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Cruise News
1-31, 2013

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What's on Cruise Diva's mind? A bit of editorializing, news, announcements, and travel tips...find that and more in Cruise Diva's Blog. Recent headlines appear below.

Cruise Diva

MSC Cruises Rings in the New Year With Employee Pricing on Caribbean Sailings

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Dec. 26: Save big this holiday with MSC Cruises' special Employee Pricing offer now available for booking through Jan 7, 2014 for all MSC guests. MSC's special Employee Pricing offers cruisers a chance to choose from several exclusive 7-night Caribbean sailings at very special savings.

April 12, 2014: Ports include Falmouth, Jamaica, Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Mexico and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas.

April 19, 2014: Ports include Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Road Town in Tortola, and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas.

April 26, 2014: Visit ports of Falmouth, Jamaica, Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Mexico, and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

May 3, 2014: Ports of call include Philipsburg, St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

MSC Divina guests experience a slew of exciting features unique to North American cruising. Two dining venues were created in partnership with Italian restaurant emporium Eataly. The upscale Ristorante Italia and spectacular regional steakhouse, Eataly Steakhouse, fashioned after the famed restaurant in Eataly's Manhattan location, are now available to MSC Divina guests. MSC Divina is also the first ship to offer Aqua Cycling at sea. Reported as this summer's latest fitness craze by Extra TV and highlighted on Good Morning America, New York Times and Time Magazine, Aqua Cycling allows MSC Divina guests to take spinning to new heights. Also unique to the ship, is the popular Formula 1 simulator, 4-D Cinema, Infinity Pool and new Segafredo Coffee Bar.

Bookings must be made by Jan. 7, 2014 in order to qualify for this promotion. Rates are USD, per person, double occupancy, and cruise-only valid for new retail bookings for U.S. and Canadian residents. Government fees and taxes (GFT) are additional for all sailing guests. MSC Club discount is applicable. Ask for "Employee Pricing" when booking. For more information about MSC Divina's first season in the US and its new features and special offers, please visit

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Texas To Tax Returning Cruise Passengers' Alcohol & Tobacco Purchases

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) will begin collecting personal importation taxes on alcohol and cigarettes from passengers returning from cruises in Galveston in 2014. Beginning on Jan 4, 2014, cruise travelers disembarking out of Galveston will need to pay the tax for alcoholic beverages and cigarettes imported into the state that were purchased either in a ship's duty free store or at a foreign port of call.

During the recent legislative session, the agency was appropriated funding to begin tax collection of imported alcoholic beverages and cigarettes from seaport facilities. The Galveston Port facility will be the first seaport location where this tax will be collected with plans to extend to the Houston-Bayport facility in the fall of 2014.

Tax collection points staffed with TABC personnel will be situated at both terminals 1 and 2 at the Galveston facility located where patrons come through the U.S. Customs secondary checkpoint. Passengers will be able to pay the taxes with either cash or credit cards. TABC personnel have worked with Port of Galveston officials to ensure that the tax collection is done efficiently and with limited disruption of port operations and delays to the passengers.

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Bud Light Hotel (Norwegian Getaway) Announces Concert Lineup For Super Bowl Weekend

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 20: Last month, Bud Light made "waves" across the country when it announced Bud Light Hotel New York would take place on a brand-new cruise ship docked on the Hudson River (that would be Norwegian Cruise Line's new Norwegian Getaway). The Official Beer Sponsor of the NFL announced its concert lineup for the four-day Bud Light Hotel that includes headline performances by Foo Fighters and Imagine Dragons as well as a tribute to New York City's hip-hop history curated by The Roots.

The festivities will kick off on Thursday, Jan. 30, when EA SPORTS and Bud Light host "The Roots Present Hip Hop NYC" featuring RUN DMC, Busta Rhymes and special guests. This one-of-a-kind show will chronicle New York's hip-hop legacy with The Roots performing alongside legendary New York hip-hop artists. The concert will follow EA SPORTS Madden Bowl XX, which showcases NFL players and celebrities in head-to-head competitions playing Madden NFL 25.

The Bud Light Hotel will shift musical gears on Friday, Jan. 31, when Bud Light hosts the "Pandora Presents" party featuring Imagine Dragons. One of the biggest breakout acts of 2013, Imagine Dragons released one of the top-selling rock albums of the year and performed to sold-out crowds across the nation on their headlining tour. Most recently, Imagine Dragons received "Record of the Year" and "Best Rock Performance" Grammy Award nominations for their hit single "Radioactive."

Bud Light Hotel New York will reach its crescendo on the eve of football's biggest game when Foo Fighters headline the Bud Light Main Event concert on Saturday, Feb. 1. Joining Foo Fighters on the Bud Light Main Event lineup is the popular Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band. The two bands share a common bond - Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl recently collaborated with Zac Brown Band on their newest project, "The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1." The Bud Light Hotel weekend will come to a close on Super Bowl Sunday when Pepsi and Bud Light present a pre-game concert featuring performances by multi-platinum rockers Fall Out Boy and multi-platinum selling country star Jake Owen.

"We've brought together a world-class lineup of concerts that features some of the biggest names in the industry - including Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons and The Roots - and pays tribute to New York City's impact on music and culture," said Rob McCarthy, vice president, Bud Light. "With the help of our amazing partners, EA SPORTS, Pandora and Pepsi, this year's Bud Light Hotel will stand apart as one of the premier destinations for Super Bowl week entertainment."

To host parties befitting of the Big Apple, the Bud Light Hotel will extend beyond Norwegian Getaway and include a full makeover of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum footprint. As part of the makeover, Bud Light will construct the Bud Light Hotel Amphitheatre - a heated concert venue across the street from the Intrepid that will host the weekend's nightly concerts and parties - and the Bud Light Hotel Lounge - a two-level, 1,500-person venue adjacent to the Intrepid - that will house hospitality activations during the day as well as late-night after-parties. In total, this year's Bud Light Hotel event space will encompass more than 300,000 square feet.

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Special Guests to Headline Princess Cruises’ Valentine’s “Cruise with a Heart”

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Dec 20: Princess Cruises’ second “Cruising for a Cause” sailing will set sail in February to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special line-up of expert guests and celebrities who will help educate passengers about heart health. These guests include a renowned cardiac surgeon, a celebrity chef, an award-winning author, a four-time Super Bowl champion, and a beloved cast member from the hit television series The Love Boat. The benefit cruise will raise funds for the American Heart Association’s (AHA) programs and educational outreach.

Sailing from February 10-15, 2014, aboard Ruby Princess on a Caribbean cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, the five-day voyage will offer passengers a heart-themed experience, focused not only on “affairs of the heart,” but also a variety of onboard features themed around healthy living and heart health awareness.

Among the educational opportunities available exclusively for this cruise are training in the American Heart Association’s Hands-OnlyTM CPR; seminars on how to better manage stress, diet, and exercise; and a heart disease and stroke survivor reception. Passengers can also take advantage of complimentary blood pressure screenings and participate in a fundraising walk on deck, patterned after AHA’s successful HeartWalks. Valentine's Day themed programming will include a special onboard renewal of vows and other romantic touches. The cruise will be capped off with a Ruby Red Gala party.

Special guests appearing exclusively on this sailing include:

Dr. Kathy Magliato, MD, MBA, FACS – Dr. Magliato is one of the few female cardiothoracic surgeons in the world with specialization in heart failure, heart transplantation, and artificial/mechanical heart technology. A nationally recognized expert on heart disease in women, she is currently the Director of Women’s Cardiac Services at Saint John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica, California, where she is developing a Multidisciplinary Women’s Health Center to address the cardiac needs of female patients.

Jesse Sapolu – Four-time Super Bowl champion Jesse Sapolu played center and offensive guard for the San Francisco 49ers during his 15-year football career. He now serves as the 49ers’ alumni coordinator, and is a motivational speaker and author of the biography “I Gave My Heart to San Francisco.” He is also the co-founder of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame and a spokesperson for the American Heart Association.

Chef Marc Anthony Bynum – Cook Healthy; Cook Delicious! A finalist on Food Network's “Chopped,” celebrity Chef Bynum will be offering fun, innovative healthy cooking demonstrations for passengers.

Diana von Welanetz Wentworth – An award-winning author and national speaker on many facets of heart health, Wentworth’s passion for nurturing women’s hearts arose from her own surprising heart attack. Drawing from the recommendations of the American Heart Association, she developed a unique, fun, holistic program of heart-health care that is the topic of her newest book: “Love Your Heart: Follow the Red Thread to a Heart-Centered Life.”

David and Karen Gamow – The authors of “Freedom from Stress,” the Gamows have provided workplace stress management training to clients including NASA, CBS, GE, Marriott, Intuit, Nokia, Stanford School of Medicine, and the U.S. Army. The founders of Clarity Seminars, they have personally trained more than 20,000 people throughout North America to reduce stress and change their lives for the better.

Bernie Kopell – For 10 seasons, Bernie Kopell looked after the health of passengers aboard TV’s version of Pacific Princess as Doctor Adam Bricker (“Doc”) on The Love Boat. Kopell will be available to meet with and sign autographs for passengers.

“These terrific guests and the line-up of special heart health-themed activities will make this cruise a special opportunity for our passengers to learn how to build healthier lives,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We look forward to a heart-felt cruise that will raise important funds for the American Heart Association.”

A portion of each passenger’s cruise fare, totaling approximately $500,000, will be matched by Princess Cruises with an additional $500,000, for a total of $1 million. The proceeds will be used to support the American Heart Association’s mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The American Heart Association cruise will sail on a Western Caribbean itinerary roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, with calls at Grand Cayman and Cozumel. A tax-deductible portion of each fare ranging from $100 to $300 per person, depending upon cabin category, will be donated to the American Heart Association.

The cruise is the second of the company’s new “Cruising for a Cause” initiative where Princess will dedicate entire sailings to support select charitable causes. This new, industry-leading program will provide the line’s passengers, many of whom are looking for opportunities to make positive contributions to their communities and the world, a way to make a difference even as they vacation. The first cruise, to support U.S. veterans, sailed in November to much acclaim. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by visiting the company's website at

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Carnival Cruise Lines To Base Seventh ‘Fun Ship’ In South Florida

MIAMI, Dec 20: Carnival Cruise Lines, the number one cruise operator in South Florida, will further bolster its leadership position in the market when the 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor launches seasonal Caribbean cruises from Miami beginning Nov 9, 2014. Carnival Splendor will be the seventh Carnival Cruise Lines’ ship to be based in South Florida.

Including Carnival Splendor, Carnival Cruise Lines will operate more than 400 three- to 8-day departures from PortMiami and Port Everglades, accounting for approximately 1.2 million guests annually, the most of any cruise operator. Carnival’s South Florida program features 3- to 8-day cruises visiting not only the best of the Caribbean and Bahamas but also a variety of unique destinations including the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, and Mahogany Bay in Isla Roatan, along with tropical island paradises such as Aruba and Curacao on 8-day itineraries, providing unparalleled choice for consumers.

Carnival Splendor’s new seasonal Miami-based schedule will encompass week-long cruises departing Sundays with itineraries alternating between the eastern and western Caribbean beginning Nov 9, 2014. Eastern Caribbean cruises will call at St Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk, and Nassau, while the western Caribbean route will call at Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize, and Mahogany Bay in Isla Roatan. Prior to its Miami deployment, Carnival Splendor will operate two special 8-day cruises: a New York to San Juan departure calling at St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Antigua, and St. Maarten departing Oct 24, 2014 and a San Juan to Miami voyage visiting St. Croix, Martinique, Grenada, Dominica, and Grand Turk departing Nov 1, 2014.

Carnival Splendor builds upon the cruise line’s longstanding tradition of providing the greatest variety of cruise vacation choices from South Florida. In addition to Carnival Splendor, the following “Fun Ship” choices from Miami or Fort Lauderdale are also available:

• Carnival Breeze (Miami) – the line’s newest and largest ship, the 3,690-passenger Carnival Breeze operates year-round 6- and 8-day Caribbean cruises and offers an exciting array of Fun Ship 2.0 dining and beverage spots, as well as a spectacular WaterWorks water park offering a 314-foot-long water slide, the SportSquare outdoor recreation area featuring a ropes course with breathtaking views to the sea 150 feet below, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ, the full-service Bonsai Sushi, and the Thrill Theater, an immersive movie-going experience.
Carnival Glory, Carnival Liberty - through May 2014, Carnival Conquest (Miami) – These 2,974-passenger vessels operate 7-day Caribbean cruises and have each undergone extensive Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades that have added popular innovations like the EA Sports Bar, BlueIguana Cantina Mexican eatery, the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar and Guy’s Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri.
Carnival Victory (Miami) – The largest ship to operate year-round short cruise itineraries from South Florida, the 2,758-passenger vessel offers 4-day cruises to the popular destinations of Key West and Cozumel and 5-day cruises to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau or Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. Aside from many exceptional dining, entertainment and activity choices, Carnival Victory has nearly 500 balcony staterooms, the most on a short cruise program.
Carnival Ecstasy (Miami beginning Jan 2014) – In addition to offering balcony staterooms for the first time on a Carnival 3- and 4-day cruise program, the 2,052-passenger vessel features the line’s extensive Evolutions of Fun upgrades, including a resort-style tropical-themed main pool area, a massive WaterWorks park, and a Serenity adults-only retreat.
Carnival Freedom (Fort Lauderdale) – The 2,974-passenger “Fun Ship” operates year-round 5- to 8-day Caribbean cruises and is scheduled to undergo an extensive dry dock in April 2014 which will encompass the addition of a variety of exciting Fun Ship 2.0 branded experiences.

For more information about Carnival Splendor’s new Miami-based schedule or any of the line’s “Fun Ship” cruises, visit

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Celebrity Cruises Introduces Two New Destination-Rich Voyages On Celebrity Century

MIAMI, Dec 20: Celebrity Cruises has created two new, destination-rich voyages for guests on Celebrity Century in 2015. The new sailings will replace three previously scheduled 12- and 14-night sailings in Asia in order to reposition the ship to Europe for the 2015 season. The new itineraries—a 14-night voyage from Singapore to Dubai departing March 22, 2015, and a 15-night Suez Canal cruise departing Dubai for Rome April 5, 2015—will feature destinations travelers consider among the most appealing in the region, and offer the perfect combination of immersive experiences on land and luxurious days at sea. Vacationers also have the unique opportunity to enjoy an extended cruise vacation onboard Celebrity Century by sailing back-to-back, from Singapore to Rome, for 29 nights of Celebrity’s delectable, award-winning cuisine, impeccable service, and engaging entertainment.

The 14-night sailing from Singapore to Dubai will feature visits to Muscat, Oman; Cochin, India; and three ports entirely new to Celebrity: New Mangalore, Goa (Mormugao) and Mumbai (Bombay), India; capped with an overnight stay in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The new 15-night voyage from Dubai will be highlighted by passage through the Suez Canal and visits to Ashdod, Israel; and Rhodes and Athens (Piraeus), Greece, ending in Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy.

Guests with bookings on Celebrity Century’s previously scheduled cruises departing March 22, April 5, and April 17, 2015, are being contacted by Celebrity Cruises, and offered the opportunity to be re-accommodated on the two new voyages or on their choice from among 12 itineraries in Asia on Celebrity Century or Celebrity Millennium in 2015. Guests who opt to re-book will be able to do so at the lowest available rate if moving to selected sailings in like accommodations, and will receive an onboard credit of $200 per stateroom or $400 per suite.

To review the wide variety of sailings open on Celebrity Century in Asia, Alaska, the Caribbean, the Pacific Coast and South Pacific from now into 2015, visit the Celebrity website at

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MSC Cruises Launches Two-Year “Renaissance Program” For Its Lirica Class

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Dec. 20: MSC Cruises today announced a multi-million dollar program that will involve all four of its Lirica class ships over the next two years. The $273 million “renaissance” has been commissioned from FINCANTIERI in Italy, one of the world’s leading shipbuilding companies, and will be completed by 2015.

The upgrades of MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Sinfonia, and MSC Opera will add exciting new entertainment options, technological advancements, expanded shopping options, and up to nearly 200 new cabins per ship. The ships will boast a completely new splash park, with an exhilarating pathway of water features and water cannons. The impressive onboard boutiques will be enhanced with new interiors, more space and an all-new perfumery with display corners dedicated to leading brands, such as Dior, Lancôme, and Dolce & Gabbana.

“When our four Lirica class ships return to the seas after a total of 38 weeks in dry dock, they will be entirely new ships with additional amenities and comfort for our travelers, allowing them to reach sophisticated and refined destinations around the world,” said MSC Cruises’ Chief Executive Officer, Gianni Onorato, during a press conference in Rome. “The extensive renovations represent a huge investment, and reaffirms, once again, our company’s dedication to high standards, cutting-edge technology and continuous product innovation. MSC Cruises’ ships are works of art in their own right. With these exciting upgrades to our fleet - already renowned for its unrivalled style and elegance – we will be even more competitive”.

Giuseppe Bono, Chief Executive Officer of FINCANTIERI, commented: “The winning of this contract is a source of great satisfaction to us in many respects. Above all, it involves us with an important partner like MSC Cruises in a program that is highly ambitious both technically and operationally. It also allows us to strengthen our position in the refitting and refurbishment segments and confirms our position as one of the leading players in this sector”.

The MSC Lirica class “renaissance program” will follow the dry dock schedule below:

· MSC Armonia: August 31 to November 17, 2014
· MSC Sinfonia: 12 January 12 to March 16, 2015
· MSC Opera: May 2 to July 4 2015
· MSC Lirica: August 21 to November 9, 2015

The four Lirica class ships were built between 2003 and 2005 at the STX yards in Saint-Nazaire, France. They are currently 251 meters long, weigh 60,000 tons and carry 2,069 travelers. After the renovations, the ships will be 275 meters long, weigh 65,000 tons and carry 2,680 travelers, boasting 193 additional cabins (plus 59 new cabins for crew members).

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Carnival Corporation Named Clean Tech Award Winner For Best Marine Solutions

MIAMI, Dec. 20: Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise company, has been named the Best Marine Solutions Company in this year’s Clean Tech Awards by The New Economy. The Clean Tech Awards are given out by The New Economy, a quarterly publication whose goal is to engender financial investment and encourage discussion and debate of appropriate strategies for the promotion of global economic growth. The award winners demonstrated a commitment to producing clean technology to improve the environment in 2013.

Carnival has a long tradition of making environmental sustainability and clean technology a corporate priority. This includes initiatives such as developing ground-breaking exhaust gas cleaning technology – known as “scrubbers”--on a number of ships to reduce the amount of air emissions from using high-sulfur fuel. The scrubbers, which will be on 17 Carnival Cruise Line ships, nine Holland America Line ships, seven Princess Cruises ships and Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 by 2016, will meet and exceed the new regulations. AIDA Cruises has also announced a 100 million euro investment to protect the environment, particularly to install the scrubber technology.

“This technology is an accomplishment as well as an important milestone for our company,” said Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald. “Working together with the EPA, U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada, we have developed a breakthrough solution for cleaner air that will set a new course in environmental protection for years to come.”

Other initiatives include Carnival’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20 percent in 2015 from its baseline 2005 level. From 2005 to 2012, Carnival has reduced its emission rate by 16.7 percent, including a three percent decrease between 2011 and 2012. Carnival has installed water treatment plants on nearly half of its entire fleet of ships, and plans to install advanced versions of the treatment plants on new ship builds and will continually upgrade existing ones. It is Carnival’s corporate policy to never discharge untreated sewage, despite maritime law allowing it in specific instances.

“In the cruise industry, and truly for all industries, environmental responsibility is essential to running a successful business in the 21st century,” said Carnival Corporation VP of Management Systems James Van Langen. “We are very proud of this award and we will continue to maintain our focus on achieving environmental excellence and promoting clean technology.”

The New Economy has been giving out awards since 2011. The New Economy Awards section of the magazine seeks to recognize those industry leaders who have set out to establish progress – rather than rely on the status quo. The research body investigates firms across the world in order to garner an understanding of the texture and thread of commercial markets.

Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise company in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Ibero Cruises, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK). Together, these brands operate 101 ships totaling 208,000 lower berths with eight new ships scheduled to be delivered between spring 2014 and fall 2016. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon.

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Norwegian Cruise Line & Sixthman Invite Guests to LIVE LOUD In The New Year

MIAMI, Dec 20: Norwegian Cruise Line and Sixthman, the pioneers of music festivals at sea, are hosting an all-new festival cruising experience, the LIVE LOUD Festival, from Febr 26 to March 2, 2014 on Norwegian Pearl. Guests sailing during this unique event will have the opportunity to “Live Loud” by celebrating their passion for music and life. Just announced, former American Idol winner, Kris Allen, joins the already talented line-up of bands and artists who will perform on board this unforgettable four-day cruise from Miami, Florida to Great Stirrup Cay and Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas.

Since skyrocketing to stardom as the winner of the 2009 season of American Idol, Kris Allen has taken his impressive talent and warm-hearted charm on the road with the likes of Keith Urban, Maroon 5, Barenaked Ladies and Lifehouse as well as headlining club tours across the country. Guests cruising on The LIVE LOUD Festival will enjoy performances by Kris along with a host of other amazing shows by a line-up of artists known for their incredible live performances and knack for fan engagement. The line-up also includes: Bronze Radio Return, Saints Of Valory, Ken Block and Drew Copeland from Sister Hazel, Yacht Rock Revue with special guests, DJ Soulman, Chuck Cannon, Kristy Lee, Brian Collins, The Shadowboxers, Dugas, Scott Munns, Trailer Park Ninjas, Hey Monea! and Howl at the Moon dueling piano shows. Concerts will take place in venues throughout Norwegian Pearl as well as on the beach at Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island.

In addition to the incredible musical roster, guests will enjoy a variety of lifestyle activities including songwriter workshops, foodie experiences, wine and craft beer tastings, comedy shows and a variety of fitness classes, such as yoga classes taught by Miami-based Yogi, Amy Steiner. LIVE LOUD cruisers will have the chance to experience Amy’s fun personality and creative yoga classes, combining thoughtful sequencing and dynamic flows that leave students feeling uplifted and inspired. Based in Miami Beach, Amy teaches regular classes and workshops at Green Monkey and The Standard. Amy has appeared on and

This unique festival cruise experience also features late night parties and jam sessions, artist-hosted activities and several unique theme nights. In addition to all of the activities and entertainment offered during the festival, guests will take advantage of Norwegian Pearl’s 13 bars and lounges, 19 dining experiences, outdoor pool, hot tubs, expansive spa and fitness center and so much more. In addition, guests can test their strength on the outdoor rock climbing wall, bowl a few frames at the ship’s bowling alley, or try their luck in The Pearl Club Casino. Norwegian Pearl features a wide range of stateroom categories to fit all lifestyles and budgets, from the perfectly-appointed inside staterooms to luxurious penthouse suites in the Haven.

For more information, visit or watch a video preview of this exciting event at To book a stateroom on the LIVE LOUD Festival, visit

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Unforgettable Explorations of Volcanic Landscapes, Virgin Forests & Magical Cities

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Dec. 19: Travelers embarking on board MSC Armonia from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria can choose from a multitude of exotic explorations by pre-booking their MSC shore excursions. With calls in Santa Cruz de La Palma, San Sebastian, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and an overnight stay in Funchal, MSC Armonia's itineraries from Las Palmas include blissful encounters with the breath-taking landscapes of the Canary and Madeira Islands as well as visits to two favorite destinations in magical Morocco, with a full day in Casablanca plus calls in Agadir, Arrecife de Lanzarote and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. For a longer winter break, these itineraries can even be combined to create a fascinating 14-night journey of discovery, with truly unique shore excursions on offer in each port of call.

Las Palmas is famous for its endless Las Canteras beach, subtropical climate and neo-Gothic Cathedral. But the island also boasts a dramatic variety of different landscapes, from the verdant north to the mountainous inland and desert south. The MSC excursions A Panoramic Tour Of Gran Canaria and Las Palmas & Bandama take in the very best of this incredible scenery, with visits to “Crater de Bandama,” an extinct volcano rising nearly 580 meters above sea level, and “Altavista”, the perfect spot for magnificent panoramic views of the island.

For travelers who want to make the most of their day in Santa Cruz de La Palma, Lush, Wild And Untamed: A Journey To La Palma provides the complete package, including stops at the “Mirador de San Bartolo” viewpoint, the “Los Tilos,” UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the San Antonio volcano. Other excursions combine the stunning natural wonders of the island with relaxing breaks that offer ample opportunities to savor the delicious local tipples.

From San Sebastian, An Introduction To La Gomera is a wonderful way to explore this unspoiled island. Other highlights include Discover Gran Rey Valley and the Garajonay National Park tour, an exploration of the island’s UNESCO world heritage park. For something different, Landscapes, Traditions and Ancient Languages includes a fascinating performance of the island’s ancient whistled language, while Retracing Columbus’ History is a fun walking tour of San Sebastian.

Popular excursions from Santa Cruz de Tenerife include Las Cañades Del Teide, a visit to the Las Cañadas mountain range and majestic Mount Teide volcano and national park, as well as Impressions Of Tenerife, which takes in the lovely village of El Sauzal and the verdant environs of García Sanabria park. Other highlights are specially designed to allow our MSC travelers to enjoy a taste of some of the island’s best-hidden beauties and history, but also to indulge in some fabulous shopping when they want to reconnect with the modern world.

In Funchal, spectacular and awe-inspiring highlights include Exploring Funchal By 4x4, a journey through the secluded forests of Madeira’s scenic interior and Wildlife Exploration By Boat, for spectacular sightings of whales and dolphins.

Casablanca is Morocco's modern metropolis, where North African traditions blend with a French colonial past. Highlights of the excursion program include City Tour and the Hassan II Mosque, a panoramic tour of the main squares of Casablanca, and The Lights Of Casablanca At Night, a wonderful way to take in the beauties of the city. Incredible tours to other Moroccan cities are also available, including Casablanca & Rabat, Rabat and Marrakech, and Overland Tour To Marrakech, a trip encompassing the treasures and traditions of Morocco’s famed tourist capital.

Only a short distance from the shifting sands of the Sahara Desert and the imposing Anti-Atlas mountains lies Agadir, a city of many contrasts. Melting Pot Of Old And New: Agadir City explores these contrasts in all their glory, while A Taste Of Traditional Morocco: Taroudant & the Tiout Oasis reveals the true colors and traditions of Morocco.

Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote, boasts lava landscapes, rich fertile soil and some rather unusual attractions. Northern Tour Of The Island, One Day In Arrecife and Timanfaya National Park, as well as explorations of Lanzarote’s unique ‘Martian’ landscapes, forged from years of volcanic eruptions, displaying a compelling mix of petrified lava fields, geysers and lush vegetation. Lanzarote & Manrique Heritage, a cultural excursion themed around Cesar Manrique, one of the pioneers of Spanish modern art, is a day full of art and architecture including visits to some of the artist’s last finished works.

For more information, visit

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Viking Cruises Announces Major Milestone For New Ocean Line

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19: Viking Cruises today announced the keel was laid for its first ocean cruise vessel, Viking Star, marking the next construction phase of the company's first-ever ocean product. The ceremony took place on Wednesday, December 18, at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard outside Venice, Italy. Viking Star is scheduled to be delivered in early 2015.

"Our new ocean itineraries are selling at an unprecedented rate, and the enthusiasm we have seen from guests is truly remarkable," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. "There is undoubtedly interest in an ocean cruise experience that returns the focus to the destination, and Viking is actively planning to meet that demand."

Steel was first cut for Viking Star in June 2013, and the laying of the keel is a formal recognition of the start of construction. The 930-passenger Viking Star features state-of-the-art design from experienced nautical architects and engineers. The company will also launch a record-breaking 14 new river vessels— Viking Longships®—in March 2014.

Viking's ocean itineraries will include Viking Star's maiden voyages in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. The all-veranda custom-designed vessel allows travelers to get closer than ever to their destinations with maximum time in ports, while highlighting history, art and local culture through privileged-access excursions and onboard experiences that are truly designed for the experienced traveler. For more information, visit

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Paul Gauguin Cruises Announces 2015 Voyages Featuring New Itineraries In Fiji & Europe
And Popular Favorites

BELLEVUE, WA, Dec. 17: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, and the 90-guest m/v Tere Moana, is pleased to announce 2015 voyages, which feature a new 10-night Roundtrip Fiji itinerary on The Gauguin and a new 7-night Round-trip Venice itinerary on The Moana, along with popular favorites. Paul Gauguin Cruises is extending savings of 50% off standard cruise fares on all 2015 voyages of both ships, plus included airfare from Los Angeles on m/s Paul Gauguin itineraries.

The Gauguin
New for 2015 on The Gauguin is a 10-night Roundtrip Fiji voyage visiting Lautoka, Fiji; lle des Pins, New Caledonia; Noumea, New Caledonia; IIe De Mare, New Caledonia; IIe Lifou, New Caledonia; Port Vila, Vanuatu; and Lautoka, Fiji, departing Oct 31, 2015.

The Gauguin will also be featuring its most popular itineraries in 2015: the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands; 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus; 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands; and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands. Other highlights include 12- and 13-night Fiji, Tonga, Cook & Society Islands voyages.

The Moana
New for 2015 on The Moana is a 7-night Round-trip Venice voyage with visits to the Croatian ports of Rovinj, Island SV Andrea, Hvar, Dubrovnik, Vis, Sibenick, and Split, departing Aug 1, 2015. Other European itineraries The Moana will be offering include Athens, Greece, to Venice, Italy, and Istanbul, Turkey, to Athens, Greece.

The Moana will again sail the Caribbean and Latin America in the winter months. Highlights include Colon, Panama, to Philipsburg, St. Maarten voyages visiting: Cartagena, Colombia; Oranjestad, Aruba; and Les Saintes, F.W.I. The 8-night voyage also includes a visit to St. Barts, F.W.I., and departs March 20, 2015. The Dec 12, 2015, departure is a 7-night reverse itinerary. Two transatlantic cruises are also available between Philipsburg, St. Maarten, and Lisbon, Portugal, a 14-night voyage departing April 4, 2015, and a 13-night voyage departing Nov 29, 2015.

In the Caribbean, The Moana offers a 7-night Roundtrip Philipsburg, St. Maarten, itinerary visiting: Tortola, B.V.I.; Jost Van Dyke, B.V.I.; Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.; Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis; Les Saintes, F.W.I.; and St. Barts, F.W.I., departing March 28, 2015.

Also available on The Moana is a 7-night Colon, Panama, to Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, voyage visiting: Portobelo, Panama; Panama Canal evening transit; Panama City, Panama; Isla de Coiba, Panama; Golfito, Costa Rica; Quepos, Costa Rica; and Isla Tortuga/Curu Wildlife Reserve, departing Dec 19, 2015. The Moana's 7-night Roundtrip Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, voyage visits Isla Gamez, Panama, along with the Costa Rican ports of Golfito, Drake Bay, Isla del Cano, Quepos, and Isla Tortuga/Curu Wildlife Reserve, departing Dec 26, 2015.

For more information on Paul Gauguin Cruises, visit

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Gorilla Tracking Expedition Added To Crystal's Roster Of Overnight African Adventures In 2014

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 17: Locking eyes with an almost-500 pound silverback mountain gorilla, with just a few feet of African forest standing in between, travelers participating in Crystal Cruises' newest Overland Adventure may share a scene few on earth will ever see. With just 600 mountain gorillas left in the world, and only a handful of active guests permitted on the excursion, Crystal's new "Bwindi Forest Gorilla Tracking Experience" is an ultimate bucket list trip. The five-night journey is only available to guests sailing back-to-back on two of Crystal Serenity's 2014 World Cruise segments: an 18-day March 10 voyage from Singapore to Cape Town and the following 21-day March 28 cruise from Cape Town to London. From South Africa's port of Durban, outing participants will travel deep into Uganda, then reconnect with the ship in Cape Town.

Over two days, participants will follow expert guides into the UNESCO World Heritage-classified Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, tracking the gorillas' paths. Guests can then safely watch their playful interactions, observe their distinctly individual personalities, learn about their habits and history, and possibly see other residents like forest elephants, giant forest hogs, blue monkeys, or one of 350 bird species and 200 types of butterflies.

"This excursion allows guests to enjoy the ruggedly beautiful simplicity of nature in comfort and ultra-luxury," says John Stoll, vice president of land programs. "Although one of the most remote in all of Africa, our camp has a spa, plus private tubs and decks overlooking the forest. But it pales in comparison to the opportunity to trek through Africa's densest rainforest, deep valleys, and mountain waterfalls to encounter one of the planet's most remarkable, nearly-extinct creatures in its natural habitat."

On non-tracking days, the group will also learn about Uganda's wetland, savannah, and forest eco-systems at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre and participate in a mock Batwa Pygmy (considered the "keepers of the forest" for more than 5,000 years) hunting party, including tribal singing and dancing. Luxury accommodations include two nights at The Lake Victoria Serena Resort, set on the world's largest tropical lake, and three nights at the silver-service Sanctuary Gorilla Camp.

The "Bwindi Forest Gorilla Tracking Experience" starts at $11,676 per person. The combined, 39-day cruise itinerary calls in Singapore (overnight); Jakarta, Indonesia; Mauritius/Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius; Durban and Cape Town, South Africa; Walvis Bay, Namibia; Luanda, Angola (maiden call); Bom Bom Island/Sao Tome, Principe; Takoradi, Ghana; Dakar, Senegal; Agadir, Morocco; Lisbon, Portugal; and London/Southampton.

Crystal is also offering ten other Overland Adventures (shore excursions wherein guests stay inland overnight during a cruise) in Africa next year, taking guest to Nelson Mandela's former home, through the countryside by Victorian-era railcar, and on multiple safaris in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa. Crystal's passion for creating exclusive, eye-opening luxury shore-side experiences are cornerstones of its Crystal Adventures program, earning the line top ratings for two decades. For more information, visit

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Martinique Opens New Cruise Village

NEW YORK, NY, Dec 17: The Martinique Tourism Authority is thrilled to announce its Cruise Village, the latest initiative to greet cruise visitors to the island. The complex, which consists of vendors and information points, is located at the Pointe Simon Cruise Terminal at the entrance of downtown Fort-de-France. Welcoming all cruise passengers, the village is open from 8:30am to 4:30pm, on days of call for ships, until Friday, April 18th, 2014.

The village features a wide variety of vendors, who all accept US dollars, including: local clothing stands, jewelry and accessory designers, locally-produced skin care products and perfumes, souvenir shops, local artists exhibiting their paintings and artisanal treats. Set to the rhythm of live music, the experience is enriched by local dancing and rum tasting. Visitors will soon be able to buy the local AOC rums.

Mrs. Karine Roy-Camille, the Martinique Tourism Commissioner stated: “This temporary cruise village is a milestone for the cruise passengers’ experience in Martinique. We hope to enhance visitors’ appreciation of the island by extending the traditional Martinican hospitality from the moment they step off the boat.”

The Martinique Tourism Authority and the Fort-de-France tourist office also have booths onsite to assist visitors in designing their perfect day in Martinique. Further into the city, visitors will be assisted by “city stewards” easily noticeable by their red jacket uniforms. These multilingual local guides, dispatched throughout the city, are always delighted to answers questions, give directions and greet visitors.

Cruise lines making port calls in Martinique during the 2013-2014 cruise season include: Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Aida, Seabourn, Star Clippers, Club Med, Compagnie du Ponant, Costa, MSC, Sea Cloud and Swan Hellenic.

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Make It a Smurf-tastic Family Holiday With MSC Cruises

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Dec. 17: MSC Cruises has partnered with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and family travel website to promote the release of The Smurfs™ 2 Movie on Blu-ray Combo Pack or DVD with a 7-night Caribbean cruise giveaway for a family of four on board MSC Divina, the newest MSC Cruises ship to debut in North America. To enter, see special inserts with purchase of The Smurfs™ 2 or visit the Smurfs2 website at

On board MSC Divina, where kids 11 and under sail free year-round, families will find plenty of Smurf™ adventures with our exclusive Smurf-themed Mini and Junior Clubs. In addition, with the original release of the movie, MSC Divina has taken blue and white fun to exciting new levels with a series of uniquely tailored family programs, featuring the ship’s giant Smurf™ mascot as the guest of honor.

From DJ to sous-chef, the onboard mascot takes on a number of key roles during family events, ranging from the Smurfs™ Family Disco, the Smurfs™ Live Talent Show, and Smurfs™ Master Chef - a special cooking demonstration held by the head pastry chef in which children learn how to make biscuits and cakes with a special hands-on experience. Arts and crafts sessions, utilizing official Smurf 2 materials will be available for kids to get creative. Guests will be able to sing along to their favorite tunes from The Smurf 2 Official Soundtrack, including Britney Spears’ “Ooh la la,” during the Family Disco and Smurfs Parade.

Sweepstakes runs through Jan 31, 2014. For official rules, please visit the Smurfs2™ website at For more information about MSC Cruises, visit

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MSC Cruises Announces New Future Cruise Booking Program For North American Guests
Sailing On Board MSC Divina

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Dec. 16: MSC Cruises guests can now take advantage of fantastic savings by booking with MSC’s new Future Cruise Consultant program currently being offered on board MSC Divina. Reserve your next cruise with the ship’s Future Cruise Consultant and receive shipboard credits of up to $200 per stateroom available to use for a pampering massage in our Aurea Spa, a delectable meal in one of our themed restaurants, specialty cocktails and unique features such as Aqua Cycling, 4-D Cinema and the Formula One Simulator, among a host of other highlights featured across our fleet.

Guests on board MSC Divina can book by visiting the Future Cruise Consultant program desk at the Silver Lounge on Deck 6, making an appointment via the Interactive TV in their stateroom or by contacting 6093 on any ship phone. Desk hours will be listed regularly on the daily program on board. Once booked, your travel agent will receive notification so they may service your booking up until sail date. By booking on board, guests can take advantage of two options: “Choose Today” or “Choose Later.”

Choose Today:

· Ship, sail date and stateroom category is defined at time of booking
· Shipboard credit is applied at time of booking
· Deposits are only $100 per person
· No additional payment due until final payment
· Future cruise reservations are combinable with
· MSC Club discounts
· Email confirmation will be sent to you or your preferred travel advisor
· Combinable with certain promotions

Choose Later:

· Ship, sail date, and stateroom category can be decided at your discretion within four years from issue date
· Shipboard credit will be applied when ship/sail date is determined
· Deposit only $100 per stateroom (non-refundable)
· No additional payment due until final payment date is determined
· Future cruise reservations combinable with MSC Club discounts
· Email confirmation will be sent to you or your preferred travel advisor
· Combinable with certain promotions

In order to qualify, guests have the option to book a specific ship, sail date and stateroom or book an open sailing while on board MSC Divina. Shipboard credit amounts range from $50-$200 USD per stateroom and is determined once a ship, sail date and stateroom category has been assigned. Future Cruise Consultant bookings are only available to residents of the United States and Canada. The “Choose Later” promotion must be used within four years from the issue date. Other restrictions may apply. Ask for “Future Cruise Promotion” when booking. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit online at

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Solo Rower Meets the Man Behind Queen Mary 2's Mid-Atlantic Mercy Mission

Dec16: On September 26, 2013, Captain Kevin Oprey, Master of Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2, lent a mid-Atlantic helping hand to a Canadian solo woman rower, Mylene Paquette, after receiving a request for assistance and supplies. Having set out from Halifax, Canada, on July 6, 2013 for Lorient, France, Mylene had lost her anchor and a satellite phone among other items in the remnants of a storm. In response, Queen Mary 2 donated a new satellite phone and two drogue anchors as well as fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, pastries, muesli, crackers, chocolate, plus bottled water and coffee, English tea, mint tea and hot chocolate sachets. But it was not possible to squeeze in a blanket that Mylene had also requested for her boat.

Mylene went on to achieve her dream of becoming the first North American woman to row solo from Canada to France after 10 capsizes, four broken oars (out of eight), and a total of 130 days at sea. But there was still an outstanding matter to be addressed. This was remedied on Sunday, December 15th when Captain Oprey and Mylene finally met face to face aboard Queen Mary 2 in Southampton and the Captain presented her with the missing blanket.

Captain Oprey, commented, “We were happy to have given assistance to Mylène and helped her recover from the damage inflicted by the storm but at Cunard we like to finish the job which is why I was so keen to meet Mylene to congratulate her on her extraordinary feat and to present her with the blanket!”

Mylene Paquette said, “An amazing year has been capped in terrific style for me. I have been assisted mid-Atlantic by the biggest ocean liner in the world and I have now been on board the ship and met a fellow seafarer to whom I owe a great deal. I’d like to thank Captain Oprey and Cunard for their wonderful assistance while I was rowing the Atlantic. This blanket represents the goodwill and spirit of kinship which helped me achieve my dream.”

For more information about Queen Mary 2, go to

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American Cruise Lines Building Four New Ships

GUILFORD, CT, Dec 16: American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S.-flagged cruise company, today announced that it is building four new riverboats for American river cruising. Construction has already begun on the first two ships, with the first to begin cruising in in the spring of 2015. The first two new riverboats will carry between 150 and 200 guests and will cruise the Mississippi River system and the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The four new ships will enter service between 2015 and 2017. They will bring all the latest amenities and comforts to each area cruised, including the largest staterooms, private balconies, and spacious dining and lounge venues.

At least one of the four new ships will operate cruises along the Columbia and Snake Rivers from the Pacific Coast to the Idaho border, more than 500 miles inland. It will be specially built for cruising in the Pacific Northwest with historic accents and modern conveniences. Every stateroom is designed to have panoramic views, private balconies, and room service. The art collection is being carefully selected to highlight the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Native American tribes who helped them. During the cruise, guests will learn about the Lewis and Clark expedition while enjoying the comforts of the finest ship to ever sail this region. The itinerary will be similar to American Cruise Lines’ existing itinerary on the Columbia and Snake Rivers aboard Queen of the West, which underwent extensive renovation in 2010.

In 2012, American Cruise Lines revolutionized Mississippi River cruising by bringing an unprecedented level of refinement and service to the river through its introduction of Queen of the Mississippi, the first new ship on the river in nearly twenty years. The additional new ships will have many of the same features and carry approximately 150 to 200 guests. They will have the largest staterooms ever with sliding glass doors for panoramic views, room service, and other amenities unique to American Cruise Lines.

“There is a longstanding history of riverboating in America,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “Since the 1800s, each new riverboat has sought to outdo the last by offering more amenities, comforts, and service than its predecessors. The Columbia and Snake Rivers have not seen a new riverboat in over ten years, so the upgrade is overdue, and the new ship on the Mississippi River will complement the Queen of the Mississippi beautifully.”

The new-building program comes on the heels of a recent American Cruise Lines revelation which revealed the company has experienced annual growth of more than 25% in each of the past three years. The company is the leader in US river cruising and has an ambitious growth plan to provide its superior service to more people each year. American Cruise Lines operates the newest fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships on more than 35 itineraries around the country. Long established and deeply experienced in cruise travel, American Cruise Lines has most recently received world-wide recognition as the first to revive paddlewheel river cruising in America. The line is known for working closely with guests and travel agents before, during, and after a cruise to create a highly personalized cruise experience. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit

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Serenade of the Seas Arrives in New Orleans

Royal Caribbean's 2,360-passenger Serenade of the Seas, which was completely refurbished last December, has arrived at the Port of New Orleans and will begin sailing weekly cruises through April.

It will launch a 9-night Caribbean adventure to Key West, Fla.; Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; and George Town and Grand Cayman departing from the Port’s Julia Street Cruise Terminal. The ship’s regular itineraries will feature 7-night Bahamas cruises to Key West, Fla.; Nassau, Bahamas; and CocoCay, Bahamas in addition to seven-night western Caribbean cruises to Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces a Butler-Drawn Bath Menu for the Ultimate in Luxury

MIAMI, Dec 12: Norwegian Cruise Line has added another element of luxury to the line’s array of exclusive suite amenities by introducing a new, first of its kind in the cruise industry “Bath Butler” menu, offering guests the opportunity to pamper themselves with one of the line’s signature baths, which are drawn by the suite guest’s dedicated certified butler. The butler baths are listed on an in-suite menu and available in all suites fleet wide, including those in the Haven by Norwegian, the line’s exclusive ship-within-in-a-ship suite complex.

“Norwegian’s suites offer a level of service and array of exclusive amenities that can only be found in five and six star land-based resorts,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “With the introduction of our Bath Butler Menu, we are taking luxury to the next level and know that our guests will love pampering themselves with one of these specially designed baths drawn by our certified butlers.”

Norwegian’s Bath Butler Menu features seven different luxury bath packages, each inspired by one of Norwegian’s spectacular destinations. Every package also includes a tasty treat and refreshing beverage selection. Many of Norwegian’s suite bath tubs also have views of the ocean for an even more luxurious experience.

For those guests wanting the ultimate in pampering, Norwegian’s signature drawn bath is the unparalleled Mediterranean Soak. For $499, guests will bask in the French verbena bubbles that surround them, as they block out the world with their eye mask while sipping on a glass of chilled Dom Perignon champagne, poured from the bottle that sits beside them. In addition, guests who indulge in the Mediterranean Soak will enjoy feasting on sturgeon caviar.

Additional Bath Menu options include:

Mexican Riviera Retreat, $99: Guests can ease into a siesta with a lime exfoliating body scrub with loofah. Then enjoy the perfect nightcap of a freshly made, all natural margarita with 100% agave tequila, premium triple orange liqueur and fresh squeezed limes.
Caribbean Calm, $99: Guests will feel like they are in the tropics while enjoying a passion fruit bath gel with exfoliator gloves, topped off with a hand-muddled Mojito prepared with Bacardi Superior, fresh mint and hand pressed limes.
Hawaiian Bloom, $99: Aloha! Guests will find their own tropical paradise by slipping into a plumeria milk bath with floating flowers and be treated to a coconut kiwi pineapple splash prepared with Bacardi Rock Coconut, pineapple juice, lemon lime soda with chunks of fresh pineapple and kiwi.
Alaskan Plunge, $99: Guests will experience refreshing relaxation with pine bath salts and a back scratcher. After soaking, guests can enjoy a cold pitcher of strawberry lemonade with Stolichnaya vodka, fresh strawberries and hand pressed lemons.
Great Island Oasis, $99: Guests will find they are in their own private oasis as they slip into a seaweed eucalyptus bath, complete with bath pillow and passion punch made with passion fruit liqueur, vodka, fresh fruit juices and sparkling wine.
Wonder waterfall, $49: Bath time should be fun time for the kids. The perfect time for kids to splash around with kiwi fruit berry bath bombs. Then treat them to a yummy kid-friendly strawberry and banana smoothie.

To book a suite on Norwegian Cruise Line and experience a luxurious butler-drawn bath, visit

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Carnival Cruise Lines Partners with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to Bring 'Seuss at Sea'
to Kids & Families on Fun Ships

MIAMI, Dec 11: One ship, two ships, it’s Dr. Seuss on cruise ships! Carnival Cruise Lines today unveiled an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring the beloved children’s brand and favorite characters to the line’s fleet of 24 “Fun Ships.” In an industry first, the Carnival Seuss at Sea program will offer a variety of exciting and immersive onboard youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences featuring the amazing world and words of Dr. Seuss.

“It is fun to have fun but you have to know how,” said the Cat in the Hat in the iconic Dr. Seuss book. The fun on Carnival starts in the main dining room during The Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with the Cat in the Hat and Friends. Attendees will have the opportunity to kick off their day dining on playful foods straight from Dr. Seuss’s imaginationgreen eggs and ham, moose juice and goose juice, along with colorful fruit and pancake stacks, funky French toast and more, with traditional breakfast favorites also available. While Carnival’s wait staff set the tone with Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms, popular Dr. Seuss characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and Sam will be joining guests at their tables for fun interactions and one-of-a-kind photo opportunities. Hosted on the first sea day of each cruise, this special breakfast will be available for $5 per guest.

Every ship in the Carnival fleet will have a selection of classic Dr. Seuss books, toys and themed activities for children to enjoy. Special showings of beloved movies such as “The Cat in the Hat” and Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” will be shown outdoors on the giant screen of the Seaside Theater on Lido Deck as part of the cruise line’s Dive-In Movies programming. On Carnival Freedom, which is undergoing a major refurbishment in May, and Carnival Vista, which debuts in early 2016, there will be a Dr. Seuss Bookville facility, a unique and dedicated Seuss-themed play space featuring iconic décor, colors, shapes and funky furniture inspired by the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. The perfect place for families to relax, unwind and enjoy each other’s company, guests can read one of many available Dr. Seuss books or stretch their imagination through other family-fun activities including arts and crafts, toys and Dr. Seuss-inspired games.

Story time at sea will never be the same with the introduction of Seuss-a-palooza Story Time, A Rhyming Good Timean interactive reading event that brings to life the colorful world of Dr. Seuss for kids of all ages. Hosted on a sea day each voyage in a custom-created environment on board or within Dr. Seuss Bookville, this memorable storytelling event will feature some of the most beloved Dr. Seuss characters.

At other times during the voyage, children and families will have the chance to meet and interact with favorite Dr. Seuss characters and participate in special photo opportunities featuring colorful and zany Dr. Seuss-inspired artwork, as well as through events and activities such as the Seuss-a-palooza Character Parade where guests can join Dr. Seuss characters in a swirly conga line along the Promenade. A variety of Dr. Seuss-themed retail items will be available, as well.

“Our youth and family programming continues to be highly rated and extremely popular with the millions of families who sail with Carnival, but we’re constantly challenging ourselves to uncover unique and interesting ways to further enhance our guest experience,” said Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival Cruise Lines. “We are thrilled to bring the fun, whimsical and wonderful world of Dr. Seuss to life for our guests of all ages to create even more fun and memorable moments during our cruise vacations.”

The Seuss at Sea initiative builds upon Carnival’s leadership position in family cruising. The line carries more than 700,000 kids aboard its fleet each year—nearly half of the total number of kids carried by the entire North American cruise industry. Roll-out of the Seuss at Sea program will begin aboard Carnival Splendor in February 2014 with implementation across the full fleet by 2015, as well as Carnival Vista when that ship enters service in early 2016.

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Costa Cruises Partners with Children's Entertainment Company  on
'New Costa Adventures' Program

HOLLYWOOD, FL, Dec. 11: Costa Cruises has partnered with multi-category children's entertainment company Spin Master to create the exclusive "New Costa Adventures" program on Costa Pacifica and Costa Serena. Many Spin Master games are household names worldwide such as the remote-controlled Air Hogs vehicles, the levitating AtmoSphere, the family board games Beat the Parents and Hedbanz, and the Flutterbye Flying Fairy.

The New Costa Adventures program includes a host of activities for children based on one or more Spin Master games: SpyGear covert mission kits for secret agents, fun "drawing" for toddlers on the Aquadoodle color mat, hovering or bouncing off walls with AtmoSphere, aerial acrobatics with the remote-controlled Air Hogs and learning to guide the Flying Fairy.

The program currently is available on weeklong western Mediterranean cruises on Costa Pacifica and 11-day cruises to Greece, Turkey and Israel or Morocco and Portugal on Costa Serena. This first phase of collaboration between Spin Master and Costa Crociere will continue into spring 2014, when the Spin Master games and the New Costa Adventures program will be rolled out to the remaining 12 Costa ships.

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Norwegian Getaway To Feature Wine Lovers The Musical

MIAMI,  Dec 11: Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship setting sail in January, will feature a new lunchtime entertainment experience for guests, WINE LOVERS THE MUSICAL. Hailed as a “great evening out” by the New York Post, this interactive show combines musical theatre and comedy with a six flight wine tasting and lunch, and will be yet another unique addition to the largest ship to homeport in Miami year-round.

WINE LOVERS THE MUSICAL tells the story of two mismatched students attending a wine class led by an effervescent teacher and their journey of falling in love. Guests attending the show will experience a wine tasting unlike other, as they sample six different wines over lunch all while watching a hilarious musical comedy. The wine selections include varietals such as Estancia Pinot Grigio, Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay, Beringer Founders Estate Pinot Noir and North & South, Norwegian’s proprietary Red Blend from California.

The musical is directed by Holly-Anne Ruggiero, whose Broadway credits include the international hit Jersey Boys and Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays, and features a score written by wine expert Michael Green and award winning jazz composer, Gary Negbaur. The show previously enjoyed Sold Out runs in New York City and New Orleans and is currently available on Norwegian Pearl. The cost of the experience is $25 per person and will be offered twice per cruise in the Illusionarium Theatre.

WINE LOVERS THE MUSICAL is another opportunity for guests onboard Norwegian Cruise Line to learn more about and taste new wines. Norwegian recently announced a new partnership with the world-renowned Michael Mondavi Family to enhance the line’s wine selection fleet-wide to include an incredible variety of wines specially-selected by Michael, together with his son Rob Jr and daughter Dina, to showcase the family’s rich history.

Following inaugural events in Europe, New York and Miami, Norwegian Getaway will sail 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruises departing every Saturday from Miami beginning on Feb 8, 2014. To learn more about Norwegian Getaway, visit

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Viking Announces Six New Land Extensions In Iconic European Destinations

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 11: Viking Cruises announced the availability of six additional Explore More™ land extensions for 2014 that enable Viking guests to extend their stay and enhance their time abroad. The new extensions allow Viking guests to explore some of Europe's finest cities before or after their cruise, and to customize a unique itinerary to fit their interests through the services of Viking's on-site Concierges.

"Viking's itineraries are designed to show travelers the world in a unique and in-depth way, and these new land extensions provide an additional way to maximize and personalize that experience," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. "Our Concierges are friendly, local experts whose assistance ensures that our guests have the same warm, personal Viking experience on land as they do onboard, while seeing the city in interesting new ways."

Similar to Viking's carefully crafted cruise itineraries, these new Viking land extensions provide guests with options to customize their experience to suit their interests. All extensions begin with a walking tour to familiarize guests with the area and include handpicked, high-quality hotel accommodations. With a Viking Concierge available on-site at the hotel, travelers have a local host to help them make the most of their trip. New excursions for 2014 include:

-- Bruges (3 nights; available with Rhine Getaway) - Recently named one of Condé Nast Traveler's most popular cities in Europe, Bruges offers some of Europe's finest dining, scenic squares set among medieval houses, charming bridges and beautiful canals.
-- Kraków (3 nights; available with Elegant Elbe) - In addition to exploring one of Poland's oldest and largest cities long hidden behind the Iron Curtain, Viking's Concierge can help guests plan a visit to the moving site of nearby Auschwitz or the fascinating Wieliczka Salt Mine.
-- Nuremberg (2 nights; available with Romantic Danube) - Guests will enjoy a guided tour of historic Nuremberg Castle, and Viking's Concierge can help guests make the most of their time by planning a visit to the Germanische National Museum or a nearby Brauhaus to experience an authentic German beer hall up close.
-- French Riviera (3 nights; available with Portraits of Southern France or France's Finest) - Guests can take in the glitz and glamour of Nice with a guided tour of the coastal resort town; then relax on the beach; or take in the cosmopolitan sites of nearby St. Tropez, Cannes or Monaco with customized arrangements made by their Viking Concierge.
-- The Hague (2 nights; available with Tulips & Windmills) - Following a guided tour of The Hague, guests can have their Viking Concierge arrange for visits to local great art collections from 17th-century Dutch Masters like Vermeer and Rembrandt, to modern works by Monet, Mondrian, and Picasso.
-- Lake Geneva (3 nights; available with Rhine Getaway) - Guests will enjoy the beautiful scenery of Montreux, one of the loveliest resorts on Lake Geneva, and their Viking Concierge can provide a customized plan for a Swiss Riviera wine tour or a ride on the Golden Pass train through beautiful Alpine scenery.

For more information, pricing and availability, visit

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Cruise Industry-Firsts Highlight Crystal Serenity's Chic "Extreme Makeover"

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 10: Crystal Cruises' award-winning Crystal Serenity has emerged from a $17 million redesign with chic new Crystal Penthouses (the coveted top accommodations) and dramatically transformed indoor/outdoor casual dining spaces, including the Trident Grill, Scoops ice cream bar, Tastes Bar, Lido Cafe, and Tastes restaurant, featuring a brand new global-inspired evening menu. Cruise industry-firsts include a chef's herb garden as part of vibrant "vertical walls" of greenery and 70 new PURE hypoallergenic staterooms.

From the top deck to its hull, Crystal Serenity underwent a comprehensive maintenance, with deep cleaning, mechanical updates, and environmental upgrades implemented throughout the ship's interior and exterior spaces. Palm Court boasts a new dance floor, specialty restaurant Prego was warmed with new colors, and even the "behind the scenes" Tender Boarding area reveals a welcoming new look. In recent years, Crystal Cruises has spent almost $120 million on the Extreme Makeovers of its fleet, and $52 million on Crystal Serenity alone within the last two years.

"We have completely reimagined spaces to create chic and contemporary public areas and accommodations that are as comfortable and inviting as they are dramatic and stylish," says Crystal's President Edie Bornstein. "Fine design is an integral part of our guests' lifestyles, whether at home or away."

Lido Deck - Lido Cafe
London's Adfecto architectural interior design firm was inspired by Santa Barbara's casual, yet cultured, "California Riviera" vibe for the "Extreme Makeover" of the ship's spacious Lido deck. The existing Lido Cafe was demolished and extended forward to increase space for all new service and seating areas. As with Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity's Lido Cafe has been redesigned with modern food islands (instead of long buffet counters), more tables for two, and a live, open kitchen, which includes a bakery.

Highlighted by floor-to-ceiling windows, the space was reimagined with rich tones of denim blue and ochre fabrics, geometric neutral blocks of bronzes and cream-tile floors, and pale blue glass tiled-walls. Edge-lit geometric fret-cut screens help separate intimate "by-the-window" seating areas from all new light stone island counters. Custom-made ceramics, gold leaf speckled mosaic tile from Italy, decorative internally-lit herb-inspired sculptures and strapped bronze pendant lights add layers of detail. Warmth is introduced with the various shades of wood, including comfortable UK-made timber-framed Morgan furniture. The restaurant's aft outdoor dining space was refreshed with ochre patterned cushions and umbrellas.

In total, the remodel saw the installation of 17 counters, all new WMF coffee machines, Citrocasa orange juicers, EuroCave wine refrigerators, and two Sveba Dahlen ovens (one in Lido Cafe for baked goods, one in Tastes for pizzas), enabling Crystal chefs to enhance the preparation and presentation of fresh hot and cold food selections, as well as support beverage service. While the lighting is carefully designed to showcase the food, the Lido Cafe is also Crystal's first fully LED low energy-lit restaurant, demonstrating the line's commitment and investment in modern energy-saving technology.

Lido Deck - Tastes, Trident Grill, Scoops, and Palm Court Adfecto's major remodel saw the removal of the indoor pool and all of its surrounding galleys and eating areas to create new indoor/outdoor casual dining and lounging spaces with expansive ocean views. The Lido Cafe's theme is continued, but this space opens up into a light and airy courtyard with a retractable glass roof. Crystal white granite table tops, natural stones, white wicker, tan sofas and an array of blues with pops of tangerine set the resort-like tone. Most striking is the lush greenery in the form of multiple variegated "living walls" of plants, a fresh herb garden for Crystal chefs, and live olive trees under-planted with lavender. A fret-cut, internally-lit sculpture uses thyme and rosemary motifs to reflect the herb and dining concepts.

Mid-ship dining spaces on Lido are all new, including a Tastes restaurant with another open kitchen, Scoops ice cream bar, Tastes Bar, and Trident Grill. The angled living walls, planters and sculpture are used to subtly divide and bookend various seating groups and dining concepts. The lines of the teak decking, sleek stretched taupe canvas ceilings over the waterside tables, and angled blocks of light and dark stone, ceramic and mosaic tiles help define the space.

The Trident Grill and Scoops ice cream bar area on the port side of the wall has large sofa and armchair groups suitable for laid back relaxation and conversation. All new counters, digital signage, and toppings display showcase what is on offer.

The starboard side features Tastes restaurant, bar and custom-built open kitchen that allows guests to watch the food being prepared. While Tastes is open during the day for a "Late Risers Breakfast" and full lunch menu, including specialties such as Chinese noodles and dumplings, after 6:00 PM, the restaurant is transformed into a cool and casual evening eatery with dramatic lighting that showcases the trees, plants, and decorative screens. Its new global-inspired menu was created in association with Sapphire Restaurants in Laguna Beach, CA, where acclaimed Chef Azmin Ghahreman offers cuisine with accents from around the globe. An Alsatian Tarte, Tunisian Crab Warka, California Street Tacos, and North African Lamb Dumplings share the bill with a dozen other inventive small plates that are designed to be shared.

On the opposite end of the deck, Palm Court. the ship's popular evening spot dancing, was refreshed with a new cherry wood dance floor.

Crystal Penthouses
Toronto's II BY IV, the firm that won major design awards for its previous remodel of Crystal Serenity's staterooms, redefined the ship's four top suites with clean lines, classic simplicity, and refined elegance in a dramatic ultra-contemporary remodel. Interiors of the butler-serviced, 1,345 square-feet Crystal Penthouse residences were gutted and spaces completely reconfigured. The dining area moved closer to the floor-to-ceiling windows and the private outdoor deck, while the former dining room now holds a den/library/media room with a sleeper sofa and closet. With a new shower added to the guest powder room, the space can function as a second bedroom, ideal for families. A butler's pantry with private entrance adds to the comfort.

Inspired by the classic flats of London and the sophisticated upscale style of Manhattan, the designers' goal was to create a home away from home for the sophisticated world traveler, with a high level of comfort and various areas for work and play. Designed to maximize the views throughout, the rooms and seating arrangements are open and flow from room to room. Even the Grand Foyer offers a dramatic cut-work open screen, enabling visibility into the dining room and the ocean views beyond. Custom handmade Italian mosaic tiles and modern Swarovski crystal lighting sconces flank the Grand Foyer's entrance, inside and out. The rooms' neutral color palette is accented with distinctive art and accessories that give each suite its own personality. Used throughout are natural marble, natural wood floors, and custom-designed carpet fabricated by Ulster in Ireland.

The master bedroom received luxurious new bedding and window treatments, two entrances, and a new seating area. The walk-in closet's generous storage space features illuminated clothing rods and custom shelving. The spacious master bath boasts a custom design of hand crafted diamond-shaped Italian marble mosaics on the floor and walls, a heated floor, dual vanity with large glass vessel Kohler sinks, a walk-in glass shower with a heated marble bench, an award-winning Duravit spa flotation tub with ocean views, and a television embedded in the vanity mirror. The powder room offers a mosaic wall of custom glass tiles handmade in Italy.

The Crystal Penthouses were outfitted with the latest in technology, designed to be uncomplicated and intuitive with custom light settings and sound throughout to change the ambiance and maximize enjoyment of the large Bose VideoWave III flat screen televisions, iPod docking stations, and surround sound audio system.

Deluxe PURE Staterooms
In a cruise industry-first, 70 deluxe verandah staterooms were transformed into hypoallergenic luxury accommodations offering a comprehensive, chemical- and odor-free indoor environment solution. PURE(® )Marine Solutions, a sister company of leading allergy-friendly hospitality innovator PURE Global, implemented a seven-step patented and proven air and surface purification process in each room to remove allergens and reduce the risk of irritants. With a state-of-the-art medical grade air purifier discreetly installed to filter out 99.9% of all airborne impurities on an ongoing basis, guests can expect relief from allergies and more sound sleep, thus enhancing the overall relaxation and recuperation expected from a vacation.

The Best of the Rest
Crystal Serenity's Tender Landing/Boarding area was redesigned with a new faux timber floor with contrasting inserts and sycamore effect walls. A new ceiling with low energy LED lighting highlights new large-scale, stylized flora and fauna photographic artwork. New digital signage and benches were installed to improve the embarkation and disembarkation experience.

The ship was thoroughly deep cleaned, exteriors repainted, the "port pod" refurbished, and energy-saving LED lighting was added in public areas and crew offices, and more.

Giving Back
In keeping with recent dry dock tradition of "giving back," old furniture was donated to a local Cadiz organization that supports recovering drug addicts.

In all, 1110+ contractors and crew worked round-the-clock to complete 700 projects, with the majority of the Extreme Makeover fulfilled at the Navantia Shipyard in Cadiz, Spain. DPA Lighting Consultants oversaw the design of the architectural lighting and energy-efficient lighting treatments throughout the ship.

Following her first post-dry dock cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona cruise via the Canary Islands and Morocco, Crystal Serenity is making a Transatlantic crossing to the Americas, a Christmas/New Year's voyage in the Caribbean, and an annual World Cruise--an 89-day ultimate luxury adventure from Los Angeles to London, starting Jan 18. For more information, visit

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Princess Cruises Announces Winners of 2012-13 Caribbean &
Panama Canal Shore Excursion Awards

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Dec 10: Princess Cruises is honoring passengers’ favorite Caribbean and Panama Canal tours with its 14th annual CRUISE service awards. Recognizing the most popular shore excursion experiences and tour guides from the 2012-13 season, the awards are based largely on passenger feedback. Chosen from the extensive line-up of shore excursions offered on Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises, the awards highlight the important role local tour operators play in each destination as part of a passenger’s overall cruise experience. Winners are determined largely by tour scores and comments made on passenger surveys.

A number of tours have topped the list for several years, and five of them have been passenger favorites for five or more years in a row. One excursion, the Americas Cup 12-Metre Yacht Regatta tour in St. Maarten, has now been voted ‘Shore Excursion of the Season’ for that port for the 14th year in a row.

“Local tour operators play an important part wherever our ships sail,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “So each year we honor the best shore excursion providers who contribute so much to our passengers’ Princess experience in port.”

The CRUISE program is the longest running customer service program in the cruise industry. The Caribbean and Panama Canal awards began in 1999 and cap off a season-long effort to recognize the role that local Caribbean and Panama Canal tour partners play in passengers' cruise experiences. Tour Guide of the Season award winners receive $100, a letter of commendation, a ship tour and lunch onboard with their family. Operators of the Shore Excursion of the Season receive a plaque and a letter of commendation, a tour of the ship, and lunch onboard for company officials.

The 2012-2013 shore excursion winners are:

Stingray, Snorkel, Swim & Scenic Country Drive, Stingray City Antigua Ltd
Catamaran and Lobster Lunch, Scenic Cruise & Swim, Tropical Adventures

4WD Island Tour, Baby Natural Bridge & Arashi Beach, DePalm Tours
Mi Dushi Sail, Snorkel, Antilla Shipwreck & Lunch, Windfeather Charters

Harrison's Cave & Scenic Drive, Goddards Shipping & Tours
George Washington House, Garrison & Change of Guards, Goddards Shipping & Tours

Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, Marimba Music & Lunch, Chukka Caribbean Adventures
Horseback Safari Ride, Bacab Eco-Park & Lunch, Bacab Eco Park

Glass-Bottom Boat Eco-Cruise & Bonaire Marine Park, Bonaire Destination Services
Mangrove Eco-Cruise by Kayak & Lac Bay, Bonaire Tours

Emerald Jewelry Making Class & Diploma, SEICO Limitada

Passion Island Beach Break, Lunch & Scenic Cruise, Isla Pasión, Cozumel, México
Interactive Dolphin & Manatee Swim & Sea Lion Show, Dolphin Discovery Cozumel

Ostrich Farm, Art Workshop & Scenic Drive, Funbini B.V.

Wacky Rollers 4WD Safari, Gardens & Titou Gorge, WRAVE Ltd.
Certified Scuba Diving (Two Sites), Dive Dominica Ltd

Panama Canal: Today’s Locks System and the Future, Aventuras 2000
Authentic Embera Indian Village, Elite Shore Excursions Foundation

Stingray Encounter, Reef, Snorkel, Beach & Lunch, Native Way Watersports
Atlantis Submarine Scenic Adventure, Atlantis Submarines Grand Cayman

Horseshoe Reef & Round Cay Snorkel Adventure, Chukka Caribbean Adventures
Dune Buggy Island Adventure Tour, Chukka Caribbean Adventures

Harbor Cruise, Grand Anse & Morne Rouge Beaches, Best of Grenada Ltd.

Original Canopy Zipline Tour at Veragua Rainforest, OCT Enterprises
Hacienda Tour, Fruit Cultivation, Lunch & Shopping, Swiss Travel Service

Aerial Chairlift, Bobsled, & Dunn’s River Falls, Mystic Mountain
River Tubing Eco-Adventure, Chukka Caribbean Adventures

Panama Canal: Today’s Locks System and the Future, Aventuras 2000
Authentic Embera Indian Village, Elite Shore Excursions Foundation

Filadelphia Coffee Estate & Colonial Antigua with Lunch, Elite Guatemala/Ventura Máxima

Rainforest Aerial Tram, Tarcoles River & Lunch, Elite Shore Excursions Foundation
Coffee Plantation, Botanical Garden & Lunch, Gray Line Costa Rica

Dolphin Encounter & Museum, Anthony's Key Resort
Certified Scuba Diving (Two Sites), Anthony's Key Resort

Scenic Railway Ride & Circle Island Drive, St. Kitts Scenic Railway, Ltd.
Fairview Great House and Gardens & Panoramic Drive, Kantours

Sulphur Springs, the Pitons, Scenic Cruise & Lunch, Cox & Company Ltd.
Rainforest Aerial Tram & Canopy Zipline Adventure, Elite Shore Excursions Foundation/ DBA Rain Forest Sky Rides St. Lucia

"America's Cup 12-Metre" Yacht Race, St. Maarten 12 Metre Enterprises N.V.
Helmet Diving at Sea Trek Underwater Park, Seatrek St. Maarten NV

BOSS Underwater Adventure & Scenic Cruise, Aqua Adventures
Coral World, Sea Lion Swim & Scenic Drive, Coral World Ocean Park

Tour Guides of the Season Winners:

ARUBA – Maria Geerman of DePalm Tours
CARTAGENA – Jose Alonso Villa Olivo of Avia Caribbean Ltda
COZUMEL – Juan Trejo of Caribbean Fun Sun Ltd
CURACAO – Helene Desiree Maas of Funbini B.V.
DOMINICA – Steline Joseph of Wrave
GRAND TURK – Austin Dickenson of Caribbean Tours International
LIMÓN – Ivan Aguilar of Swiss Travel Service
PANAMA CANAL – Arthur Wagner of Elite Shore Excursions Foundation
PUNTARENAS – Olman Vargas Pizarro of Asuaire Travel Service
ST. THOMAS – Captain Tom of Fun Water Tours

More information about Princess Cruises’ land tours and shore excursions is available at Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by visiting

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Bacardi Bar Opens On Norwegian’s Private Island

MIAMI, Dec 10: Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that the Bacardi Bar, a first of its kind rum bar, opened yesterday on Great Stirrup Cay, the line’s private island in the Bahamas. The Bacardi Bar on Great Stirrup Cay offers guests the opportunity to relax at a spectacular beach bar venue and experience Bacardi’s range of exceptional rums at the beverage company’s first permanent Bacardi Bar location in the Caribbean.

The Bacardi Bar on Great Stirrup Cay celebrated its grand opening on Dec 9th during Norwegian Pearl’s visit to the island. Guests sailing on board Norwegian Pearl attended the bar’s opening festivities, which featured a live DJ set, exhibitions by two of Bacardi’s top mixologists, drink samples, giveaways and an exciting christening ceremony which featured a ceremonious Bacardi-bottle breaking.

“We are excited to announce the grand opening of the Bacardi Bar,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “We are honored to partner with Bacardi for the launch of our island’s newest bar. Bacardi’s rich history and quality beverage products are the perfect complement to our private island experience. We know that our guests are going to love spending time here during their visit to Great Stirrup Cay.”

Inspired by Bacardi’s rich 150 year history and distinct Cuban heritage, Great Stirrup Cay’s Bacardi Bar and terrace feature the iconic Bacardi Bat logo, original Bacardi advertising artwork and Cuban-inspired fixtures including specially-designed tiles and shutters. Guests who visit the Bacardi Bar during their time on the island can experience some of Bacardi’s superior craft rums through superb freshly made cocktails such as the Cuba Libre and the Original Bacardi Mojito. In addition, the Bacardi Bar will feature a flight of Mojitos so that guests can sample some of Bacardi’s most popular Mojito creations. In addition to the wide range of specialty cocktails that are offered at the Bacardi Bar, guests who visit the bar each week will have a chance to experience exclusive events and entertainment, including live mixology, live DJ’s and a variety of interactive games.

Norwegian was the first cruise line to offer an uninhabited tropical island experience exclusively for its guests. Norwegian’s 250-acre private island offers magnificent white sand beaches, majestic palms and calm, pristine waters where an abundance of colorful marine life inhabits the surrounding coral reefs. Activities on the island include snorkeling; Waverunner® tours; eco boat tours; kayaking; parasailing; shopping at the straw market; and more.

Guests sailing on board Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Breakaway, and Norwegian Sky all have the opportunity to experience the Bacardi Bar during their upcoming cruises to the Bahamas. For more information on Norwegian Cruise Line, visit

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Michelin-Starred Chefs Join Seabourn Sojourn 2014 World Cruise

SEATTLE, December 10, 2013 - Guests aboard Seabourn Sojourn's 116-day world cruise departing Los Angeles on January 4, 2014 will savor both the professional expertise and the sociable companionship of four Michelin-starred chefs during their voyage. Culinary Conversations is one element of the line's diverse Seabourn Conversations onboard enrichment series. As part of the this popular series these renowned chefs will not only conduct cooking demonstrations and supply signature touches for the ship's menus; they will also join in the relaxed, casually elegant social ambiance that adds to Seabourn's reputation as one of the world's most highly rated travel experiences.

"Seabourn guests share an avid interest in food and wine," said Seabourn president Richard D. Meadows. "They like to indulge in new and different flavors when they travel, therefore we are pleased to offer them a variety of cuisines during their voyages. Seabourn's own executive chefs also typically have backgrounds in Michelin-starred restaurants," he continued. "So they are thrilled at the chance to meet and learn from another chef who shares their passion for cooking."

The chefs scheduled to appear during the voyage are:

• Bernd Siener - Executive chef at Marburger Esszimmer in Marburg, Germany made his reputation at various venues in that town's luxurious Vila Vita Rosenparc spa-resort. (Jan. 21-31, 2014)
Christian Lohse - Executive chef at Fischers Fritz in Berlin, Germany, has garnered multiple Michelin stars and Gault-Millaut points throughout his career. (Jan. 21-31, 2014)
Andrew Fairlie - Executive chef at his eponymous restaurant in the Gleneagles Hotel, the only two-Michelin star restaurant in Scotland. (Mar. 14-25, 2014)
Heiko Antoniewicz - A "Magician of Molecular Cuisine", made his reputation with the gourmet catering company Art Manger, and a restaurant by the same name. (Feb. 9-17, 2014)

Fine dining is one of the pillars of Seabourn's award-winning onboard lifestyle. The company has been honored since its founding for consistently providing exceptional cuisine. Seabourn Conversations also include participation from experts in the arts, cultural and historical subjects, scientific research, geography, politics and current affairs. For more information, visit

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Costa Luminosa Begins Sailing 10-day Caribbean Cruises from Miami

HOLLYWOOD, FL, Dec. 10: Costa Luminosa made its maiden call at Miami, Fla., Saturday, Dec. 7, as it repositioned to the Caribbean for the winter on 10-day roundtrip voyages. At 92,000 gross tons and carrying 2,260 guests, Costa Luminosa is the newest and largest Costa Cruises ship ever deployed from Miami. Guests can enjoy la dolce vita while visiting six Caribbean ports on the 10-day itineraries. Costa Luminosa will call at Nassau or Freeport, Bahamas; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos or Princess Cays; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Roatan, Honduras, and Cozumel, Mexico. Costa Luminosa's last roundtrip cruise from Miami for the season will depart March 17, 2014, and call at Belize City, Belize, instead of Roatan.

"Costa Luminosa is the newest and largest ship we've ever had sailing from Miami during the winter season," said Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America. "We are excited to be able to expose more North American guests to our international product and let them see firsthand what makes Costa the number-one cruise line in Europe."

Costa Luminosa was the first in a new class of ship for Costa Cruises when it debuted in 2009. A full 68 percent of the ship's 1,130 cabins feature a private balcony, the highest percentage of private balconies in the Costa fleet. The ship features four restaurants and 11 bars. Guests looking for excitement can take advantage of Costa Luminosa's three pools; a multipurpose sports court for tennis, volleyball and soccer; a jogging track, 4D cinema, casino, dance club, piano bar, library and shopping center. Those who prefer to relax can visit the two-level Samsara Spa that boasts a gym, thalassotherapy pool, treatment rooms, sauna and Turkish bath.

For more information about Costa Cruises, visit

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The American Queen Steamboat Company Introduces 2014 Bourbon & Bluegrass Itineraries

MEMPHIS, TN, Dec. 10: The American Queen Steamboat Company, owner of the largest and most opulent riverboat in the world, is proud to announce its exciting new Bourbon & Bluegrass itineraries beginning in Aug. 2014 between St. Louis, Mo. and Cincinnati, Ohio. The nine-day journey offers guests the chance to experience a dynamic blend of historic discovery, music and the Kentucky Bourbon Trial, with tours to renowned distilleries and celebrated ports including Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Paducah, Ky.; Henderson, Ky.; Louisville, Ky.; and Madison, Ind.

Taking place on two dates, Aug 29th and Sep 5th, the Bourbon & Bluegrass voyages will feature distilleries from the makers of Jim Beam, Buffalo Trace, and Heaven Hill. Famous bourbon makers will also be onboard to present and reveal their finest creations paired with the famed cuisine of the American Queen Steamboat Company.

“Sipping bourbon and enjoying Bluegrass are two iconic American pastimes that go hand in hand,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “Our guests will appreciate this authentic experience that brings the history and culture of the Ohio Valley region to life.”

Highlights of the trip include:

· Included pre-cruise hotel stay in St. Louis, Mo. or Cincinnati, Ohio, depending upon the departure.
· Onboard Bluegrass Acts featuring Rhonda Vincent and the Rage and Storefront Congregation.
· Multiple Lecturers and tasting opportunities from Four Roses Bourbon, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Heaven Hill Distilleries and other Kentucky bourbons.
· Distillery Tours on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail where 95% of all bourbon is made.
· Premium touring opportunities to the Bluegrass Hall Of Fame and International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Ky.
· Barbeque luncheon at My Old Kentucky Home in Bardstown, Ky.
· Daily open jam sessions in the “Pickin’ Parlors” for anyone wishing to join in on the fun.
· An exclusive “Moonshine Matinee” deck party on the Ohio River. Featuring outdoor bar barbeque, moonshine lectures on the art and history of moonshine making, festival style Bluegrass and moonshine tasting.

Offering the most inclusive river cruise experience in North America, all journeys include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in all ports, complimentary wine and beer with dinner and a host of other amenities. For additional information and reservations, visit

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Norwegian Opens Summer & Year-round 2015 Itineraries

MIAMI, Dec 10: Norwegian Cruise Line today announced and opened for sale its 2015 summer and year-round cruises. The deployment includes the line’s newest ship, Norwegian Getaway sailing to the Caribbean from her year-round homeport of Miami, and continues to offer three ships in Alaska, four in Europe, two in Bermuda, as well as a variety of exciting Canada & New England; Bahamas & Florida; and Repositioning Cruises. Norwegian will also continue to offer its unique Hawaii cruises year-round on Pride of America from Honolulu and short Bahamas itineraries from Miami year-round on Norwegian Sky.

“We will continue to offer a variety of exciting cruises for our guests to choose from in 2015,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “Back by popular demand, guests can continue to experience the best of Europe on their choice of four beautiful ships, cruise Alaska on some of the youngest ships in the industry, and experience the incredible innovations and unparalleled entertainment the ship that brings the best of NYC to sea, Norwegian Breakaway, and Miami’s Ultimate ship, Norwegian Getaway.”

Norwegian will continue its tradition of sailing from both New York City and Boston to the pink sand beaches of Bermuda between May and October, 2015. Norwegian Breakaway will return to Bermuda, sailing from New York City on 7-day cruises every Sunday from April 26, 2015 through Oct 18, 2015. Guests wishing to visit Bermuda from Boston can sail on board Norwegian Dawn for a 7-day cruise, departing every Friday, from May 1, 2015 through Sept 4, 2015 and from Oct 9 through Oct 23, 2015.

Miami’s Ultimate Ship, Norwegian Getaway, will sail from Miami to the Eastern Caribbean on 7-day cruises every Saturday. Ports of call include: Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas.

Norwegian will continue to sail three ships in Alaska in the summer of 2015: Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Jewel from Seattle, Washington and Norwegian Sun from Vancouver, British Columbia and Seward, Alaska.

Norwegian Jewel, departing Saturdays, will sail a series of 7-day Sawyer Glacier cruises from Seattle between May 16, 2015 and Sept 12, 2015. Departing Sundays, Norwegian Pearl will set sail on 7-day Glacier Bay itineraries from May 17, 2015 through Sept 20, 2015. Both itineraries feature stops in Ketchikan; Juneau; Skagway, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia.

For those wishing to cruise on a longer Alaska itinerary, Norwegian Jewel will sail one 9-day Glacier Bay itinerary on May 7, 2015, and will visit Ketchikan; Juneau; Skagway; Icy Strait Point, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia.

Norwegian Pearl will offer a 10-day Glacier Bay itinerary from Vancouver to Seattle on May 7, 2015, stopping in Ketchikan; Juneau; Skagway; Icy Strait Point; Sitka, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia.

Norwegian Sun will sail 7-day one-way cruises between Vancouver, British Columbia and Seward, Alaska on Mondays from May 25, 2015 through Sept 7, 2015. Sailing north from Vancouver, guests will enjoy a cruise through the Inside Passage, Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier and visits to Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau, Alaska. On Norwegian Sun’s Southbound itineraries from Seward, Alaska guests will cruise the Inside Passage, Sawyer Glacier and Hubbard Glacier and enjoy stops in Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau and Icy Strait Point, Alaska. Norwegian Sun’s open-jaw cruises give guests the opportunity to see more of beautiful Alaska and make their cruise an adventure by adding on a pre or post-cruise CruiseTour, giving guests the chance to experience the real Alaska.

Norwegian Sun will also offer three 7-day roundtrip cruises from Vancouver, featuring stops in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, and one 10-day Glacier Bay itinerary roundtrip from Vancouver on May 8, 2015. Ports of call include Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Sitka Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia.

Norwegian will offer a four-ship deployment in Europe during the summer of 2015. Norwegian Epic will return to Europe for her fifth season, sailing 7-day Western Mediterranean itineraries from Barcelona, Spain and from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, between May 3, 2015 and Nov 22, 2015. The itinerary features five exciting ports of call in three different countries: Italy, Spain and France and includes a stop in the very chic port of Cannes, France.

Norwegian Star will return to the Baltic Capitals, offering 9-day cruises from Copenhagen, Denmark between May 11, 2015 and Sept 15, 2015. This exciting itinerary includes an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as a scenic sail through the Stockholm Archipelago following the ship’s afternoon departure from Stockholm, Sweden.

On June 12, 2015, Norwegian Star will sail one 14-day North Cape itinerary, during the summer solstice. This incredible itinerary will set sail from Copenhagen, Denmark and will visit the best of Norway including, Alesund, Hellesylt/Geiranger, Trondheim, Lofoten Islands, Tromso, Hammerfest, Honningsvag, Molde and Bergen. This itinerary can also be combined with a nine-day Baltic Capitals itinerary for the ultimate northern Europe experience.

Norwegian Star will also sail two 7-day Norwegian Fjords itineraries from Copenhagen, on May 20 and June 5, 2015. This awesome itinerary will sail through the beautiful fjords of southern Norway featuring stops in Alesund, Geiranger, Flam and Bergen.

Norwegian Star will also offer one 12-day British Isles itinerary from Copenhagen to London (Dover). This itinerary will feature stops in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Portland, England, Falmouth, England, Cork (Cobh), Ireland, Dublin, Ireland, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Inverness (Invergordon), Scotland, and Edinburgh (South Queensferry), Scotland.

Norwegian Jade will return to Venice from April 25 through Oct 17, 2015, sailing alternating 7-day cruises to the Greek Isles and Adriatic, Greece and Turkey. Guests may also choose to combine these two exciting itineraries to enjoy the ultimate 14-day adventure.

For an incredible combination of eastern and western Mediterranean itineraries, guests can embark on Norwegian Jade’s ultimate Mediterranean voyage. This one-time-only 14-day itinerary sets sail from Venice, Italy on July 11, 2015 and visits some of Europe’s most sought-after ports of call including Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Santorini, Greece; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy; Cannes, France; Valletta, Malta; and Messina, Sicily.

Norwegian Spirit will offer spectacular open-jaw 12-day Grand Mediterranean voyages from April 25 through Oct 15. Guests can choose to depart from either Barcelona or Venice on this incredible itinerary that visits five different countries – Italy, France, Spain, Greece and Turkey.

Bahamas & Florida
Norwegian Gem will sail from New York City on 7-day Bahamas & Florida cruises between April 25, 2015 and Sept5, 2015. This popular family-friendly itinerary includes a stop in Orlando and the Beaches (Port Canaveral), Florida and also features exclusive Nickelodeon programming on board. On May 30, 2015 and June 13, 2015, Norwegian Gem will sail 8-day Bahamas and Florida sailings that feature an additional sea day as well as additional time in Orlando and the Beaches (Port Canaveral).

For a shorter cruise option, Norwegian Sky will continue sailing 3- and 4-day cruises to the Bahamas year-round from Miami departing Fridays and Mondays. Ports of call I the Bahamas include: Nassau, Grand Bahama Island, and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island.

Canada & New England
Norwegian will continue its scenic Canada & New England itineraries in 2015, offering guests the opportunity to see the spectacular foliage from Norwegian Dawn or Norwegian Gem.

Norwegian Dawn will offer one-way cruises between Boston and Quebec from Sept 11, 2015 to Oct 2, 2015. These sailings can be combined for an ultimate 14-day Canada & New England experience.

Norwegian Gem will offer 7-day cruises round trip from New York City from Sept 12 to Oct 3, 2015, visiting four beautiful ports of call: Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; Bar Harbor, Maine; and Newport, Rhode Island.

Norwegian Gem will also offer two 6-day Canada & New England cruises on June 7 and 21, 2015, round trip from New York City.

The newly-enhanced Pride of America will continue to sail her very popular 7-day Hawaii itinerary departing from Honolulu every Saturday through April 2017. Offering more than 100 hours of sight-seeing time, ports of call include an overnight in Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawai`i; Kona, Hawai`i; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kaua`i; and an afternoon cruise past the breathtaking Nãpali Coast.

Repositioning Cruises
In spring of 2015, Norwegian will offer a variety of once-in-a-lifetime repositioning cruises including Caribbean repositioning, Transatlantic cruises, Pacific Coastal itineraries and a variety of Panama Canal voyages.

To book these new sailings in conjunction with the “The Upgrade WAVE” sales event, visit

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MSC Divina Celebrates the Charm & Celebrity of 1950’s Italy

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Dec 6: A famous face turns and smiles broadly. A camera clicks. A bulb flashes. A moment in time is preserved forever. This ritual occurred countless times in 1950’s Italy, where the paparazzi, who would not be so named until Fellini's film La Dolce Vita in 1960, chronicled every celebrity arrival, departure, shopping spree and stolen private moment. Eighty-four pictures, almost all previously unpublished, were selected from the Archivio Storico Luce photographic records to create the fascinating exhibition “La Dolce Vita. 1950-1960. Stars and Celebrities in the Italian Fifties.” These pictures rebuild an era that shaped Italy’s reputation around the world, paying homage to international celebrities and to the charm and beauty of 1950’s Italy.

Exhibited for the first time in Rome in 2010 at the Museo dei Fori Imperiali, curated by Marco Panella and promoted by Cinecittà-Luce and Artix, “La Dolce Vita. 1950-1960. Stars and Celebrities in the Italian Fifties,” is now on display on board MSC Divina. Starting with her inaugural sailing from Miami on November 20, 2013 through the end of her year-long Caribbean season, international travelers have the opportunity to discover these pictures throughout their cruise, as the exhibition is spread over several public areas across the ship.

At first glance, the images are captivating primarily because of the celebrities they showcase. On closer inspection, they reveal incredible details of a nostalgic era, capturing the glamorous surroundings, gazes from adoring fans, iconic fashions and styles along with stolen, private moments between the stars of the decade. The women's dresses, jewelry, shoes, gloves and purses and the men's shirts, ties, suits and sweaters all tell a story. And not only of the celebrities, but more interestingly, of who surrounds them, as they perch on vespas, sit at cafe tables, and dance in nightclubs.

The celebrities and stars portrayed include Anna Magnani at the Grand Hotel attending the Galà del Cinema, Sophia Loren at the opening of the III Rallye del cinema, Brigitte Bardot at a press conference, Ava Gardner and Walter Chiari at a cocktail party, and Kim Novak, Gina Lollobrigida, Claudia Cardinale, Elsa Martinelli, Anita Ekberg, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Frank Sinatra, Alain Delon, Burt Lancaster Kirk Douglas, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Joan Collins, Roger Moore, Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, and many more.

The La Dolce Vita exhibition is the latest addition of an ‘Italian touch’ to the beautiful MSC Divina. With her sleek and sophisticated design and recently launched partnerships with other legendary Italian brands Fiat, Segafredo, Venchi, Nutella, Campari, Martini and Eataly, MSC Divina sets sail from Miami, representing the best of the Mediterranean. For more information, visit

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Cruise Industry Hosts International Volunteer Day Event in Florida

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec 5: To mark International Volunteer Day, more than 100 employees from cruise lines in South Florida, including Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Lines and Costa Cruises joined together to help clean and beautify the North Shore Park in Miami for the continued enjoyment of locals and vacationers. Employees from the participating cruise lines were also joined by a number of the cruise industry’s local partners, including PortMiami, Intercruises, Waste Management, Lloyd’s Register, Survival Craft, MTN Satellite Communications, and HandsOn Miami. Together, they helped restore the park by gardening, restoring a pathway, and repainting a fence around the perimeter of the park.

This one event is just one example of how the global cruise industry has year-long activities where employees can step outside of the office or off the cruise ship for a day to give back to port communities worldwide. Cruise lines also extend volunteer and philanthropic opportunities to guests, from entire cruise vacations that are dedicated to charitable causes to cruise lines that offer hands-on volunteer excursions when they dock in port communities. In 2013, the industry has provided thousands of volunteer hours to such causes at community events and programs worldwide.

“We take great pride in the relationships we have with the communities where our employees live and work and the nearly 600 ports around the world that our member lines visit,” said Christine Duffy, President and CEO of CLIA. “While December is a good time to give back and reflect on our efforts over the past year, our members actively support these port communities all year long – through charitable donations, volunteer service and cultural preservation programs.”

To learn more about the cruise industry’s contributions to communities worldwide, visit

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Dominica Offers Incentives to Cruise Passengers/Crew

Roseau, Dominica, Dec 2013: The Caribbean island of Dominica invites cruise ship visitors and crew members who call on the island to register for credit that can be applied to a return trip to the Nature Island. Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a spectacular green island of rugged mountains, lush rainforests and rushing rivers in the Eastern Caribbean.

Each year, more than 200,000 cruise passengers and 100,000 crew members visit the Nature Island. With the new Return & Win program, participants will receive a unique redemption code which is valid for $200 USD credit toward their next land-based vacation for a minimum five-night stay.

The program provides $100 USD credit towards a stay at one of the island's certified properties, plus one of the following (each valued up to $100 USD):

Ø Dinner at a local participating restaurant
Ø Tour to local attraction(s)
Ø One World Creole Music Festival season pass
Ø Passes to Carnival season events
Ø Credit towards a vehicle rental (min. 4 days) from a participating rental company

"The Return & Win program is our way of thanking cruise passengers for visiting Dominica and inviting them to come back for a longer stay,” explained Colin Piper, director of tourism. “Cruise visitors often say that their time in port isn't nearly long enough to explore Dominica. With this cruise passenger offer, participants have the opportunity to return and receive on-island credit for their hotel stay and other activities."

Cruise passengers and crew are invited to register for Return & Win at the Bay Front Visitor Information Office at the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth during their time in port. Redemption codes are valid for two years after issue. The program is fully funded by Discover Dominica Authority through 2014. Plans are to continue the program beyond its introductory launch. For details on Return & Win, including participating service providers, visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Partnership With Renowned Michael Mondavi Family

MIAMI, Dec 5: Norwegian Cruise Line announced a new partnership with the world-renowned Michael Mondavi Family to enhance the line’s wine selection fleet-wide. Under the direction of third-generation Napa Valley winemaker Michael Mondavi, Norwegian has increased its on-board wine selection to include an incredible variety of wines specially-selected by Michael, together with his son Rob Jr and daughter Dina, to showcase the family’s rich history. In addition, Michael and family will be working closely with Norwegian to curate wine concepts for its upcoming ships. The all new wine menu will debut on Norwegian Getaway in January and will be rolled out to the remainder of Norwegian’s fleet in 2014.

“Our partnership with the Michael Mondavi Family will maximize the wine experience for guests on board our ships by bringing a new and unique perspective that will enhance our existing wine offering,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO. “Working with an established and well-respected family who has a rich heritage of wine-making will ensure that our guests are offered some of the best wines available.”

“We only select wines we would proudly serve on our table to family and friends,” said Michael Mondavi. “We are thrilled to be working with Norwegian to bring our carefully selected wines to their valued guests and are excited to curate the guests’ experiences using our decades of collective experience.”

Additional elements of the partnership include a series of short wine tasting videos featuring members of the Michael Mondavi Family that will be shown in staterooms to educate and inform guests. Norwegian’s food and beverage staff will undergo intensive training sessions, so that they can confidently provide knowledgeable wine recommendations to guests who are looking for the perfect wine to complement their meal.

Viva Vino, Norwegian’s wine packages, offer guests the opportunity to enjoy the new wine offering and save on a variety of high-quality wines, specially selected from the line’s enhanced wine list. Viva Vino wine packages allow guests to choose their perfect package whether they are a novice wine drinker or connoisseur. Each Viva Vino package gives guests the option of choosing four, six or eight bottles to enjoy throughout their cruise – in the bar, lounge or restaurant of their choice, or even in the comfort of their stateroom. To learn more about Norwegian’s wine programs, visit

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American Cruise Lines Opening Salt Lake City Sales/Reservation Center

GUILFORD, CT, Dec 5: American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise company, announced today its expansion to the Salt Lake City area with the opening of a brand new sales/reservation center scheduled for mid-January 2014. The newly-added Sandy, Utah location will initially open up more than 35 sales positions. The company is currently hiring for various sales positions, including managers, supervisors and trainers.

Headquartered in Connecticut, American Cruise Lines specializes in upscale river and small ship cruises in the United States. It carries passengers from all over the U.S. and around the globe. The line has experienced a high growth rate, adding new ships and itineraries each year, most recently returning overnight cruising to the American Heartland on the Mississippi River and Alaska.

Continued growth and popularity of American Cruise Lines’ unique upscale river and small ship cruises has led to an immediate need for an additional sales/reservation center. Interested people are encouraged to visit the website to apply or call 800-366-6740. The company offers a complete training program, extraordinary earning potential and a competitive benefits package.

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Princess Cruises Announces Finalists for Entertainer of the Year Competition

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Dec 4: Princess Cruises is getting ready to again crown its top guest entertainer during the cruise line’s third annual Entertainer of the Year competition. Four finalists have been selected from the vast array of talented performers—comedians, magicians, tribute bands and other specialty acts—who grace the Princess stages each year, and they will compete for the title during Princess’ upcoming Entertainer of the Year cruise. Passengers will also be able to get in on the act by casting their ballots for their favorite performer aboard Caribbean Princess during the ship’s March 22, 2014 Western Caribbean cruise. Each finalist will offer several live performances during the cruise, after which passengers vote for their favorite entertainer. The winner will be announced on the final night of the cruise at a celebratory event in Princess’ signature venue, The Piazza.

The four finalists competing to hold the title of “Entertainer of the Year” are:

Troy Thirdgill: Comedian Troy Thirdgill has not only performed for audiences on cruise ships, but also entertains at comedy clubs, military bases, colleges and large corporate events. His busy schedule has taken him to more countries than almost any comic in the world. His act features witty material and very real characters, evoking laughs by presenting a unique perspective.
Zach Winningham: Vocalist Zach Winningham hails from the Midwest farm town of Belleville, Indiana, where long country drives with his father introduced him to 50s and 60s rock n' roll, country, and bluegrass music. His passion to keep this music alive has driven his musical career and blossomed into a love of performing, which has taken him to stages across America and cruise ships all over the world.
• Hawley Magic: Illusionist Jonathan Hawley has performed around the world with his wife, Trisha, by his side as his featured assistant. Together as Hawley Magic they make a powerful team, offering audiences much more than just a few tricks. Their artistic act leaves a lasting impression on audiences of any age.
Walk Like a Man: This dynamic tribute show captures the feel of a live concert performance from one of America's living legends, Frankie Valli. The world-class entertainers who make up the cast have collectively performed on television, in national shows and on major recordings. One of the lead vocalists, Val Martinez, even toured with Frankie Valli himself.

The finalists have been determined by the Princess Cruises Entertainment department based on passenger surveys and onboard audience response. The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and will hold the title of “2013 Princess Cruises Entertainer of the Year.”

“We look forward to another show-stopping competition for our third Entertainer of the Year cruise, showcasing the remarkable caliber of the guest entertainers who perform throughout our fleet,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We know passengers love the opportunity to have their voice heard when crowning a winner, but with these dynamic performers, they may have a tough time choosing.”

The first two Princess Cruises Entertainer of the Year contests named comedian Carlos Oscar and singer Tony Tillman as the top entertainers of 2011 and 2012, respectively. The third annual Entertainer of the Year cruise will sail from March 22-29, 2014 cruise aboard Caribbean Princess. The sailing is currently available for booking. More information about Princess Cruises’ live entertainment and other onboard activities is available at

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Emmy® Award–Winning Choreographer & Dance Pro Derek Hough to Sail on Holland America Line’s ‘Dancing With The Stars: At Sea’ Champions Cruise

Seattle, Dec. 3: Derek Hough, the Emmy® Award–winning dancing professional best known for his role on the hit ABC television show “Dancing with the Stars,” is scheduled to perform on the Jan. 12, 2014, “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” Champions Cruise on ms Nieuw Amsterdam. Hough will join fellow professional dancers Tristan MacManus and Kym Johnson and actress Sabrina Bryan, who were previously announced to sail on the Champions Cruise as well as the Jan. 5, 2014, theme cruise departure aboard Nieuw Amsterdam. Both seven-day Caribbean sailings will also now feature singer Joey Fatone, television personality Carson Kressley and professional dancers Sharna Burgess and Emma Slater.  Hough, who received his first Emmy® for his choreography work on “Dancing with the Stars” at the awards show held Sept. 22 in Hollywood, is a five time winner on “Dancing with the Stars.”

“We are thrilled to have superstar and Emmy® Award–winning dance pro Derek Hough bring his talents to Nieuw Amsterdam’s stage on the ‘Dancing with the Stars: At Sea’ Champions Cruise,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest programs for Holland America Line. “This will be an incredibly exciting cruise, with a stellar line-up of dance pros and stars from the hit ABC show, along with the guest dance-off Champions competition featuring winners from previous dance-offs held this year onboard our 15 ships.”

While onboard, the dance pros and celebrities will perform for guests, dazzling the audience with routines from the television series in the ship’s main show lounge. Additional events on the theme cruises include dance lessons with the shipboard professional dancers, a special fashion show featuring the glamorous show costumes, and a chance to meet the dance pros and celebrities, ask questions and take photos with them.

The Jan. 12 Champions Cruise will feature 15 winning guests (one from each ship) from the “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” competitions currently being held on all ships in the Holland America fleet. Holland America Line has already featured four “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” theme cruises this year. The winning guests and their professional shipboard dance partners will perform in the main show lounge for guests and the “Dancing with the Stars” talent. The winning couple will walk away with the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy and title of Holland America Line’s “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” Champion.

The Jan. 5 cruise sails to the eastern Caribbean with calls at Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the line’s award-winning private island, Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. The Jan. 12 Champions Cruise visits the western Caribbean with calls at Half Moon Cay; George Town, Grand Cayman, and Key West, Fla. For more information about Holland America Line or the “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” theme cruises, visit

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Carnival Cruise Lines Announces New American Table & American Feast Dinner Concepts

MIAMI, Dec 3: Carnival Cruise Lines is launching new dinner concepts for the ships’ main dining rooms that will begin the week of December 8 aboard the Carnival Glory. The two new concepts, American TABLE and American FEAST, reflect an increased investment by Carnival in its main dining room experience and incorporate the results of extensive testing and research conducted among Carnival’s past guests.

During the development of the new dinner concepts, the cruise line’s management team spent time interacting with the leadership at Union Square Hospitality Group, a leading New York-based entertainment, food and hospitality organization, to observe best practices and the organization’s approach to culinary excellence. Taking inspiration from that interaction, Carnival’s culinary team developed the new dinner concepts, which will be offered during a pilot period with some variation in the dishes, presentation style and other elements to gauge additional guest feedback before rolling out the program fleetwide in the latter half of 2014 and 2015. Other ships included in the pilot are Carnival Liberty beginning in January, and Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration starting in February.

American TABLE, offered on Cruise Casual nights, is designed to evoke a modern restaurant experience with an emphasis on exceptional American cuisine featuring a mix of familiar regional, fresh and contemporary dishes. Menus will change each evening and will feature an expansive array of creative appetizer, entrée and dessert choices. Modern table décor and place settings are complemented by new menus and a new serving style to deliver a memorable dining experience. Menu selections will feature a wide variety of new and inventive dishes, along with plenty of Carnival favorites that are exceptionally popular among the cruise line’s past guests.

Meals will begin with an extensive stand-alone cocktail menu featuring a variety of imaginative drink specialties such as the Raspberry Mojito, the Carnival Cosmo and the Sunset Serenity, which provide a unique twist on some favorite classics. Featured wines will also be offered by the glass, in addition to a wide-ranging list of wines available by the glass and bottle. The new American TABLE experience offers a full appetizer menu including selections such as Fried Calamari, which can be served family style for the table, as well as soup and salad options. Special selections called ‘Rare Finds’ for the more adventurous, such as Spicy Alligator Fritters and Frog Legs Provencal with Herb Butter, are available as well.

Entrée choices include expertly prepared pasta and poultry dishes such as Free Range Chicken with Salsa Verde and Charred Lemon or Cornmeal Crusted Chicken Breast with Black Bean, Corn and Tomato Salsa, as well as meat and seafood options such as Seared Tilapia with Capers and Parsley or Rosemary Braised Lamb Shank. Carnival favorites such as Flat Iron Steak with Pepper and Herbs, and Veal Parmigiana with Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce will continue to be offered as well.

“Port of Call” entree selections are inspired by the destination on the ship's itinerary that day. For example, when calling at St Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the day's ‘Port of Call’ entrees will include dishes such as Tropical Salad of Ripe Mango, Spicy Grilled Chicken Strips, Crispy Carrots and Red and Green Peppers on a Bed of Fresh Greens Drizzled with Tangy Raspberry Vinaigrette, and Island Chicken Curry with Potato Crisps and Sweet and Sour Mango Chutney. ‘From the Grill’ entrees such as Pork Chop with Caramelized Onions and Stewed Apple will be available every evening to provide diners with even more variety and choice.

Every exceptional meal should end with a fun and memorable dessert and the American TABLE dining experience will feature a special dessert menu with options such as S’Mores Parfait as well as a divine pie of the day option served whole for the table and a la mode. A variety of featured after-dinner drinks will also be available.

In addition to American TABLE, a second dining concept, American FEAST, will also be offered in the main dining room one or two times per voyage on Cruise Elegant nights. American Feast has been designed to create the feel of an elegant, elaborate special occasion celebrated by all guests in the restaurant with courses served table-side in elaborate style befitting the occasion. The American FEAST menu features a full selection of tantalizing appetizers such as Mojito Cured Salmon with Minted Cucumber Slaw, and Crispy Crab and Corn Fritters with Pineapple, Coconut and Cilantro Salsa, followed by a savory pasta dish, served as the second course. Guests then choose their entrée from a delicious selection of succulently prepared meats, seafood and vegetarian choices such as Slow Cooked Prime Rib, Broiled Maine Lobster and Miso Marinated Salmon Filet. Spectacular desserts such as Sticky Toffee Brioche with Whipped Crème Fraiche, Chocolate Nib Crunch, Toasted Coconut-Lime and Strawberry Compote will top off the meal in style.

“Dining has always been a hallmark of the Carnival cruise experience and we’re constantly looking for new ways to provide our guests with exceptional meals and service that become a highlight of their vacation, bringing people together while creating fond memories,” said Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival Cruise Lines. “With our new American TABLE and American FEAST concepts, we have sought to create a delicious, fun, welcoming and highly satisfying main dining room experience and look forward to our guests’ feedback as we refine the program to take it fleetwide next year.”

For additional information, visit

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Oceania Cruises to Rechristen Insignia in Gala Ceremony

MIAMI, Dec 2: Oceania Cruises announced that Virginia Watters, wife of the line’s Founding Chairman, Joe Watters, and the original Godmother of the ship, will rechristen Insignia in Istanbul on June 11, 2014. The ceremony will herald the return of the ship to the Oceania Cruises fleet after a two-year hiatus. Virginia Watters first christened Insignia in March 2004 in the presence of His Serene Highness, Prince Albert in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Since then, the ship has carried tens of thousands of guests on hundreds of voyages around the globe. Ten years later, Virginia Watters will rechristen “her ship” and welcome the 684-guest vessel back in true Oceania Cruises style.

“Virginia and I are both honored and delighted to return to Insignia for her rechristening and to host our guests for this voyage. We look forward to rekindling fond memories, making new ones and celebrating the wonders of friendship with the Oceania Cruises family that separates the brand from all others,” stated Joseph A. Watters, Founding Chairman of Oceania Cruises.

Prior to the start of her 2014 European season and her rechristening, the ship will undergo a multi-million dollar transformation that will result in a sophisticated new ambiance that imbues her old-world charm with the best elements of the line’s newest ships, Marina and Riviera.

Rechristening Voyage Highlights: Immediately following the ceremony, Insignia will depart Istanbul on a 10-day celebration cruise that sails to Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Greece. The cruise will feature many special amenities and exclusive events hosted by the Watters – a gala Christening Brunch; a post-ceremony Sail Away Cocktail Party as the ship cruises the Dardanelles; special Chairman’s Choice Shore Excursions; commemorative gifts and mementos, and exclusive Oceania Club parties and hosted dinners. Two-for-one Cruise Fares for this 10-day voyage include Free Airfare from select North American cities. Guests will also receive a special rechristening package that includes a $750 per stateroom shipboard credit, free pre-paid gratuities and a free unlimited internet package. For more information, visit

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