Posts Tagged ‘Caribbean cruising’

CLIA Highlights Cruise Destinations in Americas, Caribbean: ‘Cruise Ports in the Caribbean are Welcoming Travelers’

October 21, 2017
St Kitts

St. Kitts is receiving many of the cruise ships which had their Caribbean itineraries impacted by recent hurricanes. Explore 17th and 18th century military architecture and hike into lush rainforests. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

October is Plan a Cruise Month and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is highlighting cruise destinations in the Americas and the Caribbean. While areas in the Caribbean were recently impacted by hurricanes, the industry is reporting that close to 50 destinations are still welcoming cruise travelers. Additionally, there are several other cruise embarkation ports and destinations throughout the Americas.

“First and foremost, our hearts go out to those impacted by the hurricanes; they have been a cherished part of our cruise family for over 40 years,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA.  “Fortunately, the vast majority of ports in the Caribbean are welcoming guests, having sustained minimal or no direct damage from the storms. The Caribbean islands and destinations throughout the Americas rely on tourism and the cruise industry is dedicated to continuing to bring vacationers to these beautiful areas. I’m proud to see how many CLIA Cruise Line Members joined in the relief efforts, providing more than $30 million in financial resources, transporting families and pets as well as a variety of supplies to people in need.”

Highlights of Cruising through the Americas and the Caribbean

Diverse Destinations: From treks down the Mississippi to paddling the Panama Canal, there’s something for every type of traveler in the Americas and Caribbean.

  • Sitka, Alaska: Alaska’s “most exotic” cruise port is full of storied history that includes being home to Tlingit Native Americans and formerly acting as a major pulp mill town. Travelers can visit the totem pole park or walk along Katlian Street on the Sitka Channel waterfront, full of sights of colorful fishing boats and harbor town houses.
  • Montevideo, Uruguay: This South American port city is a hidden gem full of old and new sights to see and architecture to take in, and offers a great spot to relax during a full itinerary with monuments, restaurants, and beaches. Travelers can walk the ultra-modern Plaza Independencia main square or take in afternoon tea in historical Ciudad Vieja.
  • Quebec City, Quebec: This mostly French-speaking Canadian province offers travelers an unexpected taste of Europe with bistro and boutique-lined cobblestone streets. Adventure seekers and nature lovers can indulge in biking tours along famous waterfalls like the Montmorecny Falls, while history lovers can enjoy famed sites like the Basilique Cathedrale.
  • Bonaire, Caribbean: The B in ABC islands, Bonaire is the original leader in ecology and eco-tourism, with bustling sanctuary colonies of flamingos, wild donkeys, and sea horses. Travelers to this island off the coast of Venezuela can participate in windsurfing, kayaking, bird watching, kite boarding, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding or “diver’s paradise” activities like diving and snorkeling.
  • St. Kitts, Caribbean: This West Indies isle, originally discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, offers travelers a peek into preserved history with its 17th and 18th century military architecture. The island also offers lush rainforests, with more than a quarter of its land protected as a National Park.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures: Travelers looking to kayak through glacier water or snorkel along exotic reefs can find a variety of special activities and excursions on a cruise through the Americas or Caribbean.

  • Ride the River: Vacationers yearning to experience U.S. history have a chance of following in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark while viewing classic Americana with a trip down the Columbia/Snake River, complete with trips through Hells Canyon and views of Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood.
  • Photos in Peggy’s Cove: Peggy’s Cove in Halifax is home to smooth boulders that have buoyed waves for 450 million years, in addition to perhaps the most photographed lighthouse in the world—a must-see and must-photograph spot for photo enthusiasts.
  • Roatan Rum: Rum and sweets-loving cruise travelers can take part in authentic culture with Mayan chocolate and rum cake tastings in Roatan.
  • High on the Haleakala: Nature lovers and photo buffs alike should experience the Haleakala Volcano in Maui, which rises 10,023 feet above sea level and offers some of the most beautiful volcanic sights in the world. Thrill seekers can even bike down the sides. To make the trip a once-in-a-lifetime event, travelers can also see the ahinahina plant, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Any vacation takes planning, and cruising is no different. CLIA has outlined tips for how to take the stress out of cruising in any waters, including the Americas or the Caribbean.

CLIA Travel Tips when Cruising the Americas or the Caribbean

  • Strike a Balance: Cruisers can benefit from striking a fine balance between scheduled excursions or entertainment and leaving time to relax. Travelers should be careful not to overbook their schedules on the ship or in port in order to leave room to enjoy the ship’s many amenities or sight see. Whether it b whale watching or a helicopter ride over active volcanoes, book two to three activities or excursions at most per day, with some downtime in between, when possible, to avoid travel fatigue.
  • Ask the Question: Travelers should never hesitate to stop and ask questions when in doubt. Whether questions are directed at a cruise-certified travel agent while booking a cruise, or to the ship’s staff while aboard – there are knowledgeable resources to help provide answers to any question that arises.
  • Rest Assured while Aboard: Travelers that take advantage of booking with cruise-certified travel agents can rest assured while resting up on any cruise, as a professional travel agent can help if things go wrong while cruising.

October is Plan a Cruise Month – a worldwide campaign, created by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to learn more about cruising and how to plan and take a cruise vacation. CLIA offers insight on the best cruise destinations, special cruise line deals and promotions as well as experts to help navigate the many cruise vacation options available for every travel style and budget. Travelers can find a CLIA-certified cruise specialist at https://www.cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-travel-guide/clia-agent-finder.

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Oceania Cruises’ Newest Ship MS Sirena Makes Inaugural Call to St. Kitts

October 18, 2017
Oceania Sirena

Oceania Cruises’ MS Sirena alongside the Caribbean Princess on Tuesday at Port Zante, St. Kitts

Basseterre, St. Kitts (October 13, 2017) – Oceania Cruises’ newest cruise ship, the MS Sirena, made its inaugural visit to St. Kitts on Wednesday, October 11, bringing more than 600 visitors to the island, who enjoyed the island’s beaches, tours and many attractions.

Launched in 1999, the Sirena is one of Oceania Cruises R-class ships, together with Regatta, Insignia, and Nautica. Until 2016, the vessel was part of Princess Cruises’ fleet sailing under the name “MS Ocean Princess.”

Oceania Cruises is a Miami-based company operating a fleet of premium cruise ships world-wide. The cruise line bills itself as upper-premium line, positioned squarely between the luxury and the premium segment.

Also in port the same day was the Caribbean Princess with a maximum capacity of 3,140 passengers. Last Sunday, October 8, the Adventure of the Seas visited St. Kitts with a maximum capacity of 3,840 passengers.

An estimated 120 vessels are scheduled to visit St. Kitts from October 7 to December 31, 2017.

Several cruise lines, including Regent Seven Seas, which had itineraries that would have visited some of the more impacted Caribbean islands have modified their itineraries to call at St. Kitts.

Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. Located in the northern Leeward Islands, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history.  The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking or ziplining through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are water sports, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on the beach.

For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

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

September 1, 2010
RCL Freedom of the Seas Flowrider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and one under construction. The line also offers unique cruisetour land packages in Alaska, Dubai, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and South America. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit www.royalcaribbean.com or call 800-ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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