Archive November 2015

Royal Caribbean Charging for WOWBands

(3:35 p.m. EDT) – Royal Caribbean has begun charging $4.99 for its WOWBands on Anthem of the Seas. The RFID bands, which wearers can use in place of their room keys to get into cabins or pay for drinks, are still free on Quantum of the Seas and were free on Anthem of the Seas during its stay in the U.K. Passengers in junior suites or above still receive the WOWBands for free. “We boarded Anthem today for her first Caribbean cruise from Bayonne and did not receive WOWbands in our cabin upon embarkation,” wrote Cruise Critic member Dave85. “After our cabin steward informed...

Carnival Changes Policy on Over-the-Door Organizers and Other Cruise News

(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 Periscopes Caribbean Excursions Royal Caribbean is inviting potential cruisers to experience virtual Caribbean ...

Celebrity Announces Suite Enhancements, Michael’s Club Extended to Sky Suites

(11 a.m. EST) – Suite passengers sailing on Celebrity Cruises will receive more benefits in 2016, including better bath products, snacks and in some suites, Champagne, while passengers in Sky Suites will now have Michael’s Club access. “Celebrity Cruises now will be the only premium cruise line to offer every suite, regardless of category, a personal butler, exclusive restaurant (Luminae) and a private lounge with a dedicated concierge,” the line said in a release. Bulgari bath products will appear again in the suites, beginning in January 2016. (The line...

Thomson Cruises reveals details of new cruise ship Thomson Discovery

(12:30 p.m GMT) — Thomson Cruises has revealed plans for its new ship, Thomson Discovery, which include a number of dining options, a new design and details of the entertainment and hotel providers. The 1,830-passenger ship — which is currently sailing as Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas — will have eight dining options, including two new signature restaurants — Snack Shack and Gallery 47°. The ship launches on June 9, 2016, and will be based in Palma, Majorca, during the summer and Barbados in the winter. Snack Shack (pictured below) will be on the...

‘Tangled the Musical’ Debuts on Disney Magic

(7:20 p.m EST) — The world premiere of Disney Magic’s “Tangled the Musical” took place onboard the ship in Miami today, attended by members of the media, special guests, and the families of past and active military in honor of Veteran’s Day. The show features the work of a Tony, Grammy and Emmy award-winning creative team, as well as three original songs written by Alan Menken, famed composer of Disney films including “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Best.” With a running time of one hour, the stage production condenses the...

Cunard Reveals Plans for New Queen Mary 2 Lounge

(9:20 a.m EST) — The heritage of Cunard’s Carinthia liners has inspired the design of the new lounge on Queen Mary 2, which will see the current Winter Garden transformed into a stylish all-day venue. Cunard has released details of the Carinthia Lounge that will be installed during the flagship’s multi-million pound refit in 2016. The lounge will feature powder blue, cream and gold decor, a “wine wall”, dark walnut dance floor and Art Deco-style screens. Serving light breakfast and lunch, afternoon tea followed by evening drinks, refreshments and entertainment,...

MSC Divina Cruise Ship Returns to Miami Homeport

(8 a.m EST) — MSC Divina returned to Miami today, where the cruise ship will sail Caribbean itineraries year-round. The 3,500-passenger ship, from Geneva, Switzerland-based MSC Cruises, returns after sailing the summer season in the Mediterranean, where the cruise line has deep roots. It previously home-ported in Miami from November 2013 to April 2015. Divina’s return comes with a number of new features, chief among them an expanded offering with partner Blend Craft Wines, a fresh entertainment lineup, an updated casino and additional family options. The new wine experience,...

Viking Ocean Cruises Confirms Order for Two More Ships

(5:00 a.m. EDT) — Viking Ocean Cruises has confirmed an order for two more cruise ships from Italian shipbuilders Fincantieri. The two new vessels will become part of Viking’s fleet in mid-2018 and at the end of 2020, boosting its ocean fleet to six vessels. Viking has already ordered four sister ships, one of which — Viking Star (pictured above) — was launched earlier this year. The second and third ships are scheduled for delivery in 2016 and 2017. It is not yet confirmed when the fourth will be delivered. The two new 47,800-ton ships will accommodate 930...

Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail: PART 4 (With Video!)

Hiking the Arctic Circle Trail Sisimiut, Greenland Carefully trying to pick my way across a marsh, I sink into a deep pocket of mud up to my shins. This wet terrain is a regular hazard on the Arctic Circle Trail. NOTE: This is Part 4 of a series. ► Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Packing/Logistics DAY 9: Innajuattoq to Nerumaq Hiking Distance 16 km (10 miles) | 6 hours The Greenlandic morning is dark & wet with heavy fog at 8am when I begin packing my gear for the next leg of the Arctic Circle Trail. Luckily most of the day will be hiking downhill out of the mountains. Stuffing dry kindling...

Freighter Ship Aranui 5 Arrives in Tahiti for Upgraded Cargo Cruises

(5 p.m AEST) — Cargo cruising has received an upgrade with the arrival of Aranui 5, a custom-built, dual-purpose freighter and passenger ship with more comfortable cabins and recreational facilities. Sailing into its new home, Tahiti, the 254-passenger Aranui 5 sports a record number of balcony cabins for such a vessel — more than half of the ship’s rooms (60) feature a private balcony, which is five times more than offered on its predecessor, Aranui 3. Premium and deluxe categories, as well as some single staterooms, have been added for the first time, styled with...

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