Friday, October 28, 2011

Norwegian Expands Nickelodeon Program to Third Ship

Norwegian Cruise Line is extending the Nickelodeon family entertainment to a third ship, Norwegian Gem, beginning in February. Nickelodeon-themed shows and activities were first introduced in April 2010 on Norwegian Jewel and in July 2010 on Norwegian Epic.
Each Norwegian Gem cruise will feature a live Nickelodeon-themed show in the main theater, Nick Live Poolside! with games and activities by the pool, character breakfast with characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants, and Doras Dance Party. Other family activities include Nick Jr. Story Time, family trivia and arts and crafts sessions.
Norwegian Gem will begin offering Nickelodeon programming year-round beginning on the Feb. 19 cruise. The ship is sailing seven-day Bahamas and Florida voyages from New York City through Sept. 1. Ports of call include Port Canaveral, Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau. For more information, call The Cruise Outlet at 203-288-1884

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Silversea Cruises Expands Number of Bridge Sailings for 2012

In 2012, Silversea Cruises will offer 56 voyages with a special focus on bridge for card players. The bridge sailings will feature a formal program of contract and duplicate bridge, supervised by instructors who are certified Life Masters by the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL). All bridge sailing activities are complimentary, and guests can take part in daily bridge sessions (twice daily on sea days), bridge lectures for beginning and intermediate-level players, and opportunities to earn ACBL Master Points. Silversea supplies all bridge materials and hosts the program in a dedicated card room on board. Following is a selection of bridge sailings offered in 2012: Voyage 2203, Silver Wind, Jan. 24, 10 days roundtrip from Cape Town, starting at $5,558; Voyage 4208, Silver Whisper, departing Bangkok on March 26 on an 18-day sailing to Dubai, from $9,598; Voyage 4210, Silver Whisper, May 1, 12 days, Monte Carlo to Southampton, from $6,088; and Voyage 5204, Silver Spirit, Feb. 12, seven days, Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro. For more information, call 800-775-1884 or visit

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Celebrity Free Two-Night Cruise

Celebrity Cruises is offering a free two-night cruise on the Constellation on Sept. 5, 2012 from Amsterdam to Southampton. In order to participate, travelers must book either Celebrity's 12-night Scandinavia and Russia Cruise departing Aug. 24, 2012 or the 12-night Immersive Europe Wine Cruise departing Sept. 7, 2012. Travelers have the choice of sailing before or after the English Channel cruise. To take advantage of this offer, bookings must be made by Dec. 16, 2011. Call at 800-775-1884

FBI Investigating Dead Newborn Found on Carnival Cruise Ship

Update, October 17, 3:30 p.m. EDT: According to an update provided by FBI Special Agent Dave Couvertier, Dutch authorities took custody of the infant's body on Wednesday and interviewed the 20-year-old mother. The mother, who was invited on the cruise to celebrate the birthday of a close girlfriend, has since returned to the United States. This is an ongoing investigation and the FBI is coordinating with Dutch authorities in St. Maarten.
(October 16, 9:45 a.m. EDT) -- The FBI is investigating the death of a newborn found Wednesday on Carnival Dream, which returned to its Port Canaveral homeport Saturday.
"Law enforcement authorities were advised and subsequently a 20-year-old female guest who was traveling onboard the ship was detained [in St. Maarten, where Dream called on Wednesday] pending further investigation," said the line in a statement. At this time, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is handling the matter. Carnival says an employee discovered the deceased newborn in a guest cabin. In an e-mail to the Associated Press, Special Agent Dave Couvertier wrote, "No one has been charged as we are still working on obtaining facts and gathering any available evidence. As a result, no information is being released regarding suspect(s) at this time." Couvertier added that the detained passenger is from the United States. Carnival's official policy states, "Pregnant women are not allowed to cruise if their estimated gestational age on the day of disembarkation is 25 weeks or more." Women with an estimated gestational age of 25 weeks or less, on the day of disembarkation, must submit, prior to departure, a letter from her attending physician certifying that her gestational status is in accordance with this policy, and that the expecting mother is fit to sail. According to an unnamed source, the child was born onboard. Carnival and the FBI have yet to respond to requests for more information.

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Disney Fantasy to Feature Water Park, Adult Pool

Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Fantasy, will introduce a new water park and an adults-only pool area when it debuts in March. AquaLab is the new water play area on Deck 12, near the entrance to the AquaDuck water coaster. The area will feature pop jets, geysers and bubblers in an 1,800-square-foot space. The area tells the story that AquaLab was created by Donald Duck’s nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, and features a water experiments designed to drench the whole family. Children entering AquaLab will see that the nephews are away, leaving the young cruise guests in charge. Through hand-painted notes left by the nephews, kids are put in charge of the AquaDuck water coaster. By turning wheels and moving levers at three wacky aqua stations, kids "control" the speed and temperature of AquaDuck. The Disney Fantasy also will have a wading pool with a water fountain and lounge chairs under a canopy on deck 12 forward. In addition to Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar on the Disney Fantasy, a new area for guests 18 and older will be on Deck 13 forward. A new water feature called Satellite Falls is a circular splash pool with benches and a gently falling rain curtain. The area will have loungers under a canopy. Like its sister ship the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy offers many other pool and sunning options. Donald’s Pool is for families and has a giant screen that will show Disney films, television shows and live broadcast events. Mickey’s Pool for children features an oversized version of Mickey’s hand supporting a yellow winding slide. Nemo’s Reef, a water-play area, features colorful, interactive figures that move and spray water, including Nemo, Dory, Marlin and a pint-sized water slide shaped like Mr. Ray. Two digital sports simulators offer virtual game experiences in sports such as golf, hockey, soccer, basketball, rugby, baseball and football. For more information, call The Cruise Outlet at 800-775-1884

Friday, October 7, 2011

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway to Homeport in New York City

Norwegian Cruise Line’s new 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway will make New York City its year-round home port starting in May 2013. The Breakaway -- which will be the largest ship ever to homeport in the city -- will replace Norwegian Star and embark on a minimum of 88 cruises from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal through March 31, 2015. The ship will offer cruises to Bermuda. Norwegian also announced that pop icon and artist Peter Max has been commissioned to paint the signature hull artwork for Breakaway. This is the first time Norwegian has asked a well-known artist to paint the hull artwork on one of its ships. Norwegian Cruise Line was the first cruise line to homeport year-round in New York City beginning in 2003. Since then, the company has brought its newest and largest ships to the Big Apple, with two ships calling in New York City since 2005. In 2013 alone, Norwegian Breakaway is expected to make 34 calls at Manhattan Cruise Terminal (MCT). In addition, Norwegian Gem will continue to call year-round at MCT, with an expected 47 calls, and Norwegian Star will make 15 calls in 2013 before being replaced. Currently under construction at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Breakaway will be 144,017 gross tons and is scheduled for delivery in April 2013. Following inaugural events, the ship will sail 22 seven-day cruises from New York to Bermuda beginning May 12 through Oct. 6, 2013. Departing on Sundays, the ship will spend three days in Bermuda, along with three days at sea. Consumers who wish to be amount to the first to make reservations and receive the significant savings being offered should call 1-800-775-1884.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Great American Steamboat Company to Begin Mississippi River Cruises

The Great American Steamboat Company is returning the 436-passenger American Queen steamboat to the Mississippi River. Resumption of the cruises on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee Rivers begins April 13, 2012. The ship will depart from cities including Memphis, New Orleans, Vicksburg, St. Louis, Louisville, St. Paul, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Inspired by the steamboats of the 19th century, the American Queen offers a two-level Grand Saloon and a two-deck Grand Dining Room. Many staterooms have private verandas. Personal touches include freshly baked cinnamon rolls each morning, complimentary wine and beer with dinner, and evening turn-down service with a praline on the pillow. Voyages range from three to 14 nights, and fares start at $995 per person, double. The Steamboating Plus program offers a complimentary luxury hotel stay before or after the sailing, along with transfers, a welcome brunch and other perks. The line also offers the Total Financial Security Program, where 100 percent of fares paid are held in escrow accounts until the voyage is completed. For more information, call 800-775-1884.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Crystal Cruises Expands Big Band, Ballroom Dance Cruises

Crystal Cruises has expanded its live Big Band and Ballroom Dance theme cruises for 2012. The Glenn Miller Orchestra will perform on the Crystal Symphony’s March 19 Miami-Madeira-Lisbon voyage, and the Artie Shaw Orchestra will perform on the Crystal Serenity’s Barcelona-Canary Islands-St. Maarten-Miami cruise on Dec. 9. The cruises will feature professional group dance lessons for all levels of experience, advanced dance workshops for more proficient dancers, twice the usual number of professional dance instructors, extra Ambassador Hosts to lead women without dance partners, and dancing in the afternoon and late into the evening. The line’s Book Now and Two-for-One promotions amount to more than $5,000 per person in savings on each voyage. If booked by Oct. 31, March’s 10-day, all-inclusive (Crystal’s first-ever) voyage starts at $1,360 per person, double, including complimentary fine wines and premium spirits throughout the ship, open bar service in all lounges, and pre-paid gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff. The December 12-day sailing is also all-inclusive, with starting fares of $2,620 per person, double, if booked by Oct. 31. For more information, contact The Cruise Outlet at 800-775-1884