Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Royal Caribbean returning to St. Thomas in November

Royal Caribbean  will resume calls at St. Thomas on Nov. 10. Calls were suspended after Hurricane Irma ravaged the island on Sept. 6.  The Adventure of the Seas will make the call. At the same time, island officials, with an assist from Royal Caribbean, hope to reopen a restored Magens Bay, one of St. Thomas' most popular tourist attractions.  Royal Caribbean said that most downtown shops, restaurants and bars and tour operators will be fully operational, with boat and catamaran excursions among the activities that will be offered. Royal Caribben said it has committed to returning to San Juan and St. Maarten by the end of November, and is working closely with local governments to announce the exact dates.  Port St. Maarten, said that Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas plans to make its return to that storm-battered destination on Nov. 5.
For more information, and to receive exclusive amenities and special rates or to make reservations on any Royal Caribbean  Ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Four Disney hotels welcoming canine guests

October 14, 2017 

In a trial program, four Walt Disney World hotels have started welcoming guests with dogs.  The four hotels are Disney's Yacht Club, Disney's Port Orleans, Disney's Art of Animation and the cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. 
Disney's Yacht Club charges $75 per night, and the others $50 per night.
Also, each hotel offers outdoor pet exercise areas and relief areas. At check-in, guests traveling with dogs get a Pluto's Welcome Kit with mat, bowls, pet ID tag, plastic disposable bags, puppy pads, dog-walking maps and a door hanger indicating to hotel staff that a pet is in the room. Disney plans to sell pet merchandise at the four resorts.
Doggy day care and other pet services are available nearby at Best Friends, a facility on-property at the Disney World Resort.  Dogs must be leashed while in resort public areas and must be properly vaccinated

For more information, and to receive special rates or to make reservations for a Disney Resort or Cruise Ship,   contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Carnival to Sail From San Juan Oct. 15; Updates Through December

Oct 10, 2017

Carnival reports the Old San Juan area is ready to receive cruise tourists.
Carnival Fascination will resume sailing from San Juan October 15, as Puerto Rico continues the long process of recovery following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.
Our teams visit this past week confirmed the Old San Juan area is ready to receive tourists,”. Many shops and businesses have returned to their normal business operations with more opening up every day. We were saddened to see the impact the recent storm had on Puerto Rico,. Tourism is very important to their economy, and we are pleased to know that the  cruise ships will   play an important role in aiding their recovery efforts in a meaningful way.
As Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean continue to recover from Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma, Carnival is continuing to make itinerary adjustments. Cruises departing San Juan October 15 through November 5 will sail a seven-day itinerary to Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Kitts. Sailings departing November 12 will offer a seven-day itinerary to Martinique, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Kitts, while seven-day itineraries departing November 19 through November 26 will call at Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Kitts.
Carnival is adjusting a number of seven-day itineraries departing Barbados as well. From October 18 through November 1, sailings will call at St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, San Juan and Grenada. The November 8 sailing will call at St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, San Juan and Martinique, and sailings from November 15 through November 22 will call at St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, San Juan and Grenada.
Carnival said it will continue to evaluate its ability to return to St. Thomas and St. Maarten, and will provide further updates on December sailings and beyond as they become available.

For more information, and to receive exclusive amenities and special rates or to make reservations on any Carnival  Ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

U by Uniworld's first ship sets sail

October 09, 2017 

The first of U by Uniworld's millennial-focused river cruise ships, The B, debuted in Paris
U by Uniworld was developed as the first river cruise brand aimed at millennials and younger passengers ages 21 to 45. The B will be joined by a second vessel, The A, in 2018.  Formerly Uniworld's River Baroness ship, the 120-passenger The B was had  extensive redesign down. The resulting staterooms include four suites, 26 balcony staterooms, 29 studio staterooms and two studios that have triple occupancy. All of the cabins come outfitted with Bluetooth speakers and organic BeeKind toiletries.  The B's dining venues include communal tables such as this one. 
The B has an all-black exterior, and also features two rooftop venues, a spa and communal dining. There is farm-to-table cuisine served on board with dishes that include quinoa burgers, miso-marinated wild salmon and peanut butter bacon chocolate bars. U by Uniworld also has mixologists serving up craft cocktails in the bars and hosts international DJs onboard.

Technology plays a key role in onboard communications. WhatsApp and email are used for communicating with guests in lieu of the traditional daily paper itineraries. Additionally, menus are displayed on screens in the bar and restaurant, and guests can receive news through a Press Reader app. A new U by Uniworld app, which is still in development, will connect travelers before, during and after their trips and is scheduled to debut in March 2018 ahead of the first revenue sailings.    During the  the preview cruise, guests are engaging in U by Uniworld offerings that include yoga, camping on the top deck, a silent disco party, painting classes and wine tastings. Excursions include a panoramic breakfast tasting tour, a treasure hunt at the Louvre and a Paris city roofs tour,

Bookable sailings on The A and The B begin in April 2018 with prices starting at $200 per person, per day. There will be four 8-day itineraries available along the Rhine, Main, Danube and Seine rivers, with overnight stops and longer stays in Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam and Budapest. U by Uniworld will also sail two five-day holiday itineraries. 

For more information, and to receive exclusive amenities and special rates and  to make reservations,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Norwegian Cruise Line Raises Price of Beverage Package

Norwegian Cruise Line has bumped up the price of its Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP).
The $10 daily increase is the first in 18 months and went into effect September 29 according to trade sources, although NCL has not issued a formal announcement to the Travel Community.
The new cost for the UBP  $105 per person, per day when factoring in the 18 percent service charge added.. The UBP includes unlimited soft drinks, bottled and draft beers, spirits, cocktails and wines by the glass up to and including $15. Guests who purchase the UBP also receive a 20 percent discount on bottles of wine.  Prices for Norwegian's Corks and Caps Wine and Beer Package and Soda Packages haven't changed. In a statement, Norwegian noted that "pricing may change from time to time due to costs increases and other factors."
For more information, and to receive exclusive amenities and special rates or to make reservations on any Norwegian  Ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Cruise lines say visiting Cuba by ship is safe

October 02, 2017 

Three big cruise companies with itineraries that include calls in Havana said their ships are a safe way to visit the island, even though the U.S. State Department is warning Americans against going.
The warning is in response to illnesses reported by diplomatic workers in Havana attributed to some sort of sonic weapon. The attacks, which began last November, are thought to have occurred in residences or in a hotel that houses diplomatic personnel on temporary assignment. In response, the U.S. government has withdrawn most of its diplomats from the U.S. Embassy in Havana. Because some of the attacks occurred at a hotel, the government also warned tourists. The government of Cuba has denied any involvement in the attacks, an assertion that hasn't been challenged by the U.S.

Carnival Cruise Line sails to Havana from Tampa with its Carnival Paradise ship.& that it would continue its cruises to Cuba for the moment. "While members and relatives of the U.S. diplomatic corps have suffered illnesses apparently triggered by occurrences at the diplomatic offices or possibly their homes, none of the more than 475,000 other Americans visiting Cuba this year have reported similar health issues related to their visits," the Carnival statement said.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL), which also takes passengers to Havana from Tampa on the Empress of the Seas, said it was aware of the State Department warnings."Since the warning is due to the events that occurred in U.S. diplomatic residences and hotels frequented by U.S. citizens, we do not feel they pose a risk to our cruise passengers," an RCCL statement said. "Our guests explore Havana on escorted tours and do not visit hotels."

Norwegian Cruise Line, visits Havana on its Norwegian Sky ship from Miami, said its cruises there continue to operate as scheduled.  "There have been no reported incidents involving tourists or other cruise ship passengers," said a Norwegian statement that also noted incidents have been isolated to diplomats and government officials residing on the island. "Our shore excursions and tour locations have been thoroughly evaluated," the statement continued. "We continue to believe that the best way to travel to Cuba is via cruise ship and look forward to continuing to offer our guests the opportunity to explore Cuba's beauty, culture and friendly people."

For more information, and to receive exclusive amenities and special rates or to make reservations contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Royal Caribbean ship contributing to hurricane relief effort

September 26, 2017 
Royal Caribbean has canceled the Sept. 30 voyage of the Adventure of the Seas from San Juan, and will use the ship to evacuate people from Puerto Rico and deliver supplies to hurricane-ravaged islands. 
The ship will arrive in San Juan on Sept. 27 and then will stop in St. Thomas and St. Croix. The ship will bring evacuees to Fort Lauderdale before returning to San Juan on Oct. 6 to prepare for the Oct. 7 cruise. 
Royal Caribbean also announced alternate itineraries in October for six ships: Adventure, Harmony, Allure, Oasis, Enchantment and Serenade of the Seas.
The three Oasis-class ships (Oasis, Harmony and Allure) will go to ports in the western Caribbean rather than St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Labadee (Royal Caribbean's private destination in Haiti). The Adventure will not visit St. Croix, and the Serenade will not visit St. Thomas and St. Maarten.
Enchantment of the Seas had been substituting Freeport, Bahamas, for a call in Key West but will now move back to its original itinerary on the Oct. 2 and 9 cruises from Miami to Nassau, Coco Cay (Royal Caribbean's private Bahamian island), Key West and back to Miami.
Customers who were to be on the canceled cruise will get their cruise fare and fees 100% refunded to the original form of payment, plus a 25% future cruise credit (based on the cruise fare) if a new cruise is booked in the next 30 days.

For more information, or to  make reservations on any Royal Caribbean  Ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Celebrity > BERMUDA 2018 Sailing from Port of New York

Classic Beverage Package • Prepaid Tips • Unlimited Wi-Fi • $150 to spend on board. 

Book ocean view or higher, and guests beyond the first two in your room save 50% off their cruise fares.
Some restrictions apply. 

For more information, and to receive these and other exclusive amenities and special rates or to make reservations on any Celebrity  Ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Key West's cruise port reopening

September 21, 2017 

Key West is set to reopen for cruise arrivals, with the first visit occurring Sunday, Sept 24, 2017  with a call from the Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Seas. The port has been closed to cruise ships since Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys on Sept. 9.
Key West will be the first port to reopen among destinations that were slammed by Hurricane Irma. A Coast Guard spokesman said the ports in St. Croix and San Juan remain closed in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which passed over those areas this week. St. Thomas and St. Maarten, islands wrecked by Hurricane Irma, also are closed to cruise ships.
Cruise visitors to Key West will have the place largely to themselves. Authorities in the Keys are asking overnight visitors to postpone immediate vacation plans throughout the island chain. Key West has set an Oct. 20 target date to reopen for general tourism. "However, that date may be advanced," a statement said. 

For more information on Key West, and to receive exclusive amenities and special rates or to make reservations on any Royal Caribbean  Ship, or other cruise lines   contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cruise ship chartered for relief mission in St. Thomas

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line said its ship has been chartered to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to assist hurricane-recovery efforts in St. Thomas.  The Grand Celebration will head for the storm-stricken destination in the U.S. Virgin Islands with arrival anticipated on Sept. 23. The mission is expected to continue into the later part of December.
St. Thomas was devastated by Hurricane Irma and is in line for more hurricane-force winds from Hurricane Maria. While in St. Thomas, the ship will be used to house National Guard first responders.
The Grand Celebration, originally the Carnival Celebration, has 750 cabins and space for up to 1,900 guests.

For more information on other cruise ships & what is being done to assist victims of the hurricane in the Caribbean,   contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Irma knocks out marquee cruise ports in eastern Caribbean

As of September 13, 2017 

Cruise lines are hoping to return to normal operations early September, but there are holes in their itineraries to the eastern Caribbean that won't be plugged soon. Several of the busiest ports of call in that region appear to be out of service for weeks, if not months. Among them are the French/Dutch island of St. Martin/St. Maarten, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Other destinations to the south escaped Irma but are too far to travel for a weeklong voyage.
Royal Caribbean International said it will be substituting St. Croix for St. Thomas on eastern Caribbean cruises of the Adventure of the Seas. It will substitute St. Kitts for St. Thomas and St. Maarten on Allure of the Seas voyages and St. Kitts for St. Thomas on Harmony of the Seas voyages. Norwegian Cruise Line said it will offer only western Caribbean routes through November on the Miami-based ships.
While most cruise lines visit the affected islands on itineraries that start and end in Florida, several small-ship cruise lines fly passengers to the Caribbean to begin their voyages there. SeaDream Yacht Club turns some of its cruises in Marigot, St. Martin. Windstar uses St. Maarten, San Juan and Bridgetown, Barbados. Neither line has made a decision about how to proceed with the 2017-18 Caribbean season.
If there is a silver lining, it is that September and October are the slowest months of the year in the Caribbean. In Tortola, for example, there are only five calls on the schedule for September and six in October, Tortola expanded its pier to more than 1,000 feet in 2015, attracting regular calls by Norwegian and Disney Cruise Line. In Key West, cruise arrivals in September 2016 were only about one-third attracted in the peak month of December. No one can yet forecast how long reconstruction will take in ports such as Key West or St. Thomas, where damage assessment is ongoing.
The stricken ports will be desperate to get cruise passengers back because of the revenue they provide and the sense of normalcy they offer. Therefore, cruise infrastructure will be the focus of early rebuilding efforts.
While some ports like Havana took direct hits, others to the east of Florida are already open. The Bahamas got less damage than many had feared and cruise lines scheduled shortened cruises departing to Nassau and Freeport. 
There shouldn't be too much competition in the western Caribbean for ship berths through November because many ships are in Europe or elsewhere at this time of year. Should the eastern Caribbean remain offline through the winter, congestion will be an issue.
For more information, & to make reservations on any sailing,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Celebrity Cruise & US

Sailings to the Caribbean, Bermuda, Asia, Europe
For a limited time, the first two guests in the stateroom get TWO free perks, and additional guests get HALF OFF their cruise fares..

Choose 2 FREE Perks & choose from Beverage Package (includes wine, beer, alcohol, soda, bottled water & Specialty coffees) Wi-Fi, prepaid tips, or $150 per person to spend on board. Suites get all FOUR perks, plus the Premium Beverage Packages.*

Cruise must be booked by  Oct. 2, 2017, Some restrictions apply.   Ocean view or higher cabins, 4-night and longer cruises departing through April 30, 2019
For more information, and to receive these and more exclusive amenities and special rates or to make reservations on any Celebrity  Ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Cruise lines aid in Irma relief effort

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line have dedicated ships to deliver supplies to hurricane-ravaged destinations and evacuate stranded visitors.  Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas arrived in St. Maarten on Sunday with provisions. Then the ship departed for Puerto Rico with tourists who were stuck on the island. The Majesty of the Seas will bring supplies, including food and water, to St. Thomas and St. Maarten, and assist in transporting tourists in St. Maarten to safety. 
Additionally, Royal Caribbean said it would deploy the Empress of the Seas and the Enchantment of the Seas to assist Key West and Tampa once the impact of the storm is known.
Norwegian Cruise Line has deployed the Norwegian Sky to St. Thomas to deliver supplies.
Carnival said it has "activated a plan to begin delivery of supplies on both an immediate and sustained, longer-term basis. These deliveries will be worked into ships cruise itineraries as part of our ongoing operations
For more information on what he cruise lines are doing to help after Irma,   contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Royal Caribbean uses ship as hurricane safe haven for employees

Royal Caribbean International will use one of its ship as a vehicle to keep employees and their families safe from Hurricane Irma, which is expected to strike the Miami area this weekend. 
The Enchantment of the Seas' Sept. 8 cruise was canceled because of the hurricane, so Royal Caribbean opened the ship to its workforce. The ship will depart around noon on Friday and sail out to sea away from the projected path of the storm. The plan is to return to Miami once the storm passes and the port reopens.  The-20 year-old Enchantment holds 2,252 people at double occupancy and typically offers three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Harvey Update: Carnival Aims to Start Docking in Galveston Friday

The Port of Galveston is expected to remain closed until later this week due to the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. Carnival Cruise Line has released an updated schedule for when its three Galveston-based ships the Carnival Breeze, Carnival Valor and Carnival Freedom  are aiming to return to the port. All three ships had deviated course to New Orleans, where guests were able to disembark if they wished to make independent arrangements for onward travel, or stay onboard. About half of Carnival Freedoms guests chose to remain onboard, while slightly more than half elected to stay onboard Carnival Breeze and Carnival Valor, the cruise line said..   Carnival Breeze will overnight in New Orleans on Wednesday and will start making its way to Galveston on Thursday evening. Carnival Freedom will dock on Friday and disembark guests from its previous cruise. Embarkation for the September 2 voyage will take place on Saturday as scheduled. 
Carnival Valor will also arrive in Galveston on Friday to disembark guests. The August 31 sailing of Carnival Valor has been cancelled. A full refund will be provided to all guests who were scheduled on cancelled voyages. The September 4 sailing will operate as scheduled.  Carnival Breeze is scheduled to arrive on Saturday evening to disembark guests from the previous cruise. Embarkation for the September 3 sailing will take place on Sunday as scheduled. Guests scheduled to depart on a Carnival or Royal Caribbean Cruise from Galveston this weekend should contact their Travel Agent for Professional guidance and advice. 
While flooding continues to devastate Texas, the storm made landfall a second time in Louisiana this morning. Organizations across the travel industry are reaching out to offer aid to hurricane victims, including Carnival Cruise Lines parent company Carnival Corporation, which has offered a total of $2 million 

Flight Update
Houston Hobby and George Bush Intercontinental Airport have announced that they will be resuming limited flight operations starting 4 p.m. Wednesday. Major airlines are continuing to offer flight waivers for those impacted by the storm:
United Airlines , American, Southwest and Jetblue customers can rebook in the original class of service or travel standby within 14 days of their original departure date between the same city pair.

For more information, and to inquiry about a future cruise,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cancel Cruises from Galveston dues to Hurricane Harvey

As Tropical Storm Harvey has stalled over the Texas coastline, creating unprecedented flooding in coastal Texas, the Port of Galveston remains closed. Royal Caribbean International has cancelled Liberty of the Seas sailing for August 27, and the ship is heading for Miami.
Carnival Cruise Line has cancelled Carnival Valor's cruise planned for August 27 from Galveston, but still plans to possibly offer shortened voyages on two other ships. Guests on Carnival Valor will receive a full refund It  also cancelled this past weekend's Carnival Valor sailing. Guests on the cancelled cruises will receive full refunds. Carnival is also still planning to possibly operate two shortened voyages from Galveston this week on other ships.

Royal Caribbean International told guests who were slated to board Liberty of the Seas at Galveston last weekend the following: "Due to the severe impact of Hurricane Harvey and Galveston port closure, we unfortunately have to cancel the cruise scheduled for Sunday, August 27. We are sorry for the impact that this storm has had on your vacation and appreciate your patience as we worked through this. Please know that this decision was made with your safety in mind. "Your cruise fare and fees will be 100 percent refunded to the original form of payment. It may take four to five business days to reflect on your account. We are looking forward to welcoming you back, so we are offering a 25 percent future cruise credit, based on your cruise fare, if you choose to book another cruise in the next 30 days.  Liberty of the Seas is expected to return to Galveston on Friday, Sept 1 providing the port is open at that time."

Carnival Cruise Line said on Sunday, Aug 27 "While Hurricane Harvey was downgraded to a tropical storm yesterday, the storm continues to generate significant rainfall in Galveston and Houston, which has caused severe flooding. The heavy rains are impacting the roads leading in and out of Galveston.  "The port announced it will be closed for at least the next 24 hours, so our earliest potential opportunity to debark current guests is on Tuesday, Aug 29, this is a fluid situation and we have no way of knowing if the port opening could be delayed further.  "We will continue to maintain close contact with port officials in Galveston monitoring conditions on Galveston Island, and within neighboring areas including Houston, and will provide ongoing updates as we receive additional information."  They discussed Carnival Valor's planned sailing this past weekend: "Unfortunately, as a result of the delay caused by the weather and considering  this five-day cruise, it will now be necessary to cancel this voyage. A full refund will be automatically processed, ."The refund will be processed to the original form of payment within three weeks. We welcome passengers on a future Carnival cruise where we will apply a 25 percent future cruise credit."  They said in its statement that it still plans to operate short cruises on two other vessels:  "At present, we intend to operate shortened itineraries on Carnival Freedom and Carnival Breeze once we are able to dock in Galveston, weather and local conditions permitting. Carnival Freedom is currently in position to enter the Port of Galveston as soon as the port reopens. Carnival Breeze is on its way to New Orleans to make a short technical stop to replenish water and provisions on Monday. She will then resume her course to Galveston.
"Guests who opt to sail on the shortened itineraries will receive a pro-rated refund of their cruise fare as well as an onboard credit. Specific details on the itinerary and onboard credit amount will be determined  "Please do not proceed to the cruise terminal until you have received notification from us with additional details. Those who wish to cancel will receive a future cruise credit.

Port of Galveston Parking
Many cruise guests on the ships  parked their personal vehicle at the Port of Galveston's parking lots have been a  concerned. The port assured that the port parking was not flooded .

For more information on ships sailing from Galveston and the impact of Hurrican Harvey or to plan a cruise vacation,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Friday, August 25, 2017

Celebrity's sleep-focused spa treatments

Anyone who isn't sleeping well, or sleeping at all, knows that there's nothing more important than a good night's rest. And who hasn't had problems getting to sleep at some point, or suffered along with a partner who couldn't sleep?  
So the new Celebrity Cruises wellness program that focuses on sleep is a fantastic idea and long overdue in the cruise industry. Celebrity launched its "Mindful Dreams" program on the Celebrity Equinox and the Celebrity Summit this month, with the rest of the fleet to follow in September.
The program was developed in partnership with Canyon Ranch, which has been Celebrity's spa concessionaire since 2014.  How many spa treatments have the potential to change your life more than one that improves the amount and quality of sleep you get? How many would affect so many people?
According to the American Sleep Association, 50-70 million US adults have a sleep disorder of some kind. About 10% of adults report chronic insomnia. Nearly half the population has problems with snoring.
When unable to sleep, far too many people turn to pharmaceutical solutions as a first option, rather than a last. A 2013 study from the National Institutes of Health found that 4.1% of Americans use a prescription sleep aid, with the number rising to at least 5.5% for those aged 50 and over.
"Mindful Dreams" instead offers a combination of a relaxation treatment, massage and meditation, and access to expert lectures and classes on a "holistic approach to mindful sleep both on land and at sea." There is also a nutrition component.  While many cruise lines promote the relaxing quality of the mattresses and beds onboard, that relaxation lasts only as long as the cruise. This program could have an impact long after the cruise is over.

For more information and to make reservations on any Celebrity Cruise,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

US citizens warned about traveling to Mexico's Cancun and Los Cabos

On Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, the U.S. State Department warned its citizens about traveling to Cancun and Los Cabos,_ The U.S. State Department has warned its citizens about traveling to Cancun and Los Cabos, two of Mexico's most popular tourist destinations, after a spike in violence in those regions.   A travel advisory issued Tuesday upgraded the warnings for two states, Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur, saying turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in shootings in which innocent bystanders have been killed.  For years, both regions were largely spared the drug war violence that has engulfed other parts of Mexico, but this year they have seen a major uptick in killings.  There have been deadly gun battles in downtown Cancun, and in January, five people were killed at a nightclub in nearby Playa del Carmen. In Los Cabos, three people were shot to death this month at the entrance to a popular beach.
Mexican tourism authorities have gone to lengths to portray the beach resorts as family friendly and safe. Each year 10 million tourists visit Quintana Roo, the state where Cancun is located.  But 10 years into the country's military-led drug war, violence is surging across the nation. This year, Mexico is on track to record more homicides than in any year in the last two decades.  Rising demand for heroin in the U.S. and power struggles among the country's top drug cartels, authorities say, have led to an increase in killings in 27 of Mexico's 32 states.

For more information,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Royal Caribbean Cancels some Allure sailings and changes itinerary because of Propulsion Issues

Aug 21, 2017 9:10am 

Royal Caribbean International has adjusted several of Allure of the Seas' Caribbean itineraries because of a propulsion issue that's forced the massive vessel to slow down. Given its reduced speed, the ship, which sails from Port Everglades, FL, will now call at San Juan, Puerto Rico rather than St. Thomas, USVI, on these departures: September 20, October 18, November 15, December 13 and January 12.  In addition, the January 21, 2018 sailing has been cancelled, so the ship can enter drydock for a week to fix the propulsion problem. 
"Royal Caribbean International has scheduled a seven-day drydock for Allure of the Seas at the Grand Bahamas shipyard in The Bahamas beginning January 21, 2018. The dry dock will allow for the cruise line to conduct standard maintenance work. As a result of this, the sailing scheduled to depart Fort Lauderdale, FL on January 21, 2018 will be cancelled. "We understand that our guests vacation time is precious and the inconvenience this may cause. Those affected by the cancelled sailing will be provided with alternative options to make the most of their vacation time. We pride ourselves in always delivering the highest standards of quality and service and look forward to welcoming our guests when the ship has emerged from her drydock on January 28, 2018."
For more information, and to receive exclusive amenities and special rates or to make reservations on any Royal Caribbean  Ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dubrovnik seeks to sharply curtail cruise tourism

The new mayor of Dubrovnik said he is in favor of halving the number of cruise passengers arriving daily at the Adriatic port city in Croatia. 
Mayor Mato Frankovic, elected in June, told London's Telegraph newspaper that the current soft ceiling of 8,000 passengers a day should be reduced to 4,000.
He also called for limits on tour operators running day trips to the walled medieval city, which has been a Unesco world heritage site since 1979.
A 2015 Uneco mission recommended that a cap on cruise tourism be developed, and that it should not exceed 8,000 passengers per day.
The Dubrovnik Port Authority said on its website that the cap was exceeded 18 times in 2016 out of the 243 days when cruise ships called. It also said it refused 40 cruise call requests for this year.
Dubrovnik has become one of the most popular stops on an itinerary from Venice to the Eastern Mediterranean, or the reverse route. Last year Dubrovnik had 639 ship calls and handled 831,730 passengers, up 0.1% from the year before, according to Med Cruise, an association of Mediterranean cruise ports. Of those, 763,561 were transit passengers, ranking Dubrovnik behind only six other ports of call in the Mediterranean region.
Frankovic said he would like to see a "reset" for tourism, and that ship calls need to be spaced more evenly so the weekend crush is reduced.
The Unesco report said 90% of cruise calls to Dubrovnik come between May and October. And although cruise visitors accounted for only 2.5% of all visitors in 2013, "they have a disproportionate impact on the World Heritage property due to their concentration in time and space," the report said. 

For more information about this in Croatia  and to make a reservations on any cruise line,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Pleasures of Adult-Only Viking Cruises

Not that theres anything wrong cruising with children, but the absence of kids on Viking Ocean Cruises is sure pleasant nonetheless.  Other cruise lines may have their selective adults-only retreats, but Viking's entire ship is exclusive to those of age. (Technically, minors are not outright prohibited onboard, but they are not encouraged either.)  Viking Cruises Terms & Conditions read, Due to the nature of our cruise and travel itineraries, the Carrier does not maintain facilities or services for children aboard cruise vessels or otherwise during the trip. On all cruises and cruise journeys, minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied and share a stateroom with a parent, legal guardian or other responsible adult over the age of 21. We reserve the right to limit the number of minors under the age of 18 years on board and on land excursions booked through us.”  Viking touts what it is not, saying on its website, You will not find casinos, kids, umbrella drinks or needless distractions.
I have never once seen a child onboard five sailingsin large part because staterooms do not accommodate thirds.  Per its policy, a couple traveling with a minor would have to split between two cabins with a guardian and a child in one of them. In other words, youd have to really want to travel with Viking as a young family to make it work, pending approval at that.  For the adults left onboard, the child-free environment is sublime. Many of us have likely flown plenty of hours on a plane with aforementioned bawling kids in close proximity to get onboard. The peace and quiet is a mighty welcome change of pace. Viking is all about the destination, learning and reflection, That leaves solitude to those who wish it or social interactions for like-minded discoverers to bond. Even the double-decker Explorers Lounge observation venue is a perfect blend of the two cruising styles. The first floor is more open and ideal for gatherings, while the second-story loft is a cozier escape.
Free to find new knowledge, adults enjoy a collection of ship-wide volumes spread out among other wonderfully curated artifacts, knick-knacks and professional pieces of art never fearfully in reach of children. A great mobile app is available to download and guides guests among the artwork.
All activities are simply more quiet and refined. For example, restaurants are never noisy, nor are there crayon marks in the menus. Plus, there are never kids running up and down the halls at all hours of the days.
While there is a time and a place for children and certainly family-friendly cruise travel should be fostered in other segments Viking Ocean Cruises offers an oasis for those seeking a refreshing alternative.
For more information and to make reservations on any Viking Ocean ship,   contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Thursday, August 10, 2017

American Cruise Lines to launch new American Revolution itinerary from Baltimore

American Cruise Lines, announced it will be adding a new itinerary to its 2018 cruise schedule. The 11-night American Revolution Cruise visits the most historically significant ports along the Chesapeake Bay.

The itinerary features several new ports: Washington D.C., Chestertown, MD, and Mt. Vernon, VA. In the nation’s capital, guests can enjoy a guided tour of the National Mall or private tours of any of the Smithsonian Museums. In Chestertown, guests can visit the Schooner Sultana, a replica of the Royal Naval Frigate Sultana that served in the British Navy from 1768 to 1772. At Mt. Vernon the line’s experts guide visitors through George Washingtons Estate. Guests will also travel to the last battlefield of the Revolutionary War in Yorktown and the first English settlement in Jamestown. The Chesapeake Bay has an incredibly rich history and we are excited to offer an itinerary that showcases these great cities that shaped our nation. In addition to the onshore enrichment,  Dr. Harold Cones, a distinguished Professor at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA, The new cruise will sail round-trip from Baltimore. Cruises will begin in the spring of 2018 aboard the brand new American Constitution. Available dates are April 28, May 8, October 29, and November 8, 2018 and reservations are now being accepted by by calling 202-188-1884 or email:

Monday, August 7, 2017

Holland America adds Chocolate Surprises on Last Night of Cruise

To relieve guests of having to wait in line to get treats from a traditional dessert buffet, Holland America Line has unveiled a new Chocolate Surprise. On the last gala evening of every cruise, the Chocolate Surprise brings chocolate confections to guests throughout the ship’s main public areas as they enjoy evening entertainment. Waiters will “parade” through the Promenade decks with silver trays of chocolate desserts, making stops at every bar and lounge to pass out treats for guests to eat as they drink cocktails, listen to live music or otherwise enjoy the ship’s entertaining and social spaces. The parade lasts for an hour, and marks the newest addition to Holland America Line’s culinary events that put an unconventional twist on traditional dining formats. Guests can select from the silver trays a variety of bite-sized desserts, including chocolate cones with lemon curd, bittersweet chocolate and butter cream, chocolate cupcakes, chocolate hazelnut pops, milk chocolate raspberry tarts, chocolate macaroons with Grand Marnier, chocolate-dipped marshmallows and caramel puffed rice treats with chocolate sauce.  The Chocolate Surprise is beginning across all of Holland America Line 14 ship fleet
For more information on this program and to make reservations on any HAL cruise,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

RCCL “Price integrity" policy adopted in 2015 increasing Profits

RCCL reported increase in revenue and profits as their 3 cruise lines are riding the crest of a 2017 wave. "Part of it appears to be industry-wide," RCCL benefitted from a host of positives in the second quarter, "All of our brands are performing at a level we've simply never seen,"
One program Fain cited as responsible for RCCL's momentum was the "price integrity" policy adopted in early 2015, which put curbs on discounts late in the sales cycle. One idea behind the program was to reinforce the pledge that bookings far in advance of sailing would carry the lowest prices.  Fain said the policy, as expected, cost revenue in 2015 and 2016, but as consumer behavior shifted it has now contributed to the robust 10% increase in revenue yields that RCCL recorded in the second quarter. 
"Once we established our consistency and credibility with the travel agents with the public the benefits started flowing in,"  Parallel to the price integrity program, RCCL has been pushing out the booking window by getting passengers to commit a longer number of days before departure when purchasing their cruise. 
With less inventory to sell, the remaining cabins are in shorter supply, leading to higher close-in pricing, prompting more early booking, a virtuous cycle. Fain said RCCL's booking curve is at record levels, and that rather than try to ratchet it out further, the company will now be spending more time trying to bring up prices.
RCCL CFO Jason Liberty said that while most itineraries have benefited from strong consumer confidence in North America, it has been particularly evident on European sailings. "Fewer geopolitical events and stable air pricing have contributed to a surge in demand from our higher-paying North American guests," Liberty said. "As a result, North American guests will account for a larger percentage of Europe itinerary sourcing than in any other recent year."
For more information and to make reservations for a Cruise on a Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or Azamara ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Disney Introduces Minnie Vans Transportation Service

Disney announced a new transportation service during the D23 Expo 2017 that will feature vehicles resembling Minnie Mouse to transport guests around the Walt Disney World Resort.
Starting in July, visitors heading to Disneys Boardwalk Resort and Disneys Yacht & Beach Club Resorts will be eligible to catch a ride in their own private Disney Minnie Van right from their smartphone.
For tourists looking to fully immerse in the Disney experience, renting a Minnie vehicle will entail a Disney cast member arriving at the resort and driving the visitors anywhere they wish at the Resort in a magically whimsical way.
Since were all about exceeding guest expectations and making every aspect of your vacation uniquely Disney, were creating a new point-to-point transportation service in a way that only Disney can do, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts chairman Bob Chapek said in a statement.
The seven-passenger Minnie Vans come equipped with child car seats when needed, making them a more viable option for families than Uber or Lyft. It will also be a viable alternative to Disney's Express Transportation, buses, boats and monorails.
As for the prices, Theme Park Insider is reporting they will cost around $20 a ride.

For more information and to be make reservations for a Disney Park or Cruise, contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

OCEANIA Great Promotion for Cruises sailing through 12/29/17

Enjoy Free Pre-Paid Gratuities, Free Shore Event, or a Private Car and Driver on select Oceania Cruises  Plus limited-time inclusive OLife Choice* package available. Includes Free Airfare and Free Unlimited Internet, Plus Your Choice of One: Free Shore Excursions, Free Beverage Package or Free Onboard Credit..

Featured Sailings:
Mediterranean Havens - Riviera - 7-Day - Athens to Barcelona Sept 1 2017
Cruise Fares from $1,249 per person - Taxes and Fees are included
Exclusive Offer:  FREE Pre-paid Gratuities

Ancient Treasures - Riviera - 10-Day - Round trip Barcelona > Sept 8, 2017
Cruise Fares from $1,849 Taxes and Fees are included
Exclusive Offer: Enjoy the services of a Distinctive Voyages Host, Private Cocktail Reception, and Private Car and Driver

Alaskan Grandeur - Regatta - 10-Day - Vancouver to San Francisco > Sept 10. 2017
Cruise Fares from $2,349 & Taxes and Fees are included
Exclusive Offer: FREE Pre-paid Gratuities

Mayan Treasures - Regatta - 9-Day - Roundtrip Miami > Oct 8, 2017
Cruise Fares from $1,499 & Taxes and Fees are included
Exclusive Offer:FREE Pre-paid Gratuities

Radiant Rhythms - Regatta - 12-Day - Rio de Janerio to Buenos Aires > Oct 30, 2017
Cruise Fares from $1,699 & Taxes and Fees are included
Exclusive Offer:  Enjoy the services of a Distinctive Voyages Host, Private Cocktail Reception, and Private Car and Driver

Polynesian Legends - Regatta - 18-Day - San Diego to Papeete > Nov 1, 2017
Cruise Fares from $2,999 & Taxes and Fees are included
Exclusive Offer: Enjoy the services of a Distinctive Voyages Host, Private Cocktail Reception, and FREE Shore Event in Honolulu

Pathway to Sunshine - Marina - 14-Day  - Barcelona to Miami > Dec 3, 2017
Cruise Fares from $1,649 & Taxes and Fees are included
Exclusive Offer:  Free Pre-Paid Gratuities

New Years Rendezvous - Insignia - 18-Day > Dec 29, 2017 
Cruise Fares from $4,499 & Taxes and Fees are included
Exclusive Offer:  FREE Pre-paid Gratuities

For more information and to make reservations  call The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Royal Caribbean cracks down on sharing of drink packages

Royal Caribbean International is testing a change in two beverage packages on the Harmony of the Seas. Starting with the July 7 sailing, if the Deluxe Beverage or Sip & Stream packages are purchased, they must be purchased by all passengers 21 or older in a stateroom. Previously, Royal Caribbean had permitted just one stateroom guest to buy the package, but its policy has been that beverage packages cannot be shared or transferred. However, Royal Caribbean said in a memo to travel sellers that it has noticed an increase in guests sharing beverages with those who haven't purchased the package. Most other cruise lines that have beverage packages, including Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line, make each adult in the cabin buy the package to prevent drink sharing. Royal Caribbean's deluxe package is $55 per passenger, per day and offers unlimited beers, wines by the glass, cocktails, nonalcoholic beverages, premium coffee, tea, fountain soda, fresh-squeezed juices, sparking and bottled still water. The Sip & Stream is a beverage package with Voom internet service included that costs $56 a day.

For more information and to make reservations on a Royal Caribbean SHIP, contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Friday, July 7, 2017


Get away for the holidays

Savor delicious holiday meals crafted by Michelin-starred chef, with your favorite traditional dishes and no prep or clean up to worry about
Cheer for holiday shows and entertainment that will lift your spirits
Marvel at festive decorations all around the ship
Shop for gifts 
Kids have special gifts and activities planned just for them
Ring in the New Year at a multi-venue, Gala Celebration

First 2 guests in Stateroom Choose two Amenities*
Free Drinks, Free WI-FI, Prepaid Tips, $150 to spend on board
3/4 Guests in Cabin
Get two*: Classic Non-alcoholic Beverage Packages & 40-minute Internet Packages
First 2 guests in  Suite Receive all four Amenities
Free Drinks, Free WI-FI, Prepaid Tips, $150 to spend on board

3/4 Guests in Cabin receive two* >: Classic Non-alcoholic Beverage Packages & 40-minute Internet Packages

*Holiday promotion valid for Ocean view, Veranda, Concierge or Aqua Class Staterooms
Must be booked & deposited by July 31, 2017 Applies to select 2017 Christmas and New Year’s sailings.  . OBC has no cash value, non-transferable, not redeemable for cash.  New bookings only, capacity controlled, Rates are subject to availability and change without notice.  Other terms and conditions may apply,

For more information and to be make reservations for this forthcoming Holiday Season on a Celebrity Cruise, contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Emerald Waterways Adds New Cruise Through Holland and Belgium

Jun 14, 2017

The itinerary begins and ends in Amsterdam. Emerald Waterways has announced a new river cruise itinerary for 2018, The Charms of Holland & Belgium. The seven-night river cruise aboard Emerald Waterways' Star Ships begins and ends in Amsterdam.
This cruise differs from Emeralds existing tour, Highlights of the Netherlands & the Beauty of Belgium, which focuses on ports that highlight the countries tulips in bloom during the spring. The new cruise aims to explore the history and culture of the countries throughout the summer and fall. 
The first stop on the cruise is in Hollands historic city of Dordrecht, which dates back to the 12th century, according to the company. Guests can then head to the Kinderdijk Windmills, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Next is Antwerp, Belgiums second largest city and biggest port. A guided walking tour is provided, which explores the destination's cobbled lanes, the Renaissance Town Hall and the Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady. Guests can opt-in for a Discover More excursion to the medieval town of Bruges.
The tour also takes guests to Maastricht, Hollands oldest fortified city, Arnhem, home of the Airborne Museum Hartenstein exhibiting local military history, and Hoorn, which was founded in the 13th century and was the former base for the Dutch East India Company.  Fares start from US$2,995 per person, based on double occupancy. One departure is scheduled in both July and September 2018.

For more information and to make reservations on any Emerald Europe River Cruise,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

American Cruise Lines to Double Capacity in Pacific Northwest

Jun 14, 2017 

Their  newest ship, the American Constellation, will head to the West Coast in 2018. American Cruise Lines said the decision is due to increased demand for its Southeast Alaska, Alaska Inside Passage and Puget Sound itineraries. American Constellation began its inaugural season in May of this year and is currently sailing itineraries on the East Coast of the United States. 
The addition of the 175 passenger ship will more than double American Cruise Lines’ capacity in the Pacific Northwest and add 18 cruises to the 2018 season. The new addition will allow an expanded schedule in Alaska aboard American Constellation, while enabling American Spirit to operate the companys Puget Sound & San Juan Islands itinerary throughout July and August 2018. This will be the first time American has ever offered summer cruises in Puget Sound, the cruise line said. 
While expanding its existing schedule, American Cruise Lines has also added a new itinerary, the Grand Puget Sound, for the 2018 cruise season. This 11-day roundtrip out of Seattle will travel to destinations in the Pacific Northwest, including smaller ports like Olympia and Tacoma. Before heading west, American Constellation will spend the remainder of 2017 on the East Coast, sailing Grand New England, Hudson River, Grand Historic South and Historic South cruises. New for 2018, American Constitution will be taking over these itineraries. 

For more information and to make reservations on any American Cruise Line  ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Uniworld River Cruises announces new program for 2018

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has launched The Masterpiece Collection, a selection of fully inclusive cruise and air itineraries for 2018. The selections, valid through September 30, 2017, apply to all departure dates on select 2018 itineraries, including Gems of Northern Italy, Splendors of Italy, Paris & Normandy, Remarkable Rhine, European Jewels, Legendary Rhine & Moselle and Bordeaux, and Vineyards & Chateaux.
The new collection offers guests fully inclusive packages that include all scheduled transfers to and from the airport, all meals and beverages onboard, including wine and spirits, bicycles, Nordic walking sticks, gratuities, onboard fitness classes, Wi-Fi, and exclusive shore excursions in each city. Rates start at $3,699 and vary by itinerary and departure date.

For more information, receive exclusive amenities and rates and to make reservations on this or any Uniworld River Boat,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Amawaterways Debuts New Wellness Program

In celebration of Global Wellness Day, AmaWaterways  announced it has launched a wellness program onboard Amayra Paris & Normandy sailings. The program – led by “Sports Scientist” Selina Wank features four to six classes daily, including morning stretches, jogging, yoga, cardio and core strengthening and circuit training. Activities will be complemented by discussion groups with a focus on healthy eating and relaxation techniques. AmaWaterways has been embracing active travel for more than a decade. We believe guests are looking to take steps to ensure that their vacation time is an extension of their wellness-oriented lifestyle, and we are so happy to continue introducing new ways for travelers to remain healthy while on board our ships,” said Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner of AmaWaterways.  “It’s important for us to continue to be innovative in this space and give our guests exactly what they’re looking for during their time on board. Our wellness program has been a huge success, and is something we are very excited about continuing!” The first river cruise line to embrace the active travel trend, AmaWaterways began focusing on the segment in 2006, becoming first to add 25 bicycles onboard each European ship. The leader in river cruising innovation has also expanded its award-winning biking and hiking shore excursions and offers each excursion at a variation of paces to give guests options that suit their needs.  Additionally, the company increased its relationship with Backroads – the leader in active travel – in 2017 and now offers more than 50 active departures in the world’s most renowned river cruise destinations.
In addition to a plethora of wellness activities offered on board and on shore, AmaWaterways incorporates healthy eating and locally-sourced ingredients into its culinary offerings. Gluten-free, low-sodium and vegetarian options are available and the company features a Hydration Station with infused detox and gemstone water. “Wellness has now become more of a lifestyle, than just a single activity and we know the importance of sticking to a healthy regiment when on board,” said Karst. “Cuisine is such a major part of river cruising and sacrificing a few calories doesn’t need to mean sacrificing taste. We will always look at ways to connect the pleasures of travel and cuisine and to accommodate our health-conscious guests.” AmaWaterways expects to introduce its wellness program onboard additional ships in 2018. The company will take active travel one step further in 2019 with the debut of AmaMagna. AmaWaterways’ newest ship – twice the width of traditional European vessels – AmaMagna will feature a first in river cruising retractable water sports platform and expanded fitness and spa facilities.

For more information, receive exclusive amenities and rates and to make reservations on a River Cruise  or any AMA Waterways boat,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Caribbean Princess Transatlantic Cruise Itinerary Altered Due to Technical Issue

The September 22 transatlantic sailing of Caribbean Princess has been changed to account for technical issues that are causing the ship to sail at reduced speeds just three months after leaving dry dock.  "Please be advised that Caribbean Princess has experienced technical difficulties which have resulted in our inability to operate at full speed. This in no way compromises the safety of our guests and crew which is our highest priority; however, our technical experts have determined that it is necessary to make the following changes to our itinerary.  "We will no longer call to Rotterdam, Vigo, or the Azores (Ponta Delgada). Instead, we will now call to Zeebrugge on Saturday, September 23, 2017, and to Bermuda (West End), on Wednesday, October 4. In addition, we will now call to Paris/Normandy (Le Havre) on Sunday, September 24 rather than on Monday, September 25, and to Lisbon on Wednesday, September 27 rather than on Thursday, September 28, and call times have been amended.  "As a goodwill gesture, each guest will receive a refundable credit of $100 USD applied to their onboard folio. We regret any disappointment these changes may cause, and look forward to welcoming you aboard Caribbean Princess."  Princess representative Negin Kamali has confimred. There is no word yet on when the issue will be fixed, whether sailings between now and September are expected to be affected, or what type of compensation will be offered. 

For more information, receive exclusive amenities and rates and to make reservations on this or any Princess Ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Oceania Cruises makes fitness classes complimentary

Oceania Cruises' fitness and wellness classes will become complimentary starting May 23.  The change covers more than two dozen classes, all with professional instruction.
Included in the complimentary program are stretching and relaxing classes that typically last 25 minutes as well as more comprehensive programs such as Boot Camp, Full Body Strength Training and Core Conditioning, which are 45 minutes. Classes currently start at $17 per person. The move follows the recent installation of vegan menus on the ships and the launch in April of Wellness Tours Inspired by Canyon Ranch.

For more information and to make reservations on any Oceania ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

AmaWaterways building Europe's largest river cruise ship

AmaWaterways on Friday unveiled a mega river ship that co-owner Rudi Schreiner said will be the largest in Europe. The AmaMagna, scheduled to launch in 2019, will be twice as wide as its current ships, enabling the construction of larger cabins. Cabins will average 300 square feet, with the passenger count increasing by just 34 from current ships, from 160 to 194, Schreiner said. He said the emphasis will be on "lots of play room" in spaces like the spa and gym. 
The ship, which will sail the Danube, will also have more restaurants, including al fresco dining, as well as an aft deck for water activities such as kayaks and jet skis. 
"AmaMagna will provide guests with generous personal space, the freedom of multiple dining choices and exceptional stateroom comfort," Schreiner said. The industry has been considering such projects for years, so AmaWaterways finally decided to push the envelope and build the bigger ship because of a shift in booking trends away from the smaller, less expensive cabins to the 235-square-foot double balcony cabins and suites on current ships.

For more information and to make reservations on any AMA River cruise,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Friday, May 12, 2017

Disney sails to Bermuda from New York

Disney Cruise Line fans will have two new ports to try in 2018, when the line has itineraries scheduled to call in Bermuda and Quebec City.  The Disney Magic will sail from New York in the fall of 2018 on five-day sailings that include two full days in Bermuda and six-day sailings that include three days in Bermuda.  Seven-day itineraries will depart both New York and Quebec City, with visits scheduled at Saguenay and Baie-Comeau.  From New York, the Disney Magic will also make seven-day roundtrips to Castaway Cay, Disneys private island in the Bahamas, and Port Canaveral, where a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket plus complimentary round-trip transportation between the ship and the theme parks is included
For more information, and  receive exclusive amenities and  rates &  to make reservations for these Sailings, contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Carnival Sensation Cancels Ocho Rios Call Due to Medical Emergency

Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Sensation has had to cancel a planned call in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Monday due to a passenger onboard in need of urgent medical attention. Carnival Sensation had to return to Miami Saturday evening while en route to Ocho Rios in order to debark the guest. The guest disembarked early Sunday morning from the ship to a Miami Dade Rescue vessel and was taken to a shore side medical facility for further treatment.
Due to the time involved in the deviation, Carnival Sensation was forced to cancel the Monday call in Ocho Rios, Carnival said. The ship is due to return to Port Miami on Thursday, May 4, as scheduled.
Carnival sincerely apologies for the disruption of our guests vacation and is providing them with a 20 percent future cruise credit, the line said..
Carnival Sensation offers a series of four- and five-day cruises from Miami to the Bahamas, as well as the western and eastern Caribbean

For more information, receive exclusive amenities, rates and to make reservations on any Ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Princess Cruise Lines fined $40M for intentionally polluting ocean

The Caribbean Princess ship, which belongs to Princess Cruise Lines, a Carnival Corporation subsidiary, dumped 4,227 gallons of oily waste 23 miles off the coast of Britain on August 23, 2013, within the country's Exclusive Economic Zone. A U.S. judge on Wednesday fined Princess Cruise Lines $40 million for the act to which the company plead guilty.
A federal judge imposed a $40 million fine on Princess Cruise Lines for intentionally polluting the ocean and placed the Carnival Corporation subsidiary on probation for five years, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. The DOJ said the fine represents the largest penalty for crimes involving deliberate vessel pollution in U.S. history .The company previously agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges for illegally dumping 4,227 gallons of oily waste 23 miles off the coast of Britain on Aug. 23, 2013, within the country's Exclusive Economic Zone. The company also falsified official logs in order to hide the pollution. Officials said the pollution also occurred in U.S. waters.
"These violations of law were serious, longstanding and designed to conceal illegal discharges," Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood said in a statement. "The sentence in this case should ensure that these crimes do not take place in the future and should also send a strong message to others that illegally polluting U.S. waters will not be tolerated."
Officials launched an investigation after an engineer on the Caribbean Princess ship, which belongs to Princess Cruise Lines, reported to authorities that the ship's crew was using an illicit pipe to discharge waste.After the engineer reported the incident, the ship's senior engineers "ordered a coverup, including removal of the magic pipe and directing subordinates to lie," the Justice Department said in a statement.Eight Carnival subsidiaries will be audited for the next five years by a court-supervised Environmental Compliance Program. U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Seitz also ordered that the engineer who alerted authorities be paid $1 million."Without the courageous act of a junior crewmember to alert authorities to these criminal behaviors of deliberately dumping oil at sea, the global environmental damage caused by the Princess fleet could have been much worse," U.S. Coast Guard official Scott Buschman said in a statement. "The selflessness of this individual exposed five different ships that embraced a culture of shortcuts and I am pleased at this outcome."
The Caribbean Princess is accused of illegally discharging waste since 2005. Four other ships also were found to have used illegal means to pollute the ocean.
"A perceived motive for the crimes was financial -- the chief engineer that ordered the dumping off the coast of England told subordinate engineers that it cost too much to properly offload the waste in port and that the shore-side superintendent who he reported to would not want to pay the expense," the Justice Department previously wrote.

For more information,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Save $1,000 off Your Cruise Fare per Stateroom, and Receive $2,000 in Onboard Spending Credit

Club Interior or Club Oceanview Staterooms can choose either the savings or the onboard credits, while Club Veranda or higher staterooms receive both.  

Enjoy these complimentary inclusive amenities on all voyages! 
AzMazing Evenings – An immersive cultural experience in the heart of your destination, included with your cruise fare
Select standard spirits, international beers and wines
Bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas
Self–service laundry
Shuttle service to and from port communities, where available
Concierge services for personal guidance and reservations

Look at these Special sailings 

Arabian Gulf & Emirates > 10 Nights on the Azamara Journey® > November 14, 2017 
Roundtrip Dubai, United Arab Emirates with stops in Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar
Club Oceanview from $3,299 per person
Taxes, fees and port expenses of $120.54 per person are additional

Caribbean Sunsets > 8 Nights on the Azamara Quest® > December 1, 2017 
Miami, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico with stops in Haiti, St. Barts, Antigua, St. Kitts, and the British Virgin Islands  & AzAmazing Evening Event in St. Barts – Dazzling Dance and Opera
Club Oceanview from $2,249 per person
Taxes, fees and port expenses of $164.70 per person are additional

Thailand and Vietnam > 14 Nights on the Azamara Journey® > December 9, 2017 
Singapore to Hong Kong with stops in Thailand and Vietnam plus AzAmazing Evening Event in Bangkok – Discovering Bangkok's Ancient City & Complimentary Chef's Table for Two – an exclusive dining experience pairing multiple delectable courses with perfectly matched wines
Club Oceanview from $4,199 per person
Taxes, fees and port expenses of $158.47 per person are additional

Caribbean Breezes > 6 Nights on the Azamara Quest® > December 16, 2017 
San Juan, Puerto Rico to Miami, Florida with stops in British Virgin Islands, St. Barts, and Haiti plus Complimentary Chef's Table for Two – an exclusive dining experience pairing multiple delectable courses with perfectly matched wines
Club Oceanview from $1,799 per person
Taxes, fees and port expenses of $113.16 per person are additional
AzAmazing Costa Rica > 10 Nights on the Azamara Quest® > January 15, 2018 
NEW Country Intensive Voyage – A Roundtrip Caldera, Costa Rica with stops in Panama and Nicaragua
AzAmazing Evening Event in Panama – An Evening in Old Panama Enjoy the services of a Distinctive Voyages Host, a Private Cocktail Reception and an Exclusive Shore Event
Club Oceanview from $2,899 per person
Taxes, fees and port expenses of $116.82 per person are additional

Borneo, Vietnam & Thailand > 14 Nights on the Azamara Journey® March 25, 2018 
Roundtrip Singapore with stops in Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Thailand with AzAmazing Evening Event in Bangkok - Discovering Bangkok's Ancient City and Enjoy the services of a Distinctive Voyages Host, a Private Cocktail Reception and an Exclusive Shore Event
Club Oceanview from $4,599 per person
Taxes, fees and port expenses of $148.54 per person are additional

Book by May 31, 2017.  Certain terms and conditions apply.

For more information and to be make reservations for any of these Azamara sailings or any other ones, contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Friday, March 31, 2017

Crystal to offer free WiFi on all ships

Crystal Cruises will institute unlimited free WiFi on its ocean, river and yacht fleets starting in April.  Complimentary WiFi had been offered previously on Crystal to upper suite guests, and for one hour a day only to passengers in standard cabins. There will be no limits on streaming video or other content forms, said John Polimenakos, vice president of information technology at Crystal. Crystal is buying more bandwidth and improving technology to enable free WiFi. Internet services remain expensive for cruise ships because they must be routed through satellites when ships are out of range of land transmission. Nevertheless, luxury lines have been inching toward including WiFi as part of the fare in various ways. Free WiFi was one of several changes unveiled. The line also announced that it will add two restaurant concepts to its ocean ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, in dry docks this year and next.
For more information and to be make reservations for a Crystal Cocean Cruise, River Cruise or on one of their Yachts, contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .

Thursday, March 30, 2017

State Department Issues New Travel Warning for Saudi Arabia

The U.S. State Department has issued a new travel warning for Saudi Arabia, replacing a travel warning that was previously issued July 27, 2016. The State Department said it issued the warning due to continuing threats from terrorist groups, including ISIS and its affiliates, who have targeted both Saudi and Western government interests, mosques and significant religious sites, and places frequented by U.S. citizens and other Western travelers.
Additionally, violence from the conflict in Yemen has spilled over the border on a number of occasions, the State Department said. According to Saudi media outlets, since March 2015 more than 40,000 projectiles have been launched into Saudi territory from Yemen, including at least 30 missiles. The State Department has restricted U.S. government personnel and their families from traveling within 50 miles of the Saudi-Yemen border. 
Travelers are also advised to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate them in an emergency. They can also contact the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia located at Abdullah Ibn Huthafah Al-Sahmi Street, Diplomatic Quarter, at +966 11 488 3800, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. The after-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +966 11 488 3800.
As terrorist attacks, political upheaval, and violence often take place without any warning, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness when traveling.

For more information and to make reservations for a Cruise,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: .
Additional information can be obtained from visiting the State Department website:

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 at 203-288-1884 or email: .