Posts from — July 2009
Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line.
From a two-level casual eatery featuring a new Italian pasta station, Indian tandoori and burrito bar, to an elegant steakhouse, and Ocean Plaza — a stunning indoor/outdoor café and live music venue — the new Carnival Dream will offer a tantalizing array of culinary choices.
All of the Carnival Dream’s dining options, except for the reservations-recommended steakhouse, specialty coffees and select patisserie items, are available free of charge.
The 130,000-ton Carnival Dream – the line’s largest ship – is set to debut Sept. 21 and the vessel’s size has provided the line additional opportunities to offer guests a host of palate-pleasing dining choices from around the world.
“‘Fun Ship’ cruising is already the best value at sea and we’ve conducted extensive research that shows that in today’s economy consumers are seeking a vacation that offers a multitude of delicious dining choices without a lot of added costs,” said Roberta Jacoby, Carnival’s senior vice president of hotel operations. “The dining options aboard the Carnival Dream represent the culmination of our wide-ranging consumer research efforts, while showcasing the incredible talents of our master chefs.”
Expanded Casual Offerings
Carnival is known for offering the widest variety of casual dining options at sea, and Carnival Dream continues that tradition with the two-level casual eatery called The Gathering, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner alternatives. From Italian and Tex-Mex to tandoori and Asian specialties – and just about everything in between – The Gathering offers a diversity of culinary choices to suit any mood or taste.
New on Carnival Dream is a pasta bar where guests have their choice of pasta, sauce and ingredients to create a custom-made dish and enjoy traditional Italian favorites such as Portobello ravioli and pasta carbonara. The Gathering will also house Carnival’s popular 24-hour pizzeria with seven kinds of pies and calzone, Caesar salad and garlic bread.
Carnival Dream’s burrito bar is also sure to be a popular spot where guests can create an overstuffed wrap featuring their choice of chicken, beef, shrimp, salsa and other accompaniments.
Also available within The Gathering will be a Mongolian wok offering custom-made stir-fries with guests’ choice of meat and vegetables and finished with one of Carnival’s signature sauces; Taste of the Nations, featuring a different international cuisine each day; a New York–style deli; a tandoori oven offering Indian-style chicken, fish and meatballs, along with traditional bread, chutneys and relishes; and a grille serving hot dogs, hamburgers and grilled chicken sandwiches.
The Gathering will also offer an extensive 35-item salad bar, 24-hour frozen yogurt, low-calorie dressings and sugar-free desserts for guests seeking healthier alternatives.
An expanded 24-hour room service menu that includes new choices such as Medium Rare Roast Beef and Brie on French Baguette and Grilled Fresh Mozzarella and Portobello Mushroom on Focaccia, will also be offered. Room service orders are delivered to guests’ staterooms any time of the day or night at no charge.
Located along Promenade Deck will be Wasabi, a sushi bar serving complimentary sushi, as well as sake.
Specialty Coffees and Sweets
Exclusive to Carnival Dream is the new Ocean Plaza, a spectacular indoor/outdoor café and entertainment venue designed as the ideal spot for guests to relax and people watch.
In addition to a dance floor and a stage featuring live entertainment, Ocean Plaza will offer full Wi-Fi access, along with 12 stand-alone kiosks where guests can access an exciting new concept in shipboard technology – the FunHub, Carnival Dream’s comprehensive portal and exclusive on-board social network.
The centerpiece of Ocean Plaza will be Plaza Café, a patisserie serving lattes, cappuccinos, espresso and other specialty coffees, along with sweets such as baked-on-board cakes, pies, cookies – even freshly made milkshakes. Full bar service, specializing in martinis, mojitos and other popular cocktails, will be offered, as well.
The Ultimate Dining Experience
For those seeking a more intimate dining experience, The Chef’s Art, Carnival Dream’s steakhouse-style restaurant, will offer delectable cuisine in memorable surroundings.
Located on Spa Deck 12, this 139-seat venue offers a sumptuous menu of prime dry-aged U.S.D.A. beef – selections include a nine-ounce filet, 14-ounce strip loin, 18-ounce grilled prime rib chop and 24-ounce porterhouse – along with lobster tail, lamb chops, Chilean sea bass, Maine Lobster ravioli and more. Creamed spinach, Wasabi mashed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms and traditional sauces complete the steakhouse experience.
The delicious choices, combined with attentive service and an extensive wine list, make a meal at The Chef’s Art truly unforgettable. Reservations are recommended and there is a charge of $30 per person.
Wide Range of Formal Choices
Guests dining in Carnival Dream’s two-level Scarlet and Crimson main dining rooms will have their choice of six different appetizers and soups, two salads and six entrees each night.
Also, Carnival Classics selections, including char-broiled steak made with the line’s signature rub, grilled chicken and pasta dishes, along with a decadent dessert menu offering six different selections, including the cruise industry’s most popular dessert — the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake — will be offered nightly.
For those seeking more health-conscious cuisine, dining room menus feature Spa Carnival Fare selections, delicious, guilt-free items that are lower in calories, cholesterol, sodium and fat content. Vegetarian choices and children’s menus are available, as well.
July 30, 2009 4 Comments
Courtesy of Silversea.
Departing Fort Lauderdale on 21 January 2010, Silversea’s newest ultra-luxury ship, Silver Spirit, is set to explore over 20 countries and 45 ports on her 91-day Grand Inaugural Voyage, visiting South America, the Mexican Riviera and crossing the Panama Canal before reaching her ultimate destination, New York City. To celebrate such a momentous journey, Silversea is lining up an array of celebrity guest speakers (to host onboard presentations), complimentary excursions and other exclusive onshore events designed to showcase local cultures as well as entertain guests.
Two popular personalities already tapped to highlight the enrichment roster are:
John Cleese - 20 February 2010 (Buenos Aires to Santiago)
Renowned for his TV roles in Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers, the actor, writer and comedic legend will share insights and anecdotes from his long career and entertain guests aboard Voyage 5005. [Read more →]
July 28, 2009 4 Comments
Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.
Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that Norwegian Sky underwent a complete refurbishment focused on enhancing the guest experience while the 2,002-passenger ship was in dry dock last month in Freeport, Bahamas. The ship, which entered the Miami short cruise market approximately one year ago, received enhancements to its public areas, staterooms and suites, as well as the addition of three new staterooms.
“Norwegian Sky has been in high demand since we brought her to Miami to sail three and four-day Bahamas cruises last year; and therefore we wanted to give her a beautiful new look for the summer season and beyond,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line chief executive officer. “The ship is the perfect getaway as it offers great value for money for families, friends and couples alike looking to relax and escape the everyday.”
Norwegian Sky total refurbishment includes:
- Reupholstering all 1,000 seats in the Stardust Theater;
- Major updates to 14 suites which received new wallpaper, new marble tiles in the showers and tubs and refinishing all wood work including the teak around the whirlpools on the suite balconies;
- Improvements to Dazzles Bar and Nightclub, including refinishing of the dance floor; reupholstering of the club’s chairs and bar stools and removal of banquette seating creating additional room on the dance floor;
- New upholstery to all of the seating in the Atrium;
- Installation of new food stations in the Garden Café, Norwegian’s signature action station restaurant, along with refurbishment of Il Adagio, the ship’s Italian restaurant;
- The addition of three new staterooms;
- Repainting of the colorful murals surrounding the pool area.
Norwegian Sky departs Miami on Mondays sailing four-day Bahamas cruises with full-day stops in Grand Bahama Island, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas. On Fridays, the ship sails a weekend getaway three-day Bahamas itinerary, departing Miami at 5 p.m. with all-day stops in Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, returning to Miami at 7 a.m. on Monday mornings.
Norwegian Sky has more than 240 balcony staterooms, a choice of six different restaurants, 10 bars and lounges, multiple entertainment venues, a luxurious spa, two pools, extensive children’s facilities, a sports deck and a variety of spacious public rooms.
July 23, 2009 9 Comments
Courtesy of Cunard Line
Notable film critic and journalist Rex Reed has joined the distinguished list of luminaries scheduled to sail aboard Cunard Line’s flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2. He will be aboard the 5 November Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton. A two-time Grammy nominee, Reed will be a featured presenter for Cunard Insights, Cunard’s acclaimed onboard enrichment programme. Like previous tastemakers, Reed will deliver a series of lectures and Q&A discussions during his voyage aboard Queen Mary 2.
“Reed’s extraordinary wit and charm is sure to lead an enchanting and rich programme for our guests,” said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line. “His long and distinguished resume of work provides for a variety of discussion topics that will resonate with everyone aboard.”
A member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics, Reed is a critic, columnist, journalist and lecturer whose work appears every week in the New York Observer. He was a contributing editor on the masthead of Talk Magazine and has been a film critic for Vogue, GQ, and Woman’s Wear Daily. Reed is also the author of eight books, including Personal Effect, and for five years, he starred in the nationally syndicated television show, “At the Movies.” As a music critic, Reed has written liner notes for Liza Minelli, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Eileen Farrell, Barbara Cook and many others. In 1993, he was inducted, along with James Carville, into the Louisiana Hall of Fame in his native state. Reed holds an honorary degree from Brandeis University.
Delving deeply into a variety of compelling and relevant topics, Cunard Insights introduces guests to stimulating experts and accomplished visionaries who reflect the line’s heritage of adventure and prestige. Through a series of lectures, Q&A’s, social gatherings and workshops, guests connect with authors and intellectuals who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, politics, arts and literature. The Insights programme underscores Cunard’s longstanding view that onboard entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience.
The 5 November Transatlantic Crossing is one of more than 20 classic six-day voyages between New York and Southampton offered by Cunard in 2009. In addition, Queen Mary 2 will sail two voyages between New York and Hamburg and two voyages between Boston and Southampton. Widely considered the definitive ocean travel experience, a Cunard Transatlantic Crossing offers guests myriad opportunities for intellectual interaction, leisurely pursuits, health and wellness activities and gourmet dining. Unique Cunard amenities found aboard Queen Mary 2 include the famed Princess and Queens Grill accommodation, the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea, restaurants and lounges and the first Todd English restaurant at sea.
July 22, 2009 No Comments
Courtesy of Princess Cruises
Princess has added a rare opportunity to its 2010 cruisetour lineup in Europe — a unique cruisetour designed to include the famed Oberammergau Passion Play, which is performed only once each decade in this small Bavarian village in Germany.
The new 18-day “Oberammergau & Highlights of Germany” tour features two nights in the southern German town of Oberammergau, and includes tickets to the event. Passengers will also visit a variety of other top German destinations during the eight-day land tour, including Frankfurt, the Black Forest, Munich, Nuremberg and Berlin. In addition, the tour will connect seamlessly with a 10-day Scandinavia/Russia cruise aboard Star Princess. Two departures are offered on August 2 and August 12, 2010.
“This is such a unique opportunity, one that literally only comes around once every 10 years,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “This new cruisetour makes it easy to enjoy this famous event, plus take in many of the other attractions for which Germany is famous, coupled with one of our wonderful cruises through the Baltic region. This is yet another example of our commitment to provide our passengers with fascinating experiences around the world.”
The Oberammergau Passion Play has been held every ten years since 1634 in thanksgiving for deliverance from the Black Death in 1633. The play is now performed in years ending with a zero (except 1984 which was the 350th anniversary), and involves more than 2000 actors, singers, instrumentalists and technicians, all of whom are residents of the village. All cast members have lived in the village at least 20 years and must be amateurs of high moral and ethical principles. Villagers also make all the costumes for the production and, as no wigs are used, participants must grow their hair and beards for several months prior to the performances.
The “Oberammergau & Highlights of Germany” cruisetour is one of Princess’ four Europe cruisetour options available next season. Travelers can also opt for the 18-day “Europe’s Imperial Treasures,” which features the cathedrals and castles of four capitals that have figured prominently in history — Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin — and includes a Star Princess Scandinavia and Russia sailing. The 17-day “Classic Italy” tour offers the charms of Florence and Rome, and can connect to a number of Princess’ Mediterranean sailings. The 16-day “Ring of Kerry” tour offers some of the Emerald Isle’s most inspiring landscapes with visits to Shannon, Killarney and Cork, plus a Crown Princess British Isles cruise.
July 22, 2009 1 Comment
Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises.
Celebrity Cruises today announced that Nina Barough, CBE (Commander of the British Empire), founder of the UK-based charity, “Walk the Walk,” will serve as Godmother of Celebrity Equinox, the second in Celebrity’s lauded Solstice Class fleet.
Barough will officially name the ship in Southampton, England, during the formal naming ceremony July 29, culminating in a large bottle of champagne custom-made by The Corning Museum of Glass crashing against the hull of the 2,850-guest ship.
Celebrity selected Barough in recognition of her fervent devotion to raising awareness of breast cancer and her tremendous success in raising funds for the cause – $85-million to-date – through Walk the Walk’s “SunWalks” and “MoonWalks.” The four annual marathon walks in London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Newcastle attract thousands of women typically clad in decorated bras – the signature apparel for most participants. A fair number of men also participate in the walks.
“Nina is an outstanding leader, business person, and fundraiser, but what is perhaps most impressive, and certainly most inspiring, is her tireless devotion to breast cancer causes,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman of Celebrity Cruises and Chairman and CEO of parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We are honored to have as Godmother of Celebrity Equinox someone whose work has benefited so many battling breast cancer, and whose personal triumph over the disease has inspired and encouraged thousands of women, men and families in the UK and beyond,” said Celebrity Cruises President & CEO Dan Hanrahan.
A breast cancer survivor herself, Barough’s numerous other life achievements include receiving a CBE for her contributions to health care through the British “New Year Honours” in December 2006. More recently, she was recognized at the “Pride of Britain Awards” (September 2008), where she was named “Fundraiser of the Year.” And in October 2008, Barough was honored once again; this time, with the “Woman of the Year – Outstanding Achievement Award” in recognition of her willpower, spirit and courage.
“I am extremely excited to serve as this fantastic ship’s Godmother, and look forward to presiding over such a meaningful and celebratory ceremony,” said Barough. “I feel blessed to be given this opportunity to raise the profile of our charity through my association with Celebrity Cruises, and very honored to name a vessel as gorgeous as Celebrity Equinox.”
Celebrity Equinox enters service July 31 from Southampton on an eight-night Norwegian Fjords cruise, then returns to Southampton to embark on the ship’s official maiden voyage departing August 8 for the Mediterranean. The ship will present a series of Mediterranean sailings from Rome (Civitavecchia) through the fall and will offer Caribbean sailings from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., beginning this winter.
Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale vacation experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal and South America. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Noted for four of the top 10 “Top Cruise Ships in the World” in the large-ship category, as voted by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler (February 2009 readers’ poll), Celebrity’s fleet – including the new Celebrity Solstice – will be joined by Celebrity Equinox this year, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011, and a fifth in 2012.
July 22, 2009 No Comments
By: The Cruise Web, Inc.
Royal Caribbean graciously offered myself and two of my colleagues three staterooms for their Seminar-at-Sea aboard Navigator of the Seas last month. Tina Colicchio, Clay Hawley and myself, headed out and I had a wonderful time on this sailing from Barcelona to Rome. The cruise featured the perfect mix of Spain (3 ports), France (2 ports) and Italy (2 ports). After flying in early to Barcelona we were able to drop our luggage off on the ship and spend some time in the city. Barcelona highlights include her 1992 Olympic stadium, Picasso & Dali Museums, and Gaudi architecture that graces the city. We did some shopping in the Las Ramblas area downtown and were of course amused by the street mimes. There’s also a Joan Miro circular tile mosaic that is an absolute must-see. Sailing on to Spain we visited Valencia including a bus tour through the castle and palm-lined Explanada de España. Our final Spanish port was Palma De Mallorca. We did a great wine tour that offered intoxicating samples of their reds & whites as well as olive oil. We learned how actor & Palma resident Michael Douglas created his foundation to promoting and preserving the wild beauty of Mallorca’s Moorish North Coast.
On to France and Marseilles including a train tour up to breathtaking coastal views from the Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde. Then in Villefranche we did a “Scenic French Riviera” excursion that encompassed Monaco & Monte Carlo (the legend says its still haunted by Princess Grace) as well as Nice and Cannes. If one feels lucky (or like James Bond) they could gamble in the fabled Monte Carlo casino.
Italy was perhaps most memorable of all. From the port of Livorno we caught the train to Florence and strolled through cathedrals and even saw Michelangelo’s David Galleria dell’Accademia. We spent an extra night in Rome and learned all we could from our delightful tour guide named Fabrizio. He and his staff offer not only transfers from the Civitavecchia port to the airport or center of Rome, but also in-depth tours. The highlights for me were the Colosseum and Pantheon. My coworkers enjoyed St. Paul’s & St. Peter’s Cathedrals so much they talked about them all night. We missed out on the Sistine Chapel (closed on Sundays, so keep this in mind for future Rome scheduling!). All of this makes me think of my childhood, where Virginia’s colonial history was extolled to me daily…. I’ll tell you what, Virginia’s history pales in comparison to Rome with her edifices standing for millennia.
We lucked out with clear skies, sunny but not too hot temps throughout. Our entertaining Navigator of the Seas waiter Bogdan was the best I’ve encountered at sea in ten cruises. The business aspect of the seminar included workshops during the two port days where we got the scoop on Royal Caribbean’s itinerary and fleet plans including the amazing new Oasis of the Seas debuting in November.
Yup, it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it.
July 22, 2009 1 Comment
By Jarren Matthews, Cruise Consultant, The Cruise Web.
This year’s Mariner of the Seas Pacific Northwest Cruise was thus far the best coastal cruise I’ve ever taken. Although the itinerary was altered from the original, this turned out to be one of the most fantastic voyages ever! The sights in San Francisco, Seattle, and Victoria B.C. were great. Passing under the Golden Gate Bridge and past Alcatraz, while looking past the city was a picturesque moment and one I’m sure to remember forever. Seeing Seattle’s Space Needle and Pike Market really brought the Pacific Northwest home for me. Moreover, traveling on the Mariner for my second time, in less than three months may tell you a little something about how much I really love this ship. The activities, crew and overall service you get is simply world-class. This ship has such an accommodating staff and crew, and such fantastic entertainment; it immediately became my favorite of all time. From the promenade parade and themed nights, to the productions in the Savory Theater, everything was fantastic. On one particularly amazing night, we saw the Under the Big Top Ice Skating Show. Yes that’s right, actual ice-skating on a cruise ship! From the Cruise Director to the service staff, from the cabin steward to the comedians, everything was done with true 5 star service! After an experience like this, I would say sailing on the Mariner is a must for any serious cruiser!
The Cruise Web, Inc.
1-800-377-9383 ext. 349
July 22, 2009 1 Comment
By Chris Roth, Senior Manager of Sales and Client Services, The Cruise Web.
Earlier this month, The Cruise Web took advantage of a beautiful Friday and threw a potluck BBQ! Master BBQ Chef/Sales Manager Michael Harris manned the grill and served up the hamburgers, veggie burgers and hot dogs.
The rest of the menu was a combination of the best The Cruise Web could offer. Alison’s pasta salad was a big hit, thanks to a secret ingredient that has been handed down from generation to generation. Raquel’s cream cheese squares were so good, she had to distribute the recipe that afternoon due to such high demand.
Because everyone enjoyed the chance to get out of the office and eat lunch together on a beautiful summer afternoon, The Cruise Web is already planning on another Friday BBQ sometime in August to close out the summer season.
Senior Manager of Sales and Client Services
The Cruise Web, Inc.
1-800-377-9383 ext. 282
July 22, 2009 1 Comment
By Rashell O’Neal, Cruise Consultant, The Cruise Web.
Are you an active person? Are you fanatic about adventure? As most people know, when you cruise you can visit multiple destinations, countries, continents and cultures. But for the adventurous, or merely intrigued, you can also participate in many of the sports and physical activities that each destination offers. Below is a brief snapshot of some of the activities you can try when you are cruising. Hopefully this will motivate you to try something new… [Read more →]
July 22, 2009 No Comments