Friday, June 29, 2012

Norwegian Adds "Rock of Ages" Show to New Breakaway

Norwegian Cruise Line announced that the five-time Tony Award-nominated musical Rock of Ages" will be featured on Norwegian Breakaway, along with two additional Broadway shows: the dance sensation Burn the Floor and Cirque Dreams & Dinner Jungle Fantasy. Rock of Ages, one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history, features songs such as Every Rose Has Its Thorn, "I Wanna Know What Love Is, "Here I Go Again, "Dont Stop Believin, and more. A film version of the musical by New Line Cinema was released on June 15. Burn the Floor dancers perform all the ballroom and Latin styles, including the waltz, cha cha, samba, salsa, rumba, foxtrot, quickstep, mambo, tango, swing, jive, lindy hop, Viennese waltz, and paso doble. Producer/director Neil Goldberg will present an adaptation of the Broadway show Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy that will be entitled Cirque Dreams & Dinner Jungle Fantasy and be performed in the ships Spiegel Tent.

Following his performance as the house band in the Jazz & Blues Club on Norwegian Epic, New Yorks Slam Allen will take the stage in Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club on Norwegian Breakaway. Fat Cats will feature nightly live blues and jazz performances by Allen and other talent. Fat Cats will also feature outdoor seating on The Waterfront. Headliners Comedy Club will debut on Norwegian Breakaway with the improvisational comedy of The Second City, as Norwegian continues its exclusive partnership with the famed troupe. The rock roll dueling piano show, Howl at the Moon, will also be featured in Headliners on Norwegian Breakaway.

The 4,000 passenger Norwegian Breakaway will arrive in its year-round homeport of New York City in early May. The ship will begin weekly summer seven-day cruises to Bermuda on May 12. From October 2013 through April 2014, the ship will offer voyages from the heart of Manhattan to the Bahamas and Florida and the Southern Caribbean. For more information and to make a reservation call 800-775-1884




Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Past Passengers of Carnival upset about changes and lowering of status in Loyalty Program

On June 9, 2012 Carnival announced it will be placing into effect a new Loyalty program which is based upon days sails, not cruises taken. The logic us easy to understand, but they have added additional tiers to achieve the upper levels which demoted almost all existing passengers to a new lower tier and now will receive less "perks" than before. In order to achieve the higher levels and receive the benefits as before, they have to cruise significantly more.

Carnival's updated program, membership tiers will expand from two (Gold, two cruises, and Platinum, 10) to five (Blue, Red, Gold, Platinum and Diamond). Membership levels will now be based on days cruised, as opposed to the current system of total cruises taken. Many of the most coveted benefits, currently granted once a past-passenger has sailed 10 times -- i.e. the current Platinum status -- are being divided between the two new upper tiers (Platinum, 75-199 cruise days, and Diamond, 200+ cruise days).

But the biggest concern is whether past passengers will drop in status under the new program, thereby losing perks they were used to getting. While Carnival cruisers currently reach Platinum status with their 10th sailing, the VIFP Platinum cruiser has spent a minimum of 75 days at sea. A member who sailed 10 cruises of seven nights or fewer would therefore drop from Platinum in the old system to Gold -- with far fewer perks -- in the new.

Presently there is nothing going to happen to grand fathering passengers into their existing status, but John Heald, Carnival's senior cruise director, has been assuring passengers on his blog that they will not lose their status. "[I] repeat the fact that I have been assured that those who are at Platinum level now will not lose their seniority and that those who are 'close' will be grand fathered in," he posted on April 13 on his blog. The new program does not do what John Heald claims in grand fathering in passengers when checked recently.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Great American Steamboat Co. Announces New Name, Itineraries

The Great American Steamboat Company will be re-named the American Queen Steamboat Company, effective July 1, according to Jeffrey D. Krida, the company’s CEO. "Just as the Greene family renamed their operation to honor the historic Delta Queen, we are embracing the legacy of the American Queen and renaming the company in honor of her," said Krida. "Because of her iconic status, she has quickly become the brand in the eyes of our guests and travel agent partners." The Great American Steamboat Company also introduced its 2013 schedule for Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee river cruises aboard 436-passenger American Queen. The company’s sailings will depart from several U.S. cities, including Memphis, New Orleans, St. Louis, St. Paul, Cincinnati, Chattanooga and Pittsburgh. Among the sailings are 30 departures from Memphis and New Orleans, showcasing the lower Mississippi’s plantations, Civil War battlefields, history and Southern culture, plus an "Epic Civil War" sailing from Memphis to Chattanooga, and five special departures featuring the Spring Pilgrimage Pageant in Natchez, Tenn. American Queen will also offer more accommodations for single travelers including new single outside staterooms, and the company’s "\fs24fs24 Red, White and Blue" pricing plan offers greater value for travelers. For more information on river cruises, visit




Thursday, June 14, 2012

Carnival Revamps Guest Recognition Program

Carnival Cruise Lines has revamped its guest recognition program, calling their Past Passengers program now Very Important Fun Person (VIFP) Club" which will roll out fleet wide later this month. The program will be divided into five levels based on the number of cruise days taken, rather than the number of voyages. Each level will have different requirements and perks and they do not coincide with the existing past passenger program. It is now a completely different program and perks.

Guests who have never sailed with Carnival can join the VIFP Club for access to members-only specials, promotions and other offers. Red, from second sailing to 24 cruise days: Benefits include a complimentary alcoholic/specialty beverage at breakfast or lunch or at 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: Members receive a gold member pin, a cocktail party with complimentary drinks and appetizers for gold, platinum and diamond members, as well as all of the benefits of the red level. Platinum, 75 to 199 cruise days: Priority embarkation, debarkation, tender service, and dining times (including main dining room and specialty restaurants, if applicable); an enhanced logo gift item; 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; complimentary arcade $5 play for guests under 18; and benefits of the red and gold level memberships. Diamond, 200-plus cruise days: Guaranteed dining times and specialty restaurant reservations, acknowledgment from the captain at the cocktail party, unlimited wash-and-fold service, complimentary dinner for two in a specialty restaurant, complimentary luggage tag and passport holder, one-time complimentary upgrade or a third or fourth guest sail free offer, a $100 per member contribution to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and benefits of lower levels. In addition, VIFP Club members sailing on their 25th, 50th and 75th cruise will receive a shipboard credit equal to 25, 50 or 75 percent 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 long.

VIFP Club members also have access to the web portal to review and modify their cruise history, chart their progress to the next level, watch a video overview of the program, and enjoy members-only specials, promotions and other offers. All Carnival past guests are automatically enrolled in the new VIFP Club and can use their existing past guest number to activate their profile by visiting The new program is being introduced all Carnival ships departing on or after June 25.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cruise Poll Finds 77% Won’t Rule Out Cruising During Hurricane Season

A new survey found that 58 percent of cruisers say the threat of hurricanes won't stop them from cruising, and a further 19 percent haven't ruled it out entirely (for a total of 77 percent who at least might cruise during the hurricane season). Cruisers were asked if they will sail during hurricane season, and of the 2,380 cruisers who responded to the survey, 32 percent said they have already booked a cruise during hurricane season and 26 percent are hoping to find a hurricane season cruise deal. A further 19 percent responded that they were undecided. Only 23 percent said it was too risky and they would not cruise during this time. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) prediction for the
2012 Atlantic hurricane season, which starts on June 1, is for a less active season compared to recent years with a near-normal number of named storms expected this year. 2,380 respondents answered the hurricane cruising attitudes poll.

For more information on Cruising during Hurricane Season and to get a great deal on a cruise during Hurrican Season contact either by email or at 800-775-1884



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Paddlewheeler ready to sail 6 weeks early

American Cruise Lines new paddlewheeler, Queen of the Mississippi, has left Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md., and is en route to New Orleans, six weeks ahead of schedule. The vessel has received its Coast Guard certificates and will begin operating revenue cruises in early August. The 150-guest Queen of the Mississippi has many staterooms that are twice the size of those on other Mississippi riverboats. Almost all staterooms feature private balconies with sliding glass doors while maintaining the Victorian style of classic late 1800s Mississippi riverboats. American Cruise Lines will operate the paddlewheeler over the entire Mississippi River system, including the Ohio and Cumberland rivers. The Queen of the Mississippi also can travel at higher speeds than other riverboats, minimizing night travel and making more itineraries possible with longer visits to the river towns. A number of journeys are planned that take guests as far north as St. Paul, Minn., on the Mississippi River and as far east as Pittsburgh, Pa., on the Ohio River.