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Cruise News
November 1-30, 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

American Cruise Lines to Feature Lewis & Clark Theme Cruises aboard Queen of the West

GUILFORD, CT, Nov 30: American Cruise Lines, the leader in small ship cruising, announced the planned offering of Lewis and Clark theme cruises aboard the magnificent Queen of the West, an authentic 120-passenger paddlewheeler operating on the Columbia and Snake Rivers of the Pacific Northwest. Available this April, between Portland, Oregon and Clarkston, Washington, American Cruise Lines will offer an unforgettable journey along the legendary rivers that helped shape the West aboard the authentic paddlewheeler Queen of the West. On this unique itinerary, passengers will follow in the footsteps of the legendary explorers Lewis and Clark, and their monumental expedition while discovering the natural wonder, native lore, pristine wilderness, and rich history along this epic course.

Guests will discover ancient lands of Native Americans; marvel at the technological miracles of the river’s lock system, where a series of seven locks takes you 780 feet above sea level; and cruise from the lush valley of the Columbia River Gorge to the high desert inland canyons. Onboard lecturers and entertainers will bring the stories of Lewis & Clark’s Corps of Discovery to life while the crew provides passengers with the highest standards of service. On shore, tour guides and regional experts lead the way as guests retrace the steps of the two famed explorers, visiting sites made famous by their path of discovery.

Highlights of the theme cruise include:

• Featured guest speaker, Todd Weber: A highly celebrated, river-running historian, brings tales of the patriots, fur traders, Indians and explorers of America alive through his period clothing and colorful presentation.
Dinner with Lewis & Clark evening: Impersonators will accompany guests during a special evening of fine dining, entertainment, trivia and more.
A special screening of Ken Burns’ Lewis & Clark documentary, “Lewis and Clark-The Journey of the Corpse of Discovery.”
Guided tours of sites throughout the Lewis and Clark National and State Historic Park, including Fort Clatsop, Salt Works and Netul Landing.

“The spring is really the ideal time for this cruise, the days are longer and the scenery is just breathtaking that time of year,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines. “Experiencing this beauty aboard the country’s only overnight authentic paddlewheeler, Queen of the West, makes for a truly unique cruising experience that allows people to experience the Pacific Northwest in a completely different way.”

For those seeking the exceptional in both quality and service, a casual environment, the camaraderie of like-minded travelers, all in the intimacy of a small ship, it can be found on American Cruise Lines’ Queen of the West. The authentic paddlwheeler, built in 1996 with a Victorian theme, recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to make it even more comfortable and accommodating than before. Queen of the West’s deck plan reflects a new library on the third deck, the enlargement of a number of staterooms, and the addition of more single staterooms. Aimed at providing the most comfortable and elegant atmosphere for passengers, Queen of the West boasts newly designed and custom built furniture, fresh interior décor, enlarged staterooms and spacious private balconies. From the all-American crew ready to anticipate every need, to first-class chefs preparing menus inspired by regional specialties, the Lewis and Clark Expedition will meet the greatest of expectations.

American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise company, operates the newest fleet of small ships in the industry and offers more than 30 unique itineraries along the inland waterways and rivers of the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, the Mississippi River System and East Coast of the United States, from New England to Florida. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit our Website at or call (800) 814-6880.

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The Muppets Debut on the Disney Fantasy

PORT CANAVERAL, FL, Nov. 29: The Muppets make their debut on Disney Cruise Line in a new adventure game aboard the Disney Fantasy, the new Disney ship setting sail in March 2012. Throughout the Disney Fantasy, guests will discover creative and whimsical technical innovations, whether it’s mealtime, playtime or bedtime. “Paintings” spring to life. Guests’ own drawings dance with Disney characters. Interior staterooms have a porthole view of the sea outside. Animated characters chat with guests. The floor beneath children comes alive to movements. Among the highlights:

Muppets Adventure Game
The Muppets are coming to the Disney Fantasy! While playing “The Case of the Stolen Show,” guests take an interactive adventure quest around the ship, uncovering clues via more than a dozen pieces of Enchanted Art and physical “evidence.” The adventure begins with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal and a cast of more than 20 Muppets preparing to stage a big performance. But there’s a problem: Kermit’s banjo is missing, Fozzie’s squirting flower has vanished, Gonzo’s crash helmet has gone astray, Animal’s drum sticks have disappeared and the Swedish Chef can’t find his cleaver! All of the props for the big show have been stolen by a cunning thief (or more likely, another Muppet).

Pepe the King Prawn offers to take on detective duties to help Kermit and the rest of the Muppets find their missing props. Kermit, worried about Pepe’s lack of detective skills, turns to the guests for help. Guided by a map and holding a unique game card in front of select pieces of Enchanted Art, guests unveil clues and find missing props. Elsewhere on the ship, guests may check a Muppets message board and find a Muppet-sized stateroom door to discover clues. Their mission is to identify the culprit and solve the crime before it’s time to raise the curtain and light the lights on the Muppets’ big show.

“The Case of the Stolen Show” is a self-paced adventure game designed for guests ages nine and older. It features several possible endings and multiple randomized eventsso each time a guest plays, they have a different gaming experience.

Enchanted Art
Throughout the Disney Fantasy, more than 20 pieces of Enchanted Art, inspired by classic Disney characters and animations, immerse guests in Disney storytelling in a completely new way. As guests pause to admire an individual piece of Enchanted Art, it magically comes alive. Some examples of Enchanted Art new to the Disney Fantasy…
• Dual circus art posters featuring Dumbo and Timothy Q. Mouse flying from one frame into the other — a nod to the Disney Fantasy stern characters.
• Walt Disney animating three new clips that spring from his sketch pad featuring the “Fab Five” (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto).
•Scenes from Disney’s classic animated film “Fantasia” depicting dancing fairies set to “Nutcracker Suite” and a frolicking unicorn and satyr set to “The Pastoral Symphony.”
• Fanciful animations of “Alice in Wonderland” inspired by Disney Legend Mary Blair’s artwork.
• “Pinkie Daisy” inspired by Thomas Lawrence’s painting “Sarah Barrett Moulton: Pinkie.”

While Enchanted Art looks like other hanging art pieces around the ship, it is actually a framed LCD screen that utilizes technology to create special effects. Enchanted Art “recognizes” a guest is present and activates several seconds of animation. Guests may see new and different animation when they visit the Enchanted Art another time.

“Animation Magic” at Animator’s Palate
Animator’s Palate on the Disney Fantasy brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining room with a new show called “Animation Magic.” The dinner show celebrates the magic of Disney animation and allows families to create and participate in a whole new way. As guests are seated at their tables, they are invited to draw a character of their own using a simple template on their placemat. Then, just before dinner, house lights dim and a sprinkling of pixie dust illuminates the room.

Imagery is revealed on several large monitors showing black and white drawings of Mickey Mouse. Mickey then places the Sorcerer’s hat upon his head, transforming all of the animation into color. Mickey invites guests to sit back, relax and enjoy a taste of animation as a montage of memorable food-themed moments from Disney and Disney•Pixar films is displayed, set to the show tune “Be Our Guest.” After the number is complete, guests are encouraged to complete their own drawings … so they may be whisked off to Mickey Mouse, who is conjuring a magical final act.

After dinner, Mickey returns for the exciting finale. With a musical crescendo, he works his magic and conjures the guests’ drawingsnow fully animated and brought to lifeinto the onscreen action. A parade starts as Mickey leads the guests’ drawings in a march across the screens around the dining room. The animation of the drawings becomes increasingly more elaborate, and then the drawings step into scenes from beloved Disney movies and skip, skate and dance side-by-side with characters such as Mickey Mouse, Jiminy Cricket, Cinderella and Snow White. At the conclusion of the show, Mickey returns to say “so long” while credits roll on screen showing each guest’s name listed as a guest animator. To commemorate the experience, guests’ drawings are returned to them…with an added touch: a golden seal proclaiming them an Official Disney Animator.

Living Characters
In Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab youth areas, Disney characters come to life and interact with children in one-of-a-kind experiences…
• Crush, the animated sea turtle from the Disney•Pixar motion picture “Finding Nemo,” and Stitch, the mischievous animated alien from the motion picture “Lilo & Stitch,” appear on a 103-inch plasma screen.
• The characters chat, play and joke with kids in live, unrehearsed, personalized conversations, using sophisticated, voice-activated animation.

Living Characters create ‘Undersea Magic’
The Living Characters fun continues at Animator’s Palate restaurant…
• Once guests are seated for dinner, the entire restaurant goes through a transformation as dinnertime is also show time for “Undersea Magic.”
• The transformation involves more than 100 wall-mounted LCD screens that switch to scenes of a vivid undersea environment – as if the restaurant is transported to the ocean floor and the screens are windows providing views of a colorful coral reef and creatures that reside there.
• Crush, the surfer-dude sea turtle from Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” swims around the restaurant from “window” to “window,” engaging in live impromptu interactions with guests.

Magical Porthole
The Disney Fantasy carries on the spirit of innovation with a cruise industry first for all 150 inside stateroomsa “window” to the world with a real-time view outside the ship.
• Each room features a wall-mounted monitor framed to have the appearance of a porthole. The monitor displays a real-time video view outside the ship – sometimes supplemented by a little “magic” in the form of animated Disney characters that “fly by,” such as Peach the starfish from the Disney•Pixar film “Finding Nemo,” Dumbo the flying elephant and Mickey Mouse.
• High-definition cameras on the exterior of the ship feed the video to the monitors. Camera positions correspond with stateroom locations – port or starboard, from bow to stern.

Magic PlayFloor
Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab feature a Magic PlayFloor, a cruise-industry first that blends the latest in gaming technology with Disney’s panache for storytelling…Located in the main gathering space in both venues, the interactive floor allows children to engage in group activities where their movements control the action.
• The PlayFloor is designed with 16 light pads on the perimeter that detect motion and location and trigger actions. There are 28 monitors integrated with one another to create a grid display 15 feet by 15 feet on the center of the PlayFloor.
• The games are thematically tied to Disney stories and characters – to everything from “Cars” and “Tron” to “Peter Pan” and “The Princess and the Frog.”
•Youth counselors use the Magic PlayFloor during storytelling activities where children fly over the streets of London with Peter Pan, help their frog feast on a bug banquet, leap over lasers with Stitch, race a car like Lightning McQueen and step into the world of Tron.

On the Disney Fantasy, adult guests step into a world that’s all their own at Europaa nighttime entertainment district exclusively for guests 18 and older that features sophisticated bars and lounges inspired by the very best in European travel. Skyline is a chic bar that provides ever-changing birds-eye views of stunning city skylines. The venue’s nine “windows to the world” are actually 65-inch LCD screens that depict different locales in panorama. Guests glimpse ever-changing views of spectacular cities such as Paris, London, Barcelona, Florence, Athens, Budapest and St. Petersburg.

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

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Crystal Ships to Feel Like (Ultra-Luxurious) Home for the Holidays

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 29: In its international relaxed, yet sophisticated, style, Crystal is transforming its ships into whimsical holiday wonderlands, with more than $100,000 in new decorations. Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony are honoring Christmas, Chanukah, and New Year's with festive trimmings, ranging from elegant Victorian to merrily modern. December 21 voyages boast seasonal parties, dances, carols, menorah and tree lightings, spirited musical productions, sessions with Santa, holiday movies, religious services, and traditional feasts.

Custom decor features:
-- Fantasy atriums-turned-forests, with Father Christmas driving reindeer through snow-covered trees twinkling with thousands of shimmering lights, red finches and berries adorning pine boughs
-- Santa's Bakery inside Bistro Cafes, with Chef Claus welcoming guests to a world of large candy canes, teddy bears and dancing gingerbread cookies
-- Victorian Christmas trees romantically decorated with ornate ribbons and baroque baubles
-- Six-foot-tall, light-up menorah
-- Hand-painted, jewel-covered and hand-blown glass ornaments
-- Antique carousel horses wearing floral, crystal and beaded-tassel garlands
-- Casino-dwelling, golden reindeer draped in pine jeweled harnesses encrusted with Christmas motifs
-- An army of six-foot nutcrackers in lounge areas
-- Santa and his reindeer enjoying a pint at the Avenue Saloon, sunning in Hawaii, and landing in the fireplace.

Traditional culinary delights, in Crystal's gourmet style, include Christmas goose, roast turkey, and chestnut stuffing; potato latkes, as well as chocolate gelt, for Chanukah; and a gala New Year's Eve dinner and champagne countdown celebration, followed by Bloody Mary parties and mimosa brunch on New Year's Day.

"Our ships feel both magical and comfortably familial for guests of all ages who dream of sugar plums and extraordinary holiday vacation memories," says Bret Bullock, vice president entertainment.

Five holiday season sailing options include 7- to 14-day Pacific Coast, Mexican Riviera, Hawaii, Caribbean/Panama Canal, and Trans-Atlantic voyages, with Christmas/Chanukah/New Year's cruises round-trip from either Miami or LA. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Holland America Line Launches Sail & Save Promotion With Exceptional Values

SEATTLE, Nov. 29: Holland America Line has just launched one of its most popular annual promotions--the Sail & Save event--featuring special savings on multiple staterooms, products and destinations. Additionally, the line is giving away one seven-day cruise for two through a sweepstakes on the line's website. Guests who book under the Sail & Save promotions can take advantage of savings of up to 50 percent off select cruise fares, complimentary ocean-view and verandah stateroom upgrades, free or reduced third and fourth fares, reduced airfare for some gateways and sailings, and savings of up to $2,000 on Collectors' Voyages.

"Our Sail & Save promotions offer guests an opportunity to take advantage of extensive savings on 2012 cruises," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "This is the perfect time to start planning a special vacation for next year, and the significant savings make it the best time to book a Holland America Line cruise."

Cruise destinations featured in the Sail & Save sale include Alaska cruises and CruiseTours, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, Canada/New England, Caribbean, Europe, Grand Voyages, Hawaii/Tahiti, Mexico, Panama Canal, South America and holiday itineraries.

Guests looking for a family-friendly vacation can book a 7-day cruise to Alaska, the Caribbean, Canada/New England and Bermuda under the free or reduced third and fourth fares promotion. These idyllic regions offer exciting experiences for the whole family with a variety of shore excursion adventures and cultural encounters.

Guests looking for a longer itinerary can reserve a stateroom on one of the popular Collectors' Voyages while taking advantage of significant savings up to $2,000. Whether it's ms Rotterdam's 14-Day "Norwegian Fjords" Collectors' Voyage or ms Nieuw Amsterdam's 24-Day "Magic of the Mediterranean" Collectors' Voyage, the savings make an extended cruise itinerary an affordable vacation option.

Guests can also now book reduced air fares from select gateways to itineraries in Europe and the Grand Voyages. The reduced air add-on rates are an excellent value starting at $399 per person from North America. Visitors to Holland America Line's website can register to win a 7-day cruise (no purchase necessary) by filling out a short questionnaire, which then is automatically entered into the sweepstakes. Entries will be accepted through Feb. 29, 2012, and a winner will be selected by a random drawing in March 2012. For more information on Holland America Line's Sail & Save offers, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces Elite Pre-Cruise Concierge Service For The Haven Guests

MIAMI, Nov 28: Norwegian Cruise Line (“Norwegian”) today announced the launch of a shoreside concierge desk exclusively for guests with reservations in the line’s most luxurious accommodations, The Haven by Norwegian. Beginning today, the concierge desk provides pre-cruise assistance enabling guests and travel partners to pre-arrange a variety of services and amenities. The concierge desk provides support in booking reservations for all suite accommodations; arranging dining and entertainment; booking shore excursions; making spa and salon appointments; as well as taking special requests such as pillow preference and any other arrangements. The concierge desk will send an email confirmation to the travel partner or guest prior to their sailing reconfirming all of the requests made.

The Haven is currently featured on board Norwegian’s Jewel class ships (Norwegian Gem, Pearl, Jade, Jewel); and the line’s newest and most innovative ship, Norwegian Epic. Norwegian’s two new ships, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, will also feature The Haven by Norwegian when they launch in April 2013 and April 2014.

Suite guests are privy to an array of complimentary amenities, including 24-hour private butler service; priority embarkation and disembarkation; distinctive platinum keycard; priority boarding of tenders to shore; in-suite espresso/cappuccino machines; gourmet treats delivered each evening; Bliss Collection by Norwegian™ pillow-top mattress; fine linens, feather duvet and pillow menu; along with plush bathrobes, slippers, oversized towels; and much more.

Norwegian’s Jewel class ships (Norwegian Jewel, Jade, Pearl and Gem) include up to 18 suites as part of The Haven, including the largest suites at sea – the 5,000 square foot, three-bedroom Garden Villas. All of these suites surround The Haven Courtyard that includes a pool, sundeck, hot tub, fitness room and more. The Haven on Norwegian Epic is the largest suite complex at sea, comprising 60 suites on two private decks at the top of the ship. An additional 15 suites located throughout the ship also have access to The Haven which includes a private pool, two whirlpools, gym, saunas, sundeck, along with a private restaurant with indoor/outdoor dining, exclusive bar and concierge lounge.

The concierge desk is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET and can be reached by calling 855.NCL.HAVEN (625.4283). For more information on The Haven by Norwegian, contact a travel professional or visit

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Seabourn Selects Winner of 'Seabourn Moments' Contest

SEATTLE, Nov 25: From a rescue at sea to experiencing exceptional service by staff to meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones, these were just some of the hundreds of stories Seabourn received in its "Seabourn Moments" contest on Facebook. After weeks of submissions, voting and judging, Seabourn selected the winning story submitted by Chelsea and Kyle Johnson of Madison, Wis.

The contest ran from Oct 10 through Nov 7, and received more than 200 stories from fans sharing their most memorable Seabourn Moments. A special Seabourn Moment can be a unique experience that occurred onboard, or an example of Seabourn's staff going above and beyond during a voyage, or even an outstanding, unforgettable experience ashore. Seabourn fans voted for their favorites and then a panel of judges, consisting of a combination of Seabourn executives and an independent judge, selected the winner from the top five vote-getters.

"There were so many amazing, heartwarming stories from our fans and we truly enjoyed reading about the special Seabourn Moment they experienced when they sailed with us," said John Delaney, Seabourn's senior vice president, marketing and sales. "We thank our guests for sharing their wonderful stories with us and would like to congratulate Chelsea and Kyle on winning our 'Seabourn Moments' contest."

Entitled "The Diamond Odyssey," the winning entry tells the story of the Johnsons who sailed on Seabourn Odyssey to celebrate their honeymoon. After spending a day exploring the fortress walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia, they returned to the ship and enjoyed an early evening dinner. When they returned to their suite, Mrs. Johnson realized that the diamond on her engagement ring was missing. With the assistance of their suite stewardess and another staff member, they searched their suite from top to bottom. Mr. Johnson decided to search the ship and retraced their steps from earlier that evening. He went to The Restaurant, where staff and even other guests helped him search the venue for the diamond. Feeling defeated, Mr. Johnson left The Restaurant when a bright flicker caught his eye, and there in the middle of the black marble floor was the missing gem. He picked it up and quickly went back to the suite and presented the precious diamond to his wife. As they hugged each other with joy, fireworks lit up the sky. "This will always be one of our greatest memories," the Johnsons said. They are winners of a 7-day Seabourn cruise, where they will likely experience even more unforgettable Seabourn Moments.

Read the winning entry, as well as all of the stories that were submitted, on Seabourn's Facebook page.

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Azamara Club Cruises’ Celebrates The Holidays With Year-Long Savings on
Unique 2012 Holiday Voyages

MIAMI, Nov 25: Up-market travelers can cast off their worries and make home aboard one of Azamara Club Cruises’ intimate ships for the holidays in 2012. Guests booking one of 10 holiday voyages will receive a $500 onboard spending credit per stateroom, good towards Land Discoveries (shore excursions), an indulgent spa treatment or a perfect memento in the onboard boutique to take home. These savings help guests immerse themselves in the vibrant cultures visited by Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest on their 2012 holiday voyages, including sailing through Vietnam’s Halong Bay on Valentine’s Day; treating that very special lady to the Old-world charms of Belgium’s Bruges for Mother’s Day; or delighting in the fireworks over Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on New Year’s Eve.

“Azamara Club Cruises offers voyages that coincide with special cultural celebrations to offer our guests the greatest opportunities to immerse themselves in the exotic destinations where we sail,” said Edie Bornstein, vice president of Sales and Marketing, Azamara Club Cruises. “Up-market travelers can celebrate a holiday or any special occasion onboard in order to make it a truly remarkable experience. Onboard, guests will enjoy our delectable dining options, unmatched collection of worldly boutique wines, and signature extraordinary service delivered by each dedicated staff and crew member.”

Azamara Journey will sail six holiday voyages beginning Feb. 6, 2012, where couples may celebrate Valentine’s Day on a romantic nine-night Rio de Janeiro voyage. Guests aboard Azamara Journey’s March 30 voyage can observe Easter or Passover on an 11-night itinerary from San Juan, Puerto Rico to New York. Then in May and June, guests can honor their most significant other and celebrate Mother’s or Father’s day, with either the May 6, 11-night voyage from Paris to Amsterdam, or the June 10, 10-night voyage from Amsterdam to Stockholm with overnight calls in St. Petersburg and Stockholm, respectively.

For a delectable Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimming Azamara Journey will sail Nov. 13, on a 14-night Suez to Egypt voyage. Rounding off the year is a 14-night Singapore voyage on Dec. 23, where guests will enjoy both Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations in addition to three days in Bangkok, Thailand and three days in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Azamara Quest, also will celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Feb. 1, 14-night voyage from Singapore to Hong Kong with overnight calls at Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok. On May 6, Azamara Quest will sail a nine-night Egypt to Athens voyage, perfect for celebrating Mother’s Day. And in December Azamara Quest will sail two voyages, a 9-night Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires on Dec. 18 and a 9-night Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro on Dec. 27, which are perfect to combine into one South America odyssey to celebrate the year end in style.

Azamara Club Cruises is a destination-immersive cruise line for up-market travelers who want to not only see the places and cultures they visit, but to live them. Azamara’s two intimate, 694-guest ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, with a combination of 347 suites and staterooms, offer a European-boutique hotel ambience with extraordinary service, fine cuisine and wines from around the world, and wellness and vitality programs, all while sailing to a host of destinations larger ships cannot reach. Azamara Club Cruises sails European destinations, including the Baltic and Scandinavia, British Isles, Western Europe, French and Italian Rivieras, Greek Isles, Croatia, Holy Land and Black Sea, as well as Asia, South America and lesser-traveled islands of the West Indies, with more overnight and late-night stays in every region. Travelers also can choose even more immersive experiences with Azamara cruisetours in eight of the world’s most exciting destinations, including Rome, Athens, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Istanbul, Jordan and Israel, India, and China. More information about Azamara’s Azamazing holiday offers can be found at AzamaraClubCruises.

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Splendour of the Seas Becomes The First Cruise Ship To Feature iPads In All Staterooms

MIAMI, Nov. 22: Royal Caribbean will mark another industry first with the introduction of iPad mobile digital devices in every stateroom onboard the newly revitalized Splendour of the Seas. The hottest tablet on the market empowers guests with an additional medium by which to receive, retrieve and use information on their cruise vacation. With a touch of the screen, guests will be able to access the daily Cruise Compass of events and activities; personal daily itineraries, including shore excursions; monitor their onboard account; order room service; view restaurant menus; access the internet; and watch movies. The iPads will be available beginning mid-February 2012 on Splendour of the Seas before being extended to all Vision-class ships when each undergoes revitalization in the following two years.

“Based on consumer research, we added the iPads to greatly enhance guest communication, interactivity and to continue to offer industry leading technology that helps enhance the guest experience,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “This is just one of the many exciting ways that Royal Caribbean continues to provide our guests with the ultimate cruise experience.”

The iPads, which will feature English and Portuguese when they debut on Splendour of the Seas, will offer guests the opportunity to access all of their information not only from the comfort of their staterooms, but through the pervasive WIFI also being installed throughout the ship, which will enable guests to enjoy the iPads wherever they go onboard.

In addition to the iPads, Splendour of the Seas, which emerges from dry dock on Nov. 25, 2011, also will have an array of new stateroom amenities such as flat screen televisions, new bathrooms, and completely remodeled interiors, including luxurious new linens and furniture, as well as an additional 124 balconies. The ship also will be outfitted with the award-winning digital wayfinding technology that can be found on the line’s acclaimed Oasis-class ships.

The newly revitalized Splendour also will debut new dining options including the Asian Izumi restaurant; the line’s signature steakhouse, Chops Grille; the Boardwalk Dog House hotdog counter; the Park Café deli-style restaurant; and the exclusive Chef’s Table dining experience. Royal Caribbean also will introduce a new à la carte menu in the Viking Crown Lounge that will offer guests the opportunity to enjoy bite sized portions of their favorite classics. Additional Royal Caribbean signature innovations debuting on the ship will be the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, a Diamond lounge, a Concierge Lounge, a Britto Gallery featuring works from Brazilian pop-artist Romero Britto, the new R-Bar as well as a reinvented Centrum experience.

Upon completion of the refurbishments, Splendour of the Seas will sail a trans-Atlantic voyage on Nov 25 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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Americans Choose Travel as the Ultimate Life Goal

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 22: If Americans could only accomplish one goal in their lifetime, nearly three-quarters would choose a travel-related goal, according to a survey commissioned by Princess Cruises. And of those Americans with a “bucket list,” a surprising majority (61%) still expects to cross something off their list by the end of the year despite the madness of the holiday season. The recent survey polled 1,000 Americans and examined how travel plays a part in bucket list goals, including New Year’s resolutions for 2012. Other findings include:

Travel is Tops: If Americans could only accomplish one goal in their lifetime, 72% would choose a travel goal. Other popular goals included professional (15%) and academic (7%), while surprisingly few named fitness (5%) as a life objective.

New Year’s Resolutions – 2012 Optimism: Nearly half (46%) of Americans plan on making a New Year’s resolution, and among these physical health (73%) and financial health (42%) are top picks, and more than one-third of Americans plan to make a travel-related resolution (37%). Of those surveyed, it looks like 2012 will be successful for many, with 92% saying they think they’ll fulfill their New Year’s resolution next year.

Dream Big: You don’t have to be ready to kick the bucket to consider what you want to get done in your lifetime. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Americans have a list of places they want to go and things they want to do before they die. More surprising, younger Americans are really embracing the lists. Americans ages 18-34 (70%) are more likely to have a bucket list than those ages 35 and older (63%).

We’re All in This Together: Sometimes having loved ones by your side can kick-start motivation. Two out of five (40%) Americans with bucket lists think having a friend or family member along for the ride would make it easier to cross items off their list. Who do most travel-hungry Americans want by their side? Results show 67% want their significant other as their travel companion, followed by their children (32%), friends (31%), parents (23%) and siblings (22%).

Planning is Key to Crossing Off: What’s the key to crossing things off a bucket list? Roughly half (46%) of Americans think having a concrete plan to cross one item per year off their list is the best strategy to move through their lists. Other helpful approaches include partnering with a friend or family member (40%) or making a private list (27%), while making a public list such as on a social media site (10%) seems the least helpful.

Sharing is Caring: What do you do when your significant other’s list differs from yours? When crossing items off their bucket lists, 63% of those with a significant other would alternate items on their list with items on their significant other’s list. Less popular choices include doing whichever is least expensive (12%), doing whichever is easiest (11%), doing items from each list separately (8%), or doing something entirely different that’s not on either list (6%).

“It’s no surprise that travel tops Americans’ bucket list of life goals because we know that travel experiences often create our most meaningful life memories,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “So as people gear up to make their resolutions for the new year, we’re ready to help inspire their choices, wherever they may wish to go in the world.”

About the 2011 Survey
The Princess Cruises survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 1,010 adult Americans, ages 18 and older, between Oct 28 and Nov 1, 2011, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 18 and older. Information on Princess Cruises’ sea and land vacations for 2012-2013 can be found online at

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Explore the Best of Alaska With Holland America Line's Alaska/Yukon 2012 CruiseTours

SEATTLE, Nov. 22: From the breathtaking views of Glacier National Park to the wilderness of Denali National Park and the Yukon's Klondike Gold Rush territory, Holland America Line's 2012 Alaska CruiseTours feature 17 different itineraries that immerse guests in a rich Alaska nature and frontier experience. Departures provide "cruise first" or "tour first" selections to stunning landscapes and less-visited landmarks throughout The Last Frontier. Ranging in total length from 10 to 20 days, all CruiseTours combine a three-, four- or seven-day Inside Passage cruise with in-depth overland tours. Offering two days at Denali National Park for wildlife viewing and spectacular scenery, CruiseTours are designed to highlight the best of Alaska's wilderness, wildlife, native culture and history. Six tours also feature Canada's Yukon Territory with its Klondike Gold Rush heritage and pristine national parks such as Kluane National Park and Tombstone Park. Departures range from May through September.

"Next year marks Holland America Line's 65th anniversary of providing guests with exclusive opportunities that showcase Alaska and its natural beauty," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Our CruiseTours are designed to combine the best of both worlds -- one of our incredible cruises with an overland exploration -- and traveling to Alaska with us has never been more exciting or accessible."

Guests who opt for tour-first itineraries typically prefer to relax on a cruise after their land tour, while cruise-first travelers seek to settle into a vacation mindset and enjoy the many amenities of Holland America Line's elegant premium ships as they sail into the wilderness. In addition to major attractions such as Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage, Holland America Line's Alaska CruiseTours visit exclusive destinations not accessible via cruise ship including Wonder Lake, the Dalton Highway, Denali National Park and gold-rush town Dawson City, Yukon.

Unique to the Holland America Line cruise experience, highly trained and knowledgeable interpreters, tour concierges and Alaska travel guides are present on most CruiseTours and sailings, and National Park Rangers provide extensive commentary and guided programs at Glacier Bay National Park. Tour concierges travel throughout the land portion on all Alaska/Yukon CruiseTour itineraries. While on a CruiseTour, guests can choose from several adventurous shore and land excursions to further customize their CruiseTours, ranging from hiking, dog sledding, fly fishing, river rafting and glacier landing by helicopter to informative historical and cultural tours.

In 2012 Holland America Line features six Yukon and Denali CruiseTours. These 10- to 20-day itineraries include adventures to destinations such as Denali National Park, Fairbanks, Dawson City, and Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. Some CruiseTours also include Kluane National Park and the White Pass and Yukon Railroad. The eight Denali CruiseTours range from 11 to 14 days and feature a 7-day Inside Passage cruise that includes Glacier Bay National Park. Most itineraries offer 2-night Denali stays with the Denali Tundra Wilderness experience, a day-tour into the protected wilderness where grizzly bears, moose, caribou and wolves are often sighted in the wild. Expedition CruiseTours range from 12 to 14 days, provide authentic wilderness experiences and include the Bears and Wilderness CruiseTour for intimate opportunities for viewing wildlife. They feature a seven-day Glacier Discovery cruise, acclaimed Redoubt Bay Lodge near Lake Clark National Park and Winterlake Lodge along Alaska's historic Iditarod Trail. Additional Expedition CruiseTours highlight the best of the Kenai Peninsula and Denali backcountry.

CruiseTours feature luxurious glass-domed McKinley Explorer railcars with comfortable, forward-facing seats and expert commentary by guides. In addition, Holland America Line's exclusive Explorer Coaches create a superb environment for traveling the highway on Denali and Yukon tours with roomy leather seats, first-class legroom and no more than 44 travelers. To book an Alaska cruise or CruiseTour, contact a travel professional or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Blue Man Group Celebrated Its 500th Performance at Sea on Norwegian Epic

Norwegian Epic had reason to celebrate on Friday, Nov 11 when Blue Man Group performed their 500th show on board. The occasion was marked by a special cake made by the ship’s Executive Chef Peter Haselsberger which was presented to the cast after their performance. The 35 members of the cast and crew also enjoyed an epic celebration that included a private after-party that was anything but blue.

Blue Man Group debuted for the first time at sea performing in the 685-seat Epic Theater in June 2010. The show continues to be a popular onboard favorite, playing eight performances, four nights a week. Blue Man Group is best known for its widely popular theatrical shows and concerts that combine music, comedy and multimedia theatrics to produce a totally unique form of entertainment.

Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic is currently sailing 7-day cruises from Miami, Florida visiting St. Thomas and St. Maarten, Virgin Islands and Nassau Bahamas, as well as three relaxing days at sea. To book a cruise and experience Norwegian’s award-winning entertainment at sea on board one of 11 Freestyle Cruising ships, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784) or visit

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Martina McBride Helps Royal Caribbean Celebrate the Cruise Line’s Return to New Orleans

New Orleans, LA, Nov 21: Royal Caribbean celebrated the arrival of Voyager of the Seas into New Orleans with an exclusive performance by country music star Martina McBride. The four-time CMA award-winner treated guests to selections from her recently released album, Eleven, as well as some of her most popular hits.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. With a wide range of signature onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming, Royal Caribbean provides a world-class vacation experience. The cruise line has a 40-year history of giving guests the Royal Advantageinnovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit, or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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New Seabourn Quest Makes Maiden Arrival in U.S.

SEATTLE, Nov. 21: After spending nine days cruising the Atlantic Ocean from Europe, the new Seabourn Quest made its maiden arrival in the U.S., arriving into Port Everglades at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, early on the morning of Nov 21, 2011. Seabourn Quest will be docked for two nights in Port Everglades, where it will roll out the red carpet and host local travel agents and their clients for a special dinner and show on both nights.

"Since her Europe debut in the summer, Seabourn Quest has received many rave reviews and positive feedback from guests, travel agents and press alike," said Richard Meadows, Seabourn's president. "We are very proud to show her off to agents and their clients in South Florida, so that they can see what the excitement has been all about in recent months."

Following the two nights in Port Everglades, Seabourn Quest will operate a series of 13- and 14-day roundtrip Caribbean cruises from Ft. Lauderdale. On Jan. 5, 2012, Seabourn Quest will embark on its 109-day Maiden World Cruise on a unique eastbound course via South America, South Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. The voyage ends in Venice, Italy on April 23, 2012. Limited space is available for guests wishing to book segments on the World Cruise.

Introduced on June 20, 2011, Seabourn Quest is the third iteration of the sleek and widely admired design that first appeared as Seabourn Odyssey in June 2009, and has been hailed as "a game-changer for the luxury segment." Seabourn Quest's 225 luxurious and spacious suites, 90 percent of which offer private verandas, feature separate living areas and bedrooms, writing desks with personalized stationery, and generously sized granite bathrooms with separate bath and shower and twin sinks. Suites are outfitted with walk-in closets, an interactive flat-screen TV with a wide selection of music and movies, and iPod and MP3 connections. Personal bars and refrigerators are stocked according to guest preferences.

Like its sister ships, Seabourn Quest houses an 11,400-square foot Spa at Seabourn, the largest spa on any luxury vessel, providing the ultimate pampering experience at sea. The two-deck facility features a Kneipp Walk, an herbal bath facility and aroma steam bath with salt inhalation, and a Kinesis Wall. A Spa Villa is available for guests seeking an indulgent private experience, with a treatment area large enough for duet treatments, a shower, a bathtub big enough for two, a private balcony for sunbathing, a full living room, a dining table and double daybed for relaxing.

For foodies everywhere, Seabourn Quest offers gourmet dining experiences in four dining venues that rival the finest restaurants anywhere, all at no extra charge. The Restaurant is a fine-dining and open-seating gourmet experience, with the capacity to seat all guests. Restaurant 2 offers exciting avant-garde dining, serving innovative small-plates tasting menus. The indoor/outdoor Colonnade features an open-kitchen style, while the Patio Grill offers al fresco poolside dining on deck. Guests can also enjoy meals from The Restaurant menu, served course by course in the comfort and privacy of their suite or on their veranda. All dining venues, as well as six bars and lounges, serve a full range of beverages, including Champagne, fine wines and spirits, with Seabourn's compliments.

Seabourn Quest offers a host of other amenities and features, including two swimming pools, six whirlpools, and a unique marina with a variety of watersport activities. One of the most popular spots is Seabourn Square, an innovative concierge lounge with a "club room" ambiance, making guests feel at home during their cruises. For more information or reservations, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Princess Cruises Details 2012 Canada & New England Season

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 21: As the East Coast cruising season has just come to an end, Princess Cruises is reminding passengers it’s the perfect time to start planning a Canada & New England voyage for 2012. Whether travelers are intrigued by charming Canadian ports, including quintessentially French Quebec City, or wish to follow in the footsteps of America’s founders in historic cities, Princess’ fall cruises next year offer the perfect way to discover these timeless vacation destinations.

Emerald Princess and Caribbean Princess will offer 11 voyages on three itinerariesa week-long roundtrip sailing from New York; a 10-day one-way voyage, sailing between New York and Quebec City and featuring an overnight stay in the charming French-Canadian city; and a 12-night Canada & Colonial America cruise from Quebec to Ft. Lauderdale for a voyage along the entire eastern coastline. All itineraries feature the opportunity to experience area highlights, such as the historic treasures of Boston, the beauty of Maine’s Acadia National Park, and the dramatic mansions of Newport, RI.

“The natural beauty of this coastline mixed with the area’s rich history makes Canada and New England one of our favorite cruise destinations,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Where else can you find such brilliant fall foliage, colonial landmarks, rugged beauty and quaint towns all in one voyage?”

Passengers can extend their Canada & New England voyage with one of two cruisetour options that create a full land/sea vacation to America’s colonial treasures, or to Niagara Falls and some of the favorite cities in Canada.

The 2012 Canada & New England program includes:

Canada & New England – Caribbean Princess sails on its popular roundtrip seven-day sailings from New York, featuring calls at Halifax (Nova Scotia), Saint John (for the Bay of Fundy), Bar Harbor (for Acadia National Park), Boston and Newport. Caribbean Princess will offer seven departures between Sept 8 and Oct 20, 2012.

Classic Canada & New England – Emerald Princess sails on three Classic Canada & New England 10-day cruises between New York and Quebec City, featuring calls in Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John (for the Bay of Fundy), Halifax (Nova Scotia), Sydney(Cape Breton Island), and Charlottetown plus an overnight stay for extra time in charming Quebec City. Emerald Princess departs between Sept 26 and Oct 16, 2012.

Canada & Colonial America – Emerald Princess also offers one sailing along the full East Coast on a 12-day Canada & Colonial America itinerary from Quebec City to Ft. Lauderdale on Oct 26. This cruise features an overnight in Quebec City plus calls along the Eastern seaboard in Sydney (Cape Breton Island), Halifax (Nova Scotia), Bar Harbor (for Acadia National Park), Boston, Newport, New York and Charleston.

Cruisetours – For those who would like to extend their Canada & New England vacation, Princess offers escorted pre- or post-cruise land tours in conjunction with these sailings, in which passengers can travel back through historic America or spend further time in Canada with a complete land and sea experience. The Historic America cruisetour includes travel to Washington, D.C.; Williamsburg; Richmond and Monticello in Virginia; Gettysburg, and Philadelphia, while the Maple Explorer cruisetour includes the Canadian cities of Toronto (for Niagara Falls), Ottawa, Montebello, and Montreal.

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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Where in the World is Regis Going?

LOS ANGELES, Nov 21: With last Friday marking Regis Philbin's final day on television's popular daytime talk show, Live with Regis and Kelly, rumors are rampant about what he'll be doing next. Here's one truth: come March 13, he'll be heading east--the Far East that is, as a guest speaker aboard Crystal Cruises' Hong Kong to Osaka voyage of its World Cruise.

Multiple Emmy Award-winner and the Guinness World Record holder for "most hours on camera," Philbin is renowned in the U.S. for more than 50 years hosting TV talk shows, game shows, and a plethora of other entertainment programming. As part of Crystal's award-winning enrichment program, guests will have a rare opportunity to see, and interact with, the ever-affable "Reeg," speaking about his life and legendary career. Guests can experience his trademark wit "live" without the cameras, and even have their own fun chat session with him via an audience Q&A. His wife, Joy, will accompany him on the sailing. Philbin has had a long-time rapport with Crystal, having sailed as a celebrity guest speaker more than 10 years ago, and, in more recent years, presenting Crystal President Gregg Michel with Condé Nast Traveler's "Best Large-Ship" Readers' Choice Award.

"Given all the opportunities open to him, we're thrilled Mr. Philbin wanted to come back aboard for another star-treatment 'Crystal Experience'," says Crystal's Vice President of Entertainment Bret Bullock.

The "Kingdoms of Silk & Jade" Crystal Serenity sailing overnights in Hong Kong before visiting Xiamen, Shanghai (overnight), and Dalian, then heads inland to Beijing for a complimentary three-day inland adventure, followed by calls in Seoul/Incheon (overnight), Nagasaki, and Osaka (overnight).

Crystal Cruises' 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 all world travelers. The renowned Crystal Experience has been rated "World's Best" more than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Royal Caribbean Introduces Vertical Entertainment Aboard Splendour of the Seas

MIAMI, Nov 18: Royal Caribbean Intl continues to deliver the Royal Advantage with the transformation of the elegant and popular Centrum found aboard its Vision-Class ships. Beginning with Splendour of the Seas, the Centrum with its sweeping views and central location on the ship will reemerge from an extensive revitalization as a new chic and sophisticated venue featuring enriching daytime activities, dazzling nightly entertainment and jaw-dropping aerial spectacles. The Centrum’s Champagne Bar also will be reinvented, unveiled as a new venuethe R Barfeaturing a sophisticated 1960s vibe, complete with iconic furnishing and signature cocktails mixed by a savvy and personable mixologist.

“The rebirth of the spectacular 60-foot high Centrum found aboard the Vision-class ships brings new life to a popular gathering space by incorporating innovative technology and vertical entertainment elements to what was already the place to be and be seen,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “When we complete our extensive revitalization program, guests sailing aboard Splendour of the Seas will be in for a multi-sensory experience that puts them at close proximity to amazing aerial performers from multiple viewpoints in a sophisticated and glamorous atmosphere.”

Bringing the Centrum’s new entertainment offerings to life is the latest in sound and light technology. The glass elevators facing into the Centrum will feature large LED panels across their entire length providing a spectacular backdrop of moving visuals 5 decks high. During the entertainment experiences, which take place throughout the cruise, the soaring space comes alive with a series of aerial acrobatic vignettes blurring the lines between artful choreography and state-of-the-art technology.

The R Bar offerings will feature a return to the classicsgimlet, martini, brown liquors, gin and whiskeysall served in unique glassware with surprising garnishes. The venue’s resident mixologist, selected from the cruise line’s fleet to be the face and personality behind the bar, will create drink specials that will complement each evening’s theme and aerial spectacular.

Throughout each sailing, guests can gather in the Centrum for a variety of interactive daytime activities including chef demonstrations, towel folding demonstrations, dance classes, game shows, Nintendo Wii competitions and the popular Captain’s Corner where guests can spend time with the Captain. Additionally, guests may sit back, relax and enjoy performances from musicians and singers or take a spin on the dance floor at themed parties such as the popular Disco Inferno dance party. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Malt Shop Memories Cruise 2012 Returns Bigger & Better

Fort Lauderdale, FL, Nov 17: After the extraordinary success of the first two Malt Shop Memories Cruises, the next annual Malt Shop Memories Cruise will expand to a seven-day trip with more ports of call and additional performances by an incredible array of stars from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Departing on October 27th (through November 3rd) from Fort Lauderdale, FL, the cruise will set sail on Holland America’s luxurious m/s Eurodam for Turks & Caicos, San Juan, St. Thomas and the private island of Half Moon Cay. As a full ship charter, the Eurodam will be transformed into a floating ‘50s and ‘60s entertainment complex, treating passengers to concerts and special events such as sock hops, hula hoop contests, prom night, beach parties, and, of course, interaction with their favorite singers and much more.

Inspired by Time Life’s popular Malt Shop Memories CD series, the voyage will be highlighted by performances by some of the biggest artists of the era, including Dion (who will be making a special appearance in concert on the cruise), Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, Ronnie Spector, Darlene Love, The Original Drifters, The Duprees, Sonny Turner (former lead singer of the Platters), Carl Gardner’s Coasters, Kenny Vance and the Planotones, The Chiffons, The Tymes, The Marvelettes, Al “Lil Fats” Jackson, John Kuse and the Excellents, The Dedications, The Encounters, The Acchords, Gino Monopoli/Dwight Icenhower and, returning as the cruise host, the wildly popular oldies DJ Jerry “The Geator with the Heater” Blavat.

“You’ll see some of the best entertainment from that wonderful era,” says Bobby Rydell. “Mix and mingle with all of us and bring back those great memories while making fabulous new ones.”

In addition to the incredible line-up of concerts, The Malt Shop Memories cruise will offer non-stop events, parties, and ‘50s and ‘60s-themed activities throughout the ship and the entire length of the cruise. Grab your blanket for the beach party, kick off your shoes for the sock hop, dress in your finest for Prom Night and get ready to meet the performers in person during specially designed meet and greets. In celebration of the memory of the King of Rock ‘n Roll, Elvis Presley, the Malt Shop Memories Cruise will host the richest Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in the World. The event will feature some of the most well-known and talented tribute artists in the world competing for a cash prize of $5,000.

Notes the Executive Producer of Time Life’s Malt Shop Memories CD collection, Alan Rubens, “They say you can’t live in the past—but it sure is fun visiting for a few days!” The Time Life Malt Shop Memories CD collection, featuring a 10-CD box set, a 4-CD set and a holiday disc, has sold nearly 4 million CDs and remains one of Time Life’s most popular sellers.

“Our staff had so much fun on the 2011 Malt Shop Memories Cruise!” said Michael Lazaroff of Entertainment Cruise Productions. “It was a joy meeting the guests, engaging the artists and bringing Malt Shop Memories to life. By moving the cruise to 7 days and to Holland America, the cruise now becomes a ‘home game’ for us and we promise that it will run like clockwork and the upgrades in rooms, service, food and amenities will only add to the fantastic musical experience.”

The Malt Shop Memories Cruise was developed in association with Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC. Tickets for the cruise are available now. Visit  or call (877) 700-6258 (MALT). Cabin prices include all meals, entertainment, and onboard activities.

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SeaDream Yacht Club Reveals Details of a Spiritual, Educational & Historical Voyage

Miami, FL, Nov 15: SeaDream Yacht Club reveals details of a newly created 2012 itinerary featuring unique Turkish and Greek ports. The voyage was specially designed to follow in the footsteps of Paul the Apostle, said to be one of the most famous citizens of the Roman Empire. Voyage # 21220b sails June 30 - July 8, 2012 from Istanbul, Turkey to Pireaus (Athens), Greece. The intermediary ports include Dikili, Turkey; Izmir, Turkey; Kusadasi, Turkey; Demre (Myra), Turkey; Rhodes, Greece and Hydra, Greece and highlights include:

Dikili, Turkey: A short, scenic drive from the port is one of the Seven Churches of Asia referred to by St. John in the Book of Revelation; the city of Pergamum. Pergamum was first settled in the 8th century BC and because of its great library, housing some 20,000 volumes, many scholars and teachers lived in this city of culture. Guests will tour the Temple of Trajan, built by Hadrian; both of these Roman emperors worshiped there. Guests will also visit the best-known attraction in the town; the Kizil Avlu (Red Basilica), a temple made of red brick dedicated to the gods of Egypt. The temple lies in what is now the modern day town of Bergama. SeaDream’s excursion will conclude with a visit to the ancient healing center of Asclepion, a complex built to honor the God of Medicine, Asclepio.

Izmir, Turkey: Visit the ancient city of Sardis which was one of the important cities of the Persian Empire. Sardis is named as one of the Seven Churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation. The first large archaeological expedition in Sardis (1910 – 1914) unearthed the Temple of Artemis and more than a thousand Lydian tombs. They have since unearthed perhaps the most impressive synagogue in the western diaspora yet discovered from antiquity. From Sardis, SeaDream guests will travel to Thyatira, famous for its dyeing and was a center of the indigo trade. In early Christian times Thyatira was home to a significant Christian Church, mentioned as one of the Seven Churches in the Book of Revelation 2:18-29. The apostle Paul visited the city on a number of occasions during his missionary travels. Guests will also view the Saint Polycarp Church, the oldest church in Izmir and represents ancient Smyrna’s role as one of the Seven Churches of Revelation 2:8-11.

Kusadasi, Turkey: Tour the magnificent archaeological site of Ephesus including the recently excavated Terrace Houses and the House of the Virgin Mary on Mt. Pagus. Walk through one of the most imposing sites at Ephesus, the Library of Celsus. Finely decorated with columns and sculptures, the library was erected in 135 BC by a son in homage to his father. A short walk away is another significant structure, the amphitheater. Known for its excellent acoustics, here is where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians, imploring them to give up their worship of Artemis and embrace the Christian faith. The guided SeaDream tour takes guests to the newly opened and recently excavated portion of the historic site, the so-called Terrace Houses. These houses were inhabited by wealthy Ephesians and are finely decorated with mosaics and frescoes. According to the evidence of the excavations, they were built in the period of Augustus and continued to be inhabited until the 7th century AD.

Demre (Myra), Turkey: Visit the ancient city of Myra, home to the earliest church of St. Nicholas (the original Santa Claus), built in the 6th century. St. Nicholas became bishop of Myrain the 4th century. Legend has it that he would drop small bags of gold coins down the chimneys of houses with poor girls who were old enough to marry, but had no dowry. Sanctified for his good works, he became the patron saint of virgins, sailors, children, pawnbrokers and Holy Russia; known as Santa Claus. A short drive inland are the ruins of Roman Myra, with some of the most impressive and well preserved ruins in all of Turkey. Paul the Apostle preached here.

Rhodes, Greece: Take part in a guided walking tour of this medieval city where St Paul lived. Pass through narrow, cobblestone streets to reach the most imposing building of medieval Rhodes, the Palace of the Grand Masters, built in the 14th century. Walking down the Street of the Knights and passing by numerous colorful shops, one may admire the 15th-century Hospital of the Knights, which now houses the Archaeological Museum.

"We're excited to introduce this voyage. Guests will enjoy the award-winning service and cuisine SeaDream is well known for, while partaking in an authentic travel experience. SeaDream continues to create a variety of new itineraries, many of which feature unique experiences that cannot be matched on the larger ships" said SeaDream’s President, Bob Lepisto.

Chic and stylish, SeaDream’s 56-stateroom twin yachts are favored for their elegant informality, state-of-the-art facilities, personal service provided by a crew of 95, inclusive open bar and gratuities, ocean-view accommodations, luxury spa and world class cuisine. Itineraries include the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Amazon. “It’s yachting, not cruising” Enjoy the difference. For further details contact your travel professional, visit or phone 800 707-4911.

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Princess Cruises to Name First-Ever Entertainer of the Year

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 14: Each year passengers aboard Princess Cruises ships enjoy thousands of performances from guest entertainerscomedians, magicians, tribute bands and other specialty acts. But this April only one performer will be able to claim the first-ever title of “Entertainer of the Year.” Passengers aboard Princess’ Entertainer of the Year cruiseRuby Princess’ April 8, 2012 sailing to the Eastern Caribbeanwill cast their ballots to help bestow the honor. And starting this month, Princess Facebook fans can also get into the act by helping to choose one of the five finalists.

“Because of the remarkable caliber of the more than 2,000 guest entertainers who perform on our ships, we’ve created this award to recognize the impressive level of talent we showcase at sea,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “And we want to give our passengers who enjoy these acts during their cruise a chance to help us select their favorite.” She added that among comedians alone, Princess presents 5,000 live comedy shows each year, so it will take an exceptional performer to capture the title.

To narrow down the field in advance of the cruise, the Princess Cruises entertainment department team will select four top finalists based on passenger surveys and onboard audience response. In addition, a “Facebook Favorite” will be selected by asking Princess’ Facebook fans to nominate their favorite act. Selection of the finalists will be complete in January, at which time video clips of each act will be posted on Princess’ YouTube and Facebook pages so fans can see the entertainers who are up for the award.

Aboard the Entertainer of the Year cruise next April, passengers will be able to see live performances from each finalist and then cast their ballot for their favorite. The winner will be announced on the final night of the cruise at a special party.

“We hope many fans of our entertainers will join us on Ruby Princess for this special cruise because it will be a rare opportunity to see many of Princess’ top-rated performers together on one ship,” Swartz added. The winner will receive a cash prize and select onboard perks, and will hold the title of “2011 Entertainer of the Year.”

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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Carnival Cruise Lines Celebrates the Introduction of Two Year-Round Ships From New Orleans

MIAMI, Nov. 14: To celebrate the launch of two year-round cruise ships from New Orleans, Carnival Cruise Lines held a special VIP ceremony earlier today aboard the Carnival Elation at the Port of New Orleans. During the event, the line made a $25,000 donation to Reconcile New Orleans, which operates Cafe Reconcile as part of a job-training program that prepares adolescents for hospitality industry careers through training and work experience. To date, Reconcile New Orleans' Workforce Development Program has graduated more than 700 youths ages 16 to 22. Students leave the 12-week program with work skills, along with basic life and interpersonal skills, enabling and empowering them to successfully enter the workforce.

Both the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation and the 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest were recently repositioned to the Port of New Orleans to operate year-round departures, returning Carnival's presence in the city to pre-Katrina capacity levels. The line expects to carry nearly 340,000 passengers annually from New Orleansmore than any other cruise operator.

"Carnival is New Orleans' number one cruise line and we are thrilled to now have two ships dedicated year-round to what is one of America's truly great cities," said Gerry Cahill, Carnival's president and CEO. "Carnival Cruise Lines strives to be a good citizen in our homeport communities, and this donation to Reconcile New Orleans is a reflection of our commitment to continue supporting the revitalization of this city."

Seven-Day Western Caribbean Cruises from New Orleans
Carnival Conquest will offer three different week-long Caribbean itineraries from New Orleans. A new western Caribbean program features calls at Montego Bay, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, and Cozumel, Mexico, while an eastern Caribbean itinerary sails to Key West, Fla., and Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas. The third week-long option includes calls at Belize; Mahogany Bay, Roatan; and Cozumel.

Carnival Conquest features dramatic interiors inspired by artists from the Impressionist period, along with a 14,500-square-foot health and wellness facility, four restaurants, including a classic American-style steakhouse, 22 lounges and bars, and expansive play areas for children in three age groups. The ship also has four swimming pools, including one with a 214-foot-long water slide. Nearly 60 percent of the ship's 1,487 staterooms offer an ocean view or balcony.

Four- & Five-Day Cruises Aboard Carnival Elation
Carnival Elation offers four-day cruises departing Thursdays and calling in Cozumel, while five-day voyages departing Mondays and Saturdays visit Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico.

Carnival Elation features three restaurants, 12 lounges and bars, an adults-only Serenity deck area, a 300-foot-long Twister Water Slide and resort-style main pool area. The ship also offers complimentary children's programming with three different age-specific facilities, including Camp Carnival, Circle "C" and Club O2, as well as an expansive spa and wellness facility.

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Royal Caribbean & Starbucks Start Brewing Aboard Oasis of the Seas

MIAMI, Nov 14: Royal Caribbean International today announced that guests aboard the cruise line’s Oasis of the Seas will be able to enjoy their favorite hand-crafted espresso beverage at the ship’s new Starbucks® store. Royal Caribbean premiered the first Starbucks at sea aboard sister-ship Allure of the Seas, when she launched in December 2010. Through a licensing agreement between Starbucks Coffee Company and Royal Caribbean International, the second Starbucks at sea opened aboard Oasis of the Seas Saturday, Nov 12, 2011.

“We are glad to feature the world’s only two Starbucks® stores at sea on our two largest cruise ships,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “Starbucks is a huge hit on Allure of the Seas and the new Starbucks® store aboard Oasis of the Seas is sure to be equally as successful. It’s in bringing such established and well-regarded brands to our guests which helps make a Royal Caribbean cruise the most contemporary vacation experience – what we call the Royal Advantage.”

As fully licensed stores, the Starbucks aboard Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas offer the coffee company’s menu of signature and seasonal beverages prepared by trained baristas, as well as food and a selection of Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew products. The Starbucks® stores aboard both ships are open between 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily and located at the forward end of the Royal Promenade between the On-Air Club and Boleros Latin-themed lounge. Pricing at the Starbucks store aboard both ships are a la carte.

For additional information, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas Makes Big Screen Debut In "Jack and Jill"

MIAMI, Nov 11: What better way to spend the holidays than on a cruise? On Nov. 11, 2011, the ultimate family cruise vacation set sail with the anticipated premiere of Columbia Pictures' newest comedy film "Jack and Jill," the story of Jack Sadelstein (Adam Sandler), a successful advertising executive who dreads one event each year: the Thanksgiving visit of his identical twin sister Jill (also Adam Sandler). Along with his wife, Erin (played by Katie Holmes) and kids, Jack brings his sister Jill on a holiday cruise vacation aboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, one of the world's two largest and most revolutionary cruise ships. Once onboard, a mix of sibling rivalry and Jack's attempts to set his twin up with Al Pacino (played by himself), who takes a surprising interest in Jill, leads to chaos and calamity.

Scenes for the movie, which was written and produced by Adam Sandler and directed by Dennis Dugan, were filmed aboard Allure of the Seas last November during the ship's pre-inaugural celebrations. Moviegoers just might be inspired to take their own family cruise vacation after watching the activities and antics Jack and Jill participate in while onboard, especially when it results in a surprising bonding experience for the unlikely twins. From enjoying the ship's variety of restaurants and dining options, to one-upping each other in the pool or during a match of double-dutch, audiences will catch a glimpse of all that a family vacation with Royal Caribbean can offer.

"Allure of the Seas provided a very unique movie backdrop for the cast and crew of "Jack and Jill," said Betsy O'Rourke, senior vice president, Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. "The film production added an extra layer of excitement to our successful launch and we were thrilled to be able to showcase our largest and most innovative ship and some of her many offerings."

Consumers will have the opportunity to win a "Jack and Jill" inspired cruise vacation on Allure of the Seas by visiting the line's Facebook page from Nov 11 through Dec 7. "Jack and Jill" opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, Nov 11. The film trailer and exclusive behind the scenes footage is available on Royal Caribbean's website and YouTube channel,

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-kindentertainment 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 seven-night itinerary from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at

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Celebrity Cruises Encourages Vacationers to Take a Deep Breath and 'Exhale'

MIAMI, Nov. 11: There's nothing sleepy about Celebrity Cruises' "Solsticizing" program. One of the most ambitious revitalization initiatives in the history of the cruise industry, the $140-million program will add to the line's Millennium Class ships a host of the venues and experiences guests love most on the Solstice Class ships, all within less than two years, with each ship completing the massive transformation over the course of an only three-week drydock period. And now, the line plans to complement the program further by rolling out an entirely new and ultimately fleetwide bedding program, "eXhale (SM)," beginning with Celebrity Infinity when the ship emerges from Solsticizing on Dec 3, 2011.

Celebrity's eXhale bedding program will include in every stateroom on the newly-Solsticized Celebrity Infinity new mattresses designed exclusively for Celebrity in partnership with Reverie®, a leader in the field of luxury bedding. Hand-made in the U.S. with natural raw materials such as bamboo and sustainable natural rubber, the mattresses are almost entirely recyclable and biodegradable. With more than a dozen patents granted, the unique technology of the Reverie mattress features removable, hypo-allergenic, antibacterial and dust mite-resistant covers, and a breathable, plush pillow top with a patented air flow design that helps circulate air through the mattress and keep guests cool as they sleep.

Celebrity's guests in Penthouse Suites, Royal Suites, Celebrity Suites and Sky Suites will enjoy a particularly unique sleep experience. In those spacious, luxurious accommodations, complete with 24/7 butler service, Celebrity will offer a premium Reverie mattress allowing guests to customize their sleep experience. With the expert help of their butler, guests sailing in those suites will be able to have their mattress tailored to their liking, within a range of options from extra plush to extra firm, all with the goal of precisely meeting their individual comfort preferences. Rounding out Celebrity's eXhale bedding program in each stateroom and suite will be custom-embroidered, 100% Egyptian cotton linens.

"We know how precious our guests' vacation time is, so we set out to ensure that every moment of their vacation offers them the opportunity to do as much or as little as they choose - and that very well may include relaxing in bed to read a book, watch TV, or, of course, sleep," said Celebrity's Senior VP of Hotel Operations Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. "We are just as committed to offering a modern luxury experience with our bedding program as we are throughout the entire ship. It's very exciting to introduce our new, premium, Reverie bedding system on a Millennium Class ship, as just one component of our vast Solsticizing program, and an appealing prelude to what guests in select suite categories will enjoy on Celebrity Reflection when she launches in Fall 2012."

Celebrity also has confirmed that guests on the Solsticized Celebrity Infinity also will offer guests access to Wi-Fi throughout the ship (fee applies). To gain ongoing, behind-the-scenes insights into the Solsticizing process, which includes the new eXhale bedding program, on Celebrity Infinity, visit Hotel Director Ryan Kingston's blog at

Revisiting Celebrity's Solsticizing story
"Solsticizing is an incredibly exciting initiative for us - and more importantly, for our guests, as indicated by their response to our already-Solsticized Celebrity Constellation, whose positive comments are consistently through the roof," said Celebrity's President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. "The Millennium Class ships already have a large and loyal following, having repeatedly ranked at the top of many of the world's most prestigious consumer surveys, and those ships' style, design and ambience served as significant inspiration for the design of the Solstice Class, and now, we're bringing it full circle - and in just two years' time - incorporating on the entire Millennium Class what our guests enjoy most on the Solstice Class. It ties the whole fleet together in a very meaningful way."

One of the many Solstice Class features resonating powerfully with vacationers, and therefore being added to Celebrity Infinity and her sister ships, is Celebrity's trendsetting AquaClass, spectacularly designed to enhance that all-important feeling of well-being. The modern, luxurious, spa-inspired staterooms include spacious, private verandas; exclusive access to the stylish specialty restaurant, Blu; complimentary access to the Persian Garden and Relaxation Room in the AquaSpa; a personal Spa Concierge to book exotic AquaSpa treatments; use of plush Frette bathrobes and slippers; enhanced personal care products, and plentiful in-room amenities, including Hansgrohe shower heads, fog-free bathroom mirrors, aromatherapy selections, and daily deliveries of complimentary bottled water and teas.

Another Celebrity exclusive"Qsine," the novel restaurant introduced on Celebrity Eclipse in 2010 and Celebrity Silhouette this yearwill also dazzle guests on Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Millennium following each ship's revitalization. The first restaurant at sea to present a menu and wine list on an iPad™, Qsine serves a blend of classic and contemporary dishes in custom-made serveware, such as spring rolls served in vertical springs, and popcorn shrimp in theater-style popcorn boxes. Described in press reviews as "the latest and most innovative restaurant," "cutting-edge," and "appealingly quirky," the creator of the concept, Celebrity's VP of Culinary Operations and Master Chef Jacques Van Staden, says the restaurant and menu were designed to take what guests expect of a specialty restaurant and "turn it upside down" in a captivating, entertaining and flavorful way.

Joining AquaClass, Blu, Qsine, the new eXhale bedding and pervasive Wi-Fi in the "Solsticizing" of Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Summit and Millennium will be:

-- the hip Celebrity iLounge, which debuted on Celebrity Eclipse and made Celebrity Cruises the industry's first Authorized Apple Reseller
-- the "cool," ice-topped Martini Bar and Crush
-- Celebrity's vibrant creperie, Bistro on Five
-- the inviting Cafe al Bacio and Gelateria
-- Cellarmasters wine bar, complete with the "Enomatic" state-of-the-art wine serving system, an industry-first when it debuted on Celebrity Solstice, allowing guests to select wines by the glass, at the touch of a button
-- entirely new verandas added to the ship's spacious, luxurious Celebrity Suites
-- additional new oceanview and inside staterooms
-- an expanded collection of original, contemporary art

Each of Celebrity's Millennium Class ships will be Solsticized at Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas. As previously announced, Celebrity Infinity will emerge from Solsticizing Dec 3, 2011, followed by Celebrity Summit in Jan 2012 and Celebrity Millennium in May 2012. For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit, or call your travel agent.

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Royal Caribbean Heats Up The Gulf Coast With New Cruise Ship Options

MIAMI, Nov 11: Royal Caribbean Intl is heating things up down south this winter with three of the cruise line’s most innovative ships sailing to the Caribbean from convenient Gulf Coast ports. Today, Galveston, Texas welcomes Mariner of the Seas, and on Nov. 12, 2011, Voyager of the Seas arrives into New Orleans, Louisiana and Jewel of the Seas into Tampa, Florida. The arrival of these ships gives Gulf Coast-area residents more opportunities than ever before to enjoy a hassle-free cruise vacation to the Caribbean and Mexico. Guests also will enjoy an array of exclusive onboard amenities and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service, which helped Royal Caribbean earn the “Best Cruise Line Overall”* award for eight consecutive years.

“Royal Caribbean is thrilled to be back in the Gulf Coast to offer exciting and convenient winter getaways at an incredible value,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “We are particularly delighted to have Martina McBride help us celebrate our return to New Orleans with an exclusive concert aboard Voyager of the Seas. No matter which itinerary to the beautiful Caribbean vacationers choose, they can expect to be wowed by our innovative ships and Gold Anchor Service, which together delivers the Royal Advantage.”

Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas is the largest and most innovative cruise ship ever to homeport in the Crescent City. To celebrate the occasion, the cruise line is teaming up with Republic Nashville to treat Royal Caribbean’s loyal and valued Crown & Anchor Society members 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 hit stores on Oct. 11, 2011, the four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year is scheduled to perform aboard Voyager of the Seas on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011.

Now through April 2012, Royal Caribbean is offering vacationers, from families to couples, a wide variety of options to choose from:

New Orleans – Voyager of the Seas sails 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries, visiting Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Falmouth, Jamaica. The first of the Voyager-class of ships that introduced active cruise vacationing, Voyager of the Seas features the cruise line’s exclusive and innovative onboard amenities, such as its iconic rock-climbing wall, the Studio B ice-skating rink, nine-hole mini-golf course, an in-line skating track, a full-size basketball court, and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard of boutiques, restaurants and lounges and bars.

Galveston – Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas also offers 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries, visiting Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Falmouth, Jamaica. Mariner of the Seas’ guests sailing from Galveston also will enjoy the same innovative onboard amenities as Voyager of the Seas.

Tampa – Vacationers have a wide selection of short vacation options with Jewel of the Seas, which offers 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean itineraries to Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico. A sleek and sunlit cruise ship, Jewel of the Seas is appointed with a 10-story grand Centrum, ocean-view glass elevators offering vistas of the idyllic Caribbean Sea, and self-leveling billiard tables.

Aboard every Royal Caribbean ship, guests enjoy the cruise line’s award-winning entertainment, as well as the world-class Casino Royale, a full-service day spa and fitness center, and a variety of delectable onboard dining options. Younger guests can join the complimentary, award-winning Adventure Ocean kids and teen program, with counselor-led activities from 9 a.m. till late.

For additional information, call your travel agent, visit, or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Norwegian Cruise Line & Caesars Entertainment Give Players One Million Reasons To Cruise

Norwegian Cruise Line and Caesars Entertainment have partnered to host the first ever Millionaire Maker Slot Tournament at sea on board Norwegian Spirit’s Nov 13, 2011 sailing from New Orleans. For the first time in the tournament’s 17-year history, it will take place on board a cruise ship, boasting the largest prize offered at sea for a slot tournament$1,000,000*.

The high-stakes match consists of 263 finalists, who have won spots in the exclusive competition from prior land-based and at sea satellite slot tournaments. Each player will have sessions on different slot machines to earn points. Following the sessions, the scores will be combined and the top 30 players will win cash prizes. The finalist with the highest score will win $1,000,000*.

The partnership between these two industry leadersNorwegian Cruise Line and Caesars Entertainmenthas brought this slot tournament finale to an exciting new level. “Gaming has always been a highlight at Norwegian Cruise Line. With the Millionaire Maker Slot Tournament finale, it has reached a new level of excitement,” said Jim Abbas, Norwegian’s vice president of casino operations.

Norwegian owns and operates the casinos throughout its fleet; each casino is equipped with the most popular slot machines and table games. Guests who enroll in Norwegian’s Casinos at Sea Players Club can earn reward points, which can be used during a current cruise for a range of on-board amenities including spa treatments, shore excursions, dinners in specialty restaurants or towards a future cruise.

Norwegian Spirit departs weekly from New Orleans with stops in Costa Maya, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Roatan, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico. To try your luck in the casino on board one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Freestyle Cruising® ships, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian’s Casinos at Sea at 877-752-9625 or visit

*terms and conditions apply.

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New Sabatini’s Menu and Dining Experience Now Available Across Princess Cruises Fleet

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 11: Princess Cruises’ signature Italian restaurant, Sabatini’s, has debuted an updated menu and new style of service, which is now available across the fleet aboard all ships featuring the popular eatery. Known for its celebrated pastas, seafood and Italian specialties, Sabatini’s is now featuring an updated collection of Italian favorites and an a la carte experience giving diners more freedom of choice and the ability to streamline their selections, if they wish.

Sabatini’s first debuted in 1998 on Grand Princess and quickly became a passenger favorite, now having been expanded to 13 of the line’s ships. With a refined yet casual Italian ambiance, Sabatini’s offers attentive personal service and the feeling of having just stepped into a ristorante in the heart of Tuscany. Previously, the restaurant featured a family-style experience with an abundance of courses brought to diners throughout the eveningthe only item passengers would choose was their entrée.

“Sabatini’s has always been the finest representation of Princess’ Italian dining tradition,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ executive vice president. “With this new menu we’re ensuring that the Sabatini’s experience continues to be fresh, current and exciting, especially for our loyal passengers who have grown to love it over the years.” She added that it wasn’t unusual for passengers to spend three hours in Sabatini’s enjoying the multiple courses, and that passenger feedback prompted the change, which will give diners a wonderful dining experience but also ample time to enjoy the ship’s full array of entertainment options either before or after dinner.

The restaurant’s culinary focus will continue to be on traditional Italian dishes and “new Italian cuisine,” freshly prepared to order. To start every meal, and to enjoy while deciding on menu selections, guests are served herbed focaccia grissini, rosemary flatbread with air-cured prosciutto, and marinated green and black olives.

Passengers will enjoy such antipasti choices as hand-formed cow’s milk burrata cheese with a creamy lava center on tomato carpaccio, or crisp buttermilk soft shell crab over baby arugula. The nightly special pasta dish might feature braised ossobuco meat, and delectable secondi courses include such entrees as duck with fava beans and pancetta, or baked striped bass in a herbed salt crust.  In addition, Sabatini’s offers a robust selection of some of the finest Italian wines to pair with any of the dishes. A perfect end to the dining experience might include raspberry frangipane tart with macerated wild berries or an almond, hazelnut and pecan napoleon with praline mousse and caramel pecan brittle.

A cover charge of $20 per person for adults and $10 for children under age 12 applies. 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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Splendour of the Seas’ Revitalization Doubles Dining Options

MIAMI, Nov. 10: Royal Caribbean International’s Splendour of the Seas will reemerge from an extensive revitalization on Nov 25, 2011, with more than twice the number of dining options previously available to guests. The enhancements, including a variety of new restaurants first introduced aboard Oasis-class ships, stay true to the cruise line’s commitment to deliver the Royal Advantage, providing guests with the industry’s most innovative cruise ships, exciting destinations and superior Gold Anchor service.

“Splendour of the Seas’ dry dock is part of Royal Caribbean’s multi-ship enhancement and revitalization program to offer across the fleet the most popular and innovative concepts first introduced on our revolutionary Oasis-class ships,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “As a result, guests sailing aboard Splendour of the Seas will now have a variety of restaurants, both fine-dining and casual, to choose from providing them with an exceptional and customizable vacation experience.”

Among the highly acclaimed dining concepts debuting onboard Splendour of the Seas, guests will find the Asian Izumi restaurant; the line’s signature steakhouse, Chops Grille; as well as the Boardwalk Dog House hotdog counter; the Park Café deli-style restaurant and the exclusive Chef’s Table dining experience. The line also will introduce a new a la carte menu in the Viking Crown Lounge. The new menu will offer guests the opportunity to enjoy bite sized portions of their favorite classics.

Concept overviews and pricing are as follows:

· Boardwalk Dog House: Guests can choose from traditional hot dogs, wieners, brats, sausages and other delicious linked meats and a variety of toppings to split a long bun (open for lunch and dinner, complimentary).
· Chef’s Table:An exclusive experience co-hosted by the Executive Chef and Sommelier for an intimate wine pairing dinner of five courses (open for dinner, $95 cover charge).
· Chops Grille: Royal Caribbean’s signature steakhouse will be located adjacent to the Viking Crown Lounge and features a menu of prime cuts prepared a la minute (open for dinner, $30 cover charge).
· Izumi:Featuring mouthwatering flavors and a sushi bar with hot-rock cooking, the pan Asian cuisine restaurant is a no-hassle, authentic dining experience. Izumi will be located adjacent to the Viking Crown Lounge (open for lunch and dinner, $3.00 cover charge for lunch and $5.00 for dinner plus a la carte menu pricing).
· Park Café:An indoor/outdoor gourmet market featuring salads, sandwiches, soups and pastries (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, complimentary).
· Viking Crown Lounge: The line’s signature space will feature a new menu of classic dishes such as jumbo shrimp cocktail or Kobe beef sliders, Asian inspired tempuras and soft shell crab and much more (a la carte pricing).

Guests eager to experience Royal Caribbean’s signature innovations will find additional new amenities on Splendour of the Seas including 124 new balconies, the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, a Diamond lounge, a Concierge Lounge and upgraded technology throughout. Upon completion of the refurbishments, Splendour of the Seas will sail a trans-Atlantic voyage on Nov 25 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,  visit, or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Windstar Cruises Unveils Expanded 2012 Voyage Collection Brochure

SEATTLE, Nov. 10: 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, unveils its expanded, 114-page 2012 Voyage Collection brochure which features 23 itineraries, new hotel and land packages, and details Windstar's yachting experience. New savings and a $200 per person shipboard credit are available on voyages booked by Dec 31, 2011*. The stylish brochure opens with Windstar's yachting lifestyle; followed by voyage overviews and highlights; hotel and land packages; vacation planning information; yacht details and deck plans; and general information.

2012 Highlights Include:

New ItinerariesIn 2012, Windstar visits enchanting destinations in the Mediterranean, Baltic, Greek Isles, Caribbean, Costa Rica and Panama Canal and presents eight new itineraries:

-- Passage Through Panama
-- Flavors of the Caribbean
-- Classic Mediterranean
-- Glitter & Glam of the Rivieras
-- Islands of Italy
-- Treasures of Northern Europe
-- Capitals of Scandinavia
-- Best of the Baltic

New Hotel and Land PackagesWindstar also offers new hotel and land options that combine easily with voyages to create one seamless vacation experience. Hotel packages allow guests to enjoy legendary cities and a renowned hotel before or after their sailing and are available pre- or post-cruise for one, two, or three nights in the following cities: 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; Marigot, St. Martin; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Stockholm, Sweden; and Venice, Italy.

Windstar's land packages are a great way to extend a Windstar cruise on shore and provides intimate, escorted group tours that are expertly crafted complete with sightseeing, transfers, accommodations, porterage, and daily breakfast. The land packages are available in: Monteverde, Costa Rica; Tortuguero, Costa Rica; Barcelona, Spain; Rome, Italy; Venice, Italy; Athens, Greece; and Istanbul, Turkey.

Windstar's $18 Million Fleet RefurbishmentNot only will guests enjoy new itineraries, new experiences, and new hotel and land packages in 2012 - they will also be sailing on luxuriously refurbished yachts. Both Wind Star and Wind Spirit start their 2012 European season in spring fully renovated with Wind Surf's renovation complete in fall 2012.

To order Windstar's new 2012 Voyage Collection brochure, please contact a travel professional or Windstar Cruises at 800-258-7245. Windstar's brochure can also be viewed online and complimentary editions can be requested at

*Shipboard credit offer is $200 per person for Category B and A staterooms and is available on new bookings only now through Dec 31, 2011. Offer may not be combinable with any other pricing or shipboard credit offers. Onboard credit may not be used toward gratuities or casino, has no cash value, and unused portions will be forfeited at the end of the cruise. Offer is capacity controlled and may be withdrawn or modified at Windstar's discretion at any time. Offer expires Dec 31, 2011.

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Major Cruise Ships Add Bahrain as Port of Call

MANAMA, Bahrain, Nov. 10: As security concerns in Bahrain diminish, cruise ships are returning to the country's ports, bringing with them more than 32,000 tourists and a boost to the economy. Beginning next month, AIDA cruise ships will dock at Bahrain for the day, allowing passengers time to visit various Bahraini tourist attractions, such as Al-Fatih Mosque, Arad Fort and the Manama Souq. Each ship will carry between 2,000 and 2,300 passengers. According to Seatrade Middle East, a single ship visit is worth $300,000 to Bahrain's economy. The company predicts even stronger numbers for the industry's impact on Bahrain in the future.

"This is very good news for Bahrain and a stamp of approval on its standing as a major port of call for cruise ships," said Hassan Al Sharif, Al Sharif Group assistant shipping manager, which represents AIDA in Bahrain. Mr. Al Sharif noted that AIDA representatives spoke highly of Bahrain as a tourist attraction and also urged other companies to include Bahrain in their ports of call.

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Princess Introduces New Cruisetour Options in Europe

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 9: Princess Cruises has added two new cruisetour options to its Europe lineup next year, offering passengers the opportunity to explore the splendor of the Swiss Alps and Lake Como or enjoy a cruise up the dramatic Rhine River. The new itineraries join the line's previously announced cruisetours, giving passengers a total of seven land/sea vacation choices for the 2012 season. The 19-night Swiss Splendors and Lake Como cruisetour takes travelers through some of Europe's most stunning scenery including Alpine Switzerland and the lake district of Italy paired with a Mediterranean cruise. The 18-night Timeless Cities of the Rhine River cruisetour offers passengers a week-long cruise up the scenic Rhine River by riverboat combined with a Princess sailing to Scandinavia and Russia.

"Because Europe has so much to offer beyond the coastal ports, we know our passengers want to further explore the continent's many fascinating destinations," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "Travelers want to make the most of their time, so we've made it easy for passengers to immerse themselves in some of the most amazing places in Europe."

Swiss Splendor and Lake Como: The towering snow-capped peaks of the Swiss Alps and the idyllic lake district of Italy highlight this 7-night journey from Zurich to Venice that takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe. Along the way travelers will enjoy stunning Interlaken and charming Lucerne, as well a stop in Old Berne (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and rail travel to the "top of Europe"--Jungfraujoch. Lovely Lake Como stars in the Italian part of the tour, which also visits the area's enchanting gardens, villas and local villages. Travelers then head to Venice to board Ruby Princess for a 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruise.

Timeless Cities of the Rhine River: After a successful test last season, this 18-night cruisetour joins Princess' European line-up with a river cruise on the storied Rhine River. The 7-night river cruise from Basel to Amsterdam aboard Avalon Felicity or Avalon Visionary sails by the castles and vineyards of one of Europe's greatest rivers, and includes guided excursions in Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Mainz, Rüdesheim, Koblenz and Cologne. Passengers will also sail through the captivating Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, considered the river's most beautiful stretch. Completing the cruisetour is an 11-night Scandinavia and Russia cruise aboard Emerald Princess.

These tours join the line's other European cruisetour options: Europe's Imperial Treasures which visits the enchanting cities of Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin; Classic Italy, exploring the Eternal City of Rome, the Renaissance masterpiece of Florence and the stunning Tuscan countryside; Ring of Kerry, a chance to discover the beautiful landscapes and charming villages of Ireland; and Ancient Petra and the Dead Sea for travel through some of the most marveled-at wonders of the ancient world. 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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Guest Speakers Highlight Seabourn Quest World Cruise Segments

SEATTLE, Nov 9: Seabourn has announced an exciting line-up of distinguished guest speakers joining segments of the new Seabourn Quest's 109-day maiden world cruise. The line-up includes award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, Jazz legend Arturo Sandoval, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham and CNN Correspondent Richard Roth. The voyage departs Jan 5, 2012, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and ends in Venice, Italy, on April 23, 2012. From world-renowned musicians and chefs to politicians, historians and international relations experts, the diverse group of personalities will share their expert insights with guests during various segments of the voyage. Space is available for guests wishing to book segments.

"We are excited for our world cruise guests to share their adventure with these fascinating personalities," said Richard Meadows, Seabourn's President. "Entertainment and enrichment options are important parts of every Seabourn cruise."

Seabourn Quest's World Cruise will host guest speakers on the following segments:

Jan 5-Feb 2, 2012 Ft. Lauderdale to Cape Town
Marvin Hamlisch - Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award-Winning Composer
Jon Bailey - Musicologist
Daniel Silke - Political Analyst

Feb 2-27, 2012 Cape Town to Singapore
Dr. Robert Copaken - International Affairs Expert
John Doherty - Waldorf Astoria Executive Chef
Bob Graham - Former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor

Feb 27-Mar 13, 2012 Singapore to Hong Kong
Denise Heywood - Southeast Asia Expert
Richard Roth - CNN's senior U.N. correspondent

Mar 13-Apr 2, 2012 Hong Kong to Dubai
Chef Oliver Reschrieter - Princess Diana's former personal chef
Paul du Quenoy, professor of World and European History at the American University of Beirut.
The Honourable Ronald Sampson, former Chief Executive of the Falkland Islands Government.

April 2-23, 2012 Dubai to Venice
Arturo Sandoval - Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter
Major General John Hartley - International Relations Expert
Glenn Robinson - Middle East Security and Political Expert

Introduced on June 20, 2011, Seabourn Quest is the third iteration of the sleek and widely admired design that first appeared as Seabourn Odyssey in June 2009, and has been hailed as "a game-changer for the luxury segment." Seabourn Quest's 225 luxurious and spacious suites, 90 percent of which offer private verandas, feature separate living areas and bedrooms, writing desks with personalized stationery, and generously sized granite bathrooms with separate bath and shower and twin sinks. Suites are outfitted with walk-in closets, an interactive flat-screen TV with a wide selection of music and movies, and iPod and MP3 connections. Personal bars and refrigerators are stocked according to guest preferences.

For foodies, Seabourn Quest offers gourmet dining experiences in four dining venues that rival the finest restaurants anywhere, all at no extra charge. All dining venues, as well as six bars and lounges, serve a full range of beverages, including Champagne, fine wines and spirits, with Seabourn's compliments. Like its sister ships, Seabourn Quest also houses an 11,400-square-foot Spa at Seabourn, the largest spa on any luxury vessel, providing the ultimate pampering experience at sea.

Seabourn Quest offers a host of other amenities and features, including two swimming pools, six whirlpools, and a unique marina with a variety of watersport activities. One of the most popular spots is Seabourn Square, an innovative concierge lounge with a "club room" ambiance, making guests feel at home during their cruises.

On Jan. 5, 2012, Seabourn Quest will embark on its 109-day Maiden World Cruise, from Ft. Lauderdale to Venice on a unique eastbound course via South America, South Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Segments ranging from 15 to 88 days are also available. For more information or reservations, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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New Website Combines Un-Cruise Adventures of
InnerSea Discoveries & American Safari Cruises

Seattle, WA, Nov 8: Travelers searching for an un-cruise adventure with InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises may now browse one combined website detailing the line’s active adventures aboard expedition ships and upscale yachts. The company’s new website,, merges un-cruise adventures for both brands into one comprehensive website.

“Bringing the two brands closer together into one website will help travelers compare and choose the right match for their group size, activity level, travel style and budget,“ said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Highlights of the new website include a search function to “Find Your Perfect Un-Cruise.” Visitors can search by destination, brand, interest, departure date or ship. Four upscale yachts and three expedition ships sail in Southeast Alaska on seven- to 21-night voyages. The yachts of American Safari Cruises also sail in Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, the Hawaiian Islands, Washington and British Columbia and the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Special interest sailings include kids’ adventures, photography and culinary/wine theme cruises.

Across the top navigation bar, “An Un-Cruise Experience” offers more information on the style of travel and types of adventures included in an un-cruise. An “Our Differences” page details why an un-cruise is unlike any other cruise and explains the differences between the two brands. Red “ASC” and blue “ISD” logos are used throughout the site to quickly differentiate itineraries aboard the upscale yachts of American Safari Cruises and the expedition ships of InnerSea Discoveries. Further details on adventure activities, styles of travel, life on board and the fleet of ships and yachts are also found here. Guests embarking on an adventure can visit “Our Adventure Bios” to learn a bit about the experienced staff on board—soon to be sailing companions. Photos and short biographies with crewmembers’ education, work history and past adventures bring crew personalities to life. Additional ship and adventure photos live in the gallery of images. And throughout the site, photos are combined with comments received from past guests painting a picture of what to expect on an un-cruise.

In an effort to reduce paper waste, travel information is now posted online including recommended reading lists and packing lists. An electronic booking process provides quick, convenient access to information and less tracking of paper for guests. Current brochures are available online, and a Booking Request function sends an information request directly to the line’s sales counselors.

“Something to Sing About,” found on the footer navigation, connects to an ever-changing page bound to vary by the whim of the company’s marketing staff. Two special offers are currently featured, but new videos, stories and other varied—but interesting—content is sure to appear. To book a yachting adventure or expedition un-cruise or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or American Safari Cruises at 888-862-8881, InnerSea Discoveries at 877-901-1009, or email .

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Crystal Sets High-Profile Political/World Affairs Panelists for "Ocean Views" Debate

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 8: Prominent political and world affairs pundits James Carville, Mary Matalin, former Ambassador Marc Ginsberg, and 4-star General Hugh Shelton will square off exclusively aboard Crystal Cruises in 2012, as part of the ultra-luxe line's hit "Ocean Views" program. Via discussion panel format moderated by British foreign correspondent Ken Rees, the big-league foursome will provide fascinating expert insight into hot-button topics of the day, such as the changing Middle East landscape and upcoming 2012 U.S. presidential election. As a buildup to the debate, scheduled for Crystal Serenity's World Cruise segment departing March 31 from Osaka to LA, all commentators will also present individual lectures in their area of expertise. March 31's "Great Northern Adventure" first overnights in Osaka, Japan before calling in Petropavlovsk, Russia; Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, Seward, and Ketchikan, Alaska; Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.; and San Francisco and Los Angeles/San Pedro, California.

"'Ocean Views' was a huge success when it was introduced this year, and we're really taking it to the next level in 2012," says Chris Corrigall, Crystal's entertainment manager. "With this caliber of top minds gathered live and in person for spirited, participatory discussion, Crystal is offering current events enrichment in a very novel, and fascinating way."

"Ocean Views" brings together renowned experts from both sides of the aisle in a moderated debate of global issues and news items, followed by live Q&A. New to the 2012 Ocean Views program is interactive technology that will allow audience members to anonymously share their own opinions during the debate via individual electronic polling keypads. The Experiences of Discovery theme will fuse other renowned experts together on four additional sailings throughout 2012, including international economics expert Robert Warne, counter-terrorism analyst Farhana Qazi, former LA Times editor Shelby Coffey, Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin, and Major General Pat Brady.

Crystal's award-winning, luxurious offerings always include a diverse selection of thought-provoking, scholarly, and sophisticated enrichment activities that provide extensive on-board choices for cultured world travelers. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Carnival Ecstasy Launches One-Of-A-Kind 4- & 5-Day Cruise Program from Port Canaveral

MIAMI, Nov 7: Carnival Cruise Lines will launch the cruise industry’s only 4- and 5-day Bahamas/Caribbean program from Port Canaveral later today when the Carnival Ecstasy departs on a five-day sold-out cruise to Nassau, Freeport and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Caythe first of 78 annual voyages from the Space Coast.

Carnival Ecstasy’s one-of-a-kind schedule includes two different 4-day itineraries, along with two different 5-day choices. Four-day “long weekend” cruises depart Thursdays and visit Nassau and Half Moon Cay or Freeport, while 5-day voyages depart Mondays and Saturdays, calling at Nassau, Freeport and Half Moon Cay or Key West. The new program further bolsters the line’s position as Port Canaveral’s largest cruise operator with three year-round ships carrying approximately 600,000 guests annually. Combined with Carnival Sensation’s three- and four-day Bahamas cruises and Carnival Dream’s seven-day eastern and western Caribbean voyages, the line offers an unprecedented variety of itineraries, cruise lengths, and departure days from Port Canaveral.

“The growth of Port Canaveral as a cruise departure point is truly extraordinary and millions of consumers have discovered the benefits of sailing from this convenient and centrally located homeport,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. “The Canaveral Port Authority is an outstanding business partner and deploying a third year-round ship is a testament to our relationship with the port and our confidence in its continued success,” he added.

Carnival Ecstasy’s new schedule continues the line’s longstanding relationship with Port Canaveral, which began in 1990 with a single 950-passenger ship carrying approximately 100,000 passengers annually. Over the past 21 years, Carnival has dramatically expanded its presence at the port, adding newer and larger ships along with new schedules and itineraries.

Carnival Ecstasy underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment in 2009 that added a host of new facilities and features, including an expansive WaterWorks aqua park with a 300-foot-long spiral water slide, a tropical-themed resort-style main pool area, and a Serenity adults-only retreat. Ninety-eight balconies were added to existing staterooms, as well. These features complement the ship’s wide range of on-board amenities such as a renovated 12,000-square-foot Spa Carnival health club, three restaurants, complimentary programs for children in three age groups, a 24-hour pizzeria, a jogging track, and 12 lounges, bars and nightspots.

Reservations are currently being accepted for all of Carnival’s various departures from Port Canaveral. For additional information on Carnival’s “Fun Ship” cruises, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Holland America Line's 2013 Grand Voyages to Explore Seven Continents, 65 Countries

Seattle, WA, Nov 7: Holland America Line’s flagship ms Amsterdam and the intimate explorer, ms Prinsendam, each will sail two Grand Voyages in 2013. In total, the four extensive itineraries feature 322 cruising days, visiting more than 120 ports of call in 65 countries. Amsterdam will sail a 115-day Grand World Voyage in January and a 75-day Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage in the fall. Prinsendam departs on a 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage in January, immediately followed by a 64-day Grand Mediterranean Voyage.

“We’ve designed Holland America Line's 2013 Grand Voyages itineraries to feature some of the most sought-after sights and experiences in the world,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “Even the most experienced traveler will be inspired and impressed by our carefully crafted selection of port calls, maiden visits and extended stays.”

Grand World Voyage
Departing Jan. 5, 2013, and sailing roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Amsterdam will ring in the New Year with its eighth Grand World Voyage and marking 55 years since the line began world cruising. The 115-day journey is every traveler’s dream and features eight overnight calls, visits to some of the world’s most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites and two maiden ports of call—Makassar, Indonesia, and Penneshaw, Australia. Shorter segments ranging from 24 to 51 days also are available.

During the Grand World Voyage, Amsterdam will call at Cartagena, Colombia, before a daylight transit of the Panama Canal, one of the world’s most sophisticated man-made engineering marvels. The ship continues westbound where guests will experience memorable calls at Bora Bora and Papeete, Tahiti, home to the famous Vaipahi Garden, rugged mountains, lush rain forests and deserted beaches.

After exploring exciting ports in New Zealand, Australia and Asia, Amsterdam heads west through the Indian Ocean, taking a southerly route to the continent of Africa for a journey around the Cape of Good Hope. An African exploration presents the opportunity for guests to take an overland safari and go in search of the “big five” or learn about the legendary Zulu tribe and gain a true sense of modern-day Africa. Amsterdam continues its voyage across the Atlantic to South America and the Caribbean before returning to Ft. Lauderdale.

Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage
Designed to explore the most remote corners of the world in elegance and style, Prinsendam returns to South America, Antarctica and the Amazon on a 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage that sails roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, also departing Jan. 5. The itinerary offers in-depth exploration with overnight calls at Callao (Lima), Peru; Buenos Aires, Argentina Rio de Janeiro and Manaus, Brazil.

The South America circumnavigation includes seven full days of cruising the Amazon River down to Manaus, the furthest navigable point for cruise ships, and a daylight passage through the Panama Canal. Adventure seekers won’t want to miss the three days of scenic cruising in Antarctica where the pristine beauty and diverse sea life are showcased during the continent’s austral summer. For those with less time, 32- or 36-day segments to or from Buenos Aires are available.

Grand Mediterranean Voyage
Following its Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage, Prinsendam will return to Fort Lauderdale March 14 and embark on a 64-day Grand Mediterranean Voyage. This roundtrip sailing takes guests on a journey across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and the Balkans. Prinsendam calls at several “boutique” ports in the region that are not accessible to larger vessels, including Agadir, Morocco; Marmaris, Turkey; and Korčula, Croatia. Guests will have an opportunity to visit attractions such as the Acropolis, Constitution Square, Hadrian’s Arch and the Olympic Stadium at Piraeus (Athens), Greece, and explore the Hassan II Mosque in the economical capital of Morocco, Casablanca. Travelers can explore this area in greater depth when Prinsendam docks overnight at seven ports of call: Istanbul, Turkey; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Sorrento and Venice, Italy; Funchal, Madeira; and Barcelona, Spain.

Grand Pacific & Far East Voyage
Amsterdam closes out the year with a new 75-day Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage sailing from Vancouver, B.C. or Los Angeles, Calif., to Los Angeles, California, departing Sept. 20/23. The itinerary features a more in-depth exploration of Micronesia, China, Japan, the Philippines and French Polynesian islands, as well as maiden calls at the exotic ports of Majuro, Marshall Islands, and Pohnpei, Micronesia. The cruise also offers extensive time in port, allowing guests to visit historical landmarks and experience local culture. Following calls throughout Asia and Indonesia, the itinerary circles back through the South Pacific to the tropical island jewels of Fiji, Bora Bora and Moorea before arriving in Los Angeles. During the voyage the ship overnights in Hong Kong and Shanghai, China; Kobe (Osaka), Japan; and Singapore.

Reservations are now open for all four Holland America Line 2013 Grand Voyages. Book the Grand Pacific & Far East Voyage by Nov 30, 2012, and the Grand World, Grand Mediterranean and Grand South America & Antarctica Voyages by May 31, 2012 to take advantage of early booking amenities. For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit

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Silversea Launches Exclusive New Entertainment Program

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Nov 4: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises today announced it is launching a totally revamped entertainment program created exclusively for the company's ships by Choozi Entertainment.
In a move away from traditional production shows, the new concert-style concept will feature an outstanding cast of classically trained vocalists and musicians performing a lively celebration of music from Motown to opera to pop and rock. The star-studded cast and production team are headed by visionary director and choreographer Christopher Childers and his sister, Suzanne Childers.

The new shows feature a unique blend of music that follows the decades and offers Silversea guests distinct choices in their entertainment options. Here's a snapshot of the shows and their venues:

Signed, Sealed, DeliveredA musical journey through Motown's prolific songbook. Capturing the essence of this musical genre, the cast recreates the iconic choreography with a contemporary feel, taking the audience back to a time when America captured the world's imagination with this fabulous music.

High C'sClassical music and well-known arias take the stage to enchant and delight. From Puccini to Verdi to the most popular songwriters of today, Hi C's takes the classics and gives them a fresh twist, in the same manner as Il Divo, Josh Groban, and Sarah Brightman.

FabbaliciousThe music of ABBA comes alive as the cast faithfully recreates the original sound and iconic look of the legendary '70s Swedish pop group. Designed to get the audience on their feet, singing and dancing along with the cast, this show celebrates what is arguably the most infectious and fun music of our time.

DecadesFrom Madonna to Lady Gaga, and almost everyone in between, this fun-filled deck party is a tongue-in-cheek look at pop music through the decades … from glam rock, to electronica, to dance pop. Famous stars come to life as costumes are pulled from a trunk and the performers become one music legend after the next.

In addition to headlining shows, performers on each ship will showcase the songbook of different composers or musicals in intimate, club-like settings, such as the Panorama Lounge. The musical selections currently planned are Lennon and McCartney, on Silver Cloud; Boublil and Schönberg, the creators of Miss Saigon and Les Misérables, on Silver Whisper; Billy Joel's songbook from the Tony Award-winning show Movin' Out, on Silver Wind; and today's newest musicals … from the West End to Broadway, on Silver Shadow.

"Our guests expect world-class amenities and entertainment is a big part of their overall shipboard experience," said Christian Sauleau, Silversea's executive vice president of fleet operations. "By partnering with Choozi, we are elevating the caliber of entertainment and creating variety that will delight our guests and enhance their cruise experience."

The new entertainment offerings are currently debuting on the Oct 24 sailing of Silver Cloud, with additional shows opening this month on Silver Whisper, Silver Wind and Silver Shadow. The program will also be rolled out to Silver Spirit in March 2012.

Christopher Childers, who toured with Madonna, Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil, has assembled an impressive team to create these shows. Michael Brennan, whose Broadway credits include Avenue Q, Mamma Mia!, and The Lion King, is serving as musical director. His current role as musical director for Le Rêve at Wynn Las Vegas has allowed him to work closely with Childers, who is the artistic coordinator for Le Rêve. Scott Phillips, noted lighting designer from the mega hit Human Nature is another integral part of the creative team and Suzanne Childers has designed and fashioned the costuming inspired by haute couture.

For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent, call toll-free (877) 215-9986, or visit

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Winemaker Chris Figgins Sets Sail with Windstar

SEATTLE, Nov 4: Windstar Cruises, which operates a fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, offers guests the opportunity to learn about wine making from Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellar and Figgins Family Wine Estates on Wind Surf's February 18, 2012, Yachtsman's Caribbean voyage. During the sailing, Figgins will conduct a lecture, question and answer session, and a wine tasting.

Figgins is President and Winemaking Director for Figgins Family Wine Estates, which manages a collection of brands that thoughtfully extends the family's passion for the finest wine and food experiences, producing some of the most sought after wines in the world with its Leonetti Cellar and FIGGINS brands. Each brand reflects the deep sense of place and connection to the land, staying true to the philosophy of maintaining exceptional quality by controlling the entire process from start to finish. Figgins continues a 30-plus year tradition with Leonetti of producing some the world's most renowned reds in small, limited productions. He recently launched FIGGINS, an estate-grown, single-vineyard wine, and Lostine Cattle Company, an all natural grass-fed beef company, to extend the Figgins Family Wine Estates experience to fine food. For more information visit

Wind Surf's 7-day Yachtsman's Caribbean voyage departs February 18, 2012, from Philipsburg, St. Maarten and visits Sopher'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.

Wind Surf accommodates 312 guests, offering deluxe, oceanview staterooms that include beds with luxury linens and mattresses, a flat-screen TV and DVD player, Bose SoundDock speakers for Apple iPods, waffle-weave robes with slippers and sumptuous L'Occitane products. Suites also include an extra bath, TV and sitting area. Wind Surf's spa suites include all the amenities of a suite along with luxurious microfiber linens, spa robes, an orchid flower arrangement, specialty pillow menu, daily fresh fruit platter, O SPA London products, WindSpa spa experiences and events as well as unlimited Pilates and Yoga classes. Bridge Suites offer everything in a suite along with the additional luxury of a spacious private living room and relaxing whirlpool spa. Guests can enjoy culinary wonders in Wind Surf's The Restaurant, Degrees, Le Marché and Candles. Wind Surf also features a lounge, Yacht Club, casino, three bars, two pools, two hot tubs, a shop, photo gallery and watersports platform. 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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Oceania Cruises to Christen New ‘Riviera’ in Monaco, April 2012

Miami, Nov 3: Oceania Cruises’ new 1,250-guest Riviera will be christened in Monte Carlo on April 19, 2012. The lavish, invitation-only gala ceremony will take place pier-side at Monaco’s Port Hercules overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Design plans call for trellises of fresh local flowers, plants and columns to transform the pier into a garden taking its inspiration from the famous Princess Grace Rose Garden. Following the ceremony, guests will enjoy a gala reception and dinner onboard Riviera.

“It is truly an honor and very fitting that we christen Rivierathe newest jewel in the Oceania Cruises’ fleetin Monte Carlo, certainly the crowning jewel of the Riviera,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, the line’s president. “The success of Marina, launched earlier in 2011, has heightened the anticipation for Riviera in the marketplace and we look forward to officially welcoming her next spring.”

Following the christening cruise, Riviera will embark on her maiden voyage, the 12-day Ancient Grandeur itinerary. Departing Piraeus April 24, Riviera will visit Alexandria and Port Said, Egypt; Haifa and Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel; Rhodes and Patmos, Greece; and Alanya, Kusadasi (Ephesus) and Istanbul, where the ship will overnight before guests disembark. Riviera will spend the summer and fall cruising the Mediterranean and then cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean where she will operate a series of winter cruises.

Oceania Cruises’ new Riviera will feature 625 elegantly appointed and custom-crafted accommodations that are among the largest at sea, ranging from 174 to 2,000+ square feet. Her top suites will exude residential elegance and feature furnishings from Ralph Lauren Home and designs by Dakota Jackson of New York and S.B. Long Interiors of Greenwich, CT. The ship will also feature a Lalique-designed grand lobby, 10 dining venues and numerous bars and lounges. Facilities will include a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub, innovative Bon Appétit Culinary Center, swimming pool and hot tubs. For more information, visit, contact a professional travel agent or call toll-free 800-531-5658.

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Cunard Guests Feel Famous Aboard a Glamorous European Adventure

Nov 1: Whether looking to experience the mystique of Europe, explore the awe-inspiring marvels of the Mediterranean, or savor the majestic scenery and fascinating heritage of Northern Europe through the Norwegian Fjords, guests sailing Cunard Line will enjoy a glamorous European adventure on 2012 voyages aboard flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. They will feel famous dressing up and dancing to a live orchestra during Royal Nights themed balls, being pampered by Cunard’s renowned White Star Service, and enjoying classic and contemporary cocktails in elegant lounges such as the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar and the Commodore Club. In addition, guests who wish to join Great Britain’s celebrations of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on June 5, 2012the occasion marking the 60th anniversary of her coronationmay continue the celebration in regal style aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth as the ships simultaneously depart for Europe later that day.

Queen Elizabeth Mediterranean Voyages
This season, Cunard’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, offers 12-day luxury cruise vacations to enchanting destinations throughout the Mediterranean, including overnight stays on select itineraries. Voyages include:

• Holy Land Explorer departs on Sept 6 and Nov 17 between Rome and Athens, calling on legendary cities including Jerusalem and Alexandria (Egypt), as well as the spectacular ports of Mykonos and Santorini in Greece.
Greek Isles & Aegean Treasures departs on  Sept 18 and Oct 12 from Athens to Venice, with stops in the most sought-after locales throughout the Greek Isles and Istanbul before an overnight call in Venice.
Pearls of the Black Sea departs on Sept 30 from Venice to Athens, sailing through the Greek Isles before an overnight stay in Istanbul followed by a tour of the Black Sea ports.
Greek Isles & Ancient Wonders voyage begins on Oct 24 with an overnight stay in Venice, and calls on such remarkable destinations as Dubrovnik (Croatia), Alexandria and Istanbul before concluding in Athens.
Greek Isles & Turkish Splendors departs on Nov 5 roundtrip from Athens and includes an overnight stay in Istanbul, plus rare visits to Lesbos and Corfu in Greece.

Northern Europe & Baltic Voyages
In 2012, guests can choose from a variety of roundtrip voyages from Southampton to Northern Europe and the Baltics. Flagship Queen Mary 2 sails to the beautiful rugged coastline of Norway and other striking ports, while Queen Victoria explores the jaw-dropping North Cape, and Queen Elizabeth circumnavigates the British Isles to the legendary Norwegian fjords. Voyages include:

• 14-day St. Petersburg & Baltic Explorer I departs on May 8 and June on 29 Queen Victoria and on June 5 and July 13 on Queen Elizabeth, and includes visits to Copenhagen, Stockholm and Tallinn (Estonia), with some voyages staying overnight in St. Petersburg. 
• 11-day Northern Adventure on Queen Mary 2 departs on May 11 to Hamburg and Oslo before sailing to Norway and the stunning fjords.
7-day Fjords & Waterfalls departs on June 22and Aug 17 on Queen Victoria and on July 6 and Aug 7 on Queen Elizabeth, plus an 8-day voyage aboard Queen Victoria on July 13, sailing through Norway’s countless fjords as well as visiting Stavanger and Bergen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fares from $1,795 per person.
14-day Norwegian Fjords & North Cape Discovery departs on 13 July on Queen Mary 2 and 22 May and 3 August on Queen Victoria, visiting Norway’s most exceptional destinations, including the dazzling town of Ålesund with its Art Nouveau architecture, the Fjords and North Cape.
11-day Around the British Isles departs on July 27 on Queen Elizabeth with visits to Scotland’s shores, the Irish cities of Dublin and Cork, the beautiful Channel Island of Guernsey and the less-frequented Orkney Islands.
11-day Scandinavian Explorer departs on Aug 10 on Queen Mary 2, with highlights including Elsinore (Denmark)home to Kronborg Castle of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”and exciting Hamburg.

A Regal Cunard Royal Rendezvous
Additionally, guests are invited to join Cunard in celebrating the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen’s coronation in the U.K. with a Cunard Royal Rendezvous on June 5, 2012. Cunard’s fleet of Queens meet in their homeport of Southampton, England, to commemorate the monarch’s Diamond Jubilee, and then depart on the following voyages where the celebrations will continue on board:

• 17-day Adriatic Explorer (Queen Victoria) sails roundtrip through the Mediterranean and visits Dubrovnik (Croatia) before an overnight stay in romantic Venice.
14-day St. Petersburg and Baltic Explorer I (Queen Elizabeth) sails roundtrip to explore the cities of Tallinn (Estonia), Copenhagen and Hamburg before overnighting in St. Petersburg.
5-day Summer Getaway (Queen Mary 2) sails roundtrip to Rotterdam and Brussels before stopping in the port of Le Havre (for Paris) and returning to Southampton.

The legacy of Cunard’s ocean liners lives on through the youngest fleet at sea, combining the brand’s legendary hallmarks with contemporary sophistication of the modern age to create a unique memorable voyage for each guest. On board a Cunard liner, guests can customise their itineraries according to their interests, with such activities as enjoying traditional British afternoon tea served by white-gloved waiters, attending a stimulating Cunard Insights lecture, rejuvenating body and mind at the spa, dressing up for glamourous evenings and dancing nightly to a live orchestra, sipping cocktails in one of the ship’s sophisticated bars and lounges, or simply relaxing poolside with a good book. For more information about Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth, or to book a voyage, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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