Norwegian Cruise Line Reveals Fall/ Winter 2019/20 Itineraries, Featuring New Ships In North American Homeports

Amidst the current winter chill gripping much of the nation, Norwegian Cruise Line today revealed selections from the fleet’s fall/winter 2019/20 deployment, which will feature a plethora of warm weather escapes to tropical paradises in the Caribbean, Bahamas & Florida and South America, as well as fall foliage sailings in Canada & New England. Most of the brand’s largest and newest vessels will each call a new city home in 2019. Norwegian’s unique and varied new itineraries, all of which feature the line’s signature cruising experience that allows guests the freedom and flexibility to design their ideal vacation, will open for sale tomorrow, January 17 for returning guests and will be available to the general public on Thursday, January 18.

“We are delighted to unveil this curated rich mix of our guests’ favorite itineraries with new deployment to exotic destinations that will bring new ships and new experiences to almost all of our homeports,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “Whether a guest has sailed with us many times in the past or they are a first-time cruiser, there is something new for everyone to experience in 2019 and 2020 aboard a Norwegian cruise.”

Bahamas & Florida

The all-new Norwegian Bliss, launching summer 2018, will lead the youngest fleet sailing to the Bahamas from the Big Apple for the winter 2019/20 season. Custom built for the ultimate cruising experience, Norwegian Bliss will boast an array of delectable dining with 27 different options, exhilarating activities like a two-story electric racetrack, and show stopping performances from Broadway’s best including Jersey Boys. The newest and largest ship sailing from New York, Norwegian Bliss’ winter 2019/20 itineraries will offer guests the most cruise options and widest range of itineraries, with 18 different cruises including seven and eight-day Bahamas & Florida sailings, along with longer 12 and 14-day cruises to the Southern and Western Caribbean during the heart of winter, providing a warm weather respite during the coldest months of the year.

Norwegian Bliss will homeport in the heart of Manhattan beginning on November 24, 2019 and set sail each Sunday to the warm turquoise waters of  Bahamas & Florida, bringing guests the best of beaches, theme parks and sunshine on seven and eight-day cruises, with calls in Orlando and the Beaches (Port Canaveral); Norwegian’s private island Great Stirrup Cay, which is currently undergoing enhancements that will include a luxury lagoon area for Haven guests, a new zip line and more; and a call to the popular tropical island of Nassau, Bahamas.

Norwegian Gem, fresh from a bow-to-stern enhancement in late 2015 that brought new décor and new venues like the popular Sugarcane Mojito Bar and O’Sheehans Neighborhood Bar & Grill, will kick off the 2019 holiday season with an eight-day Bahamas & Florida cruise from New York on December 13, 2019. This popular family-friendly itinerary includes an overnight stay and two days in Orlando and the Beaches (Port Canaveral), a day at Norwegian’s private island Great Stirrup Cay, and a call in Nassau, Bahamas.

Those looking for a quick winter getaway to ease into the New Year over a long holiday weekend can sail away on Norwegian Dawn from Tampa for a five-day Bahamas & Florida cruise departing January 16, 2020. This one-of-a-kind itinerary features sun drenched ports and white sand beaches, with calls in Key West, Nassau, Bahamas and Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay, which recently debuted enhanced facilities, new dining options, premium cabana furnishings and more family-friendly amenities.

Caribbean 

On December 1, 2019, Norwegian Bliss will begin a 12-day journey to the Southern Caribbean, calling on the region’s most iconic destinations including San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; and St. John’s, Antigua. Norwegian Bliss will also offer a 14-day Southern Caribbean cruise on January 19, 2020, that will additionally call in Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

Guests looking to cruise to the tropical rainforests and stunning dive sites of the Western Caribbean on an extended 14-day vacation at sea aboard Norwegian Bliss have two departure dates to choose from: January 5 and February 2, 2020. This spectacular itinerary includes it all, from theme parks to Mayan ruins, with calls in Orlando & the Beaches (Port Canaveral); Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.

Guests cruising from New Orleans will have the opportunity to experience some sisterly love with Norwegian Breakaway in 2018 and Norwegian Getaway in 2019. For the first time ever, Norwegian Getaway will sail a mix of seven, nine and 12-day cruises to the Western Caribbean from New Orleans beginning November 8, 2019. After fun in the French Quarter, guests can hop aboard the youngest and largest ship sailing from New Orleans for a journey to sun and sand with calls on Costa Maya, Mexico; Harvest Caye, Belize; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica on her nine-day voyages. With her mermaid hull guiding the way, Norwegian Getaway’s seven-day Western Caribbean cruises will visit Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Harvest Caye, Belize. Those looking to explore deeper into the wonders of the Western Caribbean can opt for Norwegian Getaway’s 12-day cruise, which will feature calls on Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Harvest Caye, Belize.

For the first time ever, guests will have the opportunity to experience a cruise from San Juan aboard the popular Norwegian Epic. From December 8 through March 15, Norwegian Epic will be the youngest contemporary ship and largest ship homeporting in San Juan. The incredible ship will sail the Southern Caribbean on seven-day voyages with calls featuring sapphire blue waters and warm winter sun in Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Castries, St. Lucia; and Basseterre, St. Kitts, as well as Bridgetown, Barbados; St. John’s, Antigua; Philipsburg, St. Maarten and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands on 10 and 11-day cruises. With 22 dining options and 20 bars and lounges, Norwegian Epic will offer guests more options than any other ship cruising from San Juan.

Following a year and half stay in New York, Norwegian Escape will return to the city of her christening, Miami, on November 23, 2019 and sail seven-day Western Caribbean cruises through April 18, 2020. The 4,200 guest Norwegian Escape features 27 dining options, 21 bars and lounges, as well as the largest Aqua Park and Ropes Course at sea. The ship’s seven-day Western Caribbean cruises will visit Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and the incredibly popular Harvest Caye, Belize. Harvest Caye is a new Belizean port-of-call that features the only cruise ship pier in Belize, a two-story Flighthouse with zip lines and suspension bridges, a street-style local artisan market and opportunities for guests to visit mainland Belize on excursions to the Mayan Ruins, rafting and more.

Norwegian Breakaway will extend her stay in the Sunshine State by repositioning from Miami to Port Canaveral, arriving on November 23, 2019. As one of the largest ships to homeport in Port Canaveral, Norwegian Breakaway will spend her winter 2019/20 season sailing seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries every Saturday. The perfect vacation for the young and young at heart, guests can experience the bustling theme parks and excitement of Orlando then head to the coast for a relaxing cruise vacation aboard the beautiful Norwegian Breakaway, which features 27 dining options, more dining options than any other ship departing from Port Canaveral. The ship’s Western Caribbean cruises will offer guests an array of beautiful, tropical destinations including Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. During Norwegian Breakaway’s Eastern Caribbean sailings, guests will cruise to some of the most popular ports of call in the region including St. Thomas, USVI; Tortola, BVI and Norwegian’s very own exclusive, private island, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas.

Norwegian Dawn will round-out the line’s deployment in the Sunshine State with her return to Tampa, with cruises departing from the west coast of the peninsula from November 24, 2019 through March 22, 2020. The recently renovated Norwegian Dawn will sail primarily seven-day Western Caribbean cruises where guests will be able to explore a variety of ports-of-call including Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; and the beautiful Harvest Caye, Belize.

Norwegian Gem will return to the Big Apple for her winter 2019 season from November 22, 2019 to March 16, 2020. Norwegian Gem will sail a variety of 10 and 11-day Southern Caribbean itineraries and one 14-day cruise from New York with ports-of-call that will include some the Caribbean’s most sun-kissed destinations including Basseterre, St. Kitts; St. John’s, Antigua; St. Thomas, USVI; and Castries, St. Lucia.

Canada & New England

Norwegian Escape’s year and a half stay in the Big Apple would not be complete without her venturing through the fall foliage and the quintessential colonial sites in Canada & New England. Throughout the month of September 2019, Norwegian Escape will offer four roundtrip seven-day cruises from Manhattan to the picturesque Canadian coastline, with calls in Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick; and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Panama Canal

Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Gem, two ships which underwent extensive bow to stern renovations as a part of the Norwegian Edge® program, will both offer a selection of bucket-list cruises through the Panama Canal. Norwegian Gem will cruise from New York to San Francisco on a 20-day journey departing on January 4, 2020, and then back from the Bay City on a 21-day cruise to the Big Apple departing on January 24. Along these incredible coast-to-coast voyages, guests will experience: the sun and fun of the Caribbean with stops in Curacao and Aruba; the vibrant culture and cuisine of South America in Colombia; the adventure and eco-wonders of Central America with calls in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala; the warm hospitality of Mexico; and the fun and fare of Southern California.

Norwegian Dawn will sail a one-of-a-kind 15-day cruise from New York to Tampa to the Panama Canal, departing on November 9, 2019. The unique open jaw sailing aboard Norwegian Dawn will feature calls on Willemstad, Curacao; Oranjestad, Aruba; Santa Marta and Cartagena, Colombia; a daytime transit of the Panama Canal, followed by calls in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Roatán, Bay Island, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya, Mexico. Norwegian Dawn will also sail a 14-day roundtrip Panama Canal cruise from Tampa departing on December 1, 2019, with stops in some of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean and Central America including George Town, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Cartagena, Colombia; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, among others.

South America

Guests looking to explore the stunning beauty, vibrant culture and adventure of South America can do so on the newer and larger Norwegian Star, which replaces Norwegian Sun, beginning December 2019.  Norwegian Star will sail South America for the winter season in 2019 and 2020, offering 14-day sailings from Santiago (San Antonio), Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The Eastbound itineraries depart from Santiago on December 21, January 18 and February 15, while the Westbound depart from Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 4, February 1 and February 29, 2020.  These spectacular journeys offer guests jaw-dropping scenery, from volcanos to alpine lakes, waterfalls and glaciers to wildlife viewing, ancient cave paintings and more, with calls in Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco, and Punta Arenas, Chile; Stanley, Falkland Islands; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Puerto Madryn and Ushuaia, Argentina. During these bucket list cruises, guests will also sail the Patagonic Channels, majestic Chilean Fjords, the famous Strait of Magellan; Beagle Channel, Canal Moraleda and a bucket list sail around Cape Horn.

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Guy’s Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina Mexican Eatery, New Poolside Bars Among New Spaces Being Added to Carnival Victory

Posted on: January 15th, 2018Featured, News Blog, Press Releases

Carnival Victory is in the midst of an extensive, multi-million-dollar dry dock that is adding a wide variety of food and beverage innovations, as well as two luxurious Captain’s Suites and new deluxe ocean view staterooms.

The new spaces, which are being added during a 17-day dry dock taking place Jan. 4-21, 2018, in Freeport, The Bahamas, include:

  •  Guy’s Burger Joint: a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries enjoyed amidst a décor that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture.
  • New Accommodations Several new cabin categories will be added to Carnival Victory, including 260-square-feet Scenic Ocean View staterooms and 320-square-foot Scenic Grand Ocean View accommodations as well as Captain’s Suites, spacious 820-square-foot cabins offer a large extended balcony, two full-size bathrooms, separate sleeping quarters and a large living room.
  • RedFrog Rum Bar: a poolside watering hole offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red.
  • BlueIguana Cantina: a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar.
  • BlueIguana Tequila Bar: a fun and festive outdoor bar offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers, perfect for chillin’ by the pool.
  • Bonsai Sushi Express: the success of the full-service Bonsai Sushi restaurants has spawned this casual, convenient yet equally tasty offshoot featuring a mouth-watering array of sushi, sashimi, rolls and more.
  • Re-Branded Deli: the ship’s deli has been completely renovated with an updated design and new menu offerings, including seven sandwiches such as meatball, buffalo chicken, and The Cubano, along with Southwest chicken, falafel and turkey wraps.
  • Cherry on Top: The “sweetest spot on board,” Cherry on Top is the gateway to the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun-and-fanciful gifts, just-because novelties, colorful custom apparel and more.

These spaces complement Carnival Victory’s numerous other onboard amenities, including a 14,500-square-foot spa, a 214-foot-long water slide, a Punchliner Comedy Club offering adults-only and family-friendly performances, and Seuss at Sea, an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

Carnival Victory operates year-round three- and four-day cruises from PortMiami.  Three-day cruises depart on Fridays and call at Nassau, while four-day voyages depart Mondays and visit Key West and Cozumel or Nassau and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com. Carnival also can be found on: FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.

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Author: Joyce Oliva

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Demanding Cruise Passengers

I have to start off by saying, I feel so sorry and embarrassed as to how the human race has turned out over the years in respect to their treatment towards their fellow man. It appears we have become a society of people that demand everything to be self-centered around them. Not sure what ever happen to meaning of “Treat others as you would want to be treated”.

I have spent many of time just sitting outside the Guest Services desk, to listen to the many complaints and demands customers have. People seem to think that if one little thing is not to their satisfaction that they should be compensated in some means for it.

I am a true believer that its time for the cruise lines to start pushing back a little on peoples demands. I agree it appears the cruise lines have downsized to keep prices relatively low. But maybe if they start pushing back a little people will treat them better. If they get certain people to quit cruising so be it. They don’t seem to be having any issues filling the ships.

Let me use this one example I dealt with just to make a point.

On one of our previous cruises. I got to my room and discovered my bathroom sink was not draining. I proceeded to go to Guest Services the following morning to notify them of the situation. They immediately started apologizing to me for the inconvenience this was having. I let them know it was not a big deal and that if they would just have maintenance sometime during the day stop by and take a look at it.

They apparently did stop by that day while we were out of the room. That night one of the crew slipped the following letter under our cabin door:

I proceeded to go to guests services after getting this letter and thanked them for fixing the issue. Next thing we know we received some cookies in the room from Guest services for there kind words towards maintenance.

I know some will say this is just good customer service. For me it just shows how the state of our self centered treatment towards others has degraded to such a point that they feel they have to do such a thing.

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Carnival Paradise Jan 6 2018 Review

The Carnival Paradise is among the Oldest Carnival Class Ships still in use. It has some wear and tear on it, but we still love it. It is laid out completely different than most of the other class ships and that is part of its charm. Because of its size, you have fewer fellow cruiser and you are able to get more acquainted with the crew. Venues on the ship are not as crowded for this reason also.

We booked this cruise last minute because our Motorhome was in the shop for 5 days and it was cheaper than a hotel and eating out every meal during this time.

Ships Specs:

Built 1998
Passengers 2052- 2462
Crew 980
Total decks: 13
Decks with cabins: 5
Cabins 1026
Tons 70390
Speed 19.5
Length 855
Beam 103

Embarkation Day 

Since we live just 53 miles from the Tampa Bay Cruise Port, it is a very convenient ship for us to get on for quick trips. We dropped our Motorhome off at the repair facility and headed for the port. We parked at Parktologist offsite parking and road the shuttle the whole 1 mile to the actual port.

Its been freezing cold in terms of Florida weather the last few days and this day was no difference. Glad we brought a coat. The computers were down from Ship to Shore today so it made it a little more confusing in embarking. They had to take our pictures as we boarded and not in the port so it added a few more minutes to the process.

Muster process was nice. We had Muster Station “A” so we met in the Theater lounge. Was nice to have it inside especially with the weather. They then after the life jacket procedure proceeded to escort everyone outside just to show them where the life boats we and then we went on our way around the ship. This was one of the easiest muster drills we have ever done.

Room:

We were in U82, which is an Interior Room.

Our stewards name was Joseph. The roam was clean and ready when we boarded. It was interesting as the last few cruises we have taken we made it a point to do inside rooms but this one was laid out different from any room I have ever had. There was no headboard or wall to the end of the bed. The bathroom was at the head of the bed and only one side of it had a way of getting into it. The other side of the bed was against the wall, so you had to climb over to get in. It was okay for my wife and I, but if you were an older couple with mobility issues it may have been a concern getting in and out of it. t was interesting. We kind of liked it but not sure if it was because it was different or just nicer.

Staff:

The cruise director on this cruise was a lady named Jamie Dee. We have had her on a few different cruises and she always seems to be the most energetic of all the crew. She is wonderful, and we would love to have her on all cruises. She makes the cruise enjoyable even when things go wrong.

Workers throughout the ship really seemed to be enjoying their jobs. They were all very friendly and courteous. We were standing at guest services to have something fixed in out room and we listened to a guest almost yell at the guest services lady about some noise their neighbor was making late the night before. I do not know how they can be so courteous to rude people.  People onboard seem to have the attitude that since they paid for the cruise they should get what ever they want. I think this is more and more common to see as we cruise more.

Entertainment:

Shows:

First sea day was 80’s Rock. It’s a nice show but the singers were not near as good as many of the other Carnival ships. The head women singer just cannot sing in harmony with the rest of them. She has a very high pitch voice and it over powers all the other singers.

Second show was a new one for us to see. It was Cuban themed called Amor Cubano. Not sure if it just was me or not but I did not like this show. It may have been appropriate if this cruise was going to Cuba, but we were not. None of the songs were in English and I could not follow along with the theme of the show at all. Someone mentioned It was a love story but not understanding the language it made no sense. I will say though that the lead singers on this show sure could hit the high notes.

Casino:

We spent a lot less time than I would have liked in the casino. These have become so tight on the ships that unless you are a high roller you are not going to do very well. Trying to earn enough points for the free drink card is almost impossible as a non-high roller also. This ships casino is one of the smallest of all their ships, If you don’t smoke you better have a high tolerance of the smell as it gets terribly hard to enjoy yourself as a nonsmoker. People will sit next to you and just puff away and don’t care if the smoke is blowing in your face. Because of this we didn’t spend much time there.

Karaoke:

The first and third night it was held in the Leonardo bar. This is always one of the more popular thing for cruisers to attend. You would think they would hold it in a lounge that had enough room for people. The second night it was in the comedy lounge which had plenty of seating for everyone. In fact even in that lounge the majority of the seating was taken up.

Comedian’s

Dan Chopin- He was one to the more typical comedians on the ships. They all seem to really struggle to come up with material to give to a PG group. They are all so use to use profanity to make themselves funny that without it they are not.

Tommy Drake- He was hilarious, even in the PG show. He had no issue what so ever in having material that was truly funny for all ages. Even his adult shows were not full of profanity. He used to it make a point on something but was not every other word out of his mouth.

Trivia:                                                         

Because this ship does mostly short itineraries, the trivia games are not as enjoyable. With so many younger clients that don’t attend because its not there thing, or the ones that do feel they must win and any costs and use their phones to look up the answers. I have never seen so many people fell they have to cheat just to win a “Ship on a Stick”. Also, they always seem to have someone doing the trivia that can not pronounce the questions and answers making it hard to even understand what they are asking. The cruise members doing it though do try with all there might to make it fun and enjoyable.

Meals

We ate on the Lido for all meals. It was the standard Carnival Lido buffet food. Nothing outstanding but was okay. I am not a big fan of the MDR as the time frame it takes to eat. Also with the waiters singing and people twirling there napkins, I have had a instance in the past where someone’s food landed on my plate from this. That is the one thing I think needs to stop. The singing is nice but not he audience participation. We normally only go the MDR when we are cruising with friends.

Port of Call:                                      

Grand Cayman: See Separate Review Here

Cozumel: See Separate Review Here

Debarkation

The process was quit slow. They apparently had a new customs officer that expected to do everything by the book. You would think the ships after all these years would have the procedure down pat as to what needs to be done, bit apparently they still cut corners and when someone demands the proper way they are lost as to what needs to be done.

I am a big fan of the new customs procedure. There is no more filling out the blue custom form. It appears to make things a lot quicker. Now the customs officials will just ask you if you have something to declare and possibly a random question. If they suspect something they then will take you aside.

Overall Experience:

Overall, this was a average cruise for us. You can tell the ship is old and in need of some repairs, but it is going into dry dock in the next 2 weeks, which I expect will take care of everything. As the saying goes, Any day cruising is better than a day of working.

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Celebrity Edge Continues to Surprise: Inaugural Season to Kick-Off Sooner than Expected

MIAMI, FLJanuary 8, 2018 – Celebrity Cruises is excited to announce the highly anticipated inaugural season of Celebrity Edge has expanded, as the transformational new ship will be completed ahead of schedule and enter service earlier than planned.

The schedule change will now allow Celebrity to offer not one, but two distinct seven-night maiden voyages on Celebrity Edge’s alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. Travelers also have the option to book back-to-back sailings for a 14-night journey:

  • Maiden Voyage West: A seven-night western Caribbean cruise departing from Fort Lauderdale, FL., on December 9, 2018, and visiting Key West, FL.; Costa Maya, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; and George Town, Grand Cayman
  • Maiden Voyage East: The previously announced seven-night eastern Caribbean cruise departing from Ft. Lauderdale on December 16, 2018, and visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten

“Thanks to the amazing work of the STX France shipyard team, the industry-changing Celebrity Edge is now scheduled to arrive much earlier than anticipated, which gave us the opportunity to offer not one, but two maiden voyages,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Both of these maiden voyages, plus the taste of luxury preview sailings, will have all of the festivities one would expect from the launch of such a revolutionary new ship, and now even more guests will have the chance to experience these one-of-a-kind inaugural sailings.”

In addition to the alternating maiden voyages, Celebrity will also be offering four new Edge Preview Sailings, perfect for eager guests who simply can’t wait to get a taste of luxury. These three-night Bahamas cruises will also sail round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, FL., departing on November 21, November 24, December 3, and December 6.

Celebrity Edge will homeport in Fort Lauderdale, FL., now making her first sailing November 21, 2018. Bookings are now open at www.celebritycruises.com/itinerary-search?dates=2018-11,2018-12&ship=EG&sortBy=7, or through a travel agent. Celebrity Edge will be joined by three sister ships in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

About Celebrity Cruises:
Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all created to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. Celebrity Cruises’ 12 ships offer modern luxury vacations visiting all seven continents. Celebrity also presents incredible cruise tour experiences in Alaska and Canada. Celebrity is one of five cruise brands operated by global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL). For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit www.celebritycruises.com, or call your travel agent.

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“Beauty and the Beast” Premieres as a Brand-New Stage Spectacular Aboard Disney Cruise Line

CELEBRATION, Fla. – A tale as old as time takes the stage with “Beauty and the Beast,” a brand-new musical production inspired by Disney’s live-action adaptation of the animated classic. The show expands upon the most imaginative elements of the highly anticipated live-action and classic films to delight Disney Cruise Line guests aboard the Disney Dream.

Audiences once again fall in love with the enchanting fairytale as they embark on a sweeping journey to discover the power of transformation through true love and courage. This new production of “Beauty and the Beast” celebrates the romance, adventure and magic of the live-action film, weaving in the charm and nostalgia of the award-winning animated feature.

“Beauty and the Beast” brings the timeless fable to life like never before, featuring a style of theater that interlaces classic storytelling elements with cutting-edge technology, to create a unique, theatrical experience in the 1,340-seat Walt Disney Theatre. An innovative take on the story transforms renowned songs into spectacular, show-stopping numbers, and lavish costumes and puppetry bring a fresh perspective to beloved characters.

Re-imagining a tale as old as time

Drawing inspiration from the live-action film, the stage musical uses the scenic motif of a music box to guide spectators through the story. Set designer, Jason Sherwood (“Paint Your Wagon,” “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular”), worked in concert with video designer, Aaron Rhyne (“Frozen, A Musical Spectacular,” Broadway’s “Anastasia”), to create a transforming set that takes audiences on a magical journey through the music box, from Belle’s provincial French town to the Beast’s mysterious castle.

To bring “Beauty and the Beast” to the stage, Disney assembled an all-star creative team, led by director and choreographer Connor Gallagher (“Tangled: The Musical,” “Found”). Gallagher collaborated with writer Sara Wordsworth (“Frozen, A Musical Spectacular,” Broadway’s “In Transit”) and a talented collection of Broadway artists to create an imaginative, new approach to this iconic story.

Through a combination of high-definition projections, dynamic scenery and a little bit of Disney magic, this new interpretation of “Beauty and the Beast” creates a visual panorama that reaches beyond the stage and into the audience. Complementing the immersive set, lighting design by four-time Tony Award-nominated, Japhy Weideman, punctuates the powerful emotions of the classic tale.

Orchestrating a song as old as rhyme

“Beauty and the Beast” features songs from the original animated film’s award-winning soundtrack by acclaimed composer Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman. Complementing the score, the show also includes two of the new songs created for the live-action film by Menken and lyricist Tim Rice, “How Does a Moment Last Forever” and “Days in the Sun.” Enchanting arrangements and orchestrations by Matt Castle and Frank Galgano (“Into the Woods”) bring a unique musical identity to the production.

Beloved songs like “Belle,” “Something There” and “Beauty and the Beast” received a musical makeover that reflects the show’s stylized approach, while songs like “Gaston” and “Be Our Guest” leap to the stage as joyful and exuberant production numbers.

One of the most iconic songs in the Disney canon has been completely re-imagined for the stage. “Be Our Guest” is a multi-course French dinner rooted in imagination and fantasy, as rousing choreography and dazzling visual effects fill the stage during this full-fledged spectacle.

Unveiling the magic of the enchanted objects

Blurring the line between costuming and puppetry, costume designer Sarah Cubbage (Broadway’s “Skylight”) and puppet designer Jeff Conover joined forces to give life to the enchanted objects of “Beauty and the Beast.” Beloved characters like Lumiere, Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth are realized in an unprecedented way, using innovative puppetry and elaborate costumes to bring these characters to life in their true scale.

“Beauty and the Beast” debuted during the Disney Dream voyage departing Nov. 6, 2017, joining an incredible lineup of Broadway-style stage productions aboard the ship, including “The Golden Mickeys” and “Disney’s Believe.” The Disney Dream sails three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral, Fla.

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

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Author: Anthony

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Say ‘I Do’ on a Carnival Cruise!

Posted on: January 3rd, 2018Featured, News Blog

A recent study by WeddingWire.com shows that 40 percent of engagements occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day with the same percentage of couples opting to start their wedding plans within the first month of the proposal – meaning that for many newly engaged couples the perfect time to start planning their wedding is now!

Those looking for a unique, memorable and affordable way of saying “I do” should consider having their nuptials planned by Carnival Cruise Line, which offers an array of wedding packages that fit every taste, preference or budget.

Carnival’s popular wedding program – which hosts more than 2,600 couples a year – offers a variety of value-added choices and amenities, everything from floral arrangements, decorations and photography to delicious culinary selections and romantic on-island ceremonies – allowing couples to make their “big day” even more special and memorable.

Available aboard ship on embarkation day, while a ship is docked in a port of call or at sea as well as beautiful shoreside settings at select destinations, Carnival’s wedding packages are already immensely popular and the line continues to enhance the program with new options and choices.

Shipboard celebrations include lavishly presented culinary options and beverage service, along with wedding cake choices like chocolate ganache, coconut cream, and red velvet, all baked on board.  Enhanced amenities such as a decorated wedding aisle and other traditional touches, along with champagne flutes and other keepsake items, are also included.

For those who want to tie the knot in paradise, there are beachside ceremonies with choices such as Grand Turk, Barbados, Freeport, Grand Cayman, St. Thomas, the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and other beautiful and exotic locales.

Wedding packages include the services of a personal wedding planner to assist the couple on their special day, as well as priority check-in and boarding for all embarkation day wedding guests.  Wedding packages can be customized with music and videography services at an additional cost.

Prices start at $1,450 for shipboard weddings and $2,143 for shoreside ceremonies with additional costs for food, beverages and other amenities.

Couples can also reaffirm their marriage vows with Carnival’s Renewal of Vows ceremonies which are performed by the ship’s captain.

Visit Carnival’s comprehensive weddings web site at www.carnival.com/wedding-cruises or call 1-800-652-5450 for additional information.

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Author: Joyce Oliva

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Carnival Vista’s SkyRide Named Best Cruise Ship Feature, Carnival Dream Best Ship Refurbishment in CruiseHive’s Annual Cruise Ship Awards

Posted on: December 28th, 2017News Blog

SkyRide – a groundbreaking bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction aboard Carnival Vista – has been named Best Cruise Ship Feature while Carnival Dream earned Best Ship Refurbishment honors in CruiseHive’s Annual Cruise Ship Awards in which readers of the site are asked to rate cruise lines in a wide range of categories.  This is the second year in a row that SkyRide has earned top honors in the Best Cruise Ship Feature category.

Sky Ride is a one-of-a-kind aerial attraction in which thrill-seeking guests pedal recumbent-like cycles across an elevated 800-foot-long track at speeds up to 18 miles per hour while enjoying spectacular views of the sea 150 feet below.  The first attraction of its kind in the cruise industry, SkyRide debuted on Carnival Vista last year and will be featured on the new Carnival Horizon when it launches in spring 2018.

Carnival Dream underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation earlier this year that added a variety of exciting innovations, including Guy’s Pig & Anchor Barbeque Smokehouse with BBQ favorites created by Food Network star Guy Fieri, the BlueIguana Mexican eatery featuring its own tortilla-making machine, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, Pizzeria del Capitano serving five different kind of hand-tossed artisanal pies, and Bonsai Sushi offering sushi, sashimi and other delicacies from the Far East.  Carnival Dream currently operates seven-day cruises from New Orleans and will reposition to Galveston in fall 2019 to offer week-long departures from the Texas port.

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Author: Joyce Oliva

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Carly Rae Jepsen To Perform Concert Aboard Carnival Splendor in February 2018 As Part of Carnival LIVE Concert Series

Posted on: December 27th, 2017Featured, News Blog, Press Releases

Grammy Award-nominated, multi-platinum, singer/songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen, who has sold more than 20 million singles worldwide, will perform a free concert aboard Carnival Splendor in February 2018, as part of the Carnival LIVE Concert Series. The concert marks the first time the cruise line is collaborating with Universal Music Group and Brands (UMGB), the brand strategy and partnership division of Universal Music Group.

While the concert is a departure from previous Carnival LIVE performances in that it is free and open to all guests sailing on Carnival Splendor’s Feb. 17, 2018, seven-day voyage, it continues the line’s mission of bringing the best in live entertainment to the seas and providing guests an opportunity to enjoy captivating performances by top artists in a memorable setting.

The concert will take place on Carnival Splendor’s Lido Deck Feb. 18 while the ship is at sea during a week-long Mexican Riviera cruise that operates round-trip from Long Beach, Calif. The voyage features a day-long call at Puerto Vallarta and two days at Cabo San Lucas.

Jepsen broke onto the music scene in 2012 with her major label debut Kiss that included the smash hit “Call Me Maybe” which climbed to #1 on the iTunes Singles charts in more than 47 countries and earned her Grammy Award nominations for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year.   After earning rave reviews starring in the Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Jepsen released her next album, E·MO·TION, which received critical acclaim and featured the Billboard Top 40 hit “I Really Like You.”

Jepsen also starred as the iconic Pink Lady, “Frenchy,” in FOX’s four-time EMMY award winning musical GREASE: LIVE and most recently voiced the character of Odette in the animated movie “LEAP!”.  “LEAP!” featured Jepsen’s song “Cut To The Feeling” which has been hailed by critics as a top song of 2017 showing up on year end lists for Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Billboard, Noisey and more.

Jepsen joins an impressive lineup of Carnival LIVE artists who run the gamut of musical genres, from rock, country, R&B, and pop, as well as some of the biggest names in comedy.  Previous Carnival LIVE artists include music superstars Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood and comedians Jim Gaffigan and Chris Tucker.

“While I’ve performed all over the world and on Broadway, I’ve never performed on a cruise ship before and I’m really looking forward to a night with my fans in what promises to be a unique venue for an incredible night,” Jepsen said.

“We’re delighted to have Carly bring her signature brand of pop music to guests sailing aboard Carnival Splendor,” said Sarah Beth Reno, Carnival’s vice president of entertainment.  “A free open-air concert on Lido Deck is an exciting new twist for Carnival LIVE and we can’t wait for our guests to experience this one-of-a-kind entertainment concept in an entirely new setting,” she added.

To learn more about Carnival Cruise Line, visit Carnival.com. For reservations, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL.

Carnival can also be found on: FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.

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Author: Joyce Oliva

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B2B Process

A Back to Back, also known as a B2B, is when you take multiple cruises in consecutive order on the same ship. This is a very common method of turning 2 one-week cruises into a 1 two-week cruise. It is used by many cruisers to save on travel expenses when you have to travel a long way to your cruise departure port.

The process cruise lines in the USA are standard between them as the US Customs dictates most of the procedure.

The cruise line will supply you with a note in your room after the first leg of the cruise telling you when and when to meet the following morning. It will usually be around the Atrium or in one of the lounges. This will depend on how many fellow cruisers are doing it along with you.

Once you meet there and all other guests have already debarked the ship. A crew member will escort you off the ship and down the gangway to a customs officer. You will then all proceed to clear customs, afterwards, they will then escort you back on board the ship. You will usually have an hour or so where you are the only guests on board. This takes place before general boarding for the next cruise begins.

As for how your luggage will be handled will depend on if you are changing rooms or not for the next leg. If you are staying in the same room you do not have to do anything. However, if you are changing rooms, you will usually place all your belongings on your bed and your cabin steward will see that it is all moved.

If your embarkation port is outside the USA. Most cruise lines don’t exit you off the ship as their local customs requirements are different. You will still meet in a lounge or other common place to receive your new ship cards, but then can go about enjoying the ship before the next guests come aboard.

Most cruises vary from 1 week to another thus allowing you to see different ports, however, be prepared as all entertainment will be the same on both legs. This allows you to pace yourself from leg to another and not to be rushed to see everything on the first leg.

Some guests will do a B2B2B which is just 3 cruises. One thing to make sure before you board the first leg of the cruise Is to call guest services and make sure that they have the two bookings linked together. This allows the ship and your steward to know that you are staying on board. If you don’t do this, you may need to exit the ship with all other guests and then go back through the check in process to get back on.

 

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