Posts Tagged ‘holiday cruises’

7 Reasons to Book a Family Holiday Cruise Now

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CLIA Cruise Lines Invite You to Celebrate the Holidays at Sea

December 3, 2013
Whether cruising to Tahiti or Tanzania, Argentina or Antarctica, there’s no better way to enjoy seasonal merriment than getting away with family and friends for a celebration at sea.

Whether cruising to Tahiti or Tanzania, Argentina or Antarctica, there’s no better way to enjoy seasonal merriment than getting away with family and friends for a celebration at sea.

Whether cruising to Tahiti or Tanzania, Argentina or Antarctica, there’s no better way to enjoy seasonal merriment than getting away with family and friends for a celebration at sea.

Following is a sampling of cruises from the North American fleet of Cruise Lines International Association for Christmas and New Year’s guaranteed to bring tidings of comfort and joy with familiar traditions in far-flung locations:

  • Go where few will ever venture. Have a winter wonderland Christmas as Seabourn sails to Antarctica for the first time this fall. On December 11, the Seabourn Quest 24-day cruise departs from Santiago, Chile, sailing to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a Christmas Day landing on the “White Continent”; enjoy two days at South Georgia Island, with its vast rookeries of king penguins and other seabirds, as well as breeding elephant and fur seals.  Crystal Cruises’ new 17-night Antarctica cruise on the Crystal Symphony, departs December 21, visiting Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Falkland Islands, Drake Passage, Cape Horn and the Chilean Fjords, offering chances to fly, hike and zodiac over and on the icy continent and to view the gorgeous glacial scenery of both King George and Ardley Island.
  • Celebrate ancient traditions. Holiday markets, with hand-crafted toys, crafts and festive holiday food and drinks are a tradition dating back centuries and a special treat on many northern European cruises between November and January. Avalon Waterways invites travelers to spend Christmas in Prague and New Year’s in Vienna on its 9-day “Christmastime on the Danube” voyage departing December 25. Experience charming Christmas markets with AmaWaterways, which is offering four land-and-cruise itineraries on the Danube River, the Rhine and the legendary canals of Amsterdam. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering seven holiday cruises ranging from 8 to 13 days, taking travelers along Europe’s great rivers. And Hurtigruten offers itineraries with a chance to experience Norway’s natural beauty and holiday traditions such as indulging in local foods, visits from “Norway’s Father Christmas” and the chance to see “The Northern Lights” of the Aurora Borealis.
  • Discover delightful regional differences. Experience the holiday spirit—southern or Cajun style with American Cruise Lines. The seven-night “Historic South & Golden Isles” cruise, departing from Jacksonville, Florida on December 21, features a holiday décor tour of Charleston’s famous mansions and a traditional Sapelo Island holiday oyster roast on the beach, while the December 28 New Year’s Eve sailing, departing from Charleston, South Carolina,  features fireworks over Savannah.  The seven-night “Cajun Christmas” cruise on the Lower Mississippi River, departing from New Orleans on December 21, features Oak Alley Plantation in its holiday finery, Christmas Eve bonfires along the levee lighting the way for Santa and a traditional Reveillon-style feast. Or celebrate Christmas and New Year’s in Hawaii with hula and ukuleles on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America seven-day Hawai`i cruise, departing December 21 and December 28 from Honolulu.
  • Find serenity on the South Seas. A seven-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage with Paul Gauguin Cruises onboard the m/s Paul Gauguin departs on December 21 and features a holiday celebration while the New Year’s voyage, departing December 28, picks up the tempo with rock ’n’ roll classics, jazz and original compositions played by musician Robert Thomas as well as a lecture and wine tasting led by vintner Judy Jordan of J. Vineyards & Winery. Holland America Line features in-depth cultural experiences as part of its new fleet-wide “On Location” immersion program on a 28-day “New Zealand and Pacific Treasures Collector Holiday” cruise on the ms Oosterdam departing December 8 from Sydney that explores New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia.
  • Experience exotic Asia and beyond. A 14-night Myanmar, Malaysia and Sumatra voyage with Azamara Club Cruises departing December 23 from Singapore combines a festive Christmas at sea with exotic ports and a relaxing New Year’s Day on the beaches of Phuket, Thailand.  SeaDream Yacht Club offers a seven-night journey departing from Singapore on December 21 on its elegant mega-yacht SeaDream II, featuring golfing, diving and beach time. Oceania Cruises’ 30-day Lands of Grandeur sailing aboard Nautica departing on December 8 from Dubai visits ports in Oman, India, the Maldives and Seychelles as well as Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa.
  • Home for the holidays. Why stay at home when CLIA-member cruise lines are bringing the holidays to you onboard?  Each in its own way, cruise ships are incorporating the traditions and décor of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve into décor, dining and activities.  For example: Carnival Cruise Lines has occasional “snowfalls” in the ships’ atriums, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is known for its magnificent gingerbread house displays, American Cruise Lines has ornament making as well as gift giving and Celebrity Cruises will hold pre-Christmas trunk shows in its boutiques, which are tax-and duty-free.  Starting with November 9 departures, Disney Cruise Line’s “Very Merrytime” Cruises feature a “deck the deck holiday party” with Disney friends.  In addition to holiday themed entertainment, many cruise lines offer special concerts, caroling and festive receptions as well as religious services. Princess Cruises features a tree lighting ceremony and a holiday themed variety show. For families, most lines feature special holiday crafts sessions, parties for kids along with visits from Santa and surprise gifts.
  • ‘Tis the season to book early. Many cruise lines offer early booking specials and discounted pricing on select holiday cruises. For instance, for bookings through December 31, Oceania Cruises offers 2-for-1 cruise fares, free airfare from 26 North American gateways and bonus savings up to $4,500 per stateroom and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is waiving or reducing its single supplement on select holiday cruises to make your Christmas vacation even merrier.

For expert advice, travelers can turn to a CLIA Cruise Agent, who stays current on the latest offerings and trends and is an expert in helping clients select a cruise of their dreams.   To find a CLIA Cruise Agent or Agency in your area, visit www.cruising.org and click on Vacations and use our Cruise Expert Finder.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

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CLIA Cruise Lines Celebrate the Holidays with Festive Seasonal Specials

October 30, 2013
Experience the holiday spirit southern style with American Cruise Lines' 7-night “Historic South & Golden Isles” cruise, departing from Jacksonville, December 21, that features a holiday décor tour of Charleston’s famous mansions and a traditional Sapelo Island holiday oyster roast on the beach © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Experience the holiday spirit southern style with American Cruise Lines’ 7-night “Historic South & Golden Isles” cruise, departing from Jacksonville, December 21, that features a holiday décor tour of Charleston’s famous mansions and a traditional Sapelo Island holiday oyster roast on the beach © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Whether cruising to Tahiti or Tanzania, Argentina or Antarctica, celebrating the winter holidays at sea is a very special way to get away with family and friends.

Here is a sampling of cruises from the North American fleet of Cruise Lines International Association members for Christmas and New Year’s guaranteed to bring tidings of comfort and joy with familiar traditions in far-flung locations:

Go where few will ever venture. Have a winter wonderland Christmas as Seabourn sails to Antarctica for the first time this fall. On December 11, the Seabourn Quest 24-day cruise departs from Santiago, Chile, sailing to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a Christmas Day landing on the “White Continent”; enjoy two days at South Georgia Island, with its vast rookeries of king penguins and other seabirds, as well as breeding elephant and fur seals.  Crystal Cruises’ new 17-night Antarctica cruise on the Crystal Symphony, departs December 21, visiting Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Falkland Islands, Drake Passage, Cape Horn and the Chilean Fjords, offering chances to fly, hike and zodiac over and on the icy continent and to view the gorgeous glacial scenery of both King George and Ardley Island.

Celebrate ancient traditions. Holiday markets, with hand-crafted toys, crafts and festive holiday food and drinks are a tradition dating back centuries and a special treat on many northern European cruises between November and January. Avalon Waterways invites travelers to spend Christmas in Prague and New Year’s in Vienna on its 9-day “Christmastime on the Danube” voyage departing December 25. Experience charming Christmas markets with AmaWaterways, which is offering four land-and-cruise itineraries on the Danube River, the Rhine and the legendary canals of Amsterdam. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering seven holiday cruises ranging from 8 to 13 days, taking travelers along Europe’s great rivers. And Hurtigruten offers itineraries with a chance to experience Norway’s natural beauty and holiday traditions such as indulging in local foods, visits from “Norway’s Father Christmas” and the chance to see “The Northern Lights” of the Aurora Borealis.

Discover delightful regional differences. Experience the holiday spirit—southern or Cajun style with American Cruise Lines. The seven-night “Historic South & Golden Isles” cruise, departing from Jacksonville, Florida on December 21, features a holiday décor tour of Charleston’s famous mansions and a traditional Sapelo Island holiday oyster roast on the beach, while the December 28 New Year’s Eve sailing, departing from Charleston, South Carolina,  features fireworks over Savannah.  The seven-night “Cajun Christmas” cruise on the Lower Mississippi River, departing from New Orleans on December 21, features Oak Alley Plantation in its holiday finery, Christmas Eve bonfires along the levee lighting the way for Santa and a traditional Reveillon-style feast. Or celebrate Christmas and New Year’s in Hawai`i with hula and ukuleles on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America seven-day Hawai`i cruise, departing December 21 and December 28 from Honolulu.

Find serenity on the South Seas. A seven-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage with Paul Gauguin Cruises onboard the m/s Paul Gauguin departs on December 21 and features a holiday celebration while the New Year’s voyage, departing December 28, picks up the tempo with rock ’n’ roll classics, jazz and original compositions played by musician Robert Thomas as well as a lecture and wine tasting led by vintner Judy Jordan of J. Vineyards & Winery. Holland America Line features in-depth cultural experiences as part of its new fleet-wide “On Location” immersion program on a 28-day “New Zealand and Pacific Treasures Collector Holiday” cruise on the ms Oosterdam departing December 8 from Sydney that explores New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia.

Experience exotic Asia and beyond. A 14-night Myanmar, Malaysia and Sumatra voyage with Azamara Club Cruises departing December 23 from Singapore combines a festive Christmas at sea with exotic ports and a relaxing New Year’s Day on the beaches of Phuket, Thailand.  SeaDream Yacht Club offers a seven-night journey departing from Singapore on December 21 on its elegant mega-yacht SeaDream II, featuring golfing, diving and beach time. Oceania Cruises’ 30-day Lands of Grandeur sailing aboard Nautica departing on December 8 from Dubai visits ports in Oman, India, the Maldives and Seychelles as well as Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa.

Home for the holidays. Why stay at home when CLIA-member cruise lines are bringing the holidays to you onboard?  Each in its own way, cruise ships are incorporating the traditions and décor of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve into décor, dining and activities.  For example: Carnival Cruise Lines has occasional “snowfalls” in the ships’ atriums, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is known for its magnificent gingerbread house displays, American Cruise Lines has ornament making as well as gift giving and Celebrity Cruises will hold pre-Christmas trunk shows in its boutiques, which are tax-and duty-free.  Starting with November 9 departures, Disney Cruise Line’s “Very Merrytime” Cruises feature a “deck the deck holiday party” with Disney friends.  In addition to holiday themed entertainment, many cruise lines offer special concerts, caroling and festive receptions as well as religious services. Princess Cruises features a tree lighting ceremony and a holiday themed variety show. For families, most lines feature special holiday crafts sessions, parties for kids along with visits from Santa and surprise gifts.

‘Tis the season to book early. Many cruise lines offer early booking specials and discounted pricing on select holiday cruises. For instance, for bookings through December 31, Oceania Cruises offers 2-for-1 cruise fares, free airfare from 26 North American gateways and bonus savings up to $4,500 per stateroom and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is waiving or reducing its single supplement on select holiday cruises to make your Christmas vacation even merrier.

For expert advice, travelers can turn to a CLIA Cruise Agent, who stays current on the latest offerings and trends and is an expert in helping clients select a cruise of their dreams.   To find a CLIA Cruise Agent or Agency in your area, visit www.cruising.org and click on Vacations and use our Cruise Expert Finder.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

MSC Celebrates Holidays with Buy One, Get One Offers

November 23, 2010

MSC is celebrating this season with savings as guests can ring in the holidays on buy one, get one offers on 7-night Caribbean cruises during Thanksgiving and Christmas starting at $529 per person plus government fees and taxes (GFTs).

Get the second week free with the purchase of a 7-night Caribbean cruise for a 14-night, back-to-back, Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean cruise experience on bookings made by Nov. 30, which includes the Thanksgiving cruise on Nov. 21.

During this buy one, get one free offer, rates are as low as $40 per day on select 14-night, back-to-back Eastern Caribbean cruises and Western Caribbean cruises onboard MSC Poesia and departing from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Cruise itineraries include:

 

Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau Bahamas; Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica;

Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico departs Nov. 14, 28, and Dec. 12,   2010; rates from $529 (originally started from $1,058) for a $529 savings or more than 50 percent plus government fees and taxes (GFTs) of $117.07;

 

Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Nassau Bahamas; Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica;

Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico; departs Nov. 12 and Dec. 5, 2010;  rates from $529 (originally started from $1,058) for a $529 savings or more than 50 percent plus GFTs of $117.07.

A Christmas cruise is another holiday sailing option with “The More the Merrier” offer where guests obtain a second stateroom at 50 percent off when they purchase one at the regular price. Rates for the Dec. 19 cruise begin at $649 per person for the first stateroom and $324.50 per person for the second stateroom plus GFTs. Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. Offer expires Dec. 15.

Cruise-only rates are per person  based on double occupancy for U.S. and Canadian residents.

All cruises offer just a $100 deposit, and kids 17 and younger sail for just $99 as the third/fourth guest in a stateroom.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit www.MSCCruisesUSA.com, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.