Archive November 2015

Every Norwegian Cruise Line Ship to be Refurbed & Other News from Norwegian Escape

(2 p.m EST) — Norwegian Cruise Line is putting an emphasis on ship refurbishments, addressing drifting smoke in its casinos and didn’t rule out fees for Margaritaville at Sea, a new restaurant on Escape. The announcements took place at a press conference onboard Norwegian Escape this morning, with Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and Andy Stuart, COO of Norwegian Cruise Line. The two men talked about their newest ship in front of a slide that read, “Three distinct brands. One incredible company.” Here are more details: Norwegian...

10 New Year’s Eve alternatives for 2015 | World Travel Guide

Forget Auld Lang Syne and elbow room only, our alternative New Year’s Eve guide will take you from punch-ups in Peru to the bottom of a Siberian lake. 1) Dive with a tree in Siberia Lake Baikal is the scene of one of the more bizarre New Year’s celebrations. The Siberian tradition sees local divers cut a hole in the lake’s icy surface, don their dry suits and plunge into the frigid waters… with a Christmas tree. The divers descend to the bottom of the lake, before emerging to face temperatures of -20°C (-4°F). Only certified divers (and nutcases) can take part,...

The One App You Need If You’re Traveling to Asia

Recently a friend and I found ourselves almost stranded at the Phuket International Airport due to communication issues with our taxi driver. After carefully selecting and booking accommodations and screen-shooting the addresses to avoid data roaming charges, we thought we were well prepared. Well, we thought wrong. When we showed the driver the screen grab of the hotel address on our phone, we received a polite, yet confused look. He pointed up to a street sign that had Thai characters on it and shook his head. It was then that we realized he could not read the street name or name of the...

MSC Cruises to Deploy Second Ship in Cuba

(7:15 a.m EST) — MSC Cruises is set to add a second ship to Cuba, according to its CEO. Speaking at a media briefing during the presentation of the newly refurbished MSC Lirica, CEO Gianni Onorato said MSC Cruises is “planning to add a second ship in Cuba from winter 2016,” according to SeatradeCruise News. In July this year MSC announced it would be the first mainstream cruise line to homeport in Cuba, with MSC Opera based in Havana for winter 2015/16. The unofficial news came yesterday, when the Italian line unveiled the enhancements to MSC Lirica, the final vessel to be...

Norwegian Escape Christened By Pitbull in Miami Pierside Ceremony

(10:30 p.m EST) — “Welcome to what it means to be sexy,” smirks Pitbull, remarking on the thick Miami heat hanging over the ceremony for the ship he was about to christen, Norwegian Escape. The late afternoon event to kick off Escape’s year-round sailings from its homeport of Miami was met with energy and enthusiasm from its leadership team, performances of onboard productions of “After Midnight” and “Million Dollar Quartet”, and emceed by cruise director Julie Valeriote and Froggy of Z100’s “Elvis Duran and the Z Morning...

Cirque du Soleil to Hit the High Seas with MSC Cruises

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Maldives State of Emergency Causes Cruise Line to Skip Port

(10:50 p.m. EDT) — Civil unrest and security issues in the Maldives — which forced the country’s president to declare a 30-day state of emergency beginning November 4 — have caused at least one cruise line to change its course. Oceania Insignia has canceled its November 9 call at the archipelago’s capital city of Male. The ship will instead visit Colombo, Sri Lanka. “The safety and security of our guests and crew is paramount,” the line said in a statement. “Due to recent civil unrest and security issues, the Maldivian government has declared a...

Celebrity Cruises Swaps Formal Nights for Evening Chic

(9 a.m. EST) — Jackets and ties no longer will be required in the main dining room on select nights onboard a Celebrity Cruises sailing. The line is replacing formal nights across its fleet with more relaxed “evening chic” nights, starting in December. The new dress code, which the line calls evening chic, is dressier than the “smart casual” attire recommended for most evenings but less dressy than formal attire. The change, driven by the line’s evolving passenger mix, is designed to enable passengers to express their own sense of sophistication, Brian...

Guernsey cruise market predicted to increase in 2016

(1:00 p.m. GMT) — The Guernsey Tourist Board is expecting a 7-8% increase in passenger numbers next year — outstripping the 123,000 passengers which visited this year. A total of 105 forward bookings have been recorded so far for cruises to tender on Guernsey for 2016, with a further 17 to visit sister islands of Sark, Alderney, and Herm. These numbers are being boosted by the inaugural visits of several ships including Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic – on its first British Isles cruise – and Oceania Cruise’s newest acquisition, Sirena. The news comes...

Lower Water Levels Continue to Affect Europe River Cruises

(11:03 a.m. EST) — Several river cruise lines have been forced to cancel or alter their plans on the Danube River, due to continuing low water levels and drought conditions in Europe. On a sailing from Budapest to Amsterdam on Uniworld Boutique Cruises’ Maria Theresa supership, the captain delivered the news Friday in Passau that the ship could go no further. Other ships are tied up at a smaller town about 12 miles east. Saturday, members of the ship were told that three cargo barges have run aground near Deggendorf, completely closing the river, even to small craft....

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