of the Seas will reposition to Fort Lauderdale in November 2015 and sail six-night Eastern and eight-night Western Caribbean itineraries.

For its part, Brilliance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will return to Tampa for their third and second consecutive winter seasons, respectively. Brilliance of the Seas will offer vacationers four- and five-night Western Caribbean itineraries, while Vision of the Seas will sail seven-, nine-, and 10-night itineraries throughout the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean.

 

For more travel features, visit:

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

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

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures