(2:27 p.m. EST) — Over-the-door shoe holders, long used in cabins by cruisers to organize everything from toiletries to jewelry, can still be used aboard Carnival Cruise Line ships — but with stipulations. Line representative Vance Gulliksen says, "they may only be used if they are a fire retardant material and do not damage the door," adding that they must also be hung on the inside of the cabin, rather than facing out into the hallway.
Royal Caribbean is inviting potential cruisers to experience virtual Caribbean excursions through the social media app Periscope. There will be 13 live broadcasts over a seven day period as Anthem of the Seas, Royal’s newest ship, visits five Caribbean islands. Streaming events will begin at the Las Playas natural water slide in Puerto Rico; others will include playing with green monkeys at the Wildlife Reserve in Barbados and riding ATVs in St. Maarten. Viewers will also get a sneak peek at the adventurous side of onboard life as dancing robots create cocktail concoctions at the ship’s Bionic Bar.
Beer-lovers rejoice! Carnival Pride now offers Baltimore-based Heavy Seas beer on its sailings out of Charm City. In addition to Carnival Cruise Line’s own ThirstyFrog Red, the line now features more than a dozen locally brewed beers from cities in which its ships are based. Currently, selections from Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Alaska and Hawaii are available, and, according to a statement from the line, offerings from New York and California will soon be added.
Anyone considering his or her first cruise on Princess is in for a treat. The line has unveiled a new video series on its website, starring Cat Greenleaf, the host of NBC’s “Talk Stoop.” In short, one- to two-minute episodes, the busy wife and mother of two boys documents her cruise from beginning to end with a first-time perspective designed to help cruisers plan and give a glimpse of what cruising is all about. Episodes include Greenleaf’s first impressions, various onboard activities and a beach and shopping excursion in St. Thomas. “My cruise was relaxing, renewing and, most of all, fun for everyone involved — kids and grownups alike,” said Greenleaf. “I’m excited to share my experience with people considering their first cruise who may not know what to expect.”
Crystal Cruises’ and Star Cruises’ owner, Genting Hong Kong, is launching a new cruise line for the Asian market called Dream Cruises. The first ship, Genting Dream, will be delivered November 2016, while the second, World Dream, is earmarked for a November 2017 delivery. The ships will carry 3,400 passengers each, making them the largest cruise ships built for an Asian cruise line.
Costa Cruises is offering customers a unique souvenir in the form of a personalized 3D statuette of themselves. The service is available on its flagship Costa Diadema and involves a body scan using the latest 3D technology to create a miniature figurine between 13cm and 21cm. The information is then sent to Barcelona where the printing process is completed and the reproduction is delivered directly to the person’s home.
Viking River Cruises has confirmed it will be sponsoring a garden at next year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London. The river cruise line has appointed award-winning landscape designer Sarah Eberle, who will design an artisan garden inspired by the landscape of the Mekong River and incorporating the hull of a traditional boat. The design will capture the horticulture of the Asian river, which includes floating gardens and exotic flowers and grasses. It is the third year Viking has sponsored a garden at the show.
River cruise operator Vantage Deluxe World Travel has developed a new brand, Vantage Adventures. In 2016 and 2017, the company is offering small-group trips to Africa, China, Burma, Vietnam, India, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, the Galapagos, Antarctica, Iceland and Cuba. Some of the trips will run in conjunction with river cruises, while others will be completely on land.
New itineraries for Swan Hellenic’s 2016 summer season are to include a number of firsts, as well as a distinctly horticultural theme. In partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society, the company will be offering a number of excursions where passengers can experience the floral delights of Jardin des Plantes de Nantes, Monet’s gardens in Giverny, Parc Oriental de Maulevrier, Rotterdam’s Trompenburg Tuinen and Arboretum before ending the cruise at the Chelsea Flower Show. Firsts for the line will include sailing to the White Sea, with an overnight in Honningsvag to witness the natural phenomenon of the Midnight Sun, as well as a single itinerary sailing three rivers: the Garonne, the Seine and the Loire.
Voyages of Discovery has announced the addition of 32 destinations to its winter 2016-17 program. New countries for Voyager will include Vietnam, Malaysia, Mauritius, South Africa and Borneo. Highlights of the winter season are a six-port cruise down the Vietnamese coast, a 16-day island-hopping trip around the Indian Ocean and a 22-day Southern Africa cruise from Cape Town to the Canary Islands.