Posts from — June 2009
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean proudly announced that it received the first ever “Clean Sea Award.” The award was announced at the Clean Shipping Awards ceremony held during the Nor-Shipping Conference (Oslo, June 9-12), presented in cooperation with Det Norske Veritas (DNV). In total, 60 companies were considered for the various awards and winners were selected by an independent jury.
Royal Caribbean won the award in recognition of its superior efforts to limit discharges from ship to sea. In 1992, Royal Caribbean established the widely renowned Save The Waves® program, to ensure crew and guests are directly engaged in our environmental management efforts. Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas, which launches at the end of the year and with a passenger capacity of 8,400, will have a higher standard of waste treatment than that of the most stringent global guidelines.
“Royal Caribbean is honored to be recognized for our efforts to minimize our environmental footprint, contribute to conservation and set new standards of environmental stewardship in the shipping industry,” said Jamie Sweeting, vice president of Environmental Stewardship and Global Chief Environmental Officer for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “As an industry we have a special responsibility to protect our marine ecosystems, because clean waters are good for the environment, good for our guests and good for our business.”
The launch of the Clean Shipping Awards corresponded with this year’s Nor-Shipping Opening Conference titled “From Crisis to Opportunity: Shipping’s Role in the Fight against Climate Change”. The conference brought together leading industry voices representing ship owners, cargo owners and regulators to discuss climate change. During the opening conference, Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., spoke on the importance of making sure governments, consumers and other industries around the world understand the shipping industry is concerned about climate change and playing its part to minimize its greenhouse gas footprint.
“The Norwegian shipping industry is internationally recognized for being a pioneer in the development of solutions and technologies to manage a broad range of environmental issues,” said Tollef Schieander, director of Nor-Shipping. “The Clean Shipping Awards will serve to support these efforts and reward any company with the vision and expertise to develop good environmental solutions.”
June 30, 2009 No Comments
Courtesy of Holland America Line
One of the key highlights of Holland America Line‘s latest Signature of Excellence enhancements is The Retreat, a new resort-style pool area on the aft of the Lido deck. Catering to the preferences of today’s upscale travelers, the indulgent retreat is a first for the industry and currently on the first ship to showcase the recent upgrades, ms Veendam.
The main focus of the new pool experience is a shallow area with forty-four lounge chairs where guests can relax and dip their fingers and toes in the water. Built-in benches create another place for guests to relax and dangle their legs in the refreshing water.
“The Retreat is a totally new approach for us to this area of the ship,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “We’re creating an area where guests can relax outside in a sophisticated environment, and we’re adding other fun and convenient features such as a whirlpool, a band and DJ stand and even a pizzeria.”
The Retreat’s pool is divided into three main sections separated by low, curving walls running the length of the pool. The middle section is 16 inches deep so guests can sit on built-in benches in the water. The two side sections feature lounge chairs in eight inches of water—perfect for cooling off on a hot day. Water falls and spouts enhance the décor. At the aft end of the pool is a hot tub for soothing relaxation.
Slice, an upscale pizzeria, has been incorporated into the area, serving signature pizzas, whole pies and slices to order. Tables and comfortable, padded chairs under a sunscreen provide an inviting place to dine al fresco. And, in order to provide live music, a stage was added near the pool. For added entertainment, an LED screen and sound system is integrated into the ship’s superstructure, providing movies and video to The Retreat.
Except for Veendam, completed at end of April 2009, and Rotterdam, to be completed in December 2009, The Retreat enhancements will be completed during the second series of drydocks planned for Signature of Excellence. First, in a series of drydocks in 2010 and 2011, Maasdam, Statendam and Ryndam will receive stateroom enhancements, the Mix and Showroom at Sea. The second phase of drydocks in 2012 and 2013 will add The Retreat and new staterooms on the aft portion of the ships, as well as forward verandah and spa staterooms.
June 25, 2009 No Comments
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean
The Tony award-winning Broadway-licensed musical, ‘Hairspray,’ is set to debut on Royal Caribbean International‘s highly anticipated Oasis of the Seas when the ship sets sail from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in December 2009. One of two productions to take place in the ship’s grand Opal Theater, Hairspray will open with a wide array of cruise industry firsts that the cruise line will debut with the launch of Oasis of the Seas and is another addition to its diverse entertainment offerings.
“We are thrilled to bring to our guests a ground-breaking entertainment feature such as Hairspray on Oasis of the Seas,” said Peter Compton, vice president, Entertainment, Royal Caribbean International. “The addition of this popular musical to Royal Caribbean’s entertainment lineup will undoubtedly take cruise entertainment to the next level and cater to the evolving tastes of vacationers. Guests will be able to enjoy an award-winning Broadway-caliber production on Oasis of the Seas along with a myriad of revolutionary onboard amenities for a most memorable cruise vacation.”
The show is licensed to Royal Caribbean International for three years aboard Oasis of the Seas with an option for a fourth year. Under the agreement, which was struck with the aid of New York City-based Music Theater International and Broadway Theatrical, the show will be available exclusively to the cruise line, ensuring the ‘feel good’ performance will be the only of its kind at sea.
“All of us are delighted that Hairspray will set sail on Oasis of the Seas, the biggest, boldest and most exciting cruise ship,” said Margo Lion, Tony Award winning producer of Hairspray. “Just like the show’s heroine Tracy Turnblad, Oasis of the Seas will change the world!” Hairspray earned a total of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, during its near sevenyear run on Broadway, which came to an end in early January and is currently playing in London’s West End. Set in 1962, the show follows the story of Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big aspirations who wins a spot on the local TV dance program, “The Corny Collins Show” and finds herself transformed into an overnight teen sensation.
While the show has been trimmed just slightly to fit within the average 90-minute run time, consistent with Royal Caribbean’s theater productions, guests and Hairspray fans will be pleased to find that the hottest, high-energy numbers will remain on the playbill. The show will be offered three or four times on each seven-night cruise itinerary, ensuring that guests have the opportunity to see the show at their leisure during their vacation.
June 23, 2009 No Comments
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International
From heavenly entrees to delectable desserts- Royal Caribbean have dining options to suit a range of vacationing needs- this is fine dining that everyone can enjoy.
Traditional Dining option allows you to preselect your ideal dining time for the length of your cruise vacation. It’s the perfect way to relax and enjoy your cruise vacation as you like-at the spa, in the pool, or on an exciting shore adventure-and know you’ll always have a reserved time and table waiting for you in our main dining room. With Traditional Dining service you will be assigned a dinner table for our main or second seating for the duration of the cruise based on your preferred seating time and availability.
With My Time Dining you can experience the fine quality, ambiance and service offered in our main dining room while enjoying flexibility in your dining options. By selecting My Time Dining, you can choose to dine in our main dining room between the hours of 6:00 – 9:30 pm (times vary by ship). Then once onboard your ship, you will have the convenience and flexibility to select the perfect dining time for each day of your cruise vacation. Prepaid gratuities are required when you select My Time Dining.
Menus feature VitalityTM items, which are lower in fat, as well as vegetarian options and a selection of kids’ favorite foods. Kosher meals are also available if arranged in advance. Menus change daily throughout your cruise and can vary from ship to ship. We also modify dishes seasonally to use the freshest ingredients available.
During the day, casual clothes are fine for the main dining room. In the evening, there are three distinct types of dress onboard: casual, smart casual and formal.
The number of smart casual and formal nights is at the ship’s discretion, the general guide for evening dress is as follows:
Casual – 2/ Smart Casual – 0/ Formal – 1
Casual – 3 / Smart Casual – 0 / Formal – 1
Casual – 3 / Smart Casual – 1 / Formal – 1
Casual – 3 / Smart Casual – 0 / Formal – 2
Casual – 4 / Smart Casual – 1 / Formal – 2
Casual – 4 / Smart Casual – 2 / Formal – 2
Casual – 5 / Smart Casual – 2 / Formal – 2
Casual – 6 / Smart Casual – 2 / Formal – 2
Casual – 7 / Smart Casual – 2 / Formal – 2
Casual – 8 / Smart Casual – 2 / Formal – 2*
Casual – 9 / Smart Casual – 2 / Formal – 2
Casual – 8 / Smart Casual – 3 / Formal – 3
Remaining Casual / Smart Casual – 3 / Formal – 3
Note: *Some 12-night Europe cruises may have 3 formal nights.
Bare feet or bathing suits are not allowed at any time in the dining room and shorts are not permitted at dinner. Each ship also offers a variety of casual dining options, for example, the Windjammer Café.
Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Lunch: Noon – 2:00 p.m.
Dinner: Main Seating 6:15 p.m., Second Seating 8:30 p.m.
Please note: Opening and closing times vary by ship.
When you make your reservation, you will be assigned a dinner table for the duration of the cruise based on your preferred seating time and availability. We will make every effort to accommodate requests to sit with friends or to change your table assignment whenever possible. There is open seating during breakfast and lunch.
All meals (including coffee, tea, water, iced tea or lemonade) in the main dining room are included in the price of your cruise. Specialty beverages, beer, wine and soda are offered at current bar menu prices.
June 18, 2009 2 Comments
By Brandon Biss, Senior Cruise Consultant, The Cruise Web.
After reading one of The Cruise Web’s last postings, “Homeports: Busting the Myth”, I rushed to my hometown to get my Philly cheese steak fix. I walked into Jim’s on South St. and ordered the usual: whiz without, with mushrooms and sweet peppers. The steak was gigantic and I couldn’t help but think, “Man, sometimes bigger is just better.” This is true of many things: a big Terps basketball win over Duke, a big bone-in rib eye on the Emerald Princess, and the big brand-new Oasis of the Seas.
While these things are wonderful to me, a BIG VALUE is something we can all appreciate. This is why we all enjoy cruising! One of the biggest values that many cruisers do not know about is the WORLD CRUISE. Almost every cruise line offers their own version of a world cruise. World cruises sail between January and May for between 90-120 days. These voyages visit the world’s most well-known sites and offer the convenience of an around-the-world voyage while only unpacking once! [Read more →]
June 17, 2009 5 Comments
It’s been said that if you have to explain a joke then it wasn’t really a good joke. And, as I found out, this applies to comics as well.
I began sketches for the “Big” comic a few weeks ago and racked my brain for ways to satirize the growing size of cruise ships and how it seems like each new ship exists simply to contend for the elusive title of “World’s Largest Cruise Ship.”
Oddly enough I didn’t incorporate that thought into my sketches whatsoever (funny how some ideas get derailed by a one-track-mind!). I, instead (an hopefully with moderate humorous success), tried to focus on the sheer size of the ship itself or the “complimentary” things usually provided once you get onboard for “convenience.”
So I sketched up a couple decent comics that I thought achieved the level of satire and humor and did so fairly obviously. But it turns out that humor, like beauty, is in the mind of the artist and subjective, at best. This is why it’s a good thing that the content of The Current is reviewed by 7 other people before it is the glimmering, perfectly executed email in your inbox.
The reactions I got when I showed the comics to those 7 other people were not quite what I had imagined. Granted I wasn’t looking for side-busting laughter, but I was hoping for at least a few good chuckles and minimal need to explain the sketches. Oh well.
From the 7 sketches I provided, only one didn’t need explanation. The rest, sadly, required a little more attention on my part to communicate their exact point, satire and humor. The one sketch that made it was the one you saw in The Current and hopefully you got a chuckle and didn’t need any additional explanation.
For those of you who didn’t and do, it’s a drawing (below) of a cruise ship that rests on top of the world because it is so big and reads “Captain, I think we need a bigger port!” indicating that the World is no longer big enough to fit these growing cruise ships.
So, with this experience behind me, I’ve come to realize that humor, in comic form with a supposedly obvious point, isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Ha ha.
June 17, 2009 No Comments
The sending of our June edition of our Current marks the official launch of our new Facebook and Twitter pages!
These two resources will help us keep in touch with you and allow you to engage with us on a much more personal level.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is the new blogging phenomenon that gives a user 140 characters (including spaces) to let their followers know what they’re up to at that point in time.
When you follow us on Twitter, you will have up-to-the-minute knowledge and access to all of our new Cruise Deals and Sales Events. By following us, you’ll be on top of the Deals and Offers that will help you plan your next (or first) cruise vacation.
What is Facebook?
Facebook is a social networking site that allows you to connect with friends and family.
When you Fan our page on Facebook you will get notifications when we update our Page with new content. This content includes Cruise Deals, photos, travel alerts, sales event alerts and much more. Additionally, you can post your own content from your previous cruises and experiences and read the same from our other clients.
June 17, 2009 No Comments
Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced that the construction of its largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, reached another milestone yesterday with the fitting of its two huge funnels at STX Europe in Saint-Nazaire, France. The massive block consisted of three parts: the two funnels separated by a HVAC station. It weighed 45 tons, and measured approximately 46 feet high, 65 feet long and 23 feet wide, roughly the size of a large yacht. The addition of the funnel is significant as it represents one of the final stages in the completion of the superstructure.
At this stage, the funnel has not reached its final size as it is not yet equipped with the exhaust pipe system. In order to install the system, a crane will be installed on deck 15 to raise the exhaust pipe system over the blue funnel block, located on deck 17.
The last block on the fore part of the vessel will be lowered at the end of the week. Then, the radar mast will be added which will complete Norwegian Epic’s structure before her transfer to the outfitting dock. The ship’s float out and transfer to the outfitting dock is currently planned for July 11, 2009.
The 153,000-gross ton, 4,200-passenger ship is scheduled for delivery at the end of May 2010.
June 17, 2009 No Comments
Rome, June 5th, 2009
Cruise Web Cruise Consultants Linda Iseli and Andy Gustafson have completed the Seminar at Sea hosted by Celebrity Cruise Lines aboard the fantastic Celebrity Solstice. This rigorous course included a day of classes about both Celebrity and Azamara Cruise Lines.
While the ship sailed the blue waters of the Mediterranean, the two consultants were busy learning all there is to know about these premium lines. Their work in the classroom was complimented by a behind the scenes tour of the galley and a cocktail party which allowed the duo to wind down after the day’s events.
Despite spending more hours in the classroom than Andy spent in all of college, there was still time to enjoy some unbelievable ports, including Santorini (Linda says not to ride the donkeys), Mykonos, Istanbul (about 70 cents to ride the tram, the best deal in Europe, or was that Asia?), Ephesus (Andy paused in Mary’s house to ask her to see him successfully through his course work), Athens, and Naples, the home of the greatest food in the world, pizza!
The two scholars have returned to the Cruise Web and have been relating their experiences of what one was heard to have called the “best cruise ever, despite the teacher not giving us recess.”
June 17, 2009 2 Comments
Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises.
Celebrity Equinox left Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany on June 6, 2009. The 2,850-passenger ship is the second in Celebrity’s widely heralded Solstice Class fleet.
Celebrity Equinox will sail a series of Ancient Empires and other European itineraries from Southampton and Rome this summer, followed by 10- and 11-night Ultimate Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., beginning in November.
Length: 1,033 ft
Inaugural Date: Aug 08, 2009
June 17, 2009 No Comments