Saturday, December 21, 2013

Carnival Cruise Line To Pull Carnival Splendor Out of New York in Favor of Miami Starting November 2014

Carnival Splendor to Relocate to Miami Starting November 2014.

Carnival Cruises has announced that the Carnival Splendor will relocate to Miami starting in November 2014. The decision to relocate is occurring after what appears to be a challenging winter season from New York. Currently Carnival is offering deep discounts on the winter sailings and relocating the ship to Miami next winter is more economical.

Between now and November 2014, the Carnival Splendor will be sailing a series of  Florida/ Bahamas; New England / Canada or Eastern Caribbean Cruises.

It is unclear whether the Carnival Splendor will return to New York in the Spring of 2015.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Getaway to Visit New York in January 2014

Norwegian Getaway Makes Debut in New York - January 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line's New Norwegian Getaway will debut in New York in January 2014. The ship which is currently under construction in Papenburg, Germany will sail from Southampton, England to New York on a 10-day Transatlantic cruise on January 16th. Arriving in New York on January 26th. The Norwegian Getaway will be on charter to Budweiser for the 2014 Super bowl. After the Super bowl is over, Norwegian Cruise Line is marketing a 2-day cruise from New York to Nassau (where the cruise ends) on February 3rd. The ship will then sail year-round from Miami.
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Norwegian Cruise Line's Private Island to Have Bacardi's Rum Bar.

Bacardi Rum Bar on Norwegian Cruise Line's Private Island - Great Stirrup Cay.

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

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

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

Inspired by Bacardi’s rich 150 year history and distinct Cuban heritage, Great Stirrup Cay’s Bacardi Bar and terrace feature the iconic Bacardi Bat logo, original Bacardi advertising artwork and Cuban-inspired fixtures including specially-designed tiles and shutters. Guests who visit the Bacardi Bar during their time on the island can experience some of Bacardi’s superior craft rums through superb freshly made cocktails such as the Cuba Libre and the Original Bacardi Mojito. In addition, the Bacardi Bar will feature a flight of Mojitos so that guests can sample some of Bacardi’s most popular Mojito creations.

"We have had a long, strong partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line I and am pleased that we were able to work together so closely to develop Great Stirrup Cay’s new Bacardi Bar,” said Zachary Sulkes, Bacardi Global Travel Retail Regional Manager. “It is partners like Norwegian that allow Bacardi to continue to bring added value to the cruise industry. Norwegian’s Private Island offered an opportunity for Bacardi and Norwegian to give guests a new and unique experience, and we believe Norwegian’s guests will agree when they visit the island.”

In addition to the wide range of specialty cocktails that are offered at the Bacardi Bar, guests who visit the bar each week will have a chance to experience exclusive events and entertainment, including live mixology, live DJ’s and a variety of interactive games.

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

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

Norwegian Pearl offers seven-day cruises to the Western Caribbean from Miami. Ports of call include, Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico.

Norwegian Breakaway, the ship that brings the best of NYC to Sea, cruises from the Big Apple to the Bahamas & Florida, now through December 28, 2013, with ports of call including Port Canaveral (Orlando and the Beaches), Florida; Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

Norwegian Sky sails year-round from Miami, offering a series of three and four-day cruises. Norwegian Sky visits Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay on her three-day cruise, the four-day itinerary also includes a visit to Grand Bahama Island.

Please note that alcohol is not included in the price of the cruise and extra fees apply.

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Carnival Cruise Line Unveils Partnership with Dr. Seuss.

Carnival Cruises and Dr. Seuss form partnership.

One ship, two ships, it’s Dr. Seuss on cruise ships! Carnival Cruise Lines today unveiled an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring the beloved children’s brand and favorite characters to the line’s fleet of 24 “Fun Ships.”  In an industry first, the Carnival Seuss at Sea program will offer a variety of exciting and immersive onboard youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences featuring the amazing world and words of Dr. Seuss.
“It is fun to have fun but you have to know how,” said the Cat in the Hat in the iconic Dr. Seuss book. The fun on Carnival starts in the main dining room during The Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with the Cat in the Hat and Friends. Attendees will have the opportunity to kick off their day dining on playful foods straight from Dr. Seuss’s imagination – green eggs and ham, moose juice and goose juice, along with colorful fruit and pancake stacks, funky French toast and more, with traditional breakfast favorites also available. While Carnival’s wait staff set the tone with Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms, popular Dr. Seuss characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and Sam will be joining guests at their tables for fun interactions and one-of-a-kind photo opportunities. Hosted on the first sea day of each cruise, this special breakfast will be available for $5 per guest. 
Every ship in the Carnival fleet will have a selection of classic Dr. Seuss books, toys and themed activities for children to enjoy.  Special showings of beloved movies such as “The Cat in the Hat” and Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” will be shown outdoors on the giant screen of the Seaside Theater on Lido Deck as part of the cruise line’s Dive-In Movies programming.  On Carnival Freedom, which is undergoing a major refurbishment in May, and Carnival Vista, which debuts in early 2016, there will be a Dr. Seuss Bookville facility -- a unique and dedicated Seuss-themed play space featuring iconic d├ęcor, colors, shapes and funky furniture inspired by the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. The perfect place for families to relax, unwind and enjoy each other’s company, guests can read one of many available Dr. Seuss books or stretch their imagination through other family-fun activities including arts and crafts, toys and Dr. Seuss-inspired games.
Story time at sea will never be the same with the introduction of Seuss-a-palooza Story Time, A Rhyming Good Time – an interactive reading event that brings to life the colorful world of Dr. Seuss for kids of all ages.  Hosted on a sea day each voyage in a custom-created environment on board or within Dr. Seuss Bookville, this memorable storytelling event will feature some of the most beloved Dr. Seuss characters.
            At other times during the voyage, children and families will have the chance to meet and interact with favorite Dr. Seuss characters and participate in special photo opportunities featuring colorful and zany Dr. Seuss-inspired artwork, as well as through events and activities such as the Seuss-a-palooza Character Parade where guests can join Dr. Seuss characters in a swirly conga line along the Promenade.  A variety of Dr. Seuss-themed retail items will be available, as well.
The Seuss at Sea initiative builds upon Carnival’s leadership position in family cruising. The line carries more than 700,000 kids aboard its fleet each year — nearly half of the total number of kids carried by the entire North American cruise industry.
“Our youth and family programming continues to be highly rated and extremely popular with the millions of families who sail with Carnival, but we’re constantly challenging ourselves to uncover unique and interesting ways to further enhance our guest experience,” said Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival Cruise Lines. “We are thrilled to bring the fun, whimsical and wonderful world of Dr. Seuss to life for our guests of all ages to create even more fun and memorable moments during our cruise vacations.”
“Dr. Seuss inspires imaginations across generations and encourages a playfulness and whimsy that is often lost in today’s ‘always on’ society,” said Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises. “We’re excited to be working with Carnival Cruise Lines to bring some of the timeless magic of Dr. Seuss to the families that sail each year. Seuss at Sea will let kids and parents alike explore their imaginations through the memorable onboard experiences we’re building together.”
            Roll-out of the Seuss at Sea program will begin aboard Carnival Splendor (which sails year-round from New York) in February 2014 with implementation across the full fleet by 2015, as well as Carnival Vista when that ship enters service in early 2016. 


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Norwegian Cruise Line Offers Suite Passengers Butler Drawn Bath Menu

Norwegian Cruise Line Offers Suite Passengers Butler Drawn Bath Menu
Norwegian Cruise Line has added another element of luxury to the line’s array of exclusive suite amenities by introducing a new, first of its kind in the cruise industry “Bath Butler” menu, offering guests the opportunity to pamper themselves with one of the line’s signature baths, which are drawn by the suite guest’s dedicated certified butler. The butler baths are listed on an in-suite menu and available in all suites fleet wide, including those in the Haven by Norwegian, the line’s exclusive ship-within-in-a-ship suite complex.
“Norwegian’s suites offer a level of service and array of exclusive amenities that can only be found in five and six star land-based resorts,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “With the introduction of our Bath Butler Menu, we are taking luxury to the next level and know that our guests will love pampering themselves with one of these specially designed baths drawn by our certified butlers.”
Norwegian’s Bath Butler Menu features seven different luxury bath packages, each inspired by one of Norwegian’s spectacular destinations. Every package also includes a tasty treat and refreshing beverage selection. Many of Norwegian’s suite bath tubs also have views of the ocean for an even more luxurious experience.
For those guests wanting the ultimate in pampering, Norwegian’s signature drawn bath is the unparalleled Mediterranean Soak. For $499, guests will bask in the French verbena bubbles that surround them, as they block out the world with their eye mask while sipping on a glass of chilled Dom Perignon champagne, poured from the bottle that sits beside them. In addition, guests who indulge in the Mediterranean Soak will enjoy feasting on sturgeon caviar.
Additional Bath Menu options include:
  • Mexican Riviera Retreat, $99: Guests can ease into a siesta with a lime exfoliating body scrub with loofah. Then enjoy the perfect nightcap of a freshly made, all natural margarita with 100% agave tequila, premium triple orange liqueur and fresh squeezed limes.
  • Caribbean Calm, $99: Guests will feel like they are in the tropics while enjoying a passion fruit bath gel with exfoliator gloves, topped off with a hand-muddled Mojito prepared with Bacardi Superior, fresh mint and hand pressed limes.
  • Hawaiian Bloom, $99: Aloha! Guests will find their own tropical paradise by slipping into a plumeria milk bath with floating flowers and be treated to a coconut kiwi pineapple splash prepared with Bacardi Rock Coconut, pineapple juice, lemon lime soda with chunks of fresh pineapple and kiwi.
  • Alaskan Plunge, $99: Guests will experience refreshing relaxation with pine bath salts and a back scratcher.  After soaking, guests can enjoy a cold pitcher of strawberry lemonade with Stolichnaya vodka, fresh strawberries and hand pressed lemons.
  • Great Island Oasis, $99: Guests will find they are in their own private oasis as they slip into a seaweed eucalyptus bath, complete with bath pillow and  passion punch made with passion fruit liqueur, vodka, fresh fruit juices and sparkling wine.
  • Wonder waterfall, $49: Bath time should be fun time for the kids. The perfect time for kids to splash around with kiwi fruit berry bath bombs. Then treat them to a yummy kid-friendly strawberry and banana smoothie. 
 For more information, contact Norwegian Cruise Line, one of our advertisers or your travel professional.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Bermuda See Tourism Drop

Picturesque Bermuda
Picturesque Bermuda

Over the past year, Bermuda has seen a reduction in the number of cruise passengers arriving.

The reduction has was mainly due to:

  • Holland America choosing to deploy the Veendam in Boston instead of New York choosing to go to New England Canada instead of Bermuda.
  • Royal Caribbean has also reduced the number of Bermuda sailings both out of New York and Baltimore in favor of Florida and Bahamas cruises.

In addition to these planned changes,

  • Bermuda lost 4 calls at the island by the Emerald Princess. The change was due to repairs to the Heritage Wharf which meant the the ship would need to tender in passengers instead of docking.
  • Three sailings were cancelled due to the fire onboard the Grandeur of the Seas.

The losses were partially offset by the new and larger Norwegian Breakaway calling at the island and bringing more passengers than the previous Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Star.

The second quarter ended with 133,676 cruise passengers arriving. A 17% decrease over last year.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Date Set for the 2014 New York Times Travel Show.

The New York Times Travel Show will take place Feb. 28-March 2, 2014, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York.  In its 11th year, the Travel Show invites travel professionals and consumers to experience the latest opportunities in travel. 

The 2014 Travel Show will open with a Trade Day for travel industry professionals on Friday, Feb. 28.  The Travel Show will be open to the general public Saturday, March 1, and Sunday, March 2, with on-site travel experts and special offers exclusive to The New York Times Travel Show. 

This year’s Travel Show will highlight unique opportunities and experiences in family travel, adventure and cruising, and will feature interactive exhibitor spaces for attendees of all ages, including Q. and A. with on-site travel experts and the Travel Show’s Taste of the World, a culinary stage with flavors from around the world.       

Travel experts will include renowned travel writers Arthur and Pauline Frommer, travel journalist and host of “World Travels” on National Geographic Adventure Julia Dimon, travel author Patricia Schultz, and “The Points Guy” founder and travel tip expert Brian Kelly.

American Express is a founding sponsor of The New York Times Travel Show.

To learn more about the Travel Show, visit

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Norwegian Getaway Charter Brings Ship to New York in January 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Getaway - Comes to New York in January 2014
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Getaway - Comes to New York in January 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line has announce Inaugural changes for the maiden voyage of the Norwegian Getaway. The new sister ship to the Norwegian Breakaway is currently under construction in Papenburg Germany. The Maiden Transatlantic voyage was to sail from Rotterdam directly to Miami. The Transatlantic crossing has now been modified to sail from Southampton to New York (where the cruise ends). After completing her voyage in January, the Norwegian Getaway has been chartered to provide accommodation for Super Bowl 48. 

Her schedule is now as follows:

January 16, 2014 - Maiden Transatlantic Voyage from Rotterdam
January 29th -> Feb 5th Charter for the Superbowl. 

February 1, 2014 - Cancelled Maiden Voyage from Miami.
February 8, 2014 - New Maiden Eastern Caribbean Cruise from Miami.

Norwegian Getaway

Being developed as “Miami’s ship,” Norwegian Getaway will embody the essence of her

tropical hometown with hull artwork by Miami’s own David “LEBO” LeBatard, which features a whimsical mermaid holding the sun above the waves. Featuring groundbreaking entertainment, the ship is the first to feature the GRAMMY®

Experience at sea, which will include artifacts chosen and curated by the GRAMMY Museum® along with live performances by past GRAMMY winners and nominees, among others. Another first of its kind at sea, The Illusionarium is an all-new dining and entertainment experience that will envelop guests in the fascinating world of magic, inviting them to experience the astonishing illusions of world-class magicians and supernatural special effects. In addition, Norwegian Getaway boasts sizzling Latin-inspired dance productions by Broadway sensation, Burn the Floor; performances of the seven-time Tony Award nominated musical LEGALLY BLONDE; hilarious comedy headliners produced by Levity Entertainment Group; and the sing along fun of the dueling pianos of Howl at the Moon. To cap off a spectacular cruise experience, every sailing will feature

a dazzling fireworks show at sea, set to music, as part of a dance party in the ship’s outdoor club, Spice H20.

Similar to sister ship Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway will dazzle guests with

the excitement of 678 Ocean Place and The Waterfront, a variety of interconnected indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that creates a multiplex of dining, activities and more and enhances guests’ connection with the ocean.

Foodies setting sail from Miami on Norwegian Getaway can feast in their choice of 26

incredible dining options, including one of Celebrity Chef and Food Network star Geoffrey

Zakarian’s three dining concepts: Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian; Ocean Blue on the

Waterfront and The Raw Bar.

For families, Nickelodeon®, the number-one entertainment brand for kids, is on board and

includes a variety of exciting interactive experiences, along with the opportunity to meet

SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star, Dora the Explorer and Diego, among other favorites.

Norwegian Getaway will offer the all-new “Name that Game,” an exciting combination of trivia, speed, skill and slime, where participants will hit the buzzer, race the clock and get extreme as they experience the best of Nickelodeon’s famous game shows live on one stage. Norwegian

Getaway will also include an all new pirate-themed Nickelodeon Kids’ Aqua Park where children can cool off with colorful, whimsical and larger than life Nickelodeon characters from Bikini Bottom. The three-story Sports Complex will feature the Aqua Park with five thrilling water slides, two swimming pools and one of the largest multi-level elevated ropes course that will challenge guests to more than 40 different elements, including a zip track. 

For a thrill like no other, guests will confront The Plank, a platform that extends eight feet over the side of the ship. A nine-hole miniature golf course is located beneath the ropes course, offering family fun with friendly competition. A rock climbing wall, bungee trampoline and spider web, a 24-foot enclosed climbing cage complete with a spiral slide, round out the activities.

Norwegian Getaway offers a variety of flexible accommodations ranging from Studio

staterooms specially designed for solo travelers, to balcony and family staterooms and opulent suites in The Haven, the ultimate in luxury accommodations.

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Royal Caribbean to Build New Cruise Terminal in Bayonne (Cape Liberty Cruise Terminal).

Cape Liberty Cruise Port - Courtesy of Cape Liberty

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners approved plans by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to build a new cruise terminal building at the Port Authority-owned Bayonne Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne, New Jersey.

As part of its expansion plans, Royal Caribbean plans to base its new Quantum of the Seas vessel—one of the largest cruise ship serving the New York-New Jersey region—at Bayonne beginning in 2014. The new vessel, which can accommodate up to 4,180 passengers, will sail to the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.

As part of the agreement allowing construction of the cruise terminal building, the Port Authority agreed to extend Royal Caribbean’s operating agreement for the terminal for an additional five years through 2043.

“The new Royal Caribbean Cruise Terminal will provide the people of New Jersey and New York with the world-class travel experience they deserve,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. “We welcome the significant investment Royal Caribbean is making in our region and look forward to welcoming the Quantum of the Seas to her new home in our port.”

The new $70 million cruise terminal building—which will be paid for by Royal Caribbean—includes a 36,000-square-foot check-in terminal, 60,000-square-foot luggage area, parking deck, additional parking, and berth improvements. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer and be completed by October 2014.

Passenger volumes at the Cape Liberty Cruise Terminal have grown steadily in the past three years—from 393,000 passengers in 2010 to 476,000 in 2012. Passenger volumes at the facility are expected to increase to approximately 600,000 after the new terminal building opens.

This recent announcement has also revived a discussions about building a hotel and other tourist related venues near the facility.

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