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Cruise News
October 1-31, 2011

Click the following links to the cruise news stories...

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Unless otherwise noted, all news items are sourced by individual cruise lines,
 cruise industry-related suppliers, and their agents.

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

Princess Cruises Completes Fleetwide Rollout of “The Sanctuary”

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct 31: With the snip of a ribbon aboard Sapphire Princess, Princess Cruises marked the completion of a three-year project to add the line’s signature “pocket of tranquility”–The Sanctuary–across the line’s fleet. The popular adults-only retreat is now available to passengers on 14 of the line’s ships (small ships Pacific Princess and Ocean Princess do not offer this feature). The Sanctuary, which debuted in 2006 aboard Crown Princess, was an instant success as it gave passengers the perfect place to take a relaxing break and indulge in a private getaway with plush seating, massage cabanas, signature beverages, light meals, attentive service by “serenity stewards,” and soothing personal entertainment.

To make room for the newest Sanctuary, the sports court on Sapphire Princess was relocated to a new space on top of Skywalkers nightclub. This new area high atop the ship also offers extra lounge chairs and dramatic ocean views. The installation of The Sanctuary on Sapphire Princess marked the beginning of a transformation for the ship, which will receive many more Princess hallmark features when it goes into drydock from Jan 7 to Feb 4, 2012. During this extensive revitalization, the ship will receive the signature Piazza atrium with its International Café and Vines wine bar; the line’s second “Alfredo’s” pizzeria which was introduced earlier this year aboard Grand Princess; and the distinctive Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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New Princess Cruises Station Debuts on Pandora Internet Radio

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct 28: To offer passengers a unique way to get away from their everyday routine, whether or not they’re on a cruise, Princess Cruises has launched its own radio station on Pandora Internet radio. A first in the cruise industry, the new Princess Cruises Radio ( features three musical options: the “Relax” station playing soothing easy listening music, the “Rejuvenate” station with more lively, up-tempo sounds, and the “Escape Completely” station for a blend of both relaxing and energizing tracks. Listeners can choose which option they prefer by sliding a controller shaped like a Princess ship.

The music featured on the new Princess station is wide-ranging, but the playlist is heavily inspired by the sounds of the 60s, 70s and 80s eras that evoke memories of good times for many of the line’s passengersmusic that reminds them of positive life events and celebrations. Artists might include John Mayer, Bonnie Rait, Bill Withers, Michael Bublé, Marvin Gaye, Elton John, Paul McCartney, and many others. Pandora’s own algorithm then expands the playlist to include an infinite stream of similar songs.

“We know that music is a powerful way to help people relax and escape into a different mindset,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “And so it seemed quite fitting for Princess to create an entire radio station around music that does just that.”

Complementing Princess Cruises Radio is a series of a videos available through the Pandora station called “Escape Breaks” that offer visitors brief, relaxing cruise-related momentsfrom watching a sunset to seeing an Alaskan glacier calving into the sea. The videos are available at

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Windstar Cruises Presents Its Top Island Voyages for 2012

SEATTLE, Oct. 28: Windstar Cruises, which operates a fleet of three luxury sailing yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, presents its top island voyages for 2012 in the Mediterranean, Greek Isles, and Caribbean at exceptional savings of up to $1,500 per person with a bonus $200 shipboard credit, when booked by Dec 31, 2011. Guests can enjoy island-hopping Windstar style, sailing to some of the world's greatest islands, blending the convenience and value of cruising, with the exclusivity and adventure of a luxurious, sailing yacht.

Windstar's Top Island Voyages for 2012:

Greek Isles & Turkish Delights
Set sail from Athens on a journey through history to the chic Greek Isles before capturing the mystery of exotic Istanbul. Seven-day voyages visit Mykonos, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Rhodes, Greece; Bodrum, Turkey; and Kusadsasi, Turkey.

Glitter & Glam of the Rivieras
Explore the fashionable Italian and French Rivieras along with the white-sand beaches of Portoferraio on the island of Elba sailing from Rome to Barcelona. Six-day voyages visit St. Tropez, France; Cannes, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Portovenere, Italy; and Portoferraio, Italy.

Islands of Italy
Experience the unspoiled intimate islands, some of Europe's most exclusive and popular with Italian locals, sailing roundtrip from Rome. Seven-day voyages visit Ischia, Italy; Sorrento, Italy; Lipari, Italy; scenic cruise past Stromboli; Porto Cervo, Italy; and Porto Vecchio, France.

Islands of the West Med
See the trendsetting cities of Barcelona and Rome, exploring the authentic culture of the stunning islands in between. Six-day voyages visit Palma, Spain; Alghero, Italy; Porto Vecchio, France; and Portoferraio, Italy.

Jewels of the Windward Islands
From Barbados, sail to the colorful Grenadines and discover the rugged natural beauty of St. Lucia and beyond. Seven-day voyages visit Bequia, Grenadines; Tobago Keys, Grenadines; Mayreau, Grenadines; and St. George's Grenada.

Yachtsman's Caribbean
Discover exclusive islands and the glitter and glam of the Caribbean's yachting scene sailing roundtrip from St. Maarten. Seven-day voyages visit Soper's Hole, Tortola; Jost van Dyke, B.V.I.; Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Les Saintes, Guadeloupe; and Gustavia, St. Barthelemy.

For more information including rates and itineraries, contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Gray Line of Alaska announces 2012 tour packages in Alaska & Yukon

SEATTLE, WA: Gray Line of Alaska’s 2012 Alaska and the Yukon brochure is now available, and the company announced it’s taking reservations for next year with special discounts for trips booked by Jan. 31. With 65 years of experience in the industry, Gray Line of Alaska is a leader in Alaska and Yukon tourism and will continue to offer multi-day package tours and day trips from key locations in 2012.

Gray Line vacation packages include 2- to 10-day itineraries throughout Alaska and the Yukon that range from Explorer Tours and rail trips focusing on Denali National Park and Preserve, to highway tours and fully escorted packages throughout the two regions. A new, 8-day Escorted National Parks itinerary has been added to the 2012 lineup, which takes guests to three of the state’s most popular national treasures—Denali National Park and Preserve, Kenai Fjords National Park, and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

In 2012 Gray Line will feature a total of 10 package tours, over 20 variations of Denali rail tours, and sightseeing options from both Anchorage and Fairbanks. All package tours include a visit to Alaska’s top-rated inland destination, Denali National Park and Preserve. A visit to Denali offers the opportunity to see Alaska’s famed wildlife, wilderness and spectacular Mount McKinley.

“We’ve been operating in Alaska and the Yukon for decades and our guests benefit from this level of experience. Our tours feature the best of the region from deluxe motorcoaches and private, luxury rail cars on the Alaska Railroad to day cruise boats,” said Joe Witsoe, director of sales and marketing for Gray Line of Alaska.

Gray Line of Alaska is offering an early booking discount of $500 per couple ($250 per person) on tours of six days or longer. To receive the early booking savings, trips must be scheduled by Jan. 31, 2012, and reference promotion code YM1.

Gray Line of Alaska tour highlights in 2012 include:

Denali Rail Tours
These two- to five-day tours are available roundtrip or one-way from Anchorage, Fairbanks or Seward. Guests travel via deluxe motorcoach and/or private, luxurious railcars on the Alaska Railroad and overnight in Denali, the Talkeetna area or both. Pre- and post-night hotel stays in Anchorage and Fairbanks are optional. 

Explorer Tours
Gray Line’s most popular tours focus on the Denali corridor, with six- and seven-day itineraries. Guests can opt for the seven-day Denali-Kenai Explorer, Gray Line’s “Best of Alaska” tour that combines Denali National Park and Preserve with highlights in Seward, Alaska, including a cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park. Other Explorer packages allow travelers to combine a visit to Denali with a cruise on Prince William Sound, or experience the remote Denali Backcountry Lodge.

Highway Tours
Longer vacation packages cover both Alaska and Yukon, Canada. Guests can choose a nine-day option that features Beaver Creek, Yukon, or a 10-day itinerary with stops in Tok, Alaska and Dawson City, Yukon. Both include stays in Anchorage, Denali, Fairbanks, Whitehorse, Skagway and Juneau. Guests travel via the Alaska Railroad and deluxe motorcoach, with a unique trip on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad into Skagway.

Escorted Tours
For travelers who prefer to explore Alaska while enjoying the camaraderie of a group, Gray Line offers three, eight-day escorted itineraries. Guests enjoy the convenience of an accompanying tour guide to handle logistics and provide information while traveling in a private, glass-domed railcar, boat and deluxe motorcoach, with many meals included. New in 2012 is the Escorted National Parks itinerary, which travels roundtrip from Anchorage with stops at Denali National Park and Preserve, Kenai Fjords National Park and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve—America’s largest national park.

Sightseeing Tours
Gray Line offers sightseeing and day tours in both Anchorage and Fairbanks. Tour options include city tours, Alaska Native culture, a riverboat cruise, gold panning and a glacier cruise to Portage Glacier on the MV Ptarmigan. These can be booked at Gray Line offices in Alaska, through a travel agent or online at

Group Tours
Gray Line plans custom tours for groups of 15 people or more. A group may wish to add a trip to Denali following their cruise, or take an extensive tour of Interior Alaska and the Yukon. Gray Line can customize trips with the addition of sightseeing tours, transportation and lodging. Itineraries can be tailored to fit group needs and preferences, including flexible departure times and routes.

Additional information about Gray Line of Alaska is available through a professional travel agent at 1-800-544-2206, or on the company website at

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Cunard Announces Queen Mary 2 Refit Plans

Oct 27: Cunard Line has released details of the planned refit of the company’s flagship Queen Mary 2, in preparation for her eighth birthday in January 2012. With major refurbishments and redesigns of carpets, curtains, bedcovers and linens, and other enhancements, a luxury cruise vacation will be even more appealing aboard the grandest ocean liner at sea.

Taking place at Blohm + Voss Shipyards in Hamburg, Germany, from 24 November through 7 December, the major soft goods refurbishments will comprise all staterooms, Canyon Ranch SpaClub®, the Queens Grill and Princess Grill Restaurants, the Commodore Club, the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, Sir Samuel’s, the Play Zone/Kids’ Zone, and a complete redesign of the Golden Lion Pub. To ensure that the latest changes will complement the ship’s signature elegance and glamour throughout, Cunard has again partnered with the noted Tillberg Design AB in Höganäs, Sweden, the company involved in Queen Mary 2’s original design.

“Queen Mary 2 is an iconic leader in the world of luxury ocean travel and continues to receive high ratings by guests and the cruise industry,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “A ship that still turns heads everywhere she goes, she is unquestionably the pride of our fleet. We are committed to maintaining that impeccable reputation, and this significant refurbishment is an important investment on behalf of our guests.”

The 14-day refit will require a team of thousands of workers replacing the equivalent of almost ten football pitches of carpet and manufacturing about 18 square miles of fabric into over 6,000 individual items. Specific plans include:

• Staterooms: All 1,310 staterooms aboard Queen Mary 2 will receive a fresh look with new carpeting, curtains, and beddings, and some will receive new furniture. The revised design will be in keeping with current designs but with an enhanced sense of luxurious comfort, as can be experienced in luxury hotels around the world.
Golden Lion Pub: With its increasingly popular traditional British pub lunch menus, busy bar, televised sports events, and nightly music offerings, the pub will benefit from a complete refurbishment and redesign to enhance its endearing appeal. The new design retains the British pub atmosphere and also evokes an American country club feel similar to the warm colors and plush seating in the same venues aboard sister ships Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. Upgraded television screens will also be installed.
Canyon Ranch SpaClub: An extensive refurbishment of the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea will include the teak surrounds of the hydrotherapy pool and adjacent wet areas, and a general upgrade of all the facilities. In addition, new exercise machines in the fitness centre and new and improved features in the Beauty Salon will be installed.
Queens Grill & Princess Grill Restaurants: A new, lighter carpet design for both of Queen Mary 2’s exclusive Grill restaurants will enhance the existing ambience, maintaining the reputation of these fine dining venues as among the best at sea or on land.
Commodore Club: One of the most visited public rooms aboard Queen Mary 2, this breathtaking lounge overlooking her bow will be refreshed with a new carpet design and additions to the white leather furnishings of chairs, sofas and bar stools.
Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar: A popular space especially on Transatlantic Crossings, this venue featuring the exquisite Veuve Clicquot brand of champagne will see a new carpet and soft furnishings design.
Sir Samuel’s: This busy venue which features specialty coffees during the day and an impressive menu of wines at night, will receive a new compliment of carpeting and furniture coverings.
The Play Zone/Kids’ Zone: Cunard’s first-rate facilities for younger guests will undergo a complete refurbishment, including new soft play areas, plus upgrades to the very latest in electronic gaming technology and entertainment.

Carpeting of public areas, central walkways and landings on Decks 2 and 3,which began with the ship’s last refit in 2008, will also be completed. In addition to the current major refit, when Queen Mary 2 returns to service on Dec 8th, she will introduce several new on board features, details of which will be disclosed soon. For more information about Queen Mary 2 or to book a voyage, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Norwegian Gem To Feature Nickelodeon Family Programming

MIAMI, Oct 27: Norwegian Cruise Line and Nickelodeon today announced the expansion of their exclusive partnership, extending the popular family entertainment and programming from two to three ships with the addition of Norwegian Gem, beginning in February 2012. Nickelodeon-themed family events, shows and activities were first introduced in April 2010 on Norwegian Jewel and in July 2010 on Norwegian Epic.

“We’ve had tremendous success with the Nickelodeon-themed entertainment and programming to date on Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Jewel,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive offer. “Families are flocking to these ships for the unique experience available to them through Nickelodeon. Based on this success, we wanted to give more families the opportunity to experience sailing with their favorite Nickelodeon characters, so we are pleased to roll out this programming on Norwegian Gem.”

Each Norwegian Gem cruise will feature a live Nickelodeon-themed interactive show in the main theater; Nick Live Poolside!, where families can take part in interactive games and activities by the pool; Breakfast with the Characters, where kids – and adults – can eat, sing and play with SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Patrick, Diego and more; Dora’s Dance Party, where kids can join Dora and the Nickelodeon cast to dance and sing along; meet and greets with popular Nickelodeon characters, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and many more. In addition, there are also other family activities offered, including Nick Jr. Story Time, family trivia and special arts and crafts sessions.

Norwegian Gem will begin offering Nickelodeon programming year-round beginning on the February 19, 2012 cruise, sailing from New York City to the Bahamas & Florida. The ship is sailing a series of 7-day Bahamas & Florida voyages from New York City through September 1, 2012. Ports of call include Orlando and the Beaches (Port Canaveral), Florida; Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian’s private island) and Nassau, Bahamas, as well as three relaxing days at sea.

If the kids can’t wait until next February to experience Nickelodeon, Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Jewel both already offer the family-friendly programming. Norwegian Epic returns to Miami in time for Thanksgiving Break, sailing the Eastern Caribbean with stops in Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas. Norwegian Jewel is currently sailing from New York City on seven-day Bahamas and Florida cruises, calling on Orlando and the Beaches (Port Canaveral), Florida; and Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau, Bahamas. To book a cruise on Norwegian, contact a travel professional, visit; or call 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784).

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Princess Cruises to Feature Largest Australia & New Zealand Deployment
of Any North American Cruise Line in 2012-13

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct 27: Featuring the largest Australia deployment of any North American line in the region, Princess Cruises’ 2012-13 season of “Down Under” cruising offers intriguing new routes, a special solar eclipse cruise, a new cruisetour to the Outback, and more sailings to New Zealand than any other line. In total, four ships – Diamond Princess, Sun Princess, Dawn Princess and Sea Princess – will sail on 40 voyages of eight different itineraries in the region. Among them are a longer 14-day Australia & New Zealand itinerary that adds two ports, Wellington and Picton, compared to previous seasons; as well as an extensive 33-day Round Australia & New Zealand route, featuring the best of the lands of kangaroos and kiwis. Additionally, a special sailing will offer the unique opportunity to view the Nov 14 solar eclipse in its area of totality around northern Australia. This 11-day Queensland cruise aboard Dawn Princess includes a day at sea especially for the opportunity to view the solar eclipse.

Passengers who want to see more of Australia can opt for one of four complete land and sea cruisetours, that seamlessly combine a land itinerary with an Australia/New Zealand cruise. A new 7-night tour option debuts this season, featuring a train ride into the Outback from Adelaide aboard the historic Ghan Railway. The Princess program includes three ships based locally for Aussie-style cruising. Featuring dining and entertainment options geared to Australian tastes, plus using Australian dollars as the onboard currency, these sailings offer a true local experience to passengers from all over.

“Australia and New Zealand are home to some of the world’s great cruise destinations,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Whether someone wants to explore the Great Barrier Reef, sail to scenic spots in New Zealand such as the dramatic Fiordland National Park, or even circumnavigate the entire Australian continent, we offer unforgettable vacation experiences.”

Princess’ 2012-13 Australia/New Zealand cruise season includes:

Australia & New Zealand – Expanded Itinerary – This 14-day journey between Sydney and Auckland adds two ports – Picton and Wellington – to a favorite Princess route – and all departures feature Fiordland National Park. Diamond Princess will offer six sailings between Dec 14, 2012 and Feb 22, 2013 on an itinerary to Melbourne, Hobart (Tasmania), Fiordland National Park (scenic cruising), Dunedin (Port Chalmers), Christchurch (Lyttelton), Picton (or Marlborough Sounds scenic cruising on select departures), Wellington, and Tauranga.

Aussie Experience Sailings
Locally based ships Sun Princess, Dawn Princess and Sea Princess offer “Aussie-style” cruising to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Queensland (Solar Eclipse Cruise) – A special cruise itinerary especially for viewing the total solar eclipse on November 14, 2012. This roundtrip voyage from Sydney sails north to Brisbane, Willis Island (scenic cruising), Port Douglas, Airlie Beach and then heads off the coast for a day at sea for the opportunity to view the eclipse. Dawn Princess departs on Nov 6, 2012.

Round Australia & New Zealand – A 33-day grand tour sailing roundtrip from Sydney features both Australia and the North & South Islands of New Zealand. Sea Princess will call at Brisbane, Port Douglas (for the Great Barrier Reef & Cairns), Darwin, Lombok, Geraldton, Perth (Fremantle), Adelaide, Melbourne, Fiordland National Park (scenic cruising), Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, and Auckland. The sailing departs on Oct 18, 2012.

Round Australia – A chance to circle the continent in 28 days aboard Dawn Princess. The roundtrip voyages from Sydney sailing visits Brisbane, Airlie Beach (for the Whitsundays), Port Douglas (for the Great Barrier Reef & Cairns), Darwin, Lombok, Perth (Fremantle), Bunbury, Albany, Adelaide, Melbourne, Burnie (Tasmania), and Hobart (Tasmania overnight). The sailing departs on March 31, 2013.

Northern Australia Explorer – Sailing between Sydney and Perth (Fremantle), passengers can explore Airlie Beach (for the Whitsundays), Port Douglas (for the Great Barrier Reef & Cairns), Darwin, Kimberly Coast (scenic cruising), Broome, Lombok, and Geraldton. The 17-day sailings depart aboard Sun Princess and Dawn Princess on April 12, 29 and June 10, 2012; plus April 26 and May 13, 2013.

New Zealand – Three different itineraries sail from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane aboard Dawn Princess, Sea Princess and Sun Princess. These 13- or 14-day sailings include opportunities to explore ports such as Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, as well as scenic cruising through Fiordland National Park. Sailings depart between Oct 24, 2012 and March 16, 2013.

Four guided land tours of Australia can be added to a cruise to create a full land and sea vacation, covering some of the continent’s undisputed wonders. All cruisetours include the 14-day Australia and New Zealand cruise seamlessly combined with a four- to seven-night land adventure.

Classic Australia and Ghan Rail **NEW** – This overnight rail adventure between Adelaide and Alice Springs offers a great way to explore the country’s extensive Outback and visit the inland landmark, Uluru, or Ayers Rock. The seven-night tour features two nights in Adelaide, one night aboard the historic Ghan Railway, one night in Alice Springs, a night at Ayers Rock and two nights in Sydney. This unique tour offers an opportunity to explore the South Australia capital of Adelaide as well as the chance to enjoy one of the great train journeys of the world, named after the Afghan cameleers who once traversed this route.

Australian Outback Adventure – This 6-night tour visits the country’s renowned Great Barrier Reef and ventures into the vast Australian Outback with two nights in Sydney, one night at Ayers Rock, one night in Alice Springs and two nights in Cairns. In the Outback, travelers will visit the famed Uluru (Ayers Rock), and will experience Aboriginal cultural.

Ultimate Australia – This 7-night tour features the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock plus visits to Darwin and the majestic Kakadu National Park. This land itinerary offers two nights in Sydney, one night at Ayers Rock, one night at Kakadu, one night in Darwin and two nights at Port Douglas for the Great Barrier Reef.

Tropical Highlights – Those who want to explore the extensive Great Barrier Reef will enjoy this four-night tour, featuring two nights in Sydney and two nights in Cairns. Travelers will spend a day at the Great Barrier Reef, plus nearby nature parks and cultural attractions.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Aloha Hawaii: American Safari Cruises Begins Inaugural Season Sailing
Adventure Cruises Among Hawaiian Islands

Seattle, WA, Oct 27: Adventure cruise tour operator American Safari Cruises celebrates its inaugural season in Hawaii on October 26, 2011 when the 36-guest Safari Explorer begins its first inter-island voyage. The upscale yacht will sail 24 voyages between Maui/Lana’i and the Big Island through May 2012. Seven- or 10-night active, adventure un-cruises explore Lana’i, Moloka’i, Maui, Molokini and the Big Island. Itineraries sail between Maui/Lana’i and the Big Island and reverse; a scenic ferry ride connects guests between Maui and the yacht on Lana’i.

“We’ve spent six years nurturing relationships with local businesses and families in Hawaii,” said Dan Blanchard, principal and chief executive officer. “Introducing our guests to the traditional culture and history of the Hawaiian Islands is a key component of the trip and crucial to our philosophy of authentic travel.”

A Hawaiian blessing for the yacht and crew took place on October 25 on Moloka’i. Hawaiian cultural advisors from Maui, Lana’i, Moloka’i and the Big Island were invited to attend. The blessing celebrated the beginning of operations in Hawaii. Traditional Hawaiian protocols are also being arranged at each island to ask permission for entry.

“Traveling among the islands on a yacht offers convenience and comfort with included activities at your fingertips,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “This is a new way to experience Hawaii, and guests will visit places most visitors to Hawaii never see.”

Exclusive cultural tours on Moloka’i are included during a two day visit. Lawrence, a 50th generation of his Hawaiian Halau lineage, will guide the group to a waterfall in the pristine Halawa Valley. Along the way, guests spend time with Lawrence and his family “talking story,” listening to the land and absorbing the spirit of the natural world and ancient cultural practices passed down through generations of native Hawaiians. Guests may also choose to tour local farms--Moloka’i Plumerias and Purdy’s Macadamia Nut Farm. Others may choose to walk through ancient taro terraces. Guests will have a chance to help restore the terraces and make poi, a paste made from the root of the taro plant. After a visit to the Moloka’i Museum and Cultural Center, a Hawaiian pa’ina celebration feast features locally sourced cuisine including fresh fish and poi, seaweed, Moloka’i sweet potatoes and pork from the imu (underground oven), all staples of the Hawaiian diet. Local musicians join in the celebration along with a kumu hula dancer.

On Maui, an early morning tour to catch the sunrise at Haleakala National Park takes guests up 10,000 feet for a spiritual sunrise ceremony and stunning views of land, sea and sky. In the afternoon, guests enjoy drift snorkeling at the nearly submerged crater of Molokini. Off the coast of Hawaii, the Big Island, the yacht spends time searching for dolphins, whales and whale sharks before anchoring offshore for water sports activities. On the second day, a skiff excursion takes guests snorkeling near Kealakekua Bay before going ashore for a bit of history at the place where Captain Cook died. In the afternoon, a local guide escorts guests on a historical walking tour of Kailua and Holualoa, a village filled with art galleries.

Flexible yacht itineraries focus on the leeward side of the eastern-most Hawaiian Islands. Guests can be as active as they like and explore by foot, kayak, paddle board, sailboat, mountain bike and motorized skiff excursions. Expert naturalists provide interpretation on guided excursions ashore and at sea. The unstructured itinerary allows time for viewing wildlife such as humpback whales and snorkeling tours are a highlight throughout the trip. Itineraries feature exclusive excursions and include all from-the-yacht activities and equipment; transfers; exquisite meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; and all port charges, taxes and fees. An all-American crew has a guest-crew ratio of 2 to 1 and includes Hawaii residents who have personal knowledge of the islands. Pre- and post-cruise packages are available on Maui at Hotel Wailea and the Big Island at Mauna Lani. To book a Hawaiian yachting adventure or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or American Safari Cruises at 888-862-8881 or email .

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Splendour of the Seas Enters Navantia Shipyard For Five-Week Revitalization

Cadiz, Spain – Oct 26: Royal Caribbean International’s Splendour of the Seas enters into the Navantia ship yard in Cadiz, Spain to begin a five-week long, $35 million dry dock where she will receive an array of new amenities. The revitalizations are part of the Royal Advantage, the line’s commitment to offer vacationers the world’s most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service.

Included in the new amenities on Splendour of the Seas will be new dining venues: Chops Grille, Izumi, the Boardwalk Dog House, Chef’s Table and the Park Café; the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, a Diamond lounge for Crown and Anchor loyalty guests, a Concierge Lounge for suite guests and upgraded technology throughout. In addition the ship will receive 124 new balconies and a host of new stateroom amenities including flat panel televisions. Other features being added to Splendour include ship-wide WIFI, a digital way finding system, electronic mustering and an outdoor movie screen. Other enhancements to Splendour will be announced in the coming weeks.

Upon completion of the refurbishments on Nov 25, Splendour of the Seas will sail a transatlantic voyage from Lisbon, Portugal to her seasonal homeport of Sao Paulo (Santos), Brazil. From there she will offer a variety of South American itineraries that take advantage of the summer season in Brazil. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Royal Caribbean Announces Winter 2012-13 Season For Independence of the Seas

MIAMI, Oct 26: Independence of the Seas is returning to America! Royal Caribbean is bringing the Freedom-class ship back to Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. for the winter 2012-13 season. Vacationers will have a choice of three Freedom-class ships offering a variety of exciting Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, conveniently sailing from Port Canaveral (on Florida’s Space Coast) aboard Freedom of the Seas and Port Everglades aboard Independence of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas. Independence of the Seas’ winter 2012-13 Caribbean season is now open for booking.

“We are looking forward to having all three Freedom-class ships sailing the Caribbean in winter 2012-13,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “Independence of the Seas has helped solidify Royal Caribbean’s position as the most innovative cruise line in Europe, where she will continue to sail in the summer, and is now offering new Caribbean adventures for the ship’s devotees. The most innovative cruise ships along with exciting itineraries in one of the world’s most idyllic destinations, plus friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service from every staff and crew, are all part of the Royal Advantage that we are delivering to guests from around world.”

Independence of the Seas will depart on its trans-Atlantic voyage from Southampton, U.K. on Nov 22, 2012, and homeport at Port Everglades from December 2012 through March 2013. The ship will sail a 3-night Bahamas cruise, before alternating 8-night Eastern Caribbean and 6-night Western Caribbean itineraries. In the Eastern Caribbean, guests will enjoy calls at San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination on the northern coast of Haiti. In the Western Caribbean, Independence of the Seas will call at Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Labadee. Additionally, a special 6-night Western Caribbean itinerary, calling at Grand Cayman, and Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico, will sail on Jan 13, 2013. Independence of the Seas will then return to the U.K. in April 2013 to offer Mediterranean and Europe cruises throughout the summer.

At 154,407 gross register tons and a capacity of 3,634 guests, double-occupancy, Independence of the Seas features all of the industry-first amenities which are trademarks of the Freedom-class ships, such as a FlowRider surf simulator; the H20 Zone kids’ aqua park with sprinklers, water cannons and a pool for toddlers; cantilevered whirlpools suspended 112 ft. above the ocean in the adults-only Solarium pool zone; a full-size boxing ring and the 4-bedroom, 4-bath, and 14-guest Presidential Family Suite. Independence of the Seas also features exclusive Royal Caribbean amenities such as an ice-skating rink; a rock-climbing wall; the award-winning Adventure Ocean kids’ program; 10 fine to casual dining options; Broadway-style entertainment; and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship flanked by boutiques, restaurants, and bars and lounges. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit, or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Windstar Cruises To Include Complimentary Soft Drinks

SEATTLE, Oct 25: Windstar Cruises, which operates a fleet of three deluxe sailing yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, will include complimentary soft drinks on all voyages starting this December, which include bottled water, sparkling water, sodas, fresh juices, milk, fruit smoothies, tea, coffee, cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, and espresso. The new benefit will be available in December at the start of Windstar's Caribbean, Panama Canal, and Costa Rica voyages. The addition of soft drinks increases Windstar's complimentary offerings which include dining at Windstar's specialty restaurantsCandles Grill on each of the three yachts, and Degrees and Le Marche on Wind Surf; complimentary watersports such as kayaking, waterskiing, sail boating, and windsurfing from Windstar's Watersports platform; and complimentary DVD and iPod use.

In addition to new itineraries in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Baltic and Mediterranean for 2012, Windstar recently announced an $18 million fleet refurbishment plan, which will be completed in phases beginning this fall. Each yacht will receive stylish, new furniture, upholstery, art, lighting, wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, window treatments, and floor coverings, elevating the look and feel to ultimate luxury at sea, providing an unparalleled guest experience. For more information including rates and itineraries, contact a professional travel agent, call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245, or visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Three New Legendary Performers Set To Rock Norwegian Epic

MIAMI, Oct 24: Norwegian Cruise Line (“Norwegian”) announced the next three "Legends" to perform as part of Legends in Concert on board Norwegian Epic beginning Saturday, Nov 5, 2011 when the ship returns to Miami, Florida. The tribute artists are performing as some of the world's most recognized entertainers-–Lady Gaga, Steven Tyler, and Elvis Presley. A staple on the Las Vegas' center strip for over 25 years, Legends in Concert is known as the pioneer of live tribute shows and has assembled the greatest collection of live tribute artists and celebrity look-alikes in show business.

"Legends in Concert continues to be a guest favorite. We are excited to present Lady Gaga, Steven Tyler and Elvis as our next round of tribute artists," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "With Norwegian Epic returning to its homeport in Miami, this is the perfect time to debut these talented performers as they appeal to music fans of all ages."

Portraying the latest ‘lady’ of pop is no easy feat, but Kate Steele is no stranger to the "Legends in Concert" family. A Minnesota native, she has been performing for nine years as a singer/dancer in many of the Legends’ venues across the country. Steele is thrilled to perform as Lady Gaga, as she can combine all of her talents into one performance. She says, “It's not just about the music. It's about the performance, the attitude, the look, it's everything. That is where I live as an artist and that is what I want to accomplish.”

Chris Van Dahl is an award-winning impersonator whose compelling showmanship and young Tyleresque appearance and swagger quickly landed him his first record deal in his early-20s. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Van Dahl started performing at age 11 and has gone on to share the stage with the real-life Steven Tyler and Aerosmith, as well as the Rolling Stones, MC Five and Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, among others. Even on his ‘off’ nights, Van Dahl can be found channeling Steven Tyler when he performs in the critically acclaimed Aerosmith tribute band, Aeromyth.

The first ‘Legend’ to return to Norwegian Epic, Leo Days performed with Norwegian Epic’s inaugural Legends in Concert cast last year. Days is one of the few Elvis tribute artists who performs all three eras of Elvis, including the rock ‘n’ roll ’50s, the movies and the comeback special of the ’60s, and the Vegas and concert years of the ’70s. Days grew up listening to Elvis and won his first tribute artist contest when he was 15 years old. Over the past 12 years, Days has performed in casinos, theaters, corporate events and festivals throughout the U.S. An international artist, he tours often in France as well as Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

Legends in Concert is a live musical celebration featuring the world's greatest celebrity tribute artists. Legends in Concert on Norwegian Epic features three celebrity tribute performers taking the stage in the Epic Theater for six 45-minute shows over three days during a seven-day cruise. In addition, a Legends “Unplugged” show is performed on three additional nights in the Manhattan Room, the ship's New York-inspired supper club, providing an unprecedented dining and entertainment experience. The celebrity performers change every four months, keeping the show fresh and exciting. The last performers were Shakira, Elton John and Whitney Houston.

Norwegian Epic returns to her Miami homeport on Nov 5, 2011. The ship will sail a series of 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruises, departing every Saturday, through April 7, 2012. Ports of call include St. Maarten and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Nassau, Bahamas, as well as three relaxing days at sea. For further information on Norwegian Cruise Line, visit

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Carnival Liberty Returns To Service Following Extensive Fun Ship 2.0 Enhancements

Carnival Liberty, the first ship to undergo the initial phase of Carnival Cruise Lines’ ambitious $500 million Fun Ship 2.0 enhancement initiative, re-entered service this weekend following an extensive two-week dry dock that added a host of new dining, bar and entertainment choices. Fun Ship 2.0 is a multi-year effort designed to dramatically transform the Carnival vacation experience through innovative partnerships and new branded spaces. The first phase extends through the end of 2015 with 16 ships scheduled to receive the various Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements.

New features on the Carnival Liberty include:

· Guy’s Burger Joint, a new free casual dining venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality and restaurateur Guy Fieri offering delicious hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries in a fun atmosphere that celebrates his California roots and love of car culture.
· RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside version of the line’s popular RedFrog Pub that debuted on Carnival Magic offering a quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe.
· BlueIguana Tequila Bar, featuring a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and a variety of tequila-based frozen drinks and beers.
· BlueIguana Cantina, a casual eatery that evokes the feel of a fun, relaxed Mexican beachside dining spot serving authentic tacos and burritos.
· EA SPORTS Bar, created in tandem with the leading sports videogame brand where guests can catch the latest action and play popular EA SPORTS video games on a 16-screen video wall.
· Alchemy Bar, a vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy” with imaginative cocktails and a wide array of ingredients.
· A revamped nightclub experience with DJs trained by celebrity song master DJ IRIE, Carnival’s official DJ who created DJ IRIE’s Spin’iversity, the first DJ academy at sea.

In addition to the Fun Ship 2.0 features, Carnival Liberty’s dry dock also included new carpeting, tile work, wall coverings and furniture, as well as other cosmetic upgrades and routine maintenance.

Additional enhancements included in the first phase of Fun Ship 2.0 will be introduced on several other ships next year. These include a partnership with comedian George Lopez who has been named Carnival’s “creative director for comedy” and will evaluate talent for its fleetwide comedy venues, which will be called The Punchliner Comedy Clubs Presented by George Lopez; Hasbro, the Game Show, with larger-than-life stage adaptations of the brand’s popular and iconic board games; and Playlist Productions, which combines electrifying live performances with high-tech LED special effects to set a new standard in seagoing productions.

Carnival Liberty operates year-round 7-day cruises from Miami, alternating weekly to the eastern and western Caribbean. Eastern Caribbean cruises include the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas/St. John, San Juan and Grand Turk while the western route features Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios or Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay – Roatan, and Grand Cayman. Additional information on the Fun Ship 2.0 initiative is available at In addition, Cruise Diva details the fleet Implementation Schedule that outlines when each ship will be upgraded and which features it will receive.

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Silversea To Offer Expanded Collection Of 'Bridge Sailings' In 2012

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Oct 24: In 2012, ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises will offer its most expansive collection of Bridge Sailings ever. Spanning the world from Auckland and Shanghai to Rio and Monte Carlo, 56 voyages will feature a bridge enrichment program. Though guests are welcome to play bridge on any Silversea cruise, a Bridge Sailing features a formal program of contract and duplicate bridge, which is supervised by instructors who are certified ACBL (American Contract Bridge League) Life Masters. All Bridge Sailing activities are completely complimentary and guests can enjoy daily bridge sessions (twice daily on sea days), bridge lectures for both beginning and intermediate-level players, and even opportunities to earn ACBL Master Points. Silversea supplies all bridge materials and hosts the program in a dedicated Card Room on board.

"Our Bridge Sailings are a great way for players to hone their skills and meet other bridge enthusiasts from around the world--all while enjoying a luxury cruise vacation," said Steve Tucker, Silversea's vice president of field sales for North America.

Following is a small selection of the Bridge Sailings offered in 2012:

-- Voyage 2203: Silver Wind departs Jan 24 on a 10-day roundtrip journey from Cape Town with calls in Port Elizabeth, Maputo, Richards Bay, Durban and East London.
-- Voyage 2237: Silver Wind departs Dubai Dec 5 on a 17-day sailing to Port Louis, Mauritius, with calls in Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, and Male.

-- Voyage 4208: Silver Whisper departs Bangkok March 26 on an 18-day sailing to Dubai (a segment of World Cruise 2012) with calls in Ko Samui, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Cochin, Mormugao, Mumbai and Fujairah.
-- Voyage 3211: Silver Shadow departs Tokyo April 25 on an 11-day sailing to Shanghai with calls in Hiroshima, Busan, Jeju, Dalian and Tianjin (Beijing).

-- Voyage 4210: Silver Whisper departs Monte Carlo May 1 on a 12-day sailing to Southampton with calls in Palma de Mallorca, Cadiz, Portimao, La Coruña, Bilbao, Bordeaux and Le Verdon.
-- Voyage 5211A: Silver Spirit departs May 5 on a 12-day roundtrip journey from Monte Carlo with calls in Valletta, Crete, Rhodes, Bodrum, Santorini, Taormina, Sorrento and Portoferraio (Elba).
-- Voyage 1213: Silver Cloud departs Monte Carlo May 8 on a 12-day sailing to Rouen with calls in Cartagena, Malaga, Portimao, Lisbon, Santander, Bordeaux and Guernsey.

-- Voyage 5204: Silver Spirit departs Buenos Aires Feb 12 on a 7-day sailing to Rio de Janeiro with calls in Punta del Este, Rio Grande do Sul, Santos (Sao Paulo), Parati and Buzios.
-- Voyage 5205: Silver Spirit departs Rio de Janeiro Feb 19 on a 15-day sailing to Barbados with calls in Salvador de Bahia, Recife, Fortaleza, Belém, Tobago and Grenada.

-- Voyage 3227: Silver Shadow departs Vancouver Sept 6 on a 16-day sailing to Tokyo with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Kodiak, Kamchatka, Hakodate and Sendai.

With its expanded schedule of Bridge Sailings in 2012, the company's website now features a section dedicated to these special voyages at

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Keel Laying for Royal Princess Marks Construction Milestone

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct 20: A significant construction milestone occurred today when the keel for the new Royal Princess was laid in the building dock at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. As the keelthe bottommost part of the shipwas ceremoniously lowered into position, Princess Cruises and shipyard officials marked the occasion with a celebration and countdown to the ship’s debut in spring 2013.

Following a traditional blessing by a priest, the ship’s keel, which weighs approximately 500 tons, was moved into position by a huge crane onto the keel blocks. The computer-guided maneuver took only minutes, belying the more than two million man hours that will ultimately go into building the vessel. The 3,600-passenger, 141,000-ton ship will remain in the building dock until its float-out next summer.

“It’s always very exciting to mark this step in a ship’s construction, when several of the pre-built sections come together to form a new addition to our fleet, especially with a prototype design,” said Alan Buckelew, president and CEO of Princess Cruises who traveled to Italy for the ceremony. He explained that Royal Princess’ evolutionary design will include some exciting new elements and expanded spaces, while maintaining the classic profile and popular features passengers have come to associate with Princess.

One of the most dramatic new design elements of Royal Princess is an over-water SeaWalka glass-bottomed enclosed walkway extending more than 20 feet beyond the edge of the vessel. From here passengers will enjoy dramatic views off the side of the ship and to the sea below. On the ship’s opposite side, an over-water SeaView bar will also extend over the waves to provide cocktails and unbeatable vistas.

On her top decks, Royal Princess will feature a new adults-only pool surrounded by seven plush private cabanas that appear to be floating on the water. Two additional pools will flank a tropical island that will offer pool seating by day, and by night will become an outdoor dance club, complete with a dazzling water and light show. Princess’ signature adults-only haven, The Sanctuary, will be expanded both in size and amenities. The popular poolside theater, Movies Under the Stars, will play a starring role mid-ship with an expanded size and high-definition viewing.

Royal Princess will feature an expanded version of the company’s signature Piazza, the ship’s central atrium incorporating a myriad of dining, entertainment and retail experiences. And each of the vessel’s outside cabins will include a balcony, meaning 80 percent of all staterooms will offer this popular feature. Additional details about the ship will be released over the coming months, and a video preview of Royal Princess is available at Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Celebrity Cruises Collaborates With Rodale Inc to Enhance
Wellness-themed Activities Onboard

MIAMI, Oct. 20: As part of its mission to offer modern luxury vacation experiences, Celebrity Cruises is adding yet another enhancement to its robust onboard activities program, Celebrity Life. Through a collaboration with Rodale Inc, the world's leading authority on health and wellness, Celebrity is offering a new series of interactive activities themed around healthy eating choices.

The new activities will draw on Rodale's expertise in health and wellness; the first of these activities are themed around Rodale's New York Times best-selling "Eat This, Not That!" series. Celebrity's version of "Eat This, Not That!" is an interactive trivia game that challenges guests' knowledge of healthy eating and promotes ways to make smart, healthy choices when dining out. "Cook This, Not That!" is a cooking demonstration that highlights ways to get the most flavor and nutrition for fewer calories when cooking at home. "Drink This, Not That!" is a mixology demonstration that presents tips for serving up tasty, libations while avoiding unnecessary calories. Celebrity and Prevention Magazine, one of Rodale's longest-running publications, are in the midst of developing additional wellness-focused activities, including enrichment talks led by a host of health and wellness experts from the title.

"Our guests have told us how fulfilling our wellness activities are, particularly in a world where schedules are hectic and vacation time is so precious," said Dominique Bonavita, Director, Product Development. "The collaboration with Rodale is a new evolution of programming that enriches our guests' lives long after their cruise, and we couldn't be more excited about all that we're offering and all that is yet to come."

For more information, visit

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Crystal Releases Inspired 2013-Early 2014 Cruise Calendar

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20: Adding to its previously-released early 2013 schedule, ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises announces 63 more, exciting itineraries, filling the rest of '13, plus early 2014the line's earliest-ever advance schedule announcement. In all, 269 ports in 75 countries, with more than a dozen maiden calls and 146 local overnights, comprise the May to May schedule, which will be open for booking later this fall.

Savvy planning has created:

-- A 7-/12-/9-day Mediterranean route rotation, offering back-to-back combination possibilities with minimal repeat ports
-- 75% of summer cruises lasting 7 to 10 days, with more than half weekend departures
-- Two- to three-day stays in 53 different locales, including such stunners as Tokyo, Cape Town, and Bali, the majority of overnights on embarkation or debarkation days

Crystal Symphony will spend the summer throughout Northern Europe, followed by a North American autumn, returning to Antarctica for the holidays, then traversing the South Pacific and New Zealand/Australia for seven Asian-centric voyages in early 2014. Crystal Serenity will be in the Mediterranean from April to December, returning to North America for a Caribbean/Central America holiday before heading westward around the globe for 2014's "World Cruise."

New itineraries, several built around renowned local festivities, fill the schedule. Examples include:


-- May 9 and July 6: Two shorter (9- and 7-days, respectively) Greece-Turkey only sailings, both including Istanbul overnights, ports rarely visited by Crystal, and maiden calls (Canakkale, Turkey or Skiathos, Greece).
-- May 18: The Monaco Grande Prix takes center stage, with two race days docked in Monte Carlo.
-- May 23: Spring New England/Canada cruise, from NY to Reykjavik, with overnights on both ends.
-- June 4: Norwegian/Viking-intensive Reykjavik-Copenhagen, stopping at the Faroe Islands and five ports in Norway.
-- Aug 10: Tuscany's famous piazza horse race, Il Palio di Siena, features as voyage highpoint.
-- Aug 19 and 26: Two 7-day British Isles sailings, with an Edinburgh/Rosyth overnight and maiden call in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.
-- Sept 16: New England/Canada cruise with two maiden calls (Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and Baie-Comeau, Quebec).
-- Sept 28: Seven-day Mediterranean with zero sea days, Barcelona overnight, and maiden call to La Spezia, Italy.
-- Nov 16: Seven-day Miami round-trip calling in Belize, Puerto Costa Maya, and Key West.
-- Nov 2: Intimate Spanish voyage featuring five calls in Spain (including a Castellon de la Plana maiden call) and no sea days.
-- Dec 21: Two Holiday cruises, one an extended Caribbean/Central America RT from Miami, including a maiden call in Santa Martha, Colombia, the other circling Cape Horn from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso,
sailing through Antarcticafor which Crystal is incurring extra cost and effort to meet new Antarctic environmental fuel restrictions, which now keep most larger cruise ships away.

Early 2014

-- Jan 18: 89-day, five-segment World Cruise from LA to Southampton, UK via Asia and Africa, with overnights throughout, rare calls in USA's Mariana Islands and Guam, three calls each in Vietnam and South Africa, and a maiden call in Luanda, Angola.
-- Jan 8 & 20: Back-to-back Polynesian explorations, beginning with an unusual southern-Trans-Pacific, stopping at Easter Island, Pitcairn Islands, Mo'orea, and Papeete, Tahiti, then continuing on to the Cook Islands, Tonga, and Fiji.
-- Feb 28: Four Indonesia calls, including a Bali overnight, plus Malaysia and Brunei visits.
-- April 9: Ten-day "all-China" with a Hong Kong overnight, double overnight in Shanghai, and optional three-day, add-on land package to Beijing.

Crystal is also reprising two popular 2012 itineraries in 2013: a 7-day Montreal round-trip exploring the less-visited Gulf of Lawrence and Saguenay River area (Sept 26) and a 12-day intimate Brazil cruise (Dec 9) revisiting five 2012 maiden calls.

The full list of maiden calls for the remainder of 2013 includes Baie-Comeau, Quebec; Canakkale, Turkey; Castellon de la Plana, Spain; Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec; La Spezia, Italy; Lunenburg, Nova Scotia; Natal, Brazil; Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England; Santa Martha, Colombia; and Skiathos and Zakynthos Island (Zante), Greece, plus a first-time visit to Luanda, Angola and Malacca, Malaysia for early 2014.

Numerous ports less-frequented by Crystal are also back on the books, including Ibiza; the Shetland Islands; Murmansk, Russia; Izmir, Turkey; Isle of Man; and Cartagena, Spain in 2013, and Pitcairn Islands, UK; Anderman Islands, India; multiple Indonesian calls (Lombok, Surabaya, Ujung Pandang, Jakarta); and Okinawa and Tokyo, Japan in first quarter 2014.

All itineraries can now be viewed at, with pricing to be released later this year. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Cunard Says ‘I Do’ to Weddings at Sea

Oct 19: Cunard Line, one of the oldest names in passenger shipping operating the youngest fleet at sea, will offer its guests the opportunity to be married on board for the first time in its 171-year history. Beginning Spring 2012, a luxury cruise aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth will offer a selection of wedding packages, commencing after the World Voyages have been completed. The Weddings Program will go on sale in December 2011, with expanded details available soon.

“Most of our competitors have been offering increasingly popular and lucrative ‘Weddings at Sea’ programs, and these are now very big business in the cruise industry,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “We receive a lot of enquiries about the possibility of being married on one of our shipsparticularly during our regularly scheduled Transatlantic Crossings on our flagship Queen Mary 2, which no other company can offer.”

On a luxury cruise vacation aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, guests revel in the experience of the voyage itself, not just the destination – enjoying activities such as the only planetarium and largest library at sea, white-gloved afternoon tea service, the engaging Cunard Insights enrichment program and West End-style productions, as well as the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea.

Cunard Line, operator of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries and the epitome of British refinement since the company's first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840. Cunard voyages bring together like-minded travellers who seek a civilised adventure and relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining and world-class entertainment. Today, Cunard offers the only regularly scheduled Transatlantic liner service and continues the legacy of world cruising which it began in 1922. For additional information, visit

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Unveils 2012-2013 Winter Collection

Fort Lauderdale, Oct 19: Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 2012-2013 winter voyages to South America, Asia and the South Pacific, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Alaska, and the Caribbean are now available for booking. All voyages feature 2-for-1 fares, free air and bonus savings of up to $10,000 per suite when booked by Dec. 30, 2011. The ultra-luxury line’s exotic 2012-2013 Winter Collection boasts new ports of call, five Grand Voyages with exclusive amenities, a new Western Australia cruise, and Business Class upgrades from just $999 each way. Widely recognized as the world’s most inclusive luxury line, all Regent Seven Seas voyages also include all-suite accommodations, gourmet cuisine, premium spirits and fine wines, free shore excursions, gratuities, and a pre-cruise luxury hotel stay, at no additional cost.

“Our new Winter Collection is sure to sell out quickly,” said Mark Conroy, the line’s president. “When you couple the new itineraries with our luxurious suites, personalized service, superb cuisine and all-inclusive pricing, Regent Seven Seas is the best value in luxury cruising, bar none.”

2012-2013 Winter Collection Highlights
Beginning October 2012, Seven Seas Voyager will offer five Grand Voyages departing Rome, Bali, Auckland and Beijing. Ranging from 54 to 143 nights, Grand Voyages include exclusive amenities such as free Business Class air, a special pre-cruise overnight and dinner, exclusive event, free Visas, internet access and more. From December 2012 through April 2013, the ship visits Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Bali, Vietnam, India, China and Japan, including maiden calls at Hiroshima and Huangpu (Canton), China. A new 21-night Western Australia cruise, departing Dec. 19, 2012, features maiden calls at Exmouth, Fremantle (Perth), Geraldton and Kangaroo Island. Many of the Asian itineraries offer free land programs or multi-night hotel packages in Angkor Wat, Sydney, Bali, Auckland, Hong Kong, Beijing, Chiang Mai, Safaga (Luxor) and to the Taj Mahal.

Seven Seas Mariner’s “Circle South America” explores many of the Continent’s most popular ports-of-call with a 72-night voyage, roundtrip from Miami departing January 7, 2013. Exclusive amenities include free First Class air, special pre-cruise overnight and dinner in Miami, an exclusive event, free private transfers to and from the port of Miami, free roundtrip luggage delivery service, Internet access and Visas. Four shorter South America voyages ranging from 12 to 24 nights focus on the Panama Canal, Chilean Fjords, Brazil, Argentina and the Amazon.

Seven Seas Navigator voyages to the tropics will now operate roundtrip from Miamione of the line’s newest portsbeginning November 2012 through April 2013, with 16 departures to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. The ship then departs Miami for an 18-night voyage to San Francisco to begin its highly popular cruises to the untamed beauty of Alaska.

To receive a brochure or for more information on Regent Seven Seas Cruises, see a professional travel agent, visit or call toll-free 800-285-1835.

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Windstar Cruises Introduces Hotel Packages

SEATTLE, Oct. 18: Windstar Cruises, which operates a fleet of three luxury sailing yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, introduces pre- and post-cruise Hotel Packages in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, and Europe, providing convenience and exceptional value for guests. Legendary cities and renowned hotels can be enjoyed by guests before or after a Windstar voyage. The 24 hotels in the program were hand-selected by Windstar and are located near sightseeing attractions and restaurants. Hotel Packages include accommodations for one, two or three nights, taxes, luggage handling, and breakfast at most properties.

Hotel Packages are available in Athens, Greece; Bridgetown, Barbados; Barcelona, Spain; Colon, Panama; Istanbul, Turkey; Le Havre, France; Lisbon, Portugal; Nice, France; Oslo, Norway; Rome, Italy; San Jose, Costa Rica; St. Maarten; St. Martin; Stockholm, Sweden; and Venice, Italy. For a list of the hotels in the program and rates, visit Hotel Packages can be booked through a travel professional or by calling Windstar Cruises at 1-800-258-7245.

Windstar recently announced its $18 million fleet refurbishment plan, which will be completed in phases beginning this fall. Each yacht will receive stylish, new furniture, upholstery, art, lighting, wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, window treatments, and floor coverings, elevating the look and feel to ultimate luxury at sea, providing an unparalleled guest experience. For more information including rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Norwegian Star Arrives in Tampa

MIAMI, Oct 17: Norwegian Star arrived for the first time in Tampa yesterday, her new homeport through April 2012. This is also the first time Norwegian Cruise Line has based a ship in Tampa. The 2,348-passenger ship is sailing a series of 7-day Western Caribbean cruises through April 8, 2012 with stops in Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; along with two relaxing days at sea.

“Tampa offers our guests another homeport choice in Florida, joining Miami and Port Canaveral. The newly-refurbished Norwegian Star offers all the benefits of Freestyle Cruising®, along with a port-rich itinerary to the Western Caribbean,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “We look forward to a successful season in Tampa.”

The 2,348-passenger ship underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment in 2010. Norwegian Star features 10 Freestyle Dining options including Norwegian's signature French restaurant, Le Bistro; nine bars and lounges; a swimming pool with a kid's pool and five hot tubs; a complimentary kid's club and teen lounge; a casino; a full-service spa and salon; and a fitness center offering state-of-the-art exercise equipment.

Norwegian Star's extensive choice of accommodations is suitable for families on vacation to couples on a romantic getaway. Families of all sizes can choose from a large number of staterooms (including suites and mini-suites) that can interconnect to create multiple bedroom configurations, with a separate bathroom and shower. Couples may unwind in the luxurious Romance Suite with floor-to-ceiling doors that open to a private balcony, bedroom with queen-sized bed, and full bath with tub and shower.

Norwegian will continue to make Tampa its home in 2012 when Norwegian Dawn arrives on Nov 11, 2012. The ship will sail 7-day Western Caribbean cruises through April 14, 2013. The 2,224-passenger ship will call on Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.

To book a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784) or visit

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Royal Caribbean & DreamWorks Animation Host Red Carpet Premiere
of Puss in Boots Onboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL, Oct. 17: Royal Caribbean International and DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. have hosted a one-of-a-kind red carpet premiere aboard Royal Caribbean's newest and most innovative ship, Allure of the Seas. DreamWorks Animation's newest upcoming film, Puss in Boots, made its screen debut aboard the ship on October 16. Puss in Boots distributed by Paramount Pictures opens nationwide Oct 28, 2011.

Long before he even met Shrek, the notorious fighter, lover, and outlaw Puss in Boots becomes a hero when he sets off on an adventure with the tough and street smart Kitty Softpaws and the mastermind Humpty Dumpty to save his town. This is the true story of The Cat, The Myth, The Legend...The Boots.

Allure of the Seas shares the title of the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship with sister-ship Oasis of the Seas. With a cache of distinct new onboard activities and amenities, Allure of the Seas offers one-of-a-kind entertainment performances, culinary concepts, retail venues and technology innovations. An architectural marvel at sea, Allure's neighborhoods are divided into seven distinct themed areas, which include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. She spans 16 decks, encompasses 225,282 gross registered tons, carries 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,700 staterooms. Allure of the Seas alternates a Western Caribbean with an Eastern Caribbean 7-night itinerary from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

It was inside Allure's 3D movie theater where Puss in Boots made its debut, joined by the stars of the film, Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, who provide voices to Puss in Boots and Kitty Soft Paws, respectively. Allure of the Seas welcomed this unique premiere and red-carpet experience as the kickoff stop to the Puss in Boots appearance tour journeying across the United States.

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Holland America Line Returns to the Land Down Under and South Pacific in 2012, 2013

SEATTLE, Oct. 17: In winter 2012 and spring 2013 two Holland America Line ships (ms Oosterdam and ms Volendam) will sail a series of Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruises, visiting more than 50 ports where guests can revel in the cosmopolitan attractions of Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, and explore the exotic landscapes of Vanuatu and Fiji in the South Pacific. The complete series of sailings ranges from 10- to 58-days and features for the first time one of the line's larger Vista-class ships, ms Oosterdam. This addition represents almost a 25 percent capacity increase in the Australia/ South Pacific region for Holland America Line.

"Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands are among the top travel destinations in the world and we've developed our itineraries to showcase the best of what they offer from secluded ports to popular favorites," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, for Holland America Line. "Holland America Line's cruises highlight the region's incredible wildlife on land and sea, including the legendary Outback, world-famous Great Barrier Reef and the opportunity of a lifetime to witness a solar eclipse while at sea."

Guests can choose from a series of multiple departures ranging from 10- to 14-days sailing roundtrip from Sydney or one way to or from Auckland between October 2012 and March 2013. New Zealand itineraries give guests a chance to experience some of the most amazing scenic cruising in the world, including the beautiful and dramatic Fiordland National Park and Bay of Plenty known for its beaches. These itineraries also visit both the North and South Islands of New Zealand with calls at popular ports of Wellington, Napier and Tauranga.

Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific Voyages
Volendam and Oosterdam sail a total of five 14-day Australia and New Zealand cruises from Auckland to Sydney or reverse and feature port calls at Melbourne and Burnie, Australia; Milford Sound and Akaroa (Christchurch), New Zealand, and scenic cruising at Fiordland National Park.

Four 14-day New Zealand Discovery voyages sail roundtrip from Sydney on Oosterdam Oct. 24, Nov. 21 and Dec. 19, 2012 (holiday cruise) and Jan. 12, 2013. One 14-day Solar Eclipse voyage departs Nov. 7 and includes port calls at Brisbane, Hamilton Island and Townsville, Australia; Ile des Pins and Noumea, New Caledonia, and a total of six days in the Tasman and Coral Sea. Travelers on this voyage will have an opportunity to witness the rare natural phenomenon of a solar eclipse, which occurs Nov. 14, 2012.

Four additional sailings to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific include the 10-, 11- and 13-day Pacific Treasures cruises roundtrip from Sydney and feature more exotic and lesser-known tropical ports in Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji.

Longer Unique Itineraries
Holland America Line offers several unique longer itineraries throughout the season, including Volendam's 34-day Australia Circumnavigation. That voyage sails roundtrip from Sydney Oct. 21, 2012 and boasts 18 ports of call and scenic cruising in the remote Ribbon Reef and Far North Regions. Ports of call include Brisbane, Hamilton Island, Perth, Melbourne and Cairns, Australia; Hobart, Tasmania; Komodo Island, Indonesia; sunrise at Lizard Island and sunset at Booby Island to name a few. The trip also visits the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world.

The 1,380-passenger ms Amsterdam sails a 75-day Grand Asia and Australia Voyage, departing Seattle, Wash., Sept. 21, 2012. Ports of call during this extended voyage include Darwin, Brisbane and Sydney, Australia; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Waitangi (Bay of Islands) and Auckland, New Zealand; Lautoka, Fiji, and Apia, Samoa Islands. Guests on board will experience regionally inspired cuisine, gala balls and extraordinary entertainment as well as the treasured cruising tradition of crossing the equator before disembarking at San Diego, Calif.

South Pacific & Trans-Pacific Itineraries
One-of-a-kind itineraries are also offered at the beginning and end of the season sailing westbound or eastbound from the US into the Pacific region. Oosterdam's 22- or 23-day trans-Pacific Crossing departs Seattle, Wash., or Vancouver, B.C., for Sydney Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2012. Oosterdam returns on a 22- or 23-day South Pacific Crossing from Sydney to Seattle or Vancouver departing April 13, 2013. These South Pacific repositioning cruises provide an excellent opportunity to visit several regions with iconic ports of call and more relaxing days at sea.

Collectors' Voyages
Ranging from 25- to 58-days, Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Collectors' Voyages on Oosterdam and Volendam are perfect for true explorers who seek a more extensive cruise experience. These voyages combine two back-to-back itineraries and represent the best per-day value for guests. During the Australia cruise season Holland America Line sails a total of 11 Collectors' Voyages, affording the most in-depth exploration of this diverse region with extended itineraries visiting multiple destinations and more days at sea.

Extended Stays at Ports
Guests can maximize their cruise experience at select destinations on port calls that stay through the evening or overnight at Tauranga and Wellington, New Zealand; Darwin and Tasmania, Australia, and Suva, Fiji, where they can visit local villages and experience traditional performances of local songs and dances performed by friendly villagers, known as Meke.

For more information on Holland America Line's cruises and cruisetours, consult a professional travel seller, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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World’s Leading Gay Travel Company Returns to Allure of the Seas

Los Angeles, CA, Oct 17: Atlantis Events, Inc, the largest gay vacation company in the world, will once again be the first and only company – gay or straight – to charter the world’s largest cruise ship. With an expected 5,400 gay and lesbian guests from 32 countries, Atlantis will host the largest gay cruise in history. Chartering the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas for the second time, Atlantis Events’ most extravagant cruise adventure to date will begin January 29, 2012 in Ft. Lauderdale, sailing to the powder white shores of Cozumel, historic ruins of Costa Maya, and the stunning private beach of Labadee, Hispaniola. Atlantis Events will exceed expectations on its return to the Allure with a fantastic new experience featuring superstar entertainment, elaborate party productions, and innovative social experiences in 2012.

“We’re completely reinventing the gay cruise on the world’s most magnificent ship,” says Atlantis Events CEO Rich Campbell. “In the last 20 years we’ve had the opportunity to create truly magical and extraordinary experiences for our community and the Allure presents a unique opportunity to take this to an entirely new level.”

Over the last twenty-one years, Atlantis has become the leader in gay vacations by chartering the world’s finest ships and customizing each cruise with first-class entertainment and spectacular parties for more than 20,000 guests every year. One of the most unique aspects of the Atlantis experience is the on-board community that encourages guests to connect with others from around the world and establish lasting friendships. Guests have already begun to meet and discover friends months before the cruise on Facebook at “We pride ourselves on not just bringing people on a ship, but in creating a community where people can make friends and discover new things about themselves,” explained Campbell.

Atlantis promises to outdo itself on the January 29th 2012 cruise, with a tremendous lineup of world-class entertainment including performances by leading entertainers. Earlier this year, Atlantis’ first sold-out Allure voyage had captivating performances by the likes of television and Broadway star Cheyenne Jackson, Erasure’s lead singer Andy Bell, comedienne Pam Ann, and a staging of the Tony Award-winning musical Chicago. With four large-scale performance venues, including the unique outdoor AquaTheater, there’s something for every taste. An all-star line-up of featured DJ’s will be revealed soon to headline their sensational parties.

Other unique vacation experiences by Atlantis Events, Inc. in 2012 include an Exotic Southern Caribbean Cruise in March, a Baltic cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm in July, and a cruise to Istanbul and the Greek Isles in August. They also offer two all-gay resort weeks in Puerto Vallarta (November 2011) and Cancun, Mexico (April 2012).

Reservations for Allure of the Seas and other Atlantis vacations can be made through local travel agents or Atlantis directly at 1-800-6-ATLANTIS. For more information about the Atlantis Events, Inc. Allure of the Seas from Jan 29th to Feb 5th 2012 please visit For more information about Atlantis Events, Inc. and future vacation events, please visit

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Silversea Reveals Itinerary for World Cruise 2013

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Oct 17: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises today revealed a few tantalizing details of World Cruise 2013, an epic 115-day journey from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale aboard Silver Whisper, Jan 5 to May 1, 2013. Crossing the equator four times, the World Cruise itinerary will follow the tropical belt to 52 destinations in 28 countries with overnight stays in several key ports. The warm-weather journey will explore an array of far-flung cultures and scenic wonders including New Zealand and Australia's remote west coast; the idyllic isles of French Polynesia; fascinating Asian cities of Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore; and Africa's rarely seen western coast.

Starting today, members of Silversea's Venetian Society loyalty club can take advantage of priority reservations to reserve a suite for the entire 115-day voyage -- before it is released to the general public.

"The itinerary for our World Cruise 2013 is an experienced traveler's dream," said Steve Tucker, Silversea's vice president of field sales for North America. "Guests will be able to visit some of the most exotic places on the planet, from Bali and Bora Bora to Madagascar and Tasmania, returning every evening to the comfort and all-inclusive luxury of Silver Whisper."

Silversea is offering the added convenience of a full North America-to-North America circumnavigation. Sailing between Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale, the 115-day voyage features additional opportunities to embark or disembark in Fort Lauderdale, New York, and Southampton. The optional extensions are:

--Fort Lauderdale Embarkation: 16-day Panama Canal Holiday pre-cruise, Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, Dec 20, 2012-Jan 5, 2013
--New York Disembarkation: 3-day post-cruise leg extension from Fort Lauderdale to New York City, May 1-4, 2013
--Southampton Disembarkation: 15-day post-cruise transatlantic crossing from Fort Lauderdale to Southampton via New York City, May 1-16, 2013

A Host of Added-Value Amenities
In addition to all-inclusive fares, full World Cruise guests will enjoy an array of special amenities, from complimentary air or air credit and transfers to a generous shipboard credit. There will also be a magnificent World Cruise event ashore, a gala Bon Voyage reception, dinner and overnight at the exclusive Peninsula Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, commemorative gifts, Silver Shore Baggage Valet, and even laundry is included.

At Home Upon the Oceans of the World
The intimate Silver Whisper is the perfect escort to the far corners of the globe. She can sail along secluded waterways or into small harbors for authentic, life-changing encounters with nature, wildlife and the seldom-seen.

All-Inclusive Silversea distinctions include:
--Intimate, ultra-luxury ship for just 382 guests
--All-suite accommodations, over 80% with verandas
--Butler service for every suite
--Complimentary wines and spirits
--Included onboard gratuities
--Complimentary transportation to town (most ports)

The company expects to open reservations for World Cruise 2013 to the general public in the next several weeks, when pricing and more details will be available at

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Oceania cruises Launches First-ever Theme Cruises for 2012

Miami, Oct 17: New for 2012, Oceania Cruises will offer theme cruises for the first time. The new “Signature Sailings” are comprised of 10 voyages exploring culinary, wine, music and health & wellness themes. Guests will enjoy seminars, hands-on classes, concerts, wine tastings and more. Depending on the voyage, Chef Jacques Pépin, up-and-coming jazz musicians, and noted editors will be special guests.

“We are delighted to introduce theme cruises for 2012,” said Bruce J. Himelstein, the line’s president. “While groups that share the same interests have regularly sailed with Oceania Cruises in the past, our new ‘Signature Sailings’ create a special opportunity for guests to experience the cruise in the company of fellow travelers who share their passion for the theme.”

Food & Wine Feature Prominently on 2012 Signature Sailings
Jacques Pépin Cruise: Master Chef Jacques Pépin has served as Oceania Cruises’ executive culinary director for eight years. On this sailing, he’ll be sure to hold court in Jacques – his first namesake restaurant – as well as in the Bon Appétit Culinary Center leading Q&A sessions, cooking demonstrations and signing books. Marina “Tuscan Artistry”–May 12, 2012; 10 days, Barcelona-Rome

Spring Music Fest
A broad range of jazz styles will be featured. Six guest musicians, including four headliners, will perform individual main stage shows in addition to more casual jam sessions. There will also be special dance sets and dance instructors. Nautica “Mediterranean Tapestry”–May 14, 2012; 10 days, Athens-Barcelona

Oceania Club Reunion Cruise – two sailings
Oceania Cruises loyal past passengers are the guests of honor for two special reunion cruises, which include memorable surprises both onboard and ashore.

Riviera “Iberian Odyssey” – June 17, 2012; 10 days, Lisbon-Rome
Regatta “Radiant Rhythms” – March 6, 2013; 12 days, Buenos Aires-Rio de Janeiro

Italian Wine Immersion Cruise
Highlights include lectures, tastings and special Wine Bars, where guest experts and special musical performers will create the perfect vibe to explore and experience great wines. Regatta “Italian Interludes”–July 27, 2012; 12 days, Rome-Venice

Vitality & Wellness Cruise – two sailings
In addition to healthy eating and fitness tips, guests will gain insights on enhancing their mental wellness to live life to the fullest. Spinning, yoga and Pilates classes are also offered at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub and gourmet Canyon Ranch spa cuisine is available.

Regatta “Pearls of the Aegean” – Aug 8, 2012; 10 days, Venice-Athens
Riviera “Accent on Italy” – Oct 24, 2012; 10 days, Rome-Venice

Bon Appétit Wine & Food Festival – two sailings
Epicureans rejoice! The experts at Bon Appétit magazine are assembling culinary stars and wine experts or editors for a palate-pleasing voyage.

Riviera “Enchanted Grandeur” – Oct 14, 2012; 10 days, Athens-Rome
Marina “Temples & Palaces” – Oct 22, 2012; 10 days, Athens-Istanbul

President’s Cruise
Oceania Cruises President Bruce Himelstein and his wife Brigitte will host a 10-day voyage through Southern Europe. Special highlights are in store, both aboard ship and ashore. Nautica “Mediterranean Tapestry”–Oct 26, 2012; 10 days, Barcelona-Athens

Oceania Cruises’ 684-guest Regatta and Nautica are intimate ships acclaimed for their open-seating gourmet dining (no surcharges), luxurious public rooms and accommodations, and warm, attentive service. Facilities include four open-seating, gourmet restaurants, casino and Canyon Ranch SpaClub. The 1,250-guest Marina and new Riviera were purpose-built for epicureans with six open-seating, gourmet restaurants – including a French bistro by Master Chef Jacques Pépin. Facilities also include a Bon Appétit Culinary Center and Artist Loft enrichment center. Interior design highlights include a Lalique-designed grand staircase, elegant public rooms, spacious accommodations and Owner’s Suites furnished exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home. For more information on the above Signature Sailings, see a professional travel agent, visit or call 800-531-5658.

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Carnival Cruise Lines & Maroon 5 to Rock Texas for Carnival Magic’s US Debut

MIAMI, Oct 13: Everything is bigger in Texas, including Carnival Cruise Lines’ celebration for the U.S. debut of its newest ship, Carnival Magic. Carnival announced it has teamed up with three-time GRAMMY Award-winning band Maroon 5 to perform an exclusive concert to welcome the line’s newest “Fun Ship” to its year-round homeport of Galveston, Texas. On Sunday, Nov, 13, 2011, set to the backdrop of the spectacular new Carnival Magic from Pier 21, thousands of fans of Maroon 5 and Carnival will be treated to a free, ticketed concert by the multi-platinum group the day before the new vessel sets sail on its inaugural U.S. voyage.

Carnival Magic, which entered service in May in Europe, will make its transatlantic voyage to arrive in Galveston on Nov 13. That afternoon, lucky invited guests will enjoy a fantastic performance from the globally recognized group known for hits like “Moves Like Jagger," “This Love,” “She Will Be Loved,” “Wake Up Call” and “Makes Me Wonder.” Free tickets for the performance will be distributed through various channels, including Carnival’s Facebook page, which will feature a contest that asks fans to record a video of their best dance moves for a chance to win two tickets to the concert, along with round-trip airfare, hotel, ground transportation, and spending money. Carnival’s Facebook fans in Texas will have additional opportunities to win and tickets will also be given away through select Texas radio stations.

“We wanted to do something big and memorable to mark Carnival Magic’s U.S. debut and what better way to celebrate than to bring together fans of music and fans of Carnival, along with our partners in Galveston, for an exceptional afternoon of fun and entertainment,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival Cruise Lines’ president and CEO. “We’re thrilled to kick off year-round Caribbean cruising on the newest and most spectacular ship sailing from Texas.”

Adam Levine, Maroon 5 frontman and coach on the hit NBC series “The Voice,” said, “We’ve played every kind of venue imaginable across the world, but we’ve never helped to launch a new cruise ship. We’re excited to work with Carnival and to be part of the Carnival Magic celebration for fans in Texas.”
Following the concert, Carnival will host several thousand travel agent partners on board Carnival Magic for an evening of dining and entertainment. On November 14, the ship will launch its Caribbean cruise program which will feature two different week-long itineraries from Galveston, including seven-day western Caribbean voyages to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, and week-long eastern Caribbean cruises to Nassau, Freeport, and Key West.

As the line’s newest ship, Carnival Magic offers a host of innovations, including the RedFrog Pub, a colorful Caribbean-inspired watering hole featuring its own private label draught beer; Cucina del Capitano, a family-style Italian restaurant that brings the heritage of Carnival’s captains to the table; and SportSquare, an expansive open-air recreation complex with the first ropes course and outdoor fitness area at sea. Other features include a WaterWorks aqua park with a 312-foot-long spiral water slide and other attractions; The Lanai, a wraparound promenade with an outdoor barbeque area and whirlpools that extend out over the ship’s sides; and Ocean Plaza, a stunning indoor/outdoor café and live entertainment venue. For additional information and reservations on Carnival’s “Fun Ship” cruises, call 1-800-327-9501.

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Disney Fantasy Upper Decks a Splashing Delight for Kids & Comfortable Retreat for Adults

PORT CANAVERAL, FL, Oct 13: An array of wet and wonderful new surprises help guests cool off as they enjoy soaking up the sun aboard the Disney Fantasy, Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship scheduled to set sail in March 2012.

AquaLab Debuts on the Disney Fantasy
On the Disney Fantasy, guests can splash and play in the AquaLab, a brand-new water play area on deck 12, near the entrance to the AquaDuck water coaster. Families can frolic among pop jets, geysers and bubblers in this fun and fanciful 1,800-square-foot space. As the story goes, AquaLab was created by Donald Duck’s nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, and features a variety of water “experiments” designed to drench the whole family.

Children entering the AquaLab will see that the nephews are away for the time being, leaving the young cruise guests in charge of the AquaLab. Through hand-painted notes left by the nephews, kids are put in charge of the AquaDuck water coaster. By turning wheels and moving levers at three wacky aqua stations kids “control” the speed and temperature of AquaDuck.

At a leaky wall, the water fun is all hands on deck as kids try to keep the water circulating by covering holes in squirting and spurting pipes with their hands. In another area, kids scramble to stop leaky pipes from filling Uncle Donald’s row boat with water. Water leaks and sprays from the Ducky Dinghy, suspended overhead, and as the boat fills a fish pops his head out of a bucket while everyone gets delightfully drenched.

In addition to AquaLab, the Disney Fantasy features another new area for guests of all ages to cool off. On deck 12 forward, a wading pool with a fountain water feature, ample seating and lounge chairs under canopy offer a respite in the shade.

Exclusively for Adults
In addition to Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar on the Disney Fantasy, a new adult-exclusive area offers a retreat on the upper decks for guests 18 and older. At Satellite Sun Deck on deck 13 forward a brand-new water feature called Satellite Falls is a circular splash pool with benches and a gently falling rain curtain that provides cool comfort. Around this upper deck, adult guests can soak up the sun in loungers or relax in the shade under a canopy.

More Fun on Deck
Like her sister ship the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy offers many options for sun and fun on deck with a shipboard water coaster, fresh water swimming pools, a whimsical water play area for little ones, a relaxing poolside oasis for adults and an interactive sports deck:

•The world’s only shipboard water coasterAquaDucksweeps guests away on an exhilarating flume ride featuring twists, turns, drops, uphill acceleration and river rapidsall while traversing the upper decks of the ship.
•Donald’s Pool is a place where families gather to enjoy all of the activities up on deck. Overlooking Donald’s Pool, the giant Funnel Vision LED screenmore than 30 feet wide and 18 feet highshows Disney films, television shows and live broadcast events.
•Mickey’s Pool for children continues a Disney Cruise Line favorite feature. An oversized version of Mickey’s hand supports a yellow winding slide that splashes down near the pool.
•Children discover oceans of fun at Nemo’s Reef, a water-play area featuring colorful, interactive figures that move and spray water, including Nemo, Dory, Marlin and a pint-sized water slide shaped like Mr. Ray.
•Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar is a retreat exclusively for adults to sunbathe and swim, indulge in a cool drink or enjoy a relaxing dip in a nearby hot tub overlooking the ocean.
•The fun tees off with Goofy’s Golfa nine-hole miniature golf course where “lessons” featuring Goofy and his son, Max, lead guests through nine themed holes of wacky fun.
•Goofy’s Sports Deck features full-court basketball, table tennis and foosball tables.
•Two digital sports simulators offer virtual game experiences where guests participate in high-action sports such as golf, hockey, soccer, basketball, rugby, baseball and football.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500, or contact their travel agent.

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Silversea Announces 20 Voyages in 2012 to Feature
'Relais & Châteaux
L'École des Chefs' Cooking School

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Oct 13: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is pleased to announce that 20 voyages in 2012 will feature the exclusive "Relais & Châteaux L'École des Chefs" interactive cooking school. Silversea enjoys the privilege of featuring the only Relais & Châteaux L'École des Chefs cooking school at sea. The innovative programwhich is offered completely free of chargeprovides guests with a special culinary curriculum, including hands-on instruction, and entertaining events hosted by Silversea culinary trainer David Bilsland, a former instructor at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London. He presents a program developed in collaboration with Jacques Thorel, the owner of L'Auberge Bretonne and a consulting Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux.

The curriculum for each of these cruises is carefully designed to celebrate the cultural flavor of the ship's itinerary. Highlights include specialized workshops covering a range of topics from basic knife skills and kitchen terminology to sauces and baking; cooking demonstrations with wine pairings and interactive Q&A sessions; lively cooking competitions between Chef Bilsland and the ship's own culinary team; a "Lunch and Learn" event offering small groups of guests a chance to sample a delicious meal of specially prepared dishes; and inspired "Take It Home" recipes that will give guests an edge when entertaining at home. Also offered on certain voyages, when the itinerary permits, is a "Market to Plate" experience that provides an escorted tour of a local market followed by a cooking class, and a "Culinary Outing," an instructor-escorted excursion to a local restaurant, hotel or other venue where guests can enjoy a unique culinary exploration.

"Our L'École des Chefs cooking school is a fun and entertaining enrichment program that lets guests discover new cooking techniques and sample dishes that highlight the culinary traditions of the ship's itinerary," said Rudi Scholdis, Silversea's director of culinary development.

Following is a small selection of the L'École des Chefs voyages for 2012:

 • Silver Wind departs Athens Nov 12 on a 16-day sailing to Dubai with calls in Alexandria, Sharm el Sheikh, Aqaba, Safaga, Muscat and Fujairah.
 • Silver Wind departs Nov 28 on a 7-day roundtrip sailing from Dubai with calls in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait City, Al Manama, Doha and Khasab. Silver Savings fares start at $5,198.

 • Silver Whisper departs Bangkok March 26 on an 18-day sailing to Dubai (a segment of World Cruise 2012) with calls in Ko Samui, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Cochin, Mormugao, Mumbai and Fujairah.
 •  Silver Shadow departs Tokyo April 25 on an 11-day sailing to Shanghai with calls in Hiroshima, Busan, Jeju, Dalian and Tianjin (Beijing).

 • Silver Whisper departs Nov 1 on a 7-day roundtrip sailing from Barbados with calls in Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, Isla Margarita and Grenada.
 • Silver Whisper departs Barbados Nov 8 on a 9-day sailing to Fort Lauderdale with calls in St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Barts and St. Croix.

 • Silver Cloud departs Copenhagen July 10 on a 16-day sailing to London with calls in Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Stockholm, Riga, Warnemunde (Rostock), Hamburg and Amsterdam.

 • Silver Spirit departs Buenos Aires February 12 on a 7-day sailing to Rio de Janeiro with calls in Punta del Este, Rio Grande do Sul, Santos (Sao Paulo), Parati and Buzios.
 • Silver Spirit departs Rio de Janeiro February 19 on a 15-day sailing to Barbados with calls in Salvador de Bahia, Recife, Fortaleza, Belém, Tobago and Grenada.

 • Silver Shadow departs Vancouver Sept 6 on a 16-day sailing to Tokyo with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Kodiak, Kamchatka, Hakodate and Sendai.

For a complete list of L'École des Chefs voyages, or visit and click on Life Onboard/Enrichment/Culinary & Wine Voyages/Relais & Châteaux L'École des Chefs.

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Princess Cruises Offers Diverse West Coast Sailing Schedule in 2012-13

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct 12: Cruisers who want to sample the Pacific Coast or sail from a West Coast port have a variety of options with Princess Cruises in 2012-13. The line will feature more Pacific coast cruises than ever before, including an enhanced 7-day California Coastal itinerary to the best of the Golden State. The line’s schedule of fall and spring season coastal voyages ranges from quick overnight cruises to week-long journeys, all designed to provide passengers with a convenient way to sample the Princess cruise experience as they explore the Pacific coastline.

New this season is a round-trip California Coastal itinerary with an added visit to Catalina and an overnight in San Francisco. Other coastal itinerary options include a wine country cruise with themed onboard presentations, plus 4- and 5-day samplers of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, and shorter sailings of one to three nights. Additionally, cruisers can set sail for further-flung destinations from the West Coast ports of Los Angeles or San Francisco, heading for Hawaii, Mexico, the Panama Canal, or across the ocean to explore the South Pacific.

“Coastal cruises have become increasingly popular with our passengers, so much so that we’re featuring more of our new California Coast itinerary than ever before,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “And the California ports of Los Angeles and San Francisco are great bases from which to enjoy a variety of destinations and experiences.”

Princess’ Coastal voyages in the 2012-13 season include:

 • California Coastals: Roundtrip Los Angeles – Sapphire Princess will sail on new departures of a 7-day California Coastal itinerary cruising roundtrip from Los Angeles. Passengers can enjoy an overnight in San Francisco, plus calls in Santa Barbara, Catalina, San Diego, and Ensenada. Sailings depart on Oct 8 & 13, 2012; March 30, April 6, April 13, April 27 and May 4, 2013.
 • Wine Country Coastal: Los Angeles to Vancouver – A special 7-day sailing offered with wine lovers in mind, this sailing will offer the chance to explore the California wine regions of Santa Barbara and San Francisco – as well as visit the microbreweries of Astoria, Oregon. Themed excursions will be available in many ports to enhance the local wine focus. In addition, onboard presentations from guest experts will showcase the world of food and wine with demonstrations, tastings and special meals. The cruise aboard Sapphire Princess will depart from Los Angeles on May 11, 2013, sailing to Vancouver with calls at Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Astoria, Seattle and Victoria.
 • British Columbia and West Coast Coastal – This week-long voyage explores the west coast from the fall foliage of British Columbia to the shores of Southern California. The Vancouver to Los Angeles cruise calls at Nanaimo, Victoria, San Francisco and San Diego. Sapphire Princess sets sail on Sept 29, 2012.
 • Pacific Coastal: Los Angeles/Vancouver – Passengers can choose to travel between Vancouver and Los Angeles in 5- or 3-days with two coastal itinerary options. The 5-day journey between “the City of Angels” and Vancouver features calls in San Francisco and Victoria, departing on May 9, 2012 aboard Coral Princess. The 3-day option features two leisurely days of cruising the Pacific Coast with a variety of sailing dates aboard Golden Princess, Coral Princess, Island Princess, and Star Princess.
 • Pacific Coastal: San Francisco/Vancouver – Two ships will travel between San Francisco’s legendary Golden Gate and picturesque Vancouver on a 2-day cruise. Island Princess departs on Sept 26, 2012 and Star Princess sets sail on May 13 and Sept 24, 2012.
 • Pacific Coastal: Vancouver/Seattle – For a quick getaway, overnight sailings between Vancouver and Seattle offer the perfect opportunity for a taste of Princess hospitality. Golden Princess will sail Sept 22, 2012 and May 11, 2013; while Star Princess sails on Sept 23, 2012 and May 11, 2013.

In addition to sailing along the Pacific Coast, passengers can also choose to visit a variety of destinations from the West Coast ports of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

From Los Angeles:

 • Mexico – Sapphire Princess will sail “south of the border” to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas on six sailings between November 17, 2012 and April 20, 2013.
 • Hawaii – Golden Princess and Sapphire Princess offer 14-day cruises, departing on Wednesdays and Saturdays, respectively, to the volcanic wonder of the Big Island (Hilo), the capital city of Honolulu on Oahu, the beautiful beaches of Maui (Lahaina) and the lush Garden Isle of Kauai (Nawiliwili). The season runs between Sept 26, 2012 and April 24, 2013.
 • Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa – For those looking for a longer tropical vacation, this 28-day itinerary offers the opportunity to sail not only to Hawaii, but also visit the South Pacific islands of Pago Pago, Apia, Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahiti. These cruises sail round-trip from Los Angeles, aboard Sapphire Princess on Oct 20, 2012 and on Star Princess on March 26, 2013.
 • Panama Canal – Coral Princess and Island Princess offer a variety of Panama Canal transit itineraries that begin or end in Los Angeles. These sailings include a full transit of one of the world’s wonders of engineering plus Princess’ signature 2-day experience in Panama for extra time to explore the country. Cruises also include visits to a variety of sunny Caribbean ports as well as calls in Mexico and Central America. Sailings run between Sept 20, 2011 and May 4, 2013.

From San Francisco:

 • Mexico – Grand Princess and Star Princess each offer a sailing roundtrip from San Francisco with calls at Catalina, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, and San Diego. Star Princess sails on Sept 26, 2012 and Grand Princess departs March 31, 2013.
 • Hawaii – Star Princess and Grand Princess will begin offering 15-day itinerary round-trip voyages from San Francisco, also calling at all four main islands. The ships will offer 10 departures between March 19, 2012 and April 25, 2013.
 • Alaska Inside Passage – Sea Princess will once again sail roundtrip from the City by the Bay to the wonders of the 49th state, with calls at Juneau, Skagway (or Haines), Ketchikan and Victoria, plus scenic cruising in Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm Fjord. Sailings depart between May 13 to Aug 31, 2012.
 • Hawaii, Tahiti & South Pacific – Sea Princess sails from San Francisco to Sydney on a 27-day voyage across the Pacific with calls at Honolulu, Maui (Lahaina), Bora Bora, Tahiti, Pago Pago, Auckland, Christchurch, and Dunedin, with scenic cruising through Fiordland National Park. The sailing departs on Sept 20, 2012.
 • Panama Canal – Island Princess will sail on a Panama Canal voyage from San Francisco to Ft. Lauderdale, featuring a full Canal transit, plus visits to Cabo San Lucas, Costa Rica (Puntarenas), a 2-day canal experience in Panama (a day in port in Fuerte Amador plus the transit through the canal locks), and stops in Cartagena and Aruba. The sailing departs on Sept 28, 2012.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Celebrity Cruises Presents Exceptional New Series of Vacations
Immersing Guests in Top Wine-Producing Regions of Europe

MIAMI, Oct 11: Inspired by guest interest, and to continue to offer the best vacation experiences in Europe, Celebrity Cruises has modified a portion of its European lineup in 2012 to present a series of new and distinct vacations designed to appeal to wine enthusiasts, as well as those who simply love the beauty and culture of the top-producing wine regions in Europe. With six of its 11 ships (including the 2012 debut of Celebrity Reflection) sailing in Europe next year, Celebrity will have the newest hardware in the region, and the line’s already extensive itinerary portfolio in Europewith new Venice homeport offerings and first-time Iceland and Fjords sailingsnow will include seven exceptional wine-themed sailings showcasing Celebrity’s culinary leadership, and replacing several of the line’s previously announced Holy Land and Greek Isles/Turkey sailings from Istanbul in 2012.

From Sept 7 through Nov 18, 2012, spanning the height of the fall harvest season, Celebrity Constellationwhich completed a $40-million “Solsticizing” renovation just last yearwill present entirely new “Immersive Europe Wine Cruises” from Southampton, England. The new sailings will be open for booking beginning Friday, Oct 14, 2011.

Designed to offer vacationers rich experiences in the classic wine countries of France, Spain and Portugal, the new itineraries feature overnight stays in Le Havre (for Paris/Normandy) and Le Verdon (for Bordeaux), France, as well as Bilbao, Spain, allowing vacationers ample time to sip Champagne in the “City of Light,” taste robust Bordeaux in the land that bears its name, and relish fine Rioja wines. Guests also will have the opportunity to enjoy tours and tastings at some of the region’s most renowned wineries, grape harvesting experiences, and gain in-person insight into how Port wine is blended and aged in Porto, Portugal. Celebrity’s onboard experience will reflect the flair and flavor of the region, too, with activities developed in partnership with local wineries, including Rioja tastings, Champagne brunches, Bordeaux samplings featuring up to five wines from well-known Chateaus, Port and food pairing dinners and more, including special events in the ship’s Cellar Masters bar, complete with its “Enomatic” by-the-glass wine serving system. A seasonal wine package featuring special selections from the region also will be added to Celebrity’s already popular package offerings.

“This new series of modern luxury vacations represents a perfect blend of Celebrity’s innovation and expertise in food and wine with the regions of Europe that have long been recognized for both,” said Celebrity’s President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. “It’s a truly one-of-a-kind vacation. No other cruise line offers such an enormous breadth and depth of experiences in this highly-rated region during harvest season, and no other line can deliver it like Celebrity can, with our exceptional wine program, expertly trained sommeliers, Cellar Masters wine bars, and up to 500 selections of wine on every ship.”

After departing from Southampton, Celebrity Constellation’s new wine-themed 12-night itineraries begin with three consecutive overnight stays: one each in Paris (Le Havre) and Bordeaux (Le Verdon), France, and Bilbao, Spain, and also feature visits to Vigo, Spain and Porto, Portugal. The sailings depart roundtrip from Southampton Sept 7 and 19; Oct 1, 13 and 25; and Nov 6 and 18, 2012. A 2-night cruise departing Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Sept 5, 2012, can be taken on its own, for an enticing little taste of Celebrity’s modern luxury offerings, or combined with the Sept 7 sailing to create a rich 14-night vacation. The ship’s 15-night transatlantic voyage from Europe to the U.S. now will depart Southampton Nov 30, 2012, with visits to Paris/Normandy (LeHavre), France; Lisbon, Portugal, and Tenerife, Canary Islands, ending in Miami, Fla.

At the same time, Celebrity is enhancing its presence in the Mediterranean on two of its award-winning Solstice Class shipsthe new Celebrity Silhouette and flagship Celebrity Solsticeto offer experiences the line’s guest surveys indicate will be even more appealing, with more ports in both Italy and Croatia.

Five previously announced Holy Land sailings on Celebrity Silhouette in 2012 have been modified to the following:

13-night Eastern Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruise departing Civitavecchia (for Rome) Aug 22, with calls on Naples/Capri and Catania, Sicily, Italy; Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Chania (Souda), Crete and Athens (Piraeus), Greece, and Valletta, Malta, ending with an overnight stay in Venice
13-night Italy and Croatia cruise departing roundtrip from Venice Sept 4, with visits to Koper, Slovenia; Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Greece; Valletta, Malta; and Sicily (Messina), Bari and Ravenna, Italy, ending with an overnight stay in Venice
12-night Adriatic cruise beginning Sept 17 with an overnight in Venice, and visits to Koper, Slovenia; Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Valletta, Malta; and Ravenna, Bari, Catania, Sicily, and Naples/Capri, ending in Rome (Civitavecchia)
12-night Italy and Croatia cruise departing Rome (Civitavecchia) Oct 11, with an overnight stay in Naples/Capri, in addition to visits to Bari, Ravenna and Catania, Sicily, Italy; Corfu, Greece; Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; and Koper, Slovenia, ending with an overnight stay in Venice
11-night Adriatic cruise beginning Oct 23 with an overnight stay in Venice, and including another overnight stay in Naples/Capri, with visits to Ravenna and Catania, Sicily, Italy; Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; and Valletta, Malta, ending in Rome (Civitavecchia)

Four previously announced Mediterranean cruises on Celebrity Solstice in 2012, roundtrip from Barcelona, Spain, also have been modified, to offer more ports in the Western Mediterranean, as well as an overnight stay in romantic Venice, as follows:

12-night Mediterranean departing May 11, with visits to Dubrovnik, Croatia; Ajaccio, Corsica; Provence (Toulon), France; Naples/Capri, Rome (Civitavecchia) and Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), in addition to the overnight in Venice, Italy
12-night Mediterranean departing June 28, with visits to Cannes/Monte Carlo, France; Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Florence/Pisa, Naples/Capri and Rome, in addition to the overnight stay in Venice
12-night Mediterranean departing Aug 15, and Oct 2, with visits to Kotor, Dubrovnik, Naples/Capri, Rome (Civitavecchia), and Malta, in addition to the overnight stay in Venice

With a constant eye on how to best recognize and reward its most loyal guests, Celebrity will further enhance its total European vacation experience by presenting an offer available exclusively to Captain’s Club members: From Oct 14 to Dec 16, 2011, members who book any 9-night or longer Celebrity vacation on any of the line’s six ships sailing in Europe in 2012 will receive an onboard credit of $400 per suite, $225 for each AquaClass or ConciergeClass stateroom, $175 for each veranda stateroom, and $125 for each inside or oceanview stateroom. Non-members have their chance to capitalize on a special offer, too. In recognition of National Cruise Vacation Week, consumers who book any 9-night or longer Celebrity Europe vacation from Oct 14-23, 2011, will receive an onboard credit of $250 per suite, $200 per AquaClass or ConciergeClass stateroom, $150 per veranda stateroom, and $100 for inside or oceanview accommodations.

Celebrity will be proactively contacting travel agents and guests with bookings on its newly modified European itineraries. Those guests will have the option to retain their reservation on the modified sailing, move to another like sailing in a like category of accommodations, or cancel with a full refund. Guests with questions about the itinerary modifications also are welcome to contact Celebrity at 1-888-281-9343.

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Carnival Named Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida’s “Corporation of the Year”

Davie, FL: Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines, a corporate partner of the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida since 1995, was honored with the “Corporation of the Year” award at the nonprofit organization’s recent donor appreciation event. The company helped the foundation grant 537 wishes to children who have life-threatening medical conditions during its 2010-11 fiscal year.

Carnival directly impacted the quantity and quality of wishes granted locally by providing complimentary cruises and shore excursions for wish kids and their family members. They also enhanced the wish experience by offering behind-the-scenes tours, in-cabin gifts, and photos. On land, the cruise line donated auction items and purchased tables at Make-A-Wish events. Brenda Yester, Carnival’s senior vice president of revenue management, also serves on the foundation’s Board of Directors. Yester, a former board chair, accepted the award on behalf of Carnival at the Grande Oaks Golf Club.

“The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida holds a unique place in Carnival’s heart and we are honored not only to receive this award but also for the opportunity to fulfill the dreams of these special children and their families,” said Yester. “I’ve witnessed first-hand the incredible power of a wish and we look forward to continuing to support this valued partner in the years to come.”

During the course of its 16-year connection to Make-A-Wish, Carnival’s contributions have enabled the foundation to grant nearly 70 wishes in the community.

“We’re indebted to Carnival for everything they have done to bring happiness into the lives of children and families coping with difficult circumstances,” said Make-A-Wish Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Norman Wedderburn. "Their unselfish devotion to our cause helped us grant more wishes last year than ever before.”

Since 1983, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida has enriched the human experience with hope, strength, and joy for more than 8,000 families in Broward, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie counties, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It receives no federal or state funding and raises money to grant wishes through corporate sponsorships, special events, foundation grants, and individual contributions. The Southern Florida chapter grants a wish every 16 hours, at an average cost of $5,000 per. For more information, to make a donation, volunteer or refer a child, contact the foundation at (888) 773-WISH or connect at

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Windstar Launches "Caribbean On Sail"

SEATTLE, Oct. 11: Windstar Cruises, which operates a fleet of three luxury sailing yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, launches "Caribbean On Sail," offering exceptional savings on 7-day Caribbean voyages when booked by Nov 15, 2011.

Three itineraries are available on "Caribbean On Sail" and each one features intimate and exclusive island-hopping experiences in the tropics all while sailing on a luxurious sailing yacht. Windstar's Flavors of the Caribbean Voyage presents a unique collection of islands and highlights diverse countries, styles, landscapes and cultures of the Caribbean. Seven-day sailings on Wind Surf roundtrip from Philipsburg, St. Maarten visit Le Marin, Martinique; Pigeon Island, St. Lucia; Roseau, Dominica; Falmouth Harbour, Antigua; and Gustavia, St. Barthelemy.

Flavors of the Caribbean Departures:

-- Dec 17 & Dec 31, 2011
-- Jan 14 & 28, 2012; Feb 11 & 25, 2012; and March 10, 2012

Experience the glitter and glam of the Caribbean's yachting scene with overnights in Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda on Windstar's Yachtsman's Caribbean Voyage. Seven-day sailings on Wind Surf roundtrip from Philipsburg, St. Maarten visit Soper's Hole, Tortola; Jost van Dyke, B.V.I. (overnight); Virgin Gorda, B.V.I. (overnight); Basseterre, St. Kitts; Les Saintes, Guadeloupe; and Gustavia, St. Barthelemy.

Yachtsman's Caribbean Departures:

-- Jan 7, 2012; Feb 4 & Feb 18, 2012; and March 3, 2012

Visit the unspoiled islands of the southern Grenadines, overnight in the beautiful Tobago Keys and discover the rugged natural beauty of St. Lucia and beyond on Windstar's Jewels of the Windward Islands Voyage. Seven-day sailings on Wind Spirit roundtrip from Bridgetown, Barbados visit Pigeon Island, St. Lucia; Bequia, St. Vincent, Grenadines; Tobago Keys, St. Vincent, Grenadines (overnight); Mayreau, St. Vincent, Grenadines; and St. George's, Grenada.

Jewels of the Windward Islands Departures:

-- Dec 17, 24 & 31, 2011
-- January 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012; Feb 4 & 25, 2012; and March 10 & 17, 2012

For more information including rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Norwegian Cruise Line Launches New Brand Platform

MIAMI, Oct 10: Norwegian Cruise Line announced  that it is unveiling a new brand platform and integrated national advertising campaign, “Cruise Like a Norwegian,” that embraces and celebrates the community of diverse vacationers who embody the passion, freedom and flexibility inherent in a Norwegian Cruise Line Freestyle Cruising® vacation. Cruising like a “Norwegian” is for those who live life to the fullest, embrace new adventures and are passionate about their experiences. The campaign marks Norwegian’s first return to network television advertising since 2008 and also integrates social media, digital and onboard elements, providing a complete immersion in the Norwegian community.

“We’ve spent the last four years working a variety of initiatives across our organization to improve and enhance our company and our brand,” said Kevin Sheehan, chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We felt this is the right time to issue this bold invitation to cruise with us by piquing interest and creating excitement around our brand. We believe this new brand platform will differentiate us and help clearly define a Norwegian cruise as one of the best vacations.”

The visual embodiment of the campaign is a brand essence video that illustrates the passion and enthusiasm of Norwegian cruisers who can “Dine like a Parisian,” “Surf like a Hawaiian,” “Party like a Brazilian,” and “Love like a Venetian,” among other things. An original score “Let’s Go!” was created to accompany the video. Television advertising, beginning tonight, includes one 30-second and two 15-second spots running during prime time on the ABC and CBS television networks, as well as on seven national cable channels, including Travel Channel, HGTV, MSNBC, and Discovery Channel.

“Our goal with this new platform is to elevate our profile and put Norwegian Cruise Line front and center by expressing what it means to vacation with us and inviting people to join the community of Norwegians,” said Maria Miller, Norwegian Cruise Line’s senior vice president of marketing. “We are confident that this integrated campaign – from TV to social media and digital – will engage our community in fun and memorable ways.”

Social media plays a large role in this new platform. Leading up to the launch, Norwegian’s Facebook page featured a six-day countdown that asked fans to post their favorite photos to illustrate how Norwegians dine, shop, party, etc. Beginning today, Norwegian’s Facebook page highlights the brand essence video which can be shared with friends. There is also an opportunity for fans to “Mix it Up” and make their own “Cruise Like a Norwegian” personalized video using their photos and setting it to one of three custom music remixes of the “Let’s Go” song. Finally, an interactive personality quiz asks “How Norwegian Are You?” The results show how closely respondents align with a “Norwegian” lifestyle and then groups like-minded “Norwegians” together by personalities. Upon completing the quiz, fans are rewarded with a special ‘badge’ that is posted to their Facebook page. These social media elements are combined with digital media efforts including custom page takeovers, rich media banners that invite consumers to watch the brand video and a re-skinned Norwegian web site that all work together to raise awareness about how to “Cruise Like a Norwegian” and to engage consumers with the brand.

The brand platform comes to life onboard Norwegian’s ships when guests are officially welcomed into the Norwegian community and can experience the “Cruise Like a Norwegian” themed Sail-Away Party and drink menu; all new White Hot Party with “Norwegian” elements; special “Cruise Like a Norwegian” photo and video opportunities; and a revised farewell show, so guests will continue to feel a part of the Norwegian community until their next cruise. To experience the campaign and watch the brand essence video, visit and click on the See How We Cruise tab.

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Princess Cruises Announces Winners of 2011 Alaska Region Shore Excursion Awards

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct 7: Each year, Princess Cruises marks the end of the Alaska season with shipboard awards ceremonies celebrating the year’s favorite local tour operators. The line’s 12th annual C.R.U.I.S.E. service awards have just been handed out, honoring the best shore excursion experiences and guides in most ports on Alaska itineraries, based largely on passenger feedback throughout the season. Award winners were chosen from the extensive line-up of Alaska and Pacific Northwest shore excursions offered to Princess passengers, and recognize the most popular tours, individual guides, and dock representatives in many of the communities where Princess ships call. The awards highlight the important role played by local tour operators in each community as part of a passenger’s overall cruise experience. Winners are determined primarily by tour scores and comments made on passenger surveys.

“It’s always gratifying to recognize these local tour operators who go above and beyond to provide our passengers with unforgettable experiences in Alaska and British Columbia,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “We know that a passenger’s time in port and their activities while on land are a significant part of their cruise experience, especially in such an exciting place as Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.”

The C.R.U.I.S.E. (Courtesy, Respect, Unfailing in Service Excellence) program is the longest running customer service program in the cruise industry. The Alaska awards began in 2000 and cap off a season-long effort to recognize the role that Princess’ tour partners play in passengers' cruise experiences. Tour Guide of the Season and Dock Representative of the Season award winners receive $100, a letter of commendation, a plaque, a tour of the ship and lunch onboard with their family. Operators of the Shore Excursion of the Season receive a plaque, a letter of commendation, a tour of the ship, and lunch onboard for company officials.

The 2011 winners are:

Co-Shore Excursions:
Helicopter Glacier Trek, NorthStar Trekking
Taku Glacier Lodge Flight & Feast, Wings Airways and Taku Lodge
Tracy Arm Fjord & Glacier Explorer, Allen Marine Tours

Co-Tour Guides:
Joe Pawelek, Gold Rush Tours / TEMSCO Helicopters
Stacy La Mascus, Gastineau Guiding Company

Dock Representative:
Nathan Barzee, Allen Marine Tours

Co-Shore Excursions:
Back Country Zodiac Expedition, Ketchikan Outdoors
Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour, Commercial Fishing Adventures
Rainforest Canopy & Zipline Expedition, Alaska Canopy Adventures

Co-Tour Guides:
Annie Bauer, Snorkel Alaska
Rob Holston, Lighthouse Excursions

Dock Representative:
Jill Gates, The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show

Co-Shore Excursions:
Glacier Discovery by Helicopter, TEMSCO Helicopters
Golden Glassblowing Experience at Jewell Gardens, Jewell Gardens
Heli-Hike & Rail Adventure, Packer Expeditions

Co-Tour Guides:
Matt Hall, Alaska Icefield Expeditions / TEMSCO Helicopters
Matt Hayashida, Gold Rush Sled Dogs / Klondike Gold Fields

Dock Representative:
Julie Martin, White Pass & Yukon Route

Shore Excursion:
City Sights & Capilano Canyon Walk, Rockwood Adventures

Shore Excursion:
City Highlights & High Tea at the Empress Hotel, TMS Gateway Tours

Shore Excursion:
Kayaking in Prince William Sound, Alaska Sea Kayakers

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Homeport & Hull Artist For Norwegian Breakaway

NEW YORK, Oct 6: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan today announced that Norwegian Cruise Line’s new state-of-the-art 4,000 passenger ship, Norwegian Breakaway, scheduled for delivery in April 2013, will make New York City her year-round home port. Beginning in May 2013, Norwegian Breakaway—which will be the largest ship ever to home port in the City—will replace Norwegian Star, and embark on a minimum of 88 cruises from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal through March 31, 2015. The ship calls will bring an estimated 140,000 additional embarking passengers into New York City over two years, resulting in an estimated $35 million in additional direct spending.

“New York is not only one of our top markets, but also my hometown,” said Norwegian Cruise Line Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sheehan. “Therefore, I am thrilled to announce that New York will be the year-round home for our next generation Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Breakaway. In addition, we are offering an exciting inaugural summer itinerary cruising to the beautiful island of Bermuda, a much sought-after summer destination.”

Norwegian Cruise Line was the first cruise line to homeport year-round in New York City beginning in 2003. Since then, the company has been committed to bringing its newest and largest ships to the Big Apple, with two ships calling in New York City since 2005. In 2013 alone, Norwegian Breakaway is expected to make 34 calls at Manhattan Cruise Terminal (MCT). In addition, Norwegian Gem will continue to call year-round at MCT, with an expected 47 calls, and Norwegian Star will make 15 calls in 2013 before being replaced. In total, Norwegian Cruise Line ships will bring approximately 285,000 embarking passengers into New York City in 2013, generating approximately $70 million in direct spending in the City, a $13.5 million increase due to the additional passengers on Norwegian Breakaway.

“Out-of-town visitors spent $31 billion last year, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in our restaurants, shops, hotels, and cultural institutions,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “By making New York City home to its newest and largest ship, Norwegian Cruise Line is further confirming our standing as a top cruise destination and a place that tourists from around the world want to visit.”

Legendary Iconic Artist Peter Max To Paint Norwegian Breakaway's Hull Artwork
Norwegian also announced today that pop icon and America’s most popular living artist, Peter Max, has been commissioned to paint the signature hull artwork for the line’s newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway. This is the first time Norwegian has asked a well-known artist to paint the hull artwork on one of its ships. The company also announced today that the ship will homeport year-round in Max’s hometown, New York City.

“Since Norwegian Breakaway will be making her home in New York, we felt it was fitting to ask the artist best associated with New York, Mr. Peter Max, to paint the ship’s hull,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “I am a huge fan of his work and know that the art he creates for Norwegian Breakaway will make the ship instantly recognizable.”

With paintings on exhibition in hundreds of museums and galleries worldwide, Peter Max and his vibrant colors have become part of the fabric of contemporary culture. Max has been successively called a Pop Icon, Neo Fauvist, Abstract Expressionist and the United States’ "Painter Laureate."

“I am so excited to be painting the hull of Norwegian Breakaway for Norwegian Cruise Line,” the artist said. “I love painting large canvases. I’ve painted a plane and a stage for Woodstock, but never a ship. I love ships and have travelled on them many times in my life. To see my artwork floating on Norwegian Breakaway out at sea will be a dream come true.”

Max has achieved his place in history having painted for various Heads of State, including six U.S. Presidents. From art that appeared on the first U.S. 10-cent stamp bearing the title “Preserve the Environment,” to 235 U.S. Border murals greeting millions of people entering America each year, Peter Max seeks to capture themes of America at its finest in his art. He has a long-standing career as the preeminent Pop artist in America. His art appears on a Boeing 777 jumbo jet currently flying the skies for Continental; a 600-foot stage for the Woodstock Music Festival; the covers of Verizon's New York City yellow and white pages; and a giant mural unveiled at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Max has also been designated Official Artist of five Super Bowls, six Grammy Awards, World Cup USA, The World Series, the United Nations Earth Summit, and numerous other events. Max was honored at the Jefferson Awards with an award for his lifetime dedication to America, and its charitable causes.

Currently under construction at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Breakaway will be 144,017 gross tons and have 4,000 passenger berths. The ship represents an opportunity for the Norwegian guest to “break away” from the routine of work, school, and daily stress, and find a true respite at sea. Norwegian Breakaway, and sister ship Norwegian Getaway (scheduled for delivery in April 2014), will take the best of the best from all of Norwegian’s existing ships, drawing on the line’s experience of having launched 10 ships in the past 10 years – starting with Norwegian Star and Sun in 2001 and culminating with the launch of Norwegian Epic in 2010.

To date, the company has revealed details on all of the ships’ staterooms which combine the form and function of the line’s Jewel class ships’ staterooms with the modern and contemporary design touches of Norwegian Epic. A rich mix of stateroom options will be available including the innovative Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers, the re-introduction of Oceanview staterooms, Balcony, and Mini-Suites, along with Spa Balcony, Mini-Suites, and Suites in close proximity to the spa. The ship also features The Haven by Norwegian, comprised of 42 suites at the top of the ship and 18 additional suites located throughout the ship.

Norwegian Breakaway’s New York to Bermuda cruises are scheduled to go on sale to Latitudes members, Norwegian’s frequent guests, on Friday, Oct 14, 2011 and to the public on Monday, Oct 17, 2011. Also, as part of its Partners First commitment, Norwegian will open Norwegian Breakaway’s sailings for group block bookings exclusively for travel partners on Monday, Oct 10, 2011. Information on Norwegian Breakaway’s accommodations and itineraries can be found at To book a cruise on Norwegian Breakaway, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 800-327-7030, or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Collaborates With The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®
 to Help Raise Funds, Awareness

MIAMI, Oct 6: With their cool, contemporary design with warm spaces, inviting staterooms and personalized service, Celebrity Cruises’ ships offer modern luxury, the perfect setting for vacationers looking to make the most of their precious time. Now, a new partnership with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF) will offer Celebrity’s guests the opportunity to make a difference while enjoying valuable down time. A unique lineup of onboard experiences will help raise awareness and funds for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, while celebrating life, hope and the satisfaction that comes with making a positive difference. Kicking off the effort was the sale of tickets to a one-of-a-kind, 2-night cruise experience aimed at culinary enthusiasts. The sale was curated by leading local experience site, Gilt City, and sold out in a few hours.

“We are incredibly passionate about not only raising awareness about breast cancer, but also looking to the future and what we might be able to do to help prevent the disease,” said Dan Hanrahan, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Our Solstice Class ships changed the game, in terms of cruise ship design and experiences. All of our Solstice Class godmothers have been breast cancer survivors who have accomplished great things. Now, we hope to play a small part in not only honoring these remarkable women, but also in changing the landscape of the field of breast cancer research, by raising money for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, one of the world’s leading breast cancer non-profits with a mission that offers hope for a future without breast cancer.”

Celebrity has shaped a robust lineup of ways for its guests to help support BCRF. From donating $2 from the sale of each copy of its rich lifestyle book, Excite The Senses, during the month of October, to the creation of an exclusive non-alcoholic pink cocktail for sale onboard with $3 per drink to go to BCRF, to the auction of one-of-a-kind handblown pieces of glass from its industry-first Hot Glass Show on three Solstice Class ships with proceeds to go to BCRF and more, the activities will present vacationers with an easy way to feel even more satisfied with their vacation experiences. Celebrity will introduce additional activities and offerings in the coming months.

The first activity to go public was a Gilt City sale of tickets to an exclusive 2-day cruise package on Celebrity’s newest ship, Celebrity Silhouette, during her stateside debut in New Jersey in November. Participating guests will enjoy a host of activities focused on culinary exploration, one of the cruise line’s mainstays, in the form of a magnificent dinner hosted by Celebrity Cruises Master Chef Jacques Van Staden, showcasing Celebrity’s award-winning cuisine, and also featuring the cuisine of top chefs Claudia Fleming, Andrea Reusing, Lee Anne Wong, Daisy Martinez, and Alex Guarnaschelli. With a $700 donation from each package to go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Celebrity Cruises will donate a minimum of $50,000 to BCRF. Tickets to this exclusive epicurean adventure were $900 per couple and include all meals, cocktails, and wine. They were sold exclusively on  and sold out in less than nine hours.

Excite The Senses is available for purchase at For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit or call your travel agent.

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Princess Cruises’ Blog Honored with Travel Industry Award

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct 5: On the heels of revealing the final blog post capping a year-long collection of inspiring travel stories, Princess Cruises received a coveted 2011 Gold Magellan Award from Travel Weekly magazine for its “50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List.” The award recognized the company’s blog for its high standard of excellence within the travel industry.

The Princess blog, which has gradually revealed 50 personal travel stories over the last year, was designed to build an ultimate travel bucket list of experiences as told by Princess’ own destination experts – its long-serving and well-traveled shipboard and shoreside employees.

“Creating this blog was meaningful to us and our employees on many levels,” said Jan Swartz, executive vice president for Princess, “so for it to be recognized by Travel Weekly with this top award is truly exciting.”

The blog, which can be found at has received more than 2.6 million page views, and more than 5,000 comments have been left by readers making it one of the most popular blogs in the industry. The Princess blog . A full list of all 50 Essential Experiences is available at Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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The Return of the Great American Steamboat Experience

MEMPHIS, TN, Oct 5: The Great American Steamboat Company is pleased to announce the return of the reigning queen of the Mississippi river, the grandest and most opulent steamboat afloat, the American Queen. Resumption of fabled river voyages on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee Rivers begins this coming spring, on April 13, 2012. For the first time in many years, travelers will again enjoy the iconic experience, celebrated by Mark Twain and others, of riverboat cruises on the great rivers of the America’s heartland. Every departure will feature the storied American Queen, the largest, most lavish steamboat ever built. With convenient departures from some of the United States’ most iconic cities such as Memphis, New Orleans, Vicksburg, St. Louis, Louisville, St. Paul, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, this legendary mode of travel will be easier than ever to enjoy.

Befitting a company that celebrates the American experience, the American Queen employs an affable, polished all-American crew that is eager to please. Few things are nicer than mint juleps on deck on a glorious summer afternoon on the Ohio River or morning coffee in the dining room as she steams into St. Paul. With a homeport of Memphis, the American Queen carries with her the same devotion to exceptional dining and entertainment, including Dixieland jazz and gracious southern charm and hospitality. Inspired by the greatest steamboats of the 19th century, the American Queen offers an opulent two-level ‘Grand Saloon’, an elegant two-deck high Grand Dining Room, lavishly appointed staterooms, many with their own private veranda and all of the modern amenities today’s travelers expect. Personal touches and finite attention to detail abound, from fresh baked cinnamon rolls each morning, to complimentary wine and beer with dinner, and proper evening turn-down service, complete with a praline on the pillow. Of note is the fact that in an age of mega-ships accommodating more than four thousand guests, the American Queen carries only 436 privileged guests, surrounding them in an atmosphere of rich paneling, crystal chandeliers, period furniture and Victorian elegance.

The principals of the Great American Steamboat Company have, collectively, hundreds of years’ experience with river cruising and the travel and leisure industry. The Great American Steamboat Company has but one singular goal, to make river cruise vacations more enticing than ever, to celebrate an authentically American experience that has no equal in terms of cuisine, hospitality, extraordinary entertainment, and unique experiences ashore. There is simply no better or comfortable way to see America with itineraries that feature visual treats like “Springtime on the River” in Natchez or the breathtaking “Fall Colors on the Upper Mississippi River” in the autumn.

“While many travelers are familiar with ocean cruising or river cruising in Europe, we believe steamboating on the great rivers of America is distinctive and tantalizingly different. Our guests will experience an America that evokes a simpler time, where an entire town proudly turns out to greet a gleaming white steamboat,” stated Christopher Kyte, president of the Great American Steamboat Company.

A variety of voyage lengths, ranging from three nights to fourteen nights, and fares beginning at $995 per guest, offers exceptional value and convenience, with little or no flying required. And with one of the best early booking bonuses in the industry, our ‘Steamboating Plus’ program offers a complimentary luxury hotel stay before or after sailing along with transfers, a welcome brunch and much more.

The Great American Steamboat Company not only has an exceptional management team behind it but exceeds all current federal financial protection guidelines, offering an exclusive ‘Total Financial Security Program’ where 100% of fares paid are held in escrow accounts until the voyage is completed. The Great American Steamboat Company has assembled many of the same talented individuals that made the steamboat experience one of the most successful and acclaimed cruise products of its day. Every one of the senior executives has a total commitment and passion for the very unique niche steamboats occupy in American history and legend. Given the long absence of steamboats from the great rivers of America, it is anticipated the inaugural season will fill quickly and prompt reservations are encouraged to avoid disappointment. For additional information and reservations, kindly contact the Great American Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online at or call your professional travel agent.

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Artie Shaw & Glenn Miller Both Set for Crystal's 2012 Big Band and Ballroom Dance Cruises

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5: With classic dance moves currently taking center stage on "Dancing with the Stars," Crystal Cruises has expanded its live Big Band and Ballroom Dance theme cruises for 2012. Guests will feel like stars themselves as they swing, cha-cha, and tango across the Atlantic accompanied by two old-school favorites: the Glenn Miller Orchestra on Crystal Symphony's March 19th Miami-Madeira-Lisbon voyage, and the Artie Shaw Orchestra on Crystal Serenity's Barcelona-Canary Is.-St. Maarten-Miami cruise on Dec 9.

Whether a dancer or just toe-tapping listener, guests will be surrounded by live 17-20-piece orchestras with vocalists, plus complimentary daily dance sessions, including:

-- Professional group dance lessons for all levels of experience
-- Advanced dance workshops for more proficient dancers
-- Twice the usual number of professional dance instructors
-- Extra Ambassador Hosts to lead women without dance partners
-- Dancing both in the afternoon and late into the evening

Entertainment Vice President Bret Bullock says, "Big Band cruises are among our most popular and highly rated Experiences of Discovery theme cruises. Travelers love the timeless elegance of Trans-Atlantic cruising, Crystal Cruises' inviting onboard luxury experience, and the added pleasure of song and dance-filled days and nights."

"Book Now" plus "Two-for-One" promotions amount to more than $5,000 per person in savings on each voyage. If booked by Oct 31, March's 10-day, "all-inclusive" (Crystal's first-ever) voyage, includes complimentary fine wines and premium spirits throughout the ship, open bar service in all lounges, and pre-paid gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff. December's 12-day sailing is also all-inclusive. Crystal Cruise's award-winning entertainment offerings include a range of venues and performances, from cabaret nightclub to piano bar saloon; acclaimed productions to headline entertainers; and sophisticated enrichment activities to in-room Blu-ray-viewing. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Royal Caribbean & Republic Nashville Present “Martina McBride Live” in the Big Easy

MIAMI, Oct. 05: This November, Royal Caribbean will celebrate its return to New Orleans, Louisiana, in a big way. The eight-time “Best Cruise Line Overall” award winner* has teamed with Republic Nashville to treat invited guests to a special, live performance by one of country music’s most beloved artists, Martina McBride. Following the debut of her new album, ELEVEN, which hits stores on Oct. 11, 2011, the four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year is scheduled to perform aboard Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas, the largest and most innovative cruise ship ever to homeport in New Orleans, on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011. The Martina concert for invited guests will take place in Voyager of the Seas’ Lyric Theatre before the ship departs on its Western Caribbean Thanksgiving cruise.

Voyager of the Seas ranks among one of the world’s 10 largest and most innovative cruise ships at sea. The ship features Royal Caribbean’s iconic rock-climbing wall, the Studio B ice-skating rink, a nine-hole mini-golf course, an in-line skating track, a full-size basketball court, the Casino Royale, and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard of boutiques, restaurants, and bars and lounges, where exciting parades and dance parties are held. Voyager of the Seas will offer seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from New Orleans through April 2012, visiting Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth, Jamaica; and George Town, Grand Cayman. Guests will enjoy one of the industry's most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and the cruise line’s world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service, which comprise the Royal Advantage. Staterooms are still available aboard Voyager of the Seas’ Nov. 19 sailing through travel agents, or through (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

In addition to New Orleans, Royal Caribbean is making it easier than ever before for Gulf Coast area residents to enjoy an affordable, hassle-free vacation by bringing its innovative ships to other Gulf Coast ports for the winter season, including Galveston, Texas and Tampa, Florida. Guests can choose between two 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries onboard Mariner of the Seas from Galveston or a selection of 5-night and 4-night Western Caribbean itineraries onboard Jewel of the Seas from Tampa.

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Celebrity Cruises Invites Guests to Spend More Time Onboard

MIAMI, Oct 5: Celebrity Cruises’ modern luxury – cool, contemporary design and warm spaces, award-winning cuisine and personalized service – is now available for vacationers to enjoy even longer through the new “Extend Your Stay” program. This new offering provides guests with convenience and relaxation, which is particularly appealing to those facing waits at the airport and long flights home. In addition to the benefit of a leisurely last day onboard, the program allows guests to stay in their stateroom until 9 am on the day their cruise ends - one hour later than the standard time by which the guest is typically asked to depart. Guests who participate in Extend Your Stay also can enjoy some of the ship’s services until as late as 90 minutes before the next cruise sets sail.

The program includes a full line-up of benefits including non-alcoholic specialty coffees and teas from Café al Bacio; a meal in the creperie-focused specialty restaurant, Bistro on Five; the opportunity to watch a first-run movie in one of the ship’s theaters; and access to the pool, fitness center and locker rooms. The AquaSpa will be available for spa services at an additional charge. Bar purchases can be made on the last day of the cruise using a credit card.

“Being able to relax onboard in luxurious surroundings rather rush to disembark on the last day of one’s cruise epitomizes what ‘modern luxury’ is all about,” said Simon Weir, Director, Hotel Operations, Celebrity Cruises. “What can be more lavish than relaxing onboard for a few hours longer, enjoying Celebrity’s award-winning service?”

Extend Your Stay is being offered for the remainder of the current Europe season on Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Solstice, and the brand-new Celebrity Silhouette. The program also will be available for future Europe seasons. Available for purchase at the Guest Relations desk onboard, the cost of the program is $59 per adult, $29.50 per child ages 3 to 12, and free for children under three years of age. Guests participating in Extend Your Stay can depart at any time until as late as 90 minutes before the next cruise departs. Extend Your Stay departure times may vary by ship and itinerary based on local immigration regulations. For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit or call your travel agent.

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Azamara Club Cruises Announces 2013 Year-Round Voyages

MIAMI, Oct. 4: Azamara Club Cruises today announced the cruise line’s 2013 line-up of voyages. Throughout the year, up-market travelers can choose among a total of 69 voyages aboard the cruise line’s two European boutique-hotel style ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. Select Azamara voyages also coincide with cultural celebrations, such as Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, the Monaco Grand Prix, the Andalusian Festival and the British Open, to offer guests a truly destination-immersive travel experience. Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest will visit nearly 40 new ports in 2013, including Beijing (Xingang), Shanghai (Haitong) and Jinhae, South Korea in the Far East; as well as charming Amasra (Safranbolu), Turkey, and 2014-Winter Olympic host-city Sochi, Russia in the Black Sea. Cassis, France; Propriano, Corsica; and Palamos, Spain also will be maiden ports in the Mediterranean, as well as idyllic Honningsvaag, Gudvangen, Tromso, and Svolvaer (Lofoten) on the Norwegian Coast. Onboard, guests will delight in Azamara’s extraordinary service from every staff and crew member, as well as enjoy delectable dining options in four restaurants. All Azamara Club Cruises 2013 voyages are now open for booking.

“We are delighted to present Azamara’s next collection of voyages in 2013,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “We continue to offer more late-night and overnight stays in ports than any cruise operator to offer guests the chance to savor a destination’s nightlife, and oftentimes, after the other cruise ships have departed. We also encourage travelers to add on an Azamara cruisetour with their voyage to delve even deeper into a destination’s culture or combine consecutive Azamara voyages for a grand odyssey.”

At the beginning of 2013, Azamara Journey will sail four Southeast Asia voyages, 14, 15 and 17 nights in length, and two 14-night voyages throughout China, Korea and Japan – featuring overnight stays in such vibrant metropolises as Hong Kong; Bangkok (Klong Toey), Thailand; Hanoi and World Heritage Site Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh City and Hue (Danang), Vietnam; Shanghai (Haitong), China; and Kobe, Japan.

The ship then heads to the Mediterranean for the summer and autumn seasons, featuring Adriatic and Greek Isles, Egypt and Holy Land and Black Sea voyages, ranging from seven to 12 nights. Overnight stays will include Alexandria and Safaga, Egypt; Venice, Italy; Mykonos, Greece; and Jerusalem (Ashdod), Israel.

Azamara Journey also will sail six French and Italian Riviera voyages in June and July featuring overnights in Monte Carlo, Monaco; St. Tropez, France; Ibiza, Spain; and Sorrento, Capri and Florence (Livorno), Italy. Azamara Journey then returns to the Far East via Dubai and Mumbai (Bombay), India to round out the year with three Southeast Asia voyages, culminating with an overnight call at Phuket, Thailand on New Year’s Eve.

Azamara Quest, on the other hand, will sail a range of South America and West Indies voyages, ranging from 12 to 18 nights, featuring overnight calls at Ushuaia and Buenos Aires, Argentina; Punta Del Este, Uruguay; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for Carnaval; and St. Barts. The ship continues from Miami to the Spanish and French Rivieras in March for four- to 11-night voyages, featuring overnights in Seville, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain; Monte Carlo; Provence (Marseilles) and Cannes, France; and Lisbon, Portugal.

In June and July, Azamara Quest will sail North Sea, Norwegian Coast and Baltic voyages, ranging from nine to 14 nights, featuring overnights in St. Petersburg, Russia; Hamburg, Germany; Reykjavik, Iceland; Oslo, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Azamara Quest then embarks on a series of French and Italian Riviera, and Adriatic Sea voyages in August and September that range from seven to 11 nights, before returning to explore the lesser-traveled island jewels in West Indies for the winter season on eight- and 12-night voyages. On the New Year’s voyage, guests will count down the seconds ‘en Français’ while overnight in St. Barts.

Travelers also can choose among two President’s Voyages in 2013. President and CEO Larry Pimentel and his wife Sandi will join guests on these special voyages and host parties, informal get-togethers, and a complimentary shore event. Guests will enjoy a destination-immersive travel experience as the cruise line’s chief visionary does, as well as receive a special gift. Azamara’s 2013 President’s Voyages are planned for the April 3, Art on the Cote d’Azur sailing of Azamara Quest, and for the October 1, Tuscany to Provence sailing of Azamara Journey.

Guests aboard Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest also enjoy more inclusive amenities, such as included gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff; complimentary bottled water, sodas, specialty coffees, and teas, as well as complimentary red and white boutique wines to accompany lunch and dinner; complimentary self-service laundry; English Butler service for suite guests; and shuttle bus to city centers in ports, where available. For more information, travelers can call their travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit Azamara Club Cruises at

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Royal Caribbean Debuts Menus By Award-Winning Chef Aboard Oasis of the Seas

MIAMI, Oct 4: Royal Caribbean Intl today announced their selection of James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz to create new menus for its upscale dining venue, 150 Central Park, on Port Everglades, Fla., based cruise ship Oasis of the Seas. Known for his commitment to sustainable and seasonal food sourcing at Miami’s Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Schwartz will offer his expertise as the cruise line selects and integrates local produce farmers into 150 Central Park’s supply chain.

“Royal Caribbean continually looks to deliver the Royal Advantage to its guests through diverse and innovative dining concepts and the freshest possible ingredients,” said Frank Weber, vice president Food and Beverage, Royal Caribbean International. “By joining forces with chef Michael Schwartz at Oasis of the Seas’ 150 Central Park, we are gaining a respected hometown partner who will help us to navigate and embrace the local agricultural community by hand-picking the most appropriate local small farms to supply ingredients for our premiere dining venue.”

First introduced on Oasis, 150 Central Park is the centerpiece of the lush Central Park neighborhood with its 12,000 plants and trees and its variety of specialty dining and retail venues such as the Coach store. Guests dining at the upscale and intimate restaurant enjoy a seasonal tasting menu and customized wine pairings delivering an exclusive culinary experience comparable to the finest land-based restaurants. Opened daily for dinner, it features two rotating six-course menus per voyage, which will now incorporate produce from small Florida farms like SWANK Specialty Produce in Loxahatchee.

Chef Schwartz will create new dishes, as well as seasoned favorites from his restaurants in Miami and Grand Cayman and debut cookbook, MICHAEL’S GENUINE FOOD: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat, such as Jumbo Lump Crab Cake with Carrot Butter Sauce and Mahogany Black Cod with Whipped Parsnip, Baby Bak Choy and Mustard Sauce, and Slow Roasted and Grilled Harris Ranch Beef Short Rib with Roasted Cippolini Onions, Swank Farms Cress and Romesco Sauce.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with such an acclaimed global brand as Royal Caribbean and to work with them to further the important sustainable philosophies I care so much about,” says chef Michael Schwartz. “It is so exciting for me to bring some of my favorite farmers’ local products onboard for the first time, adding to the already impressive food and beverage offerings available to guests on Oasis of the Seas.”

Chef Schwartz has hand-picked Chef de Cuisine James Seyba, from Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, to oversee the execution of the new menu and to engage with guests daily. Before launching the new menus at 150 Central Park, Seyba will learn the ropes of what it takes to be a successful chef at sea, including Royal Caribbean’s cutting edge quality controls and provisioning measures. On hand to share her expertise will be Chef de Cuisine Molly Brandt who, at the helm of the 150 Central Park restaurant on Oasis sister ship, Allure of the Seas, was herself a first-time cruise chef after winning the coveted job in a chef search with the Culinary Institute of America.

Completing the gastronomic experience at 150 Central Park is the most dynamic wine pairing program of any Royal Caribbean restaurant, created with the direction of with Michael’s Genuine Sommelier Eric Larkee. 150 Central Park by Michael Schwartz on Oasis will launch Oct 29, 2011, with new pairs of menus rolling out every three months during the year-long collaboration.

Launched in December 2009, Oasis of the Seas is the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. An architectural marvel at sea, she spans 16 decks, encompasses 220,000 gross registered tons, carries 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,700 staterooms. Oasis of the Seas was the first ship to tout the cruise line’s new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which includes Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship sails from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. For additional information, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Princess Cruises 50th Essential Experience Unveiled: Final Destination is “The Ocean”

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Oct 4: After a full year showcasing inspirational stories about some of the most fascinating travel experiences around the world, Princess Cruises’ travel bucket list blog, “50 Essential Experiences,” is finally complete today with the reveal of the last post – “The Ocean.” Written by Executive Vice President of Fleet Operations Rai Caluori, the final story shares his top place that’s sure to resonate with every cruiser, describing how he “ran away to sea” and discovered his passion for the ocean.

He writes: “I leaned against the railing and watched as Pacific Princess glided away from picturesque Acapulco Bay. It was evening and the vastness of the horizon, the inky night sky and endless sapphire waters made me think, this must be what eternity looks like. Just imagine how I felt. At last, I had found my home and my calling.” read more

Together all 50 posts, which were revealed weekly for an entire year, were designed to create an ultimate travel bucket list compiled of personal stories told by Princess’ own destination experts, its long-serving and well-traveled shipboard and shoreside employees.

“Twelve months ago we set out to create not just a list of places, but instead a collection of experiences that we hoped would inspire others,” said Jan Swartz, Princess executive vice president. “We think the resulting list is remarkable not only for its scope of destinations, but also for the insights our authors shared about their lifelong memories.”

She added, “The amazing array of 50 stories touch 36 countries on six continents, and we’re so grateful to our employees who contributed them.” The authors included a wide assortment of Princess employees from the president and CEO, and the commodore of the Princess fleet; to cruise directors and hotel general managers working onboard; to shoreside employees in areas including itinerary planning, hotel operations, shore excursions and sales.

Since it debuted in October 2010, the popular 50 Essential Experiences blog has received more than 2.6 million page views and more than 5,000 reader comments, making it one of the most popular blogs in the industry. Each week the blog has also featured a “Reader Essential Experience,” and the final reader post describes the wonder of being woken up to see the Northern Lights in Alaska. Travelers can now download a copy of the full list to use as inspiration for their own travel bucket planning, at

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Carnival Cruise Lines' $500 Million Fun Ship 2.0 Initiative to Dramatically Transform
Carnival Vacation Experience

MIAMI, Oct. 3: Carnival Cruise Lines today unveiled Fun Ship 2.0, a program that will dramatically transform its on-board guest experience to deliver even more memorable vacations. The multi-year effort will offer guests mouth-watering new dining choices, more exciting bars and lounges, and captivating entertainment options through innovative partnerships and new branded spaces. In the first phase alone, which extends through the end of 2015, Carnival will invest more than $500 million across its fleet.

At an event today in New York City, Carnival announced partnerships with entertainer George Lopez, who will become Carnival's creative director for comedy and enhance its fleetwide comedy clubs; Food Network star Guy Fieri, who will develop a burger venue called Guy's Burger Joint; leading video game manufacturer EA SPORTS to create the first-ever EA SPORTS Bar at sea, and Hasbro for new larger-than-life game shows featuring iconic games and brands. The company also worked with leading production talent to create a high-energy musical showcase and announced that celebrity song master DJ IRIE was named Official DJ of Carnival Cruise Lines. Plus, Carnival announced more of its unique branded spaces with the RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar and three other fun themed bars and lounges, as well as a new complimentary BlueIguana Cantina casual dining option.

"Fun Ship 2.0 is the largest and most ambitious initiative that our company has ever undertaken and it will serve to significantly transform the Carnival vacation experience for our guests," said Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines. "Through breakthrough partnerships with some of today's biggest talents and most popular entertainment brands, plus our very own new branded experiences and on-board destinations, Carnival fans and those new to our cruises are destined for an incredible vacation experience."

The Carnival Liberty will be the first ship to feature many of the new dining and bar venues when it returns from a scheduled refurbishment later this month. Fourteen ships are scheduled to receive many of the Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements through 2015.

Big Names & Big Brands On Board
Through its partnership with comedian and TV personality George Lopez, Carnival will bring even more laughs to The Punchliner Comedy Club Presented by George Lopez. As Carnival's "curator of comedy," Lopez will act as a consultant on the vetting and hiring of comedic talent in one of the line's most popular nighttime entertainment options, and advise on decor, lighting, music and more to enhance the overall comedy club experience. Hilarious pre-recorded voice and video messages from Lopez will welcome guests and club patrons, and a new Punchliner Comedy Brunch will keep diners laughing with live comedic entertainment in the line's main dining rooms. Over the next year, the revamped clubs will roll out fleetwide, creating laughter during multiple shows each voyage.

At Guy's Burger Joint, Carnival and successful restaurateur, cookbook author and television star Guy Fieri have come together to cook up the best burgers at sea, and best of all, they're free! Guests have a choice of delicious fresh-off-the-grill burgers designed by Fieri, or they can make their own at a condiment bar by adding a variety of tasty toppings. Burgers are complemented by hand-cut fries. For lunch, a snack or dinner, guests can drop by this laid-back poolside dining venue modeled after a road-side burger joint off an iconic coastal highway.

Under license from Hasbro, Inc., Carnival will create Hasbro, The Game Show, a new series of larger-than-life productions and entertainment activities based on the popular Family Game Night television show from The Hub. Hasbro, The Game Show will put guests right in the middle of their favorite Hasbro games. Six main games are to be featured: Sorry Sliders, which involves a giant shuffleboard court; Simon Flash, where two teams of four guests wear giant light-up color boxes and must shuffle themselves quickly to repeat a color sequence; Yahtzee Bowling, with a giant ball and larger-than-life-sized bowling pins; Operation, which is set up like a skee-ball board where contestants try to get the balls into different slots on the "patient's" body, and Connect 4 Basketball, which uses a basketball setup rather than the traditional checkers to play.

Cheers For The Best New Bars At Sea
Carnival's new themed bars and lounges fit any occasion, offering guests new destinations in a distinctive environment and signature drink menus to provide unique and unforgettable experiences. These bars will encourage guests to socialize and try interesting drink concoctions formulated by our expert mixologists.

Carnival has partnered with EA SPORTS, the leading sports videogame brand in the world, on an exciting new sports bar concept. Designed to be the ultimate hangout for sports fanatics, guests can play their favorite EA SPORTS videogames, watch live sports on a massive video wall comprised of 16 different 46-inch big-screen displays, and keep up with real-time sports scores 24/7 live on the ticker. Whether challenging their sports knowledge during daily trivia contests, competing in EA SPORTS videogame tournaments or just catching the latest sports action, patrons can enjoy a full drink menu and popular sports bar snacks.

Shorts and flip flops are welcome at Carnival's two new fun and relaxed poolside destinations. RedFrog Rum Bar offers guests the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with a pool-side version of the popular Caribbean themed RedFrog Pub, which debuted on the Carnival Magic. It will specialize in refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival's private label draft brew, ThirstyFrog Red. Just across the deck will be BlueIguana Tequila Bar, providing a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and specializing in delicious tequila-based frozen drinks and Mexican beers. Live music will fill the area as performers will entertain patrons at both bars, along with those enjoying fun in the sun by the pool.

To cure what ails you, Alchemy Bar is Carnival's vintage-themed cocktail "pharmacy," the go-to spot for guests who are seeking a unique experience with interesting drink flavors and ingredients. Carnival's expert mixologists will "prescribe" concoctions from different fun categories or guests can also try their hand at creating their own custom cocktails. Meanwhile, The Library Bar is a new intimate cocktail lounge featuring bar service and automatic wine dispensers, ideal for guests seeking a more relaxed and quiet venue.

Carnival's New Cantina

Carnival is expanding on its wide array of dining options with exciting new venues that focus on free favorite foods that are highly popular among guests including burgers at Guy's Burger Joint and fresh Mexican cuisine at the new BlueIguana Cantina. This complimentary poolside dining destination offers guests freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas they can make their own with a variety of salsas and toppings. Hungry vacationers can also watch the tortilla maker create fresh wheat and jalapeno tortillas, then enjoy three types of tacos with a variety of toppings, and three kinds of burritos with fantastic fillings, plus chips and salsa.

That's (More) Entertainment!
Carnival is taking shipboard entertainment to an entirely new level. Working with leaders and industry experts from George Lopez and Hasbro to DJ IRIE and top Broadway producers, Carnival will offer not only a larger variety of new high-caliber entertainment but also more interactive shows for guests to enjoy.

Playlist Productions is a dramatic retooling of the line's legendary revues that combine captivating live performances with high-tech LED staging and special effects that set a new standard in seagoing productions. These popular music-driven revues featuring a diversity of musical styles, genres and eras are designed to appeal to a broad cross-section of guests. Playlist Performances will have guests singing along and dancing in their seats during the hit-packed, 30-minute shows created by leading producers, directors and choreographers who have worked on critically acclaimed productions for Broadway, London's West End and some of the world's most popular musical acts.

Guests will groove to "Motor City" which celebrates the R&B Motown sound of the 1960s and '70s, and "Divas" which combines music, dance and fashion to feature tunes from iconic female entertainers. "Latin Nights" offers a fusion of Latin culture, rhythmic music and hot choreography while "The Brits!" features tunes from the UK's most famous artists of all time. These exciting new shows will premiere on Carnival Breeze when it enters service next summer, followed by other vessels.

Known for keeping Miami and Las Vegas crowds pumped and on their feet, award-winning DJ IRIE was also named the Official DJ of Carnival Cruise Lines. In this new role, he will create and lead "DJ IRIE's Spin'iversity" to train and develop the musical skills and personalities of on-board DJ talent to boost the overall music experience for guests of all ages. Carnival is further enhancing its night club experience, offering a unique and lively atmosphere and expanded music offerings.

Additional information on the Fun Ship 2.0 initiative is available at

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Paul Gauguin Cruises Acquires Second Luxury Ship

BELLEVUE, WA, Oct 1: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, today announces the acquisition of a second ship which will begin sailing under the Paul Gauguin Cruises banner in December 2012. The ship, as yet unidentified, will be christened m/v Moana after completing a multifaceted renovation in November 2012. Moana features 45 staterooms accommodating 90 guests.

“We are monumentally proud to add a second ship to our Pacific Beachcomber portfolio and Paul Gauguin Cruises family. This is an incredibly huge branding achievement for the growth of our cruise line and I look forward to welcoming fans of The Gauguin onboard our latest addition,” comments Diane Moore, President of Paul Gauguin Cruises.

Full 2013 deployment details for Moana will be announced in early 2012. Plans are to sail during the summer months in the Mediterranean and winter in the Caribbean and Latin America. Emphasis will be on delivering unique destinations that larger ships cannot offer and exploring hidden ports throughout these regions.

Paul Gauguin Cruises, owned by Pacific Beachcomber SC, the leader in French Polynesia luxury destination resorts, operates the m/s Paul Gauguin, providing a luxury cruise experience tailored to the unparalleled wonders of Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific. Built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France The Gauguin is scheduled to complete a $7 million dollar renovation in January 2012. The ship is 513 feet long and 71 feet wide, and has a draft of 16.9 feet. The ship can accommodate 332 guests with a staff of 217 and is one of the top Exclusive Charter and Incentive Group venues in the industry. The Gauguin has undergone more than $25 million in enhancements, has completed more than 570 South Pacific cruises, and has served more than 176,250 guests, including more than 15,000 honeymooners, since its inaugural sail in 1998. For additional information, visit their website at

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