Posts Tagged ‘cruising’

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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New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

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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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Royal Caribbean Offers up to $400 Onboard Credit for Bookings thru May 31, double for Holiday Cruises

May 10, 2014

Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

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

Royal Caribbean International is offering up to $400 in onboard credit to vacationers booking a cruise vacation through May 31. Cruisegoers can choose from any six-night or longer sailing departing to the Caribbean and Bahamas between July 1 and December 31, 2014. For those vacationers looking ahead and booking a holiday season cruise the cruise line is doubling their onboard spending credit. (For more details, visit http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/MayWow.)

Guests will sail aboard some of the most innovative ships afloat that offer an expansive array of exciting itineraries. Guests can use their bonus spending credit to book an adventurous family shore excursion, a specialty dining experience to celebrate a family milestone, or commemorate the occasion with the perfect family portrait.

The offer applies for all new U.S. and Canadian bookings made from May 7 – 31, 2014, for sailings departing from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2014. Vacationers will receive $50 onboard credit per interior or oceanview stateroom; $100 onboard credit per Jr. suite or stateroom with balcony; and $200 onboard credit per Grand Suite or higher category stateroom.  As an added incentive, the cruise line is also doubling onboard credits up to $400 for all eligible sailings between Dec. 15 and Dec. 31, 2014. The offer is valid fleetwide, excluding Quantum of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 45-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike.

Owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSE: RCL), the cruise line sails 21 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, South America, the Far East, and Australia and New Zealand. World renowned for its friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service, delivered by every staff and crew member, Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 11 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards.

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

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New Broadway Production of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Cats” Comes to Oasis of the Seas

April 4, 2014

Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas will be bringing the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of CATS to the high seas. The fully licensed production of CATS will join Oasis of the Seas once it completes its drydock in fall 2014.

Based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” CATS was one of the longest running productions on Broadway and is the winner of numerous awards including seven Tonys, two Oliviers and a Grammy. The show has been seen in over 20 countries and translated into more than 10 languages.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Really Useful Group to bring one of the world’s most beloved musicals to Oasis of the Seas,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “Adding CATS to our already amazing line up of Broadway musicals such as Hairspray, Chicago: The Musical, Saturday Night Fever and Mamma Mia exemplify our commitment to bringing top quality entertainment to our guests at no extra cost.”

Oasis of the Seas features exclusive amenities and concepts throughout its seven themed neighborhoods, such as an 82 foot-long zip line, a handcrafted carousel, the Rising Tide elevating bar, the Aquatheater high-diving performance venue, and Central Park with more than 12,000 live trees and plants. Oasis of the Seas also offers amenities that can only be found on Royal Caribbean, such as twin FlowRider surf simulators, cantilevered whirlpools, an ice-skating rink, the H20 Zone kids aquapark, and the Royal Promenade, an interior boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship and flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques, among many others. (For webisodes detailing the variety of experiences aboard Oasis of the Seas, visit http://tinyurl.com/bw585wa.)

Launched in December 2009, Oasis of the Seas has been heralded as an architectural marvel at sea, spanning 16 decks, encompassing 225,282 gross registered tons, and with a double-occupancy capacity of 5,400 guests. Oasis of the Seas is first ship to tout the cruise line’s neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, comprising Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone.

Founded in 1977, The Really Useful Group exists to bring the work of Andrew Lloyd Webber to the world and manage his complete catalogue including theatrical and symphonic works, a requiem mass and countless rock and pop songs.

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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CLIA Cruise Lines Offer Last-Minute Availability on Easter, Spring Break Sailings

March 25, 2014
Enjoy the thrilling zipline on Labadee, Royal Caribbean's private island on Haiti's north coast © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Enjoy the thrilling zipline on Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private island on Haiti’s north coast © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Easter Bunny, parades, special Easter menus and egg decorating are just part of the festivities and family fun aboard select cruise ships exploring the world this April.

Here are cruises that are still available from the North American fleet of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) for Easter and Spring Break departures:

Follow the Easter Bunny

MSC Cruises’ MSC Divina has a 7-night departure leaving from Miami on April 19 visiting Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; Road Town, Tortola; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, with a variety of “Easter themed” activities. Kids “Easter hunt”, costume parades, Easter chef classes, chocolate Easter eggs and special Easter menus in the main restaurants make the week particularly festive. Seven-night departures from Miami on April 12 and April 26 visit Falmouth, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico, and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas for other spring break options. An added plus, is that kids sail free year-round on MSC Cruises.

The Easter Bunny will pass out chocolates and will be available for photo ops on select Holland America Line’s April sailings. There will also be an Easter bonnet competition, egg decorating, a Jelly bean count and Easter mass. The Maasdam will sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale for an 11-day Southern Caribbean itinerary on April 11 with port stops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Kingstown, St. Vincent; Bridgetown, Barbados; Fort-De-France, Martinique; Frederiksted; and the private island of Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. A 14-day Panama Canal sailing on Westerdam departing on April 15 travels from Fort Lauderdale, FL to San Diego, and will include Cartagena, Colombia; through the Panama Canal; with ports of call in Costa Rica and Mexico, ending in Cabo San Lucas. Also departing on April 15, the 11-day Adriatic Dream itinerary on Noordam departs from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, and includes the Strait of Messina, Italy; Greece and Croatia with an overnight and disembarkation in Venice, Italy.

Celebrate the Sun

Those who have suffered through the cold winter will be especially ready to celebrate spring in the sun. Disney Cruise Lines’ four ships will all be in the Caribbean this April. Disney sails from Port Canaveral with three options: a 3-night Bahamian cruise on April 18 on Disney Magic with stops in Nassau and Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island; a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on April 19 on Disney Fantasy with stops in St. Maarten, St. Thomas/St. John and Castaway Cay; and a 4-night Bahamian cruise with stops in Nassau and Castaway Cay on Disney Dream on April 20. Disney Wonder sails from Miami on April 18 on a 5 -night Western Caribbean itinerary with stops in Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Norwegian Cruise Line is currently offering free Balcony upgrades, reduced deposits and e-coupons worth $300 on these Easter sailings: 7-night Mexican Rivera from Los Angeles on Norwegian Star on April 13; 7-night Western Caribbean from New Orleans on Norwegian Jewel on April 13; 3-night Bahamas from Miami on Norwegian Sky on April 18; 7-night Eastern Caribbean from Miami on Norwegian Getaway on April 19; 7-night Inter-Island Hawaii on Pride of America on April 19; 7-night Western Caribbean from Tampa on Norwegian Dawn on April 20; and 7-night Western Caribbean from Miami on Norwegian Epic on April 20.

Royal Caribbean International‘s Navigator of the Seas sails April 20 from Galveston, Texas, on a 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary, calling at Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico. Allure of the Seas sails April 20 from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL, on a 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary, calling at Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private island on Haiti’s north coast. Enchantment of the Seas sails April 18 from Port Canaveral on a 3-night Bahamas cruise, calling at Nassau and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private Bahamian-island. Guests also can combine a cruise aboard Enchantment of the Seas with a 3- to 4-day stay at Universal Orlando Resorts, enjoying savings and inclusive Universal Express Unlimited ride access among many more theme park privileges.

Cultural Odyssey

Guests of Paul Gauguin Cruises’ m/s Paul Gauguin can combine sun with culture when they travel to Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands on a 14-day cruise departing April 12 from Papeete, Tahiti. They’ll experience a true glimpse of the Polynesia of the old including Bora Bora, Moorea, Taha’a (Motu Mahana), and Huahine.

Tauck River Cruising has limited space on its 10-day April 18 departure of “Belgium & Holland in Spring” aboard the ms Treasures. The itinerary begins with an included overnight in Brussels before embarkation in Maastricht and sailing to Amsterdam. Special experiences along the way include Keukenhof Gardens and the Rijksmuseum, a scenic Amsterdam canal boat cruise, the Netherlands American Cemetery, a culinary experience at Chateau Neercanne, chocolate and beer tastings, and a private dinner at and tour of the In Flanders Fields Museum to observe the WWI Centennial.

Silversea Cruises’ Silver Spirit departs April 19 on a 16-day repositioning cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona. Ports of call include Bermuda, the Azores, Malaga, Cartagena and Valencia. There is still availability on Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria during the 12-day Transatlantic Crossing from Fort Lauderdale to Southampton, England on April 16.

Guests dine on Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s cuisine while sailing through Japan with Crystal Cruises during the 15-day “Skyscrapers & Shoguns” itinerary. Starting April 16, Crystal Symphony sails from Beijing to Tokyo, with a 3-day overnight land program in Beijing included, followed by visits to Shanghai (two nights docked locally), Nagasaki, Osaka (local overnight), Shimizu, and, finally, Tokyo (local overnight—a rare call for the cruise line.) The cruise is also available without the Beijing land program, and as a shorter 7- or 8-day “Getaway.”

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 selects 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.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA represents the interests of cruise lines and travel agents before regulatory and legislative policy makers. CLIA is also engaged in travel agent training, research and marketing communications to promote the value and desirability of cruise holiday vacations with thousands of travel agency and travel agent members. CLIA’s Associate Member and Executive Partner program includes the industry’s leading providers of supplies and services that help cruise lines provide a safe, environmentally-friendly and enjoyable holiday vacation experience for millions of passengers every year. For more information on CLIA, the cruise industry, and CLIA-member cruise lines and travel agencies, visit http://www.cruising.org. CLIA can also be followed on the Cruise Lines International Association’s Facebook and Twitter fan pages, and CEO Christine Duffy can be followed @CLIACEO and cruising.org/ceoblog.

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