(3:35 p.m. EST) — AT&T Wireless, in partnership with Samsung and Carnival Corp., is offering visitors to 133 of its stores in 37 states a chance to take a virtual cruise — and a chance to win the real thing. Using the new Samsung Gear VR virtual reality simulator, patrons can experience what it’s like to sail the high seas. They can also enter to win one of 10 seven-night sailings with one of Carnival Corp.’s brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. Those who purchase select Samsung devices will also receive onboard credit of up to $100 to spend on select Carnival Corp. sailings taken within the next year. The event runs now through March 11, 2016.
Crystal Serenity will visit four ports of call for the first time during its 2017 world cruise. New-to-Crystal destinations include Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala; Matarani, Peru; Iquique, Chile; and Castro Island (Chiloe), Chile. The 94-night journey does not actually circumnavigate the globe, but does sail around the entirety of South America, roundtrip from Miami, visiting Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, the Caribbean and Antarctica.
Carnival Cruise Line is bringing its popular Hub app to two more ships: Carnival Pride on April 3 and Carnival Vista on May 1. The free app, for use onboard, allows passengers to view daily FunTimes schedules, onboard account balances, dining information and deck plans. For a $5 fee, app users can also access a chat feature, which allows them to communicate with other members in their travel party while on the ship. April 3 also marks the fleetwide rollout of the cruise line’s revamped, streamlined FunTimes, which will be easier to read.
P&O Cruises is launching four dedicated Strictly Come Dancing themed holidays running from April of this year. Cruises based around Britain’s favorite dancing competition will feature four of the shows professional dancers and celebrity judge Craig Revel Horwood. As well as spectacular Strictly Come Dancing showcase routines, the glitzy experience will include interviews and meet-and-greet opportunities with the stars. The 13- and 14-night cruises start at £849 pp and include itineraries around the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean.
In an effort to avoid repetition from sailing to sailing during its trivia competitions, Carnival will be using tablets equipped with thousands of questions across multiple themes. New questions will be added monthly. Cruise Critic members are already welcoming the change; join the discussion on the Changes Coming to Onboard Trivia thread.
High-flyers of the fashion world will be boarding Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 for a 7-night transatlantic crossing in September to New York — to arrive on the same day New York Fashion Week 2016 kicks off. Award winning British fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes will be onboard to talk about her career in couture. Fashion historian and commentator Colin McDowell and Fern Mallis, the “Godmother of Fashion” and founder of New York Fashion Week, will also be joining the line-up of fashion royalty aboard the QM2, which will be refurbished in spring 2016, when it departs from Southampton on September 1.