Archive for the ‘family cruising’ Category

CruiseCompete Lists ‘Best in Premium Cruise Line Family Suites’

March 10, 2016

DETROIT – CruiseCompete has compiled a list of favorite cabins for families on premium cruise lines: Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.

Princess Cruises – Family Suite with Balcony (Emerald Princess)
Premium accommodations and luxurious appointments are the signature of Princess Cruises’ expansive 460- to 687-square-foot suites. A Family Suite includes a spacious cabin, and large 95- to 241-square-foot balcony, along with special suite-only benefits. Suites feature a separate seating area with a sofabed, walk-in closet, full bathroom and deluxe amenities.

Image courtesy of Princess Cruises

Image courtesy of Princess Cruises

Pricing for suite on the Emerald Princess 7-night Alaskan Cruise starts at $1,397.24 per person, double occupancy, not including port taxes and fees.

Click here to learn more about Princess Cruises.

To see Princess Cruises specials, click here.

To get a quote for Princess Cruises, click here.
Celebrity Cruises – The Reflection Suites

Celebrity Cruises offers an impressive family option with their Reflection Suite, a 2-bedroom suite with 1,636 square feet, plus a 194 square foot veranda. It boasts a panoramic corner location, with a floor to ceiling sliding glass veranda door and window and an incredible sea view bathroom.

Additional suite amenities include 24/7 personal butler service, complimentary mini bar stocked daily, complimentary internet access and complimentary laundry service. Reflection Suite guests also enjoy a dedicated private restaurant, exclusive access to the private Michael’s club, unlimited dining at all specialty restaurants and a complimentary premium beverage package.

Image courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Image courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

The Reflections Suites pricing currently starts at $2,165 per person, double occupancy, per night for a 7-night Caribbean Cruise, not including port taxes and fees.

Click here to learn more about Celebrity Cruises.

To see Celebrity Cruises specials, click here.

To get a quote for Celebrity Cruises, click here.
Holland America Line – The Pinnacle Suite and Family Ocean-View Staterooms

Holland America Line’s Pinnacle Suite is 1,290 sq. ft., including verandah.
As another option, the Koningsdam family ocean-view staterooms are a first for Holland America Line. The 32 new specially designed family ocean-view staterooms will range from 222 to 231 square feet and feature special amenities such as two bathrooms and accommodations for five people.

The line also offers triple and quad staterooms for families of three and four that wish to share a room. Connecting cabins are also available.

The starting rate for the Pinnacle Suite on a Koningsdam, 7-Day Northern Europe cruise is $7,000 per person, double occupancy,  not including port taxes and fees.

The starting rate for the family oceanview stateroom on a Koningsdam 7-Day Europe cruise, departing May 22, 2016, is $1,799.00 per person, double occupancy, not including port taxes and fees… and the kids sail free!

Click here to learn more about Holland America Line.

To see Holland America Line specials, click here.

To get quote for Holland America Line, click here.
Disney Cruise Line – The Concierge Royal Suite with Verandah

Some might argue that every cabin and suite aboard Disney’s ships are a “family suite,” and they wouldn’t be wrong, as this line is known for catering especially to families. However, they have a truly impressive offering in the Concierge Royal Suite with Verandah aboard the Disney Dream. This suite is 1,781 square feet, including the verandah, featuring a separate bedroom and 2 bathrooms, with double sinks, a rain-style shower and a whirlpool tub in the master bath.

Additional amenities include concierge service, complimentary WiFi, a private verandah featuring a whirlpool tub, a pantry and wet bar stocked with water and sodas.

Image courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

Image courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

The starting rate for the Concierge Royal Suite with Verandah on the Disney Dream 4-Night Bahamas cruise, departing May 23, 2016, is $3280.00 per person, double occupancy, not including port taxes and fees.

Click here to learn more about Disney Cruise Line.

To see Disney Cruise Line specials, click here.

To get quote for Disney Cruise Line, click here.

 

All prices quoted are subject to change.

 

For more Family Travel resources, visit  www.cruisecompete.com/resources.php.

Click here to download your copy of the 2016 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner.

To view what is typically included on these lines, check out an all-inclusive guide here:

allthingscruise.com/all-inclusive

CruiseCompete has been an online cruise marketplace since 2003, where travelers can come to research and book cruise vacations, compare offers, see consumer reviews of agents and agencies responding, then contact travel agents directly for more information and to book cruises. CruiseCompete is a member of the Family Travel Association, which offers the 2016 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner at Travel Resources.

CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ offers monthly stats for an inside look at consumer trends and what consumers want in cruise vacations.

For more information, visit www.cruisecompete.com or www.cruisecompete.com/group_cruises

CruiseCompete is an Iowa limited liability company and is not a travel agency nor owned by a travel agency.

 

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7 Reasons to Book a Family Holiday Cruise Now

September 19, 2014
A cruise is a fabulous way for families to spend the holidays together.

A cruise is a fabulous way for families to spend the holidays together.

Cruise vacations are ideal for families for the winter holidays, says Crown Cruise Vacations President Ross Spalding. He offers 7 reasons to consider a family holiday cruise this year:

 

  1. Truly festive atmosphere – After Thanksgiving, the cruise lines get in the holiday spirit by decorating their ships from bow to stern. Some cruise lines spend in excess of $100,000 annually on holiday decorations. Christmas trees, lights, garlands and even artificial snow bring the festive season alive at sea. Hanukkah customs and celebrations also are observed. Religious services of all types are often held aboard.2.  Special guests – Christmas-time cruises would not be complete without guest appearances from Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elf friends. They make appearances on many ships during the holiday season in the spirit of fun and relaxation leading up to Christmas Day. As expected, Santa’s bag of goodies is full for the kids on board.3.  New Year’s fun – Ringing in the New Year is a splash aboard a cruise ship. Elaborate parties take place at sea for people of all ages and tastes. Special food, entertainment, toasts, party favors and more make the night memorable. For sports fans, many of the cruise lines offer special all-day tailgate parties to watch New Year’s Day football.

    4.  True relaxation – Leave the hustle and bustle (and accompanying stress) of the holidays behind and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere with the family on a cruise vacation. There is no better way to spend an afternoon in December than lying poolside while sailing across the ocean, or snorkeling through a secluded reef on a cruise line private island.

    5.  Unique gifts – A cruise vacation is one holiday gift that will be truly appreciated. Plus, there is interesting shopping onboard the ship (The Jackie Kennedy Jewelry Collection on board the Golden Princess is quite reasonable and very beautiful) and in various ports. Special shipping arrangements can be made to get the gifts home. If Santa is going to visit the kids, the cruise lines recommend small token gifts that are easy to hide and transport. Leave big gifts at home to open before or after the trip and remember not to wrap presents before you stow them in your luggage, as they may need to be opened for security reasons.

    6.  No snow –– A holiday cruise is ideal for people looking for a change of scenery as colder weather moves in at home. With Caribbean temperatures in the low 80s during this time of year, the closest you’ll come to cold weather on a cruise ship is the air conditioning. (Some ships do feature snow falling in the ship’s atrium, but it is manmade and wonderfully designed to melt before hitting the floor.)

    7.  Great food– Nobody goes hungry on a cruise vacation, especially during the holidays. A variety of eats are available 24/7. Cruise menus fit the season, with world-class chefs preparing traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, plus special kosher foods during Hanukkah. There are no shortages of gingerbread, cookies, pies and other deserts. Even better… you don’t do the cooking!

There are a number of outstanding sailings for families. The specialists at Crown Cruise Vacations offer these sailings as examples of cruises to choose from for a high-seas family holiday:

4-Night Western Caribbean Cruise on the Royal Caribbean International Brilliance of the Seas sailing Nov. 27, 2014, or sailing Dec. 20, 2014: round-trip Tampa, Fla., with stops in Cozumel, Mexico; with two days at sea.

5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise on Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas sailing Dec. 24, 2014: round-trip Tampa, Fla., with stops in George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; with two days at sea.

3-Night Bahamas Cruise on the Disney Dream, sailing Nov. 28, 2014: round trip Port Canaveral, Fla., with stops in Nassau, Bahamas; and private island Castaway Cay.

5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise on the Disney Wonder, sailing Dec. 21, 2014; round trip Miami, Fla., with stops at Cozumel, Mexico; and Castaway Cay; with two days at sea.

Crown Cruise Vacations was named North America’s Leading Cruise Travel Agent 2013 by the prestigious World Travel Awards, which acknowledges excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. Crown Cruise Vacations is the preferred provider of Artful Traveler’s PTV at Sea cruises, which enrich, inspire and entertain with informative programming presented by some of public broadcasting’s most acclaimed personalities.

Based in Princeton, New Jersey, Crown Cruise Vacations specialists are comprised of a unique team of experienced, accredited travel agents and managers with a multitude of years selling leisure travel. For more information, please visit us at http://www.crowncruisevacations.com/.

Cruise specialists at Crown Cruise Vacations provide exclusive offers, value and service and can assist with cruise information and bookings for all types of cruises. For more information and to book a cruise call 877-283-1114 toll-free USA/Canada, 609-945-9801 direct dial or visit www.crowncruisevacations.com.

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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.

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 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.

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

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Setting Sail on Victory Chimes for Maine Windjammers Association’s 37th Annual Great Schooner Race, July 5

June 28, 2013

A memorable "Schooner Gam" - meeting of nearly a dozen tall ships of the Maine Windjammer Fleet - and "raft up" where passengers get to visit the other ships (© 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com)

A memorable “Schooner Gam” – meeting of nearly a dozen tall ships of the Maine Windjammer Fleet – and “raft up” where passengers get to visit the other ships (© 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com)

So excited. I’m heading out to sail aboard the Victory Chimes for the Maine Windjammers Association’s 37th Annual Great Schooner Race, July 5, in Penobscot Bay.

Our Maine windjammer cruise leaves from Rockland harbor this Sunday, June 29, and we participate in all the things that make this experience so unique – lobster bake on a secluded beach, visiting small fishing villages, scanning the sea for seal and dolphin. It’s a folksy, Americana sort of trip that is basically unique and makes for a very special experience, whether for a family, a couple, a gal-getaway, multi-generational getaway, reunion or groups of friends who want an atmosphere that promotes camaraderie.

You can help sail the ship or just enjoy the cruise.

The Schooner Race is just one of the special events the windjammers  – most of which are historic sailing vessels – host during the summer.  There always seem to be a reason to party:

July 6 & 7   Open Schooner Tours

Stop by and tour Maine’s legendary windjammers at their docks each afternoon from 2:00-4:00 pm. The participating windjammers can be found at North End Shipyard and Windjammer Wharf (off Tillson Ave) in Rockland; the Public Landing in Rockport; and at the head of the inner harbor in Camden. Hope you can join us!

July 12      Maine Windjammer Parade

The entire fleet participates in an afternoon Parade of Sail past the mile-long Rockland Breakwater, providing spectators with stunning, close-up views of Maine’s fleet of tall ships.

August 5   Sweet Chariot Music Festival

More than a dozen groups perform traditional music of the sea on Swans Island, with live shipboard performances as well.

Aug 30-Sept 1     Camden Windjammer Festival

Festivities include a parade of sail, maritime heritage fair, contra dance, fireworks, lobster crate race, chowder challenge, free concerts, schooner crew talent show, family scavenger hunt, outdoor movies and more.

September 10    WoodenBoat Sail-in

The fall gathering of the fleet takes place in Brooklin, Maine, headquarters of WoodenBoat Magazine and WoodenBoat School. Live music, local refreshments, boatschool tours.

The different ships also hold theme cruises – reflecting the interest and personality of the captain – from photography to bird-watching. Victory Chimes has scheduled its inaugural four-day “Maine Story & Humor Cruise” for July 14-18. and a four-day Maine Geology Cruise Aug. 16-20.

The fleet of 10 ships includes numerous historic rigged vessels, many which have been named National Historic Landmarks, fully restored and beautifully maintained with the many comforts of home for today’s savvy traveler. A trip aboard one of these schooners is a great way to experience Maine and its coastal towns, with true working waterfronts satisfying those with a taste for life on the sea.

Each ship has a distinct personality and character – largely because of the captain but the architecture and the “story” of each of the vessels, as well. And each cruise is always different based on the serendipitous confluence of who the other passengers are – an esprit de corps forms during the sail – the weather, and myriad other factors that can never be anticipated or planned.

Aside from the Great Schooner Race, while aboard one of the schooners, guests spend about six hours each day under sail, meandering through the waters of mid-coast Maine, and every afternoon drop anchor in the safe, snug harbor off a quiet fishing village, or at an uninhabited island where they can go ashore and explore.

The Maine Windjammer Association is comprised of the largest fleet of traditional sailing schooners in North America. Built in the USA, all 10 Windjammers are individually owned by U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains who work together to ensure the highest standards of safety, comfort and professionalism. The windjammer fleet hails from ports of Rockland, Rockport and Camden, located in the mid-coast region of Maine. Each windjammer carried between 20 and 40 guests and 3-10 crew members. Windjammer cruises are for people of all ages.

For brochures and DVD, or for information, contact the Maine Windjammer Association at 800-807-WIND; or visit www.sailmainecoast.com.

See: Maine Windjammer American Eagle Sails to a Schooner Gam

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Royal Caribbean offers Families up to 50% Savings for 3rd, 4th guests for bookings through May 10

April 10, 2013
The Flowrider, one of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines' signature onboard activities. Royal Caribbean is offering families up to 50% savings for third and fourth guests for bookings through May 10 © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Flowrider, one of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ signature onboard activities. Royal Caribbean is offering families up to 50% savings for third and fourth guests for bookings through May 10 © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Bringing the whole family on an adventurous Royal Caribbean International cruise vacation is easier than ever before, with the cruise line’s new significantly reduced third- and fourth-guest fare offer. For new U.S. and Canadian bookings made from Apr. 10 through May 10, 2013 aboard select Royal Caribbean ships, the reduced third- and fourth-guest fares offer vacationers up to 50 percent savings for sailings departing on Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, 2013. The additional savings on already significantly lower fares for third and fourth guests offer families even more reason to share in a vacation only found on Royal Caribbean’s innovative ships. Reduced third- and fourth-guest fares start at $99 per guest for three-night Bahamas cruises and $199 per guest on four- to seven-night Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean and Europe cruises. For more information, please visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/April34Guest.

Additionally, Royal Caribbean International is offering its valued travel agents more tools as part of the cruise line’s ongoing Loyal to You Always commitment to supporting them in growing their business and increasing profits. For all new U.S. and Canadian groups created from Apr. 8 through 21, 2013, aboard any Royal Caribbean sailing departing from Jan. 1 through Apr. 30, 2014, travel agents will earn two bonus Group Amenities Plus (GAP) points to add more value to their clients’ vacation. Travel agents can apply the GAP points toward additional stateroom amenities, such a bottle of sparkling wine, a welcome aboard fruit basket, robes to use on their cruise and more, to help secure a booking; recognize loyal clients; or acquire repeat business. Additional restrictions may apply. For more information about the Bonus GAP offer, travel agents should visit www.CruisingPower.com, the online portal dedicated to providing the most comprehensive tools and information for travel professionals selling Royal Caribbean International.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 21 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. Royal Caribbean provides a world-class vacation experience with a wide range of signature onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming.

The cruise line has more than 40 years of history of delivering to guests the Royal Advantage – the most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service. Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 10 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow Royal Caribbean on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter, @RoyalCaribbean. Travel professionals should visit Vicki Freed’s Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/VickiLovesTravelAgents; go to www.cruisingpower.com; or call (800) 327-2056.

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Kids Sail Free on 17 Additional Crystal Cruises in Europe this Year

March 13, 2013
Crystal Cruises had added 17 European cruises where kids 17 and under can sail for free sharing parents' stateroom.

Crystal Cruises had added 17 European cruises where kids 17 and under can sail for free sharing parents’ stateroom.

Due to popular demand, Crystal Cruises is adding17 voyages to the ultra-luxe line’s “Kids Sail Free” program. With the promotion, kids age 17 and under can sail for free when sharing a third berth stateroom with two adults.

Previously offered on just four luxury European cruises during June and July, families can now choose from seven- to 15-day voyages in the Mediterranean, Western Europe, North Cape, Baltic, British Isles, Canary Islands, and across the Atlantic from May-December aboard Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.

New Magic Castle at Sea “junior cruisers” shows and classes will be offered on board during summer cruises, in addition to all-ages shows on every cruise.

“While summer break is a key time for a ‘whole family’ vacation, many families enjoy sharing the history, beauty, and educational journey of Europe at non-break times like autumn, when airfares may be more attractive,” says Jack Anderson, Crystal’s senior vice-president of marketing and sales. “With visits to some of Europe’s most storied and breathtaking locales, such as Monte Carlo, Casablanca, Venice, Dubrovnik, Mykonos, Stockholm, and Edinburgh, the additional savings make these voyages an incredible value, sure to create lifelong memories.”

In addition to the new Magic Castle at Sea enrichment, every Crystal cruise offers family-friendly learning and entertainment, from iPad Digital Filmmaking classes (in association with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts) to dedicated on-board kids and teens spaces — a rarity among luxury cruise lines. During school vacation times, junior activities directors host complimentary supervised activities on board, ranging from behind-the scenes tours to cooking classes and scavenger hunts. Every cruise also has babysitting services, “finicky eater” foods, movies, library books, family-friendly excursions, and more available.

All-inclusive, “Book Now” fares for “Kids Sail Free” applicable voyages begin at $2,495/person if booked by April 30. The “Crystal Family Memories” program also offers additional free berths and perks for groups of six or more.

With sophisticated tours worldwide, enriching learning opportunities, international gourmet cuisine, complimentary voluntourism excursions, and a host of other activities for all ages, the Crystal experience gives families exceptional, once-in-a-lifetime access to creating intimate bonds, gleaning a global education, and building lifelong memories while sailing in elegance, making Crystal Cruises the leader in family-friendly luxury cruising.

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

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Princess Cruises Reveals Special Amenities for Youths, Teens Aboard new Royal Princess Debuting in June

December 29, 2012
Royal Princess youth centers will include new outdoor lounge and play spaces.

Royal Princess youth centers will include new outdoor lounge and play spaces.

Even the youngest passengers will enjoy the many special features aboard Princess Cruises’ new Royal Princess when the ship debuts in June. The line has just revealed the amenities just for kids and teens that will wow younger cruisers aboard the new ship.

Royal Princess will offer expanded space for youth centers that adds a new level to the onboard experience for young passengers. All age groups will find more space with dedicated outdoor areas, including a new teen lounge. Toddlers can also join the fun with a special fun area just for kids under 3.

“It’s always important to us that passengers of all ages have a great time onboard,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Naturally we’ve included features on Royal Princess to make every moment of the cruise memorable for our youngest passengers – we love hearing them tell their parents that they can’t wait to come back.”

The new areas for kids and teens are detailed in the company’s latest video previewing Royal Princess, available at princess.com/royalprincess.

Some of the fun that young passengers will find on Royal Princess includes:

Princess Pelicans (ages 3-7): The youngest age group will enjoy a great space for group activities like movie nights, a new mini air hockey table, a special area for arts and crafts programs, and a new indoor play structure. In addition, they’ll have a new outdoor play area, which includes toys, games, tricycles, and a new playground. These features add to the lineup of popular activities that kids love on Princess ships, including the Jr. Chef@Sea program, educational workshops, pajama and ice cream parties, and a Kid’s Fun Fair.

Shockwaves (ages 8-12): Junior passengers in the middle group will now have their own dedicated outside area complete with lounge chairs and a variety of fun games. Shockwaves kids will really get into activities geared for their age – like air hockey, skeeball, and exciting game stations. They’ll also find their own lounge with a giant TV, a DJ Booth, and arts and crafts tables with activities led by Princess’ youth counselors. Plus they can hang out and enjoy their own pizza and ice cream parties or kids-only dinners.

Remix (ages 13-17): The Remix area for teens will feature a Princess DJ booth loaded with cutting-edge tracks where music lovers can create their own playlist, kick back, relax, or dance to the latest club mix. In addition, there’s a new lounge area, perfect for meeting new friends, with games like foosball, skeeball and the latest video games. A brand new outdoor lounge fulfills a request from teens, and offers cool club lighting, contemporary seating, a great new wading pool, and of course music perfect for parties under the stars. Teens will also enjoy activities specially designed for their age group, including sports competitions, late-night movies, hip hop dance classes, teens-only “mocktail” parties, formal dinners, and the always-popular video game tournaments.

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship currently under construction for Princess Cruises. Among the special features found on board will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; a dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water; the new Princess Live! television studio; a pastry shop; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.

The ship’s 2013 maiden season will include cruises on the line’s signature Grand Mediterranean itinerary throughout the summer, followed by Eastern Caribbean cruises beginning in the fall. More information and video previews of the ship are available at www.princess.com/royalprincess.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.

Find Princess Cruises:
Blog: InspiredToCruise.com
Facebook: facebook.com/PrincessCruises
Twitter: twitter.com/PrincessCruises
YouTube: youtube.com/princesscruises
Flickr: flickr.com/photos/princesscruises
Pandora: princess.com/radio
Google+: google.com/+princesscruises
Pinterest: pinterest.com/princesscruises

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Crystal has Special Rates for Small Family/Friend Groups for Dec. 21 Hawaiian Holiday Cruise

August 14, 2011

Ultraluxe Crystal Cruises is encouraging family and friends to celebrate the festive traditions of the 2011 holiday season together with a sweetened Crystal Family Memories program for Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel.

Friends and family groups of just five or more on Crystal Symphony’s December 21 Hawaiian holiday cruise round-trip from Los Angeles can enjoy generous holiday perks, including:

  •  Free berth for a sixth guest
  • Free third berth for kids 17 and under
  • Pre-paid gratuities
  • $100 per person on-board credit
  • Professional photos of the group
  • $500 credit toward a shared “Private Adventure”

The “Pacific Coast Holiday” visits tropical favorites Lahaina, Maui; Honolulu, Oahu; Nawiliwili, Kaui; Hilo, Hawaii; and Enseñada, Mexico. Christmas and New Year’s holidays will be celebrated at sea with opulent, all-ship soirees, complete with fresh mixologist-made cocktails, premium wines and champagne, gourmet cuisine, and live entertainment and dancing. Christian and Jewish clergy will host Christmas and Hanukkah services, and Junior Activities Directors will lead children and teens in custom-crafted activities daily.

Two-for-One fares for the 14-day cruise begin at $7,050 per person, and include $500/person “All Inclusive. As You Wish” shipboard credit, plus free, round-trip air and airport transfer from two dozen North American gateway cities (or generous air credit). Groups of six must sail together in a minimum of three staterooms; other restrictions apply.

 Crystal’s passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history.

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

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MS Europa Offers New ‘Baby Welcome Package’ to Make it Easier on Parents Sailing with Babies, Toddlers

July 27, 2011

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is now offering parents a complimentary new service to facilitate carefree travelling with babies and toddlers – the Baby Welcome Package. The Hamburg-based cruise operator is taking into account the constantly rising proportion of families on their voyages, and making it easier than even to take along babies and toddlers.

With this new service, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is enhancing its offerings for families, and enabling them to travel to the cruise departure point without excess luggage due to baby items. The package includes: care products such as diapers and baby lotion, changing mats, and bibs. Every family can submit their personal “Baby Welcome Package” list prior to the beginning of the cruise. By filling in a form, they can order items like diapers in the required size and quantity, as well as the desired type of baby food, if preferred organically grown. The suite will also be furnished, on request, with baby monitors, baby carriers, portable cribs, high chairs and bathtubs for babies.

On the EUROPA, children up to three years old sharing a cabin with their parents or grandparents travel at no cost; for children aged four to 15, the charge is 65 Euros per night. Designated family cruises and cruises with at least four children on board include a special program with meals, drinks and customized children’s excursions for the little cruise passengers.

Further information is available online at www.hl-cruises.com.

ABOUT THE EUROPA:

The EUROPA is the first “all-suites” cruise ship, with staterooms that are never less than 290 square feet, 80% of them having their own veranda, assuring privacy andrelaxation. The EUROPA is one of the few ships in the cruise industry that offers guests the largest space per passenger, as well as one of the highest staff passenger ratios, with 280 staff members for max. 408 guests. New to the EUROPA in September 2010, Dieter Mueller became the first award-winning chef to open his own gourmet restaurant onboard the EUROPA. He’s personally on board 70 days a year. The EUROPA is the only cruise ship in the world awarded 5-stars-plus by the Berlitz Cruise Guide 2011 and known for its unique itineraries and worldwide destinations. She will be visiting over 20 countries in 2012, as part of her international (German/English) itineraries.

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