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Cruise Travel / Mediterranean Travel / MSC Cruises / Cruise Technology / Cruise News / Cruises / → All Tags
If you’re looking to cruise around the Mediterranean in high-tech style, get your wallets ready because starting this summer travelers can start booking the next generation of MSC Cruises.
A 4,500 guest, 167,600-GRT ship — due to be delivered in May 2017 and open for bookings starting in June — will be named MSC Meraviglia. She will spend her first summer sailing the western Mediterranean, and will be the first to have three homeports: Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona.
And tech-y cruisers take note: MSC Meraviglia will feature a range of technological advancements, like "Near Field Communication" technology, enabling guests to make onboard payments, access their staterooms or geo-locate children by using their cruise card, bracelet or smartphone.
Another feature will be a 5,167 square foot LED screen, which forms the entire ceiling of the ship’s interior promenade. Like a digital sky, this LED image vault will beam out images and vistas day and night – including scheduled visual events – creating a variety of atmospheres at all times.
Cruise Travel / British Virgin Islands Travel / Tortola Travel / Cruises / Cruise Ports / Caribbean Travel / → All Tags
The British Virgin Islands’ cruise pier expansion project in Tortola will soon be completed with an official opening and celebration on April 29.
The pier has been widened to 60 feet and lengthened to 1,039 feet, according to a statement from the BVI Ports Authority. That includes the addition of mooring “dolphins” adding 273 feet for a total of 1,312 feet of berthing space. The BVI has signed agreements with Disney and Norwegian Cruise Lines to bring more than 425,000 annual cruise visitors to the territory.
So what to do if you take a cruise that ports in Tortola? Well, we’ve been there several times and if you only have one day to spend on the island here’s our advice: Head directly to Cane Garden Bay, the prettiest beach on Tortola, lined with seaside eateries and fun beach bars like Quito’s Gazebo and Myetts.
Skip Roadtown – there’s not a whole lot to see and it’s not the quaint little Caribbean village one might expect. Surfing enthusiasts might want to check out Apple Bay to either try the waves themselves or sit with a cocktail in hand from the Bomba Shack watching others wipe out.
[Photos: BVI Ports Authority; BVI Tourism Bureau]
When setting sail on your next cruise you might want to skip the umbrella drink, as now there’s something a little bit better brewing aboard one ship.
Carnival Cruise Lines is adding an at-sea brewpub, and with it they’ll be brewing lagers and ales far from shore. The kegs and kettles will be loaded onto one of the newest ships in the fleet—Carnival Vista—that is scheduled to start doing its thing next year.
Right now it sounds like they’re still trying to figure out all the details, so no word on exactly what will be offered. However, we do know that things will be served up onboard within their RedFrog Pub, and we’re pretty sure that they will not be utilizing saltwater in any of their recipes.
[Photo: Frank Morales R]
[Photo: Frank Morales R]
Safety Videos / Condor Ferries / YouTube / Cruises / Cruise Travel / Ferry Travel / UK Travel / Travel Ads / → All Tags
It seems airlines and cruises continually compete for the coolest safety videos. Air New Zealand created a hobbit-themed epic, even going so far as convincing Elijah Wood to recreate his role.
But British cruiser Condor Ferries, who operate between mainland England, France and the Channel Islands, has gone a different route with a two-and-a-half-minute cringe-worthy rap, complete with British-accented gangsterisms.
Set to the tune of Sugarhill Gang’s "Rapper’s Delight," the video stars three "staffers" from the ferry firm, with the trio showcasing their hip-hop candor while busting dance moves only ever used by that weird uncle at family weddings.
The safety video quickly sets the tone—deafly—in the first line, “I’m the C-A-P-T to the A-I-N”—because we weren’t sure how to spell captain. From there, the instructions only get
sexist better with the captain, later, urging, “now, ladies, hey ladies, sharp objects can’t go on our slides, so leave those heels behind,” and the safety inspector female telling passengers not to “act the fool” in her delightfully posh accent.
Cruise News / Cruises / Cruise Travel / Celebrity Cruises / Celebrity Reflection / Cruise Bars / Molecular Bar / → All Tags
Thinking about cruising in 2015 or 2016? Then say hello to our cruise specialist, MaidenVoyage. As a travel agent who spends day in and day out booking cruises for curious travelers, she knows cruise lines and ships like the back of a muster drill script. Got a question about cruises? Even a stupid one? MaidenVoyage has heard and seen it all, so don't be shy. Send your cruise question to her!
I hate bad news. Last week, as I was trying to digest the information given to me and figure out why it was happening, Jaunted posted Janice's story about the Molecular Bar on the Celebrity Reflection. We must've been vibing.
It just so happens that the bad news I received (which TravelHopsGirl also mentioned in the comments section) is that the Molecular Bar is going bye-bye. I think I gasped in horror and shed a tear when I was told. Deep down in my heart I was hoping that Celebrity would put this gem on ALL of its ships, not just their Solstice Class. I was way wrong.
Cruise Travel / Cruises / Celebrity Cruises / Royal Caribbean / Ships / Bars / Caribbean Travel / → All Tags
Most bars on cruise ships are pretty decent – you tend to have your champagne bar, martini bar, the big lounge with the live performers, and the nightclub, which is usually pretty empty but at least you can get some dance music every once in a while thrown in amongst the 60s nights.
But Celebrity Cruises has definitely upped the cool factor with a couple of bars that can be found on all Solstice class ships: yes, there’s the Martini Bar, but this one has an actual ice-top bar with ice-blue mood lighting, and there’s the Molecular Bar specializing in fancy foams and complex cocktails by award-winning mixologist Junior Merino. And then, unique to Celebrity Reflection, is the au courant pop-up nightclub concept.
Alexander Yepremian, the Reflection’s Cruise Director, had the brainiac idea to start a nightclub that would dock in a different bar each night at 10:30 p.m., with killer names like “Liquid” and “Indulgence.” On one particular night, this writer was having a glass of Pinot Noir at the club chair-rich Cellar Masters wine bar when crew started to move in carrying lights, sound equipment and cages large enough for cage dancers to shake their booty in. By the time I left, about an hour-and-a-half later, the DJ was throwing out some sweet sounds, the crowd was swaying and imbibing, and people were lined up outside on the red carpet waiting to get in.
Cruise Travel / Cruises / Celebrity Cruises / Royal Caribbean / Ships / Interviews / Caribbean Travel / → All Tags
Have you ever wondered what it's like to run a hotel at sea as compared to one on land? Well this is the kind of thing that occupies this writer’s brain so I took some time during my vacation aboard Celebrity Reflection to speak with the ship’s Hotel Director (because yes – they have that), Jamie Petts, to get the inside scoop.
Like a hotel GM, a ship’s Hotel Director oversees pretty much everything to do with running a regular hotel including F&B, housekeeping and guest services. But unlike a GM who also looks after revenue and bookings, Jamie’s concerns are more hands-on: getting 3,000 people off the boat and back on 25-minutes later, whether the tenders are working properly and if the pools can open on time due to rough seas.
Retro Travel / Florida Travel / Miami Travel / Throwback Thursday / Miami Beach Travel / Cruise Travel / → All Tags
Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't get that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.
How much was a 10-day Bahamas cruise over 60 years ago? Well, you have your answer in the ad above, placed in Playboy in 1960. It advertises a voyage on a Windjammer sailing ship, departing Miami, with stops at Bimini, the Berry Islands, Nassau, Havana, Abaco, Cay Sal, and Grand Bahama all for $175 per person.
Cruise Travel / Cruises / Celebrity Cruises / Royal Caribbean / Ships / Spa Travel / Caribbean Travel / Travel News / Selfies / → All Tags
Relax. This story is not about Selfie Sticks.
With the ferociously brutal winter almost behind us, this contributor decided to take some desperately-needed recuperating time, not just for my hunched-over, heat-starved body but for my rattled, over-worked brain as well. I really needed to unplug both mind and spirit.
The only way to prevent me, however, from sneaking an illicit peek at my emails and “only answering a few” was to book a cruise where that privilege costs a pretty penny. Ergo, I found myself on Celebrity Cruises’ Reflection, their newest ship on the block.
Celebrity has keyed into a traveler's need to disconnect and so they teamed up with Randi Zuckerberg, former Facebook and current Editor-in-Chief of Dot Complicated, and big advocate of finding a tech-life balance. The two brands came up with a series of spa and wellness treatments that encourage you to Take Care of YourSelfie. Clever marketing name aside, I didn't need to be told twice.
Thinking about cruising in 2015? Then say hello to our cruise specialist, MaidenVoyage. As a travel agent who spends day in and day out booking cruises for curious travelers, she knows cruise lines and ships like the back of a muster drill script. Got a question about cruises? Even a stupid one? MaidenVoyage has heard and seen it all, so don't be shy. Send your cruise question to her!
The one cruise request that I've been getting daily for the last few weeks is...Alaska. Y'all back in the Northeast just groaned, I'm sure. See, over here in the western U.S., where I'm based, we've had a mild winter. Besides, from here traveling to Alaska isn't an all day thing like going to Florida or the Caribbean or Europe.
So since the AK cruise season is upon us and since that just happens to be the last cruise we took (on the Celebrity Solstice), we thought we'd give you a Cruising Alaska 101 story. Grab your hats and gloves!
As you sit dreaming of cruising right out of winter weather, a voyage to Chicago probably hasn’t entered your mind. But starting in July, Great Lakes Cruise Company will begin offering itineraries from Montreal to Chicago with the inaugural trip leaving Montreal on July 5 and porting in Chicago on July 14.
With only 105 state rooms, the ship, the M.S. Saint Laurent, is teeny tiny compared to typical cruise vessels due to Great Lakes size limitations. But this vacation won’t come at a teeny tiny price. The company says the price for the trip will range from $4,199 to $7,999 per person. Ouch.
Cruise Travel / Ships / Travel News / Lists / Azamara Club Cruises / Princess Cruises / Royal Caribbean / Quantum of the Seas / Royal Princess / Regal Princess / → All Tags
Chocolate buffets. Rock climbing walls. Waterslides. Ice skating rinks! Sometimes it seems as though innovation for cruise ships is solely focused on making passengers forget that they're on a boat.
Thankfully a few new additions to ships and cruise lines over the last few years have focused not on all the bells and whistles inside the ship, but on the ship itself. The simple experience of sailing on the open ocean is a natural amenity much taken for granted, and these 3 new cruise ship features understand that: