Carnival Cruise Lines has announced a new program by which it will get rid of those pesky people who save lounge chairs all day but don’t actually use them. Staff members, called “team monitors,” will be patrolling the decks to make sure those towel-marked chairs actually have bums in them.
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Tom Baker just informed me of this cruise of a lifetime and I thought I would share this with all of you. If you are interested, give him a call at: 800-497-8799
Royal Caribbean International (RCI) has announced the repositioning of two of its Voyager Class vessels to Asia year round. Both Voyager and Mariner of the Seas will set sail to Asia to meet the demands of the growing Asia cruise market in 2012 and 2013.
Mariner of the Seas has been a perennial favorite sailing part of the year in the Caribbean and seasonally in Europe. She currently sails in the Mediterranean but spends November through April sailing from Galveston, Texas to the sunny Western Caribbean.
On April 21, 2013, this 3,500 passenger mega-ship complete with massive ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall, Johnny Rockets, Royal Promenade (mall down the middle of the ship, and oh-so much more sets sail from Galveston for a 41-day cruise to Singapore. This is basically a half-around the world cruise!
This exciting cruise heads across the warm South Atlantic to Barcelona, Egypt, Suez Canal, Jordan (for Petra-one of the 7-Wonders of the World), Dubai, India, Malaysia, and into Singapore.
Cruise devotees get your check books ready! This cruise starts at $2307.00 per person for an inside cabin, and $3,597.00 for a balcony room. All of this is just $56.00 dollars a day!! Who can afford to stay home?
Put this in perspective – a full 90-day World cruise on Queen Mary 2 in 2013 starts at $17,356.00 per person. This cruise is roughly half that length at pennies on the dollar in cost. Unbelievable? No, it is for real.
If you have the time, funds, and ability – take this cruise. Yes, beverages, taxes, tips and excursions are extra but it is still one of the best values I have ever seen.
I am working on a an excursion program for Egypt where my booked guests will have access to private and affordable excursions in Egypt (including overnight stay to maximize the most sightseeing), Luxor and Karnak, and Petra in Jordan-just to name some.
This cruise allows an avid cruiser a great port sampler to add to his “bucket list” and to get halfway around the world at a most affordable price. Hurry though…this is going to sell out and FAST!
In December 2012, a second luxury ship, The Moana, will begin sailing under the Paul Gauguin Cruises banner. Scheduled to undergo a multifaceted renovation to be completed that month, The Moana will accommodate just 90 guests and will reflect the high standard of quality and service already established for the cruise line by the m/s Paul Gauguin.
The Moana (Tahitian for Ocean Traveler) was built in 1998 at the Alstom Leroux in St Malo, France. The ship is 330 ft in length with a 46 ft beam. The renovations include:
- New décor, including flooring, window treatments, and wall panels
- New furnishings and lighting
- Updated public areas, including Le Salon and the ship’s two elegant restaurants
- New signage, providing a lighter, brighter feel
The Moana specializes in European, Caribbean, and Latin American destinations, with an emphasis on delivering unique itineraries that larger ships cannot offer and exploring hidden ports throughout these regions. Spacious staterooms, an onboard watersports marina, a choice of two open-seating venues, and extensive spa are among her luxurious attributes. There is simply no better way to experience Europe, the Caribbean, or Latin America than aboard this sleek and sophisticated, intimate ship
MeetMeOnBoard member Eric Potter recently sat down with us for a Skype interview. Eric has been a singer/entertainer onboard cruise ships for the last two years and will soon be heading back to Europe to join the Grand Princess.
In Europe, where waterways were the roadways of the pre-automobile past, major cities from Amsterdam to Vienna reside on rivers. Centuries after those rivers were supplanted by railways and highways as main thoroughfares, there is renewed interest in traveling on them: at least 11 new river cruise ships are launching this year, and a similar number is expected next year. Over the last five years, many lines have doubled their capacity.
A member of MeetMeOnBoard recently returned from a 7-night cruise on board the Celebrity Millenium. Below is his review from the ‘gay perspective’.
The cabin staff was very accommodating and had no issue pushing the beds together for us. They were very friendly throughout the cruise.
The cruise director and staff were cordial to us. We asked about a Friends of Dorothy announcement being placed in the Celebrity Today newsletter and were told, nicely but coolly, that the corporate policy is not to publish the FOD meeting announcement.
We felt reasonably comfortable as a gay couple. When we chose to join a table with other passengers at a table for 6 or 8, everyone was very friendly and talkative with no apparent issues.
There was no Friends of Dorothy gathering that we could discern. They did have an 8.5 by 11 inch sign at guest relations mentioning FOD (along with 2 other types of gatherings) in the Martini Bar at 7:45 but we didn’t see anyone there the one night we went. The time was not convenient with the dinner options and the location was not optimal as it was on a main passageway and well attended by a variety of straight martini drinkers. We saw only two other gay couples on the ship but did not have the opportunity to chat with them.
We did encounter LGBT crew with the entertainers of course and one in particular was friendly and talkative with us.
We didn’t feel overly comfortable being on this ship as a gay couple and were often somewhat on-guard wondering what we might encounter. We never felt comfortable about making any sort of public display of affection.
Ship activities were not of interest to us and certainly didn’t have an LGBT component. If you were into cooking, wines, cigars, or gambling, they would be happy to take your money. Overall, we found the variety of onboard activities lacking to our taste. The shore excursions were well organized, varied, and typical for a cruise ship.
Overall, we did not find Celebrity very inviting as an LGBT positive experience and would most likely not sail with them again. We had a much more negative experience several years back with Royal Caribbean, so it seems the corporate policy is pervasive.
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MSC Cruises has announced an all-inclusive beverage package, ‘Allegrissimo’, allowing guests to enjoy unlimited wines, cocktails and beverages throughout their entire cruise. Oh…dreams really do come true! Dale and I love our wine and end up canceling our next vacation after we see our bar bill.
Adults can enjoy unlimited wines by the glass, cocktails, draught beer, soft drinks and juices, mineral water, smoothies, and take away ice creams.
Children can enjoy soft drinks and juices, mineral water, hot drinks, smoothies and milkshakes, and take away ice creams.
The package can be used at every venue throughout the ship during the entire cruise, with the exception of the à-la-carte restaurants and mini-bars.
The ‘Allegrissimo Premium’ packages offer even more choice, and include all premium brands, a large range of DOC/DOCG wines by the glass, the best selection of premium and signature cocktails, drinks from the minibar as well as items from the ‘Gelateria’ menu, Pastry Shop and food from the room service menu.
The package can be used at every venue throughout the ship during the entire cruise, with the exception of the à-la-carte restaurants.
Guests can book their ‘Allegrissimo’ package by contacting their travel agent. In order to complement the services provided by travel agents and offer greater convenience to guests who wish to continue planning their holiday outside of travel agent hours, it is now also possible to book this service online through the company’s global website, as well as the local consumer websites in Italy, France, Austria, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Japan, Lebanon, USA and Mexico.
An ‘On Board Services Reservation Tool’ is available under the ‘On Board Services’ section of the websites and gives guests with a confirmed cruise booking reference number the opportunity to reserve special services, including ‘Allegrissimo’ packages, before their holiday departure. Once guests have confirmed the reservation of the particular service they have booked, the amount will be debited from their account on board ship through our post-paid service.
‘Allegrissimo’ packages booked through the ‘On Board Services Reservation Tool’ can be made or modified up to 3 days before departure.
MSC Cruises is making it possible to visit Europe during the height of the vacation season and into the fall on its elegant fleet of ships – including the newMSC Divina – with limited-time-only rates that begin at $449.
Available only for bookings made by June 30, 2012 on select sailings, these special cruise-only rates (per person, double occupancy; government fees and taxes are additional) begin at $449 for select 7-night summer cruises and at $499 for select 7-night fall itineraries.
Among the roundtrip itineraries available this summer and fall at limited-time-only rates are:
- MSC Divina’s 7-night “Divine Mediterranean” itineraries, sailing from Venice and calling at Bari, Katakolon, Izmir, Istanbul and Dubrovnik. Rates begin at $1,049 (select summer sailings) and $599 (select fall sailings).
- MSC Sinfonia’s 7-night “Sparkling Mediterranean Rivieras” departing Genoa and visiting Civitavecchia, Salerno, La Goulette, Ibiza and Marseille, beginning at $449.
- MSC Splendida’s 7-night “Splendid Mediterranean” cruises, sailing from Genoa and calling at Civitavecchia, Barcelona, La Goulette, Valletta and Messina. Rates begin at $499.
- MSC Magnifica’s 7-night “Baltic Castles & Russian Palaces,” calling at Kiel, Stockholm, Tallin, St. Petersburg and Copenhagen. Rates begin at $1,049.
- MSC Musica’s 7-night “Greek Islands in the Sun,” sailing from Venice and calling at Bari, Katakolon, Santorini, Mykonos, Piraeus, Corfu and Dubrovnik. Rates begin at $499.
- MSC Opera’s 8-night “Majestic Medieval Europe” itinerary, sailing from Southampton and calling at Ijmuiden, St. Peter Port, La Coruna, Bilbao and La Rochele. Rates begin at $799.
Source: MSC Cruises
Industry giant Carnival today announced major changes to its loyalty program for repeat cruisers.
Effective later this month, the newly named Very Important Fun Person Club will be divided into five levels, up from two, and entry into the tiers will be based on the total number of days a customer has sailed with the line instead of the total number of cruises taken.
Carnival’s current loyalty program, called the Concierge Club, offers Gold and Platinum level status starting with a customer’s second and 10th cruise, respectively. The revamped program’s five tier levels:
– Blue (for pre-cruise and first-time cruisers): In a change, customers now can join Carnival’s loyalty program before their first cruise to access members-only promotions.
– Red (2nd sailing to 24 cruise days): Benefits include a complimentary alcoholic or specialty beverage at breakfast, lunch or the Punchliner Comedy Brunch Presented by George Lopez; a new e-newsletter; and members-only cruise specials and other offers.
– Gold (25 to 74 cruise days): In addition to Red level benefits, members receive a Gold member pin; and access to a Gold, Platinum and Diamond members-only shipboard cocktail party with complimentary drinks and appetizers.
– Platinum (75 to 199 cruise days): In addition to Gold level benefits, members receive priority embarkation, debarkation, tender service and dining times (including in main dining room and specialty restaurants, if applicable); an enhanced logo gift item, along with a ship- and year-specific pin each voyage that will be redesigned annually; a dedicated phone number and concierge desk on board; complimentary wash-and-fold laundry service; casino buy-one-get-one tournament entry; and complimentary arcade $5 play for guests under 18.
– Diamond (200-plus cruise days): In addition to Plantinum level benefits, members receive guaranteed dining times and specialty restaurant reservations; acknowledgement from the captain at the Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Party; unlimited wash-and-fold service; complimentary dinner for two in the specialty restaurant of their choice, if applicable; complimentary luggage tag and passport holder; a one-time complimentary upgrade or a third or fourth guest sail free offer; and a $100 per member contribution to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In addition, members sailings on their 25th, 50th and 75th cruises with Carnival will receive a shipboard credit equal to 25%, 50% or 75% of their cruise fare, respectively, for that voyage. Members sailing on their 100th cruise earn a complimentary Caribbean, Mexican Riviera or Alaska voyage of up to eight days in length.
Members can review their cruise history and program status by activating their profile at Carnival’s new online loyalty program portal, carnival.com/VIFP.
The new program will roll out on all Carnival ships departing on or after June 25, with the exception of the new Carnival Breeze, where the program will begin on July 9.
MIAMI (May 31, 2012) – At a traditional maritime handover ceremony held earlier today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, Carnival Cruise Lines took delivery of the new 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze, the 24th vessel in the line’s fleet.
Carnival Breeze will depart on its inaugural cruise from Venice this Sunday, June 3, operating a special 12-day Mediterranean cruise that ends in Barcelona June 15. Following a summer schedule of 12-day Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona that runs through October 25, Carnival Breeze will reposition to Miami for year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning November 24, becoming Carnival Cruise Lines’ largest South Florida-based ship.
“Carnival Breeze represents the continued evolution of our product, offering a huge array of branded experiences for our guests and inviting public spaces each with its own personality and character, all enhanced by the spirited fun that makes a Carnival cruise so memorable,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.
Carnival Breeze is the line’s first ship to feature the Thrill Theater, an immersive multi-dimensional special effects experience that makes viewers feel as if they’re part of the movie. Other highlights sure to provide fun for the whole family include WaterWorks offering splash-tastic water slides and a 300-gallon drenching bucket, and SportSquare, an expansive recreation area with a suspended ropes course, a miniature golf course, an outdoor fitness area and more.
New dining options on Carnival Breeze include Bonsai Sushi, the line’s first full-service sushi restaurant, a free open-air barbecue venue called Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ, and The Comfort Kitchen, a casual poolside spot for American-style comfort food. Other choices range from Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network personality Guy Fieri, to the Mexican-themed BlueIguana Cantina and Cucina del Capitano, a family-style Italian restaurant that brings the heritage of Carnival’s captains to the table.
Carnival Breeze is also the first ship in the fleet to feature all of the entertainment elements of the line’s groundbreaking “Fun Ship 2.0” enhancement initiative, including Hasbro, The Game Show, with larger than life adaptations of the brand’s iconic games, and Playlist Productions, which combine captivating live performances with high-tech LED staging and special effects to set a new standard in seagoing entertainment.
With a nod to its upcoming Caribbean itineraries, the tropics-inspired Carnival Breeze also features vibrant interiors and inviting public spaces, from the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar to the sun-splashed Lido Marketplace restaurant and a palm tree-lined indoor/outdoor café and live entertainment venue called Ocean Plaza. Even the staterooms incorporate a palette of pastel hues and a striking new design inspired by the Caribbean’s cool island breezes and warm sunsets.
Carnival Breeze joins Carnival Cruise Lines’ 23 other ships which operate three- to 18-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Europe, Bermuda, South America, Tahiti, the Fiji Islands, New Zealand, Norway, the Baltic and the British Isles.
We claim no copyright to this article. You can read the article, at its source: http://www.newmanpr.com/2012/05/31/carnival-cruise-lines-takes-delivery-of-new-130000-ton-carnival-breeze-in-italy/
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