Archive for the ‘cruiseships’ Category

Royal Caribbean Rolls Out Kids Sail Free, Complimentary Upgrades, Reduced Deposits

March 5, 2014
Liberty of the Seas cruisers enjoy Royal Caribbean's private island © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

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

Royal Caribbean International, the cruise line known for its award-winning family programming, is enticing vacationers to set sail in 2014 with a selection of enticing incentives. From March 1 through 31, 2014, vacationers can choose from among three offers, including kids sailing for free, complimentary upgrades and 50 percent-reduced deposits aboard select ships sailing Australia, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean and Europe, departing May 1 through Dec. 15, 2014. (For more details, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/KidsSailFree.)

Kids Sail Free

Royal Caribbean’s “Kids Sail Free” limited-time offer provides free cruise fare for third and fourth guests of all ages in triple or quad occupancy staterooms. Guests aboard the cruise line’s innovative ships will enjoy signature Royal Caribbean features and amenities, such as FlowRider surf simulators, ice skating rinks, rock-climbing walls and cutting-edge entertainment that are sure to WOW.  The “Kids Sail Free” offer is available fleetwide, excluding Quantum of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas. Third and fourth berth staterooms are limited on select sailings and the offer is only applicable while inventory last.

Complimentary Upgrades and 50 Percent-reduced Deposit

Cruisers may book a balcony stateroom for the same price as an ocean view stateroom on Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Jewel of Seas, Radiance of the Seas, and Serenade of the Seas, or an ocean view stateroom for the price of an interior stateroom on Enchantment of the Seas, Legend of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas, Vision of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas.

Families and vacationers of all ages who book a Royal Caribbean cruise aboard these ships also will enjoy 50 percent-reduced deposit, starting at $50 per guest.

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, call your travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter @RoyalCaribbean.

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Azamara Club Cruises’ Introduces New Insider Access, Nights and Cool Places Programs, Adding to Immersive Experiences

February 14, 2014
Azamara Journey 2

Azamara Journey 2

In much the same way as it transformed cruising by offering up-market guests longer stays and more overnights on nearly all of its voyages, Azamara Club Cruises is once again evolving its Land Discoveries shore excursion program with two new offerings aimed at culture-seekers. Beginning with the 2014 Europe season, guests searching out a more in depth, personalized destination experience can choose from two exclusive programs that will immerse them in a destination through its people.

The first program, Insider Access, features exclusive invitation into the ancestral home, workshop or place of business of a local insider. It allows guests to actively engage with knowledgeable individuals who will share colorful stories and historic tales of their home destination on a personal level.

The second, Nights and Cool Places, makes the most of Azamara’s longer stays in port and overnights with an intimate night touring program. These custom after dinner experiences give guests exclusive opportunities to visit world-famous museums after hours, such as Malaga’s Picasso Museum; sip cocktails at a local hot spot, such as Rio de Janeiro’s Scenarium; or take a stroll on an intimate guided architectural walk – all with a local guide.

“Azamara Club Cruises offers our guests access to the nightlife of captivating places worldwide by creating voyages with the unique ability to stay at port well after other ships have departed, and often overnight,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises.  “This access allows travelers to engage, explore and discover a culture when it is at its most vibrant. The demand for immersive experience is such that we developed two new, intimate shore excursion programs to provide our guests with an insider’s perspective that, not only connects them to local environments, but that will stimulate their mind and senses.”

Azamara and its two intimate boutique ships are known for their hand-crafted voyages which discover the world through lesser-known and less traveled ports of call.  Guests of the up-market cruise line are often port collectors looking for their next adventure to add to the collection.

Through these new Land Discoveries programs, Azamara is curating these sought-after collectible moments for its guests. For example, as part of the new Insider Access program, guests calling at Haifa, Israel, can step into the home of a Druze family for a hands-on cooking workshop. While the meal is being prepared guests will get insight to the secret religion, tradition and culture of the Druze people who have inhabited the holy for hundreds of years.

Both of these new programs continue to build on Azamara’s promise of destination immersion to its guests.  The Insider Access program creates an intimate group of eight to 12 curious and adventurous guests and provides them with access to the people of a destination, while the Nights and Cool Places program will offer 15-20 guests exclusive access to some of the world’s best known sights.

For example guests sailing an Asia itinerary can sign up for a night tour to view Hong Kong’s famous Symphony of Lights from the Sky Terrace at the Peak following a tram ride offering incredible panoramic views.
The Insider Access and Nights and Cool Places programs will be available for booking beginning late March. For a full list of Land Discoveries shore excursions visit http://www.azamaraclubcruises.com/landdiscoveries.

Intimate Ships

Azamara Club Cruises offers distinct destination-immersive experiences for up-market travelers. The cruise line features voyages with longer stays and more overnights at ports to provide guests the opportunity to experience night touring at some of the most compelling destinations of Europe, Asia, South America, West Indies, as well as Central and North America.

On board the intimate Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, guests receive exceptional and personal service and the cruise line’s authentic, exclusive and bespoke AzAmazing Evenings events that showcase the unexpected colors and flavors of a destination.   Guests also enjoy fine cuisine and boutique wines from around the world, as well as more inclusive amenities, such as included gratuities; complimentary bottled water, sodas, specialty coffee, and teas, as well as complimentary boutique wines, international beers and select standard spirits in the ships’ bars, lounges and restaurants when open; complimentary self-service laundry; English Butler service for suite guests; and shuttle transportation to city centers in ports, where available.          

For more information, call your travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit http://www.AzamaraClubCruises.com. Connect with Azamara Club Cruises on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AzamaraClubCruises, on Twitter @AzamaraVoyages or follow President and CEO @LarryPimentel.

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Royal Caribbean Unveils New 2015 Line-Up of Cruise Vacations

February 14, 2014

LabadeeLabadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach paradise on the north coast of Haiti © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Royal Caribbean International has just unveiled its 2015 line-up of cruise vacations. In addition to Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, and Grandeur of the Seas. sailing in the Caribbean during the summer, cruisers will have a choice of three ships that sail from three convenient U.S. homeports to embark on breathtaking Canada and New England autumn vacations aboard Brilliance of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas. Vacationers can now make bookings for these six ships for the 2015 summer and autumn seasons.

Also Independence of the Seas will alternate seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations from Fort Lauderdale for its very first summer Caribbean season in 2015.

Oasis of the Seas, which shares the title of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ship with sister-ship Allure of the Seas, will continue a seventh year of offering round-trip, seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., calling at some of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations. Ports of call include Nassau, The Bahamas; St. Thomas and St. Maarten on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary, and, on the Western Caribbean itinerary, Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach paradise on the north coast of Haiti.

Aboard Oasis of the Seas, guests will enjoy the widest array of onboard amenities in seven themed neighborhoods, such as an 82 foot-long zip line, a handcrafted carousel, the Rising Tide elevating bar, a fully-licensed Broadway musical, the high-diving AquaTheater, and Central Park with more than 12,000 live trees and plants, and many more. Oasis of the Seas also offers amenities that can only be found on Royal Caribbean, such as twin FlowRider surf simulators, cantilevered whirlpools, an ice-skating rink, the H20 Zone kids aquapark, and the Royal Promenade, an interior boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship and flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques, among many others.

Also from Fort Lauderdale, Independence of the Seas will alternate seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations for its very first summer Caribbean season in 2015. Western Caribbean ports of call include Falmouth, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Labadee, while San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Maarten; and St. Kitts are on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary. Independence of the Seas is among the Freedom class of ships, which first introduced the FlowRider surf simulator and cantilevered whirlpools, and features other Royal Caribbean first-at-sea amenities, including the H2O Zone kids’ aquapark, the Royal Promenade, and the four bedroom, four bathroom Presidential Family Suite, which can accommodate up to 14 guests.

Freedom of the Seas, the first among the Freedom class, will alternate seven-night roundtrip Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Port Canaveral along Florida’s space coast, calling at St. Thomas, St. Maarten and CocoCay on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary, and Falmouth, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination, on the Western Caribbean sailing. Freedom of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas’ guests enjoy the DreamWorks Experience, an exclusive integrated entertainment program developed with the world-class animated film studio powerhouse DreamWorks Animation. The DreamWorks Experience was first launched aboard Allure of the Seas in November 2010 and continues to impress guests and receive accolades. Guest can join in parades, themed activities and themed events based on DreamWorks Animation’s popular feature-film characters, including Po of “Kung Fu Panda;” Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots of “Shrek;” and Alex the Lion, Gloria, and the Penguins from “Madagascar.” Oasis of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas also is equipped with a 3-D movie theater playing the latest DreamWorks Animation films, as well as a dedicated RCTV channel, featuring a variety of the film studio’s popular movies.

For its part, Grandeur of the Seas will continue round-trip sailings from historic Baltimore, Md., and sail round-trip, seven-night Bahamas and Bermuda cruises. Guests will call at Port Canaveral, Nassau and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private Bahamian island paradise. On Grandeur of the Seas’ Bermuda sailings, guests will enjoy three days at Kings Wharf to explore all the charm of Bermuda. In the autumn season, the ship will alternate six-night Bermuda sailings and eight- and nine-night Canada and New England cruises, calling at Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; and St. John, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada.

In the autumn months of 2015, Brilliance of the Seas also will offer vacationers seven- and nine-night round-trip Canada and New England fall foliage sailings from Boston, Mass., while Serenade of the Seas will sail between Quebec City, Quebec, and Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., on 10- to 14-night fall foliage itineraries. Both Radiance-class ships, Brilliance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas feature Royal Caribbean onboard innovations, such as the adults-only Solarium pool area, self-leveling pool tables, and sea-facing glass elevators for breathtaking vistas of the unfolding shoreside landscape, known for its display of vibrant colors in the autumn seasons.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 40-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 found only 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 10 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Reader’s 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

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Azamara Club Cruises Offer ‘Azamazing’ Cultural Evenings on 60 Destination-Immersive Voyages for 2014

February 6, 2014
Azamara Journey

Azamara Journey

Azamara Club Cruises believes that destinations are more than just geography, but rather the sights, sounds and tastes of a region.  With its 2014 AzAmazing Evenings (http://tinyurl.com/mpqh675) program on more than 60 voyages, the cruise line is providing guests the opportunity to further their vacation by enjoying an exclusive, authentic and cultural evening event. Whether enjoying a private, three-tenors performance, set in a 19th century opera house in Livorno, Italy, or joining in a local Burmese festival, guests will find themselves immersed and living the culture rather than just seeing it during a brief visit.

Building upon its carefully crafted itineraries that coincide with major world events, the cruise line simultaneously crafts AzAmazing Evening events that reflect those moments. For example, during Azamara Journey’s “Past to Present: Normandy 70 Years Later,” (http://tinyurl.com/oh7x2bf) guests will be treated to an AzAmazing Evenings event of a D-Day Liberation Party at Cherbourg – exactly 70 years to the day that the landings took place.   Later in the year, guests sailing Azamara Journey’s “A Southern Hemisphere Holiday,” (http://tinyurl.com/dxlsze9) will enjoy a Plataforma 1, one of Rio de Janeiro’s leading samba show houses to see samba’s 500-year history come to life in an eye-popping show, complete with caipirinhas, Brazil’s national cocktail.

These signature events are complimentary and held once a voyage, typically ashore during the evening. On select voyages, the sights and sounds of a region are transferred onboard, where the ship serves as a backdrop for an evening of cultural immersion.  For example when calling at Safaga, Egypt, guests will experience an Egyptian Moulid.  This festival is part carnival and part mystical celebration, and includes ritual dancing, chanting, whirling dervishes and circus performers.

AzAmazing Evening events cover a breadth of activities including night access to some of the world’s best-known sites such as Ephesus; St. Michael’s Cave at the Rock of Gibraltar, or the Chateau Giscours in Bordeaux.  Travelers can narrow down their voyage by destinations or choose a voyage with an event that will add to their experiential portfolio.

“Since its launch, our AzAmazing Evenings program has been incredibly well-received and is providing discerning travelers unique, tailor-made experiences at intriguing destinations around the world,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “Our guests look for experiential opportunities – they already come to us because we are providing longer stays and more overnights at fascinating destinations. But now after extensive research and collaboration we have created custom experiences that allow our guests to experience a destination in a way they may have otherwise never experienced – from interacting with locals at a street party or by offering them private access to world-renowned sites such as Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum.”

For a full list of Azamara Club Cruises’ 2014 AzAmazing Evening events visit, http://www.azamaraclubcruises.com/AzAmazingEvenings.

Azamara Club Cruises offers distinct destination-immersive experiences for up-market travelers. The cruise line features voyages with longer stays and more overnights at ports to provide guests the opportunity to experience night touring at some of the most compelling destinations of Europe, Asia, South America, West Indies, as well as Central and North America.  On board the intimate Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, guests receive exceptional and personal service and the cruise line’s authentic, exclusive and bespoke AzAmazing Evenings events that showcase the unexpected colors and flavors of a destination.   Guests also enjoy fine cuisine and boutique wines from around the world, as well as more inclusive amenities, such as included gratuities; complimentary bottled water, sodas, specialty coffee, and teas, as well as complimentary boutique wines, international beers and select standard spirits in the ships’ bars, lounges and restaurants when open; complimentary self-service laundry; English Butler service for suite guests; and shuttle transportation to city centers in ports, where available.

For more information, travelers can call their travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit www.AzamaraClubCruises.com. Connect with Azamara Club Cruises on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AzamaraClubCruises, on Twitter @AzamaraVoyages or follow President and CEO @LarryPimentel.

Azamara Club Cruises is a brand of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSX: RCL), a global cruise vacation company that also owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, and CDF Croisières de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture.  Together, the six brands operate a combined total of 41 ships with four under construction.  They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on approximately 460 destinations on all seven continents.

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RCL’s Allure of the Seas to Inaugurate First Full Oasis-Class Europe Season in 2015; Allure of Seas to Homeport in Barcelona

February 6, 2014

For nearly five years, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, sister ships that share the title of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships, have captured vacationers’ imagination and taken more than two million guests to unforgettable Caribbean destinations. Royal Caribbean International have announced that, for the first time since the ship was delivered in Turku, Finland, in late 2010, Allure of the Seas will return to Europe in summer 2015 and homeport at Barcelona, Spain, and take vacationers to new, fascinating Mediterranean destinations for the first, full Oasis-class Europe season. Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members have the exclusive privilege to book Allure of the Seas’ Europe season one week earlier on Feb. 12, 2014.

Additionally, Rhapsody of the Seas will offer three 10- and 11-night Black Sea itineraries from Istanbul, Turkey, and then sail a variety of seven- to 11-night Greek and Turkey itineraries from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy. For its part, Splendour of the Seas will offer seven-night Greek Isle and Turkey itineraries from Venice, Italy. Allure of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas’ summer 2015 season will be open to the general public on February 18, 2014.

“Royal Caribbean will be taking vacationers to spectacular Europe destinations and delivering the WOW aboard the world’s most innovative ships in 2015,” said Carol Schuster, senior vice president of Marketing for Royal Caribbean International. “Each Royal Caribbean ship sailing in Europe has already undergone extensive enhancements as part of our fleetwide revitalization program to deliver some of the most popular concepts that debuted on the unmatched Allure of the Seas.  No matter which Royal Caribbean ship you choose, every member of our friendly and engaging staff and crew will deliver our signature Gold Anchor Service on an unforgettable Europe vacation.”

Starting May 24, 2015, Allure of the Seas will sail every Sunday from Barcelona and sail a seven-night itinerary, calling at Palma De Mallorca, Spain; Provence (Marseilles), France; and Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Rome (Civitavecchia), and Naples/Capri in Italy. Vacationers can also choose to embark Allure of the Seas for a seven-night sailing, roundtrip from Rome (Civitavecchia).

On board, Allure of the Seas’ guests will enjoy the most innovative and extensive array of onboard amenities contained in seven themed neighborhoods, such as an 82 foot-long zip line, a handcrafted carousel, the Rising Tide elevating bar, a fully-licensed Broadway musical, the high-diving Aquatheater, and Central Park with more than 12,000 live trees and plants, and many more. Allure of the Seas also offers amenities that can only be found on Royal Caribbean, such as twin FlowRider surf simulators, cantilevered whirlpools, an ice-skating rink, the H20 Zone kids aquapark, and the Royal Promenade, an interior boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship and flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques, among many others.

Guests also will enjoy the DreamWorks Experience, an exclusive integrated entertainment program developed with the world-class animated film studio powerhouse DreamWorks Animation. The DreamWorks Experience was first launched aboard Allure of the Seas in November 2010, with beloved character Princess Fiona of the “Shrek” franchise inaugurating the ship as godmother (http://youtu.be/_aKDTH1qEiw), and continues to impress guests and receive accolades. Guest can join in parades, themed activities and themed events based on DreamWorks Animation’s popular feature-film characters, including Po of “Kung Fu Panda;” Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots of “Shrek;” and Alex the Lion, Gloria, and the Penguins from “Madagascar.” Allure of the Seas also is equipped with a 3-D movie theater playing the latest DreamWorks Animation films, as well as a dedicated RCTV channel, featuring a variety of the film studio’s popular movies.

Royal Caribbean’s award-winning family programming also will help ensure that guests of every generation can share in an unforgettable Europe family vacation aboard Allure of the Seas. The cruise line’s complimentary Adventure Ocean kids program offers ongoing educational and entertaining sessions for three age groups from three- to 11-year-olds, led by college-accredited counselors from 9:00 to 2:00 a.m.  Two curricula for teens age 12 to 17 years offer more organic programming to offer them the flexibility to help shape their day with peers, as well as teen-only sessions on the FlowRider, Rock Wall and Sports Court. Furthermore, Allure of the Seas’ Royal Babies & Tots Nursery will cater to Royal Caribbean’s youngest guests, age six to 36 months old.

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 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

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CLIA Cruise Lines Invite You to Celebrate the Holidays at Sea

December 3, 2013
Whether cruising to Tahiti or Tanzania, Argentina or Antarctica, there’s no better way to enjoy seasonal merriment than getting away with family and friends for a celebration at sea.

Whether cruising to Tahiti or Tanzania, Argentina or Antarctica, there’s no better way to enjoy seasonal merriment than getting away with family and friends for a celebration at sea.

Whether cruising to Tahiti or Tanzania, Argentina or Antarctica, there’s no better way to enjoy seasonal merriment than getting away with family and friends for a celebration at sea.

Following is a sampling of cruises from the North American fleet of Cruise Lines International Association for Christmas and New Year’s guaranteed to bring tidings of comfort and joy with familiar traditions in far-flung locations:

  • Go where few will ever venture. Have a winter wonderland Christmas as Seabourn sails to Antarctica for the first time this fall. On December 11, the Seabourn Quest 24-day cruise departs from Santiago, Chile, sailing to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a Christmas Day landing on the “White Continent”; enjoy two days at South Georgia Island, with its vast rookeries of king penguins and other seabirds, as well as breeding elephant and fur seals.  Crystal Cruises’ new 17-night Antarctica cruise on the Crystal Symphony, departs December 21, visiting Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Falkland Islands, Drake Passage, Cape Horn and the Chilean Fjords, offering chances to fly, hike and zodiac over and on the icy continent and to view the gorgeous glacial scenery of both King George and Ardley Island.
  • Celebrate ancient traditions. Holiday markets, with hand-crafted toys, crafts and festive holiday food and drinks are a tradition dating back centuries and a special treat on many northern European cruises between November and January. Avalon Waterways invites travelers to spend Christmas in Prague and New Year’s in Vienna on its 9-day “Christmastime on the Danube” voyage departing December 25. Experience charming Christmas markets with AmaWaterways, which is offering four land-and-cruise itineraries on the Danube River, the Rhine and the legendary canals of Amsterdam. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering seven holiday cruises ranging from 8 to 13 days, taking travelers along Europe’s great rivers. And Hurtigruten offers itineraries with a chance to experience Norway’s natural beauty and holiday traditions such as indulging in local foods, visits from “Norway’s Father Christmas” and the chance to see “The Northern Lights” of the Aurora Borealis.
  • Discover delightful regional differences. Experience the holiday spirit—southern or Cajun style with American Cruise Lines. The seven-night “Historic South & Golden Isles” cruise, departing from Jacksonville, Florida on December 21, features a holiday décor tour of Charleston’s famous mansions and a traditional Sapelo Island holiday oyster roast on the beach, while the December 28 New Year’s Eve sailing, departing from Charleston, South Carolina,  features fireworks over Savannah.  The seven-night “Cajun Christmas” cruise on the Lower Mississippi River, departing from New Orleans on December 21, features Oak Alley Plantation in its holiday finery, Christmas Eve bonfires along the levee lighting the way for Santa and a traditional Reveillon-style feast. Or celebrate Christmas and New Year’s in Hawaii with hula and ukuleles on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America seven-day Hawai`i cruise, departing December 21 and December 28 from Honolulu.
  • Find serenity on the South Seas. A seven-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage with Paul Gauguin Cruises onboard the m/s Paul Gauguin departs on December 21 and features a holiday celebration while the New Year’s voyage, departing December 28, picks up the tempo with rock ’n’ roll classics, jazz and original compositions played by musician Robert Thomas as well as a lecture and wine tasting led by vintner Judy Jordan of J. Vineyards & Winery. Holland America Line features in-depth cultural experiences as part of its new fleet-wide “On Location” immersion program on a 28-day “New Zealand and Pacific Treasures Collector Holiday” cruise on the ms Oosterdam departing December 8 from Sydney that explores New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia.
  • Experience exotic Asia and beyond. A 14-night Myanmar, Malaysia and Sumatra voyage with Azamara Club Cruises departing December 23 from Singapore combines a festive Christmas at sea with exotic ports and a relaxing New Year’s Day on the beaches of Phuket, Thailand.  SeaDream Yacht Club offers a seven-night journey departing from Singapore on December 21 on its elegant mega-yacht SeaDream II, featuring golfing, diving and beach time. Oceania Cruises’ 30-day Lands of Grandeur sailing aboard Nautica departing on December 8 from Dubai visits ports in Oman, India, the Maldives and Seychelles as well as Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa.
  • Home for the holidays. Why stay at home when CLIA-member cruise lines are bringing the holidays to you onboard?  Each in its own way, cruise ships are incorporating the traditions and décor of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve into décor, dining and activities.  For example: Carnival Cruise Lines has occasional “snowfalls” in the ships’ atriums, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is known for its magnificent gingerbread house displays, American Cruise Lines has ornament making as well as gift giving and Celebrity Cruises will hold pre-Christmas trunk shows in its boutiques, which are tax-and duty-free.  Starting with November 9 departures, Disney Cruise Line’s “Very Merrytime” Cruises feature a “deck the deck holiday party” with Disney friends.  In addition to holiday themed entertainment, many cruise lines offer special concerts, caroling and festive receptions as well as religious services. Princess Cruises features a tree lighting ceremony and a holiday themed variety show. For families, most lines feature special holiday crafts sessions, parties for kids along with visits from Santa and surprise gifts.
  • ‘Tis the season to book early. Many cruise lines offer early booking specials and discounted pricing on select holiday cruises. For instance, for bookings through December 31, Oceania Cruises offers 2-for-1 cruise fares, free airfare from 26 North American gateways and bonus savings up to $4,500 per stateroom and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is waiving or reducing its single supplement on select holiday cruises to make your Christmas vacation even merrier.

For expert advice, travelers can turn to a CLIA Cruise Agent, who stays current on the latest offerings and trends and is an expert in helping clients select a cruise of their dreams.   To find a CLIA Cruise Agent or Agency in your area, visit www.cruising.org and click on Vacations and use our Cruise Expert Finder.

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Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas Offers 29 New Southeast Asia Sailings for 2014-2015

November 19, 2013

Royal Caribbean International has unveiled 29 new Southeast Asia sailings aboard Mariner of the Seas. Starting in November 2014, Mariner of the Seas will homeport at Singapore and sail three- to five-night itineraries, calling at ports such as Phuket, Thailand, and Penang, Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang) in Malaysia.

A special seven-night itinerary, departing February 11, 2015, will overnight at Bangkok (Laemchabang), Thailand, and call at Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam. Mariner of the Seas’ winter season will conclude with an eight-night itinerary from Singapore to Shanghai (Baoshan), China, departing on March 7, and featuring an overnight at Hong Kong with calls at Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) and Xiamen, China.

Mariner of the Seas is among six Royal Caribbean ships that exclusively feature the DreamWorks Experience at sea.  Guests can partake in parades, themed activities and other onboard events based on DreamWorks Animation’s popular feature-film characters, including Po of “Kung Fu Panda;” Shrek and Fiona of “Shrek;” and Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, and the Penguins from “Madagascar.” The ship also is equipped with a 3-D movie theater playing the latest DreamWorks Animation films.

Royal Caribbean’s younger guests can enjoy an exhilarating line-up of activities, games and adventures rooted in the popular DreamWorks Animation films in the complimentary and award-winning Adventure Ocean children’s program.

Guests of all ages can meet their favorite characters over the DreamWorks Character breakfast in the main dining room and take advantage of plenty of photo opportunities throughout the day. Additionally, guests can tune-in to DreamWorks Animation programming on a dedicated RCTV channel in every stateroom.

Guests also enjoy the industry’s largest and most premium selection of duty-free shopping, including the first standalone IWC Schaffhausen boutique and the largest luxury and fashion watch store at sea.

The ship’s Casino Royale offers more than 30 table games and nearly 300 slot machines throughout the 9,600 sq. ft. space. Additionally, high-rollers have exclusive access to parlors for high-stakes gaming in comfort, style and privacy.

Mariner of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s Voyager class of ships, which first introduced the active cruise vacation concept. The ships feature iconic Royal Caribbean International amenities such as the rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink, a nine-hole mini-golf course, full-size basketball and sports court, and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship and is flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques.

As a truly global cruise brand, Royal Caribbean International caters to an international clientele and deploys its cruise ships throughout the world. On Mariner of the Seas’ Asia cruises, Royal Caribbean offers a culturally enriching cruise experience, in which vacationers will find that the majority of fellow guests are from the Asia-Pacific region and speak languages from the region. While guests will enjoy a more authentic regional experience, including additional onboard choices that reflect the region’s tastes and flavors, English is always spoken by the ship’s staff and crew.

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

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CLIA Cruise Lines Celebrate the Holidays with Festive Seasonal Specials

October 30, 2013
Experience the holiday spirit southern style with American Cruise Lines' 7-night “Historic South & Golden Isles” cruise, departing from Jacksonville, December 21, that features a holiday décor tour of Charleston’s famous mansions and a traditional Sapelo Island holiday oyster roast on the beach © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Experience the holiday spirit southern style with American Cruise Lines’ 7-night “Historic South & Golden Isles” cruise, departing from Jacksonville, December 21, that features a holiday décor tour of Charleston’s famous mansions and a traditional Sapelo Island holiday oyster roast on the beach © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Whether cruising to Tahiti or Tanzania, Argentina or Antarctica, celebrating the winter holidays at sea is a very special way to get away with family and friends.

Here is a sampling of cruises from the North American fleet of Cruise Lines International Association members for Christmas and New Year’s guaranteed to bring tidings of comfort and joy with familiar traditions in far-flung locations:

Go where few will ever venture. Have a winter wonderland Christmas as Seabourn sails to Antarctica for the first time this fall. On December 11, the Seabourn Quest 24-day cruise departs from Santiago, Chile, sailing to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a Christmas Day landing on the “White Continent”; enjoy two days at South Georgia Island, with its vast rookeries of king penguins and other seabirds, as well as breeding elephant and fur seals.  Crystal Cruises’ new 17-night Antarctica cruise on the Crystal Symphony, departs December 21, visiting Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Falkland Islands, Drake Passage, Cape Horn and the Chilean Fjords, offering chances to fly, hike and zodiac over and on the icy continent and to view the gorgeous glacial scenery of both King George and Ardley Island.

Celebrate ancient traditions. Holiday markets, with hand-crafted toys, crafts and festive holiday food and drinks are a tradition dating back centuries and a special treat on many northern European cruises between November and January. Avalon Waterways invites travelers to spend Christmas in Prague and New Year’s in Vienna on its 9-day “Christmastime on the Danube” voyage departing December 25. Experience charming Christmas markets with AmaWaterways, which is offering four land-and-cruise itineraries on the Danube River, the Rhine and the legendary canals of Amsterdam. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering seven holiday cruises ranging from 8 to 13 days, taking travelers along Europe’s great rivers. And Hurtigruten offers itineraries with a chance to experience Norway’s natural beauty and holiday traditions such as indulging in local foods, visits from “Norway’s Father Christmas” and the chance to see “The Northern Lights” of the Aurora Borealis.

Discover delightful regional differences. Experience the holiday spirit—southern or Cajun style with American Cruise Lines. The seven-night “Historic South & Golden Isles” cruise, departing from Jacksonville, Florida on December 21, features a holiday décor tour of Charleston’s famous mansions and a traditional Sapelo Island holiday oyster roast on the beach, while the December 28 New Year’s Eve sailing, departing from Charleston, South Carolina,  features fireworks over Savannah.  The seven-night “Cajun Christmas” cruise on the Lower Mississippi River, departing from New Orleans on December 21, features Oak Alley Plantation in its holiday finery, Christmas Eve bonfires along the levee lighting the way for Santa and a traditional Reveillon-style feast. Or celebrate Christmas and New Year’s in Hawai`i with hula and ukuleles on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America seven-day Hawai`i cruise, departing December 21 and December 28 from Honolulu.

Find serenity on the South Seas. A seven-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage with Paul Gauguin Cruises onboard the m/s Paul Gauguin departs on December 21 and features a holiday celebration while the New Year’s voyage, departing December 28, picks up the tempo with rock ’n’ roll classics, jazz and original compositions played by musician Robert Thomas as well as a lecture and wine tasting led by vintner Judy Jordan of J. Vineyards & Winery. Holland America Line features in-depth cultural experiences as part of its new fleet-wide “On Location” immersion program on a 28-day “New Zealand and Pacific Treasures Collector Holiday” cruise on the ms Oosterdam departing December 8 from Sydney that explores New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia.

Experience exotic Asia and beyond. A 14-night Myanmar, Malaysia and Sumatra voyage with Azamara Club Cruises departing December 23 from Singapore combines a festive Christmas at sea with exotic ports and a relaxing New Year’s Day on the beaches of Phuket, Thailand.  SeaDream Yacht Club offers a seven-night journey departing from Singapore on December 21 on its elegant mega-yacht SeaDream II, featuring golfing, diving and beach time. Oceania Cruises’ 30-day Lands of Grandeur sailing aboard Nautica departing on December 8 from Dubai visits ports in Oman, India, the Maldives and Seychelles as well as Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa.

Home for the holidays. Why stay at home when CLIA-member cruise lines are bringing the holidays to you onboard?  Each in its own way, cruise ships are incorporating the traditions and décor of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve into décor, dining and activities.  For example: Carnival Cruise Lines has occasional “snowfalls” in the ships’ atriums, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is known for its magnificent gingerbread house displays, American Cruise Lines has ornament making as well as gift giving and Celebrity Cruises will hold pre-Christmas trunk shows in its boutiques, which are tax-and duty-free.  Starting with November 9 departures, Disney Cruise Line’s “Very Merrytime” Cruises feature a “deck the deck holiday party” with Disney friends.  In addition to holiday themed entertainment, many cruise lines offer special concerts, caroling and festive receptions as well as religious services. Princess Cruises features a tree lighting ceremony and a holiday themed variety show. For families, most lines feature special holiday crafts sessions, parties for kids along with visits from Santa and surprise gifts.

‘Tis the season to book early. Many cruise lines offer early booking specials and discounted pricing on select holiday cruises. For instance, for bookings through December 31, Oceania Cruises offers 2-for-1 cruise fares, free airfare from 26 North American gateways and bonus savings up to $4,500 per stateroom and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is waiving or reducing its single supplement on select holiday cruises to make your Christmas vacation even merrier.

For expert advice, travelers can turn to a CLIA Cruise Agent, who stays current on the latest offerings and trends and is an expert in helping clients select a cruise of their dreams.   To find a CLIA Cruise Agent or Agency in your area, visit www.cruising.org and click on Vacations and use our Cruise Expert Finder.

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Royal Caribbean Offers Up to $100 in Onboard Credit for Bookings During National Cruise Vacation Week, Oct 20-25

October 13, 2013
During National Cruise Vacation Week, Oct. 20-25, 2013, Royal Caribbean International cruiseline is offering vacationers up to $100 onboard credit on any seven-night Caribbean cruise during summer 2014 © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

During National Cruise Vacation Week, Oct. 20-25, 2013, Royal Caribbean International cruiseline is offering vacationers up to $100 onboard credit on any seven-night Caribbean cruise during summer 2014 © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

During National Cruise Vacation Week, Oct. 20-25, 2013, Royal Caribbean International cruiseline is offering vacationers up to $100 onboard credit on any seven-night Caribbean cruise during summer 2014.

From October 20 through 25, 2013, you can receive $50 onboard spending credit per interior or ocean view stateroom (Option Code SPO1) or $100 onboard credit per balcony or suite-category stateroom (Option Code SPO2) when you make a new individual booking on a seven-night Caribbean itinerary, sailing from June 1 through August 31, 2014.

The National Cruise Vacation Week offer is applicable only on new individual bookings and the option code must be registered at the time of booking. Details about Royal Caribbean’s National Cruise Vacation Week offer are available during the week of October 14 at http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/VacationWeek.

Cruisegoers have a choice of five acclaimed cruise ships, including Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas – sister-ships that share the title of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships – Freedom of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas. Each ship delivers a collection of exclusive Royal Caribbean onboard amenities to make for an unforgettable vacation.

Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas feature seven themed neighborhoods that offer the industry’s widest array of innovative onboard amenities. Guests can relax in Central Park, a lush outdoor space with more than 12,000 living plants and trees; the Boardwalk, a festive space featuring the only handcrafted carousels at sea and the first-and-only AquaTheaters for high-diving performances and fountain shows synchronized to music and lights; the Pool and Sports Zone, with twin FlowRider surf simulators, five different pools, and the only zip lines at sea; professional ice-skating productions and Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Chicago: The Musical’ in Entertainment Place; the levitating Rising Tide Bar in the Royal Promenade; the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center for rejuvenating treatments and classes; and the cruise line’s award-winning Adventure Ocean kids and teen program in the Youth Zone. Guests also enjoy up to 26 dining options and have an expansive selection of boutiques, lounges and bars to explore.

Freedom of the Seas first introduced an onboard FlowRider surf simulator and also now features some of the most popular amenities that debuted on the Oasis class of ships, such as a 3-D movie theater, an oversized LCD movie screen poolside, the Cupcake Cupboard, as well as bow-to-stern Wi-Fi service and interactive digital signage. The ship’s Adventure Ocean program has been expanded with the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery for six- to 36-month olds, and the ImagineOcean! glow-in-the-dark puppet show for kids.

Navigator of the Seas will undergo extensive revitalization in spring 2014, and will re-emerge from drydock to feature a new FlowRider surf simulator, as well as debut the Quantum-class Virtual Balcony in select interior staterooms – a new amenity that also will be aboard the highly anticipated Quantum of the Seas, which will launch in late 2014. Jewel of the Seas’ guests can sharpen their billiards skills on the ship’s self-leveling pool tables as they visit charming ports in the Southern Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 40-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea.  The cruise line features an expansive array of amenities 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 10 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Reader’s Choice Awards.

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

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WTH’s Sean Tolkin Sets Record for Marathon at Sea; Raises $50,000 for Make-A-Wish

October 6, 2013
Sean Tolkin, business development director at World Travel Holdings, became the first American to run a marathon at sea, doing it in record time (3 hours 43 minutes) onboard Norwegian Breakaway, and raising $50,000 to benefit Make-A-Wish®, the official charity of WTH's CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. divisions © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Sean Tolkin, business development director at World Travel Holdings, became the first American to run a marathon at sea, doing it in record time (3 hours 43 minutes) onboard Norwegian Breakaway, and raising $50,000 to benefit Make-A-Wish®, the official charity of WTH’s CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. divisions © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Sean Tolkin, business development director at World Travel Holdings, became the first American to run a marathon at sea, doing it in record time (3 hours 43 minutes) onboard Norwegian Breakaway, and raising $50,000 to benefit Make-A-Wish®, the official charity of WTH’s CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. divisions.

The “Run Like a Champion, Cruise Like a Norwegian” marathon was held during the CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® National Conference. As of race time, Tolkin raised nearly $50,000 for the non-profit organization, that is dedicated to helping children feel stronger, more energetic and able to deal with their life-threatening medical conditions.

“I am beyond thrilled with the outpouring of support I received from my colleagues, friends, family and passengers leading up to and onboard Norwegian Breakaway this week,” said Tolkin, whose final laps were cheered on by hundreds of cruise agents attending the conference. “This marathon blended my love of the travel industry with my passion for running all in the name of a good cause, to benefit our signature charity Make-A-Wish.”

During the time it took Tolkin to run the 26.2 miles, or 210 laps around the track, the ship, Norwegian’s newest, traveled 74 nautical miles. Hundreds of onlookers cheered on Sean during each lap, with several agents and World Travel Holdings employees joining Sean for each mile.  As a result of the marathon, Make-A-Wish will be able to grant five wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Keri Rivera, corporate alliances manager for Make-A-Wish®; Sean Tolkin, business development director for World Travel Holdings, parent company of CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc. ®; and Captain Evans Hoyt, Norwegian Cruise Line® © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Keri Rivera, corporate alliances manager for Make-A-Wish®; Sean Tolkin, business development director for World Travel Holdings, parent company of CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc. ®; and Captain Evans Hoyt, Norwegian Cruise Line® © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Combined with $53,000 raised by the 700 agents attending the national conference, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® raised more than $103,000 for Make-A-Wish.

CruiseOne franchises home-based travel agencies; Cruises Inc. is a host network for home-based cruise agents who are independent contractors. For more information, visit www.CruiseOneFranchise.com or www.SellCruises.com. 

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