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GerryBarker

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    Gerry
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  1. MIAMI, Aug. 14, 2019 – With the smashing success of Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean International is celebrating 100 days of Perfect Day with a double dose of adventure. The cruise line has revealed new, 4-night itineraries that now tout two visits to the industry’s leading private island destination. In one short getaway, guests will have twice the time to thrill and chill on their choice of nearly 40 sailings beginning Sept. 30, 2019. Three exclusive cruises also make their debut today, featuring the ultimate late-night island experience on Perfect Day, complete with extended hours and new adventures. “Perfect Day at CocoCay has revolutionized private destinations in the vacation industry, and the resounding feedback from our guests is that they want more – more time and even more ways to experience the island,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We’re building on an incredible adventure that’s already winning the hearts of many.” Guests sailing on board Navigator and Mariner of the Seas on these select cruises can double down on adventure by chilling one day and dialing up the thrills the next, or hitting repeat on a combination of all their favorites. From plunging down the tallest waterslide in North America, Daredevil’s Peak, and soaring up to 450 feet in the air in the Up, Up & Away helium balloon, to relaxing in the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool, Oasis Lagoon; or on the pristine, white sand beaches, vacationers have plenty to choose from. PERFECT DAYS TURN INTO PERFECT NIGHTS Shining a whole new light on the ultimate short getaway are Royal Caribbean’s three one-of-a-kind cruises with late-night visits to the island on board Navigator. Travelers of all ages will have the chance to extend the excitement long after the sun sets with traditional Bahamian-inspired activities, including a Junkanoo Jam Up Party, an island barbeque and performances by a calypso band and fire dancers, topped off with unforgettable farewell fireworks before setting sail. For more details on the cruise line’s new itineraries to Perfect Day at CocoCay, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com. (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com) View full article
  2. MIAMI, Aug. 14, 2019 – With the smashing success of Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean International is celebrating 100 days of Perfect Day with a double dose of adventure. The cruise line has revealed new, 4-night itineraries that now tout two visits to the industry’s leading private island destination. In one short getaway, guests will have twice the time to thrill and chill on their choice of nearly 40 sailings beginning Sept. 30, 2019. Three exclusive cruises also make their debut today, featuring the ultimate late-night island experience on Perfect Day, complete with extended hours and new adventures. “Perfect Day at CocoCay has revolutionized private destinations in the vacation industry, and the resounding feedback from our guests is that they want more – more time and even more ways to experience the island,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We’re building on an incredible adventure that’s already winning the hearts of many.” Guests sailing on board Navigator and Mariner of the Seas on these select cruises can double down on adventure by chilling one day and dialing up the thrills the next, or hitting repeat on a combination of all their favorites. From plunging down the tallest waterslide in North America, Daredevil’s Peak, and soaring up to 450 feet in the air in the Up, Up & Away helium balloon, to relaxing in the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool, Oasis Lagoon; or on the pristine, white sand beaches, vacationers have plenty to choose from. PERFECT DAYS TURN INTO PERFECT NIGHTS Shining a whole new light on the ultimate short getaway are Royal Caribbean’s three one-of-a-kind cruises with late-night visits to the island on board Navigator. Travelers of all ages will have the chance to extend the excitement long after the sun sets with traditional Bahamian-inspired activities, including a Junkanoo Jam Up Party, an island barbeque and performances by a calypso band and fire dancers, topped off with unforgettable farewell fireworks before setting sail. For more details on the cruise line’s new itineraries to Perfect Day at CocoCay, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com. (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com)
  3. Photo: A rendering of the new m/s Ocean Explorer, Vantage’s first small-ship ocean-going vessel debuting in 2021, with tours available for sale now Boston, MA – August 13, 2019 – Vantage Deluxe World Travel, the region’s premier deluxe travel provider celebrating more than 35 years as a family-owned company, is pleased to announce that Travel + Leisure magazine has named it one of the top ten Best River Cruise Lines in its 24th annual World’s Best Awards. For more information about Vantage Deluxe Travel or to make reservations, please call 888-514-1845 or visit https://www.vantagetravel.com/ Vantage’s owned fleet of five- and six-star European river cruise vessels are specifically designed for American travelers to experience the best of the Old World’s waterways, with supplement-free solo cabins outfitted especially for single travelers—unique to the deluxe cruise industry. Convenient triple-occupancy accommodations are also offered in suites, all adding up to thousands of dollars in savings for the best experience at the best value. Vantage’s fleet continues to expand; in 2020, Vantage Deluxe World Travel will debut the m/s Nebu, the newest and most luxurious ship on the Nile with five incredible itineraries and four cabin categories, and with a maximum capacity of just 76 passengers, allows guests a truly intimate and special travel experience. Vantage will also debut its first small-ship ocean-going vessel, the m/s Ocean Explorer, in 2021, with tours available for sale now. Information is available at www.vantage.cruises. “We are so proud to once again be honored by Travel + Leisure for doing something that we truly love,” said Henry Lewis, CEO and founder of Vantage Deluxe World Travel. “We strive to create memorable experiences for each of our valued guests by providing unparalleled concierge-level service, dining, amenities and exclusive tours, all while traveling to some of the most breathtaking locations in the world.” In addition to myriad accommodation options, Vantage offers convenient complimentary extras including free deluxe bicycle use onboard European river cruises and Concierge service to help reserve on-the-ground activities like concert tickets and onboard events like birthdays and anniversaries. Cruise Directors and local guides enhance the experience, with insider knowledge of each city and village so no matter a traveler’s special interest, whether art, history, or wine, they can guide their discoveries each day. Onboard experiences at night include entertainment like musical acts and culinary demonstrations, and with just 134-176 passengers on each sailing, each is an immersive and fun memory. Each year, Travel + Leisure asks its readers to rate properties across the world in categories ranging from cities and hotels, to airlines, cruise ships and destination spas in this popular annual ranking. Vantage Deluxe World Travel outranked other river cruise lines across the globe. Of the 10 selected river cruise operators, Vantage ranked eighth with a score of 91.98. Vantage onboard amenities include: · Solaris deck with a walking and jogging track, including mini golf, large-scale chess, and morning yoga/stretching · Complimentary Wi-Fi onboard river ships · Fitness rooms with a treadmill, stationary bike, and free weights · Reading room with a selection of books and magazines · Housekeeping service twice daily with evening turndown · Beauty salon or spa · Luxurious hotel-style linens and L'Occitane de Provence amenities · Single-seating dining with a tempting menu of American and European favorites (vegetarian, gluten-free and heart-healthy dishes available) · Regional wines and beers included with onboard dinners · Early-riser breakfast available daily · Free coffee, tea & hot chocolate available 24 hours a day; cookies and snacks available every afternoon · Breakfast and lunch buffets available daily Each cabin features an outside-facing room, extensive in-room movie list and many US TV channels. Suites include butler service, floor-to-ceiling windows with French balconies, bathrooms with double sinks and bathtubs with Jacuzzis, a separate sitting area, hotel-style beds, complimentary mini-bar, laundry service and multiple flat-screen televisions. (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com) View full article
  4. Photo: A rendering of the new m/s Ocean Explorer, Vantage’s first small-ship ocean-going vessel debuting in 2021, with tours available for sale now Boston, MA – August 13, 2019 – Vantage Deluxe World Travel, the region’s premier deluxe travel provider celebrating more than 35 years as a family-owned company, is pleased to announce that Travel + Leisure magazine has named it one of the top ten Best River Cruise Lines in its 24th annual World’s Best Awards. For more information about Vantage Deluxe Travel or to make reservations, please call 888-514-1845 or visit https://www.vantagetravel.com/ Vantage’s owned fleet of five- and six-star European river cruise vessels are specifically designed for American travelers to experience the best of the Old World’s waterways, with supplement-free solo cabins outfitted especially for single travelers—unique to the deluxe cruise industry. Convenient triple-occupancy accommodations are also offered in suites, all adding up to thousands of dollars in savings for the best experience at the best value. Vantage’s fleet continues to expand; in 2020, Vantage Deluxe World Travel will debut the m/s Nebu, the newest and most luxurious ship on the Nile with five incredible itineraries and four cabin categories, and with a maximum capacity of just 76 passengers, allows guests a truly intimate and special travel experience. Vantage will also debut its first small-ship ocean-going vessel, the m/s Ocean Explorer, in 2021, with tours available for sale now. Information is available at www.vantage.cruises. “We are so proud to once again be honored by Travel + Leisure for doing something that we truly love,” said Henry Lewis, CEO and founder of Vantage Deluxe World Travel. “We strive to create memorable experiences for each of our valued guests by providing unparalleled concierge-level service, dining, amenities and exclusive tours, all while traveling to some of the most breathtaking locations in the world.” In addition to myriad accommodation options, Vantage offers convenient complimentary extras including free deluxe bicycle use onboard European river cruises and Concierge service to help reserve on-the-ground activities like concert tickets and onboard events like birthdays and anniversaries. Cruise Directors and local guides enhance the experience, with insider knowledge of each city and village so no matter a traveler’s special interest, whether art, history, or wine, they can guide their discoveries each day. Onboard experiences at night include entertainment like musical acts and culinary demonstrations, and with just 134-176 passengers on each sailing, each is an immersive and fun memory. Each year, Travel + Leisure asks its readers to rate properties across the world in categories ranging from cities and hotels, to airlines, cruise ships and destination spas in this popular annual ranking. Vantage Deluxe World Travel outranked other river cruise lines across the globe. Of the 10 selected river cruise operators, Vantage ranked eighth with a score of 91.98. Vantage onboard amenities include: · Solaris deck with a walking and jogging track, including mini golf, large-scale chess, and morning yoga/stretching · Complimentary Wi-Fi onboard river ships · Fitness rooms with a treadmill, stationary bike, and free weights · Reading room with a selection of books and magazines · Housekeeping service twice daily with evening turndown · Beauty salon or spa · Luxurious hotel-style linens and L'Occitane de Provence amenities · Single-seating dining with a tempting menu of American and European favorites (vegetarian, gluten-free and heart-healthy dishes available) · Regional wines and beers included with onboard dinners · Early-riser breakfast available daily · Free coffee, tea & hot chocolate available 24 hours a day; cookies and snacks available every afternoon · Breakfast and lunch buffets available daily Each cabin features an outside-facing room, extensive in-room movie list and many US TV channels. Suites include butler service, floor-to-ceiling windows with French balconies, bathrooms with double sinks and bathtubs with Jacuzzis, a separate sitting area, hotel-style beds, complimentary mini-bar, laundry service and multiple flat-screen televisions. (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com)
  5. MIAMI, August 9, 2019 – One year from tomorrow, on August 10, 2020, Crystal Endeavor will embark on her maiden voyage from Tokyo. The groundbreaking vessel under Crystal Expedition Cruises will sail a remote and remarkable journey through the islands of Japan and the Russian Far East, marking the beginning of her inaugural season exploring the world’s farthest corners. In her 2020 season, the yacht will sail expedition voyages through Japan and the Russian Far East; Antarctica via the Ross Sea; New Zealand and Tasmania; Australia and the Great Barrier Reef; and Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines. In 2021, Crystal Endeavor will add New Zealand’s Sub-Antarctic Islands; Alaska and the Aleutian Islands; Norway and the United Kingdom; Canary Islands, Atlantic and South America to her repertoire, as well as an extraordinary voyage through the rarely traveled Northeast Passage. Guests sailing on her maiden voyage round-trip from Tokyo will enjoy an inclusive overnight pre-cruise stay. The voyage explores the island coastlines and volcanic landscapes of Japan, as well as the remote islands and forests of Russia’s Far East, including sailing along the Zhupanova River and Morzovaya Bay. On other voyages, travelers can visit iconic natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef and Mount Fuji; reflect on ancient heritage at Japan’s most sacred temples and shrines; trek among the treetops of Borneo’s rainforest observing the resident orangutans; and quest for penguin colonies on Antarctica’s expansive icy landscape. In May, Crystal announced that veteran explorer David Sinclair will serve as one of the expedition leaders for Crystal Endeavor’s most intrepid journeys. His decades of experience exploring the polar regions –skiing across Greenland, summitting the Arctic’s highest peaks and honing his skills as a naturalist and photographer – will bring the destinations and experiences to life for Crystal guests. Sinclair is also involved in building the team of expedition guides and experts on board and developing the shoreside excursions. For an exclusive interview with Sinclair and Crystal’s senior vice president and managing director of Australasia, visit the Crystal Insider blog. The German-built, 20,000-GRT Crystal Endeavor will accommodate just 200 guests with elegantly casual, expansive public spaces; all-suite, butler-serviced guest rooms; Michelin-inspired dining options including Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma & Sushi Bar; full-service Crystal Life Salon & Spa and state-of-the-art Fitness Center. Expedition-specific amenities and spaces will enhance guests’ experience, including designated “mud rooms” and helicopter lounge. (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com) View full article
  6. MIAMI, August 9, 2019 – One year from tomorrow, on August 10, 2020, Crystal Endeavor will embark on her maiden voyage from Tokyo. The groundbreaking vessel under Crystal Expedition Cruises will sail a remote and remarkable journey through the islands of Japan and the Russian Far East, marking the beginning of her inaugural season exploring the world’s farthest corners. In her 2020 season, the yacht will sail expedition voyages through Japan and the Russian Far East; Antarctica via the Ross Sea; New Zealand and Tasmania; Australia and the Great Barrier Reef; and Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines. In 2021, Crystal Endeavor will add New Zealand’s Sub-Antarctic Islands; Alaska and the Aleutian Islands; Norway and the United Kingdom; Canary Islands, Atlantic and South America to her repertoire, as well as an extraordinary voyage through the rarely traveled Northeast Passage. Guests sailing on her maiden voyage round-trip from Tokyo will enjoy an inclusive overnight pre-cruise stay. The voyage explores the island coastlines and volcanic landscapes of Japan, as well as the remote islands and forests of Russia’s Far East, including sailing along the Zhupanova River and Morzovaya Bay. On other voyages, travelers can visit iconic natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef and Mount Fuji; reflect on ancient heritage at Japan’s most sacred temples and shrines; trek among the treetops of Borneo’s rainforest observing the resident orangutans; and quest for penguin colonies on Antarctica’s expansive icy landscape. In May, Crystal announced that veteran explorer David Sinclair will serve as one of the expedition leaders for Crystal Endeavor’s most intrepid journeys. His decades of experience exploring the polar regions –skiing across Greenland, summitting the Arctic’s highest peaks and honing his skills as a naturalist and photographer – will bring the destinations and experiences to life for Crystal guests. Sinclair is also involved in building the team of expedition guides and experts on board and developing the shoreside excursions. For an exclusive interview with Sinclair and Crystal’s senior vice president and managing director of Australasia, visit the Crystal Insider blog. The German-built, 20,000-GRT Crystal Endeavor will accommodate just 200 guests with elegantly casual, expansive public spaces; all-suite, butler-serviced guest rooms; Michelin-inspired dining options including Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma & Sushi Bar; full-service Crystal Life Salon & Spa and state-of-the-art Fitness Center. Expedition-specific amenities and spaces will enhance guests’ experience, including designated “mud rooms” and helicopter lounge. (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com)
  7. MIAMI (Aug. 5) – Continuing to help families make the most of their vacations, Carnival Cruise Line has updated its popular HUB App to include a comprehensive day-by-day schedule of onboard youth programming and activities with the ability to “like” favorites to receive reminders and updates. The leader in family cruising carrying more than 900,000 children each year, Carnival has created seemingly endless opportunities for kid-friendly fun from its three age-specific programs to a wide range of onboard activities and attractions. Now, as part of the app’s expanded capabilities and functionality, schedules and details for these options are available in one convenient and centralized area. Carnival’s age-specific youth programs featured on the app include: · Camp Ocean (ages 2-11) – ocean-inspired area with 400+ arts & crafts, games and educational activities; three age groups: Penguins (2-5), Sting Rays (6-8) and Sharks (9-11). · Circle “C” (ages 12-14) – colorful, vibrant teen space featuring active and video games, crafting activities and dance parties. · Club O2 (ages 15-17) – cool, high-tech hangout with theme nights, dance parties, movies, karaoke, and more. A variety of family-friendly programming is also highlighted within the app, including: Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea – kids make their own customized furry friend keepsake. Hasbro, The Game Show – family-oriented entertainment option including larger-than-life adaptations of the brand’s iconic games and activities. Outdoor Attractions – operating hours for WaterWorks aqua parks, SportSquare outdoor recreation area and other open-air spaces. Punchliner Comedy Club – early evening hilarious family-friendly comedy performances for guests of all ages. Seuss at Sea – fleetwide program featuring Green Eggs and Ham with The Cat in the Hat and Friends, Seuss-a-palooza Parade and Story Time, and other activities. Zumbini – high-energy early childhood music and movement class created by Zumba and BabyFirst combining singing, dancing and fun instruments; family classes offered on longer cruises for parent/child bonding. “Our guests continue to be engaged and excited by our award-winning youth programs, and the HUB App now helps parents keep up with all of the fun in one easy-to-navigate area to plan their perfect vacation. We expect this to be an extremely popular feature for families that want to maximize the fun,” said Melissa Wisecarver, director of youth experience for Carnival Cruise Line. “We’re always looking for ways to expand the capabilities of the HUB App and we’re delighted to provide parents and families with this comprehensive overview of our offerings right at their fingertips. We have a lot more in store for the HUB App,” said Alfredo Rojas, senior director of digital product and mobile for Carnival Cruise Line. Also new is a feature that allows parents to view a detailed, time-specific breakdown of activities and locations for Camp Ocean’s daily programming as well as check-in and check-out information and reminders. Launched in 2015, Carnival’s HUB App has become the leading app in the cruise industry with a 4.6+ rating in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and more than 6 million total downloads. HUB App is designed to make the Carnival vacation experience seamless and convenient from beginning to end, allowing guests to track daily happenings on board; view food, beverage and entertainment offerings; chat with family and friends; book shore excursions; and access their Sail & Sign account. The HUB App was recently expanded to allow guests to have pizza and beverages delivered anywhere on board. Further enhancements and innovations will continue to be rolled out in the coming months. (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com)
  8. MIAMI (Aug. 5) – Continuing to help families make the most of their vacations, Carnival Cruise Line has updated its popular HUB App to include a comprehensive day-by-day schedule of onboard youth programming and activities with the ability to “like” favorites to receive reminders and updates. The leader in family cruising carrying more than 900,000 children each year, Carnival has created seemingly endless opportunities for kid-friendly fun from its three age-specific programs to a wide range of onboard activities and attractions. Now, as part of the app’s expanded capabilities and functionality, schedules and details for these options are available in one convenient and centralized area. Carnival’s age-specific youth programs featured on the app include: · Camp Ocean (ages 2-11) – ocean-inspired area with 400+ arts & crafts, games and educational activities; three age groups: Penguins (2-5), Sting Rays (6-8) and Sharks (9-11). · Circle “C” (ages 12-14) – colorful, vibrant teen space featuring active and video games, crafting activities and dance parties. · Club O2 (ages 15-17) – cool, high-tech hangout with theme nights, dance parties, movies, karaoke, and more. A variety of family-friendly programming is also highlighted within the app, including: Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea – kids make their own customized furry friend keepsake. Hasbro, The Game Show – family-oriented entertainment option including larger-than-life adaptations of the brand’s iconic games and activities. Outdoor Attractions – operating hours for WaterWorks aqua parks, SportSquare outdoor recreation area and other open-air spaces. Punchliner Comedy Club – early evening hilarious family-friendly comedy performances for guests of all ages. Seuss at Sea – fleetwide program featuring Green Eggs and Ham with The Cat in the Hat and Friends, Seuss-a-palooza Parade and Story Time, and other activities. Zumbini – high-energy early childhood music and movement class created by Zumba and BabyFirst combining singing, dancing and fun instruments; family classes offered on longer cruises for parent/child bonding. “Our guests continue to be engaged and excited by our award-winning youth programs, and the HUB App now helps parents keep up with all of the fun in one easy-to-navigate area to plan their perfect vacation. We expect this to be an extremely popular feature for families that want to maximize the fun,” said Melissa Wisecarver, director of youth experience for Carnival Cruise Line. “We’re always looking for ways to expand the capabilities of the HUB App and we’re delighted to provide parents and families with this comprehensive overview of our offerings right at their fingertips. We have a lot more in store for the HUB App,” said Alfredo Rojas, senior director of digital product and mobile for Carnival Cruise Line. Also new is a feature that allows parents to view a detailed, time-specific breakdown of activities and locations for Camp Ocean’s daily programming as well as check-in and check-out information and reminders. Launched in 2015, Carnival’s HUB App has become the leading app in the cruise industry with a 4.6+ rating in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and more than 6 million total downloads. HUB App is designed to make the Carnival vacation experience seamless and convenient from beginning to end, allowing guests to track daily happenings on board; view food, beverage and entertainment offerings; chat with family and friends; book shore excursions; and access their Sail & Sign account. The HUB App was recently expanded to allow guests to have pizza and beverages delivered anywhere on board. Further enhancements and innovations will continue to be rolled out in the coming months. (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com) View full article
  9. Photo: Rendering of American Countess NEW ALBANY, IN, July 31, 2019 – American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a leader in U.S. river cruising, announces the opening of sales for the 2020 season of its fourth vessel, the American Countess. As the newest paddlewheeler on U.S. rivers, the American Countess is already showing record-breaking interest. While still under transformation, the boat will officially debut for her inaugural voyage on April 5, 2020 and will travel from New Orleans to Memphis. To explore upcoming sailings, please find the full schedule here. Built using the existing hull of the Kanesville Queen, a former gaming vessel built in 1995, the American Countess was cut in two as part of her planned lengthening, with the addition of a 60-foot mid-body section. The American Countess will offer many of the same exciting heartland and deep South itineraries as her sisters - the American Queen and American Duchess, and will be sailing from April 2020 to January 2021, with additional sailing seasons to be announced. “This opening of sales milestone is the next step towards her grand reveal in April 2020,” shared American Queen Steamboat Company EVP of Hotel Operations and New Construction David William Kelly. “On behalf of the entire AQSC team, we are thrilled to see the interest in her inaugural season, and we know that it will be nothing short of what you’ve come to expect and enjoy when sailing with our fleet.” Currently under construction, the American Countess will accommodate 245-passengers over the course of six- to 15-day itineraries, including her own “Mighty Mississippi” cruise. The new boat will feature four decks including a Sun Deck, and 123 comfortable, inviting staterooms in four categories. Guests aboard will enjoy cabins that feature a sleek, modern design, offering guests the perfect place to relax and recharge in between delicious dining, premier shore excursions, Broadway-caliber performances and more. The unveiling of the American Countess follows the recent addition of the M/V Victory I and M/V Victory II to the American Queen Steamboat Company fleet under the Victory Cruise Lines name, alongside the flagship American Queen, the American Duchess, a 166-guest boutique paddlewheeler sailing the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and the American Empress in the Pacific Northwest. For additional information and reservations on the American Countess, please contact the American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit www.AmericanQueenSteamboatCompany.com or call a professional travel agent. (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com) View full article
  10. Photo: Rendering of American Countess NEW ALBANY, IN, July 31, 2019 – American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a leader in U.S. river cruising, announces the opening of sales for the 2020 season of its fourth vessel, the American Countess. As the newest paddlewheeler on U.S. rivers, the American Countess is already showing record-breaking interest. While still under transformation, the boat will officially debut for her inaugural voyage on April 5, 2020 and will travel from New Orleans to Memphis. To explore upcoming sailings, please find the full schedule here. Built using the existing hull of the Kanesville Queen, a former gaming vessel built in 1995, the American Countess was cut in two as part of her planned lengthening, with the addition of a 60-foot mid-body section. The American Countess will offer many of the same exciting heartland and deep South itineraries as her sisters - the American Queen and American Duchess, and will be sailing from April 2020 to January 2021, with additional sailing seasons to be announced. “This opening of sales milestone is the next step towards her grand reveal in April 2020,” shared American Queen Steamboat Company EVP of Hotel Operations and New Construction David William Kelly. “On behalf of the entire AQSC team, we are thrilled to see the interest in her inaugural season, and we know that it will be nothing short of what you’ve come to expect and enjoy when sailing with our fleet.” Currently under construction, the American Countess will accommodate 245-passengers over the course of six- to 15-day itineraries, including her own “Mighty Mississippi” cruise. The new boat will feature four decks including a Sun Deck, and 123 comfortable, inviting staterooms in four categories. Guests aboard will enjoy cabins that feature a sleek, modern design, offering guests the perfect place to relax and recharge in between delicious dining, premier shore excursions, Broadway-caliber performances and more. The unveiling of the American Countess follows the recent addition of the M/V Victory I and M/V Victory II to the American Queen Steamboat Company fleet under the Victory Cruise Lines name, alongside the flagship American Queen, the American Duchess, a 166-guest boutique paddlewheeler sailing the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and the American Empress in the Pacific Northwest. For additional information and reservations on the American Countess, please contact the American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit www.AmericanQueenSteamboatCompany.com or call a professional travel agent. (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com)
  11. Miami, Florida (July 2019) – Azamara®, the boutique cruise line, is taking its partnership of eight years with PerryGolf™, the international leader in luxury golf travel, to a new level. For the upcoming 2020/2021 itineraries, a total of 24 worldwide golf voyages will be offered, including play at more than 70 marquee courses in 23 countries, with 25 of the courses ranked among the world’s top 100*. “As we continue to focus on delivering unique and immersive travel experiences for our guests, those keen to combine their love for golf with their passion for travel are in for a treat; we are now offering 41% more golf voyages than in 2018 and 2019 combined,” said Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara. “It’s always golf season somewhere in the world and PerryGolf is uniquely qualified to take our guests there with a seamless and truly integrated golf cruise program”. “We love creating bucket-list experiences for our guests and providing them with opportunities to golf across the globe and our exclusive partnership with Azamara is a perfect reflection of that. In particular our annual flagship British Isles golf voyage which includes attendance at The Open,” said Gordon Dalgleish, President and Co-Founder of PerryGolf. “With Azamara’s dedication to Destination Immersion®, our guests can play outstanding golf courses while also enjoying everything these amazing destinations have to offer. In the British Isles, Azamara and PerryGolf offer six golf voyages built on Azamara’s Country-Intensive Voyages — immersive itineraries that provide an in-depth exploration of a specific country — offering access to the most renowned links such as Turnberry, Kingsbarns, Royal Birkdale, Royal County Down and Ballybunion. Next year, guests can sail on the 2020 British Isles Golf Cruise, which visits nine ports, including Southampton, England, the site of the big championship at Royal St. George’s. In Ireland, guests can sail aboard the 2021 Irish Links Golf Cruise, a 12-night sailing that circumnavigates the Emerald Isle — home to a quarter of the world’s natural links — aboard Azamara Journey. Sailing from Southampton, England, and offering an overnight in Dublin, golf-enthusiasts can expect to play six of Irelands highest rated clubs, including Old Head, Ballybunion, Royal Portrush, Royal County Down and Portmarnock Golf Club. In addition to The British Isles and Ireland, Azamara and PerryGolf will set sail to Australia & New Zealand, South Africa, South America, The Arabian Gulf, The Mediterranean and The Baltic Sea. New to the collection in 2021 is a voyage to Norway with play on the spectacular and remote Lofoten Links. The golf voyages vary from seven to seventeen-nights, with included golf ranging from three to seven rounds depending on the sailing. Highlights of the Azamara and PerryGolf Programs Include: PerryGolf staff members onboard and onsite at each golf venue to organize and plan every aspect of the golf experience Green fees and confirmed starting times including shared use of electric golf cart (or caddies at many venues in the British Isles) Daily golf pairings arranged in advance, allowing guests to meet and play golf with new friends (or to play with their own foursome should they prefer) All transfers to and from the scheduled golf courses in luxury air-conditioned motor coaches, ensuring maximum flexibility in transportation timings Guests’ golf equipment managed by PerryGolf from start to finish of golf voyage, set up and awaiting on golf carts in advance of guests’ arrival at each golf course, and packed up and transported back to the ship at the end of each round Practice range golf balls Box lunch at each golf course including post round open bar for select standard beers, wines and spirits Onboard Golf Group social events, including welcome and farewell cocktail parties, to which all accompanying non-golfing guests are also most cordially invited Casual tournament format with awards on one day. Ship Senior Officers in attendance at Awards Party All gratuities for golf related staff including drivers and golf bag handling staff Please visit https://www.azamara.com/golf-cruises or https://www.perrygolf.com/golfcruising/ to learn more about Azamara’s PerryGolf voyages. (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com)
  12. Miami, Florida (July 2019) – Azamara®, the boutique cruise line, is taking its partnership of eight years with PerryGolf™, the international leader in luxury golf travel, to a new level. For the upcoming 2020/2021 itineraries, a total of 24 worldwide golf voyages will be offered, including play at more than 70 marquee courses in 23 countries, with 25 of the courses ranked among the world’s top 100*. “As we continue to focus on delivering unique and immersive travel experiences for our guests, those keen to combine their love for golf with their passion for travel are in for a treat; we are now offering 41% more golf voyages than in 2018 and 2019 combined,” said Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara. “It’s always golf season somewhere in the world and PerryGolf is uniquely qualified to take our guests there with a seamless and truly integrated golf cruise program”. “We love creating bucket-list experiences for our guests and providing them with opportunities to golf across the globe and our exclusive partnership with Azamara is a perfect reflection of that. In particular our annual flagship British Isles golf voyage which includes attendance at The Open,” said Gordon Dalgleish, President and Co-Founder of PerryGolf. “With Azamara’s dedication to Destination Immersion®, our guests can play outstanding golf courses while also enjoying everything these amazing destinations have to offer. In the British Isles, Azamara and PerryGolf offer six golf voyages built on Azamara’s Country-Intensive Voyages — immersive itineraries that provide an in-depth exploration of a specific country — offering access to the most renowned links such as Turnberry, Kingsbarns, Royal Birkdale, Royal County Down and Ballybunion. Next year, guests can sail on the 2020 British Isles Golf Cruise, which visits nine ports, including Southampton, England, the site of the big championship at Royal St. George’s. In Ireland, guests can sail aboard the 2021 Irish Links Golf Cruise, a 12-night sailing that circumnavigates the Emerald Isle — home to a quarter of the world’s natural links — aboard Azamara Journey. Sailing from Southampton, England, and offering an overnight in Dublin, golf-enthusiasts can expect to play six of Irelands highest rated clubs, including Old Head, Ballybunion, Royal Portrush, Royal County Down and Portmarnock Golf Club. In addition to The British Isles and Ireland, Azamara and PerryGolf will set sail to Australia & New Zealand, South Africa, South America, The Arabian Gulf, The Mediterranean and The Baltic Sea. New to the collection in 2021 is a voyage to Norway with play on the spectacular and remote Lofoten Links. The golf voyages vary from seven to seventeen-nights, with included golf ranging from three to seven rounds depending on the sailing. Highlights of the Azamara and PerryGolf Programs Include: PerryGolf staff members onboard and onsite at each golf venue to organize and plan every aspect of the golf experience Green fees and confirmed starting times including shared use of electric golf cart (or caddies at many venues in the British Isles) Daily golf pairings arranged in advance, allowing guests to meet and play golf with new friends (or to play with their own foursome should they prefer) All transfers to and from the scheduled golf courses in luxury air-conditioned motor coaches, ensuring maximum flexibility in transportation timings Guests’ golf equipment managed by PerryGolf from start to finish of golf voyage, set up and awaiting on golf carts in advance of guests’ arrival at each golf course, and packed up and transported back to the ship at the end of each round Practice range golf balls Box lunch at each golf course including post round open bar for select standard beers, wines and spirits Onboard Golf Group social events, including welcome and farewell cocktail parties, to which all accompanying non-golfing guests are also most cordially invited Casual tournament format with awards on one day. Ship Senior Officers in attendance at Awards Party All gratuities for golf related staff including drivers and golf bag handling staff Please visit https://www.azamara.com/golf-cruises or https://www.perrygolf.com/golfcruising/ to learn more about Azamara’s PerryGolf voyages. (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com) View full article
  13. DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – July 29, 2019 – Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, the only provider of two-night cruises to Grand Bahama Island, today announced the launch of its all-new ‘Get Away Again’ program – offering an instant $25 onboard credit for each $100 deposit for up to four future two-nights sailings aboard Grand Classica or Grand Celebration. Repeat cruisers who choose the cruise line for their dream escape to the Bahamas will be rewarded for their loyalty with this new incentive. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line also encourages first-time travelers to relive their experience with family and friends by booking a return trip. “With exciting entertainment options, globally inspired dining options and plenty of poolside activities, there’s always something new to discover while onboard our ships,” said Francis Riley, senior vice president, sales and marketing, of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. “This program offers instant gratification to reward repeat cruisers and makes it more affordable than ever for travelers to book their next island escape.” The ‘Get Away Again’ program offers guests an incentive for booking a repeat cruise while still on board or up to seven days after debarkation. For each $100 deposit made towards a future sailing, guests will instantly receive an onboard credit that can be used immediately, or during a future two-night cruise. The $25 onboard credit per $100 deposit can be used for up to four bookings totaling up to $150 in onboard credits, or up to $250 for Cruise & Stay deposits. The unique Cruise & Stay program lets guests extend their island escape at one of four premier resorts and hotels, including Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach, The Grand Lucayan, Marlin at Taino Beach Resort and Club, and Pelican Bay Hotel. Guests have one year to select their sailing dates and may use the deposit towards a booking, combinable with any other offers available at the time. Recently named a winner of x’s 2019 Cruisers’ Choice Award for Best Entertainment, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is the only provider of two-night cruises to Grand Bahama Island with daily departures from Palm Beach. While sailing to paradise, guests can choose from several fine dining options, including gourmet burgers at The Bull; an intimate, candlelit dining experience at Admiral’s Steak and Seafood; zesty Italian fare at A Slice Above; or experiential, interactive dining at The Rock Grill – which gives guests the opportunity to cook their own meat and seafood dishes on a lava rock. Each night onboard offers a different experience, with several nightly shows including the popular Celebration Nights and Let’s Dance! Production. Adult cruisers are welcome to cap the night with drinks and laughs during a late-night comedy show while younger travelers can mix and mingle at one of the Dancing Martian’s glow parties. With a host of summer offers, like Kids Sail Free and Girls Getaway, as well as exclusive offers for teachers, military members/families, and solo travelers, now is the time for loyal cruisers to take advantage of the savings and book their next escape with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. For more information on Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line or to book a cruise, please visit: www.BahamasParadiseCruise.com or call 888-530-2775 (English) / 888-530-2776 (Español). (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com) View full article
  14. DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – July 29, 2019 – Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, the only provider of two-night cruises to Grand Bahama Island, today announced the launch of its all-new ‘Get Away Again’ program – offering an instant $25 onboard credit for each $100 deposit for up to four future two-nights sailings aboard Grand Classica or Grand Celebration. Repeat cruisers who choose the cruise line for their dream escape to the Bahamas will be rewarded for their loyalty with this new incentive. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line also encourages first-time travelers to relive their experience with family and friends by booking a return trip. “With exciting entertainment options, globally inspired dining options and plenty of poolside activities, there’s always something new to discover while onboard our ships,” said Francis Riley, senior vice president, sales and marketing, of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. “This program offers instant gratification to reward repeat cruisers and makes it more affordable than ever for travelers to book their next island escape.” The ‘Get Away Again’ program offers guests an incentive for booking a repeat cruise while still on board or up to seven days after debarkation. For each $100 deposit made towards a future sailing, guests will instantly receive an onboard credit that can be used immediately, or during a future two-night cruise. The $25 onboard credit per $100 deposit can be used for up to four bookings totaling up to $150 in onboard credits, or up to $250 for Cruise & Stay deposits. The unique Cruise & Stay program lets guests extend their island escape at one of four premier resorts and hotels, including Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach, The Grand Lucayan, Marlin at Taino Beach Resort and Club, and Pelican Bay Hotel. Guests have one year to select their sailing dates and may use the deposit towards a booking, combinable with any other offers available at the time. Recently named a winner of x’s 2019 Cruisers’ Choice Award for Best Entertainment, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is the only provider of two-night cruises to Grand Bahama Island with daily departures from Palm Beach. While sailing to paradise, guests can choose from several fine dining options, including gourmet burgers at The Bull; an intimate, candlelit dining experience at Admiral’s Steak and Seafood; zesty Italian fare at A Slice Above; or experiential, interactive dining at The Rock Grill – which gives guests the opportunity to cook their own meat and seafood dishes on a lava rock. Each night onboard offers a different experience, with several nightly shows including the popular Celebration Nights and Let’s Dance! Production. Adult cruisers are welcome to cap the night with drinks and laughs during a late-night comedy show while younger travelers can mix and mingle at one of the Dancing Martian’s glow parties. With a host of summer offers, like Kids Sail Free and Girls Getaway, as well as exclusive offers for teachers, military members/families, and solo travelers, now is the time for loyal cruisers to take advantage of the savings and book their next escape with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. For more information on Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line or to book a cruise, please visit: www.BahamasParadiseCruise.com or call 888-530-2775 (English) / 888-530-2776 (Español). (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com)
  15. PHOTO: Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity (Crystal Cruises) MIAMI, July 23, 2019 – Beginning September 1, 2019, Crystal Society members will enjoy greater flexibility and freedom of choice when it comes to their benefits as part of the company’s newly enhanced loyalty program. Crystal has announced that, because of its expanded portfolio of global luxury experiences, Crystal Society members can now earn and redeem milestone benefits for the Crystal experience of their choice – Ocean, River, Yacht and the upcoming Expedition cruises affording significantly more options for travelers wanting to enjoy other Crystal brand experiences. Crystal is the only luxury cruise line that can offer travelers four distinct experiences exploring the rivers and oceans of the world. “We are tremendously grateful for the incredible number of guests who continue to return ‘home’ to Crystal again and again – many who have sailed with us since the beginning,” said Carmen Roig, Crystal’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. “Choices are what make luxury truly personal, and the new Crystal Society benefits allows guests to earn loyalty milestone rewards on the Crystal Experience of their choice, and also redeem these rewards on any experience of their choice.” The shipboard credits members receive (now known as As You Wish credits) will continue to be offered in the same amounts at the same milestone levels but can now be applied to the cruise fare if the member wishes. Crystal Society members will enjoy up to $10,000 toward future sailings depending on their milestone level. The new program will retroactively apply to past and future Crystal voyages, with milestone credits accrued as follows: Duration Ocean, River, Yacht Expedition 5 to 15 nights 1 2 16 nights or more 2 4 Travelers are welcomed into the Crystal Society program after their first sailing, enjoying special perks and recognition each time they return. In addition to the new enhancements, members receive 2.5% Crystal Society Savings on all worldwide voyages; exclusive 2.5% onboard booking savings; hosted cocktail parties on every voyage following the members’ first voyage; complimentary upgrades; milestone recognition and commemorative pins at various levels; and exclusive onboard events on select sailings. Former free cruise awards will be converted to equivalent Crystal Society Cruise Credits, earned at the same levels as before and following milestones of 25, 50, 70, 100, 125 and 150 cruises. If members currently have a free cruise reward that they have yet to redeem and do not wish to use the new equivalent Crystal Society Cruise Credit which goes into effect on September 1, they must book their cruise no later than December 31, 2019 and must sail before December 31, 2020. (Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com) View full article
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