Jump to content

GerryBarker

Members
  • Content Count

    67
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    2

GerryBarker last won the day on May 27

GerryBarker had the most liked content!

About GerryBarker

  • Rank
    Member

Personal Info

  • First Name
    Gerry
  • State
    Florida
  • Country
    United States

Cruising

  • Cruises Sailed
    20+
  • Favorite Cruise Line
    Undecided

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. By Gerry Barker ABOARD CARIBBEAN PRINCESS_"There she blows!" There was much anticipation as invited media, guests and Princess personnel stood in front of the big blue whale on Deck 17 of Caribbean Princess, docked at Port Everglades. We were all there for the debut of The Reef Family Splash Zone, a major new feature added after the ship completed a recent drydock. Of course, we couldn't attend without bringing along an expert in the field to offer her own assessment, and no one is better qualified than our six-year-old granddaughter, Catherine. So as we all stood and they began the countdown, Cate and the other children present cheered as the first spout of water erupted from the whate's head. The whale and surrounding splashpad offer a number of water features, including a slide in the shape of the whale's tongue, water cannons and sprays. Cate wasted little time trying it all out. Princess didn't forget the adults, either. Adjacent to the splash area are loungers, couches and chairs, including shaded sections for those who want to escape the sun. It's just the ticket for sipping a beverage while the kids play. Speaking of beverages, there's a bar where you get order up a cocktail, or the kids can get a lookalike "mocktail," complete with chocolate sprinkles on the rim and chocolate "straws." There's also the Game Zone – where kids and their parents can try their hand at Connect Four, Jenga or Cornhole. We've found we are better at sipping beverages than playing games. While she was sad to leave the Splash Zone, the fun wasn't over yet. One deck down is the Camp Discovery area. Through a partnership with Discovery Consumer Brands, Princess offers a wide array of activities that are both fun and educational through their Discovery at Sea program. At Camp Discovery -- an area set aside for their young guests -- they have added an outdoor interactive water table, themed around world landmarks, such as the Gold Gate Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the Panama Canal. Needless to say, by the end of the event, Cate had given both the Splash Zone and Camp Discovery the Catherine Barker Seal of Approval. For families looking at a vacation that offers something for everyone, it's hard to beat what you'll find on Caribbean Princess. (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. By Gerry Barker ABOARD CARIBBEAN PRINCESS_"There she blows!" There was much anticipation as invited media, guests and Princess personnel stood in front of the big blue whale on Deck 17 of Caribbean Princess, docked at Port Everglades. We were all there for the debut of The Reef Family Splash Zone, a major new feature added after the ship completed a recent drydock. Of course, we couldn't attend without bringing along an expert in the field to offer her own assessment, and no one is better qualified than our six-year-old granddaughter, Catherine. So as we all stood and they began the countdown, Cate and the other children present cheered as the first spout of water erupted from the whate's head. The whale and surrounding splashpad offer a number of water features, including a slide in the shape of the whale's tongue, water cannons and sprays. Cate wasted little time trying it all out. Princess didn't forget the adults, either. Adjacent to the splash area are loungers, couches and chairs, including shaded sections for those who want to escape the sun. It's just the ticket for sipping a beverage while the kids play. Speaking of beverages, there's a bar where you get order up a cocktail, or the kids can get a lookalike "mocktail," complete with chocolate sprinkles on the rim and chocolate "straws." There's also the Game Zone – where kids and their parents can try their hand at Connect Four, Jenga or Cornhole. We've found we are better at sipping beverages than playing games. While she was sad to leave the Splash Zone, the fun wasn't over yet. One deck down is the Camp Discovery area. Through a partnership with Discovery Consumer Brands, Princess offers a wide array of activities that are both fun and educational through their Discovery at Sea program. At Camp Discovery -- an area set aside for their young guests -- they have added an outdoor interactive water table, themed around world landmarks, such as the Gold Gate Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the Panama Canal. Needless to say, by the end of the event, Cate had given both the Splash Zone and Camp Discovery the Catherine Barker Seal of Approval. For families looking at a vacation that offers something for everyone, it's hard to beat what you'll find on Caribbean Princess. (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. TORONTO- June 11, 2019 – Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin announced the appointment of Captain Wendy Williams as Master of Scarlet Lady. When Captain Williams takes the helm of Scarlet Lady in spring 2020, she will become the first Canadian woman to be captain of a ship for a major cruise brand. The company also announced a brand-new lineup of itineraries for their premier 2020 season. “Captain Wendy’s extensive maritime background makes her an excellent choice to lead the Scarlet Lady, but it is her spirit and drive to approach life at sea differently that make her the perfect fit to join the Virgin Voyages family,” said Tom McAlpin, president and chief executive officer for Virgin Voyages. Originally from the coastal city of Sept-Îles, Quebec on the Northeastern coast of Canada, Captain Williams now resides on her hobby farm on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Captain Williams has more than 28 years of experience working on ships at sea. Her extensive background includes more than a decade as a deckhand in commercial fishing off the western coast of Canada as well as working as a ferryboat captain. Although she has spent more than 15 years working on the bridge of mega cruise ships, her role with Virgin Voyages will be her first promotion to Master of a cruise ship. “I have salt water in my veins and nothing brings me more joy than being at sea,” said Captain Wendy Williams. “It’s a dream come true to be working with Virgin Voyages, a company that is focused on creating an incredible experience not only for our Sailors but for our Crew as well; while also taking action to minimize our footprint on our oceans.” Just last year, Virgin Voyages announced its Scarlet Squad program, an initiative dedicated to bridging the gender gap in leadership roles across the maritime industry, where women represent less than three percent of the workforce. The program aims to recruit, support and mentor female shipboard talent, and to grow opportunities for leadership roles in marine, technical and hotel management positions on board. While Virgin Voyages is still in the early stages of the crew for Scarlet Lady, the company has already recruited Captain Williams as well as nearly a dozen other female officers, including Jill Anderson as hotel director, Christin Wenge as safety officer, Lindsay Kerber as environmental officer, among other incredibly talented female engineers as well as second and third officers. Virgin Voyages’ intention is to create an onboard environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. New Voyage Offerings In response to the U.S. government’s new restrictions on travel to Cuba from the United States, Virgin Voyages has also developed an exciting lineup of new itineraries featuring destinations that its Sailors expressed interest in exploring while on a voyage aboard Scarlet Lady. Continuing the company’s mission to provide its Sailors with epic day and nighttime experiences, the all new itineraries will feature multiple late-night sail aways, including a midnight departure on all new sailings. Virgin Voyages will now offer five-night Riviera Maya sailings to Cozumel/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Cozumel and Playa del Carmen offer opportunities for Sailors to experience some of the world’s best diving, as the area is home to 26 coral species. Sailors will also have the opportunity to explore ecological and archeological treasures, including Mayan ruins, or even opt to explore neighboring Tulum, the elevated Bohemian sanctuary with picturesque beaches and diverse nightlife. For those who just want a quick getaway, Virgin Voyages’ four-night sailings will now become Fire and Sunset Soirées including a sunset departure from Key West and a midnight departure from Bimini. Sailors will experience the cultural and boating paradise of Key West, paired with a day of rejuvenation in Bimini, Bahamas that’s topped off by an exclusive late-night beach bonfire soiree. This celebration under the stars is exclusive to these sailings, and the artistic fire installations draw inspiration from the fireball sculptures on Branson’s Necker Island and the alluring communal nature of a traditional beachside bonfire. In response to Sailor demand for longer voyages aboard Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages has developed special seven-night sailings for the 2020 festive holiday season. Those looking to get a jump start on their holiday planning can opt for the all-new Holidaze and Nights and New Year’s Ahoy voyages, which fall over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays respectively, and feature stops in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and late-night sail aways in both Bimini, Bahamas and San Juan, Puerto Rico. All voyages will feature a stop in Bimini, Bahamas, home to The Beach Club, a private club for Virgin Voyages Sailors while Scarlet Lady is on the island. For more information on Scarlet Lady, future Sailors and First Mates (travel partners) are invited to check out Virgin Voyages by visiting www.virginvoyages.com. Photo: Richard Branson and Wendy Williams (Virgin 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) 0 Comments
  4. TORONTO- June 11, 2019 – Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin announced the appointment of Captain Wendy Williams as Master of Scarlet Lady. When Captain Williams takes the helm of Scarlet Lady in spring 2020, she will become the first Canadian woman to be captain of a ship for a major cruise brand. The company also announced a brand-new lineup of itineraries for their premier 2020 season. “Captain Wendy’s extensive maritime background makes her an excellent choice to lead the Scarlet Lady, but it is her spirit and drive to approach life at sea differently that make her the perfect fit to join the Virgin Voyages family,” said Tom McAlpin, president and chief executive officer for Virgin Voyages. Originally from the coastal city of Sept-Îles, Quebec on the Northeastern coast of Canada, Captain Williams now resides on her hobby farm on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Captain Williams has more than 28 years of experience working on ships at sea. Her extensive background includes more than a decade as a deckhand in commercial fishing off the western coast of Canada as well as working as a ferryboat captain. Although she has spent more than 15 years working on the bridge of mega cruise ships, her role with Virgin Voyages will be her first promotion to Master of a cruise ship. “I have salt water in my veins and nothing brings me more joy than being at sea,” said Captain Wendy Williams. “It’s a dream come true to be working with Virgin Voyages, a company that is focused on creating an incredible experience not only for our Sailors but for our Crew as well; while also taking action to minimize our footprint on our oceans.” Just last year, Virgin Voyages announced its Scarlet Squad program, an initiative dedicated to bridging the gender gap in leadership roles across the maritime industry, where women represent less than three percent of the workforce. The program aims to recruit, support and mentor female shipboard talent, and to grow opportunities for leadership roles in marine, technical and hotel management positions on board. While Virgin Voyages is still in the early stages of the crew for Scarlet Lady, the company has already recruited Captain Williams as well as nearly a dozen other female officers, including Jill Anderson as hotel director, Christin Wenge as safety officer, Lindsay Kerber as environmental officer, among other incredibly talented female engineers as well as second and third officers. Virgin Voyages’ intention is to create an onboard environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. New Voyage Offerings In response to the U.S. government’s new restrictions on travel to Cuba from the United States, Virgin Voyages has also developed an exciting lineup of new itineraries featuring destinations that its Sailors expressed interest in exploring while on a voyage aboard Scarlet Lady. Continuing the company’s mission to provide its Sailors with epic day and nighttime experiences, the all new itineraries will feature multiple late-night sail aways, including a midnight departure on all new sailings. Virgin Voyages will now offer five-night Riviera Maya sailings to Cozumel/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Cozumel and Playa del Carmen offer opportunities for Sailors to experience some of the world’s best diving, as the area is home to 26 coral species. Sailors will also have the opportunity to explore ecological and archeological treasures, including Mayan ruins, or even opt to explore neighboring Tulum, the elevated Bohemian sanctuary with picturesque beaches and diverse nightlife. For those who just want a quick getaway, Virgin Voyages’ four-night sailings will now become Fire and Sunset Soirées including a sunset departure from Key West and a midnight departure from Bimini. Sailors will experience the cultural and boating paradise of Key West, paired with a day of rejuvenation in Bimini, Bahamas that’s topped off by an exclusive late-night beach bonfire soiree. This celebration under the stars is exclusive to these sailings, and the artistic fire installations draw inspiration from the fireball sculptures on Branson’s Necker Island and the alluring communal nature of a traditional beachside bonfire. In response to Sailor demand for longer voyages aboard Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages has developed special seven-night sailings for the 2020 festive holiday season. Those looking to get a jump start on their holiday planning can opt for the all-new Holidaze and Nights and New Year’s Ahoy voyages, which fall over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays respectively, and feature stops in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and late-night sail aways in both Bimini, Bahamas and San Juan, Puerto Rico. All voyages will feature a stop in Bimini, Bahamas, home to The Beach Club, a private club for Virgin Voyages Sailors while Scarlet Lady is on the island. For more information on Scarlet Lady, future Sailors and First Mates (travel partners) are invited to check out Virgin Voyages by visiting www.virginvoyages.com. Photo: Richard Branson and Wendy Williams (Virgin 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) 0 Comments View full article
  5. MIAMI (June 10, 2019)—Carnival Cruise Line and Thrillist have teamed up to launch “Island Hoppers,” a first-of-its-kind comedy competition show at sea, aiming to find the cruise line’s next comedy star to perform at its shipboard Punchliner Comedy Clubs. The mobile-first series is hosted by award-winning actor James Van Der Beek and was filmed during a recent Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Horizon. Over the course of seven episodes, Van Der Beek takes viewers on a journey as three up-and-coming comedians compete in entertaining challenges, judged by longtime Punchliner Comedy Club veterans Billy D. Washington, Jodi White and William Lee Martin. “Island Hoppers” will air June 11, on Thrillist’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter channels. Hilarity ensues as the challengers demonstrate their creative cocktail-making skills at Carnival Horizon’s Alchemy Bar while having to perform a comedic act and offer their best one-liners as they traverse the heart-racing Mystic Mountain Jamaican bobsled ride during a call in Ocho Rios. “I’m not really a host, and I’m definitely not a standup,” said Van Der Beek. “But this show is so unique I feel like that worked in our favor. As a writer and actor, I have a huge appreciation for what it takes to get up in front of a room full of strangers and make people laugh, so it was a joy to jump in and play with a group this talented and hilarious. Plus, we all got to be on the Carnival Horizon, which just made everything fun.” “Entertaining 5 million guests across 26 ships is not an easy job. We’re always looking for top talent to add to our roster, so finding the perfect comedian is quite the task,” said Chris Nelson, Carnival’s vice president of entertainment. “That’s why we’re really excited to partner with Thrillist on this new and creative way to bring new comedians to our comedy club roster. Our guests love fun – comedy is part of our DNA – so we’re particularly thrilled that we are able to showcase incredible talent on every sailing.” “Travel and fun is at the heart of what we cover every single day at Thrillist and ‘Island Hoppers’ is a perfect extension of that. We’re excited to bring this new series to our audience and offer them an entertaining and unique view of all of the fun that can be had aboard a Carnival ship,” said Thrillist President Ocean MacAdams. Carnival’s Punchliner Comedy Clubs are the largest purveyors of comedy in the world with 27,000 shows annually across the line’s 26-ship fleet. Boasting more comedy performances than any land-based comedy club in the world, the Punchliner Comedy Clubs feature a lineup of top-notch talent who perform 30-minute shows, including family-friendly and adults-only sets, multiple times each voyage. All performances are offered on a complimentary basis. (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 (June 10, 2019)—Carnival Cruise Line and Thrillist have teamed up to launch “Island Hoppers,” a first-of-its-kind comedy competition show at sea, aiming to find the cruise line’s next comedy star to perform at its shipboard Punchliner Comedy Clubs. The mobile-first series is hosted by award-winning actor James Van Der Beek and was filmed during a recent Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Horizon. Over the course of seven episodes, Van Der Beek takes viewers on a journey as three up-and-coming comedians compete in entertaining challenges, judged by longtime Punchliner Comedy Club veterans Billy D. Washington, Jodi White and William Lee Martin. “Island Hoppers” will air June 11, on Thrillist’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter channels. Hilarity ensues as the challengers demonstrate their creative cocktail-making skills at Carnival Horizon’s Alchemy Bar while having to perform a comedic act and offer their best one-liners as they traverse the heart-racing Mystic Mountain Jamaican bobsled ride during a call in Ocho Rios. “I’m not really a host, and I’m definitely not a standup,” said Van Der Beek. “But this show is so unique I feel like that worked in our favor. As a writer and actor, I have a huge appreciation for what it takes to get up in front of a room full of strangers and make people laugh, so it was a joy to jump in and play with a group this talented and hilarious. Plus, we all got to be on the Carnival Horizon, which just made everything fun.” “Entertaining 5 million guests across 26 ships is not an easy job. We’re always looking for top talent to add to our roster, so finding the perfect comedian is quite the task,” said Chris Nelson, Carnival’s vice president of entertainment. “That’s why we’re really excited to partner with Thrillist on this new and creative way to bring new comedians to our comedy club roster. Our guests love fun – comedy is part of our DNA – so we’re particularly thrilled that we are able to showcase incredible talent on every sailing.” “Travel and fun is at the heart of what we cover every single day at Thrillist and ‘Island Hoppers’ is a perfect extension of that. We’re excited to bring this new series to our audience and offer them an entertaining and unique view of all of the fun that can be had aboard a Carnival ship,” said Thrillist President Ocean MacAdams. Carnival’s Punchliner Comedy Clubs are the largest purveyors of comedy in the world with 27,000 shows annually across the line’s 26-ship fleet. Boasting more comedy performances than any land-based comedy club in the world, the Punchliner Comedy Clubs feature a lineup of top-notch talent who perform 30-minute shows, including family-friendly and adults-only sets, multiple times each voyage. All performances are offered on a complimentary basis. (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, June 10, 2019 – In true Royal Caribbean International fashion, Spectrum of the Seas will once again raise the bar in the Asian cruise market as the revolutionary ship plans new overnight stays in Tokyo, Japan in summer 2020. Built to deliver great vacation experiences, the first Quantum Ultra Class ship boasts the cruise line’s first private enclave for suite guests, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and adventures – many of which have never before been seen at sea. In summer 2020, Spectrum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas will each sail two special cruises into Tokyo’s brand-new cruise terminal, Shinkyaku Pier, offering guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience to take in the city’s vibrant energy as it comes alive during this exciting time. Spectrum will depart on July 25 and August 2 from Shanghai, China to Tokyo, and Voyager will offer itineraries beginning July 26 out of Hong Kong and August 2 from Tokyo, each staying overnight. Adding to the excitement, Quantum of the Seas will begin sailing from Singapore in 2019, and with both Spectrum and Quantum sailing from Singapore this year, this marks the start of Royal Caribbean’s Double Quantum Year in the region. “Our ships are designed and created to deliver unforgettable vacation experiences to our guests, and we are proud to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience in Tokyo next summer,” said Bert Hernandez, President, Royal Caribbean China. (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, June 10, 2019 – In true Royal Caribbean International fashion, Spectrum of the Seas will once again raise the bar in the Asian cruise market as the revolutionary ship plans new overnight stays in Tokyo, Japan in summer 2020. Built to deliver great vacation experiences, the first Quantum Ultra Class ship boasts the cruise line’s first private enclave for suite guests, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and adventures – many of which have never before been seen at sea. In summer 2020, Spectrum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas will each sail two special cruises into Tokyo’s brand-new cruise terminal, Shinkyaku Pier, offering guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience to take in the city’s vibrant energy as it comes alive during this exciting time. Spectrum will depart on July 25 and August 2 from Shanghai, China to Tokyo, and Voyager will offer itineraries beginning July 26 out of Hong Kong and August 2 from Tokyo, each staying overnight. Adding to the excitement, Quantum of the Seas will begin sailing from Singapore in 2019, and with both Spectrum and Quantum sailing from Singapore this year, this marks the start of Royal Caribbean’s Double Quantum Year in the region. “Our ships are designed and created to deliver unforgettable vacation experiences to our guests, and we are proud to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience in Tokyo next summer,” said Bert Hernandez, President, Royal Caribbean China. (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. CELEBRATION, Fla. (June 6, 2019) – In fall 2020, Disney Cruise Line will enchant guests of all ages with Halloween and winter holiday celebrations on sailings departing from New York, California, Texas and Florida. The 2020 fall season offers a range of itineraries that will visit a variety of tropical locales, with most sailings featuring that extra-special Disney holiday sparkle. Halloween on the High Seas returns to Disney Cruise Line in September and October 2020 with spooky good times for the entire family. On select sailings across the fleet, guests are treated to a “mouse-querade” costume party, lively entertainment, ghoulish food and beverage delights, trick-or-treating, seasonal kids’ activities, a villainous party just for adults and a ghostly ship takeover with elaborate décor and a magical pumpkin tree. From early November through December, the Disney Cruise Line fleet is decked from bow-to-stern with holiday cheer and entertainment during Very Merrytime Cruises. Holiday adventures are unwrapped for the whole family with merry parties, a tree lighting ceremony, festive activities, special food and beverage surprises, favorite characters in their finest holiday attire, a winter wonderland ball with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a flurry of “Frozen” snowfall. Bookings open to the public June 13, 2019. More details on 2020 itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2020 page of disneycruise.com. Sailings to Bermuda and Canada from New York The Disney Magic returns to New York in October for sailings to Bermuda and Canada, all featuring Halloween on the High Seas. Three five-night cruises offer two days in Bermuda, giving guests extra time to indulge in the island’s famous pink-sand beaches, abundant water activities, stylish shopping and distinctive blend of British and Caribbean culture. One five-night cruise will visit Canada’s charming seaport cities including Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada’s oldest incorporated city, which is home to outdoor activities and an impressive natural phenomenon called the “reversing falls rapids.” Guests on this sailing will also visit Halifax, the provincial capital of Nova Scotia. Rich in maritime history, Nova Scotia boasts Victorian-style public gardens and one of the world’s largest natural harbors. Baja and Mexican Riviera Voyages from California The Disney Wonder sets sail from San Diego in September, with Halloween on the High Seas cruises to Baja and the Mexican Riviera. Baja itineraries of two, three, four and five nights highlight the region’s famous beaches and water activities with calls on Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico. One seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise, with additional stops in Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, completes the southern California sailings. On Nov. 6, the Disney Wonder departs San Diego for a 14-night Panama Canal crossing. Bahamas and Caribbean Cruises from Texas From late November through December, the Disney Wonder will make Galveston, Texas, its homeport for Very Merrytime Cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas, with four-, five-, six- and seven-night sailings. Caribbean itineraries include stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico and Grand Cayman. Bahamian cruises feature stops at Nassau, Bahamas and Key West, Florida, as well as Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. Tropical Island Vacations from Florida In fall 2020, the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream will sail to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Port Canaveral, Florida. Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime Cruises will delight guests on most sailings. The Disney Fantasy will sail Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries ranging from three to eight nights, and the Disney Dream will sail three- and four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay. Each of these cruises includes a day of fun in the sun on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a 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. CELEBRATION, Fla. (June 6, 2019) – In fall 2020, Disney Cruise Line will enchant guests of all ages with Halloween and winter holiday celebrations on sailings departing from New York, California, Texas and Florida. The 2020 fall season offers a range of itineraries that will visit a variety of tropical locales, with most sailings featuring that extra-special Disney holiday sparkle. Halloween on the High Seas returns to Disney Cruise Line in September and October 2020 with spooky good times for the entire family. On select sailings across the fleet, guests are treated to a “mouse-querade” costume party, lively entertainment, ghoulish food and beverage delights, trick-or-treating, seasonal kids’ activities, a villainous party just for adults and a ghostly ship takeover with elaborate décor and a magical pumpkin tree. From early November through December, the Disney Cruise Line fleet is decked from bow-to-stern with holiday cheer and entertainment during Very Merrytime Cruises. Holiday adventures are unwrapped for the whole family with merry parties, a tree lighting ceremony, festive activities, special food and beverage surprises, favorite characters in their finest holiday attire, a winter wonderland ball with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a flurry of “Frozen” snowfall. Bookings open to the public June 13, 2019. More details on 2020 itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2020 page of disneycruise.com. Sailings to Bermuda and Canada from New York The Disney Magic returns to New York in October for sailings to Bermuda and Canada, all featuring Halloween on the High Seas. Three five-night cruises offer two days in Bermuda, giving guests extra time to indulge in the island’s famous pink-sand beaches, abundant water activities, stylish shopping and distinctive blend of British and Caribbean culture. One five-night cruise will visit Canada’s charming seaport cities including Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada’s oldest incorporated city, which is home to outdoor activities and an impressive natural phenomenon called the “reversing falls rapids.” Guests on this sailing will also visit Halifax, the provincial capital of Nova Scotia. Rich in maritime history, Nova Scotia boasts Victorian-style public gardens and one of the world’s largest natural harbors. Baja and Mexican Riviera Voyages from California The Disney Wonder sets sail from San Diego in September, with Halloween on the High Seas cruises to Baja and the Mexican Riviera. Baja itineraries of two, three, four and five nights highlight the region’s famous beaches and water activities with calls on Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico. One seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise, with additional stops in Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, completes the southern California sailings. On Nov. 6, the Disney Wonder departs San Diego for a 14-night Panama Canal crossing. Bahamas and Caribbean Cruises from Texas From late November through December, the Disney Wonder will make Galveston, Texas, its homeport for Very Merrytime Cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas, with four-, five-, six- and seven-night sailings. Caribbean itineraries include stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico and Grand Cayman. Bahamian cruises feature stops at Nassau, Bahamas and Key West, Florida, as well as Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. Tropical Island Vacations from Florida In fall 2020, the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream will sail to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Port Canaveral, Florida. Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime Cruises will delight guests on most sailings. The Disney Fantasy will sail Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries ranging from three to eight nights, and the Disney Dream will sail three- and four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay. Each of these cruises includes a day of fun in the sun on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a 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. U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS (June 5, 2019) - Following the U.S. government's renewed restrictions on travel to Cuba, the U.S. Virgin Islands government is working closely with the cruise lines to help them as they race to rework their itineraries. The State Department announced this week that the United States will no longer permit visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels, including cruise ships and yachts, nor on private and corporate aircraft. Joseph Boschulte, Commissioner of Tourism Designee, said that since news of the policy shift, the Ports of the Virgin Islands has reached out to the cruise lines to offer inconvenienced passengers the opportunity to visit the Territory, including the less busy cruise destination of St. Croix. "We have been in contact with the lines about making calls to both St. Croix and St. Thomas," said Commissioner Designee Boschulte, who let executives know that the Territory's ports can accommodate diverted vessels on short notice. "We have the capacity and are encouraging the lines to experience St. Croix especially - an emerging tourism destination steeped in rich culture and heritage and whose stakeholders are prepared to provide a welcoming experience for cruise ship passengers," he said. Commissioner Designee Boschulte said the Ports of the Virgin Islands will closely monitor the impact of the new policy and explore solutions with cruise lines at next week's Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association's Platinum Associate Member Advisory Council Conference, taking place in St. Maarten. (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
  12. U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS (June 5, 2019) - Following the U.S. government's renewed restrictions on travel to Cuba, the U.S. Virgin Islands government is working closely with the cruise lines to help them as they race to rework their itineraries. The State Department announced this week that the United States will no longer permit visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels, including cruise ships and yachts, nor on private and corporate aircraft. Joseph Boschulte, Commissioner of Tourism Designee, said that since news of the policy shift, the Ports of the Virgin Islands has reached out to the cruise lines to offer inconvenienced passengers the opportunity to visit the Territory, including the less busy cruise destination of St. Croix. "We have been in contact with the lines about making calls to both St. Croix and St. Thomas," said Commissioner Designee Boschulte, who let executives know that the Territory's ports can accommodate diverted vessels on short notice. "We have the capacity and are encouraging the lines to experience St. Croix especially - an emerging tourism destination steeped in rich culture and heritage and whose stakeholders are prepared to provide a welcoming experience for cruise ship passengers," he said. Commissioner Designee Boschulte said the Ports of the Virgin Islands will closely monitor the impact of the new policy and explore solutions with cruise lines at next week's Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association's Platinum Associate Member Advisory Council Conference, taking place in St. Maarten. (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)
  13. CALABASAS, CA – (June 5, 2019) – Completing an exciting season of inaugural sailings, AmaWaterways celebrated the debut of AmaMora on the Rhine River on Monday, June 3. Embarking on her maiden voyage from Amsterdam to Basel, the 156-guest ship is the third of a trio of new ships introduced by the luxury river cruise line in 2019 – a record-breaking achievement since the company’s inception in 2002. AmaWaterways fleet now numbers 23 modern ships following the launch this spring of AmaDouro on the Douro River and AmaMagna on the Danube River. “We are always excited to introduce new ships to our innovative fleet, but this season has been especially rewarding, and significant, for us,” said Rudi Schreiner, president and co-founder of AmaWaterways. “We’re thrilled to introduce AmaMora to the Rhine River and look forward to continue exceeding our guests’ expectations with a luxurious onboard experience, enriching shore excursions, exquisite dining venues and of course, the AmaWaterways touch that turns an interesting voyage into an unforgettable personalized experience.” Like her sister ships AmaLea and AmaKristina, AmaMora offers 78 staterooms, almost all of which feature AmaWaterways’ signature twin balconies. On board, guests can experience the line’s renowned cuisine including exquisite regionally-inspired dishes paired with hand-selected wines at the Main Restaurant and the intimate Chef’s Table Restaurant, as well as an all-day tapas menu, afternoon tea, complimentary daily Sip & Sail cocktail hour, and a 24-hour coffee station. Designed to meet the needs of discerning travelers, AmaMora features a wide range of amenities including connecting staterooms well-suited to meet the growing demand from multigenerational families. Guests looking to stay active even while on vacation can take advantage of the ship’s Wellness Program, featuring group fitness classes led by a dedicated Wellness Host and a well-equipped fitness center and Sun Deck walking track. As the newest member of the river cruise line best suited for active travelers, AmaMora carries a fleet of complimentary bicycles and organizes guided hiking and biking tours for guests to explore each incredible destination while cruising through The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland. For the more leisurely traveler, there is plenty of room to lounge by the heated Sun Deck pool, which features a swim-up bar; as well as enjoy massage and hair salon services. In addition, the ship features complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and in-room Entertainment-On-Demand. Guests looking to immerse themselves in the local culture will enjoy an extensive line-up of up to 20 complimentary tours to choose from during a seven-night cruise. Highlights include the spectacular Rhine Gorge lined with 40 castle ruins and special interest tours like the unforgettable Lahneck Castle visit by candlelight. AmaMora will be blessed by her Godmother, Co-President of Ensemble Travel Group Libbie Rice, alongside AmaWaterways’ executive team and local dignitaries during a christening ceremony in Lahnstein, Germany the week of July 15, 2019. Sailing between Amsterdam and Basel, AmaMora will offer the seven-night Enchanting Rhine and Captivating Rhine itineraries, and the festive Christmas Markets on the Rhine itineraries between November 25 and December 23. In addition, returning guests will be recognized with a special Christmas Markets on the Rhine sailing on board AmaMora, departing November 24 as part of the company’s first-ever Loyalty Appreciation Month. “We are very honored to have a river cruise company like AmaWaterways at the Port of Amsterdam,” said Monic van der Heijden, commercial manager of cruises at the Port of Amsterdam. “AmaWaterways is an example of an exceptional partner for the port due to important factors like their sustainable practices and disciplined captains.” (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. CALABASAS, CA – (June 5, 2019) – Completing an exciting season of inaugural sailings, AmaWaterways celebrated the debut of AmaMora on the Rhine River on Monday, June 3. Embarking on her maiden voyage from Amsterdam to Basel, the 156-guest ship is the third of a trio of new ships introduced by the luxury river cruise line in 2019 – a record-breaking achievement since the company’s inception in 2002. AmaWaterways fleet now numbers 23 modern ships following the launch this spring of AmaDouro on the Douro River and AmaMagna on the Danube River. “We are always excited to introduce new ships to our innovative fleet, but this season has been especially rewarding, and significant, for us,” said Rudi Schreiner, president and co-founder of AmaWaterways. “We’re thrilled to introduce AmaMora to the Rhine River and look forward to continue exceeding our guests’ expectations with a luxurious onboard experience, enriching shore excursions, exquisite dining venues and of course, the AmaWaterways touch that turns an interesting voyage into an unforgettable personalized experience.” Like her sister ships AmaLea and AmaKristina, AmaMora offers 78 staterooms, almost all of which feature AmaWaterways’ signature twin balconies. On board, guests can experience the line’s renowned cuisine including exquisite regionally-inspired dishes paired with hand-selected wines at the Main Restaurant and the intimate Chef’s Table Restaurant, as well as an all-day tapas menu, afternoon tea, complimentary daily Sip & Sail cocktail hour, and a 24-hour coffee station. Designed to meet the needs of discerning travelers, AmaMora features a wide range of amenities including connecting staterooms well-suited to meet the growing demand from multigenerational families. Guests looking to stay active even while on vacation can take advantage of the ship’s Wellness Program, featuring group fitness classes led by a dedicated Wellness Host and a well-equipped fitness center and Sun Deck walking track. As the newest member of the river cruise line best suited for active travelers, AmaMora carries a fleet of complimentary bicycles and organizes guided hiking and biking tours for guests to explore each incredible destination while cruising through The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland. For the more leisurely traveler, there is plenty of room to lounge by the heated Sun Deck pool, which features a swim-up bar; as well as enjoy massage and hair salon services. In addition, the ship features complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and in-room Entertainment-On-Demand. Guests looking to immerse themselves in the local culture will enjoy an extensive line-up of up to 20 complimentary tours to choose from during a seven-night cruise. Highlights include the spectacular Rhine Gorge lined with 40 castle ruins and special interest tours like the unforgettable Lahneck Castle visit by candlelight. AmaMora will be blessed by her Godmother, Co-President of Ensemble Travel Group Libbie Rice, alongside AmaWaterways’ executive team and local dignitaries during a christening ceremony in Lahnstein, Germany the week of July 15, 2019. Sailing between Amsterdam and Basel, AmaMora will offer the seven-night Enchanting Rhine and Captivating Rhine itineraries, and the festive Christmas Markets on the Rhine itineraries between November 25 and December 23. In addition, returning guests will be recognized with a special Christmas Markets on the Rhine sailing on board AmaMora, departing November 24 as part of the company’s first-ever Loyalty Appreciation Month. “We are very honored to have a river cruise company like AmaWaterways at the Port of Amsterdam,” said Monic van der Heijden, commercial manager of cruises at the Port of Amsterdam. “AmaWaterways is an example of an exceptional partner for the port due to important factors like their sustainable practices and disciplined captains.” (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. Shanghai, June 3, 2019 – Spectrum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, made its highly anticipated debut in China today. The first Quantum Ultra Class ship sailed into Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in Shanghai after completing a 46-night Global Odyssey that spanned 17 cities. In honor of Spectrum arriving to her new home, the cruise line held a grand naming ceremony with Chinese celebrities and Royal Caribbean brand ambassadors, Xiaoming Huang and Angelababy, in attendance. Honored with the lifetime role of Godparents, the popular couple were on hand to name the ship and bestow a blessing of safekeeping over all those who sail on her. Spectrum’s historic milestone is on the heels of Royal Caribbean’s 10th anniversary in China. Building on years of success with Quantum and Ovation of the Seas, the arrival of the largest and most expensive cruise ship in Asia will continue to raise the bar and lead the Chinese cruise industry into a new era. “Royal Caribbean has always been known for innovating and pushing the boundaries, and Spectrum of the Seas is a great example of this,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Spectrum brings to life the best of Royal Caribbean along with curated experiences for our Chinese consumers.” Custom built for the Chinese market, Spectrum of the Seas features bold and unexpected experiences, including the cruise line’s first private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and experiences – many of which have never before been seen at sea. Transformational Spaces Spectrum features a two-level, 2,809-square-foot Ultimate Family Suite, accommodating up to 11 guests. The three-bedroom suite features a master bedroom and a bathroom that extends over the side of the ship for unparalleled ocean views, along with two additional suites for grandparents and other family members. Kids have their own kid-friendly space on the upper level, complete with an in-suite slide that will transport them to the living area below. Everyone in the family can enjoy time together in the recreation room, featuring surround-sound equipment for a night of karaoke, movies or video games. Glowing on the aft of the ship is Sky Pad, a virtual reality (VR), bungee trampoline experience, where guests can strap in, don a VR headset and be transported to another time and planet with three new games: Jump Rally, Sugar Leap and Bass Bouncer. The out-of-this-world experience is for guests of all ages and can be enjoyed without headsets, for those who prefer to look out over the ocean as they leap toward the sky. Exclusive Suite Club The Suite Club on decks 13 through 16 offers Royal Caribbean’s first exclusive suites-only area, which features 36 Golden Suites and 106 Silver Suites. The Golden Suites and Silver Suites have exclusive access, elevator, as well as a private restaurant and lounge. In addition to a range of amenities, Gold Suite guests may access The Balcony, a private outdoor space with the best views of the sea; and The Boutique, which can be reserved for private shopping, intimate parties and wine tastings. Travelers in suites are also provided with a dedicated team of Royal Concierges who provide excellent value-added services, including concierge services, Royal embarkation, enhanced food and beverage experiences, and exclusive room service. Diverse Dining Options On board Royal Caribbean’s newest ship are 33 dining options to meet the diverse preferences of its guests. The lineup includes innovative dining concepts such as: Sichuan Red, a brand-new restaurant debuting on Spectrum that features authentic cuisine from the Sichuan province of China; a traditional tea room and café parlor known as Leaf and Bean, where guests can enjoy a range of authentic Chinese teas, classic coffee drinks as well as freshly baked Chinese and Western desserts and pastries; Teppanyaki, offering authentic oriental flavors cooked in Japan’s traditional teppanyaki style; Splashaway Café, near the kids’ pool area; and the Noodle Bar, which serves up freshly made noodles and live chef demonstrations. Introduced on the Quantum Ultra Class, the main dining room has been combined into one awe-inspiring, three-level dining room with 1,844 seats. The complimentary venue also serves a variety of Chinese and Western a la carte options that rotate every day of an itinerary. Vacationers looking for a more casual dining venue, the Windjammer Marketplace on Spectrum has been designed to be 20% larger than those on Quantum Class ships. The laidback option offers a wide selection of Chinese and Western dishes. Multidimensional Entertainment Experiences Three new production shows developed in-house by Royal Caribbean – The Silk Road, The Effectors, and Showgirl! Past. Present. Future. are taking the stage. Each full-scale production features unrivaled talent, immersive technology and unparalleled special effects to create spectacular entertainment experiences. The entertainment doesn’t end on stage. Spectrum offers guests a thrilling lineup of activities including Battle for Planet Z, an epic glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure for the whole family; Star Moment, a lively and energetic karaoke venue where family and friends can sing like stars; Expedition Two70, where guests can test their adventuring skills in four fully immersive augmented reality (AR) games; SeaPlex, the multipurpose indoor sports and entertainment complex that offers activities from various parts of the world including various indoor ball games as well as fencing and archery – activities never before seen at sea in the Asia market. Cutting-edge Technology Spectrum of the Seas features a bold lineup of new digital experiences, from digital room keys and automated stateroom controls, to immersive AR games. The Royal Caribbean mobile app is also available for the first time for guests in China and supports both Mandarin and English language. Designed to seamlessly deliver unprecedented vacation experiences at sea, technology is prevalent throughout the ship, substantially increasing guest convenience and efficiency while offering new experiences that entertain and amaze. Royal Caribbean International has been delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Each successive class of ships is an architectural marvel featuring the latest technology and guest experiences for today’s adventurous traveler. The cruise line continues to revolutionize vacations with itineraries to more than 270 destinations in 73 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s highly anticipated private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first in the Perfect Day Island Collection. Royal Caribbean has also been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 16 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards. Photo: Spectrum of the Seas arrives in Hong Kong. (Royal Caribbean) View full article
×
×
  • Create New...