Posts from — October 2009
Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises.
Celebrity Cruises has once again won top honors in one of the most trusted surveys of consumer travel preferences in the world. The prestigious Conde’ Nast Traveler magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards ranked Celebrity number one in the new Mega-Ship Cruise Lines category, recognizing the widely heralded Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox.
More than 25,000 experienced travelers made their voices heard in the prestigious annual poll ranking more than 10,000 cruise lines, hotels, resorts, cities, islands, airlines and car rental agencies. Celebrity Cruises was among the honorees featured in a segment airing Monday on NBC’s Today Show to highlight what led to the number-one ranking. [Read more →]
October 29, 2009 3 Comments
Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines.
Eight-year-old Hailee Steberger of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., is the winner of Carnival Cruise Lines’ “Virtual Book of Dreams” contest, earning the opportunity to serve as the official godchild of the expansive water park aboard the new Carnival Dream. At 130,000 tons, Carnival Dream is the line’s newest and largest ship and will make its U.S. debut in November.
Hailee and her family will travel to New York next month to christen the Carnival Dream’s spectacular WaterWorks aqua park, which features the longest water slide on a cruise ship. The family will also receive a free cruise. [Read more →]
October 22, 2009 No Comments
On October 1, The Cruise Web’s own cruise consultant Said (sigh-eed) D. made his comedic debut at the Broadway Comedy Club, located in the heart of Times Square in New York City.
Said was selected to be part of the “Big Brown Comedy Hour,” a comedy that features upcoming Arab, Indian, Iranian, Pakistani comedians. The show was hosted by Aasif Mandavi of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and showcased comics from major network television shows and blockbuster Hollywood movies. He was offered the opportunity by the producers of the show, whom Said had gotten to know through an audition six months earlier.
Said went on stage midway through a show packed with regular headliners and had about eight to ten minutes on stage. The crowd enjoyed Said’s act - which he describes as “observational comedy” (think improv) – so much that producers from the “New Jersey 1001 Laughs” comedy show asked him to be a part of their show the very next night!
“Comedy and making people laugh can be difficult if you want it to be. If I stay true to myself and stop thinking about what would make them laugh versus what I find funny, then it comes naturally. Each person has their own reason to laugh, and it is my mission to find common ground then deliver on that, so they are entertained. Maybe this is why I enjoy my job so much, each individual has a different definition of vacation… my job is to find the cruise that matches that definition and deliver it.”
As for his future in comedy, Said is taking it one gig at a time. After all he does have his past and future clients to consider!
October 21, 2009 7 Comments
Collected from the experiences of The Cruise Web employees
Regardless of how many times you cruise Europe, you really never see it the same way twice. With so much history and culture and food to experience, each cruise offers a completely different experience, even if the itinerary is the same! But the true way to experience Europe is by finding those “off-the-beaten-path” places that enable you to experience the culture (and usually food) of the area without all the tourist traps. Below are just a few of these hidden gems that our cruise consultants (and their family members) have discovered during their European cruises. [Read more →]
October 21, 2009 3 Comments
Ship tours are one of the many educational opportunities offered to Cruise Web employees. When the different cruise ships come into port, we have a chance to go on board and take a guided tour. This is specifically a great opportunity to learn about ships that travel around the world! As you can imagine, it is an entirely different experience than looking at deck plans and computer generated images on the Internet. This is our chance to see, hear, smell, and especially taste (food, of course) the real experience of a cruise ship.
Our most recent opportunity was this past Friday (October 16) to tour the Celebrity Constellation, leaving out of Bayonne, NJ. We arrived at the port ahead of schedule, parked, and checked in. Boarding the ship was an experience in itself as we were each greeted with a glass of champagne as we began our tour. First, we decided to explore the staterooms. I was not surprised to find that even the interior rooms seemed comfortable, as Celebrity is a cruise line known for a relaxing feel throughout the fleet.
Next, we had the chance to see some of the many common areas, including the Celebrity Theater and Martini Bar. One of my favorite spots was Michael’s Club, an absolutely beautiful lounge that showcases performances on a grand piano while you sit back, enjoy a drink, and get to know the people you will be spending the next week or so with. A fellow consultant Josh commented to me that “the ship had a nice upscale atmosphere to it, along with nicely matched colors, light setting and design.” I could not find any space to argue with him – the ship was beautiful!
After some exploration of our own, we all met up in the main dining room for a luncheon, where we had the chance to experience the impeccable service and food that Celebrity is known for. I sat down and the waiter unfolded my napkin onto my lap and handed me a menu. With so many delicious options, it was difficult to decide on what to order!
After lunch, we regretfully had to leave the ship so it could continue on its journey through Canada and New England. We got back in our car and enjoyed the ride home with our stomachs full and a brand new inventory of knowledge we could relay to our clients. As cruise experts, we can tell people all there is to know about cruising, but there is a difference between knowing and experiencing. These ship tour opportunities ensure that we can tell you from personal experience why one ship or another is your best fit!
October 21, 2009 No Comments
by Chris R., Senior Manager of Sales and Client Services
On Wednesday, October 7th, The Cruise Web attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Career Fair. This particular career fair featured over 100 companies from across the region.
We were very impressed with the level of talent the UMBC students and alumni possessed. Many economic reports mention that this is one of the toughest job markets that college graduates have ever faced.
Being eager to bring in bright individuals to expand and diversify The Cruise Web team, we were there to help these “concerned” students.
The Career Fair brought in a wide variety of students, ranging from those who were graduating in December to those who aren’t graduating until 2012. There was also a steady stream of UMBC Alumni who visited our table.
We came away from UMBC’s Career Fair with a very favorable impression, several good candidates and resumes of several future Cruise Consultants.
Senior Manager of Sales and Client Services
The Cruise Web, Inc.
1-800-377-9383 ext. 282
October 21, 2009 No Comments
by Heather W., Sales Manager
Two years ago I was fortunate enough to take the tour portion of a Europe Cruisetour offered by one of our preferred partners. Beyond the sights, sounds, smells and tastes I encountered, what struck me the most was how much value was incorporated in the tour portion of the Cruisetour.
For those of you not familiar with Cruisetours, a Cruisetour is a cruise plus a land tour of a specific region which occurs before or after a cruise. In Europe, most Cruisetours happen in the order of tour then cruise. Cruisetours are a great way to get a more in-depth vacation experience which, in Europe, means more history, more sights and more chances to eat incredible food! [Read more →]
October 21, 2009 9 Comments
Courtesy of Cunard Line
Queen Mary 2, the most famous Cunard ship in service, made her maiden call to Greenock and the Clyde on Monday October 19, during a special ‘lap-of-honour’ to mark her fifth birthday.
Queen Mary 2 was the largest ship ever to have sailed up the Clyde, a river which has binding and historical ties to Cunard as over 120 Cunarders have been launched there since 1839. Cunard Line is also celebrating the 170th Anniversary of its founding in 2009, so a double celebration for the company and its flagship.
The 151,400-ton Queen Mary 2 arrived at Greenock at 0800 hours on October 19 and remained at the Greenock Ocean Terminal until 1830 hours. To mark the call there was a firework display immediately before her departure.
Commenting on the visit, Cunard’s Managing Director Peter Shanks, said:
“Most of Cunard’s great ships, including Cunard’s first ship Britannia, and Lusitania, Aquitania, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Caronia and QE2 were all built on the Clyde. As a proud Scotsman myself, born in Glasgow and having spent my early years in Troon, I can say just how proud we are of our associations with the river. It is appropriate for our flagship Queen Mary 2 to pay tribute to her Scottish forbears and this visit during Queen Mary 2′s birthday celebrations is very fitting”.
The voyage commemorated the introduction into service of Queen Mary 2 five years ago in January 2004. She is still the largest, longest, tallest, widest, and most expensive ocean liner ever built and, since the retirement of QE2, the fastest passenger ship in the world. Queen Mary 2 entered service just four days after being named by Her Majesty The Queen during the most spectacular naming ceremony Southampton, her home port, had ever seen. Since that historic entry into service Queen Mary 2 has sailed almost 750,000 nautical miles, completed over 120 Atlantic crossings (the route for which she was specifically built, the first passenger ship to be built for that trade in 35 years), and made calls to 115 ports in 45 countries.
Since becoming Cunard flagship in May 2004, taking over the mantle from QE2, Queen Mary 2 has also become one of the most celebrated ships in the world and successfully continues the Cunard passenger liner tradition established 170 years ago.
October 21, 2009 1 Comment
Courtesy of Princess Cruises
With its stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and plethora of active adventure opportunities, Alaska offers the perfect family vacation. To make it easier for families to plan a trip to the 49th state, Princess Cruises has added a fun new cruisetour option designed especially with family groups in mind.
The 12-night cruisetour offers the best of Alaska by land and sea and includes a variety of special features not usually included in a cruisetour package. Families will have the opportunity to travel on a jetboat, pan for gold, take an interactive tour of Denali National Park, and experience what Alaska is like in the winter when it’s many degrees below zero.
“This is really the ultimate family vacation,” said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. “Alaska is a wonderful travel destination with kids, so we wanted to make it easy and affordable to plan the perfect Alaska experience for everyone in the family.”
The Family Fun cruisetour includes a seven-night Voyage of the Glaciers cruise plus a five-night land tour featuring one night at Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, two nights at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and two nights at Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. At sea, families can also take advantage of Princess’ many onboard programs especially for children, including a special Junior Ranger program in Glacier Bay National Park.
In addition, the following special extras are included in the tour:
Daily Breakfast – Everyone in the family can start their morning off with the most important meal of the day.
Rail Service with Lunch – Princess’ acclaimed Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service gets families to their wilderness lodge faster, and includes lunch aboard the train.
Three Rivers Jetboat Tour (Mt. McKinley) –
An exhilarating alternative to taking a motorcoach to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, this tour travels from Talkeetna to the lodge by jetboat, with stops along the river to view historic encampments and learn about the native wildlife.
Arctic Blast (Denali) – Family members can experience winter in Alaska — in the summertime. This special chamber is chilled to wintertime temperatures, so visitors can find out what happens to hot water when it is thrown in the air and whether soap bubbles can survive the cold.
Music of Denali Dinner Theater (Denali) – This rollicking musical comedy tells the legend of the first expedition to the summit of Mt. McKinley, accompanied by a hearty, family-style meal featuring smokehouse ribs and Alaska salmon.
Experience Alaska with Alaska Geographic Tour (Denali) – A more intimate tour of Denali National Park, this special experience includes a variety of interactive experiences, including an enhanced view of the Denali ecosystem and current research taking place. The narrated bus tour takes guests 15 miles into the park to a beautiful river valley where they embark on a short walk to the historic Savage River Camp, where they can participate in a number of hands-on experiences.
Denali Sourdough Expedition Breakfast (Denali) – While fueling up for the day with a family-style, Alaskan roadhouse-style breakfast, guests experience an unforgettable journey up Denali through breathtaking images in Laurent Dick’s Climb Denali. Participants have the opportunity to meet this real mountain climber and ask questions about mountain climbing.
Riverboat Cruise and El Dorado Goldmine Tour (Fairbanks) – Families can enjoy traveling on an authentic sternwheeler for a fully-narrated cruise along the Chena River and try their hands at gold panning at the El Dorado Gold Mine, where they will learn about Alaska’s gold mining history.
October 21, 2009 2 Comments
Courtesy of Silversea
On December 23, 2009 the world’s newest ultra-luxury, all-suite ship, Silver Spirit, will take to the seas on her maiden “Holiday Spirit” voyage from Barcelona to Lisbon.
Construction of Silver Spirit is progressing according to schedule at the Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona, Italy. The 540-guest ship successfully completed a preliminary set of sea trials on Sunday and has repositioned to Trieste for a week in dry dock before undertaking a more rigorous set of sea trials starting on 5 September.
As the structural elements of Silver Spirit take shape, the plans and details for an expansive array of dining options are also emerging.
Rudi Scholdis, Silversea’s culinary director, said: “Recognising the fundamental importance of the culinary experience for the luxury traveler, we have added more dining alternatives aboard our newest ship. Our beautiful Silver Spirit will feature two new dining options for a total of six venues in addition to in-suite service, which includes dinner served course by course. It’s revolutionary for a ship this size to offer so many distinctive dining choices.”
A Menu Of Culinary Artistry
In the exclusive world of small-ship cruising, Silversea’s newest ship raises the bar in fine dining experiences, offering an unmatched variety of creative culinary options designed to suit the most discerning palates. Guests will enjoy the uncommon luxury of open seating – dining when, where, and with whom they wish. Woven through this experience will be the promise of subtle service and an unspoken anticipation of the guest’s needs. The meal itself will be artfully prepared from the finest quality fresh ingredients by master chefs with a taste for innovation. With the convenience of complimentary wines, spirits and sodas and the comfort of an extensive stock of additional rare vintages, the perfect complement to the meal is always at hand.
Situated mid-ship on Deck 4, The Restaurant features sumptuous culinary fare in an atmosphere of elegance. It is elegant but not at all stuffy – the perfect stage for a dining experience guests want to savor. Open most of the day, The Restaurant serves open-seating breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu features contemporary international cuisine, complemented by La Collection du Monde, signature dishes created by Relais & Châteaux in partnership with Silversea’s own master chefs.
The far aft location of La Terrazza on Deck 7 allows for 180-degree views of the horizon. It is open for casual, buffet-style breakfast and lunch with indoor/outdoor seating available. For dinner, La Terrazza offers an authentic a la carte experience with only the finest elements of Italian cooking, melding together fresh and flavorful ingredients — in the finest Slow Food tradition. Reservations are required for dinner.
Savor the delights of outstanding champagnes and wines paired to perfection with regional fares in the intimate atmosphere of Le Champagne, situated aft of The Restaurant on Deck 4. This innovative Wine Restaurant by Relais & Châteaux features some of the world’s rarest vintages, carefully chosen to highlight a most memorable and exclusive culinary experience. There is a fee to dine and reservations may be made on board.
New Dining Venue: Taking its name from the Japanese word for “spirit,” this intimate restaurant specializing in Asian fusion cuisine is situated aft of The Restaurant on Deck 4. Seishin features a large, round chef’s table as its centerpiece. Guests at surrounding tables can watch the chef at work sculpting fresh sushi and sashimi. The varied menu ranges from exquisite bento (boxed meal) lunches and a la carte specialties of seafood salad, lobster and Kobe beef to a nine-course degustation dinner. There is a fee to dine and reservations may be made on board.
Stars Supper Club
New Dining Venue: The warm and inviting Art Deco-inspired decor of this dining venue elegantly recalls the supper clubs of the 1930s. Located just forward of La Terrazza on Deck 7, Stars Supper Club offers a modern twist with trendsetting menus showcasing regional and seasonal delicacies to be enjoyed in a succession of small courses. Guests can arrive early for cocktails and stay late as the mood is transformed by live music, dancing and nightclub-style entertainment. Reservations are required for dinner.
On Deck 9 adjacent to the pool area is the Pool Grill. In addition to a medley of salads, sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs offered for lunch in a casual outdoor setting, the Pool Grill on Silver Spirit will introduce a wellness breakfast designed to complement morning poolside fitness classes. Here guests can start the day energized with a menu of light and delicious fares — from nutrition-packed fresh fruit smoothies and organic cereals to egg-white omelets and spinach and artichoke frittatas. Also set to debut at the Pool Grill is a unique cooking concept for dinner that lets guests cook healthy fare on their own heated volcanic rock plate.
24-Hour In-Suite Dining
Complimentary 24-hour room service is available on all Silversea voyages. Selections from The Restaurant menu are served course by course during regular dining hours, utilizing the same fine china, linens and accessories as enjoyed in The Restaurant.
October 21, 2009 3 Comments