Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Crystal Cruises Relaxes Dress Code to Make Black Tie Optional

Crystal Cruises has relaxed its recommended dress code, making black tie optional on formal nights. "Based on valuable feedback from our guests, we have updated the recommended dress codes to be more in line with the continually evolving, more relaxed dress codes reflected throughout the world today," the company noted on its website. The changes take effect beginning with the Jan. 5 cruise on Crystal Symphony and the March 31 departure on Crystal Serenity. Mimi Weisband, vice president of public relations for the luxury line, said the changes were made for a combination of reasons. "We now have far more cruises of 10 days or less (about 30 percent of our cruises in 2013) and we have more port-intensive itineraries, for which folks want to bring less luggage," she explained in an email. "We have people who are taking our ‘getaway’ shorter cruises and combining the cruises with their own land stays. We still feel that most guests will opt to dress up on the formal night, and many guests indicate that they love that we have that special evening(s). However, if someone really doesn’t want to dress up on that evening, we just don’t want to convey that it is mandatory." Under the new guidelines, casual wear is appropriate in any onboard lounge and dining venue during the day, including resort-style attire, shorts and jeans. After 6 p.m., shorts and baseball caps are not permitted. For all venues on board, the recommended evening attire is one of the following:

Resort Casual -- Slacks and a sweater or shirt for men; casual dress, skirt or slacks with a sweater or blouse for women. Ties and jackets are not required.

Elegant Casual (Informal) -- Suit or slacks with a jacket over a sweater or shirt for men. Ties are optional. Cocktail dress, skirt or slacks with a sweater or blouse for women. Jeans are not appropriate.

Black Tie (Formal) Optional -- While Elegant Casual is always appropriate in the evening, a Black Tie Optional evening includes a dark suit with tie or tuxedo for men. For women, this includes a formal cocktail dress, evening gown or dressy evening separates. On Black Tie Optional evenings, we request that jeans not be worn in any dining venues or lounges, including the casino.

There will be one black-tie optional evening during seven- to 10-day cruises and two during 11- to 13-day voyages. World Cruises, holiday voyages and crossings may be scheduled differently. The recommended dress code for each evening is listed in the daily itinerary section of the Priority Check-in & Planning Center. For more infomation contact TheCruiseOutlet.com at 203-288-1884

Monday, November 26, 2012

Royal Princess' adult relaxation area to have cabanas

Princess Cruises said the adults-only area on the Royal Princess will have private cabanas.
Cabanas in the secluded adult relaxation area, the Sanctuary, will cost $80 per half day, Princess said. There is also a $25 daily reservation charge to use the Sanctuary. There will be four Sanctuary Cabanas with televisions, wireless headphones, robes and slippers, a welcome cocktail and a mini-bar. In addition, there will be two Lotus Spa cabanas that offer massages. The Sanctuary on Royal Princess will be 20% larger than the Sanctuary space on other Princess ships to accommodate the cabanas. At the nearby Retreat Pool, cabanas can be rented for $50 per half day. Guests reserving cabanas in either area can buy a gourmet picnic starting at $40. The Royal Princess enters service in June 2013.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Norwegian, Princess to cruise from Houston port

Houston is finally getting cruise ships, as Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises have made commitments at the Bayport Cruise Terminal. The 3,080-passenger Caribbean Princes is scheduled to begin Houston service in November of 2013, with a total of 26 departures planned for the winter season.
"We're pleased that Houston will be the home port for Caribbean Princess during her 2013-2014 season," said Jan Swartz, Princess' executive vice president. "We expect that the port's state-of-the-art facilities and convenient airport-close location will provide a great experience for our passengers embarking there." The 2,374-passenger Norwegian Jewel will sail Caribbean cruises from Houston, beginning in the fall of 2014. The Bayport Cruise Terminal is in Pasadena, just outside of the Houston city limits. It was completed in 2009, but no cruise line has based a ship there since its opening.
Nearby Galveston, however, has hosted several cruise lines. Next yea, Galveston will serve two Carnival ships, the Crown Princess, the Disney Magic and two Royal Caribbean International vessels.
Norwegian Cruise Line last homeported a ship in Houston in 2007. With the growth of our capacity from the upcoming additions of our two new ships, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, we can expand our existing fleet into new homeports, said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO. We listened to the feedback from our travel partners and guests who have been requesting our return to Houston. For more information and to book these ships sailing from Houston contact TheCruiseOutlet.com at 203-288-1884

Friday, November 9, 2012

Norwegian to Raise Fares on Pride of America Sailings in Hawaii

Norwegian Cruise Line will raise fares an average of 10 percent on new Pride of America bookings beginning Jan. 1, citing strong demand. The only large U.S.-flagged cruise ship, Pride of America sails year-round from Honolulu on a seven-day inter-island Hawaii cruise. Ports of call include Kahului, Maui; Hilo and Kona, Hawaii; Nwiliwili, Kauai; and an afternoon cruise past the breathtaking Npali Coast.

Because she is U.S.-flagged and crewed, Pride of America is in the unique position of being the only cruise ship that can sail to the four islands of Hawaii from Honolulu without visiting a foreign port, said Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan. As a result of this unique offering, there is strong, ongoing demand for the ship, propelled by record-breaking guest satisfaction scores. This is a spectacular one-of-a-kind itinerary and the cruise delivers an incredible value for the money compared to the high cost of land-based vacations in Hawaii.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Royal Caribbean allows guests to bring aboard their own wine

Royal Caribbean International has changed a long-standing policy that prevented guests from bringing their own alcoholic beverages on a cruise. The new policy allows for two 750-milliliter bottles of wine per cabin. The wine can be consumed in a guest cabin or on a balcony without charge. If the wine is consumed in a public space, there will be a $25 corkage fee. The policy requires that the wine bottles must retain the original manufacturer’s seals and exhibit no signs of tampering. If a guest brings more than two bottles, the additional bottles will be secured by ship personnel and returned just prior to the end of the cruise, Royal Caribbean said.
Previously, passengers were not allowed to bring any sort of beverage on the cruise, and alcoholic beverages seized on embarkation day were not returned to guests. By way of explaining the change, Royal Caribbean said it recognized that "vacationers may have a particular bottle of wine or champagne that they would like bring on board to commemorate a special day or event while on their cruise." For more information on this and Royal Caribbean sailings contact TheCruiseOutlet.com at 203-288-1884

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Silversea customers can rebook when prices lower

Silversea Cruises launched a program that lets passengers request a lower fare when prices drop after they have booked their cruise. The adjustment will be in the form of a shipboard credit, suite upgrade, future cruise credit or fare reduction. The guarantee program took effect on Nov. 1 for voyages departing after June 1, 2013. Silversea also rolled out a simplified fare structure called Silver Privilege, which is intended to reward early bookings. The cruise-only fares can be supplemented with optional air, transfer, hotel and land components.