Posts Tagged ‘cruise vacations’

CruiseCompete Keeps Up to Date on Cruises Available this Summer

May 7, 2021
Major cruise lines are returning to sailing. CruiseCompete keeps track of what cruises are available © Karen Rubin/

DETROIT  – Wondering which lines are sailing and to which destinations? CruiseCompete, an online cruise marketplace, has been working hard to keep up with the exhaustive list of cruise line itinerary changes. The best way to see sailings available is by month – June, July, August, September and more.

From June 2021 to December 2023, there are many sailings available now to book, from the rivers of the USA to the seas of the Mediterranean. The cruises and specific information are, of course, dependent on any new developments and changes in the cruise industry.

The service is simple to use: Find the desired cruise. Request quotes. Compare personalized offers, prices, upgrades, cabin credits and more. Contact member-advisors with questions and to book. If you’d like more information or assistance planning a future cruise or a cruisetour, visit CruiseCompete and try the Virtual Cruise Advisor™ or Live Help.

CruiseCompete member-advisors are among the most well-educated, forward-thinking and trusted cruise specialists in the industry. 

CruiseCompete has been the premier online cruise marketplace since 2003. Consumers come to CruiseCompete to research and book cruise vacations. They can compare offers from travel advisors, see consumer reviews of advisors and agencies responding, then contact travel advisors directly for more information and to book cruises. CruiseCompete is a member of the Family Travel Association, a resource for family travel information and is home to the Sea Tales 2021 Family 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.

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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

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

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5 Reasons to Choose a Royal Caribbean Cruise that Visits the Private Island of Labadee

November 16, 2012

The thrilling Dragons Breath Zipline on Royal Caribbean’s private island of Labadee © 2012 Karen Rubin/

Private Islands are the most popular port of call, according to CLIA, the Cruise Line Industry Association. Crown Cruise Vacations travel experts give five reasons to choose a Royal Caribbean cruise that features a visit to its private island of Labadee,  so you can live like a millionaire for the day.

Here are five things to look forward to on your cruise private island visit.

1. Beaches and beach clubs — there are seven, each with a distinct style:

• Buccaneers’ Bay – enjoy a barbecue lunch buffet
• Dragon’s Plaza – the start of the longest beach on Labadee
• Labadee Town Square – boasts popular artisan market and festive atmosphere
• Adrenaline Beach – roller coaster, soccer, basketball and beach volley
• Columbus Cove – family friendly with trees and sandy beach
• Nellie’s Beach – home to the Kayak Adventure
• Barefoot Beach Club – exclusively for suite guests

2. Water sports at the beaches — kayaking, snorkeling and parasailing are just some to choose from.

• Paddle along the gorgeous coastline of Labadee on a relaxing kayaking tour. Your guide will lead you through beautiful coral reefs, where you’ll witness an abundance of exotic marine life. You’ll also pass various fishing villages that have been unchanged for decades.
• Become a pirate for a day at Labadee Luc’s Splash Bash. Get drenched by ground geysers and water archways, battle other buccaneers with water cannons aboard the pirate ship, or explore the treasure map trail.
• Soak up the sun while you float on the waves on a beach mat.
• Enjoy the fun-filled floating Aqua Park as you bounce on trampolines and climb and slide on inflatables.
• Grab a bird’s-eye view as you soar 400 feet above the beautiful peninsula of Labadee on a thrilling parasailing ride.
• Take an exhilarating ride aboard a waverunner down the scenic coast of Labadee. See your ship from a perspective rarely enjoyed by other guests.

3. Shopping — go shopping for beautiful handmade local artwork, woodwork and crafts and mementos of your day in private paradise (bring cash)

4. Experience the local flavors – and relax at the same time. A “Labaduzee” is a signature frozen drink that is out of this world. Order yours from a shady hammock to capture the true spirit of Labadee.

5. Shore and Land Excursions

• Adrenaline Coastal Tour – Adventure-seekers will love this exciting ride and narrated sightseeing tour aboard a RIB, a small but powerful vessel that zips out from Labadee to cruise along the scenic shoreline of the island of Hispaniola.
• Arawak Aqua Park — Come climb the only icebergs in the Caribbean at the Arawak Aqua Park. Enjoy bouncing on the giant floating trampolines, water slides, rolling logs and many other water toys that will keep you cool while having fun. Space is limited, so sign up early. Fun for adults and children.
• Discover Haiti Coastal Cruise — Take a journey back in time and discover the jewel of the Caribbean, Haiti, the land of mountains and one of a kind coves and picturesque views. Your guide will take you on a journey of discovery onboard the “Discovery,” a specially designed motorized catamaran. Throughout your voyage you will view by sea breathtaking landscapes, beautiful reefs, a shipwreck, Amiga Island, coastal villages, handmade wooden fishing boats and the landmarks of the Arawak Indians and the early discoverers such as Christopher Columbus in the 15th century. Also, during your tour you will be able to see the Citadel, a fort nestled on a 3,000 ft. mountain which is considered to be one of the wonders of the world. Your discovery of the beautiful scenery, the rich culture and the history will be a memorable experience never to be forgotten.

Here are a just a few of the many cruises with private island visits to choose from:

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas 8-Night Eastern Caribbean cruise, departs Feb. 16, 2013, round trip from Fort Lauderdale and includes ports of private island Labadee (Haiti); St. Maarten; St. Kitts; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and three days cruising at sea. Prices start at $799 per person, double occupancy.

Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas 7-Night Western Caribbean cruise, departs Feb. 24, 2013, round trip from Fort Lauderdale and includes ports of private island Labadee (Haiti); Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; and three days cruising at sea. Prices start at $849 per person, double occupancy.

Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas 7-Night Western Caribbean cruise, departs March 2, 2013, round trip from Fort Lauderdale and includes ports of private island Labadee (Haiti); Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; and three days cruising at sea. Prices start at $799 per person, double occupancy.

Crown Cruise Vacations is the preferred provider of PTV at Sea cruises, which enrich, inspire and entertain with informative programming presented by some of public broadcasting’s most acclaimed personalities. Crown Cruise Vacations was recently named North America’s Leading Cruise Travel Agent 2011 by the prestigious World Travel Awards, which acknowledges excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.

To work with a Crown Cruise Vacations cruise specialist for your next cruise vacation, call toll-free (USA/Canada) 877-283-1114, direct-dial 1+609-945-9801, or visit Crown Cruise Vacations at

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Virgin Vacations Introduces Cruise Vacations with Holland America Line

April 20, 2012

Venice is one of the destinations on Virgin Vacations' new cruise vacation packages featuring Holland America Line © 2012 Karen Rubin/

Virgin Vacations has introduced a collection of 32 cruise vacation packages featuring Holland America Line. Travelers can choose from cruise or air-inclusive packages offering savings of up to 30% on air fare alone.

Available year round, the cruise packages give travelers a head start by providing a stay of one- to three days at the port city of embarkation, prior to cruise departure. Travelers can choose from itineraries to the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas, Northern Europe, Panama Canal, Hawaii, Alaska, and the Mexican Riviera.

Europe spring and summer cruise packages range from 9- to 17 days. With spring-summer air fares to Europe alone costing $1,400-$1,700, Virgin Vacations’ new packages are priced from $929, or $2,119 with air fare from New York for a one night Amsterdam hotel and 7 Day Southern Norwegian Fjords Cruise package in May. Mediterranean cruise vacation packages, such as a one-night Rome hotel and 10-day Eastern Mediterranean cruise in mid-May begin at $1,099, $2,169 air inclusive from New York.

Prices are per person, double occupancy, and include first class hotel accommodations with breakfast, hotel to port transfer, and cruise with all meals. Air prices include all taxes and fuel charges. Optional sightseeing tours are additional, as are cabin and hotel upgrades.


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Sample Mediterranean cruise packages

Travelers who haven’t yet made summer plans can still find space on any of 7 different Mediterranean cruise vacation itineraries through early fall, with a choice of starting in Rome or Barcelona. Below are sample packages available with or without air fare.

Western Mediterranean

From Rome: 13 days: 1 night Rome, 10 night cruise

Beginning in Rome with an overnight at the first class Hotel Genova, and a free morning, Virgin Vacations passengers transfer to Civitavecchia, where they board the MS Noordam for ten nights cruising the Mediterranean. The itinerary calls at 7 different ports, with a full day at each, plus an overnight and extra half day anchored in Barcelona. First port of call is Livorno, where travelers can visit Florence for the day. Rounding out the itinerary are visits to Monte Carlo, Monaco; Palma de Majorca, Spain; Tunis, Tunisia; Trapani, Sicily and Naples before returning to Rome.

Regular departures are available through September 23, with prices beginning at $1,199 cruise vacation for May 26 departure, and ranging to a high of $1,699 for the June 15 package. Air-inclusive packages from New York begin at $2199, May 26 departure, and range to $2979 for the June 16 departure. Add on air fares begin at $347 from Los Angeles; $483 from San Francisco. Cruise line taxes and fees, plus 2 Euro per person Italian city tax per hotel night in Rome are additional, as are optional tours, shore excursions, and gratuities.

Eastern Mediterranean

Barcelona to Venice: 15 days: 1 night Barcelona, 12 night Mediterranean cruise, from $1,449 hotel-cruise, $2,679 with air fare

This package begins in Barcelona and ends in Venice, beginning with an overnight and morning in Barcelona before a transfer to port for 12 nights aboard the MS Nieuw Amsterdam. Following a full day at sea, the first port of call is Livorno, in Italy’s Tuscany region, before calling at Rome, Naples, and Messina, Italy. Another full day at sea leads to stops in Nafplion, Katakolon, and Corfu, Greece; and Dubrovnik, Croatia. Venice is port of call for a final afternoon and night.

Included are hotel and breakfast in Barcelona, hotel-port transfer, all meals while on cruise, and full day stops at all ports of call except Venice (1/2 day and overnight). Travelers can choose from two hotels in Barcelona and three different departure dates:

  • July 4 : hotel-cruise from $1449, $2689 with air fare, New York
  • August 9:  hotel-cruise from $1449, $2679 with air fare
  • September 21: hotel-cruise from $2069, $2969 with air fare

Add-on air fares from Los Angeles start at $241 per person, $193 per person from San Francisco. Airport transfers, shore excursions, gratuities, Holland America taxes and fees are additional.

For more information, visit Virgin Vacations’ Holland America Line Cruise Vacations, or contact your travel agent. Virgin Vacations is also on facebook.

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