Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Celebrity Edge to take guests on Magic Carpet ride

Celebrity Cruises lifted the veil from its much-awaited Edge class of ships, the first new design for the premium brand since the Solstice class was created in 2006. 
High on the list of new innovations  is the Magic Carpet, a traveling platform capable of seating 90 guests for dinner that will be cantilevered off the side of the ship and move between decks. 

The 90-ton covered platform, about the dimensions of a tennis court, will change function depending on which deck it docks. The uses range from a specialty restaurant to an extension of the pool deck to a loading dock for tender operations. Magic Carpet is one element of an overall theme of bringing guests in closer contact with the sea.
The Edge will have a unique design to some of its balcony cabins, which will be marketed as the Infinite Veranda. The fixed partition of steel and glass between the cabin and the balcony has been scrapped in favor of a thin, folding screen of glass, allowing the balcony to be incorporated into the cabin when the screen is open. The Infinite Veranda turns guest quarters into a seamless space -- from the room's door all the way to the water's edge.  At the cabin's edge, there is a glass half-height panel, and a second glass panel that descends at the push of a button to meet it from the ceiling. When that panel retracts, the whole cabin can be opened to the air. If the veranda window is down and it starts to rain, "the bridge has the ability to close the window," 
The 918 Infinite Veranda cabins will be 226 square feet without the balcony space and 269 square feet with it, compared with an industry average of 172 to 183 square feet.
The extra space will accommodate more storage, larger bathrooms and king beds. Edge will also have 16 Infinite Veranda cabins for solo travelers with queen beds. 
The veranda of the Iconic Suite sits above the wing of the bridge, complete with a Jacuzzi and sun chairs.  Suites will expand from 5% of capacity on the Solstice-class ships to 12% on Edge. There will be two Iconic suites of about 2,500 square feet perched atop the bridge with 700-square-foot balconies. They will have two bedrooms and two baths, and each can be combined with a Royal suite to form a larger accommodation.

The Celebrity Edge, which will be delivered in December 2018, and its sister Celebrity Beyond (due in 2020) will have a pair of two-bedroom, two-bath Penthouse suites and six duplex Edge villas. There will also be 146 Sky suites, all with conventional balcony doors. Suite guests will have exclusive access to a sundeck called The Retreat with a private pool, a separate lounge and butler service, as well as to the Luminae restaurant available only for suite guests, as on other Celebrity ships. 

The Celebrity Edge pool deck will feature elevated, tulip-shaped hot tubs and cabanas with 20-foot ceilings.  The pool deck, which was also previewed, will debut the industry's first two-story jogging track and an asymmetrical design in which many pool loungers are positioned outward to face the sea, rather than inward at the pool. There will be six rentable cabanas with 20-foot ceilings and tulip-shaped hot tubs that will be elevated on stems.

A Rooftop Garden with tree-like sculptures will occupy the aft pool deck. It will be larger than the Roof Terraces on Celebrity's Millennium class, and about the same size as the Lawn Club on Solstice class. It will have a grill comparable to the Lawn Club Grill and show movies like the Rooftop Terrace. 
Celebrity described the Rooftop Garden as a "one-of-a-kind space, like a hidden park in a bustling resort." 
Another advance for the Edge class will be a revision of the shore excursion tendering experience, which will use Magic Carpet as its centerpiece. Guests will access Magic Carpet through a Destination Gateway, an embarkation station that will show destination highlights on large LCD screens.  . When not being used for excursions, the Destination Gateway will be a learning and activities center, featuring enrichment talks, conferences, trunk shows, shopping events and art auctions.
The Celebrity Edge will also roll out a refined portfolio of digital services, primarily relying on the guest's smart phone for functionality. An X-Ray Vision app will let guests "see through walls" to remote areas of the ship such as the bridge, the galley or the engine room. 

For more information and to make reservations on any Celebrity vessel including the new Celebrity Edge,  contact The Cruise Professionals at theCRUISEOUTLET.com at 203-288-1884 or email: info@thecruiseoutlet.com .

Monday, March 20, 2017

Norwegian Cruise Line hikes Service Charges

Norwegian Cruise Line is raising gratuities on April 1, and one ship, the Norwegian Sky, will have a bigger increase than the others.  Gratuities fleet wide on standard cabins are currently $13.50 per person, per day. The amount for ships other than Norwegian Sky will be adjusted to $13.99, a 3.6% increase. Daily gratuities for standard cabins on the Sky are rising to $18.99, a 41% increase. Gratuities for suites are $21.99 for the Sky and $16.99 for the rest of the fleet, up from $15.50 currently. Norwegian said the new gratuity schedule for the Sky was implemented "to better address the demands of the enormously successful all-inclusive product." The ship, which does short cruises from Miami, has had an open bar since the start of 2016. Beginning in May, the Sky's four-day cruises will include a stop in Havana instead of the Bahamas.
Norwegian said any guest that has made a booking by March 31, 2017 will have the option of prepaying their service charges at the current rate if done prior to sail date.
The gratuity amounts are automatically added to a guest's shipboard account. Guests can adjust the rate upward or downward, but only by contacting guest relations at Norwegian after they have returned from their cruise.  The Gratuity amount on Norwegian is Monitory and guests do not have a choice to change it based upon service they receive.  On board it is referred to as a Service Charge.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Royal Caribbean to Charge for Room Service Starting March 27

Royal Caribbean will charge guests a fee of $7.95 per order for ordering room service from the All Day Menu and the American Section of the breakfast menu. Continental breakfast options will still be complimentary. Additionally, room service will remain complimentary for guests staying in a Grand Suite stateroom or above. The $7.95 fee will be assessed for each room service order. The change will go into effect on sailings after March 27, 2017, along with a newly updated room service menu.  The move is a latest in a series of onboard policy changes for Royal Caribbean. The cruise line recently updated stateroom and suite categories across its entire fleet, removing the term family from higher occupancy staterooms and replacing it with terms that emphasize size, like spacious or ultra spacious.  In terms of onboard safety, Royal Caribbean also recently added certified lifeguards at all pools across its fleet. Under new guidelines implemented in February lifeguards are now on duty at all pools during opening hours. The new guidelines also added swim vests for children four to 12 years old, a water safety presentation in the Adventure Ocean kids program and a teen 411 session on water safety.

For more information and to make reservations on a Royal Caribbean vessel, contact The Cruise Professionals at theCRUISEOUTLET.com at 203-288-1884 or email: info@thecruiseoutlet.com .

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Royal Caribbean staffing pools with lifeguards

Royal Caribbean International has become the second major cruise line to staff lifeguards at its pools, a significant change in the cruise industry. Starting this week with the Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean is rolling out a water-safety program that includes a lifeguard stationed at each pool during its hours of operation. In a statement, Royal Caribbean said all lifeguards have been trained and certified by StarGuard Elite, "an industry-leading International Aquatic Risk Prevention and Lifeguard program." To date, only Disney Cruise Line has hired shipboard lifeguards. Other cruise lines say they follow the policy seen at many land resorts where no lifeguards are provided and guests swim at their own risk. Royal Caribbean said its program is a comprehensive one "to raise awareness amongst our guests about the importance of vigilance while enjoying water features on our ships." In addition to lifeguards, swim vests will be offered to children ages 4-12 and a water safety presentation will be made in the Adventure Ocean kids program as well as a separate session on water safety for teens.
Royal Caribbean said its water-safety program will be implemented fleet wide by June.
For more information and to make reservations on a Royal Caribbean vessel, contact The Cruise Professionals at theCRUISEOUTLET.com at 203-288-1884 or email: info@thecruiseoutlet.com .

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Holland America Raises Gratuities Requirements

Holland America Line will charge an additional dollar per person, per day, for service charges on standard cabin bookings, and an additional $1.50 per person, per day, to passengers booked in suites effective May 1, 2017. The current hotel service charge for inside, ocean-view and balcony cabins is $12.50 per person, per day, which will be raised to $13.50. Gratuities for suites, currently $13.50 per person, per day, will jump to $15. Service charges, or gratuities, serve as compensation split among the ship's crew (from housekeeping staff and servers in the dining room to crew who work behind the scenes). If a passenger feels that service was not satisfactory, these charges can be removed at the end of a cruise by contacting the front desk. The updated charges take effect on each ship's first embarkation on or after May 1. The last time Holland America raised its gratuities was December 1, 2015.

For more information and to make reservations on a Holland America ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at theCRUISEOUTLET.com at 203-288-1884 or email: info@thecruiseoutlet.com .

Friday, February 10, 2017

Carnival Horizon to Sail Four-Day Bermuda Cruises From New York

Carnival Cruise Line has announced that the new Carnival Horizon will offer a series of four-day Bermuda cruises from New York in spring and summer 2018, part of the ship’s inaugural season that includes previously announced voyages to Europe from Barcelona and the Caribbean from New York and Miami.
The four-day “long weekend” cruises will depart Thursdays and include a full-day visit to Bermuda where guests can relax on the island’s pink beaches, enjoy snorkeling, kayaking and other water sports, and visit historical landmarks such as Royal Naval Dockyard and Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the Western Hemisphere. Five four-day Bermuda cruises will be offered, departing May 24, June 21, July 19, August 16 and September 13, 2018.
Including the five Bermuda sailings aboard Carnival Horizon, Carnival Cruise Line will offer 18 different voyages to the island in 2017-18 departing from five East Coast homeports, including Baltimore, Charleston, New York, Port Canaveral and Fort Lauderdale. 
Onboard Amenities
Among those is a bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction called SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre and a WaterWorks aqua park with a water tube slide called Kaleid-o-slide. A wide range of accommodations will also be offered, including spa cabins with exclusive privileges at the Cloud 9 Spa, larger staterooms in Family Harbor, and tropical-inspired Havana staterooms and suites with exclusive daytime access to a Cuban-themed bar and pool. 
A variety of dining and bar concepts and spectacular outdoor spaces found only on Carnival 
For more information, and to receive exclusive amenities and special rates or to make reservations on any Carnival Ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at theCRUISEOUTLET.com at 203-288-1884 or email: info@thecruiseoutlet.com 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Cunard Lines

Cunard Lines  > For a limited time Clients can recieve
Free Double Upgrade - from Inside to Balcony
Free Drinks in Grill Suites
Reduced Deposit^
Past guests receive Free Gratuities‡

Available on 2017 Transatlantic Crossings and sailings to the Mediterranean, Europe, Iberia & Canary Islands, New England and Canada and Caribbean.
Queen Mary 2 - Eastbound Transatlantic Crossings
New York to Southampton - Inside fares from $1,199* - Departure dates available throughout 2017