Posts Tagged ‘Royal Caribbean International’

Royal Caribbean International Takes Delivery of Quantum of the Seas

November 6, 2014
Royal Caribbean International took delivery of the newest addition to the cruise line’s fleet, Quantum of the Seas, from Meyer Werft Yard. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain (pictured right) and Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer (pictured left) attended the official signing ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany

Royal Caribbean International took delivery of the newest addition to the cruise line’s fleet, Quantum of the Seas, from Meyer Werft Yard. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain (pictured right) and Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer (pictured left) attended the official signing ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany

Royal Caribbean International took delivery of the newest addition to the cruise line’s fleet, Quantum of the Seas, from Meyer Werft Yard. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain and Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer attended the official signing ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany.

With Captain Srecko “Felix” Ban at the helm, the ship sailed to Southampton, U.K., where she welcomed her first guests on November 2, for a trans-Atlantic voyage to her home port of Cape Liberty Cruise Port, Bayonne, New Jersey.

Quantum of the Seas will sail from New York harbor to the Bahamas and the Caribbean for her inaugural season before departing for her new homeport of Shanghai (Baoshan), China, in May 2015. Sister-ship Anthem of the Seas will debut in Southampton in April 2015 and sail Mediterranean itineraries.

Quantum-class ships are the world’s most technologically advanced in the world with “boatloads of bandwidth” which allow the cruise line to offer unprecedented connectivity – 500 times more than any other cruise ship; easy-to-use systems that expand guest choices and simplify schedules, plus, RFID technology that speeds up the boarding process and allows guest to track their luggage every step of the way.

The ships offer new unprecedented features, such as RipCord by iFLY, the first skydiving experience at sea; the North Star, an engineering marvel that transports guests more than 300 feet above the ocean; SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; as well as the Bionic Bar powered by Makr Shakr which features the world’s first robotic bartenders.

The ships also showcase the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever, including the industry’s first-ever staterooms with Virtual Balconies, which offer expansive, real-time views of the ocean and exciting destinations from every interior stateroom.

Quantum-class ships span 16 guest decks; encompass 167,800 gross registered tons; carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy; and feature 2,090 staterooms. For more information, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/QuantumoftheSeas.

Fans and enthusiasts are invited to follow Quantum of the Seas’ through daily webisodes on RoyalCaribbeanPressCenter.com and also by following @RoyalCaribPR on Twitter.

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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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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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Royal Caribbean 2015-16 Schedule Includes Year-Round Sailings from New York and Galveston

April 18, 2014
Sailing into the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda. Throughout 2015 summer and fall, Liberty of the Seas will sail from Cape Liberty, NJ to Bermuda. © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Sailing into the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda. Throughout 2015 summer and fall, Liberty of the Seas will sail from Cape Liberty, NJ to Bermuda. © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Royal Caribbean International announced its 2015-16 year-round sailings from the New York-metropolitan area and Galveston, Texas, and seasonal sailings from Tampa and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Still ranked among the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships, Liberty of the Seas will homeport at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J. for summer 2015 and offer vacationers the most advanced cruise options to sail from the New York-metropolitan area to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canada and New England. Simultaneously, Navigator of the Seas will continue to sail seven-night Western Caribbean cruises throughout summer 2015 and complete two consecutive years of homeporting at Galveston.

In winter 2015-16, Anthem of the Seas will arrive at Cape Liberty for its first season in North America – after finishing its inaugural season in Southampton, U.K. – and offer vacationers unforgettable Quantum-class experiences to the Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean. At the same time, Liberty of the Seas will take over weekly Caribbean sailings from Galveston, offering Texas vacationers a newer and larger ship, while Navigator of the Seas will sail six- and eight-night Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale. Furthermore, Brilliance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will return to Tampa in winter 2015-16 to offer a variety of Caribbean itineraries that all combine to provide extensive choices for exciting Royal Caribbean cruise vacations throughout 2015 to 2016.

Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, and Vision of the Seas’ 2015-16 cruise seasons are now open for booking. Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members have the exclusive privilege to book Anthem of the Seas’ winter 2015-16 season starting April 25, 2014, in advance of the general opening to the public on April 29.

Cruise Vacations from New York

New York is among the world’s top cosmopolitan cities where Royal Caribbean is deploying its most technologically advanced ships. Throughout the 2015 summer and autumn seasons, Liberty of the Seas will homeport at Cape Liberty and offer the best family cruise vacation option in the region. The Freedom-class ship will be the cruise line’s newest and largest ship to offer cruises to Bermuda from the New York-metropolitan area. Liberty of the Seas will alternate a five-night, roundtrip Bermuda itinerary with a nine-night Caribbean itinerary in the summer, and then with a nine-night New England and Canada itinerary throughout the autumn season.

“The Bermuda Tourism Authority is delighted at the news that Royal Caribbean International’s Liberty of the Seas will be making visits to Bermuda for the 2015 summer season,” said Bill Hanbury, CEO, Bermuda Tourism Authority. “Royal Caribbean is an extremely valued partner to Bermuda and is considered a leader in the global cruise market. This latest announcement is a welcome endorsement of Royal Caribbean’s continued commitment to Bermuda and its tourism industry.”

For its winter 2015-16 season, Anthem of the Seas will set sail on October 27 for an eight-night Ocean Voyage from Southampton to Cape Liberty and continue Quantum Class cruising for New York-area vacationers. The ship will sail a range of seven- to 12-night roundtrip itineraries and take guests to the Bahamas and throughout the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean. The 12-night Western Caribbean itinerary is brand new, featuring maiden calls for the Quantum Class at George Town, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Roatan, Honduras.

“The New York-metropolitan area is a very important market for us,” said Adam Goldstein, President and COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We are committed to bringing our most advanced ships to this region and delivering our distinctive style of high-quality vacations to our loyal customers, as well as win new converts to cruising. Sailing Anthem of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas from New York fits the bill perfectly.”

Year-round Caribbean Vacations from Galveston

Having just been revitalized in January 2014, Navigator of the Seas offers vacationers the most innovative and modern cruise experience to sail from the Lone Star State. Navigator of the Seas will continue weekly sailings from Galveston until November 2015, when Liberty of the Seas repositions there to offer Texans a larger and more advanced cruise ship for unforgettable vacations. Both ships will alternate a pair of seven-night roundtrip itineraries to the Western Caribbean.

Winter Caribbean Escapes from Florida

Vacationers also have a range of the industry’s most advanced ships for a variety of Caribbean itineraries, sailing from convenient Florida ports during the 2015-16 winter season. Completing two full years of homeporting in Galveston, Navigator of the Seas will reposition to Fort Lauderdale in November 2015 and sail six-night Eastern and eight-night Western Caribbean itineraries.

For its part, Brilliance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will return to Tampa for their third and second consecutive winter seasons, respectively. Brilliance of the Seas will offer vacationers four- and five-night Western Caribbean itineraries, while Vision of the Seas will sail seven-, nine-, and 10-night itineraries throughout the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean.

 

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Shanghai, China will be Homeport for Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas Beginning in 2015

April 18, 2014

Royal Caribbean International announced that its newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, will make its home port in Shanghai (Baoshan), China. “We’re bringing the company’s most innovative ship to the world’s fastest-growing cruise market,” Adam Goldsein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, said.

The ship will reposition to China in May 2015, following her inaugural winter season sailing out of New York Harbor to the Caribbean. In China, Quantum of the Seas will join Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas in Asia, increasing the company’s capacity in the region by 66 percent.

“Consumers in China have grown to expect the best the world has to offer, and Quantum of the Seas meets that standard like no other ship,” said Goldstein. “We are ready to accelerate the growth of this vital market with a ship that will capture the imagination of travelers looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation experience.”

“Every trend we are seeing in China tells us we can achieve real long-term competitive advantage and appealing returns on our investments in this fast-growing market by accelerating our presence there,” Goldstein said. “We will have to be nimble, but the ability to move fast is one of our strengths.”

Goldstein said the company was able to make the move because its new-ship pipeline will keep the New York region supplied with top-rate ships as well.
“We are very mindful of the importance of New York, which is why we are bringing Liberty of the Seas and then Anthem of the Seas to this market.”

Quantum of the Seas will debut in November 2014, and will spend its inaugural season sailing from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., before repositioning to China in May 2015. Beginning late June 2015, the ship will sail three- to eight-night itineraries year-round from Shanghai to Japan and Korea.

Liberty of the Seas will then arrive to Cape Liberty to sail to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canada and New England for the 2015 summer and autumn seasons. The Freedom-class ship will be the company’s newest and largest ship to offer cruises to Bermuda from the New York-metropolitan area.

Finally, Quantum of the Seas’ sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, which launches in April 2015, will complete her inaugural Europe season from London (Southampton), U.K., before arriving to Cape Liberty in November 2015 to continue Quantum-class cruising to the Bahamas and Caribbean for the winter 2015-16 season.

“These incredible ships will meet the sophisticated expectations of consumers in Shanghai, New York and London. Our mantra for the new Quantum class of ships is ‘this changes everything’ – and upping our game in these key markets achieves just that,” said Dominic Paul, Vice President, International, Royal Caribbean International. “Our distinctive style of high quality innovative cruises has become known to travelers around the world and we will continue to deploy our most technologically advanced ships where the demand is, with the expectation of winning new converts to cruising.”

The groundbreaking Quantum-class ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, will debut a new set of first-at-sea onboard experiences, such as Ripcord by iFLY, a heart-pounding skydiving experience; North Star, a thrilling adventure that transports guests more than 300 feet in the air on a breathtaking journey; cutting-edge transformative venues including SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever.

Guests also will enjoy the new Quantum-class “Dynamic Dining,” a completely new culinary experience that offers a landscape of 18 restaurant concepts as vast and varied as dining in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, including specialty restaurants created with partner-chefs Jamie Oliver, Devin Alexander and Michael Schwartz.

The Quantum Class spans 18 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms. More information on Quantum class is available at http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/QuantumoftheSeas.

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.

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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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Azamara Club Cruises’ Introduces New Insider Access, Nights and Cool Places Programs, Adding to Immersive Experiences

February 14, 2014
Azamara Journey 2

Azamara Journey 2

In much the same way as it transformed cruising by offering up-market guests longer stays and more overnights on nearly all of its voyages, Azamara Club Cruises is once again evolving its Land Discoveries shore excursion program with two new offerings aimed at culture-seekers. Beginning with the 2014 Europe season, guests searching out a more in depth, personalized destination experience can choose from two exclusive programs that will immerse them in a destination through its people.

The first program, Insider Access, features exclusive invitation into the ancestral home, workshop or place of business of a local insider. It allows guests to actively engage with knowledgeable individuals who will share colorful stories and historic tales of their home destination on a personal level.

The second, Nights and Cool Places, makes the most of Azamara’s longer stays in port and overnights with an intimate night touring program. These custom after dinner experiences give guests exclusive opportunities to visit world-famous museums after hours, such as Malaga’s Picasso Museum; sip cocktails at a local hot spot, such as Rio de Janeiro’s Scenarium; or take a stroll on an intimate guided architectural walk – all with a local guide.

“Azamara Club Cruises offers our guests access to the nightlife of captivating places worldwide by creating voyages with the unique ability to stay at port well after other ships have departed, and often overnight,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises.  “This access allows travelers to engage, explore and discover a culture when it is at its most vibrant. The demand for immersive experience is such that we developed two new, intimate shore excursion programs to provide our guests with an insider’s perspective that, not only connects them to local environments, but that will stimulate their mind and senses.”

Azamara and its two intimate boutique ships are known for their hand-crafted voyages which discover the world through lesser-known and less traveled ports of call.  Guests of the up-market cruise line are often port collectors looking for their next adventure to add to the collection.

Through these new Land Discoveries programs, Azamara is curating these sought-after collectible moments for its guests. For example, as part of the new Insider Access program, guests calling at Haifa, Israel, can step into the home of a Druze family for a hands-on cooking workshop. While the meal is being prepared guests will get insight to the secret religion, tradition and culture of the Druze people who have inhabited the holy for hundreds of years.

Both of these new programs continue to build on Azamara’s promise of destination immersion to its guests.  The Insider Access program creates an intimate group of eight to 12 curious and adventurous guests and provides them with access to the people of a destination, while the Nights and Cool Places program will offer 15-20 guests exclusive access to some of the world’s best known sights.

For example guests sailing an Asia itinerary can sign up for a night tour to view Hong Kong’s famous Symphony of Lights from the Sky Terrace at the Peak following a tram ride offering incredible panoramic views.
The Insider Access and Nights and Cool Places programs will be available for booking beginning late March. For a full list of Land Discoveries shore excursions visit http://www.azamaraclubcruises.com/landdiscoveries.

Intimate Ships

Azamara Club Cruises offers distinct destination-immersive experiences for up-market travelers. The cruise line features voyages with longer stays and more overnights at ports to provide guests the opportunity to experience night touring at some of the most compelling destinations of Europe, Asia, South America, West Indies, as well as Central and North America.

On board the intimate Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, guests receive exceptional and personal service and the cruise line’s authentic, exclusive and bespoke AzAmazing Evenings events that showcase the unexpected colors and flavors of a destination.   Guests also enjoy fine cuisine and boutique wines from around the world, as well as more inclusive amenities, such as included gratuities; complimentary bottled water, sodas, specialty coffee, and teas, as well as complimentary boutique wines, international beers and select standard spirits in the ships’ bars, lounges and restaurants when open; complimentary self-service laundry; English Butler service for suite guests; and shuttle transportation to city centers in ports, where available.          

For more information, call your travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit http://www.AzamaraClubCruises.com. Connect with Azamara Club Cruises on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AzamaraClubCruises, on Twitter @AzamaraVoyages or follow President and CEO @LarryPimentel.

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Royal Caribbean Unveils New 2015 Line-Up of Cruise Vacations

February 14, 2014

LabadeeLabadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach paradise on the north coast of Haiti © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Royal Caribbean International has just unveiled its 2015 line-up of cruise vacations. In addition to Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, and Grandeur of the Seas. sailing in the Caribbean during the summer, cruisers will have a choice of three ships that sail from three convenient U.S. homeports to embark on breathtaking Canada and New England autumn vacations aboard Brilliance of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas. Vacationers can now make bookings for these six ships for the 2015 summer and autumn seasons.

Also Independence of the Seas will alternate seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations from Fort Lauderdale for its very first summer Caribbean season in 2015.

Oasis of the Seas, which shares the title of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ship with sister-ship Allure of the Seas, will continue a seventh year of offering round-trip, seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., calling at some of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations. Ports of call include Nassau, The Bahamas; St. Thomas and St. Maarten on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary, and, on the Western Caribbean itinerary, Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach paradise on the north coast of Haiti.

Aboard Oasis of the Seas, guests will enjoy the widest array of onboard amenities in seven themed neighborhoods, such as an 82 foot-long zip line, a handcrafted carousel, the Rising Tide elevating bar, a fully-licensed Broadway musical, the high-diving AquaTheater, and Central Park with more than 12,000 live trees and plants, and many more. 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.

Also from Fort Lauderdale, Independence of the Seas will alternate seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations for its very first summer Caribbean season in 2015. Western Caribbean ports of call include Falmouth, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Labadee, while San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Maarten; and St. Kitts are on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary. Independence of the Seas is among the Freedom class of ships, which first introduced the FlowRider surf simulator and cantilevered whirlpools, and features other Royal Caribbean first-at-sea amenities, including the H2O Zone kids’ aquapark, the Royal Promenade, and the four bedroom, four bathroom Presidential Family Suite, which can accommodate up to 14 guests.

Freedom of the Seas, the first among the Freedom class, will alternate seven-night roundtrip Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Port Canaveral along Florida’s space coast, calling at St. Thomas, St. Maarten and CocoCay on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary, and Falmouth, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination, on the Western Caribbean sailing. Freedom of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas’ guests enjoy the DreamWorks Experience, an exclusive integrated entertainment program developed with the world-class animated film studio powerhouse DreamWorks Animation. The DreamWorks Experience was first launched aboard Allure of the Seas in November 2010 and continues to impress guests and receive accolades. Guest can join in parades, themed activities and themed events based on DreamWorks Animation’s popular feature-film characters, including Po of “Kung Fu Panda;” Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots of “Shrek;” and Alex the Lion, Gloria, and the Penguins from “Madagascar.” Oasis of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas also is equipped with a 3-D movie theater playing the latest DreamWorks Animation films, as well as a dedicated RCTV channel, featuring a variety of the film studio’s popular movies.

For its part, Grandeur of the Seas will continue round-trip sailings from historic Baltimore, Md., and sail round-trip, seven-night Bahamas and Bermuda cruises. Guests will call at Port Canaveral, Nassau and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private Bahamian island paradise. On Grandeur of the Seas’ Bermuda sailings, guests will enjoy three days at Kings Wharf to explore all the charm of Bermuda. In the autumn season, the ship will alternate six-night Bermuda sailings and eight- and nine-night Canada and New England cruises, calling at Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; and St. John, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada.

In the autumn months of 2015, Brilliance of the Seas also will offer vacationers seven- and nine-night round-trip Canada and New England fall foliage sailings from Boston, Mass., while Serenade of the Seas will sail between Quebec City, Quebec, and Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., on 10- to 14-night fall foliage itineraries. Both Radiance-class ships, Brilliance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas feature Royal Caribbean onboard innovations, such as the adults-only Solarium pool area, self-leveling pool tables, and sea-facing glass elevators for breathtaking vistas of the unfolding shoreside landscape, known for its display of vibrant colors in the autumn seasons.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 40-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 found only 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 10 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Reader’s Choice Awards.

For additional information or to make reservations, 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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Royal Caribbean International’s New Navigator of the Seas Shows Texas Pride at Galveston Homeport

February 6, 2014
Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas at the Cruise Ship Terminal II at the Port of Galveston.

Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas at the Cruise Ship Terminal II at the Port of Galveston.

Royal Caribbean International’s new Navigator of the Seas on February 5 saluted the great state of Texas with massive Lone Star State flags draping the front and stern of the ship.

Navigator of the Seas is the largest and most advanced ship to homeport year-round at Galveston and boasts the cruise industry’s very first Virtual Balconies, which provide guests in select interior staterooms the sights and sounds of the sea with real-time views of the ocean through an 80-inch, high definition screen framed to look like a real balcony.

The Voyager-class ship also features the cruise line’s signature FlowRider surf simulator – debuting in Texas for the first time – and 220-square foot outdoor movie screen, as well as a wide array of delectable dining options, including Royal Caribbean’s new modern Mexican concept Sabor, a fully revamped and enhanced Chop’s Grille steakhouse and Oasis-class favorites, such as Izumi Japanese Cuisine and Giovanni’s Table Italian trattoria.

Guests also will enjoy some of the more popular concepts that were introduced aboard Royal Caribbean’s groundbreaking Oasis-class ships, such as new digital signage, bow-to-stern Wi-Fi service, new flat-panel televisions in every stateroom, a new Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty member guests and the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery for the youngest guests ages six to 36 months. Additionally, the ship’s Champagne Bar has been re-conceptualized into Royal Caribbean’s retro-chic R Bar, featuring a sophisticated 1960s vibe, complete with iconic furnishings and signature cocktails created by a savvy and personable mixologist.

Navigator of the Seas will sail seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries every Sunday from Galveston, visiting exciting warm-weather getaways in the Caribbean, including Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Falmouth, Jamaica; and George Town, Grand Cayman.

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

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Royal Caribbean Offers Up to $100 in Onboard Credit for Bookings During National Cruise Vacation Week, Oct 20-25

October 13, 2013
During National Cruise Vacation Week, Oct. 20-25, 2013, Royal Caribbean International cruiseline is offering vacationers up to $100 onboard credit on any seven-night Caribbean cruise during summer 2014 © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

During National Cruise Vacation Week, Oct. 20-25, 2013, Royal Caribbean International cruiseline is offering vacationers up to $100 onboard credit on any seven-night Caribbean cruise during summer 2014 © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

During National Cruise Vacation Week, Oct. 20-25, 2013, Royal Caribbean International cruiseline is offering vacationers up to $100 onboard credit on any seven-night Caribbean cruise during summer 2014.

From October 20 through 25, 2013, you can receive $50 onboard spending credit per interior or ocean view stateroom (Option Code SPO1) or $100 onboard credit per balcony or suite-category stateroom (Option Code SPO2) when you make a new individual booking on a seven-night Caribbean itinerary, sailing from June 1 through August 31, 2014.

The National Cruise Vacation Week offer is applicable only on new individual bookings and the option code must be registered at the time of booking. Details about Royal Caribbean’s National Cruise Vacation Week offer are available during the week of October 14 at http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/VacationWeek.

Cruisegoers have a choice of five acclaimed cruise ships, including Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas – sister-ships that share the title of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships – Freedom of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas. Each ship delivers a collection of exclusive Royal Caribbean onboard amenities to make for an unforgettable vacation.

Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas feature seven themed neighborhoods that offer the industry’s widest array of innovative onboard amenities. Guests can relax in Central Park, a lush outdoor space with more than 12,000 living plants and trees; the Boardwalk, a festive space featuring the only handcrafted carousels at sea and the first-and-only AquaTheaters for high-diving performances and fountain shows synchronized to music and lights; the Pool and Sports Zone, with twin FlowRider surf simulators, five different pools, and the only zip lines at sea; professional ice-skating productions and Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Chicago: The Musical’ in Entertainment Place; the levitating Rising Tide Bar in the Royal Promenade; the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center for rejuvenating treatments and classes; and the cruise line’s award-winning Adventure Ocean kids and teen program in the Youth Zone. Guests also enjoy up to 26 dining options and have an expansive selection of boutiques, lounges and bars to explore.

Freedom of the Seas first introduced an onboard FlowRider surf simulator and also now features some of the most popular amenities that debuted on the Oasis class of ships, such as a 3-D movie theater, an oversized LCD movie screen poolside, the Cupcake Cupboard, as well as bow-to-stern Wi-Fi service and interactive digital signage. The ship’s Adventure Ocean program has been expanded with the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery for six- to 36-month olds, and the ImagineOcean! glow-in-the-dark puppet show for kids.

Navigator of the Seas will undergo extensive revitalization in spring 2014, and will re-emerge from drydock to feature a new FlowRider surf simulator, as well as debut the Quantum-class Virtual Balcony in select interior staterooms – a new amenity that also will be aboard the highly anticipated Quantum of the Seas, which will launch in late 2014. Jewel of the Seas’ guests can sharpen their billiards skills on the ship’s self-leveling pool tables as they visit charming ports in the Southern Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 40-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea.  The cruise line features an expansive array of amenities 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 10 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Reader’s Choice Awards.

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

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