Posts Tagged ‘cruising’

5 Reasons to Book A Cruise Vacation With A Travel Agent

October 7, 2017
Bermuda_100213_024e2 (c) Karen Rubin-RCL-Nor

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines ships docked at the Royal Naval Yard, Bermuda © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

October is Plan a Cruise Month and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the international cruise industry are highlighting the vital role travel agents play in helping travelers navigate the sea of cruise vacation options.

“Travel agents play an important role in the vacation experience for both new and seasoned cruise travelers and can help cruisers create the most unique and personalized trip,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Agents are an integral part of the cruise industry and those interested in cruising will find working with an expert leads to the best overall experience and vacation satisfaction.”

Here are five top reasons to use a travel agent to book a cruise:

  1. A Totally Tailored Trip:  Today, there are more cruise vacation choices and experiences than ever before making it possible for travel agents to tailor trips to each client’s travel preferences. For example, Francophiles with a penchant for cuisine? An agent can help book a perfect Parisian cruise and maybe even provide tips for finding the best crepes and macaroons during onshore excursions.
  2. In Expert Hands: Travel agents are a wealth of information with plenty of real world travel experience. Agents can provide incredible advice for making the most of a cruise like the best onboard cafes or cruise ship activities for children as well as expertise on travel insurance, dining times and cabin location.
  3. Deals & Discounts: Many travel agents have access to deals and discounts that aren’t available to consumers booking directly. Agents sometimes have the ability to book in bulk so clients are privy to lower pricing for booking through an agent.
  4. Perks & Personalized Travel: There really are more perks when working with travel agents! Many agents can offer clients incredible perks like complimentary bottles of wine, vouchers for free specialty meals, prepaid gratuities, and onboard spending money.  In addition to fun extras, agents can also arrange personalized travel details for cruisers like gluten-free dining or post-cruise travel back home.
  5. A Stress-Free Travel Experience: For a stress-free travel experience, contact a CLIA Certified Cruise Agent. These accredited cruise counselors are committed to providing the best travel experience for every client every time. Go to www.cruising.org to find a CLIA Certified Cruise Agent.

Add to this list the fact that a cruise vacation often entails other services, like airplane transportation to or from the departure or arrival; hotel accommodations the night before or after, pre- and post-cruise tours.

To connect with a CLIA-certified cruise specialist to book a cruise vacation, visit: https://www.cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-travel-guide/clia-agent-finder. For more information about Plan a Cruise Month, visit: www.Cruising.org.

 

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October is ‘Plan a Cruise Month’ – Take Advantage of Cruise Deals, Promotions

October 7, 2017
Norwegian Cruise Lines' Breakaway

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway, docked in Bermuda © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

October is Plan a Cruise Month – a worldwide campaign to learn more about cruising and how to plan and take a cruise vacation, when cruise-goers can also take advantage of special cruise line deals and promotions available during the month.

Created by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the program provides 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.

“Plan a Cruise Month is such an amazing opportunity for anyone who loves to travel to learn more about the variety of today’s cruise vacation options as well as take advantage of deals and promotions as well as guidance from cruise experts,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Today there are cruises to take you around the world from rivers in Asia and Africa to ocean cruises to the Galapagos Islands. A cruise can take you to some of the best global destinations aboard some of the most advanced cruise ships.”

Cruising Destinations Around the World: This year, Plan a Cruise Month is shining a spotlight on the many worldwide cruise destinations including those in: Europe; the Americas and the Caribbean; Australasia and Asia. Each week in October, through videos, online content and expert advice from travel agents, travelers can learn more about cruise destinations around the world. Whether travelers are looking for tours of historic castles or lounging on the best powder sand beaches, a cruise can take vacation seekers to some of the most visited sights as well as those off the beaten path.

Cruise Deals and Promotions: During Plan a Cruise Month, cruise lines are offering exclusive deals and promotions. To take advantage of the Plan a Cruise Monthexclusive offers as well as the expertise from travel agents, travel planners can find a CLIA Certified Travel Agent at cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-travel-guide/clia-agent-finder.

Cruise Experts at the Helm: More than 25 million travelers are expected to take a cruise vacation this year. Of those that take a cruise, seven out of ten (70 percent) leverage the expertise of a travel agent to help navigate the variety of cruise options available today. Travel agents are a wealth of information with plenty of real world travel experience. Agents can provide incredible travel advice, as well as tips for making the most of a cruise including the best onboard cafes or cruise ship activities for children. Find a CLIA Certified Travel Agent at cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-travel-guide/clia-agent-finder.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association. CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 24 million passengers who cruise annually and is dedicated to promote the cruise travel experience. Members are comprised of the world’s most prestigious ocean, river and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and cruise line suppliers and partners, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services. For more information, visit www.cruising.org or follow Cruise Lines International Association on CLIA Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

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Seven Seas Explorer Celebrates 1st Anniversary; Step Aboard with New 360-Degree Virtual Tour

August 8, 2017
Seven Seas Explorer1

Regent Seven Seas Cruises invites travelers to step aboard one of the most luxurious ships ever built with new 360-degree Virtual Tours

MIAMI – One of the most luxurious ships ever built just turned one. Since her launch in July 2016, Seven Seas Explorer has set a new standard for luxury cruising, and to mark the ship’s first anniversary, Regent Seven Seas Cruises launched a new 360-degree Virtual Tours series on the line’s website www.RSSC.com. The cruise line known for the Most Inclusive Luxury Experience now invites all travelers to tour Seven Seas Explorer’s lavish suites, elegant restaurants and exquisite public spaces.

“The meticulous craftsmanship and artistry behind Seven Seas Explorer are undeniable,” said Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Launched in Monte Carlo a year ago and with nearly 40 sailings, Seven Seas Explorer has exceeded every expectation, thanks to each and every member of the exceptional staff and crew that deliver the highly personalized service for which Regent is renowned. If you haven’t had a chance to sail aboard Seven Seas Explorer, this is a great opportunity to see what you’ve been missing.”

Exquisite Spaces at Sea

Guests are welcomed into the main atrium when they board. A beautiful, circular inlaid marble floor marks the heart of the ship and is steps away from twin grand staircases that draw the eye upward towards a magnificent cascading crystal chandelier. Online visitors can step into the line’s opulent flagship restaurant Compass Rose – the largest specialty restaurant at sea; or go upstairs and stop for a virtual sip at the Cafe; have a twirl in the new Meridian Lounge; and visit the tranquility of the Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Along the way, visitors can enjoy the finest art collection at sea. To embark Seven Seas Explorer’s virtual tour, visit http://my.matterport.com/show/?m=6UGdixgNTk5.

Lavish Acccommodations

Each of the ship’s 375 spacious suites range from the impeccably designed 307-square-foot Deluxe Veranda Suite, to the exquisite 4,443-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath Regent Suite. Offering incomparable and luxurious ambiance, each suite features European king-sized Suite Slumber Beds adorned with sumptuous linens, and oversized bathrooms highlighted by rich marble and decorative tile. Regent Suite guests are ensconced in the best of everything including an industry-first, in-suite spa retreat with unlimited complimentary spa services by Canyon Ranch SpaClub. A custom Steinway Maroque piano designed by Dakota Jackson and a Savoir No. 1 bed add to the suite’s magnificence, while its 270-degree, wrap-around balcony offers guests almost as good a view as the Captain from the bridge. To tour each suite, visit http://www.rssc.com/ships/seven_seas_explorer/suites/.

 Elegant Specialty Dining

Seven Seas Explorer’s launch also debuted the line’s two new specialty restaurants, the fine-dining French Chartreuse and the pan-Asian Pacific Rim. Deriving its name from sultry color of the glass panels adorning the walls, Chartreuse embodies the ambience of a chic Parisian restaurant along the Seine. Pacific Rim guests are greeted with a magnificent, floor-to-ceiling Tibetan-style prayer wheel sculpture at the entrance, and welcomed into a rich dark-color-palette scene with black midcentury metal and wood tables, surrounded by banquette seating upholstered in sumptuous leather. Guests of Regent’s signature steakhouse Prime 7 can muse on the multiple Picassos hanging on the deep-blue wall panels and silver framing as they sink into plush leather chairs, in an atmosphere reminiscent of a private London club. Visitors can peek into Seven Seas Explorer’s specialty restaurants at http://www.rssc.com/ships/seven_seas_explorer/cuisine/.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers one of the world’s most inclusive luxury experiences with a four-ship fleet that visits more than 425 destinations around the world. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is currently undergoing a $125 million fleetwide refurbishment that will elevate the level of elegance found throughout the fleet to the standard set by Seven Seas Explorer.

A leader in luxury cruising, the line’s fares include all-suite accommodations, round-trip domestic air and business-class air for intercontinental flights from the U.S. and Canada, highly personalized service, exquisite cuisine, fine wines and spirits, unlimited internet access, sightseeing excursions in every port, gratuities, ground transfers and a pre-cruise hotel package for guests staying in concierge-level suites and higher.

For more information about world’s most inclusive luxury experience aboard Seven Seas Explorer, or to make a reservation, please contact a professional travel agent, visit www.RSSC.com, or call 1-844-4REGENT (1-844-473-4368). For the latest news about Regent Seven Seas Cruises, visit www.rssc.com/news; like the line’s Facebook page; and follow @RegentCruises on Twitter.

 

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Cruisewatch: Why You Should Book a Cruise Five Weeks Before it Sets Sail

October 8, 2016
five-weeks

Data provided by cruisewatch.com (PRNewsFoto/CruiseWatch)

HANNOVER, Germany — A study by cruisewatch.com, a next-generation cruise search engine with an innovative decision support system, finds prices for cruise sailings are cheapest five weeks before setting sail.

Have you ever experienced checking cruise prices and finding they are high and then upon checking again later prices have decreased? The biggest factor you should consider in saving money is to determine the right moment when to book a cruise, says cruisewatch.com. Based on an elaborate study that considered more than 25,000 cruise sailings, cruise prices drop the lowest five weeks before departure, according to cruisewatch.com.

The best discounts, they say, can be found in the weeks prior to sailing, with average reductions of 4 percent for interior and ocean-view cabins. But that is just the average. Not fully sold sailings can be discounted up to 40 percent.

“If you’re flexible regarding the cruise sailing, ship, or departure date, you can save big money by booking short term. But you can only choose between the last unsold rooms. If you are keen to get a special category, especially a suite, you should book your cruise early,” explains Nina Stumpe, a cruise enthusiast and cofounder of cruisewatch.com.

Prices get more dynamic short term; more expensive cabins have less or no price reductions

“Cruiseline’s prices are steered mainly during the last 100 days before departure. During this ‘hot phase,’ the biggest price decreases take place, especially for interior and ocean-view cabins. Interestingly the balcony staterooms, which are more expensive, are reduced less, and suites don’t get any discounts,” Stumpe says.

The search engine cruisewatch.com is offering a free price drop monitoring website that utilizes big data and machine learning to help customers find the perfect time to book their cruise. Users can get notified automatically when prices are reduced or when good deals are coming up. Even a price forecast is included on the webpage.

“Cruise lines invest massive amounts of resources into revenue optimization. We are leveling the playing field and offering consumers up-to-date technology to make the right decisions,” says the cruisewatch.com cofounder. According to our claim right time, right cruise right price.

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October is Plan a Cruise Month, CLIA Shares Top Reasons to Cruise

October 8, 2016
“Cruise travelers know that cruising offers a chance to completely customize your vacation and create the trip of your dreams,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “The benefits of cruise travel over land-based travel are exponential and the cruise industry is excited to share them with travelers in honor of Plan a Cruise Month.”

Five benefits of cruise-based travel versus land-based travel:

o    Convenient Cruising: The cruise industry is constantly expanding availability of ports, both domestically and internationally, meaning travelers have never had so much access to a cruise ship with many of them are within driving distance of major cities. Cruising internationally also offers travelers a less intimidating chance to sample different destinations while negating anxieties about dealing with foreign airports, hotels and transportation. Cruising gives travelers the chance to see, do and experience great things from all over the world, packing as little or as much into their trip as they’d like, but their suitcase only needs to be unpacked once.

o    A Cruise for Every Traveler: A cruise vacation affords travelers a chance to create a trip that is completely customized to their tastes and preferences. Whether a traveler hopes to indulge in a luxe massage every morning or check out a spin class, a cruise can be tailored to every kind of traveler. From yoga classes for kids to craft beer tastings for adults, travelers of all ages don’t need to worry about being bored onboard.

o    Diverse Destinations: Both ocean and river cruising allow travelers to see exotic and unique destinations. Ocean cruisers can look forward to distant voyages around the globe and river cruises offer a chance to sail more intimate spaces.  Whether traveling by ocean or river, cruises offer the chance to visit far ends of the Earth all in one single trip.

o    Experts at the Ready: A certified cruise travel agent help travelers partake in a nearly hands-free vacation planning experience while also lending an ear for questions once onboard. Agents can help travelers maximize their dollars, tailor activities to each guest’s preference, and help scout out the best excursions, among other things.

o    Best Return of Experience: Cruising offers travelers a window to the world within their vacation budget. Instead of having to worry about travel, hotel, transportation, meals and entertainment costs, many cruisers pay one flat fee and travelers are able to enjoy paradise.

For more information about cruise travel or how you could enter to win a cruise of choice from October 1-31, 2016, visit www.cruisesmile.org.

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Redesigned Victoria Jenna Sails China’s Yangtze

August 17, 2016

Victoria Cruises-Jenna

NEW YORK – Having upgraded and transformed its entire fleet – including  the complete overhaul of the Victoria Katarina on two separate occasions in 2010 and 2014 – Victoria Cruises (www.VictoriaCruises.com) is celebrating its latest renovated ship, the Victoria Jenna, after its first major renovation since its launch in late 2009. The six-year-old ship benefits from a complete redesign featuring motifs of modern elegance and a brand new appearance intended to bring the vessel up to speed with the rest of Victoria Cruises’ five-star fleet.

Victoria Cruises retained the same New York-based interior design firm used for its other fleet renovations. As an American-managed company adhering to the strictest Western standards, Victoria Cruises goes to exceptional lengths to ensure the safety, comfort and performance of its vessels exceed the expectation of discerning American and European travelers.

Like its sister ships, all staterooms aboard the Victoria Jenna feature a private balcony from which guests can view the mist-shrouded Yangtze River and the optional Luxury Amenities program is also available for travelers seeking the ultimate experience.

VIP perks provided via the Luxury Amenities add-on include personalized “white glove” service, upper deck placement, access to exclusive ship areas, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, exclusive happy hour, and enhanced culinary privileges capitalizing on Victoria Cruises’ reputation for gastronomic excellence including a la carte service and wine and beer with dinner.

“Since the launch of the Victoria Jenna in 2009, the vessel has been surpassed by our own innovations as we’ve modernized the rest of our fleet one ship at a time,” said Larry Greenman, manager of public relations and customer service for Victoria Cruises.

“This is a particularly meaningful milestone for us as we’ve restored the six-year-old vessel’s position as the flagship at the forefront of our elegant, five-star fleet. It also signifies the completion of the extensive fleet-wide redesign we began in 2010,” noted Greenman.

The Victoria Jenna rejoined the fleet on April 11 for Victoria Cruises’ popular Three Gorges Highlights program between Chongqing and Yichang which it will continue to sail with twice weekly departures on Mondays and Thursdays.

Starting at $980 per person, based on double occupancy, the Three Gorges Highlights voyage is offered with three- and four-night options (based on river direction), encompassing views of centuries-old temples, pagodas and stone carvings nestled along the river.

A standard shore excursion package is available for $90 per person and includes tours of Shibaozhai’s famous red pagoda and the Three Gorges Dam as well as a scenic journey on a traditional sampan through Goddess Stream, surrounded by beautiful peaks and teeming with local wildlife from monkeys to mountain goats. Excursions may be substituted based on river conditions and other factors.

The Victoria Jenna is featured in tour packages offered by leading U.S. operators combining the charm and mystique of the Yangtze River with segments in historical Beijing, cosmopolitan Shanghai, the ancient Qin Dynasty capital city of Xi’an and other alluring destinations within China.

New York-based Victoria Cruises established new standards of excellence for sailing China’s Yangtze River when its first ship edged out of port in 1994. Victoria Cruises remains the service leader on the Yangtze River with each ship earning the coveted five-star rating from the China National Tourism Administration. Victoria Cruises has earned numerous awards and recognitions over the years including the 2011 TravelAge West WAVE Award Editor’s Pick for Best River Cruise Line as well as Best New River Cruise Ship in 2010 with the launch of the luxurious Victoria Jenna.  In that same year, Travel Weekly also selected the Victoria Jenna as a Silver Award Winner for the Magellan Awards’ River Cruise Ship category.  The cruise line operates a variety of itineraries on the Yangtze ranging from four to nine days.

For more information and a free color brochure or promotional DVD, contact Victoria Cruises at 136-18 39th Avenue, 12th Floor, Flushing, NY 11354; phone (800) 348-8084, (212) 818-1680; fax (212) 818-9889; e-mail contact@victoriacruises.com or visit http://www.victoriacruises.com.

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Royal Caribbean International Five-Day WOW Sale

September 26, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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