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Fiji Field Trip / Fiji Travel / How To Get There / NAN / Air Pacific / Fiji Airways / Korean Air / Royal Caribbean / P&O Cruises / Carnival Cruises / Island Travel / → All Tags
Last week, we dished on Air Pacific's brand new airplane, new look as Fiji Airways, and even mentioned how to test out the fresh bird.
Just the thought of Fiji seems exotic, pretty far away, and difficult to get to. Exotic, yes. Far away, sure. Hard to get to, not at all. With major airline routes and cruise ship itineraries, you too can set your watches to Fiji-time soon. If you just can't wait and feel the need to wiggle your toes in the sand while enjoying a sunset like the one above, here are our recommendations to get yourself to the middle of paradise:
So after what we can only imagine as a truly horrible, disgusting, and miserable week, the Carnival ship Triumph is back in port. In case you missed it, the ship was busy doing its thing with passengers partying down, but then there was an engine fire which stopped the necessary bits from working. Long story short the bathrooms failed, food was limited, and the boat floated off from its planned course.
Now that it's been towed back to Mobile, Alabama there’s plenty of work to get the ship up and running—and clean—but it looks like they’re ready to start booking some new cruises.
When future scholars write the definitive catalog of early 21st century First World Problems, the hysteria over the Carnival Cruises Triumph debacle will surely rank near the top. At last count there were well over a thousand different articles on Google News describing the experience as a "nightmare" for the passengers. This one has a picture of a woman kissing the ground once she got off the ship, as if she had just been released from a Soviet gulag or something.
Really? A "nightmare"? Is that what we're calling it when you have to spend a few extra days on a modern ocean liner the likes of which previous generations could barely imagine? There are millions of children in this world laboring under body-killing, brain-numbing, poverty-stricken misery. We understand that the cruise ship got a little bit icky toward the end, but broken toilets or not the passengers were on a fucking cruise ship. We watched news reports of the ship being towed into port. There were people dancing on deck of the fucking cruise ship they were on.
Dodging a glitter bullet, Carnival Cruises have given a boatload of performers reason to keep a smile on their faces. Even if it's with a lot of makeup.
After some back and forth about the appropriateness of having a cruise ship filled with drag queens and female-impersonator performers, the cruise line finally came to its senses and allowed the ship to set sail for the Largest Gathering of Drag Queens at Sea. Originally, the execs decided to threaten the Queens that if they were to dress in costume aboard, they would be "disembarked at their own expense and no refund will be given." That's pretty discriminatory, not to mention way harsh.
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The latest Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked!, opens today, and follows the characters we all got to know as kids as they embark on their first cruise vacation.
Most of the movie was filmed on the Carnival Dream cruise ship last January, on open decks and within the ship’s recreation areas.
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Looks like these ladies also love our souvenir cup
Have you figured out where you're going for a stereotypical summer vacation yet? Maybe Cancun or Jamaica? Perhaps it's the year for Orlando or Cabo. Orbear with usa cruise? We're of the mind that if you're going to go all out and get on a big boat with thousands of others to drink and eat for 4 days or more, there better be some irony to it. A good example is taking a theme cruise versus a regular one, or going the super classy route on a Cunard ship.
Our current favorite option is the Elvis Cruise 2012, which happens next January, so you've got allllll summer to save up and start amassing adhesive sideburns. It's a quickie cruisefour days from Jacksonville, FL to Nassau, Bahamasbut there'll be 2,000 Elvis fanatics onboard and the idea of that blows our mind.
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Supplies being dropped to the Carnival Splendor
On Monday, the Carnival Splendor cruise ship suffered a small engine room fire, which caused the shipwhile some 200 miles off the coast of San Diegoto loose power and call in tugs from the mainland. The ship is now operating on auxiliary power and its 3,299 passengers and 1,167 crew members have been subsisting on Pop Tarts, croissants, Spam and other relief groceries dropped to the ship by Navy helicopters.
With no phone signals, internet connection or even properly working toilets, the "conditions on board the ship are very challenging."
Although we can't hear the tales of misery from the Splendor guests quite yet, we do know someone who has experienced a similar situation. Kathy, who was kind enough to share her story with us, was stuck onboard a crippled cruise ship for three days as well, albeit a couple decades ago.
Kathy's three days of hell, at sea:
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Did you behave yourself this week and eat all of your vegetables? Good, because we've got some visual dessert for you right now, with a look at the Chocolate Buffet onboard the Carnival Glory. We sailed on the ship recently for a family function, and in between shuffleboard and waterslide time, we managed to hit a buffet or two. Or three. Regardless, chocolate buffets are a notorious perk of taking a cruise, and although many are served at midnight, this one fell right after lunch.
Remember last week, when we talked about giving in and buying a kitschy souvenir cup onboard a recent cruise? That was just the tip of the icebergpardon the mention of ship and icebergs in the same sentence. Knowing that it's almost wholly suites and balcony staterooms that get talked about online and in magazines, we wanted to give a look inside our room, a standard exterior cabin on the lowest passenger deck of the Carnival Cruises' Carnival Glory.
Room 1412 isn't anything special, unless you count the fact that it has a window. We've never known anyone to stay in one of the giant, "Owner Suites," because who does that? We're not nearly old enough to try it.
Our room encompassed three lower bedsone of which is technically a converted couchplus an upper bunk slept four comfortably and we have to admit that we were pleasantly surprised over the size of the bathroom and room in general, considering this was one of the cheapest rooms onboard and we've stayed in plenty smaller cabins in cruises past. Take a look at the images and judge for yourself, though. Do you think you could spend a week at sea sleeping in here?
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When is it okay to go ahead and buy the overpriced souvenir drink? Our reply: when it promises to include the kitschiest cup imaginable, in the oddest and hardest-to-wash shape possible. This ship funnel-shaped cocktail completely fit the bill on our recent Carnival Cruise. And since our cruise was one of those have-to-go-hang-with-the-family ones, we happily handed over our shipboard charge card and paid $12 for the honor of owning it.
It's just one of those things. On other days of the cruise, you could get the "Drink of the Day" delivered in a plastic tiki cup or a carved coconut (yes, even on this cruise to Canada), but when we saw this one, it was too perfect. For one, it makes an awesomeif totally garishbud vase, and for another thing, we relish the thought that one day when we're cold and dead, some yet-to-be-born relative of ours will pull this out of a box and wonder what the hell it is.
What do you do when you're on a long flight with your own seatback TV and there's just nothing good playing? You turn on the "Airshow" channel, of course. The Airshow is the station that alternates displaying your flight's route map with other geeky information like speed, altitude, miles to destination and outside temperature. Tell us you love Airshow too?
Well, we recently went on a Carnival cruise with some family and were so thrilled to find that not only does the cabin television have the usual bow and pool cams, but they also have a channel just like Airshow ("Seashow?"). At any given moment, without having to call Guest Services or check a TV in the main atrium, we could see our ship's location plotted on the ocean, check sunrise and sunset times, view how many nautical miles we've chugged through, andour favorite featurediscover the sea's depth below us (usually between 250-150').
Those of you who plastered posters of New Kids on the Block's Joey, Jordan and Donnie on their walls—you know who you are—can hang tough with your favorite boy band on the NKOTB Cruise 2010.
That's right, you'll be stuck on a boat with the not-so-New Kids. Carnival is hosting an NKOTB cruise from the port of Miami to Half Moon Cay and Nassau in the Bahamas from May 12 to 16. Tickets just went on sale and will likely sell out.
This marks the third voyage for the New Kids, and this year they are going bigger, setting sail on the Carnival Destiny with 2,600 rabid 30-something fans. Last year, the NKTOB cruise sold out in just a couple of hours, so this year the group got a larger boat.